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[personal profile] simtopi

chapter 48 part 1


Warnings: animal abuse :(, violence, coarse language, lots of sparkling

With sims by [profile] starling_1, and [profile] amochan8878 




Malcolm watched his student with deep interest, a hint of pride in his smile.


chapter 48 part 1
A crow hung suspended in front of her, it's wings outstretched and shaking as it tried with futility to resist the magic that bound it.  Small, constricted warbling betrayed the sensation of pins driven through it's tendons. Helpless and immobile, it could do nothing as the young witch concentrated to hold the spell.



chapter 48 part 1
Clara St. Julien was a prodigy, there was no doubt of it. In the year since her skills awakened within her, she had devoted herself to studying her spells. She had practiced them every day and her level of skill had advanced by leaps and bounds. Normally, it would take years for a witch to even begin to master a binding spell, but Clara made it a mission to perfect it. She had no aversions to testing her magic on small animals.


chapter 48 part 1
He was proud of her, but there was something about her single-minded determination that disturbed him.


chapter 48 part 1
Her instructor was a capable witch from Belladonna Cove.  They had gone through several before they settled on Frances McCullough. She was perhaps the best Malcolm was able to find for Clara, and the only one the girl thought powerful enough to respect and take seriously.

Malcolm personally oversaw all her lessons and made sure Frances could adapt to Clara's quick learning.  He did have high hopes for his protege, once.


chapter 48 part 1
"You're doing well," Madame McCullough said. As she turned around, Clara noticed the apple in her hand.  "Now, keep it up..."


chapter 48 part 1
"...If you can." With a grin, Madame McCullough tossed the apple to Clara. Clara cried out in protest and held out her hands to catch the apple.  In that moment, her concentration  broke.


chapter 48 part 1
The binding spell disappeared, and the crow flapped it's wings erratically, finally free. Ungracefully, it flew across the room towards the open window.




chapter 48 part 1
"I bound him for longer than a minute this time!" Clara exclaimed. "You timed it, right? Did you see that?"

Her excitement turned to anger.


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"I could have held on for longer if you hadn't thrown that apple at me! You ruined my spell!"


chapter 48 part 1
She didn't ask why. She simply lashed out with the accusation that Madame McCullough had wronged her. 

"I know you can," the instructor answered. "The binding spell is very difficult and you will be fighting against the energy of the one bound. It won't be a perfect situation every time you cast it. No one will be announcing what they'll be throwing at you."

Clara always questioned her lessons. She never blindly accepted anything as it was. She resisted and argued at every turn. If she failed, it was always because of something or someone else.  Malcolm didn't know how Frances had the patience to deal with that temper. 


chapter 48 part 1
Malcolm had been visiting less and less. Clara would note that he hadn't come by for over weeks at a time. This would be the first time in a month that he had come to observe. 
 
"I'm sorry to say," he said, quietly so that his voice wouldn't carry. "She is not the one we're looking for."


chapter 48 part 1
His companion blinked in disbelief. "Because she couldn't hold the spell?" the woman asked.

"She did excellently as she always does. But that isn't the reason."

The woman was becoming clearly agitated.  "You said she was the first witch born in Simtopi. That makes her important to you, doesn't it?"

He sighed. He knew this was going to be difficult. "Yes, it's true that she is. And as much as I would have liked for it to have been her, being first born here doesn't necessarily make it so."

"So what becomes of her then?"

chapter 48 part 1
"She'll continue on as she is," Malcolm said. "She still has the potential to be a very powerful witch yet."

"But she won't be your Heir."

"The Sorceress' Heir." Malcolm corrected her. 

"How could you do this to her? How could you do this to me!?  She is the descendant of  great warlocks and witches, and I've always known she was meant for more, Malcolm."

"Abigail," Malcolm's words were gentle, but laced with impatience and growing anger. "Clara is already more than you have ever been. And I'm putting that kindly."


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"I've allowed you to come here and discuss this with me because of  our past... 'partnership'. But frankly, none of this is any of your concern. At all.  I do not choose the Heir, and there is nothing you nor I can do about it."


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"Bullshit, Malcolm. You're the Head Warlock, aren't you?  You  make the rules. I don't know how your Heir gets chosen, but you go through those rotting books of yours and read through it again.  I doubt you'll find another suitable witch. Not in your lifetime."

Malcolm chuckled at the woman's arrogance. "Abigail, with all due respect, you know nothing of what we do."


chapter 48 part 1
"I don't care about your stupid witch rules." Abigail's voice was getting louder. "This is all this worthless child of mine has to contribute for her life.  I did not ever raise her to be second best."



Present day.

chapter 48 part 1
Never second best. Clara refused to have that distinction. She scraped and struggled with the meagre offerings life had given her and made it all into what she was now. She had bested the most powerful witches, even risen above her old instructor herself. She had dealt with the infamous Countess Alexandria Sibyll Tremaine, and now she was about to deal with Sibyll's progeny. 




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Clara would make it so no one would ever think of her as "second best" ever again. 



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chapter 48 part 1
Nothing will ever get in the way of that, least of all this sad, foolish vampire.  Her survival meant everything to her.



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"The book is yours!!!"


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Clara froze. Willow's voice seemed to echo in the small room.  She repeated what she said, her voice trembling.

Willow: It's yours. The Book is yours. Now let him go!
Wesley: Willow... no...

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Clara began to chuckle.

Clara: So you are capable of some smart decisions after all.  I knew you'd come around.




chapter 48 part 1
Willow: Please, don't hurt him. Just let us go.

She couldn't bear it. Even seeing Wesley struggling against the spell tore into her. Something inside her had resisted her, but she couldn't stand there helplessly and watch Wesley die.



chapter 48 part 1
Clara: Oh honey. You really are that naive. Or else you think I'm a fool. But I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and go with the first one. 



chapter 48 part 1
Willow: You said that's all I had to do. Give you the Book. And I mean it. Just take it and leave him alone!



chapter 48 part 1
Clara: Ha ha, no.  It's not going to work that way.  The only thing that's keeping him from killing me is the binding spell.




chapter 48 part 1
Clara: He's putting up a good fight, but not good enough. If I release him, I'm as good as dead. Isn't that right, Wesley dear?

chapter 48 part 1
Clara: Wesley served me well, but it's time for him to pass along..




chapter 48 part 1
Clara: Just like his maker. Say hello to Sibyll when you see her in hell...



chapter 48 part 1
Wesley closed his eyes and stopped struggling.  She meant to kill him and he was ready for it. He only regret  that he failed Willow. She'd be left to her fate at Clara's hands. He thought about Sibyll and wondered in a moment about an afterlife, and if he'd see her again... 


chapter 48 part 1
A bright explosion of light filled the room. Wesley could feel the rush of energy storm around him.


chapter 48 part 1
Clara couldn't even cry out as the force of magic slammed her against the wall.



chapter 48 part 1
She exhaled a broken, gurgled sound as she slid down the wall and collapsed unconscious on the cold floor.



chapter 48 part 1
In the cage, Willow stood calmly.

chapter 48 part 1



chapter 48 part 1
The pain stopped and Wesley was released.


chapter 48 part 1
With Clara unconscious, Willow simply stepped out of the magical cage that held her. 


chapter 48 part 1
Willow spoke, but her voice sounded different. The words she chose didn't seem like hers.

Willow: You are a fool, Clara. You really should have known better.



chapter 48 part 1
Wesley: Willow? How...?
Willow:  The spell she had on me was a binding spell of sorts... and then she cast one one you.  Trying to hold you weakened the spell she had on me. It was enough for me to cast.


More and more Willow was surprising him. He wasn't sure how Willow knew any of this. Just like Clara did, he had underestimated her.



chapter 48 part 1
Wesley looked on with disbelief. The girl who was kneeling in front of him now was Willow but there was something different about her. In a few short minutes, she had changed. 



chapter 48 part 1
Willow: I'm so glad you're okay. 

She reached out and held him closely, taking him by surprise. With everything that just happened, he wasn't sure how to react. Carefully, his hands rested on her back, and as if assured, she leaned into him.


chapter 48 part 1




chapter 48 part 1
In a moment, they would be gone.


chapter 48 part 1





chapter 48 part 1

He was weakened from Clara's spell and shocks of pain still fired  through his body. Willow held him close as the familiar sensation of teleportation engulphed him.  The cold night air soon rushed in around them.



chapter 48 part 1
Even as they reappeared in freedom, she still held him tightly. 



chapter 48 part 1
She was shaking, and not from the cold.


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chapter 48 part 1






chapter 48 part 1
Jasmine: What just happened?
Cecilia: I told you what happened, Jasmine!


chapter 48 part 1
Cecilia: That... ghost... just showed up and started going on about being Clara's mother.  She said her name was Abigail St. Julien. She used to be married to Grandpa Brandon!
Jasmine: That doesn't mean that Clara is related to us though!
Cecilia: Who knows?! That ghost seemed to think so.


chapter 48 part 1
Jasmine: Are you sure you weren't just having a bad nightmare?  You had a really bad couple of nights...
Cecilia: I know what I saw. God.
Jasmine:    I mean... I guess I just don't really want Clara to be Mom's half-sister. She's dating Dad, that's just so weird.  And does Grandpa even know...?


chapter 48 part 1
Cecilia: Hello!? I'm being haunted by yet another psycho ghost here, Jasmine. I don't really give a fuck about Clara right now!



chapter 48 part 1
Jasmine: I'm sorry! I really am. Are you okay? 
Cecilia: You know, you could have asked me that first.


chapter 48 part 1
Jasmine: Well... what do we do now?
Adrian: We can start by returning that to where it belongs.

He looked over towards the urn. Jasmine sighed.

Jasmine: You were just waiting to say "I told you so" weren't you.
Adrian: No, I wasn't. But you knew that it wasn't a good idea to hold on to it. 



chapter 48 part 1
Jasmine:  I know, alright? I'll give it back. Don't worry. 

Jasmine never thought anything would come of this. She knew Wren and Raven were idiots but she never thought that they would ever be the catalyst for all this craziness.  Her mind was spinning fast with the knowledge that Clara could be related to them. She shuddered at the thought of it.  There was usually one person she counted on that would have been over with her distinct knowledge on magic and paranormal things. But last time Jasmine saw her she had yelled at her. 

She wished Willow could be here now. Willow would probably know what to do.





chapter 48 part 1
Willow was confused. She knew she had brought herself and Wesley here. She felt like she was sitting back while someone else was controlling her life. She was aware and compliant, but she could feel her sense of identity slipping away.  She wasn't sure if she was afraid of it. Once in a while she'd catch herself to ask what she was doing. She didn't know.

Willow had never been in this room before. She had been in the old church, seen more than enough of it than she cared to, but she had never expected a room like this. Clearly, Sibyll never really "slept" here. This was most likely where she had brought her past conquests and victims. Willow wondered if all these paintings were here to impress them, or to satisfy her own vanity. 



chapter 48 part 1
Strangely, she felt connected to her here though. She had only interacted with her once... to save Wesley's life. She knew she was dangerous and had killed in the past. But she could only feel an odd sense of kinship to her now.


chapter 48 part 1
Knowing Sibyll was dead filled her with a deep sadness, and she didn't understand why. 


She wasn't sure if it was the paintings that influenced her imagination, but a fleeting image came to her mind.

chapter 48 part 1
Wesley:  I'll find you some food. In the meantime, you should rest here if you can.
Willow: I'm not hungry.
Wesley: You've been imprisoned for two days.  You need your strength.
Willow: I know. But we're safe here for now.  Sibyll's charm is weaker, but it's still intact. No one will find us here.



chapter 48 part 1
Sibyll's portrait stared down at him grimly. Reminded of her death, he sank down on the bed beside Willow. 
Willow: I'm sorry about her. About Sibyll.



chapter 48 part 1
Willow: I know you loved her.  I know... I know that she loved you.




chapter 48 part 1
In that sentence alone, he was reminded of everything Sibyll had done for him.  She had kept him alive and taught him how to survive. For the longest time, she had been his only companion. All there was left was a deep, empty feeling.

Wesley had known decades of loneliness, but there was always her. As long as she was here, he never felt completely alone.


chapter 48 part 1
She could sense how he felt. Gently, she reached out to him.

Willow: You're not alone, Wesley. 

He shook his head.
Wesley: I tried to be the one to protect you. I nearly got you killed.
Willow: Because of Clara's pact. You couldn't break it. Now you're free.
Wesley: I'm so sorry. 



chapter 48 part 1
Willow: It's done now. And you don't have to be the one to protect me anymore.
Wesley: If you're ever in danger, I won't stay away.



chapter 48 part 1
Willow: I know. But I can take care of myself. Wesley,  I'm not a child anymore. 


chapter 48 part 1
She wasn't a child any more. It was as if he only suddenly realized that.  The woman beside him now was not the young girl that he swore to protect. He had held on to that Willow for a very long time, but she was gone. 

Her eyes didn't move away from his. She watched him carefully, intently, with no hint of shyness or reservation. 


chapter 48 part 1
She leaned forward and touched his face lightly, brushing his hair away. He closed his eyes, comfort washing over him with the touch of her warm, living skin.  He breathed in that warmth, his entire being reacting to her. It had been a long time since anyone had touched him with this much care, and with no fear of him.


chapter 48 part 1
He tilted his face toward her. He could hear her heart beating quickly in her chest. He didn't stop her as she kissed him gently.


chapter 48 part 1
Willow: When I was young, I believed with all my heart that all it would take was a kiss to break the spell you were under. 

Wesley whispered her name in hesitation. She wrapped her arms around him tenderly.


chapter 48 part 1
He wanted to hold back, to push her away. But as she embraced him everything ran out. All his energy, all his inhibitions. He had spent so much of his life alone and in pain, all he wanted now was to be connected to someone. To be closer to a soul than he ever allowed himself to be. He was once her guardian, but all he could think now is how she could save him so easily.  A part of him shouted against this, warning him of  danger, filling him with guilt, but he shut it out quickly.  

chapter 48 part 1
He gave in to everything else instead.


chapter 48 part 1




Continue to Part 2

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