Chapter 41: Ophelia

“…There never was any toy, was there?” Finn’s question wasn’t really a question, but he sounded more serious than usual. I should’ve known something was on his mind during our latest research session.

“Batty would never let me forget one of his favorites,” I admitted. “But I know my brother misses you too. Can’t I call upon dangerous forces and arrange a passionate reunion?”

“He’s an adult. You shouldn’t get involved like that–”

I swung my legs off the couch. “…And you can? He’s my brother, Finn–what is he to you? And my lie was smaller than yours.”

Finn must really care about Benny, to make up a job for him just to make him happy. Would he have done that for me? And we never fought. Finn didn’t like to fight, even though it could be fun sometimes, if you did it like my mother and father.

Fighting meant passion. Finn always just gave in right away–except about turning me into a vampire–or avoided me if we disagreed, so it wasn’t like him to argue with me now. “I’m a hypocrite, aren’t I?” he said.

“Mmhm. But poor Benny needs all the help he can get.”

“…Is that really for us to decide? What our siblings need…?” He sighed. “He said he wants to be friends.”


“Not that kind of friend, O.”

“So you’re not interested in him…?” I asked suspiciously. “You don’t want to throw him down on an icy embalming table and–”

“I don’t. That crush–it was a long time ago. I was young. We were young. We’ve all moved on.”

Maybe Finn was like Benny, and had trouble saying what he really wanted or how he really felt. But Finn never lied to me. “Okay,” I said. “I’ll find another way to help next time.”

“As long as it doesn’t involve me, or lying…”

“It won’t.”

But I had no idea who it would involve until I met him on my second day on set: my character’s husband, Lord Harrington Bishop.

He was a vampire lord, and he found my character, Lady Octavia Bishop, wandering naked (eheheh) in a forest outside his mansion, weak and disoriented from blood deprivation after escaping the morgue. He carried her home, dressed her in her old clothes (we didn’t get to shoot that part since it’s network television), and carried her down to her coffin.

He also happened to look almost exactly like Benny’s first love. (First loves are a recurring theme in vampire stories, along with vampires meeting their first loves’ doppelgangers years and years after they die and falling in love all over again against their will.)

Benny was a vampire, and I was almost a vampire, and he was a human, so it was perfect. The romance scenes in the show were my favorite part, but I didn’t really understand all the chess.

Luckily, all I had to do was stand around near my vampire lord husband and think smoldering, sensual thoughts while he played chess and my pet were-leopard lay at my feet, according to the director.

Lord Harrington Bishop was a very proper, aristocratic vampire, just like Benny’s favorite butler in his old game–but an actor wasn’t his character, and I had to find out what he was like outside his role.

Luckily, I got to spy on him interacting with a pure, innocent human: my cousin Lyanna.

“Thank you for your work today,” he said to her. “I know it’s time-consuming to cover up all those tattoos.”

“I don’t mind,” she said. She was always saying that, when she wasn’t apologizing. I’d feel bad if I asked her to watch Batty for me if I started acting full-time, but she had a dog too that Batty seemed to want to play with. “At least you don’t have any shirtless scenes like Mr. Duke…”


“That reminds me, I should ask him about his workout regimen,” he said. “I need to whip my body into shape if we get picked up.”

“…I think he likes yoga,” Lyanna said. “But I can ask, if you like.”

“I’d appreciate it.”

Hmmm… He came to set on time. The crew–some of whom he apparently worked with before–seemed to like him. He was polite, even to the lowliest makeup artist. All good signs…

I waited for my cousin to leave us alone. And then I pounced.

“Oh, I wanted to thank you too, in case this is the last time we see each other,” he said. “I can’t believe you’re a total newbie. I hope you find work fast, if the show doesn’t pan out.”

And he was nice to novice actresses… “Hamlet Richardson…?” I said, committing his name to memory–or maybe saying it like a dark incantation, influencing him to do my bidding.

He laughed. He had a nice laugh. “My parents were theater geeks. And you’re Ophelia–kind of funny, isn’t it?” He knew my name, despite me being a nobody. Yes…this could be my last chance.

“Hmmm…are you hopelessly entwined in a passionate romance with anyone at the moment?”

“Oh–oh. Uh–I’m not, and you’re absolutely lovely, and I’m sorry if I’ve given you the wrong idea, but–well–I’m very, very gay.”

“I know.” It must be some kind of dark power, because I always knew. “And I think you’d be perfect for my brother…” I lunged for my phone on the counter and brought it back to him over his polite protests.

“That’s very sweet of you, but–”

I showed him my best recent pic of Benny, from the last time the shower broke at his apartment and I let him use the one at the funeral parlor. (Mother paid me for every candid photo of him I sent to her, with bonuses for one or both fangs showing.)

“…He kind of looks like a grownup, scruffy Henry Puffer,” he said. “The book version, not the movie one–he was my first crush. Or my favorite comedian, if we’re talking celebrity crushes.”

“He’s single,” I said. “And he’d really like you.”

“…He’s not a fan, is he? Or another actor? My last boyfriend…” He winced. “Big-time actor. Bigger than me. Very public breakup.”

Well, he wasn’t a fan of him, so that wouldn’t be a lie. “He’s a butler.”

“…I’d like to meet him, if he’d like to meet me. Why not?” He laughed again. “I can’t believe I’m saying this, after so many fans have tried to set me up with their daughters or granddaughters over the years…and finally sons or grandsons, but that took a while.” He glanced at my phone again. “He looks sweet, but maybe I shouldn’t judge just from his appearance–”

“He’s very sweet,” I confirmed. I wouldn’t tell Leo, but Benny was my favorite, just like with Mother. Sweet and lonely and lied to, but maybe this wouldn’t be a lie. Maybe it’d be real, and a dark, terrible romance would blossom…

I had less faith in the future of my unexpected acting career, but at least it was very good for my writerly inspiration.

Just the embalming table alone…


I was brimming with inspiration. And hopefully soon, Benny would be brimming with passion–among other things.


29 thoughts on “Chapter 41: Ophelia

  1. “Or my favorite comedian, if we’re talking celebrity crushes.” Hehehehehe

    The cast grows! (Girl, you’re insane 😂❤️) Hamlet seems like a really great guy… so far. 😛 Very sweet and kinda geeky… Benny’s type for sure!

    And MORE Ophelia meddling this time 😂 I knew there was never any toy.

    Looking forward to getting to know more about Hamlet! And seeing some of those tattoos Lyanna’s been covering up… 😉

    Liked by 4 people

    1. “I’M NOT ADDING ANY MORE CHARACTERS, I’M DONE, I SWEAR TO GODDDD.” *adds more characters*

      Ophelia is a bit of a meddler…don’t know where she got that from. LOL.

      You will see the tattoos in all their glory soon! Ish. 😉

      Liked by 2 people

  2. So, a brand new character…..Hamlet hmmm. She believes Finn doesn’t like Benny or maupyve she is trying to make him jealous. Or something more….hmmmm. Hamlet seems, hmm, sweet?

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Dark WitcHazard: Yes another member to this band of misfits! Hamlet is definitely a two faced person you know all sweet and gentleman like in public but likes almost choking his partners to death during sex! Also back when it’s was revealed that Finn owned the mansion I was wondering why he didn’t just hire someone to pretend to be the master of the house that way he could separate himself even more from the situation but in that scenario he hired some who looked like Leonidas Benny swooned then said actor fell in love with Benny Finn got jelly and the guy wanting to come clean told Benny his lie only for it to make him rush into his comforting friends arms guy gets mad and reveals this was all planned by Finn Benny feels betrayed and hey don’t speak for another decade where they decide to give it a shot!

    Lover WitcHazard: Another character to fantasize about how yummy! Also Bas underwear picks last chapter saved in special files right next to his papa! Also Finn are you seriously say that if Gal didn’t walk in on you wouldn’t have dominated Benny’s adorable virgin holes!

    Shipper WitcHazard: I’m going to enjoy this little rowboat while it last until Finny works out it’s kinks! Kudos to you for almost making me ship Benny and Bas last chapter! Finn don’t

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ROFL, I love the different WitcHazards’ opinions as always. ❤ So Dark is on the "Hamlet is secretly evil (at least in bed)" camp, huh? 😈

      And it would've been a good idea to hire someone who looked like Leonidas…sadly, Finn had no idea who Leonidas was since Benny tried to hide his ButlerQuest antics from him when he visited (and Gal had stopped playing by then anyhow).

      More guys for Lover…and ROFL, good to know Bas is just as popular as his dad. And I knew someone would ship Bas and Benny…I just didn't know who. 😉


  4. Omg…come ON, O! Benny was about to KISS Finn! And FINN! What the HELL? You couldn’t feel that sizzling fire between you?

    Well, fine. Benny will have his little Ham snack until you come to your senses. Looking forward to how Benny reacts to this set up. He could be lonely enough to accept him…not sure….

    OMG! Orlando is a delectable wereleopard. I would love for him and Lyanna to play in his makeup! Hee hee! She should dress up too! 😏

    Ophelia makes a great dramatic actress…this could be the beginning of a successful career for her!

    I loved all the posing on the set! Hilarious!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Like Benny, Finn can be kind of an idiot. 😦 It’s a shame, really. He’s as much in denial as Benny…

      Ham snack. LOL! Forgive me, Pammie, for throwing a wrench (hambone?) in your ship. ❤

      I love Wereleopard Orlando too. LOL. What would Lyanna dress up as? Hmmm.

      This is definitely the role Ophelia was born to play–the vampiress, maybe not matchmaker. We'll see. 😉


  5. “First loves are a recurring theme in vampire stories, along with vampires meeting their first loves’ doppelgangers years and years after they die and falling in love all over again against their will.”

    You…you just solved the Vampire genre.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. As it seems to be my habit, I stayed up really late catching up completely! It’s like, every time I start I just can’t stop, and I love that about your writing! I would have commented on every single chapter, too, but I was on a reading-roll, lol.
    I love all of these characters, it’s so hard to pick favorites when they’re all so well-written and likable in their ways. I still really adore Galatea and I’m rooting for her to find some peace in the chaos of her inner troubles.

    Dru might be my second favorite. Something about her naivety reminds me a lot of Byron. I just hope whatever is happening to Darius can be remedied, maybe with Dru’s help!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh wow, when you binge, you BINGE!! That’s so sweet of you to say, thank you. ❤ ❤ And no pressure to comment, I'm just thrilled you read!

      It's funny how I seriously wondered if Galatea would be an off-putting character because of her spiky armor and anger issues, but it makes me so happy that people are rooting for her.

      And then Dru is so different! That's one of the reasons I love In the Rose Garden (along with the writing itself and all those beautiful screenshots)–I adore ensemble casts, both reading and writing about them. Though at this point my cast is so huge I wonder if I bit off more than I can chew. 😱


  7. I either take my time and read super slowly, or I read everything all at once; there is no in-between. I do the same thing when i write and update In The Rose Garden; i won’t update for a little while and then suddenly update three or more times in a week.

    I think what draws me to Galatea so much is that I relate to some things, like her eating habits and issues with weight and self-image. Once you’ve put on that spiky armor and established your defenses it can be really hard to take them down. I really am hoping that one day her attempts at being nicer will succeed!

    Honestly, I’m always worrying about my characters and adding new ones in, because I feel like I don’t give some the attention and writing they deserve. That’s something I love about your stories, because every character seems to get their spotlight and their perspectives are always so well placed! And everything lines up so perfectly, I love all of the twists and misunderstandings and aaah ❤ ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It can be tough to balance characters, I know! And I really appreciate the compliments. ❤ ❤ Sometimes, I really wish I could outline things and not just take things as they come…but inspiration is a strange, unpredictable beast.

      I think all of my characters have little bits of me in them, and I can relate to Gal too–she's the easiest to write for me this gen, even if her chapters aren't as funny as say, Dru's. It's going to be a journey for her, and I understand if people get frustrated!

      And I think you're doing a fantastic job with your story. Sometimes characters step back so you can follow others' stories instead–it's natural for some to become more prominent. Some characters just have bigger stories to tell! A Daisy chapter will almost never be as long as a Gal one, as much as I love her too, because she's so much more well-adjusted with a close family. LOL.


      1. I’ve started actually outlining a little bit for chapters, and the gameplay aspect has been taking a backseat. I suppose when I have a scene in mind it helps me in setting it up for images to know what exactly is supposed to happen. But I think my favorite stories to read are the ones that aren’t fully outlined, or are written as they come!

        And, thank you! That means a lot~ I actually really love the way you write each chapter through a different first person perspective, and I think I’ve mentioned that before. I’d really love to try writing a story that switches between pov’s like that, because I think it really helps in getting to know the characters and making them so lovable!

        Liked by 1 person

  8. OH MY GOD! I think I just died. The very first picture with Orlando as Ophelia’s “pet were-leopard” totally killed me. I don’t even know if this is hot or hilarious (or maybe a little of both). By the way, I can’t help but wonder what Ophelia would look like as a true vampire queen. Thank you so much for another awesome chapter!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!! ❤ ❤ ROFL, when scrolling through tumblr looking for poses, I always notice how many poses are meant for modeling and lookbooks. This is what I use them for, apparently–were-leopard eyecandy and ~Rhys~. LOL.

      Ophelia would make a pretty awesome vampire queen, I think. 😉


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