“Don’t laugh at a youth for his affectations; he is only trying on one face after another to find a face of his own.”Logan Pearsall Smith
Del Sol Valley Cameron Mansion
Rubbing his hand across his face, shaking his head to himself, Everett inhaled, mumbling to himself
“Sounded like shit being shaken in a tin can! Let’s try this again.” he exhaled, tapped around on some buttons, nodding to himself, but as he was about to hit the record button, the door to his home studio flew open.
Jerking his finger from the button, he frowned at his wife.
“Maeve, I am trying to record here! Did you not see the red light was on?!”
“Oh, I did! But it’ll have to wait for a moment, you got a call, one you are going to take. It’s your brother, don’t worry, everyone is fine, but you are dealing with this. It’s about your son! Here!”
She walked around the recording station, slammed her cell phone into his chest, her stern face told him this wasn’t just a simple conversation. Then she walked back to observe, arms crossed, while he answered.
“Hey there, sweet brother of mine. So what can I do ya for? Wifey said the dismal fruit of my loins is giving you grief, so lay it on me. What did he do this time? Uh huh. Yeah. Yeah, I know. DO WHAT?! Come again?! Blaine did WHAT?! Hand the phone to my son! I am going to talk to that kid now! Yes, you can confiscate his fucking cell phone!”
A moment later Everett burst into full parent mode, yelling into the phone at Blaine, who was currently visiting his cousins in Windenburg, staying with Declan and Rory at their house.
“PORN!? Are you frigging kidding me?! You are a little kid! 9 years old! 9!”
Listening to something on the other end, Everett kept shaking his head, as if Blaine could see it.
“Nah. Nah … your nasty butt is going to be on the next plane back here! I don’t want to hear it, Blaine! I don’t give a hoot where grandpa promised to take you tomorrow, you are going home! Give me your uncle. NOW! No, mom won’t save you either! You got another rant coming from her, oh yeah, and I will be sitting there with popcorn enjoying it! Unbelievable. Blaine! Your uncle! NOW!”
After a moment evidently the phone had been traded back to Declan and the brothers debated proper punishment for their kids.
Declan explained to Rett that evidently it was actually harmless for the most part. All three boys had inquiring minds, fueled by a random discussion about future jobs where Blaine considered becoming an actor in addition to music, to which the twins argued that he would have to kiss girls and lay in bed with them. That had lead to them all wondering what the heck you are supposed to do in bed all night with a girl, unless you want to watch her ‘snore, drool and fart into your favorite sheets’ – ewww! They decided to search the almighty internet for answers, Blaine taking the lead on his cell phone. Somehow they ended up on some dubious adult website, which happened to be when Declan walked in on all three boys staring at the screen, stuck and frozen, with shocked and disgusted facial expressions. When they noticed Declan, Blaine got startled, dropped his phone, which slid under the coffee table where it lay moaning and making adult bedroom noises until Blaine unfroze from the shock and dove for it.
Declan and Rory both sat all three down for an awkward talk, then sent them all to their rooms so they could discuss punishment, and Declan could call his brother, Blaine’s father, thinking he should be made aware of this.
“Well babe, you know how we were talking about missing Blaine? The good news is, that lil shithead is coming home tomorrow!” Rett’s tone dripped sarcasm.
“Oh dear lord, Rett! Why does this shit keep happening to our son. Always him, always Blaine. Always!” frustrated, Maeve rubbed her face with both hands.
This wasn’t an isolated incident. Blaine wasn’t an angel by a long shot, but most of the time trouble seemed to just find him, he kept stumbling right into the most awkward situations innocently without even trying, yet he never put up much of a fight either, due to curiosity and the fact that he was so easily distracted. He had gotten himself into a plethora of hard-to-explain situations at home, at friends’ houses, in school, while touring with his parents, at his family’s homes, even in grocery stores and malls. Most of it got accredited to him being the son of celebrities, even though Maeve and Rett had tried hard to keep Blaine’s life as down to earth as they could. It was not easy, paparazzi found them like moths found the light.
Nobody had to wait long for the next example, despite of tight security and Declan walking him to the gate to watch his nephew board the plane, since he was an unaccompanied minor. A flight attendant took him to his seat, but while Declan had walked away for a moment to use the bathroom, Blaine had somehow managed to walk off the plane again unnoticed, with the intend to buy some candy for the flight, but he got lost on his way back to the gate, when he found it the plane was long gone, Declan had also left since he thought his nephew was on the plane and in the air. Blaine’s idea of a fix to his problem was to just walk onto the plane with the still open gate next to where his had taken off from, which once more he managed unnoticed. Luckily there were no international flights from that terminal, and it just happened that it went to a town just a few hours South of Del Sol Valley. Once it was discovered, the plane was already half way there, the airline notified Declan and Everett, who ended up driving like a maniac to pick up his son from the airport police station there.
Even though their parental anxiety was well callused over by now, these things deeply concerned both, Everett and Maeve, but no matter what they tried with him, it didn’t take.
As soon as his grounding was over, Blaine was over at his best friend and neighbor Kai’s home, who was Everett’s cousin Finn’s son, where Kai’s grandfather Riordan ended up as the target for the boys’ latest shenanigans, while he was hibernating in his and Ana’s bedroom.
He was rudely pulled from said hibernation by the two boys poking his bare chest with a cross talisman, while he ended up almost choking on two green olives they had stuck to his fangs. Jumping up, pulling his shirt back down he stared at them, angrily.
“What the f… I mean what the hell, kids?!” he roared, but calmed himself down quickly upon remembering they were still just little kids and angry vampires could be scary.
“Sorry grandpa, we were just … curious.” explained Kai.
“Yeah sorry .. uh … whatever you are to me.” Blaine added.
“Well, I am a very grumpy vampire for one, and also your great-uncle, but that is beside the point! What’s all this about?!”
“Well, we heard that vampires get burned by crosses …”
“Ah yeah?! And you thought you’d just come up here and try to burn me?! What the heck did I ever do to you?! Luckily, as you both now know, that is but a myth. A cross to a vampire is the same as for mortals. No burns. Really Kai, you live here, with me, you really should know better!”
“Sorry, grandpa …”
“Blaine? Anything of value to add?” Riordan inquired.
“Just that you are the only vampire we really know and online it also said you instantly heal, so we thought, you would be as good as new by the time you woke up and none the wiser. It also said that when they hibernate, they don’t wake up for centuries sometimes.”
“Well, if you two rascals had put on your thinking caps for a minute, you would have realized that had to be baloney, as it would not go over well with your grandmother, Kai, don’t you think?! She gets mad if I am 5 minutes late for meals, even though I cannot even eat, you tell me what she would think about me napping for a few centuries. And did you two forget that what I am is supposed to be a big secret?! HUH? I am not a guinea pig to quench your thirst for knowledge or to bridge over the boredom till your TV shows come on!”
“Yes, grandpa. I mean, no grandpa.”
“Online it also said you are like a devil, and die from holy water and cannot go into a church, because you fall to ashes!” Blaine said with importance.
“Well, since I am standing in front of you here instead of hanging out inside of the dust bag of a vacuum cleaner despite attending several funeral services in churches over the past few years with you two right there, let’s just mark that off as a bunch of hooey too, shall we? Although, there have been several people throughout my younger years that would have gladly attested me to be some sort of Satan, but that has more to do with me dating your grandmother, Kai, when some people didn’t think I should. Anyway, that’s beside the point. So what’s with the olives then? Can’t wait to hear the myths on that.”
“No myths, we just thought that would look funny, and it totally did! I took a photo, uncle Ri, wanna see?” Blaine perked up, but Kai’s hard nudge dampened his excitement, when Riordan looked everything but amused.
“What Blaine meant was that we both are sorry. Really sorry.” Kai corrected his best friend quickly when he noticed his grandfather’s stern look.
“Ah, funny, huh, was it now? I’ll pass on the picture, you guys have to promise to delete that, and you both know why. Besides, did they not mention anywhere on that idiotic website that vampires cannot consume foods? Makes them really sick. I am really feeling those olives I accidentally swallowed, luckily they were small. Or maybe was there a footnote about angering vampires, on account on them potentially being very dangerous?! Anything?”
“Well, yeah, but it’s you, and we know you are nice and wouldn’t hurt us, because you are the bestestest …uh greatestestest great-uncle anyone could have!”
“And bestestestest grandpa, too! Yes, yes! None better, vampire or mortal. You rock!” Kai added.
“Is that so?” Riordan had a hard time keeping a straight face now.
“Yes! THE bestest!” Kai reaffirmed.
“Totally!” Blaine added, both of them obviously backpaddling to get out of trouble.
“Yeah, yeah, I am just the best thing since sliced bread, got it. Look kids, I know you are little … ahem … troublemakers, so this one is on me for not locking the door. Meaning, I will not tell your parents, Blaine, but really kids … don’t do that again, to nobody, mortal or otherwise, okay?! You both may go now, you’re off the hook, but I will keep my eye on you both from now on.”
He didn’t have to tell the boys twice, smirking he watched them scramble for the door, while he mumbled to himself
“…and next time you come at me with olives, remember to have them in a dry Martini at least. Man, I don’t envy Rett one bit. Can’t wait to tell Brendan about this doozy.” Riordan chuckled. He was still good friends with his brother-in-law, Blaine’s grandfather.
These were just a few of many things like it that seemed to find Blaine with startling frequency, so at some point his parents sat him down.
“Look honey, dad and I will be leaving for the tour next week and after everything that happened of late …”
“Oh my god! You are sending me to boarding school!” Blaine slammed his finished glass onto the glass table top, staring back and forth in between his parents.
“No, baby …” Maeve told him softly.
“Military school?!” Blaine grimaced.
“Blaine, let your mother talk. Oh heck, I’ll say it. You are going to stay with your cousins at uncle Declan and aunt Rory’s for a few months. Your grandpa talked to the school in Windenburg and they will have you attend class there for that time. We all agree you need more structure, which there is too little of while touring, and the tutors haven’t been cutting it. Your grades are shit .. I mean .. pitiful. I can’t let that happen.” Everett said.
“WHAT?! You are sending me away!? They don’t even have a guest room! And they live on an island, where it does nothing but rain. And their cat hates me!”
“Don’t be silly honey, that cat hates everyone equally unless you have food.”
“Thanks Maeve. And no, we are NOT sending you away. It is what’s best for you, to stay with family who loves you and who can give you the structure you need, which mom and I just really can’t, at least not right now. After we are back, you come back home. No biggie.”
“No biggie?! NO BIGGIE!? You gotta be kidding, dad! I want to come with you, like I always have! I want to go on tour with you!”
“Blaine, that is not an option, not this time. I am sorry, but the tour is too long, we are contractually committed, this is the only way we can see. We tried to keep you local, but Fiona and her family are traveling themselves for a movie shoot, the Cameron-Vatores are going to be in Brindleton Bay for a while because Ana’s ex-husband Chase died, so she and Riordan want to be with her kids and grandkids there, and we don’t think Finn and Jana can handle you without them. They both work all day, so you would just get into trouble with Kai unsupervised.”
Blaine just stared at his parents as if they had just told him they sold him highest bidding.
“Look, baby. If you don’t want to stay with your uncle Declan, the only other option would be your grandparents. Reed, not Cameron.”
Blaine grimaced as if he had seen a giant cockroach.
“Oh no! Definitely not them! In case they figure out I … never mind.”
“Blaine … what did you do now, baby?” Maeve groaned.
“Nothing. If you don’t already know, no need to worry you. Just a lil joke. And a bit of payback for them being so mean to you and dad last time we visited.”
“BLAINE! What did you do this time to antagonize my parents?!” his mother demanded.
“Nothing, mom, really … Okaaaaaaaaaaay, I may have put pictures of them on an online dating site …” Blaine tried to wiggle out of answering until he saw his father’s stern look so he added the rest.
“BLAINE CAMERON! How do you even know about stuff like that?!” Rett wondered.
“Oh my god!” Maeve moaned.
“Commercials .. on TV … all the time.” Blaine shrugged.
“Dear god. And doesn’t that cost money!? You better have not taken a credit card from us!” Everett told him.
“I didn’t! They were running a special, two weeks free … betcha that’s all it will need … I made them both stand out … a lot …” Blaine couldn’t hide a grin for a second, until he remembered he was likely going to be in trouble.
“I am so not ever EVER going to see your parents ever again, babe! They’d blame me for all of this.” Everett told Maeve.
“Well, they’d be at least 50% right. Okay, Blaine-honey, you know you are going to get punished for this. I will spare you the lecture this time, but there will be no computer for a week other than for homework, and only when daddy or I can supervise. No friends over and you are not going anywhere until you leave for Windenburg. Grandpa is coming to pick you up this time, since evidently airlines are not equipped to handle an unaccompanied minor like you.”
“WHAT?! Mom, that is child abuse! What about Kai, he’s my best friend, and Heath and Haley! I have to tell them what’s going on!”
“Nope, their parents will.”
“It was uncle Ri, right?!”
“Ri? No. What do you mean it was Ri?! What happened with Riordan?”
“Oh Blaine, what did you do now?” Maeve sighed exasperated.
“NOTHING … all is fine. I didn’t mean to say Ri. I meant to say … pee. Yes, pee, that’s what I have to now, badly and urgently! Can I? Pleeeease? Pretty please?!”
“Yeah, sure. Get ready for bed afterwards, dad and I will be right up to tuck you in, you lil monster.”
Blaine got up and hurried away, leaving his parents to let out sighs.
“Should we have pressed him harder about Riordan?” Rett wondered.
“Probably, but I really didn’t want to. My poor baby boy. That poor kid got the shock of his lifetime, I can tell he feels like we are trying to abandon him, there is no way we can get across to him that this is for his benefit. You really think Declan and Rory can handle him? I am really worried now.” Maeve frowned.
“My mom and dad will help. They’ll be fine. Decs is really good with his kids and a lot more stubborn then he seems, so is Rory. If anyone can handle that kid, it would be them. And they love him too much to kill him, unlike tutors and sitters, I am never 100% sure with any of them. I’ll call Riordan. I need to know.”
Everett dialed, and Maeve could hear his laugh through the phone after he answered and Rett asked about Blaine’s shenanigans.
“That is between my grand-nephew and me. Not to worry, he and Kai were just being kids. No harm no foul. No need to worry about that, you two.”
“Well, that’s a first …” Everett said.