“We cannot solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them”
Cameron Mansion Del Sol Valley A Sunday morning
Waking the morning after a night out was almost always rough. Even before Blaine opened his eyes he felt waves of nausea, the room spun faster and faster, sideways and up and down, meaning he spent a fair amount of time hunched over the toilet of his en-suite bathroom, before he was finally able to make his way downstairs to the kitchen, where the usually enticing smell of breakfast lingering in the air only made him gag.
“Oh jeeze, what the hell are you supposed to be and what did you do with my handsome son?!” Maeve joked, even the quick peck on the cheek by her did nothing good for Blaine except make him cringe from the sound.
“Whatever that is, babe, pour coffee on it, extra strong, and toss some aspirin its way. I am sure it’s gonna tell us it has a cold or some lame ass bullshit like that.” chuckled Everett before turning to the coffeemaker to fill another cup for his son.
“Wow, thanks dad for all that compassion. And thanks mom for the compliment. At least the way I feel matches the way I look.”
“About that, baby boy. We need to have a chat. Go sit down in the dining room before you keel over. You are swaying like a young tree in the breeze, Blaine.” Maeve said with urgency.
“NO MOM! Nooooooo … not THAT now …” Blaine whined.
“Sit your ass down, kid, or I will plant it on a chair for ya! Take the pills, here is water and then listen to your mother!” Everett’s voice was firm, allowing no backtalk. Everett and Maeve were fairly easy-going parents, but when they reached a certain limit, it was best not to push them.
Blaine knew that and obliged.
He sat down at the table, swallowing pain pills, water and coffee, finally feeling some life return into the painful shell that was him, while watching his mother sit down across from him, his father remained standing, smirking, while Maeve looked serious as she started talking, gently.
“Blaine-y, dad and I get that life can be a bit rougher when you have been exposed to fame and all that circus from a young age, but you need to put a lid on your behavior. Finn called – again. We are having a hard time keeping all your misbehavior and public excursions, the clubbing, the excessive drinking and the girls out of the media, or at least somewhat civilized. If you don’t watch it, you’ll have a really bad rep, which may affect sales and your marketability. You’re young and a rock musician, so a little rough and rugged is acceptable in your case, even desirable, but you are overshooting that target by miles. And also – even though it was very very early, I did see Bristol sneak out this morning. Baby, that is not a good idea, not for her or you. Especially if your rep falls off the deep end, she is too sweet a girl to get caught up in that, don’t you think?” Maeve told her son.
“That wasn’t her, just some groupie trying to get in or something. All that Del Sol valley smog always … “
“Blaine! There was no smog, your brain may have been foggy but it’s been crystal-clear out for weeks. We have motion-activated lights and cameras all around the house! I could see Bristol clear as day, smeared raccoon eyes and yesterday’s club clothing, heels in her hands doing the walk of shame to the taxi waiting juuuuust a little down the road! Don’t you dare start lying to us now!”
“Okay, okay, sorry mom! If it makes you feel any better, Bri came her on her own accord, I didn’t abduct and rape her. Quite the other way around, if I may say so. Honestly guys, I cannot do a lecture now, my brain hurts, my body hurts, so I honestly feel like shit already, don’t need your help, by telling me how disappointed you are in me.”
Blaine didn’t wait for replies, chugged the rest of his coffee, got up and staggered off into the kitchen on his way back up to his room, just like he usually did when they tried to talk sense into him after a night of partying.
“I wonder where we went wrong with the boy. Maybe we gave him too much freedom. Or spoiled him too much. This isn’t good, Rett. But Blaine’s right about one thing, giving him speeches now won’t help anyone. We’ll sit him down later.”
“Are you really all that surprised? I knew we were going to get something like this when he was not even 3 years old. That lil shithead was getting me in trouble with his big mouth and behavior even then. Strict would never have worked with a kid like that, at least now he knows he can come to us, he listens to us – eventually – and he is honest with us – mostly. I am really glad we only got one of those though. Thank goodness we pulled that plug.”
“No shit. Although, I may be in my forties, but nature hasn’t told me that the ship has sailed for me yet, so hopefully we don’t pull a Cordelia.”
“Shut your mouth woman! The very last thing we need is a baby now. No matter where from. On that note, I am going to go up to our son’s room and give him that birds and bees talk one more time and leave him with a generous supply of raincoats for his trouser-dwelling buddy, juuuuust to make sure. Cos I don’t know about you, I am not feeling very grandpa-y at all. Not for many more years to come.”
“Oh dear lord, can you imagine? Oh god, those headlines would kill me, Maeve Cameron, the grandma, next to pictures of me in my tight, revealing dresses, boobs all perky and barely covered. I work so hard to keep my body in check, slender, firm, all body parts where they are supposed to be, so I look enough like a twenty year old to not become yesterday’s news. I am no grandma, not for at least another decade! Is it still illegal to have your adult son neutered without his consent?”
“Call Finn and ask. He’s our attorney, maybe there is a loophole, cos I’d be on board. Speaking of, before my courage abandons me to get doused in cursing and unflattering reminders of how old I am and that I just don’t get anything I general and Blaine’s life in particular anymore, I think am going in now for yet another one of those daddy-son talks right now, hoping this time it will stick and that I am not too late and half the female population of the town isn’t already hatching little Blaines. Wish me luck.”
“Good luck with the fire-breathing fruit of our loins, babe. If you’re not back by 2 pm, I’ll be at the spa. For an alibi and all, if this turns into a crime scene.”
“That ain’t fire that he’s been breathing all morning, babe, but last night’s dinner and snacks, eating in reverse and I don’t feel one bit sorry for him. And thanks for the compassion, my love! I see where I rank with you. Right after massages and pedicures.”
“You forgot hair appointments. But right after those, Rett. Hey, that kid takes after YOU and YOUR family. Only fair YOU deal with him and his quirks or whatever you want to call it when your kid’s genitals are more like overactive sprinklers and all females age 13 to 93 want a part of it. I want to hand out birth control leaflets to every female I see around Blaine before sending them to pick number like at the DMV and wait until called for their turn with our son, the man-whore, while I take down their details in case the Cameron curse hits.”
“Jeeze Maeve! I thought I was the one with the gross analogies, but you took that cake today! That ‘kid’ is also 22 years old and even more resistant to listening to me than before.”
“All I am gonna say to that is ‘Cameron genes’.”
Chuckling, Everett pulled the ringing phone from his back pocket, smiled as he saw the Caller ID.
“Speaking of Cameron genes! It’s my big brother! Wonder what Decs wants this early on a Sunday.”
Grinning, Everett answered.
“Ya hello, you ugly fuck, you reached the handsome one of the Cameron brothers. Miss me already, nerd?”
But his smile quickly faded.
In the meantime, finally alone in his room again, Blaine laid on his bed thinking back to happier moments, during the time at college. At first it had been just college to him, education his parents insisted on, a chore, nothing special. Once he and Bristol broke up, Scarlett was back in his life. Most of the time they met up without the others, doubtful any of them even had any clue how much time he and Scarlett really spent together, since most of it was at night. During shorter semester breaks, when Blaine’s parents were touring anyway, he didn’t bother flying home to an empty house, but stayed with the Windenburg Camerons in his old room there. The twins had their own girlfriends, his aunt and uncle worked, his grandparents were doing their own thing and usually in bed by 10 PM, so nobody noticed Blaine sneaking out at night, armed with car keys he snatched from the hooks by the front door, catching the last ferry over to the mainland, taking one of the Camerons’ cars parked near the ferry landing to drive to Forgotten Hollow where he would stay till dawn meeting with Scarlett, only to drive back just in time to catch the first ferry back over to the Windenburg Isle and sneak into his bedroom without anyone ever suspecting a thing.
One time, they were both barely 19 then, she snuck him into her bedroom at Castello Vatore. Giggling, both had tippy-toed up the stairs, when she slipped him into her room and shut the door behind them, they both stood there, feeling like they had just landed the biggest coup.
She told him to be quiet, placed her hand over his mouth, while trying not to giggle herself, when he started nibbling on her fingers.
That memory, of the moment itself, the sensations, he could almost feel it now like he had then and it made him smile instantly. He imagined the coolness of the room, the feeling of her body, her always cool skin, almost smelled that specific, special floral scent that always seemed to surround her, heard her attempts not to make any sound again, while softly giggling.
Blaine remembered the nervousness of that very moment as the time seemed to stand still, the exhilaration of the thrill of the forbidden and unknown, the curiousness, the fear of being discovered, even though Caleb and Breana, Scarlett’s parents, weren’t exactly the type to just blow up.
Although – hard to guess how they would have reacted had they discovered him in her room in their own home, and the perceived “danger” made both of them giddy.
Despite his heart racing and inner nervousness, Blaine turned to look around, curious and thrilled she had brought him here, eventually he smirked and whistled through his teeth before telling Scarlett
“Wow, so that is how a vampire chick lives. Dayum girl, you really managed to surprise me here. Not at all what I had pictured your room to look like. Even got some Cameron pride up, my great-grandpa and namesake, you fangirl you. I need to get you some Rett & Reed swag and some of my posters to get the Cameron collection completed!” he said, partially to push her buttons, in part due to genuine surprise and also because he didn’t know what else to say, or do with himself at that moment when he stood in front of her bed and a lot of things came to mind that made thinking clearly very hard for him.
“Ah yeah? So what did you image then? Decomposing bodies all over the floor, cobwebs dangling from the ceiling and bats fluttering about? Also – call me ‘vampire chick’ one more time and see what happens! Daddy gave me the Blaine Cameron poster, since they were friends. I don’t want to have your arrogant mug up on my wall, thank you very much! And for your info, I like my room!” she was instantly defensive. As usual. Somehow, that was one of the things that enticed him about her the most, always had. From an early age Blaine was used to most girls being nervous and shy around him, trying to please him, but not her. Never her. Ever since they first met, she had given it to him straight, unfiltered. He loved that, as harsh as it sometimes was.
“Okay, okay, I didn’t say I didn’t like it, just that I would have imagined it darker, not this … girly girl stuff. All that’s missing here is a BTS poster on the wall. Just since you are always in black and leather and look more like the tough chick and all this seriously clashes with anything I could have ever imagined. Not saying I don’t like it, I am just surprised, that’s all. It’s cool. Just unexpected.”
“Well, duh! All vampires are usually dressed in black, for pretty obvious reasons, or at least so I thought. We do not exist, officially, we must not exist, so trying to fly under the radar or teleport while dressed in bright neon yellow would be next to impossible, as would hiding in plain sight be, like I have to do at campus, don’t you think? Now people see me and may think ‘meh, another one of those goth chicks, leave her alone, neeeext’. If I ran around in cutesy floral prints and frills, people would likely remember me, especially since I am kinda on the tall side, and may ask questions. Last thing I need. I have to fly under the radar as much as I can, be as unmemorable as possible.”
“Unmemorable?! YOU!? You couldn’t be that if you tried! Not even wearing a potato sack with a paper bag over your head! But I do get it, what you are saying does make sense. So, I’ll just say that I never in a million years thought I’d ever be in your room with you. Here, at the creepy castle.”
“Me either …” the tone in her voice changed, the way she looked at him changed, and instantly Blaine’s heart skipped a beat.
After a brief glance, one of THOSE glances, they kissed. Gentle, exploring kisses turned into longing ones … the situation quickly got heated, and it was clear where this was now headed. The fact that her vampire parents could have entered at any moment then just made it all even hotter to both of them.
A groan of vivid memory of all the sensations that followed and the desperation of not being able to relive it exactly like that escaped Blaine, startling him into opening his eyes, which made the memory fade and brought him back into the stark reality, hangover and all.
“Goddamn it! I was in my happy place!” he growled, curling up into a ball.
Why did his life have to be so complicated? At first glance he had it all. Fame, fortune, the biggest house in one of the biggest and most prestigious cities, great friends, great parents, girls at his disposal …
Still, he was pretty sure if given the option, he would trade it all in without thinking twice if he could have the one thing he really wanted, which he had been wanting since he was about 15 years old. Or better put, the one person he wanted more than anything or anyone else.
It made him think about Bristol. Guilty feelings rushed over him. She was sweet and great and beautiful, he truly cared about her a lot. Maybe he even loved her in some way. Just not as much as Scarlett. There would never be anyone in this world he’d love or wanted more than her.
The oil in his fire was the fact that he knew she felt the very same way about him.
Still, they couldn’t be together as they wanted to, and for no other apparent reason than her being afraid of the consequences of them being too much alike in so many ways, yet so very different in the one way that seemed to matter the most to her.
The one way she had the power to fix, but wouldn’t and without that, she wouldn’t be with him. It angered and frustrated him more than anything else in the world ever could.
He was nothing short of jealous seeing Kai with Cheyenne, so sickeningly happy, even after all those years and spending the entire time at university apart, long-distance.
Why couldn’t he have that?!
Why was she so damn stubborn and afraid of committing to him?
But if he couldn’t have that, nobody else would ever truly have him. No woman would own him, let alone have so much power over him as Scarlett did.
No commitment, until the one he really wanted would commit to him.
He didn’t need some damn ring on his finger, the same girl over and over, usually constantly demanding something or trying to change him. And, at some point WAY down the road, when he was 30, 40 or even 50 he could still have a kid without needing to tie himself down.
No ring on his finger, not ever, no thank you.
Everything had a price, and he had the money to just pay off some hot chick to donate her good genes and 9-10 months of her life whenever that time came that he wanted a child, then have her sign over the kid to him and voila. An heir without any strings. Perfect. And he could still have Scarlett. She wouldn’t age, men got better with age. Settled then.
His warped mental future planning was interrupted by a knock on the door. He sat up with a sigh as his mother called through the door.
“Blaine it’s me, can I come in?”
“Yeah, sure!” he called out, not really thrilled by the outlook of more parental lecturing, but even less inclined to have someone trying to dig into what was obviously bothering him. So he straightened up, tried for a neutral face. Time to fake it.
The door opened, Maeve entered. Something about her behavior made Blaine quiet, he got up to face her. Something was wrong. He could tell instantly. Stiffly he waited for her to speak, while she clearly was looking for the right words.
“Blaine, baby, I need to tell you something. It’s about your grandpa. Your uncle Declan just called. Grandpa passed away a few minutes ago. Your grandma’s not doing well, we’re probably going to lose her too, very soon. Your dad is a mess right now, so I don’t want any argument about this, I need you to pack your bags, we’re taking the next flight out.”
“NO! Grandpa! Grandma!” Blaine’s response was a near scream of terror, laced with tears.
TO BE CONTINUED
R.I.P. Brendan and Natalie Cameron, such a beautiful couple with so little drama that they always let their more flamboyant family have most of the spotlight in the storyline. Both will be sorely missed by real life me and all my pixel people whose lives they were such a big part of. My game is a mess of sad moods right now.