“I guess now it’s time to give up hope
I’m just not sure how I will cope
You always were, you will always be
My love, the one that cannot be”
Castello Vatore Forgotten Hollow
Angrily, Scarlett glared at Blaine standing before her in the lobby of Castello Vatore.
This was the second day he had spent basically camping out by their door trying to get her to talk to him. After the terrible fight with his parents he had come here, when he finally got to see Scarlett briefly she acted strange, they argued, they fought, she kicked him out.
The next day he was back, loitering by the castle’s front door. Attempts to send him away by the rest of the family were met by angry rejection and snarky comments, followed by pleading and begging to let him see Scarlett.
Finally, Caleb had enough, pulled Blaine inside, grabbed his daughter and told them to work it out, once and for all, then gave them the privacy to do just that.
“Finally! I have been trying for days to see you! What is going on?! Are you okay?! I was worried …” Blaine said, taken aback when he tried to hug her but she stepped out of reach.
“No. I am NOT okay. Far from it, the exact opposite of okay! I didn’t want to see you. I told you to leave me be. We’re over!”
“What? But … Scarlett …” Blaine moved towards her again, angrily she slapped his hand away and moved backwards more.
“Don’t touch me! If you must know what is ‘wrong with me’, here goes: The Grand Master Elder Council denied my petition! We got so close, SO close, only short two measly votes. TWO! My entire plan, all the hard work, my university degree, it was all in vain. Now, nothing will change, not for me, not for anyone! All our hopes, dreams, out the window. I had to quit my job, am under house arrest, until the damn Elders are satisfied I won’t go rogue. They seized all evidence I had collected to present to the mortals. Now all hope is gone that I could ever change this world into one of unity, one where you and I could really be together. Back to square one, right where we always were. Hiding, sneaking, lying, denying. You saw it, acceptance even among the handful of people who know the truth only goes until we are getting too close to their family.” Scarlett bit back emotions, Blaine stepped closer to hug her but she stepped away yet again.
“I am sorry, Scarlett, really that sucks. But WHY break up with me though!? What did I do?! I can’t help that the fucking world is stupid, those fossils of council members don’t know their asses from their elbows and that my mother is a bitch!”
“Do you really need the full list again?! This has nothing to do with your parents, I couldn’t give a rat’s ass about if they like me or not. But it did make me realize a few things I knew, but ignored against better knowledge.”
“What about the blood bond?” Blaine urged.
“What about it?”
“It’s a blood bond, it means something, it’s big and it can’t be broken. I mean how would you? Suck all the blood out of both of us and separate it in a lab like an anti-blood-bond-dialysis machine?! You can’t break up with me!”
“Are you really that dense? The blood bond, just like almost everything else vampires do is symbolic! We are ancient, everything we do is ancient, partially adjusted to the modern world. The blood bond is just a nastier and older version of slapping rings on each other’s fingers like you mortals do, you swear before god to never part, then go and divorce or break the engagement anyway. Same applies here. Okay, here are the actual words: Blaine Cameron, I, Scarlett Vatore, in full possession of my mental and physical capabilities and out of my own free will, herewith break our blood bond. Fly, little bird, you are free again. Oh, and the Blaine-addendum of course, you can now fuck whomever you want again. THAT part should make you VERY happy!” Scarlett’s anger made her voice shrill.
“What is wrong with you?!” Blaine stared at her as if she had grown two heads.
“I came to my senses, Blaine. I can’t do this and I don’t want to do this. You could never be more than someone on the outside catching a few glimpses here and there into my world, and I will always be an outsider in yours. I had front row seats to what it is like dating and being married to a mortal. It broke Riordan. He is not the same he once was, and he never will be again. You don’t see it. None of you ever bothered to check up on him after Anastasia died. Only Brendan did, your grandpa and now he is dead too, which killed Ri all over again. Why do you think he lives with us? Ever noticed that the cool modern home he build with Ana is no longer here? Where do you think it went? Riordan had a meltdown after she died and demolished it with his bare hands, my dad and Caelan stopped him, then told everyone some lies about how the style never fit in with the rest of the architecture, then rebuild another house over it, moved Ri in with us, so we could all babysit him. That behavior is dangerous among my people. Your mother is right, we are dangerous. In case of a rebellion, just one vampire gone berserk could kill an entire town of you mortals and none of you could do shit about that. THAT is why what my dad and Ri do is so very important. For vampires AND mortals.”
“I had no idea Riordan wasn’t well … he always seemed normal whenever I saw him.” Blaine was shocked.
“Yeah, because you are a mortal and know NOTHING about us vampires, proving my point. We only let him out when he is okay. For the most part he is. But there are still days where he isn’t. Most of the time he just falls apart, not vicious, just in so much pain. Seeing him that way breaks my heart every single time, it is awful, Blaine. I do not want that for myself. He is miserable, so miserable then. I honestly thought a few times he’d be better off dead, gone, completely. But we can’t let on, so we all suck it up, make up lies about him having to attend to urgent vampire business last minute. As if we all didn’t know how to schedule properly.”
“I know nothing about vampires because you always refused to tell me anything! And now you decided we can’t be together, because Riordan is having such a rough time with loss?! That makes ZERO sense. Everyone deals with loss differently. I don’t plan on kicking the bucket anytime soon! And why do you get to decide for the both of us. I don’t get a say at all?”
“No, you do not, because it takes two for a relationship! If one isn’t willing, it’s not a relationship. And I am no longer willing. Blaine, this isn’t easy on me, not one bit. It is tearing me apart, I finally got so very close to what I have been wanting for so very long, but it’s wrong, and I need to right this wrong. Please don’t make this any harder than it already is! PLEASE!”
“Is this your dad or someone else in your family pressuring you into this?” Blaine asked suspiciously.
“Are you kidding me now?! Did I stutter?! No, they are not. I explained my reasoning to you, were you not listening at all?! No, my parents don’t care if we date, especially my dad, because you remind him of his old best friend. Daddy would probably love nothing more than for us to continue this sad rendition of Romeo & Juliet. Well, he can date you then. I made up my mind. If I ever am ready to date again, I will make damn sure it will be one of my own kind. Mortals are just not worth all the heartache and heartbreak. No offense, but all I ever had trying to be with you was nothing but drama and trouble, even as just friends or as an affair. I want the real deal! Romance and calmness, sweet moments, just to enjoy being with my partner, not constantly having to look over my shoulder, having to hide something from someone and basically apologize for who and what I am. We gave it our best shot, Blaine, but we are not right for each other.”
“This is fucking INSANE! I admit, it’s not easy, will never be easy, but we knew that going in. We’ve been official for barely two weeks, one failed dinner with my parents and you realize it all sucks and just give up? Throw everything away, just like that?! You go from telling me how much you love me to nah, thanks, piss off, because Riordan went off the rocker about losing Ana?! WOW. Just WOW.”
“Just give up? Blaine, you moron, we met at 15. We are 23 now. All that time we have been sneaking around each other and with each other, one way or another. Not what I call ‘just giving up’. I didn’t wake up and didn’t love you anymore. I’d be lying if I claimed that. But loving you hurts more than it feels good, there is no balance. It’s always been that way for me. I never cried so much in my life than I cried over you, for so many reasons. Not everyone can be with the one they love, it’s not fair, it sucks, but it happens and people fall in love again. I am sick and tired of trying to figure out how to be that square peg that will never really fit into a round hole. You and I are literally the worst couple in all of history. Your life is the exact opposite to my life and not the life I want nor one I could sustain and you won’t ever change, I cannot change enough to make this work, so we reached an impasse that cannot be conquered.”
“You can’t do this! You are hurting from getting your dream crushed, I get that. That stinks. But we are not breaking up, not like this. I won’t let you! Not like this. Oh no! Not happening.”
“You have no choice. I do not want to pursue a relationship with you anymore, at least not a romantic one. If you can be civil about this, maybe I could give you friendship, but that would be as far as it could ever go, and it would have to be on my terms. Either that, or I will be gone from your life completely, for both our sakes. Oh, and Blaine, I know you think you can charm the pants off any girl, please know, that won’t work on me. No more. Just friends.”
“How can you be so damn ice-cold about this? So egoistic?! That’s disgusting!”
“Cold? You have no idea, Blaine. You know nothing about my life. Calling me egoistic proved that. This may well be the very first thing I ever do for just me, without worrying about everyone else’s feelings. I am so tired of straddling worlds and opinions. I am done discussing this! We are through, we are over, and that’s that! Goodbye Blaine!”
She turned and left, Blaine went after her, holding on to her, a struggle ensued, suddenly there was Riordan, who effortlessly pulled the kicking and screaming Blaine with him into another room as if he were a toddler, demonstrating once more how strong vampires were.
“I’ll handle this!” he stated plainly before closing the door behind them. “No need to catch me up, Blaine. Scarlett is right about this. This isn’t her family telling her to do it, this comes from her heart, mind and conscience. And I am here to tell you to listen and to accept it. I will claim to be the authority on such matters. What she told you about vampires and mortals – and about me, it’s all true. I have really bad days, where you should be grateful you aren’t around to see.”
“You were hurting, uncle Ri. It’s understandable. Duh!” Blaine justified his take on things, while looking around what looked like an ancient version of a home office, the smell of old paper engulfing them like a fog.
“Is it? Maybe it would be, under different circumstances. I am a Vice Grand Elder of a large community with the potential to clear out the entire world of any sign of mortal life in a matter of days, nay, hours, just like Scarlett said. I don’t have the luxury to show weakness like this, nor can I afford to seem irate. Remember the kitten Ana brought home one day? I almost killed that cat. I would have, had Caleb not interfered. For no reason other than I wanted to, because I was hurting so badly. I went rogue for a while. That is what happens to vampires who allow themselves to lose control. We are dangerous, Blaine. Very dangerous. Right now, Scarlett needs her family, she just had the rug pulled out from underneath her. She cannot be with you now. It is too dangerous for you.”
“Ri, if she is hurting, it’s all the more reason for me to be there for her! She needs me now!”
“You are not listening to me, kid! Do you think I am proud of what I told you about myself? I am not. I thought I was a rock. I thought I was strong. I thought I was in total control. I am one of the most powerful vampires currently in existence. Yet, this happened to me. What do you think goes on inside of Scarlett now that this immensely huge thing got taken from her? She doesn’t have half the self-control I have. Currently, she is still very much in shock. Once that wears off, she will probably go berserk, knowing her temper. At least we are all immortal around here and stronger then her, we can contain and handle her. You are not. No, you are the last person that needs to be around her now.”
“But … no I can take it. She won’t hurt me, at least not kill me. I can take it, Ri. I believe in her! She loves me. I can’t just let her call it quits like this. That is not right! Not without at least a fight! She doesn’t know what she is doing right now. She doesn’t mean to break up with me, she is just in pain and pushes me away because of it, but she needs me!”
“You are not understanding me, kid. This fight was lost before it began for you. I agree, it’s not a good way to end a relationship, especially not considering how long you have known each other. You can’t see it right now, but I fully understand her actions and agree with her. Scarlett will be out of the picture for quite some time now, without divulging things I am not allowed to, in order to prevent her from going rogue which could ultimately lead to her own father being faced with having to sentence her to exile or death, and me having no choice but to second it, we will likely have to apply extreme measures. Do you think I want to? You think Caleb does? Do you understand what all this is doing to Caleb and Breana? Can you even imaging how this feels, having to do that to such a beautiful person, with a beautiful mind and a heart of gold?! If you REALLY love her, if you care at all about her, about me, and maybe even about the rest of the Vatore clan, the greatest gift you can give her is to heed her request and move on. Besides, you deserve happiness too, Blaine, true and unapologetic. I do not want to see you hurting any longer than it takes to get over this unavoidable break-up. Forgive me for not sugar-coating this for you, I am not in the mood for that, but I felt you can handle it straight up. I can take you home now, you know, the special way.”
“Ri, I can’t go home. I fucked up – royally. Scarlett is all I have left now. My family hates me. And I can’t blame them. I am bad. I did bad things. I am a horrible person.”
“Blaine, kid, just tell me what exactly you did and I will tell you if you are or not.”
“Oh, you don’t have to, uncle Ri, I KNOW I am! I laid out my dad. Knocked him out cold. He was bleeding and all. It’s bad, Ri. And I just ran. And I crashed another one of his cars, his favorite Lamborghini. On purpose this time. And I said horrible things to my mom. They are not gonna wanna see me ever again. Nor is the rest of the Camerons. I am toast, Ri. Done for.”
“Pardon my bluntness and no insult intended, but you lack the substance to seriously hurt a big, strong man like Everett. We all say and even do terrible things in fights sometimes, things we do not mean. Your parents know that. I have known you all your life and I am not surprised. All right, I’ll make you a deal, Blaine. I will take you home now. If you are right, and they don’t want to see you, I will take you back here and let you stay. If I am right, you will promise me to heed my words and do the right thing, for Scarlett’s sake, for yourself, for your family and for mine.”
Blaine couldn’t think about this, let alone answer, the next things happened in seconds, Blaine saw Riordan close up, felt a strong embrace he couldn’t move in, heard odd swishing sounds.
Cameron Mansion Del Sol Valley
Next thing he knew was that he was in the lobby of his Del Sol Valley home, Ri next to him, he saw his parents in the living room, both noticed them now, and ran towards the new arrivals.
“Riordan – You found him! Oh my god, he’s home! He’s all right! Rett, our boy is all right!!!” Maeve exclaimed, crying tears of joy, while embracing Blaine so hard it knocked the wind out of him.
“Apologies for entering without invite, but I figured in this case it would be easy to forgive my trespass. Your boy washed up near the Castello, figured you’d want him back and have much to talk about. He just went through a very rough breakup, guys, be gentle with him. Oh, and he is very sorry for everything.” Riordan stated calmly.
“Thanks man! You are always welcome, you know that, and thank you!” Everett’s eyes threatened to well up as he pat the vampire on the shoulders.
With a brief nod, Riordan was no more than a black cloud dissipating, then nothing reminded of the fact that he had ever been there in the first place.
“I am so sorry guys!” Blaine pressed out, trying to hold back tears of regret, when he looked at his father’s injured face.
Everett just stepped to him, embraced him tightly.
“I love you, son!”
“Love you too, dad. And dad … I am so sorry! I didn’t mean for any of this to happen …”
“Shut up kid. You’re home, you’re okay. That’s all I need. I get it. They say, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. I should be a pretty strong sunnavabitch by now. Besides, I was young, dumb and full of cum once too and fucked up a lot.”
“Was?” Maeve said between sobs.
Everyone chuckled briefly.
“I am really sorry for the ….” Blaine gestured to Everett’s injury.
“Yeah, I am actually pretty proud of you for that one, didn’t think you had that in ya, kid. Made me feel good, I did raise a real man. Made me feel old too. There used to be a time where nobody could get a punch in with me, but then again, in my defense, I didn’t expect it from my own kid. Now, the Lambo on the other hand …”
“Oh shit, the car. Yeah … again … Sorry dad!”
“What is it with you and crashing my favorite cars?! We have a whole garage full of cars for you to pick from. Couldn’t have wrecked your mother’s G-Wagon, huh? Those are a dime a dozen, and not limited edition, like mine!”
“Hey, watch it!” Maeve protested.
“I’ll pay for it.” Blaine offered.
“Damn right, you will! You, your credit card and I will go on a daddy-son bonding shopping trip down to the exotics car dealership as soon as we both are up to it. Until then our shared passion, music, just happens to be a very good remedy for broken hearts, kid, and I could help you with the writing and recording, if you want. Plus, it will help fix the big hole your generous ‘gift’ to me will tear. And you know your mother and I are always available to talk … whenever you are ready.”
“Sounds great, dad. Thanks. And mom, I am so very sorry for what I said to you. So sorry. I swear I could never hate you. I promise I didn’t mean that!”
“I know. I wasn’t an easy kid myself, I said a LOT of bad stuff to my parents growing up, things I didn’t mean, I really can relate. Just tell me you love me, and maybe toss in taking your dad and me out to a nice family dinner together at the ‘Toujours‘ and I won’t recall a thing about any of it. Oh, and a kiss and a hug, please. A real one, not that limp business you do in front of others, because you are embarrassed to hug and kiss your mommy the way she deserves to be hugged and smooched.”
“Gawd, you guys are needy and expensive!”
“Oh, speaking of – I’ll call Finn so he can call the police off, make up a legally sound story, while letting them know you are safely back home! We filed a missing person’s report on you, since you’ve been gone so long. We were so worried. Excuse me!” Maeve grabbed her cell phone and ran off to the living room window front for better reception.
“Hey kid, if you don’t mind me asking, but, what’s going on with you and Scarlett now? Since Ri was the one returning you to sender, it’s pretty obvious where you were.”
“That’s a really long story, I am not quite ready for yet, but I promise I will tell you and mom everything. Eventually. Just know that I am officially single again, against my will, but fuck it all.”
“Fair enough. I’ll spare you parental speeches, just will say this: I am proud of you for owning your mess-up, for coming back, for apologizing without making excuses. That is really big. Acknowledging when it is better to walk away than to keep clawing onto something that has no real future is hard, Blaine, but it’s the right thing. Very mature of you, son. Oh, and the most important part: Relationships may come and go. But a father’s love doesn’t end when you turn 18. Not even when you knock the wind out of him. A father will always love you, unconditionally, till death and beyond. At least this father here will. Same goes for your mother.”