“Chasing ghosts while pursued by demons…”
Some weeks later Blaine found himself in Windenburg, more PR things in nearby San Myshuno had brought him back here, but this time he was travelling alone, for the first time since he and Bristol had gotten back together years ago she had bowed out of accompanying him. It felt weird to Blaine, and definitely raised eyebrows with his family to welcome him alone this time.
The true reason remained unspoken, but was blatantly obvious to Blaine. Both of his cousins, twins Jamie and Jordan were going to be fathers. Jamie and Averie were expecting their second child, a girl this time they would name Leonie, and Jordan and Jenna were awaiting the arrival of their first child, a son whom they chose the name Ethan for.
Bristol got along very well with Blaine’s Windenburg family, and would normally never pass up a chance to coo over babies or pregnancies, but all the expectant mothers were more than she could handle, her own best friend Cheyenne expecting twins being one of them, the constant inner conflict between genuine happiness for her friend and jealousy of being denied the experience herself, already pushed Bristol to her outer limits.
For many months now she and Blaine had been trying to conceive, but in vain. They had been to two different fertility specialists, who found nothing wrong. The frustration was starting to wear on them and their relationship, even though they never once fought. Despite his own, often stressful profession, Blaine tried his best to be supportive, patient and gentle with Bri, who now would lose it every time a baby came into view, be it on TV or in a restaurant. She even had gone on hiatus with her beloved YouTube channel, she had been a YouTuber for as long as Blaine had known her now.
One night after dinner with the big Windenburg family Blaine just went out for a walk, alone, to let the crisp late summer air blow the cobwebs from his mind.
With a loud sigh he dropped down on a bench, sat there enjoying the silence, listening to the evening breeze rattling the leaves above him, when he felt watched. Without even turning his head he said into the darkness.
“Just come out already, I can feel you are there.”
“Impressive. Sometimes I wonder if you don’t have a little bit of vampire in you as well. Is it safe to approach without getting my head bitten off or risking hearing loss from you yelling at me?” Scarlett came into view, then sat down next to him, unasked.
“Yeah, it is. I have been hoping to catch you alone again at some point, to apologize for all that happened anyway. The last time we were alone went down the shitter, because of me, and I am tired of us both feeling like we have to pussyfoot around each other because of it. So, from the bottom of my heart, sorry, for all the stuff I threw at you and for what I did. All of that was completely uncalled for and I regret this standing between us now.”
“Thanks. Apology accepted. See how easy that was? And all without even yelling at you. Never mind, let’s not open that can of worms again. So, what’s really going on? Why the doom and gloom. Don’t tell me our argument wore on you that much. It wasn’t the first we ever had, nor the worst, won’t be the last. So, what’s really eating you?”
“Just tired. From work. Performances are rough sometimes, with the jet lag and the time difference and ..”
“Blaine …” she interrupted him, her tone indicated clearly she wasn’t buying his excuse.
“Fine. If you must know, Bristol and I are trying to have a baby, been at it for months hardcore and it’s just not happening. Plumbing and all works as it should, my lil swimmers are chipper, as are her parts and all. Makes no sense, but she is terribly depressed and seeing her that way breaks my heart.”
“Oh boy. I just had to ask. Seriously now, I am sure it will happen for you guys. I can attest you virility, at least as it was some years ago. Judging by the recent kiss, nothing’s changed there.”
“Very funny, Scarlett. Never thought I’d sit on a dark park bench one day, discussing reproductive fails between me and my wife with my ex. I guess we Camerons just really cannot do normal.”
“Don’t forget ex, who is also a vampire and the mother of your child. No, normal is not a thing for Camerons. Or Vatores, but for us it’s kind of expected. How boring would an average Joe vampire be, right?”
“What am I gonna do, Scarlett? She is driving herself nuts with it, and me along with it, I am already at a point where I cannot stand sex anymore. Sorry, TMI again.”
“Nah, it’s okay, but you don’t seriously expected ME, your ex – who, as we recently both acknowledged still has feelings for you, just as you have for me – to advice you and your wife on how to have a baby together, right?! I am going to keep my thoughts – and comments – about that to myself, Blaine. However, YOU not liking sex anymore is deeply concerning, you little manwhore. Joking aside, I really don’t know what to tell you here, especially since I got pregnant without even trying, quite the contrary, I was trying NOT TO get knocked up, you know on birth control, you used protection and still it happened. So … I would not even know where to start giving advice, even if I wanted to.”
“Oh my god, you never told me that. Vivien is a Cameron Curse baby?! Holy shit. What are the odds? Ha, I literally fucked half the female population of the Western World, nothing ever happened, other than a few false paternity claims Finn and Kai shut down quickly, and then this. Wow.”
“Yeah, I was gonna have that put that on the birth notice in all the newspapers, but the printers couldn’t fit it all on. Too bad, so sad.”
“There was a birth notice?! In print?!”
“Oh my god, thank goodness you are such a hunk. Definitely bred for beauty, not smarts. No, dumbass, of course not. It’s called sarcasm and you used to be a member of our club!”
“Right, sorry. My head’s just not in the right place I guess.”
“I’ll say. What’s the rush with the baby now anyway? You both are only in your twenties, not like all your organs are about to dry up anytime soon. Maybe she’s got a kink in her plumbing or something.”
“No, we had that checked. Both of us were turned inside out and every part was analyzed in great detail. All functions as advertised.”
“Really? Just asking because Riordan told me he and Ana wanted another child after the twins, didn’t work, they thought it was because she was older, like in her 40s, but instead they finally found a little tumor on her ovary. Took it out and she was fine, but it was malignant, had they not, they were told she would have died of cancer within a few years and not of old age many decades later. Maybe something to look into just to check that option of you guys’ list.”
“Wouldn’t they have found that when they were checking Bri out anyway? Those tests were brutally detailed, at least mine were. I feel like the doctors know me better than I know myself at this point.”
“Not necessarily. I mean, were they looking for mini tumors? No, they were counting eggs and shit, Blaine, not doing exploratory surgery for cancer. Just food for thought. You can ask Ri about details. I mean, it is a long shot, but you guys screwing so much that it’s starting to get stale in your book and her still not getting pregnant does make me wonder.”
“Thanks Scarlett, I’ll see if I can get her to have that checked out with some random excuse, assuming you want to be kept out of it. You’re amazing. Thanks for listening … and for the idea. At least something else to try.”
“Anything to get back on your good side, Blaine. I miss you. I mean, talking with you, hanging out with you, like this. Just us being us, unfiltered and uncensored.”
“Me too. I love my family, but it’s like there is always something I want to say, but can’t, always filtered, you were the only one who ever REALLY got me, with all my edges and weird thoughts. Maybe we can figure out this friend thing and prove all those nay-sayers wrong who claim men and women cannot be just friends.”
“Well, I think that’s aiming a bit high, because you and I both know, we are not just friends and never will be. The only way this can ever work is if we both try hard to keep things platonic, while acknowledging there is much more buried beneath the surface, and both of us have to remember to tread lightly on the grave of what once was our relationship, so we don’t wake ghosts of the past.”
“Yeah, this. THIS is what I miss. You calling me out when I am bullshitting myself, and you call things what they are. You aren’t afraid of controversy, you face it, don’t run from it. And you’re right. There is more between us, there will always be more between us, we both know it, neither of us can change how we feel about each other, but I have faith in us. We can do this. Still better than trying to ignore each other. That’s just not working, only makes both of us miserable.”
“Right, and agreed. Sorry, but I need to get back home, to take care of our daughter. Good talk, and I am glad we are on a path to work this out. Truly.” Scarlett got up, he rose up off the bench as well.
“Yeah, me too, and I better head back too, so my family doesn’t send search troops for me. They all helicopter over me whenever I am here, I know I am a city boy, but I have lived here before, only temporarily, but they act like I’ve never seen a tree before. What were you doing out here anyway, all alone. Hot date?”
“Oh Blaine, do you REALLY want to know?”
“Yeah, why not … or is you having a dude top secret?” Blaine said it in a joking manner, but deep inside hoped it wasn’t another man, realizing how lop-sided that view was, but couldn’t help the jealousy.
“No dude. Just me. Let’s just say I was out for a bite and leave it at that.”
“Oh. OH! Did you already …. ya know?”
“Ah, thank god. I mean, not like it were something I haven’t done before … I didn’t mean to sound afraid. I am not. It’s cool.” Blaine stumbled on his own words. GAH!
“My father and Riordan have decreed a VERY long time ago, long before you and I were even born, that nobody in the entire Cameron lineage must ever be fed on by any vampire, punishment for breaking that rule is quite severe. In other words, you’re safe.”
“Ha – good to know. If you ever piss me off, I can blackmail you, since you have fed from me before.”
“That was as part of a blood bond, dumbass, and voluntary. That is the exception to the rule, if you give your consent, you are fair game. My family knows about the blood bond between us, duh. Nice try though, FRIEND. Nothing screams true loyalty and friendship louder than blackmail.”
“I was just kidding, trying to tickle your buttons a little, relax. Retract claws, kitty.”
“Claws are still retracted, numbnuts, that’s why you are still upright. Had I any doubt that you were only joking, you’d be spitting dirt for hours, and that would be only a warning. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a beautiful baby girl to take care of and you should be packing to get home to make one. Good luck with getting your wife knocked up, Cameron.”
“Yah, thanks. I’ll keep you posted on the progress.”
“Whaaat? Girl, I was gonna send you detailed pictures – step by step! Subscribe, like and comment!” he chuckled while listening to Scarlett’s giggle dissipating into a black cloud.
With a headshake he began to walk back towards the ferry landing. Strangely, he felt better now, as if a gigantic weight had been lifted.
Scarlett, always had that effect on him, there was no neutral with her, together or apart, she either left him in the greatest pain or sheer euphoria.