“There’s an important difference between giving up and letting go.“–Jessica Hatchigan
Windenburg Cameron Lake House, Jordan and Jenna's home
Sitting in the house his entire family history first began several lifetimes ago now, the little, humble, but cozy home by the lake at the outskirts of Windenburg, once owned by his great-grandparents, now again inhibited by Camerons, Blaine couldn’t help but feel tense.
His eyebrows arched, Blaine looked back and forth between the three people staring at him expectantly, Jenna, Jordan and his twin brother Jamie, their odd glances only interrupted by them exchanging stares with each other or busily looking into their coffee cups.
“Guys, what?! Do I have a booger hanging or are you all so impressed with my great looks and my tan that you are just speechless? I feel as if I am staring into a fish tank, all the little fishies staring back at me, mouths opening and closing, but nothing coming out. I thought you said you wanted to talk to me. So, here I am in all my glory … talk then. Since when are you bitches shy?”
“Sorry, Blaine you’re right. Jordan, tell him.” Jenna said, nudging her husband next to her.
“Why me?! You had all the great speeches when we discussed it.”
“He is YOUR relative, not mine. So grow a pair and talk to the man!” Jenna retorted.
“I do have a pair, a big one! Exhibit one growing inside of you, Jenna, remember? And Blaine is totally your relative too, your damn cousin-in-law, so there! Why can’t Jamie ask him?! He’s not here to warm the seat and not pretty enough to count as decoration.” the usually confident Jordan tried to pass the buck to his brother.
“I look just like you, you fool! Literally, EXACTLY like you!” Jamie protested from the head of the table, pointing out the fact that they were identical twins, most people could only ever keep them apart by the color of their shirts. Jordan’s color had always been blue, Jamie’s green, just like that night again.
“So? What’s your point? I never claimed to be prettier than you, you girl! At least I said something, you benchwarmer!” Jordan bickered back at his brother.
“Guys? Come on now. Dafuq! It’s me, good ole Blaine, don’t tell me you suddenly became some ditsy and shy fangirls after we’ve known each other all our lives.” Blaine had enough.
“Sorry Blaine, the reason we asked to speak with you tonight is … well, it’s a bit embarrassing, and normally we wouldn’t, really never ever would we, and we really do not want you to misunderstand, it’s not like we are trying to use you, we all love you, I mean, like a man loves a man, not … except Jenna … and Avy, but … so … ” Jamie stuttered on until Blaine interrupted him.
“Huh?! Jamie, buddy, land the plane already! I am five minutes to comatose here. Are you proposing to me or something?” Blaine pleaded unnerved.
“Okay, sorry – again. Look Blaine, we were wondering if you could help us out financially. Not trying to use you, but Jordan, Jenna and I still want to have our own company, we have a great business plan, found a few decent-ish venues, but still, we just can’t come up with even half the money we need, even if our parents help, so we were hoping … maybe you could … fund us. A loan of course. We’d pay back every penny as soon as we are able to. Monthly installments, of course.” Jamie finally managed his words.
Blaine’s worry dissipated and gave way to a broad smirk. Phew. For a minute he had feared they were onto him and his secret affair with Scarlett and trying to run some intervention or something.
A brief side-glance at Bristol who was sitting on the couch laughing with Averie, both of them wrapped up in their own conversation, then back at his cousins. No, even if that had been it, they would have never done this in front of her anyway. No matter how badly he would fuck up in their eyes, they would never hurt Bristol for it.
Blaine also knew his family would never just try to use him as their personal piggy bank. If they came to him, they were desperate. He exhaled, grinned and said upbeat.
“Ah, I see how it is. Always making fun of me, the rich celebrity city boy without a clue of the real world, but now my deep pockets come in handy, huh?” he said, just to watch them squirm. He was having some fun with it, while his mind was already made up.
“No no no no, we swear, just a loan, Blaine, with the same interest rates we would get from the banks. We have all that documentation right here, so you can see we are not trying to cheat you out of money. And we are not trying to suck you dry, here look, some of the realtor photos of the buildings we were looking at. They are really totally simple.” Jenna spoke up, then pushed the brochures in front of Blaine.
Blaine pulled the items closer, looked at it, his eyes widening as he frowned, before shoving them away from himself.
“Guys, dafuq is this Wal-Mart reject shit! Am I getting punk’d here? That crap looks like it is about to fall apart by me just looking at the pictures of it. Are you kidding me now? I wouldn’t store a turd in this shack, let alone try to create a business there. Assume this would also have our family name on it? We’d proudly proclaim the Cameron family owns or leases some nasty ass shed, come one, come all to get yourself Hep-C and tuberculosis?!”
“Look Blaine, we all can see this isn’t ideal, but all of us want it to be in Windenburg because we want to spend more quality time with our growing little families, rather than sit hours on end in traffic commuting to and from San Myshuno each day. You know real estate is hard to come by in Windenburg and very expensive, this was the best we could do without the budget exploding even more. And yes, the company would have our name on it, Cameron Enterprises, a business management firm lead by Jamie as the CEO and C-Genix, a PR and Marketing firm, managed by Jenna and me, all under one roof. So we can do it all for our clients in-house.” Jordan finally found his words.
“Hmm, I likey! Sounds legit. But not in this geriatric shed from the picture. Look, guys, here is the way this is going to go down: uncle Blaine will make sure that Liam, Ethan and Leonie will see their parents as much as possible and also have some legacy for when they are old enough, all right, but not in some ‘other-side-of-the-tracks’ nightmare hut. That’s my family name too, so you all just have to represent. I am going to have my assistant get you some better building options, cos if there is one thing I learned early in life it’s that if you throw the right names around, you get anything you want. I got names to throw, from yours truly over Rett & Reed, Sinclair Surgeries, Camore & Camore Law LLP to even Kai’s father-in-law, the football legend Raylan Sheridan, if they are sports fans. And also – I want none of that pay you back bullshit, let alone interest. You guys are my family. My dad bought the Cameron Estates for your dad once upon a time, his son is going to buy his cousins a decent company now. You guys have been there when I REALLY needed someone, you are my friends. I got the cash, more than I will ever spend, and I want to do this, maybe I can be one of those silent investor dudes or whatever that shit is called again. I’ll get the Kai-Master to look over all those contracts to make sure they don’t screw you over. We’ll get that going ASAP, so you have no excuses not to be home for dinner and diaper duty in time.”
A celebration ensued, Blaine felt great, hugs, kisses, cheers raining on him from everyone, including Averie and Bristol, the latter of the two seemed exceedingly proud of him, and once more realized how important family and legacy was to any Cameron, even those who married into the family. He never enjoyed having all that money more than now, watching his twin cousins freak out for happiness, with their wives, Jenna even jumping straight into his arms, huge baby belly and all. Blaine caught her and while she was nearly strangling him for excitement, he dwelled on the knowledge that he had something to do with making a real difference for them, maybe even one day affecting their children and their children after them.
While his Windenburg family was now busy founding a company and getting that started while also preparing to become parents, the latter remained denied to Blaine and Bristol, still.
She was the epitome of health, as was he, still every month passed without any of the pregnancy tests producing that desired second blue bar or that little word ‘pregnant’.
Windenburg New Downtown Area Cameron Enterprises/C-Genix Grand Opening
And then came the day, some weeks later, when Blaine was back in Windenburg, this time with Everett, Maeve and Bristol as they watched the grand opening ceremony where the new building was dedicated and Cameron Enterprises/C-Genix was officially opening its doors for business.
His cousins and their wives looked so happy and he felt elated having been part of it, which was part of the speech he had been asked to give. While up on that podium trying to remember the words carefully chosen by Bristol for him the night before, he watched his parents, kissing, giggling, like teens, his mother absolutely radiant, looking half her age without even trying.
The realization struck him that his mother was elegant and classy in public, well-spoken and always composed at events, but she could have the worst temper and go absolutely ghetto if she felt it necessary, she was fierce and brave. She had always been her own person, not depended on her husband for validation, her dedication to Rett and Blaine had always been clearly her choice, not a must and Rett never would have wanted it any other way. Maeve never worried about showing her affections in front of anybody, unapologetic. Neither of his parents ever even had as much as a hint of scandal regarding infidelity, despite both of them being very popular on their own.
His mother was both, Scarlett and Bristol rolled into one, occurred to Blaine.
Once all the many speeches were over, Blaine pulled Bristol aside.
“Quit staring at pregnant women. No sad face today! And we are going for a drive.” he told her after catching her staring at Averie’s big baby bump.
“Sorry. I am trying, darling. But her belly was just right there and I just couldn’t help but wonder what it would feel like …”
“You’ll find out for yourself one day! Don’t you go weak on me now. I had an idea. It will give you the creeps, but you’ll have to suck it up and roll with it. It’s an old secret Cameron family recipe, one that works even if all else fails, whether you want it to or not. Do you trust me, beautiful?”
“With my life, you know that. But what is all this about? Sounds mysterious, I am intrigued.”
“You’ll see. Just come with me, gorgeous, let’s just steal away, I am sure they all can manage to chug down champagne and gobble up hors d’oeuvres without us for a while, we’ll catch up with them again for dinner. And I am not hungry now, at least not for food, my stunning vixen.”
Blaine loaded her into a car and drove to the outskirts of Windenburg. When he pulled into the parking lot, the gravel crunching under the tires, Bristol said.
“Oh Blaine, darling. Neither one of us is dressed for romping around Everett Heights. I’ll break my legs in these heels! Can’t we come back in more suitable attire later?”
“Nope, can’t do. And who said you’d be walking?” Blaine smiled, as he opened the car door for her, gallantly helped her out, then picked her up and carried her towards the park entrance, silencing every complaint of Bristol’s with kisses until she quit trying, threw her head back and just giggled contently, squealing for joy.
Kissing again and again, while Blaine hurried across Everett Heights Park with his precious cargo they finally arrived at his intended destination.
Would his idea work?
Would Bristol go for it?
“Blaine, this is so … rugged and … raw … are we really going to do it in public now. That’s why you brought me here, right? Right here, in the near wilderness, where someone could walk in on us any second?” Bristol said, staring at the tent in front of her. In all her life she had probably never seen the inside of one.
“Yes Ma’am, we sure are and you better not be holding back because you are thinking of Lysol and bugs, rather than your amazingly handsome and very virile husband.”
“Are you kidding? This is like that dirty, little, secret fantasy I always had but would never dare to say out loud … this is such a turn on right now! Now how do you get into one of these?”
“Allow me …” Blaine chuckled, unzipped it, with a flourish gestured inside, then lead the way.
That afternoon Blaine discovered that underneath her prim and proper behavior was a lot of bottled up raw passion, but once unleashed, he wondered if he had ever really known her completely.
Del Sol Valley Cameron Mansion
A few weeks later Blaine was brooding over settings while mixing the background of one of his new songs, when the door burst open and Bristol came running in.
“Baby – the red light! I am recording!” Blaine complained instantly, while quickly hitting the off button on his mix.
All residents of Cameron Mansion as well as all frequent visitors knew the rule that a brightly illuminated and impossible to miss red light outside the door to the home studio meant nobody should enter, or if then only extremely quietly, definitely not banging doors and with high heels clicking loudly on the hardwood floors as Bristol did.
“Blaine, darling – forgive me – but screw that red light and your recording! Blaine – look!”
Blaine looked at the item in her hand, recognized it as one of those pregnancy test wands … but for the first time in years of trying to conceive it read “pregnant”. Blaine saw it instantly, that tiny little cursed word ‘not’ for once not preceding it. Knowing Bri she had taken at least a dozen of those tests, the fact she broke the rule about entering the studio as she did told him they all said the same.
“Holy mother of fucks, Everett Heights seriously worked?! You gotta be shittin’ me! No fucking way! Come here, you gorgeous momma!” Blaine pulled his beyond excited young wife up into his arms, twirling around with her.
Ready or not, this was going to happen now.
Were they ready for it?
How would Scarlett react when she found out?