“The real things haven’t changed.
It is still best to be honest and truthful;
to make the most of what we have;
to be happy with simple pleasures;
and have courage when things go wrong.”
Del Sol Valley Cameron Mansion
Rubbing his face between both hands, Blaine realized it was no use. He was just not in a creative mood, there would be nothing good coming out of him music-wise today.
He got up and walked out of the home studio in the direction of the living room bar to pour himself a double whiskey, but halted, still in the hallway, shaking his head. No, this wasn’t right or helpful. Of late he had started to take up this old habit again. Especially now he should have a clear head, not keep drowning his brain function in alcohol hoping all problems would just magically resolve themselves. They never did, only multiplied instead.
There was pain in his heart, a feeling of loneliness and regret, when he remembered back three days ago, which felt like a lifetime past. First the drama with Vivien. She had never done anything like this before, while she had always been stubborn, she never had challenged her parents and grandparents’ decisions before. Just running out, dressed in barely there clothing, as a 13 year old, to get a boy’s attention? That just didn’t sound like his Vivien at all.
He wondered if he knew the females in his life at all these days. Vivien’s mother’s actions had also been totally out of character. Scarlett had always downright refused to use vampire powers on him, especially the teleportation bit. Blaine had always been dying for curiosity about how that would feel, but she always told him no. Now he had been there twice in the same week, even though the first time was only in some drunken haze.
And the teleportation hadn’t even been the most shocking part, not by a long shot. No, that would have been Scarlett’s on-the-whim proposal. Blaine still got the same ants in his veins when he thought about that moment, his heart skipping a beat, then accelerating.
What followed her proposal wasn’t the happy ending most would assume.
Blaine had told her no. A gentle, kind no, but a no nonetheless, then added it was more of a ‘not now and not like this’.
His argument had been that they were still due a serious straight talk, which he just didn’t have the nerve for right then, and an engagement, let alone a marriage, shouldn’t be decided on as a Hail Mary just to remedy a crumbling relationship. So, his condition was they would have that talk, before taking any further steps. In any direction.
Scarlett had been near tears, visibly hurt by his perceived rejection which broke his heart, she shrugged off his attempt to console her, teleported him back home and left. That was the last time he had seen or heard from her. This time, she needed time to lick her wounds.
Three days seemed long enough, and they still needed to have that serious talk, he pulled out his phone, started typing. Text after text he erased, rephrased, deleted. After the 7th or 8th time, he shook his head and just dialed her number.
Much to his surprise, she answered after the second ring. Maybe she had been sitting there, phone in hand, wondering if she could contact him too. Maybe.
“Hey. You okay?” he asked softly.
“Sorta. When are we going to have that talk?”
“When do you want to have it? And where?”
“ASAP! Here and now, maybe? I’d like to be a gentleman and come to you, but seeing how you .. oh …” Blaine stopped when she already appeared in front of him.
“You can hang up, the connection doesn’t survive the teleportation anyway. I am here. I am ready. Let’s do this.”
“Sounds good. I can’t focus on anything anymore, all that’s in my head is us … and daughter-zilla.”
“I am taking her to the castle for the weekend. Pretty sure the different angle will iron out the bug up her butt.”
“Either that, or Caleb and Breana will be suicidal vampires.” Blaine smiled faintly, which she responded to in kind.
“Oh no. They had MUCH worse. They can handle Viv.”
“You wanna sit down somewhere for this?”
“I don’t care Blaine. Just start talking. I am dying here. Let’s get this done so I finally know where we are headed. The past few weeks have been pure torture and what made it worse was knowing I was the origin of everything.”
“Okay, I’ll start. Bear in mind, it’s all unscripted and by the seat of my pants. First of all, I want to apologize to you for not accepting …”
“No. Stop. No need. You don’t owe me an apology, not for this, and not for anything else. This is all on me, and I know it. I fucked it all up, have been, for years. And you were right not to say yes into that craziness. We need clear lines and everything out on the table first, you’re absolutely right about that. I thought this last time when we got back together I was headed that way, you know, by making us date and take things slow, but stupid was all that was, without having this talk. We’re way too far in for this dating as if we had just met to be anything but a cute novelty. What we need is the truth and as a vampire I am so used to lying, we just have to, I couldn’t seem to stop, if only to sweep the uncomfortable things under a rug.”
“Scarlett, we both made mistakes. I did too, and I own those. You acknowledged the problem, so let’s get to fixing it. No need beating yourself up, and I grew up with Riordan around a lot, he even used to babysit me and all, so I have never been a stranger to vampires and some of their quirks. Even as kids Kai and I knew he had a lot of secrets and he had to tell lies, we had to tell lies when in public with him. I get it, it’s part of your kind hiding in plain sight among the mortals. But something that transfers from my life, my career, into this is that you really need to remember your audience. Lying to me isn’t helpful.”
“Agreed. I’ll tell you anything and everything you want to know about me, my reasons, even vampire things, as far as I can, but please understand, there is a lot I simply cannot divulge. Not even to you, it’s exclusive to those who are. But I asked daddy if you could attend one of the next Vampire Society meetings at the castle, usually also exclusive to vampires and a high honor, and he agreed to it, but I need to warn you, there are some sentencings on the agenda, meaning you may end up seeing pretty gruesome stuff, involving my brother. Some things have evolved, others are still very much Dark Ages with us.”
“Thanks, but I’ll pass. I am not sure I need to be the only mortal in a pool of several dozen vampires at the creepy shed, while your brother goes butcher on some of them. I don’t need help not liking him. Thanks though, the offer is definitely appreciated.”
“Man, Blaine, listen to us talk. This sounds so business-like, not like our entire existence as a couple depended on this. I am worried it may be too late …” her voice broke, she swallowed hard to keep her composure and Blaine resisted the urge to just hug her.
“Wow. You really are trying to change. An open admission of fear, weakness and emotion without a proverbial gun to your head. All right, I am starting to think we have a good chance yet. And no, I don’t think it’s too late. Not if we don’t fuck this up now. If we both are honest now and really bare all, and not like we usually do, but with words, I think we can make it.”
“I really meant all I said to you Blaine. I want to live with you, even be your wife, if you wanted me that way. Anything.”
“Scarlett, my no wasn’t final. Just not then and there, not like that. I am fucking flattered, girl. Really. Like you, I never saw myself married when I was younger, things changed and then after the divorce I was done with that topic again, just like you. Now, I am gonna be honest, I am not interested in rushing down the aisle anytime soon, but I can see it on the horizon. This right here gave me a lot of hope for us and the relationship. But we really need some ground rules. I’ll start. When we fight again, and we both know we will, you cannot just vanish whenever you are out of arguments. I HATE that.”
“I only went to your kitchen this last time!”
“I had no way of knowing that! I don’t have a tracking device on you! All I know is, the feeling of being left hanging in the midst of that argument was awful for me. You want to be like a mortal, then be like us. Rush out, slamming doors, but at least I get a chance to come after you and talk it out. To fix things, instead of continuously adding on the how broken it all is already.”
“Okay, right. But I need YOU to tell ME what I am expected to do with Blake. I never thought I would ever have a family, let alone a step-child, especially not one with the mother still around and all that jazz. I don’t know the rules for that. I don’t want to hurt your little boy, I swear, but I don’t want to get put in my place by you and Bri either because I overstepped some invisible line.”
“If you and I make it through this and become something real, something everyone can see, you will treat him as if he is yours when he is with us. His mother gets him when he is there and I am sure her new husband acts like a father then too. I may not enjoy that thought, but it’s what’s best for Blake. Which leads me to my next point, if we do this, Scarlett, it needs to be out loud. I want to have you by my side in public, as my girlfriend, fiancé or wife or whatever. No more masks, no more lies, no more sneaking around, no more excises and no more gimmicks. Just us.”
“Okay. I can do that, but we have to dream up something for me to say if I end up being asked stuff, like where we met and all, and that will have to be a lie.”
“Kai is excellent at that. He has been preparing my press materials for inconvenient stuff since we were in college, like his dad has for my parents. And, as a vampire’s mortal grandson, he knows the limitations and issues regarding vampires, so he is perfect for that job. He’ll probably straddle the truth, so it should be fairly easy to remember.”
“All right, but here is a condition on my side …”
“Can we call it ‘request’? I don’t like the idea of our relationship being based on conditions.”
“Sure. So my request is that we go spend time with my people occasionally too, but you will have to follow our rules, even if it sounds dumb. And if we were to ever get married, I want two weddings, a mortal one and a vampire one. They can be tiny, but I need that to happen.”
“Oh jeeze, woman. One wedding is rough enough, no matter how small, but two? Oof. How am I gonna invite anyone to the castle without them realizing things are a bit … off? And how do I explain two weddings anyway?”
“You don’t. For the vampire one it can only be you and Viv. No other mortals. Not even Blake, or your parents. Even Finn and Kai never get invited to this kinda stuff. But that one can be super-small, even though I am the Grand Master Elder’s daughter, I already had a previous vampire wedding that ended badly, so we could explain it that way.”
“Well, okay, we can do that or, we could find a way to make us extra-special and merge the two, making it a true one-of-a-kind mortal/immortal wedding fusion, assuming yours has special rituals and all that just like mortal weddings do. Cause if there is ever going to be any wedding, it will be have to be a real one, the type accepted in my world, so you don’t flake on me after you had the vampire one. And not just some lines neutrally exchanged at some courthouse like a business transaction. I want something for my family to attend and watch, a party. I don’t care if it’s big or small, totally planned to the T or some casual get-together style thing, I don’t give a shit about if we have a theme, a color, don’t care about the location, for all I care we can have a fucking BBQ and get hitched while everyone else is roasting their marshmallows, but I need my family there.”
“Yeah, it would have to be small, I am already gonna be way out of my comfort zone with the real wedding, it needs to be close circle, but I do love your fusion idea! That would be super-special and so much simpler. Listen to us talking about maybe-weddings when not even 20 minutes ago we both weren’t sure if we were going to make it. I never thought that would ever be a topic for us. But – gotta say – Mr. Big Celebrity Heartthrob, I never knew you had secret wedding fantasies and girlish dreams. You put some thought into that, didn’t you? Want to braid each other’s hair now?” Scarlett giggled.
“Ha-ha. Joke all you want, emasculate me if you want, but this is a firm condition of mine. Dead serious about it.”
“Thought we’re only doing requests, not conditions. And I thought we were discussing if we even had a relationship left at all, tightrope walking over a break-up, how in the world did we end up picking out wedding décor all of a sudden?! Can we really not do ANYTHING the normal way, EVER?!”
“I have no fucking clue, but I like this direction a hell of a lot better than the other! Aside from that, I think we said all there needed to be said, I think it’s safe to say we agree and both got our head pulled out of our asses now. We’re gonna make it, Scarlett. We fucking weathered that wipeout tsunami too, meaning, we can do anything, babe. And come here already!” Blaine pulled Scarlett close.
“Would there be a ‘we’re-boyfriend-girlfriend’ party too now that we are – I think – officially together again – or still – or wherever we were before. Should we discussed party favors now?” Scarlett mumbled into Blaine’s shoulder, then chuckled.
“Funny girl, just make fun of me all you want. I don’t give a shit. All I want is something real with the woman I have loved all my life. The rest is gravy. We can have a dozen parties or none at all.”
They talked a bit more, then sealed it with a kiss.
Afterwards, Scarlett vanished. Moments later Vivien appeared coming down the stairs nearby.
“Aww – I thought I heard mom’s voice … guess I am hearing things now.” she remarked, her tone disappointed when she saw only her father in the hall, looking at him like a consolation prize, which Blaine tried hard to ignore.
“You did. She just left.”
“Without saying hello? So, you had another fight?! Seriously dad, what the fuzz?!” her facial expression matched her words.
“Nope, no fight, and there was no need to say hello to you. What if I told you she will be back momentarily, with some stuff.”
“Oh, I don’t know, stuff girls need when they start moving in somewhere, permanently.”
“What?! Are you shitting me, dad?!”
“Language – and no. It’s happening.”
“OMG. OH. MY. GOD. My mom’s literally gonna live here now?! Like, for real?” her voice got louder, and echoed shrill off the walls of the hallway.
“Yup.” Blaine looked and sounded triumphant.
Vivien let out a squeal and jumped into her father’s arms, as skinny and light as she was, it almost knocked Blaine over, while she was nearly strangling him for joy, still squeaking and squealing near his ear at painful levels.
“Daddy daddy daddy! Best daddy EVER! I am gonna have a mom and a dad for once – without having to choose or travel! YASS!”
“Hey, get a room or something!” a male voice sounded and Blaine saw Scarlett and two men in the room now, plus a ton of boxes that seemed to have suddenly appeared out of nowhere. Scarlett probably used vampire speed packing and recruited help to teleport it here. One of the new arrivals was Riordan, who nodded a greeting at them, the other belonged to the speaker and was
“UNCLE CAECAE!!!!!” as Vivien noted while she immediately let go of Blaine and ran straight to him, who had time to set down the box he was carrying and catch his niece, who now squeaked and squealed excitedly into the vampire’s ears instead of Blaine’s.
After a flood of words and her excited greeting, Vivien dragged him upstairs to her room and Caelan just followed like a puppy dog without even trying to put up a fight, followed by Scarlett who was carrying some of her things upstairs.
Once they were out of sight Blaine groaned.
“Well, fuck a duck, now that guy is here too. Yeah, don’t worry, I’ll get the box. Some help, you moron! Half the job” Blaine growled under his breath.
He couldn’t understand why his daughter loved that fool so much, even his mother adored Caelan, who had attended every one of Vivien’s birthdays at the Cameron Mansion since her toddler days. Seeing Vivien go nuts about her uncle was rough on Blaine, but whenever his mother saw him, she treated him like another son, smiling, cooing, rubbing his cheeks, only to later swoon about his rugged looks hiding such a sweet person. ARGH! Blaine didn’t adore him one little bit, nor did he find him sweet in the least, the exact opposite was the case. And it was mutual. Yuck.
“Blaine, be nice. This is a happy day and you know how protective Scarlett is of her little brother.” Riordan chuckled as they walked next to each other, carrying some of the boxes. Blaine knew that while vampires technically could just appear anywhere, it was code and the polite thing to do to only appear in the hallway near the front door, and only if you were close with whomever you visited. If not, outside the front door was the correct way to go.
“Protective?! Protect him from what? Me? I wouldn’t touch that ass with a ten foot pole, not even piss on him if he were on fire! Protect him. He’s a fucking executioner for you guys! He literally offs vampires for a living! Why does that fucker need his big sister to protect him from me for?! Gimme a break!”
“Relax, Blaine. It’s just the kind of relationship they have, plus, he may be the most feared vampire on this continent, but not only would he absolutely never touch family, he knows if he did anything to you, his father and I would severely punish him, which would still be nothing compared to what Scarlett would do to him. And I think Vivien hating him would literally kill him anyway, as you can see, those two are peas in a pod. And if you think I am joking now, you have a lot yet to learn about Scarlett and our family.”
Blaine said nothing to that, just wore a content smile for the rest of the day.
Del Sol Valley Cameron Mansion A few weeks later ...
A few weeks after the move a comfortable routine had finally set in, at least as much as that was possible considering that they were a family of celebrities, with vampires and and a child by an ex-wife sprinkled in for good measure, all of them now assembled at the breakfast table together, it was Saturday morning, normally now plans for the weekend were discussed.
This time though everyone was quiet, until suddenly Vivien blurted out.
“Sooooo .. are you guys like ever gonna get married? Preferable before I go off to college, or die and all.”
Everett and Maeve had both been drinking coffee and snorted their sips back into their cups, laughing, Scarlett, Blaine and Blake just stared at Vivien.
“What?! Like that’s not a valid question? I mean, come on now, you didn’t exactly just meet and stuff. Might as well. If it took you decades to get here where we’re at now, I am already 13, none of us are getting younger, so I think it’s a fair thing to ask.” she shrugged, much to Rett and Maeve’s amusement, who sat chuckling at the other end of the table.
“Maybe, Viv. We’re not in any rush here. And yes, if we do it would be before you turn 18, you little brat.” Blaine told his daughter.
“I think it would be cool. Are you gonna have another baby then? Like my mom did?” Blake now wondered out loud, Blaine and Scarlett exchanged quick glances.
“Uh … Scarlett, wanna take this one? Little help here?” Blaine shot her that type of glance across the table.
“Ahem …” she muttered, diverting her eyes to the table. Yup, leave it to the kids to find and zoom in on the one topic they both had forgotten to even remotely touch on and now neither had any answers, since they hadn’t discussed it, didn’t want to lie to the kids, nor did either want to assume how the other felt and decide for them. Historically, that had caused a lot of their issues, leaving them speechless now.
“Ha – I think they are already pregnant. I can tell. Like TOTALLY busted!” Vivien told her little half-brother.
“What!? Vivien Vatore! Will you quit it and shut your big, presumptuous mouth. No, we are NOT pregnant yet.” Scarlett corrected.
“Yeah, operative term being ‘yet’, so what that means is they are trying though, Blake. Next sibling incoming fo’ sho! Luckily we have the room. Getting so much attention from both parents was fun while it lasted, but … oh well. Hey, can I go over to Cat’s?”
“Can I pick the name then?” Blake asked.
“Wait, WHAT?! You stay right here missy, we are in the middle of a conversation and you always got PLENTY of attention, drama queen! And what do you want to name, Blake, we said we are not pregnant and your sister just assumed the rest. So to clarify, as of this moment in time there are ZERO plans for any more children. That may – or may NOT – change, but we will let everyone know if and when it does. Deal?!” Scarlett told them.
“Right. Hey Viv, don’t you know what assuming does? Makes an ..” Blake smirked at his older half-sister.
“BLAKE CAMERON!” Blaine stopped him.
“But, daa-aaad, that actor guy said that on …” Blake defended himself.
“He is an adult. You are not. If you two are done with breakfast, take your dishes in and skedaddle.” Blaine decided.
“Sooooooo …. can I go over to Cat’s now, or no? I don’t want my dad coming after me going all terminator and crap again.” Vivien addressed her mother.
“Language! And yes, you may go, since you are actually fully dressed. No smooching on any of your friends’ big brothers though or I will go Terminator something fierce, clear?!” Blaine answered instead, fighting hard to keep a straight face, while Blake snorted laughter, accompanied by his grandparents, making Vivien blush and get upset alike.
“DAAAAAAAAAD!” Vivien glared at him, shook her head and left, followed by her little brother making kissing noises until she chased him through the hallway.
“Wow, I made those two. Both definitely Camerons. Are you all as proud of me as I am?” Blaine chuckled.
“You have no idea about all the pride I am feeling, son. Oh wait, that’s not pride, gotta use the bathroom.” Everett chuckled and got up.
“Oh Rett!” Maeve tried to keep a straight face, while playfully reprimanding him.
Three days later …
And soon the day that was to never come was approaching … last minute invitations had gone out for a family and closest friends only wedding and dinner at the Cameron Mansion, now it was only a few more days until never would become forever.
Here’s to hoping nobody gets cold feet beforehand.
A.N.: There won’t be an official wedding chapter, as this will all be intentionally very low-key for them, due to all the reasons discussed over all the chapters involving both, but there will of course be pictures shared on the Facebook page of the beautiful couple.