It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.E. E. Cummings
Del Sol Valley
Not long after her 15th birthday, Vivien had her first boyfriend, her friend and next door neighbor Caterina Belucci’s older brother Matteo, called Matt, 17. It wasn’t really a surprise, the writing had been on the wall for years. They had always liked each other a lot, spent a lot of time together ever since the Beluccis had moved to Del Sol Valley, now both old enough to level up their friendship, they had wasted little time.
After taking her home from a date, he walked her to the front door of the Cameron Mansion and they said their goodbyes. First love style.
Unfortunately, this did not go unnoticed by someone who was not quite ready to accept that his little girl was slowly but surely growing into a young woman. Blaine had been walking by on the way to the kitchen when he saw them through the hallway window.
“Oh HELL NO!!! What the fuzzy fuck is that shit!?”
His blood pressure rose instantly, fuming he tore open the door, separating the teens by lifting Vivien’s date up off the ground, yelling and screaming right into the teen boy’s face, with Vivien crying behind him, once she realized her attempts to stop her father were futile, all of which summoned her mother, Scarlett, who was very pregnant now.
She interfered, trying hard to navigate her final trimester baby bump and calm her angry husband without using any vampire strength. Eventually she managed to separate the two men.
Authoritatively sending Blaine to the living room, Matteo to his home next door, while pulling her sobbing daughter into the hallway took patience but Scarlett eventually got Vivien’s heart wrenching sobs to turn into bitter complaints about her dad.
“Daddy is such an ass!” Vivien ranted, wiping her tears with the back of her hand.
“Viv, he is still your father and I won’t allow you to call him that. I can, and he is, but you may not say that. Joking aside, I will talk to daddy, you can text Matt and all will be fine. Promise, baby. Daddy is just being a little overprotective, he loves you so much and just worries. It will be okay.”
“I love you, mommy!”
“Love you too, sweet pea! Now go wash up, racoon eyes isn’t a good look on anyone. Imma gonna talk to your father. And if it makes you feel better, I won’t go easy.”
“Thanks mom! Give him hell, he deserves it!” Vivien sniffled, after one more hug she scurried up the stairs, cell phone already in hand and typing, while Scarlett waddled to the living room across the mansion’s foyer.
“Some parenting, Mr. Cameron! Glad to see you are so pleased with your behavior that you celebrate with booze. For the record, I am not happy with you – NOT AT ALL! And our daughter is a mess! That poor boy, what were you thinking?!” Scarlett started upon walking into the living room.
“Ugh, not the lecture now too. It’s just root beer anyway.” Blaine said.
“Blaine, I can smell the vodka, there is enough in there that I don’t even think I need my vampire senses for that. You are busted, but the alcohol is the least of your worries. You are in trouble, Mister! Do you have anything to say for yourself? Do you really want to get sued by Matt’s father so badly? Kai already barely managed to get you out of that before, here you go again! You could have just asked the boy to leave. Or asked them to stop whatever they were doing, which, knowing our daughter, wasn’t anything I would take issue with. I raised her better than that!” Scarlett laid into him.
“I was thinking that I cannot stand by and applaud some retched hormonal pimple-faced boy sticking his tongue down my little girl’s throat RIGHT UNDER MY NOSE! At least he should have had the decency to do it in his car or behind a bush, like normal teen boys do. You think I would have sucked on your face right in front of old Caleb back when we first started dating?!”
“We never officially dated as teens, remember? My dad is also a bit of a different story than you, don’t you think, or were you born in 1500 something as well? If he were to go prude, it would be a lot more understandable, considering when he was a teen things were a lot more rigid yet. And besides, Vivien is not so little anymore, is she now? Plus, we both know, getting her to do anything she doesn’t want to do is borderline impossible, I doubt that will be different for any boy or man who ever asks of her what she isn’t willing to give anyway. At her age it is completely normal to start discovering love, and Matt is such a sweet boy. Much better than some young men she could drag into our home. I approve of him. And I already got her all set up on birth control, juuuuuuust in case, although I really REALLY made sure she knows it’s best to wait until she is 100% certain she is ready.”
“Birth control!? OH MY GOD, woman, are you trying to kill me now?! She is 15, Scarlett! 15! A child! I don’t even want to think about sex and my daughter in the same sentence, let alone her doing that! I think I will die of a heart attack here tonight!”
“Blaine, chill, she has barely kissed him. I know my daughter. Relax. She is lightyears away from that. But may I remind you what you and I did at 15? Hmm?! Is this one of those do as I say, not as I did instances?”
“We were 16, and YOU initiated that. Those were different times. Different … everything. Does not count. She is the daughter of a celebrity, the risk of people wanting to use her is higher than for any other pretty young girl. I have to interfere, Scarlett. It’s my duty, to protect her from boys like that.”
“No, we were both 15, and maybe I did initiate it, but you didn’t exactly put up a fight either, you almost stumbled over your own feet to get into that tent with me as fast as you could! And by boys like that, do you mean, boys like you were? That’s why you freak out, isn’t it? You know how you were and assume all boys are the same way? Nothing on the brain but nookie. On second thought, you still haven’t changed.”
“I don’t have to assume anything, Scarlett! I know! If it is a teen and male, it wants to fuck anything and everything it can until the tool falls off! It’s human nature and universal. Some are just more successful than others, but it doesn’t mean those who can’t land with girls are not thinking about it every waking moment! You’re just gonna have to believe me there, I am the expert on males out of the two of us. Scarlett, you are her mother! Does our daughter dating not bother you at all?”
“Of course it does! But as her mother, my job is to guide her, teach her, and I have and I am, best I know how to. Now I have to trust in what I taught her and in the young woman she is becoming and hope that it all fell on fruitful grounds. We do not own our children. We have to let her make her own experiences. Same will be true for Blake one day and for this little one inside of me now.”
“Yeah, but Blake and the baby are boys, that’s easier. They won’t wind up used and pregnant and all that. I can’t not think about that, Scarlett. Maybe if we were some random couple living somewhere in the suburbs trying to make a living with some regular careers, maybe there would be a chance for some decent boy. But I am not your average father, you are definitely not the average mother, and we are not the average family, never will be, and I have to be alert and careful.”
“You need to let go. You are micro-managing her out the door. You deeply humiliated her tonight, she is very angry with you. Keep that up and as soon as she is 18, she will do ANYTHING to get away from you. Is that what you want?!”
“Scarlett, you are overreacting!”
“Me? That’s rich! YOU overreacted, not me. I diffused and I am trying to talk sense into a stubborn husband!”
“Well, you are a stubborn wife! And you should not get worked up like this. Think of our unborn son!”
“I am thinking of him! And of my daughter and my step-son and their father, who is failing them and needs me to point that out to him.”
“Fine. I am a terrible husband, shitty father and suck at everything! There, happy?”
“No. Not happy. You are an excellent husband and father, just need me to pull that head from your ass occasionally, just like you always have. Come here you.”
“Hmmmm … I like the sound and feel of that MUCH better. Hey, this doesn’t happen to be one of those pregnancy-hormones induced moments where you get in the mood for nookie by any chance, is it?”
“You are cruising for a bruising, Blaine! How can you go from drama straight to … that … without skipping a beat!?”
“Without much effort, actually, looking at the most beautiful girl I am lucky enough to be married to, who puts up with my dumbassery and calls me out again and again, and who is the best mother to my children I would ever wish for.”
“That’s not gonna wash! Nice try. Well, maybe I could use a massage. Your son is extra active tonight, I swear I am bruised on the inside because of that baby!”
“He just agrees with his father and was trying to help me beat some manners into that Belucci kid!”
“Oh! I give up! You’re insufferable! One more word out of you and your righteous ass will be sleeping on the couch tonight! And next time Vivien has a boy over, you will be on your best behavior or I will make sure you will remember that you didn’t marry some average woman!”
“Ooh, I like it when you talk tough vampire-chick to me … So sexy.”
“Oh dear lord! I’ll be in the bathtub, hopefully getting that baby to chill out.”
“I’ll join ya!”
“You will not!”
“Try to stop me!”
“Really? You REALLY wanna mess with a pregnant vampire? Really?!”
Blaine said nothing, just gave Scarlett that crooked Cameron smile, wiggled his eyebrows with a twinkle in his eyes telling her he was mostly teasing her, so she relaxed, grabbed him by the collar and dragged him with her towards the stairs.
“Fine! You got the job! You’ll be massaging my poor pregnant self until those arms fall off!”
“Hey, as long as I get to see you naked and get to touch you, fine by me.”
“I think I am going to have another woman to woman talk about boys and their behavior with our daughter tomorrow.”
“Now we’re talking!” Blaine laughed as he scooped Scarlett up into his arms and hurried towards their suite with her.
A Café in the old downtown district
Liam Cameron, at 16 the oldest of the 4th generation of Camerons was still dating his girlfriend Brielle, had been for a year now, but things weren’t going so swimmingly anymore. Far from it.
They fought a lot of late and most recently, and all the discord had reach its crescendo recently when during a night out dancing, Liam caught her being flirty with another boy, which had ended in a huge fight. Liam had always had a terrible temper and seeing his girlfriend like this brought out the worst in him.
Angrily, he had given her a piece of his mind, punched the boy, breaking his nose, then went and flirted with other girls, right in front of Brielle, when she followed him and asked him to stop it, he kissed one of the other females. Not a peck on the cheek, something that was close to getting an X-rating. Both girls slapped him and left. Not his proudest moment, but not all that unusual for Liam and his hot head.
After not talking for days and avoiding each other at school, he received a text message from Brielle to meet her in a café after school. Sitting across from each other felt uncomfortable at best.
“Thanks for coming. I was afraid you wouldn’t. But we need to fix this, I can’t deal with those looks you and your friends shoot me in the school hallway and all the uncertainty. It feels more like a high school TV soap than real life at this point. Something has to give.” she started their talk.
“I agree! It’s turned into bullshit and we are better than that. We can put all this behind us, just erase and rewind and start with a clean slate.” he put his hand on hers.
She pulled her hand from his, and shook her head.
“No, Liam, I don’t think so. It’s not that easy. The things you said to me and what you did afterwards, that’s just not okay. You hurt me and you humiliated me in front of everybody. This is a small town and things like that take a long time to blow over.” Brielle said.
“You hurt me first, Brielle! What wasn’t okay was you letting that fool crawl all over you, all the way up in your business, and you did nothing, just stood there smiling, making a fool out of me. How do you think that made me feel when my girl is fair game for everyone?! You’re not the only one who got their feelings hurt that day.” Liam snapped back.
“Nobody crawled all over me. It was loud in the club, we had to get closer to hear each other. He and I were talking, I was just being nice to him. He was nice to me, no flirting! But YOU flirted and YOU kissed someone else right in front of me. HUGE difference! I did nothing wrong, YOU jumped to conclusions and screwed up! And still, not even an apology, even now.” Brielle complained.
“Don’t put that on me, and don’t play the innocent victim! I have eyes, I saw you two, and I know you knew what he was doing, you went along with it to feed your female need for constant validation, you KNOW it wasn’t just innocent or ‘nice’. Nice, my ass. I am not that stupid! That guy was coming onto you, you knew it, you enjoyed it and you went along with it! Had I not happened to walk in, who knows where that would have ended! I am no idiot and I am also not blind!”
“Maybe not, but you are totally immature. Speaking of ending, I think this is what we need. I am done with this, it’s not going anywhere. You act like we fight because I am a bitch, always make it my fault, when all I want is my boyfriend to pick me over his bros every once in a while. I wanted you to spend an evening or a weekend with me every now and then, without me begging or us arguing and not only when your friends happen have other plans. I don’t want to be the backup all the time. It’s always THEM over me. I am your girlfriend, I should rank higher than your … bros! You are immature and your priorities are messed up!” she yelled now.
Liam was angry now, his temper flared up and he didn’t care about keeping peace or not making a scene anymore, and proved that with his next words
“Well, you know what they say, bros before hoes. You have shown you are a grade a hoe, so I would be crazy not picking my bros, at least they have my back and I can trust them, without finding them riding another dude’s cock, you hussy!”
She slapped him hard across the table.
“I never even touched the other boy, we just talked, totally platonic, but I am so done explaining, you jealous prick! Enjoy spending all your time with your friends now, you’ll have a LOT more time for that now, cos we are DONE! I am done with you immature and selfish little boy, we are over! DONE! Find another dumb girl to fill your days with whenever your friends have no time for you!”
She turned and stomped away when finally the waiter showed up.
“Sorry, didn’t see you sit down. What can I bring you?” he chirped.
“FUCK YOU, man! Service in this shithole is as fucked up as you look!” Liam yelled, jumped up and stomped off. He didn’t care that he was taking out his anger on an innocent bystander, the breakup hurt.
Brindleton Bay Bay High School
Being a Cameron, especially the male variety, often meant a lot of things, most of the time they were popular, confident, usually very attractive and in almost every case a hit with the ladies, at any age.
Unfortunately, there were those exceptions that confirmed the rule.
Occasionally one was shy, not very confident, which meant a rough time for them.
The giggling of the girls made him nervous, but Ethan pulled together all his courage and approached her anyway.
“Ahm, Kelly?” he said, his voice oddly tipping over. Dammit!
“Yeah?” she said, looking him up and down with the same face you would make if you saw a cockroach.
“I am Ethan, I am in some of your classes. I was wondering if you already had a date for the dance?” he said, relieved it all came out in one coherent sentence without any more voice malfunctions.
“A date? No. Why?” Kelly asked, while some of the girls she was with started giggling and whispering to each other, making Ethan even more nervous.
“I was wondering if maybe … possibly … if you wanted to … maybe like .. potentially … maybe go with me?” he stuttered.
Kelly stared at him in disbelief as her friends behind her already burst into giggle. Not the sweet kind, the gleeful kind.
“Are you serious? Girls, did you all hear this too? Is this guy kidding me? Oh my god, eew! Ah, no, thanks – ahem – Ethan. Pretty sure I can do better than you pimple faced little boy. Get some Clearasil, grow about a foot and get lost before I throw up. Gross!”
Ethan felt a lump in his throat and stomach, turned to hurry away, but someone tripped him up. Stumbling he realized it was one of Kelly’s friends.
He hit the ground hard, all he could do before scrambling back up was endure the laughter echoing off the hallway walls.
As he hurried through the hallway and out of the school, trying to bite back the very unmanly tears he felt trying to make their way out, he cursed out himself and all girls.