Author's Note: Immediate prologue to this chapter is a FB post about Vivien's ex-boyfriend Malik Williams' wedding to the mother of his toddler girl, Jordyn. Both are NPCs to me, the wedding was intended as a nice, happy post helping rebuilt Malik/Nikki and Vivien's very damaged friendships. Unexpectedly the bride suddenly died in game during the party following the nuptials (Facebook and Facebook) due to an emotional death (don't know which, as I was active with Vivien/Liam's household). For realism and story purposes her death which will be handled as an accident, due to anaphylactic shock (in her case lethal allergic reaction). This chapter starts after Liam and Vivien returned home to the San Myshuno penthouse after the traumatic events.
Senator Suites Apartments
Holding both her hands in his, Liam’s eyes remained on Vivien, trying to read her body language, before he softly said.
“Yeah. No, not really. Man, I am still in shock I think! Poor Jordyn. Poor Malik! Poor kids! What’s even gonna happen to the children now?”
“I don’t know, but the law isn’t on Malik’s side here. Not knowing details, his daughter will probably remain with him, but Jordyn’s son might not, unless he adopted him.”
“OMG – they cannot take the kid from him now! The poor kid! Poor Malik! We have to help him.”
“Help him? How? Vivien, it’s a tragedy. But you cannot save the world, nobody can. This is an iffy situation to begin with, for everyone, even before tragedy struck. Let his family figure out how to help. I am sure if they need your help, they will call you.”
“How can you be so … unfazed about this!? We just attended a wedding where the bride literally died in front of our very eyes! Suffocated to death because of a mix-up and a nut allergy. I still cannot believe it. Felt so helpless!”
“Of course that is tragic and scary, and I am more than sorry such a beautiful young woman lost her life and kids lost their mother, but we can’t act like she was our bestie. We literally just met her, and the whole fact of us even being there was super-iffy for me! Attending your ex-boyfriend’s wedding to someone we didn’t even know before we arrived there, which didn’t stop her from … never mind.”
“Stop her from what?”
“Nothing, forget it!”
“Are you trying to say she hit on you? On her wedding day? You gotta be joking! Little full of yourself now, don’t you think?!”
“Vivien. Let. It. Go.”
“You started it. She was probably just trying to be nice to you and you immediately thought she wanted to nail you. Puh-lease! Evidently she has a different type, since Malik and you aren’t exactly twins.”
“Well, taste changes. Case in point: you used to date Malik, now you’re with me.”
“That’s a bit different, but that doesn’t mean that all women want you.”
“Okay whatever, let’s leave this alone and I will continue to ignore how Malik was staring at you the entire time.”
“What is THAT supposed to mean now?!”
“Which part of ‘still got the hots for you’ do you need help with?! Bruh was staring at your ass like it was the latest blockbuster.”
“He did not! I only ever got to talk to him for a few minutes when he thanked me for coming, and asked us to be friends.”
“Yeah, I believe that he likes the thought of you coming, just not how you took it. Friends, my ass. With benefits maybe! You are too smart to act that oblivious to it!”
“You are unbelievable! Is sex the only thing you can think of?! Why wouldn’t I be able to have friends?! JUST friends. Even if they are male.”
“Because your so-called friends are trash! Malik fucked you over before in more ways than one, I can’t believe he is even back on your radar after all he put you through, and Nikki keeps fucking flirting with me! I had to pull her hand off my ass so many times I quit counting! And that was AFTER she had a near orgasm about your engagement ring from ME! Either your best friend is a backstabber or her short-term memory sucks!”
“Nikki would NEVER!”
“Would and DID! Or are you calling ME a liar, you believe THEM over me, after those two have put your trust in them through the wringer dozens of times?!”
“If the shoe fits!”
Vivien was fuming, turned and ran up the stairs, locking herself into their bedroom after slamming the door shut, before the floodgates opened to let our her shock reaction and frustrations.
Liam remained downstairs, fuming in the living room, by the bar, trying to drown his anger.
It didn’t work. He eventually passed out on the couch, drunk, only to awake to a terrible hangover the next day.
Vivien was in the kitchen when he woke up, she looked about as bad as he did.
Unfortunately, what started out as mutual apologies resulted in yet another fight, an even worse one.
Del Sol Valley
Ultimately Liam and Vivien’s fighting ended with her back in Del Sol Valley at her parents’ home.
Blaine came into the kitchen, kissed his now very pregnant wife Scarlett from behind, rubbing her belly.
“Hopefully this little girl here is more reasonable than her big sister.” he said softly, while nibbling on Scarlett’s earlobe.
“Which one?” she wondered.
“The one we made ourselves. Why, what’s with Celeste? Don’t tell me our sweet on-loan kid is acting up now too.”
“Of course she is, she is a teen now. And she is pouting, cos you won’t okay the video thingymadoowhop.”
“She’s fucking 14. If she wants to use fancy equipment she can either ask me – or Blake – and we’ll help her in the studio, or she can kiss my rosy red ass. We can talk about expensive equipment when she is 16, maybe.”
“No argument from me. How’s Viv?”
“Urgh.” Blaine made, then drank the coffee Scarlett had poured him earlier.
“That bad, huh? Should I swing by Liam’s and see if I can get him to make the first step? She is still wearing the ring, isn’t she?”
“Yes, she is, mom. For now at least. Now could you guys PLEASE stop talking about me, my ears are falling off from ringing so much!” Vivien growled, as she was entering the kitchen now too.
“Baby, we’re just worried about you, and whatever happened, I am sure Liam didn’t mean it.”
“Oh, he did mean it. Liam thinks all girls want him. Including Nikki and Malik’s dead wife. Well, when she was alive, I mean. Although, as full of himself as he is, probably even in death.”
Blaine snorted the sip of coffee he was taking back into the cup, then turned away coughing laughter, while Scarlett swatted at him.
“I don’t see how that is funny, dad!” unleashed Vivien’s anger on him now.
“I do. Cos I know it happens. I would know.” he told her, somewhat composed.
“Oh, really, do you now?!” Scarlett wondered, her fists on her hips now, looking at him. She was teasing him.
“Yeah, I do! You have no idea how lucky you are, babe, that you got me. Chicks still dig me. Liam sports the same style as me, even wears those suits you girls always go googoo gaga over. Of course women hit on him. I’d be surprised if not. Duh!”
“A BRIDE ON HER WEDDING DAY, dad?! Come on now!” Vivien countered, grimacing.
“She’s still a woman and I have never seen a ring plug a hole, princess! It was a wedding, not a funeral. Oops, well, I guess it was both.” Blaine smirked.
“Dad! OMG – you didn’t!”
“Blaine, really!!” Scarlett punched his arm with her fist.
“Come on now! None of us even knew the dearly departed bride! And if you, young lady, expect me to applaud the fact that your ass was attending Malik’s wedding, wrong address! After all he did to you! And your former bestie Nikki doesn’t smell like roses to your mother and me either, Vivien! Besides, last I heard from Nikki, that wasn’t a match made in heaven between Malik and what-was-her-face-again. He married her to make sure she didn’t take the kid from him and to save on child support. And I don’t trust that fucker! Watch out that he’s not trying to rekindle things with you straight into the bedroom!”
“Dad, seriously! Now you sound EXACTLY like Liam!” Vivien argued.
“Well, goes to show you that your fiancé is a smart kid! And my momma didn’t drop me on my noggin either as a baby. It’s fucking true! That Malik knows very well he squandered something good, probably doing cartwheels that his marriage was shortest on record, so he can have his kid and go after you! Ask your best friend, if she is honest, she’ll confirm it!” Blaine defended his stance.
“Don’t even start with Nikki. That’s the thing that really put me over the edge. Liam also thinks she was hitting on him too. Can you guys believe that?!”
“YES!!!” Blaine said convinced, while Scarlett tried a more subtle approach.
“Well, honey … I hate to say it, but it’s not as outlandish as you may think. She kinda was hitting on him last time they both where here for the pool party. Dad, Blake and I all saw it, no doubt possible.”
“MOM! Seriously!? Whose side are you on?!”
“Yours baby, always yours. Which is why I am not bullshitting you. I like Nikki, but she always had a thing for Liam. And still does. You know how feelings can get in the way with the brain sometimes. I am sure she means no harm, but forgets all when she’s around him. And let’s be honest, Liam is a very – VERY – handsome young man and brings a LOT to the table.”
“HEY HEY HEY!” Blaine frowned.
“Blaine, I am no cradle robber. But I do have eyes and I am still a woman. Liam is very handsome too.” Scarlett told him.
“So, he wasn’t full of shit? He was telling the truth?” Vivien deduced in a small voice.
“Yup. Sure was!” Blaine nodded.
“Yes, baby, unfortunately he was.” Scarlett confirmed as well.
“SHIT! So I really do have trash friends and that means I was wrong. How am I gonna live this down? How am I gonna apologize to him now?”
“Come on, let your daddy drink his coffee, while we have a girls chat.” Scarlett tried to pull Vivien along with her, but Blaine, interfered.
“Whoa whoa whoa …. DADDY will handle this one! Viv, you and I will have a talk, brass tax. A real talk, from a man’s perspective, so you girls don’t have to guess and get everything wrong.”
“Oh, that sounds intriguing! I think I will join.”
“Nope. This is just between my daughter and me. You go and incubate our next daughter some more – elsewhere.”
“Oh, I don’t think that’s gonna happen, Blaine.” Scarlett determined.
“PARENTS! This is about me, hello?! Really huge problem here! Help, please!”
“Chill, princess, daddy’s gotcha. So. Here are the facts. You screwed up. That’s a fact. Liam is probably simmering at home, now that his initial victorious feeling of knowing he was right and you were wrong wore off, he is missing you like hell and shitting his pants thinking he might lose you. So, your mother will take you back home, you will be all sweet and ‘missed you so’, bat those eyes at him and you’ll have a Liam-puddle. And then you go in for the deciding move, the one he can’t resist.”
“What’s that? Dinner?”
“Maybe afterwards. No, the other thing no man can say no to. You give him some nookie that’ll make him dizzy and that boy won’t remember a fight. And I will go puke now, thinking of my little girl doing that. URGH.”
“Blaine! I thought you were going to give our daughter serious advice.”
“That WAS serious advice! We men are simple. Feed us and fuck us, and you have us by the short and curlies. Like puppy dogs – woof!”
“Wow mom. And you are raising 4 children with that man. Well, soon to be 4 at least.”
“Five, counting you. And I know. I am questioning my life choices. At least two of those kids aren’t mine.”
“You girls don’t know good advice when it bites you in the leg! And my genes are superior quality!”
Blaine slapped Scarlett on the butt as he walked off, gave Vivien a wet peck on her cheek, which left her frantically wiping her face, complaining in his wake as he left the kitchen.
“Oh my dad, YOUR husband, seriously! So mom, what do I REALLY do now?”
“Exactly what your dad said. He’s right, you know, but you can’t acknowledge that around a man. Their heads get too big if you let them in on how amazing you think they are. But you got a good one there, don’t let him get away, unless you really cannot help it. Oh, and you know we love to have you and you are always welcome here, but I’ll take you home whenever you’re ready. Let’s not drag this unnecessary fight out any longer than needed.”
“Okay, mom, agreed. Let me freshen up my makeup, steal some of your good perfume, and I’ll be ready to go home. Fingers crossed Liam is as much a Neanderthal as my daddy and his plan works.” Vivien sighed.
“Oh, it will, baby. Just like your dad, Liam loves you too much to let something like this get between you and him. But you really need to take a good, hard look at your life and realize who are Team Vivien and who are imposters. Fair weather friends can really break your neck.”