“Joe E. LewisYou are only young once, and if you work it right, once is enough.“
Windenburg Isle Everett & Maeve's home
The months following the events of the last chapter were filled with engagement parties, weddings and birth announcements. It seemed like the majority of the generation 4 crowd that was old enough, was leveling up their lives.
While Blaine, Scarlett, Chase and Caitlin were visiting with his parents Everett and Maeve in Windenburg, naturally their teen son Chase seized the moment and after what he felt like had been an adequate and polite amount of time spent with grandma and grandpa, he was itching to go to see a certain friend of his in Newcrest. Hailey. After the usual teasing by Blaine and Everett, Rett tossed Chase the keys to one of their cheaper cars, parked on the mainland near the ferry landing, which caused Chase to almost leave a Chase-shaped hole in the wall to get there as fast as possible.
“I could have taken him.” Scarlett said, looking slightly saddened, be it motherly concern about their 16 year old driving, even though he was a vampire and couldn’t exactly die in a car crash, or maybe it was the realization that her little boy was growing up more and more.
“First of all, darlin’, the boy hasn’t told Hailey that his mommy and daddy can randomly pop out of dark clouds yet. Secondly, he wants the car so he’s able to take her places, all the gentleman. And thirdly, he loves you dearly, but the very last thing that boy needs when trying to wrap his head around all that’s going on inside of him right now is his mommy circling his head. He has hormones and urges flaring up like crazy which means he has his hands full trying to keep from exploding all over and speaking from a male perspective, that is tough enough at that age. Him trying to hide a boner while pretending to be casual is not something he wants you to have front row seats to, babe.”
“Oh Blaine, you and your one-track mind! They are just friends, Blaine, both confirmed it!” Scarlett argued the unwelcome idea away. Nope! Not her little Chasey, not yet. Nope.
Everett chuckled in the background, Maeve nodded in agreement with Blaine’s words, generating a worried side-glance by a now lesser confident Scarlett. But Chase was her little boy …
Blaine nudged her before saying.
“Sure they are. Any boy that age is ‘just friends’ with a pretty girl until she let’s him be more. They are both boiling over for having the hots for each other, flashing neon signs wouldn’t be more obvious at this point. They’re just both too dorky to realize what to do with it, and I am hoping for Chase’s sake Hailey does first. Mostly because that particular fruit of our loins cannot seem to figure out what do with his his adorable little fangsies around her or he would’ve already leveled them up by seeing how far his tongue can get down her throat. Nerdy or not, that kid is my son and if I may remind you, they are 16 now. You and I were 15 when we … let’s call it REALLY leveled up, here in Windenburg actually, at Everett Heights in a tent in the midst of winter, but we definitely didn’t get cold. So, no worries, babe, for now at least he has built-in cockblockers growing out of his jaw.” Blaine smirked.
“Oh yeah, those fangs worked wonders stopping his parents.” piped up Maeve.
“Mom, I didn’t have fangs when Letty and I were … friends.” Blaine smirked, wiggling his eyebrows, now purposely flashing his fangs at his mother, who omitted an exasperated grown, shaking her head.
“No, you didn’t, but she did. Didn’t slow her down much. Or you!”
“Oh no it did not. Quite the contrary, I always thought her pointy toothies were sexy as hell! Still do.”
“Good to know you are still going strong with this marriage, considering it’s your second, but please remember to have solid birth control at all times, son. I think five adorable and precious grandchildren are plenty now for your father and me, especially considering three of those are already giving us great-grandchildren. If you take into account all that your uncle Declan’s side of the family is popping out these days, it’s starting to get crowded at family gatherings. I love our family as much as the next Cameron, but that doesn’t mean we need to make it our job to populate the entire world with our DNA.”
“Jeeze mom, let out your feelings once in a while, why don’t you? Besides, you love your grandkids. And we only really made 4. Well I did. Letty and I only made three together. The fifth one was Bristol’s handiwork, which tells you how terrible I did with that first marriage. Bri and I may have split, but I raised her daughter in the end. That was fun, but I like the next batches to be Letty’s and mine exclusively. There is room to grow, right babe?”
“Blaine …” Scarlett sighed demonstratively.
No matter how many times Scarlett shut him down, he kept bringing it up, initially she had tried to reason with him, it was pointless. Like a boomerang, it would come up again and again, anyone’s guess how serious, if at all, Blaine even was about this, so not worth a fight. He just loved pushing people’s buttons too much to get worked up about everything with him. Pick your battles. Especially true with a Blaine Cameron.
“I agree with your mother. You both being vampires making you able to have kids until the dinosaurs roam again is like male spandex. Just because you could, doesn’t’ mean you should.” Everett added bone-dry.
“There you have it. Listen to your father.” agreed Maeve.
“Oh mom, why start now? Right dad?”
“I am not saying anything as long as your son has my car keys. I remember you at his age all too well. It used to make me cry myself to sleep, all those beautiful cars you totaled, but now at my age and living the simple life on an island where you can’t even drive a car, it has become hilarious. Normal teens TP a house, my son wrecks Ferraris, Lambos and McLarens.”
“Dad, I was 14 when I crashed the first car. And also not even a vampire then, still fully mortal and completely unharmed. That should tell you enough. Plus, I didn’t break them to spite you. I broke them because I am me and I rarely make sense. Ask the wife. If he breaks it, I’ll buy you two new ones just like it. So chill.”
“You walking away from crashing MULTIPLE of my babies when you were a bratty teen only confirms to me that the Italian exotics car makers know how to build cars, you little prick! Let that youngest one of yours at least grow up a little more before you two go into production again. Caitlin is barely out of diapers.”
“We are NOT going into production again! There, I said it now!” Scarlett said.
“Yeah, you also said you’d never turn my son. We can see how that went.” Maeve countered, causing Scarlett to deflate.
“Are you EVER going to forgive me for that, Maeve?” she sighed.
“Oh, I have. All forgiven, at least I no longer have to worry about my rainbow baby dying. But a fact is a fact. You did promise you wouldn’t and you still did it. Worked out well for everyone in the end, but that’s not the point.”
Scarlett just gave up at this point.
At least Maeve was nice to her again, genuinely so, no longer the fake polite ways in front of the grandkids, but she really seemed to like her again. Scarlett had never stopped liking Maeve, had mad respect for her. So Maeve being so upset with her really had hurt Scarlett and she was glad to be on her mother-in-law’s good side again. Had taken long enough. Maeve was very sweet to her again, even randomly hugged her, gave her kisses on the cheeks like a real daughter and included her, invited her to spa days and shopping trips during visits, so Scarlett just dealt with the occasional reminders of the ‘accidental turn’.
And if Scarlett was perfectly honest with herself, she no longer regretted the accident, quite the opposite, she was glad it had happened. There had been hell to pay in the beginning, everyone was upset with her, her father, mother, Blaine’s mother, the rest of the family didn’t seem too thrilled, but all got over it eventually, and ultimately for Scarlett this meant she would never have to live in a world without Blaine. Against all odds, Blaine had turned out to be a very responsible vampire and had learned all the necessary rules, skills and tricks in record time, impressing Caleb enough that he was seriously considering inviting Blaine to be the third seat in the vampire legislative council, along with himself and Riordan, since Caelan just couldn’t be bothered with a type of dry ‘desk’ job. Married or not, about to be a father or not, he still enjoyed hunting perpetrators more, his was a very important key role which was exceedingly hard to fill, so Caleb never pressed the issue. For Blaine as a relatively new vampire, he had been turned a few years ago now, to even be considered for a council role was an immense honor in the vampire society. Scarlett would have loved to get that position, but vampires were an ancient breed and sadly, still very misogynistic in their role distribution. In other words, no women allowed, something Scarlett knew had bothered her father for a long time, despite his over 500 years of age he was a very progressive thinker. His council and society was only one of several and he just couldn’t afford to go rogue unless he got a majority vote from the other council leaders. Politics and glass ceilings, even in the the vampire world they existed. But with someone like Blaine as her foot in the door … if ANYONE could sway those old, dusty, crusty men to allow women in lead roles, it would be Blaine. And if it came to play, her degree in politics would finally come in more than handy.
Del Sol Valley
Starlight Accolades Gala Hall
Only two weekends later Hailey was in from Newcrest for another visit, this time to accompany the Camerons to the Starlight Accolade event. Blaine, Vivien, Blake, Mila and Celeste all had been nominated in their respective fields, and Chase usually hated attending, but with Hailey there it would probably be fun. So far he had thoroughly enjoyed watching her eyes go big about all the luxuries and cool things he and his family had access too. He had taken her to watch Celeste record one of her popular unboxing videos, Hailey even got a brief cameo in it, Chase had taken her to the set when Blake was filming a few scenes for an upcoming movie locally, and they had watched Blaine record music in their home studio, knowing Blaine it’s safe to assume he made it a spectacle like a private concert. Chase loved watching Hailey excited like a little girl in the candy store about everything that just seemed normal to him at this point.
The Accolades were THE event, you only even got in the doors if you knew VIPs or were one. Scarlett, Vivien, Celeste and Mila had given Hailey free choice of the formal designer gowns from their own closets along with jewelry to match, then taken her to the spa the day of the event, while Chase was mentally preparing for it all. He loved being this sort of prince in shining armor for Hailey, knowing she would never ask for any of it on her own accord, but willingly took whatever he offered. It made him feel great, but it also made him nervous, praying he wouldn’t put his foot in his mouth or slip up.
He was babbling, he knew he was babbling, but was afraid if he stopped, he would never be able to get another word out all night.
And then there they were, waiting for the event to start, lots of VIPs just loitering around, schmoozing, but Chase had a hard time seeing anything but how beautiful Hailey looked in one of his sister’s designer gowns. He hadn’t even noticed he was daydreaming staring right at her until Hailey tucked on Chase’s sleeve.
He leaned in and she whispered into his ear that she needed the bathroom, but was afraid to go alone, so he went down the long hallways with her, all the gentleman. When they reached the doors, he pointed, she turned, then turned back to him and kissed him.
If Chase had a heartbeat, it would have stopped now, his knees got so weak he could barely keep himself up, and before he could think of how to properly react to it it was over, she smiled at him shyly then hurried through the door. An involuntary smile snuck onto his face when he leaned against the wall, feeling as if he was gonna fall over, before letting out a quick “Whooo!” which still echoed back from the mirrored walls when suddenly his dad stood in front of him, one glance and Blaine’s grin told Chase he knew what was going on.
Chase paled, then blushed deeply, then paled again, which only confirmed Blaine’s guess.
Unlike his usual ways, teasing and snarky comments, both of which Chase braced for, Blaine’s smirk changed to a smile as he pat his son on the shoulder.
“Chill kid, I am happy for ya. Congrats. They are getting ready to start with the ceremony in there, so whenever your pretty little lady comes out of the shitter, make sure you got her back in the seat so she won’t miss out. And don’t worry, I won’t tell. Gotta go take a leak before they start showering the family in more dust collectors again. I can’t be suave and clever up on that stage when I got my diapers full. Oh, and Chase, whatever you do next, make sure to remember we are Camerons and that Cameron Curse is a real thing. Just saying. I’ll always support you, but am good on grandkids for a while, son, if you can help it.”
With a few strides of his long legs Blaine had disappeared into the men’s bathroom, leaving a bright red Chase, right as Hailey came back out. Her cheeks were very flushed too, neither of them spoke, but returned to their seats. One look at his mother after she saw both of them return resembling fire extinguishers and he knew that his dad didn’t have to tell her anything. She knew. Luckily she didn’t say a word, but smiled lightly at him, and he could swear she winked briefly. Either way … this night was special.
Chase had his very first kiss.
While both of them were too embarrassed to speak of it again before Hailey had to be taken to the airport the next morning to fly back home, Chase had a brand-new feeling to wrangle around her, one he didn’t quite understand himself fully yet. Was he falling in love with his friend? Was that a good thing or something to be concerned about?
A lot of his family had been best friends with their partners before, but was he ready for that yet? Was she? Or had she just gotten carried away in the moment, all the celebrities, flashy lights, fancy venue? So many questions, none of which he would be able to answer over a chat or on the phone. That had to wait till he could see her again. Face to face. Just … then what?