San Myshuno Senator Suites Penthouse Home to Liam and Nick Cameron
Aria-Grace bounced down the stairs and into the living area, holding up two dresses on hangers.
“This one …” she asked, holding one up to herself, then switched to the other one, “… or this one?”
“Oof! Do you not have something more normal to wear, sweetheart?” frowned Liam at the options presented.
“She doesn’t need normal. It’s a wedding, Liam! You are supposed to dress up! Hence the term ‘special occasion'” Vivien informed him.
“Yes, a Windenburg wedding, Vivien, not some Del Sol Valley ‘mine-is-better-than-yours-appaloosa! And she is only 13!” he snapped back.
“Are you seriously trying to explain fashion to me now, Liam? To ME?!” Vivien challenged.
“I wouldn’t know where to start and we definitely don’t have enough time before we have to leave, judging by the fact that you are back to overdressing to even take the trash out, or alternatively wearing hussy-outfits with barely enough fabric to make a standard-sized handkerchief! Even the dress you are wearing to my niece’s wedding is held up by little more than a prayer, cos no offense, your boobies are just not enough to even try for that job! I can already see you giving my father and uncle heart attacks when you dance or bend over and end up flashing everyone at that wedding party! Then again, that would basically be only a slight variation from what you do while performing on stage or in your music videos usually, won’t it?” Liam growled back,
This caused their son, 18-year-old Nicholas to interrupt, equally annoyed.
“CAN YOU JUST NOT!? For fuck’s sake, ONE day without you two bickering! Seriously dad, we haven’t seen mom and Aria-Grace in two weeks, and same goes for you mom, you barely made it in the door not even two hours ago and hit the ground running ripping dad a whole stash of new ones for no apparent reason AT ALL. And that on an afternoon where we are all going to my cousin’s wedding. We’re supposed to be happy and jolly! Anyway, AG, what about that pink dress, with the layered skirt. I like that one on you and it is kinda fancy and elegant but simple enough for Windenburg.” Nick interrupted annoyed.
“Pink and layered? Oh, you mean the short one? That’s blush colored, Nick, not pink. But you are right, that would be cute without looking like I am trying too hard. I am gonna try that one!” Aria-Grace told her brother, then turned around and headed back up the stairs.
Nick hurried after her.
“Wait up, AG, I’ll go with you and hang out up there, you can try it on, and then I’ll help you pick accessories. Anything to get both of us away from these two. Oh, and parents, please try not to kill each other before Emmy’s wedding. Do it after if you must.”
The kids left behind two parents looking guilty.
“Dammit, we really can’t help it, can we?” Vivien sighed.
“Have you made the appointment yet? With the marriage counselor?” Vivien asked.
“And why not, Liam? You had ONE job to save our marriage. I am making this easy on you by agreeing to do it in San Myshuno. Do you WANT what’s left of our marriage to fail?! I mean, we are circling the drain fast.” Vivien landed her backhanded accusation.
“NOPE! And I have a little more than one job, Vivien. I was busy helping clean up Reed’s mess. You know, YOUR nephew! The one that got married to some stranger while drunk off his ass in Vegas! And all that while trying to keep up with my own law firm business here locally and getting Nick’s move to U-Brite ready. My day also only has 24 hours!” Liam retorted angrily.
“He’s YOUR nephew too, Liam!” Vivien corrected.
“Not by blood! And I am not claiming that bullshit as my own. Got enough baggage on my side of the family, even without your help.”
“Like it or not, my family is your family by marriage! Why else would Aria-Grace and I have flown across the country to be going to YOUR niece’s wedding, if that weren’t true? And we ARE still married, Liam. Act like it! And put some effort to it that we remain that way! I can’t do this alone.”
“Do this alone? Do what alone? Pick fights with me the moment you walk through that door? Even our son called you out on that. And I am no saint, there is only so much of your bullshit I am willing to swallow till it comes back up with a vengeance! And also, you would be at that wedding regardless, because it’s your precious bestie Caelan’s son getting hitched, so don’t act like you are doing me a favor by going to Emmy’s wedding! Anyway, when is Emmy’s vampire wedding anyway? We don’t have to go to that too, do we?”
“Tonight. They are always at midnight. And it’s not HER wedding, it’s THEIR wedding. But no, we do not go to that one, since none of us have fangs. Vampires and bride only.”
“Oh, it’s HER wedding, all right! Weddings are mostly for the females. We men don’t care about all the pomp and circumstance. Once we decided to get married, we’d be happy just signing a paper and putting on rings. Ask your nephew.”
“Can you PLEASE let that go?! Mila is really upset about that! Her boy just ruined that landmark moment for the whole family. Even if they stay together and have a real wedding eventually, something people can attend and witness, it’s not the same anymore. What an idiot!” Vivien shook her head, while Liam just stood there, looking grumpy, then said in a growly voice.
“There you have it. My point exactly. Weddings are for the females. Reed seems perfectly happy to me. When I first heard about this, I thought I was preparing to battle his money and all out of some golddigger’s grabby claws, but she is a totally wholesome and sweet girl, with a doctor and a teacher for parents, who didn’t know what hit them when suddenly the entire legal fleet of the VIP Cameron family was knocking at their door.”
Windenburg Isle Cameron Estate Home to the bride Emmy (one of the triplets), her parents Abigail & Jay Cameron, her brother Ewan and teenage twins Silas & Sophie. The third triplet, Esmée, already moved out.
After a light knock on the door revealed Leonie, Abigail had pulled her into her bedroom, hugging and kissing her older sister until she didn’t know where up was.
“You made it! Oh man, I am so relieved! You’re home! Finally! And don’t even say it, THIS will always be your home too. And Liam’s!”
“Okay okay, thanks, sissy. I am happy to see you too. Trust me, wasn’t easy leaving the farm, Spring and Autumn are always super-busy for us. And sorry, we couldn’t bring the kids, but one adult had to stay behind, luckily Oliver is a very responsible 18-year-old who knows what needs to be done and who takes good care of his younger siblings. Lucas and Christina would have missed too much school. They are not really the type for weddings and parties anyway. All three of them are happiest digging in the dirt or romping through the fields. Only partially domesticated, my brood.” Leonie laughed.
“I don’t care, we’ll sure miss them, I’ll send some goodies home with you and Zeke for them, Jay and I have been talking about coming to visit this year during Summer break, but I really needed YOU and Liam here. And mom and dad. Liam just texted me before you and Zeke arrived, they are running late. As usual. Vivien decided to change once again right as they were about to walk out. He has so much patience with her! Such a drama queen.”
“He probably learned all that patience from being our brother.” Leonie giggled.
“We weren’t that bad, were we?”
“I wasn’t – you were! Spoiled baby of the family! Nothing but trouble …” Leonie laughed.
“Stop it. Speaking of, how do you look so young still?! You look younger than me and you are several years older! I had to cut my hair short, it got so thin, but that’s pretty much the only thin thing about me these days, while you look like a supermodel. Are you doing something? Surgery, Botox?”
“Ha, as if Zeke and I could afford that! I do help my hair out a little, chemically, such a warm color as mine just looked shabby with white strands coming in, and I dye Zeke-y’s too – with the same hair dye our Liam’s been using since he was in his mid-twenties – HA. I don’t want to look like I were Zeke’s trophy wife, he’d be all gray by now, but the rest is all the farm fresh air all the time and a lot of work on that farm, keeps you fit. Zeke and I are ALWAYS outside. The kids too. I have good kids, never even one ounce of drama, and Zeke is super-easy going, always has been. But you raising triplets and then followed that up with twins, not to mention your baby daddy drama back when! Now you had to deal with 5 teenagers at once! I am shocked you are not all gray yet! I would be! And bald. And in jail for murder. HAHAHAHA!”
“No kidding! Those were some rough seas, but Jay has been so great. We’re still happy, can you believe it? I couldn’t stand him when we first met! HATED his GUTS! Such an arrogant prick he was until grandma and grandpa took him under their wings. I wish they could be here.”
“Me too, and oh yeah, you hated Jay so much that you jumped his bones the moment you met him, while trying to patch things up with Elliott. Slut-puppy you!” laughed Leonie, Abby chimed in while swatting at her sister.
“Shut up! I was young, dumb and confused. That was such a terrible time back then! Speaking of, seriously now, I cannot believe Elliott won’t be here to give Emmy away. Why did that sucker have to die so young? For real this time, I mean.”
“Well, he played dead once, karma came got him and made him dead for real. You don’t do that, fake your own death. I always thought that was shitty of him. Or if he did, then why not stay fake-dead but no, instead he just had to come back and screw up everyone’s lives like he had. Is his wife gonna be here with their son?”
“Doubt it. We invited them, out of courtesy, but never heard back so I am gonna assume they’ll be no-shows. We tried to keep in touch, but it was just so awkward, and Elliott was never the warm personality type, the military training and all. Even the kids didn’t want to go see him anymore as they got older, so he came here when he could, and then that got less and less. He was busy with his family, we were busy with our lives, it just fizzled out. And then we got the call that he was dead. By that time, I had not seen him in months, neither had the kids. And even today, Emmy hasn’t even mentioned him at all.”
“There you go, and why would she? She had a whole village raising her and her siblings. But a vampire groom? Abby … oh my God. Liam’s vampire in-laws were already too close for comfort for me, but having them in your family now too? And someone from that Vatore clan again, all I know is they are some vampire big-wigs. Yikes. Doesn’t that worry you?”
“Of course it does! But what can I do? She met him years ago and they have been sneaking around ever since, no matter what we told her. There was no stopping it, I mean, he’s a vampire. If he wants to see her, he can just appear anywhere and I am pretty sure he has. And they can be dangerous, so Jay and I weren’t gonna risk pissing them off, although my husband and his damn temper came awfully close a few times. That Connell always treated Emmy like a queen though. You should see them together. Sickeningly sweet. Except that time he brought his parents to our home – no warning – and they both revealed to all four of us that they loved each other and were already engaged, which was horrifying enough even before Connell then started assuring Jay and me that he would not sleep with her until she was 18. Was that supposed to make us feel better about this?! NO parent wants to hear their daughter’s boyfriend spew that! Sorry, fiancé. Maybe that’s a thing among the fangs, but I just about had it then, and Jay just totally flipped out. Plus – the clothes they sometimes wear. UGH! I bet that vampire wedding is gonna be all Victorian era gowns and powdered wigs and all.” Abby giggled.
“Oh my God, take photos! I MUST see that!” Leonie laughed.
“Umm … I would, but I won’t be there, we’re not invited. Only the bride. And vampires. Nobody else.”
“You won’t be at your own daughter’s wedding?” Leonie got serious.
“Not the vampire one. It’s okay, one wedding is plenty for me and I much rather have that be this one here, and none of the vampires will be here, except the groom and his parents. My baby is getting married here, at the Cameron Estate. Oh Leonie! Where you and I got married too, and our parents before us. Remember their double-wedding with uncle Jordan and aunt Jenna? A small part of me had always hoped that my triplets would all get married the same day in some triple wedding, but of course that was silly. Oh Leonie, Emmy chose the spot under the tree with the carved heart and mom and dad’s initials carved in as the spot to say their vows. How romantic is that, Leo?! Squee!”
“Extremely sweet, but I tell you what, Abs. If any of my kids ever bring home a vampire, I am breaking out the garlic and stake and chase that sucker off the farm! This is ridiculous! Two separate weddings with half the guests at each?! Who does that?! She’s not gonna move to that creepy castle Liam told us about, right? That is where the groom is from, right?”
“Yeah, born and raised. I am not sure. I hope not, at least not permanently. They won’t live here, obviously, or Jay would have a heart attack with a vampire permanently under our roof, and they did tell us that she will have to live at the castle for a while, to learn stuff, rules, history, customs and all that when you are married to a vamp, especially one from their royal family or whatever they are. Connell said if she doesn’t like it, he will find them a nice home that she will like. And he swore to me he would not turn my daughter. If he does, I promise you, Leo, I WILL go van Helsing on that whole family! My poor little girl!”
“I’d help you! Hopefully she won’t stay there. And hopefully their next home won’t be in some catacombs or on a cemetery or something like that.”
“STOP IT! You’re not helping! I am already super-sad, her sister, Esmée already moved out. She and her brother are taking business classes to one day take over Cameron Enterprises from our dad, isn’t that sweet, Leo? But my babies … they are growing up too fast now! Make it stop!”
“Sorry. It’s rough when they grow up and fly the coop, but we did too, Abs and we always come back. A LOT! Well, Liam and I did, you kinda always stayed near mom and dad. Don’t worry about Emmy, I am sure wherever she ends up living, it will be dreamy, vampire husband or not. I mean, look at uncle Blaine. They are all vamps and his mansion is to die for. Ha, no pun intended. I literally got lost for real there once, trying to find a bathroom, so big, but totally modern and uber-chic! Hey, sis, can I see the bride? I am DYING to see her dress.”
“YES. Oh, she looks like an angel, Leonie! Come!”
THE WEDDING and RECEPTION at the Cameron Estate in Windenburg
The bride, groom and their parents. On the left Emmy with her mom Abigail and stepdad Jay, on the right groom Connell with his mom Rhiannon and father Caelan.
THE WEDDING and WEDDING NIGHT at Vatore Castle in Forgotten Hollow