There is pleasure in the pathless woods,
there is rapture in the lonely shore,
there is society where none intrudes,
by the deep sea, and music in its roar;
I love not Man the less, but Nature more.
Granite Falls & San Myshuno
Blaine 25, Viktoria 24
The days following the wedding were spent relaxing in the woods.
Our honeymoon of sorts, since we were not only unable to afford much more than that, but neither of us was keen on going to any beaches or the usual vacation spots, especially if it would involve airplanes.
Blaine was mostly back to his old self again, yet, he had changed in some subtle ways. Sure, there were the usual hangups you’d expect to see from someone who suffered such traumatic events, but he seemed to have a new appreciation for life in general, his life in particular and our life together as a main focus of his.
Caleb had been by for a visit just before we left for Granite Falls to tell us Lilith got herself knocked up by a guy who didn’t want to take responsibility, she lost her temper and turned him, leaving Caleb to search for the confused man to get him to safety before he ended up transforming in bright daylight far from any shelter. Blaine didn’t crack his usual insensitive jokes, but offered to help find him and take him to Caleb’s, then offered our help once the baby would be born.
Neither Blaine nor I knew a thing more about babies than Caleb or Lilith, but the fact that he’d offer, trying to be a good friend, was new. Caleb’s quick, surprised glance at me after Blaine’s offer told me I wasn’t the only one thinking that.
Please don’t think Blaine had completely matured. Oh no, not by a long shot. the sarcastic annotations and big mouth were still strong with that one. But there was a depth to him now that hadn’t been there before. Hard to explain.
Back to the camping trip.
“Godamn it, not that now!” I heard Blaine curse, which pulled me back to my reality, after a few seconds of watching him run around like a chicken with the head cut off, I realized the beautiful sun had suddenly vanished, it had started to rain and gotten pitch-black out. I quickly helped bring the rest of our gear to safety, then Blaine pulled me into the small tent with him where he peeled my dripping wet clothing off me, rubbed me dry, then tossed his dripping shirt and jeans aside and … well, I am sure you can image what followed, knowing Blaine. Honeymoon activities, if you catch my drift.
The next day greeted us with lovely sunshine again, the overnight rain had made the forest scent strong, the air was crisp and clear, just a beautiful day. We had a simple breakfast, then decided to go hiking.
After walking for hours mostly in silence, both of us probably just reveling in and still trying to process the events of the past few weeks, but Blaine silent for such an extended period of time was unusual and pretty much unheard of, so I finally said
“I can’t believe you wanted to come here, after everything. Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea.”
Obvious worry rang from my words, but Blaine just briefly chuckled, then replied
“Do I hear my lovely wife launch a complaint about our lame honeymoon destination?”
“Of course not, you know I love it here. I am just worried about you being in such a situation again. I am afraid it could trigger bad memories.”
“What situation? Camping? Hiking? The bad singing from the tent next to ours last night? What bad memories did we have with either?”
“Not camping or hiking or noisy tent neighbors. The jungle. I am afraid this could bring up bad stuff from your terrible time as a hostage of those cartel guys. Starting to wonder if we shouldn’t have come here.”
Blaine stopped, pulled me close and his face now inches from my face, he kissed me, then told me.
“Babe, this is nowhere near the jungle. This place screams good memories to me. It is the place your mother had been taking us to since we were little. I didn’t even know what the words ‘vacation’ and ‘woods’ meant before she did, I learned so much here in this forest, about life and about myself, I have always loved coming here, this has always been a sanctuary to me, and I do not see how that would change. This is not a jungle. I don’t even blame the jungle itself, it’s beautiful there, and one day I hope I can take you there, but the woods are one of my most favorite places to be, especially if you are with me. No, babygirl, this forest is therapeutic to me, if anything. Now shut up and save your breath, we have a murderous incline ahead and I ain’t carrying all that junk in your trunk after all the wedding cake you ate.”
Blaine was surprised when I tackled him to the ground.
“Screw you, Cameron!” I told him as I fell atop him and we began to wrestle in the still slightly damp grass.
“Funny, now that you are a Cameron too, all this sounds like is an offer – and I am game!” he laughed, I joined in after he pulled me into his arms and I had to ward off his attempts to tickle me.
After some giggling and play-fighting we remembered we were far from our campsite and should get going, so we both scrambled back to our feet.
“You know what is never to be found in these woods after a nocturnal downpour?” Blaine asked after we had been walking for a while again.
“Other hikers! We’ve been roaming for hours now and not run into a single person. You know what that means, right?”
“Means we can be as crazy as we want to be! Anywhere we want to be, not just in our little tent …”
“Oh no. Blaine – no! Just no. Absolutely no.”
“Oh yes! My magic wand is finally functional again and I intend to use it till I see smoke coming off it. We are celebrating, this is a honeymoon. And you are now my wife and obligated to put out.”
“That is some steaming bullshit, Blaine! Welcome to the twentyfirs….hmph!”
Well, again, you can imagine how this went for me.
Blaine was nothing if not persistent and before you get upset, he isn’t some misogynist, just loved few things more than pushing my buttons for distraction so he could surprise me.
Once we arrived back at camp after several more of Blaine’s ‘magic wand celebration moments’ along the way – and truth be told, I was trying so hard to be the adult here, but he was just so dreamy, I had missed him so much and he just knew how to touch me, well, anyway, it literally took me almost 20 minutes in the nasty public showers near the campsite to rid myself of all the wet pine needles all over my body.
Those people complaining about sand after romantic interludes on a beach have NO idea how good they have it.
Pine needles are the devil!
All good things must come to an end, even our honeymoon.
As the weeks passed, a sense of routine and normality returned, after work I often I would spend my nights visiting with Blaine tending the bar and performing at the Skyline, which was literally only a few steps from the apartment building we lived in.
Just like that very night, Friday, always a busy night at the bar.
I had just returned to my bar stool, and put my head on the bar, followed by Blaine’s worried glances.
Not my usual behavior in public, but I was so exhausted and could barely keep my eyes open, let alone upright.
Blaine finished up serving his customer their ordered beverage, then leaned over to me, while gently rubbing my hand.
“Maybe we should get you home. You don’t look so good, babygirl.” he said unusually serious.
I sat up straight, then answered as firmly as I could muster.
“I am fine. I want to see you perform. Just a stomach bug going around trying to knock me out. I’ll be okay.”
I smiled at him bravely, doubtful I was fooling anybody, while my insides were riding some internal roller coaster again.
I wasn’t fine.
I didn’t look fine.
Stomach flu? Maybe. Felt more like the black plague if you asked me.
I managed to make it through the entire night, crowded as usual on nights Blaine was scheduled to perform.
He really had a lot of fans. Almost all female. Well … can’t really say I blamed them.
I could probably have dealt with the stares, the drooling over him, but some of those chicks were pretty forward with showing him how much they thought of him, maybe that was due to the liquid courage sold here, after all, this was a bar.
I just preferred to hang around and stake my claim if need be. Hey, I never said I wasn’t at least a little bit jealous.
Once he was done with his last song, he hopped off stage and took me straight home. His shift at the bar was over anyway.
I was so miserable by the time we had arrived at the apartment, I felt like the walking death and most likely looked it too.
Blaine kissed me gently, with a sudden groan I pushed him away and ran to the bathroom. When I was done dry-heaving I noticed him in the cracked door looking at me.
“Privacy?” I moaned.
“No such thing in this tiny place with paper walls, you might as well be puking out in the living room. If you are done now, brush your teeth, you are going night-night.”
“Okay.” I didn’t argue, firstly because I was in no condition to and secondly, Blaine being so nurturing felt good. Safe. Like home. He helped clean me up, got me out of my clothing – this time without even the hint of an attempt of anything sexual – then helped me into my sleepwear and tucked me in.
I fell asleep the minute my head hit the pillow while Blaine just looked at me sleeping, his face somber, till he shook his head, then left the room, quietly pulling the door shut behind himself.
When I woke the next morning, I could smell breakfast and coffee. It made me smile. Aww. In all the years we had been living together now, Blaine had finally learned to cook some basics without burning the house down.
Still smiling I entered the living area, Blaine looked up and smiled as he poured my coffee, I went to kiss him good morning like we always did.
“Feeling better?” he asked gently.
“Great! Sit that cute butt down, babygirl, breakfast is ready and serving up now.”
I slid onto one of the bar stools and smelled the yummy food Blaine had arranged with great care on the plate he placed in front of me.
He sat down next to me and told me to ‘dig in’, right as my stomach rumbled loudly, I swear the neighbors heard it. Man, I was hungry!
“Hmm, smells delicious! I am famished. Oh no!” I could get out then had to run for the bathroom.
When I returned and sat down at the bar I looked down on a cup of coffee, a plate of breakfast and … something else.
“Blaine? What the hell is this?” I pointed at the item on the counter between us that had not been there before.
Yes, I knew full well what that was, just couldn’t believe I saw one on my counter.
“A pregnancy test, which you will take now. If that comes back negative, I am taking you straight to the hospital.”
“Babygirl, you are taking that or I am following you to the bathroom every time waiting for my chance to hold some stick into your pee. Choose wisely, you know I am not one for empty threats. I am no doctor, but I think this is pretty obvious now. Your ‘stomach bug’ has been going on for almost two weeks. Either you are knocked up or you have some alien eating your insides. You know how jealous I get, so that shit needs to go.”
“Blaine, honey, I am on birth control you know I am religious about it. You use birth control. This is not that. It’s a stomach flu. A long flu. Or maybe I just keep reinfecting myself.”
“Or is it? We slipped up a few times since I got back, where I didn’t wrap up my goods before we got busy. Maybe your birth control alone was just not strong enough for my proud and eager lil swimmers. And we have been doing an awful lot of humping since the wedding. Even by my standards. Half the woods have our bare butt prints now. Timing checks out too.”
“I hope you are wrong, cos that would be really bad, Blaine.”
“Why? Ha, why he asks. Are you serious now Blaine? A baby? Are you kidding me? How much time do you have for me to run down the endless list with you how that would be detrimental?”
“Not like we could do much about it if that is it. Shit like that happens. Other people can make it work, I have faith in us. If Lilith and Caleb plus her baby daddy can pull this off, so can we. I mean, come on now. So go and check if we hit that baby lottery or not.”
“Are you excited? You sound excited.”
“Seriously?! Because what you are saying makes a lot of sense and I am freaking out here.”
“Ah, I got a head start on you there. I moved past the freaking out part already and have arrived at excited now. You’ll get there. Now go confirm what we already know.”
“I don’t wanna.”
“Yes, you do!”
“Nope. And the breakfast is getting cold. Would be a shame.”
“Fine, eat up, buttercup. I know you are stalling. So we will eat now, then while I clean up and start looking up baby names on the computer, you pee on a stick. The man of the house has spoken, the wifey will now obey, just like the nice priest at our wedding told you to.”
“That priest and you can go fuck yourselves!” I told Blaine between bites.
“Sounds like there is a lot of fucking myself in my future anyway …. once you have that big baby belly and hormonal rages.”
“You know I am always up for such kinky stuff, but I think that would be bad for the BABY!”
“I HATE you!”
Chuckling, Blaine blew kisses my way as I grabbed the pregnancy test off the counter and disappeared into the bathroom.
I stared at the little white and blue stick like it was a magic wand and by staring at it I could swing its vote in my favor.
My heart was racing.
This was such a scary situation to me. I wasn’t ready. We lived in a tiny apartment and were light years away from being able to afford a house. Or baby stuff. I had gone with Caleb and Lilith to get some things for her baby, even though she was just at the beginning of her pregnancy, they wanted to be ready and we found out together that baby stuff is very expensive. Definitively not in our budget.
And then the other aspect.
I knew not the first thing about raising a child, neither did Blaine. Why was he so excited was beyond me, he had always said he would never continue his – and I quote – fucked up bloodline and genes. But he also had always sworn he’d never marry, yet, here we were. But becoming parents so soon after we only just got married, right after Blaine’s – and by extension my – traumatic event thinking he could be dead?
Inhaling deeply, I was finally done glaring at the poor innocent wand, read the instructions from the box, then got to peeing on a stick, my hands shaking. When I joined Blaine in the bedroom, I was shocked to really find him at the computer looking at baby name sites as he said he would.
“And?” he smiled my way.
“Five minutes. I set a timer.”
“What do you think about Vivian for a girl, flows well with Cameron. Maybe Hope, since you know we went through a lot of that … or Rayne, since she was possibly conceived in the rain, or maybe it was the wedding night but I cannot come up with good names like that. Maybe Rayne is too hippie for us. Boys names are seriously hard, but I dig strong stuff like … Liam .. Jay … maybe Everett since one of the possible points of conception was Everett Heights.”
“What?” I asked confused. I felt like standing at a gaping cliff, staring into the deep dark abyss, while Blaine stood next to me, chipper, wondering what name to give the abyss.
“No likey? I am open for counter-offers. This is harder than it seems.”
I could only stare at him, then winced when the alarm on my phone went off, so I stared at that.
I couldn’t move, just stared at the buzzing phone in my hand until Blaine took the phone out of my hand and turned it off for me.
He gave it back to me with a quick peck on the cheek, I stood there staring at the phone in my hand as if I had never seen it before, until I realized Blaine had disappeared towards the kitchen. Or bathroom!
“Blaine, wait!” I exclaimed, hurrying after him.
“What is it? Don’t tell me you gotta puke again! You’re gonna be a raisin before long if you keep that up!”
“No. Don’t look. Let’s just … wait.”
“Wait for what, babygirl?”
“I … don’t know.”
“Well, too late, I already peeked.”
“Congratulations mama.” he smirked at me.
“Oh God!” I exclaimed as my tiny bit of hope perished.
“Ah, just keep calling me Blaine … come here babygirl.”
Blaine said nothing anymore, just pulled me close and kissed me, over and over again, holding on to me while I was trying to flee so I could panic somewhere in peace, which he probably anticipated and hence smothered me with affection until I calmed down.
AN: No, this was not planned. 🙂
While I do not want a remake of the original legacy, some things are bound to be similar, and a mod just decided the timing for us.
No worries, we’ll roll with the “Cameron Curse”.
I do play with very much extended lifespans and pregnancy lengths so we have quite some time to prepare ourselves before the birth. 🙂
To those of you who may not know this, I let carefully calibrated mods handle story progression/genetics in game, I will not influence pregnancies (incl. gender/number), deaths, marriages, break-ups, genetic features, and the like.