“The longer you hide your feelings from someone, the more you fall for them.”Anonymous
Forgotten Hollow Vatore Manor Evening of the Prom
Upon realizing that going to Junior Prom with a girl could be a big recovery moment for Blaine, his family had hired a car and driver for him and his date. Blaine’s also fifteen year old twin cousins Jamie and Jordan had prom dates to be picked up at opposite ends of town in Windenburg, which occupied both their parents as drivers. Living on the car-free Windenburg isle, the family only owned two cars now, which remained parked near the ferry landing on the mainland.
Currently, Caleb Vatore and his wife were standing in the lobby of Vatore Manor, their son Caelan between them, all of them measuring up Blaine, making him feel naked in his formal suit, especially when Scarlett’s younger brother gleefully asked
“So, are you gonna kiss Scarlett and stuff?” then winked, demonstratively.
Blaine blushed into a firework of deep reds and purples, rendered speechless, while Caleb’s eyes seemed to fall from their sockets, but Breana Vatore giggled embarrassed before she turned to her son.
“Caelan, my sweet baby boy, how do you come up with such things at barely 13!? Your sister and Blaine are just going to dance and have fun as the prom rings in another chapter of Blaine’s young life. Now off to your room with you, I need to check on Scarlett, she may need my help again.” she told the boy as she gently, but very determined, pulled him along with her and out of sight and hearing distance.
“In his rather unrefined manner my son did raise a valid point. I am sure I do not have to tell you this, but my daughter is not a toy, you understand me, young Blaine? I would hate for you to be too much like your late great-grandfather in this aspect, I loved and respected your namesake very much, but not his way with women before your great-grandmother was back in the picture, especially not if it comes to my little girl. I am, above all, a father, and would not take very kindly to finding out you mistook my little girl, the apple of my eye, for some temporary plaything. Whatever you do or say to her, you had better be sincere! I cannot claim to have any personal experience with any of those proms, but I am well aware of what type of things happen there customarily and I want you to put all that out of your mind entirely. This goes double for my daughter, as there is much more at stake here than a broken teen girl’s heart. Did I make myself clear?”
“Yes, Mr. Vatore, but Scarlett and I are only friends. Well, maybe not even really friends, more like acquaintances, even. Scarlett is just nice enough to help me out, because I don’t really know anyone well enough at Windenburg High, and most girls would only go with me for ulterior reasons, plus Scarlett said she was curious to see what proms are like. You have my word I won’t do anything weird with her. I swear it. Besides, Scarlett isn’t really the type of girl who would let anyone do anything she wouldn’t want anyway, no offense, but she is pretty …. ahem … strong-willed.” Blaine said in some boost of confidence.
Caleb opened his mouth to respond, but was interrupted by the echo of heels on the stairs, both men turned and soon after Scarlett came into view, both men stared on. Caleb was the first to find his words, while Blaine still could only stare with his mouth hanging open.
“Oh, my little girl, look at you, you look absolutely beautiful. You and your mother did a wonderful job.” Caleb swooned, sounding like everything but a scary vampire now.
“You like it, daddy?” she asked, for a split-second her eyes met Blaine’s who felt close to a heart attack.
“I do not like it, not one bit, my petal. My rose blossom, you look way too grown up, too much like the young woman you are becoming and not enough like my pig-tailed little girl anymore. Oh, non mi piace. Il mio cuore soffre! But Blaine, son, what have you to say? After all, she looks like this for you, not me.” Caleb turned to Blaine, who stared back like a deer in the headlights.
Blaine croaked a response, it was supposed to be an agreeing yes, but sounded like a creaky old door.
“Oh, mia cara, mia bella principessa!” Caleb ignored Blaine, instead swooned in Italian again at his daughter who had meanwhile reached the bottom of the stairs, took her hands, pulling them up to his lips, then breathed a kiss on her fingertips. Blaine felt as if he were in some old-fashioned movie scene.
“Ah, grazie! Ti amo, papà!” Scarlett replied in perfect sounding Italian, making Blaine feel incapable, as he watched Caleb ever so gently kiss his daughter’s forehead.
Blaine was almost too nervous to be able to walk with Scarlett down the long, windy path down to the street, where the driver was waiting for them. His legs seemed made of rubber of a sudden. If he tripped over himself and fell right in front of her now, he would hang himself immediately from the next best tree! For sure!
“You look really … uh … umm … ravenous.” Blaine tried for the best sounding compliment he could come up with, taken aback when it generated laughter.
“For your sake I hope you meant ravishing, if I were ravenous, you’d be in serious trouble! Sorry, just a vampire joke. But thank you Blaine. It’s my cousin’s dress, not exactly the typical prom style from what I could Google, but I hope it works, was the best I could do on such short notice. It was the only thing that fit me that didn’t scream ‘vampire’ too loudly. My kind tends to attend a lot of formal events in pretty strange clothing, nothing which would fly too well at a mortal prom.”
“Oh yeah, it works! Oh, it totally works. Man, does it work. Ahem, I mean … you look … not vampire-y at all. Uh, that didn’t come out right either. I mean you look great. Like one of those women at the award shows. Trust me, I have been to plenty of them, and you are prettier then all of them.”
This time it was her who blushed, as she smiled and averted her gaze, while nervously fidgeting with her bracelet.
By the time they arrived at Windenburg High they had laughed a lot on the car ride over. Leaving the comfort and imagined security of the backseat, Blaine felt exposed, the cold breeze reminding him that this was his first date since … well … Karlie. And it wasn’t even really a date, although, it sure felt like one. He was nervous and awkward. Where had all his confidence gone? Once upon a time nothing could faze him, least of all pretty girls. Hmm.
“Wow, this is great. Look at all that! Awesome …” she swooned, Blaine felt relieved. She liked it. Phew.
They entered, he noticed the eyes of several girls on him as they checked in, some openly flirted with Blaine right under Scarlett’s nose, he did his best to gloss over it, smiled, then entered the dance hall with his prom date, realizing it wasn’t girls per se that made him nervous and awkward, but a certain girl. He was fine, bursting with confidence around all the other ones. He had wondered around that in class and recess. Girls talked to him all the time, and it did nothing to him then. Hmm.
“I feel like a true princess now. A Junior Prom Princess …” Scarlett giggled.
“Hey, you are like royalty. Told me so yourself, and you live in what looks like a castle. Not a far stretch at all, your highness.” Blaine teased.
“Well, my Del Sol Valley prince, come on then, let’s go get us some of the spiked whatever they always drink in the movies…” Scarlett smirked and winked at Blaine.
“You watch too many teen flicks … it’s not really like this.” Blaine told her as he casually planted his arm on her shoulders, testing if she would allow it. She did, even responded in kind by wrapping her arm around his waist, making him feel giddy inside. Blaine wondered if hand-holding would be approved as well, when two familiar voices called his name.
“Blaine! Hey!” Jamie and Jordan joined them, sans their dates, eyeing Scarlett curiously.
“Uh, Scarlett, this is Jamie and that Jordan, they are obviously twins and my cousins. I am living with them, their parents and our grandparents temporarily here in Windenburg. Guys, this is Scarlett, she is Riordan’s cousin. Caleb’s daughter.” Blaine made introductions. Normally he liked hanging with his cousins, but tonight he wished they hadn’t spotted them. He was making such good progress before they showed up.
The twins greeted them, clearly staring at Blaine’s date. They said nothing, but both knew about the Vatores’ secret and how important it was to keep it save. Still, seeing a known vampire out in public, at their own high school junior prom like that … a pretty girl at that, well, it was a different animal than Riordan, whom they were used to.
“So you two are Declan and Rory’s kids then? I think I met Declan once, I do know Rory, she’s been over to Ri’s place a few times, but I know Natty and Brendan better. They would be your grandparents, right?” Scarlett tried for polite banter.
“Right. Our dates are in the bathroom, at least I think so, unless they ditched us or something, they’ve been gone forever now, I swear. Maybe it’s a girls’ thing. But whenever they get back, IF they do, we should totally get a table together!” Jordan smiled, while shrugging.
“Of course they’ll be back, dumbass, they were all smiles and all before, means we didn’t mess up, so why would they leave us? Duh! And girls ALWAYS go to the bathroom together to discuss us and then redo their hair and makeup and all, right Scarlett? But you guys should go get some lemonade. Two people spiked it and now it is seriously loaded, you can smell the alc from five feet away! Better enjoy it before one of the chaperones figures it out.” Jamie chuckled.
“Just in the movies, huh, Blaine? Nice meeting you both, but we are going to get some of that lemonade … and then I want to dance! We’ll catch up with you both and your lucky ladies later, okay? Come on, Blaine!” Scarlett said, then took Blaine’s hand and pulled him along.
Blaine obliged and they ended up having a lot of fun, neither of them were any good at dancing as they discovered, but that didn’t stop them and made for much laughter.
After several hours they went into the school hallway to cool down and get away from the loud music and strobe lights for a moment. Blaine watched Scarlett, their eyes met and she turned to face him, for a while they stood there just lost in each other’s eyes, in what felt like an almost trance or a dream, until he gently wiped a strand of her long hair from her face, then bend down to kiss her. Almost instantly she struggled away from him.
“No – stop! What are you doing?!” she sounded terrified.
“I … I …. thought you wanted me to … kiss you.” Blaine felt horrified.
“I don’t date mortals! I don’t kiss mortals!” she quickly said, looking startled.
“What?! Why?!” Blaine wondered.
“Because. That’s why! I just don’t. You’re not my type. And you’re too mortal. And you are too young, I don’t date guys same age as me. And I don’t like skinny men! You are like a skeleton, no girl likes that!” Scarlett looked discombobulated and nervous as she rattled down dubious sounding reasons.
“Oh wow! Ouch! Don’t hold back, will ya? Well, I am so sorry then, I guess. I misread the situation …”
“Yeah, I guess so. Let’s just forget this happened. We’ll blame it on the spiked lemonade. But I do kinda want to go home now. Can you please take me home right away?” Scarlett still seemed shaken, not her usual confident self.
“Yeah, sure …” Blaine agreed, barely hiding his disappointment. What just happened?
The car ride was quiet, neither of them spoke, Scarlett stared out the window the entire time and Blaine was replaying the evening in his head, trying to figure how he could have been so wrong. Maybe it really was him. Something was wrong with him. Had to be. Probably not the cornucopia of reasons Scarlett listed, as it was plain to see they were just some made-up bullshit. He may do stupid stuff at times, but he was no fool and wasn’t buying it. Still, he just couldn’t seem to win for losing. Girls seem to either want him for his parents’ money and fame, or didn’t want him at all. Nothing was ever real. This had felt like something real, but apparently, that wasn’t the case. Again.
The driver parked at the bottom of the long, dark and creepy path up to Scarlett’s home, despite feeling very uncomfortable at the thought, Blaine insisted on walking her to the door.
Once they reached it, she turned to him, giving him the sweetest smile.
“I am sorry, Blaine, really. I didn’t mean it like it came out. Sorry. Hope I didn’t ruin your prom for you.”
“Nah, you didn’t. It was a lot of fun, our crappy dancing, hanging with my cousins and their dates. Well, except for … ya know. Sorry again. Hope I didn’t ruin it for you with that … kiss thing and … uh …”
That was how far he got when she quickly leaned forward, pulled his head down and kissed him, his knees just about gave out and he had no more words. He had kissed girls before, plenty of them, before the Karlie-incident. This was the first kiss since then, been almost a year. And what a kiss it was. Man. This was so far from peck-on-the-cheek-goodnight-kiss as you could get.
When she pulled away again they stared at each other, both breathless and surprised, until she gave him the sweetest smile, before walking inside she said
“You didn’t ruin anything. I almost did. Sorry for the drama.”
“So, you do date skinny, mortal, young men who are not your type then after all, huh?” Blaine teased with some newly discovered courage.
“Well, let’s not go that far, but I can admit may have exaggerated a bit, because I was so afraid my fangs could turn you off. Just don’t say anything, I was so never going to tell you that. So, let’s just drop it. Erase and rewind, okay? And thank you again, Blaine. Best night of my life! Goodnight!”
One last look, a brief touch of the back of her hand against his cheek which sent shivers down his spine, before she quickly went inside, the door shut, leaving him with a smile.
Best night of her life, she had said, it repeated in his head like some tremendous form of recognition. Maybe all wasn’t lost with her. She had her own fears to deal with. Her fangs. Ha! Who would have ever guessed that? Not him!
So she did she not want him to kiss her, but then ended up kissing him?! Or did she regret saying no, then changed her mind on the car ride back home? But why, she had fangs before and still had them now. Made no sense at all. Girls … seriously. Nothing but confusing to him. Either way, a kiss was a kiss and she liked the date. Score!
With a far-away smile he barely even noticed the creepy and dark long way back to where the driver was hopefully still waiting for him.
Forgotten Hollow was scary and creepy on a sunny day, but at night it was enough to frighten even the most secure souls to their core.
Inside Vatore Manor things looked different.
Sighing and smiling, Scarlett leaned against the door from the inside, closing her eyes, reliving the moment of her first date, first prom and first kiss.
“Wow! Man … wow! That was … amazing!” she mumbled contently, but jumped when her father suddenly roared.
“Scarlett Vatore! I cannot believe my eyes! You kissed him! YOU … kissed … HIM!” Caleb ranted.
“Maybe you shouldn’t have been spying on me then! Or get glasses. I don’t know what your problem is.” she immediately snapped back at her father.
“I beg your pardon?! Young lady, I do not appreciate your tone! How dare you go around kissing boys you barely know, and in this X-rated sort of way?! He assured me, gave me his word that you were only friends, acquaintances even!”
“Well, sometimes things change, daddy. And sometimes it doesn’t take hundreds of years! Some people just don’t have that kinda time!”
“Excuse me?! That may well be the case, but it certainly SHOULD take longer than but a few hours for you to kiss some boy though! And had it only been just a kiss, but no, how could you stand there and kiss him in such a manner it would make a sailor blush, nearly offering yourself up to him!? My precious daughter!? Unbelievable!”
“Oh, daddy just leave me alone! This is complicated enough already without you adding your dad-drama to it! I have much bigger and REAL problems to deal with!” Scarlett snapped at him, silencing Caleb, shocked by her brash behavior, as he watched her run up the stairs.
“What was that now?! I must have been dreaming this, a terrible nightmare. Oh, but I can almost hear you laughing at me, wherever you are now, Blaine Cameron, the original one, gleeful at the headache your great-grandson and namesake is bestowing upon me right now by way of my very own daughter! Well, if roles were reversed I would probably laugh at this too. Why does every other generation of Camerons and Vatores not seem to want to understand the complications of vampire and mortal unions? We went through this with Riordan and Ana before, now here we are again. Hopefully this is just a fling. Not all that all over again!” Caleb mumbled to himself.