Nothing that you plan is going to work out.
Everything is going to be totally different than the way you expected.
And things will constantly challenge you.
Nothing is ever what it seems.
Windenburg New Downtown Captain's Hook Bar
Another couple of months passed, another stop on a PR tour brought Blaine and Bristol back to Windenburg again, Jordan and Jenna were still going strong, better than ever, so much so in fact that they were house hunting together at the moment. No engagement and no immediate plans for one, but they wanted to move in together and see how they did living with each other for a while.
Jamie and Averie were also still just engaged, but had started to save up for and discuss ideas for a wedding. It was the early stages and they were still all over the place with ideas, so this would not be happening for a good while either.
Of course Blaine and Bristol were still engaged, still held on to the agreement to not start discussing marriage until after both had turned 25, they were still happy and still jet-setting together, when the three couples went out to a rustic bar, talking and laughing together.
Then, at some point, Blaine looked up, out the window, straight into a pair of silvery grey eyes.
A bolt of electricity shot through him, from the top of his head to the tips of his toes, he quickly looked away, and when he looked up again just a second later, they were gone.
Still, he knew he hadn’t imagined it. He could feel it in his gut.
“I gotta go for little world star celebrities, guys. Be right back.” Blaine lied to get to the bottom of his suspicion.
“Goddamn you showoff! I wish they had never given you that damn Walk of Fame tile and all those awards! Like you needed your head to get any bigger, you arrogant bastard! Hey, get yourself a big bag of humility on the way back from the pisser!” Jordan laughed.
Chuckling, Blaine blew his cousin a kiss, and winked at Bristol, then beelined towards the bathrooms, one look back to make sure nobody was paying attention, before he slipped out the entrance door instead, hurried around the building to the point where he had seen those eyes. Nothing and nobody. Empty. Just the crisp nighttime air.
“Crap, I am losing my marbles. Seeing shit now.” Blaine mumbled to himself.
“You’re not.” a soft voice said behind him, one Blaine recognized right away, sending hot and cold waves down his spine. He turned around.
“Scarlett!” he exclaimed, way too excited for his own taste, staring into those silvery eyes, his mouth agape, before he managed to catch himself, and returned to the stand-offish position he had taken towards her since their sore breakup, what felt like forever ago now, but in reality was just a few months shy of a year. He had not seen her – or any of the Vatores for that matter – since the night of the breakup. She looked exactly like she had that day. Timeless and beautiful. Seeing her stung into the depths of his very core.
“What do you want?!” he asked now, purposely unfriendly, once he managed to get his bearings about him.
“Want? Me? Nothing. What do YOU want? You’re the one who came out here.” she replied calm as a summer breeze. And like a summer breeze he caught a whiff of that certain scent that was so specifically her.
Get a hold of yourself! Who cares what she smells like?! he reprimanded himself in his mind, then said sharply.
“Do you never get tired of those stupid games? You were watching me, staring at me, like a fucking stalker. So, what do you want? An autograph? A pic with the celebrity? No?! Didn’t think so! Leave me alone! Ridiculous all this. Move on, for Christ’s sakes! I have.” Blaine turned to walk back inside, but she held on to him. Not with vampire strength, just gently placed her hand on his arm, but it was enough to stop him in his tracks, especially when he noticed the ring on her finger, which caught the light just right to shine like a neon sign at Blaine, or maybe it was just his imagination.
“Oh shit, congrats, I guess.” he said sharply, while lifting his chin to point at her ring. Somehow that bit of news burned and stung badly.
“Well, thank you, I guess. And same to you on your engagement. You two have been all over the news. Not a day goes by without you on TV or the internet. I like your hair like this, by the way. Very … you.” she said, still softly, unfazed by his tone.
“Oh good, imagine my relief. The girl who stabbed me in the heart with the biggest knife she could find, then turned it twice, before slicing me open all the way likes my new hairstyle. Oh Hallelujah and holy shit! Do I know the lucky guy – or dare I say ‘hapless bastard’ – or is that another one of your big vampire secrets you have so many of? Oh, pardon me, I forgot, unless you changed your mind since you dumped me, when you yelled at me that you would never date a disgusting mortal like me ever again, I probably wouldn’t know him, now would I? Such pity.” Blaine couldn’t help the sharp tone in his voice, even though he had tried for casual.
“I haven’t changed my mind about anything, Blaine. And I never said mortals were disgusting. I said they aren’t worth the headache and the heartache, especially since my one chance to change that has been irrevocably taken from me. And yes, he is a vampire and yes, if you must know, you do know him.”
“Nah, I don’t think so. I do not know any male vamps, aside from your father, brother and Riordan, that’s it.” Blaine stated.
“There you have it. It’s Riordan.”
“WHAT?! Are you fucking kidding me right now?! He is your cousin! You traded me in for your own cousin?! That’s just nasty! No wonder he was so adamant about getting me out of the picture ASAP! It all makes sense now. He spoon-fed me the bullshit and I gobbled it up like a dumbass! He was horny for you all along and I was in the way, literally cockblocking him. That motherfucker probably proposed to you the moment he got back from dropping me off! He played me. And you. Or you played me. Fuck, I don’t know and I don’t even care anymore! You all just deserve each other!”
“Nobody played anybody Blaine. We got married about two months after you and I parted ways and after you already reclaimed Bristol. Life throws us curveballs sometimes. It was the right thing to do, all things considered. And sometimes things just happen nobody could have foreseen.”
“Things just happen? JUST HAPPEN?! Like marrying your first cousin? Ha, man girl, you got more issues than the TV Guide! Look for my wedding gift in the mail, spoiler alert, it’s gonna be banjos for your entire nasty-ass Vatore family, I’ll mail it straight to the hillybilly castle! Excuse me, I am gonna go back inside to my cousins, whom I am not married to, and my fiancé, whom I am NOT related to. Just food for thought with greetings from the real world! Happy incest to you!”
Scarlett said nothing, just took his rant, even though it visibly affected her. She looked sad, like a battered dog, Blaine couldn’t take any of it and almost ran back inside, fighting his emotions hard, straight into the men’s room.
WTF?! WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK!?
And moreover, why did this affect him so much?!
Maybe it was all that betrayal. Everybody lied, to each other and to him. Lies, lies, lies and lies!
He thought Riordan was his friend, trustworthy, an ally, one truly concerned about him and about Scarlett, instead, he had a hard-on for his own cousin and was just circling their heads like a vulture waiting for the death of the relationship, nudging it off the cliff when it had gotten so rocky.
That dirty, nasty, asshole!
Blaine turned on the sink to splash cold water on his face, hot and red for anger, screaming his frustrations into the sleeve of his leather jacket he placed tightly before his face, then bit down on the thick leather till he tasted blood.