The truly scary thing about undiscovered lies is that they have a greater capacity to diminish us than exposed ones.—Cheryl Hughes
They erode our strength, our self-esteem, our very foundation.
Del Sol Valley Cameron Mansion
Tensely, Blaine studied Scarlett’s face, trying to read her thoughts, emotions, feelings, but as usual, that was only possible if she allowed it. This was not one of those open times.
“What?!” she asked him when her silver eyes met his green ones, sending lighting down his spine.
“You’re not mad?” Blaine wondered.
“Mad? Why would I be mad?”
“I thought … the news … the baby … I … you … it … may … possibly … umm …”
“Stutter stutter. Do I need to get on the floor with you in my lap and teach you words again while I am still in training with Vivien?”
“No. Sorry. You are just taking this surprisingly well.”
“Blaine, I told you a long time ago, you and I will never have the kind of relationship described in all the romance novels. I came to terms with it, for lack of better options. If I hadn’t, I would also be pretty fucking stupid, considering I gave your wife one of my ovaries, so that she could get pregnant. It was kind of implied that YOU would be the father in that scenario.”
“Right. I am not sure what that means for us, but I think we should at least put our … thing .. on hold. Just for a while. I just don’t know if I can be that husband who sleeps around on his pregnant wife.”
“Sleeps around? I thought this was kind of some love triangle, you make it sound like some conveyor belt kinda deal. How many others are there?”
“No, there is nobody else. The love triangle, as you put it, is plenty for me.”
“Look Blaine, as I said many times, I have nothing but time. If you need a break to play the attentive, loyal hubby, sure, whatever. I’ll wait. Again.”
“Well, if you put it like that, it sounds real shitty. I sound real shitty. Probably because I am really shitty. Oh man, oh man.”
“Well, it all is really shitty, had always been shitty for us and will always be shitty. There is no ‘un-shitty’ version of this for us. No matter what we do, we’ll be miserable. Either miserable apart, miserably drooling over each other from the distance, or miserable together, feeling like shit, you because of guilt and me because I will always have to share you. If you think you’ll reduce the shit level you are feeling by taking a break until your son was born, I will stand by and wait with bated breath, eagerly awaiting the return of my knight in shining … jeans and t-shirt.”
“Argh Scarlett. I really wish at some point you would have just turned me and we’d live happily ever after as bats hanging upside down next to each other from some tree.”
“OK, first of all, I do not turn into a bat. Second of all, bats live in caves not on trees, especially vampire ones wouldn’t, as that would be hell to pay once the sun comes out. Thirdly, would have to be a low tree, as I am not sure where we would put our very mortal daughter, whom I will NEVER EVER in a million years turn into one of my kind.”
“Logic again. You always with the levelheadedness. No room for dreams.”
“One of us has to be the thinker, rather than the dreamer, and it was clear early on that wouldn’t be you. You are pretty to look at, you sound nice and you are fun in the sack, but you need constant parental guidance and close supervision. More than Vivien.”
“Thanks, I feel much better now.” Blaine’s tone oozed sarcasm.
“My name isn’t Aspirin, I am not here to make you feel better and kiss your booboos. Get over yourself. We all have problems. You think my life is ponies and rainbows? Think again!”
“Scarlett, what can I do to make this better for you? I am serious. I do not want you to hurt, because of me. I don’t know what to do here. Would I be doing the best for all of us by walking away from you, from us? Should I leave Bristol, the mother of my unborn child? I don’t know, Scarlett. I really want to do the right thing, but I do not know what that is anymore. I know it’s not this, but I do not know how to get out of it anymore.”
“Okay, I figured this was coming sooner or later. I told you, if you want to be the man with a side-chick, you have to toughen up.”
“I don’t think of you as my side-chick! I never wanted you to be some piece of ass on the side and that’s not how I look at this. Remember, I wanted you to be my number one. My one and only, once upon a time. But you … didn’t. I tried to move on, thought I had, instead I multiplied the problem. Now I have two women I cannot live without. What a clusterfuck.”
“Well, either way, you and me forever ain’t happening. The reasoning is still the same as before, has to be. Nothing has changed Blaine. We cannot be a couple in the true sense. Making me public isn’t an option, reporters would dig, and that is a no-go for obvious reasons. Keeping me a secret would also not work. A man like you, in the public eye, millions of women drooling over you, and permanent single? No, that would just raise so many flags, leading back to reporters digging for info where they shouldn’t be and we could never stop looking over our shoulders. We can’t even run away. I cannot hide, nobody can hide from vampires. There is no place my father’s people couldn’t find me, let alone the fact that I would NEVER leave my family. NEVER.”
“Scarlett, how can one man love two women, equally? It can’t be, should not be, yet, I do.”
“It can be, because in all those equations of oh-so-clever people making such assumptions, one key piece is missing: I am vampire. Vampires are not mortals, they are not LIKE mortals, not even close. We look like mortals to a degree, but we are a whole different entity.”
Blaine received a call he had to take, so Scarlett left the home office, wandered into their living room to stand by the huge glass front, overlooking the hustling bustling city from the hills, thinking about how she had been cast unwillingly in the role as defender of this much behated situation, when she heard footsteps behind her. Heels, clicking loudly in the foyer, now muffled by the carpet, most likely Bristol, who never seemed to just let loose and get comfortable, like Maeve would.
Seconds later Bristol’s bright blonde hair came into Scarlett’s peripheral view.
“Quite the view, isn’t it?” Bri said softly in her usual, non-committal but very polite tone.
“It is.” Scarlett turned her head and was handed a glass of wine Bri was holding.
“Extra dry Chianti, your favorite, right?”
“It is. Thank you. Not to meddle, but should you be drinking?” Scarlett pointed at the second glass in Bristol’s hand.
“Ah, Blaine told you the happy news already. Don’t worry, it’s just plain cider, but I am pretending it’s a good Chardonnay. I wish it were. I don’t know how to thank you, Scarlett. This gift you have given me means the world to me. I cannot believe I am finally going to be a mother. I wish it wouldn’t be 8 long months left, but better than the ‘never’ I was looking at before.”
“I am happy for you. Just remember what I told you about the realities of pregnancy. Hopefully all that won’t scar you for life.”
“You have become like a sister to me, Scarlett. I feel very close to you. Maybe that’s why it doesn’t even really bother me as much as you would think, the thing with you and Blaine.”
“Me and Blaine? You mean our daughter?”
“I know you are sleeping with my husband, Scarlett.” Bristol said in a calm, even tone as if talking about the pretty sunshine.
BAM! Just like that. Scarlett was well trained to control urges and emotions, but even she winced and for a split second considered to just vanish. Yikes!
“Oh?” she said instead.
“Thank you for not trying to lie to me right away, just to silence me. Everybody lies, always. I have been lied to all my life.”
“Sorry to hear that, but I think this is a discussion you should be having with your husband, not with his ex whom you also suspect to be his mistress.”
“I can’t. I am too afraid to lose him. You know his temper. I cannot be without him again, not after all we have been through. Especially not while carrying his baby. It’s a little boy, Scarlett. We had the blood test done to assure he is healthy and they checked for the gender.”
“Congratulations I guess. One of each for Blaine.”
“A boy, to carry on the family name. Blaine was so excited. We’re naming him Blake Everett Cameron. I know there have been other male Camerons born already, but not one to carry on Blaine’s, and by extension Everett and Maeve’s legacy.”
“Okay, I wasn’t gonna, but I can’t keep my mouth shut anymore. There is just too much rubbing me all sorts of wrong with pretty much everything you just said, Bri. First of all, the important bit here, is that it is a baby, a healthy one. Fuck the gender. Fuck the name. You can live your life with your maiden name, prime example here, ME. I will NEVER marry, and even if I were to, my husband better understand I like my own name, thank you very much. Also, you should never even THINK the words afraid and husband in the same sentence. Blaine is a hothead, but that should never be his ticket out of serious talks you feel you need to have. I am not clear what exactly you are afraid of with him, you already know he has a big mouth and often doesn’t think before he opens it, but he is not violent. Even if he were to EVER lay hands on you – or any other woman for that matter – he knows I would punch his million dollar smile into the back of his head! If he cannot handle honesty with you, farewell to thee I say, you are better off without. Leads me to my third point: What the fuck, girl?! Did you not get the memo about gender equality and emancipation AT ALL?”
“See, this is why he loves you. I don’t even blame him. I think I even have a sort of crush on you myself, and I am pretty sure I am straight. You are so different from me, so strong and … feisty. Totally fierce, just like his mother. He has been surrounded by amazing women and I am boring compared to you and her. I can see why he wants you, needs you.”
“I am about to wash your mouth out with soap, woman! Are you kidding me right now, Bri?”
“No, I swear, I always admired you so much, Scarlett. You are like the epitome of what I wished I could be. God, the things you say, I could never. I’d die right on the spot. I wish I could be you.”
Scarlett was quiet, staring at Bri for a moment, then burst into hearty laughter. When she finally could, she got very serious.
“Bristol, here is a very important life lesson for you: if it seems too good to be true, it is. No ifs or buts about it. My life isn’t a dream. I have wonderful parents, a little brother whom I love despite of him being basically another version of Blaine in his worst moments, but even they couldn’t protect me from hitting that glass ceiling, keeping me from things I wanted the most. So you get up, dust off, and redirect your efforts. You know what I’d do to my husband if I suspected him cheating on me? It’s too graphic to even mention. But it would definitely not include me worrying about hurting his feelings, that’s for fucking sure! I’d be more worried about not breaking him.”
“It’s easier said than done. I lost Blaine before and my life was so empty afterwards. He was – and is – the most interesting part about me, so rough and raw, like you. Without him, I am just a pretty shell of nothingness. Besides, my father cheated on my mother all my life, and she just rolled with it, we all did, my brother and I always kinda knew, but we weren’t worried, because he would never leave her, always came back home to his family. It’s not such an uncommon concept here in Del Sol Valley, especially once you are at a certain level or fame or wealth. I was actually shocked to realize Blaine’s parents are not like that.”
“I do not know what to say to you about that, I am near speechless, so all I will say is if you want change, you have to be the change. If you suspect Blaine is cheating, confront him. Give him your reasons, and demands. Tell him to stop. If he doesn’t, you need to consider that you are a role model, in part to my daughter, though you better believe I will teach that girl right, but also to your unborn son. Do you want him to grow up to be like your father, putting his future woman – or man, no judgement here – through what your father put your mother, you and your brother through? It’s in your hands, but you gotta live it out for them.”
“You are right about the children, I didn’t consider that part. But you are mistaken about what I want. I don’t want him to stop, Scarlett, the exact opposite actually, I want in. I want to be a part of this.”
“You. I … I … thought .. maybe .. we all could … you know. Together. At once. You are so amazing and beautiful, I could see us and him … I could see it. I’d definitely try it.”
“I am sorry, maybe my brain just exploded, but are you suggesting a threesome?”
“Yes, I think that’s what it’s called.”
Scarlett burst into laughter.
“Forgive me Bri, but you are not the type for shit like that. This is fucking insane. Why am I in the middle of this anyway?”
“I thought I wasn’t into it, but then … an experience may have changed my mind. Did Blaine tell you how we conceived our son?”
“Didn’t come up in our banter, but he didn’t have to, I think I have a pretty good idea how that type of thing comes about, seeing I am a mother too. Unless you suspect immaculate conception?”
“No, I meant .. where. He took me to Everett Heights, that’s a very natural park outside Windenburg, practically wilderness …”
“Bri, I am well familiar with Everett Heights. And it’s what most of us would consider rural, not the last frontier as you seem to think. So he knocked you up in a tent in a park, and now you think you are the stuff soft porn is made of? Girl … seriously. I don’t get paid enough for this shit.” Scarlett finished the wine in one big sip.
“Have you ever .. with another woman? Or with several people?’
“Whether I did or didn’t, I would handle it like Fight Club. You know, rule number one, never talk about it. And whatever has been going on or not, I am most definitely NOT going to have threesomes with my ex and his pregnant wife. That’s too weird, even by my standards and that is saying a lot!” Scarlett shook her head several times while talking.
“Hmm. But if we did, we would both have him, nobody would have to hide, lie, cheat. Win, win. Right?” Bristol sounded convinced.
“That is a very Del Sol Valley kinda take on a solution for a perceived problem, but also still a talk you need to have with your husband. And speaking of the devil, there he is.”
Scarlett called Blaine over to them, despite Bristol begging her not to say anything, but Scarlett was done with it all.
“You need to have a serious talk with this girl. And you better talk to him, Bri, brass tax, or I will the next time I see him.” she told Blaine.
“Talk about what, ladies?” Blaine wondered suspicious.
“Ah, what the fuck, my parting gift to you Blaine, because YOU will be handling this, not me. Your wife believes we have an affair and before you start spewing bullshit, know she is sick and tired of lies and fakeness. Did you know her father cheated on her mother all her life? Interesting fact, huh? I thought so. Makes her think she could not be honest with her husband for fear of being alone. Crazy idea, huh? I told her you would never, so don’t prove me wrong. Oh – almost forgot the best part: your – ahem – prim and proper princess bride enjoyed getting her brains screwed out in a tent by you so much, that she is considering a threesome, starring all of us here present. So, you work this out, you fix things with your wife, you make things right, I really want no piece of any of this and I gotta go. Tootles, guys.”
Scarlett passed a paralyzed for surprise Blaine and hurried out of the room and up the stairs, leaving him behind, shocked and speechless, he seemed to pale underneath his deep tan, just like the mortified Bristol.