“There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will.”Epictetus
Del Sol Valley Cameron Mansion
A wise man once said that we tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have. Blaine had arrived at that very equation the hard way, after the feeble house of cards he had built had come crashing down around him, nearly taking everything he loved and lived for with it, forcing him to re-evaluate his life choices once again, long and hard.
This realization always in the back of his head, still adjusting, catching himself here and there thinking things he shouldn’t worry himself with anymore, while trying to go about his life as he chose it.
Currently he angrily strummed a quick chord on his guitar, then set the instrument down. It was no use, he couldn’t concentrate worth a penny on creating music. Maybe a sip of something high percentage and a break would cure his creative block.
He left the studio, made his way to get a drink at the bar in the living room, where he then looked towards the corner by one of the large windows, sipping the stiff drink, watching Bristol and his daughter Vivien play. Bristol’s pregnancy was showing now, Blaine still got weak in the knees thinking about the fact that it was his son growing inside of her, a human she and he created, a sweet notion but also a reminder of having missed all this with his daughter through no fault of his own, solely by Scarlett’s choice. Bristol looked up now, their eyes met, she smiled and it gave him a hot sensation all the way down his spine.
Smiling back, he nodded when Bri waved for him to join them, finished his drink, then walked over, was greeted by the warm caress of the sunrays near the window, Vivien’s excited babbling and a wet toddler kiss by her, followed by a gentle one by his wife, who snuggled up to him while both of them watched Vivien run off to play on her own, Blaine once more dwelling on the sensation of Bri’s swollen belly against him.
Holding Bri now, he realized how very close he had gotten to losing her yet again.
He couldn’t help but flashback to the events several months in the past now.
Following Bristol’s suspicions about his cheating being confirmed, after Scarlett had left them to figure it all out, Blaine had instantly dismissed Bri’s completely out of character and born-from-desperation idea about a threesome in order to not lose him to the other woman, calling that notion a ridiculous Band-Aid to a fucked up situation, which caused her helplessness about the horrible situation to turn into painful resentment for his betrayal, harsh words were spoken, tears flowed freely. That very talk ended in their first ever real fight, the kind that had him sleeping in the guest room for days afterwards. Quickly he realized this time he had to choose for good. Crawling back to Bristol, literally begging for her forgiveness down on his knees, he promised her he would be loyal to only her from now on forward, that he loved only her and wanted to be the partner she deserved and set a good example for their unborn son and for Vivien.
This time he meant it, down to his core, thinking about the old adage that you don’t know what you got until it’s gone. His everything, his entire world, his reason for existence was almost gone for good and that awakening had scared him straight. This was his last chance, he knew it and he was determined to not squander it. His mother later told him that his newfound attitude was a sign of maturity. Maybe. All Blaine knew for certain was that coming so close to losing Bristol had nearly ripped his heart out of his chest and he never wanted to get even close to this frightening feeling ever again. He hated himself for putting that beautiful, sweet angel through it all.
The inevitable talk with Scarlett following his epiphany circled the drain almost as soon as he made clear to her that the physical and emotional part of their relationship was over for good, that he had realized how much he truly loved Bristol, and from now on only her, even though Scarlett would always hold a special place in his heart and life as the mother of his firstborn.
Apparently not ready to be dismissed from his heart and bed like that, calmly at first, then increasingly more heated Scarlett insisted he would be back, sooner or later, listed the many times they tried to stay apart before – and failed. In her mind, it would be a rinse, repeat situation in due time, while Blaine was fuming at her unwillingness to take him seriously, he passionately disagreed and they fought.
Her disregard for his change of heart and mind, her very evident conviction that he didn’t really mean it, and her obvious refusal to take his words and decisions seriously had angered Blaine to the point that it brought out his impulsive explosive side, his stubborn attempts to convince Scarlett otherwise were met by equally stubborn counters by her, both their volume levels continuously increasing, the frustrations on either side lead to emotions running hot and eventually it all boiled over.
It turned ugly quickly and irrevocably. Things were said that could never be unsaid, one topping the other in cruel crudeness, aiming for the soft underbelly, accusations were dropped that could never be taken back, until it all climaxed with a very dangerously furious Scarlett disappearing in a black cloud. It would be months before he would ever see her again, and not as you would expect. But we’ll get to that.
The next several times Vivien was scheduled to spend time with her daddy it would be Riordan dropping her off and picking her back up after the visits. Not a word from Scarlett, whenever asked about her, Riordan sounded mostly cryptic in true vampire fashion, spewing platitudes without really saying much. Obviously he had been asked to keep quiet.
As sad as that was, it gave Blaine hope that his memo had been received by Scarlett, the line in the sand had been drawn, never to be crossed again. Deep down inside he hoped they could be friendly again one day, but at this point there was no telling what would happen in the future.
Blaine’s solution to the tension felt by everyone involved was a change of scenery in the form of a trip to Sulani, just him and Bristol for three weeks, mainly to shake off the bad memories, to reboot their passion and to duly mark a fresh start.
Each day on the island increased their happiness as as a couple, healed their relationship more and more, as their tans increased so did their genuinely loving, caring and sweet ways with each other again, Bristol fully forgave him and believed that he was now dedicated solely to her and his growing family.
More importantly, she also believed that his choice was solely out of love this time, not out of a sense of duty and for lack of better options.
She was right.
Blaine truly was a changed man.
His rough, crude, rebellious ladies’ man image was only lived out on stage from now on, singing his songs, playing his act, flirting with the ladies from a distance to get his music sold.
A couple months after their return home to Del Sol Valley followed another trip to San Myshuno, the usual things, interviews and performances at local radio and TV shows there, promoting a new single he had dropped.
After one of the appearances he and Bristol, who as part of their agreement was now always by his side again, went out for a drink, alcohol-free for Bri, of course – and ran into none other than Scarlett – with a man – on what was obviously a date, which left Blaine feeling odd, to put it mildly.
Bristol spotted them first, the social butterfly she was, she wanted to go over to talk to them. Calling it awkward for Blaine would be a gross understatement, as he shook the hand of the man who was introduced to them as Lorenzo Vecchiarelli, apparently influential, even though not very forthcoming with what he actually did. Bri had asked him during her usual careful and friendly banter, but he lead her down some rabbit hole about charities he supported.
Blaine himself spoke little, instead kept looking for signs to figure out whether or not the man was mortal or vampire. It could be either. He had the sort of charming nonchalant arrogance of a man so influential that nothing could faze him or maybe it was because literally nothing could actually damage him.
Somehow he seemed to work with Scarlett, visually and emotionally. Initially Blaine couldn’t help but suspect this may be staged, their obvious display of affections right in front of him and Bristol seemed overdone, but then he remembered being freshly in love did that exact thing to people. No, this was real. He knew Scarlett too well to think otherwise. She was in love with that man.
“… my father is very fond of Lorenzo …” Blaine caught the tail end of something Scarlett was saying to Bristol, which had his mind going a hundred miles per hour. Wouldn’t this imply the guy was vampire and probably someone Caleb, Riordan or Breana had tossed at Scarlett to get her mind of him once and for all? Or maybe not. Caleb had been supportive of her relationship to him, well aware he was a mortal. Vecchiarelli seemed significantly older than her, maybe one of Caleb’s friends, which would then make him a vampire, right? Or maybe not, as Caleb had always groomed friendships with mortals. Lorenzo was so tanned due to his apparent Italian heritage, while there were obviously darker complected vampires out there, usually their coloring had a certain odd transparency to it. Lorenzo just looked like the stereotypical tall, dark, handsome.
The way Scarlett was all over him, and Lorenzo even more all over her, the way he had Scarlett giggling like a schoolgirl at even the unfunny jokes, his overdone antics and constant confessions of admiration, the way they kept exchanging smiles when feeling unwatched and a thousand little other things made Blaine feel that she had indeed moved on. One of those things being that the ring Riordan had given her during their makebelieve marriage was missing off her finger. She had never taken it off since then – until now.
This seemed real.
The time following their return home to Del Sol Valley was filled with hardly a week passing that the Camerons weren’t invited to a baby shower, a kid’s birthday or received yet another baby announcement in the mail. Some by friends, some by distant relations but there seemed to be a true baby boom at hand, none of which truly interested Blaine too much. Only his closest family and friends would have, and they already had their hands full with babies and no immediate plans to add to it. At some point Blaine barely even glanced over the names just to know what’s up, then let his mother and Bristol handle the decisions which to attend and what presents to buy.
Until that day when a certain envelope arrived, one that instantly stood out from the rest of the mail, dark paper, deep scarlet red lettering embossed on it, addressed to Blaine directly and marked as ‘private, personal and confidential’, which already exuded a certain, indescribable aura of foreshadowing. Blaine opened it right away and while reading he felt a bolt of lightning had hit him.
He knew the invitation was merely proforma, and Blaine instantly understood it as such, nobody expected – or even wanted – him to actually show up, nor would he even dream of it. Nobody but him would even know about it until after the fact.
Scarlett’s letter was symbolic of the final drop pouring from a broken glass, leaving behind nothing but bittersweet memories of something beautiful that never had a real chance, unique and special like a snowflake, now melted, only living on in the memories of two people, leaving Vivien as the only evidence of a love that could not be.