“Realize deeply that the present moment is all you have.― Eckhart Tolle
Make the NOW the primary focus of your life.”
Del Sol Valley Cameron Mansion The morning after ...
Blaine blinked open his eyes, quickly closing them again tightly with a loud groan, as the morning sun was ruthlessly illuminating the room to a painful degree.
Hangover! Dammit! he thought, now trying to rub his burning eyes and already vibrating head, he realized his arms were stuck.
Groaning louder, he pulled harder, generating aggravated moans, so his eyes fluttered open again.
His arms weren’t stuck, someone was laying on them. There were two people beside him. Bristol and Scarlett.
“HOLY FUCK!” he exclaimed, jumping up and off the bed in some preternaturally strong and catlike reflex, regretting it instantly, as the room just wouldn’t stop spinning, while he stared back and forth between Scarlett and Bristol, both were struggling up now too, Bristol letting out a tiny scream of sheer agony, partially because of the severe hangover she had to have, in part from the realization of the scene before her.
Scarlett was quietly putting on her clothing.
“Oh my god! OH MY GOD! I feel so dirty. Oh no, oh no, oh no! This can’t be happening. What did I do!? What did we all do?! Oh no!” Bristol muttered, now crying.
“Jeeze, you drama queen, get a hold of yourself. Nothing happened, even though last night you were hell-bend on having a threesome, but chill out, you and he were too drunk anyway. We all made it to our underwear before you dropped face first onto the bed and were out cold. I figured that would happen, the only reason I even went semi-along with it all. After you were off counting sheep in the back forty of your brain, he got all cutesy with me, then started crying, begging me to stay, so I did, and then he passed out. Hence, here we all are.”
“You are disgusting. You whore! You are a whore, Scarlett, and you are a cheater, Blaine! I can’t believe you almost made me want to do … THIS! Three people, eeew! But you can’t have him! He’s MINE! You hear that, Scarlett, he is mine! I won’t let you have him!” she screeched, that tone not helping Blaine’s throbbing head, he was glad she quit talking while she hastily pulled on a robe she had finally found.
Scarlett though was visibly fuming, and laid into Bri now.
“Okay, girlfriend, first of all, that’s a grown man, not an item for you to hand around or keep. I don’t know why he just stands there and takes that, but I sure won’t. You think if I wanted him, if I wanted to take him from you, you could do anything about that? Think again, Barbie! You wouldn’t even have him in the first place, if it weren’t for me stepping aside.” Scarlett hissed.
“Bitch! You did all this. You caused all this! You stuck him with a child and now you want to take him from me! I won’t let you! He is MY husband! MINE!” Bristol sneered back.
“Laughable. You are a joke! You both are. You for this delusional crap you are spewing, and you for standing there like a statue! This is a joke. No, a travesty. And don’t you come sideways at me, Chica, you won’t win that one!”
“Scarlett, please stop!” Blaine growled.
“No. No, I don’t think I will. I am done. Since we were teens I’ve been killing myself a little bit each day by denying myself what I really wanted, thinking it was the right thing to do, but it sure always felt wrong. I thought I was doing what’s best for you, but this is NOT what’s best for you, it sickens me to watch you bending over backwards in some brainwashed attempt to keep her happy. I’m done punishing myself, I didn’t make myself into what I am, I was dealt that card like everyone else was dealt theirs, but I am done apologizing for what I am. I am done taking one for the team. Last night, you held on to ME, Blaine, you begged ME, crying, you begged ME to stay with you, Blaine. Not her, ME. And I stayed, because I wanted nothing more, because it reminded me of your twentieth birthday, which we spent together, you and I, all day together, partying till we dropped, then you fell asleep with me right there, woke up with me right there. I loved that. And I loved not denying myself this last night. All the time we spent together in college, all the times we went to bed together, rose together. I am not so sure anymore why I shouldn’t have that now, I am not to blame for what I am. And let’s be honest here for once, not like I am destroying a proper marriage here.”
Blaine was speechless. This was happening and he wasn’t sure how to react.
“Blaine! What is she on about!? She is hurtful and rude! Make her leave! Tell her!”
Blaine remained quiet, Scarlett answered in his stead.
“Nah, Bri, ‘she‘ is right here and won’t leave. Not this time. You know what’s shit here? I like you. I actually like you, you are likable and sweet. I hate doing this to you, but I am nothing like you. I am not sweet, I don’t give a fuck what people think nor if they like me, I am the epitome of a bitch, about time I acted like one. On that note, look around this room, Blaine. You are a a rock musician, you are a crazy party-all-night doing-things-on-a-whim kinda tattooed, leather-clad bad boy with a potty mouth and a naughty mind, or at least you once were before she turned you into this empty shell, yet, this room looks like a wedding dress and a unicorn had a baby which exploded in it! What the hell happened to you? I thought a relationship is at least 50:50, all I see EVERYWHERE is her, you have become invisible! So, Blaine, it’s up to you now, we’ve reached a crossroads. You can’t have both anymore. I am making you choose.”
“Both? Anymore? Choose? Wait a second .. what is going on here?” Bristol wondered, thinking didn’t come easy to her either due to the hangover.
“I’ll tell you what is going on, Bri. At the very core, I am all those last minute business trips to San Myshuno that just happened to come up whenever you weren’t able to leave. He’s been with me again, for months, cheating on you in body, mind and heart. Probably because I remind him of whom he used to be. Because with me he can be real. Your perfect little home is nothing but smoke and mirrors and I am done playing my part, done lying to everyone, including myself. Above all, Blaine and I have been friends for a very long time, and I love him, and considering both, I am done watching him disappear a little more each day. Time for a much overdue intervention here. PICK, Blaine. Make your choice.”
“I have picked, a long time ago, Scarlett, but you didn’t want me then. Again and again, you cast me aside. Every time … how do I know this isn’t going to be like that?” Blaine said.
“You heard what I said. It’s gonna require a leap of faith. No safety net.” Scarlett told him.
“Excuse me, Blaine!” Bristol puffed up.
“Oh shut up, Bri. We both know you love his fame, the prestige, the pretty designer dresses, the high life and his money, but not the real Blaine, or you wouldn’t constantly try to change him. The real Blaine is complicated and complex, not for the faint of heart. You don’t even have the first clue who Blaine really is. I am the one who knows what’s underneath it all. Every inch of his soul, because he isn’t afraid to show me. I know his fears, his worries, his dreams, what he loves, what he wants. Can you say the same?” Scarlett piled on.
“Then why did you break his heart if you care about him so much? Why am I the one married to him? You are a side-chick, that is what you are, Scarlett! My father had tons like you, yet he always came home to my mom. He knew where he belonged, and so does Blaine. You are not as important as you think.” Bri argued.
“That statement alone should have your woman-card revoked, Barbie! You don’t even realize how fucked up that sounds!” Scarlett replied, now supported by Blaine.
“She’s not a side-chick, Bri. I love her. All she said is the truth. This is all my fault. I am the one to blame for everything here. I screwed up. I need to fix this, or whatever is left that can still be fixed and hasn’t blown up yet, at the very least I gotta stop the bleeding, keep it from getting worse.” he said, his voice factual.
“What?! I love you, Blaine, and you love me! ME, not her! You are my husband, I am your wife. We have a son together! Don’t you remember how hard it was to conceive him. Blake wasn’t an accident, not the product of a careless night of lust, like her daughter is. He was deliberate. You WANTED a child with me. So don’t tell me you don’t love me.”
“I do love you, Bri. Just not the same way that I love Scarlett. She and I share a love that is so deep, so insanely strong, it just boils over and becomes physical because it is so intense. You, Bri, I love you, gently and tenderly, like a little sister or a very good friend. And you don’t love me any differently than I love you, not like a husband, a partner, a lover, but I am a means to an end, perfect for cool Instagram-moments, my fame makes me your trophy, my wealth a walking, talking credit card. Scarlett has a point there too. You are always trying to change me. And I allowed it, like a fool. I wanted the baby, because you wanted one so badly, it was so important to you. I love our son, always will. But you are wrong. Vivien may not have been planned, however, she is not a product of just lust, but of pure love. I remember that night very vividly, I won’t ever forget it. No, that wasn’t just some horny humping, that was pure and honest love. Vivien is a love child.”
“So, if you were after my husband all along, why did you give me an ovary to begin with, so I could have a child with him?! That makes no sense!” Bri demanded.
“It’s called love, Bristol. True love sacrifices. I sacrificed so much for this love. What have you sacrificed, other than your dignity by casually ignoring the fact he was with me so many times? No, I didn’t want you to have a child with him, but I wanted him to be happy. At that point I still thought he loved you. It wasn’t until later that I realized what he and I had is still there, every bit as strong as it ever was. We both fought our true feelings, for over a decade. We both realized it’s futile, they don’t go away. And I am done fighting now. I won’t be the voice of reason anymore. I’m done apologizing for what I am. I won’t stop anything anymore. I tried to move on, every way imaginable. I can’t. So now, I am going down in a blaze of glory, no matter the consequences. Blaine, it’s up to you now. Choose.”
“You know I am going to choose you, Scarlett. I will always choose you.” Blaine said quietly and sincerely.
“Wow. This is unreal. So, just like that, huh? Throw away five years of marriage? She says jump, and you ask how high? After all the pain she put you through, you drop everything and run back to her? You don’t even stop for a second to consider our marriage, let alone fight for it?! Unbelievable. Well, if you want to be like that, better kiss your son goodbye, cos you won’t see him EVER AGAIN!” relatable pain was oozing from Bristol’s words.
“Bri! Enough now! I know you don’t mean it, but you should never say shit like that!” Blaine exclaimed appalled.
“Oh, this is just extra-rich! This is exactly how you distinguish real love from whatever you have with him. I may not have told him about his daughter once I knew I was pregnant or even after she was born, but not for lack of trying, oh, I tried, again and again, but he was still way too furious with me, not ready to listen, most definitely not ready to learn about a baby, and I didn’t want her to know her daddy like that. Once he was ready to forgive, I have moved heaven and earth so he and his daughter could know each other. I even let her move here now, to live with him, so she could attend the best schools. Do you have any idea how hard that was, Bri? Not having Vivien there at home is killing me, it’s killing my parents and my brother, who all have been there ever since she was born. Think about that. That is love. You fooled me too, Bri. For the longest time I thought you really loved him for him. But you do not even like who Blaine really is. You love THIS. All THIS. The perfect picture. Now that it threatens to fall, you show your real face. Even if that means hurting your own son. That’s possessiveness not love. Especially when a little boy becomes a pawn. Yuck!” Scarlett told her.
“No! I … oh my god. I didn’t think about that. Oh my god, what am I saying? How did I become so ghastly?! No, I would never hurt my son like that, why did I say that!? What is happening to me?! I … but where am I gonna go? What am I gonna do? I have nothing if I don’t have you, Blaine. Empty. Nothing. I … can’t go. You can’t leave me. You just .. can’t.” Bristol mumbled herself into a near panic.
“Wow. This is fucked up. Your parents really screwed you up, Bri.” Scarlett said with a shake of her head.
Blaine cleared his throat, then said plainly.
“I will call Kai, he’ll know what to do, he’ll figure out a fair divorce and of course I will make sure you have somewhere to go, Bri. I would never leave you desolate, you know me better than that. I won’t abandon you, we will be there for you if you need us, my parents and I, Kai and Cheyenne too. You are not alone. But this marriage makes no more sense, not for you or me. Just please, don’t try to take our son from me.”
“No, of course not. I would never. Poor Blake. I didn’t mean that, you know I would never. I am just in shock, I don’t even know what to think now. So, we really are splitting up? Oh gawd, no. I can see the nasty headlines everywhere already. This is going to be so humiliating. Cheyenne always warned me that you cannot be faithful, I should have listened to her. How did we get here? Please say this is just a terrible nightmare. I am scared.” Bri told him.
“No reason to be scared. You won’t be alone. But this has to happen, we are righting a wrong. I can’t live this lie anymore, Bri. I see clearly now how fucked up all this is, how could I have been so blind? Scarlett has always done that, called me out when I had my head up my ass too far to see what was really going on. I needed this wake up call, I only wished I had gotten it sooner, but maybe I had to be ready to hear it. I am sorry you are getting hurt by it all, but I have to stop the bleeding now. I love you, Bri, really I do, just not like I should love my wife, my heart hasn’t been mine to give, Scarlett owns it. I want the best for you. But I am not what’s best for you. I am sure you’ll see that I am right, eventually.” Blaine’s tone was matter-of-factly, calm, composed.
“Okay. Well, I guess you won, Scarlett. I give up. If all this is true, I give up. He’s all yours. I need to be alone now, to think.” Bristol told Scarlett.
“No, problem, I need to get outta here anyway, but you still don’t get it. This has nothing to do with winning or losing. If that’s what you took from all this, I, too, give up. I do not know how else to explain it.” Scarlett headed for the door.
“I am coming with you. I need a coffee and some pain meds.” Blaine said, following her, after grabbing some clothes off a pile.
“That was a lot of drama on the day after your big day. Not a birthday you will soon forget.” Scarlett said.
“Probably not. But you were right. You’re always right. This is on me. All of it. Poor Bri. Poor you. My poor son. Poor Vivien. Damn I fucked up. Lord help me here. Five years into a marriage that should have never happened. And another kid from a broken relationship. Living that rock-star life for sure.”
“We’re both to blame, Blaine. And that’s a rough epiphany on top of a mean hangover. Go sit, I’ll make you Cameron-strength coffee.” Scarlett smirked as they entered the kitchen and she got to work on the coffeemaker. Blaine snorted a laugh, but obliged. His head was ready to explode, his body aching.
Moments after the coffeemaker had finished and Scarlett had sat down next to Blaine with their coffee mugs, his parents walked in.
“Oh, mercy me, my head! Man, getting old sucks. Parties like this never used to bother me. Today I feel every single one of my 53 years. Ouch! Whoever made this coffee so super-strong deserves a medal in my book.” Maeve groaned, greedily sipping said coffee.
“Morning son, man, you are 30 years younger than us and look like shit too. Thinking it’s not the age, babe.” Rett roared in an unusual raspy voice.
“Top of the morning to you, guys. Today’s headline news are: Bri and I are getting a divorce. This is not a joke, not a drill, it’s happening.” Blaine said flatly.
“Oh no. Hell no! NOPE NOPE NOPE! None of that, not before I am 100% again. I am gonna take a fistfull of pain meds, then going back to bed. You handle this, Rett.” Maeve took her coffee and left again.
“Fuck that! Like hell I will on his hangover! I am coming with ya, babe. The kid is 30. He can handle his own shit! He’s got Finn and Kai’s number.” Rett followed his wife.
“Wow, glad to see so much parental compassion. I feel loved. Well, that’s my parents for ya, still living it up, something Bri always has a really hard time with too. Looks like it’s just you and me, Scarlett.”
“That will be a no from me too. I should be getting back to Forgotten Hollow to check on our daughter. She’ll wonder where I am.”
“Oh, come on! You can’t leave me now!”
“Blaine, there is nothing for me here to do. This is a divorce. I am literally the other woman and in a way, the reason for it, at least the final straw. I am actually the last person that should be here right now. I am keeping Vivien with me for a few more days, until you can see land here. Let Kai and Finn work their legal magic, Finn has so many connections, I bet if Bristol doesn’t go rogue and gets complicated, he can get this finalized in a few months and it would be fair for everyone. And THEN we’ll figure out how to go from there. We will sit down and discuss everything, and rebuild what used to be us from there. Slowly. Okay? But all the Bri-stuff is really is something you have to handle without me. Me being here would seem like a vulture circling her head.” Scarlett’s tone was unusually gentle.
“Scarlett, I need to at least know you will be there when I get out of this battle. I just need to hear you say it. Just for reassurance.” Blaine begged.
“Of course I will be. Every word I said up there, I meant it. I am done running, Blaine. And you know where to find me. But while you are bracing for the divorce, remember that being with me is going to be very different, a lot of restrictions, won’t be a life in the sun. I won’t be laying poolside working on my tan next to you or going on beach vacations with you, simply because I can’t. No fancy dinners either. That’s the stuff you and I will have to discuss, so we both are clear on what it all means.”
Before he answered, Blaine got up, pulled Scarlett up off the chair and into his arms, making her look at him, kissed her, before he spoke.
“Fuck tans and beaches and dinners. You don’t think for a second that I’d pick the ability to eat fancy shit or some stupid tan-line over the chance to finally really be with you for once in our lives?! That may have seemed marginally important to me at some point, many years ago, but that lesson I have received. I know I am a dumbass sometimes, but I do get it, being with a vampire is going to be complicated sometimes, but you and I just don’t have a choice. We’re shit without each other, we don’t do well apart. Oh, and Scarlett. I love you.” he kissed her again.
“I know.” she whispered into his ear, then disappeared from his embrace into a dark cloud, her giggles echoing into the distance, but it left him with a smile.
“Bitch.” he chuckled to himself, knowing it really didn’t need saying between them. He knew she loved him and was sure he would hear her say it voluntarily in due time. A good, reassuring feeling while bracing for rough seas ahead.