Every day is a new beginning. Treat it that way. Stay away from what might have been, and look at what can be.Marsha Petrie Sue
Del Sol Valley Cameron Mansion
The days and weeks following Blaine and Bristol’s breakup were rough, as could be expected. Naturally there were unpleasant scenes, but overall the separation and following divorce preparation and proceedings moved along fairly smooth. Uncomfortable for all involved, but could be worse.
During the transition, Scarlett kept in the background, unwilling to flaunt their once again budding relationship, fearing it would have a ‘vultures circling’ aftertaste.
Bristol moved out a few days after Blaine’s birthday party – and the subsequent split – first into a luxury hotel in Del Sol Valley, but after a severe fight with her parents, she went to visit her brother Phillip, who had moved to Willow Creek with his family a long while ago, she fell in love with the fresh, suburban flair of the town, and more specifically with a cute house across the street from Phillip’s home.
It was a little big for a single woman, but she loved it, it was for sale and everything about it just spelled ‘fresh start’ to Bri.
Willow Creek Bristol's new home
That little house became her very first own home. Bri had only ever lived with others, never once in her 30 years of life had she ever had the chance to choose her own place, own décor, be her own person. The first night at her own home was scary, but within only weeks, she began to absolutely love it.
Long before their fairly fast-moving divorce was anywhere near final, during a visit at her new home to drop off their son Blake, Blaine looked around.
“Wow, house looks great. I like what you’ve done with the place. Great job, Bri. It’s very much ‘you’.”
“Thanks, whatever that means. I still am not 100% certain who and what ‘me’ really is these days, but I think I am getting there. And yes, isn’t this amazing? My very own home. I cannot describe how this feels. And it wasn’t even too scary, Phillip lives across the street, so I am not really alone and even mom and dad are looking for a home in Willow Creek now. I guess I should thank you for all this, Blaine. By taking everything from me, you ended up giving me more than anybody in my entire life ever has. I have all the possibilities open to me now, for the first time in my life I have real options. I can come and go as I please, I owe nobody an explanation. I can eat what and when I want. I can have people over when I want. I am free, Blaine. Because of you. I know that wasn’t your reason, but at least something good came of it.”
“Well, who knew divorcing me could be so liberating and make you THIS happy.” Blaine chuckled, while wondering about her still wearing her wedding band. The ring was gigantic, impossible to miss, and it made him uncomfortable. Then he realized he was still wearing his as well. Technically they were still married, even if only on paper at this time. Divorces took time, even if the hearts already moved on, the legal system usually dragged behind.
“Oh no, I am still heartbroken about losing you, Blaine, still think Scarlett is ghastly, but I realize I can’t change a thing about any of it, and in a way, she was right about some of the things she said, even though she could have been kinder about it. I was so conditioned to my parents’ ideas. I see that now. For the record, I did love you best I could. And probably always will, in a way. Losing you was hard, is hard, but gave me my freedom, independence. I hope you never really understand what that means, to live like a pinned butterfly, owned, admired, stared at, but dead inside. I am living for the first time ever. If all that happened between us had never happened, I would probably have never gotten this chance.”
“You have to believe me, I never wanted to hurt you, Bri, but like you, I was stuck, chasing my tail, missing the big picture. Sad that it is taking a divorce for us to figure it all out, but at least it wasn’t all in vain. I am glad we can be civil with each other. And hopefully soon you will find someone new, someone who really deserves you and who can make you truly happy.” Blaine said.
“Not too soon though. I am enjoying my freedom. I want to really live this for a while, before I consider being someone’s something again. For now, that little man over there is all the male company I really need to be happy.” she said, pointing at Blake playing nearby.
Forgotten Hollow Vatore Castle
“Hmph.” Caelan snorted, causing his sister to roll her eyes at him.
“What? Not your preferred color?” she asked, annoyed.
“I don’t care about lipsticks or colors. Just don’t get why you are dolling yourself up for him.”
“Because he is taking me on a date, duh!”
“Who cares? All he’s gonna do is take you somewhere to screw you. Waste of effort and makeup. You could just meet him in his hotel room, already in your underwear, package of condoms in your hand.”
“Are you done yet?” Scarlett turned to her brother, shooting eye daggers at him.
“Sure.” he shrugged.
“Look Caelan, I know you never had a real relationship, and I know banging chicks is all you care about, but Blaine is different.”
“Since when?” he snorted dismissively.
“Since ever! Sex is just part of a relationship, of course that happens, but that is not all this is about. You’re old enough to know that! What are you in mortal years now? 25, 26?”
“The only one who gives a rat’s ass about mortal anything around here is you, Scarlett. And what I meant was, since when are you and he in a relationship, huh? You are – at best – friends with benefits!”
“We are working on that and it’s not his fault! I am the one who has been pumping the brakes all this time. You know that too!”
“Yeah, I do. Also know nothing has changed. So, why are we here yet again for another ride on the relationship-merry-go-round?! Einstein defined doing the same thing over and over, expecting a different result as sign of insanity.”
“Oh, daddy would be so proud to know his teachings stuck with you. But you are wrong! Something has changed, or rather, someone. Me. I do not give a fuck anymore. I want him, and fuck it, I will have him, regardless of consequences. So yeah, I expect the outcome to change.”
“And what does he think about all that?”
“Loves it. It’s what he wanted all along, so he is trying hard to be patient, because I am the one insisting on going on real dates first. I want the whole experience, for once in my life. And if you even as much as mention Lorenzo now, I will beat you! Those weren’t dates, he was scoping out my potential for raining babies on his old ass!”
“And where does Vivien fit into it all?”
“Duh?! She’s our daughter, his and mine. She wanted us to be together all along. Isn’t that obvious?”
“Nah, I get that. Still, what if this does not work out – again? That poor little girl. Ever thought about that?”
“Don’t you worry about my daughter. As if I were to let anything happen to her that would hurt her! He’s her father! She deserves to have him in her life. When and if you ever have children, you will understand me a lot better, Cae.”
“Me and children?! HA HA HA – good one!” Caelan unleashed a purposely theatric laugh.
“Yeah, laugh it up. I see you with my daughter. You love her and she is crazy about her uncle Caelan. You may not have a kid intentionally, I didn’t either, but if any of your chicks ever end up outside our door with a baby, then we’ll talk.”
“Please! I don’t hand out business cards during my one-night-stands. Those women have no fucking clue who I am, let alone where I live. If I were to ever not be careful enough – and believe me – I am, then I would be blissfully unaware of any babies till the end of time. That’s the way I prefer it.”
“You know if mom and dad ever hear you talk like that, mom would have you fitted for a chastity belt, hopefully before daddy rips your tool off ya!”
“You think they don’t know? They don’t care. Dad is beyond thrilled that I can be totally emotionally detached, that’s why I am his punisher. If I don’t care about carrying out his and Riordan’s sentences, including ripping my own kind to shreds, you think I give a shit about mortals? At least I am not dumb enough to fall for one of those piles for decomposing flesh. You know that can only go one way. It’s a shitshow. Even Riordan is about to marry one like us now, even he realized his ‘but I prefer mortals’ bullshit doesn’t hold.”
“Urgh, Caelan, if you have nothing productive to say, get out of my room, will ya? This tough talk may work on people who DIDN’T grow up with you, but not on me. You are dad’s punisher because he needed one and you jumped at the opportunity like a horny dog jumps on a bitch in season, you creep! But I am in a good mood and I don’t need you to take a shit on that with you negativity. So get!”
“No, can’t do, Letty! I am staying, you need some straight talk.”
“Not from my little brother, who is a man-whore and a little shit.”
“Exactly from your little brother, the man-whore and little shit. It physically pains me to say this, but your loser-Blaine and me, we are a LOT alike. Which is why I am telling you, this shit reeks. He wants you because he can’t have you. Once that changes, you think you can hold his attention for the rest of his life, even when the road gets rocky? Does he even have the first clue what being with a vampire really means for a mortal? I am thinking once he realizes how different that is from what he’s used to, as soon as you guys hit a snag, he’ll be balls-deep in another chick and I would have to kill him then! For you and for the family honor.”
“Oh, lay off the terminator-talk! It’s not fifteen hundred something, but the 21st century, nobody in their right mind kills people anymore to defend some honor. You’re not killing anyone – except my nerves here – and he won’t be screwing other chicks, because he loves me, wants me, I know how to keep a man’s attention, and because he knows well that I am no Bristol. If he were to fuck around on me I’d make him pay. I do not need my brother for that, thank you very much. As for the vampire things, yes, he knows some of it. He and I were blood-bonded. So, there is that.”
“Does he know that you don’t sleep, but occasionally hibernate, which can last minutes, hours, days or even weeks and will look as if you were dead to mortals? Does he know what drinking blood is really like and that our alternative, plasma fruit, reeks to high heavens? Does he realize that you will always look like this, while he already started deteriorating? Does he know you can’t eat? Does he know how rigid and strict some of our rules and laws are and if he and his big mouth piss off the wrong vampire, it could cost him his life? Can you imagine him ever running into one of the Elder Council? Does he know he cannot talk about anything he sees here, even when he is drunk?”
“Yes, Caelan, he knows most of that and the rest I will show and teach him. My god, Vivien is 6 and knows all that. I am sure he can handle it too. Besides, he has met members of the Elder Council. Dad and Ri.”
“Our father and Riordan both like him a lot for reasons beyond my grasp. They let him get away with a lot. The other members won’t and you know that.”
“Cae, not like the Elders are constantly hanging around the castle. If they are here, I will make sure he knows to keep away or keep his tongue holstered. Blaine is really smart, just impulsive sometimes.”
“Whatever you do, please, PLEASE don’t make him part of the family. Bang him all you want, for all I care, but don’t make this official. Anything but that for a brother-in-law.”
“Awww – and here I was wanting you to be my maid of honor. You would be so cute in a frilly dress with extra tulle and lace, CaeCae!” Scarlett said as seriously as she could muster.
“Eat shit, Scarlett!” he disappeared into a dark cloud, leaving behind a chuckling Scarlett.
A little while later she went downstairs and there he already was, her Blaine, patiently waiting for her, smiling, a single red rose in hand, waiting to take her on their very first official date.