“When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on.”– Franklin D. Roosevelt
Del Sol Valley Cameron Mansion
“Byeee guuuuys…” it echoed through the large, marble-tiled hallway of the Cameron Mansion.
“Where is Viv going?” wondered Maeve.
“Out with her friends, she asked me earlier and I allowed it, with the usual disclaimers and curfew dog-and-pony-show we always give her.” Blaine mumbled distracted by typing on his phone.
“GRANDCHILD – back it up in here.” yelled Everett.
“Grandpaaaaaaa .… I’ll be late. Love ya guys, see you later…” it echoed from further away in the lobby now.
“NEGATORY! BACK. HERE. NOW!” Rett’s voice rumbled, followed by Vivien’s mumbled complaints.
Moments later Vivien’s head popped around the doorframe.
“What?” she asked.
“INSIDE here now, full view.” Rett instructed, wagging his index finger at her, sounding somewhere between annoyed and drill instructor.
Moaning and groaning, Vivien dragged into the living room.
“Viv, what the fu… hell … heck?! OH HELL NO!” Blaine now exclaimed.
“Oh come on, guys! This is Del Sol Valley, it’s about ten thousand degrees out there, I’ll melt covered up head to toe. Nobody – literally – NOBODY does that. This is like a totally normal outfit nowadays. Times have changed since all of you were young! And I thought I had a cool family …” Vivien tried.
“Ah – NO! Bedouins in the desert are covered head to toe or they’d be burned to a crisp in no time, and they do not have our light skin, so you should be careful in the sun, baby girl. So, as far as having our granddaughter run around Del Sol Valley barely dressed, we are totally uncool. Plus, in an outfit like that, you just look desperate and like you are trying to hard, in ANY generation, so find pants to cover your entire rear end and a tee that doesn’t look like it shrunk in the wash! Back upstairs, put about 75% more fabric on and check back in with us.” Maeve told her firmly.
Vivien let out a demonstratively exasperated sigh, didn’t even try to argue, but left obviously put out and upset.
“How did you know, dad? She’s always got so much baggy stuff on, probably trying to hide how skinny she is, so I didn’t think I need to do clothing checks on my 13 year old baby girl. And why is she barely dressed to go hang with Nikki and that other friend she has, that one that moved into Kai’s old home with her family anyway? I mean, what’s the point?”
“Well, having been her age once too, and just as stubborn and rebellious and all the other things that make her feel like a mini-me, I am gonna go with the guess that there will be at least one boy there, and one she likes enough for her to want him to notice her. Guessing Matteo, her little friend’s older brother. Handsome guy, 15 I think, voice soft as butter, no wonder she is discovering her femininity around him.” Maeve added.
“MOM! Stop! She is a little girl! Just a little tall, after a bit of a growth spurt. We’re a tall family. Inside she is still just a child. A little girl. MY little girl, who does not care about boys! At least not as such. She said it’s because it’s hot out. Makes sense.”
“Yeah, and because of your little girl I am now out of tampons. Little girl, my ass. Your little girl is becoming a woman, slowly, but inevitably right underneath our noses.” Maeve countered.
“MOM! STOP! NO! My little Vivien does not need tampons! You are driving me to drink! I don’t want to hear about that! You’re wrong, and she is my little girl. The end!” Blaine headed towards the bar, bottle in hand, when Everett spoke.
“Put that back down Blaine and get your ass in a car. My pants just buzzed, and for once I don’t think it has anything to do with your mother. Pretty sure that was the motion alert at the front gate. Yup, there she is, live and in full HD, here in clear view we have your lovely little innocent baby making a run for it. Her little bratty ass just skipped out on us. Just like her daddy. Welcome to flashbacks to your teen years, from our perspective! Enjoy that ride.” Everett had pulled the phone from his pocket, pulled up the app while speaking and showed the screen to a very shocked Blaine.
Cursing, he now slammed the bottle back down, ran into the lobby, grabbed his car keys and went after his 13 year old daughter.
Several hours and a lot of teen drama later, Vivien was fuming in her room, simmering on the severe punishment Blaine had unleashed on her after finding her at their neighbors’ property, as Maeve had suspected. Since it used to be Kai’s childhood home, Blaine knew how to bypass the high gate, and found the Bertuccis’ oldest child, son Matteo trying to get flirty with his Vivien! That already had Blaine’s blood boiling hot, when Matteo’s father appeared, yelling something about trespassing, Blaine flew off the handle, telling him in the decibel level of a plane hitting Mach 3 that his shoe is going to trespass on his ass if he were to say another word.
By the time he got home, in the middle of his rant at Vivien for her behavior, he already got a text from Kai.
After having dealt with Vivien, he called him and found out that Bertucci was considering pressing charges. Kai needed Blaine’s approval on remedial actions to get back to him with an offer right away. Blaine just agreed to everything.
And into all this suddenly Scarlett appeared.
“Can we go somewhere?”
“Nah, not now. Really bad time. Wait till you hear about Vivien’s latest adventures.”
“Blaine – I would REALLY like to go somewhere to talk with you. Please. You promised we could have a talk. Just us.”
“Raincheck. I know we need to talk, we’re overdue for some brass tax, I just can’t right now. I think I may get sued and gotta figure out how to …. hey!”
Scarlett had enough, hugged him and teleported away with him.
Windenburg Island Bluffs
Once at their destination, Blaine ranted right away.
“Scarlett, of all the times I would have enjoyed this, now is the worst time ever. I just can’t get away now to … is that a picnic? Are we in Windenburg?!!!!”
“It is and we are. Everett Heights was crowded …”
Blaine nearly slammed his hands against his face, rubbing it vicariously to demonstrate his frustration.
“Scarlett! I cannot be here now to have a lovely picnic with you, while shit’s on fire back home!” he said furiously.
“Blaine, I can fix it. I’ll fix it. I will handle it all. But please, be here now. Be here, with me. Please.” her tone remained calm, soft and begging.
“All right, what-the-fuck-ever, let’s have some champagne then. That actually sounds good anyway. Maybe afterwards I can just drown myself.”
Scarlett pulled him down onto the picnic blanket, Blaine began to feel the tension leave his body as the sparkly smoothness of the champagne ran down his throat, while Scarlett gently massaged his shoulders.
She fed him cheese, strawberries and pieces of baguette, dipped in butter, then kissed him. It felt good. He let go and allowed it all.
They got to talking, not about the problems and fears of today, but about fun, romantic and wonderful times shared over the many years they had known each other now.
They joked, reminisced, chuckled, interrupted by kisses ever so often.
After the topic got to their first time ever discovering physical love, with each other, here in Windenburg, but at Everett Heights, both fell silent for a moment, lost in their personal versions of that memory, until Scarlett pulled away.
“Where you going?” Blaine complained.
“Nowhere. Just stay right there. Just like this. I have to memorize this very moment in time for all eternity.”
She got up and knelt, Blaine thought she wanted to refill their glasses, handed her his, but she took it and put it aside, instead held on to his hand with both of hers.
“I know this is not the way this usually goes, and I had no plans for what’s about to happen, but I want this so bad. Our love story had so many ups and down, so much unnecessary drama for so long, it’s about time for a big change.”
She paused, Blaine looked up at her, puzzled, as she leaned forward and kissed his hand.
As she sat back up, still on her knees, still holding on to his hand, she spoke, her voice unusually soft and slightly shaky.
“Romeo, oh Romeo, marry me, my Romeo …”
… to be continued …