AnonymousDon’t try to rush things that need time to grow.
Del Sol Valley Cameron Mansion
With a satisfied smirk Blake turned off his phone after checking his social media feeds and headlines, most of which praised his recent work – and in the case of his female fans also his handsome appearance and sexy demeanor in front of audiences, then put it on his nightstand before sitting up to rise from his comfortable bed, with a scenic view over a sunrise illuminating an awakening Del Sol Valley skyline, so he could go about his usual morning routine.
While Blake knew that it was privileged and prestigious living, he was born and raised here and didn’t know a different life. His father’s, grandparents’ and older sister’s fame had certainly helped him advance in his acting career as fast and successfully as he had, and he even acknowledged that fact. Still, he had never known a different way, so it all seemed nothing but normal to him.
A little later, he slipped off his boxers and stepped under the steaming water of his ensuite shower, by the large windows also overlooking downtown Del Sol Valley from the hilltop where the Cameron Mansion was situated on prime real estate.
As the hot streams of the water caressed his well-trained and groomed tanned body, he closed his eyes and smiling remembered the tender and steamy caress of his girlfriend until just moments ago.
A young actress herself, Milena Sheridan, called Mila, who had to leave to travel to a set on an early morning flight out after their very hands-on goodbye, meaning she couldn’t stay for breakfast as usual. After one last romp between the sheets in the golden rays of the morning sun, she took a quick shower, then the driver was already at the door to whisk her away to the airport.
The next few weeks would be lonely again for Blake, not something he was looking forward to, even though he was not a stranger to it. The other side of the coin of being famous and wealthy by birth and by profession had been that finding someone who wasn’t just into his celebrity persona and money, but really wanted to know and love the young man beneath all the notoriety had proven to be extremely difficult and frustrating before he met Mila on a movie set. While he had gone on dates since puberty first gave him a new appreciation for girls, Blake had never adopted his father’s former rakish ways and had been very picky about the girls he got closer to. Never one to sleep around, Blake instead had always much preferred to bask in the attention of attractive females, then pulled the plug before it could get physical.
Most of his first dates never made it past a small peck goodbye afterwards, let alone to a second date or beyond, and there had only been one real girlfriend before his current one, a starlet named Diana, but that relationship was short-lived. The current lady by his side, Milena, was stunning, smart and funny, standing out from the crowd with her ability to laugh at herself and not just others like most girls her age, especially in this business and as an added bonus, she knew first hand how sometimes work had to come first and all the other things that made dating an actor different from dating someone not in the limelight. She was also from a rather wealthy family herself, which took the gold-digger aspect out of the equation. When Blake had introduced her to his family, they all loved her right away, he had met her parents and brother and got along well. Together, Blake and Mila made the perfect Del Sol Valley front-page news celebrity couple. A dream life, really.
After his shower he stood in front of his closet, humbly sized for someone of his caliber, but only because the latest designer clothing was frequently rotated in and last season’s designs were removed. Out of all the Cameron men, Blake was probably the one who cared about his looks and fashion the most. Once dressed and on his way downstairs he passed the nursery where his youngest sibling, infant sister Caitlin Rose was cooing happily in her crib, the door was open, so he entered to snuggle her, generating a happy smile by the baby. With a small peck on her chubby, soft cheek he placed her back into her crib, where she yawned and quickly drifted off to another nap.
“And dad calls ME lazy and entitled … look at you princess. You twitch and everyone comes running to feed, bathe and love on you. And nobody even minds, how could we?” Blake chuckled, before he headed downstairs.
In the kitchen he found his father Blaine by the coffeemaker, where else?, waiting for the thick, very strong dark brew he was notorious for to run through.
When Blaine noticed his son enter, without asking, he immediately grabbed another cup and filled it, while they greeted each other.
“You didn’t happen to see your retched sister and brother heading this way too, didcha?” Blaine asked as he handed a cup to his son.
“No, only Cait, but pretty sure she isn’t heading this way on her own for a couple more years.” Blake quipped back.
“Dammit! Your shithead siblings won’t give us one measly day without drama about getting their asses to school on time. Two teens is a lot for a parent. I can see why my parents were smart enough to stop at one! I swear today alone I told those monsters a dozen times each to get their ungrateful, lazy and entitled asses down here.”
“Where’s your back-up, aka mom? Usually she knows how to crack that whip just right to make them listen.” Blake grinned.
“Doing whatever girls do in the morning that blocks the bathroom for hours. I never understood why. She is beautiful going in and still looks beautiful coming back out, just sometimes with a different hairstyle or lipstick. Same as your sister. No telling what’s taking your brother so long.”
“With Chase, no telling. He’s a good kid, but weird on whole new levels! He may be saving puppies or holding some dark demonic mass in his room, all possible, knowing him. All I know is that I am not going in there. I leave that to the immortal members of this family.” Blake chuckled, Blaine frowned, but smirked too.
“Nah, nothing demonic or puppies, unless it’s all part of a computer game. That kid’s eyes will be square one day from playing those games for hours. Ironically I cannot even tell him to play outside, since he’s a vampire, so he has to stay in, might as well let him play his games unless we wanna punish ourselves listening to him whine and complain all night. But Celeste really needs to step on it. I’d go get her but last time I did that I thought I heard her say enter, so I went in and ended up with half her closet tossed at me while she screamed death and murder until your mother calmed her down. She was in her nightgown, the same one she sits at the breakfast table with. Turns out, it wasn’t her clothing, she had no makeup on. I am her father and cannot see my child without makeup!? Gimme a gazillion breaks now! I’ll send those two shitheads ‘Get-Your-Asses-To-School-With-Detour-Thru-Kitchen-For-Food’ text messages, their faces are glued to their phones 24/7 anyway.” Blaine ranted, shaking his head, making Blake laugh.
“Are you really surprised Celeste is into makeup and her looks so much? I mean, she is so much like mom. The dead one, I mean. Even looks like her, except the eyes from her father. Celie’s damn YouTube thing is taking off. Has several thousand subscribers now, she made me subscribe to support her when she first started it, as sort of a celebrity endorsement, worked too, so I thought she wouldn’t notice now if I unsubscribed, but let me tell you, she did! I couldn’t hear right for days. So if you subbed her, do not touch that button, dad.” Blake shared a mother with Celeste, late Bristol, Blaine’s ex-wife, who used to be a YouTube celebrity with a beauty and wellness channel that surpassed a million subscribers long before Celeste was even born, yet fashion and beauty had always been Celeste’s main interest as well, from early childhood on.
Blake was Blaine’s biological son from his marriage to Bristol, Celeste had a different father, Bri’s second husband, who had died in the same car crash as their mother. Celeste was still a toddler when she lost her parents, barely even remembered them, only from photos, it was a no-brainer for Blaine and Scarlett to take her in and foster her, to Celeste Blaine and Scarlett were the only parents she knew and loved like a child loves their biological parents. The only reason she declined their offer to adopt her outright was that she wanted to preserve one small memory of her parents in keeping their last name, Collins, at least until she got married, when she would use it as her middle name. To the rest of the family it mattered little what her last name was. Oldest sister Vivien’s last name was still Vatore, her mother’s maiden name since Viv had been born out of wedlock, and due to her strong ties to the Vatore side she had decided to keep it even after her parents got married eventually.
Sipping his coffee, Blake watched his father’s face light up as Scarlett entered, she returned the smile and they hugged and kissed as if they hadn’t seen each other in days, with a swift movement Blaine sat Scarlett up on the counter and the kissing intensified. This wasn’t unusual behavior for them, they had never been like a couple that had been married for over a decade and spent every hour of every day together. While just like his siblings Blake rarely missed an opportunity to make fun of their parents for all their demonstrative PDA, he secretly loved seeing them this way and knew, same held true for the rest of the kids. It was comforting to the younger ones and inspiring to the older ones. A sort of lived-out reminder that parents were still lovers, too.
But less than a month later the casual atmosphere at the Cameron Mansion had shifted to tense.
Preceding the events were Blake having to travel across country for auditions and interviews on live TV, his schedule full and exhausting, he had felt lonely on the road, so when he was finally done for a while he decided to not fly directly home afterwards as planned, but to go see Milena on the film set instead. He arrived in time to find out her production had just been cancelled after they lost two sponsors. Basically the actor’s version of a layoff.
Blake consoled a devastated Mila, then decided to whisk her away on a weekend get-away to take her mind off the sad news. Off to party city. Las Vegas.
Now they had returned home to Del Sol Valley, both cowering next to each other on the couch at the Cameron Mansion, both severely hungover, Scarlett staring at them, mouth agape while Blaine was treating them to a piece of his mind at the decibel level of a large cargo plane at take-off.
“You sparrow-brained fruit of my loins! You fucking moron! 21 years old and still hasn’t learned to occasionally think with the head on top! Sees a crying pair of tits – sorry Mila, nothing personal – and your solution is to slap a ring on it? I am surprised you managed to get it on her finger, as drunk as you two brain-donors were! Probably took you as many attempts as getting that ugly cheap ring out of the gumball machine, am I right?!” Blaine ranted.
“The ring was part of the package we booked. I’ll get her a new one …”
“Oh, great, THAT will make everything all right then!” Blaine ranted.
“Sorry Blaine … Or should I say Mr. Cameron now? No, that makes no sense. So confused, my head hurts so much. Oh man, I guess I am Mrs. Cameron now. Oh boy.” Mila realized, frowning, rubbing her aching temples.
“Don’t get used to it, princess, cos this shit is getting annulled – PRONTO! I already called Kai, he asked to tell you to fucking use your brain every once in a while. Not even a fucking pre-nup, dick-for-brains!” Blaine ranted, first at Mila, then Blake.
“Dad, we got married in Vegas. They don’t do pre-nups there and Mila would never …”
“Is that supposed to be an excuse?! Or an explanation?! It’s shit either way, kid!”
“Blaine, I swear, I am not trying to get money out of this … I would never! I just love your son and … oh, I don’t even know anymore what happened … oh boy!” Milena tried.
“Well, splendid then, Mila, you won’t have a problem slapping your John Hancock on the annulment, once Kai noodles that shit through the ether!”
“Dad, leave her alone. It’s not her fault …. it’s mine.”
“Oh, I know THAT! Rest assured you have 100% of the blame in my book, son! But I am at least allowed to have a conversation with my temporary daughter-in-law, aren’t I?!”
“Dad, I am 21 … we love each other, it was a spur of the moment thing …”
“You definitely are my son, Blake! I should be fucking proud of this gem, even my dumb ass never thought to do that, run away and marry a girl in Vegas, definitely a lot cheaper than what I did! Maybe I will burst for pride, once I am not so fucking angry anymore! Actually, no, I don’t think I will be, you know why? Because I have a brain and use it! And once you sobered up enough, you will realize you just signed your life away like this … again, no offense Mila. Same goes for you too. This is not what either of you wanted – or needed!”
“None taken, and no worries, Blaine. I am sure I’ll get to listen to the same from my dad once he picked me up. He sounded kinda like you on the phone and my mom was crying in the background. Yikes.”
“As you should! Barely – what are you? 20? Barely 20 years and married … if you were my daughter, I’d have you over my knee spanking till my hand goes numb then lock you in a tower and throw away the key!”
“I am 19, well, almost, Mr. Cameron – ahem, Blaine … Kinda still 18 for a few more months …” Mila’s voice was little.
“Congratulations, you just made a shitty situation worse, Mila. Married at 18. Holy fuckballs! Nope, nope, NOPE! How did you even get drunk? Oh wait, nope, I do NOT want to hear it! Spare me!”
“Blaine, come on now. I know this is a strange situation, I gave you some time to get it out of your system, but now it’s enough. Poor Mila doesn’t need this from you and it is still fixable.” Scarlett mediated.
“Fixable, yeah. Those two numbnuts will sign the annulment and then both take cold showers before I send him to his room and her to her parents to sleep off the hangover, while you and I order chastity belts and anti-wedding band gloves for the entire brood, so nobody randomly gets married again!”
“Dad – stop it! Quit talking about me like I were a dumb child! I am twenty-fucking-one years old! People get married at that age all the time!” Blake had enough, jumped up and got right into his father’s face.
“No, people go to COLLEGE at that age, you should be looking to graduate in a year or so! Nobody gets married at 21. At least nobody in their right mind on some drunk whim because their girlfriend lost their job and the sobbing made them horny so in their drunk mind it became a ‘why buy milk if I can marry the cow?’ kinda thing! Had you attended college, you would know better!” Blaine brought up another sore subject between him and his son, the fact that Blake had refused to attend college.
“If you are so obsessed with fucking college, why don’t YOU go back there then!? I managed quite well without it, wouldn’t you say!? I am a fucking world-famous actor, I get flooded with casting invitations! They come to ME! And as for Mila, I love her! Maybe I want to be married!”
“You want to be married like I want a rectal exam with a cactus!”
“Oh – well, thank you very much! Tell me more about your thoughts on marriage in general and ours in particular! I might just take you up on that rectal exam. Pucker up!” Scarlett grumbled.
“I am not talking about us, Scarlett! You and I didn’t get married at 18! Oh no, we got married in our 30s. And I got married to this shithead’s mother at 25, when I was actually old enough. Also, spoiler alert – college helped your mother and me figure shit out, look around you! Your grandparents may have laid the groundwork, but your mother and I built all this into what your entitled ass grew up in! Through education, hard work, dedication and using our BRAINS! Take a note, Blake!”
“STOP IT! I am a grown man! Quit acting as if I were a pre-teen boy!” Blake held against Blaine’s rant.
“Then quit acting like one, you snot-nosed almost-man, who can’t see the forest for the tits! This is nonsense, we’ll fix it and learn from it!”
“You know what?! Fuck college, fuck all this, fuck your rules and fuck YOU! I am not signing shit, dad! You can take that annulment and shove it up your ass! I think I WANT to be married to her. Do you want to be my wife still, babe?” Blake growled.
“Ahem .. I think ….what?” Mila muttered in the background, looking positively miserable.
“Okay, we’re staying married then. Two ADULTS, married! Deal with it, dad!”
“Blake, come on now …” Scarlett tried.
“What?! You think I cannot handle being a husband?!” Blake now directed his anger at her.
“I am sure you would make Mila a great husband and she you a lovely wife – eventually. But you are both very young and I worry, it’s my job as you mother …”
“You are NOT my mother! You are a home-wrecker, and the LAST person I need marriage advice from! I’ll be sure to consult you if I ever need to break up someone like you did with my parents’ marriage!” Blake nearly spat the harsh words at Scarlett.
Before anyone could react, Blaine had swung at his son, at the last second diverted the motion, so instead it was a sort of shove, still hard enough that Blake stumbled backwards, landing on his butt with a loud thud. Gasping, everyone stared, stiffly, Blake sat there, until he unfroze, jumped up, grabbed Mila by the wrist and pulled her along as he ran past the stiff-for-shock Blaine and Scarlett, who could only watch the kids run across the lobby.
“Blake … wait!” Scarlett tried.
Next came the slamming of the front door echoing off the marble floors of the lobby.
Scarlett’s heart broke as she looked at Blaine’s face, clearly reflecting his inner rollercoaster. Never before had he shown violence towards any of the kids, and none of them had been truly easy. Blaine would get upset, rant, crack his jokes, even curse, but never anything more. Clearly, his overreaction had stemmed from sheer worry, mixed with protectiveness for his wife, paired with the still painful memory on how things ended with Bristol.
“Baby … ” Scarlett said gently hugging him from behind, as he kept turning away from her, unable to look her in the eye.
“I can’t believe I did that! I didn’t mean to, Letty, I swear … I never thought I would hit one of our children … I hit my boy, Letty!” Blaine mumbled.
“You didn’t hit him, you … nudged him. It’ll be okay, baby, he will understand. You didn’t hurt him. He was out of line, emotions were running high, you overreacted, I am sure he will realize that soon too.”
“What if not?! What if I just lost my son? What if I beat my own son out of his home, where he is supposed to feel safe? Why did I do that? Why is it so bad if the boy is married? Scarlett, I fucked up bad again!”
“You didn’t beat him! You would never. No, baby, I am sure it will all be fine … You won’t lose your son. You both just need to cool off. Give him some time. I love you Blaine.”
“I am sure I’ll find a way to fuck that up too!” Blaine sounded desperate, sunk to his knees, so Scarlett sat down in the nearest chair and pulled him closer, until he rested his head in her lap, with her gently stroking his hair, calming.
“Blaine, baby, snap out of it! Come on honey, you are stronger than this! I know he was just upset and if we are perfectly honest, he wasn’t even wrong. I did break up your marriage and I would do it again if I had to. Because I love you, because we belong, and he knows that. He just has to come down and breathe for a moment. And sleep off his hangover. Waking up married without remembering your wedding cannot be easy for an 21 year old boy with his 18 year old wife, whom he had known for a total of what, 8 months? Especially a boy who grew up as sheltered as Blake. If he had been so sure about it, they both wouldn’t have gotten on the next plane and come straight to us, looking like a dog who stole a steak, tails tucked. They knew they messed up. All will be fine, soon.”
Blake remained gone, did not return any phone calls or messages, freezing his parents out for days, and didn’t return until Blaine was scheduled to record an appearance for a local late night show promoting a new album. While zipping up a duffel bag, he was very surprised when his room door opened and his father walked in. Watching worried as Blaine walked up to him with firm and fast steps, his face serious, then stopped right in front of Blake and held his son’s gaze.
“I am sorry, Blake. I should never have laid a hand on you. Forgive me, son, and please come back home. I love you.”
Those simple words, spoken with sincerity and from a place of love, changed Blake’s world. The tension left his body instantly, leaving him with a feeling of relief and desire to belong again. He lunged forward to hug his father tighter than he had in a very long time. The separation had hurt and bothered him. He liked being close to his parents and hated the discord, but didn’t want to back down either. Blaine proved to be the bigger man, which didn’t go unnoticed by his son. Blaine had often taught him the most without saying a word.
“I am sorry, too, dad. About everything, but especially about what I said about mom. Man, I feel like hammered shit! I would have deserved a real punch to the face for what I said and did.”
“Makes two of us. Scarlett’s fine, she just wants you home, we all do, and things back to normal too.”
“I don’t think our family knows how to do normal, dad. Why are you not at your interview anyway?”
“Cos Scarlett called me and said you were home. Priorities, kid. They’ll just have to deal with me live later on. I’ll try to censor myself.” Blaine’s TV appearances, especially interviews, were usually pre-recorded knowing his tendency for cursing and explosive temper, both of which had only gotten worse since he was turned.
“Wow. Does she hate me now?”
“Nonsense. Of course she doesn’t. Nobody does. We may think you are an entitled, ungrateful, arrogant prick, but what else is new, right?”
“Right. But I do have news too. Mila and I had the wedding annulled. Thought you’d like to hear that.”
“Chickenshit!” Blaine said chuckling, playfully wrestling with his son for a moment, both men laughing relieved.
“You got that right, dad. Once I sobered up and realized what we had done, I fucking shit a brick! Don’t get me wrong, I love Mila, she is an amazing girl, and I am pretty sure she loves me too, but I think the marriage thing will have to wait a few more years. You were right, dad. You’re always right.”
“I want that engraved to hang on my wall. And on a t-shirt! May get that as a tattoo! Now, leave your shit and come hang with your family. We all missed your arrogant, entitled ways. Where’s your ex-wife?”
“Mila is not an ex anything, dad. The wedding was annulled, so it’s like it never actually happened, meaning we are exactly where we were before, Mila’s still my girlfriend. Maybe I should propose to her, since it’s not that I don’t want to be married to her, eventually, but not like this and not yet. She feels the same way and is more than happy to be Miss Sheridan for a while longer. But if we were to get engaged, it would be with a REALLY nice ring you and I would be proud of, one you helped me pick out. We both know girls like to flaunt those rocks.”
“Blake, son, shut the fuck up! You two are fine just the way you are now! Give the leveling-up a few more months – and by months I probably mean years. Cos your all-knowing dad said so. Remember, I am always right. Yup, yup.” Blaine winked and flicked his son’s ear.
“I can see telling you that was a big mistake, too. Went straight to your head.” Blake barely evaded the flick, smirking. He enjoyed the playfulness, signaling all was okay between them.
“At least in my case it went to the right head. The one atop my shoulders. Also something you can learn from me.”
“Sure, the right head on top of your shoulders. That’s why you “only” have five kids, right dad?” Blake teased grinning.
“Hey, listen smartass, I am only biologically responsible for four of those. And I tell you what, if the number of kids were any indicator of how much … let’s just say there would be a whole new continent filled with just Cameron siblings, son.”
“TMI, dad, TMI!”
Blaine winked at his oldest boy, then put his arm around him and dragged the young man out of his room, secretly relieved that this awful situation had been diffused.