“May your actions reflect your hopes, not your fears.”
Del Sol Valley Cameron Mansion
Angrily, while yelling profanities, Chase slammed his cell phone into the wall, where it burst into several pieces, as he kicked a few piles of the clothing that always seemed to end up on his floor, before kicking his dresser so hard that it sounded like an earthquake hit.
Just seconds later there was a knock on the door.
“Chase, sweetheart – are you okay? Did you fall down?” sounded his grandmother Maeve’s concerned voice through the door.
“I am fucking fantastic! Just leave me the fuck alone!” he roared, instantly regretting it.
The door burst open, and his grandmother stomped in, slamming the door behind her while facing Chase, looking as pissed as Chase expected her to.
“Excuse you, young man?!” she snarled.
His sometimes uncontrolled outbursts usually flew under the radar with his parents if they happened in his own room, but not his grandparents. Location didn’t matter with them. He’d get it now.
Maeve instantly laid into him about respect and appropriate behavior, which just upset him even more.
In his uncontrollable teen angst and anger, mixed with being very upset, sad and confused he did something he had never dared before.
“Oh, blow it out of your ass, you old hag! You can take your entitled bullshit and shove it! You women are all the same – high and mighty and then just play with us men and shit on our feelings!” he screamed back, then ported away.
Forgotten Hollow Outside Vatore Mansion
He ended up in Forgotten Hollow, the intention had been to see Colton, but Chase remembered he broke his phone earlier, and if he were to just walk up to their front door and ring the doorbell, he’d get the 10 degrees of Riordan, as by now, undoubtedly, his parents would be calling around – starting with his best friend – after his grandma yelled at them about their awful son. URGH!
It was forbidden to just port into anyone’s home unannounced and uninvited, save proper emergencies, and this did not qualify as such. If caught, he’d be in a whole new world of serious trouble. Not that now too.
Riordan was super-nice and Chase liked him a lot, but not his endless lectures. Like Caleb, Riordan took proper behavior of vampires very seriously.
As he was looking for rocks to throw at Colton’s window to get his attention that way, he felt a presence behind him, turned to find his mother Scarlett.
“Shit indeed, the neck-deep kind, and you, my son, are up the creek without a paddle. Come on, Chase, let’s walk over to Vatore Park and sit down. We have to talk.” Scarlett said calmly, but serious.
“Chase. We are going to talk, and that’s that.” Scarlett determined, while she never raised her voice, something in her tone made Chase oblige.
Sitting next to his mother on a bench at Vatore Park, named after their ancestors, he let out a frustrated groan, to which his mother gently rubbed his back. Something about that calm, caring gesture made him want to open up.
“Mom, I don’t get Hailey at all anymore. I am so frustrated. Everything was great between us, for over a year, no problems, no fights, and now suddenly she is all weird, freezes me out, keeps cancelling everything all the time, but won’t tell me why and I have not the foggiest clue what I could have done to upset her so. We are both each other’s first relationship, if I screwed up, don’t I deserve a heads up and a chance?”
“You do. Have you asked her – REALLY asked her – what may be wrong? No whiny accusations, no pouting, none of the usual Chase anger outbursts, just a simple, calm question?”
“I have asked her every which way by now, mom. She doesn’t want to hang with me, she cancelled next weekend on me, and tonight she cancelled the graduation trip to Selvadorada with Colton and me. Fuck mom! It was supposed to be the four of us, first Nadia says she won’t go, now Hailey. Now it’s just Colton and me. I mean, WTF? Why do we have girlfriends if they won’t even go on the coolest graduation trip ever with us? I thought it would be a fun and romantic adventure trip, now it’s just another sausage fest.”
“First of all, Chase, you really need to learn how to properly channel your emotions, baby. That is true for any young man, but especially our kind. Blowing up at innocent bystanders, who love you and only want to help, like your grandmother, is unacceptable. Secondly, having a girlfriend does not mean she has to be at your beck and call. If she changed her mind about going on vacation with you, you will have to accept it. Thirdly, for as long as anyone can remember, it has been Colton and you. Since you both could barely walk and to this day, having girlfriends doesn’t change that he’s your best friend. So, I don’t think a ‘sausage fest’ in the jungle would be so terrible, besides, you are both immortal and you wouldn’t have to worry about the girls getting hurt or running out of steam while exploring. And you can leave your dirty clothes laying around and fart all you want.”
“Oh, come on now, Chase. I have known your father for long enough and you all your life. And I grew up with a little brother. I know what you boys do when we girls are not around – or when you think we’re not.”
“If you really knew that, I’d be forever grounded and dad would be divorced. We’re fucking gross if no girls are present. I wouldn’t date me, knowing all that.”
“Well, at least you are joking again. Chase, I don’t know what is up with Hailey either, but she is not the flighty type. I am sure whatever is bothering her, she will eventually let you in. Maybe it’s stress with finals, maybe stress with other kids at her school, maybe at her barista job, … we could guess this to death. Give her time and be patient. You keep saying you want to marry her one day. This is good practice. Marriage isn’t all ponies and rainbows, let me tell you. There are many ups, but also some really low downs. Just please – PLEASE – don’t give up on her and this relationship too quickly. I made that mistake when your dad and I were very young, I thought I was doing the right thing, trying so hard to set your father free and it just about broke both of us, until one child together and many years later I actually had to break up his marriage to Bristol so he and I could finally truly find happiness. No regrets, but it could have been avoided with better choices and is not something I am proud of, especially since I liked Bristol. Lesson to be retained: never break your own and other’s hearts because you did what you thought was expected, even though all along you knew it felt wrong. And never easily give up one someone – or something – you love.”
“Look, mom, I know you’re right, but that isn’t even the problem. I don’t want to give up on Hailz, that is actually the very last thing I want to do. But I at least want to know what’s going on for real. If she needs time away from me, I’d give that to her, but I need words, not just get cut off one day to the next, kicked out of her life like a cheap hooker. Ah mom, I am gonna need a new phone. My old one .. broke.”
“Oh, I heard all about your phone breaking, my ears are still ringing from your grandma’s loud evaluation about how your dad and I failed you and society in your upbringing. Your grandmother is livid with you. Good luck getting back on her good side. That’s not something I can – or want to – help you with. That is all on you, sweet boy.” said Scarlett.
“Great, thanks much, mom.” frowned Chase.
“Hey, you know your grandma and her temper, you made your bed.” shrugged Scarlett.
“She’s probably whom I got my temper from. Maybe I can spin it that way. Maybe grandpa can help.”
“Oh, Rett’s just as pissed, cos he has to deal with Maeve’s mood now. The only thing you can expect out of him is snarky puns. More so than usual, I mean.” giggled Scarlett.
“I am glad you think this is funny, mom.” groaned Chase, unable to hide a faint smile himself.
“It is kinda funny, and before long, I am sure you will look back to this and agree. Let’s get back home and put out the fires you set before they get out of control. Use that natural boyish charm you inherited from your dad to slime your way back onto Maeve’s good side, do the walk of atonement, bat your eyes and use your little boy’s voice to tell her you’re sorry and she’s just the best grandma since the invention of grandmas and she won’t be able to help melting into a puddle of goo.” Scarlett rose up, Chase followed suit, frowning.
“I wish. If that shit actually worked, I’d be at Hailey’s doorstep right now pulling all that and then some.” Chase grimaced.
“Baby, without wanting to go into any details of this, but I think we both know that your relationship with your 79 year old grandmother is significantly different than with your 17 year old girlfriend. If all that worked on Hailey, I’d REALLY be concerned and very worried, baby.”
While both Maeve and Rett relatively quickly forgave their grandson, nothing changed with Hailey.
TO BE CONTINUED
Author's Note : I know cliffhangers naturally lead to guessing, but it's not what you think ... the next chapter will soon follow.