“Sometimes what we think we need isn’t what we need at all, and what gets thrown in for good measure is that which fills our hearts.“— Philip Gulley
Del Sol Valley Cameron Mansion
Humming an upbeat tune in the melodious voice of a trained career singer, Maeve entered the kitchen, where Blaine, Scarlett and Chase stood near the coffeemaker and couldn’t help but stare at her, as she nonchalantly grabbed a mug from the cupboard, poured herself some of the deep, dark broth, sipped it, then turned to them.
“What?” she asked innocently, well aware why everyone was staring. She had been staring at herself on her cell phone in Selfie mode for almost an hour from every angle before coming down, after she got done staring at Everett and he at her.
“Mom … you … look … ahem … wow!” stuttered Blaine.
He was the only one who could even get a word out. Chase had never seen his grandmother like this, other than on old photos. Her hair was once more ravenblack and curly, naturally, her alabaster skin that of a younger woman, devoid of all wrinkles, her figure that of a model, as she had always been very conscious about it.
“I know! Isn’t this amazing! You know, I always liked Caleb, so handsome and well-mannered, but now he is my hero! What a man, very skilled at his job. I mean, look at me. What a lovely side-effect of having him turn us, this restoration to a younger age, because he’s so ancient and powerful. Fancy that. Had I known THIS, I would have done this YEARS ago. Decades even. Oh, reminds me, I need to call the boutique to get in for a fitting. Funny thing about aging in reverse for a change, everything shifts back to where it belongs and now none of my dowdy granny clothes fit right, not to mention: UGH. Gramma’s got a nice set of tits again, and an ass that makes men appreciate me coming AND going, and I need the clothes to highlight that. Scarlett, you don’t mind me taking a peek in your closet to find something to wear until I can go shopping? Talk to you guys later!”
Maeve rushed out of the kitchen, humming.
“Ouch, my ears and brain, no grandson wants to hear about their grandmother’s T&A, even if she looks like that. A heads up would have been nice, parents. Oh man … anyone know how far this Benjamin Button shit is gonna go with them? Can I look forward to one day having to potty train my own grandparents before taking them out for a nice stroller walk?” sighed Chase.
“No honey. When I called you right after the incident, we didn’t know this was gonna happen and once it started, it wasn’t exactly something I could text or call you about. When you arrived last night they had been resting all day, the transformation wore them out, so none of us had seen the finished results. Like she said, it’s a side effect from my dad being so ancient and powerful, but he told me it’s just gonna restore them to their prime, whatever that may be. Maybe their forties. Maybe thirties?” Scarlett explained.
“Thirties?! So, at some point, my grandparents are gonna look younger than my oldest sister, who’s mortal and will continue aging? Oh jeeze. We REALLY don’t know how to normal, do we?” Chase exclaimed.
“Big words, Mr. College Probation. If your grades sucked any harder, I’d prostitute them out and retire. Your mother and I were up to some shit while in college, so was your sister, but none of us ever got probation or Bs and Cs. You literally had one job …”
“Daaaaad. I explained all that. I had two jobs. It’s the band. ‘2Dark 2C’ is very important to me, but it’s rough to balance it with attending classes. I don’t really need a degree. I am just doing that for you anyway. Colton’s right, you never stipulated what grade and never said anything about probation and such.” Chase countered.
Blaine was about to reply, but was rendered speechless as Everett now entered, who also looked just like he used to several decades ago, even though he acted decidedly more subdued than his wife.
He was several years older than Maeve, so his rejuvenation was a bit slower than hers but also nearing completion, his hair was almost the intense red it once had been, save a few gray strands that were still filling in. His wrinkles were gone, his walk was straighter, his movements smooth, there was visibly no more nagging pain from rheumatism and arthritis.
Scarlett gasped at how handsome the young version of her father-in-law looked, receiving a grunt and a nudge from Blaine, when he noticed her eyes resting on Rett’s well shaped derriere. Everett had always been the athletic type.
“Morning all. Oh thank god for good, strong coffee. I need me a bucket of that!” Everett’s once again smooth as butter voice now said as he turned to them, visibly amused by the surprised looks of everyone.
“Morning dad. You – WOW – look .. different, too. Holy fuck! Mind blown.” muttered Blaine, having a hard time processing the immense change in his parents in only the past 24 hours. Chase had not seen them yet at all until now and was speechless.
“Yeah, so I hear. Your mother can’t get enough of me now, and my rejuvenation isn’t catching up with her intimate vigor fast enough. That’s what I get for marrying a wild girl who’s so much younger. Turns out when you get yourself turned together, she recovers much faster. I just got out of bed, after she had her way with me half a dozen times in a row, and I need coffee and a nap but am afraid to lay down somewhere or she’ll jump my bones again. Haha, first world problems, right? But I tell you guys what, once I am where she is now, that girl better be running. I mean, have you seen your mother, Blaine? Dayum! Note to all: if the walls are a’rockin’ don’t come a’knockin’.” Rett chuckled.
“Grampa! TMI TMI TMI!!!!! Please mercy!” Chase looked ready to keel over.
Everett shrugged, smirking, then the three of them watched him leave the kitchen.
“Mom, dad, why me? Why did I have to witness this? I don’t want to know any of that about my grandparents who look more like an aunt and uncle now. Oh jeeze. So, is this the new normal now? Oh, and someone please make sure they don’t end up having a baby. I’d simply die on the spot.” Chase sighed, met by a huff from Blaine.
“You think I wanna hear about my parents’ bedroom shenanigans?! But naw, I asked that too and Caleb assured me that since they both got fixed when they decided I was to be an only child, the transformation won’t restore that. Honestly though, that’s literally the least of my worries right now. Us all being under the public microscope is. Here is where being famous makes everything extremely complicated. Your mother and I had a hard enough time explaining how come we don’t look our age, but thanks to enough imply-it-without-going-there about Botox and plastic surgery, it can all be explained away for a bunch more years. But how in the world are we to make plausible that your grandparents have reverted into looking like my peers? I got nothing here. Fuck a duck on all this shit!”
“Good question, next question, dad. They may just have to move away, somewhere they can be more anonymous. I got a question for you guys too. How safe is it to bring Hailey over here these days? I was gonna bring her, but wasn’t sure that was the best idea, all things considered. Have to say though, I hate being without her. Feels weird. I could really use her here right now, this would be a lot easier to show her than try to explain to her and she keeps me sane and grounded, stabilizes me in moments like this. Lord knows I could use it right about now.”
“Oh baby! You can bring her. Nobody would hurt Hailey. This was just a freak accident, totally out of the ordinary, we just overestimated Heath’s ability to judge his limits, because he’s so quiet he seems so mature compared to other teens, it’s easy to forget how young he still is. He and Cait still have so much to learn. A chain of events lead to this. Heath – and for good measure Caitlin too – have undergone very intense training again after the incident. Your grandpa Caleb himself took that on at Vatore Castle. You know how diligent he is. There won’t be a repeat and once the twins get that age, we know to make extra sure. You never needed so much extra attention about this, so your dad and I simply were to lax with Heath, as was Caleb.”
“ARGH, Chase, you drama queen. As if you are not gonna turn Hailey eventually anyway. I have on good authority that you already got your grandpa Caleb’s approval. How pro-active of you. When I heard about that I figured next time we see that girl, she’d have a different dental layout.” Blaine grumbled.
“Well dad, operative term being eventually. Meaning when she and I are good and ready. I just got the approval so I won’t have to worry about that once the time comes. And above all, I am gonna be the one doing it, not my foster brother. I heard you, mom, and I believe you, but still gonna say that if I as much as catch Heath even thinking about going near Hailey in a vampiric way, I am gonna punch him to Mars. If she gets turned, I will be the one to do it, that’s what she and I both agree on. Once Patches and I are ready for that step, it will be very romantic, envisioning some really awesome date, roses, candles, romantic music, dancing, chocolates, since she won’t have too much use for those afterwards … but that is definitely way down the line from here. Currently thinking honeymoon, but maybe sooner, maybe later.”
“Goddamn, you take after your mother. You sound like one of your grandmother Breana’s Harlequin novels just puked all over me.”
“Blaine! Chase, that is very mature of you, all of that, and I am very proud of you. Had your father’s turning not been an accident, I think I would have done something like that for him too, had we both decided to go this route. Unfortunately, as Maeve often likes to remind me, there was no choice for anyone. Oh well, such is life. My punishment apparently is to have my mother-in-law around forever to make sure I will never forget.”
“Oh, no, Letty. I had decided to go the vampire route back when we were teens, but SOMEONE rather broke up with me than turn me. That’s where you fucked up, darling, not when you turned me accidentally. I had been ready for this shit for ages. I even told you so again when we did that blood bond and created Vivien in the process. So don’t give me that mother-in-law up your ass shit, mom’s not THAT bad, let’s remember, because of Vivien and you, I am stuck forever with that dumbass brother of yours, Caelan. And besides, say what you will, it doesn’t get more romantic than turning me while we’re fucking hard and passionate. And, we created another baby during it all, Caitlin, who looks like a mini you. That’s a tough act to top in my book. I’d take that over dates, roses and sesquipedalian love nibbles on the neck any day and twice on Sunday.” Blaine ranted.
“DAD! OMG! No more, please stop, I beg. Can someone please take pity on me here?! But since you brought up uncle Cae, I need to talk to Vivien. Anyone know if she’s in town these days or on some promo tour again?” Chase asked.
“Why do you think Caelan and need Vivien. What did that shithead uncle of yours do now?” Blaine wondered.
“Hey!” Scarlett furrowed her brows at Blaine for talking bad about her little brother, receiving a frown and rolled eyes as response.
“Nothing dad. Just need to talk to my sister. She and Caelan are still conjoined at the hip, as you pointed out, so you think one, you can’t help think the other.” Chase delivered the little white lie almost perfectly.
“Chase honey, Vivien is at their house. No touring for a few weeks, then some PR for her latest single.” smiled Scarlett, Chase thanked her and a black cloud later he was gone, probably to get dressed and then head over to Vivien and Liam’s home down the street.
“Oh man, poor Chasey. Do you really have to talk to him about our intimate stuff like that? He’s our son, Blaine, he really doesn’t need so many details.”
“He’s a young man, Letty, not a baby. Pretty sure it’s not a secret to anybody who knows us that we like sex. Plus, I am a rock musician, naughty behavior is expected from me. And what do you think Chase does with Hailey all the time? You think they lay next to each other in their bed, sewn into the sheets by Colton each night, holding hands? Come on now. As if any kid of mine doesn’t already like fucking when they come out of the womb.” Blaine defended himself.
“Blaine! That’s quite enough now! I do not want to hear about my little boy and his girlfriend any more than he wants to hear about us, Blaine. The only thing our twins think about is food, diapers and snuggles. And Caitlin is a tender and innocent 13 years old and definitely doesn’t think about such things yet. And when she starts showing signs of such interests, I will prepare her and make sure she will make sound decisions, in and out of the bedroom, like I have with Vivien, Blake and Celeste! That stuff is not hereditary, it’s hormones and upbringing.”
“Ha – I am sure that harem of boys she surrounds herself with will help her think about all that before any of us are ready. I am telling ya, if the name is Cameron, it fucks, often and with great enthusiasm. Why do you think my whole family rushes their pets to get snipped as soon as they are old enough, otherwise they would all be living in zoos. Same goes for the human Camerons. Either you snip yo shit or you’ll be pushing strollers till you fall over from exhaustion. Prime example: US! And before you breathe that, no knives are going near my twig and berries! My shit is NOT getting pruned, I rather have a dozen more kids!” Blaine roared.
“Oh, you would now? Since YOU would be the one carrying the baby for 40+ weeks and give birth, then carefully nurse your body back to where it was, cos I may be vampire, but I am not made of rubber, plus I have to be always presentable since this entire family is in the spotlight all the time! And vampire or not, I do get exhausted and sore, especially when the baby – or more recently – babies, plural, try to rip off my already tender nipples, which their father constantly tries to fondle anyway until I nearly punch you off me. So, unless you mutate into someone who can take all that over, there will be no more babies and to use your terms, both our shit will be getting snipped! And if I have to prune your twig and berries myself! I urge you not to test me on that!”
Another black cloud and Scarlett was alone.
“Great job, me, now the wifey’s pissed. Damn my big mouth. And all that for just being honest. Oh well, I’ll give her an hour to calm down, then go kiss her ass until I am back on her good side, per usual. Not like this is the first, or last time. I should be used to it. Rule number one in this household seems to be that everything is always Blaine’s fault. Bad weather? Blaine. Bad mood: Blaine. Bad reception on the cell phone: Blaine. Wifey’s admittedly feisty mother-in-law now wearing her clothes: somehow probably also my fault. Someone misbehaves … oh, well, that’s actually usually me anyway. Wondering if mom and dad didn’t stutter when naming me and actually meant to call me “Blame”, not Blaine.”