“First love is a little foolish and a lot of curiosity.”George Bernard Shaw
Del Sol Valley Cameron Mansion
Brooding over a notebook at his parents’ dining room table, Chase winced when he suddenly felt arms being wrapped around him from behind, while he heard
“Chaseyyyyyyyyyyy …” near his ear.
“Hey Caitie. What do you want?”
“Can I not just be happy my big brother is home for a couple days without him suspecting ulterior motives?” she let go to plop down in a chair and pout.
“No. On account of me knowing you too well. I know your needy / wanty tone. So, what is it?”
“Well, look, Heath and I have been thinking that since you kinda don’t really live here anymore, at least not for a while, and if and when you do come back, it will probably be with Hailey, sooo, we thought, you two might like Blake’s old room better, since it’s much bigger, overlooks the DSV skyline, and has that huge bathroom and …”
“Stop! Just say it. You want the room because it’s next to yours.”
“Yeah sure. Why not? I don’t care.”
“REALLY!? OMG – you are the best. Love you Chasey. I’ll go tell mom and dad you are cool with it and then Heath and I will pack up your stuff later and move it over for you, so you don’t have to do a thing.”
“Yay. Thrilled beyond words. Mind letting me focus now?”
“Cait, this is the OPPOSITE of letting me focus. I am writing, song lyrics, but hitting a snag, it’s just not right, something’s off and I cannot figure out what to change. Every time I change something, it does the opposite of fixing it. I am beyond frustrated.”
“Fine, here … my brain is about to self-destruct anyway.” Chase sighed, leaned back and slid the notebook over to his sister, who read what he had, nodded, grabbed a pen, scribbled something here, something there, struck out lines worth of what Chase had written, then replaced them with her girly handwriting, complete with heart-shaped i-dots making Chase cringe, a few minutes later she slid the notebook back over to her older brother.
Chase read it, slightly annoyed to have someone else scribble around in his already messy and hard-to-decipher notes, he looked at it mostly to humor her, but then his expression changed to amazed.
“Cait, this is actually good. Sounds cool and ties it all in together without making it become bubble gum pop. When did you start taking music lessons?”
“Didn’t. Chase, I am a Cameron. All of us have music in our blood and genes. You can’t live here and not pick this up. Someone’s always singing, composing or making music. I helped daddy with his last three songs. And Vivien too. That chorus from her ‘Crystal Eyes, Crystal Heart’ single, that was me.”
“Well, thanks sis. This is great, and now extra-special. Feel like I owe you one. Want me to take you out for coffee at that overpriced in-cafe you and your lil friends like?”
“We’re not little, Chase. I could use some brotherly advice. But not here. Can we go to your room or mine?”
“Let’s go to yours since I just got evicted by my little sister.” Chase chuckled at Cait’s stuck out tongue.
They ran up the stairs, Chase refrained from porting, knowing his little sister hadn’t learned that yet, and he followed her into her frilly, girly room, where she closed and locked the door, then joined him on the floor.
“You do realize that’s kinda pointless with our parents, right?” he said.
“Well, it slows them down, since they try to be mostly normal parents and do use doors, at least initially. So, I need your help to talk to our parents for me about something they would probably shoot down without even listening to me if I tried. You remember KC, right?”
“That carpenter’s kid with the Southern drawl? Hard to forget, he’s the in-your-face type. What about him?”
“So, you know he and I have known each other for many years. He came back into town the week before last with his dad, as usual, and we met up, also as usual, but … well … so … not kinda like usual he … well … he kissed me.”
“What?! Caitlin … I sure hope you punched him in the face, if not, I will!”
“Chase no! I liked it. I kinda liked it enough to hope he’d do it again soon. He did and it still felt SO nice. And then we went on a date. Then another. Well, not all in the same day of course. I mean, duh. Anyway, on the last day before he had to leave, two days ago now, he asked me to be his girlfriend. I said yes. I have a boyfriend now, Chasey.”
“Boyfriend?! Kissing?! Isn’t he two years older than you?! Dad will kill him. I might kill him. Surprised Heath hasn’t killed him yet. Where is he anyway?”
“Heath flunked one of grandpa’s vampire knowledge tests and had to spend the week at Vatore Castle for extra-overtime-mental-torture until tonight. He knows nothing about any of that yet, I didn’t want to tell him on the phone, but in person. Anyway, you are the first to know. I haven’t told anybody else. ” Cait admitted.
“Feel honored, but Cait, you are 13 … that’s too young for kissing and most definitely too young to have a boyfriend. You’re gonna have to undo that. Tell him you’re not ready for something like that yet, if he cares about you, he’ll understand. I can see why you like KC, but he is not that funny, crazy friend he used to be. He’s a lot more now. And he’s probably gonna want a lot more from you now than kissing. Boys that age don’t always think with the right head, Caitie.”
“I am almost 14 and not true. KC’s still who he always was. He reminds me of you. I feel like I can talk to him about everything, totally uncensored. Remember how we used to sit together in each other’s rooms and just talk all night long? I miss that. I miss you, Chasey. Four years of college seems like forever. Do you really need a college degree? You already have a band and won awards.”
“Caitie, yes, I promised dad I would be his son with a college degree, so I have to. I don’t want to disappoint him. And I have to work really hard cos I seriously crashed my grades into the wall because of ‘2Dark 2C’. But look, KC is nothing like me. A boyfriend is not a brother-substitute. Most boys KC’s age are up to no good. They’re egoistic and not at all like in those chick flicks. They’re users.”
“You weren’t like that.”
“No, I wasn’t, because I was a totally socially awkward nerd who was glued to a computer monitor and couldn’t get a word out in front of any girl I wasn’t related to, especially not when they are pretty. I am still kinda that way, I can only do fan meet and greets with Hailey and Colton next to me. So, I am not the right measure here. Talk to Liam about that. He’ll tell you how he used to be. He’s pretty open about that. And honestly, Blake wasn’t that much better.”
“Liam and Blake obviously were players, plus Liam was perma-frustrated because he thought he couldn’t have Vivien. I already know that. KC’s not like that. I mean, he is SO cute …”
“Caitlin. Don’t. If you think I am full of shit, then test him. Don’t hang out with him unless it is in public, or better yet, with a parent around, so he can’t kiss you again. Be strong. If you keep that up for, say, a month or two, and if he’s still interested, fine, we’ll talk about me helping you fight to get that past mom and dad. My guess would be he moves on, cos his tricks didn’t work on you. You also have to consider something that may make me sound like a total douchebag, but it’s our reality: we are the kids and siblings of celebrities. Some people just want to get close to us because of that. KC’s parents aren’t wealthy. You are. Maybe he wants what we have.”
“No! He’s not like that. Man, you are just like the other adults. I thought you would get this. I don’t think love has a number, a certain age after which it …”
A knock on the door interrupted them, then the handle was tried, in vain.
“CAITLIN ROSE CAMERON!” sounded Blaine’s warning voice as he already materialized in the middle of her room.
“Whoops. Sorry daddy …”
“You’ll think whoops! We had discussions about locked doors. You are lucky this is Chase and not Heath or that kid would be minced meat now! You officially lost that key now lil Miss Thang! What’s all this anyway? Top secret anti-parent plotting by Twiddle-Dee and Twiddle-Dum?”
“Funny dad. Talking to my sister, is that allowed?”
“Behind locked doors? Well, at least you two get along, maybe a little too well sometimes, still better than one of those sibling rivalry things. Wrap it up now, you two. Your grandparents summoned the whole family together for some ‘let’s discuss our future‘ crap. So you two finish braiding each other’s hair and get to the living room. And whatever they lay on us, smile and be supportive, copy that?”