“What we wait around a lifetime for with one person, we can find in a moment with someone else.”
Windenburg Lake House About 6 weeks since the separation
Liam answered the door, and his face instantly reflected the surprise he felt.
Before him a model-thin woman, beautiful and dressed in expensive clothing, behind her a black limousine, all of which looked very much out of place in the rural surroundings.
“Vivien? What are you doing here?”
“Had business in San Myshuno and decided to stop by. I thought for sure you’d move back to the penthouse but guess not. I would never have guessed you’d move to the Lake House of all places. It’s so small. And old. And rustic.”
“With my parents back in Del Sol Valley. It’s the middle of the school week or I would have brought him. May I come in?”
“Right. Sure.” Liam stepped aside and let her in, still in shock to see his soon-to-be-ex-wife here.
“Oh boy.” she said, looking at the many boxes all over the floor, her voice echoing in the nearly empty room.
“Yeah, sorry, about the mess, I am in the middle of a serious remodel, room by room, so this is gonna go on for a while. Not the most welcoming spot at the moment and I got no seating left until the new furniture gets delivered. Vivien, why are you here? I heard you, business in San Myshuno, but why are you at my door now?”
“Can we not visit anymore now, unless it’s to drop off Nick? I was already in the area, I thought I’d say hi, maybe update you on the latest gossip from back home.”
“Home? THIS is my home. Always was.”
“The Lake House? Since when? I mean, we all had fun moments here, I give you that, the whole family came here a lot including mine, I learned cooking here, well, what little I remember of that now, but home? Hardly. If anything, here is your home, it’s the Cameron Estate. You are the oldest, it should be yours.”
“Cameron Estate belongs to my parents, and THEY decide who lives there and who one day inherits it. A family of five clearly outranks a single part-time-dad, and I am not going to live there with them and my parents, I did that for 5 days when I first got back and as much as I love my parents, my sister and her family, that’s not happening again. It’s big, but not big enough for me to wanna expose myself to the triplets full-time. Besides, I meant Windenburg anyway. That’s my home. Not Del Sol Valley.”
“Right. OMG Liam, do you remember back before we were dating and we both ran into each other here in this very kitchen – well, in in the old kitchen that used to be here – and it was super awkward, and your grandparents totally saw through the charades and just knew that we belonged?”
“Yes, I remember that. Afterwards I took you on a walk to Everett Heights and we became a couple. Well, looking back, I loved my grandparents and treasured their advice, but guess we all were wrong about this.” (Re-read that chapter here -> CLICK <- just do it, it’s a sweet one.)
“Well, you’d get a kick out of this: Dad and Caelan hate Alex with a passion. Yeah. I guess they are both still Team Liam ….” Vivien laughed nervously.
“If your Alex is anything in real life as he is in interviews, I am not surprised. What a tool.”
Before Vivien could answer, the backdoor opened and Jay appeared.
“Hey man, just got off the phone with Abby, the nursery is a go if we move the walls out the way I suggested it, so I marked it outside and .. oh shit. Hi Vivien. Sorry, didn’t realize you had a visitor.”
“Nursery?!” Vivien parroted hoarsely, making Liam cringe.
“Ahem … I guess I better get back to Cameron Enterprises – unless you want me to stay, Liam?” Jay looked worried about the storm his accidental revelation could cause for Liam, since Vivien’s temper was legendary.
“Nah, we’re fine. Thanks again for all your help. Much appreciated, man.” Liam told him, smiling to assert his words.
“All right. Sorry about the … ya know. I’ll stop by here after work to bring you the new plans and talk about materials and all. Bye Vivien. Nice to see ya again.” Jay seemed in a rush of a sudden.
“Bye Jay.” Vivien breathed.
Jay hurried back out the backdoor, and as soon as the door shut behind him, Vivien faced Liam.
“A nursery? Please tell me you haven’t had the vasectomy reversed already?”
“Didn’t need to. Nature did that for me.”
“WHAT!? You’re already pregnant?! Oh my GOD!” Vivien seemed horrified.
“Not me personally, but yes, someone is. The Cameron Curse is strong with me, evidently. Good thing for you that you cut me off like 7 months before you gave me the final boot or this could have been you. You lucked out, didn’t have to have another baby with the lame duck Liam! Saved your skinny figure there. Phew.”
“Liam, no need to be mean. What are you gonna do? Are you gonna sue the surgeon for malpractice? You’re not keeping the kid, right?”
“I am not gonna be suing anyone. This is something that can happen. It’s very rare. Extremely rare actually, so, just my luck again. But it’s all good. And yes, the kid stays. You may remember that I like kids.”
“Well, for one, technically, you are still my husband.”
“Ah, here it comes. You’re welcome for some more ammunition in your witch-hunt for me. I can feel the fire at my feet already. Just remember, if you try to tie this into a noose to hang me by, you may be hurting your own son, who happens to love his father.”
“Liam – give me a break! You know … you KNOW … I would never do that. So, who’s the mother? Was she a one-night stand? OMG, not Lana, right?”
“Yes. It’s Lana.”
“I knew it! I KNEW IT! Oh Liam, what did you do now? Don’t you see that she did that on purpose, to tie you to her?”
“HUH!? Yeah, Vivien, sounds logical. I am sure one night after I had fallen asleep Lana snuck out to med school, then performed delicate surgery on my nether regions to reattach the severed vas deferens. Afterwards she made sure she immediately ovulated so she could rape me to get pregnant.”
“No need for sarcasm. You don’t find that a bit sudden? And you don’t have to keep it, don’t let her pressure you into something rash. You’re not exactly at the age to have another baby.”
“Thanks. I am barely 37, Vivien. Many years younger than your parents who have toddler twins.”
“That’s different. Didn’t realize Lana is a vampire. Or that you were.”
“Ah, I see sarcasm is okay when you use it. Look, Vivien, truth be told, Lana and I are still in shock ourselves, but this is going to happen. I like being a father, even you said I am a good one, and I always wanted more kids. The rest we’ll figure out as we go.”
“What about Nick?”
“What about him?”
“When are you going to tell him that you are basically replacing him?”
“Replace him? WTF?! Even at 7 years old I think our son is more mature than you right now. I am not replacing Nick. Did your parents replace you with Blake, Chase, Caitlin, Fallon and Blythe? No? Well, I wasn’t replaced by Leonie or Abby either.”
“Are you gonna marry her? Liam, please don’t do that. I messed up, I know. But please PLEASE do not marry that woman. That’s why I am here. I wanted to see if we can maybe bury the hatchet and … I could … maybe we could try to … overcome and … I could pull the divorce and you could come back and …. we can buy you a law firm and we could be little family again …”
“Let me stop you right there and pull you from la-la-land back to reality! First of all, I am still married – to you, so I cannot marry anyone else until our divorce is through, meaning planning anything at this point, including weddings, is redundant, as is discussing it with you. Secondly, oh hell no! After the way you did me, you think you come here, tell me sorry and I drop everything and follow you like a puppy?! Not even by those distorted Del Sol Valley high society standards would that make any sense! I am not gonna lie, you and I had something special, and I catch myself remembering all that a lot more than I want to, but if I were to crawl back to you now, I would lose every last ounce of self-respect for myself. As a couple, we are history. I can’t even really see us rebuild the friendship just yet, because frankly, I don’t feel like I can trust you anymore, maybe over time that will change. But right now, I am done with Del Sol Valley. I am building something here. With my own two hands. Literally.”
“Figured those hands would be too busy with Lana’s giant tits and her big ass!”
“Careful. Lana is a beautiful woman, a real woman, like you used to be, not starved, preened and pruned after some template. I happen to like her big tits and that ass, and when we fuck, I don’t have to doublecheck that I am not missing the target and trying to drill holes in the mattress. I can feel there is a real woman, not an emaciated stick figure.”
Vivien slapped Liam, then turned and tried to run out, but Liam caught her and pulled her against himself, where she sobbed hard into his shoulder.
“Viv, I am sorry. That was horrible. I shouldn’t have said that. I didn’t mean that.”
“Liam, I messed up so bad. I am so sorry. Please tell me it’s not too late. Please say we can try one last time. Please say you haven’t stopped loving me.”
Liam clenched his jaw. As angry and bitter as he had been, he hated seeing her like that, feeling her clench into his clothes and skin beneath as is she was about to drown if she let go, wrenched his heart.
“Vivien, I am sorry. I can’t tell you that. It is too late. We both messed up and something broke that cannot be fixed. We have to get up, dust off and start over, if we ever want to be happy again. There is no more way back for us.”
After a while her sobbing got weaker, then stopped. She inhaled deeply, wiped her eyes, then pulled away and stepped backwards. Blinking up at him through a curtain of tears, she said softly and sincerely
“I am sorry. For everything I put you through.” her tone was soft, as she looked up at him with her big, light green eyes as clear as crystals.
For a split-second he saw the girl Vivien used to be in those eyes, the fun, spunky girl he had fallen in love with when they were teens, he doubted the finality of his answer, wondered if they couldn’t start over together, remain married, raise Nick in one home together.
But then he remembered that that girl never existed. He had fallen in love with an idea of the kind of girl he thought Vivien could be, not who she really was. Vivien had always been meant for greatness, for stardom, for the stage, for all the world to see and admire as she pretended and put on a show. She was a queen, and he was the pauper. Trying to change that had made both of them unhappy.
“I know. Me too.” he said quietly.
“Can I kiss you one last time? A real kiss?”
Liam hesitated, but then nodded, and they kissed. A long kiss, and the reverse of the usual kisses, which started slow and intensified the longer they lasted. This kiss started full of passion, desperation, need and desire, then slowed down like a fire that had been going for a long time, until it ended with a gentleness of a farewell.
“Thank you for the best times of my life, Liam. I’ll never forget those.”
“Same here. We were great, while we lasted. All good things must come to an end, they say.”
“They also say that every end is a new beginning. You think I can be part of yours. If only a tiny part? Even if you marry Lana now …”
“There are no wedding plans. Lana is in the middle of a nasty divorce herself and will be licking her battle scars for a while after, she doesn’t want anything less than to get married again anytime soon. Truth be told, I am not sure that I ever want to get married again. Vivien, you will always be a part of my life. You’re the mother of my son. You’ll always be special to me. If I had a hundred more kids, you’d still be special. And honestly, if it wasn’t for Lana, that might be truer that we both would like. Who knows how many little Liams I might have accidentally created trying to build up my bruised male ego thinking I was still unable to father kids? You know how ‘hungry’ I get sometimes, especially when frustrated.” he smirked, and the corners of Vivien’s lips curled upwards.
“Thank you. I needed that. You always knew how to do that, say and do what I needed the most and then make me laugh. Remember when you got me out of the worst depression after Malik and you took me to karaoke and purposely sung so terrible and then to the club where you danced like crazy.” Vivien smiled.
Liam chuckled too.
“Worked didn’t it.”
“Liam … can we be lovers one last time? Please. I really need to feel you now.”
“Viv, I don’t think either of us is in the right mindset for that and I think that’s counter-productive.”
“Will you reconsider if I let you in on a secret?”
“No, but whatcha got?”
“Alex Montgomery sucks in the sack. He looks like he could rock a girl’s world, but is such a selfish lover, a dead fish would be more exciting to have sex with. Such a disappointment and dad seems to think that’s why I was with him.”
“I think everybody thought that, if they ever heard him speak and realized he cannot carry a conversation without a teleprompter, so what else is there to do other than fuckin’? But that really sucks for you, considering you pissed away our marriage for some nookie with him.”
“What do you want me to say? As you pointed out, we’re technically still married, so I am entitled to be jealous of that prick that caused all this. I am beyond pissed at that motherfucker.”
“I didn’t mean for it to happen, I swear. All this time I really tried so very hard to be the perfect wife, perfect mother and to make you happy, while keeping my career going, I guess the pressure got too much for me and I made terrible decisions. I failed you so bad.”
“You did make me happy, and you didn’t fail me. If anything, we both failed us. In between our fights and drama, we were both very happy, not gonna lie about that. We just grew apart more and more until it was too much. It happens to the best.”
“I would have never thought it would happen to us. I thought we’d be forever. But then again, we had such a rocky start. First, we chased each other – and our tails, then that super-romantic first engagement, which I screwed up. Second engagement, then more fights first about having kids, then not being able to conceive for over two years then me wanting no more kids. Then my stage outfits being too revealing, me being gone too much. Oh man, there’s a pattern. I have always been the one torpedoing us. Oh crap, I still need to give you back the ring.”
“No. Keep it. Clashes with my usual style. Joking aside, you always loved it, it’s yours, way I see it that was a gift, maybe you can wear it on another finger or save it for Nick one day, maybe he wants to use his mom ring to propose to a special girl. Unless he turns out to be gay, that frilly ring would probably look goofy on a dude.”
Both laughed, Vivien nudged him in the stomach.
“Well, I better get going. The private jet has a tails up time confirmed for two hours from now and you know traffic this time of day.”
Liam walked her out to the waiting car, when she turned to him.
Thank you for seeing me. And thanks for the talk. I missed that more than I can say. I miss you.”
“I will admit I miss you too. Maybe there is hope for us to be the friends again we used to be. Oh, and Vivien?”
“I never had to check for the mattress. I could always tell you were there, cos you’re a firecracker in the bedroom. You deserve a man who can handle that and who appreciates it. And who knows how to treat you like the queen you are. Don’t settle, no lay is good enough for you to sell yourself short.”
Giggling, Vivien got into the backseat, blowing him a kiss before the driver shut the door.