“True love is finding your soulmate in your best friend.”– Faye Hall
Independent Kingdom of Tartosa Cameron - Grainger Wedding
There was hustling and bustling at the wedding venue, several people running about like spooked chickens, not necessarily unusual for a wedding as large as this one, especially considering it had several VIP celebrities in attendance, but in this case, the hustles and bustles were of a different nature than the usual.
“Mom – how is she?” the bride had finally located her mother, grabbed on to her as she was trying to hurry past, but now turned, smiling at her daughter with a forced calmness, while gently rubbing her cheek.
“Not to worry, my beautiful darling, Hailey will be just fine. Your dad and some of the guys are getting a Medicopter out here to take her to the nearest hospital so she can have the baby there. Just try to enjoy your big day, daddy and I are taking care of this and be back as soon as we can to celebrate with you and Heath.”
“Mom – I can’t have my wedding without my mom and my dad!”
“Baby, you already had the wedding, it was a beautiful ceremony, you look absolutely stunning, your husband looks handsome and so happy, enjoy time with your guests, they are all here just for you and came a long way to see you get married. We may have to miss the cake cutting, but as soon as I can figure out what all is going on, I’ll get your dad back over to you so you can have your daddy-daughter dance …”
“MOM! I don’t want to dance, I want to go to the hospital! Connor is gonna be my nephew too! You know Chase and I have always had this special bond, his baby is special to me! I need to be there! For Chase’s sake alone, he needs me now!”
“Baby, I love you, but this is your wedding day, Chase has other worries right now and you need to go find your husband and eat cake and socialize. You only get married once – well, ideally anyway – so enjoy every minute of this day. Heath needs you too. Don’t let that serum go to waste and enjoy food before it wears off.” with that Scarlett let go of her daughter.
Immediately after, Scarlett disappeared in a black cloud, probably to avoid further discussion with the bride.
“Dammit mom!” Caitlin cursed, looking around for options, then hurried down a hallway after spotting her oldest sister, Vivien.
“Viv! Where is everyone? Can you get me to the hospital? Do we have cars available yet?”
“Oh, Cait … no cars scheduled to be here until several hours from now, sorry. Relax, sissy, everything is gonna be okay, just a bit of a hiccup, really bad timing paired with the usual Cameron-luck. What you don’t know yet is that Maddie went into labor too now, so they are looping the Medicopter back with Hailey and Chase still aboard to grab Maddie and Colton as well. It’s a bit iffy, but all will be fine. Try to have some fun. Let me find dad so you can dance with him …”
“What? Maddie now too? Why are they having their babies on my wedding day? Ugh. And why is everyone trying to get me to dance with daddy? You know he hates ballroom dancing! And I want my brother, not a dancefloor! He’s your brother too, how come you are not worried, Viv?! Where are they taking them all, do we know?! Chase needs me there.”
“I don’t speak Tartosian, our grandpa Caleb does, so he is handling all that. I’d imagine the nearest large hospital, since Chase and Colton are famous band members, not just random people and the place needs to be able to keep fans out in case this leaks. Chase has mom and dad already and your husband needs you more! I have Caelan trying to babysit Heath, but you REALLY need to take over. You know uncle Cae is wonderful, but has no social skills and Heath wears his heart on his sleeve, I didn’t want to leave Heath all alone, but I needed to find someone to take care of all the kids, got Blake, Mila and grandma Breana on that for now. Liam is making some calls to local authorities, since this is a different country and having babies abroad is just a bit of additional and unexpected bureaucracy. We’re handling it, don’t you worry Caitie! Just try to enjoy your big day. Your wedding – yay! My little sister, the beautiful bride. You look absolutely amazing, by the way, Mrs. Grainger.” Vivien smiled.
“Caelan and Heath?! Oh gawd, my poor hubby, he is mortified of Caelan!! OMG Viv .. I am really married now. I have a husband. I am a wife. A married woman. I am Mrs. Grainger now. Me. OMG! I feel …. dizzy …” Caitlin paled even more under her perfect makeup.
“Right, great, congrats again, you are glowing, baby sis, but I need you to stay with me now. Cait?! CAITLIN! Oh shit! HELP! SOMEONE PLEASE!!! LIIIIAAAMMMMM!” Vivien’s attempt to calm Cait backfired as her younger sister fainted into her arms, Vivien barely managed to catch her as her body went limp, her many layers of wedding dress billowing behind her.
At the same time a nearby hospital was scrambling to get two delivery rooms ready and staffed with no advance notice at all.
Some hours later Chase was smiling at Hailey laying in a hospital bed as her eyes finally fluttered open.
“Hey you.” she mumbled, her voice sleepy and weak.
“Have you seen him yet? Chase, we are parents now. We have a son, a beautiful baby boy.”
“We are parents now, Hailz, and I have seen him. I was also there during the birth, remember? I was the extra-extra pale dude everyone thought would keel over any second – but I didn’t. I stayed upright, holding your hand while you cursed me out. And I cut the umbilical cord. I am gonna be honest, not gonna stand in line for that again, but glad I did it. This dorky nerd manned up big time, baby. You’d be proud of me.” Chase chuckled, Hailey weakly chiming in.
“I am always proud of you, Gump. Honestly, I don’t remember much at all, I kept fading out from the pain. But isn’t he beautiful? When they put him in my arms, I felt my life was absolutely perfect now. Didn’t you?” Hailey’s weak voice still sounded full of amazement.
“I felt that way ever since I met you, but yes, Connor’s perfect. Just like his momma. I know it’s too early to tell, but I think he has your eyes, babe. How are you feeling, Patches?”
“Well, to be honest, been better, but considering I just pushed a bowling ball out of my body, I’d say I’ll be okay. How about you? And how much does Cait hate me now for ruining her big day?”
“Cait doesn’t hate you! She has been driving everyone nuts trying to get here, and once she did, she’s been running down the doors to meet her new nephew. I was afraid I wasn’t gonna get him back from her when I took her to see him, she is completely in love with him. Everyone is. Your parents are grabbing a bite in the hospital cafeteria, want me to run and get them real quick?”
“No, I just want you. You’re all I ever needed and all I will ever need. Just stay with me, Chasey.”
Chase carefully planted a kiss on his wife’s fingertips.
“Chase, I need you to promise me something.”
“If anything should happen to me, I need you to always watch over our son. Protect him, teach him, love him, always. Make sure he knows his momma loved him more than anything. Make sure he knows me.”
“PATCHES! Shut up! Don’t talk that nonsense! You’re scaring me. We BOTH will watch over and raise that little boy. Together. We do everything together. You’ll tell him and show him how much you love him. Together, like everything else. Patches and Gump for life, remember?”
“Of course. Sorry, it’s the meds, they have me loopy and emotional, I am just a bit tired; you mind if I just close my eyes again for a little bit?” Hailey mumbled but was already asleep before her last word faded out.
“No beautiful, you just rest up as much as you need. I’ll be right here waiting for you. I love you so much, Patches.” Chase mumbled, Hailey stirred slightly and moaned as if returning the proclamation of love in her slumber.
Chase was tense, with one last look and a big sigh at Hailey, he gently kissed her forehead, then rose up off the bed.
This was the part that was hard on any vampire loving a mortal. Illnesses, physical weaknesses, all that was a book with seven seals to them, incomprehensible and frightening. A vampire could not tell the difference between a harmless cold and a terminal illness in a loved mortal.
To him, Hailey seemed off somehow. Not her normal self, but then again, she just delivered a human being which she had been growing for about 10 months. A human she and he made, together. It was too early to tell if their baby would be like him or mortal, but in a few weeks they should know. Chase was hoping their son was vampire, like him, as he and Hailey had made a pact that she would let him turn her in that case. If the boy was a mortal, she would remain one too. Either way, he needed her to be strong and raise Connor with him. Together. Like everything. Always Chase and Hailey. ‘Chailey’ was a nickname some had given them.
For the past decade and change, everything Chase had done was together with Hailey in some form or another. First as friends, then a couple, asked her to marry him on his 18th birthday, shocking everyone, including himself, both went through college together, Hailey had been an essential part on getting his band, 2Dark 2C to what it was now, she had dedicated herself to become the band manager, … everything was Chase and Hailey as far back as he could recall. Now they were parents. Together. Parents. He was a father. Wow. Felt so surreal. Chase closed his eyes and could see his newborn son, pondering Hailey’s odd words, which had spooked Chase, he was on edge ever since Hailey suddenly went into labor in the middle of ‘you may now kiss the bride’ spiel at the altar of his little sister Caitlin’s wedding and hadn’t been able to relax yet.
The piercing sound of the machine monitoring Hailey’s vitals nearly made Chase jump out of his skin, for a few moments he stood there, trying to comprehend what was happening, until he realized the machine was in alarm about her vitals dropping, but before he could tear open the door to call for help, a flood of nurses and other white clothed medical staff came hurrying in, shouting directions at each other in Tartosian, Chase was dragged out, or they tried to, Chase fought it with his vampiric strength until someone much stronger than him pulled him along. He realized it was his father.
“Chase, kid, come here and let them help her! We can’t and you know it. COME!”
Chase instinctively knew his father was right, so he nearly collapsed into Blaine’s grip, who was holding on to him as he pulled him along, leaving both of them to watch as the door shut, and endless minutes of fear began.
“DAD! Dad – I am scared! I need her. I NEED PATCHES!” Chase’s frantic words, filled with pain went deep into Blaine’s bones.
Blaine pulled his son into his arms, said nothing, as there were no words to fix what both knew was happening. Hailey was fighting for her life, as was a horde of medical staff. At this point, there was nothing Blaine or anyone could do, not even turn her, as she was already too weakened to survive such an attempt. All that was left now was hope.
Chase cried like a baby against his dad’s strong shoulders, while Blaine begged all the powers there be to make sure his daughter-in-law pulled through whatever was going on.