“As we get older, we become our parents;
live long enough and see their mistakes repeated in time.”
Villa Auditore Independent Kingdom of Tartosa
Three teenagers were sitting by the pool, giggling, laughing, talking. Nearby, another young woman was dozing while tanning in one of the loungers.
The teens were 17-year-old Adrianna, her 15-year-old sister Bianca and Adrianna’s 17-year-old boyfriend Nick Cameron, who was visiting for a week, while staying in the separate guest house.
Into the casual poolside fun on a balmy Tartosian summer afternoon burst the hard steps of male dress shoes on the concrete patio floor. Ezio, Adrianna and Bianca’s 67-year-old father and the male patriarch of the Auditore family stopped short, one look at his stony expression silenced the fun.
“Adrianna and Nick, inside with me, we have to talk!” he roared.
“Talk about what, Papa?” wondered Adrianna, obviously reluctant to oblige.
“I am not going to discuss this with Bianca present! Let’s go.”
“No Papa! I haven’t done anything to warrant a private lecture, neither has Nick. If you have something to say, say it here.” Adrianna stood her ground, unusal for her.
“Fine, Bianca, please go to your room. NOW!”
“But Papaaaaa….” Bianca now whined, equally as unwilling as her big sister.
Grimacing, Bianca obliged. Once she was gone from sight, both Adrianna and Nick had exchanged shrugs and looks, but now faced the angry man.
“I thought I could trust you both. We had so many talks about this. I really thought you both understood the importance of the matter. I am so very disappointed in you. Luckily, there are only a few months left until graduation for you, Adrianna, but naturally university is now out of the question for you.” Ezio grumbled.
“What? Why?” Nick wondered, while Adrianna could not get a word out, just stare at her usually very much beloved father.
“YOU should be very quiet, kid, as I have a strong mind to slap you.” the old Auditore shouted.
“Dafuq’s up your ass now!?” Nick retorted, equally as angry. He had never been the shy type, nor someone to just swallow accusations or threats.
“Oh, I will tell you what, my friend! THIS!” the old Auditore produced something from his pocket, which he held inches from Nick’s face.
Both teens now stared at it.
“Is that a … a pregnancy test?!” Nick mumbled, taken aback.
“Papa! Where did you get that from?” Adrianna wondered, just as shocked.
“The trash can in the guest bathroom. What have you to say for yourself, Adrianna!? You are my angel, my special girl, blue eyes like your mother had and always the one child of mine causing no trouble at all. When you and Nick chewed off my ear about you wanting more from life than just wait for marriage and live a cozy life on my pocketbook, I bought it. As a matter of fact, I was thrilled! You were so convincing, I even started dreaming about you getting your college degree and maybe even assisting your brother Vittorio in running one my businesses. All my other daughters were more the domestic types, none of them have any business sense, but I thought you were brilliant and had the discipline to know there is a time and place for everything. But apparently, you are just a child in mind, more eager to please your boyfriend than to think about the future. And your future is a very limited one now.” Ezio roared, and it was clear he was genuinely affected, even hurt.
“Papa! That’s not mine.” Adrianna shook her head.
“Well, it’s certainly not mine and your sister is not going out with boys! So unless Bianca had an immaculate conception, or Nicholas is a wonder of science, it’s yours.”
“No, my darling. It’s mine. Ours, to be more exact.” came a voice from behind them.
Everyone froze, then stared at Ezio’s 50+ years younger new wife, 21-year-old Meaghan, who walked up to Ezio and kissed his cheek.
Nobody spoke. Nobody could speak. Only stare. So Meaghan shrugged, and continued talking.
“I am sorry, I was going to tell you. AFTER I figured out how to make a gynecologist appointment here without you knowing. I wanted to be absolutely sure before I said anything, rather than believe some drugstore test. They sometimes have inaccurate results and I didn’t want to get you excited only to end up disappointed should it turn out to be false alarm. I believe our wedding night .. well … was a little too wild. We haven’t spoken about this possibility yet, so I wasn’t sure how you felt about us having a child. I know you love kids, but … well …”
“Oh, mio dio! Cara mia! A baby? My baby? I will be a father again? I can’t hardly believe this!”
Grinning from ear to ear, Ezio woke from his shock-induced paralysis to hug the smiling Meaghan, while showering her with millions of little kisses, while Adrianna and Nick exchanged horrified glances.
“Take me away from here, Nick!” Adrianna mumbled, Nick nodded, took her hand and they ran.
The couple didn’t stop running until they reached the nearby coastline and both were out of breath, to recover and process the news. A few minutes of silence followed, which Adrianna interrupted.
“I think I am traumatized. This just can’t be. It’s my nightmare. I was so afraid this would happen. I just knew she would have an anchor baby, before or just after their wedding. And here we are. My family will be the laughing stock of society for all eternity.”
“Well, gotta be honest, and don’t take this the wrong way, but when your father almost stuck that pregnancy test wand into my eyeball, my entire life passed before my eyes. I seriously thought it was yours. Holy fuck, I now know what a heart attack feels like. Phew! One bullet dodged.”
“Of course it’s not mine, Nick, you know I would have told you the minute I found out. And we double up when we … you know, since both of us don’t want to run any risks. And even if it were mine, I sure hope a child with me wouldn’t be such terrible news to you. I mean, eventually we will end up down that road anyway. When we both are ready.”
“Yeah, maybe. But not for at least another decade or so. Ha, by then your new sibling will almost be in high school. Ha. Oh my God, and I always thought I was the one with the crazy family ties.”
“Not funny, Nick. And a decade? We’d be 27, almost 28 then. I want kids before then.”
“Yeah, well, maybe a year or so before then. We’re gonna be in college until at least 22, if not longer. I want some time to enjoy life while I am still young, especially life after school, I want to travel, have fun, build my life while still partying, of course build my career …”
“You already travel a lot, some of it with me. Same with the fun. We both have lives already build for us. Your career is already pretty set. You are going to work with your dad. I get that you want to wait a little after the wedding, but I don’t want us to be old parents. And why do you keep saying ‘you’? It should be ‘we’, Nick.”
“Wait a second. Where is all that ‘we, not you’, and parent and wedding talk coming from? We’re not even engaged.”
“Well, obviously not, we’re still minors, even though we are very mature, but I figured you were just waiting until we both are 18. Usually people wait about a year, maybe two after the engagement to set the wedding day …”
“Addy, wait a second here! I don’t know where all this is coming from, but I have no plans for engagements and weddings. Let alone kids. My plan at the moment is to GTFO of high school, into the promised graduation vacation sponsored by my parents, and then I wanna be off to Britechster in the Cameron campus home, where I will combine heavy studying with trying out everything college has to offer party and fun-wise with Rohan and you.”
“Oh, glad to hear I at least still made the list. If only second choice. Of course Rohan has to come first.”
“What the fuck is that supposed to mean?”
“You think I don’t notice how you wish he were with you on the vacations he is not and if he is, how I always seem to be in the way at some point? I am no fool, Nick, even if I don’t always comment on it. I try to ignore it an move on, for my own sake.”
“You are NUTS! If I didn’t want you with me, I wouldn’t always move heaven and earth to see you or beg, steal and borrow for you to come see me. Do you even know how hard it is to get all the parents to agree and allow all that? Of course I want to be with you, or I wouldn’t be here right now.”
“Yes, I DO know how hard all that is. Have you met my father?!”
“I HAVE met him. And still I want to be with you. If that’s not an affirmation of love, then I don’t know what would be.”
“What is THAT supposed to mean?”
“Means that Addy-Daddy is a self-righteous old prick who can suck the fun out of everything. He should be glad you and I are dating, instead he tries to make me feel like it’s some sort of conditional privilege he grants me! That even pissed off my mom. And she is used to dealing with entitled, chauvinistic assholes because of her music career.”
“Excuse me?! First of all, your family isn’t exactly the picture-book type either, so don’t complain about mine. Admittedly, my Papa is a tad overprotective, but that just means he’s involved and loves me. And why should Papa be glad we are dating? Because you are related to a few famous celebrities? That is not an achievement on your part, that is sheer coincidence, none of us choose which families we are born into. And if you want to bring social standing up, I am not exactly a consolation prize either. Everyone knows the Auditores, most people use Auditore Financials or one of our subsidiaries. I don’t need a high-profile boyfriend to get social attention! I am already a V.I.P. in my own right, thank you very much!”
“Wow. Are we seriously comparing dick sizes here about who’s more celebrity and V.I.P. than the other?! And excuse me, your royal highness Adrianna, princess Auditore, maybe I should be kissing your feet for descending down to dating me. My bad, how could we even get pregnant, accidental or otherwise, with Addy-Daddy practically laying in bed with us, if only in spirit, but if he could, also in body. Hey, who knows, since he likes young girls so much, and since evidently no one is ever good enough for an Auditore, maybe we should have a threesome with him so he could REALLY explain – maybe even demonstrate – how to fuck his little girl properly, cos I am sure I am not living up to his expectations there either. You know what they say, incest is best, put your daughter to the test, right?!”
“You are disgusting!! Cazzo! Infantile!” Adrianna shouted back.
“Yeah, here it comes again. If in doubt and if you run out of arguments to throw at your boyfriend, just speak a foreign language you know he doesn’t understand, just to one-up him and make him feel like a dumbass. Just like a good girlfriend should. You win! Congrats!”
“If the shoe fits! And why DON’T you speak or at least understand some Tartosian by now? I mean, we have been dating for 2 years now and evidently, your mother speaks some Tartosian, as does your vampire grandpa. Yet, you still cannot even say one single word. Thanks for the effort. NOT!”
“Oh, you want me to say something in Tartosian? How about arrivederci?! Is that Tartosian enough for ya?! Fuck this bullshit! Call me when you are normal again!” Nick screamed, then turned and ran off.
At the villa he ran straight into the guest house, packed his duffel bag, then ran down the road with it, before calling Blaine to come pick him up, vampire style.
Villa ViVa Del Sol Valley hills
His parents and younger sister looked shocked when Nick and Blaine entered, Nick ran up the stairs to his room without as much as a greeting, let alone an explanation, so all eyes were on Blaine, who shrugged and said
“Girl trouble would be my guess. I tried to get something out of him, but right now that kid’s emotions are about as stable as a vial of nitroglycerin in Michael J. Fox’ hands.”
“Dad! Seriously! And oh no! My poor baby! If they had a fight, it must have been serious and bad, or he wouldn’t be home 5 days early!” Vivien attempted to go after her son, but Blaine stopped her.
“Let him come down, Viv. He needs to be by himself right now to lick his wounds and nurse his male ego back to health. You’ll know when he’s ready to have mommy kiss his booboos.”
“Did he say anything at all to you? About what happened?”
“Viv, he’s in a piss mood and home 5 days before he was scheduled to be. Normally we have to peel him off Adrianna when it’s time for him to leave, today he called me pick him up, sounding as urgent as if his ass was sinking into hot lava. I am sure we can add two and two together here.”
Aria-Grace laughed up briefly, then said
“OMG! Bianca just texted me. Their new step-mom is preggers! Holy shit! I wonder if that has anything to do with their fight. I’ll ask.”
“Aria-Grace! Watch your words.”
“Nick curses all the time! So does dad.”
“Nick is a boy and almost 18. And he’s not supposed to be a little lady. But you are, my angel.”
“Little lady? Seriously now? Anyway, if you want to know what happened with Nick and Addy, I can tell you Bianca saw them argue from her bedroom window. She said it looked serious and Addy is in a super-rotten mood now, even yelled at her father, which she never does. Soooooo … I am gonna predict this is gonna be bad for a while and I will avoid my brother at all cost, suggest you all do the same. But can we get back to the part where Bianca and Addy’s mom is going to have their sibling? I mean: O.M.G.!”
“No, just threw up in my mouth. I can’t believe Lana is okay with all that.” grumbled Liam.
“Lana would hardly be the one to judge. She was barely older than her daughter when she married Meaghan’s father. And he was older than Ezio, I believe.” Vivien said, her tone slightly dismissive. Lana was still a bit of a red flag with her.
“Exactly! And how did that work out for both of them? Lana went from being a young woman living paycheck to paycheck to super-wealthy, to widowed, to married to a young con-artist who ruined her and spent every dime she got by putting up with Bagley’s old ass. Who says Auditore won’t do the same to Meaghan. Especially if that baby turns out to be a girl.” Liam countered.
“First of all, not our problem, Liam, we got plenty of things to worry about concerning us directly. Secondly, Meaghan has her mother and Eric, I am sure they would take her back with open arms, and her baby too. Thirdly, I think it’s pretty clear that I am not exactly Ezio’s greatest fan, but look at how obsessed he is with all his children and grandchildren. I don’t think he cares about gender, as long as it has Auditore genes. He’s gonna love any baby he had anything to do with genetically. Just look at Chase’s brother-in-law. He’s married to one of Ezio’s daughters, Giulia, Ezio disowned her when she and Grady didn’t want to bend to his demands, yet, he often visits them to see his grandkids, who all have huge college funds and drown in gifts from grandpa. I am not worried, neither should you be.”
“OMG, guys, listen to this! Bianca just texted that at first their father thought it was Adrianna who was pregnant. Guess that caused the trouble in paradise with her and Nick. Obviously, the Cameron curse passed us by this time, but Bianca writes that she just tried to talk to Addy, but only got yelled at and a door slammed in her face. Addy is always so calm, if she is like this, I think we all should sleep at grandpa’s tonight or Nick might murder us in our sleep.”
“Aria-Grace, come on now. Nick might be a bigmouth and temperamental, maybe a little bitchy now, he’s hurting and sad. Thank all the powers there be for them not being pregnant though! That would really be the last thing we all need now. I sure hope they didn’t break up. My poor little boy, I have to at least try to see if he …” Vivien said, but Blaine interrupted her.
“I said leave the kid alone, Viv, give him some space and room to breathe. Quit the helicopter parenting. Ha – speaking of that Cameron curse I got something for you all to keep you busy. Hey, Aria-Grace, have your parents ever told you that you were conceived here in this very house, upstairs in the master bathroom shower while they were going through their divorce? Oh, they were not on speaking terms at all, but your mom had a total mental meltdown, so she had my ass go fetch your dad from camping in the woods, only to ‘talk’. And he came, but did a little more than talk. Talk, my ass, yeah, with his schlong right into her nether regions. I could tell right away when he came back downstairs with said tail tucked. When I got back from dropping him off, I told your mother right away I knew. And sure enough, few weeks later we had a doctor’s note confirming you were being hatched. Yet, your mom didn’t tell your dad for months, because he thought he was having a baby with another woman, but that fizzled out. And they got divorced. You were actually born out of wedlock, my sweet. How’s that for a topic?” (re-read that chapter here)
“DAD! What the hell are you doing?!” Vivien was horrified at Blaine’s distraction attempt.
“BLAINE! What the fuck?!” roared Liam.
“NO WAY! Whaaaaaat?” with a mix of surprise, shock and interest Aria-Grace covered her eyes, shaking her head, before taking her hand down to stare back and forth between the three adults present.
“My cue to leave. Have fun y’all! At least you are busy with this now and can give Nick his space.” Blaine disappeared in a dark cloud.