Del Sol Valley Westwell Mansion Home to Blake, Mila, Reed and Sheridan Cameron
Laughing at something my grandpa Blaine was telling us about crazy stuff happening on the tour he had just finished, promoting his latest album, my dad chuckling across the table from me, while a little away from us my twin sister Sheridan was talking to my grandmother, when my mother came into the room like a steam engine.
“REED CAMERON!” she shouted, everyone stopped what they had been doing to stare at her, visibly fuming, as she slammed a healthy stack of papers onto the table in front of me, tapping hard at something she had circled in pen on the top page before stepping back to yell at me more.
“EXPLAIN THIS! This BETTER be a terrible error, or someone stole your credit card number.” mom snarled.
I leaned forward, as did my grandpa, and my heart stopped, I literally swallowed hard, while my grandpa started chuckling, then laughed hard. Oh crap! I had totally forgotten that my credit card ran through my parents’ account, and THEY would get the bill. You know, the one listing a charge for a certain wedding package in Las Vegas … oh, this was going to leave a mark. I had zero time to prepare some BS explanation and my brain was empty.
“Oh .. umm … I’ll … umm … call them …” I stuttered, at a complete loss for words, trying to buy time to wiggle myself out of the mess when my sister already stretched across the table to snatch the top paper and stared gleefully at the highlighted part, her mouth agape, until my grandmother grabbed it from her, briefly glancing at it, before handing it to my dad.
So, here we were, everybody looking at me could tell that this wasn’t just some clerical error. I might be an actor, a pretty good one, if I may say so, but not THAT good, and not with my relatives. They could read me like a book.
“Reed …?” dad’s tone and facial expression made me feel like the worst son ever.
“I … it … oh man. Okay, there was this girl at my shrink’s office, her receptionist, and I really like her … when the court lifted my sentence, I wanted to celebrate, you were all travelling for work, so I asked her out. We had a great time together at first, the next day we both woke up in Vegas wearing wedding bands and are not sure how that happened.” I pointed at the paper.
“Reed, this was over a month ago! Did you get it …. fixed?” dad wondered.
I shook my head.
“Reed, son! How many times have I told you not to sit on problems? They won’t go away, only get worse! You should have come straight to us, and I am sure Kai, Liam or Dylan could have made it go away without much ado! Now it’s gonna be harder, if even possible at all!” dad parented.
“But … dad, we don’t want to undo it.” I said quietly. I could literally hear everyone gasp and I swear the world stopped revolving for a moment.
“What?! WHAAAAT!?” it screeched from behind me, I winced, as I had totally forgotten my mother was still standing there, I thought she would either strangle me from behind or have a heart attack. Possibly both. Simultaneously.
“We .. want to stay married, mom.” I reiterated, avoiding to look at her.
“Oh my God! My brother has officially lost his mind!” Sheridan said, before theatrically facepalming herself. I knew my sister wasn’t all wrong, but still … bitch!
Naturally, my mother wasn’t just gonna let this go.
“You HAVE lost your mind! Where did your father and I got wrong that you would go and do something so stupid, after you literally just got out of a terrible sentence for doing something reckless that could have ended in disaster?! Instead, you go and celebrate your regained freedom by creating an all-new disaster. My God, Reed!” mom shouted, which started my dad and sister too until it was just a whirlwind of yelling all around me.
Into everyone’s loudly voiced complaints, accusations and theories my grandmother silenced the noise by standing up, slamming her hands on the table, which shut everyone up and froze them in mid-movement to stare at her.
You could hear a pin drop until she spoke.
“Enough of this! Cut the unproductive drama, this is not one of your film sets! Reed, who is that young lady and why do you not want to undo this?” her tone got gentler when she addressed me, but before I could answer, dad interjected.
“Scarlett, who cares? He married some stranger, obviously in a drunk stupor! He’s 18 years old!” dad told her as if she were slow to grasp the full situation.
“I understand that, my dear Blake, but may I remind you – and YOU as well, Mila – that the two of you once did the exact same thing when you were around his age?!”
Matchpoint, homerun, touchdown, bull’s eye: grandma.
Sheri’s and my mouths fell open, while mom and dad paled, their eyes big as saucers.
Ha – busted!
That was a story my sister and I hadn’t heard yet … iiiiiiiinteresting!
You could bet that Sheri and I would follow up on the details once the smoke had cleared on my current drama. (Author’s Note: Re-read that nugget by clicking HERE)
Grandpa Blaine started laughing.
“Oh shit! HA – I forgot about that! Letty’s right – and you are so busted for hypocrisy! HA! What goes around … plus, what is ever normal if you are in showbiz, am I right? Odd shit is expected, kid. However, on a more serious note, I would like to add that I royally screwed up how I handled the situation back then, when you and Mila came home, freshly married in Vegas, shit escalated, and we all ended up sorry, so remember back to that and learn from my mistakes, don’t repeat them. It’s hard, but from a father’s standpoint, you see this can work out well.” my grandpa Blaine had gotten serious while speaking the last sentences, which gave me hope.
With him and grandma on my side, this battle was already won. Just you watch.
My dad looked frantically between me and grandpa.
“No, no, no, wait, dad! Mila and I had ours annulled! And we did it again the right way, years later! A beautifully planned wedding in Sulani with everyone invited.” my dad argued, which gave my mom an in to add her two cents.
“Blake and I also had known each other for YEARS before that even happened. Not hours or days like Reed and that girl! And I come from an upper-class background too, not some rando off the streets! And even the both of us signed prenups then – now watching Vivien and Liam back to nearly ending their marriage AGAIN makes that feel like a great idea! Do you even know ANYTHING about that waitress, Reed?” my mother looked legit like a little girl whose balloon had been popped.
“Receptionist, mom, not waitress! And yes, I do know a lot about her now. Initially I didn’t, but we have been meeting a lot, dating basically, even spent whole weekends together, and we are always talking, texting, chatting – all the time. I love her. And she loves me. It’s real.” I said firmly.
“She probably loves your fame and fortune! And since I bet you didn’t think with the right head to have her sign a prenup, she might get some of both, whether we like it or not. Just fantastic. And if it were so right, as you claim, why did you feel the need to keep it a secret? You KNEW it was the wrong thing! You KNOW as soon as the honeymoon phase is over, things are going to get very ugly!” mom argued.
“NO MOM! She is NOT like that! You don’t even know her at all!” I was getting angry. As was my mom.
“THAT IS EXACTLY MY POINT AND THE PROBLEM HERE, REED! WE DON’T KNOW THE FIRST THING ABOUT HER! How could you do that to us, Reed?! And to yourself?! I am your mother, I want the best for my children, and that does certainly not include them missing out on one of the best days of their lives by marrying a stranger in some drive-thru in Vegas!” mom shouted back.
“ENOUGH!” shouted grandma, once more commanding the floor.
My grandma, who looked at best old enough to be a young aunt of mine, since she had been born a vampire, was usually ultra-calm and composed, while always exuding some air of quiet danger, daring anyone to mess with her and deal with the consequences. She normally let everyone sort out their problems, but if she wanted to talk and people to listen, she had no problem making it so. Right now, she looked upset, one false move now and you’d regret it. Trust me, I knew!
“I understand that this is a rather peculiar situation, but it is what it is, and we have to look at the facts. Those are that your son – and daughter – are both adults now, and in charge of their own lives. If Reed decided to get married and wishes to remain that way, we can advise him, speak our peace, but not force him to change his mind. If he doesn’t, OUR job is to support him best we can. And didn’t you hear a very key part of what he said? Cos I did, and it piqued my interest. He said he loves the girl. I never heard him say that about any female outside family. The Reed I know is a bit immature, because he grew up very sheltered, which is also – in my humble opinion as an observer – the reason he has gotten into trouble so much. Nobody really prepared him for real life, for dating, and while I am not one to judge, he has brought home a LOT of girls so far, every single one of them a dud and he didn’t love them, nor they him, yet, I never heard either of you bemoan that. If any of my kids had brought or were to bring any of that type home, I would take them aside, especially while they are still minors, and make sure they understand why I have a problem with it. Since Reed is not my son, and as you both like to remind me in situations like this one, not even my biological grandson, I can only watch, unless he comes to me for advice.” grandma halted, obviously fighting with some sad memories, before she cleared her throat and continued.
“However, I refuse to judge a girl I haven’t even met yet. I was that girl once, and I know first hand how that feels to be rejected before you had a chance to show who you really are, and I’ll be damned before I dismiss this without knowing more facts. And neither should you. Given, this wasn’t the way we all hoped the next potential relationship for Reed would go, let alone his wedding, but he seems happy, over the past weeks I have noticed a significant change for the better in the boy – pardon me Reed, young man – and now I know why. He’s in love. Simple as that. Reed, who is that young lady? I would like to know more about her, maybe even see a photo if you have one. And if your parents aren’t going to, I will extend an invitation to meet her at our home.” grandma Scarlett finished her monolog, spoken firmly, yet softly, but it didn’t miss the target.
Or targets, judging by the faces around me. Everyone looked shocked and guilty. Except grandpa Blaine. He was grinning, now nodded and spoke.
“Yup yup! Letty’s 100% right. I second everything she said. I remember how we tried to make our relationship work, long before vampires were socially accepted, and she was rejected by society and my parents, and we both made the wrong choices. Broke both our hearts, made us miserable, nearly broke me, took us over a decade to fix, but we ended up together eventually anyway, against all odds and we are still going strong. Not to mention, the way she and I met or how we had to sneak around to see each other lying to everyone wasn’t the stuff romance novels are made of either. We even created your older sister while sneaking around, fucking in some hotel room, like two hookers, then we ended up in a terrible war, of course me not finding out I had a kid until I was already married to your mother, Blake, obviously we found back to each other and eventually we ended up cheating on her. I don’t recommend that, and you don’t want to force your son to maybe end up there too. At least we know Reed laid a lot of pipe before ever meeting that girl, unlike Scarlett and I, we were both 15 when we popped each other’s cherries in some rancid tent at Everett Height in the middle of winter.” he chuckled at the end, undoubtedly had only added that part for extra shock effect.
My dad looked ready to puke, then exhaled so much that I was afraid he was deflating like a balloon, while my mom still was fuming, but would never pick a fight with my grandparents. Out of respect, mind you, not fear. Dad cleared his throat now and spoke.
“Okay. Yes, mom – and dad, you are both right. And you ARE my mom, Scarlett, and my twins’ grandmother, same as if you were by blood. If I ever made you feel any other way, I am truly sorry. And I do remember your and dad’s rough times – before, during and after his marriage to my mom – and get why you would feel you can relate to this. Again, you are right, we should at least get to know the girl and hear the whole story. Reed is an adult and if he chooses to remain married, we have to accept that and support him. So, Reed, my son – your mom, sister, grandparents and I would love to meet your … your … umm … girl. We welcomed your sister’s boyfriend into our home and lives, so it’s only fair that we meet … her.” dad tried his best, even though he just couldn’t get the word ‘wife’ out.
Things de-escalated and dad came around the table to hug me, as did mom, then asked me to tell them about everything. I told you, with my grandparents’ support, this battle wasn’t gonna be one. If the truth had to come out like this, I was grateful they had been here when it did.
I couldn’t help but smile, my eyes lighting up, then glazed over – as grandpa pointed out – when I got to my favorite topic of late.