“There is no love without forgiveness, and there is no forgiveness without love.”~Bryant H. McGill
Del Sol Valley Cameron Mansion
Standing by the crib in awe, Bianca just watched the sleeping baby. Her baby. Her and Gavin’s baby. The little boy, Jake, looked so peaceful. So perfect. So real. Just like any innocent baby, even though he was special. A Vampire by birth, like his father.
Bianca could feel someone behind her, before she noticed Scarlett in her peripheral vision.
“They are a great gift, babies.” Scarlett said.
“I still can’t believe I made this. Gavin and I made him. He’s so perfect. Nothing between Gav and I has ever been perfect. Because of me. I know he hates me now, and has every right to, no matter what he says. I hate myself too.”
“One thing you have to learn about my son is that he does not lie about the big things. If he told you that he does not hate you, you should believe him. My husband and I have raised all of our children to be kind, which includes a willingness to forgive. If he were not willing to forgive, you would not be here. Your baby maybe, while you would get money from him, maybe.”
“What can I do for him to forgive me? I’d do anything. ANYthing.”
Scarlett turned to face Bianca, who couldn’t help but feel small opposite such a beauty, who just exuded incredible strength. Bianca just instinctively knew that Scarlett had to be one of the more powerful Vampires.
“For starters, you have to forgive yourself. You have acknowledged you made mistakes, dwelling on that fact serves no purpose, so learn from that insight and don’t repeat them in future.”
“I hate myself for all the choices I made. I screwed up my entire life. And maybe my son’s. And Gavin’s, in a way.”
“We all get there at some point in our lives. Let me tell you a little story about a girl, who once fell in love with a boy. However, the girl and the boy were so very different, practically from different worlds. No matter how she tried, she could neither forget him, nor stay away from him, and eventually, that love bore a child, a little girl, one that belonged more into his world than hers. She loved that girl so much, but kept it from the boy, for he was so very mad at her for what she thought was her trying to protect them both from each other’s worlds. The girl and the boy tried so hard to move on, but always ended up crossing paths again. That was when the boy found out about the baby. He instantly fell in love with their child and demanded to co-parent even though he had remarried. The girl married too, but somehow, neither could deny the truth even though they both fought it hard. Until one day, the boy and the girl threw caution to the wind, righted the old wrongs and lived happily married to each other forever after. A lot of people were hurt in that entire process, good people, undeserving of the pain, but it also shows you that happy endings and silver linings are possible, no matter how much you think you screwed up.”
“That was you and your husband in that story, wasn’t it?”
“Yes.” Scarlett smiled a careful smile, hiding her fangs.
“Do you think there is hope? For Gavin to fall in love again with me?”
“No.” Scarlett’s answer was quick and sincere.
Bianca’s face twitched, visibly fighting tears, when Scarlett pulled her into her arms. Holding her, gently rocking Bianca like you would a child, she said gently, while the young woman sobbed into her shoulder.
“What I meant is, he never stopped, Bianca. I know my son, and he wanted to fight it, wanted to not like you, let alone love you, but he can’t. There is something about us Vampires, regarding a certain person we all seek. Our entire life draws us to that one person, we just have to realize it’s them when we finally find them, it’s not always that easy, some of us never stop seeking. You may well be that certain person for him. I think it is a curse of humanity in its own right to not find love without learning great pain first. Maybe it is so we know the alternative, to learn to treasure love as it should be. But in order for anyone to truly love you, you have to learn to love and treasure yourself. If you want my advice, then we should be working on finding you a way to become independent from anyone, not get you back with Gavin so you depend on him. Then you being with him will have a different feel for both of you. And if you agree, we will make it so.”
Bianca cried into Scarlett’s shoulder. Scarlett let her, cry all the pain and heartbreak out. Once the girl had run out of tears, she wiped her eyes, and looked up at Scarlett.
“You know, he hasn’t always been like that, my dad. I think when mom died, something inside of him died with her. It was an accident, nobody was ready. Everything fell apart after she was gone. She was so young and full of vigor, the glue of our family, she handled us kids, the household, kept dad’s back free so he could work and then just come home and enjoy time with us, mom handled the brunt of all our kid and teen problems. We were six at home, you know. Six siblings. Just before she died the two boys had grown up and moved out, the oldest married and was expecting. Giulia had just eloped with Grady, but because of mom, dad was a lot more lenient with them still then. After mom died, he refused to talk to them. Then Sandrine’s engagement to Rhys fell apart, trying to make dad happy, she rushed into marriage with another boy, Alessandro, who married her when she got pregnant by him. They were unhappy from the start, and he ended up cheating on her over and over. Dad was already overwhelmed with all that. And then my second oldest brother got into a fatal car crash, not even a month after mom passed. Dad was unrecognizable, uprooted the only two of us left at home, Adrianna and me, she was 15, I was 12, and moved us to his childhood home in Tartosa. After that, he was so different. Every now and then the old daddy comes back, kind and sweet and caring, funny and so full of love. Adrianna managed to keep the old daddy around the longest, because she’s his favorite, that’s why she got away with Nick and everything. She has it all. She’s so smart, tall and pretty like a model and she has mom’s eyes. Blue. I am short, fat, brown-eyed, not very smart, just nothing.”
“Is that what you think? Cos when I look at you, I see a strong, beautiful, radiant young woman, who has lived through much tragedy, yet who loves so much, that she bends until she breaks to accommodate those she loves, whether they deserve it or not. A beautiful young girl, who cannot possibly live up to all the expectations others have of her, yet too frightened to tell anyone no. You are your own kind of beautiful, Bianca. Your skin is that of light milk coffee, a natural bronze glow, other women have to pay lots of money to try and attain that, and some, like me, never will. Your eyes are big and soft, doe eyes, so warm and loving, your hair a perfect match to frame the beautiful painting that is you. And evidently, your body is something my son finds very hard to resist, the proof is sleeping right there before your very eyes. Should tell you everything you need to know.” Scarlett smiled and winked.
“I wish you were my mom. You remind me so much of her. She was like that too, so warm and kind, always knew the right things to say to make everything better.” Bianca snuggled back into Scarlett’s arms, reminding her more of a child than a new mom.
“Oh goodness, sweet girl, as flattered as I am hearing you say that, I think that for sure would give you father a heart attack, considering his take on Vampires. You see, unlike my husband, I was born like this. I don’t know what it feels like to be mortal. But I do know what it feels like to be in your shoes, young, conflicted, filled with doubt and stuck between two very different worlds, unsure which way to turn for fear of hurting those you love. Not to mention I raised 7 children as well, 9 actually, counting the foster kids we took in, a lot of the time by myself for my husband has a very intense career, often taking him away to perform concerts on long tours in many countries, other times he hides away in the studio to record for an entire day, so I can even relate to your father, it isn’t easy doing it alone. Even for me, who doesn’t tire quickly. But parenthood means sacrifice, letting go for the benefit of your kids. We don’t own them. Your father seems to have forgotten that part. I may need to make it a point to remind him when the occasion presents itself again.”
“Can I ask some motherly advice from you? I need an honest answer, please and I really have nobody left to ask. Aria-Grace is in Henford-on-Bagley and so busy learning to be a member of the royals, Adrianna is nesting and only has nursery on her mind, Giulia is moving into Grady’s parents’ home with her family after they couldn’t afford theirs anymore, I never was close with my brother Vitto or with Sandrine, plus she married that old man now. Oh, sorry, I forgot he’s your husband’s best friend.”
“Don’t worry about that. Kai is a sweetie and knows very well he cradle-robbed big time. I guarantee you though, your sister couldn’t have found a better husband than him. Just ask me what you want to ask. Nobody in my family is easily offended.” Scarlett giggled.
“Should I just go. Leave Jake with his father and just go away, so at least my son will have a chance to find happiness? You are all so nice to me, after all I have done, I feel so … undeserving. Like a fraud.”
“Absolutely not! You need to get out of your head and into reality. I do understand why you are wondering that, and I am not mad, I get it. But there is no easy way out of this. Gavin would never forgive you if you just left. You asked me, what you should do for him to trust you and fall back in love with you. The truth is, I don’t know what it would take, Bianca, but I can tell you that you will have to play with an open deck of cards from now on. No more disappearing acts, no more dumping him, unless you want it to be final. Show him you really mean it, everything you told him, and you are going to tell him. And give him time. If you rush it now, you will lose him. He is teetering the edge leaning over hard. But he is very obviously willing to give you both a real chance or – like I said earlier – you would not be here.”
Scarlett kissed Bianca’s forehead and left the nursery. In the hallway she ran into Blaine, who pulled her into a tight embrace, twirling her around, while lifting her up in the air, where she remained even once he stopped twirling her.
“You are so sexy when you are being mommy again. Makes me want to pump another little Cameron into you right here, right now.”
Before Scarlett could protest, he sealed her lips with a passionate kiss, as Gavin appeared.
“Can you guys at least not make my next sibling in the hallway? We have so many rooms, go into one of them. Except mine. Or the nursery.”
Blaine let go of Scarlett, and grinned at his son.
“Why? Do you have the exclusive rights on furnishing us with more oopsie babies now? I don’t think I ever got my ass off that throne just yet. Stay tuned world, there may be more incoming yet … oh, the suspense!” Blaine never let go of Scarlett, continuing to make out with her in between sentences.
“I don’t have the exclusive, but don’t you think 7 copies of you are more than enough for this world?”
Blaine and Scarlett finally ended their making out, Scarlett wiping her mouth while Blaine acted as if he was giving it thought, then smirked at Gavin.
“Hmmm … nope. No, I don’t think there can ever be enough copies of your mother and me.”
“But I do. Blaine, zip it and Gavin, talk to Bianca. REALLY talk.” Scarlett said firmly.
“Lemme translate that sappy mom-code for ya, Gav: your mommy likes your baby-momma a LOT and wants you to go and kiss and make up, so your mommy can plan a wedding and keep her around permanently, as well as that baby.” Blaine smirked at his son, then Scarlett.
She punched Blaine’s arm.
“No, mommy does NOT want any of that, at least not like that. Bianca loves you, Gavin.”
“That is a frightened little girl in there in the shape of a grown young woman. I want to spank her father for turning her into such a scared bunny with no confidence in herself at all, so desperate to lean onto anybody who’s nice to her, looking for guidance for the simplest, most obvious things. She knows she screwed up, but I blame her father for everything. She’s a victim of circumstance. Needs guidance, and forgiveness, lots of both. And her father needs a talking-to.”
“I know.” Gavin said with another shrug.
“Ah, I get it. Nice. You learned from the best, sweet fruit of my ever-horny loins. Come on, Letty, our work here is done. Leave the boy to live his life. He’s got this.”
“Yeah, mom. I got this. Thanks, both of you. For everything. And most of all, thanks for not being a manipulative dick like her old man.”
“Agh, Gav! You started out so strong … but you really are your father’s son.” Scarlett ported away.
“I should as fuck hope so.” Blaine’s snickering echoed away as he ported off too.
Gavin entered the nursery, watching Bianca look at him like a bird with a broken wing would look at a cat, fearful, hoping for mercy.
He looked at her for a little while, then smiled and just pulled her into his arms.
“I don’t know how yet, but we got this.”