What is love
Without the finer feelings
It’s just sex
Without the sexual healing
Without some tender meanings
It ain’t love
Without the finer feelings
Brindleton Bay The Elysium
My nephew Connor was the one who opened the door for me, and he was in one of those teen moods. Fabulous. Ask me again why I didn’t like kids. They go from constantly crying and shitting themselves as babies over making nothing but messes straight into being moody messes as teens. No thanks!
My brother’s 16-year-old kid currently proceeded to inform me in the unmistakable Cameron-blunt-AF-way
“Dad’s upstairs, probably nailing mom. I am so not going up there to knock. Sorry! Maddie’s around here somewhere, Colton and Keira are at his sister’s home for something, don’t know when they will be back. You can sit and wait here if you want, but I gotta run in a few, meeting friends, already late. Sorry. Charlie is around somewhere too, I can go find him if you want to pet him while you wait. He doesn’t play much anymore, guess he’s just too old now.” Connor grumbled in a voice way too deep for his babyface.
“Ah, great update on the complete household agenda, so very helpful. Can’t say I appreciate the TMI insight into my brother’s family planning, but thanks anyway. And leave Charlie where he is, last time I had to endure his greeting I had more of his fur on my clothes and that mutt has on his entire body!” I clapped back at him.
Yeah, I had moods too, kid. Meet your queen B. And in this case the B very much is for BITCH! I fly that flag proud and high. And often. Guess my family was callused over by that fact, as completely unfazed Connor shrugged.
“Tell me about it! Nobody – literally NOBODY – wants the TMI, but we are getting it, I have to live the details! Dad’s been in there for hours, he’ll probably need some ice to sit on whenever they are done. They are nuts, Aunt Fall. Everyone is NUTS!” my nephew informed me.
“Name’s still Fallon, not Fall, don’t get cute on me, kid, just take the time, you lil dork. You don’t hear me calling you ‘Conn’, do you? But you’re right about something, the world’s gone nuts, THAT we can agree on. Sounds like we’re having the same kinda week.”
“Week?! Try life. Mine sucks, at the moment, because everyone in it is NUTS! Totally CRAZY!” he told me, then just stormed off. Just left, leaving me standing there like a reject. Again, kids for ya. And my brother now wanted another one of those?! Idiot!
“Yeah, and they wonder why I don’t like kids. I’ll just go sit over here then until someone is kind enough to acknowledge my existence. Family, my ass.” I complained out aloud.
“Awww – and I was just gonna ask you if you wanted to touch my tiny little baby bump! Not much going on in there yet, but I just reached that magic 3 months mark, I don’t look very pregnant clothed, and you can definitely tell if I pull up my sweater.” chirped Maddie, hunky Colton’s wife. PREGNANT wife, I should say.
No idea where she came from of a sudden.
Additional footnote: Maddie and I weren’t exactly BFFs. She had a man I always wanted to have, but he wouldn’t give me the time of day because of her. I bet Colton could be tons of fun.
I got my mind out of the gutter, found my composure and turned to her, with a smile that was faker than a 3-dollar bill.
“Oh goodness, congratulations. Leave that sweater where it is, I don’t want to touch you with unwashed hands. Germs and all.” I politely lied. She was as much a Vampire as I was, that baby would be a Vamp as well, so germs meant nothing. I just didn’t wanna touch ANY baby bumps – period! YUCK! One more time for the back rows, I didn’t care about babies. Nada! And most certainly not about babies I wasn’t even related to. What was the celebration about anyway, like it was hard to get yourself knocked up. The opposite of that is noteworthy, having as much sex as I did and NOT getting preggers. Now THAT is worthy of clinking champagne glasses. Where were all the congratulations and celebrations for MY achievement?! Weird world!
“It’s a boy, Fallon! And with some luck, he might have a little sister to play with and protect. Isn’t that ADORABLE!?” she squealed, and everything about that was grinding my gears. I wanted to dig my hands into her shaggy blond hair and just start ripping on it.
I thought we had finally reached an era where we established girls didn’t need boys to protect them?! Did I look like I needed a man to protect me?! Seriously?! ARGH!
Still, I remained fake-friendly while realizing her smile was just as fake as mine.
“Oh gawd, yes, so adorbs. Wait … what? Little sister? Huh, isn’t your kid a teen too? I am confused.” I said.
“Oh – no, silly, I didn’t mean Keira. Your brother and Hailz, they are … ya know … trying. Have been for some weeks now. For a girl. If Hailz even manages to get preggers, took her years last time, oh, those were long years of frustration, I really hope it will be different this time, and that baby of course wouldn’t really be a sister, but kinda, just like Connor and Keira … So, spoiler alert. Knowing the Cameron grapevine, I was sure you heard.” Maddie gave me some haughty smirk.
“Nah, I hadn’t heard yet until Connor opened the door for me leading with that crap. Didn’t realize you can choose the gender nowadays.” I huffed.
“You can’t, and of course it would be welcome whatever the gender, just dreaming. Fingers crossed though.” Maddie informed me, in our sparring of the bitches.
“Yeah, right totally fingers crossed here. What happens if it’s another boy? They keep trying till they have a girl?” I asked, barely able to mask my horror at how many kids that may take. YIKES. For all that is holy, please no! Can everyone please SEIZE having babies!? For heaven’s sake – enough already!!!
“Hahahaa, you’re so funny, Fallon, no, don’t worry, I know Hailz and Chase well enough to say that they won’t turn into your parents. One more is the cutoff for both of us. Colton and I are getting fixed after this one, and I think so are Chase and Hailz. No Cameron bunch for us, with a new kid ever year till it don’t ‘go no mo‘ as Blaine would say. Hahaha.” Maddie said with the face of an angel as she waved goodbye at me, winking, and just walked off.
As sweet as Maddie seemed, I think that was a verbal bitch-slap at the fact my parents raised 9 kids altogether, even though not all were homemade. And her quoting one of my dad’s many Blainisms as everyone referred to them as just reminded me that Maddie always had this weird crush on him, I can honestly not say for sure how much of that was just playful silliness and how much was real, mom never gave it any mind, and Chase always just laughed, the only one getting worked up by it was her husband Colton, which may have been the intention, but it was still strange for me, I thought, while sparing her another faker than fake smile until she disappeared through some door.
“Yo yo yo … I spy I spy with my little eyes … a Fallon in my humble abode. I think … maybe it’s a Blythe since it’s not breathing fire.” I heard Chase’s voice, as he was now coming down the stairs. Shirtless, with that freshly screwed glow about him. URGH! This was just the type of day that kept on giving.
“Ha ha ha – so funny!” I said, clearly unamused, and didn’t even try to acknowledge the usual identical twins’ joke. Our family could always tell us apart, so this joke had already run its course when Blythe and I were 3 or 4.
“Right, you are pretty easy to tell apart from Blythe these days, by her cute lil twins baby bump and that excited first-time-parents-perma-smile she and Jensen have now. Be careful, Fallon, there’s something in the water these days. You better check to make sure you don’t already have a new passenger on board. Hahahaha. Joking aside, wish me luck, Patches and I decided to try for another one. That reminds me why I came down here. I am parched. I need fluids. Feel like a raisin. Serious cotton mouth.” Chase smacked his lips reminding me of a hungry dog to underline his complaint.
“Seriously Chase? Have we met? I don’t want to hear about you having run yourself dry by humping your wife and no baby bumps for me – duh – and yes, I heard you are gonna try to have another kid. I am so thrilled I wanna puke. Whatever for do you think you need more kids? You’re touring so much with your band, those diaper-shitters just get in the way and on everyone’s nerves. I thought you were one of the smart ones.”
“Aww – always the lady. We’re having another kid because Colton knocked up Maddie, triggering baby fever in Patches, and because we can and we want to. What brings you by?” he said, unimpressed by my bitchy tone, as he tried to hug me, but grimacing I stepped out of reach.
“Don’t you dare come near me like that! You’re shirtless, and I know what you have been doing, you even smell like you skipped the after-nookie courtesy shower, so get away from me, gross!”
He laughed and sounded exactly like our father Blaine as he walked to the kitchen, turned to the coffeemaker and started pouring two cups, while I waited.
“To answer your question, Chase, it’s just a friendly visit that brings me here. I went to see Blythe and thought it would be rude to go back home without saying hi to you. Should have brought you one of Vivien’s latest batches of ViVa fan merch tees. You look like you are short on clothing.”
Chase grinned as he placed a cup of coffee in front of me but said nothing.
“No seriously, can you put a shirt on?” I reiterated, thinking he banged his brains dry too and didn’t understand me.
“No, I cannot. This is my home, Fallon, I am quite comfortable letting it all hang out and it’s nothing you haven’t seen before, I wear less at the pool. Why does my bare chest suddenly offend you? I am wearing pants, all my really interesting shit is covered, so chill. Bet you’d be begging for more if I were Colton.” he smirked at me, totally unfazed.
“Probably true, especially since I am NOT related to him, brother dearest. I don’t want to see you half nekkid. I am not skittish about looking at naked men but do draw the line at family. And I didn’t realize your pool is now in your kitchen. There’s a time and place for everything. This is not one of your performances where girls scream themselves hoarse when you rip off your shirt!”
“Sounds like a personal problem to me, Fallon, get over yourself, we both grew up with Blaine as a dad. At the Cameron Mansion, then and now, you are lucky if he has pants on, shirts and shoes are always optional with him. And without trying to say anything offensive, we both know you haven’t been living like a shrinking violet, you’ve seen more men naked than a public gym shower. You’ll live. So, how are things with your NOT-boyfriend ‘Bear’?”
“Yeah about that … be shocked, I am thinking about making him my for realz boyfriend. Thoughts?”
Naturally, Chase did the fake heart attack spiel at me, then laughed hard at my grumpy face when realizing I wasn’t amused. I wasn’t. I didn’t find it amusing that nobody took my conundrum serious. It WAS serious! I needed help, not jokes!
“Other than ‘that poor man‘ nothing comes to mind. Just kidding. Good for you, sis, about damn time. Even though part of me is rolling that bedroom scene from ‘Misery’ in my head now … where she busts his leg with a hammer so he can’t leave … hahahahaha!” laughed Chase and I flipped him off, as siblings do. Once he quit laughing, he took another, long sip of his coffee, while studying me, then said sincerely.
“I think you two are perfect for each other. I think you need to take your foot off the brakes and let things happen, embrace it. Feels much better if you quit tripping yourself up. Your wild days should be behind you now, time to start adulting. Build something real, something that lasts, with Bear, he’s a good one. Mom likes him, that’s good enough for me. As aggravating as you can be, you’re my little sis, I love you and I want you to be genuinely happy. Like Blythe is. Like the rest of us siblings are.” he winked at me.
“That’s the point though. I don’t know that I want that. If I were to commit to him, I’d be stuck, or I’d lose Barrett Security again, since it is HIS company. So, if I were to make it real, it would be VERY long-term and that is my problem. Like, the idea of choosing the same man to have sex with for the rest of my life – well, HIS life actually – just freaks me out. Forever, in our case is a VERY long time, Chase. How old do mortals usually get? 70? 80? 90? That really sounds like a lot of time to be stuck with one guy! And without being to descript, he and I both like it spicy in the bedroom, what if what happened to mom and dad when he was still mortal were to happen to me and Bear, where she accidentally turned dad doing the naughty – and then had to crawl to Grandpa Caleb and fess up? Oh, the horror – can you imagine me having to tell grandpa what happened and … UGH … and on top of that I would never get rid of Bear again! Not ever! I’d be his Sire then and responsible for him. Oh, hell no!” I talked myself into a mild panic.
He lifted his left hand, wiggling his wedding band in my face, before shrugging.
“Barking up the wrong tree. Patches was my first and will be my only forever, I even made sure she won’t take the mortal route out and turned her, so forever really will be forever for us. No complaints here. Been over 20 years of marriage, longer if you count the dating and college. Look at mom and dad. He had all the chances, he played the field, and chose mom. He’s been guilty of a lot of things, but he never cheated on her. Every other woman he’s been with he cheated on, but never mom. And I know as well as you do, those two are NOT bored in the bedroom, if that is your main concern about settling with one guy.”
“Maybe you just don’t know any better, you have no experience, you don’t know if you’re missing out. And mom and dad – you know – can’t be measured by any measures known to mankind. I don’t think anyone could ever have what they have.”
“You’re wrong. Patches and I DO have what mom and dad have. Maybe I don’t know better, but I don’t need to, I never felt like I was missing out, Fallon. I never questioned if there is something better out there. Cole and I have fans more than willing anywhere we go. But neither he nor I ever even came close. Nor has Blake, Liam, Heath and Caitie, … or just look at Grandpa Caleb. It’s been hundreds of years for him and grandma.”
“Oh, Grandpa Caleb wouldn’t even know what sex is unless it’s written in one of his old tomes. I think the last time he and grandma did it was when Uncle Caelan was conceived. I don’t know how old he is in mortal count, but THAT long ago.”
The look Chase shot me over the edge of his coffee mug told tales, as did his slight headshake and knowing smirk.
“No. NO?! Do tell! OMG – you walked in on them! I need to hear the details!” I was all ears now.
“I am not gonna relive that. But ask Uncle Caelan or Aunt Rhiannon, they share a wall with them and you know how everything just echoes at that castle. Since mom would be about 80 years by mortal count, and Caelan’s 5 years younger, he’d be 75 and I guarantee you that it hasn’t been that long, you got grandma and grandpa pegged ALL wrong there. He’s so composed and serious because he is the leader of ALL Vampires now, that’s a big job, and he has to project a certain stability and power, at least publicly. He’s the sensual type, just look at grandma, how kind and warm she always has been. No way she’d sit on dry land so long, they still do it. They’re just very discreet about it and too ancient for it to bear any fruit anymore or mom and Uncle Caelan would have a bunch of siblings by now.”
Chase’s eyes moved from mine to something behind me, the expression in them changed and by that smile, that special smile, I knew his wife Hailey had come down the stairs and was about to join us without having to look.
That’s when it hit me. That was when everything changed for me. I stared at my big brother in a probably very creepy un-sisterlike way, realizing I wanted ‘Bear’ to look at me that way. THIS very way. I wanted people to look at him and be able to know that I am entering a room. THIS. 100% this. I had tried to end things with Bear only to find I was already in too deep, too invested in our relationship and in his company. Instead, I just realized the only way left was forward, I wanted him and I to have what Chase and Hailey have. What my mom and dad have. No way back, so all I could do was full steam ahead. Wasn’t that what everyone was telling me anyway?
“Hi Hailz, and bye you both. I gotta go!” I said and only a black cloud remained in the spot I had been standing in.
Hailey didn’t even look bothered by Fallon’s sudden departure, as she continued to make her way to Chase, who received her with a hug and an intense kiss, she buried her face in his shoulder.
“Chase-y … I have something to show you …”
“I don’t have to look. I can read it in your face.”
“Oh man, Chase-y, this is happening … so fast this time. Last time it took 6 years. I LIKE this Vampire thing more and more!”
“No kidding. Feels like we literally just did it- and BAM – already knocked up. How’s that for husbandly service.” he chuckled, she swatted at him with the pregnancy test wand.
“Silly man. You know, the timeline almost says this might have happened that very first time when you came to tell me you were ready, and we started trying right away. Wouldn’t that be funny? All these past weeks we were trying for something that already happened the first time?”
“I didn’t mind the trying one bit. So, what are the chances it’s a girl? Any magical maternal gut feeling about it yet?”
“No, but I am about to explode for anticipation! I’ll make an appointment with the OB/GYN and I will ask how soon they can figure that out. I know there is some blood test that can tell them probably now already. So, your cute sexy hubby-and-soon-to-be-daddy-again-butt better be at that appointment with me.”