Eternal Rest Cemetery
I was fuming!
Not because I was a Vampire standing in the frickin midday heat at a cemetery in the desert town of Oasis Springs like a new statue, no, like most of my kind, I was a daywalker, immune to daylight and the sun, but because my lover’s still-wife was yanking us around again. Why, you wonder?
Because she’s a bitch and because she could, that’s why! And we were at her mercy, in a way.
We wanted something from her.
Needed something from her.
And she rolled around in that fact. Milked it dry.
If I sound pissed, it’s because I was. I know most women dislike their lovers’ exes, but this was a whole new level of bullshit. She wasn’t even really his ex, even though that’s what I always called her, in the eyes of the law, she was still very much current as we found out the hard way, even though Bear and Susan hadn’t seen or spoken to each other in more than 12 years. Just a clusterfuck from every angle. Not only did I not appreciate her blowing off Liam’s many attempts to get her to meet so we could talk about the divorce again, when she finally did talk, several weeks after the failed last attempt, she demanded Bear would meet her at the cemetery by their kids’ graves. WHAT A …!
Of course, that outlook had ruined Bear’s mood, he was miserable the days leading up to it, on the drive here and now more than ever. He was hurting, and in agony, because of HER and I wanted to do the worst things to that woman for it.
But out of respect I said nothing. Not a word, cos once my mouth opened, nothing good would come out.
It was quiet around us, peaceful, birds chirping, typical cemetery mood, as the two stood there, melancholic, staring at the headstones, I stood a bit at a distance behind them to give them privacy to deal with a chapter of their lives I had not been a part of, I was just here as moral support for Bear and to make sure she didn’t try anything cute with my man. No, I didn’t trust her, and if she had 12 children with that new man of hers.
Finally, she spoke.
“Have Liam contact me about the divorce again. If you can agree to one tiny stipulation added into the divorce decree, then I will sign the document as it was when you came to my house.”
Bear cleared his throat.
“This. I want to make sure you come here, at least once a month. I want that in there. Then I’ll sign.”
Bear’s head snapped around to her, while my ears perked up. If bitch was ready to sign, I’d gladly drag Bear here monthly.
“You don’t have to put this in writing. If it is that important to you, then I’ll give you my word I will come. You know my word is good. What changed your mind so suddenly? We’ve been trying to talk to you for weeks.”
“Okay, if you promise you’ll visit them, then I will sign. I know you don’t lie. I didn’t change my mind, let’s just say that a recent development made me not want to drag this out any longer just to get you to understand some important things that just can’t be swept under a rug. I want to get the divorce over with before you disappear again.”
“I do not disappear, Susan. I never disappeared. Back then I left. You knew I was going to leave. Big difference. And if you are honest, you WANTED me gone. You told me that every single time I tried to talk to you back then. You wanted me as far away from you, and I couldn’t stand to see the hatred in your eyes any longer.” Bear stood his ground.
Silence fell for a moment, she closed her eyes, when she opened them again she said.
“I am pregnant, Theo.”
Bear gasped. As did I.
“Well, it’s not his!” I chimed in. I had been such a good girl but couldn’t help ramming the verbal stakes into this shaky ground to claim what was mine now. Who tells someone something like that at a cemetery anyway?! I am a Vampire, for Christ’s sake we’re known to be unsavory at times, but I wouldn’t pull shit like that.
She glared at me.
“Of course not. It’s Phil’s. I want our second child to be born into a marriage. If you have Liam send the documents over, I will sign them as they are, and we should be free of each other at long last within the next few weeks. Hopefully.”
“Lady, don’t you move. Bear, keep her here. Nobody move!” I saw a chance and took it.
I ran out of the cemetery, around some corner, once out of sight I ported straight into Liam’s home office.
Del Sol Valley Hills
Luckily, he was there, had pants on, didn’t have my sister bend over the desk or something I really didn’t want to bear witness to. He was typing on the computer when I appeared, but jumped up, startled, staring at me.
“Sorry – and hi Liam! Lookin’ spiffy – as always.” I muttered.
“Fallon! For fluff’s sake! That is inappropriate and even mortal old me knows just appearing in someone’s home is against Vampire laws – for good reason! Please consider that I had a severe heart attack some years ago! You can’t just show up like that or are you trying to kill me?!” he started laying into me, which I ignored as I was now digging around his desk, until he stopped me.
“FALLON! Those are confidential documents! Get out of there!”
“The papers! Where are they?!”
“What do you think, Liam. Bear’s divorce crap. Where is it?! Bitch is ready to sign right now, so grab what you need, and I am taking you there. Right now, the Vampire express way.”
“I will do no such thing! I have to tell Vivien where I am going! I can’t just disappear! And I need to change into something presentable. I am a professional attorney, and I like to look the part!”
I was so annoyed and frustrated, but really didn’t want to kick off that anger avalanche. If I just took him away now, Vivien would throw a hissy fit at our parents about this, and I would never hear the end of that shit.
That had the potential of getting me stuck at Vatore Castle for a month or so for some intense Vampire customs, rules, laws and etiquette refresher courses if my grandfather – the Vampire coven leader – were to find out. No thanks! I’d rather eat garlic by the cloves and deal with the puking and sickness than my grandfather’s never-ending lectures on everything Vampire nobody cares about.
So, I told Liam I’d wait, he dragged me downstairs and told my sister Vivien the plan, who chewed me out for just showing up in her home the entire time while Liam got changed. Juuuuust dreamy. When he FINALLY was ready to go, we did so immediately.
Eternal Rest Cemetery
Once back at the cemetery in Oasis Springs I had my brother-in-law Liam by the hand he wasn’t carrying the files with and dragged him with me to those graves, where Bear and Susan received us with big eyes.
“Susan. Bear.” greeted Liam, looking annoyed, while Bear shot me a look, then pulled me aside.
“What are you doing? Was this necessary? We could have done it the normal way.” he whisper-yelled.
“Nope. We are getting you unmarried – ASAP! Finally!”
“Fallon, there was no need for you do be so theatric. We could have set up a regular appointment, few more days wouldn’t make a difference now. And please don’t forget that Liam is one of my best clients! I have worked for his wife for many years! Meaning, so do you! You didn’t need to agitate him like this. Plus, he is doing me a favor handling the divorce, you know I could never afford someone of his caliber.”
Favor, I thought. Unbekown to Bear I was paying Liam off-the-record because I didn’t want Bear to owe anyone for this and because I knew Liam deserved it. And because I thought that would light a fire under Liam’s butt to find ways to get this done as fast as possible.
“Chill. He was my brother-in-law long before I even got involved in Barrett Security, so he is my relative before anything else. It’s not like porting is risky, and it is so much faster, all he has to do is hold still, then do his lawyer shit, then hold still again, I am doing the rest. Not like he had to grow wings and flap them all the way from Del Sol Valley to here and back do help us out. So, let’s get this crap signed, have Liam file it ASAP and then you are done with her! We both are! Praised be that day!”
Liam was already going over the divorce papers with Susan, pointing to the flags that marked the places she was to sign.
Once she was done, it was Bear’s turn. Afterwards, Bear and Susan exchanged a few words, Liam gave them some privacy and came over to me, then said
“You do realize divorces are not instant, right? Even uncontested ones need a judge to sign off on it.”
“Oh come on, are you serious?! How long will that take now?”
“Hard to say, I don’t know the caseload the court here has, this is very clean, simple and straightforward, both parties already agreed to all terms, no custody thing attached to it, Susan declined retroactive alimony claims, she got that big severance package you so kindly offered, so once a judge has their hands on it, it should be quick, but I’d think at least a week or so till it hits anyone’s desk. Could be a lot longer.”
“GIMME A MILLION BREAKS! Any way to speed that up?”
“What’s the rush? Are you pregnant?” Liam chuckled, knowing my stance on that subject.
“Oh, shut your mouth! As if! No, I am not, but she is.”
“Oh. I see. That could have been hairy under different circumstances, children born during a marriage are automatically considered the husband’s children until proven otherwise, so technically, her son would kinda be Bear’s had they not been separated for over a decade at that point with no contract and had the child’s father not given his last name and signed the birth certificate. Obviously, that won’t be a problem here, but I’ve seen cases …”
“NOT HELPING!” I grimaced at him.
Liam snickered and I elbowed him in the side.
By the time I had delivered Liam to the courthouse, waited for him to get everything done there, then back to his home, then back to the cemetery to ride the 2+ hours home in the car with Bear since we had come together and he always refused to let me port him, it had gotten late.
Del Sol Valley Barrett/Cameron Residence
When we walked in, Bear grabbed me and kissed me.
“Almost free now …” he said.
“Yeah, almost! Thank God! I am kinda glad she’s knocked up, if that’s what it took to get her ass into gear. Thank you, Phil Meacham, whoever you are. I can’t wait for her to become Mrs. Meacham. That Mrs. Barrett thing rubs me wrong. She can’t be Mrs. Barrett!”
The look Bear gave me made me hot and cold. Uh oh. I saw the wheels turning and knew he was taking this the wrong way. I could almost read his thoughts without being able to read minds. Some Vampires have that skill. I did not. Sadly. But I could read him like a book that moment and it scared me. Luckily, he didn’t speak his mind, we just kissed again.
“I know what you were thinking and, sorry, that is not what I meant by that. I am just not that girl. I don’t do marriage. Or babies.”
“I mean it.” I reiterated.
“When I was a young man, still in my teens, my father was still alive, and I asked him once how I would know if a girl was the right girl. You know what he told me? He said if you look deep into her eyes and can see your unborn children with her, THEN you know. Back then I thought it was rubbish, and when I was dating Susan, I tried it anyway, but saw just eyes. Forgot all about what he had told me, until now.” he didn’t continue, but a blind man could see where he was going with it.
“Bear … “
“I know. I know how you feel about this. And I know what I saw.”
“No, you don’t! There are no unborn children in MY eyes! Or wedding bands.”
“Okay.” the tone in his voice made clear he just didn’t want to argue about it.
“I said okay!”
I realized once again how much he and I were alike, both stubborn as heck!
“Bear, seriously. There aren’t. I can’t. It’s not me. Please don’t go chasing rainbows about something like that. You’re just setting both of us up for disappointment. I am already so far out of my comfort zone here with you. I just can’t bend any further. I won’t.”
“Yeah. Just like I was nothing but another fling, because you would never commit to just one man. Just like you would never commit to someone as low on the Totem pole as a simple bodyguard. And then you would never move in with me. You would never give up your own room … Lucky for both of us, I am a very patient man.”
He kissed me again, then walked off, a total mic drop on his end, while I was paralyzed and speechless. THIS is what he does. What he had always done. I may be the Vampire in this relationship, and confident as all get out, but that didn’t mean I always had the upper hand.
Somehow, that man always managed what no other man except my dad had ever managed before. Maybe that was why all my rules seemed to change with him, why I even had run after him, crawled back to him, begged him for forgiveness, because he was unlike any man I ever met before.
It annoyed me as much as it was magnetic to me. Him standing his ground, knowing who and what I was, and how easily I got super-angry, yet, he didn’t give two shits, didn’t flinch, just served me the facts and spoon-fed reality to me, whether I wanted it or not, till I suffocated on the truth. My equal when all other men had always been inferior to me, in my book.
I always thought I’d live forever just going through men like underwear, new one every day, sometimes even two or more. Until Bear. He was supposed to be a fling, just to see what it would be like. Here we are, one year later and for the first time I don’t want to lose a man. I do things to make him want to be with me.
But that topic – oh hell no!
He was wrong there, he would always be wrong, I was NEVER gonna change my mind that much.