Well into watching the ceremony, which was beautiful and romantic, but still mostly background entertainment as his mind had taken him to an alternate dream universe where he was up there as the groom, speaking his vows, wondering how it would feel, wondering how marriage actually changed a relationship after all – it seemed to work well for his siblings – even though his current relationship was still brand-new and in its baby shoes, making wedding fantasies almost ridiculous. Then again, as his dad always said ‘When you know, you know.’. He felt like ‘he knew’ Olivia was the girl for him, question remaining was, did she? Looking over at her, 26-year-old Silas noticed the worried look in Olivia’s eyes as she looked on, while in the front of the seating arrangement were her mother and father repeating their wedding vows, for the third time now, as Silas had been told. Liv was undoubtedly wondering if this one was gonna be the one that would finally last.
Two divorces, countless separations, and you would never guess any of that when seeing them together, flirting and sweet on each other as teenagers during their first love. These two looked meant to be. Yet, sometimes loving a person just wasn’t enough to overcome other problems any couple probably eventually faced at some point. Hopefully now, older and wiser with the kids flown from the coop, they could focus on keeping their relationship happy. The event crowd had been kept very small this time, only immediate relatives … and Silas as Olivia’s date. Three weddings to the same person was just iffy, no need to make it bigger than it already would be once people found out.
Silas smiled at Olivia, while taking her hand in his and squeezing it encouragingly. She gave him a grateful smile as she squeezed his hand back as a response.
This was when applause erupted, so they both rose up as the rest of the wedding guests had done and applauded as her parents were re-introduced as Mr. and Mrs. McCoy, even though her mother never changed her name anyway.
Once all the wedding guests had disbursed throughout the event area, standing off to the side, Olivia let herself fall against Silas, who enveloped her with his arms, kissing the top of her head. She looked up at him as she pushed herself away from him, once she noticed people were looking.
“Man, what a cluster-cluck. And this right at the beginning of us dating. I don’t even want to guess what you are REALLY thinking of me and my family now.” she told him.
“My thoughts and feelings about you haven’t changed a bit, I still think you are the most beautiful and most amazing girl I have ever met. We are we; we can’t be defined by our parents or siblings’ actions. All we can do is accept their quirks and love them anyway. I just hope you remember this when you meet my family. You think this is crazy. Girl, you have no concept of the level of crazy I come with.” Silas said.
“Can’t be any worse than my crazy, Si. I love my family, don’t get me wrong, but they are not the type you wanna flaunt on social media. When are we gonna do that? I mean, I kinda did okayish with your kiddos, the times we both have spent time with them, even though I couldn’t get anything right the first time, I even made Dennis cry because I couldn’t figure out how to get that poor kid into the dang highchair, he just seemed to have 6 legs of a sudden. Oof.” Olivia frowned.
“Hahaha, that was no biggie, trust me. Kids that age have moments where they are cranky and uncooperative. I just had to deal with it all so many times before and know what to do. My kids are too young to really understand relationships, all they know is you are sweet and make their daddy happy, so they don’t have to draw their poor little fingers raw trying to make me smile with their drawings. They love you already, cos their daddy definitely does.”
“Aww. I love you too, Si. And if you still love me after this, you’re a keeper. I really like your kiddos, too. When they are not wailing about something I didn’t understand or screwed up, they are super-sweet and fun. What I really meant was the rest of your family though. There are so many and now your sister is already pregnant again, if we wait too long, who knows how many more there will be. I already dread having to try and keep everyone’s names straight.” Olivia told him.
Silas kissed her.
“Okay, I’ll take you to meet my parents tomorrow. Maybe that’s what we’ll do. Them first, then make our rounds to all the siblings. Bite-sized introduction, rather than the insane family dinner on Sundays. Last Sunday was another doozy. I am genuinely glad you were not there for that mess. I’d be single again and you would have blocked my number.”
“No, I wouldn’t, you are not getting rid of me that easily. I remember you telling me about that dinner. I haven’t met Connell a lot, but just cannot imagine him as a hubby and daddy and actually talking a lot, let alone throwing cookies at people. Whenever I saw him, he was like a statue, I wasn’t even sure he can talk, just always somewhere in the background with his creepy daddy. I didn’t think either of them even know how to smile.” Olivia shrugged.
“Oh good, you think Caelan is creepy too! I just can’t with that guy, even though my sister Emmy – the one who’s married to his son Connell – swears Caelan is actually totally nice. I am not seeing it! And then you meet his wife and just can’t get that front door shut anymore. Like … HOW?” Silas smirked in a way that gave him a boyish look.
“Right?! Rhiannon is SO beautiful, like a perfect painting and Caelan is like …. like a gargoyle. I mean, he’s not even that ugly, but the creepiness is just too much! The type you scare small children with … oh nix that. He’s scary to young and old. And I was born and grew up literally next door to that castle where he lives. I mean, I have met my fair share of Vampires, and none ever really scared me, but he sure did without even trying. Luckily, he’s not the social type so you don’t run into him much. I hope Connell appreciates that he takes so much after his mother.” Liv giggled.
Both laughed at their trash-talking when someone addressed them, causing them to turn around and find not only Olivia’s parents, but also her siblings.
“Well, so you are the mystery boyfriend. I must admit, I am relieved you are a decent looking kid, not some inked weirdo.” KC’s deep voice vibrated in the air while he shook Silas’ hand, Silas felt this man was strong, had worked with his hands all his life and could probably rip his arm off without much effort. Luckily, he seemed appeased and was smiling.
“Dad – I have tats!” the brother Silas had already met that one day at Olivia’s place complained. Creighton.
“Yeah, exactly! If you weren’t my son, I wouldn’t let you near either of my daughters’, kid. You are the type I have been warning your sisters about since they were old enough to know boys don’t all have cooties!” KC McCoy turned to his second-oldest son, grinning, while Creighton sighed, realizing his dad was messing with him.
“Anyway, I am Annaleigh, Liv’s mom, and this is my oldest boy, Sawyer, the grumpy big-mouth is Creighton, who is actually a real sweetheart but doesn’t like to show it, and this beautiful young lady is the baby of the family, Danielle, who scarily enough, recently turned 18.” Liv’s mother spoke and Silas swallowed hard realizing she was the vampire and looked just like Olivia. Spitting image, except the eyes, Annaleigh’s were deep blue, Liv’s bright blue, like her father’s.
“Yeah, hi, pleasure meeting you all.”
“Oh my God, he’s like actually cute! WOW! When Liv said something about Mayor I imagined you totally different. Nice!” Danielle blurted out, making both Silas and Olivia blush.
“Dani! Shut up!” Olivia exclaimed.
“I don’t see it. I mean, she could have picked worse, but he is kinda average. Not terrible, but nothing special either. Hm.” Creighton said.
“Why don’t you shut the hell up you Grinch and quit analyzing our sister’s boyfriend right in front of him? Can’t you see you are embarrassing him?” Sawyer seemed to be the voice of reason of the siblings.
“So? Why would I care? I am not dating him!” he challenged.
“Because I am telling you to, that’s why! Sorry about my brother, Silas, he’s the black sheep of this family.” Sawyer turned to Silas for the last part.
Creighton cursed until his mother nudged him.
“Boys! Enough. Would you two be gentlemen and open the champagne bottles for us and the guests and pour some for everyone? Just put the glasses on the tables, so people can grab them if they want. Don’t fill them up too high please. Go, go.” Annaleigh went into mom-mode, but when all it generated was blank stares, KC roared.
Both young men set in motion right away.
“Sorry about those brats. Boys will be boys, right? I think you’re okay, you make my little girl happy, her mouth won’t stop flapping about how awesome you are and how great your dates are and that you can cook, not to mention all those things a father REALLY doesn’t care to hear, like your pretty eyes and all that, but you have my stamp of approval!” KC said while patting Silas on the back.
“Thank you, daddy … I think.” Olivia shook her head her father, but was smiling, especially since he winked at her. This was when Annaleigh, Liv’s mom spoke.
“I like you too, Silas. When I heard you are a Cameron, and related to Vivien and Liam, I knew you were a good one. I hold your family in very high regard, even though I don’t personally know your side. But the fact that Vivien and Liam moved back there to be near your family tells me everything I need to know. Plus, Connell speaks very highly of you and your family. And like KC said, you make Liv happy. She did mention you had children, whom you were raising alone since their mother’s untimely death? Such a shame. I commend you for handling it like a pro at such a young age. And you are a mayor too. Impressive resume, young man.”
“Yeah, third generation of mayors in my family now. And that’s right, I am the single dad to two toddlers, boy and a girl. Their mother perished in a fatal car crash.”
“So tragic. Well, Liv doesn’t have much experience with kids, I am afraid, since she is our second youngest and close in age to her sister, but out of all four kids she is clearly the most domestic one. I couldn’t teach them to cook, and my husband … well … his father raised him as a man’s man, so we did our best, mostly winged it. I’d say the kids turned out all right, and that’s me being humble.” Annaleigh smiled that well-trained smile hiding her fangs.
“Oh .. ahem .. I wasn’t looking for Liv to be a mother to my kids. I got that. Only if she really wants to. And I can cook actually, pretty well, if I may say so, my grandmother was a chef and taught all her grandkids well. That has actually become one of our things, she comes over and we cook together, then enjoy the fruits of our labor with my kids, bonding you see. I … ahem … truly care about your daughter. A lot. I very much enjoy spending time with her.” Silas said.
“Yes. You are a good one. Well, Silas Cameron, come and let’s cut that cake. Hopefully the third time is a charm for KC and me. I am sure Liv told you that this isn’t exactly my husband and my first rodeo. Watch and learn from our mistakes, so you won’t have to repeat them.” Annaleigh told Silas, while linking arms with him and her daughter.