Chapter 458) Linger

Brindleton Bay
Near Rhys, Samantha and Emilee Cameron's residence

The sleet was pouring down relentlessly, falling on top of the remnants of snow from the past week, the late winter afternoon was uncomfortable and gloomy, matching the young man’s mood who was walking through it all, already completely soaked.
The wetness only highlighted the stark contrast between his nearly alabaster white skin tone and the raven-black hair, his technically blueish eyes were of a translucent, almost preternatural quality, giving the appearance of a nearly purple tone. An inherited trait, rare and very desired among his kind, the vampires, even rarer among the mortals. For his kind the purplish eye color much like a silvery gray color both signified ancient bloodlines, with ancestry dating back millennia.

His mother had the silver eyes, his father the purple, making Noah and his identical twin brother Nolan part of a distinct crowd within the vampire community, although at 22 both were too young to fully appreciate the meaning of this.

As most young vampires, both had wished many times to be ‘normal’, as in ‘mortal’, to fit in better with their peers. Or lovers, since most vampires seemed to prefer mortal partners for a variety of reasons. Sadly, that preference wasn’t always mutual, and ultimately had cost Noah his romance, when his 23-year-old ex, spunky small town girl Emilee Cameron, just couldn’t deal with the fact that he was so ‘different’. Deep down she now feared him, what he could become, and despite her efforts to overlook it, she eventually broke up with him. Unwilling to fully let go of each other, they agreed to remain friends, which sounded easier in theory than it had been in practice.

When he finally reached his destination, he halted briefly, before he ascended the few steps to the front door, knocked, trying to suppress his nervousness while also trying to ignore his sudden fight or flight instinct.

When the door opened, revealing a pretty girl with a flood of red hair – Emilee – he breathed a sigh of relief that he didn’t have to deal with her parents, closing his eyes for a moment, bracing for the flood of questions undoubtedly ahead.

Smiling with drawn eyebrows, shaking her head in mild surprise, she quickly pulled him inside, almost causing him to stumble.

“Mr. Grainger, lurking in the rain. You are totally soaked! Still too proud to use an umbrella, huh? What am I gonna do with you, Noah! Come on, let’s get you to the bathroom, you are creating puddles!”

In an instant all the feelings he usually suppressed came back with a vengeance. He didn’t even try to argue, just let her pull him to the staircase and up to the bathroom, where she helped him out of most of his top clothing, before she handed him a towel and a bathrobe, then quickly exited the bathroom to give him privacy to strip off the rest of the dripping wet clothing. An odd notion, considering they used to be a couple, hence intimate with one another. Or maybe it wasn’t odd at all, considering the operative term here was ‘used to be’.

Not long after, now wearing the terry robe, the towel wrapped around his medium length full hair to keep it from dripping on the leather couch they were sitting on, steaming hot coffee on the coffee table before them, while his clothing was taking a spin in the dryer.

“Okay, let’s skip the pleasantries, why are you here?” Emilee asked bluntly.

He arched his eyebrows. ‘Great question…‘ he thought, but out loud he said,

“Didn’t we agree to be friends? Can I not visit my friend?” realizing his tone was a lot more defensive than intended.

“Noah … cut the bullshit. What’s up?” Emilee called his bluff.

For a moment he contemplated just leaving, or lying when he remembered his lack of clothing, but then shook his head, more to himself than to her, before he swallowed hard.

“Nothing.” he lied, “I want nothing, just was in the neighborhood, it started pouring down rain, I remembered your house and thought I’d drop by to say hi.”

Emilee’s eyes on him, observing, trying to read his eyes for hints made him feel naked, so he decided on offense, rather than defense.

“I am seeing someone, by the way. Are you seeing anyone too?”

Grimacing, she shook her head, and instantly he regretted blurting that out. Originally intended to make his visit look less desperate, it now felt like it had somehow backfired.

“I don’t have the time. Grandpa and dad are trying to make clear I don’t get preferential treatment at the police precinct, just because I am related to high level people there. Just one of the new recruits, doing my patrols, listening to BS complaints by feuding neighbors about too many garden gnomes, or arguing with people about traffic infractions, then drowning in paperwork. And to be honest, I am not really ready to date again. But good for you. So, who is she? Anyone I know?” Emilee asked, and Noah could feel her eyes on him. Awkward.

“She? Oh, there are several actually. Trying to figure out which one is … ahem … best.” he said what had sounded casual in his head, but out loud sounded …. desperate and … disgusting. Dammit! Plus, it wasn’t even really true.
While he had been on what felt like a million dates with a million girls he connected with on a dating app, none of them even remotely clicked. Each of them cute in her own right, most of them pleasant, but none of them someone he would bring home to mom and dad. Or his own home, for that matter. The last time he did that, his twin brother swept in and made a move on a girl after Noah admitted she wasn’t the one, to which Nolan told him he wasn’t looking for Mrs. Right, when Mrs. Right Now would do just fine for him. Awkwardly had Noah not realized how serious Nolan was about that until the next morning, when he walked into the kitchen of the 2-bedroom apartment he shared with his brother since the boys moved out of their parents’ home a few months ago, to find his now barely clothed date from last night making out with his brother by the coffee maker. The situation was more than obvious, as was that she had spent the night with Nolan. Noah wasn’t exactly shy, but this was just not the way he liked to start his day off, and not something he needed a repeat of.

“Wow. So your brother turned you into a manwhore like he is? Great.” Emilee frowned.

“Nolan didn’t do anything! And he is not a manwhore. He just doesn’t want to be tied down, but wants to have fun and gather some experience. Nothing wrong with it, and a little more experience wouldn’t hurt me either. Not like I am having orgies at my place. Speaking of my place, are you EVER going to come visit? You missed the housewarming and three subsequent parties! I feel like a weirdo inviting you again and again, when you never come. Some friend you are!” Noah sounded pouty, like a child now, not a 22-year-old college graduate with a Fine Arts degree.

“Sorry, I had to .. work. Been really crazy of late, lots of long hours and intense cases … ” Emilee looked away, hoping he wouldn’t see the hot flush washing across her face.
But he did see and knew it was lies, all lies. She wasn’t busy at work at all. Nothing ever happened in Brindleton Bay, where her grandpa Eric was now the Chief of Police, her dad Rhys lieutenant and she was a patrol cop. The most exciting case so far had been grand theft auto, which turned out to be a misunderstanding between an elderly man and his son.

“Yeah, sure. Work. How dumb do you take me for, Emi? If you don’t want to be friends anymore after all, then just say so. Just admit it and admit why. You’re … disgusted by me, knowing what I am, aren’t you? Be honest, not like it matters anymore anyway, we’re broken up anyway. I won’t even touch you. Not even a hug, knowing you find me repulsive or think I turn into some mindless animal.” Noah ranted.

He could tell by her facial expression that he had hit bull’s eye.

“Noah … don’t.” Emilee looked pained.

But Noah was on a roll. Her rejection had hurt him then and still hurt, not a day went by that he didn’t think about it all at least once.

“Don’t what? Say that I know why you ghost me for the most part, even though us remaining friends was YOUR idea, just like dumping me was?! And all for me being honest with you. I should have never told you, just continue hiding it, lie to you, like I lie to most people I meet. Just admit it! You fear me or you are disgusted by the idea of how I am different. Or both. Just admit it.” Noah’s voice increased with excitement.

“I … it’s not .. really like that. A little bit maybe, you have to admit it’s not .. it’s .. unconventional, and I am a cop, an officer of the law. Like, how could I have a vampire for a boyfriend? How could I be okay knowing you drink human blood, when obviously, you can’t just order that off a menu? I don’t know how you get the blood you drink, and I really don’t want to know, but however you get it, it is pretty obvious to me that it has to be illegal, and I cannot be connected to something like that. A conflict of interests at the very least and yes, I know you never had a choice and all that. I am not blaming you, but you can’t blame me for the way I feel about it all. And yes, I do want us to be friends. Sorry for ghosting you, that was wrong of me. Okay, look Noah, I’ll come see you and your new place this weekend, okay? Just let me know which day works best for you.” Emilee told him.

Noah sighed, wondering what to respond to all this, he was about to speak right when the front door was unlocked, his smile froze, then vanished when he got up, right as Emilee’s parents Rhys and Samantha saw him. Once they took off their coats and put away the umbrellas, they approached, Rhys Cameron with arched eyebrows at Noah, then a quick glance at his daughter.

“Relax dad, you guys didn’t walk in on any boom-chicka-bow-wow moments here. Noah was just soaked to the bone, so I had him change into the robe while his clothes are in the dryer. It’s harmless. He just stopped by to say hi – for old times’ sake.” Emilee was quick to explain the admittedly oddish scene, and while both she and Noah weren’t teenagers anymore, Noah felt more than naked and exposed in only the bathrobe now.

Emilee’s mom failed to covertly hide a smile, while her dad didn’t look too thrilled finding his daughter plus ex-boyfriend in a state of undress in his living room. While the Camerons weren’t known to be squeamish or conservative, this would probably strike any parent odd, even if the daughter was a ripe 23 years old.

“I see. Gotta say, MY robe looks good on you, kid.” Rhys noted dryly, causing Noah’s eyes to open wide.

“Oh, this is yours? Sorry, I didn’t know …” Noah glared at Emilee, who shrugged, then told him,

“Well, whose did you think it was, Noah? Obviously not mine, duh! No offense but if you were to fit into my clothes, I’d hang myself. For starters, you are a lot taller, and your shoulders are twice as wide as mine! And just in general I don’t wear men’s robes! DUH!”

Into Noah’s taken-aback glare at Emilee, which she acquitted by sticking out her tongue at Noah, who responded in kind, reminding everyone that these two once met in high school, her mother Samantha asked,

“Noah, honey, are you staying for dinner?”

He paled even further, wondering what the right reaction was. Was it rude to accept? Or ruder to decline? What was one to do at one’s ex-girlfriend’s home? Yikes!

He looked at Emilee, then her father, both looked less than inviting, so he shook his head.

“Ah, no, thanks Mrs. C. I gotta get back to San Myshuno. Traffic this time of day is a bitc… ahem … is rough and I gotta work tomorrow. Good seeing you again. You too Mr. C. And you, Emi. You look good in your … ahem … flannel shirt … uh …” Noah rambled, while starting to head for the door, hoping to slip our quicker than either could react.

“Not so fast, young friend!” Rhys stopped him by stepping in his way.

Noah froze, staring at Emilee’s father.

“My robe!” he pointed, Noah looked down on himself.

“Oh! Hahaha, right.” Noah wanted to sink into the next big hole in the ground.

“I’ll get your clothes, they should be dry by now.” Emilee exclaimed, heading for the stairs, Noah followed her.

Rhys joined his wife in the kitchen.

“You saw that too, didn’t you?” he asked.

“Oh yeah.” Samantha nodded meaningful.

“Do we do or say anything?” Rhys wondered out loud.

“Like what? We can’t force them to be a couple, just because we think they are cute together. They are both adults. If they want to be broken up, we have to live with it. But him being here … I don’t know how much things have changed from when we were their age, but not many exes stay friends – cough cough – yeah ‘friends’. Usually that only happens when they are still into each other, hoping for something to fall into place. Noah showing up here on a day like this, in the middle of the work week and Emi not even attempting to date, I am telling you Rhys, if they can both get over themselves and aren’t too stubborn, they’ll end up back together.” Samantha predicted.

“True. I only really had one ex before I met you and I sure as hell didn’t keep in touch with Sandrine! If I had, I’d probably be husband number – whatever the current count is – and most likely buried in a tidy line next to the hapless bastards before and after me, since she seems to have a knack for outliving her wealthy old husbands. Then again, I am not wealthy and arguably not even old. Anyway, I always liked Noah. Nice boy, polite, respectful, smart, good parents. Bit skittish, considering he doesn’t look feeble, but he’s so young. Hopefully maturity will make him more confident.” Rhys evaluated from his point of view.

“Yeah, he sure is cute, in that tall, dark handsome and mysterious kinda way. I can see why Emi likes him so. And personally, I wouldn’t mind a grandkid or two with his genes.” Sam giggled.

Rhys glared at his wife, then lightly punched her in the arm.

“Hey now! No talk of grandkids yet, please. That is still my little girl, I don’t care if she is 23, I am not ready for any of that!”

“Sorry, but with all the red and freckled in both our families, a little shot of darker genes wouldn’t hurt. And 23 isn’t THAT young and innocent anymore. You and I already had her by that age. And you were already almost in school when your dad was that age.”

“True, but dark? Noah Grainger? That kid’s skintone is so pale, he glows in the dark I bet! Last thing we redheads need is grandkids with glow-in-the-dark bright skin!” Rhys frowned, chuckling.

“But his hair is dark. That’s what I meant, and as I say that I realize that we need to stop with the breeding efforts of our poor daughter! Yikes. Speaking of breeding efforts, wanna go upstairs and make sure they aren’t’ in the process of rekindling their passion in our bathroom. I am all for them getting back together, maybe, but not like that.” Sam grimaced, while Rhys’ eyes widened.

“And NOT in my bathrobe!” Rhys decided, then headed towards the stairs, but Emilee and Noah were already coming back down, Noah now fully dressed, neither of them looking even slightly disheveled. Rhys and Sam exchanged humbled glances for thinking the worst of them, but then burst into laughter.

“What’s so funny?” Emilee wondered, but her question remained unanswered.

To be continued ...
Categories Cameron LineageTags ,

5 thoughts on “Chapter 458) Linger

  1. Now that is funny. Emi’s parents wanting her to get back with Noah and,planning what the grands will look like! Lol…. I take it they are not aware of his ‘otherness’ or they wouldn’t be so flippant. And yes, he misses her and is hurt and she misses him too … but. Maybe she’ll tell her folks when they start questioning her about why. Maybe she was sworn to secrecy. Not sure.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are right, they are not aware and Emi has been sworn to secrecy. I think she wants to get back with Noah too, and maybe when they start spending more time together again, she’ll realize he’s the same guy he always was, since the news are only new to her. 🙂
      Rhys and Sam planning grandbabies was funny, and so them. Actually, it was only Sam planning, Rhys stopped her – kinda.
      Emi might not be too young, but she’s far from ready, likewise for Noah, so this is just in good humor.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Magpie2012/Ravenangel888 April 22, 2023 — 10:14 AM

    *sigh* I hate watching the train wreck that is two perfect for each other Camerons hurting because they think they can’t be together. It’s like Viv and Liam 2.0 just with the added vampiric issue… How long did it take Viviam to get back together for the last time? Please gods don’t let Emi and Noah copy that. They are so perfect for each other, it hurts to watch…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Something tells me they are both realizing just that exact thing, or at least Emi is, Noah never wanted to break up to begin with. He’s done the dude-thing, when she just wouldn’t come back to him, he started dating around (he really has) but as nice and pretty as the girls were, they were not Emi. This is where he and his twin brother differ, Nolan also got dumped, but he seems to have filed it under “shit that happens” and is just living it up.
      Maybe Emi’s parents weave their feelings on all that into a conversation. And maybe she’ll realize he’s been a vampire all along and never mauled her or whatever it is that appalls her so about that fact.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Great blog post! I was really engaged in the story and invested in the characters. I have to ask though, do you think Noah and Emilee will end up back together? Or will their differences prove too much for them to overcome? Can’t wait to read the next installment!
    Primary Tinting


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