I had been cleaning and tidying up the house, currently I was sliding the vases on the coffee table in the living room around to get them to look just right, when Blaine, who had been watching sports on the TV, grabbed me by my hips and pulled me into his lap. Immediately he began kissing me, pushed me onto my back and onto the couch, trying to slide atop me, when I stopped him halfway through his efforts.
“What? Your usual excuse of why we could not be doing this right here, right now is spending the night at a friend’s house. Spunky does not count, I have seen him do worse things to a certain female dog… so …what else you got?”
What my delightfully immature husband was referring to was one of Nicole Vanderbilt’s priced purebred Dalmatians, who had run away. During one of Blaine and Spunky’s boys-only late night walks they found her and Blaine returned her to Nicole, but not after letting Spunky have a go at her, my guess would be as some sort of payback for treating me so condescending. The result was a VERY angry phone call to me several weeks later, when it turned out ‘Princess’ was expecting mutt puppies courtesy of Spunky. Once the two puppies were born, Ezio took one and Addy the other. Nicole had been so very very angry and upset completely forgetting her usual prim and proper fakeness only to then remember and do the Jekyll & Hyde thing … it was quite humorous really. And to quote Blaine: “Payback is a bitch”. Get it? Bitch, as in a female dog? Yeah …
“I am cleaning!” I protested.
“You are done now. No need to scrub the color off the furniture. Now you are going to please your irresistible husband.” he kissed me longingly, I squirmed aside, holding his face at bay with both hands.
“Weren’t you watching some oh-so important game?”
“Not THAT important.” he smirked that crooked smile. *melt*
So I went along for a while, making out, until Blaine was the one to speak first.
“Hey, babygirl, I have been thinking about something. Vivian is doing so well in school, we are doing well as a little family, maybe now would be time to revisit a big decision, so I thought …”
“Hold it! If your next sentence includes the words ‘another’ and ‘child’ I am gonna tell you right now, absolutely NO!”
“Aww … babygirl. You are wounding me deeply.” he chuckled. Knowing him and his persistence something was telling me that had not been it at all.
“OK, so what is it then?”
“Are you asking because you think that will shut me up or because you are willing to actually give some thought to my idea instead of just shutting me down in mid-sentence?” Blaine asked, his eyes showing amusement.
“I would like for you to come with me to see Caleb and his family tomorrow evening. More specifically, I’d like you to talk to his wife. She has made the decision to be turned.”
Ah, that old hat again. But I was going to be nice and humor my man. So I nodded and agreed.
“Fantastic! Thank you babygirl. Just hear her out. Be open. But now, we are going to work on some babymakin’ …. ” he was joking. Well, about the procreation part, not the … other stuff…
“Hi guys, come on in.”
Caleb Vatore opened the door and lead us into a surprisingly normal looking family home. By which I mean that even after living with vampires for years now, somehow I often forgot that my husband and daughter were, in fact, vampires. Any other vampires I still expected to live in some cob web filled dark and drippy cave, hanging head down from the ceiling or something. Alternatively, in some grotesk castle-like mansion, chock-full with coffins and gargoyles and such spooky décor, like the creepy old grumpy elder master vampire. *shudder*
It didn’t help that 90% of the regional vampire population, Caleb was no exception, lived in the mostly abandoned (by humans) town so aptly named Forgotten Hollow in in the midst of a scenic, yet somehow always dark and gloomy forest. The one and only reason any human without a death wish would ever come here was to visit the old cemetery, which, no surprise here, was in this town. Usually people waited for bright sunny days to pay their respects. Just in case.
We followed Caleb into the kitchen where his son and one of his twin daughters were helping Grace, his wife, cook dinner. The son was a human, the daughter a vampire, just like her sister. And Grace was Caleb’s still human wife. For now. The one I was supposed to get acquainted with so I hopefully finally give in and let someone turn me into one of them.
She was very sweet and nice, had a very Southern accent and looked nothing like you would imagine a vampire’s better half to look like. More like the host of a cooking show.
Eventually we all sat down, at some traditionally adorned dining table with a dinner fit for an army, and I was waiting for Grace to say the grace (pun fully intended) but evidently having being married to a vampire for half her life kinda negated that, since those things are pretty much on opposite ends of the spectrum.
Afterwards the triplets, teens about 17 years old, had their things to get to, Vivian found some interesting video games in the boy’s room and was allowed to play, Caleb and Blaine went off to do what men – or vampires – do and talk about, and I was helping Grace clean up the dinner.
And there came that conversation. She lead up gently and masterfully to it, spoke about how both of them met, embellished with some funny anecdotes, she spoke about how she got over the fact that he was different (one way to put it), how her family had given her a choice of him or them and she had chosen him, how it was tough but true love conquers all, blah blah blah. And now it was all about not abandoning her husband as she was getting older yada yada. Basically nothing I had not heard so many times before. I had Grace half tuned out when she said this one thing that really struck a chord with me and ended up resounding in my head for days after. She said something about ‘making up for lost time, as time is something you sort of get back when you get turned’, referring to the eternal life that awaits as a vampire as you are frozen at your current age then.
I had always regretted the lost time with Blaine once I finally allowed myself to admit the truth to myself and to feel what I had been denying and suppressing since we were teens, back when we had been only friends, but not more. I felt my time with the few other men in my life had been but a waste. Maybe a borderline cruel and unjust way to look at this, but a person feels the way they feel. When Blaine became so sick, and moreover when he ‘died’ it had really left me vulnerable and filled with regret and ‘what ifs’.
And really, would it be so bad if I did get turned? What would I really lose? Sunlight? Maybe. Sunbathing? Hardly. My skin was sensitive and I usually burned in the sun, never had been able to tan. I worked all day, so the only time I had to do anything else were evenings anyway. Weekends were for cleaning and errands, so again, evenings were all that was left for fun activities. Especially since being with Blaine, I had naturally adapted my schedule to his without even wasting much thought on it.
My beloved child would at some point end up having to live with the same restrictions as her father. So two for one.
Blaine, you manipulative little booger!, I thought. The world had always acted as if he was dumb, his academic grades had been poor and he always played into the stupid goof routine, when I had always know he was smart as a whip. He got me exactly where he wanted.
Several days after the dinner at the Vatore’s, Blaine, Spunky and I were on one of our late night walks along the beach, something I had grown to really enjoy especially in the bright moonlight on a clear, crisp night. It was usually completely quiet and serene, the only sound being the faint crunching of the sand beneath our feet. As we were crossing the little wooden bridge, one of our favorite spots, I stopped Blaine by pulling back my arm with the hand that was holding his, turned to him then kissed him. We did things like this often, but it felt romantic and new every time, just like the very first time. I felt genuinely happy and content.
I turned to Blaine fully, wrapped my arms around his neck and as he embraced me, I whispered in his ear “I think I’m ready.” He knew exactly what I meant.
His reply was non-verbal, just kissed me long, then we put our foreheads together.