Blaine was working on lyrics for a song he had been writing when he saw Ezio walk up to their door through the window. He grinned to himself. Time to have some fun with that Mafioso. There was the knock. Firm, as usual.
Blaine did nothing. He knew I would not hear any of it, as I was in the office and had headphones on. More knocking. Blaine grinned wider, then he saw the shadow moving, there was knocking on the glass of the windows of the living room. Ah, fine. Before Vik would complain about all the hand and fingerprints on the glass again, he’d let him in.
“Oh, Ezio, what a surprise …”
“Is she home?”
“BLAINE! Not tonight!”
“That’s what she said!” Blaine tilted his head and grinned wider. Oh, the opportunity for a funny remark that would REALLY upset the ol’ Mafioso …
“Kitchen or office?” Ezio urged.
Blaine realized that Ezio was really in no mood. Pity.
“Thanks. At last.”
Ezio left Blaine standing there, knocked on the door and opened it without waiting for an invite, when I looked up, surprised, while taking off my headphones, I saw Ezio turning to shut the door before Blaine could enter.
“Ezio?” I said, half surprised and half concerned.
“Do you have some time for a quick chat?” he labored up a smile, which looked distorted.
“I don’t know if I can.” he seemed very tense.
*poof* and there was Blaine now.
Ezio seemed unnerved.
“Can I please have a few minutes to talk to Viktoria – ALONE?” he barked at Blaine.
“Ummmmmmm – no. No, I don’t think you can.” Blaine grinned, not impressed in the least.
I had known both of them for an eternity and recognized two things: (a) Blaine was not going to let up until Ezio would boil over, and (b) Ezio was damn close to boiling over! I was in the mood for either, so I got up, grabbed Blaine’s hand, opening the door, pulling him with me into the bedroom.
“What, now? With him there? Should we make him watch?” Blaine grinned.
“Blaine, really, leave him alone tonight. Something is going on, so please no more poking. I know you love it, and I have to admit, for the most part it is hilarious to watch you two, but I think we need to let it go tonight, ok? How’s the song coming?”
“Fine, I get the hint. I’ll go work and let you two girls chat. Tootles.”
“You’re awesome!” I kissed him and went back to the office.
“Sorry about that. What did you want to talk about?”
“Oh, nothing in particular. Just … Ok, there is one thing in particular. It’s about Vitto. That boy! I don’t even know if I can get it all out without banging my head into the wall!”
He sat down, but got right back up again. Uh oh, now I KNEW something bad and stinky was steaming.
Ezio was pacing, trying to find the right words. I gave him a few moments to run himself tired, then addressed him again.
“What is with Vitto, Ezio?”
“Remember that girl from the dinner? THAT dinner?”
I knew which dinner Ezio was refering to, even though it had been weeks, if not months now.
“Oh no! Please don’t say she is …”
“She IS! Well, at least she claims she is. And she further claims it is his.”
“Mio dio, Viktoria, how could he be so stupid?! How could he fall for that? With the first girl he ever laid eyes on, no less! Just let his guard down like that?!”
“Umm, Ezio. Few things. First, and I am pretty sure Mel has told you this too, knowing her, but you may not have been ready to hear it then and I remember how you have to be ready for things like this, but YOU, my dear, you yourself have fallen for a girl your parents did not approve of, your parents specifically told you not to continue dating and while not right away, you eventually DID go through with it anyway.” I was refering to us, him and me. A long, LONG time ago.
“No, it’s not. Some precursors are, but the essence is the same. And secondly, I do not know how I can be the one breaking this to you, but you are aware that Vitto has been in love with Vivian for practically all his life? Meaning he recently had his heart broken pretty bad.”
“What? YOUR Vivian?!” he really seemed surprised.
“Ezio, you work too much. You need to focus more on your family, and less on work.”
“That is the second time a Cameron woman tells me that. Vivian said the same thing to me, nearly verbatim!”
“Must be true than, huh? Ezio, the reason why Vitto went off the tracks is because of unrequited love. And if you think about blaming Viv, don’t. We are talking love here, which needs to be mutual and cannot be forced, so either you do or you don’t. End of story.”
“I would never, come on now, Viktoria! You know me better than that. But how could I miss this? Maybe I really do work too much. So is that why she punched him?”
“No, she punched him because Vitto wanted to confess his love for her once more, and chose a really unfortunate moment. Let’s just leave it at that.”
“I should have been there more for that boy, he clearly needed me. I just left it all to Melissa.”
“Ezio, no need for this now. Has someone talked to the girl yet? Is there proof, solid proof that she is pregnant, and by him?”
“Ha, you sound like me now.”
“Scary thought.” I teased him, smiling.
“No evidence. Not yet. How could that boy fall for such a floozy, when everybody else could see she was … up to no good?”
“Because men do not always have a good golddigger radar, especially not when it comes to them.”
“I always did!”
“No, you did not. You had me. Even before we were a ‘we’, when I was working for you.”
“What do you mean?”
“I mean that all those ‘nice’ girls who were all over you being all cutesy, as you thought, really were not. Why do you think I am so, let’s call it, assertive? Because I had to not only help you build a company, but once that was well on its way, I had to make sure you don’t fall into silly traps with some tramp, wanting some of your Auditore cash – along with the rest of you. And if I may remind you, that is still true today, just remember a certain blonde recently, just now you have Mel watching over both of that for you.” I winked at him.
“Viktoria, I would have never cheated on you then and I will never cheat on Melissa!”
“And Vitto would not ever get the first girl he ever is with pregnant, right?”
Ezio just sighed, shaking his head.
“Anyway, I thought he was sweet on the cute French girl?”
“What cute French girl?!” Ezio looked and sounded alarmed.
“Addy’s au pair girl.”
“Who?! WHAT?! How long has that been going on?!”
“Relax, and I don’t know. You’ll have to ask your daughter. She mentioned it to me, thought it was cute, watching her little brother squirm and blush.”
“I’ll make him squirm and blush!!!”
“What would YOU have me do? Stand by and watch? Did that last time, you see where that left us.”
“Us? Oh Ezio my darling, this is all YOU. Maybe poor Melly, but not ‘us’.” I grinned at him.
“You have to talk to him.”
“Me? Why me? And no, I do not. Not my ‘wedding’.”
“Because you knew about that French girl, you know Vitto, you were like a mother to him before he had Melissa, and I cannot talk to him any more than I already have. And I cannot put it all on Melissa. She has been through enough already. She is your friend. And think of the baby!” he pleaded.
“Oh no, Ezio, no. I am not getting involved. Not this time! Basta! You hear?”
“Hey Vitto, good to see you, kiddo!” I said, hugging him, while cursing Ezio out in my head.
I sat next to Vittorio on the couch in his apartment. He looked worse for the wear. And stifle your grins, please. I was not doing this for that pesky ex-husband, but for this sweet boy. But still, goddamn it Ezio!
“Dad talked you into talking to me, didn’t he?”
“Dang Vitto, you are good.” I smiled at him. Why insult him by lying about it?
He smiled back “I grew up with him, remember?”
“So let’s cut through the chase. Is there a real chance that kid could be yours?”
“Do I need to give you the birds and bees talk? At age 22?”
“No. She just surprised me. And I wasn’t … prepared.”
“Ok. So repeat after me, Vitto. ‘No. No thanks. No, not tonight. Let’s get to know each other better. Let’s use protection‘…. let it roll off your tongue.”
“Not really trying to be, trying to get a point across. And for future references.”
“Little late now, huh?”
“You tell me. What’s with the French import?”
“Of course you would know about that.” he sighed.
“We are all just one big happy family, my dear Vitto. So spill.”
“Nothing is going on. And now noting will ever be going on. All because of one bad decision.” he looked truly saddened.
“But you would like something to be going on?”
“She is so sweet. And different. And really pretty. And has that adorable accent …” he blushed.
“I see. Well, right now I would just put dating on hold. And all sorts of ‘body checks’, ok.”
“Yeah, dad has been over that already.”
“I don’t think you should not do it because he told you, but because you realize why. And still, Vitto. You need to start carrying this around with you wherever you go. Just in case.”
I placed a big box of condoms on the table in front of him, he looked surprised, shocked, blushed and grabbed them off the table staring at them as if they were a mirage, then quickly put them back while blushing deeper, while looking at me like I had lost my mind.
“What the hell, Viktoria?!”
“Hey, just trying to help you out. That and Blaine challenged me.” I winked. He smiled tired.
“Well, thanks, but did it have to be the industrial size package? I don’t think I am the type for that.”
“Hey, it’s always the quiet ones.” I winked at him.