Vivian’s Story) Friends Without Benefits

“Nice place man!” Vivian whistled. She had helped her best friend since early childhood days with the move, but only from his parents’ home into the moving truck, not beyond as she had to attend college classes she could not miss. This was Vivian’s first time at Vitto’s new apartment in San Myshuno. He moved here to be closer to college as well.

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“Dad said it’s your grandma’s old place.” Vitto told her.
“Really? Well, cool I guess.”
“Dad also said that he and your mom got married here. Weird huh?”
“Yeah, seriously. Can you imagine getting married in your parents’ living room?”
“Have you met my dad? No, I can’t.”
Both laughed.

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Vittorio gave Vivian the tour, then offered beverages. With some soda in hand they settled on the couch.

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“So how is everything with you? Haven’t heard much from you since I moved.” Vitto asked Vivian.
“Busy with school. We had a bunch of projects come up and of course I signed up for all of them, which in retrospect was pretty dumb, considering I am also a single mom.”
“Yeah, if you ever need or want help with Finn …” Vittorio offered.
“Aww, thanks, that’s really sweet, but mom and dad are really awesome about that.”
“Yeah … well … sooooo are you … I mean … are you seeing anyone?”
“Hello? Were you not listening? School, kid, no time. But what about you? I bet girls are falling over one another trying to get themselves some Vitto, huh?” Vivian winked at him, poking him with her elbow. He smiled.

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“Not really. I am more the invisible type … or the just-friend type, not the I-wanna-date-that type, evidently. Shocker I know.” he smiled faintly.
“Aww, well if all else fails, throw around that Auditore heritage and they’ll be lining up.”
“Exactly what I don’t want. I am not even matriculated under my real last name, used my grandmother’s maiden name. I want a girl to want me, not my dad’s billions.”
“Jeeze Vitto. I didn’t mean find a girl and get married. Just have some fun, maybe it’ll turn out better than you expected. Just a word of the wise, use protection! LOTS OF IT! As much as you can fit. Ask me how I know.” Vivian laughed.
“But that’s what I want. I want something real, not just ‘fun’.”
“We are in college, Vitto! It’s what we are supposed to do. Just make sure you don’t knock anyone up, cos, lemme tell ya, it stinks. I was an idiot in high school and now I am dealing. But I do not recommend.”
“I am not the kind of guy girls want to have ‘fun’ with. Just not that good-looking. So I rather wait.”
“For what?”
“Until a girl likes me for me. If that is even a real thing.”
“Of course it is. I like you for you.”
“So go out with me. On a date.”
“Vitto, we’re best friends. Have been since we were kids. That would be like dating my own brother. Especially with how weirdly our families are somehow connected and then again are not. Like you and I share the same half-siblings but are not related per se. Nah, I’ll pass.”
“Ouch.”
“What? It’s the truth. Besides, if we actually did date, your dad, URGH, he’d kill both of us. And then my dad would kill him and so on and forth. It would not be pretty.”
“My dad likes you!”
“No, your dad tolerates me. Not the same. You know what Vitto, let’s actually go out, as friends, and I’ll find ya some nice girls. You know, wing-girling it. I’ll pimp out my bestie!”
“No, that’s ok Viv. I’ll pass. I’d rather you stay and we’ll watch a movie or something. Just us two.”
“Really missing your daily dose of Viv, huh?”
“I really do. Growing up sucks. I am literally miserable on my own. I miss home, I miss mom and dad, I miss my siblings, I miss you, I miss your mom and I even miss your crazy dad and his kerfuffles with mine. Life just seems really boring now. And lonely.”
“Awww, come here you!” Vivian pulled Vitto into her arms.

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“Viv, can I ask you something very direct? But you must promise it will not change anything between us.”
“All right … shoot.”
“Why can we not date? Can we not even try? Maybe it’s not weird? I mean, we can start slow, just go out to dinner and a movie … and go from there.”
“Vitto, I told you …”
“Do you still have feelings for my cousin Lucca? Finn’s father? Is that it?”
“Hell no!”
“Then why not? I’d deal with my dad. He won’t mind. And even if, I know mom won’t and she’d set him straight.”
“Vitto, I just do not want to date AT ALL right now. I have my plate full. I want to get my degree, get my life in order, raise Finn and then maybe date later. We’re not in a hurry, we’re vampires. We have forever!”
“But I don’t want to wait forever. I WANT to marry, start a family. You already have a child, we can have more … together. It would be easier with two people. I can help raise Finn.”
“Ahem Vitto, this went downhill fast. I do not know how else to tell you that I do not want to date. Not you, not anyone, not now. Truthfully, I think you should not rush into marriage and kids. See where life takes you naturally.”
“Vivian, I am an Auditore. I am Ezio Auditore’s oldest son. I am expected to get married and continue the family legacy. This is not up for choice. And you want to get married and have more kids one day too, right, so why not with me? We know we are great together. We are both vampires. It is perfect!”

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“Yah, and there you go. I would never fit that schematic. And no, Vitto, I have absolutely NO desire to ever get married. We have the 21st century, we do not need to. I’ll raise my son and that will be my only kid. Once I can swing it financially, i will get surgery to make sure there won’t be any more kids. I am dead serious about this Vitto, I am the wrong girl. I will always be your friend, I’ll always be there and do anything for you, anything but that. I am not that kind of girl.”
“You say that now. Surely you will think differently in …”
“No Vitto, I will not. My stance on this will always be the same. I’m sure I’ll date eventually. But no marriage, no white picket fence for me. No thanks. And we are friends. Just friends!”
“Isn’t that what your parents kept saying … and now they have been married for how long?”
“My parents are different. They were friends, but both felt they were not right for each other.”
“And were wrong. Sound familiar?”
“Nope. This is different.”
“How? That you didn’t marry someone else first, so I have to steal you from him like your dad did to mine?”

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“You have got to be kidding me? That is not what happened!”
“That is EXACTLY what happened!”
“You are an asshole, Vittorio Auditore!”

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“Takes one to know one!”
Vivian didn’t reply, just stormed out, leaving the door wide open behind her. What a douchebag Vitto could be. No wonder nobody wanted to spend time with him! she thought angrily.

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*

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“Hey Viv, dad and I have been thinking about throwing one of those little get togethers and would like you to come. Is this weekend good?” I smiled at our daughter, who was visiting us from college.
“Sure.” Vivian was still in a bad mood, even the day after the fight with Vitto.
“We already invited the Auditores, the Hayes, Blaine you think your sister and kids would come? Cool. Oh, and Vitto of course!”
“He won’t come.”
“He already agreed.”
“Oh really? Fine, then I won’t come.”
“What? Since when?” Blaine now chimed in, surprised.
“Since now.”
“Did you kids fight?”
“What gave you that idea.” Vivian snarled with a distinct sarcastic undertone.
“About what?” I inquired.
“Nothing worth repeating.”
“Oh, come on baby, he probably just had a bad case of stress. You know how it is.” I tried to smooth things over.
“He has a bad case of Auditore, that what he’s got!!!” Vivian got up and stormed out.

Blaine and I looked at each other, surprised.
“She’s got a point.” Blaine smirked.
“Blaine, this isn’t funny. Those two have been inseparable since birth. We should talk to them both. And his parents. I’ll call Melissa, maybe she knows more.” I pulled the phone out of my back pocket but Blaine took it from me.
“Give this a rest babygirl. They are both young adults. They do not need mommy and daddy meddle in their shit. Something tells me they need to figure this out on their own. And they REALLY do not need the mom squadron circling them. Melissa should only hear this from him. Not you.”
“Fine.” Of course I would not let this go. Just for now to get Blaine out of my hair.

*

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“Soooo, heard from your son recently?” I asked Mel before innocently sipping my wine.
“Yeah, something’s wrong. He is such a grump lately.”
“You don’t say.”
“It’s got something to do with him and Vivian, hasn’t it?”
“I think so. She is about as combustible as nitroglycerine nowadays if you bring him up.”
“He mentioned an argument but would not talk about it.”
“Same.”
“Should we talk to them?” Melissa asked.
“Blaine specifically told me not to.” I shrugged.
“Ezio did too.”
“Idea! Ezio told you not to talk to Vitto, right? Did he mention Viv?”
“Nope!
“Blaine didn’t say I could not talk to Vitto. So there. Problem solved, right?”
“Absolutely! I have some errands to run tomorrow anyway. I’ll make a small detour to Windenburg …” Melissa winked at me.
“And I REALLY needed to go to that one store in San Myshuno. Think I’ll do that tomorow …”

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