Blaine was watching TV in the living room when I entered. I just finished putting Liam down for another nap. Blaine looked up at me and smiled, something that still, after all those years, got my heart racing, so I walked over to him and straddled him, both of us facing each other.
“What if I said I was watching that?” he smirked, obviously teasing, as he put his arms around my waist.
“Then I’d tell you that you are done watching that now.”
“I like the new program better anyway.” He winked at me, I bend down and we kissed.
Putting my forehead against his I asked
“Do you ever think about Mama?”
“Not necessarily while you are sitting and kissing on me, but yeah, of course I do.”
“What do you think she would say?”
“Us, the kids, everything.”
“She was an opinionated lady, so let’s see. About ‘us’ I think it would have been something like ‘about dang time’ or ‘I always knew this would happen’, about the kids she’d say ‘Well done, Blaine!’..”
I nudged him, playfully.
“She’d be happy for and proud of us, especially since it took us so long to get here.” Blaine was serious.
“You think she knew? Back then, I mean.”
“About our feelings for each other? Oh yeah, I know she did.”
“Why are you so sure?”
“Because she once told me. We were in our early twenties then.”
“WHAT?!” I sat up straight, looking directly at him.
“Did you think your mom was that ignorant? I mean, in retrospect, I am pretty sure everybody knew. Or at least suspected it.”
“I never told anyone … maybe Rudy.” I was referring to my childhood dog.
“Then either we both were shitty at hiding our true feelings from anyone except each other, or Rudy was a friggin tattletale.”
“Did YOU know? I mean, about me?”
“Maybe.” He smirked and pulled me in for a kiss, when my phone rang.
“Hey girly!” I chirped.
“Vik! I think I need you to come over … now!” she sounded dead serious.
“Be right there!”
Instantly I knew what this was about. The panic in her voice … she was about to have her baby. Homebirth, like with Stefania, except this time on purpose, which was scary for a human, as I recalled from when I had Vivian and was in the very same situation. The pain, the lack of medication and the fear of complications, not something a vampire had to think about anymore. It was daytime, but luckily overcast, so we used umbrellas to shield us and Liam, who was not amused to be awoken so rudely, and we ran over to the Auditore mansion.
Sure, a man like Ezio could have had enough medical staff to fill a hospital, and while most people were very much aware of the existence of vampires nowadays, as with anything that was different, people feared it and tried to ignore it, unwilling to be confronted with it. Since there was a 50% chance that the baby was a vampire baby, it was too risky to try and get someone else involved. Vampire babies had no pulse, no heartbeat and did not always scream, but that was no reason for concern. Hospitals were completely off limits to vampires, all doors and windows secured with garlic and other things making them utterly impenetrable for us.
When we entered, we handed little Liam to Vitto, who was surprisingly good with kids, then hurried into the master bedroom, where Ezio stood holding Melissa’s hand, appearing panicked. Melissa already looked in great pain, her usually carefully styled hair sticking up in places while glued to her face wet with sweat in others. Her face and eyes reddened. I hurried over to her, petting her cheeks, speaking to her calmly.
We timed the next contraction and it seemed we were still a ways out. I stayed with her, tried to joke with her and calm her, while sending Ezio and Blaine out of the room for now –to get rid of them. Most men, human or vampire, were usually overwhelmed by births and our two would only make Mel nervous.
“Hey dude, you ok?” Blaine asked.
“What do you think?!”
“No lecture about calling you ‘dude’?! I think you need a drink. A real stiff one.”
They went over to the bar, Ezio sat down, looking worried, rubbing over his face with his hands, before laying his head down onto the arms crossed before him on the counter of the bar now, while Blaine skillfully prepared their drinks. Years of bartending came in handy.
“Here you go man. Come on, it’s a happy occasion. Soon you’ll have another annoying little Mafioso running about to make my life hell…” Blaine grinned at Ezio who lifted his head to accept the glass, faintly smiling back.
“I dare you to go tell Melissa right now that this is a happy moment.” Ezio joked.
“Nah, I’ll pass. But how are things with you? Adjusted yet?” Blaine was referring to Ezio’s transformation into a vampire.
“Yeah, it’s not bad, except the kids always want me to play outside with them when I am home and I know Melissa misses daytime activities outdoors, in the sun … “ he sighed.
“They’ll get over it. Trust me. I had to listen to those complaints for years before Vik came over to the dark side.”
“You two do look happy.” Ezio stated plainly.
“Yeah, and we are.” Blaine smiled.
“Good.” Ezio said, looking down at his drink. He meant it. Funny how times change. Until just a few years ago he would have never uttered those words. Ever since Melissa entered his life, everything had changed, for the better.
“Think we should check on the girls?” Blaine asked.
“Let’s finish this drink, and maybe one more. Or two. Or three.” Ezio suggested. He needed liquid courage before going to watch the love of his life scream her heart out in anguish birthing his child while he would be unable to help her.
“Sure. You know what old man? You’re really not that bad sometimes.” Blaine poured them another, then slid onto the barstool next to the hunched over Ezio and patted him on the back.
“Thanks, I think. I have to admit, I was wrong about you too, Blaine. I think I just didn’t ‘get’ you back then, and probably never will, but you do have a good heart. You are annoying as hell most of the time and in desperate need of some good grooming, but you are a good man.” Ezio nodded when he finished talking then looked up at Blaine with tired eyes, mirroring the worry about Melissa.
“Aww. If you put it that way, I may ask Vik to give me a flea bath and maybe even buy a hairbrush, just for you.”
“More like a top to bottom makeover. Definitely a haircut, so one can finally tell if you are coming or going.” Ezio grinned.
“Wow, ballsy today, old man.” Blaine chuckled.
“I cannot believe I am saying this, but I know you well enough to know you won’t hit a man when his wife is about to give birth.”
“True. I’ll just tell Vik that you insulted her taste. She’ll take care of it for me then. Was good knowing you, man.” Blaine laughed, Ezio chimed in when the bedroom door opened, and it was me poking my head out, waving at them to come.
“Oh boy, here we go. You ready for this?”
It took until almost dawn until little Michael Auditore was born. He was a very vocal little thing with a lot of attitude already. Melissa looked beat. She was strong and would recover quickly from this torture but desperately needed to rest. Ezio laid atop the freshly made bed while she was under the covers, he gently pet her hair, placing kisses occasionally on her face, which made her smile without opening her eyes, while he spoke to her softly. Blaine and I took little Michael and gave them some privacy.
Blaine, once a boy with no future and adamant about never handing down his genes, was a natural with babies. Strangely, as was I, and when I was young I never wanted a mini-me. Yeah, life sure has its way to show you who is boss.
“I have never been more glad that I had you turn me before I had Liam. Watching Mel go through all this, yikes, poor thing.” I reminisced.
“Does that mean we can have another now? Since it’s so easy-peasy?” Blaine grinned.
“As soon as pigs fly.”
“I can make that happen. Fantastic, let’s get to it then!” he had put down little Michael in the second crib, still leftover from the twins and pulled me close, kissing me.
“Off, off now!” I swatted at him.
“I second that.” Ezio entered the nursery, he looked tired and exhausted, almost like he gave birth and not his wife.
“Hey, little privacy here…” Blaine protested.
“My house, my nursery and my baby boy! Go make out elsewhere.” Ezio said before cooing at his new baby.
“Yes Sir.” Blaine picked me up and carried me into one of the downstairs bathrooms near the back door where he slammed the door shut with a backwards kick while placing me on the counter.
“Blaine, what the …” I got out before he sealed my mouth with his lips. The situation got heated and within seconds we were doing naughty things. I’d like to claim this was the first time we got carried away like this but I’d be lying.
“Feel better now?” I joked afterwards, while we were getting dressed again.
“Much!” Blaine sounded chipper.
As we exited, still straightening our clothing, Ezio was standing outside the bathroom door holding Liam.
“Really guys, now?! Here is your son, he was crying, so I changed him. It’s about to get light and I think you want to get that baby home.” He sounded annoyed while handing me my son. Oops. I blushed. Blaine didn’t, he just grinned and patted Ezio on the shoulder as he walked past him, which was acknowledged by an approving nod by Ezio.
I would NEVER understand their strange relationship.