“Hey punk.” Ezio greeted Blaine as he walked into the living room.
“Mafioso.” Blaine nodded at Ezio just briefly taking his eyes of the TV show he was watching.
“You mind?” Ezio gestured at the couch.
“Nah, park away.” Blaine replied.
Ezio sat down on the couch in some distance to Blaine.
“Where’s your wife?” Blaine asked.
“Went to the kitchen with yours, to make coffee and probably compare complaints about us.”
“Sounds about right. They’ll probably be a while then.” Blaine smirked.
“Mind a question while we are … unsupervised?”
“If you don’t mind the answer.”
“When you were first turned … did you … when you … how am I going to put this best?” Ezio struggled.
“Just shoot straight, man.” Blaine looked at him directly.
“Sex. Did you feel more … ‘hungry’ … after being turned?” Ezio nearly spat out the question.
Blaine grinned, then burst into laughter.
“Oh man, just when I thought nothing can shock me anymore, I end up having the vampire birds and bees talk with the old man from next door… HA HA HA..” Blaine folded over still laughing.
“Thanks for the advice.” Ezio grumbled, feeling irritated and humiliated.
Blaine stopped laughing, and pat Ezio’s shoulder hard.
“Oh, come on old man. OK, the truth: yes, I did. Which is saying a lot, if you know me. But the thing is, there is the issue with vampires and soulmates. In essence, most people are just random people, you know, a way to scratch an itch if you catch my drift. But the soulmate – hmm hmm – that is a different story. If you find yours, it gets REALLY intense. Everything is more intense then. Addictive even.”
“So, you found your soulmate? Oh wait, isn’t Viktoria …? And wasn’t Viktoria still married to me when you …?” Ezio’s wheels were turning, his facial expression reflecting that he didn’t like what was brewing in his brain.
“Bingo! The candidate wins all the refrigerators they can catch. All joking aside, yeah, stuff got pretty intense around her after the fact. Unfortunately, there was still that pesky husband, wink wink. I tried to stay away, but we both know well how that went.”
“OK. Since we already went there, may I ask about that night? You know, the night when I walked in on you both in our bedroom?” Ezio pulled a face, remembering something that no husband wants to experience.
“Did you … or didn’t you? I always wondered about that.” Ezio wasn’t sure if he really wanted the answer. Not like it mattered anymore, but for the principle.
Blaine smirked “Didn’t. But wanted to. Honestly, if you had not walked in when you did, probably would have, one way or another. I was then where you are now, and I don’t have to remind you how hard it can be to control certain urges right now. It’s not just feeding but also sex, if you have not figured that out already.”
“All right, let’s drop the subject.” Ezio pulled a face.
As if on cue, Melissa and Viktoria walked into the living room, carrying a tray with coffee, cups, cream. The girls were giggling and talking about some TV show. Melissa held the cups while Vik poured, fixing up the coffee as every person present preferred it, with a near intimate familiarity.
Melissa sat down next to Ezio, kissing him, while Blaine pulled Viktoria into his lap, nearly spilling her coffee, causing her to complain until he sealed her words in with a kiss. Melissa and Ezio looked at each other, shaking their heads, smiling. While everybody knew Blaine’s ways, it was still an acquired taste to watch the PDA all the time. A taste private Melissa and Ezio would likely never fully acquire. But they tolerated the behavior of their friends.
“I am so proud of you boys! We left you alone for several minutes and you did not beat each other senseless. Color me impressed.” Viktoria giggled, joined in by Melissa, while Blaine smirked. Just Ezio remained unfazed.
“Hey old man, you look like you sucked a lemon.” Blaine addressed him.
Ezio shot Blaine a look.
“I have some questions about the a/c drain outside the house. Can we go look at yours right quick?”
“Yeah, sure.” Blaine sat down his cup at the same time Ezio did and both men left the room.
“What the hell was that about Mel? Since when does Ezio give a hoot about a/c anythings, and is there even such a thing?”
“If there is, he would not be the one dealing with it at our house. I guess you spoke too soon about them not fighting.”
“Should we go check on them?”
“Nooo, I am so glad to not have to deal with rambunctious toddlers for a few hours. Maybe they want to have some boy talk. Besides, our show is about to start.” Melissa laughed, pointing at the TV, while leaning back into the soft couch cushions.
“So, what am I supposed to pretend to look at while you get out what’s simmering in that meatball skull?” Blaine asked.
“How did you get Viktoria to not be afraid of you anymore?”
“Ah, so that’s it. Yeah, that was a tough climb. I wish I could give you some great advice, but the only thing you can do is keep trying and be patient. How bad is it?”
“Not too bad. She is trying. I know she loves me. But every time I get a little carried away, something happens, she feels or sees something that freaks her out and there goes the mood. I want her more than ever, intensely so, all the time and being patient is a feat. It is immensely frustrating.”
“So that’s why you look so constipated and angry all the time.”
“Could you please hold the jokes? Isn’t there anything you take serious?” Ezio barked.
“Why? Because that works so well for you?”
“What do you mean?” Ezio was irritated.
“You are over-thinking things you cannot change. I don’t. There is your answer. Just roll with it.”
“Roll with it?! That’s your advice?!?”
“I’ll be sure to tell my wife to ‘just roll with it’, next time she draws back in fear from feeling my fangs when I am kissing her neck trying to … well .. you know …. !”
“There you go.” Blaine chuckled.
“I was being sarcastic. That won’t work. Maybe I can talk to Viktoria about this.”
“Be my guest. Talk to your ex-wife about having sex with your new wife. Won’t be awkward at all, old man. But I’d definitely wanna watch that exchange.”
Ezio rubbed his face with both hands and sighed.
Blaine stepped forward and patted Ezio on the back before talking.
“Look, lemme tell ya little story from my life, something that helped Vik greatly to lose her fear and tension about the vampire thing. I am going to be pretty open here so sorry if TMI. Anyway, I used to sneak out to feed, thinking she didn’t know. But of course she knew. One night, I was thirsty like a sponge in the desert, we were in bed, so I tried to pull my arm out from underneath her, thinking she was fast asleep, she suddenly held on to me as I sat up, asking me to stay and drink from her instead. I didn’t want to do it at first, didn’t want to hurt her. She knelt to my side, to keep me from leaving, and then offered me the underside of her lower arm. I wrapped one arm around her waist, holding her wrist steady with the other hand, to keep her from moving and potentially injuring her worse. When I gently kissed the soft skin, then bit into it to drink, I felt her body press up against mine while she let out the most adorable little moan. After I drank we had some really intense .. well .. you know. I am telling you old man, it’s not all bad, if you let go sometimes. Instead of feeding on some rancid smelling bum or drunkard on the street, I had one of the single most unique and sexiest experiences with my girl. And it helped her understand what this was like, helped her lose her fear of the unknown. It really is what you make it. You want my advice, so here it is: involve Melissa in the process, do not shut her out. Learn together, grow together and even make mistakes together. She obviously loves you; she is still here, after everything. But you have to let her in. And maybe, just maybe, at some point she will come to you and want to join you. But my advice is, let it be her choice. Let her draw the line in the sand to which ever level she is comfortable at, don’t shut her out but don’t push her. Oh, and in case this has not become blatantly obvious to you, remember the talk we had several years ago, about soulmates, when I told you Vik was never yours but mine, and that yours was still somewhere out there? Spoiler alert: it’s Melissa. How do I know? You are a vampire, officially dead, dead don’t feel anything, yet you still feel shit for her and your kids. Tada, surefire sign of soulmate. Congrats. Oh, and soulmate always goes two ways, meaning you’re hers. I know you are not mine to teach, but that’s some free advice from your friendly neighborhood master vampire.”
Blaine stopped talking, closed his eyes, then leaned back against the wall of the house, opening his eyes again to look up at the stars, inhaling deeply, obviously engulfed in a memory.
Ezio couldn’t help but look at Blaine in amazement, shaking his head. He just never knew what to make of him. Partly he despised him still, but another part admired and truly liked him. Hearing the man who rarely took anything serious talk about something so personal with such depth, watching him smile now in remembrance of a moment that probably was an angle point in his relationship with Viktoria, made Ezio realize that the jokester and carefree exterior was really just a front and that there was a lot more to this man, something Viktoria had probably always been privy to. Truth be told, this rugged looking tattooed and pierced man did give good advice.
Ezio shook his head again, smiling.
“Hey Blaine? Thank you. I mean it. I cannot believe I am about to say this, but I think you are one of the best friends I have ever had.”
Blaine looked at him, the usual crooked smirk and Ezio already knew that some smart remark would be next.
But he would be mistaken.
“Know what old man? I was just thinking the same thing.”
They bro-hugged, patted each other’s backs.
From the inside of the house looking out were two confused female faces, now looking at each other.
“You see this too, right?”
“I do, but don’t ask me to make sense of it.”