We rang the doorbell. It took longer than usual for the door to open. When it finally did, it was Ezio along with the obvious explanation of why it had taken him so long to let us in even though we were expected. There were distinct lipstick marks on the side of his face and neck, obviously someone tried to hastily wipe them off, which just does not work too well on the red lipstick Melissa had preferred recently. We knew they had dismissed all personnel tonight and the kids were with family.
Once Ezio turned towards the living room, I nudged Blaine grinning and winked. By the crooked grin and twinkle in his eye, I knew he had noticed, but he whispered near my ear while we followed Ezio “Looks like we inspired them…”.
“I don’t think they needed inspiration. Remember they have 4 kids!”
“Only took three times, since there is a set of twins. And I always assumed he did everything by the book, on scheduled days, by an agenda that his secretary wrote for him.”
I shot him a glance, he shrugged, then whispered “Please don’t even start bringing up your personal experiences or I will get drunk and fight him for sure!”
I did not know if he was joking or serious and could not ask as we had arrived in the living room and Melissa and I were hugging like we had not seen each other in years.
“I don’t even know what trouble to get into first, no kids for an entire day! I just want to do everything all at once!” Melissa beamed.
She and I grabbed the Moscato and got to talking, while the boys stayed behind.
“Where’s yours?” Ezio asked referring to Blaine and Vik’s toddler, Liam.
They drank while Melissa and I happily chatted about everything.
“I never understand where all that is coming from. They literally spoke on the phone just hours ago.”
“Don’t ask me. I always thought you were the lady whisperer.” Ezio said plainly before taking a good sip from the glass.
“Different kind of whispering, that usually turned into pleased screaming by the ladies.” Blaine winked and grinned, before emptying his glass.
“Please spare me!” Ezio shook his head as he refilled their glasses.
“Whatcha boys talking about?” Melissa asked Ezio before kissing his cheek as they both sat down on the couch.
“Don’t ask!” he smiled at her.
“Uh oh, do I need to take you to the bathroom and wash your mouth out with soap?” I grinned putting my arms around my husband’s neck, who placed his arms around my waist, smiling.
“Please don’t go near any bathrooms together! I have been looking forward to all of us talking … and just talking. All four of us.” Melissa playfully pouted, winking.
I blushed, Blaine grinned broadly before making Mel blush too “Isn’t that the pot calling the kettle black there Missy?”
Finally we all sat on the couch together and just rehashed some ‘remember-whens’ along with some neighborhood gossip and Ezio talking to me a little about work, when both Blaine and Mel protested.
“Oh no no no, none of that tonight! Let’s talk about something else … let’s see. Hmmm… what have we not talked about yet. I know, Blaine! I have known you for years now and still know barely anything about you. Tell me about you.”
“Me? Just ask your husband. One look at me and he knew everything.” Blaine’s words were dripping with sarcasm. No, I do not know why.
“What the …” Ezio straightened up and stiffened.
“Blaine! Stop! You too Ezio! Good grief! What do you want to know about this knucklehead Mel? I’ll tell ya. Or at least translate when these two Neanderthals get at it again.”
“Neanderthal?!” Ezio took offense. I shot him a look. He shook his head and poured more Bourbon for himself and Blaine.
“Yeah, get drunk you both, that’ll help.”
“Meow! Retract claws kitty.” Blaine grinned and gave me a peck on the cheek, before demonstratively downing the drink in one gulp. I rolled my eyes.
“I was wondering about how you became a vampire, Blaine.” Melissa purposely ignored the odd tension. Mainly, because after years we were all used to the Blaine-Ezio thing and secondly, she was stubbornly determined to have a good time. And if she had to use a baseball bat to beat the fun into the men. Which she would never do, but the mental image was too funny not to share.
“Oh boy. Yeah, umm … it happens to be a bit of a touchy subject with your touchy hubby, not sure if I am allowed to tell at all.” Blaine raised an eyebrow and tilted his head towards Ezio.
“Just tell it without purposely weaving in the unnecessary and you’ll be fine, you boho!” Ezio was pouring more whiskey without looking at anybody.
“All righty, well .. once upon a time there was a boy, or boho, and he didn’t really have much luck in life. But he had a great friend, one who he really …”
“WhoM!” Ezio interrupted, correcting Blaine.
“Ezio!” he heard from two women.
“Hey, you want this in writing so you can edit it first?”
“I didn’t realize you can write.”
“Ezio! I want to hear this. Can you please!?” Melissa seemed serious now. “Sorry Blaine, continue.”
“Yeah, well, I needed a lot of help and Vik was there and then I got some really bad news. Cancer, stage 3, about to kick that bucket out of the stadium. Vik took it hard. So I had the idea to ask someone for help, but didn’t tell her. That someone was an ex-lo… ahem … ex-bed-acquaintance of mine and also a vampire. The problem was that she did not live nearby anymore, so my transformation took a lot longer, as I had to travel with her after I rose, then come back after I was fit again and had learned what I needed to learn. The other problem I had not thought about before going this route was how to tell Vik without her hating me.”
“Shocker. You didn’t think something through…” Ezio snarled. This was probably as it hit home to a very sore time in his life and as much as he wanted to please his wife, he just could not help his temper. Especially not after half a dozen drinks, and counting.
“Ok, lover, one more and I’ll gag you!” Melissa warned him.
“Ok, got it out of your system there, Mafioso? Fine, now that you feel better, here goes the rest. She ended up hating me. For weeks, months….”
“I did not hate you! I was scared! You were dead! Or supposedly. I buried you! I visited your grave! And then there you were, in front of me!”
“Yeah, thanks for the interruption. I think I am on a train to nowhere here. Want me to email you the rest, Melissa?” evidently, even Blaine’s patience had an end.
“No, but I can imagine. What I am wondering about is, how did you get Vik to trust you again. I know from experience that it is … weird … to have a person you care about so much come back to you. The same, but still so different. Unlike Vik then I actually knew it was going to happen. I can only imagine … urgh.” she shuddered.
“Wasn’t easy. Especially since I could not exactly go and ring her doorbell.” he and Ezio exchanged certain looks “but I managed. Eventually she probably realized that I was harmless.”
“HARMLESS!?” Ezio burst out.
“In a lethal kind of way I meant.” Blaine was trying to not get into the details with Ezio.
“Given that three out of the four people present are, in fact, technically dead, I’d say you failed yet again, buddy!”
“How the hell do you blame me for this?! YOU wanted to be what you are now, as did Vik. I did not force anybody!”
“But had you not …”
“Enough! Both of you are being so rude to Melissa right now! Do you even realize that?!” I intervened, my face turning reddish with annoyance.
“Sorry, mia cara. Vik is right.” Ezio kissed his wife. Blaine turned to me but I shook my head.
“Just talk while that one’s lips are busy!” I nodded into Ezio’s direction.
“Just wondering if she is even paying attention.” Blaine grinned, appeased.
Melissa was waving her hands, gesturing him to continue while Ezio kept kissing her. Hopefully not suffocating her. Dang. I guess being a vampire brought out the Italian Stallion in that one.
“Well, Vik and I met more and more and talked a lot. I was still going through the adjustment period like ol’ Fettuccine Alfredo over there, so we learned together.”
“That is not even a true Italian dish!” Ezio could not help himself now.
“Fine, what would be more Italian? Leaning tower of Pisa? Cos dude, you need to slow down on that broth you’re drinking or you won’t be the only thing to tilty to function tonight” Blaine instigated. For whatever odd reason this caused both of them to laugh. Men! Melissa and I shrugged at each other.