1-68) Suspicious Mind

Pouring Moscato while sitting in the living room, a rom-com on the TV, I was in my home-wear, hair messy, no makeup, Blaine was on a boys’ night out, Liam was with Finn and Vivian over at Addy’s for the night. Good ol’ Vik was home alone and fixing to have a really lazy night in.

As I leaned back, glass in hand, my phone buzzed. Whoever it was, the answer was no. I wouldn’t even look. It buzzed again. Grumble. After the fifth time I was out of patience.
I pulled it out and saw 5 texts, all from Ezio and one missed call. Oh buddy, your f-ing house better be on fire. If you thought you would be reading some action-filled story starting now, let me burst that bubble. It wasn’t. Just Ezio being Ezio and not getting what he wanted when he wanted it.

When I read the last message, I dialed his number immediately.

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He picked up after the first ring.
“Do not come over!” I told him.
“I am on my way.”
“Turn around. I am not home.”
“I can see light.”
“Forgot to turn it off! Go back home.”
“Nice try! I’ll go back home, but then you have to come over. I have Moscato ..”
“…yeah and coffee, I can read.”
“So you were ignoring me?”
“Yes. Worked great, too.”
“Did I upset you again?” Ezio sounded concerned.
“No, Ezio. I just want a boring, lazy night at home with wine and a chick flick and nothing to do.” I said, whiney.
“Hmmm … I can offer you all that and do you one better than staring at a TV by raising you a lovely view from your favorite place in my home!” He was trying to bait me with the raised deck I loved so much.
“Ezio, where is Melissa? Can she not keep you entertained?”
“Oh – Melissa .. she is … ummm … unavailable.”
“Please do not tell me you fought?!” I was going to slap that man silly!
“Oh no, nothing like that. Things were never better between us. She just needed to take care of something. Alone. On short notice.”
“She went away without telling me? Highly unlikely.”
“Vik, can you just come over, please?” Ezio sounded tortured now. He never called me Vik. Something WAS wrong.
“Oh Ezio … can you not call someone else? Addy or Vitto or someone … I am not wearing make-up, not dressed, hair is a mess …” I whined. I was not one to leave friends hanging, but I really really did not want to go out. At all.
“I have seen you like that many times before. Viktoria I am not asking you out on a date at the Ritz-Carlton. I want to hang around casually on a fucking deck and have some wine and a talk with someone I trust!”
OK, so not only did he use a nickname I knew he hated as it sounded ‘too masculine’ per him, the tough businessman whined like a toddler and now cursed?
“I am on my way.”
We said goodbye and I sighed. I was such a frigging pushover. As I was writing the text for Blaine I could already hear him too.

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I knocked and within a few seconds Ezio opened. Kiss left and right and he grinned knowingly.
“What?!”
“You put on makeup and your usual clothes. Some things never change. So predictable. Come on, let’s go sit.”

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Once settled up on the deck, I was turning the wineglass in my hands wondering how I was going to feel Ezio out. No, this was not just hanging out with friends. I was not the only one here easy to read.

“Would you have ever thought that this is where life would take us?” Ezio sounded melancholic.

When Ezio got like this, something had happened, something big. Well, his wife had been kidnapped by a crazy vampire, obsessed with him and we had to go and off her to free Melissa. Yup, seemed pretty big to me.

“I am surprised you let Melissa out of your sight after everything. Figured you’d be conjoined at the hip now.”
“Oh Viktoria, if you only knew.”
“Enlighten me.”
“I can’t, I promised. But don’t worry, it is not what you think, everything is fine, really. Just a lot to take in.”
“I have a suspicion I know what is going on here …”
“Please don’t. I do not want to talk about this.”
“Isn’t that why I am here? To talk?”
“No, you are here because I needed a friend. Someone I can trust.”
“Trust by not telling me anything? Well, at least you are not talking about work, or my personal favorite, checking emails while we talk.”
“Viktoria, if I wanted Ezio-bashing, I would have invited your husband over.”
“Aww, you love Blainey.”
“I TOLERATE him, like I always have.”
“Why? You are even better off than you were with me, why hold a grudge?”
“I am not holding a grudge, I just do not like his ways. He looks unkempt, all the time, and that cursing. He needs to read a dictionary! How do you even have a conversation with him? If you cannot even talk to your partner, what do you do all day? Wait – never mind – don’t answer that. My mistake.”
I sat there grinning to myself. At least now Ezio was worked up about something and no longer melancholic. Maybe I could go home and have some lazy day now? Worth a shot.
“All righty, this was great. That view is so beautiful! Thanks for inviting me, was good to hang out. And thanks for the wine, so delicious …”
“You’re not leaving?!”
“Actually…”
“No, here have a refill…” Ezio just poured more into the glass I was about to put down on the table. Too slow, Vik.
I sat back down, looking at him. He noticed after just a few seconds.
“What?”
“I am waiting.”
“For what? Coffee? I can get you some …”
“Honesty.”
“I am not sure I know what you are referring to, my dear.” Ezio tried a smile.
“You cannot bullshit the bullshitter, Ezio. What is up? Where is Mel? And do not feed me more lines. You are way too clingy to be okay. Spill! Or I am going?”
“Nothing is going on. Like I said, Melissa is …”
“OK, night Ezio.”

I got up and walked down the stairs, through the house. I could have sworn by now he would be there to hold me back. But no. I made it all the way home without Ezio trying to stop me. Weird. Something WAS up.

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