The intention had been to study for the upcoming finals, but Everleigh had given up on that now.
Instead she sat there, staring at the hand with the engagement ring KC had given her on it, remembering that beautiful day, realizing how badly her reaction – or lack thereof – must have hurt KC.
She collapsed onto her desk with a sigh.
Any other girl would have probably done backflips if a guy like KC popped the question. She definitely had not inherited her grandfather’s acting talent, so much was certain. Whatever she felt, was reflected on her face and her poker face was non-existent. Poor KC. What a shitty girlfriend or fiancé she was.
Were they even still engaged?
He had not come out and said it, but replaying his words and the tone of his voice in her head, they may well be broken up now.
Oh gawd, hopefully not!
Well, there was only one way to be sure. It had been just over a day since the argument and if there was one thing she definitely wasn’t, it would be a coward. Time to face the music.
She told her parents where she was going, grabbed her keys and wished herself luck.
“Is KC home?” Everleigh stood in her grandparents’ hallway, nervously glancing at the stairs leading to all the bedrooms, one of them now inhabited by KC. Naturally Liam and Leonie knew about their fight yesterday, but I said nothing about it. Not their place.
“In his room.” Leonie told her.
Everleigh ran upstairs and knocked.
She knocked again.
“KC, it’s me, Evey.”
“Honey, he may be sleeping or have his headphones on.” Leonie told her gently.
The door now opened and KC appeared in the door frame.
“Nah, he’s awake. What’s up?” he said purposely casual.
“Can we talk?” Everleigh asked shyly.
He shrugged, but said nothing, instead walked past her into the living room.
Everleigh hesitated, then followed KC.
“Umm, KC, I was hoping we could talk in private …” she said, looking at Liam sitting on the couch and Leonie standing by.
“Naw. Whatever you have to say, you can say here.” he sat down on the couch.
“OK, fine. If you want to air our dirty laundy in front of my grandparents, so be it. Here goes: I am very sorry for falling asleep on Heath’ couch, nothing happened between him and me. I am still super-sorry I overreacted to the Isabelle-kiss incident. I love you – SO very much – and do not want to lose you. As for your proposal, I agree, I reacted crappy and have been feeling bad about that too. Ask grandma, I even told her about it. I was just caught off guard, I mean, I just turned 21 and really didn’t know you were even thinking about marriage, let alone was I expecting a proposal anytime soon.”
“Yeah, I get that. Truth be told, I never wanted to get married or have kids. Not with my background and shitty genes. Until I met you. Being with you, and being accepted by your family, seeing how things CAN be, has changed everything for me. For the first time in my life I could see a future, a bright one. For me, but also for us. After the kiss thing I thought if I took it to the next level you would realize that I do not want another girl, no matter how easy it may be. I wanted a life, together, with you. And I wanted you to be at the center of it all. Honestly, I still cannot really imagine what my life would be like without you in it. But I guess it is what it is.” KC sounded unusually serious and mature now.
“KC, we do not have to break up! Come on, I messed up, I know that, but it’s not like I actually cheated or something. If you love me so much, how is it so hard for you to believe?”
“I believe you. I think. Maybe there is a shadow of a doubt. The truth is, ever since I started living at your grandparents you always picked Heath over me. Every single time. He always got off so easy, barely a slap on the wrist, while I end up in the penalty box if I only look at you sideways. Come on now, he abducts you out of bed next to me from a cabin, holds you against your will for over a week, has everybody worried sick, me in jail and jobless as a result – and you just forgive him. I get kissed by your cousin, who even told you she initiated it, and you nearly break up with me, kick me out of our mutual home and have me crawling back to you apologizing, so you can go have a sleepover at Heath after he just got back from abducting someone else. You are more than eager to learn Heath’ vampire ways, but would not even really give my music a chance unless you thought of new ways to dismiss it as junk, nor have you come see me at the bar even once, knowing both of those are pretty damn important to me. Really, Evey, does that sound like we have a chance to you? It will just continue on like this and I am so sick and tired of being made to feel bad about who and what I am by my own girl. I guess to you I am just another boring human dude, nothing as fancy and mysterious as a new-breed vampire, which REALLY seems to tickle your fancy.” KC sounded equally upset and defeated.
Moments of silence fell, this is where both of them realized Blaine and I were still there, looking on.
“What?!” Liam asked when they both looked at him, sitting on the other couch with Leonie.
“Liam, maybe we should give them some privacy.” I suggested.
“Nah, it’s our living room. If they wanted privacy, they would have gone outside.” he determined.
“I actually would be interested in your thoughts about all this. What would YOU do if you were in my shoes, Liam?” KC asked.
“Ah kid, if there is one thing I am not, it is a relationship expert.” Liam said.
“I don’t think you should rush out of this relationship, nor rush into anything else at this point, no marriage, no kids, none of that. If there is a logical next step, it should be moving in together, eventually, after Evey graduated, to see if you can really stand being around each other so much. In a real home this time without all the added stress you had last time. So KC, if you still love her, give her a chance. And you, young lady, REALLY should consider the repercussions when spending time with Heath. I know he is not much for socializing, but obviously it’s just not okay to hang out in a basement with him, especially not overnight, if you have a boyfriend or fiance. I agree with KC, even the most patient of man would throw in the towel there. If Heath were as much of a gentleman as you say, he should have woken you up and maybe taken you home.” Leonie tried to be as direct yet gentle as she could muster.
“Yeah, what she said. I second all of it.” Liam agreed.
“OK, fair enough. Look, I was perfectly happy where we were. The only reason I proposed already was so you know I am serious about you – and ONLY you. Plus, I am 24, kinda normal age to get hitched, but I get it why it freaked you out, Barbie.” KC smiled when he used her nickname, a good sign.
Evey sat down next to him.
“Sorry! I really do love you KC. You really are the only one I want.” Evey told him.
“Oh well, gimme that ring.” KC said, holding out his hand.
“Just give me that damn ring.”
“Give it to me or do I need to rip it off of you?”
Everleigh hesitated, then slipped the ring off her finger and dropped it into KC’s hand.
“Thank you.” he said, as he slid off the couch to kneel in front of her.
“Let’s try this again. Everleigh Rose Cameron, will you marry me?” he smiled up at her, holding her left hand and the ring an inch from it, awaiting her response.
“YES! Yes, I will marry you Mr. Kieran McCoy! Yes, yes, YES!” Everleigh smiled from ear to ear, looking relieved, as she let him slide the ring back on her finger before they hugged and kissed, during which Leonie dragged a very reluctant Liam out of the room with her, like you would a toddler from the cookie shelf.
“Wait, this may be better than the Discovery Channel. We may end up learning something new…” he protested grinning.
“You do not need lessons in the romance department, Liam. I have four kids who will attest to that.” she said.
He stood by the cliffs, staring out into the distance, into the dark night skies, illuminated only by the moon and stars. The events of the recent and more distant past were passing in review, he dwelled in his memories until he heard someone behind him.
Turning around, he recognized the intrudor and his defenses went up.
“Hello Heath …” the young woman said softly, her demeanor shy.
“Oh no. No no no.” Heath turned to leave, the young woman caught up with him, held on to his arm, gently.
“Please, I know you probably hate me now, but can I at least apologize to you? Please?”
Heath stopped and looked at her with a facial expression as if he had seen something scary and slimy, still he went to sit on the nearby bench.
“Heath, I am so very sorry. I know what I did was unforgivable ….”
“So what do you want from me then? You already said it’s unforgivable and I already figured out why you did it. Doesn’t change the fact THAT you did it, even though it had to be clear to you what that would mean for me. And for what, really? You may have gotten yelled at and grounded had you been honest, while after what you did, I could have been extinguished from existence or exiled. How does that make any sense? And I thought you actually cared about me.”
“I do, I really, really do. I didn’t think so far ahead when I did that. It was such a nice walk, then I saw my brothers right when they saw us, I panicked, felt like I just had to do something and this was what I went with …” she sat down next to him, her eyes pleading with him.
“I understand that part. But you did not have to lie about all I supposedly did to you. We both know I treated you well and with respect.”
“Yes, that is why I am here. I feel so very very bad.”
“Well, you should.”
Heath averted his face. No way would he let her see how much her actions had really affected him.
“Heath please …. please … forgive me.”
He halted, then turned to her, her eyes begging him. She probably meant every word and he did feel sorry for her now.
What was he supposed to say and do?
If he could only ask Evey …
“Catherine, I cannot do this right now.” he told her, stood up and vanished.
“EVEY, someone’s here to see you!” Katie called up the stairs.
“Who is it?!” she called back, but received no reply so she sighed as she dropped her pen, then hurried out of her room and down the stairs, where she found Heath in their kitchen.
“Huh?” she couldn’t help saying.
“Good evening, Little Leigh.” he chuckled.
“You came to the door? Since when do you use doors?” Evey had to giggle, Heath smiled and shrugged.
“Almost like a normal person.”
“So what brings you here to my humble abode?”
“By that she means OUR humble abode which cost me a pretty penny!” they heard Everett call over from the living room where he was watching TV with Katie, while Josh, her seven year younger brother, was playing on the floor.
“Thank you daddy, eavesdrop much?”
“Only in my own home.”
“Come on, let’s go to the patio. That way my lovely, yet overbearing parents can easily monitor us without listing to our PRIVATE conversation. Plus, should KC come by, I have witnesses of my posterchild-like behavior.”
They walked outside and stood for a moment looking into the yard.
“Catherine came to see me.”
“No shit?! Crawling back begging for forgiveness?”
“You have to add interpretative dance to the shrugging, I do not know what that means. Better not mean that you forgave her!”
“So you do not think I should?”
“HELL NO! I mean, like I told you, I get it, but still. You really can do better than that lil witch! If all else fails, I’ll pimp you out to one of my classmates. Half of them are so odd, you’d seem perfectly normal and boring in comparison.”
“Thanks, that answered my question then.”
“Come on now, you were not really considering it, right?”
“I have been forgiven a lot of bad stuff I shouldn’t have done. Thought I better make sure I wasn’t too hard on others.” his eyes changed to a melancholic expression as he took her hand and gently pressed it against his chest, right about where the heart would beat.
“Heath, your dumbassery and her backstabbing are not even in the same ZIP code. Her dad is an ass, we all know that, but he has NEVER hit a woman or his kids. So worst case he’d yell, which is pretty much 50% of how he communicates anyway, at least every time I have seen him, leaves grounding. I don’t know how old Catherine is but she should be around 18-ish so … move out! Problem solved.”
“You are right. Thanks, Little Leigh. I think I better go then.”
“Are you gonna use the door or just *poof*?”
“Just teleport. I’ll tell my helicopter-folks in there that I tossed you over the edge.”
“They know that does not do much to a vampire, seeing how your grandparents are vampires.”
“True, may give me that well-deserved shock moment of them thinking their beloved daughter turned killer now. MUAHAHA. After that scare, any mess up by me would look like peanuts. Win-win.”
“Good night Little Leigh.” Heath smiled.
The next second he was gone.