Evey entered and from the coat check area could already tell the place was crowded tonight.
She was at her great-grandfather’s club, located in downtown San Myshuno and called ‘Skyline’, where Blaine and his rock band ‘Crashd N Burnd’ (see here) once made their big debut and were discovered before making it into the big leagues. Blaine did not own it then, but bought it later, mostly to preserve it as it once was.
KC worked here most days as a barkeep. Liam owned it now, since his father’s death, but leased it out. On Thursdays, which was rookie night, he was allowed to perform on the club’s main stage in the largest dance hall, along with several other yet undiscovered singers and bands, hoping to make it big one day, even though KC was one of the very rare acts who played Country music. That genre was not exactly a big market in a town like San Myshuno, but KC was still popular, especially with the female crowd.
Tonight Evey had finally managed to get out of work in time in order to see KC live.
For the very first time ever.
Work had her extremely busy, so much still to learn, college, summer jobs and helping her parents out at EC Architects had not prepared her what it was like to REALLY work there. Most of all did she not want to disappoint her father, resulting in that she felt stretched thin, her nights were too short and she seemed to wake up as tired as she fell into bed. There really was no social life to speak of, unusual for a 22 year old, who just graduated college.
Everleigh found a good spot from where she could see the stage, luckily she was on the taller side, she saw and heard some female singer on stage who was missing most of the high notes of the song she was currently finishing, the crowed booed and jeered and Everleigh felt sorry for her.
Once she was done and almost ran off the stage, the announcer came on and addressed the audience in a dramatic way that showed he had done this for a long time
“Well, well, welllllllll … That certainly was a performance nobody will soon forget. Thank you Krissi Anderson for your act and moreover, for stopping it before all glass in this place and all our ear drums burst. There are days where I just wished I were as tone-deaf as some of the aspiring performers. Our next act has promised not to even try to torture us with the shrill stuff, and without much further ado I am pleased to announce our very own, the ONE, the ONLY, the REAL McCoy – KC McCoyyyyyyy!”
The crowd cheered as KC entered the stage, smiling, just him, his guitar and a cowboy hat.
Evey grinned. Oh, he would have to deal with the jokes for that hat later. She had never seen him wear it before.
As soon as he greeted the audience, Evey noticed how different his voice sounded through the microphone and speakers.
He began playing his songs, an upbeat one, then a slower, melancholic one, watching him and listening to his soft, deep voice send pleasant shivers down Everleigh’s spine.
His performance was good, the audience was involved and sang along, it was like he had done this all his life. And it sounded great, authentic. That was her man up there. Filled with pride she already started towards the locker rooms when he was still on his encore song.
When KC walked in and found her, surprised at first, then smirking as he kissed her.
“WOW KC, I had no idea you sounded like that. I am impressed. You were amazing! I might end up liking your tunes after all. Seriously I’d buy your music!”
“So, no longer the cats in heat torture sounds?” he grinned.
“OMG – you still remember that?” Evey frowned.
“Darlin’, nothing hurts more then my biggest love insulting my second biggest love. Yeah, I remember that. Glad to see you changed your mind.”
“That hat, though… I HAVE to try that on.”
“Knock yourself out.” he took it off an handed it to her.
Evey grabbed it, putting it on as she walked over to the mirror in the corner.
Suddenly the door opened and in the mirror Everleigh watched a pretty blonde run in and hug KC, who caught her in his arms.
“You were amazing! I cannot believe that was you up there. So proud!”
Evey had not even turned around, watching through the mirror in utter shock. What just happened?
KC now pushed the blonde away a little then pointed at Evey.
“Lillian, this is Everleigh. Evey, this is Lillian.”
“Ah. Good to know.” Evey said frostily as KC and that Lillian sat down. Was she going to stay longer?! Wasn’t slobbering all over HER KC enough already?!
“Evey, relax. Lillian is my cousin. Lill, she is my better half. Well, almost, fiance anyway.”
“Oh, so you are the one with the baby.” Evey said rudely, her judgmental tone ignored by Lillian as she smiled and replied
“Currently I am without the baby, which is why I am here. KC, I would love to see Chance. Do you think you can talk to your friends and see if they would be okay with that?”
“I can talk to them. They are my grandparents.” Everleigh puffed up.
For some reason, seeing another woman be so overly friendly with KC made her all sorts of jealous. Cousin or not. That fact did not stay secret from KC, as she could tell by his smirk, even though he refrained from commenting.
“Would you? That would be awesome sauce. Sorry, but I gotta get back. Great voice, handsome. And cute couple, you two! Talk to ya soon. Oh, and again, nice meeting you Amy.”
“It’s EVEY!” Everleigh corrected angrily.
“Right, Evey, so so sorry. I am terrible with names. Sorry again. Bye ya’ll!”
Once the door shut behind Lillian, KC burst into laughter.
“What’s so funny?” Everleigh asked unamused.
“How am I funny?”
“Don’t worry about it, Barbie. I am done for tonight, don’t need to go back to the bar, so do you wanna go out with me, beautiful?”
“Let’s go! Oh, but I am keeping that hat!”
“Of course you would.”
Watching a movie together the next night, Evey suddenly spoke
“If I were to have a baby right now, what would you want it to be?”
“Very funny. Seriously, what?”
“OMG – boy or girl?”
“Are you trying to tell me we got hit by that curse you told me about?”
“No! I am not preggers. Purely hypothetical. So, boy or girl?”
“I really do not care, to be honest. I never wanted kids, but then again, I never had a perspective and definitely never thought I’d be engaged.”
“BOY or GIRL!?”
“Jeeze, Everleigh! I really do not care. Not like we get to choose anyway. So whatever we get when it happens will be just fine with me. But while we are on topic, how about we practice a little?” he gave her that certain smile.
“Is that all you can think of? I am trying to have a conversation with you, and all you think is sex!”
“Well, one of us has to. We are still a couple, aren’t we?”
Everleigh jumped up and left without another word.
He watched her run up the stairs, leaving him to simmer in his confusion, until he got up and followed.
He found her in the home office.
“OK Barbie, what just happened?”
“Quit calling me that. So immature!”
“Whoa whoa whoa … did I not put the dishes in the sink fast enough or what the hell is up with you today?”
“Dishes go in the dishwasher, not the sink!”
“Thanks for the lesson, mom.”
“If I were your mom, I’d be swinging around a pole with money in my panties!”
“Ouch! But since it’s true and you are offering, I’d be interested to see that.”
“Immature!” she turned back to the computer.
“You are not working, are you?”
“Of course I am. One of us has to support us financially.”
“What is that supposed to mean? Last I checked I work too. Two jobs even.”
“Yeah, flirting with women at the bar, then you go strum around on your guitar.”
“I thought you liked my music?”
“I do, but that is a hobby, not a job. None of this brings in enough money to even cover the gas for our cars each month. How about a real job for a change!?”
“You knew I didn’t even have a high school diploma but a criminal record before we even got together. I cannot just go get a job. So why is this a problem all of a sudden?”
“Sudden? Yah, I knew it then, but that was years ago. How about bettering yourself, making something of yourself, trying, instead of constant pity parties about your mean bad parents. You have had all the chances in the world, KC and what did you do with them? NOTHING.”
“Oh really? Cos from where I sit, I did better myself. I have a lot of things now that I never thought I would have. Including you. And I am trying, Everleigh. I am working very hard, yes, maybe only at a bar, but I work so many extra shifts and …”
“Save it KC. That is still only gravy. You know who really is working their butt off? ME. I am so exhausted and tired and just – over it all. Especially when all you can contribute is lame jokes. You need to get your shit together if you want this to continue.”
“What is that supposed to mean?”
“Did I stutter?”
“Are you threatening to break up with me if I do not fit into your mold ASAP?”
“If the shoe fits.” Everleigh looked at her ring as if she wanted to pull it off.
“Don’t do it, Everleigh! I am not going to ask you a third time!” KC warned.
Evey looked at him defiantly as she pulled the ring off her finger and placed it on the desk in front of her.
“You know what Evey? I do not know what is REALLY going on here, but something went sideways and I am not doing this!”
Without another look, KC rushed out.
Evey thought he would go play his guitar, which was one of his usual outlets, until she heard the front door slam shut and KC’s Jeep’s engine start. When she jumped to the window she caught a glimpse of the tail lights disappear into the dark.
Finally she heard the door being unlocked, it swung open and a sleepy looking Heath appeared, careful to stay out of the daylight, as Evey already walked in past him. He shut the door, looking at her with a strange look.
“What?!” she hissed.
“Nothing. Just surprised to see you, that is all.”
“Why? Can I now not even visit my friend?”
“Sure. It’s just that your friend is a vampire and it is bright day out.”
“Were you asleep?”
“Vampires do not sleep they..”
“I did NOT come here for lessons about vampires. Half my family are vampires, so save your breath. And before you say it, it is a figure of speech. I know you do not breathe!” Evey laid into him.
“Are you ok, Little Leigh?” he carefully asked.
“OF COURSE I AM OKAY! WHY WOULD I NOT BE OKAY!” she yelled.
Heath just stood stiffly, then pulled her into his arms, where she immediately started crying into his shoulder.
“Did you fight with KC?”
“Uh huh. Last night.”
“He did not come home?”
“I am sorry, Little Leigh. I am sure he is fine and everything will be okay.”
“I don’t know Heath. I am just so tired and tense all the time now and he is just so … annoying … and all those women always. And all he ever does is joke about everything. I keep snapping at him and finally, yesterday, he had enough. Urgh. I wished things were like they used to be, like with you and Heather. Where is Heather anyway? Sleeping? Can I see Abby?”
Evey already let go and started for the nursery, when Heath tried to stop her, but she already opened the door.
“Heath … where is Abigail?”
“With her mother.”
“And where is Heather?”
“At her parents.”
“During the day? How did she get there? Is she spending the night?”
“She had been spending the last few nights there.”
“Oh, no, Heath. Did you fight, too?!”
“No. Yes. Maybe. I don’t know. She is angry with me for turning her. She hates being a vampire. So very angry with me. I think she may even hate me now.”
“No, she doesn’t! Nobody could hate you, Heath! You are so sweet. She is probably just overwhelmed and in shock … she’ll come around. Being a vampire cannot be that bad. I mean, some in my family were turned and it’s an adjustment, but they all seem happy with their choice.”
While talking they went into the tiny living room and sat down.
“That’s just it. They chose it. Heather didn’t. I did choose for her.”
“It was to save her life, for heaven’s sake!”
“She says we do not know that for sure.”
“Wow, we are quite the pair. How did we end up in this spot, Heath? But Heather will come back for sure, she is a vampire and you guys are soulmates. You belong together. KC and me on the other hand, I am not so sure … ”
“We are not.”
“You are not what?”
“Are you drunk, Heath? You went totally cray cray without her, after being totally cray cray about her. If she is not your soulmate, then I don’t know who would be!”
Heath said nothing, just stared at the floor.
“Heath, you cannot just drop bombs on people like that.”
“You are right. Forget I said it. I shouldn’t have.”
“Heath, get real will ya?! How can I be your soulmate, I am not even a vampire?”
“I do not know how, but yes, that is possible.”
“So what about Heather?”
“I love her. Very very much.”
“Has the entire world gone crazy now? Out of the blue I am suddenly your soulmate?!”
“Nothing sudden about it. I have known for a long time. Ever since that night you rescued me from that cellar when you were 15 (read here)”
“Why did you never say anything? And why did you refuse to kiss me when I …” Evey remembered that embarrassing moment in her room at her parents’ home when she let the teenage crush on Heath get the best of her, ending in rejection (read here).
“Because of all this! You now saw what happens when I don’t hold back. Heather’s life is in shambles, she probably hates me now, an innocent baby in the middle of it all, and I am at fault. I am broken-hearted about Heather, I do not even want to imagine what it would have been like if that would have been you instead of her. The worst of it is, I think you still have feelings for me too.”
“Ok, I gotta go. I am so sorry Heath, I can see you need a friend, but maybe my grandparents can come over or something, but I am totally at capacity right now. I have no idea how to react, what to say or how this all is supposed to go on.”
Evey ran out the door, pleading in her head ‘please let this be a dream. A nightmare. Please!’
She made it almost half-way home, on foot, as their homes were at opposite ends of the long main street in Newcrest, when she suddenly stopped, then turned around and ran back.
Heath opened the door before she even knocked.“I have no idea what I am doing, Heath!”