"And what was your reaction?"
"I was shocked; as anyone would be after hearing your boyfriend came back to you as a vampire, y'know? But I accepted it, I had to. I loved him...I still do."
"Mhm. Mhm." The reporter nodded, scribbling down notes. The red "RECORD" light on the nearby sound recorder flashed repeatedly; almost distractingly. I had done interviews like this before...but with my conversation coming up with Ashley afterwards, I could barely focus.
"Now usually you're always seen in the press...but reports have surfaced that you ran off to elope in another country with Bruno since vampire marriage is currently illegal. Any word on this?"
I shifted uncomfortably. She would probably note that in the article. "I'm here to talk about my album and my tour, right?" I laughed awkwardly, trying to diffuse the situation. But, I'm pretty sure I just made it worse. The reporter lifted a suspicious brow and scribbled some more. I could sit here and answer questions about Bruno all day long; but I had a career before him and I still do. To this day those bloggers who claimed I'm using him for status irk me in the back of my mind.
"You'll be starting the next leg of your tour up in a couple weeks?" She asked.
I nodded happily, glad she moved on. "Yes, I'm heading to Germany for a couple shows; then Russia."
"You've gotten pretty personal with your fans back in London and Italy, surrounding your altercation with Rupert Grint...what are the fans to expect this time around?"
"The same kind of personal feel. I don't think of them as my fans; more-so like my friends, I can share anything with them."
"And any new music?"
I nodded, "I write nearly every day; and whenever I get free time on tour I put together a few instrumentals. I'll be producing with some awesome people too, like The Neptunes, Ryan Tedder...Stargate too. Some really talented, awesome people."
She picked up the tiny blinking recorder. "When can we expect to hear some new material?"
"After the tour; so in a couple months I would say. Definitely as soon as possible."
The reporter pressed 'STOP' and the irritable blinking ceased. She stood up and shook my hand, thanking me for my time while my publicist rushed over and handed me my jacket and going on an overview of my upcoming press that I halfass paid attention to.
Dave handed me a mug of green tea with honey; which I gratefully took and blew a few times before sipping. "I'm getting phone calls like crazy from your family, apparently you've been ignoring them?"
I rolled my eyes. "No, I've just been...busy. You know that."
"I know you went MIA and you didn't tell me why; even Robyn wouldn't pipe up and she's Miss Blabbermouth herself!" He took out his Blackberry and started typing fervently. "You've got two weeks left; should I set up a family visit?"
I facepalmed, then realized I was wearing a face full of makeup and groaned. "They're wondering about the vampire revelation, right?"
"It's all over the news baby, every single fucking station, every newspaper. This blew you up; big time, just sayin'." He snapped with a smirk. I was not so enthused.
"Get me outta here tomorrow then, an afternoon flight would be nice. I know my mother is going to have something ridiculous to say." I took another sip of my tea as I glanced down at my own phone for the time. I had to meet Ashley at Starbucks; and if I had any chance at repairing our highly damaged friendship, I probably shouldn't be late.
"Should I be booking one or...two?"
At first I frowned in confusion; until I realized what he was asking. "Oh, right. I do kind of have to re-introduce him huh?"
"It'd be best. It would save your family from making unjust assumptions." Dave's voice was fast and he got a million things done at once. When he wasn't bitching at me, he really saved me from having to deal with a hot steaming pile of mess every fucking minute of the day.
"Alright; I'll ask him tonight. He texts me from a different unlisted number every damn night." I said; not knowing if replying to our previous texts would reach him or not.
"Why?" Dave asked curiously.
I shrugged. "At first, I thought he was trying to be all elusive and cool and shit but the facade is over, you know? It's like...alright you're a big badass vampire, a blooddrinker, a prince of the night...you're still five five, now get a normal phone." I joked.
Dave burst into raucous laughter as we left the office building together. Soon, there was a small moment of silence that passed between us. "Where did you go? These past couple of weeks, I mean." He finally asked as though he had been holding in the question forever. I wished he would have been able to hold onto it a little bit longer.
I wasn't ready yet.
Just the thought, the sheer remembrance of these past few weeks in San Mateo sent floods of images of all things Supernatural that I didn't want to deal with in my brain at the moment. So I put up that paper mache wall in my mind to block it out again, temporarily at least.
"I just...wanted to get some alone time with Bru, you know. Out of the way of everybody." I lied as we stepped off the elevator together.
"But...wasn't Robyn with you too?"
"No? She was supposed to be in Barbados with...ahem, ahem, Chris." I divulged that bit of shocking news, which made him gasp in shock. Perfect subject-switch; I was really getting good at this.
"No way, please tell me you're kidding." His aqua eyes grew even bluer, if that were possible.
I nodded, "Way."
"She kind of likes that kinky stuff though-"
"David...beating up on someone and kink are two completely different things." I side-eyed his ridiculous explanation.
"And you would know?" He lifted a brow.
I pursed my lips, "I don't kiss and tell."
"Roxy, look...I just want to say I'm sorry." Ashley said all at once before my ass could even touch the seat across from her. She lifted her big round glasses atop her head, her eyes sincere. "I'm sorry for busting out on you like that, I am so sorry. I know it was a crucial time and you needed me; but vampires, vampires!"
"Shh!" I hushed her frantic speed-talking, which had garnered a few un-needed stares in our direction after her shouting the word 'vampire'. "Ash, I forgive you...loudass."
She sighed in relief. "I thought you hated me, you know how you can be sometimes." She reached across and squeezed my hands with her own tiny ones. "So please...explain this to me a little more? I wanna know what I've been missing."
I sat back in my seat and wondered where to start? I told her about the problems Bru and I went through, and the things that were difficult to deal with. I told her about a few basic vampire rules and facts...I mean she did act in the Twilight movies for Christ's Sake, she had some serious re-learning about real vampires to do. I kind of danced around the subject of Robyn's posession, instead opting to tell her that Bruno and I took a 'Supernatural Retreat' and discovered the existence of Shifters and other Supes. I was going to catch Hell when that lie rebounded on me, as most lies always do, but for now it was the safest bet.
After I finished spilling everything, it was her turn to sit back in her seat, taking everything in. "This makes me wonder what the world is coming to. I mean how long have these things been out here?" She squeaked.
"Hundreds of thousands of years I think. Bruno's creator is over a thousand years old."
"Wow." She perked up at her latest thought, "So are you gonna get turned into a vampire?"
I shook my head fiercely, "No. Why does everyone ask me that?" I made a face, "I'm very happy as a..." I trailed off.
"I lost you." Ashley giggled. "Well I'm glad you aren't gonna be one of them, I need some humans around me. Shit, Shapeshifters? What if Robyn's a witch or somethin!" She joked, clearly, by her outburst of laughter after her statement...I, however, did not find it funny. Though I tried to give a halfass convincing chuckle.
"I know...I mean a witch? Seriously..." I added for extra measure.
I bustled around my home, busying myself with cooking dinner for the evening. It was unusual, me having a night off; I almost didn't know how to go about enjoying myself. I soon found a nice groove with Chelsea Lately on my television, and the soundsystem throughout the apartment playing a random Pandora playlist of NeoSoul music.
After chopping up different kinds of lettuce, I began tossing them in a bowl while I kept a watchful eye on my boca burger that I was frying. I had to watch my figure since I would be back on tour soon and I had been pigging out recently. Stress does that to you...well, stress and Ray's down south Mississippi cooking.
As I went to shut the frying pan off and add the dressing to my salad, I heard the front door open and before I could react, there was a whoosh of air that sent my hair (which was now long in honey blond extensions), flying.
"Lucy I'm hooome!" Bruno announced with a smile, seated on one of the barstools at the counter.
"Look at you! All coiffed and perfect, what did you do tonight?" I asked, going over to pet his perfect bouffant. I always loved when his hairstylist tamed his curl jungle for events, it felt so soft and pretty.
"Look at you, Rapunzel." He replied, tugging on one of my long curls and watching it spring back into place. "I had press as soon as I came from ground, vampire-related. So many questions, too many questions."
I took his Ray Bans off and folded them, setting them onto the table. "Did they ask you how did you get your name?"
"You know what," He thought about it, "One of 'em did actually. It was kinda stupid, everyone's asking 'How often do you feed?' 'Have you ever killed anyone?' 'How is this affecting your family?', then one idiot stands up and goes, 'Now your real name is Peter Hernandez...' and I'm like damn, I know where this is going..." He rolled his eyes.
"It never fails." I shook my head while I took out the whole grain buns for my boca, preparing it.
"What about you? What'd you have to do today?" He asked, slipping his sleeves out of his leather jacket and setting it aside, unbuttoning the wrist cuffs of his flannel and pushing them up to his elbows.
"First, a hair appointment in the morning." I pointed to my now long locks. "Then I did a couple radio interviews, had a break, then a magazine shoot and another three magazine interviews. Basically, press." I shrugged. "They were just tickled pink about you, wouldn't stop asking me."
"About me? What the hell for?" He seemed genuinely surprised.
I took a bite out of my burger. "Uh...maybe because you're way too overbooked with interviews and so they have to resort to asking me everything." I chuckled. "Regardless, they asked....if we went off to another country and got eloped, it was pretty...funny."
I was focused on my salad as I said the last statement, but I was secretly wondering how he would respond to it. I was a woman, sue me damn it. I coyly took a bite of my salad as I looked back up at him.
"It is pretty funny because..." He dug in his pocket and pulled out that familiar diamond ring, the one I threw aside in frustration that night at the psychiatric hospital...the one he gave me before his death. "I was just going to give this back to you today...I mean, if you'd accept it..."
"Of course I accept it you silly boy." I grabbed the ring from his hands and slipped it onto my finger, and it fit perfectly...just as it had those years ago. Now the rumor mill was really going to go off, but I didn't care, I had my ring back. So he must've been thinking about our future together then, right? I was giddy inside.
"You know...I still want to marry you after your tour. You and I, in Ibiza, together." He reached out and took my hand, running his thumb over the diamond. "We can have it at the Cafe Del Mar, right after sunset. It'd be nice."
I tried to hide my shit-eating grin, but I was just too excited at the idea of it all. "Don't do this if you don't mean it."
"I paid thirty thousand dollars for that ring, I'll be damned if I don't mean it." He countered with a laugh and I dissolved into giggles.
"Ok, ok." I bit my lip in contemplation before lunging forward and kissing him. "That's if we don't get wrapped up in more supernatural shit."
Bruno knocked on wood. "Don't jynx it."
"Whoa." I grabbed his arm and turned it over, only to see a brand new tattoo at his wrist. "Um, when the hell did you get a new one and not tell me?" I noticed it was what appeared to be a Libra scale with the words 'Mind' and 'Heart' written in gothic script on each scale respectively. The scale with 'Heart' was raised a little higher than 'Mind'.
"I was gettin to it, relax baby." He smiled, "Sick isn't it?"
"It's sweet but...how is it possible? Wouldn't your healing push the new ink out of the skin or something?" I asked, tracing the scales with my fingertips.
"It does...unless you go to a shop that specializes in vampires." He said challengingly. "They use colored Shifter blood, since our bodies can't process it, and a silver needle so it gets underneath the burn. It hurts like hell but damn I wanted this since before I got turned...I didn't turn down the chance to get it now."
Bruno pointed to each scale, "See, I'm always goin back and forth between my mind and my heart when it comes to making decisions in my life; and everytime a decision has benefited me, it's defied logic in most people's brains and always been made with my heart. I got it to remind myself to always go with my heart first, but not to leave my mind too far behind." He paused, looking up at me with his chocolate eyes twinkling as I listened to him intently.
"It's also a pun on me being a Libra."
I released his hand. "How do you think of these things?" I asked in awe.
"A lot of time on the road." He replied. "Did you make me dinner?" He asked playfully as I ate more of my salad.
I glanced at him out of my side view. "No sneak bites!" I set my fork down. "Here." I offered him my wrist and he took it, opting instead to pull me closer to him and push my head aside to reveal my neck instead.
"Bru!" I fought with him and he laughed.
"You're fiesty tonight." He said.
I wriggled out of his grip and faced him, standing between his legs as I kissed him lightly. "I gave you my wrist because...I've got to visit my family tomorrow." When he stopped smiling, I continued hesitantly. "I was hoping...you'd come too?"
He looked a bit taken aback, and I couldn't blame him. He hadn't even seen his own family yet, let alone mine. "Are you sure that's a good idea? I mean Rox, I love your family but-"
"Look, I know it's gonna be hard but it's better for us to just get it over with right? I mean, it's not like they don't know...my mother practically breathes E! News." I held his face in my hands, running my thumbs across his defined cheekbones.
"I need you."
He pulled me into a hug. "Alright, alright I'll go."