I was officially finished with my first tour and once I got back to America, I had to hit the studio with Ari, sans Phil and Bruno since they were still finishing out the last part of their tour. Funny how much I got done without their shenanigans, and when I listened to the finished demos of my album, I was near tears at how well my vision had come together.
I took a bit of a break the next few weeks....if you could call it that. I stepped back from the spotlight, save for a couple interviews concerning my engagement right when I returned, but Bruno wanted us to wed as soon as he was off tour, so we Skype’d as often as possible while I took care of wedding planning.
I’ve got to admit, that was the best part of my “break” to me. I was spending time in the beautiful city of Ibiza, and it was paradise twenty four seven. Literally twenty four seven, as the electronic lounge scene was fantastic...all..night...long...
Dressed in a flowing sundress and flats, I walked alongside the wedding planner as he explained everything about the locale to me and all the details we had gone over. “Here will be the seating for family, the Hernandez family over here and the Mays family over here.”
“What are we going to do about lighting? I meant to ask you that. I wanted something that isn’t blaring but still illuminated enough.” I asked, squinting at the setting sun in the distance. Although it was gorgeous, it was just not possible for it to be our backdrop.
“Of course, I had considered that Miss Roxanne, and I have come up with a few options. Here’s what I am thinking...globe lights. Very festive looking, they can be strung along the aisle and border the guest seating as well. Then in the sand, down the central aisle we can have cube lighting with rose designs.” Thomas, the wedding planner, showed me his portfolio with pictures of the lighting he was referring to. It all looked gorgeous.
“Ok and how much is that going to cost me?” I lifted a brow.
“Total? The lighting will be about $10,000.”
“You’re killing me, are we still on budget?” I groaned.
He nodded proudly, “We are under our $800,000 budget by about $100,000.” He reported.
“He set the budget too high, what was he thinking, giving me free reign to spend nearly a million dollars?” I sighed as Thomas and I walked over to the nearby Cafe that was playing eclectic lounge music. I loved the sensual sounds of Afterlife’s “Far Away” that were currently setting the mood this warm evening. We ordered a couple drinks and sat down at a small booth.
“He wants the best for his wife, of course.” Thomas said, his french accent heavy.
“I can’t believe this is really happening.” I smiled as I looked down at the mosaic designs in the table.
“It is a dream come true, and you have picked a beautiful place to have it.”
“It is really nice. He would’ve liked to have it in Hawaii though, I know him.” I shrugged, “But America hasn’t legalized these kinds of marriages yet, so what can we do, you know?”
Thomas nodded in understanding. “Ibiza is the next best thing, look at this place. It is a paradise.” He leaned forward as he continued, “Now...this guest list, have you finalized it yet?”
“I did, I think I did but Bruno’s acting weird about his mother coming.”
“Oh? She will be in attendance, correct? This is a big day for her child!” Thomas sipped his tea.
I pulled my hair over my shoulder, gently running my fingers through the strands. “Well she hasn’t seen him since he’s become a vampire. I’m not sure if they’re on legitimate speaking terms yet.”
Thomas frowned, “Oh. Does she not accept it?”
“I have no idea because he won’t explain anything to me. He just tells me that he’s going to handle it and he told me to put her down but if the wedding comes and she doesn’t show up...that’s gonna kill him.”
Bruno laid on his hotel bed, finally having time to himself after putting on another show. He had been spread thin between doing these performances, putting up with outlandish fan requests at meet and greets, and helping Roxanne with planning their wedding.
Not to mention his mother.
They had spoken to each other only a few times since his rebirth, and although she was more than pleased to have her son back...she remained stoic in their conversations, and made no effort to express a desire to see him. He eventually stopped calling home and hadn’t heard back since.
His mother had to have known about the engagement, it was all over TMZ and every other media outlet in existence. Yet, she had yet to call him about it.
He sat up straight immediately, hearing the cheery female voice on the other side of his hotel suite door. Without a reply, he vamped to the door and swung it open.
“Hey stranger.” There stood his ex girlfriend from when he still lived in Hawaii, Leilani. All smiles, glowing with happiness.
He couldn’t share the same feeling. “Wha-what are you doing here?” He asked. Why had she travelled from Hawaii to Puerto Rico, where the band was currently performing?
“A little birdie invited me.” She teased, edging past him into the hotel room. “Is that the first thing you’re gonna say to me after I haven’t seen you for almost ten years?”
He was still in shock and didn’t know whether to kick her out, or thank her for cheating on him so he could write‘Grenade’, which he owed a lot of his success to. “Lani, what do you expect me to say when you just show up at my hotel suite unannounced?” He said, closing the door behind him.
Leilani plopped onto the couch, stretching her long, bronze legs out and smiling, her teeth whiter than white and perfectly aligned. Her silky hair fell in dark black waves around her soft pacific islander features. “Am I gonna get a check for Grenade, or what?” She got to the subject before he could.
“That’s not funny, Lani. Why are you here? Seriously.” He asked, sitting across from her.
Leilani looked him up and down. “You look good, even better than when we were together. Hollywood got you in shape, huh?”
He clenched his fists at his sides. “I’m not going to ask you again.”
“Oh relax.” She waved her hand, “I have cousins here, and while I was visiting I got a little invitation to come see you.”
“Who invited you?”
“Are you really that upset to see me?” She sat up, now annoyed that he wasn’t the least bit happy about their reunion.
“Do you know what you did to me? You broke my heart, Lani, you stepped all over it and kicked it aside. You never looked back. Am I supposed to be jumping for fucking joy that you’re here for no reason?” He snapped. Leilani stood up and sauntered over to him, wearing her infamous puppy dog eyes as she walked her fingers up his chest.
“I messed up, ku`uipo--”
“Don’t call me that.” He abruptly stopped her hand from traveling any further.
She pouted, “You used to love when I called you that.”
“That was when I thought you loved me.” He replied. She moved her face closer to his, just inches away, and she still smelled like vanilla and coconut. The smell that used to drive him crazy when she would leave her precious scent on his pillows.
“I still do love you, Bruno.” Her lips were inches from his, when he felt his fangs eject into place against his will and he backed off.
Guilt washed over him and he hadn’t even done anything; because he knew that somewhere inside of him, this woman could still push all his right buttons, mere minutes within a reunion with him.
She touched his shoulder, her voice soft as she spoke, “What’s wrong? I’m not afraid of what you are, ku`uipo....”
“Stop calling me that!” He said, trying his damndest to retract his teeth. The longer they stay exposed, the more his hunger called out to him and the more his sexual desire rose in numbers that got harder to fight with each passing second. This was why he hated who he was, what he was.
It was as if Leilani knew this, as she knelt in front of him, looking into his eyes. “You don’t have to hide from me, I’m here for you, Bruno.” She placed her hands on both sides of his face as a smile grew across her lips. “I love you.”
Jason was stuck between a rock and a very hard place as he sat in front of JongHo and listened to his threats. On one hand, he could easily have fought the younger vampire, but for what? The elders on the Elitist council surely would have him killed, and continue with their agenda for world dominance.
“It seems to me as though you cannot get a handle on your progenies, Hendrickson. You can’t simply command the simple child to remove himself from the human?” JongHo complained, his upper lip twitching in annoyance.
“It is not that simple of a task, and even in doing so, he can only join your league of his own free will. His telekinetic ability has not been honed...he would be a liability to you at the moment.” Jason argued calmly.
“We do not need him at the moment, however the longer he spends time with his human-”
“Tell me, why are you so concerned about the girl?” Jason interrupted, causing JongHo’s eyes to narrow.
“She is a disruption to our plans--”
“Then why not kill her yourselves?” Jason challenged. He knew there was something off about the way the Elitists kept targeting Roxanne as though she were some huge obstacle, when in reality she was just a human that could be knocked off and they could continue on their way. And yet they kept threatening and threatening, as though they were bluffing now that Jason put enough thought into it.
Either she’s a valuable asset to them as a vampire as well, or something about her frightens them. The latter of which being extremely intriguing.
JongHo stood up, his lengthy cape flowing in the wind behind him. “We plan to, if she doesn’t heed our warning.” The younger vampire left the room in a gust of wind, and Jason’s phone began to ring.
“Hello?” He answered it.
“Just like that...hold it, hold it. Perfect!” The photographer snapped away at all kinds of different angles while Bruno and I stood outside near the pool of the beautiful Beverly Hills estate that our Essence photoshoot was stationed. “The fan, please.” He gestured for the assistant to turn on the fan, and my extensions smacked Bruno in the face.
He spattered and slapped my hair away. “Good God Rapunzel!” He laughed.
“Sorry!” I giggled as the makeup artist came over to readjust my hair so that it flowed nicely.
This was our last shot of the evening, and we had already conducted interviews earlier for the spread. I hadn’t seen Bruno since we parted ways in Tokyo, and now he had one last show to do in Brazil before he would have a break...during which, we would get married.
The date was set in stone, May 18th at 7pm. We had sent out invites and people were RSVP’ing like mad. I smiled to myself every time I thought of how amazing everything had turned out to be. There were no more disturbances from the Elitists, and we were left to focus on our careers and ourselves now.
Though, I couldn’t help but to notice, thanks to the strong blood bond between us...that Bruno seemed a little...well, I couldn’t put my finger on it, but there was something going on with him. I couldn’t let it get in the way of the shoot, however, so I chalked it up to problems with his mother...especially with the wedding date looming only a few weeks away.
I laid on the pool chaise lounge and the makeup artist came to readjust me again and to fix up Bruno as well as he stood behind me. I thought our little matching outfits were cute. Matching was something far to cheesy for us to have done on our own, but the stylists sure knew what they were doing tonight! I was dressed in a floor sweeping length red halter dress that had black rose detailing down both sides of the thigh high slit. My hair was free flowing right now (in earlier shots it had been slicked back in a ponytail). Bruno was styled in a black button down with a red tie that had a similar rose detailing at the bottom, and black slacks with some fly red Oxford shoes.
The photographer moved around, instructing his assistant to adjust lighting as needed before commenting, “These ones are hot! You two are killing the game!” He snapped a few more shots before glancing down through his camera display briefly. “Alright, that’s a wrap!”
“Sweet.” I held my hand out for a high five and Bruno just looked at it. “Alright, leave me hanging then, stupid.” I rolled my eyes and he grabbed me by my wrist and pulled me into a kiss, a la Tango style, his hand holding my lower back as I was bent backwards.
“NOW THAT IS OUR COVER!” The photographer yelled, and I noticed flashbulbs went off in a frenzy.
Bruno slowly helped me to my feet and I caught my breath. “Was that planned?” I looked around at the crew.
“No I didn’t plan that, I thought we were done.” Bruno chuckled with a shrug as the crew came to remove the furniture and start dismantling the set. I kicked my heels off, scurrying back to the dressing area so I could get changed back into my more comfortable clothes. He followed close behind me.
“Babe...I wanna talk to you about something.” He said, closing the door behind him. I looked up from the couch I was seated at, curiously.
“About...?” I asked cautiously. I knew there was something wrong with our vibe.
“Um...” He looked as if he were at a loss for words. “You know I’m honest with you about everything, right?”
“Are you asking me questions here Bru, or are you going to tell me what’s going on?” My heart skipped a little, and I hated that anxious feeling. My anxiety problems hadn’t been an issue for a while now; but conversations like this were liable to bring them back.
He bit his lip, dragging his hand down his face as he exhaled sharply. “I....I did something really fucked up a couple weeks ago.”
I stared at him, unable to comprehend what he was getting at because I know he wasn’t about to say that he cheated on me....right? There’s no way that this soon before our marriage he was wildin’ out like that, right?!
He grew more uncomfortable as I stared him down, so he began to aimlessly walk around. “I fed from another woman.”
My eyes narrowed slightly, “Were you at a vampire lounge?” I asked, attempting to be understanding about this. I knew he couldn’t starve just because I wasn’t around; though I would prefer if he drank from donated blood bags, or men.
He appeared even more nervous, and he loosened his tie as he swallowed and finally looked at me. “No.”
I grew quiet immediately as I faintly spoke the next question that I didn’t want to hear the answer to. “Then who?”
“One of my exes from Hawaii.” He finally admitted, and I blinked several times before the reality sunk in.
“Did you have sex with her?”
“No!” He said defensively. “No! I didn’t go that far babe, I swear I didn’t. She showed up at my hotel in Puerto Rico and...and I couldn’t get her to leave--”
I stood up and flung my necklace aside. “You’re a vampire! How could you let some human overpower you!? That’s bullshit Bruno and you know it! If you didn’t want her there, you could’ve physically removed her!” I started to get worked up and frenzied.
No...No, this wasn’t happening. No. Not right now, not today. No.
He came over to me, wrapping his arms around me as he apologized profusely. “Baby please, please forgive me. I’m sorry and I hate myself for doing that, I was so fuckin’ stupid--”
“Yes you absolutely were!” I screeched, slapping his arms away. I stepped close to him, looking him up and down, my upper lip pulled up in a snarl of disgust. “How did she taste? Was her blood sweeter than mine? I bet it was. Stupid bitch, I bet she tasted like your fucking childhood you fuckin--UGH!” I slapped him in the face and his fangs ejected as his jaw clenched.
“I shouldn’t have starved myself like that, but that wasn’t me, that was the vampire, Roxanne.”
“You are the vampire, Peter! There is no separation!” I shouted, infuriated as I whipped around and gathered my clothes, quickly stripping out of my dress to keep from damaging it.
“Yes there is...” He murmured as I pulled my jeans on and hooked my bra on too.
I had enough of it. “NO THERE ISN’T!”
He vamped over to me, holding my arms as he looked into my face. “Yes. Yes there is.” He said, his voice shaking. “I was not born a vampire. I'm still human inside of my mind, I’m just a victim to my circumstances. But this...” He let me go and I winced at the blood returning to the fingerprints of his tight grip as he continued,
“...this is not who I am.”
I rubbed my arms as he stared into the floor. “You told me. You told me how much it turned you on to feed. I’ve adapted to seeing my blood and feeling sexual excitement, because you’ve shown me the eroticism in it. The fact that you let a woman from your past get that kind of connection with you...that’s cheating Bruno.”
“It is.” He agreed, albeit hesitantly. He knew he couldn’t fight anymore.
“I need a drink.” I muttered, pulling on my jacket.
Bruno stopped me, “No.”
“Fuck you mean no?” I snatched my arm away.
“Roxy, you know how you are when you drink for the wrong reasons. I’m not gonna let you fall back into that.” He grasped me again and I yanked but this time he was using his supernatural strength to hold me and I was no competition to that whatsoever.
“Get off me!” I grasped the nearby silver bracelet and slammed it against his cheek and he released me with a hiss, stumbling down. I ran for the door but he vamped over and grabbed me, throwing me back onto the couch. The fighter in me wasn’t about to let him overrule me, vampire or not, and my anger far overrode my common sense at this point.
I got back on my feet and swung at him, but he ducked. I looked around the room for more silver and once I laid my eyes on it, I made a dash for it, but as soon as my hand enclosed around the chain, he had me pinned on the floor, his grip around my wrist so tight that I had to let go.
“Drop it.” He growled.
“No.” I said through clenched teeth, trying to fight his strength. I nearly gave up, when suddenly I felt a warmth in my chest and I exhaled, an energy poured out of me that sent him flying against the opposite wall. I pushed myself off the floor while he was down and kicked the fuck out of the coffee table, taking the sharp wooden leg that snapped off of it and I lunged for him, resting the tip of it over his heart as my chest heaved.
Sweat was pouring down both of us as we were filled with anger in that moment. “Go ‘head babygirl, do it.” He challenged.
“You want me to?” I breathed.
I flung the makeshift stake aside and grabbed him by his collar, crashing my lips against his. I cut my lower lip on his fangs and he eagerly licked at the blood as he held my face with his hands, kissing me deeper and rougher. I popped the buttons off of his button down, knowing the stylists were going to be pissed off, but I could give a fuck at that moment.
He shoved me down onto the hard, cold tiled floor and literally ripped my jeans apart while I kicked at his pants. He removed them the rest of the way, just down enough so he could thrust himself inside of me violently. I cried out in pain and pleasure at the harsh entry as he locked eyes with me.
“I-fucking-love-you....do you get it now?!” He grunted between each pelvic bruising thrust. “Do you!?” He asked when I didn’t reply.
I shoved him down onto the floor and started riding him, slamming my hips down on him at a vicious tempo. “I love you too...you know I do, damn it!” I snarled in return, leaning backwards so I could keep myself balanced by gripping his legs while he barraged me with thrusts.
“Bite me.” I enclosed my hand around his throat, whimpering as he impaled me deeper. “Bite me and show me that I taste better than that fucking whore!”
He flipped me over and pushed my knees up to my head as he sunk his fangs into my neck depravedly and I came, hard; digging my nails into his shoulderblades hard enough to draw blood, until the wounds healed. Then I did it again, harder this time. “Bruno!!!!!” I screamed, my body on fire with pleasure.
He pushed my legs back harder, lavishly drinking my coursing blood that I’m sure was gushing harder with my heart rate raised so high. He pulled back, crimson streams of liquid running down his mouth. “I’m gonna make you cum again.” He whispered, his voice low and rasped with desire.
“Make me.” I demanded. He vamped us over to the cosmetic counter and in one clean sweep, knocked over everything onto the floor, shoving my back against the mirror that clacked loudly against the wall as he sped up. He licked up the wounds of my neck, cleaning any spilled blood as he palmed my breasts, pinching my nipples. I threw my head back against the mirror and came a second time. He followed afterwards, halting as he came, my arms around him in an embrace, my face tucked into the crook of his neck.
“I finally have you to myself, and we can live semi-normal lives, I don’t want to lose you...I don’t, I can’t lose you again.” I said, my voice muffled by his skin, but tears welling up in my eyes. He remained inside of me, just holding me close, securely.
“It was a mistake, I have to accept what I am and do what I need to do to survive. I just...” His voice broke, “I thought if I fight it...maybe it’ll go away and...and maybe I can have my life back, have my family back. I thought this was all a bad dream.”
I pulled back and looked into his eyes, wiping the blood droplets that fell from his tear ducts. “Is this about your mother?” I asked as he did the same with my tears, wiping them away.
“Eric told me she might not come to the wedding because she’s not ready to see me like this yet. The last time she saw me was when my body was lowered into the ground.” He explained and I could hear the depression in his voice, this was really weighing in on him.
I held his face in my hands, kissing his nose. “Even if she doesn’t come to the wedding, Bruno, a mother will always love her child. She needs time to accept what you are, but she’ll come around. I know she will.” I consoled him, running my fingers up through his hair and pulling him into my neck as I hugged him.