8 Years Later ...
And here we are. Eight years later. Winter of 2019. A lot has changed since we last saw our beloved family.
What exactly has changed? Patience. We are going to take it step by step, starting with Stefan of course. The main character of this book, who, at this very moment, is at his bachelor pad, where he has been living for the last four years after his breakup with Aphrodite- his really big and bad breakup.
Before that, he lived with her, in a wonderful studio downtown. They moved there as soon as they turned 18 and stayed together for two whole years, until ...
Oh, no. Not so fast. We will find out later what happened then. For now, you are gonna have to make do with this ...
~ SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 23rd, 2019 ~
~ STEFAN’s BACHELOR PAD ~
~ EARLY AFTERNOON ~
We are in Stefan’s apartment, and in particular, in his bedroom.
Stefan, who, 24 years old now, has grown up enough and, at least on the outside, is exactly like his father. A God. An earthly god with amazing violet eyes and a body to die for, which sends thrills up the spine of women, and not just that, in his path. As his godfather- our beloved Matt- says he is the same model, but in a much more improved version. He is ... Hey! Hey! Maybe I should just stop right here, because if I keep talking about how fucking good Stefan is, I’m gonna need a lot of words more.
Well... He just woke up after a pretty wild night in the Lair. Do you remember the Lair? The Wolf’s Club? Oh, yeah. Sebastian’s (Ah! ). It has become Stefan’s haunt. You will understand later the reason for this.
Like I said, he just woke up and hangs loose in his bed, trying to throw off the hangover and remember what exactly happened last night and how the hell he got home.
Stefan : Fuck! My head is killing me. How much did I drink last night? What the hell happened? How did I get here? Who is gonna make me coffee?
Be careful what you wish for, Stefan. The universe is there, and sometimes it hears. Like now. Before he can finish his sentence, the bedroom door opens and Cecilia, his sister, invades the room with steam coming out of her ears.
Cecilia : What the hell, Stefan?
Before we go on, let’s talk a little bit about Cecilia. She is 22 years old and just gorgeous. She looks a lot like her mother Mary, but she also has got something from her father. Such as, the brown eyes with the golden highlights in. She has got many conquests on the opposite sex, but for some reason that only she knows, she doesn’t want anyone. She never had an affair so far, something that worries her mother and makes her father pretty happy. When someone asks her, she says she just doesn’t want anyone. But I’m sure there is something else behind this. Maybe something about Jason, Stefan’s best friend, who, as we will see below, is still in love with her, but she doesn’t even talk about a relationship with him. Complicated stuff, I suppose. Anyway. Let’s go back to our story now.
Cecilia : What the hell, Stefan? How many times have I told you to gather your stupid friend?
Stefan turns his head slowly and looks at her, running his hand through his hair and puffing.
Stefan : Good morning to you, too, Bubblegum.
Cecilia : Good morning? Look around you, you jerk. It’s peak afternoon.
Stefan : Afternoon? What the fuck? What time is it? What day?
Cecilia rolls her eyes.
Cecilia : Unbelievable. What is wrong with you, Jellybean? This is not who you really are. How did you end up like this? That fucking bitch is responsible for all this. She broke you. If I ever get my hands on her ...
Stefan is banging his fist on the nightstand.
Stefan : Shut the fuck up! Don’t talk about her like that.
Cecilia : Oh, really? The slut hurt my brother. I can say what the fuck I want about her.
Stefan : Please, Ceci.
He is looking at her with his beautiful eyes filled with sorrow and her heart melts. She runs and hugs him.
Cecilia : I'm sorry, Stef. I shouldn't have said that. I shouldn't have said anything.
Stefan : It’s ok.
Cecilia : It is definitely not ok but now is also not the time to talk about it. We need to talk about your stupid friend. I’m gonna make you a strong coffee with a lot of sugar and something salty to eat. You take a shower and come find me in the kitchen.
Stefan : Shower? Why? Do I smell bad?
Cecilia : Actually, no offense, but you stink. You smell like a liquor store and a smoke shop together. What the fuck did you do last night?
Stefan : I have no idea. All I remember is that I went to the Lair. Nothing else. I don’t even know how I got here.
Cecilia : Yeah. Let’s not let Mom know about this, ok?
Stefan : Ok.
Laughing, Cecilia goes to the kitchen and Stefan runs into the bathroom.
~ SOME TIME LATER ~
Stefan, all cleaned up and smelling nice, enjoys his meal, while Cecilia walks up and down, grumbling.
Stefan : Since you were kind enough to make me this nice meal, will you let me eat it in peace?
Cecilia : You know that when I’m angry, I’m not that easy to pin down. I can’t help it.
Stefan : Ok, Bubblegum. Come on, hit me. Why are you angry? You said something about Jason before. What did he do to you this time?
She gives him her tablet.
Cecilia : Take a look at this.
Stefan : What is this?
Cecilia : An interview with your friend.
Stefan : Did Jason give an interview? Why?
Cecilia : Because he is the person closest to the city’s most eligible and hot bachelor. That’s why.
Stefan is sneering.
Stefan : That is not me.
Cecilia : Are you kidding me? Of course you are. What world are you living in, boy?
Stefan : In my own, apparently.
Cecilia : Anyway. Read what this idiot says about me.
Stefan : About you?
Cecilia : Yes. There, towards the end. Just read.
He, drinking his coffee, reads Jason’s interview.
But before we read the interview along with Stefan, we will talk a little bit about Jason.
Jason Smith, 25 years old. Stefan’s best friend for the last 17 years. He has, literally, grown up in the family’s house, and all of them love him as if he is really their own child. All of them? Hmm ... Not exactly, but it’s not the time to talk about it. He is fatherless, since that bastard left him and his mother when Jason was only 7 years old. This incident has left a deep wound in his heart, but, with Stefan’s help, he managed to overcome his depression and become a charming young man, very successful in his work as a personal trainer.
He has, and not without reason, many amorous feats and there has been a lot of women in his bed so far. But that’s it. Just sex and sex alone. None of them could get into his heart because it is already occupied by Cecilia. Oh, yeah. He is in love with her since he first saw her when he was 8 and she was 6 years old. Since then, he is next to her like a big brother, waiting. He waits for the great moment she will fall into his arms and make him the happiest man in the world. Until her teens, everything indicated that she had the same feelings for him, but suddenly, when she was 14 years old, things changed just as her behavior towards him. She started to avoid him and not want to have anything to do with him. No one knows why and she keeps her lips sealed. Who knows? But he waits and he is gonna wait, as he says, until the end of the world. If he is not with her, he is never going to be with anyone else. How romantic is that? My poor Jason. Anyway. Let’s go back to the interview ...
Reporter : Let’s talk a little bit about you now, Jason. Is there a special woman in your life?
Jason : Actually, there is. For many years.
Reporter : Will you talk to us a little bit about her?
Jason : I could talk about her for years. She is the most beautiful, sweetest, kindest, most intelligent woman in the world. Her eyes are clean and innocent, but they have the power to drive you crazy when sunlight is reflected in them, and they become gold. When she smiles, two adorable dimples are formed on her cheeks, and as for the rest, her body ... objectively speaking as a personal trainer, she is so sexy that she could lure a saint straight down into the fiery cauldrons of hell.
Reporter : Objectively speaking ...
Jason : Always.
Reporter : From the way you talk about her, it’s obvious your feelings are strong enough.
Jason : It goes deeper than that. I love her ever since I was a little kid. She is the woman of my life. If I’m not with her, I’m never going to be with anyone else.
Reporter : That is so sweet. Are you going to tell us the name of that lucky woman?
Jason : Why not? She already knows so ... her name is Cecilia.
Reporter : Wait a minute. Are you talking about Cecilia Harronate? Stefan’s sister?
Jason : Exactly.
Reporter : Does that mean you two are together?
Jason : No. Not yet at least. But I’m trying ...
Stefan puts the tablet down and breaks into unrestrained laughter.
Stefan : The son of a bitch! Oh, my God. This is fucking awesome!
Cecilia : Are you laughing? Stop it. This is not funny at all. He said my name. My full name.
Stefan : You are right. This is not just funny. This is fucking hilarious.
Cecilia : Wait till our dad read the interview and see then how hilarious it will be. He will bury him alive, the least.
Stefan stops laughing, wiping the tears from his eyes.
Stefan : I really didn’t think of that.
At that time, Stefan’s cell phone is starting to ring with the special ring tone he has chosen for Jace’s calls.
* It’s the eye of the tiger ... it’s the thrill of the fight ... Risin’up to the challenge of our Rival.
And the last known survivor stalks his prey in the night ... And he’s watching us all with the eye of the tiger. *
Stefan : Speak of the devil!
Cecilia : Shit! Pick it up and do your thing, Tiger. Calm him down before we become the next CSI episode.
Stefan : That is a bit much, don’t you think?
He gets his cell phone and his coffee, leaps on the counter and answers the call.
Stefan : Hello, Dada!
Jace : Oh, no. Don’t Dada me because it won’t work this time. I’m not going to calm down until I bury this son of a bitch alive, six feet under the ground and plant a cypress tree over his grave.
This is Jace, my Beautiful Readers. The great Jace Harronate. The great Jace Harronate, who, even now, in his 50s - 51 to be exact- remains the same as he was in his youth. A God. An almighty god who is still in love to death with his Angel. A god who, when someone dares even think of hurting his family, does not hesitate to throw his lightning bolt and burn to the ground any kind of threat. And when Jace is in this state, the only thing that can calm him down is his firstborn son, activating the strange connection there is between these two since Stefan was still in his mother’s womb. Why do you think Cecilia ran to Stefan for help, huh?
Stefan : Dada! Dada! Listen to me. You really need to calm down. Seriously. Put your shovel down and let’s talk a little bit.
Jace : Of course I will. I will calm down when I kill your friend who dared to slander your sister’s name.
Stefan : Come on. I just read the interview. He didn’t slander her at all. He just told the truth, Dada. Your Precious is really a catch.
Jace : Well, you are right about that, but still ...
Stefan : Let me talk to him.
Jace : That is not good enough for me, Tiger. I wanna see blood flow. His blood.
Stefan : Ok. I’m gonna kick his ass and force him to apologize to Ceci. Is that enough to satisfy your bloodthirsty instincts?
Jace : If you make him bleed, yes.
Stefan : Deal.
Stefan, smiling, winks at Cecilia, and she exhales with an air of relief.
Stefan : Well. I'm gonna keep Ceci here for tonight and tomorrow we will come together for the family dinner.
Jace : She is there, huh? I knew she would come to you for help. Anyway. I caution you, Tiger. Watch out for my Precious. Don’t leave her alone in the same room with that weirdo. Keep him away from her.
Stefan : Yes, Sir. Rest assured and give Mama a kiss for me.
Jace : I will certainly do that and many, many other things.
Stefan : Ew! Too much information, Dada.
Jace : Bye, Tiger. See you tomorrow. I love you.
Stefan : To the moon and back. Bye, Dada.
Stefan terminates the call and looks at Cecilia.
Stefan : Well, I guess that is settled. You owe me, little sister.
Cecilia : I know that very well. Thanks, big brother.
Stefan : Come and give me a kiss.
He opens his arms and she sneaks in there, kissing his cheek.
Cecilia : What now?
Stefan : Let me make one more phone call, and then we can do whatever you want.
Cecilia : Aren’t you going out tonight?
Stefan : No. I’m not in the mood. I would rather spend the night with a woman who is really worth it.
Cecilia : Who?
Stefan : You, sweet Bubblegum.
Cecilia : Mmm ... What if the women are two?
Stefan : Even better.
Cecilia : Perfect. I’m gonna call Loucy. The three of us on the couch, a horror movie on the big screen, lights out and a huge popcorn bowl. Like when we were kids. Do you remember?
Stefan : Of course I remember. You two jumped on me on every scary scene.
She pierces his ribs with her elbow.
Stefan : Ouch!
Cecilia : We were just little girls, you idiot.
Stefan : Sure.
As Cecilia goes to call Loucida, Stefan puts the phone on his ear again, after he called his best friend’s number, who picks it up after the first ring.
Jason : Hey, Sunshine. Did you recover from last night’s binge drinking?
Stefan : Cut the crap, you fucking asshole and tell me what the fuck were you thinking when you did what you did?
Jason : Come again? What the fuck are you talking about, shithead?
Stefan : I’m talking about the stupid interview you gave.
Jason : Did you read it? Well said, right?
Stefan : Oh, yeah. I did, but not just me.
Jason : What do you mean? Who else?
Stefan : My father, moron.
Jason : Fuck! I didn’t know he is reading web magazines.
Stefan : Of course he does. What do you think he is? Some sort of prehistoric dinosaur?
Jason : Shit! Shit! Shit! How bad is it?
Stefan : I will tell you this. I saved you from death’s door once again. He wanted to bury you alive, six feet under the ground and plant a cypress tree over your grave. You owe me, asshole.
Jason : Your dad is always so kind. Anyway. Thanks, buddy.
Stefan : Skip the thank-yous and get your ass over here.
Jason : Now?
Stefan : Yes, you idiot. Now. Ceci is here and she is gonna stay the night. You have to apologize if you want to have a chance with her.
Jason : Ok, but ... why are you doing this? I mean, usually the big brothers don’t want their sisters to get involved with their buddies.
Stefan : After all these years, haven’t you realized that I’m not like the others? I want the best guy for my sister and who is better than my bro?
Jason : Oh!
Stefan : Yeah, well. Wipe your tears, princess, and move your freaking ass.
Jason : I’m on my way.
Stefan : Grab some beers.
Jason : Sure.
~ A FEW MINUTES LATER ~
Stefan sits in the armchair, fiddling with his cell phone while Cecilia is in the kitchen, making popcorn. A butter smell wafts through the air, and Stefan lifts his head and takes a sniff.
Stefan : God! I love that smell!
Cecilia is popping her head out of the kitchen door.
Cecilia : What did you say?
Stefan : Nothing, Bubblegum. Just that I like having you around.
DING DONG ... DING DONG
Cecilia : Open up. Loucy is here.
Stefan : How did she come so fast? Did she ride a rocket or something?
Cecilia : She was nearby when I called her.
Stefan gets up and opens the door. The beautiful face of Loucida, behind it, has a huge wicked smile on it.
Loucida, also 22 years old, is an exact replica of Mary when she was her age. Her beauty has nothing to do with Cecilia’s beauty. Loucida is sexy and she knows it. Her good looking, her amazing violet eyes, and the fact that she is the daughter of the city’s hottest gay couple, has made her an eligible bachelorette. But that is not all. Her career as a model is at its zenith. She already has got countless fashion shootings and advertisements in her assets, as well as many appearances on famous Fashion House’s catwalks. But her biggest dream is to walk a runway along with Daddy Matty, whom she literally adores. Of course, she loves Daddy Alex and has a wonderful relationship with him. But Daddy Matty is something else. And as for her relationship with Stefan ... What can I say? You will see and understand.
Loucida : Hi, Mr. Hot CEO.
Stefan sours his face.
Stefan : Are you gonna cut this shit off?
Loucida : To your utter frustration, no. Come on, give me a kiss. I haven’t seen you in three days. I missed your pretty face.
Stefan hugs her and kisses her forehead.
Stefan : I missed you too, Little Thing.
She is throwing something in the air, and Stefan catches it. As soon as he sees what it is, he is looking at Loucida, puzzled.
Stefan : How is that possible?
Loucida : Negro brought it this morning. Luckily, I saw him before he enters the Palace. If Mama Mary found out that he had to get your car keys last night and bring you home half-asleep and drunk as fuck, you would have a big problem. You owe me, Pretty Boy.
Stefan : Hmm ... So, that is how I came home, huh? Lovely! Who else knows about this?
Loucida : Wolf. Negro couldn’t keep it a secret from the Big Boss, but don’t worry. I made him promise not to say anything to Mama.
Stefan : Shit! Whatever. What about the car? Where is it now?
Loucida : In your garage. Negro took me to the club and I brought it here. You are welcome.
Stefan : Thank you, Little Thing.
Loucida : But don’t think even for a fucking second you are out of the hook. You and I will talk very seriously about your wayward life eventually. Whatever. Where is Ceci?
Stefan : Kitchen, baby. Popcorn. Can’t you smell it?
Loucida : Great! What shall we watch? I’m in a mood to scream.
Cecilia comes out of the kitchen, holding a huge bowl full of fresh, hot and salty flavoured popcorn.
Cecilia : I hope you mean to scream out of fear and not something else from your usual stuff. You know ... dirty.
Loucida : Yeah, I wish, but right now, the only hot guy around happens to have the same mother as me.
Stefan : Very funny, Little Thing.
Cecilia : Hey! Don’t you two start.
Stefan : Don’t tell me. She started, ok?
Loucida : Come on. You know me. I’m dying to tease my big brother. It is my guilty pleasure.
Stefan : I really wonder how Alex’s sperm and my mother’s egg could have possibly created an exact replica of G-Man.
Cecilia : You and me both.
Loucida : This, my dear silly teddy bears, even science can’t explain it.
They all laugh. Right after, the two girls sit on the couch, putting Stefan between them. He throws his arms over their shoulders.
Loucida : And how are you supposed to eat popcorn without your hands?
Stefan : Easy-peasy. I don’t need my hands when I have you two. Come on, women. Feed your man.
Cecilia : Yeah, right. Keep telling yourself that, you spoiled brat.
Stefan : Come on. Mom always feeds Dad.
Loucida : Yeah, but we are not your chicks, dork. We are your sisters.
Stefan : And Lois is also doing it.
Cecilia : She is feeding Wolf, not her brother.
Stefan : This is irrelevant.
The doorbell interrupts their conflict.
DING DONG ... DING DONG
Loucida : Are we expecting someone else?
Cecilia : As far as I know, no.
Stefan : Go open the door, Ceci.
Cecilia : Why me?
Stefan : Do as I say and don’t ask.
Loucida : What have you done?
Stefan : Nothing bad.
Cecilia : Stef, I swear. If behind the door is the one I suspect, I’m going to kick your stupid ass.
Cecilia goes to the door, opens it, sees who is behind, and she is slamming it again. Jason’s cry of pain sounds right behind it.
Jason : Damn it! My nose!
Stefan is running at the door, and Loucida starts laughing.
Stefan : For fuck’s sake, Ceci!
Loucida : Poor Jason!
Cecilia : Why did you do that, Stef?
Stefan opens the door and finds his friend holding his bleeding nose with one hand while in his other hand has a six-pack of beers and a big box. Do you remember Jace’s wish for blood? Here it is. Poor Jason!
Stefan : Fuck, bro. You are bleeding.
Jason : Come on. It is nothing. I had worse.
Stefan : Cut the crap and come in. Loucy, get some ice.
Loucida runs in the kitchen.
Jason : Better not. Give me the ice and I will go. Considering the door on my face, I’m unwelcome. We will talk later.
Stefan is looking daggers at Cecilia, who keeps her head down.
Stefan : This is my fucking house, and I decide who is welcome and who is not. I said come in. We have to stop the bleeding.
Jason : No need. Really. It will stop soon. Take these.
Stefan : I don’t give a fuck about these. I care about you.
Stefan is taking the beers and the box, and he is ready to throw them on the floor.
Jason : No! Watch out the box!
Stefan : What the fuck is in there, and you care more about it than your bleeding nose?
Jason : Ceci’s favorite donuts. I bought them for her. I know how much she likes to eat them with popcorn.
Loucida, who has come back with the ice, gives it to Jason.
Loucida : Ah, John-John.
Stefan is giving the box to Ceci.
Stefan : Here, sister. Bon fucking appetit. I hope you enjoy your bloody sweet.
Cecilia’s bottom lip is quivering, and she is ready to cry, but Stefan is too furious to notice. His voice is harsh and Cecilia, knowing that her brother is like their father, and so you have to stay away when they are in this state, gets the box and takes a step back. But Jason is there, and he does what he was doing all these years. He gets in the way and defends her even if it’s really her fault.
Jason : Cut it out, Stef. Don’t talk to her like that. You are scaring her. She is ready to cry. Besides, it’s not her fault. It’s fucking mine. I came here knowing she doesn’t want to see me.
Stefan : You shut the fuck up and come with me. I’m not gonna let You bleed to death on my fucking doorstep.
He grabs Jason’s jacket and, literally, drags him into the bathroom, slamming the door behind them. Cecilia sits on the couch, holding the box with the donuts in her hands. Loucida goes and sits next to her.
Cecilia : I screwed up for good this time, huh?
Loucida : I’m not gonna lie to you. Yes. You did. What would possess you to slam the door on his face?
Cecilia : I don’t know. I was surprised to see him.
Loucida : Honestly, I don’t get it. He is in love with you for so many years. He treats you like a queen. He pampers you, and always takes your side, even when you are wrong. Not to mention how incredibly hot he is. Why do you despise him so much?
Cecilia : Who told you I despise him?
Loucida : Then why don’t you give him a shot? Why don’t you want him?
Cecilia : Who told you I don’t want him?
Loucida, not believing what she just heard, shakes her head, completely confused.
Loucida : I’m sorry ... WHAT?
Cecilia : Drop it, Loucy. It is complicated.
Loucida : No fucking way! Spit it all out. No matter how complicated it is, we will figure something out.
Cecilia opens the box and her eyes get wet with tears. There are all her favorite donuts in there. Not even a wrong one. He knows her so damn well. Maybe better than she knows herself. She is offering Loucida the box.
Cecilia : Want one?
Loucida : No, thank you. Save it for later. I’m sure I’m gonna need something to get over the shock feeling. Now talk!
Cecilia bites a donut, the one with the chocolate glaze and the rainbow sprinkles. She savors the sweet taste and tears roll down her cheeks.
Cecilia : A while back, you asked me why I have never been in a relationship with anyone, and I told you I haven’t found someone worthy.
Loucida : Yes. So?
Cecilia : I lied. There is another reason.
Loucida : Jason?
Cecilia : Yes. It’s him. It has always been him. At first, I saw it as a game. We were just kids. I couldn’t understand. But suddenly, in high school, when I first saw him kissing another girl, I became insanely jealous and then, I realized that what I felt about my brother’s best friend was more than just friendship. It was love. I love him, Loucy. I have always loved him, but I just ...
Loucida : Why didn’t you tell him anything? When you realized your real feelings, I mean.
Cecilia : Because, apart from my love, I realized something else that scared me to death.
Loucida : What?
Cecilia : That if I and he did get involved and something went wrong, his friendship with Stefan would be ruined. Jason would be against his best friend, and Stefan would have to choose between me and his buddy. And all that because of me, you know? I would never do that to either of them. They are too important to each other. I would never get in between them. I couldn’t bear that, and then I decided to sacrifice my love to save their friendship.
Cecilia puts the box on the coffee table and plunges her face into her hands, bursting into sobbing. Loucida embraces her shoulders.
Loucida : Ah, Ceci! How could you do that?
Cecilia : You can’t imagine how hard it was to pretend all these years. Seeing him with other women... Having him next to me and not be able to touch him. He tells me he loves me, and I have to reject him. Being a bitch to him when all I want is to give myself to him.
Loucida : I can’t believe it.
Cecilia : Right now, I’m dying to run in the bathroom, fall at his feet and ask him to forgive me for all that I did to him. I want to sneak into his arms and never get out of there again. Tell me I shouldn’t do this. Tell me it’s wrong. Tell me I have to forget him. Please, Loucy ... Tell me!
Loucida gets up and starts going back and forth, running her hands through her hair.
Loucida : I’m sorry, Ceci, but I can’t tell you that.
Cecilia is looking at her sister, confused, wiping her tears.
Cecilia : What is that supposed to mean?
Loucida : That means all this time you are talking shit!
Cecilia : What?
Loucida : What you heard! Damn it, Ceci. You are a fucking idiot. You are repressing yourself and torturing a good guy who loves you for something that might or might not happen. You say you are afraid that if something goes wrong between you and Jason, his friendship with Stefan will be ruined. Maybe you are right, but what if nothing goes wrong? How can you be sure something is gonna go wrong? How? What if everything goes well? Why do you lose the chance to be with someone as good as Jason? Why do you force yourself to lose an amazing man who- who knows? - maybe is the man of your life? You have the happiness at your feet and you kick it away, Ceci. Think for yourself, please!
Loucida’s lecture is interrupted by the return of Stefan and Jason to the living room. One is still furious and the other has no more blood running out of his nose. Stefan is addressing Cecilia, pointing his finger at her.
Stefan : I will never forgive you for what happened. Okay, Ice Queen, you don’t like Jason, I get that. It is your right, but you have no fucking right to treat him like shit. Apologize to him right now or you will have to do with me. Did you hear me, you little fool?
Jason : Stef, please. Leave her alone. There is no need for an apology.
Stefan : You stop. I know what I’m doing. Somebody ought to bust some sense into her hard-boned head.
Loucida : Actually, Stef, you better stop. You don’t know what is really going on here.
Cecilia : Loucy, no!
Stefan : Yes, Loucy. Stay out of this.
Jason : Guys, please. Look at her. She is about to collapse. Stef, back off! What is done is done. I have forgotten about it already.
Stefan : Stop being so soft on her. She is not made of glass. She is not gonna fucking break!
Jason : Look. Let’s just put it behind us, okay? I will be off now, and you are gonna enjoy the movie as you would have done before I came. We will talk tomorrow after your family dinner.
Loucida : Why don’t you stay and watch the movie with us?
Jason : I would like that, but I probably shouldn’t. I don’t want to put Ceci in an even more difficult position to tolerate my presence. And, between you and me, I can’t afford losing more blood tonight.
Jason is trying to laugh to show everyone he doesn’t care, but he is not doing very well. His eyes, as he looks at Cecilia, betray the truth. A truth that everyone can see. He is hurt.
Jason : So, bye to you all and have fun. Give Mama Mary a kiss for me.
Stefan : I will call you later, buddy.
Loucida : Bye, John- John.
Jason gives one last look at Cecilia, still hoping for something but she doesn’t answer. She doesn’t even look at him. She keeps her head down and her mouth shut. Stefan rolls his eyes, frustrated, and Loucida looks at her with disappointment. Jason shrugs his shoulders and goes to the door but the moment he is ready to touch the knob ...
Cecilia : Jason, please don’t go.
He freezes with his hand hanging over the doorknob. He turns the head and looks at Cecilia. He is trying to swallow the lump that clogs his throat.
Jason : Give me a reason to stay.
Without anyone waiting for it, let alone Jason himself, Cecilia runs and grabs the lapel of his jacket. Pushing him, she pins him against the wall, rises up on her toes and sticks her mouth on his own. Stefan, seeing the scene, goggles his eyes and opens his mouth like a fish. Loucida shouts for joy.
Stefan : What the fuck is going on here?
Loucida : Are you blind or something? She is kissing him. Oh, my God, at last!
Stefan : What am I supposed to do now? Punch him? Locked her in the basement? I don’t even have a basement.
Loucida : Just come with me.
Stefan : But-
Loucida : Shut up, Pretty Boy.
Stefan : Fuck! Dad is going to kill me, sure enough.
Loucida : It doesn’t matter. It will be worth it.
Stefan : Huh?
Loucida, excited about Cecilia’s move, takes Stefan’s hand and pulls him into the kitchen, giving the future couple the necessary privacy.
Jason, in the first few minutes, startled by Cecilia’s attack, stays absolutely still, with his arms pinned to his side, and his lips hermetically closed. He is even afraid to breathe so as not to scare her and change her mind, but when she insists on keeping her lips glued up on his own, he finds the courage to finally do what he always dreamed of since he was 8 years old ... to kiss her like there is no tomorrow.
He raises his hands and puts them in her soft hair. His lips open and he pushes his tongue in, parting hers. He starts to tease her with gentle sweeps, and she reaches out, clenching his jacket and pulling him closer. She deepens the kiss, and he wants to scream. Her tongue slips inside his mouth, and she feels his deep moan. His hands go low, touching the skin between her blouse and her pants. She wraps her arms around his neck and sticks her body even more on his own. Her breasts are pressed on his pecs and she feels his rapid heartbeat.
The kiss is so deep that neither of them knows whose air they breathe anymore. It contains all the love and the hunger they felt all these years for each other. They have to stop when there is no more oxygen in their lungs.
Breathing heavily, Cecilia touches her cheek on Jason’s chest and he runs his hand through her hair, kissing the top of her head.
Jason : Even if I lose my memory, I swear, I will never forget our first kiss.
Cecilia : Will you stay, huh? You are not leaving, are you? Tell me you will stay.
Jason : To go where, baby? There is nothing for me out there. All my world is here with you. Just you.
Cecilia : I’m sorry, Jason. I’m so sorry for everything. When I explain ... I have so much to tell you.
He seizes her in a tighter hug.
Jason : Shh! Not now, baby. We have all the time in the world for this. All I want now is to keep you in my arms so that I can believe that what I’m living is real and not just another dream.
She, verging on bliss ecstacy in his arms, lightly pinches his incredibly tight butt ( !!! ), giggling.
Jason : Hey! Why did you do that?
Cecilia : To help you believe this is not a dream.
Holding her shoulders, he gently pushes her back so he can look at her. His eyes plunge into hers.
Jason : You are making fun of me, aren’t you?
She is smiling mischievously, biting her bottom lip.
Cecilia : Just a little bit.
He is pouting his lips.
Jason : Very well then. Remember that you asked for this.
Cecilia : For what?
Grabbing her ass, he lifts her up, turns her around and pins her up against the wall. She screams because he caught her unaware, but instinctively, her legs are being wrapped around his waist, drawing him more on her. He kisses her again, but this kiss is different. It is fiercer, more brutal, more demanding and even much better than the first. Things between them would definitely spin out of control if Stefan and Loucida didn’t enter the room, forcing them to distance from each other.
Stefan : Ok, horny rabbits. Time to stop.
Loucida : Stefan! You promised!
Stefan : I promised not to blow smoke up their asses, not let this perv deflower my sister against my fucking wall.
Loucida rolls her eyes.
Loucida : It’s like seeing Uncle Jace.
Cecilia : Oh, God! Daddy. What are we gonna say to him? He will send me straight to the nuns.
Stefan : Now you care about Daddy? When you attacked my buddy, didn’t you think of him?
Loucida : For crying out loud, Pretty Boy.
Jason : Stefan, buddy, maybe I should explain. I mean ...
Stefan glares at Jason, but he can’t hold on for long and he smiles wide.
Stefan : Shut up, you idiot. I’m just kidding. I’m very happy for you two. Shit! I have been trying for this for so long.
He approaches and embraces them both.
Stefan : But, just for the record, I’m going to make fun of you for the next ten years.
Jason : It’s ok, buddy. Now that I have everything I have ever wanted, I can handle anything.
Loucida : Even the Prince’s wrath?
Jason : Yeah. Even that.
Stefan : Just leave the Prince to me. I will take care of him.
Cecilia : Thank you, Stef. You are the best brother in the world.
Stefan : I know that, but if I ever see you play piggyback with him, I’m gonna whup your ass. Are we clear, Bubblegum? Even I have my limits.
Cecilia : Crystal, but can you define these limits? Are we talking about the limits that Dad has about Lois and Sebastian?
Stefan : For God’s sake, No. Of course not.
Cecilia : Damn it!
Jason : I really like Sebastian. This man - how to say it? - has unlimited imagination.
Stefan : Yeah. Tell me about it. When they lived in our house, my room was next to theirs, and they had a preference for the balcony, especially when the moon was full. If you know what I mean.
Loucida : We certainly know.
Cecilia : All of us.
Jason : Good times!
They laugh more.
~ LATE AT NIGHT ~
The two girls sleep in Stefan’s bed while the boys hang out in the living room along with a bottle of tequila.
Stefan : Well, bro? How are you feeling?
Jason : Are you really asking me? I’m dancing through the woods crazy happy. I have never been as happy as I am right now but-
Stefan : But what?
Jason : I’m a little worried.
Stefan : About what?
Jason : What if Ceci is right? What if one wrong step in our relationship ruins my friendship with you? I love her, but I don’t want to lose you.
Stefan is patting Jason’s back.
Stefan : Don’t worry about it, buddy. I’m sure your relationship will be perfect, but in the unlikely event that something goes wrong, whoever is to blame, I’m staying out of it. She will always be my sister, and you will always be my best friend. Nothing in the world can change that.
Jason : Can you promise that?
Stefan : I can. And you know I keep my promises.
Jason : I know.
Stefan : Then stop overthinking it and just enjoy your new relationship.
The two boys raise and clink their glasses.
Stefan : To you and Ceci!
Jason : To all of us!
They belt down the strong blend, wincing.
Jason : And now that I am out of the market, what about you?
Stefan : What about me? What are you talking about?
Jason : You know damn well. About your hot potato.
Stefan : Don’t go there, please. I have no desire to talk about her.
Jason : You never have.
Stefan : Can you blame me for that?
Jason : For that no but I can blame you for wasting your life for the sake of a worthless woman. For the sake of a fucking slut.
Stefan : Don’t talk about her like that.
Jason : Oh, really? The slut hurt my buddy. I can say what the fuck I want about her.
Stefan is smiling tired.
Jason : Why the smile, bro?
Stefan : Do you happen to know someone named Cecilia?
Jason : Why?
Stefan : Because she said exactly the same words at noon.
Jason : Because she is thinking right, Stefan, and deep down, you know it too.
Stefan : All I know is that I need to get drunk.
He fills his glass once again and drinks the content in one gulp. When he goes for the third drink, Jason puts his hand on the glass and takes the bottle out of his hand.
Jason : Ok. That’s enough. Drinking doesn’t help.
Stefan : You are wrong. It helps me a lot. It helps me not to remember. I don’t want to remember, Jay. It hurts when I remember.
Jason : I know, Stef, but you must remember. You need to remember to see the reality. To realize what kind of fucking shit she was and get her out of your head once and for all.
Stefan leans back and throws his head on the back of the couch.
Jason : Look, buddy. I’m your friend and I love you. It hurts to see you like this, and I want to help you, but when I try to do it, you don’t let me. You have built a fucking wall around your heart and you don’t let anyone get close to you. You are not even trying.
Stefan : Try to do what? What am I supposed to do?
Jason : Let your heart love again.
Stefan : I can’t.
Jason : You can, but you don’t want to. You are afraid of the disappointment. Stop associating with all those women that all they care about is your huge dick and your fat wallet and look for that one woman, the woman of your life.
Stefan : And what if this woman was ... her?
Jason jumps up, kind of furious, and starts yelling.
Jason : Are you fucking kidding me right now? You can’t even say her fucking name and you dare to think that she is the one? Wake up, Stefan. Remember what she did to you!