The last day of the holiday rolled around all too quickly. While the grown-ups opted for an evening filled with fine dining, Louis took the teens to the Bluffs. Naturally Antoine had to tag along, prompting many eye rolls from Hallie.
A part of Hallie was almost glad the holiday was coming to its close; everyone seemed to be going crazy during their time in Windenburg. She hoped that once they returned home, things would go back to normal again, to the good old times when their only problem were Seraphina’s occasional temper tantrums.
She let out a sigh. One more night left… Hopefully she’d be able to spend it mixing music in peace. She glanced towards the portable DJ set with a grin.
Once verybody finished ooh-ing and aahing-ing at the lovely scenery of the Bluffs, Louis pulled Carly aside.
“Hey, I just wanted to clear up the air between us,” he got straight to the point. “I never meant to lead you on, so I’m sorry if I gave you the wrong impression.”
“Don’t worry about me, really,” Carly said quickly. “It’s not a big deal.”
“Well, I wanted you to know anyway though. I think you’re a sweetheart, and you’d be the first girl I’d date, but… I’m not exactly interested in dating any girls.”
Carly nodded. “You really don’t need to justify yourself. We’re good.”
“Friends?” He asked hopefully.
They took a few selfies before Louis went back to join the others. Carly stayed behind for a moment. The big smile she had to pull for the photos was painful.
It hadn’t particularly come as a surprise. And hearing Louis confirm it out loud should have made her feel better. But it didn’t. A rejection was still a rejection.
Somehow, the fact Louis was so considerate of her feelings seemed to make it all worse. He was just so perfect. Of course, that would be just her luck…
“Hey sis, are you ok?” Vito interrupted Carly’s stream of self-pity.
“Yeah, of course.” She composed herself quickly.
Vito wasn’t sold. “I saw you were talking to Louis. Did he say something to upset you?” He looked worried.
“Not at all.” She examined her brother’s face. “But you know, you need to talk to him.”
“What do you mean?” Vito let out a nervous chuckle. “I talk to him all the time!”
Carly’s face grew serious. “Don’t play stupid, Vito! You know exactly what I mean!”
“I… there’s no point,” Vito tried to bargain.
“How did you know?”
Carly looked her brother up and down. “I have eyes.”
Vito and Carly joined Louis’ friends Tom and Monica by the old natural pool, though they were all rather quiet. Monica was texting, Carly pulled out a book (since the holiday was almost over, it was about time for her to try to get a head start on the new school year’s teaching!) and Vito… well, Vito seemed preoccupied.
That left Tom bored out of his skull. “Well, I think I’ll be down at the beach.” He stood up with a long face.
“Oh, but I’ve only just gotten here,” Louis emerged behind him, looking amused.
“Ah well, you can always join us later,” Tom shrugged, desperate to get away from the solemn Vito. “You coming Monica?”
“Sure,” the girl giggled. “We can watch the sunset together, right?”
“In your dreams,” he replied.
“Don’t worry, it won’t be romantic, since I’ll join in too,” Carly snapped the book closed.
“Oh, you’re abandoning me too?” Vito laughed awkwardly. “Don’t you wanna stay and continue reading?”
“Nope.” She stood up, looking determined. “I’m sure you’ll be just fine.”
“Wow, did I accidentally use the people-repeller or something?” Louis joked when everyone else left him and Vito behind.
“Nah, it’s probably me,” Vito muttered. “I’ve been a bit mopey. You know, since the holiday’s ending.”
“Yeah, shame you’re already going back.”
They were silent for a moment.
“So, what do you wanna do?” Louis asked. “Should we stay here, or go join the others?”
“Oh, you go catch up with them,” Vito looked down. “I’ll stay here for a bit longer. I just need some time to myself.”
Louis wiped the smile off his face. “Right. Cool. That’s cool. I’ll… talk to you later. I guess.”
And with a loud sigh, he headed off.
Vito stared at the sunset. In spite of Tom and Monica’s jokes, it did look very romantic. He wished he had his camera on him. He’d snapped a few photos of the Bluffs on his phone earlier, but it didn’t do the place justice. And soon, all of this would just be a faint memory.
“Ah, plummit,” he uttered to himself. “Hey Louis, wait up!”
“What’s up?” Louis turned around. Vito noticed the boy looked defeated.
“Are you alright?” Vito tilted his head.
This seemed like a deja-vu. “You know, Carly gave me the same response when I asked her if she was ok earlier. And I’m pretty sure she was lying, just like you are.”
“Look, I’m sorry I made Carly think that I was interested in her that way, it wasn’t my intention.” Louis became aggravated. “I don’t know what else to say! I think she understands…”
“I didn’t really want to talk about Carly,” Vito stopped him. “I wanted to talk about you… and me.”
“Huh?” Louis stared at him.
“I’m probably the worst brother ever,” Vito carried on. “Since I’m glad that you don’t like Carly that way. Cause I do. I mean, I like you. Not my sister. That would be gross…”
Wow, well done me, Vito thought to himself; might as well put my foot in my mouth to wrap it up…
“You do?” Louis started laughing with relief. “I was so sure you weren’t interested!”
“Does that mean you’re interested?” Vito was being cautious.
“From the start,” Louis said softly.
Now it was Vito’s turn to laugh. “If I’d known it was gonna be that easy, I would have told you ages ago! I don’t know what I was so afraid of!”
They smiled at each other.
And then Vito figured it was about time he made the first move.
“Wow!” The words escaped Louis’ lips before he could stop himself.
“Yeah,” Vito giggled giddily. “You ever kissed anyone before?”
“No,” Louis shook his head. “Have you?”
“No. And I don’t think I want to kiss anyone else.”
The two of them returned to the group, but they couldn’t really see anyone but each other. They were drunk on infatuation.
“I wish you weren’t leaving tomorrow,” Louis starred into the bonfire flames.
“Yeah,” Vito sighed. “But Louis, that thing you said about long-distance relationships yesterday… Did you mean it?”
“Then we’ll be ok,” Vito said firmly. “We’ll make it work.”
The inevitable end of the holiday was on Seraphina and Antoine’s minds too.
“So the time has come for the princess to return to her kingdom, huh?” Antoine whispered.
“Ugh, don’t remind me.” Seraphina pouted. “I don’t want to go back, not now, and not ever…”
“What about your legacy though? You wouldn’t shut up about it when we first met.”
“Well, as you can see I have plenty of siblings who can take over the castle,” she grinned.
Antoine didn’t laugh. “You know it won’t be that easy…”
The girl frowned. “Can’t we just pretend this isn’t my last night here?”
“We could,” he shrugged. “But we shouldn’t. You know what we should do? We should make it count. You wanna… go for a walk?”
Seraphina held her breath. She nodded.
“Alright!” Antoine seemed more than pleased with himself.
Seraphina, on the other hand, didn’t know how to feel. She wasn’t sure what she was expecting when they snuck into the bush, but this wasn’t it.
“So, what happens now?” She tried to take control of the situation.
“What do you mean?”
“I mean, what happens with us?”
“Well… I guess we go back and join the others?” Antoine raised an eyebrow.
Seraphina puffed. “That’s not exactly what I was getting at.”
“Oh. Right. So you mean, you wanna go again?” He looked towards the bush. “I’d be down for that.”
“Go again?” Seraphina flipped. “No I don’t want to go again, that bush was the most uncomfortable thing ever. And you knew that’s not what I was asking about! I wanted to see if we’re now boyfriend and girlfriend or what?”
“Woah, chill out, babe,” Antoine backed away. “That’s a bit intense, don’t you think? Let’s go join the others, yeah?”
“You’ve gotta be kidding me…” Seraphina stomped towards the dying bonfire.
As she got closer, she could make out her siblings’ voices.
“Aaah, I can’t believe you’ve had your first kiss, Vito!” Carly was practically jumping up and down.
“Yeah, I know,” the boy grinned.
“Well, you two have only been making googly eyes at each other for the entire week,” Hallie teased.
“So romantic,” Carly sighed.
Serafina looked them over, one by one. She saw red.
“Aww, isn’t that adorable, little Vito had his first kiss,” she imitated them. “Well guess what, I’ve just messed around in that bush over there. And you know what? There’s nothing sweet or romantic about it!”
The three teens stared at her, speechless at first.
Carly was the first to somewhat compose herself: “Sera… have you really…”
“What, just because you’re plumming babies still in your nappies you don’t believe I’m a grown woman now? Just ask Antoine if you don’t believe it!”
Carly looked around uncertainly. “Where is Antoine?”
“Shut your plumming mouth!” Sera exploded.
“Err, guys… we really need to get going home,” Hallie interrupted, checking the time on her phone. “It’s getting really late, we’ll be in trouble.”
“Yeah, wouldn’t want mommy and daddy to be too mad to wipe your baby plums!” Seraphina hissed.
They walked back to the holiday home in silence.