"Lio, it's time for school." Marcus pushes open my bedroom door with one hand and enters, my school uniform tucked neatly in his other arm. I rub my eyes groggily and roll over, sighing, but remain lying down. Marcus sighs and peels back the heavy duvet. I feel the bed indent as he perches on the other side of the double bed and waits paitently.
I lay with my back to him and he places a light hand on my back, rubbing it firmly. He continues with this for a few minutes , and it's such a soothing gesture that I almost fall asleep.
Marcus realises this and grunts, paitence wearing thin. "Come on, Lio." He places his hands under my armpits and hauls me up to a sitting position, where I yawn sleepily to his amusement. "Into the bathroom. Wash and dress. Your breakfast is waiting." He gives me a pat and I groan, feeling uncooperative and sleepy. I unintentionally let my face land back on my pillow where Marcus yanks me back up again.
"Argh!" I jolt up and my eyes widen. "Lio, into the bathroom. Now, if you will." Marcus tries once more. You gotta give it to the guy, he never gives up.
I reluctantly jump off my bed and head into the bathroom where I begin brushing my teeth, still half asleep. With my added sleepiness, it takes about twenty minutes to wash, dress and brush my hair which is jet black against my white school shirt and dark blue trousers and tie.
I emerge to find Marcus gone so I head to the throne room where I know my breakfast will be waiting on the large oval table. I wander down the corridor still feeling no better and my eyes half closing until I reach the heavy doors.
The doors part as I enter where my parents sit at the table, evenly spaced apart as if they purposely plan how and where they place their chairs. I approach Aro who is reading the Daily Telegraph newspaper, which is quite modern for a 3000 year old vampire from Greece.
He doesn't glance up at me from his reading but offers his cheek for me to kiss. "Good morning, Dad." I kiss his cheek and he smiles so I move onto Caius who is stirring his black coffee continuously. It's the only 'human' beverage he'll drink, insisting that everything else is processed and full of 'disgusting bacteria and additives'.
He pauses in his stirring as I reach him and smiles which is only something he does when greeting me. I lean towards him and kiss his cheek. "Good morning Dad." He returns the kiss and runs a long hand carefully over my brushed hair to which I'm grateful, being a guy I need my hair to look decent.
I pass onto Marcus who has just placed my breakfast of cereal with a small yoghurt on the side on the table. Before I take my seat, I kiss his cheek as he hands me my glass of apple juice. "At last but not least, good morning, Dad." I finalise and take my seat at the table.
Aro folds his newspaper and places it on the table just as I tuck into my cereal. "So, Lio, how did you sleep?" He questions while I make my way through my breakfast.
I place my apple juice back onto the table. "Well, thank you, Dad. I'm looking forward to school." It's the first few weeks back in Year 11, my last year at school which will provide me with qualifications necessary to help me progress onto college where I can study law much to my parents delight.
"Ugh. That sorry excuse for a school." Caius complains, jolting me out of my thoughts. He turns to Aro. "I told you when Emilio was twelve that he should go to Volterra Boys School instead of that ridiculous institution." He outrages and I mentally facepalm.
Caius debates this everytime the topic of school comes up. It's a song and dance we've heard so many times before from him. Aro doesn't even bother trying to protest or defend himself, knowing it'll only lead to a full blown debate and it's too early for that.
"Lio chose to go the public school, it was what he wanted." Marcus concludes, closing the debate before Caius can really start outraging. Marcus is ever the peacemaker, quiet and calm, always relaxed and laid back which are useful qualities to have when you have a teenage son going through puberty and exam stress and all that teenage awkward stuff.
Yes, Marcus is my father. And so is Caius. And Aro. It's complicated, I guess, but growing up is always going to be a bit more difficult when you have same sex parents, especially when there are three of them. Not that they're together or anything, they're brothers raising a child together, which is normal. Totally normal.
I finish my breakfast and rise from the table, ready to head to school. "Do you have the Thomas Hardy book for your English lesson?" Caius checks as I go to grab my school bag. "Shit." I rush towards the doors to get back to my room.
"Language!" Caius shouts after me but I rush down the corridor before he can lecture me, to my relief. Lectures with Caius leave you emotionally drained and with an incredible urge to never offend or break rules against Caius ever again.
Caius is by far my strictest parent compared to Aro who is the most loving, full of compliments, hugs and kisses while Marcus is calm and relaxing. Very supportive but not to the point where he will murder you if you get a low grade in class.
I run into my bedroom and quickly stuff the book into my rucksack, before slinging the bag onto my shoulder, and heading back to the throne room, where Marcus stands with the keys to his car.
"Are you ready, son?" He jingles the keys in his hand and I give a quick side hug to both Caius and Aro before confirming I have everything I need. "Yeah, let's go." I look over my shoulder as we pass the doors, spotting Demetri who has just entered.
He looks up and nods with respect. "Good morning, Master Emilio." I nod in response, feeling the familiar, hot blush spread across my cheeks. I wouldn't class myself as gay, but something about Demetri has always got my hormones running all over the place.
Up and down and here and there, and before I know it, my face is red and my breathing is heavy and Marcus is smiling, using his gift to figure out who the 'lucky girl' is. I wonder what he'll say when I explain it's the lucky guy. That'll go down well with Caius. So well.
By the way, Marcus can sense bonds. He can tell what feelings someone has for someone else and how they're related, and well, you get the idea. Marcus waits until we're seated in his black SUV before he mentions my beetroot coloured face.
"Lio, are you attracted to Demetri?" He questions bluntly. That's another thing about Marcus, he gets straight to the point, he doesn't beat around the bush and that can be a good and bad thing. My heart beats faster as he mutters those words and I feel myself heat up, getting sweaty and embarrassed.
Marcus notices, although his eyes are on the road. He keeps staring straight ahead as he drives to the school. "If you do find him attractive, then that is normal. Men look at other men, and admire different parts of each other. Women are the same." He looks at me properly. "And if you feel that your attraction for him runs deeper than that, then...well it's not unheard of." He concludes and I feel a small amount of relief followed by panic.
"I'm not gay though." I outburst quickly. I don't need him preparing a coming out party while I'm at school. He glances at me but doesn't speak. "Just so there's no confusion. I'm not into guys." I explain and Marcus pulls into the school car park.
"Of course you're not." He replies calmly but something in his voice makes me feel that he doesn't fully believe me. He stops the car and turns to me. "Have a good day at school, Lio." He reaches over and I place another kiss on his cheek.
"See ya later, Dad." I jump out of the car and head towards the school gates, praying like hell that the palazzo isn't going to be covered in rainbow flags when I come home tonight.