I was having a fuck awful time trying to look sophisticatedly detached for the shots Alfred was trying to take when all I could think about was the fact Sookie was lying on the beach without me right at that very fucking moment with her golden skin begging to be touched. The photo shoot that had taken place inside the house was only bearable because Sookie had been in the shots with me, but now that I was on my own I remembered just how boring they could be. I even tried to pass the time reading a page or two of the paperback book I’d had to hold as a prop, but seeing it had to do with vampires my eyes glazed over before they could actually sparkle.
At least Alfred and Maria Starr seemed nice enough and we talked a little bit about their jobs and mine. They had stayed the night at a bed and breakfast down the road and told me about a great little seafood restaurant they’d gone to for dinner, so I figured I would take Sookie there later on that evening so she wouldn’t have to cook. It didn’t seem fair since this was sort of a mini-vacation for both of us and I wanted her to relax and enjoy herself and since I hadn’t come across any Pop Tarts in the kitchen, I wouldn’t be able to cook for her anyway.
I could’ve jumped for joy when they told me to change into the final outfit for the day, so they could get some shots of me standing next to the tent, and hurriedly pulled on the jeans and shirt finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. All I wanted to do was get back to Sookie’s side, especially after I walked back out of the tent and saw she’d removed her t-shirt and shorts and was lying on her towel in one of her skimpy bikinis. It was when I’d been standing next to the tent, as Alfred took shot after shot with the ocean behind me, that I saw some fuckwad walk over and plop down next to her that the longing I felt to be near her changed into a possessive fury. Before that I’d merely viewed her bikini as a treat for my eyes, but now that another man was quite literally between her and I, all I wanted to do was rip his eyes from their sockets.
That sight was only for MY eyes.
Her polite smile towards him and idle chit chat only served to fan the flames already threatening to engulf me and I barely heard Alfred say, “I think that’s the one. Thank you Eric…” before my feet were already marching towards them with my hands clenched at my sides.
As I got closer I heard the little Aussie prick say, “You can be my date,” to her and the red haze in front of my eyes changed into a blinding white hot flame.
I was going to throw this little shrimp on the barbie.
Sookie managed to once again soothe the savage beast in me and once the little twat was gone I instinctively climbed on top of her attempting to shield her from prying eyes. Hearing her say she liked Australian accents had me pulling out my best Crocodile Dundee impersonation, telling her what I’d been wanting to do to her all day long. By the look on her face it seemed to fan a different kind of flame between us as she managed to swallow hard and ask, “Where did you learn to talk like that?”
“Crocodile Dundee,” I admitted, not caring how ridiculous the truth sounded since I was reaping the benefits now. I’d loved that movie as a child and watched it more times than I cared to admit.
She giggled and lifted her hips, brushing against the growing bulge that couldn’t be hidden very well in the tight jeans I was wearing, before saying, “Legend has it a crocodile took half of your leg off.”
She was really fucking perfect if she could quote lines from Crocodile Dundee off the top of her head.
My hips did a little pushing back of their own while I buried my face against the side of her neck, keeping up with the Australian accent and saying, “More like a love bite really. Here ya are, enough about me leg. Let me tell you about the rest of me. Up North in the Never-Never, where the land is harsh and bare, lives a mighty hunter named Mick Dundee.” I lifted up high enough to look her in the eyes and returned the smile I saw on her face, finishing with, “who can dance like Fred Astaire.”
“I’ll say,” she whispered before pulling me back down for a kiss.
Her hands traveled up my arms, squeezing my biceps, before burying themselves in my hair and I quickly forgot we weren’t alone until I heard one of the peckerhead’s friends yell out, “Get a room!”
Sookie’s body froze, apparently just as caught up in the moment as I was since her hands had moved down to work on the button of my jeans, and I wanted to beat his ass for ruining the moment when she pulled away giggling, “Oops.”
‘Oops’ sounded like a perfect defense for justifiable homicide to me, but I was brought back from my premeditation by Sookie’s hands, which had moved back up to my chest and were pushing against me as she said, “Come on big boy…up.”
“Boy?” I asked with a small grin and mock offense. However, I liked the ‘big’ part of that sentence and ground my hips back down against hers making her gasp as I said, “I’m already up. Can’t you tell?”
My plan to leave her flustered backfired when she wrapped her legs around me, reminding me of just how close she was to being naked as she slid her body against mine, while saying, “Of course I can tell and if you had your way right now, Northern California would be registering a 5.0 earthquake on the Richter scale.”
I could feel the heat radiating off of every bit of her skin that touched my own, but before I could be momentarily distracted by it I replied, “5.0? Lover, you severely underestimate me.” All thoughts of propriety disappeared as I swooped down taking her lips in another kiss, but when my lips started to wander down her neck, intent on exploring her Bermuda Triangle, her next question put my quest on hold.
“Do you want to have a baby nine months from now?”
“Huh?” I asked, my mouth filtering my brain. After the childhood I’d had, I’d never really wanted to have kids of my own, afraid of repeating the cycle of dysfunction that made up my family. I’d never made a firm decision on it one way or the other, but I’d also never been in a relationship until Sookie came along and I was suddenly terrified it might be a deal breaker between us if I decided I didn’t want to be a parent. She was a fucking teacher so it stood to reason that she liked kids enough to want one of her own.
The sound of her voice brought me back into the moment when she said, “Your jeans are tight enough that if you had a condom in your pocket I’d be able to tell, so unless you’re already wearing one, we need to stop.”
For the first time since she’d come into my life, ‘stopping’ sounded like a good idea, but I regretted jumping up to my feet so quickly when she gave me a strange look colored with a bit of disappointment. I tried to smile like I wasn’t internally freaking the fuck out and held my hand out to her to help her up as I said, “I should help them pack up their gear,” motioning toward Alfred and Maria Starr who were tearing down the tent and added, “and then we need to get cleaned up so I can take you out to dinner.”
I guessed my distraction ploy worked because Sookie smiled and took my offered hand as she stood up asking, “You’re taking me out to dinner? Like a date?”
I suddenly felt like shit realizing we’d already professed our love to each other, but I’d never actually taken her out on a proper date. Granted, we’d only been together for two weeks and they’d been a busy two weeks, but I still felt like I’d shirked my duties. I’d promised to woo her and hadn’t followed through, so pushing away all hypothetical baby thoughts I relaxed a little and smiled responding, “Yes, I’m taking you out to dinner. After all, I already told your little Aussie asshat your evening was spoken for and I don’t want to be made a liar.”
Sookie smiled wider before leaning up and placing a soft kiss on my lips as she said, “More than just my evening is spoken for.”
I had a feeling if I decided I didn’t want any kids of my own one day her declaration would no longer be true and knew I needed to figure out how I really felt about it one way or the other before the subject inevitably came up. I acted on autopilot as I helped carry everything to their vans and got directions to the seafood restaurant from Alfred before they left. He told us he’d have copies of the proofs sent to Pam by the end of the week and even went so far as to offer us a couple of shots for our own that would be kept out of the magazine which made Sookie hug him like a long lost relative and I was again left dumbfounded by the innate ability she seemed to have when it came to making friends. We took separate showers with me using dinner as an excuse knowing if we took one together we’d never leave the house, but in reality I was still distracted by thoughts of having kids.
Could I even be a good parent?
It wasn’t like I could use my own parents as role models and I’d never spent any time with anyone else’s parents while growing up to use as a surrogate. I had no idea how long I was lost in my thoughts underneath the shower spray until Sookie poked her head into the bathroom asking, “Are you okay? You’ve been in there for thirty minutes.”
“Yeah, I’ll be out in a minute,” I called out to her. I quickly toweled off and got dressed while trying to tell myself that I had no reason to panic yet. Sookie hadn’t said anything about wanting kids and I wasn’t sure what I wanted anyway so we could cross that bridge when we got to it.
It didn’t take long to get to the restaurant and I could feel Sookie’s eyes on me the whole way there. The silence between us wasn’t uncomfortable, but was as loud as a freight train and I knew it was only a matter of time before she asked me what was wrong, so I attempted to divert attention away from my thoughts by becoming engrossed in the menu when our waiter approached our table asking, “Are you ready or do you need some more time?”
“I need more time,” I answered automatically. I knew he was talking about our dinner order, but of course my mind flashed back to hypothetical kids and my answer was true for both questions. I didn’t know why I was freaking out so much about it other than the fact I had a bad feeling my entire relationship with Sookie hung in the balance. With her sweet and caring nature she was tailor made to be a mom and I had no doubts she’d be a fantastic one, so my doubts lay squarely with me. If she posed the question and I answered wrong, I risked losing her, but would it be right to agree to something as big as bringing another life into the world when I wasn’t sure I wanted to? I didn’t want to end up resenting my own child like my own father had resented me, but the thought of having to lose Sookie in the process wasn’t easy to stomach either.
“Do you know what you want?” I asked her when he walked away.
Shrimp? Scallops? 2.5 kids and a picket fence? Could we just get a dog from Terry and call it a day?
After our little make-out session on the beach, I shouldn’t have been surprised when I felt her bare foot sliding up my leg and coming to rest in between my thighs underneath the table, but it was a welcome diversion from my thoughts. I allowed myself to fully enjoy the feel of her foot leisurely stroking up and down my growing erection, our cock play hidden by the tablecloth, and when I finally looked up from my menu and into her eyes she smiled softly saying, “There you are.”
Were we playing hide and seek unbeknownst to me?
At my quizzical look she elaborated, “You’ve been somewhere else since we left the beach. Care to share?”
I don’t want to lose you.
What the fuck was wrong with me? It wasn’t like she’d started talking about wanting kids so why in the hell was I dwelling on it so much? Even if I decided I didn’t want to have kids maybe Sookie would decide that I would be enough for her.
Or me and one of Terry’s dogs.
“Terry and his dogs,” I answered when she cocked her eyebrow at me still waiting for a response.
It wasn’t a lie. It was chicken shit, but it wasn’t a lie.
God and I seemed to have different opinions on what constituted a lie because as Sookie asked, “What about them?” a little girl barely old enough to walk tottered up to me out of nowhere and latched her drool covered hands onto my leg yelling, “Da da da da.”
Not funny God. Not funny at all.
Sookie laughed while I stared down at the slobber monkey attached to my leg and a man rushed over swooping her up into his arms apologizing, “Sorry about that. She’s getting quicker with every passing day.”
I tried to smile while thinking ‘Go the fuck away’, but it seemed God was still in a jovial mood because Sookie spoke up asking, “How old is she?”
His face positively beamed as he looked down at the little girl chewing on his shirt collar while she smacked the side of his face with her chubby hand and answered, “Thirteen months.” While they talked I tried to imagine being in his shoes and wondered if I’d beam just as brightly as him while being covered in baby spit. My mind conjured a baby Sookie in my arms, made easier since I’d seen pictures of Sookie as a baby while at Gran’s house, with her bright blue eyes shining back up at me from where she was perched in my arms in my mind’s eye and felt the smile form on my face. It disappeared just as quickly when I tuned back into their conversation and heard him say, “My wife died while giving birth to her, but having Isabella has given me a reason to go on.”
“I’m so sorry,” Sookie offered, clearly upset. All I could think was at least the baby wouldn’t have to grow up knowing her mother had chosen to leave her and couldn’t come back and fuck up her life when she was older. The thought of having to raise imaginary Baby Sookie on my own didn’t appeal to me at all, especially if having Baby Sookie was the reason for losing Adult Sookie and just like that my mood was shot to shit all over again.
Thankfully our waiter returned and father and daughter excused themselves after apologizing once more. I didn’t even know what I’d ordered until he returned with our entrees, nor did I realize we’d sat there in utter silence the entire time until I looked up seeing Sookie’s worried face staring back at me. She tried to smile as she asked, “Terry and his dogs again?”
“I’m sorry,” I sighed. “I’m doing a real shitty job of wooing you on our first date, huh?” With my luck she was probably second guessing turning down the Aussie prick from earlier. At least he had his accent working for him when I couldn’t even manage to maintain a conversation with her, accent or no accent.
“You’ve already wooed me,” she smiled. “Do you want to talk about whatever’s bothering you?”
Did I? I wasn’t about to bring up any of my thoughts on having Baby Sookies, but thought maybe if she knew a little more about my demons she might understand where I was coming from, even if I didn’t know where we were headed. I already knew the story of her own parents’ deaths and how she and Jason came to live with Gran from when we’d visited, but over the next couple of hours I told her about my own mother’s reappearance in my life and the havoc it caused. She let me spill my guts without ever interrupting and, not surprisingly, didn’t judge me when I admitted to my subsequent cocaine addiction. We’d barely touched our food and ended up taking it with us as I continued my story back at the house. By the time I reached the end of it all she was in tears and shocked when I admitted that she was the only one I’d ever shared that particular story with.
I didn’t know why she was shocked; after all, she was my secret keeper.
My own tears snuck up on me when she got up and crawled into my lap when it was all said and done, wrapping her arms around me. It stung having to relive it all, but now that it was out in the open I actually felt better and as Sookie and I made love that night, with every touch or kiss from her, bit by bit I felt a little more of myself being healed. Sated and tired, she curled up next to me and I watched her as she slept trying to picture what my future would be like without her in it. It was a bleak prospect and one I had no interest in exploring knowing I loved her more than anything. It was then that I realized I’d been asking myself the wrong questions.
Would having kids be a deal breaker for ME?
My left hand moved up to brush the hair out of her face, as I spooned her from behind, and as I caught sight of my tattoo again the answer that rang out in my head was an unequivocal ‘no’. I was still terrified at the thought of one day becoming a parent, but figured I had a few years to get used to the idea if that was what she really wanted and I fell asleep knowing no matter what our future held, kids or no kids, as long as I had Sookie by my side, I knew everything would be okay.