“ARGH!” I screamed without thought and tossing the fifth outfit I’d tried on in as many minutes to the floor. I needed to get my fat ass to work, but I didn’t think it was prudent to arrive in nothing more than my bra and panties.
Eric came barreling into the closet moments later, but I wasn’t startled by his sudden presence thanks to the ‘herd of elephants’ sound coming from the stairway that had preceded his arrival. “What’s wrong?” he asked, finding me in the middle of the closet wearing nothing but my underwear and a scowl.
I stupidly gestured to my body because it was the epitome of what was wrong and with tears pricking my eyes, I sobbed, “Crazy was right… I am a cow…”
We’d started referring to Eric’s stalker as just plain old ‘Crazy’ since we weren’t really sure what her name was, but at the moment I felt just as psycho as her. Lately my mood swings were violent enough that I’d probably give any long time Cirque de Soleil acrobat whiplash with poor Eric bearing the brunt of them as he was now. “Sookie,” he said soothingly and wrapped his arms around me, “you’re not a cow.” His voice took on a happier lilt as he added, “You’re pregnant with the Bean.”
I know that!
“I know that!” I yelled and stomped my foot like the inconsolable dipshit I was. I wretched myself free from his grasp and stood back pointing at the girls, saying, “But look! I’ve got udders now!” The Wonder Twins were impressive enough before I’d gotten pregnant, but now they were spilling out of the cups of my bra. They weren’t superheroes anymore; they were a bad SciFi horror movie remake: The Blobs.
By the lustful look on Eric’s face I gathered he didn’t agree with my assessment and he said as much, after licking his lips, of course. “Every part of you is perfect Sookie. Did you really think your body wouldn’t change?”
“No,” I admitted sullenly. I knew it was going to happen, but it didn’t mean I had to like it was happening so soon. Time had been flying by and it felt like only yesterday that I woke up to Mr. Pillow Face in the hotel room in Vegas. Now I was standing in front of my husband, Eric Northman, whom I’d dreamed of one day marrying, in nothing but my underwear crying over the fact that nothing fit because I was having his baby.
I really was a dipshit.
My shoulders slumped and with my lower lip pouted out, I whispered, “I’m sorry.”
Eric had gotten used to my irrational spur of the moment tirades and just wrapped his arms around me, saying, “I don’t want you to be sorry; I want you to be happy.” Tilting my chin up from where it was buried against his chest, he looked a little worried, asking, “You are happy, aren’t you?”
“Of course I’m happy,” I sobbed in reply with a fresh gush of tears.
Eric merely wiped them away with a chuckle and pulled me back flush against his chest, saying, “Yes, I can see that. I was just checking…”
I really was a mess lately and thought about buying him one of Terry’s puppies for Christmas. He’d fawned all over Terry’s dog when they’d come for a visit a few weeks ago and at least that way there’d always be a happy face there to greet him. Once I got my emotions in check, I pulled away and glanced back at my clothes trying to figure out what I could wear. ‘Slim pickings’ was an understatement and as if Eric had been reading my mind, he suggested, “Why don’t you go shopping for new clothes after work?”
“I don’t want to,” I pouted, even though I knew I needed to.
“Sookie,” he began, a little more harshly, “this isn’t about the money is it?”
“No,” I replied just as harshly. Granted, I was still getting used to the idea of Eric’s, I mean our, seemingly bottomless pit of a bank account, but that wasn’t the reason for my hesitance. It was the thought of having to buy circus tents as clothing. I already had a Big Top to start with and I didn’t need the added reminders.
I should probably just change my ringtone in Eric’s phone to a circus theme and be done with it.
When all Eric did was stare at me questioningly, I huffed, “Is there a Burlap Saks Fifth Avenue on Rodeo Drive? Because if there isn’t, then I don’t know where to buy clothes that’ll be big enough to fit.”
Eric rolled his eyes, but calmly offered, “I wouldn’t know, but Pam is stopping by this afternoon to go over a few things, so why don’t you come home first? If there’s one thing Pam knows about, it’s where to shop.”
I couldn’t picture Pam perusing maternity wear on a regular basis, but then what in the hell did I know? She was scary enough that if we didn’t find anything, I was sure she could intimidate some unsuspecting sales clerk into at least sewing two outfits together for me. After nodding my agreement, I pulled on a pair of slacks and used a hairband to loop through the button hole and around the button to give me a little more breathing room, leaving my blouse un-tucked to cover up my redneck resourcefulness, and headed downstairs.
“So what else are you going to do today?” I asked him as I gathered my things. Since it was his day off, I felt bad leaving him all by himself which only made the puppy idea seem even better.
“I’m not sure,” he shrugged. “I’m going to the gym, but other than that, I’ll just be sitting around here missing you.”
A very small part of me melted hearing him say that and Eric gave me a hug and kiss goodbye, clinging to me like he did every morning as though he was afraid I wouldn’t return, and while I knew he missed me during the day, he wasn’t fooling me. He’d be out the door and walking into the Starbucks around the corner before I could even make it onto the freeway.
Pregnant life could be so unfair…
My pity party didn’t last long because as soon as I was exiting through the community’s gate, my phone rang. I half expected it to be Eric since it would be his first day off without me there since the baby scare, but I was pleasantly surprised to see Amelia’s name on the caller ID.
“Ames?” I answered happily. I hadn’t seen her in months since she’d fallen in love with some guy named Bob she’d met while vacationing in Europe and ended up extending her stay. Only Amelia could fall in love with a Mormon from Utah that she’d met in Venice, Italy. “How are you?”
“Oh Sookie,” she sobbed.
When all I heard after that was her hiccups and sniffles, I asked worriedly, “Ames? What’s wrong?”
“I’ll tell you what’s wrong,” she huffed. “I kicked that piece of shit out with his tail between his legs.”
“Why?” I asked even though I wasn’t really surprised. The number of bed partners Amelia went through rivaled Jason’s, but I didn’t judge her for it. Her free spirited attitude was what drew me to her to begin with and I felt bad that she was hurting. She rarely ‘fell in love’ with anyone and she had been there for me through the whole Quinn ordeal, so I could do nothing less for her now.
“It’s a long story,” she sighed, “but I can fill you in tonight if you’d be willing to pick me up at the airport?”
“You’re coming home?” I asked, trying to hide my excitement. Even though all of my free time was spent with Eric, I’d missed her presence in my everyday life and couldn’t wait to see her again. None of our friends, other than Pam and Alcide, knew that we were having a baby, but now that she was coming home, I’d be able to tell her in person.
“Yeah,” she answered. “My plane lands at LAX at eight o’clock tonight. Do you think you can come and get me?”
“Of course Ames,” I agreed.
That would give me plenty of time to shop for muumuus beforehand.
I rolled my eyes at my own thoughts and jotted down her flight information before hanging up. The rest of the day passed by in a blur with Mr. Beck saying we’d be able to use the auditorium from noon until four on Saturday since the school would be open for a basketball game and I tracked down all of the kids in the Drama Club to tell them personally. I was excited to have Eric there to help me with their performance because, admittedly, acting was so not my thing, but I really wanted it to go well for their sakes. They all worked so hard and I hated the thought that it might fail because I lacked the knowledge to help them succeed. Even Tara seemed excited about the extra practice and I sensed that our little discussion a few days earlier helped to get us over the bump in the road. Hopefully it would stay that way.
By the time I got home that afternoon, Pam’s car was already in the driveway. I didn’t bother to pull into the garage since I knew I’d be going out again and walked through the front door to hear Pam yelling, “Tell me you’re shitting me!”
Poor Jason. He was missing out on a ‘sheet’ and didn’t even know it.
“I don’t know, alright?” Eric said heatedly and when I rounded the corner, I saw him sitting on the couch in his classic ‘hands in hair’ pose which meant he was stressed out. Hot as hell looking, but stressed nonetheless.
“What’s going on?” I asked.
Pam’s mouth opened, but Eric beat her to the punch, answering, “Nothing.”
Bullshit, my mind sang and I had half a mind to brush the imaginary dirt from my ass since he was under the impression I must’ve just fallen off of the turnip truck, but I reined in the urge and simply asked, “Does this have something to do with Debbie Pelt?” It was the only thing I could think of that would make Pam pissed off like she obviously was while making Eric’s hands fly up into his hair.
Eric hadn’t mentioned whether or not he’d already talked to Pam about her yet, but I surmised from her expression that he hadn’t and her next question confirmed that. “Who’s Debbie Pelt?” Her eyes hardened and shot right back to Eric where she smacked the side of his head, screeching, “Did you cheat?”
“NO!” Eric and I shouted at the same time. Since Eric was busy rubbing his temple and glaring at Pam, I took a seat next to him to block him from any future blows and explained everything that she’d done (which was plenty) and what we knew about her (which was next to nothing).
“Why didn’t you tell me sooner?” she asked, completely aggravated over us failing to follow her imaginary Pam Protocol Checklist.
Even though I didn’t think she’d smack me too, I still flinched when her hand darted out, but relaxed when she shoved it into her giant handbag and pulled out her phone. “It’s not like we were keeping it from you,” I answered. “Besides, there’s not much to tell. The private investigator Eric hired couldn’t find anything on her.”
Pam huffed as she scrolled through her phone, saying, “Yes, well Eric doesn’t have the same resources that I do.” Her fingers flew across her BlackBerry before she finally looked up and said, “There. We should know something soon.”
My curiosity got the better of me making me ask, “Who’s going to look into it?”
Her eyebrow slid up into her hairline and her lips pursed as she said, “Don’t you worry about that. What you don’t know can’t be used in court.”
That certainly didn’t make me feel any better, but when I thought about just the idea that this crazy woman might do something to hurt Eric, my morals had a change of heart. I was still curious though and Pam and I had a stare-off with no end in sight until Eric finally butted in, asking, “So, are you going to go shopping?”
“Shopping?” Pam asked excitedly. If she had a tail, it would be thumping furiously. “What are we shopping for?”
Well, at least I didn’t have to beg her to go with me since she invited herself, but since I was still wondering about what all the fuss had been about when I’d first walked into the house, I answered, “Maternity clothes. Now, what were you two arguing about earlier?”
Pam’s eyes zeroed back in on Eric and my head turned to see him looking hesitant before he squeezed my hand, saying, “Just work stuff. We can talk about it later.”
“But…” I started to protest, but the pleading look in Eric’s eyes made me stop.
I didn’t know if he just wanted for us to have a private conversation or if he didn’t want Pam to get wound up again, so I decided not to argue over it since he’d already agreed to discuss it later. Pam must’ve had a different take on things and shopping was temporarily forgotten because she said sternly, “Eric. We’re not done talking about it.”
“We’re done talking about it for right now,” he answered irritably. I became even more suspicious when his eyes darted to me before going back to her and they had their own silent conversational stare down with me teetering on the fence line over whether or not I should just force the issue now.
Pam decided for me when she finally stood up, saying, “Fine. Sookie? Come.”
I mumbled under my breath asking if she was going to whistle too and thought about refusing on principle since she was talking to me like I was a dog, but between the now tense atmosphere and my waistband digging into my sides I decided against it. Standing, I followed her into the foyer, saying, “I’m only agreeing because my boobs are spilling out of my bra and I can’t close my pants. That and I have a sneaking suspicion that you’re just hoping I’ll hump your leg later on.”
Her grin reappeared and turned lustful as she replied, “Darling, you can hump any part of me whenever you wish,” making Eric jump onto the dog themed bandwagon and growl softly behind me.
His arms snaked around my waist from behind, which made it difficult to pull my coat on, but I managed to turn to face him, asking, “Did you want to tag along?” I hated leaving him behind, but I didn’t think he’d have much fun shopping for pup tents.
Pam broke into our conversation, asking, “Well, did you two plan on announcing baby Pam’s impending arrival anytime soon? You and I will be able to shop incognito, but if the blond giant comes with us, the cat will definitely be out of the bag about what will be coming out of your pussy in the near future.”
“Pam!” I snickered in a mock snit. She had a way of bringing out the most vulgar in me and I couldn’t help myself, adding, “Eric’s the only one cumming in or out of my pussy.”
The dirty mouthed diva that she was, was nowhere near offended and rolled her eyes, trying to not smile, as she said, “Yes, I believe that’s what got you knocked up to begin with.”
Normally Eric would be laughing right along with me, but he was still silently tense behind me. I hadn’t thought about how we might out ourselves by shopping for maternity wear together and wondering if that was the cause for his anxiety, I looked back at him, asking, “Well, what do you think? Do you want to tag along or stay home?”
As far as I was concerned, I’d be happy if everyone just left us the hell alone no matter where we happened to show up together, but I knew that wasn’t going to happen. Eric just shrugged his shoulders, saying, “I think it would be better if I stayed home. The longer we can put off having to say anything, the less of a circus there’ll be surrounding us.”
Hearing him say ‘circus’ reminded me of what I had to shop for and the Ringling Bros. theme song played in my head when I suddenly shouted, “Oh!” I’d only then remembered that I’d promised to pick up Amelia at the airport and after telling Eric about our phone call earlier that morning, I could tell that he wanted no part of hearing her man-bash all the way back to her condo. I couldn’t really blame him, so I asked, “But what are you going to do all night be yourself?”
Maybe Terry’s puppies were close enough to being weaned that I could swing by and pick one up for Eric tonight?
I felt so bad at the thought of him spending the evening alone, so my relief was evident when I smiled hearing him say, “Maybe I’ll call Alcide and tell him to come over. He’s babysitting Jessica tonight while Holly is at a class, so we can order pizza and watch a movie.”
I agreed that was a great idea and after getting one last kiss and a promise from Eric to save me a slice of pizza, we headed out on Mission Impossible: Operation Swathe Sookie’s Fat Ass. I followed behind Pam’s car since she had a dinner meeting to go to later on and I had to head to the airport, but I was more than a little pissed at her by the time we arrived at wherever in the hell we were.
“Did you at least get the checkered flag?” I asked grumpily, stomping my way into the store behind her and her goddamned lead foot. I was lucky to keep her taillights in view the whole way there and had no doubts if she ever joined the NASCAR ranks, there’d be a whole new Intimidator for the crowd to cheer. Seeing the sour expression on her face from my question, I changed my stance.
They’d definitely jeer.
Looking around, all of the clothing seemed to be formal rather than casual, and I looked over at Pam, saying, “I don’t think we’re in the right place.”
She didn’t bother to look up from the rack of formal dresses in front of her as she said, “Yes we are.” When her eyes finally met mine, a smirk formed on her lips as she added, “This store caters to the birth control challenged.”
I really had no argument to make considering the unopened box of condoms Eric pulled out of his suitcase the morning after the wedding and just said the universal ‘fuck off’ in the form of, “Whatever.” I pulled a dress from the rack in front of me and held it up to Pam, asking, “Who in the hell wears gowns like this every day, much less when they’re preggo?” I could just imagining waddling into the classroom surrounded in sequins. I’d probably cause the whole class to have a seizure just by turning around underneath the fluorescent bulbs to face the chalkboard.
“You need something to wear to the holiday party the studio is having in a couple of weeks,” she answered.
“Party?” I asked. “What party?” Eric didn’t say anything about a party.
Pam gave me a look that only Pam could pull off; affectionately abhorrent, as she enunciated as though English was my second language, “Hol-i-day Par-ty.”
“Bi-itch,” I mocked under my breath, even though Pam could hear me, and by the pleased smile on her face I surmised she was happy with her nickname.
After sorting through a whirlwind of dresses flying at me through the dressing room Pam had shoved me into, we found a dress we could both agree on, but when she stuck her head in as I was getting dressed, she took one look at The Blobs, saying, “What is this?” and motioning at my girls who, unfortunately, were uncomfortably pregnant right along with me.
“Breasts, Pam,” I said in the same mocking tone she’d used on me earlier.
She shot me a look of exasperation because, really, Pam of all people knew what breasts were and she definitely knew a lot more breasts than I did. “I know that Sookie, but what are you doing to them? These are like the Mona Lisa. They should be treasured and framed adoringly in The Louvre. Instead you have them strapped down like a deer you ran over on the way home.”
I gave her my own look of exasperation, but she just said, “Stay there,” and disappeared again while I repeated, “Bi-itch,” to the empty dressing room. Hours later, I was on my way to LAX with a trunk full of clothes; everything from bras and panties, to work, casual, and formal wear. I was just as exhausted as my credit card, but I didn’t have the energy to fight Pam when I’d suggested we try looking at Target. She could be pretty scary when she wanted to be and even frightened away another customer that tried talking to me. Sandra had seemed nice enough, even if her blond hair was a bit over-processed, and she practically gushed at me when she’d recognized me as Eric’s wife. When she asked me when I was due, Pamzilla shooed her away before I could say a word and when I’d shot her a reproving look, she merely said, “This is LA; we don’t talk to strangers.”
She got another, “Whatever,” from me.
‘Cause I’m a badass like that.
And I was almost certain she wouldn’t hit me with ‘Baby Pam’ in between us.
Amelia was already waiting for me on the curb when I pulled up in front of the airport and after we piled all of her luggage into the backseat, since the trunk was full, she told me about the Big Bob Blunder. Apparently, he was not only a Mormon, but part of a ‘Mormon Fundamentalist’ group that practiced polygamy. He’d asked Amelia to marry him before telling her she’d be joining him and his two other wives.
More like Fat Chance.
I felt so bad for her that I didn’t want to wave my happiness in her face with the baby news and instead invited her to come over for dinner the following night. I figured I would invite Sam and Terry over, as well as Tray and Lafayette, and anyone else I could think of, so Eric and I could share our baby news with them all at the same time before they found out on the news in case Sandra had really been a TMZ spy like Pam had accused her of.
Alcide’s truck wasn’t in the driveway when I pulled up to the house after dropping Amelia off at her condo, and I left the shopping bags in the trunk feeling too tired to drag them in. It was already after ten, which was late for me anymore, but I still made a beeline for the kitchen and did a little happy dance when I pulled the pizza box from the refrigerator, immediately shoving a slice into my mouth. I nearly choked on it when Eric rounded the corner and came into the room.
My eyes glazed over and with a mouth full of pepperoni heaven, I asked, “What are you wearing?” although it sounded more like, ‘Wah r ooh waying?’ I couldn’t tell if the drool in my mouth was from the pizza or looking at him, but I had a sneaking suspicion it was all him.
“This…” he asked, waving his hand down his body with flourish. His black lined eyes narrowed and his voice took on a British accent as he answered, “I believe, love, is called Pirate chic.”
Pirate chic? Panty vanish? They were clearly one and the same.
Before that moment, the thought of Eric playing in my makeup would have made me laugh while weirding me out, but seeing the fruits of his labor, I voted that he do it more often.
And, by extension, do ME more often.
“Why?” I asked. Why was he wearing it? Why was he standing so far away? Why did he have to look so fucking hot while I was slowly morphing into fat ass Maxine Fortenberry’s clone?
Inquiring minds wanted to know.
He didn’t answer me, or if he did I didn’t hear him over the mental screaming in my head demanding that I strip his clothes off and fuck him like the world was about to end while somehow keeping his outfit intact. I had no idea where he got a Captain Jack costume, but it looked a hell of a lot better on Eric.
Besides, I bet it took a lot of hard work to get himself into those leather pants.
They really should’ve offered HIM that role; after all, he came with his very own Kraken.
Instead he swaggered forward with those black lined baby blues scoping out the room before coming back to rest on mine. With that damned pornographic eyebrow of his raised up and still using a British accent, he asked, “Where’s your booty?” He added a sexy smirk, admitting, “I’m going to plunder it.”
And how can you miss my booty? It nearly spans the entire county.
I suddenly felt energized, but that could just be because my heart was pounding as fast as a hummingbird’s wings, which I felt shoot straight down to my playpen.
Was it possible to cum just by looking at him?
Wicked betrayed my thoughts by fanning my overheated face and I laughed as I put the kitchen island in between us, asking, “Oh, you think so, do you? What kind of lazy pirate are you that you’re asking where my booty is?” I licked my lips and leaned over the countertop towards him with my deer kill on display, adding, “I’m not that easy.”
If we’d been in a church, God would have smote me dead right then and there for telling the most EPIC of lies.
I was SO THAT easy.
Eric’s grin turned feral as he took a step to the side, saying, “I do love a good battle. Prepare to surrender.”
I got as far as the stairs before my white cotton panties were waving like a flag in the wind, dangling from my extended leg, as Eric showed me just how good surrendering could be.