All through rehearsal I watched Eric move around the stage, where he’d sometimes pull one of the students aside and give them some tips on how to improve their performance or just stand back and watch, but I could tell he wasn’t really there. To be honest, neither was I. My thoughts kept drifting back to everything we’d talked about in the car and I assumed that was the case with him as well.
While I’d known all along about his upcoming movie role, I truly hadn’t thought about it at all since his accident and now the thought of him not being here with me for weeks on end made me want to burst into tears, but I wouldn’t.
I couldn’t do that to him knowing how much he’d wanted that role, so I’d have to be strong. It would hurt to have to hide away my pain, but I’d do anything for him and it was a small price to pay if it made him happy. I knew the effect my tears had on him, so I was bound and determined for him to not see a single one where the movie was concerned. He would stay out of guilt, but I knew I wouldn’t be able to bear looking at him knowing he’d given up his dream just to stay home with me. He’d given me so much already and not just in material things, but in the way he made me feel like I was the only woman in the world. I knew what his ‘love’ life had been like before we’d met, so that was saying a lot about him. Besides our child, this was the only thing I could give him and I couldn’t let my own selfishness take away something he’d wanted so badly, so for the rest of the afternoon I kept repeating over and over that it would only be for a few weeks; he would only be missing the fat stage of my pregnancy; he would be back in time for the baby’s birth; I’d keep busy and time would fly by while he was gone.
And I could always cry when he wasn’t around to see it.
Our relationship was strong; I had no doubts about his fidelity, so the only real issue would be missing his everyday presence, but we could video chat and talk on the phone. It wouldn’t be so bad and he’d be home before I knew it.
At least that was what I kept telling myself.
As the rehearsal was drawing to a close, I could definitely see an improvement in the kids’ performances and as a reward for all of their hard work I ordered pizzas for all of them. Eric hadn’t given as much direction to Tara during rehearsal as he had the other students, but I assumed that was because hers was better than the rest and I also assumed that was why she’d been giving him the evil eye all afternoon. I wanted to reassure her that she’d already been doing a great job, but as soon as the pizza had disappeared, so had the kids; Tara included.
Apparently four hours of their Saturday meant exactly four hours.
After the emotional drive to the school, I didn’t want a repeat on the way home, nor did I really feel up to talking about Eric’s upcoming movie role, so as soon as we were back in the car I turned to Eric and grabbed onto his face kissing him with everything I had. While he was shocked at first, he quickly got on board and when I finally pulled away, he asked with a smile, “Not that I’m complaining, but what was that for?”
“Everything,” I replied honestly. I remembered quite clearly the horror I’d felt that morning not so long ago when I realized Eric and I had actually gotten married, but now I couldn’t imagine my life without him in it. It wasn’t because of the baby or what people would say and think learning the truth of our drunken night in Vegas; it was because I truly loved him, all of him. He could be with practically anyone he wanted; he could be doing anything that happened to strike his fancy, but he’d chosen me and to spend his day off helping me with my students. I couldn’t help but to brighten up just thinking about it.
My one word answer seemed to be enough for now and it wasn’t until we were on our way home that he asked, “Are you happy, you know, with us?”
Please don’t bring up the movie…please don’t bring up the movie…
“Of course I am,” I replied a little too brightly. “Are you?” I added hesitantly. My hormones were all over the place lately and I wondered if I’d unknowingly pushed him to his limits.
“No,” he responded making my stomach drop, but before I could lose it, he smiled and quickly added, “I’m better than ‘happy’; I’m ecstatic. I was just wondering if there was anything you could change about us; anything you wished had happened differently, what would it be?”
I’d been raised to play with the cards you’ve been dealt and my eyes fell down to my wedding band with the redneck ruby peeking over the top, as I replied, “Nothing. Everything that’s happened led us to being here right now, so I can’t say that I’d change a thing.” It was true. Even our Jerry Springer-esque wedding video of shame being broadcast for the world to see was a blessing in disguise because had it not been for the publicity surrounding our marriage, I was sure we both would have annulled that puppy faster than you could say Kardashian.
Eric eyed me for a moment before letting the subject drop and we talked about other things that were fast approaching. Christmas being one of them and he surprised me when he asked, “Do you want to go back to Louisiana for the holidays?”
I hadn’t ever spent a Christmas away from home, but now that Eric and I were married, I kind of wanted to spend our first Christmas together in our home. Looking over at him, I asked, “Does it make me a selfish person if I said no?” I felt torn, both wanting to spend time with Gran and Jason and wanting to wake up in our own home opening presents under our own tree on Christmas morning. When I said as much, Eric offered, “Well, we could fly them out here instead.”
Gran had seemed to be moving around okay when we’d visited over Thanksgiving, but I didn’t know how well she’d handle being stuck on a plane for hours. “But what about Gran’s arthritis?” I asked. “It might be too much for her to be sitting in those tiny little seats for hours.” I really did want her to see where we lived and knew she’d love the flower gardens that surrounded the house, but I couldn’t understand why Eric was looking at me like I was an idiot until he said, “Sookie, we’d fly them out first class.”
Oh. Well excuse me Mr. I-shit-gold-coins-so-money-is-never-a-concern. You’d be the perfect investor for Jason’s Shitter brain child since he, like me, has shit for brains.
Fucking pregnancy hormones.
I couldn’t help that, at times, my brain automatically defaulted to when I’d lived paycheck to paycheck and just because that was no longer the case didn’t mean that I was used to it yet. I’d spent my lifetime thinking in terms of being frugal; saving up for bigger ticket items that were only ever purchased out of necessity, but I knew it wouldn’t be fair to take out my irrational anger on Eric either and despite the eye roll I couldn’t stop myself from making, I calmly said, “Of course…silly me. I’ll call her tomorrow and see how she feels about it.”
His eyes examined my face, I was sure gauging my physical tells against my spoken words, and after a few minutes I decided I was done with being the subject of his scrutiny and chose to throw him for a different kind of loop.
No fanfare; no foreplay; just straight forward and to the point. I could tell my emotions were sitting on the fence and I could go easily fall either way; sad and angry or sated and happy. I was tired of being a whiney and weepy bitch for no justifiable reason and thought the latter sounded like a better idea to me, but I’d need Eric’s point to thrust straight forward into me to get me there.
It worked because his entire expression changed in a heartbeat and he looked back at me like he wasn’t sure he’d heard me right, asking, “What?”
“Sorry,” I smiled sweetly. “Did that come out in Swahili? I meant to say, fuck me.”
“What?” he repeated. “Here? Now?”
We were nearly at the gate to our neighborhood by then, so it probably wasn’t very bright of me to answer him by taking his hand and shoving it down the front of my pants, but fuck it.
The car had tinted windows and I had shit for brains.
“Sookie,” he growled.
If he thought his growly talk would dissuade me any, he was mistaken. It only turned me on more, so I unashamedly started moving my hips against his trapped hand and looked back at him, trying to seem unaffected by the impromptu finger fucking festivities going on, and innocently answered, “Yes?”
He looked angry, pleased, and turned on all at the same time, but didn’t know which one to act on first, so I should’ve known there’d be hell to pay and it came in the form of the gate guard. Eric passively allowed me to rape his hand until he had to stop at the gate and while his hand was hidden by my coat, with the guard not being able to see me or what we were doing, Eric chose that moment to join the party that was now in full swing in my panties. Our roles in who was doing the fucking with his fingers were quickly reversed and in no time at all I was nearly biting through my lip trying to not let on that I was cumming like a mother fucker as Eric and the guard discussed the weather.
News Flash: Forecast calls for torrential downpours and flash flooding. All of it in my underwear.
He continued to tap my clit with his fingertip, making my whole body twitch, as we finally pulled forward and I gasped through it before removing his hand and smiling at him, saying, “That was so unfair.”
His stern look aimed my way was spoiled by the smirk on his lips as he asked, “You have the audacity to call me unfair? You’re cumming on my hand while I’m stuck talking to an extra chatty gate guard because they know their holiday tip is just around the corner, with The Captain standing at attention mind you, and I’m unfair?”
The Captain deserved to pull into my port for his troubles, but I was still feeling playful and as we pulled into the garage I smiled back him saying, “Poor baby…” I reached over as he shut the car off and stroked him through his jeans, purring, “You wanna know what else is unfair?”
“Hmm?” he hummed with his eyes closed and his head thrown back, no longer really paying attention to anything other than what my hand was doing.
I leaned over the center console and whispered in his ear, “That we don’t have time for me to give The Captain a proper welcoming home because I need to get dinner going before everyone starts showing up.”
By the time Eric caught on to what I’d said, I was already dashing into the house and laughed hearing him whine out, “Sookie!” I had no intention of leaving him hanging, so to speak, but I did need to get dinner started. I’d already readied everything that morning so I only had to stick the rib roast into the oven and when Eric didn’t follow after me, I figured I’d probably have to kiss up to The Captain before I’d be forgiven.
It wouldn’t be a hardship to make nice-nice with his hard ship.
I cut through the dining room on my way to look for Eric and noticed the new table already in place. With everything else going on, I’d nearly forgotten about it and took a minute to admire it when Eric’s arms were suddenly wrapping around me from behind and something else of his rubbing up against my behind. I leaned back against him as he buried his lips against my neck, asking in between kisses, “Do you like it?”
I wasn’t sure if he was talking about the table, what his lips were doing, or The Captain requesting permission to cum aboard, but the answer to all three questions was the same as I whispered, “Yes.”
Wicked grabbed onto the back of his head while Immoral snuck around behind me trying give The Captain her not-so-secret handshake, but Eric pulled his hips back before she could latch on, saying, “I thought we didn’t have time.”
I spun around in his arms with Wicked and Immoral working in tandem to free The Captain from The Brig as I purred, “I’m sorry. I must’ve been speaking Swahili again. What I meant to say was that we have plenty of time…”
Eric’s hands joined the melee by pulling my shirt over my head before ridding me of my bra, but even as his lips wrapped around my nipple his mouth argued, “But don’t you have to cook dinner?”
Seriously? How could he not be full from all of the pizza he’d just eaten?
I was just about to tell him that the oven was doing the majority of the work, but he pulled my pants down and lifted me up onto our new table, saying, “Fuck it. We can always order takeout.” His lips found mine as he pressed his weight against me, forcing me to lie down on the table, before trailing kisses slowly down my body. I shivered from both his lips and the cold wood underneath me, but I quickly heated right back up when I felt The Captain preparing to dock, only for Eric to pull back again.
“Eric…” I whined.
The cocky bastard smirked down at me with his fingers touching me in all of the wrong places, asking, “What? You said we had plenty of time.”
I reached down and pushed his hand away, saying, “I already had the appetizer,” and then shimmying my body closer to the edge of the table, I added, “Now I want the main course.”
He teased my inner thigh by leaving a wet trail of pre-cum along the left one, but refused to get any closer.
“Starboard!” I snarled. “Full speed ahead!”
“Swahili again Sookie?” he asked tauntingly and continued to mock me, saying, “I thought we were discussing the menu, but I was thinking more along the lines of dessert.”
I knew he was just teasing me, but his refusal wasn’t making him very popular with my hormones and I answered through gritted teeth, “I made a cheesecake for dessert, now quit fucking with the pregnant woman!”
Eric must’ve sensed the danger he was in because he held on to my hips and filled me a second later, saying through his own gritted teeth, “Then I’ll just fuck the pregnant woman.”
I would’ve told him how much I agreed with choice and was happy to finally have him onboard, but my mouth refused to cooperate, instead just screaming out, “Yes,” over and over.
Hopefully that translated better for him than my Swahili.
Eric really was a generous lover and he made sure that I came twice before finally allowing himself to let go, with both of us a panting sticky mess when it was all over. He kissed my lips and made me smile when he left another one on my belly as he stood up saying, “We should probably shower.”
He was waggling his eyebrows at me while eying my naked self and I jokingly shoved him away, saying, “Alone. We should shower alone, but you go first. I need to clean the table.”
I pulled on Eric’s t-shirt and grabbed the rest of our clothes to bring into the laundry room when he wrapped his arms around me like a giant blond koala bear, saying, “Okay,” but as he released me, he knocked on the tabletop still covered with my ass prints, among other things, and added with a smirk, “But only if you have Pam sit here.”
I opened my mouth to ask him why, but in that same moment every time she’d ever walked in unannounced with her invisible cockblock radar working like a champ flooded into my head. Eric and I would be the only ones to know and I would still clean the table thoroughly, because even I wasn’t that big of a bitch, but his grin only got wider seeing my own and I kissed him one more time, agreeing, “Deal.”
And…because I’d forgotten I’d married a doofus with the mind of a teenager trapped in a man’s body, I could only shake my head watching Eric leaving behind his own ass print on the tabletop before standing up again, asking, “What? It’s probably the closest either one of us will ever get to her kissing our ass.”
I really shouldn’t have been so surprised when he and Jason bonded over Thanksgiving.
“Mmhmm…” I replied wryly, when in reality I was just focused on his bare ass as he left the room. It was still number one with me.
I’d just returned downstairs from showering when the first of our guests arrived in the form of Amelia. “Sookie!” she squealed and I laughed, both at her greeting and the look on Eric’s face as he covered his ears. Looking up at him, she grinned, “I know you don’t remember me, but trust me. You love me.”
Eric loved Amelia like Yankee fans loved the Red Sox, but I didn’t spoil her fun and instead was just happy to see her in better spirits than she’d been in the night before. “You’re certainly chipper,” I said.
She followed me into the kitchen, saying, “Eh, I’m at the ‘fuck him’ stage of grief and by that, I mean, I’ll just fuck him right out of my head. Is Pam coming tonight?”
“Subtlety was never your strong suit, Ames,” I laughed. “But yes, she will be here and as for whether or not she cums, I suppose that’s all up to you.”
We giggled just like old times and I was happy to have her back, so while she regaled me with stories of everything she’d seen while she’d been away, I finished getting dinner ready. I’d already set the table and even made up little place cards with everyone’s names which Eric got a laugh out of knowing where Pam would be seated, but since Alcide and Holly already had plans, it would just be the eight of us.
Just as I was finishing up, the rest of our guests arrived and they all trailed into the kitchen one by one, minus Eric and Pam, but seeing Amelia’s reaction to meeting Tray, I didn’t think she had her sights set on Pam anymore. It appeared to be a mutual attraction on Tray’s part as well, so I left them to it and turned to Sam, Terry, and Lafayette asking, “How’s everybody doing? I haven’t seen you all in so long.”
Looking over at Amelia and Tray’s flirting, Lafayette replied, “Girl, I can’t believe you didn’t invite over a hot young thing for me. What’s a pretty little thing like me supposed to do when it’s time to pair off and play Seven Minutes In Heaven?”
“Seven minutes?” I asked laughing. “You must be losing your touch.” He just glared at me, so I added, “Besides, it’s not that kind of party you freak, but I’ll keep my eye out. What’s your poison lately?”
His man-moods changed quicker than my hormonal ones and Sam and Terry chuckled over him taking my question so seriously, as he thought about for a minute before replying, “I’m in the mood for something spicy. Latino? Lots of flavor on the tongue and can do the tango in the sheets.”
I felt like I should have my old waitressing pad in my hand, but I laughed and said, “I’ll keep my eye out.” Sam was nice enough to offer to cut the roast for me and I pulled Terry aside asking him about his puppies. I really did want to get one for Eric knowing he’d never been allowed to have a pet when he was younger and after seeing how much he’d enjoyed playing with Terry’s dog the last time they were over, I was sure he would love it. Terry agreed and said he’d already started training them, so I wouldn’t have to worry about housebreaking it by Christmas time.
With that taken care of everybody helped bring all of the food into the dining room, but we were still missing Eric and Pam. I found them having a heated discussion in his office and butted in, asking, “Everything okay in here? Dinner’s ready.”
“Everything’s fine,” Eric answered, but Pam disagreed, saying, “No it’s not. Victor Madden isn’t going to wait forever and you’d be a fool to turn down this opportunity!”
Ahh…the movie role.
Eric turned to Pam with a lethal look in his eyes, so I pulled up my big girl panties, so high I could almost feel the wedgie, and said, “It’s okay Eric. You should take the part.”
His eyes turned to me full of disbelief, arguing, “But we haven’t talked about it yet. I’ll be gone for weeks. You’re pregnant. What if something happens again? You need me here.”
Hearing that all of his reservations had to do with me and not that he didn’t want to do the movie, I walked over and sat down in his lap knowing my next words bordered on a lie, as I said, “I don’t need you here.” His mouth opened with a shocked gasp escaping, but I placed my finger over it to silence him, adding, “I want you here, but I’ll still be here waiting for you when you get home. I’ll have Pam and Alcide here if something happens, but nothing will happen. I’m sure we’ve already used up all of the baby drama points we’re allowed.”
“Sookie,” he began hesitantly. “I don’t know…”
I hated seeing him so torn. I hated feeling so selfish, but I knew I’d hate it even more if he ended up resenting me later on because I asked him to give up his dream for me. My heart felt torn in two when his head dropped against my shoulder with him whispering, “I don’t know what to do.”
That made two of us.