Holy walking sex on a stick…
As much as I knew I should pry my eyes open and apologize for looking like a casting reject from the Wizard of Oz, I just couldn’t do it.
Maybe the facial mask would do the job for me and I could cancel the dinner due to Clinique-induced blindness?
“Uh…Sook?” I heard Hadley ask. And then because her mother should’ve drowned her when she was a baby, she added, “You know how when something white gets wet, it becomes see through?”
I tried to hide my not-so-mysterious better attributes behind my crossed arms and forced myself to open my eyes. Avoiding Eric’s completely, I quickly glared at my cousin before turning and all but running from the room saying, “Good to see you Eric. We’re going to act like the next time you see me is the first time you’ve seen me tonight, kay?”
What in the fuck was I thinking inviting him?
What in the fuck was wrong with me that I didn’t remember him being that good looking?
While I’d been married at the time, I still had eyes. But when I really thought about it I was pretty sure I had just given birth t0 Jason and Trey was already on the way the first time I had met him.
Back then I only had eyes for Ben and his hunky Chunky Monkey brother Jerry.
And hearing my two little monkeys still splashing up a storm in the bathtub I wondered – briefly, mind you – why I’d taken after my Aunt Linda and been so diligent in keeping a watchful eye on them bathing in their younger years.
I loved them. I really and truly did, but I’d done them a disservice by not mothering them the way I had Sam. When he was younger I could devote the majority of my time to him because we still had Alcide around. I was a stay at home mom up until I had to take over the role of being both parents. But with him dying when I still had two in diapers – the doctor hadn’t been kidding when he said I would be extra fertile after giving birth to Jason, which is why Trey was barely nine months younger – I had to devote myself to working to keep food on the table.
The same food I’d ordered them to wash off of their bodies when I’d gotten home to find the DiGiornio Pizza massacre in the living room. It was why I was now running late.
And why Eric Northman got a peek at the goods when I couldn’t even manage to get a peek at anything below his chin.
He had a really nice chin though.
“You remember that tomorrow is my day off, don’t you?” I heard coming from the doorway.
Mrs. Fortenberry was both a blessing and a curse. She did the majority of my housework and kept the kids fed, but at her age she didn’t have it in her to keep up with the younger ones. She at least had good enough hearing to know when she needed to call for an ambulance, even if she didn’t always know which one of them would be the patient.
Some days, it was all I could ask for.
“Yes, Mrs. Fortenberry. I remember,” I sighed, trying to figure out what to do first.
But feeling the pull of the mask when I grimaced in thought, made me think that would be the best place to start. Going into the bathroom, I gave the boys my ‘you’re gonna get it glare’ before attempting to wash the spackle from my face, while Mrs. Fortenberry decided then would be the best time say, “You’re going to need milk for the morning. You should really just invest in the whole cow with the way they drink it. And bread too. Those boys of yours go through bread like nothing I’ve ever seen. Why my Hoyt didn’t eat like that when he was young…”
I tuned her out after that. I’d heard plenty about the almighty Hoyt and how he walked on water.
Maybe if I gave him a call he wouldn’t mind walking to the store to pick up milk and a loaf of bread for me? Or a cow?
I tuned back in in time to hear her pause long enough for me to say, “If you would please just leave me a list, I’ll run out tonight after everyone’s gone home. Thank you Mrs. Fortenberry.”
She meant well and as much as she bitched about the boys, I knew she loved them almost like they were her own. Maxine was a live-in, but she had the weekends off and I knew she spent them at Hoyt’s. Probably filling his head about my demon seeds, but that was fine by me.
It was one less guy Hadley could try to set me up with.
Speaking of which…
I made sure to pull the plug from the bathtub drain on my way out and brought it with me (and taking the wash cloths and anything else they could use to dam up the drain to keep the water from going out of the tub) before heading to my closet to figure out what I was going to wear.
Back when this was just a dinner of business associates, I’d planned on wearing a not-too-formal but not-too-casual navy dress. It was churchy.
But now that there was a sex deity currently walking around my house on a stick, I was feeling sinful.
And looking for something to match my mood, I found it.
The red dress it was.
Once it was on and my better attributes were firmly in place, I hurriedly started to get my makeup on. I’d told Eric to get here by seven – a time I had intended on being ready by – but everyone else wouldn’t be arriving until 7:30. I’d wanted the extra time to get to know him a little better before I had to play hostess, but now I’d be lucky if I got to say anything more than, “Hi,” before the doorbell rang.
“Bitch!” Hadley whispered gleefully when she all but bounced into my room.
My cousin was more like my sister. We were only a few months apart in age and had grown up together from birth. I wouldn’t know what to do without her in my life.
“Whore?” I whisper returned, made easier since I was already making an ‘O’ face to get my lipstick on.
She immediately went to work pulling the curlers from my hair while she gushed, “It should be illegal for that man to be walking around. I’m pretty sure my panties poofed in your La-Z-Boy when he smiled. And I’m absolutely sure somewhere angels wept seeing him do it.”
“I hope you mopped up behind yourself,” I snickered. “Nobody wants to go sittin’ in your cooch juice, but weepy angels get a free pass. That’s homemade holy water.”
“Seriously Sookie,” she said, tugging my hair like she was about to smack my ass and ask who it belonged to. “Why have you never even mentioned Sir Dick Get-In-Me?”
Trying to wrestle my head free, I asked, “You suck your husband’s dick with that mouth? Now either pay me upfront bitch or I’m gonna sic my pimp on you.”
“Oooh,” she purred with her eyes lighting up, having forgotten all about Eric’s dick and its apparent knighthood. “Is Lala coming tonight?”
“Are you kidding?” I asked, looking more shocked than I felt because I was putting on my mascara. “Not with this crowd.”
I loved Lafayette to death, which was why I would never subject him to the tightest asses this side of the Mississippi who would be in attendance tonight.
“Sucks,” she pouted, but then her eyes lit up again as she said, “Speaking of sucking, Mr. Tastycock isn’t seeing anyone.”
“Your oral fixation knows no bounds, huh?” I laughed. “And what else did you brow beat the man into telling you?”
Grinning back at me, she casually offered, “Well I can’t tell you what size rubber hose he’s working with, but you can tell me all about it tomorrow.”
“Hadley! I’m not sleeping with the man. I barely know him!”
No matter how squishy the sight of him made my panties, I was certain of at least that much.
Or was I more certain the last thing we would do was sleep?
The truth was I was completely out of my element. My first and last first date was when I was in the eighth grade. Alcide and I had grown up together. Learned together. About life, love, sex, family. All of it. And I didn’t have the first clue on how to go about starting all over again with someone new.
But just thinking about it made me think if my life had gone differently and it was Alcide out in the living room ruining his pants by sitting on my La-Z-Boy, he probably wouldn’t care to get to know the woman I was now. And while my taking over the business had been necessary at the time, once I learned what I was doing, I actually thrived at it. I enjoyed working, but he had always been of the mindset a woman’s place was in the home once children were involved. And having Sam when we were both so young, I was still trying to figure everything out and never thought to question it.
So it stung a little knowing he might not have been my happily ever after, but now I would never get the chance to know.
By the time I looked up I found Hadley had waved a magic wand in my downtime because my hair looked great, but before I could thank her two streaks blew by us.
Naked as the day they were born, Thing 2 and Thing 1 streaked out into the living room.
“Who are you?”
“I’m Eric,” I smiled, looking down at the newest arrivals into the room. But instead of asking what their names were, I thought the more pertinent question should be asked first. “Where are your clothes?”
The blond looked to the just-as-naked brunette beside him before they both turned back towards me and shrugged.
“Jason and Trey! You go put some clothes on right now!”
The sound of her voice demanded I look up as well and I wasn’t disappointed to see Sookie looking just as lovely – and just as red – as her dress.
But I still preferred the wet bathrobe.
I guess me being a dickhead in one way or another was going to be inevitable tonight.
“You didn’t give us none,” one of them accused.
“Oh, I’m about to give you something,” she threatened, storming towards them, but that just sent them scattering. Since Remy caught one, I figured I’d help out and caught the other one by his arm before he could get away and handed him off to…
Holy shit! Was that Sam?
And did he need a shave?
When he introduced himself to me, I knew for sure it was, but all I could think was the fuck if I wasn’t getting old. I remembered him tagging along with Alcide to a few jobsites and it was obvious how much he looked up to his old man, but where had the time gone?
“I got them, mom,” he smiled before scowling at his younger brothers and dragging them back towards where I assumed the bedrooms were, while giving them ‘the talk’.
“I’m so sorry, Eric. I swear, the inmates don’t normally run the asylum,” she smiled looking chagrinned. But then her lips twitched before she chuckled and admitted, “Actually, they do. They only keep me around so there’s power for their X-Box and food in the fridge.”
“No, it’s fine,” I smiled back at her. I’d forgotten what it was like to have a little one around and never knew what it was like having more than one. But then Pam had always seemed to act older than her age too, so who knew what she would’ve been like with a sibling.
Now I doubted she would ever know.
I was only forty, but seeing Sam made me feel much older than that. And the two younger ones?
Would I have the energy to go through that now when Pam didn’t make me go through it the first time?
But Sookie seemed to know all about having more than one. How she managed on her own only made her seem even more unstoppable and looking at her now I had to wonder just how young she was when Sam was born.
She didn’t look a day over thirty and that was pushing it, but not recalling every detail of their lives I once knew, I admitted, “I didn’t remember you having twins.”
But I did remember her other set of twins and I was desperately trying not to look at them.
Red was a great color on them.
“They’re Irish twins,” she laughed. “Jason just turned eight and Trey will join him in another six months.”
Knowing Alcide died the year before Aude made me realize Sookie had been left to raise a maybe two and one year old, with her thirteen year old son picking up the reins as man of the house.
She must be Wonder Woman.
But before I could say anything else, the doorbell rang and the house was flooded with guests soon after. It was a nice house, the perfect size for a family of four, but I would expect nothing less from someone who owned a construction company.
I’d designed my house and had it built from the ground up, but I went more with what my aesthetics were versus what would sell well on the market. It was only two bedrooms, but that was all we needed and Aude and I had decided to use the space we had for what we would enjoy doing.
Not even thinking she wouldn’t be around to enjoy it so soon after it was completed.
She was taken from us less than a year later.
It took me a while after her death to stop being so angry. I was the type of guy who wanted to fix any problem that presented itself and it killed me that I couldn’t fix what had ultimately killed her. But it was because of Pam that I didn’t let myself succumb to my grief and anger. She’d already lost one parent.
I wasn’t about to let her lose two.
Pam had never been the emotional type – unless I tried to walk out of the house wearing a brown belt and black shoes – so I still worried about her now. She’d been there all through Aude’s illness, but once she died it was like Pam built up a wall around herself. She didn’t let many people get too close to her now and even the ones she’d been close to before were pushed back.
She adored me, but I wanted her to eventually be able to find someone who made her happy. Someone she could be herself around.
But not any time soon. She was still my little girl no matter how old she was.
Dinner was served buffet style, which was fine by me, and I kept one eye on Sookie, waiting for her to grab a plate and take a seat so I could take the one next to her, but she never did. She worked the room like a pro, stopping and chatting with various people I recognized from Shreveport’s business sector.
But if I had been a mind reader I would bet there was something else going on with the way her cousin Hadley kept darting her eyes back and forth between me and Sookie. So I let my eyes do a bit of darting themselves when it occurred to me that nearly everyone there had brought along their significant other.
Was this supposed to be a pseudo-date?
“Hello, I don’t believe we have met.” I turned to face the voice just as he added, “I am Bill Compton.”
I shook his offered hand and tried to place him somewhere in Shreveport’s business scene, but I was pretty sure I’d never seen him before.
“Eric Northman,” I replied and surreptitiously wiped his clamminess from my hand onto my pants.
Not seeming to notice, he asked, “And how is it you know Sookie?”
And something about the way he asked seemed a bit off, but I couldn’t place that either.
“I know Sookie through her husband Alcide,” I responded, watching for signs of what he was watching for. “And you?”
“Oh, I live next door.” His smile made me wonder if he was constipated, but we might have shared that look when he added, “We’re seeing one another.”
The only thing he had in common looks wise with Alcide was they both had dark hair. But Al was lumberjack type of guy and this one was more like cardboard.
Flimsy cardboard at that.
“That’s nice,” I finally added, while my eyes looked around for an escape.
But all I saw were Hadley’s eyes, straining towards us.
Looking away, I had no choice but to look back at Cardboard Bill when he went on with, “I bought the house next door not long after her husband had passed and we just seemed to click. She needed time to get over her loss, so we’ve been taking things slow.”
Six years is slow?
Given how much he drew out his words, his antebellum speech pattern might be the reason why things were going so slow.
Yes. Being a dickhead tonight was inevitable in one way or another.
But I kept my dickish thoughts to myself and since it looked like I would have no choice but to keep my dick away from Sookie, I suddenly lost interest in being there. I hadn’t realized it at the time, but ever since she’d called earlier that day, I had been looking forward to seeing her. And finally seeing her only added to the butterflies that had been swirling around my insides. It made me feel the type of anticipation that springs from hope that maybe the person in front of you is that someone you didn’t even know you were looking for until they were put in your path. I hadn’t felt that way about anyone since Aude.
But Sookie was already on another path. One that didn’t cross with mine.
So it was with that knowledge that I eventually extricated myself from Card-boredom and sought her out, wanting to get out of there before my night could get any worse.
Like seeing them kiss.
She could get a paper cut from how sharp his thin lips were.
“I think I should be heading out,” I said, smiling down at her when I finally caught her in between conversations.
Her face fell, making me even more confused, but she righted it again with a smile of her own asking, “So soon?”
She was right. Some people were still finishing up their dinner, but I was done.
With more than just dinner.
“Yes,” I answered, pausing long enough to pull an excuse out of my ass, and added, “I have to pick up a friend…at the airport.”
That was good, right? Can’t delay a flight arrival for coffee and cake.
“Oh, well alright,” she said, still smiling but looking disappointed too. “I’m sorry we didn’t get a chance to talk more tonight.”
“Me too,” I agreed.
If we had then maybe I could’ve been spared from talking to Mr. Ante-Bill-um.
Her mouth opened as though she was going to say something else, but when nothing came out of it I finally excused myself with, “Well, it was nice seeing you again Sookie. And thank you for inviting me.”
“It was good seeing you too, Eric.”
So why was she looking at me like I killed her puppy?
I could still hear him barking out in the backyard.
She walked me to the door and with a final goodbye I was finally free.
My body at least, but my mind was still crowded with thoughts of her. Even after going home and changing into my standard jeans and t-shirt, I still couldn’t shake her from my head. So when Pam texted me not to wait up, I took a look in the freezer hoping a visit with my pals Ben and Jerry would do the trick, but those fuckers had apparently run off with Pam at some point. And seeing a few other things lacking in both the fridge and cupboards, I decided a trip to the market was in order and grabbed my keys.
The change in scenery was doing little to rid my mind of Sookie, so I almost questioned my own sanity when I was standing in the frozen foods section, oscillating between Cherry Garcia and Chocolate Therapy, and heard her voice.
“I’d recommend the Chunky Monkey, but I doubt it would survive a trip to the airport and back.”