“Hey,” I smiled, seeing Eric coming out onto the back patio. With the telescope now safely hidden underneath the endless supply of dirty clothes in the laundry room, I was firing up the grill and turned to him asking, “How many…”
That’s as far as I got because suddenly he was right there.
In my face.
Did I mention he had a really nice face?
It didn’t matter with him being that close my eyes were blurring out his features because I was pretty sure I’d already memorized every inch of it through sneaky glances throughout the day.
“Keep looking at me with that tone of voice and I won’t be held accountable for my actions,” he warned seductively.
“Promise?” I asked, licking my lips.
The other set further down below were already well moistened, but I wouldn’t be opposed to him licking those too.
Such. A. Hussy.
Now ask me if I cared.
“I swear to God,” he whispered right as he pressed his lips against my own for the second time that night. He didn’t need puppy dog eyes to get me to do his bidding, but it would’ve made no difference since mine were already closed anyway. I’d only ever seen him clean-shaven before today, but I liked his scruffy look and felt his whiskers tickle my face, somehow feeling them tickle other parts of my body as well, so when his tongue swept into my mouth I was done for.
Our earlier kiss was sweeter – more exploratory – but now it was firing up faster than my gas grill because I was burning up from it. Alcide had been the last person I kissed this way and I felt guilty for a split second thinking how much better Eric was at it.
That is until he lifted me in his arms and sat us down on the cushioned bench on the patio without ever breaking our kiss. Then I couldn’t think about anything else but Eric. The way his hands explored my body over my clothes. How strong and solid he felt in between my thighs.
In more ways than one.
My hips started moving against his on autopilot – kind of like riding a bike, I seemed to remember how just fine – and I felt one of his hands dip down just inside the waistband of my shorts at my lower back, with his fingertips lightly tracing over my skin, while his other wound its way into my hair at the nape of my neck.
And if he yanked on it and slapped my ass, I was sure I would cum right then and there.
But I’m not!
The sound of the boys’ voices cut through the air, with Eric freezing underneath me. And as much as I wanted to thaw him out with my overheated body, I knew I couldn’t.
Just like as much as I wanted to barricade the boys back into their room, I knew I shouldn’t.
They would just gnaw their way through the drywall anyways.
I pulled away from Eric and saw his ‘what should we do’ expression, probably – like me – expecting some sort of inquisition from Thing 2 and Thing 1, sort of like Sam had passive aggressively done earlier. There’d never been the occasion for them to catch me in a compromising position because their father had died when those two were too young to remember him at all.
But instead of asking why mommy was not-so-dry humping her new friend, they both ran over, with Jason asking excitedly, “Did you scout the yard to find the best tree for the tree house?”
Searching my always full mental list of things to do, I couldn’t find that one on it anywhere.
But from what I was feeling beneath Eric’s pants, I had a very good idea on where to start looking for my own tree to climb.
“Not yet,” Eric replied. To me or the boys, I wasn’t quite sure until he added, “But as soon as your mom declares your room fit for duty, then we’ll go look together.”
Oh. He was talking to them.
And finally catching on, I assumed they must have a penis-possessor-prerequisite to participate in their guild to build tree houses.
Unsurprisingly, I didn’t feel left out at all.
But I did feel left out of something else, feeling the two big hands on my body being replaced by four smaller ones that immediately began trying to remove me from Eric’s body, so I knew our alone time was done.
But I also knew after running around the Farmer’s Market all afternoon, it wouldn’t be long before those two were out like a light.
And maybe then Eric and I could turn out the lights and do some scouting of tree trunks of our own.
I really needed to stop hanging out with Hadley so much.
Peeling myself off of him, we had matching disappointed smiles, but before I could concern myself with thinking maybe he would question the logic of dating someone with two young children – and one grown passive aggressor – Eric jumped up from the bench and said, “Let’s go look now in case your mom decides to revoke your parole when she sees your room.”
“Good thinking,” Trey nodded seriously and then the two of them took off into the backyard, with Dean happily giving chase.
“You know you don’t have to play into their hair-brained schemes, don’t you?” I asked when they were out of earshot. While the kids and I were definitely a package deal, I didn’t want him to feel like he had to give into their every whim just so I would want him around.
In fact, if he gave into every hair-brained scheme they thought up, I wouldn’t want him around. Those two alone were exhausting enough.
“I know,” he smiled and brushed a lock of hair behind my ear. “But I’m an architect Sookie, so the minute they said ‘tree house’ the damage was done. I’m probably more excited than them over the idea of building one.”
Well then that would mean he’d have to stick around for a while, didn’t it? Like Rome, tree houses weren’t built in a day, but it still made me gooey inside seeing how genuinely excited Eric appeared to be at the thought of building one with them. I’d always felt bad Jason and Trey had never gotten the chance to really know their father, much less do father/son things with him like Sam had.
But misreading my teary expression, Eric looked a little alarmed and said, “Unless you don’t want me to. I know it’s a little presumptuous on my part, but I…”
“No,” I interrupted. “I’m okay with it. More than okay with it. I guess I just wasn’t expecting you to take to them so quickly.” Smiling, I added, “I know they tend to rub a lot of people the wrong way.”
That was putting it mildly and necessitated my ‘mommy blinders’ being firmly in place for me to even be able to finish that sentence.
Like that whole ‘Mr. Bill’ business. They only started calling him that after watching a few old episodes of SNL and thought he was much like the Play-doh character, with his ‘Oh no!’ expression every time he came across the fruits of their labor in his yard.
Digging a hole to China in the middle of his award winning rose bushes among them.
And Sam was their brother, not their father, and I knew I tended to forgive them a lot of their more questionable behavior because I felt guilty they didn’t have one to look up to. I drew the line when it came to outright criminal behavior and I didn’t tolerate bullying in any form, but their mischief was more just boys being boys.
At least that was how I viewed it, but I knew I was in the minority.
Eric smiled back at me and said, “They’re good kids Sookie and you’ve done an amazing job raising them all by yourself. They’re boys. They’re supposed to get dirty and come home with their pockets filled with worms. It’s the best part of being a kid and I think it’s great you seem to be of the mindset of letting them just be kids. My uh…my wife never really saw it that way. Pam was never allowed to be anything but pristine. It was one of the things we never agreed on.”
I could tell he was uncomfortable, but I didn’t know if it was just speaking about his wife at all or if it was because he was admitting his marriage wasn’t all roses and sunshine. Truth be told mine wasn’t either, but I didn’t believe anyone’s relationship was perfect, so I tried to put him at ease by admitting, “I don’t know that Alcide would’ve been too happy if he could see how much I let them get away with now, but our views on parenting weren’t always eye to eye either. Thank you, though. I think that’s the first time I’ve ever heard anyone say anything good about the boys who wasn’t related to them.”
That right there was a crime in and of itself. Anyone who couldn’t see the light in their eyes or appreciate their unlimited imaginations wasn’t worth their salt, but before I could say any more, the sound of both of them yelling out, “ERIC! COME ON!” ripped through the air.
“I think I’m being paged,” I chuckled.
“And I think the whole neighborhood heard it,” she smiled.
I wanted to kiss her again, but I already knew how hard it was to remain focused on anything besides how hard she made me when we did. And this wasn’t that kind of night.
At least not yet.
So when she turned to go back into the house, I turned to walk into the backyard and met up with my fellow builders asking, “So how big are we talking? Something big enough for just the two of you to play in or something worthy of withstanding the attack of a thousand dragons?”
I knew which way I was leaning and I may have played up that side by mentioning winged fire-breathing monsters, so I was more than a little pleased when they both started jumping up and down chanting, “Dragons! Dragons! Dragons!”
“A fortress it is,” I smiled down at them.
Their backyard was pretty decent in size and it didn’t take long before I spotted the perfect tree for the job.
There was a group of three maple trees that were joined at the base, but split off in three different directions from there. They all appeared to be around the same age, so their heights and widths were similar too and my mind started putting the pieces together that would form the tree house about twelve feet up smack dab in the middle of them, with all three trees used to support the weight of it.
“Did Sookie hire you to do some yard work? I hope she’s finally looking at getting that monstrosity cut down.”
I would recognize Ante-Bill-um’s voice anywhere, made easier by the fact he made ‘Sookie’ sound like ‘Sookeh’, and I couldn’t stop the snort from leaving my lips hearing Jason loudly whisper, “Oh no! Mr. Bill!”
Who couldn’t love those kids?
Since the boys had already caught us making out, I didn’t think it would be shocking news for them to hear me when I said, “No, Sookie didn’t hire me to do anything. Like she said, we’re seeing one another, so I guess you’ll have to find someone else to have your imaginary dates with. And as for that monstrosity, it’s the perfect place to build a tree house fortress to fight off other imaginary things, like dragons.”
His expression froze into that of a dead guppy’s and I didn’t even try to hide my amusement when Trey used his outdoor voice and said, “Oh no! Mr. Eric broke Mr. Bill!”
Hearing our laughter seemed to break him out of his trance because his face reddened and his eyes narrowed at them as he shook his fist and hissed, “You two little hooligans had better stay out of my yard if you know what’s good for you.”
My amusement turned into white hot fury when I took a step closer to the fence he was hiding behind and warned, “You’d do well to watch who you’re threatening because I’d be more than happy to show you what can happen when picking fights with someone who’s not your size.”
Honestly, I thought either one of the boys could probably take his pasty ass, but I wasn’t going to stand there and listen to him issue veiled threats to any child, much less Sookie’s.
“Are you threatening me?” he asked.
“Not at all,” I replied coolly and leaned forward adding, “I’m promising you, if you lay one hand on either one of these boys, you’ll lose it.”
We could stick it on a pike on top of the tree house to warn incoming foes of what lied in wait for them, like Vlad the Impaler.
Just call me Dracula.
The boys’ simultaneous, “Oooooo…” worthy of any schoolyard walk of shame to the principal’s office was probably too much for him to handle, but before I could do something that could actually get me arrested the sound of Sookie’s voice calling out, “Dinner!” was enough to break up fight before it could even start.
Bill turned to go back to shoving thorns up his ass, while the boys and I made our way back to the patio, with Jason skipping the entire way there saying, “Did you see the look on his face?”
He’d been talking – I assumed – to Trey, given the bobble head nodding he was doing, but because he was now using his outdoor voice too, Sookie was the one to ask, “What look on whose face?”
“Mr. Bill’s ‘Oh no!’ face!” he answered gleefully. “He asked Eric if you hired him to do yard work and then looked like he was gonna poop pieces of broken glass when Eric said he was your boyfriend before Mr. Bill called us hooligans and said to stay out of his yard or else and then Eric told him if he put his hand on either one of us he’d lose it!”
Jason then added to his verbal explanation with a visual of a Samurai? Ninja? Michael Myers?
I was pretty sure in his mind his chopping action was accompanied by either a sword or a hatchet.
“What?” Sookie asked, turning to look at me and seeing what I was sure was my ‘Oh no!’ expression.
One, I didn’t know if Jason was holding an invisible sword or hatchet. And two, I didn’t know how she would feel about me making promises I would keep to her asshole neighbor. And finally three, I didn’t know how she’d take his verbal liberties about me being her boyfriend, but I didn’t feel the need to deny any of it, so I nodded and said, “In a nutshell, what he said.”
Her eyes lingered on me for a moment, but I thought I saw them warm even more towards me before she shrugged, with a small smile playing on her lips and began making up plates for everyone saying, “Well then you two either need to stay out of his yard or else we need to add to the bail fund.”
I was still somewhat shocked at her casual acceptance I would beat Mr. Billshitter to a pulp, so I was still doing my own dead guppy impersonation when Trey patted me on the back and said, “Don’t worry. If we’re not handcuffed next to ya, we got yer bail covered.”
“Good to know,” I chuckled, already imagining one handcuffed on either side of me, with Jason using a toothpick lodged in his teeth, trying to pick the lock on his brother’s bracelets.
The rest of dinner was filled with talk of the tree house that was getting clearer and clearer in my mind, so when Sookie finally gave the order for them to wash the funk off and get ready for bed, for the second time that night it was just me and her.
And suddenly tree houses were the last thing on my mind.
I was already wondering how fast and how far we could get while the boys showered when she said, “You know, you really don’t have to do anything.”
“So you’ll just strip for me?” I asked. And since my mind was already in the gutter and hadn’t come up for air yet, I added, “I kind of want to do it myself.”
My mind was still racing, with me trying to figure out where I would start.
Heads or tails?
I’d have to flip a coin to decide.
“What?” Sookie asked and hearing the confusion in her voice was enough to sober me up and realize she didn’t actually witness the flip of the switch in my depraved mind when the boys had left the room.
I could feel my cheeks heating up, which she seemed to enjoy, and then I was back to looking like a dead guppy when she leaned back and made a ‘go ahead’ gesture, saying, “Don’t let me stop you. By all means, if you want to strip. Strip. I think I have a few singles leftover in my purse. Should I put music on?”
She couldn’t stop giggling towards the end of her calling me out on my brain fart, so I playfully growled and made a grab for her saying, “Unless you want to scar the boys for life, you should watch what you say to me. I obviously can’t think straight around you, so who knows what they’d walk into.”
She settled back onto my lap where I’d put her and teased me in every way possible by rubbing her body against mine, while lightly chewing her way across my neck and ending at my ear where she whispered, “But I’ve already taught them, ‘Scars are cool.’”
Scars may be cool, but my dick digging into my zipper wasn’t, so I reached into the front of my pants to readjust.
Just as Sam walked through the front door and saw us in a compromising position for the second time that night.
Our sighs were mutual and mutually silent, but I tried to act like I wasn’t a teenage boy being caught by Sookie’s parents – no matter how much I felt like I was – and looked over at him saying, “Hi Sam.”
“Hi Eric,” he smiled. I didn’t understand what the evil vibe was behind it until he plopped down onto the couch next to us and grabbed the remote, turning the TV on and acting like his mother wasn’t straddling my rapidly deflating – but thankfully fully clothed – dick next to him.
“Seriously?” Sookie asked, looking over at him.
“What?” he asked. “I always watch TV out here.”
“Uh huh,” she sighed and then knocked him on the side of his head as she climbed off of me.
I wasn’t sure what was going on there, but after Pam’s earlier ‘she’s nothing like mom’ meltdown, I had a clue and took that as my cue to go. I stood up too, but since I wasn’t going to let Pam dictate who I would see and who I wouldn’t, I took Sookie’s hand in my own in front of Sam and said, “I should probably get going, but hopefully we’ll get the chance to get to know one another better the next time I’m here.”
“Maybe,” he shrugged.
And feeling Sookie’s hand do a death grip on mine, I knew she was ready to unleash on him. Considering my own parental verbal smackdown on Pam, I saw nothing wrong with her doing it, but I didn’t think I should be there to witness it. Both Pam and Sam were old enough to remember their deceased parents and I got the feeling – like me – Sookie hadn’t dated much since her husband died. We’d be fools to think our kids would just happily accept having a new person in our lives, but considering how fast and how deeply I was falling for her, I felt it was a fight that was worth having.
Hopefully Sookie felt the same.
So before she could say anything to him, I pulled her out the door with me and shut it behind us to give us a little bit of privacy, and seeing the anger still on her face I said, “It’s fine Sookie. Sam’s acting a lot like Pam did earlier after you walked away. It’s why I sent her home, but they’ll come around eventually.”
After several deep breaths and mutterings about ‘Come to Jesus’s’, she eventually smiled back at me and asked, “How about we actually have a night where it’s just you and me, while they’re busy working on their attitude adjustments?”
“I wouldn’t be opposed to that,” I smiled. “When are you free?”
“Never,” she laughed and moved to wrap her arms around my waist.
I wasn’t opposed to that either, so I reciprocated her movements and nodded, “Kidnapping it is.” Trying to resist kissing her now was a lost cause, so I leaned down and whispered, “I hope the boys don’t set the house on fire.”
“The house is insured,” she replied against my lips before parting my own with her tongue.
I wasn’t opposed to that either.
But all the way home my dick was definitely opposed to leaving her behind.
However I still wasn’t ready to admit why my heart might have been opposed to every mile I put in between us.