I could feel my forehead wrinkle as I hung up the phone.
“What happened? Mommy gets that look when something’s wrong.”
I glanced over at Zoe who was thoroughly enjoying counting her Monopoly money-again. Damn, that kid was ridiculously good at Monopoly. We’d already played twice and she won both times.
But how much to tell her… “Well, your Mom and Eric got surprised by some people taking their pictures an-”
“You mean paparazzi.”
I rolled my eyes. Seriously, she was way too perceptive. “Yes the paparazzi. Anyways, your Mom got a little hurt.”
Maybe I shouldn’t have said that because Zoe’s lip puckered out immediately and her eyes began to water.
I rushed to the chair she was perched in and plucked her up gently. She snuggled against me as I sat underneath her, sniffling into my shirt as I wrapped my arms around her tiny body.
“Aw don’t cry, Baby Girl. She’ll be back in a little bit and you’ll see that she’s just fine. More scared than hurt.” She glanced up at me with baleful blue eyes.
Broken. Heart. “I promise, baby. Let’s relax on the bed and watch a movie until they get here.”
She nodded and wrapped her arms around my neck. I grinned as I picked her up, barely even registering the weight of her featherlight body.
I laid her down gently on the bedspread and she immediately curled up on her side, her tiny hand reaching out to grab the pillow.I rubbed her back gently as I unlocked my phone and hit Pam’s speed dial.
“Psychic Hotline. You have the wrong number.”
Seriously?! Why do I pay her again? I rolled my eyes and dialed her number again.
“Oh what?! I’m on a date right now, fuck nugget.”
Isn’t she pleasant? “Pam, we have a situation. I need you to come to the hotel to help.”
“Seriously?! But-but this girl…she’s-ugh!” She groaned dramatically and I heard a tinkling giggle echo somewhere in the background.
“You literally just got here today and haven’t done a damn thing, Pam. I need you here. Now.”
“Fine, asshole. I’ll be right over.”
I rolled my eyes again and tossed my phone on the nightstand. I glanced down at Zoe, who had latched onto the stuffed Pikachu Eric had given her last week. He was passing down his Pokemon obsession, much to Sookie’s amusement.
“Hey Baby Girl. Would it help you feel better if we go pick your mom and Eric up? That way you can see she’s alright.”
Her impossibly blue eyes turned toward me, tears still shimmering across them. She nodded lightly and her lip quivered as she leaned up to hug me.
“Let me grab your mom’s keys so we don’t have to transfer your car seat. Then when Pam gets here we’ll go. You’ll…like Pam. I think.” I shrugged and tickled her ribs. “She’s weird.”
Zoe let out a muted giggled into Pikachu and I smiled. A loud bang echoed through the suite and I whipped my head around. Pam couldn’t be here yet…
I tugged Zoe up and balanced her on my hip as I crossed the suite. I peeked through the peephole and sighed as I swung the door open.
My darling sister glared at me before she shouldered past me, nearly knocking into Zoe on the way.
“So, you’re the thing everyone’s fussing about, huh Twiglet?”
Zoe’s eyebrow shot up in a shocking mimic of Eric and I had to stifle my laughter. I shut the door and turned to see Pam, striking what could only be called a pose, as she glared my way.
“Come on. We can talk in the car.” I set Zoe down to slip her flip flops on.
“Godric, what’s a Twiglet?” I glanced back at my sister, who had pulled a nail file from…well, I’m not sure where since she didn’t have a bag.
“I have no idea. Maybe Pam will explain. And by the way, how did you get here so fast?” I had purposely put her with the rest of the cast and crew at SpringHill Suites. She could get very annoying, very fast.
“I cancelled the room over at ShitHill and got Dad to book a room here.” Seriously? I found myself glaring at her with my hands on my hips. “What?! Dad said it wasn’t on the movie’s dime. He’s paying.”
My dad, the sucker. Oh well, at least she’d be close. “So, are you gonna call your girl when we get back? I really am sorry for pulling you away, but Eric and Sookie got mobbed by the paps.”
Real concern flitted over her face for a microsecond before her features smoothed back into her patented resting bitch face. “Well that sucks. Let’s go save the damsels in distress so I can get back to Lulu. She’s waiting in my room na-”
“PAM!” I gently covered Zoe’s ears for a moment before Pam rolled her eyes and nodded her silent agreement not to be vulgar.
I led the way out of the room after I made sure I had all the keys I needed. Zoe’s small hand clutched mine tightly as we shuffled down the hall with Pam bringing up the rear.
Sookie snuggled further into my side as we reclined on Sam’s couch. Now that the adrenaline was wearing off, I was, for lack of a better word, pouting.
My beautiful girlfriend had been teasing me all night with her sinful body in that ridiculously sexy red dress. I mean, I love Zoe and everything. But I kinda just wanted a night alone with Sookie. Oh hell, who am I kidding? I wanted forever with her.
I’d finally been about to have her all to myself, and of course the fucking paps had to go and fuck it all to hell. Come on, I’d been hard since she opened the door. The imprint of my zipper might never go away!
I checked the time on my phone again. It’d been almost a half an hour since Sam had rescued us. I didn’t know who Godric would send for us and I didn’t know how long they would take to get there. But I was content…ish…to just sit here holding Sookie.
A soft knock on the office door drew my attention. “Yes?”
Mr. Merlotte peeked through the cracked door, glancing at us before he cracked a smile. “Someone’s here to pick you up.”
The door swung inward and a blur of My Little Pony darted toward us. I heard Sookie’s ‘oof’ as Zoe flung herself at her mother, pinning my arm in the process. I can’t say that I was complaining though. I just swung my other arm around them both, squeezing lightly.
A throat clearing across the room broke up our trio and I raised my eyes to see Godric with a grin stretching his face to the max and, much to my chagrin, Pam. The bitch had her hand on her slim hip, her sky high boots tapping impatiently on the tile floor.
“So, he’s fine, she’s fine. Can we go now?” If she had gum, she’d be snapping it. Just like I’d like to be snapping her neck…
“Sookie, this is my sister, Pam. She’s pleased to meet you.” Sookie’s eyebrow shot up and Godric chuckled. “Well, she’s at least pleased she got to see you in that dress.”
Yes, I’d noticed the leer. I’d been fighting back a growl for the last minute or so. I knew there was no danger of losing Sookie to Pam, but I…couldn’t help it. She was mine!
“Well, I’m glad to meet you, Pam.” Sookie finally managed to pry Zoe’s face away from her chest and she bent her head to look into her daughter’s eyes. “Hey now, Doodlebug. What’s with the tears?”
Oh crap! I hadn’t noticed the tears. No, no, no. Those damn bloodsuckers upset Zoe! Not only did they scare Sookie to death and cause her to cut up her hands, but they apparently terrified my baby girl.
Wait…my baby girl?
I shook my head to clear that obviously unhelpful train of thought. It was waaaaaay too early to even contemplate anything resembling that line of thinking.
“You got hurted. I was scared.” Her tiny hand reached out to grab my shirt, her fingers gripping the fabric tightly. I leaned forward to press a soft kiss against her hair, inhaling the sweet little girl smell she seemed to always have.
“But look,” Sookie pulled even further away and shifted Zoe into my lap, “I’m fine. Eric fixed me right up.”
She shot a smile at me as Zoe wrapped her arms around my torso. “Come on, Angel. Let’s get back to the hotel. I’m pretty sure you’re supposed to be asleep by now.”
Godric shuffled his feet a bit as we stood, Zoe still snugly in my arms. “We maaaay have been gearing up for another game of Monopoly…”
Sookie’s loud guffaw echoed through the room and Pam rolled her eyes again. Funny, I’d actually forgotten about her. Something she obviously was unhappy about given the glare she was throwing around.
“This is all Little House on the Prairie and shit, but I’ve got places to be, people to do…” She licked her lips lasciviously and I caught myself trying to shield Zoe from the bitch.
“Hey, Zoe can you do earmuffs for me?” She cocked her head in confusion before Sookie demonstrated with her hands over her ears. Once she was sufficiently deafened (I hoped), I turned my patented rage eyes toward my sister.
“Shut the fuck up, Pam. What the fuck crawled up your ass anyways? I didn’t ask you to come-that was Godric, so if you’re going to go ape shit on anyone pick him. Leave me and my family out of it!”
All eyes were on me, including Zoe’s as her hands dropped limply from her ears. What? What’d I say…oh. Well shit.
Silence reigned for a few more moments and I gulped uncomfortably as I waited for someone-anyone-to react. And I was not at all disappointed when I was nearly bowled over by the tiny blonde woman next to me.
I barely registered Pam’s scoff and mumbled curses or Godric’s sighs of…some happy emotion. All I could focus on was the feel of my girlfriend and her little girl, secure in my arms and right where they belonged.
I glanced at Eric again and bit my lip slightly. Zoe had passed out almost the second we started driving and thankfully, Pam had taken Eric’s car. I wasn’t quite sure how I felt about her. Oh well, time would tell.
Eric had angled his incredibly long legs in a weird side saddle type position in order to curl around Zoe’s car seat. The low hum of his voice was what had done her in and I couldn’t help the swell of emotion bubbling up inside me.
Family. He’d called us family. I mean, I had family. But this was…different. This felt like…more. My fingers reached over of their own accord and nudged his gently as I slipped my hand underneath his. The seatbelt dug into my hip as I leaned toward the center seat where Zoe was secured, but I didn’t care.
“I know I didn’t quite say it between the hugging and everything, but thank you. For saying what you did.”
Eric’s eyes crinkled at the corners as he smiled, his hand giving mine a soft squeeze. “You never have to thank me for caring about you, Sookie. Or Zoe. I-” His eyes darted to the darkened front seat where Godric was driving and trying to be as inconspicuous as possible. “I’ve never felt anything like this for anyone. And I know I already have this crazy, mismatched family, but you guys are rapidly becoming a very prominent part of it.”
I couldn’t help that my eyes watered, but I sniffled quietly to try to hide it. “That’s just…that might be the sweetest thing anyone’s ever said to me.”
A soft ‘awww’ from the front seat made me giggle and Eric reached forward with his ridiculously long arm to smack Godric lightly.
“Hey now! Hands off the driver!”
The rest of the drive was spent with soft banter between the two men and it was just like watching Jason and Claude when we were younger. I needed to hear some of these stories they were casually referencing because they sounded hilarious. The spider in the bathroom incident, their high school English teacher who tried to fail Godric for plagiarism because his vocabulary was better than hers, the condom water balloon war of 2001…
We pulled into the valet lane and I began to unbuckle Zoe as gently as I could. She (and I) would not be a happy camper if I woke her up. I slid her arms out of straps and took a deep breath, preparing to slide her into my arms.
But Eric stopped me. Without a second thought, his arms slid gently behind her and under her legs as he lifted her gently from the seat. He slid smoothly out of the SUV and I’m sure my mouth was gaping open when he looked back at me. His handsome face broke into a grin and he just dipped his head, beckoning me to get out of the car. My legs were shaky as I stepped carefully out of the vehicle and made my way toward where Eric waited with my daughter in his arms.
“Eric, really, you don’t ha-” I was silenced with a soft kiss pressed to my forehead and I felt the tears well in my eyes again.
“Shhh. Just let me do this, okay Sook?”
I nodded slowly as he began making his way toward the door Godric was holding open a few feet away. How the hell did I get so lucky?
I smiled down at the sleeping angel in my arms as I waited for Godric to fish the room key out of his pocket. I could practically feel Sookie’s eyes boring into my back as she continued to stare at us in disbelief.
I do believe I made myself perfectly clear on this matter, but apparently she needed a little more reassurance. It just sucks that it would have to wait. Ugh, stupid paps! I rolled my eyes as that thought flitted through my head-I had done such a good job at trying to forget!
I took a deep mental breath and cleared my head as the door finally opened-seriously Godric sucked at these electronic locks. This was just a bump in the road and I had forever to spend nights with Sookie. Hopefully.
I mean, it felt right. I remember my mom…I mean, the glorified incubator that actually gave birth to me…telling me that love wasn’t real; that emotions were for the weak and pathetic. And I had taken that to heart for years, systematically stifling any and all emotions that managed to sneak through my defences. Until Claudine took us in. She was the mom I always wanted and needed; my real mom in every way that mattered. She showed me that love was something to strive for and something that built you up and made you stronger. But I’d given up on that dream years ago.
She was what my mom-my real mom-had been talking about. She made me feel butterflies just by being herself. My heart beat faster when I was around her and I anticipated seeing her every morning. She was my last thought before I went to sleep at night and she usually starred in my dreams.
I set Zoe down gently in the center of the huge bed as I contemplated the directions my thoughts had taken. It was Sookie’s hand on my shoulder that brought my attention back to the here and now. I reached over my shoulder to gently grasp her fingers, pulling her around to stand beside me. It was funny, she was barely taller than me when I was sitting and I grinned up at her. She rolled her eyes good naturedly and I smirked.
I stood slowly and we crept out of the bedroom silently to find Godric parked on the plush sofa in the living room.
Sookie bent to slip her shoes off, grabbing my hand to balance. “What are you still doing here, Godric? I would’ve thought you’d be passed out in your room by now.”
Her smile was soft, but it didn’t reach her eyes. Maybe she was as disappointed as I was. It was a pathetically awesome thought.
“No. Put those shoes right back on, Missy. Get out. This is my room tonight.” He stretched his arms out to span the entire back of the couch as he kicked his feet up on the coffee table.
“Uh, what?” Hah! Great minds think alike.
He smirked up at us as he turned away from whatever was playing on Food Network. “You guys got interrupted, but it’s still your night. Go. I’ve got Zoe. She’ll be fine.”
I could’ve kissed him! Although it’d be weird, cause he might like it, but also weird cause he was my almost brother. Ew. My brain was on overload.
“Are you sure, Godric? I mean, she might be up in the middle-”
“Nope, he’s sure. You’re sure, right bro? I mean, he’s fine, they’re fine!” I had her at the door at this point, Godric’s laughter chasing us out of the suite as Sookie giggled.
That giggle was rapidly cut off as I pulled her out the door and rapidly pressed her against it, fusing my lips to hers. The throaty moan that escaped her made my cock throb and I hissed in a breath as she bit lightly at my lip.
I was lost in the soft, breathy pants she let out as my lips traveled over her jaw and down her neck; the feel of her silky skin and the soft material covering her luscious body; the scent of her hair and the taste of her mouth. Everything overwhelmed me and it was all I could do to pull away and tug her down the hall.
x . x . x . x . x
The feel of her in my arms was heaven. Her soft breathing was comforting. And the fact that Sookie was with me this morning was indescribable.
It was a hell of a lot earlier than I normally woke up, but I was too…enthralled to sleep anymore. Every time I’d woken during the night I’d been touching her in some way. I never wanted her to leave.
Which, as I glanced toward the digital clock beside the bed, she wouldn’t need to for at least 3 hours. Jesus, was it really only 6:32?
Last night was the best night of my life, bar none. Even after the paparazzi fiasco.
I snuggled closer to Sookie, grinning as I caught sight of some lingerie scraps hanging from the lamp shade. I’d have to buy her more of that stuff. Hearing her moan and squeal as I ripped it off of her little by little was something that I’d relive often.
The light slowly crept across the floor as the sun leaked through the patio doors and I felt my eyelids grow heavy. The steady rise and fall of Sookie’s barely covered chest was hypnotic.
Until someone knocked on our door. What.the.fuck!
I slid away from Sookie gently, gratified to see her roll toward the warm spot I’d just left. I pulled the blanket up higher on her, determined to keep her comfortable so I could come back to snuggle her.
Another soft knock on the door spurred me to grab a pair of lounge pants and shimmy them quickly up as I tripped toward the door of the suite. I looked through the peephole and my eyebrow rose as I saw an empty hallway. If this was some punk ass rich kid playing a prank I’d-
Another knock sounded. Huh? I pulled the door open cautiously and my eyes scanned down to find…Zoe.
Oh shit! “Oh hey, Baby Girl. What are you doing up so early?”
I lifted her into my arms and propped her on my hip as I turned to retreat in the room. The door swung shut quietly as Zoe snuggled against my chest, her Pikachu toy sandwiched between us. It made me smile every time I saw her with it.
“I missed you and Mommy.” Her voice was tinier than I’d ever heard it and she was clearly half asleep still. I sauntered over to the sofa and plopped down, cradling her to me.
“We’re right here. Everything’s fine. I promise.” The low hum started without a conscious thought from me. It took me a few minutes to recognize it as the song Mom used to hum to me after my biological parents died. It was another few minutes before I realized that I was running my fingers through Zoe’s soft hair. And another few minutes before I realized that she was asleep.
This bed was heaven. I stretched languidly and reached out for Eric-to find a crumpled sheet. Well, that was unexpected.
I sat up, uncaring as the blanket fell away from my chest, and glanced around the room. The evidence of our night was everywhere. The shreds of what had been my panties were on the lampshade and my bra was hanging from a sconce across the room. The comforter was pushed off the bed and Eric’s clothes marked a trail from the door to the bed.
Wow, my body was sore. I shifted to get out of bed and grabbed Eric’s button up from the night before. I slipped it on, grimacing at the slight ache between my legs. God, I was getting wet just thinking about last night and when exactly I could get a repeat.
But I was also curious about what would take Eric away before I’d even woken up, so I padded quietly across the room to investigate.
And what I found made the tears well in my eyes as I stood in the doorway to the living room. Eric was sprawled across the couch with Zoe cradled in his arms, her head resting on his chest and her stuffed Pikachu in her arm as he hummed. The song wasn’t one I knew, but it was beautiful in a slightly haunting way.
I stood there staring at the two of them, my heart trying to beat it’s way out of my chest as I fought back tears. But my sniffling gave me away. Eric’s head tipped backward and he smiled at me upside down.
“Hey.” I crossed the room quickly and sunk down beside him. “How did this happen?”
He grinned and shifted one arm to wrap around my shoulder. “I dunno exactly. I heard a knock on the door and found her. She said she missed us.”
Well there went the tears again. She didn’t miss me. She missed us. And I absolutely loved it. I leaned over and pressed a soft kiss to Zoe’s forehead and chuckled when she stirred. “Hey Doodlebug. Good morning.”
Her eyes fluttered open and she blinked a few times sleepily. Then she threw herself at me, wrapping her arms around my neck. Eric chuckled and tried to shift away, but one of her tiny arms shot out to lasso him as well.
Our little group hug lasted another few moments before I gently pried my daughter off of me. “Why did you show up at Eric’s door this morning? Did you tell Godric?”
She looked sheepish for all of half a second before she plastered on her puppy face. “No. He was sleeping. But I missed you.” Her lip pouted out and she snuggled between Eric and I once again.
“Well, that’s not really an acceptable excuse, young lady.” Eric’s lip pouted out and I smacked his arm lightly. “What?! Godric’s gonna freak!”
“Eh, he’ll be fine. So, do you lovely ladies want to get some breakfast with me? We don’t have filming until this afternoon.”
I nodded as Zoe played with the buttons of Eric’s shirt that I had pulled on, reminding me quite abruptly that I hadn’t thought to pull on undergarments. Not that I had undergarments. Ooops.
“I want pancakes. And strawberries.” I was getting a little fed up with her pouting.
“How about you rephrase that? I’m not a fan of this attitude.”
Eric’s eyes got wide and his mouth popped open. He’d never seen me really discipline Zoe before and this was a new experience for him.
“I’m sorry, Mommy. Please can w-”
Whatever polite request she was about to make was rudely interrupted by a loud crash at the door, followed by incessant banging. “ERIC!”
I smirked. “I told you he’d freak!” Eric grinned and stood, slowly sauntering around the corner to answer the door.
I took my sweet ass time getting to the door, content to let Godric freak a little longer. Call it payback for recruiting Alex and Thomas for their little prank a few weeks ago.
The yelling and banging continued as I slowly unlocked the door and swung it inward. Godric nearly fell inside as his fist tried to connect with the door again and I chuckled at the frazzled look on his face.
“Eric! Oh my God, Sookie’s gonna kill me! I just-I woke up and Zoe, well, she wasn’t there and I looked all over the room and under the bed and in the dresser drawers and I can’t find her and oh my god, Sookie’s gonna kill me!” I let him ramble, amused at the rather disheveled state of him. His shirt was inside out and backwards, his flip flops were on the wrong feet and he still had pillow lines and drool on his face.
“NO, ERIC! She is literally going to murder me! And Zoe, oh god! Where is she? She’s probably scared or no! What if someone came in and abducted her?!? Holy shit! I need-are there any sex offenders around here? How do I find that out?!? Holy fuck, I’m a horrible human being! I’m such a-I mean, Sookie’s never gonna trust me again and-”
I couldn’t take it, so I turned and walked away. He’d follow and he’d see that she was fine. His yelp of protest and the slap of his flip flops followed me as I ambled back toward my girls. And Sookie’s face was turning puce as she tried to hold back laughter when she saw us round the corner.
Godric stopped short, frozen in shock as he took in Zoe’s wide apologetic eyes. Then he sagged and I had to catch him before he hit the floor.
His mouth gaped like a fish as he tried to stutter something coherent, but it just wasn’t happening. So I dragged him to the chair and dropped him in it before I took my place next to Sookie.
“You were saying?”
He glared at me, apparently finally regaining some semblance of motor control. Zoe shuffled off the sofa and sheepishly stood in front of Godric.
“I’m sorry, Uncle Godric. I just missed Mommy and Eric.”
His eyes welled with tears and I heard Sookie sniffle again. Uncle Godric? That was so incredibly adorable and I felt myself start to choke up a bit too.
“Oh, Baby Girl. I understand. Just, maybe wake me up next time, okay?” He pulled her into a hug, breathing a deep sigh of relief as he met Sookie’s eyes. He mouthed something that looked like ‘Is that okay?’ and I was completely unsurprised when Sookie enthusiastically nodded her head.
I was so grateful to be doing something I was familiar with. After the scare this morning and my subsequent heart attack, filming was comfortingly routine.
Working with Amelia and Bill was no walk in the park, but I was used to their brand of douchebaggery. It was fairly common in the industry, even if I was on the outskirts of it all.
I balanced the clipboard on my arm as I scribbled the schedule for tomorrow. We’d have to have Zoe up early to get here for her shots, but then there would be time for her to grab a nap. I wasn’t too worried; so far, she’d done remarkably well. Her little bouts of attitude that annoyed Sookie so much were really very minor compared to most kids I’d been around, plus she never, EVER pulled those shenanigans when she was ‘on the clock’. Her words, not mine.
“It’s really very simple, Bill. It’s not like either of them are intelligent enough to figure it out. Just make sure you distract Godric and I know I can persuade Eric. Then that white trash bumpkin is yours for the taking, though why you’d want her I have no idea.”
Well, this was interesting. I leaned against the wall as Amelia and Bill continued to murmur on the other side of the door to my right.
“Ameliuh, you know Sookeh would be just perfect for meh. She is a true Southern Belle and someone I would be luckeh to have on muh arm. We’d of course leave the brat at home with her delinquent fathers. Then everythin would be as it should be.”
Oh, this was priceless! These half wits really thought they could break Eric and Sookie up?! HAH! I don’t think a nuclear bomb could break those two up.
“Whatever. Just do your part. Next week, when Eric’s on set. You got it?”
Ew. Was that Bill moaning?!? What the fuck?
“Oh, shut up! I need to get-”
Oh fuck, no! I scampered away from the wall and pulled out my phone. As soon as I was out of the house, I pulled the keys to my car out of my pocket. Once I settled into the car and tossed the clipboard I still had to the passenger seat, I dialed Pam’s number.
“Hey sis. Wanna do something fun?”