Well, I’d managed to hold Mom off for two days. But she was insisting on a family dinner tonight since they were going out of town the next day. We’d be in Lake Charles by the time they got back, which was not at all acceptable to Mom.
She loved Sookie and Zoe already. I’d barely managed to catch her yesterday; she’d been itching to go make breakfast. In my house. At 7 am.
“Are you sure you want to go? My family can be…intense. And I know my aunt and uncle are coming over to meet you and Thomas is gonna be there. Plus Roman and Alex. Are you su-”
Sookie chuckled as she raised a finger to shush me. “It’s fine, Eric. You’re mom is pretty awesome and so is Thomas. I’m sure your brothers will be lovely.”
I raised an eyebrow. Seriously? She wasn’t running from all the crazy by now? I sighed in resignation.
Leave it to Mom to ask Sookie directly, leaving me completely out of the loop. I still wasn’t quite sure if she just felt obligated to go or truly wanted to.
“Besides, I would’ve thought swimming would distract you sufficiently.” She smirked saucily and my eyes shot wide.
That saucy minx! She pulled away and only then did I notice her attire…or lack thereof. Her tiny little dress thing was barely covering her tan, supple skin and my jaw dropped as she ripped it over her head.
Bikini. There had never been a better looking bikini. It was just black, nothing special. But good god damn…I felt my cock spring to attention immediately. Oh shit! That wasn’t gonna work if she wanted me to join them.
Sookie rolled her eyes and glanced toward the front door where Zoe was waiting impatiently. Her tiny foot slapped repeatedly on the tile in the foyer and I grinned.
“Chill your grill, girlie! I’ll be there in a second!” She glanced back toward me as her daughter huffed in annoyance. “So are you coming?”
I swept my eyes up and down her body again. The heat rose in her cheeks as her confidence seemed to diminish infinitesimally.
I leaned down to her ear and she shivered at the close proximity of our bodies. “I’m not sure that’s a good idea. What with you looking like that, I don’t wanna scar Zoe.”
She gulped audibly and pulled away slowly, her pink tongue darting out to wet her luscious lips. “Well, you know where we’ll be.”
She spun quickly, nearly whipping me with the ends of her hair and sauntered out the door with her daughter in tow.
I stood rooted to the spot for a moment before my brain clicked into gear. I darted back to my bedroom and stripped in record time before I yanked my swim trunks out of my drawer. I didn’t even pause, though I noticed I’d grabbed the hideous floral trunks Godric had bought me last year.
Apparently they were all the rage. But they were flowery and short and I hated them, but at the moment I didn’t care. I had a wet, mostly naked lady to see!
“Is this alright?”
I spun around to face Eric who was lounging on his bed, a lascivious grin on his handsome face. “Mmmmhmmm. Daddy likey!”
Oh. My. God. I burst out laughing at the same time he did. I braced my hands on my knees as I fought to catch my breath, though once our eyes met we started all over again.
“Wow, yeah…that doesn’t work at all!” He sighed as we finally collected ourselves and he flopped backwards on the comforter. “But yes, you look beautiful. This is just a casual family dinner.”
I spun to look in the floor length mirror again. I couldn’t decide. I mean, this is the guy I’d tentatively started a relationship with. I wrinkled my nose and my lips pursed without my permission.
“Are you sure I shouldn’t, I dunno, wear a little makeup? Or maybe a nicer top?”
“Sook. Look at me. Rush shirt and no shoes. Believe me, you’re fine. I doubt Alex will even change out of his sweats.”
I was skeptical, but I guess if he said it was fine…
“Mommy, do I look pretty enough?”
I swung my eyes to the doorway where my daughter stood, shuffling her little feet nervously. Eric opened his arms and she nearly sprinted across the room to dive into a hug.
“You look absolutely beautiful, Angel. Everyone is going to love you.” He pulled her up on his lap and my heart just about burst. He was such a natural with her.
“Okay then. I guess we should head up there, right? Your mom said six and it’s ten til…”
Eric laughed again as he stood, lifting Zoe onto his hip as he went. He grabbed my hand and towed me out the door, still chuckling lightly.
“You’re hilarious, you know that?”
“What? Why?!?” I yanked my hand out of his and stopped dead in the hallway.
Seriously? I was worried about what his family would think and he was mocking me?
“I mean, it’s cute. You’re just all freaked out and you want to show up early and…it’s just…funny.”
My eyebrows rose of their own accord and Zoe wiggled to be put down. “Mommy, may I go in the living room to play?”
“Yes, Doodlebug.” Did I have steam coming out of my ears?
“But I thought we were going…” Eric wrinkled his nose adorably as he glanced toward the front door.
“You’re in trooooouble.”
Leave it to my daughter to sum up the situation perfectly as she swished her way out of the room. Eric’s eyebrow rose in question as he glanced back at me.
“I’m confused, Sookie. Help me out here.”
I sighed and crossed my arms over my chest as I thought. Eric began saying something, but I held up a hand and his mouth snapped shut. We stared each other down for a few more moments and I noticed a fine sheen of sweat break out on his forehead.
“I don’t understand what your problem is. I’m nervous as hell to meet your family and I want to make a good impression. I was taught that it’s rude to be late, but here you are laughing at me. I feel bad enough as it is.”
He took a step toward me but I retreated until I felt the wall against my back. “Seriously, Eric. What do I possibly bring to the table in this relationship except trouble and problems?”
His brow wrinkled and his arms crossed over his chest as he leaned against the opposite wall. “Are we having our first fight?”
Seriously? Seriously?!? What the ever loving fuck?!? I have no idea what expression was on my face, but I’m pretty sure he should’ve at least pretended to be scared of me.
He sighed as he dropped his arms and stepped toward me, caging me against the wall with his body.
“Look, our family is pretty relaxed about things. If it’s not a reservation or an event or something like that, then the times my mom says are more like guidelines. Dinner won’t be ready until seven at least, but she likes us there early so we can all talk and catch up. And please, please, please believe me when I say that you aren’t bringing anything remotely resembling problems and trouble into this relationship. We’ve all got our issues. This is new. We’ll figure it out.”
I stared up into his eyes for another few moments before I broke. My arms wound around his waist as his did the same and we stood clutching each other for a few minutes. I breathed in deeply as he stepped back, his eyebrow raised in question.
“Okay. I’m sorry. It’s just…yeah. Sorry I’m so neurotic.” He planted a light kiss on my forehead and smiled down at me.
“It’s fine. Like I said, this is new. We’ll work it out.” He stepped back to allow me some room and reached down to take my hand. “Come on. We may as well grab Zoe and go. I’m positive that Mom is just waiting to do something embarrassing.”
Oh God. When I said that Mom was waiting to embarrass me, I didn’t think she’d take it this far. But here I was, parked on the couch in their living room, staring up in horror at their 65” TV.
Sookie and Zoe were nearly rolling on the floor from laughing as they watched Godric, Thomas and myself dance-badly-to one of N’Sync’s songs. Complete with weird 90’s boyband clothes. Plus Alex tripping around us as he tried to join in. The camera suddenly panned to the left to see Roman leaning against the wall with his arms crossed and a scowl on his face.
“You see, Godric had such a crush on Justin Timberlake! Eric and Thomas were always supportive, so they decided to learn some of the ‘N Sync dances,” Mom informed Sookie smugly as she plopped on the couch beside me.
“This is the absolute best! Are there more?!” Oh hell no! My woman did not just ask for more of my humiliation!
“Ahhh, Mom! Where did you find these?” Thomas plopped down on the other side of Mom and grinned widely. Bastard had no shame.
“But…cousins don’t have the same Mommy, do they?” Zoe’s confused question and adorably wrinkled nose was my undoing and I scooped her up to sit on my lap.
“No. But our families were around each other so much that we call both moms ‘Mom’. Same with our dads.” She accepted my explanation without question, which I was grateful for. Then again, her family wasn’t exactly conventional so maybe I shouldn’t have been surprised.
“To answer your questions, yes there are more. And they were in the office upstairs along with all the other stuff from when you guys were little. Here, lemme…” Mom stood and crossed to the ancient VCR-seriously, where did she even find that thing?!?-to fiddle with the tape. It ejected after a moment and she grabbed another off the shelf above.
“Should I just leave the room? I dunno how much more of this abject torture I can take.” Sookie giggled and grabbed my hand.
“No way, man!!” Her fingers twined with mine and suddenly I didn’t care quite so much. Zoe grabbed my other arm and wrapped it around her middle as she leaned back against my chest.
“You guys were silly.” Zoe turned her head toward her mom and narrowed her eyes. “Why don’t you have movies like this, Mommy?”
I turned my body toward Sookie, a huge grin crossing my face as she blanched. “Yes, Lover. Do you have movies like this?”
“Nope. No. Not at all.” She paused, her head still shaking wildly in denial. “Nope.”
We turned to face the TV as Mom fiddled with the VCR and I leaned toward Zoe’s ear. “Don’t worry, Munchkin. We’ll find them.”
My stage whisper apparently made it’s way to Sookie; I mean who would’ve thought that she could hear that when she was sitting right beside me. Honestly. I threw a wink at Sookie and she just rolled her eyes as she tried to hold back a smirk.
“Ah hah! Got it!” Mom shouted gleefully as she skipped back to the couch and threw herself between Thomas and I.
The movie began playing and I groaned as Godric popped onto the screen decked out in a pink Power Rangers costume, skirt and all.
“Oh my God!” Sookie’s giggle drowned out whatever he’d shouted on tape and Zoe shushed her dramatically.
“It’s morphin’ time!” Thomas jumped from the left in his black outfit as I jumped from the right in red. Then Pam jumped in, complete with a blue costume, as Roman trudged in with his yellow costume that happened to be three sizes too small.
I watched in horror as we jumped and ‘fought’ our way across the screen, though I joined in the laughter as Dad entered the frame with a truly horrific cardboard….dragon head?…on. The camera panned away to see Alex, dressed in Mom’s old clothes, ‘tied up’ against the banister.
“Oh that was a truly awesome summer!” Thomas sighed as he leaned back against the cushions.
“Yeah, they were obsessed, as you can see.” Mom smiled widely as she leaned forward to see Sookie. “They always have a joint birthday party since their so close together and they all wanted Power Rangers that year. I finally had to put my foot down about a week before because we couldn’t have three red rangers.”
“Moooooom!” Godric’s horrified screech was about two octaves above his normal range.
I didn’t bother turning as I yelled back, “Just suck it up, bro. My complaints were already logged and ignored.”
“Hey Mo-what the hell is that?!!?”
Sookie spun around at the new voice and giggled.
“Hey Ro! What’s up?” His eyes, wide with confusion, swung toward me. His brows furrowed even more as he took in the little girl in my lap and the woman by my side.
“I-uh…I mean, wha…” He shook his head, as if you clear it and turned his eyes toward Mom. “Dad’s gonna be late. There was a problem with the Burk case. I’m just…gonna go change.”
He slowly spun and shuffled out of the room, his shell shocked expression giving Zoe another case of the giggles.
“Hey, Godric? Do you still have the pink costume?” Her hopeful eyes were wide and innocent and Godric thawed enough to come stand behind the couch and lean down beside us.
“I think so. Why?”
“You do?! Oh my God, why would you keep that monstrosity?!” Thomas guffawed loudly and Zoe turned toward him, a scowl on her face and her hands on her hips.
“You be quiet! The pink one is the best cause it has a skirt and Daddy Lala would’ve picked it too!” Thomas bit back a laugh at the serious frown on her face. She turned back toward Godric and smiled. “I wanna play dress up. Will you play with me?”
Mom awww’ed as Godric lifted Zoe off my lap and into his arms. “Of course, Angel! Let’s go see what we can find. I’m pretty sure Thomas’s beanie babies are here and I think Eric has a Furby somewhere.”
“What’s a Furby?” I chuckled as I heard Zoe’s puzzled question as they walked out of the room.
“Are you sure I can’t help with anything, Claudine? I feel bad that I’m just kinda sitting around.”
Eric chuckled and pulled me close, his nose running along the skin behind my ear as he whispered. “It’s a pointless question. She never lets anyone help in the kitchen.”
Claudine rolled her eyes as she grabbed her oven mitts. I laughed as I caught sight of her apron when she turned.
“Lemme guess, those were a gift from Poke-boy over here.” I could feel Eric roll his eyes behind me as Claudine grinned.
“You betcha!” She bent over the oven and grabbed a foil covered baking dish.
“Mom! You made lasagna?” Claudine ignored him as she pulled the foil off and popped it back into the oven. “You’re the best!” He spun me around to stand between his legs. “Mom’s lasagna is the absolute best!”
Claudine giggled behind me as I wrapped my arms around Eric’s shoulder. “You’ll have to excuse him, Sookie. He’s never had a serious girlfriend before.” She turned a hairy eyeball toward her son, who seemed to shrink beside me. “You never tell your girlfriend your mother’s cooking is better than hers!”
“God, Eric! Don’t you know this by now?!”
I turned to see Eric’s brother saunter in looking much more relaxed in some basketball shorts and a t-shirt. “Thanks, Roman. How’d that work out for you and the she-beast from hell?”
“Rude. Since my little brother has neglected to give proper introductions, I’m Roman. Nice to meet you.” He held his hand out and I shook it, giggling at the slight growl Eric let out behind my back.
“I’m Sookie. And the little girl Godric toted off earlier is my daughter, Zoe.”
“Yeah, he’s got her up in our old playroom. They found the beanie babies.”
I grinned. Gran had a small collection of the special edition Beanie Babies when we were younger and I remember being enamored with them.
“Roman, can you please go pull Alex from his Fortress of Solitude and make sure he’s decent for company?” She turned toward me and her brow wrinkled in apology. “He’s been known to show up to family dinners in his boxers. I swear I raised him better than that!”
I felt Eric’s body shake as he laughed, pulling me to his side while I chuckled as well. “My brother, Jason, would’ve done the same thing. Except my Gran would’ve whooped his behind so hard his kids would feel it.”
I smiled nostalgically as my thoughts turned to Gran. She would have loved Eric. She would have loved Godric and Thomas and the whole family. I sniffled slightly and Eric hugged me tighter as Claudine sandwiched me between them.
“She must have been quite a woman to raised such a wonderful granddaughter.” Eric must have filled her in on the little I’d told him of my family.
The three of us stood together for a moment and I fought back the tears threatening to fall.
“Ew, take your gross threesome somewhere else, bro!” Eric groaned at the voice behind us and Claudine raised her head with a scowl on her face. “Ewwwwww, Mom?!?”
“Great first impression, Alex. Lovely, really.” Claudine gave me another short squeeze before she turned and rounded the bar to grab her oven mitts.
“You mean second first impression. Remember we took you in the pool with us.” Eric reminded her as she rolled her eyes. She tossed a dishtowel our way, though it landed about two feet short.
I peeked around Eric to see a mini-dark haired version of my boyfriend. That was…weird. He looked so similar!
“Hi, I’m Sookie. It’s nice to meet you.”
He crossed the kitchen, the sweatpants he wore riding low on his hips to expose a small strip of his stomach. His dark eyes swept over me and he nodded to Eric.
“Nice score, bro. Can I have her when you’re done?”
I heard Claudine’s gasp of outrage as Eric went rigid in my arms. Oh shit. This was not going to end well.
Eric placed a sweet kiss on my forehead before he turned, sitting me on the red barstool and dropping another sweet kiss on my lips. Then he took off.
“BOYS! Don’t you dare break anyth-” A crash sounded from another room and she groaned. “-ing. I’m am so sorry, Sookie! I swear that boy…”
I chuckled and waved it off. “It’s alright. I’ve got a brother and cousins and Zoe’s dads. Nothing really phases me anymore.”
“Still.” Claudine bent over the oven to pull out the steaming lasagna. Good God, it smelled like heaven. She grabbed a sheet pan with cheesy garlic bread off the counter and slid it carefully onto the top rack. “That was completely uncalled for and I apologize.”
“Apologize for what?” I spun around quickly and nearly lost my balance on the tall barstool. Zoe held Godric’s hand as she skipped toward me and I grinned as she climbed up on my lap.
“Nothing, Doodlebug. Grown up stuff.” Godric cocked an eyebrow at me in disbelief.
“So ‘nothing’ is why Eric is chasing Alex around like a maniac?” Claudine took a deep breath and beckoned Godric over. She wrinkled her nose as she leaned closer to him, murmuring under her breath. I almost laughed at the way Godric’s face swept through the varying shades of red.
“Oh no, that little motherfucker!”
“LANGUAGE!” Claudine yelled as Godric took off. She cast an eye over at Zoe and I, her face screwed up in horror. “Oh, lord. You’re not gonna want anything to do with this family by the end of dinner. Maybe this was a mistake.”
I laughed loudly and Zoe giggled on my lap. “I like your family. They’re funny.”
“Well, I’m glad you think so. Come on, can you help me round up the heathens so we can eat?”
Zoe nodded enthusiastically and I grinned as Claudine untied her apron and tossed it carelessly on the counter. “Do you mind pulling out the bread in about another minute?”
I shook my head, unable to make a sound as my daughter took Claudine’s hand in hers and began tugging her out the door. “Why are Eric and Godric chasing that other boy?”
Claudine sighed and glanced down. “Because boys are stupid.”
Well, yeah. That just about summed it up.
I couldn’t believe they broke that vase. Grandma had given me that when I was 13. I hated the damn thing, but it was the thought that mattered.
I was glad to see Sookie and Zoe eating. Ravenously too, if I might add. Those girls…they were good for my Eric. I watched him glance every few seconds at one of them, the grin on his face never leaving as he shoveled food in his mouth like a caveman.
“So where’s Pam? I thought she already missed her day this month?” I could barely understand Roman around the hunk of bread he had just bitten off. I rolled my eyes and cleared my throat as I waited for him to finish. “Sorry, Mom.”
Much better. “The last time she missed was the last day of last month. Technicality.”
Sookie looked up for a moment, her eyebrows furrowed. “We have weekly dinners. The days change sometimes, but the kids only get to miss one. Unless of course they have a work engagement, but no one misses for stupid reasons. Having a date, like Pam does tonight, does not justify missing Family Dinner.”
“That’s cool! Is that kinda like when Uncle Claude and Auntie Claudette come to eat with us?” I grinned at this little girl who’d already stolen my heart. She was my grandbaby. I could feel it. They’d all figure it out soon enough.
“Almost. Usually Claude is tired from working at the shop and Claudette nearly burned the house down last time she tried.” Sookie rolled her eyes as Eric laughed. “You think it’s funny, huh? Just wait, I’ll get her to cook you something.”
We all laughed at the terrified look on Eric’s face, but I had to choke back tears as he tugged Sookie close to press a kiss to her cheek and whisper softly in her ear.
“If that’s Dad…” Roman ignored his phone and continued eating. I never brought mine to the table so he tossed it to me. Thomas chuckled from the other end of the table, spearing one of the tomatoes Zoe had daintily moved to the side of her plate. He’d been strangely quiet. It was beginning to freak me out a bit.
Again, Sookie looked confused so Godric filled her in while I unlocked my son’s phone. “My dad isn’t very good at texting. Like, he’s good at the texting part, but not picking the number part. He has a tendency to send Mom…” He glanced toward Zoe warily. “-grown up texts, but ends up sending a group text to all of us. It’s disgusting.”
Sookie snorted a laugh at the range of disgusted looks from the boys and Zoe continued eating, blissfully unaware or uncaring of the current topic of conversation. She seemed ridiculously smart and fairly well grounded, so maybe she was used to tuning out more adult talk. I couldn’t wait to meet her dads!
Sure enough, Coleman messed up again. “Don’t read it guys. Dad Fail.” I quickly deleted the text from Eric’s phone and casually checked his speed dials. Oh.My.God!
He’d already moved Sookie to number two! I bit my lip as I glanced up and around the table. Eric had Sookie’s hand clutched in his as he pressed a kiss to it and Alex was laughing at whatever story Zoe had just told him. Maybe she’d be good to have around-they seemed to be about the same maturity level. Godric glanced toward Roman and Thomas, a smirk (and marinara sauce) on his face. They shared a secret murmured conversation, they’re eyes bouncing back and forth between their brother and Sookie. Roman sighed and Thomas gave him a soft pat on the back as Godric laughed.
I locked the phone and slid it silently back toward Eric, then picked up my fork and speared a cucumber. I watched as he glanced my way and unlocked his phone, never taking his hand from Sookie’s. That boy gave up the ability to eat, even if it was only for a moment. True love, right there!
“Language! How many times must I tell you boys?!” Godric and Thomas looked horrified at Eric’s faux pas. The last time they had cursed at the dinner table they’d been twelve and had dared each other. They’d had to physically hold their tongues for the rest of dinner. The mess they’d made trying to eat while holding their tongues was epic and they barely got five bites down. Dinner ended promptly when the rest of us finished and they were not allowed any of their regular snacks during the night.
Those boys had never cursed at my dinner table again.
“Duuuuude!” Alex’s eyes were wide, his pupils completely rimmed in white as he stared in horror.
“Oh my-she..it’s not…I mean…” My boys had a problem with stuttering apparently. I smiled wide and continued eating, casually offering Sookie and Zoe more food.
Zoe took her third helping of lasagna while Sookie spooned up more salad, ignoring the frozen faces around the table. “I’m just gonna assume this will pass and someone will explain it to me. Right?” She looked to me with a grin. I nodded silently and continued eating.
“She..I mean-” Eric shoved his phone under Sookie’s nose, shaking it in her face as she cut her eyes to the side. “You’re number two!”
The collective gasp around the table just confused Sookie more as she took the phone from Eric, glancing at it in confusion. “Um, that’s really sweet Eric.” She shrugged and handed it back. “I don’t even know how to set my speed dials.”
“No, Sookie. You don’t understand. Mom is ALWAYS number two. Anytime one of us would change it, she’d ninja her way into our phones and change it back. I dunno how she did it! ESP or fairy dust or black magic or something!” Godric said, his eyes still comically wide. Thomas had thawed enough to continue eating and Roman pulled his phone out, making a face as he deleted the text from Coleman.
He pressed a few buttons, then huffed as he turned the phone for Sookie to see. “I changed my speed dials this morning. I put Dad as number two just to mess with her. And look.”
Sookie laughed and raised a fist toward me, which I happily bumped. “Dude, mom powers. It’s our secret.”
See, she got it.
“Are you sure Godric doesn’t mind being over there?” I rolled my eyes good naturedly at Sookie as she fretted for the tenth time.
Godric had been more than happy to take Zoe back to the pool house once she’d fallen asleep sprawled across my lap. “I’m sure. He’s actually getting some work done while he’s over there. It’s fine.”
She settled back against the cushions of the couch as Mom brought her a wine glass partially filled with a dark red liquid. I wrinkled my nose at the sharp smell. I was definitely more of a beer drinker, as was Sookie. But Mom was determined to find a wine that she liked. You know, for big family dinners and stuff where beer ‘wasn’t appropriate’. Her words, not mine. I thought beer was appropriate for any dinner.
Thomas laughed at the expression on Sookie’s face. She looked like she’d swallowed a lemon and she hadn’t even tasted it yet. She took a small sip and blanched, her face turned red as she choked dramatically.
“Oh God no! That’s what evil must taste like!” Mom guffawed as she swiped the glass from Sookie and returned to the kitchen.
“Yeah, I’m not a fan of that one either. My sister-in-law loves it though.”
Thomas burst into laughter and doubled over, holding his sides. “You gave her mom’s wine?!? Why would you torture the poor girl?!”
Sookie seemed to agree with the torture assessment and I leaned in to whisper in her ear. “Aunt Neave has…odd tastes in liquor.”
Alex had disappeared into his lair again and Roman had left the room to make a phone call. Mom came back into the living room and plopped down on the chaise, turning sideways to throw her legs over the arm.
“Dad should be home any minute. I wish he would’ve been able to meet Zoe, but he has to fly to Boston tomorrow morning.” Her face was painted in an apology, but I waved it off.
“It’s fine. He’ll meet her eventually. I plan on keeping these two around as long as they’ll have me.” I turned Sookie’s head gently and pressed a kiss to her lips, ignoring the awwwws of Mom and Thomas in the background. She smiled at me and snuggled further into my side as I turned my attention back to Mom. “Are you going with him?”
She shrugged. “Maybe. If I do, I’ll have to fly out tomorrow night. I have a meeting with that bitch from the Garden Society in the morning.”
Thomas chuckled as Sookie’s mouth dropped open in astonishment. “What? I never said they weren’t allowed to curse at all.”
“‘Know your audience’ is her rule. No cursing at the dinner table, in front of kids or in front of anyone it could shock into a stroke.”
Sookie choked on the sip of my beer she was in the process of stealing and I snickered at her misfortune. “Careful you. You’re easily replaced.” She blew a kiss toward Thomas and I growled again. It was a noise I was becoming strangely familiar with.
“What the hell did I walk in on?!” Roman’s eyes swept the room. Mom was laughing her ass off on the chaise while Thomas blew kisses at Sookie. I was gripping her probably too tightly and she was giggling and petting me. Petting me! Her fingers stroked lazily over the bare skin of my arm and her other hand drew light designs on my denim clad legs.
“So, how’d your call with Whora go?” I rolled my eyes at my brother as he sat on the couch opposite us. His wife was a piece of work.
“Nora apologized for not being here. Said she had…something. I dunno I wasn’t listening.” Mom scoffed. No one was a fan of hers.
I don’t know if it was her constant uppity attitude or her ridiculously expensive clothes. Maybe it was her disdain for Alex and Godric or her blatant disrespect for my parents. Or maybe it had to do with the fact that she wanted me, not Roman, but settled with him in the hopes of catching my attention. It was gross. We all saw it, but Roman was blinded by love. Mom had forbidden us from bad mouthing Nora in front of him, though we all gossiped like little old church ladies when he wasn’t around.
I noticed he’d been spending more and more time around the house, not even bothering to return to their condo. He’d get there eventually.
Mom’s face lit up as Dad called out and Sookie sighed happily. Mom waited impatiently, wiggling slightly in the chaise as Dad made his way through the kitchen.
“Hey everyone. Hi darling.” He bent over the back of the lounge and cupped my Mom’s face, their lips fused together like some weird ocean creature. Ick.
“There are children present!” Dad shot up and looked around, probably hoping to see Zoe, and raised his eyebrow at Thomas when he came up empty. “What? We’re children.”
Sookie snorted a laugh and I waved Dad over to us. “Dad, this is Sookie. Zoe went into a lasagna coma after dinner and is asleep in the pool house with Godric.”
Sookie tried to stand to greet my father, but I wouldn’t release her and she struggled fruitlessly for a moment until she realized how pointless it was. Groaning, she held her hand out to shake my father’s, an apologetic grimace on her face.
“Don’t worry about it.” Dad leaned down and wrapped his arms around as much of her as he could. I could hear low whispering in Sookie’s ear, but I couldn’t make out the words.
Dad pulled back with a glimmer in his eye and Sookie sniffled. “What the hell Dad? Don’t try to scare my girlfriend off! Everyone else did a bang up job of that earlier!”
Sookie’s small hand on my leg shut me up. “Don’t worry, Eric. He was just welcoming me to the family.”