Chapter 14: The Long Arm Of The Law

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The Long Arm Of The Law

Wednesday continued…

“You’re an evil little bastard!” She actually kissed my cheek on her way out the door. No one was looking, of course.

I insisted that Kenya come too. I knew she’d get a kick out of seeing Bill-go-bye-bye, but my real reason was that I didn’t want her to be alone after the afternoon she had.

**

A loaded dishwasher and change of clothes later, I let Alcide drive to the school so that I could text Lafayette, Tara and Jason to let them know about our little jamboree.

Jason replied by asking if he got wasted, could he really snuggle up with Alc. Of course he could.

Tara replied to tell me that she was swamped with school stuff since they were out last week. She asked for a raincheck. I told her that this was once in a lifetime and that I’d keep my fingers crossed.

Lafayette didn’t text back… he called.

“I can get pizza and beer in Shreveport and I don’t have to spend 45 minutes each way.”

“I have a special surprise planned.”

“Does it include a thong?”

“Does it need to? I’m not sure they’re unpacked yet.”

He started laughing. “Seriously, Eric, I’m really busy.”

“You’ll be mad if you miss it.”

“I don’t…”

“Come on, come on, come on. You need to be there. This is me begging.”

“You’re making it hard to say no.”

“You’re not the first to tell me that.”

He laughed again. “What time?”

“The pizza and beer will keep, but the show will start around 8.”

“Wear something to make it worth the drive.”

“Oh, don’t worry about that. I make everything look good.”

“You and me both!”

**

When I hung up, Alcide gave me a goofy look. “You’re going to dress up for Lafayette?”

“No. I’m going to dress up for Cater. After the way Sookie dealt with Rasul, I want to test Kenya’s theory.”

He started laughing… “How many layers of fun are we going to try to cram into today?”

“Lemme see… getting Bill arrested… baiting Cater into getting calibrated by Sookie… That’s enough for me. I’m not greedy.”

“Are we rocking wife beaters tonight?”

“If we wear shirts at all.”

**

I had serious flashbacks of high school walking under the bleachers… The sounds of high school girls giggling, the occasional whistle, helmets crunching together. Alcide had played too and it almost seemed like his eyes glazed over. I’d have made fun of him, but I’m sure I had the same look. Glory days… maybe.

We had been wondering what Sookie would have been doing to keep Jack and Carm busy and as soon as we cleared the overhang, another mystery had been solved… Sookie was standing in front of her squad, having changed into yoga shorts (ungh) and a Bon Temps Eagles hoodie, with Carm on her shoulders with a whistle. Jack on the other hand… He was sitting in the stands, surrounded by and macking on a cluster of football groupies. He stood up when he spotted us and charged, leaving behind a wake of giggling and awwws… with a huge SHIT EATING grin on his face.

Alcide caught him as he jumped up. “What are you doing hanging out with all those girls? You’re just asking for cooties.”

“They helped me with my homework. Hunter hooked me up.” We started laughing. There are some things you’d expect to hear an 8 year old say… talking about getting ‘hooked up’ isn’t one of them.

“Oh yeah?”

“Yeah! I like it here.”

“Me too, kid. How was school?”

“It was weird. I’m gonna know my teacher. I have to call her Mrs. Merlotte at school, but anywhere else I can call her Tara… She taught me a trick for reading.”

“Oh yeah?”

“And she told me that she doesn’t like dyslexia.”

Alcide’s look got serious. “Why’d she say that?”

“’Cause it sounds like a disease. Her and Sookie call it ‘Deluxia’ because it’s just an extra thing.”

I smiled at them and patted Alcide’s shoulder, leaving them to talk in favor of being closer to Sookie. Last year, Jack’s second grade teacher wanted to have Jack switched to a different classroom after his diagnosis. She got what she wanted, but it was because the principle had to put himself between the teacher and Alcide when she called Jack ‘special Ed.’ Alc looked like he couldn’t be more relieved that he wasn’t going to have to worry about that now.

**

I snuck up behind Sookie and tapped Carm on the back. When he turned his head, I had my finger to my lips, silently shushing him. I mimed for him to fall back and then held my arms out.

When he fell back, Sookie gasped and grabbed for his ankle. Carm and I were both laughing through her ‘heart attack’. His cackling got a second wind when she thumped me on the chest.

“I see you saved PLENTY of that good mood.”

I gave her a big smile and set Carm down. He high 5ed me on his way over to Alcide. “Without a doubt! I hope you won’t get angry, but I changed the menu for tonight.”

She tilted her head slightly, like a curious cat. “So what are our new plans, Mr. Northman?”

“Pizza and beer. I’m having some friends over… If my old lady says it’s ok.”

She smirked at being called my ‘old lady’. “I don’t know about that. It’s a school night. Jack and Carm…”

“Just dinner. I was thinking that the party could move outside at about 8.”

“Is that all?”

“No. I have a surprise planned. What is your perspective on socializing with students?”

“Rene?”

I nodded. With a big shit eating grin screwed on tight. “It’d be a shame for him to miss it.”

Her smile told me that she was highly amused with me. “Is that all?”

I shook my head. “I need to talk to Quinn about work. Would it bother you if I addressed the student body? I could have Pam do it instead, if you rather.”

“No. That’s fine. You’re the handler anyway. You’d be easier to… swallow.” She gave me a wicked grin.

I grit my teeth, trying to ignore that she was, well… doing ‘it’ AGAIN. “That’s just wrong.” I kissed her cheek and ran across the field to find Principle… uh, Coach Quinn.

**

He got a quick explanation and agreed to help us out, seriously surprising me. I thanked him and started walking back across the field to join Alc and the boys… Well, Alc and Carm. Jack had abandoned his father to reunite with his ‘fans’. We watched practice, Hunter especially… That fucking kid was amazing. Watching him play made me think that he had TOO much going for him. He already looked like a pro on the field. Now, it could be one of those situations of ‘smartest retard’ or ‘prettiest pig’, but he was BY FAR the best player out there. So on top of having an arm worth millions, he had older girls fighting over him and was ‘holy shit, son!’ smart… When a play was over, I’d turn my attention to Sookie… back and forth between the shows. It was better than watching a pro game… especially since I get to go home with the hot cheerleader.

**

Practice was winding down when Alcide decided to go ahead and take the boys back to the house, so I called Rene to invite him to our gathering.

“Hey Rene, it’s Eric.”

He snorted into the phone. “Oh, hey.”

“Are you free tonight?”

“Uh, I guess. Why?”

“I asked the boss, and she said I could have some friends over. Are you ok with letting her think that what we talked about earlier was about the other thing?”

“You’re not telling her?”

“We’ll go over the details later. I just didn’t want it to come up before we have the chance. I have that surprise planned.”

“You’d better watch it. Miss Stackhouse isn’t always fond of Assholery.”

Assholery was the perfect word for it. I started laughing.

“What are you laughing at?”

“My rapidly expanding vocabulary. And I think she’ll be fine with it. She let Alcide egg the bed this morning. I was in it.”

He was amused, to say the least.

**

Once Sookie and Hunter had hit the showers after practice (and I was done pouting that she didn’t wait to get home so I could help her) we stopped at the grocery store. The three of us shared random conversation while I added things to the cart. A couple cases of beer, a case of near beer for Hunter and Rene, paper plates and so on. Sookie watched closely and didn’t start to get suspicious until I grabbed several bags of popcorn. She gave me a high eyebrow, but kept whatever she was thinking to herself. I knew she was putting things together. I only hoped that with all of the company, she’d be too distracted to figure things out for the next couple of hours.

**

It was nearly 5:30 when we got back to the house. Alcide and the boys met us outside to help bring things in and put it all away. We had an hour and a half before our company would be arriving so Sookie started getting everything together for the boys and Alcide to make brownies for dessert. Hunter had gone to the living room do a homework assignment and I had just ordered the pizza and was answering a text from Cater about where I wanted her to meet us when Carm dropped a conversational A-bomb on us.

“Is Sookie donna be our new mommy?”

You could have knocked Alcide over with a feather, and I was instantly looking for an exit strategy. Sookie didn’t seem to be too taken aback, but it definitely took her off guard. She turned around and leaned back against the counter and Alcide’s eyes locked on hers. There was no question in my mind that he didn’t know how to answer any more than I would have. He was waiting for something. A hint, maybe, but it looked more like he was praying to God that it hadn’t just happened. Enough time had passed that tension had already started to smother us when Sookie went ahead and led us into uncharted territory.

“Well, since your daddy and Eric are like brothers, and I’m marrying Eric… That would give me more of an Aunt’s assignment.” She raised her eyebrows at Alc and he offered a stiff nod.

Jack huffed. “Adults always do that.”

“Do what?”

“Answer a different question. Carm meant because Mommy left us.”

I was ready to set my clothes on fire to have an excuse to leave the room. All of a sudden, I found myself a fly in a spider web whenever Alcide’s personal life came up.

Alc cleared his throat. “Why do you think Mommy left us?”

“Because she told us. She said we were old enough to take care of each other now.” I seriously wanted to strangle the bitch with my bare hands. Carm had just turned 4 a couple months ago. How the fuck is THAT old enough to lose a mother? Even a bad one. Sookie looked like she was just as close to being sick as I was.

“Are you alright with everything?”

Both boys nodded vehemently. “We were worried that she’d take us with her when you broke up. This is way better.” Never underestimate how perceptive a child can be, I guess.

“Ok, then. What did she tell you?”

Jack and Carm shared a round of looks before Jack started… “She said that she didn’t like being angry all the time. Some people are born to be a mom, but she wasn’t. She said that she was going to Dallas and that you’d take care of us.”

There was another awkward silence. I waited it out while I tried to picture the special circle of hell reserved for women who discarded their children.

“Do you have any questions?”

“Not anymore.”

Alcide rattled his head back and forth, looking confused. “What do you mean?”

Jack chuckled and looked up at Sookie. “Is this high maintenance?”

She smiled at him. “Yes sir. This is what I meant…” She looked over to Alc. “… On the way to school this morning, they had a thousand questions. I called them high maintenance.”

Alcide actually smiled. “Ok. I’m high maintenance. Humor me.”

Jack huffed. “We were worried about how you’d take care of us. But now Sookie is teaching us to cook.”

“Is that all?”

Carm shook his head as he threw in his 2 cents. “You’re not drowly anymore.” For the record, Carm has speech issues… I translated ‘drowly’ to growly. Even the 4 year old had noticed a major improvement in Alc’s mood.

Jack laughed at him. “We knew that would happen.”

“When do we det a new mommy?”

The constipated look on Alcide’s face made Sookie jump back into the driver’s seat to avoid more gracelessness. “Who says you need one?”

“A mom an a dad. Dat’s how it works.”

“Who says? I don’t have a mommy and I am fine with that.”

“Why don’t you have a mommy?”

“Because she was a meanie. Me and my daddy and brother got along really good without her.”

“Do you miss her?”

“No sir. I don’t.”

“Why not?”

Sookie looked directly at Alc as she answered. “Because my Daddy is happier without her around to pick on him. He is so awesome that me and my brother don’t think about her not being around. Having one great parent is better than having 20 angry ones.”

“Does your Daddy have a dirlfriend?”

“Yes sir. She makes him happy. He loves spending time with her.”

“If dey det married, will she be your mommy?”

The three adults started snickering. Pam… Mommy… Momma Pam. “Well, that’s complicated…”

“Try.”

She raised her eyebrow at his seriousness. “Well, if my Daddy marries her, she will do mom type stuff, but she won’t replace my mother. I wouldn’t want her to.”

“Why not?”

She smiled at him. “Well, when you get too big for your shoes, they start to hurt your feet. If you forget to buy new ones for a while, they can hurt enough to take the fun out of everything. The wrong shoes can make your favorite things unfun, right?… You three guys have been wearing the wrong shoes for a long time. Now, when you go shopping for new shoes, are you going to want the same thing? Or are you going to try for a better fit?”

They both smiled at her and replied in unison ‘better fit’.

“Right. So do you want a new mommy? Someone who makes Daddy grumpy and doesn’t have fun with you? Or do you want Daddy to find a girlfriend who likes spending time with you guys?”

Jack started to smirk. “Do you know someone you can hook him up with?”

I started to laugh. I couldn’t control it. Alcide tried to give me a dirty look, but his own amusement was unmistakable.

Sookie laughed out an answer. “Your Daddy has a lot going for him. He won’t need my help finding a girlfriend. Now hurry up with those brownies so that we can lick the bowl.”

**

They were back to having fun baking, as though they didn’t just have a conversation that would devastate most children, when Sookie took my hand and started towing me to our room. She shut the door behind us and started backing me up to the bed and gave me a shove. She hitched her skirt up her hips and straddled my legs with a smile on her face. She hovered over me and lowered only her face to give me a long kiss. Ungh. Fuck. She really would kill me one of these days.

“How was your day?”

I gave her a little smile. “It was very informative. I learned a lot of things about a lot of people.”

“So what did you learn to put you in such a good mood?”

“Oh, that is a complicated recipe. It was a combination of things.”

“Stop evading. Did you find out anything about the lyrics, or not?”

“Yes ma’am, but you don’t need me to tell you how smart you are. You’re Dad finally has a really good reason to demolish the house.”

I watched her face get morose and then rebound. I could only assume that the gloom was over the idea that I knew more about the history of the house than the case needed. I was just as sure she could understand that her wedding wasn’t the only horrible thing to have happened on the property. “I owe you.” Changing the subject.

I reached up and played with her hair. “I can’t imagine how.”

“I’ve been working with Rene for years and have never seen him so happy.”

“All I did was take him seriously. I did slip up and mention that you bragged about him. Pam called him a prodigy. It made us all want to flog his father when he didn’t know how to take the compliments. Tonight is kind of for him.”

She smiled at me. “A Bar Mitzvah?”

“At least, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t going to get something out of it…” I grabbed her hips and rolled us over. My turn to hover. “We need to talk about one of the guests. She might be an issue.”

She giggled and tickled her fingertips over the backs of my arms. “Ok. Is she like an angry ex, or something?”

I might have turned green at the idea. “Uh, no… She is extremely improper.”

“Handsy?”

I nodded.

“With you?”

I nodded again. “And Alcide.”

“Is it a flirtation?” She looked amused.

“I think it’s how she establishes dominance. Like a dog showing its teeth. There’s no way she’d think we enjoy it. The more we try to get her to stop, the more she does it.”

She stared at me for a minute, locked down. “So you’re warning me so that I don’t overreact and cause an issue with a colleague. K.”

“No ma’am. I’m warning you so that you don’t see it and let your imagination fill in the blanks until we have the chance to talk about it.”

“So why call her? Why not someone else?”

“Because I knew she’d give Rene the nod he deserves. Jennifer Cater is a media whore and will mention Rene in every statement she makes to the press about the case.”

“Why doesn’t Pam take care of it?”

“You’ll see.”

“Eric…” I interrupted her by kissing her. She laughed, knowing I was shutting her up and wrapped her arms around my neck. Even in the closeness, I was doing pretty well at controlling myself. I started wishing that I hadn’t invited over MORE people. When she moaned into my mouth, suddenly making out wasn’t enough.

I pulled back. “We don’t have time.”

She pouted her bottom lip. Fuck. “I’ll beg.”

Ungh. Unfair bitch. “You play nice.” She growled and I caught her hand on its way to my lap and pinned it to the bed. I raised my eyebrows.

“What if I don’t?”

“If you don’t play nice, we’ll inevitably be interrupted. Then we’ll both be in very shitty moods when our company gets here.”

She rolled her eyes. “Ok. Ceasefire.”

That was too easy. I suspiciously let her hand go and moved to sit on the bed. She stared up at me for a moment before she slowly raised her legs and unzipped her boots, pulling them off and tossing them towards the closet. She slid her skirt off and flung that to the floor then arched her back away from the bed and pulled her sweater over her head. She was laying on the bed, inches away, in a pale blue lace bra and bikini panties… nothing more. “I told you to play nice.”

She licked her lips and… smoldered. Damn it. Unfair. “I’m just changing into something more comfortable… dinner.”

“And teasing me while you do it.”

“How is getting undressed a tease?”

“You know damn well how that was a tease. You were slow on purpose.”

“So if I had done it fast, it wouldn’t have any effect on you?”

Shit. It would have. Busted. “I didn’t say that.”

She giggled. “Now this surprise you have planned… Is there a dress code?”

“We’ll be outside for a while. Shoes would be good.”

She eyed and pulled her legs up, slowly… again. She folded herself in half and teased me with a… delicious, that would be the only word to describe her back flip… It put her on her knees, facing me on the other side of the bed… with a smirk no less… Thud. She swayed her hips on her way to the closet and almost disappeared into it. She came out and put her foot up on the side of the bed to show off that she’d put on a pair of white ‘fuck me’ heels with ankle straps. “I guess I’m ready then.”

Dear God, it’s Eric. I don’t know what I’m being punished for, but I apologize… “Your father and a student will be here.”

She smiled at me and disappeared into the closet again complimenting my manners… Bitchievious. If I am guilty of Assholery, then she is the mistress of being bitchievious. She came out of the closet wearing a white wife beater, tight low rise black jeans and vans. Much better. That would be a LOT easier to behave around.

She came around to me and started pulling my shirt off. “Sookie…”

She kissed me to shut me up. At least we were vertical this time. She pulled away to pull the shirt over my head and put another one in its stead. My black t-shirt was replaced with a racer back tank top that I usually only wear when I’m running. I must have looked confused.

“While you don’t like to see what you have to wait to touch, I love it. It’s part of the fun.”

“The only reason I don’t like it is because I have a really hard time… keeping my manners.”

She smiled at me, but ‘the look’ quickly took over. “Then you’re doing better than me in that department. I think I’d let you fuck me in church.”

I did not need to hear that. Not right now anyway. I tried to shake it off, but it didn’t work so I scooped her up and took her to the living room and set her in the club chair. “Sit. Stay.”

She smirked up at me. “Yes sir.”

Hunter looked confused/unhappy with the exchange. “I thought you were going to go upstairs with me?”

She gave me a look, like she was asking if she could. THAT irked me. I didn’t recover as quickly as I thought. “Do whatever you want, as long as it doesn’t include fucking with my head.”

**

They disappeared up the stairs, followed by Jack and Carm and I looked around for something to distract myself. I stashed Hunter’s backpack on the piano bench, grabbed Sookie’s discarded clothes and the basket of towels from the hall bathroom, taking them to the porch and then moved into the kitchen to see if Alcide wanted any help cleaning up the brownie mess. How the hell can anyone make so much mess making two batches of brownies?… While we cleaned up we listened to what sounded like a rehearsal. Drums, Jack and Carm going crazy and cheering, more drums, some quiet talking, a stray guitar cord… when it all came together, I realized they were playing Thunderstruck. I leaned back against the counter and dried dishes and listened. Alcide nodded along with the music since classic rock was on his list of approved genres.

Hunter wasn’t singing at the pitch of Brian Johnson, he was working from the deeper end of the scale, but it was just as impressive as the rest of the Stackhouses.

Alcide started shaking his head. “Is there a single average member of that family?”

“Alc, there’s only two of them up there, right? No one else got here?”

“No. Why?”

“Because I can hear 2 guitars, a bass and the drums…” We looked at each other for a minute before curiosity got the best of us and we set down the dishes to start sneaking up the stairs.

Alcide hogged most of the doorway when we got to the top of the steps so I watched over his shoulder. Sookie and Hunter were standing in the middle of the room with guitars. Hunter was standing over Carm with a huge smile on his face while the PRESCHOOLER thumped the string in time to song. Sookie had her back to the door, standing over Jack as he pounded away at the drum set… very well. I could see her cue him for changes in the song and the smile on Jack’s face was priceless. He was so proud of himself.

When the song was over, Alcide was motionless and I couldn’t see the look on his face. Sookie hadn’t noticed us until she asked Hunter what they’d play next and turned around.

She smiled at Alcide. “Hey there! What do ya think? How’d they do?”

“They did great! How’d you do that? Jack’s piano teacher said that he’d probably never read music because of the dyslexia.”

“Of course he wouldn’t… I never did either.” I saw her turn and wink at Jack. He winked back.

“You’re dyslexic?”

She nodded. “Family trait. Daddy and Jason too. We play everything by ear.”

Alcide started shaking his head again.

“You wanna hear some country?”

**

Hunter grumbled about country music and hung up the guitars they had been playing and rolled his eyes while Sookie was behind the set showing Jack how to play the next song. It took her all of five minutes to show him and once Hunter had figured out what song they were playing he showed Carm the bass track (simplified, of course) along with signals. Little Carm was sitting on the couch and letting the arm of it hold up the neck of the bass. Undeniably adorable.

While they worked, Alcide and I smiled into the room like retards.

Jack loves music. He loves music more than any kid I’d ever met. He had an iPod before I did and the memory was full from day one. He liked all kinds of music, everything. He could beat my ass at ‘name that tune’. He wasn’t like a freak of musical information though. It’s not like he could tell you the band, album, producer and label for each song. For that matter, he wasn’t much for recognizing genres either. He just enjoyed a good song. So when Alcide asked him what he wanted for his birthday, no one was surprised that his answer had been piano lessons. I’d been with Alcide to pick him up after both sessions and the bitch teacher had him near tears. He had his iPod on before the car was in gear to go home. That had to be frustrating for him. Especially after seeing how accomplished he felt after playing just one song.

I still hadn’t figured out what song they were going to play, but it seemed like Alcide had an idea. And his grin got wider (more retarded) as Jack and Sookie started what I found out was a Leann Rimes song. Nothing Better To Do? Carm lost the beat a couple of times but got a reassuring nod from Alcide and Hunter, so he kept going. Jack, on the other hand, did an amazing job. His only mistakes were made when changing up. I was so mesmerized that Jason and Lafayette snuck up on me. Jason squeezed by to sit behind the keyboard and start in the middle of the song seamlessly.

This time, when the song was over, we all went crazy. We probably sounded like lunatics to Pam and Corbett, who were just coming through the door, but the kids deserved the standing ovation. They started talking about another song, Jason included, so I decided to run down to say hi and let them have their fun as long as they could.

Pam asked what all the excitement was over and I explained…

“Jack’s the one behind the drums? Now?” They were playing Tush, Hunter and Jason singing and I nodded.

“The dyslexia isn’t a problem for him?”

I had to dial back my amusement. That ‘bitch’ had been paying attention all along. I shook my head. “Go watch. They don’t mind having an audience.”

**

I gladly worked on the dishes by myself while I listened. The music and the applause. It was awesome to hear them all be so happy. I had been expecting the time we’d be staying together to be pretty abysmal once Sookie shared her suspicions about Amelia. Sometimes, it’s good to be wrong.

Kenya and Rene were the next batch to arrive. Rene went right upstairs, getting an excited greeting and Kenya came to the kitchen to keep me company. We listened more than we talked. She didn’t seem to want to talk though, so I didn’t push. When the last dish was done I turned around drying my hands while ‘the band’ started arranging another song (more country that I didn’t recognize). She gave me another one of her sweet smiles.

“How’re you doing with all of this?”

She started shaking her head, looking at her shoes. “I wish I hadn’t gone. I can’t shake it.”

“That was almost as hard as it gets.”

“It gets worse?”

I nodded. “Yeah, but not for you.” I went over and gave her a hug, wrapping my arms around her shoulders. I felt sorry for her all over again.

“I need to get Sookie to throw one of those silver linings at me.”

I chuckled and gave her forehead a kiss as I let her go.

“So who are we waiting for?”

“The pizza, Hadley and Homeland security…” As though she was waiting for a cue, Hadley walked through the front door.

**

Hadley gave Kenya a hug and told her how sorry she was to hear about Maudette. She came over and wrapped her arms around my ribs to say hello.

“So… what’s going on? What are all these cars?”

Kenya chuckled. “The four of us found buried treasure today. So we were in the mood to share the cheer.”

“We’re having a little party. Pam & Corbett, Jason, Rene, and Lafayette are upstairs. Sookie and Hunter are teaching Alcide’s boys how to be rock stars.”

“Why didn’t anyone call me? I’d have come to get Hunter earlier.”

“You’re invited. We aren’t going to be late.”

“Hunter is grounded though.”

I thought about that for a minute. “What is he grounded from?”

She rolled her eyes at me and huffed. “Not this, I guess.”

**

Hadley went upstairs to get everyone for me while I took care of the pizza delivery. The guy at the door looked disappointed (to say the least) when I answered the door instead of Sookie. Fuck him. Next time, I’ll order Chinese. I set the pizzas on the table and headed out to the porch. I was bent over the fridge when a slap landed on my ass. “That shirt does make it worth the drive.”

I started laughing. “Oh, and I thought you didn’t notice.”

“Mmm Hummm. I also noticed that Sook was surprised to see me and Jas. Spill.”

“Nope. You’ll find out when Sookie does.”

“So you’re showing off your sexy shoulders and now you’re teasing me?”

I blew a kiss at him on my way to the kitchen with an armful of beer. “Yes sir. I suppose so.”

“When will we find out?”

I looked at my watch. “Only about an hour or so. You can hold it.”

“I couldn’t help but notice that you don’t have any friends here.”

I faked a sniffle as I set out drinks. “That’s just mean… Stop trying to figure it out. Do you shake presents at Christmas too?”

“Oh, hells yes!”

“Don’t be a baby. This isn’t slipper socks.”

“What if you’re wrong about how we take the surprise?”

“There’s only one reason any of you could take it badly.”

“Yeah? How’s that?”

I braced myself against the counter and stared up at the ceiling while I tried to decide if I was going to give him anything or not. I took a deep breath and figured that if I didn’t, he’d be a pain in my ass until things came out… fucking LAWYERS! Ugh!

I bent enough to whisper in his ear. “The only way this’ll piss anyone off is if they have a better idea of how to get rid of Bill without going to jail.”

I started laughing at the look on his face the second I saw it. He jumped up and wrapped his legs around my waist, his arms around my neck.

“If you tell anyone, I’ll shoot you.”

“OH MY GOD!” He kissed my cheek. I was still cracking up, now Kenya was too. “I won’t. I promise.”

**

He was still attached to me when there was another knock on the door. I assumed that Sam and Tara had made it after all, so I walked to the door wearing my new friend, figuring it would be good for a laugh.

It was, but not from who I expected. “Hello there. You’re early.” Jennifer Cater was cackling like a cartoon witch.

“When you gave me the address, I didn’t know you were inviting me to an orgy.”

“Oh, this is tame for an orgy. It’s just a little get together. This is my home, my family.”

“You going to invite me in?”

I thought about that for a minute. I had to seriously think about it, but finally gave her the invite after laughing to myself remembering the way Sookie suggested Pam might need to be invited across the threshold like Dracula. “The house is full of civilians, so let’s grab some pizza and then we’ll find somewhere private to go over things. Have you and your team eaten?” …The team that she left out in a van like dogs. I hope she cracked a window.

She cringed. “Yeah, there was a piss ant diner on the way here. I felt sick before my food arrived.” I smiled to myself at the thought of her bent over the toilet later.

I realized that Lafayette was still on me when I went to move towards the kitchen and started laughing. “Sweetheart, can I set you down now? Will you behave?”

He gave me another promise to not ‘act up’ and a kiss for good measure before he put his feet under himself.

**

In the kitchen, I introduced Kenya and Lafayette to Ms. Homeland Security and offered her a drink that wouldn’t give her typhoid. I explained the music when she asked about the ‘noise’ and we didn’t have to wait long until the song was over. After the applause were over, all 10 music fans came thundering down the stairs like a herd of rogue elephants and the once calm first floor was now a full blown party. Alcide, Corbett and Jason gathered at the sink for cigarettes while everyone else dove into the pizza. I laughed at Hunter; he found a pizza with just cheese on it and grabbed a fistful of near-beer taking his treasure into the living room, sneaking away like a cat burglar.

When Jason was done with his smoke, he came over to me and bounced up on my back. “You broke my heart. After what we did on Monday, it hurt that you haven’t called.”

I laughed hard enough to shake him. “I’ve never been good at this. Technically, what we did was yesterday. So I shouldn’t call you until Friday.”

Corbett was laughing his ass off at us.

“The three day rule! After everything we meant to each other? Three days?”

“You could have called too.”

“I thought I meant more to you. Now I’ll have to find someone to help make you jealous.”

He hopped down and went over to Alcide with a beer. “Hey sexy. Can I buy you a beer?”

Alcide started laughing and took the beer. “Sure, but if you want me to put out, you’ll have to buy me a car.”

When Jason asked him if he liked ‘em ‘big or compact’ everyone in the room lost it. Then he winked at me and asked if I was jealous yet.

We were officially morons.

**

Jennifer had been quietly taking in our antics like she were writing a book on the bonding rituals between men. I introduced her without mentioning who she worked for as people came and went with food and drink. Sookie finally came into the room and made a bee line for me, wrapping her arms around my ribs.

I bent to whisper. “You might not realize it, but you made Jack’s year. He might like music more than both of us put together.” I pecked her cheek as I pulled away and then introduced my cheerful fiancé to my watchful molester. She’d been behaving so far, but Jennifer wouldn’t for long. She never had.

Regrettably, I’d been right.

Her first grope happened while Alcide was getting plates for each of the boys. She grabbed his ass in front of his kids. Sookie and Hadley both saw it and shared a look before turning it to me. Neither of them knew whether to laugh or get out their mace. Pam and Corbett were sitting next to each other at the table and laughed at all of us.

The second time happened when she came back from the bathroom. I had foolishly leaned against the counter next to Alcide. When she walked through the room to get another drink, she dragged her hand across his lap, then mine. Serial dick rubbing. Sookie looked every bit as aggravated as we were.

Sookie had caught me in the hallway and stopped to hug me.

“She must be very good at her job.”

I nodded with a frown. “Unfortunately.”

“She loves that she makes you uneasy. She’s a bully.”

“I don’t have any patience left for her pathology. It’s been going on too long.”

I watched her expression go from neutral, maybe even clinical to something more of a sinister, ‘game on’ type of look. Sexy and diabolical at the same time.

**

We went back to the kitchen and I waited. I watched Sookie’s wheels turn. She was hatching a plan in that pretty little head of hers. I was on pins and needles and I think Alc even noticed that something unspoken was going on and looked a little on edge.

The third time was the charm. Jennifer had decided to get a piece of pizza as an excuse to reach past me for a plate. The ‘reach’ was bullshit. That crass bitch pressed her body against mine. In that moment I realized that Sookie and Jennifer were the complete antithesis of each other. Had Sookie done the same thing, I’d have needed to hide a hard on, but since it was Jennifer I had to hide that my stomach was turning. I also came to see how territorial Sookie could be.

Sookie crossed the room and stood next to Cater, so close you couldn’t get a sheet of paper between them. I couldn’t see what Sookie’s hand was doing to Jennifer’s back except for the resulting looks on Jennifer’s face. She was trying to play it off as she continued to work on her pizza, but she looked like a long tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs. Sookie played her game patiently while Jennifer ate, occasionally flashing a sultry look at her intended victim. The same look that my cock notices before my brain does.

When Jennifer put her plate in the trash can, Sookie followed her and took her by the wrist, pulling her out to the porch and out of view. Kenya swatted my leg and laughed out an I-told-you-so.

It felt like hours. Alcide and I stood in the kitchen, waiting. Waiting for yelling, fighting, gunshots… something, some kind of disagreement. Nothing. The next thing, the only hint we got was the glowing red face of Jennifer Cater as she came back into the kitchen. She was mortified.

She clumsily walked straight up to me. “We should find that private place and go over the info.”

I gave her a nod and went to fetch Rene. I found him in the living room, next to Hunter on the couch, playing a super hero game with Jack and Carm. When I told him that I needed him in the kitchen, he handed the controller to Jason and followed me.

Sookie tried to walk past me, so I grabbed her, holding her close. That felt good.

She looked up at me and cringed. “I’m sorry, it was the only thing I could think of.”

I chuckled. “I’m not worried about that right now. We can talk about it later. We’re going to take over the kitchen for a few minutes. We’ll be quiet, but could you keep a leash on everyone? We won’t be long.”

She smiled brightly and told me ‘yes sir’ before she gave me a kiss. That felt really good.

**

When I got back to the kitchen, Pam, Corbett, Kenya, Rene, Alc and Jennifer were waiting for me.

“Dad. Scram.”

For a second, he looked like he wanted to hit me, but he started to chuckle and kissed Pam, then grabbed a case of beer. Gone.

Pam took the wheel. She explained the situation, including Rene’s involvement. Jennifer and Pam both announced that Rene was a headhunter’s dream and jokingly fought over wanting him to join their own branch.

It only took Jennifer about 5 minutes with her copy of Rene’s file and the scans from Sam’s leases before she declared that Bill Compton was, indeed, a threat to national security. If he can provide credentials to immigrants of such high quality, then anyone could be in the country illegally. She didn’t really care that The Vampire had already killed 17 people that we know of and threatened several more. Her concern fell with terrorism. I could begrudge her that, but it was her job. Not to mention, Alc and I met her while we worked on a human trafficking case. The men responsible for it were using the girls to fund a terrorist cell and all we really cared about was helping the girls. It really did go both ways and both teams got what they wanted in the end.

Jennifer excused herself (without touching anyone, I might add) to call it in and let her team know to get ready. So the five of us all went to the living room to join the party while we waited. More waiting. I was bouncing out of my skin.

I don’t know what was taking so fucking long, but half an hour later, there was finally a knock on the door.

When I opened the door, I almost laughed. Jennifer had changed out of her suit and into ‘that outfit’, complete with Kevlar, badges hung from chains, and that silly windbreaker with the reflective lettering on the back… her 4 minions were all in the same. They looked like goons.

She had a big shit eating grin on her face and asked me what our plans were. Her and her minions started laughing when I told her.

**

I had been paranoid about Alcide and the boys being at the house alone for almost an hour while Sookie and I stopped at the store. Worrying about short sheeted beds, saran wrapped toilets and more syrupy toiletries. As it turned out, they had come back to pull the lawn chairs out of the shed and clean the cobwebs off. So I felt like a shit as I grabbed one for Sookie and me to share.

I led the group quietly through the trees. Pam and Kenya giggled every time someone (mostly Jason and Laf) asked for more information. Pam had promised not to tell Corbett what we were doing and went to the extent of not telling him anything about what happened at the Loudermilk farm either. He was in surprisingly high spirits considering that he knew that we searched the property to find the guy who was threatening his woman and then wasn’t given any info.

I had to talk Alcide into bringing the boys along. He was going to stay back at the house with them, but I wanted him to bring them. For years, he had been disappearing late at night, missing dinners and a few holidays trying to catch criminals. Even a smart kid might not fully understand what it meant for him to be gone so much so I thought that it might help them to see it. See a ‘bad guy’ get arrested. See that Alcide didn’t just eat muffins and drink coffee at boring ass meetings with suits. This is the kind of stuff Alcide had been doing since he left the marines.

I was 10 when I went on my first Tiger Cruise. It was the Navy’s version of take-your-family-to-work day. The ship left the pier for international waters and the sailors ran drills and fired the big guns at targets. They sunk a decommissioned ship and the boarding team taught some of us how to repel down a bulkhead. It was exciting and it made it all real for me. It helped me understand why my father was gone so much. After that, I didn’t complain about much of navy-brat life… except the moving.

**

I stopped everyone in the tree line at the edge of the cemetery and set down my chair. Everyone followed suit and sat their things down quietly, Pam and Kenya snickering with each other and calling me evil the entire way. Not only did I think it was funny, but it was nice to see Pam make a friend with so much in common with her. Both of them were hard for appearances sake since they worked in a testosterone driven environment… The two of them might actually be able to let their hair down and just be human… while they shop for ammo and makeup.

I sat down in my chair, pulling Sookie down to sit in my lap and Rene and Hunter passed out popcorn. Everyone looked confused, except Sookie.

She leaned back to whisper in my ear. “What have you done?”

I chuckled. “Nothing.”

“Really?”

“I saw an opportunity for some live entertainment and took it.”

“Eric, seriously.”

“Cross my heart. I’m not evading. I stumbled over… I was looking… Wait.” I saw Jennifer’s van pulling up Bill’s driveway and turned slightly to face everyone…

I got a collective and hushed ‘yes’ from everyone when I asked if they wanted a spoiler.

“The guy we are after used a very good fake ID to rent an apartment from Sam. I asked our ‘Bon Temps Liaison’ if she had a bead on any forgers in the area. Kenya, very wisely, suggested that a high school student might. The first person I thought of was Rene because of how shit hot, on point he was about the case so far. Mr. Lanier just so happened to have embarked on his own investigation looking into ID forgery after his cousin’s death, to which the Clarice PD responded by disregarding his efforts. Not only did Rene make contact with the forger, but he made contact with other customers and gathered evidence. The reason we are all sitting in the cold, in a cemetery is so that we have front row seats to see Bill Compton get arrested for 4 counts of accessory to vehicular homicide, 5 counts of forgery of state identification, falsifying a police report, 2 counts of accessory to identity theft, aiding and abetting a fugitive, harboring an illegal immigrant along with domestic and techno terrorism. I’m pretty sure that Jennifer will add a few more things to the laundry list.” I held up my beer. “To my new hero! Rene!”

Everyone… EVERYONE toasted him and went on to congratulate the living shit out of him. Alcide even told him that he’d treat Rene to his first tattoo in honor of ‘losing his cherry’. Rene smiled and took it all in stride, becoming slightly more proud than embarrassed about the attention. It looked much better on him. Sookie delayed whatever she was feeling about the bigger picture and went over to hug the boy and remind him how well he’d done, beaming at him the whole way.

I barely noticed as Cater’s team circled Bill’s house, I was distracted by the look Sookie was giving me. She wanted to cry, kick my ass, I don’t know. It wasn’t a look she had given me yet. I was at sea. Fuck.

She finally looked away from me, leaning back and lacing our fingers together as the show started…

I had told Jennifer to have as much fun as she wanted with this one to make it more fun for the spectators… Even I didn’t expect everything that I saw. It was fast, but by no means anticlimactic…

We watched 2 men (one of them was Jennifer) silently approach the front door. Man #2 shot the lock and kicked in the door so that Man #1 (Cater) could toss in 3… THREE cans of tear gas! The civilians in the ‘audience’ didn’t realize it, but the cops were laughing because we knew that one can would clear out a house that size and start an unrelenting bought of violent vomiting and crying for anyone inside.

Man #1 & #2 put their masks on and stormed into the house, guns drawn.

We laughed at the indiscernible noise coming from inside the house, quickly followed by a gun being fired. 6 times. Alcide was grinning like a retard again and reached out to slap me 5.

I chuckled. “Don’t anybody get your hopes up. They’re firing sandbags. He only thinks he’s been shot.”

Alcide added… “At close range like that… It hurts more than a real bullet.” The boys turned and stared at him and he gave them a nod, but motioned to them to watch rather than explain that he DOES know how both feel. He’d been shot twice with a real bullet, and three times with a sandbag. The sandbags were ‘friendly fire’. Alcide had a tendency to lose a stupid bet from time to time.

As though the tear gas and flying bullets weren’t enough, the show went on. Talk about bravado… We heard another round get fired (this on live) followed by a stampede of boots falls inside the house. The other three agents had gang-bustered the back door and started clearing the house. From where we were sitting, we could watch the tear gas get carried out the back door on the cross breeze, illuminated by the security light on the back of the house. It was beautiful. Almost like watching fireworks.

The inside of the house echoed with shouting and commotion. Thudding, howling, retching, scraping, dragging, retching, coughing, more retching…

We finally got a prize for our patience after a few minutes… Bill stumbled out the front door, his hands were zip tied behind his back and was followed by an agent holding a gun against the back of his head. Once they were in the yard, Man #3 shoved Bill over and held him to the ground by not so gently dropping to put a knee into Bill’s shoulder blade. Ouch. My Id shit its pants laughing. All I could do was smile.

The agent had to move Bill over a few feet when he retched all over the ground under himself, making us all snicker when his knee fell into Bill’s shoulder again.

We watched as Man #4 went out to the van and backed it up to the porch and the rest of the team started loading computer components into the back. They looked like worker bees, coming and going. Dozens of trips. One tower and monitor and laptop right after another all while Bill yelled and whined about having rights between retches, dry heaves at this point.

He was scared and confused and miserable. His eyes and face were soaked with spontaneous tears, but the sobbing and sniveling didn’t have anything to do with tear gas. He was just a fucking pussy who, only now, realized that his holier than thou attitude, his pompous perspective on never being caught doing anything wrong, had finally bit him in the ass.

When the steady stream of tech was loaded into the van, Jennifer walked out to join Bill and his babysitter with her other three minions following closely. The babysitter leaned back and put his hand to the back of Bill’s head, lifting him to his feet by his hair to start parading him over to us.

**

They stopped a few feet in front of us and everyone took my lead as I stood up. I stared Bill down with a HUGE grin and started to applaud. I was joined by more clapping, whooping, whistling and yowling from everyone except Sookie. She stood directly in front of Bill, locked down with her hands in her pockets.

Jennifer and her team jokingly took a bow and then they ALL took turns shaking Rene’s hand as she invited him to ‘join the ranks’ again.

Bill started seething. “FUCKING WHORE!” He’d spat it directly at Sookie.

I watched her face as a smile snuck out and barely caught sight of her hand leaving her pocket to jab Bill in the nose. “Watch your mouth.”

I laughed as I grabbed her shoulders and pulled her back a couple of steps. She put her hands to mine as we watched a river of blood mix with the tears and snot already covering his face. It was broken. So proud.

Jennifer fussed with a sneer. “Hey now! That’s a lot of extra paperwork.”

Sookie actually hugged her as she apologized and then stepped back to give Bill the hairy eyeball again. “The toilet tank, taped under the kitchen appliances, inside the electronics, in his wallet.”

Jennifer gave her a funny look.

“Flash drives. They look like credit cards. He uses the food saver in the kitchen to seal them up and make them air and water tight. He hides them all over. ESPECIALLY in places that you wouldn’t expect to find electronics.”

Jennifer smiled at her and gave Bill a shove towards the van.

He resisted the shove and took a step to Sookie instead. “I should have killed you when I had the chance!”

She didn’t even flinch. “Aww, think of all the fun you’d have missed treating me like crap.” Even faced with this asshole, she was watching her language because of the kids. Entertaining, to say the least.

“I treated you like you deserved and the only ‘FUN’ I had was while you were sleeping!” MOTHER FUCKER! That’s why? That’s why she woke up scared when anyone touched her! It clicked for Jason, Corbett and me at the same time and they lost it. Had it not been for Hunter thinking fast enough to take Jason down and Pam putting herself in front of Corbett, things WOULD have gotten really ugly.

I could think of a hundred different ways that I had seen people ‘almost’ get away with ‘it’, giving me endless possibilities. The only thing keeping me from running back to the house to get my gun was the way Sookie looked up at me with her hand resting in the middle of my chest. With nothing more than a look, she reminded me that it was over. She’d gotten away from him and there wasn’t any point in killing him when the life ahead of him in a federal penitentiary would be far more appropriate than giving him a quicker end. After all, she’d been mistreated by her jailer for four years. His jailers would have him for a lot longer and wouldn’t be nearly as passive with their attentions. Fresh meat.

Her family was calming down and her Ex was being dragged away by his broken nose so I bent over and hugged Sookie, pulling her to me and holding her tight.

As everyone started heading back to the house, I realized that the side of my neck was wet. She was crying. I held her a little tighter and straightened, lifting her from the ground and carrying her back towards the house with her legs around my waist.

**

I set her on the kitchen counter and gave her a smirk at the role reversal while I checked her hand for swelling like she did for me a few nights ago. She’d hit him really hard and I was shocked that nothing seemed to be broken.

“Would you like some ice for that?”

She shook her head and locked her eyes on mine. She might have even look stoned.

“Do you want to go lay down?”

She shook her head again. Fuck.

“Hon, I need you to say something. I don’t know what to do.”

She stared up at me for what felt like forever. “I don’t know what to say.”

“It doesn’t have to be perfect. Just say something… Do you hate me?”

She looked like a child as she almost violently shook her head in the negative. That made me feel slightly better.

“Then what? Give me something to go on.” My insides were crawling from not knowing.

“Thank you doesn’t cover it.” She grinned like she looked surprised to hear it come out of her mouth.

I know it surprised me. “Are we Ok?”

She finally unleashed a full-blown smile. Thank God. “We’re more than ok. I think you’re my new hero.”

I couldn’t help but chuckle. “Thanks, but I really didn’t do anything. It was all Rene’s work.”

“You did plenty… Do you know what you did for Rene tonight? Until you guys came along, the only person to ever make him feel special was me. And you managed to get rid of Bill without risking your own prison sentence in the process. That’s pretty impressive.” She was giving me credit for giving Rene attention?

I barely had the time to smile at her before she stretched up to kiss me. It was one of those kisses that was worth paying for. One of her hands was in my hair, the other was rubbing my ear. I got lost. Forgot that we had a house full of people when she twisted her ankles back behind my legs to pull me closer.

Her hands were under my shirt, nails clawing lightly over my back. My hands were moving up her thighs.

“NOW COME ON!” I looked up to see my future father-in-law laughing. “ALC! You were right about them being landmines! How do you put up with this?”

Alcide came walking in the room laughing, both boys on his back beating on him in ‘wrestle mode’. “I’m getting used to making tight U-turns.”

He set the boys down and they grabbed the plate of brownies to start offering them out and making sure that everyone knew that they made them.

‘Dad’ thought that was cute as hell and made sure to tell them how good they were… “Hey Sook, that kid of yours… He’s getting a Stackhouse Grant, right?”

She smiled at him. Ear to ear. “Yes sir. Why?”

“You know which school?”

“He’s undecided.” She had a suspecting eyebrow raised.

“Let me know when he makes up his mind so I can shop for some real estate.” He gave her a wink.

“You bet! Thanks daddy.”

He gave her a big nod and broad smiled. “Hey, I talked to Bravo. He’ll be with us Saturday. He wants to meet Eric and his folks.”

“Did you tell him that you have a woman he needs to inspect?”

He chuckled and nodded towards me. “You think he’ll pass?” I was lost.

“He’ll get a better eval than Pam!”

He started laughing again. “You’re probably right… We’re going to head out. See you Friday for painting, right?”

She nodded and he turned to leave, stopping to hug and thank Rene on his way out.

**

“I gotta ask…”

She smiled and cut me off by putting her finger to my lips. Ungh. “The real estate comment was because he’s going to buy an apartment near whatever campus Rene picks and let him stay there so that he doesn’t have to work.” Fuckawesome! I smiled like a goon again. That was probably the nicest thing anyone could do for the boy.

“And Bravo?”

“My godfather.”

“Your godfather’s name is ‘bravo’?”

“No my godfather’s name is John. Jas and I call him ‘Daddy’ too. When they’re together we call them ‘Alpha’ and ‘Bravo’.” Cute. Almost as cute as naming her car.

**

The next two hours were annoying as all hell. I wanted to take Sookie to bed. This… this was a hole I dug for myself though. I was the idiot to invite everyone over.

I had passed their room on the way to the bathroom while Alcide was putting the boys to bed and they were asking all kinds of questions about ‘the show’. They had finally grasped that he wasn’t just a doughnut jockey. They were excited about the idea that their daddy ‘dot bad duys’. It really had been a big day for that family.

Sookie and Hadley paired off for a long while in our bedroom, making me a little wary. Hoping they wouldn’t come out in identical outfits. Shortly after ‘Mom & Dad’ took off, Lafayette left so that he could get back to work, Kenya decided to go home to drink herself to sleep, which would have worried me if I hadn’t been known to do it from time to time and Rene went home so that he wouldn’t piss his father off by coming in too late. I almost wanted to invite the kid to move in with us.

Hunter, Jason and Alcide took turns Wii wrestling while I watched from my favorite seat. Waiting for Sookie.

Alcide, Jason and I had been drinking enough beer that it seemed we were on a bathroom watch rotation, so Jason went to the kitchen and came back with the left over brownies, three glasses with ice and a bottle of Bailey’s. Fuck yeah. I blew him a kiss. Bad idea. He pulled the hem of his shirt up and through the neck, making it look like a bra and delivered my drink like a playboy bunny by bending his knees and batting his lashes over his shoulder. Grotesque, but worthy of a laugh that only encouraged him. He turned around and bent at the waist to shake his imaginary bunny tail in my face. Idiot. Not the ass I wanted to see bouncing in my face.

**

Three Bailey’s later, Sookie and Hadley finally came out of the room, still wearing the same clothes as before and smiles that said they were up to no good. Hadley went outside and Sookie came to wait on my lap. She took a small sip of my drink and gave me a wink. It was only now that I was realizing that I hadn’t seen her ‘drink’ since our ‘oops’ other than the sip of the beer that Alcide handed her. Shit.

“What are you two up to?”

“Nothing… Hadley brought paint chips for Alcide so that the paint can get ordered and delivered. She’s going to have it done tomorrow. Then you guys can just deal with getting enough rollers and brushes and paint trays and tarps for 30 helpers and we’ll be work-ready at noon. The house’ll be done by 3 and Alcide can go get the boys and you and me can clean up and head out to get your folks.”

The look on Alcide’s face was priceless. “30!? There’s going to be 30 people there?”

She smiled at him. “29 students. Plus us. Like I said, it’ll be done in no time. I’ll make sandwiches for everybody. We’ll be golden.” I gave her a little squeeze, pulling her back on my lap.

“That list might dwindle after tomorrow though.”

Hunter started laughing. “No! You might as well be an astronaut. You guys are already super stars here. Guilt by association. You’re a Stackhouse by proxy.”

“For Pam and Eric, maybe, but…”

Jason launched himself into Alc’s lap and kissed him full on the mouth. “You’re MY bitch, big guy.”

Alc started laughing. “Get off me, you freak.”

“I was good enough for you earlier.”

Hadley walked in and started laughing at the sight of her goofball cousin on Alc’s lap, legs in the air like a pinup girl.

“Earlier, you weren’t drunk. I don’t want to take advantage.”

“Suit yourself.” He climbed off his lap and grabbed Alc’s ‘titties’ on the way. “Anyone can tell ya, I’m more fun when I’m drunk though.” Wink.

Sookie started snickering. “That’s assault, brother!”

I patted her hips. “Hey, that reminds me!… Cater didn’t touch either one of us again… What’d you do?”

She smiled and blushed, even dipped her head slightly. Intriguing. “Uh… um… I kinda gave her a taste of her own medicine.”

She definitely had everyone’s attention. “What would that be?”

“I got handsy with her and lied to her.”

I started to chuckle. “Ok, give it to me. Beginning to end. What were you doing to her in the kitchen?”

“I unhooked her bra… one hook at a time.”

Knowing that and replaying the looks on Jennifer’s face got me. I started laughing hysterically. Alc laughed so hard that he got up to go to the bathroom, making Sookie promise not to finish until he got back.

Once he was sitting on the couch and comfortable again… “K… now what did you do in the laundry room?”

She cleared her throat and eyeballed Hunter. Cleared her throat again. Shifted uncomfortably. “I uh… pinned her to the wall and took advantage of her open bra. I… molested her.”

We were all laughing again. It took a while for us to calm down.

“Sookie, what did you lie about?”

“It wasn’t as much a lie as an empty invitation. I told her that you were too much for me and that with all the noise, no one would notice if the three of us snuck back to the bedroom for a while. When she tried to politely decline, I offered to bring Alc along since she seemed to like him too.”

I should have waited to ask when we weren’t three sheets to the wind. We were rolling. Then again, Hunter and Hadley hadn’t been drinking and they were too. “That would explain why she wanted to go straight to work when you let her free!”

“That and I licked her shoulder while I was ‘helping’ her fasten her bra.”

I slapper her ass. “You’re bad!”

“Well, she started it!”

Hadley stood up and high 5ed her. “Well played, cuz! You know, I would have helped. I could have used the evil outlet.”

Hunter shot his mother a grumped look. “MOM! I don’t need to hear that shit!”

“You hush, little boy.”

“It’s bad enough that you danced with Sophie at a school dance.”

She rolled her eyes at him. “Hunter, it was just a dance. It’s not like we made out.”

“You’re the BiMILF on every guy on the team’s phone.”

“I’m the woman dancing with an old friend that got labeled… and I promised not to chaperone any more. Shut up about it.”

Sookie giggled at them. “Hey kid, that’s how we roll. When there isn’t a guy around worth dancing with, us girls dance together. If it had been Sophie and Frannie, you’d have a completely different point of view.”

Jason gave Sookie a dirty look. “Why’d you have to bring her up? I’m sleeping with him tonight.” Alc looked peeved, to say the least, and started shaking his head.

Sookie eyed her drunk brother. “Call her.”

He was smiling. “Nunya.”

“Jason, call her.” Still serious.

His face went to sober instantly. “Stay out of it.”

“Fine. Be an idiot.”

“Ok, I will.”

**

Sookie and Jason ignored each other while Alcide and Hadley picked paint colors. Sookie and Hadley snuck a few winks at each other during the process, after a few, I started tickling Sookie’s side every time I caught them. Alc was completely oblivious to what was going on between them.

Sookie finally leaned over putting her hand on my shoulder and whispered. “Unless you want me to declare war, stop that.”

“Then tell me.”

“I’m up to something. Tune in for the full report later.”

I smiled and gave her a nod and when she sat back, I noticed a small bruise on the inside of her arm. Consistent with a blood draw. Sookie caught me noticing and did nothing but smile. Fuck.

**

That was it. I couldn’t get them out of the house soon enough. I would have been tapping my foot, if I could feel it. Between having barely any blood in my alcohol stream and having Sookie perched on my lap, both legs were tingling. Sookie poured another Bailey’s for me. It made me wonder if she was lubricating me for something or if she just wanted me to relax. Maybe both. Maybe she was just being nice since I couldn’t get up for my own refill. FUCK!

Red or Brown in the den? Who the fuck cares!? They just needed to hurry up. Jason was shut down. Still grumped at Sookie. Hunter was watching his mother and Alcide carefully. It looked like he was close to posturing. It was almost cute that he was watching them so closely. There was so much room between them on the couch, he could have sat between them… Fuck! Not working. All I could think about was the bruise. My eyes kept going back to it. Even after Sookie noticed and moved her arm, I kept looking back in that direction. ShitShitShit. FREAKING OUT! Why the fuck would she have blood drawn and not say something to me? Fuck!

Sookie hopped out of my lap to follow Hadley and Hunter to the door FINALLY. I managed a ‘friendly’ see-ya-later while I got my feet back and waited for Sookie to be done with her goodbyes. As soon as she threw the bolt, I scooped her up and started to carry her to the bedroom. She giggled the whole way and waved at Jason and Alc as we went by them.

I used my foot to close the door and set her down. Waiting.

She giggled. “What?” She was amused?

“The bruise.”

She shrugged. “What about it?”

Losing patience. FAST. “When did you have blood drawn? Why?”

“Oh GOD! That’s what’s had you all cactusy for the last half hour?!”

I nodded. “Yes.”

“That makes you one hell of a fucking faker buddy! I thought you weren’t panicking.”

“I wasn’t. Well?”

“I HAVE been freaking out about it. I don’t have a fourth period so I went to see Doc. She laughed at me. It’s probably too soon for a test to work. She drew blood though and she’s going to check my hormone levels to see if the shot kicked in yet, which it more than likely has since I was only a week late getting it. She said she’d call me tomorrow.”

I must have replayed her answer in my head about twenty times before I realized that Sookie was snapping her fingers and waving her hands in front of my face.

“Eric… Hellooo. Houston, we have a problem … Where’d your lying ass run off to?”

I smiled at her. “I wasn’t lying. I wasn’t freaking out until I saw the bruise. I thought you knew something and hadn’t told me yet.”

She smiled back. “I get it. You’re forgiven.”

“Wait… What did you think I was looking at?”

“My tits. I’m actually disappointed that you weren’t.”

I closed my eyes and shook my head. I’d overreacted and acted like a dick and she completely overlooked it.  I really AM a lucky bastard.

**

I opened my eyes just in time to see something flying at my face. Her shirt.

When my eyes focused on her, she was biting her bottom lip and unbuttoning her jeans.

I didn’t know if I wanted to watch or help. HELP. Definitely help.

I took a couple of steps and grabbed her around the waist, pulling her up to bury my face right in the middle of her chest and kept walking until we crashed into the bed. She let out a hard grunt when we landed and reached for my belt, clawing to get it open.

I backed up, off of the bed chewing my way down her body and yanked her jeans off. She gave me that sexy smirk and rolled over, grasping for the TV remote. In a second, she’d unmuted the TV and her music player came to life.

I crawled up the bed, hovering over her and before she had the chance to roll over, I pushed my fingers into her. Already wet. Mmmm. She dropped the remote to the floor and grabbed for the edge of the bed. Tensing. Pulling. Letting me push her… over and over. She squirmed and bit at the bed. Her ass lifted up. Her back arched. She tried to roll over and gave up… Too much fun. Fuck. She rocked back to her knees, arching her back like a scared cat. Clawing at the sheets. Face hiding. Coming hard. Mmmm.

She finally rolled over… Breathless… The look on her face… Holy. Fucking. Hell… The LOOK. Fuck. I couldn’t take anymore. I took her hands and pulled her up… Straddling my lap… Her eyes rolled back… Every move, perfect… Chewing my neck… my lips… whispering… She went still and kissed me long and deep… tightening around me… Mmmm… How did I go so long without this… her?…

My hands in her hair… she had my wrists… Her tell… she held her breath, closed her eyes, bucked… then tackled me backwards… FUCK!… Seeing spots… Shit!

When she was done with me, I could barely move. Every part of my body felt like it was held down with weights. She went limp on top of me and, I swear, I think she dozed off. She jokingly argued that point with me while we put the bed back together enough to climb in. I wrapped myself around her and I think I fell asleep before our heads hit the pillow.

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6 thoughts on “Chapter 14: The Long Arm Of The Law

  1. Can I just say that Carm is adorable with his Gs and Cs?

    I really hope Amelia doesn’t get vindictive and use Carm; if Alcide is aware there’s a chance he isn’t his, he hasn’t said anything, and I want him to keep Carm.

  2. Fantastic chapter. The “Vampire” guy is one seriously sick freak. Loved that Bill, another freak, finally got his just reward. LOL when Sookie broke his nose. Great closing scene.

  3. CH 14: Jamboree indeed. Invite the whole town. Hee Hee. Those little boys are so cute. Special circle of hell indeed for Amelia. Those poor boys. Sookie handled it wonderfully. Lol for the teasers. Woo Hoo for Rock Band Prodigies!!! Lala is such a freakin blast. Oooh cant wait until Sookie puts Jen in her place. Hope the next chapter shows what she did to her. Glad Rene is getting the credit he deserves. Glad they took the boys to the “show”. Great show BTW. Aww for Corbett looking for new real estate. Jason is hilarious. Hee hee for what she did to Jen. Oh Jason, just call her. Jeez. Yum pic there in the chapter.

  4. Another mini rant…I don’t get it. This story is the Bomb and it only has a few reviews per chapter and a hundred or so ratings…You deserve mad kudos for your talent! Fabulous story. Thank you ever so much for sharing. Bill getting his, was…spectacular!

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