She Tried Hard
She ran her fingers up the middle of my back… it was the chill that woke me up.
She whispered, “Good morning.”
“Not this morning. Sorry.”
She giggled. “Not this morning?”
“Not after the marathon last night. You wore me out. I’m sleeping in. Go pick on Eric. It’s his turn.”
“I wore you out?”
“I almost fell asleep between your bed and mine. I need another hour.”
I thought I was going to have to put up a fight, but the next thing I heard was the bedroom door closing.
I was almost asleep again before I heard giggling…
A lot of giggling.
There wasn’t any way for me to get back to sleep with it going on either…
And when it occurred to me that it wasn’t just Sookie and Eric, I nearly had a panic attack trying to figure out if it really had been Sookie who tried to wake me up…
And what I said… oh shit!
Sookie would’ve made me work to get more sleep… Sookie would’ve laughed at me, called me a whiner… Shit… Sookie would’ve been on the bed with a cup of coffee… And she wouldn’t have gone back to wake up Eric, she’d have just gone for her run… but it’s Saturday… Lafayette would be over in a little bit Sookie wouldn’t be going for a run… Fuck!
Had was who tried to wake me up.
Had would have to know that Sookie hadn’t ‘worn’ me out like ‘that’… right?…
I was still freaking out that Had’s imagination could be going nuts while I pulled on some fresh jeans and a T-shirt…
I grabbed my smokes and went out to the front porch and sure as hell… Had’s little white GT40…
But I had a new problem… the black Shelby parked right next to it… with Connecticut tags…
Crazy isn’t supposed to happen until breakfast, godddamnit, and it was still mostly dark outside…
How the fuck was I supposed to explain to Had what the fuck was going on while I was supposed to be ‘flirting’ with Fran?
Yeah… maybe… coffee and a smoke… It wouldn’t take much. As long as I had long enough for a sentence or two, I could explain enough that Had didn’t write me off completely…
I knocked on the door to Sookie and Eric’s room and stuck my head in. “Y’all are loud as fuck in here.”
“Hey there Green Giant. I was wondering when you’d join the mix.” Great. Not only did Frannie wake up flirting, but I got a dirtish look from Had to boot… ‘Good’ morning… And none of it would be a problem if I wasn’t being too lazy for what I thought was a workout wakeup.
“I think I liked it better when you called me Hulk… I’m calling Jas to tell him your hogging all the women again, asshole.”
Fran started rolling her eyes. “Oh no you don’t. Come on in. Sookie and I were just about to convince Hadley to do Dirges tonight.” Fran was practically purring, but Dirges… that topic was all I had to go on…
I went and sat on the foot of the bed, thinking I was a safe distance away… I was wrong. Fran crawled out from under the covers and came over to lay her head in my lap in nothing but her underwear. I couldn’t help but wonder when the fuck I was going to get the chance to flirt with her… “I’m not worried about their plans, help me out. I need a date or I’m going to spend the night fighting off Jason.”
“You want me to cover you?” She looked pissed… and with the way that it came out, I could see why.
“No. I want to dance, but I don’t want to dance with Jason.”
Fran reached up and started running her hand down my arm. “I’ve got that covered, big guy… I’ll dance with, for, on you all night if you’re up for it.” A week ago, I probably would’ve been ‘up’ for it… But I was just worried that I was pissing Hadley off the more I tried not to.
Had’s face looked sour. “I don’t need to be talked into it… It’s been a long time since I sang at Dirges… longer since all three of us have gone up. You should make sure Hunter hasn’t made other plans and can still sit with the boys though.”
“I’ll talk to him when he gets here. I have back up volunteers if he’s got something else going on. I’ll get Sookie to rank the list for me.”
She nodded, but she wasn’t looking at me when she did… She was getting more irritated the longer Frannie ‘pet’ me…
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t… My dumb ass had a stripper across my lap and I was retarded over how to keep Hadley from kicking me in the nuts.
Eric got Had’s attention to ask why she was over so early…
“Oh, Hunter slept over with Terrence last night. Something seemed fishy, so I wanted to make sure that he actually gets here with Terrence. I was going to help with baking as an excuse to be here.” That would be because Terrence had downloaded ‘fresh’ porn and they were going to be having themselves a file-sharing party…
He got a dirty look for laughing at her. “I’d have been fucked if Smom was as quick as you. Who do you think he was with?”
“Take your pick. Ginny and Hannah were both acting shifty last night.”
I’d have to explain the porn party to her too… “Hannah’s an angel… she wouldn’t… Ginny though… I’d put even money on… Has anybody made coffee or are we going to wait for Laf to brew another weak ass pot like he’s being rationed the beans?” I let them all shake their heads before I tried to make my exit. “Hey girl, let me up. Java’s calling.”
She giggled at me for swatting her hip. “Don’t be so rough unless you plan on cuddling me after.” Damn… Her and Jason were fucking perfect for each other.
Lafayette was just coming in the front door when I got to the foyer.
“Hey sweetness… You’re up early.” He kissed my cheek.
“Pajama party woke me up. Coffee’s made.”
“I’m good for now. I stopped at Starbucks before I left Shreveport. The babies still sleeping?”
“Yeah, but not for long. They’d be up soon even if there wasn’t so much activity.”
He almost bounced. “I might get to see them in action with so much company… When did Fran get here?”
I shrugged. “Sometime between 3 and 6. Sneak attack… I don’t think Sookie was expecting her.”
“I talked to her Wednesday… She didn’t mention anything then. She probably just got a wild hair. She goes into withdrawals and it’s been a few months since she’s been home. How are Eric’s parents? I already heard about the sister.”
“Smom’s a sweetheart.”
“He makes Eric look relaxed. Go on back… I’m gonna start another pot of coffee. One pot won’t last long with this group.”
I was starting the coffee maker to make the second pot (and hoping Had would have thought of a reason to leave the bedroom) when I thought to text her.
Since I wasn’t sure what to say, all I could come up with was ‘I’ll explain as soon as I can.’ But as soon as I sent the message, I heard a phone chirp in the foyer…
Her purse was hanging on the fucking coat rack and her goddamn cell was in it.
There went giving her a heads up… There was no telling how far ‘Jasonette’ would push the creepiness before she backed off, but I sure as hell didn’t want Had to think I was avoiding her… Not after I found out how Eric had jumped to the wrong conclusion and festered on that for years…
When I got back to the bedroom, I had to dial back the urge to throw a little party… Frannie was spooning with Laf and when I sat down she looked like she was going to leave me alone.
Even better… Had didn’t look like she wanted to cut me anymore. She actually grinned at me when she stole a sip of my coffee.
“So, uh… how scared should I be about this game Corbett called ‘friendly’?”
Sookie and Had started snickering while I watched Laf’s eyes go wide. “Game!? We’re playing today?”
Eric snorted. “Something about the four Horsemen and my dad against us ‘whipper-snappers’.”
Had looked down at her watch and then looked at him. “Uhhhh… you still have time to get a workout in.”
“They can’t be that good.”
Had didn’t giggle. She laughed, calling ‘bullshit’ without saying anything. “You have a lot to learn, NEW GUY… You’re pretty ass is going to get fucked up if you don’t take those ‘coots’ seriously.”
“They’re in that kind of shape?”
Had nodded. “Yeah… Yeah, they are. You obviously haven’t ever seen any of them without a shirt on… You guys…”
Laf whined into the mattress, “I’ve been too swamped to workout all week… At least we have Jas, Hunter and JB.”
Offended… “Hey! Sure, the heaviest thing Eric’s moved all week is his dick, but Sookie can actually wake me up. I’m fine… thank you very much.”
Eric reached across Had to slap my arm. “Shit head.”
I laughed at him. “I guess it IS a good thing we have Jas and Hunter… You hit like a fucking girl now that you’re on Hollywood hours, Mr. Van Winkle.”
“Sleeping until 7 isn’t ‘Hollywood hours’… We’re technically on leave.”
“Pshhh, we are on leave, but Sookie doesn’t have to drop a depth charge to get some of us out of bed for a run.”
“I get my work out before I go to sleep.”
Normally, I would’ve tried to ignore that shit, but I started laughing at him. “Fine… You go right on ahead and stick to your porn-star-workout and we’ll just see who avoids the ‘buffet belly’ longer. I’ve got two words for you.”
“Ron Jeremy, mother fucker.”
While Eric gave me a dirty look, everyone else laughed and Had rubbed his stomach like it was lucky and called him ‘the Hedgehog’. Jason had been right about having coconspirators being more fun… making fun of each other was fun by itself, but once Lafayette started laughing about what Eric’d look like fat (a giant blond Chia Pet), joking his practically perfect ass was more amusing than usual.
“I will not end up looking like Ron Jeremy… Not before you anyway… I might not be working out right now, but I’m also not going back for 3rds and 4ths.”
Sookie finally added something other than a giggle. “Uh… I’ve seen him work out and he could eat while he lifts and be fine. You don’t need to worry about his cup size.”
He jerked his head to stare at her while I slapped her 5 for having my back. “Et tu Brute?”
She smirked at him. “I’m simply saying that if you’re going to make fun of his extra helpings, it’s open season on you. He might be pigging out, but the only calories you’ve burned in a while have been on top of me.”
Frannie decided to take Eric’s side, “That’s more than enough… I lost weight while we were together… and never ate more in my life. He’ll be fine. Nautilus, Sookie, Sookie, Nautilus… it’s all the same.”
Eric locked up. It was hilarious… it was like watching someone watch porn… It wasn’t any kind of secret what he was thinking about.
Had put her foot out to nudge Fran’s hip and giggled. “That explains where your tits went. Where’d that giant ass come from?”
I thought claws might come out, but Frannie laughed at her. “Being too busy to work out.”
“So that affair you’ve been having with Popeye’s fried chicken has nothing to do with it?”
“And mashed potatoes. Don’t forget those mashed potatoes… Still can’t find a decent stand-in for Gran’s torte though. Ya making that today?”
The knock on the door interrupted Had, but the whole Mickey Mouse Club was already in the room so I was lost as to who it was since the knock was too hard to be one of the boys…
It was Eric’s dad.
He needed to use the head, but he barely got out that the hall bath was occupied before he locked up… I wanted to take a fucking picture… Hell, I wanted to laugh my ass off and point… it was the exact same face that Eric makes… CMC obviously didn’t realize that anyone but Eric and Sookie were in the room, but he sure as shit didn’t expect for there to be 4 extra people hanging out on the bed…
To be honest, with the way he was staring, he probably wasn’t noticing that there were 3 women in/on the bed with his kid… just that 2 guys were…
Not another word… Eric tried introducing Laf and Fran, but the old man just wandered into the bathroom and closed the door and when he left he focused on the door on his way across the room like he was afraid to make eye contact.
Had was the first to start giggling and stole another sip from my cup. “I could’ve taken my top off and he wouldn’t have noticed.”
I downed the last of it and held the cup back out to her while Laf whispered something to Fran that got him tickled. “Test your theory while you get me another cup.”
She raised her eyebrow at me like I’d dared her and climbed off the bed over me… And took her fucking top off.
She took her top off and pulled the fucking clip out of her hair… pushed her pants down her hips a little and held her hand out for my cup…
Oh my God…
I guess it was just my turn to lock up… but I couldn’t decide if it was the view of her stress-tested black C-cups or the idea that she’d actually walk through the house like that just to fuck with the CMC…
Wow. Either way. Wow.
She took my cup and headed for the door and had her hand on the knob before she started laughing and turned around and made fun of me for thinking she’d do it.
She put my cup on the nightstand and instead of putting her shirt back on she pushed her Dickies off… and went to root around in the closet looking for something to wear to Dirges…
She must’ve put on and taken off 20 things… Sookie and Fran goofed around with her, ‘fighting’ over stuff, joking over tit size and Fran’s ass being big enough to be incorporated and zipping and unzipping each other until there was a pile of clothes set aside for later…
The mindfuck continued until someone else came to the door…
JB came into the room slowly. “What are you girls up to?”
So help me God, the three of them ran to hug him fast enough that they created a breeze… and they were still in their underwear.
Mother fucker was so big that he got his arms around all three of them at once and then some while he picked them up and when he put them down again, he snapped Had and Fran’s bra straps. “Y’all are enough to make a gay man straight… What’s with the T & A parade?”
Had laughed, “Just shopping for something slutty to wear to Dirges.”
“You’ve got the right closet for that… Are you singing tonight, or just teasing the locals, Angel?”
He had to bend over to kiss her. “It’s about damn time. It’s been too long since I’ve seen you in action…” When she turned around to pick up her clothes, he swatted her ass before turning his attention to Sookie and when he hugged her she practically disappeared. “…There’d better be a really good reason that I haven’t heard from you for nearly a week. How’s my Cherry been?”
I didn’t even look at Eric since I’d already seen him lock up that morning, but Goddamn… ‘His Cherry’?
That takes some balls to say something like that in front of the new boyfriend. I don’t care how big a mother fucker is, it still takes some serious nuts to rub in that he’d ‘been there’ first.
And when he hugged Sookie again, he lifted her up and put his fucking hand under her ass… That’s when I looked at Eric…
I was mostly making sure I wouldn’t need to keep him from shooting… Dallas wasn’t going to make it to The Bowl without DuRone.
The only thing I could figure was that he was star struck. I wanted to hit him. Sure, there was a Super Bowl ring on the guy’s hand, but he was flirting with another guy’s fiancé… in front of him…
Shit, snapping Had’s bra strap pissed me off and all we had was flirting… and it was a secret at that.
JB carried Sookie over and sat on the bed with her in his lap and it looked weird… like one of them had been resized in PhotoShop.
He put his hand out in Eric’s direction and didn’t bother with his own name. “You’re the fiancé, right? Eric…” Then he went to shake my hand. “…You’re the little girl that can’t hold her liquor? Alcide, right?”
I’d held my liquor just fine and was about to remind him that ‘my liquor’ included four shots for the flags he’d gotten for roughing, but Had dipped under our arms to get back into her spot… I’m pretty sure that she dragged her knees over my legs on purpose… If I opened my mouth I would’ve drooled so I just nodded like a retard.
“So who was the mute old guy with the cigarette?”
Sookie giggled. “That was Eric’s Dad. Someone was in the hall bath…”
“…And he walked in on his son’s bi-jama party… fucking great! So the kid sleeping on the couch… He’s yours? Sookie said they were little.” Couch? Shit. I’d been through the house a few times, but not the living room and when I came back with my coffee, I’d checked on Jack and Carm… they were still snoring somehow.
“No, my kids are in bed.”
Sookie whipped her head around with a worried look… It had to be one of her students. “Describe him.”
“I dunno… tall enough to take up the whole couch. White, dark hair, makeup, hospital bracelet…”
Fuck. It had to be Rene.
Sookie and Eric were gone to check on him before JB was done with the description and I went to wait at the door, hoping to overhear why the poor kid would be wearing a hospital bracelet.
I inched out into the hall trying to hear something, anything… but they were just out of my range.
When I went back, Had was waiting for news.
I shook my head. “We’ll have to sit tight. I can tell it’s Rene, but I can’t hear enough.”
She actually pouted. “Like that poor baby hasn’t been through enough…” She patted the bed next to her to get me to sit.
JB started shaking his head. “Rene? Not Mrs. Lanier’s little boy.”
She nodded. “He’s not so little anymore. Senior.”
He moved to sit in Eric’s spot next to Had. “Fucking knees need to hurry up and go for good so I can retire. I’m sick of being away from home. I miss too much… How’s our boy? He isn’t married with kids yet, is he?”
“Bite. Your. Tongue.”
He laughed at her. “Which part?”
“Fucking yourself up AND everything about there being a MRS. Hunter Stackhouse Savoy. You can retire without getting crippled and Gran’s ring isn’t going anywhere for at least another decade.”
“Yes ma’am. You still having teen pussy woes?”
“It could be worse… I’m over hoping I don’t catch him getting here with a girl instead of the boy he was supposed to be sleeping over with… And hoping that no one called him to let him know I’m here while he made coffee.”
She shot a look in my direction and I actually started laughing as I pulled out my phone to hand it to her. “I’m offended.”
She just stared at my phone.
“Take it. You and Sookie are pretty much the only calls and texts I’ve gotten or sent in days.” And she’d see that I texted her.
She grinned at me. “I was mostly just kidding… I trust you.” Seriously?
“He’s really with Terrence. They had ‘guy business’ to attend to.”
“Do I want to know?”
“Pirated porn swapping.”
She buried her face in her hands before she leaned over, folding herself in half to groan into her knees. “Whatever happened to Bob The Builder!? I miss Bob the Builder!”
“I know something that’ll make you feel better.”
“It better be good or I’m going to snuggle up with his Buzz Lightyear blankie when I go to sleep tonight.”
“I have a virus that’ll wipe out all of his video files for you without a trace. If you get to his laptop in the next day or two he’ll think it was imbedded in his triple X .avi files.”
She was already smiling ear to ear when she sat up to hug my neck. “All better.”
“What’s it gonna cost me?”
“You’re gonna have to talk me down when my time comes with Jack.”
She giggled and kissed my cheek. “You have yourself a deal.”
Fran rolled her eyes. “Watch it, Had. He’ll give you the same ‘married’ line he gave me.”
I tried to ignore that Had looked surprised that I’d turn Fran down. “I was married. Now I’m separated.” Mistake.
By the time Laf was done quoting Martin Luther King’s ‘Free at last’ speech, Fran was biting her lip and staring me down. “Single makes you even sexier.”
“Like ‘married’ was something you were worried about before?”
Her eyebrows lifted and she hummed. “I’m no home wrecker, Hulk… Married gets an offer… Single gets a pursuit.” Lovely.
Fran might’ve been making my mission of making Jason twitch easier, but the piss she put into Had’s veins wasn’t making me feel any better.
I didn’t give a shit that Eric and Sookie didn’t want to include anyone on the plan, all I needed was one minute… 60 seconds…
‘Had, I told Eric and Sookie that I’d play along with Frannie’s flirting because they want to make Jason jealous.’ Done. Had would be fine knowing that much until I could explain more.
Thank God for Eric’s timing (for once)…
He came back into the room just in time to keep Had from getting too pissed at me and I’m pretty sure that we all asked him a different question at the same time.
He growled and started looking for his phone. “After the game he went home and Super Dad was sozzled enough that Rene hid his distributor cap. Bastard beat him up for his keys and took Rene’s car out for a joy ride… The kid called in his own father for the DUI and when Kenya checked on him she took him to the ER. Other than the orbital fracture, he’s fine but his Civic is trashed and Kenya brought him here because she didn’t want him to be alone on Vicodin.”
He nodded with his phone already at his ear so I waited until he was done… “It’s Daddy Dearest’s fourth DUI.” Guaranteed time… that prick didn’t even have the decency to wait until Rene had left for college. Damn.
“What are the odds he’s paid his rent for the next 5 years?”
“About as good as him getting a World’s-Greatest-Dad shot glass in June.”
“He can stay with me. We have an extra room.”
Had nodded and added, “I do too. He could have my office; I’ve only been in there to dust in months.”
Eric shook his head on the way out of the room and growled again. “How about that… The kid finally has options.”
I scowled at Had, just joking. “You’d do just about anything to get a quiet kid, wouldn’t you?”
She grinned. “Maybe… I just figured that there’d be highs and lows to staying with any of us… I doubt he’ll want to stay with me because of Hunter.”
“They got along alright the other night.” Fran had gotten bored apparently and got up to grab the TV remote to start flipping channels.
Had rolled her eyes and mumbled about how Fran managed to become a doctor with ADD ‘that bad’. “Their circles don’t really mesh… If he takes any offer, it’ll be to stay with Sookie and Eric.”
She nodded. “It’d feel more like a roommate situation here. He’s 18 and he’s practically raised himself… putting himself in a family situation would feel too weird to him, I think. He wouldn’t be able to avoid being ‘mommed’ by me or ‘brothered’ by your little guys… Sookie’s been his ‘buddy’ since his mom was sick.”
“Eric being here would be a wild card though. Rene doesn’t know him from Adam.”
“That’s why I said ‘if’.”
Lafayette and Frannie fought over the remote because she wanted to watch Dexter’s Lab instead, but Fran got outvoted 4 to 1 so she pouted.
Had giggled at her. “Sorry doc, you’re the only one with a closet hard on for short geniuses.” I couldn’t avoid the mental image of Jason dressed up in a lab coat and red wig.
Fran hissed at her and grabbed Had’s ankle to tickle her foot and when it was over, I got an elbow in my side for laughing. “Shut up, pal. I’m still not sure that you aren’t ticklish.”
I snorted at her. “That’s right. I’m lying to make friends.”
“Just because your sides aren’t ticklish…”
I put my hand up to stop her. “Hold on… I’ll revise… I’m ticklish. Things tickle… I just don’t go into violent convulsions and nearly piss my pants from it… you know, like some folks.”
She narrowed her eyes at me. “I’ll get you one of these days.”
“I wasn’t daring you, just stating a fact… You have to know someone else who isn’t ticklish.”
Had shook her head, but Fran moved her hand to hover over my foot and she looked pissed when I didn’t move it away from her. When running her fingers up the sole of my foot didn’t work, she tried dragging them down the top of it…
Had’s mouth dropped open and her eyes went wide. “You’ve got to be kidding… Do you have nerve damage or something?”
“Yeah, but not in my feet. Just my shoulder. Recoil.”
She grabbed my hand and turned my arm over to try to tickle the inside of my wrist. Nothing… Well, not what she was going for anyway. “You don’t have a single ticklish spot?” I was tempted to suggest she was free to look for one, but I was afraid Fran would be the one to take the invitation.
“Not that I’ve found. My mother wasn’t either if it makes you feel better.”
“Your whole family?”
“No. The boys are plenty ticklish.”
“I think you need to be held down and tested.”
“I think you’ll lose like you did yesterday.”
‘Uh oh’ is literally the only thought that made its way through my brain before Hadley moved to straddle my legs. She had an evil grin when she pinned my hand to the wall behind my head and started running her fingers down my side from my wrist to my hip. With that going on, it was easy to ignore that Frannie was trying to tickle my legs… she tried my ankles, my knees and behind them and inside my thighs (under Had’s ass)… “Is it that big of a deal?”
Had dropped my arm and made a disappointed face that was more funny than anything else. “Yes… I’ve never met a guy that wasn’t ticklish. You’re a freak.”
“You have a twin cousin… and I’m the freak because I’m not ticklish?”
She giggled, “Pretty much.”
She narrowed her eyes at me before she looked down between us and ran her thumbs over the tops of my thighs… I had to bite the inside of my mouth so that I wouldn’t show that reaction… It didn’t tickle… it felt too fucking good and she knew it.
“Is it my turn yet?”
“Your turn to… No!” She actually twitched when I put my hands on her waist… and started shaking her head slowly. “You are so gonna pay for this.”
“For what? My inquiring mind?”
“You already know I’m ticklish.”
“Right… but since you got to look for somewhere I am ticklish, I should get to look for somewhere you aren’t… Got any injuries or conditions I should know about?” Considering how much she squirmed and bucked when I tickled her foot yesterday, there was no way that I was going to tickle her while she was straddling me… Contrary to popular belief, I’m not a retard.
She bit her lip and tensed up. “Uh… Fibromyalgia?”
I started laughing at her. “That doesn’t sound like any fun.”
“You poor thing.”
Started ‘crying’… she was way too good at that shit. She sniffled, “…and Sickle Cell.” I choked laughing at that one.
I was still trying to keep my volume down when I let her go and patted her hip to get her to go back to the bed. “Fine. Consider this your warning. Next time, the gloves are off.”
She laughed back and called me a ‘sucker’ for setting her loose.
When Eric and Sookie came back, he carried her straight to the bathroom. Had leaned over to warn me that Sookie ‘doesn’t do well when something happens to her kids’ and JB added that she’d be better off if Rene’s father had hit her instead…
When Eric came out of the bathroom without her because she needed a minute, Fran tried to get rid of the worried look on his face by telling him that she ‘just cares too much’… and backed up her statement by telling him how Sookie got a substitute when one of her students had to have their appendix out so that she could help her mom take care of her.
That would be ‘it’… the nail in the coffin when it came to joking about Sookie making a better Fed… Even with ‘practice’, seeing kids get fucked up, fucked with and fucked over still got to me…
Within minutes, Smom came in and instead of locking up like her husband had, she sat on the bed to hang out with us ‘kids’… Sookie came out of the bathroom (you could tell she’d been crying, but she was already looking better)… and the boys got up…
They slept longer than I thought they would with all the joking around going on. Thin walls be damned, I had a feeling they’d start sleeping in on Saturdays finally since the games went so late.
They stood in the doorway for a minute rubbing their eyes and looking at us like they were pissed about missing the party before they came over to get helped onto the bed. Had pulled her legs up so that Jack would have somewhere to sit and Carm didn’t bother to look for somewhere. He was perfectly fine sitting on her legs.
I pointed over to JB to return on the ‘little girl’ slam from earlier. “Hey Jack, don’t fidget. He’s got bad knees and we’re supposed to play football with Corbett later… he doesn’t need the excuse to bail on his team.”
JB didn’t bother looking at me, he reached behind Had’s head and plucked me right in the damn temple… hard enough to make my eye twitch. Damn.
Jack laughed at him as he settled in. “So who are these guys?”
Had answered, “Well, that’s Frannie. She’s a Stackhouse like Lafayette is…”
“Yep. And this is JB. Same thing. I’ve known him since 3rd grade when his family moved here. He’s Hunter’s godfather.”
“Where have they been all week?”
“Frannie lives in New Orleans and JB lives in Dallas.”
Carm gave him a long look. “Are you a Cowboys fan?” He had no idea why everyone started laughing.
JB grinned at him. “Not this week. Next week, maybe.”
Fran barely waited for a chance to jump into the conversation, and Jack was her vehicle. “Mr. Jack… You are the handsomest 8 year old I have ever seen. You look just like your Daddy.”
Had put her mouth to Carm’s ear and whispered, “Is saying that he looks like your daddy the nice way of telling him his nose is crooked too?” Carm and I snorted, trying not to laugh.
Jack didn’t notice though because he was too busy flirting. “Hunter says I have ‘mad skills’ too.”
“Oh really? How many girlfriends do you have?”
“I’m not locked in.” Locked in? Seriously? Locked in?
“Which girl is your favorite?”
“Ummmm. Hannah. She doesn’t give me any trouble.”
“Sometimes trouble is fun.”
“Sometimes trouble is just trouble… I don’t need that.” Horrible. Horrible and fucking hilarious.
“So what does a gorgeous man like you look for in a girl?”
“I dig on cheerleaders… but you’re pretty… what are you?”
“I’m a doctor.”
He shrugged and shook his head a little. She might as well have said she was a man. “Huh… too bad.” He turned around and planned his way down to take off.
“You’re leaving? I wanted to talk to you some more.”
“I like ‘em kinda dumb. Besides you’re being clingy.” He was gone and we were all close to pissing ourselves.
Hadley had her face in her hands and she was laughing the loudest.
“Tell me you realize how wrong it is that you’re having so much fun with that.”
She nodded before she looked up at me. “Yeah, but for the record, it was funny when Hunter did it too… I promise to stop laughing when Jack’s voice changes. K?” I could deal with that.
Smom was still giggling and getting the tears out of her eyes… “Sookie, can I help with breakfast? It looks like you’ve got quite a crowd to feed and those little guys won’t fill up on coffee like us, dontcha know.” Snickerdoodles. The woman was too cute.
“Uhmmm… If you don’t mind just preheating the oven… I have the rest covered. I’ll get dressed and be right out.”
“That’s a good enough excuse to chat these boys up. I’ll take it.” She patted Eric’s leg and helped Carm down on her way out of the room and I started getting up.
With Had on my heels, I was finally going to get the chance to say something… So I thought.
No sooner than we lit up, Fran came out to the porch… She was getting her bag in from her car.
She set down her case and joined us. “Why are we smoking out here? The old man is in the kitchen smoking like a chimney.”
Had shrugged and held her pack out to Fran. “Too many smokers in one place. Want one?”
She shook her head. “I’m good… It’s cute that you’re still hiding from the man-child… How’s his chest?”
“All clear… in spite of him. He conned me into letting him go hang out with Jason on Sunday and those assholes spent the day in the cold garage.”
Fran giggled. “Little turd… he emailed me to call the family the other night… Something about not needing toilet paper anymore.”
Hadley started laughing and slapped my thigh while she was bent in half. “Oh my God! See that’s what you get for being River City for so long… K… Long story short: Y’all don’t get to TP Bill’s place anymore… Eric and Alc found out that some guy they’re after is using a fake ID, right? So they look into it and find out that it was Bill making fakies… even better, they found out that the guy is an illegal. They called Homeland Security and Eric had us all over to the house… we took lawn chairs over and watched Bill get fucked up and arrested! It was spectacular! It was the best fucking thing since your punk on Daddy!”
Fran smiled from ear to ear. “How long will ‘the stain’ be gone?”
Had looked at me so that I could answer. “If he gets out, he’ll be too old to remember how to stalk Sookie. Explain the punk on Corbett.”
Had opened her mouth, but Fran beat her to explain like she didn’t want me to hear Had’s version. “Spring break last year… We all got trashed and I climbed into bed with Daddy after he crashed and waited for him to wake up and let him think we’d fucked… We waited for a while to tell him that he hadn’t had sex with me. The family voted on it and it won the prize for the best family prank on record…” I started laughing, but Had was giving Fran a look. “…You keep your mouth shut, old lady. That’s all he needs to know about it.”
Had snorted and winked at me while she got up to put out her cigarette. “Be that way… I’ll just tell him the rest later.”
Fran opted to slap Had’s ass and it wasn’t a ‘good game’ type of slap either…
Had laughed at it though. “You’re gonna have to try harder than that, Bubbles…. Don’t be a bitch. You know I love you, right?”
Fran growled at her. “Then you’ll forgive me for getting you back.”
“How do you plan on getting me back for telling him a story he could get from anybody else?”
“I’ll call Quinn and tell him that we’ll be at Dirges tonight… and that you won’t be wearing panties.” Oooooooh. That might just keep me from hearing the rest of that story.
Had laughed again. “You go right on with your bad self. I’ll tell him I’m on a threesome kick and that if he can convince you to be our third, I’ll suck his dick until his balls cave in. Your turn.” Damn.
“I’ll tell him yes.”
“No you won’t. You don’t want to see his dick up close anymore than I do… But nice bluff.”
Fran stomped her foot. “Why do you always win!?”
“Because Daddy started training me earlier… C’mon let’s get to the kitchen before we miss something good.”
Since Fran hopped up to sit on the counter, I thought I was safe sitting down next to CMC at the table with my cup of coffee. Thinking is dumb.
We might have been in the kitchen for a whole 2 minutes before everyone else came in… Laf, JB, Eric, and the whirling dervish that shooed Fran from the counter so that she could make breakfast…
So Fran ended up putting her ass right on my lap… I was tempted to offer a swap since Had made room for JB by stacking in his lap… and if I wasn’t worried about being so fucking obvious, I would have… in a heartbeat.
Considering that every chair (except for CMC’s) had at least two bodies in it, Sookie mentioned to Had something about getting a bigger table so Had went to grab her phone. Finally! On her way back through, I suggested she order a California King bed for them too since their bed had gotten more traffic than Interstate 20, but somehow I’d earned myself a dirty look from CMC…
Sookie came over and whispered in my ear so quiet that I barely heard her over all of the conversations going on in the room. “Next weekend I’ll divert some traffic to your room. Any preferences on who I send your way?” That bitch.
I should’ve known better than to think she wouldn’t notice something since she’d already been threatening to play yenta…
Assholes. All of them. They don’t tell each other everything because they’re ‘that close’ as much as they just know there’s no fucking point in trying to keep anything quiet… All I could do was laugh… and wait to sick Hadley on her.
Even though Fran’s hand was creeping closer and closer to my dick, I started to feel a little better when Had gave me a wink when she came back in and let Sookie know that breakfast would be the last meal at the old table… I was still stuck where I was: under a ‘fidgety’ stripper, but at least Had read the text I sent to her.
I was stuck under a stripper… until Jason came in…
Seeing Fran on my lap burned his ass enough to make him crack his neck… I had to clench my jaw to not laugh when he came over…
He looked like he was going to kiss her, but the goofy fuck kissed me instead… At least he closed his mouth first… So Carm ended up laughing so hard he nearly fell off of Smom’s lap… Version 3.2 might not be such a good idea after all. Eventually the boys were going to think I’m gay considering they’d only seen me get kissed by men since we got to Bon Temps.
Jason ended up grabbing Fran’s legs and pushed her off of my lap to take her place. “Get off him, damn Yankee. He’s mine. I saw him first…” He put an arm over my shoulder and leaned over to hand Carm a newspaper. “Hey boyo, I already owe you 14 tickets.” No shit?
His eyes lit up and he yanked the paper from him. “Really!?”
“Yeah. Good eye… By carnival time, you’ll have a whole roll if that keeps up.”
Carm didn’t say anything else… he probably couldn’t with the smile he had screwed on tight. He handed Smom’s coffee cup to her to make room to spread the paper out enough to look at the parts Jason had highlighted for him… the money grubbing little shit was on cloud 9… it was fucking adorable.
Everyone goofed off and fucked around while we waited not-so-patiently for breakfast to come out of the oven…
Somehow Jason ended up missing his window while he poured his coffee and Fran ended up back in my lap while we ate… since the boys had taken their plates to the living room to watch TV, Fran wasn’t as shy…
Not that shy was in her repertoire any more than she was keeping her hands to herself… No. One of her hands was shoveling food into her mouth. The other was ‘resting’ on my leg behind her and her thumb was ‘accidentally’ grazing my dick…
I tried. God knows I fucking tried… I tried so hard that I was getting pissed off at Had for trying to have a conversation with JB, but she wasn’t catching the ‘SOS’ look I was trying to get across… And all hope was gone when Had and Sookie started doing their ‘twin talking’ about what they were making for desert. I was screwed. I was starting to understand them though, so at least I had that going for me.
I regretted telling Sookie that I’d help. Seriously. I’d have done just about anything for her, especially considering everything she’d done for me, but having Fran on my lap while the rest of the world kept turning sucked on about 10 different levels… I needed a cigarette, but Fran told me that she was comfortable and that it was bad for me anyway… I needed a coffee refill and she actually had the balls to get Jason to pour it for me before he left to run an errand with JB… I wanted to go upstairs and watch the boys play for a while before I needed to get to work on the IDs Eric found in the mailbox but she said they were just warming up…
There was no fucking way to politely defuse the bomb once that timer had been set… It was annoying before Jason had gotten there, but even once he left again, she kept up her momentum…
Crime scene photos were sexier than the way she was ‘flirting’ and God only knows what was going through Hadley’s head, but when Fran suggested that we find somewhere more ‘private’ and Had shot a dirty look at me, I had a pretty fucking good idea of what she was thinking.
When I closed the door to my room behind us, she actually had a fucking smirk waiting. “I didn’t think you had it in you…”
I rolled my eyes at her and went to ‘my’ dresser and pulled out my handcuffs.
“Ooooh, I figured you for straps instead of hardware.”
I managed to laugh and put one of the cuffs on her wrist with no problem and she walked the rest of the way to the bed… “I’m full of surprises.”
The problem started when I called her bluff and really did cuff her to the footboard. “Alright. Jokes over.”
I didn’t say anything to her. I grabbed my laptop and sat back, getting comfy against the head board and fucking loved the hell out of the fact that she couldn’t reach me. When she started whining and complaining and telling me that I wasn’t funny, I pissed her off by putting my earbuds in… I wasn’t playing any music. Hell, the plug was dangling over the side of the bed, but she didn’t know that…
I still needed a fucking cigarette, but at least I had entertainment. She was quiet for a few minutes, and then she’d start complaining loud enough for everyone to hear… then she’d lay back on the bed… then go back to complaining…
I worked the whole time… I laughed at her a few times or told her to settle down, but for the most part I did research on a hunch…
I had just found what I was looking for when Eric came to the door… I was starting to think he was retarded since he hadn’t bothered coming back sooner.
“Eric! Help me.”
It was hard to not laugh at her even if I was sick as hell of her shit. “HEY! You want a turn?” I went back to finishing the email I’d been working on.
“Eric… He handcuffed me.”
“I see that. Are we having fun?”
“He’s having a blast! It’s too tight and it hurts.”
“It wasn’t that tight at first. She did that to herself.” I dug the keys out of my pocket and tossed them to him so he could let the harpy loose.
I watched in my periphery as she stormed around the bed and pulled her hand back to hit me… Funny. She sure as hell didn’t expect me to catch her hand before it landed. “Frannie, you need to dial it back.”
“Dial what back?”
“Whatever little game you’re playing. It’s disrespectful. My children and Eric’s parents don’t need to see that shit… When you walk out of here, make sure you apologize to the Northmans. Got it.” And stop working me like a John, please.
She gave up and sat on the side of the bed (without touching me). “What are you doing?”
“I’m ordering a ball gag for you for Christmas…. I’m looking up something case related… Alcohol related teen deaths in northern Louisiana.”
I dangled the perfect fucking carrot… she rolled her eyes and my partner finally remembered that he was employed. Bonus. “Find anything?”
“I found 4 in the last couple years. I figured since we were swimming in the shit today anyway, we might as well cross reference.”
“So what do you have?”
“Just one that looks right. Parents went out of town and their kid had a huge party. Alcohol poisoning death in the bathroom that no one noticed until another kid got drunk enough to collapse. Another kid found the dead one when they were looking for the first aid kit. Bossier City. The article listed Detective Luna Garza. I just emailed her.” It was probably a long shot, but the kids got the booze somehow.
Frannie got bored so I decided that I’d ask Had later (if she was still talking to me) if Fran really had ADD. “You boys work too much… I have makeup to cover that hickey in my bag.” Hickey?
Eric didn’t wait for me to ask. He stretched out his collar to show me what was most likely the reason Sookie looked like she’d been mauled yesterday. I was still going to fuck with him… it looked like he was attacked by a vacuum. “Which one of them gave that to you?”
“Sookie. Yesterday. Frannie just saw it this morning. I guess she figured it’d irk Jason.”
“I almost feel bad. Sookie asked me to help make Jason want to do something…”
“And Frannie’s doing it for you?”
“There’s that, but… If I saw my woman all over some guy right in front of me, it’d just turn me the fuck off.”
“Me too. I think she’s going overboard.” My ass. He was hiding something. He made it a point to look at the alarm clock and it was another vague answer…
“She doesn’t flirt… She takes hostages.”
“Have you met Jason though?! That asshole hasn’t got many boundaries… That’s probably why Sookie thinks something so drastic needs to be done.” Uh huh…
“JASON? Sookie’s a little short on boundaries too. I walked in on you with all three of them and she didn’t seem the least bit uncomfortable. And what the fuck was that shit when JB walked in? All three of them were in lace and underwire and you just sat there like a window-licking retard while he called her ‘his cherry’ and practically made out with her.”
“Cherry was her nickname in high school. He still calls Jas ‘CJ’ too.” Uh… Bullshit… The #1 thing on my list of reasons I hate geniuses… They think everyone else is retarded.
I handed my laptop to him so he could read the article and waited for him to come clean.
“You really do have sexy eyes. I’d fuck you.” If I didn’t love him like a brother, I’d shoot him.
“JB. No one knows. Sookie told me to tell you because he doesn’t have any tells and she didn’t want you to think they’re still hung up on each other.” Oh, Had was in for it… I was going to have so much fun with her… that would be the ‘something’ she wasn’t sharing…
“But they dated.” Not that it mattered… I had a friend back in high school that didn’t know he was gay until he was married and his fourth kid was on the way… I was trying to plan how to make Had’s ‘secret’ backfire on her.
“In high school and since Bill. Still gay.”
Once the IDs were out of the way, I finally got to go upstairs and see the boys have some fun… Jack was a sweaty mess by the time I got up there and JB was helping Carm hold up the bass because he was already starting to get tired…
I finally had the chance to ask Hunter if he was available to babysit though… the little poser had his phone out and was texting Taryn before I was finished with the question, but at least the boys were excited that he was going to be sitting with them…
I only got to see the boys play 3 songs before they completely gave it up… they’d been at it for 2 hours though, so I was lucky to see that much. It had been a madhouse with all of the company and the boys didn’t seem like they could’ve been happier.
Once the boys had settled in to watch a movie in our room, I went to the bathroom…
But when I opened the door to leave, Had was waiting for me. She put her hand in the middle of my chest and advanced so quickly that I almost tripped backing up so she could shut the door behind us.
“We need to talk.”
“I think Frannie’s pregnant.” That’s not quite what I thought we’d be talking about.
“Okay? Just okay? That’s all you’ve got?”
“What do you want me to say? I thought you were holding me hostage because of how she was all over me out there. I’ve been waiting for a chance to explain all damn day.”
“Oh… don’t worry about that. Eric put me out of my misery… but I was close to beating her ass for a while. I thought she was using you to make him jealous instead of the other way around.” What ‘misery’?
“Oh really? I could’ve used some help out there, but someone was too busy lap bouncing with JB to realize I wanted to eat a bullet.”
“I’m sorry…” Fun.
“No. It’s ok. I get it. You have history… we aren’t doing anything but flirting. No big deal, but you could’ve helped me get away from her. I’d have done that for you.”
“I told you it’s no big deal… I understand… you were doing your thing with JB. I probably wouldn’t have noticed a friend getting groped either.”
I patted her head and it was getting really hard to not laugh at the pitiful look on her face… She didn’t know whether to hit me for saying we weren’t ‘anything’ or if she wanted to feel sorry for me. “Weirder things have happened… I mean, he’s your kid’s godfather and all. Besides you just met me.”
She’d finally had enough and shoved me into the wall. “Would you shut up for a second!?”
It took too much effort to look ‘wounded’. “Sorry.”
“I wasn’t flirting with JB. We are old friends, but he’s gay…”
I started laughing. It wasn’t fake. It was at the look on her face and I was soooooo going to pay for how much fucking fun I was having. “That’s horrible! I already told you I got it… you don’t have to ‘make him gay’ to spare my damn feelings. All we did was kiss. Damn!”
She grabbed me by the sides of my head and pulled me down to deadeye me. “That was the ‘fun’ I was saving for later. I figured you two would think he was flirting with Sookie.”
I smiled at her. “I did… until Eric told me.”
Her mouth snapped open and she gasped like she’d been held under water. “You asshole!”
“I’m not even close to sorry because I know that you would not have turned up the chance to do that to me.”
She smiled with her eyes before she managed to close her mouth. “Nice one.”
“Thanks. I think so… What’s the significance of Frannie being knocked up?… And please tell me that you have more to go on than the fact that she turned down a cigarette this morning.”
“Normally, she’d have smoked half a pack by now… and washed it down with a pot of coffee… she’s off smokes, off coffee and I’m pretty sure she’s off her Ritalin too…”
“Alright. I’m waiting to find out why you’re whispering about it in the bathroom.”
“Because your 4 year old is more grown up than the baby’s father.”
“You sure it’s Jason? Sookie said that they were casual…”
She rolled her eyes. “Funny how you didn’t have to think about who I meant… and that’s bullshit. I dare you to find anybody they’ve done in about two years. They’re too hung up.”
“Well then, two babies in one week. Not a bad week for any family… What do we do about your cousin’s scheming ass? They waited to tell me about JB… Those bitches were hoping I’d be jealous, if not you too, and Frannie didn’t back off even when Jas left again. They’re trying to push us and the Jas/Fran thing at the same time.”
“Were you jealous?”
“No… I was too busy being rubbed off.”
She laughed right in my face. “Poor baby… you’re right about doing something though… what do you want to do about your partner?”
“I don’t know, but they sure as shit don’t deserve to think they played us.”
She thought about it for a minute before her eyes lit up. “Ooh, maybe they do… we could give them a taste of victory and then yank the rug out from under them… let them think they’re winning and then… fall out.”
“You mean like spend tonight dancing together and practically ignore each other tomorrow?”
She giggled, “Rinse and repeat as needed.”
“That would be cruel… I like it.”
“We could drag it out and fuck with them for months if we want to.”
“Perfect plan… can I ask you something?”
“Are you going to let go of my face anytime soon?”
She grinned for a second before she shook her head. “Nope. I’m good.”
Funny… “You like staring at my crooked nose…” That’s all I managed before she leaned into me…
That time, the kiss wasn’t a surprise… but it still nearly put me in the floor… She finally let go of my face to put her arms around my neck. Trying to end the kiss before we got carried away or walked in on didn’t work… When I started to stand up, she brought her leg up and I couldn’t help myself… she ended up wrapping her legs around me and I ended up using the wall to hold me up…
Not only did we get carried away…
But we were walked in on…
This time we weren’t lucky enough for it to be Corbett… This time it was CMC. At least it wasn’t one of the boys.
He locked up like a stooge and just stared and because of where we were, he was about 2 feet away from us. The world’s fastest cure for a hard on.
I almost laughed at the way Had just stared back at him without putting her feet under her. “We’ll be right out.”
She let go of my neck with one of her arms to reach out and snap her fingers and whistle. “Next time, knock first.”
He still hadn’t moved.
She finally had to pat his cheek to get him to come out of it. “Go on. Head’ll be free in a minute.”
He nodded and left, barely closing the door behind him and Had dropped her head to my chest and started laughing.
“We’d probably get more privacy if we weren’t trying to stay under the radar.”
She shrugged, still trying to stop laughing. “I’d worry about it if he’d said more than 2 words all day.”
She finally put herself down and started straightening her clothes. “You stretched out my shirt.”
“We’re even.” Mistake.
She closed the gap again and put her mouth right back to my neck… my dumb ass let her. All I would’ve needed to do was stand up straight…
And then her hand… I was sure she was trying to fucking kill me. She reached down and started rubbing my dick… bringing my problem back with a vengeance.
I was still being a dumb ass too.
It took me too long to realize we needed to stop, by then I had my hand under her shirt again. The only thing that brought me back was the sound of more footsteps in the hallway…
“Alright. You’ve done enough damage.” The idea of dancing with her at Dirges later was almost a nightmare at this point.
She hummed against my neck but at least she stopped trying to jerk me off through my jeans… “How much damage could I do?”
She started giggling before she backed away. “It’s good that you realize that.”
And that’s where she left me…
Throbbing and terrified.