Ame and I sat in the back of Sam’s Coupe and as we made our way down the driveway Ame didn’t waste any time asking how long they’d been together/married… and how many kids they have…
At least she was trying on friendly for size…
Tara turned around a little to answer her. “We’ve known each other for 13 years, since high school. Started dating a year later. We got married a month after I graduated college… 6 years ago.”
“Don’t want kids?” Oh shit… Sookie’d mentioned that she’d been ovulating- meaning that they were trying… shit. Shit. Shit.
Tara shrugged. “I’m semi-broken. We’re trying though.” Sam grumbled that she wasn’t broken. Great! 2 minutes and she managed to hit a sore spot.
“Yeah. I’ve got damaged plumbing… So, if we find you a place in Bon Temps… I’ll get Jack and Andy will get Carm.”
“What’s she like?”
Tara laughed. “For starters, she is a he… Anderson Bellefleur. His wife Halleigh is the Kindergarten teacher, so she’d have him next year. They’re sweethearts. They have to eat their lunch in the cafeteria because their old students like hanging out with them. Their daughter Portia is mortified. She’s 9 and pretends that she doesn’t know them.”
“Yeah, but a guy pre-K teacher?”
“Everybody thinks that until they meet him. He’s a giant kid. Uses funny voices and we all look forward to the kids learning opposites… you should see him leading a row of kids down the hall to the playground taking huge steps and then shuffling along like that Tim Conway character from the Carol Burnett show… He’s everybody’s favorite teacher until they get Sookie for history.”
“She’s pretty popular, huh?” She shot a nasty look at me.
Tara caught her and raised her eyebrows at me. “Sookie’s more than popular. She has complete control in her classroom. When she says jump, they jump. But outside the classroom, she goes early and works out with her athletes. She takes her lunch with them. She spends her free period with them. She’s a mom to some. Big sister. Best friend…”
Sam jumped in… “She’s taken a few in when they fell on hard times. She drops everything for them… she had this one student… well you might’ve met her kid sister today. Taryn? Liam and Dian went out of town and Dana was in a car accident and broke her leg while she was away at school… Sookie was there before her cast was set and stayed with her until Dana’s folks could get to her. They got snowed in up in Cleveland on business.” Ahhh… That would explain the ‘Sookie fan club’.
I didn’t give Ame the chance to say anything shitty… “Taryn is watching the boys for us tonight, actually. She’s bringing Devin.”
Tara chuckled. “Uh oh. A possible coup… He’ll have bragging rights about meeting the new kid first. They’ll know all about him before he steps foot in the classroom.”
“What does Bon Temps School have by way of special education resources?”
“You don’t mean speech therapy, do you? Carm will grow out of his thing. His articulation is completely typical for his age.” I was already impressed. She’d barely met him and noticed.
“Jack, actually. He’s dyslexic.”
“Confirmed or suspected?”
“Confirmed. Secondary. Math is a bigger problem than reading because of the symbols.”
She started shaking her head with a smile. “He get it from you?”
I nodded. “I think so… My mom was gone by the time he was diagnosed, but I found an old box of my report cards. The teacher memos were always about my math.”
“I’ve got you covered. I have plenty of experience with it.”
“You have other dyslexic students?”
“Not this year.” At least she wasn’t going to try to push him off to a class full of wheelchairs and crutches like the last teacher did.
As we pulled into the driveway of the first house, Ame gave me an ‘oh hell no’ look…
The grass was as high as the side of the car, the driveway was pot holed dirt and I could barely tell that the house was blue under the vines that had grown up over the side…
Sam cleared his throat… “This house is the closest to Sookie and the school… It’s a great house, but the last tenants just left a couple of weeks ago. Corbett had to evict them and he hasn’t had the chance to get a crew out here yet to get to the yard. I was just here a couple days ago to estimate the damage and let the guys with the hardwood in. All it really needs is paint.”
“The yard is big enough for a football game.” Ame elbowed me. Fuck me for seeing some potential in the house. Our yard in New Orleans was too small for lawn furniture and a swingset… and the privacy fence made it seem even smaller.
…I kept my mouth shut for the tour. I didn’t say how much I liked that it has a living room and a den. I didn’t say that I liked that it has 4 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms. I didn’t say that I liked the storage room behind the garage because I could put my weights in it and not worry about waking the boys when I used them. I didn’t say that the deck is big enough for a real cookout. I didn’t say that the rent was 30% lower than what we were already paying for half the square footage. I didn’t say that the huge laundry room even caught my attention (so that we could finally have a full sized washer and dryer)…
I didn’t say any of it. Partly because the more I like something, the more Ame tends to hate it. Case in point: Her van. I liked the white Grand Caravan… So we ended up buying the black Odyssey.
The other reason to not mention how much I liked the house… Ame was too busy embarrassing the shit out of me. Complain, gripe, nit-pick…
We’d have to buy new furniture for the den since we didn’t already have any. What good would a guest room be if I wouldn’t let Octavia visit? Sure the rent is lower, but the gas I’d use to commute would make up the difference. Sure the house is bigger but that just meant that she’d have more to ‘clean’. Every room was the wrong color and the huge kitchen was a waste because she only cooks for three on most nights.
Bullshit. All of it.
The cost of the new furniture was a non-issue and she fucking knew it. I’d have sold a nut to get a leather couch I could sit on without having to pitch 20 fucking pillows to watch a football game even if I didn’t have more than enough in the bank… That tragically hip whore friend of hers wouldn’t be caught dead in a town like Bon Temps… I don’t care how she was doing her math, there was no fucking way I’d be spending an extra $750 on gas every month… Someone like Sookie might look at a house like this and think that there was more to clean, but Ame would just have twice as much to step over… And cooking for three actually earned a verbal ‘bullshit’ from me. The bigger kitchen was a waste, but only because she hit a drive through most nights… and she only had 4 options in Bon Temps, and that’s if you count the Kentucky Taco Hut combo as 3 of them… Oh yeah, and we were only 3 miles from the school, so the boys wouldn’t be on a bus route. She’d have to drag her unwashed ass out of bed and actually get dressed before noon to take them in.
And more of it with the second house… I didn’t even like the third one (it was just as small as the townhouse we were about to move out of) and the fourth was ‘completely unacceptable’. On top of the repetitive list of complaints, it had a pond and she swore she saw a snake slither through the yard. Sam tried to tell her that king snakes in the yard are preferable to having mice in her walls, but she still refused to look at any more of the house and stomped out to wait in the car.
Sam and Tara both looked at me like they felt sorry for me.
Just what I was in the mood for… pity from strangers.
They started for the door. “I’m sorry. I was hoping that Sookie might have warned you that she’s difficult.”
They looked at each other and laughed for a minute before Sam said anything. “She did! Sookie told us that she doesn’t want to move and would probably hate every house I showed you. When I told her which houses I was taking you to, she told me that you’d like the Gardner place the most… Was she right?”
“The Gardner place, is that the first one?”
I started laughing. “Sookie ever wrong?”
“No. Not really.” Great. Two Eric’s… eventually they’ll have omnipotent children too.
“Give me a minute?”
They nodded and Tara gave me a wink. “Honk when you’re done… or need backup.”
I was still 50 feet from the car when she snapped at me from the back seat. “I guess we’re going to be looking at the places closer to Shreveport.”
“No. No we’re not. We’re taking the first one.”
“It’s a great house. It’s on plenty of land for the boys to play on. It has space for a weight room and it’s in great shape. Sam’s right. All it needs is paint and I can do that while you’re packing the house in NOLA.”
“I don’t like that house.”
“Fine.” I pulled out my smokes and leaned against the car while I lit one.
“Yeah, fine. You don’t like it. Did you like any of them?”
“You didn’t like a single thing about any of the houses we already looked at?”
“No. Not a single thing.”
“Amelia… If we looked at every fucking house in Raynard Parrish, you would find a reason to hate them all because you don’t want to move.” I wasn’t even looking at her. I was watching the breeze move through the tree tops… trees that had to be 400 years old… practically a forest of them. It was the same way at the other house. I could find a clearing and take the boys for campouts… fuck, for that matter, we could probably hunt deer from the back deck.
“That’s not true. The ones we looked at were dumps. You just like them because they’re cheap and you’re a tight-wad.”
“What was so dumpy about the first house we looked at? The last tenants had scarred up the floor so bad that it has brand new hardwood. The windows and roof are only 5 years old. There wasn’t a single loose board in the porch or the deck. And the kitchen was just renovated 2 years ago. The house is in great shape and Corbett will tend to the yard before we move in.”
“I’d rather live in the city.”
“Why? So Jack can slip through the cracks and end up in special ed because his teacher doesn’t know how to handle his dyslexia. So Carm can get a complex when he gets shuffled off to speech therapy next year. We’ve already gotten a letter. I don’t care what your reasons are for living in the city, Ame. The fact that the boys will be in classes with less than 12 kids outweighs them all. I want to live in Bon Temps. I think it’ll be good for them.”
“It’s just another reason for you to not come home at night.”
“No, Ame. You’re the reason I don’t come home at night. I can’t say anything to you without getting my head bit off. I can’t go anywhere without being accused of adultery. The boys are the only reason I come back at all and since you can’t exactly be trusted to take care of them, I want to live here so that you are less distracted by the 20 some-odd malls and hundreds of restaurants. Maybe you’ll stop using them as a crutch and learn how to cook something. Maybe being in a town where everyone will know you on sight will keep you in check.”
“You asshole! Living in Podunk won’t make me a Stepford Wife!”
“You idiot! I don’t want a fucking Stepford Wife! All I fucking care about is that the boys are taken care of! God dammit! Sookie put more into the boys’ visit than you put into the last year. Did you even notice that the boys don’t even like corn and they ate chicken corn chowder and didn’t touch their sandwiches? Sookie did! She doesn’t even have kids and she was at Wal-mart before the sun was up making sure there was snack food for them in her pantry. She disinfected the whole goddamn house because it’s flu season and didn’t want them exposed to the germs… Little girl, Sookie isn’t the only one who’ll see right through your bullshit either. I think that is why you don’t want to live out here. I think you want to live in a city so that you can maintain your anonymity. I think you want the boys to be in crowded classrooms so that their teachers are less likely to notice that you only do half of your job. I think you’re afraid to make friends because you might notice that something IS wrong with you.”
“So what, you’re going to bully me into living in the sticks?”
“No. I’m just taking some advice and putting my foot down. Living in NOLA has given you the perfect cover. You need to live in a small community, around normal people so that you can get some pointers… at a minimum, start taking care of the boys. If you won’t get formal help, maybe meeting a few moms that would kill themselves before poisoning their kids will calibrate you.”
“Back to this again!? What would you have done? The bus was going to be by in 5 minutes!”
“Gee. I don’t know, Ame. I’d have preset their lunches the night before like I’ve suggested at least a hundred times… but if I had been standing in the kitchen at 5 to 8 holding off lunchmeat, I’d have sent them to school with lunch money. I’d have gone to the grocery to get fresh food and then dropped it off at the school. I’d have gone for take-out and ate with them. I’ve done that a few times and they love it. I’d have realized that there were better ways to feed them than giving them salmonella sandwiches.”
“So that’s it. You won’t even look at the other houses.”
“No, that’s not it. Not only is the house hunt over, but you are going to act like the happiest bitch on the planet about the house. You’ve already embarrassed me enough today.”
“I’ve embarrassed you? HOW!?”
“Why does that matter? You’re going to stop. Period. You’re going to behave. You’re going to act like you don’t need to be heavily medicated. You’re going to smile and be friendly… I know, I know. I’m a horrible prick for insisting that you act like a normal person, but you can do it. I’m going to sign the lease on the Gardner place and when we get back to Sookie’s, I’m going to see about riding back from NOLA with them tomorrow night so that I can get some of my stuff from the house and I can do the driving instead of worrying about you drinking enough energy drinks to have a coronary behind the wheel. You can and will fake normalcy until we leave in the morning and for the next couple of weeks, I’m going to paint and work on this case and you’re going to pack and look for a therapist in the area.”
“A therapist? What for?”
“For starters, the fact that you’ve pushed away a guy that used to love you and started neglecting your kids to the point of abuse.”
“What if I don’t go to therapy?”
“Therapy or getting committed. Your choice. I won’t lose my kids because you can’t be a good mom.”
“Committed? How the hell do you propose to do that?”
I snorted at her. “Oh, kiddo… you really do think I’m stupid, don’t you? Every threatening text, every irate voicemail has been saved for months now. I have a stack of notebooks full of dated examples of how fucking crazy you are going back 3 years. The first entry was when you let Octavia drive you home from her house after you’d both been drinking with my boys in the car. Why the fuck do you think her car got repossessed? Why do you think your car got booted in our driveway?”
She stared at me and actually looked afraid for a few minutes before she tried crying again.
“That won’t work. Even if they were real, I don’t care anymore. Save it.”
“You are a horrible prick.”
“By whose standards, Ame? Seriously! My first fucking call as a cop was a domestic. A man put a hot iron to his wife’s back for not doing his laundry! You can shove it up your ass if you think you could get any fucking sympathy! I can tell you that I have taken hundreds of women to battered women’s shelters. I’ve taken just as many bruised kids to child services. Those men are horrible pricks! I’ve put up with your shit for years and now I’m making you move to a big house on a lot of land in an excellent school district and expecting you to get some fucking help before you hurt our kids. Yeah! I’m a horrible prick! Hate me all you want, but you have no idea how much worse you could have it.”
“I don’t hate you.”
I lit another cigarette. “You could have fooled me.”
“I’m not happy.”
“We’ve established that. The mystery is that since you haven’t figured out a way to make yourself happy, why you won’t get some help to figure it out.”
“You aren’t getting any help and you aren’t happy either.”
“Amelia, I’m not that complicated. I go to work and see abused and damaged people all day long. For the FBI Predator Task Force to be given a case the circumstances are too horrific to be made into books and movies and then I come home. I walk into a house to get accused of fucking around instead of watching a little girl get mopped out of a laundromat dryer or interviewing a woman who’s cut up too bad for her husband to recognize her. I get accused of sleeping with my partner’s 90 year old neighbor because I was analyzing crime scene photos at Eric’s place so that the boys don’t walk in and see pictures of mutilated women at our house. I’m not happy, but the reason I’m not happy is you. You’re irrational and mean and no matter what I say or do, you don’t believe me. I come home to a wife who stopped working so that she could take care of our kids and she’s wearing the same thing she slept in, still playing canasta online with a collection of empty coffee cups and beer bottles next to the computer. To take a shower I have to trip over filth trying to step into the tub and then I lay on sheets that haven’t been washed since Bush was in office. I wake up at the ass-crack of dawn so that I can spend a few minutes with my kids before I have to do it all over again. I don’t expect the house to look like a museum. I understand that with kids the house is never going to be perfect, but I fucking expect you to contribute somehow. Work, go to school, do something you can get some fucking pride from. Find something. Your misery is fucking with the rest of us. The boys don’t want to have friends over. I make Eric wait in the car for me when we ride together. We’re ashamed of you. Seriously. You’ve given up. If you don’t get some help, I’m done. I’ve asked, pleaded, begged. Now you’re getting an ultimatum. The kids deserve better than what you’ve become.”
“I suppose you’d just replace me with Sookie, huh?” Sweet baby Jesus! Seriously?
“No. Sookie’s spoken for, but you can bet your ass that I’m not going to make another mistake like you… I was serious too. I’ve faked it well enough that Eric has no idea what a maniac you are. You owe it to me to fake it until we leave tomorrow.”
“What if I refuse to move into that dump with you?”
I leaned over and honked the horn. “Then you can live in your van.”
“With the boys?”
“You’re not going anywhere with my boys. If you refuse to move to Bon Temps, then I’ll have the boys and you’ll have nothing but the van.”
“I could use cash to leave you.”
“And as soon as you take off, you’ll get headed off by Stateys. You’re the one that insisted on getting the van with OnStar. You’ve made your bed; now you have to lay in it. Take off alone or act like you have some sense.”
Amelia fumed in the car the whole time I signed the lease and wrote out the checks for the deposit and rent. Sam even gave me a copy of the key so that I could get into the house to start painting.
It was nearly 6:30 when we pulled up to Sookie and Eric’s and Ame still hadn’t said a damn word.
After refusing to say goodbye, even knowing that we’d see them at Dirges, Ame stood on the porch like she was going to refuse to go in.
“What did I tell you?”
“That I’m going to be nice to your girlfriend.”
“You know what, fine. Yes. You’re going to be nice to my girlfriend. Since you’re convinced that I’ll fuck anyone, just because I fucked you, then yes. You’re going to be nice to my girlfriend. Now shut up and smile.” I grabbed her hand and towed her into the house.
As soon as I opened the door, I could hear both of the boys laughing. I couldn’t help but smile, but my wife actually scoffed at the idea that the boys were having fun.
Sookie smiled up at us from the floor. The four of them were surrounded by drawings. “How’d the hunt go?”
I gave Ame’s hand a squeeze. “It wasn’t a hunt. It was like grocery shopping! The first place Sam took us to was perfect. Its five minutes from here, on a few acres, 4 bedrooms, new kitchen and floors, huge deck and den. We looked at other places but we liked the first one the most. The best part is that it’s a rent with option and already empty so we can be here in a couple of weeks.” Of course she’d mention everything about the house that she hates. Twat.
“That’s wonderful! Does anything need to be done to it?”
“The yard is pretty over grown and the walls need to be painted, but its stuff Alcide can take care of while he’s here.”
The kids weren’t even buying it. Amelia was laying it on too thick. Changing the subject… “Sookie, do you mind if I stay that long?”
“Mi casa es su casa.” My hand was squeezed and Ame dug her nails into the side of my hand. Jealous bitch.
“Thank you… Are you two still driving down to pack up tomorrow?”
Eric nodded, not even looking up from the truck he was drawing.
“Well, if it’s alright with y’all, I was thinking I could go pack our desks and grab some of my stuff from home when they leave in the morning, if you don’t mind me riding back with you.”
“Sounds good to me, but Sookie and I get to pick the music.”
I toed Sookie’s leg. “Tell me you like some country.”
“Love it… As long as I can’t hear it.” She gave me a big shit eating grin.
“You suck… How were the kids?”
She started getting up and gave Jack a kiss. “Perfect angels. They’ve been keeping us in line for hours…. Dinner’s on the way and us ladies have some wardrobe choices to make. Shall we?”
When I sat down I was sure that there would be a fight. With no formal training, Sookie is a better detective than Pam and without having kids, she’s a better mom than Ame… She’d made them both look bad today and now she’s in a closed room, playing dress up with them. It’d be a grudge match. My money was on Sookie. Hell, my money would be on Sookie if Ame and Pam ganged up on her.
I was staring down the hallway, waiting to hear the fight start when Jack hopped up to sit next to me. “We’re moving for real?”
“Yeah. Your new room is really big and we need to get you guys a jungle gym and you have room for power wheels now. The yard is as big as this one.” Maybe bigger since there was more cleared.
“Are you moving with us?”
“Sort of. I have to stay here for work. So I’m going to stay with Eric and Sookie while you go say goodbye to your friends at school and help your mom pack, then I’ll be here when you get back.”
“But are you going to live with us? I heard mommy tell Aunt Octavia that you have a girlfriend.” He had heard… fuck! And the worst part was that he smiled when he got to the word ‘girlfriend’. I couldn’t figure out if I was happy that he wasn’t leaning towards hating me for how crazy Ame is… I should have left her years ago. I should have put my foot down years ago… I shouldn’t have let this shit go so far.
“Of course I’m going to live with you. I don’t have a girlfriend. You’re mommy only thought that because I’m gone so much for work.”
I could tell by the look on his face that Jack didn’t believe me. His mouth was open to say something when Lafayette came in. Both the boys perked up and told him ‘hi’ as soon as he came over, giving them both 5.
While the boys got interested in Lafayette’s warning to Eric about what Sookie would be wearing, I tried to figure out how fast I could pack the boys stuff and just bring them back to Bon Temps with me tomorrow night… If I only had somewhere to keep them… Sookie seems to not mind having the kids around, but there was a big difference between an overnight and 2 weeks.
It’d probably be too much… and by the time I could go get them, Ame would already have the house packed.
Used to it…
But no less trapped.
I was in the middle of trying to tell them that Ame probably wasn’t going to fit into anything Sookie has in the most politically correct way (and not thinking of a way to do it) when the bedroom door squeaked open…
Pam came down the hall in a red dress with her hair pulled up. She looked nice and all, but I knew damn good and well that the annoying twat who’d been trying to egg me on all day was under the new façade. The dress and makeup were just a storefront for the nasty bitch that I’ve grown to know and loathe.
Eric found it in his friendly soul to be complimentary. “Would it be out of line to say you look sexy as hell, boss?” Liar. Too nice for his own good… but mostly just a liar.
She smiled at him… without a body in the room, go figure. “Yes. But thank you.”
When Ame came down the hall, I nearly shit my pants. I couldn’t believe that Sookie had anything for her to wear. Ame is a size 8. Sookie, size 1. Seriously? How the fuck did… Fuck. She must have some of her friends’ clothes stashed somewhere. Maybe that cousin of hers? That’s the only thing I could figure.
As for the outfit, it looked nice. If I had seen her in the schoolgirl type of outfit 5 years ago, we probably wouldn’t make it out the door… But what got my attention more was that she’d showered. Even Sookie had noticed how shiny she was, how stale she smelled. I had to choke back how embarrassed I was again to think of something nice to say so I wouldn’t be a hypocrite.
“I almost didn’t recognize you.” It was the best I could do.
I got snarled at.
When Sookie came out of the room, I was the first to see her because of where I was sitting… and I started laughing. She’d warned him. She said she usually wears something ‘trashy’. Her leather pants were low enough that… there was no reason for them to stay up and she was almost wearing a silver washcloth over her top. Almost. The damn thing looked like it was held on by strings.
Fuck the fact that my wife was probably going to snarl at me all night… Watching Eric’s face turn red when she came into the room… What her outfit was going to do to him all night was going to make up for how nasty Ame would be.
I wasn’t the only one. Lafayette had rolled back on the floor and was holding his sides, laughing like a lunatic…
If I didn’t know better, I’d swear Eric was sweating.
Tonight was going to be more fun than I’d had in a long time…
Pissed for 2 reasons: I left my good camera in New Orleans… and if I had known about Sookie all along, I’d have been able to call her to get her to get his ass out of his ‘mind fuck’ moods… She could distract him from anything… Thank God I have that ace in the hole now though.
It only got better when the pizza guy knocked on the door.
Sookie was paying the kid for the stack of pizzas and he was drooling. Open mouth. Staring at her tits… and Eric was close to vibrating out of his skin. Hilarious.
The poor pizza guy didn’t even notice that there was a massive Ken doll planning his death from a few feet away.
Sookie and Lafayette were talking about the songs they were going to play while we ate and Sookie sang a few snippets because Lafayette accused her of being out of practice.
The two of them got to goofing around and Sookie ended up straddling his lap and dancing with his face between her tits and his hands on her ass…
Ame caught me watching, I wasn’t leering or being creepy- the open back of her shirt made me realize that there wasn’t an ounce of fat anywhere on her body. I watched every muscle on her back move…
But Ame read too much into it and reached over to pluck me on my junk. Twat.
She hit me just right that I was close to puking.
Eric finally broke the stare he had on Sookie to pan the table, if my throat hadn’t seized up from the nut shot I’d just gotten, I probably would have laughed at the vein throbbing in his forehead.
“What’s wrong, Ame?” What’s wrong, Ame? Fuck her. What’s wrong is that she’s mean, and now he was inviting her to spew forth her paranoid ranting.
“I don’t know about this. I can’t dance like that.” Oh, thank god she was just whining about dancing!
Sookie grinned at her. “No one expects you to give out lap dances. You dance with your husband at your pace. It’s a bar not a strip club.”
“Are you sure?”
“You don’t have to dance at all if you don’t want to. How are you used to dancing?”
“Slow. I’ve never been able to dance to fast music.” No shit. 3, not 2, 3 left feet.
“Would you like a lesson? We can go back to my room and I can help you out. If you can have sex, you can dance.” I almost laughed. What if she’s no good at sex either?
I could have been having a stroke, but I’m pretty sure that Ame actually got up and went back to get dancing lessons from Sookie.
The door closed and almost right away, music started playing- loud, fast music. I gave it 5 minutes before Ame quit trying like she quits everything else.
Lafayette slapped my shoulder and gave me some kind of knowing smile.
“You think she can teach Ame how to lap dance?” We used to go out clubbing, but I never could teach her to do anything. She’d do shots between slow songs.
Lafayette laughed. “She could teach YOU how to lap dance. That girl has too much rhythm and she can crack walnuts with her thighs. Wait til you see her on stage tonight. She’s full throttle. She dances around that stage playing guitar and never missing a note. I’m just glad she found a way to enjoy all that shit her momma forced down her throat.”
“All what stuff?”
“That ho had Sook at some class every day since she was 3. Gymnastics, singing, dancing, elocution, piano, violin, anything you can imagine. Until Sookie was 16 her mother drove her all over the place. 10 pageants a year. You should see her room. It’s sick. Sookie never kept it like that when she lived there. Hitler did it after she left for college. The walls are covered with her sashes. There’s shelves with all the crowns. Daddy told me that she never lost a single pageant until she threw one. Then her mother told her not to bother anymore.”
Eric growled. “And when she gave up showing her off, she was pimped out to the prick.” Wow. Rapid cycling, much? He went from THUD to homicidal in under 3 minutes.
“She did the same thing to Jason. Football, baseball, basketball, lacrosse, hockey. Her children were born from Munchausen’s. They were meant to get her some attention. Plain and simple. Jason and Sookie were put on this earth to be adored and they are, but not for the drug she pushed. Everyone loves them because of how Daddy raised them, not the way she trained them. She gave two shits about the fact that both of them are geniuses.”
Pam finally joined the conversation… “Jason’s smart too?”
Lafayette laughed. “I know! He hides it better than Sook. Pissed his mother off hard when he went to UPenn on an athletic ride then turned down the NFL for Wharton. He’s such hot shit they let him take a semester off. He got his MBA. Graduated with a 5.1 and a year ahead like Sookie would have. They got it from Daddy. There ain’t a soul in town who wouldn’t take his advice on anything. That family is royalty here.”
Eric barely unclenched his jaw… “How did he put up with her for so long?”
“His heart’s too big and she’s a manipulative bitch. She ain’t been nothing but a haunting for years. Ever since the Bill thing. She stayed with her sister for 6 months until he calmed down.” Fuck. Maybe I could ‘let’ Ame take a break and go stay with Octavia.
“The wedding or Thanksgiving?”
“Thanksgiving. She defended him. Said even if he did it, it was Sookie’s fault because she was a tease. Didn’t call once to check on Sookie either.”
“Oh yeah! You’ll have no problem guessing what inspired me to go into family law! Even Tara’s beatings pale in comparison to the emotional abuse Sheila inflicted on her family. Sookie could have taken beatings easier. Hell, she did from Bill.”
Oh SHIT! I know that look. I’ve had to pull Eric off of a few guys when he was wearing that look… I thought he knew… I thought Sookie might have said something… Fuck.
He was close to nuclear… “What are the odds of him being at the bar tonight?”
“Not bad. He’s not there constantly, but I’ve seen him there a few times.”
I almost asked him for his gun, but he was already on the same page.
“Lock it up.” He slammed it down on the table and stormed out of the room.
Poor bastard. I seriously felt sorry for him. To be so close to him… a cemetery away and not be able to fuck Bill up…
I took his gun from the table and ejected the magazine and his chambered round and put them in my pocket, then stowed the piece behind the microwave.
Lafayette looked like he was about to cry. “I didn’t… I thought he knew.”
I shook my head. “Hitler dropped the Thanksgiving bomb last night at dinner. He’s still chewing on that.”
“Shit. He gonna flip his shit?”
“Once Sookie gets to him, he’ll be fine. I’ll get her in a minute.”
“What are you waiting for?”
“A clear shot to the bedroom.”
When Eric blazed through the kitchen again to go out to the back porch, I took the opening.
I knocked, but I don’t think they heard me over the music.
Ame caught sight of the door opening and stepped back right away so Sookie went to the computer and paused the player.
“Shit just hit the fucking fan. We need you out here.”
She put her hands on her hips. “Oh, God. Tell me Bill isn’t here.”
“No. If he was we’d need a meat wagon instead of a handler… You need to come tend to your boy. Laf just let it slip that your EX knocked you around.”
She huffed. “Is Eric cleaning?”
“Yeah. How’d you know?”
She raised an eyebrow and tilted her head. “That’s how he works through… everything… He went quiet?”
“After he gave me his gun. It’s behind the microwave.” I handed her his clip and spare round.
“I’ll give him a minute. How did you know?”
“Arlene mentioned bruises this morning. Why didn’t you tell him? His head is close to exploding.”
She frowned. “Because since he got here on Halloween, Bill has come over to show his ass, Sheila spun Eric up last night dropping the bomb that I’m a fucking rape victim by starting a dining room riot. I had just talked him down from that hunting blind when Pam showed up. I hadn’t had the chance to explain it.”
“You could have started with ‘my ex-husband treated me like shit’ when y’all first started dating. It might have softened the blow of finding out you were raped and beaten from other people.”
She smiled and gave me a nod. “When you’re right, you’re right… But you know as well as I do that he’d be like this if I had thought to tell him or not. It’s not something I think about.”
“Bullshit. Barbie, you can try to tell yourself that all you want, but your fiancé is big enough to hurt you without trying. Don’t tell me that you aren’t at least shell shocked enough to have wondered how much worse he could do than your pussy ex.”
“Not for a second. He’d no more raise a hand to me than you would.”
“How’d that instinct serve you before?”
“I knew the second my mother introduced me to Bill that he’d fuck me up. That’s why I didn’t want to marry his ass.”
“Then why the fuck would you marry him?”
“Because, Alc, some people just learn better from their mistakes. You’re not the only one pretty enough to get away with doing dumb shit.”
“Smart ass… Get out there and do something with him before he rips up all the clothes. I think he’s folding laundry.”
She got an ‘oh shit’ look and slapped me five on the way by. “Thanks for the warning.”
Ame was sneering when she walked up to me. “You’re a little too in their business.”
“Whatever.” I knew where she was going so I turned to leave.
“Don’t whatever me. I can tell you want to fuck her.”
“Make up your mind. Am I fucking her or just hoping to?”
“Why do you care if he’s flipping out?”
“Because he’s the best friend I’ve ever had. I’ve seen him date 50 girls… that one makes him happy. That one is worth a mint. If you weren’t delusional, you’d see that instead of being jealous that she’s everything you’re not.”
She was on my heels as I left the bedroom and the knock on the front door was like a fucking life raft.
She was wearing jeans and a school t-shirt and her kid brother looked just like her and they were both carrying backpacks. Laf came over to her and gave her a hug. “Your daddy gonna dance with me tonight?”
She giggled. “He said to tell you that his dance card is full already. Jas claimed him.”
“Oh, thems fighting words. What about that mama of yours?”
“She’s looking forward to it. Says daddy can’t keep up with her.”
“That’s a smart woman… I’ll let y’all get the bizness on… I got strings to tend to.”
He kissed her cheek and bounced up the stairs.
She smiled up at me. “I cleared it with my folks. They said it was okay for me to stay as late as you need me. Once they settle down, I’ll just work on homework.”
“I heard you could go too. Why aren’t you chomping at the bit to go to Dirges?”
She giggled again. “We have an arrangement. Me and my folks don’t go on the same night. It’s creepy to see them dancing and making out with all my friends around. Besides, the guy I’m into won’t be there anyway. He got the flu late and he’s still getting over it.”
“That’s a shame.”
“Not for you though. You get a babysitter.”
“Good point…” I turned to introduce everybody, but Devin was already unloading his backpack… Wii remotes, PSPs, games…
She smiled at him. “He was so excited to meet Jack, he started packing stuff for Sookie’s house before Mama and Daddy could think about it. Did y’all find a place in Bon Temps?”
“Yeah, the old Gardner place right up the road.”
“Really?… Devin! It’s official. He’ll be starting in your class really soon.”
The kid’s face lit up. “Wow! You’ll loooooove Mrs. Merlotte! And there’s a kid in our class that… well, his mommy works at the deli and every Friday she brings us Monte Cristo Sandwiches. He’s a butt though. And we have picnics in the atrium when the weather is nice and Sook brings us ‘historical’ snacks… Last week she brought us Ice cream cones and told us about the World’s Fair a’cause that’s when the waffle cone came out. She’s really cool. You’re lucky to get to hang out here.”
Carm looked pissed for a second. “What about pre-K?”
Devin laughed. “You guys get alphabet snacks. Sushi was my favorite when I was little.”
“SUSHI! Dat’s not a snack!”
“It is when Sook makes it. She rolls up coconut and fruit to make it look like sushi and we dipped it in chocolate sauce instead of soy… It’s really good. Oooooh, Taryn, what was the zebra one called?”
She laughed at him. “Zebra canoli… she drizzled dark and white chocolate over them. She gets creative with some of the letters… The family life classes put it all together and she kind of guest stars when she takes it around to tell the kids about them. We learn how to make new stuff and they get some fun out of it too. The older kids get stuff according to geography. Now my dad is addicted to rice pudding with rose water… and I have to make it because there aren’t any Indian restaurants around here.”
“I thought she taught history.”
“Oh, she does. There’s fights over her classes on registration day too. I was in my second year of family life when our teacher threw out her back and left so Sookie and Mr. Stackhouse helped the replacement teacher out with recipes. Jason even brought a grill and taught us how to cookout on the bus ramp… Mr. Quinn pitched a fit about fire codes, but Jason told him to go ffffff… he told him off since he’s a volunteer fireman. Mrs. Savoy even came in. She taught us all how to make a quilt. I still have mine… and then she helped us make the costumes for the theater club since she was on Broadway and all… We looked awesome. We don’t do ‘career day’ because everyone pitches in where they can… You and Mr. Northman could come in and do some self defense stuff in gym couldn’t you? Some safety stuff for the little kids… That’d be fun.”
I nodded and looked at Ame, “See… there’s another reason to like this place. If I grew up here, I might have liked going to school.”
She shrugged… Nice. She couldn’t even pretend to care about the school.
Shaking it off… “Alright. Uh, the boys don’t have any food allergies. Since there’s no school tomorrow, don’t worry too much about a bedtime. If you set them up with a movie at about 9, they’ll crash on their own…”
“Do I need to worry about pull-ups?”
“Nope. None of that. Just remind Carm to hit the head before he settles in and he’ll be fine.”
She nodded and pulled out her phone, asking for my number and sent me a ‘test’ text, so I replied by sending her Eric’s and Ame’s numbers just in case…
All the while, Ame offered nothing to the conversation.
When Sookie came into the room, ready to leave, she was tackled by Devin. The kid threw himself into her at full speed and she picked 60 pounds up like he was nothing while he told her that he hated school being out because he missed her and Tara.
I risked another look at the ‘mother of the year’ and she didn’t even seem to give a shit that Tara was so popular with her students. Jack’s teacher now was just scary.
Walking out the front door, I spotted the sexiest fucking Galaxy I’d ever laid eyes on. Normally I would’ve thought the flames were a bit much, but they fucking worked and I could smell the new leather from where I was standing. The goddamn thing was a masterpiece.
“Sookie, I’ll need that minute alone now.”
She started laughing. “Maybe later, if you can be nice. Eric first.” She tossed the keys to him and then leaned over to me and Ame. She whispered, “Besides, after the prick-flick you got earlier, wifey seems like the jealous type. I’d hate to think Rotten could get between you two.” When she stepped back, she was glaring at Ame.
God bless Sookie! Ame actually got embarrassed that Sookie saw her pluck me in the nuts.
I was perfectly fine with how quiet Amelia stayed this time. She was stewing that she’d been caught being shitty. Maybe she’d get the hint that she wouldn’t be able to get away with that shit here.
The first thing I did when we walked into bar was check my cell signal to make sure Taryn could get in touch if she needed to. 4 bars. Laf noticed and patted my back. “No worries, Sweetie. There’s a cell tower on the property…” He pulled his cell out and showed it to me. He had all 5 bars. “…Taryn has all the Stackhouses, me, her folks and y’all in her phone. She’s the best sitter in town too. You’re all set. Go have some fun!”
Maybe if I came stag too… I’d probably have more fun if Laf was my date.
Ame stopped at the bar and ordered 4 shots of vodka… she might not be an alcoholic, but she sure as fuck drinks too much when she drinks at all… I shook my head and ordered a Dos Equis… My beer got set on the bar first so I grabbed it and went to join the table full of Stackhouses.
Just as I was sitting down, I watched Ame slam back her shots and order another drink… oh goody. Drunk goes so well with stupid and angry.
I’m a lucky guy… Amelia was already flushed when she came over.
And so went the next hour…
She hammered back drinks left and right, while all of Sookie’s friends and family tried to be nice to her.
She stopped drinking long enough to offend Taryn’s parents by calling Devin an ‘oops baby’ because of the age difference in the kids. I ended up apologizing to Liam when I saw him at the bar. I had to use ‘moving stress’ as her excuse and the guy was nice enough to seem understanding.
I watched Sookie pull Ame out of her seat to go dance with her and Tara… Maybe with all the drinking, Ame’s stick fell out of her ass. She wasn’t doing half bad. It looked like a pity dance though since Sookie and Tara have great bodies and Ame let herself go after Carm was born. It’s not like she was fat or anything, just… out of shape enough to get winded walking up a flight of steps… I practically have a full gym and it was another thing she could be doing, but doesn’t…
I sat at the table chatting it up with Sam for a few minutes when a slow song started and when I saw Sookie holding Ame’s hand and heading over, I braced myself. The idea of dancing with Pam… Osama Bin Laden for that matter, was higher on my list than dancing with my own wife…
Sookie actually scowled at me for a second… “Wife swap! I get Alc and Eric gets Ame. Then I can abuse Eric on the dance floor until we go onstage.”
Sookie ignored the ‘fuck you’ look from Ame and grabbed my hand to pull me to the dance floor. She put her hands on my shoulders… “Where the fuck do I put my hands? You’re barely dressed.”
She laughed. “Wherever you can without getting castrated.”
Ok… She bent over laughing when I put them in my pockets.
She grabbed my wrists and pulled them around to her back. “She’s impossible.”
“Tell me about it.”
“You remind me of my Daddy.”
She laughed again. “Don’t let him hear you say that. He’s convinced he’s perpetually 30. I meant that you’re too good to cut bait in spite of having your soul sucked out by a devil woman.”
“If I knew what to fucking do, I’d have done it by now. She can’t be reasoned with.”
“You know what to do, you’re just afraid of letting those little boys down.”
“I told her today that she could leave, but she wasn’t taking the kids.”
“She stopped talking.”
“So, do we think she’s planning to take off with them just to spite you?”
“Pretty much. She wouldn’t get far though.”
“Far enough to fuck with the boys. They think you’re God. It’d scare the shit out of them. They look forward to the little bit of time you have with them as much as you do.”
“I know. I’m thinking about canceling the credit cards and whatnot so that she can’t afford to bolt before they get here.”
“Or you could just kill her.”
I started laughing. “Yeah. There’s that. How about Strangers On A Train? I’ll Kill Sheila and then you can kill Ame.”
“Don’t tempt me… Amelia reminds me of Sheila enough that I might make a mess and get caught.”
“Ah-HA! You made the jump that time! Not me.”
She smiled. “Busted.”
“Oh, yeah! You are.”
“You gonna let Ame do you like that for 30 years though?”
“Married to coyote ugly. Now that we’ve stated the obvious…”
I laughed again. “Nosey and catty… I don’t know. I can’t figure out what’s worse. Them having or not having a mother.”
“Sweetie, how much of a mother is she that she gave them food poisoning? And at the moment, it seems like you spend so much time on damage control that they don’t even have you. When you talked today, did you say anything to her about getting help?”
“Yep. Told her that if she didn’t get therapy, I’d commit her.”
She reached up and squeezed my cheeks together. “You are a pwetty boy, aren’t you?”
“Have you ever seen a happy result of an ultimatum?”
“We were fighting over houses! I… Shit!”
“Settle down… So basically, you’re willing to ignore the fact that you don’t love her anymore as long as she dials back the crazy and becomes a decent mom.”
“I wouldn’t have to worry about anything. So yeah.”
“What do you mean?”
“If she found herself a little maternal instinct, I could actually divorce her and not…”
“You think that with your hours you wouldn’t get custody and you don’t trust her without some kind of supervision, i.e. you riding her ass about what a shit mom she is.”
“Fuck, when you put it like that…”
“Alc, she’s stunted. She’s stuck. I have more mature freshmen. She might actually have a medical problem.”
She shrugged. “Try it.”
“You don’t think she does, you just…”
“Use her uselessness as your ace. Her lethargy could be a sign of glandular disorders that are linked to cancer. Get her in for a screening. A doc, specifically: my doc, would put her on something for the lethargy like Welbuterin. Which would coincidentally mellow out her mania.”
“You want me to lie?”
She smirked at me. “You told her that you’d commit her didn’t you?”
“That wasn’t a lie. It was a bluff.”
“Shiiiiit, if that’s your bluff, you’re invited to poker night.”
I started laughing again. “Fuck you.”
“By the way… I didn’t want to tell him.”
“What… You mean tell Eric about your Ex?”
“Yeah. I know I needed to tell him, but you know how he is. Now every time he tries to analyze me or something I do, that’ll be a factor.” Awww… shit.
“Yeah, I’m sorry I barked at you about it.”
“Don’t be. You were right. I should have told him.”
“How’d you calm… Nevermind.” I didn’t need to hear about another hand job.
She threw her head back and laughed. “You’re learning! But it wasn’t like that this time. We’ll be in the car alone for a while tomorrow. He gets to interview the shit out of me for 5 hours if he wants to.”
“That’s good. He likes answers.”
“And hand jobs.”
“You bitch! You’ve got to knock that shit off!”
She giggled at me until some old guy came over to cut in. Once she introduced me to Corbett’s hetero-life mate Terry, I was cut loose and headed back to the bar for a fresh beer.
Sookie had grabbed Eric out of his chair to take him out… and they were practically fucking on the dance floor by the time I sat down with Jason and Laf…
They stopped talking for a minute and stared at me long enough to make me worry that Ame had fucked up again…
Lafayette got up and came over to flank me while Jason leaned over. “When did you meet, find out about Sookie?”
He smiled at me. “Fucking cop… Just answer the question.”
“Eric was out of contact on Halloween when he was following a lead. I called in his GPS and tracked him here. That was the first time I heard about her… Now why?”
“Because my sister didn’t ever mention seeing anyone. Eric disappear on weekends?”
“We don’t usually get a lot of weekends. When we get a day off, it’s usually in the middle of the week.”
Lafayette and Jason stared at each other for a minute. Lafayette finally blurted, “The books!”
Jason nodded. “All those trips to New Orleans to ‘see her publisher’.”
“That sneaky bitch.”
“She said it was just because there are three about to come out at once and they were having a hard time getting a forward done for the one on palsy.”
Time for me to ante up. “What books?”
“Gran suggested that Sookie do something with her psychology background since she didn’t get to finish her degree… So Sookie wrote some juvi lit… they’re biographical stories about famous people with disabilities and whatnot.” Hold the fuck up!
“Hale! Sookie is Adele Hale!?”
“Yeah. You heard of the books?”
“You know what? Remind me to kick Eric square in his nutsack when they’re done dancing… That mother fucker gave the one on dyslexia to Jack for his birthday!”
They both started laughing. Lafayette patted my back. “Looks like we was all duped.”
“Who’s picture is that on the back? I’ve seen a picture of Gran.” Gran was not a pudgy little black lady in her 80s.
Jason snorted. “She got Kenya to play with the software at the station. It’s an age progression of Terrence Howard with long, grey hair. They both have a crush on him.”
“Oh my god! You’re kidding? Now I’ve got to go home and look at the damn cover again.”
“So Eric didn’t give away that he was getting some or anything?”
“Eric’s always getting some, but it’s never serious. Just booty calls… His phone hadn’t been getting blown up though so I just thought he’d hit a dry spell.”
“Or she was waiting to hear from him so they could stay quiet… Her cell might as well be a vibrator. None of us would think anything of her phone ringing off the hook.”
“Those assholes. Eric said they were just staying quiet because of Bill and the small town thing.” I spotted my wife at the bar, tossing back another line of shots… I’m going to have to pour her into bed… lovely.
Lafayette raised an eyebrow. “That would make sense after what happened with JB.”
“Last guy she dated. As soon as the first person from town saw them together, everyone was talking… the damn bridal shop comped her a Vera Wang dress.”
“Holy shit! That’s insane…” Speaking of insane… “Fuck, guys… is that who I think it is?”
Jason looked over to where I was pointing… Sookie and Eric… and Bill…
Jason and Laf jumped out of their seats so fast that they knocked over their chairs and charged over with me close behind.
We were only a couple steps away when Eric pulled back his arm and put a sledge hammer of a punch right into Bill’s forehead…
Eric was starting to bend over so he could beat the shit out of the prick when Jason and Laf each grabbed one of his arms and started pulling him over to the table to talk him down.
I looked down at Bill and there was blood trickling from the corner of his mouth. Eric had hit him hard enough to make him bite into his lip… Nice.
“Sook, you alright?” She was staring down at her ex and seemed shocked more than anything.
She started shaking her head. “Yeah, yeah. I’m ok.”
“What did he say to make Eric snap?”
She gulped and leaned over to my ear. “That I do my best work in alleys… That’s where… That’s where he did it.”
“He… That piece of shit just admitted it?”
One corner of her mouth turned down… “No. That piece of shit just implied it.” She was still staring at him.
“Eric’s going to need you to talk him down. You go tend to him, I’ll take care of this asshole.”
She was still staring at him.
I put my hand on her shoulder to get her attention. “Sookie, go take care of Eric.”
She looked up to me and nodded finally. She patted my hand and started walking, stepping right into Bill’s chest on her way by so he started coming to.
Pam came over to me while I was helping Bill up by his neck.
“What got into Northman?”
“Pam, this is Sookie’s ex, Bill Compton. Bill likes to harass federal agents and rape co-eds.”
“This is him?”
“He was just leaving.”
She stared at him until Corbett came over. “Did I see that right? Did Eric just lay him out?”
I smiled at him. “I don’t know. Pam and I didn’t see anything.”
“You need to get your hand off his throat.” Need and want are two different things. I was very happy to stand there and choke the shit out of him.
As soon as I moved my hand, Corbett grabbed it and started walking him backwards out of the bar. That son of a bitch was practically holding Bill up as Pam and I followed him through the parking lot.
Corbett shoved Bill back into the side of his car hard enough that he bounced and when he did, Corbett’s boot disappeared into Bill’s crotch so fast and hard the fucker was already puking while he fell over.
“That’s sexy right there.”
Corbett looked back and blew me a kiss and went back to Bill. He shoved the asshole over to his back with his foot and crouched down next to him. “Sookie made me promise not to kill you, but… she didn’t say anything about paying someone else to do it… You know I’ve got more money than your daddy, right boy?”
All Bill could do is nod.
“Are you still just smart enough to be scared of me?”
“You know hunting season is about to start… You’d hate for there to be an accident, wouldn’t you?”
Bill choked out, “You’d get caught.”
“Not if I have an alibi… poker with the mayor and sheriff worked once before didn’t it, baby?”
Corbett reached down and grabbed Bill’s hair to shove his face into his own sick. I’d have to remember that shit. “You’ve gotten confused again. Just because I love and respect your daddy doesn’t mean I’d piss on your mouth if your teeth were on fire… In fact, the best dreams I have are of you getting zipped into a body bag. Stay the fuck away from my family. Don’t make me break my promise to my little girl. If you do, it’ll be slow. Got it?”
When Corbett stood up, he straightened his belt and then kicked Bill in the ribs again before he turned around and smiled at us. “Let’s go see how Eric’s hand is doing, shall we?”
Pam raised an eyebrow at him. “You just threatened and beat a man with federal agents as witnesses.” Fucking wench!
“And?” Fuck! I love this man! Period.
“You could be charged.”
“I have bail.”
“Are you going to charge me for trying to protect my family?”
“Then shut your mouth unless there’s a dick in it, sweetheart. Even if assault and menacing was within federal jurisdiction, which it isn’t, I’d be released on my own recognizance because I know every criminal court judge in the Parrish… It’s cute that you have a badge and all, but if you can’t tell the difference between a lesson in etiquette and assault with intent then you need to trade your gun in for a steno pad. Now, are you done thinking your cock hangs lower than mine, or would you like to be educated on that too?”
GOODnight! Pam’s mouth was hanging open.
He walked right up to her and put his hand around her back, turning her around… “If that gape is an invitation, you have bad timing. I still have partying to do. We’ll get to that later.”
I froze. Part of me was expecting her to slug him so when she smiled at him, I thought I was having a stroke.
Corbett stopped behind Eric and patted his shoulder. “How’s that hand?”
“It’s fine, thanks.”
“Only when I mouthed off to my father.”
Corbett chuckled. “You wouldn’t risk a boxer’s fracture if you aimed for the throat.”
“I was. He’s a fucking munchkin.”
“Nice… I’ll call Bud in a bit. Even if he bothers though, nobody saw it happen, right Pam?”
She snarled at him. “Alcide and I missed the whole thing.”
Ame gave me a drunken dirty look every time I applauded after songs. It didn’t matter that the Stackhouses were more impressive than any concert I’d ever been to, she just seemed pissed that I was having fun.
I had a shitload of fun until I was painted into a corner… Sookie started playing I Cross My Heart on the violin while her dad sang it… She even called us out since we hadn’t had a slow dance…
So I was forced to hold up Ame while she sweat vodka all over me. Other than that, I had a blast.
Seriously… I would have had more fun if Lafayette had been my date, but since Ame spent most of her time (and $100) at the bar, I was actually looking forward to coming back to the ‘dump’.
When the show was over, Sookie came over and plopped down on Eric’s lap. After she checked his hand, the two of them started making out… No shit. Making out in front of God and everybody.
Every damn one of us at the table cleared our throats trying to make them realize they had an audience. Jason tossed the lime from his beer and hit Sookie in the back of the head… It didn’t make any fucking difference. They were in there own little world until Tara stood up to reach over me and slap Sookie’s leg…
“Damn, Alc! How the hell do you get any sleep in the room next to those two?” Sleep? Who the fuck sleeps?
I started laughing. “Sleeping isn’t a problem now that I know to keep my iPod charged. The problem is walking in on that EVERY TIME I come into a room. These two are like foreplay landmines.”
Eric gave me his ‘angry face’ and backhanded me in the side.
“Shit man! The party, the foyer, the hall, the kitchen, this morning… And that’s just in the last 48 hours. Deny it!”
“I’m not denying anything, asshole. Walk heavier! You weigh two sixty for fuck sake. Stop sneaking around the house like a god damn ninja.”
“Fine! I’ll buy some tap shoes and stomp around the house with a bell around my neck so you can hear me coming, like it would make a difference.”
Sookie started laughing. “Ok then. If you’re gonna promise to make more noise, then I promise to leave his dick in his pants in the common areas of the house. Deal?”
She held her hand out to shake on it. “Deal… Wait. When was the last time you washed your hands?”
She smirked at me. “Wouldn’t you like to know.”
“Fuck! Ewwwww!” I started ‘wiping’ my hand off on my leg while we all laughed.
Sookie slapped my arm. “Fucking choir boy! Grow up!”
“Get a chaperone!”
She leaned towards me like we were actually fighting. “Well, since I just agreed to not jerk him off in the kitchen, it seems like I already have one!”
Sam slapped a hundred dollar bill on the table. “My money’s on Sookie!” He must’ve seen her take me down at the Halloween party.
I nearly fell out of my chair laughing when everyone else started reaching for their wallets to place their bets.
Funny group of mother fuckers.
Ame was already babbling about not trusting Taryn when everyone else started taking off, so we ended up heading home shortly after.
When I saw the Galaxy again, I thought I’d press my luck. “Can I drive?”
“How much have you had?”
“3. Only beer and spread out.”
I felt like I won the lottery when she tossed the keys to me.
I was being a girl about it… so what.
We were halfway through the dark driveway from the bar when I noticed that Ame was trying to doze off and when I looked in the rearview, there wasn’t anyone there.
“Oh, come on! You’re breaking the deal already?”
Sookie started laughing, but it was muffled. “We aren’t at the house and my hands aren’t on his dick!”
Eric growled a long string of things under his breath. ‘Cock-block’ and ‘mother fucker’ were all I could make out.
“Talk to your woman. She made the deal.”
“Just to shut you up. Pussy.”
“Hey, y’all coulda dipped into the damn bathroom or something… Pam and Corbett did.”
“Great. Now my dick’s broken too! Prick.”
Sookie laughed. “Wait. Who’s dick is broke?”
“Mine. Pam wears a thong.”
“She wasn’t earlier.”
“She’s wearing granny panties on a date? That’s hot.”
“No… She’s commando tonight.”
Eric and I both started retching.
“She needs a wax though.”
“Aww, fuck! Sookie! You hit your goddamn word limit!”
She started cackling. “Gotcha.”
“Nuh uh! Not funny! I’m already scarred. Possibly for life!”
“Aww didn’t anybody ever tell you that pussy is like pizza. Even when it’s bad, it’s good.”
“Not PAM! Eww! Seriously! Word limit! Eric, gag her with something.”
“Make up your mind…”
“Nope. Stop there… I’m done.”
The last word on the subject was Sookie telling Eric ‘that was too easy’.
Sookie had me park behind the house so that Taryn wouldn’t run into them on the way out and see whatever they were planning on doing in the back seat…
I had to help Ame out of the car and she tripped over the threshold getting into the house, so I ended up carrying her the rest of the way to bed (and past our babysitter who was doing homework at the kitchen table).
By the time I got back, Taryn was putting her books into her bag.
“They do okay for you?”
“I think they forgot I was here. All three of them got along great. Carm had no problem keeping up either. Grown for his age.”
“Oh yeah. Did he warm up to you at all?”
She smiled. “Yeah. He’s so sweet. He interviewed me about Andy, his teacher. He got really excited when he found out that there’s a field trip coming. Andy’s taking his class to the fire station in a couple weeks… I’m a volunteer chaperone, so I’m going too… Says he’s never climbed on a firetruck before. I didn’t want to tell him that Mr. Stackhouse or Jason would take him for a ride because I didn’t know how you’d feel about it, but he was jazzed that he’d get to slide down the pole.”
I had to laugh. “Little jerk is a rebel. I was a marine and a cop. He likes the Blue Angels and Firetrucks.”
She giggled. “Blue Angels are bad ass though.”
I blew a raspberry at her.
I carried Devin out to her car for her and once she was paid, I tucked the boys in and made a bee line for the shower to get the smell of vodka off of me.
I was just climbing into bed when I heard Eric and Sookie come in so I grabbed my iPod from the nightstand… I’d have needed it anyway since Ame was snoring like a lumberjack.
I was almost asleep when Ame rolled over and started sliding her hand down my stomach.
She stunk. Taking a shower actually made it easier to smell how drunk she was.
I caught her hand.
“Not a chance in hell.”
She kicked me and slurred, “Saving it for Sookie?”
“No. I’m not drunk.”
“You have to be drunk to get it up?”
“No, but I have to be drunk to forget what a bitch you are. Goodnight.”
“Maybe I wouldn’t be such a bitch if I got laid once in a while.”
“It’s a sad little catch-22 you’ve got there. Maybe you should tell your therapist about it.”
“Maybe if my husband wasn’t fucking his partner’s fiancé, he’d have some left for me.”
I got up and grabbed my pillows and iPod. “Fuck this. I’ll ride the couch.”
“Is ‘couch’ your pet name for Sookie?”
“You’re such a beautiful person. It’s a wonder why your own husband doesn’t want to fuck you.”
The couch was two feet too short. The front porch light was blinding me. And I forgot to grab a blanket.
But it was still better than sleeping with my own wife.
How fucking sad is that?