Chapter 20: Fine

 It Can’t Be

Chapter 20

Fine

**

As the reception clerk slid our key cards across the marble counter, I surveyed the navy and steel colored Antebellum cliché lobby of the Garrison Arms Hotel. “Ann Pruden is expecting me. Would you mind telling her that I’m waiting, please?”

The ‘reservation specialist’ nodded, never changing her plastic grin as she lifted the receiver to call the Special Events Agent who’d pissed in my cornflakes only an hour before.

Sookie’s grip on my hand tightened and she leaned over to whisper, “Are you sure you want to do this?”

“Absolutely.”

“I can just rally the troops and set up at the house… Eric can call everyone he can’t text to change the…”

“No.”

“Eric, it’s not worth getting all spun up over.”

“Yes it is.”

Belle and Eric had switched cars when we’d stopped for the same strawberry cheesecake ice cream that Eric made me stop for on the way back from Jackson last week. Belle wanted to enjoy the AC since Alcide had the top off of his Jeep and Eric wanted to try driving a 4×4… we lost them when we were gridlocked because of an overturned milk truck. If they were too far behind, they’d have called. When Ann Pruden called Eric’s phone that he’d accidently left in the back seat, she thought she was talking to him and quickly recited the clause of the contract that gave her and the hotel the right to cancel any event for any reason. I would’ve corrected her, but that would’ve taken the fun out of speaking to her in person.

Belle looked up at me on the verge of rolling her eyes. “Is this going to be like when I got lost on that field trip?” Sookie’s eyes widened.

I grumbled at her. “You have a big mouth.” Just like her father.

She meandered to a bench upholstered in depressing blue shantung and pulled her overpriced hobo purse into her lap as she sat. “I know. I get it from my dad… Are you?” At least she owned it.

Sookie asked Belle instead of me, “What did he do?”

“I got left behind because I was in the bathroom. Daddy had Eric go get me because he was on site… Eric made Mr. Kotalick cry.”

Sookie squeezed my hand again. “Eric, seriously. It’s not that big of a deal…”

“He left a 7 year old in a museum and didn’t realize it until they were back at the school. He deserved it…”

“I meant the party. We can make other arrangements.”

“No. Eric worked his ass off to put it all together. He’s earned this.”

“There’s no talking you out of it?”

“No.”

“Is there any chance I can talk you into having a couple of drinks so you’ll calm down a little?” Before noon?

“No.”

She let go of my hand, but she stepped closer to me. “Then give me a kiss now. I’m not kissing that nasty Plexiglas in the visitation booth in county lockup.”

As pissed as I was, I still chuckled and bent to kiss her.

**

“Eric?” The voice was too baritone to be Ann Pruden… Grandma, what a deep voice you have.

Sookie went to join Belle when I turned to greet the man behind the voice. He looked like a Tim Burton creation. Large front teeth, narrow face with high cheek bones and freakishly large eyes of a nondescript color. Instead of taking his offered hand to shake it, I counted his companions. Three men of average size wearing bland blue blazers that didn’t fit them any better than the intimidating stances they hadn’t practiced well enough… #5 of the party was trying to hide behind the rest of the welcome wagon. It was none other than Ann Pruden. Short, curly rust colored hair, mousy features under a pair of glasses with lenses so big that they looked like they’d been salvaged from a deorbitted satellite.

The rat-faced man finally gave up his attempt to shake my hand. “I’m Greg Childers. I’m the Manager of Operations here at the Garrison.”

Sookie leaned over to whisper to Belle, “Here he goes.”

“Good. I’m not willing to deal with Ann Pruden any further. Tell me, do you always address irate clients by first name like you know them?”

“No…”

“Is your hotel in the practice of canceling contracts less than 12 hours before an event?”

“No…”

“Since your contract clearly states that your staff has the right to refuse, reject and cancel a contract, but in turn obliges said staff to notify the client in writing within 5 working days, do you mind explaining why your employee took it upon herself to breach contract via a phone call with 9 hours and 3 minutes before my event is to commence?”

“I…”

“Did she bother explaining any of the reasons why I might be belligerent before she had you and your sidekicks rush to her defense?”

“She mentioned that she canceled your event because she suspects…”

“That what? I’m sick of getting a run around from someone who’d be willing to book a party with a boy when she thought he’d stolen his father’s credit card until she found out that said boy had full authorization to plan the event. She insisted upon padding our expense by refusing to serve a buffet to 50, thus forcing us to pay for 100 then further siphoning the cost of a bartender because with an event for 100, rather than the true 50 mind you, we were required to book that as well. She disputed the arrangements we made for cake. Our photographer canceled when he realized what hotel, more specifically who he’d be dealing with. Ann Pruden was unprofessional enough to patronize me when she thought she was speaking to a minor by telling me that she didn’t care what color my daddy’s AmEx card is, she wasn’t in the mood to babysit.”

“Sir…”

“Mr. Northman.”

Mr. Northman, your son posed as you when making arrangements with Ms. Pruden.”

“He did not. I was in the room with him when he left the initial voicemail for her. He explained that he is moving to Shreveport and that his parents were letting him arrange for a farewell party with his friends from school. He explained that chaperones would include his mother, father, and three close family friends. He not only left his cell number, but mine and his mother’s… What’s more, if that were at all true, then she might have mentioned her concerns when I spoke to her on Tuesday.”

“You spoke to her on Tuesday?”

“During the same call where I informed her the bartender would be serving virgin hurricanes and nothing more, yes. I had to identify myself because my son sounds like me on the phone.”

“What was said?”

“That the bartender would be the last of the additions I’d allow since we were getting the distinct impression that she was exaggerating the policies of your establishment in an effort to take advantage of the child coordinating the event. Did it not occur to you that there was a hole in her story since, I’m sure, it wouldn’t be in the practice of a prominent hotel’s events office to allow a child to make arrangements for a bartender?”

“Do you mind if I ask why you’d let a boy plan a party on his own?” As an outlet and a distraction from all of strangeness of our new situation. I’d wanted more than anything to jump on Eric’s bandwagon to help him, but when Claudia mentioned that he needed a healthy hobby, I shifted my involvement and decided to be supportive instead. Sookie and I just hoped that he wouldn’t go back to being angry as soon as the party was behind him…

“Yes, I do mind. It doesn’t matter in the least why he was planning the party. What matters to me is that my son spent countless hours planning a party. He did everything and from what I can gather the only mistake he made was choosing this hotel. Even that doesn’t matter. Your employee has a faxed contact, signed by me…”

“Sir, Ms. Pruden…”

“I’ve already told you that I’m not dealing with her any longer. I don’t care what reasons she could have for trying to cancel Eric’s party. It’s moot. She didn’t conform to the cancelation policy, therefore, there hasn’t been a cancelation.”

“Mr. Northman…”

“We’re expecting 50 guests in just a few hours. We have things to do. You’re wasting my time.”

“You’re money will be refunded…”

“No. It won’t. Unless you want to spend the next few months up to your cheap tie in legalities and depositions, you’re going to stop trying to save face so that my son’s party can proceed as per the contract. Not only do you stand to lose our money as guests, but I’ll make sure that you’ll hemorrhage thousands in legal fees BEFORE I sue for damages. I’m sure you can imagine how expensive the event could become once we start scrambling to make last minute arrangements to relocate it… and believe me, I’m prepared to itemize every single cell phone minute we have to use in my law suit. Feel free to admonish your less than ethical employee, but do it later. You are on my time now.”

“Sir…” He wasn’t getting it.

“Try to wrap your head around this. I gave my 15 year old son my credit card and permission to do his worst. Do you think for a second that I wouldn’t enjoy spending more on legal fees than what the eventual payout would be? We have a contract. Are you choosing to not honor it?”

He scowled, finally realizing that I wasn’t backing down. “No.”

“Good. I’ll be expecting a written apology from Ann Pruden for her lack of professionalism before we check out on Sunday. If I see her anywhere near my son, his guests or the actual event, I’ll be calling my lawyer.”

He was asking what I expected him to do when I saw Eric and Alcide come in through the revolving door. I’d been tempted to not tell him how much trouble Ms. Pruden had been, but since the little Alcidette had witnessed the whole thing, there wasn’t much point in damage control. She’d tell him eventually.

His arms were folded and his fists were clenched underneath by the time he reached me. “What’s going on?”

I smiled at him and patted his shoulder. “We were just waiting for you. Now that I’ve explained to management how difficult Ms. Pruden has been, Mr. Childers was about to give us a tour.” Childers opened his mouth, but he closed it instead of arguing more since that hadn’t been going very well for him.

Eric looked confused, but he still relaxed a little. “Really?”

I nodded. “Mr. Childers, lead the way.”

**

He still hadn’t gotten the full explanation, but it didn’t keep Eric from adopting my posture during our walkthrough of the facilities. Any word that wasn’t synonymous to ‘intimidating’ would’ve been epically inappropriate. Every question he had was asked in a stern tone. Every move he made was deliberate. Every answer he gave was laced with unmistakable seriousness.

When the bathrooms were pointed out to us, Eric went in to inspect each one and informed Mr. Childers that housekeeping needed to be sent to make the ‘ladies’ look less like a truck stop.

We watched him start searching behind curtains, scrutinizing until the manager asked him what he was looking for. He explained that he was looking for outlets so that he could let the DJ know where to set up as though he was annoyed to be interrupted.

He finally got close enough for it to be called a conversational distance and used his hands to orchestrate, rattling off directions of where the staff was to arrange everything…

He asked for directions to the kitchen to make sure of the catering and I almost laughed when management tried to convince Eric that the kitchen knew what they were doing. My son, MY SON told him, “Because Ms. Pruden sets the precedent for professionalism, right? Pardon me for not leaving it to chance that your caterers can be trusted to do their job.” I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Sookie had given me more than a few amused looks, pointing at me and mouthing, ‘yours’. All I could do was smile. Not letting anyone get away with taking advantage of me was how I managed to claw my way out of the cesspool I’d grown up in. Seeing that naiveté hadn’t been part of his sheltered upbringing made me proud of Sookie. Seeing that Eric seemed to have inherited my philosophy that respect was earned rather than given made me proud of him.

As we followed along, Alcide rolled his eyes to whisper to Sookie, “God help us all. The little shit’s just like his old man.”

“You say that like it’s a bad thing.” Eric and I had said it the same time… Alcide and Sookie thought it was hilarious that we proved the point.

Once Childers left to put Eric’s plans (orders) into motion, we started for our rooms.

Eric only waited long enough for the elevator doors to close before he asked for the details of the conversation that he missed…

The amusing part was that once we were off of the elevator, he didn’t take his key card from me until I was done reiterating and he was done rearguing the points I’d already made.

**

I shared a spanikopita with Belle (and made fun of Alcide because he was a cry baby about spinach) while Sookie and Eric ate two each. At least Sookie had only ordered one entrée for herself. Eric had plowed through more than half of his gyro platter, souvlaki platter and mousaka with one hand (because he was texting with his other) before he said much of anything to us.

“Hey Belle, what are you wearing tonight?”

She shrugged. “I dunno. Why?”

“Just wondering. I’m looking at Twitter and most of the girls are going a little nuts over the Mardi Gras theme… wearing purple or green, getting together to do some face painting. You know, like masks and stuff. I bet my friend Sadie will bring her kit and do your makeup if you want.”

She looked like she’d been slapped, maybe like she wanted to slap someone else. “I… I didn’t know I was invited… I… I just brought like shorts and stuff.”

“Well, yeah… It’s not like I was going to leave you to hang out with old people all night… What size do you wear? I bet we could find something…”

Alcide looked surprised that Eric would include her. “Don’t worry about it. We have time to find a mall.”

Belle gave Alcide a skeptical look and leaned away from him. “Who are you and what did you do with my father? You’re going to let me go to a party?”

“A party I’m chaperoning? Sure.”

“Are you going to embarrass me?”

“Probably no more than usual.”

“Are you going to make me wear a potato sack?”

“If you keep it up, you can watch TV in our room instead.”

She rolled her eyes. “Sorrrrrrry. You don’t usually volunteer to take me shopping.”

“You usually don’t give me the chance before you boost my wallet and run out the door with my car keys. I don’t mind taking you shopping. I mind that you’re a shithead about it.”

“Oh… Ok…”

Eric washed a mouthful down with most of a glass of tea. “And uh… none of that spoiled brat bullshit around my friends. I go to private school, but it isn’t one of those pretentious asshole schools. They do scholarships based on academics and sports. Half of my friends have blue collar parents…”

She cringed. “Ew…”

He raised his eyebrows and snorted. “You know what, nevermind. If you’re going to act like a snobbish turd, then you can stay in your room…”

“No! I’ll behave. I swear!”

“If you embarrass me, me and the rest of the soccer team will carry you out faster…”

“I get it… I’ll behave. Promise.”

“No short skirts. It has to pass the fingertip test. And no heels higher than your thumb.”

“What?” She didn’t seem as bothered as she was surprised.

“My old school’s dress code. The party’s at a hotel. I put the dress code in the invite so my friend’s parents wouldn’t think it was some kind of hook up party… I wanted my friends to actually show up. Besides, you’re 8. High heels and short skirts would make you look like a midget call girl. Dress your age.”

“What’s wrong with how I dress?”

Sookie and I braced ourselves when Eric actually put his phone and his fork down. “Right now or in general?”

She scowled at him. “Right now.”

“Do you want the red carpet or street opinion?”

She growled. “Street.” Alcide snorted and warned her quietly that he was ‘an Eric’ and still ‘in a mood’. He was still in character for calibrating and micromanaging…

“Fine. You asked for it. Ready?” It was almost cruel to watch him build her up, knowing that he was about to tear her down… But I was anxious to see Belle’s reaction to hearing it all from someone she considered a peer. Even if Eric was nearly twice her age, the 30 year age gap had completely voided Alcide’s opinion.

“Your shorts are too tight…”

“They fit just fine.”

“Are you really going to be ‘that person’ who asks for an opinion and rejects it line by line? You can listen or you can run your yap, but I’m going to keep going anyway… Just because you can barely close the fly on them, doesn’t mean they fit. Snug is fine, but yours are so many sizes from what you actually wear, you have a muffin top which makes you look fat even though you aren’t. Your tank top would actually look great on my mom, maybe even yours, but it’s proportioned to fit an adult woman’s body so the arm holes and front hit you in the wrong places. You’re 8 years old and wearing a bra you don’t need, with obvious padding no one needs. Your flip flops have a two inch cork platform that makes it look like you strapped phone books to your feet and they make you walk like you have a birth defect. Your makeup looks like you had it done by drag queens. When you picked your outfit I’m sure you were just trying to look older, but it looks like you played dress-up out of a hooker’s suitcase.” Alcide turned towards me, biting his lip to fight back the urge to laugh until he managed to pull himself together.

Belle hadn’t let herself cry, but she wasn’t far from it. “You’re a boy though. You can’t understand fashion…”

He rolled his eyes. “What do I understand then?”

“Money.”

“K. How about this? Just because it costs more, doesn’t make it fit better. You can make your dad buy your love and still look your age.”

“That’s not what I’m doing.”

He shrugged and picked up his fork. “If you say so.”

**

While Belle was still willing Eric to choke on his food, Alcide got directions to Sookie’s favorite mall…

And Sookie and I were delegated… our mission, if we chose to accept it, was to retrieve Eric’s yearbook and the outfit he wanted to wear to the party from their house.

Alcide and I were waiting just outside of the bathrooms for Sookie and Belle since Eric had already run off to tend to his party… and I was given a dirty look.

“Do you want me to make him apologize to Belle?”

He shook his head. “No. I’m dying to see if anything he RE-told her sunk in.”

“Then why the ‘fuck you’ face?”

“You didn’t tell me that you and Sookie are back together.”

“Yes we did. You just assumed it was part of the joke. That isn’t our fault.”

“Did you mean for me to assume?”

“No… I guess it should’ve occurred to us though since you haven’t been giving either of us a hard time.”

“Was that an apology?”

“I don’t know. Should it be?”

“Yeah. Yeah, I think so… You knew she was fine for a week without telling me and I had to walk in on you two to know you’re sleeping together.”

“Ok. I’m sorry then.”

“And the last I heard, you were denying wanting to get back with her.”

“Actually, I was refusing to talk about it. You know better than to think I wouldn’t have wanted to.”

“When?”

“When what?”

“When did y’all start sleeping together?”

“Nosy.”

“When?” Being all but married to him for so long, I knew that if he wasn’t easily baited away from a topic to joke around meant that he was too serious about the subject matter.

“She hasn’t slept in the guest bedroom at all… We talked about being a couple again last weekend.”

“So you did just jump right back into the saddle.”

“Sort of. Is that a problem for you?”

“Yes, it’s a big fucking problem for me. It’s nice to see you actually happy and all, but if everything falls to shit because you two retards want to pretend the last 16 years didn’t happen, I’m stuck pouring your ass into bed again. For how long next time? Until you wallow to death?”

“You know, you’re one to talk. What the fuck would you have said if I started playing ’imagine the break up’ while you were still into your wives?” Or any number of his girlfriends, for that matter.

“I don’t know, but there’s a difference. I hadn’t already been left.”

“She didn’t leave…”

“Yes, she did. It doesn’t matter why for the purpose of this conversation because you didn’t know why then. You two were addicted to each other for 2 and a half years… and you fucking died when she left. You’ve been a goddamn zombie ever since. Now you’ve got her back. Then what?”

“I don’t know. I’d like to think that if we actually broke up I’d get over it. You know what it was like to not know what happened. You were right there with me.” He was just as scared as I was… He hadn’t seen the look on his face when he was bracing himself for the news.

“Fine.”

“Fine? Didn’t you tell me that was a ‘woman’s word’?”

“Yep. It’s a load word… It never means the same thing twice. This time, ‘fine’ means that if y’all fuck things up, I’m giving you a year… And then I’m going to put you out of your misery.”

“That’s a little melodramatic, don’t you think?”

“Call it whatever the fuck you want. You know how fucking miserable you’ve been. Granted, not knowing sucked, but if y’all split, a normal break up… I’m not giving you but a year to get over it.”

“Or we could be alright.”

“Happily ever after sounds nice, but…”

Sookie and Belle came out of the bathroom smiling at each other and Sookie noticed the serious mood right away. “We’re all ready to go… Everything alright?

Alcide snorted, “Fine.”

75 thoughts on “Chapter 20: Fine

  1. Yay, I missed this story! I loved how commanding Eric got with the hotel people, it was hot! Great chapter, you’ve been awesome with your updates lately!

  2. Dude – you need more frickin stars – 5 is no where near enough for how awesome this update… or any of your updates are. As I said on twitter – Eric and Eric are so fucking kick-ass. I loved the confrontation between the hotel and both of them, makes me wonder how the hell the place is still in business though – seriously – who keeps event planners like that employed? who needs to recall cleaning staff to do bathrooms again? that’s just damned disgusting – I’d be worried about bedbugs and sticky sheets.
    Belle makes me sad. She’s 8, acting and dressing like that?? that’s just… so sad. Is her mother a crack whore or just insane? I’m hoping that Belle will get better now that there are better female role models around.
    Alcide pouting made me laugh – but it also made me feel sorry for him – he’s worried about the both of them. As close as Alc and Sookie were it would have been hard enough to have to deal with the aftermath of Sookie disappearing without having to help Eric through it. Just want to give him a big cuddle and pet his head.
    Thanks so much for yet another awesome story – can’t wait to see what you come up with next!! /fangirling.

  3. The Erics are a force not to be trifled with. Damn!

    What will it take for Belle to get a brat-ectomy?

    It’s so weird that Alcide is all for Eric’s mental health. I’m sure he cares about Sookie’s too but having witnessed Eric’s self-destruction and depression must’ve hurt him too.

  4. Love the way Lil’ Eric “calibrated” Belle –the snot was right-on.
    And…love how Alcide shows Big Eric his concern –not in a namby-pamby way, but in a “guy way” –“you screw up and I give you a year to get over it” –and of course, loved the “fine” at the end.
    And the tag team bitch-sliap given the hotel manager –classic Ericizmine!!
    Pat

  5. Eric Jr reminds me a lot of Hunter from S&S. His cockiness is very entertaining but can come off as rather abrasive, especially since he doesn’t have the experience and maturity of Eric Sr to temper his acerbic tongue. I’m speaking generally, not in this chapter (Belle definitely deserved the dressing down), like when he straight up called his mother a whore while Eric Sr was willing to wait until he got a clearer picture.
    Still, it’s fascinating to see basically the same character at different stages of emotional development. I do love them both, but then, as I’ve said in a recent comment, you do write the best Erics.
    Alcide and Eric’s bromance is as beautifully written as ever. Eric needed to hear Alc’s concerns. I kind of feel, as a reader, that he and Sook aren’t moving on fast enough because, of course, I can’t wait for them to get it on, but if I look at the actual timeline, they’re kind of jumping in.
    I’m very eager to see where you take these characters. This story is fascinating.

    PS: God, Eric Sr being an Alpha and laying down the law is a complete turn-on. Damn.

  6. Thank you!!!! Honestly, I have been worried about this story. But you are so generous and prolific. I should have known it was for naught.

    love Eric Sr tearing the hotel staff a new asshole!

  7. I was just thinking of this story yesterday. Wonderful chapter. I love mini Eric. I giggled madly at Alcide’s parting line. Thank you for sharing with us.

  8. Thank you for this update. Alcide is so worried about Eric emotional health it’s almost heartbreaking. The two Eric’s are so alike that it’s almost scary. Sookie did a great job raising him. Alcide’s last word was priceless! Can’t wait for more.

  9. I am so elated having received this update! I just realized how much I loved and missed this story. You have an innate talent of getting to the emotional heart of whatever you write in a way that is completely believable and in line with the which ever story you are working on. Eternal props to your talent!!!

  10. Yay!!! Someone who makes the point about eight-year-olds dressing like hookers!!! My poor eight-year-old has a terrible time of it, trying to find children’s clothing for someone who’s almost into adult sizes.

    Wonderful update!!!!

  11. I didn’t realize how much I missed this story! Loved it all, even Alcides temper tantrum that showed his friend how much he hates to see him hurting. Cant wait for the next chapter!

  12. I was THRILLED to see an update I have really missed this story I love the “Eric’s” they are hilarious a force to be reckoned with and I do hope Sookie and Eric last and Alcide dosen’t have to give him that “year” I love them together.

  13. I am sooooo happy for the update. I hope all works out for Eric and Sookie. I am sure the story has a ways to go. I love it all. I hope to see another chapter soon.
    Linda

  14. Ok, Let’s start with how much I love this story and how happy I am to see an update on this one.
    Next, the smack-down with the hotel staff was FANTASTIC!! Love, 100%. There’s being a picky asshole with an establishment, and then there’s calling them out on being unprofessional assholes when they try to dick you over. All deserved.
    Lastly, I get Alcide’s concern, but Eric is right on in saying that if there had been closure, a breakup, he would have grieved and moved on. Without that, with thinking she could be dead in a ditch somewhere, it’s really hard to move past. They both have valid points, and allowing a year seems totally reasonable. Can’t wait to see what’s next.
    Cheers, Balti K

  15. I guess Eric knows how to get things done. Yeah. I hope Jr. knows too. Belle needs to act her age for a change.

  16. your chapters are always so packed full of awesomeness!!! hehe, love the way Eric jr. layed into Belle and found the end convo very touching 🙂 Alcides a good man 🙂

  17. Loved this. Is it wrong to feel bad for the people the Erics calibrated, while knowing they truly deserved it. Amen to the rant about 8 year olds looking like miniature streetwalkers, when did parents decide to allow this to happen? I also really appreciated that Jr has so many similar habits to Eric, even though he wasn’t raised with him. Lucky Sookie to be surrounded by them, and with an Alcide topper. Fine indeed.

  18. Wonderful. Eric chewed the event planners up and spit them back out without even a cuss word or raising his voice. It’s a wonder they didn’t wet themselves. Ann Pruden deserves to be fired. And I love young Eric’s lecture to Belle. I hate seeing little girls dressed as hookers, or teenaged girls either for that matter.

    I guess I can see Alcide’s point. He’s worried about Eric spiraling down like he did before. But from reading this story, I don’t see that happening. Of course they all have sixteen years to recover from, but hopefully they have many more than that to create new memories.

  19. Gotta love those who can rip you a new one without swearing and yelling. Love Alcide’s concerns about Eric Sr being back where he was if this doesn’t work out. Another great chapter!

  20. SO glad for a chapter of ICB. I really like this story. I hope Alcide is just being a jerk. I love that Eric and Sookie are back together. I want them to be happy. I thought the way Eric (both) handled the hotel crap was great. AS always it was all just wonderful!!!! Can’t wait for more … of everything.

  21. Oh this was so worth the wait! It has everything!

    I am always intestered in the differences and similarities between your human and canon Erics. They both take no prisoners but I do enjoy the slightly deranged human Eric. And I mean that in the nicest possible way! This Eric is so high maintenance and so neurotic. I love it because you write it with such great credibility.

    You know I love any kind of ‘calibration’, be it Sookie and Marnie or Eric Jnr and Belle. That scene was laugh out loud funny, especially the phone books on her feet 🙂

    He certainly hit the mark when he told her she was selling her love to poor Alcide. I LOVE your Alcides and I want to slap the little shit.

    So funny how the Erics are images of each other, I would have loved a relationship with a parent like Eric G has. It’s not even that Daddy Eric can see no faults in him, more he respects him so deeply he can understand when he fucks up.

    It did make me sad when he said respect should be earned and he’d learnt that in the cesspool he grew up in. I tend to give respect as a normal reaction and then take it away if I learnt something about the person that makes me lose that respect. Oh that sentence was awful but you know what I mean!

    As for Pruden’s decommission satellite glasses…oh man you crack me up.

    Loved this, so so worth the wait. Like I said up there…

  22. i missed this story thanks for the update…. I can’t believe the hotel tried to cancel, good for Eric is standing up to their asses…… i hope it all goes with out a hitch and they have fun. Too funny on Little E given Belle the riot act, will she listen, hope so. waiting for the party to commence. until the next chapter. Kristie

  23. Loved Eric and Eric in the calibrating and micromanaging mode. Great chapter… and yes I admit I was afraid your ICB muse went into downtime while you obsessed on your new project but it seems that you are a master juggler and multitasker. Thanks for all the great updates. …and I’m also going to beg for another AIW update while you’re on a roll. Thanks.

  24. as always this was a great update, I laughed at the calibration and when Sookie identified Eric Jr on a rant as “yours”, don’t we all assign our kids to the other parent at times? Alcide’s “fine was just perfect

  25. JR’s calibrating skills are epic! Loved how he gave it to the hotel on professionalism and cleanliness. It’s rather sad that there was no expectation of a minor having his own set of expectations for his party. But Belle…that was priceless. It’s sad when folks let their kids do whatever they want without any boundaries or rules. Really enjoy how Eric and Alicde are always tight with each other.

  26. I love this story. I’m starting to think that you couldn’t write something bad even if you tried really hard. There’s not a character I don’t like in the sense that they are needed for the story. That being said, I wouldn’t mind a pack of rabid dogs going after the elder Stackhouses, some of the Northmans and of course Barry. And though I’m against child abuse, it seems that Belle could use to get her hide tanned a couple times before she turns into Lorena. On a side note regarding the site, it’s a little bit harder for me to read on my phone because the font is a little smaller and it’s harder to load for some reason but I love the stars and that you can subscribe to the comments. I can completely understand why you left the horrible mess that is the other site. As always, thanks for sharing your wonderful stories! They are all so amazing!

  27. fricking fabulous!I love it.. You didnt tell me you posted a chapter for me! BAD GIRL! But thank you anyways.. i am loving the new look of the website. Oh and as always I need more.. give me more woman and i will give you some of my sweet candy : )

      • I’m finally finding time to catch up on the last three months worth of updates.. I hope this one does get back on track, but totally get the whole “LIFE” thing =) Though I would have loved the distractions while I’ve been going through this divorce shit, i’m kinda glad I have things to keep me occupied for hours right now when my kid isn’t home. thank you for your awesome stories!

  28. Loved the mini-me Eric with the party details!
    Let’s see if Belle dresses & acts her age now.
    Can’t wait to see how the party goes!

  29. LOL read the whole thing in like less than a day 🙂 i know your in to the multi verse right now 🙂 lol but a an up-date on this one would be great …since i’m thinking a REALLY good lemon is just around the corner heehee 😉 xoxo

  30. i second that, i read this in like 2 days, loved the whol thing, dont leave us hangin please, i read like 4 great stories only to get to the end and it was UNFINISHED, even though it said complete on it, but i loved saints and sinners and cant wait for more of this cute story!!!

  31. As much as I love the multiverse (and it’s a lot!) I miss Erics jr and sr. Hope to see how the party goes and the night in the hotel on the budding re-relationship! Of course I also want to know about Maggie and AiW! Why are you so awesome? Too bad I am in Canada or I would totally babysit for chapters. ❤ happy Canadian thanksgiving!

  32. I need more ICB!!! I have been waiting and enjoying your other masterpieces over and over again, but I need more ICB! *please* I have really enjoyed Euro Eric as well Please update these two!

  33. Awesome story! Can’t wait for more. So glad I found this site. I’ve been a huge fan since reading Saints and Sinners on fanfic. Love your style.

  34. So, I just finished reading this story it took me 2 nights (tried not to go to work and live the kids at my mom’s but it didn’t work) so I was left to read at night… and I need more and fast seriously I am on pins and needels here… So you should know I am going to be annoying and demanding for an update every week… LOL thank you for sharing your amazing gift seriously you are a great writer it is a pure fun reading your stories… Love from Israel, Galit

    Ho and by the way I am with you on the last two books I did not read them on a principle… And I seriously thinking of doing the same with True Blood if Alan Ball will not get his shit together and stop kissing Bills ass…

  35. I truly loved this story, and cried most of the way through it, but if you considered this the final chapter I’m disappointed. There are still too many unresolved issues to think they would have an HEA. Perhaps that is what you intended. Or maybe I’m just selfish and didn’t want it to end just yet???

    I was hoping for at least a castration for the fucker who destroyd their lives and deprived them of being able to enjoy their son together. (I may be a bit vindictive) Other than that, I love all your stories and love your writing.

  36. Just found this. I love it. I do hope you decide to continue this and not leave it as is. It seems like it has been several months, almost a year, since you updated last. It just doesn’t feel finished. A big problem I see for this trio in the future is when Jr. Eric finds out his parents lied to him, and even lied to their family therapist, by telling him that his mother’s rapist was dead, when he is very much still alive and will be getting out of jail soon.

  37. I’m always late to the party. I read this last night and just loved it. Very sweet tender story. Thank you.

  38. I don’t know how I overlooked this story but when I noticed it I ended up reading it straight through. Excellent as always.

  39. I’ve spent my first day of unemployment re-reading this one. Have to say I really love it and hope you’ll get around to finishing it sometime. I know RL is crazy for you right now though, so I’m being patient.

  40. Just read this fic once again and really enjoyed it, once again. Are you planning on working on it again? I would love to see how Bell turns over a new leaf and Eric Jnr meet his Dad’s family and so many other things. Thanks for all the effort you put into your stories. I do read them over and over.

  41. I’m going to jump on the bandwagon of love and say I love this story 🙂
    These two Eric’s are just fantastic. Eric sr putting e manager in his place was superb. Eric jr doing the same while getting the tour was the cherry on the cake 🙂 can’t believe the events manager still works there, hopefully not for long considering the ineptitudes that Eric pointed out.
    And oh my. Eric jr and his honest conversation with Belle bat how she dressed and got Alcide to buy her love was brilliant. I hope she takes it on board! I hope the weekend away gives her enough time to see the respectful relationship btw junior and his parents. Maybe she will start to realise she has things wrong? I can hope.
    Looking forward to the party. Hope your muse helps you get into this again 🙂

  42. I know you have been real busy giving us all your other stories which I cannot thank you enough but I do hope you can crank out a new chapter soon. I really miss this. Just had to re-read it again. So love it..

  43. Really enjoyed this story and the dynamics of your characters . So glad I went looking for more of your stuff , only to realise I completely missed this one ! I know its an olday but hope that there will be more but in the meantime I will go back to stalking your multiverse . * bows down to your creative talents *

  44. As I suffer from a multiverse total addiction, I wasn’t sure about an AH story but these characters just got to me and even unfinished (or to be finished at a future date), it is a deeply satisfying story… Mini Eric is too cute and I loved that in spite of the tragic and far too long separation, Eric is willing and able to get past the past and build a future together with Sookie. It is hard to imagine everything she’s been through and the after effects (their first re-encounter when she believed him to be a hallucination was heart breaking) but Sookie has been such a great mum… I really believe they will make it. Oh and your Alcide is hilarious… I feel a bit bad that I find his terrible dating/marriage history sort of funny…

    • I agree it just started rereading all of her stories again. I’m so very happy this is still up. I’m thinking about printing them out so that I have them for always. Love and miss you Angela.

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