Chapter 7: A Different Kind Of Tears

It Can’t Be

Chapter 7

A Different Kind Of Tears

**

I had a lot to think about… I’d spent most of the ride to Jackson furious because as far as I knew Sookie was ‘fine and dandy’ while I’d been franticly making an ass out of myself… If it really just hadn’t worked out, then I would’ve eventually been able to move on, but as it was, I was in a holding pattern. I knew that. Every woman I’d been with since had the same name. ‘Not Sookie’.

I hadn’t even closed my door yet when Eric started in. “You hugged her!?”

“She needed a hug.”

“Psssh. I needed a father. Sometimes you just go without.”

“Sometimes you just have to wait a while for what you need.” 16 years. I’d needed to hug her for 16 years.

“Oh…. God… What did she say?”

“Are you sure you want to know? You said earlier that I was the one that wanted answers.”

He rolled eyes and huffed. “Yeah… I’m just pissed. Did she say anything about why?”

I nodded. “She was raped…”

He turned in his seat to face me as much as his long legs would let him. “WHAT!?”

I nodded again as I fiddled with my keys. “A friend of ours offered her a ride home from work when I was out of town… he drugged her and raped her while she couldn’t fight back. And she didn’t tell me because she knew I’d kill him.”

“Why wouldn’t she want him dead!?”

“She probably did, but she didn’t want me to go to jail… She probably would’ve told me if the police had taken her seriously when she tried to report it. The rape is why she thought about abortion… why she decided on adoption…”

“How did she know I wasn’t his then?”

“Well, baby pictures aside… The guy that did it had an olive complexion, dark eyes and hair… but Sookie had seen my baby pictures… You even looked like me then.”

He was quiet for a few minutes other than fidgeting. “Ok. So that explains why you didn’t cut my cord, but…”

“She was depressed, maybe anxious when she left me, but after a few months of trying to ignore what had happened to her, she went a little crazy. She checked herself into a hospital before you were born. She was seeing things… Me, the guy who raped her… She wasn’t well… and she still isn’t right.”

“She’s normal though…”

“She’s not normal… Her father beat the shit out of his children. Her mother stopped talking to her because she wanted a college education. She’s been flogging herself over this for years. She hates herself enough to let her son call her a ho. She also did her best to make sure you didn’t have the slightest idea of what she was going through. Not only did she take care of you, but she managed to make something of herself in the process…”

“I’m supposed to be fine with the idea that she was going to have an abor…”

I cut him off. “She was. She was going to have an abortion until she found out that there was no way to be sure you weren’t mine. She didn’t want to abort you. She wanted to abort her rapist’s possible baby. She wasn’t going to put you up for adoption, she was going to adopt out her rapist’s possible baby. Try to not think that she resented you. It wasn’t you. It wasn’t ever you or me. She was traumatized. Deeply. I’ve missed my girlfriend, worried about her and searched for her. You didn’t have a father and you wondered and cried over that… Not only has Sookie felt guilty for what we were going through because of what’s happened, but she’s a rape victim that couldn’t just phone it in because she had you to be strong for… So back to your original question… Yes, Eric, your mother deserved a hug. We all do.”

“You’re just going to forgive and forget?”

“Forgive her for what? Not bouncing back from being raped like it was a hangnail?”

“Don’t put it like that. You know what I’m talking about. I just met you.”

“I’ve already missed out on 15 years of your life. Do you want to waste more time by being bitter about not having a time machine?”

“I guess not.”

“This isn’t a small thing. It’s going to take a long time to be alright… but as far as reasons go, Sookie had a good one. I told her I’d find a therapist for you…”

“Oh, the hell…!”

I couldn’t help but laugh. “She told me you’d put up a fight… So I told her I’d find a family counselor. It’ll do us all some good.”

“How the hell are we going to manage that? Find one halfway between Shreveport and Jackson?”

“Your mother is coming to Shreveport on Friday for the week. We have a lot of catching up to do.”

**

I’d waited in the car for him to apologize and say goodbye to Sookie and when we backed down the long driveway, Sookie stood on the catwalk over the pond and waved. She was crying again, but it was much less heart wrenching. We spent most of the ride talking. He was suffering the delusion that I had anymore idea of what we were dealing with than he did.

Over the next few days, Eric went back and forth between resenting Sookie and sympathizing for her. I could only blame his age (hormones). He seemed to understand that his mother had been very good at hiding how broken she was, but admitted that he still felt like he missed out… And I’d be lying if I said that I hadn’t faltered in my understanding… It helped us both to look up ‘PTSD rape’ online…

As it turned out, not only did it make us feel like shit to have doubted Sookie, but she’d handled things better than some of the accounts we read. Finding suicide statistics for PTSD sufferers shut us both down. It was staggering.

I learned a lot about PTSD… and Eric learned enough to make fun of me… When he found an article that mentioned surrounding oneself with things that reminded them of happier times was a symptom of grief, he told me the S in PTSD stood for Sookie in my case… and then eyed the old barstool that I used at my drafting table. I threw a pencil at him… but I couldn’t argue.

One of the things Sookie told me had been bothering me… she’d been seeing Barry and me… I couldn’t understand why she’d be seeing both of us… her attacker and her boyfriend. It proved to be one hell of a mindfuck until I found that it was more common in war vets than rape victims, but it wasn’t unheard of for someone with PTSD to visualize who they victimized…

It only drove the point home as to how guilt ridden she was…

**

Jason and Crystal came over to the house the day after we got back from Jackson. They brought Eric’s things to him when we were on our way to the mall. Even if he didn’t want to stay with me more permanently, he’d still need to make his bedroom more comfortable. I invited them to join us for lunch since Sookie had told her brother that everything was fine, but nothing else… Crystal couldn’t eat after hearing what Sookie had been going through… Jason still looked angry when he told us that he was happy for us to finally get to know one another… There was something more to what he was thinking obviously, but I was watching Eric shamelessly eat Crystal’s unwanted lunch.

Bill turned out to be more amusing than ever… When he saw Eric and me digging the hole that would become a pond (the size of Lake Erie), I explained that Eric was my son, that he’d been right… He thought it was ‘a ruse’. He warned me about Eric’s age because he decided that I was ‘experimenting’ with a boy toy. Her father’s belief that Eric and I were a couple didn’t do anything to discourage Lorena away from the fence. We spent 3 hours digging the hole for the pond and we laughed at her through most of it… Eric suggested that we find a felt hat for Bill’s little orange garden gnomette.

The pond… that was fun. He asked, which surprised me, if I would mind. He wasn’t sure yet if he would stay with me permanently, but he missed his pond because working on it helped him think. I’d have agreed anyway, call it making up for the spoiling that I hadn’t gotten to do, but considering that he would need something to help him think more than ever now, I was more than willing. After I told him to make a plan, he spent an hour at my drafting table and returned with a full color rendering and a well scaled elevation. I was impressed enough to toss him my keys so that we could go to the hardware store…

I’d never dyed Easter eggs or done a school project or helped my son with his Soap Box Derby… but I had the pond… It was the first thing we’d ever done together other than our visit to the DMV first thing that morning.  While we worked, he explained why we’d have to wait a few days before going to the pet store and that we’d need to take water samples with us, but it would give us some time to get the landscaping taken care of. He wanted to make sure I wouldn’t kill the fish when he wasn’t there to take care of them so I was being educated…

He seemed truly torn… Life with his mother in Jackson versus staying with me to make the best of the time we had left… Knowing what he’d just learned, he didn’t want to leave Sookie alone. He didn’t want her to feel abandoned. Only an asshole wouldn’t be able to understand. As greedy as I was to hog him, keep him to myself like Gollum’s ring, I didn’t want Sookie to be more hurt.

Over the course of the week, Sookie called him every day to ask how things were… and then he’d hand the phone to me so that she could ask me. We were getting along famously, him and me… I’ll admit that is was because we were living in an ideal. Father. Son. Bonding time. But we were having fun getting to know one another. When Bill had disbelievingly asked why he hadn’t been around before, Eric quickly answered that he’d grown up with his mother in Mississippi. No further details. Not that Bill Compton rated high enough to get more facts, but Eric seemed content enough to reiterate the same Cliff’s Notes to my secretary when we went to my office. He was glossing over how upset he still was… and I didn’t like it.

But still, as much fun as we’d been having, Sookie wasn’t getting more than ‘alright’ when she asked him how he liked being with me. I think the poor kid felt like he’d be rubbing her nose in something if he admitted to enjoying himself.

I might have been living in a dream world, but I was very much hoping that we could spend the weekend together, make it until our Tuesday appointment with Claudia Crane without stepping on each others’ toes.

**

When the phone rang, Eric bolted into my office to yank it from its dock while I checked my emails… and I was still enjoying the relief of not being tempted to search for Sookie. Fuck you Google.

As ‘instructed’, Sookie was calling as she entered the neighborhood so that Eric could be waiting to take Bob and Fu to their ‘vacation pond’ to meet their new friends. He’d found a white one with a wide black band around the middle that he started calling Po-Po and a smaller, younger fish that looked like Bob… he drove me nuts trying to come up with a name for him until I told him that Bob Marley had kids… he picked Ziggy out of the names I could remember. Apparently, Damian and Julian are stupid names for fish… Of course. Po-po and Ziggy. They make sense. I barely had my mouth open to make fun before he reminded me of his middle name.

He kissed her cheek in the middle of telling her to pop the trunk on the way by her.

She put her hands on her hips and watched him fling the lid open. “Nice to see you too.”

“I talked to you every…” He gave a grunt when he tried to lift the cooler out. “Oh my God… Mom! How did you get this in here?”

She snorted. “Empty. I had to McGuyver the pump for the fountain into the garden hose and… It’s your problem now, kiddo.”

He scowled at her. “That’s not funny. I can’t just carry them to the new pond and dump them in. The shock could kill them. I need to… Damn it… I need to ease the cooler into the pond.”

I rolled my eyes at him and took Sookie’s keys to toss them to him and go open the gate to the back yard.

“He’s not driving my car!”

I shrugged at her. “Why not? He’s had mine on the interstate.”

She looked at my Corvette when she gasped like it was a guilty party. “He hasn’t!”

“No. It’s ok. I keep my eyes closed.”

“Eric! That’s not funny.”

I winked at her. “He’s fine. He’s very careful. His foot will barely leave the brake because if he tears up my lawn, Paolo will skin him alive after the mess we made digging the pond.”

She scrunched up her face in a pensive cringe, folding her arms, tapping her foot… until he slid into the driver’s seat… “OH. MY. GOD! Damn PIGMY! Where’s the controls to move the seat back… I think my spleen got squeezed out of my ears!”

She giggled when she ran over to the car to help him so that the steering wheel wouldn’t bruise his ribs. “You think you’re ready to drive when you can’t…”

“Mom! I haven’t had to move the seat. His is already all the way back!”

His complaining only stopped when she pushed the button for him to get the seat to start sliding back. She looked at me over her shoulder and she couldn’t have been more amused. “He trips over the step I keep in the kitchen all the time too. I’m a pigmy, a midget, a dwarf…”

He grunted… “Don’t forget ‘tiny’.”

Her smile faded when she told him ‘that too’… That’s what I used to call her.

**

While I helped Eric lift the cooler out of the trunk of Sookie’s car, I noticed that she was staring at the back of the house… specifically, the lanai and the great room beyond it.

Eric had barely let her get out of her car, much less notice the house that I’d changed the facade of slightly to blend with the rest of the houses in the development… I watched her look over to Bill’s yard… then the Dawson’s…

I was stuck holding up the cooler so that Eric could slowly scoop water from the pond into the cooler with his hands so that the fresher water wouldn’t shock the fish… Sookie was starting to cry quietly as she realized that my house was the one in her kitchen.

I had no fucking clue of what to do. I hadn’t even thought about it when I asked her to follow through with her visit or when I insisted that she stay with us because I had more than enough room… The house had been designed with a family of 5 in mind. I hadn’t thought about any of it and for a moment I considered running into the house to hide our barstool, the lighthouse painting she’d done for a class and the ‘pretty’ bowl that used to be where she put quarters for the Laundromat that I’d been using on my dryer for shit I’d left in my pockets…

Shit… the more I thought about it, the longer my list got… tiles she’d painted in a ceramics class were in a drawer in my kitchen because I still used them as trivets. The hall upstairs was gallery to framed pictures we’d taken of places we’d been together; not all of them, maybe half. And our Dollar Store coffee mugs were in my cabinet…

Seeing that she was living in a house I designed was hard enough for me and I wasn’t the one that had PTSD…

I cleared my throat. “Hey Eric, why don’t you run in and grab a bowl or a pitcher to move this along?”

“Your back not holding up, old man?”

“Keep it up and I’ll show you old at the gym again tomorrow.”

He snorted and stood up to start flinging water from his hands on his way in.

Since her back was too me, I approached Sookie slowly. “Sookie?”

“I can’t believe you built it.” It was barely a whisper.

“I told you I would. Are you alright?”

“I don’t know.”

I put my hands on her shoulders gently since she still hadn’t turned around. “Sookie, I want you here, but not if this is going to upset you.”

“I’m too happy that you’re willing to talk to me to be upset… this is just… a lot.”

“You’ll let me know if ‘a lot’ gets to be ‘too much’ though, right?”

She nodded slowly. “Promise… The scary part is over.”

“Have you been talking to Octavia this week?”

“Yeah… She says she wants to talk to you.”

“Uh-oh. Am I in trouble?”

“No. She just wants to talk about me behind my back. I told her I’m fine with it. She’s already talked to Miss Crane to give her my history.”

“Eric needs it… the counseling.”

She turned around. “How bad off is he?”

“Well, we’ve been having a great time. Really. I’ve loved having him here. He’s a great kid and everything’s going really well, but when he talks to you, he says ‘alright’ like he’s afraid being honest will hurt you. I don’t have enough of a relationship with him yet to risk pushing him and you’re who he’s protecting by hiding his feelings… I think the counselor might be able to help him realize we need to be honest with one another.”

“How much does he hate me?”

“He doesn’t. He’s bitter without a doubt. I am too. We missed out on a lot, but we understand why. We’re coping. He has his moments when he’ll say something shitty or sideways, a couple of times he’s gone quiet on me like he wanted to say something, but let it pass instead. We’ve been researching PTSD so that we don’t waste the whole session on Tuesday with questions. We aren’t really confused about anything anymore… After some of the information we found, he mentioned that we were lucky to still have you to be mad at.”

She grimaced. “I don’t know how the hell I’m supposed to take that.”

I smiled and gave her a hug. “Take it that we’ll knock the rough edges off eventually and get our shit together.”

She mumbled into my chest, “You’ve always been the optimistic one.”

“And you’ve always been tiny. Did you get shorter?

She giggled and let me go. “I’m wearing heels.”

“Yeah well, you need stilts.”

“Why? Do you still put your cereal on the top shelf?”

“What cereal? You should’ve warned me about how much he eats. We’ve been to the grocery store 3 times this week. I thought he was eating because he was bored. I upgraded my cable channels and bought him a cell phone. Now he does all three at once.”

She started laughing. “Wait ‘til school starts… a couple of months ago I was putting away laundry… he was at his computer with his homework and IMs, one hand was typing, one had a triple something with cheese, he had 2 friends on speaker phone and his stereo on… He still pulls honor roll though.” Just like her. I had the attention span of a gnat… she used to chair-dance through studying.

“He isn’t sure about staying here for school though.”

“Yes he is. He just doesn’t want to hurt my feelings.”

“I’m not sure I feel comfortable with you being alone either.”

She smiled at me and I wasn’t sure what it meant. That smile used to mean she was up to something. “Where are y’all taking me for dinner?”

“Sookie?”

She grumbled my name and told me that she wanted to talk over dinner

**

The tour of the house made her cry again. Quiet tears that didn’t really seem much more than melancholy. She wouldn’t explain, but she promised that she was ‘fine’… And again, she wanted to hurry to dinner so that we could sit down together and talk… She mentioned that we’d all been waiting too long to have a ‘family dinner’… and she didn’t get any arguments from me or Eric… well, until she teased Eric that she was suddenly in the mood for fish.

After much debate, Sookie sat in the backseat of her car with her eyes covered so that Eric could drive the three miles to the restaurant.

The restaurant was busy since it was Friday night, but we were lucky enough to at least get a booth so that we could have a little privacy.

By the time the waitress took our orders, Eric and I were on pins and needles waiting for what Sookie wanted to talk about since she insisted on sitting across from us.

Eric wasn’t nearly as patient as I was. “You’re killing me. What are we talking about?”

“Well… I can’t tell y’all enough how guilty I feel about all the time my problems has kept y’all apart…” Her chin started to quiver.

“Sookie, I told you…”

“You’ve got to let me finish… K?”

I reluctantly gave her a nod. I didn’t want her to feel like she needed to rehash anything. That’s what the therapy session was for. “Sorry. Go ahead.”

She nodded and pulled some papers out of her purse.

She handed them to me and before I had the chance to look at them, she said, “I need to make things right.”

73 thoughts on “Chapter 7: A Different Kind Of Tears

  1. Awesome freakin’ chapter! You are brilliant and you have taken us on an exhilarating roller coaster ride. Love the first paragraphs that left no doubt that Sookie is not to be hated – but admired for coming through something like this.

  2. I love the quick updates I REALLY do, but some times it feels like when their just getting into it’s the end of the chapter x

  3. I’m really hoping that Sookie intends to be with them, somehow. I like that they got to build the fish pond together, and Bill is still a douche. Great chapter, thank you.

  4. I can’t get enough of this story. I’m addicted and I crave it. I NEED to know what happens. Sad, I know, but true nevertheless.

  5. Of course she’s going to get weepy when she’s looking at and touring THEIR dream house.

    Bill goes from thinking Eric IS Eric’s long lost son to thinking he’s got a boy toy? No wonder Lorena is the mess she is.

    Can’t wait to see what she’s going to do to “make things right”. My hunch is signing over guardianship to Eric but I don’t think she’d give away their son to ANYONE.

  6. You and your cliffies woman! lol Another great chapter, and for it being a transition chapter, we really did learn a lot. Thanks for making us such spoiled brats and giving us so much to read the past week! You are certainly a treasure to be loved! I’ll have to read it again, probably like 4 times to be sure I didn’t miss anything, but I don’t mind! I LOVE this story! Can’t wait to see where you take us on this story and to see what Sookie has in store for her son and her (former) lover. My guess is she is wanting to move the both of them to Shreveport to be with daddy Eric. Keep up the great work!!!

  7. I am so very happy that both Erics are researching and really trying to keep an open mind about everything. I’m wondering what’s going on with the papers. It would be so nice if she could move to the area…. 🙂

  8. I’m so glad they’re all together. Now they can start to heal. What a great chapter, for an awesome story. Thank you so much.

  9. Love the father/son bonding over the pond and bringging Bob over for a “vacation”. I also like how while the Erics are understanding they are still hurt and not afraid to acknowledge it. Thanks for all the details and cant wait to find out what the papers are =)

  10. Loved the chapter, glad that the Erics are being supportive. Te chapter was very insightful. Now what is on the papers that she gave him. Thanks for the update.

  11. near the end I was praying… don’t let it end… don’t let it end yet please… lol
    I am effing inlove with ur Eric. sighs…

  12. Excellent chapter! I love it that the Erics studied up on PTSD to better understand what she’d been through. It’s wonderful to see such a mature, reasonable reaction between Eric & Sookie. Thanks a lot for the cliffie! (tongue firmly in cheek)

  13. Are the papers something to do with acknowledging Eric as the father and officially altering the birth certificate from father-unknown? I hope Sookie can cope ok and actually tells them when shes not so they can help her somehow. I am loving your quick updates, I get a buzz each time I see an email from you!! Thank you!!

  14. Wow. Okay. Little Eric took that better than I thought. Hopefully, he really is processing it and not compartmentalizing; that’ll come back and bite him (them) in the ass.
    I’m thinking she had a custody arrangement drawn up? My first thought was that perhaps she would transfer to the Shreveport office, but that seems too soon. But then I think that there is no way in hell I could let my 14 year old move 3 hours away, even if it was with her father. I’d have to be near her.
    Either way, I’m thinking it was joint (or shared) custody paperwork.
    And maybe allowing Big Eric physical custody will give her the time to *really* deal without worry, since she’ll know Little Eric is safe.

    So. You offered a few days ago to post that same night if you got 100 reviews. That shows you are amenable to negotiation.
    I am willing to offer, via overnight delivery, your choice of Philly: Amoroso hoagie rolls, soft pretzels, Tasty Kakes, Peanut Chews, scrapple (I don’t advise this one…it’s scrap for a reason).
    JUST TELL US WHAT THE PAPERWORK IS!
    (please and thank you)

  15. I love how this is progressing and was thrilled that Sookie saw the house in this chapter. And the pond! Not only was that the perfect bonding exercise, but it also adds a distinctly Eric G. element to Eric and Sookie’s “honeysuckle and glass” house. A good thing for everyone:)

    I am anxious, as always, to read what comes next!

  16. Whoa! That went better then I expected but I’m sooooooooo stoked at the amount of emotional support Eric has given her…It was all tragic and although they won’t be able to change things I’m glad that therapy is an option they’re all willing to take in order to make things right…..Eric Junior has taken Eric Seniors temper to a whole new level with a few of his remarks but the kid has things to work through and I’m glad they took it upon themselves to research PTSD….awesome chapter and kudo’s for all your hard work writing these stories 🙂

  17. Ack! Cliffy! What are the papers?? Joint custody?? Papers allowing EJr to enroll in school? Maybe papers selling her home? (nah…too soon) –maybe she’s renting an apartment closer?? And then…if things go well???
    Woman! You’ve got us spoiled for quick updates!

    Hope you little one is doing well –give him a kiss and thanks from us for being soooo good and allowing you free time to write!!
    Pat

  18. Love the two Erics bonding. Getting his license AND driving a corvette, every teenage boy’s car fantasy dream. So looking forward to the 3 of them becoming a real family.

  19. Great chapter. Eric really put on his ‘dad face’ while telling Eric about what happened to Sookie. Loved the bonding they did… the pond, making fun of the Compton’s, driving on the expressway, naming the fish, researching PTSD. Look forward to the next chapter of this addictive story.

  20. OMG I cant tell you how many times I checked my email to see if there was a notice for this chapter. As soon as I saw it, I squeeled in delight and ran straight to reading it.
    Now that I have OMG OMG OMG. You are just sooo damn amazing and your imagination of where you pull these stories is just beyond amazing!!

    Here’s hoping that the papers sookie is pulling out are good papers like his birth certificate with Eric’s name listed as the father and maybe joint custody papers. Hopefully they arent papers that she is giving eric custody of jr with her feeling so guilty. Maybe she can move near them or in with them as they try to put their lives back together.
    Thank you again for these most amazing stories. PLEASE, PLEASE PLEASE hurry with the next chapter. Otherwise i might be in the corner rocking back and forth waiting…

  21. and???? you can’t stop there – sniff sniff! Another great chapter – the way you are presenting rape PTSD is amazing – having the guys reacting to all the what-ifs and the ‘oh-my-god’ gives it even more punch.

  22. I love the chapter. I am glad they aren’t so mad at Sookie any more. I can’t wait to see what she is making right. I hope Barry gets what is comming to him.

  23. you are a cruel and evil woman leaving us that cliffy! 🙂 Loved it!!!!!!!! I can’t wait to find out what those papers are!!!

  24. I’m not adding anything new, ’cause everyone else already said what I was feeling as I read the chapter. I’m not sure what the papers are, but custody papers were a good guess. Maybe they are a lease on a place in town? Because I don’t see her giving up her safe place, just yet.

    Thanks so much for writing and posting. Can’t wait for whatever you post next!

  25. Another great chapter. I’m glad that the Eric’s are finally geting some answers. But I have to wonder what is is that she has planned. Surely she isn’t ready to completely uproot her life to move closer to Eric just yet… I guess we’ll have to see.

  26. I will come after you with my tongue and lick your brain, even if you think I’m a zombie. I’m loving this story, even though you keep leaving us with cliffies. Can’t wait to find out what’s going on. The pond project was a great idea, and I’m touched that Eric Sr was so worried about the memories in his house. I’m glad Eric Jr isn’t angry at her anymore…
    Pretty please you can update again super soon? maybe now? lol.

  27. Wait. What? WTF? ANOTHER CLIFFE? HOW COULD YOU WOMAN? I’m going to do something bad to you. At least make long chapters like AIW or MW, please!!!????

    Hurry with the next chapter!

  28. LOOOOOOOOVE it. 🙂 I wonder what she’s “making right”? Is she gonna put Eric on the birth certificate & then move closer to him? 🙂

  29. Love the bonding between the Eric’s. The pond was a great idea. I like that Eric’s researched PTSD which really shows how great a guy is. Sookie is dealing really well with things and I am really interested to see what is in the paperwork.

    Great as usual.

  30. The Erics are handling this whole mess fairly well.. Sookie is moving to shreveport?? It would make things easier for all of them!

  31. curious about the papers she gave Eric but i can wait until the next chapter i figure it has something to do with his birth certificate and such. thanks for the update.

  32. The two Erics bonding over building the pond is sooo male! Very cool! It’s definitely something a father and son(or daughter) would work on together.
    Mystery papers… joint custody agreement? But we know she’ll be moving in too. Eventually, anyway by the ending.
    Eric is very understanding. They still love each other. Once they get though therapy, they can give each other the support each needs.
    I’m so glad you’re updating this story as quicly as you are. But I still looking forward to M & AIW, and the sequels to S&S and BTD. I just have at least one of the Seven: Gluttony. 😉

  33. I can’t believe how much I love this story. It is really a great story. I sort of want to fast forward to see if Sookie and Eric get back together but it is so good I want to take it slow. You know that kind of story. If I had the whole book here I would read it fast once and then slowly a second time. Love it!!! Can’t wait for more Meanwhile also. Always happy to see you in my in box.

  34. Wow great chapter. I’m glad they will be going to family counseling. We know it’s been a hard road for Sookie. But for a teenage boy to go from not having a Dad, to finding him and not knowing why his Mom kept them apart, to finding out that she was raped. A lot of teenagers would rebel. Of course he doesn’t want to say anything to hurt her.He loves her. I’m sure he has a lot of pent up feelings about everything. I know my son would do anything to not make me hurt.
    Can’t wait til the next chapter.

  35. Great job with the subject matter. I am happy that they will all be going to councilling together, and hopefully apart as well. Thank you.

  36. gah! cliffie!

    i’m having a little trouble with the shorter chapters… i keep expecting there to be more and THERE ISN’T! then i have to go cry in the corner.

    i’m pretty sure this is some sort of record… having dozens of people hooked on updates like addicts are hooked on crack… all in under a week!

  37. Wonderful chapter! I am addicted to your stories. I love this, like young Eric, although upset himself, didn’t want hurt Sookie’s feelings, and tell her, that he is happy. And what Sookie want to do? Maybe this papers it was certificate with new surname for young Eric? Greetings from Poland.
    P.s. Sorry for my poor english

  38. Oh common! Damn clifhanger. Great chapter though. I love the way E&E interact and I like seeing Sookie a bit more stable. Can’t wait for the next chapter. xoxo

  39. You are the update queen! Great chapter.Thank you. Glad the Erics are dishing out hugs and attempted understanding rather than stony faces and cold shoulders. Love the bonding between the boys. Nothing like a bit of sweaty landscaping/hole digging to bond blokes. Funny Sookie covering her eyes when Eric is driving. I’m sure my mum would have done the same, but she had to look. Instead she opted for digging her nails into the armrest!
    I look forward to the next update 🙂

  40. I wonder if Sookie is moving so that they can be closer together and work on building their family. I really hope Jr gets some help with counseling so that he is able to really discuss how he is coping with things since he seems to be repressing alot.

  41. Noooooooooooooo… you’re killing me with the cliffhanger! I need more. I’ll just have too read it all again while waiting for more;)

    Again Thank you for all the lovely material you have given us this week. Your wrighting rocks! (As always! )

    Lots of love 🙂

  42. Aaaw I just wanna wrap my arms around all three of them and tell’em it’s gonna be a bit of a rough road to travel but they’ll be OK.

  43. What a great chapter! I loved it!! I love that Sookie seems to be taking baby steps toward mending her relationship with both Eric’s, and that they, in return, have been researching PTSD in an effort to understand what she is going through. I wonder if the papers are Eric Jr’s birth certificate that has been legally changed to reflect Eric Sr as the father and to change Eric Jr’s last name officially to Northman? I cannot wait to see what Sookie is doing!! Please post again soon 🙂

  44. What an intense story! Honestly I try not to read others reviews because I feel I have to respect their opinions. It does get rather cumbersome when the author has to step in to try and fix or clarify things; because now they have been affected then I feel bad for the author.
    I believe that fiction really is someone else’s reality – we just don’t know it. It would be beautiful if every rape story had it’s own happy ending; a healthy well loved child and a productive mother that could function in society. While this is a delicate subject matter I hope that someone can gain strength from your writing and either help themselves or someone they know. Unbelievable as it may seem, there’s a couple of angst ridden delicate stories that I forced myself to read only to come out of it personally stronger, feeling better, and grateful to the author for taking the step in writing something like that. So thank you for taking something delicate and putting it in best light possible for someone to grow and learn.

  45. Wow I can’t wait to see what those papers pulled out are all about. I feel so bad that she had to go through that alone, I can see why she felt she had to run but now they have to begin to try to heal.

  46. If you feel guilty for not posting the other day, then I feel guilty for not dropping everything to read/review this when I got the email lol

    awesome chapter, you’re still keeping us on edge with all the dang cliff hangers and vague mentions of what’s to come but I love it — keep up the great work

  47. I Hope Sookie isn’t signing over her son, as that could mean she’s putting her affairs in order… could mean she is about to try to become one of those scary stats.
    I think your doing a great job stirring this melting pot. Eric snr is very pragmatic and why cry over spilt milk 16 years have gone but Sookie didn’t run because she was a bitch she ran because she was scared traumatised both graduated because she kept the lid on it…. Eric Jnr, yes i feel sorry for him as it would be harder from his POV to understand….he’s never seen Sookie before the rape so to him this is her normal and then for a 16 yearold to rationalise that is very hard….but why couldn’t i know who my dad is? i think your doing a wonderful job!!!
    Looking forward to more Missus
    JoXx

  48. I’m sorry I haven’t been able to comment as I’d like, ‘cos’ trans-Atlantic flights do eat into internet access.

    You’ve created a wonderful, compassionate man in Eric Sr., and Eric Jr. will learn from him, I think. Looking forward to the next chapter.

  49. Love it! That is all I can say. Im not much for angst but this story is amazing and I am definitely along for the journey of healing they are on together. Thank you for writing and I can’t wait for the next chapter!

  50. Another fantastic chapter, as if you could write anything BUT a fantastic chapter! My guess at the paperwork is that she is going to change Eric’s birth certificate to show that Eric is the father, giving Eric a change to add Northman to his name. Just a guess, but I know one thing, it’s going to be good news! Thanks for sharing…now please, what it one that paper?????

  51. Ahhh! Papers?!?!?
    But I loved their bonding time with the pond.
    I was picturing it as I read it…
    And I’m excited about how comfortable they are together but nervous at the same time.
    OK – off to read the next chapter cause you rock at posting these!

  52. Really great chapter… I’m glad they had their bonding time and Sookie is okay enough to be strong to make things right… YAY… I’m so glad I waited so long to read you… I don’t think i’d be able to handle waiting for updates… I’m going nuts waiting for AIW and L&D to update 😦

  53. Please tell me she is moving the Shreveport?
    I love this story! It’s great that Eric and Eric are looking at PTSD so that they can understand better.

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