As we made our way back to the house, we made a ‘pitstop’…
The garage looked like a farmer’s market… and Sookie treated it as such.
She tossed impressively red tomatoes (courtesy of Maximo) to the other Lwizyané, and they ate them as though they were apples… They filled baskets with items while they discussed the menu for the next day… The bulk of the items carried back to the house were meant as ‘nibbles’ while everyone was ‘hanging out’…
Once again, Sookie was proving she was an experienced hostess, but it seemed like she was content to entertain the guards for the extent of their tenure.
As we approached the house, I felt Sookie’s attention drift…
After monitoring the house for a few moments, she offered, “Allecks behaved. He was more hung up on how the girls took our divorce so well. He took the girls’ understanding as apathy towards him, which is probably why he’s been so manic. The girls explained the details of how telepathy works. They filled in a lot of the gaps about Shifters… And Brandon caught Allecks leaning towards the summons. As serious as Lindy seems, he’s keeping her age in mind. He figures he’d move closer to the kids anyway, so sealing the trust for her just means that she’d get to choose what charities benefit from liquidating it all later.”
“Is Lindy pleased?” That was all I gave a fuck about.
“To say the least… a little bit of why she’s so hyper is because of how relieved she is. Her big concern was that her father would reject every- well, how my mother acted is still fresh for them. She didn’t die long enough ago.”
Corbett mumbled a quiet ‘amen’.
I asked, “And how are Misty and Jenny?”
Sookie took a deep breath and sighed, “Misty’s cynical. She’s trying to be happy for Lindy, but she’s jealous because she knows that her mother would lash out like she always did with me… Jenny’s thinking that someone needs to have a sit down with Hadley. The adoption was the only thing we’ve been waiting for. As soon as it’s over, she wants to be sure Hadley understands what she is…”
“We’ll have the opportunity next month…” Between our Disney vacation and acquiring Louisiana over Easter.
Sookie grinned at me from the other side of the crate she insisted on helping me carry. “Okay… I think I’ll let you talk to her about it though.”
“Are you chicken?”
She shook her head. “No… I think she prefers you because you don’t have shields. She can tell how honest you’re being with her. I use my shields to keep my brain and my gut from confusing situations…”
“And part of her thinks you’re using your shields to hide subterfuge.”
Sierra ran past the group to open the door since she’d only been given an armful of bread to carry… and when we walked in, Jenny was standing in the foyer in her nightgown and slippers…
With a laundry basket full of damp towels.
Selma cooed, “Ohhh, how the Stackhouses spoil their guests… Is that what I think it is?”
Jenny nodded, pushing the basket along the floor to follow us to the kitchen.
As everyone set their loads on the counters and table, Jenny handed out steaming towels to everyone… She’d run them through the wash, and started the dryer when she felt us returning… The hot towels were the best way I’d ever thawed after being in the cold…
And I wasn’t the only one to appreciate the gesture.
Cornelius actually said that if more children were as sweet as Jenny, there would be more Vampires who kept families.
He’d said it in English and loud enough for her to hear…
Unfortunately, the praise and appreciation was more than she could take gracefully… But Edward saved her by setting her on the counter and claiming his towel was broken. She was more than grateful for the distraction, and tentatively held his towel over his face and ears…
Misty and Jenny had opted to give Lindy and Allecks some time alone. After they’d showered and dressed to relax, they helped Igon and Brandon adjust the walkie-talkies for European use… then they moved extra mattresses from storage with Miles and Nigel (read: rode them down the stairs) to accommodate the additional Vampire guests…
When they ran out of things to do, Misty went to supervise Emre… and Jenny fed Whitey and Yogi, and helped Saskia in the kitchen.
While the rest of us were greeted with a smiling miniature hostess with warm towels, he was being supervised.
We broke company so everyone else could change into something comfortable, planning to meet in the kitchen again for dessert and ‘nibbles’…
I found Misty and Lindy in my office.
Misty was sitting on the corner of my desk in a green set of Yoda Underoos… Lindy was sitting on the other corner in a Notorious T-shirt barely long enough to pass her panties… They were so focused on the chess set, I wasn’t sure they noticed anyone had returned.
Emre had removed his jacket and loosened his tie. He was hunched over a legal pad, scribbling maniacally while his knee bounced quickly enough to shake the rest of his body…
It wasn’t normal for him… or at least, I hadn’t noticed the behavior before. I could have just finally noticed because I’d broken my habit of missing details.
I asked, “How hard did they ride you?”
His head shot up from his work and he gulped hard enough that it sounded painful.
“They… uh… They’re playing chess.”
Stating the obvious?
“Have they been cracking the whip?”
He winced as though he was in pain, gulping again, and shaking his head.
“Uh… uh… uh… they uh… Misty could probably score high enough on an LSAT to get into law school…”
The stammering was definitely new. I would have noticed that.
“She said she read a lot of do-it-yourself legal books.”
I nodded. “They’re voracious readers…” I paused when he tilted his head to crack the joints in his neck. “How is your work progressing?”
Instead of answering right away, he watched me pull Misty’s hair back and braid it to keep it from her face.
“I… uh… I should probably…”
When he trailed off, I asked, “Are you feeling unwell?”
The most off-putting aspect of his behavior was fear…
The boys had recruited him for me from their firm in New York. Emre hadn’t ever heard of me, so he’d never been more than slightly anxious in my presence. Even then, that was only when he was first hired.
Lindy offered, “Hope passed out… Poppa’s in the shower. We had a good talk, but he needed some quiet time.”
“That’s understandable. I was going to suggest you talk to Daan. He’s very anxious at the moment.”
Misty snorted, “Not as anxious as Emre. He’s like, last-meal-nervous.”
I chuckled, “Regardless, it came up in conversation that the father Daan’s never met is a Boston firefighter…”
While Misty tipped her King over and bolted from the desk to run after Daan, Lindy let out an eardrum shattering squeal.
“His dad is Danny Driscoll!”
I actually checked to be sure my ears weren’t bleeding.
I nodded. “Your mother is planning to contact him once she’s changed.”
She stood up on my desk and lunged at me for a hug. “This is really exciting!”
I asked, “Is there more to it than a boy finally contacting his father?”
“Yeah. We’ve been keeping track. We found a pair of brothers in Atlanta who got adopted separately. One was a pusher, the other was a telepath. They were going to the same college.”
“Then you might be interested to know Corrado and Daniela DiPolito’s father was at the feast tonight as well. His Maker brought him over after a car accident…”
She took a deep breath, but I managed to put my hand over her mouth to muffle her squeal.
“Is there a way to keep you from doing that?”
She giggled, “Ball gag?”
When Emre whimpered from behind the desk, I realized he was sweating… and looking at Lindy’s legs.
I set her on the floor and she dashed from the room, her tiny feet slapping against the stone floor…
I growled as I stepped behind the desk, “Little girls, Asker?”
He scrambled from the chair, and backed himself into the corner with his hands out to protect himself.
“Nonononononono… Not like that… no…”
“If you laid a hand on any of my girls…”
“NO! I wouldn’t… it’s hard…”
I nodded. “I noticed when you left my fucking chair.”
“NO! It’s hard to explain… Just… Just give me a chance to explain…”
“Are you going to try to tell me you’re a good little pedophile, that you look, but don’t touch?”
“No! Just… Just hold on!”
“I get it… You’re going to tell me you’d never touch my children, yes?”
He pushed against my chest as though that would help him at all. “Put the fangs away! You can’t bite me! You know you can’t-”
Before he realized I’d backed up, I’d taken a sword from the wall, noticed I had company, and used the fuller of the blade to pin him to the wall by his neck.
“You were saying?”
“I’m not a deviant… I like blondes b’buuuu…”
Simon and Lars growled behind me, confirming that Emre wasn’t helping his case.
“They’re fucking with my head!”
He didn’t really just blame Misty and Lindy for his hard on, did he?
I hissed, “You’re only digging your own grave.”
“Not like that! They aren’t just little girls! I don’t know if it’s that fucking allure or because they’re more mature…”
“You need to get to the part where I shouldn’t take your head.”
“Ages! I see ages, relative perceptions… They aren’t normal kids!”
“What the fuck does that have to do with your hard on?”
“Lindy… is… looks like she’s university age… She was bouncing on my lap and… I WOULD NOT touch a kid! Whatever they are is conflicting with my shades!”
Lars asked, “Majesty, should I fetch your wife? She can sense lies.”
“Thank you, Lars…”
As Lars left, Simon asked, “Ya say Lindy like she de only one.”
Emre choked when I leaned against the blade. “Not just her, but she’s the… Lindy’s the only one who isn’t… The other girls weren’t as friendly. Lindy was climbing all over me…”
Simon urged, “Keep talkin’.”
“Most of us have it- shading. It only ever really helps when we’re dealing with one another, because of the way we age… I’m not a deviant, I swear. This has never happened to me before… Don’t get me wrong, I will more than likely be attracted to her when she’s older, but… tonight, I was just trying to get through my work… Misty and Jenny look older… That other kid, Daan, he looks like he’s in his early twenties too… It’s not usually a problem. I can choose which way I want to see people, but I can’t hold the shade for longer than a few seconds at a time…”
Sookie arrived silently, being carried by Gawain who was moving as quickly as he could indoors… She ran to my side, resting her hands on my shoulder.
Emre continued to backpedal, “It was just weird at first, a glitch of sorts, but then she started sitting in my lap… I was fine when Misty was just being inquisitive… But then Lindy showed up in her pajamas… Pretty nerds, that’s what I’m into… My last girlfriend built and battled robots, for fuck sake… She was thirty.”
I asked Sookie, “Have you ever heard of this… shading before?”
She was disgusted, yet calm…
“Sort of… Tess Vavros, my neighbor in Bern…”
Sookie’s hand slipped into my pocket for my phone and as it rang, she rested her hand between my shoulder blades.
When the woman answered the phone, Sookie started, “I’m sorry to wake you up, Tess, but I couldn’t think of anyone else to call…”
Tess replied, “Sookie? What’s wrong that you’re calling me?”
Sookie huffed, “I need to know… What does Lindy look like to you?”
After a pause, the woman asked, “There’s a problem, isn’t there?”
“A Daemon… Lindy was sitting on his lap…”
The woman blurted, “She looks like you, Sookie. Atlas and I think it’s because she’s so emotionally advanced for her age. Your nephew looks like a young teen to us, but his father doesn’t offer any surprises. We think it’s the maturity reaped from telepathy. Misty and Jenny look older, but once we heard what they went through…”
Emre blurted, “See! It wasn’t intentional. She even confirmed what I said about Misty and Jenny.”
He was feeling vindicated… instead of realizing how lucky he was.
Sookie offered, “Atlas never mentioned a problem…”
Tess answered, “We’ve known her since she was so little though… I don’t bother with shading because buxom blondes aren’t my type, and you know how busy Atlas is. He’s almost never home… We have been joking about how Allecks will need a gun, perhaps snipers, once she’s actually a teenager though.”
Sookie sighed, “I’m gonna let you go…” She slid my phone back into my pocket and turned her attention to Emre. “So, my five-year old is your type, huh?”
He choked, “She probably will be eventually, but right now, she’s a serious threat to my life…”
“You bet your fucking ass she is. If you ever…”
He groaned, “I won’t.”
“Good. Get back to work so you can get out of here.”
He began rubbing his neck as soon as I moved the sword. “Honestly… that’s what I was trying to do. I made Lindy get off of my lap. I suggested that she put on more clothes, and that she could find somewhere else to hang out. I understood that she was looking for a distraction from her father’s thoughts… They’d just started playing chess when everyone returned. I did what I could… Is there an appropriate way to explain lap dances to a child that age? What should I have done, explain to a five-year old that I couldn’t stop seeing her as a scantily clad version of her mother? Is it acceptable to tell a princess to take a hike? This wasn’t exactly in the manual.”
Sookie narrowed her eyes. “Me? Are you speaking figuratively or literally?”
“She’ll be taller, have straighter hair, and…” He paused to clear his throat. “She’ll be just as curvaceous.”
Fuck. I needed to commission a drawbridge.
I asked, “Is there a particular reason you didn’t explain when she was on your lap earlier?”
“Yes. She was completely clothed and it was my understanding she would be supervised by her father. I didn’t expect for her to come to the office and climb onto my lap again, especially not half-dressed. I’d planned to say something to you about it once you returned, but the conversation was going to concern Misty and Jenny’s apparent ages more than Lindy’s. For them to seem so much older, it’s indicative of abuse. I thought that was more pressing than the topic of how attractive they’d eventually be… until Misty teased Jenny for wearing Monday’s panties.”
Sookie sighed, “We already knew about the abuse. It’s why Allecks and I pursued custody of them in the first place… In the interest of keeping your head, I’ll tell the girls to stay the hell away from you.”
Emre sighed, “That’s more drastic than necessary. I was just going to suggest a courteous observance of personal space and clothing… Pretty girls are just pretty girls until friction and nudity are factors…”
Fuck his point.
“Since Eric still wants to kill you, you’d better hope that’s enough…”
He bowed, thanking Sookie as though she hadn’t just told him my sword might as well still be at his throat.
She snorted, “Don’t thank me. Thank them.” She thumbed over her shoulder to the peanut gallery.
“If I might ask, why them?”
“Because they have daughters of their own… They’re concentrating on how lucky you were that Tess answered the phone and was willing to discuss shading, instead of thinking of ways to dispose of your body discretely… No, wait… Simon votes that Eric should get to kill you just for robbing him of what little peace he would have had for the next few years. Eric should have been safe until training bras ruined everything.”
Simon was growing on me.
After locking Emre in my office, I followed Sookie upstairs…
Since Allecks was still in his room, I volunteered to talk to the girls while Sookie tended to Daan’s introduction to his father.
It was simple…
Without being too graphic, and without explaining Emre’s preference (or the reasons behind it), I offered, “As it turns out, some Dae have the ability to see a person at their age of maturity, rather than their actual age. You all know you’re far more mature than the candles on your birthday cakes suggest. Do me the favor of wearing robes and keeping your hands off of Emre so I don’t have to behead a perfectly good lawyer for asking one of you for a date before you’re 30.”
My evasion might have been mistaken for sugarcoating.
They knew there was more to it than that, but instead of challenging me or demanding details, they unpacked robes or loungewear before leading the way to the kitchen…
While I fed another bottle to Hope, the rest of my Legion prepared nibbles with our company as they trickled into the kitchen… and they all complained that Sookie and Daan were keeping the conversation with Dan Driscoll under telepathic lock and key. More than anything, I was curious about how they’d eventually explain the connection to Daan’s aunt… The best scenario I could think of included a glamour I would be willing to perform.
Simon, Swaantje and Saskia worked together to assemble Bananas Foster and serve it to everyone who could enjoy it… Miles asked Simon to marry his mother so there would be something edible in her house. It didn’t matter to him that his parents were just as married as Simon… Sierra explained that she’d met her Maker while she was traveling with college friends under the guise of art appreciation, but it was all an excuse to see the Beatles play at Palais du Sport… Mentioning the Beatles reminded Igon that his wife almost didn’t accept his proposal because of her devotion to Elvis. She only agreed to marry him after he sang Have I Told You Lately That I Love You to her… As an ‘Elvis man’, Corbett approved, and blamed his father for his affinity for the singer because his father was susceptible to earworms. Corbett knew the lyrics to Hound Dog before he knew the lyrics to America’s national anthem… Within a few minutes, Miles was already humming Hound Dog involuntarily…
Misty took it upon herself to show Alcide proper vodka and caviar consumption… I might have stopped her if she was making things up as she went along, but when Allecks joined them, I assumed it was allowed. She was permitted one shot of vodka, and only once in a while. Allecks jokingly mentioned that she was an excellent faker because when he was her age a sip of wine turned his stomach… Unfortunately, I knew better; she actually enjoyed it. She was also the only one of the girls who enjoyed the caviar and salmon; Jenny preferred the sweets, and Lindy ate a plateful of tomatoes and mozzarella as though we might run out.
They didn’t even enjoy the same types of snacks, my legion… The brave adventuress, the fragile caregiver, and the exuberant social butterfly… It was too early to make any predictions about Hope’s personality, but Winston would need to be a calculating fighter. I was going to need backup.
When Sookie finally joined everyone in the kitchen on her own, she was wearing an enigmatic grin. She announced that she had one Boston firefighter eager to meet his son, and a boy so anxious that he actually vomited… Even though the boy was trying to calm his nerves after the phone call he’d undoubtedly been fantasizing about for most of his life, the boisterous (and supportive) round of applause that erupted from the kitchen drew him out of his room.
When Ema finally returned, she attacked me with an aggressive hug and excitedly talked about snow as though the light flurries she’d seen had been unicorns. She was exceedingly grateful for her car, but when Dillon saw her reaction to snow, he was amused enough to make a quick stop at his parents’ house to borrow his sister’s ice skates. Not only had the Texan never seen snow, but she’d never gone ice skating until Dillon took her to a pond nearby… She jokingly suggested that gravity was broken in the Netherlands because no matter how many times she slipped, her butt never hit the ice… Dillon had caught her so many times she’d lost count.
She was so excited that her smile was contagious, but there was so much company in the house that I hadn’t thought to wonder what had been keeping Ema. The girl had slipped my mind in all of the commotion… Enjoying the company was bizarre enough, but the fact that there was too much happening for me to focus was a spotlight on the imminent security issue. Thankfully, part of the chaos came from having so many capable guards on hand, but the pandemonium needed to subside soon.
Just as there had been a group effort to prepare and devour the snacks, the collective tidied the kitchen and parted ways. Alcide and Swaantje planned to take over the ‘command headquarters’ for the guards so that Simon, Lars, Igon and Gerrit could touch base with their men, both on the property and at the hotel in Maastricht. Selma and Sierra excused themselves to tend to Notorious related business. Given that Cornelius and Mee had plenty of time to return to their districts, they said their goodbyes (even if they did seem to be worried they would miss something interesting). And Misty announced that Raiders Of The Lost Ark would be playing in the den. Disney MGM had an Indian Jones attraction.
While everyone migrated to the den (Sookie’s family tree, plus Gawain, the boys, Ema and Daan), Sookie and I stopped at my office to check on Emre’s progress.
When we walked in, there was a tray with an empty plate and a coffee cup sitting on the side of the desk.
I didn’t have to ask to know Lindy had snuck away to deliver a snack to Emre while he worked.
He stood up and removed several pages from the printer. The only documents that weren’t already prepared were for Hope’s adoption. He wanted to be sure of the hyphen because there wasn’t a middle name on the paperwork from Hadley. After a few keystrokes, the printer came to life, printing the last of the mountain of forms Sookie and I needed to sign.
As Sookie and I autographed document after document, it occurred to me that I would have called Emre’s visit incredibly productive if it hadn’t been for the insanity of his reaction to the girls. At least he had the sense to still seem cagey in my presence…
Simon was right. I’d been robbed. Pricks like Alexei could be easily disposed of. They made themselves stand out. Even if Emre wasn’t a pedophile, he was a blaring reminder that there were monsters that seemed perfectly harmless. Monsters like Sookie’s uncle. Monsters like the ones who had aged Misty and Jenny immeasurably.
I actually had the inkling to ask Emre if he had any artistic ability, if he could draw the girls as he saw them, but… I didn’t want the answer. I couldn’t fix it. I couldn’t do a single fucking thing to give their innocence back to them. And they’d know that I pitied them even more than I already had.
Watching Indiana Jones had been a learning experience… Seating wasn’t really an issue, but the den was nothing if not cramped. It helped that the girls relaxed on laps until they fell to sleep, but I was sure sprawling on futons would be more comfortable than sandwiching onto overcrowded sofas. I actually missed a few minutes of the movie while I considered the options that would fulfill my promise to Misty that I’d refurnish the room. I would have cringed at the thought a week earlier, but the most comfortable plan I thought of included piles of pillows, futons, and blankets.
I’d taken the girls to their room after the movie, certain they’d be awakened by someone’s dreams and they’d eventually stagger downstairs…
Once Hope was settled in her hammock, I joined my wife in the shower while she washed away the scents of hundreds of fans.
I wrapped my arms around her and started, “I already miss it.”
She rested her arms over mine and asked, “What?”
“Your scar… It was beautiful.”
She snickered, “It was grotesque. I understand why it was so rough. I mean, keeping Lindy and me alive was the priority over cosmetics, but… I was actually… eventually going to see a plastic surgeon about patching it up a bit.”
“After you had another baby.”
She sighed, “Well, that was the thinking behind it at first.”
“Are you afraid of being disappointed again?”
She nodded. “Completely.”
“How many other Sookie’s have had miscarriages?”
She took a deep breath and sighed, “Two, but one doesn’t count.”
“Because she didn’t just miscarry… she had a miscarriage after she was attacked. She was shot by some lunatic and the baby didn’t make it.”
“So you only know of one miscarriage that you haven’t had yourself?”
She took a deep breath again. “Yes.”
“And none of yours were before Lindy.”
“No. All of them have been since.”
“Then, if your scarring is completely gone, I don’t see a reason to be timid. You’re generally pretty fertile.”
“Are you trying to talk me into having a baby?”
“Then what are we talking about?”
“I imagine we’re talking about Winston.”
Her voice shook as she asked, “Do we have to?”
“I was only curious before, but now I want to know why you don’t want to discuss him.”
She took a deep breath and turned around to face me. “I don’t want him… I know that sounds horrible, but I don’t mean him specifically. If I hadn’t had problems, I wouldn’t have just perpetually popped out kids like a baby factory. Truth be told, I probably would have stopped at two or three. I’m afraid that if I did decide to have another one, it would just be to prove I can. Is that a good enough reason?”
“Are you asking if I think you need to justify…”
“I’m asking if ‘because I can’ is a good enough reason to have a baby.”
“In that case, no… I didn’t intend to upset you.”
“I know… I’m not upset with you… I’m disappointed in me, I think… Maybe just at the idea that there was a splinter of truth to Allecks’s line of thinking…”
“No. There wasn’t. You weren’t doing anything to cause the miscarriages you had. You would have been a loving and devoted mother to those children like you are to the others. He wanted more ‘just because’. You’ve given birth to one child, taken in three others, and you’re practically a foster mother to an entire Supernatural community, Sookie. You’re anything but selfish.”
“Is it okay that it scares the hell out of me to know how accurate Ema’s drawings are? Unless I eventually change my mind, which I’ll admit is possible, I can’t imagine what that means… Now that I’m not broken anymore… It’s not like we can have a surprise baby.”
But we knew about a Sookie who’d had a baby after being raped.
Now that she’d pointed that out, it would rattle around in my mind until I brought her over.
“Perhaps Hadley’s procedure doesn’t take? Fails? How does that work?”
She sighed, “I guess it could reverse itself. It’s been known to happen.”
“Good let’s assume she fails at being sterilized like everything else.”
She snorted and rested her head on my shoulder. “It’s so weird… I’ve been racking my brain trying to figure out where he’d come from, how we’d end up with him.”
“I probably will too. I’ve only considered how you’d go about choosing a donor. I assumed that would be how we’d end up with him.”
“We need a psychic.”
“Do you know one?”
“Other than Ema? Just my dead aunt, but it’s possible to run into her.”
She finally began calming down enough to finish washing, and I was left to consider variables while I waited for my turn under the water.
I still hadn’t thought of anything when Sookie darted from the shower to wrap herself with a towel and answer a knock on our bedroom door.
I’d just lathered my hair when I heard Sookie gasp…
Feeling her rush of curiosity, but not being able to identify what it was mixed with, I finished washing as quickly as possible… but I found her sitting on the side of our bed, leafing through our copies of the legal documents.
Ema was standing in the doorway, chewing her lip and cringing as though she’d done something wrong.
Sookie opened her mouth, but she balked several times before offering, “Mystery solved.”
I sat next to her and asked, “Another drawing?”
She shook her head. “The rest of one…” She handed a piece of paper to me with nothing but ‘Rutger’ scribbled on the bottom.
Without being asked, Sookie offered the sketch of Winston…
While I compared the pages, Ema offered, “That’s happened before… When someone takes a sketch from me while it’s in progress, I just finish it on whatever’s underneath. Y’all know what it means?”
I wasn’t sure why the fuck Sookie would say ‘mystery solved’… Reading ‘Winston Northman Rutger’ didn’t fix anything. It only added more confusion…
Until Sookie handed some of the paperwork to me…
I hadn’t even noticed, because I’d been concentrating on the other documents, assuming Sookie had been proofreading to be sure Hope’s hyphenated name had been remedied, but Asker had completed Hope’s adoption papers, giving her my last name.
It wasn’t as though I would have corrected the mistake unless Sookie took issue with it, but I’d assumed Hope’s last name would match the other children’s.
Sookie cleared the lump from her throat to remind me, “It’s family tradition to give babies’ their mom’s maiden name in the middle.”
She nodded towards the sketch and sniffled, “That’s our grandbaby.”
All I could say was, “No,” because my mind hadn’t caught up yet.
Hope Lynn Northman… Winston Northman Rutger…
Nevermind that I had to wonder how the fuck those two family trees would merge…
There was so much more to consider…
And the swell from hearing Misty and Jenny’s choices for their middle names came back to me again… Liz had picked Northman for me… Seeing that Liz was still leaving fingerprints decades later… Not haunting me anymore, but leaving little echoes that would make me smile…
Sookie asked, “I could get dizzy trying to figure out what’s going on up there…” At least I wasn’t the only one, but until she said something I was prepared to blame our bond. “Penny for your thoughts.”
Where to start…
I opted with a joke because Ema was still in the room…
“If Winston is Hope’s son, but his last name is Rutger, the moat won’t keep the guilty party away from her, will it?”
Ema giggled and Sookie gave me a sympathetic pout. “No sweetie, I’m afraid not.”