Chapter 20

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“Happy birthday, baby boy!” Sophie exclaims and hugs her son.

“Momma, what are you doing here?” Eric asks. I can tell he probably has a big grin on his handsome face.

“That angel of yours invited us,” Dad says.

Eric moves to hug his dad and then invites them in. When the food is in and the Northmans are setting their things down, Eric stalks toward me with a look of pure joy on his face.

“You are quite possibly the best person in the world,” he says quietly and wraps me in one of his bear hugs. His lips land on my forehead and he rocks us side to side. “I love you so much, Baby doll.”

“I love you too,” I grin.

“I’m surprised you have your clothes on,” Sophie-Anne says as she removes the cloches from the various plates. There’s also a bottle of champagne for mimosas.

“Oh we were,” Eric chuckles. “And thanks to you she was trying to tickle my knees.”

“Suck it up, Eric. You’re a big boy now,” Senior says. I didn’t know Eric was a junior until I met his dad.

“Even men have weaknesses, Dad,” Eric informs him.

“Awww give him a break, Senior. He’s got a boo boo on his knee,” I say, giving Eric’s dad the puppy lip.

“And he got mad when I gave him the bubble wrap,” Sophie snorts.

“I told you we should have gotten him a helmet for his birthday,” Senior says.

“You guys are assholes,” Eric laughs.

“Well that’s why we got you condoms instead.”

Oh Lord.

“Who’s hungry?” I ask when Eric turns five shades of red.

“Me!” Eric almost shouts, trying to hide his blush.

“I’ll get this champagne open,” Senior offers.

“Thanks, Dad,” Eric says.

Eric helps Sophie get everything set out so we can eat. “Are you guys staying in this hotel or a different one?” Eric asks his parents. They flew in last night so they could surprise him this morning.

“We’re staying here but we promise not to overstay our welcome,” Sophie says. “It was very nice of Sookie to include us. God knows Tara would never have done that.”

“No, Mom, Tara wouldn’t have, and thanks for reminding us all that Sookie is a million times better than her.” I can tell Eric is a little annoyed that his mom is bringing up his ex, even if it’s to talk bad about her.

“Oh for hell’s sake, Sophie-Anne, let it go already,” Senior says.

I pour orange juice into the champagne flutes while Eric dishes up his food and Sophie does the same. I notice that Sophie and Eric have the same angry/pout face but I don’t comment on it.

“Baby, thank you again,” Eric whispers when he leans over to kiss me. “You really are the best.”

“You’re welcome,” I smile at him. I just want him to have a great birthday.

The four of us sit down to have breakfast together and I end up sitting next to Senior. He’s a bit of a rascal, but I like him.

“So what in the world made you get Junior a moon bounce for his birthday?” Senior asks me.

I smile and say, “We couldn’t jump on the bed because Eric’s too tall, and it gave me an idea. Plus it’s safer than a trampoline since it’s enclosed.”

“And she’s a genius,” Eric adds.

“She’s dating a Northman, of course she is,” Senior winks.

“Thank you, Senior,” I chuckle.

“Don’t encourage him,” Sophie says.

“Momma, this is Sookie’s first time at Disneyland,” Eric says and takes a huge bite of his pancakes that are shaped like Mickey Mouse.

Sophie looks at me with horror on her face and asks, “Were you abused as a child?”

“No,” I laugh. “My parents were bigger on road trips.”

“I didn’t get down here with them as often as I would’ve liked. Soph has a ton of pictures of Eric and Numbnuts at home so I felt like I was with them,” Senior explains.

“We were entertaining,” Eric laughs.

“So the whole Northman family loves Alcide,” I snicker.

“Of course, he’s the son we never wanted,” Senior smiles.

“He’s the son we would have drowned,” Sophie adds.

“Wow. Is he that bad?” I look from one face to the other.

“Oh, he was way better than Eric was as a kid. Cried a lot though,” Eric’s dad frowns.

“You know about his father, right?” Sophie asks me.

“Yeah, I do. It’s a sad thing. I don’t know how anyone could do the job you and Jackson did,” I say to Senior.

“I had a family to provide for, and you will never understand how rewarding it is to save a kid’s pet, or someone’s mother, or sister, or even knock out the fire before it burns all the family photos. I loved my job, and even with all the loss I’ve experienced because of it I wouldn’t change one single moment. I know Jackson felt the same.”

“Well I could never do it, but I have the utmost respect for anyone who can,” I tell him.

“Stop, or we’ll have to get you two a room,” Sophie smirks.

“You know you’re the only girl for me Mrs. Northman,” Senior smiles at his wife.

“Flirt. Eric gets his charm from his father,” Sophie says, as if that wasn’t obvious already.

“The apple didn’t fall far from the tree, that’s for sure.” Eric is blushing again.

“You guys know the ‘apple’ is sitting right here, don’t you?”

“So I shouldn’t tell the story of of the time you stripped naked at a pool party and showed everyone how big boys pee… in the pool?”

Oh. My. God.

“Moooom,” Eric whines. “Not on my birthday please.”

“Oh calm down. You were three,” Sophie says.

I’m trying so hard not to laugh.

“Baby just don’t give us a demonstration today and you’re golden,” I blurt out.

“Fuc–” Eric is cut off by a glare from Senior, apparently fuck is on the no-no list of curse words Eric can use in front of his dad. “I promise, no demos,” he blushes instead.

We finish breakfast a few minutes later and his parents agree to meet us in the lobby at ten so we can shower and get ready for the day. I’m glad they could make it and I know Eric is thrilled they’re here, even if Sophie likes telling embarrassing stories about his childhood.

Once we’re alone I ask, “Do you want to shower first or second?”

“You can go first. That way you can get ready while I shower.”

“Okay. I’ll be quick,” I promise and give him a kiss before I go to the bathroom.

I shower quickly and leave the water running for Eric so he can hop in while I get dressed.

“It’s all yours!” I call out while I’m drying off.

I come out of the bathroom and go to my bag to get out a pair of hot pink shorts and a purple tube top with Minnie Mouse on the front of it. Eric goes to the bathroom and I get dressed to prevent him from jumping me when he comes out of the bathroom.

I barely have my makeup on when Eric gets out of the shower and the look on his face when he sees what I’m wearing is amusing.

“That’s… very nice,” he says, arching an eyebrow.  “Do you plan on going on any rides? Your boobs might fly out.”

“I’ll stick to the rides where that won’t be an issue,” I reply. “Besides, I’m sure you wouldn’t mind a wardrobe malfunction.”

“No, ma’am, I will not. You should actually be fine. Tower of Terror they’ll probably bounce up and there’s another one that goes upside down, but I’m too tall for it.”

“Oh I’m not doing upside down rides. I’ll puke. I don’t even like rollercoasters,” I shiver just thinking about it.

“Honey bear, it’s an amusement park. That’s what we do, we go on rollercoasters,” he chuckles.

“That’s what you do. I go on the Tilt-A-Whirl and eat funnel cake,” I say.

“Ooh, you’ll be so cute on the Teacups.  You can do It’s A Small World and Pirates of the Caribbean. They are both boats that slowly ride around on a track.  Very slowly,” he emphasizes.

“Sounds perfect for me. On a dare from my brother I did one of those bungee jump things, but never again.” My brother is an evil asshole but since he didn’t believe I would do it I told he would have to get a tattoo of my choosing if I didn’t. He now has a unicorn fucking a Carebear on his upper arm.

“That’s pretty brave, Sweetheart.” Eric goes through his clothes and takes out his usual shorts and t-shirt.

“I was slightly intoxicated when I agreed to it, and my brother has a fabulous tattoo that reminds him never to dare me,” I smirk and comb out my hair.

Eric just shakes his head with a cute little grin on his face. He pulls on his shorts and rubs his head with the towel.

When we’re done getting ready, Eric throws on his hat, and says, “Mom and Pop should be downstairs by now.”

“Yes they should.” I grab my camera, cell phone, wallet and sunglasses, and follow Eric out of the room.

EPOV

Sookie is so damn cute. I don’t think she expected to be so excited, but she’s literally bouncing around while we’re in line for Pirates of the Caribbean. My parents are in line behind us, Mom still thinks she was abused despite Sookie reminding her several times that that they did out doorsy shit.

“I think you’re really going to like this one. At the beginning the ride is really peaceful and gorgeous. We ride past a dining room for a restaurant. And they have a Johnny Depp look alike.”

She grins up at me and wraps her arms around my waist. It’s cute, my parents are standing in a similar position. I’ve always wanted a relationship like theirs, and with Sookie it feels right. We remind me of them.

“And after this I’ll take you to the Teacups unless you’re ready to eat.”

“I think I can wait until after the Teacups,” Sookie says.

“If you like the look of The Blue Bayou when we ride by we can put our names in before we go to the Teacups,” Senior offers.

“As long as I don’t have to go on a rollercoaster or go upside down, I’m in,” Sookie says.

“The only one that goes upside down is in California Adventure. Space Mountain doesn’t go upside down, but it’s fast and dark. It scares the shit out of Alcide,” I laugh.

“That’s because your father told him there are demons hiding in the ride that will eat your soul if it goes too fast,” Mom explains.

Sookie pushes up on her toes to whisper to me, “If we ever have kids, I’m not sure they should be left alone with your parents.”

“I turned out alright didn’t I?” I smile and kiss the tip of her nose.

“You did, but Al…” she grimaces.

“He was seven,” I defend him. “And my dad wouldn’t fuck with our kids like that.” Maybe he would.

Sookie shoots me a look calling me on my bullshit.

I just shrug.

It’s our turn to get on the ride. My parents sit in front of us, and Sookie and I sit in the back of the boat and I wrap my arm around her. It’s basically animatronic pirates placed in various scenes. It’s like her head is on a swivel as we ride through. She ducks when the canons fire, and she tells me she wants to do it again as we get to the end. I wait until I can see him and I tell her to look left. There’s a very realistic Captain Jack Sparrow rocking in a chair.

“You like?” I ask, while we’re waiting to get out of the boat.

“It was awesome!” Sookie grins.

“I thought you’d like that one,” I say and give her a quick kiss.

“I do, very much.” She laces her fingers with mine as we walk.

“You ready to spin until you’re sick?” I ask and we start toward the Teacups. Dad and I are walking, but Mom and Sookie look like they’re running next to us.

“Bring it on,” she says.

“I need to pause for a bathroom break,” Mom says, and steals my girlfriend to be her escort.

“Sookie thinks you’ll ruin our kids if we have them. I think all the Alcide stories are freaking her out,” I chuckle when the girls walk away. My dad and I are staring at our respective women and I’m sure we look like twins.

“Don’t have a numbnuts and she’s got nothing to worry about,” he replies.

“I know,” I agree. “He is a special kind of guy. Thanks for flying down.”

“Your kid only turns thirty once. Besides, your mother made one of her threats if I didn’t take the day off.”

I smile and nod. My mother can be a very, very scary woman when she wants to be.

“What makes me nervous is Sookie suggested we spend a holiday in Louisiana so I can meet her parents. I don’t know how Mom will react if that happens.”

“Depends on whether or not you think this girl is the one who will make her a grandma,” Dad says.

“I thought about that a little when we were in Monterey. When she was cleaning up my knee I could see it. She’s going to be a great mother, and I can already see our little toe headed terrors running around.”

“You better hope those curses for five just like you don’t hold any water.”

“I was an angel, Alcide was a very bad influence,” I lie. We were in it together and we all know it.

“Son, I’m getting older but I’m not that old.”

I laugh and we finish the trek to the ride. The line will be ridiculous, so we should’ve gotten in line when the girls first left.

“I might ask Sookie if she wants to move in with me. Her roommate is moving to Miami. She can afford rent on her own, but we spend almost every night together as it is.”

“She’s a good girl. Just be sure about it,” Dad advises.

“Yeah, I figured we’ll learn a lot about each other on this trip. So far we’ve only gotten in one argument and it was my fault,” I tell him. “And she got me a moon bounce, how amazing is that?”

“As long as she makes you happy.”

“She does,” I nod and I spot the girls coming back.

“Good. I’d hate to steal her from you,” he smirks.

“She’s not into old balls,” I wink.

The girls are laughing and I’m just glad Sookie doesn’t look traumatized.

“I see you made it back alive,” I tell Sookie when she walks up and hugs me around the waist.

“Your mom is much better when she doesn’t have an audience to entertain,” Sookie replies.

“Mmhmm,” I hum and kiss the top of her head. I think my mother lives to embarrass me.

“I heard that,” Mom says as she gets closer to us. She’s got freaking awesome hearing thanks to her years teaching small children.

“Not really surprised, Ma,” I joke. I have ears and eyes like a hawk for that same reason.

“Smartass,” she narrows her eyes at me.

“I learned from the best,” I remind her with a grin.

“So Teacups now?” Sookie asks to break up the banter.

“Yep,” I nod and we take a step forward into the line. “We can hop over to California Adventure after we eat so we can do the Cars ride. You’ll love that too, it’s like we’re taking a ride through Radiator Springs,” I say excitedly. It’s really fun.

“I don’t know what any of that means,” Sookie admits nervously.

“Honeysuckle, have you seen the movie Cars?” I ask her. If she says no, fuck more birthday sex tonight, we have a movie to watch.

She shakes her head no.

I gasp in actual horror.

“I’m beginning to think Mom was right, you must’ve been abused to not see Cars. It’s… it’s phenomenal.”

“I wasn’t abused! I’m just not around kids for fifty hours a week and Disney is something I outgrew around the time I became eligible to have kids of my own,” she shrugs.

I wrap my arms around her and rub up and down her back. “It’s okay, Pumpkin, we can get you some help. I’ll be here with you every step of the way, you can lean on me,” I say dramatically. I’m only partially joking.

“Just wait until we get to Louisiana and my brother takes you offroading,” she snorts.

“I’m sure I’ll be a lot more equipped to deal with that. Disney can be rough,” I tell her and let her go. Mom is probably horrified as well.

“Yeah Disney is one death trap after another. Beware of rabid cartoons,” Sookie snickers.

“Which reminds me, there’s a Roger Rabbit ride if you’re interested,” I tell her. “And never underestimate the power of The Dip. That’s some serious shit.”

“I’m changing your ringtone to ‘Shave and A Haircut’ just for that.”

“That song used to freak me out when I first saw that movie,” I chuckle. “I’ve grown out of that though.”

“I would hope so.”

“Just so you know, we’re going to be watching a lot of Disney movies when we get home,” I inform her.

“I’ll stock up on Red Bull.”

“You would be surprised with how far they’ve come. They are amazing movies. Oh, and if you want to meet Mickey at his house we can go over there on the way to Roger Rabbit.” This makes me happy we got a two day pass. There’s just too much for one day, and I want her to see everything.

“It’s your day so we’ll do whatever you want,” Sookie says.

“But it’s your first time,” I remind her. “I’ve been here more times than I can count. I’m focused on making sure you get a good Disney experience.”

“Nope, it’s your birthday. Deal with it,” she says.

I wrap my arms around her and pull her tight to my chest. I kiss the top of her head and whisper in her ear, “But giving you this is what makes my birthday special and fun. You are making this the best birthday ever.”

Sookie smiles up at me and says, “I just want this to be a great day for you.”

“I promise you, it is. It’s better than great.”

“Good.” She hugs me tighter and rests her head on my chest.

♦ ♦ ♦

By the time we get back to the hotel we’re both exhausted. Disney is not for the faint of heart, and we ran up and down that park more times than I can count. I also got to take joy in having my dad at the park with me. He’s a big kid like me, and I think Sookie and my mother got a kick out of watching us walk around in mouse ears and come running off of Space Mountain at them like we’re five. Since Sookie doesn’t do rollercoasters, Mom was happy to stay with her.

Another thing that makes me happy is my mother and my girlfriend getting along so well. That is a very rare thing. My mother is very protective of me. Very. She’s run more than one girl off, and now I’m not so bothered by that.

“Are you ready to do it again tomorrow?” I ask Sookie as she flops on the bed.

She whimpers and asks, “Can’t we just stay here and I’ll ride you all day instead?”

I kick off my shoes and crawl on the bed, hovering over her. I dip down and kiss her chin before saying, “As amazing as that sounds my parents will still be here. They’d judge, especially if you’re not pregnant in a couple months.” I think Mom is ready for grandkids now that she’s retired.

“I don’t think we’re ready for babies yet,” Sookie smiles.

“I don’t think so either,” I agree and kiss her lips. “I want to be married before having children.”

“Yeah, that would be good,” she nods. “I think I’m going to go take a shower. I feel kind of grimy.”

“Okay.” I kiss her one more time and climb off of her. “Would you like some company?” I ask when she stands up.

“Sure.” She strips off her tube top and peels off her shorts.

I stand up and pull my shirt off and toss is across the room, followed by my shorts. I walk up to Sookie and make her squeak when I scoop her up and attack her face with kisses. We get to the bathroom and I place her on the counter while I turn to get the water going.

I hear Sookie yawn behind me before she asks, “Was this a good birthday?”

“Yes, baby, it was a fantastic birthday. Thank you,” I say and turn around to stand between her thighs. I rest my hands on her thighs and kiss her forehead.

“Good. I’m happy it was a fantastic day.”

The room fills with steam and I help her off the counter before stepping into the shower with Sookie right behind me. I turn us around so the water is pouring down her back and as she drops her head back to wet her hair and I take the opportunity to kiss her deeply.

Her hands settle on my hips and she whispers, “Happy birthday, Eric,” against my lips when the kiss breaks.

“Thank you, Lover,” I smile and hug her. “I would be content to hold you like this forever.”

“I’d be okay with that,” she replies as her arms wrap around me too.

We stay like that for a few minutes before I muster the energy to wash our bodies. Sookie protests, but she eventually caves and allows me to wash her body. I wash my own when she’s clean and we step out to dry off. I’m too tired to try to be sexy.

We go to bed and I toss Sookie her lotion.

“Do you want me to lotion you?” I offer.

“Sure,” she smiles and I can see how tired she is too.

I motion for her to lie down on her stomach and when she does I crawl up next to her. I squirt some lotion into my hands and rub them together to make sure it’s not cold when I touch her. I start with her calves. I know after all the walking we did her calves are probably sore. Hell, she will probably be sore all over in the morning.

“Mmm… that feels so good,” she moans softly.

“Good,” I say as I move up to her thighs. I make her giggle when I lean down to nibble her butt before I lotion it and then I move up to her back. “I’ll save your feet for the end and give them a good massage.”

“Best boyfriend ever,” she sighs happily.

I don’t reply. I’ve never been this attentive with a girl. Sookie brings out a different side of me, one that I didn’t know existed. I want to spoil her and make her feel like the precious gift she is.

I finish her entire body, front and back, and then I add more lotion to my hands. I grab her left foot and I begin my massage.

“You okay down there?” I ask her. She has a small smile on her gorgeous lips and her eyes are closed.

“I’m in heaven,” she says.

“Good,” I smile and move to her right foot to give it the same treatment.

When I’m done Sookie is like jelly. I set her lotion on the nightstand and then I climb into bed with her.

“Sleep good, Baby doll,” I whisper when she wraps her arms around my waist and snuggles into my chest.

“Love you,” she whispers back.

Before I can tell her I love her too she’s lightly snoring. She’s wiped out if she’s snoring. I hope she understands just how amazing she made my birthday. I couldn’t have asked for anything as good as today.

20

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