“Mom, Grace won’t get out of my room!” Peyton yells from upstairs.
Peyton is fifteen and Grace just turned eleven last month.
“Grace, leave Peyton alone!” I yell up the stairs.
Competing with my son’s loud punk rock music isn’t easy. Eric Thomas Northman III, or Threepete, as we call him, is a carbon copy of his father. He’s seventeen and just started his senior year of high school.
“But Mooooooooom…” Grace whines.
“Come downstairs and help me with dinner!” I call out and head for the kitchen.
A lot has changed in the last twenty years. I can cook, for starters. I spent a lot of time with my mother-in-law learning how to do it. Eric is coaching baseball at the school and he’s at practice. He’s going to flip his shit when he finds out his baby girl has a date.
I’m chopping veggies when Grace comes into the kitchen, huffing dramatically about how mean her big sister is. Peyton’s not mean, she just gets annoyed with Grace for being her little shadow sometimes.
“Honey, you know Peyton loves you, but she’s trying to get ready to go out,” I say gently. Peyton’s had a crush on Jake for months. This is a huge deal for her.
“Daddy’s head is going to explode when he finds out,” Grace giggles.
“Probably,” I agree. Jake is a good kid but he’s a year older than Peyton and he thinks all teenage boys should be sterilized now that he has a teenage daughter. The look on his face when Grace said she thought a boy was cute was priceless.
Threepete comes downstairs and I want to hold his head under the faucet to wash his hair.
Or cut it.
“You smell like smoke,” Grace pinches her nose and I shoot him a dirty look.
“Shut up,” he grumbles and flicks her ear.
“Hey!” I flick his ear back since Grace is too short yet to reach it. All of our kids are tall, but Threepete is the same height as his dad. “You better not be smoking in the house.”
“I’m not. When is dinner gonna be done?”
“Probably in about forty-five minutes or so. I’m making pasta primavera and grilled chicken.”
“No chicken,” Grace gags. She’s our vegetarian.
“Okay.” He goes to the fridge and starts rummaging around.
“Eric, don’t eat too much,” I sigh. It’s ridiculous how much this boy eats in a day.
“I won’t, Mom,” he says as he grabs a container of last night’s leftovers.
“Gracie, will you please get the big pot out and run water in it?”
She grabs the pot and does what I asked. The garage door starts going up and Grace runs off to tell Eric all the gossip. She’s also our little snitch.
“How was school?” I ask Threepete, knowing I’ll probably get a grunt for an answer.
“Fine,” he grunts with a mouth full of food.
“Are you still thinking about dropping your Spanish class?”
“Sí,” he snorts.
“Even though Aude is in that class?” The snitch told me about her.
His eyes snap to mine and he quickly closes the lid on the Tupperware.
“I don’t know how you know, but I don’t want to talk about her.” That’s the longest sentence he’s given me this week.
“Okay.” I won’t force the issue and I’m not going to sell out his sister.
Eric comes in with a chattering Grace and a smile on his face.
“Hold that thought, Gracie.” Eric comes up to me to give me a lingering peck. “Hi, Pudding pop, how was your day?” he asks me with his normal twinkle in his eye.
“Not bad,” I smile back at him. “How was yours?”
“Good. Long,” he says and goes into the fridge to grab a beer.
“Can I talk now?” Grace asks.
“I don’t know, can you?” Eric asks, arching his eyebrow.
“Go ahead, Gracie.”
“So I got two wrong on my vocabulary test but I got everything right on my math test… oh, and Peyton has a date.”
Eric’s eyes dart to mine and he yells, “Peyton! Get down here now!”
“Eric, chill. She’s getting ready–” I try, but he cuts me off. Threepete looks almost amused.
“She knows the rules. I told her when she first started liking boys I need to meet them before date night. Since I’m just finding out about this she’s already broken rule number one.”
“Gracie, go do your homework,” I tell her.
“But I’m helping you make dinner.” She wants to stay for the gossip.
“Grace, do what your mother tells you to do, now,” Eric says in his teacher voice.
“No fair,” she huffs and stomps out.
“You didn’t need to meet Isabel before Eric took her out,” I remind my husband.
“I don’t think Isabel was going to overpower my son and date rape him. He’s a giant. Plus, he drove and I trust his driving. Is this boy driving her? Have you met him? Is he going to try to date rape her?” Eric asks in rapid fire.
“He’s a good kid, Eric. He’s an honor student, he plays football and he works over at the rec center in the weight room,” I tell him. “I met him at the last game. Peyton pointed him out, remember?”
Our middle child is popular and she’s a cheerleader. She’s also beautiful and has been asked out more than a dozen times already.
“He had shifty eyes,” Eric pouts. “I don’t trust it. We need to call my dad so we can sit him down and interrogate him together.”
“You need to call Alcide to meet you for a beer somewhere,” I suggest. “Senior isn’t coming over to interrogate anyone unless it’s Smokey the bear over there,” I gesture to Threepete.
Eric side eyes his doppelganger. We had a talk with him about smoking when we found the cigarettes, but he didn’t listen. He’s old enough to buy them on his own, so we really can’t stop him.
“You know if Al finds out Peyton is going on a date he’ll… I’m inviting Al over for dinner and Peyton’s date night,” Eric grins and pulls his phone out.
“Embarrass your daughter and you’re sleeping on the couch for a month,” I warn him. He didn’t do this to his son. I hate the double standard and we’ve fought about it many times.
“I agree with Dad sleeping on the couch. Then maybe I can get some sleep,” Threepete says, “Mom, you’re loud.”
“I offered to get you earplugs,” I shrug.
Eric rolls his eyes and looks at his father. “Dad, leave her alone. She isn’t irresponsible, she’s a good judge of character and I’ve met him. He’s nice and I’ve already threatened him,” our son says in Peyton’s defense.
Threepete can be an ass to us, but he loves his sisters.
“See? Problem solved. You can call off the dogs.”
Eric sighs and takes a long pull of his beer.
“Baby doll, can I at least have my shotgun out?”
“You don’t have a shotgun,” I roll my eyes.
“Wanna bet? I knew this day was coming.”
“If you’ve been hiding a gun in this house, Senior is going to have to come over to keep me from kicking your ass,” I tell him.
“Dad has it. I can run over and get it.” When Eric and I bought this house we knew it would be smart to be close to his parents so we’re two blocks away from them.
“No,” I say firmly.
“Way to take away my fun,” he snickers. “I’m going to check on her. I promise to play nice, and since Threepete checked him out I won’t embarrass her when the boy comes to pick her up.”
“Better not.” I get the pot of water out of the sink and get it going on the stove. I turn toward Threepete and ask, “How much pasta do you think you’ll eat?”
“Give me the same as Dad,” he says.
I nod and grab two boxes of penne from the pantry. Trying to find something to talk to my son about is damn near impossible these days. I miss the days when he just wanted to cuddle with me on the couch and watch cartoons. Instead he’s moodier than Peyton, who is a constant ray of sunshine.
“Look, I know I’m your mom so I’m probably the last person you want to talk to about girls, but if you like this Aude girl–” I start.
“Mom, I’m not seeing Aude anymore. It lasted two weeks. It didn’t work. I don’t want to talk about her,” he says.
“Oh. Okay. I’m sorry it didn’t work out,” I say sincerely.
“Thanks… I’m seeing a girl named Luna now…” he tells me reluctantly.
“What’s she like?” I’ve learned not to be pushy with him. Show interest, but don’t push.
“She’s nice, quiet, we like the same music and she has a pretty smile,” he blushes.
Just. Like. His. Father.
“You know there’s an old Ramones poster up in the attic,” I tell him. I’m not sure he knows about it since he acted like he discovered the band, despite being born about forty years too late.
“You mean the one over Herbert?” he smirks.
“That chair is going to have an accident,” I growl.
“I’ll take him with me when I move out so you don’t have him messing up your decor,” he smiles.
“Your dad ever tell you about the time I kidnapped Herbert?”
“Yeah, he told me about that whole thing… we hide out up there sometimes and he tells me stories,” he admits. Eric’s never told me about their man time.
“Oh come on, you two love all the nail polish and chick flicks around here,” I laugh. I wonder what Eric will think when I watch Magic Mike with Peyton.
“Right,” he snorts.
I hear footsteps coming downstairs and Peyton saying, “Oh my God, Dad, Jake’s not a rapist! Stop already.”
“You don’t know that,” Eric says, completely seriously. “What do you really know about this boy?”
“I know he didn’t escape from a 1950s loony bin,” she says as she comes into the kitchen. “Mom, make him stop before I cry.”
“Peyton, let me have my moment. You’re my first daughter going out. I’m allowed to flip out a little. Just be glad I didn’t call uncle Al,” Eric says and looks over my shoulder to see what I’m doing.
“Be glad I’m not calling Grandma,” Peyton retorts.
“Sookie, talk some sense into her. What did Pop do when you went on your first date?”
“He waited on the front porch for me to come home,” I shrug.
“You’re supposed to be on my side, woman,” Eric grumbles.
“I’m on the side of sanity and you’re acting crazy,” I tell him.
“You tell me who’s crazy when… you know what, never mind. I should just go to Al’s.”
“No, you’re going to stay here, eat dinner with your family and you’re going to be a gentleman when Jake comes to the door because you should set an example for the way you expect him to treat your daughter,” I say sternly. “Acting like a possessive, control freak isn’t going to work.”
He sighs and says, “Fine. Come get me when he’s here. I need to go calm my nerves.”
I roll my eyes and shake my head. He’s completely overreacting. I adore him, but he needs to stop before he ends up in husband timeout.
“Peyton, you look beautiful,” I tell my daughter.
“Thanks, Mom. I’m so nervous,” she says, shaking her hands.
“You’ll be fine, baby. Just be yourself and you’ll be golden,” I promise her.
“I’m scared Dad is going to ruin everything. Why is he being like this?”
“Because he adores you and he has a hard time letting go. No matter how old you get, you’ll always be the cute little girl that loved to dance on his feet and snuggle with him,” I explain.
“He needs to chill. Threepete scared him enough,” she says, glaring at her brother.
“And he’s still coming to pick you up so that means he likes you. I’m sure he’s as nervous as you are. Just breathe, Peyton.” I rub her back.
“I even threatened to cut off his little pecker if he touches you inappropriately,” Eric chuckles.
“Good Lord,” I mutter.
“Not cool, bro,” Peyton says and then the doorbell rings. She squeaks and hugs me.
I just hope her dad doesn’t get to the front door first.
I’m not being irrational, I’m being an attentive father, but Sookie can’t seem to see reason. I’m lounging on Herbert when I hear the doorbell ring. I don’t think I’ve ever moved so fast and I get to the just before Sookie does. When I pull the door open there’s a pimply faced little shit wearing a letterman jacket and a cocky little smirk. That smirk is quickly replaced with terror when he sees my face.
“You must be Jake,” I smile.
“Yes… yes, sir,” he replies politely.
“Jake, come in. Peyton’s just getting her purse,” Sookie says, elbowing me out of the way. “This is Peyton’s dad.”
I reach out to shake the little shit’s hand. “I’m Eric,” I introduce myself. He takes my hand and he has a whimpy grip.
“Nice to meet you, Mr. Northman,” he says. “It’s good to see you again, Mrs. Northman.”
“You too, sweetie, come on in,” Sookie tells him.
Jake takes a tentative step inside and looks like he might shit himself when my son appears and makes a snipping gesture with his hand. I take Sookie’s hand and we lead him to the living room.
“Have a seat,” I offer, gesturing to the couch. He sits and Eric takes a seat right next to him. Huh. Looks like I don’t need to intimidate him, Threepete has my back. “Where are you guys going tonight?” I ask.
“To Betty Jo’s Diner. Peyton said it’s her favorite place,” Jake says.
“Mmhmm,” I hum. “What time do you expect to have her home?” I figure this way I can see what he thinks is acceptable. If she’s not home by nine-thirty I’ll be paying Betty Jo’s a visit.
Jake looks from Sookie to me and says, “Peyton said her curfew is ten o’clock so I’ll have her home by ten.”
“Betty Jo’s closes at nine. What do you plan on doing between nine and ten? I know it’s a ten minute drive, so that gives you fifty minutes of free time.”
“Uhhh… I um, I don’t know,” he says.
“Eric,” Sookie nudges me.
I smile and say, “Calm down. Betty Jo’s is a twenty-four hour place.”
It’s taking all of my willpower to make him promise me not to date rape my daughter. That might be going a little too far and I would be on timeout for an undisclosed amount of time.
“How’s football going so far this season?” Sookie asks.
“So far so good,” Jake says. “I like the new coach this year.”
Peyton walks into the living room and the little shit’s face lights up.
“Hi,” she beams, giving him a little wave. She looks way too much like her mother.
“Hi,” Jake stands up like he’s got springs in his ass. “You look really pretty.”
I growl and Sookie elbows me again.
“Thanks, are you ready to go?”
“Ready when you are,” Jake replies. “It was nice to meet you, Mr. Northman.”
“You kids have fun,” Sookie says.
“Not one second past ten, Pumpkin,” I tell Peyton and tug her to give me a hug before she goes, “He’s nice,” I whisper in her ear, making her smile. I live for that smile.
“Thanks, Daddy,” she whispers back.
“It was nice meeting you too, Jake.”
“Thank you, sir.” Jake takes my baby’s hand and lets her lead him out of the house.
“See? He’s a nice boy,” Sookie says. “Now go wash up. Dinner’s almost ready.”
“Yes, dear,” I smile and smack her ass before I run upstairs to get Grace. “Babe, dinner time, come on.”
“Be right there. I want to finish this worksheet for history class,” she says.
“Good girl,” I grin. I hope she never starts liking boys.
I go to the bathroom to use the toilet and wash my hands. By the time I get back downstairs Sookie is plating dinner and Grace is running down the stairs behind me.
♦ ♦ ♦
Peyton walked in the door at nine-fifty-two, walking on air. Of course I don’t like that she likes this boy so much. I don’t want her growing up, but it was bound to happen. I do my normal nightly routine. I wash my face, brush my teeth, and turn down the bed while Sookie finishes whatever she needs to finish in the kitchen. We take turns making dinner and cleaning during the school year, and when summertime rolls around I play Mr. Mom for three months. It’s been working for the last twenty years, so we aren’t going to change it.
I’m just lying down when Sookie walks into the room. She’s still just as beautiful as she was the first night I met her. I love this woman more and more everyday . She’s only getting better with age.
“Did I do good?” I ask as I stretch out on my side of the bed.
“With what?” She closes the door and starts tugging her shirt up over her head so she can put on her pajamas.
“Peyton’s date. I didn’t even threaten him,” I remind her.
“You had no reason to threaten him,” she laughs.
“Other than he was alone with my daughter for three and a half hours.” Duh.
Sookie rolls her eyes and wiggles out of her leggings.
“Baby doll, if you keep wiggling like that we might be making more babies,” I wink.
“Only if you suddenly have super sperm that overrides my birth control,” she snorts and bends over to pick up our dirty clothes to put them in the hamper.
“Who knows, but they want to get inside you right now,” I say. She still turns me on more than anything I’ve ever seen.
“I don’t think we should have another kid. Do really want to go back to sleepless nights and dirty diapers?” She strips out of her bra and panties.
“How about we practice making them?”
Sookie gives me a teasing smile and says, “I don’t know… I’m kinda tired…”
“But we’ve perfected lazy sex,” I whine playfully.
She chuckles and goes into our bathroom to brush her teeth and wash her face. Sookie leaves the door open and says, “Just be glad Peyton’s first date was nothing like ours.”
“Are we counting the night when I drunkenly wrote on you or the next morning when I took you to breakfast?” I ask and I start taking my shorts off.
“I’m talking about the night we watched bad porn and I played your skin flute,” she answers.
“Oh, thaaaat date,” I smile and I start stroking myself. “That was a good date.”
“You stole my pizza corners.” Sookie laughs and turns off the water.
“I gave them back, didn’t I?”
“Yes, you did.” Sookie saunters out of the bathroom and goes to the dresser and gets a nightgown out of a drawer.
“That better be for after,” I say as I watch her. “You look beautiful, by the way.”
“Thank you.” She climbs up on the bed and straddles my thighs. “Need a hand?”
“Sure.” I let go and my hands move up to her waist so I can rub up and down from her hips to her tits.
Sookie scoots a little further up but her hand wraps around my shaft and starts to stroke me slowly.
“He kissed her goodnight,” she tells me.
“More than I wanted to know,” I smile. “She’s a good girl. I trust her.”
“Then it’s a good thing she can’t get pregnant from kissing,” she smirks and rubs her thumb over my tip.
“Honeysuckle, why are you trying to kill my hard-on?”
‘I’m not,” she laughs and leans forward kiss me.
I wind my hands into her hair and groan into the kiss. I could kiss this woman forever. My hips start to rock, helping her out.
“You still give the best handjobs,” I moan and I feel my cock pulse in her hand.
She smiles against my lips and reaches over into the nightstand to grab the little bottle of lube in there. Sookie sits up, drizzles some on my cock and then resumes stroking me.
I start bucking up to get more friction. My hands find her tits and I rub my thumbs over her nipples. Sookie moans softly and starts twisting her wrist on every upstroke.
“You have great tits too…” I sit up and suck one of her nipples.
“They used to be,” she sighs.
“No, they still are,” I tell her. “To me you’re perfect. This body created my children, Sookie. There is nothing more beautiful than that.”
“Keep saying things like that and I might change my mind about wanting another one.”
“We still have time,” I smile and move to suck her other nipple. “You look amazing when you’re pregnant.”
“You just like the bigger boobs and the horny phase,” she says in a breathy voice and lifts her hips rub my tip through her folds.
“You wanna know what else I liked about you being pregnant? Your pussy is always warmer and wetter than normal.” I always love her pussy, but there’s something magic about pregnant pussy.
“Is that right?” Sookie puts me at her entrance and starts to slide down slowly.
“Mmhmm,” I moan and wrap my arms around her. “Kiss me,” I whisper.
Sookie’s lips capture mine and she starts to rise and fall slowly, letting me feel every warm, silky inch of her. I slide one hand up to her hair and the other slips down to hold her ass. I pull back and kiss down her chin to her jaw. I place soft, wet kisses along her jaw up to her ear.
“You are now and forever will be the most beautiful woman in the world, Sookie,” I whisper and suck lightly on her earlobe.
“You’re a smooth talker, Mr. Northman,” she whispers and starts to rock her hips instead of rising and falling.
“I’m in love with the perfect girl, Mrs. Northman,” I smile and lick her lips. “Do you want to make the kids cringe?”
“One of these days they’ll take me seriously on those earplugs.”
“They should just be glad they haven’t heard Mom and Dad,” I chuckle.
“No kidding.” Sookie swivels her hips.
“Mmm, do that again, Lover,” I purr and dip to suck her collarbone.
She moans and swivels again. At the same time she reaches back and rubs my balls.
I moan softly for her and then say loudly, “Yes, more, Baby doll!”
Sookie keeps swiveling her hips and her hand moves expertly behind her. I keep sucking on her neck and I slip my hand between our bodies. My thumb strokes her clit.
“Can you cum for me?” I ask quietly when I feel her walls begin to pulse.
“Don’t I always?” she breathes and her hips move faster.
I sit back just a little so I can watch her face. Her lips are parted, she has this little line in her forehead now that stands prominent, her cheeks are flush and she has a light sheen of sweat covering her body. Her hair is falling over her shoulders, tickling my chest.
“Fuck, Sookie… I’m getting close, Baby,” I pant and I look down to watch the spot where we’re joined.
She starts to rise and fall so I can watch my cock disappear inside her over and over. Suddenly she gasps and slaps her hand over her mouth to muffle her noises when she cums.
I rip her hand away and pull her lips to mine so I can swallow her moans. I lose my battle with my will and I explode deep inside her.
“So good,” I whisper when an aftershock shoots through her. I pull her close and fall back, taking her with me. We lie there kissing for a long time before I pull out and roll us on our sides.
“Lazy sex is so good,” she pants.
“Mmhmm,” I hum and kiss her again. “I love you, Princess.”
“I love you too, Schmoopy.”
We end up just making out for another hour. Sookie is still my best friend. She’s hands down the best mother, fighter, lover, and general person I’ve ever met and I got lucky she chose vanilla that night.