“Hey, I’ve been meaning to ask. How would you feel about going to Alcide’s for dinner? His wife invited us over,” Eric asks me. We’re in the kitchen and he’s making me dinner right now. “Tomorrow of course,” he says and motions toward the steak in his hand.
“I wouldn’t have a problem with that,” I tell him.
“I told Al you’d probably be okay with it, but wanted to be sure. I’ll call him when we’re done and let him know.”
“That’s fine with me.”
“I should warn you, his wife is friends with Aude. I don’t think they’re close, but I know they talk every now and then.”
“Assuming she doesn’t call me a whore I think I’ll be fine. I have a pretty thick skin.”
“She’s a sweet girl and even if she didn’t like you she’d at least be respectful. Dinner was her idea though,” he shrugs. “Salad or green beans with dinner?”
“Green beans. I have enough salad at home.”
“Rice or potatoes?” Eric believes in a meat, veggie, and starch at dinner.
“Mmm… I’ll go with rice. I haven’t had that in a while.”
I wish I was more helpful in the kitchen but Eric gets me set up trimming the ends of fresh green beans. Barring I don’t slip and cut myself with the paring knife I think I can handle this task.
“Do you want to go for a walk tonight? I feel like being outside for some reason,” he says. We slept a long time and I imagine we’ll be up all night anyway.
“A walk would be nice,” I smile over at him. It’s nice doing normal couple things. I didn’t realize how much I missed doing them until I started doing them with Eric.
“I probably won’t be able to come to California for a while. Maybe not until October,” he tells me. “I have to fly out to Arizona in the week before my birthday and the kids are starting school.”
“How long will you be in Arizona?” I ask.
“Sounds like fun. I’m guessing it’s a work trip?”
“Yep,” he nods. “Do you think you’d be able to come back for my birthday?”
“I should be able to.”
“Thanks, maybe dinner with the kids. It’s a madhouse with all six together. And don’t let Levi fool you, he’s the worst of them all. He gives the younger boys hell.”
“That’ll be fun to watch. As long as they don’t gang up on me I think I’ll be okay. At least I have Alyssa as an ally.”
“That you do, and she’s good at putting them in their places,” he laughs.
“She’ll have to teach me. She’s got years of practice dealing with them. And you’re no help,” I tease and nudge him with my hip.
“I gave up years ago,” he says, “She’s a good teacher though; you’ll be shutting them down left and right in no time.”
“I can trade her in makeup lessons.”
“I’ll trust you with that. I don’t like it, but if she’s going to start wearing it I’d rather her learn to do it right.”
“I promise she won’t look like a pornstar,” I tell him.
“I know, and thank you for teaching her all the things Aude won’t and I can’t.”
“You’re welcome. Although it would be hilarious to watch you give her makeup lessons,” I laugh. “Just wait until she tries to give you a pedicure.”
I would actually pay to see that.
“She wouldn’t dare ask,” he says and takes the steaks out to the grill before he comes back to wash his hands.
I nip the last bean and keep it to myself that he’s in denial again. What’s even funnier is knowing that Alyssa wouldn’t just stop at asking; she’d talk him into it.
♦ ♦ ♦
“The sunset is pretty from here,” I say when we reach a pretty ridge about a quarter mile from Eric’s apartment.
“It is; I’ve never seen it. I’m usually too busy to appreciate anything around here.”
“Then I guess we’ll need to stop having so much sex,” I smirk.
“Or we can take it outdoors so I can appreciate your body in the sunset,” he counters and tugs my hand to pull me closer.
“I don’t think here is a good place. It’s pretty wide open here. Anyone could walk up on us.”
“We can find a place,” he suggests, waggling his eyebrows.
“You’re crazy,” I shake my head.
“Maybe I’m going through my mid-life crisis,” he shrugs. “Instead of a Corvette, I want to have hot, public sex. Next thing you know I’ll start dying my gray hair.”
“Hmmm… that might look sexy on you, but then I’d be tempted to call you Gramps and that would be seriously fucking creepy.”
“That’s as bad as Daddy, don’t even think about it,” he laughs.
“You realize you call me ‘baby girl’ when we’re in bed, right?” I’m guessing he doesn’t.
“Oh, shit,” he says, he definitely doesn’t realize it. “That’s not quite as bad, but a little sick. I don’t even notice when I’m doing it.”
“I thought so. It doesn’t bother me; I just thought you should know you do it.” I look around and find what might be a good spot. If nothing else I think I could get away with blowing him there. I point and say, “Let’s go over there behind that big rock.”
“Oh, what’s behind the rock?” he asks with a leer. He knows exactly what I plan on doing behind the rock.
“I don’t know how to answer that without sounding like Dr. Seuss, but it involves the word cock.” I tug on his hand and Eric follows behind me.
“This mid-life crisis seems to be going well so far.”
“You better hope we don’t get arrested. I do not want to have to call Levi to bail us out of jail.” I push him up against the rock.
“He’d never let us live it down,” he gasps when my hand slides into the front of his pants.
“I’m hoping you would remember for other reasons.” I wrap my hand around his cock and start stroking him. It’s too bad I’ve got shorts on.
“I’m sure I will, you make every moment with you memorable.” He sinks his fingers into my hair and crashes his lips to mine.
His kisses are intense and to keep the noise to a minimum I try to keep up with them. I apply a little more pressure and rub my thumb over the head of his cock. When he’s close I drop to my knees and unzip his jeans so I can finish him off with my mouth. I treat him to instant deep throating and it takes all the control Eric has to stay quiet. Normally I would take my time but we don’t need to get caught.
I use every trick I can think of and it doesn’t take long before he’s grabbing my hair and fucking my throat. He politely warns me when he’s ready to cum, but I just suck harder and lightly squeeze his balls.
“Holy shit,” he pants. “I’m cumming, baby girl… ahhh… fuck!” he roars and shoots his load into my mouth.
I try to swallow it all, but I know some of it leaks out. I keep sucking him until I’m sure he’s clean before I release him and wipe my chin.
“Next time I should shove my panties in your mouth,” I smirk.
“That might not be a bad idea. Wear a skirt too so I can fuck you against the rock,” he suggests. He pulls me to my feet and kisses me sweetly on the lips. “I love you.”
“I love you too. Should we keep walking?” I ask while he tucks himself away.
“Yeah, it’s nice out here tonight,” he says and takes my hand.
Maria-Star is a vegetarian. I have no idea how she ended up with the biggest meat eater I know, but they work. She knows I’m a pasta addict and she’s promised me lasagna. It’s made with black beans and no cheese, but Alcide says it’s amazing so I’ll take his word for it.
I think Sookie is done being nervous about meeting my friends and family. After the fiasco with Chris and then the way the twins acted she can’t be surprised by much. Plus she’s already met Al, it was almost a year ago that we met her and it’s crazy we’ve been at this so long. I think Maria is going to like her, I don’t think she ever really liked my wife, but we’ll see.
“Maria-Star is making vegetarian lasagna for us,” I tell Sookie when we’re on our way over. I told them we’d bring dessert and wine. I have a caramel apple cream cheese pie that is to die for so I made that and Sookie’s been salivating over it since I pulled it out of the oven.
“That should be interesting. I’ve never had it before.”
“Neither have I, but I trust Al’s food tastes and he loves it.”
“I’ll at least try it,” she says.
“Do you we met almost a year ago?” I point out. A lot of shit has gone down since we met, but I wouldn’t change a thing.
“Did you think you’d leave your wife when we met? And I don’t mean for me.”
“No, I thought she would’ve sent me to an early grave before I got the balls to leave her. It was easier to go with the flow.”
“You know I was a last minute fill in for another one of the girls that night? Cammie got food poisoning so I said I would take her place,” Sookie tells me.
“Hmm, are you glad you did it? Our meeting seems to have flipped your world upside down too.”
“Yes, I’m happy I met you. I knew my time left there was limited but you gave me the motivation to get out of there sooner.”
“Even with my brood of boys, you’re okay with this?” I ask, just to make sure she’s really okay with my kids.
“It’s a challenge, I won’t lie, but it’s something I’ll get more comfortable with in time.”
“You will, when you get to know them better things will be a lot easier. I’m glad the whole meeting them part is over. You have no idea how stressful that was for me… maybe you do.”
“It was stressful for us both, but in different ways. And for the record, it should be noted that my first meetings with all of them but Levi was a damn disaster.” At least she’s smiling about it.
“I know and I’m sorry about that,” I say and reach over to hold her hand.
“It’s okay. What’s done is done,” she says, and squeezes my hand.
“Sometimes I wish they were still smaller when you met them. Teen years are rough for everyone.”
We pull into Alcide’s driveway and I turn the car off.
“Maria is fun, not Jessica fun, but dancing around your living room and karaoke fun.”
“I think one Jessica is enough for anyone,” Sookie laughs. “And I don’t think you’d like it if the kids were still little. You’d still have no sex life if that was the case.”
“Excellent point.” We get out of the car and I stop to get the pie and wine from the backseat.
We walk to the front door and I knock. I rest my arm across Sookie’s shoulders while we wait for an answer.
“Dixie,” Alcide says when he opens the door. “It’s good to see you again.”
“Likewise, and it’s Sookie. Dixie’s gone,” she says.
“I may accidentally call you Dixie if I get drunk, I’m pre-apologizing for that. Come in, meet the wife.” We follow Al in and find Maria-Star in the kitchen.
“Baby, this is Sookie,” Al says. “Sookie, this is the Missus, Maria-Star Cooper-Herveaux.”
“Ooh that sounds like a law firm,” Sookie jokes. “It’s nice to meet you, Maria-Star.”
“You too, I’ve heard so much about you. All good things, I promise,” she smile and reaches out to give Sookie a hug.
“Then they might be true.” Sookie hugs her back.
“You’re already better than his ex,” Maria smiles as she motions to me. “I hope you’re adventurous with food.”
“She’ll try your weird black bean shit,” I joke. I’m sure it’s good; it’s just weird to not have meat.
“I’ll give it a try,” Sookie says, “But I’m definitely a carnivore.”
“So is the hubs, but you won’t even notice. Are you thirsty?”
“Sure, I’ll take some water.” I think after the hangover meeting with Ryan, Sookie doesn’t want to drink while she’s in Utah.
I go around the counter to grab my own glass of wine and then Alcide and I leave the girls in the kitchen while we go out back to sit on the back patio.
“You guys look awfully domestic,” Al observes.
“It feels domestic. It’s good; everything is so much better with her. I’m happy for once,” I say and take a sip of my wine.
“I assume the sex has a lot to do with it.” Alcide knows sex with Aude was rare and boring.
“Sex is definitely a lot more fun, but it’s not all. She’s met all of the kids now.”
“Oh, yeah what does Alyssa think of her?” he asks.
“Lord, that was the weirdest two days ever. She started her period while she was over. Aude didn’t warn her so she freaked out. I’m so grateful Sookie was there.”
“Wow… so what you’re saying is things have been eventful. How did the twins act?”
“The twins… I don’t think she cares for them. They were disrespectful as shit, but Aude and I talked and we have their punishment planned.”
“I don’t envy you right now,” he chuckles and takes a swig of his beer. “Maria and I are going to try for kids soon; I want to have them with her before I get too old.”
Alcide has an estranged daughter named Sandra that just turned ten. His ex, Debbie, is a complete psycho and won’t let him around her.
“She meet Aude yet?” Alcide asks.
“No, I’m trying to hold off as long as possible on that. It’s going to be a rough day when that happens and both of us need to be prepared for battle.”
He snorts. “That’s putting it nicely.”
“The unfortunate part is, I think it’s going to have to happen sooner rather than later. I want Alyssa full time and if she goes to California with me Aude will need to know Sookie first.”
“Yeah, that’s fair. God knows what fucknut Debbie’s got Sandra hanging around these days,” he sighs heavily.
“You need to do something about that, Al. She’s your daughter too, and you can’t let Debbie keep her away from you. How long has it been since you’ve seen her?” I ask. I know it’s been a few years. I hate going without my kids for a few days, I don’t think I could handle years. “Man, you’re missing out on the best years with her.”
“Last time I saw her was like two weeks before her eighth birthday. She’ll be eleven in November,” he admits. “It’s hard to keep track of her, though. Debbie keeps changing her cell number and she’s always moving without telling me where the fuck she’s going.”
“Have you thought about taking legal action? Or even trying to get custody? Debbie is a nutjob and I don’t think you’d have a problem getting her.”
“Maria and I have talked about it. Despite Debbie being crazy she’s actually not a bad mother. She takes good care of Sandra if you don’t count the moving around part. I’ve never seen my kid dirty, hungry or needing for anything. She does well in school… Debbie’s doing something right. I think she’s still pissed off that getting knocked up didn’t get her a ring on her finger so she uses Sandra against me.”
“Honestly, that was a good call, not marrying Debbie; you see how my forced marriage I turned out. I know Debbie would’ve been a hundred times worse than Aude ever was. Oh, she’s a lesbian now,” I smile. I don’t think Aude is really a lesbian; she’s trying to figure herself out.
“Whoa, wait, what? Aude’s into chicks?” Alcide looks at me like I just whacked him upside the head with a 2×4.
“Yep, I think she has frequent three-ways with Isabelle and some new chick Arlene. Chris didn’t give a lot of details, and when I confronted her about the kids overhearing she didn’t deny it. I’ll admit though, being with two chicks is pretty fun. Maybe Aude and I can share war stories,” I laugh. Her hypocritical ass probably thinks I have gang bangs and orgies with Sookie every weekend.
Alcide shakes his head. “I don’t know, Eric. That sounds like a recipe for disaster. She might want to take Sookie away from you after meeting her. That girl is…” he can’t find the right word to describe her but I know he approves.
“Nah, she’s still too mad to even think about it. And yes, she is… she’s amazing in so many ways I can’t explain.”
“You definitely look happier. Maria said she saw you at the bank or some shit last week and she thought you had a face lift,” he laughs.
“Old age looks good on me,” I smile. “Sookie does make me happy.”
“That’s good. I’d personally kick your ass if you left your wife for another broad that made you miserable.”
“You know I don’t think I would’ve left if Aude didn’t kick me out that day. I couldn’t imagine being happy without the kids there full-time and up until the end she spoiled me. I’m pretty sure she stopped when she figured out I was seeing Sookie. I would have died miserable,” I sigh.
“Yeah and you would have deserved it for being a fucking idiot,” Alcide says.
“That’s a sad truth,” I chuckle.
“Come on, boys,” Maria’s voice chimes in. “Dinner is done.”
Al and I get up and go into the dining room. Sookie is already seated at the table and she gives me a glowing smile when she sees me.
“Having fun?” I ask her and kiss her temple before I sit down and scoot my chair a little closer to her.
“I’m having a great time. Maria was just telling me about this one time when you two got drunk and sang ‘Unchained Melody’ to each other,” Sookie says, barely containing her laughter.
“Maria,” I bark, “You aren’t allowed to tell stories to Sookie.” She looks at me for a second and then busts out laughing.
“Eric, I can tell her any stories I want and you guys are lucky I didn’t get it on video.”
“That’s why I rarely drink,” I grumble and then lean down so only Sookie can hear and whisper, “I’m getting drunk so you can take advantage of me later.”
She whispers back, “I don’t need you to be drunk to do that.”
“No, but… I told you I would… you may also get a reenactment of Unchained Melody.”
Sookie giggles and says, “Well that is a song from your era.”
“Keep it up, little girl,” I growl and kiss her temple again before turning back to the table. I’m anxious to try the black bean shit since Alcide says it’s so good.
“So how did you two meet?” Sookie asks, looking from Alcide to Maria-Star.
“Maria had a flat tire,” Al grinned.
“And Al didn’t change it, a tow truck driver did, but he was nice enough to call in help and stick around to ‘make sure I was safe’,” she laughs. “He sweetly followed me home and I haven’t been able to get rid of him.”
“Awww it’s like every stalker’s dream ending,” Sookie teases, and it makes Alcide laugh.
“When you know, you know,” he says as he reaches over to hold Maria’s hand.
“And I didn’t try that hard to get rid of him.”
“Al has a way of working his way under people’s skin and he’s pretty much impossible to say no to,” I explain to Sookie. “It’s obnoxious really, but we keep him around for comic relief.”
While the lovebirds are cooing at each other Sookie leans over and whispers, “Does Maria-Star know about the Cathouse? I don’t want to get anyone into trouble.”
“Yeah, she knew Al always wanted to visit and I promised her I wouldn’t let him do anything that would jeopardize their relationship.”
“Too bad she didn’t come with. We would have taught her how to work a stripper pole,” Sookie winks and then straightens up.
“I heard stripper!” Alcide says, and his eyes bounce back and forth between Sookie and me.
“Sook was just saying Maria should’ve come to the Cathouse with us. They would’ve taught her to pole dance for you.”
“Oh I could never do something like that,” Maria-Star shakes her head, her cheeks flushing.
“Sure you could,” Sookie says encouragingly. “I can still teach you if you want to know how to do it. Sorry, this is awkward dinner conversation.”
“It could be worse,” Al says, “Way worse… we got into a conversation about different types of shit last week. I’d much rather talk about my girl on a pole.”
“I’ll think about it,” Maria-Star says, but doesn’t commit one way or the other.
Sookie tries the lasagna but the face she makes tells me she’s not enthusiastic about it. She picks her way through the meal and does what my kids always want to do when they want us to think they’re eating, and pushes her food around the plate.
“Sorry,” Maria-Star says. “I can find something else if you don’t like it.”
“No, it’s okay,” Sookie says quickly, trying to be polite. “I think the tofu and I aren’t meant to be friends.”
“More for me,” Alcide says with a mouth full of food. I like it too, maybe not as much as Alcide though and I won’t be asking for the recipe.
“I brought caramel apple cream cheese pie for dessert,” I say and take another bite.
“That’s where I make all my money back,” Sookie says with a wink.
“Do you cook, Sookie?” Maria-Star asks.
She snorts and says, “If by cook you mean sits on the counter and watches Eric, then yes, I’m a world class culinarian. And if you mean gives the Fire Marshall a run for his money, then you would be correct also.”
“I’m teaching her things here and there. We’re taking baby steps in the kitchen. She cut up the apples for the pie,” I say with pride.
Sookie lifts her hands and says, “Not a single cut on either one of my hands, thank you very much. Which wasn’t easy since Gropey McKissyface was my supervisor.”
“Oh that’s precious,” Alcide laughs.
“What can I say? She’s adorable when she’s trying to not kill herself,” I coo and nuzzle into her neck. I think the wine is getting to me.
“Someone cue up the Streisand…” Maria-Star mumbles.
“Fuck you,” I laugh. “You two are just as bad.”
“No we’re not,” Alcide says, shaking his head.
“That’s not what your wife said,” Sookie snickers.
“What are you telling her?” Alcide whispers. He seems nervous for some reason.
“Oh just a little story about you, a bottle of Chianti and Barry Manilow…” Maria-Star trails off and starts humming the chorus of “Copacabana” under her breath.
Alcide buries his face in his hands and sighs.
“I’m truly curious about this,” I say and lean forward on the table.
“He did the cha-cha,” Maria-Star says quickly before Alcide covers her mouth.
“We’ll talk later,” I wink at Maria-Star and she nods.
“You’re both assholes,” Alcide says, but the fool is smiling as he lets go of Maria-Star’s face.
“It’s because we love you,” Maria says and leans over to kiss his cheek.
“You know, twinkletoes,” Sookie starts and Alcide growls at her. “Maybe you could teach Eric some of your moves. He’s been wanting to go dancing with me.”
“Can you imagine Al and me dancing together? That would be all kinds of awkward,” I snicker.
“Oh I think it would be worth seeing at least once,” Sookie says, and Maria nods her agreement.
“I think we should hear some of Sookie’s stories,” Alcide says, eager to change the subject.
“I don’t really have very many Eric stories and I doubt you want to hear Tales From the Whorehouse,” she says.
“I definitely want to hear those tales,” Alcide nods and even Maria-Star looks intrigued.
“Okay…” Sookie says, and thinks for a minute before her face lights up when a story comes to her. “A friend of mine partied with this virgin and it didn’t last long but after the sex was over he asked my friend to kick him in the penis.”
Maria nearly spits her wine.
“I don’t want horror stories!” Alcide sits back and the look of terror on his face is comical. “Damn, I need something to soothe my aching balls now,” he says and his hand disappears under the table.
“That is a little rough, pretty girl,” I chuckle and rest my hand on her thigh.
“Well he didn’t say what kind of story,” she laughs. “And I didn’t think it was appropriate to tell some porntastic tale at the dinner table.”
“I appreciate that,” Maria-Star says and Alcide pouts. I’ve done plenty of porny things at The Cathouse, stories don’t really faze me. “Al, help me with the pie,” she says and gets up from the table to clear our plates.
“But I want porn stories…” he pouts.
“Later,” Sookie promises and he perks up a little.
Maria rolls her eyes and drags Alcide out of the dining room into the kitchen.
“They’re fun,” Sookie says once we’re alone.
“They are, she’s good for him,” I tell her and pull her face to mine for a kiss.
I have my hand on the back of her head and my lips are on her neck when they come back into the room.
“I’ll get the hose,” I hear Alcide grumble making Maria-Star laugh.
“I’m not even sorry,” I smile as I pull back.
“If he was single he’d be jealous,” Sookie says.
“If I was single Eric would be jealous. He would’ve never had a shot,” Alcide teases.
“Oh really?” Sookie raises her eyebrows.
“I’m certain of it,” he nods and Maria snorts behind him.
“Then I hate to break it to you but you’re not my type,” Sookie says.
“Come on, I’m old too. I’m sure my balls are just as wrinkly as this schmuck’s,” he claims, point his thumb at me.
“It’s not an age thing. You just don’t do anything for me,” she shrugs.
“You and your Scandinavian good looks stole my girl,” Alcide laughs and now Maria-Star looks offended.
“Then it’s a good thing you settled for me,” Maria says from behind him.
“Baby, I’m not settling for you,” he says and turns around to put his arm around her. “I lucked out that you even looked twice at me. I’m just teasing Grandpa,” he explains. I think Al is getting drunk.
“Keep it up and you’ll be alone on the couch later,” Maria warns him.
That shuts him up fairly quickly.
“Thanks for bringing the pie, Eric,” she says in a sweet tone. Much sweeter than she was using with Al.
“You’re welcome,” I smile and she starts to cut the pie.
I laugh when she gives Sookie a bigger piece and says, “I have a feeling you’ll need the energy later and you didn’t eat enough lasagna.”
“Yeah, moving a giant up the stairs isn’t going to be easy,” Sookie says.
Alcide looks like he wants to say something to contradict her, but a look from his wife shuts that down. Short leash.
“Exactly,” she smiles at Sookie and hands me a piece and sends Al to go get more wine. I think they’re trying to keep me drunk.
“I’ll be fine,” I shrug and take another drink.
“Yeah we’ll see in the morning,” Sookie says, and takes a bite of the pie. It makes her let out a moan that makes my pants a little tighter and Alcide shoot a jealous look my way.
“This is amazing, Eric,” Maria compliments as she swallows her first bite.
“Can I just have this for every meal?” Sookie asks.
“Now ladies,” I grin, “There’s enough for both of you.”
“They want the cheesecake, not your old man balls,” Alcide grumbles.
“Do you need a timeout?” Maria glares at him.
This is going downhill fast.
“I’m still traumatized from that horror story Sookie told,” Al says, and Maria rolls her eyes. “Well I am. You don’t tell guys a story about some creepy bastard that wants to have his cock kicked, at least not without a disclaimer and a complimentary ice pack for sympathy pains.”
The girls look at each other and back at Alcide. A short silence passes before they both bust out laughing. I feel his pain, but it is quite funny.
“It’s not funny,” Al says, but the girls keep laughing.
“No, it’s hilarious,” Maria laughs. “You’re cute though.”
We finish the pie and note that it’s getting late so we should go. Maria-Star tells Sookie they need to get together while she’s in town next time and we agree to have dinner again when she’s back for my birthday.
“I think they like you,” I observe when we’re driving home. I don’t let anyone drive the Escalade, but we don’t have a choice and I’m cringing a little.
“I hope so. I like them too,” she says. “Did you have fun?”
“I did,” I nod, “Al had a few bad years before he met her. She’s really brought him back to life.”
“I hear a good woman will do that,” Sookie smiles, and reaches over for my hand.
“You’re proof of that, pretty girl,” I raise her hand to my mouth and kiss the back.
I feel like Sookie’s brought me back from the dead.