Chapter 27 – Justice
Tissues – for some of you – certainly.
Beatings will be needed (followed by joy)
The WILLIE inducing car is mentioned. HORRORS!
The drive back to the bar was difficult; he really hated to leave Sookie and Hunter: Eric wanted to stay and talk about Celia, he wanted to play Viking village with his son, he wanted to shower with Sookie after Hunter was in bed. Unfortunately, the bar was a requirement so he was on his way in. Having to go to work didn’t stop the grin and the short day dream he had about future dance recitals and pretty dresses though. He was screwed and he knew it. Reality hit hard as he pulled in and could hear the squeals of excitement from the women who were lined up to get into the bar. He made a decision right then: The Vette was going. Maybe he’d mothball it until they moved and he could pull it out again when the locals wouldn’t know it was him. His mind wondering, he parked and headed to the back door. ‘Sookie’s got the wagon, so we’re covered there. With two kids, I can still drive a Sedan so I can keep the Mercedes, though maybe we want one sedan for when we don’t have the kids – one with no carseats. We also need something bigger for lugging baby gear and I may have become a sap, but I’m not getting a minivan. I’ll spend some time tonight selecting an SUV and have Bobby pick it up tomorrow. I’ll discuss a second Sedan with Sookie or maybe she’ll want her own Softail when we move to Pennsylvania.’
His office work was finished quickly so he headed out to his throne. Several tasks needed to be accomplished so he spent time on his phone making lists and sending emails. He called Genny hoping to get some guidance on baby needs. “I’ll tell you what I know Eric, but I haven’t had a baby for years.”
“I’m pretty sure it’s been longer for me.”
She laughed at the truthfulness at that statement. “I have an idea. I’m going to see Celia tomorrow anyway and there are new moms there. I’ll ask around and send you a list.”
“That’s great. I’ll send you some email addresses for my day staff – you can copy them so they can start shopping before I rise.”
“Ah Eric, you may want to hold back on some items – things Sookie will want to pick.”
“I didn’t think of that.”
“I’ll make a list of basics. Stuff to get you started. Oh, and I’ll get her size.”
“Thanks Genny. You’ll have the other email addresses soon. I appreciate the help.”
“Oh, it’s gonna cost you.”
“Name your price.”
“I want to see you change the baby’s diaper.”
Since he was onstage he had to hold in the roar of laughter that begged for release at her request; He contained it to a smirk. “A small price to pay.”
With one pass around the bar to ensure all was well, he returned to the stage for more tasks. After being so close to all the fangbangers, he really wanted a shower to wash off the disgust but he couldn’t leave now. Instead, he focused on family plans, taking advantage of the privacy spell around the stage to make some calls.
“Charles, it’s Eric Northman.”
“Eric, how are you?”
“I bet. I’m glad you called, I want to discuss something with you for tomorrow.”
“How do you want to play this out? I can just meet you at the hospital room and you and Sookie can both be surprised if the update is the completed adoption? I know your schedule is busy right now, so I can just leave you a message if you need to meet me at the hospital too.”
“I’ll just go there – I can spend about thirty minutes before I need to get to the bar. If it turns out I should stay – I don’t know – I’ll close the bar I guess. I’ll tell Mustapha to reach out to you during the day – he can know any details and follow-up if you require assistance to get the paperwork done.” He paused for a moment. “Don’t you need Sookie present for anything?”
“I worked around that just like I did for Johanna. The adoptions were finalized without their presence due to the hospitalization of the kids. I simply stated the adoptive parents cannot leave the hospital for court.”
“Very good then.”
“I spoke to Sookie tonight.”
“What are her feelings?”
“She wants her Charles. We both want her.”
“Then I’ll do what I can on that front and I’ll see you just after first dark tomorrow hopefully with good news.”
He followed up with requests to Mustapha, Ludwig and Bobby. Everything was for Celia or Hunter and involved all of them so they just got the same email:
Dr. Ludwig, Mustapha and Bobby:
Sookie and I are adopting Celia so we need to prepare.
Ludwig: As soon as we have temporary custody, she’s being moved from Baton Rouge to your facility. We’ll want her in with Hunter and Johanna. If you need anything, simply ask Bobby to procure it for you.
Mustapha: Please liaise with Judge Harkem tomorrow regarding Hunter’s adoption – use any resources needed to remove hurdles that may come up. The Judge is also planning to start the temporary custody process for Celia – again assist him as needed.
Bobby: You should receive an email from Genny Burke today listing some items that need to be purchased. Please execute on this and have the items delivered to Ludwig’s. I don’t know when you will hear from Genny. Additionally, I located a new car at Holt’s Cadillac – the owner, Bill Holt, is expecting you early tomorrow to pick it up. It’s an Escalade ESV Platinum in Red. You can deliver it to my home near Ludwig’s.
Thank you for your assistance.
He glanced at the crowd and knew he wouldn’t miss a thing about Fangtasia when Boudewijn arrived to take over. A quick visual scan verified that all was well in the bar so he focused on his phone and started looking for videos on changing diapers; Eric Northman always had a plan.
“Mommy! He’s here.”
“I’ll be right out.”
“Good evening Johanna, Hoyt how are you tonight?” He leaned over to give the girl a hug and he shook Hoyt’s hand in greeting.
“Hey Unca Eric. I’m good. Ess cited about Hunter’s ‘doption.”
“I think that makes all of us Johanna.” He turned to his son. “Hey Fidget.” Eric removed his connections and picked him up.
“Hi Daddy. Do you know anything?”
“Nope, I spoke to the Judge last night and told him I didn’t want to know ahead of time. He’ll be here soon. I need you to not listen, please? Let Daddy find out when you do?”
He turned to see her coming from the bathroom and his knees almost gave out. “Yes, and Mommy.” With a smile he leaned into her for a kiss. “One of my favorite dresses min Röðull.”
“I didn’t know that.”
He nodded and told her why. “You surprised me at Fangtasia’s backdoor in that dress. You remember? It was when I returned from the Summit.”
“Yes I remember.”
“It’s the night I fell in love with you – though it took me a few days to realize it. It hit me when I walked out Fangtasia’s door and you were standing there.”
“WHOA – Champion Wooer of all time.”
With a whisper to her ear he told her. “Only for you my angel.”
Hunter ignored their mushy moment and got back to business. “Mommy. Did you hear Daddy before? We’re ‘spose ta not listen.”
“I heard. We’ll both wait.”
They just stood there for a few minutes wondering where the Judge was. “Eric. How long do we need to wait?”
“I don’t know. I thought he’d be here by now.”
Eric was about to send a text inquiring about the Judge when he heard Maxine yell into the room. “It’s a BOY!” She had a bouquet of blue balloons in her hands and tears in her eyes. Behind her, Judge Harkem entered the room smiling widely and holding up the official adoption paperwork. The friends continued to pour in: Mustapha, Theresa, Jessica, Bobby, Lala, Tara and just about every nurse on the floor. Sookie broke down: All the years of waiting, the fear of losing her baby, the fighting and scraping to keep going – it all came down to this moment. Her son was finally hers not just of her heart but legally. Eric kept Hunter in one arm and enveloped Sookie in the other and waited for the calm. This legal accomplishment was a long time coming and given Sookie’s reaction, others in the room joined her: Lala wailing the loudest of course. Being the gentleman that he was, Eric presented her with a handkerchief and helped her clean her face for a second before she turned to everyone. It was subtle, but the Judge nodded at Sookie and she nodded in return.
“Well, I think we all know what happened today with Hunter’s adoption, but let me make it official. May I present to you: Hunter Vali Stackhouse.”
“What?” It was the only word Eric could get out and Sookie worried that she’d overstepped. But Eric was NOT upset; he was trying to get control of his emotions and was struggling to speak.
“Ah, Eric I . . . I mean, Hunter wanted . . .” For a few seconds she struggled to get the words out and he stopped her.
“Sookie, I’m thrilled and Vali would be so proud. It’s perfect. I just don’t think I’ve ever been so surprised – so happily surprised in my life.” He paused for a moment; then smiled. “I get to surprise you with Celia’s middle name though.” Sookie smiled and nodded.
“Who is Celia?” Maxine had been listening to every word. That woman did not miss the mention of another child.
Eric’s smile grew. “Maxine, you’ve got another grandbaby on the way. A little girl.”
Sookie nudged her fiancé with her elbow. “Sweetie, show her the baby.”
Before Eric could pull up the picture, Tara’s smile from the Hunter announcement turned to a frown. “What do you mean, you’re adopting another baby? Have you MET this baby? What do you know about her?”
Eric worked to calm himself. Sookie’s friend hadn’t really warmed to him but she was normally quiet. Her concerns upset Sookie though so he needed to respond. “Well Tara, it’s pretty much no different than if we were expecting a baby. Parents don’t get to meet those children. Celia needs love, that’s all the information we require.”
Sookie moved the conversation forward quickly knowing Tara was ready to blow up again. “I don’t know the status though. Charles do you have an update?”
Maxine’s squealing over Celia’s picture stopped Charles from attempting his update for a moment and he needed to wait longer since the phone was now being passed around and everyone was oohing, ahhing or in Lala’s case, crying even harder than before.
Finally, the room quieted down enough for his update. “I need you to sign some forms tonight and I’ll work on Celia tomorrow. I do have a case I need to hear, so I’m afraid I can’t dedicate my day to it – but she won’t be at risk, I’ll secure her however I need if we move on the arrests before she’s fully yours. I’ve contacted a counterpart in Baton Rouge to ensure Celia is protected. She’s completely on board.” He’d spoken extensively to Mustapha and Genny today about the baby and they all hoped it would be no longer than a week. In the interim, Genny told him she was spending her days with Celia and once the temporary custody is in place, would travel with the baby to Shreveport. Having a familiar face, Genny believed, would help the baby adjust. Plus, and the judge almost chuckled out loud at his thought, Genny had told him about her request to see Eric change a diaper. He had every intention of being there when it happened.
“Am I missing a party?” Ludwig’s voice broke into the room and everyone parted for her. She knew; she was already smiling. “Congratulations Hunter Stackhouse.”
“That’s Hunter Vali Stackhouse. Make sure you get that on my paperwork for your place.”
“Hunter.” Sookie’s voice was sharp hoping to correct his impoliteness.
He heard her request in his head right away. “I’m sorry, I meant, please add Vali to my paperwork.”
“Will do Hunter.” Quickly changing to business mode, she turned to Eric and Sookie. “If I arrange for the discharge tomorrow from here, can I move him?”
“Yes, and Johanna – right Hoyt?”
“Absolutely – what do we need to do?” Hearing Johanna’s name, Hoyt moved closer to Ludwig.
“I’ll be back first thing in the morning to work on the paperwork part. Mustapha, can you do the transport tomorrow?”
“Yes Doctor. Theresa will be with me.”
“Good. This is all coming together nicely.”
“Is the room ready?”
Ludwig nodded to Bobby. “Eric, your man has been working with me for a while on the construction and other changes.” Eric’s head whipped his head to Bobby’s in shock. “Oh, I guess you didn’t know that.”
Eric shook his head slowly while Bobby explained as he glared at Ludwig. “It WAS a surprise. I needed lead time to transform the room into something more homey. I . . . ah kinda went over the need to just procure the necessities as you requested.”
Sookie smiled. “We can’t wait to see it and I can’t thank you enough for the extra effort.”
“It was my pleasure Sookie. These two,” he gestured to Hunter and Johanna, “make you want to give the extra effort.” He turned to Eric. “I took the liberty of closing Fangtasia tonight. I didn’t think you’d want to leave.”
“Thank you Bobby. You’ve quickly become my best assistant ever. In a thousand years I’ve had many so that’s a compliment.” Bobby blushed from the words and decided to focus on something else. He nodded to someone outside the door and Chef Henry from M&S wheeled in a cart of dessert items and champagne.
Bobby explained. “I thought this seemed celebration worthy.” THAT earned him a hug from Sookie.
“Chef Henry, what a pleasure to have treats from you tonight.”
“Sookie, the pleasure is all mine I assure you. This is a wonderful occasion and must be celebrated.”
The group enjoyed the treats and spent time planning for the hospital move the next day until well after both kids should have been in bed. While Hoyt and Jessica enjoyed their mini-honeymoon, they were both happy to be back with Johanna. They were the last to leave for the night (except Eric of course) and they left excited for the hospital move the next day. Healing Johanna was within their grasp now.
Sookie was busy packing Hunter’s belongings when two voices came into the room. “What’s going on here?”
“Denise, Mack, I wasn’t expecting to see you. I’m taking my boy to a new medical facility.”
“That’s OUR boy and you sure as hell are not.” They glanced at Hoyt in the corner packing something in a bag. “Are you packing Johanna’s things?”
Sookie moved to the foster parents. “Surely you’ve received word that both Johanna and Hunter have been adopted.”
“We were called by Sabrina to meet her here and discuss a mix-up in paperwork.”
“MIX-UP!?” Sookie shook her head in disbelief. “I assure you, the adoption paperwork is not a mix-up.” Before anything further happened, Sookie picked up her phone and texted Mustapha and Bobby. Mustapha texted right back stating he had just parked and was already on his way up. Sookie was relieved.
With an authoritative air, Sabrina joined the room. “Adoption – false paperwork I’m sure. You’ve been trying to get your hands on this child so you could have him live in the streets like you do. What kind of a mother do you think you’d make? Are you going to have him sleep in the back of that bar where you waitress? Poor white trash, that’s what you are. And you!” She moved to be in front of Hoyt. “Will Johanna sleep in your pick-up truck while you repair pot holes all day long?” The case worker had received an email stating there were some changes to review with regard to Johanna and Hunter so she called the Rattrays to meet her at the hospital. She was hoping to see what Sookie knew or DID before she saw her boss. The woman was an idiot and Sabrina had been playing her for years to build up her network of foster kids – real and not so real – but that didn’t mean she couldn’t cause problems if she looked too closely. Now she was here and Sookie was claiming to have adopted Hunter? ‘Not with the paperwork stuck in my cue in the internal system. I’ll hold it there for weeks now while I do a full study.’
“Ma’am?” Sabrina wheeled around to see the large man staring at her. “I’m going to have to ask you to leave.” Mustapha nodded towards the Rats. “Both of you as well.”
“Now see here.”
He put his very large hand in front of her face. “Stop. Just leave now. I suggest you do your job and check into the paperwork. You’ll see both children have been legally adopted. Judge Harkem handled the paperwork himself.”
“Impossible. I’m holding both requests since I have not completed my FULL investigation. The welfare of these children was at stake.” Sookie and her friends all bit their tongues. Now wasn’t the time to reply – the bitch’s day was coming and soon. She knew that their friend, the Judge, went to the head of Social Services so it wasn’t a complete surprise that Sabrina was clueless. She probably just got some notification about a change and didn’t bother herself with the details.
Mustapha was having a very difficult time holding back though. One glance at Johanna had him ready to kill. The girl was clinging almost desperately to Jessica as her new mother tried to calm her by promising that she wasn’t going to be taken away. With his Were senses, he could hear Johanna whisper to Jessica. “Mommy, dat wady wants me. Can she take me?”
“No baby, Mommy and Daddy won’t let that happen.”
No child should ever have that kind of fear. Mustapha dug deep for calm knowing the law would be addressing this – and quickly if he had any say. “I think you’ll find the adoption is complete. Now if you’ll excuse us, these children are being moved today.”
Sabrina stood firm and announced. “I’m calling the police.”
“No need.” A voice called from the corridor. “I’ve already called them.”
Sabrina smiled, thinking he was helping her. “Well thank you Mr . . .?”
“Williams, Tony Williams.” He smiled and waited in the hall. Sookie had to hide her smirk as she got back to work on the packing. Sabrina had no idea that Tony worked for them.
Fifteen minutes later, Detectives Sheridan and Farner entered the room. Sabrina looked victorious and she started speaking. “Thank goodness you’re here.”
Ignoring the case worker’s comments, Sheridan looked to Tony and pointed at Sabrina and the Rats. “These three?”
“You’ll need to come with us. This is a private hospital room for family and invited guests only.
“I understand they’ve been trying to tell you the children are adopted, they aren’t part of the system any longer.”
“We’ll see about that. I’m going to my superiors.”
Sheridan almost laughed out loud. “Would you like us to drive you back to your city office?”
“That won’t be necessary. Denise, Mack, I’ll call you when this is straightened out.”
Everyone in the room waited until Tony confirmed they were headed down the elevator and they all breathed out a sigh of relief. “We have to move on them.” Mustapha offered.
“But Celia.” Sookie was visibly worried about moving on the foster parents while Celia was still ‘up for grabs’. She’d only seen a picture and some descriptions on the baby girl, but she was already in love and losing her wasn’t an option.
Detective Sheridan tried to ease Sookie’s concerns. “I’m aware. Your judge friend informed me. He made some calls and she’s protected until the custody goes through.” He nodded to Mustapha. “We’re taking the whole gang today before they have a chance to get a whiff of what’s coming. I texted the Chief while we were heading over here and he agrees; this visit could cause problems. This will all be over soon and thanks to Eric and Mustapha, the evidence we’ve collected is substantial.”
“And you’re sure my baby girl is secure?”
“I am Ma’am.” He put his arms out and looked around. “How can we help get you moved?”
“We’re down to the last bags and the kids. We just need Dr. Ludwig to come back from her meeting with the doctors on the discharge papers.”
“We’ll wait and escort you.”
“That’s very kind. I’d say it’s not necessary but Sabrina did scare me today.”
Ludwig came back after a short while and announced the paperwork was complete except for the parent’s signatures. They handled that quickly and Hunter said his last goodbyes. The nurses had been in and out all morning, some coming in even though it was their day off, to wish the kids well. While Sookie was relieved about moving forward with the healing, the nurses had become friends so she did shed a few tears saying goodbye.
They arrived at Ludwig’s facility almost like a parade: Police escort, Mustapha driving the wheelchair van with the kids and their mothers, Bobby in Sookie’s Volvo, Hoyt in his truck and Tony on his bike taking up the rear. Ludwig started barking orders to her small staff immediately and they were settled into their new and very large room quickly. Hunter and Johanna were squealing about the decorations: Hunter’s side had vinyl decal of Scrat from Ice Age and his full Northman name; Johanna had Cinderella’s carriage. Both their beds had been dressed with coordinating linens. Jessica and Sookie both hugged Bobby to thank him for his hard work. “Well Bobby, you’ve outdone yourself. Thank you very much.”
“It was nothing Sookie. The kids needed something to make this more comfortable even if they are only here – hopefully – for a short while.”
“He’s lying to you now Sookie, it wasn’t just ‘nothing’. This was two rooms that he combined to this larger room with a renovated bathroom: A real tub for the kids, linen closet, lots of upgrades from the Parish hospital. With this room being double the size, there was space enough for that couch – it’s a really comfy pull out. You and Hoyt are taking turns staying, right? I need you to get more opportunities for better rest for the surgery.”
“We are going to switch out nights.” Sookie answered Ludwig while she walked towards the bathroom then came out with a wide smile. “Bobby this is luxury for us!”
“I’m glad you like it. I made arrangements for Maxine to come over tomorrow so we can get a jump on Celia’s needs. I purchased the necessities,” He opened one of the closet doors and Sookie could see stacks of neatly folded items, creams, bottles and other baby necessities. “I left some items to get tomorrow together. I assure you; I only purchased these in case her adoption moved quickly. We only need a few more basics and a crib for here; I know Eric wants to pick items for the home nursery with you.”
“Very good Bobby, we’ll have a shopping day.” She moved to touch thing new things in Celia’s closet. “What are these?”
Ludwig answered. “I won’t have disposable diapers here Sookie. Those are all cloth diapers – it’s an easy system and I have a service that will take care of the washing.” Wistfully, Sookie touched all the items in the closet until Bobby approached her thinking it was his shopping that had caused a mood change. “It really is just the basics, we weren’t sure. . .”
“OH Bobby, I appreciate that you shopped for this. I just wish she was here to enjoy it.”
“We all do Sookie.”
She forced a smile mostly trying to get herself back to the good mood and complimented her shopper. “Bobby, this is all perfect. You did a great job. I can’t wait to pick up some more items tomorrow.”
“Thank you Sookie. I have more to show you.” She nodded. “Look at this.” He pointed to the remotes that started up the wide screen TV with built in DVD player. That got a cool out of Hunter. “Maybe we’ll even see the arrests this afternoon on the news.”
“That sounds like good daytime television to me.”
Bobby continued with the tour. “Eric picked out some games and toys, they are stored here.” He moved to a toy chest in one corner and they saw there was a table and chairs – it wasn’t big but four of them could fit at once.
“Seeing that table reminds me we need to get Hunter and Johanna settled in for lunch.”
“You’re right Sookie.” Hoyt jumped up and asked Bobby to direct him to the kitchen. To prepare for the stay at Ludwig’s Bobby had stocked the hospital kitchen with the groceries Hoyt and Sookie requested. They would prepare the meals for the kids themselves since Ludwig’s facility was to small to have a food service department. Hoyt would take lunches; Sookie would do dinners as Hoyt was usually teaching music at dinner time and Jessica would be en route from work. They would split breakfasts as needed.
Before Hoyt brought in lunch, the detectives said their goodbyes since they were part of the foster arrests. It was something they truly didn’t want to miss. “Good luck guys, and thanks for your help at the hospital.”
Sheridan patted Tony’s back. “Tony knew who to call.”
Hunter’s dialysis schedule would be the same as at the Parish Hospital so he went after lunch, Johanna napped and the adults stayed glued to the TV waiting for a glimpse of the arrest. They were finally rewarded when the story broke into a show in the mid-afternoon. Tears leaked from Sookie’s face as she watched: It was happiness that Sabrina was being removed from working with children, a little guilt from not trying to do something before and relief – a huge relief that it was over.
A reporter came on to interview the police chief after the footage of the arrests was shown. Sookie was shocked at the spin on the events:
“Police Chief Stanton. How did this come to light?”
“It’s an interesting story. I received a call from our local vampire liaison, Eric Northman. He’s very interested in working with us as I’ve stated many times before. He met with the woman in charge of the Make a Wish foundation in Louisiana, Genny Burke, a few weeks back to discuss some donation opportunities. Genny had some suspicions about Sabrina Thomas based on her work with a child in the foster system. She built a rapport with Mr. Northman and spoke to him of her suspicions. Given Mr. Northman’s relationships in Shreveport with law enforcement he was able to bring this situation to our attention and we gathered the evidence that led to today’s arrests. As a representative of this city and the exploited children involved, I thank Genny Burke and Eric Northman for their roles in bringing this to our attention.”
“Thank you Chief. You mentioned the children; there are now 17 of them without foster families. How will the state deal with this situation?”
“There were 17, 2 are already adopted – just this week and 1 is in the process of being adopted. As you know from the arrest information, all these children are seriously or terminal ill making them hard to place in foster families. Again we thank Genny Burke for an innovative idea. Right now, of the 14 without foster families, 10 are in the hospital and various staff from each facility has stepped up to serve as the advocates for these children. There is one advocate already paired with each child. The four that were currently housed with their foster families are being placed in temporary homes with members of Genny’s church; Eric Northman picked up the tab for any travel or other expenses needed to make that happen. They are being moved as we speak. All the families were quickly yet thoroughly checked out by Child Protective Services and will be in good hands until a more permanent solution is found.”
When the newscast ended, Sookie looked to Mustapha and Bobby. “You helped Genny with that?”
Bobby pointed to Mustapha. “All him and Judge Harkem.”
“That’s fantastic. I’ve been worried for the kids.”
“This was all in place as of late last night and ready to go. The Police Chief has been coordinating with the Pastor from Genny’s church today so they would all . . .”
Eric had felt each emotion and a text from Bobby informed him that they were watching the report and it was the cause. As soon as the story was over he called her and that interrupted the discussion with Mustapha. “Min Röðull, I can feel your distress. I’ll stop in on my way to the bar.”
“YOU WILL NOT! I’m fine. I’ve been through a million emotions but I’m really OK now.”
Oh he hated stubborn Sookie. With a sigh, he responded a frustrated “Sookie.”
She cut him off immediately. “You told me Chow is off since he’s been working every night except Monday lately, you need to open the bar. It’s Friday.”
“But you’re upset.”
“Eric. I’m fine. I love that you want to take care of me, I do, but I’m just going through a lot in my head over the arrest. I will be fine I promise.”
“Fine.” He knew this wasn’t one of those times to pick his battle. “Is Hunter back from dialysis?”
“Not yet, any minute now.”
“How’s the room?”
“Beautiful and we have a real tub for baths. Bobby did a great job; the kids are very happy. Hunter was upset that he didn’t get to check out the toys and games you bought since he had to have lunch and get to dialysis.”
“I hate my bar.”
“You’ve said this before. It’s just a few more days Eric. Oh, here’s your Fidget.” She handed Hunter the phone. “It’s Daddy.”
Hunter and Eric spoke for a while since the sun had not yet set. Sookie smiled as she heard Hunter going on and on about the room, the decorations, and how he hadn’t seen the toys yet. She interrupted the call. “Do you want me to move you to the toys and you can look at them while Daddy is on the phone?”
“Nah. I changed my mind. Maybe just pick out one thing for me to do tonight, but I want to wait for Daddy to look at them.” Eric felt badly that he couldn’t see his son until Sunday evening to do that but at the same time, he was thrilled that Hunter wanted to share something so simple with him, even if it meant Hunter had to wait for toys. “I know Mommy wants to start on dinner. Do you want to talk to her before she’s off doing that?”
“Love you Daddy. Can’t wait for Sunday.”
“I love you too fidget.”
Sookie knew Hunter’s decision had probably meant the world to Eric so she asked about it. “I guess you enjoyed that?”
“I did, though I’m torn. I hate that he needs to wait until Sunday.”
“He’ll be fine – he has the toys we packed. It’s just the new ones and I know he really does want to wait for you now that he’s thought it through. Johanna didn’t wait. She’s already got her new Cinderella outfit on her baby doll.”
“You really are quite the spoiler you know. Well, you and Bobby – he really had fun setting up this room.”
“Yes, and just so you know, I paid for the construction work, but all the special touches for the kids were gifts from Bobby.”
“Well, then he’s getting another hug when I hang up.” She stared at Eric’s dayman and he looked on in confusion, not knowing what Eric had divulged to her. “But now, you’re off to your bar Mister.”
“Yes Ma’am. I’ll call when I can.”
“I’ll be making my shopping list for tomorrow.”
“No argument on the shopping?”
“Not this time.”
“So we’ll call it a tie then tonight. You won the first one with me NOT coming to see you and I won the shopping part.”
She just laughed. “I didn’t know we were keeping score.”
“Losing an argument is so unique to me, I need to remember this.”
“I’ll get you a log then.”
“Add it to your list my Sookie.”