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Chapter 37 – See Daddy Marry Mommy
NOTE: All Hunter’s Point of View (very different for me). I’m a little FREAKED out on posting cause I’m sure there are more tenses wrong – hidden all throughout – but at this point, my eyes aren’t seeing anything new when I read it – so here goes.
Warnings – I think we’re fine.
I get up at my usual 10AM and the house is already crazy – I mean people getting married is cool; I just don’t think it needs all this stuff.
I walk upstairs for breakfast and while there were tons of people around, there doesn’t seem to be anybody interested in feeding me. Seems like a perfect opportunity for me to grab something on my own. I remember there is chocolate cake leftover from the rehearsal dinner last night. Cake sounds perfect! I’ll have a glass of milk with it – to make it more nutritious of course.
While I’m eating, I hear Gramma still yelling at that poor delivery guy about the flowers and then I hear him make a call – I guess to his boss asking if they can make-up new bouquets. Next I hear him remind his boss that Daddy is a big scary vampire. THAT makes me laugh. I love that my Daddy has such a scary repu a reperc . . .ah that people know to be afraid of him. Yep! That’s MY Daddy. Oh, it works; I can hear the guy saying he’s going back to the shop for fresh bouquets. I LOVE this better hearing since I get Daddy’s blood. Like now, I can hear that Celia is awake but I also know Mommy’s got her since I left Celia and Mommy in bed sleeping. I guessed that Mommy needed extra sleep so she can be all ready for her wedding tonight. It’s funny – everyone else is running around crazy and Mommy really only cares about a few surprises for Daddy. I know what some are but I told nobody. He’s gonna be mighty happy.
I’m more excited about the honeymoon. I’ve never been on vacation before. Mima has told me a million times that she wants to give Mommy and Daddy alone time – and that’s fine. Mima is plenty fun so Celia and I will be good. Mima also made me promise to sneak in and sleep with her if I need that – instead of Mommy and Daddy. I think I can handle that for the two weeks. Celia won’t though. Mommy already told me they’re keeping the crib in their bedroom. I know exactly what happens when those doors are closed and Celia just sleeps through it – so it doesn’t matter and I get it.
Uh oh, I hear Mima coming in. I’d better get rid of the evidence of the cake I ate.
“Hunter! Are you up here?”
“Yes Mima. How are you?” I move into her arms for my hug.
“I’m very excited about tonight.”
“Me too. Did you have breakfast?”
“Yep! I’m all good. I’m gonna check on Celia, she’s up.”
“OK. It’s a busy day – but if you need anything just call for me.”
“In the bedroom Hunter.” I run in and see Celia having her wake-up bottle. I’ve heard others say that she’s like some adults that haven’t had their coffee yet if she hasn’t had that first bottle. She likes drinking it while lounging in between Mommy and Daddy even though he’s asleep the whole time. Mommy stays on one side and props her up against Daddy. It’s probably a good thing he sleeps through it since she often plays with his chest hair and yanks some out with her tight grip. Actually, if I know my Daddy – and I DO – he wouldn’t care even if he was awake. Uh oh, she sees me and smiles. Now formula is dribbling all over the place. She’s so messy.
“Hey Celia. You enjoying your bottle?” I watch as her eyes light up and she tries to answer me with the nipple in her mouth – it doesn’t really work that way. “Mommy and Daddy are getting married today!” More formula all over the bed with her smile. At least Mommy knows she’s like this and my sister is resting on a pad that she can just wash easily.
“Hunter, she’d have better luck finishing her bottle if you didn’t make her smile every other minute.”
“Brothers are supposed to make their sisters happy.” Uh oh. That comment made Mommy sad. “I’m sorry.”
“No, you’re right baby. They are – so it means the world to me that you plan on doing just that.”
“I do.” I laugh out loud at that one and Mommy clearly didn’t know why. She’s making this – ‘you’re crazy’ face while I laugh. “Mommy! I just said ‘I DO’ – like I’m practicing for tonight myself.”
“Oh – good one baby.” Mommy takes Celia’s bottle. “All done baby girl? Give Daddy kisses.” Celia knows enough of our routine that she turns her head and leaves a big drooly mess on Daddy’s chest. Since she does it all the time, Daddy looks for it now when he wakes – says he can smell it. YUCK! Whatever – it makes him happy. “Hunter, you’re having your bath before your nap today, remember?”
“Yes Ma’am.” Being on my best behavior is the way to go today. Too many bridezillas – or I guess they’re granzilla’s running around making everyone nervous. I hate taking a bath without Daddy but I know I need to be almost ready to go by the time he wakes up.
“Ok Hunter. I’m giving Celia to Doc Maria for a while – she should be here with Dylan soon so you guys can play while I get my nails and hair done.”
“Yay – I love playing with Dylan.”
“I know, but you’ll need to stay with Doc Maria since she’ll have three of you.” I nodded. “That’s my good boy. Come give Mommy hugs.”
This is the best part about walking now. I can go to Mommy and others. I don’t need to wait for folks to come move me around.
A few hours later and Mommy’s home and boy does she look great! “Mommy you are so pretty!”
“Well thank you Hunter. Mommy feels pretty.” Looks like Celia noticed Mommy too cause she’s babbling on the other side of the den with her arms out. “I’m coming little one, hang on. Hunter, time for your lunch. Mima said she’ll make it for you.” She turned to her friend. “Maria, thanks for taking care of everyone. I’ll see you at Longwood.”
“Looking forward to it Sookie.”
“What about you Mommy? Are you having lunch?”
“I’m too excited to eat. Besides Celia just thanked me for coming home by filling her diaper.” She looked down and made a face like Celia just did the cutest thing in the world. “Didn’t you baby girl?”
“Smells pretty bad from here.”
“You go onto the kitchen. I’ll be back shortly.”
“Yes Ma’am. I’m starving.”
So now I’m back in the kitchen and Mima is just walking out. “Hang on Hunter, Gramma wants me to look at the new batch of flowers delivered.”
“No problem Mima.”
I wait a few minutes but now I’m pretty hungry. I know! Peanut Butter! I open the pantry door and pull over a chair to grab the peanut butter and what do I find? Pawpaw’s potato chips. SCORE! A spoonful of peanut butter and some chips sounds like a perfect lunch to me. I’ll have milk to round it out. Mima comes back about twenty minutes later and I’ve already finished my perfect lunch. “Hunter?”
“I’m good Mima. I’m gonna watch some TV.”
“Okay Hunter. I need to get my shower so I can set my hair.”
I decide to watch my movie in Mommy and Daddy’s room since I’ll need to take my bath and nap in there anyway. I tell Mommy what I’m doing on my way down. Daddy made it easy for me to get into the locked area downstairs with just my thumbprint. I put it in a special spot, say our secret word and the door opens. A quick stop for a movie selection at the den and then I’m in bed with Daddy waiting for the movie to start. Mommy comes in as it’s ending and starts my bath. She’s letting me just soak and calling me clean cause she doesn’t want to mess her nails – that’s fine by me. Celia and I get in bed for our afternoon nap. Mommy decides she’s just going to rest in the chair since her hair will be messed up too much from the bed. Her saying that is the last thing I remember.
Celia actually wakes before me but her excited babble gets me up from my nap. We all love this time. Celia can’t speak yet but the images in her head are all happy – and mostly all Daddy Daddy Daddy when he rises. I get it – he’s cool and we always hang out in bed when he’s first up. “Daddy? Where’s Mommy?”
“She scooted out when she felt me rising. The groom can’t see the bride before the wedding.”
“OY – it’s been wedding crap like that for days.”
“HUNTER!” Daddy tries to look stern but he’s stifling a laugh. He did manage to get out the reprimand though. “We do not say ‘crap’.”
I know Daddy wants to laugh but I also know I’m not allowed to say ‘crap’ so I go with the extra polite, “Yes Sir.”
“Good man.” He adjusts Celia so she can’t get his hair as easily. “So you’re leaving soon, right?”
“Do I have to go early? I’m a boy – can’t I go with you and Hoyt and the other guys?”
“Mommy wants you there for bridal party pictures before the ceremony.”
“You’re keeping Celia.”
“Celia is with me and Hoyt at the front of the service, she’s not walking in the processional like you, Johanna, and Jessica.”
“How about Pawpaw? He can just drive me over after you dress me? I don’t need to be there while Mommy’s dressing.”
“You’re going to get me in trouble.” He even sighs. “I’ll call your Pawpaw. You’re only getting out of the dressing time for Mommy and the other girls.”
“And I have to get ready and dress Celia before sunset so it’s not like I can play.”
“I know, I know. They’re Granzillas Daddy! It’s not Mommy – it’s Gramma and Mima!”
He laughs at me – and I am serious. “What do you mean Hunter?”
“Mima and Gramma are trying to make everything perfect. That and it’s just too much squealing for me.”
“I can understand that.”
It takes a few minutes but Daddy makes everything better. Pawpaw agrees to drive me over about 30 minutes after the first crowd leaves for Longwood. What a relief! I’m going to relax with my Viking village while I wait. I settle in with my toys while Daddy showers with Celia. A short while later I hear Mima coming to our chambers. I see her knocking on Mommy and Daddy’s door and Daddy welcomes her in. He’s half dressed and I run to see why she’s still here.
“Genny? I thought you were heading over early with the bridal party?”
“Maxine is our ‘mother of the bride’. This is her special time.” Daddy smiled at that and I did too. I know Gramma is very excited about giving Sookie away. Then Genny added, “Besides, I’m your family today.”
“Of course your family Genny, we’ve been over this.”
He bends over to put tights on Celia but Genny stops him with a hand to his shoulder. “Eric. I’m saying though that I’m your family. You know, if we were going to a big church and someone had to ask me bride or groom, I’d say groom. I’m yours.” The true meaning behind her words makes him smile at her and he kisses her cheek. “Now let me have my granddaughter to dress. You finish your suit. You’ll need to help Hunter now.”
Mima leaves with Celia and her outfit and Daddy and I are still in his room getting dressed. “Are you excited?”
“You bet Daddy. I’m gonna be a Northman. And so are Mommy and Celia . . .”
“You are. I’m pretty excited about that too.” Daddy is dressing me while we were talking. My suit matches Daddy’s and I know the tie will too – we just don’t have them yet. “You’re all done now. I’ll see you there my son.”
I pout in a last ditch attempt to drive with Daddy but he isn’t giving in. I think he’s afraid of the Granzilla thing too. Who knows what could happen if I miss picture time!
Pawpaw does not drive like Daddy. We go to Longwood Gardens all the time and Daddy can make it in 10 minutes. Not Pawpaw! We’ve already been driving for twenty and we’re just rounding the back. Still, it’s better than being stuck with the bridal party. There is one problem though – he tells me he was missing his potato chips when he had lunch. I did finish his bag by accident. They just tasted too good. He kinda stares at me expectantly until I confess, then he promises to keep my secret.
The women are as squealy as I thought they would be: Ooohing and Ahhing over everything. Gramma is practically crying – but she looks nice in a gold shiny dress. “Gramma, Mima’s dress is gold too.”
“We planned it.”
“I shoulda known.” My eyes roll all on their own.
The torture isn’t too bad with the pictures and even though the planning drove me nuts, Mommy is very happy now and smiling in picture after picture until Reverend Collins says it’s time. Johanna and I are walking in first so we’re first in line in the East something or other – just a short walk to the end of the exhibit hall where the ceremony is being held. Uncle Godric had the water walkway covered so the bridal party could go across. Johanna looks cute in her white dress with red stuff on it, and Jessica is in all red. Now I guess I know why my tie and some of Mommy’s surprises for Daddy are red. Daddy is gonna love the red.
The Reverend goes up the walkway to meet Eric and I admit it – I peeked. Daddy looks really happy! I even see him trying to peek around the corner – he probably feels me. Genny is just giving him a kiss then moves to the side next to her boyfriend Ryan. Even though Mommy and Daddy are doing both a human wedding with a vampire pledging, the whole thing will be short so everyone is just going to stand. Celia is in the baby version of Johanna’s dress and Daddy is going to hold her for the first few parts of the ceremony, then Hoyt is going to take her.
Ah! The music starts so I take Johanna’s hand in one of my own; she’s carrying her flower basket in her other while I have a pillow with the wedding rings tied to it in my other hand. We only get about a third of the way towards Daddy and Celia when I can see Aunt Jessica has started (yep, I keep turning around). We’ll get to the end before Mommy and Gramma come out. I finally get there and like we were told, I stand across from Daddy and wait for Aunt Jessica. She’s moving a lot more slowly than Johanna and I did (kinda like Pawpaw’s driving) but she gets there and stands with us. The music changes and I see Mommy with Gramma come into view. I take a look at Daddy and I know Mommy would say that he is beaming as he sees her. I’m cheating and reading Gramma right now. She’s about ready to burst into tears and she’s saying ‘don’t cry, don’t cry’ over and over again in her head. I read Mommy next and leave her head quickly – she’s having those ‘adult’ thoughts about Daddy in his suit. YUCK! Well, she does tell me to stay out for a reason. I’m done with that now – shields up – just like a Star Trek spaceship.
Mommy makes it to Daddy and Maxine gives in and cries as she greets him and puts Mommy’s hand in his. The human part is lead by Reverend Collins and is over in a few moments. Mommy and Daddy chose all traditional vows and just repeated after him. Uncle Godric then moves in place for them to complete the vampire pledging. Everyone was told ahead of time about this part so when Mommy and Daddy cut themselves, nobody’s shocked. Since Daddy told me that Mommy’s blood smells really good, some witch came and spelled the area so none of the vampires here would smell it – well except for Uncle Godric and he promised he’d have no problems. He was right – everything is fine. And just like that – it’s over and the Reverend and Uncle Godric both gives Daddy permission to kiss his bride. As if my Daddy needs permission for that.
Now we get to the party part which is good because I’m pretty hungry. I’m thinking that a peanut butter spoon and chips may not have been enough lunch. Eh, live and learn.
Since I’m standing next to Mommy, I take her hand as we start to walk around the room. It’s nice to see some folks from Louisiana – well beyond the expected family. Eric’s vampire child Karin is here and she gets along with Mommy – she kinda ignores me but that’s fine. She does say congratulations to Daddy though as we walk around. Indira is also here but she’s really cool. She came with Phillip and the 3 year old boy he adopted. I still can’t believe how many of the sick kids that were part of the foster system in Louisiana were adopted – ‘forever homes’ as they are sometimes called – after the news broke then again when the trial went on. Daddy said it was all the publicity that helped. Even Aunt Claudine adopted. She’ll be here after the honeymoon for a visit: Her little girl is still with Ludwig being healed. For some of the kids with cancer they don’t have many options though. It’s sad that there is no cure: Ludwig, Vampire or Fairy for cancer, but most of the other problems Ludwig or Dr. Dayan have been able to help. Dr. Dayan is here – which is surprising considering that she didn’t like vampires at first – but she’s really turned out cool. OH – can we stop walking around saying hi! I’m hungry. “Hunter, we need to pose for some more photos.”
I groaned. I’m starving, my tie is choking me, and now I’m getting hot from this jacket. “I don’t wanna.”
“Baby, Mommy wants lots of family photos. Come on.”
“I need something to drink.”
“Ok Hunter, I’ll get you something while they take Daddy’s solo shots for a few minutes.”
Mommy’s good to her word and comes back with juice. I feel WAY better after that. I’m glad because I see another part of Mommy’s surprise for Daddy being revealed. I know she planned this with the photographer. She sits on a chair and moves her skirt so her shoes show for the first time. She even had her hem made extra long to hide it until now: She is wearing red shoes and it’s a win. Daddy literally drops to his knees to get a closer look. I don’t get it – but whatever. They’re smiling and kissing and laughing and happy – that’s all that matters to me.
Another 30 minutes and like a million pictures later and we’re finally going into the party/reception – I don’t care what’s it’s called I’m here for fun! The DJ calls Mommy and Daddy over for their first dance. This is one of Daddy’s surprises for Mommy. I don’t know what song he requested – he just told her he was picking. Hey – I know that song. It’s from John Denver – I don’t know what it’s called though but Mommy just loves it. That was nice ‘cause Daddy’s told me he’s not a John Denver fan but he gets why Mommy and I like his songs so much. It’s almost like he brought Gran here for the party. Aaanndd, yep – that’s what Mommy just thought too – but I get out of her head right away. I watch them finish their song and Hoyt and Jessica are called to dance with them. Uh oh. I just got called? “Go on Hunter, go dance with Johanna.” Gramma surprised me by speaking into my ear.
“Comon Hunteaw. Dance wif me!” Johanna even has her lip out.
“Do I have to?”
“Yes. Go on.” Gramma even pushes me a little while she says that.
So here I am, walking out to the dance floor with Johanna. She’s nice, that’s not the problem. The problem is: I have never danced. Great, now everyone is taking pictures and saying ooh and awww stuff. I’m a boy! This wedding stuff is too much.
“HUNTER!” It’s Mommy and she’s in my head.
“Smile and do this for me please?”
I look over and her face is kinda pouty – like Celia when she wants something. “Ok Mommy.”
The song is short so I’m free and I quickly move to the buffet of food. Mommy just wanted finger foods – lots and lots of finger foods – so I just keep grabbing stuff as I walk along. This no special diet thing is GREAT!
There’s Mr. Ryan. “Hiya ister yan!”
The first thing he does is laugh at me. “Hunter, hello. You’ve got quite a mouthful of food there.”
OOPs – I did talk with my mouth full. I swallow and answer him. “Sorry. I just hadn’t talked to you yet.”
“Are you enjoying the wedding?”
“Now that I’m eating I am.”
For some reason, he found that statement funny – the man has no idea how hungry I am. “Your Mommy and Daddy dance beautifully together.”
“My Mommy danced in college. Daddy said he learned to do all those dances when it was in fashion years ago.” I shove another fried chickeney thing in my mouth then have a brilliant idea. “HEY! You should ask my Mima to dance.”
He laughed again. Am I THAT funny? “Good idea Hunter. I’ll go do that.”
I stuff more food in before I go to look for Daddy. He’s talking with Dr. Dayan but he catches my eye and waves his hand for me to join him. “Hi Daddy.” He picks me up.
“Did you get enough to eat?”
“That buffet is GREAT! AND I could just keep walking up and taking what I wanted and still walk around.”
“Very good. Dr. Dayan just asked me to explain why we have beakers as vases for flowers on the table.” We both laughed as he starts to answer. “That’s something very specific for Sookie and me. On the first night we met, I brought her a bouquet of flowers – Gerbera Daisies like we have here for the wedding. Well, I never thought about a vase so one of the nurses brought in a beaker. It took off from there and I ensure she always has fresh flowers for a beaker we keep as a vase in our bedroom. She wanted to use beakers here at the wedding. I thought it was pretty funny considering our surroundings.”
“That’s so sweet.” Dr. Dayan gets waved over to talk to Lala so she says goodbye to Daddy and me.
I hang with Daddy for a while as he’s talking to other folks. Celia is with Mommy and Indira right now – and they’re doing all that gushy stuff over Celia. Don’t get me wrong – I love my little sister and all, but I’m a Viking war games kinda guy. Oh, this will be interesting. Daddy puts me on his lap while he sits and talks with Karin. I know she didn’t want kids but she doesn’t even make eye contact with me. Strange woman – that one. “Master, everything is very nice.”
“It is. Sookie provided a vision but it was really the grandmothers and day help that pulled it together. I pretty much got dressed and showed up.” He squeezes me a bit then adds. “Isn’t that right Fidget?”
This is huge – she just looked at me. “He certainly is polite enough Master.”
“He’s also a great deal of fun.”
“You’ve always been a big child.”
I keep hearing this about Daddy and I don’t get it. “Why does everybody keep saying that? Is there something about growing up that means you can’t be fun?”
“No Hunter there isn’t. Some people forget how to have fun.” I can see he’s looking right at Karin as he says the last part – hmm – maybe SHE doesn’t know how to have fun. I’d teach her if she wanted. She ignores Daddy though and asks about Tori. I answer for Daddy.
“You know Mommy saved her, right? From the fire at Fangtasia. I mean she had help but she was part of it.”
“Yes Hunter, I’ve been told.”
Aannd that’s all she says but she keeps staring so I decide to go for more food. I hop down. “They just brought out more of those potato things – I’m going back in.”
“Be sure to watch where you’re walking – you’re shorter than everyone.”
I keep eating and watching the dancing. Most of the guests are up on that floor. Johanna is dancing with her Daddy and everyone’s taking pictures of that. Mima and Daddy are dancing now. They’re talking and smiling. I see now why Daddy looked at Karin when he made that remark about people forgetting to have fun. She’s just kinda standing there. She doesn’t look mad or anything but she doesn’t look happy to be here either. Whatever. She doesn’t live near us so I don’t really care. The one that makes me scared is locked away. I know Pam can’t get now out but in January she will. Daddy’s promised me over and over that she can’t hurt us – but that doesn’t mean I have to like her being close. Sometimes, I hear Mommy and Daddy whisper or Mommy just thinking about Pam. According to what I’ve overheard, Pam seems better so I guess I’ll wait and see. I know if she’s a problem Daddy will make her live somewhere else; he’ll make everything right. Meanwhile, I see those mini quiches with bacon have been refilled. I’m going back to the buffet.
The reception is fun and now I’ve even had the cake Mommy and Daddy cut (he only fed her of course). The DJ calls them back to the dance floor and Mommy throws her bouquet (Doc Maria caught it) and now Daddy is throwing the garter. He really didn’t want to do this but Mommy insisted – it’s actually another surprise for Daddy and he laughed out loud when he reached up her leg and found a red garter on her thigh. After a whisper that NOBODY could hear, Daddy declares that there would be no throwing of that garter. Bobby looks pretty relieved to be honest and since I didn’t know why he looked that way, I listened to him. It seems that if a man catches the garter he’s next to get married. Well Bobby’s just being stupid. Everybody knows that Gramma and Pawpaw are getting married next. Grown-ups are weird.
So instead of throwing the garter, Daddy stands Mommy up for a song. This time though, they aren’t doing any of the fancy moves. They’re just all connected and swaying. They’re both looking at each other – staring and occasionally giving kisses. I look around. This isn’t dancing is it? Well everyone’s watching and Gramma and Mima are crying? Maybe I should say one of my funny words to break people out of this – whatever it is. I can see now that Mommy has tears coming down her face and it just looks like Daddy is singing to her. Doesn’t he see she’s crying? I’m going in. A hand stops me and I see it’s Mustapha. He even picks me up. “Let me go Mustapha, Mommy is upset.”
“No Hunter, those are tears of joy – I promise you.”
“But they aren’t even dancing really. Her head is just swirl of emotions – I can’t even get a read.”
“They’re loving each other Hunter. Some day you’ll understand.”
“You’re sure? I mean Mima, Gramma – OH and now even Aunt Jessica – they’re all crying.”
“They’re crying because it’s beautiful Hunter.”
“It’s beautiful to see Mommy putting her hands on Daddy’s butt? ‘Cause that’s what she’s doing right now.”
Mustapha chuckled. “It’s beautiful to see how happy they are with each other.”
“If you say so.”
“I do. It looks like you’ve been summoned. Go on.”
Mommy had called to me so I moved to the dance floor to stand with her while Daddy takes Celia from Lala. The DJ starts the last song and now I’m dancing with Mommy while Daddy has Celia. This is nice. We’re all together. Of course, I still don’t know how to dance any more than I did when I first danced with Johanna a while ago – but Mommy is happy.
“Thank you for the dance Hunter. You know we’ll see you tomorrow just after first dark, right?”
“Help Celia since she might miss us.”
Mommy and Daddy are heading out for their wedding night at some local place that Godric planned for them. I know they need this alone time for after the wedding but I hate being without them now. Oh well, I’ll have Mima and Gramma and Pawpaw – and WHOA! Look at all the leftover wedding cake we’re bringing home. Breakfast anyone?