Chapter 34 – Come to Poppa
It took a few days, but everyone was back ‘living’ in the correct time zone and enjoying relatively carefree days. Pam and Mor helped with the teacups and Grace so Amelia could train with Sookie to take over as the B&B Manager. Construction had progressed on the old barn to create the new house for Sookie and Eric. The plans had to be changed significantly from their original vision since they couldn’t get the space they needed and enough daylight in the lower level. The solution: Building up. The main level would still be their kitchen, dining room, living room and family room. The lower level would be storage in the back (where there were no windows), an in-home gym, and a craft room for Sookie and the girls. The new top level would be 5 bedrooms, since they now had the extra space. This would reduce the burden on the B&B to host extra family members when they were in the area. Since the new craft room could also serve as a guest room, they could have Mor, Far and Pam stay with them if needed.
Family life was good. Klaus had some business in LA, but planned to return before Pam and Sookie’s trip to New York. Eleanor cried so much the day he was leaving; Klaus even got caught with tears in his eyes. He didn’t even have Akita to share the burden of leaving since she told him, “I have two barnbarns home from school, a wedding to plan with Pam and Sookie, and a BABY on the way. Sorry Klaus, but you won’t have me on any trips for a while.”
Klaus couldn’t argue. He could only be jealous of Akita’s ability to stay.
The family was enjoying a trip to Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. They had been blessed with a lower humidity day so they took advantage. While the girls were playing in one of the tree houses at Longwood; Maxwell received a call from Kahn, the PI they had hired to find Bill. Maxwell moved slightly away from his charges. He wanted to keep an eye on them, but ensure the call was private as he was nervous about why Kahn would be reaching out to him. Eric had climbed to the top of the tree house with the girls while Akita and Pam stayed with Sookie who needed the break from the walking in the heat. Sookie saw Maxwell’s face change from his usual unexpressive stance to a look of concern and then anger. When he came back she asked. “Max, is everything OK? You look like you could kick a puppy.”
“Sorry about that, I got some bad news from a friend.” There was nothing the group could do about the news he just received; he would wait until they were home.
Once they were settled back at the house, Maxwell did not hesitate. He quietly asked Pam to take the girls to the pond and then asked to speak to Eric and Sookie.
“I knew something was wrong” was the first thing Sookie said.
“Sookie, I’m sorry. Waiting to hear my news wasn’t going to change it, and I wanted to ensure the girls could not hear.”
“I respect that. Thanks.” She paused and took a breath. “Ok, spit it out.”
“It’s Bill. As Lattesta warned us, he made a deal. He committed testify against DeCastro and others on DeCastro’s staff in exchange for a more lenient sentence.”
“Define lenient.” Eric asked with a dangerous look on his face.
“He will be in protective custody until DeCastro’s trial is over. Then he will be moved into witness protection with a new identity. His incarceration will consist of house arrest for 25 years while in witness protection. I’m sorry to tell you he won’t actually do jail time. I believe we should discuss this with the FBI, but what Kahn told me is that he won’t be a risk to you. The situation really pisses me off since he deserves worse than what he is getting.”
“Maxwell, can you ask Pam and Mor to take care of the girls? I think Sookie and I need to digest this information for a bit.”
“Of course. I’ll take them all out for dinner and a movie.”
Eric and Sookie remained quiet until Maxwell and Pam left with the girls.
“DAG Burnit! I Shoulda killed him when I coulda!” Sookie yelled.
“I agree. We’ll call Agent Lattesta and get the details on our safety. We need to call Russell. Perhaps he can advise if we have any way to testify against Bill and have the outcome changed.”
“Yes, call Russell….uh oh.” Sookie said as she ran to the bathroom. The sickness was fewer and further between from the pregnancy, but this situation was so upsetting. She was surprised it took this long for her stomach to react.
“Are you OK in there, Sookie?”
“I’m fine, nothing I haven’t dealt with before. Just call Russell.”
Russell arrived and they called Agent Lattesta. “Guys, I’m really sorry this turned out with him not seeing jail time. I never dreamed he would get this good of a deal. This decision came from above our office and the deals have been signed. It’s done.”
“FUCK!” Eric boomed.
“I’m sorry. Even I won’t know his new identity. He’ll be on house arrest with an ankle monitor. He gets to take his money with him, so he doesn’t even need to work. He won’t be able to leave the house unless he requests guards to accompany him for a few specific reasons, like a doctor appointment.”
“Yes, but he can have whores visit, eat real food, sleep on satin sheets. He doesn’t deserve that.”
“No, no he doesn’t. I’ll keep Kahn informed as much as I can, so you can at least know when he is moved from protective custody for the trial to his new identity.”
Russell replied, “Thanks Scott, we know that’s not something you should be doing.”
A few minutes later, Eric escorted Russell out to his car while Sookie was resting in the family room. “What are you going to do Eric?” Russell asked.
“Do you want to know?”
“You just answered my question. Take care of our girl.”
“Thanks for coming over on short notice.”
Eric took advantage of being outside and away from anyone’s ears while he made a call. “Kahn, it’s Northman.”
“I was wondering how long it would be before I heard from you.”
“Just wanted to thank you for staying involved. I know we are anxious for this to be all over.”
“I understand Eric. I’ll send you an invoice for my hours.”
Eric ended the call and smiled. Kahn knew exactly what ‘all over’ meant; Bill would be dead as soon as practical. ‘He’ll never fuck with my family again.’
He returned to find Sookie waiting for him in the family room. “I thought we could relax here alone. We haven’t done that in ages. I love having all the family around, but I miss the snuggle time we enjoyed when we were first getting to know each other.”
“I like that idea. Should I put in a movie so we can not watch it?
Eric picked a DVD and loaded it then moved to the couch. He tucked himself into the corner of the couch and Sookie moved to sit between his legs with her back on his chest. His hands moved to her lower belly. “Soon, I’ll feel our baby growing and moving here. I can’t wait.”
“Yes well, I need at least two more weeks at this size so I can wear the gown I already picked for the Philadelphia fund raising ball coming up. I really want to go – and for me that’s saying something.”
“Yes, but for you it’s not the fancy stuff that’s the draw, the fundraiser for homeless families is important to you. Besides, it won’t be like the stuffy Hollywood parties. We have an entire table for our family and friends so you will have a good time.”
“Yes sir. Now start the movie.”
They were asleep when Akita, Pam and the girls found them a few hours later. The movie’s menu screen was playing over and over again, and Eric’s hands were sitting protectively over the baby. Akita melted at their pose, but Maura (clever girl) ran to get her camera. After she took her picture, she turned to her Farmor and whispered, “They used to be asleep like this all the time at the beginning of the year. I have so many shots like this; I’m making an album for them as a Christmas present.”
Akita hissed out a quiet laugh and motioned for the girls to go upstairs to their room.
The summer days passed quickly. Klaus returned in time for the fundraiser, and they had hired a limo for the entire group: Pam, Eric, Sookie, Maxwell, Russell, Bart, Amelia and Tray. Russell had booked a full table for the fundraiser under his name to keep the knowledge that Eric, and his equally famous parents were attending out of the press. His plan had no impact; the gang of reporters outside the fundraiser was huge, and it included paparazzi. They ignored the crowd except for a few autographs and moved quickly into the ballroom. Eric had been right; except for the commotion at the door, the evening was fun. Russell enjoyed some dances with Sookie after he pouted and asked Eric for some time with his former dance partner. Instead of pouting himself, Eric took Pam and his Mor out to the dance floor.
They ended the evening early since Sookie was concerned about preparations for the at home interview with People Magazine scheduled two days away. The next morning, she became hell on wheels making the already immaculate house perfect. Eric knew better than to stop her, so he just went with the flow and helped. His father got a huge laugh out of seeing him vacuum the already clean formal living room where the interview would be held. Unfortunately for Klaus, Sookie caught him and he was assigned dusting duty in the dining room. Eric chuckled to himself as his father was handed something called a ‘swiffer’ and then Sookie tutored him on how to use it. Pam, wisely, spent her time with the girls at the pond for the bulk of the day.
On Monday morning, Pam had scheduled a hairstylist and make-up artist for Eric, Sookie and the girls and she was just finishing Sookie when Cheryl Thompson from People Magazine arrived with a cameraman. Sookie came down from the bedroom and was stunning in a raspberry colored pleated dress with ruched waist. The pleating covered the small bump that was just starting to appear, and the color coordinated with the girls dresses (navy blue background with raspberry stars). Eric completed the family look with a navy suit. Pam had outdone herself; they all coordinated without looking matchy-matchy.
Photographs were the first order of business, and Sookie was very relieved. She was unsure how long the girls would last looking perfect after fidgeting through an interview. Once they had taken many different poses, they moved onto the questions. Cheryl, the interviewer covered the basics on Eric’s career, the success of Bored to Death, and his upcoming movies. Once those questions were answered, Cheryl moved onto the family. Sookie and Eric had planned how to answer the topics they pre-approved for the interview. While Sookie wanted Eric to just handle all the questions, they knew that could give the wrong appearance. So when the questions about their meeting, and starting the relationship were asked, Sookie answered. When they crossed into dealing with fans and prior famous relationships, Eric answered. The agreement for scheduling the interview prevented People Magazine (and therefore, Cheryl) from asking the girls any questions directly. Sookie and Eric would ask questions about their perspective, again, all topics they had pre-planned. Cheryl tested her ability to interview the girls directly by asking an ‘innocent’ question about the movie being filmed at their house, and Eric stopped them from answering. He gently reminded Cheryl of her agreement to not interview the girls. She nodded and they forged ahead. The only glitch came when Cheryl, who had obviously done her homework, asked about visits to an obstetrician while they were in LA. Eric appeared ready to kill and Sookie gently placed a hand on his arm. Then she turned to Cheryl and spoke. “Ms. Thompson, I appreciate that you seem to have done some homework beyond the normal preparation for this interview. Clearly, you are trying to obtain some kind of ‘scoop’ for your magazine or just for your career. We contacted your magazine specifically because we wanted the opportunity to share information about our engagement on our own terms, believing People Magazine to be a cut above the gossip rags. Your snooping, and your question have crossed the line and I must now ask you to leave our house. Our attorney will be contacting your magazine to discuss this and then we can determine if the article can even be printed.” Sookie turned towards the dining room. “Maxwell, please see Ms. Thompson and her cameraman out.” With that, they all stood and left the living room and headed to the office.
“Poppa, what’s going on?”
Eric answered. “Eleanor, ‘what’s going on’ is that woman asked a question that was inappropriate and your Mama protected our family by calmly having her removed. Now we are going to call Russell and ensure that her question about your Mama’s doctor’s visit is not part of her article. We don’t want to share the news of your little brother or sister yet. We’ve got some calls to make, let’s go find Pam and get you changed. Sookie, I’ll be right back.”
Eric returned to the office and Sookie started to speak but Eric cut off her words with his mouth. After kissing her for a moment, he paused and spoke. “Sookie, your control of that interview was hot; I don’t know if I want to make the calls right away. I want you.”
“ERIC! The girls and your parents are around and we have calls to make.”
“Everyone is going out, I already spoke to Maxwell.”
“Good – but calls first, Eric.” She waggled a finger at him as she spoke.
Sookie moved to the phone to call Russell. Eric, meanwhile, didn’t stop his intentions. While she dialed, he kissed her neck and over her shoulders. When Russell answered and she started describing the problem, he knelt down to remove her shoes. When Russell started explaining his next steps, he stood and removed the pins holding her hair up, then started massaging her scalp. Finally, she hung up, turned to slap Eric’s arms; and then pulled him down for a kiss. “That was wicked.” She stood and pushed him into the chair. “Paybacks! You need to call your new manager and tell him the news.”
“I can call him later, it’s early in LA.”
Sookie handed Eric the phone. “Uh uh. Call Terrance. Or can’t you handle the heat?”
He dialed the phone and Sookie smirked. First she started unbuttoning his shirt and kissing his way down his chest. She pulled on his legs as he started talking. He finally complied by moving his butt to the edge of the seat and leaning back. She undid his belt and pants to free his cock while he finished the conversation with Terrance and as soon as he pushed end on the call, she took him in her mouth. He hissed in pleasure and ran his fingers through her hair. Sookie was able to take all of him due to all the practice they had been getting and Eric was so turned on by her display with the reporter he had to tell her to stop. “Sookie, I’m gonna cum, I want to be in you.”
Sookie released him, stood and removed her dress while Eric finished taking off his pants. Returning to sit on the chair, he called Sookie over to straddle him and she lowered herself onto his cock. For leverage, she pushed on his shoulders to raise and lower her hips while she squeezed the muscles surrounding his swollen member. Eric groaned. “Like that, do ya?” She asked.
“Sookie.” He moaned.
She sped up her actions and he started rubbing her clit. That was her undoing and she collapsed on his shoulder as she came. He continued to pump in and out of her while she contracted through her orgasm. Eric came, yelling Sookie’s name enjoying the empty house.
They stayed wrapped around each other for a few minutes, until the phone rang. Sookie quickly pulled her dress on before answering, causing Eric to snicker.
“Hang on Russell; let me put you on speaker phone.” She replaced the phone in the cradle and hit speaker. “Ok, can you hear me?”
“Yes Sookie. I spoke to the magazine. Of course they apologized since you sent a list of allowable topics, and a visit to a doctor was not on the list. They will send the final article and it cannot be printed without your signatures. If it is, we’ll follow-up with legal action. People magazine doesn’t have a reputation for having legal issues, so I believe this is still your best bet to have the news out on your terms.”
“What about the interviewer? What if she ‘does something’ with that information?”
Russell sighed. “Sookie, she is employed by People, not freelance so we can only hope her job means more to her than selling a tip to someone else. The question is where did she get that information? If you pursue the source with her, the information becomes more interesting. I suggest you handle the article with the signoff as they promised, and wait and see on the information source.” He paused for a moment, and when he got no reply he added, “Sookie, Eric, let me ask you something. In two maybe three months, will this particular question matter?”
Sookie and Eric looked at each other and shrugged. It was Eric that replied. “Russell, you’re probably right. We just wanted to control the news – but I guess we should prepare for a leak. Thanks Russell.”
After reviewing the next steps in detail and saying goodbye, Eric swooped Sookie into his arms. When she started to protest, he reminded her that he had permission to carry her whenever he wanted.
“Eric, that was before I was pregnant and getting heavier.”
“Are you suggesting I am weak, woman?”
“No, just enjoy it while you can.” He continued walking with her and she asked. “Where are you taking me?”
“To bed. I’m not finished with you and everyone is gone for at least two more hours. You are taking my pussy to New York for dress shopping tomorrow. I need to get my fill now.” He placed her on the bed and pushed her dress up to her waist.
“Well, then by all means, spend some time saying goodbye.”
Maxwell started the car for the trip to New York and Pam practically skipped from the house to get in it. After much discussion, they decided to have Maxwell drive and guard Pam, Akita and Sookie in New York. Eric and Klaus were planning to stick to the girls every moment. Sookie wanted to go, she really did. At the same time, she didn’t want to leave Eric or the girls. So she just stood frozen at the door. Eric nudged her towards the car. She reminded Eric about the chicken in the fridge, the suntan lotion for the girls, the need to have them pick up after themselves. He whispered to her that everyone would be fine, that she would only be gone for two nights, that he loved her and he needed her to go and enjoy her time with Pam and Mor. He breathed a sigh of relief when she left. Not that he wanted her to go, but he wanted her to feel confident that he could take care of the girls and the house. After all, how much trouble can they get into?
Two hours later, Klaus and Eric had the girls at the pond fishing. Preston really had done a beautiful job with the dock for the movie and Sookie felt very secure with the fence around the water, at least until the children were older. The fish in the pond were small, so they were just catching and releasing them, but they all enjoyed the time together. Since they were already enjoying the out of doors, Eric prepared lunch and served his Prinsessas outside on the porch. He decided to play it up by draping a napkin over his arm and acting like a waiter in a fancy restaurant. Eleanor and Maura ate it all up and started ordering him around to get them their drinks, napkins and such. They were still giggling even while they helped Eric clear the table.
Not slowing down at all, the girls wanted to play on the jungle gym after lunch, so Klaus stayed with them until they were overwhelmed with the heat. Moving into the house, they decided to play in the family room. Lego creations covered all the flat surfaces when Eric called everyone for dinner.
While they enjoyed dinner, Eric told them about the surprise for dessert: Smores. “Girls were going to make a bonfire tonight.”
They both squealed and noticed that Eric now had a tray with marshmallows, graham crackers and chocolate. “Let’s go Poppa!” Eleanor yelled.
“Eleanor. Remember you don’t need to yell, I’m right here.”
“Oops. Sorry Poppa, I’m just excited.”
“Well, we need to video call Mama first to say good night; then we can start the fire.”
“I wanna talk first.”
“OK Eleanor, you talk first. Come to the office.”
“Hi Mama! Did you get your dress?”
“Not yet Eleanor, I saw a few that I liked, and Aunt Pam has more appointments tomorrow. Guess what?”
“They have these cute bumps you can use to try on the wedding gowns so I can see what the dresses will look like when the baby has grown to about 6 months.”
“Wow, that’s cool.”
“It is. What did you do today?”
“Fishing, a fancy lunch, the jungle gym, Legos and next we are having a fire.”
“Sounds like a busy day.”
“It was a great day.”
“What do you have planned for tomorrow?”
“Swimming at Mena’s!” Maura answered, trying to get in on the conversation.
“Who is going with you?”
“Poppa AND Farfar are going and they both promised to swim with Mena, Dr. Bart and us.”
“That sounds great. You girls be good at Mena’s and mind your Poppa at the fire tonight.”
“We will. Here’s Poppa. Good night Mama.”
“Goodnight Maura, Goodnight Eleanor. I love you.”
They both replied with ‘I love you’ and moved so Eric could see the iPad.
“Hi Sweetie. How is your day going?”
“We’re doing just fine. You look a bit tired, are you OK?”
“Yes. We are in for the night and I’m going to bed.”
“And tomorrow, you have two appointments, is that too much?”
“No, actually today we narrowed into certain styles that I like and don’t like, so the appointments won’t take as long. What’s the fancy lunch?”
“Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches served on the porch by their waiter, Poppa. I just fooled around with them pretending they were at a fancy restaurant.”
“Spoiling by Poppa, day 1.”
“I did not spoil them with a lunch.”
“Sookie, can I say hi to Pam?”
“Sure, I’m going to take my makeup off and get in bed, so I’ll say goodnight and I love you and miss you.”
“I love you too and we all miss you here.”
Eric heard Sookie call for Pam and they switched places at the iPad. “Eric, how are my teacups?”
“Everyone is doing just fine. I wanted to just chat about your day tomorrow.”
“Sure, what’s up?”
“Sookie looks tired, Pam. Don’t let that happen again tomorrow.” He started to appear a bit agitated.
“Eric, calm down. She was telling the truth, she narrowed down her styles, but to do that, she pushed herself today. Mor and I will ensure she limits the appointments tomorrow. The day after, we plan to finalize her choice then we leave for home.”
“Tell her I’ll be mad at you if she overdoes it, if you need to that is.”
“I can handle this.”
“Well, then we’ll talk tomorrow night. Put Mor on, Far wants to say Hi, and Goodnight Pam.”
Klaus stayed on the web call with Akita for a few minutes while Eric took the girls out to start the fire. Soon, it was blazing and they pulled chairs around to wait for it to turn to the perfect embers for marshmallows. Klaus joined them and he regaled them with a story about meeting Akita’s parents. Since they didn’t like Klaus from what they heard, he was very nervous and the girls were giggling about his panic in getting ready, meeting them, and fumbling through dinner. Eric corroborated the story since even he could remember that Mormor and Morfar really only tolerated his Far, but they had at least learned to accept one another.
The embers were ready for the marshmallows so Eric helped the girls poke them onto the sticks. They had several mishaps including marshmallows dropped into the fire and flaming marshmallows until they finally got the golden brown that was the goal. Eric took pictures of the girl’s ‘perfect’ smores before they dug in. Once their snack was finished, Eric sent them in to get ready for bed while he took care of the fire. Once he followed them, he realized his mistake. A trail of marshmallow and chocolate goo marked their way through the sun porch, the kitchen, and up the stairs ‘up the stairs, how was there any left after the first two rooms?‘ Eric asked himself. He found them in the bathroom trying to wipe off the goo with toilet paper that was now just sticking all over them.
“How ’bout we just run a bath for the both of you? Seems like you’re just making more of a mess with your attempts.”
He got the tub full and left them to bathe while he started cleaning the trail. He was only to the bottom of the stairs when they called that they were done. Scrubbing marshmallow was harder than he thought. Meeting them in their room, he was relieved that the girls were marshmallow free. He only needed to get the house that way.
With the girls finally in bed, he resumed his scrubbing. It took him almost an hour, but he was sure all the evidence was gone. He went directly to bed, even though it was early – he was a tired.
The next day started out just fine. He made the girls breakfast and they went outside with Klaus to play while Eric finished some work in the office. He didn’t need to work every day while on his hiatus, but he did need to keep up with his email, incoming scripts and other business tasks. His new manager, Terrance, was efficient, and sent everything to Eric with details on the urgency so he could quickly assess what work needed to his attention first. Booger’s due date had been a problem. Filming for Meanwhile was schedule to start in early February, Booger was due in mid-February. Again, Terrance proved his worth and persuaded the film company to start filming in early-March start instead. Of course, Eric and Sookie needed to agree to some publicity on Booger’s birth that would also promote the filming of Meanwhile. He also agreed to three weeks of rehearsals in preparation. Those would be done as separate weeks: one in November, one in December, and on in mid-January. The timing was not perfect, but they would make it work. Next year would be harder. Meanwhile would film into June, then he would be off for a while before filming the new adaptation of Tarzan later in 2013. To accommodate Meanwhile filming, the family was performing a balancing act between Pennsylvania and LA. They were planning to have Pam stay with the girls in Pennsylvania until Easter; then they would come to LA through April with a home tutor. Sookie and the girls would go back to Pennsylvania in May since Maura would be making her First Holy Communion that month. Eric could not commit to Maura that he would make it, but he was planning to do his damndest. The last weeks of school and filming had not yet been planned. Either way, they would be spending some of that time apart and he hated it.
Two squealing girls ran into the office and cut off his thinking. “Poppa, we’re hungry and want to get to Mena’s. Come on, stop working.”
“Sure. I already have lunch planned and then we just need to pack.”
Lunch was easy enough but Eric felt like he was running in circles trying to pack the swim bags. Suits, towels, sunscreen, favorite swim toys, and goggles. ‘Where the fuck are the goggles?’ He looked for almost 20 minutes until the girls were near frenzied to get out the door.
“Poppa, call Mama. Please?” Maura begged.
Sookie was in a dressing room when he called and she told him to check the outside pocket of the swim bags he had been carrying around since the packing started. He grimaced when he saw the goggles there.
“Thanks Love. Sorry to disturb you.”
“No worries, it was nice to hear your voice. Have a good time.”
They arrived at Mena’s 30 minutes late, according to Eleanor’s watch. ‘Why did we work so hard teaching her to tell time?’ he wondered since it was now backfiring on him. She scowled as she saw that Grace was already there and in the pool. They went to the pool house to change, and that’s when Eric noticed his packing mistake: no suit for him.
He sheepishly came out to the pool area and asked Bart if he had a suit he could borrow. Klaus just laughed as he walked by to use the pool house himself.
The rest of the afternoon went well, and when Russell came home they grilled burgers for dinner and were home well before bed time to call Sookie.
Eric called Sookie from this office first to speak to her. He wanted to check on her day before letting the girls hog facetime on the iPad.
“Hi yourself. You look wonderful tonight.”
“I feel great, we found THE dress and I was so sure when I tried it on that the final purchase is already handled. We are leaving right after breakfast tomorrow.”
“I wish it was sooner.”
“Me too, we considered leaving today, but I was a bit queasy and didn’t want to sit in the limo for several hours.”
“Are you OK, or is Booger just upsetting your stomach?”
“It was Booger’s fault. I already feel better after having dinner and some ginger ale.”
“Ok, I’ll give Booger what for when he or she is about 18 for all this.”
“I think knowing we called him or her Booger is all the ‘what for’ that is needed.”
“True. Any hints on the dress?”
“Yes, it’s white.”
“Very funny. Did I tell you thank you for that yet? I know you were hesitant about white.”
“Eric, you don’t need to thank me. I was on the fence about wearing white, you simply expressed your wishes and helped me make the final decision.”
“As long as you like your dress, then I am happy. I know it’s not your first wedding, but I can’t help being so excited about the traditions since it’s my first. Just don’t tell anyone how much of a sap I am.”
“Hey, you’re my sap, but I do promise to keep your secret.” Sookie answered with a giggle.
“Ready to talk to the girls?”
“Ok, walking you to the family room now.”
Sookie heard Eric curse, saying knulla or fuck in swedish. Then she heard him scold in a warning tone, “Girls.”
She was trying to get his attention, but he didn’t have the screen in the right direction. Finally he put it on the coffee table and she spoke. “Eric, what’s going on?”
“Nothing.” He stated without appearing convincing at all.
In typical Eric fashion, she raised one eyebrow but he ignored her and called Eleanor and Maura to the couch so they could talk to her.
He heard them finishing up and Maura said, “Mama wants to talk to you again.”
He returned to the couch in front of the iPad. “Eric. What happened?”
“I stepped on something.”
Sookie giggled and finally said, “a Lego?”
“How did you know?”
“The girls told me they were building with Legos yesterday. I bet they are still out, even though they are now playing with Barbies.”
“Yeah, OK you’re better at this. I came into a room that looked like a toy explosion because I didn’t have them put away Legos yesterday, and they got out, well it looks like every toy since we came home just an hour ago. I know what we are doing tomorrow morning while you’re riding home.”
Sookie heard the groans coming from the girls, but she didn’t say anything to the girls. This was for Eric and the girls to work through. “Eric, it’s not a matter of being better. You haven’t had the chance to have them all on your own yet. I’ll just go away with Pam more often to give you more practice.”
“I’m sure I can learn without you leaving me too often, I’ve missed you so much, and we have too many times we already must be apart for my work. I don’t want to add to that.”
Sookie quickly backpedaled after seeing the hurt look on his face. “Eric, sweetie, I was just joking.”
“I know it’s just especially hard today since I was working on my schedule today while the girls played with their Farfar. The separations coming up are too fresh in my mind. So, what time do you plan to be on the road tomorrow?”
“We hope by 8AM; we should be home in plenty of time for lunch.”
“We can’t wait. Love you.”
“Love you too. Oh, and Eric, be sure to watch the floor, Barbie shoes can hurt more than Legos.”
Later that week, Eric, Sookie and the girls attended the meet the teacher night at the school. At this point, most of the town knew that Eric and Sookie were together, but there were still some folks who were surprised to see Eric Northman, the movie star at the school. There were also several other Mom’s who weren’t surprised and had dressed and made themselves up in the hopes he would notice them. Eric was just so excited to be in the school with his girls meeting their teachers and seeing their desks, he never even saw them. He stood a little taller each time the girls introduced him as their Poppa. He realized and then confirmed quietly with Sookie that since Sam had actually been gone for so long now, they had never brought a father to meet the teacher night, and he was especially happy to be with them now.
On the drive home he asked the girls about their final days before school started. “What should we do before you start school? Any ideas?”
Eleanor started. “Can we go to Hershey Park? We had such a good time at Gröna Lund’s Amusement Park in Sweden; we want to go on more coasters. Can Farfar go?”
Eric turned to Sookie and asked, “Mama? How far is Hershey?”
“It’s about an hour. We can do a day trip.”
“Ok girls, we’ll plan this at home after we look into the details.”
Instead of a day trip, Eric decided to book rooms at the Hershey Hotel to spend the weekend, all of them. When discussing the trip, Eric and Sookie giggled about Eleanor and Farfar. “Heaven forbid we go somewhere without him.” Eric started.
“I know. She was a complete grump when he was in LA for business. I don’t know if she fully understands that they really live in LA, and staying in Pennsylvania is just a visit.”
“She’ll be crushed when she understands that detail.”
THAT thought caused Sookie to go quiet and think about their living arrangements. She questioned to herself, ‘is Pennsylvania the right choice for all of us? I just don’t know anymore.’ Instead of fretting any further, she simply said, “we better pack so we can get on the road.”
When they pulled into Hershey Eleanor squealed. “I smell chocolate.”
Everyone sniffed and agreed. Sookie moaned, “Great, now I want chocolate.”
Maura giggled, “Mama, you are in the right place for that. Can we do the chocolate tour we read about?”
They started with the tour and then headed into the amusement park.
They were in line for a roller coaster when Eric got a call from Kahn. He answered and Kahn simple said. “DeCastro’s trial is set to begin in mid-November.”
“Thanks for the update.” Eric beamed and looked over to Maxwell who simply nodded. Once the trial was over and DeCastro was convicted, Compton was fair game, and he, Maxwell and Kahn already had a plan.