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Hi ho, hi ho! Another chapter is done, and this one is a long one, over 5000 words last time I checked, so I hope you enjoy it! Thanks so very much for all the reviews and comments on the last chapter, both here on FF! It’s so encouraging you have no idea how much! Enjoy 17! The dinner from HELL.
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EPOV:

The more I talked to Sookie’s Grandmother, the more I found her to be as charming as Sookie. Much like Sookie, she too comes across as cold and detached at first glance, but soon if you care enough to start chipping away at the cold exterior – you’ll find a wealth of warmth inside. She still had bite though and I was definitely afraid of her bark, so both being considered I was glad when the time came for me to trek across the city to collect Emily from school, while Sookie took her Grandmother shopping.

“And is she a mean old woman?”

“Who?”

“Sookie’s Granma?”

“No, she’s not mean, she’s very nice, she’s just… posh.”

“Ohhh…” Emily said tottering along beside me, almost jogging to keep up with my pace.

“Eric?”

“Yeah?” I slowed and looked down at her.

“What does ‘posh’ mean?” she said with a shy smile and I just laughed. Scooping her up onto my shoulders while I explained to her what ‘posh’ meant and how there were different levels of posh, but that didn’t mean that those people were any better than us, or that we were any less than them. She assured me she got it, and I was happy with that. On the way back I stopped for a cup of coffee and to get Emily something to eat, she was happy enough with some soup and grilled cheese while I read my emails and inhaled my drink. It was part of our routine, when I wasn’t in work, we’d meet up, eat, and she’d tell me all about her day at school – sometimes in way, way too much detail!

“And I got a gold star on my picture today, and Miss…Miss Smith said that my reading was super good!”

I was questioning the legitimacy of a teacher using the sentence ‘super good’ but I let her ramble on as we hopped into the subway and actually managed to get a seat.

“That’s great, Em.”

“AND she said I’m best at math in the whole class, but… I said it’s ‘cause you help!” She smiled and I smiled back, missing my parents once again since it should be them she was telling all this too.

“I think we have to go out to dinner tonight, with Sookie’s family, would you like that?”

She shrugged.

“Can we go to Mc Donald’s?” her face lit up at the thought.

“Erm, no. I don’t think Sookie’s Gran would like that very much, and she’s a guest, just like we are at Sookie’s, so we have to be on our best behaviour when she’s around, okay?”

“Okay… that means inside voice, right?”

We’d had a lot of talks on a lot of days, on when it was okay to use her outside voice, and when she had to use her inside voice, slowly, she was getting it.

“Exactly, but I know you’ll be the best girl…”I said rubbing her hair and it annoyed her.

“Donnn’t!” she whined and I just laughed as she started fixing her tiny ponytail. Touchy women, they were all around me!

When I got back to Sookie’s apartment there was a Chinese woman there, with two children around Emily’s age, she told me she was Mr Stackhouse’s nanny, and that she was here to watch all the children while we went out for the evening. I really didn’t like the idea of this stranger watching my baby sister for the night, and immediately sent Sookie a text to that effect. Emily fell in with the kids really easily, the girl and her got on like a house on fire in no time, the boy took a few minutes to warm up to the new girl. Soon they were playing shop with toys that I assumed belonged to the twins. Twenty minutes later, Sookie walked through the door with two armfuls of shopping bags, minus one Grandmother.

“No, Andrew I do not give a fuck if they’ve changed their minds in Milan, I’m not changing the meeting for her, if she can’t fucking get her ass in gear when we’re paying for her to come here first class all the way, then she needs to recess her priorities. We made her our priority the least she could have done was return the favour. There are a thousand more models were she came from and if she can’t get her coke bloat under control then she’s out.” Her face was tense, as was the rest of her, but the minute she finished the conversation, she changed completely.

“Oh God Eric I think my feet are dying…” she said, setting down the bags in her foyer, “I can’t … I … ouch…” she said slipping off the giant heels with the red soles.

“You know shoes that cost that much money? You’d expect them to feel like walking on clouds.” I smirked.

“But they’re pretty…” she sounded out smiling as she walked barefoot into her kitchen, “you’ve met Li and the twins then? We figured we’d introduce them to Emily, give everyone someone knew to play with, and she’ll make sure they get fed and everything tonight so you don’t have to worry about anything.”

“Yeah, did you get my text?”

“I did, but I had to drop Gran off at Jason and Crystal’s hotel for a bit and I couldn’t reply. She’s really nice though Eric, she used to work for my Gran’s friend Sheila for a few years, she’s great with kids, and Emily would be fine.”

“I just never leave her with strangers… I don’t know I don’t feel right.”

She sighed.

“I get it, but it’s only for a couple of hours, and Jason is super picky who the twins get to stay with, they wouldn’t trust her with their kids if she wasn’t great.”

“I’d feel better about that; I would, if this wasn’t coming from parents that named their kids weren’t called Elizabeth and Darcy. I mean, they know they’re literary lovers, right? Not… siblings.” I sighed, and Sookie just smirked pouring herself some juice.

“Yeah don’t even get me started, first Crystal wanted to call them Rhett and Scarlett.”

My mouth gaped, “Yep, then it was Ben and Jennifer…which was fine until we realized she loved JLO…and also lovers… and then it was Cathy, and Heath…”

“As in…?”

“Yep. Lizzie and Darcy, we can almost get away from it, almost. They’re cute kids though, just gonna be rife with possible physiological problems when they’re older, just like the rest of us.” She sighed.

“But the nanny, she’s great, trust me. I wouldn’t want Emily sitting with anyone shady either, but it is only for a few hours, tops. Please consider it? Don’t feed me to the wolves alone.”

I rolled my eyes and accepted the cookie she pulled out of one of her many bags, “I guess…”

“You can even fake an emergency and bring me back early if you want, in fact, I openly encourage that.” She said making a funny face at me, “I’m going to check on the kids, the darker black of those bags over there? That’s for you.” She smiled popping half her cookie in her mouth before she sprinted for the stairs where the kids were playing in Emily’s ‘bedroom’.

I peaked at her pile of bags and didn’t allow myself to think that what was in those bags was probably my month’s wages. I grabbed the bag ear marked for me, and I noticed it was Prada on the bag. Inside sat a brand spanking new dress shirt, in a light blue colour. I guess it was meant for dinner. I took the stairs to at a time to tell Sookie that she didn’t need to buy me clothes, and that I was a proud man and could do it myself, but when I saw her, I just didn’t have the heart to piss on her parade. She was inside her giant closet, which really should just be called a giant room for all her clothes and shoes; it wasn’t like any closet I’d ever seen, except for the one at work. She was playing with the twins, and Emily, all four of them rolling around on the floor, Lizzie in stitches laughing stretched out on Sookie’s knees up in the air pretending she was flying as Sookie made plane noises. Her light coloured jeans and white t-shirt showing off her tanned back when the shirt rode up as she moved around, laughing. This Sookie and Work-Sookie were becoming more and more like two entirely different people. It should have scared me, but it didn’t, if anything it warmed me to know that she was just a big kid inside, like the rest of us. It took a few seconds for Emily to spot me, and once she did, I was done for.

“Eric can you make me fly!?” she said, running towards me and I scooped her up.

“Aeroplane or helicopter?” I asked making her giggle as she clinged onto me for dear life as I ‘swished’ her around the room easily.

Off we went.

**************

The table was tense, to say the least when we arrived. Everyone greeted each other with air kisses and hugs of course, but there was still an undeniable tense air to the whole thing that I just couldn’t shake off. Jason greeted me like an old friend, and his wife Crystal seemed lovely, the opposite of Sophie though, she was small and blonde with a huge rack and even bigger heels. Her southern twang was undeniable, and she did seem very sweet, if a little on the dumb side, truth be told. I hated that I knew he was cheating on her, I felt guilty, and it had nothing to do with me. Claudine, Sookie’s cousin sat beside Adele, she was the opposite of Sookie in just about every way I could see. She seemed model tall, straight up and down in that disciplined way that told me there wasn’t much room for error in her body maintenance routine, and she had shoulder length dark brown hair cut into a sharp shape with blunt….bangs I think the girls called them. She was pale, but it suited her. The man to the other side of her, who I assumed he was her husband, was similar in colouring. He seemed about six one when he stood to shake my hand, and he had a warm smile and bright green eyes. He was a lot friendlier than she was, that’s for sure.

Chit chat was had, as I was introduced to everyone as Sookie’s ‘new beau’ by Adele, who was sporting a bright smile and very expensive Chanel tweed. I mentally kicked myself for actually knowing what the hell she was wearing, and for ten minutes while everyone talked I did actually question if knowing all the things I guess I unconsciously knew about fashion now, made me gay? Then I looked at Sookie, in her mid-length blush pink Chloe dress, and more importantly her breasts in said dress, and decided that ‘no’, I wasn’t gay. I was just a math geek with a stupid photographic memory, and I just remembered a lot of useless (or useful, at work at least) information. Not gay. And with the way Sookie kept playfully drawing circles on my hand as it rested next to hers on the table, I didn’t just need my upstairs brain to tell me I was hot for women.

Party in my pants, and it was all for her. Thank God I wore good underwear.

SPOV:

Eric had continued to surprise the hell out of me. Not that I should be surprised that I was surprised, but I was. He was so much more than I first gave him credit for, he wasn’t just bumbling and awkward, all tall and lean and lanky, in fact he was kind of secretly… badass. For example, the man made amazing French toast, his long capable fingers were able to wind me up like a violin string when we fooled around, his kisses were almost that perfect combination of nervous and capable, that, and he made me laugh.

And then the weirdest thing happened. He defended me, to my crazy ass family, and that was kinda the world’s biggest turn on in that moment.

Dinner had started out nice, pseudo-normal as things with my family always began, then the descent into crazy began. And it started with who it always started with. Princess Claudine.

“And well I just said to my trainer, you know she trains Gwynnie, too, right? And like I just said to her I need to up my game, I need to get flat by Christmas, those family cards…the pressure to look good on them before you send them out to everyone you know… it’s such a pain.” She sighed, primping her hair, “but it’s worth it in the end, but I guess that’s not really something you have to worry about, Sookie.”

“Why’s that?” I said, cutting up my steak.

“Well, you don’t have anyone to take the holiday family photo with, silly, being constantly single…and at thirty too, aren’t you feeling the pressure?” she giggled, her stupid obviously fake giggle.

“Well, I wasn’t. Not from anyone else but you guys…” I said throwing shade on Gran and her stupid ultimatum again.

“It’s important to find balance though, right Gran?” She said, still smiling.

That whore.

“Sure it is,” I interrupted,” but when you’re the one running the multibillion dollar businesses, and trying to balance not fucking it up with a personal life, you get back to me on balance.” I shot, taking a large bite of my food.

“Sook, I know for sure how hard it is, boy oh boy, do I!” Jason chimed in, friendly and innocently, as always not getting the underlying tension between Claudine and me.

“Actually Claudine, Sookie is managing to find balance in her life, she just needed a little…encouragement, rather than criticism. She’s fantastic with Emily, and still manages to kick everyone’s ass into gear at work.”

“None more so than yours, right Eric?” she said, snidely.

He just smirked and sipped his beer, “pretty much,” then he looked at me and made a cute fake scared face that made my Gran bust out laughing, “But I know how to handle her, just like she knows how to handle me. So it’s all good.”

I smirked at the double meaning of his words and just sipped at my wine while Claudine continued to pout.

“I’m sure it is…” She said rolled her eyes and continued to pick at her chicken salad.

“What is it that you do, Claudine? And you, Ralph?”

“Well, Ralph is an investment banker; he works for a lot of world class companies actually…”

“Is that right? Hmm,” Eric continued, “And you Claudine?”

“I’m a Mom.”

With that I almost spit out my wine that was a fucking joke.

“But, isn’t your daughter in a year round boarding school? Sookie mentioned that.”

With that Ralph smirked but it faded when she looked at him, I remembered when Ralph used to have balls and artistic skill, now what was he? A shell of himself trapped in a loveless marriage.

Sick.

“Um, well, yes…”

“So you don’t really have a kid to take care of all day, then?” Eric asked as innocent as anything, but the dig was there.

“Not all the –“

“No, well then you really can’t talk to Sookie about balancing her life when your life seems pretty uneven even by your own standards. I’m guardian of a five, almost six year old sister, and I don’t ship her off somewhere nine months of the year and I still manage to work. You don’t need to work it seems, and you don’t seem to need to parent either, where is the balance there?”

He asked an eyebrow in the air, a determined look on his face. It was so fucking hot.

Crystal smirked behind her wine glass and Jason remained oblivious as always.

“Crystal, darling, how are the twins?” Claudine asked her, now ignoring Eric. He and I exchanged knowing glances before we couldn’t contain our mutual smirks.

“Oh you know, they’re fine, they just love little Emily, Eric,” she said to Claudine, and then aimed at Eric.

“Aw, that’s good. I’m glad,” he said with a smile.

“Yeah, it’s always so boring in the city when we come here. Their little friends and playgroups in California are their favourite, mine too. I do love the sun. Once a southern girl, always one I guess, when it comes to heat anyway, but really –“

I zoned out Crystal, focusing instead on Eric, as I casually dropped one hand to his thigh under the table. His body tensed, but he somehow was able to carry on the conversation while I messed with him, why I was doing this? I really had no solid idea, other than ‘I wanted to’. By the time I was almost finished dinner, I’d made my mind up I really needed to see him alone. Not only was I feeling ridiculously horny all of a sudden, but I needed the distraction from the fucked up direction this dinner conversation was taking and this seemed perfect.

“Eric, did you know that Ralph and Sookie used to date?” Claudine spoke up then, seemingly out of nowhere, but that could have been just because I was distracted drawing circles on Eric’s upper thigh under the table, and getting a much more muted response from him than I imagined. I instantly glared at my cousin, as did her husband.

“Um, no… I didn’t know that. Small world, I guess.” Eric responded awkwardly, because really it was awkward, what the fuck was she trying to pull?

“It was a long time ago, right around the time you guys hooked up, right?” I said with a forced smile and my Gran simply sighed.

“Yeah, well we’re happily married now, so obviously the right choice was made.” Claudine said attempting to be snug, but I was shutting this bitch down.

“Choice? Psh, didn’t really seem like there was much of a choice made, right Ralph? I mean when I walk into my bedroom on my twenty-first birthday to find my college sweetheart fucking my cousin… there isn’t much of a choice, and there’s even less of one when she ends up pregnant and you guys had to get married to same the ‘family name’ right?” I laughed, because I was sure if I didn’t laugh, I’d cry.

“Excuse me…” I said before I stood up and made my way to the bathrooms, a stunned Eric watching as I went.

I got as far as the disabled bathroom door before Eric caught my arm.

“Hey…You alright?” He said, looming over me, a concerned look on his face.

I just laughed, “bet you didn’t think my family got any more crazy than me, right?”

“You okay?”

“Yeah, I’m fine, she does this all the time, it’s her thing.”

“Being a bitchy boyfriend stealing whore?” He smirked.

“I like you, Northman.” I giggled at his choice of words.

“I call a spade a spade.”

“OR a bitch a bitch.”

He nodded and opened the door to the larger bathroom and closed the door behind us, silence, it was so welcomed.

“No,” I said, fixing my hair, “she has this thing, ever since we were kids. Whatever I had, she wanted. It didn’t matter what it was. Barbie’s, dolls, cheerleading, boyfriends…” I sighed remembering it all.

“I see…”

“You see what?”

“Why you went so nuts over this ultimatum thing with Adele. She mentioned Claudine coming in and taking over your job, that’s got to suck, all things considered.”

Oh, yeah, that.

“Little bit. I mean, I’m over the whole stupid Ralph thing, but she just seems to need to find anyway to piss me off, and it’s gotten real old, real fast, you know?”

He nodded leaning up against the sink.

“Maybe you should tell Adele this, she might –“

“She won’t. You’d think she would, but for some reason she still thinks the sun shines out of Claudine’s boney ass.” I rolled my eyes, “I can’t even be bothered dealing with them.”

We were silent for a few seconds before he smiled, “so before the drama…your hands… we need to talk about them.”

“Manicured to perfection, aren’t they pretty?” I said, avoiding.

“No…” he looked, “well, yes, but no, that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about all the …under the table touching. It…does things to a dude, Sookie. Especially a dude who hasn’t had any in a long ass time,” he said rather comically, his eyes widening.

I smiled and took a step closer to him, and he tensed.

“Well, what if I said I wanted to do something about all that…something’s I started out there? Hm?”

“What do you have… in mind?” he asked, gulping loudly and then looking mad at himself for doing it. It was adorable.

“I don’t know; let’s just see where it goes…” I said leaning in to kiss him softly and not saying anything else, both of us seemingly happy just going with the flow.

His mouth tasted like spearmint and hint of beer, but still clean and tingly to taste. As I thrust my tongue in deeper, tightening my grip on his body as I backed him further against the wall. My fingers scrambled around his waistband, yanking the dress shirt out of the pants so I could touch his hot skin. I fumbled for his belt, and slid it open, letting it fall against the wall behind us with a loud ‘clanking’ sound. Eric looked down at me, the height different painfully apparent even if I was in six inch heels.

“What –“his face was flushed, and his lips were starting to go red from kissing, his eyes simply looked confused.

“What do you think?” I asked, though it wasn’t really a question that needed an answer as I slid my hands down his sides, slipping his cute chequered blue boxers down his surprisingly slim hips.

“You said something about this…”I whispered against his neck as I kissed him there, “something about blowjobs in a bathroom?” with that his eyebrows went straight to his hairline, and the look on his face was priceless.

“Yeah but that was…fantasy…”

I pouted, “So, you don’t want –“

“No! No I never said I don’t, I do… I very do. I just never thought it’d be…you know…you. My boss, this takes the fantasy into like… Playboy territory.”

I smirked just ghosting my hands down his warm stomach and pushing his boxers down even further, “So…Good,” I nodded as I slid to my knees, and he inhaled so sharply I was worried people walking back and forth outside might hear.

I looked up and he was staring me down, a look of disbelief still on his flustered face.

“You have to be quiet, okay? Also, if you’re going to come? Be polite and give me some warning?” I said with a wink, a wink? Why was I winking, why was I doing any of this? I wasn’t used to impulse, and I certainly never acted on it.

“Holy fucking shit, you’re really doin’ this?”

“I’m really doing this…” I whispered.

“Oh… God…”

He laughed nervously as I continued to slip my hand up and down his shaft, feeling him get harder under my touch, it was exhilarating. That and the fact that there were dozens of people just outside that we could be caught at any moment all just added to the intensity of it all. As I wrapped my mouth around him and began what I’d been thinking about doing for a while now, he panted out an array of curse words that would make a hooker blush.

“Jesus, fuck, Sookie… please don’t stop… please…” he said, twitching in my hand as I worked him over and back, up and down, harder and faster each time enjoying his laboured breaths and tiny restrained moans.

“Sookie… I need … I need… oh God… so good…” he mumbled.

I looked and realized I was leaving pink lipstick marks all along his dick, leaving my mark – literally.

And then it started, his mumbling of math!

“cos x equals Re {e } equals – ”

I stopped and I looked up at him with a furrowed brow.

“Sorry, it’s just been a real long time since a girl… A woman was where you are, doing what you’re doing so I was trying to not…you know… ruin it.”

“By quoting math equations at me?”

“It works…” he shrugged and leaned down to kiss me, before I pulled back and put my mouth around his tip again, eliciting not an equation but a moan, that was more like it. After a few tenderly placed sucks, licks and kisses I was pretty sure I had him under control, when I heard my name in the sexiest tone I’d ever heard from Eric.

“Sookie!” he moaned and I pulled away, feeling him tense, and I pumped a little harder.

“Shh, people will hear you!” I whispered before sucking him off once more before he completely lost it, and came just as I pulled away – thankfully. I took his outstretched hands to help me to my feet, right before he grabbed my face and pulled me in for a kiss, one that made my already shaky knees shake all over again. I pulled back and smirked at his pink cheeks and bewildered look, so cute.

“Fuck, you have the sexiest mouth,” he panted before kissing me again as I gently tucked him into his boxers.

“You might want to … clean up.” I quirked my brows at him before I went to wash my hands, fix my hair and reapply my lipstick, all the while he stood there, almost stupefied.

Orgasms were a funny thing.

I looked back at him and smiled, “Eric, you need to hurry up, we’re going to miss dessert.” I checked my reflection once more in the mirror before I turned on my heel, unlocked the door and left.

I went back to the table and thankfully everyone was in a conversation with someone else and didn’t really notice before I sat down. Then my Gran spoke up.

“Sookie, you really mustn’t let Claudine get to –“

I smiled, “I’m fine. I had a few calls to make…that’s all. Cutting back to a three day week sounds fun in theory, but it’s just doubled my work load if I’m being honest.”

She sighed. Jason and Crystal looked sceptical, and Claudine as always just looked like there was stick rammed up her ass.

“And Eric?”

“He wasn’t… feeling well, but he’s fine now.”

With that, a soap smelling Eric took his seat down next to me.

“Sorry about that, I…” he looked at me.

“You feeling better now, honey?” I said patting his hand on his knee.

“Oh…I…” He looked between Gran and I, “I’m fine now, feel great actually I guess I just needed some air.”

“Yes.” Gran said, glaring in Claudine’s direction, “things did get a little smothering here, I don’t blame you for stepping out, and it’s awful to have to do it during a civilized dinner…Claudine.”

Claudine looked suitably chastised.

Eric and I looked at each other and bust out laughing, in uncontrolled fits. The more both of us tried to stop, the harder we laughed.

“No… No!” I held my hand up to Gran, “No, I’m sorry… I …” and I couldn’t stop. The thought of what he and I just did, or more to the point what I just did, and how we were trying so hard to act nonchalant about it, well, it became too much.

“What you drinkin’ Sook?” Jason spoke up, a smile on his face, “Girl I ain’t seen you laugh so much in a really long time…I’m not gonna complain as to why,” he said sipping his whiskey sour as Eric and I somehow managed to tame the laughter. Laughter that was quite clearly pissing Claudine off to no end.

“She was probably off doing coke in the bathroom or something…” she whispered loudly to Ralph, while he just side eyed her and continued eating.

“As I was saying Gran, I’m meeting Gwyneth for lunch tomorrow; the kids have a play date coming up when Mila comes home for Thanksgiving…” she continued.

“Oh, that’s nice, dear. How is she? Still on the macrobiotic kick?”

“No, not always, she’s relaxed a lot since you last saw her, really embraced family too, she’s been encouraging me to do the same, and it’s really helping. Family is the most important thing, after all.” She said, smugly.

“Really Claudine? That why you’ve stuffed your kid in a boarding school thousands of miles away?”

She just quirked an eyebrow at me, “or is it why she never wants to come home for the holidays anymore, she can’t deal with mommy’s bull for too long. I guess she takes after Ralph in that area, huh? Just avoid the problem until it solves itself, or run away from it.”

“Sookie…” Gran spoke up, but I didn’t care.

“I’ll have you know Sookie, my daughter is in the school she’s in because she’s incredibly gifted, and I want to give her the best start in life, and unlike you I know how to be a mother…”

“Yeah, pimping out your kids for celebrity play days, real maternal C’.” I rolled my eyes and I swear some steam came out of her ears.

I looked to Eric and he knew what I wanted, and he nodded.

“Gran, Eric and I won’t be staying for desert.”

“Oh, Sookie, please don’t let this get –“

“It’s not that, please I’ve dealt with bigger brats than Claudine, we both know that,” I smiled at Gran, not looking in Claudine’s direction but I knew she was probably seething.

“It’s just Eric doesn’t like leaving Emily with strangers, and well, we have a lot of work to do in the morning, so we’d like an early night. But you stay; call me when you’re on your way over so I can let you in, okay?” I said as she stood up and I hugged her, then she kissed my cheek.

“Alright dear, that sounds reasonable. Thank you for coming, you too, Eric,” she said before she let Eric kiss her on the cheek. We said our goodbyes to the table and I promised Crystal we’d do lunch before they left, and Eric and I got our coats and finally got outside.

We’d made it maybe six steps from the restaurant before both of us burst out laughing.

“Well, that was certainly the most interesting dinner I’ve had this year!” he commented as he linked my arm with his and we walked a little more, it was freezing, we needed a cab before we either laughed ourselves to death, or froze to death, whichever came first.

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