Chapter 27: Chapter 27
A/N: Well this is it folks! Last chapter of Life, accidental! Thank you all so much for reading this and hopping on the madness bandwagon with me! To my beta Vikinglover_elle for all her help and all my girls on Twitter for their input and encouragement! *Muah*
After a very fast morning shower, I dried my hair and put on a little makeup. Call me crazy but being around someone as glamorous as Olivia made me want to look my best. It wasn’t required but it made me feel prettier. Eric was still fast asleep, and while I was tempted to wake him up in a much more sensual manner, Jessica’s screams managed to do it faster. She’d learned how to get out of her diaper, which was leading to more disasters than ever. She was soaking wet and naked in her crib for the third morning in a row… Eric’s duct tape idea wasn’t looking so shabby! She just hated clothes at night; it was worrying.
After I got her cleaned up, both Eric and I managed to get her downstairs to find Olivia in the kitchen… cooking.
“Um, what’s this?”
“Breakfast,” she said, since it was fairly obvious what it was.
Eric just stood there leaning on his crutch, looking stunned.
“You… can’t cook.”
“Yes I can.”
“Since… you know, years ago.” She waved a hand in the air.
“Fine, we got a new housekeeper a few years ago—lovely Chinese woman, Lena—and, well, she taught me a few things.”
“You… are cooking?” he said again, still stunned.
“Yes. Stop catching flies darling, it’s not an attractive look. Bacon?”
He looked at me, blinking excessively. Stunned Eric was hilarious looking.
“Sweetie, sit.” I patted the seat next to Jessica and I. “It smells lovely Liv.” She’d insisted I call her Liv, or Livvy, since I was quote ‘family’ now. It made me smile wide.
“Pancakes, bacon, eggs, sausages, toast and French toast.”
“How long have you been up?” Eric asked her as she set a plate down in front of him, then me.
“Since around seven. I had a little trouble getting to sleep last night.” She smirked though neither of us noticed at the time.
“Oh why?” I asked, stupidly fixing Jessica’s shoe.
“Well, you both have sex rather loudly so it was a little distracting while I was trying to read before sleeping.”
My mouth simply went agape while Eric snorted into his orange juice.
“Oh,” I said. She just laughed and ate her toast. “I… oh.”
I could feel my face getting hotter and hotter as I sat there.
“Oh, sweetie it’s nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, it’s rather flattering knowing that my son is such a giving lover.
“Liv!” Eric and I said at once.
“What?” she shrugged. ” Eric, a woman is responsible for a lot of things in life. It’s good to know that you aren’t making her responsible for her own orgasms as well.”
Seriously, I wanted. To . Die.
“Really, it’s a problem these days. Men, especially good looking men, just being lazy lovers. My friends tell me that even their new boy toys aren’t really all that exciting in the sack.”
“Oh, Jesus, mother, please?”
“I’m just saying! I mean, your father he used to—”
“Seriously, keep talking and I’m leaving!” Eric cringed, his head in his hands, his face redder than even mine. She just laughed a big, genuine laugh. Apparently, embarrassing her adult son was fun for her. Suddenly neither of us was very hungry.
Olivia’s weekend was over before we knew it. She and Eric, while not TV family material, were laying a foundation. One that gave me hope that maybe one day they’d be able to make peace with the other, and themselves at some point. She promised that she’d try not to talk to us about sex in the future after the incident at the breakfast table… The problem with never having a mother around to embarrass me meant that when it happened now as an adult, it was nineteen thousand times more mortifying than I suspected it might have been as a teenager. That, and really, it made me paranoid. What exactly had she heard? I was blushing just thinking about it to be honest. Eric laughed it off, and laughed at me, telling me that sex was a natural beautiful part of life—which wasn’t something I disagreed with—but it was a natural, beautiful part of life that I wanted kept private. Of course, when I brought up the subject of his mother and that natural part of life, he freaked out. It was hilarious. Apparently Eric Northman was not born, he was dropped off by the stork.
By Christmas week, he and I were exhausted. Eric had gone a little nuts, after he’d been freed from his various ‘casts of doom,’ as he had taken to calling them. He decided that Christmas would be an awesome holiday, telling me that it was our first with Jessica, our first in the new house, and our first as a couple. His sweetness always made me smile. Most guys wouldn’t give a shit, but not Eric. He wanted to make it special, and considering how awful Thanksgiving had turned out, I can’t say I blame him. Instead of having a ton of people over, we decided to play the ‘recovery’ card when it came to having a big over-sized Christmas. I wanted it to be just us—Eric, Jess and I. I wanted to relax, I wanted peace, and I knew I’d never get that with the stress of cooking for a million people. In the days leading up to Christmas, we tried to explain to Jessica all about Santa, and how he brought boys and girls toys if they were good. Personally, I don’t think she really cared. I mean, why would she? She had her own personal Santa in the form of Pam everyday of the year. But still, it was fun to have her excited for something, even if she didn’t totally understand it. Eric went nuts, and I mean had I ever doubted his relation to Olivia before our shopping trip for Jessica’s toys it was confirmed afterwards. He was a giant man child, and despite my protests, Jessica got a cart full of toys—some she wouldn’t even be tall enough to use for another six months. I wanted to put a stop to his extravagance, but I felt it wasn’t fair. She was his to spoil as he saw fit, just like I did.
“Good morning…” I heard, gruff and half asleep next to me as I opened my eyes.
“Merry Christmas, Eric.”
“Merry indeed.” He wriggled his brows at me.
Since Eric was freed from his confinements, and given the all clear from the doctors, he’d been taking any and every opportunity we had when we were alone, to ‘make up for lost time’ as he put it.
“Oh, ho-no! Down boy,” I said as he scooted under the covers. Not being able to see what he was up to made me nervous, then I felt his lips on my bellybutton.
“Eric! We don’t have time for this, as much as I hate to say it.” He ignored me.
I pushed back the quilt to find him looking up at me like a wounded puppy.
“What? We can’t have Christmas sex?”
“Eric, just by putting the name of the day in front of it doesn’t make it seasonal! We’ve had Monday sex, Tuesday sex, days that end in Y sex… It’s just sex.”
“But if I …” He disappeared leaning off the edge of the bed grabbing something—that something turned out to be a Santa hat. I laughed; he was ridiculous.
“If I wear this, can we call it Christmas sex?”
I couldn’t hide my giggle.
“You’re ridiculous, you know that right?”
“You think I’m adorable, really,” he said shaking his head so the bobble on the end of the hat shook too, just before he laid his whole body on top of me to kiss me.
“You know, it would help if you didn’t call out my friend’s name when I’m trying to make love to you…” he said, stopping abruptly and I laughed.
“No, silly, Pam and Ames are coming over for breakfast… so… We have to get up!”
“No,” he dragged out. “No, let’s call them and cancel and tell them to make their own stupid food and we can stay here and do… things, until Jessica wakes up.”
He rolled his eyes at me. “Fine, but next time we think they’re going to have sex? We’re prank calling them to block their non-existent cocks.”
We had agreed to breakfast here with Amelia and Pam that morning, before our call to Olivia and Niall. Niall, who for a man of his mid-sixties, was very technologically advanced. We’d had several web chats using our webcams and Jessica was so confused, but Niall seemed like a sweet hearted man—one I couldn’t wait to meet in person. He had requested me as a friend on Facebook shortly after. Eric didn’t even have a Facebook at that point.
With the truckload of toys that was bought between Eric and I, Pam arrived with several new outfits and shoes for not yet two year old to add to it. At this point, she had more designers in her wardrobe than I did! She also bought me a stunning Tiffany tennis bracelet. I was shocked, but it was stunning; not that I ever doubted Pam’s taste.
Once Eric was awake, it was a matter of starting all manner of breakfast foods before I jumped in the shower while he entertained our guests. Before I got dressed I saw my phone was flashing.
A voicemail from Jason.
I had tears in my eyes almost instantly. He sounded sober, which was new. He wished me Merry Christmas, and that he hoped I was okay; that he hoped Jessica was okay and that he missed me.
Those were words I hadn’t heard from my brother since we were little. He told me that he had tried to get his act together, how Gran would have been ashamed of him, just like I was ashamed of him. He’d met a girl, and she’d convinced him to check into a medical rehab for his kinds of problems. He was doing it today of all days, and if it all went well, he’d be allowed out in a few months. He was asking for a shot, one last shot at being my brother, at having a sister. And that when he got out, would it be okay if he called me sometime. By the time his message was done, I was a sobbing mess. For the longest time Jason refused to even take my calls, so wrapped up in his own never ending pity party as he was. This time he sounded solid. He sounded like my brother again.
Eric came into the room looking for me when his expression changed.
“Jesus, what happened? Are you alright?”
I let him hear the voicemail, and he instantly understood.
“Is this something you wanna do?”
“He’s my brother, I can’t just ignore him.”
“True, but is he really someone you want around Jess?”
He had a very valid point.
“I don’t know. Everyone deserves a second chance, that’s all I know. Maybe this will fix his problems, make him want a better life for himself. I don’t know, but I think I need to give him a shot.”
“Well, it’s your decision. You know I’ll support it, right?”
I smiled. I did know that.
I sniffed, wiping my nose before I leaned on him as we both sat on my old bedroom floor. “Do you think it’s weird that we’re like this…”
“This… us being this close. I mean, we’ve only been ‘dating’ a little while, and we haven’t really even been on a date. Not a real one… well, there was the one—but that feels like another lifetime ago now. I just think it’s weird that it’s so… comfortable, so soon.”
“Comfort can be good. It is good.”
He chuckled. “Oh, Sookie I don’t think you could ever be boring. Drama is your middle name, sweetheart.”
“Would you like to go on a date with me?”
I smiled at his timing.
“We are so backwards. We’re freaks,” I laughed.
“Why? Because we got a baby, moved in together, then kissed, then slept together, then broke up without actually ever being together—only to fall in love?”
“Something like that.” I sighed leaning my head on his shoulder. “And yes, I’d love to go on a date with you, Eric.”
“Can we open our presents now?” he said with a slight bounce.
Seriously, giant man child.
We all gathered around the far too massive Christmas tree Eric just insisted on having to open the rest of our presents. It was just the three of us by the time the present opening began. Pam let Jessica open hers first, mainly because they were eager to get back to Pam’s. She had a catered Christmas arriving, and in true Pam style there was more booze planned than food. Amelia was beaming. Her news was that they’d decided to move in together. While my first instinct was that it was far too soon, I resisted. Sometimes things had to be done the unconventional way for them to work out. Just look at how Eric and I had evolved from that very first date? If they were happy, I was happy!
Jessica was in toy heaven, even though she didn’t know what the hell she was doing. There was a car—an actual battery operated car that she could drive—hell, I could fit in the thing… I wonder what mileage it got? Clothes, shoes, Barbie dolls, Bratz, and a dolly that she was calling ‘the beebee;’ it was far too adorable for words. Eric was channeling his inner Scorsese as he got every minute of it on video.
“Hey, Sookie?” he called aiming the camera at me, “Think of everything we could do with this camera.”
I almost threw a teddy at him.
“So, so, not the time.”
He just smirked.
Since it was just us three for dinner, we decided on a small turkey and a toned down version of all the Thanksgiving goodies that Eric and I liked. We ate and we enjoyed watching Jessica explore not only her toys, but building various forts with the boxes that her toys came in. I swore she took more pleasure out of the damn boxes than she did the toys.
The final visit from the social worker came a few days after Christmas. Meg arrived at our door with a smile and her briefcase, and a very Mark Darcy/Bridget Jones unfashionable Christmas theme sweater.
She rolled her eyes of course. “The kids like it, and it was a gift from one of the families I was seeing today. I figure I can wear this thing once, and throw it away when I get home.” She itched.
I felt really bad for her. No one should be forced to wear something with a snowman on it. Well, over the age of six, anyway.
“So, what’s new?” she asked as we all took our seats in the living room. Before we could speak, she looked at us and smiled. “Ohh, I see,” she said and jotted something down. I instantly grew nervous.
“What? I asked.
“You two had sex,” she stated plainly and Eric just laughed.
“Excuse me!” How the hell did she know that.
“Well, come on Sookie, it’s obvious. Look at you both—all stupid smiles and glowing faces. Plus, it’s obvious Eric got laid. He actually looks happy. A lot happier than the last time I saw him, that’s for sure. Good for you for making your move.”
Okay, what was happening here?
“But you said that sex was a bad idea,” I said, still not really sure what the hell was happening.
“No, I said casual sex was a bad idea. Sex with feelings or sex with intention for feelings? Never bad. And Eric, at least I knew, had those feelings.”
“And how did you know this?”
“Because I talked to him. Something I think, at the time, you weren’t doing.”
“Okay so… you… approve?”
“Eh, you don’t need my approval. Well I mean, you do—to keep Jessica—but personally, I’m shocked it took you both so long.”
“Meaning?” I asked.
“Oh, please. The sexual tension between you two was about as obvious to me as it is that Lindsey Lohan has a drug problem. There was enough tension to power a whole city, for cryin’ out loud. And after Eric and I talked… well, he was obviously smitten.”
“Mmhmm,” she nodded, jotting down notes as she looked around the living room again. “He’s your lobster.”
My what now?
Eric just burst out laughing as I looked at him.
“I like her,” he said handing Jessica her toy telephone on the floor as she played happily.
“Lobster. You know how lobsters meet and mate, and if they like each other, they mate for life? Yeah, they do, totally. They hold claws—” she did a clasping claw action with her fingers, “in the tank when they’re all old, they’re still together. With the claws.”
“The claws… So you think Eric and I are gonna be together when we’re old?”
“Oh, completely. I like you both. You were my easy case—sweet, normal, non-drug addicted couple. Your only issues were yourselves but I had faith you’d sort them out.”
“So you approve?” Eric asked, “For us to keep Jess, I mean?”
“Oh, completely. She seems happy, healthy, well adjusted. Though I see on my records you’ve changed her pediatrician? Reason?”
“Sookie was dating him and now she’s not, so I don’t want him around Jessica…”
“OR Sookie I’d imagine…” she finished for Eric.
“Something like that.” Yeah, Eric had insisted we find a new doctor for Jessica, which we did, but that was one bitter meeting with Sam. One that I wanted to forget.
“Okay kids, I think we’re all done here. Other than the yearly check-in with you, I think we’re all finished. You two seem like great parents, and your neighbors speak highly of you, as do your friends—oh yeah, it was a total big brother situation. We had everyone questioned. But you passed; you’re free to parent her how you like, and basically you have our stamp of approval, if there was such a thing.”
“That’s so amazing,” I said thanking her again before I hugged her.
“Eric, remember the claws,” She said laughing as she patted Jessica on the head before we walked her out the door.
Eric nudged me before smirking. “Well, at least it’s not crabs. Sookie, I’d hate to give you crabs for life…”
We both laughed a little too hard before we caught a hold of ourselves. This had happened, this was real!
We were officially Jessica’s parents.
Three days later, I walked into the restaurant for my very first date with my Eric.
Christmas was wonderful. It was all those stupid things you want from a Christmas—stress free, happy, surrounded by people you love, and you know, presents. Jessica was having a ball, and it was catching. Seeing her little face just light up and drag all her toys around, some bigger than her, it was so sweet and so touching and if anyone asked, I’d never ever admit to loving it as much as I did. I got it all on camera. Though, not exactly her first Christmas, but her first as our daughter. The first of many more to come. Sookie was beaming as much as I was. That teary-eyed look she’d get sometimes would appear and I’d know it was when thoughts of Alcide and Hadley crept in. As much as I tried not to, I couldn’t help myself from missing them, and feeling sorry that they were missing this. Their little girl, our little girl was amazing. And I only hoped that whatever afterlife, or heaven they were in, they had a view to just how amazing she was going to be.
Sookie and I did the present thing, though she warned me that there was a limit—nothing over three hundred dollars. It was a good thing too since she knew my tastes. So I bought her a simple charm bracelet while Pam was in Tiffany choosing the gift I had wanted to give her. Only we’d agreed on the stupid money limit, so technically I couldn’t give it to her. That didn’t mean I couldn’t buy it, give it to Pam… and let Pam give it to her. She ‘bought’ the bracelet to match the necklace I’d chosen for her birthday. My charm bracelet was much more simple, and less expensive. Though it did come with individual charms that I chose based on Sookie’s personality—a little silver heart with a simple ‘I love you’ engraving, a pink cupcake, a tiny apple with mom on it and tiny bee. Fitting, since Sookie could be as placid as you like one minute, but sting like hell the next. She loved it, and got my joke. All was well.
Sookie had managed to find an amazing Van Cleef watch, duel time zones, and engraved. One zone was here, the other was Sweden. It was thoughtful and it made me smile. Her engraving was simply:
‘We were backwards before, but like time we go forward.’
I strapped on my new watch as I got ready for our date. Jessica was fed and in her jimjams as she was calling them. Pam and Amelia had very graciously and very out of character offered to take her to their place for the night so we could, as Pam put it, ‘fuck all around the house.’ Amelia had some tact and simply suggested some time alone. Unlike a proper date, I wouldn’t be picking her up since we lived in the same house, and slept in the same room. However, she’d insisted we shower apart, and get ready separately, too. I understood why when she walked out of the room.
She was wearing the sex dress.
“You scrub up well, Mr. Northman,” she said fixing the side of her shoe, looking me over. I’d chosen a dark grey suit and dark tie with a white shirt. Not too formal, but enough to kick in Sookie’s suit kink that she didn’t think I knew about. My hair grew back a little, though I had to admit, I was enjoying the freedom that came with a marine issued hair cut. I liked it that little bit shorter.
Her hair on the other hand, was down in long luscious curls and her silver open toed heels giving her that extra height I knew she loved.
“You don’t look so bad yourself,” I said just as casually. Hoping that I was hiding the fact that all my brain kept telling me to do was skip dinner and have Sookie instead.
She walked up to me and kissed me ever so chastely on the lips.
“We should go…”
“Or… We could just stay here and let me explore you in that dress… or out of it,” I said grabbing her by the hips and pulling her close to me. She just ran her fingers along my lapel.
“Nice try. No. We have to be normal people and leave our house at some point.”
In the short ride to the restaurant it was all I could do to keep my hands off of her. And she knew it.
When we pulled up, she laughed.
“Eric this is the same place—”
“That we had our very, very first date? Yeah, I know. It’s why I booked it.”
“God, why?” she asked meeting me at the door of the restaurant.
“Because, I think it’s time to create a better memory than the last one,” I said opening the door for her. Already it was a thousand times better than the first time we’d been here.
The table was waiting for us, the champagne on ice. She giggled.
“No you didn’t,” she said reaching for the bottle.
“Whatever do you mean?” I asked taking it from her to pour her a glass.
“That’s the same champagne…”
“Oh, you mean the expensive as hell bottle of alcohol that you stiffed me for.”
“Which you have gotten over, yes?”
“Well, I figured we’d bitched about it enough that I just had to try it for myself,” I said taking a sip.
“And?” she smiled.
“Worth every penny.” I smiled at her.
We made small talk as she sat back in her chair, looked me up and down, putting out her hand to shake. I did, reluctantly.
“I’m Sookie, and you are?”
And so we began again, somewhere in the middle, at the end of a life we both hated, starting a new one we both loved. Yeah, we were backwards in our way of living life before, but maybe, just maybe, we’d be able to push each other forward from here on out. All we could was try, right?