A/N: Thanks so much for all of your wonderful comments on the last chapter. I was truly amazed that everyone seemed to feel the same as I did about the proposal. You all never cease to amaze me with your beautiful words. I love each and every one of them.
Now without further ado…the final chapter of Northman Towers.
Big thanks to krismom for betaing this for me. She is absolutely fuckawesome and deserves tons of chocolate for her mad skills. If any mistakes remain, they are all my own.
Disclaimer: I still don't own them, darn it!
We had invited everyone over for, what we were beginning to call, The Weekend Reveal and I was busy preparing my signature gumbo with some hot water cornbread to try and soften their hearts through their stomachs. I was nervous as hell, but Eric kept reassuring me that everything was going to go great. I tried to keep his positive outlook, but I was still anxious as a kitten.
Jason was bringing Gran, and though I wasn't really nervous about Gran's reaction, I was about Jason's. He was a pretty firm believer that all men were like him at heart -unable to be faithful- even if they pretended they weren't. I was pretty sure that Gran trusted me enough to respect my decisions and would help to keep Jason in line, if that were even possible.
Eric said we had no reason to worry about Pam or Lafayette. He said they would probably want to get together and plan the wedding and make it some sort of extravagant affair fit for a king and queen. I had to laugh at that because it was probably not far from the truth.
Amelia and Trey, on the other hand I was a tad nervous about. Trey had been the protective big brother figure in my life for quite a while and I was pretty sure he would think it's way too soon. Amelia, well she would just be worried about my heart and I couldn't fault her for that. There was no doubt in my mind that she was going to have a few choice words for me.
Eric had come in at some point during my musings and was stirring my gumbo like he was trying to make whipped cream. I swatted his hand and shooed him out of the kitchen only for him to stick his bottom lip out and sulk like a child.
"Fine, you can stay, but touch nothing." I threatened and he beamed.
"Quit pacing Sookie. You're going to wear a hole in my floor." Eric laughed and I rolled my eyes. "Seriously, would you stop worrying, it will be fine."
I closed my eyes and sighed deeply. "I'm just a little nervous." I admitted.
"A little?" Eric laughed and I smacked his arm again. "You do want to marry me, right?"
"Of course, I wouldn't have said yes if I didn't." I replied honestly.
"Then there is no reason to worry. As long as you know you're doing what's right, your family and friends will support you." Eric reassured as he gently squeezed my hand, I nodded in understanding. "Good. Now, do I get to be the taste tester?" He teased and I grinned.
"That's one of the perks." I held the ladle out for him after blowing on it a few times. "Here." His eyes closed as he hummed around the utensil and I resisted the urge to lick the tiny dribble off of his bottom lip, but only just.
A knock at the door broke me from my lust induced trance and Eric stood as gracefully as ever to answer, but not before winking at me over his shoulder. I struggled to breathe evenly and calm my racing pulse as I heard the voices of Pam and Lafayette flood the front room.
Lafayette nearly twirled into the room without so much as a glance in my direction and stuck his finger in my gumbo. I slapped his hand and he chortled as he licked the concoction from his finger.
"Just wanted to make sure it didn't need my special touch." Lafayette defended as I glared.
"You did touch it." I replied, probably a bit too sternly and Lafayette held his hands up in mock surrender. "Sorry, I just can't stand it when people put their nasty fingers in my food."
"Is that what you tell Mr. Hot Toddy in there?" Lafayette hissed while gesturing to Eric who was speaking to Pam.
"Gross, just shut up." I turned to stir the gumbo and add the last of the peppers and sausage. "Can't I say anything without you twisting it and making it sound perverted." I half laughed.
"Nope." He replied honestly.
I turned to glare at him but he had his arms crossed and one eyebrow quirked and was looking at me expectantly. "What?" I asked confused by his expression.
"When?" He demanded and I just stared at him blankly. "Last night!" He exclaimed and I continued to stare completely confused.
It was as if he was having a conversation with himself and I just happened to be in the room. I opened my mouth to ask him what he was talking about but he interrupted me.
"Oh, I'm so happy for you!" He squealed while picking me up and twirling me around childishly.
"What in the world, Lafayette?" I exclaimed as he set me down and proceeded to bounce around the kitchen excitedly.
"You did it, you little vixen and it's about damn time." He quipped.
"What? How could you possibly… I mean… huh?" I stuttered. There was no way you could tell just by looking at someone, was there?
"Well, I didn't really know for sure till just now." Lafayette teased poking me in the ribs. "But you are fucking glowing. All bright and shiny and shit, look at you." He took my hand and twirled me around just as Pam and Eric entered the room.
"What are you two doing?" Pam asked and I giggled and escaped from Lafayette's hold, returning to my gumbo.
Just as I saw Lafayette attempting to shove Eric from the kitchen there was yet another knock at the door, signaling the arrival of some of our other guests.
"Our sweet little Sookie here, ain't all that sweet any more, Pam." Lafayette whispered to Pam. Though whispering to Lafayette was nowhere near quiet enough and I waved to him and put a finger over my mouth.
Amelia and Trey came in the kitchen followed by Gran, Jason, and Eric. They were all laughing and I ran up to Gran and wrapped my arm around her as tightly as I could. Jason smiled brightly at me and I waved to everyone else as I continued to squeeze Gran with all the force I could muster.
"Come on child, you've got to let this old woman breathe." Gran said and I released her but not before I kissed both of her cheeks.
"I've missed you Gran. I'm so glad you and Jason made it." I squeaked.
"Of course, Sookie. You know I wouldn't miss an opportunity to eat your gumbo. Besides, Gran here wouldn't have let me do anything else." Jason stated as he pulled me in for a hug. "Missed you, Sis."
While everyone finished their greetings, I finished up the gumbo and handed the plates and bowls for Eric to set the table. It was crazy how in sync we seemed to be. I didn't even have to say a word he was just there, with his hands outstretched, ready to take the dishes from my hand. To an outsider we probably would have looked as if we had been together for years, not a month.
I brought the cornbread and rice to the table and Eric followed with the gumbo, since I only had one good hand.
After serving everyone a generous amount of gumbo Eric began to speak and I froze. "We brought you all here today because we have news." He started but Jason interrupted.
"You're pregnant!?" He shouted as he glared furiously, his gaze shifting from Eric to me.
"Gah, No!" I sighed aghast. "We're getting married." I pretty much shouted earning gasps from all around the room.
Then everything happened so fast, the room was a blur and I could do nothing but stand frozen in my stance at the head of the table, as the chaos consumed the dining room.
Jason stormed out slamming the door hard enough to rattle the pictures on the wall. I turned just in time to watch as Trey roughly coerced Eric into the living room. Gran had walked up behind me and had her arm draped around my shoulder in attempt to comfort me. Pam, Amelia and Lafayette…well they just looked as confused as I felt, maybe even a little more so.
"It's alright sugar." Gran said as she rubbed soothing circles into my back. "I'm happy for you."
I turned to look at her with tears in the brim of my eyes. I hadn't even known I was on the verge of crying, yet there they were. "You don't think I'm rushing, that we're rushing?" I corrected myself mid-question.
Gran shook her head as she answered. "When you know, you know. Sometimes it takes years, sometimes it takes minutes. I don't need to worry or even think about you making the wrong choices, hun. You're a bright girl and you know what your heart wants."
I sobbed into her shoulder as I wrapped my arm around her tightly. "Thanks Gran." I mumbled into the beautiful lace collar of her dress.
"Hush now, sugar." She cooed and I felt Amelia come up and stand behind me, her hand placed gently on my shoulder. "Don't you worry." Gran finished and I nodded as I turned to face Amelia.
I didn't know whether to be excited or nervous about the smile that played gently on the edges of her lips, so I opted for wary as I stepped towards her. "I know what I am doing." I stated firmly and she nodded. "I love him and I will marry him."
"I love you, Sookie. I know you wouldn't make this decision lightly." She replied and I found myself worrying about how she might react if she knew the truth behind the proposal and the awkward, yet beautiful situation, we were in at that moment.
Although it was a hasty decision, I knew within my heart of hearts it was the right one. So, I nodded in my reply as I wrapped an arm around her, happy that I had worried about one obstacle too many.
I looked to Pam and Lafayette and they seriously looked as if they were already taking notes and making plans. They had leaned into each other conspiratorially and were whispering intently and nodding in my direction at regular intervals. They both looked up to me and grinned mischievously at the same time Eric and Trey returned to the room.
They had their arms hung loosely over each others shoulders and were laughing genuinely as I looked to Eric and eyed him questioningly. He shook his head lightly and pursed his lips slightly, signaling we would talk about it later.
Everyone returned to their seats and we all began eating in a relatively quiet manner. Pleasant conversation filled the room and no one even brought up the announcement of our engagement, for which, I was oddly grateful.
The meal ended very quickly and I was pleased with how smoothly things had gone, considering. No one was bleeding, so that was something. Amelia and Trey offered to take Gran home after Jason's hasty departure and I was thankful to have such wonderful friends.
Gran assured me that she would speak to Jason and bring him around to the idea, though she was adamant about the fact that I didn't need his approval to marry Eric. Either way, I would feel better to know I had his support. He was my brother after all.
Pam and Lafayette had been sure to let me know that they would take care of any wedding plans that I would allow them to. Which, I was sure meant that they wanted to take care of it all, but I wasn't sure how happy I was about the idea of those two planning my wedding. But all things considered it would probably end up a picture perfect ceremony, so I assured them I would consult them when things were more defined. After all, we hadn't even set the date, yet.
Everyone said their goodbyes and after the door had finally closed, I slumped against it exhausted. I knew I still had dishes to do and the kitchen to clean, but I couldn't force myself to move. Eric's strong arms scooped me up bridal style and I tried to fight him, knowing his shoulder didn't need the extra strain, but my body didn't have the strength and I ended up relaxing into his frame.
Eric laid me gently on the couch and kissed my forehead before he turned to leave the room. I grabbed his wrist before he got too far and sat up to face him. "What was that?" He looked at me confused. "With you and Trey, what was that?" I clarified.
"He just wanted to make sure my intentions with you were pure." Eric stated as he ran his fingers through my hair, pushing it from my face. I relaxed at his touch and reclined on the couch. "Everything is good now." He assured and I felt my eyes close from exhaustion. "Sleep."
"No, I need to clean the kitchen." I argued, though it was mumbled and I didn't move.
"You rest. I'll take care of the kitchen." Eric said as he brushed my cheek gently and I purred contentedly.
I heard dishes banging against each other and knew Eric was already in the kitchen, washing dishes. I wondered for a moment if Eric had ever washed dishes in his life. I curled up on the couch as my thoughts drifted to Eric. I would probably have to rewash the dishes but it's the thought that counts. I smiled at my thoughts as I drifted off into my dreams.
When I awoke, I found my feet resting atop Eric's thighs as he sifted through the thousands of channels on his TV at light speed. "Hiya, handsome." I mumbled.
"Beautiful." Eric simply said. "How did you sleep?"
"Ok. How did it go with the kitchen, is it still standing?" I teased as I stretched into an upright position.
Eric scowled as he answered. "Of course it's still standing. Though I hope I never see another dish in my life. I made a note to myself to buy a dishwasher, as soon as possible." He grumbled and I laughed. "So?"
"So?" I questioned.
"Would you like to set a date?" He asked almost timidly and I smiled.
"Would you like to set a date?" I taunted and he reached to the table beside him.
"I have a calendar here, if you are ready." His face leaned closer to mine as if being pulled by some invisible force.
I leaned impossibly closer to him, driven by the same magnetic pull that was buried somewhere within my soul. "I'm ready." I stated firmly and brushed my lips against his.
"Me too." He smiled and flipped open the calendar and set it before us on the coffee table.
Entwining my fingers with his we leaned over the calendar and set out to plan the rest of our lives together.
Together, as one.
A/N: I'm so sad to see this story end, but I look forward to a time when I can begin the sequel. I already have a few things outlined and I am really excited about what I have so far.
You guys rock. Without your continued support and amazing reviews, I probably wouldn't have made it this far. Thank you, thank you, a thousand thank you's for all of your kind words and for sticking with me through it all. I love you all and hope that I can continue to bring you a bit of joy with my writing however imperfect it may be.
I hope you leave your thoughts on this stories final chapter as you have before. I know nothing happened that was too exciting, but I do love to hear your thoughts as a whole as well.
Thanks again…I will see you all very soon.