Disclaimer: Mash-up. I merged my favorite book as a kid with my favorite book as an adult. The basic story is from Elizabeth Cadell's "The Lark Shall Sing," (also known as "The Singing Heart") while the characters and setting are from Charlaine Harris' Southern Vampire Mysteries.
Chapter Eighty: The Lafayette Bar and Grill
After the Splash Kingdom outing with the reporters—during which no dead frogs were spotted and no one became ill—the Stackhouses—including Eric and Godric, but miraculously absent the reporters—stopped off at Godric's hotel to gather his belongings and settle his bill. Later that night, Godric called his parents in Denmark to let them know he had moved. Eric was able to speak with them and explain the situation. Fortunately, the Christiansens were Eric Northman fans and the news that Eric would be looking out for their son while he was in the U.S. thrilled the couple who had been worried about their son. Eric promised God's parents that he'd go out and help the boy buy a laptop so that they would soon be able to talk via Skype.
With Bill finally—blessedly—out of the house, the "family" was able to fall into a relatively comfortable routine. All was calm— or as calm as things could be for a household comprised of six siblings, three Hollywood ex-patriots, and a retired urban planner from New York.
Eric and Pam both eventually picked up all their belongings and checked out of their hotel suites and settled in at the farm.
The Teacups' clothing and belongings—including bikes—arrived by UPS the Saturday following Bill's departure. With this, the kids were able to settle back into their rooms. Although, of course, then they wanted things fixed up and changed from how the tenants had them. Sookie placated them with the compromise that they'd paint once summer started and school was done, but nothing new until after the renovations to Eric's wing were completed.
Amelia was tickled pink to have Godric staying with them. She was surprised by the fact that Godric being around pleased her more than Douche Bag being gone did. Hoyt and Hunter gradually got used to having another boy around. Even though he seemed to really like hanging out with Ame, when their sister needed to devote time to her "craft" or do "girl stuff," inevitably they'd wind up with God. They realized the kid was okay. They couldn't talk to him like Ame could, but they were getting better. Amelia took the opportunity when she could to try to teach him common Stackhouse words. Hunt and Hoyt hadn't realized how quickly he was progressing in English until, one day, they were playing video games —a universal language of sorts—and Hunter sunk God's battleship after telling him they were pausing the game.
Godric, shocked, looked at Hunter and, shaking his head, uttered the words, "cheating jackass."
"Shit, Hunt," Hoyt burst out laughing, "those are like his first words in English!"
"Aw, shut up," Hunter gave his brother the evil eye, "I said we were gonna hit pause. I didn't say we were gonna do it right then."
Godric, whether he knew exactly what Hunter was saying or not, knew enough to know the younger boy was backpedaling. God rolled his eyes at Hunter's excuses, prompting Hoyt to laugh even harder.
Maxine, meanwhile, decided to take a trip up to New York to see about settling her affairs. She figured she'd rent her house out, put some of her belongings in storage, and pack her necessities to ship down to Louisiana. She didn't schedule her return flight but anticipated being gone a few weeks.
Jason finally spoke with the principals of the middle school and the junior high the Friday following Bill's departure and it was decided that the kids, much to their chagrin, would be able to start school the following Wednesday. When Wednesday finally rolled around, none of the three was pleased at having to return to school since they'd had so much fun during their week-plus hiatus. The only cool thing about going back to school was that Eric dropped them off in Pam's Mercedes.
Godric would, once the regular filming schedule began, be conducting studies with an on-site tutor. Eric, however, was concerned upon realizing the tutor the studio had secured did not speak Dutch or French. He and Pam kicked into gear making calls until they were able to find a suitable tutor.
With Rene Lenier's sentencing for domestic abuse, Jason was able to land a full-time position on the Parish road crew. Since Rene was known as the "crazy" one, Jason was hoping things would settle down with Rene's absence. Jason wasn't oblivious to the possibility that he'd fall back into old bad habits since he was working with his old buddies. He just hoped that, between him being aware of it and Pam being on his case, he'd have enough sense to steer clear of that shit. Besides, he needed to keep an eye on ole' Catfish for more signs that the guy only had one oar in the water.
With the news that the script tweaking was done, Eric, Pam and Godric were able to start working again the following Monday. While Eric and Godric went to the set each day, Pam's days varied with her being onset some days but remaining at the house to catch up with non-HBO stuff other days. At one point, about a week after Bill's departure, she received a rather odd email from Russell, who'd gone back to LA for a week. The message, which thanked her for the "incredible talent" she had suggested had her perplexed. If she had found some "incredible talent," she could think of ten other directions she'd point them to as opposed to Russell Edgington and HBO. But, since it was Russell, and since Russell was crazy, she'd just shrugged and chalked it up to more of his and Talbot's "fairy intrigue."
On the personal front, Pam found herself in a rather interesting situation with Jason. They continued to have sex. It was very, very good. Thankfully Pam's room was at the far end of the wing, far from the children's rooms, so it was less awkward than one would think.
As for what else their relationship might be, that was still a quandary. Jason had, thinking it the right thing to do, asked Pam out on a date the Saturday after Bill left.
"Pam, I'd like for us to do something outside the house, one of these days. What do ya say?"
Pam had just stared at him, a puzzled look in her face. "You want us to have sex outside?"
Jason's eyes widened, then took on a far-off look before they finally refocused on Pam. "Uh, naw," he shook his head. Squinting his face, he shook his head again. "I mean, no, that's not what I'm talkin' about. Now, I mean. But, heck, sure. Doin' it outside with you would probably make my top ten list!"
Pam, surprisingly pleased by his innocent admission, smiled. She was not sure what this...this "thing" was but she was enjoying it. Although her fallback of vaguely calling it a "thing" irritated her immensely in that it reminded her of pussy Eric and his initial refusal to acknowledge the Barracuda as his girlfriend. Following the parallel that that train of thought led to, Pam was then left wondering if Jason were, in fact, now her boyfriend.
Well, the idea makes me feel ill, but not as ill as I would've anticipated, she admitted to herself.
They made plans to go to Monroe and see a movie and have dinner. There was actually a drive-in movie theatre and Pam had never been to one of those. Jason was pleased as punch to have come up with a "first" he could offer Pam.
Weiss and Lattesta, following the Wednesday outing to Splash Kingdom, fell off the radar. They confirmed that they might call with follow-up questions. But a week went by and the only one they called was Pam to get Bill's name. She happily gave them as much information as she could, including year, make, and plate number of his odious pink mauve automobile. The two reporters also agreed that they would contact Eric, Pam, and the Stackhouses prior to the article's publication and would allow them an opportunity to comment on the story accuracy. With that, however, time passed and they heard not a word from the reporters. Pam kept an eye on the celebrity news blogs but nothing regarding the article ever surfaced.
Tara started her job working at F Mott Associates the Monday after Bill left. JB never warmed up to the idea but Tara finally lost all patience with his "JB the Barbarian" act. She told him, since she pretty much broke up with Frank to date him years ago, he's the last person who should be jealous of Frank. Truthfully, Tara was thrilled to have landed a job in Shreveport that was even remotely related to her education and the path she'd chosen for herself. The idea of working for Frank after being treated like a minion for a year was a very welcome change.
The days of spring passed with an easy kind of charm. Until Friday, May 27, the day the Barracuda returned.
A little before dinner, Tara, Maxine—who had just gotten back from New York the night before—were inside preparing dinner. The four kids had themselves occupied throughout the house. Jason, deciding to grab a bite with the guys at Merlotte's had, after some debate on who to call, finally called Pam.
Pleased at first that she was the one he called, Pam quickly began second-guessing the matter, finally berating herself for being "angsty" and scolding herself that she needed to "grow a pair." Maxine silently absorbed Pam's diatribe. She was quite used to her friend's talking aloud to herself. Tara, who had returned to the kitchen after relaying Jase's message to Sook, caught the tail end of Pam's "self tough love" session and gave her a thoughtful look.
The kitchen windows wide open to capture any breeze northern Louisiana had to offer, all three women looked up with a start at the sound of screaming.
"I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU! I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU FUCKING DID THIS!"
Sookie and Eric were standing out in front of the house. They were also standing in front of a fully-loaded $60,000 Indigo Blue Volkswagen Touareg that had just been delivered.
"Eric! What the hell? I have a car! You have a car! What the heck is this?"
"In case you hadn't noticed, my Vette legally seats two and your Cabrio seats four. There are now six to be accommodated. I figured this would come in handy when we all needed to go somewhere together."
Sookie let out an irritated sigh. Fuming, she glared at Eric. It was not a happy moment.
"Sookie, my intentions, I assure you, were not to upset you," Eric replied blandly. Eric, knowing he needed to portray this acquisition as being more matter-of-fact than buying a toothbrush, used more than a few expressions from his actor's toolkit.
Sookie, meanwhile, had a suspicion she was being played. "Eric, I'm not saying you did it on purpose to upset me—"
"But you didn't ask me—"
"and what would you have said?"
"I would've said 'no'!"
"Exactly. We would have had an argument and no suitable vehicle. This way we still have the argument, yet we also have the needed vehicle."
Sookie, annoyed by his logic —which, she had to admit, for all intents and purposes, was spot on—bit down hard on her lip to refrain from yelling anything further following her initial angry outburst. In a more moderate tone, she continued.
"But you were so high-handed! Just doing this like this! And you put me down as co-owner?"
"Yes, I almost made you the owner outright but I knew it would upset you so," he looked at her intently, "I did it this way hoping to deflect some of your anger. I am certain," he paused, "it must've worked, which, frankly, frightens me. Besides, it is possible I will be able to get certain tax write-offs since I'm in Louisiana for work purposes."
Sookie let out an angry sigh. "You just have an answer for everything, don't you?"
"Lover," Eric strode a step forward and took her hands in his own. "I don't do things without a reason. I don't spend money I don't have. I wouldn't be taking any of these steps if it weren't my objective to be here for the long haul." He leaned forward with the intention of laying a gentle kiss on Sookie's lips. In a surprise move, Sookie looped her arms around his neck and held him tightly to her so the kiss lasted much longer.
Finally, they separated. Eric raised a questioning eyebrow at Sookie, who just shrugged.
"I realized I didn't want to fight," she met his gaze. "Besides, you're gonna own a part of the house. Silly to fight over a car," she shrugged again. "And you're right. It has been annoying taking two cars whenever we head out with the kids."
Eric nodded silently in agreement.
It was Sookie's turn to quirk an eyebrow. "No 'I told you so'?"
"How about I just kiss you instead?"
Sookie, smiling, shook her head. "What is that? Some kind of positive reinforcement to get me to fall in line quicker?"
Eric laughed. "I wouldn't dream of being that manipulative. I'm just opportunistic."
"Well, you seem to have made the most of this opportunity," she laughed.
"Yes, and I'm grateful for it every day."
Finally Saturday, June 4 rolled around. Nearly a month since everyone converged at the farmstead, it was also the night of Tara and JB's engagement dinner.
Since Tara and JB had kept news of their engagement rather on the quiet side at the du Rones' party, they'd decided to have a dinner party with friends to celebrate. JB's parents rented the back room of the Lafayette Bar and Grill. Recognizing just how many were now in the family, it was decided that the engagement party would be kept relatively intimate.
In addition to the Stackhouse extended family and the du Rones, the guest list included JB's friend Kevin Prior and his girlfriend Kenya Jones; Sam Merlotte and his more and more frequent companion, Daphne; Alcee Beck and his wife, Barbara; and Bud Dearborn and his wife. A few others, including JB's friend Eggs who had moved from the area a few months before Tara returned, were invited but couldn't make it for one reason or another. Arlene caught wind of the dinner and did her best to insinuate her way onto the guest list but Sookie put her foot down. Tara wanted to invite Holly Cleary but decided against it given Jason and Pam's new understanding.
The only other guest on the list was Franklin who RSVPd that he'd be in LA until Saturday and was probably going to fly back standby so he wasn't sure what time he'd be back. Given the recent emergence of JB's inner caveman, Tara wasn't all together certain Frank's not being able to come wasn't a good thing. Although, if he came with a date that would help. Feeling odd at the thought of Frank bringing a date, Tara decided it would be best that he not make the party.
JB's parents, technically the hosts, were the first to arrive at the restaurant. JB and Tara followed soon after. Sitting in the back room, waiting for the rest of their party to arrive, Tara filled her future in-laws in on her new job. She didn't mention the part about her new boss being someone she dated back in high school but if she had she would have described Frank as "the squirrely kid in high school I dumped to be with your Neanderthal son." JB noted her omission but wisely said nothing.
Next to arrive was Pam flanked by Maxine and Jason. To the du Rones, having some familiarity with Pam's broad tastes, as they later agreed, it was difficult to read strictly from body language if she was, in fact, dating Jason or Maxine. They walked in like a threesome and given the fact that Pam seemed to divide her time conversing equally between the two of them—if not actually slightly favoring Maxine—it wasn't overwhelmingly clear that Pam and Jason were a couple although they didn't doubt Tara for a moment.
Eric, Sookie and the four kids were the next to arrive. Sookie, before plastering a smile on her face, was scowling.
"If you two continue with this shit throughout dinner, I'll tie you both to a fence outside and you can eat from a bowl."
Sookie, amazed that she had given Eric a hard time over the Touareg was now wondering that they didn't need an even bigger car. Maybe even a bus so her pain-in-the-ass siblings could be further separated during car rides. Generally good for local trips, anything over ten minutes quickly evolved to both a test of endurance and tolerance. Sookie had no problem with endurance. She just had little tolerance with their incessant bickering and the boys had had some fight over something while they were still home and it had carried over into the car.
Ame and God, in comparison, had been model passengers, talking low in French. Although, that ongoing trend was starting to make Sookie increasingly uneasy. She'd instructed Eric to listen in once in a while and he'd assured her nothing harmful was being said. Still, with so many of them in the house, was it too much to ask that everyone speak the same language?
The night went by quickly. The party was, by and large, a success. There were only a few subtle signs that not everyone had a terrific time. Pam looking slightly bored as Jason told her about his job. Jason throwing a thoughtful look at Pam when he knew she wouldn't see. Tara glancing furtively at the door. JB, a pensive expression on his face, as he considered the potential cause for Tara's obvious unease.
Aside from Amelia and Godric, the other new couple having a carelessly good time were Eric and Sookie. Oblivious to the fact that most eyes were on them, the happy couple were the first to dance. Natural dance partners, they gracefully made their way around the dance floor. Surprised by how easily they fell into a rhythm together, Sookie smiled at Eric, who reciprocated by leaning over and giving her a quick kiss.
As they danced, both their minds returned to the conversation they had had earlier that day, and, in fact, numerous times over the past few days. Raising three kids and overseeing a large house wasn't necessarily something Sookie could do from a distance. With Eric's return to California at the end of the summer, they needed to devise a plan. Of course, Eric felt he had it all figured out. He decided to broach it on the dance floor.
"You know, with you and the children coming out to California, we can get a nanny or even a tutor. Or both. I have the money. I'm going to have to make arrangements for God, anyway. I just want you with me. And I want your mind at ease."
Sookie's eyebrow shot up. It was far too soon for them to be complicating things any further by Eric paying for stuff like that. Admittedly, while she was feeling much more comfortable in the relationship, it was still new. Ultimately, her family was her responsibility. Eric was doing—Eric had done—enough for them. She didn't want to grouse at him—again—on his whole 'high-handed' routine, so she decided to tactically come up with another excuse to demur his offer.
"Please, no! You see how being raised in Hollywood ruins kids? Who did I just see interviewed the other day? The actress who won an Academy Award when she was eleven? Anyway, she's so socially awkward and uncomfortable. You can practically see the wheels turning in her head while she's trying to think up something to say. I wanted to jump into the television and grease up her brain for her," Sookie cringed. "It was painful to watch."
"Yeah," Sookie laughed. "The kids would've called it a Douche Chill Moment."
Eric let out a snort of laughter. "Oh, yes? Would they, now? And what would you have called it, Miss Stackhouse?"
Sookie snickered and didn't respond at first. Eric continued to stare at her expectantly. Finally, she answered him.
"A Douche Chill Moment," she met his eyes, the joke passing between them. "Okay," she stopped laughing. "So I have a bit of a pottymouth—"
"Yes, I've noticed."
"Well, what of it?"
"Maybe a nanny for the kids would actually offset that."
"Not every child who grows up in an acting household grows up unbalanced. I know another Swedish actor whose father is a well-known actor and he's really a nice guy."
"Where did he grow up?"
"Case closed. Three kids and no nannies."
"You've got Jason, too."
Sookie's eyes widened. "You're right! He's another one! Don't I know it!"
"No," Eric laughed. "I meant I hope he'll be able to help you with the kids."
Sookie looked doubtful. "Yeah, me too. He's really come through lately, been good with them. But now, that he's back to working on the road crew...Well, let's just say they're not the best influence. I'm glad he's got a job, but I'm not thrilled it's with his old crowd. Maybe he should take classes or something." Sookie shrugged. "Know the expression,' don't use it, you lose it'? " She peered up at Eric, who nodded. "Well, there's never been truer words when it comes to Jase and Jase's brain."
Eric fixed a thoughtful gaze on his love, pondering her observation.
As they continued to dance-including several slow dances- Sookie could feel Eric's 'growing' enthusiasm for having her in his arms.
"What's going on?" She asked, a sly smile on her face.
"Miss Stackhouse, you know full and well what's going on." He lowered his head onto her shoulder, dropping a few featherlight kisses along her exposed flesh. "I wish there was a dark and hidden corner somewhere. I'd push you up against the wall, wrap your legs around me, and make you scream."
"Oh, really? Anyway," Sookie started to chuckle, "I wonder how Bill's doing?" She looked up at Eric, a shadow of a smile playing at her lips. "Do you think I should've called him to make sure he didn't die from dehydration?"
Eric sighed. "Well-played, lover." Eric glanced down to see his quickly retreating 'gracious plenty.' "You," he observed, "certainly know how to tame the beast."
Sookie laughed again. "Good thing, too. For one thing, I doubt either of us has a condom. Not to mention what leaning up against the wall with my legs wrapped around you would do to my lower back."
Eric looked down at his 'tall ship.' Half-mast, now.
"You are cruel, lover. Cruel." He shook his head, a half-smile on his lips.
"Oh, yeah?" Sookie closed the distance between them and laid her lips on his, giving him a scorching kiss. "But you love it, don't you?" she said as she pulled away.
"Apparently so," he grinned.
"Good," she smiled back.
Chapter 81 is posted as a link from my FF profile. See:
Chapter 81: Tabloid Hollywood Shocker: Is Pam Ravenscroft Straight?
Stackhouse Six Sequel? Here's where your comments could make a difference. Please let me know if (1) you'd like to see a sequel and (2) what/who you'd like to see in a sequel. Let it be known -and the rereaders know this - I'm easily influenced by reader comments!
The Snarky Sidekick Contest: Whether she's doling out the snark or dispatching bad guys, Pam kills. See the contest under my Favorite Authors. Read (and review) "Be Your Own Viking" the promo fic I wrote for the contest. Not only does it star snarky Pam but I also managed to work in Adonis DNA. Winning!
More Pam: Pam is in the lead for Funniest ROTSS Character on my FF Profile. She's got 28 while Hunter is second with 19. Forty have voted so far. While that is awesome, even more voters would be more awesome!
The Dead Man of Shreveport: Got free time? Check out my other fic. It's AU/Canon post Club Dead. Eric and Sookie are solving a mystery in Shreveport while Bill is finding himself in Peru. (Bill isn't actually in the fic.)
THANKS EVERYBODY! NEWBIES! REREADERS! LURKERS! THANKS ESPECIALLY TO THE REVIEWERS - YOU MADE IT A LOT OF FUN AND I COULDN'T HAVE DONE IT WITHOUT YOU! HUGS ESP TO ALEX!