Hey everyone! Long time, no see for these two! This is the sequel to the multi-chapter Graveyard of Good Intentions: Redux, so if you haven't read that, please do before starting this!
This takes place 5 years from where we left off last time, and that was with Sookie accepting Eric's proposal after they graduated college. So now we've got NFL player Eric, and his wife Counselor/Teacher Sookie. On with the show!
Chapter 1 - The Legendary Eric Northman is Whipped
I was getting dressed after a long practice and thinking about getting home to my wife, when one of the rookies came up to me.
"The legendary Eric Northman, I can't believe it," he said.
The guy had been traded from another team, and today was his first day practicing with us.
"Not really all that legendary, but thanks," I said politely. I didn't like the attention, never had.
"You're a legend to me. I think a group of us are going out for drinks, are you gonna join?" he asked, a little over-eager. He kind of reminded me of my brother in law, Jason.
"No, I don't do that stuff. I'm just going to head home to my wife," I smiled, and kept going about my business.
"You mean Eric Northman is whipped?" Oh yes, definitely like Jason. He didn't possess a brain filter.
"I suggest you go back to the other rookies before you say anything else," the man beside me said.
"Hey, I didn't mean anything bad by it. I've heard your wife is a total fox. I'd wanna go home and tap that too."
Just as I was about to slam him against the lockers, my teammate beat me to it.
"Really, shut your mouth and go back where you belong," he told the scared rookie.
"Alright, alright." The kid scampered off, and I took a deep breath.
"Thanks, Alcide. I appreciate it," I said, giving him a pat on the back.
"No problem man. You'd do the same for me, and I really don't want you getting suspended for hitting that jackass."
"Well, Sookie might like that," I said.
"She still worrying?"
"Yeah. I get it. I just wish it wasn't an issue."
"I had the same problem with Maria. You guys will get past it, just keep communicating," he said, and patted my shoulder. "I'll see you tomorrow."
"See ya, man."
I finished getting dressed and drove home with what Alcide said on my mind. A lot had changed in five years. I never thought I would have Alcide as my best guy friend, but we both got drafted to the same team. It was awkward at first, but Sookie and Maria had us all get together a few times, and the awkwardness passed. I knew that Alcide was in love with Maria, and Maria knew that Sookie was in love with me, so we all became close friends. Alcide and Maria actually had two beautiful kids together: Jackson, who was four, and Janice, who was two. They were a happy family.
Sookie and I had been discussing starting a family recently. When we married we decided to wait a few years before trying for kids. We wanted to settle into our new life in a new city, and just enjoy being married for a while. Once we started heading into our late twenties, we wanted to start our family. Our time for being young and alone was nearing an end. We'd had the years of loud sex with no interruptions, and being able to pick up and go on vacation whenever we wanted with no worries.
Sookie's way of telling me she was ready, without even knowing it herself, was when she started looking for a dog at shelters. She ended up finding a golden retriever/sheltie mix and adopted him. He was quite the surprise for me when I got home that day, but we quickly bonded. We named him Jude, and as I watched the way she doted on him it hit me that maybe it was time to think seriously about having children.
The "having children" conversation led to our first ongoing disagreement. When we discussed it, I revealed that I wanted Sookie to stop working when she had the baby. Sookie didn't like that at all. She liked her work. Then it came out that she was scared to death that I would get injured seriously playing football. She told me that the fear really began when she realized we were ready for kids, and she knew it was irrational, but it was still there.
That was where we were stuck: Sookie, with her irrational fear that I would get hurt, and me wanting her to stay home with our child while she wanted to be able to work. It was a weird kind of limbo, and we couldn't move forward with the trying until we worked some of it out.
I decided to take Alcide's advice though, and just keep talking about it until something worked out. Sookie and I had learned our lesson about communication back when we were in high school, and we weren't going to make that mistake again. Despite the issues we had, we were still very much in love. We'd just had our fifth wedding anniversary, and were nearing our tenth for being together.
I pulled my new Corvette into the garage of our modest three-bedroom home, and walked into the kitchen to find my gorgeous wife standing over the stove, cooking supper.
"Hello beautiful," I greeted her, sweeping her hair to the side and kissing her neck.
"Evening, handsome," she replied. "How was practice?"
"Same as usual, but our new rookie started today. He pulled out the "Legendary Eric Northman" crap," I said, and hopped up onto the counter next to the stove.
"I'm sorry," she laughed. "That got old as soon as it started."
Jude came running into the kitchen, and stood on his hind legs in front of me, barking at me until I jumped off the counter and got onto the floor with him.
"Hey boy," I said, scratching him behind the ears. "Have you had dinner?"
"He has, it's safe to give him a treat," Sookie answered.
I smiled. I loved giving Jude his treat. Sookie let me do it, and he always gave me more attention at night because of it. I pulled out the box and he went nuts, running around in circles, and barking happily. He caught the treat as I tossed it in the air, and ran off to eat it. I hopped back up on the counter next to Sookie.
"How was your day?" I asked.
"Good. I talked a couple more kids into going to college, and made appointments for their parents to come in so we can talk options. I pulled a crying girl into my office and got it out of her that she'd discovered another student was planning on bringing a gun to the school."
"What? How can you consider that a good day?" I asked. It was things like that that made me want her to stay home after we had kids.
"Because we managed to get the kid planning it, and got him help before he could hurt anyone," she said, her tone a little hurt. I sighed, and she turned the burner off and set down her spoon.
"Eric," she said, moving over to stand between my legs. "I know you don't like the school I work at, but the good that I can do outweighs the bad. Those students that are going to college are extremely talented, and they'll do good things in this screwed up world. And the kid planning on bringing the gun? He's a very bright kid, and he wanted to kill himself at the school. We stopped that from happening."
"Those are great things, but it's still dangerous there. I… I don't want you to stop working when we have kids, but I would love it if you could look into transferring somewhere less dangerous. Maybe you could get into counseling kids somewhere, or teaching at a preschool."
"That would be a good compromise," she smiled, taking my hands in hers.
"Really? You'd really look into something else?"
"I could do that if it would give you peace of mind."
"But do you really want to?"
"Nobody wants to change jobs. But, I would like to be able to stay home for a while, or have a more flexible job. I don't want our kids with a nanny or in daycare as an infant. I was actually thinking of asking you how you would feel about me taking a year or so off work."
"Wait, how long have you been thinking about this? These are some pretty major decisions," I said, suddenly feeling wary.
"Since this weekend when I had lunch with Maria."
"What did she say that made you change your mind?"
"I asked her if she regretted her decision to quit working and be a stay at home mother, and she said it was the best decision she ever made. She said that she goes crazy with the need to be around people every once in a while, and that's when you and I get those desperate phone calls begging us to keep the kids for an evening so they can go out on a date. But apparently, the seeing your kids grow up part outweighs the moments when you want to rip your hair out."
"Are you thinking of taking more than a year or so off?" I asked cautiously.
"All I ask is that you be okay with it if I want to work again, but yes, I think I want to stay at home," she said.
"God I love you," I said, and then seized her lips with mine.
"Hold up," she said, pulling away. "This doesn't mean we're going to start trying right away, okay?"
"Why not? If it's about the fear thing, Alcide said Maria went through the same thing when they started kid talk. It's probably normal."
"I know. I talked to her about that too. I know it's irrational, but I can't shake it. That's not why I don't want to start trying right away though."
"I'd like to wait until we get closer to the end of the school year. It's easier for them to replace someone if it's summer."
I jumped off the counter and hugged her to me tightly.
"We're really going to do this, aren't we? Make a little us," I said, feeling deliriously happy. If I were Jude, I would have been running around in circles.
"Yes we are. Gran'll be pleased. I can't talk to her anymore without her asking if we're expecting yet," she said, causing me to pull away and force her to look at me.
"I love Gran, and I know she'll be happy, but I want to know if you are happy."
"I haven't been this excited about something since our wedding day," she whispered with a smile on her face and tears in her eyes.
"I love you," I said, wrapping her up in my arms again.
"I love you."
"Come on." I started pulling her towards the bedroom, suddenly having the overwhelming urge to make love to my wife.
"Eric," she giggled. "What about supper?"
"It can wait. I think I'll have my dessert first."
Thanks to Krismom and FarDareisMai2 for their sharp ass eyes! You two rock my socks!
The team Eric and Alcide play for, and the state they moved to will be revealed in the next chapter. If you have any questions about anything regarding Eric and Sookie over the last 5 years, please ask. If I haven't thought of it and you tell me, I'll still have time to work it into the story!