Author's Note: This is a companion piece of sorts to "Mother's Day" which I hope you have read but you don't have to in order to enjoy this one shot. As always, reviews are much appreciated.
The bedroom was dark and quiet until a crack of thunder rattled the windows. The body under the sheet stirred and a head of short curly hair slowly emerged. Blue eyes opened then snapped shut when a flash of lightning illuminated the room, followed a minute later by the pounding of rain on the roof.
Good, they needed the rain he thought and then chuckled to himself. Cripes, he sounded like a freakin' farmer or worse yet, an old man. Still, there was nothing like sleeping in on a rainy morning. The only thing that would make it better was if his wife were here with him. The house was unusually quiet and then he remembered it was Sunday and Jackie had taken the kids to church.
He rolled over, eyes drifting shut again. She knew how he felt about organized religion but argued that their kids should be exposed to it so they could decide for themselves if they were interested.
Hyde had agreed that basic Christian beliefs had value so if she could get them to go she was more
than welcome to take them.
He remembered when Mrs. Forman had made him go to church. He actually hadn't minded it until
getting up early on Sunday mornings cut into his recovery time from Saturday nights. He wasn't
surprised that their sixteen year old took an interest. Zach was an intelligent, curious kid. A bit of a
smart ass but he came by that that naturally.
Their eleven year old daughter Katie had gone along easily. If it meant she could dress up and listen to the choir she was happy. Then again, she was always happy. How two volatile people like him
and Jackie had given birth to such a sweet, sunny natured child was a total mystery. Jackie insisted it was because she had listened to a lot of Wilson Phillips while she was pregnant. Hyde just scoffed and said however it happened, they were lucky.
The next time he opened his eyes the rain had stopped and the room was brighter but not as bright as the thick lashed amber eyes above him.
"Good morning, sleepyhead," his wife smiled.
"Hey," he rasped, pulling her down on top of him and nuzzling her neck. Damn, she smelled good.
"How was church?" he asked while running his hands over her hips.
"Pastor Dan gave a very interesting sermon all about the sins of the flesh," she pressed her firm breasts against him. "Zach kept snickering and Katie's eyes were as big as saucers. You should have been there, Steven."
"Oh yeah?" his hands roamed south and grabbed her ass. She wiggled a little and kissed his cheek.
"Yeah. Pastor Dan said we should resist the pleasures of our mortal bodies…" she gasped when he pulled her against his growing hardness.
"He did? Why would he say that?" he asked in that rough tone she loved.
"Um…something about abstaining from temptation in order to devote ourselves to Jesus…" she groaned.
"Good thing I'm an atheist," he grinned against her soft lips.
"Yeah," she breathed and their lips met.
An hour later they lay wrapped in the sheet and each others arms. She kissed his chest where her face rested against it. "By the way, Happy Father's Day, puddin'."
"Oh, hey-where are the kids anyway?" he asked, stroking her hair.
She laughed. "They went with the Forman's. Kitty wanted to teach Katie how to make her ambrosia
salad and Red was going to show Zach how to start the grill."
"I hope Red has fire insurance," Hyde grinned.
Jackie stretched, purring like a kitten, her long dark hair streaming across the pillow. Damn, his wife was still as sexy as hell.
"I suppose we should get up. The cook out starts at one and I promised we would bring the beer."
"Ok," he kissed her shoulder. "Take a shower with me?"
Another hour later and Jackie was scurrying around the bedroom, pulling on her high heeled sandals
while Hyde watched her with an amused grin.
"It's not funny!" she glared at him "We are so late! You just can't keep your hands off me, can you?"
He smirked. "What can I say? I have a hot wife."
That earned him a quick peck on the cheek and a smoldering look. "Thanks, baby but really, we have to go!"
As they parked in front of the Forman's house Katie came running across the lawn, long dark curls
bouncing on her shoulders.
"Where have you been? We've been waiting for you!" she said and hugged her father. "Happy Father's Day, Daddy!"
"Thanks, cricket." He smiled at her. Except for the blue eyes she'd inherited from him she was a
a lot like her Mom physically- petite, pretty and energetic. When she was younger she had asked why he called her Mom "grasshopper" and he told her it was because she jumped around all the time.
"I jump around a lot too!" she said and agreeing, he told her she was more like a cricket-small and
chirping all the time so from then on he called her "cricket". Jackie had just rolled her eyes and he
"You can tell her all about how I tried to teach you zen when she's old enough to understand," he said, kissing her. "Grasshopper".
When they reached the driveway Zach came out of the garage where he and seventeen year old Luke Forman had been hanging out.
"Here, I'll take that beer for you, Dad," he grinned.
"Nice try, kid," Hyde laughed.
"As if we don't know all the tricks," Eric Forman got up from the lawn chair he'd been sitting in and held out his hand to his best friend. "Hey man. How are you?"
The shook hands, grinning at each other. Donna came out of the kitchen with a pitcher of lemonade and a big smile on her face.
"Donna!" Jackie screeched and barreled towards the tall redhead who quickly set the pitcher down and held out her arms for her best friend. They hugged as if they hadn't seen in each other in months as opposed to a few weeks ago when Jackie and Katie had gone to Madison to go shopping with Donna and Ginny, her and Eric's thirteen year old daughter.
"Say, Dad, what took you and Mom so long?" Zach asked, a smirk on his face that made Donna laugh. Except for the golden brown eyes he'd gotten from Jackie he was eerily similar to Hyde.
Even his cocky confidence and sharp wit were just like his Dad.
"Do you really want to know, kid?" Hyde asked, cracking open a beer.
Zach and Eric both shuddered. "No, thanks," they said in unison.
A few hours later, after grilled burgers and brats accompanied by Kitty's famous ambrosia salad
they were all relaxing in the backyard when Kitty brought out a chocolate cake. Blue eyes framed with laugh lines she giggled and kissed Red's bald head.
"Here's to the best father I know. Oh and you boys too." She kissed Eric and Hyde, tears welling in her eyes. "I'm so proud of you both. Not only are you good husbands to Donna and Jackie but you've given us the best grandchildren in the world. Don't you think so, Red?"
Red Forman, who's few remaining hairs were now white, rolled his eyes. "Geez, Kitty…"
"Oh, come on, Dad. You gotta admit we turned out okay," Eric laughed.
"Yeah, I suppose. But only because I threatened to kick your asses every single goddam day,"
the old man barked.
"Red Forman! Little pitchers have big ears." Kitty tittered nervously, covering red headed Ginny's ears with her hands.
"She sure does have big ears," Luke teased and then ducked when his sister threw a punch his way.
"Oh, please, Kitty! Steven swears worse than Mr. Forman ever did," Jackie scoffed, earning her a glare from her husband. He tried to watch his mouth –especially around the kids.
Katie hugged him. "It's ok, Daddy. Mom swears sometimes too. Last night I heard her saying "Oh,God" over and over after you and she went to bed and you aren't supposed to take the Lord's name in vain."
"Katie!" Jackie blushed bright red.
"That's what you get for taking her to church," Hyde smirked then winked at his wife.
"Okay," Donna laughed. "How about the guys open their gifts now?"
Red and Eric grumbled but went along with the annual distribution of neckties and t-shirts. Hyde waited for Jackie to make a big fuss over his gift. He had learned years ago she enjoyed giving
presents' as much as she liked getting them and he had to admit she was always creative. Some of
the best gifts he'd gotten from her were never seen by anybody else and enjoyed in the privacy of their bedroom.
"This is from me, Puddin'." she presented him with an envelope and before he had opened it, she was clapping her hands and wiggling in her seat.
"Hey, two tickets to the Stones in Chicago. Wow, Jackie…" he was really impressed.
"I know! Isn't it great?" her smile was bright.
"Yeah, great. Hey, Forman. Whatcha doin' on September 13th?"
"What? No! The tickets are for you and me!" Jackie protested until she saw the glint in his eyes.
She swatted at him and he laughed.
"Thanks, Doll," he kissed her.
"Aawww," Donna and Eric chorused but were drowned out by the kids' "Eewww!"
Katie gave him a gaily wrapped package. "I made it myself. Grandma helped me," she said, hugging Kitty who squeezed her tight. She loved all of her grandchildren but she and Steven's daughter had
a special bond.
Katie's gift was a somewhat uneven and very long green and gold scarf. He wrapped it around his neck despite the warm June sun. "I love it, cricket. Thank you," he told her when she hugged him.
"Here, Dad," Zach tossed an envelope at him. Catching it, Hyde smiled. He knew there would be no hug from his image conscious son. At least not in front of a bunch of people.
In the envelope were five chore coupons Zach had written up-all for car washes or car waxes.
"Can't wait to get your hands on the Camino huh, kid?" Hyde laughed.
Zach shrugged but his smile was full of mischief.
The sun was heading toward the horizon and the kids were playing basketball in the driveway.
The adults were watching, sprawled in lawn chairs and sipping beer or lemonade. Eric and Donna
were making noises about heading back to Madison but their kids were ignoring them.
Hyde looked around at the fading paint on the house he grew up in. At the elderly couple who took him in and raised him as their own. At the not- so- skinny anymore friend who became his brother. At the pretty red head from next door who he loved like a sister. At his kids-happy and healthy-who
he would do anything to protect. Then finally he looked at his wife-as beautiful and vibrant as the
day he first kissed her, all those years ago.
Yeah, she could still frustrate and infuriate him but the making up was always fun and she kept him on his toes. She loved him like crazy and he never doubted it. Not anymore. He squeezed her hand
and she smiled at him. That warm, sweet, sexy smile she gave only to him. God, she was –everything and he loved her.
If someone had told him twenty years ago he'd be married to a rich princess / ex-cheerleader and raising two kids in a three bedroom/two bath house he would have laughed his ass off. If they told
him he would be happy doing it he would have asked for some of what they were smoking.
Man, before the Forman's and Jackie his life had sucked. And now-it didn't. In fact it was pretty freakin' awesome.