This was written for the SVM/TB Fic Exchange 2015.
AN: Please forgive the supposed typo when Jason enters the picture. It isn’t a typo, it’s just Jason.
There is also a nod to the incomparable Ericizmine’s Saints and Sinners in the form of sparklers on a birthday cake.
Thanx to Breathes for bouncing additional ideas and innuendoes back and forth with me. I hope you like it.
Unfortunately I do not own Southern Vampire Mysteries or True Blood or the characters therein: Charlainne Harris, Allan Ball and HBO do. I just give them a fresh breath of life once in a while.
Rated T for mild language
No other warnings.
Thank you to Natsgirl1 for giving this the once over for me.
It was a bright, sunny, humid day at the beginning of July. Summer had barely started but it already felt as if it was going to be a scorcher.
Sookie stretched as she got out of bed. A smile lit up her face as she remembered what day it was; it was her twenty-first birthday! Since it was a Saturday all her friends and family were coming over for a potluck supper and games afterward.
It’s a Stackhouse tradition that the birthday boy or girl has the day off from responsibilities so she had her day all planned out: Pampering, reading, and sunshine. Not a work uniform in sight and she couldn’t have been happier.
The day passed quickly with small breaks like when her longest standing friend Tara stopped by with a pint of Ben and Jerry’s for each of them, or her Gran brought out a pitcher of lemonade and sandwiches for lunch and sat with her while they ate.
By the time late afternoon rolled around Sookie was nicely bronzed and ready for her birthday dinner. Since it was going to be potluck she didn’t know what they would be eating but she was sure that her bachelor brother would be bringing pizza and beer and her Gran would have baked a cake despite the heat.
By the time she was out of the shower and dressed her guests had started arriving.
Surprisingly, the first to arrive was not her brother, Jason, but her co-worker Lafayette and his boyfriend Jesus.
Lafayette, being the Queen he was, squealed when he saw her and ran to give her a hug, handing her a tin of some sort, some daisies, and let her know that their contribution was already in the kitchen.
Sookie turned to go to the kitchen for a vase with water when the door opened. She squealed when she saw who it was and hastily put her flowers on the table beside her before running for the door and jumping at the new arrival. “Eric!”
His deep laugh rumbled through the downstairs as he gave her a long hug and a kiss. “How’s the birthday girl?” He asked as he set her on her feet.
“I’m just brilliant now that you’re here,” she said as she walked around him, eyeing him critically.
He looked at her, ginning, “Pam’s on her way with our contribution, the same as every other year since she first got her licence, Sookie.”
She huffed, “I know that Eric. She wouldn’t be caught dead in either my beater or your Corvette.”
He laughed some more and handed her his keys, taking the tin from her in the process, “do you really think I would show up for my favorite girl’s birthday without both her present and flowers?” The last of his sentence was lost in the sound of the front screen door slamming as Sookie ran out to the car.
Lafayette and Jesus looked at him and Eric simply shrugged; they had gone through this every year since they had first met when she was in first grade and he was in fifth grade.
It wasn’t long until they heard more squeals, this time coming from outside. Eric just grinned, he knew she’d like it although he did give a small, secretive smile; her real present was in his pocket, waiting for the perfect time to be presented.
Sookie came back in with a huge smile on her face and a very large vase with bright yellow daisies and Black Eyed Susans.
“I take it you like your present then?” He asked as she walked over to him.
“Nope.” At his crestfallen look Sookie giggled, “I don’t just like it Eric. I LOVE it,” she exclaimed as she turned around waving an envelope in the air, “he’s given me a spa day!” She squealed.
She sat the flowers on the coffee table and turned to him, giving him her thousand watt smile, “thank you Eric. I love it!” She said as she grabbed hold of the front of his shirt and pulled him down for a very unchaste thank you kiss.
He smiled at her as he straightened up and pulled her to him, laying his arms over her shoulders, “I am happy you like it Sookie. Now, what’s this?” He asked as he shook the tin he had taken from her a few minutes before.
She shrugged, “I don’t know yet; you got here before I had a chance to look at it. Although, since Lala is the one who gave it to me…”
Eric grinned. He knew exactly what kinds of presents Lafayette was capable of giving and the majority were not fit for mixed company. They both turned and raised an eyebrow at their friend.
“What?” He said, sounding guilty.
Sookie giggled. She, too, knew about his gifts, “I had better be able to open this in front of my Gran, Lala,” she said in mock anger.
Lafayette put his hands on his hips and grinned, “Now would I give you anything you couldn’t open in mixed company?” At Sookie’s glare he just grinned wider, “Sookie,“ he said, sounding serious but looking anything but, “I may be freaky on occasion but I like my life, thank you very much. I have had to stare down the barrel of your granddaddy’s shotgun once and that was once too often. I promise, you can open it in front of Gran.”
“Good,” she huffed as she turned at the opening of the front door.
“Jason?” He looked like he’d been run over by a semi. His hair was all dishevelled, his shoulders were slumped and for some strange reason he was wearing a t-shirt that said, ‘Of all the things I’ve lost, I miss my’ and there was a piece of tape with the words ‘piece of’ written on it ‘mind the most.’
Jason came stomping in and slammed himself back into a chair looking agitated and rather jumpy.
“Jason,” Sookie said as she handed him a beer, “you don’t look so good.”
His hand was shaking as he thanked his sister for the beer, “I don’t feel so good sis.
I tell ya, them new drivers is dumb!”
Everyone in the room, even Gran, shouted, “How dumb are they?!” and broke out in giggles as Jason looked totally lost even though they went through that every time he told them one of his Driver’s Ed stories.
“I give a road test to one of ‘em today, going for his Intermediate licence, and I swear I heard the angels singin’ my song! Or I would have if the radio hadn’t been so loud.”
Everyone looked at him, “Whaddya mean if the radio hadn’t been so loud? You’re the tester, you got rules to go by,” Jesus said as he shook his head and took a long pull at his beer.
Jason started his story, “This kid was only 15! I swear they should up the limit to 21! At least then they got a brain in their heads!” Jason got more and more jittery as he thought about the wild ride he had just had. Unfortunately it wasn’t the kind of wild ride he got off on. “The kid gets in the car and closes the door. He does NOT put on his seat belt.
He starts the car and puts it in drive, releases the brake while holding in the clutch and leans over and plays with the radio knobs until he finds the station he wants while the car drifts forward and then turns the radio FULL BLAST.
The car bumps into the parking curb and the idjit guns it, jumping over the curb, straight over a freshly manicured island garden, narrowly missing the lady waterin’ the flowers, who just happens to be the principal’s favorite niece, who is now not going to be riding the Stackhouse roller coaster since she saw me in the damn car!”
“Jason! Language!” Exclaimed Gran.
“Sorry Gran,” he said, not looking sorry at all. Instead he looked like he stuck his finger in a light socket with his hair sticking every which way and his body shaking and jerking at odd moments. “And she was my date for tonight! And he drives straight into traffic. I barely heard the squealing brakes as everyone tried to miss him.
He hangs a right and floors it, going through a red light, narrowly missing cross traffic. Hangs it into a drive through coffee line and guns it and slams on the brakes, guns it and brakes it, guns it and brakes it until he gets to the speaker, orders his coffee, guns it and brakes it again and again until he gets to the window and gets his coffee which he then puts between his legs.
Duh, even I know not to do that!” Jason manages to be his usual animated self for this statement, even as he cringes at the memory, “course, roasted ‘nads’ll do that for a guy.
Then he takes off like a bat out of hell. Funnily enough the song playing on the radio was Bat Outta Hell.
He then offered me the chance to light one up and hangs a left, not stopping or looking to make sure the way was clear, which it wasn’t, nearly causing a 5 car pileup.
I finally figured out to turn the radio down and told him to turn left. The idiot looked at me, took his damn eyes off the damn road and actually looked at me, and yelled ‘WHAT?’ as he started his left turn. I told him once again to turn left. What did the idiot do? Donuts in the middle of the damn intersection!”
“Jason,” Gran said warningly, raising her hand slightly to remind him she would give him a whop upside the back of his head if he didn’t curb the swearing.
He cringed but kept on talking, “Finally the cops come up and he straightens out, gunning it once again, but going the wrong way. Then he,” Jason shudders, “shouts ‘look at the tits on that one!’ Naturally I look. Who did I see? My damn sister!
Sookie exclaims, already bright red with embarrassment, “That’s who that was!”
Jason sighs as he nods his head and continues, “I finally slam the gear shift into neutral so he has no choice but to slow down and stop. The cop comes up, looks in and I realize he’s one of the guys I trained with. I look him straight in the eye, ‘I can’t do nuthin’ to ‘im but I sure as shit ain’t gonna see a damn thing you do to ‘im.’ Then I got out of the car, calmly closed the door, walked around to the driver’s side, looked in at him and politely told him, ‘You fail’ nice and slow like so it would get through his thick skull.” Everyone present giggled since they know Jason was anything but polite when he told the kid off.
“As I calmly and quietly started to walk away I heard the officer ask him for his license and registration. The idiot said, ‘I’m supposed to have a licence for the test?’ and I WALKED back to the school.”
Jason got a sympathetic hug from his sister as she went back to the kitchen so she could refill everyone’s drinks; when she returned she asked, “So what took you so long to get home then? They don’t start driving tests past 4:00.”
He looked at her with slightly pink cheeks, “I spent the next hour and a half pretending the loud radio made me deaf since my boss read me the riot act for letting the idiot out of the parking lot in the first place.”
“As he should have Jason, as he should have,” Sookie said as she walked past him, patting him on the shoulder in sympathy.
“All right everybody!” Gran said from the entryway to the kitchen, “head on out to the yard and we’ll get this birthday dinner started!”
Jason groaned as he pushed himself up from the chair and everybody else silently laughed at him; each of them had told him at one time or another over the last few years that he should maybe hand over driver’s training to someone else but he stubbornly refused to stop doing what he considered his civic duty.
Sookie’s eyes were bigger than her stomach that night; she barely had room for her birthday cake since there was so much other food to be enjoyed.
It was a very enjoyable evening with family and friends though, but it wasn’t over just yet.
Away over the lake at the edge of the property fireworks suddenly appeared, sending spirals and streams of bright color high into the air for all to enjoy.
When the fireworks were over, her birthday cake, with sparklers instead of candles, was sitting in front of her, making her laugh since she hadn’t expected it to happen quite that way.
Once the sparklers were out and the cake cut and eaten, everyone sat back, sated and happy.
Sookie stood from her place at the picnic table, “Ya’ll, this has been one of the best birthdays of my life. Thank you,” she said with a huge smile on her face.
“It ain’t over just yet hookah, you ain’t opened your presents yet.”
Her cheeks pinked in embarrassment, “Well then, if somebody’ll start the burn barrel we’ll just pretend it’s a bon fire and open the presents over there so I can toss any paper I don’t want to keep and other packaging in instead of having to clean it up later.”
It took a couple of minutes but everyone finally managed to push themselves up from the chairs or the table and move to their appointed tasks.
It wasn’t long until the chairs were arranged in a semicircle near the burn barrel which was blazing brightly and there was a small pile of presents in the middle.
“Alright everybody; I’ve already opened Eric’s certificate for a day at the spa and I know that Gran’s gift has been the wonderful food and letting us do this here instead of going out somewhere so…” She looked over the small pile of gifts and picked up the tin Lafayette had handed her and shook it. There was no noise but it was rather heavy, much heavier than its diminutive size indicated. She shot a look his way hoping she was indicating what she would do to him if he were trying to embarrass her.
Finally she took the lid off, since he had blacked out all the lettering which could indicate what was inside, and actually giggled, “I’ve been wanting to try Magnetic poetry since I first saw it a few months ago! Thank you!” She threw her arms around his neck and gave him a peck on the cheek for such a wonderful gift.
“I’m glad you like it baby girl.” Lafayette was smiling wide; he wasn’t quite sure how his gift would be received.
“I love it Lafayette, thank you! Now what shall I open next?”
Jason shuffled forward and cleared his throat. He held an envelope out to her, “Open this one, Sook?” He actually sounded shy and unsure of himself; very unlike his usual cocky and self-assured self.
Tears came to her eyes when she opened the card. “Sook, I know I ain’t been the best brother to ya but I do love ya even though I don’t show it nearly often enough. I know you’re awful close to having enough for another car and I hope this puts you over the top. The one you’re driving won’t make it through another winter. I don’t want ya stuck out in the middle of nowhere when it breaks down…” By now Jason had tears in his eyes too. She grabbed him up in a big bear hug, tears streaming down her face, “Thank you Jason. This is the kindest thing you could have done for me and it more than makes up for all the bickering over the years. If it doesn’t put me over the top it’ll be darned close, thank you.”
Just then they heard a vehicle on the gravel driveway and soon saw headlights headed toward the house, “Jason, I suspect that’s Pam so go clean yourself up unless you want to give her a century’s worth of fodder for teasing you about how a man’s not supposed to cry.” He actually looked relieved at her suggestion and beat feet for the house before Pam or anyone else could see his wet cheeks and make fun of him for it.
Just as Jason got in the house Pam came around the corner, “Well, the life of the party is here! Let’s get this party started!”
Lafayette ran up to her and enveloped her in a hug before she could dodge him, “the life of the party has been here all along sweet cheeks and look at you! You finally, after all these years, dressed down!”
Pam actually looked embarrassed by the fact she wasn’t dressed to the nines in one of her designer dresses and name brand shoes but she did manage to answer, “it only took me a decade to figure out that I might as well dress for where I’m going. None of you dress up and while I enjoy showing all of you up I decided it might be time to do as the hicks do.”
“Hey now! I may live off the beaten path but I am not a hick!
Your dressing down doesn’t have anything to do with spraining your ankle in a gopher hole last year does it?”
Pam’s cheeks flamed red at the reminder of how inelegant she had been the year before. “It’s not my fault that a gopher dug its burrow right where I was going to walk!”
“No, but I think the fact you were more than a little tipsy might have had something to do with why you were seeing four holes instead of the one the rest of us were seeing.”
Sookie swatted Eric on the arm, “Enough you two. Eric, leave your sister alone.
You look great Pam, what took you so long? We’re nearly done.”
Somehow Pam managed to look chastened, “I didn’t own any jeans or sneakers so of course I had to go shopping.”
Everyone burst out laughing and said some variation of, “Of course you went shopping!”
“Then there was an accident on the highway which had traffic at a standstill for quite a while.”
Just then Adele came up to Pam with a plate of food and a can of tea, “Oh dear, I do hope nobody was hurt!” She exclaimed as she handed Pam the plate and gave her a pat on the shoulder. “Ignore them. You come, sit down and eat.” She nodded to the now empty table and continued back to her chair near the fire.
As she sat down Pam remembered, “Eric, the ice cream’s in the back seat! I’m sure it’s all melted by now though,” and she pouted out her bottom lip. “I was looking forward to that Ben and Jerry’s too!”
When she heard Ben and Jerry’s Sookie grabbed Eric’s hand and pulled him around front, only to be met by Tara as she was walking around the back, “Tara! Thank you for the treat this morning!” And grabbed her up in a hug.
Tara returned the hug but quickly disentangled herself and looked Sookie straight in the eye and put her hands on her hips, “Now when was the last time I didn’t bring you a treat on your birthday?” And she looked deadly serious as she spoke.
Sookie looked thoughtful for a moment, “When you had chickenpox when we were nine!”
“That’s right bitch, and don’t you dare forget it!” She exclaimed as she gave Sookie a light shove backward. “Now what did that crazy cousin of mine get you? I know it wasn’t clothes, the box wasn’t big enough.”
“So that’s how he knew what to get me! You told him!”
Tara just grinned while trying to look innocent, “Well?”
“You know what he got me you little rat! What did you do? Drag him to the library to use the computer or did you let him use yours?” Sookie finally walked around Tara towards Pam’s van but it was locked, “Eric, she locked it again. Do you have your key with you?”
“Of course. She locks herself out at least once a week, it’s just easier if I keep the extra with me.” He pulled his keys out of his pocket and pressed the remote to release the locks so Sookie could get the by now liquefied ice cream from the back before he ended up having to pay to have the upholstery cleaned from it leaking through the plastic bag it was in.
“Thank you Eric,” she said as she stopped to give him a kiss on her way back to the house. “Don’t forget to lock it back up. I don’t feel like listening to her whine about it for the next month.” Eric pressed the remote again to lock the van and followed Sookie and Tara into the house.
They were jabbering at each other like they hadn’t just seen each other that morning and didn’t speak to or see each other several times a week. Eric just shook his head as he continued on out the back door. He would never understand women and how they managed to find something to talk about even when there was nothing to talk about.
He got a look of incredulity from the others who were still waiting for him and Sookie, “What?” He said, a hint of amusement in his voice. “I’m not going to stick around when two women are jabbering at each other. Tara’s here. Do you honestly think I would willingly deal with both of them at the same time unless my life was at stake?”
Pam’s head jerked up from her nearly empty plate, “Tara’s here?” and she took off running into the house. Eric just shrugged his shoulders and grabbed a beer out of the cooler on his way back to his chair which was conveniently the furthest from the current squeal zone. He was very happy about that fact when he heard the high pitched, eardrum splitting sound that soon came from the house. “Which one of you is brave enough to go in there and remind them that there are others here; it’s not a hen’s party, but a birthday party and the birthday girl happens to be missing?”
All the men looked at him like he was crazy and moved as far away from the house as the could and still be near the fire; each mumbling about not being that crazy.
As soon as Tara realized that Pam was in the kitchen with them she grabbed her and squealed her greeting, “Pam! Where’s all that high glamour I always see you in?”
Pam huffed and finally told the truth about how she was dressed. “I lost a bet.”
Sookie and Tara both laughed. Eric and Pam had been pranking and betting with each other since Pam was toddling around and had learned how to speak, “What did you bet?” Sookie asked, merriment evident in her voice.
Pam rolled her eyes and grimaced, “The first bet was that I couldn’t go five minutes without being snarky.”
They both looked at Pam like she had lost her mind to have ever made such a bet in the first place and broke down in giggles when they realized she had said ‘first bet’.
“First bet? You mean that you bet with your brother, the king of pranks and jokes, immediately after losing a bet? Have you lost your ever loving mind?” Sookie knew about one of the bets but she hadn’t heard about this one. “What did you say to cause you to lose the bet Pam?”
Pam cringed, “as soon as we had shaken on the terms your stupid brother walked in,” she said as she glared at her best friend.
“Pam, Jason may be a lot of things but stupid is not one of them. What did he do to make you lose the bet?”
“It wasn’t what he did so much as what he was wearing…” All three of them snorted as they laughed. Pam’s sense of fashion was second to none, just as her ability to shop anybody under the table was a part of her DNA.
“What was he wearing Pam?”
“He was wearing jeans and his Crossing Guard vest so he was very…fluorescent.” Sookie nodded, she had seen that vest, or one just like it many times over the years. “As soon as I saw him I said ‘Is that so all the mothers out there can see you coming and hide their daughters?'”
It took Sookie and Tara a good five minutes to calm down from the laughter the image caused. When she could finally speak Tara asked, “and what was his reply?”
Pam looked like she wasn’t going to answer for a moment but finally she rolled her eyes and said in her best Jason Stackhouse imitation, “Depending on what the mom looks like why would she hide her daughter?
“I didn’t realize I had been set up until he reached back through the door and handed me a hanger with a pair of jeans, a t-shirt and a pair of sneakers.”
Sookie looked at her incredulously, “How in the world did Eric manage to keep Jason quiet long enough for you to not catch wind of what was going on?”
“I asked him about that but he would only grin and shrug his shoulders; he wouldn’t tell me how he managed it. Maybe you can work your wiles on him and find out?”
“Are you kidding? He’s just as tight lipped with me as he is with you. I’ll wait until the right time and ask Jason, he can’t keep a secret to save his life.
“Any way, what was the second bet and how did it come about?”
Pam looked sheepish as she replied, “I was so embarrassed by Jason, of all people, managing to get one over on me I actually demanded that I have a second chance.” At the looks coming from both Tara and Sookie Pam actually blushed a bright red, “What? I was embarrassed and angry, I had to do something.” When Sookie gave her a quirked eyebrow as a response to her own, admittedly foolish behaviour Pam sighed, “I was just crazy enough to bet both of them that I could go for a full month without shopping.”
Tara was doubled over with laughter and had tears streaming down her face from laughing so hard, “You. The reason Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus are still in business, bet you could go a month without shopping,” she managed to gasp out between bouts of uproarious laughter. When Pam scowled at her she only laughed harder. “You do realize that buying things online counts as shopping. Right?”
Tara and Sookie started laughing, again, when Pam turned red from embarrassment, “I hadn’t bought Eric’s birthday present yet. I couldn’t let my favorite brother’s birthday go by without a present!”
By now everyone had migrated to the kitchen from the back yard to find out what was so funny. They found Sookie and Tara doubled over, holding their sides from laughing so hard and long. “Eric, do you want to tell her how you found out she had been shopping or can I be the one?” Sookie asked as she felt his arms slide around her.
Eric grinned, “Pam, you do realize that when you use MY credit card to shop I get a text notification, yes?
“Oh, and I’m your only brother.”
Pam turned impossibly redder and stomped out of the room. Unfortunately it didn’t have the same impact it normally would have if she had worn heels; it didn’t sound like shots being fired with each stomp.
It took a few minutes but eventually the laughter stopped but it started up again when Sookie asked, “You got pictures, right? You have evidence that Jason managed to punk Pam?”
“‘Course we do sis! Eric had his phone recording and the security system at the bar was running,” Jason said with one of his characteristic grins. When they heard Pam running for the door, presumably to go and hijack the security tapes Jason raised his voice, “And Eric already made copies so you can forget about erasing the evidence…Pam!”
They heard a long string of cursing as her steps faltered then stopped. A few seconds later they heard a door close quietly and what sounded like gut wrenching sobs. Sookie sighed; they really should know better than to tease or laugh at Pam, and headed towards the bathroom.
“Pam,”she said as she knocked lightly on the bathroom door.
“Go. A. Way!” Pam growled, followed by a hiccup.
Sookie leaned against the wall; this was their standard operating procedure whenever Pam got upset or offended and didn’t know how to deal with it. “Pam, you know we love you. Right?”
“Sure doesn’t feel like it,” she mumbled.
“How often do you make fun of the way I dress or the way Jason talks or Lafayette’s sexuality? How often do we laugh it off and keep going Pam?
“We wouldn’t do what we do if we didn’t love you Pam. You’re part of the family and family makes fun of each other BECAUSE they love each other.” Sookie pushed away from the wall, “So come on back to the kitchen after you’ve finished in there. We’ve got a new game to play which I’m sure will give you plenty of chances to make fun of everyone else.”
By the time Pam got back to the kitchen, looking freshly made up but still slightly grumpy, there was a large piece of metal in the middle of the table and everyone was sitting there with their drinks and several small bowls of snack food placed strategically around the table. Sookie patted the seat between herself and Lafayette, “Come and sit down sweetie. We’re just about to start.”
Pam uncharacteristically plopped down in the proffered seat and glowered at everyone before she asked what they were playing.
“Magnetic Poetry, Sexual Innuendo Edition!” Lafayette exclaimed with a large smile on his face. He had promised Sookie could safely open the gift in front of her Gran, he didn’t promise there was no embarrassment at all.
Sookie gasped and looked more closely at the magnets in front of her and sure enough every single one of them had a double meaning. The look she gave her flamboyant friend only caused him to grin wider and put the first magnets on the board.
‘Jesus is my hot rod’ is what he played. Everyone looked at him, “What,” he said with a coquettish grin, “it’s a song by Ministry.” His friends all laughed, knowing that wasn’t how he meant it.
Jesus played ‘My penis or yours’ as he looked at Lafayette and licked his lips.
‘Lala can stir my pot anytime’ is what Gran played, causing everyone to laugh. It took a few minutes for the snickering and giggling to stop so they could explain what was actually meant in answer to Gran’s look of confusion.
Eric played ‘Jason loves it when Lala makes him a tossed salad’.
Gran smiled, “That’s wonderful dear,” she said as she patted Lala on the knee, “you’re such a wonderful cook.” Everyone cracked up and it took them ten minutes to calm down and figure out how to explain exactly what was meant, without being vulgar, and continue the game.
Just then Andy Bellefleur and his wife Halleigh came in, Andy stumbling over nothing. His eyes grew wide as he pointed with a shaky finger at the cooler at Jason’s side, “I know that pig!” he exclaimed excitedly even as he stumbled over the edge of the rug.
Everyone turned to him in confusion but Halleigh spoke up, solving their confusion and curiosity, “He was on the scene of that accident out on the highway and it shook him up pretty bad.”
They all nodded and Gran got up to fix a pot of coffee; Andy certainly didn’t need any more alcohol in his already inebriated state. “Was it anybody we know?” she asked.
Halleigh shrugged, “I don’t know, he won’t say. He was like this when Sam called me to come pick him up.”
“Well then,” Gran said, “pull up some chairs and join in the festivities.”
Halleigh nodded her thanks and sat her husband down in the chair Eric had kindly put behind Andy then Eric pushed him across the floor and right up to the table as Gran placed a cup of hot black coffee in a to-go cup with a lid in front of him. “Adele?” Halleigh asked.
Gran smiled, “I’ve dealt with my share of drunken men,” her gazed landed on her grandson and stayed there for a moment, making him squirm. “Short of a child’s sippy cup this is the best way to prevent spills and burnt tongues.”
The light of understanding dawned in Halleigh’s eyes when she realized just how much trouble a to-go cup would save her in the future.
Halleigh finally took a good look at the table and smiled, “Oh! We’ve played this with Terry and Arlene!” She grabbed some tiles and set them up so she could see what she had to work with.
While the talk was going on Sookie was studying her magnets, trying to figure out how to make some sort of sense out of cucumber, beaver and condom. She smiled as she lay her words on the table. ‘Pam fed her beaver some cucumber’. Pam read the words and when the light of realization shone bright she turned fire engine red, “No cucumber wanted for this ride blondie,” she said and stuck her tongue out at Sookie.
They all laughed and continued on, playing words and laughing until Jason played ‘Eric’s never happier than with a mouthful of Fairy’. Eric’s face went red as Lafayette’s and Jesus’s heads appeared, one over each shoulder. They kissed his cheeks and said, “we always knew!”
That was when the fun stopped for Sookie. They all knew how she and Eric felt about each other and their relationship was a no fly zone. Neither of them would take any ribbing or teasing regarding the other and each of the people in the room knew it.
Eric saw the dangerous set of his jaw and decided the time was right for the final surprise of the evening. “I’ll take my turn then I’ll have to call it a night.” Everyone nodded, realizing he was trying to diffuse a situation which shouldn’t have happened in the first place.
He reached into his pocket and pulled out a suspiciously small jewellry box as he placed his magnets on the table, “Sookie Elanor Stackhouse, will you marry me?” he asked as he got down on one knee and extended the now open ring box toward her. Everyone read the two magnets he had placed on the table which simply read ‘marry me’.
Sookie’s eyes immediately started glistening with tears as her hands covered her mouth. The ring was beautiful!
It was a Budding Willow rose gold band with a quarter carat Marguise cut Solitaire diamond.
By the time the tears started falling Eric had the ring on her finger, “Well? Will you marry me Sookie?” he asked, sounding slightly unsure of her answer.
Everyone else in the room, even a slightly more sober Andy, was waiting for her answer and looking like they were about to jump out of their skins with anticipation. They didn’t have a doubt in the world what her answer would be though.
“Eric?” she asked with a wobbly voice.
He smiled at the love of his life, “Sookie, I love you with all that I am. I want to spend the rest of my life with you, grow old with you, raise children and play with grandchildren with you. Will you marry me?” he asked again.
She threw her arms around his neck and buried her now tear streaked face in his neck. Eric just put his arms around the one hoped would be his fiancée, then his wife, and rubbed her back. Sookie had never been one for surprises and this was a doozy so he was expecting this kind of reaction.
When she had finally calmed herself Sookie pulled away from him a little bit and offered a teary smile, “Eric, I’ve dreamed of this day for so long! It’s always been you from the moment we met. Yes, I’ll marry you!”
Now it was Eric’s turn for tears. The stress of finding just the right ring, then the right moment and waiting an eternity for her answer had worn on his nerves; the wait was finally over.
He planted a kiss on her lips which had the rest of the room whooping and hollering and Lafayette grabbed Jesus and they were did a two-step around the room.
The two of them were in their own little world right there in the kitchen, surrounded by loved ones. They didn’t hear a word that was said or the clink of the game pieces being put away or even the good-byes as everyone left the love birds to their happiness.