|Billie Harper =/= Ερις (unlikeable) wrote in paxletalelogs,|
@ 2011-12-22 09:46:00
|Entry tags:||ares, eris, phobos|
Who: Rylee, Charlie, Samuel & Mrs. Ekholm
What: Samuel is introduced to Momma Ekholm!
Where: Rylee’s apartment
When: December 22nd
Warnings: With Samuel and Charlie involved there is usually cursing. But with Mrs. Ekholm there... they might behave.
Mrs. Ekholm was nestled into Rylee’s couch with her little pile of childhood photos stacked neatly on the coffee table and her legs crossed politely with a book resting in her lap. She looked up as Rylee entered the room and smiled. “So what shall we be doing for the evening?”
“Um,” Rylee hummed as he moved Charlie’s feet before sitting beside her on the loveseat. “My neighbor Samuel is going to stop by. I want the both of you to meet.”
Mrs. Ekholm’s eyes brightened as she closed her book and rested her hands on top of the hard cover. “Oh, that’s your neighbor isn’t it? Charlie, do you know him?”
Charlie used both hands to nestle her beer in her lap, giving a nod with half a smirk. Oh yes, she knew Samuel, and the smirk was a little forced in order to mask her feelings about having the SWAT member meet Rylee’s mother. She knew she’d be watching the man like a hawk to make a wrong move, any instance to needle or jab him verbally taken upon opportunity.
“Yeah, he’s all right,” was her cryptic reply, followed by a swallow of the drink as though she needed to cleanse her mouth after giving the description.
It had been quite some time since Samuel had undergone the trial of meeting someone’s parent, and longer still since the parent in question had been that of a friend platonic in nature. In spite of his relative inexperience in this vein, he had faith that his innate charms would serve him well; he could be timely, he supposed, and as inoffensive as could be expected of him, provided the visit was reasonably brief. A few hours’ worth of socializing he could do, particularly if he might manage to glean from the conversation some manner of embarrassing stories of young Rylee - and more, he hoped, of Charlie herself.
And so he knocked at the door, surprisingly punctual, a six pack of local microbrew dangling from one hand. After a moment he reached for the knob, considering - though briefly - simply letting himself in.
Rylee removed Charlie’s feet from his lap and got to his own, crossing the floor to his apartment door which he opened to present his neighbor. “Hey,” Rylee greeted with a smile as he held the door open. Turning his gaze to his mother he called to her. “Momma, this is Samuel Wolfe.”
Christina Ekholm looked from her son to Charlie and then to Samuel. She smiled kindly and got to her feet, revealing that she was tall but still much shorter than her son. Her blonde hair, kept shoulders length, only had much lighter streaks of blonde in it -- the closest she had gotten to going gray. “Mr. Wolfe, I’ve heard many good things about you.”
Rylee urged Samuel to join them at his couches, returning to his seat next to Charlie after offering Samuel the larger couch with his mother. It would allow them a better chance to talk. Charlie merely bobbed her head in Sam’s direction in greeting, busying her mouth with another swallow of beer to keep any catty remarks at bay. Her feet, though, went right back to their spot on Rylee’s lap, as though a pissing match of ownership over her boyfriend was about to start up (which it felt like it had, for some time, strippers non-withstanding).
“So many good things, ol’ buddy,” she added in cheerily, unable to keep her mouth shut for long, her beer held in the air near her mouth while her other arm lazed over her stomach.
“Mrs. Eckholm,” Samuel said, greeting her with a nod.
Samuel flashed a good natured smirk at Charlie, his eyes rolling as his gaze cut to her. Though she certainly had untoward stories about him at her ready disposal, Samuel had plenty of his own, and no compunction whatsoever about sharing them. He set the six pack on a nearby table, grabbing a beer for himself as he did.
“You’ve got a good kid there, Mrs. Eckholm,” he said, as he wrapped his hand in his shirttail to twist the bottle cap free. “Can’t say much for the company he keeps, though.” He dropped the cap to the table top with a muted clatter, his grin pointedly directed at Charlie. It was a pleasant enough expression, even its sharp edge more friendly than not. “Myself excepted, of course.”
Rylee blushed and Mrs. Ekholm grinned. “Good, I’m glad to hear he’s behaving himself,” she replied as she placed her closed book on the coffee table. “The company he keeps is perfectly fine. I’ve known Charlotte since the kids met one another. She was at our home so often that I considered her the daughter I never had.” Despite that she was speaking to Samuel, Christina had her eyes on Charlie and her smile broadened.
Despite the blush on Rylee’s cheeks, he patted Charlie’s feet and looked at his girlfriend, a smile on his own face. Leaning forward, he grabbed a beer from Samuel’s six pack. “Don’t get her started, Momma will talk for hours about how we were as kids.”
Charlie ignored the comment, instead letting her eyes grow slightly wide at the mere mention of baby stories. Mrs. Ekholm certainly had more dirt on her than anyone, except Rylee himself since he was often an accomplice in the adventures she concocted when they were younger. She quickly glanced from Mrs. Ekholm to Sam, knowing already that her fate was sealed because anyone could have read her face like an open book at that moment.
“Oh, c’mon now...” Samuel could scarcely suppress a laugh, muffling it with marked difficulty against the rim of his beer. He composed himself with a lengthy sip, green eyes dancing with laughter as he looked to the respective topics of conversation, both of whom were now fair squirming at the turn the talk had taken. The scenario reminded him well enough of his own family visits. For the moment, at least, he felt truly in his element, completely amused and at his ease. “She’s come out to see y’all,
he added, “surely she gets to pick what to talk about. And I bet I’m as interested in hearin’ about what you and Charlotte were like as kids as she is in tellin’ me.” He looked back to Charlie, grinning still against the lip of his upraised beer.
The mischievous smile that so often appeared on Mrs. Ekholm’s face was there again as she leaned forward and gathered a handful of photos. “I brought these so that the kids could look over them,” Mrs. Ekholm said softly as she handed the stack of photos to Samuel. “There are an assortment of photos of Rylee while he was a baby but there are a few of him with Charlotte.”
Rylee looked at Charlie, his cheeks bright red and a frown forming. He was sure Samuel would simply love the photos. There was the one of Rylee with wild hair (not much different than his normal hair) and a diaper, tipped over and sleeping with his diapered behind up in the air. Another one, that Charlie had spent a solid five minutes laughing over, of Rylee as a six year old. His face the picture of terror as a butterfly landed on his head. They were all equally embarrassing...except, possibly, for the ones that featured Charlie simply because Charlie would be sharing in his misery.
And she would have been content to laugh over the photos (another including Rylee with his head stuck in a stair’s guardrail because Charlie had dared him his head couldn’t fit through) except for a few that included her own face. One where she’d been joking around with the camera (a rare moment when she actually looked happy) and another of her and a slightly older Rylee standing in front of a giant pile of dirt, which had been an endeavor to dig to Australia. The best of the lot, though, was of Charlie in a pull-over sweatshirt displaying words of wisdom that she probably would’ve done well to live by. Reaching forward, she grabbed the offending photo before it could linger too long in Samuel’s hand.
“Yah hung on tah this one?! Should’a burned it...”
“Oh lord no,” Samuel said, laughing too hard to effectively keep the photo from her grasping fingers. It was to their benefit there was no shortage of photos to amuse him, and so he did not regard the loss of that one as too great a sacrifice. All the same, his earnest laughter rang out through the apartment, tears standing in his impishly gleaming eyes. “Don’t...” He laughed again, dragging in a shallow breath. “Don’t burn those, for god’s sake. That’s great stuff. What a little chipmunk you were, Charlotte.” Chuckling, he raised his beer, trying to shut himself up before he earned a greater punishment than he perhaps already had. “What a pair,” he said, shaking his head.
That sip gone, he looked back to Rylee’s mother, grateful she was as good a sport as she was. “I’m so glad you brought all that, Miss Eckholm. You know neither of them ever really talks about those good ol’ days.” He gestured back toward the pictures, images of pudgy children and gangly, awkward teens. “Always good to learn somethin’ new about your friends,” he added, quirking a wicked smile.
Rylee had picked up the art of rubbing Charlie’s feet. Massaging them, if you will, as a way to relax her. But in this instance he wasn’t entirely sure if he was rubbing at her feet with the goal of keeping Charlie stationary. If he let go, she’d likely lunge at Samuel. His mother, however, was as happy as a clam and positively glowing from Samuel’s attention and amusement over her stock pile of photos.
“They were adorable as children,” Christina replied, glancing at the “children” from their place on the loveseat. “Although they did get into their fair share of trouble.
“While they were in high school they would ‘hang out’ for hours at a time in the evenings. Especially during weekends. Imagine my surprise when the police called Rylee’s father and I one evening because the duo had been chucking pumpkins into the staff parking lot of the High School.” She gave a pointed look to Rylee, still obviously disapproving of what had happened ages ago. “Rylee was so upset that I had to come and pick him up. I rescued Charlotte as well but she was rather calm until my husband wanted to have a talk with them both.” Turning her attention to Charlie she directed her question to her, “He seemed to put the fear of God in you when you both got into trouble.”
A nearly embarrassed smirk crossed Charlie’s face, which she covered up with a drink. “We were aimin’ fer the goal posts, ain’t my fault if we were a bit off.” Of course, that was a flat out lie -- she’d convinced Rylee to participate only because she had said they would see how far the pumpkins could fly. The staff parking lot just happened to be right next to the football field, and a few hours into it, along with a handful of car alarms later, several teachers (including the principal and his secretary) were moaning over the pumpkin-gut-covered and dent ridden state of their vehicles.
Samuel suspected the lie hiding behind her words, but there he let it stay. The anecdote was amusing enough, and relatively harmless to boot. The idea of the two of them being rescued, as it had been perfectly put, was less surprising than it should have been.
“Adorable troublemakers,” he said, the word rolling off his tongue. “Who’d have ever thought.” He handed what photos remained in his hands over to Christina, walking close beside her as at last he took his seat. He settled back against the couch, shoulders rolling languidly. “Y’know my mom still swears kids are punishment for how you were in your own childhood. Part of why I don’t have ‘em, myself.” He raised his beer, gesturing toward the questionably happy looking couple. “Bet that means those two are in for a hellion or two, hm?”
Charlie was in the middle of taking another swig of beer during Samuel’s comment, which went down the wrong air pipe and caused her to instantly start choking.
“Oh!” Mrs. Ekholm exclaimed from Charlie’s sudden coughing fit. “Oh, Charlotte, sit up. You’ll be fine.”
Rylee patted Charlie gently on her back, still silent while his cheeks were still a vivid red. He looked at Samuel desperately, trying to beg him for some level of mercy as he attempted to make sure his girlfriend wasn’t going to choke on her beer.
Christina, however, had her attention back on Samuel. “Oh, I think their children would be absolutely adorable. They might have gotten into trouble here and there but they were otherwise pretty well behaved.” She looked adoringly at Charlie and Rylee before turning her blue gaze back to Samuel. “Granted, they did get into their fair bit of trouble. Rylee was always very well behaved up until he met Charlotte. But I think it was for the best. He hadn’t many friends before meeting her. Then he enters High School and suddenly I have a girl climbing through a window, into my house, and sleeping in my sons room randomly.”
She looked directly at Charlie, arching one blonde eyebrow. “Don’t think that I never noticed. Although I’m sure you knew. I always tried to make a nice breakfast when I knew you were visiting.”
Charlie, at that moment, wanted nothing more than to sink into the depths of the couch, perhaps between two cushions, never to be seen again. She was quite aware of Mrs. Ekholm’s enjoyment when it came to teasing -- though she hadn’t made the connection that perhaps it was part of the reason Rylee was attracted to her, what with the old adage of boys always looking for their mothers in the women they dated -- but she herself found that she couldn’t appreciate it as much when she was under its harsh scrutiny.
“An’ I remembered tah thank yah fer it,” she mumbled, folding up the picture of herself in the ridiculous sweatshirt and stuffing it into a pants pocket. Her beer was quickly emptied, so she grabbed another from the pack Samuel had brought. After comments like those, it was the least he owed her.
“Scandalous,” Samuel crooned. The reaction he had gotten from his incessant taunting had been better than he’d dared to hope; it helped that he had such a willing cohort, intentional or not. He drank the rest of his beer down in celebration - as opposed to his companions’ nervousness - and happily reached for another. “Well I for one am just... so happy you decided to come into town,” he said, his tone threatening laughter all the while. “Almost as happy as Rylee and Charlotte here, I bet. You’re just great conversation.”
“I’m really glad that Momma’s come to visit,” Rylee broke in, still rubbing at Charlie’s feet while sitting rather nervously in his seat. “We haven’t done much yet but plan on going around and doing all the tourist stuff.”
“I could just sit outside by the beach and I think I would be content,” Christina said with a smile. “It’s a good thirty degrees warmer here than back in Bull Creek.” She fell silent for a moment, a mischievous smile still present as she glanced from “her kids” to Samuel. “You know, Samuel. I want to make the kids a big dinner one night and you are more than welcome to come and have dinner with us.”
Rylee made a small frown and glanced at Charlie. Despite that he’d enjoy Samuel’s company on most occasions, this visit filled with embarrassing childhood memories would surely continue at a dinner and Rylee wasn’t quite sure he’d be able to keep Charlie from saying something to Samuel. The idea of Samuel joining them for a much longer, more involved visit that would force her to be trapped at a table certainly did not appeal to Charlie; by all means, she was perfectly willing to tease and taunt with the best of them, but with no ready material of her own at her disposal, a one-sided fight held no interest for her.
While Rylee was able to tone down his disapproval of Christina’s idea, Charlie was not so capable. “We were gonna take yah out, Mrs. Ekholm. Don’t want yah to feel like we invited yah all this way jus’ tah cook fer us. An’ ‘sides, I’m sure Sam is very busy,” she replied, doing her best to not spit the words out. A glare, though, did make an appearance in Samuel’s direction.
He met her hard gaze, though his own lacked any trace of the fire of hers. Laughter gleamed brightly in their depths, unveiled and unashamed. Though the visit had been amusing enough, he had little enough desire to sit in on a longer version of the same, held captive for yet more nostalgia. But it was a rare pleasure to have her pinned down so well, unable to properly retaliate, forced to stew in her own seething, proverbial juices. Better to leave her on the rack just a moment longer than to let this chance go to waste.
“Never too busy to enjoy some good ol’ fashioned family time,” he said. He took another long swig of his beer, letting her chew on his apparent acceptance for a while. His tongue flicked out, clearing the taste of alcohol from his lips. But at last he had let her writhe on the hook enough. Shrugging, he added, his tone smooth but unconcerned, “This time I gotta pass, I think. Gotta see my family and my girlfriends’ this year, so I’m on a tight schedule. Thanks, though.”
“Oh, you’re most welcome. But if you change your mind, understand the offer is there,” Christina said with a gentle pat to Samuel’s knee. “It’s wonderful to see Rylee has such good humored friends.”
Retrieving her book from the coffee table she hugged it to her chest as she leaned forward. “Dinner out with the both of you would be a nice change! I can’t think of the last time the three of us went out to eat together. That’s a wonderful idea, Charlotte.”
“We could go out tonight if you’d like, momma,” Rylee chimed in with a small smile. The blushing that was prominently displayed on his cheeks starting to fade. Charlie nearly breathed a sigh of relief aloud, but managed to hold herself together. Despite that, her happiness about having narrowly skirted another embarrassing event was not unreadable on her face -- and maybe even a tinge of gratitude toward Sam for not taking the invitation was there as well, buried underneath the reassurance that she wouldn’t have to endure anymore prolonged teasing from him or anyone else.
“Yeah, where ever yah wanna go,” she chimed in, supporting the idea wholeheartedly as though Christina might change her mind at any moment. At least the photos were gone; that was one small saving grace.
“Well, you both can tell me the options, and then we can decide,” Mrs. Ekholm replied, leaning back against the couch cushions with her photo album.
“Rylee knows a great little place called The Foxhole,” Samuel said. He rose from the sofa, hiding his grin somewhat effectively with a loose-limbed, lanky stretch. “The food’s not much, but man, it’s got ambiance. Good drinks, too.” He tipped his beer back, polishing off the last of it. His rakish smile had not in the least begun to dissipate as he lowered his bottle, setting it aside in the steadily emptying six-pack. So he turned it instead to Christina, softening the expression to something more hospitable and gracious than its earlier, predatory cast. “On that note,” he said, “I better get out of y’all’s hair. It was really great to meet you, Mrs. Eckholm. Don’t be a stranger.”
Gently, politely, he shook her hand, then slipped out the door, a dark chuckle marking his exit.
“The Foxhole? What’s that?” Mrs. Ekholm turned with a questioning look on her faces toward the two youngsters. “Maybe we could go--”
“No!” Both Charlie and Rylee cried out in unison, their expressions wide with surprise and fear. Mrs. Ekholm glanced at each of them, confused, then rose from her place on the couch.
“All right, fine. Let me get ready to go out, and you two can decide, you know the area better than I do.” As she walked out of the room, the couple still seated breathed a collective sigh of relief and fell back against the cushions.