Chapter 397) Fudge

“Sensitive people usually love deeply and hate deeply.
They don’t know any other way to live than by extremes because their emotional thermostat is broken.”

– Shannon L. Alder
Lake House

The entire car ride from Newcrest back to the Lake House after meeting Stryker’s mom was quiet, neither of them spoke, neither wanted to go out to dinner anymore. After Sophie parked the car borrowed from her twin brother outside her home, they both walked in, still quietly, she stopped to greet the excited dogs, while Stryker just walked straight out to the patio overlooking the lake.

Slowly, Sophie followed and found him sitting on the ground under the pergola. Her beloved grandma had always said that nobody has a problem asking to be alone, but everyone hesitates to ask for company. So Sophie just went over and sat down on the ground next to him, wrapped one arm around him. Another thing her parents and grandparents had always done when she was blue, and it had always made her feel so protected. He put his hand on her knee as if anchoring himself, never took his eyes off the lake, when he spoke.

“What did she say, Soph? I know she said some more shit about me after I ran out. Sorry about that, but I couldn’t take it anymore. Just tell me what she said, so I can at least defend myself.”

“Nothing new really, nothing you haven’t told me before. Just felt different coming from someone else, especially someone who’s known you all your life. I have to tell you though; I don’t like the way you speak to her. She’s your mom, Stryker. Parents aggravate us kids sometimes, they’re the generation before us, so it’s natural that we clash sometimes, but your mom, she clearly loves you and you were so cold to her. You even yelled and cursed at her. I would never do that to my mom or dad, no matter how mad they may have made me.”

Stryker nodded, then looked straight at Sophie.

“That’s because you respect your parents, as we all should. I lost all respect for mine. With my father the reason is obvious, my mother, well that’s a longer story and there are several reasons, really. Look, I even get it, parents are people too, not perfect, and they fuck up. You and I probably will fuck up with Spencer. But some fuckups are just too much. You heard her still clinging on to my sperm donor like he is the second coming of Christ when he so obviously is the devil incarnate! That alone is ridiculous, especially her constantly comparing me to him, naming me after him. Such BULLSHIT! There is a lot more you don’t know. My mom was a good mom, is a good mom, for the most part, and I know she loves me, I give her that, which is why I haven’t cut her out of my life completely, but things have happened. Things I can’t forgive. Look, she started dating at some point; I was still young. One man worse than the next, a parade of losers, dudes looking for mommy replacements, genuine assholes, some either emotionally or physically abusive – some both. The one thing they all had in common was that they weren’t crazy about having me around.

One day that very last guy she dated was fucking some chick in our living room when I came home early from school, I was 12 or 13 or something, I told him I would tell my mother, who was still at work for many more hours. He chased me around the house, finally he got me, punched me so hard; I thought I would die, I literally saw stars and was half-way knocked out. That’s where that scar on my forehead comes from. He then proceeded to pull down his pants and started trying to do something to me no adult should ever do to a child, I don’t even know if he was into little kids or was just doing it to me to establish dominance, gain total control over me, but before he could really do anything I came to enough that I managed to push him off me with all my might and I just ran for it, out of the house, down the road, didn’t stop until my lungs were about to explode. Spent the afternoon at Drake’s home, his mom patched me up, told her some BS about falling out of a tree.” Stryker evidently had a rough time talking.

“Later I heard cops had been called by some neighbor because of the ruckus, the asshole went to jail for being drunk out in front of our home yelling insults at neighbors, you’ve met my mom now, all prim and proper, that’s not something she would ever condone, yet when she got off work, she went straight to the police station to bail him out. He told my mother lies, so many lies and she ate them up like candy. He turned the story around on me, said my head injury was when I got startled and fell after he caught me stealing money from the emergency jar in the kitchen to buy marijuana with, said he had seen me smoke it several times, all of which was a lie. I admit I was a difficult kid, got into trouble all the time, but I never touched that jar and I didn’t start with drugs till way later. When I got back home, thinking it was safe, thinking he was in jail, he was sitting there on the couch grinning gleefully at me, like a spider in a web, so I told my mother exactly what really happened, yet she didn’t believe anything I said, believed his lies instead and I got punished. I felt so betrayed. She chose the obvious asshole over her own son.

Her not believing me, punishing me for telling the truth, believing a cheater and attempted child molester instead hurt more than any amount of beating could. I just went numb after that and really quit caring for the most part. After that I barely came home anymore at all, after school I spent most of my time at the Arcade, like I told you at some point, that’s where my name originated, just so I wouldn’t have to go home and face that asshole. Mom never knew, she was always working. Well, her asshole ended up dumping her anyway, I know she secretly blamed me for it, because I was such a bad little boy. Ha. Not once did she even entertain the thought that I could have told the truth. So, all my mother taught me was that I cannot rely on her, that women love abusive assholes who treat them like shit and that it doesn’t matter what I do or if I lie or tell the truth. That’s why I wear my hair so short, so I will always see the scar reminding me of all that.”

Sophie couldn’t think of any words to make any difference, so she kissed him. Gently. That kiss expressed everything she wanted to say to him now. He leaned into the kiss. Sometimes saying nothing is more powerful than a thousand empty words.

“You’re the first person I ever told about this. Feels so strange. Not even Drake or Nate know and I have known Drake almost all my life, he still knows the chunky nerdy pimply bullied version of me. That’s why I fail therapy all the time. I cannot get those words out in front of a stranger. I just can’t. They know I am not telling them everything, that I am withholding something big, get frustrated and pressure me and I overreact. Every time. That’s why I know I will never successfully finish any rehab. Therapy is part of it and unless the doctors all agree you are better, you are not. I never will be if they force me to talk about things I cannot talk about. Well, except with you, evidently. Still cannot believe I told you all that.” Styker sounded genuinely amazed.

“I get it. I do. I know from experience that words and actions can cut deeper than any blade ever could and leave scars that will never heal. I don’t think I could tell anyone about this either. But your mom … Stryker, I think you are wrong about her. I get why you are mad at her; you have every right to be, but I think you need to really talk to her. I really honestly think she was overwhelmed too and thought she was doing the right things for you but is now second-guessing herself. She said a few things to me at the end … she knows she let you down, made mistakes that can’t be fixed, but I have no doubt in my mind that she loves you and regrets whatever may have gone wrong between you two. Maybe, just maybe, if you tried to forgive her, maybe it would help you too.”

Stryker looked at her, reading in her eyes, then swallowed hard. Nodding. After a while she could almost see him shake it all off, forcing a grin, signaling her he was done with that topic. For now.

“You should almost have enough dirt on me now for a really juicy tell-all book if I make it big and become really famous.” he said.

“Oh yeah, you know me, that is all I live for. Starting shitstorms and then bathe in the attention. Not to mention the publicity and book signings – hmm-hmm, you know how I love those crowds.” Sophie said, her words just oozing sarcasm, making Stryker laugh. To Sophie, it felt good to hear it.
And his voice, still amused, when he told her.

“Well, your ass better get over that thing with crowds. I was gonna tell you and my mother at the dinner together that ‘Stryke 3’ got the nomination for the Starlight Accolades. You don’t think I am showing up in Del Sol Valley for that award show without my girlfriend, do you? Especially since our nomination is for the song I wrote about you, surprisingly called “Sophie’s Song”, yeah, I was feeling subtle like that. Hehehe.” he grinned, proudly.

“Oh wow! Congrats! Oh boy! I bet that song is way at the top of Alycia’s favorites playlist already. When is that event? I don’t know if you noticed, since this gigantic baby belly is barely visible – HA! – but this – and I quote our beloved Alycia – ‘octomom cow’ here is just about a month away from giving birth. Not to mention I won’t fit into any cute dresses and have the sexy walk of someone with two broken legs. Speaking of, I may well be stuck on the floor here until I give birth. I don’t think I can get back up now. I definitely didn’t think this through all the way.” she giggled.

Smirking, Stryker shrugged, then wrapped his arms around her.

“Good, means you can’t run away from me. The award ceremony is next month actually, someone fucked up with the invites, so we got ours kinda at the 11th hour, but even if I have to wheel you in there in a hospital bed while you are giving birth, you are going, Sophie. I worked 27 years towards that moment to shine on that damn stage. I need you there, in my corner, watching that moment, remembering it forever, to help me tell our son that his dad wasn’t just a loser. At least not always.”

Sophie fluttered her eyes at him, smiling

“I am sorry, I didn’t hear anything you just said, your lips are just way too close to mine.” Sophie purred, without a clue where that flirtatious bravery came from of a sudden.

“Ah, okay. Well, let’s drown out the entire world then. While I repeat myself kiss by kiss. You … are … going … with … me.” the last words were interrupted by kisses.

Giggling Sophie pulled him closer and closer, him trailing kisses all over her face, neck, shoulders, cleavage, her clinging to him, pushing herself up against him, demanding his caress wondering where all her promiscuousness came from.
In a husky voice he breathed into her ear
“You are lucky you are so very pregnant and off limits, or I swear I wouldn’t be able to hold back anymore.”

“If I weren’t pregnant, I don’t think you’d have to ask me twice … oh … ow … oh no … Stryker stop, … hang on, something isn’t right.”

She stiffened, Stryker sat up, staring at her, as she labored up into a standing position with his help, then placed her hand between her legs in a very unhumble and un-Sophie-like manner.

“Wet!” she looked up at him from big doe-eyes, panicked.

Stryker grimaced.

“Why do I have a feeling this isn’t just the clumsiest attempt trying to be sexy about a reaction to our moment here?”

“My water broke! I have been having contractions all day! OMG, I thought I was just so nervous; I am so shy, I often get really bad cramps in public when I am nervous. Oh gawd, I am having a baby. Now! I am not ready, not now! I know Silas hates it when I let someone else drive, but my brother can snuggle my butt now. Get the keys and the hospital bag from my room! And lots of towels for me to sit on, so Silas won’t kill me for messing up his seats.”

“How about we get you inside first?”

“Good idea. Oh man! Everyone told me nobody has their first child early, but of course, I do! Dammit Spencer!” she attempted a pained smirk.

She tried to walk, but could barely keep upright during another contraction, which hurt a lot more now that she realized they weren’t cramps, as she clawed into Stryker’s shoulders, he whispered into her ear.

“I’ll get you to the car.”

He picked her up and ran around to the front of the house with her in his arms.

He helped her into the passenger seat, then ran inside to get the keys and bag, tossed the latter into the backseat and jumped into the driver seat, backing out the car abruptly, making Sophie groan.

“Careful!” Sophie protested, while grimacing in pain.

“You do realize I haven’t driven a car in many years.” Stryker told her.

“I don’t care, I can’t drive right now and I am NOT getting on that motorcyle of yours! Knowing my luck, I’d be popping out this baby while you are flying down that highway doing wheelies!”

Silence set in for a moment, until Stryker said dead-serious.

“At least now you won’t have an excuse not to go to the awards with me …”

“Seriously Stryker … I am really proud of you and all for that nomination and super-flattered you invited me, but just go fudge yourself right now!” she cringed, and he laughed.

Categories Cameron LineageTags ,

4 thoughts on “Chapter 397) Fudge

  1. Ohhhh. I’m so happy that Stryker didn’t let his mother get into his head and let Sophie in instead and opened up to her even more. I just want to hug him too now. ❤️❤️❤️. Sweet Sophie just knows the right thing to say and do for him instinctively. Not sure he’s on board with her suggestion to try to reconcile with his mom yet. Maybe, she’ll be the one to come around once Spencer is born. And that’s soooo exciting! The baby is coming! That will be sobering for both of them. I know Sophie will be on cloud nine! I also really hope he wins the award for his song since it’s about Sophie. That would be the icing on their cake.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yeah, it started out rough, then went into some sappy romantic moments, followed by hilarity when she realized her water broke in the middle of their little makeout session. Her way to make sure though … and his reaction … had me in tears for laughter.
      Well, ready or not, parenthood, here we come.
      Fun footnote, this chapter ended differently originally, but when in the MIDDLE OF MY PHOTOSHOOT for the chapter Miss Cameron went into labor, I rewrote it. Yeah, truer story with the sudden labor than one may think. 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Oh no! Totally unplanned!

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Yeah, I thought she had a good while to go, but since she is a bit heavier than average and my pregnancies are much longer, AND I use a mod to make their bellies not so ridiculously huge, it’s not so easy to tell until you micro-manage it.

          Liked by 3 people

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