Ever wonder how it went when Adam met Darcy's parents for the first time? Here's your chance: Chapter Four - The Sinking of Atlantis
Now it could just be me but there is a monumental amount of anxiety that comes with introducing your parents to a boy. It’s even worse when they just got used to the last guy you were with. Given it did take them three years to come around to Dean and I hid the fact he was an asshole. I guess that could give them reason to be leery.
“Are you sure about this?” I straightened Adam’s tie for the third time, standing in the doorway to my parents house. We were having an early Thanksgiving before going to Alabama to celebrate with his family. It would also be when he told them he was going back to Afghanistan. I wasn't sure which I was more nervous about at this point.
“Sunshine, I've got this.” He cupped his hand around my face, smiling at me. “Don’t worry about it. If I can survive sniper school and living with Atlas... Your parents?” He laughed, standing up a little straighter, more confident. “They’ll be easy.”
“Yeah, that’s what you think.” I mumbled, ringing the doorbell.
I had explained to Adam earlier that week that the Doctors Thomas squared were not affectionate people. While they did love me and I had no doubt about that, their love was shown in dollar signs, not hugs and kisses. Adam had not been impressed by the fact that I had grown up with, for the most part, absentee parents and an array of well paid nannies.
The door opened slowly and I could already feel my breath coming faster. I knew I was squeezing Adam’s hand way too tight. He was going to have to be brave enough for the both of us. “It’s okay,” he whispered before my father’s formidable shadow appeared on the concrete in front of us.
“Darcy Eloise, you look lovely.” His voice caused the hair on my arms to stand up. My father had never so much as spanked me but the sound of his voice alone could cause my stomach to turn with stress. He was one of those scary quiet types.
“Hello Father.” I gave him a small smile as he opened the door wide enough for us to step through. “Father, my boyfriend Adam Thornbriar. Adam, my father, Donovan Thomas.”
“Pleasure to meet you, sir.” Adam extended his hand and after a long pause my father finally shook it.
“Likewise, Adam, shall we?”
We followed him inside to where my mother was belting out orders to her kitchen staff. I cringed every time her voice grew just a little bit louder. “She sounds lovely.” Adam whispered and I fought to contain my plastered on polite smile.
“Eloise, Darcy is here.” Dad leaned into the doorway, shielding us from the sight of her. “Please come meet her new gentleman.” It wasn't a suggestion as he had worded it to be. It was more of a get your ass in here and make us look good kind of thing.
My mother was polished as always. I can’t remember a single time in my life that I had ever seen her looking less than perfect. From her dark colored hair falling in perfect waves around her shoulders, her complete face of makeup without a stitch of sweat, all the way down to her polished Valentino boots.
“Eloise Thomas,” she reached out her hand to Adam after a moment of inspection.
“Adam Thornbriar, pleasure to meet you, ma’am.” I held my breath as she raised her eyebrow at him.
“Where are you from, Adam?”
“Ah, I could tell from the uneducated sounding accent. Please, come into the living room, I will get someone to bring you all a drink.” Mom waved her hand like a goddamn showcase model toward the room off the west end of the house.
“Wow, she's just a step away from a true Southern Belle, ain't she? What’s behind curtain number one?” Adam mumbled under his breath and I had to reign in my snort of laughter.
“What is it that you do, Adam?” Dad asked as I carefully tucked my dress under my thighs and sat down on the leather couch.
“I am in the Marine Corps, sir.” Adam winked at me before turning his attention back to my father. “I’m a scout sniper.”
By the look on my father’s face I had a long conversation ahead of me. Just not in front of the company, no, never in front of the company. They expected me to be with men who were studying to be doctors or lawyers, not a military man.
“Well, thank you for your service.” My jaw damn near hit the floor when the words came out of Dad’s mouth. Adam didn't say anything, he just nodded, and squeezed my knee in reassurance.
“What do you do, sir? Darcy told me that you and your wife were both doctors? What kind?”
“Check and Mate, Adam.” I thought, giving him a mental high five.
I had to give it to him, he was good. If there was anything my parents loved talking about it was themselves. If he could just keep them talking and being polite this could be an almost painless afternoon.
“Darcy, darling,” Mother said as I paused the glass of wine just at my lips. “Please tell me you are no longer friends with that dreadful little tattooed rat girl.”
“Mother,” I warned, setting my glass back down. “Her name is Ellie and she is not a rat.” We had the same conversation every time I came to visit.
“Don’t defend her, Darcy. She’s a terrible little thing to look at. She looks like a God awful gang member or something.” Mother was on her third glass of wine just with dinner and when she was this far gone there was no arguing with her. I sighed, shaking my head as I patted the corner of my mouth with my napkin.
“She’s my best friend and a great person...” I gritted my teeth, gripping my fork too tight.
“She’s a troubled girl and you know it.” Mother snapped.
“With all due respect, ma’am,” Adam sat down his fork, folding his hands over his chest. “I know Ellie, she’s the girlfriend of my best friend, Atlas.”
“Your point?” Mother cut him off before he could finish.
“My point, ma’am, is that if Ellie wasn't a good woman, I wouldn't let her within twenty feet of Atlas. Yes, Miss. Ellie has had a rough hand dealt to her but I believe that she makes the very best of the situation given to her. You might want to trust your daughters judgment a little better. Ellie wouldn't be where she is today if it wasn't for Darcy.”
I knew my mouth was hanging open and I could all but feel the steam rolling off my mother across from me. “You have some nerve coming into my home and--”
“Mother, Adam is right.” I said hesitantly.
“Adam is right.” I repeated myself with a little more confidence. “You should not question my choices. I’m a grown woman and I have been taught very well who I should and should not trust. My parents had high standards and so do I.”
“Hardly!” She scoffed as I took a deep breath.
“I will not have this discussion with you again.” I said with finality.
“Clearly hanging around this young lady has made you lose your manners.” Her eyes narrowed at me.
“If there is anyone lacking manners here, I do believe it’s you.” Adam’s spoke evenly beside me. “I mean, come on now, lady. Your daughter is a good girl. She doesn't get in trouble, she don’t do drugs, and she makes good grades. How can you think she is hanging around with the wrong crowd when she does so much right? She got rid of the guy that was treating her like shit, removed herself from a bad situation without any help from y’all. You know who helped her though? Ellie Grant. You know who stood by her when she cried over it? Again, Miss. Ellie did. You know who threatened-- Alright that ain't a good example. Anyway, my point is you have a beautiful, bright daughter who has a great head on her shoulders. She doesn't let anyone or anything get in her way. Maybe you just need to get knocked off your high, white horse. At your age though, that ground’s going to be a mighty hard fall.”
“Holy shit...” I whispered as the table grew quiet. “I do believe this is our cue to exit before Atlantis sinks for a second time...”
"I have never!" Mother started as I held my breath.
Without a word, Adam stood up next to me, shrugging as he pulled out my chair. “Thank you for a lovely meal. I’m sure the workers in the back would appreciate a compliment coming from the queen of Atlantis.” He grinned, nodding to my father who just sat there. He looked as shocked as I felt.
“We will speak later, Darcy Eloise.” My mother hissed as we walked around the table.
“I have no doubt about that.” Adam slipped my coat over my shoulders, holding the door open for me. “Thanks for yet another fantastic family get together.” I pressed my lips into a thin line before heading out the door.
“Nice to meet, y’all. Plan on seeing ya’ again real soon. Don’t be strangers, ya’ hear?” Adam smiled before shutting the door behind him.
“Oh my God, Oh my God, Oh my God...” I repeated at least a dozen times on the way to my car. Adam whistled spinning the keys around his finger as he held the door open for me. He folded his long frame into the drivers side, starting the car, and finally looking over at me with a bright smile.
“I think that went real well, don’t you? The food kind of sucked though. Want to go grab a burger?”Adam freakin’ Thornbriar...
P.S. Here's a little something from Having Hart.