Chapter 14: Strategizing

Eric

The next couple of weeks went by with the Sookie and I settling into as much of a routine as we could. Sookie’s schedule got a little crazy with the addition of her poms squad. It took quite a chunk out of her time. She had practice every day after school until six. She would come to my house for dinner one or two nights a week. We’d cook together, clean up and then we’d try to watch a movie and just unwind. That lasted for a little while before we’ end up making love on just about every flat surface we could, and up against more than one wall. Occasionally she’d spend the night at my place since it was closer to the school, but usually she went home to her own house.

If there was a football game on Friday night, I’d go in support of her squad. She was working hard with her girls to get things right since most of the girls she’d ended up selecting were new to her. There’d been a few catfights she’d had to referee and getting her squad to gel hadn’t been easy. After the first game we came to the realization that we were going to have to figure out how to deal with our relationship in front of our students. Obviously there wouldn’t be any making out under the bleachers- not that I hadn’t tried to talk her into it- or other perverse displays of affection in front of the kids.

The first step we’d taken in going public was to talk to the heads of our respective departments. Octavia Fant, the head of the history department, hadn’t seen any problem with our relationship and I was thankful when Andre said the same thing. He mostly reminded me to keep my hands to myself and asked me to try to keep the eye fucking to a minimum.

“Honestly, Northman, I’ve known about it since the first day of school. I saw the two of you out by the track that morning. At first I thought maybe I was just seeing things, but I’ve seen you two kiss once or twice in the morning. Not to mention your cars pull up at the same time. It’s not that hard to figure out.” Andre seemed a bit jealous but he wasn’t telling me to put the brakes on, so I let it go.

I couldn’t blame him if he had a thing for Sookie. Who the hell wouldn’t? She was fuckhot, smart and funny. She was friendly and kind to everyone, including that creeper, Bill Compton, who kept hounding her to go out to lunch with him. So far Sookie had been able to avoid whatever bizarre advances he’d been throwing her way, but I was getting really annoyed with him for his persistence. There’s a fine line between devotion and stalking and Bill Compton was straddling it. I wondered how his wife would feel about his attempts to get Sookie alone.

With the blessing of our bosses, we proceeded in our relationship. We still hadn’t gone public about it with everyone, but we were less nervous about being spotted together. If we were seen having dinner together or hanging out at Pam’s bar it was easily explained as two co-workers unwinding after a long day. We kept the PDA to a minimum, which wasn’t easy, but made it that much better once we were alone.

Before long, Homecoming came around. Sookie had to be at the game because of poms. She had also volunteered to be a chaperon for the dance which meant I would be volunteering my services as well. No way in hell was I going let her get all dressed up in one of the many slinky dresses I knew were in her closet just so she could go mingle with students all night long. While I was sure none of those boys would be brazen- or stupid- enough to try and lay a hand on her, I wasn’t going to take any chances.

There was also the issue of the under-age night. After the initial dragging of her heels, Pam had gotten on board with the idea of it pretty quickly. Sookie had found a few students who were in garage bands that were interested in doing a public performance. She coordinated auditions with Pam for the Saturday evening before Homecoming. If things went well, and Pam was able to schedule a couple of bands, we would start the under-age night after Halloween. Sookie was excited to be a part of the new project, and was diligently doing her part to promote the night at the bar. The buzz around the school grew a bit louder each day.

“I think we owe Sookie a cut of the profits if this works.” Pam said one evening I was at the bar. She had more papers for me to sign.

I set down the paper I’d been reading and looked at her. “I agree with you, but I sincerely doubt Sookie will take the money.”

“Why the hell wouldn’t she?”

“Because she sees this as a favor and not a job.”

“She’s working her ass off.” Pam looked at me with disbelief. She couldn’t fathom why Sookie wouldn’t take the money and run.

“Believe me, I know.” I sighed, picking up the paper again. Sookie’s dedication to not doing things half-assed was admirable, but it also took more of her time than I would have liked.

“Well, I know you’re still fucking regularly. If you weren’t, you’d be a crabby bitch.” Pam smirked at me. She was all class, that Pam.

“That’s not the point.” It really wasn’t, although if that started to become an issue I’d find a way to make sure Sookie was relieved of her duty to the bar.

“I was thinking five percent.” Pam suggested and I nodded my agreement.

“Sounds fair.”

“I could go ten.”

“Pam…”

“Fine, five, but it’s a damn steal.”

“Since when do you have a conscience?” I looked up at her, watching her grin.

“I like Sookie.” Pam shrugged and I rolled my eyes. “No, not like that.” I arched an eyebrow and she amended herself. “Okay, fine, your girlfriend is fuckhot and if she were playing for my team I’d be all over her in a second, but that’s not the point. We both know that if I thought she was hot but still hated her, I wouldn’t be letting her do this. I like her. She’s been good for you. If nothing else she got you to stop being such a crabby bitch. For me, that’s reason enough to like her.”

“You’re too generous, Pamela.”

“And don’t you fucking forget it.” Pam turned on her heel and went out to the bar.

I sat on the couch in her office and read through all of the papers she’d handed over to me. Construction was set to start the following week on the space next door. That would be the under-age portion of the club and a space reserved for private parties on other nights. We were installing a new dance floor over there, along with a new bar. Only the bar on that side wouldn’t be stocked with liquor. We’d have juice, bottle water, energy drinks and sodas over there, but no alcohol. Ironically, Pam had decided to call that side of the bar “The Bottle,” and themed the décor around a genie’s bottle. I blamed that on her crush on Barbara Eden and Pam watching too many episodes of I Dream of Jeannie. As long as she didn’t ask me to help pick out throw pillows, I didn’t care what she did.

My cell phone rang and I expected it to be Sookie telling me she was on her way to my house. I was really looking forward to seeing her, since she’d been too busy to come by for the last few days. I’d offered to meet her at her place, but she was too tired by the time she was done with work. Between teaching, poms and the things she was doing to help Pam get the under-age night off the ground, her time really was pretty taxed. Unfortunately, it wasn’t Sookie who was calling.

“Hej, lillebror. Du är inte fan är du?” Johan. What a prick. I couldn’t help but laugh anyway. I hadn’t heard from him since before I’d started seeing Sookie almost a month ago.

“Inte just nu, skitstövel.” I retorted, getting me a laugh from my twin.

Sookie had yet to find out I was fluent in Swedish. I’d learned on account of my mother, who had been partial to yelling at us kids in her native tongue. She’d insisted we learn the language since it was part of our heritage. As a child, I actually spoke better Swedish than I did English, which worried my father to no end. Johan, surprisingly, had had a more difficult time picking it up. Now it was almost all he ever spoke and I was the one who was rusty.

“Mom says you have a new girlfriend. I want pics.” Johan demanded and I shook my head. I also thanked the Gods that Pam was a lesbian or she would have been boning my brother. Not that Pam being a lesbian ever stopped Johan from trying.

“Yeah, I bet you do. She’s a goddess.” I taunted him.

“I can’t wait to meet her, bror. I’ll be in the States for Halloween. Pam invited me to your dive.” I was going to kill Pam when I got off the phone.

“You called Pam before you called me? I’m hurt.”

“You always were a girl.”

For being identical in body, my brother and I couldn’t have been more different in personality. Where I was the more responsible, sensitive one, Johan was the carefree, arrogant one who did as he pleased. It’s not to say that Johan didn’t have any redeeming qualities, because he did. They were just harder to find sometimes. He was funny but lacked the brain filter to know when to stop sometimes, especially around people he didn’t know very well. I immediately worried he’d say the wrong thing to Sookie and totally misrepresent himself to her. I wanted her to like my brother every bit as much as I wanted him to like her. It was important to me they got along.

“Speaking of girls, I just sent you a text.” I grinned into the phone and waited for Johan’s response to the picture I sent him.

I’d taken it that first weekend she’d spent at my house. She was in the yard playing with Jeter. She was the first girl I’d ever introduced him to, and she had no problem getting down in the grass and wrestling with him. Jeter had knocked her down and was trying to lick her face. She was laughing hysterically and pushing the giant dog away from her when I took the picture. She looked beautiful and had no idea I’d even taken the picture, she was so lost in her laughter.

“Holy shit, bror.” Johan said once he’d looked at the picture.

“She’s mine. Don’t go getting any ideas.”

“Mom always said we should share our toys.” He reminded me in such a way that I could practically hear the drooling.

“She’s not a toy, and you should know better than anyone that I don’t share well.”

“You’re serious about this one?”

“Abso-fucking-lutely.” I answered easily. No way was I letting go of Sookie anytime soon.

“Selfish.”

“Bror, you’re in Sweden. Don’t tell me there aren’t any hot blondes there for you to dick around with.”

“There are, but they’re all the same.”

“Then maybe it’s time to expand your search criteria.” I suggested, knowing Johan always went for the same type. He never switched it up but was always wondering how he ended up in the same mess over and over again.

We talked for a while longer and he gave me his flight information. He would be coming in three days before Halloween and would be staying for a week. He asked to stay with me, as if I’d say he couldn’t. Hell, even if I’d said no he still would have found a way into my house. Knowing Pam, she would have let him in just to piss me off. Just as we were about to get off the phone, Sookie called.

“Gotta go, bror, Sookie’s on the other line.” I told him.

“What happened to bros before hos?”

“You wouldn’t be asking me that if you had a girlfriend. See you in two weeks.” I clicked over to Sookie’s line. “Hello, lover.”

She giggled and said, “You sound like a phone sex operator when you call me that.”

I laughed in response and asked, “Are you done with practice?”

“Yes, and my feet are killing me. I know you love those red shoes, but they’re going to be the death of me one of these days.” Sookie groaned. She’d come to school in what I referred to as her ‘naughty librarian’ outfit, complete with those red heels that always made me want to do the naughtiest of things to her.

“I’m at the bar, but I’ll be at the house in a few minutes. I left the side door unlocked for you just in case.”

“Oh, thank God. I need to get these damn shoes off in the worst way.” I sincerely hoped that wasn’t all she’d be taking off.

“Have you had dinner yet?”

“Nope, not yet.”

“Then I’ll stop and pick up something. Got a taste for anything?”

“You.” She answered quickly. Fuck food.

“I’ll be there soon.” If I said anything else we’d end up having phone sex, and I didn’t want to waste my time with that when I could be having actual sex.

“You better be.” There was urgency in her voice.

We hung up shortly after that and I gathered the papers Pam wanted me to sign. It would have to wait. I put them back in their file and took it with me to read over when I got back to the house. I typed out a text for Pam and sent that off without bothering to search the bar before leaving. If I found her, she’d want to have an hour long discussion and I was more set on having sex with Sookie than I was talking about what type of tables to put in next door.

I got back to my house to find Sookie in the downstairs basement, soaking in the giant whirlpool tub down there. That tub was one of the reasons I’d bought the house. She looked so small in it. She smiled when she saw me.

“Room for one more?” I asked as I kicked off my shoes.

Sookie looked around at all the empty space and said, “I think I could squeeze you in.” A coy smile spread across her face and that was all the invitation I needed.

“Not to rush you,” I said as I slipped into the water beside her. “But I did order a pizza. It should be here in an hour.”

Sookie kissed me hard and turned herself so she was facing me. “But what will we do with the other fifty-seven minutes?” She teased before wrapping her small hand around one of the many parts that had been missing her for the last three days.

“I’m sure we’ll think of something.” I nipped at her neck, and from then on the only talking was the sound of us calling out one another’s name.


“Johan called tonight while I was at the bar.” I told Sookie as we ate on my couch.

“How’s he doing?” She asked after swallowing her mouthful of pizza.

“Good, I guess. He’s coming to the States for awhile.”

Her eyes lit up and she smiled. “That’s great, Eric! When’s he coming?”

“At the end of the month. He’ll be staying with me for a week, at least. I really want you to meet him.”

“I’d love to.” Sookie smiled down at her dinner, and then lifted her eyes to me. “Does he know about me?”

I nodded and said, “Yes, I told him tonight when he called.”

“Well, I promise to give you all the space you need while he’s here. I’m sure you don’t need me tagging along for everything.”

I laughed, earning me the hairy eyeball from Sookie. “Lover, if I leave you alone I can guarantee that Johan will take that as a sign you’re still on the market.”

“Oh, really?” She looked mildly amused. “I thought you said you two didn’t have the same taste in women?”

“I did, but apparently that was before you came along.”

“How’s that?” She looked at me through her lashes. I hesitated for a moment before caving and telling her about the picture I’d sent him. “You two better not be thinking about swapping identities for the night.”

“I told Johan that he is to stay hands off where you are concerned. It’s bad enough he flirts with Pam the way he does.”

Sookie laughed loudly, nearly doubling over to clutch her stomach. “He does realize Pam’s gay, doesn’t he?”

“He knows. He just never lets it stop him.” I snickered.

“Pam must love that.”

“It’s quite a sight.” I agreed with her.

Pam actually put up with it rather well. Better than she would if I were the one coming onto her. She took it in stride because she assumed that Johan was just fucking with her. The fact that he was dead serious never seemed to enter her mind. The good thing about it was that it was pure entertainment for me to watch the two of them lob pickup lines and insults back and forth. They were both masters of their craft.

“Well, I look forward to seeing it.” Sookie took another bite of her pizza.

“Are you staying here tonight?” I asked hopefully. I hadn’t been back to the bedroom yet to see if she’d brought a change of clothes with her.

She looked thoughtfully at the slice of pizza in her hand and her eyebrows furrowed together. “I don’t know if that’s such a good idea.”

“I think it’s an excellent idea.” I argued.

“Yes, but it takes you ten minutes to get ready for work in the morning.” She pointed out, that beautiful blush of hers creeping up her neck. “And something tells me that if I stay, I’m going to be more tired in the morning than I will be rested.”

“I promise to make sure you get to sleep at a decent hour.” I crossed my heart. “And I bought a new bag of that coffee you like.”

Sookie pursed her lips in thought before speaking. “Hands off by eleven and coffee in the morning? Throw in breakfast and I’ll think about it.”

“Breakfast, too? You drive a hard bargain, Miss Stackhouse, but I believe that can be arranged.” I smiled at her.

“Well, then, Mr. Northman, you’ve got yourself a deal.” She winked at me.

“Good, let’s go seal it.” I took her plate and put it on the coffee table before pulling her into my lap.

“It’s a good thing I like cold pizza.” She mumbled just before my lips crashed against hers.

 

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