I was sitting up against the headboard on Eric’s bed with a stack of papers next to me, reading over a crop of essays that I’d been meaning to grade, when Eric came into the room. He closed and locked the door behind him and immediately pulled off his t-shirt. I didn’t look up from the paper I was reading.
“What are we going to do about Bill?” Eric asked when he came out of the bathroom after brushing his teeth.
“I don’t really want to think about that just yet.” I put the paper down on top of the pile.
“We have to have some sort of plan of attack, Sookie. It’s just going to get worse.” Eric unzipped his jeans.
“Well what would you suggest, Eric?”
“You could stop being so nice to him all the time.” Eric suggested with a hint of bitterness in his voice.
“Maybe that’s how you deal with things but I don’t see the need to be rude.” I argued, feeling awfully defensive all of a sudden.
“He thought he was attacking me, Sookie. My brother got punched because of me.” Eric was dangerously close to shouting at me.
“So you think this is my fault?” I pulled off my glasses and threw them on the table next to me. “What, are my skirts too short? Or maybe I lean in too close to him when we talk?”
“That’s not what I’m saying!” Eric yelled at me and I flinched.
“Don’t you raise your voice at me, mister.” I jumped out of bed. “You think I’m happy that Johan got hurt? You think I think it’s sweet that Bill thought he was somehow defending my honor by punching out someone?”
“I think you need to drop the southern belle act and lay down the law with him. Obviously whatever you’ve been saying to him hasn’t been harsh enough to hit home that you’re not interested.” Eric turned slowly and muttered, “Or maybe you are.”
Oh that did it! I grabbed my papers off the bed and stuffed them into my bag. I grabbed my purse off the floor and my duffle bag from the bed. Hell if I was going to sleep in the same bed as him. He was being ridiculous.
“If you think for just one second that I have any sort of romantic interest in Bill Compton, then I don’t know what the hell we’re doing here. I’m going home. Don’t call me.” I said in a steely voice before walking course Eric followed me to the front door and when I stopped to put my shoes on he grabbed my bags away from me. “Gimme those! So help me, Eric, if you don’t-”
He dropped the bags and grabbed my face instead, pulling me to him to kiss me. It was one of those kisses meant to tell me to shut up and just accept that he loved me already. It made me feel like I was on fire. The next thing I knew, we were tearing each other’s clothes off and I was climbing Eric like a tree. He slammed me up against the wall with a speed and strength I didn’t know he had. He entered me hard and fast and I screamed. It didn’t hurt, I was just surprised by it. He buried his face in my neck and hair but I felt no breath like I expected.
When he pulled back to look at me, to watch what his determined thrusts into my body were doing to me, he had fangs. I gasped, not just in pleasure, but in surprise. He had fangs? Since when did Eric have fangs. I turned my head to the side, baring my neck to him. He growled loudly in a primal kind of way that had my turning into goo and his thrusts only got harder. My body clenched up and my fingernails dug into his shoulders so hard that I knew I drew blood. That only made him growl louder.
Just as I was reaching my orgasm, Eric bit my neck. Hard. I felt him sucking the life right out of me as I came. I was screaming and panting, gasping for air as I felt myself slipping away, lost in the most amazing feelings. With my last breath I uttered the last words I would say.
“I love you.” I whispered and then I was gone.
“Sookie?” Eric’s voice called me to me. “Sookie, wake up.”
I groaned and opened my eyes to see Eric crouched on his bed next to me, looking concerned and a little confused. “What? What happened?”
“You were dreaming, I think. You were screaming and gasping for air. Are you okay?” Eric pulled my glasses from my face and the papers from my hands.
I took a moment to look around the room. It was exactly as it had been in my dream. My papers that needed to be graded were stacked around me on his bed. I was dressed in my nightgown and Eric was wearing only his jeans and a concerned expression. I shook my head, trying to make sense of my dream.
“I’m fine. It was just a really weird dream.” I gave him a reassuring smile.
“You want to tell me about it?”
I cleared my throat, suddenly feeling parched. “We had a fight. You thought I had feelings for Bill and I thought you were blaming me for what happened to Johan.”
“Sookie, that’s crazy. I know you don’t give a shit about Bill and more importantly, I know what happened to my idiot brother is in no way your fault. It’s my fault. I should have clocked that fucker when he couldn’t take the hint that you weren’t interested.” Eric said with conviction.
I sighed and took my glasses and papers from Eric. I moved everything off the bed because I knew I had to tell him the whole thing and I was pretty sure once I was doing saying all the things I wanted to say, those papers were going to get destroyed if I left them on the bed. I turned so I was facing Eric and took his hands in mine. Well, I grabbed his hands and ended up letting them swallow my own.
“Eric, there’s something I wanted to tell you earlier but there just wasn’t a good time to say it and I think that’s part of the reason why I had this dream.” I bit my bottom lip nervously.
“You’re not breaking up with me, are you?” He teased in attempts to break the ice a little.
“No, I’m not breaking up with you.” I felt tears spring into my eyes, which I’m sure did little to ease his mind. “In my dream when I tried to leave, you followed me to the front door. But instead of letting me go, you threw me up against the wall and fucked me.”
“I like this dream.” Eric smiled at me. “Is that why you were screaming?”
I rolled my eyes at him. “Can I finish, please?”
“Sorry.” He apologized.
“To answer your question, yes, that’s why I was screaming.” The glint of amusement coupled with lust didn’t go unnoticed. “But that’s not the part that freaked me out. You had fangs. I think you were a vampire in my dream and you tried to drain me.”
Eric laughed loudly and looked at me like I was either very imaginative or just plain nuts. But when I didn’t join in on his laughter, he took on a more somber expression. “So you dreamed that I killed you?”
“Kind of, but it was more like I was giving you my life. It wasn’t violent and it didn’t feel like you were killing me, if that makes any kind of sense.” I tried to explain to him. He seemed disturbed by this information and started to let go of my hands, but I wouldn’t let go. “Eric, I think the reason I had this dream is because I didn’t tell you what I needed to tell you earlier.”
“And what’s that?” Eric looked at me suspiciously.
I took a deep breath and let it out slowly to calm my nerves. “That I love you. That I’m in love with you.”
Eric’s head snapped up and his eyes found mine. He searched me for just a moment before the biggest smile I’d ever seen spread across his face. His hands let go of mine and grabbed my face instead, pulling me to him to kiss me very much the same way he did in my dream. For a split second I expected him to yank me off the bed and throw me up against the wall, but that didn’t happen. He did, however, yank my nightgown up. Our lips parted long enough for him to toss it to the floor and then I was tackled backward onto the bed.
“Say it again.” Eric lips were close to my ear and unlike my dream, his breath was warm and minty as they grazed my skin.
“I love you.” I whispered, which got me one of those primal growls I’d dreamed of.
He didn’t ask me why I hadn’t said it sooner, which I was thankful for since I didn’t have an answer for him. All I knew is that I felt a million times better for getting it off my chest. I felt silly for ever hesitating about it. I loved him and he loved me. I had to stop doubting myself and my worth. I had to stop letting my past dictate my future. The sensation of his tongue on my chest put an end to any further thoughts and I lost myself in the feel of him on me, and very soon, in me.
It was slow and passionate, the total opposite of what I’d experienced earlier in the afternoon after his argument with Johan. We whispered words back and forth, taking our time in finding our release. When we were both sated, I rolled onto my side so he could pull me close to him. I could feel his heartbeat against my back and the steady rhythm of it slowly lulled me to sleep.
I was standing at the chain link fence the next morning, waiting for my usual morning kiss before heading into school. Only there were two Erics running around the track instead of just one. If it weren’t for the difference in their hair, it would be much harder to tell which one was my Eric. My Eric. I liked the way that sounded and it made me smile. Eric and Johan were just rounding the bend near the field house when I heard a somewhat frantic voice calling out behind me. I cringed and then turned toward Bill Compton.
“Sookie, boy, I’m glad I found you out here this morning.” Bill gave me this shit eating grin that I could only assume meant he thought he was about to play the hero.
“I’m glad you caught me out here too, Bill. You owe someone I care about an apology.” I didn’t give him the chance to make his big speech and it was obvious I took the wind right out of his sails.
“Beg your pardon?”
“You punched my friend repeatedly, if I heard correctly, and for no good reason.” I accused, knowing I as well within my right to say it.
“Sookie, I know you and Northman are seeing each other.” He argued right back.
“Yes, we are, but the man you punched wasn’t him.”
Bill laughed and said, “Did Eric tell you why I punched him?”
“Bill, you didn’t punch Eric. You punched his brother, who was well within his rights to be dancing with Pam when you did it.”
“He wasn’t just dancing with her, Sookie. He was grinding on her and-”
“It doesn’t matter, Bill. What Johan does is his business.”
“Johan, huh?” Bill laughed at me like I was a silly little girl. “Sookie, men will say anything to get a woman to forgive them for cheating.”
“Well, you wouldn’t know anything about that, would you? You’re happily married to Lorena, right?”
Bill looked a bit sheepish and then said, “Actually, Lorena and I have separated. I’m not in love with her anymore. I haven’t been for a while.”
“Yeah, I know all about it.” I shook my head and snickered before noting that Eric and Johan were approaching out of the corner of my eye. “You owe Johan an apology for what you did. You had no right to do that.”
“I was defending you.” Bill stated, as if that changed anything.
“First of all, I don’t need you to defend me. Second of all, even if you were right about what thought you were seeing, that still doesn’t give you permission to haul off and hit someone for it. Third, I thought you would be a big enough man to admit when you were wrong. It’s very disappointing to find out you’re not, Bill.” I used my best teacher voice on him and he seemed properly chastised for his mistake.
“Morning, Sook!” Johan called out to me. He hadn’t seen me before I’d left the house.
“Morning, Johan. Did you sleep well?” I completely ignored Bill who was scrambling to get a look at the guy I was talking to.
“After you two got quiet, I slept great.” Johan winked at me and that damn blush that always betrays me was at it again. Johan’s eyes settled on Bill in an icy stare. “How’s your punching hand?” Then he muttered something in Swedish that had Eric laughing quietly beside him.
I looked over at Bill who was clearly shocked to discover he’d fucked up. He looked back and forth between Eric and Johan, his index finger raising to point back and forth between the two of them in attempts to make sense of what had happened.
“They’re twins.” I supplied for him.
“You decked my brother for no reason.” Eric glared hard at Bill, who seemed to be thinking about what bodily harm would be caused to him if Eric and Johan got him alone in a dark alley.
Under other circumstances, this might have been something we could all laugh at, but given that it had come out that Bill was obsessed with me, it was nowhere near a laughing matter. Bill sputtered, gasping for straws. He clearly wasn’t going to apologize.
“What I saw was you cheating on Sookie, which is unacceptable.” Bill said firmly.
“What you saw,” Johan stepped closer to the fence and I realized just how intimidating he could be when he wanted to. “Was me dancing with a very good friend of mine. Rather than asking questions you just started swinging, and it’s fucking lucky that I was drunk and those bouncers pulled you off of me so quick or I would have knocked you into the middle of next month.”
“I will not apologize for doing what I thought to be the right thing.” Bill stood straight and I rolled my eyes in disbelief. “I care a great deal for Sookie, and-”
“Yeah, about that.” I turned toward him. “You need to stop asking me to have lunch with you. I’m not interested in you, Bill. Up until recently I was under the impression that you were happily married. The fact that you’ve left your wife doesn’t change anything. I’m with Eric. I love Eric. That’s all you need to know. I have every intention of maintaining a professional relationship with you because I’m an adult and I think we can move past this, but if you can’t let it go, I won’t have any other choice but to go to Octavia.”
Bill smirked at me and asked, “And just how do you think she’s going to feel when she finds out that you’re dating another teacher?”
Eric, Johan and I shared a look. “What makes you think she doesn’t already know?” Eric stared hard at Bill.
Bill looked like he was going to be sick. He was pale except for the bright red flush of his anger on his cheeks. Since there wasn’t much else for him to say he simply stormed off and headed into the school. I shook my head as he walked away, wishing the whole thing could just be one of those things that happened. Instead, I had a feeling this was going to follow us for a while.
“What a prick. I’ll kick his ass if you want me to.” Johan offered.
“That’s sweet, Johan, but I think it’s better if we just leave him alone. I’ve told him to back off. He knows he messed up, even if he won’t admit it. Outside of reporting this to Octavia, I really think it’s better to just drop it.” I gave a half smile.
“I vote for ass kicking.” Johan winked at me.
“Trust me, bror, if he doesn’t leave her alone…”
“Eric, stop!” I shook my head at him. “I have to get inside. I’ll see you at study hall.”
“What period do you have lunch?” Eric asked me suddenly.
“Um, I have my split class fourth period, so I usually run down to the cafeteria during five. Why?”
“Johan’s going to shadow me today.”
“Oh, hell.” I muttered and closed my eyes. “You realize you two are going to start a riot, don’t you?”
“A riot?” They asked in perfect synchronization, as innocent as can be.
“Don’t give me that look! Eric especially knows what I’m talking about.”
“I think the kids will be able to control themselves.”
“Uh huh.” I took a deep breath. I was really not happy with the idea of teenage girls flirting with my boyfriend all day, even though I knew not a single one of them stood a chance. “Well, if there’s anything left of Johan during fifth period we could have lunch together.”
“I was hoping you’d say that.” Eric smiled at me and motioned for me to follow him over to the opening of the fence. “I’m serious about Bill. If he bothers you, I want you to tell me about it. Enough is enough.”
“Cross my heart.” I made the motion over my chest.
“That’s my girl.” He grinned at me and then bent to kiss my forehead. “You know, I sort of love you, Miss Stackhouse.”
“Really? Well, I guess the feeling’s mutual, Mr. Northman. I’ll see you in study hall. Don’t be late.” I gave him a pointed look.
“Yes, ma’am. I’d hate it if you had to punish me later.” His eyebrows wiggled at me and then he turned to join his brother on the rest of their run.
Johan gave me a wave and then I headed into school.
I grabbed my change of clothes from under my desk and headed toward the dance studio to work on some of the choreography for a new dance I wanted to teach the girls in the next week or two. I bounced down the steps that would take me past the weight room to the studio and stopped in my tracks when I saw Eric. I smiled to see him bent over and stretching, that wonderful backside of his up in the air just begging to be grabbed- or maybe bitten. I bit my lower lip, knowing it would be extremely inappropriate for me to do such a thing. I could only imagine the reaction if a student happened to wander in.
My brain, however, wandered off into fantasyland, thinking of all the wonderful things I could do with that butt of his. Thinking about it was allowed, acting on those thoughts was not. I got so lost in my thoughts that I didn’t notice it when Eric stood up straight and turned around to catch me staring at him. I jumped about six inches off the ground when he called my name. I turned bright red and thought about bolting for the dance studio, but it was too late. I’d already been spotted.
“Sookie, come in!” He waved me inside.
I pulled the door open and stepped into the weight room. I’d been in there before, but it had been a while since my last visit. And that visit certainly didn’t include the potential for a sweaty tutorial with my super hot boyfriend. Somehow the idea of working out with old man McCarthy (seriously, the man had to be almost 80) just didn’t get me as excited, even if he was spry for his age.
Eric looked through the windows behind me to make sure we didn’t have an audience before bending to kiss me. “What are you doing here?” He asked when I pushed him back gently. I held up my change of clothes. “You came to model for me?”
I slapped at him playfully. “No, I was going to work on some choreography in the dance studio. But if you’re really nice to me I might be convinced to do some modeling for you later.”
“And how nice would I have to be for you to wear nothing at all?” Eric stepped closer to me.
I bit my bottom lip again when I felt that little bit of emptiness low in my belly. I was just about to answer him when I heard chatter and footsteps approaching the weight room. I stepped back from him with a coy smile on my face. The weight room door opened and I was greeted by a chorus of teenage boy voices.
“Hey Miss Stackhouse!” They all waved as they made their way to their places on the floor.
“Hello, boys. Keep an eye on Mr. Northman for me, will you? Make sure he doesn’t hurt himself.” I smiled at Eric over my shoulder.
“I could bench press you, Miss Stackhouse.” Eric said with confidence.
I could have sworn I heard one of the boys mumble something about Eric being a lucky bastard and I had to restrain a giggle. Instead I turned back toward Eric and whispered, “Later.”
He was still smiling at me when I walked out of the weight room and headed next door. It was about two thirds of the way through the period when I decided it was time to get back into my work clothes. I grabbed the boombox I’d been using for practice and took it with me to the equipment closet to lock it up and get changed. I was just about to pull on my dressier pants when the lights went out. I froze for just a second to let my eyes adjust to the darkness. The closet wasn’t all that big but I didn’t want to trip over something.
But then a very familiar scent filled my nose and my heart started to race. Eric. I’d know that smell anywhere. Fingers reached out and trailed up my spine, making me shiver. I knew those fingers. My head was screaming at me to tell him to get back to his class, to stop this before it went too far. I was standing there in the darkness in nothing but my underthings. My pants had fallen around my ankles when the lights went out. My hair was pulled gently from its ponytail and I could feel the heat of another body behind me.
Warm lips pressed against the back of my neck after my hair was moved to the side. My breath caught and I couldn’t move. The fingers that had been ghosting up my spine moved around to my stomach and then down toward my underwear. Somewhere in my head I knew I should stop, but I couldn’t get the words out. They were right there on my tongue, but I couldn’t make myself say them. Eric’s hand took mine and pressed it against the very firm bulge in the front of his pants. No way could he go back to class with that. If he didn’t get arrested, he’d definitely get fired.
His hand reached inside my panties and I heard a slight hiss when he realized his mind wasn’t the only one that had been in the gutter. All through my dancing my brain had imagined him watching me, or had tried to picture him doing sit ups. Or, perhaps my favorite, him following through on his threat and bench pressing me. My knees shook just a little with the thoughts as his fingers rubbed all the right spots between my legs. One arm rose up to grab the back of his neck so I had something to hold onto, while my other hand continued to stroke the bulge behind me.
The next thing I knew I was bent over a tall stack of yoga mats. My pants were down and Eric was tugging at his jogging pants. I looked over my shoulder but all I could make out in the darkness was his tall frame and the heat of his body so close to mine. I couldn’t believe I was really going to let this happen, and yet I couldn’t tell him not to. He entered me with one swift stroke and I screamed into my hands to muffle the sound. His thrusts were fast and hard, his grasp firm on my hips. He grunted quietly behind me while I moaned into my hands. Eric and I weren’t really known for quiet sex, so the whole thing was quite a challenge.
My hips moved to meet his thrusts and one of his hands came around to help me along. There was no way Eric wasn’t going to make sure I didn’t finish. There was something incredibly sexy about not the silence and the darkness of it. We had to rely solely on our bodies and just feel things. Without sight, all of my other senses were heightened and when I came, it was the most powerful thing I ever felt. Eric came right after me and rested against my back, both of us gasping for air.
Finally, I was the one to break the silence. “You are in so much trouble for this later.” I whispered to him.
“I look forward to it, lover.” He whispered back and turned my face to kiss me.
He pulled out of me and I whimpered with the loss. Damn him for doing this while we were at work. I had every intention of getting him back for it later. He put his clothes to rights and I started to get dressed myself.
“I better get back. I love you, Sookie.” He kissed me once more and then disappeared from the dark closet.
I stood there a bit dazed. My brain tried to process what just happened while my body told me to just shut up and enjoy it. My legs were a bit like jelly but I somehow managed to get dressed. I locked up the closet when I was done and then did the same with the dance studio doors. I stopped outside the weight room and peered inside to see Eric and Johan standing together. Johan caught my eye and waved at me. Eric’s eyes followed his brother’s and when he saw me standing there, he mouthed ‘I love you’ to me.
I couldn’t help but smile. I waved back and then hightailed it upstairs for my next class.