Sookie was in need to cheering up after our visit to Amelia. If we were home, I would have known exactly what to do to take her mind off things but I was out of my element in Shreveport. We walked to the car hand in hand and I put her in the passenger’s seat to drive us back to her parents’ house. She directed me to go a different way than we had on the trip over. We took side roads and a few back roads so I got to see more of the state than just highway and trees.
“Turn left there.” Sookie pointed to a dirt road that was coming up ahead.
I made the turn and found us stopping at what appeared to be a bayou or pond. “Where are we?” I asked Sookie.
She gave me the goofiest grin and said, “I have no idea.” We both laughed for a second before she said, “I just didn’t want to go back to the house yet.”
“It’s fine with me. We can sit here for as long as you want.” I reached for her hand.
We were quiet then. I loved that we could sit in comfortable silences like that without feeling any sort of pressure to talk or fill the empty space between us. After a few minutes Sookie slid across the bench seat of the old truck we were in. I’d be lying if I said it hadn’t crossed my mind what we could be doing on that seat. I wanted her to smile because she genuinely felt better and not just because she thought she was appeasing me. I knew her well enough to know when a smile was real and not a mask she was throwing on to avoid dealing with what was bugging her.
“I think I said goodbye to Amelia today.” She admitted once her head was resting on my shoulder. “I wasn’t planning on it, but I hate the idea of her being alone in that room every day. I don’t understand why Cope took her away like he did. Why is she going to come back to us if she thinks she’s got nothing to come back to? It just pisses me off that he’s being so fucking selfish. He’s not the only one who loves her.”
I wasn’t quite sure of what to say. I wasn’t a father so I didn’t really understand where Copely’s head might be at and I didn’t want to defend him unjustly and raise Sookie’s ire. Frankly, I thought Copely was a dick. Although part of me also thought Tray was being a bit of a quitter. If it had been Sookie that had ended up in Amelia’s place- and thank God it wasn’t- I would have fought every single day to see her until I managed to convince the powers that be to let me be close to her. I couldn’t imagine just walking away like Tray seemed to have done.
“I want you to promise me something.” Sookie sat up and turned her body toward mine.
“What’s that?” I rubbed the inside of her wrist with my thumb.
“I want you to promise me that if we’re still together and something like that ever happens to me, you’ll make sure that I don’t get kept alive by machines and stuck in some strange place.” She stared at me with intensity. When I hesitated to promise her she said, “I swear to God, Northman, I will come back from the grave just to haunt your ass.”
My head tilted a little bit and I let go of her hand to touch her cheek. “It would kill me to let you go, you know that, right?” She nodded.
“If it’s what you want, I would do it.” I ran my thumb over her bottom lip and she turned her face to kiss my palm.
“You know, if you feel so strongly about it maybe we should see a lawyer when we get back. We have one on retainer for the bar. You should file the paperwork.”
“You mean like a will?”
“A will, power of attorney, a D.N.R.”
“Do you have one?”
“Yes, I do.”
“So who… I mean if something happens to you…” She trailed off, clearly as uncomfortable with the idea of losing me as I was of losing her.
“Johan. I know he can be really irresponsible and flighty sometimes but I know if I needed him he would be there in a heartbeat and he would fight harder for me than anyone.”
“Except maybe me.” Sookie gave me a weak smile and then slid closer to me again.
“I’ve been thinking about changing a few things.” I confessed to her.
“With the will and whatnot. You should have some sort of say if things got bad.”
“Eric, we’re not married.”
“We don’t have to be. As long as there’s a notary and a witness, that’s all that matters. There’s no need to bring a marriage license into this. Yet.” I made sure to add on that last part.
“You think about us getting married?” She looked up at me.
“Ever since the accident, yeah, I have.”
“Why didn’t you ever mention it before?”
“Because it’s fast, Sookie. I think we both know that this, what we have, it wasn’t part of the plan for either of us. It just sort of happened. Don’t get me wrong, I’m beyond happy that it did. You’re the best thing to happen to me in a very, very long time. I just don’t want to put too much pressure on us to move forward. We have time.”
Sookie sat up again. “What if we don’t? I mean, look at Tray and Amelia. They put off getting married because they thought they had time, too. Now Tray doesn’t get any sort of say in what’s happening to her. He can’t even go see her without having to worry about being arrested. If he was her husband, that wouldn’t be happening.”
“Sookie, I don’t want to marry you just because we’re scared that we might be forced apart at some point. If and when we decide we want to take that step I want it to be because we’re sure we want to be together. I don’t want fear to be a factor anywhere in the decision.” I explained to her.
She sighed and sat back against the seat. Her brows furrowed and she stared out at the water in front of us. “I’m not afraid of the future. Everything happens for a reason and even if we do everything exactly right and make decisions for all the right reasons, there’s no guarantee that we’ll be together forever.”
“You’re right,” I agreed with her. “But I don’t see any reason to start us off on the wrong foot.”
She turned her head toward me with tears in her eyes. Shit, I hated it when she cried. It always broke my heart a little bit. “You know I love you, right?”
“I know.” I nodded.
She lunged at me then, claiming my mouth with hers. She managed to climb into my lap and straddle me. She pulled off her coat and threw it to the other side of the seat where it landed on the floor board instead. I tried to remember the last time I had sex in a car. I was probably nineteen at the time. I already knew this was going to be much better. My hands went up her sweater and pushed the cups of her bra out of the way. As much as I loved her naked, there was something equally hot about having to be creative when working around clothing. We certainly had our work cut out for us since we were both wearing jeans and sweaters.
When she leaned back she ended up hitting the horn, making us both jump and laugh at the loud burst of sound. “Good thing we’re in the middle of nowhere.” She gave me an impish grin and then unbuttoned her jeans.
“Good thing we’re in a truck. This would never work in the ‘Vette.”
“Wanna bet?” She arched an eyebrow at me.
“Is that a challenge?”
“It’s a promise.” She said and then attacked me again.
It was a damn good thing Sookie was so flexible or those jeans wouldn’t have come off so easily. They ended up balled up on the floor of the truck next to her coat. She moved to take off her own panties but I stopped her.
“Leave ’em.” I whispered against her skin.
She shuddered but moved her hands the fly of my jeans. She nipped at my neck as she unbuttoned them and then pushed them down just a little. She stopped all of a sudden and looked down.
“Would you believe it if I said I forgot to pack more underwear?”
“Not really since I did your packing for you.” Her hand gripped me and began to slid up and down.
“Then I guess I was just really hoping I’d get the chance to fuck you somewhere public. You do seem to enjoy that.” I teased her.
She blushed slightly and I almost threw her back on the seat. I loved that in spite of all the things we’d done and all of the different ways we’d done them, she could still blush over the littlest things. There was no way she could know how perfect she was. Her modesty would prevent her from seeing herself in such a way, but that only endeared her to me further. After a few minutes of mutually stroking each other and making out like the world was going to end, she pulled her mouth from mine. She bit my earlobe, although there was more sucking than biting.
“Eric, fuck me now.” She moaned against me.
She didn’t talk like that often but when she did, I knew she meant business. I also knew she was close to her orgasm and since I’d done more than enough teasing earlier in the day, I decided not to press my luck. It would absolutely suck to have to drive back to her parents’ house with a severe case of blue balls, and I knew she would have no trouble pulling the plug on me if she decided she wanted to. Not to mention, why the hell wouldn’t I do what she asked?
She lifted herself up so she was sitting on her knees instead of just on my lap. Her panties were pushed to the side and she lowered herself on me in one fluid stroke. She rolled her hips, letting her body adjust to my presence inside of it. My hands went up her sweater to cup her breasts while her lips grazed my throat before pausing near my ear.
“When we get home, home, I want to spend the night making out on the couch with you until I’m so wet, I’m dripping. Then I want you to bend me over the arm of the couch and fuck me hard.” She whispered to me.
I groaned at the imagery of what she was suggesting. “I can do that.”
“You better.” She nipped at my neck and started rocking her hips.
“You are so fucking sexy.” I pinched her nipples just hard enough to make her squeak and she rewarded me with a deep kiss.
We traded back and forth between rough and sweet and by the time we were done, we were both sweating and gasping for air. I don’t know how the sex always seems to get better each time we have it, but it does.
“You know, one of these days I might actually explode when I come.” I warned her.
She giggled against my chest. “Yeah, but what a way to go, right?”
Jason ended up driving us to the airport on Saturday. I knew Sookie had mixed feelings about leaving her family. I knew we were both happy to be going home to our own house but I also knew that Sookie was going to miss seeing her family at Christmas. They understood why she wouldn’t be making an appearance for the holiday, which I was happy about, but I knew there would be a part of her that would want to be with them while we were in California with my family.
The plane ride was rather uneventful. We had to circle the runway for a while when we got in to O’Hare since there were so many incoming flights. Thankfully the house wasn’t too far away from the airport and twenty minutes after getting into a cab, I was carrying our luggage up to the front door while Sookie was paying the driver. Jeter was whining on the other side of the door, scratching and pawing like he was going to dig himself out if I didn’t get the door open fast enough.
We’d only been gone for a few days but he was used to having at least one of us around. I imagined Pam probably didn’t spend a whole lot of time with him when she came by to let him out and feed him. I’d tried to convince her to keep Jeter at her place but I knew that wasn’t going to happen. If I would have thought about it a little more, I would have left the dog with Tray. He could have used the companionship and I had no doubt Jeter would have gotten a hell of a work out with the runs Tray went on the morning.
I got the door open just as Sookie was coming up the walkway to the front steps. Jeter shot out of the house and stood up on his hind legs to greet me with the sloppiest kiss I’d ever gotten from him. Sookie burst out laughing behind me, covering her mouth in attempts to hide her giggles.
“Okay, okay, down Jeter. I missed you, too.” I pushed the dog away from me and he sank down to all four legs again.
He sniffed at me like he was trying to figure out where I’d been. Sookie carefully approached the house, not wanting to be accosted like I was when I walked in. I set down the bags I was carrying and grabbed Jeter’s collar before he could jump on her like he wanted to. He whined and lurched forward in attempts to get to her.
“Hold on, buddy, let me take off my shoes and then we’ll play.” She promised him. She set down her purse, took off her coat and shoes and said, “Okay, let me have him.”
I let go of the collar and Jeter took off like a shot, knocking Sookie back into a chair near the door. She scratched the dog’s head and let him sniff and kiss all over her. It was obvious that neither of us were going to be able to go anywhere for a few days without Jeter having a bit of a tantrum about it. He followed us to the bedroom where Sookie unpacked our things. I went to go check the state of the backyard and make sure there weren’t any piles around the house that Pam had missed while she was over. There was almost no water left in Jeter’s bowl but there was plenty of dry food on the floor. I decided then and there that when we went to California I’d talk to Tray about taking the dog for a week instead of leaving Pam in charge.
Sookie came out of the bedroom carrying a laundry basket full of our dirty clothes. “You know, if we ever end up buying a bigger house, I want a laundry shoot.”
“That’s it?” I smirked at her.
“I have a few other requirements, but that’s just a convenience I would greatly appreciate.” She winked at me as she started toward the stairs with Jeter right behind her.
“Jeter, let’s go outside.” I called the dog back. He walked around in circles in front of the door like he did when he needed to relieve himself. When I took too long, he started to whimper.
The yard was a mess but I wasn’t surprised. Jeter rolled in the snow and did his business while I did my best to straighten up a little bit. Sookie appeared at the side door and asked if I wanted anything from the grocery store since she was going to run out for more detergent.
“Nah, I think I’m good.” I smiled over at her. “I can go if you want?”
“No, it’s fine. You stay here and keep Jete busy. I’ll be back in a few minutes.” She blew me a kiss and then went back into the house.
I was tossing a beat up tennis ball that Jeter had managed to dig out of the snow when I heard Sookie’s car start a few minutes later. That reminded me I should check to make sure the Comet was running okay. I knew the ‘Vette would be fine. I reached into the house and grabbed the garage keys off the hook. It had only been a few weeks since the car had been driven but with the recent cold snap that had gone through the city, I didn’t want to take any chances of the engine freezing up.
The car was covered just as I’d left it. Jeter followed me into the garage and proweled back and forth while I got the cover off the car. I balled it up and tossed it off to the side. I hit the button to open the big door and Jeter took a seat, knowing better than to bolt out into the alley. The car started no problem and I let it run for a few minutes. Johan had remembered to fill the tank before he brought the car back the last time he took it out. I loved the Comet but trying to drive it in the snow could be a bit of a problem. A car like that was great for cruising empty highways but not so much for navigating poorly plowed suburban areas.
I waited about twenty minutes before turning the car off and closing the larger garage door. I’d let the car cool down some before putting the cover back on it. I whistled for Jeter and he followed me into the house. He went straight to his bed downstairs and lay down while I started my laptop. I checked emails and put the wash into the dryer when the buzzer went off. A quick check on Facebook told me I had friend requests from Jason, Hadley and Remy waiting for me. I accepted them all and then looked at the pictures Pam had finally posted to the fanpage we’d created for the bar.
There were some pretty good pictures there. My favorite was one of Sookie sitting in my lap at one of the tables with our arms wrapped around each other and stupid grins on our faces. Sounds petty, but I was sort of pissed her costume didn’t survive the accident. She looked hot in that mini dress with those go-go boots. Pam had done well where Sookie was concerned. I paused to laugh at the roadkill parked on Johan’s head. That was a bit of a disaster.
The night was ended in such a tragic way it was easy to forget how much fun we’d had before the accident happened. It was while I was sitting there thinking about Halloween and the events leading up to the accident that I started to wonder what I was going to get Sookie for Christmas. She wasn’t a material person and I knew that while I could go out and buy her something, she would probably tell me not to waste my money.
But then a flash of brilliance came to me when I opened the email Jason had included with his friend request. It was a simple message: I’m so Team Jacob *faints*. If I weren’t a high school teacher I wouldn’t have the slightest clue as to what the hell he was talking about. The fact that he knew, however, made me wonder if maybe he was being completely serious with his message. I decided I didn’t want to know. But I wrote him back all the same with my idea for Sookie’s Christmas present.
Sookie was just walking in upstairs when my phone buzzed in my pocket. I had a text message from Jason. He was excited about my idea and thought Sookie would love it. He promised to get everyone else in on it. This would be payback for Sookie’s little stunt at Thanksgiving. But hey, at least I’d given her fair warning.
“Looks like it’s gonna start snowing again.” Sookie said as she put away the groceries she’d picked up.
“Well, if we’re lucky, we’ll get snowed in and have to take a day off of work.” I wiggled my eyebrows at her.
“I was thinking the same thing.” She confessed as she crossed the room to the fridge. “I miss my kids and all, but things are going to be so crazy for us for the next couple of months.”
“We’ll get through it.” I pulled her into a hug and kissed the top of her head. “Besides, I owe you a really got make out session on the couch.”
“Damn right you do.” She wiggled against me.
“I was thinking of ordering Chinese for dinner. You got any objections to that?”
“Just don’t let me anywhere near the Mongolian beef this time.” Sookie smirked up at me.
“I told you I liked it spicy.” I reminded her with a grin.
“My lips felt like they were on fire for almost a full day afterward. Not cool, Northman.” She pouted.
“Fine, I will make sure to keep the Mongolian beef away from you.” I dropped another kiss on her head before letting her go.
She finished putting the groceries away while I placed an order to be picked up. By the time I got to the restaurant it would be ready. Sookie offered to come with me but there was laundry in the dryer that was going to need folding and I was fairly certain Jeter would have a fit if we left him alone so soon. Besides, I wanted to start making arrangements for Sookie’s Christmas present. It was going to take some pretty thorough planning on my part. Not to mention, I needed to touch base with Pam and let her know that Sookie and I were home.
Sookie followed me into the living room when she was done with the groceries and watched while I put on an old pair of boots that were by the door. She absolutely hated them. She glared at me every time I wore them like I should know better. They were comfortable and warm. I had no plans to throw them away anytime soon.
“One of these days when you’re not looking those things are going in the trash.” Sookie informed me.
“You do that and that ridiculous nightgown with the teacups on it will be going to keep them company.” I threatened her right back.
“What’s wrong with the teacups?” Her mouth hung open.
“Aside from the fact that it’s hideous, you mean?”
“It’s comfortable! Besides, I’m just sleeping in it. It’s not like I wear it out of the house. Those boots look like the rejects from the local homeless shelter.” She said defensively.
“You don’t have to wear them and they don’t make that nightgown any less ugly.” She stuck her tongue out at me. I pulled on my coat and opened the door to go.
“What?” I turned around.
She took the few steps across the room and pulled me down to kiss her. “Drive safe.”
“Yes, dear.” If that was the worst fight we’d ever have, I’d consider myself a lucky man.