Well, it seems I got my half-hearted wish. The snow that started when we got back from Louisiana didn’t stop. In fact, we got dumped with one of the biggest snowfalls in recorded history. Thank God I went grocery shopping when we got back or we would have been in trouble. Poor Jeter was going stir crazy from being cooped up in the house. He clearly didn’t share the enthusiasm of his owner when it came to being shut up in the house.
When we went to bed on Sunday night it was around eleven. There was a few inches of snow on the ground, but nothing too bad. When our alarm went off in the morning, however, it was like a confectioner’s sugar plant exploded. We were absolutely buried. There had to be at least a foot of powder on the ground. The drifts pushed up against the house were nearly three feet high in some places, and Mother Nature wasn’t finished with us yet.
“Holy shit.” I mumbled under my breath.
“What?” Eric groaned from the bed behind me.
“I think we might have a snow day on our hands.” I grinned over my shoulder at him.
“I heard this is the one high school that never closes.” Eric sat up slowly.
“Yeah, well, if you want to tunnel us out of the house, I guess we can strap on some snow shoes and try to get there.” I snickered at him.
“Is it really that bad?” He climbed out of bed- completely naked- and stood behind me. Hello morning wood. “Oh, shit.”
“I told you so.” I tilted my chin back. “Good morning, by the way.”
“Good morning.” He smiled down at me and let go of the curtain so it could fall back into place.
“We should probably check the school closings just to be on the safe side.” I said as he pulled me back toward the bed.
“You’re probably right.” The twinkle in his eyes told me my suggestion was going to have to wait.
And it did. It waited for about an hour and by then we were both sweaty, sated and ready to go back to sleep. But Eric being the wonderful man that he is went to retrieve his laptop so we could check the school’s website to make sure it was closed. He also started a pot of coffee. Have I mentioned recently that I love this man?
“Looks like we got the day off.” Eric grinned at me.
“Looks like. You know, I’ve never had a snow day before?”
“Me either. Growing up in California doesn’t really make that a possibility.”
“What do you think people do on snow days?” I snuggled up next to him.
“I can think of a few things we can do without ever having to leave this bed or put clothes on.” His voice dropped a little at his suggestions.
“Making up for lost time, are we?” I snickered, as if we hadn’t had sex at all while we were gone.
“Do you have a better idea?” He kissed the top of my head as he closed the laptop.
“I think we should go outside and play.”
“It’s freezing out there.”
“Yes, but think of all the ways you can warm me up when we’re done.” I stole a move from his playbook, and wiggled my eyebrows at him.
“Why Miss Stackhouse, I do believe I like the way you think.”
“Thank you, Mr. Northman.” I tilted my face up to kiss him.
We stayed in bed for a little while longer, just snuggling and making out a little before I finally pulled away and got out of bed again. I felt his eyes on me as I slipped on my robe and went to the bathroom to wash my face and brush my teeth. When I emerged from the bathroom, Eric was gone. The smell of bacon wafted through the house and I breathed deep. Jeter was prowling back and forth near the stove, hoping for Eric to develop a case of butterfingers.
“What are we going to do about Jeter’s bathroom needs?” I asked out of nowhere.
Eric laughed and said, “I put down newspaper in the basement just to be on the safe side before we went to bed last night.”
“You think of everything, don’t you?” I wrapped my arms around his waist and kissed him between his shoulder blades.
“I try.” He flipped the sizzling bacon. “Do you want eggs or pancakes?”
Grease rocketed out of the pan and landed on my forearm, making me jump back and yelp in pain. “Stupid grease!” I yanked my arms away from Eric and looked at where I’d been burned.
He turned around and tried to see where I’d been hit. He located the spot and placed a kiss on it. “Better?”
“Almost.” I pushed myself up on my toes and tilted my face up. He kissed me gently and then pulled back. “We’re getting there.”
Next thing I knew we were making out again and somehow my robe got untied. The smell of bacon starting to burn brought us back to reality and I quickly tied up my robe while Eric dealt with the food. I started pulling out the electric griddle for pancakes while he mixed the batter. Being with him was so easy. I didn’t ever feel out of place or like I didn’t belong. We moved around one another so simply and with little to no argument over much of anything.
I kept waiting for us to find something to fight about, but nothing ever really seemed to come up. I knew it would happen eventually. No relationship was perfect and thanks to what had happened with Quinn, I knew better than to let myself fall into a situation where the person I was with agreed with me on absolutely everything. I didn’t want Eric to try and be something he wasn’t just to make me happy. It’s not like I wanted to fight him, necessarily, so much as I wanted to see how he handled it. He seemed to be the ‘let cooler heads prevail’ sort of person, whereas I tended to let my mouth run away from me when in a heated argument.
With Quinn, he’d always backed down to let me have my way. That is, unless we were talking about marriage or where we saw our future going. He didn’t bother to fight with me over why it was important for the towels to be washed once a week or why I had to make the bed first thing when I got up in the morning. The more I thought about it while I waited for my pancakes to be ready to flip, the more I realized I wasn’t the same woman I had been when I was with Quinn. Being around Eric had changed me a little.
He’d made me braver and more relaxed at the same time. His laid back surfer vibe had rubbed off on me. I loved that he could go from being the most mellow person I’d ever met to being the most passionate. Sometimes it felt like I got a two for one deal when I signed on to be Eric’s girlfriend. That also lead to thoughts of, “What the hell is he doing with me?,” but I didn’t let myself linger on thoughts like those.
We sat down to breakfast together in front of the television in the living room. We watched Cartoon Network like we were younger than the kids we taught. We agreed that old school Tom & Jerry cartoons were some of the best to ever be created, even with the lack of fancy visual effects. Eric’s impression of the maid yelling at ‘Thomas’ was hilarious. We left our plates on the coffee table and I curled up next to him, my head resting on his chest and his arm slung around my shoulders.
We ended up falling asleep that way. When I woke up, Eric was in the kitchen cleaning up from breakfast. I hopped off the couch to see if he needed a hand. “You could have woken me up, you know.”
“I know.” He turned to kiss me.
“So when do we get to go out and play?” I danced around like I had some serious ants in my pants and he laughed at me.
“Whenever you want, lover, but I would advise wearing more than a robe.” He winked at me.
“Smart ass.” I nudged him with an elbow. “Hey, you know, it’s too bad we don’t live in the middle of nowhere. We could run around naked in the snow.”
“You’re crazy.” He shook his head.
“Worried about shrinkage?” I looked down at his boxers with a serious expression on my face.
“Nope.” Eric turned to grin at me. “And you shouldn’t be either.”
“I guess only time will tell about that one.” I smirked and started to walk away.
Eric grabbed my forearm with his yet hand, turning me around. “You can count on it.”
Yikes. Yahoo. Yum.
Before we got to the fun stuff we managed to shovel a narrow path in the back that lead from the side door to the garage. Then we did a walk/crawl through the snow out front where the drifts were much higher and shoveled the front steps and the walk way. Eric did most of the heavy lifting, bless his heart, while I sprinkled salt and attempted to clean off our cars a little bit. The plows had come through and if we weren’t careful, we weren’t going to be able to get our cars out for work the next day. By the time we were done working we were both exhausted but we weren’t quite ready to go back in just yet.
Jeter had a ball he was more than willing to chase when we tossed it for him out in the backyard. We attempted to build a snowman, but Jeter kept getting in the way. We did, however, manage to have one hell of a snowball fight that only ended when the two of us were covered in snow from head to toe and wrestling in the dense powder. Thankfully we had the forethought to do the shoveling out front before we started goofing off, or it would have gone undone.
“I told you that salt was going to come in handy.” I wiggled against Eric, who I was straddling in the backyard after he let me wrestle him into submission.
“Lover, I’m hardly thinking about salt right now. Unless it’s the sort I can lick off your neck.” Eric pulled me down to kiss him.
After a few minutes and some serious grinding of my hips, I pulled away. “Okay, we are not giving the neighbors a show.”
“Said the woman who was just grinding against me like a cat in heat.” Eric teased with that impish look in his eyes.
“I think it’s time we find out whether or not you can really handle the cold as well as you say.” I pushed myself up to my feet. “Last one in the whirlpool has to clean up Jeter’s newspapers!” I shouted over my shoulder as I ran to the house.
The best thing about Eric’s basement was the bathroom down there. There was a whirlpool tub big enough for four people to sit in. We’d taken advantage of it a time or two, but not nearly as often as I would have liked. Not enough hours in the day and such. I pulled off my boots at the door and started the process of removing my layers of clothing and protective gear as I headed down the basement steps. Jeter was shaking himself off and heading over to his bed. He was clearly tuckered out from all the running around in the snow.
I got the water started in the tub and continued to pull off my wet clothes. Eric was doing the same thing behind me and before long we were both very naked and it was obvious Eric was right about his lack of shrinkage issues. Our skin was cold to the touch, but bright pink as blood started to flow back to our nerve endings.
“After you.” Eric gestured for me to get in the water. He held out his hand to steady me so I didn’t fall flat on my ass when I got in the tub. Stepping into it could be a bit of a safety hazard if you weren’t careful.
“I guess this means you’re in charge of cleaning up after Jeter, huh?”
I got myself settled in the water and watched Eric climb in. God, that ass of his… we sat there soaking and talking for a while. He asked me if there was anything I wanted to do while we were in California. We were going to be there for almost the full two weeks we had off for Christmas break. Eric had mentioned he’d made plans for New Year’s Eve, but refused to tell me what they were. I was okay with that since Eric never came up with plans that disappointed me. I used to hate surprises, but that was another thing that had changed since being with him.
I trusted him and because of that, it was easy to let go of control. I felt perfectly comfortable letting him take the wheel and be the awesome person he was. I knew he would never do anything to hurt me. He hated it when I cried, regardless of the reason for it, so I was fairly certain he would do anything to keep that from happening. Whatever he had up his sleeve, I was sure I was going to love it.
“I know this sounds cheesy, but I would really just love to go to the beach. I’m sure it’s not warm enough to swim right now, but just to hear the roar of the ocean, you know?” I drifted a little closer to him in the water.
“There’s nothing like it.” He admitted with a nostalgic smile on his face. “I remember the first time I saw the Pacific. We had literally just gotten to California and it was the first thing I wanted to see. Dad had to get to base so Mom took all of us. I remember she and Annika got in this huge fight over the bikini Annika wanted to wear. Man, could those two go at it. Mom said there was no way she was going to let her daughter go out of the house looking like she just got back from working The Strip. Annika thought Mom was being overprotective and uptight. Johan and I just sat there and kept quiet. They fought all the way to the beach. Then, all of a sudden there’s nothing but water. The fighting stopped and we just had fun. We ran in the sand for as long as Mom would let us before she wrangled us back into the car. I remember seeing the surfers there and being jealous of what they could do. It looked like magic to me.”
“Sounds like you had fun.”
“I did.” Eric pulled me closer.
“Do you miss it?”
“California?” I nodded. “Sometimes. The weather is always great and I like that it can be a much more relaxed atmosphere there. But it’s a double edged sword. I like that there’s a change of seasons here and every day is different. And besides, there’s no you in California.”
“I try.” His fingers found mine under the water. “What about you? Do you miss Louisiana?”
“Sometimes.” I smiled at him. “I miss hearing crickets chirp at night instead of planes flying over my head. I miss being able to sleep with my doors and windows open without worrying I’m going to be robbed or raped in the middle of the night. I miss swimming in the creek not far from my parents’ house. I miss the smells. But in Louisiana there’s no you.”
“If you wanted to move there, I’d go.” Eric revealed.
I hadn’t even thought of moving. “Eric, I don’t want to move back. I mean, yeah, I miss my family sometimes, but not enough that I want to leave what we have here. I like this house. I like the neighborhood and the kids we work with. I don’t want to go anywhere.”
He nodded, a slightly relieved expression on his face. What was that about? I wanted to ask but darn it if him kissing me didn’t distract me from my thoughts. I ended up straddling his lap with our hands roaming all over one another until I lifted myself up and lowered myself onto him. We moved slowly against each other, taking our time. Honestly, I wasn’t a big fan of sex in the tub. The shower was one thing, but the tub was an entirely different ball game. The sensations just weren’t the same, not that it was for lack of trying. Water sloshed around us, making a small mess on the floor and on the tiles that surrounded the high walls of the tub.
The resulting orgasm was good because, well, it was an orgasm, but it wasn’t one that had me screaming and praying for the speedy recovery of my legs afterward. It left me feeling loved and very relaxed and definitely wanting more. We stayed there in the water, clinging to one another for a few more minutes before deciding we’d had enough and got out of the tub. We went upstairs still wrapped in towels and got dressed. Eric located the pajama pants he’d worn at my parents house while I threw on my most comfy sweats.
“So what now?” Eric asked after we were dressed.
“We could watch a movie?” I suggested.
“I could be on board with that. I seem to recall owing you a little something on the couch.” Apparently I wasn’t the only one who was left wanting more.
I grinned at his suggestion but said, “Later. I think I have another idea. You go pick the movie and I’ll take care of the rest.”
Eric arched a questioning eyebrow at me but I shooed him out of the room. I had materials to gather. I went from room to room, closet to closet, taking the things I needed before dumping them all on the love seat. I pushed the coffee table off to the side of the room and got to work. Eric came into the living room with a selection of DVDs in his hand.
“What are you doing?” He arched a curious eyebrow at me.
“Building a pillow fort.” I said as if it were the most natural thing in the world. “If you’re nice, I’ll let you play in it.”
Eric shook with laughter like I’d just extended a challenge. “A pillow fort?”
“Yep. Don’t tell me you and Johan never did that when you were kids?”
“Not since we were about ten.”
“Then I’d say you’re long overdue.” I said as I continued construction.
Eric held up the DVDs and said, “I brought winter-themed options.”
“It’s your choice, remember?”
“Okay. Then National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation it is.” He waved the case at me.
“Good one!” I grinned. “You know, next to the animated version of How The Grinch Stole Christmas, that one is my favorite Christmas movie.”
Eric got the movie set up while I finished stacking pillows and blankets. “So, do I get to play in your fort?”
I looked up at him and said, “Yes, but there’s a rule and it has to be followed. It’s not up for negotiations.”
I stood up and pulled off my shirt. “No clothes allowed in the fort.”
Eric leered at me and said, “This is the best snow day I’ve ever had.” Then he dropped his pants.
It was my best snow day ever, too.