I told myself that I hadn’t gone over to Eric’s house with the intention of spending my night making out with him like we were a pair of horny teenagers, but I knew that was a big, fat lie. After those fifty minutes of barely there touching and the mother of all kisses he laid on me in my classroom after school, there was no way I could decline his invitation to come by his house for a while. Before I even got out of my car I felt him watching me. It was definitely a bit of an ego boost to know I could so completely steal his attention from whatever task was at hand. It was also a little scary.
I hadn’t planned to stay for dinner, much less hanging out afterward but the more we talked the more I found I liked him for reasons other than his kissing abilities or the fact that I’d had many orgasms the night we met. I didn’t regret that we’d slept together, although there was a part of me that was just a little embarrassed about it. It just wasn’t the way I was raised and it wasn’t the kind of girl I was. Or least I wasn’t until I met Eric. All of a sudden all of my rules seemed to be flying out the window. We hadn’t even been on a real date yet and I found myself back on his couch, running my fingers through his hair as we kissed.
We’d talked a little bit about the boundaries for what was acceptable behavior while we were on school grounds. I was all for letting loose when I was in a committed relationship and feeling frisky. I wasn’t so uptight about sex that we had to be in a bed every single time we had it, but there’s a big difference between being in the privacy of your own home and being in the workplace. And for us, our workplace involved children. Sure, the children we worked with were old enough to understand what sex was but that didn’t mean we should be giving a public display for them. Not to mention, I didn’t really think it was anyone’s business.
I wasn’t a kiss and tell kind of girl. Amelia and Pam knew that Eric and I had slept together, and that was really more than enough. I didn’t need my students coming to class and giving me the hairy eyeball over it. I got enough leers from male students, thank you very much. I wasn’t stupid. I’d had a teacher in high school that I’d had a crush on. I’d never acted on it, of course, but I’d had one. It was hard not to. I saw him five days a week. He was smart and funny. He was totally gorgeous. He talked to me like an adult and encouraged me to follow my passions. I can honestly say that if it weren’t for him, I’m not sure I would have become a history teacher.
But I was also smart enough to know it was just a crush and a little bit of hero worship. I didn’t try to convince myself that he could ever be anything more than my teacher. I saw the way Eric’s female students looked at him and I worried that if he and I were spotted fooling around on school grounds that not only might we lose our jobs, but that female students might start to come forward to accuse him of sexual misconduct. I didn’t want that. I didn’t want that one bit.
Eric’s hands sank from my jaw where he’d been holding my face, down to my chest where he started to unbutton my shirt. I let him and made a promise to myself that we wouldn’t go any further than the old school measure of second base. In no time at all, he got my shirt off. His mouth trailed down my neck, nipping and sucking at various spots until he found one that had my back arching. I felt him smile against my skin.
“No hickeys. We’re too old for that.” I muttered and he laughed quietly.
“Yes, Miss Stackhouse.” He said in a deep voice that had me shivering. So unfair.
I tugged his shirt off not long after that. I was surprised that he didn’t try to take off my bra but was thankful that he didn’t. If he did, then stopping would have been that much harder. Part of me- and I know exactly which part- was screaming at me that I was being silly. We’d already slept together. What would be the big deal if we did it again? The rest of me wanted this to be about something other than sex and if we just fell into bed every time we got within arm’s reach of one another, that wasn’t going to happen.
When I pulled away and reached for my shirt, Eric had a dazed look on his face. I could feel that my lips were swollen and a little sore from kissing for so long but it was a delicious feeling I hadn’t felt in a very long time. I found I was excited about Eric and not just in a sex way. The newness of him was something I didn’t want to take for granted. I wanted to enjoy it for as long as it could last.
“I think we should continue this tomorrow.” I said as I buttoned up my shirt.
“Study hall?” Eric teased, his fingers ghosting up my spine like they’d done earlier.
I let out a quiet moan and leaned into him and kissed him slowly. “No, not in study hall. We have a date, remember?”
“Trust me, it’s been on my mind.” He pulled me closer and kissed me again.
When he moved to deepen the kiss I pulled back. Always leave them wanting more, right? “It’s getting late.”
He sighed and his head sank back. “Damn school nights.”
“It’ll be morning before you know it.” I climbed off his lap and walked across the room to get my shoes on.
“Let me walk you to your car.” He offered, but I stopped him.
“Mmm, I don’t think so.” I gave him a mischievous grin.
“Why not?” He pouted at me.
“Because if you walk me to my car you’re going to want to kiss me goodnight and I can’t stand out there in these shoes for another hour while you do.” I picked up my purse and slung it over my shoulder.
“Those are wonderful shoes.” Eric gave me a hungry look as his eyes swept my body.
“Be a good boy and I’ll wear them for you again.” I winked at him.
He growled and then pushed me up against the front door with his lips crashing down on mine. He kissed me until we were breathless again and I pushed him away. The part of me that didn’t want to leave was very angry at me for being so stubborn. I bit my lower lip to keep myself from saying, “Fuck it.”
I stepped out of the way and Eric unlocked his front door for me. “I had a lovely evening with you, Miss Stackhouse.”
“So did I, Mr. Northman. I’ll see you tomorrow.” I smiled up at him.
He offered me one last kiss on the back of my hand and then opened the screen door for me. He held it as I walked past him, inhaling the smell of my hair as I went. I walked down the front steps and across the street to my car. I turned before getting in and I blew him a kiss.
Then before my lady business could talk me into changing my mind, I went home.
I left my house a little earlier than I had the day before so I could stop for coffee. My impromptu dinner with Eric had prevented me from stopping to buy a new coffee maker. I would need to do that on my way home. I arrived at the school just before seven. Like the day before, Eric was running around the track when I pulled up and parked in the same space as I usually did. I stopped when I got to the chain link fence to watch him run. He looked damn good jogging along, lost in his own world.
When he came down the straight away and saw me standing there watching him, he smiled at me. I walked closer to the entrance of the school so we’d be blocked a bit more if he stopped to say hello, which, of course, he did. I held my coffee cup in one hand and my keys in the other.
“Good morning,” He stepped close to the fence like he was caged in.
“Good morning to you. I don’t know how you get up and go running every morning. It’s all I can do to get my bones out of bed and be here on time.” I sighed and sipped my coffee.
“I like exercise in the morning. Gets your heart rate up and sets the tone for the day.”
“So you run every morning, then?”
“Only when I don’t have,” He looked me up and down, taking in the gray pants that were slung low on my hips and the pale pink v-neck tank top I was wearing. “Other ways of getting my heart rate up.”
“I’m sure that’s not all you get up.” I smirked at him.
“Language, Miss Stackhouse. There might be minors present.” He clucked his tongue at me.
“This from the man who suggested we continue last night in study hall?”
“That was last night.” He shrugged and pressed himself against the fence. “What time should I come by later?”
“How’s six?” It seemed early but I was the sort who needed at least seven hours of sleep if I was going to be tolerable to be around and I was sure we’d need time for something other than eating.
“Sounds perfect.” He agreed. “Can I bring anything?”
“Just you.” I stepped closer and looked around to make sure we were alone. “So, I’ll see you in study hall, then?”
“If not sooner.”
My breath caught at the idea of being yanked into a dark hallway by him but I quickly chased that idea from my head. Boundaries, Sookie, we just discussed them last night, I chided myself. Eric seemed to be having thoughts similar to my own.
“Not on school grounds, remember?” I used my best strict teacher voice.
“You’re a hard ass.”
“I try.” I shrugged, but then broke my own rule by leaning forward and kissing him quickly. “Enjoy your run, Mr. Northman.”
“Oh, I plan to. I’ll see you later, Miss Stackhouse.”
I turned to see him put his earbuds back in and then be on his way. I couldn’t stop the grin that spread across my face as I walked into the school to start my day.
When I got down to study hall that afternoon I saw Eric sitting at the same table as the day before, waiting for me to take my seat beside him. I stopped in my tracks and smiled at him. I got a very clear message from my lady business that I was wasting perfectly good flirting time by standing there, but the more rational side of my brain told me to sit somewhere else to avoid a potentially big problem. When I had to stand there and have a debate with myself, I knew I was officially in big trouble.
In the end, the rational side won out once again, and while I did smile and wave in Eric’s direction, I chose another chair on the other side of the room. He looked over at me with confusion and I’m sure he wondered what the hell I was doing sitting way over on the other side of the room. I just shrugged in response with a wicked grin on my face. He shook his head and went back to his laptop that was perched in front of him.
I got my computer set up and logged into my email. I was in the process of sending an email to the girls from last year’s Pom squad to let them know try outs would be the following Wednesday. No one was guaranteed a walk onto my squad. If they wanted to be on it, they’d have to try out all over again just like they had in previous years. To me, that was the only fair way to do it. I had just sent the email when a new one popped into my box from none other than Eric.
I grinned like a big dork and clicked on the message, and before I knew it, we were emailing back and forth.
TO: Sookie Stackhouse
FROM: Eric Northman
SUBJECT: You’re Too Far Away
What are you doing sitting all the way over there? I was looking forward to sitting with you, even if we can’t talk. But I guess this will have to do. How’s your day going?
TO: Eric Northman
FROM: Sookie Stackhouse
SUBJECT: Re: You’re Too Far Away
If I sit next to you now there’s a big chance at least one of us won’t be able to behave and then what will we have to look forward to later? I am a lady, after all. Besides, how did you get my email address? You aren’t stalking me, are you?
TO: Sookie Stackhouse
FROM: Eric Northman
SUBJECT: You don’t play fair
No, I’m not stalking you. I figured that if I have a school email address, you must, too. Either that, or this is all a big jedi mind trick. And I think there’s plenty to look forward to later. I don’t know what I’m more excited about… dinner or dessert. I’m fairly certain that whatever you plan on cooking up for me with be delicious.
TO: Eric Northman
FROM: Sookie Stackhouse
SUBJECT: Watch your tone
If this is a jedi mind trick, it’s a good one. As for later- you’ll just have to wait and see. I’m not a big schemer, so don’t get your hopes up too high. I’m not very diabolical. But I most certainly do have a plan for dessert. It’ll melt in your mouth 😉
TO: Sookie Stackhouse
FROM: Eric Northman
Now who needs to watch who’s tone? I don’t suppose I could talk you into meeting me in a dark hallway for a taste of said dessert that will melt in my mouth?
TO: Eric Northman
FROM: Sookie Stackhouse
SUBJECT: Re: Tease
I believe we had a discussion in regards to the rules last night. There will be no meeting in dark hallways to sample dessert. I would hate to spend the first course of our dinner this evening disciplining you for being naughty. Don’t test me. I’ll do it. I am a hard ass, remember?
After I sent that email, I looked over Eric’s way and waited for him to receive it. The look on his face was priceless, as was the shift in his chair. The fact that I made him squirm a little bit had me smiling from ear to ear. When he looked my way he just about leveled me with a look that was so intense I did a little squirming of my own. Maybe emailing back and forth wasn’t such a good idea after all.
TO: Sookie Stackhouse
FROM: Eric Northman
SUBJECT: Disciplinary Action
Please accept my formal apology for any offense I may have caused you, and allow me to explain my behavior. You see, I recently met this woman who seems to cause a short circuit in my brain every time I get near her. She’s very beautiful and extremely sexy. It’s hard to think about anything very rationally when she’s around. If you were in my situation, I’m sure you would understand. But you should know that I am not above accepting the consequences for my indiscretions, particularly if you are the one to dole out the punishment.
Damn, he was good at this. I had to bite back a giggle that would disrupt the entire room. I looked over at Eric to see the sly smirk on his face. I tried to come up with a response that would leave him squirming and wondering, when the bell rang. Ha! Saved by the bell! I closed my computer and began to gather my things. Eric walked over to my table, trying to make it look like he was casually passing me on his way out. His fingertips ghosted the back of my neck and then he was gone.
On my way home I stopped at the grocery store to pick up some last minute ingredients I knew I didn’t have stocked in my kitchen. Then I ran into Target going straight to where the coffee makers were to keep myself from walking out with a $100 in merchandise I didn’t need. I don’t know what it is about that store, but every time I went in there it seemed like things just jumped into my cart.
There are few things I will splurge on, and coffee was one of them. I probably paid more for the machine than I should but I knew it would be worth it. Amelia had one and I had been envying her for as long as we’d been neighbors. I realized, as I was walking to my car, that my old maker had done me a favor by breaking since I could now justify the purchase of the machine I was holding.
I raced home so I could get changed out of my work clothes. The last thing I needed was to get spattered with barbecue sauce while manning the grill on my deck. I planned to enjoy eating outside for as long as the weather would permit. It was a bit muggy outside but I was used to that. I parked in my garage to avoid Amelia coming out to chat. I really didn’t have the time for it. Besides, I knew she’d be popping in the next morning while I was getting ready for work so I could tell her all about dinner. She’d caught me coming in the night before and stared me down with knowing eyes. On school nights I was rarely home past five if I wasn’t working with my squad. She knew something was up and she didn’t hesitate to tell me she had a pretty good idea she knew what that thing was.
I traded in my work clothes for a pair of snug jeans and Nirvana t-shirt. I debated wearing something a bit dressier since this was supposed to be a date but the whole point of it was for Eric to get to know me, and I was a jeans and t-shirts sort of girl on most days. I definitely had fancier attire in my closet but I didn’t see the point of hauling it out so I could stand over a grill or a stove for an hour. Besides, something told me he would appreciate a tight t-shirt and snug jeans than he would an almost shapeless shift dress I would have to cinch at the waist. I wanted to be comfortable and relaxed and I wouldn’t be if I was fidgeting with my clothes every few minutes.
I had just started the grill when there was a knock at the door. It was five minutes until six. My heart skipped a beat and I had to tell myself to breathe normally. I restrained myself from running to the front door. When I got there I opened it to find Eric standing on my porch. He had a new bottle of wine in one hand and flowers in the other.
“You’re early.” I smiled at him.
“Well, I got the impression that I was already in trouble earlier and I didn’t want to risk raising your ire by being tardy, Miss Stackhouse. Punctuality is important.” He said in a teasing tone.
“Yes, Mr. Northman, I take tardiness very seriously.” I grinned at him and he handed over the flowers. Simple white daises. I loved them. “Come in.”
Eric walked into the house and held up the wine. “I know you said I didn’t need to bring anything, but this is pretty good stuff and goes well with chicken.”
I took the bottle from him and checked the label. Good vintage. “Thanks. I’m just getting started on the prep stuff. I ended up having to make a few stops on my way home so I’m a little bit behind.”
He followed me into the kitchen where I had chicken breasts on a plate waiting to be seasoned so I could get them on the grill. “Need any help?”
“How are you at peeling potatoes?” I asked over my shoulder.
“Ninja, huh?” I handed over a vegetable peeler.
He got to work peeling the potatoes while I snipped fresh green beans. We worked side by side and talked about things that were happening at school already. I filled him in my try outs in the next week. He told me about a kid who got smacked in the face with a volleyball earlier and ended up in the nurse’s office with a possible broken nose. The conversation was easy and it felt like we’d known each other for years instead of just a few days.
I rinsed my hands and decided to turn on some music. I loved music and almost always had it on. “So, Mr. Northman, what are your musical preferences?”
“What do you have?”
“You name it, I’ve probably got it, or something awfully close to it.” I scanned the playlists on my iPod.
“I’m a pretty big fan of early to mid 90s rock.”
“Oh?” I turned to smile at him and held out my t-shirt as much as I could. “So this gets you going?”
Eric nodded and said, “Yeah, and the band is pretty good, too.”
I would have rolled my eyes if my blush wouldn’t have beat me to a reaction. “Alright, then grunge it is.”
The first song that came up was “Sex Type Thing” by Stone Temple Pilots. I don’t think a more perfect song could have played right at that moment- if you ignore the possible allusion to rape. Eric and I both laughed. As I made my way back to the counter to start dicing up the potatoes that he’d peeled for me.
“You know, you’re right? You are pretty ninja.” I nudged him with my hip.
“I can’t believe you ever doubted me. You should see what I can do with a carrot.”
I giggled and said, “I’m sure it’s a sight to behold.”
Eric finished peeling the potatoes and then leaned against the counter next to me. “I had a dream the other night and this song was in it.”
“Really? You think it was a psychic thing?” I was only slightly teasing. I had dreams all the time where something happened that would end up happening in the future. It was freaky as all hell, mostly because I had no way of knowing when those things would occur.
“If it weren’t for the fact that the song was playing when I woke up, I probably would.” He explained with a smile.
“What was your dream about?” I looked over at him. He shifted a little, clearly uncomfortable with answering the question. “You don’t have to tell me if you don’t want to.”
“It’s not that I don’t want to tell you so much as I’m not sure it’s first date appropriate subject matter.”
“Really?” I arched an eyebrow. I was slightly intrigued. “We weren’t, like, getting married in your dream, were we?”
Eric laughed and said, “Nope, definitely not married. Lets just say we were definitely breaking some of the workplace rules we’ve discussed.”
“Ah ha.” I grinned and dumped my diced potatoes into a waiting pot. “Speaking of, it’s a good thing the bell rang when it did this afternoon or I think we would have gotten ourselves into some serious hot water.”
“Were you not having fun?”
I reached into one of the drawers to get a corkscrew so Eric could open the wine. “I was having a little too much fun. Therein lies the problem.” I handed over the odd piece of metal.
Eric went to work opening the wine and I had to force myself not to stare at his arms while he did it. All that flexing and twitching wasn’t very good for keeping my lady business quiet since it was so anxious to get back in the driver’s seat in the decision making department. Instead, I busied myself with getting the potatoes cooking and the beans steaming. The chicken wouldn’t take very long to cook in comparison to everything else and I had it down to a science.
I retrieved wine glasses from a cabinet and put them down on the counter next to Eric. I left him briefly to go check the grill to make sure it was up to temperature. So far, everything was going according to plan, which made me nervous. The evil pessimist that lived in the back of my mind was taunting me, telling me that eventually something was going to get fucked up. I took a few deep breaths and then turned to go back inside, only to find Eric coming with two glasses in his hands.
“Thank you.” I took the glass he offered me.
He held out his glass to me for a toast and with a devilish smirk he said, “To disciplinary action.”
I giggled and said, “I’ll drink to that.”
Amelia just so happened to choose that moment to come thundering outside on a great big huff. “He can turn on that stupid PS2 but can he turn on the water? No! I swear, one of these days that damn machine is going in the wood chipper!” Amelia stomped around her deck and then water appeared up in the air over the high fence that separated our properties. “Men!” She shouted for good measure and then went back in the house.
“Uh oh.” I shook my head.
“Looks like someone’s in the doghouse.” Eric agreed.
“Oh, you have no idea.” I couldn’t help but laugh. “Living next door to those two is like living next door to the Ricardos sometimes.”
Eric burst out laughing. “And here I thought I had it rough with my neighbor being the Red Menace.”
“Red Menace?” Before I knew it my hand had flung itself out to rest on his chest while I doubled over laughing. After getting a look at his neighbor the day before I knew all too well how accurate that nickname was.
“She asked about you again this morning when I took Jeter outside.” Eric informed me.
“What’d you tell her?”
“Absolutely nothing. Who you are is none of her business.” Eric sipped his wine.
There was a little part of me that was disappointed that the word ‘girlfriend’ hadn’t come out of his mouth, but I was immediately chastising myself for that. I was a bit stunned by own revelation. Did I want to be Eric’s girlfriend? Did I want him telling people I was his girlfriend? Yes, I think I did. Huh. You could have knocked me over with a feather at that moment.
“Sookie, are you okay?” Eric asked nervously and I realized what my face must have looked like.
“Oh, yeah, sorry.” I shook my head and smiled with a hint of embarrassment.
He looked like he was going to say something but then quickly changed his mind. “I can handle this out here if you need to do stuff inside.”
My heart sank a little further. He wanted to be away from me. “That would be great, thanks.” I put on my emergency smile and headed toward the house.
“Sookie,” He called to me when I was getting to the screen door and turned him. “I didn’t call you my girlfriend because we haven’t talked about it yet, not because I don’t want you to be.”
Goodbye emergency smile, hello happy dance! “Okay.” I grinned at him for real, and then went into the house.