October 5, 2010
I strolled into my hotel room with a sly grin on my face and my tie hanging around my neck and my shirt untucked. I went to the bathroom and started the shower, just as there was a pounding on my door. I didn’t bother looking through the peephole before I opened the door to find a very pissed off Felipe de Castro standing there with fire in his eyes.
“Where the hell have you been?” he demanded.
“Tone.” I reminded him. His Latin temper had a way of flaring up when he didn’t get his way.
“Fuck were you? We were supposed to-”
“Did you have a brain fart for breakfast? I’m your boss, Felipe. I don’t need a lecture from you. In fact, I’ve really had it with your tantrums. If you are unsatisfied working for me, you have two options: you can put in for a transfer or you can quit. So either suck it up, or move on. Either way, this bullshit with you trying to control me ends now. Your choice.” I glared down at him, not at all intimidated like he was hoping I would be. Him trying to intimidate me was like a Chihuahua trying to intimidate a Great Dane.
“Fine. When we get back, I’ll be putting in for a transfer to Russell’s team.”
“Good riddance.” I waved him off and headed for the shower.
I had just stepped into the shower when I heard the slam of the suite door. I really was in no mood to deal with Felipe’s passive-aggressive bullshit. I’d been hearing it from almost the beginning. He had assumed he was going to be promoted when my predecessor moved on to another opportunity. Only, as it turned out, the higher ups had their eye on me for the job. Peter Threadgill himself took time out of his busy schedule to meet with me. Felipe had been beyond pissed when he found out he was being passed over for a guy who really was the new kid on the block.
I didn’t know shit about the insurance business, but I knew how to sell things. I also had an eye for finding things with value. I was good at spotting potential and helping it mature into what it was destined to become. Blue Bayou was a stellar example, and I had every intention of pushing a deal through to acquire them as partners. I knew that before I even arrived in Shreveport. I’d done enough reading on their business trending to know where their weaknesses were, and which strengths needed building.
I went in very prepared, knowing every single angle of attack and every question that needed asking. I had invited Felipe along because I thought he could use the chance to see how I work. The man has potential when he’s not whining about how he never gets what’s due him. Unfortunately, he doesn’t really put in the same effort I do. I didn’t really care what happened to him, so long as he wasn’t my problem anymore. I was through with the tantrums.
What I hadn’t been prepared for was seeing Sookie sitting there behind the reception desk, looking like a naughty librarian. At first, I wasn’t sure it was her, but the way she looked at me…damn. I tried to remember if she was always that beautiful. Her voice sounded exactly like I remembered, and her smile was just as bright. Had I really been stupid enough to walk away from her without so much as a goodbye after our night together? Yes, I had been.
Concentrating on the meeting was damn near impossible with Sookie just a few feet away. I could still smell her, and the scent took me back in time. I’d thought of her once a while in the years that passed. At first, I’d kicked myself for leaving her like I did. Pam had been the one to find us asleep up in the press box. She’d given me all sorts of hell for taking advantage of Sookie. Well, she had assumed I did, and I couldn’t blame her for it. At that point in my life I wasn’t looking for a relationship.
But I wouldn’t have minded being in one with Sookie. Something between us just clicked. Being with her was easy. If we wouldn’t have been in such different places in our lives, I would have made more of an effort to keep tabs on her. At the very least, we could have been friends. I took the easy way out and told myself I was doing her a favor by disappearing. Maybe I did. Maybe trying to make something more of that one night would have been a mistake.
It took me a long time to understand I should have at least given her the choice. Instead, I ran like the coward I was back then. I didn’t let myself get attached to anything or anyone. I had a serious “free bird” complex that sent me from place to place with little regard for any messes I may be leaving in my wake. I did a lot of things I wasn’t proud of and I hurt a lot of good people along the way because I was a selfish asshole.
It was in the quiet moments- when the world seemed vast, and I felt lonely in it- that I thought of Sookie. I thought about how concerned she was to not have a plan for her life, and how my dumb ass had encouraged her to walk the same lonesome path I’d chosen. I had no business giving advice to a tree stump, much less an impressionable teenage girl.
But if I had to guess, it looked like she found her way just fine.
October 4th, 2010
“So, Eric, what do you say?” Sophie-Anne sat forward in her chair, an intense expression on her face.
“I think you’ve made an excellent presentation for me to take back to Vegas.” I was still good at being noncommittal, only now I mostly kept it to business practices. Finally, my dubious nature was paying off.
“Oh, come on, Eric. No need to play coy.” Sophie-Anne’s tone turned flirty. It wasn’t going to help.
“You know how it is. There are numbers to crunch and department heads to consult. But, I give you my word that you’ll have our decision no later than a week from Wednesday.” I promised her.
She narrowed her eyes at me, then suggested we adjourn for lunch. Felipe went to the restroom. Sophie-Anne went to her office to retrieve her things. I went over to Sookie’s desk where she was staring at one of two monitors in front of her, a half eaten sandwich on her desk to the right.
“You know, it’s not good to work through your lunch.” I said to get her attention.
Sookie’s chair swiveled some so we were face to face. “Usually I don’t, but I didn’t want to miss you. Besides, you guys were already sitting where I usually have lunch.” She grabbed a business card off her desk and handed it to me. “My cell number is on the back.”
I read the card and couldn’t help but grin. It wasn’t just because she gave me her number, but because after more than a decade of trying to figure it out, I finally knew her last name.
“Sookie Stackhouse.” I said with a smile.
“That’s me.” She nodded.
“I should have expected something unique. Your name suits you.”
She smiled warmly and sat back in her seat. “So, how long are you in town for?”
“Until the day after tomorrow. I have some personal business to attend to while I’m here.” I tried to keep my tone level. There were lots of things Sookie didn’t know about me.
“Ready?” Sophie-Anne appeared from out of nowhere.
“Yep, let’s go.” I slipped the business card into my pocket and smiled once more at Sookie who made a motion with her hand for me to call her.
I followed Sophie-Anne out of the office, starting a mental countdown of how long it would be until I’d see Sookie again. I wasn’t really there at lunch time. I was too busy thinking about Sookie, and the personal business I had mentioned to her. By the time Sophie-Anne declared lunch was over, my brain was already on its way to Bon Temps. My body just needed to catch up.
Felipe and I parted ways, with him heading back to the hotel to write up some stupid report no one was going to look at anyway. My opinion was the one that counted, and it was my voice Peter would be listening to when recommendations were given. I got in my rental car and drove the hour east to Bon Temps.
I sat in the rental car across the street from the elementary school, watching the kids run and scream as they chased one another and played on the various equipment bolted into the ground. My eyes searched for one child in particular, a small blonde girl with bright blue eyes and a dimple in her chin. When I found her, I couldn’t help but smile. Her hair was plated into pigtails, and she was wearing a pale pink dress. I hadn’t seen her in months.
There was a knock on the passenger’s side window, and I turned to see Holly standing there looking all sorts of pissed off. I pushed the button to let the window down enough for her to stick her head in.
“Unlock the door.” She commanded.
I hesitated for a moment before doing as she so politely asked. “Nice to see you, too, Holl.”
“Fuck you, Eric.” She cursed as she sat down next to me. Holly and I didn’t have a good history. “What are you doing here?”
“I’m in town for business. I wanted to see her.”
Holly snorted through her nose and shook her head. “Well, this is as close as you’re going to get.”
“I know,” I nodded, and looked to my right to see a very nice piece of jewelry on an important finger. “You’re getting married.”
“Did you think I was going to wait for you to come back?” Holly glared straight ahead.
I stayed silent. Holly was one of the people I’d hurt for no reason, other than I could. “Holly, I’m sor-”
“No!” she shouted at me. “No, you don’t get to apologize and think that it makes up for one second of all the shit you put me through.”
I sighed, wishing there was a way to make it better. “I was a dick.”
She laughed and finally looked over at me. “To put it nicely. Look, she’s happy, okay? Hoyt’s been good to her.”
That name sounded familiar, but I couldn’t place it. “Are you happy?”
“Yes, I am.” she said with conviction. “And more importantly, I love him. He’s been a good father to your daughter.”
There was a stabbing pain in my heart. “She’s better not knowing me.”
“You’re a fucking coward, you know that? You talk a big game, but you’re just a scared, weak little boy. Always running from one thing to the other, waiting for some life that’s never going to happen. Grow up, Eric,” her voice was dripping with venom, and I really couldn’t blame her. “Have you ever loved anything but yourself?”
My silence was answer enough.
She sniffled beside me and opened the door. “Stay away from her.”
The door slammed, and I was left alone in the car to watch Holly go retrieve the little girl. Her daughter. My daughter. Our daughter. Her name was Maci. She was six-years-old, and she was absolutely beautiful. I didn’t know anything about her, other than her birthday, and the fact that I wasn’t listed as her father on her birth certificate. While I’d donated half of her DNA, I had never been her father, and I never would be. That job went to another man. A man far more deserving of her than I was.
I watched as Holly pushed her on the swings for a while before leading her back to the car. Holly gave me a pointed stare, and I drove away so she wouldn’t think I was following her. I knew if I wanted to, I could find out where she lived. I just figured if it was best I keep my distance. Maybe I was a coward for not fighting for my daughter, but the way I saw it, we would never have much of a relationship. I was in Las Vegas. It was my home. It was where my work was. How fair would it be to a little girl to have a dad who came and went when his schedule allowed?
I let her go because it was what was best for her. I had at least another hour to kill before I could meet Sookie. I decided to spend it back at my hotel, which was conveniently right across the street from Sookie’s office. I pulled into the parking lot of the hotel a few minutes later, and looked across the street at the office building Sookie was working inside. A breeze kicked up and I headed inside.
I was tired from my early flight, and I didn’t want to cut the night short with Sookie because I was too tired to follow the conversation. I went up to my room on the fifth floor, stripped down to my boxers and fell onto the king size bed. I let my eyes close, and I was immediately flooded with images of the night I met Sookie.
I went down to the hotel bar to wait for her. I had called her when I woke up from my nap, and she had suggested we meet there. I was surprised to see her already sitting at the back end of the room. I stopped at the bar and started a tab. Soon after that, I was walking toward Sookie with a vodka gimlet in my hand. She smiled and stood up when she saw me approaching her.
“I hope you haven’t been waiting long.” I said to her.
“No, not at all. I’m glad you found the place,” she teased with a wink, then leaned forward to accept the kiss I placed on her cheek. I lingered for just a moment, inhaling the smell of her perfume.
“I’m glad you could meet me tonight.” I said as I sat down in the chair across from hers.
She looked amazing. She’d obviously gone home to change. She’d lost her hip hugging pinstripe skirt and red silk shirt for a decidedly more relaxed ice blue dress that showed an ample amount of cleavage with a soft white cardigan over it. Her legs were long and tan and made of graceful lines as she crossed them and arranged her skirt in her lap.
“Me, too! I definitely didn’t expect to see you this morning.”
“That’s understandable. It’s been a long time. So, tell me, Sookie, how’ve you been?”
“I’ve been good. After that night in Wisconsin I had a lot to think about. I went to college like I planned. I got great grades and didn’t party too much. I had a few boyfriends and I spent the summer in Europe before my senior year where I had a few more boyfriends.” Sookie admitted with a slight blush. “But then after college, I found myself in a bit of a free fall. I figured out just how much I thrive on structure and routine, so I went back and got my master’s degree.”
“And now you’re a receptionist at an insurance agency?” I was sure I was missing a few pieces of the puzzle.
“It’s a little complicated, but after I finished college, I stayed where I was in Savannah. I got a job in the human resources department of the corporate offices for Baba Rum, which is a fairly large chain restaurant in Georgia. Anyway…while I was there, I got involved with a co-worker in another department. Things got pretty serious between us. We were living together and everything. I thought he was the one and we would get married. Then, one night, I’m coming home from work and his wife confronted me outside of our house. Turns out he was married the entire time and never told me. The bastard had three kids, a mortgage and was talking about having another baby with his wife and he never told me about any of it.
“I felt like a damn fool. When I confronted him with the information his wife had given me, he didn’t deny any of it. He gave me the same song and dance I would assume most married men give their mistresses when they want to have their cake and eat it, too. I kicked his ass to the curb, changed the locks on the house and ultimately ended up quitting my job. It was just too painful to see him all the time. I felt humiliated. How stupid was I to be so blind? Looking back on it now, I see the little things I should have seen before and just paid no attention to. I sold the house and moved back here.
“I took some time off to get settled before I started looking for a job. I also spent a very nice week Greece. While I was there, I figured if those old Ruins could withstand the test of time, so could I. So I came back to Louisiana with a new attitude and determination to find a job that I cared about. I applied to Blue Bayou on a whim, not knowing a damn thing about insurance or how it works. My boss and I instantly got along, and the next day I had a job offer. I’ve been working there for that last four years now, and I love it.” She finished with sparkling eyes and a sip of her drink.
“Sounds like you’ve had a very eventful ten years.” I smiled at her.
“I have. I’ve learned a lot, that’s for sure. Although, I have to confess something.” Sookie leaned forward a bit. “Even knowing what I know now, I wouldn’t trade that night in Wisconsin for anything.”
“I wouldn’t either.” I agreed. I really wouldn’t trade it.
“So what about you? What have you been up to for the last ten years?” Sookie stirred her drink.
“Well, I continued traveling after the summer ended. Everyone else settled down to find jobs, get married, have kids or get back to grad school, but I kept on traveling. I stayed mostly in this country, but I did spend a little time in Europe as well. I ended up making Las Vegas my home base because I figured out small town living just wasn’t for me. I needed the hustle and noise of a city. I’ve spent time in New York, but I really do think Vegas is the city that never sleeps. I started bartending. The money was good and the fringe benefits were even better.
“It was around my twenty-fifth birthday that I met Holly. She was in town for spring break from college. We had a fling, but it didn’t last since she had to get back to school. About nine weeks later, I get a phone call from her. She was pregnant.” I paused there to see Sookie’s eyes go wide. “My daughter was born on New Years Eve that year. Holly, as it turns out, is a local here. I didn’t know that when we met. She was going to school in Tennessee. My daughter, Maci, is almost seven.”
“Oh my God.” Sookie shook her head.
She reached into her purse and scrambled to find something. Seconds later she produced her wallet and yanked it open. She turned it around when she found what she was looking for and thrust it at me.
“Is this Maci?” She asked as I stared in disbelief at my daughter’s face.
“How do you…” I was stunned.
“I’ve known Holly since we were kids! Maci is my Goddaughter.” Sookie laughed.
“No fucking way.” I looked up to see her laughing.
“Oh, this is just too weird!” Sookie shook her head. “What are the odds of something like this happening?”
“Pretty slim, I would think.” I handed her wallet back to her.
“Maci is a great kid. I can see you in her.” Sookie said as she put her wallet back in her purse. “It’s funny how there was always something familiar about her but I could never quite place it. Now it all makes sense.”
I was surprised she didn’t seem to be more pissed off over my absentee father status, so I had to ask her why she was so okay with it all. “You don’t think I’m a dick for not being a bigger part of Maci’s life?”
Sookie looked at me with scrutinizing eyes. “Do you want to be a bigger part of her life?”
“I’d like to, but it would mean leaving Las Vegas, and I don’t want to do that. It’s home for me. I know that sounds selfish-”
“It does.” Sookie cut me off. “It is. Kids are supposed to come first.”
I wasn’t sure what the right thing was to say, but thankfully, Sookie wasn’t finished yet.
“But if you don’t think you’re capable of giving her what she needs, then it’s better that you stay away. She’s got a good thing with Holly and Hoyt.”
“Hoyt? Holly mentioned him earlier. Why does that name sound so familiar?”
“You met him in Wisconsin.” Sookie reminded me.
I searched my memory to try and place him. Ah, yes. “You mean the tall, nice but dumb guy?” I smiled.
“That would be an oversimplified characterization of Hoyt, but yes.”
“So he’s been playing Daddy all these years?”
“Not playing, Eric, doing. He loves Maci like she’s his own. He’s really good with her and she adores him.” Sookie told me.
I wasn’t quite sure how to feel about that. I suppose it was only natural. I’d only seen Maci a handful of times in her life. She knew I was her father from a biological standpoint, but I knew I wasn’t her Daddy. I had mixed feelings where Maci was concerned.
“That’s good.” I didn’t know what else to say. “She should have parents she can depend on.”
“It doesn’t bother you at all that you aren’t one of those parents?”
“Sometimes, yeah, it does. I wish I could do better for her. I do my part financially, but I know it’s about more than writing a check every month.”
“Yeah, it is.” Sookie nodded and smiled. “So, how did you end up at Black Diamond?”
“I met the president of the company while I was tending bar. I guess he liked my style and approach to things? I’m honestly not sure what he saw in me, but he offered me a job in their acquisitions department. I turned it down, at first, but Peter was persistent. He offered me an absurd amount of money and I couldn’t say no. It turns out I actually have a pretty good eye for businesses worth acquiring. I’ve made Peter a lot of money in the last five years.” I told her.
“So it all comes down to the almighty dollar anyway, huh?” She smirked at me. “Ironic, isn’t it?”
“It turns out I was a little harsh on my stance there. Money itself isn’t a terrible thing. It depends on the value a person places on it. My parents made it this huge priority in their lives. It was all they ever really thought about. To me, it’s not that big of a deal. I could quit my job tomorrow and be fine.”
“Could you really?” she looked skeptical.
“I might not be as happy as I am now, but that has more to do with liking my job than the money I get paid to do it.”
“Could you do it from here? I mean, for Maci’s sake.” I thought for a moment before she said, “Never mind. It’s none of my business and I have no right to judge you.”
My eyebrows shot up into my hairline. “You’re judging me?”
“Truthfully, yes, I think you’re being damn selfish. You’re telling yourself you walked away because it’s in Maci’s best interest, but I’m not Holly. I’d like to think that even though we didn’t know each other long, we knew each other well. And the Eric I know? He’s not ready for real responsibility. That would include raising a child.”
I wanted to tell her she was wrong, but she wasn’t. She was completely right. I was making excuses so I wouldn’t feel like too much of a prick for choosing myself over my daughter.
“I’m an asshole.”
Sookie laughed and said, “Don’t be too hard on yourself. It’s one of your best qualities.”
We slipped into easier topics after that, trading stories about the places we’d been, the jobs we had and the people we’d met. We had a few more drinks while we were talking, and before either of us knew it, it was midnight. Seeing her again had been wonderful. I was hoping I’d get to see her once more before I left for Las Vegas, but I didn’t want to push my luck.
“I should be going.” Sookie said at about twelve thirty, and much to my disappointment.
“It’s late, and I do have to work in the morning,” she reminded me with a small smile.
“Right, of course. Let me drive you home.” I offered, since she was in no position to drive.
“No, it’s okay, I can take a cab.”
“Sookie, don’t be ridiculous. I can drive you.”
“Eric, you’ve been drinking as much as I have. I’ll just take a cab. I’ll be fine.”
“Well, I can at least go wait with you. The air will sober me up a little.” I stood and extended a hand to help her up.
Only the second my hand touched hers, I knew she was never going to get in the cab. Or if she did, she wouldn’t be getting in it alone. She excused herself to use the ladies’ room while I settled the tab at the bar. I went outside and asked the bellman to hail a cab for Sookie. She found me standing outside with her purse tucked under her arm and her hair taken down from the ponytail it had been in all day.
“You should wear your hair down more.” I smiled as she approached.
“Usually I do. It’s just easier to have it up with the shirt I was wearing earlier,” she explained.
I never would understand the way the female mind worked. We stood there making small talk until the cab pulled up. And then, there it was, the moment of truth. I didn’t want to say goodbye, and from the way she looked at me, I knew Sookie didn’t want to either. The bellman opened the door of the cab for her, and she looked over her shoulder at it before folding her arms around me.
“It was really good to see you again, Eric. Give me a call some time. Maybe next time, I’ll come visit you,” she offered and tilted her face up toward mine.
I smiled down at her. “You can come any time you like.”
Her breath caught and she licked her lips. Whether or not it was meant to be an invitation, I took it as one. I leaned down and kissed her softly, at first, but the kiss quickly evolved into something hungrier. I tasted mint on her instead of gin, like I was expecting. Her arms circled my waist, pulling me closer to her. Her tongue brushed against my lips, and immediately opened my mouth for her. We stood there kissing like I was going off to war until the cabbie complained.
“Either you’re in or you’re out, lady. I don’t have all night.” The man barked at us.
Sookie pulled back and looked up at me, nibbling her lip. “Are you coming?”
I snickered and said, “Do you want me to?”
She nodded, still biting her lip, and pulled me toward the cab. I folded myself into the back seat beside her while she gave her address to the driver. The door of the cab was barely closed when she pounced on me again. I would be lying if I said sleeping with her again hadn’t crossed my mind, because it most certainly had, but I hadn’t been counting on it.
I realized, rather quickly, that Sookie definitely wasn’t the shy virgin she’d been the night we met. She had no trouble telling me what she wanted, and moving my hands where she wanted them to go. First they were on her breasts, kneading gently, and then they were sliding down her sides to her thighs. Her own hands followed suit, rubbing against the erection that was begging to be let out of my pants. The way she was looking at me, I wouldn’t be surprised if she started jerking me off right there in the back of the cab.
Either she didn’t noticed the way the driver was glancing at us in his mirror, or she just didn’t care. Slowly my hand moved up her skirt. No panties. I growled against her neck where my lips had been loosely planted. She moved her head so her mouth was near my ear, and she whispered to me.
“Ever since this morning, all I have been able to think about is having you inside me,” she bit my ear, and from that point on, it was serious business.
She was teetering on the edge of an orgasm, and sucking on my neck, when the cab came to a stop in front of an old farmhouse. Sookie produced bills from her bra, which I wasn’t expecting her to do. I tried to fight her to pay the cab fare, but she wouldn’t let me.
“You paid the bar tab. Now we’re even,” she stared into my eyes. We weren’t even close to even, but it wasn’t worth arguing over.
How we got from the cab to her front door, and then to her house is a blur to me. I remember briefly pushing her up against a wall and kissing her until I lifted her off the floor and carried her into the living room. She slid down my body and I dropped onto the couch. She pulled off her snow white cardigan and dropped it on the floor at her feet. She kept her shoes on, but reached behind her for the zipper on the back of her dress.
“I’ve thought about you, Eric. There have been times when my imagination gets the better of me, and I remember what it was like the night we were together. If I concentrate, I can feel your lips on my breasts, or your fingers between my thighs,” she slipped the straps of her dress down her shoulders. “I hear the sounds you made while you were on top of me, thrusting gently inside me until I came so hard I saw stars. I didn’t know then how lucky I was to have you, Eric,” her dress fell to the ground, leaving her in nothing but her bra and shoes. “Most girls don’t get to have the experience I did. We weren’t in love, but it didn’t matter because that night wasn’t about love. It was about two people, and the way we exploded when we touched each other. I think about it, Eric. Maybe more than I should.”
She wasn’t alone. Not that it was necessarily my go-to sexual encounter for those times when I needed something to help me along, but I definitely thought about her in a sexual context more often than I should. The funny thing was, I had that same moment of hesitation I’d experienced the night Sookie and I slept together, where I questioned whether or not what we were doing was the right thing. But just like the first time, it was Sookie who took the reigns.
She made herself comfortable in my lap and began to unbutton my shirt slowly. “You called me lover, that night. No one else has ever called me that.”
“I haven’t called anyone else that since.” That was true.
The pile of clothing grew on the floor until I was left in just my pants and boxers underneath them. Sookie had unzipped my pants and was reaching into them while my lips were fastened around one of her already hard nipples. The noises she made were the same, but she was more confident than she was in the past. It was obvious she was more experienced, but I didn’t want to think about that too much. I didn’t want to think about her being with anyone else, just like I was sure she didn’t want to think about me being with anyone else either. Even if it was apparent I had been, if only because of Maci.
Her hand wrapped around my cock and started stroking like she’d been doing it for years. My eyes met hers and she smiled at me before leaning in and kissing me again. Her hands moved faster and faster, while I tried to thrust up toward her. I wanted to be inside her. I didn’t want to blow my load right there on the couch, but it was going to happen if she didn’t stop.
I was dangerously close, so I pulled her hands away. She gave me a confused look that quickly disappeared when I flipped our positions. Well, sort of. I knelt on the floor and pushed her feet up to the edge of couch, keeping her legs parted. She bit her lip and watched me kiss the inside of thigh, all the way to her center. I knew from fingering her in the car just how wet she was, and she’d only gotten wetter since then.
She tasted even better than I remembered, but moved the same way. Her back arched, sending her hips closer to my face. I made no attempts to hold her down, instead opting to go along for the ride. I followed the rise and fall of her hips for a while before propping her up by cupping her ass. I watched her pinch her nipples and suck her fingers as she got closer and closer to her orgasm.
Occasionally, she’d let a few dirty words tumble from her lips when I did something she found especially enjoyable. I made mental notes of all those things, but didn’t go back to them often enough to make them lose their affect on her. I was holding her firmly by the hips when her hands delved into my hair and pulled my head back. I looked at her with a quirked eyebrow, wondering if I had done something wrong.
“Fuck me,” she breathed and rolled her hips.
Shit. Condoms. I didn’t have any. I’d foolishly assumed that if we slept together, it would most likely be up in my hotel room, and not at her house. I set her down gently and sat back on my feet.
“What? You don’t want to?”
“No, it’s not that. I don’t have protection.”
She smirked and said, “Eric, I’m on the pill, but I have condoms.”
What a mood wrecker that was, honestly, even if it was necessary. I stood up, planning to help Sookie up off couch, and instead she leaned forward and yanked my pants down while letting her lips close around my cock. For ten years I’d wondered what it would be like to get head from her, and it was even better than I’d imagined it would be. My eyes rolled into the back of my head, and my hand slipped into her hair. She didn’t need any guidance, or to be told what to do.
She looked up at me with a smile in her eyes, and once again had me right at the edge before she backed off. We needed a condom. Now.
“Where are the condoms?” I asked her as I lifted her off the couch.
“My nightstand. That way,” she pointed over her shoulder.
I tossed her over my shoulder like the caveman I was, at that moment, and even slapped her ass playfully for good measure. She moaned and rolled her hips. Just what was my Sookie- yes, I really thought of her as mine just then- into? I dropped her on the bed and let her rummage in her drawer for a condom. When I held my hand out to take it from her, she just shook her head.
“Allow me,” she said with a coy smile and tore open the package.
Then I watched in amazement as she put the condom in her mouth and proceeded to put it on me without using her hands. Her head bobbed a few more times before she released me from her mouth with a pop of her lips. She started to crawl backward, but I grabbed her ankle and dragged her back toward the edge of the bed.
I gave her what I’d been told was a ‘panty dropping grin,’ and positioned her legs so one ankle was on my shoulder, and the other was wrapped around my waist. I reached between her legs in mere formality, knowing she was more than ready for me. Her back arched, and I entered her slowly, savoring the feeling of her stretching around me as I slid inside.
“Oh, fuck,” she moaned, and I wasn’t even half way in yet.
She was writhing by the time I was fully sheathed inside her, once again pinching her nipples and giving me gentle squeezes from the inside. The look she gave me was like a dare to do my worst. I waited a few seconds, just taking in the rush of feelings and sensations of being so close to her again. My eyes stayed locked on hers as I pulled out, only to push in again with greater force than before. I set a rather fast pace after that, and the fingers that had been pinching her nipples started scratching and digging into my forearms.
I pulled out of her suddenly and got on her bed next to her. She pushed me onto my back and straddled my lap, slamming down onto my cock. It wasn’t very romantic, but it didn’t need to be. By that point, both of us just really needed to come, and Sookie was more than doing her part to make sure it happened. My hands found her breasts, and I watched with fascinated eyes as she bounced on top of me, taking me as deep as her body would allow.
She rolled her hips and occasionally slowed her movements. She leaned forward and braced her small hands on my chest. Her hips rose and fell slowly, almost too slowly, until I couldn’t take anymore. My hands relocated to her hips and held her in place while I thrust up into her. She bit her lip in attempts to hold back her screams, but it was no use.
It must have sounded like an episode of Wild Kingdom in that room with all the grunting, growling and panting going on. We rolled so she was on her back once again, and her legs scissored around my waist. She begged me to fuck her faster and harder, and since I was close to coming, I gave her what she wanted. Much like the first time we’d slept together, I reached between us and rubbed her clit while praying for the will power to hold back my own orgasm until after she was finished.
She came loudly, eyes closed and her voice trembling as it left her mouth. She raked at my chest, and said, “Don’t stop, Eric, don’t stop!”
Like that was going to happen. I pushed her legs up a little bit, and with a few more thrusts, I was growling my way through my own orgasm. It felt like an explosion when I came, and I immediately wanted to do it again, only I wanted to do it without a condom. I dropped on top of her, remembering to keep most of my weight supported on my arms so I didn’t crush her. We kissed lazily until I had to pull out of her and dispose of the condom.
She pointed to the bathroom, but didn’t seem to be able to speak. It was fine with me since I was feeling pretty speechless myself. She writhed on the bed with stars in her eyes. I might have been buzzed when we got to her house, but I wasn’t anymore. I was seeing her with perfectly sober eyes, and she was beautiful. It was going to be really fucking hard to leave her, now that I knew she was so close.
I came back to the bed with a damp washcloth and cleaned her up. She giggled maniacally for a few seconds, leaving me to wonder what was going on in her head. She jerked when I brushed against her clit, then pulled me down to kiss her. I tossed the washcloth aside and let nature take its course.
I got my wish for another round without a condom, which was gutsy of her since we didn’t have a talk about what diseases either of us might be carrying. We both looked clean and healthy, but that didn’t mean a whole hell of a lot. I made a note to make an appointment with my doctor when I got back to Las Vegas, just to be safe.
After round two, I collapsed onto the bed next to her, crumpled in a strange position after having been on my knees behind her. We were both breathing hard and trying to find the right words to say. Finally, the two most obvious words came to mind and I rolled my head toward hers to say them.
“Thank you,” We both ended up saying at the same time, sending us both into a fit of laughter.
“You’re welcome.” I was the first to sober up.
“I don’t mean to make myself sound like a slut, or anything, but I’ve had plenty of sex in the past ten years. That was… well, that was pretty amazing. I couldn’t appreciate it fully before, but this,” she palmed my cock and started stroking.I groaned, wondering if I could go again. “This is legendary.”
“You mean like these?” I asked as I palmed one of her breasts. I didn’t need to ask if they were natural or not. I got the answer to that question ten years ago.
“Thank you,” she smiled and rolled so she was straddling me again.
“I don’t mean to sound presumptuous, or anything, but I would really like to see you again after tonight.”
She bit her lip and let go of my cock. Fuck! What did I say wrong?
“What?” I looked up at her, completely confused.
“You have a daughter with one of my best friends. A daughter you never see, nor do you seem to have much interest in. I want to get married and have babies, Eric, and I want to do it right here in my hometown. If you want to be with me for more than just sex, then you’re going to have to be agreeable to those terms.”
I was hard as a rock again, and definitely wanted to finish inside her a third time. She was amazing. It would have been easy to say whatever I needed to say to get her to fuck me again, but I was beyond that. Was I ready for a relationship? One that might mean marriage and children?
“I don’t know if I’m ready for marriage and kids, Sookie, but I’m not against those things. I think we need to take it one step at a time. I can’t make you a promise I don’t know if I can keep.”
“But you don’t mind fucking me?”
“Just like you don’t mind fucking me.” I reached between her legs and began rubbing her clit.
She shivered and her head rolled back. “Not fair.”
Maybe it wasn’t, but I couldn’t help myself. Her face was beautiful anytime, but seeing it contorted in pleasure made her a million times more beautiful than usual. Even more amazing, we managed to have a somewhat intelligent conversation while trying to get each other off. We agreed we wanted to see each other again, but not to make any drastic life changes to accommodate the decision just yet.
After that last orgasm, we were both a mess and ended up in the shower. We washed each other off, no funny business aside from a few kisses, and then got into bed together. I spooned up behind her, holding her tightly against my chest. The smell of her pineapple scented shampoo filled my lungs, and I wanted to hold onto that smell, just in case I really was dreaming it all up.
“Goodnight, Eric,” she whispered to me in a sleepy tone.
“Goodnight, lover,” I kissed her shoulder, then dropped off into the darkness of sleep.
October 5th, 2010
I stepped out of the shower and toweled off before brushing my teeth. I walked out of the bathroom completely naked and sauntered toward the bedroom. I stopped in my tracks when I saw Sookie sitting on the edge of the bed with a solemn look on her face.
“How did you get in here?” I reached into my small travel bag for a pair of boxers.
“Felipe was leaving as I was about to knock. I think he figured I was here for a bootycall.”
“I think we got enough last night, didn’t we?”
“Lover, with you, there is no such thing as enough.”
She smiled down at her feet with just a hint of a blush creeping up her neck. “Yeah, I suppose you’re right.”
“I thought you would be at work by now?”
“I told Sophie I need a personal day.”
“And you want to spend it in my bed?” I smirked at her.
“We need to get something straight before I go falling into bed with you again. Last night was… well, it was special circumstances. I don’t want you thinking I fuck every guy I meet.”
“I don’t.” I really didn’t. She didn’t strike me as the slutty type, and it wasn’t as though we were strangers.
“Good. Now, I came here because I meant what I said last night about marriage and kids. I’m not trying to pressure you, but I want you to know that’s what I want so there aren’t any surprises. I’m ready for those things, Eric. I don’t know how you feel about what happened last night, but it made me realize that whatever feelings I had for you ten years ago are still there. I want to explore them more, and I want something real. So if you don’t think you can do that, then I need you to tell me so now so I don’t get any more invested in you than I already am.”
I sighed and moved to sit beside her. I picked up her hand, instantly amazed by how much larger my own hands seemed when they were next to hers. I looked deep into her eyes and tried to find the right words.
“I’ve never been anyone’s boyfriend before, Sookie. I don’t know if I’m any good at relationships. I don’t know if I’ll ever be ready for marriage, or if I would be any good at being a father. You know my situation with Maci. Part of me says you deserve better, but I learned ten years ago it’s not right to go making decisions for other people. I like you. I like you a lot, but I can’t make you any promises. I’m just me. What you see is what you get, and that’s all I can offer you.”
She nodded and lifted our hands to kiss the back of mine. “Thank you for being honest with me.”
I sat there, somewhat dumbfounded and unsure of what else there was to say. There were so many things we probably needed to say, but not a single one of them was coming to mind. She said nothing else as she got up and went to the door of my room.
December 31, 2015
“Is that the last of it?” Sookie looked around the house to make sure all of the boxes had been loaded into the truck to be driven down to Bon Temps.
“Yep, we’re good to go.” I grinned at her.
She ran, then jumped on me like she’d done a few hundred times in the last five years. In that time, we’d been dating seriously. I flew down to Louisiana every chance I got. It came in very handy that Black Diamond ended up acquiring Blue Bayou, and I was sent frequently to check up and make sure things were running smoothly. Since my job required travel, and meetings could be done via Skype, I was given the go-ahead to change locations if I wanted to.
I’d been living mostly with Sookie for the last three years. In the time since we first reconnected five years ago, Holly and Hoyt had gotten married. Holly had been skeptical when I first told her I was going to be around more, but Sookie did a lot to smooth things over. I got to know Maci better, and Holly, Hoyt, Sookie and I became a parenting team. It was an extraordinary situation, but it was working for us.
Maci still wasn’t calling me Dad, but I was okay with that. She accepted me as a father figure in her life, and she already loved Sookie. Life had finally settled down quite a bit. I took Sookie to meet my parents, at her insistence, and they fell in love with her immediately. I found my niche with Sookie’s friends, who really were her family since all she had left of her blood relations was her brother.
I finally proposed to Sookie on her last birthday. She hadn’t been pushy about marriage. I’d given it a lot of thought, and I’d come to realize I wanted to be married to her. I wanted to be her husband. She had become my best friend, and my favorite person in the entire world. There was nothing about her I didn’t love. Even more amazing, I found I wanted to be a father. I wanted her to be the mother of my children, and I wanted to give her whatever it was that would make her happy.
So, I proposed to her, catching her completely off guard. She’d said yes after making sure it was what I wanted as well. I put my house up for sale in Las Vegas, and we decided that when we went up there to clear out my belongings, we would get married. So, on Christmas Eve, that’s exactly what we did. We’d been married for a week, and so far, it was going well.
Of course, only time would tell if we’d made the right decision or not. We locked up the house behind us and climbed into the truck we were driving back to Louisiana with the last of my belongings in the back. Sookie was driving the first leg of the journey since I was a bigger night owl than she was. She fastened her seatbelt and then turned to face me.
“Would you get my sunglasses out of the glove box?” she asked me with her hand extended, unable to reach herself.
“Sure,” I leaned forward and opened the box.
Only there were no sunglasses inside. Instead, I found myself staring at a home pregnancy test with a bright pink plus sign in the little window.
“Sookie, is this what I think it is?” I turned to look at her.
She was nodding and smiling with excitement in her eyes. “I took it this morning.”
“And you’re sure? I mean, this isn’t a false positive?”
She shook her head and said, “I missed my period for the last two months. I didn’t even think about it until the week before the wedding because we talked about tossing my birth control.”
“But how did this…I mean, if you’ve been on the pill…”
“I was sick, remember? The antibiotics must have screwed with the effectiveness. That happens sometimes. I just figured since I was where I was in my cycle, we’d be okay. Obviously, I was wrong. Are you mad? Disappointed?”
“No.” I said quickly, and looked deep in her eyes. “No, I’m not. I’m happy. Stunned, yes, but happy.”
“Really? Because I really, really want you to be okay with this because I’m beyond okay with this.”
“I am. I’m happy. I love you, Sookie.” I leaned over the seat and kissed her sweetly.
“I love you, too, Eric.” she pressed her forehead to mine and stroked my cheek.
“Now let’s go home.” I kissed her forehead.
She turned the key in the ignition and put the truck in gear. We were officially leaving Las Vegas.
– FIN –