All those years Sookie spent waitressing at Merlotte’s in her skin tight uniform had finally paid off, even if it meant most people in her hometown could guess the trim of her bikini wax. She retired her tight uniform and left all that in the past when she opened the doors for business to the Posh Nosh. The bakery had been Sookie’s dream and she co-owned it with Lafayette Reynolds. He was a master pastry chef who had been classically trained in New Orleans and then Paris. Chef Reynolds specialized in wedding cakes and was particularly skilled when it came to working with sugars and candies. Sookie’s methods were far more homegrown, but she had the most amazing pallet. She had a knack for recipe creation, which was part of what made the Posh Nosh so successful. She had quite the menu of tasty treats that were prepared daily. Whether it was candied citrus on orange infused vanilla bean cupcakes or something a bit more traditional, like chocolate filled vanilla cupcakes, there wasn’t much the Posh Nosh didn’t offer.
Being her own boss was both liberating and challenging. Sure she could take the day off anytime, but that meant cutting into her profits. The bakery was open seven days a week. Monday through Friday they were open at five in the morning and closed at two in the afternoon. On Saturdays and Sundays they opened at four. It was worth it to catch the business from the drunks stumbling out of Area 5, the most popular night club in all of Shreveport.
Sookie scooped some cream cheese buttercream frosting into a piping bag. A cart of Hummingbird Cupcakes – the Posh Nosh’s signature treat- were waiting to be iced and decorated. The recipe was an old one, named for the street Sookie had grown up on. The recipe had been her Gran’s, and it had been Gran who’d taught Sookie how to bake. Sookie loved to experiment. To date, her best gamble had been the Hi Hat Chocolate Cupcakes. She could use any basic cake batter for the cake part. Then she topped it with a swirl of meringue, dripped in chocolate, so it almost looked like a dipped ice cream cone. She’d taken the idea to another level when she’d experimented with flavoring the meringue. So far, it was one of the most popular specialty items on the menu.
As Sookie began to swirl frosting onto a cupcake, the bell jangled out front to let her know she had company. It wasn’t quite six yet, which meant it was Eric Northman stopping in for his usual. Sookie set down the cake and bag of frosting. He came in for the same thing every day he worked. Without having to be told, she got him two of the jumbo Tiramisu Cupcakes from the cooler and a mocha latte with an extra shot of espresso. He was beaming at her as she approached the register with his order. She was dressed in a pair of dark gray corduroys and a pale pink v-neck t-shirt with three quarter sleeves. Her wheat blond hair was pulled back in a French braid with a few wisps framing her tan face. Her bright blue eyes sparkled as she set his purchases on the counter.
“How’s business?” She continued to smile at the man in tailored black pants and a wifebeater that had been under one of his many dress shirts until the club closed its doors for the day. His powerful arms flexed as she stepped closer to the counter.
“Busy. I was kind of disappointed you didn’t stop in. I could have used the… distraction.” He leered at her, his eyes stopping to spend a little extra time on her breasts.
“I wanted to, but I’ve got a couple hundred Coconut and Key Lime Cupcakes due for the Mayor’s luau.” Sookie reminded him.
“Ah, yes, how could I forget?” Eric’s cobalt blue eyes sparkled.
“Probably because when I mentioned it to you, you were licking vanilla bean buttercream off my stomach.” Sookie leaned over the counter, giving Eric a good shot of her considerable cleavage.
“You did need a taste tester.” Eric recalled.
Sookie giggled and said, “That reminds me. I wanted to test out a Mexican Chocolate Pudding recipe. You game?”
“For you, I will clear my schedule.” He winked.
“Good. Be here Thursday at midnight.” She held out her hand to accept the bill he was holding. A shiver ran through her when his hand touched hers.
“Oh, I’ll be here.” No doubt he would. Eric was a very good test subject.
“Your change,” Sookie said as a formality when Eric turned away.
“Keep it.” Eric picked up his ‘breakfast’ and headed out, leaving Sookie wishing for Thursday with a forty dollar tip in her hand.
Ten Years Earlier
It was just another Friday night party at the Crane Plantation to celebrate yet another win of Bon Temps Eagles Football Team. Although, ‘win’ might be an understatement. Slaughter, decimation, evisceration, total domination, and straight up ass whoopin’ where better ways of describing what had happened at the game. The final score was 71-3. The Saints never knew what hit them. Next week they played the Panthers, the only real competition in all of Renard Parish.
Jason Stackhouse, team quarterback and local golden boy, was positively shitfaced. After one too many rounds of Quarters, the boy was one pothole away from ejecting his post-game chow. Sookie sat between her brother and his best friend, Eric Northman, who was driving the old truck. Eric was a football player, too, a wide receiver, but he wasn’t much of a drinker. It was a damn good thing because there was no way Sookie would be able to get Eric home. Manhandling Jason into the house was going to be tough enough and he wasn’t six-foot-four and about 220 pounds of solid muscle like Eric. Sookie was sure she’d have an easier time moving a tanker truck than she would Eric.
Luckily, Eric always stuck around to help Sookie get Jason home. On that particular Friday, Sookie and Jason’s Gran had gone off to Baton Rouge to visit her brother, Bartlett. Jason groaned when Eric hit something on the dirt road that led to Hummingbird Lane.
“Eric! Easy on the bumps!” Sookie shouted.
“Sorry, Sookie,” he immediately apologized.
Contrary to what most people thought, Eric wasn’t such a bad guy, as far as Sookie was concerned. He was always polite to her, although he was constantly flirting with her, too, as of late. For years she’d been nothing more than Jason’s sister. Amazing what an hour glass figure and a pair of D-cup breasts could do. Yet it didn’t seem like Eric was interested in just getting his hands on her. No, Eric had been hanging around lately, almost like a puppy with nowhere to go. It was completely out of character for him. He could have any girl he wanted. The rumor was (and it was completely ridiculous) that at age 17, he’d already slept with more than 100 girls. Sookie knew it wasn’t true. She didn’t know what is magic number was, but she knew it was significantly less than 100.
Since it was high school, trying to fight the rumor mill only opened the door to new possibilities, and they were rarely more flattering than the original rumor. Comparatively speaking, there were worse things than being called a man whore. It was just easier to let people believe what they wanted to, since they would anyway. Not that Eric gave a flying fuck what any of them thought anyway.
The only point of view he gave a damn The only point of view he gave a damn about anymore belonged to the curvy blonde sitting beside him. He tried to keep his eyes on the road and not on the bounce of her breasts as they headed for the old Stackhouse farmhouse. Sookie sure wasn’t the same awkward six-year-old she’d been when Eric first moved into town.
In fact, being awkward was something he could relate to. He’d been a mess of gangly limbs and wild blond hair as a child, and it wasn’t until he reached his teen years that he started to have any sort of mastery of his body. With that came great coordination and previously untapped athletic ability. Being Jason Stackhouse’s best friend had paid off in more ways than Eric ever could have hoped.
The greatest benefit was his twin sister. Sookie was fond of sunbathing, so it wasn’t unusual to find her stretched out on the lawn in one of her tiny bikinis. She was also blissfully unaware of the crush Eric had been recently developed. Either that, or she was far more evil than he’d given her credit for. She thought nothing of asking him to slather her back in sunscreen. The painful erections he endured as a result seemed a small price to pay. For months, she’d had a starring role in his dreams at night, which lead to more cold showers than he could count.
Ever since she’d been his date for the junior prom just six months before, he’d been harboring some serious feelings for her. Because she saw him as somewhat of another brother, she’d had no trouble dancing with him a little too close. The sway of her hips in combination with the smell of her perfume, had burned themselves into his brain. It was a rare morning when he didn’t find himself rushing for the shower to relieve himself of the tremendous hard-on he was dealing with.
“Eric, you missed the turn.” Sookie elbowed him into the present.
“Geez, what’s your deal lately?” She marveled at how spacey he’d been in the last few months and it had gotten increasingly worse over the last few weeks.
Eric didn’t bother answering her. Jason put his head out the passenger’s side window and settled down when he felt the rush of cool air hit him. Eric turned the truck around and made the right turn onto the Stackhouse’s long driveway. He knew he shouldn’t be disappointed the ride was almost over. Yes, it meant Sookie wouldn’t be pressed against him anymore, but he knew she would invite him to stick around and chat. She was going to be worried about Jason, and with Gran gone, she would be all alone in the middle of nowhere. Yes, Eric was confident she would ask him to stay.
The old truck skittered to a stop on the gravel in front of the house. Usually, he’d park the truck around back but that would just make it harder to get Jason in the house. They had this down to a science, sadly enough. Sookie would hold Jason up while Eric went around to get the passenger’s side door open. Eric would toss Jason over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes and Sookie would run ahead to get the front door open, the lights on and Jason’s bed turned down. That, of course, meant praying there was nothing creepy lurking in Jason’s bed. Sookie had once found a bottle of lube tangled in the sheets and she hadn’t been able to look her brother in the eye for a week afterward. Eric watched from the truck as Sookie bounced up the steps to the house.
“The cheese is green,” Jason informed Eric with unfocused eyes and a smile on his lips.
“Sounds like it’s time to get rid of that cheese, bro.”
“No way, 66.” Jason slurred out Eric’s jersey number. “That’s when it’s just getting good.”
“Whatever you say.” Eric shook his head as he pulled Jason from the truck. Jason always had the most random things to say when he was drunk.
“You got a thing for my sister.” It wasn’t a question.
“Come on, Jay, lets get you inside.” Eric wasn’t about to have that conversation. It would be just his luck that Jason would remember the conversation clear as a bell the next day. Talk about your epic clusterfuck.
“It’s okay, 66, I know you’d treat her good,” Jason insisted.
“Let’s talk about it when you’re sober.” Or never.
Between the two of them, Eric and Sookie got Jason into bed for the night. Sookie excused herself to get out of her party clothes, and came out to the porch to find Eric on the swing waiting for her. It was just after midnight, and there was a slight chill in the October air. Sookie had ditched her hip hiphuggers and the low cut mohair sweater that clung to her so perfectly. Instead she wore a spaghetti strap tank top that barely seemed to be able to hold the bounty of her breasts. When his eyes traveled down he drank in the tiniest pair of shorts he’d ever seen, leaving Sookie’s long legs on display.
She stretched to put on the hoodie she was carrying, causing her tank to ride up a few inches and bare part of her stomach to him. She yanked the material down, only to bare more cleavage. Eric shifted on the swing and prayed his thoughts of Maxine Fortenberry doing stripperobics would be enough to kill his hard-on. It was working great until Sookie produced a Blow Pop. He watched her lips wrap around the candy, teasing the tip of it with her tongue, until she let it slide all the way into her mouth. He tried not to pay any mind to the sucking noises she was making, but they all went straight to his cock.
“Eric, are you okay?” Sookie looked at him with concern.
Not really, but unless you’re going to let me fuck you up against the railing, I’ll deal. “Fine, why?” he asked.
“You groaned like you were in pain.” She brushed her fingers over his forearm and he flinched just a little.
I was just wishing that sucker was my cock. No biggie. “Nah, I’m good.”
“Okay.” Sookie sat beside him on the swing, the smell of coconut and vanilla invading him. “Thank you.”
“For helping me get Jason home and for hanging out. I’m sure you have other things you would rather be doing than sitting on my Gran’s porch swing talking to me.”
Yeah, licking you like an ice cream cone springs to mind. “I like hanging out with you.” He was telling the truth, which was somewhat miraculous.
Sookie wasn’t like the other girls. She didn’t bounce from boy to boy. She took school seriously and would rather spend her free time reading or baking- especially baking- than going out on dates with guys who couldn’t appreciate just how amazing she was. Her lack of interest in dating was part of what kept Eric from telling her how he felt. He would never force her into something she didn’t want, and he knew that if she ever gave him the go ahead, he wouldn’t hesitate to attack her. But she wasn’t the kind. He was quite certain she was a virgin, although not for lack of willing suitors.
“Bill Compton asked me out again.” Did she tell him this stuff out of trust, or to see if he’d react?
“Want me to kick his ass?” Eric offered. It would be too easy to wipe the floor with Bill Compton. Hell, Eric could have done that when they were twelve.
Sookie laughed and patted Eric’s thigh. “Down boy. I can handle Bill Compton.”
“Oh, I’m sure you can.” Eric couldn’t help but chuckle.
“He’s just not my type. I don’t want to hurt him, but how many times does a girl have to say no?”
“With me, only once.”
Sookie rolled her eyes. “And what girl has ever said no to you?”
Just you. “You’d be surprised.”
“I bet I would.” Sookie popped her sucker in her mouth for a few seconds.
“I decided to apply to Tulane,” Eric announced.
The sucker leaving Sookie’s mouth made a popping sound that made Eric’s cock twitch, making it strain a little harder against his jeans. God, she was a temptress.
“What changed your mind?” She shifted on the swing so her body was angled to his.
You. “I’d rather spend some time knocking around Europe for fun than four years in New York.”
There was a hint of envy in her smile when she said, “Good for you.”
The look that passed between them had her shifting back to the way she was. She was hiding something. She was nervous. Eric never hmade her nervous. He was sure he was somewhat at fault for her jangled nerves when he moved his thigh closer to hers, and she responded by closing the gap with her own leg. The heat of her body traveled through the dark wash denim of his jeans. He decided to take a chance.
“There’s another reason.” His voice was husky.
He turned her face to his by guiding her chin with his fingertips. “You.”
Sookie burst out laughing but stopped when she saw the flicker of pain in Eric’s eyes. “You’re serious?”
“Have I ever lied to you?” The last six months notwithstanding.
“Eric, I don’t know what to say.”
“You don’t have to say anything. I just wanted you to know.”
“Is this…I mean do you…since when do you…what the fuck, Eric?”
“It’s not a big deal.”
“The fuck it’s not!” Sookie launched herself off the swing. “Eric, do you think I haven’t noticed the way you’ve been acting around me lately? I’m not stupid.”
“Sookie, I’m sor-”
“Don’t apologize.” She glared at him. “I don’t want an apology. I just want to know how long you’ve been sitting on this.”
“What does it matter? You’re Jason’s sister, so it’s not like-”
“Eric, my brother doesn’t have anything to do with this unless you’ve got a thing for him and you’re just trying to use me as a cover story.”
That thought effectively killed his hard-on. “I can guarantee you that is not an issue.”
“Okay, this emo version of you is freaking me out, so will you just say-”
“I have feelings for you.” Eric locked eyes with her.
“What kind of feelings?” She folded her arms under her breasts, eying him suspiciously.
Eric couldn’t help but laugh. He pushed himself up off the swing and moved closer to Sookie. She backed against the wall as he spoke. “The kind that wake me up from the most amazing dreams. The kind that make it hard to be around you, but impossible to be anywhere else. The kind that make me think about what you taste like, and what the softest part of your body is.” By the time he was done, they were inches apart and breathing heavily.
Their gaze intensified, and when Eric lightly touched the sliver of bare skin above Sookie’s shorts, it was like a jolt of electricity ran through her. He’d touched her before but not like that, and certainly not with that look in his eyes. His face drifted down to hers while her chin tilted up. His lone finger slid back and forth over her stomach, waiting for her to make the next move. He’d just about given up when she grabbed his face and kissed him hard.
She tasted like the cherry sucker she’d been working on. The candy was about to become an ant buffet on the old porch near their feet. He wanted to devour her, but he didn’t. He let Sookie set the pace and it didn’t take long before her tongue traced the line of his bottom lip, seeking entrance to his mouth. His lips parted and the tangy sweetness trapped on her tongue invaded his mouth.
As the kiss deepened, his left hand came up to cradle the back of her head and tangle in her hair. The strands were long and silky, the source of the coconut smell that lingered in his nose for hours after they parted ways. Her hips came away from the wall to press against him and that was when the kiss broke. Eric gasped for air and watched as Sookie’s eyes traveled down to rest on the erection pressing firmly against his jeans. Her eyes met his while her small hand suddenly settled on the bulge. He groaned, then hissed when she started to stroke him.
“Sookie, unless you plan on allowing me to return the favor, you have to stop,” he warned.
Her eyes lit up and then she yanked his mouth to hers again. This wasn’t the Sookie he was used to. She was demanding and sure of what she wanted. Had he been wrong to assume she was a virgin, or did she just get tired of being the good girl? He decided the answer didn’t matter and let his hand move up under her sweater. The hand that was stroking him gripped a little harder when his fingers found her breast. She wasn’t wearing a bra. Sweet Jesus. Her body arched to his touch and he palmed her breast for a moment. It fit perfectly in his large hand. He kneaded the soft and firm flesh gently before breaking their kiss to taste her neck. Her skin was salty sweet and smelled like vanilla and soap.
“We should…” Sookie paused to gasp when he nibbled on a spot under ear. “Go inside.”
He lifted her effortlessly, clearly catching her off guard. Her legs went around his waist, the heat of her center pulled another groan from him. His hands cupped her backside, pressing his bulge directly against her core. She rocked her hips against him and the instinct to throw her down right there in the entryway and fulfill every fantasy he’d ever had was hard to push away. Six months of denying himself what he wanted made for epic amounts of sexual frustration he wasn’t used to experiencing.
He reminded himself that Sookie wasn’t just some girl. They were friends, for starters, and she was his best friend’s sister. Besides, she was the first girl he had felt any deep feelings for and not just lust. Getting in her pants wasn’t enough. Whatever feelings he had for her didn’t just fade away in a few hours like it had been with other girls. No, Eric wasn’t going to ruin this by being an over-eager bastard.
They ended up in her bedroom with the door locked. The room was illuminated only by the few beams of moonlight that filtered in through the antique curtains hanging in Sookie’s bedroom window. Eric dropped her on the bed and upped the ante by yanking off his shirt. His summer tan had yet to fade and Sookie’s eyes were immediately drawn to the well-defined muscles of his chest and stomach. She licked her lips and surprised Eric by peeling off her sweater, taking her tank top along with it.
Her breasts were perfect. They were heavy and round with dusky pink peaks. She scooted back on the bed while he stalked toward her. She bit her bottom lip in anticipation as Eric advanced, making himself comfortable between her thighs. His mouth greedily closed around one of her nipples while his finger teased the other with pinches and rolls that mimicked the actions of his mouth. She held him to her by grabbing handfuls of his thick, blond locks. Her hips swayed upward, rubbing against his arousal. He moaned against her breast before leaving a trail of wet kisses that put him at the other. He could have stayed there for days just worshiping and suckling her, but there was so much more to taste.
He slowly moved down her slender body, pausing to tease her navel with his tongue. Her hips gyrated, lifting off the bed in an invitation to do away with her shorts. He pulled the material from her body, leaving her completely bare. Good God, she was beautiful. His cock twitched at the sight of her glistening sex. He was relieved to see she wanted this as much as he did, although for her own reasons.
“I…” Sookie stared at the fly of Eric’s too tight jeans. “I want to see you… all of you.”
For a second, Eric was pretty sure his heart stopped beating. Nervous? No, terrified. For the first time it mattered to him how things turned out. With the other girls there had never been any pressure, but that wasn’t the case with Sookie. It’s not that he was selfish in bed, oh no, far from it. In face, his skill was part of what got him the reputation he had, but this wasn’t just about getting off. He wasn’t prepared to go so far as to start thinking of her as his- yet- but Sookie wasn’t just a random fuck to him, either.
He got his jeans off and left them balled on the end of her bed. It took him completely by surprise when Sookie tackled him back onto the bed. She knelt at his side, turning his face to hers to kiss him. Her fingernails lightly scraped the bumps and ridges of his torso before tracing the deep V of his hips. She lazily dragged her fingers back and forth over the golden trail of hair that went from under his navel to where his erection was begging for attention. He thanked God for every sit up he hadn’t bitched out on doing.
She nipped and sucked at his skin, showing him the same generous attention he’d shown her. Then she started to move away from his chest, her soft, pink tongue leaving a wet trail down his abdomen. Her eyes met his and she didn’t take them off his as her tongue licked him from base to tip. His hands grasped the sheets, threatening to yank them right off the bed. Her tongue licked and swirled while her mouth did most of the work. Her eyes stayed on his as her mouth moved up and down, taking as much of him in as she could without choking herself, and letting her hand take care of the rest.
Eric released the sheets and let one of his hands slip into her hair to keep it from falling over her face, but he was careful not to put any pressure on her head. Without ever having to be told, he knew it was bad form to force a girl’s head down and he had no intention of giving a girl a reason to bite that particular part of his anatomy. Although, keeping his hips on the bed became increasingly difficult. Then she started to hum and Eric barked out a warning.
“God, Sookie, stop or I’m-”
But Sookie didn’t stop. Instead she sucked harder and stroked faster. When her other hand grazed his balls gently, that was his undoing and his orgasm hit hard. Completely undeterred, Sookie kept at him, swallowing all he offered before slowly releasing him from the warmth of her mouth.
“Where… where did you learn how to do that?” Eric gasped for air, trying to get his eyes to focus.
“One of my best friends is gay, remember? He gives me tips whether I want them or not,” Sookie reminded Eric.
I may have to send Lafayette flowers. “That was…” He couldn’t find the words.
“You’re welcome,” Sookie giggled and stretched out next to him.
“This is probably none of my business and I don’t want you to take this the wrong way, but are you a virgin?” Eric’s head rolled toward Sookie’s.
“I don’t know if I’m a virgin, exactly, but I’ve never had sex,” Sookie admitted honestly and without a hint of shame or anxiety in her voice.
“Are you waiting for marriage?”
Sookie laughed and asked, “Would you buy a car without test driving it?”
She was something else. Being that Sookie usually carried herself like a lady or a good southern belle, he had figured those morals carried over into matters of sexuality. He was pleasantly surprised to find out he was wrong.
“I’ve just been waiting for someone I know I can trust,” she admitted and he felt a twinge of disappointment at the idea she hadn’t been waiting for him.
Not that he had a reason to be jealous, or anything, since he hadn’t waited for her. Still, it was good to know that if he was her first, she would always remember it, and he planned to set the bar high.
“Okay, so since you asked me a personal question, I think I should get to ask you one.” Sookie rolled onto her side so they were face to face.
“That’s fair.” He assumed she would ask how many girls he’d slept with or who was his first. Again, she surprised him.
“Do you wish you would have waited? I mean, I’m not judging you, I’m just curious.”
“It’s okay.” He turned onto his side and reached for her hand. “It’s kind of hard to say. I don’t regret it, exactly, but I guess I wish it had been with someone else.”
“That bad, huh?”
“We were drunk. There wasn’t a whole lot of thought process in the whole thing. It just kind of happened, and I don’t really remember all of it.” Eric confessed.
“Look, Sookie, I’m not expecting anything from you, if that’s what you’re getting at. I mean, I like you a lot and I definitely want you, but whether or not anything else happens tonight is up to you.” He felt anxious, hoping she’d pounce on him like she had a few minutes before.
“I’d be lying if I said I never thought about you, Eric, but I’m not really in a place where I want to be someone’s girlfriend, either. So if you’re not cool with that-”
“You’re suggesting friends with benefits?” He was shocked.
“No, I’m suggesting two friends getting together to have sex when they want to. I know I can trust you and I won’t go getting all clingy and demanding on you. But we both have to agree to the terms. If you’re not okay with it then we should stop now.” Sookie could have knocked him over with a feather.
“So we keep doing what we’ve been doing, with a side of orgasms?”
“Yep. No muss, no fuss. Just sex.”
It wasn’t ideal, but he figured he would be out of his mind to say no. “I’d say you have a deal.”
Sookie took his hand and put it between her legs. His fingers slipped into her slick folds and stroked her clit. This was one hell of a way to seal the deal. He moved in to kiss her and she rolled onto her back. Slowly, his mouth moved down her body and he shifted so he was between her thighs. She ran her fingers through his hair as he placed the first kiss on her mound. His fingers slipped into her while his tongue flicked against her clit. She was sweet and warm, like honey left out in the sun. Her taste caused a moan that vibrated against her center.
“Oh, sweet Jesus,” she groaned as her hips arched up.
Eric’s free hand came up and pressed gently on her stomach to hold her in place. When she closed her eyes, he stopped everything. “Eyes on me, Sookie.”
Her eyes popped open and settled on Eric’s. God, she was beautiful. She only became more so when her face was awash with pleasure. He resumed his ministrations while holding her gaze. He paid close attention to the noises she made and the way her eyes flared, or her hips would try to rise up. He teased her until she couldn’t take anymore and with one final pass of his tongue over her clit, she covered her mouth to muffle her scream.
Her body shook, every part of her tingling. As far as Eric was concerned, she’d never been more beautiful and that said a lot. He kissed the inside of her thigh before removing his fingers from inside her. He licked them clean, savoring the taste of her on his tongue. As she lay there trembling and panting, Eric dug into the back pocket of his jeans. As cliché as it was, he always kept a condom in his wallet.
Once he’d procured the little foil packet, he dropped his jeans on the floor. He tore open the foil and rolled the latex on. Sookie’s eyes were still starry and her lips trembled a little with each breath she took. The line between anxiety and anticipation was blurry as hell, but at least she wasn’t the only one who was nervous. It was actually to Eric’s advantage that he wasn’t a virgin, or he probably would have hurt her. Not on purpose, of course, but his size dictated that he take it slow and make sure she was prepared and relaxed. Even so, it was going to hurt and there was nothing he could do about it. He could only hope to distract her some and hope the pain faded quickly. He kissed her body gently, slowly working his way up to her mouth.
“I know it’s going to hurt. Just promise me that once you start, you won’t stop.” Sookie held his face in her hands. Her eyes were more fierce than her voice.
“I’ll go slow.” His promise put her at ease.
Her hand moved down to guide him while her legs went up around his hips to keep him close. Her body resisted, at first, but slowly, deep kisses had her loosening up. She cried out at the feeling of her body stretching to take him into it. Eric bit his lip, summoning all of his will power to keep from plowing into her. The heat and tightness of her was hard to resist, but he took his time to keep from hurting her any further.
He couldn’t stop the words that fell from his lips. “Shit, Sookie, you feel so good.”
Her walls spasmed around him, pulling him deeper still, until he was sheathed inside her. He waited for a roll of her hips before he pulled back. He moved slowly, testing the waters. Her hips rose to meet his and a voice that didn’t exactly sound like Sookie’s urged him to go faster. Her hands trailed down his chest, raking lightly as his skin before coming to a stop on his ass. He’d caught her staring at his ass the way he often stared at her breasts but he hadn’t thought much of it. Of course, that was before Sookie grabbed him and pulled him closer to her. She grunted when he slid as deep inside her as he could get, and if it weren’t for the squeezing or her walls, Eric would have worried he hurt her.
“Eric, you’re not going to break me.” Sookie’s eyes were intense and locked on his. “Now fuck me.”
Something Eric’s brain snapped and he did as he asked him to. He thrust faster and harder against her, claiming her mouth with his. When he felt his own orgasm getting close, he rubbed her clit with his thumb. She broke their kiss to gasp for air, her eyes widening in surprise.
“Ungh…Eric…oh, God…” She groaned, her hand still on his ass and gripping fiercely.
The headboard slammed against the wall in time with Eric’s thrusts. The sound of his flesh slapping against flesh, coupled with the moans Sookie attempted to muffle in Eric’s shoulder increased his already frantic pace. When he lifted her hips, changing the angle of his thrusts, she cried out again and her core squeezed him like a vice. His mouth slanted over hers, swallowing the scream that accompanied her release. Three powerful thrusts later, he swelled and released inside her.
Sookie shook with aftershocks, her body writhing under Eric’s. They both gasped for air and lazily kissed each other as they came down from their high. Eric was reluctant to withdraw from her, but he had to. She whimpered at the loss of him inside her and took a series of deep breaths while he disposed of the condom. He came back to the bed with a couple of tissues to clean her up. The gentle touches to her overly sensitive center had another round of aftershocks making her shudder. He moved to throw away the tissues, but her small hand shot out and grabbed his arm.
“You okay?” He asked with a small smile.
“No.” She shook her head, her smile bigger than he’d ever seen. “That was… I had no idea it would… thank you.”
He chuckled at her inability to form a complete sentence. He knew all too well what she was feeling. “Oh, no, thank you.”
That was, without a doubt, the best sex he’d ever had, and he wanted to do it again. Now. But he would let it be on her terms. He stretched out next to her and she moved to rest her head on his chest to listen to his heart racing in his chest.
“So, when can we do it again?” Sookie giggled.
Sookie had good instincts and she listened to them, which she thought was factored into her talent in the kitchen. There was no need for an oven timer when Sookie was around. She had an assortment of unfrosted cupcakes cooling on the racks behind her in the Posh Nosh’s kitchen. She pulled the ingredients for a fresh batch of chocolate buttercream frosting and the Mexican chocolate pudding from shelves and the large walk-in cooler.
Everything made at the Posh Nosh was done so from scratch. There were no shortcuts or frozen ingredients. All of the produce was purchased at the local farmer’s market. The mint used in the Chocolate Mint Cupcakes came from Sookie’s own garden. If this Mexican Chocolate Cupcake was a hit, her next test item would be a Mojito Cupcake. Her brain was constantly working on new recipes, or modifying old ones.
Bad Company’s ‘Feel Like Makin’ Love’ filled the room, signaling Eric’s arrival. She’d made the mistake of letting him choose his ring tone. It wasn’t exactly subtle, but it could have been worse. She’d gotten revenge by setting hers to ‘She Bangs’ by Ricky Martin. That lasted for all of a week before Eric demanded she pick something else, which is how he ended up with the Black Eyed Peas on his phone, and hating every minute of it.
“You’re early,” Sookie said when she picked up the call.
“I’m hungry,” was his loaded response.
“Good.” Sookie grinned as she made her way to the bakery’s front door.
Eric stood at the door in a pair of dark washed jeans and a black muscle shirt. He waved as she approached, both of them hanging up their phones. Sookie unlocked the door and Eric pulled it open. Ten years had passed since the first time they’d slept together. They’d never dated, and never laid claim to one another as anything but friends. They had each gone on to their own relationships over the years.
Sookie had even been proposed to once. She’d been dating Sam Merlotte, her former boss, and he adored her. Things had been good. She loved him. He was sweet and completely supportive of her plans to start her own business. He had even wanted to invest, but she wouldn’t let him. Sookie and Lafayette were determined to do it alone. Sam had admired her work ethic and perseverance. He’d proposed to her the night of the Posh Nosh’s grand opening.
She might have said yes if Eric hadn’t walked in at that very moment. His eyes met hers and something in her heart clicked. She’d known him almost all her life. They’d been good friends for fifteen years, ten of which they’d been sleeping together when they felt like it. The initial rationale for avoiding a relationship with him wasn’t really valid anymore. Jason had attempted to play matchmaker on more than one occasion, so he was clearly more than okay with his best friend and sister hooking up, and Sookie was no longer too focused on school for a boyfriend.
She’d graduated from Tulane with honors. She’d worked hard and started her own business. She had everything she wanted and Sam was offering her more. The problem was, marrying Sam meant saying goodbye to Eric. Sure they could still be friends, but that’s all they would ever be. No more secret meetings and knowing stares. No more best sex she ever had. If she married Sam she would gain a lot, but she would lose something that mean so much more and she hadn’t realized it until she almost had to give it up.
“Don’t you look good enough to eat?” Eric’s eyes traveled her body, taking in the way her cream colored wrap around dress hugged her curves.
“You didn’t come here to eat me.” Sookie smirked over her shoulder as she locked the bakery’s door before crossing the room to stand before him.
“Not exclusively, no.” Eric stepped closer to her and bent to drop a kiss on her mouth.
Ten years and a bunch of men later, Eric was still the best of the best in just about every category, and kissing was no different. They were standing in the very spot she’d been standing the year before when she’d told Sam she couldn’t be his wife.
“I have to tell you something,” Sookie said nervously.
“Okay.” Eric was cool as ever and parked it on the counter next to the register.
Sookie took a deep breath and said, “I’m not sure we can keep having sex.”
“Why not?” Eric was curious, if not a little angry. “You bored with me? Or maybe you met someone?”
“No, it’s not about anyone else. It’s about you and me.”
“What about you and me? Did I do something to piss you off?”
“God, no, Eric…” She trailed off, feeling more awkward and vulnerable than when he saw her naked for the first time as a teenager.
“What’s going on with you, Sookie?” He hopped off the counter.
“I broke the rule.”
His brows furrowed and he asked, “What rule?”
“The rule.” She arched her eyebrows, but Eric wasn’t getting it. “We always said this was about sex. I know we’re friends. Hell, you’re my best friend, but the sex was always separate from that. We said as long as there were no feelings involved, it was okay. Well, it’s not okay. Not anymore, and I don’t think of you the way I should for this arrangement to continue, so it’s gotta stop.”
Eric looked like he’d been hit over the head with a sack of kittens. He ran his hand through his hair like he usually did when he was trying to figure out what to say. The fact that Sookie knew this was a habit of his didn’t help to put her at ease one bit. Maybe it had been a mistake to put too much emphasis on the friends part of their- she hated to admit it- friends with benefits relationship.
“So what are you saying, Sookie? You are saying you want a relationship?” Eric looked at her out of the corner of his eye.
“Is that an option?” She held her breath, terrified he was going to laugh in her face for even thinking it was a possibility.
“I think anything is possible for us.” Eric smiled at her, breaking some of the tension. “Sookie, I’ve loved you since we were seventeen-years-old.”
Now it was her turn to look like she’d been hit over the head with a sack of kittens. “You have?”
Eric closed the gap between them in two quick strides and held onto her shoulders tightly. “Ever since I saw you come down those stairs in your Gran’s house in that ice blue dress you wore to prom.”
Sookie’s eyes welled with tears. “Why didn’t you ever tell me that?”
“Because it was against the rule,” he said sheepishly, which wasn’t really like Eric at all. “Honestly, I’m not sure we could have made it as a couple back then. We had too many things we wanted to do with our lives. Being friends and doing what we did made sense for us, but we’re not kids anymore.”
“I didn’t marry Sam because of you,” Sookie confessed but she wasn’t blaming him. “I was standing right where I am now when he asked me and I was going to say yes, but then I saw you. I realized what I would be giving up and I couldn’t do it. Something would always feel like it was missing if I married Sam.”
“I’m glad you said no. I don’t think I could have watched you marry someone else.” Eric reached for her hand. “I would have, though, if it was what you wanted.”
Sookie launched herself at him, wrapping her arms around his neck as she kissed him. The kiss seemed to go on forever before she pulled back. Her fingers scratched lightly at the back of his neck while her eyes met his.
“I want to make a new rule.” She bit her bottom lip.
“I’m all ears.”
“From now on I think we should disregard the old rule.”
Eric dipped and kissed the tip of Sookie’s nose. “I think I can live with that.”
“I was hoping you’d say that.” She smiled up at him.
Eric lifted her off the floor and carried her over to the counter by the register where he sat her down. “I have a rule, too, if you don’t mind.”
“Fire away,” Sookie said with amusement.
“From now on, I’m the only one who gets to taste test your goods.” He stared down at her body, his eyes focusing on the swell of her breasts.
He kissed her deeply and then, just as it was ten years before, he said, “I’d say you have a deal.”
Sookie’s eyes flared and she wrapped her legs around his waist, pulling him closer to her. “You know, I’m so glad we never sealed our deals with anything less than mind bending sex.”
“So am I, lover, so am I.” His hands slipped into her hair and he kissed her. “What about the Mexican Chocolate Cupcake?”
“I hear it tastes better when it’s licked off.” Sookie winked at him.
“You’re the chef.” He helped her off the counter and gestured for her to go first.
She sauntered past him and paused at the door between the serving area and the kitchen. “Chop, chop, Northman, before I get out the wooden spoons.”
“Is that a promise or a threat?” His eyebrows wiggled at her.
“It’s a guarantee.” She giggled and then disappeared into the kitchen.
Six Months Later
“A Blow Pop Cupcake?” Eric raise an eyebrow at the newest specialty item the Posh Nosh was going to be featuring. “Honestly, lover, where do you get your ideas?”
“I was thinking back to that first night we spent together, and I remembered the way you looked at that sucker like you were jealous.” Sookie teased as she pulled one of the treats from the tray. “This is a red velvet cupcake with a cherry filling piped inside and then piped with meringue outside to give it a harder shell to bite through.”
“And you put it on a stick?” Eric shook his head, marveling at the invention.
“Yessir.” She grinned.
“It’s genius,” he agreed, smiling when she held up one of the treats for him to try. He bit into the meringue, taking a little of the cake with it. “That’s delicious.”
“I know.” Sookie winked at him.
“Why is this the first I’m hearing of this? You haven’t decided to change the rules again, and let someone else do your taste testing, have you?” Eric arched an eyebrow at her.
“Pffft…” Sookie waved him off. “Maybe I just wanted to surprise you. Ever think of that?”
“Well, for what it’s worth, I think you’ve got another winner on your hands, Stackhouse.” Eric took another bite of the treat, getting some of the cherry filling from the center along with it. He groaned in appreciation.
“Thank you.” Sookie drifted closer to him with that sparkle in her eyes that told him he was in for a treat of a different kind. “I had another idea I’m going to need your help with.”
“Yep. I was thinking to try out a Mississippi Mud Cupcake.” She grinned up at him.
“Sounds messy.” Eric grinned right back at her.
“Absolutely. You in?”
“I’ll get the wooden spoons,” he winked and headed for the kitchen, leaving Sookie laughing in his wake.