The shiny black Yukon Denali parked in the driveway was enormous. What in the world did she need a car that big for? And where the heck was her little car that was supposed to be fixed weeks ago? Surely it had to be done by now. Sookie went back inside and searched for a phonebook in hopes of finding the number for Dawson’s garage since she didn’t know it off the top of her head.
She grinned when she found it, and then punched the number into her cell phone. Tray picked up on the third ring.
“Dawson’s Garage,” he answered.
“Hi, Tray, this Sookie Stackhouse calling about my car,” she said, hoped he remembered her from previous visits.
“Oh, hey, Sookie,” his tone softened a little.
“Is my car ready yet?” she asked.
He stalled for a moment before saying, “I’m still waiting on a part to come in. I don’t get too many cars like yours these days. Most of my work is motorcycles and pickups.”
It went without saying that her car was also ancient compared to most of the others.
“Any idea when that part will be in?” she asked.
“Uh…” he was stalling again and she wondered if maybe there was a Viking telling him to keep from ordering it.
“Tray, did Eric tell you not to fix the car?” Sookie asked suddenly, and his knee jerk answer told her he was lying. “That sneaky son of a—”
“Sook, your car has been on its last life for years,” Tray said as kindly as he could.
“Yeah, but I can’t afford another one, so please just order the parts to fix it,” she said as politely as she could. This wasn’t Tray’s fault.
Tray hesitated for a minute before he said, “Okay. I should have the car ready next week.”
“Thank you,” Sookie said, and relayed her phone number to him so he could call her when it was finished. She didn’t want the call going through Eric.
It was one thing to let him pay for clothes she would need when they were meeting other vampires. If his image was important that way, then fine. She was willing to concede that point, but being bonded to him didn’t magically make her a princess, did it? The last few weeks had hardly been a vacation, but she needed to get back to her own life. Spending her days lounging about Eric’s house, as lovely as it was, wasn’t enough for her. She needed to find something to occupy her time, even if it was delivering fried pickles and cheap beer to hardworking rednecks.
Besides, once Sophie-Anne was out of the way and Bill was the king of Louisiana she didn’t see any reason why she couldn’t return to her normal life. She could go back to her farmhouse, work her job at Merlotte’s during the day and spend her nights with Eric. Normal couples did that sort of thing all the time, didn’t they? And that was all Sookie wanted right then was normal.
With the car situation taken care of, Sookie went outside to work on Moli’s training for a little while. She made sure to bring plenty of treats out with her to reward her puppy every time Moli followed a command. It was amazing how intelligent an animal Moli was, and how quickly she mastered new things. She was also incredibly affectionate, and would take little breaks here and there to do a little rewarding of her own with slobbery kisses and enthusiastic barks. Sookie was still out in the yard, playing fetch with the dog, when the sun set below the horizon.
She felt Eric come to life in their bond, but didn’t make a move to go inside. She knew he would come and find her when he was good and ready, and it took less than a minute for him to appear out in the yard. He was dressed only in a pair of jeans. No shirt, no shoes and his hair was a little messy from all of the activity the night before. It made Sookie’s heart skip a beat, but then she remembered the conversation they needed to have, and her good mood started to fizzle a bit.
Chances were she and Eric were going to end up arguing when she told him what she wanted to do. While it was sweet of him to want to have her close by, she also hoped he would understand her position in all of this.
“How was your day?” Eric asked as he approached, and then kissed her forehead.
“Fine, thank you,” Sookie said primly. “Bobby came by with the note and the keys.”
“Good,” Eric nodded.
“Why did you give me all that money?” Sookie asked him, figuring she might as well get that out of the way first.
“I thought you might need it in case you need to do some shopping,” he offered.
“You know, if I went back to work at Merlotte’s you wouldn’t have to be my personal ATM,” Sookie remarked, already knowing how he was going to respond.
“I don’t mind,” he told her, but then surprised her by adding, “But if you would like to return to Merlotte’s after Sophie-Anne is removed from the throne, I don’t see a problem with it.”
What? Was he serious?
“I know your independence is important to you, and I don’t wish to change that. Once things have stabilized, if you would like to go back to working there I won’t stop you. I still think you’re better than that, but it’s your decision.”
“I have bills to pay,” Sookie said quietly.
“And I would gladly pay them if you would allow it,” Eric said calmly.
She sighed heavily, torn between wanting to argue on her own behalf, but also knowing that Eric’s generosity came from a good place.
“I think there are better ways you could spend your days, Sookie. I know you see it as taking advantage of me, but that’s only true if I’m giving something I don’t want to give,” he pointed out. “You’ve talked about wanting to go to college and do something more with your life than wait tables. You should pursue those things. You’re young now but it will amaze you how quickly time passes. Don’t squander opportunities because of pride or stubbornness.”
Sookie let his words turn over in her mind. She thought about what Gran would say if she was overhearing this conversation. Eric had been much more rational and calm than Sookie had expected him to be, and for some reason the word ‘projection’ came to mind. Did she really expect the worst of him because that was how she had a tendency to react? All at once, Sookie felt awful for the way she had expected him to treat her. She really should know him better than that by now.
She sighed and said, “You’re right. But I do have one other question.”
“Okay,” he nodded.
“Why did you tell Tray Dawson not to fix my car?” she asked, and the guilt coming from him hit her almost immediately. Busted.
In this, at least, she felt a little justified at being angry with him. He had blatantly lied to her on several occasions.
Eric got real honest real quick and said, “Your car is a piece of junk.”
Sookie scoffed, despite the fact that he was once again correct, and folded her arms over her chest.
“As I’ve told you before, I have more cars than I can drive at any given time. I would gladly let you choose one to take, but I know that isn’t something you would accept, so I’ve arranged for you to have something temporary until you can afford a new one,” Eric told her.
“But the other one is repairable!” Sookie argued. “I called Tray myself this afternoon and asked him to order the part. He said it would be ready next week.”
Eric growled a little at that. Tray was supposed to dump that piece of shit. They were going to need to have words over it.
“You’re seriously going to take that car back knowing that it’s older than you are?” Eric looked at her incredulously. “What about Moli? How do you plan to get her around in that little tin can on wheels?”
Sookie glared at him and said, “Let me worry about that.”
“You wouldn’t have to worry about it at all if you could just let go of that rust bucket,” Eric pointed out.
Their tempers were flaring and they were staring each other down. There were two ways this was going to end. The first was with Sookie stomping off and locking herself in the bathroom to have a good, angry cry. The other was with them tearing each others clothes off and fucking right where they were standing. Eric, obviously, was hoping for the second option.
He noted the way Sookie’s nostrils flared a little bit when she was angry, and the way her scent got a little bit spicier. All that fire in her veins rose up and caused her neck and cheeks to flush while she argued her points. The two of them were fucking professional arguers, but it was the inevitable pounding of her jugular just under the surface of her skin that pushed Eric to his breaking point. As much as he tried to ignore the throbbing of the artery, he just couldn’t do it.
His fangs emerged and they wanted inside her. Now.
“Don’t even think about biting me!” Sookie said, covering her neck when she saw Eric eyeballing it. “We’re not finished talking yet. If you think for one minute that I’m just going to let you—”
Eric was done fighting over that piece of shit car. He covered Sookie’s mouth with his own to shut her up, and it worked. She fought against him for a minute, but he could be damn convincing when he wanted to, and the fact that he could feel the lust growing in her only riled him further. His fangs throbbed when she licked them, and to retaliate he pushed her up against the back side of the house. He pinned her hands above her head and let his hand snake down the front of her lounge pants that made her already perfect ass look even more inviting.
She was already wet, suggesting that the argument they had been having turned her on. That was good to know for the future. Really, the fight was ridiculous. At the end of the day her car was a death trap. Even Sookie had to be able to see how unsafe that thing was. There were remote control cars that were safer than that yellow POS.
His fingers moved inside her panties expertly and Sookie stopped fighting against his kisses. She tried to keep talking, but Eric wasn’t having any of that. They could pick it up later. At the moment the only thing he needed, that either of them needed, was release. When she was wet and ready enough for him, Eric removed his hand from her panties and turned her around so she was facing the wall. He tugged her pants down to the middle of her thighs and brought her panties along with them.
Sookie gasped at the feeling of the cool air on her backside. What was it with the two of them constantly fucking outdoors? Like they couldn’t control themselves, and this time they were right outside the house! Just five steps and they would be in the kitchen, but no, Eric was unzipping his jeans right there on the patio.
“Do you enjoy being a brat, Lover?” he said in a low tone of voice, directly into her ear. “Perhaps next time you behave like this I should spank you for it.”
The surge of lust Sookie felt at the proposition told her it was something Eric would greatly enjoy, and the way there was a gush of wetness between her thighs told her that she probably would, too.
But then Eric was inside her before she could speak. He pounded into her fast and hard from behind, continuing to growl into her ear, telling her what a bad girl she was. It was intense and sexy and unlike anything she had ever experienced before. When she came, Eric didn’t slow down or pull out; he just kept going. His much taller frame ensured that her hands remained pinned over her head as he continued to pound into her and whisper dirty things in her ear that shouldn’t have thrilled her, but they did.
Promises of dirty deeds and pleasures she had yet to experience for herself. It all sounded wonderful, if not a little overwhelming, and it wasn’t until Eric finally bit into her neck that he found the release he needed. She exploded around him again, her hands starting to glow over her head. Her knees started to go weak, but Eric held her up, refusing to let her fall. She whimpered when he pulled out of her and gently turned her around so they were face to face again.
The anger from before was gone, replaced with a loving expression, as he said, “I want you to be safe, Sookie.”
She nodded and said, “I know.”
He dipped down to kiss her, and lingered for a moment with his lips millimeters from hers. He felt her breath on his face and her warmth radiating from her body. If only he could completely sink into her for a little while…
“You’re giving in by not arguing about me going back to work,” Sookie rationalized. “I can compromise with you on the car then. I’ll call Tray tomorrow and junk it.”
“You will?” Eric was surprised by her statement.
“Compromise… we have to work on that,” she smiled up at him
Well if this was the way they were always going to do it, he could get used to it.