“Get your ass out here Stackhouse! Let’s see the goods!” Amelia yelled through the bathroom door where I was still safely hidden away.
I stared back at my reflection, not sure if the four gin and tonics I’d consumed over the span of an hour or so would be enough liquid courage to get me to open the door, much less go downstairs into the casino dressed like this. The red designer dress had always looked sexy on Amelia’s slight form, but now that it was on me it looked scandalous at best.
Trashy at worst.
I’d gotten a lot better about my body image over the last year – dropping the two-hundred thirty pound weight Quinn had been did wonders for my self-esteem – and I’d actually grown fond of my curvy figure, but this seemed like too much.
And by ‘too much’ I meant the girls were one sneeze away from showing all of Las Vegas my very own snake eyes.
I didn’t have too much time to ponder the ‘too much’ though because the word ‘patient’ would never be used to describe Amelia unless she was getting treated for the clap – again – when she burst into the room and smiled with her eyes glazing over seeing me.
I really needed to start remembering to lock doors behind me.
“You look fuck hot Sook,” she leered back at me in the mirror.
“I look like I should be charging by the hour,” I huffed back.
Slutty Sookie at your service. My pro-dick-tivity is unparalleled in the seedy underground of sex for sale. Would you care to try our special for this evening? One taste of my blow-jobotomy and all of your worries will disappear because it’ll blow your mind, among other things.
Either I’d been on one too many interviews or had been a waitress for too long, but at least I didn’t have to worry about either one of those things anymore now that I’d finally gotten a teaching job. The Headmaster, Mr. Brigant, looked like he could use a blow job to loosen up, but Lord knew I didn’t want the job that much.
But I might suggest it to that poor Preston Pardloe guy because he seemed willing to do just about anything to make the Headmaster happy.
“Looking like that,” Amelia broke into my thoughts, “You should charge a lot. But, there’s one thing missing…”
Before I realized what she was doing, her hands flew faster than the speed of light up underneath the dress and pulled down the panties that I’d been wearing, but all I could do was yell out, “AMELIA!”
No wonder she was so popular!
“What?” she asked innocently, which was lost on her considering she was tugging my panties out from underneath my feet. “The panty lines were ruining the image we’re going for.”
Which was what, exactly? Street walker chic?
My mind flashed to an imaginary Glamour magazine equivalent called Skanker,with the image of my panty-lined ass being a Tramp Don’t, but my only choices were either to give up my underwear or fall over onto the bathroom vanity, so I begrudgingly lifted my feet and let her have her prize, while wishing I had a fart stored up to pay her back, so long as she was already down there.
Not the best superhero power to have, but it would come in handy right about now.
And not only did we look alike, but that thought alone proved I was Jason Stackhouse’s sister. At least I’d be teaching a bunch of five year olds, so on the bright side I’ll be surrounded by a group of my intellectual peers.
“Loosen up Sookie,” she smiled after standing up, although she wouldn’t be saying that if she knew about the ass assault she’d be under if my bowel scowl would cooperate. Seeing the glare on my face, she added, “We’re here to have fun and celebrate you getting your new job.”
“I could do that with my panties on,” I grumbled back at her.
“No you couldn’t,” she argued back. “Clearly they were all twisted up in there giving you that sourpuss, so with any luck – now that you’re wedgie free – your other puss will have a reason to smile.”
With Amelia’s ‘free love’ spirit, her other puss must look like The Joker by now. Instead of Catwoman, would that make her Pussywoman?
Maybe those gin and tonics were kicking in after all…
“It’ll just be one less obstacle for whatever lucky man down there that strikes your fancy tonight, because tonight you aren’t School Teacher Sookie. Tonight you are Sexy Sookie who takes what she wants without apology. You deserve to have fun for once and you’ve been cock-free for much too long.” Seeing my glare still aimed her way, because she was more concerned with my cock-free diet than me, she smiled and said, “He doesn’t have to be Mr. Right when Mr. Right Now who’s DTF will do and while Quinn may have been an overall dick, here’s to hoping you find one that can actually get you off.”
She raised her glass at the end of her garish toast with a cheesy grin plastered on her face and I couldn’t help but laugh and clink my glass against hers, even though we both knew that wasn’t going to happen.
Down To Fuck or not, I would never just fall into bed with someone I didn’t know.
Alcide and I had been sitting at the poker table for a couple of hours, but I’d been losing hand after hand because I just couldn’t seem to concentrate. I felt off somehow – flustered for no discernible reason whatsoever – and kept fidgeting in my seat. I’d been looking forward to this trip for weeks, but now that I was here, it felt like it was the last place I wanted to be.
As always, there were a flock of women surrounding us, but even that didn’t seem to help and, if anything, only seemed to make matters worse. There was always a beautiful woman within arm’s reach that I could use to work off whatever pent up frustrations I was feeling, but lately I’d been getting tired of that too. I knew they didn’t want me for the real me – they couldn’t because no one had ever met the real me before, but then I didn’t want to know the real them either. They’d be lucky if I even remembered their name, if I even bothered to ask in the first place, but all of it was getting old. Sure, it got me off, but was that all there was to be had?
Working and fucking random women until the day I died?
If anyone had posed the question to me hours earlier, I would’ve said, “Hell yeah!” and meant it, but ever since we’d come down from our rooms and walked into the casino, I felt on edge. My eyes kept darting around like I was missing something, but I couldn’t figure out what in the fuck it was.
And it was making me anxious.
I was twenty-nine years old with more fame – more like infamy – and money than I knew what to do with, but at the end of the day I went home alone where it was just me, myself, and I. Everyone thought I led this great life when inside, more often than not, I felt like a fucking loser and I couldn’t help but wonder if that was all there would ever be for me.
Maybe Pam was right and I WAS a pussy.
I’d been having more and more of those depressing thoughts over the last few weeks, but I’d always been able to push them away before they could take hold. For some reason now, however, it felt like they were finally taking a hold of me. Countless women falling at my feet with their legs spread wide open and a different party every night of the week weren’t cutting it anymore in making me feel any better than I had been ever since I’d gotten out of rehab. So far I’d only found one way to feel good about myself and it had nearly killed me, and the fact the producers of the show had staged a little mini-intervention with me that very afternoon told me it showed. I hadn’t been fooling anyone that everything was fine because I could feel myself heading down that slippery slope that led to my drug addiction the first time, only this time I would have no one to blame but myself.
That, I feared, was the cause of my current anxiety.
I was afraid my former demon was trying to make a comeback and suddenly I felt claustrophobic, abruptly standing up needing to take a walk just to clear my head, but seeing the hopeful eyes of the women standing there like contestants in The Bachelor, waiting to see who would be given the rose and move onto the next round, made me wince.
I’d only ever left flowers for one woman and, in part, it was thanks to her I slid down the cocaine slide to begin with.
And she was also the reason I’d be a lifelong bachelor.
My father was a dick, but I knew some of that hatred stemmed from my mother leaving us. Sure, I saw a lot of couples who appeared to be happy, but I had a hard time believing all of that was real. I couldn’t imagine ever finding one person who I’d want to spend the rest of my life with when I couldn’t even find someone I could tolerate for longer than a weekend. I hadn’t necessarily been looking for the one either, but then I doubted she existed anyway, so if there was indeed a higher power in the universe they’d have to all but hit me over the head to notice her to begin with.
And tying me to her with a ball and chain would likely be required too.
Seeing all of the hopeful eyes batting their lashes at me only made me more depressed knowing they were my only option. I really was tired of it all, but at the same time I was resigned that this was my life, so I put on the charm and my acting skills, smiling at them all and saying, “I’ll be right back ladies. Why don’t you keep my seat, and my pal Alcide here, warm while I go and see a man about a horse.”
I could tell by the vacant look in their eyes none of them got the phrase that I needed to take a leak and probably thought I’d come back on a white stallion, plucking one of them from the horde and riding off into the sunset with them. But I was no Prince Charming and they weren’t damsels in distress.
There’d never be any happily ever after for me.
Alcide gave me a wary look, but he must have recognized my need to be alone because he just gave me a slight nod and got the girls’ attention by saying, “Let the man have a few minutes. He’ll be right back.”
The last part of that sentence sounded more like an order to me than an appeasement to them, but I didn’t care. I just needed to get away from them and walked off like I was a man on a mission.
But it was a Mission Impossible because no matter how far I walked, I would never be able to get away from myself.
After I exited the bathroom, I didn’t want to return to the table just yet. Nor did I want to return to my empty room, so I wandered the casino floor with my head down, trying not to draw too much attention to myself, but the more I walked around, the more pissed off I became. Not at anyone in particular – more so at my life in general – at least that was until I attempted to dodge a persistent brunette I’d spotted following me and wasn’t paying attention to anything else.
When I got slammed into from behind and knocked into the corner of the wall I’d been rounding, spilling the drink I’d just ordered.
I spun around to give who I thought would be the brunette hell, but choked on the words seeing the busty blond in front of me. My anger turned into lust – the likes of which I couldn’t remember ever having felt so strongly before – with her putting all of the women I’d just walked away from to shame. She had on a sinfully tight red dress and curves in all the right places, looking like she could’ve walked straight out of a pinup calendar from 1942, but maybe without the comical look on her face akin to a deer being caught in headlights. She quickly shook it off and exclaimed, “Oh, I’m so sorry. Are you alright?”
“No, but I’m willing to go back to your room and let you kiss it all better,” my mouth told Calendar Girl on reflex. It was crass – even for me – but I couldn’t stop myself in time. However, I’d certainly back up their offer and from the way she was dressed, I couldn’t imagine being disappointed with what I found when I stripped the dress from her body. I hoped she was free for the weekend.
My dick wanted to pencil her into my calendar.
“Excuse me?” she asked with her eyes opened wide. “I was going to offer to buy you another drink, but I think I’ll pass. You’re kind of a dick.”
I grinned at her rebuke and said, “Your lips. My body. Or, if you’d like, I could go first. As for my dick, feel free to find out exactly what kind I have and I’ll let you buy me breakfast in the morning instead of another drink now.” I smiled even wider getting more turned on seeing her skin flush with color.
“Fuck you!” she spat.
“I’d love to,” I agreed and unintentionally took a step forward, feeling – among other things – the need to be closer to her. I blamed my obnoxious behavior on being blinded by her spectacular breasts – I was positive they were real – and they were also the reason why I’d missed her flying hand which made stinging contact with my face just seconds before she angrily huffed, “You shouldn’t speak to a lady that way. Didn’t your mother teach you any manners?”
No, my mother taught me to not trust any woman.
She took off without waiting for a reply, but my eyes couldn’t help but follow her back to the bar and even though I was a little embarrassed by my behavior, I still chuckled to myself thinking I’d hated seeing her go but loved watching her leave.
She had an ass made for biting.
I slowly followed behind her as though my dick had suddenly turned into a bloodhound – or a creepy stalker – and watched as she sat down next to a different brunette where I assumed she proceeded to tell her about our little run in, if I was reading her pissed off expression and wildly gesticulating hands correctly. She really was beautiful – and smoking hot when she was fuming mad – so I stayed there for a few moments and allowed myself to be entertained by watching her. Out of the corner of my eye I could see the other brunette I’d been trying to dodge earlier slowly inching her way towards me and while she was pretty enough, she didn’t hold a candle to the Slap Chop model I’d just encountered. Besides that, her eyes gave off a crazy vibe that I wanted no part of, so I decided my pinup girl entertainment would have to be cut short if I wanted to avoid her and started to walk away. I only turned back one last time to try and commit the blond to memory so I could try and pretend the next woman I ended up taking to bed was her, but my feet stopped moving when I saw someone else sliding into the now empty seat her friend had just vacated.
I was positively livid inside seeing Sookie dressed as she was – no better than her whore cousin who I’d just left buried in the desert – and I tried to calm myself before taking the now vacant seat next to hers.
For months I’d watched her from afar, learning all that I could about her and seeing her here dressed like that left me seething. My little southern belle was acting no better than common trash and I wondered if perhaps I’d misjudged her, but quickly cast those notions aside. I knew her better than anyone after having watched her for the last several weeks – from the way she interacted with her customers at that hole in the wall she worked at to doing her good deeds on the weekends and everything in between. She didn’t date. She didn’t go out to bars or clubs. She didn’t even seem to notice the always too interested looks from the men in her presence, so I blamed her whore roommate for Sookie being there – the last place I would’ve expected – and dressing her in something so vulgar.
However, if Sookie wanted to play the role of a whore for the night, than I was more than willing to be her ‘John’, but she would learn. I would make her learn she would only ever be a whore for me.
“Sookeh,” I said, smiling back at her with every ounce of my acting abilities on display, hiding my anger behind false pleasantries, and touching her arm to get her attention.
“Huh?” she asked, seemingly startled by my presence. It was almost comical considering I’d been following her for so long, but I’d never actually been this close to her before and I could barely contain my reaction now that I finally had her at my side.
Where she belonged.
“How did you know my name? Have we met before?” she asked without any recognition in her eyes, making me realize I’d committed an error.
I blamed her since she was the one who shouldn’t have been here. She also shouldn’t have been dressed like a tawdry harlot put out on display for the leering crowd I’d observed watching her. Wanting her.
She was mine.
Lying was easy. Most of my life was one big lie. It was even my job to lie and I did it well, so I casually offered, “I heard your friend say it,” and reached over to brush a stray lock of hair behind her shoulder, but she flinched away from my contact. It only served to anger me more, but it served my purpose as well just the same since she’d been too distracted watching one hand and missed seeing the other drop the GHB into her drink. I’d brought it with me just in case whomever I chose as my companion for the evening needed a little more incentive than my natural charm, but now that Sookie was there, there would be no other choice for me.
“Compton!” I heard over my shoulder and cringed slightly, while watching her eyes flick upwards at the voice I recognized all too well. She looked angry and relieved at the same time, now seeing the bane of my existence I felt coming to a stop behind me.
“Eric,” I said calmly through gritted teeth and straightened up in my seat. Of course she recognized him and from the looks of it, I knew her well enough by then to know she liked what she saw. Everyone knew who The Great Eric Northman was and it appeared Sookie was no different.
But she would learn – I was the ONLY ONE she would be allowed to look at like that.
He moved to stand nearly in between us and asked, “Who’s your friend?” without taking his eyes off of her.
Before I could answer – not that I’d wanted to – she spoke up, saying with a little venom in her voice, “We’re not friends, which is why he should keep his hands to himself, but at least he hasn’t all but insinuated I’m some cheap floozy.” Her eyes turned to narrow back at me when she added, “But don’t make the mistake of fucking touching a woman you don’t know, especially me.”
Her vulgar reprimand only angered me more, especially after all of the countless hours I’d dedicated to getting to know her. I’d spent even more time cultivating the plans I’d made for our life together, but then she’d had no idea she was already spoken for.
But she would learn that truth soon enough.
“Really…” Eric drawled out and turned to briefly glare down at me. Turning back to her with a smile, he also turned on the charm, asking, “So, if I introduce myself then am I at liberty to let my hands wander? I’m Eric.”
She still appeared angry, but her lips minutely curved upwards into a smile at his offensive remark anyway before gazing back at him like he was the only man on earth – or at the very least, the only man in the room with her – and replied, “I’m not that easy, but then I would’ve thought you learned that lesson by now. My name is Sookie, but you can just call me Miss Stackhouse.”
From what I gathered, they already seemed to know one another, but I was confused by their introduction and the fact I of all people would’ve known if she’d been with Eric before. My hands clenched into fists while I froze the muscles in my face before my expression could give me away.
I saw her first.
Her smile should’ve only been for me.
THAT would be her first lesson.
Stupid sexy fantasy husband.
“Sookie,” he smiled wider, “An unusual name for an unusually beautiful woman.”
“You must really have a hard head or maybe a case of ADD. I said you could call me Miss Stackhouse,” I replied having my own Janet Jackson moment.
Lah. Hooz. Er!
But damn he was sexy.
I was still a little angry over how he’d spoken to me earlier, but my inner teenage fan girl wouldn’t shut the fuck up with her internal squees sounding off in my brain, so I took another deep breath to try and calm down while rolling my eyes at him. I was sure women dropped their panties on a dime for that smile he was sporting, but unluckily for him I wasn’t wearing any.
However that didn’t mean HE would be getting lucky with me.
But my God did he smell good.
Like I-wished-I-was-wearing-panties-to-catch-the-flood-of-Eric North-cum-leaking-out-of-me good.
“So…Miss Stackhouse,” he purred out my name, making both of my pusses smile just like Amelia said they would, but at least I could make one of them actually frown while he asked, “Are you from around here?”
“Ha!” I snorted while my internal Bieber-like tweenager squeed, ‘Oh-My-God-Eric-Northman-Is-Close-Enough-To-Touch-And-He-Just-Used-The-Lamest-Pickup-Line-On-Me-Ever!’
That bitch must’ve downed a Red Bull when I wasn’t looking.
I wrangled that dirty little whore into a choke hold and added a bit more calmly, “Louisiana originally, but now I live in L.A.”
“Oh,” he seemed to grimace which proved I was the only squeeing fool here. He sighed slightly outwardly, while I sighed hugely internally hoping I’d be able to keep her from squeeing out loud, when he adopted a knowing look as he asked, “So, I take it you’re an actress?”
“No,” I found myself laughing a little at just the thought.
The longer he stood there, the less of a douche bag he seemed to be, and despite him being my secret fantasy husband, I was starting to look at him more like he was a normal human being. The alcohol had loosened up not just my hands but my tongue as well so that I wasn’t tripping over it just talking to him, but I wasn’t so inebriated that I’d forgotten just who I was talking to. Sure, he was my fantasy husband, but I’d read enough gossip magazines to know he was a player and had seen for myself it must be true. A part of me had already assumed he would be a douche bag to begin with, so at least that wasn’t disappointing and he dated porn stars for Christ’s sake, so he would never be my Mr. Right. And no matter how much my lower lips were secretly salivating for him, he wouldn’t be my Mr. Right Now either.
Sweet baby Jesus in a manger… Does he think I make porn? Is that why he asked me if I was an actress? Was it the dress? Was it because I wasn’t wearing panties?
My horror over the thought mixed in with the four gin and tonics already in my system and had my upper lips moving faster than my brain could rein them in with the words, “I don’t have sex on film!” blurting out of them and into the atmosphere never to be seen again.
Oh…but they were heard.
His eyebrow rose up as his mouth fell open and I felt my skin burn like the dirty little whore I was dressed up as.
Mort. I. Fied.
Dear Lord, please strike me dead. Right now. Amen.
My eyes darted around looking for an escape, or perhaps an errant bolt of lightning, while I kept an ear out hoping for at least a fucking clap of thunder, but all I could hear over the pounding of the blood now rushing through my veins was Eric’s chuckle as he said, “That’s good…see? We have something in common since I don’t do that either.”
I know, Bieberette would’ve used a fake ID and bought the DVD if you had.
I was sure I looked like Professor Moody, with one eye looking at him while the other spun around in its socket looking for a way out, and after taking a huge sip of my drink, I started to calm down seeing he hadn’t run away nor had I turned into a pillar of salt.
I didn’t know if I should be happy or disappointed over that fact.
After swallowing hard – my pride was a bitch to get down – I smiled a little and said, “Sorry. I always knew I had a potty mouth, but I seem to have developed a sudden case of diarrhea of the mouth.”
And I still couldn’t decide if I wouldn’t prefer it coming out of the other end right about now.
When he softly smiled back at me, I swear to fucking Christ I could hear angels singing. Or maybe that was just my girly bits squeeing again, but my brain short circuited for a long second while my hands made a break for it and reached for his lips, wanting to see if they were as soft as they looked since they weren’t focused on them earlier when I’d slapped him across the face. I realized what they were doing and pulled them back just in time, taking another sip of my rum and coke in the meantime while I tried to shake off my stupor enough to remember what we’d been talking about.
Surprisingly, I found myself actually starting to enjoy our conversation and didn’t want him to go away just yet. Despite our earlier altercation, I couldn’t contain Bieberette to the point of dismissing him altogether, so long as he didn’t cross any more lines.
Wait…was that why Amelia had taken my panties? So there’d be no lines for anyone to risk crossing?
It wasn’t until he slipped into the seat next to mine that I realized the skeezy guy – Compton I surmised from Eric’s greeting – had left us alone, but I was grateful and offered, “Thanks, by the way, for coming to my rescue. Your friend there gave me the heebie jeebies.”
He really had and if Eric hadn’t walked up and given me my own little blow-jobotomy, I would’ve run off to look for Amelia. Now I just hoped she would stay away and not embarrass me even further by telling my fantasy husband about my Mrs. Eric Northman doodles back home.
Or that I was going commando.
“Well, you seemed a little uncomfortable when he sat down next to you and I figured your hands might not be up for another slap fest just yet,” he smiled back at me before adding, “I’m sorry about earlier. I guess I do have a thing or two to learn about how to treat a lady.”
“Well then, you’re in luck,” I smiled back at him, happy he had the decency to apologize. “I happen to be a teacher and I’m sure our class would love to have you. I think you’ll fit right in with all of the other kindergartners.”
He laughed and I’d be damned if I didn’t discover a line that led from my ears to my suddenly curling toes that rushed straight out of my hoohah, like a high school football team running onto the field at their homecoming game.
He may as well have laughed out ‘Marco’ because my lower lips were screaming ‘Polo!’
“Bill’s an actor too. He’s on my show,” he said while studying my face, looking for what, I had no clue, but at least he hadn’t said ‘Marco’.
That would’ve been embarrassing.
His blues eyes were intense as they stared back into my own and I found myself having a difficult time focusing. He really was a beautiful man, but I was beginning to see there might be more to him than that. My mind was really starting to feel scattered and I’d once again forgotten what we’d been talking about when I finally remembered and just shrugged, replying, “He’s creepy, so I suppose he’d need to be rich and famous for foreplay. That doesn’t float my boat and besides, I wouldn’t know who he was anyway. Is he on your show? I don’t watch a lot of TV.”
“Yeah,” he sighed and then asked, “So you know who I am then?”
Duh…could you not hear Bieberette’s deafening squees?
Again, he almost seemed disappointed, but I mean, really…who didn’t know who he was? There was an underlying sadness in his eyes that I felt compelled to try and take away from him and the alcohol in my system decided to make light of the situation. I figured I’d never see him again after tonight, so it didn’t really matter what he thought about me and he looked like he could use an ego boost, so I found myself admitting, “I do. In fact, I’ll even admit to having a bit of a crush on you growing up.”
‘HA!’ said Bieberette.
That was like saying I had a bit of moisture pooling in my nether regions when in reality, I wouldn’t be surprised if a tiny little ark fell out from in between my thighs carrying two of every animal on the planet, riding the flood of Eric North-cum into the promised land. However I would NOT cop to the fact I had what equated to Eric Northman wallpaper back home in Bon Temps unless he broke out into sobs.
That was just…no.
“So, what’s changed that you no longer have a crush on me?” he asked.
The sadness was still there despite his small smile and once again I felt compelled to try and make him feel better, so I let Bieberette out of her choke hold for only a moment and then wanted to kill the bitch when pandemonium ensued as she made me smile back and ask, “Who said it was past tense?”
That’s it! Her ass was getting locked up in a home for wayward fan girls just as soon as we got home!
He moved a little closer and whispered so low that I had to lean in to hear him when he playfully said, “Your slap earlier would indicate otherwise.”
The flood leaking out of me would indicate Noah himself would be joining us shortly.
I didn’t have the wherewithal to pull away from him and, if anything, I only wanted to move closer. My head was swimming with all things Eric and his scent was overwhelming my senses.
I wanted to lick him.
I couldn’t be certain if I’d heard him right because that very well could’ve been Bieberette making her last stand, but when his lips were suddenly getting closer and I was suddenly feeling cross-eyed I knew I hadn’t imagined it. Bieberette was screaming loudly by then, jumping up and down and drawing hearts all over the inside of my skull, but I still heard my grown-up voice ask, “Excuse me?”
Did he just lick his lip?
Dirty playing bastard.
I still couldn’t believe I was actually face to face with Eric Northman. Literally. Up until tonight, he only existed on television or the pages of a magazine, but now he was real.
And he still smelled REALLY good.
It was dumb, but I’d never really considered behind it all there lived a human being. His life was almost otherworldly compared to mine with his celebrity putting him into the annals of history while I’d just be a footnote in the lives of those I’d actually met and I preferred it that way. I’d seen the horde of paparazzi on the sidewalk when we’d first arrived, but they seemed to have to stay out there and I was especially grateful now. The last thing I needed was to be photographed with him and speculated to be Eric Northman’s latest fling girl.
Mr. Brigant would LOVE that.
I wouldn’t, however, be opposed to having my picture taken with him privately and then anonymously sent to Quinn. He’d never believe me otherwise and, childishly, I knew it would piss him off even now after all of this time.
Oh well, revenge would’ve been sweet.
“Do you see that brunette standing over there?” he asked, pulling me back from my scattered thoughts.
Unless she was sitting on his face, I wouldn’t have seen her.
But I might’ve gotten into a cat fight with her if she had been.
I shook off some of the lust I was feeling – it would be impossible to get rid of it all – and tried to concentrate on his eyes, watching them dart to my left, and when mine followed, sure enough I saw a brunette giving me the ‘Die-Now-Bitch-Glare’.
“What about her?” I asked, hoping he wasn’t going to suggest a threesome because my hands were itching to do something other than slap him again.
“She’s a potential problem I’m trying to nip in the bud. In order to do that I need to nip your lips.”
I pushed those sinful thoughts away as best I could and figured it was just one kiss, right? I mean, in what other universe would Bieberette ever have the chance to kiss her fantasy husband?
God she was sexy.
And now that I was closer I could tell she even smelled like cherries. There was something about her that drew me in more than her beauty and body – oddly it was her mind. The way she wasn’t impressed with me. The way she made me work to get her attention – her approval – wasn’t something I’d ever encountered before. Nor was the fact that I was willing to do it.
I discovered she was funny – quick witted – and seemed comfortable in her own skin. I didn’t know whether to kick Bill’s ass or kiss him on the lips because if it hadn’t been for her wary expression when he’d joined her, I would’ve kept walking.
Another odd happenstance was the overwhelming, possessive feelings that came over me seeing him hit on her.
Like she was mine.
Even though she wasn’t.
Most of the other women I met came across as too confident or too needy – empty-headed bimbos with fake tits and matching personalities, but Sookie just came across as real.
And after living my lifetime in the land of make believe, it only made her stand out that much more.
I couldn’t remember the last time anyone had made me laugh like she had and when she’d said she lived in L.A. I automatically assumed she was a wannabe actress, although not the porn star variety. After all, she was a beautiful girl and that’s what all of the other ones I’d ever met had wanted to be, but hearing she was a teacher made my dick twitch even more.
I was Hot. For. Teacher.
No woman had ever talked to me the way she had – at least none that I’d been interested in – and instead they only flirted or downright propositioned me, but not Sookie. Even though she shocked me when she admitted to having a crush on me when she was younger, she didn’t seem all that impressed with me now that I was some supposed hotshot movie star and wasn’t trying to be anything other than who she was. It was a breath of fresh air.
Cherry scented air.
It just gave my dick one more reason to twitch and gave me one more reason to be pissed at my dad for keeping me out of school to work my whole life – thereby missing out on fantasy teachers like Sookie – and sitting there now, I realized my earlier anxiety was gone. It had disappeared the moment I saw her and oddly enough, I felt myself envying whatever lucky bastard she’d eventually end up with. He’d probably be a normal guy with a normal job and would get to come home to her every night. They’d share a house filled with laughter and maybe a rug rat or two where she’d be waiting for him each night with a kiss and a home cooked meal, while I was stuck eating out and having to choose amongst the least annoying women surrounding me, picking the one who had the most realistic tits.
It just wasn’t fair.
Not only because I suspected her tits were real but because I knew it was a life I would never have. I didn’t deserve someone like her. Sure, she was smiling and laughing with me now, but she had no idea of who I really was. All she saw was Eric Northman the actor, not the loser with a former drug addiction whose own mother couldn’t stand to bother sticking around for and whose father cursed the day he’d ever been born.
Sookie didn’t deserve someone like me. Just from seeing the little bit of her that I did, I figured she deserved a hell of a lot better than I could ever be, but I was selfish. I was also a masochist because I wanted that kiss from her so I could torture myself for however long afterwards having sampled something I knew I could never really have. I should’ve gotten up and walked away. I should’ve left the seat at her side so the lucky bastard could take my place.
And I would, but not yet.
First I needed that kiss.
“Just one kiss?” she asked softly.
I didn’t even deserve that much.
“Just one kiss,” I repeated.
Because I was a selfish prick and wanted at least that much before I walked away.
“A showmance to get her to back off?” she asked.
More like the first flake that would start an avalanche.
I couldn’t even answer her because my brain was locked up with my throat too constricted to form any words. My usual confidence had abandoned ship and left me feeling a level of uncertainty I couldn’t remember having felt before. I wanted her more than I wanted air to breathe which was probably why I was subconsciously holding my breath, but when I saw her lips move fractionally closer, she was only able to say, “I guess…” before I descended on her with my lips cutting off the rest of her reply.
And then I was done for.
Her lips were just as soft as I’d imagined they would be and I growled tasting the cherry flavor I found there, and then growled again when she moaned into my mouth. My hands automatically moved to hold her head in place knowing I’d never experienced anything like it before. I felt a charge detonate in my fingertips and radiate up my arm the moment my hand touched her, but still I held on because I didn’t think I’d ever be able to let go now that I’d had a taste of her.
I never imagined ‘just one kiss’ could do me in.
When I felt her start to pull back, I begrudgingly let her, but still kept my hands on her needing the contact. Seeing her still smiling face and shining blue eyes staring back at me, with the blush coloring her cheeks, made my plans to walk away from her hard enough, but when I locked my gaze onto her own I felt an overwhelming longing cleave open my chest. I’d been struck stupid as soon as my eyes had first landed on her – my asinine behavior was proof of that, but I’d only approached her because she’d looked so uncomfortable from Bill hitting on her. That bastard didn’t deserve her either, but now – seeing her looking at me like she was, panting in air through lips I’d made swollen with my own – having tasted just an ounce of what she had to offer, made me want her in an entirely different way. It wasn’t sexual, despite the fact I wanted to fuck her into a coma.
It was instinctual.
I wanted her to be mine.
But even more so, I wanted to be hers.
That thought scared me to death because I knew it would never work. We would never work because I didn’t do relationships and didn’t know how to be in one, but I had a sneaking suspicion that besides porn, Sookie didn’t do one night stands either.
Her slapping hands had made that abundantly clear.
What scared me even more was that I was pretty sure I wanted more than that from her, so like the coward I was I grabbed her glass which was still half full since I hadn’t replaced the one I’d spilled earlier. Using the hand that wasn’t still clutching hers, because I had a feeling it was the only thing keeping me from falling into the pits of Hell, I finished the rest of her drink in one go and tasting the rum and coke as it passed over my taste buds reminded me I’d seen Johnny Depp’s ass swaggering through the casino earlier, but I pushed the errant thought away and forced myself to focus.
I needed to focus. I needed the liquid courage to either walk away from her now and never look back or hold on and never let her go. The first option would be what was best for her, but unluckily for her, I was a selfish bastard and even though I knew I’d have to let her go eventually, for one night at least, I thought I could be that lucky bastard. I wanted to be that guy she would eventually look at and think he might be the one and even though I knew it would never really be me she ended up with, for one night at least, I could pretend to be him.
And for some unexplainable reason it was a role I found myself wanting more than anything.
His lips WERE as soft as they looked.
Bieberette had taken over completely because my eyes couldn’t stop looking at him, nor would my hands let go of him. My mind couldn’t even form any reasons why either of those things were a bad thing.
Probably because nothing else could get through the scribbles Bieberette had left behind painting ‘Mrs. Eric Northman’ everywhere.
Our matching smiles seemed permanently affixed to our faces while we ordered a few more drinks and seemed to laugh the night away with him telling me stories I never would’ve imagined to be true while I told him about my dunderheaded brother, who he laughingly outright accused me of making up.
Then, at times, he even seemed a little insecure of himself, but I couldn’t for the life of me figure out why. Not only was he Eric Northman, but he was sweet and charming and funny – and his lips should be insured by Lloyd’s of London – with no sign of his earlier douchebaggery in sight. I couldn’t deny I felt a connection to him that had nothing to do with my Eric Northman obsession from years earlier and instead found myself interested in the man who was just Eric sitting across from me. He hung on every little word I had to say about my very unexciting life and I chuckled a little when he’d wondered aloud how nice it must have been to have grown up back in Bon Temps. If anything, I would’ve thought his life would’ve been a lot nicer, but something told me I would’ve been wrong. Something had gone very wrong for him at some point, but I didn’t know what and all I wanted to do was fix it for him. Even if we never crossed paths again after this night was over, I wanted him to be happy.
Everyone deserved to be loved and he was certainly no different.
That making him happy fixation apparently extended to wanting to keep him in my grasp as well because I just nodded mutely when he asked me to dance. My head felt like it was swirling, but it was likely a mixture of the booze and my company. We hadn’t let go of one another’s hands since he’d first clasped them together at the bar and as time wore on, I was less inclined to ever give it back to him.
On the way to the dance floor Eric was approached by some fans and he was gracious enough to smile and stop to sign a few autographs, so I let go of his hand and tried to blend in with the scenery when I noticed the angry looking brunette standing several feet away glaring at me. Normally I would’ve returned her unwarranted bitchface, but something about her was a little scary.
Like she was going to eat my liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti scary.
Trying to avoid her deathly laser eyes, I took a step back diagonally to my left, putting Eric in between us so she couldn’t see me, but then she moved too putting me back in her sights. My eyes darted down to where my liver was looking for the red laser dot I was sure would be there, but it must’ve blended in with my red hooker dress, so I took another horizontal sidestep to my right to block her again.
So she moved again.
Backwards. Forwards. To the left. To the right. No matter which way I moved, she moved too and I was about to turn myself around to complete my Vegas Hokey Pokey debut when I heard Eric’s amused voice and realized he was done with his fans.
“Sookie, what are you doing?”
“A hoe down?” I was dressed like a Ho and the brunette one clearly had it out for me, so it kinda made sense.
One of us was going down and if it was me, the girls would spring free from my dress, thereby crowning me this season’s winner of the Ho Factor.
A part of my brain cringed over the imaginary taunts I could hear in Simon Cowell’s voice while the rest of me knew I sounded like an idiot, but I felt oddly free. Liberated, like it was okay to act like a fool and I should do it more often, and Eric confirmed that fact when he laughed and pulled me into his arms, saying, “Clearly I’m being very poor company if you’re reduced to having to dance by yourself.”
Clearly, you’re ten shades of sex on a stick and my panties would’ve been reduced to ashes had I been wearing any.
Watch your step. Puddle of Eric North-cum at your six.
His blue eyes were sparkling down at me while other less sparkly things ran down my inner thighs and whatever inhibitions I had left were lost somewhere between the bar and the dance floor because the longer we danced, the less amount of space we seemed to want in between us. Those feelings continued to grow and only intensified when he finally kissed me again. If I could have I would have wrapped myself around him, like the Sookie tortilla to his Eric chimichanga, but the best I could do was just be the wannabe stripper to his pole. My thoughts were still scattered but the one that seemed to remain at the forefront was me wondering if he cared to sample the pink Sookie taco in my non-existent panties.
I wanted him – more than I’d ever wanted anything, and my hands seemed to want him even more because they couldn’t get enough of him. As the night pressed on, we could barely keep any part of our bodies off of each other, or our clothes on, so when he suggested going up to his room it seemed like a really good idea. Only somewhere inside of my lust hazed brain, Responsible Sookie lurked and didn’t arbitrarily serve her pink taco to fantasy husbands she’d only just met, so that bitch smothered Bieberette and took control of my mouth, saying, “I can’t. I’ve never even been to Mexico!” Seeing his confused expression, I realized Responsible Sookie had been taken out by Drunk Sookie and had another bout of diarrhea of the mouth explaining, “I can’t give you my taco. I’m not like that. I don’t make porn or have sex with anyone I don’t know.” Trying to reel my flighty thoughts back into coherency, I added, “I’ve only ever been with one other person and I was going to marry him until he turned out to be a cheating bastard. I’m sorry…if I’ve led you on.”
I couldn’t believe the words I was saying – Bieberette had passed out while Responsible Sookie looked around for smelling salts – and my girly bits were clenching from more than just frustration, but regardless of what my mouth was saying, my hands rebelled by desperately clutching at him not wanting him to get away. He made me feel special. He made me feel desirable, running his huge hands all over my body and whispering nothing but flattering things into my ear over what he’d found all night long. He made me feel like I actually belonged with someone as beautiful as him – both on the inside and outside. He made me laugh. He made me happy and I knew I could do the same for him. I’d always wanted him, but now that I knew him a little better – knew the man behind the celebrity – I couldn’t imagine ever wanting to let him go. I didn’t care about his money or his fame. I just cared about him. My thoughts may have been scattered for most of the night, but I knew enough that I didn’t want just a one night stand with him. I wanted all of him.
Oh my God! Had I actually fallen in love with him?
I was such an idiot!
Of course Sookie wasn’t like any of the other women I’d ever been with and I offended even myself for suggesting she come back to my room with me.
Not only did I feel a little dizzy and confused, she made me feel special – like maybe there was someone worthy of love on the inside, but I already knew she was the only one who would ever make me feel that way. She was the only one who managed to tear down the walls I’d meticulously built throughout my lifetime and even after getting a glimpse of what was behind them, she still wanted me. She’d already shown me she was better than all of the other women from my past combined because she genuinely wanted me for me. Not my money or my fame, but me.
Eric Northman the man, not the celebrity.
She didn’t care about any of that. She hadn’t been the slightest bit impressed by me, demanding I respect her, when every other woman had always swooned at my feet regardless of the way I treated them, which was anything but respectful most of the time. Well, she was swooning a bit now – we both were – but it was late and we’d been drinking, so it was to be expected.
Sookie was special – she performed one-man flash mob hoe downs! – and the fact that she both smelled and tasted like my favorite cherries cemented the idea in my swirling head that God saw fit to send me an angel better than anything on any Victoria’s Secret runway.
I would know. I’d sampled a few of them.
The initial attraction I’d felt when I first laid eyes on her only increased as the night wore on. My head was clouded with all things Sookie and what told me it was real was the fact I never once bothered to look and see if there was anyone better in the vicinity I could move on to. I already knew there was no one better than her and by being with her, for once, I didn’t have to settle.
I was finally the lucky bastard!
My inner caveman, however, saw red hearing her mention another man – a man she would’ve married had he not been a cheating bastard and therefore she wouldn’t have been there with me right now so I could be the lucky bastard – so I did the only logical thing I could think of to keep her with me forever.
Right there in the middle of the dance floor I dropped to one knee and then yelled out, “Fuck!” cursing myself for not having a ring ready to give to her.
“What’s wrong?” Sookie asked, dropping to her knees with me. “Did you slip in my puddle? I told you to watch your six! Fucking Amelia! It’s all her fault for stealing my panties! Are you hurt?”
“No, I…” trailed off, not able to comprehend anything other than the fact Sookie wasn’t wearing panties.
“Did you drop a contact?”
“No, I…my vision is perfect.”
And yet no matter how hard I concentrated, I couldn’t activate any latent x-ray vision superpower to see if her panty-less claims were true.
“All of you is perfect,” she smiled and her words only made me wonder if she had x-ray vision.
I never wore panties. Or boxers. Or briefs. Or boxer briefs.
My mind seemed to be everywhere at once, but I watched as her eyes darted down to the floor, with her hands moving over them like she was playing an invisible shell game, but the joke was on her because I already knew the balls were in my jeans where there weren’t any panties, boxers, briefs, or boxer briefs. I decided I’d make a horrible conman because I was about to tell her where they were when she looked up at me and asked, “Did you drop a cufflink?”
“What? No, I’m wearing a t-shirt,” but I still checked my wrists to be sure because I did own cufflinks. Seeing my wrists were sans cuffs I figured I’d left my cufflinks at home and hearing her mention jewelry got me back on track, so I said in a bit of a whiney fashion, “Sookie, I don’t have any cufflinks with me. And I don’t have a ring.”
The lucky bastard would have a ring ready. And maybe cufflinks too.
“Do you want a ring?” she asked, with her glassy eyes brightening as she smiled up at me. “I can draw one on your hand until we find yours.”
Without waiting for a reply, she started digging in her purse, producing a tube of red lip gloss, and I watched her – dumbfounded and hard as a rock – as she applied it to her lips and then took my left hand in her own. Something came out of me then – a whimper; a growl; some precum – when she sucked my ring finger into her mouth and pressed her lips down around the base before swirling her tongue all over the rest of it as she pulled back and released it with a pop.
Or maybe the pop sound had come from my pants.
“There you go,” she smiled and then laughed, “You’re a lucky bastard because I don’t have a gag reflex. You’ve got really big hands. They’re all over tumblr.”
She said it! I was the lucky bastard!
She’d taken my hand and held it palm side up in front of her mumbling something about hand and feet size, but I didn’t like not being able to see her face, so I grabbed both of her hands in my own and kept them in between us. Her eyes were looking down, from the looks of it I guessed she’d finally figured out where the balls were for her shell game, but I didn’t want to play any games right now and pleaded, “Marry me.” And because it couldn’t hurt my case, I truthfully added, “I won’t be a cheating bastard.”
I couldn’t imagine ever wanting someone as much as I wanted her. She was perfect – almost too perfect in that she could do way better than a dirtbag like me, but that would only make me strive to be better for her. To be a man who deserved someone as special as her and I swayed on my knees as we sat in the middle of the dance floor while I held my breath waiting for her answer.
“Do you love me?” she asked with her eyes filled with hope. They were kind of red too, but it was late and she was probably tired.
I wondered if they smelled like cherries too. I loved cherries and she smelled like cherries, so of course I must love her too!
“I do,” I replied without hesitation and then dropped my face to hers to see if her red eyes were cherry scented, because what else besides full-blown-knock-you-on-your-ass-because-you-never-even-saw-it-coming-love could make me feel this way?
And she smelled like cherries!
“Yes,” she cried while I sniffed her face.
“Yes?” I repeated, not sure if maybe I’d imagined it.
“Yes,” she repeated and added, “I love you too. I always liked you, but now that I know the real you, I…I love you and I don’t want to ever let you go.”
My heart soared and I scooped her up into my arms as I stood up and swung her around while kissing her all over, saying, “You’ve made me the happiest man in the world.”
“You’re making me dizzy,” she laughed, so I put her down but refused to let go of her when she started tugging on my arm and said, “Let’s go upstairs.”
Talk about being torn in two – my jeans were likely to be torn in two from the amount of wood I’d been sporting thanks to being the subject of her ring making skills and running my hands all over her heavenly body all night long, but I wanted to do things the right way for once. We were in Vegas, so it would make it easy to do and make it harder for her to get away from me later on if she changed her mind, so I resisted the urge to consummate our union just yet and instead said, “Let’s go get married first.”
“What? Now?” she asked.
“Yes, right now,” I replied and started tugging her out of the club before she could argue with me. The last thing I wanted was for her to think I didn’t mean what I’d said, nor did I want her to take back what she’d said, so I figured so long as I kept her moving, then everything would be okay.
Because for once, I was the lucky bastard. She was mine and I wanted the piece of paper that would tell the world to back the fuck off.
I relaxed a little hearing her tinkling laughter behind me as she slurred a drawn out, “Ooookaaay,” and let me pull her towards the casino’s front doors, but from out of nowhere her friend from earlier and Alcide swooped in with each of them talking at the same time, more or less asking the same thing by saying, “Just where do you think you’re going?”
“We’re going to get married Amelia! Isn’t it romantic?” Sookie gushed and then her eyes narrowed at her friend as she added, “See? I told you he wasn’t a fucktard. Well maybe I said it earlier, but I take it back just like you took my panties, so he hasn’t crossed any lines!”
“Sookie, no!” her shitty friend yelled. “This is a mistake and you’re going to regret it!”
“It’s not a mistake!” Sookie yelled back and grabbed my left hand, holding it up to show off my smeared ring and saying, “See? I already marked him. That my ring on his hand.”
My chest – among other things – swelled hearing her claim me and I seriously considered just finding a dark corner to fuck in our newfound love, but I was more concerned Sookie might actually listen to her shitty friend, so I tugged her out the door. As soon as we stepped out onto the sidewalk the paparazzi who’d gathered there for the celebrity poker tournament going on that weekend swarmed around us. Thinking it would be a good idea to get ahead of any potential proposal take-backs, I rubbed myself against her so I could mark her as mine since I wasn’t wearing any lip gloss and yelled to the crowd, “You’re all invited! We’re getting married!”
I smiled when they all cheered for us, happy that at least someone else was happy for us, and one of them shouted back, “Was it love at first sight?”
I narrowed my eyes at him wondering if he too had fallen in love with her now seeing her, but before I could rip them from their sockets or grab her lip gloss to paint her in it, Sookie spoke up and calmed my inner beast by saying, “I’ve always loved Eric!”
It was exactly what I needed to hear which was unsurprising since she was just cherry scented fucking perfection, so I quickly said so she would never have any doubt, “And I love you!”
I couldn’t stop myself from kissing her again and she kissed me back – voraciously – which only made me want to hurry up with the wedding so we could get on to the wedding night. I even grinned a little wider realizing we wouldn’t need to use condoms because who in the hell does that with the woman they’re married to?
Wives don’t carry sexually transmitted diseases!
Alcide however broke into my wedding night bareback fantasies by leaning in and angrily whisper shouted, “I’m not going to let you throw your life away on an easy piece of ass no matter how hot she is!”
Every part of that sentence pissed me the hell off. I wasn’t throwing my life away – I was making it infinitely better. Sookie wasn’t an easy piece of ass – she was fucking heaven sent and my soon to be cherry-scented wife. And he had no business noticing how hot she was, so I turned and let my fist do the talking for me.
I only noticed her friend had followed us outside too when Alcide fell on top of her, but seeing our chance to make a quick getaway I pulled Sookie into the first waiting cab and said, “Step on it!”
“Step on it?” Sookie giggled. “That’s such a lame line. Where are we? Beverly Hills 90210? Melrose Place? Oh! How about Hawaii 5-0?”
Huh? Were those places she wanted to see or did she not know we were in Vegas?
It didn’t really matter because I’d take her wherever she wanted to go, but the driver had in fact stepped on it so he asked, “Where to?”
“We’re getting married, so the nearest chapel that’s open,” I replied, but Sookie was quick to add, “One with an Elvis impersonator!”
When I looked down at her with a chuckle, she only smiled back at me and shrugged, “What? I’m only going to do this once, so who better than the King to marry us?”
Goddamn right she was only doing this once.
I still couldn’t believe I was actually about to become Mrs. Eric Northman. My childhood dreams were actually coming true only the reality was so much better than anything I’d ever dreamed. Eric loved me and I loved him and that was all that mattered, but when we arrived at the Love Me Tender Wedding Chapel he noticed my frown.
“What’s wrong?” he asked. “You didn’t change your mind, did you?”
My lip jutted out seeing him look so distraught and I immediately kissed him back to being happy again before pulling away and decided I should just be honest with him because marriage was all about communication. “I just don’t want you to take that too literally,” I said, pointing at the sign.
“You don’t want to marry me?” he whispered looking heartbroken.
I cursed myself for already fucking up our marital communications and quickly shook my head before there would be no marital fornications.
I was dying to see if it was true about what they said when a guy has big hands and feet.
Eric’s were HUGE!
“No,” I smiled back at him. “I only meant that I don’t want tender loving. I want a night of hard fucking.”
It felt good being honest with the man who was going to be my husband because his relief was soon superseded by his lust as he leaned in and kissed his way across my jaw to my ear, saying, “If that’s what my wife wants then that’s what my wife shall have.”
I was about to become Mrs. Eric Northman.
And there would be hard fucking involved.
We climbed out of the taxi and saw we’d been followed by the group of cameramen from the casino. Normally I would’ve ignored them, but for once I felt completely free – like nothing could or would ever go wrong because I now had Sookie. Or, at least, I almost had her.
First she needed to sign on the dotted line and say ‘I do’.
Figuring we’d need a couple of witnesses to our fated union and since neither Alcide nor Sookie’s friend were there – and they were against it anyway – I didn’t want their bad mojo at our ceremony and called out into the crowd, “Who’s happy that we’re getting married?”
I picked the first two guys whose hands shot into the air – not just for their goodwill towards us but also because I was impressed with their dexterity.
That shit had to be hard to do without dropping their cameras.
I had them follow us inside and quickly filled out the required forms, but while Sookie filled out her info, I started fretting again over not having a ring. The one cameraman, who’d said his name was Long Shadow and looked like an 80’s metal hair band reject, never stopped filming us, but the other, whose name was Ahmed, came up to me asking, “Are you alright? Do you need something?”
I took a few steps away so Sookie wouldn’t overhear that I was an unprepared lucky bastard and admitted, “I don’t have anything to give her. No ring. I know I can get her one later, but it just feels wrong to not have anything to give her right now.”
He smiled back at me, saying, “In my country we say, ‘Barua kutoka moyo inaweza kusomwa kwenye uso.’ It is Swahili and means, ‘A letter from the heart can be read on the face.”
Swahili? I didn’t know any Swahili. Did that mean I should use Sookie’s lip gloss to draw an ‘L’ on my forehead for ‘Loser’? Or maybe an ‘LB’ for ‘Lucky Bastard’?
Seeing my confused expression, he asked, “Do you love her?”
The way he asked wasn’t like he was trying to get the inside scoop, but more like he was trying to make me understand something, so when my eyes automatically landed on Sookie, I really looked at her and even though somewhere in the back of my mind I knew this was crazy, I just didn’t care. The thought of her walking out the door and never seeing her again threatened to claw its way through my body and out through my chest, leaving nothing but the shell of me in its wake.
“Yes,” I replied because what else could make me feel like that.
“Then she will see that on your face,” he smiled. “And if she is truly worthy of your love, it will be all that she needs.”
Worthy of my love? I already knew without a doubt I was the unworthy half of our couple, but I could only hope she would stay with me anyway and when my eyes glanced down at my now smeared ring I realized it didn’t matter it had been made with lip gloss.
She’d already branded me just as surely as if she’d used a hot iron instead of her lips.
My earlier euphoria was starting to nosedive into a headache, but as soon as Sookie turned and faced me, wearing a brilliant smile, it was gone. She took a few steps forward and when her hand reached out and took mine, a calm spread through me and despite feeling a little dizzy, I knew everything was going to be okay so long as she never let go.
The ceremony itself only took a few minutes, despite our combined laughing fit over our officiant telling us his name was Bubba.
If we’d had a reception, he could’ve led our first dance hoe down.
I was still feeling a little dizzy and now a little nauseous when we got to our vows, but my euphoria overrode it all hearing Sookie say those life changing two little words.
She was mine.
I didn’t even wait for Bubba’s blessing and pulled her to me for a kiss, still marveling over how she could still possibly taste like cherries, but it only made her more perfect in my eyes.
And in my mouth.
When we got outside I was so happy that I twirled her around in front of the crowd, announcing, “May I present to you, Mrs. Eric Northman.”
The crowd cheered – as they should because this was seriously the best thing to ever happen in the history of best things that ever happened – and Sookie must have thought so too because she squealed and jumped up and down in delight, making me wonder what other sounds I could get her to make.
“Let’s see the ring!” some asshat called out from the crowd, highlighting my failure after I’d desperately tried to hide it from her.
Trying to playoff my faux pas, I quickly said, “She’ll get her ring from Rodeo Drive when we get back home. My Sookie deserves the best.”
Normally I knew I would’ve been abhorred over not only the idea of getting married, but being expected to buy something so expensive for any woman. I’d dropped more cash than I cared to remember on them in the past thinking that’s all I was really good for anyway and always regretted it afterward, but Sookie was different. I would give her the world if she asked for it.
The difference between her and the others was that Sookie deserved it a hell of a lot more than I deserved someone like her.
The next thing I knew was Sookie’s lips were on mine and then it was all I knew until she pulled away and nearly blew me away with her smile, saying, “Baby, I don’t need a ring. I just need you.”
That right there told me I was right about her. She wasn’t like any of the others and I found myself voicing my inner thoughts out loud, saying, “See? That’s why she’s perfect. She doesn’t love me for my fame or money. She loves me for me.”
I crushed my mouth to hers wanting to eat her. Not literally – well maybe literally since I definitely intended on finding out if she tasted like cherries everywhere, but I was having a hard time holding back from trying to consume her. My head was stuck on the Sookie channel with my mind crushing the remote so it would always stay that way.
“I love you. I’ll always love you,” I breathed into her mouth, unable to let her go just yet.
“I’ve always loved you,” she returned and added, “So there’s no reason for me to ever stop now.”
Thank fuck for that.
I pulled away trying to get myself under control before we ended up giving the crowd an X-rated show because Sookie already told me she didn’t make porn, when a flashing neon sign caught my eye across the street. It was a tattoo parlor and Ahmed’s earlier words came back to my mind in a jumble.
Something about letters and love. And maybe a branding iron.
My confusion didn’t really matter because now I knew what I wanted to do. What I had to do.
Mark Sookie as mine permanently.
“How do you feel about tattooed wedding rings?” I whispered into her ear after I’d licked my way there via her neck. The lip gloss around my finger was nearly gone, but she’d already branded me on the inside so I figured we may as well do it on the outside too.
“How do you feel about hearts?” she asked with a laugh.
She already had mine, so if she wanted me to show it off, then who was I to argue?
We dodged traffic as we ran across the street and into the shop where Sookie told the guy exactly what she wanted. My only contribution – more like demand – was that hers read ‘Eric’s’ because that’s what she was.
She went first and my dick got harder and harder with every letter that was permanently etched into her skin, forever branding her as mine, and seeing she’d dotted the letter ‘i’ in my name with a heart made me decide to do something similar. Thanks to lucky circumstance, the ‘i’ in my name sat in the middle of her finger, so her heart looked almost like a ruby solitaire, but if I’d done the same it would’ve been off to the side. Besides, guys didn’t wear ruby solitaires – well, some did, but I wasn’t one of them – so I had them make the ‘o’s’ in her name into hearts instead. It wasn’t quite wearing my heart on my sleeve, but I wore different sleeves every day and this would always be there.
Just like she’d always be mine and I would always be hers.
I was feeling a little dazed and confused thanks to hurricane Northman, but I was eager to have him blow through my bayou. I was still feeling dizzy from when he twirled me around on the sidewalk, but I’d never been so happy in my entire life. Staring back at him watching my name being permanently marked onto his skin, I couldn’t help smiling like an idiot.
He was really mine.
When he’d mentioned going to Rodeo Drive for rings, I immediately got that notion out of his head. There was really only one ring I’d ever wanted to wear – which was what had made it easy for me to throw Quinn’s ring back at him – and that one was gone for good, but this one was just as good too. Eric’s even had two hearts in his, just like the my mother’s ring had, so it was almost like he’d given a little bit of that back to me and I loved him even more because of it.
I had a hard time focusing, with my eyes darting from my ring, to his ring, to his face, but that’s where I stopped. I couldn’t look away, nor could I believe I’d actually married Eric Northman, Sexiest Man Alive.
But he was so much more than that. He was sweet and caring. He made me feel like I was the only woman in the world and that he felt like he was lucky to have me.
He was nothing like the douche bag I’d always assumed lurked underneath his clothes.
But once I started thinking about what else was lurking beneath his clothes, that was all I could think about and not even Amelia and Eric’s friend showing up as we exited the tattoo parlor could break my concentration. They pushed us into the limo and climbed in after us, berating us for our ‘stupidity’ all the way down the strip back to the casino, but they were wrong.
It wasn’t stupidity.
It was fate.
So I ignored them completely and climbed onto my husband’s lap, ready to start the rest of our lives together.
But first we were going to break the bed with a night filled of hard fucking.