I woke up fairly early Sunday morning after a fitful night’s sleep. The bed was comfortable, more so than my old one, but I just couldn’t seem to stop fidgeting and tossing and turning all night long with my thoughts invariably returning to Eric.
What was I doing here? Could I really pretend to be his loving wife for an entire year? Would I be able to resist my own urges to have sex with him? Would he be faithful even though I had no plans to sleep with him?
I wasn’t so sure he could, or would, and I didn’t subscribe to the whole ‘a man has needs’ bullshit. Women have needs too; that’s why God gave us hands and a shower massager. But all I’d have to do was picture Gran’s face and it would immediately strengthen my resolve to remain with Eric. It didn’t help that my ‘fortunes’ consisted of ‘The greatest danger could be your stupidity’ and ‘It doesn’t matter. Who is without flaw?’
What the fuck? Did Pam have a side job stuffing fortune cookies?
The few times I was able to fall asleep, I was plagued by nightmares of Eric fucking one faceless woman after another and I woke up feeling hurt and humiliated every single time. It did nothing to improve my mood and I ended up getting out of bed altogether just to avoid having any more God awful dreams.
My muscles, among other parts of me, were still sore from what I decided to call ‘that night’ and I was surprised when I’d stripped off my nightgown discovering bruises in the shape of fingerprints on my hips. I must have been too shocked and hung over to notice the morning before and I’d been so tired that night that I just undressed and pulled on my nightgown in the dark. They definitely weren’t there pre-Las Vegas, so they had to have been from ‘that night’ and judging by the spread they were made by large hands; Eric’s large hands.
Yep, everything about him was big.
I was just grateful I was hickey free and the bruises couldn’t be seen unless I was naked or in my underwear, so no one would have to see them.
Stepping into the shower, I stayed under the spray for a while hoping to wash away my leftover sour mood and if the fingerprints disappeared, that would be okay too. I slipped on a t-shirt and shorts, not bothering with make up or anything more than towel drying my hair, feeling in desperate need of coffee. I didn’t have any the day before and the lack of caffeine, plus the lack of sleep, were taking a toll on me.
I didn’t remember seeing any coffee grounds when I was rummaging through Eric’s kitchen the day before and when I walked in looking around, the lack of even a coffee pot on the counter was already guaranteeing me a piss poor start to my day. I went to grab my purse thinking I could run out and buy some, but I couldn’t find it anywhere. I could have sworn I left it on the kitchen counter, but I went back and checked my room just to be sure. It wasn’t anywhere and only made me more pissy, but when it dawned on me that my car was still at Amelia’s I got even pissier knowing I couldn’t have gone anywhere anyway. I was stuck. Trapped. With no coffee.
It was barely after 8 a.m. and I had no idea how long Eric normally slept in, so I prepared myself for the worst and went into the ‘Have a whore? Hang her picture here!’ room to see if I could find at least a can of Coke behind the bar.
Since it was Sunday I said a silent prayer to God, apologizing for unknowingly marrying the Devil with evil abs, and stepped into the room, forcing myself to take a good look around. Surprisingly there wasn’t a tit or an ass to be found and the empty spaces from before had disappeared with all of the other posters rearranged evenly throughout the room. I didn’t know what to make of that.
Did he do it because he knew it would bother me to have to see them all of the time or was he trying to hide his true nature?
Gah…I could, and probably would, drive myself crazy with questions about Eric’s motives, but nothing could change the ‘how’ in how we got here. Now we both just needed to deal with it and hope for the best. Once I found my bottle of artificially sweetened liquid caffeine behind the bar, I pulled back the curtains on the outer wall of the room and gasped seeing Eric’s backyard.
It was huge with a large patio and built in grill, which must have come with the house since he didn’t cook, but the best part was the in-ground swimming pool. I jerked the door open and ran outside like a kid on Christmas morning ‘oohing’ and ‘aahing’ to the birds and squirrels that scattered in my wake. A year wouldn’t be so bad if I could spend it floating in the middle of the pool and working on my tan. The days were still hot so I made plans to use it once we came back from grocery shopping.
I decided to give Eric one more hour before he got a passive aggressive wake-up call with me turning on the vacuum and leaving it outside of his bedroom door. I was afraid to knock or just walk in after seeing what he wore ‘that night’, knowing he was tempting enough when clothed. Naked…yeah, my willpower wasn’t that strong.
I took a leisurely stroll around the yard enjoying the flowerbeds strategically scattered around the yard, eventually making my way to the front of the house and stopped short seeing something even better than flowers.
Eric was jogging up the driveway wearing a fitted Under Armor shirt and loose shorts with the morning sun highlighting his blond hair that was plastered to his sweaty head. It was probably the lack of coffee, but it looked like he was running in slow motion with his arms pumping at his sides, showcasing those biceps I was becoming too fond of and his mouth was open just enough to force the air in and out of his lungs, making his chest all ripple-y and me all drippy. Not with sweat either.
Just the sight of him forced away my bad mood and the bad dreams of the night before. I couldn’t move, not that I wanted to or had anywhere to be just then, and when his eyes found me, the smile that followed it made my knees a little weak. My hands too because I dropped my almost full can of Coke and was sprayed with soda from my thighs down to my bare feet.
Could I be any more of a dork?
Of course Eric saw the whole thing, but at least he didn’t laugh at me, much, and as soon as he got close enough he said, “It’s a good thing your little woodland friends are already gone or else you could’ve taken one out.”
I grinned replying, “Of course they’re gone. The big bad wolf is huffing and puffing his way up the driveway.”
He came to a stop right in front of me and even though he was still catching his breath he managed to sound sexy, saying, “But you’re standing outside. How am I supposed to huff and puff and blow your house down?”
You’d think he would smell bad from sweating so much, but he didn’t. At all.
He was way inside my personal space, but I tried to act unfazed and met his leering eyes with my own, licking my lips and purring back, “But it’s your house so you’d just be huffing and puffing and blowing yourself.”
Eric swallowed hard before grinning back and replying, “Oh, Miss Stackhouse, if I could do that I’d never leave the house.”
If I could do that I’d never leave your house either.
His choice of name for me brought with it one of the billion questions I’d been meaning to ask. “About the whole name thing, would you be terribly put off if I changed my last name to Northman? I mean, it’s just that Gran is old fashioned and if I didn’t then she would ask questions and I suppose I could just tell her that it’s the 21st century, but she wouldn’t let it go and I might end up snapping back at her and it’s not really wise to talk back to her unless you want a whooping and…”
Eric raised his hands up interrupting my nervous rambling and laughed saying, “It’s fine Sookie, I don’t mind.”
“Oh, well…thanks!” That was easy. Maybe I could ramble my way into getting him to agree to move the poker table out of the kitchen and I could pick up a dinette at Target or something.
Eric turned to pick up the soda can that had rolled away from me and I got an up close and personal view of my new favorite body part of him. It was unfair really; I never once thought that when I got married I would have to talk myself out of throwing down my husband and fucking him unconscious, but that was exactly what I had to do. Didn’t I?
Yes. Yes I did. I could imagine it though.
My mind immediately turned to wicked thoughts about Eric and when I heard, “Sookie?”, at first it blended in with my fantasy. The second time Eric’s voice broke through, my daydream ended and halted what had been quite a spectacular display of flexibility on my part involving me and him on one of the chaise lounges in the backyard. Daydream Eric had been well on his way to passing out, but because Real Eric looked so much like Daydream Eric I was confused at first that he was coherent, much less talking, and had to shake it off. My bad.
He seemed amused, staring back at me and apparently repeated himself. “I asked if you were ready to go inside.”
I got the sneaking suspicion that he knew I’d been thinking about him and his makes-me-stupid sexy ass, but I just nodded my head in reply. I hadn’t even noticed the sprinklers had turned on and were watering the lawn until Eric said, “But first you have to rinse the soda off,” and he pulled me under the spray. I screamed in surprise as the cold water hit my overheated skin and tried to run away, but Eric’s hand had a tight hold on my own and I couldn’t get loose.
I spun my body thinking he’d have to let go, but I turned the wrong way and ended up with his arm wrapped around me completely. I made a good show of trying to get away, but I was pleased to find his chest and abs felt just as hard as they looked. I could feel his whiskers graze across my cheek as I tried to squirm away and sent another silent prayer to God to give me the strength to not tilt my head up and kiss him.
We were both laughing and panting by the time he let me go a minute later and I playfully smacked his arm chastising, “You got me wet!”
If only he knew how true that statement was.
“Did I now?” he asked with a cocked eyebrow.
“With water Mr. Dirty Mind!” I was sure I sounded believable. Most likely.
We walked straight through the front door and into the kitchen, using dish towels to dry off. I had to not look at him to quell the overwhelming urge to lick the water from his skin. How could I be soaking wet and feeling so parched at the same time?
I kept my eyes anywhere but on him and when they swept over the counter where I last saw my purse it made me ask, “Have you seen my purse? I could have sworn I left it there on the counter last night.”
When Eric didn’t answer me right away I looked to where he was standing and regretted it immediately. He was standing there shirtless, wiping his chest down with the soaked dish towel which was doing little more than pushing the water around his skin. Satan and his evil abs were back.
Yea, though I walk through the shadow of the valley of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
As I ran from the kitchen to my room I’m pretty sure I told Eric I was going to church when I meant to say ‘change’, but I really needed to do both because at that moment I was feeling like a very bad Christian and wanted nothing more than for his rod and staff to comfort me in as many different positions as I could bend.