What the fuck just happened?
One minute I was doing all I could not to crawl inside of a box of high end pots and pans to hide from how much I enjoyed Eric holding my hand and the next we were at it all over again, and not at it in the naked sense like I really wanted. That’s what I get for trying to make small talk instead of finding a way to spill something on his shirt so he’d have to take it off again.
At least the anger cleared my horny brain and it occurred to me to just call my cell phone and hope it wasn’t dead so I could hear it ringing and possibly find my purse. I forgot all about the fact that I should have been at the shelter two hours earlier to help prepare and serve breakfast like I did every Sunday morning until we were fighting about pots to piss in. My intentions weren’t to insult him, but his dickfaced attitude about the whole thing made me enraged. If only he could see the young kids waiting in line to be served one of the few hot meals they’d be getting that week or talk to their parents who lost everything because of the shitty economy and upside down mortgages, he would know just how fortunate he was. Then again, he might just be too self-centered to care.
Lafayette was very understanding as I apologized for leaving him high and dry without any notice, but he’d told me he hadn’t expected me in after seeing the news about our wedding on TV. I’d been volunteering there ever since my freshman year in college when I couldn’t afford to go home for Thanksgiving and walked in the door asking what I could do to help. Lafayette’s bubbly personality and foul mouthed innuendos drew me to him like a hooker, or ‘hookah’ as he liked to call me, to a pair of dime store pantyhose.
I could tell it was eating away at Eric, not knowing who I was talking to, and I played it up calling Lafayette ‘darling’ to see what would happen. The poor spatula didn’t last long and the satisfaction I felt was rewarding, especially since no matter how angry I got at Eric my body still wanted to wrap around his like a barnacle. I wondered if it was because my body could remember how I got those bruises even if my brain didn’t and it wanted a repeat performance.
Heavy duty tinfoil. Heavy. Duty.
My body betrayed me yet again with his snarky offer to fuck me later on if I was a good girl, making my freshly changed panties soaked all over again without the benefit of the sprinklers. My whole body tensed and all I wanted to do was ignore the fact we were even in the car together, lest I jump over the center console to see if his offer was genuine, but even that didn’t go as planned because Asshole with the evil abs decided to grab a hold of my hand and lace his fingers through mine, resting our entwined hands on my left thigh and making me all squishy in between my legs wishing I’d worn pants instead of shorts.
I tried to pull away from his grasp, gritting out, “What are you doing?”
His fingers only held on tighter and I looked up to see him facing forward, smiling as he tried to maneuver the car in between the crowd of paparazzi all taking pictures and yelling out questions at our closed windows, and he said, “They’re taking pictures so I’m trying to make it look like we’re happy.”
Well, my girly bits were happy, but that was the only part of me that was. I let out a stern, “Fine!” through my gritted teeth and tried to smile while ignoring how much I enjoyed the feeling of his thumb rubbing small circles on my hand. I’m sure it was just an unconscious action on his part.
It felt like forever before we were finally moving away from his neighborhood at a decent pace, but the caravan of cars full of paparazzi behind us gave me pause as the reality of our situation sunk in. “They’re going to follow us everywhere aren’t they…”
I was surprised he could hear me from how low my voice was as it was all I could do to not curl up into a ball over the thought of being in the center of a three ring circus as I picked up a box of tampons. I was also surprised I was still holding hands with Eric until he gently squeezed mine and said, “They’ll stay outside. Once we’re in the store everyone will pretty much leave us alone.”
“Pretty much?” That didn’t sound very promising.
Eric shrugged his shoulders saying, “Sometimes people come up wanting autographs, or something, but everyone more or less leaves me alone.”
We hadn’t been on the road for very long and just as I was about to ask what store we were going to, Eric pulled into the parking lot of Bristol Farms. Seeing how his house was basically void of anything to eat I asked, “How do you know where the grocery store is if you don’t shop for groceries?”
He pulled into a parking space and shut the car off before turning to me and saying, “Sometimes I want pretzels to go with my beer.” Of course.
It was only seconds later when the caravan pulled into the parking lot after us, so Eric and I quickly exited the car and he grabbed onto my hand, pulling me through the crowd and into the store. He grabbed a hand basket and raised his eyebrow at me when I grabbed a shopping cart instead, before putting the basket back. “How much stuff are we getting?”he asked.
“More than pretzels and beer,” I muttered and started going through the fresh produce at the front of the store. Eric just draped himself over the handle of the shopping cart while I picked out fresh apples thinking I would make a pie later on and moved on to the vegetables. When I turned around to put a bag of potatoes in the cart I saw Eric walking towards me with a bag of lemons. Wondering what they could be for I asked, “Did you want fresh lemonade?”
He put the bag in the cart and grinned saying, “No, while I don’t remember it, I was under the impression that you enjoyed tequila shots, so I’m merely making sure we’re prepared.”
I was about to tell him he could go fuck himself if he thought he could get me drunk like that all over again, but it was obvious we were being stared at by everyone standing nearby and my glare was only able to disappear entirely when he unconsciously rubbed his hand on his stomach, lifting his shirt up slightly and revealing those damn abs of his.
I tried to ignore him. Really I did! I even turned around from my own personal kryptonite and became engrossed in a bag of onions hoping the smell would tame my urges, but Lex Luthor decided to saddle up behind me and put his hands on my hips, kissing the top of my head and making me melt like a chocolate Easter bunny left out in the sun.
“What are you doing?” I whispered, pissed at myself for my inability to sound pissed.
The bastard nuzzled my neck, inhaling my ire away, and said, “I’m touching my wife like a loving husband.”
My entire body stiffened realizing Eric was just acting for those around us and I pushed away the disappointment I felt, not only from his words, but from my own growing desire that he might one day mean it.
That was stupid, right?
I was stupid, so I threw a bag of onions in the cart and peeled myself away from him moving on to the next aisle. We shopped together in silence for the most part with Eric occasionally reaching out to touch me in some way and when I couldn’t take it anymore I sent him off in search of a bottle of hot sauce I needed to season the chicken I planned on frying for dinner. I needed comfort food in a big way and Gran’s fried chicken recipe was calling to me. I also needed the other women to stop shooting daggers my way or else the paps were going to earn a fortune off of me today when I knocked one of those bitches to the ground.
I kept shopping and once I’d gotten everything on the list, I went in search of Eric wondering if he got lost since he hadn’t returned yet. But he wasn’t lost, he seemed to be exactly where I should have expected him to be.
I recognized the redhead from the movies, even though I couldn’t remember her name just then, and I also recognized the flirty and familiar way she was touching Eric’s arm. He was smiling right back at her and didn’t even see me glaring at them from the end of the aisle. I cursed the stupid tears that welled in my eyes and brushed them away, thankful I hadn’t put on any make-up that morning, and pushed the cart to the checkout line. I busied myself loading the conveyor belt with everything from the cart when the cashier broke into my mental tirade over Eric’s inability to not flirt with another woman, barely 24 hours after our agreement. I guess I should have been more specific.
“You’re her aren’t you?” she asked.
“Huh?” What? I’m not at my best after I’ve married a man whore, with no coffee in my system, while mentally castrating my husband.
“Here,” she pointed at the magazine rack before continuing, “You’re the one on the cover. You’re the one that married Eric Northman.”
Don’t remind me. I looked up to see what she was talking about and there it was in glossy color for the whole world to see. I had no idea how they got it printed and on the shelves so fast, but on the cover was a picture of Eric carrying me out of the casino from the day before with the caption, ‘Happily Ever After?’ underneath it. The other pictures surrounding ours should have answered that question already. They were of Eric and a different whore for every day of the week, each one circled with a line through it and the word ‘No’ under their faces. If I had a marker I would have drawn one over my own face and written ‘No’ just to save them the trouble of doing it later on.
I felt Eric’s hand on my back before I saw his arm placing the bottle of hot sauce on the conveyor belt in front of me and jerked away from his touch as he said, “Well that was quick.”
I didn’t know if he was referring to the picture already being published, my dislike of his touch, or the quickie he probably had in aisle 12, but I just ignored him and reached for my wallet as the cashier said the total out loud.
“Honey, put your wallet away,” Mr. Can’tKeepHisDickInHisPants half whispered in my ear. Maybe Pam knew Justin Timberlake and I could borrow his ‘Dick in a Box’ box for Eric’s.
The cashier sighed and looked all swoony from his fake endearment as I turned and saw him reaching in his pocket for his wallet, but I beat him to it and swiped my debit card before he had a chance to do anything about it. I didn’t want a goddamn thing from him.
We bagged everything and since my hands were full of groceries he couldn’t try and hold it, pretending he actually gave a shit about me, and my anger helped shield me from the panic attack I would have gotten over the crowd awaiting our departure in the parking lot. I merely plowed through them all, ignoring their questions about ‘Are you happy to be married?’ No!; ‘Was it love at first sight?’ No!; “Any plans on expanding your family in the near future?’ Do divorce attorneys count?
As soon as I unloaded my bags into the trunk I flopped myself into the passenger’s seat and practically ripped the seatbelt from the car in my effort to get it snapped into place before crossing my arms so he couldn’t try and grab my hand for another fucking picture opportunity. Eric got in and as we drove away he calmly said, “Well that went as well as could be expected.”
Why? Did fire crotch blow you in the dairy cooler?
The silence was deafening and I could feel Eric staring at the side of my head as I stared out the window swallowing every nasty thing I wanted to say to him. I wouldn’t give him the satisfaction of knowing what I’d seen had upset me.
“Is something wrong?” he finally asked?
We’d pulled up to the ritzy ass gate by then so I continued ignoring him knowing I could be free from him in just a couple of minutes. I planned on floating in the middle of the pool with my ear buds in and letting the sun burn the images of him and his whores away. When we pulled into the driveway and I saw what was waiting there, I could feel the relief flood through my body so I was even more incensed when Eric’s voice broke into my joy asking, “What in the fuck is that?”