Pam and her big fucking mouth. As soon as she mentioned Sookie’s car I wanted to bitchslap her knowing Sookie would probably balk at the prospect of driving the Audi just out of spite. I was still curious as to which ring Sookie would choose and realized I was holding my breath watching the two of them yell back and forth waiting to find out, but for some reason I wasn’t really surprised when she chose none of them. Other than mentioning the price of one of my pots to piss in, like I would have any clue as to how much they cost, she hadn’t shown any indications she was impressed by her new surroundings. If anything, she seemed unfazed by them and maybe even a little uncomfortable.
What I found impressive was how she managed to make very appetizing looking sandwiches as she argued with Pam, barely paying any attention to what her hands were doing as her mouth was going a mile a minute. I really wanted one but I was afraid to call any attention to myself, from either one of them, by moving close enough to grab one. My appetite disappeared though when Sookie said she didn’t want one of the rings because she didn’t want her next husband to have to compete with what I could afford to give her. While I couldn’t really fault her for her rationale or not wanting to wear something that held no meaning for her, my chest bowed and my shoulders squared automatically at the idea of her having a future anyone.
It made no sense, least of all to me, for me to feel that way. I hadn’t even known her for forty eight hours and if I hadn’t been drunk out of my mind, we sure as hell wouldn’t have gotten married, so why did my fists clench at just the thought of her running off with someone else? I should want her to, right?
As soon as she’d left the room I turned to Alcide and Pam ordering, “Get the fuck out.”
“But Sookie invited me to dinner,” Alcide protested like a whiny bitch.
I walked over and grabbed the plate full of sandwiches she’d made and thrust them at his chest saying, “Here’s your fucking dinner, now get the fuck out.”
He grabbed the plate, took a bite out of one of the sandwiches and with his mouth full he said, “You’re such an asshole,” and walked out the door, plate and all.
I turned to face Pam and was thrown off by the big grin she was wearing. I was thrown off even more by what she said. “I think you should keep her.”
“What the fuck are you talking about? I’m not kicking her out, I’m kicking you out.”
I watched her eye all of the diamond rings on her fingers, getting momentarily distracted by the shiny, before pulling out a black velvet drawstring bag from her purse, pouring the contents into her hand and thrusting it at me. “Pick one. I’m talking about keeping her for good. Hell, even I might have considered riding your dick for the rings she just turned down.”
I looked at the men’s wedding bands cupped in Pam’s hand and picked the one that matched Sookie’s the closest before her words really registered in my brain and responded, “Well it’s a good thing I don’t want to ride your dick and unless she’s up there packing her shit because of your big fucking mouth, I don’t see why she wouldn’t stay for the year.”I slid the gold ring over my tattoo and stared at it as though it were an alien life form. It felt odd sitting there since I’d never regularly worn jewelry before and even odder still, I’d already gotten used to seeing the tattoo on my finger.
Pam poured the other rings back into the bag saying, “You’re such a dipshit sometimes. I’m saying you should keep Sookie around for good. Forever.”
“What?” It was the only word my mind could make my mouth say since everything else instantly went into a tailspin whirling around and around.
“Why not? You’re clearly already smitten and I’m already in love with her so you just need to get over yourself already and woo her before she figures out what a dipshit you can be and runs off. If I never have to deal with another one of your fucking bimbos, it’ll be too fucking soon.”
“Even if I was smitten, and I’m not saying I am…”
“You are,” she interjected.
“…that doesn’t mean we’d end up riding off into the sunset together. I barely know her Pam and we’ve probably argued more than talked since the moment we met, or woke up together, or whatever. And you two were seconds away from a full-on cat fight, so what do you mean you’re in love with her?”
Again with the looks like I should be wearing a bib and a helmet before I get taken for my daily walk around my padded room.
“Eric,” she began, “we’ve known each other a long time, yes?” I just nodded, not sure of where she was taking this. “Have you ever seen anyone stand up to me like her? Christ, I get hard just thinking about it. And have I ever steered you wrong? Hell, have I ever been wrong? No. My instincts are spot on and they’re the only reason I even still bother with you after the shitload of grief you pile into my workday. You’re worth it and she is too. Trust me when I tell you that little steel magnolia upstairs is the girl for you.”
If I didn’t know her any better I would say Pam was gushing over Sookie. Pam doesn’t gush. She Pam’s.
“How can you be so sure? What if she’s really some crazy person with a rap sheet a mile long and she gets outted on Snopes?”
“Idiot, as soon as she said she worked at the Brigant Academy I had it confirmed. If she passed their litmus test, then she would exceed ours by a landslide. Although I imagine she probably kept her colorful language to herself during her interviews, but who knows, they’d probably like the fact bluebirds sit on her fucking shoulders while she hand feeds the baby squirrels and bunnies that flock around her fucking feet the minute she steps outside,” Pam giggled.
Pam giggled. It was like I was in the fucking twilight zone.
I was done listening to her bibbity bobbity bullshit and said, “Leave. I need to put that piece of shit car into the garage and try and figure out how to make it not start so she can’t take the fucking thing to work tomorrow.”
Her eyes lit up when she said, “Don’t worry, I know just the thing.”
Five minutes later I had it parked in the garage and a big black smudge on the front of my shirt where Pam had wiped the grease from her fingers after pulling some wire off of some dirty black thing in the engine. Before she left, she waved her diamond laden fingers in my face and said, “Trust me Eric, I’m the fo shizzle.”
I didn’t know if she was talking about the car not starting or Sookie, but I just ignored her and went back into the house to change. Sookie still hadn’t come back downstairs so I went into my room to get another shirt. I really didn’t want her to leave because of Pam’s big fucking mouth and I stood there, dirty shirt in hand, staring out the window wondering how I could convince her to stay if she tried to go since I doubted my ability to follow her everywhere sans shirt. I was at a loss and decided to grow a pair and just ask her what I wanted to know.
Why didn’t she even bother to look at any of the rings? I heard every word she told Pam, but it still…I was a bit bothered that she didn’t want anything like that from me.
And why was she so fucking pissed when we left the store? I’d only glanced at the picture, but she looked okay in it to me. She had to have known something like that would be published sooner or later with all of the fucking cameras shoved in our faces when we left.
I was more confused than ever by everything about her and was just about to say fuck it and go crack open a beer and see if there was a game on TV. My bedroom windows faced the backyard and as I was turning to go back to my closet I saw Sookie sprinting through the backyard towards the pool wearing hardly anything.
I hadn’t yet had the pleasure of dealing with Nearly Naked Sookie and couldn’t get changed quick enough before I was back downstairs in my swim trunks less than a minute later. She obviously didn’t plan on leaving any time soon so Operation Seduce Sookie was back in play. I watched her from the backdoor, swimming laps in the pool, her tanned skin looking all the darker against her white bikini, and found myself rooted in the spot where I stood. I had thought her beautiful before, but now? Wearing the equivalent of two dinner napkins? She was…just…there were no words to describe her; I only knew how I felt and I felt like she should be mine.
Not forever, but at least for now.
I waited for a few minutes after she’d settled herself on a float in the pool before heading outside. Her eyes were closed so I was able to really look at her without her knowing and liked every bit of her I saw until I noticed the ugly blue and purple bruises on her hip. They weren’t that old and I worried she might have gotten hurt the day before when she’d fallen in the casino and hadn’t said anything, so I asked, “What happened to your hip?”
Her eyes shot open and landed on me for a split second before she looked back up into the sky without answering me. I figured she was still pissed from earlier and wasn’t about to play with Silent Sookie when Nearly Naked Sookie was right there, so I dove into the water and popped up right next to her. As soon as I did I could tell that the bruises were patterned like a handprint with the fingertips darker than the faint lines where the fingers had been.
When she asked about Pam and Alcide I told her I made them leave, but I couldn’t take my eyes from her side. I knew the bruises came from my hand even before I laid it on top of her skin and didn’t realize I’d spoken my admission out loud until Sookie admitted she thought the same thing.
What I would give to be able to remember that night. What was it about her that drew me to her; that kept me here now? I found I couldn’t remove my hand from her hip and my other one came up to rest on her legs just so I could touch more of her skin. Her relaxed demeanor when I asked about the ring thing made me think it would be okay to ask what had made her so angry back at the store and when she said it was because I’d flirted with Sophie-Anne I had to laugh out loud at just the thought. I knew she was pissed when she shoved my arm away and slid back into the pool, but too bad for her because I wasn’t done touching her yet and quickly wrapped myself around her.
Once I explained she seemed okay, but I was quickly losing my focus on our conversation. Her skin was so warm and soft and smooth, with her breasts resting on my forearm and all I could think about was what her skin would taste like. At the moment, probably like chlorine, but I didn’t care. I wanted her and I was pretty sure she wanted me too. A soft breeze blew across us and I could have sworn I smelled cherries again. Maybe Pam was right and she was the girl for me. She smelled like cherries; I loved cherries; it wasn’t the best reason to stay together, but it was a reason.
My eyes went to her lips wanting to taste them for myself and traveled back up to her eyes seeking her permission. I could practically see the volley of thoughts going through her mind spinning like a roulette wheel and hoped like hell the ball would land on me because mine would be blue enough if she made me wait any longer.
I could feel her heartbeat pounding away underneath her skin, beating against my own pressed all around her, and her eyes darted to my mouth with her tongue licking her lips a second later. It was all the invitation I needed and I leaned in slowly, not wanting to frighten her with sudden movements and when she started to lean in towards me I could almost taste victory.
I bet it tasted like cherries.
We both froze for a split second as victory turned into defeat when Sookie’s body stiffened and she started trying to push me away, but I held on and spun us around to face our latest cockblocker. Sookie’s friend Amelia stood there just outside the open backdoor, pissed I would guess from the hands on hips thing she had going on.
I was starting to second guess not going to church that morning since God was obviously pissed at me and when Sookie finally succeeded in removing herself from my grasp I vowed if I couldn’t make it to church, I’d at least start remembering to lock the fucking front door.