I watched her turn and walk away not believing we were fucking fighting over that pussy Quinn. The only thing I’d overheard Sookie tell Pam about him was that she’d told him to fuck off and threw his ring back at him, but after seeing firsthand just how hotheaded she could get, coupled with her meltdown now, I had to wonder whether or not she wanted him back. Did she still love him? When she slammed the plate down on the counter and said when she made a deal, she kept it; did that mean she’d wait a year before going back to him?
It took all of my willpower to not destroy the kitchen after she’d walked away. What the fuck was I doing? Why was I going through any of this bullshit? This was why I avoided relationships.
I glanced around the room seeing the dinner she’d made, the kick ass cherry cookies she’d baked even though she didn’t like them, and the flowers I’d sent to her sitting on the counter. The sight and scent of it all made the house feel like a home for the first time and suddenly the anger evaporated. I remembered all too well how I’d felt that morning after she’d left for work and the emptiness I’d been engulfed in, already dreading the time when she would leave for good. I knew without a doubt the emotional tie she’d said she would need, the improbability of the concept I had questioned for myself, had already begun to form for me. By some strange twist of fucked up fate the Gods saw reason to have me marry the one woman I’d ever come across that I didn’t want to see go, but I didn’t want her to stay if I wasn’t the one she wanted. I didn’t want to be the one she settled for; I wanted her to choose me because I was the one she wanted to be with.
Knowing what had to be done, I turned and headed upstairs cursing Quinn the entire time and planning to break his nose all over again once it healed, still unable to comprehend how Sookie could want him back. I didn’t want to hurt her by telling her about our history or what he’d said to cause my right hook, but I also thought she should go into it with both eyes open if he was the one she wanted to be with. My emotions flip flopped from being upset to being completely pissed off with every step I took, but by the time I reached her bedroom door and heard her crying I knew my only option was to try and make it as painless as possible for her. He didn’t deserve her tears and I would be damned if I would be the one to cause her to shed any more of them.
I stood there listening for another minute trying to convince myself it was for the best. It was better for her to leave now, our careers and her family be damned, before I got any closer to her. In the span of three days she’d already managed to get through some of the barriers I’d built over the years and if she stayed only to spare her grandmother any shame, or for her job, I knew she’d manage to knock a few more down. Her words from the night before ran through my mind and I was in complete agreement; I couldn’t start something like this with her knowing we already had an expiration date before whatever this was could even begin.
I knocked lightly before opening her door and seeing her back shake as she cried into her pillow was like a knife to my gut. I’d much rather deal with a feisty pissed off Sookie than to see her like this and I said the first thing that came to my mind. “I’m sorry.” It was true, no matter what the cause of her tears were; me for hitting Quinn, him being a cheating bastard, or because she felt like she was stuck with me for the next year, I was sorry.
When she whipped around and said she deserved a better apology than the one I’d just given her, actually seeing her tears threatened to make me fold, but the idea of begging her forgiveness for giving Quinn exactly what he deserved was more than I could give her even if my mouth asked what more she could want. I couldn’t believe every stride we’d made had completely dissolved down to fighting over that asshole and said as much. I was ready to pull my hair out wondering why she would have said the things she had the night before and angrily spat out, “You should have said something if you were still so fucking hung up on your ex before spouting off all of that bullshit about wanting to be in a relationship with me last night.”
I was floored by her response. Where she got the idea he and I had been fighting over another woman was momentarily set aside with hope filling my chest that maybe we still had a shot. Hearing her saying she wasn’t still in love with him, seeing the truth of the words in her eyes when they locked onto mine, made me reach out and wipe the tears from her face. They didn’t belong on someone like her.
Her apology threw me, but the tender kisses she placed on my palms threw me even more. I’d been with more women than I could count, but never in my life had I been given a kiss like that; affection and an apology all rolled into one. I was afraid of the effect she had on me; worried about the potential of her being the hummingbird and me the windshield, able to make me come apart at the seams with nothing more than a tap of her wing. But even so, I didn’t think I couldn’t walk away unless she asked me to.
Two words. No two words had ever made me feel more alive than hearing them coming from her lips, but before I could give in to what my body was screaming for, my mind knew we had one more thing to get straight.
“You thought I hit him over another woman.”
Her eyes dropped to the bed beneath her, her shame written across her face as she whispered, “Yes. I’m sorry.”
I tilted her face back up to look in her eyes needing her to see my own when I said, “I told you I wouldn’t betray you.”
“I know,” she interrupted, but I wasn’t done.
“I’m not Quinn.”
“I know but…”
Tears welled in her eyes again, but she had to understand what I was only now starting to realize. “I don’t know how to be in a relationship; one half of a couple, but I meant what I said. I won’t hurt you that way.” Her eyes searched mine and I hoped she could see the truth of them I felt inside. As the first tear made its way down her cheek I caught it with my thumb and said, “I want to see where this goes,” indicating the two of us. “I only want you, but I have to know you feel the same.”
I held my breath waiting for her response, taking in the features of her face. Her breaths were still uneven from crying a few moments earlier and even with her swollen red eyes, I’d never found anyone more beautiful than her. I could feel my heartbeat threatening to pound out of my chest and I was pretty sure it stopped when she reached up and cupped the side of my face, took a deep breath, and said, “I do.”
I’d been wrong when I thought the two words she’d spoken a few minutes earlier had made me feel so alive because those two words she’d just uttered made me feel positively electric and ironically held much more meaning to me than when I watched her say them at Bubba’s chapel on the video.
The distance between us closed in slow motion with our eyes still locked on each other and my last coherent thought was that she still smelled like cherries when our lips finally met. The kiss started softly, chastely, with both of us tentatively feeling the other out and my right hand moved to the back of her head with my fingers weaving into her hair, afraid she might pull back, while my left hand wrapped around her waist, settling on her lower back. Never before had I felt lips as soft as hers and her own hands moved to grip the back of my neck and shoulder as she pressed her lips more firmly against my own. My tongue swept across her lower lip seeking entrance, the taste of cherries eliciting a low growl in my chest, and when her lips finally parted with a small sigh I dove in.
My tongue sought out hers in a slow sensual dance while the front of our bodies made contact beneath us and I could feel her heartbeat thundering against my chest. She felt so small in my arms, too small to have such a large effect on me when I realized I could happily kiss her forever. Before Sookie I viewed kissing as a means to an end, but with her I would stay locked away for days happily doing nothing more than just that. My hand at her back slipped underneath her shirt seeking the warmth of her skin and she surprised me when she leaned back onto the bed, pulling me down with her, our lips never parting.
I relished feeling her body underneath my own, pressing down on her while keeping my weight off of her tiny frame, but I knew if we continued on I wouldn’t be able to stop, already not wanting to. I removed my lips from hers, kissing along her jaw and inhaling the sweet scent of her neck and hair while my hand ran along her side and my body protested as my mouth said, “Sookie, we need to stop if you want to take things slow.”
My actions and words weren’t in agreement since my hips ground against her own with my erection rubbing against her center and making each of us moan out loud.
“You’re right, we need to stop,” she said, her own body just as traitorous as my own when her legs wrapped around my waist so her hips could return the same sentiment my own had just made.
My lips wrapped around hers again as we continued to dry hump each other through our clothes, but when my hands forcefully gripped her bruised hips and she yelped in pain, the sound of it cleared enough of the lust from my brain for me to stop.
“I’m sorry,” I said as I pulled back. The last thing I wanted to do was hurt her.
We were both panting by then, but she still managed to smile as she ran her thumb across my bottom lip gathering the moisture left behind as she replied, “You said you wouldn’t apologize for that and I can tell you now, even if I can’t remember that night, I’m not sorry. Apology not accepted.”
Christ. Seeing her swollen lips and having her underneath me was making me want to throw caution to the wind, but somehow I knew she wasn’t ready for that yet. Her stomach chose to growl a second later and gave us the excuse we needed to peel ourselves apart since the house was surprisingly empty of cockblockers. I gave her one last chaste kiss on her lips before standing and pulling her off the bed with me saying, “Come on. You need to eat and if we don’t leave right now I’ll be having you for dinner.”
I had to force my feet to move when she licked her lips and replied, “Okay,” not knowing if her response was in agreement or an invitation.