I was sure I could feel my stomach actually turning inside out when Eric asked to speak to me in private. It was something I had both been looking forward to and dreading all day long, but it was time to bite the proverbial bullet and I pulled up my big girl panties as I followed him to the laundry room preparing myself for whatever he had to say. The relief I felt hearing him apologize made the temporary wall I’d built up to buffer his possible rejection of me come crumbling down with tears welling in my eyes. I hadn’t realized until that moment how invested I’d already become in him and us, and while it scared me, I still welcomed it and him with open arms.
I had to stifle my giggle feeling him growl low in his chest as I told him about my fight with Spawn, but my desire to laugh was soon replaced with a lump in my throat. Having already seen the softer side of Eric’s personality, I knew he could be sweet, but hearing his confession as to how he really felt about me left me in awe. I could hear the struggle in his voice as he admitted his feelings and knew it cost him on some level to say them out loud. A million responses flooded my brain, but my body demanded to be heard first by pulling him down for a kiss and my brain quickly got in line happily turning over the reins to my body, perfectly willing to communicate in that way. I knew we both still had a lot to talk about, but at that moment we needed that kiss more than words. It was better than any salve or ointment we could ever use to heal our raw nerves.
Feeling the beast coming to life against my stomach and knowing we had guests just a few feet away made me pull back from our kiss, but my arms refused to let go of his body while we caught our breath. My mind kept saying we had to take things slow while my body told my brain to shut the hell up and take his clothes off instead.
“What are you thinking?” he asked.
I had a feeling Eric would agree with my body’s demands and not wanting our second first time to take place with me on top of the washing machine (all bets were off after then though) I instead replied with a combined truth saying, “I can’t think straight when I’m this close to you.” I couldn’t either. Feeling his body pressed against mine in any capacity made rational thought damn near impossible. He was my Kryptonite.
His hands slid down my back and gripped my ass as he ground himself against the front of my body making both of us moan while he whispered against my neck, “I know what you mean.”
I had my doubts, but it was a weakness in him I would willingly explore just as soon as I could convince all of me we were ready to take that step. I’d explore it a lot.
My libido was working overtime doing its damnedest to convince the rest of me just how romantic the laundry room could be, after all it was the perfect place to remove any resulting cum stains, and right before I was about to hop on top of the washer and ask him to show me his stain stick we were both brought back to reality by a fist pounding on the door and Alcide’s voice saying, “Let’s go Northman!”
Eric growled loudly then, which only made my lady bits throb harder, and he yelled back, “I can fire you now you know!”
Couldn’t he always?
The sound of Alcide’s voice was retreating back down the hallway when he responded, “Yeah, but you won’t.”
I reluctantly pried Eric’s hands from my ass and took a step back so I could smooth out my now rumpled clothes before looking up and seeing the longing on Eric’s face. I forced out a laugh attempting to lighten the mood and patted his chest, which was a bad idea when I felt his muscles underneath my hand, and said, “This wasn’t my idea. It’s your party.”
He tried to pull me back to him saying, “I can kick them out,” but I slapped his hands away before he get a hold of me.
I put my hand on the doorknob saying, “We have guests! You can grope me later.”
I really only meant to say the first half of that sentence out loud, but of course he heard the second half and I felt the slight sting of his hand slapping my ass before he said, “I’m holding you to that.”
I was halfway out the door when an unbidden, “I hope so,” left my lips. Stupid faulty brain/mouth filter. I wondered if there was some sort of Best Buy Geek Squad that could fix it for me. Best Brain? If so, I knew what I’d be buying Jason for Christmas.
I felt Eric’s arm wrap around my shoulder as we made our way back to the kitchen and I saw Sam look up and smile at us when we appeared in the doorway. I knew he was seeing the comfortable familiarity between Eric and I that I had envied between him and Terry just a short while earlier. We weren’t anywhere near where they were after having spent ten years together, but I now had hope that we might get there one day.
“The food was really great Sookie,” Alcide said with all of them nodding their heads in agreement.
Tray chuckled saying, “I can see why you said you need the extra cardio now,” to Eric and I looked up at him questioningly. He just shrugged his shoulders in response as I pondered over a healthier menu, not wanting him to have to go through any extra work to maintain his sextacular physique all because I liked to cook down home southern comfort food.
“What happened to it all?” Eric asked which made me look back to the counter which held nothing but empty plates.
“We ate it,” Alcide retorted. “If you wanted any, you should have stuck around,” as he gave him a look making me wonder over just how loud we had been and I felt the blush flush my cheeks.
Eric sighed with a pout on his face and I patted his chest again before pulling away from him and retrieving the second serving platter of food being kept warm in the oven and placing it on the counter. I loaded up a plate for Eric and handed it to him before anyone else could go back for seconds or thirds and he gave me a kiss in thanks before eating it all. I squeed inside over the domesticity of it all.
As I loaded up the dishwasher with the dirty dishes, I listened to them banter back and forth the way men do when they all congregate together talking about sports and whatnot, with jabs at each other added to the mix. Sam and Terry seemed to blend into the group just fine which was a relief to me. I wasn’t sure how Eric’s friends would react to them admitting they were married to each other, but my fears were unfounded when they were treated just like everyone else. The only tension I witnessed was when Tray asked about Terry’s time in Iraq, but Sam came to his rescue and took over the conversation subtly steering the it away from an obviously still painful topic for his spouse.
I kept chancing glances at Bill, feeling his eyes on me the entire time, and it made my skin tingle in a bad way. I figured I must have seen him the night before when I watched the taping of Eric’s show, but I’d really only had eyes for Eric at the time and didn’t register anyone else on stage with him. I kept moving around the room and strategically stopping when his view of me was blocked by the body of someone else. There was something about him that gave me the willies, but I decided to keep it to myself for now since I didn’t know how good of a friend he was to Eric. Hopefully they weren’t friendly enough that they normally hung out together, but if they were, I’d make myself scarce whenever he was around.
When all of the food was gone they migrated into the den and I could hear Eric complimenting Sam on how he’d chosen to move things around in order to fit the poker table. I’d followed them there ready to jump in at Sam’s defense if Eric had gotten upset over it, but seeing the smile on his face I doubted there was much that could upset him at the moment.
After everyone had their beverage of choice from the bar, I declined since I hadn’t eaten yet and wasn’t in any hurry to have the Blue Man Group do a repeat performance in my head anytime soon, they all took a seat and divvied up stacks of chips before Eric dealt out everyone’s cards. He explained to Sam and Terry that they didn’t play for money, just for bragging rights, and I felt better knowing Sam and Terry lived off of Sam’s salary and the benefits Terry received from the military. Terry couldn’t handle the pressure of working a regular nine to five job so they were working on turning their collie rescue into a business, training them to be service dogs for veterans with PTSD. When we had gone shopping together earlier Sam had told me how cathartic it was for Terry to spend time with their dog Dean, who seemed to have an innate sense of what Terry needed from him, and they’d looked into different programs around the country to learn how to properly train dogs for other soldiers. After getting to know both of them I couldn’t help being excited for them.
I watched them all play hand after hand completely confused. I hadn’t been exaggerating when I’d told Eric I didn’t know how to play poker. If it had been Uno, I’d be all over that like flies on shit being a ‘Wild Card Draw 4’ magnet, but any other card game left me clueless. I could see Eric getting a little frustrated after losing his fourth hand in a row and hoped he wasn’t superstitious thinking the new location of his Precious was affecting his game. Precious was officially banned from the kitchen whether he knew it or not and the Wonder Twins were ready and willing to activate at the first sign of an impending invasion.
The real reason he was probably losing was the fact he couldn’t seem to stop looking at me where I sat on the couch. I knew because I couldn’t seem to take my eyes off of him. Thankfully everyone else had chosen their seats quickly and Bill was left with the one chair sitting across from Eric, so he couldn’t look at me without turning around in his seat and making it obvious. When Eric lost his fifth hand in a row, I got up and quietly walked back into the kitchen so he could concentrate on his game and not my breasts because I was almost certain they weren’t the pair he needed to win any of his chips back.
I was standing at the sink washing the pots and pans when I jumped, startled at the voice suddenly at my side as he said, “Hello Sookeh.”
I turned seeing Bill all up in my personal space and took a step back, holding the soapy pan still in my hands in front of me like a shield, acknowledging, “Bill.” My damn southern sensibilities kicked in as I asked, “Is there something I can get for you?” A neutering perhaps?
He smiled wickedly making me shudder all over as he took another step closer saying, “I just thought we could have a little chat. I feel like I’m the only one here that doesn’t know you as well the others. I’ve known Eric for a while now and I must say I was quite surprised hearing he got married given his reputation with the ladies. I must say, I’m intrigued by you Sookeh, tell me about yourself.”
I matched his step forward with another step back. Other than reminding me of Eric’s reputation he hadn’t really said anything yet that warranted the kick to his balls my feet were aching to deliver so I said, “Not much to tell. Eric’s life is much more exciting than mine.” And he’s much bigger than you so you’d better step the hell back before I scream.
“Is that what drew you to him Sookeh?” His face darkened as he continued to ask, “Does money and fame turn you on?” He drew out the last three words and was leaning in close enough for me to smell the alcohol on his breath. That coupled with his words was making me queasy and my fight or flight instincts kicked in, overriding my nausea and my knee flew up into his crotch in outrage over his lackluster assessment of my moral character. He couldn’t even yell out because it appeared his lungs were connected to his balls and it was taking them a while to re-inflate as he crumpled to the floor in front of me.
I leaned down over his pathetically curled up body, quite offended at his verbal examination of my drunken proposal acceptance, and asked, “You want to know something about me? How’s this? My name is Sookie. It rhymes with cookie, but YOU can just call me Mrs. Northman from now on!”
“WHAT IN THE HELL IS GOING ON?” Eric bellowed from the doorway. I jumped, startled again, and had a quick thought about installing a sensor that buzzed whenever someone crossed the threshold like they had in convenience stores. Seconds later he was flanked by everyone else, the poker game seemingly forgotten, while they all looked back and forth from me to Bill, who now looked nauseous too. Served him right.
I really did hate being the center of attention and the last thing we needed was for Eric to go all caveman in front of everyone, but by the looks on their faces I had a feeling they just might join him. I glanced down at the still moaning peckerhead before looking back at Eric and shrugged saying, “He tripped?”