I stomped my way to my room utterly flabbergasted over the way our night had ended. Having already witnessed Eric’s ability to bow up faster than a cobra poised to strike, I knew he would overreact to Bill and his broken ball sack, which was why I’d wanted to wait until the house was cleared out before telling him the real story. Nothing said ‘white trash’ better than airing out your dirty laundry in front of guests and anything to do with Bill Compton was nothing but dirty.
I was hoping to use his admitted weakness of not being able to think straight when I was near and pressed my body on top of his as I spilled the beans on what really happened in the kitchen. It became immediately clear that he’d either been exaggerating the way I affected his mental faculties, or he had tunnel vision ending in the complete obliteration of one Bill Compton. He didn’t even seem to notice when I inched my shirt down a little in the front giving him a better view of my cleavage, so the Wonder Twins had to power down, which was okay because I got angrier and angrier the more he spoke. I’d had to put up with a lot of shit from a lot of different people ever since we’d gotten mixed up with each other and I was incensed over his complete disregard for how well I’d managed thus far.
When everything between us dissolved into an all out war of words, as soon as he uttered the one word that could magically transform me into a complete bitch, ‘stupid’, I knew it was time to return to our corners. The last thing I wanted was to keep going because I knew whatever I said in the heat of the moment I would regret later on. I’d learned that lesson the previous night and I refused to repeat it, so I removed myself from the room before any more damage could be done.
I stripped off my clothes and jumped into the shower hoping to wash my foul mood and hotheaded thoughts away with the cool water. The Stackhouse temper was legendary and able to ignite into an incendiary explosion capable of putting the ‘Shock and Awe’ invasion of Iraq to shame, so as the water rained down on me and the red haze cleared, I thought back on everything that had been said between us. While a part of me still felt Eric had overreacted, I had already known from day one that he was the protective type. He’d shown that side of his personality when I’d been ripped away from him as we’d tried to make our way out of the casino and he came back for me like a man possessed.
And he didn’t even like me then.
Now he did like me, a lot even, so I had already known he would be ten times worse when he learned about Bill, but perhaps I’d overreacted as well. From the moment Bill had walked into the house I’d felt uncomfortable and had he actually tried to make a grab for me, I know I would have been the first one to scream out Eric’s name wanting him to do exactly what I’d just told him I didn’t need; for him to rescue me.
But did that make me wrong for not calling out for Eric just because Radiohead’s ‘Creep’ song played in my head whenever I looked at Bill?
Christ, it was all so confusing. I had handled Bill in the way I thought it was warranted at the time, but could I be mad at Eric for wanting some justice of his own? Granted, I had bounced Spawn’s head on the floor like I was trying to make it explode like a pack of Snaps, but she had attacked me first and I didn’t kick her when she was down. I may have nudged her with my foot, but nobody saw it so it didn’t count in my book.
But how would I feel had I been the one in Eric’s shoes?
Custer’s last stand would’ve looked like child’s play and given a whole new meaning to The Battle of not-so-Little Big Horn.
Fuck. I remembered my initial thoughts of not wanting to be caught in a dark alley with Bill as soon as I laid eyes on him and while Eric expressed his concern over what would happen next time (not that I believed for one second Eric would invite him back to the house) I knew he was right. My gut instincts had told me to stay away from Bill and I might have been just lucky he hadn’t tried something physical versus verbal. Eric had merely reacted out of his fear for my wellbeing.
We both overreacted, me more so than him, and proved yet again that neither one of us could think straight when we were that close to each other, good or bad.
I hurried through the rest of my shower hoping to catch Eric before he went to bed so we could clear the air. I remembered all too well the tossing and turning I’d suffered through the night before and had no desire for a repeat performance. Hopefully Eric would have calmed down enough to rationally discuss things and I put on a pair of pajama pants and a t-shirt, covering as much of my skin as I was willing to on a balmy September night, so he wouldn’t get distracted and have no recollection of our discussion the next day.
He wasn’t anywhere downstairs that I could find, although I did notice he had finished washing what was left in the sink and put the pots and pans away and I smiled over his thoughtfulness. I’d checked the garage, hoping he hadn’t just up and left in his anger, and was surprised to see a new red Corvette where the black one was normally kept. Prince’s song automatically started playing in my head as I made my way back upstairs, wondering why he’d gotten rid of his old car when it had appeared to be brand new as well, and figured it must be a guy thing. Like boob fascination; I just didn’t get it.
I knocked on his closed bedroom door and when he didn’t answer, I knocked again calling out, “Eric?” I wasn’t sure if he would have already gone to sleep and pressed my ear against the door faintly hearing the running shower coming from his bathroom.
Should I just walk in?
I hemmed and hawed for a few moments before deciding to try the doorknob to see if it was locked. If it was then I’d know he’d meant to keep me out, but it wasn’t so I not-so-casually strolled in like I was breaking and entering, with my eyes darting around the room like a SWAT team was about to storm the room. There was nowhere for me to sit down other than on his bed and seeing it again, remembering our last time in it together, made me stay on my feet.
It was covered in Eric Crack and I was already a full-blown addict.
It wasn’t much longer when I heard him turn off the water and it dawned on me that he might just walk out buck naked. I’d already seen Eric buck naked before I’d even known it was his face underneath the pillow and if I thought his bed was like crack, than his body was like oxygen. I simply wouldn’t be able to resist filling myself up with him, like a drowning victim tossed overboard the S.S. Northman. Or maybe he was more like a submarine and my mind suddenly filled with thoughts of him flooding tubes and firing off torpedoes, so I didn’t notice he’d entered the room until I heard him say, “Sookie?”
I’d already gotten a flash of his bare chest and ignored the sounds of the angels singing, immediately squeezing my eyes shut and squeaked out, “Are you dressed?”
I wasn’t sure what reply I wanted to hear more, yes or no, and I was disappointingly relieved to hear him say, “Yes.”
I opened my eyes and thought, Liar liar towel on fire.
Since when did having a towel loosely wrapped around your waist constitute being dressed? At least it was a big towel and if our relationship continued to progress to a more intimate level I might just replace them all with a single washcloth.
Eric chose that moment to run his hands through his wet hair and while I was sure I had a reason for coming into his room, other than gawking at him, it completely escaped me. It must have run down into my panties when my tube was flooded.
“Did you need something?” he asked.
A vaginal cork?
“Umm…” My brain refused to fire up. At all.
Give me a ping Vasili. One ping only please.
No longer appearing upset, Eric merely looked amused while my brain ran through scene after scene of ‘The Hunt for Red October’ until I remembered ‘Russians don’t take a dump, son, without a plan.’ I had a plan! What was it? I was almost positive it had nothing to do with ripping that towel from his glistening body, so why was I calculating the distance between us versus my arm reach?
I wondered if Eric was telepathic when he walked towards me, closing the distance between us while I mentally threatened Wicked and Immoral to stay at my sides, and he came to a stop in front of me saying, “I feel like I’ve done nothing but say I’m sorry to you lately, but I am, again, for earlier.”
He reached up running the back of his fingers down the side of my face and I wanted to kick my own ass for wasting so much time on arguing over Bill Creepton. I took a hold of his hand and kept it in my own as I looked up into his eyes saying, “No, I’m sorry. I’m the one who overreacted. You were just being protective and I don’t want us to go to bed mad at each other. Again.”
I proved my earlier admission to not thinking clearly when he was near to be true because my arms automatically wrapped around his damp, practically naked form, and my t-shirt soaked up whatever moisture had been left on his chest. His nearly naked form was also to blame for my soaked panties and they were becoming wetter by the second when Eric wrapped his arms around me leaning down for a kiss. His tongue moved against mine as my hands moved up into his wet hair, the droplets falling down and cooling my quickly overheating skin. I’d never been so affected by a man’s kiss, but Eric could make me forget my own name. If that happened I supposed I could always look underneath his wedding band to remember.
When I pulled away to catch my breath Eric, undeterred, kissed his way across my cheek whispering in my ear, “I don’t like fighting with you. It feels wrong.”
My heart melted even more while I wholeheartedly agreed with him and just as soon as I could form the words, I would. Instead, Wicked and Immoral took off on their own undetected by me until the feel of terrycloth underneath my fingertips gave away their location.
‘Too soon’ my brain kept saying while my body chanted ‘not soon enough’. Eric’s body was doing some talking of its own, damn near yelling right against my stomach, and it was making a very good argument pleading its case, but I knew we needed to get to know each other a little better before taking that next step. Our perpetual back and forth bickering over the stupidest things proved we needed more time.
Reluctantly, very reluctantly, I pulled away from Eric saying, “We should stop before this goes too far.”
Eric half-sighed/half-growled leaning his forehead against mine with his eyes closed and said, “Right. I still have to woo you.” He paused before adding, “And get an icepack for my blue balls.”
Get me some panty liners while you’re at it.
Remembering the spotless kitchen downstairs, I smiled saying, “You’re off to a good start by cleaning up the kitchen for me.” He smiled back at me without a response, but since I could only think of the depraved things I wanted to do to him, with him so close, I took another step back and realized the front of my shirt was practically soaked through and plastered to my skin when the cool air hit it. It wasn’t the cool air that made my nipples hard either.
You’d think they’d speared through the front of Eric’s eyeballs from the way he couldn’t seem to take his eyes from them and I pulled the material away from my skin saying, “I should probably change.”
“Just take it off,” Eric offered with a sly grin. “I’ll give you my towel to dry off.”
I attempted to scold him with my eyes, but I don’t think I succeeded since I couldn’t help but smile as I said, “How very gracious of you.”
I turned to leave the room, but Eric caught my hand saying, “Don’t leave.”
I looked back at him and he no longer looked amused or lustful; he looked upset and it halted my steps. “I’m just going to change my pajamas.” Did he think I was leaving?
“Here,” he said tossing me the t-shirt he’d been wearing earlier. “Just wear that.”
The scent of him hit me as I caught his shirt in midair and being the Eric addict I was, I could find no reason to deny his proposal. He was still wearing just the towel and I knew all it would take was one brain fart on my behalf for Wicked and Immoral to claim it like the spoils of war and declare his ass Sookie Territory. “I’ll wear this if you put something else on.”
Eric merely smiled wider saying, “Deal.” Perhaps if I hadn’t been so distracted by his smile I would have seen his hands grip the towel, but it was too late when the terrycloth flew through the air and I raised his crack shirt up, covering my eyes and blushing clear down to my toes, yelling, “ERIC!”
I could hear him laughing before he asked, “What?” His voice dropped an octave as he said, “You’ve seen all of me before so what’s the big deal?”
“It’s not the same!” I said to the shirt pressed against my face. “You were Mr. Pillow Face then!”
“Would you feel better if I wore a pillow over my face?” he asked laughing again. “I’d be more than willing to accommodate you if it would ease your mind.”
“ERIC NORTHMAN! You put some pants on right now!” Before I start marking my territory.
I started feeling the area in front of me with my toes and inching my way out of the room where I thought the door should be, blind by choice, and shrieked when I felt his hands grab my waist a moment later pulling my back against his front. “Eric!” I laughed. It was impossible to reprimand him when my heart felt lighter than it had all day long.
I felt him nuzzle my neck as he said, “I just saved you from walking into the wall. You should thank me.”
“I must not be as gracious as you,” I replied, still talking through the t-shirt.
I felt him grab onto my hand and pull it down before I could think to stop him, but let the t-shirt fall from my face when I felt him place my hand on his cotton covered ass. I didn’t turn around until I’d slid it farther down his leg ensuring he was wearing something more substantial than boxers and swatted him saying, “That wasn’t nice.”
“Says the girl taunting me in a wet t-shirt.”
“You’re the one that made me wet!” In. Every. Way.
“Need help changing? Consider it my way of making amends.” His hands started to slide up my shirt as he whispered, “I’d be righting a wrong.”
That about summed up our current situation; it felt equally right and wrong.