It was still dark outside when I woke the next morning and it took a minute before I realized I wasn’t alone in the bed. Even knowing it could only have been Eric holding me from behind, I would’ve been able to tell just by my senses alone. As I pushed through the fog of sleep I wondered what he’d been thinking by climbing into bed with me in the middle of the night. I wanted to be angry at him for the way he’d treated me the morning before and a part of me still was; so why was it so damn hard for me to push him away?
I wanted answers; needed answers and I mentally prepared myself for the worst, while hoping for the best, when I attempted to remove myself from his GI Joe kung fu grip saying, “Eric!” far louder than I had the last time I found myself in this position. I could tell by the sharp intake of his breath I’d succeeded in waking him and his hold on me disappeared instantaneously which I immediately took advantage of, sitting upright and turning to face him as I asked, “What…”
What are you doing in my bed? What were you thinking yesterday morning? What in the hell is wrong with you? What in the hell is wrong with ME that I can’t bring myself to kick you off of the mattress with my feet?
Each and every ‘what’ question I had were clogging up my throat in an effort to rain down on him like a Sookie Tsunami, but when I couldn’t get any of them out Eric asked his own questions.
“Why did you run out of the bedroom yesterday morning after waking up? Do you regret what happened the night before?”
He had sat up in the bed as well, so we were face to face when the traffic jam in my throat cleared as I answered, “Huh?”
He stole not only my breath away every time I saw him, but apparently my brain cells as well.
“Are you avoiding the question?” he asked with no malice in his voice. If anything, he appeared hurt as he followed up with, “Sookie, I need to know what in the hell is going on. I can’t keep going through this every day. If you regret what happened the other night I’d rather you just say so and we can go from there, but you avoiding it all by running away isn’t going to work out. We won’t work out; I won’t be able to take it.”
Running away? What in the hell was he talking about?
Wait! He still wants US to work out?
It was impossible for me to snap at him seeing the upset in his eyes and even more so after hearing he might not have wanted to discard me like the countless other women in his past, so I made sure my tone was softened and as gently as I could I asked, “What in the hell are you talking about?”
His eyes implored me to just answer the damn questions he’d asked so I did.
“I didn’t regret anything, at least not until I came downstairs and you were all snippy. I wasn’t running away, I had to pee.”
Eric’s eyebrow went up as his mouth fell open, like they were strung together on a pulley, but nothing came out at first. I could see the wheels spinning behind his eyes, more than likely applying my explanation to the scene from yesterday, when he finally said, “You didn’t say that. You just said you had to get ready for work.”
“Would it really have made that big of a difference? Why did you get so mad?”
I watched as he grabbed the pillow he’d been sleeping on and hugged it to his chest before admitting, “I thought you’d regretted everything and took off. I thought you would’ve at least acknowledged me in some way before leaving the room after what we’d shared the night before. I…it stung me a little.”
Just looking at him I could tell it stung him more than just a little, but I’d been stung too and let him know it saying, “I thought perhaps you didn’t find what had happened the night before as pleasant as your previous experiences and that was why you were so cold to me.”
It was the most polite way I could think of to say I didn’t think he liked my hand job and I wondered if his jaw could unhinge at will given how far open his mouth was hanging.
While I’d definitely been hurt by his actions the day before, I somehow instinctively felt he’d been worse off than me and pulled the pillow from his arms so I could climb into his lap, facing him with my legs straddled over his own. He seemed more than willing to make the trade and quickly settled his hands on my hips as I looked at him and said, “You were right when you said we wouldn’t work out if we kept up with all of our self-made bullshit, so I want us to make a pact that from now on whenever one of us isn’t sure about something between us we say something right then and there. No more assumptions.”
He slowly smiled before admitting, “But I would have felt like such a pussy chasing after you to the bathroom asking why you didn’t kiss me good morning.”
My heart soared hearing him say he’d wanted a kiss, but before I gave him one a day late I said, “I would have thought it was sweet and a very masculine, manly thing to do. Besides, it would’ve been better than the assumptions we each made. You know what they say about assuming, don’t you?”
I let my hands fall down his back and gave his ass a quick squeeze in jest, but Eric pulled me down harder in his lap while Nessie stirred beneath me as he said, “Then it’s a good thing you like my ass.”
Eric’s hands were doing some of their own traveling due south of my hips and from the feel of it, he liked my ass just as much. I didn’t want us to get too carried away, but it felt appropriate all the same when I looked back at him saying with a smile, “Good morning Eric.” I had no idea what time it was and even though it was still dark out, I figured it was safe to make one final assumption it was the morning anyway. If not, I was sure it was morning somewhere in the world.
He smiled back at me, his wounded expression gone completely, as he replied, “Good morning Sookie.”
Our lips met in the middle and I couldn’t believe we’d wasted an entire day over yet another misunderstanding. I swore to myself I wouldn’t let it happen again while we tried to repair the damage we’d inadvertently inflicted on ourselves with that kiss. I was a little surprised when Eric pulled back first, only to hug me to his chest even tighter and he buried his face into my neck, inhaling deeply, before admitting, “I like having you here.” I was about to respond that I liked being there, but Eric interrupted my thoughts by saying, “Actually,” before he stood up with me still in his arms as he carried me into his bedroom. Once we were situated in the middle of his bed with me still in his lap he reburied his face in my neck, making me giggle with his ticklish whiskers, and finished his statement with, “I like having you here more because there’s more room, but as long as you’re here,” he punctuated the word by squeezing me in his embrace, “I’m good.”
Tears pricked the corners of my eyes realizing he hadn’t been talking about having me in his house, or even in his bed. He meant having me in his arms and I realized the same thing held true for me as well. I tightened my hold on him confessing, “Me too.” I kissed the side of his neck and a minute or two later I had another confession to make when I said, “Eric?”
“Hmm?” He really seemed to like sniffing me a lot, but being so attuned to his scent myself, I couldn’t throw stones knowing I’d probably be able to track him through the forest better than any bloodhound by now.
“I have to pee and if you hug me any tighter you should do so at your own risk.”
I didn’t realize how much I’d missed the sound of his laughter until I heard it again and made sure to give him a kiss so he wouldn’t feel the need to chase me down as I scooted into his bathroom to take care of business. It was a lot bigger than mine and the tub looked more like a small pool, easily capable of fitting several Eric’s inside, as would the shower. If and when we reached the point where shared bathing could occur I had a feeling it would become my favorite room in the house.
Eric made his own trip to the bathroom once I emerged and we both settled back underneath the covers of his bed when he was done. Our tried and true position of him spooning me from behind had worked out well for us in the past, but I found I also enjoyed lying with my head on his chest with him on his back. It made it so I could hear him in stereo through his mouth and chest when he spoke asking me, “How did your shopping trip go with Pam?”
“Ugh…” had been my initial response which I followed up with, “It took forever to find a dress we could both agree on. She has a slutty streak in her, but we ended up getting one without coming to blows.”
“Was it that bad?” he snickered.
“Yes! And then I half thought about Spawning her when it came time to pay for it,” I huffed. Pam was all bark and no bite, I was sure of it.
“Why? She didn’t try to make you to pay for it did she?”
I lifted my head to see if he was joking, but he wasn’t. “Why wouldn’t I pay for it?” I asked.
It was odd that he could see my hackles rise in the darkness of the room, but I knew he had because he said, “Calm down. I know your stance on gold digging and I certainly don’t think of you that way, but can you at least try and see my point before you blow your top?” My only response was silence and a raised eyebrow so he continued, “It was a purchase you wouldn’t have had to make if it wasn’t because of me so I should be the one to foot the bill.” My head was already shaking my unspoken ‘No’, but he stopped it by asking, “Would you feel the same if you really considered yourself to be my wife?”
Shit. He actually had me there and he knew it. He smiled softly while running his fingers through my hair, calming me even more, and said, “You are my wife Sookie and I would feel bad knowing you were forking out your own money for things having to do with my obligations.”
I almost congratulated him on the nicely played ‘guilt’ card, but just stuck my tongue out instead and put my head back down on his chest saying, “Well you can feel bad for Pam because she paid for it saying it was my wedding gift.”
“Oh, then I don’t feel bad at all considering she’s billed me in the past for entire shoe collections claiming hers were damaged from either chasing me down or kicking my ass,” he laughed.
I laughed along with him until the sun started rising in the sky outside of his window. I pulled myself on top of him and leaned down for a kiss that got much more heated than I’d planned before pulling back and saying, “I need to get ready for work.”
“I know,” he smiled. “It’s the first day of school. Are you excited?”
My hoo-hah was much more excited seeing him lying underneath me, but I didn’t feel the need to elaborate on who felt what and just replied with a generic, “Yes.”
Apparently my hoo-hah wanted to answer for herself and she did by way of pressing down on the S.S. Northman from bow to stern. His growl didn’t help matters even as his mouth warned, “You’re playing with fire Mrs. Northman.”
I think I have just the thing to douse the flames Mr. Northman.
“Uh huh…” My poor students were going leave at the end of the year having learned nothing more from me other than the fact their teacher was an idiot; a horny idiot.
I sincerely hoped it wouldn’t come to that and for the sake of their sponge-like minds and my own sanity I removed myself from temptation by standing up and asking, “I’ll see you downstairs?”
A small part of me was still raw from the day before, but Eric seemed to understand and got up himself, giving me a chaste kiss, and smiled replying, “Yes, with coffee minus the attitude.”
It was exactly what I needed to hear and I smiled through my entire shower and all the way downstairs, but seeing what else Eric had waiting for me made me tear up all over again. Sitting on top of the counter was a brand new pink plastic lunchbox with all of the Disney princesses on the front and when I was finally able to take my eyes from it I saw Eric’s uncertain expression at my unexpected emotional response. “Is it stupid?” he asked hesitantly. “I just thought of you when I saw it yesterday, but you don’t have to use it if you don’t want to.”
I lost the battle with one or two tears slipping down my cheeks as I moved forward and wrapped my arms around his waist saying, “No it’s not stupid. Thank you, I love it. We couldn’t afford extra things like that when I was growing up, but I always secretly wanted one.” I’d always been envious of the kids that got a new everything every school year, but I tried to never let it get to me and was thankful for the food in my brown bagged lunch each day instead. It was something he couldn’t possibly have known about me and his thoughtfulness left me overwhelmed.
Eric kissed the top of my head without commenting on my less than glamorous childhood and merely said, “I’m glad you like it.”
We stayed that way for another minute before I pulled away, intent on packing my lunch in my new lunchbox, but when I opened it I saw Eric had already taken care of it for me. I looked up to see him, again appearing insecure, as he explained, “It’s a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Do you like those?”
“Yes,” I smiled. “Who doesn’t?” The Master Wooer was making me woozy with all of his masterful wooing.
“Asks the girl that likes the way cherries smell but not their taste,” he replied with a smile, looking a lot more confident.
“Whatever,” I volleyed back, having no rational reason for my quirkiness but enjoying our bantering nonetheless, and hating the fact I had to leave soon.
Eric spooned me from behind as I sipped the cup of coffee he’d handed me and I regretted having lost out on a morning like this one the day before. He’d already said he couldn’t keep going through that and truthfully, neither could I. We seemed to be a couple of asses, hell bent on assuming our relationship down the drain so I said, “Maybe we should have a safe word.”
“Sookie,” he asked in a much lower tone, “Is this your way of telling me you’re kinky in the bedroom? I don’t want to make any assumptions.”
I could hear the smile I couldn’t actually see on his face, due to our positions, but playfully chided him anyway responding, “No you perv! I meant if something came up where one of us might want to make an assumption and we weren’t able to speak freely because there were other people around, we should have a word or phrase to let the other one know so it doesn’t fester until we’re alone.”
Eric pressed himself against my back and repeated out loud what his body was already telling me. “Something is already coming up; feel free to assume what I’m thinking.”
Dear God; Please give me the strength to walk away from this man and actually go to work today. Amen.
Nessie? Kraken? Unicorn? Those were the only words springing to mind at the moment, but I didn’t want to explain my own depravity and instead said, “You’re not helping.”
He nuzzled the back of my head with his cheek saying, “Neither are you. Move your hips,” he offered while gripping my hips and rubbing himself against my ass.
I had to laugh at his kitchen seduction so I wouldn’t jump on him instead and gave him one swivel of my hips before pulling away saying, “There.” I turned to face him seeing he was clearly amused (I had no doubt he was clearly aroused as well, but I refused to look down) and said, “If you think it’s a dumb idea, we don’t have to. We could just wait until we’re alone.”
Eric’s brow furrowed, the amusement gone, as he responded, “Nothing about you is dumb.” He thought for a moment before saying, “It would have to be something we could work into an actual conversation that wouldn’t seem out of place, but nothing too common that we might actually say offhand. You know, like it would seem weird to say ‘Release the Kraken’ out of the blue.”
I came back downstairs a few minutes later after changing my shirt and leaving the other one soaking in the sink, hoping the coffee stains would come out, and wondered why Eric had put a straw in my coffee cup, but didn’t ask because I needed to leave. “What time will you be home tonight?” I asked. Pam had said we would need to be there by 6:30, so if he came home at his normal 6 o’clock we’d be cutting it close.
“We only work Monday thru Thursday, so I’m off on Fridays. I’ll be here when you get home.”
It was weird to actually feel like Eric’s house had become my home, but it did and hearing him call it my home warmed me from the inside out.
“What time do you get home?” he asked. “You’re always already here when I get back.”
“Today is actually a half-day for the students so the younger ones can adjust to being away from home for the first time, so I might get to leave a little early. Normally I get home around four.” It was odd to feel so close to him and yet still not know the little things, like our work schedules, about each other. I knew all we needed was time and I was looking forward to learning every little thing about him he was willing to share with me.
Time itself was against me at the moment, so I grabbed my purse and keys, smiling when Eric handed me my new lunchbox and said again, “Thank you. You can be incredibly sweet when you want to be.”
He swooped down laying the mother of all kisses on me before pulling back and placing one last kiss on my forehead saying, “Says the girl that actually tastes like cherries.”
I would’ve responded, but once again, he’d drained me of both my breath and the last of my brain cells.