“Your home is beautiful,” Sookie offered quietly, sounding more like a church mouse than the outspoken woman I knew lied just underneath the surface. Everything about her screamed timid, from her spoken words to the way her body hesitantly moved forward, as though she were walking into a museum filled with priceless artifacts, when up until her arrival those same four walls only held pitiful affirmations of my pitiful life before she came into it.
What the fuck had I been thinking showcasing autographed porn posters?
I really had been an asshole.
But Sookie hadn’t cornered the market on silent screams. There was a fair amount of screeching inside of me too, with my own protective instincts screaming at me for failing to do my job of keeping her safe. I should have seen something like this coming. I should’ve known after the fiasco at the casino on the morning after our wedding that some asshole would go too far. But I wouldn’t be blindsided again.
It was why her new bodyguard Rasul would be dropping by to meet with her later on that week.
Sookie didn’t know it yet, just like she didn’t know how big of an asshole I could actually be. But she’d find out if she gave me any shit for it once she found out she wasn’t going anywhere without one ever again.
Fighting with her usually led to fucking, so I wasn’t exactly dreading it.
For now though, I knew her hesitation didn’t stem from any lingering pain from the accident. It was because she didn’t remember any of it.
But she believed me now. Not only did she have Gran’s word we weren’t playing a joke on her, but she got to see the video and photographic proof herself, via YouTube and the GQ spread. Ever since then though, she’d been different and not in the way that she didn’t know me.
Where before she didn’t shy away from saying exactly what was on her mind – at least when it was just us – she’d been bold and at times had balls that rivaled the size of Pam’s. Now – when it was just us – she was painfully introverted. Shy to the point of nearly being mute.
It broke my pussy whipped heart.
“Our home, Sookie,” I softly reminded her as we walked through the house. I was so glad to finally have her home, but at the same time I still felt an ache in my chest seeing the confusion in her eyes whenever she looked at me. If I had ever doubted her love for me before this, now would’ve made me believe.
Because now it was missing in her eyes whenever she looked back at me.
It hurt – more than even a giant pussy like me would ever admit – and I hated every second of it, but I understood. I couldn’t imagine how I would’ve reacted if I had been the one in her forgotten shoes.
Actually, I could.
I would’ve been an even bigger asshole to the Nth degree.
I’d never been more grateful – while simultaneously pissed off – for my celebrity. On one hand, at least I had the benefit of her already knowing who I was, if not who she was to me. On the other, if it weren’t for those goddamn assholes chasing her down the street to get a fucking picture of her because she was married to me, then it never would’ve happened in the first place.
But I would take this over the countless other options that could’ve been so much worse. At least she was still here. At least she was still mine. Sort of. I got her to fall in love with me once before – and I’d been an asshole a lot of the time then too. But now that I already loved her – was in love with her – I hoped it wouldn’t take me nearly as long to get her to do it a second time.
But she’d have to pick out a new OB/GYN.
Mshangao, mother fucker. You’re fired.
No more goddamn McSteamy McFuckers for her. And if and when she remembered everything, it would be a long ass time before I let her live that down.
“You have a pool!” she smiled, looking out into the backyard.
Recalling some fond memories of her in it, I smiled and corrected again, “We have a pool.” And those same fond bikini clad memories made me ask, “Do you want to go for a swim?”
I knew what the sight of my bare chest did for her libido and I hoped it would trigger her memories.
If not, maybe she’d agree to let me try to fuck her back into remembering me? If nothing else, the new memories we made couldn’t hurt anything.
My hand automatically reached out and caressed her arm – so used to being able to touch her whenever I wanted – so it hurt all the more when she jumped at the contact and jerked away.
I really was an asshole.
She didn’t know me from Adam. Not really. To her I was no more than a face on the screen or on the page of a magazine.
Or on her bedroom walls back in Bon Temps.
But she didn’t love me now. I was just a familiar looking stranger to her. Why would she be okay with me touching her?
This was going to be a lot harder than I thought.
“Sorry,” I softly apologized and turned to carry her bag upstairs, when Sookie did some unexpected touching of her own and grabbed ahold of my arm.
“No,” she tried and failed to smile back at me when I turned around to face her. “I’m sorry, Eric. I truly am. I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings, but I…I guess I’m still waiting to wake up and find out this is all a dream.”
I remembered all too well how she’d reacted when she woke up in the hospital and thought she’d been dreaming. But on the bright side, at least there was still some part of her that wanted me.
It would have to be enough for now.
“Nightmare or pornographic?” I asked, hoping a little levity mixed with some flirting would ease the tension in her shoulders.
Her blush – which I hadn’t realized how much I’d missed until I saw it creep up her neck – made her positively glow.
Or maybe that was the baby.
Finding out she was pregnant while she’d been in a coma had left me dumbfounded at first. I didn’t have to ask how far along she was. I knew. There was never any doubt in my mind it was mine or when it had been conceived. But not knowing if she would come back to me – and now even more so when all of her didn’t come back to me – I was glad for it. Happy to have some sort of physical tie to her that no one else had. One that couldn’t be denied because DNA and I didn’t lie. Proof that she had loved me once, even if it had only been during a drunken bender.
She still loved me, even if she didn’t know it yet. I knew it enough for the both of us.
Sookie still hadn’t answered me. Either searching her mind for the answer or choking on my audacity, but knowing I was a virtual stranger to her gave me an idea.
We never had the chance to have any kind of normal courtship. She’d wanted me to woo her back when wooing to me was offering a woman one night with my cock and nothing more. I hadn’t done that with her – thank god – but between figuring one another out and letting our constant assumptions get in the way, we hadn’t had much time for anything else. We’d been so busy fighting – Sookie fighting her sexual attraction to me and me fighting those shorts free from her body – by the end of it, romance seemed to equal a locked door and a full box of condoms. Now I had a chance to right that wrong. To give her something I wouldn’t have been able to give her otherwise.
Now that she couldn’t really remember me or the asshole I was at the start, I could give her the romance she’d been denied. Loving her now made it all the easier for me to want to give it to her.
So starting with the most basic concepts of dating that I knew of, I looked down at her and asked, “Would you like to go out to dinner with me?”
Her eyes bugged out at my question and she started fidgeting in front of me, making my virgin voyage into dating feel like it was about to sink into the abyss with Davey Jones’ Locker. But before I could chuck my balls into the corner of the room and step aside for the imaginary captain of the football team to come forward and whisk her away from me, while I changed my name to Eric Wallflower, she said, “I uh…do you think that’s a good idea?”
Instead of answering her question, because my ego was more fragile than the front-end of an Audi A8, I asked my own.
Can you check your pockets for my balls? I seem to have misplaced them, but I’m sure you have them.
“I just…” she started and then her eyes dropped to the floor as she finished softly with, “The crowd.”
I may have been ball-less, but my asshole was definitely still intact.
It had been a circus getting out of the hospital. Not the building itself because they had a private entrance where the paparazzi weren’t allowed, but the street had been lined with enough cameramen and news crews, one could believe word had gotten out that she was in fact carrying the second coming of Christ.
That secret was still ours, thank fuck. But I could understand her hesitation. I’m pretty sure tears had filled her eyes when she’d watched the video of the aftermath of the car accident. It was hard to tell through my own tears at the time.
But being trapped in the house would severely hinder me getting my woo on.
“If you’re hungry, I could make you something to eat,” she offered instead.
“It’s not…” I began and stopped, not sure if I should tell her of my woo-tentions.
A rookie woo-stake, I was sure.
“How about I make something for you instead?” I gestured over to the flat screen hanging on the wall behind her and added, “We could have dinner and a movie right here.”
My offer seemed to brighten her up a little and she blushed all over again when she asked, “Like a date?”
“Like a date,” I agreed.
“I’m not dressed for a date,” she smiled and more than my heart soared hearing the flirty lilt in her voice.
And it was that other soaring part of me that answered, “You don’t have to wear anything at all for our dates.”
I watched her eyebrow creep up into her hairline and only then realized what a creep I sounded like, saying something like that to her now of all times.
Way to woo her. Woo-hole!
So I was surprised when she snickered instead of slapping me and said, “That’s like fifth date attire. And since I can’t remember the last five weeks, I consider this a first date.”
I was grateful she considered dating me at all, but I didn’t want to push my luck by reminding her our first date culminated in our marriage and subsequent bun in the oven. But I would happily reenact that part of the evening with her any time she wanted to. I didn’t need my memories of it to know how it would’ve cum about.
We’d see the evidence of it in another thirty-four weeks or so.
“Well then, shall I pick you up in say, thirty minutes?” I asked. On the way home she’d mentioned wanting to take a shower and now that my mouth had made promises my Pop Tart making skills couldn’t keep, I needed to figure out what we’d be having.
“Sure,” she smiled back at me, but didn’t move. And when I only continued to stand there, staring at her and mentally flipping through all of the takeout menus in the kitchen, she added, “Um…I’m gonna need directions if I’m going to be there on time for you to pick me up.”
“Sorry,” I smiled back, feeling much better repeating the word than I had moments earlier and grabbed her hand with the one that wasn’t holding her bag to lead her upstairs.
Where I stalled all over again.
We stood in the hallway with my eyes darting back and forth from ‘her room’ to ‘our room’, unsure of where I should lead her to. I couldn’t remember the last time we’d slept apart and I didn’t want to go back to living that way, but I could also understand why she wouldn’t want to share our room right now. I hadn’t been back to the house since her accident, spending every day and night with her in the hospital, and with everything that had been going on up until then, we’d never gotten around to moving all of her things into the master bedroom.
Not that we’d even discussed it, but at the time it seemed like a foregone conclusion.
Now though, I wasn’t sure what to do. What she would think seeing that all of her things were kept separate from mine. I didn’t want her to get the wrong idea.
I didn’t want her to think it had all been a lie.
“Did you get a sudden case of sympathy amnesia?” she playfully asked when I didn’t move forward.
Dropping her bag onto the floor at our feet, I took both of her hands in mine and begged her with my eyes to understand when I explained, “Do you remember when I told you we both agreed to go along with a showmance after waking up married in Vegas?”
It had been the best decision of my life and yet the hardest one to admit to her when I tried to explain it all to her in the hospital. Looking back at it now, I could see none of it had been sham. Not to me. Even when I’d tried to deny even to myself that I didn’t want to do anything more than fuck her, I knew it wasn’t true. She’d always meant more to me than that, even if I hadn’t realized it at the time.
Now I knew, more than ever, just how much she meant to me.
When she nodded, I gave her another quick rundown of everything that happened after that, but more so expounding on how everything seemed to happen so fast to explain why her things were still in the spare bedroom. I ended with, “I don’t want you to have any doubts on what we had together, but I understand if you’re not comfortable sharing a room with me.”
I might be sleeping on the floor outside of her doorway every night until she did feel comfortable, but I would understand for now.
She sucked her bottom lip in between her teeth in thought, and I fought to keep myself from sucking it back out with my own lips, before she blushed again as she said, “I uh…yeah…no…”
When she didn’t offer anything more after a moment of stuttering, I smiled at her and said, “You don’t say. Well, thanks for clearing that up.”
Her eyes flashed, giving me a flash of the Sookie I knew, when she pulled her hand free from mine and smacked my chest with it, saying, “Do you have any idea of how weird all of this is for me? I wake up to find my fantasy husband at my bedside. I then proceed to set my inner porn star loose on you only to find out that you’re my reality husband, but up until then the last time I’d seen you, you were on a billboard rockin’ one hell of a suit on Sunset Boulevard. Now you’re being so sweet. And you’re my baby daddy. And I have a heart tattooed on my finger and no memory of any of it. So forgive me while my morals duke it out. Knowing we’ve already fucked like rabbits and wanting a reminder of what that’s like, doesn’t mean the other half of me isn’t trying to tie that bitch down and say no.”
“There she is,” I grinned and pulled her into my arms, amnesia be damned. I cut off whatever it was she planned on saying by putting my lips on hers and reminding us both how heated our kisses could be. She might have forgotten the last few weeks, but she certainly hadn’t forgotten how to kiss me back.
And Eric Junior poked her front, wanting his own reminder of her kisses.
I kept my hands from moving over to greet my long lost BFF’s, but that didn’t stop Sookie’s hands from running up and down my back before stalling at my waist where she gripped my shirt in her fists, as though she needed to, to keep them from going any further. When I knew we needed to stop, before stopping became impossible, I pulled back from her and grinned all over again seeing the dazed look on her face.
I remembered that all too well to.
She was putty in my hands, just like there would be something akin to putty in my pants if I didn’t walk away, so I grabbed her bag and pulled her along behind me to the guest room. No matter how much her body remembered me, I knew her mind hadn’t caught up to it yet and I wasn’t going to force her hand.
It was hard enough forcing my dick to remain in my pants.
I put her bag on the bed and placed one last kiss on her forehead, saying, “I’ll pick you up in thirty.”
It was only my desire for her wellbeing that got my feet to walk away from her. She was eating for two and she hadn’t been eating much at all lately, but I was going to rectify that. There was a bounce in my step that had been missing for the last two weeks as I bounded down the stairs and went into the kitchen. My mind had settled on Italian, but I pulled open the refrigerator to get a bottle of water to try and cool down my insides when I stalled yet again.
I’d expected to find the grossly spoiled food that had been lingering for weeks, so I was mshangao’d to find it full of wrapped dishes, with a simple note taped to the front.
She’d gone home the day before, but she’d been with us since the day after Sookie’s accident, staying in a nearby hotel I put her up in while she was there. There was no hiding our marriage lie from her once Sookie had woken up, but instead of being mad about it, Gran had merely smiled and said God moved in mysterious ways. She’d gone out to give us a few hours to ourselves on the day before she’d left, so now I knew what she’d done with them.
And I knew she would only have been able to do it with my father’s help.
He had disappeared with her and he had a key to get into the house. I didn’t know how to feel about that yet, so I pushed it aside and grabbed one of the dishes instead. I was a pro at warming things up in the microwave, so I used the extra time I now had to run up and take a shower of my own.
And to take care of Eric Junior while I was in there.
I could hear Sookie moving around in the spare room when I walked out, so I headed back down and got the food warmed up. Once the table she’d bought was set, I went outside and cut a few flowers from the rose bushes by the front door, since I didn’t want to leave her alone to run to the florist shop. I tamped down on the memories that brought back and told myself Sookie wasn’t going to leave me, even though she couldn’t remember me.
She wasn’t my mother.
But she was the mother of my tiny jellybean I’d gotten a glimpse of on the ultrasound and this was a date, so flowers were necessary.
As were Band-Aids.
I took the stairs two at a time and felt like a nervous shmuck all over again standing outside of her door. Once I did a quick ball check to make sure I hadn’t left them behind in the shower, I knocked on her door and the vision before me ensured both the night and my dick were only going to get harder.
Sookie’s eyes met mine when she smiled back at me and all I could do was silently return it.
She was wearing the same white dress with the little red flowers she’d put on the morning after in Vegas. I know she’d seen the pictures of that day, but I didn’t know if she’d worn it on purpose or not. And I didn’t care.
Instead I took it as one of the mysterious ways God worked in, giving me a sign we were getting a fresh start.