Turning my now incredulous eyes towards Sookie, she answered my questioning expression with, “I’m gonna run to the ladies to go tinkle, while you find me a decent cup of coffee so I’ll have to go tinkle all over again, kay?”
“Hold up,” I argued, not letting go of the hand I’d been holding.
She would either answer my next question or dance in a puddle of her own making.
But knowing which cocksucker we both associated the word with, I thought maybe I was hearing things and asked, “Did you just babe me?”
“Just seeing if you were paying attention,” she grinned. “It’s early and I have two left turn signals when it comes to navigation, as it is. I needed to make sure you were game ready, if we’re gonna make it to the right gate. I’d hate to end up in Timbuktu when I only packed bikinis and flirty little dresses.”
She’d successfully distracted me from cocksuckers by making me imagine just how flirty those dresses were.
We won’t even begin to discuss what I was imagining at the thought of Sookie in a bikini.
Having seen her in them before, I knew I could easily get lost in the land of triangles and string ties forever.
But while the airport we were in was big enough, it wasn’t big enough to get lost in.
Although, Sookie really did have a bad sense of direction.
She always had to hold her hands up in front of her and straighten her fingers out, turning her thumbs and pointer fingers into ninety degree angles to figure out which way was left, by the ‘L’ the left one would make.
I thought it was cute.
Just like the rest of her.
And one day soon, she could just look at the ring on her hand – the one still residing in my left pocket – to know which way was left.
We only had six days left before her parents would be back and then we could stop hiding.
And since I was still holding onto her left hand, I ran my thumb over her bare ring finger before using my grip to pull her closer, so I could lean down and press a kiss to her lips, as I asked, “Have I ever steered you wrong before?”
“No,” she sighed, melting into me for a moment before her own game face made an appearance.
Her sex games face.
But knowing we had a few hours before we would reach our destination and the sex games could begin, I released my hold on her and used my now freed hand to palm her ass, while I asked, “Grown up or kid coffee?”
She normally doctored her coffee with just a splash of cream at home, but whenever we were out, she sometimes wanted one of those flavored sugar concoctions that marketed itself as coffee.
It was really just chocolate syrup and whipped cream with a splash of coffee.
“Kid coffee,” she grinned, perking up at the thought.
But before she could run away from me – the dance she was doing let me know she was going to bolt any second though – I pointed down the long stretch in front of us and said, “We’re boarding at Gate 12. Hang a left out of the bathroom and go straight. If you hit the glass window, you’ve gone too far. If you hit the parking lot, you’ve made a wrong turn, so turn around and go back the other way.”
“Very funny,” she playfully glared, but then seemed to think about it and added, “Keep your ears pealed for the intercom though. I might end up in lost and found.”
“I’ll find you,” I smiled.
I would always find her.
There was no way I could be without her now.
She still hadn’t returned by the time I had her kid coffee in hand, but she was likely browsing through one of the shops I’d passed along the way.
Hopefully, she wasn’t in the parking lot, doing a one-eighty.
But we still had a few minutes before our flight was due to board, so I wandered down towards the gate and figured I would pass the time by checking my phone. I’d turned it off the night before and had yet to turn it back on, but as soon as I did it blew up with text messages.
I’d barely opened the first one when I heard, “Daddy! You made it!”
This could not be happening.
But feeling an extra buck seventy-five being added to the weight of the two carry-ons I had strapped to my back, I knew that it was – in fact – happening.
Sookie’s coffee didn’t survive the ambush by Jake and flew out of my hand, with the cup doing a pirouette on its way to the floor before coming to a stop – ironically enough – in a puddle of its own making.
But I ignored it in favor of shucking Jake off of my back and turned to see his boyish grin aimed my way, along with half a dozen other guys from the station smiling back at me.
I didn’t return their smiles.
My lips were impersonating my asshole at the moment.
Both were puckered.
But not being the observant mother fucker Tray was, Jake didn’t seem to notice and clapped me on the back, announcing to everyone within a thirty foot radius of us, “Have no fear, the anchor is here. Our circle jerk is now complete.”
Then turning to grin up at me, he clued me in to what in the hell he was talking about by adding, “Vegas just wouldn’t have been the same without you, man!”
They were going to Vegas?
Sookie and I were going to Vegas.
No. Not for that.
But I hadn’t ruled out that possibility.
Either way, I was good with it.
But it didn’t matter anymore because either way, karma really did own my ass.
The guys had been talking about doing a weekend in Vegas for months now, but it had been just that.
Talk that usually only flared up whenever one of The Hangover movies had been on TV.
“Which Hangover was on TV last night?” I asked, looking for confirmation.
“The first one, “Jake answered and then guffawed, “That monkey cracks my shit up!”
My Sookie senses started tingling a moment later. I had the uncanny ability to sense whenever she was getting closer to me.
I took it as God’s way of making up for my perpetual karmic asskicking and didn’t question it.
At the same time, the announcement our flight would be boarding in five minutes came over the loud speaker and seeing one of the airport employees headed our way with a mop and bucket to clean up the coffee I dropped, I used it as my out.
Looking over at the guys, I said, “I’m just going to go get another coffee. I’ll meet you on the plane.”
“Don’t miss the flight!” Jake called out behind me, putting into words exactly what I planned on doing. “We can’t have an anchorless circle jerk!”
At least being tall had its advantages.
And being the moth to Sookie’s flame worked in my favor too because I spotted the top of her blond head about twenty feet ahead of me.
Holding up the pile of magazines she must have stopped to buy, she said, “I got you the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition because I’m gonna need your good mood to bring my sexy back after reading about Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner breaking up.”
“Uh huh…so sad,” I huffed, more from the adrenaline coursing through me than anything else.
But before she could light off on just how sad she was over the divorce of a couple she didn’t know and would likely never know, I pulled us into a small alcove to hide us from karmic eyes, interjecting, “You know what else is so sad? Jake and six other guys from the firehouse are boarding our plane to Vegas right now.”
“Oh,” she frowned and then tilted her head, asking with a sad smile, “The Hangover was on last night, wasn’t it?”
“The first one,” I nodded, too ate up to even smile at the fact she’d known them well enough – through me – to guess correctly.
“Well, I’ll just help Ames get her house in order, “ she shrugged and then added, “And I’m sure Jason will fuck up doing the receipts at the bar, so I can go in at night and give him a hand.”
With their parents away on vacation, I’d known her brother would be covering for her for the next few nights at the bar. But that had nothing to do with my ‘What the fuck?’ look and it only hardened when she incorrectly guessed at the cause by quasi-asking, “Have fun?”
“What?” I asked, with every rant going through my mind boiling down to that one word.
But even knowing me, as well as she did – and even if at times I suspected she could read my mind, although I couldn’t prove it – she clarified her crazy response by answering, “You said they’ve been talking about it for a while and you never get to have a guys’ weekend. Go. Have fun.”
And while her words were telling me to go, her actions contradicted them when she twisted the front of my shirt in her fist and pulled me down for a kiss before adding, “But not too much fun. I’ll kick your ass, mister.”
Releasing me from her grasp in the next second, she stood there staring at me and I could tell that she really meant it.
She was perfectly willing to forego our own weekend getaway, so that I could go hang out with the guys.
She was also insane, of course.
Grabbing onto her hand, I jerked her along behind me as I walked further away from the gate and said, “You’re batshit. I love you, but you’re fucking certifiable if you think I’m going to ditch you to go spend a weekend with them.”
“But,” she argued, running alongside of me to make up for my longer strides.
“But nothing,” I argued back as I came to a stop in front of the electronic flight schedules and turned to her adding, “Every shift I work is the equivalent of a guys’ weekend. Only it’s occasionally interrupted by a fire, so we stay sober through them.”
I could tell that she was gearing up to argue with me some more, so I silenced her with a kiss and said, “I love that you’d be okay with me leaving you behind, so I could end up potentially getting a tattoo on my face and waking up next to a transvestite.”
“I just said not too much fun,” she argued back and playfully punched my ribs. “I’m the only one who’s allowed to wake up next to a transvestite.”
“Now that that’s cleared up,” I chuckled with an eye roll and then turned them back towards the screen.
Scrolling down the list of upcoming departures to pick out a new destination, my eyes came to a stop on the one I knew would be perfect for us.
What with Sookie being a punny ass and all.
And also batshit crazy.
It wasn’t Paradise City, but Paradise Coast was close enough.
Marco Island, to be more specific.
I’d gone on a trip with some of the guys to the Everglades a few years earlier – pre-Sookie – so I was familiar with the area enough to know it was located on the Gulf side of Florida.
White sand beaches and a sand covered Sookie in her white bikini sounded exactly like paradise to me.
Arriving at our new gate, while I headed to the counter to change our tickets over, Sookie was able to book us a room for the weekend at one of the resorts and cancel our reservation at the Vegas hotel.
I waited until our original flight took off to send Jake a message to tell him I missed it and was looking to catch another one.
I just left out the part where I’d be catching a flight to Florida instead of Nevada.
And I decided to wait until later to send him the excuse that I ran into a hot chick and was spending the weekend with her instead.
I would just leave out the part that her name was Sookie Stackhouse.
Lying without lying.
It was becoming my specialty.
But my ass didn’t fully unpucker until we were strapped into our seats and leaving the tarmac.
Hopefully karma would be fooled into looking for me in Vegas and leave us the hell alone.
Waking up in the early morning hours the next day, the sun filtered in through the window and cast the room into a bluish hue. After checking in, we’d spent the remainder of the day at one of the beaches and the night strolling down the main thoroughfare, filling up on the local cuisine and topping it off with drinks that came with tiny paper umbrellas.
Sookie’s umbrella had been red.
Just like on that fateful night.
I took it as a sign.
I teased her about marrying me all the time, but I hadn’t proposed to her in a while.
Maybe because I’d known she wasn’t ready to say yes.
Or maybe it was because I wasn’t ready to hear her say no again.
Maybe it was a combination of the two.
But I’d slipped the tiny red umbrella into my pocket alongside her ring when she wasn’t looking. I didn’t know why or what I might do with it, but I’d wanted it just the same.
Just in case.
The destination had certainly lived up to its name. Paradise Coast was truly a beautiful place.
But looking over at Sookie, still sound asleep and with her hair a wild mess surrounding her head, it didn’t come close to how beautiful she was to me.
I’d woken up wrapped around her from behind, but now that I had pulled away to get a better look at her, the white sheet draped across her bare back had slid down to the top of her ass, with the stark color contrasting against her tanned skin.
Still close, I still wasn’t close enough, so my finger automatically reached out to gently trace over the line left behind from the bikini she’d worn the day before. I hadn’t been trying to wake her, but she stirred anyway, unconsciously moving towards my touch with a soft sigh escaping her lips.
I knew I loved her – had known for months that I was in love with her – but it wasn’t until that moment that I realized something else.
It was the little moments, like this one – one she wasn’t even awake for – that made me love her all the more.
We lived separately in a way that had nothing to do with our addresses, but when we were together we existed within our own little bubble. Our entire relationship – kept a secret out of necessity – was filled with nothing but little moments because we couldn’t share us with anyone else. It kept us from having to listen to anyone else’s opinions about our relationship.
It kept us from having to share us with everyone we knew.
We never took our time together for granted, knowing every second was a stolen moment, and it only made me appreciate her all the more.
Maybe if we’d been able to be open about our relationship from the start, I wouldn’t have had the clarity that I did now about what she meant to me.
I would never know.
Only now did I realize I wouldn’t trade it for doing it any other way.
As much as it bothered me to have to have to sneak around, I had her.
Sookie was mine just as much as I was hers.
I wouldn’t have it any other way.
“Quit thinking,” she sleepily mumbled, while she blindly reached for me, closing the few inches between us by sliding her body over and turning to rest her head against my shoulder, using her free arm to drape over my side.
“You’re not the boss of me,” I teasingly whispered and let my fingers trail more firmly against her back before using them to work the tangles out of her hair.
“It’s cute that you think that,” she teased in return. And her eyes were still closed, when she said, “But we both know you’re my bitch.”
It was true.
And we both knew it.
So I didn’t bother to deny it and I felt her smile form against my chest seconds later at her silent victory.
Then pressing those same lips against my skin, she sighed out, “So what were you thinking so loud about?”
But instead of saying that, I asked more than stated, “Everything? Nothing?”
Both were equally as true.
“Now that that’s cleared up,” she laughed softly.
With her hair now tangle free, I used that same hand to trace down her spine and over the curve of her ass, still hidden by the sheet, and ran my fingertips along the familiar dips and swells of her body, recommitting them to memory while I explained, “Really. A little bit of everything and a whole lot of nothing, but mostly just how much it still catches me off-guard sometimes.”
“What does?” she asked, tilting her chin up to look at me.
“How lucky I am to have you.”
Things could have gone so very differently. At the start I hadn’t known what we were doing, other than each other. But I certainly hadn’t imagined ending up where we were now.
She was like a dream come true I hadn’t even known I’d wanted until I had her.
Her lower lip pouted out, as it often did whenever I ‘loved her out loud’ without using the word ‘love’ at all.
And I was smart enough to never point out the fact that whenever I did, she was my bitch.
So when she was eventually able to rein in her lower lip, she used it to smile instead and slid on top of my body, as she playfully scoffed, “You? I’m the lucky one.”
My hands automatically moved to hold onto her waist and she sat up in all of her naked glory, straddling more than just my hips.
One part of me in particular was doing its damnedest to give her an early morning salute.
Eying me knowingly, she let me know she knew exactly what she was doing when her lips turned up on one side and she slid her hips over mine, coating me in the moisture already pooling in between her legs.
Then she threw a curveball at me by purposefully sliding her hands from my wrists to my elbows and saying, “I mean, just look at these forearms.”
“My forearms?” I smirked, with an arched brow.
Out of all of the body parts she’d worshipped – both verbally and physically – my forearms had never been included.
“I’m a fan,” she smiled and pitched her hips forward again, with my eyes involuntarily rolling into the back of my head and her own actions made her gasp out her next breath of words.
If I had less self-control, I would already be inside of her. The fact we’d christened the room four times the night before was the only thing helping me remain in control now.
But I could only take so much.
She should know this.
I’d proven it time and again.
But stubborn as the day was long, she continued to tease us both with the way she was moving on top of me. However, she didn’t let that deter her from sliding her hands further up my arms, while she said, “And then there are these biceps.”
“What about them?” I asked, opening my eyes and immediately zeroing in on hers.
“Sonnets should be written about them,” she smiled and then waggling her brows, she added, “Or dirty limericks.”
“Don’t let me stop you,” I chuckled, with a challengingly tone. “By all means, have at it.”
Still moving her hips, she was killing me one slow stroke at a time, but after a moment she began, “There once was a man named Eric, whose demeanor could be quite barbaric. But flexing his arms only showed some of his charms because it was his cock that was truly Homeric.”
I would have laughed – and maybe taken a moment to reassure myself Homeric was indeed a compliment – but at the word ‘cock’, mine disappeared into her warm wet depths.
There was absolutely nothing funny about that.
“Fuck,” I heard myself grunt out through clenched teeth, enjoying the feel of her stretching and contracting around me, with my grip likely leaving bruises on her hips.
Then every asshole on the beach – the ones who couldn’t seem to tear their eyes away from her – would know that she was taken.
And that I had taken her.
But she only had herself to blame.
If she wore my ring, then…
I would still want to mark her in this way too.
“We are,” she agreed to my involuntary verbal declaration and slowly began moving, building up her rhythm with purpose.
I loved seeing her like this. She’d been confident – rightfully so – from the start, so being able to just watch her move with abandon and unapologetically seek out her own pleasure, only added to my own.
I also loved having the time to just enjoy being with her, without the burden of a clock hanging over our heads.
Time could be both our enemy and our friend.
Her breathing picked up pace in time with her thrusts and she leaned back, bracing her hands on my legs, while my eyes trailed over the faint pink blush blooming across her skin. Sliding one hand over, I used my thumb to work over her clit, while the other skimmed up her torso to her breasts.
Her skin was always so soft under my rough calloused hands, but with the way she was looking at me, she didn’t seem to mind.
Rocking and circling her hips, she pushed her body against each of my hands and I could tell by the sporadic fluttering around the length of me inside of her becoming more pronounced that she was getting close.
Thanks to our mini-sex-athon the day before, I knew I could last for a little while longer, so I waited until she was nearly there before grabbing onto her hips and angling my next thrust in a way that I knew would throw her over the edge.
And she let me know it.
Me – and everyone else on our floor.
“That’s my girl,” I smiled, flipping her over underneath me and slowly stroking her through her orgasm, while I claimed her lips in a slow sensual kiss.
Our relationship may have gone from zero to fucking like rabbits at the beginning, but I quickly learned the joy that was just making out with Sookie Stackhouse.
I could – and had – kiss her for hours.
Her hands trailed languid patterns across my back, with her fingers eventually moving through the hair at the back of my head, gently holding it in place while she kissed me in return.
But our kiss was broken by my smile when those same hands trailed down my neck and over my shoulders to settle on my biceps, feeling her firm squeeze.
“You really do like those,” I teased, skimming my lips across her jaw to nuzzle the spot behind her ear and smiling again at the goosebumps that rose up on her flesh.
“Did you not pay attention to my limerick?” she giggled, which instantly turned into a moan when I chose that moment to thrust back into her a little more forcefully.
“I did,” I admitted before my ego took over and made me admit to something else, when I leered down at her and said, “But I think it was another part of me you likened to epic proportions.”
“Cocky,” she weakly mocked, with her hands sliding back down to my ass to pull me to her.
“Exactly,” I agreed.
Those were the last words spoken by either one of us, instead needing any oxygen we managed to get into our lungs to chase after the orgasms building back up in each of us.
Hitching her thighs up over the forearms she was such a fan of, spread her open wide enough that I was able to sink down even deeper inside of her and her hands spread out over my chest, with her fingernails digging into my skin.
Her hair was a tangled mess again, fanning out over the pillow beneath her head, and the multitude of feelings – both emotion and sensation – flowing through me was quickly tunneling down into an all-encompassing want.
As much as my body was ready to give in, my mind wasn’t.
I wanted more.
I always wanted more when it came to her.
Dropping down from my hands to my elbows, our sweat slicked skin made it easy for her legs to slide down to my hips, with her feet pressing against my ass and her lips moving across every part of me she could reach, both taking and adding moisture along the way.
It was too much and yet not enough.
But hearing the tiny whimpers escaping through her lips and feeling the breath of them fanning across my skin made me lose what little control I had left and my hips began moving in a blur against her, with my panted breaths against her neck making the stray hairs tickle against our skin.
Knowing I was close, I leaned on my right arm and slid my left hand down in between us to work over her clit, wanting her to cum with me.
But feeling her teeth sink down into the skin where my neck met my shoulder in the next second, I was done for.
Now gripping her hip with my left hand, I pulled her up right as I thrust down into her in, having lost all pretense of maintaining any kind of rhythm now that I’d been reduced down to nothing more than blind need.
In stuttering movements, I pumped wildly inside of her, with the coil inside of me unfurling and my vision going black as I was lost in a consuming flood of pleasure.
She may have cum with me.
I couldn’t be sure.
Of anything, really.
But if not, I would make it up to her.
Just as soon as I could come out of the cum coma she’d just put me in.
My awareness slowly returned to me in bits and pieces, as did my vision, and I found myself lying in a boneless heap on top of her.
“Can you reach your phone?” I mumbled against her neck.
But having no idea if she could even pull enough air into her lungs to respond, I didn’t wait for an answer and explained, “You’re going to have to call 911 for help if you can’t push me off of you by yourself.”
Her responding laughter was music to my ears in more ways than one, but she only managed to get through one line of her newest masterpiece before she dissolved into a fit of giggles.
“There once was a badass named Sookie, whose superpower was incapacitation by nookie.”
“Can we do this again tomorrow?”
Smiling down at her little shadow, Sookie turned her lips into full-on pout mode when she answered, “I’m afraid not, little man. We have to go home tomorrow.”
She’d been suckered in by puppy dog eyes into helping her newest admirer – a four year old named Hunter – build an elaborate sandcastle, as soon as we’d arrived on the beach.
His grandparents – I only knew from his shouted ‘Nana’ and ‘Pop-Pop’ in their direction – seemed relieved he’d found himself an accidental playmate.
Even if she looked more like a Playboy Playmate in her bikini.
But I didn’t mind getting bumped for the attention of a four year old and if anything, it only reiterated in my mind what a great mom she would be.
Between watching them, the surf, and – from the looks of it – a wedding being set up that would be taking place a little further down the beach, I’d had plenty to keep me occupied.
“Is he your husband?”
Hearing the distaste in his voice, I looked over at Hunter and couldn’t help but smirk seeing the frown on his face.
“Not yet,” Sookie giggled.
Not for a lack of trying.
And he sounded just as hopeful as I knew I’d sounded in the past, when he turned back towards her and said, “So you can marry me.”
It was cute.
All the way up until she teasingly replied, “If you were twenty years older, little man, I’d do it in a heartbeat.”
Both me and the little man were scowling at that.
The sun was beginning to set and hearing his name being called by his grandparents a moment later, he gave her a huge hug – and me a dirty look – before he ran off, with Sookie turning back to give me her patented ‘What?’ innocent look.
We both knew she wasn’t all that innocent.
But as cute as he was, I didn’t care for being upstaged by a four year old. And maybe it was the setting or maybe it was seeing the wedding getting under way further down the beach that gave me ideas.
And thinking back to my thoughts that morning – how Sookie and I had spent our entire relationship in a bubble built for two – made me want to ask her to marry me again while it was still just me and her.
With no outside influence or opinions on the matter, I wanted her to choose me.
Subconsciously, I think a part of me had been waiting for her to tell her family about us before I proposed again. But knowing that would be happening in just a few short days, I suddenly – and perhaps selfishly – wanted her to agree to it now, while neither one of us knew what we would be facing when we came out.
So with that thought in mind, while she dug out the sundress she’d brought along to cover up her bikini with, I waited until she was pulling it on to slip the ring out of my pocket and put it on the highest point of the sandcastle, hiding it with the red paper umbrella I’d kept from the night before.
I didn’t want her to feel obligated to say yes, if she saw the ring beforehand, and by the time she was done pulling the dress over her head I was standing up and partially blocking it all to keep her from noticing anything was amiss.
Holding out my hand, I smiled and said, “Dance with me.”
“There’s no music,” she smiled in return, but took my hand anyway and let me pull her closer to my body.
Wrapping one arm around her waist, I held our entwined hands against my chest and kept us in place, while we merely swayed back and forth, as I said, “We make our own music.”
She settled her head against my chest, facing out towards the ocean and sighed, “I don’t want to leave tomorrow. We should move here.”
I would do it in a heartbeat, but I knew she wouldn’t want to leave her family behind. They were tightknit.
It was why we existed in a bubble.
“Wow,” she smiled, pulling back just enough to look up at me and tease, “I say jump and you say how high. I could get used to it.”
I’d stopped moving, so there was nothing to distract her from my next words when I truthfully conceded, “I will always jump. For you. With you. To you.”
Then sliding my hands up her arms, I cupped her face and stared down into her eyes, as I said, “Wherever you are is home to me. I love you, more than I can possibly put into words and I can’t see my future without you in it. So I will do whatever I have to – move mountains, move across the planet, or just move to Florida – to see that future come to light because that’s what you are to me – my light. I would walk through fire for you.”
Dropping down to one knee, I kissed the top of her left hand and then looked back up into her tearful eyes to ask, “Will you marry me?”
Despite the balmy night, she seemed frozen where she stood.
I know my heart had stopped beating.
So it felt like both eons and a fraction of a second, when she suddenly got a lot closer by dropping down onto her knees in front of me and said the one word I’d waited – both eons and a fraction of a second – to hear.