To be gay or not to be gay…
That was the question.
I just wasn’t sure what the answer was.
Sure, hearing him all but come out and say that he was gay had been a shock.
And a choking hazard.
But at least it explained why he’d never acted on – or even noticed, really – all of the hints I’d been dropping around him.
Hell, I’d left so many damn clues lying around I was surprised Parker Brothers wasn’t stamped across my ass.
I’d been torturing myself by dangling that hook here and there, but he never took the bait. That didn’t mean that I could stop myself from trying again though because sometimes he would look at me in a way that I could almost convince myself that he might.
That he might want me.
But hearing the disgust in his voice when he said Tray thought there was something going on between Eric and me, I knew now that wasn’t the case at all.
He wasn’t gay.
He just wasn’t interested in me.
That definitely felt worse than if I’d just been the wrong gender.
But at least he wasn’t interested in that tramp Dawn Green either. Her family moved to town during my freshman year of high school, so Eric wouldn’t have known her. But I knew who she was all too well thanks to her stealing my almost first boyfriend out from under me.
Hindsight being what it was, I couldn’t really say I was all that broken up now on having missed out on a relationship with JB Durone.
Sweet but stupid really wasn’t my type.
Instead it seemed my type was sweet and decidedly not stupid.
And not interested.
I heard him loud and clear.
Tossing his fork down onto his plate with enough force that I had to do a double take, Eric shot out of his seat and spat out, “I’m not really hungry, so I’m going to go work on those windows while there’s still some daylight left.”
“Are you mad?” I asked.
…His retreating back.
His stupid long ass legs had him out and onto the back porch before I even reached my second word.
And suddenly, I was mad too.
And spoiling for a fight.
So I figured what the hell. It’s not like I had anything to lose.
Now it would be my turn for him to hear me loud and clear.
Lord knows I needed some way to vent my frustrations, so I dropped my fork and went after him. Even if I hadn’t known where he would be, the tide of irrational fury I was riding on could’ve easily taken me halfway across town.
So how could I miss him halfway around the house?
Finding him exactly where I expected him to be, I probably looked like I was trying to land a small Cessna in my backyard, from the way my arms were waving all over the place and accused, “You’re mad? At me? Over something you said and I had the audacity to believe?”
“I’m. Not. Mad,” he replied through gritted teeth.
But my responding, “Like hell you’re not!” came out as more of a, “Guh,” when he whipped his t-shirt over his head.
Seeing what amounted to my kryptonite being put on display, I shrieked like a banshee and shouted, “Ooh…no you don’t!”
I was so furious, I was literally hopping mad. So much so that I practically hopped my way towards him and picked up his t-shirt along the way, throwing it at him, while I yelled, “You put those pecs away! I can’t think straight when you’re being all Channing Tatum!”
“What?” he yelled back, now holding the shirt against his chest, but not yet putting it on. “What in the hell are you even talking about?”
“You!” I accused again. “You walk around here all broad shoulders and lickable abs and swinging your hammer, like you’re my own personal porn flick. And did I say anything? Do anything? No! I haven’t said or done a goddamn thing because I know you don’t like me like that. But I’ll be damned if I’m going to let you win an argument all because your body makes me brain dead!”
His chin dropped down, as did the timber of his voice, so that he was looking at me through his stupid long lashes, when he repeated in a near whisper, “What?”
Oddly enough, it was that whispering thing he was doing that got my attention, more than his yelling had, and made me realize what I’d just said.
Wondering – hoping – praying – he would let my brain dead brain fart slip on by, I took a step back and tried to regain some of my enraged momentum. But it had definitely lost some of its oomph, when I heard myself meekly repeating, “You’re mad at me over something you said.”
He matched my step back with his own – longer – step forward. So I retreated two more steps to his one, while he stared down at me and said in a low hoarse voice, “After that part.”
I wasn’t all too sure what I would’ve said next, but it wasn’t my fault.
He’d dropped the damn shirt again.
I suppose he’d felt it was necessary because he used that same hand to grab onto me and banded his arm around my waist, pulling me up against his chest instead.
I couldn’t really say that I minded.
My hands automatically went to those perfect pecs I was just screaming about, while he leaned down, with his lips brushing first against my temple and then my ear, as he whispered some nonsense that sounded a lot like, “Tell me to stop.”
I would’ve yelled at him a long time ago if I’d known this would be the end result.
But first he would have to tell me to stop mewling like a cat in heat, if he wanted any actual words to come out of my mouth. I couldn’t help it though. It had been a long damn time since anyone had touched me like that. Bill had been my last partner, so it had been more than five years for me.
I’d gone on a couple of dates in that time, but nobody really jumped out at me enough that I wanted to jump on them.
Most men seemed to be intimidated by my job, with some feeling the need to try and one-up me, by listing every accomplishment they’d had from kindergarten on.
Or, on the flipside, they were so impressed by my job title, they were a little like sycophants.
With an emphasis on sick.
Enough so, that when we were hidden away inside of our chambers, we privately referred to them as Robe Rubbers.
It was inappropriate and completely disgusting, especially since the nickname stemmed from an unfortunate incident involving a fellow judge walking in on his former law clerk in his chambers – Niall told that story with a hilarious amount of style and dramatic flair every year at the Holiday party though – so it was also absolutely true.
And it was also a turn off.
Eric only seemed able to turn me on like nobody’s business.
Everything I’d told him that day about feeling like I was on a runaway freight train, I was feeling right at that very moment. And from the way he was looking back at me, I could tell that while he was still waiting on me to say something – either in the affirmative or the negative – it appeared as though he was restraining himself from ripping my clothes off.
It was everything I imagined it would be, only better.
It was better because it was Eric looking at me like that.
But since the house was in the middle of nowhere, I saw no need to restrain myself and attacked his mouth with my own.
Eric’s lips attacked back with a punishing kiss of his own and his hands reached down and grabbed onto my ass, lifting me up just as I started climbing up his body.
It really was a playground.
With my legs firmly secured around his waist, he had my back up against the side of the house, while I went to work on ridding him of the tool belt he’d strapped around his waist.
Falling to the floorboards with a loud thump, I smirked at him and said, “I’ve been wanting to do that for a while.”
“You should’ve said something sooner,” he smirked back at me.
While I had several arguments lined up in my mind, I discarded them just as quickly as Eric managed to divest me of my shirt. My glasses went flying with it and being severely nearsighted, I had to stay close if I wanted to see him.
That wasn’t going to be an issue.
Pulling back enough to stare down at me, Eric’s eyes traveled over all of me, before he simply – reverently – breathed out, “You’re so beautiful, Sookie.”
He was so sweet, I could’ve cried.
Thankfully, before the tears could gather, he flipped his sultry switch right back on because his eyes glazed over and he let out a ridiculously sexy growl, before spinning us around and carting me off, with nothing more than a grunted, “Bed.”
“Bed,” I agreed, while licking my way across his collar bone and biting down where his neck met his shoulder.
Eric made some sort of weird – and hot – grunt growl mixture when I sunk my teeth into him, with his grip on my body only tightening. From the way I was perched on his hips – just like some tool belts I’d been jealous of – I could feel his other kind of hammer working its way into the field of play.
Granted, I had limited experience and a whopping grand total of two in my history of sexual partners, but it was a lot like the late Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart wrote in the case of Jacobellis v. Ohio – which, ironically enough, had to do with what could be construed as hardcore pornography.
And I knew a Louisville Slugger when I felt it.
I hadn’t been completely off the grid, as it were, when it came to sex.
I was divorced. Not dead.
So I’d made do with a small collection of toys and a vivid imagination. But now that I knew I was on the precipice of getting the real thing, I didn’t want to wait anymore.
The bedroom was too far away.
I wanted him now.
My onslaught of impatience happened to hit me, just as Eric brought us through the backdoor and into the kitchen, so I reached up and grabbed onto the light fixture hanging above the kitchen table to stop us from going any farther.
It was shaped like a wagon wheel and was on my ‘list’ of things I wanted replaced. For now though, I was glad it was there because despite its hideousness, it was sturdy.
Sturdy enough to stop a Greek god, with an impatient nymph wrapped around his body.
Looking back at me with a wild look in his eyes, I pinned him with my stare, and my only explanation came out in the form of a single word.
I’d noticed a few things about Eric in the month he’d been back in my life. He seemed to have an uncanny knack for picking up on things almost immediately. Not clues – obviously – but like how he’d learned how to cook.
He’d merely watched my Gran prepare something once and he had it down pat.
So he seemed to understand what I meant almost immediately because while I was still holding on to the light fixture, he freed a hand that had been wrapped around me and used it to clear the table.
Plates and silverware clattered to the floor – and I thought I might have seen Bubba run off with a piece of pot roast in his mouth – but I forgot about everything once Eric had me on my back on top of the table.
While his hands slipped underneath me to unhook my bra, my hands slid down those abs I had yet to lick – but I would – soon – and worked his jeans open. No sooner did I have them pushed down to his thighs, when his hands had my shorts pulled free of my legs.
Leaning back down, his tongue trailed up my body, over my breasts and chest, before finding its way back into my mouth.
I felt like I was on fire and knowing there was only one way to put out the flames, I reached down and lined him up with my entrance, crying out my pleasure into his mouth when he slammed into me.
It wasn’t the way I had initially intended for him to hear me loud and clear, but I wasn’t the least bit upset about that fact.
Or the fact I’d been right about likening him to a Louisville Slugger.
His body stilled for a moment, allowing me to adjust to his size, and he didn’t move again until I gave him the all clear by pushing my hips up against his. Our mouths had yet to part and my fingers twisted into his hair, with my legs wound around his hips, as he set a punishing pace that spoke of weeks’ worth of pent up frustration.
It would seem his abs were for more than just show.
But every thought disappeared from my mind, with all of me just sinking into the moment. The sensation of his body on me – in me – and everything he was making me feel.
It felt glorious.
The bruises I was sure to have come morning would just be a reminder of how great it felt.
Pulling back just enough to look down at me, the look in his eyes was so primal – feral – that it was all that I needed to fall over the edge.
And I had a second go at crossing the finish line watching Eric stand up to his full height, gripping my hips in his hands, while he slammed into my body and sought out his own release.
The sheen of sweat.
Now the muscles of his neck, biceps, and forearms were more pronounced from everything he was doing and made the sight all the more appealing.
No tool belt required.
But I knew a shower would be required in the near future, when Eric reached his tipping point and pulled out of me, just as his climax exploded all across my stomach.
It was a first for me and something I’d never really given much thought on.
I surprised myself by thinking how much I liked it.
And I was even more surprised realizing he likely pulled out because we hadn’t been using any form of birth control.
The sight of his shirtless body really did make me brain dead.
Falling down on top of me, Eric managed to keep most of his weight off of me, while we both tried to catch our breath.
When we each appeared to have mastered the art of breathing again, he pushed himself up on his forearms and stared back at me with a kind of wonder in his eyes.
And even though I had a plethora of prime examples in my arsenal of arguments, I simply decided to shelve them because I couldn’t have agreed more, when he merely smiled down at me and said, “You should’ve said something sooner.”