As Eric and I continued hiking through the forest my emotions were swinging back and forth from being elated that Eric thought so highly of me to being utterly mortified that I cried like a little girl in front of him. Normally I’m able to school my features regardless of what I might be feeling at the time and only break down whenever I’m alone. Thanks to my mother and Bill I learned a long time ago to never show any weakness because they’d surely use it against me later on. His words were sweet and heartfelt when he said I deserved someone better than Bill and when he kissed me it took everything I had to not rip off his clothes right then and there, but something inside told me it was too soon. I knew I cared about him and liked him a lot but we didn’t know each other very well yet and I refused to give in to my carnal desires until it felt right.
It didn’t help that I found myself very turned on whenever he would speak Swedish. The way his mouth moved as he spoke was quite sexy and I had a feeling he felt the same way considering the expression on his face whenever I would repeat the everyday phrases he’d taught me earlier that morning. I would definitely be repeating them again in the morning.
We kept walking for a little while before heading east towards the ocean. We had come across several bushes that held different colored berries, one of which had half inch long bright red berries with tiny jasmine scented flowers. We picked the bushes clean of the berries, taking the opportunity to feed each other a few of them, and I took several of the branches so I could attempt to do something with them to try and capture their sweet scent. Eric and I had talked some more while we walked, but the majority of the time passed in comfortable silence.
We came to an incredibly thick wall of branches and vines that Eric had to cut down in order for us to pass. We could hear the faint sounds of the ocean and knew we weren’t very far from the beach. The brush seemed to go on forever as Eric continued to cut our way through until it finally opened up into a clearing. We each stood there with our mouths gaping open at what was in front of us.
There were several wooden shacks that were all worn down with age having stood on that spot for at least a hundred years. They appeared to have been made from planks of wood, perhaps from a ship? We started exploring the site and found an old jug and a ship’s bell halfway buried into the ground. But what had us giddily high fiving each other was the numerous trees and berries that were growing all throughout the area. We found all sorts of fruit and nut trees that appeared to be purposefully grouped into several areas around the clearing that had us guessing that whoever had settled here at some point had planted them.
A lot of the fruits were foreign to both of us, but we cut down a few of each anyway and sampled them together. One in particular tasted very similar to a sweet potato and we couldn’t wait to add them to our dinner staple. We recognized the jackfruit and something very similar in size and taste to guavas. There were some trees that had huge 2 foot long cylindrical pods and when we split one open it was full of a very sweet pulp. I was jumping up and down for joy when we came across a large pitanga shrub. The berries taste similar to tangerines.
I had popped a few in my mouth and closed my eyes moaning in delight as their sweet juice burst in my mouth. I might even call it an orgasmic experience, especially after a few days of nothing but coconut, protein bars, fish and Crabzilla. I opened my eyes after swallowing what was left in my mouth to see Eric staring me down from where he stood a few feet away. I assumed my audible appreciation of the fruit sounded orgasmic as well considering Eric’s hooded gaze and the tightening in the front of his pants. What happened next was almost like an out of body experience.
Without any thought whatsoever I seemed to be watching from above as my body sauntered forward towards Eric coming to a stop directly in front of him. My eyes travelled from the swell in his jeans, up his chest, and into his eyes. “Would you like one?” I whispered. He simply nodded so I stuck it in between my teeth and grabbed the back of his head pulling his lips to mine. As soon as they connected I bit down on the berry forcing the juice and flesh into his mouth before sweeping my tongue in after it. His hands gripped my waist as our tongues battled for dominance and I moaned as I rubbed the front of my body against his. While one hand gripped the back of his head the other travelled down his chest around to his lower back and landed on his perfect ass. I held his body to mine as I pressed against him as hard as I could. Eric grabbed the back of my head by my hair and pulled back as he growled, “Sookie…” He nipped and licked his way down my jaw and neck coming to rest just under my earlobe. “If you’re not ready for anything more to happen between us we need to stop now,” he whispered.
It was like having a bucket of cold water thrown onto me. My hands let go of him and I involuntarily whimpered when his let go of me. We stood there panting with our hearts racing waiting to calm down. “You’re right. I’m sorry. I don’t know what got into me,” I confessed to his chest, unable to meet his eyes.
His hands came up to cup each side of my face and I watched as his mouth descended on mine. This kiss was tender and sweet, so unlike the frantic one before it. His hands left my face to wrap around my body hugging me to him like a big security blanket before he finally pulled away. “I don’t need an apology Sookie. I wanted that as much as you did if not more. A lot has happened over the last few days and I don’t want to take advantage of you if you’re feeling vulnerable. Make no mistake about it that I do want you. A lot. But I don’t want you to have any regrets later on if you’re not ready for an intimate relationship yet.” He gave me one more peck on my lips and let me go.
I felt the tears welling in my eyes once more and caught Eric off guard. He looked panicked as he held my face asking, “Sookie? What’s wrong? Did I say the wrong thing?” I had to laugh as I shook my head answering, “No, you didn’t say the wrong thing. You said the right thing and I’m just really touched that you’re being so sweet with me.”
When it was apparent I wasn’t going to breakdown into hysterics Eric breathed a sigh of relief before he smirked and rolled his eyes saying, “Sweet? You think I’m sweet? What about rugged? Or sexy? Or ruggedly sexy?” he ended with his panty dropping lopsided grin. I fought off the urge to attack him again by taking a deep breath before I smiled answering, “You’re definitely all of those things too along with a few others, but I don’t want to inflate your ego any so I’ll just stick to calling you ‘sweet’.”
He waggled his eyebrows at me asking, “Really? What others?” I laughed while pushing his chest away to get his ass out of my reach saying, “Oh no, that’s just going to lead to other things, so let’s save it for another time. Okay?” His hand darted out and pulled me back to him lightening quick while he planted a toe curling kiss on me before pulling away once more answering in a low husky voice, “Okay. As long as we both agree there will be another time.”
I felt my whole body flush with heat and started fanning myself and not feeling the least bit self-conscious about it either. He chuckled when all I could do was nod my response.
We gathered everything together and made our way to the beach. I held the bag we’d filled with everything while Eric continued to cut down any vegetation in our way and once we hit the sand we realized the clearing was less than a hundred feet back into the trees. Eric went back to the clearing and grabbed several pieces of wood that he used to mark the entrance of the patch we’d just taken. We saved a few pieces to use back at the campsite and once that was done we headed south down the shoreline to where we had been staying. It only took about 30 minutes to make it back since there wasn’t anything blocking our way and we decided to stay where we were since it was closer to the waterfall and we’d just make daily trips to what I had dubbed ‘the market’ to get more fruit.
The sun was getting lower in the sky so I went fishing while Eric ran back to the waterfall to bathe and refill the canteen since he’d gotten so sweaty cutting down the vegetation most of the day. I half thought about following him just so I could get a peek of the full Monty but decided against it. I highly doubted I’d be able to refrain from attacking him and I knew it was too soon so I reluctantly grabbed my spear and headed for the inlet. Eric had assured me yesterday that as long as I stayed in the water and not at the edge where the water met the undergrowth and rock formations, I should be safe from any Crabzillas because they stayed on the land and would drown if they were fully submersed in the water. I still didn’t take any chances and paid more attention to my feet than the fish swimming around them but I eventually relaxed enough to focus on catching our dinner.
I ended up spearing one large fish that we could share and after cleaning it up I brought it back to the campsite. I went into the tree line and broke off two large green leaves and once I cleaned them I placed a fish fillet in each leaf and covered the fillets with several of the pitanga berries sliced up before loosely wrapping the leaves around the fish so they could steam cook inside. Once those were cooking I added slices of the larger melon that tasted like sweet potatoes grilling them uncovered alongside the fish.
The sun had set while the food was cooking and I was so focused on what I was doing that I was startled when I heard Eric behind me saying, “Mmm…smells good.” I turned around intending to give him a what-for for sneaking up on me but my protest died in my throat once I saw him. He was holding a t-shirt in one hand with the canteen in the other with his wet hair slicked back with drops of water falling down his bare chest and back. He’d replaced his jeans with shorts that fell just passed his knees and were a little loose on him so they hung low on his hips. SO. NOT. FAIR. If this was his idea of getting us to take things slow it wasn’t helping AT ALL.
When I could finally tear my eyes away from his abs and looked up to his face his lips were raised in a knowing smirk. “What? Don’t I look ‘sweet’?”
I couldn’t help laughing as I turned back to the food still cooking and asked, “How do you say ‘egotistical jerk’ in Swedish? Oh wait, never mind. I already know. Eric.” He clutched his chest in feigned hurt but his lips twitched into a smile so I knew he didn’t take me seriously. He sat down across from me and I was very disappointed as I watched him pull the t-shirt over his head. This one wasn’t nearly as clingy as the one he’d had on before. I guess my disappointment was obvious because he chuckled and I was tempted to throw something at him. Instead I pulled the wrapped fish off of the rock they had been cooking on placing each one onto a plate-sized piece of the wood we’d carried back earlier. I unwrapped each one and placed several pieces of the grilled melon alongside the fish and we dug in.
We talked some more during dinner mostly about music and hobbies. After we were done eating we curled up together to go to sleep. “Continue the story you were telling me last night,” I yawned out.
He kissed the top of my head before asking, “What was the last thing you remember before falling asleep?”
“Princess Sookie was wandering around the forest near her castle to stay away from the Evil Queen,” I answered. I had an inkling the Evil Queen was my mother, but I didn’t mind. She was.
His hand rubbed up and down my back as he spoke. “Princess Sookie was wandering around the forest when she came upon an ogre. But she didn’t know he was an ogre because he used magic to change his appearance. He said he would be her friend and would help her get away from the Evil Queen when in reality he was working with the Evil Queen.”
My eyes were getting heavier and heavier, but I still found myself asking, “What was the ogre’s name?”
I felt his body tense underneath me and I automatically rubbed circles across his chest trying to soothe him. “What do you want his name to be?” he asked.
“Bill. His name’s Bill.” I yawned one last time before drifting off to sleep.