Chapter 5 – Dreaming
When they left my office I started feeling overwhelmed and had to sit down. How on earth did Adonis, I mean Eric, end up walking into my office? I’m a believer that everything happens for a reason, so maybe we were meant to meet up again?
I could contemplate the ins and outs all day long, so I put the thought aside to think about on another day. Besides, we were meeting up for lunch in a few hours and I could get a better idea then, of what was going on between us, which was definitely SOMETHING.
Startled, I looked up to see Amelia standing in my doorway. “Yes?”
“I’ve been standing here for 5 minutes trying to get your attention. Where were you? Off in a sex filled fantasy starring the Viking Sex God that just walked outta here?”
“No!” My denial wasn’t very convincing considering I was now the same shade as Prince’s Little Red Corvette.
Amelia came all the way into my office and shut the door behind her. She took a seat across from me, crossed her arms, and said, “I’m not leaving until you spill.”
Sigh. Do I tell her everything? I trust her not to tell anyone else, but last night was so out of character for me. It was actually more along the lines of something Amelia would do. Deciding I would just do it quick, like ripping off a band-aid I said, “Wehadsexinastoreroomatthebar.”
I didn’t know how it was possible, but I actually turned a darker shade of red.
Amelia’s shocked face consisted of bugged out eyes and her mouth in the shape of an “O”. Then she roared with laughter and came over to my side of the desk, hugging me, saying “Good for you Sookie! It’s about time you joined the new millennium.”
While I expected her to say something along those lines, I still couldn’t help feeling a little mortified at what I had done.
“I don’t know what came over me. I’m not like that. He was a complete stranger and I had sex with him in a bar,” I mumbled through my hands that were now covering my face.
“Well, look at the bright side. He’s not a stranger anymore! Have you snooped on him yet?”
After seeing the confusion written across my face she elaborated, “You know, working in this office has some benefits. We can pull up his police jacket like we do with the cops that we need to testify.”
She was right. We did that as a matter of protocol to make sure we knew their professional histories in case we needed to do damage control prior to their testimony.
But could I do that? I would feel like I wasn’t playing fair by checking up on him. I said as much to Amelia.
She shrugged it off saying, “Do you really think he’s not going to use every tool he has available to look you up?”
Maybe? Before I could voice my opinion she was pecking away at my keyboard and his picture was up on my monitor.
Oh my God. He was in his uniform. If things progressed with “us” he would definitely be wearing that in my presence at least once. Or twice. With his handcuffs. And his nightstick. Mind out of the gutter Stackhouse!
Amelia starting reading aloud everything on the screen.
“He has a BS in Criminal Justice from LSU, Class of 2001. He joined the Shreveport PD immediately following graduation. He got promoted to sergeant in 2005, detective in 2007, and has been a member of the S.W.A.T./E.R.T. team since 2008. Ooooh, Viking S.W.A.T. Sex God!”
“Amelia!” I was thinking the same thing, but still.
“What? His record is clean, so that’s good. AND, he’s single!”
I liked everything we found out about him, but I still felt guilty looking at his jacket. These are things I should’ve found out from him, not his personnel file.
Reaching across Amelia I clicked on the button to logoff the database and sighed.
“That’s enough snooping. I feel like he should be the one telling me these things.”
“Okay party pooper. So, did you two make plans to see each other again?”
I felt a hint of my blush return. “Yes, we’re meeting for lunch. But, I don’t think it’s really a date or anything because we’re going to go over his notes on DeCastro.”
She looked at me like I was a twit.
She made a tsk tsk noise saying, “Oh Sookie. I saw how he was looking at you yesterday in the bar, prior to your hot monkey sex session,” my blush darkened, “so make no mistake about it. That man wants you!”
I admit, from the time I saw him standing in my doorway, I wanted those words to be true. Aside from his incredible good looks and his ability to make my body explode in pleasure, there was something about him that just seemed “right.”
Mr. Right? I found myself hoping he was.
I left my office at 11:45 and made my way to Lafayette’s Diner. Since our building wasn’t far from the police station, I walked and made it there a couple of minutes early.
I chose a booth not far from the door and sat facing it so he would see me when he came in.
The waitress walked up and handed me a menu, asking if I would like a drink. I told her that I was waiting for someone to join me, but a lemonade would be nice. She had screaming red hair and her uniform was a little too tight with her skirt hiked up a little too high. I’d noticed the other waitresses’ skirts weren’t as high, so she must’ve done it on purpose. Her name was ‘Arlene’ according to her nametag.
She brought me the lemonade and said to just call her back over when I was ready.
Since I had a few minutes with nothing else to do I sat wondering how our lunch was going to go. Would it be awkward? Should I bring up what happened between us last night? Would he? Ugh, did he tell his pervert partner what had happened? Shit, was his partner coming to lunch too?
Thinking back, I’m pretty sure Eric said “I” and not “we” could meet me for lunch. I hoped that was the case.
I kept going over and over in my head what had happened last night. Not what we DID, although that was pretty spectacular, but more about what I had been thinking and feeling. It was as if I knew him already, but not. More like my soul knew him?
Corny, I know. It was hard to wrap my head around it when he wasn’t there in front of me. But when I saw him again I felt the same feelings as I did last night. I was drawn to him. If I had never seen him again I would have always wondered about him. Now that I have seen him again, and know who he is, I definitely want to see more of him. I want to get to know him to see if these feelings are real or just infatuation.
I must have lost track of time again because Arlene came back asking if I’d like to order yet. I started to tell her I was still waiting on someone when I looked at my watch and realized it was after 1 o’clock already.
He stood me up? What the hell? I know he was angry at the start of the meeting but I thought things were going good by the end. I checked my cell phone and there weren’t any missed calls or texts. I don’t think he had my cell phone number, but if he had called the office to cancel our lunch Amelia would have let me know.
Was he playing games? Did he think that after what happened last night, he would ask me to meet him for lunch just to see if I would agree, even if he wasn’t interested? Asshole! And here I was thinking of “soulmates” and “fairy tale endings.” Psshh!
I handed Arlene a $5 bill apologizing for keeping her table occupied for nothing and left.
My Stackhouse temper was blowing at maximum capacity. WHEN I saw him again he would be answering for this. I just hoped I wouldn’t get caught up in his gaze before lighting into him, because if that happened I had a feeling he might be able to talk me down from my high horse. There was also a good chance he could talk me into playing “Sheriff and the Naughty Prisoner.” Maybe.
When I got back in the office I was still fuming. Amelia wasn’t at her desk, so maybe she went out to lunch too. I checked my office line and there weren’t any voicemails, so he didn’t call.
Amelia poked her head in my door about 20 minutes later saying she had to put some things into the refrigerator and would be right back to get all of the “steamy details” of my lunch date.
It was “steamy” alright. I’m sure there was still steam shooting from my ears right now.
I heard Amelia’s heels clicking down the hallway back towards my office at a pretty fast clip. I almost chuckled thinking she sure was eager to find out about a date that didn’t happen.
She rounded the corner into my office gasping for air. She sputtered out, “Did Eric make it to your lunch date?”
I thought it was odd that she would ask that, so I responded, “No, why?”
“Because when I went into the breakroom to put away the creamer there was a breaking news story on the TV about a hostage situation at some house downtown. They showed the S.W.A.T. team was there.” She was still trying to fill her lungs with air.
My stomach dropped. He didn’t stand me up. But he was in a dangerous situation right at this very moment.
I sprang out of my chair and raced down the hall to the breakroom. The news reporter was on the screen with a view of a duplex home blocked off by the police. There was a group of men in S.W.A.T. gear huddled together in the background, but I couldn’t make out which one was Eric. Between their identical uniforms, similar heights, helmets, and bulletproof vests, they all looked the same.
“Shit Amelia. He’s there.” I started wringing my hands together over and over feeling like I had to be there to see that he was okay.
I paid attention to what the reporter was actually saying now and as soon as he said the address I took off out the door with Amelia right behind me.
Ten minutes later we pulled up to the police barricade and parked. Another benefit of working in the DA’s office are the credentials you’re issued. It got me and Amelia behind the barricade. We started walking toward their command center, but my eyes were scanning every which way looking for him.
As soon as we reached the on-scene commander, I identified myself and said we were working the case involving their suspect, and would provide any assistance they might need.
It was a lie, but I wasn’t leaving until I knew Eric was okay. I felt fiercely protective of him, but this was no time to ponder why I felt that way.
We saw 4 S.W.A.T. members sneaking around the opposite side of the duplex heading towards the back of the house with their guns drawn, while 4 more headed towards the front door carrying a huge battering ram.
We could hear the radio traffic from where we were standing and as I heard them count down I felt Amelia grab my hand in hers. As we heard, “GO GO GO,” come across the airwaves we saw the battering ram crash into the front door exploding it into a thousand pieces.
I held my breath as another explosion ripped through the front room of the house. I could hear them shouting, “CLEAR” over and over on their radios, and I could distinctly pick out Eric’s voice.
It felt like everything was going in slow motion, but I knew no more than 15 seconds had passed.
As silent tears made their way down my face I heard him say “Stan.” He sounded very calm, but I can only imagine the adrenaline that must have been flowing through his body.
He was trying to reason with this Stan guy to give himself up. Good Lord, there was a baby in there.
WHO IN THE HELL IS THAT? Some asshole started screaming at the guy.
Stan wants a deal from us. I can do that. I’ll get Pam on the phone and get a deal if it means getting Eric out of there unharmed. I started pulling out my phone when I heard gunshots come from inside.
OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD!
“SHOTS FIRED! SHOTS FIRED! SUSPECT DOWN! OFFICER DOWN! OFFICER DOWN!”
The tears came on full force then. A swarm of police officers flooded into the house while I stood there shaking and crying as Amelia wrapped her arms around me.
The EMTs had been just outside of the police barricade and went barreling into the house. I saw a female officer walk out of the house carrying a crying baby. The officer was crying too. He was covered in blood but it appeared he was, physically, unharmed. As she walked towards the ambulance Amelia asked her which officer was shot.
I was grateful she did because I couldn’t speak.
My legs gave way underneath me and I collapsed on the street. I didn’t faint, but my whole body felt flushed and clammy at the same time. I had tunnel vision.
A gurney was being wheeled out of the house and I forced myself to get up. I started walking towards them only to see an unconscious woman with a huge knot on the side of her head and dried tears and blood staining her cheeks.
Someone brushed passed me heading into the house. Looking up I could see “CORONER” on the back of his jacket and he was carrying a body bag.
A sob ripped out of my chest. How could this be happening? I couldn’t explain it, but I knew we were supposed to be together. I could feel the pull of him towards my soul. He can’t be gone. We haven’t even had the chance to start yet. He can’t be gone.
The sight and sound of Detective Herveaux brought me back to reality.
“MAKE A HOLE! MAKE A HOLE!” Behind him was another gurney, with Eric strapped to it, lifeless. His helmet was off, as was his vest. Alcide was holding it in one hand while pulling the gurney with the other.
I could see where bullets had pierced the front of the vest.
I ran towards them, crying out to him, “ERIC!”
He looked like he was sleeping. The front of his shirt had been ripped open, and a huge welt was forming right before my eyes on his chest over his heart, but I didn’t see any blood on him.
I grabbed onto his hand and walked with him towards the ambulance. I didn’t see or hear anything else. All of my senses were consumed by him.
Amelia started shaking me and said, “Did you hear me Sookie? He’s going to be okay. He was just knocked unconscious.”
I looked over at her while still clutching his hand, “What?”
With a soft smile she said in a more soothing tone, “He’s gonna be okay Sook.”
It was then I felt him squeezing my hand. I whipped my head around to look down on him and he was smiling at me.
“Am I dreaming?”
Another sob came out of me along with a fresh batch of tears. “No, you’re not dreaming.”
“Good.” After a slight pause, “Stay with me?”
I found a smile on my lips as I answered, “Say please.”