Well…that didn’t take long.
I’d barely dropped my purse into the bottom drawer when my name was being bellowed from his Royal Hotness’s office. The tenor of it reminded me of a conquering warrior who had just arrived to stake his claim on foreign soil.
And I knew exactly where he could plant his flag.
But then again, I shouldn’t have been surprised. It was pushing ten-thirty, so I was nearly two and a half hours late. Figuring it couldn’t hurt, I unclasped the top three buttons of my shirt and pushed up two of my better assets, before coming to stand in his office doorway and innocently asked, “Mr. Northman?”
“Come in and close the door,” he ordered, never looking up from the papers on his desk.
His complete disregard was why he didn’t see me stick my tongue out at him. It was also why he didn’t see my eyes straining to see through his desktop to the part of him I most wanted to stick my tongue to.
But even if he wasn’t looking, that didn’t stop me from putting a little extra sway into my hips as I did as he’d said and then stood there – hopefully looking properly…remorseful? Chastised? Repentant?
Yeah. I was definitely feeling horny, so looking it wouldn’t be that far of a stretch. But it wasn’t like he would be able to tell. He couldn’t see the blush I could feel rising up my body with every dirty thought I had about his because he had yet to grace me with his beautiful – if not reprimanding – blue eyes.
So I remained silent and let my own eyes merrily creeper-stalk across his man-prettiness, touching him in ways my hands weren’t permitted to.
“Tell me, Ms. Stackhouse,” he eventually gruffed out without meeting my eyes. “What is your excuse for being late again?”
Good God almighty, he was hot. Physically. Mentally. That man was certifiably the whole kit and caboodle when it came to my definition of perfection.
But being all snarly?
It was only making my libido ramp up, so while my mind was stuck in the muck of my dirty thoughts, I let it and my eyes wander. Staring at him now I could admit to being a little worried on that fateful day a few months back when he’d strolled out of his office midday, throwing over his shoulder nothing more than a casual, “Going for a haircut.”
His hair, while longer, hadn’t been that long. It wasn’t like he’d been competing with Crystal Gayle or anything. And he never would’ve come close to making it past the pre-screening in any Anita Blake vampire series because his hair didn’t come close to sweeping the floor.
But his hair had been longer than most men in his profession, just barely brushing the tops of his shoulders. Thick and gleaming and blond, with natural highlights from the sun. I liked it.
I liked it so much I wanted to pull on it. Yank it down towards my other set of pouty lips and tell him to eat up while it’s hot.
But there’d been something in the way he’d said he was going for a haircut that had made my creeper senses tingle. My woman’s intuition had stood up and taken notice, uselessly clutching for his shoulder length strands, somehow knowing it was her last chance to molest them.
And I’d been right. He came back with his hair shorter. Much shorter.
And God help me he was so much hotter.
The first thing I did was get a manicure, so longer fingernails wouldn’t stop me from being able to grasp the much shorter strands. It was my reason for being late that day – not that I told him that – but Mr. Man of my Hair Smuttery wasn’t asking me about that day. He was asking me about today, so I wracked my brain for an excuse I hadn’t used yet.
I supposed I took too long to answer – or maybe Mr. Fuck Me Now was telepathic – because he finally looked up from his desk to fix his glare on me. Tossing the file of papers he’d been so intrigued by my way, he lifted a lickable brow at me and said, “That is your attendance record. And according to that, this is the tenth time in half as many weeks that you’ve been late to work.”
Not only was he perfect in my eyes, he had perfect recall.
Tearing my eyes away from Mr. Let’s Get Technical, I glanced down at the papers covered in his serial killer-like scrawl. I suppressed a grin reading some of my best fictional works, but I straightened up a bit when he ordered in a low seductive voice, “Please. Refresh my memory. Read back to me your previous excuses as to why you were unable to make it to work on time.”
Flipping back to the first page, I snorted reading the first few lines, but tried to hide it with a cough. Consciously flipping my own long hair behind my shoulder, I mustered up as much professionalism as I could and said, “Well, the first time I was late…”
“On your second day of work,” he interrupted.
Ignoring that little remark – being a professional and all – I went on to say, “I wanted to look presentable and had attempted to cut my own hair that morning. And like I told you then, the uh…clippers stopped working and I was forced to wait for the…barbershop to open so they could fix it.”
He eyed the twelve inch strand I was twirling around my finger, with his lips pursing to one side as he said, “Yes. The barbershop. Go there often, do you?”
Channeling my inner Gloria Allred, I refrained from ripping off my bra and setting it on fire, while I squawked, “Mr. Northman. Not only is there inequality in pay, when it comes to men and women, but there is inequality in hair care. Do you have any idea how much a salon charges to cut women’s hair?”
Not giving him the opportunity to answer, I quickly added – and nearly laughed out loud feeling the ends of my hair no set of clippers had ever touched, sweeping across my lower back – “But you should be pleased to know I learned my lesson and have a standing appointment every sixth Saturday.”
He fought off his own smirk at my obvious lie and let his eyes dart out the window and back before saying, “Pleased doesn’t even come close to how I’m feeling hearing that news. Next.”
Letting my eyes sweep over the papers in my hand, I gestured towards the very window he’d just glanced out of and said, “Well, it’s obviously not raining, so I didn’t need extra time this morning put a raincoat on the cement duck in my front yard.”
“Ah, yes,” he nearly grinned. “The cement duck.”
Figuring now was my chance to make him break his stone faced expression, I added, “Daisy’s wearing her fluorescent pink shades today.”
“Daisy…Duck?” he asked, with his lips twitching.
I nodded and added, “In her Daisy dukes.”
Honestly, all I wanted to do was crawl across his desk and then crawl all over him. But I did nothing more than let my challenging eyes – challenging him to call bullshit – crawl at a snail’s pace across his face. It took him a moment to school his features once more, but he managed to while he tapped a long thick finger against his chin – the chin that should be nestled in between my thighs while his long thick finger tapped something else of mine – and said, “And last week? What was your excuse again?”
“My car wouldn’t start,” I hedged, looking at him from under my lashes.
“And why was that?” he asked, grinning now.
His grin faltered just a smidge when his eyes locked in on my lips, currently being moistened by the tip of my tongue, right before I said, “The attached Breathalyzer indicated I was still too intoxicated from the night before.”
I gave myself a mental pat on the back for that stellar piece of fiction and refrained from telling him I would’ve blown him – drunk or not. Instead I merely said with as much reverence as my bullshittery would allow, “My name is Sookie and I’ve been sober for ten days.”
“It was seven days ago when you told me your pathetic excuse,” he shot back.
“My name is Sookie and I’m not so good with numbers?”
And I made sure to push the girls up and out a little to help with my bimbo routine.
He wasn’t buying what I was selling however and attempted to look nonplussed. He also looked pointedly at my pointed stilettos saying, “I assume your tardiness today has nothing to do with you accidentally leaving home with your roommate’s shoes on again, forcing you to go back to change?”
“Really, sir,” I strained out, trying to appear sincere as I once again explained the obvious lie when I said, “Like I told you then, my roommate is a bit of a free spirit. But this is a place of business and his giant flip flops would’ve been out of place in the office. Never mind the fact I could wear one on both feet. His first words were probably Fee Fi Foe Fum.”
His eyes narrowed at my explanation, but he otherwise ignored my lame excuse and took over in narrating the These Are the Lies of Your Late Days by ticking off yet another of my excuses and asking, “No angry exes lurking about and freezing your keys in a water bottle again?”
Smirking and shaking my head in the negative, I said, “I filed a restraining order after that.”
“No more bear attacks on your vehicle?”
“No sir,” I smiled. “The auto body shop worked wonders. You can’t even tell where that big old bear tried to pry my Malibu open like it was a can of sardines. Looks good as new!”
Ignoring my over-the-top cheery attitude, he mused, “And I take it there weren’t any other medical emergencies on your way into work today, causing you to pull over to help deliver another baby on the side of the road?”
“No, but I got a nice note in the mail from the Smiths just the other day,” I smiled.
“The Smiths,” he deadpanned.
“Mr. and Mrs.” I nodded and then grinned like my kid was on the honor roll at Who-Gives-A-Fuck school, adding, “They said little Sookie is doing just fine.”
“Wonderful,” he deadpanned once more, sounding anything but.
“Indeed,” I nodded.
“And did you come straight here this morning?” he asked. “Unlike last month when you accidentally drove to your previous employer by mistake?”
“Sam sure was surprised to see me,” I chuckled.
“I would imagine so,” he glared, “since you haven’t worked for him since you were in college.”
“College wasn’t that long ago,” I argued back.
“It’s been nearly ten years since you worked at that dive bar. You only did it over the summer breaks and it’s well over an hour away from here!” he admonished, with both his voice and his body rising with every word spoken.
Since he was so damn tall, he’d needed all of those words for him to be fully standing by the end of them, with him practically yelling at me across his desk.
“It was exceptionally warm that day for being December,” I huffed. “And I told you, I’m not that good with numbers.”
Four angry strides were all it took.
Four angry strides for him to put his body directly in front of mine. Crossing his arms over his chest, his eyes pierced my own as he said in a dangerously low voice, “Your perpetual tardiness not only has you in danger of being unemployed, but it’s putting me in danger of heart disease. I’m sure my blood pressure is through the roof right now.”
My eyes darted down to see another part of him was just as excitable, but I pretended not to notice and tried for innocent anime eyes as I exclaimed, “Oh no! Should I alert the National Guard you’re about to climb the Empire State Building and swat at airplanes?”
King Kong bang me with your ding dong!
I kept my admittedly piss poor poetry to myself and watched his lips twitch until he finally held them in a firm line and said, “Tell me, Ms. Stackhouse. What could have possibly made you late to work today?”
“Well…uh…you see…” I nervously breathed out. Not because I was afraid of him, but because I was trying to not throw myself at him.
Like a hussy, not like a weapon.
But he was always so sexy when he was trying to be so bossy, so it was a real chore.
I should get a raise.
“I’m waiting,” he offered in a voice so low I had to strain to hear him, but it only served to make me want to strain other parts of my body all over his.
Feel the burn, Stackhouse…
When his stare began to feel like a physical being, poking me in ways I wanted to feel other parts of him poking me, I swallowed hard and said, “I uh…I like to keep up on current events and you see, I uh…I stopped for a newspaper on the way into work this morning.”
“A newspaper?” he asked incredulously.
When I said nothing else – too busy trying to keep my eyes from crossing – he made an impatient ‘go on’ motion, so I explained, “Well, I get my papers from one of those coin-operated newspaper boxes and I accidentally dropped my purse inside of it when I was getting my paper.”
When all he did was stare at me with a blank expression on his face, I had to use every bit of willpower I possessed to not laugh out loud when I added, “And I couldn’t get my purse out of there without any change. Which was in my purse. So you see? Conundrum.”
His nostrils flared as he mentally chewed on his freshly served piece of bullshit and he exhaled slowly before asking, “It took you over two hours to scrounge together a few quarters?”
“Well I’m not destitute,” I replied haughtily. “What kind of horrible person begs for change when they have a perfectly good job they’re already late to?”
“Over. Two. Hours,” he gritted out.
“Well you said it yourself,” I replied as innocently as baby Jesus himself would from the manger. “No one reads a newspaper anymore. I had to wait until good old Mr. Vandelay came to get his daily paper, so I could get my purse out.”
“Vandelay?” he asked and when I nodded, he added, “Art Vandelay?”
“You know him?” I asked, not surprised but trying my damnedest to appear to be.
“Who doesn’t?” he returned, returning his arched brow from DEFCON 1 to about a Level 3. “Importing. Exporting. He even fancies himself an architect or marine biologist at times.”
“Yes,” I agreed. “He must have had a lot of jobs over the years.”
“I wonder if he was often late to any of them,” he grumbled.
I didn’t have the chance to offer any feeble response because my composure disappeared a moment later when somebody’s cock was trying to doodle all over my doo.
“Your tardiness has put me behind,” he ground out, having spun me around to grind himself against my behind.
“Feels like you’re on schedule to me,” I panted out.
But the moment I attempted to push my body back against his, he scuttled his space shuttle and pushed against my back, so my two best assets were squished against his desktop, while my not-so-shabby ass was jutted out like a cat in heat.
Molding my body to hers, I breathed in the scent of her hair and couldn’t restrain my chuckle when she huffed in frustration over my movements – or lack thereof – but she knew better than to say anything. My pretty little liar was well into playing her role, so I did the same.
Running my hand up under her skirt, I skimmed along the inside of her thigh where I soon discovered my movement wasn’t the only thing lacking at the moment.
“Where are your panties, Ms. Stackhouse?”
Swiveling her hips in search of friction I wasn’t providing her, she growled out, “Maybe I forgot them in the newspaper box.”
Cupping my hand over her mound, I let one finger slip through her wet folds to stroke over her clit and said, “Funny, that. I seemed to have found a very interesting box right here. It even has a slot.”
“That’s not for coins,” she breathed out and turned her head to smirk at me. “But feel free to leave a donation just the same.”
“Are you now claiming to be destitute?” I asked, touching her in ways that would only leave her more frustrated.
“More like desperate,” she whined, moving her hips farther and farther back until – but for the perfectly rounded swell of her ass – she was nearly at a perfect ninety degree angle, like the letter ‘L’.
It could stand for lewd.
But more than that, within these four walls or out in the real world, there was another ‘L’ word that accurately described what we had.
And as much as I loved her, I could be a dick, especially when we were playing around and she really wanted my dick. She knew it and loved me anyway, so I didn’t feel any remorse when I lovingly slipped a single finger inside of her, pretending to admonish her as much as our positions would allow by wagging it over her magic spot and said, “What did I tell you would happen the next time you were late?”
“That you’d fuck me good and hard?” she panted out hopefully.
Feeling her walls begin to flutter around my finger, I reinforced my – as she’d once so eloquently described – dickery and pulled a dick-move by pulling it out of her before she could come and scolded, “Ah, ah, aahhh…First you come in late and now you’re trying to cuome early? Really, Ms. Stackhouse, make up your mind.”
“I…I…,” she stuttered, giving me no clue and probably having none herself as to what she was trying to say.
So I swatted her ass for good measure and chuckled out, “Lies.”
She moaned out loud, with her hips putting Shakira’s to shame, looking for relief were there was none to be found.
And like Shakira, Sookie put on a good show.
I did nothing more to help her out of her predicament, running my hands over the parts of her body that would tickle more than turn her on. I also swatted away her own hand when she tried to reach down to help herself out, so it didn’t take long before she was getting more than a little fired up.
Figuring my next words would ignite her fuse, I poured fuel on the already burning embers by adopting the southern twang that was always more prevalent when she was really mad and mocked, “You certainly are acting like you’re destitute. What happened to, ‘I have a perfectly good job I’m already late to’?”
“A good job?” she snarled. “I’ll show you a fucking spectacular job.”
Without waiting for a reply, she spun around and dropped to her knees, getting right to the point.
I would’ve patted myself on the back for choosing to go commando that morning if my hands weren’t so busy holding onto her head as she released me from my woven prison and swallowed my lower one.
Feeling my tip hit the back of her throat, I forced myself to pull back instead of thrusting forward, and playfully grunted, “I think this would qualify as a gag order. Maybe it’s what you need to keep you from telling all of those lies.”
Locking her mirthful eyes onto mine, she shook her head and continued to bob up and down my shaft before pulling back long enough to say, “Gag orders don’t work on me. If you’d actually read my resume, you would’ve seen under my list of technical skills – no gag reflex.”
“Why do you think I hired you?” I smirked. “Quit slacking. You were already over two hours late, so now that you’re here, get to work.”
Inhaling deeply, her eyes grew wide like she was about to let loose on me with one of her legendary tirades, but instead she opened her mouth just as wide and pulled me into it as deeply as I could get.
And then she took me in even deeper by swallowing the head of my cock.
When her lips finally worked their way down to wrap firmly around the base of my shaft, I was pretty sure I found heaven in her mouth.
What with all of the groaning and growling of God’s name, coming from my own, the thought had merit.
We’d been together for so long that we each knew exactly how to work the other. How much pressure to apply and the speed needed to either drive the other one crazy or push them over the edge.
And like she did in every facet of her life, Sookie put all of her knowledge to use, so all I could do was let her play me like the very willing fiddle I was. Her aptitude for sucking away the last of my sanity wasn’t why I loved her, but it sure as hell wasn’t a con on the relationship scale. And the fact she enjoyed it nearly as much as I did only turned me on more.
But as much as I was enjoying our little battle of wills – her stellar efforts at making my knees buckle and my struggle to remain upright – I needed more of her. Pulling out of her mouth, in the next second I had her back on her feet and then splayed across my desk on her back. Covering her mouth with my own, I had every intention of showing off my own impressive set of technical skills in my counter oral summation, but locking her legs around my waist signaled to me it would seem Sookie was done arguing.
Her back arched feeling my shaft run through her slick folds and for the first time since coming through the door, she fell out of character. Gripping my head in her hands, she locked her eyes onto mine and pleaded, “Now, Eric. I need you now.”
I wasn’t so much of a dick that I would deny her mine, but I was enough of a dick to thrust into her all at once and say, “It’s the suit, isn’t it? You always want to fuck me when I’m wearing a suit.”
Hell, I was still wearing the suit. We were both still dressed, but neither one of us seemed to have the fortitude to stop in order to completely undress. Seeing her eyes roll, I was sure it was more from my comment than from what I was doing to her body, so I got to work on righting that injustice and soon all that could be heard were the sounds of skin slapping against skin and our labored breaths.
From the moment I’d first laid eyes on her, I had to have her. And every moment I’d spent in her presence since then had done nothing to abate my desire for her. She was The One in every romantic, carnal, quixotic sense of the word.
I hadn’t been looking for it. Truthfully, I hadn’t even believed such a thing had existed. Certainly not for me, but she’d proven me wrong without even trying. For so long, I had been the center of my own universe.
Absolutely. To the point it could be a clinically correct diagnosis.
I didn’t give a fuck then and – if I were being honest – I didn’t give a fuck now. I was still an egotistical and narcissistic asshole to most people. But with her – to her – because of her – I wasn’t that same man anymore. I couldn’t be that man after a blond ball of fire had shot into my world. She effortlessly tore apart every preconceived notion I had about who I was and what I wanted.
Prestige. Glory. Accolades.
None of it meant a fucking thing to me anymore. Only when her presence in my life had lit me up from within did I realize my universe had been in a perpetual state of darkness, but no more. Now I was in a constant state of orbit around my very own sun.
So long as I had her in my life, life was good.
I couldn’t really pinpoint when the change had occurred. I only knew that it had. After the initial hiccup at the start of our relationship, everything had fallen into place.
Her intelligence kept me on my mental toes. Her quick wit and sense of humor kept me entertained. Her want and willingness to play the silly games we did kept things exciting. Her natural beauty kept me awake on far too many nights because at some point I’d become that guy, happily watching her sleep for hours on end.
Always able to see the silver lining in any situation, she kept me sane. Grounded.
And yet one could make the argument my feet hadn’t touched the ground since she’d come into my life.
Sookie was the Yin to my Yang. The peanut butter to my jelly. And – if I had my way – as soon as we were done playing out this little fantasy, she’d be the Missus to my Mister.
But for now, she was the naughty and perpetually late secretary to my horny and wholly inappropriate businessman.
Feeling the telltale signs she was approaching the point of no return, I forced myself to pull out – the real effort however was in staying out – before she could come. Ignoring her cries of frustration, I pulled the opening of her blouse to one side so I could clamp my lips over her lace covered nipple and bit down lightly. Her back arched, while her limbs uselessly tried to pull me back inside of her body, but I resisted.
“Tell me, Ms. Stackhouse,” I ordered her left breast. “Are you going to make more of an effort to be on time from now on?”
“Uh huh,” she panted, writhing around underneath me and whining when I smacked her naughty little hand away from finishing the job I’d started.
Putting myself back at her entrance, I asked, “Are you sure?”
Feeling the heat of her enveloping my tip, I didn’t – couldn’t – wait for her response, but got one anyway when I thrust back into her and she yelled, “Yes!”
“Fuck…fuck…ing…love…you,” I grunted, no longer thinking about who was what now that I was reduced to a single syllable per thrust.
“I love you too,” she cried out, unable to do or say anything else when I lifted one of her legs over my arm and changed the angle of my thrusts, so I’d hit what she lovingly called pay dirt. The small tremors inside of her soon turned into a full blown seismic event, with her whole body quaking as she came and came apart underneath me, pulling me over the edge in the process.
I didn’t mean to fall over on top of her, but at the moment it couldn’t be helped. It was either that or fall backwards onto the floor and no matter how egotistical I was, I knew my dick would have to come out of her in the latter scenario.
My dick just wasn’t that long.
But no matter. It was still tucked up inside of its favorite place to be and my upper head was still in a Sookie sex fog when I heard her gasp and a light blue box with a white ribbon suddenly appeared within an inch of my eyes.
Maybe less. I was pretty sure my lashes brushed against them when I tried to blink away the fog.
“What’s this?” she asked.
Her legs were still locked around my hips, so I couldn’t pull back very far, but I put as much distance between us as I was willing to.
All of six inches.
The narcissist in me beat on his chest like a Neanderthal because a good part of me was still inside of her.
Given the size of the box I was sure she had a pretty good clue as to what it contained. But because I couldn’t resist fucking with her at every opportunity, I ignored her question and asked one of my own with, “So you’re above asking someone for spare change, but not above pickpocketing?”
“Is this a prop?” she asked, ignoring my non-answer, with her eyes studying it as she turned the box over in her hand.
While that question didn’t really surprise me, it made me nervous over what Sookie’s reaction would be. We’d only ever discussed the concept of marriage very early on in our relationship and while Sookie had said she could take it or leave it, I never really found the words to describe how I felt about it to respond. Until I’d met her, I’d always thought that marriage was synonymous with bourgeois. I’d seen and met so many people who had gotten married for all of the wrong reasons.
Money. Power. Prestige.
And they all ended the same way, leaving everyone involved angry, bitter, and cynical.
I’d sworn up and down I would never do it, but even early on in our relationship, I could never find it within myself to give voice to that mantra.
I guessed even early on my subconscious had known better than to shut that door with Sookie.
But I didn’t know how she’d taken my lack of response back then or now. In the three years we’d been together since then, she’d never even brought up the subject again, much less pushed for it. The idea of it and the box she was still holding in her hand had been all me.
So what if she said no?
I could feel my nerves getting the better of me, but I relaxed a little seeing her frown and feeling my own matching one when I slipped out of her.
Neither one of us liked it when I wasn’t inside of her.
“No,” I finally answered. “That is not a prop.”
Her only response was a pitched eyebrow, but when she moved to slip it back into my jacket pocket where she’d found it, I stopped her by saying, “Open it.”
Those two words got me two pitched eyebrows and being naturally argumentative, she asked, “Are you sure you want me to? I won’t be able to un-see it and if it hadn’t been pushing against my bladder, I never would’ve gone into your pocket after it. For all I know this is a pair of earrings for your mother. I’m sure she’ll hate them,” she grinned.
My hippie mother would hate anything from Tiffany’s, but if I superglued a pebble onto two fishing hooks and gave them to her, she’d happily wear them with pride. Now that she and my father had moved to Colorado – thanks to a piece of recently passed legislation – she might just get lost in the blue of the box and never even open it up.
“She would,” I smiled back. “So it’s a good thing that’s for you.”
She continued to study my face, trying to appear calm and collected, but I could see the slight uptick in her heart rate as well as her shallower breathing.
Sookie was nervous.
Was that good or bad?
“Whatever it is,” she finally forced out, “I found it. You weren’t ready to give it to me, so I’m perfectly willing to wait…”
“For fuck’s sake Stackhouse,” I interrupted, playfully rolling my eyes and trying to suppress my grin. “Whenever you get nervous your mouth goes a mile a minute and nobody can get a word in edge wise.”
“Well excuse the fuck outta me,” she huffed back and made a hand gesture that was meant for me to move things along. It was also meant to tell me to fuck off, if I was reading the dual middle finger thing she had going on.
My Sookie was also a multi-tasker.
“You’re fucking excused,” I grinned.
“Wonderful,” she airily replied.
“I thought so.”
“You know what else is wonderful?”
“I am. It’s nothing new though.”
“No, it’s not. But I love you.”
“That’s not new either.”
My own nerves were starting to get the better of me, so I decided to call our verbal sparring session to a close by saying, “But what’s in that box is new. So just tell me you’ll marry me and open the fucking thing already.”
“That’s not a proposal.”
“You said you could take it or leave it,” I argued, suddenly feeling alarmed. “Now there’s proposal etiquette I’m supposed to follow?”
“Only if you want me to say yes.”
Now I kind of felt bad. My dick was literally swaying in the breeze and she was sprawled across the top of my desk with my cum leaking out of her. At any other time that would be a good thing, but it didn’t exactly scream romantic.
It screamed pornographic, which was also usually a good thing.
I hadn’t really thought about how I would ask her, but it was too late now. That box might as well have Pandora scrawled across the top because there was no going back.
Like my dick, it was out.
She was definitely getting some enjoyment out of watching me squirm, but I really didn’t think she’d say no, no matter how lame my proposal was. So I channeled my inner that guy who stayed up all hours of the night just to watch her sleep and said, “From the moment I first saw you, you had me. And I know when it’s my final moment on earth, whether you’re with me or not, you’ll still have me. I never dreamed of asking anyone to marry me because I never imagined there could be anyone like you. No matter where I go or what I do, I know that I want you to be the one by my side. For now and for always. So Sookie Stackhouse, will you do me the honor of becoming my wife?”
Her eyes glistened with unshed tears, but the smile on her face told me it was all good when she asked, “Will I still have to call you Your Honor when we’re at work?”
“It’s negotiable,” I smiled back and gently pecked her lips.
In reality, there were a multitude of reasons why she could call me whatever the fuck she wanted. I’d permanently recused myself from presiding over any of her cases ever since the first time after our almost one night stand when I’d found her in my courtroom.
Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine…
“Well, then I guess I have no reason to object.”
“You have plenty of reasons to object,” I chuckled, taking the box from her and slipping the ring on her finger despite my next words. “But I want an actual answer, Stackhouse.”
“Don’t get so used to calling me that,” she grinned, looking at the ring that would hopefully sit on her hand for the rest of her life before leaning up to kiss me. “It’ll be Northman soon.”
“Just say fucking ‘yes’ already,” I playfully snarled into her mouth.
“Fucking yes already.”
And what an ass it was.
I had every intention of getting reacquainted with it right fucking now when my goddamn phone rang. Technically I was on call, so I couldn’t ignore it.
Doing fucking squirrelly shit.
So the fucking cops would need a fucking warrant.
“Northman,” I growled into the receiver.
Growling more so because Sookie’s hand had chosen that moment to become reacquainted with my gavel.
But even those sensations weren’t enough to stop me from pulling off of her completely, so I could double over in laughter, hearing the news. Sookie was intrigued at first. Then impatient. Then outright hostile at not knowing what had tears streaming from my eyes, so when I took a long moment to catch my breath after hanging up, she’d reached her limit and yelled, “What? What’s so goddamn funny?”
Seeing the glint of her ring – the one that signified to me and the world she was all mine – I couldn’t help but being reminded of what could have been.
And the asshole in me made me remind her in a roundabout way, “Let’s just say, you dodged a bullet, Lover.”
But it was undeniably my lucky day. Not only had Sookie agreed to marry me, but her douchebag ex had just landed on my docket.
The State of Louisiana v. William T. Compton.