Lying in bed, the first thing my waking mind registered was the sensation of something ghosting over my hip. As soft as a butterfly’s wing, it managed to tickle in a way that made me want to moan instead of laugh.
Because it only took a split second for me to remember it was Sunday.
And I was in bed with the panty angels’ very own lord and savior, Eric Northman.
Not needing to open my eyes, I soon realized it must have been his lips feathering light kisses across my hip I’d felt because the sensation soon gave way to the feel of his tongue firmly stroking over my skin.
I never would’ve guessed my hips could be an erogenous zone, but he was proving it was.
So maybe that was the meaning behind the name Eric?
If it wasn’t, it should be.
But maybe I was still dreaming because something felt off?
Chancing a peek, I opened one eye and didn’t know what to think. If I was dreaming or if everything I thought I’d remembered before now had been a dream.
Because instead of seeing the lord-and-savior-Eric-Northman-amen at my side, I saw something decidedly nowhere near as cute.
Not in a sexy way at least, even if he too was a beast.
Just in a different way.
But the scent of bacon hit us both at the same time and Dean let out a happy yip before he jumped off of the bed and left me trying to figure out what was real and what wasn’t.
Did Eric stay the night?
Did we seal the deal with sweat and cum?
Or had it all been in my head that his head – both of them actually – had been in between my thighs?
All it took was for me to stretch out a bit to figure out it couldn’t have been a dream.
I was sore in places I’d forgotten I had.
And my cheeks were sore from more than just the smile on my face when he appeared in the bedroom doorway a moment later, with a sheepish smile on his and holding a cup of coffee in his hand, while he said, “You were supposed to stay asleep until I could wake you up with this.”
I was sure I looked exactly how I felt.
Rode hard and put away wet.
But since he had been the one who’d ridden me and made me wet to begin with, I didn’t feel so bad about it.
Nor did I feel bad about rolling over onto my back, which gave him an unobstructed view of my naked front, and let my disapproving eyes trail over his now fully dressed form, when I returned his greeting with a questioning, “Is coffee the only thing you’d been planning on waking me up with?”
Now that his key had opened up the Pandora that was my box, I doubted I would ever be able to shut it again.
My legs spread open on the mattress attested to that.
But I must have not been the only one with excellent peripheral vision because he didn’t even look before setting the mug down on the dresser at his side and kicking the door shut behind him, just as he strode forward and crawled up the mattress to hover over my body.
Looking but not touching.
The look he was giving me was hot.
And it was making me hot.
Bothered that he was only looking, but not touching.
So maybe I whimpered a little, but he was too hot for me to be bothered to care.
It didn’t matter though because when his smirking lips finally met mine, I forgot what I’d been upset about to begin with.
Inch by inch his body settled on top of mine, keeping the majority of his weight off of me and yet pressing me down into the mattress all the same. Instead of feeling smothered, I felt protected in a way I’d forgotten what it was like.
Not just because of the incredible sex, but feeling so intimate with someone again.
For six long years I’d been forced to play the cards I’d been dealt.
A single mother to three boys.
The boss to over a hundred employees.
I’d been CEO and HBIC of both the Herveaux homestead and the Herveaux and Sons crew for so long, I’d almost forgotten what it was like to be just me.
But Eric reminded me what it was like to be just me and better yet, he seemed to like just me.
I wasn’t blind to the fact that I as a whole – and the whole package that came with me – was more than a handful. But instead of running for the hills, he not only rose up to the challenge my boys represented, he actually seemed to enjoy them.
To appreciate their good qualities and at the same time take their not so good qualities in stride.
Maybe it was because he was so tall and had such long strides to begin with that made it possible at all, but it only added to the sense of rightness I felt about him.
Among other things I was feeling about him that my mind said was way too soon.
My heart disagreed.
But all of that combined with the way he responded to the flipside of my daily life, there was a very good chance – if there was a way – I would trick him into marrying me to keep him forever.
Because instead of being put off over the fact I ran a fairly large company – consisting mostly of big burly guys with a penchant for Budweiser, off-color humor, and foul language – Eric was confident in who he was and hadn’t once shown any bit of insecurity by boasting about himself or passive aggressively putting down the work that I did.
It had been a sad and yet common theme – and the cause for me to swear off dating – on the handful of dates I’d gone on since Alcide had passed.
But Eric wasn’t anything like them. In some ways he wasn’t anything like Alcide either, who I knew would’ve been against me working outside of the home, even if he would have only had the best of intentions behind his antiquated mindset.
Knowing now how much I enjoyed it – needed it even – it could have very well destroyed our marriage had I figured that out when he’d still been alive.
I knew comparing Eric and Alcide wasn’t fair.
They were apples and oranges – in the same food group and yet completely different in taste, appearance, and temperament.
But I couldn’t help but to compare them.
Eric seemed to enjoy my particular brand of crazy.
He seemed on board with my kill or be killed style of parenting.
Having seen the way his eyes had lit up when I’d told him about my meeting with Edgington, I knew he was excited at the thought of me getting such a large contract, instead being dismissive or condescending that it was maybe more than I could handle.
Eric was just…Eric.
So maybe the meaning behind his name was really ‘perfect’.
As in, perfect for me.
Because the most important thing of all was that he seemed perfectly okay with who I was.
Flaws and all.
Speaking of flaws…
Eric being dressed was putting a serious hamper on me getting to feel that perfectly unflawed body of his, so as much as I enjoyed kissing him, I pulled away to try and pull his t-shirt over his head, knowing I would enjoy kissing naked him even more.
So color me WTF when he hampered my efforts by locking his elbows at his side, while shaking his head and uttering, “Uh uh.”
“Uh uh?” I dumbly repeated.
It was hard to think clearly, since he’d tongued his way down my chest so that his utterance coincided with his lips around my udders.
As well as he was working them, he could search for milk until the cows came home.
It wouldn’t take much more before I came too.
But knowing it would take just a little bit more for that to happen, I wrapped my legs around him, trying to get the necessary friction to spark the fireworks I was hoping would ignite and argued back, “Uh huh!”
Granted, it wasn’t an argument worthy of the United States Supreme Court.
But I would bet dollars to donuts Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg wouldn’t be falling asleep if she could feel the state of this union.
“We don’t know what time the boys will be home,” he reasoned, even as he unreasonably drove me more insane by driving two of his fingers inside of me.
My back arched, even as my eyes unwittingly darted over to the alarm clock beside the bed. It was later than I’d thought, but I couldn’t be sure by how much because it was set to daylate savings time.
Set ahead of the actual time in order to force me out of bed so I wouldn’t actually be late.
But before I could set Eric straight about not setting his watch by my clock, every thought fell out of my head when he moved his in between my thighs.
As much as I tried to reason with myself that it was just endorphins I was feeling.
Or the heady rush that went hand in hand with being in a new – and now intimate – relationship.
Or even reaching towards the primal end of the spectrum that culminated in the end of a long drought I hadn’t really given much thought to, until it had been drowned out by a flood of cum and sweat the night before.
None of it rang true.
Because no matter what I tried to attribute the cause to, the unreasonable part of me remained steadfast.
And it was more than certain I was in love with Sookie.
It was ridiculous considering we’d barely been in a relationship for more than a few days.
And yet it felt just as ridiculously true.
But knowing just how ridiculous it sounded even in my own mind, I kept my thoughts to myself and just concentrated on getting her to scream my name.
It was my new favorite sound.
And knowing it was something I wouldn’t get to hear often, if and when we reached the point where we could share a bed while the boys were home, I intended to enjoy it while I could.
The way she responded to my touch fed my ego and desires like nothing I could have ever imagined or remembered feeling before. But every little moan – every whimper, pant, and shiver – I managed to get her to make only made me crave more.
If I hadn’t already accepted how crazy she made me feel, it would have driven me insane.
So consumed by her – consuming her – I was so singularly focused on the sounds she was making that it took who knows how long for me to hear another.
The blaring of the smoke detector.
Soon followed by the barking and scratching right outside of the bedroom door.
And that was when I remembered I’d left the bacon cooking on the stove.
Jumping up from the bed, I was already halfway out the door when I shouted, “Fuck!”
Both from forgetting about the now burning bacon and from tripping over Dean, who’d been in my path and sent me sprawling into the wall, which allowed me the time to hear Sookie’s yelled out, “The fuck?”
It wasn’t quite the same as hearing her shout out my name in ecstasy, but understandable, considering she’d been right on the edge of her orgasm.
Hopefully she would understand that only the threat of her house burning to the ground would get me to leave her hanging.
And I had every intention of finishing what I started when I returned to the room and went back to pushing her over that edge.
But no sooner had I reached the kitchen and took the pan off the stove with one hand, while I turned the burner off with the other, when the side door opened and the boys walked in, with Hadley right behind them and redundantly yelling out, “We’re home!”
Always having a change of clothes in the car had come in handy because I wasn’t wearing the same clothes as the day before.
Something I gathered Sam had at least noticed given the way he was eying me suspiciously on his way through the kitchen and back towards his room.
“I knew you were smokin’, but if I realized you tasted like bacon, I might have given Sook a run for her money,” Hadley laughed, while taking in the room and her innocent tone belying the significance behind her eyes when she asked, “Did Sook get my text we were on our way here?”
“Maybe?” I shrugged, turning my eyes back to the pan of burnt bacon in my hands and hoping they would assume the flush of my cheeks had more to do with nearly burning their house down.
And not because I’d been going down on Sookie less than a minute earlier.
Looking into the pan, Jason then looked back up at me and crinkled his face as he said, “You should stick to bringin’ donuts over for breakfast.”
Normally I was a pretty decent cook.
But normally I wasn’t distracted by a very naked and willing Sookie.
However the way he’d said it led me to believe he, at the very least, thought I’d merely shown up again this morning.
Not that I’d spent the night.
Something I further thought to be the case when Trey added, “So does that mean you’re here so we can work on the treehouse some more today?”
“Leave him alone,” Sookie interjected before I could answer him.
It was just as well since I only had the answer to one of the two questions he’d inadvertently asked with his single question.
Yes, I was willing to work on the treehouse that day.
But I would leave it up to Sookie to decide whether or not she wanted them to know why I was there that morning.
Our sleepover that didn’t involve much sleep.
Walking into the kitchen now dressed in a t-shirt and shorts and carrying the cup of coffee I’d brought into the bedroom, she smiled at me and answered nothing at all by teasing, “Can’t you see he’s burning breakfast for me?”
That hadn’t been the only thing I’d been doing for her.
But a quick glance at Hadley told me the answer she wanted to give was on the tip of her tongue.
And that it was physically painful for her to have to hold it in, since the boys were in the room.
So maybe it was due to being around the two of them enough that I’d become infected with a bit of their playful evilness because I looked over at her and innocently said, “Normally I’m much better at handling my meat.”
Sookie sputtered on the sip of coffee in her mouth, but Hadley’s dropped open and her eyes went wide, looking at me like she didn’t know what to do.
But not being able to do anything was killing her.
And I was certain this would be my new favorite game whenever she was around.
Turning back towards the counter with a smirk firmly planted on my face, I could practically feel her eyes burning holes into the back of my head.
And hear all of the lewd responses she was silently yelling at me.
It only made me smile wider and hoping to keep my two little buffers in the room with us, I put the burnt bacon on the plate covered in paper towels before I filled the pan with more slices and put it back on the stove, asking everyone and no one in particular, “How do you want your eggs?”
Hearing various replies consisting of, “Scrambled,” “Over easy,” and even Sam calling out from his room, “Sunnyside up,” I got out another pan and got to work on filling their orders.
But it wasn’t until there were plates in front of everyone, with everyone sitting wherever there was room – be it at the island or at the kitchen table – when I looked around the room and unexpectedly filled up on something else.
A sense of feeling like I was right where I belonged.
The boys were laughing and epically failing at hiding the fact they were slipping some bacon to Dean who was camped out in between them.
Hadley and Sam were snickering together over something he was showing her on his phone.
Everything about it was new and yet familiar in a way that I could see starting out every day for the rest of my life exactly like this one.
But there was still something missing.
Or rather, someone.
And I got the sense Sookie may have been feeling something similar because her knee nudged mine from where she sat beside me and when I looked over at her, she softly smiled and said, “If Pam was here, then this would be perfect.”
It was the little things like that that made me believe she was perfect.
Or a mind reader.
Maybe she was a little bit of both.
But I didn’t mind and I couldn’t contain my smile or the urge to kiss her, so I gave in to both.
Because it was a relief to know I wasn’t the only one who thought so.
So I could only hope our similar mindsets would extend to ridiculous ideas of being head over heels in love so soon.
Because I suspected it wouldn’t be very long before I would be unable to resist the urge to tell her that very thing.
But it was true.
As nonsensical as it seemed, I knew without a doubt I was in love with her.