I hadn’t given any thought to my actions; I’d just reacted, which seemed to be a common occurrence around her, and while Sookie seemed shocked at first, she got over it just as quickly. I’d almost reared back thinking I may have crossed the line when her hands found my hair keeping me in place as she took over not only the kiss, but every last thought I had and I willingly gave in to her. I was consumed by her; her taste; her touch; just her and when I felt her moving to straddle my lap I couldn’t help groaning into her mouth when she slid her body against mine.
My arms wrapped around her with my hands landing firmly on her ass finally getting the touch I’d been denied days earlier and I was making up for it now, both pushing and pulling against her wanting more contact than our clothing would allow. When I was forced to suck in a heaping breath of air, she merely nibbled on my lower lip before kissing her way across my jaw line, asking, “I take it that I haven’t scared you away yet?”
I wouldn’t have imagined my hands ever wanting to leave her ass now that they had a hold of her, but they were just as incensed as I was over her question and did just that by grasping onto her hair and pulling her mouth back to mine as I growled, “No.”
It seemed my answer and the way it came out didn’t do much to scare her away either. If anything, she seemed even more turned on because she moaned into our kiss and her hands slid underneath my sweater with her fingernails raking down my abs. I briefly recalled our earlier conversation when she’d admitted that she couldn’t control herself around me and, as it turned out, I must’ve been the male equivalent of a ‘wanton hussy’ because I didn’t want to stop. I gave no thought to where we were or who might catch us because I could only think about her until I heard Corbett clearing his throat and, without thinking, I barked out, “Go away!”
Of course Sookie pulled away because I was the freak in this coupling, not her, and as I tried to come up with a way to explain myself, I heard, “Come on now, I might be able to overlook you groping my sister a little since she seems to like ya a lot, but I gotta draw the line on you two fuckin’ on Gran’s porch.”
I was still floundering when Sookie started giggling and thankfully stayed put so I could try and will my third hard on of the day away as she turned to him, saying, “Well, who knew big brother? You actually have a line that can be crossed.”
I chanced a look at him hoping it would help with my not so little problem and saw him put his hand on his chest as he mockingly declared, “I’m a man of many depths little sister. You’d be wise to remember that.”
Sookie just laughed harder and replied, “Just because you’ve been to the bottom of most of the holes in the parish, it doesn’t make you deep and you’d be wise to remember that I can kick your ass every day of the week and twice on Sunday.” She held up both of her hands, adding, “Lethal weapons.”
I’ll say…they’d certainly been doing a good job of killing me before he came out to ruin it.
Jason merely waved his hand at her unafraid and said, “Yeah, but I’m faster than you, so I ain’t gotta worry about that.”
Watching their little sibling exchange made me envious since I was an only child. Growing up, I’d often wondered if I’d had a sibling, if they would have the same curse. It would’ve been nice to not have been the only one, but even if they didn’t, I’d like to think my own brother or sister wouldn’t have ostracized me. I quickly put that back into the ‘woulda/coulda/shoulda’ file and locked it up tight. Now wasn’t the time for me to become maudlin over my lonely childhood when I had Sookie still sitting in my lap.
And my hands on her ass.
I slowly shifted them to her hips, hoping I wouldn’t draw Jason’s attention to them, when he said, “Saw that,” and grinned. I looked away hoping he wouldn’t be able to see my enflamed cheeks in the moonlight and he chuckled, but continued on saying, “I stopped by and saw momma today. She wanted to know if you were coming by this weekend.”
Sookie’s body tensed on top of mine, but I had no idea why. Corbett hadn’t mentioned much about his wife other than the fact that she was still living. He mostly talked about Sookie and when he did bring up anyone else, it was only to tell me stories from years earlier. I knew nothing about her life now and had guessed that she’d remarried at some point which was why he never brought her up. It would’ve been hard for him, knowing how much he loved her, but I also knew him well enough that he wouldn’t hold it against her if she had.
“Of course I am,” Sookie replied. “I haven’t missed out on a visit yet.” She seemed to have gotten her bearings back because her tone changed as she asked, “Now did you actually have a reason to come out here and bother us or were you just itchin’ for a sister whoopin’?”
Looking affronted, Jason replied, “I came out here to tell you Gran’s got dessert on the table, but I’m glad I did or else God knows what you two mighta left behind on that cushion that woulda left me itchin’ the next time I sat on it.”
Sookie shrieked his name and threw her shoe at him, but he’d managed to dodge it in time and took off back into the house laughing his ass off. She turned back to me, smiling shyly, and said, “Sorry. He can be a pain in the ass, but Gran would be really pissed if I shot him.” I laughed along with her, so I wouldn’t cry as she moved off of my lap, when she turned to me and asked hesitantly, “So, are we good?”
We were great as far as I was concerned, but I still wondered why she didn’t seem bothered by the rumors floating around me. I reached for her hand and said, “I think so, but what about you?”
I wanted to ask, ‘How are you okay with us; with me?’ but I was too chicken shit. I could only imagine what she must have heard about me around the station and from Mrs. Fortenberry. I knew people talked about me, sometimes not even giving me the courtesy of doing it behind my back, but I had no idea of how I would explain my curse. It was something I hadn’t talked about with anyone, alive that is, since I was a child. I wanted to know without having to ask because I wouldn’t know what to say if she actually did ask me why I was so weird, but at the same time I was afraid of getting any deeper with her without knowing whether or not she’d run away from me later on. I needed to have something tangible to hold on to; some sort of reassurance from her, not her father. Corbett claimed she wouldn’t be freaked out and I didn’t think he would lie to me about something like that, but I also knew he wasn’t a telepath, so he couldn’t possibly know what was going on inside of her mind.
Sookie had no way of knowing where my thoughts had led because she wasn’t a telepath either, at least I sure as fuck hoped she wasn’t, and she smiled brightly at me saying, “I think we’re great!”
While I tried to muster up the courage to say something, anything that would clue me in to what else she knew about me and how she felt about it, she stared at me for another long moment before she finally patted my knee with her free hand and saying, “Gran’s waiting, so we should probably head inside.”
I couldn’t do anything but nod in agreement and stood to follow Sookie back into the house feeling like I’d missed out on an opportunity, but I felt better when she grabbed onto my hand and held it all the way into the dining room. There was a homemade pecan pie sitting in the middle of the table with slices already sitting on our plates, but Jason’s was already eaten and he’d been eying the remainder of the pie as we walked into the room. “Hurry up and take a bite because Gran said I can’t have any more until everyone’s had some.” Looking at Mrs. Stackhouse, he added, “A bite is some.”
Mrs. Stackhouse just shook her head at him amused and turned to Sookie and me, asking, “Is everything alright?”
Sookie and I had already sat down and she’d just taken a bite of pie, so Jason took the opportunity to answer her, while pulling the entire pie plate in front of him, saying, “You shoulda seen it Gran. They was so ‘alright’ out there, if daddy were alive he’d a been standing over them with his shotgun while the justice of the peace married them.”
My gaze automatically met Corbett’s, who’d been back to sitting in his chair, and I reddened again from the harsh look he was giving me as well as Jason’s descriptive skills, but the sounds of him yelping distracted us both. Once from the kick Sookie gave him under the table and another from Mrs. Stackhouse smacking the back of his head as she leaned towards him, saying, “You hush! With the way you cat around this town, I make it a point to study the face of every new blond haired baby I come across knowing one day it’ll be my great-grandbaby.”
Jason jokingly shivered at the mere thought, but chuckled, “Nah…not from me, but at least with the blond Goliath over there, you might get one a them outta Sookie.”
His joke got him another smack from Mrs. Stackhouse and the rest of the pie being taken away from him, and when no amount of pleading would get her to relent, he finally said his goodbyes and left. Mrs. Stackhouse excused herself saying she needed to get some rest, so I figured that was my cue to go as well.
Sookie followed me out onto the porch and we both stood there awkwardly staring at one another. I wanted to kiss her again, but knowing now how easily we got lost in each other, I was afraid to. Not afraid of going farther; I definitely wanted things to go farther, but I didn’t want our first time together to be on her grandmother’s front porch either. Sookie was special to me and deserved better than a quick fuck.
Although, so much time had passed since the last time I’d been with a woman, she might end up getting a quick fuck regardless of how I wanted it to go.
“So…” I began, intent on telling her I’d had a good time; maybe work up the nerve to see if she wanted to get together again, but Sookie apparently had other ideas.
Without warning she wrapped her arms around my neck and hoisted herself up, wrapping her legs around my waist, and kissed me. My hands went straight back to her ass and held her there as I spun around and pressed her against one of the wooden pillars next to the porch steps. She was so soft and warm and she still tasted of the pie’s sweet filling, but it was only making me hard and hot. I knew we should stop, but I couldn’t pull away; I didn’t want to pull away and when her lips moved across my face to whisper in my ear, “I want you,” my knees nearly buckled.
The small part of my brain that was still somewhat functioning started mapping out our options; porch swing; lawn; woodshed; backseat of my car; right the fuck here with her up against this pillar. Sookie’s grip on my body was so tight, I probably could’ve gone for a jog with my arms at my sides and she never would’ve slipped free and my hands decided to test that theory by sliding up her body to the hem of her shirt. I could feel her hardened nipples pressed against my chest, but my hands were jealous and wanted to feel them too, and just as they found the bare skin of her midsection she pulled back.
“Shit,” she whispered.
I thought I had misread something; I thought I had gone too far; I thought I had been the only one to see the light flashing in my eyes from her kiss until she said, “If Gran’s flipping the porch light on and off, that’s my signal to get inside.”
Oh, I guess I’d thought wrong; on all accounts.
We reluctantly pried ourselves off of one another with me blurting out, “Do you want to follow one another back to Shreveport?” As much as I didn’t want to stop our make-out session, I was even more reluctant to be away from her completely and hoped I didn’t sound as desperate as I felt.
A small frown came onto her face as she said, “I promised Gran I’d stay the night here. She needs me to take her back into town in the morning to pick up her car from the garage.”
“Oh, okay,” I muttered, running my hands through my hair trying not to let on that I already missed her when I hadn’t even left yet.
I wasn’t sure what the proper etiquette was at the end of a date. We’d definitely already taken care of the kissing portion, but I didn’t know if I could just ask her now for another date or if I should wait a day or two and then call to ask her out again. I didn’t want to appear needy and lame. I wanted to be cool and confident because surely, at some point, if I didn’t man up she would move on to someone more self-assured like that prick Herveaux.
My picture would be more likely to adorn the side of a milk toast box than paper towels and while I owned many plaid shirts, none of them were flannel.
“Do you want to get together this weekend?” Sookie asked, breaking me out of my downward spiraling train of thought.
“Sure!” I agreed too readily and too brightly, hoping the underlying desperation wafting from me didn’t actually have a scent, when something else occurred to me. “But don’t you have to visit your mother?” I asked. For all I knew she lived in New Orleans or Dallas and it could be an overnight trip.
As aggressive as Sookie could be at times, it only made her uncertainty all the more noticeable because her eyes darted around to nothing in particular while she started chewing on her bottom lip again. I wasn’t sure what was wrong and tried to alleviate the anxiety I could see building in her by saying, “I understand if you’re busy. We can get together when you get back…from…wherever.”
When her eyes finally met mine, she blew out a deep breath and said, “Well, if you want, you could come with me and then we can do something afterwards. She lives in Monroe now and they have a huge mall with a movie theater in it.”
“Are you sure she wouldn’t mind me tagging along? Or, let me guess, her motto is ‘the more the merrier’ too?” I smiled.
Sookie smiled in return, but it was more bittersweet than anything else and I didn’t understand why. “Something like that,” she answered.
I left her on the front porch after one last goodnight kiss without any awkwardness involved. Scorching heat and a testament to how well made my Levi’s were as they held up against the strain I put on them, but no awkwardness at all. Even with her uncertainty I wasn’t going to turn down the opportunity to see her again and felt a little better knowing she wanted to see me again. It wasn’t an out and out declaration that she didn’t care if I talked to walls or empty chairs, but it was enough for now.
I was probably a little too happy when Sookie called me the following day to make plans to meet up so we could drive over together to Monroe where her mother lived. She was vague on the details, but I didn’t ask and was just happy that she hadn’t decided to claim temporary insanity the night before and change her mind. I was also glad I hadn’t seen Corbett since our dinner at the farmhouse. I’d since forgiven him for his impromptu song and dance routine, but I didn’t know what I would say about us going to visit his wife.
When Sookie pulled up to the curb Saturday morning, I was already waiting out in front of my apartment building wearing one of my favorite plaid shirts.
I was no Brawny Man, but hopefully she would continue to prefer Milk Toast Man.
I felt my whole face light up just seeing her and as I got into the passenger’s side, I said, “Hi!” and left that one word hanging there while I smiled like an idiot, only it dropped when I noticed she wasn’t smiling back.
She was chewing her bottom lip.
I wanted to be chewing on her bottom lip.
“Is something wrong?” I asked, hoping her answer would be ‘no’.
“No…” she said unconvincingly.
Her hands were wringing together in her lap and I wanted to reach over and pull them apart, lace my fingers through hers and tell her whatever it was, it would be okay, but I couldn’t. One, I wasn’t confident enough yet to just arbitrarily touch her whenever I wanted to, and two, because I didn’t know what was wrong.
But, something was wrong.
“What is it Sookie?”
She blew out a deep breath and said, “There’s something I need to tell you, something I should have told you before asking you to come along to meet my mom. I didn’t want you to be blindsided walking in, so I need to tell you now in case you’d rather not go.”
I had no idea of what she could possibly say that would make me not want to go, but tried to sound reassuring when I said, “You can tell me whatever you need to, but I doubt it’ll change my mind.”
She looked like she was afraid to believe me, but blurted out anyway, “After daddy died, my mom had a nervous breakdown. She already had some…issues before then, but they were controllable with medication. When he died, she just lost it. She went off of her meds and refused to take them, so we had no choice but to put her into an assisted care facility. That’s where she lives now.”
I felt so bad for all of them and no longer wondered why Corbett never talked about his wife’s life now. I couldn’t imagine how hard it was on all of them and this time I didn’t stop myself from reaching out and cupping the side of her face, saying, “I’m so sorry. That must have been really rough on you; all of you.”
She leaned into my hand and closed her eyes for a moment before opening them again and smiled a little, saying, “It was and it wasn’t. She’s not at risk of harming herself or anyone else, so she doesn’t have to actually take her meds as long as she lives there and I think she’s happier that way.”
I could only assume whatever her mother’s issues were had to do with a mental disorder, but I didn’t want to pry, and said truthfully, “I would be honored to meet your mother if you’re still willing to have me tag along.” The fact that she’d been married to Corbett for so many years would’ve made me curious about her anyway while pushing her close to sainthood at the same time.
Sookie’s eyes watered, but thankfully no tears actually fell and she put the car into drive, explaining on the way there that none of their friends knew where her mother was now. It had been no secret (apparently thanks to one Maxine Fortenberry) that she’d had a nervous breakdown over Corbett’s death, but all they ever told anyone was that she’d moved away and that she was happy now. They didn’t want her to be the center of any gossip around town and I felt even more honored that Sookie chose to share that closely guarded secret with me.
She held onto my hand as we walked into the care facility. It was bright and cheery looking with a huge center atrium and large windows throughout the bottom floor to let the sunshine in and there were several patients and visitors wandering around the well manicured lawns. We found Sookie’s mother in one of the many dayrooms where she was reading a newspaper and I had to keep my surprise in check seeing Corbett sitting next to her. His look was one of relief mixed with a little anxiety, but I had no time to try and decipher it as Sookie said, “Momma, I’d like for you to meet my…friend, Eric Northman. Eric, this is my mom, Michelle Stackhouse.”
She folded the paper and placed it down on the table in front of her before standing with a big smile on her face as she hugged me, saying, “Oh, Sookie’s had a crush on you forever!”
“Momma!” Sookie gasped, completely embarrassed.
I chuckled now that I could see the entire family seemed to speak their mind whenever it suited them and I liked it. Not wanting Sookie to be the only one laid bare, I offered, “Well, I can honestly say, the feeling is mutual. It’s a pleasure to meet you Mrs. Stackhouse.”
Sookie just got ten shades darker, but Mrs. Stackhouse giggled like a schoolgirl, saying, “You can call me Michelle.” She glanced at the chair next to her, where Corbett was still watching my every reaction, and my mouth fell open, while his expression turned wistful, when she said, “Aren’t you going to say hello, Corbett?”