As Sookie and I drove to the store my brain was back in overdrive. I was still internally freaking out over everything that I’d confessed to Sookie while we were at the diner and I’d left out the nightmare I’d had while we were on Tommy’s boat. It seemed like a flashback and I knew it was pieces of a memory. Incomplete pieces. All I had were flashes of a boat that I was on. It was dark and I felt the adrenaline running through my body, but it turned into apprehension. The final pieces were a birthday hat and the dark water. It didn’t make any sense.
While all of that was playing in my mind it was overshadowed by the feelings I had for Sookie. According to her we’d barely known each other when I woke up lying in bed next to her and now we were running from God knows who or why. Yet just the thought of not having her near me was enough to make my insides clench with anxiety no matter how dangerous everything seemed to be. She was my anchor and I knew I instinctively needed her more than anything else.
It also wasn’t lost on me that we had a lot of chemistry between us. I found myself staring at her more than I probably should and wondered if her lips were as soft as they looked. I wanted to run my hands over every delightful curve of her body and learn the ways I could make her moan and squirm underneath me. I wanted to watch her come undone while screaming my name and then I wanted to do it all over again.
The way Sam had looked at Sookie made my inner caveman roar wanting to stake my claim on her whether or not I actually had one and while I honestly didn’t notice the waitress flirting with me I was ecstatic at the thought that Sookie had been jealous. I had taken note of every person we’d seen at the diner, but other than to assess their potential threat to us I didn’t notice anyone but Sookie. My past was nothing more than a dark void in my mind, but she was the light that warmed me inside. She was my present and, hopefully, my future.
We pulled in to the Wal-Mart parking lot and I made a mental note of everyone and everything around us as we got out of the car. There was nothing there jumping out at me that screamed Danger!, but the sight of some the customers and their attire gave me pause. When I hesitated I felt Sookie slip her hand into mine, lacing her fingers with my own, and just like that the tension in my shoulders and neck lessened at the physical contact.
I looked down to see her smiling blue eyes looking up at me as she asked, “Why are you making that face?”
“What face?” I was making a face?
“You look like you’ve just stepped on to an alien planet,” she giggled. We walked through the sliding glass doors into the store and she swept her other hand out in front of us and said, “Welcome to Wal-Mart!”
I might not remember my past, but I was pretty sure I wasn’t a regular customer at Wal-Mart. There was cheaply made junk everywhere with people pushing shopping carts full of it in every direction. Yellow smiley faces were on every conceivable surface and the squeaking wobbly wheels of the shopping carts nearly drowned out the screaming kids running around dodging carts, people, and racks of clothes. Nearly.
Sookie grabbed a cart and steered me towards the health and beauty care section like she’d been here a hundred times. While she looked at different boxes of hair color I noted the number of cameras all over the store and told Sookie that we probably shouldn’t spend too much time here and why. She agreed but she still couldn’t decide on what color to dye her hair and finally asked me, “What do you think? Blond, brunette or red head?” I took a long look at her hair and couldn’t resist asking, “Are you blond all over? Because I am.”
The blush that bloomed on her cheeks was beautiful and I wanted to make her whole body flush with more than just words. She quickly composed herself and smiled saying, “I know. I’ve seen.” I took a step closer, invading her personal space, while looking down at her with my eyebrow cocked up and said, “Well that hardly seems fair. I think a little quid pro quo is in order.”
Her eyes darkened with lust as she took her own step closer to me and her hands dropped down to the waistband of her shorts. For a moment it was as though we were the only two people in existance and I thought she was actually going to give me a peek until her hands ran along the front of her waist to her hips and she smirked saying, “Then yes, I AM blond all over.” She quickly stepped back and acted like we’d been discussing nothing more torrid than the weather as I stood there trying to will my rapidly growing erection away. I quick glance to my left did the trick when I saw a morbidly overweight man squatting down with a bright red thong on display as his jeans slid down his hairy ass. When he stood up and turned I saw the front of his shirt said “Real Vampires Sparkle” and I looked to Sookie not knowing what in the hell that meant while being pretty sure that if vampires were real they wouldn’t sparkle. She just giggled and shook her head throwing a couple of boxes of light and dark brown hair color into the cart.
We continued walking around the store getting snacks and bottled water before going to the clothing department. I had no idea what size I wore so Sookie stepped behind me and my breath caught when I felt her hands on my waist with my body freezing on the spot where I stood. I could feel the heat radiating off of her body and the warm air from her breaths against my back. She lifted the back of my t-shirt up over my hips and slid her fingers along the small of my back leaving goosebumps in their wake before delving into the top of my waistband and flipping it over to see the tag inside. She whispered “Thirty-four,” before flipping the band back and I had to swallow the groan in my throat when her hands left my body. I knew she was going to be the death of me and I doubted it would have anything to do with a gun.
The smile on her face when she appeared in front of me said that she knew she had affected me so after I threw a few pairs of jeans and shorts into the cart I followed her to the ladies department where she was picking out underwear. I went straight to where the bras were hanging and looked over at her waggling my eyebrows and asked, “Do you need me to check the tag on the one you’re wearing?”
She just laughed and while I knew she’d say no I was still disappointed when I heard her say it. I picked up a lacy black bra and held it up as she watched while I slowly slid my hand over the cup, carressing it as if it was being worn by her. My heated gaze met her own and I took great satisfaction when she visibly swallowed while the blush bloomed on her cheeks once more. “This one’s nice,” I said as I held it out to her. The movement of the bra being held out in front of her shook her out of her momentary haze and she smirked taking it from me. She returned it to the rack and selected an identical one trading the sized 34B for a 34D and threw it in the cart saying, “The other one was too small.” I visibly swallowed myself then and I had to keep recalling the sight of the man in the red thong to keep my body in check as she picked out other various bras. When she started selecting matching underwear that were nothing more than tiny scraps of fabric and holding it in front of herself I had to walk away from a smiling Sookie with the score being Sookie 2; Eric 1 and ended up in the electronics department where I bought two disposable cell phones and a GPS figuring it would come in handy on our trip north.
As I was looking at the different models on display I had more flashbacks of something similar, but the harder I tried to remember, the quicker the memory disappeared from my mind. I was more than a little frustrated from it all when I found Sookie again and we quickly paid for the other items before finally leaving the store.
It was starting to get dark when we got back onto the interstate and while we were both tired I wanted to get a few more miles north before finding a place to stay for the night. I made sure to hover near the speed limit knowing the last thing we needed was to be pulled over by the police. Sookie played with the car radio switching from station to station and pausing at every song waiting for me to figure out if I liked it or not. I figured out pretty quickly that I wanted nothing to do with country music, but rock and classic rock seemed good to me.
Even in our less than ideal situation, I found myself smiling and laughing often with Sookie telling me stories from her childhood. She sounded like she’d been a hellcat and I wondered if I had been the same way. Something inside told me, no. It didn’t sound like she was close to her brother at all and with her parents and Grandmother already gone she seemed to be all alone. My heart broke for her when she talked of how Lafayette and Jesus had become her family and she silently wept again over their deaths. Without thinking I reached out and took her hand in mine, giving it a small squeeze with my own.
We decided to call it a night once we reached the Florida/Georgia border having spent twelve hours on the road. Using the GPS to search out nearby hotels we called around looking for available rooms, but were only able to find one vacancy in a no-name motel. We checked in and were both pleasantly surprised that it looked clean. I was also silently happy that there was only one room available and it had only one king sized bed. Sookie took a long look at the bed before her eyes looked up into my own and I saw the apprehension behind them. It took every shred of decency I had to say, “If you’re uncomfortable sharing the bed I don’t mind sleeping on the couch.”
We both looked over at the ‘couch’ which was really a loveseat at best and looked about as comfortable as a pile of bricks, but I’d do it anyway if it made her feel better. Sookie was all I had and I wasn’t about to make her wary of me. Given everything that we were up against I knew we needed to trust each other. Relief swept through my body when she looked back at me and said, “Don’t be silly. We’re both adults and we can certainly share the bed.” She dug through the shopping bags we’d brought in with us taking out something to wear along with the hair dye (dark brown I noted) and went into the bathroom without another word.
I sat on the couch, which was in fact as comfortable as a pile of bricks, and tried to not think about the fact that Sookie was naked on the other side of the door. It turned out that was harder to do than I thought it would be and it was making me harder as time wore on. Since we’d both been hungry when we checked in I decided to run through the drive-thru of a fast food chain that was down the road from the motel hoping the time away would help alleviate my growing problem. At this rate I was going to have to sleep on my stomach so I wouldn’t scare her away.
I returned fifteen minutes later to find Sookie standing in the room wearing a camisole and sleep shorts toweling her now dark hair dry. While I would prefer her to be her natural blond, her dark hair coupled with her blue eyes and tanned skin made a beautiful end result. She looked at me nervously running her fingers through her damp locks and asked, “What do you think?”
I think I’m going to have a HARD time, both literally and figuratively, keeping my hands to myself. I kept that thought to myself and truthfully said, “You’re beautiful.” She smiled, seemingly relieved, and we both sat down and ate. She must have been more hungry than I thought because she moaned in delight with every bite she took and I had to keep shifting in my seat from the uncomfortable tightness in the crotch of my shorts. Once we were both done eating I got up to jump in the shower when Sookie held up the box of the lighter brown hair color and said, “Don’t you think you should lose the blond too?”
I ran my hands through my hair and said, “Yeah, I guess I should.” I took the box and read through the directions when Sookie walked over, looking at me reluctantly, while holding up a pair of scissors saying, “You should probably go with a shorter hairstyle too.” My hair just fell short of touching my shoulders and I knew it would be for the best so I agreed.
She pulled up a stratight back chair and indicated that I should sit down while I looked at her questioningly. She smiled softly saying, “I used to cut the boys’ hair all of the time.” I saw the tears welling in her eyes again so I quickly sat down not wanting her to get upset. I felt confident that I could kick damn near anyone’s ass, but the sight of her tears was enough to break me instantly.
Sookie told me to wet my hair in the sink before having me sit down in the chair again. I closed my eyes just enjoying the sensation of her running her fingers through my hair and I heard her sigh as she made the first cut. “Why are you sighing?” I asked with my eyes still closed.
“I, uh, just liked you hair long,” she stammered. She quickly changed the subject telling me about the different hair styles she’d done on Lafayette and Jesus, laughing about the times they’d dress in drag wearing wigs and going out to the clubs. I loved the sound of her laugh and I hoped to hear it often.
I’d kept my eyes closed while she cut my hair, but when I felt her come to stand in front of me I opened them to see I was eye level with her chest only inches away from my face. The camisole top she was wearing seemed to have a built in bra, but I could still see the perfect outline of them. Sookie continued telling me stories completely unaware that I was openly gaping at her breasts and I took a deep breath in an attempt to calm myself down. I wasn’t prepared for when I released that breath and it ghosted over her breasts making her slightly gasp as her nipples hardened underneath her shirt. I thanked God I had a towel in my lap to hide the hardening going on with my own body and balled my hands into fists within the towel to keep from reaching out to touch her.
Sookie regained her composure and started talking again while she finished cutting my hair. When she was done I looked in the mirror and thanked her seeing that she’d done a really good job. She picked up the box of hair color and started mixing the ingredients telling me to take off my shirt. I looked over at her suggestively and she smiled while rolling her eyes and said, “It’s so you can just get in the shower once the time’s up and you won’t have to worry about getting hair color on your shirt.”
I seemed to be competitive because I was still irked from earlier knowing Sookie was in the ‘I’m affecting you’ lead so I made a show of slowly pulling my t-shirt up and over my head before tossing it aside and stretching with both of my arms up in the air. The stretching made my sore back ache some, but when I looked over at Sookie and saw her mouth gaping slightly open at my naked chest it was well worth the minor pain. I had to hold in the chuckle I felt bubbling inside when she closed her eyes and took a deep breath while thinking I’d give anything to be able to read her mind at that moment. Sookie 2; Eric 2.
I waited until she opened her eyes again before slowly walking back to the chair and sitting down again. I closed my eyes as she started putting the dye in my hair, tilting my head whenever she directed me to, and only opened them when I felt her in front of me again as she colored the front of my head. Her breasts were perfect and I knew with my large hands I’d be able to cup each one easily. I wanted to run my tongue all over them while feeling their weight in my hands and I had to close my eyes again to keep myself from leaning forward and kissing them through her shirt. The sound of her snickering made me open them again to see her staring down at me and it was then that I knew she knew exactly what she’d been doing and the affect it would have on me. I silently cursed at the change in score. Sookie 3; Eric 2.
Once she was finished I helped her clean up the mess, throwing everything inside of an empty shopping bag because something inside told me not to leave any evidence behind. Sookie turned on the TV and climbed into the bed while I went into the bathroom to shower. I washed my hair several times until the water ran clear before washing the rest of my body. I towelled off once I was done and only then did I realize I hadn’t brought any clean clothes into the bathroom with me so I wrapped the towel around my waist and opened the door. The steam from the shower followed me into the room as I headed towards a bag to get out a pair of shorts when the sound of Sookie gasping made me stop short.
I automatically tensed thinking something was wrong and my head whipped around taking in the room and the surrounding noises. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary until I looked over at Sookie and saw what can only be described as her ogling me. It must have really struck a chord with her because I stood there with a smile on my face watching her for a long moment before she noticed me watching her. The blush came back with a vengeance and I laughed out loud when she groaned and pulled the covers over her face. Sookie 3; Eric 3.
I grabbed a pair of shorts and went back into the bathroom where I put them on and brushed my teeth before going back into the room. Sookie still had the covers over her head so I turned out the lights and climbed in on the opposite side of the bed with only the light from the TV on in the room. I could hear her mumbling something and when she didn’t emerge from her hiding spot I chuckled and pulled the covers over my head asking, “What are you doing?”
“Just praying,” she meekly responded. The smell of the soap and shampoo she’d used flooded my senses and the warmth of her body had warmed the sheets nicely. I inhaled deeply before saying, “Uh huh. Do you always pray with your head buried under the covers?” I longed to reach out and pull her body flush against my own, running my hands all over her from head to toe. Lying here all night without touching her was going to be difficult if not impossible.
Without missing a beat she replied, “Of course, doesn’t everyone?” She pulled the covers from over her head with a small smile and we just laid there inches apart and stared at each other. I couldn’t stop myself from reaching over and brushing a stray lock of hair out of her face while she closed her eyes and leaned in to my touch. The warmth of her cheek ran through the veins in my hand spreading out to my whole body and I found myself leaning forward until my lips were hovering a hair’s breadth over her own. Her eyes opened and she looked into mine as she seemed to be searching for an answer to an unspoken question while I waited for her to say something or close the remaining distance between us unsure of what she was going to do.