I stayed under the covers while Eric laughed his way back into the bathroom to get dressed, thoroughly humiliated and thoroughly turned on. It should be illegal for a human being to look that sexy without even trying. His skin still glistened from the dampness of the shower and I almost told him he must be a vampire because he sparkled. My mouth was unable to form the words though since it was too busy hanging open catching flies.
Our little tit for tat while shopping at Wal-Mart had been fun and helped in keeping me distracted from thinking of Lafayette and Jesus too much, but as soon as we walked into the motel room that only had one bed I knew tonight was going to be a drain on my ‘no nookie’ willpower, especially since Eric had been making it perfectly clear that he was attracted to me. How that was even possible I’ll never know because he was totally out of my league as far as I was concerned.
While cutting his hair was my idea I really hated having to cut it. I longed to run my fingers through his thick mane and did just that for as long as I could before making the first snip. I could picture several different naughty scenarios where I’d be holding onto that head of hair while it was positioned over different locations of my body. Making that first cut had been the hardest and I had no idea I’d made any sound until Eric asked me about it. Just being around him had me all discombobulated, but there was nowhere else I’d rather be than right by his side.
I cut his hair shorter on the sides and in the back, but I made sure to leave enough length on top that I would still be able to grab a hold of should the opportunity present itself. I really should’ve thought it through before telling him to take off his shirt so I could put in the hair color. I’d already seen him shirtless, but he was unconscious for most of that time so it didn’t really count. Watching the way his muscles moved underneath his skin made my knees go weak and if not for the fact that I was holding onto the back of the chair I’m sure I would’ve toppled over. At the same time I was a little disappointed he didn’t ask me to make him brunette ‘all over’ since he’d told me he was blond there too.
I tried to distract myself from his half-nakedness by talking non-stop until I glanced down to see him staring at my chest which was right at his eye level at the time. I held stock still and had to keep from doing a fist pump at the affect it was having on him. It served him right for being too damn sexy himself. I was grateful when it was time for him to get in the shower because I was seconds away from rubbing myself all over him like a cat in heat.
And now, here I was, hiding under the covers chanting ‘No nookie’ over and over hoping my body would listen to my words because even though I was saying them, my brain wasn’t really on board with that idea either.
I was so absorbed in my own little world that I didn’t even notice Eric had come back in the room until I felt him sliding under the covers. My eyes had already adjusted to the darkness since my head was buried under the covers too and I had to squeeze them shut when I saw he was wearing nothing more than a pair of shorts. Woo boy!
I felt him lifting the covers as he pulled them over his head as well when he asked, “What are you doing?”
My best to not rape you. “Just praying.” I had no idea of what I’d been mumbling, but I imagined it was my ‘No Nookie’ chant.
He smelled so good it was taking all of my willpower to stay on my side of the bed so I kept my eyes closed for good measure.
“Uh huh. Do you always pray with your head buried under the covers?”
His voice had a dreamy edge to it and I wondered if it was as difficult for him to be around me as it was for me to be around him. I swallowed the drool that had pooled in my mouth along with every instinct I had to reach out and touch him and said, “Of course, doesn’t everyone?”
I pulled up my metaphorical big girl panties and pulled the covers back down from over my head and we lay there just staring at each other. He’d turned the lights off so it was only the faint glow from the TV that allowed us to see one another. He really was the most handsome man I’d ever seen and it made me all the more sure that he must have someone in his life. A wife or a girlfriend. There was no way someone this good looking, sweet and sexy was unattached.
When he reached over to brush a stray lock of my hair from my face I involuntarily closed my eyes and leaned into his touch. I couldn’t help myself. I heard and felt him slide closer and opened my eyes to see him thisclose, hovering right in front of me. He wanted me to kiss him. I wanted to kiss him. But, I knew if we started down that slippery slope I wouldn’t have been able to stop at just a kiss and I couldn’t let that happen yet. Not until I knew there wasn’t someone else that already had a claim on his affections. After everything we’d been through together in the short amount of time we’d known each other it would be so easy to give in to temptation, but I didn’t want to be left with either a broken heart or guilt later on if we found out he wasn’t single.
I reached up and placed a single finger over his lips as I whisper confessed, “I want to. I really do, but we don’t know if you’re a single man and I won’t be the other woman.”
I could tell from his expression that it hadn’t even occurred to him that he might have someone waiting for him at home and he kissed my finger before sighing and flopping back down on his back beside me. “I hadn’t even thought of that,” he admitted.
I lay there silently while I watched him wrestle with the thoughts in his mind when he finally rolled onto his side to look at me as he said, “I don’t feel like I’m missing someone. Wouldn’t I feel it? Wouldn’t I long for them subconsciously?”
I could only shrug my shoulders because I really had no idea. My evil brain had no problems imagining his perfect wife at home waiting for her Adonis husband to call or come back as she tended to their perfect 2.5 children. And a dog. While being a part-time supermodel. And running a homeless shelter. Baking cookies and shit. Yep, no problems at all.
Eric reached over and trailed his finger along the side of my face, pulling me out of my miserable thoughts as he said, “I guess we don’t know. Not yet anyway. But know this, I feel drawn to you. There’s something about you that calms me inside. It was there from the moment I opened my eyes when I first woke up and saw your sleeping face lying next me. So much so that if you had told me that we had been together for years and were very much in love I wouldn’t have questioned it at all. You feel like home to me and the thought of you leaving my side is unbearable.”
Tears welled in my eyes as he confessed his thoughts and I had no idea of how to respond. We silently stared at each other before I finally said, “You might feel differently once you get your memories back. Especially if it turns out that you’re…married.” I could barely choke out the word because just the thought that it was a possibility was enough to put me into a tailspin. I found the thought of leaving his side unbearable as well. He was the only person I had in my life at the moment and I had all of my memories.
Seeing my tears, Eric reached over and pulled me up alongside his body with his arms around me while my head rested in the nook of where his shoulder met his neck and rubbed his hand up and down my back while shushing me. “We’ll figure it out. Everything is going to work out in the end.”
I wished I could feel as confident as he sounded, but the long hours had finally caught up with me and I fell asleep in his arms without another word spoken between us.
I woke up the next morning completely wrapped up with Eric’s body around my own. At some point in the night I had turned over and Eric was spooned up behind me with his arms wrapped around me as well as one of his legs thrown over the top of mine. I wanted to giggle at the ridiculousness of being his human security blanket, but I was enjoying the feeling of it too much to risk moving a muscle. I could feel his slow even breaths against the back of my neck and I told my full bladder to shut the hell up because I wasn’t getting out of bed yet.
I lay there for a while, alternately listening to Eric’s breathing and vaguely paying attention to the morning news that was on the TV when I heard the news broadcaster saying that blond actress I despised had been injured the night before. I only ever referred to her as ‘Skelewhore’, but I recognized her name instantly and I quickly paid attention to what was being said.
She was fleeing a group of paparazzi outside of the hotel she’d been photographed entering earlier that evening with a man that wasn’t her purported boyfriend and as she stepped off of the curb she was hit by an oncoming bus. The driver of the bus reported that he never saw her and the police concluded that due to her emaciated frame it was plausible that the bus driver wouldn’t have been able to see her standing there in profile. Given her small stature she wasn’t seriously hurt as her body was merely blown into a garbage can and her representatives released a statement saying that she would be released from the hospital later on today. When asked for a comment on her accident, her ‘boyfriend’s’ only response was, ” GO HAMMARBY!” as he made his way inside the stadium to watch his beloved Hammarby soccer team.
I didn’t know what to think about that, but I was distracted as I felt Eric start to stir. One part of him was waking up faster than the rest of him and I may have shifted just a little to gauge the size of what was growing inside his shorts. It felt huge. I shifted again and felt the heat flush through my body when Eric growled a little in his sleep and clutched me tighter against him.
I could see the potential for this to quickly escalate into all out naked sweaty screaming morning sex and as much as that idea appealed to me I had stay strong for now so I attempted to extract myself from Eric’s kung fu grip, but he wouldn’t let go. I pulled and tugged as hard as I could, but he only gripped me tighter. My whole body tensed when I felt him kiss the back of my neck before he said, “Where do you think you’re going?”
To Hell in a hand basket if you keep that up. “I have to pee,” I sighed. Eric gave me one more squeeze before sighing himself and releasing me from his embrace. I missed the feeling of being wrapped up in him instantly, but I rolled out of bed anyway and stumbled into the bathroom. I was shocked by my reflection in the mirror having momentarily forgotten about coloring my hair the night before, but I didn’t think it looked too bad. I pulled it back into a ponytail and then washed my face and brushed my teeth before going back out into the room.
Eric had pulled on a pair of jeans, thank God, and had started the small coffee pot in the room to brew. I sat down and stared at it, willing the pot to fill faster, while Eric went into the bathroom himself. I quickly changed into jeans and a t-shirt while I was alone in the room when I heard the news broadcaster say,
Federal authorities are asking citizens to be on the lookout for this man. He’s identified as Eric Northman.
My head whipped around to see the screen as I shouted, “ERIC!” He came running into the room with his toothbrush still in his mouth as I pointed at the screen where his picture was being displayed. Eric’s picture was identical to the ones in his passports with his long blond hair.
He is believed to be travelling in a 1995 black Dodge Intrepid, Florida License plate ALS-5273, stolen from this man.
A picture of Sam’s brother Tommy came up, taking the place of Eric’s photo. It appeared to be a mug shot.
Tommy Mickens was found murdered last night and his car is missing. Authorities believe he was killed during a drug deal gone bad. Eric Northman is wanted for questioning in that murder and he is to be considered armed and dangerous. Authorities ask anyone with information on his whereabouts to call 911 immediately. In other news…
I felt the panic bubbling up in my chest as I asked, “What in the hell was that? We didn’t kill Tommy! How did they get your picture? How do they know who you are?”
I was babbling nonstop, peppering Eric with questions as he went around the room gathering all of our stuff before coming to stand in front of me. He placed his hands on each of my shoulders and said, “SOOKIE! We need to get out of here. I don’t know what’s going on but we can’t stay here. Whoever is after us is who killed Tommy so we need to go.”
All I could do was nod my head as I finished throwing everything we had into Eric’s duffel bag while he went around wiping down every surface we may have touched with a towel. We left the room key on the desk and left the motel on foot. Eric said he’d already wiped down the inside and outside of the car the night before when he’d returned with our food and when I looked at him wondering why he would do that he just shrugged his shoulders. Odd, but definitely helpful.
As it turned out, we were only a mile down the road from another Wal-Mart and we walked into the parking lot heading towards the store. A car pulled in to the lot and parked with a woman getting out of the car and running inside. She was wearing a blue Wal-Mart smock so we assumed she was an employee. After making sure there wasn’t anyone else around we strode over to her car and lucked out when we discovered she’d left it unlocked.
Eric jumped into the driver’s side while I climbed in on the passenger’s side and he ducked down underneath the steering column doing God knows what, but just a few seconds later the engine came to life. He popped up with an impish grin on his face before throwing the car into drive. We had no idea of how long that woman’s shift was so Eric said he wanted to get rid of the car within six hours.
We travelled north into Georgia and I was surprised when Eric started taking the exit for the Atlanta International Airport. I looked over at him asking, “We’re not flying somewhere are we?” I didn’t think that was a good idea given the fact that his picture was all over the news this morning.
He looked at me like I was daft and said, “Uh, no. I want to ditch this car in the long term parking lot and get us a different one.”
I felt like an idiot. “Oh, okay,” was all I could say. I thought that I should feel remorse or guilt over the fact that we were driving a stolen car and were about to steal another one, but my instincts to survive won out. I wanted to get away from whoever it was that chased us to the States and I’d do whatever was necessary for us to survive.
I felt Eric’s hand wrap around my own and I looked over to see him looking worriedly back at me as he said, “Are you okay? I know you’ve gone through a lot because of me and if you want, I’ll drop you off at the airport. You can tell the police that I kidnapped you and you got away.”
He looked like he felt so guilty and heartbroken at the same time and I practically shouted, “NO! I want to stay with you.” Tears spilled from my eyes at the thought of not being with him as I whispered, “Please don’t leave me.”
He continued to stare at me gauging my reaction and I only felt better when I saw his shoulders sag in relief. He squeezed my hand asking, “Are you sure?”
“Yes, I am,” I said with as much confidence as I could muster. It seemed to be enough because he turned into the long term parking lot at the airport, but didn’t let go of my hand until we parked the car.
We sat there for a few minutes looking over the different vehicles and I noticed Eric staring at a red corvette two aisles away and jokingly said, “Yeah, no one will notice that car.”
“It’s nice though and I bet she’s really fast.” The way he was staring at it you’d think he was looking at a Hooters calendar. I looked around and pointed saying, “What about that one?”
Eric averted his gaze from the corvette to see the powder blue minivan I was pointing at and said, “No way! I’m not driving a minivan. Ever.”
“But it won’t stand out. They’re everywhere and if we need to, we can sleep in it.”
Eric mentally chewed over my argument and I’d thought he was about to cave when he said, “Nope. Sorry, I’d do it if we didn’t have any other options, but thankfully, we do.” We ended up agreeing on a Nissan Pathfinder SUV so we would be able to sleep in it if we had to and after wiping down the car we were back on the interstate within fifteen minutes.
“So where do you think you learned how to do that so quickly?” I asked as I motioned underneath the steering column. I knew he had no memories, but I couldn’t fathom where he’d been to learn the amount of things he knew how to do.
“Your guess is as good as mine,” he said as he shrugged his shoulders. We agreed that we should try and drive for as long as possible with us trading places every time we had to stop for gas. We stayed with the flow of traffic, not wanting to risk being pulled over for speeding, and by the next morning we were going across the George Washington Bridge into New York City.
Eric had jumped into the driver’s seat when we stopped for gas on the New Jersey Turnpike so I was able to gawk out the windows looking at the city I’d longed to visit for the very first time. The buildings were so tall and the amount of traffic was ungodly. People were walking on the sidewalks and I stared at every yellow minivan taxi driver looking for the Cash Cab.
Eric had programmed the address from his license into the GPS, but when he saw how much I loved looking around he took us on a detour through Time Square. I hoped we’d get the chance to look around the city at some point, but I also knew it probably wouldn’t be a good idea any time soon.
Eric started heading towards the address for his home and I could tell he was feeling the same tension that I was wondering who, if anyone, would be waiting for him. I was confused when Eric pulled over and parked along a stretch of sidewalk when the GPS said we still had another 5 miles to go. Looking over at him I saw him staring at a tall building across the street. It appeared to be an apartment building with a doorman opening the door for people entering and exiting.
“Eric?” was all I could think to say.
“This looks familiar. I think I’ve been here before.” He continued to look across the street before turning to look at me and saying, “Care to check it out with me?”
Eric put on a baseball cap and we each donned a pair of sunglasses as we climbed out of the SUV. Eric threw the duffel bag over his shoulder and held my hand as we crossed the street. As soon as we got up to the doorman he looked at Eric and smiled saying, “Mr. Thomas! You’re back from your trip! How was Peru?”
Eric didn’t miss a beat responding, “It was fine, thank you. I’m afraid I’ve misplaced my keys though, would you be able to let us in?” He sounded so natural, like wasn’t lying through his teeth.
“Of course, of course…” the doorman said as he gestured for us to follow him. We lucked out when he pressed the button for Eric’s floor and led us to the apartment at the end of the hall where he unlocked the door and said, “I’ll have a replacement key waiting for you when next come down. Have a good day!”
We both watched him get back on the elevator and Eric motioned for me to stand just inside the doorway as he took the gun he’d hidden in the small of his back and silently swept through the apartment. If I wasn’t so nervous I would’ve been fanning myself over how sexy he looked doing it.
He was only gone for a couple of minutes before he came back saying, “It’s all clear.” We both relaxed a little then and slowly walked around taking in our surroundings. All of the furniture was modern and expensive looking, but very minimalist. There was no clutter whatsoever. It was practically sterile.
The living room had a large leather sectional couch facing a huge plasma TV that was mounted on one wall with the far wall having mostly large windows overlooking Central Park. The kitchen was galley style and based on the lack of food in the refrigerator or staples in the cabinets I had to guess that he didn’t cook often. We found what looked to be an office in a spare bedroom with a full bath across the hall from it and at the end of the hallway was the master bedroom.
There was a huge California king sized bed centered against the car wall with another huge plasma screen TV on the opposite wall. There was an attached full bath with a separate shower that could probably hold four people and a sunken whirlpool tub as well. I also noticed there weren’t ANY items around that indicated anyone else lived there besides Eric.
As if he was reading my mind I heard him call out, “Sookie?” I walked back into his bedroom from the bathroom and saw him standing in the doorway to what turned out to be his walk-in closet. The man was a clothes horse, but before I could contemplate that I heard Eric say, “There’re no women’s clothes. I’m not married,” as he spun me around and his lips crashed onto mine.