Sookie. Even with her next to me practically every minute since I’d first woken up without my memory, lying next to her in bed, she was constantly on my mind. I wondered if my thoughts would be as consumed by her if I still had all of my memories, or if it was only because she was my only memory. I lay there for an hour just staring at her sleeping face lying on my shoulder and decided that it didn’t matter. I felt a real connection to her and no matter what we found out once we got to New York, I wouldn’t willingly let go of her. I could only hope and pray that she would choose to stay with me regardless of the circumstances.
I was thrown for a loop the next morning when Sookie shouted my name and pointed at the TV where my picture was on the screen. I had no idea of how I got linked to Tommy’s death, but I was almost positive it had to do with Sam. I knew he was shifty from the moment I laid eyes on him. The fact that he clearly had a thing for Sookie didn’t help my opinion of him either. I just hoped that Sookie’s involvement would be kept out of the press and prayed that the news story of my ‘wanted’ status remained locally in Florida and didn’t go national.
Later on that afternoon, I felt a moment of panic when we were heading to the airport to steal another car thinking that maybe I was asking too much of her. She hadn’t done anything wrong so she shouldn’t have to live a life on the run from whoever was after me. It killed me inside when I offered to leave her at the airport, but I would have done it if that was what she’d wanted. I would do anything she asked of me, but I couldn’t deny that I felt a sense of relief when she said she wanted to stay with me.
Whenever I managed to doze off as we took turns driving north towards New York my dreams would consist of fragmented scenes. Nothing really made sense and I tended to forget the specifics quickly, but I did notice I had a strong sense of déjà vu when we passed an exit sign in Maryland for the US Naval Academy. I tried to concentrate on the feeling, but no memories surfaced so I didn’t mention it to Sookie at the time.
I had another sense of déjà vu once we finally reached New York City and I was able to navigate the streets without needing to use the GPS, but once we were coming up to the apartment building something clicked inside of me. I followed my instincts to go inside and it seemed they were right when the doorman recognized me. I didn’t know if it was the hat covering my now darker and shorter hair that made the doorman not question my new look without comment or if perhaps I was good tipper during the holidays but he seemed helpful enough. A part of my mind was figuring out a way to question him, especially about the name Mr. Thomas, without it seeming odd while he led us to my apartment, but I let it go for the time being thinking I’d have a good look around the apartment first.
After sweeping through the apartment and coming back for Sookie, I locked the front door and took a good look around. It all felt familiar, but I still couldn’t really remember anything. Almost like how a hotel room feels familiar in that they’re basically all the same. It didn’t feel like home though, not like Sookie felt like home.
She’d wandered into the bathroom while I eyed the huge bed in the center of the room thinking of how much room I had to work with if everything went the way I wanted it to and I was ecstatic when I opened the door to the walk-in closet to see that there was only men’s clothing hanging inside. I had to share the good news.
“Sookie?” I called out. I watched as she exited the bathroom and came to stand in the doorway of the closet poking her head inside to see what was in there. Even after being in a car for nearly twenty-four hours straight, she was still the most beautiful woman I’d ever seen and I couldn’t wait one minute longer.
“There’re no women’s clothes. I’m not married,” I said as I spun her around to face me and finally, leaning down, pressed my lips to hers. They were even softer than I’d imagined and when she gasped in surprise I took the opportunity to explore the inside of her mouth with my tongue. It didn’t take long for Sookie to moan in response and kiss me back with just as much fervor.
I held onto the back of her head with one hand while I wrapped my other arm around her back, pulling her front flush against my body. I felt Sookie’s hands travel up my back to wrap around my neck and I automatically straightened up pulling her body up with me. Her legs wrapped around my waist as I held her back against the wall with my body and I finally broke our kiss so we could breathe. My lips refused to part from her skin though so I kissed my way along her jaw line to her neck making her gasp again.
I was lost in her, completely enveloped by her scent and taste, so much that I didn’t hear her talking until she started pushing against my chest. I finally pulled back far enough to see that her mouth was moving, but I had to literally shake my head to clear it enough before I heard the actual words she was saying.
“We have to stop.”
I knew my face fell when I asked, “We do?” Maybe I read her wrong? I certainly didn’t want her to feel forced into going any farther so I did my best to reign in my urge to pounce on her again as I set her back down on her feet. I was about to take a step back from her when she held onto my shirt, looking up into my eyes, and said, “I don’t want to stop either, but we still don’t really know anything yet.”
My head was still foggy from all of the blood in my body still residing in my lower half so I remained silent as I tried to understand what she was getting at. I assumed she read the confusion on my face because she continued on saying, “I mean this isn’t even the same address that was on your license. The doorman called you ‘Mr. Thomas’, not Mr. Northman, so what if this is like a crash pad for you and your real home is still five miles away?”
Huh? “Why would I have a ‘crash pad’ if I lived five miles away?” The look on her face spelled it out and this time I did take a step back as I harshly asked, “What, you think I’m some sort of cheating bastard that keeps an apartment to fuck around in?” I was irrationally pissed off that she would think something like that about me even though she had made perfectly valid points.
The tears that sprung to her eyes quickly pulled my head out of my ass, but when I tried to wrap my arms around her she pushed me away and tried to walk out of the closet. I wasn’t about to let this fester between us so I trapped her by placing a hand on the wall on either side of her with her body in between them. She refused to look at me so I spoke to the side of her head saying, “I’m sorry. You’re right, we don’t know anything yet and I shouldn’t have gotten mad. Maybe I am a cheating bastard.”
My voice had gotten progressively softer as I realized it might be true. I doubted Sookie would want anything to do with me if that were the case and now that I had acted like a dick she might just walk right out the door and not look back. I held my breath and closed my eyes as I dropped my arms to my side freeing her and prayed like hell that she wouldn’t leave.
It seemed like forever, but couldn’t have really been more than a few seconds before I felt her arms wrap around my waist. My arms wrapped around her before my head even registered their movement and she pressed the side of her face against my chest and said, “I don’t think you’re a cheating bastard. At least I hope you’re not.” She took the opportunity to smack my ass with her hand and we both chuckled and took a deep breath now that the tension between us was gone.
I kissed the top of her head and she hugged me tighter before releasing me and said, “Do you mind if I take a shower?”
“Of course I don’t mind. Do you need any help with that?” The words left my mouth before my brain could filter them out, but when she looked up at me and blushed I couldn’t help leering at her in response. It was like my body had its own mind where she was concerned and its only mission in life was to get her naked. I was all for her being naked too, but I didn’t want to scare her away.
Apparently I was worried for nothing because she moved lightening quick and pulled my lips back to hers kissing me for all she was worth, while rubbing the front of her body against mine and just as I started to forget what we had even been talking about she pulled away smiling and said, “No thanks!” and she ran into the bathroom giggling as she shut and locked the door.
I stood there stunned with a raging hard on while I contemplated getting the lock picking tools out of my office to open the bathroom door when it hit me. There’s lock picking tools in my office!
I ran to the office and stood in the doorway taking it all in. There was a desk with nothing more than a computer monitor and telephone sitting on it and a leather chair on the opposite side. I walked forward and sat in the chair opening the top drawer where I knew the lock pick tools would be and yet I was still surprised when I saw them sitting there.
I turned the computer on and got frustrated when I saw that it was password protected. I hoped that eventually that would come to me too, so in the mean time I searched through all of the desk drawers. The only helpful things I found were some files, one of which contained the lease for this apartment under the name Stephen Thomas. According to the lease, I’d signed it two years earlier and the name I’d listed as my emergency contact was William Compton with a Washington D.C. phone number.
I continued to dig and found bank records which were listed under the name Stephen Thomas as well. It appeared that the monthly rent, as well as the other utility and phone bills, were paid automatically from that account and it was replenished every month by a wire transfer that kept the account at a constant $20K.
I kept searching for anything else, like a resume or paycheck stub, but there was nothing like it that I could find. I’d noticed there weren’t any pictures of people hanging up in the apartment or anywhere else I’d seen, but there were a few framed black and white photographs hanging in each room. The one hanging in the office was a black and white photo of a huge naval battleship out at sea and I was again reminded of the déjà vu I’d felt when we drove passed the US Naval Academy. Something told me that it meant something, I just didn’t know what.
I had spread everything out on the desk in front of me and as I was sitting there contemplating being ‘Stephen Thomas’ Sookie came into the room. Her hair was wet from her shower and she had changed into one of my dress shirts that I assumed she must have gotten from the closet. The sleeves were rolled up a bunch of times and it was so big on her she could wear it out as a dress. The shirt was light blue matching her eyes perfectly and it was beautifully contrasted with her darker hair. I felt my lower regions beginning to stir again at the sight of her and I must have been staring too long because I saw her blush before saying, “I hope you don’t mind me wearing your shirt.”
“No, I don’t mind at all.” And I really didn’t. I didn’t think seeing her wearing my clothes would be such a turn on, but it was and I was thankful the desk was blocking the evidence of just how much I liked seeing her in them.
“Did you find anything?” she asked.
I closed my eyes and tried to not focus on the fact that I didn’t think she was wearing a bra which made me wonder if she was wearing panties. Nope, not focusing on that at all.
I took a few deep breaths and pointed at the paperwork spread out in front of me, afraid of what might come out of my mouth if I tried to speak. I watched her walk forward until she was standing next to me and when she leaned forward to pick up the lease I caught sight of her tanned skin where the shirt opened at the top since she’d left the top three buttons undone. I sat on my hands to resist the urge to run them up her tanned legs and pulling her down onto my lap.
While she sifted through everything I’d found I had to look away to get myself under control and wondered if I had some sort of sex addiction or something. That didn’t really make sense since I only wanted to have sex with Sookie, so maybe I just had a Sookie addiction instead. Ever since we’d kissed in the closet earlier my body wouldn’t let my brain concentrate on anything else but finishing what we’d started whenever she was in the same room as me. I had no idea how long I could keep going on like this before I just dropped to the floor, a bumbling idiot with a hard on.
“Eric?” Somewhere in the back of my head I registered her voice and looked up to see her staring back at me with a look of concern. “Are you okay? You look kind of pale.”
That’s because all of my blood is below my waist. “I’m fine.”
What else could I say? ‘Sookie, I’m afraid that I won’t be able to concentrate on finding out who I am or who might be after us until you yield to me. I long for your hot naked flesh pressed against mine as your body writhes in ecstacy beneath me and until it happens I won’t be able to think of anything else whenever you’re around. Care to help me out?’
“Do you think we should try and call this William Compton guy?” she asked, completely oblivious to my mental confessions.
I could smell the soap and shampoo she’d used as well as a scent that I identified as purely Sookie. It was a mixture of sunlight and something sweet, honeysuckle maybe? Whatever it was I couldn’t get enough of it. The sight of Sookie’s hand waving in front of my face pulled me back into the conversation we’d been having, but I’d completely forgotten what she’d asked.
“I’m sorry, what did you say?”
Her eyes furrowed as she stared down at me with concern and said, “I think maybe you should lie down and get some rest. Neither one of us has slept more than a few hours total in the last day and a half. We’ll take a nap and then figure out what we’re doing next.” With that said she put the papers she’d been holding back down on the desk and headed out of the office back towards the bedroom.
How in the hell was I supposed to be able to lay down next her now without rubbing myself all over her? Even while I was thinking there was no way I could lay next to her in bed in my frazzled state, my body acted on its own and had followed her into the bedroom without my brain realizing it. I really wished they’d start communicating better. I watched her go over to pull the blinds shut over the windows to darken the room before she got underneath the covers and slid towards the center of the bed. Knowing I would end up embarrassing myself or pouncing on her if I got in bed at that moment, I turned and walked into the bathroom instead, closing the door behind me.
I stripped off my clothes and climbed into the shower turning on just the cold water and swallowed the shout that wanted to come out of my throat when the cold spray hit my overheated body. I washed my body and shampooed my hair and didn’t get out until my teeth were chattering and my balls had crawled up inside to hide underneath my ribs looking for warmth.
I toweled off and realized I hadn’t brought anything in with me to wear, so I walked out into the bedroom once again wearing nothing but a towel. My eyes immediately went to Sookie and I was both relieved and disappointed that she appeared to have fallen asleep already. It was probably for the best because if I saw the tiniest bit of lust in her eyes like I had back in the motel room I’d have a hard time not trying to press my luck.
I totally understood why Sookie was still hesitant, but for whatever reason I didn’t believe I had a wife or girlfriend waiting for me somewhere. Even without my memories that thought didn’t feel familiar to me at all, but without my memories actually coming back to me I had no idea of how I’d be able to convince Sookie of the same thing.
I didn’t realize she’d woken up while I’d been staring down at her lost in my thoughts until she asked, “What are you thinking?”
If you only knew. I said a small prayer thanking God that she couldn’t read minds and replied, “Nothing,” as I turned and headed into the closet to find something to wear. After searching through a few drawers I pulled out a pair of Under Armor shorts and put them on before heading back into the bedroom.
I crawled into the bed underneath the covers and stared at Sookie while she stared back at me. I knew she was waiting for me to tell her what I’d been thinking but I didn’t think we’d be getting any sleep if we started down that path and her occasional yawns told me she needed to rest no matter how much I yearned to pull her close.
“I forgot to tell you, I remembered something earlier.” I figured it was a safe topic so long as I didn’t tell her why I’d been contemplating lock picks. I expected her to ask me what I’d remembered so I was surprised when her eyes lit up and she flung her arms around my neck hugging me and saying, “That’s so great!”
God, she smelled so good and her body was so warm that I couldn’t help pressing myself right back against her. I may have purred, but I can’t really be too sure. Her hands started rubbing up and down my back and arms as she asked, “Why is your skin so cold?”
My face was burrowed into her neck when I answered, “Cold shower.” Did I mention how good she smelled? Because she smelled even better up close.
“Why did you take a cold shower? Did I use all of the hot water?” She threw one of her legs over mine rubbing it up and down my legs while continuing to try to warm me up. Her efforts were working on some parts of my anatomy more quickly than others.
“I wouldn’t know if you used all of the hot water because I only turned on the cold.”
Her hands started to slow down as she pulled back to look at me and asked, “Why?”
I couldn’t help grinning just a little over her being completely clueless about how she’d affected me and asked, “Why do you think?”
She must have been really tired because she seemed genuinely stumped until I inadvertently gave her a hint when her leg brushed up against my growing erection. “Oh,” she squeaked. I could make out her blush even with the room being dark, but I didn’t want her to get upset so I lay down on my back and raised my hands up to prop them underneath my head so I wouldn’t be tempted to touch her while fully expecting her to pull away from me.
I was pleasantly surprised when she didn’t pull away and instead she molded herself against the side of my body with half of her body laying on top of mine while wrapping an arm around my chest and her leg still thrown over mine. A few minutes later she huffed before reaching up and pulling my hands down wrapping my arms around her and then resumed her previous position.
We stayed wrapped up in each other for a while with neither one of us saying anything. I could tell by her breathing and the feel of her eyelashes occasionally brushing against my bare chest that she was still awake.
“What did you remember earlier?” she faintly whispered.
“That I had lock picks and where they were.”
I wasn’t going to tell her why I was thinking of lock picks so I tried to shrug in response.
“What if you are married?” she whispered even quieter.
“I’m not,” I whispered back.
“How can you be sure?” she asked.
I reached down and tilted her chin up until she was looking in my eyes and said, “I just feel it, but I understand why you’re hesitant. I’m okay with it. I’m not going to push for anything more than what you’re ready to give. We’ll figure it all out eventually.”
She snuggled back down onto my chest before asking, “What if we don’t? What if you never get your memories back?”
“Then I’ll just keep making new memories, hopefully with you.”
We continued to lay there in silence until we eventually fell asleep.
I had more fragmented dreams consisting of nothing but flashes of images. I woke up with a start still wrapped around Sookie and I tried to recall them all. I was running along a beach at night with a heavy backpack on my shoulders. I was swimming in the dark with my muscles protesting with every stroke I made through the water. I was falling through the sky watching the muzzle flashes lighting up the ground as I approached, again at night. It was always dark with my view nothing more than tunnel vision. There wasn’t any sound either.
As I lay there something inside of me tensed making me take notice of our surroundings and as I was slipping out from underneath Sookie and out of bed I heard a noise outside the front door of the apartment. I reached for the gun I’d left on the nightstand and as I turned to go into the hallway I heard a crash.