Eric’s van was impressive. The outside had been custom painted to look like Eddie Van Halen’s guitar, but the really cool part was the interior. It wasn’t just some gross old shagging wagon. There was wood paneling on the walls and a very comfortable looking leather loveseat in the back instead of a regular seat. There was another chair behind the driver’s seat facing the mini couch.
“This is… wow,” I said as I took it all in. “You weren’t kidding about your last line of work being lucrative.” No way did he do that on a line cook’s salary.
“I made damn good money. I uh… I stashed it when I went to prison,” he chuckled. “I probably don’t really need to work right now, honestly.”
“Seriously?” His bank account was none of my business. I was surprised the government hadn’t found the money. He must have hidden it very well.
“Seriously,” he nodded. “I pay my rent with my pay from Talbot’s. If I wanted to I could buy a house outright and only have to worry about property taxes. I work because I like to.”
“Hey, as long as you’re enjoying your life, you do you, buttercup.” I climbed into the back of the van and took a seat on the little couch. “At least we’ll be comfortable when you rock this beast.”
“Yes we will. There’s plenty of head room for you to ride me if I sit on the couch,” he winked. He lifted tugged on the little table and the top pulled off. There was a cubby full of condoms, a bottle of lube, and a few packs of tissues. “I picked this up on the way over…”
“In case you need to fly solo on the ride up?”
“To scandalize Dad and Sugartits a little more when I insist on showing them the van.”
“You should have thrown a ballgag into the mix,” I snickered.
“I’m sure we can pick one up on the way. Wanna get on the road?”
“We probably should before we get caught up in quality control testing these condoms,” I winked.
“Did you get us a hotel room?” he asked me as I crawled through to the passenger seat.
“No, we’re still booked at Chez Gran. She’s getting hard of hearing so she takes out her hearing aid at night. If we’re upstairs she won’t even hear us,” I told him.
“How early does she get up on Thanksgiving? I might try to get up before her and surprise her with breakfast,” he said. He was working on major points with Gran.
“I’m not really sure. She’s usually up and ready for the day by seven, I think. She’ll be doing some of the prep work today so tomorrow will mostly be about cooking the turkey. Plus my Aunt Linda will be bringing some stuff over. You’ll like Linda. She’s not as conservative as my dad. Aunt Linda met Uncle Mike at a Bon Jovi concert. Hadley, their daughter, was conceived in the bathroom at the Super Bowl the next year.”
“Yup, Aunt Linda is my kinda lady,” he chuckled. Eric closed the back door so he could get into the driver’s seat.
“Uncle Mike passed away last year from lung cancer. He was a three pack a day smoker,” I told Eric. “I would be absolutely devastated, but Linda… I don’t know how she’s made it look so graceful.”
“That’s pretty tough. I’ve never lost anyone really close to me like that. I’ve lost friends, but a wife or lover, I’m not sure I’d take that very well.” The van started up and Queen was playing on the tape player. Yes, tape player.
“I haven’t either. I’ve only been through two breakups. The last one was a damn relief. The first was… well, it was a little harder to accept. I was seventeen and it was all drama. I swore I was never going to fall in love again and the whole nine yards,” I chuckled.
“I was the same way with my first couple breakups. The last few were a lot easier. I don’t get as attached as easily anymore.” He reached over to take my hand. “I’m getting pretty attached to you, though. It’s taken me by surprise.”
“Must be that fate thing.” I rubbed my thumb over the back of his big hand. “Are you okay with getting attached?”
“I haven’t really thought about it. I know I haven’t second guessed it with you, so I guess I am. My parents are going to think you’re too young for me,” he warned.
“Does it bother you? The age difference, I mean.” There was a seven year gap between us.
“No,” he answered. “If you were under twenty-one I might think twice about it, but so far I haven’t even thought about it. You’re a lot more mature than a lot of twenty-one-year olds I’ve met.”
“I have goals. I think that helps. Having my sight set on something means I don’t really let myself get bogged down with silly drama and nonsense. Amelia’s closer to your age. I have a few friends from school, but I mostly hang out with her because she’s not constantly dealing with bullshit,” I explained.
“Makes sense,” he nodded. “Do you mind having a trophy husband? I’m perfectly content being a cook, and we make even less money than teachers,” he grinned.
“You know, I never thought about having a trophy husband,” I chuckled. “I don’t think I’d be too upset about it as long as he’s not a himbo.”
“I cook and enjoy giving you orgasms. What’s to be upset about?” he said.
“Would you freak out if I proposed right after dinner and before pie?” he asked me.
“Depends on if it’s for show or if you mean it.”
“It would be for show. If I propose to you, that’s a private moment for just us,” he said.
“As long as neither of us is naked,” I said.
“Sookie, sweetheart, we barely know each other. I want to be in love with someone before I propose for real. If we happen to be naked when I do it, you’ll know the emotions are real.”
“No naked proposal,” I told him. “Real emotions or not, I’ll say no.”
“You got it.”
“Have you ever been married?”
“I’ve been engaged. She left me when I went to prison,” he told me. “She was pregnant by my ex-best friend within six months.”
“Oh wow. That sucks.”
“It was a long time ago. My last girlfriend and I split up just over three months ago. It just wasn’t working for us. We worked opposite schedules and neither of us really tried to make it work.”
“That happens. At least you moved on instead of trying to make it work when you didn’t want to. I stayed with Bill to make my parents happy. Don’t ever do that.”
“I won’t,” he promised. “I’m sure they’re going to adore me.”
“I will be honestly shocked if they do.”
“I’ll make sure they don’t all while making Gran fall in love with me.”
“Gran’s easy if you’re a gentleman.”
“I even say ma’am,” he chuckled.
“I’m telling you, you’re going to be her new favorite. We were all upstaged by Hunter, her first great-grandchild. Hadley’s little boy is four. They’re going to her in-laws in Red Ditch so we probably won’t see them,” I said.
“Good to know,” he nodded.
“What about your sister? You said she’s younger, right?”
“She’s nine years younger. Karin was an accident. She’s the good one that gets straight A’s and would never do anything to land in prison. She and I are surprisingly close for our age difference.” He reached into a cubby to pull out his phone. He unlocked it and handed it to me. “There’s pictures of my family in my gallery if you want to see them.”
Handing over his phone was kind of a big deal. To me it said he had nothing to hide. I appreciated that. I opened the gallery and scrolled through the pictures. He was a damn near carbon copy of his dad. His mom was taller than average, as was his sister. Karin looked more like their mom.
“Your mom looks like Grace Kelly.”
“Really? I never thought of that.”
“She’s taller than Grace was, but I can see some similarities.”
“I’m sure she’ll appreciate that when I tell her,” he chuckled.
“I know I would,” I smiled. I closed the gallery and put the phone back in its cubby. “So… what’s your favorite movie?”
“Grandma’s Boy,” he answered.
“I don’t think I’ve ever heard of it,” I admitted.
“We’ll watch it as soon as we’re home. It’s has all of Adam Sandler’s friends and Marie from Everybody Loves Raymond.”
“Doris Roberts,” I supplied. “I loved that show. The episode where Debra makes braciole is my favorite.”
“I don’t remember that episode. Imagine Marie high, though. It happens in Grandma’s Boy. It’s hilarious.”
“Marie probably could have used a few puffs. In that episode everyone loves the braciole and it drives her nuts. Frank draws Marie a bath so he can sneak over and bring Debra flowers, hoping for leftovers. Of course Marie catches him while he’s eating,” I laughed.
“I’ll have to check that out. It sounds pretty damn funny,” he chuckled.
“I think actual cheating would have been less hurtful than liking Debra’s cooking,” I said. “My favorite movie is Untamed Heart.”
“That’s a good one,” he nodded. “I’ve only seen it once but I remember liking it.”
“My favorite comedy is Some Like It Hot.”
“I honestly can’t say I’ve seen that one,” he confessed.
“It’s my favorite Marilyn Monroe movie. She’s fantastic in that film. It’s sad that she never believed in her own talent.”
“I’m guessing you can tell by my attraction to you that I’m a Marilyn fan.” His hand landed on my thigh.
“Oh I’ve got nothing on Marilyn,” I said.
“I beg to differ. You have a perfect Marilyn hourglass figure.”
“Thank you. I’ll never be a sex symbol, though. She didn’t even have to try. If I try it’s… oh it’s not pretty.”
“You’re a sex symbol in my eyes and you don’t even need to try. You’re naturally sexy,” he said sincerely.
“There you go charming me again. It’s the white dress, isn’t it?” I joked.
“That red sweater started it. The white dress confirmed it and your gorgeous naked body made me want to see it again and again.”
Oooooooooh he’s smooth as silk.
We were barely on the highway, but I reached over into his lap. He smirked when I found his cock and started to rub.
“Do you count?” he asked.
“No,” I giggled.
“Damn.” Eric popped the button on his jeans. “Grilled cheese sandwiches.”
“Grilled cheese is my favorite drunk food.” I reached into his jeans and carefully released his cock. The windows of the van were tinted, so I wasn’t too worried about anyone seeing me stroke him.
“My favorite drunk food used to be a cheeseburger with thousand island sauce on it.” He wrapped his hand around mine to help me stroke.
“My regular favorite food is potato skins. They’re so versatile.”
“They are. I like them with cheese and chives and a little bit of barbecue sauce.”
“I’ve used them as taco shells,” I smiled.
“Mmm, I bet that was good,” he smiled back. He helped me rub my thumb over his tip.
“It was delicious. I used Chihuahua cheese and then added some carne asada, cilantro, and some of the crumbly farmer’s cheese and broiled them.” They were amazing.
“I would have devoured them.”
“We can make them sometime.” I took off my seatbelt and shifted a little closer so I could kiss Eric’s neck.
“I’d like that.” He tilted his head to the side to give me better access.
“Favorite song?” I nipped at his neck a few times before I shifted again and moved his hand away from his cock so I could suck the tip.
“Mmm, I don’t think I can pick a favorite.” Eric’s fingers threaded through my hair, keeping it out of my face. “It’s hard to think of much when your sweet mouth is on my dick.”
“Oops.” I wasn’t sorry and I didn’t think he was either.
My head bobbed slowly at first, getting as much of his shaft wet as I could. I stroked what didn’t fit in my mouth. Eric did a good job keeping my hair out of the way. I’d never blown a guy while he was driving before. I was impressed that Eric was able to stay focused enough to not drive us off a bridge or something. I sucked a little harder when his cock started to pulse and thicken a bit more. His abs twitched and he was breathing hard. There was a brief warning before his salty release shot into my mouth, coating my tongue and throat. I kept bobbing, making sure I got every last drop.
“You have to come on every road trip I go on now,” he panted as he continued to stroke my hair back. “That was fucking fantastic.”
I pulled off and sat up straight.
“Thanks. I’m glad you enjoyed it.”
“I’m just mad I’m driving and I can’t return the favor right now.” He slipped his hand down between my thighs to rub over my mound.
“I’m sure you’ll make it worth my while later.”
“If you pop those jeans I may be able to make it worth your while now.”
“I think you better focus on the road,” I told him. I turned in my seat so I was facing the front. I put my seatbelt back on too. “There’s a spot not too far outside of the city that’s good to pull over if you really can’t wait.”
“Give me directions once we’re close. I have a feeling once we show up it’s going to be a while before I can get you alone.”
“You’re probably right.”
Eric focused on the road. When we were officially out of New Orleans and the surrounding areas, everything got more rural. I had Eric get off the highway at an exit that seemed to go nowhere. He turned right at the end of the ramp. About a half mile down the road he turned left into a little inlet, probably for a nearby fishing hole. He shut the van off and I climbed into the back. He followed behind and almost tackled me on top of the tiger print rug on the floor.
“I’ve been dying to do this.” He unbuttoned my jeans and pulled them off of me. Eric helped me up onto the couch and he stayed on the ground. He pushed my legs apart, leaned in and tilted his head. His tongue flicked out to rub over my clit as he slid his middle finger into my pussy.
“Mmm… see how turned on I get sucking you off?” I ran my fingers through his silky hair.
“I love it.” He wrapped his lips around my clit and started to suckle. His finger curled inside of me each time he pulled back. “You get so fucking wet,” he murmured.
“For you I do,” I panted. He was good. Really damn good.
Eric hummed again, sending vibrations right through my core. His tongue started to flick quickly as his finger sped up, trying to coax an orgasm from me. I wasn’t sure how we were going to get through the next few days if we could hardly go an hour without pawing at each other, but we’d figure it out.
Eric had figured me out pretty quickly and he paid attention to what I liked. It worked in his favor because it didn’t take long for me to cum. My back arched and I felt every inch of me tense up. It was incredible.
“Mmm,” he hummed. Eric sat up on his knees so he could reach back and grab a condom. He pulled his cock out in record time and got the condom into place. He lifted my legs up, resting them over his shoulders and drove in deep. “Fuuuck, I needed to feel you,” he breathed, dropping his head back.
“We might be addicts,” I moaned. He felt damn good and if it was an addiction, I could learn to live with it.
“I’m okay with that.” He didn’t try to take it slow. His hips moved quickly, filling me over and over. He pushed my legs down so he could get closer to me. His lips crashed onto mine in a deep, passionate kiss.
I moaned and let my tongue battle with his. His hands moved under my shirt and pushed the cups of my bra out of the way so he could pluck and roll my nipples. The hard and fast thrusts were exactly what I needed. It wasn’t the sweetest sex I’d ever had, but it was still amazing.
“Fuuuuuuuck,” I moaned. I was right at the edge. I reached down to play with my clit and in seconds I was flying over the edge. “Eric!” I cried out with my release.
My release ripped his from him. He came with a roar as his hips jerked against me.
“Jesus fucking Christ, woman,” he panted.
“Next year we’ll skip Thanksgiving,” I told him.
“Agreed.” He kissed me hard one last time before he pulled out.
“We should do that again in another 100 miles,” I suggested.
“I can do that,” he grinned.
“I should have worn a skirt,” I chuckled.
“Next time.” He kissed me again and then pulled away completely so he could get rid of the condom.
I was grateful for the tissues he’d stashed in the cubby because riding around with wet panties wasn’t as sexy as Eric probably thought it was. We got ourselves situated and dressed again. Eric got back behind the wheel and I got in the passenger’s seat. We got back on the road with my hand in his.
Bon Temps wasn’t a glamorous little Hamlet. There were some rusted out old trailers just off the main road and some of the buildings on Main Street were starting to fall apart. The old bank on the corner of Main and Delacroix had an awning that had come loose on the left side. It didn’t even have an ATM. If you wanted to withdraw money you had to go inside. Drive up telling wasn’t happening at the Renard Parish Savings and Loan.
Aunty Em’s Diner was still open for business. It was a cute little place with blue gingham tablecloths and Wizard of Oz memorabilia on the walls. The fried chicken was outstanding, but it was the apple crumble pie that really kept people coming back. I wasn’t even a big fan of pie, but I’d do some pretty serious damage to a warm apple crumble pie that was topped with vanilla ice cream.
“Before we drive back to New Orleans we have to get pies from Aunty Em’s,” I told Eric. “You may have a new favorite food after you try the apple crumble pie.”
“It’s that good?”
“You’ll find out when we get some,” I smiled. “At the next stop sign turn right.”
“You got it. Did you warn your Gran I’d be there?”
“Well… not exactly,” I admitted. “I didn’t want to deal with my dad calling every ten minutes when he thought of some other dumb thing to say, so I decided to let you be a surprise.”
Eric chuckled nervously. “You know, I wasn’t nervous about any of this until right this second.”
“It’s going to be okay. If my dad turns into a megadick we’ll leave. Then he’ll have to deal with Gran’s wrath.”
“Something tells me no one wants to deal with Gran’s wrath,” he chuckled as he turned right. “From what you’ve told me I’m pretty sure nothing I do will make your dad like me anyway. That’s why I’m still okay with all this after an us happened.”
“Yeah, I’m pretty sure Dad won’t be the most welcoming.” He might change his tune if he knew Eric wasn’t a destitute line cook, but that wasn’t any of his business.
“I get that reaction a lot when people learn I’ve done time.”
“I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little nervous about it before I met you.”
“I’m not offended. We know what we know about each other now and I don’t think that’s going to change.” He lifted my hand to kiss the back.
“We’re such a nighttime drama cliché couple,” I chuckled. “The only way it could be completely over the top is if I met you while you were still dealing and you went straight for me.”
“Oooh, we could sell that,” he laughed. “Wait, your dad is a cop; he would have access to my record, wouldn’t he?”
“He was. He had to retire three years ago after a back injury. He was chasing a suspect in Hot Shot and he slipped on some pig shit,” I said. It was hard not to laugh.
“Actual pig shit?” he asked with an amused grin.
“Actual pig shit. His legs went out from under him like one of those cartoons where someone slips on a banana peel, and he landed hard on his back. Broke his tailbone and a few discs got out of whack.”
“Ouch. So I shouldn’t make random pig sounds when I walk past him?”
“Probably not, but we always tell him to watch his step,” I snickered.
“I’ll stick to being vulgar and grabbing your ass.”
“I can live with that.”
“How long until we get there?”
“We’re close. Just past this curve you’ll see a cemetery on the left. Then there will be a mailbox with hummingbirds on it. That’s Gran’s driveway.” It was hard to see the house from Hummingbird Lane, but the mailbox was hard to miss. “And if we’re really lucky, Bill will stop by the house at some point. His family lives on the other side of the cemetery.”
“Is it mean that I’m hoping for him to stop by?” Eric started to slow down so he could make the turn into Gran’s driveway.
“Nope. If you want to piss him off, mention feminism. He thinks misogyny is a liberal myth.”
Eric chuckled and said, “I’m sure my mere presence is enough to upset him if he’s anything like you’ve said.” He pulled up to the house and slowed to a stop.
“Welcome to the Stackhouse family homestead. The original house was built in 1858 by Silas Lee Stackhouse.” I took off my seatbelt. “He was fresh off the boat from Prussia.”
“Interesting,” he smiled. Gran walked out onto the porch to see who was at her house as Eric opened his car door.
I jumped down from the van and ran up to the porch to hug Gran.
“I missed you so much,” I told her.
“Oooh, I missed you too, honey.” She gave me a tight squeeze. I felt Eric’s presence behind me.
Gran let me go so she could look up at him.
“Who is this tall drink of water?” she inquired.
“This is Eric Northman, my new beau,” I told her. “Eric, this sassy lady is Adele Stackhouse, my grandmother.”
“Very pleased to meet you, Mrs. Stackhouse,” Eric smiled politely. “I’ve heard a lot of wonderful things.”
“I’ve heard nothing about you, but I intend to learn.” Not surprisingly Gran gave Eric a hug hello too.
“I would have told you I was bringing him but Dad’s been a real pain in my backside since I broke up with Bill. If you’re not comfortable having Eric here we can stay at the Inn,” I offered.
“Eric can stay. I need to get to know him anyway,” she said, patting his arm. “Plus it’ll bother your dad and sometimes he needs to learn to suck it up.”
“That’s kind of the plan. I found Eric through a post he put up online advertising himself as the hooligan he is to be a voluntary pain in Dad’s butt,” I told her. “It just so happens that he’s pretty cute.”
Eric actually blushed at that. Who knew?
“That’s an interesting way to meet,” Gran said as she guided us inside.
“I knew I’d be bored and I cook for a living so I didn’t want to make a full turkey dinner,” Eric commented.
“I don’t blame you,” Gran snickered. “Are you two hungry?”
“I’m not. We stopped for lunch in Alexandria,” I answered.
“Okay. Let me know if you change your mind,” she said. “Do you have your things so you can settle in?”
“In the van.”
“I’ll get it,” Eric said before he turned to go back to the van.
Gran waited until he walked away before she said, “That one has a cute tushie. Your dad is going to go bonkers when he sees him.”
“I know,” I grinned. “He’s a really nice guy, though. He looks a little scary, but from what I can tell, he’s got a good heart. He’s made some mistakes in the past, but he’s trying to live better than he used to.”
“You know I’d never judge someone for past sins,” she smiled. “As long as he treats you well. You know he’s staying Corbett’s old room, right? You aren’t sharing a room.”
“I knew that was a possibility,” I smiled. “It’s alright. He’ll be okay in there.”
“In where? I’m not being put in a broom closet, am I?” Eric asked when he approached with our bags.
“Nope, just in the room across the hall from mine,” I told him.
“I may be progressive but I don’t want you sinnin’ in my home,” Gran stated. “Take him up, Sookie. I’ll get you something to drink.”
“Yes, ma’am. Come on, Eric, I’ll show you your room and give you the tour.”
I lead Eric up the stairs to where Dad and Aunt Linda’s rooms were when they were kids. I opened the door to Dad’s old room. It had a twin bed in it, along with an old dresser, night table, and a shelf with some model airplanes Dad and Granddad had put together when Dad was a kid. There was matte silver wallpaper on the walls that had rocket ships, astronauts and planets on it. The ring around the planet was still a little more shimmery and gold. The paper had faded some since it had been put up sometime in the late ‘50s.
“The bed’s a little short for you. This used to be my dad’s room,” I told Eric. I pulled the curtains back to reveal a view of the vast backyard. Our family owned several acres of property that extended into the woods and went all the way back to Redmond Pond.
“It’s beautiful up here,” Eric commented as he looked over my head out the window.
“Yeah, it’s nice and peaceful. I’m so used to the city. It’s almost too quiet here.”
“I could see that. It would be good for a weekend getaway.” Eric rested his hands on my shoulders, giving me a gentle massage. “This house is gorgeous too.”
“It needs a facelift, but it’s not in terrible shape. It looks like my brother finally fixed the front steps. Last time I was here I almost put my foot through one of them.”
“That’s not good,” he chuckled. “Is your brother going to be here tomorrow?”
“He should. I guess it’ll depend on who he’s dating right now. He talks to me when it’s convenient for him or when he needs something,” I told Eric. “Jason and I have about as much in common as a pet rock and windstorm.”
“Good to know,” he chuckled.
“My room is right across the hall.” I turned and grabbed my suitcase to wheel it across the hallway.
The room was Aunt Linda’s once upon a time. It, too, was covered in retro wallpaper that had seen better days. It was buttery yellow with ladies in hoop skirts clustered in different patterns. Gran’s favorite book was Gone With the Wind and had imparted that love to Aunt Linda. I was fairly certain between the two of them they had memorized the movie. Lacy curtains blocked the birds from getting a good view of whoever might be inside. The path to the cemetery was visible from my room.
As luck would have it, Bill just happened to appear from that area.
“Ugh, what is he doing here already?” I groaned, getting Eric’s attention.
“Uh oh, what is it?” Eric asked, stepping into the room.
“My ex,” I growled. “Excuse me. I have to go run him off with Old Betsy.”
“Is Old Betsy a shotgun?” he asked. “Should I come out with you with as many tattoos showing as possible?”
“I’ll handle it,” I said. “And yes, Betsy is a shotgun. Excuse me.”
I didn’t wait to see if Eric would try to talk me out of going out there. I went straight down the stairs and to the kitchen where Gran had a shotgun hiding behind the water heater. Bill wasn’t welcome and he was going to get the message, come hell or high water.