“The truck’s looking good. Is it going to paint soon?” I asked Tray. We needed to free up some space. I liked having a stock of cars waiting, but we were getting backed up. There was a stall getting in parts for the Porsche, so that was already at the painter’s.
“Should be ready to go on Tuesday,” he answered.
“Awesome,” I nodded. My phone buzzed on my desk. Dad sent me a screenshot of an estate sale going on down near Galveston. It included some classic cars. The most interesting one to me was a Mercedes Benz 300SL gullwing. “Holy fucksticks. Look at this…” I turned my phone to show Tray.
He let out a low whistle. “We can make the space for that.”
“Bet your ass we can. Wanna take a ride to Galveston with me?”
“You sure you don’t want to tip off Northman?” he teased.
“He wouldn’t know what to do with a Mercedes if his life depended on it,” I replied.
“At least you still have your edge,” he chuckled.
“I’ll always have that. Looks like we’ll be going on Thursday. You good with that? I can meet you down there if you want to ride your bike down instead of sitting in a frigid truck with me while I screech along to the Dixie Chicks greatest hits,” I said.
“I’ll definitely be taking my bike,” he laughed. “No offense, but I don’t think my ears could handle your singing, or the Dixie Chicks that long.”
“That’s why I’m giving you fair warning.” I knew singing wasn’t my strong suit. I got moderately better when I was drunk. “What do you think is a fair number to set our cap at?” Gullwings were rare, but I wasn’t sure the demand for it was as high as it would be for a Corvette.
“I don’t even know,” he said, shaking his head. “Once they’re restored they can sell for millions, so…”
“It’s a gamble, though. We could put it up for auction at the Cattle Rancher’s Ball at no reserve,” I suggested. A Mercedes would fit in well with that crowd of very deep pockets. “It’s coming up pretty fast. How hard would it be to get parts? We can put everything else off to work on this if we get it.”
“I’ve never had to order parts for something like that. If they’re coming from overseas there’s no saying how long it can take,” he said honestly. “It is a gamble.”
“Do you think it’s worth it?” I was invited to the ball. My pockets were deep enough, but I’d be mingling with the billionaire class at that party. Three or five million for a car would be nothing to those people. “If we sell it we could put in our own paint and body shop here.”
“If we don’t get it done in time for the ball, I’m sure we’re likely to find someone interested,” he shrugged.
“That’s true. We’ve got plenty of connections. I’m thinking of buying the lot next to the restaurant for car shows. We might have an easier time selling things there,” I suggested.
“Probably. I’d wait until the restaurant is open at least a year before doing that.”
“Yeah, it’s not something I would do next week or anything. I might just buy the land so I don’t lose it. I can always sell it off later if I decide not to go that route.”
“You can do that. If the restaurant fails, not that I think it will, you can sell both plots together. You know, you could also try this crazy thing the kids are doing nowadays and slow down some. Get a social life,” he suggested. “I don’t want you to overextend yourself.”
“First of all, I haven’t been a kid for twenty years. Second of all, I just had a housewarming party at my house last week. I have a social life,” I argued. “Northman even said I have a nice ass. I think he was drunk, though.”
Tray laughed hard. Really, really hard. Like the kind of laugh where he was gasping for air.
“It all makes sense now,” he panted when his laughing died out some.
“What does?” If there was a joke, I’d missed the punchline.
“You two are hot for each other,” he snorted.
“I’m not. I can’t answer for him.”
“Uh huh,” he snickered. He didn’t believe me.
“You can think whatever you want. Anyway, that’s all I needed to discuss. I’ll let the estate know we’ll be coming down on Thursday,” I told him.
“You gonna call Loverboy to ride with you?” he teased. Dick.
“Actually I was thinking of calling your pops,” I smirked.
“I know it’s been a while, but I think his old balls are out of commission,” he replied with a wink.
“They were out of commission when you were born.”
“I don’t know, I came out perfectly fine,” he chuckled.
It was my turn to laugh ridiculously hard.
“That’s debatable,” I said.
“Go make your phone calls, woman.”
“Yeah, yeah.” I turned and left the shop to go back to my office. Remy was already there with a solemn look on his face. Uh oh. “What’s going on, Remy?”
“There’s no easy way to put this. I’m resigning,” he said bluntly.
“Oh.” I didn’t see that coming. “Uh… Wow. Okay. Is it something I did, or…”
“No, it’s nothing you did. I’m going to be moving back to Red Ditch for a while,” he replied. “I’m sorry I couldn’t give you more notice.”
He was moving. Not his family; him.
If he was moving, there was a lot more wrong in his marriage than Hadley was willing to admit to, even to herself.
“When is your last day?” I asked, rather than commenting on his crumbling marriage. I did close the door, however. His personal business didn’t need to circulate the shop if he didn’t want to.
“I’ll be here for the rest of the week,” Remy answered. “I’ll be moving on Saturday.”
“Wow. Hadley never said anything was wrong.” I figured it was bad, but to separate… it had to be really bad. “Wait, would it help if I offered you a raise to stay? I don’t want to lose you, Remy. You’re a great accountant.”
“It’s not about the money or the job, Sookie. I’m going to go stay with my parents for a while. If you have trouble finding a new accountant I’ll be back to get Hunter enough I can still check over things. That would be on a case by case basis.”
“No, I’m sure I’ll find someone. I just… I’m a little shocked here is all. I’ll start making phone calls. I… I’m sorry you’re leaving.” I stepped forward cautiously to give him a hug. He was family, after all.
Remy gave me a loose hug. “I’m sure we’ll be fine, we just need a break.”
“Is there anything I can do?”
Well that sucked.
“Okay. Well, I wish you luck with whatever you do next,” I said.
“Thanks. Sorry to do this to you.”
“You have to do what you have to do, right? I’m sorry things aren’t going well with Hadley. She hasn’t told me anything about what’s happening.”
“I’m sure she will when she’s ready,” he shrugged.
She wasn’t going to have much choice with her husband leaving town. It was one thing for him to get an apartment across town, but he was moving across state lines.
I let Remy out of the office. He closed the door behind himself on the way out. My to-do list never really got smaller, but finding a fast replacement for Remy wasn’t going to be easy. If I was lucky, maybe he’d have a referral for me that would make the search easier. If not, I was going to have to get really good really fast at balancing the shop’s books.
Me: Your husband resigned because he’s moving to Red Ditch. Wtf, Had?
I sent the text later that night when I got home from work. Madi and Gracie were by the pool. Josh was at work. I needed a big glass of wine or three.
Hadley: I told you I’d talk about it when I’m ready.
Me: A heads up I was going to lose my accountant would have been nice.
Hadley: It happened so fast I didn’t have a chance to tell you. He just decided to do that this morning.
Somehow I didn’t believe that.
I didn’t know what happened to cause their separation, but it was a shame.
Me: Let me know if there’s anything I can do.
Hadley: Thanks. Right now I just feel like being alone. I’ll call you and tell you about it tomorrow.
I wasn’t counting on that.
I spotted the girls walking around to the front of the house. They waved when they saw me in the kitchen, so I waved back. I went to the wine fridge to get a bottle of pinot noir out. I poured myself a glass, even though it was tempting to drink straight from the bottle.
Both went with me to my bedroom. I started the water for my tub, and stripped off my clothes. Maybe a long soak would make things better. I was just about to step in when the doorbell rang.
“Ugh, go away,” I muttered. Just to be safe, I waited to see if the bell would ring again. It did. “Son of a bitch.” I turned off the water, and grabbed a robe from a hook on the wall.
I tied it in place to see who was at the door. Of course it was Eric.
“The girls aren’t here,” I said when I opened the door.
“I know. I’m here to talk to you,” he replied.
“Oh… Uh, come in. Sorry, I was just about to get in the tub.” He may have figured that out already thanks to the robe.
“I didn’t mean to interrupt,” he said as he stepped in. “This shouldn’t take too long.”
“It’s fine. What’s going on?” I closed the door and followed him to the living room.
“I wanted to talk to you about the nursery,” he started. “I want to pay for it. For the decorations and paint and crib and all that shit.”
“Oh… You don’t need to do that,” I said, waving him off.
“I want to do it. Madi is my daughter and you didn’t allow her to pay for anything they have in there now. I want to do this for the kids.”
“I didn’t let her pay for anything because it’s my house,” I shrugged. “It didn’t seem necessary to take her money, even if it was your money. Besides, that’s what baby showers are for.”
“I don’t expect her friends to buy paint and borders or cribs or changing tables. I’m going to do that for her.”
“So do it at your house,” I shrugged again. “Then you’ll have a room when the baby’s at your place.”
“No, I’m going to do it at her place. For my daughter,” he argued.
I just stared at him.
“Do you always have a hard time when someone says no or is it just me?”
“I have a hard time when someone tells me I can’t do something for my kids, and my grandbaby. You’re not the only one in this kid’s life, Sookie. You’ve already taken my kid from my home. This is something I want to do for her.”
“I took her? Are you high? I didn’t take your kid. You let her move in here! And maybe if you were a more responsible parent and put her on birth control instead of living in a damn fantasy world, she wouldn’t have gotten pregnant!” I argued right back.
“So it’s my fault your son couldn’t keep his dick in his pants?” Eric started pacing around like a caged lion.
“At least he used a condom when your daughter didn’t keep her legs shut!” I could be an asshole too. I was in no mood for him after the day I had.
“You’re taking the word of a teenage boy? Let me guess, he offered that information real quick without even being asked?” He stopped pacing and stepped closer to me so he was looking down at me. “I’m not going to argue about the kids, Sookie. I am going to pay for the nursery.”
I stared up into his eyes so he knew he wasn’t intimidating me.
“You aren’t if I don’t let you,” I said calmly.
“You don’t let me do anything. This isn’t a discussion,” he growled.
“It’s my house, so you’re right; it’s not.” I wasn’t going to admit that the tone of his voice was much sexier than I would have thought.
That’s the wine talking.
“I don’t care who owns the house,” he said in that low, growling tone. “My daughter is living in it. I’m taking control of the nursery.”
“Over. My. Dead. Body.” We stared each other down for a good thirty seconds, sizing each other up. I wasn’t likely to back down and I knew he wasn’t either. He opened his mouth to respond, but before he could get a word out, I pulled him down and kissed him. What possessed me to do it, I had no idea.
Eric stood there frozen for a second before I felt his hands in my hair as his head tilted to deepen the kiss. His tongue slid along mine, slowly dancing as we stood there in my living room. I should have shove him off and thrown him out of the house. Kissing him was a terrible idea.
Yet I couldn’t stop.
I ended up on my back on the couch with Eric on top of me. Who untied my robe I don’t know, but it was open all of a sudden. Eric’s lips traveled from mine down the front of my neck. He used one of his big hands to cup my left breast, rubbing his thumb over the nipple while he held one of my wrists against the couch with the other hand. His blue eyes met mine as he moved lower and lower until he reached my tits. He wrapped his tongue around my nipple, slowly swirling and suckling the stiff peak.
I moaned and my back arched. It had been so long, too long since the last time I slept with someone. The last time was a one night stand when Josh was twelve. Twelve. Jesus.
I pulled Eric’s shirt up, forcing him to release my nipple so I could get his shirt over his head. He went right back to my tits, nibbling and kissing my soft skin.
“I still don’t want your money,” I breathed.
“I still don’t care. You’re getting it.” He placed wet, open mouthed kisses down my stomach. When he reached my mound he kissed me lightly before he moved far enough down to swipe his tongue over my folds, pausing to the top of my slit to rub his flattened tongue over my clit for a moment. As he licked I heard him fumbling with his belt.
My eyes closed, as if that would somehow make what he was doing feel even better. I didn’t know if he was just a natural, or if Eric got a lot of practice, but he knew what he was doing. It was impossible to protest when I was too busy moaning and trying to catch my breath. He was good. Really, really good.
His tongue snaked through my folds, moving up and down, swirling and licking. He brought his hand up from his jeans and paused to suck two fingers before he started to slowly work them into my core. His lips sealed around my clit, sucking gently as he searched for some secret spot inside of me.
When he found it I saw stars. I knew what a g-spot was, but with my short list of lovers, not one had ever bothered searching for it, let alone finding it. Until now. Eric found it, and he used it to his advantage. My entire body shook with the orgasm I had in less than a minute.
“Mmm,” he hummed. Eric pulled his fingers out so he could lap at my opening, licking up everything I had to offer. He sat up on his knees after a moment and lifted my ass. I felt the tip of his cock nudge my entrance a few times before he slowly sank into me with a deep groan.
Damn, he was big. Not uncomfortably so, but bigger than I’d had in the past. It took a few seconds to adjust. He leaned over me, caging me in under him. His hips started to move at a good pace, filling me just right. My knees hitched up near his ribs.
“So… Fucking… Deep,” I moaned as he drove into me. It was heaven.
Eric’s hips swiveled as he drove into me over and over. He dipped his head to catch my lips, swallowing my moans on each deep thrust. He put all his weight on one elbow so he could slip his hand between our bodies. I felt his fingers stroke over my clit, trying to coax another orgasm from me.
It didn’t take long for it to erupt. My fingers dug into his back with my body tensing, trying to coax his orgasm from him, too. I didn’t want it to end.
“Fuckfuckfuck, Sookie,” he chanted. “Where do you want it?” I felt him swelling inside of me.
“Not in me or on my face.” Anywhere else was fair game. Shit, we should have been using condoms.
Eric drove into me a handful of times before he pulled out. His release shot all over my mound and lower abdomen.
“Shit,” he hissed. His hips continued to jerk a little.
That was pretty much my reaction.
Followed up by what the fuck did I just do?
Temporary insanity had to be the cause of my lapse in judgment.
For a minute I just lay there, trying to figure out what the hell to say.
“We should clean up before the kids get back,” he suggested quietly. He leaned over my body so he could kiss me again. It was a lot less fevered this time.
I wasn’t sure how I felt about that, but I followed him off the couch. I led Eric to my bedroom and shut the door. I could sneak him out from there if I had to. I didn’t know where the girls had gone or when they’d be back.
My bath was cold by then so I drained the tub before I drained my wine glass. I needed another or maybe some whiskey. What the sparkly fuck was I thinking?
“Right, so I didn’t plan that,” I said to Eric as we cleaned up.
“I didn’t think you did… that was… I mean, it was really fuckin’ good but… yeah…”
“We shouldn’t do it again. Things are complicated enough already,” I told him.
“I hate to agree with you but this time I think you’re right.” He looked over at me and let his eyes scan up and down my body.
“It would be weird for the kids if we got involved, right?” I knew at that age I’d be skeeved out if my dad started dating my boyfriend’s mom.
“Most likely,” he agreed. “What they don’t know can’t hurt them, right?” He tilted back to look at my ass.
“Oh I’m not going to tell them this happened. I’m not going to tell anyone. It was just… It was a thing. A moment of crazy.”
“Yep,” he said, popping the P. “I don’t intend to tell anyone either.”
“Good. So back to business as usual.” I grabbed my robe and put it back on.
“I’m paying for the nursery,” he said. “And yes, business as usual.” He pulled his jeans over his ass.
“We’ll see about the nursery,” I smirked.
“I’ll let Josh and Madi know you agreed when I have dinner with them tomorrow,” he winked.
“You’re a dick.” Why did I want to kiss him? Damnit.
“I know.” He turned toward me and slowly started to walk me back toward the wall. When my back bumped into it he dipped his head to nibble on my earlobe and whisper, “It turns you on, doesn’t it?”
“No,” I whispered back.
His big hands ran up my thighs, under my robe so he could pull me against his semi-hard cock. “I think it does, Miss Stackhouse.” He slid his hands around to squeeze my ass.
“Eric.” I pushed him back. “We can’t do it again.”
“Yes, dear.” He held his hands up in surrender as he stepped back.
“I won’t tell the girls you were here.” I pulled my robe tighter around me.
He nodded as he reached over to grab his shirt from the vanity.
“I’ll see you around,” he said as he pulled the soft material over his head.
“Yeah, I’m sure you will.” I led him out of the bathroom so I could show him to the door.
He paused like he was going to kiss me goodbye, but I couldn’t do that. Fucking him wasn’t the smartest thing I’d ever done. I was getting the Morning After pill first thing in the morning just to be on the safe side. If I was going to have another kid it was going to planned, and with someone who I could actually raise it with. Eric was so not that guy.