Chapter 7: Ghosts

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So far Eric was doing pretty well. He was on time, brought me flowers and didn’t try to put his hand under my skirt or try to get me to blow him on the way to dinner. I had never been to the restaurant he brought me to, but there were plenty of places in Los Angeles that I’d never been to before. It was a nice place with café seating in the back away from the street. We were seated at a nice little table with candles in the middle. It wasn’t quite the same as being in Tuscany, but it was still nice. The good glass of pinot noir was helpful.


“Favorite movie?” I asked since we were trading trivia questions.


“The first Saw movie,” he answered. “It genuinely surprised me. The Usual Suspects is my backup favorite.”


“You know I haven’t seen any of the Saw movies.” He looked personally offended by that.


“I may have to change my birthday plans for you.” He sounded serious.


I laughed and said, “It’s not like I’m opposed to them, I just haven’t gotten around to it.”


“I am a movie guy. I actually got a degree in videography,” he informed me. “I wanted to be a cameraman. Thankfully that gives me something to fall back on when my dick gives out on me.”


“Viagra. Isn’t that what most guys use these days in your line of work?” Ginger told me they gave out Viagra like candy.


“They do. I don’t like to take artificial shit. If I can’t do it naturally I shouldn’t be doing it, you know?”


“That’s fair.” I took another drink from my glass just as our bruschetta appetizer was delivered to us.


Eric thanked the runner before she walked away. He took a drink of his own wine before he reached out to put a little tomato mixture on a crostini and set it on the plate in front of me. He then started making one for himself.


“I hope you like it. This is one of my favorite restaurants.”


“Really?” It made being there a little more special knowing the restaurant was important to him. “It’s a nice place.” I picked up the crostini and took a bite. It was good. I let out an appreciative moan as I chewed.


“I like that it’s unassuming. This place has the best chicken parm I’ve ever had. If my mother ever hears that it would break her heart, so don’t ever repeat that,” he chuckled.


“Cross my heart.” I made the gesture over my chest. I didn’t think he was going to have to worry about me ratting him out to his mom. I’d met Quinn’s mom, but that was the only mom I’d ever met out of all the men I’d dated. Like I told him yesterday, my relationships didn’t usually last very long. The excitement of fucking someone new wore off and then we drifted apart pretty quick. Eric probably wouldn’t be any different.


“I appreciate that. What’s your favorite movie?”


Beetlejuice.” It was a hands down, no contest answer.


“That’s a good one. Did you hear they’re making a part two?”


“I did. I’m not sure how I feel about it. I’ll give it a chance.” Maybe. “Lately Hollywood isn’t doing so well with their sequels twenty-something years later.” Like the sequel to Independence Day, for example.


“It doesn’t make sense. I don’t generally like sequels to begin with, so I’m not much of a judge,” he said.


“See, now I’ll clear my schedule for a Halloween marathon.”


“I’d clear my schedule for most scary movies. I love Halloween season. I’ve been known to go spend weeks at my mom’s just to get some seasons.”


“Where does she live?” I finished off the rest of the crostini he’d made for me.


“Warrenton, Oregon. It’s up north on highway 101.”


“I haven’t been that far north yet.”


“It’s beautiful up there. I was raised here but Mom wanted to get out of the big city. She moved up there like nine years ago.”


“Someday when I quit dancing I’ll probably get out of LA too.” I wasn’t sure where I wanted to go, but there were lots of other great places to check out.


“Have you thought anymore about what you want to do for a living?” The food runner showed up with our dinner.


“Not really. Maybe I’ll go back to school and figure it out. Or maybe some poor schmuck will knock me up and I’ll have to figure out the mom thing.”


“It’s not like you have to figure it out overnight.” He looked up at the runner. “Thanks.”


“Thank you,” I said to the runner too. “I never really bothered to see what else I would be good at. I dropped out of school at sixteen before I really figured anything out.”


“I went to school to be a cameraman, but that doesn’t mean I’m any good at it,” he chuckled. He cut a piece of chicken parm and offered it to me.


I leaned forward to take it. It really was delicious. The moan I let out brought up that intense, lusty look Eric got.


“When you make that sound it makes me want to skip straight to the goodnight kiss,” he purred.


I smiled as I chewed and picked up my fork and knife to cut into my pork. The garlic mashed potatoes looked amazing. Since Eric had shared a bite of his dinner I shared a bite of mine.


“Have you had this before?” I held out the fork with some of the potatoes and pork on it for him.


“This will be my first time.” He leaned forward to take the bite. He let out his own sexy moan as soon as it hit his tongue.


“Good?” I hadn’t tasted it yet but I was anxious to. It looked really good. I cut myself a piece as Eric nodded. The pork was sweet and tender when I bit into it. Perfect. “Mmm… this is heaven.”


“I told you this place is a little hidden gem,” he said as he lifted his chicken to his lips.


“I believe you.”


We were too busy eating to talk, and I was okay with that. I liked hot food to be hot when I ate it. I only finished a little more than half of my dinner so I had the rest of it boxed up. I excused myself to use the bathroom, and while I was in there I checked my phone. I had a missed call from a number I didn’t recognize, but the area code was from Las Vegas. There was a voicemail waiting for me. I didn’t know if it was a wrong number or maybe an old friend or what. So I dialed in and was completely caught off guard when I heard my cousin Hadley’s voice.


“Hey, Sook, it’s Hadley. I know it’s been a long time. Look, I’m fixin’ to get into a rehab down in Malibu, but I’m on a waiting list. They won’t have a bed for me for like three weeks. I was hoping I’d be able to stay with you. Give me a call, okay? It would be really good to see you. Talk to you soon.” Hadley sounded coherent for a change. I saved the message and washed my hands before I left the bathroom.


When I got back to the table there was an assortment of cannolis on the table.


“I hope you saved room for dessert,” Eric smiled.


“I hope so too.” I sat down across from him. I wasn’t sure if I wanted Hadley to stay with me. She was my family and the only one who never called me a liar or judged me for the choices I made. She was the only one who believed me when we were kids. I couldn’t prove it, but I was pretty sure she had been molested too. I think she saw what happened to me and how my dad called me a liar, and decided that it was better to just shut up about it. I didn’t realize how zoned out I was until Eric shook me gently.


“Are you okay?”


“Yeah, fine,” I smiled.


“Okay… you seem a little… distracted,” he said skeptically.


“Cannoli haze,” I said. “So, which one would you recommend?”


“The chocolate chip one is my favorite.” I could tell he didn’t believe me, but he didn’t push me for more information.


The last thing any guy wanted to hear about on a first date was his date being molested as a kid. He also probably didn’t want to hear about my strung out cousin who needed a place to stay while she waited for a bed in rehab. I was tempted to call my brother and see if she had reached out to him or dad, but I wasn’t sure if Jason would answer the phone. He had never called me a liar but he never really stood up for me either. He was just another male who failed to protect me like he should have. We were kids though. I couldn’t hold it against him.


I took the cannoli with pistachios on it and nibbled a little, but Eric was right about me being distracted. To make matters worse, thinking about Bartlett always killed my appetite, sometimes for days. Honestly, I understood why Hadley was on drugs. I’d considered it myself a few times. I believed it was my mother who stopped me.


We left the restaurant in awkward silence. Eric was probably curious about what was bothering me but he wasn’t asking.


“You didn’t do anything wrong,” I told him. “I got a call I wasn’t expecting. It threw me off.”


“I’m glad it wasn’t anything I did. It made me nervous when you walked out with that haunted look on your face,” he said. Eric wrapped his arm around me as we walked to his SUV. “I guess I should drop you off at home, or do you need a good cuddle?”


I need a drink or ten.


“Probably just drop me off. I don’t want to dump this on you.” I’d never told anyone I dated about my childhood. Not even Quinn. He knew my mom died when I was young and my dad was abusive, but I never went into specifics.


He opened the door for me when we reached his SUV. Eric helped me in before he said, “If you and I are going anywhere you’re going to have to tell me what’s bothering you anyway. I’ve been told I’m a good listener if you want to talk about it.”


“Thanks, but talking about it never gets me anywhere good.” It just brought up a lot of things I’d rather not feel or think about.


He nodded and then kissed my forehead. Eric closed the door before walking around the SUV. He stayed quiet as he started up the truck and got on the road. I felt kind of like an asshole for not explaining.


“This is why my relationships don’t last,” I quietly said. “You want to know and I’d rather not say.”


“I’m patient,” was all he said.


I hoped he wasn’t holding his breath over there.




“Do you want to come in?” I offered when we got to my house.


“I don’t want the date to be over, but I also don’t want you to feel obligated to invite me in.”


“I don’t.” If I didn’t want him in my house I wouldn’t invite him in.


“I’ll come in for a while.” Eric turned off the SUV before he got out. He walked around to the passenger’s side to open the door for me.


“Thanks.” I got down from the SUV and promptly almost fell over because of the stupid heels I was wearing. I hated high heels whoever came up with the fucking things was a goddamn sadist with Little Man Complex.


Eric was gentleman enough to keep me from eating the driveway, which really only made me feel a little bit worse for not explaining my sudden change of mood. He had told me I could play my cards as slow as I needed to, but I knew my secrets would be the little bricks that started to build the wall between. I could play games to distract him, and the easiest way to do that was with sex. It had worked with many of my ex-boyfriends. Men were easy like that. Trot out the tits and all the pussy they could handle, and magically the only question they had left was to ask if I liked it in the ass.


I didn’t.


But hearing from Hadley, on tonight of all nights, had made me think maybe a heroin addiction wouldn’t be so bad after all. Letting her come and stay with me was probably not the best idea, but I wanted her to get clean and it was obvious that if she was in Vegas she had already tried to find me there. She never had a stable phone number or address where I could find her, so it wasn’t like I could call and tell her where I was going.


Eric and I got to the door and I let us inside. Kennedy was staying with me for a while since she and Danny finally broke up for good that morning. She was working the main stage, so taking the night off wasn’t possible, but we had plans to go get her stuff over the next few days. I flipped on the lights and immediately took off the devil shoes I had on.


“Want me to rub your feet?” Eric offered. I knew he could tell I was uncomfortable in the shoes.


“That would be nice,” I nodded. “Make yourself comfortable. I’m going to put the shoes and food away.”


“Watch what you wish for, Lover. You’ll come out and I’ll be naked,” he winked.


“What makes you think I would be disappointed with that?” I smiled.


“I don’t think you would be, but I’m only offering foot rubbing services right now,” he smiled back. He unbuttoned his shirt, however and kicked off his shoes.


“We’ll see how long that lasts.” I picked up the shoes and headed down the short hallway to my bedroom. Eric followed behind me, which I didn’t mind.


My closet ran along the length of the wall and had sliding barn doors. It was four feet deep and had plenty of space inside. There were built-in organizers and drawers, along with plenty of hanging space. It was the most awesome walk-in closet I’d ever seen. My favorite part was the full length mirrors mounted on the walls at each end. Since I was making myself more comfortable, I decided to get rid of the dress too. I could feel Eric’s eyes on me as I pretended to have trouble with the zipper on the back of the dress.


“Need help?”


“Please.” I stopped messing with the zipper and let Eric do it.


He stepped up behind me. His big hands settled on my shoulders before gently rubbing down my arms, and then up to tug my zipper down. He leaned down to kiss the back of my neck.


“There you go,” he whispered.


“My hero,” I whispered back. The way I was standing I was facing the mirror on the left, closer to my bed that was just a few steps to the left of us. Eric could see plain as day how skimpy the lingerie was I had on under the dress. It was black and lacy.


“Is this for me?” He kissed my neck again as his hand rubbed down over the little lacy panties I was wearing. The other palm rubbed slow circles around my left nipple.


“They might be a little small for you,” I joked.


“I’m sure the elastic is plenty stretchy.” He nibbled my earlobe.


“Then I guess I can share,” I giggled quietly, tilting my head. That foot rub seemed to be going out the window.


“Such a sweet girl.” The kisses traveled up and down my neck. His hands expertly massaged my tits. They weren’t too rough or too soft. Even when he plucked my nipples it was a good amount of pressure. “Still interested in a foot rub?”


“Mmm… the rubbing you’re doing feels pretty good,” I answered. It did. The feet would be nice but I liked where he was going better. It dawned on me then that sex was my heroin. I could push everything else out of my mind and focus on that instead.


“Should we get more comfortable?” His hand dropped down to my mound again. He pushed my panties over to massage my bare lips.


“That sounds like a good idea. Want to take this up to the roof?” I had another patio up there. It was secluded and peaceful, and the nighttime view was beautiful.


“Yes.” Eric brought his hand up and tilted my head so he could capture my lips with his. The kiss was slow and sensual. The emotions coming off of him told me the sex tonight wouldn’t just be sex for him. There was more behind it.


I slowly turned in his arms and let his arms wrap around me. I felt safe in his arms, which was a rare thing for me. I’d gotten that feeling with Quinn too long ago, but it hadn’t lasted. He was more of a bodyguard than he was anything else. Eric, I thought, might protect me but he would be interested in more than being the hero. That would just be a fraction of the role he was interested in. It was a scary notion, and usually it was reason enough for me to run screaming, but that was the furthest thing from my mind.


I got swept up in his kisses and barely noticed when we literally fell into bed together. The patio was going to have to wait for another time.


He was cautious about the weight he put on me. As his hips rocked I could feel how hard the kisses were making him. Eric pulled back from the kiss, ghosting his lips down my neck, heading to my chest. When he reached my breasts he pulled the cups of the bra down and lifted his head for a moment to admire my bare breasts. With a little groan he dipped his head down and swirled his tongue around my nipple. He kissed, licked, and sucked for a moment before moving to the other nipple.


Every kiss took me further and further away from the message I’d gotten from Hadley. My focus shifted to the kisses moving down my stomach and the big hands tugging my panties over my hips. I lifted them for Eric so he could pull them off. They went flying over his shoulder as he pushed my legs apart. Again he paused to look down at my body. His kisses started again at my inner thigh and worked their way up. I gasped at the feeling of his soft, warm tongue licking my lower lips. I reached down to play with his hair while he teased and played with me until I was panting quietly. My hips moved, trying to get more friction.


His pretty blue eyes locked onto mine as his tongue swirled, licked and flicked my clit. He was good. I liked that he was confident in his movements and that he paid attention to the things I liked. There was a reason he was such a fan favorite, and the attention he paid to the women he was with was a huge part of it.


But in that moment it wasn’t Steel Johnson I was with. He got me all worked up and so close to cumming, only to move up my body to kiss my lips I could taste myself on him, which wasn’t exactly a new thing to me. He tried to get my hair free so he could run his fingers through it, but that was easier said than done. There were a lot of pins holding it up. When he figured out it was a lost cause he gave up. His focus returned to his kisses. They had to break so he could shrug off his button down shirt and I could pull his undershirt over his head.


His skin felt good against mine. I unzipped his pants and pushed them down over his ass. Eric rolled onto his back and took me with him. I got his pants off and decided to treat him to the same attention he had shown me. I saw goosebumps rise on his skin with my black painted nails lightly grazed over his inner thighs on their way to his thick shaft. I crawled up his legs and lowered my head to lick his shaft. His noises goaded me on and the satisfied grunt when I sucked his thick tip was music to my ears.


It probably bugged the shit out of him not to be able to okay with my hair as my head bobbed up and down his cock, but he was getting head so he couldn’t be that annoyed. My tongue swiped back and forth over his thick length and I stroked what didn’t fit in my mouth. Over the years I had learned a few tricks about giving head, but he was used to girls who were way better at it than I was. So I stuck with the basics. Eric didn’t seem to mind.


“Lover,” he groaned, pulling me up from his cock.


I flashed a little smile at him and found myself on my back under him. His lips crashed into mine as his hips settled between my thighs. My feet rubbed up and down the back of his legs. I reached down to position his swollen tip at my opening and he pushed into me. The slow in and out felt so fucking good. No hurry, no urgency to get off. The emotions I felt in the kiss were translating to the sex and for the first time in my life I felt connected to someone. It was another one of those startling moments, but I couldn’t tear myself away from it either. It felt right.


I liked the way it felt. So I wasn’t sure if it was how sweet he was being or how real he was with his emotions or if it was just totally being overwhelmed by the whole night, but I felt tears stinging my eyes.


“Are you okay?” Eric asked with concern.


“I’m perfect. Keep going,” I told him.


His eyes were intense, but not quite Steel Johnson intense. The look was similar, but different. There was more concern, more caring. He wasn’t trying to burn through me but… love me? No one ever looked at me like that, like I was something special or worth the effort. I wasn’t sure why Eric bad decided I was, but I wasn’t going to run from it. Issues or not, I was smart enough to know that guys like him didn’t come along every day, and I wasn’t going let him go without a fight.


I lost track of how long we were at it, but it seemed to go on forever. That porn star stamina really worked in my advantage, and by the time we had both finished – I had cum a few times – we were both panting and sweaty. Even with the call from my cousin it was the best date I had ever been on.


And for maybe the first time ever in my life, I curled up next to Eric in my own.


Because I wanted to.


Because I felt safe.


Because I felt loved.

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10 thoughts on “Chapter 7: Ghosts

  1. Oh! That was a perfect date! Eric showing he’s feeling more than just sex and Sookie realizing it and accepting it, sigh. They are good for each other and I think she’s going to be able to open up to him and he will help her heal. Loved it, thanks for great chapter.


  2. Everyone deserves that look and that feeling . Everyone is worth it. I hope Sookie will see that she is worth it and allows Eric to love her. She will need to trust him with her ghost.


  3. Great ending to a great chapter! Looks like Sookie is ready to give Eric a real chance. Hope Hadley’s arrival doesn’t bring mayhem….


  4. Wow, what a date! Even with the issue of Hadley calling with whatever family crap, Sookie made the best of her date and it made her realize how perfect Eric really is. I wonder if Sookie is going to talk to Eric about what’s going on or her new revelation about him/them? I’m sure he’d like to know what’s up.


  5. Ok and there’s the back story a bit.
    So Hadley is in town, at least sookie had decided that she wants to keep Eric.
    That last bit was perfect. Finally she is starting to see what Eric has been seeing for a few chapters!


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