Open mic night at Karen’s Cafe brought in a bigger crowd on Thursday night than we’d usually have. I wasn’t on the clock but I didn’t mind pitching in if Brooke needed an extra pair of hands. Managing the entertainment was a big enough job for Haley, especially with her kids in the house. So I ran a plate of cronuts over to table 7 and refilled their coffee. Brooke was working on getting a liquor license so we could serve wine and craft beer in the evening but Tree Hill was dragging their feet on it.
“Up next is a familiar face. You all know her and you love her when she’s refilling your coffee. Please put your hands together for Sookie,” Haley said.
I rushed to put the coffee back on the warmer behind the counter. My guitar was stashed near the performance area.
“Sorry, Hales, Brooke’s in the weeds,” I said, getting some laughter from the audience in the cafe. That was better than grumbles and complaining. I got my guitar case open and removed Pearl, the pretty ivory colored Gibson acoustic guitar I had been playing for the last few years. While I tuned the guitar I walked over to the mic and added, “Jamie told me a joke today. Anyone want to hear it?”
There were nods and a few whistles. Just then Nathan, Haley’s husband appeared, and shook his head.
“Don’t do it,” he said, earning himself a shove in the shoulder from his wife.
“Why were the teacher’s eyes crossed?” I asked. No one in the room offered a guess. “Because she couldn’t control her pupils.”
There were a few snickers and some laughs. Even if they were just polite, it was a cute joke that was age appropriate for a kid. Haley laughed a genuine laugh. Nathan continued to shake his head. They had been debating for ages over whether or not their son was funny. I thought he had his moments.
The door to the cafe opened and I smiled when I saw Eric walk in. He had told me he was going to try to make it when he was done at his dentist’s appointment. He smiled back at me and went over to shake hands with Nathan. The two of them had met a few times since Eric had moved to town. The two of them didn’t have a whole lot in common, although I had quickly noticed one thing they shared. When they loved, they loved hard and deep. Loyalty was a big deal to both of them.
So at the last minute I changed my mind about the song I wanted to play. I started to play the opening bars of Heart’s ‘Crazy On You’ and tried not to look at Eric, but it was hard not to. The song made me think of him and all the things we hadn’t been doing lately. Besides, it was a classic. Usually I sang my own songs when I performed for open mic night but that night, it just seemed like the right move.
Despite my intentions of not looking Eric, my eyes ended up locked on his while I sang. I could see the emotions filtering through him. By the time I was done singing, I was pretty sure I knew what he was thinking because I was thinking it too.
How fast can we get home?
The room erupted in applause. Eric even threw in a whistle. I smiled and stepped away from the mic so I could put my guitar away. Of course there was the mandatory mingling with the folks in the room after singing but eventually I made my way to Eric, who still had fire in his eyes.
“Glad you could make it,” I said to him.
“I am too after that performance,” he replied, reaching up to push my hair over my shoulder.
“Last minute set change,” I smiled. “I don’t usually do covers but it seemed fitting.”
“Oh yeah?” His hands settled on my hips. “Did it change when I walked in?”
“Maybe.” I was pretty sure he knew it was because of him. Over the last ten days we had really amped up the flirting.
“I’m going to take that as a yes,” he chuckled. “How long until you’re outta here tonight?”
“In the immortal words of Ronnie Van Zant, I’m free as a bird now.”
“Wanna get out of here or stick around a little longer?”
“I’m ready to go if you are. I mean you just got here so…”
“We could stay, but if you’re interested I’d rather have some time alone with you,” he told me.
“No, no, we can go. Just let me grab Pearl.” I walked to the cafe since it was a nice evening, so if Eric drove I didn’t have to worry about leaving my car behind.
I retrieved my guitar and then said goodnight to Haley and Brooke before I left. Eric reached for my hand once we were on the sidewalk in front of the cafe.
“Did you drive?” I didn’t see his truck in front of the cafe but there was a lot around the corner where he could have parked.
“No, I walked. Want me to carry Pearl?”
“Nah, I got her.” Our hands stayed linked while we crossed the street. “It’s a nice night. A good one for a walk.”
“I love the weather here,” he told me. “I also like the walks with you. Even if we don’t have anything to talk about it’s just nice being around you.”
“I like being around you too. It’s different with you than it was two years ago. I like it,” I admitted. I didn’t feel like I was just some fancy trophy on his arm.
“It’s very different than it was. It’s because we’re different.”
“Grown-ups, right?” I smiled up at him.
“It feels pretty good,” he smiled back.
I stopped walking and tugged him back when he kept going. Eric turned my way and didn’t seem the least bit disappointed or surprised when I pressed my lips to his. Kissing him made something inside me light up. It was a really good feeling.
He didn’t pull back. The hand that wasn’t holding mine came up to cup the back of my head. He tilted his head to the side, deepening the kiss. It had been a long time since he kissed me like that. Eric opened himself up and I could feel everything he was feeling in that kiss. I nearly dropped my guitar which was the only reason I pulled back when I did.
“We should keep walking,” I said while trying to catch my breath.
“Sounds like a good idea to me.” He leaned down to peck my lips one more time.
We kept walking after that. It was about a half mile walk from the cafe to the house. Rusty was excited to see us when we came through the front door. I took the guitar case into the study/office where I kept it, and leaned Pearl against the wall the closet. When I turned around, Eric was right behind me. Since I wasn’t expecting him to be there, I about jumped out of my skin.
“Did you think I was sneaking out the back?” I joked. He had me pinned against the closet door. I knew that look in his eyes. That was the ‘I’m getting lucky look’, and for the first time since he moved out to North Carolina, I didn’t think he was wrong to be wearing it.
“Not at all,” he smirked. Eric dipped his head to kiss me again. This time he dropped his hands to cup my ass. He lifted me with ease, pressing me into the closet door as we kissed.
My legs wrapped around him, quickly followed by my arms. The kiss got deeper than it did on the street. His hips rubbed against me and I could very easily feel the excitement that was going on in his jeans. When he pulled me away from the wall he staggered toward the door. My back hit the wall across the hall and again his hips thrust against me a little. I moaned into the kiss and I made the first move to let him know I was into what was happening by pulling his shirt up. He had to let me down so I could take it off. I dropped it on the floor and then lifted my own arms so he could remove my shirt. It was only fair we matched, right?
Eric didn’t hesitate to pull my shirt over my head. Who knows where it landed? My bra disappeared next before his hands were at the button of my jeans.
The next words that came out of his mouth took me by surprise.
“You’re the last person I was with,” he said quietly as he pushed my jeans over my hips.
“Your bed or mine?” I asked. I wasn’t going to insult him by questioning whether or not that was the truth. After the way he had been the last few months, I had no reason to believe he was lying to me or making up a story to impress me.
“Yours; it’s closer.”
“Less stairs,” I smiled. I kicked my jeans off and when I turned to walk toward my room, I heard Eric growl behind me.
His big hand smacked my right cheek as he followed behind me. As soon as we walked into my room he closed the door before losing his jeans. Surprise, surprise, he was going commando.
“You don’t want an audience?” Rusty usually followed me to bed if I left my door open. If I didn’t he’d go upstairs to Eric’s room. He didn’t like to sleep alone all night.
“I’d hate to taint his virgin eyes,” he chuckled. He wrapped his hand around his thick shaft, slowly stroking himself.
“Who says they’re virgin?” I teased, backing up toward my bed.
“I’m going to choose to believe they are. He’s so innocent and sweet.” Eric stalked toward me. When my legs bumped into the bed he reached out to grab my hips. His gentle fingers massaged my hips. “I’d rather worry about you right now and not getting my foot licked by the dog.”
I giggled and said, “That could be distracting. You’ve had enough distractions.”
I took over stroking him since he was rubbing my hips. Eric’s eyes closed like he had just crossed over into heaven. Unable to stop myself, I pushed him back just enough so I could drop to my knees in front of him. I licked the length of his long shaft and earned a growl of approval. Eric gently removed the bobby pins from my hair and tossed them onto my nightstand. At least I thought that was where they landed. He gathered up my hair and watched as my lips began to bob up and down his thick length.
“Oh fuck, babe,” he breathed. His eyes caught mine as he moved his hand to stroke my cheek. “You’re so good at that.”
I hummed my appreciation, which only made his sac tighten in my hand. I saw the flare of lust in his eyes. My cheeks hollowed and I sucked a little bit harder. Since it had been so long I knew he wasn’t going to last very long at all before he came. Eric kept one hand in my hair, guiding my head as it moved up and down his length. His abs started to twitch and I could tell he was struggling not to cum too soon and embarrass himself. It was a silly notion since I would just see it as a compliment. My hand joined my mouth, stroking closer to his base since I couldn’t take all of him.
“Shit, Sookie, I’m not going to last,” he breathed as his shaft started to swell and pulse in my mouth.
I already knew that. It just encouraged me to go a little faster. My tongue swiped from side to side when I pulled back. I looked up into his eyes while I paid attention to just his tip. He sucked in a breath and his hips jerked. I sucked a little harder on his head and then resumed bobbing so he could finish. I was ready for it.
I didn’t have to wait long. His hand landed on the back of my head, holding me in place as he exploded in my mouth.
“Oh God,” he growled, his hot, salty release sliding down the back of my throat.
I moaned and pulled back so I could swallow his release. The last thing I wanted to do was choke on it. I licked my lips and smiled at him. Eric was breathing hard and his body was a little twitchy. To me, it was signs of a job well down. I leaned in and swirled my tongue around his tip just to make sure I got all of his release before Eric pulled me up off my knees. He had that fiery look in his eyes when he tossed me onto my bed.
“That was fun,” I giggled.
“That was real fun.” He climbed onto the bed and leaned over the lower half of my body. Eric pulled my panties down my legs and tossed them over his shoulder. He hooked my thighs, spreading them apart as he leaned over. His eyes locked onto mine as his tongue swirled around my clit.
“Mmm but this is fun too,” I breathed. The last guy I was with hadn’t bothered going down on me. Foreplay wasn’t really his strong suit. It was more of a DIY project for me. After being with Eric, though, I was spoiled. Eric would happily set up camp between my thighs and spend a weekend down there if I let him.
He parted my lower lips with his fingers, giving him better access. Eric was great at following cues. If I moaned he did it again, or if my hips rocked he moved his tongue to get the spot I needed him to. He brought his other hand into the mix. He sucked two of his thick fingers before he pushed them into me, pumping them in and out slowly.
After not having been with someone in a while, those fingers felt much bigger than they were. My hips moved with the slow in and out thrusts. His tongue continued to toy with my clit, giving me the right amount of friction to make the orgasm begin to build deep in my belly. I knew my face was flush and I was breathing hard while my hands ran through his hair. He’d cut it since he got settled in North Carolina so he looked more like my Eric.
Had he ever been mine? Maybe he would be. Could be.
“Ohfuckohfuck,” I moaned as my walls clenched. Eric’s fingers twisted around so they were curled up just right. I cried out when he found my g-spot. His lips wrapped around my clit and within seconds I was on the edge. “Yesyesyesyesyes,” I panted. My eyes squeezed shut and I made myself grab onto the blanket instead so I didn’t rip his hair out when I came. “Eric!”
“Mmm,” he hummed. He pulled back a little to lap at my opening. He stayed there for a moment before he pushed up on his hands and knees. He moved up my body, kissing me so I could taste myself on his lips. As we kissed I felt the tip of his cock rub through my slit. He pulled back from the kiss just in time to sink into me. Eric’s chest rumbled in a low growl as my walls sucked him in.
“Damn, I forgot how good this feels,” I said. My walls clenched around him since I was still dealing with aftershocks, but then he slid in another inch. I gasped at the feeling and hitched my knees up a little higher so he could get deeper.
“Fuck,” he breathed. His hips rocked and swiveled when he pulled back and pushed into me a second time.
It was so good. My hands settled on his ribs as he found his rhythm. Not too fast but not too slow either. Our eyes met in the darkness and when his lips pressed to mine it was sweeter than before but just as passionate. Eventually I put my feet down on the bed so I could meet his thrusts. Our bodies moved together like we hadn’t missed a day. It wasn’t quite seamless when Eric rolled over but we quickly recovered. My hips rocked while he played with my nipples. Since he’d cum once already I knew he’d last longer. There was some method to my madness. When he reached up to pull me down I went willingly.
His hips thrust up a little harder and faster, which I wasn’t expecting.
“Ohhhh… Eric… fuck, right there,” I gasped. His tip was rubbing against my sweet spot. Whether he intended for that to happen or he just got lucky, I wasn’t sure.
“You feel fucking amazing,” he whispered. I felt his breath fan over my ear each time he panted. “Come on, baby, let me feel it.”
A whole hurricane of emotions seemed to unleash themselves at once. The orgasm compounded it all and for a second I collapsed on top of Eric, not sure whether I wanted to laugh, cry, scream, or pass out. Strong arms wrapped around me and when the orgasm worked its magic, I found myself nibbling on Eric’s neck. His hips stopped moving while he was buried deep inside me. For a second I worried I’d gone too far and maybe hurt him. Maybe I bit him harder than I thought. But that growl… no, that wasn’t a sound of pain.
“Keep going,” he whispered. His hand roamed around my back before ending on my ass. “Fuck me, Sookie. Make me cum for you.”
I took a few seconds to get myself together before I sat up. I leaned back to rest my hands on his warm thighs and began to rise and fall. Eric could see where we were joined. His eyes seemed to have a struggle, trying to concentrate on that spot as well as my tits bouncing. Occasionally his thumb moved over my clit, which would make my walls clench around his length. I switched to rocking back and forth with him as deep inside me as he could get. My hips swiveled a few times to change up the sensation. I moved Erics hands up to my tits and he plucked my nipples.
Just for shits and giggles, I turned around a few minutes later. In the mirror above my dresser I could very easily see myself riding him. Eric sat up and wrapped his arms around me his chin rested on my shoulder and our eyes met in the mirror.
It was much more intense than I thought it would be. We were still looking at each other when another orgasm began to build for me. Eric’s right hand reached down to play with my clit. I knew he could feel the way my walls were fluttering, indicating an orgasm was close and getting closer with every move I made.
“Come on, baby, take me with you,” he purred softly before licking the shell of my ear.
A shiver ran down my spine. I wanted to close my eyes but I couldn’t. I had to keep looking at him.
When the pleasure tidal waved its way through me, I couldn’t even make sound. My lips parted like I was going to cry out or scream, but instead I let my lower lips do the talking for me by milking his thick, solid shaft, trying to get him to cum with me.
It didn’t take much. Eric came with me, a low, throaty growl leaving him.
“Jesus,” he murmured. His big head settled on my shoulder. “Is it a bad time to tell you I love you?” he whispered against my neck.
“Depends on if you mean it,” I replied, my hips still moving.
“I mean it.” He lifted his head so he could look me in the eye. “I’ve been in love with you for a long time, Sookie.”
Deep down I knew that was true. I wasn’t sure either of us was really ready for that two years ago, or even four years ago when we first got together. We liked being together. We liked the drama that came from being passionate, stubborn assholes. Were we ready for the reality of being together? I couldn’t be sure.
But I was sure about one thing now.
“I love you too,” I told him.
“I know,” he smiled. “You’re good at showing it.”
He was too, really. It was in the little things he did when I wasn’t looking, but I always noticed. I mean the man went out once a week to pick up any dog shit that was missed. I never asked him to do that, he just did it. Rusty wasn’t even his dog. When he went out to wash the windows on his truck, he’d do the windows on my car too. Sure he could have been doing it just to be nice, but I thought it was a few steps above that.
I climbed off him and ended up laying down with Eric spooned in behind me. For a minute I closed my eyes and just enjoyed the moment. Everything felt right, like we were moving in the right direction.
“So I guess this means you’d like to do this again. A lot,” I said after a few minutes of quiet.
“I’d like love to do this again, a lot,” he chuckled. “I wouldn’t mind moving into your room someday either…”
“By someday you mean like Monday when you’re off?”
“Something like that,” he said. “If you want me to.”
“How about I leave it up to you? When you’re ready, I’ll move my crap out of one of the walk-in closets so you can bring your clothes down here. Hell, I’ll even let you move your bed down here.” He could sleep in my queen bed but I knew his would be more comfortable.
“That would be a lot more comfortable for me,” he agreed. “Would you really be okay with my bed?”
“I’ve never tried it out. Guess we should give it a shot before making that move.”
“We can try it tonight if you want,” he offered.
“I don’t know, you might be wiped out after all that…” I teased.
“Oh no. I’m not even close to wiped out,” he laughed. “I haven’t had sex in over a year, Sookie. I’m good to go in like ten more minutes.”
I giggled and said, “Well I don’t want you to end up dehydrated or something. That wouldn’t be good. No sex cramps either.”
“No, I’ll be fine. Maybe we can stick Rusty in the backyard long enough to have a quickie when we go to get water,” he suggested.
“You do quickies?” I rolled over to look at him.
“If I need to,” he smiled, reaching up to stroke the side of my face.
“Sometimes quickies are fun.”
“Mmhmm. We should try it sometime soon,” he agreed.
“I’m sure we’ll find the time for it.” I leaned in to kiss him.
“Not right now, though,” he whispered against my lips as he rolled me onto my back.
“Honey, you just came twice…”
“I’m going to try to cum again,” he chuckled.
“You’re a machine,” I said, shaking my head. “I might end up in coma.”
“At least we’ll go down together,” he said with a smile before kissing me again.
My arms wrapped around him as the kiss got deeper. His heavy body settled on top of mine but it felt good. I liked the way his weight felt on top of me. I felt safe there with him, but the good kind of safe. When our bodies rolled it was a little awkward but I shifted to straddle him as gracefully as I could. His fingers got tangled in my hair, making me pull back from the kiss.
“Ouch,” I laughed as he freed his hand.
“Sorry,” he smiled, but then kissed me again.
It was just a little reminder that things wouldn’t always be perfect, but we could make it work. If we wanted to make it work, we could do it. Relationships were about picking a person and finding a way to make it work. Perfection in a relationship was a myth. There was always going to be something waiting in the wings to throw a wrench into the works. In that moment, I was pretty sure that Eric and I could do it. We could face whatever came our way and we could be stronger by walking through fire together. Finally we were both in a place where we were ready for it.
I was ready for him. He was ready for me. Contrary to what I had started to think before he showed up, a happy ending was possible after all. I’d found it with Eric.