I had no idea where Eric was taking me, but I promised him the red dress. It wasn’t too bad; a wrap dress with cap sleeves. I took the time to put my hair up, apply makeup and even spritzed on some perfume. I found my sparkly heels, painted my nails and toes a nice champagne color and called myself ready. Since Eric was off work before me he drove all the way home, so it gave me plenty of time to get ready.
I was actually a little nervous. I hadn’t been on a proper date since the stalker. Eric didn’t seem like that a stalker. I really, really liked him. When I went to his house a few nights before we didn’t even have sex. We stayed up talking until almost three in the morning and then fell asleep cuddled up in the middle of the bed. It was nice. It was another something I hadn’t done in years.
When there was a knock on my door I froze. I was ready. I straightened my skirt and walked over to the door, opening it slowly. Eric was standing on the other side with a big, handsome smile on his face.
“Hi.” He presented me with a pot… of cupcakes?
“Um, hi,” I smiled back. That was new. “Cupcakes?” It was definitely original. He hadn’t been to my place yet, so I took a step back, motioning for him to come inside.
“Yep. Des’s cousin owns a bakery. If you haven’t had one of her cupcakes you aren’t really living,” Eric told me. “Now you have a dozen of them to keep that ass perfect.”
“Thanks,” I chuckled. “It may grow a few sizes if I eat them all. I hope you don’t mind.”
“I’m sure I can help you figure out a way to burn off some of the calories,” he replied. Rather than laying one of those coming home from war kisses on me, he rather politely kissed my cheek. “But if I don’t, I’ll enjoy your ass no matter what size it is.”
“Charmer,” I said quietly. “Do you want to come in to see the place?”
“Sure.” Eric closed the door behind him.
I took the cupcakes from him and led him to the kitchen so I could set them down. The apartment was a small one bedroom. I didn’t need much for just me.
“This is the kitchen and dining area.” It was a small galley kitchen that you entered through the dining area. On the other end of the kitchen there was a tiny pantry, and a stacked washer and dryer. That was the bonus to renting the place. I took Eric’s so he would follow me down the short hallway. “This is my room.” There was an open door on the left. “And that door leads to the bathroom.” That was it.
“So no breadcrumbs?” he joked.
“Nah, it’s an adventure if you get lost,” I chuckled.
“It could take you seconds to find me,” he said dramatically.
“Those could be very important seconds,” I pointed out.
“Yes they could,” he agreed. “I like this place. It suits you. I’ve been thinking about getting a pet but I’m not home a lot.”
“I was thinking about a cat,” I admitted. “Before I got the job at Busted Knuckle I was home all the time. This place is just too small for a dog though.”
“I could have a dog but dogs are buddies, you know? Cats are like moody teenagers,” he said.
“Not if you get the right cat. Either way, I decided no animals until I move out of here. You look very handsome, by the way.”
“This old thing?” He was dressed in medium gray slacks that had obviously been pressed or ironed, and a lighter gray button down shirt that fit him snugly. The sleeves were rolled up to his elbows and he had gotten all the grease off his hands as promised. Eric also smelled crazy good.
“Mmhmm, I like you all clean and smelling good.”
“Just wait until you see me all sweaty and post-orgasmic,” he teased.
“Believe me, I’m looking forward to it,” I chuckled. “So where are we going to dinner? Do we need to leave soon or would you like something to drink?”
“I thought we’d try this place closer to my house called La Famiglia. I’ve driven by it a bunch of times but I haven’t been there. The pictures online of the food look good,” he told me. “It’ll take about forty minutes to get there.”
“Alright. Do you think this is going to be good enough that you might want me to stay over at your place afterward?” I asked. I had a bag packed just in case.
“I don’t know. Could be,” he said.
“I just need to know if I should bring an overnight bag with me,” I told him. “I’ll leave it here.”
“If you want to bring it you can.”
I had a feeling we’d get along good during the date. We’d gotten along fine so far. I made a motion for him to stay put while I ran back to my room to grab my overnight bag.
“All ready,” I said when I joined him again in the living room. He was looking at the family photos I had up on one of the walls.
“Are these your parents?”
“Yep. It’s weird seeing pictures of Mama because we look so much alike.”
“Yeah you do,” he agreed. “You have your dad’s eyes though.”
“I never really noticed,” I smiled up at him. I guess I did. I’d studied the pictures of my parents for years. It was strange not sharing things with my mother, like meeting Eric. I had Gran, but it wasn’t the same. Not that she was a bad parent. She was a fantastic mother.
“Who’s this?” He pointed to Jason.
“My brother. He’s three years older than me. He’s the one you all remind me of at the shop.”
“Is he your only sibling?”
“Yep. He’s all I needed,” I laughed. “He was nothing but trouble for Gran.” I pointed to the picture of Gran and me on Christmas when I was sixteen. “He means well though.”
“We all go through that phase,” Eric informed me. “I used to be hardcore into Eminem and hip-hop. I even had a pair of those silver, tear away jogging pants.”
“I need to see a picture of those,” I said seriously. “And Jase is still in that stage. Just last month he got caught screwing around with a married woman. Almost ended up in the morgue when the husband walked in on them.” At least that was how Hoyt told it.
“Oh damn. I outgrew that shit before I graduated from college. My nephew’s about to hit that stage. My sister might put Alex up for adoption,” he chuckled.
“If he ends up anything like Jase I wouldn’t be surprised,” I said, shaking my head. “Just the one sister? Or are there other Northmans?”
“Just Pam,” he said. “She’s older than me, too. Her son’s father isn’t in the picture. Dude took off before he even knew she was pregnant.”
“Oh wow. That’s pretty crappy,” I replied.
“It wasn’t easy for her. Back then my dad wasn’t drinking as heavily so he took care of Alex so Pam could finish college. Now she’s in real estate,” he told me. “I’m actually going to Texas with my nephew and my best friend Jake for a Mavericks game in two weeks.”
“Nice,” I smiled. “That’s going to be fun for him. How old is he?”
“Twelve. He’ll be thirteen in October but he thinks he’s old enough for his own place.”
“Is your sister that bad?” I chuckled.
“No, he’s just getting to that phase. He thinks he needs room for the ladies.” He was serious.
I just blinked at that for about ten seconds before I said, “His ladies?”
“Yeah,” he laughed.
“Oh, that’s fantastic,” I laughed with him. “Sounds just like my brother.”
“Something tells me he’s going to be a world of trouble for your sister. Tell her I said good luck.”
“Pam can hold her own. I’m not worried,” he said. “Should we get going?”
“Sure.” I had my keys on a hook so I slung my bag over my shoulder and walked over to get the keys. Eric was right behind me and stepped out before me so I could lock the door.
I was excited. It was already off to a good start and I had a feeling it would only get better.
“What’s your favorite memory?” I asked. We’d already placed our order and had our wine. The restaurant was really nice. The atmosphere was romantic. The booths had tall backs so people’s conversations weren’t overlapping each other.
“My favorite memory? Probably the road trip I took with some of my friends after we graduated from high school. We left the Sunday after graduation and drove along the Gulf until we got to Florida and then we went up the Atlantic until we hit Myrtle Beach. We camped out a lot and Jake got attacked by a nasty Blue Crab,” he chuckled. His expression turned a little somber, though. “It was a good time. It’s how I like to remember Dillon. He joined the Marines and shipped out shortly after that.”
I reached across the table to take his hand.
“That’s a great memory,” I said, squeezing his hand lightly.
“I think so. How about you?” He took a drink of his Chianti.
“It was the weekend before my parents died,” I started, “I remember it like it was yesterday. I was just starting to feel better after a nasty flu kicked my little butt. I was a serious daddy’s girl, and as soon as Mom pronounced me well enough to leave the house he bundled me and we hopped in the car to go to the Dairy Queen in Shreveport. He spent the whole ride telling me big fish stories that I didn’t care anything about, but I hung on every word because at that time my dad was my hero. That feeling I had, that’s my favorite memory.”
“That’s sweet,” he smiled. Eric hadn’t said much about his own dad. “Inga, the twat my dad was seeing, is sending my sister his ashes. I still don’t know how to feel about it. I’m pissed at him but it seems pointless to be angry. It won’t change anything.”
“It won’t, but that doesn’t mean it’s not okay to be angry,” I said. “If I was in your situation I’d be angry too.”
“Let’s not get into it now. I don’t want to ruin everything,” he said.
“Do you have a favorite dog breed?” I asked, changing the subject. “Or when you get one are you just going to bring home the one that picks you?”
“I don’t know if I have a favorite. I can’t see myself with one of those little foo foo dogs though. I was thinking something bigger like a Boxer or Great Dane.”
“Big dog for a big man,” I smiled.
“Exactly,” he nodded. “But we’ll see. I’d rather adopt a dog than go looking for a puppy. Purebreds are only good if you’re going to breed them and I’m not looking to get involved with that.”
“If I ever get a dog it’ll be an adoption,” I agreed. “I can’t believe I haven’t asked you this, but do you watch The Walking Dead?”
“I used to. I have a ton of it on my DVR but I’m like two seasons behind. Same with Game of Thrones.” He took another drink of wine as our meals were delivered.
We thanked the runners as our food was set down in front of us. I took a sip of my own wine and checked out my meal. I ordered the four cheese ziti and it looked delicious.
“I may need a bite of your chicken,” I told Eric. His looked even better.
“I may let you have it. For a price…”
“What will it cost me?” I asked. I forgot to tell him I wasn’t wearing panties as promised.
“I haven’t decided yet.” He cut into the chicken.
“Let me know when you figure it out.” I picked up my fork and speared a couple pieces of pasta. I let out a soft moan as soon as it touched my tongue. It tasted just as good as it looked.
Eric’s bites weren’t dainty but he was a mostly neat eater. It was a little alarming how fast I’d seen him put down three double cheeseburgers, though.
“Here,” he offered me a smaller bite of the chicken, “Before I eat it all.”
I took the bite, groaning again. I loved food, so I thoroughly enjoyed it. The chicken was just as good as the ziti, of not better.
“Delicious,” I said once I swallowed. “Thank you. You’re welcome to some of this too. I’m not going to eat it all.”
“Lucky me.” His meal was a third of the way gone already. “We should try combining this. Baked ziti with chicken.”
I took another bite before scooping up some more. Eric was lifting another bite of chicken to his lips, so I offered him some of mine too.
“In case you want to mix it,” I said after I swallowed.
He took it and nodded his approval. After he swallowed he said, “I need to find out the Italian word for gangbang.”
All I could do was laugh at that. He was ridiculous. I absolutely adored that about him.
“I’ll Google it when I get to work and let you know,” I promised once my laughter died out.
“You don’t know about the McGangbangs, do you?”
“Obviously not, but I’m definitely intrigued.”
He wiped his mouth and explained, “It’s when you get a McDouble and a McChicken, and you put the McChicken between the patties on the McDouble so it’s one big sandwich.”
“That sounds… interesting,” I chuckled. “Part of me really wants to try one the other part reminds me my ass is big enough and I have a dozen cupcakes at home.”
“Oh it’s delicious and worth the dirty looks you get, believe me,” he said.
“I’ll let you order it for me if I ever get one,” I told him. “You’re the one looking at my ass, so…”
Rather than replying, he leaned over to kiss me. It wasn’t one of those sweet kisses on the cheek either; it was a coming home from war kiss.
“Would now be a good time to tell you I’m not wearing anything under my dress?” I asked breathlessly when he finally pulled back. I was quickly becoming addicted to Eric’s kisses.
“Perfect. I know what I’ll be having for dessert.”
“I saw a nice raspberry cheesecake on the menu,” I suggested.
“Woman, I know you’re not that slow.” He nipped at my jaw before returning to his supper.
“I’m not,” I agreed. “And you’ll be excited to learn I’m already getting wet thinking about it.” I pushed my bowl back. I was done. I grabbed my wine glass instead to take a drink.
“Good.” Eric’s dinner was gone in six more bites. Then he went after mine.
It amazed me how much he ate. At his size, I guess he needed it. Once he was done with my dinner too the waitress delivered the check. It felt weird allowing him to pay for my dinner, but I guess that was what a date was about. He was a perfect gentleman, the conversation was good, and he was extremely polite to our waitress. He was a good man. Eric was seriously the kind of man my dad would have approved of. That was important.
When we walked out of the restaurant Eric kept his hand on the small of my back. He slowed his strides to keep up with me and when we got to his car he opened my door for me. I wasn’t used to a man so… so gentlemanly. The stalker wasn’t so sweet. He wasn’t mean, or rude by any means, but he was what I was used to. Eric was different. Not just in the way he treated me, but in the way I felt about him. In a short time I started to like him more than I could remember liking anyone. Even my first boyfriend, whom I thought I was madly in love with, even Pres wasn’t on Eric’s level. That had to mean something, right?
“I can’t thank you enough for tonight,” I said once we got back to Eric’s and we were walking into his house.
“You’re welcome.” He turned on the lights and closed the door behind me. “Do you want something to drink?”
“Maybe some water,” I answered.
“Okay. Make yourself at home and I’ll go get it,” he said before heading toward the kitchen.
I had my bag in my hand so I went up the stairs to his room to set it down. While I was there I took my shoes off. I wasn’t used to wearing heels and my feet were not very happy with me. I was just coming out of his bedroom when Eric reached the top of the stairs.
“Thanks. I just needed to take my shoes off and put my bag away,” I told him.
“It’s fine. We can go back downstairs.” He stepped aside to let me go first.
I walked past him to go back down the stairs. We went into his living room where I took a seat on his couch. I folded my feet under my butt before I leaned over to set my water on the end table.
Eric sat down next to me and pulled me closer to him.
“That dress looks very good on you. Thelma and Louise have been flirting with me all night,” he said.
“Have they?” I looked down at my boobs. “Maybe they want you to make a move?”
“Huh. Would they be disappointed if I have dessert first?”
“I doubt it,” I shrugged. I tilted my head up, requesting a kiss.
Eric gave me what I wanted. When my lips parted for him I felt his hand moving up my thigh to my ass. His warm palm settled there while his fingers teased my upper thigh. I could feel my skin break out in goosebumps. It felt amazing. I reached up to run my fingers through his hair as our tongues massaged each other.
When I started to move Eric took my cue and moved with me, leaning me back so he was hovering over me. The kiss didn’t break while we moved. I moaned when his he wedged his hips between my thighs and the cool air hit my warm center. I was ready for sex with him. He was big on foreplay, though, so I was going to let him take things however he wanted.