The last thing I expected to hear my doctor say at my gynie appointment three days ago is that I’m pregnant. I went in for my usual resupply of birth control and I had to take the mandatory pregnancy test before they’d fork it over. While I was waiting in the living room I just sat there fiddling with my iPad, fine tuning a paper I’ve been working on for the last five weeks for my Theories of Personality class. I’m two semesters into my Master’s degree in psychology.
Stripping wasn’t my first choice of ways to make money to finance my education but it’s the most lucrative. It allows me to live in my own apartment close to campus, pay my bills, put some money in the bank for the epic student loans I’m racking up and live a pretty decent life with my free time.
So yeah, a baby isn’t on my radar right now. When the nurse told me I was pregnant I demanded that they run the test again. I’ve been on the pill since I was fifteen and my dad found an empty condom wrapper stuffed between the couch cushions. It wasn’t mine but of course my brother wouldn’t own up to it being his. Therefore, our parents decided to go the precaution route. Mom took me to get on birth control and my father made sure there were condoms stashed in the bathroom Jason and I used to share.
My parents weren’t too please when I told them I was going to be stripping my way through college. Mom lightened up about it but Dad… well… I think it has a lot to do with the fact that he knows how men in those establishments act. I’m sure he’s been to one or two clubs like The Love Shack in his time. The way I look at it, I’m lucky the Lord gave me the body he did. I don’t do anything I’m personally ashamed of. Anyone who looks down on me for it can blow me.
Of course now there’s the matter of Eric standing with this fish out of water expression on his face that I can completely relate to. Before I can say anything else to him I notice his knees starting to buckle.
“Eric!” I holler but he’s already hitting the deck. I know from experience how heavy he is so there’s no way on God’s green earth I’m going to be able to lift him. I rush inside and kneel down next to him. “Eric, wake up.” I tap his face, not wanting to really slap him. “Come on… Eric… please…” I plead. I don’t even know who to call if he’s in trouble, aside from 9-1-1.
It only takes a few seconds, but it seems like hours before he stirs. His eyes flutter open and he blinks up at me. “What am I doing on the ground?”
“You fainted,” I tell him.
“I… what?” he tries to sit up, but falls back again.
“You fainted,” I repeat. “Come on, let me help you up.”
He lifts one of his arms and allows me to help him to his feet before he staggers to the couch.
“Sookie, did you tell me you’re pregnant with my baby or was that a dream?” he asks quietly once he’s seated.
“No, it’s true,” I tell him. I grab the papers I got back from my doctor, including both positive test results. “I found out three days ago.”
He takes them when I hand them over and reads the few lines over and over. He’s quiet for well over a minute before he says, “What happened… I thought you were on birth control,” without taking his eyes off of the results.
“I am. I mean, I was. It’s not 100 percent effective and we didn’t use condoms,” I remind him.
“And I came in you a lot,” he sighs. “What… I don’t mean to sound offensive here, but what are you thinking about this?”
I take a deep breath and blow it out. “Honestly… I’m not sure yet. Ideally, this isn’t really the best time for me to have a baby but then I think about ten years from now and I’m worried I’ll regret not going through with it. I just… I don’t know. Look, Eric, I don’t expect you to be around. I just thought you should know.”
I don’t know anything about him. I didn’t even know his name until after I fucked him. That’s messed up. I don’t know what he does for a living, if he’s married, has kids… for all I know he’s a serial killer who lives a very Dexter-ish lifestyle.
“I uh… I don’t know what to say. I need to… If you keep it I won’t leave you high and dry,” he sighs. “This is a lot to take in, sorry.”
“It’s fine. Like I said, I just want you to know,” I tell him. I pull another piece of paper from my purse and set it on the coffee table. “That’s my cell number. I’ll give you some time to think things over and when you’re ready you can call me and we’ll talk.”
“Okay… um, would you like something to drink?”
“No, thanks, I’m okay.”
“Okay,” he nods. “Uh, so yeah, I’ll call I guess,” he says, finally looking over at me.
“Okay,” I nod as well. I stand up and say, “I’m sorry for springing this on you. I wasn’t prepared for it either.”
“No, no, it’s okay. There’s really no easy way to tell someone you barely know you’re pregnant with their child,” he says. “Listen, do you have somewhere you have to be right now?”
“Just home. I have a paper I need to finish editing for school,” I tell him. I don’t know how old he is but I’m assuming by his house that he’s at least five years older than I am.
“Would you like to stick around for a while, maybe have pizza with me? I have one in the kitchen,” he offers.
“Oh… uh, sure, I guess I could do that.” I should probably get to know him a little bit if I’m going to keep the baby.
He stands up and reaches over for my hand. “Come on,” he says and helps me stand. He leads me into the kitchen and pulls down a plate for me. “Still not thirsty?” he asks as he hands me the plate and sets the pizza box on the island next to it.
“Uh, a glass of water would be good.” I look around and add, “You have a great house.”
“Thanks,” he smiles. “I work hard for it.” He grabs a glass and goes to the fridge to fill the glass with filtered water. “Would you like me to heat up the pizza for you?”
“Sure, that’d be great. So um… what do you do for a living?” He already knows what I do.
“Sales. Mostly business real estate and ridiculously expensive houses. I don’t remember the last time I sold something under a million dollars,” he says and takes the pizza to microwave.
“Fancy pants,” I smirk.
“It affords this house and spending a shitton of money on weekends at a strip club,” he chuckles.
“I don’t know how you don’t have a map hanging up to get around this joint,” I snicker. “Do you live here alone or do you have a wife and kids that are out of town visiting the in-laws?”
He looks over his shoulder and says, “I’m here alone. I don’t know what I was thinking buying something so big for just me. It was my first big purchase and now I’m just used to it. As for a wife and kids, no, I’m a bachelor. This, if you decide to keep it, will be my first.”
I nod and say, “I’m pretty sure this room we’re in is bigger than my entire apartment.” It’s one of those great room deals so there’s the kitchen, a dining area and a living space all together in one giant room. That’s not counting the additional formal living room and dining room I saw before he brought me into the kitchen.
“You know, I could have seven people squatting in this place and probably never know it,” he laughs.
“That’s… that’s kind of sad.”
“It is,” he shrugs. “Truthfully it’s a little lonely.”
“I can imagine.”
“So, Sookie, tell me about yourself. How old are you? What are you going to school for?” He pulls the pizza out and sets it on the counter in front of me.
“I’m almost twenty-four. I’m studying psychology. I’m a year into my Master’s,” I tell him. “I’ve been stripping to pay for school. As you can imagine, it’s not a cheap thing to do and I don’t want to rely on my parents anymore.”
“Mmm, you’re a smart girl,” he smiles, “I like that. I’m thirty-four.”
“Really? That’s it?” I’m surprised. He doesn’t look like an old man or anything but I can only imagine what this house costs and for him to be able to not only afford it but blow a considerable amount of money on his time with me is… impressive.
“Mmhmm, I told you, I work hard for what I have. I’m also an honest salesman; you’d be surprised how far that gets you. I also read people well. I generally know who and who not to trust. Plus my only real me time is when I’m at the club. The last seven weeks have been a little weird for me,” he chuckles.
“Oh yeah?” I pick up a slice of pizza and take a bite. So far I haven’t had any morning sickness but my doctor warned it could strike at any time.
“Yep,” he nods. “How have your Fridays and Saturdays been going without me?”
“I’ve been spending more time on the main stage,” I admit. “But since I haven’t been a weekend feature in a while it’s been pretty good. I made enough last weekend to cover my rent and car payment.”
“Nice,” he smiles. “Do you like what you do? The stripping? Or is it solely for money?”
“Well,” I swallow the little bit of pizza in my mouth, “I wouldn’t say that I love it, but if I hated it I wouldn’t keep doing it. I’m good at it so I roll with it. It’s only until I finish school and then I’m hanging up my g-string for good. Well… that was the plan. I don’t think a pregnant stripper is going to work out so hot.”
“Probably not. Some people actually get off on that,” he says. “So… are you leaning towards keeping it?”
“I don’t know,” I shrug. “Like I said, a baby wasn’t part of my plans right now. I haven’t even had a boyfriend in two years. The last guy I dated couldn’t handle what I did for a living so I decided it was better to just focus on work and school. Aside from one random hookup last summer, you’re the only guy I’ve had sex with in a long time.”
He leans on the counter across from me, crossing his arms over his chest and asks, “What made you decide to come home with me?”
I set down my pizza, take a drink of my water and answer, “I liked your persistence. You never treated me like a whore the way a lot of guys do. You told me jokes and you made me laugh. We had conversations about things that had nothing to do with how flexible I was or if my tits are real. You look me in the eye – most of the time – when you talk to me. I appreciated all of that. Plus, I’d been dancing on your dick for a year. I knew it would be a good time.”
He snorts at the last comment, but says, “Sadly you were the closest thing I’ve had to a girlfriend in years. I was raised to show respect to ladies, regardless of their profession, not to mention, I’m sure you got enough of the whore shit from other patrons. Plus, I wanted to fuck you pretty bad. You’re amazing, by the way.”
I smile and feel my cheeks heat up. “Thanks,” I whisper. “You’re pretty great too.”
“Apparently a little too good,” he says, flicking his eyes down at my stomach.
“Yeah,” I sigh. I take another bite of my pizza.
“Well, we’re here now; we might as well make the most of it.”
“What do you mean?” I ask him.
“I didn’t necessarily want kids, but if you’re keeping it, I’m going to be around. Maybe we should hang out a little more when you have time and get to know each other better. What did you think I mean– oh, yeah, that sounded bad,” he laughs.
“I’m not opposed to getting to know you. I should know the father of my kid.”
“Mmhmm,” he nods. “I already like what I do know about you… Plus I hear pregnant women usually go through an extremely horny phase and I’d be happy to help you out…”
I laugh at that and say, “Yeah, we’ll see about that.”
“It’s not like we don’t know we’re compatible. The chemistry between us is insane.”
He’s not wrong about that.
“Let’s just see what happens, okay? Adjusting to a baby would be a big enough change for us both. I don’t know about you, but it’s going to mean restructuring a lot of my life. I want to get to know you but the rest… I don’t know,” I say.
“Understood,” he nods. “What else would you like to know about me?”
“Are you from around here? Do you have any family nearby? Have you ever been married?” I rattle off.
“I was born in Sweden, moved here when I was six. My parents moved back home three years ago when my dad retired. I’m an only child and never been married. You?”
“I’m a native. I have a brother that’s two years older than me but still mentally about fifteen,” I snicker. “My parents have been married for thirty years and have lived in the same house since before I was born. Never married, never engaged although I’ve been proposed to about a thousand times in the last four years.”
He chuckles and says, “I almost proposed after that little tongue trick.”
“Liked that, did you?”
“More than I care to admit. What’s your last name?”
“Northman. My dad changed it from Jönsson when we moved here.”
“He said Jönsson sounded too foreign and it was easier to get a job with Northman. His accent didn’t help,” he chuckles. “He does pretty good now, but it took him years to not sound like he just got off the boat.”
“Awwww…” I chuckle a little. “So then you speak Swedish?”
“Quite well,” he smiles. “I learned English watching American TV before we moved here. My accent pops up when I’m highly emotional about something, otherwise you’d never know.”
“I never would have guessed,” I admit.
“Stick around me long enough and you’ll hear it,” he shrugs. “Would you like a tour of the house?”
“Sure. Does it come with a free trolley ride?” I joke.
“I could be convinced to carry you if you needed me to,” he winks and motions for me to follow him.
“I’m sure I’d have to ditch my skirt first.”
He stops and looks at me with heat in his eyes. “I don’t think that would be a wise idea if you don’t want me to try to convince you to fuck me again.”
“Oh I have no intention of getting naked here tonight,” I inform him. “I’m here strictly for conversational purposes.”
“Intentions change, Miss Stackhouse,” he winks. “Come on, and keep your skirt on. If I get wood I get lightheaded.”
I cough and say, “Bullshit,” and then cough again.
“Are you implying I’m small?”
“I’m implying you’re full of shit,” I laugh.
He makes me yelp when he smacks my ass. “Says the girl that couldn’t stop commenting on how big I am,” he teases.
“I’m implying you’re full of shit for saying you get lightheaded. I’ve never seen you get lightheaded before and I’ve been dancing on your dick for more than a year, remember?”
“It was a joke, silly girl.”
“Oh I know. I couldn’t help calling bullshit on you anyway. You look like you need someone to keep you humble,” I wink.
“We’ll see about that.”
Eric proceeds to show me around his enormous house. I wouldn’t even want to guess the amount of square footage but at least we don’t find any squatters on the property. It’s a beautiful house with more rooms than one person needs. Five bedroom, nine full bathrooms and two half bathrooms. There’s a huge room for entertaining, complete with a large wet bar, poker table, pool table and lounging area. The beautiful French doors along one wall lead out to where the Olympic size swimming pool is located.
“How many acres of property do you have?” I ask. He doesn’t have the average backyard either and it probably costs a small fortune to keep it manicured as nicely as it is. I can’t imagine him out on a riding mower doing it himself.
“Eight. I know it’s a little silly, but I fell in love with it and I could afford it.”
“It’s beautiful,” I tell him. I can’t see it all but with the lights on out back I can at least see the pool.
“Thanks. Uh, Sookie, what are you going to do once you can’t dance? Moneywise. If you decide to keep this kid.”
“I don’t know yet,” I say truthfully. “I have a degree in psychology; I just didn’t want to start pursuing it until I was done with my Master’s.”
He nods, but doesn’t respond to that. “Would you like to stay and watch a movie or something, or do you have to get going?”
“I should get going. I have that paper I need to get done and it’s due in two days.”
“Okay,” he nods. “I’ll walk you to your car.”
We turn and head for the front door. It would take no more than fifteen seconds from anywhere in my house, but it takes almost two minutes in Eric’s. He opens the door for me and walks beside me to SUV I bought four months ago.
“So… I guess I’ll talk to you soon?” I ask as I unlock the doors.
“Yeah… Should we exchange numbers?”
“I gave you mine,” I remind him but pull my phone out so he can add his number to it.
He takes my phone and adds the number. “You know, no matter what you decide, I wouldn’t mind keeping in touch regardless.”
“I think I would be okay with that,” I smile. I open the car door and push up on my toes to kiss his cheek. “It was nice to see you again, Eric.”
“You too, Sookie,” he smiles. “Drive safe.”
“Thanks.” I get into my car and Eric closes the door for me. He steps back when I start it and then waves when I start to pull away.
I’m still not sure what I’m going to do, but that went way better than I thought it was going to.