Chapter 10

 

I’m in the gym, running on the treadmill when Jessica bursts in. She has tears streaming down her face and she looks like someone just killed her puppy. I press stop on the treadmill and hop off.

 

“What happened?” I ask with concern.

 

“You’re meeting her after you get out of rehab?” Jessica sniffles.

 

“What?” And then it dawns on me who Her is. “You mean Sookie? Uh… yeah.” Not that it’s any of Jessica’s business.

 

“But you… we’re… what about me?”

 

I sigh and wipe the sweat from my brow. Jessica and I have always only been friends and I thought I was doing a pretty good job of making sure she knew that. Apparently not.

 

“Jess, we’re friends. That’s not going to stop just because I leave, but that’s all we are. I thought you–”

 

“But you’re so nice to me. You open doors, pull out chairs and you tease me…”

 

“Yeah, that’s all part of being your friend. I open doors for everyone, Jess. It’s manners to pull out your chair and when I tease you it’s always in a friendly manner,” I explain.

 

She covers her face and starts sobbing.

 

“I’m such an idiot,” she says.

 

My shoulders sag and I take a step forward to give her a hug.

 

“I’m sorry if I did anything that confused you,” I whisper. “You’re a great girl, but I only see this as a friendship.”

 

“I should have known,” she sniffles. “Only guys that treat me like shit want me.”

 

“I don’t think that’s true at all,” I say, rubbing her back.

 

“Of course it is. My dad… my ex…”

 

“That’s just two people, Jess, there are millions of amazing men that would treat you like a queen,” I assure her. Honestly, if it wasn’t for my attraction to Sookie I would actually consider dating Jessica. She’s a beautiful girl with a kind heart. I just don’t see her as anything more than a friend.

 

“They’re already in love with someone else,” she sniffles and pulls away from me. “You included.”

 

What?

 

“What?” I ask out loud. “I’m not in love with anyone.”

 

“Of course you are.” She wipes her face with the hem of her t-shirt.

 

“No,” I laugh, shaking my head. “The only thing I’ve ever been in love with is the dope that got me in here.”

 

“Every time someone says her name you get this look,” she tells me. “I know that look. You love her.”

 

“What? Who? Sookie?” I chuckle. “No, I care for her but I’m certainly not in love with her.”

 

“Your face says otherwise,” Jess sighs.

 

“I think you’re crazy,” I smile. “Before you showed up she was my only real friend, that’s all it is…” I’m not entirely sure that’s the truth.

 

“Then why don’t I have a chance with you?”

 

“You don’t want me, Jess,” I tell her. “You want someone closer to your age and that can give you a real chance at life. I’m too selfish to love anyone else.”

 

“That’s not true. You’re cute, funny, smart and you’re very kind. Anyone would be lucky to have you,” she says.

 

“You’re crazy, you know that?” I ask, rubbing her arm. I’m actually still pretty broken but I do a pretty good job at hiding it from most people. Sookie seems to know anytime I’m trying to hide something though. Fuck… I do like her… a lot.

 

“I’m not crazy,” Jess says sadly. “You’re in denial. I should go. I’ll see you later.”

 

“Alright. I’m sorry for any confusion,” I apologize.

 

“It’s okay. I’m going to be fine,” she says with a strange little smile. “Goodbye, Eric.”

 

“See you around,” I pat her arm one more time and watch as she walks out of the gym. Once she’s out of sight I hop back on the treadmill so I can finish working off the pizza and curly fries.

 

An hour later I’m heading back to my room when I hear a blood curdling scream coming from the women’s wing. I stop dead in my tracks when I realize it’s Amelia’s scream. Oh… This can’t be good, nor can the staff running like the fucking wind in the direction of Jess and Amelia’s room.

 

A small group of people, including Sookie, are standing a few feet away from me watching.

 

“Hey, anyone know what’s going on yet?” I ask the group as I stand next to Sookie.

 

“No,” she shakes her head.

 

We’re all standing around watching when Octavia comes through, leading EMTs to the room.

 

“Oh shit,” someone whispers.

 

“Shit is right. Has anyone seen Jess in the last hour?” I ask since it’s been about that long since she left the gym and we can see Amelia talking to one of the paramedics.

 

“I saw her go into her room about an hour ago,” a recovering meth addict named Denise says.

 

My blood runs cold. What the fuck could’ve happened within the hour to require paramedics? The easy answer is anything.

 

“Sookie, can we talk privately?” I ask, tugging on the back of her shirt.

 

“Sure.” Sookie follows me a few feet away from the other nosy neighbors.

 

“I assume you guys had a talk before she burst into the gym a little while ago,” I comment. “What kind of mood was she in?” One of the things we talk about in group and that Quinn and I have talked about is signs of depression.

 

“She was angry at first, but then she ran away crying when I told her we had plans to see each other after rehab,” she says.

 

“Hmm,” I hum. My eyes flick back every few seconds to see if I can see anything. “She came to me in the gym. The look on her face at the end of our conversation makes me nervous now.”

 

“Eric, I’m sure it’s nothing serious.” Sookie reaches for my hand. “I bet she just slipped in the shower or something.”

 

“Yeah, we all know how dramatic Amelia can be,” I sigh. I want to pull Sookie closer for a hug, but I don’t know if that counts as cuddly.

 

“Don’t worry. I’m sure she’s fine,” she says, squeezing my hand.

 

“One of the last things she said is the only guys that want her treat her like shit,” I sigh. “I tried assuring her that’s not true.” She’s not even old enough to know that.

 

“Eric, I really think she’s okay,” Sookie says calmly. She lets go of my hand and hugs me around my waist. “Just relax.”

 

“You didn’t see the look on her face,” I say quietly as I rub up and down her back.

 

“Eric,” Quinn calls my name. “Can I have a word with you?”

 

 

“I’ll swing by your room later,” I tell Sookie and let her go to see what Quinn wants. “What’s up?” I ask when I reach him. He doesn’t look happy.

 

He nods for me to follow him away from the hallway to the empty lounge. Anyone watching TV got up when Amelia screamed.

 

“I know you’re friends with Jessica,” he says grimly. “In the conversations you had did she happen to mention anything about her family?”

 

I think for a moment and say, “She told me her dad was abusive, that’s about it. She never went into detail. Why? Is she okay? What happened?”

 

“We need to contact next of kin,” he tells me. “She smuggled in heroin, we think.”

 

“What?” I gasp. It’s not that hard to do, but that’s beside the point. “What do you mean you need to contact her next of kin? You mean you need to call her parents to meet you at the hospital like you did for me, right?”

 

He shakes his head. Quinn pats my shoulder and says, “I’m sorry, Eric. We can talk anytime if you want to.”

 

I’ve seen a lot of shit, but death has never even crossed my mind. We’re all here to get better, right?

 

“Do you think it was an accident?” I ask quietly.

 

“We won’t know until her autopsy,” he says in a solemn tone.

 

“I… Fuck,” is all I can say. “I’m just… Fuck.”

 

“You have my number if you need to talk. I’ll be in my office first thing in the morning. I need to go do some research to find her family. Are you sure she never mentioned any names or where she’s from?”

 

“Fuck, I’m sorry, Louisiana, uh… Minden I think,” I tell him. “I doubt there’s too many Hambys there.”

 

“Probably not. Thank you for your help,” Quinn says and then heads toward the admit area.

 

If Jessica did this on purpose I can’t imagine how alone she felt. I feel like I had something to do with that by turning her down.

 

I sigh heavily and head back toward my room. The group is still standing there talking and watching. I doubt they know that she’s dead yet since no one is talking about it when I walk past the crowd. Sookie calls my name but I just keep walking. It’s not that I want to be alone; I just don’t want to be around those people.

 

I decide to take a shower to wash the sweat off and apparently the tears I shed, that I didn’t even notice. I jump when I hear a throat clear on the other side of the curtain. Sookie.

 

“I’ll be out in a minute,” I tell her.

 

“Okay,” she says quietly.

 

I finish washing quickly and turn the water off. I reach out to grab my towel and scrub myself dry, ending by wrapping the towel around my waist. When I come out Sookie is sitting at the foot of my bed.

 

“Did you guys hear?” I ask, pulling my drawer open to look for something to wear.

 

“No, but you had wet face, so I kinda figured it out.”

 

“She OD’d, Sookie,” I say quietly without turning around.

 

I don’t hear her move, but Sookie hugs me from behind. “I’m sorry, sweetie,” she says.

 

“She was lonely and I just compounded that,” I say, holding her hands on my stomach.

 

“Eric, it’s not your fault.”

 

“I’m not so fucking sure,” I sigh, dropping my head back. “You didn’t see her…”

 

“Eric, don’t,” she says. Sookie turns me around and continues, “You’re not responsible for her. She was a sad girl with a lot of baggage that you were never going to fix. We both know that no one can save you, you have to save yourself.”

 

I do know that. It’s just hard to fathom that less than two hours ago I was hugging her. Which now seems like a hug good…

 

“It was on purpose,” I whisper. I need to tell Quinn first thing in the morning. “She said goodbye to me before she left the gym.”

 

Sookie frowns and hugs me again. “I’m sorry,” she says.

 

I hug her back, tilting my head to rest on hers.

 

“Stay with me tonight,” I whisper. I just need someone, Sookie, to snuggle with me.

 

“I can do that,” she replies. “I’ll just go change clothes and then come back.”

 

“Okay.” I kiss her forehead before I let her go.

 

“I’ll be back in a few minutes,” she tells me and slips out of my room.

 

I find the basketball shorts I was looking for and slip them on. I contemplate going to get ice cream for us. It’s better than mass amounts of fried shit, even though I’m pretty sure I needed it after the fucking that day. I nix the ice cream idea and flop on my bed. I flip on the TV and start to sift through the channels. I stop on The Cutting Edge with a little smile. What are the odds?

 

Doug is just being told he has to become an ice skater when Sookie walks in.

 

She has ice cream.

 

“You know me so well,” I tell her as I sit up against my headboard.

 

“Well I thought it would be rude to just get some for me. Chocolate with fudge, whipped cream, nuts and extra cherries,” she says as she hands me my styrofoam bowl.

 

“You’re an angel,” I smile.

 

Sookie sits beside me and I see cookies crumbled in her bowl.

 

“Why didn’t I get any cookies?” I pout.

 

“You got extra cherries,” she reasons.

 

“I’ll give you one if I can have a bite with the cookies,” I offer.

 

“That’s fair.”

 

I smile and pick up a cherry to hold to her lips. Sookie opens her mouth so I can feed her and she nips my fingers.

 

“Hey,” I smile, pulling my fingers back. “You already shredded my back, be nice to my fingers.”

 

“You’re healing,” she says as she chews. Sookie loads up a bite with plenty of cookie crumbles on it and holds her spoon out for me.

 

I watch her eyes as I take the spoon between my lips and slide the ice cream and cookies off.

 

“Mmm,” I hum.

 

“Good stuff, right?” she smiles.

 

“Mmhmm,” I agree and take a bite of my own with a few cherries. “If you want anymore cherries let me know.”

 

“Will do,” she nods and takes a bite of her ice cream, getting caramel sauce on her chin.

 

“You might want to clean that up before I do,” I tell her with my eyes on her chin.

 

“Clean what up?”

 

I lean down and lick the caramel sauce off her chin, ending at her lips. I give her a soft peck and whisper, “All better.” I sit up again and start eating my ice cream again.

 

Sookie shakes her head but she’s smiling at me.

 

“What are the odds that this movie is on?” I ask, motioning to the TV.

 

“Maybe it’s some sort of omen,” she says.

 

“You think?” I ask as I suck a cherry into my mouth. Mmm, these things are delicious.

 

“Could be. Or maybe you should call your mom.”

 

“I just talked to her yesterday,” I inform her.

 

“Oh good,” she smiles.

 

“I think you would really like her. You two are eerily alike,” I chuckle.

 

“That’s… creepy.”

 

“Not in a creepy way, just in the way you both take care of me,” I explain. “She would’ve brought me ice cream too.”

 

“Is that your favorite comfort food?”

 

“It was when I was a kid,” I nod. “It’s been years since I used food to comfort myself though.”

 

“Mine is peach cobbler,” Sookie tells me. Her smile fades and I see sadness in her eyes. “My Gran used to make the best peach cobbler in four counties.”

 

I lean down to kiss her temple and say, “I’m sorry I didn’t get to taste it.”

 

“Me too. You know her funeral was the straw that broke the camel’s back, as far as my family was concerned. I don’t even know how many pills I took that day. I barely remember her funeral,” she confesses.

 

“I’m sorry, Sookie,” I say quietly. “Maybe when you get out of here you can go to her grave and say goodbye properly? I’ll even come with you if you want.”

 

“I’ve thought about it,” she nods. “I haven’t been to Georgia since then.”

 

“I’ll go back with you,” I whisper.

 

“I should probably go alone. I can stop in North Carolina on my way up to Maine and see my parents.”

 

“Well, I’ll make sure you have my number. My mom changed my cell number last week so no one from my old life can contact me. She also deleted all the numbers I had.”

 

“That was smart of her.”

 

“She has her moments,” I smile.

 

“Good mom. You’re lucky you have her support, Eric.”

 

“I’m very lucky. We fight all the time, but I know she means well.”

 

“She’s probably just being a mom.” Sookie tips her bowl into mine, making a nice cookie deposit before she gets up to throw her bowl out.

 

I was almost done and it doesn’t take much longer to finish my bowl. When I get back from the trash Sookie is lying on her side.

 

“Am I allowed to snuggle you?” I ask her as I lay down next to her.

 

“I’ll make an exception due to extenuating circumstances,” she says.

 

I roll to my side so I can wrap my arm around her waist. I settle my head on the pillow behind her and just take in her scent. Her hair smells good. Her skin smells good. She’s so warm and feels just right in my arms.

 

Maybe Jessica was right. Maybe I am in love with Sookie…

 

SPOV

 

The next day it seems like everyone is in mourning, or at least feeling extra introspective. I know Eric feels guilty about what happened to Jessica, even though it’s not his fault. She had a pretty sad life, according to the gossip I’ve heard. She went through way more than any person should, especially at such a young age.

 

Our group therapy meeting is interesting. Not as interesting as I’m sure Jessica and Amelia’s groups are, but interesting all the same. Our group counselor, Russell, obviously wants to talk about life after treatment and how to cope without substance abuse.

 

Debbie is what folks in here call a frequent flyer because she’s been in and out of rehab programs since she was fifteen. I feel bad for Eric since everyone is looking at him like he has answers about what happened to Jessica, but there’s no reason for him to put their relationship out on display to sate their curiosity. It’s really not anyone’s business. To me, Jessica is a sad example of what can happen if you don’t find a support group and don’t take treatment seriously.

 

“Sookie, are you okay?” Russell asks.

 

“I’m sad,” I admit. “I didn’t know Jessica very well, but when I first got here I thought this was a joke. I was just going to serve out my sentence, do the minimal amount of work to get released and then pick up right where I left off. I wasn’t interested in taking any of this seriously or considering a life without drugs. Honestly, if it wasn’t for Eric, I don’t know if I ever would have seen the light. Therapy has been great, but the conversations we’ve had are what really got me thinking about my future.”

 

“Jessica was lonely,” Eric says quietly. “She didn’t know how to let people in. I think I was the first real friend she ever had… Sookie is the first real friend I’ve had…” he says before he goes quiet, dropping his head back.

 

“Why do you think Jessica chose you, Eric?” Russell asks.

 

“I don’t know,” he shrugs, “I was polite and I didn’t pressure her to try to talk to me.”

 

And she had a crush on him. I think that was a pretty big factor, too.

 

“Do you feel like there’s something more you could have done?” Debbie asks. It’s not a judgment, just a question.

 

“Possibly, but it would’ve been the wrong thing,” he admits. “At our last conversation I felt like something was off but I let her walk out of the room anyway.”

 

“You couldn’t have known she was going to do that,” I say.

 

“I don’t know, maybe she gave me hints that I missed.”

 

“It wasn’t up to you to save her, Eric,” Russell says.

 

He sighs and nods but I’m not so sure he believes it.

 

“My first boyfriend, the one that gave me my first line of coke, overdosed right in front of me,” Debbie says. “We were both on a binge and hadn’t slept in four days. There was blood everywhere. I remember, after he passed out, beating on his chest, screaming at him to wake up. I was terrified to call for help because there were drugs stashed all over the apartment. To this day I don’t know if he would have died anyway or if my panicking for so long prevented him from getting the help that could have saved his life. If I had called just two minutes sooner, could things be different? I’ll never know the answer.

 

“All I do know is that I didn’t make him take that last line. It might have been an accident, maybe he meant to overdose; I’ll never know that either. But no matter what, I know I did the best I could. What Jessica needed was more than any one person could give her, Eric. It’s not your fault,” Debbie says and wipes a tear off her cheek.

 

He nods again and since he’s sitting close enough he reaches over to hold her hand.

 

“Thanks, Debbie,” he says softly.

 

I see her squeeze his hand and give him a little smile.

 

“I think that’s enough for today,” Russell says. “I’ll see you all tomorrow.”

 

I’m glad he’s ending the session a little early. I think we could all use some space. I get up from my seat and head back to my room to put on my sneakers so I can go for a long walk. It seems fitting to spend the day outside as much as I can. When I get to my room I kick of my sandals and find a pair of socks. Everyone has to do their own laundry so I’ll be throwing in a load tomorrow.

 

Once I have my shoes on I grab my sunglasses and head out.

 

***

 

With a little more than two weeks left at Eagle Creek, I’m starting to get nervous. I have a lot of things planned for when I get out. I’m starting to wonder if I’m taking on too much too soon. Maybe I’m just setting myself up for failure.

 

A fucked up dream tears me from my sleep somewhere around three in the morning. I could get up and go crawl into Eric’s bed, but I won’t. I gave him the night Jessica died because he needed it, but I need to learn how to soothe myself without using pills to silence whatever is bothering me.

 

I toss and turn for an hour before I give up. I get up, put on my robe and slippers, and head to the cafeteria for hot chocolate. Maybe that’ll help. The cafeteria is empty, except for one of the staff members. I make myself a cup of cocoa and go out to the smoker’s deck. I’ve been doing really well with weaning myself off the cigarettes, but I haven’t completely quit. It’s not an easy habit to break.

 

I sit down at one of the picnic tables and pull a pack from my robe pocket. I’m just blowing out a stream of bluish-silvery smoke when Eric comes outside.

 

“Looks like you’re in the same boat as me,” he says as he takes a seat next to me.

 

“Insomnia due to mounting anxiety,” I tell him and sip my cocoa.

 

“I’m not sure why I have it. I haven’t slept for more than an hour or two in a few days.”

 

“Jess?” I think he’s blaming himself. On a rational level he knows it’s not his fault she died, but emotions and reason don’t always go together.

 

“Her and the fact that I’m not going to have you in a couple weeks. That freaks me the fuck out,” he admits.

 

“You’ll be able to call me, right?” It’s not the same, but it’s better than nothing.

 

“Yeah. I’ll probably call every day,” he chuckles.

 

I smile and say, “I’ll make sure my phone is charged.”

 

“Good,” he smiles back.

 

“You’ll be fine without me, Eric. You’re a lot stronger than you think,” I tell him.

 

He sighs and says, “I’m sure I will be.”

 

“You will,” I insist.

 

He rests his elbows on the table and goes silent. I finish my cigarette and sip my cocoa. We don’t talk much, but it’s fine. I like that we can be alone together. I don’t feel pressure to fill the gaps. It’s a nice feeling.

 

Maybe forty-five minutes pass before I start to yawn.

 

“I think I’m gonna go back in,” I tell him.

 

“Alright,” he nods and gets up to head to his room. “Night.”

 

“Sweet dreams.” I drop my empty cup in the trash and follow him inside.

 

“I might join you in yoga,” he chuckles before splitting off to go to his hallway.

 

“I think I’m going to skip it and sleep in,” I tell him.

 

“Then maybe when you get up we can go for a jog together.”

 

“Okay,” I nod. He smiles and starts walking again. “Eric, wait.” I jog to catch up to him. “I just want you to know I’ll miss you too.”

 

“Thanks,” he smiles at me.

 

“You’re welcome. Goodnight.”

 

“Night.”

 

I want to follow him back to his room, but I don’t. I go up to my own room like a big girl. I take off my robe and slippers, and curl up in my bed. It’s so goddamn quiet. I get up and open my window in the hope of being able to hear the ocean, but I can’t. With my window shut again, I plop down on my bed.

 

A little voice in my head tells me I could be asleep right now if I would just get up and go down to Eric’s room. This is exactly the kind of thing I didn’t need. I don’t need to be attached to him. This is no good.

 

***

 

Group therapy is just breaking up and all I want is a long nap. I never went back to sleep last night, so I’m exhausted.

 

“Can I get a rain check on that jog?” I ask Eric. “I never went back to sleep.”

 

“Sure,” he says.

 

“Thanks. I’m gonna go crash for a few hours.”

 

“Want some company?”

 

“If you don’t mind me being a terrible host or watching me sleep, sure,” I nod.

 

“I probably slept as much as you. I’m sure I’ll be crashing too.”

 

“Okay. Well if you’re not following directly, you know where I’ll be.”

 

“I can follow you now.”

 

We walk back to my room and we both kick off our shoes. I pull the curtains closed and take off my earrings. I let my hair out of the braid it’s in and don’t hesitate to lie down on my bed with my head on Eric’s chest. His heart is thudding away under my ear.

 

“I’m going to miss this,” he whispers as he rubs my back.

 

“Me too,” I admit. There’s no denying that I feel safe with him. I sleep better when he’s curled up with me.

 

He kisses the top of my head and goes quiet. My fingers graze up and down his side for a few minutes until I fall into a deep sleep. This time I don’t have any bizarre dreams and there’s no tossing and turning. I sleep like a baby. I dream that I’m on a warm beach getting a nice massage right by the water. The whole thing is very soothing.

 

My eyes suddenly flutter open and I realize I am getting a massage, of sorts, thanks to Eric’s traveling hands. I look up and his eyes are closed. His breathing is deep and even, so I know he’s still asleep. As usual, that little voice in my head tells me I should stop this now. Just get up and go sit in the chair until he wakes up.

 

Of course my body overrules that voice and I start doing some rubbing of my own. The night Jessica died we didn’t have sex. We just spooned up and passed out. It was nice and just what Eric needed. My hand moves up a little higher on his thigh and he growls quietly. He’s dressed for the walk we didn’t take, so I see the twitching going on in his track pants.

 

“Sookie, what are you doing?” Eric asks in a sleepy voice.

 

“Returning the favor.” His hand is still kneading my hip.

 

“Mmm, okay,” he replies with his eyes still closed.

 

“Should I stop?” I ask as my hand nudges his thickening tip.

 

“Nuh uh,” he whispers as his hands moves to my waistband so he can dip his fingers into the back of my pants.

 

I let my hand go higher to stroke him over his pants and shift my leg to give him better access to me. His fingers move down my backside and between my thighs. I moan when he reaches my entrance and starts to tease me.

 

He uses his free hand to tilt my face up to his. Eric dips his head to kiss me softly as one of his thick fingers slides into me.

 

“Push my pants down,” he whispers before kissing me again.

 

I do as he says, freeing his growing erection. I moan into the kiss when he begins to pump his finger in and out of me slowly. My hand wraps around his thick base to stroke him while we kiss. His tongue sliding against mine feels incredible and it’s making me insanely wet for him.

 

Eric growls into the kiss as he shifts his body to wiggle his pants all the way off. He pulls his hand out long enough to push my pants down before he pulls me onto his chest. He slides his hand down my ass again, pushing his finger into my core one more time while he pulls my face to his to resume the kiss.

 

My hips rock and I reach between us to keep stroking him. When my thumb rubs over his head, Eric growls again. My hand twists as it moves up and down his length, and I have to break the kiss when he slips a second finger into me. I pull my tank top over my head and drop it on the floor.

 

“This isn’t about getting high,” he whispers as he sits us up so I’m straddling his lap. “Tell me this is because you want this…”

 

It’s not about getting high. Not even close.

 

“I want this,” I whisper. “I want you.”

 

“You have me,” he tells me, looking deep into my eyes.

 

I keep my eyes open as I kiss him. His fingers slide out of me and I reach back to get my bra open. I lift my hips and Eric shifts his cock to put himself at my entrance. My forehead presses to his and once my bra is out of the way, I slide down his shaft.

 

“Mmm…” I moan and close my eyes, savoring the feeling of him filling me. It feels different this time. It was on purpose before, but I always kept my emotions in check. It was always just about chasing the high I needed. This time it’s just about him… us.

 

Eric wraps his arms around my waist as he tilts his head so he can press his lips to my neck. I feel his tongue swirling over my skin before he starts to suck softly, moving from my shoulder up to my ear and he begins to nibble on my earlobe.

 

“Tell me you’re mine,” he purrs into my ear.

 

I know he’s not just saying this in the moment. He means it. He wants me to be his. I could keep fighting it, but I already know deep down that I’ll keep coming back to him. There’s something about him that I’m drawn to and I can’t seem to shake it.

 

“I’m yours,” I whisper as I start to rock back and forth. God, he feels good.

 

“That’s all I needed to hear,” he whispers back, turning to kiss me again.

 

I wrap my arms around his neck and I start to bounce a little just to change things up. I moan into the kiss and go with him when Eric lies back against the pillow.

 

His hands go to my ass and he holds me in place while his hips thrust up, filling me again and again.

 

“Mmm, fuck,” he groans into the kiss.

 

My walls start to flutter and I know I’m going to cum hard. His cock is filling me just right and even without either of us touching my clit I can feel the orgasm approaching. Fast.

 

“Eric,” I moan his name. “So close…”

 

“Mmm, good, cum for me, beautiful,” he breathes. “Let me feel it… fuck, you feel so fucking good.”

 

“Yesyesyesyesyes,” I chant in a breathy tone. My walls clamp down and my eyes squeeze shut.

 

Eric’s hips speed up slightly just before he explodes with a hiss. “Oh… fuck yes,” he growls as he empties himself.

 

I bury my face in his neck and kiss his slightly salty skin. My heart is pounding and not just because of the physical activity. I haven’t felt this way in a long time, but I like it. I like that I feel safe and I can be myself with him, even when I’m ugly. I don’t have to hide anything from him. Fuck, I’m going to miss him so much when I go.

 

Chapter 10

 

13 thoughts on “Chapter 10

  1. Amazing chapter. It was so well written and beautifully done. I didn’t expect what happened to Jess. I like the group therapy and everyone talking and helping each other. I’m glad Eric is starting to realize it was not his fault. I think Eric loves her. It was funny to see them both fight it and then give in and rest together. Their joining at the close was beautiful, I like that it was about being with each other.

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  2. Absolutely amazing chapter! Shocked about Jessica and hope Eric realizes he really couldn’t have done anything. Such a tender ending scene.

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  3. This was a beautiful chapter. I hate that eric feels guilty about Jess, but Sookie and he realizing their feelings was great. I love that they admitted it was what they wanted. Can’t wait for them to be out and see where this goes.

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  4. Finished, in one sitting, all the available chapters. Thoroughly enjoying your story. Like how you have created your Eric & Sookie. Especially how your Eric has been spoiled by his parents all his life & now his mother is doing her best to keep him safe & healthy by forcing him into rehab. His realisations about his life have given him a perception of his own self worth. Sookie who came into the story so angry & bitter about the past is now searching for a worthwhile future. Looking forward to reading further chapters of your story.

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  5. Nice to see Eric and Sookie together without needing a fix. They’re finally being real and honest with their feelings. Can’t wait to see how they handle being apart and how they are with each other after treatment is over.

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  6. Love this story Ladies! It’s very near and dear to my heart considering I had to go through the same thing…my story is pretty much sookies…well, minus the skating..haha. Keep up the good work! I’m biting my nails in anticipation of what happens next!

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  7. I’m really enjoying this! I was worried that Eric’s love for Sookie wasn’t going to be reciprocated (just like That Show That Shall Not Be Named). So glad that their affection is growing in a reciprocal way, and that they are both conquering their demons.

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  8. What an incredible chapter! So bittersweet and what happens makes sense together too… I felt obviously terrible for Jessica (so unfair that someone would have such a tough childhood that their life feels so hopeless so young) but also for Eric who clearly feels guilty… Who wouldn’t? Not that it is his fault at all but you can’t help wondering what if/ what could I have done differently etc. when someone makes such a final terrible decision…
    Now onto the positive part of the chapter, I loooooved seeing Sookie and Eric making love (vs. hooking up) but both admitting it was more than just getting a high and now they share some level of an understanding… At least they both admit more than caring/friendly feelings for one another… Wonder what will happen next and for whom the separation will be tougher… Eric stays but at least he is in a supported environment… Sookie is facing a brave new world pill-less now and that is scary too… Can’t wait to read more of this fantastic story!!!

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  9. Most impressive. That was one incredibly moving & difficult chapter to read. Even though it’s not rational, it’s perfectly normal for Eric to feel guilty about Jessica’s death. I thought your line “emotions and reason don’t always go together” was especially poignant given their environment and situation. This is really an excellent story, ladies. The happy parts too!

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