Chapter 1

 

 

EPOV

 

“Eric! Eric, over here!” Reporters are everywhere outside the locker room.

 

Today is the last game of the season for the Chicago Bears and we won, but we’re not going to the post season. We had too many injuries this year, unfortunately. But there’s always next year. I’ve adopted that mantra like a Chicago native. When I got signed out of college it was to the Steelers. I played there for two years before I was traded to the Redskins. I spent three years there and I became a free agent after that.

 

There was a bit of a bidding war for me. I got offers from the Cowboys, Packers, Patriots and the Bears. After some negotiating and talking to other players I made friends with, I decided to go with Chicago even though the offer from Dallas was more lucrative.

 

I’m a free agent again since my five year contract is up, but I’m not sure if I want to sign with another team. I answer a few questions from the press until my team mate and recent new father, Rasul, comes out of the locker room and I’m completely forgotten about. Security escorts me down the tunnel until a lone voice calls out to me.

 

It sounds familiar but I can’t quite place the woman’s voice. I stop and look back to see blond hair, sparkling blue eyes and what I’m sure is a curvy body hidden under her parka. I’d know that blush anywhere.

 

“Sookie,” I whisper.

 

It’s been a decade since I saw her last and the last time I saw her, she was sobbing on the front porch of a little cabin in Georgia. She has tears in her eyes now too, but probably from the cold. It’s a balmy twenty-seven degree day and it’s been snowing off and on since Friday night.

 

I clearly haven’t forgotten her, or the promise I made to signal her. Every interview I’ve done in the past ten years I’ve tugged on my ear. More than once I’ve thought about contacting her. I looked her up on Facebook one time, but I didn’t message her. I can’t believe she’s here, just a few feet away from me.

 

“I see you’ve been thinking about me over the years,” she smiles as she approaches me. She promised she’d watch every game.

 

“I made a promise to a lady,” I smile at her. The accent I once had is gone.

 

“If I remember correctly I was a pretty girl, not a lady.”

 

“You were both.” I lean down and kiss her cold cheek before I hug her tightly.

 

She hugs me back and I feel her grip tighten a little before she pulls back just far enough to whisper, “I’m here to cash in my wild hotel night.” She giggles as she lets go of me and stands flat on her feet again.

 

“Is that so?” My cock twitches at the memory of the preview I gave her ten years ago.

 

“Mmhmm, my husband gave me the green light,” she says with a little twinkle in her eye.

 

“You’re married.” It’s a statement and not a question since I’m not surprised. “He’s a lucky guy. I hope he knows that.”

 

“I’m not married, you’re just easy to fuck with,” she laughs. “I’m divorced. Two years now.”

 

“Oh. I’m sorry,” I say sincerely. I’m sure she knows my status since she’s been following me. A year ago I got out of a four year relationship with my ex, but I haven’t been married. No kids either, much to my mother’s disappointment.

 

“I was for a while, but I’m better now,” she tells me, “I’m sorry, I’m sure you’re tired. We can do this another time.”

 

“No, no, it’s okay. I’m happy to see you,” I smile again. “Are you just in town for a few days or have you relocated?”

 

“This is home now. I’ve been here almost a year. This has been my first chance to hunt you down.”

 

“Well we could have dinner if you want,” I offer. “If you came prepared for wild hotel sex, we could probably squeeze dinner in first.”

 

“What kind of girl do you think I am?” she smiles and comes close again before whispering, “I even wore lacy underwear.”

 

“Oh so you’re that girl,” I tease.

 

“You have a way of bringing that girl out of me,” she shrugs.

 

“Apparently. Do you want to meet somewhere?” I ask.

 

“Doesn’t really matter, I just want to catch up,” she says. “Do you have a favorite place? You’ve been here longer. I work a lot, so I don’t get out much.”

 

“We could get pizza,” I suggest. “But if we’re out in public there’s a chance of being interrupted every few minutes. Purely for privacy reasons, there’s always my house, if you’re willing to make the drive out there.”

 

“We can go to your place. I’d rather not be interrupted. I also don’t want to be on the cover of the entertainment section in the newspaper tomorrow as Eric Northman’s mystery girl.”

 

“It could be good for the law firm though,” I chuckle.

 

“Right, because people want the person representing them when she’s probably going to be branded a floozy for being seen with a football player,” she smiles, then says sincerely, “I just want to get to know you again.”

 

“The feeling is mutual.” I give her my address and we agree to meet at seven. We go our separate ways after exchanging phone numbers and I head home.

 

I bought a house in Lake Forest that’s really too big for just me. Aude, my ex, was living with me until we broke up. For a while there I thought we might get married and have kids, but the traveling I do started to weigh on our relationship. It’s crazy that I can retire at thirty-two and be set for life. I’ve been careful with my money and I haven’t spent frivolously on luxury items like some guys I know.

 

It takes almost an hour and a half to get home thanks to the snow, but I make it. I park in the turnout in front of the house and go inside. It’s toasty warm but I get a fire going anyway. I showered after the game but I go up to the bedroom to put on comfier clothes. I have no idea what Sookie will be wearing, other than lace panties, and just the thought of it has my dick twitching again.

 

I remember that Sookie likes Chinese takeout so I call in an order for delivery and grab a beer while I wait for her to show up. ESPN plays some highlights from today’s game and I get to see myself on TV for the millionth time. Not to sound ungrateful for the attention, but it gets old after a while. I have time to decide if I want to sign with another team, but I think I want to get out while I’m still healthy. I don’t want to go out on an injury and spend the rest of my life crippled by it.

 

After the highlights I change the station to the Discovery Channel and watch some show about rebuilding and flipping old cars. Halfway through the second episode the doorbell rings. I hope it’s Sookie and not the takeout. I get up and go to the front door to find her smiling face waiting for me.

 

“Hello,” I smile back at her. “Come in.”

 

“Thanks, your home is huge,” she says as she steps in.

 

“Just a little over 5,000 square feet,” I tell her as I close and lock the door.

 

“That’s silly; you’re just one man unless you have a harem of girls living in the back?”

 

“I thought you might be into orgies…” I joke.

 

“Nope, I’m a selfish girl and I don’t like to share my lovers,” she says as she takes her coat off.

 

I take it from her and put it in the closet. She’s in a long sleeved thermal shirt and a pair of jeans. She’s lost a little weight, but definitely still curvy.

 

“I ordered Chinese. I hope that’s okay. I remember you like sesame chicken.”

 

“You remember that?” She looks shocked that I recall what she likes to eat.

 

“Sesame chicken, pork fried rice and pot stickers, right?” I recall.

 

“Right,” she says with a soft smile. “My ex-husband couldn’t even remember my birthday, but you remember my Chinese food order…”

 

“Well he’s your ex-husband for a reason, right? Want something to drink while we wait?” I offer. “I can even make you fancy coffee. There’s a built-in espresso machine that I’ve used maybe three times all winter.”

 

“Do you have hot chocolate? I still don’t sleep, and I really don’t need the caffeine.”

 

“I do, actually. I just picked some up from Trader Joe’s last week.” I lead her to my kitchen and I hear her gasp behind me. My kitchen is enormous.

 

She makes me chuckle when she runs to hug my island. Her head is resting on the granite, and all I can think is if she was naked I could easily slide into her from behind like that.

 

“I want to live in your kitchen, Eric,” she whines. “It’s so pretty.”

 

“Thank you. Somewhere my decorator is thrilled,” I smile and grab an oversized mug from a cabinet for her and the cocoa mix from another. “Do you use milk or water? I use milk but whatever you want…”

 

“Milk is fine.” She still has her head on the counter.

 

I set the mug and canister on the island and open the fridge to get the milk.

 

“Uh, Sookie?” I chuckle. She’s stroking the granite lovingly.

 

“Hmm?” she hums with her eyes closed.

 

“You can take a nap on the granite after dinner if you want,” I tease and set the milk down.

 

“I’m not napping, I’m snuggling,” she tells me. “I’m scared to open my eyes and see your stove.”

 

“It’s a six burner with a flattop in the middle,” I tell her. I think she has a small orgasm.

 

“My God, you sure do know just the right words to make a girl wet,” she tells me and her eyes open to find the stove. “Hello, lovah,” she purrs when she starts moving toward the stove.

 

I walk up behind her and teasingly whisper, “Stand mixer.”

 

She whimpers and her knees go a little weak.

 

“Immersion blender,” I whisper in her other ear.

 

“Oh God,” she pants and her eyes close as she grips the edge of the counter.

 

I grab her hips and go in for the kill by saying, “Double. Wall. Oven.”

 

“Fuck yes!” she moans loudly and collapses halfway between the stove and counter. Her hips push out and her ass hits the tops of my thighs.

 

“I didn’t know kitchen appliances got you so horny.”

 

“We didn’t spend any time in a kitchen before,” she says as she stands up with her back still to me so she can caress the burners.

 

“The ovens have convection options,” I tell her. “I need to do more shopping or I would have cooked you dinner.”

 

“That’s okay. I can only take so much the first time,” she smirks over her shoulder. “If you really want to turn me on let me cook in here.”

 

“And here I thought you would lose your shit over the tub in my bathroom,” I chuckle.

 

“I still might.”

 

“You could probably swim in it. Which is kind of unnecessary with that.” I point to the window. The pool is covered but she can figure it out.

 

“Do you have a room for me? You won’t even know I’m here,” she promises.

 

“I might when I catch you sleeping on the island,” I laugh. My mom didn’t even do that. “Oh, come check this out.” I lead Sookie to an alcove with marble countertops and a prep sink. “These countertops can be chilled for baking.”

 

“Marry me.”

 

“I think you want to marry my kitchen,” I smile. “Not that I blame you. She is beautiful.”

 

“That’s who I was asking,” she deadpans as she turns to look at me.

 

“Hmph,” I snort.

 

The doorbell rings and I excuse myself to get the door. I tip the delivery guy in cash and bring the bags back to the kitchen. I set them on the island and grab plates so we can dish up.

 

“Feel free to have a little bit of everything. I ordered a bunch of stuff,” I tell her.

 

“Okay. I think I’ve come down from my orgasm high,” she giggles and grabs her plate.

 

We dish up and then take a seat at the kitchen table to eat and get caught up.

 

SPOV

 

After we eat we end up on opposite ends of his couch. I still can’t believe I’m sitting here with Eric. It took me a couple days to get back on track after he left. When I got home I went straight back to the books. I met my ex Alcide right before I took my bar exam and we had a whirlwind romance. We eloped four months after we met and divorced three years later. He was a good guy, but with my busy schedule, and his gambling addiction, which he blamed on me, we couldn’t seem to fix things when they went wrong.

 

After the divorce I started putting feelers out for a new job so I could get away from him. He kept popping up in my life, and in my bed, I just needed to get away from that. When the job opportunity presented itself in Chicago my first thought was Eric. I kept my promise and watched every game. He is one of the few men I’ve met that got more handsome with age. I never told Alcide about Eric, all he knew was that Eric was on my list. I kept that promise too.

 

Now I’m sitting across from him more nervous than I was the night I decided to give myself to him.

 

“I’m nervous,” I admit. I’ve always been honest with Eric, no reason to change that now.

 

“Why?”

 

“I think after all this time you became a fantasy to me. I’ve thought about you more often than not over the years and I’m scared if I blink you’ll disappear. I just don’t know what to do with that. Plus you’ve gotten way more attractive and I still don’t know what you ever saw in me.”

 

“You’ll probably think it’s bullshit, but it was your smile,” he says.

 

“Bobby told me it was my ass,” I smile.

 

“That too,” he admits. “But when you smiled it reached your eyes. It was genuine.”

 

“That’s one of the best compliments I’ve ever received,” I tell him. “When you read me the riot act about my poor judgment of you is when I decided you were the one that would get my virginity,” I admit.

 

“Really?”

 

“You were so intense. I knew you meant every word and that went along with me. By the time you were done I decided you only live once, you were gorgeous, and a genuinely good guy. Who better? I wasn’t holding out, it just hadn’t happened yet.”

 

“I’m glad I made an impression,” he smiles. “I looked you up on Facebook when I was playing in Washington.”

 

“Did you find me? I have things pretty private, but I’m still findable,” I say, “Or did you just decide not to contact me? I probably would’ve run around the house like a silly fangirl.”

 

“I thought you would think it wasn’t really me,” he explains. “Plus I wasn’t sure what to say.”

 

“You’re right; a lot of my friends know I followed your career even if they didn’t know why. I probably would’ve thought someone was playing a trick on me. And if we lose touch again I’ll know it’s really you if you call me pretty girl. Absolutely no one knows about that.”

 

“I still have a picture of you saved somewhere,” he tells me. “From the last day on the beach.”

 

“I have a scrapbook of you,” I admit. “I’m not crazy, I promise. I just… you were a big deal for me. Clearly I haven’t been able to stop thinking of you…” I finish quietly.

 

“It’s okay. I’ve thought about you too. You noticed the signal, right?”

 

“Every time.” I scoot a little closer to him, but I try not to make it noticeable.

 

“Do you ever wish we would have tried to make it work?”

 

“Sometimes, but then I would think it wasn’t our time. I was hoping now we could make it our time,” I tell him honestly. I’ve been single for the last two years. He’s single; we live in the same town. It all fits now.

 

“Now is definitely more convenient than it was ten years ago,” he agrees. “So why are you sitting all the way over there?”

 

“Because you still make me nervous.”

 

“Even though you told me what kind of panties you’re wearing?”

 

“Yes,” I giggle. “It was easy to say when you had no chance of seeing them at the time. Now all you have to do is ask and I’ll strip down right here… I didn’t mean to say that out loud,” I blush.

 

He smiles and says, “You can go cool your cheeks on the marble if you want.”

 

I laugh. “Yes, but I’d be too far away from you in there.”

 

“You’re too far away from me now,” he says.

 

I pull up my big girl panties and get up to walk over so I’m standing in front of him. I lean down and press my lips to his and I shift to straddle his lap.

 

“Is this better?” I whisper, my lips brushing over his with each word.

 

“Much,” he says. His hands sink into my hair and hold me close when his lips press against mine.

 

I rest my forehead on his, scared to go any further simply because this still doesn’t seem real. I’m scared I’ll wake up any second and I’ll still be in my bed in California.

 

“I don’t want to let you go this time,” I whisper. If I sleep with him tonight I know I won’t be able to walk away again. I’ve missed this man that I knew for only a week over a decade ago almost every day.

 

“Who says you have to?”

 

“I wanted that out there,” I tell him. “In the spirit of being upfront, I can’t sleep with you if we have no chance… If you’re onboard then I’m all yours.”

 

“I told you that if we were in a different time or in a different place I would be crazy to let you go. Well, it’s a different time and a different place and I’d still be crazy to let you go. I’ve thought about you just about every day for ten years, Sookie. Now you’re here. I don’t want you to go.”

 

The last word is barely out before I crush my lips to his. I’m feverish in the way I start to tug at his shirt and my tongue probes his mouth seeking entrance. His lips part for me and his hands sneak under my shirt to touch my tits.

 

“It’s been too long,” I tell him. I haven’t had sex since I left California and I’m ready for this man now.

 

We break apart long enough for me to pull his shirt over his head and my hands go straight to his chest, rubbing up and down, getting closer and closer to the top of his jeans. He pulls my shirt off and reaches around my back to take my bra off. His mouth moves to my neck and he kisses that spot by my ear.

 

“You smell incredible,” he says before he sucks and nibbles on my neck.

 

“You feel incredible,” I counter and I start rocking my hips. He’s just as big as I remember. “Take me to bed.”

 

Eric stands up with me wrapped around him and carefully makes his way upstairs to his bedroom. He drops me on his bed and lets me unzip his pants. He’s going commando.

 

“Mmm, still don’t wear underwear I see,” I purr and reach into his pants to stroke his cock. I keep one hand on his cock and I start pushing his pants over his hips and down his thighs.

 

“I don’t see the point,” he says in what I remember to be his sex voice.

 

I let go of him and pull back to take my own jeans off. I’m in a pair of lacy blue panties and I get up on my hands and knees with my ass facing toward him.

 

“Still don’t see the point?” I ask as I wiggle my ass.

 

“Nope,” he growls and his large hands grab my cheeks to hold me still. I expect him to drive into me but instead I feel his tongue licking my slit.

 

“Oh… Fuck!” I cry out and drop my head onto his pillow.

 

He groans and his thumbs spread my lower lips so his tongue can probe my opening and circle my clit.

 

I whimper and my hips start moving involuntarily. I love his mouth, but I need his cock.

 

“Eric, fuck me, please,” I beg.

 

“Still on birth control?” Eric asks as the head of his cock moves up and down my slit.

 

“Yes,” I nod. My eyes are squeezed tight and I need him inside me now.

 

“Good,” he says and his head pops inside me. Eric grabs my hips and pulls me back, impaling me on his cock, making him growl.

 

“Oh fuck yes!” I cry out. Alcide is the only other guy I was with and he was nowhere as good as Eric. I miss this so, so much. “More,” I plead.

 

He pulls almost all the way out and drives in again, over and over again, pulling me back when he thrusts forward. His hands move to hold onto me by my lower cheeks and he picks up the pace.

 

I want to cry it feels so good. Eric knows exactly what I need and right now it’s him. In my body.

 

My hands grip the blankets just as my pussy begins to squeeze his cock. I know Eric loves it when cum and I love that he makes me cum so easy, and so often. I’m letting out a soft whimper and I can feel every long, thick inch stretching me every time he fills me.

 

“Eric… so close,” I whimper, but he knows. He got to know my body so well that week I could swear he’s a physical part of me.

 

Eric reaches around and rubs my clit for me in quick circles. My walls pulse and he groans. “Cum, Sookie,” he says and his other hand slaps my ass.

 

That’s all it takes. His hand on my ass and his cock hitting that perfect spot and I explode all over him. I cry out his name and I can feel my juices dripping down my thighs. My walls squeeze his shaft, making him feel so much bigger.

 

“I want you to cum, Eric,” I pant.

 

“Oh, I will,” he promises and pulls out of me to turn me over. He pulls my ass closer to the edge of the bed and slides right back in. Eric lifts my hips and once again the angle is perfect. He swivels his hips on the in thrust and rubs against my clit every time.

 

My arms fly up to hold onto anything. I get a grasp on the comforter. I can feel my tits bouncing as he thrusts and when I can see straight again I notice that’s exactly where his eyes are. I smile to myself and push my tits up together, running my fingertips over my nipples. I tug a little every few moments.

 

The combination of my hands on my breasts and his pelvic bone hitting my clit push me right back to the edge. I don’t want to move my legs to ruin the angle, so I allow him to control my lower body. I squeeze my tits when my orgasm hits and my eyes close as my back arches. My body is in sensation overload and I want to scream more and stop at the same time. I just whimper instead.

 

“I’m gonna cum, pretty girl. Where do you want it?” Eric asks when his cock swells a bit more.

 

I don’t care so I say, “Where ever you want… just cum for me.”

 

At the last second he pulls out and cums on my mound and my pussy, so I can see it. He groans and his head drops back. His abs twitch and his hips keep thrusting involuntarily.

 

“Fuck, Sookie,” he pants when he lifts his head and looks down at me. “I waited way too long for that.”

 

“I agree,” I smile. “I can officially say you’ve ruined me for other men.” My memory did him no justice.

 

“So when are you moving in here?” I can’t tell if he’s kidding.

 

“I have to discuss it with the kitchen and your tub I haven’t seen yet, but I’m free this weekend,” I smile. I am free, but I don’t want to jump the gun… But I have been waiting ten years for something I didn’t know I would get.

 

He chuckles and leans forward to kiss me. “I’ll call and schedule the movers.”

 

“I’ll give you the address when I can move again,” I say and I kiss him again. “I missed you.”

 

“I missed you too, pretty girl.” He kisses my forehead and lifts me up to scoot me back so he can lie down next to me on a bed that’s roughly the size of Rhode Island.

 

His arms wrap around me and I can’t help smiling. I feel like I’m right where I belong.

 

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