My house looked the way I left it, thanks in large part to my housekeeper, Octavia. She was more of a caretaker than anything else. I owned a seventy acre ranch in Cherokee County, Oklahoma, my beloved home state. Years of singing on open mic nights around Oklahoma City had gotten me noticed. I auditioned for a talent show for country artists and the rest was history. My success wasn’t overnight, but it had come. I worked hard and I never forgot my roots. I still played little gigs around my home state and I was honored when I was asked by the Okie’s to sing the National Anthem before their first football game the year I won the show.
I tried not to let the money and fame go to my head too much. It was true I wasn’t living in a double wide anymore in a dodgy part of town with my parents, brother and his skanky wife. My house was a four bedroom masterpiece on top of the Oklahoma Hills. I lived outside of Tulsa by about ninety minutes. The house was secluded and I liked how peaceful it was. Of course folks around town knew who I was, but they mostly let me be.
Pretty quick I learned to be a little more careful about who I let myself get close to. There was always the exception, and sadly for me, that exception came in the form of a clinger named Victor. At first I didn’t think anything of the goofy things he said. I figured maybe he was a little insecure and maybe a bit star struck. I can admit that I was flattered.
Somewhere along the way his switch flipped and he got this crazy idea that we should hit the road a la Johnny and June or Sonny and Cher for the new millennium. When he first mentioned it, I thought he was kidding. But he kept bringing it up. Every time I saw him, he had a new idea for how I could help him launch his singing career.
Except he couldn’t sing.
Or play guitar.
Or write songs.
I was nice about it at first but he was starting to get on my last damn nerve.
Mama always said I’d catch more flies with honey than vinegar, but this fly wasn’t taking the hint. I wasn’t pulling any strings for him. He wasn’t going on tour as my opening act. Grammy season was a little ways off, but I already had a date in mind and it wasn’t Victor Madden.
The chauffeured Lincoln Navigator I was riding in came to a stop at the front of the house. Most of my bags had been sent on ahead after the last show of my North American tour came to a close in South Dakota. The driver opened my door for me and I smiled when I noticed my friend Eric leaned against his custom made Harley. His thick mane of wheat blonde hair was pulled back from his ruggedly handsome face and he was dressed in tight, black jeans and a white T-shirt fighting to stretch across his broad chest and shoulders.
I climbed out of the SUV and retrieved my keys from the carry-on bag I had with me. Eric stood upright and swaggered toward me.
“Those jeans giving you a yeast infection?” I joked as he approached.
“I’d offer to let you check to see if they do, but I don’t think you could handle it,” he teased. Eric wrapped his strong arms around me in a tight bear hug, lifting me a couple inches off the ground.
“Nothing a hazmat suit and a pair of tongs couldn’t handle.” I kissed his cheek and hugged him back. “I don’t have to start calling you Erica, do I? I mean Bruce Jenner switched teams…”
“It’s my version of a hunger strike. I haven’t cut it since I saw you last,” he told me. He let me down. “You’re lookin’ a little thin, Miss Stackhouse.”
“Damn road life. I forget to eat and I don’t sleep as well, plus I try to go sightseeing when I can. Between all that and the shows, I think I dropped fifteen pounds,” I told him.
“Don’t worry, we’ll fix that,” he chuckled. “Come on, let’s get you inside.”
“Oh I’m not worried about it. Victor called five times yesterday to ask me to meet him for dinner to discuss our future,” I informed Eric. We met when I was having my 1970 Dodge Dart repainted and he was having a custom paint job done on his bike.
I unlocked the front door and Eric followed me inside. At the time we met he didn’t know who I was. My freshman album had just hit the 100,000 copies sold mark. It was a big deal. Eric didn’t give a shit about my being famous. To him I was just Sookie.
“Want me to have a talk with him?” Eric offered.
“You can try if you want but he’s got a thick head,” I sighed.
The driver brought two suitcases to the foyer and I signed off on the invoice, adding a nice tip to the bill. He went on his way while I began wheeling my bags back to the laundry room. Yes, I did my own laundry.
“I’m sure I can get through it,” Eric shrugged.
“Without punching him?”
“I plead the fifth on that…”
“Uh huh,” I snickered. Moments later the doorbell rang. “Will you get that so I can get this load of laundry started?”
“Sure.” Eric turned to leave the laundry room to grab the door.
I opened the suitcases and started pulling pairs of jeans from them to start with those. Once I got the load started, I walked out of the laundry room to find Victor glaring at Eric.
“Everything okay here?” I asked.
“Everything is fantastic,” Eric grinned.
“Good,” I nodded, but I could tell Victor didn’t agree.
“Why didn’t you tell me you were dating someone?” Victor snapped at me. Eric’s grin widened as he stepped closer to throw his arm around my shoulder.
What the hell was he talking about?
“Uh, I’m not–”
“Don’t be shy, baby,” Eric purred, nuzzling into my neck.
“Looks a hell of a lot like you are,” Victor pouted.
“We’re trying to keep it quiet,” I said. The giggle was genuine when Eric’s beard tickled my shoulder.
“I thought we were closer than that, Sookie.” Victor was pissed.
“I’ve been trying to tell you for weeks that we’re not,” I countered. It wasn’t my fault he couldn’t take a hint.
Eric pulled his head up, kissing my temple on the way. “Now if you’ll excuse us, Victor, is it? I haven’t seen my girl in a while. We need to catch up,” he said with a satisfied smirk.
Victor just stood there sputtering.
“Thanks for stopping by,” I said, and squealed when Eric smacked my ass.
“That’s abuse,” he tried arguing.
“Not if she likes it,” Eric said.
Victor shook his head before he turned to walk out.
“Are you out of your mind?” I whisper-yelled when Victor was gone.
“Got him to leave you alone didn’t it, Snookums,” Eric smiled.
“Snookums? Are you high?”
“No,” he laughed. “You know you missed me.”
“Eh,” I shrugged.
“Don’t act like you didn’t.”
“I stand by my shrug. Plus you couldn’t seriously handle having me as a girlfriend,” I said as I headed for the kitchen.
“You don’t think I could? I can handle anything, sweetcheeks, you know that,” he replied as he followed me.
“I don’t think you could,” I confirmed. “For one, I wouldn’t be amused by your tossing cab fare at me post romp so you’d have the bed to yourself.” He’d done it twice that I knew of.
“You have better tits than they did,” he shrugged. “If you pressed them against me naked I would happily keep you in bed.”
I snorted at that.
“Uh huh.” I got a bottle water from fridge and took a drink. “Good thing I’m not your type.”
“I don’t have a type, Sook, you know that,” he chuckled. “Besides, I’m just your fake man for the Victors of the world.”
“Oh I know. I’m just sayin’,” I shrugged. I liked Eric and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t attracted to him, but we wouldn’t work as a couple once the sex got boring. It would be fun for a minute but that was all.
Eric stepped up behind me and settled his hands on my hips. He dipped his head to nuzzle my neck again and said, “You know you like it when I get all snuggly with you.”
“You’re not getting snuggly; you’re trying to rugburn me to death,” I corrected.
“I’d shave it for you.” He kissed my neck before he pulled back. “I’ve been thinking about it anyway.”
“It’s a good thing you’re just a big faker.” I pulled away from him to check the stock in my pantry. I had emailed a shopping list to Octavia and it looked like she had gotten everything. I grabbed my apron off of the hook in the pantry and tied it on before pulling down the ingredients for buttermilk biscuits.
“Why’s that? You secretly love my beard?”
“Ha! No, not even close,” I laughed. I stopped by the fridge for buttermilk and butter.
“Mmhmm,” he hummed. “You think it’s sexy. I know it. You can’t lie to me.”
“You think whatever you want. I’m going to have biscuits and chicken fried chicken.” I turned on the oven to let it preheat and then the fryer I had set up off to the side.
“Sounds good. I’ve missed your cooking,” he told me. “I’ve been living on takeout and Mom’s cooking, which you know it’s crap.”
“Who said I’m feedin’ you?” I teased.
“You love me too much to make me starve,” he pointed out. “You like all the high praise too.”
“You have Chik-Fil-A,” I snorted.
“Not the same. I did just get Victor off your ass…”
“That was you doing something out of the kindness of that black heart of yours,” I countered as I got out the chicken. I poured some buttermilk in a plastic bag and added the chicken to it to let it marinade while I got the biscuit dough together.
Eric snorted and asked, “When was the last time I did something like that? How about you feed me because you like my butt?”
“Okay, now you’re just delusional,” I laughed. He may have had a nice ass but I wasn’t going to feed that ego of his.
“Oh, come on. I’ve seen you check it out,” he chuckled. “I check yours out all the time,” he added like I didn’t know. He wasn’t stealthy at all.
“You mean like right now?” His eyes were totally on my ass. Like it had magnets in it or something.
Honestly I wasn’t sure why the conversation was continuing on the way it was. Dating Eric had never crossed my mind, but that was in large part because I didn’t give much thought to dating anyone. My schedule was too hectic for it, really. I had a little time off, but then I was going to be back at it with photo shoots and TV appearances. My management was in talks for me to go to Australia for a country music festival Keith Urban was helping put together. If that was happening, I would be going the first half of December.
Being gone for weeks or months at a time wasn’t good for a relationship, at least not to me it wasn’t. That didn’t seem to deter my little stalker, but then he wasn’t really interested in me. He was interested in what my name could do for him. Sadly, Victor lacked the talent, personality or looks to be famous for no reason, like a Paris Hilton or Kim Kardashian with a dick. No one was going to give a single fuck if a sex tape of his leaked.
I sure as shit wouldn’t be co-starring in it.
“Yep,” he answered. “I love your ass.”
I rolled my eyes and stopped myself from arguing about how pancakey it was at the moment. I had been slacking on the squats.
Why the hell did I care what Eric thought of my ass anyway?
“Thanks,” I said instead.
“While we’re at it, should I go over the list of other things I enjoy about you?” He walked over to the fridge to pull out a beer.
“That sounds dangerous,” I answered. “Or is there something you’re not telling me that I should know?”
That was a potentially dangerous scab to pick at but I’d rather get it out in the open.
“It’s not anything I’m not telling you, just something we never discussed,” he shrugged.
“That makes absolutely no sense.”
“Like I’m going to call you on the road and tell you how awesome your tits are, or how my favorite thing about you is the way your face lights up and you get hella excited over the littlest things. It’s just not how we talk to each other.”
Was he shittin’ me?
“Are you shittin’ me?” I looked at him in disbelief.
“Why would I be?” He looked at me like I was crazy for thinking that. “I don’t shit you about anything unless we’re teasing each other or playing around. I didn’t think this was one of those times.”
“Well I didn’t know that,” I said defensively.
It wasn’t like Eric had ever dropped hints. He checked me out – I assumed – because he was a man with fully functioning eyeballs.
“Now you do,” he shrugged. “Is there something wrong with that being my favorite thing? Because the second is your sleepy voice in the morning after a show. It’s when you’re your sweetest… you’re pumped about a good show, but your voice hurts from the night before. When you call I always imagine that pretty smile on your face when you tell me about it. It’s one of my perks when you’re on tour,” he added casually. “It reminds of the good ol’ days when we’d be up drinking coffee until five in the morning after a Saturday open mic.”
I was blown away by the things he said. I had no idea he felt like that. It was, quite possibly, the sweetest thing anyone had ever said to me.
“Eric, I…” I wasn’t sure how to reply to that. I needed a minute to let it sink in.
“It’s just a feeling, Sookie,” he said before taking a drink of his beer. “Don’t get me wrong, you’re absolutely stunning as well. Your physical attributes aren’t my favorite things about you, that’s all.”
I wasn’t sure what he was trying to say to me. Maybe I was trying to read too much into an unexpectedly sweet comment. Either way, I ended up inviting him to stay for dinner. I figured it was the least I could do for someone who had stuck with me through my ups and downs over the last few years.
The Tumbleweed Saloon was one of the few places in town Sookie could go out drinking without getting harassed. It was a local joint, so not a lot of outsiders came to it. Most of the folks in town didn’t look at her like a celebrity; to us she was just Sookie. We teased each other and gave each other shit about things constantly, but she was always going to be my best friend. It didn’t matter how many number one records she had. I knew the girl that got drunk on Arbor Mist and puked all over the inside of my dad’s GTO when we were sixteen.
When we walked into the bar there was the usual round of hellos. Calvin Norris and Jane Bodehouse were sitting in their regular stools, as expected. The rest of the place was fairly packed, which was to be expected as well on a Saturday night. I saw a few tables around though that we could sit at.
“Go find us a table, I’ll grab the first round,” I told her. I missed going out with her. My buddies were fun, sure, they weren’t Sookie though. I looked forward to those morning calls when she was on tour. I think it gave her a little sense of home, but for me it was something different entirely. I never could put my finger on it, I guess it never mattered that much. All I knew was that it made my days better.
“Yes, sir,” she winked and sauntered off in a flimsy white dress with some kind of orange/pink pattern on it. It hugged all of her curves very nicely as she walked away from me.
She really did have a fantastic ass.
I walked over to the bar to order two shots of tequila, and two beers to chase them. The bartender set everything up on a tray for me to take back to the table. We’d probably have a waitress, but it was faster to get the drinks directly from the bar.
I was heading back to the tall top table Sookie procured when I noticed Victor standing there talking to her. She was too polite to tell him to fuck off, but I wasn’t. That wasn’t the route I went anyway. When I approached I set the tray on the table from behind Sookie. I was sure Victor saw me walking up. Sookie didn’t though, but she didn’t seem surprised when I slid my hands around her waist and leaned in to nibble her ear for Victor’s benefit. She also tasted like peaches.
“Cheating on me?” I teased quietly. I knew she was the only one that could hear me.
“Never,” she replied as a shiver ran through her.
“Good.” I kissed her neck before I straightened up. My hands moved back to her hips so I could knead them lightly. “Victor, it’s good to see you again,” I lied. Fucker. I wasn’t a fan of his.
He gave me look like he hadn’t taken a good shit in a month.
“The feeling definitely isn’t mutual. I was trying to have a private conversation with Sookie.” In the middle of a busy bar on Saturday night?
“My sweet girl hides nothing from me,” I informed him. I reached up to wrap a possessive arm around her shoulders. “Isn’t that right, baby?” I liked her reaction when my beard tickled her so I kissed her neck again.
She giggled quietly and nodded. “It’s true, Victor. Eric and I don’t have any secrets.” That was actually true.
Victor narrowed his eyes at me.
“I guess I’ll call on you later, then,” he told Sookie.
“If she has time to answer.” I rubbed my hand over her chest, skimming her cleavage. I was pretty sure I felt her nipples stiffen against my arm.
“You stop that,” Sookie slapped my hand playfully but her tone betrayed her admonishment.
“Mmm, never,” I growled playfully. I dropped my hand to her lap I made sure to brush her nipples that were indeed hard. Because I could I kissed her neck again. It wasn’t one of the sweet pecks I’d given her earlier, either. My tongue flicked out to swirl around the sensitive area right below her ear. “You taste like peaches, you know that?” I whispered against her skin.
“He’s gone. You can stop now,” she replied, reaching for her beer.
“He could be lurking and watching,” I reminded her. I was positive he was. I still moved away from her to sit on the stool next to her. I kept my hand on her thigh. For appearances, of course.
“You keep flirtin’ with me like that and I’m gonna need doubles,” she told me before reaching for her shot of tequila.
“You know you like it,” I teased. Before I grabbed my shot I leaned over and added, “I could lick the salt from your collarbone before I do my shot… and then take the lime from your lips. I’m sure your friend would love the show.”
“Oh I’m not so sure about that,” she replied. Yet, she handed me the salt shaker on the table.
I kept my eyes on hers until I had to look away. I licked her collarbone to get it wet so the salt would stick. “Hold this,” I told her, handing her the lime before I sprinkled the salt on her neck.
Sookie took the lime from me and I heard her breath catch in her throat. She held perfectly still and I could see her heart pounding in her chest. My tongue slowly swirled over her soft skin, taking in the salt, along with some of her natural flavor. I sat up enough to take the tequila shot and then parted my lips for the lime she still had between her fingers.
She put the lime in my mouth and held it in place for me while I sucked some of the juice from it. There were definite stars in her eyes.
“Your turn,” I purred when I pulled the lime out to set in my empty shot glass. When she started to reach for her shot again I grabbed her hand and brought it up to my lips to kiss her palm. “Make it believable,” I told her without taking my eyes off of her gorgeous baby blues.
“Lick your lips,” she instructed.
I slowly ran the tip of my tongue around my lips. Sookie poured some salt onto her palm and then used her fingers to more precisely sprinkle it on my lips. Before I could comment on it, she leaned in and kissed me, licking up the freshly sprinkled salt.
While her lips were on mine I took the opportunity to reach up and grab the back of her head so she couldn’t pull away, not that she was trying to. As soon as I felt her soft tongue on my lips I flicked my own tongue out to lick hers. That first tentative lick turned into me sliding my tongue across hers, genuinely massaging it for a minute or so before I pulled back.
Those stars were still in her eyes when she picked up her shot glass to shoot back the tequila. She sucked back the lime juice and deposited the spent rind in her glass.
“Yummy,” she pronounced.
“Indeed.” I wasn’t talking about the tequila. I was sure Sookie knew that too. “Are we going to need more shots?” I asked. My hand was on her thigh again, this time under her skirt.
“I guess it depends on how many other places you want to lick salt off my body,” she challenged.
“Some places aren’t suitable for public,” I told her, sliding my hand down between her thighs to give her a light squeeze. I didn’t slide up… yet.
“You’re trouble,” she said, shaking her head.
“You love me anyway.” I noticed she didn’t move my hand away. I did see Victor across the room staring at us. Sookie specifically. I leaned over and whispered, “Your admirer is watching. Should I give him something else to see?” I’d figured out with the kiss I liked kissing Sookie. I wanted more. It wasn’t awkward, which came as a bit of a surprise.
“What did you have in mind?”
I reached up with my free hand to tilt her face toward mine. I licked her lips again before I slid my tongue between them in a slow kiss that made Sookie’s thighs squeeze together around my hand. I didn’t stop it after a few seconds either. Our tongues danced like old lovers that already knew each other. It felt… natural with Sookie.
“A little more of that,” I whispered against her lips when we broke to breathe.
Her eyes were still closed when she breathed an, “Uh huh,” my way. Slowly her lids parted and it was like she realized where she was. “I think maybe I need to use the ladies’ room real quick.”
“Do you need me to come with you so stalker boy doesn’t try to follow you in?” I was serious. I didn’t like or trust Victor at all.
“I think I’ll be fine. You taught me how to throw a killer left cross, remember?” she reminded me as she scooted off her stool, taking her warm thighs with her.
“Still one of the cutest things in the world,” I chuckled. She made a little high pitched grunty noise when she did it that never failed to amuse me.
I noticed a little more swagger in her step as she walked away from me, heading for the bathrooms. She paused when someone flagged her down and graciously posed for a picture after signing a napkin for a fan.
I loved how sweet she was with fans. She was a sweet person in general. She didn’t take her fame for granted. Sookie had this thing about her I couldn’t put my finger on. It had always been there, so I just assumed it was her. As soon as she was out of sight my eyes flicked over to Victor. His gaze was trained on the hallway leading to the bathroom. I hoped like fuck he didn’t head that direction. I wasn’t in the mood to beat the shit out of anyone. I knew it drove Sookie crazy when I got all caveman on her, but sometimes it was needed. I was a big guy, so when we were out together I usually acted as a bodyguard. She may not have thought she needed it, but she did.
When she came out of the bathroom she headed back toward me with that sweet smile I loved so much. She looked a lot less… flustered than before she left. Which only meant I had to get her all hot and bothered again. That was fine; it was fun. I also took note of the fact the Victor was following her again. I wasn’t sure if he realized she was coming right back to me or not. He didn’t really seem to notice me.
“Your friend is on his way back,” I told Sookie when she hopped up on her stool. I moved it a little closer to mine while she was gone.
“Fantastic,” she sighed heavily and took a drink of her beer.
“Sookie, we need to talk,” Victor said when he reached the table.
“I’m out with Eric right now, Victor. I don’t know what we need to talk about,” she replied.
“We had plans and you’re blowing me off for this… Sons of Anarchy extra,” he said like I was a dog turd he’d scraped off his shoe.
“Victor, I suggest you walk away and leave the lady alone,” I told him seriously. I was sure Sookie could feel my leg shaking next to hers like it did when I started to get pissed.
Her much smaller hand landed on my inner thigh but it didn’t do much to calm me.
“Victor, there’s nothing for us to talk about. Whatever it is you think I can do for you, it’s not happening. We’re not a couple and we’re never going to be, and I’m not interested in being your way into the business. You want to make it? Start earning it,” she told him.
I was going to stay as calm as possible until he gave me a reason not to be. I didn’t like the way he looked at her, though. I wasn’t sure if that was enough to pound his head in. My hands were large enough to wrap around his throat… or so it seemed as I sized him up. I was sure Sookie could tell how tense I was.
“You think that’s why I want to spend time with you?” He was a terrible actor, if that was what he was hoping she could get him into. “Sookie, I love you for you,” he said.
She laughed. Hard.
“That’s precious, Vic,” I chuckled, resting my hands on the table so I didn’t clench them anymore. “What do you even know about her?” I asked. “Do you know what her favorite song is to listen to when she’s sad? Or how many times she stalled the car when she was trying to learn to drive a manual transmission? Do you know what her favorite ice cream flavor is? Because it’s not what the media thinks…”
Victor opened his mouth to reply but Sookie spoke before he had the chance.
“Just leave me be, Victor. I’m not who you think I am.” She looked at me and it was a look I had never seen before. “I already have someone who knows,” she said.
I reached over to take her hand. I looked back at Victor and said, “You have no idea what it means to love this woman.” I’d loved her longer than I could remember. It was a battle, but definitely worth the fight.
That dog shit look didn’t leave his face as he stomped off, leaving us alone at the table. I was still watching him walk away when Sookie leaned over and kissed my cheek.
“Thank you,” she whispered.
“For what?” I asked.
“Just thank you,” she shrugged. “Next round’s on me.”
That was dangerous. She always got girly drinks.
“Are you sure? I don’t mind treating you. I’m sure it doesn’t happen too often when you’re out,” I said.
She snickered at that.
“Honey, I haven’t paid for a drink on my own when I’m on the road in at least five years,” she told me. “In fact, I get paid to drink certain things when I’m out.”
“Nothing sweet,” I requested. “And swat your ass a little when you walk away.”
“Banana daiquiri coming up!” she called out and smacked her ass when she turned toward the bar.
I chuckled at that as she walked away. She was cute. She knew it. I liked that she knew I wasn’t a Victor. I had zero talent that didn’t involve a welder or wrenching on something. I liked that she was always herself with me too. She held a lot of herself back with most people she met, even people she considered friends. I knew things about Sookie Stackhouse that no one should know. I loved her more for it.
When she started heading back my way I groaned. She really did get a banana daiquiri. Fuck.
“Please tell me you have Ginger delivering more shots,” I groaned.
“Nope,” she grinned. Jerk.
“I’ll drink your banana daiquiri on one condition,” I told her.
“Put your pretty lips on mine again,” I winked. She was a really, really good kisser.
“Is that necessary? Victor left the bar,” she said as she slid up onto her stool. She put my drink down in front of me and sipped hers. It was something peach colored.
“Not necessary, but I liked it,” I admitted. “It felt way better than I ever would have guessed and I know you liked it too. We’re in a safe, controlled environment. What’s the harm?”
“Because making out with friends is generally not a good idea,” she replied.
“Says who?” I’d made out with plenty of friends… or acquaintances… that was a better description.
“When’s the last time you made out with a close friend and it didn’t screw everything up?”
“Willa,” I answered. “We messed around right after you left on tour and we’re still friends. Did kissing me feel wrong to you?” I asked as I settled my hand on her thigh.
“That’s not the point,” she said, shaking her head. Sookie sipped her drink and added, “Even if it didn’t feel wrong it’s still not a good idea.”
“Why?” I had no idea why I was pushing the issue. All I knew was I wanted her. Something about going all possessive over her in front of Victor triggered something that I wasn’t ready to drop.
“It just is,” she shrugged. “I’m not in a position to be any good at the relationship thing, not saying that you’re looking for that, but I’m just putting that out there.”
“I think our relationship works just fine. I’m just asking to add an extra element that could only bring us closer together. Plus, it’s just a kiss, Sookie.” I leaned over and whispered, “Unless you’re hoping it’ll lead to something more.” I kissed her cheek before I pulled back.
“It works just fine the way it is. Adding extras to it complicates things,” she said. She also didn’t move my hand off her thigh.
“I don’t necessarily think so,” I shrugged. “We don’t know, it could be amazing between us. We already know everything there is to know about each other. I know what your morning breath smells like and that you’re impossible to talk to without a shot of espresso.” I needed to drop it.
“Yeah and I know you have an irrational fear of Koosh balls. Does that mean we should make out in a bar?”
“We can always take it back to the house,” I shrugged.
“Eric, come on, be serious.”
“I am being serious,” I replied, giving her leg a light squeeze. “I don’t know what it is, but ever since Victor came to your house I’ve had this thing, this feeling that I can’t put my finger on. All I know is I want to be near you and I liked kissing you a lot more than I probably should.”
Sookie didn’t respond right away after that so I turned and grabbed my drink to take a sip of it. I didn’t intend to make things weird, not that they were. The feelings were coming out of nowhere though. In the kiss we shared I could tell she was feeling something too.
I wasn’t the type of girl who was afraid of going after what I wanted. My career was evidence of that fact. I didn’t get to where I was by being shy or afraid of putting myself out there. With Eric it was different. My social circle of real and true friends was small. Partially out of self-protection and partially because it just wasn’t fair to try and maintain a million friendships when I simply didn’t have time to nurture them the way I’d want to. I kept a wall around myself for a reason. I was selective who I let behind the curtain for a reason.
I had to be.
Which was why Eric’s revelation was a little problematic. It wasn’t just because it caught me off guard but because I didn’t think it was that strange. Hearing those things made me… happy. Huh. So I asked myself if the timing was really that terrible. This shift was coming at a point when I had a break in my schedule. We could give the dating thing a try – assuming that’s what he wanted and not just a quick roll in the hay – and see what happened. I wanted to think we would be mature enough to be able to go back to just being friends if the dating thing didn’t work out.
If that didn’t happen and I lost a friend… Well, maybe that just meant we weren’t as close as I thought. Or maybe his purpose in my life had been fulfilled. I wanted to make sure tequila wasn’t doing the thinking for me so I slowed down on the drinks. We got up to dance and somehow I ended up on a stage with a borrowed guitar. It wasn’t the first time I gave an impromptu concert.
I didn’t mind it, though. My manager hated when I did it, but it was fun for me. I played because I liked to. I felt most like myself when I was singing. I didn’t sing a single song from my albums either. I took requests from the audience and covered a variety of things, from Dolly Parton’s ‘I Will Always Love You’ to Merle Haggard’s ‘Mama Tried’ and it was fun. I had no doubt the videos taken on cell phones would end up on YouTube and I was fine with that, too.
By the time the bar closed down I was a little hoarse and definitely buzzed from the few other drinks I had over the course of the night. A group of rowdy college age boys had insisted I do a round of Fireball with them. I could still taste the cinnamon as Eric pulled up to my house.
“That was fun,” I said as I got off his motorcycle.
“It’s always fun with you,” he smiled. He took off his helmet as he stood up too.
“You’re just saying that because that supermodel looking chick kept rubbing her tatas on you,” I teased as I pulled my helmet off.
“Mmm, no, I’m saying it because it’s true. I didn’t even get her number.” That was a first. “Come on, let’s go get you outta that dress and into bed.”
I arched an eyebrow at him. “You think I need help getting out of this dress?”
“Not at all. That doesn’t mean I’m not offering my services,” he winked.
I shook my head and turned for the garage so we could go in that way. It was easier not carrying keys. I punched in the garage code, which he also knew, and waited for the garage door to go up. I wasn’t sure what inspired me to do it, but I pushed up on my toes to kiss his cheek.
“Thank you for making sure I get home okay,” I said sincerely. It was a good enough reason to have my lips on him, right? Innocent and all that.
“You don’t have to thank me.” Eric’s hands rested on my hips, gently kneading them. I noticed after a moment he slowly slid his hands back and pulled me a little closer by my ass. “I always think about your safety, always have.”
“Not on the Zipper you didn’t,” I said, reminding him of the time I almost died on a rollercoaster. I wasn’t being dramatic, contrary to what he insisted.
“You were perfectly safe in there with me. If nothing else my massive size would’ve cushioned your fall if it broke,” he chuckled. One of his hands ghosted up my back so he could play with my hair. “And I adore that you’re a big chicken when it comes to carnival rides.”
“I am not a big chicken!” I scoffed. “I love the bumper cars and the big pirate boat thing.”
I only screamed a little on the boat.
He leaned down to whisper, “I love it even more that you’re in such denial. It’s cute.” He kissed that spot on my neck he’d found when we were teasing Victor and straightened up.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about. You’re clearly drunk,” I said as I walked through my garage.
“Sweetheart, I’m far from drunk,” he informed me as he followed me. “There’s a carnival coming next month if you want to go. We can test out the Zipper.”
“The ride or on your jeans?” I asked before I could stop myself. I blamed the Fireball, obviously.
“You can test the one on my jeans now if you like. There’s something in there just for you,” he told me.
“Is that so?”
“Mmhmm.” Eric followed me into the house, going straight to the fridge to grab two bottles of water and handed me one.
“Nope, hands on experience only,” he smirked.
“Ah, so it’ll take me a while to locate it, huh?” I smirked.
“Why don’t you come over here and find out.”
“I don’t know… you won’t give me any hints and for all I know it could be a venomous snake or a poisonous spider or something,” I said.
“It’s long and thick like a snake,” he told me as he leaned against the counter. “And I promise it isn’t poisonous.”
I set my water on the counter and I could see the hint of surprise flash in his eyes when I started to get closer to him. My eyes moved up and down his body and I knew from previous, innocent sleepovers in which he shared a bed with me, that what he had in his pants was exactly as he described. I locked my eyes on his and reached out to unzip his jeans.
“What do you know? The zipper works just fine,” I said. Then promptly zipped him up again.
“So it does,” he agreed. Eric grabbed onto my hips again to keep me from moving away. “You should investigate a little further,” he suggested. “If you think you can handle it.”
“But I solved the mystery. Your zipper works,” I replied. Of course that didn’t stop my hands from running up his sides.
“You didn’t push it all the way down. Maybe it stops halfway,” he pointed out.
“Or maybe you’re trying to trick me into snake wrestling,” I smirked. Seriously, it was a possibility.
“I bet your soft hands would feel perfect on my snake,” he said with a small smile.
“I bet they would.” My hands kept moving up and I could feel his heart pumping in his chest. He pulled me a little bit closer and it was imperceptible at first the way our lips were getting closer and closer, but then his were on mine and it was like fireworks exploded. It sounded so cliché but I had no better way of describing it. Kissing him didn’t feel weird at all. In fact, it felt really good. Almost too good.
Eric’s hand ended up tangled in my hair as he pushed me back against my kitchen island. The slow tentative kiss from earlier was gone, only to be replaced with pure fire and passion. His body was pressed hard against mine so I could feel just how hard and long his snake was.
“Should we take this somewhere else?” he asked as he trailed wet kisses down the front of my neck.
“That’s probably a good idea,” I conceded since I wasn’t really in the mood for a quickie on the kitchen counter. Granite wasn’t very comfortable and I knew from the things I’d heard that Eric wasn’t exactly a two pump chump.
He lifted me so my legs were wrapped around his hips. “Couch or bedroom?”
“Depends on if you plan on bolting before sunrise,” I answered.
“Nope.” He waited until my arms were wrapped around his neck to carry me up the stairs. When we got to my room he took me to the bed and gently laid me on the foot of it. When he stood up straight I could see the outline of his straining erection through his jeans as his eyes scanned my body. “I don’t know where to start. I want to devour every inch of you.”
“Maybe get the boots off first,” I giggled.
Eric smiled before he started working on my boots. Once they were off they went flying across the room and his hands slid up under my skirt, searching for my panties. He didn’t pull them off of me like a normal person, no, he took it upon himself to rip them at the seams. He pulled my ass to the edge of the bed and flipped my skirt up. Eric licked his lips and bend down to rub his tongue over my slit.
Oh heyyy there…
“I think that’s a good place to start,” I told him. A really, really good place.
“I’m glad we can agree.” He used his fingers to spread my lower lips and his soft tongue began to flick over my clit. He brought his other hand in and started to slide his middle finger into my core. Eric slowly pumped his finger in and out for a moment before he added a second. His thick digits started to scissor on each out stroke, stretching me some. His eyes locked onto mine as his started to suckle my clit, pulling it in between his teeth and flicking his tongue over it.
It made my eyes roll back in my head and wonder a little bit why we had never tried that in the past. Timing, probably. At least that was the reason I settled on as the pressure built up in my belly. I didn’t even want to think about my last sexual encounter, mostly because it was an epic failure. Dude had some serious issues with prematurity.
Eric, on the other hand, seemed intent on dragging it out as long as he possibly could because right when I was at the edge, he backed off a little bit. I wanted to smack him for it, but instead I growled at him.
“Mean,” I said.
“It’ll pay off in the end,” he promised. He reached down to unzip his jeans while he continued to finger me. As his fingers moved he ran his thumb over my clit.
“We’ll see about that,” I panted. My eyes may have crossed when he rubbed over a certain spot inside me.
He just grunted at me and went back to suckling. This time when I started to near my peak he didn’t back off. If anything he redoubled his efforts and started rubbing that magic spot inside of me a little faster.
All I could do was gasp and try not to yank handfuls of his hair out. The pressure exploded in a magnificent way that left me trembling and panting for air. My legs somehow managed to wrap themselves around his head. I didn’t even notice it until he was trying to pry them away from his temples.
“You alright?” he chuckled. He was able to get my legs down before he stood up. He pulled his shirt over his head and his jeans dropped to the floor. He was going commando.
“Uh huh,” I nodded, still trying to catch my breath.
He stroked himself as he asked, “Are you on the pill?”
“Since I was sixteen and my dad caught Jake Purifoy feeling me up,” I told him.
He climbed over me and helped me shimmy out of my dress. “Can you believe that’s like one of the two things I didn’t know about you?” he smiled. I felt the head of his cock rubbing up and down through my folds. “I’m about to find out the answer to the second too.”
“Seems so,” I said as my knees hitched up. There were no red flags, no warnings going off in my head telling me to stop before I made a huge mistake. That was a good thing.
Eric stayed up on his knees. He looked down between our bodies and watched as he slowly filled me with his thick length, stretching me in the most delicious way. Once he was fully sheathed inside of me he looked up into my eyes and I could see and feel everything he was feeling in that moment. It was intense; especially when he started to pump his hips, making sure I acclimated to his size. He fell forward so his massive body was hovering over me. I couldn’t pinpoint the look he had in his eye when he began to thrust, but it made my insides turn to mush.
My back arched a little bit before my knees moved up higher, closer to his ribs. It allowed him to get a bit deeper, making us both hiss and groan. I licked his bottom lip and my hands cupped his face before I kissed him. I really wasn’t sure what the hell was happening between us, but I liked it. A lot.
As we kissed Eric shifted to take my hands. He threaded his fingers through mine and brought them above my head. His hips started to swivel on each in stroke so his head hit that perfect spot. Eric starting moaning softly into the kiss. It was low and growly right before his hips sped up, slapping into my inner thighs.
My hands fought the hold he had on them, but he wasn’t giving up easily. I broke away from the kiss as the pressure built again in my belly. I could see in his eyes something that I had never seen before but I didn’t know what it was. In my life I had enough experience to know when a guy was close to losing it, so I managed to get a hand free to reach down and help myself along a little. Good as he was, just the thrusting wasn’t going to get me across the finish line.
It paid off a few seconds later when I cried out and my walls clenched hard around his impressive length. “Fuuuuuck!” I shouted.
Eric grunted and pushed up onto his hands. His hips went faster and faster until I felt his cock swelling inside of me. He reached down to pull one of my legs up over his elbow so he could get a little deeper.
“Fuckfuckfuck,” he chanted quietly right before he lost it. He let out a loud roar as his hips jerked against me, filling me with his release.
I wrapped my arms around his neck and kissed the side of his face. “You okay?”
“I’m better than okay,” he replied. He settled his weight on me. “I’m fucking amazing, how are you? Was that weird for you?”
“Nuh uh,” I answered, wiggling my hips a little bit just to see what reaction I’d get out of him.
“Keep that up and I’ll get hard again,” he warned, thrusting his hips. “It wasn’t weird for me either. And you, my dear, are absolutely stunning when you cum.” He coupled that with another deep thrust.
“I bet you say that to all the girls,” I teased.
“No, I don’t,” he said seriously. “None of the other girls measure up to you in any capacity, this is no exception.”
“You’re cute. Have I ever told you that?”
“Nope. Do you want to do this again or was it a one time deal for you?”
“I could be convinced to give it another go,” I said with a little smile. “You?”
“I’m already looking forward to round two,” he smiled back. “Are you sure you want to get mixed up with a lowly grease monkey?”
“Lowly is a little harsh. You’re like… four out of ten stars,” I teased.
“That’s worse than lowly,” he laughed. “I’ll take it though as long as I get to call you mine.”
“Is that what you want?” I wasn’t expecting him to say that. Not even close.
“Yes,” he answered. “I already know I can handle it when you’re away. You know all my quirks. We make sense.”
“Quirks… like hot sauce on a McGriddle?” I chuckled. It was a bizarre combo.
“It’s delicious,” he told me. Eric pulled his hips back, groaning when his softening cock fell out of me.
“You love this weirdo,” he pointed out. He rolled onto his back, taking me with him.
“Some days,” I chuckled.
“All the days.”
“Eh,” I shrugged, but my smile betrayed me.
“You’re beautiful,” he complimented me as he reached up to tuck my hair behind my ear.
“Thank you.” I took it upon myself to tickle his side, which was expressly forbidden.
He caught my hand, holding it up awkwardly. “That’s a no-no, Miss Stackhouse,” he growled.
“Since when has that ever stopped me?” I pointed out.
“Since never,” he laughed. He held my wrist and shifted so he could tickle me back.
It was all good until the burly biker under me giggle-snorted.
That was why tickling was forbidden.
“You’re the only one that gets the pleasure of my giggles,” he informed me. He rolled to the other side of the bed, trying to get away from me.
“What makes you think I haven’t told Tray?” Because I did.
“Woman,” he growled. Eric gave up on getting away from me and propped up on his hands and knees to stalk back over to me. “You’re asking for trouble, you know that?”
“He thinks it’s precious,” I told him. “He asked if you like foot rubs, too.”
“Does he want to date me?” Eric snorted. He pushed me onto my back and his rough hand gently rubbed up and down my stomach.
“I don’t think you’re his type.”
“Good.” He cupped my right breast, plucking my nipple.
My mother always told me the secret to her and Daddy’s marriage was their friendship. No matter what happened, they never lost track of that one thing. If it was true that being a good friend to your significant other was the secret to a long and happy relationship, then Eric and I would have no trouble going the distance. For all the favors Victor had been hoping I could do for him, it looked like he had done one for me.