Holy mother of God!
Two whole fucking years!
And I still remembered his scent.
I also know the hands holding me close, saving me from the fall. I know them intimately!
And I know those eyes…And the look.
He just blinks. Apparently he is as out of words as I am. I mean what would be the correct conversational etiquette here!
Apart from the awkward, right now, my brain cells are scurrying around to get my mind to work again. He is still the most handsome man I have seen. His touch still electrifies me. His hands on my back are giving me tingles. And then there are those eyes.
Someone clears their throat from behind and I snap out of the haze.
“Hi… Angel?” it was so low, I am sure I wouldn’t have heard if I weren’t practically clutching the life out of him.
Cringe! It’s Bill! Raining on my parade, as usual!
“Uhemmm…Sookie? We need to go.”
Go? Where? I don’t want to go anywhere. I am good right where I am!
Eric looks over my head and narrows his eyes, right when I feel someone trying to grab my elbow.
“Sweetheart, are you alright?”
I let go of the tongue-tied beautiful man’s jacket, turn on my heel and let go.
“I am NOT your fucking sweetheart! I am NOT your ANYTHING! For the love of God, get it through your thick skull Bill Compton! HOW many times do I need to break up with you?”
Bill Compton = 0
Sookie Stackhouse = 1
Go Sookie Stackhouse!
Alas! The fool carries on, in his trademark patronizing tone no less…”Sookie there is no reason to create a scene in front of your coworkers! How many times have I explained the importance of professionalism to you? When the hell are you going to get it through your thick skull? This is why you will never get your promotion!”
Oh no he didn’t!
I could have walk away. I could have avoided that confrontation. Every discussion with Bill was always pointless like this. After my initial romantic notions were washed away, I realized early that Bill and I were always on different planets during a conversation. He couldn’t understand my point of view. And I didn’t know the fucking A of his dumb arguments. Just like what is happening right now. I used to walk away from endless fights like these. But really, enough is enough already!
“I am creating a scene? Well then why don’t you walk away from the ‘crazy unprofessional woman’ and save yourself the embarrassment and a promotion that is never coming?”
Bill is glowing red now. I can almost see the steam spouting from his ears! Good!
“Really? Well good for me that I don’t have to innocently bump into the new company president, in a skanky dress, and hang on to him for all the world to see, to get ahead in my career! I can get ahead on account of my work not the uhh” his eyes roam my ample boobs, “other assets.”
Fuck. Me. Sideways!
New company president? Eric?
Northman Inc… This is the Mr Northman from Northman Inc?!
He is my new Boss!
I am sure the fate Gods are laughing at this cluster right now! Well, fuck’em too!
And if only Bill knew how much I had already, innocently, done with him! Oh this just keeps getting better!
“Awww poor Bill! Has to depend on work for a living! What would you not give for a pair of these?” I deadpan and gesture a finger towards my chest. I am sure I heard Eric snickering. Thank God someone has a sense of humor or else I would be out of a job here!
“Sookie!?” Bill is warning me with his looks now. But I am already on the role.
“You see Bill, it was my plan all along! To break up with you just in time for the company take over so that I could proposition the new president by having a fight with you in the hallway and then bump into him! All for getting ahead in my career! That was pretty fucking ninja of me!”
More snickering…And I can see in my peripheral vision that a crowd is gathering.
“But my plan just doesn’t stop here! I mean what’s the whole purpose of the bump if I do not even get to put in a good word for myself?” I turn to Eric and by the looks of it, he is having a really good time.
Sookie Stackhouse = 2
Bill Compton = -10
I give him my sweet sweet smile and bat my eyes, “Mr. Northman. Forgive the scene with my ex here. I am usually more calm and composed than this. I am Sookie Stackhouse. I work as a database developer with Mr. Merlotte.” I put out my hand for him to shake, “It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance. And welcome to the group.”
He cocks an eyebrow and takes my hand. In both of his, smiling devilishly.
“Believe me Ms Stackhouse, the pleasure is all mine. And don’t worry about the scene.” He leans towards me and winks, “I know break ups can get messy! But does Bill here know about it? The breakup I mean?”
Oh. My. God.
He winked! And I giggle…Goofy Eric is as fun as sexy Eric!
“Well I sent the memo a week back. He should have got it by now.” I say very seriously.
He straightens up and nods, the very picture of a serious company president. “I might have to take a look into the mail department here. Being late with important communication can make or break a business.”
Inside, I am swooning. The man is a Sex God. He looks like Adonis. And he has a sense of humor to boot. Not to mention his spotless reputation in the business community. Outwardly though, I need to keep up appearances. He is, after all, my boss’s boss’s boss. And a married man.
I can’t flirt with him. I shouldn’t even look at him like I am sure I am right now. This realization must have shown plain on my face because Eric suddenly quirks his eyebrow in question, all amusement gone from his face.
“Are you alright Miss Stackhouse?”
“Yes.” I try giving him a polite smile. “I am fine. Thank you” for being the one ray of sunshine in my dreary day… Week… Year…! “I should uhh…get going.” I take two steps back, away from him. Putting distance between temptation and myself is a good idea!
He starts to say something, but is cut off by the approaching Sam Merlotte.
“Ahh Mr. Northman! You came!”
Eric is still looking at me when he answers drily. “You did invite me Merlotte. My office confirmed I was coming.”
Sam manages a cough laugh.
“Good that you could make it though. Everyone is waiting to meet you. Can we ummm” Sam glances at me, Bill and the couple other folks who were enjoying the showdown, “head inside so we could all get introduced?”
Eric finally releases me from his gaze and turns to Sam. The men shake hands. Then the men head inside. Bill included, who I am sure wants to get on with his ass kissing routine. Yeah! Good luck with that Billy! As they leave, I suddenly feel adrift. Lonely.
It’s been a while since I felt that. It is not a good feeling. It’s annoying actually. I thought I was long past feeling like that…I mentally pull up my big girl designer lacy knickers and head inside too. It doesn’t take me long to spot Eric Northman. One, he is too tall for a human. Two, people are surrounding him like bees. Best part? Even if he is swamped with company, I can clearly see his golden head over the crowd. From a safe distance. I settle with a safe orange mocktale at the bar and look longingly towards my piece of sunshine.
It is like this that Pat and Diantha find me in a couple of minutes. I didn’t even see them coming and when I am yanked back to Planet Earth, they are already sitting on either side, smirking conspiratorially, and mock clearing their throats.
“We see that you’ve already been dazzled!”
“It should be illegal to be so hot! What would I not do for a piece of that fine ass!” Diantha pipes in.
I roll my eyes at the duo. “C’mon you two. He’s our boss! Remember? We are supposed to hate him for jeopardizing our jobs?”
“I can’t hate him sis…He is too goddamn smokin’ to hate!” Diantha whispers.
“Yep! Not hate material at all! Spank material though?” Pat winks, “Sam just introduced us to him. Sook he has like huge hands. And long fingers…Mmmm…”
Trust me! I know all about those hands and fingers…
Not helping Stackhouse! “You two hush! You’ll be getting a sexual harassment suite on your pretty heads by just looking at him like you are!”
Both of them look at me strangely, then back at him, then at me again as Diantha deadpans, “Totally worth it!” and we all start to giggle.
“Sookie c’mon. You just have to meet him.” Pat stands up and starts pulling me towards the group surrounding Eric. Diantha claps her hands once and rises as well.
“Yes lets lets. And we can talk to him some more…”
I dig my heels. “Nooo. You two stay right here. We don’t need to go anywhere! And besides, I already met him. In the hall outside.”
I am suddenly feeling shy. “I ran into him!” both sets of eyes boring into me are wide now, “By mistake!” I hold my hands out in the universal gesture of peace. “I didn’t see him ahead!”
Diantha crosses her arms on her chest and Pat is tapping her heel. Both are looking at me disbelievingly.
“Really Sook? You want us to believe that you didn’t see that on your way?”
I sigh. “I had a fight with Bill outside. I was mad and practically running away from the scene when I ran into Eric.”
“Mr. Northman. I ran into Mr. Northman. He saved me from falling on my ass.” I say in a small voice.
“How did it feel? Being in those arms?” Diantha is waggles her eyebrows.
I really have to put a break on this or else these two are going to tease me to death!
“Enough ok? It was embarrassing! Would you two like to be Miss clumsy two left feet in front of him?” they shake their heads, sympathetically this time, “So don’t ask me about it.” I sure am not telling them about how much I really enjoyed being in his embrace. No no. That’s strictly private!
Pat pats my arm and takes my drink from me. “You need something stronger to get over it girl. C’mon! Let’s get you a real drink! They’re free!”
We laugh again and all tension evaporates. So the three of us head to the bar and indulge in some ‘real drinks’.
An hour and a couple of drinks later, Diantha and me are dancing away to glory on the dance floor. We are not the only ones making a fool of ourselves. The bright lighting has given way to a pulsating disco-esque lighting, with the DJ belting out one peppy number after another for the group. Almost everyone is dancing. The remaining few are standing or sitting in groups, drinking and gossiping the night away. Those of us who are not dancing or drinking, have already left for the night.
Diantha pulls me and shouts in my ear, “I need something to drink. Wanna come?”
Oh no! I am sure I’ve already had one drink too many. I should just stick to the dancing thing I am good at. “I am good. You go ahead. I’ll be right here.”
She waves her hand and weaves her way through the crowd, out of my sight. Just then the music shifts from peppy to slow romantic. People start pairing up around me for the dance. A guy from the testing team comes up to me and asks me for a dance. I don’t even know his name, but I have noticed him staring at me, a couple of times at work. I just politely thank him and say that I am waiting for my partner. He blushes and stumbles away. Poor shy guy!
“Too bad you already have a partner!”
I jump as the words sound too close to my ear. And for the life of me, I could not control the shiver of pleasure that ran through me as he spoke those words. I turn and he is smiling down at me, quirking that adorable eyebrow at me. Why do I get flustered every time this man only just talks to me?
“My partner ditched me for a while.” I manage to squeak out.
“In that case,” he steps close and puts his hand on my back, taking my hand in the other, “I might get lucky, for a while.”
Damn the devil’s voice!
I run my fingers over his sleeve and place my hand at the back of his neck. “You might…For a while.”
Shit! I cannot flirt here!
I quickly avert my eyes and look down. He brings our clasped hands under my chin and raises my face up. “What’s wrong?”
“I…Eric I…shit I don’t know how to say this…”
His tongue peeks out from between his lips as he smiles a little while regarding me intently. “I didn’t know you were shy too. Am I making you uncomfortable?”
No…I am sure it’s all me. He has acted the complete gentleman since I barreled into him earlier. And he has kept his distance. Up until now. Now he is so close that my brain has passed out and my senses are on a strike.
“No. It’s not that. I just …I don’t want to step over any lines here Eric. Especially with our history and all.”
There! I said it! I can’t believe I actually said it!
“Lines Miss Stackhouse? I’m sure this is just an innocent dance!” he pulls me closer.
“Innocent?” I am quite sure we are not dancing at an appropriate innocent distance any more. But my stupid body does not want to let go. Urgghhh…Why is this so difficult?
“Of course! I would never be inappropriate with an innocent angel!” he smirks and spins me around, catching me in a closer hug than before. I mean I can practically see my boobs heaving out in plain sight as I stand there, flush against him. His eyes dip down towards the girls and slowly, hungrily trace their way up my chest, neck, chin, lips…He pauses at my lips and gulps.
I want to do something. Anything…
I want to drag him to a dark corner and have passionate primal sex with him…
I want to push him back, slap him and then pull him close to kiss him senseless…
I just want…
“Eric?” I whisper.
“Yes?” his voice is as hoarse as mine and his eyes flit from my lips to my eyes. He suddenly remembers that we were supposed to be dancing and spins me again.
“No…We can’t…” I breathe out with effort.
He is still looking at my lips, with a fire I know well. “Yes we can’t…Here…” His hands runs down my back, raising goose bumps in their wake. Just his voice is molten sexy caramel right now.
What was he saying? “What do you mean ‘we can’t… here‘?”
He chuckles and nudges my legs with a knee. I open up and drape a leg over his thigh as he dips me. I am pretty sure his thigh touched my lady bits. Innocently of course! “You want me to kiss you, here?”
My panties just got soaked!
“No! No we can’t kiss…not here…not anywhere…”
Now he looks just sad. He pulls me upright to the innocent dancing pose again. “Why not?”
It’s my turn to chuckle now. “Well for one, you are married. You are my boss’s boss’s boss. And you are married!”
His stance relaxes as he pulls me close again, rubbing himself on me, and gives me a mischievous grin, “That didn’t stop you before!”
“You JERK!” I whisper yell, “Let go of me…” I try to untangle myself from him, but he has me locked soundly within the cage of his arms. That doesn’t mean I don’t give it a hell of a struggle.
“Ok stop!” I stop but I am not looking at him, “I am sorry…I was just teasing you… Sookie?” I am resolutely not looking at him. “Sookie look at me?”
No…Not fucking happening! I tilt my head and keep my eyes sideways.
“My Angel?” he dips his head close to my ears and whispers in his silky smooth baritone. I shiver. Again. I hate my lack of control! “I would never put you in a dishonorable position.” now he brings a hand to cradle my face and turns me to look at him as he looks intently in my eyes, “I am not that kind of man. As for your concerns, I am not married any more. Sophie and I parted ways some time back.”
I just look at him like a landed fish. In all my daydreams starring Eric, this scenario never once crossed my mind. He was supposed to be my hero in an alternate universe where he was not married and I was not weighed down by the Bill baggage. In that universe, we met, we dated, we fell in love and we fucked. A lot.
But this right now?
This real Eric, really holding me in his arms, practically asking my permission to kiss me, not married in a real world, this was a situation I was so not prepared for. I scramble to find a proper response to what he just said.
And then BINGO, it hits me! What would AU Sookie say to AU Eric when they went on their first AU date, got drunk and danced the night away? It’s a no brainer because I have imagined it so many times in my head!
I breathe and smile. Then I take hold of his jacket lapels to pull him down so that he is near enough for me to whisper, “Come home with me…”