A deep sensual voice whispered in her ear from behind her, “Can I help with the back?”
Sookie froze…Standing in the shower, breathing down her exposed neck and whispering things like that? Damn I’m in trouble…
She didn’t open her eyes, she didn’t turn, she couldn’t move a muscle. Even her breathing stopped for a moment. Then she let out the breath she was holding and smiled slightly, “Eric!”
Her whisper sounded loud between the two.
Eric touched a fingertip to the nape of her neck and slowly, excruciatingly, ran it down her spine. His finger burnt a path down her back, in its wake. She still hadn’t moved an inch, fearing that if she did, the bubble might break and this moment might end.
It was that evening in Fangtasia all over again where everything ceased to matter and it was only him touching her, with his eyes, his breath and his fingertip. There could be a million doubts in her mind right then, a million questions. But Sookie lost herself. There in the steady rain of her shower, surrounded in mist from the heat, she stood still, sharing more than a moment with the vampire who called to her soul.
I have to be with him.
The thought crashed on her and she gasped, momentarily breaking the spell, and turned around to meet his heated gaze…
Sookie awoke with a start to uncomfortable cold water pouring over her from the shower. She was sitting in the bathtub, her back to the wall and dazedly realized that she had fallen fast asleep right there. She quickly turned off the water and hurried to dry herself. She was cold and shivering by the time she finished with dressing up in pajamas and hurriedly brushing her hair and teeth. The warm bed looked very inviting. Forget the snack then! I’ll eat tomorrow.
An hour later, Sookie lay still on her back, snug in her bed, hands on her stomach, knees up, staring at the ceiling, with a riot of feelings within her. Her heart raced ahead and her mind scrambled to follow. So she’d been with Bill for a couple of weeks, kissed him thrice, went out on a date two times and he had tried to spend some time with her every night before she slept off. The time had been chaste, on gran’s porch, on a swing. Some days she let him hold her hand. That was the sum total of all the romance in her life since the last twenty six years. Sometimes she caught a look of want in Bill’s eyes, before he wiped his face. She had wanted to reciprocate, but could not bring herself to it. She wasn’t scared of him, but could not open up to him. This struggle between Bill’s need and her own doubts had been going on inside her head since some time now. She had thought she would gradually ease into the new relationship and was counting on Bill to be the gentleman, counting on her relationship to be a sedate and gradual build up, like it is supposed to be.
All of that reliable and predictable pace came to a rude halt when this dream crashed upon her like a tidal wave, and brought a tangle of emotions and desires she did not know existed. Sookie was swept in that tide and scrambled to find something to hold on to.
Eric had completely disarmed her when she looked at him for the very first time in his bar. But hadn’t he just made it amply clear a couple of hours ago where she stood with him? He called her crazy Sookie, just like everybody and she smarted from that. Even after hearing it for twenty six years from just about everyone, hearing it from Eric made something hurt in the pit of her stomach and she didn’t like it. She was convinced she was out of his league but did he have to call her that? No, he didn’t!
So why do I keep thinking about Eric anyway? He is like all of them, just prettier. Bill is a good person. He respects me, cares for me and is a complete gentleman. He never calls me crazy in spite of all my weirdness. We are going to turn out fine, Bill and I. Even Gran is kind of fond of him since he talked to her friends at their Confederate meeting.
Could she imagine Eric doing anything like that? She rolled her eyes at herself even for thinking it.
Wait a second, why am I comparing Eric to Bill again?
She turned to her side and chewed her lip to keep a grin from building up.
Ok Stackhouse, don’t get ahead of yourself!
She made an effort to count her blessings with Bill. She had felt like a rejected retard all her life. Bill was the first man, vampire, to have took the time to get to know her and showed interest. He was the first person she had ever kissed. She sure felt wanted when he kissed her. She concentrated on that feeling. What would it feel like to have him kiss elsewhere? She didn’t know the answer to that question and had no previous notes to compare. Nothing except … Her hand went involuntarily to her lower back, following the burning trail Eric had left in the dream. Sookie sighed at the memory. One fingertip! Just one bloody fingertip and he… No! Don’t go there! Think about Bill. Bill is safe, reliable…
Did she want safe and reliable? Yes.
Was she content with safe and reliable? Well I better be…
Sookie cringed at the vague answer her mind had come up with. God! I am in so much trouble!
Unable to lie down any more, she sat up and pulled her feet under herself to sit cross legged, leaning her back comfortably on the back of the bed. She looked at the place where she had found the most gorgeous man ever, sitting, playing with her hair and staring at her when she woke up. In her eyes, it was the most exciting moment of her life, Bill or no Bill. So, here goes again…
Was she attracted to Eric? Hell yes.
Could she remain with Bill after this realization? Well even asking that in her mind certainly looked like cheating to Sookie.
Would she want something with Eric? What red blooded woman wouldn’t? She smiled wryly at that thought and caught herself from again thinking ahead of herself.
He is miles ahead of my league…has the most beautiful women throwing themselves at him…he is obviously rich and powerful…he must have been with countless women…if he were to even look at me, what would I have to offer?
Despite her usual confident self, she knew, considering everything, that they were not a match made in heaven. She may look at him from a distance, like at some movie star, but to hope he would be interested in her looked laughable in the least.
Her eyes drifted to that spot on her bed and she scooted over to gently touch it. She practically caressed her bed, as if she was caressing the object of her dream instead.
He did save me though. Jason said so. I’ll ask Gran more about it. Jason said he came a couple of times to check on me. That should be something. She was again frustrated at her lack of memory of that time. If only I could remember it, I would have some moments to keep with me, out of the whole fiasco.
What would she do with those memories?
I’ll treasure them. Then when someday I am dead beat in life, maybe I’ll have a little something to turn back to, to keep me warm on a cold night. I’ll thank Eric all my life for them.
A voice was growing inside her, little by little, growing in weight and sense. It had asked her the most important questions this evening. It made everything make sense. It told her that Eric had saved her in some way. He might despise her, disregard her, make fun of her, but doing so, in a way, he had maybe left a part of himself with her, to cherish. I should thank him. Tomorrow I’ll try to find how I can thank him.
That thought settled her over frenzied mind and she took a deep calming breath, huddled under her covers and drifted to sleep.