Chapter 17 – The First Date

Chapter 17

November 29, 2003

First – our outfits:

askastux item2.rendition.slideshowVertical.anna-karenina-costumes-ss03

Now – the story:

“Stop fidgeting cupcake.  You look gorgeous.”

“Are you sure Pam?”

“He’s going to be drooling as soon as he sees you.”

“Did I say thank you for the hair and makeup stylists?”

“Yes Sookie, several times.  Come on, you’re ready and you need to leave so you can make the start of the ballet.”

“I’ve never been to a live ballet.”

“You’re going to love it.  Eric has a private box for the show.”

“And a limo.”  She exclaimed not trying to hide her excitement.  She stopped in the bathroom for a moment to take some Excedrin, a move that Pam spied and tucked away to mention to Eric.  One more time in front of the mirror then she started out the door.  “It’s kinda weird being picked up for a date when you live in the same house.”

“I can move you quickly to your cottage so Eric can pick you up there.”

“Maybe next time, that would’ve been fun, but the place is still full of boxes from the cabinets in the kitchenette.  Hey, did you ask Eric if you and I can go shopping for the plates and stuff on Monday?”

“It’s a Monday; the bar will be closed so I’m sure he’ll be fine with it.”  Sookie glared at her for a moment.  “But, I’ll ask to be sure.  Now, enough stalling, get your beautiful butt down those stairs.”

“Don’t rush me, these heels are very high and I’m not used to wearing anything but flats and tennis shoes.”

“I’ll hold your hand.”

“No you won’t” Eric interjected, startling both ladies.  He reached out and took Sookie’s arm.  “I’ve got you.”

Sookie looked up and smiled at Eric.  “Thank you.  You’ll need to help me until I adjust to these heels.”

“Any reason to keep my hands on you will do.”

They continued down the stairs towards the front door and Pam called to Eric just before they were about to exit.  He shot her a nasty glare but she beckoned him with by curling her finger.  He reached her in a second and said “this better be fast.”

They held a hushed conversation in Swedish.  ”Hon har en annan huvudvärk” (She has another headache).

“Inte ikväll!”  (Not tonight!)

”Tänkte du bör veta.”  (Just thought you should know).  He nodded and walked back to Sookie.

“Everything OK?”  Sookie asked Eric.

“Just some Fangtasia business, it’s going to be busy since it’s a Saturday night.”

“If this is a problem, we can cancel.”

“NO, I’ve been looking forward to this for a while.”

“You only just bought the tickets.”

“Not the ballet, a date with you.”

She stayed quiet at that comment while they got in the car.  She was still quiet and acting very interested in her skirt as they drove for a bit and Eric grew concerned.  “Sookie, what is it?”

“What you said.  You say things like that and I feel like we could have something, but I can’t let go of what we really are to each other – the captive and her jailor.”

“Can you put that on the shelf for the night?”

“I can try, but it’s hard to keep thoughts from creeping in sometimes.”  She continued to fuss at her skirt while she spoke to him.  “You know, I hate it when you two talk in Swedish.”

“How do you know it’s Swedish?”

“I asked Pam.  I get that you have to keep some things private, but it does irk me.”

“Duly noted.  Are you going to fuss at that skirt all night?”

“I’m nervous.”

“Why?  You look gorgeous, the ballet isn’t anything dangerous.”

“How about my heels, the fact that I’m a poor country girl attending an event usually reserved for the wealthy of Shreveport, or that I really don’t have much experience dating and don’t know what to expect or how to act?”

“You have my arm for the entire night if you need something steady.  I believe I already told you that you look gorgeous and none of the women at the event will be able to hold a candle to you.  Finally, just be yourself.  Well, maybe not the version of you that likes to fight with me, the other one.”

She giggled.  “Uh oh, I left the ‘sweet Sookie’ at home.”

“I’ll call Pam to pack her up and deliver her to us.  It’s too late to turn around because we are here.”

“I’ll just tell ‘fight Sookie’ to behave.”

“Ok, but only until we get home, then she can be as bad as she wants to be.”  The driver opened the door and Eric exited first to help Sookie out.  She held tight to Eric as they were photographed by the local paper for the society page.  A few even knew Eric by name and asked about his date.

“I had no idea you were so popular.”

He chuckled.  “Nonsense, they are interested in you and only using my name to get information.”

“They’re going to figure it out if anyone recalls my picture as being missing from just a few weeks ago.”

“You’re right.  Is it so bad to be seen with me?”

“I guess not, you are somewhat attractive.”  Eric made a face at her comment and she smirked.

“I thought you were going to behave?”

“This is me behaving.”

He moved them quickly past the photographer and into the theatre doors and Sookie even relaxed after she compared herself to the other women attending. The dress she was wearing was gorgeous, and Eric’s words in the limo helped give her confidence.

Her confidence ended when they stepped into the lobby and she saw Portia Bellefleur and even worse, Portia saw her.  Eric felt her stiffen next to him and he followed her eyes to see why.  A woman was approaching Sookie.  She had broad shoulders, a square, masculine face and a pretty much flat figure.  She was nothing compared to Sookie, yet she was clearly upsetting her.  “Sookie, I didn’t expect to see you here.”

“Portia.  How are you?”

‘Portia, Pam told me about a Portia Bellefleur and that she mistreated my Sookie.  I remember denying her request to toy with the woman because he didn’t want any additional vampire presence at Bon Temps at the moment.  If she gives Sookie grief, I’ll let Pam have at her.’  He smiled at the woman and introduced himself.  “Miss Bellefleur, I’m Eric Northman.  Nice to meet you.”

She turned to look at Eric, not having really noticed him before and was stunned.  Sookie took a moment to enjoy Portia’s thoughts about Eric.  She was thinking about how gorgeous Eric was but immediately turned to how Sookie had managed to get him.  She quickly threw up her shields, not wanting to hear more.  When Portia put her hand out to greet Eric and Eric only stared, she tried not to laugh.  Portia’s own date, a vampire, tried to stop her but she ignored him.  That got Sookie thinking, ‘if she’s with a vampire in Shreveport, he’s under Eric.  This could be fun.’

“Portia, why would you be surprised to see me here?”

“Well, it’s the ballet; it’s really not for the uneducated.  I don’t know that you’ll enjoy it, you’re clearly out of your league.”  She ended her statement by practically eye-fucking Eric.

“Portia, it’s the Nutcracker.  I’m not sure I understand.  I need a law degree to be here?”

“Sookie, dear, I mean no offense, but you barely graduated high school.  I’m not even sure how you could have afforded that dress.  Oh, I see.  Your escort – Did he buy you that dress for blood?”

Sookie saw Portia’s vampire grabbing her arm forcefully.  She had felt Eric stiffen at Portia’s words, and she knew he was upset – Portia had taken it further than Sookie expected and now she feared for Portia.  “Dario, quiet your human, or it will be done for you.”

“Dario, are you going to let him talk to me…”

“Quiet Portia.”  Dario said as he pulled harder on her arm.

Eric moved to lean into Portia.  “If you ever speak to my Sookie again like that you will regret it, that is, if there’s anything left of you.  I’m certain that Dario is going to explain your place in the world versus Sookie’s place so we won’t have this problem again.”  He smiled widely and looked up at Dario.  “Isn’t that right, Dario?”

“We will not have this problem again.”  Dario assured Eric.

A theatre usher approached the couples.  “Mr. Northman, I’ll guide you to your box now.”

“Well, I guess we should take our seats.  Enjoy the ballet Dario, human.”

After the usher left their box, he leaned over to Sookie and stated.  “You enjoyed that.”

“I did at first, until she made the comment about blood, then I was afraid for her life.  Did Pam mention Portia to you?”

“She did.  Sookie, you should be afraid for her, if she treats you like that again, I won’t promise to restrain myself as I did.”

“Let’s enjoy the ballet, if I think anymore about it, I might feel guilty for goading her into saying something that I knew would piss you off.  We’ll talk about whether you can kill people because they insult me.  If you did, there wouldn’t be anything but a few folks left in Bon Temps.”

‘Why would the people from her hometown insult her that much?  I just don’t understand, but I will when Sookie’s ready to tell me.’

The ballet started and Sookie was mesmerized.  She didn’t care that Eric sat with his arm around her shoulders for most of the performance, or that his hand was either stroking the side of her neck or playing with the tendrils that had escaped her up do.  The physical contact actually enabled Sookie to easily block the thoughts of the audience.  Given the packed house, that was a very welcome benefit of his attentions.  The bar was packed at intermission, so Sookie decided to forgo a glass of champagne and instead, they just chatted about some of the architecture in the old theatre.  She was impressed with Eric’s knowledge, but she figured a thousand years is a long time to collect information.  The second act was just as enjoyable, and Sookie even leaned into Eric’s arm.  She had never been able to enjoy this much physical contact, and since she was stuck in this situation, she decided to make the most of it.

Back in the limo, Eric offered Sookie some champagne as he planned and she accepted.  He was pleased about this since he wanted her to loosen up a bit before they were home, alone, with a corset to remove.  As far as he was concerned, the date was going perfectly, even with the Portia incident.  He knew Sookie enjoyed some of what happened.  Now he was really looking forward to getting home.

Teenage boys had nothing on Eric’s excitement as they approached his empty house.  No Potts, no Pam and Sookie was going to need help.  Should he offer?  Wait for her to call him?  Could he be more of a pansy about wanting to just touch her naked back?  Do teenage boys have a support group that he can join to get through these situations?  Since he planned to take things very slowly with Sookie, he already knew the evening was not going to end in sex and he was setting himself up for a visit to Yvetta’s, but he didn’t care.  Guiding her out of the limo and to the door he asked, “It’s early, would you like to watch a movie?”

“Actually, I’m starving since I ate so long ago.  Will you join me while I have a snack?”

“Sure, I just want to get out of my tux first.”

“Oh, I’m with you there, these shoes” she bent to take them off, flashing a bit of cleavage, “and corset are very uncomfortable.”

Groaning out loud was not something he intended to do, but it happened anyway.  He hoped it wasn’t loud enough for Sookie to hear, but she did.  “What’s wrong?  Are you hurt?”

Only my blue balls’ he thought, but kept that to himself.  “You’re killing me.”

“What?”

“Talking about your corset, bending over to remove your shoes.  It’s killing me.”

“Oh, OH!  I’ll stop.  Let me go get changed into something that’s not so pretty.”  She turned to go up the stairs.

Good luck without me my Sookie.’  He stayed in the kitchen and waited, smirking to himself.  Then, the door from the garage opened and Potts walked in.  ‘No No No No!’  “What are you doing home?”  He grimaced out.

“My date is over.”

“You were supposed to be out late.”

“He was a jerk.”

“Potts?!”   They heard from upstairs.  “Is that you?”

If he was alone, he was sure he would have been crying in disappointment, but if he was alone in the kitchen, he would be getting the call from Sookie for help.  He held himself together and told Potts she needed to go upstairs and help Sookie out of her dress.  After a moment of confusion, Potts had a realization of what she had done.  “Oh, your date.”  He just glared at her.  “I’ll make it up to you.”

He grumbled as he walked to his chamber, “You better fucking believe it.”

He quickly changed then met Sookie in the kitchen.  She was pulling out a plate and some crackers.  He knew what she wanted to eat so he stuck his head in the fridge and asked.  “Brie or the Merlot Cheese?”

“Brie, and the fig strawberry stuff to go with it.”

“Are you out of glazed nuts?”  He chuckled.

“Are my eating habits that transparent?”

“Perfect memory my dear, that’s all.”  He pulled a tray out and started putting her snack on it.  ”I know you hate eating in front of the TV, but I have a special movie, can you cheat this one time?”  He asked as he was already walking out of the kitchen with her tray.

She called out to him, “Every time you talk me into this, you ask me to cheat this one time, you know that, right?”

Pirates of the Caribbean:  The Curse of the Black Pearl was queued in the DVD player and the lights were dimmed when Sookie joined Eric in the Den.  She asked him if he also had The Land Before Time to watch since that was also being released the next Tuesday.  To which he responded, “You read too much.”

“I can’t help it if you have me spoiled with early releases, now I check the list of DVDs coming out so I can see if I want you to get something.  Your fault.”

He chuckled as she sat.  “And I suppose that hideous outfit is my fault too?”  He glanced at her tank top, covered by a large football jersey (Jason’s), fleece pajama pants and thick white men’s socks.  “Are you ensuring there is no skin showing, or are you just adding layers to be unwrapped later?”

She gasped and smacked his arm.  “I’m comfy.  Just turn on the movie.”

“I’d rather turn you on.”

“Your goodnight kiss is in jeopardy.”  With that comment, he hurriedly turned on the movie.

Sookie quickly finished her snack and the wine Eric poured for her.  Then in a move that surprised Eric, she sat back from the coffee table and leaned into him.  Glad that Sookie (or Pam for that matter) couldn’t see the look of shock on his face he took a moment to recover then wrapped his arm around Sookie’s shoulders.  They stayed that way for the rest of the movie, and when the credits were playing, Eric had that teenage feeling coming upon him again.  ‘Should I make a move?  I already told her I was going to have a goodnight kiss and she really didn’t say no.  SHE did lean up against me, on her own.  Yeah. I’m going in.’  Satisfied with his decision, he pulled Sookie from her sitting position to straddling his lap.

“I don’t know that this is the proper position for a first date kiss, Mr. Northman.”

“Is there a rule book we are following, Miss. Stackhouse?  Are we being graded?”

“Pfft, I hope not,” she waved her hand, “cause we definitely wouldn’t pass with the way any of this started.  We’ve been rebels.”

“Then let’s keep it up.  I like you here.”  He watched as her face changed from amused to scared and he decided to just kiss her before she could think anymore about it.  Holding her head with one hand and banding his other arm around her waist, he moved his lips to hers.  Unlike the other kisses, she didn’t resist at all this time.  Eric thought she tasted wonderful.  The hints of the brie and wine on her tongue combined with Sookie’s already wonderful flavor and had him moaning.  At least Sookie was more aware of his moaning now so she didn’t stop to ask about it.

She was so upset the first times they kissed; she never really had a chance to appreciate it.  She decided after only a few seconds that Eric was probably spoiling her for anyone else.  His tongue massaged her whole mouth wonderfully while she explored his mouth with her own tongue.  She broke when she needed to breathe, but Eric continued by placing both soft kisses and open mouth kisses on her nose, cheeks and down her jaw line.  When she opened her eyes, she saw Eric as she had never seen him.  His face showed well, need and desire, something like that she thought.  His eyes had grown dark with heavy lids.  He was panting somewhat, something that confused her since she knew he didn’t need to breathe.  Since she wanted more, she leaned in to claim his lips for another kiss.  In his head, Eric claimed victory.  He knew she was enjoying the kiss from the smell of her arousal, but for her to initiate the next kiss was more than he had hoped.  So what did he do?  He pushed.  He moved one arm under her football jersey and tank top to feel the skin on her back.  When she didn’t protest, he moved that same arm around to the front and slowly moved it up to seek out her breasts.  That’s when she stopped him.

“Eric.  Stop.”  She whispered and he listened.  Disappointed but wanting to respect her wishes, he removed his hand immediately.  She added an apology, but he assured her they would go at her pace.  She relaxed and melted down onto his chest with her head tucked into his shoulder.  That’s when she felt it.  “Oh God!  Eric, I’m really sorry about that.”

“Sookie, we don’t need to kiss for me to have that reaction to you.  I walk around in this condition on a regular basis.”

“Do all women do that to you?  Is this a vampire thing?”

“No, not at all.”

“I don’t get it, what’s so special about me?”

“Sookie, what isn’t special about you?”

“Admit it, it’s my scent.”

“I told you before, I do like your scent AND the way your blood tastes, but that’s only part of the package.”  She shook her head, trying to deny what he was saying.  “Sookie, you’re smart, brave, funny.  You stand up to me.”

“I thought you hated that.”

“I can’t allow it in public, but at home, I love the challenge.”

“Good to know.  Maybe I’ll give you more grief then.”

“I think the level of challenge is just right, no need to add more.”

“Chicken.”

“Changing the subject.  Would you like to watch another movie?”

“Don’t you need to go out?”

“What do you mean?”

“You know, to feed and um, take care of that other problem.”

His eyes narrowed and he asked, “What has Pam told you?”

“Pam?  Nothing.  Other nights when you don’t go to Fangtasia you leave for a few hours and come back rosy and a bit more, um relaxed.”

“Sookie.”  He started, ready to explain.

“Eric, I’m sorry I brought it up.  I’m just observant.  I get it.  I’m not fulfilling those things for you.  Really, I shouldn’t have said anything.”  She scrambled to get off his lap, but he held her.  “Let me go Eric.  I just got too comfortable and thought I could say something.”

“You should be comfortable here.”

“But that other stuff is not my business.”

“No, well normally it’s not, but I’m making it your business since you brought it up.  I do go out for relief, that’s it.  It’s you I want when you’re ready.”

“Eric.  I enjoyed the date, I enjoyed your company, I really enjoyed that kiss.  I just don’t know how we can ever be what you want.  I just need time.”

“Will you go out with me again?”

She thought about it, but only for a minute.  “What do you have in mind?”

“We can do something couples do.  We can Christmas shop together.”  Her face fell, and she started to move off of his lap again but he held firm.  “Sookie?”

“How about we do something else?”

“We can do anything, but please tell me why you don’t want to shop with me.”

She teared up while she shook her head.  “I … I.  I should go to bed.”

“No, something upset you and I want to know what it was.”

“I’m embarrassed.”

“I don’t understand.”

“Eric.  How exactly do you think I can go Christmas shopping?”

He groaned.  “This is about money?  Sookie, don’t be ridicules.  You can buy anything you want.”

“Eric, that’s not how I operate.  I can’t just take money from you.”

“Well, you can’t work, you need money.  I want to do this.”

“Why can’t I get a job?  Maybe you need a waitress at Fangtasia?”

“You cannot work at Fangtasia, a companion should never work and even if one did for some reason, it would NEVER be as a waitress.”

“Oh, is there something wrong with being a waitress?”  She pushed against him to finally get out of his grasp and stood, only because he finally allowed it.

“No, that’s not what I meant.”

“What did you mean?”

“Whether you like it or not, I am the Sheriff in this area, you are my human.  I must provide for you.”

“That’s not what you said though.  You said even if I did work, implying that there could be things I could do – it would not be as a waitress, implying that was an unacceptable profession.”

“Sookie, don’t be like this.  I suppose some companions work, likely as something not in the public.  It’s the public aspect that’s a problem, especially in public at a vampire bar.”

Her argument deflated – a bit.  “I can see that.  But that doesn’t help my predicament.  I still have no money for Christmas gifts.”

“Sookie, please don’t be stupid and pigheaded.  You have…”

“YOU DID NOT JUST CALL ME STUPID!”  She spat now, standing with her hands on her hips.  “Pigheaded, I own that, but not stupid.”

Eric cursed himself for his wording.  She was PISSED and she was justified.  He tried to calm her.  “Sookie, I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have called you stupid.  I’m just frustrated that you won’t accept what I’m offering when providing for your every need was always part of my plan.”  He tried to get her to sit again and succeeded.  He thought of something that would help him out.  “Even your Gran has accepted help.”

“We already discussed the windows.”

“It’s more than the windows.”

“What did you do?”

“Did you not tell me to send her money?”

She stilled and he could see her checking her memory for the conversation.  “You helped her?”  He nodded.  “How?”

“I arranged for a very large insurance payout from your car accident claim.  Bobby has filled the oil tank for the house and paid the bill.  I’ve even gone to the electric company and paid up the next year based on last year’s usage.  The acres she tried to sell when you first moved in with her have been purchased by one of my holding companies, and my lawyer has already had them transferred to your name as a gift.”  Sookie misted up.  “In January, she’ll win the Publisher’s Clearing House prize with a large payout.  That should set her up to pay off the house and have extra in the bank for whatever.”

Sookie threw her arms around Eric and cried.  He took a moment to enjoy the feeling.

“Eric?”

“Yes Sookie.”

“She doesn’t enter that contest.”

He chuckled.  “I was originally going to glamour her to enter, but since she knows I’m the one helping out, she knows it’s an act to explain her finances.”

“Ok.”

“So explain to me that your Gran can accept what I’m offering, and you can’t?”

She looked up from her position tucked in his shoulder.  “I admit you got me there, but you also need to understand that I was raised to earn my way.  Gran can’t earn her way right now, so her accepting the help is a necessity.”

“Can you please give in on this?”  He shifted her in his arms so she didn’t need to strain to see him.  “You know, I understand that many couples fight over money, but not usually because someone has too much that he wants to share with the other.”

“We AREN’T a couple and where did you hear that?”

“We are a couple, we’re certainly dating and we live together.  I heard it from Pam.  She reads Dear Abby and feeds me information to help me with you.”

“Oh?  What else has she helped with?”

He got that guilty look again.  “She’ll get me if I tell.”

“I’ll get you if you don’t.”

“You need to answer something – and be honest – before I can tell you.”  He paused, unsure of whether to go on. “I’m worried about something.”

“Ok.  But you can’t feel my emotions, how will you know I’m lying.”

“I’ll know from your heartbeat, your eyes, your body temperature.  Same way I know you were VERY turned on from our kiss.”

She reddened with embarrassment.  “Stop.  Just ask the question.”

“Do you still want to gain weight so I won’t find you attractive?”

Her eyes grew wide and she screeched.  “SHE TOLD YOU THAT?  I’m going to kill her.”

“I’ll explain how I found out – but is it still true?”

“No, but I can’t promise I’m losing any weight, those pastries are too” She stopped herself.  “OH MY FUCKING GOD.  She bought those because you like… OH MY GOD.”  He laughed at her realization.  “She wasn’t helping me, she was helping you?”  He nodded his head.  “I’m going to kill her.  Wait, you really like pudgy?”

“Sookie, you aren’t pudgy, you’re perfect.”

“You think I’m perfect?”

He kissed her nose then whispered in her ear.  “If anything, you should gain weight.”

“You’re good for the ego – but we’re getting off track.  Now explain, how long ago did she tell you?”

“You and I were having a discussion about spending money on books, and when I used the pastries as a comparison, you thought I was calling you fat.  Do you remember that?”

“Yes, and when you explained you also distracted me with the Halloween party.”

“Well, when I was talking about what I said to Pam, I told her I wanted to explain that I like curves.  She told me what you were doing ONLY because she was afraid if I told you I liked curves you would starve yourself.  We didn’t want you to get sick trying to make yourself less desirable to me.”

“Ok, maybe I won’t kill her.”

“Good, I am quite fond of her.”

“Yeah, me too.”

“I’m fond of you too.”

She smiled back at him.  “I don’t hate you anymore.”

“Careful Sookie, I may swoon at your words.”

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6 thoughts on “Chapter 17 – The First Date

  1. Pingback: Happy Mother’s Day! | magsmacdonald

  2. Lovely Mother’s Day gift. Hope yours is terrific. This was a memorable first date;she got to experience something beautiful,he defended her without leaving blood on the walls, and real progress was made in their relationship. Quite a successful evening.

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