Chapter 4 – Serious Mistake
Sookie tried to put on a pleasant face while she visited with the remaining guests. Most of her close friends had started to leave since it was getting late for the kids. When the final guest left, she started clearing the tables as her final clean-up. She and Jessica worked for about another hour until everything was put away and the Barn was deemed clean and ready for the next open mic night.
Exhausted, Sookie returned to the house with the linens that would need washing and instead of just starting them right away, she simply dropped them on the laundry floor and retired to her room for the night. She lay in bed for a while unable to sleep. ‘It’s none of my business, Selah and Eric are both adults and I told him that nothing beyond friends was going to happen. Why is this bothering me so much?’
The next morning, she set out early for church with the girls and returned home to make the promised biscuits and gravy for Alcide. He was already in the kitchen ready to help. Alcide could tell something was wrong and asked Sookie as much.
“I’m just tired, Alcide. It took us a while to clean-up last night and then I was up again early for church.”
“Well, you get to nap today since Eric’s cooking dinner.”
Alcide noticed the hurt look on Sookie’s face at his comment. She quickly turned to get the bacon going on the stove. Alcide offered to tend to the bacon so Sookie could start the biscuits. To round out the breakfast, Sookie threw together a few other items together and it was on the table in no time. Eric and the girls joined Alcide and Sookie in the kitchen and they all dove in. Sookie picked at her food and eventually left the table saying she needed to start the laundry from last night.
Alcide questioned Eric with his face, and Eric just shrugged. Neither of them had any idea about why Sookie seemed ‘out of sorts’ this morning.
Sookie waited until she thought everyone was finished eating to return to the kitchen to clean-up, only to find Eric there putting away his delivery from Bobby. She had been so lost in her thoughts; she didn’t even hear him arrive. Ignoring Eric, and focusing on the safer person she asked, “Bobby, will you be staying for dinner since you did all this legwork?”
“I would love to. I’m also anxious to try Eric’s cooking. I have the advantage since I did the shopping; I know what the menu is. Before you even try, no peeking allowed. I wrapped all the ingredients for the fridge in brown packaging. You would need to tear it open to find out what’s in there.”
Sookie turned away from Eric and Bobby to start cleaning up breakfast saying, “This will only take me a few minutes, and then the kitchen is yours. Tell me if you need any special pans or tools so I can get them out before I leave the kitchen.”
“Sookie, I thought you were going to join me to learn some new recipes?”
“Oh, right. Well, I had a very late night last night, I don’t know if I have the energy.” With that, she turned away to the sink to finish the dishes and left the kitchen.
“Something is wrong, Alcide” Eric said when they met up in the dining room later.
“I know, she told me she was up late, but this does not seem like someone who is just tired. She seems sad about something. Maybe the comments from that slut, Selah?”
“That can’t be right. As far as I’m concerned, Sookie has no issues with her figure; I can’t believe that would bother her so much. Besides, if anyone has a figure problem it’s Selah. Being with her would be like fucking a piece of wood she’s so flat. She is just like every other shapeless Hollywood starlet that runs around starving themselves. Do you know that cunt had the nerve to try to follow me when I left? I was heading over to watch the movie with the kids, since the Grange party outlasted my interest after the food part was over and Sookie was stuck in the kitchen.”
“Uh oh,” Alcide said, “you don’t think Sookie saw that and thought anything else, do you?”
“Fuck. I know we talked about just being friends, but one of her issues with me is that she thinks I’m a manwhore. If she saw me leaving with Selah at my heels, she could think I left WITH her.”
“Eric, you are a manwhore.”
“Thanks for your help. What do I do?”
“I have an idea. Let’s meet with the….” Alcide was interrupted by a screech from the foyer.
Eric groaned, “Not this jerk again” as he and Alcide made their way to the foyer. It was too late to cut him off. Sookie was already there and Bill had a bouquet of flowers for ‘Sookeh.’
“Darling,” He was saying, “I apologize for raising my voice Friday. Can we talk about it?”
Sookie, more concerned about keeping the peace in front of Eric and Alcide, said, “Thank you for the flowers, let’s go to my office.”
“Sookeh, as I said, I apologize for raising my voice. I know you feel your meetings with the movie people are important, and you had completed your work for InnKeeper. I had no right to yell at you like I did.”
“Thank you, for the apology. I do take my InnKeeper work seriously, and you don’t need to worry that it isn’t getting done. I have done a fine job of juggling my kids, the B&B and InnKeeper for years now. I would like to think that you trust me. Can we agree on that?”
“Even though I take my work seriously, I still want you to reconsider selling the company. We have a sizable offer and we don’t know if we will have a similar offer months or years from now. I truly believe this is the best time to sell.”
“Sookeh, not this again! We can grow this business. We need to keep the work that Sam did within the family. Darling, you don’t need to worry so much about business. I can take care of you.”
“Could you not call me Darling? It gives my kids and guests the wrong impression. And I don’t need you to take care of me.”
“I don’t understand; it has been almost three years since Sam passed away. Don’t you think it is time for you to stop mourning and move on? You know Sam would have wanted you to be with me. I waited the respectable year, Sookeh, but I should not need to wait any longer. Please allow me into your life fully.”
“Bill, I started a conversation about selling the business, and you start talking about us as a couple?” Sookie started out softly, but her volume quickly rose. “Bill, you and I will never be together. I don’t feel that way at all for you.”
“Sookeh, you could learn to love me.” Bill states while he approaches Sookie trying to pull her into a hug.
Pushing back, Sookie yells, “ENOUGH BILL, PLEASE LEAVE!” Bill had started to form a grip on her arm and when she pushed, he grabbed harder.
While Bill and Sookie were talking (arguing), Eric and Alcide were talking to the girls in the family room. They were starting to put Alcide’s plan into action, while still keeping an ear on the conversation in the office. Once the conversation turned to yelling, Alcide told the girls to stay put and he and Eric headed for the office.
Standing to his full height with his arms crossed at his chest, Eric addressed Bill, “Sookie asked you to leave. I suggest you do that on your own, right now.”
Bill started to protest but was cut off by looking up and seeing Eric and Alcide both standing there and quite angry. With one last glare at Sookie, he departed, after grabbing the bouquet of flowers to take with him.
Sookie just sat in her chair and wondered how Bill had thought he could just step in and start a relationship with her. She had never said yes to a date, she considered him family, not a suitor. While she was thinking, she subconsciously started rubbing her arm.
After returning from following Bill out, Alcide went to the family room to check on the girls and Eric returned to the office. He noticed she was rubbing her arm and asked, “Did he hurt you? I’ll kill him!”
“No Eric, I pushed him away while he had a hold on me. Please, don’t do anything. The girls are not that far away and they can hear us. They don’t need to see that violence is the answer.” Then she added through sobs, “Please?”
Eric acquiesced and walked over to Sookie and knelt down to check her arm. It would probably bruise and he hated that, but he wouldn’t go after Bill himself. He did pull out his phone and called John (the Chief of Police) to report the incident. Sookie started to protest immediately. He convinced her that it should at least be on record in case anything further escalated. As business partners, Sookie would have difficulty with a restraining order; recording the incident was the best action they could take.
About an hour later, after John left having taken the report personally and photographing the now well-formed bruise, Sookie started crying again. Eric hated tears. He hated anyone’s tears, but seeing Sookie cry actually hurt him. Kneeling down again in front of her, he embraced her in a hug, and let her cry it out. She started to hiccup after a few moments and eventually calmed down. Then she jokingly reminded Eric that he had a dinner to cook, and nothing would get cooked with all the hugging going on.
They left the office, called to Alcide and the girls and met up in the kitchen to watch dinner being prepared.
Eric worked quite well in the kitchen. He was making some traditional dishes from Sweden including, Grilled Salmon, Janssons Frestelse (Jansson’s Temptation) – Potato and Anchovy Casserole, Picked beets (he had to cheat since he didn’t have time for them to set up) and for dessert, purchased Prinsesstårta (Princess Cakes – two since they were having company). Sookie wondered where Bobby had found the Princess Cakes on a Sunday.
While dinner was cooking, Eric continued to involve the girls in his tasks and joke with them. At first Sookie was laughing too, and then she remembered he had left with Selah last night. She felt comforted from him before, now she was mad she allowed herself that comfort from him. She would need to shield the girls in case they thought something was happening with her and Eric. The girls knew Alcide had a girlfriend, but they believed Eric to be available. Well, he was available, just perpetually. Spending more time in her head thinking about his lifestyle and his blatant display by leaving with Selah last night, Sookie returned to her angry (jealous) state from earlier.
She asked Alcide and the girls to start setting the tables in the dining room. Then she turned to Eric, “It won’t work Eric and it’s not fair to the girls.” Sookie snarled.
“What are you talking about Sookie?”
“You; trying to ingratiate yourself to me by making nice with my children!”
Eric was actually offended. His face must have shown his shock when she continued, “Is that the look that earned you the Oscar, because I wouldn’t have voted for it.”
He was starting to decide right then, that no attraction was worth this woman’s roller coaster of emotions. But he couldn’t back down.
“YOU invited Alcide and me into your home, not just your B&B. Would you prefer that I sit here and ignore them? I was rude to you once and I apologized, yet you continue to treat me like scum. Why?”
“Because being around you scares me!” Uh oh, that came out inadvertently.
“I scare you? What have I done that scares you?” Eric replied softly.
Sookie, now looking at the ground and growing red, replied, “No, you don’t scare me, my reaction to you scares me. Eric, I cain’t deny I’m attracted to you but it’s not somethin’ I can act on or even ponder. I am a widowed, single mother of 2 young girls. I have two jobs tryin’ to provide for my girls now as well as their future. I cain’t get swept up into a meaninless attraction. I don’t mean this to offend you, but you don’t have any track record for dating long term. I’m afraid you think that since I’m obviously a fan, I would be willing to be a fling while you’re in town for the movie.” He started to reply and she held her hand up and continued. “I know I don’t have the right to assume that of you, but your come-on the other night lead me there.”
Stunned; both of them. She was stunned that she had been so open; he was stunned at all of her words. She was attracted to him, he got that part, but she had no plans to act on it. He didn’t like the way her rejection felt and that scared him. He should be running from a woman with two kids that wanted a relationship. Now he found he really did want to spend more time with her. But a relationship?
“Would you like me to move back to the Holiday Inn for the rest of my stay?” Eric asked, hesitantly.
“No, of course not, you’re going to be here most of your days anyway.”
Eric returned to his cooking and Sookie decided she needed a glass of wine. After a few minutes of uncomfortable silence, Alcide and the girls rejoined them in the kitchen. Alcide was checking over Eric and Sookie to ensure she hadn’t done any cooking while they were out of the room. Once he was convinced, he asked the girls how their movie night was. He had prepared the girls for this question and coached them on the answer. Maura, being the oldest said, “It was fun. Eric has never seen most of our kid’s movies before, so we let him pick.”
“Eric?” Sookie said in question as she turned to him. “I thought you left with…”
“Selah? No, she tried but I really didn’t want to have anything to do with her.”
Sookie just beamed. The smile that they hadn’t seen since she woke up finally made its appearance. Eric and Alcide both knew they figured out that problem. The fact that Eric was so happy to have not left with Selah was his real puzzle. He should have just fucked her, flat as a board or not. He’d been traveling for a week now without hooking up with anyone. Yet, he found he didn’t have a longing. Did he have any physical reactions to Sookie? Hell yes, but a need to go fuck someone else, nope.
When the crowd of friends arrived Sookie helped Eric serve his dinner, and when the platters were on the dining table, they sat next to each other to eat.
Something had shifted with them. Sookie was relieved to have said her piece, Eric needed to hear it. Was he still going to pursue Sookie? Most certainly. He wanted to get to know her even more, but he would be respectful and move slowly. For the first time in a long time, he had found someone worth making an effort.
Everyone complimented the meal and the girls loved the Prinsesstårta so much that Sookie was going to have to find out how to make it herself. She could see it would be a requested birthday cake. She asked Bobby about the purchase; turns out the Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia had a stand for traditional Swedish foods and he was able to purchase the cake there. Sookie mentioned having been there, but not for years. Eric told her if she couldn’t find a proper recipe and method from the web or the Swedish Food stand in Philadelphia, he would get the details from his family’s cook in Sweden. The girls were quite happy and started planning Eleanor’s next party around the traditional green marzipan outer layer. Eleanor realized that Eric and Alcide would be back in April for the film and would be able to attend. At Eric and Alcide’s insistence, the girls had stopped calling them by their formal last names and she asked, “Alcide and Eric, would you like to attend my birthday party?”
Alcide answered, “Little one, by that point you will have the cast and the crew wrapped around your little finger so tightly, that you might have everyone from the film at your party. I think you should plan it for the Barn.”
Sookie deadpanned, “Thanks Alcide, I am so looking forward to planning that event. I believe you just volunteered yourself to be in charge. Speaking of volunteering, I believe you also just volunteered to do the dishes?”
“Uh, yes Ma’am anything for you.”
With that, Russell and family left since it was a school night. Eric and the girls retired to the family room for a game while Sookie helped Alcide in the kitchen. He could wash, but he really didn’t know where things went.
“So, you leave at about 8AM tomorrow?”
“Yes,” Alcide replied. “I won’t need breakfast; I can just grab something at the airport. I know how hectic the morning can be when you’re trying to get girls out the door.” Sookie nodded, and Alcide continued, “So how do you feel about the movie being filmed here? What do you think about the changes to your property?”
“Truthfully, I’m excited. The changes to the RV area are permanent, but they won’t be obvious. Maybe someday I can expand and add a mini-campground. I’m looking forward to the excitement of the filming. I’m a bit worried about juggling my work with InnKeeper and keeping my weekend guests comfortable while filming is happening, but I’m sure it will all work out.”
“I hate to admit this, but Eric and I were listening to your conversation with Bill, mostly to ensure he didn’t upset you. You were talking to Bill about selling InnKeeper. What’s the story with that?”
“Don’t worry about listening in; it appears that I needed it since he wasn’t leaving when I asked. As far as selling the software business, Bill’s a stubborn fool. InnKeeper is currently worth something to a few of the larger software providers now because the legwork on its functionality has been done and they only need to port the code to their delivery methods. In a short while, the potential buyers may develop the underlying functionality, and the opportunity to sell the company will be gone, or the value reduced. I feel we should strike while the iron is hot. It will enable me to focus on my B&B, and sock some money away for a rainy day.”
“What’s his problem then?”
“Me. If he sells, we don’t have much reason to interact. I guess that since you were listening to the conversation, you heard he’s expecting us to become a couple. I really don’t want any part of that. Truth is, his intentions are becoming more urgent and it scares me a bit. I guess even though I fought Eric on calling the police, having today’s incident on record was probably a smart thing.”
“Are you actually agreeing that I was right?” Eric said as he walked into the room.
Sookie gasped in surprise and just hit him with the damp towel in her hands.
Eric started stalking her saying, “oh, you’re going to get it now.” Then he proceeded to chase her around the kitchen while Alcide did nothing but watch the two of them act like children. Eric finally caught her from behind and picked her up, walking to the family room like she was his prize. He placed Sookie on the couch, told the girls that their mother had hit him with a wet towel, and he needed help tickling her to get her back. Maura and Eleanor were very eager to help, so Eric held Sookie down while they tickled her until she cried uncle. Sookie was laughing so hard, she couldn’t catch her breath. Having some mercy on her, Eric finally let her up. She told the girls it was time for bed and got them started on their bath and other nighttime routines. Maura and Eleanor asked if Alcide could read them their bedtime story since he would be leaving the next day, of course, he agreed.
The next morning they said goodbye to Alcide (after Sookie ensured he had a proper breakfast from home, not airport junk). Since both Eric and Sookie had work to do, they parted after breakfast. Eric was busy with the contractors on specifications. The goal was to get all the details worked out so they could complete the proposals for the contracts and return in January to have them signed. His flight was early Wednesday morning so he could be home in time for Thanksgiving with Pam and he had many details to complete before he departed.
Sookie, meanwhile, was head’s down in the office on InnKeeper with Jessica. Jessica was a great assistant. Taking on B&B work, the open mic nights and InnKeeper duties as needed. She preferred the InnKeeper work since she was in college majoring in Information Technology. She did any of the work Sookie needed though because she was an employer who worked around the crazy class schedule of a college student.
“So,” Jessica began, “tell me about Mr. Hotty out there.”
“What? It’s no secret you’re a fan and now he’s here, in your house.”
“We’re just friends.”
“Oh come on Sookie, the two of you can’t keep your eyes off each other. Anyone can see it.”
“Jessica, we agreed to be friends. He lives on the West Coast, I have two young girls; a relationship isn’t possible.”
“You could just jump his bones. I mean really, how long has it been for you?”
“Jessica, I think we should change the subject. Do you have the code finished for the new tax enhancement?”
They continued to work in silence until Jessica was leaving for class. “You aren’t mad at me, are you Sookie? I just want you to be happy and do something nice for yourself.”
“I’m not mad. Of course you’re curious. Go have a good day.”
Shortly after Jessica left, Eric came in for lunch. Sookie had put out some fixings for sandwiches and they ate in the kitchen. They had been sharing tidbits about each other while eating. Eric enjoyed the stories from Sookie’s childhood. It was hard to imagine Sookie playing in a creek with the boys, catching frogs and shooting a gun. “My friend Tara and I hung out with my brother and his friends most of the time. We were tomboys. Most of the guys never saw me as a girl. I never really dated until I met Sam.”
“I find that incredible. The boys in Bon Temps must be idiots to have missed someone as beautiful as you.”
Sookie blushed at the compliment and looked down. Eric touched her chin and lifted her head up to his gaze. “Sookie, you don’t know how to take a compliment.”
“Oh, I’m sorry, where are my manners, thank you Eric.”
“I didn’t mean your manners; I mean your head was down.”
“I um, well, I’m not sure I ever felt that way about myself, so it makes me feel uncomfortable to hear it.”
‘How can she not see how beautiful she is? Incredible.’ Eric thought.
“So Eric, tell me what you did for fun when you were growing up.”
“Sookie, some folks would say I’m still growing up.” They both laughed at that. “To answer your question, we lived a very ‘proper’ life. No creeks or frogs. We did enjoy the outdoors, especially winter sports. Snowboarding is a favorite for me.”
“I’ve never been.”
“I’ll teach you sometime. So when do the girls start their Thanksgiving Holiday?”
“They have off Wednesday through next Tuesday. My brother is flying in from Louisiana so they’re excited to spend time with Uncle Jas. He actually arrives in Philly close to when you depart, so we can drive you to the airport since Alcide took the rental car.”
“That would be great. What’s the plan for tonight?”
“The girls have Girl Scouts today, so I have to be at the school by about 3PM, since I help out Amelia, the leader. I usually take the girls to dinner after Girl Scout meetings. Would you like to join us?”
“I would, but dinner will be my treat.”
“That will be nice.”
They finalized the plans for dinner while they continued lunch. Eric helped Sookie clean-up the dishes and they each went back to work. Amelia picked up Sookie for scouts so Eric could just take Sookie’s car over to the school. Towards the end of the Girl Scout meeting, the parents started to arrive as did Eric. There were quite a few shocked expressions when Eric walked in and the girls ran over to him. He allowed himself to be led to the drying crafts so they could show off their latest creations. They had made paper cornucopias and announced that one was for Eric and one was for Mama. “I love it; I can’t wait to put it on my table for Thanksgiving.”
Amelia was trying to update the parents on the latest Troop news but all eyes were on Eric as he interacted with the girls. Finally, one mom blurted out, “Is that Eric Northman?”
Amelia replied “Yes, he is here on business and staying at the Bon Temps B&B. Can we get through this list of Troop news?”
Another mom, “What’s he doing with Sookie’s kids? It looks like he is here for more than business.”
Yet another, “Are they dating?”
Exasperated, Amelia just gave up and said, “OK, I can see I don’t have your attention, so I’ll just send you an e-mail with the updates.” Then she turned to the girls and said, “Girls, you’re dismissed.”
After the parents left with their kids, Amelia turned to Eric and said, “You are not allowed at Girl Scout meetings until after I do the parent’s updates.”
Eric, who had been oblivious since he was talking to Eleanor and Maura questioned, “Why, what did I do?”
“Eric, once you walked in, nobody paid attention to me. I had to dismiss them to stop the questions about you.”
In the car, Eric started driving out of the school lot and Sookie stopped him, “Do you know where you’re going?”
“Gonna share with the class?”
Fifteen minutes later then were in Stopper’s Parking lot and the girls were squealing.
“How did you know this is their favorite place?”
With a smirk, Eric replied, “Russell.”
“Smarty Pants. Let’s eat.”
The girls did their reading while they waited for the food to arrive. This was their normal routine on Girl Scout nights. Sookie just talked about how she and Sam had found Stopper’s when Maura was a baby and for some reason she always seemed fine with the restaurant. Maybe it was all the decorations on the walls that kept her entertained. They just started eating at Stopper’s on a regular basis; even asking for the same waitress every time. Dinner finished, they piled in the car for home. Maura still had math to complete so they had to make a quick night of it.
Tuesday passed much the same way. Eric and Sookie enjoyed breakfast and lunch together while completing their work. Since it was Thanksgiving week, Sookie cancelled the open mic night; she just had too much to do. She was starting to prepare for Thanksgiving so the house smelled wonderful. She was baking cornbread for the stuffing, she pre-roasted turkey wings for gravy (Eric did not quite understand, but it still smelled heavenly), and she was making homemade cranberry sauce. Oh, he wished he was staying. “The smells in this house are making me want to stay. It’s only Pam and I for Thanksgiving so we go out. You just don’t get the same effect from a restaurant meal.”
“If you’re serious, there is plenty of room.”
“I thank you for that, but I have a photo shoot this weekend.”
“Oh yeah, I forgot. I know I’ll make you a turkey when you come back in January.”
She put out her pinky, “I’ll even pinky swear.”
“Wow that is serious.”
He watched as she pulled out oats and nuts. “Now what are you making?”
“Granola. Jason loves it when it’s homemade and tomorrow I’m busier than a cat covering crap on a marble floor.”
Chuckling, Eric said, “That southern charm comes out every once and a while, Sookie. I have never had homemade granola; I’m partial to Trader Joe’s.”
“I love Trader Joe’s stuff too, but the closest one is an hour away. I typically only get there once a month. Can you grab the blackberry honey? It’s on the back of the pantry door.”
“Wow, you have quite a collection of honey.”
“I use different honey for different uses.”
“Never hear of that before, explain?”
“Well, the smaller jars, cherry and rhododendron; they pair well with cheese. I sometimes put out cheese for the guests in the evening. The blackberry I use for my granola. The regular Orange blossom is good for baking and other items where other ingredients supply more flavor and honey is just a binder and sweetener.”
“They really taste different?”
Taking a towel from the drawer, she suggested, “I have an idea, sit down.”
Eric raised an eyebrow and complied. Sookie tied the towel around his head as a blindfold. “I like this already, what are you going to do to me while I’m blindfolded Sookie?”
“PERV! Now open your mouth.”
Coating her finger with the first honey, she put it in Eric’s mouth and he slowly sucked off the honey. When Sookie started to pull her finger out, he grabbed her hand to hold it there twirling his tongue around her finger before releasing her hand. She gave him a cracker to ready him for the next test. She repeated feeding him honey and crackers until he had tasted all the varieties, each time he took the same care with sucking and licking. ‘Oh my God, my lady bits are screaming and he only licked my fingers.’
Eric was in no better condition, he stayed in his seat after Sookie removed the blindfold so he could hide his erection under the table. ‘Fuck, I promised myself I wouldn’t push her, but after that I don’t know if I can stay away.’
“So, uh uhm, did you taste the difference?”
“I think so; I may need another taste test to be sure.”
“Sure you do.” Luckily for both them, Sookie needed to leave and meet the girls at the bus. She left without putting on a coat. ‘I need the cold air.’
That night, Eric read the bedtime stories to the girls then joined Sookie in the family room. “Would you like to watch something?”
“Um, do you like Doctor Who? I have the last two episodes on my DVR, I never got a chance to watch them.”
“I love Doctor Who, who doesn’t?”
Shortly after turning on the show, Sookie found herself snuggled into Eric’s side. ‘This is not good, it’s way too comfortable here. When he leaves tomorrow it’s going to be hard. I’ve enjoyed spending time with him the last few days.’
Eric just enjoyed the feel of Sookie next to him, he moved to wrap an arm around her shoulder and Sookie leaned in with an arm on his stomach. She absentmindedly started rubbing her fingers, stroking him at the waist. He leaned over to smell her head and Sookie giggled. “What, I can’t help that I like the way you smell.”
“It’s just the shampoo.”
“It’s not. You smell like your shampoo and you.”
“Whatever you say, let’s watch the show. You have to protect me from the angels.”
“I will shield you from the angels, but you cannot blink!”
They watched the two shows and said goodnight. Once in bed, Sookie couldn’t go to sleep. ‘Great, now all I’m doing is thinking about him, and he leaves tomorrow. I’m going to miss him. Maybe I’ll have questions about the film or something while he is gone so I can call him.’
Eric was also awake thinking about Sookie. ‘I should be excited to be going home. I didn’t like this place when we first arrived. I can go clubbing, drinking, fucking. That’s just not what I want now. I’ll have to find excuses to call her while I’m gone.’
“Come on girls, time to get in the car!”
They all piled into the SUV and headed to the airport. Eric was telling the girls about his sister Pam and her love of clothing. They were slack-jawed at hearing about the spare bedroom that was her seasonal storage in addition to the full walk-in closet in her bedroom. After hearing about her clothes, he then explained how she shops for him, and about 1/3 of the items in his closet had only been worn once. The girls couldn’t believe it.
As they approached the airport, there was a lull in the conversation until both Eric and Sookie started speaking at once.
“So, are there any parts of the contracts that we’ll need to discuss when you’re away?”
Eric smiled; certain she was also looking for the excuse to be in contact. “Yes, certainly. I know you have a busy weekend with your brother, how about I call you on Monday after I start digging into the particulars. I’m certain I’ll have questions then.”
At the curb, everyone exited the car to say goodbye. Eric gave each of the girls a hug and told them he would sneak time in to talk with them in December. Once they were both back in the car, and Eric’s luggage was removed Sookie turned to him. “You ready to get back to your city slicker ways?”
“City slicker, eh?”
“You know you hated everything about being the country when you first got here.”
“I just hadn’t met you yet.”
“You can’t mean that.”
“I do Sookie; I’ve enjoyed getting to know you. May I give you a kiss goodbye?”
“A chaste one, yes.” She nodded to the car to indicate the girls were watching.
Eric enveloped Sookie in a hug first and whispered, “I’m looking forward to January.”
“So am I.”
He moved back and gave her a quick kiss on the lips and left before he lost the ability to hold back.