“Fuck fuck fuck!” I mumbled, completely too aware that half our clothes were on the kitchen floor. Eric looked over at me with a mix of concern and worry on his face. “Get dressed,” I hissed urgently and tossed him his shorts from the floor, which he pulled on quickly. Since two very important components needed to cover myself were in another room, I settled for wrapping myself in the sheet and hoping for the best.
I heard footsteps coming down the hall slowly. Eric sat sideways on the bed, protectively. I covered my eyes with the hand that wasn’t securing the sheet. The last thing I expected was feeling a soft thud of something landing on the bed and a quiet snort of laughter. I dared a peek through my fingers.
“God damn it, Andre! What the hell?” I yelled and he literally doubled over laughing.
“Forget something?” he managed to choke out between chuckles.
“You complete shit! Get out of here!” The thud on the bed had been the clothes my cousin had collected from the kitchen floor. Andre turned and walked down the hall. I scrambled to get dressed and tossed Eric his shirt. He looked bewildered. “Trust me, this shit ain’t over,” I warned him.
“Your cousin?” he asked as he pulled the shirt over his head. I silently bid a sad farewell to his pecs and abs before continuing.
“Don’t let his jolly blond giant act fool you. He’s just slightly less protective of me than Jason is. There’s a reason I haven’t had you meet me at my house.
“Why is that?” he asked, looking a little wounded. Damn sad clown eyes.
“Honestly? My brother has kind of a very big problem with this,” I said, gesturing back and forth between the two of us.
He opened his mouth to say something when Andre bellowed, “Sook, I ain’t going anywhere until you get your ass out here and give me a damn good reason why I shouldn’t call Jase and Uncle Corbett.”
“Fuck,” I moaned again and turned to Eric. “You can stay back here if you want, but you’ll get some questions answered if you come out with me.”
He was being unusually quiet as he followed me down the hall. As I had known it would, Andre’s jovial mood had evaporated and transitioned to something far more surly. He was pacing the floor like a caged lion. He was on me as soon as he heard the footsteps coming down the hall stop.
“What the fuck were you thinking, huh? Gran’s house? Jesus Christ, Sookie.”
I felt my back stiffen. “Dre, you know you have no say over what I do.” I tried to keep my voice calm and mellow. “I don’t see why you need to tell anyone about what you walked in on..” Yeah, I was using the same tone that Obi-wan used when performing his Jedi mind trick. I only hoped it worked the same way on pissed off good ole boys.
“Are you fucking kidding me? Do you know what Jason or your dad would have done if they had been the ones to walk in and see half your clothes on the floor?” He looked Eric over. “Pretty boy there would be either in handcuffs or the hospital… probably both. Where is your sense, Susannah?”
Oh, he did not just pull out the full first name shit. “That is reason enough not to tell them. Everything that has happened here was my decision. What the hell are you doing here anyway?
“Phil called Vic to say he saw a strange car heading up the driveway. Since I was going into town, he asked me to swing by and check it out.
I put my hands on his shoulders and looked up at my cousin. “Dre, I am begging you. Forget you walked into this house and PLEASE don’t say anything to Jase or Daddy.”
He took my hands off his shoulders and held them in his own. “I know as well as you how caveman they can be when it comes to you. I also know what Jason would do if he walked in on Sophie or Hadley the same way I did on you. I don’t like keeping this from him. Hey you,” he turned suddenly to face Eric. “You’re being awfully quiet over there. What have you got to say for yourself?”
Okay, so he didn’t seem to know who Eric was by sight. That was a good thing. I just prayed Eric wouldn’t say too much or cop an attitude.
He kept his voice soft and respectful. “I’m not really sure what you want me to say.”
Andre’s eyes smiled, even if his mouth stayed grim. “I want you to give me a good reason not to turn you over to my cousin and uncle.”
Eric gave a small grin. “I really like Sookie. I would hate to lose out on the chance to get to know her better. And I would hate to be on the disabled list my senior year season.”
Wow. That last one was good. Andre had the same physique as Eric and had played quarterback as well. He’d been heavily scouted and played a year in Alabama when a blown knee ended his career and free ride. He knew the pain of not being able to play and I wondered if Eric knew that.
Fucking Andre Paul! Okay, hero worship aside, damn! He’d been a senior when I was a freshman. I’d seen him scouted by every university in the southeast. I’d been watching the game on ESPN when his career was ended by a bad hit. And he was Sookie’s cousin. I watched their interaction silently.
When he started asking me why I shouldn’t be turned in, I had nothing but honest answers. I did want to know Sookie better because I really liked her. More and more with every day that passed. But more than anything, I would hate to lose out on being scouted because I’d had the shit kicked out of me. I knew full well that I had a chance at an amazing scholarship as long as I stayed healthy.
I could see his gears turning. I knew that I could probably take Jason, but I wouldn’t want to. I was bigger than him, but he’d have anger on his side. Plus there was the whole Romeo-Tybalt-Juliet angle. (Just because I’m a jock doesn’t mean that I don’t have a brain. I remember Shakespeare. More accurately, I remember Clare Danes.)
Andre pulled Sookie to the side and they began mumbling too low for me to hear what exactly they were saying. All of a sudden, Sookie stood on her toes, kissed him on the cheek and gave him a hug. He gave me a kind of salute and walked out the door.
After he left, Sookie took my hand and led me out to the picnic table. As I sat next to her, she lightly ran her fingers over my knuckles. “Anything you want to tell me?” she asked.
Shit. “Not really.”
She smirked at me. “My bullshit detector is reading that as a false. Fess up.”
“I kind of broke Bill’s nose and punched him for attacking you.”
“I know,” she said with a small smile. “That’s why Andre was willing to leave and not say a word.”
“How’d he know?”
“Phil told Uncle Victor about Bill ‘falling’ at Merlotte’s and breaking his nose. Andre saw your hand. He’s a lot smarter than most people give him credit for. That’s what we were talking about. He asked if I had told you about what had happened. I told him that I had and that you were pissed. I mentioned that you dropped me off there last night. It’s not hard to put two and two together.”
I looked at her out of the corner of my eye. “Are you mad?”
She brushed my bruised knuckles with her lips. “I really don’t like violence. But I do feel oddly satisfied that you were able to do what Jason and Andre weren’t. Thank you for standing up for me.”
“You’re welcome. Why are your dad and brother so overprotective?”
She flushed a little in the dim light outside. “I’ve always been a daddy’s girl. I way preferred working with him on the farm then playing with the dolls my mom kept buying for me. But my body had different ideas. I started developing really early and I got picked on for it. Jason was my protector and never really dropped the role. Here’s the thing though.” She took a deep breath. “He’s heard rumors and gossip about you and your ‘well earned reputation’. He thinks you’re going to use me and toss me aside. No matter how much I tell him that he doesn’t have to worry about that, he won’t listen to me.”
Well shit. I knew that girls talked. I knew that I had earned the reputation that I had. Strange how something that I had taken pride in a few short months ago made me feel sick now. “You know it’s not like that with you, right?”
“Eric, I want to be honest with you. If it had been, when we were at the party, I would have been fine with it. I wasn’t looking for anything but fun. I met Rasul and did the boyfriend thing. I was okay, but I’m glad he had to go back to Spain. Maybe that’s why I picked him: the inevitable end. And I don’t want a relationship. I know we covered this last night, but I want you to understand some things. I like you. I do. We have fun together and, honestly, you are amazing in bed. You get me and my sense of humor, which is rare. The more time I spend with you, I’m getting more confused about what I really want.”
I couldn’t help it. I leaned over and kissed that spot on her neck that I committed to memory and smiled against her skin at the goosebumps it caused. “Tell me what you want, Susannah,” I whispered the name and she shivered.
“I don’t think I’ve ever liked the way my full name sounded until just now,” she groaned. “I love what you do to me, but I hate it too.”
“Just go with it. I can’t get enough you.”
She straightened up and sat up, pulling away from me slightly. “I don’t know what to do. I don’t want to lead you on and make you think there can be more than this. But I know that I don’t want to see you with anyone else. And that is so fucking unfair to you. I know I’m going to have to make a decision, but right now I just want to enjoy what we have in this moment.”
“What if you didn’t have to make a decision? I am completely comfortable keeping this as casual as you want, for the moment. This is new to both of us. I can tell you that I don’t want anyone as much as I want you. But we’re both going to be busy starting tomorrow. We have time. I’m a patient guy,” I said shrugging.
She smiled, biting her lower lip. “Do you know how tempting the thought of dragging you back into that house is right now?” she asked with a giggle.
“But that would be tempting fate, and I have to be ready to run drills in pads tomorrow, so I should head home. I want to see you again though. Soon,” I emphasized.
“I get off at four tomorrow afternoon. What time does practice end?”
“Usually off the field between three-thirty and four. I’d be free by four-thirty at the latest. Why?”
“You usually hungry after practice?”
“Like a starved bear. Why?”
She grinned that devilish smile that I was learning to love more and more. “What do you say to picking me up when you’re free and we take some food out to Daddy’s cabin and have a private little picnic?”
I kissed her forehead and held her close to me. “I think that may be the best offer I’ve ever had.” Uuugh. I don’t know if I could ever go to the lake again and not think of her. That could get embarrassing.
“Why don’t you go rest. I’ll get everything here cleaned up and taken care of. See you tomorrow by four-thirty?”
“You got it,” I replied, ready for practice to come and go so I could have her to myself again.
I tidied up the house after our little sexcapade and made my way home after Eric left. I was glad he was okay with keeping things casual. If I knew one thing about myself, forcing me to act one way was a sure way to get me to act in the opposite manner. Yeah, I know, typical teenager. What can I say?
I headed home and saw Daddy and Jason watching… something. I got questioned about why I was gone so long. I just said that after I was done at Gran’s I got some dinner. Pointedly not a lie. I just didn’t mention where, with who, and what was for dessert.
I pulled out the black shorts I would need for tomorrow and set aside a comfy outfit to wear after work. I cuddled up in my bed, smiling with the memories of just how freaking awesome this afternoon had been.
I was at Merlotte’s by ten the next morning. Senior gave me three t-shirts to change out as my uniform and a waist apron to carry a ticket book, pen, and tips. He and the other waitress Arlene showed me the layout, the sections, the table “names” and what to do with the orders. I learned about the opening side work and the things that needed to be done before having the evening server take over your section. It seemed like a lot to take in at once, but I figured it was a matter of getting into a groove with it.
By four, though, I thought my knees were going to give out and I couldn’t remember my feet ever hurting so bad. I put in a ticket for chicken tenders and two steak quesadillas. Those things were huge and I had no doubt that Eric could kill one AND all the chicken. I remembered how Jason would eat after practice.
I changed, got my to go containers and sat outside for a smoke while I waited for Eric. I couple of the girls I knew he had hung out with walked by, acting as though I was invisible, as always. I was used to it by now, but all of a sudden, it really pissed me off. They weren’t any better than me.
“Thalia better get off her ass and start practicing. Dance squad tryouts are in a couple of weeks and you know she almost got kicked off last year for not being able to keep up. Have you been working out your routines?”
The redhead chuckled. “Those routines are getting ridiculous. Do they think we’re the fucking Rockettes or something? I’m going for cheerleading this year. You guys take the hard work during halftime and I’ll stand on the sidelines and wave some pompoms.”
The blond laughed. “Yeah, that’s all the cheerleaders do. We’ll miss you. You’re the best dancer on the squad. I can’t think of anyone else who could measure up.” They continued their conversation as the door closed behind them.
Seriously? I would have to check into that. I could probably work out some deal with Senior so I could work and practice. Because, really, I’d seen the blond dance at prom. I was better..
I saw the red Camero and felt the smile split my face. I grabbed the bag with our food and hopped in the passenger seat before he could even consider parking the car. His smile was as wide as mine when we took off towards the lake.
We got to the cabin and he spread out the same blanket he’d had the other night. We sat in the fading light and ate our dinners, talking about our days. He smirked that Bill was temporarily benched because of the nose. I tried really hard not to feel good about that, but that was a lesson in futility. I told him about my new job and innocently mentioned that my feet hurt from the walking/running/standing I’d been doing for six straight hours. Without a word, he pulled off my tennis shoes and began rubbing my feet with those large, strong hands of his.
At that moment, I really couldn’t think of anything that felt any better. I was slightly self-conscious of the moans that I was making, but damn it, it felt awesome. If I was affected by his hands, he was affected my the sounds I made. He unknowingly hit a ticklish spot and I started giggling.
Without warning (well, I was in a foot massage haze), he was on me and kissing me. His lips caressed mine, his tongue running over mine, making me moan even more, only now into his mouth. He lightly sucked on my neck and earlobe, giving me goosebumps.
I threaded my fingers into his hair and kissed him back harder. I ran my other hand down his side and up his back, bringing his shirt with it. It seemed the only time we separated from each other was to remove clothing. His shirt got tossed in some unknown direction, since I was working on getting my own off, as well as my bra. He pulled me back to him, only this time, I was on top of him, straddling his legs. His hands renewed their friendship with the girls while I kissed his neck, jaw, mouth before letting his head join the party his hands were throwing on my chest.
He sucked, nibbled, tweaked, rolled, licked my nipples until I was squirming on his lap. I could clearly tell how he was feeling about my restlessness. I lifted his chin and brought his mouth back to mine. He slid his hands down the back of my shorts and cupped my ass and pulled me closer so that my hips were flush with his. The bulge in his shorts rubbed against me perfectly and it was hard to keep rational thoughts in my head. I could feel my heartbeat speeding up and it was getting harder to catch my breath.
He moved one of his hands off my butt to my front, sliding his hand down my stomach, unbuttoning the waistband, and slipping past my panties until his fingers brushed over my nub, making me shudder and gasp. His fingers very lightly caressed me, despite my squirming to get more friction. I felt his warm breath on my ear. “Tell me what you want me to do, Susannah, “ he whispered, emphasizing my name.
“Make me come, Eric,” I whispered back. No one had ever made my name sound as good as he did. I didn’t care how brazen I sounded. I just wanted the release I knew only too well that he could give me.
His fingers dipped into me and I know I moaned. His thumb traced little circles over my clit while two fingers thrust into me, brushing my g-spot just enough to make me want more. I could feel that coil of tightness in my belly being stretched and I panted, “So close.” He leaned in and kissed me hard. At the same time his fingers went deep into and began massaging and his thumb pressed down hard on my clit. It felt like I had sparks shooting out of my fingers and I saw stars as I cried out his name.
His lips played gently on my neck and he ran his fingers through my hair as I came down and rode out the aftershocks. I curled into his chest and laid my head on his shoulder until I caught my breath. I used that time to kiss his neck and let my hands become reacquainted with his pecs. When my breathing had become normal again, I whispered to him, “What do you want me to do, Eric?”
“I want to be inside you. Do you have anything?” he said, sounding as breathless as I had earlier.
“Purse,” I said and he loped over to the car to pull it out. I dug through and found the other condom I had thought to put in there the other night. Thanking God for my inadvertent forethought may have been going a bit too far, but I was thankful regardless. I pulled it out, set it on the blanket, and scrambled to get rid of the rest of my clothes while he did the same.
I watched her frenzy to get undressed and I followed her lead. My shorts and boxers fell to my feet and I pounced. It had taken all of my self control not to come in my pants when she had been grinding her hips against me. It was in shreds by this point and I was glad that I’d already made her come because I had no idea how long I would be able to last once I was inside her tight, wet warmth.
She ripped open the foil and rolled the condom on me and I felt my eyes roll back with the strokes of her hand over my cock. I grabbed her wrist. “You’re going to need to stop that or it will be over before we start,” I groaned. She smirked, but removed her hand. She leaned back on her elbows and beckoned me with her finger. I dove in to kiss her and was able to slide into her effortlessly, she was still so wet from earlier. She immediately lifted her hips and wrapped her legs around my waist, pulling me deeper into her. She was making the breathy little sighs that were so hot. She pulled my head down by my hair to kiss her again and that little bit of dominance almost took me over too soon.
I wanted to make her come again before I did. I leaned down and sucked one of her nipples and reached to tease her clit. I could feel her inner muscles fluttering, so I could tell she was on the edge. I pinched her swollen nub and felt her clench, buck, stiffen, and cry out my name all over again. It was enough for her to pull me over with her, moaning her name. I pulled out and wrapped the condom in a napkin to go out in the trash from our dinners. I pulled her close to me and we laid under the stars, naked, sweaty, and completely sated.
“So why don’t you go by Susannah? Why ‘Sookie’?” I asked.
She giggled, probably out of sheer giddiness, and rested her head on my chest. “I only get that from Gran when she’s mad at me. Sookie was my dad’s little nickname for me, and it stuck and spread. I don’t know if anyone outside of my family even knows it’s not my real name. Even in school, the teachers are surprised when I’m registered as ‘Susannah’. It just seems formal and fussy, and I’ve never been a fussy and formal kind of gal.”
“What are we going to do when school starts?” It seemed a random time for these questions, but I wanted to know.
“Who says we have to do anything? We still have over a month until then. You have your friends, I have mine. You have your sports. I have my drama and my newspaper and now my job. Maybe some other things, not to mention the usual assload of homework. We’ll just play it by ear.”
Maybe not the answer I had been looking for, but it made sense. She turned her head and looked at her watch. “Fuck! You make me lose time. It’s almost nine. We need to get me back to my car before Daddy sends out a search party.” She started pulling on her clothes and grabbed her phone out of her purse. “Shit. I have five voicemails, all from home. I need to call.”
I started getting dressed silently as she had a conversation with her brother, who answered the phone.
“Jase, calm down, okay?” “I went out with a friend after work to relax.” “No, you don’t know her.” “Jason, I’ll be home within an hour. Tell Daddy and Mom that I’m fine and I’m on my way, okay?” “Okay, I’ll see you in a little while. Bye.”
“Her?” I asked with a little smile.
She grinned. “He said it, I just didn’t bother to correct him.” She took the bag of trash to the big can outside the cabin and smooshed it down. She came back and helped me fold up the blanket to go back in my trunk before pulling me down for a leisurely kiss, then sliding into the passenger seat. “I’m going to hang out with Tara tomorrow. Do you think you can find something to do with a night off?”
“I’m sure I can think of something. After the exertion of today, and then tonight, my body will probably appreciate a night of ‘nothing’ after practice tomorrow.” I was true, although certain parts of me would be lonely. I drove down the empty country roads until I got back into town and was able to drop Sookie back at her car. She leaned in and gave me another kiss. “Sweet dreams, Eric. I’ll see you later,” she said before pulling out her keys and leaving in her car. “Sweet” my ass. No dream that she caused would ever be “sweet”.