I put my phone back in my bag and saw Pam sitting on my towel next to Sookie. By the expression on Sookie’s face, my sister was saying some shocking things. Oh, fuck!
I got over to them as fast as I could without looking like I was hurrying so I could shut Pam the fuck up. She liked teasing me a little too much. By the time I got there though, they were both laughing.
I told Pam that she and Miriam had fifteen minutes before I drove them home. I shot her the “get lost” look and she smirked then scampered back to her friend. I reclaimed the spot on my towel next to Sookie.
“This conversation isn’t over. Not by a long shot. But I have to get the girls back home. Stay for the party tonight. I’ll come back after I drop off Miriam and Pam.”
She gave me a little smile. “I don’t think I want to hang around, though,” she said and I could feel my face fall. “I think I’ll head home myself, wash off all the oil and sand and sweat and meet you back here later. Does that work?”
I think I just met Sookie the Tease. And yeah, I fucking liked her too. “That definitely works, although I have no problem if you wanted to stay in the bikini.”
She raised an eyebrow at me. “We’ll see if you have the same opinion later. Why don’t you go get Pam and I’ll head home for dinner and a shower.”
I stood and helped her to her feet. She repacked her bag and I watched her bend. She hefted the tote over her arm and smiled as I realigned my eyes with her face. “So we’ll meet back here around seven?”
“That sounds good. I’ll walk you to your car.” Even I didn’t know where the gallant, gentlemanly shit was coming from, but with Sookie, it felt right.
In the parking lot, she tossed her bag over the passenger door of a dark blue, convertible Volkswagen. Just like her prom dress, the car suited her perfectly. She dug the keys out of her pocket and hopped in the driver’s side. “I’ll see you in a little while, Eric,” she said before starting the car and backing out.
If I wasn’t mistaken, I had just made a date with Sookie Stackhouse.
Holy shit, did I just agree to a fucking date with Eric Northman? Seriously? A date? One minute after his (little) sister was telling me to let him fuck me so he can get me out of his head? I sure as hell didn’t think like that at thirteen, and this was with a seventeen-year old Jason as a brother. He was a rampant horndog in high school, but had, thankfully, sheltered me from the details.
I got home and said hi to my parents and brother. I went to my room and pulled out what I was going to change into. I easily grabbed my low-rise navy cargo capris; they looked good with everything. Then I pulled out the top I had been looking for a reason to wear. I had been surprised that Mom had agreed to it on our shopping binge. It was crocheted, with lining only over the breasts. It was essentially backless, tying once behind the neck and again across the center of the back. It was white, semi-transparent and looked really good on me. It was just up in the air if Daddy or Jason would let me out of the house wearing it.
I jumped in the shower and rinsed away the residue of my day at the beach. The oil had left me baby soft. I wrapped my hair in a towel and threw on some sweats before heading down to dinner.
Mom handed me a plate of chicken, rice, and green beans and a glass of sweet tea. All favorites of mine. I sat down with my family and spent some time with them.
“So, I was thinking I would go to the beach party tonight,” I said casually. Mom looked thrilled; my dad and brother, not so much.
“You never liked going to those things before. Why are you going now?” Jason asked, scowling.
“I just want to go and hang out and dance. There’s nothing wrong with that, is there?” I really didn’t feel like telling him I would be on a date. His over-protectiveness had been kicked into high gear by Rasul.
“No, nothing wrong with that… depending on who you’re going to be dancing with,” Jason said and my mom, thankfully, came to the rescue.
“Jason, your sister can take care of herself. I remember you having the same level of freedom at her age, if not more. Now leave her alone. Midnight curfew.”
I finished my meal, kissed my mom and, for good measure, my dad, on their cheeks and shot Jason a dirty look before heading back to my room to get dressed. I braided my hair over my shoulder and got the top tied. I slid on my tevas since they would be the easiest to take off with the sand. I tried to figure out how I was going to get out of the house without Daddy and Jason throwing a shit fit.
I pulled a pale blue button down shirt out of my closet and pulled it on over the miniscule top. Feeling securely covered, I headed back down to leave. Mom knowingly raised her eyebrows at what I was wearing, but stayed silent. Jason and Daddy, distracted by some sporting event on the TV, just murmured their good byes and reminded me of the curfew. I made it out the door and into my car unhindered.
I thought a lot about what I was planning on doing tonight. I knew somethings I definitely wouldn’t be doing, but that didn’t help. I knew that it had taken Eric a lot of courage to tell me that he had been thinking about me, and I guess that impressed me. Maybe. I just couldn’t get over that I was the one getting all this attention. Was it just an ego thing for him? About not getting the girl when he always had before? He knew how to play the game so much better than I did.
I pulled into the packed parking lot before he did; I would have seen that Camero otherwise. I found a space, took off the silly button-down, and made my way out to the beach. I took off my sandals and walked to the water’s edge and let the light waves caused by boats wash over my feet. I looked out at the darkening skyline, wondering what the fuck I was doing here.
I dropped off Miriam and took Pam home. I couldn’t believe that I’d finally said everything that I had wanted to for months. And she didn’t turn me down. I’d had it in my head that she would know that she was too good for me.
I showered and got dressed in nice-casual, shorts, a tank, and flip-flops. Mom still hadn’t gotten home from the hospital, so I joined Pam in the kitchen. “What did you say to Sookie at the beach?”
She pretended to think. “Oh, I don’t know… you know, I just can’t remember.”
“Give it up,Pam, or you’re biking it for the rest of the summer and you’ll have to ride the bus when school starts.”
She hated the bus. With a passion. “Fine. You play dirty. I told her,” and she paused to take a deep breath, “to let you fuck her and get over her so I would have my non-sappy brother back and that you were twisted up over her because you want her and cant’t get her.” She said it so fast the words all blended together
“You fucking said what?”
“Don’t make me repeat it. It wasn’t my finest moment.”
“She agreed to a date with me after you said that. Seriously, Pam, what the fuck? Selling me out like that, your own brother.”
“You got a date out of it. You’ll forgive me when you’re back to normal. Hell, you’ll probably thank me when she’s out of your head.”
“You’re a sick and twisted individual and if you weren’t my sister, I’d be scared of you. I’m heading back to the beach. Say hi and goodnight to Mom and Dad for me. I doubt I’ll be back before they go to bed.”
“I just hope you’re normal tomorrow. Have fun.”
I jumped in the car and thought about what Pam had said as I drove. Was the only reason I wanted Sookie because I couldn’t get her as easily as I had every other girl? I didn’t think so, because she was more than just a warm body that looked hot. To be honest, I had never cared to look beyond that before.
I pulled in and saw her car already there. I parked as near to her as I could and made my way to the beach. The sun had almost set and the sky was that pink-purple-orange mix that makes everything look all psychedelic. I saw the incredibly hot ass that I already liked looking at far too much on the sand by the water, away from the crowd. Her hair was pulled over one shoulder and her back was almost bare. This was not good. For me.
I walked up to her and gently placed my hand on her shoulder and she looked up at me. She gave me a small smile and looked out over the water again. She looked distracted, so I stayed silent and let her think. I took the time to look over her. The… you couldn’t even really call it a shirt because there was too little fabric… whatever it was that she was wearing was amazing. There was this open weave over her stomach where her skin showed through and the cleavage caused by the way the top was tied was mouthwatering. And then there was all that bare skin on her back. She obviously couldn’t be wearing a bra with it and the thought made my mind spin just a little. Any other girl I knew would have been flaunting the bounties that God had given her from day one, but Sookie was still a mystery.
The silence was starting to weigh on me, so I cleared my throat and spoke. “You look great tonight, Sookie.” I had wanted to say amazing, beautiful, breathtaking, but “great” was the word that came out first.
The band hired for the night started playing and Sookie smiled. “Have you ever heard of these guys? Blind Vision? They’re a cover band, playing known songs, but they mix it up a little, so they sound original.” She told me to listen for a moment. I couldn’t hear the lyrics, but the music had a punk edge to it. “That’s their version of ‘Three Little Birds’ by Bob Marley. They kinda turned it on its ear there.” She smiled and nodded her head to the music.
A girl who knew her music. Everything I learned about her made her appeal to me more and more. Why the fuck hadn’t I ever noticed her before?
She grabbed my hand and worked our way through the crowd, with her swaying her hips as she moved. She was fucking hypnotic.
I could feel him staring at me, even before he put his hand on my shoulder. I knew he was letting me have quiet to think, and I appreciated it. Date or no, I was bound and determined to have fun tonight, even if I was here with someone I wasn’t sure I liked all that much. But I was willing to give him a shot.
I had seen the poster for the band playing the party tonight when I passed the stage and was thrilled. My friend Sam was the guitarist and did some of the vocals and I hadn’t seen him in almost a year. Well, he was more Jason’s friend, but when he left for college after their graduation, I had missed him hanging around. He was getting ready to start his senior year at college and, last I heard, still had no idea what he wanted to do after graduation besides play music. He had put together the band in high school with the idea of taking known songs, but putting his own spin on them. Knowing I liked a little bit of everything, he would listen to some of my suggestions of songs to twist up. Apparently, he’d mastered the concept over the past two or three years, as well as picked up some incredibly talented band mates. They mixed genres and had a sound all their own.
I grabbed Eric’s hand and worked our way through the crowd to get to the stage. When Sam looked down and saw me, his jaw dropped, then gave me a big smile. He nodded toward the paper at his feet for me to take a look. The set list. I looked over the songs, returned the smile with a nod and turned back to Eric.
“They’re playing some good songs tonight. I hope you like dancing.”
He looked uncertain, but I pulled him to the edge of the crowd so we’d have a little more room. They started playing “Imagine”, but sped up and reggae-fied. I grabbed his hands and put them on my hips as I moved in time to the music. I loved dancing and wished I had more opportunity to do it. I liked music with a beat, though, and couldn’t get into the swirly, new-age stuff that Amelia brought to our camp-outs. It was great for being mellow, but spinning in a circle was not dancing.
I felt Eric start to relax when I put my hands on his arms. I smiled at him and got him to start moving with me. I was impressed. For a guy so tall, he moved surprisingly well once he got into it. We moved well together, even if he was taking advantage of the activity to touch me in ways I normally wouldn’t allow. Little caresses over my back, my sides, my ass. They were quick and could have been explained off as accidental, so I didn’t push it. It was just fun, besides, he’d already been there before, hadn’t he?
The band took their first break and I was thirsty. Eric went to get us some drinks and I went to say hi to Sam for the first time in almost a year. He saw me and put down his guitar to give me a hug, lifting me off my feet as he did so. “Damn, Sook, you’ve grown up!”
“Time passes and that tends to happen. You guys sound great tonight.” I sat down on the stage next to him. “Got any new songs for me to hear?”
“Uh-uh. We’re not talking about the band right now. What the hell, Sookie? What’s all this?” he asked, waving his hand around, indicating, I guess, the clothes.
“I don’t know why people are so surprised. It’s getting kind of offensive. I’ll cut you some slack since you’ve been out of town. I was sick of being invisible. So I stopped.”
“Was this change for anyone in particular?” he asked and bumped me with his shoulder and smirked.
“Yeah, smart ass. Me,” I answered, bumping him right back.
“So who’s the giant shooting me dirty looks?”
Damn, she could dance. When she put my hands on her hips, it was almost more then I could take, her moving the way she did. Honestly, I could have sat on the sand and watched her and been just as happy. But she wanted me to be an active participant. Eventually, I was able to relax as much as possible with her moving the way she was and it was surprisingly fun. I don’t really dance all that much. I know, shocker, right? But anything that allowed me to touch her body was a-okay in my book.
I liked the band, too. It was interesting to hear the ways they twisted up known songs so they were new again. Hearing a gritty bluesy version of Lady Gaga was surprising and fun. I was wondering how Sookie knew them and got to peruse the set list.
When the band finished their set, I offered to get drinks. I got a couple of bottles of water and returned to see Sookie sitting on the stage, all chummy with one of the band guys. What the hell was that? The guy gestured to me and she smiled and waved me over. I thrust the bottle of water at her and sipped my own, giving the guy my best back off glare. He just smirked at me and put his arm around Sookie.
She shrugged his arm off and smacked it. “Eric, this is Sam Merlotte. He’s an old friend of the family and I haven’t seen him in almost a year. He’s being kind of an ass right now, but I’m used to it. Sam, this is Eric Northman, my date for tonight.”
Sam held out his hand and, as petty as it was, I wasn’t really sure if I wanted to shake it. He had known what he was doing when he put his arm around her and it pissed me off. After a moment of hesitation though, I decided to be the figurative as well as literal “bigger man” and shook his hand. I might have held a little more firmly than necessary, but I’m not admitting anything.
Sookie looked over the list for the second set. She took the Sharpie and crossed out a couple and wrote substitutions in their place. “One of the perks of knowing the band. If I want them to play a specific song, I just add it to the set list.” She smiled at me and sipped her water. “You want to go dance some more?” she asked as the band took the stage again.
I was more than “up” for it. The band played several fast songs and decided to finish the night with a version of “Santa Monica” that could only be described as “power ballad”. Sookie pressed her body up against mine and rested her hands on my shoulders. “This was a personal favorite of mine. Something about this song just says ‘summer’ to me.”
I wrapped my arms around her and held her tightly as we swayed to the music. I tilted her head up and got to kiss those amazing lips again. The memories of her that I had been torturing myself with for months had not done her justice. I slid my tongue into her mouth and moaned with how good she tasted. When the song ended though, she stepped back, breaking the kiss.
“This was nice, Eric, but don’t get ahead of yourself.” She smiled and raised an eyebrow. “The summer is only half over. Who knows what can happen by Labor Day?”
Fuck. Any plans I may have made to get her out of my mind were crushed by that. No chance of a repeat performance anytime soon either, I was assuming. But I was convinced: Sookie was worth the work and the waiting.