Almost being caught by Bill had stopped my heart. I didn’t even want to think about what would have happened if he had walked in on Eric and I. I wanted to question why he of all people was out at that time of the morning so close to the nuns quarters, but I felt that if I did, I’d just worry myself sick.
Niall returned, and as expected Eric had to toe the line and stick strictly to his studies as well as other community work that Niall assigned for him during the week. We rarely saw each other—if he was studying, I was doing chores and when he had any free time, it was usually when I was in class. A little over a week went by and all we could manage was a few stolen glances and idle chitchat, because as it seems, Niall had become Eric’s shadow. I was going out of my mind in all honesty, I just wanted to talk to him, laugh with him, something…anything. And the fact that neither of us could do these things without it looking suspicious was really heartbreaking. Now I know, it was probably all in our heads, but in mine at least, I knew that if I went to him alone one or both of us would slip up and look conspicuous. Maybe, maybe not, but it wasn’t a chance either of us were willing to take. On my one day a week where my chores were light, I’d always attempt to go into town—either shopping for the convent and its necessities, or if someone else had volunteered for that, I’d be free for an afternoon—and those always belonged to Amelia.
She and I hadn’t had much chance to talk since the night at the bar, when everything changed for Eric and me. I knew she was supportive of it; she was all about the free love. I on the other hand, was all about the carefully-constructed-behind-very-closed-doors love.
But I needed to talk to her, mainly since things had escalated further with Eric just before our unplanned hiatus.
She had already ordered for me by the time I’d gotten to Merlotte’s since the food arrived a second after I sat down—Lafayette himself gracing us with his presence.
“Baby girl, it’s been a minute. How’s you doin’?”
“Good… this looks amazing, I’m starving.” I commented on the food, which it did; mouthwatering good.
“Mmmhmm.” He scooted in next to me. “And speaking of things you’ve been starved of for much too long… How is that man of yours?”
I stared at my food, avoiding both his and Amelia’s gaze.
“Hmm that he is.” Lafayette snapped his fingers at me before raising his brow to Ames.
“Wait, what? You’ve never met Eric, how did you…?”
“Oh I met him. I’m guessing it was the morning after the big ole fuck up of the night before. He wandered into my morning job sweet cheeks, looking as miserable and hung over as I’ve ever seen anyone in my life. And I’ve seen some miserable ass bitches in this line of work.”
Why wouldn’t he have mentioned running into Lafayette? He knew I’d mentioned him before as a friend, and really how many flaming gay black waiters did this town have? Someone as distinctive as he stood out no doubt, in the best way possible, was my opinion.
I tried not to look interested, but of course I failed. “What did he say… I mean did he say anything?”
“He might have said something… But from the looks of you baby girl, he’s not just said a few things but he’s done a few things too… Am I right?” He winked. I cringed.
“I don’t know what—”
“Bullshit, Mamma and you know it. Now, spill the details or I won’t.”
Amelia was practically jumping up and down on her side of the booth. I took a deep breath.
“Well, okay you’re right things have… changed between Eric and me.”
“You fuck him yet?”
“Laff!” Amelia chided with a slap to his arm, which was pointless because straight after she asked “Well… I mean, have you?”
“What? NO! Goodness.” Though it wasn’t like I hadn’t thought about it, over and over and over again.
“So what then?”
I looked around, making sure I didn’t recognize any of the parishioners from church that were scattered about the mostly empty bar and grill.
“Please don’t make me say it out loud!” I whined hiding my face in my coat.
“Girl, okay… on a scale of one to ten—ten being you fucked his fine ass Viking brains out, one being you kissed him with tongue—where are you right now?” Amelia offered.
I thought about it. The events of the kitchen escapade was a huge deal for me. “I’d say about… five?”
Lafayette’s eyes widened, “Whatyoudo?”
“Sookie have you been yankin’ that boy’s chain…So to speak?” Amelia whispered and Lala spit out the loudest laugh I ever did hear.
I’m sure I turned three shades of white.
“Ohhh my, you did!!…Tell me Sooks, is your boy as built as he looks? Because honestly, if you don’t want him, I can have him right? I hear some priests are down with the swirl.” He continued to laugh at me teasing, while all I wanted was for the ground to open up and swallow me whole.
“So wait have you two…” Ames wriggled her brows at me again and I just shrugged. “Sookie!”
“No! We haven’t done… that, but there were lines crossed okay and that’s all y’all are getting out of me!”
“But how are we supposed to help you with your sweet, sweet Viking Romantic Entanglements if we don’t know all the dirty little details?” She argued. He stared with a smirk on his face.
“Fine, if you must know, for the last few weeks he and I have been…” What the heck had we been doing exactly? Besides risking our skin. “Well, he… told me he loved me, and I…Well I told him I loved him.”
Ames was doing her little retarded seal dance again with the clapping, silently, thank God.
“And…there was making out—A LOT of making out—and well… that was before Niall got back… and now things are different.”
“Wait wait, back to the ahem, chain yanking. Did you … handle the situation?” Lala asked, this time smirk free.
“I might have.” I sipped my coke as innocently as I could.
“And you weren’t freaked or anything?”
“No, well, a little… Okay a lot. I was terrified okay? But with Eric it’s… I don’t know how to explain it. I was scared but somehow with him it didn’t matter because I knew I was safe, ya know? And, he showed me … you know… how. So, really it was fine.”
I think Amelia swooned a little before leaning in to whisper, “Are you two planning on taking it any further?”
“Honestly, I don’t know.”
“What’s to know? Sooks, you love him, he loves you, I’m not seeing an issue here.” Lafayette piped up.
“Small case of his collar and my habit don’t you think?”
“You’re still up for staying there?”
“Why wouldn’t I?”
“Um, the fact that you and Eric have been mapping out each other’s erogenous zones between the blessed walls maybe? You two just going to keep ignoring it forever?”
“No! I just… Look this is all very new, okay? I can’t just …”
“Leave? Why not?” He pushed.
“Look, Laff, I know you mean well, but I just don’t want to talk about this right now, okay?”
He didn’t look too pleased with me, but it really was scaring me with all his easy talk on how to leave. Didn’t he realize that it’s just not that easy?
He left us to our food finally; Amelia was silent for a few minutes afterwards too.
“Are you mad at me too?” I spoke up finally.
“What? No, oh Sookie, no I’m not mad, I’m just…well I’m surprised is all. I mean this is what you want right? You want to be with Eric?”
“Of course I do. I mean I … Yes.”
“I’m sensing a ‘but’ in there somewhere?”
“I’m scared, okay? I mean, obviously I’m a… virgin.” I whispered “And he…Well, he’s really NOT a virgin. He’s been with that harlot Sophie and I’m guessing since she’s been around the block a time or two. She knew what she was doing… a hell of a lot better than I do!”
“And the fear of not being good enough for him is what’s scaring you off actually doing it?”
“Yes… and no. I mean, Ames… it’s a sin.”
She rolled her eyes at me. “Sweetie, we’ve had this discussion.”
“I know, but I’m not all about the free love like you are, okay? This is hard for me.”
She smirked, “Imagine how hard it is on Eric,” causing me to laugh out loud at her ridiculous pun.
“I am serious. His case of blue balls must be painful at this point, you little minx!”
She continued to laugh at me for a second, dodging flying French fries in the process.
“Look, Sookie you can only do one thing… Go with your heart. Yes, it’s clichéd, but it’s clichéd for a reason. Thinking things through is good but over thinking things that don’t need to be over thought just freaks you out. Believe me, I know.”
“How… I mean with you and Trey, was it a decision you struggled with?”
She looked up from her food, thoughtfully pointing her fork from side to side.
“Hmm, no. I loved him, I knew he loved me, I knew we’d be together forever despite what my father said. It was one of the reasons he and I don’t talk any more. He couldn’t accept my choice, or me it seems… So we moved. But at first? Was I scared like you? Of course, it’s only natural. But like you said, when you feel that safe with someone, somehow the fear melts away when you feel the time is right.”
“Did it hurt?”
She smiled. “Oh, yeah it … well, I mean only for a little while, then it felt really, really good. I mean, at first we were sort of a mess, you know? I had no clue and he had even less of a clue, and yeah it was painful, but just relax as much as you can. If you tense up with worry it’ll only make it worse. Oh, and make out a lot before hand. In fact, the more hot and bothered you are, the better… At least in my experience.”
“So I … well when I was touching him … last night, I was kind of doing what you’re talking about, just going with my instinct. It’s like I wasn’t so sure what the heck I was meant to do, but I wanted to do it.”
“And he liked it didn’t he?” She smiled; wicked pleasure from teasing me right behind her eyes.
“Yes.” I blushed. “He…Well when he…”
“Came. It’s okay, Sookie you can say it out loud. No one is gonna judge you.”
“Oksowhenhecame… I wasn’t expecting… Well, I mean I was, he warned me but I …”
“Ohhh. Yeah, that mess is annoying, but I mean it’s kind of flattering in a way. You and your hands … or mouth, were able to bring him down like that. I love it personally.”
“I did like the control, I can’t lie … wait … Mouth? Ewww…”
She laughed again. “It’s not ‘ew’, trust me.”
I was appalled. “Um, yes it is. Oh my God, are you serious right now? That’s disgusting!”
“No it’s not, especially when he does it to you…”
My eyes bulged. “You’re kidding, please tell me you’re …”
“Nope, trust me Sookie it feels…” She shivered slightly with a smile on her face.
“But Amelia, I pee from there!” I whispered, causing her to roll her eyes at me for the millionth time.
“Well, you’d have no problem with his hands up there now would you…? Would…Wait, Sookie tell me when you were done yanking Eric’s chain he… reciprocated?”
I pushed some food around my plate avoiding her nosy gaze, which just caused her to call him a selfish bastard.
“It’s not like that! He wanted to, he really wanted to and he was going to…”
“The fear again? Oh sweetie.” She patted my hand. “Have you never…?”
“Well, you know…Taken matters into your own hands… So to speak.”
I didn’t answer, which gave her, her answer.
“Hmm. So basically you’re wound tighter than a violin string. That can’t be comfortable.” She mused to herself. “Sookie, you may preach about my free love attitude, but… maybe let Eric return the favor if you get a chance. If, like you say he’s not being a selfish prick about it, then take advantage of his wants. It’s scary to give up that control, I know, but you trust him, and you love him right?”
“So…Maybe just give him a shot?”
Why was it when she talked she made things seem so simple and so easy to achieve, but when I thought about them, the crippling fear snuck back in? But she was right, I needed to relax and let go… eventually.
After the best few hours sleep of my life, I was greeted by the shrill of my alarm clock. It got slammed against the wall just like the two before them. I was really keeping the general store in business where alarm clocks were concerned. By the time I’d washed and dressed, I’d missed the group breakfast and my shot at seeing Sookie before I had to go to Niall’s office. As I expected, he was in his usual seat, the seat that had become my favorite napping spot for the previous couple of weeks.
“Eric! Ah my boy, how are you?”
“Good. Good, how was the trip back?”
“Bumpy, the trains were a nightmare. But other than that, we’re good to go. I see you’ve kept everything in order here, which is great.”
“What? You sound surprised. That little faith in me old man?”
“Less of the old, no… I’m proud you’ve handled things here beautifully while I was gone, and so soon into your training. Well, it’s wonderful. Did Bill give you any bother?”
I kicked back and slid my feet up on his desk, they were slapped away immediately.
“No, just his usual bullshit posturing, empty threats, that sort of thing.”
“Oh just using my … friendship with Sookie and trying to twist it for his own gain I suspect.”
I felt my face flush, the idea of lying so easily to Niall broke my heart.
“I see. And is there any reason for him to twist it?”
“No. Like I said he was just trying to show me who was the bigger man here… Obviously not physically speaking, because let’s face it, he’s a midget.”
“Eric.” He chided me over the rim of his glasses.
“What? You know it’s true.”
He dismissed my insult and continued to ask about the parish collections, mass attendance, and donations—all of which I had documented for him.
“And how is Sister Stackhouse?”
“She’s…” Fucking amazing that’s how she is. “Great. She’s been busy teaching. She loves those kids.”
“She does. She seems good with them, she’s kind. That helps.”
“In a place devoid of kindness, it really does.” I couldn’t help the bitterness that escaped in my tone.
“Eric. Are you still having issues with how things are run here?”
“I think, as a product of this place Niall, I’ll always have a problem with it.”
“I see. Change isn’t easy, Eric. This place is run this way because that’s how it’s always been. We’re superior to the Sisters in all church related matters, the school and the orphanage is their business and we help when needed. But it’s their call.”
“I just…Fine, yes I know.”
“Good. Now, study wise, where were we?”
For the next week Niall became my new best friend. Personlly, I think he was just lonely, but his constant presence meant very little to no time alone with Sookie. It was killing me. Stolen glances were all we were granted, and by the start of the second week of zero contact, I was starting to go a little stir crazy.
I knew she was on church cleaning duties, so I’d made it my business to push myself into her business. I spotted her up in the rafters of the choir at the back of the church. She was standing—one foot on a stool, one foot on the edge of the balcony—dusting down the heavy curtains that framed the setting when I grabbed her by the waist and spun her around to face me. She yelled in surprise, her voice echoing around and through the empty church.
“God Eric! You about scared me half to death!”
“I’m sorry, I couldn’t help it.”
She rolled her eyes at me, but she didn’t step out of my embrace.
“What ya doin?” I asked feigning innocence.
“Well, I WAS cleaning. See? Big dusty curtains won’t clean themselves.”
They were incredibly long heavy velvet curtains; they were used in the winter to keep the drafts to a minimum during the week when the choir wasn’t needed for mass. My mind was working over time because all I could think of was how easy it would be to get tangled in them with Sookie.
She looked at me for a second and I looked at her, before we both simultaneously pounced on each other. Lips on lips instantly. Her small hands wrapped themselves around my neck while I did my best to yank off that annoying veil to get my hands into her hair. Yes, apparently I was a hair grabber. Who knew?
I’d braced us both against the wall, while Sookie and I shared a brain thought for a second, when she yanked the curtain around us both. There we were, both cocooned in a blackout velvet tent of sorts, the height difference between Sookie and I was putting a serious strain on my neck, so I did what I knew to benefit the both us. I slid her up against the wall before bracing her under her arms and shifting her up on my hips. Much better both height wise, and the welcomed weight against my groin wasn’t misplaced either.
It had only been six days but I’d missed her being this close, I’d missed feeling her heartbeat speed up, I’d missed her kisses, I’d missed her taste.
One hand braced her against the wall and myself by cupping just under her ass. Thankfully, she seemed to have a strong grip on my hips with her legs. It lightened the load a little and allowed me the freedom I needed to grind my hips into hers. I yanked up her long skirt so that it was just about her knees. Still unsure if she wanted me to go there, I left it up to her, caressing no further than her thighs. Imagine my surprise when she reached for my hand and glided it up towards her centre, not down and away from her like I had expected. She was wearing those nylon pantyhose, apparently warm but also easily torn as I proved by ripping them apart roughly with one hand.
I latched my lips onto her neck kissing her gently before skirting my hand up further so I felt the edge of her panties. I didn’t want to dive right in, well, I did, but I wouldn’t. She may have wanted it but I wasn’t going to be rough with her just because I could. No, I softly traced two fingers around the shape of her sex, around and down, around and down, feeling the cotton grow moist as I did so. I mumbled something to her that I don’t remember now—she laughed to herself before her hips bucked towards me a few times, her eyes closed, her bottom lip planted firmly between her teeth. Her breath hitched once when I pushed aside her underwear feeling the small amount of soft tufts of hair against her most intimate place.
As gently as I could, I slid one finger inside her. She moaned softly into my mouth before I felt her muscles contract around my second finger that I tested—again as gently as I could. She was so wet, so hot and just so, so tight that it took all my willpower not to just throw her down between the wooden benches and have my way with her right then and there. Not only could I not, but I would not. That’s not who I was, despite whatever occasional caveman-like tendencies I may let slip; I wasn’t that guy and Sookie most certainly wasn’t that girl. Finding the little nub of nerves, I rubbed slowly at first gathering speed and intensity quickly. I was more than fully aware that while no one came up to the balcony unless they were a member of the choir on Sunday, we were still very much in a public place… a public, sacred place.
Oh yeah, we were first class passengers to hell.
All thoughts of hell were momentarily forgotten as soft moans began escaping Sookie’s swollen mouth as she held herself to me, hands in my hair, her lips at my ear. Both her hands gripped my neck, one hand still up in my hair, the other at the base digging her nails into me the harder I pushed into her with my fingers. I wasn’t sure she even realized she was doing it, but once her nails broke skin, I had to bury my mouth in her neck to stop me from whining from the pain. Her pants got shorter and faster and I took this as my cue to speed up even more and concentrate on her nub. I did and as I caught it between my finger and thumb and applied just the right amount of pressure, it happened.
She stopped breathing, moving and moaning all at once, froze and stilled while her insides contracted around my hand. Then, just like that she was back to the short panting breaths again, only this time she had a dazed look in her eye as I gently set her on the ground. She didn’t quite have her sea legs back, so I set her on one of the benches while she held me close, clasping her hands around my neck. Her breathing finally returned to normal, though her cheeks and neck were still flushed red. It was the sexiest look I’d ever seen on her, mainly because I knew that I had given her the pleasure she’d bestowed upon me, and that feeling was pretty damn good.
I laughed. Never was it known for Sookie to not be able to articulate her emotions, though it seemed I had rendered her speechless. Score one for Northman.
I don’t know what I was thinking, or even if I was using my brain at all. All I knew was one minute I was looking into his eyes, wanting nothing more than to kiss him, and the next… I was rammed between him and the pillar behind the large velvet curtains that I had been cleaning for the choir practice.
I was tense for every reason you can think of. The guilt was starting to overwhelm me and I almost told him to stop.
That’s when his hand moved from gently caressing my thigh to the waistband of my panties. He ventured and again, I froze. I tried to fight the fear that was creeping up on me again but I knew I was safe. I just had to keep reminding myself of that fact.
“What… what… I mean, are you sure that—” I whispered.
“I want you to feel good Sookie, just trust me? I promise it’ll feel good.” Kissing me into a coma again seemed to be his distraction of choice.
“Jesus Christ, you’re so wet.”
I felt his fingers ghost a trail over the soft white cotton making my hips buck instinctively.
I didn’t even know what that meant. Was that good? Was it bad? Had I peed a little? The vast size of just how naive I was rivalled the length of Texas.
That’s when I felt him push my underwear aside slightly before he gently grazed my apparent wetness, with his finger.
It felt like every muscle below my waist contracted at that moment, as he kissed me to silence my involuntary moans.
With that he began to rub, clockwise then counter clock wise then up and then down. Faster then slowly only to speed up again.
His breathing was strained, his cheeks flushed, his neck red. I was breathing so hard I thought I might pass out. I wanted to feel all of him on me at that moment, if only to have that comforting weight, as I felt like I was spinning out of control. He pushed both fingers deeper inside me; his pace quickened as I contracted suddenly around him once. Then just as suddenly I felt something building. I was scared but too exhilarated to stop—I never wanted this to stop. The tingling feeling of warmth spread from my toes right up to my very core and there seemed to be an explosion. Every nerve was on fire and he placed his hand over my mouth just as I clenched his hand inside me over and over until I couldn’t stop myself from collapsing underneath him, my legs suddenly feeling like rubber. Thankfully he caught me, setting me to rights on one of the benches as I caught my breath.
“I don’t…” Was all I managed to say before I gasped for air. “Eric… What … was that?”
He looked at me then with wide eyes. “Sookie, have you never, I mean, have you not done a little self-exploration at all?”
“Self… Eric! No! Of course not, I could never….”
“Why not?” He smiled kissing the tip of my nose sweetly.
“Because…” I blushed. Sure it seems I could let him touch me in my most sacred of places but I couldn’t talk about allowing myself some access? Yes, issues I have them.
“Because? Because Sister says it’s a sin? Please tell me you don’t believe that Sookie? Did that feel like a sin to you??”
I didn’t appreciate his tone, and quite frankly the gravity of the situation and what exactly we had just done hit me then, square in the face, and I began to panic.
“You hush! Just because we all don’t give into our every whim like someone I could mention and just because some of us … aren’t completely perverted and … and… wrong doesn’t mean that you get to sit there and judge me Mister! No you do not!” I’d said all that without so much as one breath, I didn’t mean it of course, but as I said my panic set in—big time.
I was flustered… my stockings were torn to shreds under my skirt…I had lost my underwear… Reality was beginning to set in.
“No, Sookie don’t…Come back to me okay?” He tucked some of my fallen hair behind my ear gently.
“Stop getting lost in your head, sweetheart.” His eyes caught my own as he gazed almost sweetly at me.
Sweetheart? This was new.
“Shh, stop thinking and just…Feel.” He smoothed my hair back and just as I was about to say something else, something no doubt of infinite wisdom…or not, I heard the clicking heels coming from outside the church. Harsh whispers followed along with the unmistakable chattering of Sister Geraldine.
Eric and I were hidden from view of course, no one would have thought to look in the balcony, and they certainly didn’t seem to notice. They were too enthralled in their argument.
“I won’t do it, Bill. I just can’t!”
“Why? He’s been here long enough. Force his hand, or at the very least hint harder to the Bishop for Christ’s sakes. We need him gone!”
“You know why. If he were to find out… Any of it. We’d both be ruined.”
She whispered something neither of us could hear, before they disappeared by the exit for the convent.
Eric and I both looked at each other questionably. What the heck was THAT all about?