A/N: New update guys! Hope you enjoy, and I really hope to get more up soon on this. I want to wrap up at least one story before I even think about starting anything else. I do have ‘Canon’ fic idea that I’ve been toying with, but I think if I ever do end up posting it, it might just be posted here. Canon makes me nervous, that and when you have as many issues with the canon as I do…it just makes it harder. Anyway, enough of that! Update time! Reviews are adored and appreciated as always! xox.
“Come on, please? I know its short notice, but I’m handing you Swedish Royals on a plate here, imagine what it would do for your portfolio. I’m giving you my commission too, what’s not to love?” I tried to sell the idea over the phone to an ex co-worker of mine, Sophie-Anne. She worked exclusively in London, but, I was hoping she’d come and fill in for me for a few weeks at the magazine. The perks of freelance meant she could do this, if I only could manage to convince her. I explained the first shoot, where it was, how she’d get there, she’d love Monte Carlo, they loved it as a holiday destination, it was a big deal for them to do the magazine, and she still wasn’t biting.
She sighed, “what’s the big deal, shouldn’t you be jumping all over this? I know you, this is good, too good for a portfolio just for you to give it up.
“Something’s come up, something personal and I need a leave of absence, and I’m hoping since I’m giving you this, you’ll give me that.”
She was silent again for a second.
“Fine, whatever, I have a few things to tie up here, and I’ll be on the first flight out on Tuesday, how’s that?”
“That… is amazing!” I beamed, “you’ve just done me huge favour, Soph, thank you!”
“Yeah, yeah…Pick me up at the airport, and have coffee, Starbucks not any cheap shit.”
“Of course. Text me the details okay?”
I got off the phone with her, and over the course of two days I managed to get things in order, it had taken me less time that I thought, less than the two weeks I’d assumed, anyway, but still far too long to be away from where I needed to be.
Picking Sophie up at the airport was the least I could do that and let her take my room while I was gone; Alexei would have to deal with it, since he was the one that caused the epiphany in the first place. I saw her saunter out of the airport, her red hair flying in the wind, her eyes covered by her dark glasses, and she was wearing tight jeans, short boots and a black sweater, she looked comfortable but since it was still Sophie there was a serious amount of cleavage going on too, I chose to ignore than though, in favour of handing her, her Starbucks when she got into the car.
“So, tell me, why are you giving me these jobs? It’s not like you to get in touch, so I was a little taken aback.”
“I have to go back to the States for a bit, it’s a family thing.”
“I didn’t think you had –“
“My girlfriend, her Grandmother is ill, and well, she needs me there.”
She looked shocked, sliding her glasses off her face, I wasn’t sure what shocked her more, the fact that I was seeing someone seriously enough for her to be claimed ‘family’ or that a woman was ill, it was probably the former.
“So who’s the lucky girl then? Do I get to meet her?” she said, slyly putting her glasses back in place.
“No, she’s in the States, it’s why I needed you to rescue me here, I need to take this leave, and I can’t leave Lafayette in the lurch like this, you know?”
“Yeah, no, it’s understandable, I’m just a little surprised that’s all.”
“Oh, you know, you… even doing this is odd. You’ve always been such a lone wolf. I mean trying to hack that shell of yours it’s not the easiest thing in the world.”
She was right there, I didn’t take to strangers easily, though I had no problem making friends, it took me a long time to trust people, women in general. Sookie, I realized, was the exception in every way.
I had my bags packed by the door when I walked in with Sophie, she noticed but didn’t comment, I showed her my room – clean and appropriate having moved all my personal things to some boxes that I’d left in the back hall, out of the way. That’s when Alexei came in, and with one look to Sophie, he asked to talk to me in private before I even got the chance to introduce them.
“Eric, what are you doing? I thought we had ideas! We had plans! And now here you are with some skanky ass fake red head? Please tell me you’ve lost your pretty mind!” he ranted, fast and his accent was as thick as I ever remembered.
“What? You think I’m with Sophie? No!”
“Then why are you sitting in your bedroom with her?”
“She’s staying here for a few weeks, she’s taking over my job while I go to Louisiana!”
He looked suitably bashful then, “oh…”
“Yes, OH. And thanks so much for your faith in me, by the way.”
“No, I do have faith, I just thought you’d lost yours!”
“Well, I haven’t.” I said folding my arms. “I think you should go in there and introduce yourself to your new housemate, don’t you?”
My flight was at ridiculous o clock, so I had time for some proper dinner before I headed back to the airport, Sophie insisted on treating me.
“You know, Eric, I really am surprised, I just can’t get over how you’ve changed since the last time I saw you. This girl, she must be something really special?”
“She is.” I said, tucking into my burger.
“I don’t get to hear about her?”
She’d been niggling at me all day, trying to get information out of me about Sookie. It was starting to weird me out.
“What are you snooping for, Sophie?”
She just rolled her eyes, “I was just…curious, I mean when we had our little…thing… I had hoped to tame you. I’m just…wondering what she’s got, that’s all.”
At least she was honest.
“Sophie, what we had was a drunken fumble when both of us were too out of it to even finish.”
“That carried on for two weeks don’t forget.
“Two weeks and in those two weeks I recall neither of us sobered up for more than an hour.”
“True, but it was fun.”
“Of what little I remember of it, yeah.”
“Damn, you know how to flatter a girl…” she scoffed.
“I’m sorry, but we’ve been friends a long time, when have you known me to be anything other than blunt? It was what it was.”
“And Sookie? She’s got some special Princess vagina or what?”
I just raised by brow at her, not answering.
“Fine, don’t tell me… I hate her on principle, just sayin’.”
“Why?” I laughed; I guess I wasn’t just the only one being blunt.
She just shrugged, “I thought that when you called… well I thought maybe there was some other motive here, I see I got the wrong end of the stick though.”
“More like the wrong stick, this was a strictly work based offer, I need to know if you’re in it for that, or if you –“
“I’ll do the job, I’d be crazy not to.”
“Good, glad we agree on something at least.”
“I can’t say I’m not disappointed though, drunk or not, you’re… interesting.”
I just sighed, “Sorry about the miscommunication though, I never… intended…”
She held her hands up, a shy smile adding to her blush, “Don’t sweat it, seriously.”
We ate in awkward silence until the end of the meal, where I nervously checked my watch, I would have to head to the airport shortly after this.
“Well, have a good flight, and call me if there’s a change…in anything.”
I broke apart our hug, raising my eyebrow at her words.
“Well, can’t blame a girl for trying, can I? This Sookie, she’s a lucky woman, I hope she realizes that…”
I hope she did, I hope I made her feel lucky, like she made me feel lucky. I’d know soon enough anyway, I bid her goodbye, good luck, and set about getting my ass back to the love of my life. Whether she still felt that way about me, after almost two weeks of no communication, was another thing entirely. I tried to blame the burger, but the truth was I was almost sick with nerves. Now or never, I guess.
I stood there stunned, looking at him as he stood there soaked.
“Hey… you lock the doors now?” He asked, looking from me to the door and back again, adorable and confused.
Not the most romantic of openers, but still, he was here, and I was in tears. I rapidly ran towards him, wrapping my whole self around him, even if he was soaked through.
“Sookie, I’m drenched, you’re going to get –“
“Is it really you, you’re really here?”
He pulled back, making me look at him, flicking away my tears gently wearing a soft smile, one I’d been longing to see for weeks.
“I’m here,” he said, sweetly.
“Good, because I’ve had a lot of messed up dreams this week and I really need this to not be one of them.” I said, hugging him tighter, wrapping my legs tighter too.
He walked us in from the porch and into the hallway.
“I’m here, it’s real, I promise. Sookie, I’m so sorry. I was… a brat, and I should have come right away I just –“
“No…” I looked at him, “I couldn’t expect you to just leave your life because of me and my family, no way. That wasn’t far, I just… I don’t want to fight anymore, you’re here… I kissed him long and hard, raking my hands through his dripping hair, down his back and up again, “and that’s what counts.”
He pulled back again, looking me right in the eye, “but that’s the thing, you are my family now, and it does matter, you matter.”
I swear my heart swelled three sizes at his words, and the genuinely sincere look while he said them. I wiped my nose, as sexily as that could be done, and I slid down his body, he really was soaked right through. I held up a finger, for him to wait a second before I tiptoed to the end of the hall and checked in on Gran, she was thankfully still asleep, snoring slightly too. I smiled and made my way silently back to my boyfriend, taking his hand just as wordlessly and leading us both up stairs, and into my bathroom. I turned on the shower, letting the steam heat up the room, fog up the mirror, and drop the large hint to Eric as to what we were about to do.
He grinned as we worked without a sound together, me diligently taking off each of his wet layers, and he, waiting his turn so he could undress me, his eyes sparkling with want, his lip caught between his teeth. It was a sweet kind of hell, I assumed for both of us, having been apart for so long. There was hum of nervousness running undercurrent to the breathless lust it was clear we were both feeling. Clearly because Eric was visually inhaling my body with a feeling of new appreciation, and I … well my hands were shaking as I began to get him less and less clothed and more and more naked, until he was standing in front of me in just his boots and jeans.
He toed off his boots, slowly, while I aimed for his belt, yanking it open and discarding it with a smack on the tile floor. I’d almost forgotten how firm his body was, how hard he worked at it to keep himself strong, but I was reminded and then some when I let his jeans drop to his ankles, he looked at me with a cheeky smile as he stepped out of them, leaving him there in nothing but his tan lines.
He reached for me then, backing me up against the bathroom door gently, his hands everywhere at once. Tugging down my sleep shorts, pushing up my tank top, palming my breasts, tweaking my nipples, kissing my neck, it was all so over whelming.
I pushed him back and back until he was at the foot of the shower, “Get in.” I ordered and he just nodded, quirking his brows at me.
“You’re a little over dressed, Love.”
In a second I’d whipped off my remaining clothing, putting my hands on his chest, pushing him to the back of the shower, under the warm spray of water. He closed his eyes and groaned out loud, by far his sexiest growl next to the one he makes when it’s me making it happen.
“Travelling over five thousand miles, this… oh this…” he said, his eyes still closed as he wrapped his arms around me, pulling me to his chest, “was just what I needed to come home to.”
“Home?” I asked, wondering if it was just a turn of phrase, or something else entirely. I wasn’t fully prepared for what he said next.
With a kiss to the temple, he just shrugged, “Home it’s wherever you are.”
I bit my lip, promising myself that I’d cried enough for one night, but I couldn’t help it, and he saw. Chuckling to himself, “Hey…now come on, it’s a good thing right? I mean sure it’s a little cheesy, but it’s the truth and I –“ I stopped his words with a kiss of my own, this time standing on my tiptoes to wrap my arms around him and kiss him with all the love, passion, and swooning I had in me at that second.
“I love you.” I said, making sure he knew I meant it then if he’d ever questioned it before.
He smiled, “I know, it’s why I came, because I love you too, so fucking much, Sook. And it would have been so dumb to let a fight ruin everything we’ve worked to keep. All those months without you before? All I did was wish you’d walk through the door, call me to walk through your door, any sign that you wanted me in your life and I swore to myself I’d be there. And there I was sitting there, acting like that wasn’t true just because I’d had you again… it didn’t mean I got to keep you if I didn’t work at it.”
“I would have done the same for you…”
“I know you would which is why I was glad Alexei made me see just how big a tool I was being. You’re going through something I can’t imagine right now, with little to no help, and here I was making it about me and my insecurities –“
“I would never –“
“I know that, I do. Like I said, I was just being dumb. I’ll be dumb again, we both will, but hopefully not about this – “ he motioned between us, “You’re my family, and that makes Adele family, so that makes it my problem to help solve too.”
“God, you’re so getting laid right now.” I said with a laugh, “Honestly, you need to put this stuff in a book for other boyfriends, sell it, and make a mint! Other boys don’t say this…”
“They do… the sensible ones, the ones that know what they’ve got, they say it.”
“I never met one of them before.” I smiled.
“I know…” He smiled, cocky as ever, in more ways than one, I noticed as he rubbed against me.
“Your shower is small…” he whispered, there was no way we’d be able to actually fuck in there, at least not without breaking something.
“I know, silly people installing it just for getting clean –“
“Instead of getting very, very dirty?” he winked, caressing my cheek, down my neck, to my breasts, as he kissed me, making me tingle all the way to my toes and back. I reached behind me for the soap, pumped it a few times and lathered my hands, working it then into his body slowly, starting with his arms, his chest, shoulders, neck, back down to his abs, then to his thighs. Avoiding the one place he was clearly aching to be touched. Though he made no complaints, just standing there, eyeing me lusciously, closely watching every move I made. He was humming, moaning gently to himself when I’d hit a certain knot in his muscles, as I just got hypnotized by his skin, and zoned out with my repetitive motions. When his large hand creped on to my neck and started to massage, I knew what he was feeling, it felt so good to be taken care of like that, and he was more than willing. He kneaded my skin, turning me around so my back was flush against his chest, as his fingers and thumbs pushed gently into my tense muscles. Slowly, I felt them ease, I felt the tension leave my body and soon I was a pile of mush, barely able to stand up. I hadn’t realized how tired I had been, or exactly how stressed I’d been, but having him here to take care of me, the relief that washed over me, was one I’d never felt before. I needed him, and I suddenly had no qualms in admitting that, to him, or anyone else. Slowly we worked each other over again, this time nipping, kissing, teasing each other chasing that much needed release, and it happened embarrassingly fast – for both of us. Spent and
He took my hand and led me out, wrapping one huge towel around my body and rubbing up and down to dry me off a little before he found one for himself. We towelled off our hair, picked up our things and headed to my bedroom.
“So this is your room?”
He looked around the modest bedroom, there was pink floral wallpaper that had been there since I was about ten, creaky floorboards, and white furniture.
“Yes, Sir. Since I was born practically… I always had a room here, much more reserved than my one with my parents, but it felt more like home here, I could play here, mess things up here, I couldn’t really do that at home without worrying about something getting broken.”
“It’s nice…sweet. Sort of like how I imagine you were as a little kid.”
I scoffed, “Sure, just maybe don’t ask any of my pageant competition days, and we’ll keep thinking that.”
His eyes went wide, turning in to face me, “Really? Were you a little terror?”
I shrugged, “I got into it, for a while, started to believe all the hype. Started to think maybe I really was an entitled little Princess.” I rolled my eyes at myself, and the ridiculous memories.
“When Mom made me have my nose job, it snapped me out of it, being that young, and being told you weren’t pretty enough…”
“Was that even legal at that age?”
I shook my head, thinking back it probably wasn’t, and it was probably why my doctor came from Mexico to do it, too. Ugh, thoughts of my mother filled me with hate again, I didn’t want to feel hate, I felt loved, that’s what mattered.
“She’s crazy, what can I say… But let’s not talk now, let’s just sleep.”
“Yes… please. I mean, don’t get me wrong I really, really, want to carry on what we were doing in there…” he sighed, and I got it. Exhaustion won out, at least tonight.
“No, you’ve been travelling for ever, I’ve been up since seven… no let’s just sleep okay? We’ve plenty of time to… catch up once we’re back to ourselves.” I grinned.
“I totally agree… God, I love you.”
“Mmm…” I kissed him quick, settling into my nook under his arm, head on his chest, my favourite place to be.
I stiffened, and he felt it.
“I’m doing the best I can, but let’s talk about that tomorrow, okay?”
I felt him nod, then minutes later I felt his breathing even out. I was so glad to have him there, so very glad.
I woke up achy, still tired, but in a good place. In Sookie’s bed, so how could I not have been in a good place? I smiled to myself, and put my arm over to snuggle with her, but only to find her side of the bed empty. I pushed my disappointment down, and climbed out of bed and pulled on my clothes, checking my watch it was just after tweleve, I’d been knocked out for a good six hours, getting rid of most of my jetlag. I stumbled downstairs in search of her, but finding no one around, I just went to inhale some coffee. I’d just gotten the cup to my mouth when a shot went off in the kitchen! I dropped the mug and ducked out of the way, before she yelled.
“Who are you?! Why are you in my house?! Get out of my house!”
“Adele! It’s me… It’s –“She cocked the gun again and I was looking for the nearest exit.
“You’ve no right to be in my house! I won’t let you rob me! Do you hear! You get out of this house before I shoot you and bury you in the lake!”
“Holy fucking shit!” I said, pushing a chair in front of me, hoping to gain eye contact with her.
“Adele, Its Eric! Do you remember me?”
“I don’t know any Eric!” She raised the gun again, and I got really scared she was going to pull the trigger again.
“Please, I’m here… I’m with Sookie, I’m her Eric? Do you remember her mentioning me?”
She just glared at me, just then I was saved by an angel when Sookie walked through the door, dropping the two big bags of groceries and running into the kitchen, taking the gun from Adele without a word.
“Gran! What the hell are you doing!? This is Eric, he’s our friend! He’s my boyfriend, you know Eric, you like him!”
“I do?” she asked, confused.
“Yes, you do. He’s not here to hurt you or take you away!”
“Or rob me?”
“NO!” Sookie and I both said, as Sookie handed me the gun, sitting her Grandmother at the kitchen table.
“I promise, Gran. He’s good people, I love him, you’ll love him too.”
“You do?” she looked at me again, squinting, and it took her a second, but then she seemed to calm down. She held her head for a second as Sookie watched her closely.
“Yes, I do. Now, we can’t be pointing guns at people, it’s just not welcoming…” she said to me, her eyes filled with tears, but trying to push them away.
I hunkered down next to her on her seat.
“Adele, we met a while ago, remember we helped you with some boxes for Church? And then we met again, at Sookie’s wedding?”
“To Alcide…” she nodded, “That was never gonna last if you ask me, she clearly didn’t love him, and there’s always been something real queer about that boy.”
Sookie, wiping her tears suddenly burst out laughing. I couldn’t help but laugh myself.
“You’re right there is something… yeah… But you remember me now?”
“You’re the one she loves? The one I saw kiss her…”
“Oh of course she would remember that…” Sookie said, shaking her head, and walking to the door to pick up her hastily discarded bags.
“That would be me.”
“Well, why didn’t you say so! Sookie, did we make lunch, I don’t remember.”
“No, I popped out to get something’s for us…” she shook her head, kissing me on the cheek, as she put the torn bags on the counter, and I helped her empty them. Adele seemed to slowly come back to herself. I sighed, if this was what Sookie was going through all this time, no wonder she was stressed. I knew why she couldn’t, nor wouldn’t leave now; I saw it with my own eyes. And I realized I felt as guilty as Sookie did, and I wanted to help Adele and Sookie as much as I could. I had no idea what I could do for either of them, but I vowed to myself that I’d try, and we’d see how things went. One thing was for sure though, there was no way Sookie could keep this up alone, no way in hell was I letting her put that amount of pressure on herself. It just wasn’t fair. I’d help where I could, where she’d let me that’s for sure, but I’d make sure to talk to her about getting a professional diagnosis, and some much needed professional help, before someone was a little less lucky, the next time Adele got trigger happy!