I was weary of walking into the priests quarters with Eric, with or without him I knew I wasn’t allowed in there unless I was given strict permission.
Just like they weren’t allowed in our quarters for no reason unless one of us was ill or dying. So when Eric all but dragged me inside, I took it as I technically had a priest’s permission didn’t I? And I figured we’d be super quick, he’d get my little present and we’d leave. Simple as that.
I noticed his room was a lot larger than the standard cells that we had, it was still sparsely decorated, though the bed was bigger and his windows didn’t have bars and he had an small view over looking the rose garden. What struck me most was his bedding, I had never noticed until then that the priest’s quarters must have been supplied with great big thick bedding, goose feathered pillows and quilts.
I was a little jealous since our tiny cells were given thinning cotton at best.
When he pulled out the little box and showed me my present I think my heart right about melted out of my chest. They were so beautiful, and so red. That teamed with his little story on how he found them, well I was smitten with then, and possibly more so with him. Leaning into him as he told me how he’d seen them and thought of me, thought that it was something beautiful that I would be allowed to use every day and how that thought made him smile. How he wanted me to have something as beautiful as I was to remember that I was beautiful, because in a place like this appreciating something beautiful could sometimes be so easily forgotten in favour of all the darkness.
His words were so beautiful that I found I’d shed a tear, bleeding heart that I was it was unsurprising, and yet I didn’t feel the need to hide it from him. His words and his actions touched me, and it seems I needed to touch him, in the more obvious physical sense, as I laid my head on his shoulder as he spoke leading to eventually embracing him in a hug.
I had meant it as a token of my thanks, for his kindness and his gift, but somewhere between feeling his neck so close to my face and the sense of him enveloping me it became something much more.
He smelled so good, so Eric. A mixture of freshness that I took to be his soap mixed with a musky undertone that you could barely detect, but it was just him. And I guess you could say it turned me on, it all did all at once. Being alone in his room so close to him and so when he placed his hand on my chin forcing me to face him the longing I saw in his eyes I felt matched my own and in that moment I no longer cared who I was or where we were.
I wanted him to kiss me. I’d wanted him to kiss me like Eric could kiss me from the second I saw him in the garden upon his return, so when he did, when he softly and gently brushed his lips over mine, I didn’t protest. I didn’t protest as I should have. I should have been horrified and disgusted that he was thinking such things, never mind that he was in fact acting on them….but horrified was the last emotion I was feeling.
His lips parted mine and I felt the very tip of his tongue graze my mouth, that set a spark in me and before I knew it my hands where in his hair, down his neck, caressing his chest before repeating the process all the while our mouths and tongues battled for dominance. He wanted to lead the kiss, he always did, but I… well I was feeling brave and wanted to see where I could take it. It was when he moved and sucked my lower lip into his mouth that I let the moans I’d been holding inside – escape. It was then and that reaction that seemed to snap Eric out of his lust.
He moved back from me as if he’d been burned, the shocked look on his face spoke volumes, his swollen lips and pink tinted cheeks giving way to his quick breaths as he stood their stunned.
“I’m sorry, Jesus, Sookie I shouldn’t have done that…Christ what was I thinking!” he whispered harshly, to me? To himself? Who knew. All I knew was he was that he was panicking.
“No, I mean yes, I mean, no look it’s just as much my fault-“”No, I shouldn’t have, no matter how much I…it’s wrong. I know that, and I know that I shouldn’t have even been thinking it never mind acting on it I’m so sorry Sookie.” he stressed. He was clearly missing out on the fact that I had in fact kissed him back, with vigour I might add.
“As much as I wanted things to be like they were before, they can’t be and I have to remember that. There are rules now rules-“”Since when did you ever really care about the rules Eric?” I giggled, though he was apparently serious.
“Sookie, I have to start caring. This is my job now, and yours and more than that, this is our lives. We can’t just be foolish kids anymore there is a bigger picture here that maybe because you’ve been so sheltered that you just don’t see it. But there is so much more going on that maybe even you can comprehend.”
His moral high ground was proving a little much for me, it pissed me off.
“You think I don’t know that! You think that you can just waltz in here after almost three years and have the nerve to chastise ME on what life here is like?” I knew my face was reddening now and it had nothing to do with how turned on a simple kiss had made me. My anger had now over taken it all.
“How dare you. Talking down to me like one of them, it didn’t take you long did it!”
“Sookie-” he attempted to reach for me, all the while using his big stupid puppy dog eyes to try and win me over, well that wasn’t happening. No sir!
“Don’t you even try it Eric Northman. Or should that be Father Northman now, since you know we have our jobs to think about.” I scoffed folding my arms in protest.
“Sookie, I’m sorry.”
“Don’t. Ok? You ruined what was a perfect moment with your big mouth.”
He raised his eyebrow at me with a smirk.
“You seemed to kind of like my big mouth if I recall.”That infuriated me even more.
“I hate you.””No you don’t.””Yes, I, do. You’re so annoying you know that? Honestly I don’t even know why I care, or why I missed you or why I…”
I couldn’t finish my sentence of false hate because his lips suddenly were on mine again. This time he had managed, somehow in my confused state, to get me against the wall behind his door. Pressing himself firmly up against me. This kiss was neither soft nor delicate, the fight for dominance had returned, that teamed with my anger had spurned us on to something else entirely. I knew he was itching to touch my hair, or my neck or any part of me, just as much as I was him. My habit and veil prevented this since I was constricted to and fully encased in my uniform of Christ. The hint right there that he could touch my body should have given us the shame to stop trying, but it didn’t.
He stopped suddenly, as if his conscience had finally caught up with his actions.
I inhaled and blinked, trying to collect myself from the metaphorical puddle of goo I had become under his touch. I knew my lips were swollen even more so than before now, I was dishevelled but nothing like Eric. His shirt was partly undone and wrinkled, his collar had slid out sideways, his face tinted in pink, but what washed over it all was the guilt.
Good old fashioned Catholic guilt. He felt it, I felt it, I was pretty sure the Pope felt it. Neither of us spoke as we straightened ourselves out, there was no need. We both knew we did wrong, we both knew it could never happen again, and we both knew that no matter how much we wanted it to, we could never allow ourselves to lose control like that again.
EPOV:I was so hard it was beginning to actually hurt. Her harsh whispers and her anger had done something to me, in that moment I wanted her so completely. I stopped her tirade against me again with my instinct. That instinct was to kiss her again, and again and again until she felt as I felt for her. I knew she didn’t hate me, or if she did she’d get over it. I knew it was her guilt talking underneath it all. I knew I shouldn’t have patronised her as I had done, it was never my intention but I was still not sure how much she fully understood of how politically minded these people were. I got a taste of the backstabbing and the two-faced crazy behaviour in Rome. Each man for himself as Niall would say, he told me that he’d chosen Louisiana because it was the lesser of evils offered. He wanted a good quiet life, busy but pure. He said he’d enough demons to deal with without adding in other people attempting to get their foot on the ladder of success within the church. He said he lacked the ambition that other’s had in spades, like Geraldine for example.
I didn’t want Sookie to get stood on by those trying to climb up the ladder by kissing arses or telling tales. And making out with a priest who happened to be your best friend, who happened to have a crush on you – was definitely a ‘tale’ to be told to the higher ups. I had no intention of ruining our moment or ever stopping kissing her, but I had to and when I kissed her again I could have kicked myself.
I wanted her, that was no real secret to myself. last kiss or no, I had to be the bigger person here. I was in name at least her superior now, and she was my friend and here I was taking advantage of both of those facts.
No, no matter what my thoughts I couldn’t let it go on. I could however have handled it a little better.
Instead of stopping, apologising to her like a grown up, I panicked and simply walked away from her.
I walked away, leaving her standing alone and more than likely pissed off, in my room.
Yes I am aware of just how much of an idiot I am.
He just left. He just walked out of the room, leaving me there alone.
Alone with my guilt and my anger and my arousal. I was angry at him, I was angry at myself! How could I have been so stupid as to let something like that cross my mind not to mention take on a life of it’s own and to actually kiss him back.
I was an idiot! A complete and utter idiot. I’d broken various vows, I’d committed a serious sin in the eyes of God and my church and ….Lord alive help me if anyone here found out about it.
I knew following him into his room was a bad idea, Sister Agnes always used to say that only bad things happened in bedrooms, and you know what? The old broad was right! Bad, bad, bad, amazingly soft and sweet things.
God, I’d forgotten how good it felt to be kissed. Not that I ever did that much kissing to begin with, but with Eric I just assumed it was your first kiss that made you tingle and your toes curl, Eric proved that to be a myth. There was tingles alright – Christ look at me, gushing like a school girl when I had just partaken in something blasphemous.
I knew I couldn’t go to confessions with something like this but I needed it purged from my system.
“Come again? Eric, THE Eric guy – best friend, child of the Vikings, earth wandering do good-er ERIC? He’s back…he’s a priest? And you and he made out. In his bedroom. On church grounds.”
“For the third time, YES, now please stop grinning at me and tell me what to do!””Ohh Sookie, Sooookie sookie, this right here is better than my novellas! I mean this is the stuff of romance novels!”
I glared at her, I couldn’t do much else in my state of panic.
“Amelia! Come on!”
She sipped her lemonade and grinned again, “Sookie, I’ve been telling you for as long as I’ve known you, that you needed to let your hair down and forget about this holy show and have some good old fashioned fun. And, well, if Viking boy wants to give it to you…”
“There will be NO giving of anything, stop wiggling your brows at me, ok this is SERIOUS.”
She rolled her eyes and faced me kicking off her shoes and tucking them underneath her on her couch.
“Sookie, yes okay, I realise this is huge and ‘wrong’ and all of those things you’ve been sprouting since you swished through my door this afternoon. But I want you to just for a second…” she said calmly “take a second and enjoy it? Hmm? Your life isn’t exactly filled with heart fluttering moments – at least not in a good way, so this? This is a moment.”
“Was he a good kisser?” She gawked, still grinning like the cat that got the cream.
“Ohh my god! He was wasn’t he, damn, I really need to meet this guy.”I glared.
“Not for kissing, heavens no! Happily betrothed party of one right here. But ok so how …how?”
“I told you how.”
“But no, how did it feel?”
“Did your heart skip? Toes curl, tingle in places you of all people probably shouldn’t be tingling?” she laughed as I blushed – again. And she clapped her hands much like a seal, a very excited morally questionable insane seal.
She coughed and somehow managed to regain her senses. “Ok Sooks, bottom line ok? You still wanna be a nun right?”I nodded.
“And Eric is still all ‘yay priests?'”
“Well fine, you two just have to talk and talk it out right, explain that it wasn’t something you wanted and it’s not something you want to happen again. And if he’s smart he’ll be on the same page.”
“He was, I mean he freaked out and apologised and everything but then….well then he kissed me again and I don’t even know what that meant.”
“And that’s when you say he just walked out? Where did he go?”
“Not sure, I had to sneak out of their dorms in case anyone seen me, and then…well then I came to see you.”
“Well great, but you need to talk to him Sookie, and soon.”
Yes talking would have been great ,but he was avoiding me. And he was doing a great job of it too, for three whole days I didn’t even catch a glimpse of him. And it wasn’t until he took to the alter for Sunday mass that I even saw him again. He looked so…tall and handsome and tan ….no. He looked very…professional and holy in his mass gown, his was black and white where as Father Brigant’s was a regal shade of purple and gold. I saw Bill take his seat on the sidelines as Eric prepped the alter for the mass. I couldn’t take my eyes off of him the entire time. I needed him to look at me, to acknowledge that he saw me, a little nod…anything to let me know that he was ok.
I’d noticed a lot more ladies than usual during the service, I’d noticed they were a lot younger than those who would normally frequent morning mass and they were sitting a lot closer to the alter than usual.
I wasn’t concerned when they’d look at Eric, I mean he was assisting the mass who else where they going to look at, and I wasn’t concerned that they lingered a little longer when receiving communion than they usually did since it was Eric distributing it. I wasn’t exactly schooling in what ‘flirting’ was but I was pretty sure I’d received a master class in it that morning. Why they all felt the need to linger while we made our exits was beyond me. Was it that difficult to shake the mans hand and be on your way? No, they apparently had an issue with something so simple. Instead choosing to again, linger, giggling and touching his arm as they so warmly ‘welcomed him to the community’, and I mean please.
Promising him that if he needed anything that they’d be more than happy to ‘volunteer’ all the while grazing his arm or holding onto his hand longer than necessary when shaking it and on top of that they ignored poor Father Niall, I mean he more than anyone deserved the thanks since he was the one that actually GAVE the sermon but ohh no that wouldn’t have been as enticing to the neighbourhood jezebels .
I know he saw me in the line up, I know this because his relaxed smiling happy flirting face was replaced quickly with a stiffness as he stood up straight and ceased to smile. He shook my hand and thanked me for coming, like he had done with the other parish attendees. But there was no warmth, no smile, in fact he didn’t even look me in the eye.
I thanked Niall for a beautiful service and told him how good it was to have him back. He of course was looking between Eric and myself as if we had three heads and three tails between us.
I made my way back with the rest of the Sisters my anger at him bubbling with every step I took. If this is how he wanted it to be, then so be it.
When I walked out of my bedroom I let go of the breath I’d been holding. I was so stupid, so incredibly insanely stupid. I’d risked everything, her future her home, her calling and for what? Because I was attracted to her? Because I missed her? Because there was nothing more I wanted than to just have her in my arms? Because I was horny and she was all I’d thought of for three years? Being around her, I assumed would be easy. I had a collar she had a veil, those were the painfully obvious boundaries that we knew we couldn’t cross.
And yet we did, we cross them so easily. In a heartbeat we’d thrown into question everything we stood for.
Sophie had taken her place for time, physically she was a beautiful woman that couldn’t have been denied. But I was scum, for usually it wasn’t her beauty I’d wish for, it wasn’t her voice I longed to hear whisper my name…but that someone else was out of bounds and I knew that. I thought I had accepted that.
Clearly my hormones, my lips nor my dick had actually received this message.
I threw myself into lessons, spending hours in the office in fear of seeing her again, spending hours in Niall’s company doing anything and everything for him. Paperwork, phone calls, filing. I ate my meals there and only left when I was to retire to my room.
My room that now haunted me like a cruel joke. My bed where she sat, beside my dresser where I tasted her lips again like a man dying of thirst and she was my waterfall, my stupid door I pressed her against, that same door I flew out in order to avoid her and these feelings days before.
I was convinced she hated me. She’d have the right too. Who was I to take advantage of our situation like this? She was a naive young impressionable girl and here I was her best friend in the world…putting her at risk because I couldn’t keep my dick in my pants.
Did I mention that I’m scum?
I saw her take her seat with the other nuns, the choir humming along from the back of the church, beautiful music filling each crevice of the church. I knew once I stepped out that she’d see me and I knew if I looked at her I wouldn’t know what I was doing.
So I didn’t look at her, the entire service. I kept my eyes trained forward, middle aisle, maybe to the left. Far left, out the window, anywhere but where she sat. I’d noticed a lot more girls in the attendance than last time. Most of whom where well dressed in their Sunday best of course, but …I think they where flirting with me. Eyelashes were batted, legs were crossed and uncrossed, one or two even waved to me.
It was extremely strange.
Then afterwards as Niall had shown me, I was to shake hands and talk with whoever needed or wanted to talk. He had told me that it was usually the elderly members of the community that would stop for a chat. Inquire about funding or bake sales or the like. My first time? Maybe three people over sixty talked to me, the rest all seemed to be under forty and female.
I wasn’t that stupid, I knew what I looked like, and I knew that girls ….liked that about me. I’d gone from a skinny gangly awkward kid to an overgrown man. Or so Niall says.
But I knew I was strong and I knew I was built tall and apparently the short blond hair and a tan were attractive, certainly if by the many times my ass was ‘accidentally’ grazed…it was a winner.
Ginger came before Sookie, she was a small squeaky and not at all actually ‘ginger’ woman – she had striking blonde hair cropped short. Her face told me she was on the wrong side of forty but her hands …well they got to know my biceps real well by the time she’d moved on in the line.
I saw her approaching so I straightened up and bit my lip. I wanted to blurt out how sorry I was – again. I wanted to tell her that I was an idiot and that I wanted and needed her forgiveness, but instead I shut down. I shook her hand and looked to the next Sister approaching.
I could tell her eyes could have shot fire if I’d looked directly at them, I could almost feel the tension and the anger roll off her in waves. But then, she approached Niall and her voice was as soft and as sweet as ever.
I exhaled finally.
Niall on the other hand looked like I’d just slapped someone with a 2×4. And when the line ceased he cornered me about it.
“What did you do?””What?”
“Do not bullshit me Eric, you did or said something now what did you do.”
“Sookie…was…for the lack of better word.” he came in closer and whispered “Pissed off, and it was all directed at you my boy, now explain.””It’s nothing ok? We just had falling out, a… misunderstanding of sorts”Northman you are going to hell, lying liar who lies.
I could tell he wasn’t buying it, questioning how I could be back a week and have already done something to upset her. But he let it drop and for that I was extremely thankful.
I was walking down the hallway that lead to the church when I heard his hard footsteps approaching behind me.
“Compton?” I greeted him in a similar manner as he attempted to square his shoulders standing next to me. Perhaps he thought this would make him taller somehow? Either way he failed.
“I need to talk to you about Niall.””What about him.”
He sighed, running a hand through his far too greasy hair as he did so. “I’ve been looking over his notes on the budget, and I think it’s a little excessive.”
“Hundreds of dollars are being allocated to the orphanage school, I mean is that really necessary?”
“Teaching tools, books, it’s all expensive Bill.”
“Can’t they just…make do? I mean really, it’s not like any of them are actually going to amount to much…”
“Is that so.”
“Come on, what options do these poor bastard children have of amounting to anything when they get kicked out of here.”
I sank my anger as best I could before snipping “Well as one of those ‘poor bastard children’ I say they have just as much chance as anyone, a good education is a great asset, and just because they’ve been deprived of parents doesn’t mean they should be deprived of knowledge Bill.”
“I’m just saying, the money would be better used else where.”
“The church, the roof needs replacing it has done for years, the seats are age old, the piano in the choir is dying on it’s legs. The heating in the sleeping quarters is hardly modern.”
“So you’re willing to ignore the needs of all those kids in favour of wanting to heat your own ass. It’s Louisiana Bill the winters aren’t exactly artic. I’m sure the heating is fine, it’s still working isn’t it?”
“You refuse to back me up on this then?”
Why did he think I would? I didn’t like the little weasel.
“Look Eric I know you’re new here and all, but you really should realise that Niall won’t be around forever and when he’s gone, I’ll be your superior, so it would be wise for you to not…piss me off.””Are you threatening me Bill?” I faced him down, pulling myself up to my full height.
“Of course not, I’m a civilised man Eric, you should just know how we do things here…We don’t deprive our church, it comes first.” He smiled adding “Oh and for future reference, embracing a nun…is strictly forbidden…Sookie? I mean she’s a nice, eager to please kind of girl of that there is no doubt but any and all lingering contact is frowned upon.”
Had he seen us, oh my God had he heard us in my room? I had started to cold sweat.
“What are you talking about Bill?””I saw you.”Oh sweet baby Jesus.
“In the garden? That was more than just a friendly greeting and I think we both know it.””You don’t know what you’re talking about.””Don’t I? Sookie is an amazing girl, and I think you and I both know just how willing she is to please people. And she’s so, so good at it too.”
I glared him down before he smirked finally telling me to watch out and that it was always the quiet ones that would get you in trouble if you let them. That bastard. His implying that Sookie was anything less than pure pissed me off.
Was there something going on between then that I didn’t know about? Was the kiss not that special after all? I mean maybe it wasn’t maybe she made a habit of kissing priests…
No Sookie wasn’t like that, I knew her, didn’t I? she would have told me if ….just like I told her about Sophie Ann? It was hypocritical of me to say she was an angel when she would assume she knew all about me, like I assumed I knew all about her. Sookie kept talking about how much had changed while I was gone – was this one of those things?
I hated myself for doubting her, but the look in his eye told me that he knew something I didn’t and it killed me, I was jealous of something I knew nothing about. Something that I was clueless as to if it had even happened or not.
But I intended to find out.
I could do this, I would do this. All I had to say was that we both knew it was wrong even though, Jesus only knows it felt so right. But that given what we did now and who we were, it was just a stupid impulsive one time…ok two time thing that we both knew and understood would never happen again. Simple, to the point, precise. We’d be fine, once we both got over how awkward we both felt we’d be Sookie and Eric again in no time.
Except I couldn’t find him, again. Honestly how did someone six foot five become stealth? It wasn’t natural.
Finally after searching what seemed like everywhere I finally found him in the basement, strangely enough doing his own laundry.
He didn’t speak even as I reached the bottom of the stairs. So I sat on the second to last step and waited for him to acknowledge my presence. He sorted his sheets, his clothes and his darks and stuck them in separate drums, he got his powder and slammed them all shut before sighing and turning to me finally.
When he didn’t say anything I stopped biting my tongue “You know, the Sisters are in charge of the laundry. We do it every Wednesday.””I know, but I just…I’m used to taking care of myself I guess.”I nodded.
“So…” Awkward, awkward, awkward. “Been busy avoiding me then?”
His face changed then, I saw the walls go up. “No. I…I’ve just had a lot of work to do that’s all. And I …”
“Had some thinking to do.””Did it hurt?” I tried to joke, but it fell flat since Eric and thinking seemed to equals a loss in his sense of humour.
“No, ok look, stop ok? Stop worrying, stop fretting, just…Stop.””But…”
“But nothing ok? We’re just idiots, we made one stupid…two stupid mistakes, but look – no one died, no one knows and it’s not that big of a deal!” I tried to lighten my mood, my voice and my mannerisms with a smile. If I could convince him it wasn’t a big deal, then I might be able to convince myself too.
“It’s not that big of a deal.” He repeated, only his tone was sombre and almost verging on angry. What the heck? I thought this would have been welcome news to him.
He stopped eye contact suddenly and I felt as if someone had slapped me across the face, it had gone for his intense baby blue’s focused on me, to his having his back face me instead.
He busied himself with more laundry before he spoke again. I felt the entire time as if I was in the middle of an emotional rubber band, one that was about to snap at anytime.
“Eric-“”Why isn’t it a big deal Sookie? Is it because it’s me? Because it was just me and it was just a kiss? A silly stupid idiotic kiss that meant nothing to you? Or is it because I’m not the only man here that seems susceptible to your….apparently naive charms.” the quiet anger in his voice wasn’t something I think I’d ever heard before, at least never directed towards me. It shook me.
“What are you talking abo-“”Bill. I’m talking about Bill.”Oh God help me what had he told Eric, had he told him of the incident in his office? Had he told him of my confession? I went beet red and try as I might I just couldn’t hold back my tears. Whatever admission Bill had made to Eric it seems that my tears only confirmed whatever was spinning through his mind. I couldn’t stop the floods of tears that poured through stifled sobs on that step, the rest of the exchange was a blur of things – Eric asking me when I changed so much, when I became one of them, his face full of hurt as he dropped his things and pushed past me on the step. The fact that my pain seemingly meant nothing to him only caused me to sob harder, trying tirelessly to silence myself.
I tried to ask him why he was acting this way and that it wasn’t my fault. With what I thought were tears in his owns eyes he just replied that maybe I had changed and maybe if that’s what I was doing – that maybe he didn’t know me at all.
I begged him to explain what he meant but he wouldn’t even look at me, I knew something was said to him, some lie, some seed planted. He wasn’t acting like my Eric.
But maybe that was the point, he wasn’t my Eric, he hadn’t been for a long time.
So embarrassed and ashamed with tears clouding my eyes all I remember before he walked out of that basement was him muttering to himself something about how he couldn’t believe I’d do such a thing – and with him.
Him? Him, who? And what exactly had I done?