Based on these photos – the inspo for the fic!
Sookie is an ex biker wife still in the life. Eric is a biker but he’s not a lifer. Tired of the same old life will their choices change them or will the fear of the unknown hold them back?
Engine oil, beer, and chicken wings, that’s what the place always smelled like. Same old, same old, I was so used to it that I rarely noticed when I was inside. It was only when I got home and changed my clothes did I realise that I carried the place with me even then. Ignoring thoughts of what I smelled like, I got on with work, that too was same old, same old. The crew took their regular seats, drank their regular drinks, shot the same shit as the night before. I couldn’t complain, their money flowed as long as I kept them content in liquor and wings, they didn’t ask for much and in return I got their eternal protection – something that was both great, and awful all at once. The bar was mine, my baby, and had been since my divorce.
The sounds of ACDC rang through my bar as I checked everyone had a drink.
“Sook? Three more whiskeys and a Bud when you’re ready.” Sam called from his spot in the corner, three other guys from the crew sat with them and nodded at me with a smile. I smiled back.
“Jessica, see to those guys will you?”
The new girl nodded. She was sweet, too sweet for these assholes, but thus far she’d been treated with what passes around here as respect and that’s what counted. I was tired of going through waitresses like water just because they couldn’t keep it in their pants with the new girls in town. I was running out of girls, and patience.
Since the divorce, the guys had taken it upon themselves to be my own personal bodyguards, which I knew was their way, they took care of ‘the family’ even when ‘the family’ breaks up and breaks your heart. It was just their way, and it was fine and dandy, until I wanted to date or move on. To them, I was still and always would be Alcide’s ‘old lady’, it didn’t matter to them that Alcide and I hadn’t been in love with one another for a very long time before I finally pulled the plug on our brain dead marriage. It didn’t matter that he was having an affair, it didn’t matter that he’d got her pregnant, it didn’t matter that for almost a year before the divorce we hadn’t so much as kissed each other, to them it just didn’t matter. It made meeting guys difficult when you had Louisiana’s most notorious biker crew on your back, to say the least. I had dates that never went beyond the second or third before they got scared off, that’s if they had balls the size of the sun in the first place to get past them to get around to asking me out. I sighed as I lugged another barrel to the tap and tried to push my relationship woes out of my head, when Eric walked in.
Eric and I had a sort of twisted friendship, he was Alcide’s friend, and by extension he was mine, but we didn’t have what I had with the other guys. The other guy’s silly flirtations were just that, silly. With Eric, there was always an underlying kernel of truth to what we’d banter, not that either of us would ever do anything about it of course. You see loyalty was the currency in which these guys lived and breathed, to each other, rarely to their woman though as I found out. But to each other, there had to be loyalty or there was nothing at all. And Eric was a loyal friend.
And so, we flirted, there were looks and longings and banter and dancing but that’s all it would ever be, as long as he was loyal to his friends and his crew, I was just the girl he flirted with.
“Lookin’ well Ms Stackhouse.” He said taking his stool at the bar, sitting next to Sheriff Andy who was on his third beer of the evening and his second bowl of nuts.
“Shame I can’t say the same, Northman.” I nodded, acknowledging his nose. “Again?”
“What’s one more break huh?”
I just rolled my eyes, pouring him his regular lager.
“I really wish you’d get your perverted kicks elsewhere, you’re making that ugly mug of yours so much worse.” I sassed. He owned a stake in the local boxing club where he’d go three times a week to legally beat the shit out of people. You know, as opposed to the other five where he did it illegally, all in the name of ‘club business’.
“It keeps me fit, don’t you worry about me.” He said with a smile before patting Andy on the back. “His next one is on me.”
I nodded and served Andy his next drink before hearing the office phone go, and running back to answer it.
It was Hadley; of course she was going to be late. I sighed before dragging myself back to work.
“So Sookie, when are you going to leave all this behind and run away with me, huh?” Eric asked after a healthy sip of his drink, this was our thing, this is what we did. Causing Andy to laugh and shake his head I walked up to where they were, only the bar separating us.
“Oh, I don’t know, Northman, whenever you make me a decent offer, until then….”
“You mean offering you the back of my bike isn’t a good enough offer? Well I’ll be damned.” He grinned like a fool.
I sighed sarcastically then, wiping the bar.
“Nah, look what happened to me the last time I took that deal.” I meant Alcide and everyone knew it. Eric’s eyes lost their sparkle then, and he looked down at his drink. And there was the loyalty.
“I’m joking… Jesus, lighten up would you? What happened? The kids at the boxing centre hit you too hard this week and knock what was left of that sense of humour out of your pretty little head?”
Andy laughed then, heartily so.
“She just called you pretty. You are pretty…such a pretty boy…” he mocked and it earned him a shove. I swear these men were just giant babies in bad ass leather jackets and a pound and a half of attitude.
“Shut up, Andy before I kick your ass.”
It was easy to tell that Eric or the rest of them really, had little to no respect for Andy’s position in the town. Come to think of it, neither did Andy, most of the time.
“Speaking of kicking ass…” Sam came up behind Eric then, and I was distracted as he came through the door.
Alcide and his fucking alpha attitude, the bar turned to look in his direction as it always did. These were ‘his’ boys after all. He walked behind the bar like he still owned the place
“What do you want, Alcide?” I asked giving him major side eye because I could.
“A moment of your time if that’s okay? In the back?”
I felt Eric’s eyes on me the entire time we talked. It was almost unnerving.
“What?” I asked folding my arms and leaning against my desk.
“I thought we were okay now, what’s wrong?”
“Nothing’s wrong, I’m just busy, and you’re wasting my time.”
You know, like you wasted ten years of my life with bullshit and lies.
“I just wanted to confirm the space out back for the fight.”
“It’s confirmed; Eric booked it a couple of weeks ago. It’s yours, you know the deal, no shit, no drugs and keep it light on the stranger bitches because you know they start cat fights and I really do not want another bill for a whole new set of lights out there – again.”
“And you clean up whatever mess you all make, I mean it.”
“I know the drill.”
“Good, fine, is that all?”
“I figured we’d moved pasted this, Sookie. Anger isn’t a good look on that pretty little face of yours.”
I rolled my eyes.
“Yeah well, you’ve been the cause of most of my anger since I was seventeen, you’d know.”
“I’m sorry about that.”
“I’ll bet you are. Speaking of things you’re sorry about, how is your teenage baby mamma.”
“She’s not a teenager –“
“She was when you knocked her up, what is the boy now? One?”
“Right, right…” I busied myself with papers at my desk, the subject of Sophie-Anne and the baby – Michael, was always a tough one. “Well you should get on home to them; I have a bar to run.”
“Go.” I dismissed him, I knew he hated that shit, but the truth was I didn’t care anymore. I hadn’t been in love with Alcide in a long time, nor him me, we just hung on too long, too scared to make the final move. When I did, it hurt, I did it because it wasn’t just cheating anymore, there was a kid on the way, and the bitterness stung me more than anything else that he was so easily able to accept a child with her, and yet never even discuss it with me.
We were so over there needed to be another word for over.
Seeing them together, even now, it stung. Even though I knew it wasn’t love, it hadn’t been it, couldn’t have been not for a long while at least. Not when he was bedding everything he could when we’d go on runs, and even when we were at home, didn’t make it a secret. I worked with men, with friends that broke the law for a living, so breaking the wedding vows he made to a seventeen year old Sookie back in the day that was a walk in the park compared to the usual laws we broke. Ironically, it was the one that didn’t sit well with me, not as far as she was concerned.
We had a weird thing, Sookie and I, a messed up friendship of sorts I guess you could call it. We were friends who flirted more than we talked, and the majority of what we talked about was tinted in sarcasm and jokes, all to hide the truth. The truth was, we wanted each other, at least as far as I was concerned we did. The feelings were there, and the chemistry was there, but so was my loyalty to Alcide and the club, she knew it, they knew it. Loyalty meant everything to these people and in the time I had spent with them, it meant everything to me. Even if she would, given half the chance, possibly mean so much more to me than that.
There was a lot at stake, the fights were on, and I was being put under a lot pressure for bets. I knew for myself that I wanted at least twenty thousand out of it, the legal betting was one thing, but the shit under the table was worth so much more. I took some hits, I might have cracked a rib, but it was all about the adrenal, it was a rush, a semi legal one at that, which was such a rare thing in my life as of late. I saw her out there, laughing and joking and dancing and messing around. It was always a beautiful sight to see her enjoying herself, just letting loose. So often she looked as if she had the world on her shoulders, but the times when she just let it all go, it was as beautiful as she was. Sookie Stackhouse had married Alcide right before she dropped out of high school, he had lured her away with promises of excitement and adventures, and I guess she says, at seventeen the hot guy with the bike and the muscles promising the small town girl excitement, well, it was too good a thing to pass up.
As I knocked the other guy out, thoughts of her dissipated and only my winnings flooded my mind as the guys on our side cheered and the others that bet against me groaned. I was saving up, for a rainy day my mother used to call it. I figured sooner or later my rainy day would come and I planned on being pretty damn untouchable when it did.
She walked into her office, the space I was using as my changing room right as I was half dressed, but just about decent. It wasn’t anything she hadn’t seen before so she didn’t even bat an eyelash, she stumbled a little but I knew that was due to tequila and her heels.
“Oh right you’re in here. Of course I’m sure Alcide said it was fine.”
“Yeah you know he doesn’t own this joint anymore, right? It’s mine, so you need something back here, you come to me.”
She was pissed.
“Right, shit, sorry.”
She just rolled her eyes.
“You guys are all the same you know that, it’s all him, you make him out to be this big untouchable asshole when in reality, without you lot… he’s nothing but a thug or a extra from The Village People gone wrong.” She giggled, and then it turned into a full blown laugh.
“You’re cute when you’re drunk and pretending to be angry.”
“Psh who’s pretending, it’s my default setting these days or hadn’t you heard.” She wobbled into the room and reached around me to her desk, she grabbed her cell phone and started to text.
“Tara wants me to text her girl to meet her at this club or something they’re going to. Bitch never charges her own phone… What am I her secretary!?”
I just observed her speed texting though she could barely stand up straight; it was a skill to say the least.
“No Pam tonight?” She asked still not looking at me.
“It’s not what you think.”
“You think we don’t know about your sugah mamma situation? It’s all Sam can talk about.” Again still not looking at me.
“Sam doesn’t know shit, and it’s not like that.”
A few seconds passed and she was still texting.
“Is there a reason you’re standing in my office half-dressed staring at me like a fool, Northman?” She asked without looking up from her screen. She was sharp as a knife even half ways to drunk.
“Uh… no. Nope. Just you know… lookin’.”
“Yeah, you’re always just lookin’, that’s about all you’ll ever do.” She mumbled.
“Nothin’, can you get changed and go then please? I mean I know the shower in the back office is amazing and everything but you’re done now, right?”
I was, I really had no other reason to be there. Except for her, I guess she was always the reason I was ‘still there’.
“What did you mean by that?”
“Well, it means you put one foot in front of the other and you go –“
“About me just looking…”
She rolled her eyes.
“Not going to do this now.”
She groaned in frustration.
“Jesus but you are so dense! This, us, the stupid childish flirting going nowhere thing we do. We look but no we never touch, we never touch because you have some warped sense of loyalty to my ex, you all do.”
“Loyalty is important, Sookie.”
“To a man that couldn’t even be loyal to his fucking wife? That’s rich.”
“I’m sorry about –“
“No you’re not, and you know what, neither am I. You know what I am sorry about though? That I wasted so much time listening to his lies and bullshit excuses, that I bought it, that I kept those vows and never strayed when I damn well could have.” At that she stared at me, and yeah I knew what she meant. A few years before, we had an ‘almost’ moment after a huge party at their place. He was God knows where, and we were just messing around, talking, shooting the shit, and I kissed her. It was over before it even started but I did and she did, and we both did. We never talked about it, never even tried to think about it afterward, but we both knew from then on in that it had happened because we wanted it to.
But it was like she said, from then on in. Look but don’t touch out of some warped sense of loyalty.
I didn’t know what did it, maybe it was the leather dress, maybe it was the three shots I had after the match, or maybe it was the way she was looking at me. Maybe it was all of it, maybe it was just time, but I grabbed her by her arms, uncrossed them for her and pulled her toward me and kissed her as hard and as fast as I could before I could talk myself out of it.
She was warm and soft, and frantic, with her hands grabbing onto my shoulders before mine got lost in her soft blonde hair. Jesus, she felt good and it was just touching. She smiled as we pulled apart before going in for another kiss; we managed maybe a minute more together before there was banging at the door.
Drunk Hadley and her amazing timing.
“She comin’? Oh hey Eric, good fightin’ tonight, you made me a grand baby!” She said all excited coming in to hug me, Hadley drunk was a big hugger, and probably a big fu –
“Eric you coming out with us, we’re celebrating.” She said hugging me closer, hanging off me almost literally.
“Why?” She whined. “We’re celebrating your wins, you have to be there.”
“Maybe next time?”
“Fine, fine, Sookie?”
Sookie was silent since Hadley came in, I was curious.
“You coming? We’re going into the city, let our hair down, let the boys close up.”
Hadley frowned but let me go and made her way to the door, Sookie followed her.
“I’m just gonna go home, and you know… go to bed.” She said slowly, too slowly.
“You’re so boring these days, Cuz’”
“I know, old and boring.” Sookie said with a laugh.
“You’re not even thirty yet you really need to start living it up, bed can wait come out with us!”
She shook her head.
“I’m going home to bed, I’ll see you in the morning.” She leaned in to hug her drunken cousin, before looking back at me and I knew my gut instinct was right.
She wasn’t planning on going to bed alone that night.
By the time I got home and showered the smell of the bar off me, I was almost dead on my feet but I had plans. I had plans even if he didn’t. We’d kissed – something I had been thinking about doing and not doing for far too damn long, and I figured why not, when he went in for the kill, I wasn’t going to stop him because I wanted it too. And, for too long I had backed away from the things that I wanted.
I was tired of backing away to come home to nothing but thoughts and regrets. I was on my second glass of wine as I sat in my living room, curled up on my couch in just my oversized t-shirt that had once belonged to my brother but had stolen from him years before and never outgrew. I heard his bike pull up into my driveway, and the butterfly feeling I got in my stomach was threatening to give my calm exterior away. I hadn’t felt butterflies like that in a lifetime, I realised.
I downed my wine before I walked to the backdoor where I know he’d be, I wasn’t sure Eric knew I had a front door that normal people used.
I opened it and there he was. He didn’t look nervous, but he did look… curious, I’d say.
“Hey.” I said trying to sound relaxed. I was anything but.
I took a deep breath, and I noticed so did he.
“This… I mean that was an invite, right? I wasn’t just… dreaming.”
He dreamed of that?
I pushed down my smile.
“It… it was.”
He nodded and with one large step, he had his hands on my sides, pushing me inside, and closing the door with his foot while we kissed. It wasn’t until my back hit the fridge that I even realised we were moving. He grabbed me up and under my ass, allowing me to straddling him as we stood there, the rough feel of his jeans against my bare legs ran right through me.
With one hand he felt me up, palming my breasts under my shirt, with the other he shed his leather jacket and it landed on my tile floor with a soft thud. There was no other sound in the whole house other than us, our breathing, and our years of standing on the side lines being thrown to the wind. I slid down his legs then, finding my own even though they felt like jelly. And I dropped to my knees.
I heard him gulp, actually gulp, it was almost comical until I looked up and saw his face. His pupils blown, his cheeks red and flushed chest – hmm… Somewhere along the way he lost his t-shirt, I didn’t remember that part. Instead, I reached for his belt, popped his buttons and undid his zip, painfully slowly because I could be a tease when I wanted to be, but I knew he was already hard. He was probably half hard when he walked in the door, so this wasn’t going to be an issue.
And it wasn’t.
“You can touch me, Eric, just don’t push.” I warned. I hated that shit. But, I did what I had thought about doing for so long right then and there when I took him in my mouth, and he grabbed onto my hair with one hand and I heard him grab the end of the fridge with the other. A string of curse words mixed with my name, God’s name, and Jesus, were all rolling off his tongue as he was rolling on and off mine. He was thick and firm and as European as that accent that slipped out sometimes, it was different that’s for sure, I had only ever been with an American guy before.
I could hear my own pulse in my ears, my adrenaline pumping hard, almost as hard as I was pumping him. The moans and gasps that escaped his mouth were enough to garner a girl a new pair of underwear, if I were wearing any that was. I lost my underwear somewhere between the backdoor and the fridge too, didn’t remember that either. His tattooed chest and arms glistened slightly with sweat, not that I could blame him, between the balmy night and what we were doing, it was expected. Before I could get too into it though he took over. Pulling me to my feet and slamming me against the cold fridge again to kiss me hard and fast. He then took a step back and looked me over, his hand running from my neck, between my breasts down to my tummy and right up inside me as softly as he could. I gasped grabbing onto his neck for leverage as he explored me with his hands, his free hand palming my breasts again, whispering how beautiful I was, how soft, how much he wanted me, chanting it almost to himself, almost like a prayer, before I slide back to my knees to finish what I had started. He was looking down at me, slack-jawed and in a pleasure zone like no other, and I pushed it into overdrive without so much as a warning. Pumping him faster, suctioning my cheeks, bobbing my head over him again and again. My tongue swishing and swirling furiously along his shaft. When I felt it hit the back of my throat I pushed against my instinct to gag, instead, swallowing a little before removing myself. He was still grasping onto the fridge when I stood up.
I couldn’t help but smirk.
“I’ll be upstairs, when you’re…” I looked him up and down then, he was in a fucked stated before we even fucked. I was beyond proud of myself. “When you’re ready.”
I stood there, stupefied for at least five seconds before it registered with me what happened, and that she was indeed on her way upstairs. I caught her on the third step from the top and turned her around, probably not the best idea since we’d both been drinking, and things were unstable at best, but I couldn’t help it. I kissed her there again, causing us both to sink against her staircase, by the time we struggled our way without separation to her bedroom, I had lost my boots, and my jeans that I had haphazardly yanked up to make it up the stairs in the first place. She smelled like berries and lavender and goodness. I realised as she sat on her bed, pulling away from me that I had never in fact been in her bedroom before, it wasn’t what I expected, though I wasn’t sure what I expected. It was feminine, and white and light and all the things our lives really weren’t most of the time, and certainly not how hers was either. It was an interesting contrast, and one I wondered why I was wondering about when she was practically laid out in front of me for the taking.
“Cold feet?” She asked, sliding back further onto her big freshly made bed, and I just shook my head. That would be a hell no.
“I’ve just wanted to … this is just something I’ve thought about a lot… I just …”
“Stop talking. If we keep talking we’ll talk ourselves out of this, I don’t think we want to do that, do we?”
I shook my head again before reaching for her legs, pulling her toward me. Drinking her in like she was the first woman I had ever seen like this, just admiring her everything, all of it out there for me tonight.
I wasn’t just allowed to look now, I was allowed to touch, and I was damn sure going to take the opportunity, one I had wanted for too long a time.
I wasn’t willing to just think about tasting her anymore, doing so, was so much more satisfying than I ever fantasied about.
My heart was beating out of my chest, or that’s what it felt like – the adrenaline rush was insane, and more intense with her than I recalled it being with any of the other women I had been with. Maybe it was because of how I felt about her, the other women didn’t come close to having what she had in my eyes or being how she was, none of it, she was just … different.
But then everyone says that about the woman they love, right?
There was little gentle or slow about how we started that night, it was just like downstairs, just like our lives in general. Rushed, frantic, hard and head spinning – but in the best possible way. She was smooth and sweet, making sure to look me in the eye when she could, silent reassurance as we fucked, no other sound from either of us other than the soft moans and sighs as we discovered the other over and over that night, our breaths ragged and spent but neither of us willing to stop until we reached that pinnacle together. Her body bore scars, and tiny meaningful tattoos, all stories I longed to hear, the rest of her soft and feminine. Though, she hid any softness she had under that hard, biker wife browbeaten exterior of hers, most of us knew she’d do anything for those she loved and god help those she hated.
She held my face as we kissed and I could feel her fingernails grasp onto my skin, her legs locked tighter around my body, and I knew as we fucked harder and faster that she was close, and so I began to relax, began to let go, it was hell trying to hold on but I wanted her to get hers too.
By the time we collapsed into the sweaty, tired, mess that we’d become, and we detangled ourselves from the other, I was fit to do nothing more but breathe.
She was the same, and we laid in comfortable, tired, silence for a time, before she burst into giggles, Sookie never giggled. It caused me to turn and look at her and there she was just giggling like a kid that got caught with her hand in the cookie jar.
“What?” I asked trying not to let self-doubt kick in, my fucking never made other women giggle for God sake!
“Nothing… I just… I think… we needed that, right? I think we just poured six years of sexual tension and frustration and want and need and God knows what else into that sex, and damn… it was worth it.”
I laughed then too, everything seemed so … funny all of a sudden.
“I think we did… I’ve never had a blow job up against a fridge before.”
“Me either.” She smirked before turning on her side to face me, sweeping her long blonde hair to the side of her neck. “Hads won’t be back tonight, when they party, they party, and she usually stays with Tara… so… I mean you can stay the night if you want.”
I wasn’t sure what I was doing, what we were doing beyond that night, beyond those amazing moments in her bed but I didn’t have to know, for all it was worth I just wanted to revel in the moments. The rest of the bullshit and guilt that could wait. I deserved, and she certainly deserved, a night of fun, right?
I tucked the rest of her hair behind her ear, leaning up to kiss her. If only everything after this could be as simple as that moment, my life would be good.
She scooted over to my chest, and we honest to god snuggled, something I hadn’t done with a woman after sex in what felt like a lifetime, but Sookie, as always, was a game changer.
It felt great, just getting to hold her and touch like that, so innocently but with such intimacy.
“What’s this from?” She asked of the three scars on my chest.
“Bullets.” I answered blankly. “Three summers ago, on a gun run with the guys, my vest was faulty and the guys we were selling too weren’t so happy, so, I got hit three times.”
Her fingers ghosted over the scars softly.
“But you survived, and so much so that I didn’t know about it, couldn’t have been serious?”
She knew all that went on in the club, as Alcide’s old lady it was part of their marriage contract practically.
“Nope, grazed… they didn’t go through fully, it’s all good.” I sighed, and she moved on down to my ribs. I knew she knew where that one came from.
“Sorry about that…again.” She said this time with a meek smile before kissing it, I swear my dick twitched.
“Yeah, it was a memorable first meeting to say the least. You really didn’t believe me.”
“Course I didn’t. You showed up here in converse and a damn Hollister t-shirt, swearing blind you were a friend of his, in the middle of the night, half drunk, and I was alone. You’re lucky really.”
First time I met Sookie was painful, to say the least. She figured I was a DA or something since a lot of different authority figures were hanging around, even going undercover to try and get some information on her then husband. She’d had just about enough of their bullshit when I turned up that night in the middle of a storm, trying to tell her my tale of woe. I got poked in the rib with her pocket knife, thankfully Alcide showed up shortly after, otherwise my poor drunk ass might have bled out as I sat on their porch pleading my innocence and possibly bleeding to death.
“There’s never a dull moment with you around.” I said softly and she smiled.
“Yeah, well, same back at you mister. The club went into hyper drive after they accepted you, I mean the half Eurotrash, half California college boy in the converse? You know the guys thought he’d lost his mind.”
I nodded. I knew. I thought he had too. My intention was only to stay a month, maybe a few months until I sorted my shit out. When he asked me to join the club, the life, at the time I had nothing to lose so I did it. Thinking back if I knew then, what I know now, I often wondered if I’d make the same choice.
“I always wondered.” She began whispering, though why we both were whispering I had no idea; there was no one around to hear us. “Why you stayed? I figured college boy would move on pretty quick… but you didn’t. You stuck around, proved yourself, became quite the badass biker too, even Jason thought so.”
Her brother was Alcide’s right hand man, and best friend and I respected that beyond anything else, he was also Sookie’s brother, so their ties were tight. He hated me at first and just assumed I was a snitch. But I worked hard to prove myself and over time, I did, even to him. Bringing in more money than most of the other combined and managing to talk us out of trouble more than once, once the trust was there the friendship followed easily after. The one time I failed Jason was on the gun run where he didn’t wear his vest, and he didn’t make it home.
“Took him long enough though.” I smiled.
“Yeah, stubbornness is a Stackhouse trait, what can I say.”
We were silent then for a few minutes, just her absentmindedly tracing circles on my abs, me, doing the same on her arm as we laid together just … being.
“You ever think of starting over, somewhere new?” I asked her, because I had been curious why she didn’t, after everything with Alcide went to shit.
“Doing what? Going where? My life is here, I accepted that a long time ago.”
“Yeah but… I mean you’re smart.”
“GED smart, that doesn’t say much.” She rolled her eyes.
High school dropout turned GED having, business running bad-ass.
I just poked her in the side, making her squirm.
“I’m serious; you could go anywhere do anything.”
“Sure I could, except you know my ex is the leader of a club that breaks the law for a damn living with a rap sheet as long as your legs and I’ve been in the mix since I was a kid practically.” She sighed. “Besides, I’ve got my own rap sheet too.”
Breaking up fights in her own bar got her arrested a time or two, it didn’t matter if she was trying to stop it, the cops took their opportunity.
“Nothing a fake ID can’t fix.”
She looked at me then, her face turning serious.
“What are you getting at here, Northman?”
“Nothing, just sayin’ it’s a possibility that’s all.”
She furrowed her brow, before sitting up and wrapping her sheet around her body to stand beside the bed, the cold chill ran through the room then and I knew it wasn’t the Winter weather.
“Spill, you’re hiding something I know it.”
“I’m not I’m just –“
“Are you leaving? Is that what this is about? Sam did say you’d been asking questions about that shit the other week, I figured it was for a run.”
I came clean then. Getting up to stand next to her, I didn’t bother with a sheet.
“Yeah I’ve been asking around, finding a way to start over without my past catching up with me. At least legally…”
Her face fell.
Was it wrong that that meant something to me? That I meant enough to her for her to be upset at my absence?
“If you’d asked me yesterday, I would have said yeah, I’m going, or at least seriously considering it. The club isn’t what it used to be, shit is getting dirtier every damn day and he’s … getting sloppy now, and we’re all suffering. There’s more to life than this club, this town and yeah, yesterday I would have said I wanted out no issue.”
“But I’m asking you now, what’s your answer now?” She asked almost angry as she looked at me, squaring up to me even though she was a good foot shorter, she was as fierce as ever.
“You’re asking me now, after you’ve given me some kind of hope that what I thought could never happen… has happened… and could happen again. That changes things a little.”
She shook her head.
“I haven’t planned anything; there is no plan beyond tonight… I …” she started to pace, and I left her to it for a time, but had to stop her for both our sakes. I took her hand and led her back to her bed, sat up both down and looked for answers in her worried face.
“Me either.” I stated the obvious. “But I want there to be … not a plan but an answer.”
“Is tonight something we admit to, or is it something we hide away and forget like a one night stand on a run.”
What happened on a run, stayed on a run, we all knew that?
She raked her hands through her hair before she took a deep breath and touched my face before leaning in and kissing me.
“I’m so tired of hiding things, Eric. So tired of lying to everyone and mostly to myself. I’m just… so tired.”
I nodded, kissing her again trying to comfort her somehow, but it wasn’t easy for me I wasn’t good at the whole consoling emotional woman thing. When they cried something in me told me to run, I was never good with a crying woman, but even a teary eyed Sookie didn’t make me want to duck and run, instead I sat and held her, as she hugged me back grasping onto me as if I were her life raft in some seriously rocky waters.
She kissed me again, this time through salty tears that I knew she would have begrudged to shed in front of anyone, but the last thing I would do is point that out. Not when she pushed me back onto the bed, and did everything in her power to make me forget her tears, make her forget her tears too as we fucked again, and again that night before all we could do was admit defeat in each other’s arms.
“We’ll talk in the morning.” She said before we silently drifted to sleep.
Would we though?
I woke up and the bed was empty on his side, I assumed it would be, but it still stung to find his side cold. My head was spinning when I finally dragged myself to the shower, with thoughts and a killer hangover, never a good mix. I pulled myself together as best I could to go get some coffee and maybe some kind of food, though the latter wasn’t as important as the former.
Coffee was God on most mornings, on days when I was physically and emotionally hung-over, even more so.
I looked around as I sat inside the coffee shop at the small town that had been my home since I was eighteen. I had moved from one small town to another, just closer to the city but not by much. The people were the same, small minded, and they feared me I always knew that.
They feared me because of who my husband was, because of who he was to the town and what his club really were.
Old ladies, young kids, every one of them would judge me as that biker whore who was up to no good. I often wondered though, what would it be like to go somewhere where the men smiled at you, the women didn’t cross the street to avoid you, and the kids weren’t scared shitless of you.
Then I pondered my talk with Eric, wondering if his ideas were just ideas going nowhere or if he was serious and planning to jump ship. What my world would be like if he left it. He had become such a part of my life, of everyone’s lives, that I actually struggled to remember a time when he wasn’t around. He didn’t do serious relationships, in the years I’d known him maybe one woman made it through those walls, other than that he didn’t differ much from the rest of the guys, pussy was pussy and he wasn’t a fool that passed it up. But, his asking me, encouraging me to let my mind wander to a future? That meant something as far as he was concerned and it wasn’t something he’d attempt lightly.
Just at that moment, Lafayette came in and spotted me. He was the owner of the diner down the block, usually it’s where we all went post hangover.
“Sookie girl, rough night?”
“What? Why? Why do you ask?” I panicked.
“Girl calm yourself down, I just meant you look a little rough around the edges babe.”
“Right.” I sighed. “Right, yeah, too much wine I guess.”
“Sames girlfriend, sames. Have you heard the news then?”
“What news?” I said as he sat down next to me and I wanted to just hop into my coffee mug and swim around.
My heart stopped.
“What about Eric?”
“Crash this morning, early in the am… they didn’t call you?”
Usually there was a call around.
“I… guess I’m not privilege to that kind of info anymore, he’s okay right?”
“He is, or he will be. Smashed up his bike, I think it’s just a few sprains though, he’s all good. Still in the hospital though.”
“Right. Jesus.” I ran my hands through my hair in relief.
“That ain’t so much the news though.”
“The news was what he told Alcide in the hospital, the guys of course went to check on him.”
This time my heart started beating unnaturally fast. Had he told Alcide about us? So soon!? I was glad he wasn’t dead because I was going to kill him.
“He leaving town.”
And my heart sank. My poor little heart was getting quiet the workout that morning.
“W-What? To go where?”
“Didn’t say, just said he was done here, said he’d paid his dues, and needed a fresh start. I’m just surprised your ex mister was so chill about it.”
“Mmmhmm. Said that Eric was his brother, and if he wanted to come back he could.”
He was watching me for a reaction; I just didn’t know it then.
“Oh… well I guess… good luck to him then.”
“Good luck to … Sookie did you fall on your head or somethin’?”
I looked at him confused.
“You just gonna be A-Okay with him flying the nest? Really now?”
“Lafayette I don’t know what you’re getting at –“
“Oh honey…” He just shook his head. “Maybe you should you know, go see him.”
“He’s trashed his bikes before, you said he’s fine.”
“Sooks, go see him, that isn’t a request.” He stared at me then, a look in his eye that told me he knew my nonchalance was bull.
“I… I’ll go.”
We silently looked at eachother then, before he waved his hand dramatically pointing to the door.
“Yes now, bitch.”
Huffing I got up, grabbed my coffee with one hand before slapping him upside the head with another.
By the time I got to the hospital, I had worked myself into a dizzy spin, things were different now, I wasn’t just going to see a friend, I was going to see the guy I fucked last night.
I passed the halls, and got the same side eyed looks I always got, I pushed that down and walked with my head held high ‘til I got to where he was. He looked in pretty bad shape, but by all accounts it was cosmetic, thankfully, and he’d heal.
“The fuck, Northman? My sexing that good it makes you forget how to ride anything else?” I said without much tact, slamming down the cheeseburger and fries I picked him up. Hospital food sucked, and he was always hungry.
“Oh god… you angel.” He said sitting up to dig in. “And yeah, sorry about this, tire blew out actually. No offense to your… anything.” He said through one eye, the other partially covered with a few stitches on his brow.
I took the seat next to the bed, and read his chart; he’d be fine besides a cracked rib.
“Lafayette has to be the one to tell me?”
“I wanted to but they give me some fuck strong painkillers and I just passed out. I’m sorry.”
“No, no… don’t be sorry, I just figured with all your big speeches you’d have at least let me know before you skipped town for good – “
“Nah, its fine, I mean I knew you weren’t serious, at least not where I was –“
“Jesus fucking Christ woman would you shut the fuck up and listen for once?”
That shut me up.
“I wasn’t gonna fuckin’ leave without telling you because if I can have things go the way I want them to go… you’ll be with me when I leave.”
I stared at him then, stunned.
“You’ve really fucking mashed that brain haven’t you? Are you insane?! I’m not leaving.”
“Yes. Oh. Dude, you’re insane, my life is here… my friends are here, my family…”
“Whatever. Still family. My business, my living. What makes you think I’m just going to give all that up for some –”
“Sookie, I get it, believe me.”
“So what makes you so cocky into thinking I’d just go?”
He smiled then, and even with a split lip, the bastard was handsome.
“Because you love me.”
I almost snorted.
“I so do not love you.”
“You love me, and I love you, we have done for a long time now, we just never wanted to admit it to anyone…and there were valid reasons there, reasons still valid.”
My heart was beating out of my chest, because hey, he loved me.
“And what makes you so – “
“Because when they were scraping me off the road this morning my only thoughts were of you.”
Well, okay then. He was still being beyond highhanded here, and my first instinct was to rage.
“And I knew then, if I didn’t’ say this shit now, when would I ever? Never, and I’d regret it. So there, I’ve said my bit.”
“Nah, Sookie let’s not talk it to death. I leave in a week, if you’re with me then, fantastic, if not… it sucks but I get it… so now really it’s up to you.”
With that, his doctor came in with Alcide in tow.
“Hey, you’re here…” he said looking from Eric to me.
“I am. Or I was, just dropping off some food you know? I have to go check on the bar…. I’ll be going now.” I said in somewhat of a daze and I was sure Alcide noticed, if Eric did he didn’t let on, he just nodded with a smile and thanked me for the food.
I downed a shot of whiskey as I took myself behind the bar, it was just after five, and it was starting to get busy. The guys were coming off their day jobs, and looking for a safe place to wind down, this was usually the place. Sam, Terry, and all the guys were there already, whiskey’s lined up, jackets off and ready to settle in for the night.
“Hey Sook? How’s Eric?” Sam asked from where he sat, basically shouting across the bar.
“He’s… he’ll be fine.”
“Great, good to know… You been to see him?”
“Yeah, brought him some food you know?”
“I do, hospital food is shit, you’re a good woman.”
“I know that, just as well y’all know that too.” I sassed downing my second shot, my nerves were on edge.
“You okay though?” Terry asked, noticing.
“I’m fine, just … a little shook up I guess.”
He walked toward the bar with the empty glasses, taking them behind the bar and sticking them in the dishwasher for me.
“You’re sweet, Terry. I promise I won’t rat you out.”
He just smiled.
“And I won’t rat you out either. Not that there’s much point seeing as everyone already knows.”
“Knows what exactly?” I whispered then, and he just shrugged.
“Sook, we all know why you’re doing shots before six pm, we know why you look like death warmed up coming in here today….It’s because of Eric.”
“I was worried about him, he’s fine now, and so am I.”
“Right and it ain’t got anything to do with him leaving the club?”
“Northman wasn’t a lifer, you all said that yourselves, too much of that hippy see the world vibe. He’s just proving it.” I shrugged, lugging some of the new bottles into the dispensers.
He just shook his head.
“You’re impossible you know that woman, in fact both of you are. Jesus.” He said as he walked off and I didn’t have the energy to follow him. Instead I decided my paperwork was much more important and I went to hide in my office for a few hours. That would solve everything, right?
“Sookie did you know Eric is just leavin’? What the actual fuck?” Hadley came barging in as she usually did.
“Sorry, but Tara came in before, she hasn’t been back here? She filled in for me.”
“Well, good, and yes I heard.” I answered her trying to look busy, even though my mind had thought of nothing but him and his offer since the damn hospital.
“Well are you just gonna sit there and let him leave?”
“Um, no? He doesn’t leave for a week, and what?”
She tutted at me before coming over and sitting on my desk.
“Seriously stop being so stubborn, both of y’all, it’s just not cute anymore.”
“What the hell are you –“
“Okay at first it was fine you were married and you of all people take that shit seriously, even if like, Alcide didn’t. But then you divorced and we figured hey, you need time, that’s fine… but it’s been two years and now he’s leaving and still nothing!?”
“Hadley are you high? Have you been hanging out with the newbie again? You know that shit isn’t a good mix with you.”
“Bitch, shut up and no I haven’t.”
“Eric and I are just friends.”
“Who desperately want to fuck each other.” She added with a wicked smile. “And seriously, we’ve seen him naked… why are you not jumping that di –“
“Hadley, we’re just friends…”
“Ugh, such bullshit. It’s bull, we all know.”
“Who the hell is ‘we all?’”
“WE ALL as in everyone out there, we all know you’re both hot for each other and doing nothing about it and it’s all anyone talks about when you’re both out of the room, hell, even Alcide knows.”
I stood up sharply then.
“What the fuck, Hadley? Did Eric say something?”
“AHA I fucking knew it. Knew it.” She was smug. “We all knew and no it didn’t fucking say anything he didn’t have too, it’s written all over both of your faces in like, tattoo ink.”
I started pacing my office then, my fingernails being chewed.
“If I tell you something –“
“Oh my fucking god you fucked him.”
Jesus Christ what was she a mind-reader?
“I mean… Yes but quieten your shit down, fuck.”
“When!?” She asked all too excited about that piece of gossip.
I paced some more.
“Last night.” I blurted out and she practically hopped off the table in excitement.
“Oh my Jesus… and?!”
“Look now is not the time okay, he… he’s sort of … he’s asked me to leave with him.”
That softened her manic smile somewhat.
“Basically. He says… he loves me… That he’s basically in love with me?”
“…and that he wants me to go with him, to see what the rest of the world has to offer… I just…”
“Do you love him? I mean you love him, we can see that, but do you know you love him?”
These bitches not minding their own business I swear to Christ.
“Hadley, look I’ve had a lot on my plate okay and –“
“Yeah Eric’s dick.”
“Shut up, okay? I don’t know, I don’t know how I feel.”
She nodded then coming over and being a lot calmer than before, this time leaning in to hug me which I accepted because I needed it.
“Sookie, its okay not to know.”
“But he’s leaving.”
“He’d never leave, not without you.”
“Why do I feel like you know something I don’t?”
She sighed then, bringing me over to the couch.
“You know when we tried to hook up a few years ago? Eric and I?”
“We didn’t, you know that too, right?”
“Well, the reason was, he wasn’t into me, he was into you and like we made out and stuff but that’s as far as it went, because he wouldn’t go any further. We were drunk, sure, but he kept saying how it wasn’t right and that he loved someone else and that he knew that that was wrong, and that he should just let her go, but he couldn’t. I knew that her was you, even if he didn’t admit it to me, it was as plain as day the way he looked at you, talked to you, wanted to do everything but kiss your feet really.” She rolled her eyes. “Anyway, afterward we never really talked about it again, but he knew I knew, and last night he asked me, before the fight if I thought giving up the person you loved was worth it if you got to start over somewhere knew.”
I knew her love life was complicated, and her breakup with Remy wasn’t easy, but the man was on death row.
She knew pain.
“And you said?”
“I said no, that it was never worth it, that you got to start over but you never got to forget… he agreed with me… and then you banged so, hey…” She shrugged. “You might not know how you feel right now, Sooks, but think about this one thing if you think about anything okay?”
I waited for that one thing as she stood up.
“How would you feel if he was gone, right now, just gone, and you couldn’t do anything. Think about that, before you do nothin’ okay?”
And for six and a half days, I thought of nothing else.
I knew it was risky, I knew that she’d either admit her feelings or back out completely, but my spur of the moment decision to just put all my poker cards on the table, teamed with the amazing painkillers I was on, plus the lure of the White Castle she had brought it, it was all just too much.
When I told her I loved her I knew she knew that I meant it, but my deduction of her feelings for me were a complete stab in the dark, I wanted her to love me but that didn’t make it so. I never wanted to push her into anything, not feelings, not bed, not leaving, but I figured I had to do something otherwise nothing changed.
When I got home from the hospital, I decided that while I was nursing some cracked ribs, I could start boxing up some of my lighter crap, it would stay in storage until I got settled somewhere, if I ever got settled again that was. I still wasn’t sure where I was going. I had enough money tucked away in various bank accounts to last me about a year of decent nomadic living if I worked it right, teamed that with my new IDs and I figured the law wouldn’t follow me too closely after I skipped town. Or at least, I hoped.
Speaking of which, I needed one last phone call to Pam for that. She was who I knew to get me such things, like a passport and a whole past fabricated to keep me right.
“Jesus you look like shit.” She said coming to see me a few days later, a large envelope in her hands.
“How much for all that?”
“For yours, three, for hers two.”
“Hers may end up in the trash at this rate.” I sighed opening it to inspect everything, not that I needed to Pam was solid.
I handed her the five grand in another envelope and thanked her anyway.
“You told her then? I mean, I still can’t believe you asked for all this shit for a woman that doesn’t even know how you feel.”
“She knows, now. She knows.” I said second guessing myself as I handed her a beer, sitting next to her on the couch.
“Shit that can’t be easy, she knows you’re leaving?”
I nodded downing half my beer in one.
“Yep. Though I don’t really think it matters, it’s been four days and not a word, I think it’s safe to say that I’ll be leaving town alone.”
“Did you call her?”
“No. I’m not pushing her into this, or guilting her or whatever might happen by me being around. If she wants to give it a shot, she knows where I am, if not, I’m not stupid enough to put myself through that.”
She nodded then before clinking beers with me.
“Well, it’s been good doing business with you Northman and wherever the wind takes you, I hope it’s a smooth ride.”
I hope so too.
I had the truck packed, everything I needed at least, the rest I spread through the guys and some other friends, some I sold, all that was left in my house were the basics, and my bed. It was sad, in a way, but exciting in other ways. I knew I was never in this life, for life, but I also knew I had reached my limit with Alcide, the town and risking my life for the club, the payback was too little now. I wanted more, I wanted to see what else life had to offer, and I was lucky the club was one of the more accepting to change, otherwise I might not have been walking out of there alive. I would be forever grateful for that. The night before I was due to leave, I had seen everyone, and said my sort-of-but-not-really goodbyes to everyone that counted. Except her.
I was asked to come to the bar, for the going away party of sorts, and part of me wanted to, and the other half wanted to avoid her, if her choice was to stay, the idea of saying goodbye was too much.
But I went anyway, at Alcide’s insistence.
“You know you can change your mind, we can fix up your bike, give you back the cut, all of it.” He said driving me there that night, I declined.
“Nah I knew you weren’t a lifer man, it’s all good. You’ve earned us a lot of money you sneaky son of a bitch, I shouldn’t be letting you go so easily.”
“You shouldn’t but you are. Why are you letting me go so easily?”
“Sure. Of course.”
We stopped at the traffic light around the corner from the bar and he looked at me.
“I couldn’t do that to Sookie. I know how much it would kill her if anything happened to you.”
“Come on man, I’m not fuckin’ stupid. Though she may argue otherwise, and where she was concerned I was a complete dumbass… but I see it. Shit, we all see it.” He sighed before continuing, “I get it, and I know, but I also know how y’all feel for each other and I don’t know, I’ve caused her enough pain and punishing you for wanting out? Yeah a few years ago maybe, but now? Nah.”
“You love her?” He asked me and I nodded, simple as that.
“Then she should know.”
“She already does….”
He raised his brows.
“Well shit, then when I wish you good luck I need to mean it this time then huh?” He laughed as we turned the corner and we pulled up to the packed out bar. Just about everyone I’d met since joining the club had turned up to see me off.
I didn’t get to the bar of the bar for about an hour, everyone wanted to talk to me and to hand me a drink, and by the time I finally got around to ordering my own, I was already on my way to drunk.
“Dude you remember your first run? You got shot in the ass and I will never forget it.” Sam laughed as he slapped me on the back and I exchanged jibes with him, it’s what we did.
“Yeah, yeah, fuck you, at least I never got a blow job from a tranny hooker and bragged about it.”
“Hey now, you be nice about Tiffany, I was high on coke you know that, leave that shit out.”
“It’s no excuse man she wasn’t even a hot chick!” I pushed and the rest of them then brought up the rest of his sordid and freaky sexual history. I shuddered at some of the stuff. That’s when I saw her come in, she wasn’t working that night, interestingly but she still came in. she was in that sleeveless black matt leather dress I loved, heels for days, her hair straight, her lipstick dark.
Her eyes on me.
I shuddered then for different reasons.
The night seemed to wear on, and I talked to just about everyone I knew, everyone except her. Either she was avoiding me or, fate was a cruel bitch and just kept us apart. Of course the more people I talked to, the more drinks I ‘had’ to drink, I was thankful when I found Hadley and asked where her cousin had magically disappeared to. She pointed to the back storage room where the boxes of bottles were usually kept. I was a man on a mission to get in there this time, without being stopped by another well-wisher.
“Hey.” I said walking into the ten by ten room, most of was filled with liquor boxes. She was just sitting on three of them, just chilling with a cocktail in hand. I couldn’t help but laugh.
“Don’t mock me okay, I just can’t be dealing with people right now.”
I sighed, shed my jacket and took a seat next to her.
“Yeah, I know what you mean, it’s a lot.”
She nodded, before handing me her drink for a sip. She liked that sugary shit, but even I could be man enough to admit it was tasty.
“Yeah.” She sighed. “Sorry we haven’t had a chance to talk I’ve been –“
She laughed then. She wasn’t going to lie.
“Yeah, something like that.” She studied her drink then, before I took it from her, making her look to me.
“You’re lucky you’re you, another guy takes my drink from me, he gets glassed you know that.”
I did know that, I’d seen it.
My heart dropped then, I knew it was coming, but still, it hurt.
“I just can’t Eric. I can’t leave with you… I just… I’m sorry.”
She shook her head, a tear falling silently as she did so, before she grabbed my face and kissed me.
When we pulled back, I just forced a smile.
“I figured it was a long shot, but hey, if you don’t ask you don’t get, right?”
She nodded then, tears still swimming in her bright blue eyes. She kissed me again, this time grabbing at my t-shirt, grabbing at my hair, as I grabbed back. If that night was to be my last night with her, why the hell not?
I rubbed my thumbs from her lips to her cheeks, down her neck and to her dress, where I found the zip at the back and waited for her approval. I got it with another kiss, and I unzipped her slowly, out of the leather constraints of the fitted dress.
“I’m sorry… I’m so –“
“Never be sorry, okay? It was worth a shot, you were always worth the shot… Don’t…”
She kissed me again, yanking my t-shirt over my head, and starting in on my belt. I took several deep breaths to calm myself as she shimmied me half out of my jeans, before standing up and shedding her dress down over her breasts, and sliding her underwear down her legs before she took a seat on my lap.
Fucking shivers ran through me as she manoeuvred on top of me, breathing a sigh of what felt like relief when I was inside of her.
Her lips felt soft and warm. I opened my mouth to hers without hesitation, flicking my tongue against hers, feeling as if I would die if didn’t taste her. Pulling her tighter to my body when she moaned, I fought back my own verbal escape. I could feel her body trembling in my grasp and it made me twitch and pulse inside of her as she found her rhythm. I let go for a deep and needy growl, low in my throat when she grabbed my hands and forced me to palm her breasts, her eyes closed, revelling in our mutual pleasure. Her eyes smoldered with lust as my mouth fell agape, as things got more and more intense, faster and harder we went. That’s when I noticed, she was crying again, or at least tears were falling as she hugged into me, as we fucked still. I slowed her down, pulled back, and forced her to look me in the eye once more, our goodbye sex just turned into sad sex, and that was never fun.
I wiped away her tears, searching her face for answers as to why the tears.
Instead, she just pulled away from me, off of me, and that was that. She wiped away her own tears then, as she stood up and paced the small space.
“I .. shit. I don’t even know why I’ve fucking crying this is so stupid.” She said wiping at her eyes again, as I attempted to will my hard-on away, and rezip.
“Sookie, we can talk about this… it’s okay if you’re…. It’s okay.”
I wasn’t sure how to continue, I just didn’t have words for whatever it was she was feeling, and I was sure whatever I said would just make it worse.
She fixed herself up, and moved her hair over one shoulder. Once she was happy enough with how she might look, she forced a smile.
“I’m sorry, Eric. I … this is a mess, and on top of everything else my own tears cock-blocked me… I don’t know what’s going on with me… I just I’m sorry.”
Before I could say anything else, or stop her, or move at all, she was out the door. I tried chasing after her a second later, but even at that, she was gone and there was no sign of her anywhere I looked. Even after I left the bar, and my own party, and checked her house, there was no one there and her car was gone still. Her phone was going straight to voicemail too. So, I gave up just before dawn that morning, resigning that I needed sleep as I starting my endless road trip that afternoon. My sleep was restless and thoughtful, to say the least.
I spent the night just driving around my town, into the city and back again. Visiting all my old haunts, every inch of that town that I had lived in for over ten years, the houses – I knew every family, the stores, I knew every corner, every cobble on the main street. It was home. Except the more I drove the less it felt like home, the more it felt like a trap. Had I been trapped all that time and never knew it? I was tired and overly emotional; I had spent the previous week with nothing on my mind but Eric and my life here, and what it would mean to leave it all behind.
And after all the thinking and over thinking, I still told him no. I told him no, and then attempted to fuck the pain away in the same breath.
I slammed the brakes on as I slowed down outside his place, and I saw his truck parked in the driveway. It was almost just after sunrise when I gave up and forced myself to go home and sleep, I refused to mentally torture myself any more than I already had!
I took a shower that morning, made myself some seriously strong coffee with some eggs and toast, and the war in my head continued. I looked around the big empty house, and it reflected my big empty life in a lot of ways. Being married, even to an ass like Alcide, it was my anchor; it was my ‘thing’. I knew how to be a wife, or at least I knew how to be married to a man like him, because it was all I had ever really known.
What if I couldn’t be anything else? What if this was it for me now?
I laughed ironically to myself at the idea of being washed up and done with life at twenty nine, that wasn’t how life was meant to go, was it? This was just the beginning, or so they would say. I was still young, I had my ‘whole life’ ahead of me. But what was my whole life exactly going to be? Anything like the previous two years, and I would politely decline. No thank you. I was always alone, I ate alone, I slept alone, I lived and breathed loneliness, with a smile on my face because I was still Sookie Stackhouse, the girl that ran the bar, and knew all the illegal secrets of a town.
I wasn’t sure I wanted to be that Sookie forever. So that’s when I did it, I walked to the safe in my bedroom and I cleaned her out. I opened my wardrobe and packed every non-leather item of clothing I owned, which freakishly, wasn’t all that much considering. I tied up my hair, pulled on my jeans and sweater, and grabbed my cell phone. I would call Hadley on the way there and explain everything.
When I got to his place it was just before noon, and he was packing up his truck. Standing there outside his silver three year old pickup with the most comfortable leather seats I’d ever sat in, and he looked good. Wearing just some well-worn dark denim and a navy sweater, topped off with age old sunglasses, he looked confused as I pulled up behind the truck.
“You ran off.”
“I do that a lot… in my head at least.”
“Where’d you go?”
“I had… thinking to do.”
“Jumbled ones, mostly.”
He shoved his hands in his pockets and this he did a lot, trying to shrink his height down to normal person size, it was adorable and I wasn’t even sure he was aware he did it anymore.
“Yeah. So you leaving early?”
He looked back at the truck and then to me.
“Yeah, I wanted to avoid any messy goodbyes. Last night was full of them.”
“This won’t be one of those… I promise.”
“Good, that’s good. I’m glad you’re feeling better…you are right?”
I walked closer to him then, too close as friends, his eyes told me he didn’t know what the hell was happening.
I smiled, encircling my arms around his waist.
“I’m feeling better because I decided, I realised a lot of things last night as I spent my time crying and driving – and listening to what should be redubbed as DepressionFM… that I don’t want you to go… Alone.”
Realisation hit him and his face was priceless.
I shrugged with a smile.
“You don’t ask you don’t get, right? I’m sort of asking… I want to come with you, I want to see… what else there is, outside of here, outside of this life, outside of the club and my history. And, more importantly, I want to see where we could go, with each other. Hadley asked me to think of my life without you in it, and for a week that’s what I’ve been trying to do, but every time I saw the reality, it fucking sucked.” I laughed hugging into him as he held onto me. “So here I am, possibly sleep deprived, possibly insane, I don’t even know, but I want to know… if you still do.”
He just smiled, big and wide and happy before he easily lifted me off my feet and spun me around once, both of us laughing like idiots before he set me back on my feet to kiss the breath out of me. It felt wonderful.
“But… the bar… the house… I don’t…”
“Tara has always wanted a share, I’m selling her majority share, and she’s going to rent my house until I can get it sold. I called Hadley, explained everything and she had Tara on the line in a second. Her apartment is shitty, and I’m giving her an amazing rate if she boxes my shit up and puts it in storage for me.”
He was still grinning.
“Just like that… Just… like that.”
I shrugged again.
“First spontaneous thing I ever did when I was a kid was jump into a lake on a hot summer’s day alone. I was terrified, but excited, and it turned out awesome, refreshing and it proved to me that I was braver than I thought. You’re my lake, this is my summer’s day, and I think it’ll turn out just as awesome. I have a feeling.” I said, kissing him again.
As I confessed my love for him, finally, and him again for me, we struggled to stop smiling long enough to lock up his place and collect my stuff from mine before we hit the road.
I was never one for big overblown goodbyes; instead I got into the passenger side of his truck and said the one goodbye that mattered – to Hadley and I dropped off my keys and my old life, in her hands. She cried, I cried, we hugged, and she wished me well. I knew we’d talk every day, and Skype and visit, I knew all those things, because she was family and that’s what families did. But for the here, and the now, I took the wheel this time, and drove us out of town and I drove myself into a new life. Just like that day at the lake, my bravery paid off because I was right.
It turned out awesome.
We turned out awesome.