Thank you so much for all your great reviews to this story!
I`m going on Christmas vacation across the Atlantic in a little over a week and I`m planning on posting one more chapter, the last one, to this story before I leave.
I also want to thank Rascalthemutant for reading this chapter and assuring me it isn`t too sappy. This is not a sappy story, but I can`t deny them a little romance, right? 😀
I hope you`ll like it!
I woke up the next morning with a smile on my face and muscles that had never been in less pain. I was relaxed and felt perfect.
Well, up until I realized I had the star striker of my team around me like an octopus. It`s not that I don`t like snuggling, but this was just wrong on so many levels. We weren`t allowed to have any kind of sexual relationship and I had no plans on turning soft on Northman. I wouldn`t be in his best interest.
When I turned around and looked into the largest grin in the history of waking up together after sex, I knew I had screwed up big time. And I was fucked. In more than one way.
He was way too handsome for his own good. No, for my own good. I couldn`t help smiling back and I wanted to kick myself in the butt for it.
“Good morning you relaxed and itty-bitty romantic sap,” he whispered and kissed me lightly on my lips.
“Good morning you lazy and vibrator-scared ass with magic fingers,” I whispered back.
Then I felt those magic fingers sneaking in between my legs.
“And good morning to the Chapel of Pleasure. It definitely lives up to its name,” he said with a wicked grin.
I grabbed on to his morning wood.
“And good morning to the Gracious Plenty.” I gave it a few strokes. “You know we can`t do this,” I said, looking him in the eyes and then kissing him deeply.
“Why is that?” he asked after I had pulled back from his mouth.
I looked at him. “We are breaking the team-rules, Northman.” It`s hard to look serious when you have your hand on someone`s dick and his hand making all kinds of wonders between your legs, but I tried.
“Fuck the team,” he laughed. Then he looked at me. “No, fuck you. And I mean that literally.”
So he did.
“Eat your oatmeal, Northman. I haven`t put any rat poison in it.” I rolled my eyes.
“Well, you might as well have. It tastes like shit.” He looked at me. “No offense, Sookie, but I hate oatmeal.”
“So what do you usually have for breakfast? Coco Pops or Cheerios or some other sugar coated crap?”
“Yeah, yeah, talk to me like I`m a teenager, Sookie. It`ll only make you the weirdest cougar on earth. As a matter of fact, I don`t eat breakfast. I get up around noon most days anyway and start my day with a nice cup of coffee.”
“Actually Coco Pops are eaten by five year olds…”
Northman got up so fast, his chair fell over.
“Shit, Sookie. How come you can`t treat me with a little respect? We`ve fucked from here to the moon and I can`t remember any complaints there, but as soon as we are out of the bed…”
“Or the gym locker room,” I cut in with a sly smile.
“Well, as soon as we are fully dressed, you seem to think I`m an idiot and a fool.”
“And you can`t see I`m just looking out for you.” I was getting annoyed now which made my voice go just a little bit louder. “I keep telling you that you are throwing away your talent. You have to work out properly and eat the right food.”
“I work out, for fuck`s sake.” His tone of voice was louder than I would have preferred. ” I`ve done every fucking thing you`ve told me. What the hell more do you want?” Northman got up and walked over to me and pulled me down in a chair. “Would it harm you in any way to talk to me like this:” now his voice got softer and his hand moved from one of my shoulders and to my neck in a sweet caress. “My dear Eric. You have a great body and a fantastic talent. I`ve seen you work hard, but you would probably do even better if you ate differently. Come let me help you make a diet plan.”
I stared at him. Of course he had a point. But then again, he didn`t.
“You have me confused with one of your star-struck bimbos, Northman. If you want the admiration and sweet-loving words, you are in the wrong house, talking to the wrong person.”
“I don`t think I am, Sookie. I`ve seen you with the other players and I don`t get why you can be nice to Sam and not to me?” He sounded almost hurt.
“Maybe because you and Sam need different types of coaching?” I tried to make my tone of voice stern and wasn`t inviting him to answer me. That, of course, didn`t stop the mighty Northman.
“Or maybe you are just afraid of being soft with someone you have feelings for,” he said in a lower voice.
“You wish,” I spat eloquently, wishing I had found a better come-back. “Now if you can get over your hurt pride and eat your oatmeal, then maybe we could relax before another stressful day.” I knew when I saw Northman`s face that I had used the wrong word.
“You are insatiable, woman. I `relaxed`” he made quotation marks with his fingers “you last night and you got some `relaxation`” again the annoying quotation marks “this morning too, and still you want more.” He went over to me, turned around and shook his butt. “You want a piece of my butt, Sookie?”
I smacked him.
“Sit your butt down and eat, Northman.”
He was in his playful mood and had apparently decided not to stop making a fool of himself until he saw me smile. And I couldn`t help myself. Eric Northman had graduated from University of Silly Charm and Hot Moves and there was nothing I could do about it. I smiled. And I laughed.
Northman did a little victory dance, then he finished his coffee and was out the door.
His oatmeal was untouched on the breakfast table.
I slaved like a dog doing all the things Sookie claimed would make me a better football player and I felt like a little dog too most of the time. She would call me and I would come. And then we would come – pardon the cheap pun.
I ate sensibly, I worked out more than I ever had before, I fucked regularly – and I made headlines with my magic on the football field. Our team did great, we were in the top of the league half way through season and we were looking at medals. And I was getting the credit. I felt like a king. King being a great name for a dog and all.
I should have been content. I was living the dream I had had since puberty, being the star striker of my team and having a nice girl to fuck regularly, but I wanted more. I wanted even more success on the football field, knowing that my days were numbered – and I wanted more Sookie.
Sookie and I met a couple of times every week. We argued, we laughed and we screwed like bunnies. But we never made any commitments and I hated that.
Yes, I was a guy last time I checked and no, I was not growing soft. But I wanted Sookie to acknowledge that we were a couple. It wasn`t that I suspected her of screwing around. It was just that I wanted … more.
But I wasn`t getting it. I tried working even harder than she asked me to, I argued with her and I stayed away to make her miss me. And I was the sweetest of sweethearts, making me almost diabetic from all the sugar I poured over her. Nothing helped.
Sookie never gave me any reasons so I figured I would just have to bide my time and hope for the best. I wasn`t in a hurry to get married and have kids and Sookie didn`t seem like the type who would suddenly find someone new.
So instead of hammering on her walls or sugarcoating them, I set up camp on the outside and waited for the cracks to appear.
In the meantime, I tried hard to reach my goals on the field. And one day in the late summer, I finally got the call I had been waiting all these years for.
I was chosen to play for the national team in the upcoming game. The fucking national team. The national fucking team. Fucking hell.
I was three inches above ground and had no plans on landing just yet. I wanted to celebrate and I knew who I wanted to celebrate with. I was half way to the stores to buy champagne, when I remembered the last time I had stood on Sookie`s door step with bottles of bubbly. Nope, I wanted to bring something else.
Then I had the perfect idea. I went online, bought what I wanted to buy and skipped all the way to Sookie`s house.
Northman was sporting the biggest god-damned smile when I opened the door. I was in no mood for smiles and definitely in no mood for Eric fucking Northman.
I had just dried my eyes, but my date with Kleenex was certainly not over. I knew this would be one of the worst days of my life, but Jason had just made the day go from painful to a living hell.
And then Northman was on the door with his sly smile and something behind his back. I had no idea what he had planned and I didn`t want to hear about them.
This day had always been me, Kleenex and the memories. Every year. And it being the 20th anniversary just made the day so much worse. And now with the phone call about Jason on top of it. Fucking hell.
I decided to grab the bull by his horns. Before Northman even got to voice his silly joy, I cut him off.
“You have to go, Northman!” I tried to close the door.
“What? NO! Shit, Sookie. We are celebrating. I`m on the national team! I got us opera tickets. Fucking Tosca!” He sounded like a fucking kid.
Way back in my mind I heard him talking about the national team and Tosca, but it never connected. I let out a large sob before I managed to control myself.
“You have to go, Northman. Piss off!”
I saw shock on his face, but I didn`t have any strength to care so I just slammed the door in his face. Soon I was lying on my bed, crying my eyes out.
What the fuck? No, WHAT THE FUCK?
She slammed the door in my face? When I had opera tickets. When I had fucking opera tickets to fucking Tosca with fucking Mario being fucking shot.
I would actually go to an opera with Sookie. That’s how much I liked her. And I would do it to celebrate the biggest step in my entire career. I was even planning on thanking her. Giving her some of the credit.
The fucking bitch. The fucking stupid bitch.
I must have looked like a moron, talking to myself, turning around every five minutes because I couldn`t decide whether to go back to Sookie to tell her what a bitch she was or just go home and fume.
I chose the latter.
I went home and I more than fumed. I boiled over. Then I broke a few things. By the time I started having reporters calling me to get their quotes from the new “old” striker on the national team, I was able to fake some kind of joy and happiness.
Of course that stopped pretty quickly when the third reporter started asking the wrong questions.
“So what do you feel about being on the team just because Jason Stackhouse started drinking again? Isn`t his sister your coach?”
I hung up before I said anything I would regret. And then I turned my phone off. And took the battery out.
Fuck. So this was the reason Sookie wouldn`t talk to me? She was mad because I`d taken her brother`s place on the team. I sagged down in a chair and sighed. This was how little my football career meant to her.
I was hurt and I was mad. I thought I meant more to Sookie and that she would be happy for me. But now… that bitch.
Then it hit me what the reporter had told me. Jason Stackhouse had started drinking again. Again? I never knew he was drinking in the first place. Sookie must have been worried sick. Suddenly my anger turned into worry. And also a tiny bit of joy. Call me shallow, but it felt much better that Sookie was worried about her brother than for her to not want me to be on the national team.
Before I knew it, I was out the door again. Now I wanted to comfort Sookie. Never mind celebrating with her. I wanted to offer her my shoulder to cry on.
I actually felt good about myself. I`d never been a shoulder for anyone`s tears. Maybe I was maturing? I laughed a little at myself. Sookie was rubbing off on me.
I felt silly for skipping all the way back to Sookie`s place, so I took my car this time. I rang the doorbell and waited. And waited.
After a very long time, she opened the door, but she was on the phone. She looked at me, but couldn`t say anything to me since she had someone on the line.
We both did a little mime act – me asking to be invited in and her shaking her head. I was persistent and finally she gave up and turned around leaving the door open for me. I followed her and closed the door behind me.
I tried not to listen in on the phone conversation, but couldn`t help noticing that she was talking to someone about Jason`s problems, a doctor maybe. She sounded very to-the-point and firm, but I could see her despair. My heart broke when a tear fell down her cheek.
After a good ten minutes, she hung up and looked at me.
“As you can see, I`m in no mood for celebrating. I`m happy for you, Northman, but I can`t jump up and down right now. You should find someone else to share your good news with.”
She looked like a balloon that had lost all its gas. I pulled her in for a deep hug and after a while I felt her body shake in deep sobs.
This was so unexpected. Sookie had shown me anger and lust. She had laughed with me on occasion and that one time when she listened to the opera, she had even shown me love, but never ever had I seen her sad. And this was beyond sad, this was despair.
I had never had her need me. I felt bad for feeling so good about her clinging to me and crying into my shirt, but I couldn`t help smiling just a little bit to myself. I also felt very sad for her, of course. I`m not totally heartless.
But for a moment Sookie and I were a real couple, sharing problems. We weren`t just fuckbuddies or coach and player.
I bent down and kissed her on the top of her head.
“Shhh Sookie. Jason will kick this shit and be back on his feet again. Don`t worry.”
My hand went slowly up and down her back and her sobs slowed down. Then she stepped back a little and looked at me.
“It`s not just Jason,” she sighed. “Today is the worst day of my life.”
Then she started crying again and I picked her up and carried her to her bed. She looked at me with anger.
“Jesus Christ, Northman. I`m not about to have sex with you NOW!” Her voice cracked.
I almost lost my temper, but I knew I had to be the calm one now. I kissed her forehead.
“I am not in the habit of sleeping with girls who are deep in despair. I just figured you needed to lie down.”
She turned to her side and buried her head in my shirt.
“I`m sorry,” she whispered.
Now would have been the time to check for flying pigs, but I was busy checking my heart. It was swelling.
“Don`t worry, honey. I`m here. Just cry or be mad or anything that will make you feel better.” I pulled her a little closer.
“Can I tell you something? Would that be okay?” she asked.
My heart made a little flip in joy that she would confide in me.
“Of course, Sookie.”
She pulled back to lie on her back. She stared at the ceiling, but her hand found mine.
“Today it`s twenty years ago since my parents died in a car accident. That`s why Jason is drinking. He has been drinking the last month and he drinks every year around this date.”
She turned her head and looked me in the eyes. Her despair killed me and I suddenly didn`t know what to do. I wanted to be her knight in shining armor, but how could I take away that kind of pain?
“Oh shit, Sookie. I`m sorry!” I answered her eloquently.
I pulled her back into my arms and she partly cried, partly told me the whole story about her parents and Jason.
If someone had told me I would cry on Eric`s chest and actually feel good about it, I would probably have laughed hard enough to bust a rib. But this was what happened.
I cried and then we talked. And then we fell asleep. Clothes on and everything.
I was the first to wake up the next morning and I contemplated if I should feel awkward about the whole mess, but I didn`t. For some reason I felt relieved. Like someone had taken a splint out of my heart.
I leaned over and kissed the tip of Nothman`s nose. His eyes fluttered a little then he opened them and looked at me with concern.
“How are you?” he asked.
“Better.” I answered and I really felt better. I was grateful. Since Gran died, I hadn`t had anyone comfort me on this terrible day. And it being the 20 year anniversary and all, made me appreciate Northman`s concern all the more. “Thank you,” I said in a low voice. I was not used to showing my vulnerable side like this.
He pulled me close. “I`m the one who should be thankful, Sookie. You let me in and I really appreciate it. It made me feel…”
I couldn`t help giggling.
“Okay, Northman. Let`s not get all sappy here. You were there for me yesterday and I am grateful. The big question is if it changes anything.” He had huge question marks in his eyes. “Between us, I mean,” I clarified.
We looked at each other for a moment. I felt a sudden wave of insecurities wash over me and regretted lowering my mask at all and definitely asking him about our relationship. Shit, what was I thinking? I was an easy fuck for him. A fuck and a boost of confidence. And of course his superb coach. But I wasn`t his girlfriend and never would be.
That was what I figured those minutes of dreadful silence meant. I figured wrong.
Eric swallowed something huge. “If it`s okay with you, I would like to inform Andre and Sophie Anne that we are officially a couple.”
My jaw hit the floor. Then I panicked.
“NO!” I yelled.
He looked hurt and normally I wouldn`t have cared, but now it didn`t sit right with me. I took his hand.
“I don`t want you to risk everything now that you just reached one of your goals,” I reassured him.
My reassurance did its job and he kissed me.
“For being such a smart chick, you are pretty stupid, Sookie,” he smiled. “Both you and I are too valuable right now for us to lose our jobs just because we broke a silly, little rule.” Then his smile went wide. “And just imagine how much great PR the club is going to get when our romantic little love story hits the front pages.”
“Oh,” was all I could say.
He laughed. “Don`t worry. We`ll ask them to keep a low profile until you are ready to admit that you are deeply in love with the lazy ass striker on the team,” he started tickling me.
I couldn`t have that, so I pulled his hair. “Yeah, like you are going to admit that you have given your heart to your bitchy coach.”
The tickling and the hairpulling escalated and soon we were kissing deeply and passionately.
“Are you okay with this?” he managed to ask between kisses. “We don`t have to do anything, you know.”
But we did. I wanted to feel alive. I wanted to chase the ghosts away. And I suppose I also wanted to celebrate that Eric Northman and I had taken our relationship to a new step.
Acknowledging that it was a relationship.
So what do you think of them taking the relationship to a new step?
I hope you liked this chapter – and the story.
Who of you have a team in the World Championship in South Africa next year?
Denmark is there – yay – and we`ll meet Japan, Netherlands and Cameroon in the group play. Sounds like a great group. Fantastic teams who play fun football. I can`t wait!