Thank you for all your great reviews and some of you really knew your vamps! I`m glad it`s not just me reading all those vampire series *cough*.
I also want to thank Rascalthemutant for her great efforts at whipping my story into something readable.
I felt it the mattress shift but I knew it was Eric and though I was surprised that he went to sleep next to me, it made me smile too. When I heard him snore, I turned around and looked at him.
In romantic comedies I would have screamed when I realized there was a man in my bed, making him jump in surprise and fall to the floor and then I would be staring at him with my sheets pulled up to my chin.
This was no romantic comedy, though, and I hadn`t even been asleep when Eric came to my apartment and started calling out my name. I had just been so tired. So very tired. And since I hadn`t had to stay up in case Eric needed to be let in – not now that he had a key to my apartment – I`d gone to lie down.
I hadn`t told Eric about the extent of my injuries – how much they paralyzed me in my daily life and how much I needed to rest because of them – because I`d just wanted to enjoy my time with him and not be that frail and hurt woman I knew I was but hated being.
I wanted to be Sookie Stackhouse.
And now Sookie Stackhouse was enjoying the view of a very handsome man in her bed.
I just wished Sookie Stackhouse had the guts to kiss that man. To touch him.
He was leaving in a few days and I would be alone again with nothing but my memories. I had done my best to secure great memories. But the best of all – having sex with Eric again – well, I just wasn`t sure if that was going to happen.
Eric was so young and right now he was busier being my nurse than my potential lover. Yes, he`d kissed me in Central Park but the Eric I knew from Christmas would not have stopped at a kiss. So the man in my bed was not really the Eric I knew.
And then there was the whole case of me not being sure how I would function sexually now. Bill hadn`t raped me but he`d still hurt me and I had both physical and mental scars that could surprise me if I ever did the horizontal tango with the guy filling my bedroom air with a smell of pancakes (yes, I`d stuck my nose closer to his mouth to make sure he was the reason for the sudden sweet fragrance in the room).
I stared at the ceiling. When had I ever been one to worry about things?
I took a deep breath and figured that if Eric and I had sex before he left, and it was miserable and awful, then so what? Awful sex with Eric would probably be better than no sex and he was going home anyway. It wasn`t as if terrible sex would ruin a budding relationship.
And there was a chance that it wouldn`t be awful.
For two months I`d kept myself alive on the memories of that week in Eric`s apartment. It was time for some new snapshots and movies for my brain. Something to tide me over Bill`s trial. Because that was going to be ugly.
I turned to look at Eric again. Was he really asleep? Or was he pretending like I was when he entered the bedroom?
I let my finger glide down his cheek.
What if he rejected me?
According to “common knowledge” men would never turn down sex. But I knew this was a lie. Of course men could be tired, sick, busy or just not in the mood – just like women.
And sometimes the guy just didn`t want the girl.
Eric kept breathing in the same pace he`d breathed in since he`d fallen asleep. I looked at him to see if he was acting and came to the conclusion that he wasn`t. I pulled my hand back. Maybe it just wasn`t meant to be?
So I got up, went to the kitchen and made some coffee. When it was ready, I poured myself a cup, went to my living room and sat down in the recliner I`d inherited from Gran. I sipped my coffee and emptied my brain. I was good at that.
My cup was empty when Eric appeared in the doorway.
“Do I smell coffee?” he asked, no explanation as to why he`d fallen asleep in my bed.
I nodded at the kitchen and he went to get himself a cup. I could have done with a refill but he didn`t ask me if I wanted one so I walked to the kitchen as well.
I found Eric staring out of my kitchen window, his back to me.
Now in all the sitcoms and series from New York, people have views over Central Park or at least the street they live in. I didn`t. My apartment was small and the view was straight into another building. But it was home. My home.
He did look handsome, standing there. Too handsome, perhaps.
I sighed but made sure it was a soundless sigh. Then I poured myself half a cup of coffee.
“So what do you want to do today?” I said in a cheerful voice.
Eric turned around. “I haven`t made any plans, really. How about we just stay in?”
“We could watch a DVD,” I suggested. I wasn`t sure I was up for watching a full movie but I could try. I had to move forward and the only way I could do that, was by trying the things I wasn`t sure I could do.
A smile changed Eric`s face from serious to happy. “Oh, I know just the one, then. I`ve been meaning to get it for you as a farew… well, I wanted to buy it for you and now I will. He walked into my living room, put on his shoes and jacket and then turned to me. “I`ll be half an hour.” He thought for a moment. “No, it may be an hour. I keep getting lost in the subway.”
I laughed. “I`ll go with you. Can`t have you lost in New York.”
“No, it`s ok, Sookie. I want to surprise you.”
And with that he was gone.
“Okay,” I said to myself and then I went to my computer, turned it on and was pleased when I managed to answer a few e-mails.
I clicked on the story I`d begun to write before Bill`s attack and smiled at my detailed outline. Maybe I could print it out in huge letters, read it and let my imagination run wild? That was always the best part of the writing process and for the first time in ages, I felt up for it.
After the printer had done the job I`d ordered it to do, I grabbed the sheets of paper and a red pen and sat down in my recliner. I read the first two paragraphs, closed my eyes and let the story run through my brain, opened them again and wrote down notes. I`d already written that part but made a few additions. My new vampire hero needed a female friend who could keep him in check or he would become too cocky.
I`d already decided not to make him the typical romance hero who falls in love with the heroine the moment he sees her and pines when he can`t have her. Giving him a close female friend who wasn`t his sister would break all the rules.
“In for a penny, in for a pound,” I said to myself even if it made me sound like an old lady.
It was as if I gathered new strength because the next thing I knew, I was sitting in from of my computer, writing a scene where my heroine Anita meets the new character Cat – the former lover and now best friend of … I stopped. I still hadn`t found a good name for my new hero.
I chewed on my pencil. My hero was tall, blond and probably Scandinavian. He couldn`t exactly be called Jean-Claude or Mencheres.
Then I threw down my pencil and started typing.
“This is my friend Cat,” Eric said in that deep voice of his.
I giggled like a school girl. Yes, my hero looked like Eric. He might as well be called Eric. I searched and deleted all the “Spikes” in my story and entered “Eric” instead.
I`d written six pages and was thoroughly pleased with myself when I heard the door open and close. I quickly saved what I`d written and turned off my computer. No point in Eric seeing what I`d written. Or how much of an inspiration he was.
He might see it when the book was printed and sold, but probably not. Why would he buy my book? When they were out in the shops, I would be long forgotten. Or, at best, a distant memory. One of the girls Eric had slept with.
Pity-parties weren`t my thing but I was good at being realistic. I had Eric here and now, enjoyed his company and knew what was to come. No reason to be sad about that. Just as I couldn`t bury myself in grief over the years I`d spent with Bill. What was done was done.
Or as the Scandinavian proverb Eric had told me about, said – what was done was done and what was eaten was eaten. I liked that proverb and wanted it for my fridge.
I smiled at Eric when he walked into the living room. I was about to tell him about the new pages on my story, but then I saw that he was smiling too and figured my pages could wait.
Not because they weren`t important but because I wanted the pages to be mine, and mine alone, for a little while longer. Maybe I could write a little more later? Maybe some tomorrow as well? My smile grew wider.
“I found it,” Eric boomed. Then he pulled out a DVD from the backpack he was carrying.
I squinted to see the title. Let the Right One In it said. I looked at Eric.
“It`s the best vampire movie ever made. You have to see it. And this is the original, the Swedish one.” Eric pulled me over to the couch and walked over to my DVD-player, eagerness oozing out of every inch of his long body. “They made an American version too and it`s not too bad but you really have to see the original.”
I laughed because I was happy and because he was so ecstatic. “Can`t wait,” I said though I`d never really had a thing for vampire movies.
I wrote books about vampires but I`d never wanted to see fangs and blood pouring out of my TV. I sat down and swallowed a smile because my DVD-player was situated just low enough for Eric to have to bend down and give me a first class peak at that sexy butt of his. Yes, I was ogling and I wasn`t ashamed to admit it.
Eric got the DVD in and went to the kitchen. When he came back he picked up the remote, pressed “English subtitles” and then he put down two empty glasses on the table. He sat down next to me on the couch, opened his backpack and pulled out a bottle.
“We`re watching a Swedish movie so I figured we needed something Swedish to drink. Absolut,” he said and held up the bottle.
“Vodka?” I asked.
“And not just any vodka. Absolut is the king of vodkas.” He pulled out several bottles of soda and put them on my table.
I`d always figured vodka was vodka and I never liked it much. I was a gin and tonic girl if I drank at all.
“Do you prefer yours with cola, orange juice or tonic?” he asked. “Or do you want it bare?”
“Definitely not bare,” I answered. “Maybe with tonic?” At least that would be in the same ballpark as gin and tonic.
“Sure,” Eric said with a nod and started pouring vodka.
I`ve never worked in a bar but I had a hard time imagining that vodka-tonic was supposed to be half and half. But when I saw that his own drink was a glass of vodka and just a few drops of cola to give it color, I realized that my drink was probably a grandma-drink in his terms.
Eric grabbed the remote, clicked “play”, put the remote down, grabbed his drink and leaned back. When I leaned forward to grab my drink, I noticed the arm that wasn`t currently holding Eric`s drink-until-you-drop drink, was being situated on the back of the couch, behind me.
He wasn`t touching me but I could almost feel the warmth from his arm against my neck when I leaned back. Or maybe I was just imagining the warmth because I wanted his arm closer. I wanted him to touch me.
I took a large sip of my drink, coughed because it was too strong for me, and stared at the screen. A kid came on. I gave Eric a sideways glance. It was a vampire movie with kids? I began to wonder if I could get away with keeping my eyes closed throughout the movie when the kid caught my interest. There was something about him. Insecure in his preteens. All alone. Being bullied.
And then getting a friend. A totally inappropriate friend.
I was just settling into the dawning friendship between the kid and the girl when it changed to a gruesome scene where a guy was strung up and gutted. I pulled my legs up and probably made some distressed sounds because this was when I felt the true warmth of Eric`s arm.
Not only did his arm drop down from the back of the couch and land on my shoulders, but his large hand pulled me into his body. He kissed the top of my head.
“It`s a good movie,” he whispered into my hair as if he felt he had to convince me.
“I know,” I said and I meant it. It was a strange movie but I knew quality when I saw it.
I settled into Eric`s body and we watched the movie in silence, Eric`s hand making slow circles on my upper arm. Though the movie was great, a large part of my brain was preoccupied with debating whether Eric had put his arm around me because he wanted to protect me or because … he wanted his arm around me.
I thought about how much I wanted to have sex with Eric before he left. And then I placed my hand on his thigh. I didn`t move it but I still felt his breath stop for a few seconds. I hoped it was because he was pleasantly surprised but I kept my hand still, just in case.
I felt my attention on the movie fade and was replaced with me listening to his breath, feeling the heat from his body and wanting more.
So much more.
Suddenly, and before I could even begin to go into any deep discussions with myself about how wrong my actions were, I turned my head and kissed Eric.
My heart dropped when he wasn`t kissing me back. I began to pull back when his arm pulled me closer and then he kissed me.
And what a kiss.
I heard grunts and moans from people dying on my television but I was much more interested in the sounds coming from Eric. And from myself.
For the first time in a long time I felt pure joy. Who would have thought that a few pages written on my book and Eric`s tongue in my mouth could make me so thrilled?
“Oh, Sookie,” Eric groaned.
This was when I knew I was going to have sex with Eric tonight. It made me nervous and happy. Happy and nervous. I pulled him closer and told nervous to get lost.
I really want to recommend Let the Right One In. Both the book and the movie. It`s one of those rare cases where both book and movie are great. Magical even.
I hope you liked this chapter (if I manage to post it – FF is one huge mess these days).
Thursday is the deadline for entries to the Home Sweet Home Contest. We already have some great stories. I recommend that you read them and give them great reviews – because they deserve it!