Yesterday I came home from a great vacation in Italy (and Denmark) and driving around on the Italian Autostrada gave me inspiration for this little, silly, AU, AH one-shot with Sookie and Eric. I hope you like it!
Btw – thank you very much for all the lovely reviews on my one-shot “Love Train” that I posted during my vacation. I have not gotten around to answering you as I have not been (very much) online. But I got all the reviews on my phone and they were as sweet as the Italian red wine I was drinking.
I wish I could send Rascalthemutant a case of Italian red wine for her great work on this story. I have no idea how you manage it with all the great work you are doing on the Alexander Skarsgård Library, Rascal, but I am very grateful!
I was deep in my own thoughts when three flashes of light brought me back. Of course one shouldn`t be deep in thoughts when one is going 110 km per hour on the Italian Autostrada, but after a quick check that I wasn`t doing anything stupid, the flashes of light made me angry. Well, they pissed me off, to be honest.
What nerve did the person behind me have? Yes, I realized that 130 was the speed limit and I realized that I was in the left lane, but so were three cars in front of me. I could not go faster without running into them. And the right lane was packed.
I usually drive in the right lane, but today it was filled up with slow traffic. Trailers, motorhomes and all the crazy Scandinavians with their little caravans dragging behind their cars.
I looked up again and saw why the left lane was going slower than the speed limit. An Italian transporter of dairy products apparently wanted to get to his destination before the milk turned sour and slowed down the left lane in his attempt to get past a Danish family of four with a white knuckled father holding the wheel.
Flash. Flash. Flash.
The nerve of the guy behind me. There was no doubt in my mind that it was a guy. I looked in the mirror and saw a red Corvette nearly scraping my car from behind. I almost stood on my brakes just to get him to back off, but I didn`t. I just swore loudly.
What was this guy imagining I would do in response to his flashing? Fly away? Escape into thin air? Crash into the little Fiat 500 in the right lane?
I`m basically a nice girl. I go to work every day. I help my grandmother. I babysit for my friend Arlene. I even try to be a good sister to my hopeless brother Jason. But in traffic I swear like a sailor on shore. The recipients of my cursing were mainly people who didn`t use their signals going out of roundabouts and people who thought they owned the freeway.
The Italian dairy trailer shifted lanes in front of the Danish family and the three cars in front of me drove faster. I stepped on the gas too and when I had passed the Italian trailer, I shifted lanes and let the obnoxious red Corvette go by.
I rolled my eyes. It had to be a sports car and it had to be red. Those cars should be illegal. They turned their drivers into maniacs. Or maybe only morons bought cars like that? I had no idea. I just knew that I hated red sports cars.
Before I knew it, I felt a devil poking at me and my car was suddenly in the left lane again driving just behind the red Corvette. It was payback time.
Deep inside I felt ridiculous, but I couldn`t help myself. I wanted to give the idiot a scare. I cursed the fact that my old and rusty car was very far from looking like a plain-clothed police car. That would have been the ultimate revenge if I could make him think, just for a few minutes, that he was going to lose his driver`s license.
The cars in front of the red Corvette were gone and he took advantage of the free passage way. 130 was there and gone. Now he was going 140, 150, 160. I thanked Jason for being kind to my car. It could go way faster than one would think. It was a speed monster in disguise. Unfortunately I was far from comfortable going so fast, but anger drove me.
I didn`t drive as close to the red Corvette as he had to me and I didn`t flash at him. But he soon realized he was being followed. I could see him look in the mirror – and he went even faster. I was not giving in and stayed on his tail.
We drove like this for 10 – 15 minutes. It felt like much longer and I was getting pretty wet down my back. I did not enjoy driving at this speed and I suddenly sympathized with the Danish father and his white knuckles. I swallowed hard and tried to breathe. This was a staring competition I did not want to lose even if I knew I was endangering myself and all the cars around me. I was truly embarrassed with myself, but I still didn`t stop this stupid game of chicken.
Then, to my surprise and joy, I saw the signals on the red Corvette being turned on and he shifted lanes. First I thought he was just going to let me pass him, but then I realized that he was stopping at a gas station.
I can be such a child sometimes. Being behind a wheel is definitely not a place to act out your inner child, but I couldn`t help dancing a little victory dance.
I slowed down to a speed I was much more comfortable with and let my breathing get back to a normal pace.
After having celebrated for some time, I started to feel the results of having raced with a Corvette. I was damp all over, my hands were shaking and I felt just a little bit stupid. What had gotten into me?
When a sign said that a road side café was coming up, I decided to take a coffee break. I worried for just a second if it would mean another meeting with the red Corvette, but found out I was not really in any shape to drive so I exited from the freeway.
I went to the restroom first and put some cold water on my face and neck. I looked in the mirror and found that I looked pretty much like myself and went out and sat at one of the tables by the window.
A tired looking lady poured me a coffee and I ordered an apple cake to go with the caffeine. I looked around at the few people sitting in the café. A family with three very loud children and a man in his fifties were all the customers the café had just now.
My apple cake came and I focused my attention on eating it. This was probably why I hadn`t seen anyone approach the café before I felt the slight breeze when the door opened. I looked up and in spite of the distance, I felt like I was being swallowed by a pair of very blue eyes.
Had this been a Tex Avery cartoon, and I had been the wolf, I would have dropped 2 meters of tongue on the table in front of me.
But I am Sookie Stackhouse, a girl with some manners, so I looked away. And I blushed.
When I looked up again, and I really had to look up, the owner of the blue eyes was standing right in front of my table, all 2 meters of him. He showed me all his white teeth. When I managed to look away from his face, I noticed long blond hair and a body to kill for. Broad shoulders, biceps pounding under the t-shirt and a chest any girl would dream of laying her head on.
I forced my eyes up again before they travelled too far down his body. Why was he standing at my table, smiling at me? The café was almost empty and I was very sure that Mr. Tall and Handsome was not someone I knew. I would have remembered him.
I am not ugly or revolting in any way, but I am not the kind of girl who attracts handsome men in roadside cafés. My shirt is rarely unbuttoned enough and my makeup is too sparse.
Still this man was clearly trying to attract my attention. “Is this seat taken?” He asked with a deep voice.
I couldn`t deny that all the seats around my table were free, except the one I occupied, and he sat down, still sporting a huge smile.
“I`m Eric Northman.”
I was puzzled. Why would this guy sit at my table in a half empty café and why would he introduce himself? Was this some kind of Twilight Zone or was I on Candid Camera?
“Sookie Stackhouse.” I replied. I have manners.
“How is the apple cake?” He asked, looking down at my plate.
“Hmm, well…” I answered eloquently. I couldn`t remember how the cake tasted. All my senses had been focused on him ever since he came into the café. “I guess it`s ok.”
He ordered an apple cake and a coffee for himself and started to ask me where I was going and soon I forgot that I was talking to the descendant of a Nordic God. I felt comfortable in his company. He laughed at my lame jokes and told some even lamer back.
After what seemed like hours of fun, but probably just was 20 minutes, he got up. I felt a pang to my heart. Was he leaving?
He turned his back to me and started to shake his behind. I giggled because I had no idea why he was shaking his butt in my face.
He turned his head around and placed a hand on his hip pointing down.
“This was the part of me you wanted a closer look at, wasn`t it?”
I blushed from my head to my feet. Yes, I definitely wanted a closer look at his butt, but I was pretty sure that I had never given him any reason to think that. I had been very careful not to look south of his chest.
Then his eyes trailed out the window of the café and I followed his gaze. Just outside the window I saw a car I recognized all too well. A red Corvette. I gasped.
“Is that yours?” Was all I managed to say.
“Yes, and I believe you were following me earlier trying to get a closer look at my behind?” He replied with a smile that made my blood boil – from anger.
“You stupid fuck.” I shouted. The noisy kids three tables down went quiet for a few seconds and stared at me. Soon I could hear the smallest one whisper “Mom, she said `fuck`” and I mentally slapped myself. I never say `fuck` and definitely not when kids can hear me.
I looked back at Eric Northman and started in a lower tone of voice. “Do you know why I followed you?”
“Well, girls are attracted to sports cars.” He smiled his signature smile and I almost said something far worse than `fuck`.
“Sit down and I`ll tell you just where you can shove your Corvette!” I hissed.
He sat down, still with a smile on his lips. He took my hand over the table and held on to it in spite of my attempt to pull it back.
“Let me hear how my car has offended you.”
The nerve of the man. I told him how I felt about his `king of the road` attitude and he listened while looking me deep in my eyes. Why did he have to have such hypnotizing eyes? Then he sighed.
“I`m truly sorry. I never looked at it that way. It has probably become a bad habit. The Corvette makes me want to go unhindered and people going slow in the left lane are in my way.” He still held on to my hand and now his thumb was making small circles on the palm.
I felt like a balloon that had lost all its gas. I had expected him to argue or even leave and then he said he was sorry.
We were quiet for some time.
“How about I take you out for dinner to make up for my bad behaviour?” He then asked.
I stayed silent. My brain was too occupied with inner dialogue to be able to form an answer. Why would he want to take me out for dinner? Why would I want to go out with him? I had never said yes to strangers and I was not going to start just because this stranger happened to be good-looking. And fun.
“OK. Would you go out with me if I promise never to flash my lights at anyone on the freeway again?” He actually looked insecure for just a second.
“But why would you want to go out with me? I just called you a `fuck`.” I whispered the last word in consideration of the kids listening in on our conversation.
He laughed. “A girl, who is willing to risk her life to make me mend my ways, is definitely worth a dinner.” I laughed too, not really sure why. Risking my life isn`t a laughing matter, but I couldn`t help myself. I forced my mouth to stop laughing.
“And why would I go out with you? You made me risk my life, as you yourself pointed out.” I stared at him.
“Because you can`t say no to a challenge and I`m a challenge.” He winked at me. “I`m the embodiment of a double dare.”
“If you give me your address, I`ll pick you up at eight.” He said, pulling my hand up for a kiss.
“In your car?” I said a little too loudly.
“No way, buster. I am not going anywhere in your car!”
“This means that you accept going on a date with me if I just make sure we have another form of transportation.” This was not a question.
I knew I had been tricked, but let it slide. “I guess so.”
Later that evening a hot air balloon landed in my garden.