I had my first mammogram last week and the woman pushing and pulling at my breasts reminded me of Pam. And so this story formed in my head. It`s silly and fluffy and has lame jokes – but I hope you like it all the same.
I want to thank Suki59 for being able to go from the sadness of Crossing the Ocean (my last one-shot) to this one and giving them both the attention they needed.
I do not own any SVM-characters. Charlaine Harris does. Nor do I own any Bonnie Tyler lyrics.
I checked my watch and noticed it was five minutes to ten – the time when my favorite customer would come by. I quickly retrieved my lip gloss and ran my fingers through my hair. Today Mr. Hot n Sexy would be even more welcome than usual. His daily purchase of one of my cakes, muffins or buns would take my mind off the appointment I had an hour later.
I could have had the appointment for my very first mammogram now at ten o`clock but I didn`t want to miss out on the customer who had made my day every day for months so I`d suggested having the mammogram at eleven o`clock instead.
The bell above the door made its little pling and my heart started to beat. Mr. Tall-blond-n-gorgeous was in the shop.
“Do you have anything for me to nibble on today?” he asked.
“I always have something tasty for you, you know,” I said with a smile.
Okay, so our conversations weren`t exactly deeply philosophical and neither of us knew the other one by name. But there was still a connection. At least on my part.
Maybe I was just bored and frustrated and saw stuff that wasn`t there. But if he smiled at everyone the way he smiled at me, it would mean girls in an early grave everywhere he went.
He was tall and very handsome. Long blond hair, almost to his waist. Blue eyes. And a smile to die for. But it wasn`t his looks that made my heart beat. Or at least that was what I kept telling myself. There was something else. A bounce when he walked. The way he spoke. The silly conversations we always had.
“This is why I come here. Your lovely smile and a bite of your yumminess.”
I met his eyes and my heart was under even stronger pressure. I swallowed as discreetly as I could.
“So what can I tempt you with today?” I asked and had to work very hard at not batting my eyes. I did have some dignity left – though it wasn`t much when it came to this guy.
I could swear that he made some kind of noise from his throat and it made me want to make all kinds of noises too. Preferably with him over me – or under me – I wasn`t picky.
He looked from me to the bread, buns and cakes in the glass cases between us. “Hmmm, what would you recommend?” he asked.
He always asked for my recommendations and I always picked out something I`d baked with him in mind.
“Maybe a cinnamon bun?” I asked.
He inhaled. “Sounds perfect.”
I picked out the largest cinnamon bun I could find and put it in a paper bag for him. For the umpteenth time I regretted that my little bakery was so tiny. There wasn`t room for tables and chairs. Imagine if my secret dream guy could have eaten his cinnamon bun here instead of … well, wherever he worked.
I`d spent hours thinking about what he did for a living. My little shop was in the center of town and there were office buildings all around. He could be an insurance agent (no way – I was pretty sure insurance companies would tell him to cut his hair), a lawyer (with that bounce in his walk? Absolutely not!) or maybe a school teacher at the school down the street. I`d always liked the idea of his being some kind of cool math teacher but unfortunately I knew for a fact that he didn`t teach anything at the school down the street. They did not have any recesses at 10 o`clock and it would therefore be impossible for him to be at my shop at that precise time. Yes, I`d checked when the school had their classes.
“Here you go,” I said and handed over the bag. “Sure you don`t want me to run you a tab?” I`d asked him before – mainly because I`d wanted to know his name.
“It`s very sweet of you but I don`t like owing money.” He gave me a warm smile. “And I certainly don`t want to owe money to a beautiful woman such as yourself.”
And with that he was out the door, leaving me tongue tied as usual.
One day I would say something more personal to him. Ask him out, for instance. So often I`d decided on doing something, saying something, but I always lost my nerve when he was in my store. Which was highly unusual for me. I wasn`t some damsel waiting for the knight in shining armor to ask her out but with this guy I seemed to be able to … do absolutely nothing.
“Sorry I`m late!” Haley came running into the store, huffing and puffing as if she`d been running a marathon.
“Don`t worry,” I said with a smile. I always smiled when it was ten after ten. “The appointment isn`t until eleven which means I still have twenty minutes until I have to leave.
“Great!” She walked out back, but left the door open. She picked up her apron and put it on. “How did it go with your dream lover today?”
I groaned slightly. I`d tried to keep my infatuation to myself but had done a poor job of it and now all my employees held their breath whenever he was in the store and they discussed every little detail about him when he left. Which was why I never complained when one of them came in a little late.
Or when Lafayette, my baker, left early. He started working between two and three in the morning and was supposed to leave at ten. But often I let him go home at a quarter to ten, mainly because I didn`t want him making loud suggestions from the bakery and out in the shop when the guy of my dreams was around.
“Dreamy,” I answered. Haley was married with two kids – happily married too, as far as I knew – but she sported a goofy smile whenever we discussed Mr. Handsome and the prospect of my dating him (like that was ever going to happen). Weird how married women always wanted their friends hooked up too.
When she came back out in the store, I went out back and took off my apron. I also took off my t-shirt and put on a button down shirt instead. I brushed my hair and checked myself in the mirror. I was nervous, and not the sweetly nervous I`d felt twenty minutes earlier. The anxiety was back – anxiety that the lump in my breast would be something more than the usual little lumps one was supposed to have in one`s breasts.
I`d felt it a couple of weeks ago while soaping myself up. At first I`d pretended it wasn`t there but after a few showers, and a few vain hopes that the lump would be gone, I`d finally booked an appointment for a mammogram.
The weird thing was that as long as I didn`t have that appointment, I could pretend the lump wasn`t there but as soon as I knew it would be checked on, I had started biting my nails and expecting the worst.
I`d thought about my life. What if the lump was cancer? What if I were sick? What if I were going to die? I was all alone in the world, if one didn`t count my brother, Jason, and suddenly that felt wrong. Very wrong. Was I going to die without having been in love? Without having been in a serious relationship? Without having had children?
My perspective of life really changed during the week I waited for my appointment. I`d always been single and proud of it, enjoying life and men without a care in the world. The only thing I`d taken seriously had been my bakery. I`d worked hard and now I had a profitable little shop with bread and cakes out of the ordinary.
“See you later,” I shouted to Haley on my way out of the door.
“Good luck,” she called back.
Yeah, good luck. I felt like I needed it. I`d never had a mammogram in my life and the stories of friends of friends and aunts of neighbors who`d found a lump and were dead three weeks later rolled around in my brain.
I took a deep breath and walk out into the street. I put the earbuds from my iPod into my ears and let something hard and heavy blow through my ears on the walk to the clinic. The clinic where they did the mammograms was just a block from my bakery so I arrived early for my appointment. I filled out the forms and waited. The waiting room was full of women waiting for mammograms and some had a worried look that corresponded with how I felt. I tried to read the gossip magazines but royals going to strip bars and actors having a beer too many just couldn`t catch my attention.
“Sookie Stackhouse,” a voice said and I got up and walked towards the nurse waiting for me. She was shorter than I was but we had the same blond hair color.
She smiled at me and there was something about her that looked familiar. I couldn`t place it until the door closed behind us and she asked, “Is it you, Sooks?”
A quick glance at her name tag confirmed my suspicion. “Pamela?” I asked and she grinned.
“The one and only.”
“What … why … what …?” I asked intelligently. What I wanted to ask her was why she`d disappeared from my life when we were 12 after having been my best friend and neighbor since we were babies.
“Good to see you too, Sookie,” she said with a laugh.
“Where have you been?” I asked.
Pam laughed again. “The last couple of years I`ve been here, groping breasts. I`m a nurse practitioner.”
“My mother got a new boyfriend and we moved. And then she got another one and another one. After my parents` divorce, I moved 12 times in 5 years. Somewhere along the line, I gave up on old friends.”
“I didn`t know. I missed you so much when you moved away. And when you stopped writing ….” Pam had been like a sister to me and when she`d moved, I had cried for weeks.
“I`m sorry, Sookie,” she said and gave me a hug. “But we got a second chance, it seems. You can`t imagine how thrilled I was when I saw your name on the list of patients today.” She grinned. “And now I get to grope your breasts. Please take off your shirt and bra. Oh, and you can take off your modesty as well. When I say that I`ll be groping your breasts, I mean groping.”
Pam was right. She pulled my breasts and pushed my arms away. Then she squeezed my poor breasts into pancakes and when she was done, she was back at the pushing – this time to take a picture of my breasts from a different angle.
And all the while my breasts were being kneaded like the bread in my bakery, we talked. We told each other about our teenage life, where we`d gone to school and where we lived now. Pam told me she was seeing someone named Miriam and I told her I was single.
I told Pam about the lump that had made me want a mammogram in the first place and she took an extra picture, just to make sure.
Then she felt my breast, let her finger glide around the lump, and smiled. “It seems like a perfectly normal lump, Sookie, but I`ll make an extra note for the doctor and have him take a close look at it. Don`t worry. You`re in great hands here,” she said.
“Yeah, I can feel that,” I said and looked at her hand on my breast and she laughed. Then she removed her hand but moved closer to me.
“You smell so great, Sookie. Vanilla, cinnamon and … ” She sniffed my hair. “Cardamom?”
“Are you coming on to me, Pam?” I teased.
“Yeah, I always try to get into the pants of my very hetero childhood friends,” she replied with a wink. “But what`s the smell?”
“It`s probably from the bakery I own,” I said. “It`s just down the street.” I pointed in the direction of my shop.
“You own `Sookie`s Sweets`?” she asked as if I`d said I was in the space program.
“I do,” I said. “There aren`t that many Sookie`s in this world.”
“You know what? Every time I`ve walked past that shop I`ve thought about you and whatever happened to you. I never imagined you actually owned the shop.” She shook her head. “Small world, huh? Oh – and you can get dressed now. The doctor will look at the x-rays and then we`ll call you with the results in a couple of days.”
I put on my bra and then my shirt. Pam watched me get dressed but she looked as if her thoughts were elsewhere.
“Look, Sookie. I know it`s been a long time since we were best friends but I would really love to see you again. You know, talk about old times and have a bit of fun. What do you say?”
“That would be great.” I didn`t have too many friends because I worked so much and I really wanted to catch up with Pam.
“I have your phone number here.” She pointed to the form I`d filled out. “Why don`t I give you a call and we`ll make arrangements?”
And with that I was out the door, a little lighter in my step. Not only was I less worried about the lump in my breast, I`d also found an old friend and I was already looking forward to seeing her again.
I was thrilled when Pam called me two days later. Mr. Hottie had just walked out the door of my bakery shop and my heart was still pounding when my cell phone rang in my pocket.
“Sookie Stackhouse, speaking,” I answered, a bit breathless.
“Hi there, Sookie. Did you run a marathon?”
“What? Oh … no.” I already looked forward to telling Pam about my infatuation. She would probably tell me how ludicrous it was. No, on second thought, she would find some weird way for me to get a date with him. Like baking a secret message into a muffin or something. Pam had done that when we were kids – found a way for me to get the guy I liked to like me back. Of course, back then it was about sending notes in class saying, “Do you like me, `cause I like you?” Not getting a complete stranger to like you as much as he liked your Danish pastry.
“Or did some hot guy come by and take your breath away?”
I gasped. Could she read my mind? “No, I was just carrying some heavy trays,” I lied.
“Right,” she said. “Business first. There is absolutely nothing wrong with your breasts. As a matter of fact I would say that you have some of the most perfect breasts I`ve ever seen and if it hadn`t been for my love of Miriam, I would have hit on you immediately.”
“I thought you wouldn`t hit on an old heterosexual friend?” I laughed, relieved that I didn`t have breast cancer.
“We`ll never know, will we?” she grinned. “But I would like to see you again, Sookie. How about going out tomorrow?”
I thought about it for a second. I knew I would have to be up at five to be at the bakery at six the next morning. This was why I so rarely went out. But I figured I could handle one tired day at work to see Pam again.
“Tomorrow would be great,” I said and I was sure my smile was audible through the phone.
We arranged to meet at a local bar and then we hung up, both of us having to get back to work.
I caught myself whistling a couple of times that day and the next day I arranged it so that I could leave the shop early. I wanted to get home and take a shower and maybe do some of all the primping I usually never got around to. I shaved and painted my nails and even gave my eyebrows a run-through with the tweezers.
I`m usually a jeans and t-shirt kind of girl but this time I wore a nice blouse with my newest and best looking jeans. I put on some mascara and lip gloss and curled my hair a little bit. I wore heels instead of my usual sneakers and when I looked at myself in the mirror I was quite satisfied with the result.
I was just on time when I entered the bar where Pam and I were supposed to meet. I quickly scanned the room to see if Pam had come already and was pleased to see her at the other end of the bar. I started walking towards her and when I was halfway there she looked up and smiled at me.
That was when I noticed that she wasn`t alone. Someone was facing her. Someone with long blond hair. My first thought was that this was Miriam but something was off. The shoulders were too broad and the back too wide. When Pam waved me over, her companion turned around and … it was the guy from the bakery. My favorite customer.
I almost left the bar in pure confusion. Why was he there with Pam? Had she somehow found out I was infatuated with this guy, followed him home and begged him to come here? I mentally shook my head. There was no way Pam could know about him.
The guy had turned a full 180 degrees and was now facing me while I stumbled the last couple of meters to Pam`s table. Judging from his face, he was as shocked as I was. Did he think I was some kind of stalker who`d had my friend shanghai him?
“Sookie!” Pam shouted as if she knew I was about to run out of the place. “Come over here and meet my boss. He`s been in love with you for months now.”
I sucked my breath but couldn`t help smiling when I saw the blush that colored his throat.
“Pam!” he whispered loud enough for me to hear too. Pam just smiled at him.
“This is Sookie – my childhood friend and also our friendly neighborhood baker.” Pam motioned for me to sit next to her. Then she pointed to the man at the other side of the table. “And this is Eric. He`s been staring at your breasts for hours.”
“What!” I said and heard an echo from the guy I`d sold cakes to for so long.
Pam batted her eyes at him. “Oh, I didn`t tell you? The mammogram I asked you to pay special attention to was Sookie`s.”
“Pam! This is highly irregular,” he said.
I groaned to myself. So the hot guy with the special bounce in his walk was a stiff doctor concerned with what was regular and what wasn`t?
“Oh, shut up, Eric. It`s not as if you`ve never dated someone whose mammogram you`ve looked at.”
My inward groan turned louder. So he slept around too? Boring doctors who nailed women by the dozen – sooo not my type. I started to get up, to get out of there when Pam pulled me back.
“Sookie,” she said. “I`m so sorry about doing this to you. I really want to meet you and have a girls` night out and I will call you tomorrow to arrange that, but if you knew how many cakes Eric here has bought just to meet you – not to mention the number of cakes he hasn`t bought for me – you would understand why I`m doing this to you. I`ve bought you this beer.” She handed me a beer sitting on the table. “And I hope you enjoy the company.”
And with that she got up and left me there with the stranger I`d been mooning over for months.
We both stared at her leaving us and then we stared at each other, neither of us saying anything. The situation was too weird for words. We sat there for some time and then I finally connected to my brain again.
“So why didn`t you buy any cakes for Pam?” I asked.
He coughed. “I didn`t want you to think I had a girlfriend.”
I laughed. I couldn`t help myself though I saw how embarrassed he got.
He nodded. “Don`t hold back. Really. I love being ridiculed by strangers.”
I wiped my eyes with the back of my hands and remembered too late that I`d put on mascara – something I very rarely did. I looked at my hands and saw the tell-tale black stripes and knew I had that very special raccoon look only makeup novices like myself would have.
I tried my best to wipe the excess mascara off my cheeks when the blond guy – Eric – bent over the table and used his thumbs under my eyes. Now it was my turn to blush.
“So where were we?” I asked. “Stalker-guy meets The Laughing Hyena, I think.”
“Or handsome doctor meets sexy baker,” he said, his lips curled into a smile.
“Handsome, huh?” I raised my eyebrows.
“Most women seem to think so,” he replied, his smile turning into a smirk.
I looked at him. He was truly handsome. Very handsome, actually. Something must be wrong.
“You`re a doctor and you`re handsome. Why aren`t you married with 1.7 children in the suburbs? What`s wrong? Are you a serial killer or do you have smelly feet or something?”
He laughed. “Or something … ”
“So what is it with you that scares off the potential wives?”
His smile disappeared.
“Come on,” I gave the arm he had on the table a small push. “You can tell your local baker. We`re almost like bartenders – the people you can tell anything to.”
He took a deep breath.
“What? Come on! You`re scaring me now. I`m envisioning all kinds of things and all of them are probably worse than the truth.”
“It`s my taste in music,” he said. “It tends to cause women to run away screaming.”
“So what is it?” I said. “You`re a fan of the Jonas Brothers? You fantasize about Dolly Parton? You stand in front of the mirror in your Elvis suit and sing into your hairbrush?”
He laughed. “No, but I might want to get myself an Elvis suit now.”
“So … ?” I asked, almost afraid of his answer. I did judge people by their taste in music. If he`d actually said he liked the Jonas Brothers or “music” like that, I might have walked out on him then and there. Handsome or ugly – a guy`s taste in music was important.
“There`s a reason why I have this long hair,” he said, pushing some of it behind his ear. “I love headbanging.”
“As in?” I asked.
“As in Dimmu Borgir,” he said, staring at me. I knew he was checking me for reactions.
“Before or after Death Cult Armageddon?” I asked and enjoyed how my answer had him gaping. Yes, I loved black metal too.
“You know Dimmu Borgir?” he asked.
“I don`t only know them, I love them. Though I probably prefer Satyricon.”
“What? You don`t like Satyricon?”
“Does a cat like milk?” he asked.
“I have no idea. I prefer dogs.” I grinned.
Eric slapped the table. “You`re my fucking soul mate.”
“Because I like Dimmu Borgir, Satyricon and dogs?”
“And you bake some amazing cakes.” He leaned forward. “You do bake the cakes I buy, right?”
“I have a baker come in at two in the morning, baking most of what I sell in the shop but whenever you`ve asked me for my recommendations, I`ve always given you something I`ve baked myself.”
“So you did notice me too?” he asked.
“I think only the blind wouldn`t notice you,” I surprised myself at saying.
“So now that we`ve stated that we`ve both drooled over each other for some time, what are we going to do about it?”
“What are you suggesting?” I asked and regretted it immediately. This was going too fast for me. I`d just met the guy and now I asked him for sexual suggestions? I wasn`t opposed to casual sex as such but I never seemed to have the time for any kind of sex – not with my work hours.
I took a sip of my beer, waiting for his response.
“I`m great at giving breast examinations,” he said, his blue eyes on me.
I almost spit out the beer I`d just drunk but luckily I managed to swallow instead. “That was pretty lame,” I said, laughing.
He shrugged. “I never said that my taste in music was the only thing that had women running for the hills.”
“Lucky for you – I like lame,” I said and tried another sip of my beer.
“So do you want to come home with me and look at my record collection?” he asked.
“No stamp collection?”
“Sorry, all out.” He smiled.
“If you promise only to play pre-Death Cult Armageddon Dimmu Borgir?”
“What? And here I thought you were perfect and then you prefer pre-Death Cult Armageddon Dimmu Borgir.” He shook his head in mock disbelief.
“Don’t tell me you prefer post-Death Cult Armageddon? That`s only for mama`s boys and guys pretending to be tough. I thought you bragged that your long hair was for headbanging, not for braiding into sissy patterns?”
“I think you`ll find my record collection to your taste, madam,” he said. “I may be a lot of things but no one ever accused me of being a mama`s boy.”
“But are you tough?” I asked teasingly.
“I suppose you`ll have to find out.”
And with that we finished our beers and walked out of the bar. I checked my watch. We`d only been there for a little over an hour. Should I have held back? Should I have told him no? I wasn`t the kind of girl who never kissed on the first date and I wasn`t opposed to casual sex either, but was this too fast? Too … cheap? Suddenly, I found that I cared about what Eric thought of me.
It wasn`t that I jumped the bones of any guy I met – mainly because I never met any guys, not with my working hours – but this guy had my heart racing and all the things I`d been taught about holding back and being a good girl were out the window.
Well, they were ridiculous anyway. If you wanted someone, why not have him?
We took a taxi to an apartment building in a much more expensive part of town than the one I lived in. Apparently doctors made more money than bakers. We`d been holding hands in the taxi but when we came to his apartment, it became awkward. We both knew what I was there for but neither of us seemed to want to take the initiative.
“So where is this record collection you were bragging about?” I asked to break the silence.
He grinned. “It`s in here.” He pulled me into his bedroom – which was huge and had shelves with records and CDs on three of the four walls. On the fourth wall were a huge bed and a stereo.”
“Wow,” I said, staring at the thousands of records and CDs. “Ever heard of iPods or storing your music on your computer?” I asked.
With two fingers he made a cross at me. “Shooo,” he said in a deep voice. “Who are you and what did you do to that nice girl I brought home? Music should only be listened to from records and CDs.”
I laughed. “I don`t have the money to keep a separate room in my apartment for my music.”
“Are you saying that all the buns I`ve bought haven`t landed you golden faucets and marble sinks?” he asked.
“The world is not a fair place when guys can earn more money from groping women`s breasts than fair ladies can make from giving us our daily bread.”
He moved closer to me. Then I had his arms around me and his lips on mine. I`m not tall so he had to bend down to kiss me. I enjoyed the feeling of his hair on my shoulders.
His kiss tasted of beer and something warm and sweet. I wanted to bake a cake with that taste but wouldn`t know which spices to use. I let my fingers glide through his thick hair and relished the feeling.
Then he pulled back. “Are you sure about this?” he asked in a hoarse voice.
“I`m here, aren`t I?” I asked and felt it sounded much too cool for the situation. What I wanted to say was that I wasn`t sure about anything but that I wanted to stay anyway. That nothing could make me leave his bedroom right now though the situation made me insecure. But I suppose I needed to pretend I knew exactly what I was doing and that I`d done this a million times before. I had to pretend so that I wouldn`t start shaking from nerves. I`d been “cool Sookie” all night so why not just continue the charade?
“Indeed you are,” he said and kissed me again.
His hand traveled under my blouse and to my breast. I smiled into the kiss. Was I going to get my breast exam now?
He must have read my thoughts because he nodded and I could feel his lips smile too. Then he unbuttoned my blouse, pulled it off and unfastened my bra. When my bra was on the floor he let his thumbs slide over the underside of my breasts. Then he bent down and licked one of my nipples.
“I never knew breast exams included the tongue,” I said, a little short of breath.
“Only for fellow headbangers,” he said into my breast and licked it some more.
I may be a headbanger at concerts but now my head fell backwards instead of forwards. He certainly knew what he was doing. His fingers and tongue were very busy. I almost lost my balance, but as it happened, Eric had backed me towards his bed and I fell down on his soft mattress, with him over me, still licking and teasing my nipples and the soft skin of my breasts.
I wanted to feel his naked skin against mine and reached down to unbutton the top buttons of his shirt, hoping he would get the hint. He got up on his knees and pulled his shirt over his head, not bothering with the rest of the buttons.
I drank in the view of his naked torso. He was muscular, but not overly so. Broad-shouldered and with a golden trail from his chest and down into his jeans. He had a few freckles on his shoulders and a chain with a hammer around his neck. His upper arms were covered in some kind of tribal tattoos. Or maybe those were Viking runes?
He smiled at me. “You have the most perfect breasts, Sookie,” he said while bending down to kiss one of them again.
I smiled back. “You`re the expert.”
He looked up. “Most women are intimidated by my job.”
“Why?” I asked. I thought most women wanted a doctor for a husband.
“I look at breasts all day and so many women think theirs are too small or too big or …”
“I like my breasts,” I said. “And it could have been worse, you know.”
“You could have been a gynecologist,” I said.
He roared with laughter. “I thought I was the only one with lame jokes.”
“Apparently not,” I said and pulled him up for a kiss.
The kiss was slow at first but became more and more intense. Soon we were groping and grunting and were trying to remove each other`s jeans – not an easy task, lying down. But we ended up naked after much fumbling. He had those very capable fingers between my legs and I had mine on every piece of his skin I could reach. Which unfortunately didn`t include anything south of his waist as he was so much taller than I was.
Soon my touching him was more about holding onto him than groping as he whirled me into a deep orgasm that had me moaning into his mouth.
I wasn`t sure if my eyes were closed or if I had blacked out from the orgasm but I felt him move around in the bed and heard a drawer being pulled out. Then there was the familiar sound of packaging being torn. It made me open my eyes and look at him.
“Let me.” I sat up and took the condom from him. I slowly rolled it onto him while he was on his knees, enjoying not only the look in his eyes but also the feeling of him in my hands.
Then I kissed him and pulled him down with me, placing my legs around his waist. When he entered me, I had a short thought about never having experienced anything like this before and then I had no more thoughts at all.
We moved as one. It was loud and messy and amazing all at once. We made love and fucked and had sex – and it was beautiful and hot and just perfect.
When I got closer to the edge, I held onto his muscular arms and let myself get thrown out in a deep a maelstrom of emotions, each one them stronger than the one before. When I was at my peak, Eric ground himself into me faster and harder and then he groaned and fell down next to me as if someone had pulled out his batteries.
I couldn`t move a muscle, let alone speak. I just lay flat on Eric`s bed, panting as if I`d run a marathon, enjoying the feeling of Eric next to me, panting as loudly as I was.
After a few moments, I got a lazy arm on my stomach. Then the arm disappeared and Eric got up, pulled off the condom and walked to the bathroom, giving me a nice view of his fabulous butt through my half-closed eyes.
Was this guy perfect? Looks, humor (granted, it was lame, but I loved it) and great taste in music. What else could a girl want? Oh – a couple of orgasms, which he`d managed too.
For the first time in my life, I caught myself wanting to do more with a guy. To have a future with him. I shook it off. Probably just my pre-mammogram nerves still infecting my brain. Why would he want a future with me? He could probably have anyone he wanted. Apart from women with bad taste in music, that is.
It was as if I`d opened a whole container of insecurities because suddenly I began to worry about what he would think of me – going home with him like this after just having been introduced to him. Granted, he had been as fast as I was but maybe he was one of those guys who had double standards. Girls should be virgins and guys could sleep around. I sighed. Did those guys really exist? I had no idea.
Was he expecting me to get dressed now and leave him? Should I spend the night here? I realized I didn`t know the 101 on one-night stands. Not that I wanted this to be a one-night stand but maybe that was all it was to him?
I was just about to get out of bed and get dressed when he returned from the bathroom sporting a huge grin. He jumped into the bed and pulled me into him.
“That was amazing,” he said.
I smiled. “Mmmm, it was.”
I had my head on his chest and made lazy circles around his nipples. “I thought you promised me music?” I said, kissing his jaw.
He stroked my shoulder. “Maybe you want to pick out something?”
I got up. “Sure,” I said. I walked over to his extensive record collection, knowing he was staring at me. I`d never had any insecurities about being naked, but it did add an extra edge to it, knowing that his blue eyes were following my every move.
There were plenty of albums in black or red; there were pictures of angry looking men, monsters and waist long hair. But suddenly I found something else. At the bottom of one shelf, I found all the other records. The ones that weren`t meant for headbanging.
“Hey, don`t look at …” Eric started.
I laughed. “Close your eyes. I`ll find us a record.” I turned around to see if he was still looking, but he`d done as I`d told him and knowing he couldn`t see my choice, I pulled out an old LP with a blond woman on the cover, staring at out into the darkness.
I put the record on the record player and moved the needle to song number none. A familiar drum box started to play. Then a choir sang, “Duh, duh, duh, AAAAHHH.”
I jumped out on the floor and sang with Bonnie Tyler, while pretending to play both the piano and the drums.
“Where have all the good men gone
And where are all the gods?
Where’s the street-wise Hercules
To fight the rising odds?
Isn’t there a white knight upon a fiery steed?
Late at night I toss and turn and dream
of what I need.”
“What the hell?” Eric yelled from the bed.
I jumped over and pulled him out onto the floor, while screaming, “I need a hero.
I’m holding out for a hero ’til the end of the night.
He’s gotta be strong.
And he’s gotta be fast.
And he’s gotta be fresh from the fight.”
Then I started knocking my head forwards and back, letting my hair flow back and forth. I smiled at Eric who looked a bit out of place. “You can headbang to Bonnie Tyler,” I screamed and turned around, pulling him into my back and soon we were both headbanging, my hair impossible to separate from his as it danced towards the floor and up again.
In a swirl he turned me around and started kissing me to the rhythm of the good Ms. Tyler, groping me all over.
“Shit,” he said suddenly and made a run for his night stand, grabbed a condom from the open drawer, pulled it on before Bonnie Tyler could say just how strong and fast her hero was supposed to be. Then he was back at me, holding onto my butt and lifting me and before I knew it, I was pinned between Eric and his bathroom door, his dick deep inside me.
This time there was no making love or having sex. We fucked. And when Bonnie Tyler sang that she could feel his fire, I could feel Eric`s too. And when the song faded out with Bonnie Tyler still needing a hero, I knew I`d found mine and I came yelling something that was supposed to be the lyrics to the song but which was probably just gibberish. Eric`s sounds weren`t words in any language I`d ever heard but they still hit me deep inside and made my orgasm even stronger.
We both dropped to the ground, me sitting on top of him and him somehow leaning against the door I`d been fucked up against.
“Never thought I`d have sex to Bonnie Tyler,” he said after awhile.
I laughed. “We could work our way through your record collection,” I said.
He kissed me. “I`d love that.”
Then I pulled off him and my insecurities came back. What was expected of me now? Go home or stay?
Eric solved my inner debate by standing, taking my hand and pulling me up and towards his bed. Then he went to the bathroom. I took that as an invitation so while he was in the bathroom, I crawled under the covers.
Then I remembered I needed to use the bathroom too – not to mention the teeth I wanted to brush. So when Eric came out, I got up and went to the bathroom as well.
“I`ve put a fresh toothbrush on the sink,” he called after me.
“Thanks,” I said and closed the door.
I sat down on the toilet and while I did my business, I looked at the toothbrush. At first I found it thoughtful of him to give me a toothbrush but then I began to wonder why he`d even had one. I knew I didn`t have new toothbrushes lying around. I bought one when I needed one. And yet, he had one ready for me, though he had no idea I would be here, spending the night.
Maybe he was used to women spending the night? Maybe he had an endless supply of toothbrushes, waiting for whatever casual sex partner he had over?
I finished my business, flushed the toilet and washed my hands. Then I washed my face. At least he hadn`t put out any makeup remover for me.
I brushed my teeth and fought my curiosity enough to be able to leave the bathroom without having checked the cabinet for stocks of toothbrushes.
When I came back into the bedroom, Eric held back the covers and I jumped into the bed with him. Then he kissed me and pulled me into him. I`d meant to ask him a few questions, to get to know him a little more, but lying on his chest, listening to his heartbeat, I fell asleep almost instantly.
I didn`t even manage to ask him to set the alarm for me.
This was why I overslept. Instead of waking up at five, as I usually do, it was past six when I opened my eyes. I jumped out of bed and threw on my clothes. Lafayette would already be waiting for me at the bakery and I hadn`t even had my morning shower.
I looked at Eric, peacefully asleep, and wondered what was customary to do when one left a lover one didn`t know very well but wanted to see again. Wake him up? Give him a kiss? Write him a message?
I didn`t want to wake him up. It was way too early in the morning and I also knew that if he was awake, I would never be able to get to work. And what would I write a message with? I couldn`t look through all his drawers for a pen and I wasn`t really the type of girl who wrote her phone number on a guy`s mirror with her hot red lipstick. Mainly because I didn`t have a hot red lipstick with me.
And what would I write? “Thank you for the best sex ever?” Yes, like that was something I would put in writing. My phone number? Eric knew where to find me.
So I ended up sneaking out of his apartment, closing the door after me and for the first time in my adult life, I regretted having to go to work.
My regrets were amplified when I went to work and Lafayette gave me a once-over.
“Who was he and was he any good?” he asked. “No, I can see he was good. Does he have a brother?”
I went to the bathroom, took off my shirt and my bra and washed myself in the sink. I was sorry to wash the smell of Eric off me, but was pleased when I could put on a clean t-shirt saying “Sookie`s Sweets.” I brushed my hair, put it into a ponytail and started working the flour and baking soda.
I decided to bake some blueberry and pistachio muffins, thinking about Eric and how he needed some energy back after the night he`d had with me. Blueberries and pistachios would do the trick. I baked my signature cakes and buns too, but I smiled every time I looked at the muffins. When Eric came by later I would make a comment about last night when I handed him one. Not a crude one, but one that would tell him just what I thought about the sex we`d had. What I thought about him.
A way to a man`s heart is through his stomach, isn`t it?
How I managed to get any work done with Lafayette`s constant commenting on last night and whatever escapades he imagined I`d been through, I don`t know, but before I knew it, it was close to ten and Lafayette had left the bakery. Haley was out in the shop, but I quickly put on some lip gloss, fixed my ponytail and joined her by the counter.
“It`s five to drooling-time, huh?” Haley asked.
I nodded though I`d planned on doing more than drooling and I didn`t even care if Haley was there to hear it.
The pling from the door announced a customer and I looked up with a smile … only to find an elderly lady walking in. Haley, the sweet creature, quickly asked the lady if she could help her, giving me free hands to hand over my special muffin to Eric when he arrived.
But the clock stroke ten and it was five past ten and Eric didn`t come by. When the clock hit eleven and I knew with certainty that he wasn`t coming, in spite of having been to my bakery every working day for the last many months, I almost started to cry.
Pam had said he`d talked about me, that he`d been interested in me and now he wasn`t? Was I that bad in bed? Had I done something wrong? Was I …
My phone rang and I pulled it out of my pocket. It was Pam.
I just looked at it and then I shut down the phone. I did not want to talk to Pam now. Either she knew about Eric`s regretting last night, because that was the only reason I could think of for his not coming by today, and she would blame me or comfort me – I wasn`t sure which was worse. Or she didn`t know about it and I would be forced to tell her – something I didn`t want to do.
When the clock hit twelve, I told Haley I wasn`t feeling well and went home, trying to ignore the worried look on her face.
All night I tried my best not to think about Eric but couldn`t think about anything else. When I was ready to go to bed, hours later than I usually went to sleep, I had decided that Eric was a dick and that I shouldn`t waste another thought on him.
Of course, I ended up dreaming about him all night and the next morning I looked even worse than the morning before – something Lafayette was quick to comment on when I entered the bakery. For a moment or two I wished he wasn`t such a great baker – and friend – so that I could fire him on the spot, just to silence him.
The clock moved so slowly that morning, I was sure I was in some kind of twilight world where time stood still but when ten o`clock got closer, I wished time indeed would stop moving.
I hoped and yet I tried not to hope that Eric would come by and was bitterly disappointed when he didn`t enter my bakery at all. The rest of the day went by in a haze, only to be interrupted by Pam`s trying to call me and my not accepting her calls.
It was the weekend and since I hadn`t scheduled myself to work then, I cleaned my apartment. I pulled out my bookshelves and washed behind them. Then I dusted off each and every book I owned. I cleaned the cupboards in the kitchen, checked the expiration date on all my dry goods and threw out the ones that had expired. And all while I was cleaning, I listened to an iPod list I`d made – the one I`d called “Black and Deadly.” It was hard and dark and just what I needed for my cleaning.
iPods were an amazing invention and anyone saying records and CDs were better was a moron.
When Saturday night came, I had a clean apartment – and no less than seven missed calls from Pam. I knew I should call her soon but I needed to get over my disappointment with her boss first.
On Sunday the bakery was closed and I went there to give it as thorough a cleaning as my apartment had had. We did have a company that came by and cleaned the bakery every day but I wanted it cleaner. So I washed every little crook and nook I could find and was happy when I – after many hours of hard work – could look at a spotless bakery.
Because of the clean bakery, I almost looked forward to going to work when I woke up Monday morning. Almost. Because I dreaded the ten o`clock disappointment. I dreaded never seeing Eric in my bakery again – and it must have shown on my face because Lafayette kept his mouth shut for once.
This was why it was a thrill and a shock when he marched through the door of my shop only a few minutes after I`d unlocked it and turned the closed sign to open.
“Who do you think you are?” was the first thing he asked and my smile faltered.
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“You sneak out of my apartment like some cheap … ” He paused when I walked out from behind the counter, grabbed his arm and pulled him out of my shop.
“And who the hell do you think you are, coming to my shop calling me cheap?” I shouted while pulling him down the street to the nearest park. I hadn`t even noticed it was raining until I felt my hair getting wet. I sighed. At least the weather meant fewer spectators for our quarrel.
“You left my apartment in the middle of the night. Who the hell does that?” he started but before I got to answer, he continued. “I could accept that if it hadn`t been for the fact that you won`t answer your phone when Pam calls you. Do you even know how much she blames me? She called me twice on Saturday and yesterday she came over and chewed my head off.”
So it wasn`t that he was disappointed that I`d left him? He just wanted to get Pam off his back. It was like someone had just poured gasoline on my inner anger.
“I am soooo sorry that Pam is giving you a hard time,” I said in a sarcastic voice. “I will call her immediately and tell her what a doll you are.” I turned to leave but stopped. “And you know why I left you in the middle of the night? Try remembering what kind of profession I have. And no, I`m not a whore.”
And with that I left him standing there in the rain. I was so angry that when I went back to the bakery, I started baking more bread. We had enough bread on our shelves but I needed something to hit and what was better than dough? Well, Eric would have been better but one didn`t get arrested for beating a mixture of flour, milk, yeast and salt.
The machines were loud which was why I didn`t hear Eric until he was right behind me. I scowled at Lafayette who`d let him into the bakery where customers were not allowed but he just shrugged and put on his head phones.
I turned off the machines and glared at Eric.
“What?” I asked.
“I assumed you didn`t like me when I woke up and you were gone,” he said as if that explained everything.
“You could have asked,” I said.
“And you could have left a message.”
We looked at each other like we were in a Mexican standoff. Neither of us said anything and I was about to ask him to leave when Lafayette pulled off his headphones.
“Kiss him, Sookie,” he said.
If looks could kill, Lafayette would have been chopped up in little pieces and left out back with the garbage.
“Stay out of this, Lafayette. Or I`ll kick you out. Which is what I`m about to do to him.” I pointed at Eric.
“He`s in love with you,” Lafayette said.
“No, he isn`t,” I said. “And shut up, already.” I turned my head in Lafayette`s direction to show him I meant it.
“Yes, he is.” This time it wasn`t Lafayette talking. It was Eric.
My head whipped back and I stared at Eric.
“What did you say?”
He shrugged. “You heard me.”
“Yes, I heard you calling me cheap a few minutes ago,” I said.
“You heard what I said just now too.”
I looked back at Lafayette who was sporting the biggest grin I`d ever seen. “Lafayette – out of here.” I pointed to the door. When Lafayette had left us I looked back at Eric. “You`re in love with me?”
“As much as you`re in love with me.” He smiled and stepped closer.
“Nothing wrong with your self-confidence, huh?”
“You said you thought I was handsome,” he said.
“It takes a little more than `handsome` to make me fall in love with someone.”
“A good thing that I have way more than `handsome` to offer then.” He took one more step in my direction.
“Like a gazillion records,” I said in a dry tone though my heart was doing flip-flops.
“Maybe you would like to come home with me and see them all?” One more step and he was so close that I could feel his hair glide down from his shoulder and touch my chest.
“You already used that pick-up line on me, remember?” I pushed a strand of his hair behind his ear.
“And it seemed to do the trick?” he answered and bent down and kissed me.
When Pam saw Eric later that morning she might have wondered why he had flour in his hair. And on the back of his pants. But she never said anything when she called me in the afternoon.
I did get a weird order emailed in though. It was for one of those layered cakes with a marzipan picture in the middle. We had a machine that could transfer any picture onto the marzipan. The picture this customer wanted on his cake was attached to the email. At first I had no idea what I was looking at but then I recognized my mammogram.
The text said, “Dear Sookie, I want my hands on these. Eric.”
Did I mention I love lame jokes?
I hope you liked this little piece of silliness. And now I have a hunger for cakes. Hmmm.
I have had several people asking me about my stories Dead without a Work Permit and Dust Bunnies and Christmas Presents. My answer is – no, I haven`t given up on either of them. I`ve written three chapters of Work Permit and intend to start posting as soon as I`ve finished writing it so that you won`t have to wait for months between each chapter. And Dust Bunnies will be up shortly too. But I`m not the fastest writer in the world. I like to chew on things – cakes, for instance. 🙂