First of all – I`m sorry I got a little preoccupied with my new shiny toy, the story “Dead with the Vikings” and haven`t updated this story in a while.
Second – thank you very much for your great reviews and for kicking my butt for not updating fast enough here. I know, I know, I left you all standing at the altar.
Third – thank you so much to Rascalthemutant for betaing this and for (not so) gently reminding me of this story when I took off with the Vikings. You are a sweetheart!
When we came out, the marble stairs were filled with photographers and reporters. I had tried for years to get publicity for my various clients and employers and I felt I had been quite successful too. Looking at the attention a small and discreet wedding was getting, I suddenly knew what publicity really felt like.
I tried to hide in Eric`s arms and I could feel him getting tense too. But then he leaned down and whispered in my ear. “We might as well make a show out of it, don`t you think? They won`t be able to deny you your work permit if our happy marriage is smeared out on all the front pages.”
And then he gave me a deep and toe-curling kiss. I couldn`t help leaning into the kiss and returning it. Eric always was a great kisser.
The photographers went wild and I suddenly understood why celebrities wore sunglasses. My eyeballs hurt and I felt very uncomfortable. Eric looked at me and nodded.
I had seen a documentary about the icebreakers, the ships that make a passage through icy waters, and Eric looked just like one plowing our way through the thick mass of photographing and yelling people. It made me think of Moses when he parted waters. Eric made people move without even touching them.
“Come on, lover,” he whispered to me. He hadn`t called me lover in some time and I looked at him to see what he meant. All I got was his waggling eyebrows.
“Eric,” I scolded. “You can`t call me that.”
“And why is that?” he said without waiting for my answer.
Before I knew it I was in a car going up the Ekeberg hill at the end of the Oslo harbor. The view over the harbor was very odd. The new opera house lay there like a white pearl in the dirt.
Oslo harbor was under serious restructuring. The highway was being moved into a tunnel, but since that hadn`t happened yet, everything was just huge holes in the ground and gigantic machines looking hideous against the water and the beautiful opera house. Oslo harbor was definitely not a pretty sight, but with some imagination, it wasn`t hard to see what a gem it could become. The Munch museum and the Viking ship museum were to be moved there so this would obviously be a huge tourist site in a few years. For now it was just plain ugly.
As the car drove up the serpentine road, and the construction site became smaller, one could also see the little islands in the harbor, the royal castle (and Eric`s house) and the Holmenkollen skijump on the mountain at the other end of Oslo.
I was so caught up in the sights, I hardly noticed the car had turned into the woods. Up there, with a view even more spectacular than from the road, was a white house from the 1930s with the name Ekeberg Restaurant in huge letters.
“May I escort my blushing bride to her wedding dinner?” Eric asked and his words became true because I did turn red at them.
I swatted his arm. “Don`t make fun of me.”
Eric looked surprised. “I would never dream of it.”
He then grabbed me by the hand and walked me up the stairs to a separate room where Pam and Amelia waited with champagne. Apart from the low number of guests, one would not have guessed that Eric`s and my wedding was just for me to get a work permit.
Eric had ordered the best of the best and we sat by the window and saw the sun go down in yellow, orange and purple colors in the afternoon sky. We were eating dessert when it was completely dark and Eric kissed my cheek.
“Look outside, lover.”
I stared out at the city without really knowing what to look for, when suddenly fireworks broke the darkness. I jumped in my chair which made both Eric and Pam chuckle. Amelia and I ooohed and aaahed and I was almost moved to tears. I had had doubts about marrying for practical reasons and Eric had gone very far to make my wedding seem like a normal one. Apart from the bride and groom not being in love with each other, of course.
“Did you like it?” Eric asked me, his face like a boy who had just vacuumed the house and waited for praise from his parents.
“I certainly did, Eric.” I gave his hand a squeeze because I really couldn`t say anything else, emotions having caught my voice.
Eric beamed. And so did Pam, whom I suspected had planned most of this.
The dinner was inevitably over and even if I didn`t want to leave the beautiful restaurant, I knew the waiters would look at us funny if we had pulled out sleeping bags and stayed the night.
The car took us downtown and I tried to swallow the bad taste I suddenly got in my mouth at the thought of me and Eric celebrating our wedding night separately.
Of course, Eric and I would not sleep together. It was not that kind of a marriage. But still. Like any girl, I had dreamed of my wedding night, that very special night where one consummates the marriage.
I was so deep in my thoughts I hadn`t noticed the car turning off the main road, before it stopped. I looked out and saw the tallest building in Oslo. Oslo Plaza Hotel.
I looked at Eric and he just smiled. “I`ve booked the honeymoon suite,” he said as if that was the most normal thing to do. And for all I knew, it was very normal for newlyweds to book the honeymoon suite at the Oslo Plaza Hotel.
“But…” I started to say.
“Don`t worry, Sookie. I just wanted to give you as normal a wedding as I could under the circumstances and a honeymoon suite seemed to be part of the package.”
“This isn`t a normal wedding, Eric.”
“But you would have preferred a normal wedding, Sookie,” Eric half-asked, half-stated.
“Yes, but the premise of the wedding would have been different. We would have married each other out of love.”
Eric stood still, looking at me.
“Did you love me when I had my memory loss?” he asked just as we entered the elevator. I gasped in surprise and stared out the glass to the city in the hope the question would be forgotten.
“Did I love you?” I knew Eric wasn’t going to give up, and I might as well figure out an answer.
“Maybe. Sort of. But I knew all along that whoever was with me, it wasn’t the real you. And I knew sooner or later you’d remember who you were and what you were.”
“That wasn`t exactly a yes or no answer,” he said.
“You don’t exactly seem to know how you feel about me, either,” I said.
“You’re a mystery,” he said. “I can`t guess what you feel or what you think. I usually have a pretty good idea about what women want, but you are an enigma.”
I noticed how he never talked about his feelings. He only wanted to know mine.
“And why would you want to know?” I asked
“You know why I want to know. Now we are tied.”
“We are getting a divorce in a couple of years, right? We won’t always be like this?”
“I like being like this. You’ll like it, too,” he said, and he seemed mighty damn sure.
We came to the top floor and Eric unlocked the door. It was a huge suite with a view over most of Oslo. I could even see the Ekeberg Restaurant where we had dined. I stood and looked out the window for a while, not really knowing what to do.
Eric poured us both a glass of champagne.
“To my lovely wife,” he toasted.
I frowned. “Eric, you can give up the charade now. We are alone.”
“And so we are,” he smiled. His arm snaked around my waist.
“You are cold and warm and I can`t keep track of you.”
“You don`t have to keep track of me. I`m right here.” He kissed my cheek.
“Yeah, and for how long?” I sighed.
“For as long as you want me.”
`Or as long as there isn`t another woman around,` I thought, but I didn`t say it.
We stood there quiet for some time. Then I turned around and looked at him.
“Eric. I really want to thank you for doing this.”
“This as in marrying you so you can stay in the country or this as in actually celebrating it?” he asked.
“Well, both. But right now I meant the celebrating part. It was very sweet of you.”
“Oh, I thought you knew me well enough to know that I`m never sweet.” He pulled me closer.
“You are. You are such a big teddy bear.” I teased.
“Would a teddy bear do this?” he asked and then he kissed me. I was taken by surprise, which is actually funny when you think about it. What bride would be surprised when her groom kissed her on her wedding night in their honeymoon suite?
The kiss started out sweet, but when I kissed back, Eric`s tongue found it`s playmate in my mouth. We kissed for a while and I really wanted us to continue, but knew I had to pull back.
“Eric, we can`t.” I tried to catch my breath again. And my brain.
“Why is that?”
“We don`t love each other.”
“When we made love at the cabin you weren`t in love with me and I didn`t even know who you were. We still enjoyed ourselves as far as I can recall.” He tried to kiss me again so I stepped back.
“Yes, but how is that going to work now? Being married for practical reasons and having sex. It`s just too confusing and I`m afraid we will just end up hurting each other`s feelings.”
“Would it make matters better if we were married for impractical reasons?” Eric`s voice was low, but I still heard him.
“What are you saying?”
“I like you, Sookie. You can`t have missed that?”
I sighed. Deep down I knew he liked me. But was that enough? I looked up at his face and our eyes met. How had I ended up like this? Getting myself married to a man I was really attracted to and then denying myself sex with him.
It could have been the champagne making its moves, but I was pretty sure it wasn`t. Before I could stop myself, I got up on my toes, weaved my fingers into the hair of his neck, pulled him down and kissed him. Deeply.
He moaned and soon his hands were all over me. I untied his bowtie and started opening his shirt. I felt his hands on my zipper and then cool air on my back.
My dress fell to the floor and so did Eric`s shirt. I worked on his pants button, but it was one of those pants with an extra hidden button and I just couldn`t get them opened. Men complain about women`s bras, but dress pants are definitely not easier.
Eric took my hands and wrapped them around his neck, grabbed my butt and pulled my legs around his waist. He then carried me towards the bedroom.
“Brides are carried over the threshold, right?” Eric mumbled while nibbling at my neck.
I giggled the silliest giggle, but the situation called for it.
We landed on the bed and I had a small strain of thought going through my mind that this would be wrong, but it disappeared as soon as it had arrived. No sane woman could say no to what Eric and I were going to do. Probably not any insane women either.
I was only wearing bra, panties and stay-ups when I landed on my bed, but soon I only had one stay-up left and it wasn`t staying up for very long. Eric kissed me and licked me and I had a hard time laying still. Staying quiet was definitely something I couldn`t do. I moaned and sighed and even called his name out a couple of times.
“I have waited for this for so long, Sookie,” Eric whispered just before his mouth started working miracles between my legs. I held on to the headboard just to make sure I wasn`t going to fly off the bed. My legs went so far apart, I could almost have applied for a job at the ballet company because of my perfect split. I wanted to give him full access and he had it.
He licked, sucked and kissed me in perfect rhythms while his thumb was making circles around my increasingly wet hole. It was heaven on earth and after a few minutes I got to see a piece of Paradise too. I made a deep guttural sound, not being able to control my own voice. My body trembled and I gasped for air.
“Oh Eric,” I growled, pulling his head up to mine. I wanted desperately to kiss him. He complied and soon his hands were on my breasts and mine were on his crotch.
“You seem to be slightly overdressed for the occasion,” I tugged at his pants.
Eric pulled back and slowly removed the pieces of clothing he was still wearing, all of it to my whistling and hollering. He took a small foil pack out of his pants pockets before he threw them on the floor.
Before I knew it he was back between my legs, wearing the condom. I kissed him deeply when he entered me even more deeply below.
We moaned in each other`s mouths while he was going in a slow rhythm. I met him every time he pushed and soon we were sweating and grunting and grinding our pelvises against each other.
“This is how it should be, Sookie,” Eric breathed. “This is how we should be.”
His words went into my ears, roamed around in my brain until they found my pleasure center. Then they pushed me over the edge with a scream.
Eric followed me over the cliff and afterwards we were lying in bed, our limbs intertwined. Both of us were so thoroughly spent, we could hardly speak.
“Happy wedding, lover,” Eric said and then he kissed my cheek,
“Happy wedding, Eric,” I said back and then I smiled. It had certainly been a happy wedding so far.
We are not completely out of the angst department, but I figured we all needed some sweetness, right?
I hope you liked this chapter and that it was worth the wait.