Oh, I`ve kept you waiting way too long. This chapter wasn`t easy to write and I apologize in advance for the end. This is not something I enjoy writing about, but it needs to be there. You know I`m taking things from the books and the books aren`t all flowers and candy (flowers and candy will come later ;-D).
Thank you again for the great response to this story – and also to my one-shot “Winter Vampire”. I can`t tell you how happy you make me with your reviews, PMs, alerts and favorites.
Also thank you to Rascalthemutant at the Alexander Skarsgård Library forum for reading this and making great suggestions. Hope you end up with nice tiles!
Eric had a smug smile on his face after he had checked in Bill, himself and me in the airport in Copenhagen. When we waited at the gate to board the plane, I realized what had made him smile. A stolen glance at the boarding passes and I knew that Eric had situated himself and me next to each other in first class and Bill way back in the plane.
I memorized Bill`s seat number and when we were on the plane, I quickly took his seat and told him to sit in mine. I cringed when he winked at me because it was definitely not my intention to make him think I was trying to get away from Eric. Or at least I wasn`t only trying to get away from Eric. I just wanted to be alone.
After we had landed and retrieved our suitcases, Eric told Bill to take the train into town.
“Why can`t I ride with you and Sookie?” Bill pouted.
“Because my THiNK-car only has two seats. And they are reserved for Sookie and me.”
Bill looked at me. “What if Sookie prefers to take the train?”
I was actually going to suggest that, but now I wouldn`t give up my seat in Eric`s car for Santa Claus and the Pope.
“Actually, Bill, I`m riding with Eric.” That answer made Eric wink at me. It seemed that no matter what I did, one of the two would be gloating. Maybe I should just paint myself gold since I was such a prize?
Eric and I got into the car and he started driving at the slow pace the electric car allowed him.
“Had it occurred to you,” he said, after we’d rolled out of the airport parking lot, “that you just walked away now that things between you and Bill have become rocky? You didn`t stop to talk to him or sort things out. Not that I mind, necessarily, since I would be glad for you two to sever your association. But if this is the pattern you follow in your romantic attachments, I want to know now.”
I thought of several things to say, discarded the first few, which would have blistered my grandmother’s ears, and drew a deep breath.
“Firstly, Eric, what happens between Bill and me is just none of your damn business.” I let that sink in for a few seconds. “Second, my relationship with Bill is the only one I’ve ever had, so I’ve never had any idea what I’m going to do even from day to day, much less establishing a policy.” I paused to work on phrasing my next idea. “Third, I’m through with men. I’m tired of this.”
Eric waited to see if I’d finished. I cast a quick glance over at him, and the sun illuminated his strong profile with its knife-edge nose. At least he wasn’t laughing at me. He wasn’t even smiling.
He glanced at me briefly before turning his attention back to the road. “I’m listening to what you say. I can tell you mean it.”
A mile of silence went by. I was pleased Eric was taking me seriously.
“You are spoiled for other men,” Eric said all of the sudden. His slight Norwegian accent was more apparent.
I looked out my window. He may very well be right. The little taste of him I got in Copenhagen didn`t exactly make me want to run to someone else. But I couldn`t just throw myself at Eric either. He was too complicated and I couldn`t handle getting involved with him just now.
“Maybe I am. But maybe I`ll be happier on my own.”
Eric didn`t like that. He opened his mouth to say something and closed it again. Another mile went by and the little car was filled with tension.
“Bill is going to stay in my house. I can`t trust him to be on his own.” That statement earned him a loud sigh from me. So I was going to stay in a house with Bill, my ex-boyfriend (only he didn`t know it yet) and Eric my hmmm, the guy who gave me an orgasm yesterday? And I didn`t want complicated.
“Maybe I should ask Pam if I could stay with her?” I offered.
“You will do no such thing. I want you to stay in my house as well.”
“So you don`t trust me either?” I had to tease him a little. It was getting a little too tense in the car. Eric smiled.
“Bill isn`t going to be staying with us for long, anyway. My deal with him was that he is going to fix what he messed up and then I`ll help him get a job somewhere in America. He might think I meant USA when I said America, but I was thinking Chile or maybe Peru. That`s America – and it`s almost as far away as I would like him to be. I would have preferred the Easter Islands, but there are no computer game businesses there.” Eric looked at me. “I checked.”
“So Bill is going to stay in my house for a month. Tops.” Eric smiled.
When we were at the end of September, Bill was still in Eric`s apartment and so was I. Days were getting shorter, nights were getting colder and I was, strangely enough, starting to feel at home in Norway. Even when I came out one morning and saw people defrosting their cars – in September – I just smiled.
I had enrolled in a Norwegian-class. A whole new world opened up to me when I could read the local papers. I started out reading the tabloids since they kept their vocabulary simple and their sentences short, but lately I had also been able to understand most of what was written in the more serious Aftenposten.
I didn`t understand anything when Norwegians talked to each other, mainly because of all the different dialects people were talking in, but I picked up most of what they said when they spoke slowly to me.
I could say some simple sentences in Norwegian, even if it did make people around me laugh from time to time. Like when I forgot to use the Norwegian word for “pull” and used the English one instead, only realizing that it means “fuck” when my colleagues laughed themselves silly. And “pick” of course had to mean “cock” which I learned when I said “take your pick” to someone not very fluent in English and witnessed him turning red.
But then I got a nice laugh myself when one of my colleagues was trying to justify (in English) the way he drove his car, by saying “It isn`t the fart that kills you, it`s the smell.” I, of course, had learned that “fart” meant “speed” in Norwegian and “smell” meant “crash”. But it was still hilarious.
I liked my job. I had the freedom to make great PR, I had the resources to back me up and I had perfect colleagues. It seemed everyone was pulling (in English, not Norwegian) in the same direction and no one was trying to further their career at the expense of the company.
No one apart from Bill, that is. Bill was a constant nuisance at work and it didn`t help that I lived with him too. At work he was constantly complaining about everyone and pointing to his own brilliance. Privately he was always complaining about Eric and telling me how much he loved me.
I went out on a few dates with Bill. He had been my boyfriend the last two years, after all. But I preferred for us to go to the movies because at least he couldn`t talk there.
I was getting pretty tired of Bill always calling Eric a womanizer, even if I couldn`t help wondering if it was true. Bill asked me to be careful around Eric and tried to convince me that the only thing Eric could ever want from a girl was to get in her pants. I never told him that Eric, or at least his hand, had already been in my pants.
I did go out with Eric too, but I always kept a safe distance. Even if Eric had been a monk all his life and other women weren`t an issue, I didn`t want to pursue anything with Bill around.
Eric did take me out on some amazing dates, like when he took me to a concert with the Norwegian band Superfamily.
“This is the best live band in Norway,” Eric said with a voice thick with enthusiasm just when the band started playing. Superfamily sang in English, to my surprise. Eric explained that most Norwegian bands did, but this was the only one who had a good reason. The singer was American.
Eric had us in front on a small platform, him behind me. When the concert started, his hands were around my waist and I couldn`t help leaning back into his warm body. We half-danced, half-swayed to all the songs and every title seemed to be a message from Eric to me.
When they sang “I Could be a Real Winner”, he hummed it into my ear, he kept doing that to “Let`s Go Dancing” and when “It`s a Lie” was song, it felt like a comment on everything Bill had been telling me. Superfamily`s last number was “The Radio has Expressed Concerns about Where You Were Last Night” which had Eric whispering in my ear.
“I`m concerned about where you are every night – and last night too.” He kissed my ear.
I had actually been on a date with Alcide the night before, which would make him the third guy I was dating simultaneously. It was pretty innocent, though.
Alcide spent all our dates on pining for Debbie, who apparently had broken up with Alcide and gotten engaged to some guy who looked like an owl (according to Alcide).
Bill spent all his time on pining for me, but I couldn`t forget Lorena – not to mention the fact that he was apparently just going to write me off without even notifying me. Had Lorena treated Bill better, I`m sure I would never had heard a second thing from him.
Eric was sweet, intelligent, hot as hell and fun to be with. Eric was the perfect date, if one could forget all the other women he was dating. Not that I could complain of course, since I was dating several guys myself. And I never saw the other girls, just noticed that he was gone a couple of nights a week. Given his track record, I assumed he was making a lot of girls happy.
To sum it up, my professional life had never been better and my personal life never more confusing. The worst part was that I didn`t know how to simplify things. I could of course stop dating any or all of the three men, but Alcide was fun and needed someone to talk to, I felt I owed Bill a few dates after having been his girlfriend for so long.
And Eric… I just couldn`t say no to Eric. It was as easy as that. And as difficult.
Pam was the one to stop all this dancing around. One day at the end of September, she came to Eric`s house, announcing that she was giving a dinner party. Eric would do the cooking and she had invited two people, in addition to the four of us. She wouldn`t say who, but when the doorbell rang, Alcide and Debbie were outside. Bill, Eric and I all groaned. Bill and Eric apparently because of Alcide, I because of Debbie.
Even if Debbie was the love of Alcide`s life, I didn`t like her. Although now she was seeing someone new, she was still jealous towards anyone getting close to Alcide and I was her number one enemy. I had been getting my share of catty comments and wasn`t too pleased with having to spend an evening with her.
But when I saw Alcide`s eyes when he looked at her, I decided to keep my mouth shut and smile. Alcide was a good friend and I would do my best to accept the girl he was so clearly in love with.
Apparently seeing Debbie also brought some peace to Bill and Eric. I could almost hear them crossing out one competitor from the list. Somehow that left them staring at each other.
“Come on in and have a glass of wine.” Pam was being the perfect hostess and Eric went back to the kitchen.
I was soon in his footsteps, both to get away from Debbie and Bill for a minute, but also because the kitchen smelled wonderful.
“What are you making?” I inhaled.
“Actually I`m making something from your parts of the world. Chicken Pot Pie, it`s called.” He pointed at the oven where I could see the huge pie getting a nice brown color.
“Aaaw, Eric. Now you have me thinking of my late grandmother.”
“Oh, I`m sorry.” Eric looked worried and had his arm around my waist and gave the top of my head a kiss.
“Don`t worry, Eric.” I had to close my eyes for a second because they were all teary. “I love remembering my grandmother. She meant a lot to me. And she did make a great Chicken Pot Pie. But as far as I can smell, yours is right up there with Gran`s. I`m impressed!”
I asked Eric if I could help him out. Since he had all bases covered, I just stayed and talked to him. There is nothing more relaxing than watching a man cook. Apparently I was getting to watch Eric bake as well because he was getting out flour, butter and chocolate and mixing it in a plastic bowl.
“For dessert I`m making something that reminds me of you. It`s very sweet, hard on the outside and soft on the inside. And if you have one taste, you instantly crave more.” Eric wiggled his eyebrows. “I wanted to honor the river just on the border of your home state. This is Mississippi Mud Pie,” he pointed at the bowl where dough was starting to form.
I had to laugh. “For the record, Eric, Bon Temps is nowhere near the Mississippi.”
The Chicken Pot Pie was amazing. If it wasn`t for the little part of me who thought Gran was watching over me all the time, I would have told Eric that it was even better than Gran`s.
The conversation around the table wasn`t as uncomfortable as one could have feared it would be. We could thank Pam for it, since she made us all laugh, drink and have fun. Bill was drinking a bit more than I was used to see him drinking, but he was at the other end of the room so Debbie was the one who had to endure his drunk monologues.
When we were having coffee and cognac, I started feeling a little dizzy and I knew I had had a little too much to drink myself. I wasn`t used to drinking and before I started acting like a fool, I excused myself and went to bed.
I was getting extremely tired all of the sudden and almost fell asleep in the bathroom. I brushed my teeth very quickly and crashed onto my pillow. I didn`t even manage to crawl under the duvet before I was out like a light.
I woke up – well, I didn`t wake up as much as gaining some kind of semi-consciousness – by someone kissing me and touching my breasts.
I was on my back and had this strange feeling of numbness and I couldn`t make my arms or legs move, let alone push the person kissing me away.
“Oh, Sookie. I`ve been waiting for so long for this.” It was Bill`s voice.
I started to panic. Why was Bill kissing me? Why was he groping me?
One of his hands was trailing down from my breast, over my stomach and settling between my legs. That made me go into a state of full panic. Not that it would do me any good. My limbs were immobile.
“Bill,” I tried to scream, but it came out as more of a moan and only made Bill act faster, more frantic.
“Sookie, Sookie, Sookie,” he chanted, groping me, pinching me, touching me, kissing me. “I love you, Sookie. I always have.”
I tried to kick when he pulled down my panties and I tried to hit him when he pulled up my night gown. “Tried” being the operative word here because I couldn`t make more than little movements.
I couldn`t imagine anything that would keep me from being fully awake in a situation like this, but it felt like I was asleep. I knew this wasn`t a nightmare, but it still felt like one.
I knew Bill was going to rape me, but I couldn`t prevent it. And Bill would probably not even consider it rape since my resistance was so vague or even non-existent. Of course, no one should ever enter a bedroom with a sleeping girl and expect her to have sex with you, but there was something about Bill that made me think he actually thought I wanted to have sex with him.
He started making all the moves he used to make when we were lovers. He was even making an honest attempt at giving me an orgasm. When he realized it wasn`t going to happen, he just pulled his pants down and entered me.
“AAAAHHH, Sookie,” he moaned
Finally I had control over my voice. I screamed the most high-pitched scream I had ever screamed.
The next thing I knew, the door flew open and Bill was pulled from me and smashed into the wall. I dozed off to Eric`s voice, calling out.
“Are you okay, Sookie?”
I couldn`t help giggling. The question was just too silly.
When I woke up again, I was in a hospital.
For the record: You can of course not come into a room and just start having sex with someone, just as you can`t just start doing it in the trunk of a car. That`s rape, Bill, even if you are a drunk guy or a starving vampire.
If anyone is reacting to Sookie giggling – there will be an explanation for that.
On the lighter side of this chapter: “It isn`t the fart that kills you, it`s the smell,” was actually said by Petter Solberg, a Norwegian race car driver. It`s from a hilarious Norwegian book called “Broken English spoken perfectly.”
I hope you liked this chapter – in spite of the way it ended.
Trøstekos til alle! (comfort hugs to everyone!)