Chapter 42

A/N:

I want to thank all of you who kept asking me for new chapters to this story – and especially Sydkiwi, who asked me at just the right time . It was great to know the story was missed. I just hope I can live up to your expectations.

Rascalthemutant just moved, but in the middle of this, she took the time to read this chapter and correct my mistakes. Thank you very much, Rascal – and good luck!

I also want to thank Peppermintyrose for reminding me of especially Eric`s character in this very emotional part of the SVM. I was at loss but she knows the characters as her back pocket.

Charlaine Harris owns everything and I`m full of admiration of the universe she`s created.

***

Eric and I enjoyed the sun, the beach and the lovely island. I`ve never been one to go idle and I did feel a bit lazy just lying in a beach chair reading a romance. I enjoyed the tan I was getting after having spent months without hardly seeing the sun in Oslo.

I had probably bought every romance novel to be found on the island of Saint Croix but they kept my mind from thinking too much about what had happened to me in London. And since my body needed the rest, reading about handsome hunks and spunky damsels in distress was my way of escaping my inner turmoil.

My body was slowly healing and I felt my old strength returning. My body would never be entirely the same, I had a few scars to show for my abduction, but it would be functional and I had never been particularly vain.

My mind was another matter. I had never been one for gloomy thoughts but I did catch myself drifting off into Sadland from time to time.

I spent every night curled up against Eric`s body. We didn`t have sex but I found calm with his strong arms around me. Every other night I woke up panting, filled with terror, completely at sea. I held on to Eric as if the storm would sweep me away unless he was my anchor. I always cried when I woke up and one night he wept with me, huge tears that ran down his face in a startling way.

“Don`t,” I begged him. I had been trying to act like my old self when I was with him. Of course, he knew differently.

“I love you,” he whispered and I fell back onto my pillow and slept peacefully the rest of the night.

We became this old married couple, holding hands and enjoying each other`s company but without any lust or sex. Eric kept his distance physically and I had more on my mind that I could deal with.

I picked up Eric`s towels after him in the bathroom and crept into his arms every night and Eric asked me about all the novels I was reading. One night he wanted to know if the heroes in my romance novels were as sexy as he was.

“I could dye my hair dark,” Eric deadpanned when I told him about the tall, black-haired and very sexy hero in the novel I was reading. “Then I would look exactly like him.”

Imagining Eric with long black hair made me laugh.

Eric came over and sat next to me. “I like seeing you laugh. I knew you would be back to the way you were.”

That, of course, made me stop laughing. “I don`t know if I`m back to the way I was, Eric.”

“No. But we will make it work,” he answered as if he was convincing himself as much as me. “And time will help too.”

I nodded, but looked at him. I could tell he wanted to say something but then he just sighed.

I let my hand rest on his thigh and tried to search out his eyes. He was staring at my hand as if it was one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Then he turned his head, very abruptly, and leaned into my neck.

“Sookie,” he whispered. “I find it very hard to hold back.”

I pulled away and looked at him. “Then don`t.”

In that instant I felt like the little Dutch boy when he removed his finger from the hole in the dam. A flood almost drowned me, a flood by the name of Eric. He kissed me and squeezed me and had his hands all over me.

Well, not entirely over me. He was carefully avoiding touching me between my legs.

“It`s fine, Eric. We can have sex.”

“But… infections?”

“Wear a condom.”

“A condom?” he asked. “Shit. I don`t have any condoms.”

“Lucky you, then, that I bought us some.”

“You`re sure?” he asked without really asking so I never bothered to answer. Or maybe me pulling off his shirt was answer enough. And when I opened his pants he groaned something that could be interpreted as “Oh, Sookie.”

Soon he was inside me and it felt as if it had been ages. I knew I had missed the sex but how much I had missed it, wasn`t clear to me until he moved himself in and out of me in rapid strokes.

There was no pain and I welcomed the fact. Secretly, I had been nervous about inner damages that would cause me problems when I had intercourse again. Of course, there were inner damages, but they weren`t physical. They didn`t cause me any pain now but they prevented me from reaching what I always reached with Eric, an orgasm.

Xxxx

Our time on the island came to a stop. It had been four weeks of getting a nice tan, reading dozens of novels with men with muscular and naked chests on the covers – and a lot of lovemaking after our first time on the couch. My orgasm wasn`t back yet, but I wasn`t worried. It wasn`t as if making love to Eric was a bad thing just because I didn`t reach the final peak. Being close to a naked Eric was always good.

Eric wondered if I didn`t want to go to the place I grew up. That was how he phrased it. The place I grew up.

“No, I want to go home,” I answered without thinking. The smile on his face told me he`d noticed the fact that I considered his home my home now. “I want to go back to work and … be normal.”

“Me too. And we can always visit Louisiana later.”

I nodded and went to start packing.

Xxxx

We were seated on the plane, me leaning into Eric`s shoulder, hoping to get some sleep on our way home, when Eric coughed.

I pulled back and looked at him. I`d known for some time that he had something on his mind. He`d looked at me when he thought I didn`t notice and he`d started conversations that he`d stopped very abruptly. First I had thought it was the lack of sex that had made him hold back, but even right after our lovemaking, he had been tense and had opened his mouth to say something, only to close it immediately again.

Eric coughed again. Then his eyes burned into mine.

“Sookie,” he said.

I tried to smile to encourage him, but failed. You never want to hear whatever your husband needs four weeks of courage to tell you.

“Sookie,” he said again. “You know I never wanted to leave you alone in London?”

“I wasn`t alone. Claudine was…”

“You know what I mean.”

“Yes?” I asked to get him to continue.

“Victor forced me to stay behind. I would never have stayed in Oslo if I didn`t have to. Our trip was important to me. And when…”

The thought of everything `and when` implied made me tear up. I blinked and felt my cheek get wet. Then I looked at Eric and saw his eyes pool up too.

“You couldn`t have known,” I said.

“No, but if I had been there…”

“Eric. You can`t think like that.”

Eric took my hand. “When I heard… I hated Victor. I truly did.”

“I did too.”

“I wish I could have changed what happened,” Eric said, his voice thick with emotions.

“I do too.”

We ended up falling asleep like that, holding hands and with our faces turned towards each other. I wasn`t sure which part of our little talk that had helped me, but I fell asleep with a smile on my lips.

Xxxx

It was strange to be home. We hadn`t been away for that long but it felt like an eternity.

Butit was also good to be home. Back to the place I had come to like very much and back at work too. As much as I liked suntanning and reading about how the shy nanny and the sexy widower finally found each other in spite of all the misunderstandings, I preferred to be useful.

And I was useful when I got home. I went back to work and found how nice it was to use my brain to evaluate Viking Games` market position instead of mulling over the injustices life sometimes dealt you.

I enjoyed coming home from work, entirely worn out and ready for bed, only to have two strong hands on my shoulders, massaging me and giving me the energy to not fall asleep the moment my head hit my pillow.

Eric and I enjoyed each other`s company and he seemed much more relaxed at home than he had been on Saint Croix. I did catch him looking at me with a worried look on his face, from time to time, but mostly we went back to our old routines that included a lot of hugging, kissing and bedroom activities. In all the rooms of our home.

We never discussed what happened in London. I didn`t see the point to it. What was done was done and one couldn`t undo the terrible things that had happened to me. To us.

We could have talked about the fact that I had been pregnant and whether we wanted me to be pregnant again but since I wasn`t sure if I wanted another pregnancy myself, I never brought it up. I expected Eric to feel the same way about it. If he wanted a child and heir, he would have said so. Or at least I hoped he would.

Eric and I were still in a fairly new relationship and we were in no rush to decide if we wanted little Erics and little Sookies in our lives.

I never heard from Niall after I got home. He could have taken a turn for the worse as he was very ill and could just have decided he didn`t want me in his life any more. Or maybe he was embarrassed that I was attacked because of my relation to him. Recalling the way he treated poor Claudine, I didn`t expect the latter. Niall didn`t strike me as a man who made excuses for himself.

Deep down I had to admit that it made me sad. I had very little family and would normally have jumped at the opportunity to have more. I didn`t particularly welcome a connection to a prominent member of a mafia, but there was still a little girl inside me who wanted a granddad.

We`d been home for two weeks when I finally felt the annoying jetlag let go of me.

I also felt lighter somehow. I`d been working, I`d been crying and I`d been doing my best to find myself again. Not my old self because I knew she was lost for good, but another version of me. A version that didn`t cry.

When Eric waggled his eyebrows one night, I remembered that it had been over a week since I had cried. And I had laughed several times the last couple of days. Eric had even commented on it.

“Are you tired?” Eric asked, only `tired` was said in a tone of voice that indicated quotation marks. “Do you want to go to sleep.” `Sleep` was said in that same eyebrow waggling tone.

I didn`t smile or laugh. I grinned. I lusted for Eric for the first time since before London. I had wanted sex with him all along but tonight was the first time I truly lusted for him. I felt it deep in my stomach.

“No,” I grinned. “I`m not tired. I want to see your naked butt and I want to see it now.”

If Eric`s eyebrows had been waggling, mine were flying up and down my forehead. I never got why anyone would use botox and deprive oneself of all the facial expressions one could have with the eyebrows.

Before I could blink, Eric had loosened his pants and they were pooling around his ankles. His boxers too. But I wasn`t looking at his butt. It was a very erect part of him that caught my attention.

“Are you sure you only want to see my butt, Sookie?” Eric asked.

“Actually I`m more up for touching,” I smiled. “And not just your butt.”

Eric moved over to where I sat on the couch and I grabbed his penis and pulled him gently to get him down to a sitting position.

“Oh Sookie,” Eric groaned.

The next moments were a hurricane of clothes being clumsily pulled off bodies and Eric and I kissing and groping each other as if we had a time limit.

When we were naked, Eric turned to sit on the couch and grabbed my hips to pull me on top of him. I began to ride him, enjoying his grunts and moans. And then I began to enjoy something else too. A feeling that had been lost for so long, the little tingling beginning between my legs and rapidly moving out in my arms and legs. When my cheeks began to feel numb too I knew I was standing by the edge of the cliff, waiting to jump, not entirely sure I could.

Eric`s hands settled the matter when he grabbed my hips even harder and pulled me down onto him as quickly as I moved up. A deep moan escaped my throat and a sense of relief washed over my body. Sexual relief but also a relief that my orgasm was back.

An orgasm that only got stronger when Eric`s groin met mine and he yelled out a few profanities and then went slack, with me coming down on top of him.

We were silent for some time, both panting and just enjoying ourselves. My orgasm had come back to me with interest and I knew I had a silly smile plastered on my face.

“You… Are you all right?” Eric asked. He was smiling too.

“I am very, very all right,” I whispered. Grammar be damned. “I`m so all right I might slide off the couch and lie in a puddle on the floor.”

He smile became more secure. “So that was good for you? Better than it`s been?”

“You knew that…?”

He cocked an eyebrow. “Well, of course you knew. I just… had some issues that had to work themselves out.”

“I knew it couldn`t be my lovemaking,” Eric said, and though the words were cocky, his expression was definitely on the relieved side.

I was back to my smiling.

We half sat, half lay on the couch for a while, enjoying this special moment, when the phone rang.

I groaned as I was not entirely sure I could stand on my feet so Eric slipped out from under me and walked over to where the phone was ringing, giving me a view of that fantastic butt of his.

“Yes?” Eric answered. I`d never gotten through to him that it was polite to actually say your name when you answered the phone.

I had begun gathering my clothes when a sound made me look back at Eric. The sound could best be described as a hiss. Then he nodded at something that was said to him, looking very serious.

“When will you be here?” he asked. He nodded again and hung up without saying goodbye.

Eric stood by the phone for a while, stiff as a statue, then he turned towards me.

“Who was it?” I asked, my voice shaking just a little bit.

“It was my godfather. He`s coming to stay with us.”

“Your godfather?” I asked. “Appius?”

Eric nodded.

“But wasn`t he the one who…?” I never finished my sentence. How do you ask your husband why he would open his home to the man who repeatedly raped him when he was in his young teens?

A/N:

I hope you liked this chapter. I also hope the next one won`t be that far out in the future.

This story won`t go on forever. After having read chapter 1 of Dead Reckoning and the spoilers that are out there, I`ve decided not to add the contents of that book into my story. There`s too much Sam in it and since Sam is not in this story at all, I just can`t make it work.

I`ve taken the SVM-characters home with me. Would you like to do the same? Write a story for the Home Sweet Home contest that Suki59 and I are hosting next month www . fanfiction u/2623209/HomeSweetHome


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