Hi! So, here you have it - another FMN outtake. This time I'm taking you for a ride to see Sookie's first visit in Eric's house.
Big thanks to Gonsalsy for betaing this for me.
Disclaimer: Arrgggh, really? They'll just keep owning it forever, won't they?
"When is your next day off?" Eric's voice reached me from the other end of the couch and through the thick fog of contentment.
"Mmmm, I don't know," I mumbled feeling too lazy to concentrate.
"What do you mean: you don't know?" he said freezing.
My eyes immediately snapped open.
"Don't stop!" I whined, my voice taking on a spoiled quality, and his fingers renewed their motion, but only after he shot me a knowing smirk.
Contrary to what it might seem, we weren't doing anything particularly exciting at the moment. I was resting after a busy day, stretched on the couch and not minding Eric one bit - over the past few weeks he had been around often enough for me to get used to him. It was to the point where I was able to relax in his presence without feeling like I was neglecting my duties as a hostess by not giving him my full attention.
A few minutes earlier he had picked up one of my feet and placed it on his lap, seemingly on a whim. His hands were skilfully working at releasing the tension my tired muscles had accumulated during the long shift in the bar.
I sighed when he got back to work and put my other foot on his lap in a hardly subtle hint. He snorted softly in amusement, but granted my silent request without comment. Truth be told, his ministrations had a tiny fun side-effect in addition to relaxation and I guessed by a gleam in Eric's eye that he knew that damn well. I wouldn't be surprised if it turned out he had studied human reflexology at some point in his extraordinarily long existence and that all his tricks were thanks to that knowledge.
"I don't remember," I admitted in answer to his question. I let my eyes drift closed again. "Sometime next week, I think."
I felt blissful. I wondered if I could talk Eric into massaging my shoulders as well. I decided there was a good chance I could. Eric liked all physical contact – well, at least when it came to me.
"Next week?" this time he sounded gloomier. "Why so long?"
I tried to shrug, but I was flat on my back, so it turned out awkward.
"I usually take all the shifts I can. It's hard to predict when I'm going to need some extra money or when I won't be able to work and I like to be prepared."
"You're practical," I'll be damned, but he made it sound like a compliment. "Which doesn't change the fact that you could use some rest."
"I'm resting now," I scoffed, instinctively sensing that we were heading toward a topic that was doomed to cause an argument. "It's easier to relax when I don't have to worry about my bills."
I preferred to save my days off for a rainy day.
"You don't have to worry about your bills," he responded without missing a beat.
"Eric," I cut him off sharply and opened my eyes again to shoot him a warning look.
I had to admit that I was pleasantly surprised about how smoothly things had been going with Eric so far, but I'd learned very quickly that money and my job were two topics it was better to steer clear from in conversation. The fact that we were both equally stubborn didn't make it easier.
"When was the last time you had a vacation?"
"It's beside the point," I said quickly dodging the answer.
"You deserve some rest."
I shifted to a half-laying position and looked at him with narrowed eyes. It was nice of him to care, but that didn't change the fact that life was brutal and I had absolutely no intention of letting him pay my bills. Gifts were one thing, but this was simply too much.
At least this time he didn't try to suggest that I look for some other job. He was learning.
It would have been much easier to be angry at him if what he was doing with my feet felt at least slightly less wonderful. I glanced at his hands.
"Backrub," I demanded deciding that I could at least gain something on his attempts to change my mind.
"Bed," he shot back giving his own condition.
I dragged myself off the couch without a word. I steered toward the bedroom without looking at him, since I was still a little irritated. I knew he would follow me.
I was right. I felt his presence right behind me the moment I kneeled on the bed.
"You should take a few days off," he told me pulling off my shirt.
I knew he wouldn't let go that easy. That would be too simple.
"What's your point?" I asked shooting him a wary glance over my shoulder.
Eric's lips quirked when he heard my suspicious tone. He wasn't at all offended.
He gave me a small push and I lay down on my stomach obediently. I sighed with contentment as soon as I felt his hands starting to work on my sore shoulders.
I wasn't even the slightest bit surprised when he immediately unhooked my bra.
"I want you to visit me," he said timing his statement with the moment his magic fingers began to banish most of my sour mood.
"Visit you? In your house?" I asked.
I wanted to crane my neck so I could see him, but I felt too good to move.
He leaned down and kissed the spot between my shoulder blades. I opened my mouth to say something, but then quickly closed it.
I needed to think before I spoke. This was serious. Eric was inviting me to his house and he clearly wanted me to stay a few days – yes, days. Vampires are not exactly known for being keen on revealing their resting places' locations, not to mention letting anyone stay there while they were dead for the day. This was something I should not take lightly. Besides, there was no point in denying that I was curious about Eric's place. He'd been coming over quite often lately, so it seemed only fair of him to ask this of me.
"Eric," I said softly. "I would very much like to visit you. I just don't know when I can do that. I can't just expect Sam to give me as much time off as I want whenever I feel like taking it."
"Think about this."
I felt his jeans brushing against my hip and I belatedly noticed that he was kneeling over me with his knees planted on both sides of my waist.
While my back might not have been as sensitive as my feet, my imagination proved to be just as treacherous, easily supplying me with ideas as to what else we could be doing at the moment. Eric didn't lose any time exploiting my weakness, and dragged his teeth over my shoulder.
"You're not playing fair," I groaned.
I felt him smiling against my skin.
His mouth hovered over my ear, as if he meant to whisper a filthy word – and, who knows, maybe, in his opinion, that's exactly what he did:
"Please," he said completely disarming me.
His lips slowly wandered toward my neck. He sunk lower letting me feel some of his weight. All of a sudden I was fed up with the fact that only my back was benefiting from Eric's skills. I rolled over leaving my bra on the bed and pulled his head toward me impatiently. My fingers threaded through his hair when I leaned forward to kiss him. His hands landed on my newly exposed breasts without a second pause. I had no intention of stopping him.
When he pulled back, I was at last able to take a good look at him.
His gaze raked over my body. He moved his hand dragging his fingertips lightly against my skin. His forefinger brushed over my throat, clavicles, and the top of my breasts.
"Glorious," he said.
There was that particular tone in his voice – the one I had learned to recognise usually foreshadowed my underwear's doom.
"Captivating," he continued stroking my hair sprawled on the pillow.
Finally he cupped my cheek with his hand. He traced my lower lip with his thumb.
I felt myself melting under his gaze.
I couldn't help myself. I wanted to hear him say this. So I asked softly:
"You are," he said and closed the gap between our mouths.
I let myself sink into that kiss and I had no desire to resurface. I held onto Eric's arms. Soon, we were both working eagerly on getting rid of our clothes.
I still wasn't quite sure how well we would work together in other areas, but there was no question whether or not we were compatible in bedroom. Which didn't mean that I had anything against testing that particular theory over and over again. I was happy to be once again proved right.
"I'll visit you," I said much later, curled against his side with my head resting on his chest. "I'm not sure when yet, but I will."
"I knew you'd come around," Eric said shamelessly. "It was just a matter of finding the right way to make my point."
His persuasion methods were completely immoral, but admittedly very effective.
I blinked repeatedly like a startled owl. Such was the effect of crawling out of Eric's pitch-dark bedroom in the middle of the day. I let the heavy door slide shut behind me while I stood there dazzled and waited for my eyes to adjust to the light again. Bright noon sunlight was filtering through the high windows in the living-room. I looked around the room curiously to see just how different it looked during the day. It was a spacious, light room. I'd been surprised to discover that Eric liked to cover his walls in bright, clear colours. The windows opened on the backyard with a reasonably big lawn lined with a bushy hedgerow – it was a green, quiet place hidden from the street with a lot of space to breathe. I had this odd thought that it would make a perfect spot for sunbathing in a warmer season and it was probably the first time I'd caught myself musing about something Eric-related in regards to the not-so-immediate future. I shook it off quickly not wanting to delve deeper into what it could possibly mean.
The whole house was rather luxurious and full of the best modern solutions money could buy (no being stuck in the past for Eric…), but I liked the fact that it seemed to be designed for maximum comfort rather than impressive appearance.
I turned toward the bathroom. I had no idea what it was about vampires and their bathrooms, but I could see a pattern there. Bill had a painstakingly renovated bathroom in his otherwise rather rundown home. Eric's bathroom was to die for. I was absolutely in love with the place and could spend hours in there. It had a separate shower stall with every fancy function you could dream up and a tub that I suspected would easily fit both me and Eric (a theory I was eager to test at the first opportunity). Of course all the toiletries were out of my normal price range – a fact I would have laughed at as a sign of Eric's obvious vanity, if I didn't doubt he even noticed that they were expensive. And the towels were fluffy and big enough for me to be tempted to just walk around wrapped in one all day (something I thought my host wouldn't mind at all). Then, of course, there was a floor-to-ceiling mirror on the wall, that made me immediately suspect that maybe my earlier thought on Eric's vanity wasn't that far off the mark.
No matter the reason for the undead's apparent love for grand bathrooms (maybe it had something to do with the fact that most of them could remember the times before indoor plumbing?) I was happy to reap the benefits.
After a long, pleasurable shower I reluctantly steered toward the kitchen in hope of finding something edible. I admit I had doubts of success, but I spotted a basket with baked goods on the table, so it seemed that Eric remembered to leave some food for me. Even better, it looked fresh. I had no idea how he had managed that feat, but I wouldn't be surprised if it turned out he had hired someone from the bakery just to drop off hot buns right before dawn when I had been fast asleep. There was also a shiny coffee maker and a toaster sitting on the counter, which considerably raised my hopes for my late breakfast and transformed my mood from good to excellent.
I set my schedule so that I had worked the lunch shift yesterday before coming to Eric's. Then I would stay for the day and take the night shift the next day. This way I had been able to meet Eric last night, spend some quality time at his place, and would leave sometime not too early the following morning. I thought it a reasonable plan.
I opened the untouched package of coffee humming cheerfully, yet dreadfully off key (I was just grateful that there wasn't a snowball's chance in hell that Eric could hear me at the moment). After figuring out with some difficulty how to get the fancy coffee maker going, I brewed myself a generous dose of my favourite drink, and poured it into a mug Eric had gifted me with the previous evening. It was a very innocent-looking piece of pottery, simple in design and pattern (red on white polka dots), but I had my own sneaky suspicions that in Eric's mind the cheery specks automatically translated into bite-marks.
The coffee smelled divine. I didn't know much about coffee brands, but if I knew Eric, he didn't go for cheap in that case either.
After triumphantly finding some sugar to go with my coffee I got optimistic enough to chance looking into the fridge, though I half-expected to find it fully stocked with neat rows of True Blood bottles.
I inhaled sharply in surprise. I was right – but not completely. There were bottles there, all right. On one shelf. The rest was tightly packed with food.
Intrigued, I started investigating the contents of the fridge.
Butter. Milk. Eggs. Three different kinds of cheese. Bacon. Yoghurt. Even vegetables. All of that in unopened packages. I'll be damned, but it looked like whatever I could think of, was already there. On the top shelf I found a small box filled with fresh raspberries, though it wasn't raspberry season.
I shut the door. I had to close the fridge before it totally overwhelmed me. It was simply hard to process everything with so many items in different shapes and colours staring back at me from the inside. I stood a long moment in an empty kitchen staring at the closed fridge door and tried to come to some conclusions. Slowly, I felt something stirring deep in my gut – an absurd hunch I couldn't shake off.
I took a peek inside the freezer, only to find a stack of gratins and other pre-made meals. I quickly started opening the cupboards, one after the other. By the time I was finished I discovered a jar of honey, flour, sugar, salt, two packets of pasta, a bottle of oil, some rice and a wide assortment of spices. I stared at all of that dumbly.
Something nagged at the back of my mind, so I opened the cabinet under the sink, too. There were some cartons folded between the wall and the waste bin. I picked them up and saw that they were flattened boxes from the toaster and the coffee maker.
I sat on the floor. I think I blinked a few times.
Eric's kitchen didn't look brand new because he never used it. It looked new because everything in there was new.
This sudden realization stunned me effectively. I had no idea how to react.
I don't know how long I was sitting there, endlessly refolding pieces of carton. When I finally dropped them, I stood up and went back to the fridge.
I looked hard at the box with the raspberries. I slowly took one of them and put it into my mouth. It was juicy and sweet. I thought that as modern treats went, raspberries might be one of the few things Eric could remember as tasty. I knew myself enough to realise that I was probably still going to scold him for going overboard, but it didn't change how all of that made me feel. And let me tell you: it was a pretty good feeling.
I was overwhelmed with the scale of it, but the meaning of the gesture was perfectly clear to me: You're welcome here.
Somehow, I ended up with a phone in my hand, picking a familiar number.
"Merlotte's. How can I help you?"
"Sam? It's me, Sookie." I took a deep breath. And then, though I had no idea what I was going to say when I started this call, the words slipped out as if I had planned it all along: "Listen, I was meaning to ask you: can I take a day off tomorrow?"
So, on the side note: I realised just how lazy I am when it comes to publishing my stuff. Some of you might have noticed that I'd created an account on AO3 as well (under the same username). The thing is... somehow it just so happened that now all of my Sookie/Eric fics are posted here... and most of my other fics are posted there... and only a few ones are posted in both places (and you know what? I even found one Skate fic (Lost) that's not posted at all!)
I mean, how hard it would be to repost it all so it could be easily found on both sites? The answer is: not hard at all. So, yeah, I'll try to do better and fix that mess... In case you're interested...