Eric n' Sooks - Summer of '69 One-shot Contest
Title: Point, Counter-point
Your Pen name: Nyah
Disclaimer: Not mine at all. Only borrowing.
Note: Written for the sake of going against my own character. Absolute silliness ensues.
Inspiration: "I took English as a Second Language at a community college in the seventies." - Eric, Club Dead
University of Northern Louisiana, summer, 1970
My dorm smelled like sex. Again.
I wasn't surprised. When I left this morning for my 8 am class Amelia, my room mate, was already awake. She's only ever awake that early if she's expecting company. And Amelia only ever seemed to expect one kind of company.
That sounds kind of cruel and judgmental when I put it like that but Amelia would be happy to say it if I didn't. We're part of a generation that's obsessed with watching and assessing it's own state of mind. We're not so much a generation even as the idea of a generation. And if the idea is free love, Amelia is a genius. Me? I guess I'm taking remedials- Liberation 101, and sitting in the back row of a class whose professor doesn't bother to shout for the cheap seats.
That's how Amelia sees it anyway. I know. That wasn't my charming little metaphor just now, it was one of my room mate's more vivid day dreams. She had it one Friday when I'd turn down her offer to attend some kind of all-night music fest ("Under the stars, Sookie!) because I was working late in the student cafe and had an exam to study for. Watching her think of me sitting in the back of a class of uptight squares was just one of the little perks of being a telepathic co-ed.
The truth is if I think on it too hard, I'm still shocked as all get out that I'm not a virgin. Where I come from, birth control means pressing a quarter between your knees, and brides wear white for a reason. I actually met the guy through Amelia and her strange friends ("Sookie, this is Bill, he's as repressed as you are." It wasn't as mean as it sounds. Her state of mind at the time could be described as 'altered' at best) so she's influenced me more in that department than she gives me credit for. Though, the circumstances with Bill were kind of... unique, let's put it that way.
Right now though, I guess she's got me pegged. Lots on my plate but not even a hint of romance in the mix. After Bill I don't really want to jump into something serious and certainly not with any of the men I know- a bunch of sweet guys who show a laid back face to world but who are wind up like springs from the fizzy pink chaos of sex, ideas, and drugs that is an American college in 1970. But between the stunning visuals I read off Amelia (and everyone else) and the gosh darned sweet stink of my room, well... a girl gets horny, you know?
I dropped a pile of books on my desk. Amelia stretched from where she lay, half under her blankets, sucking on a cherry popsicle that was quickly melting in the sweltering funk of our little box of a room. "Jane's given us this assignment...."
"Go on," Amelia perked up. 'Jane' was my Sociology professor. She'd insisted we call her by her first name, The students were happy to comply, though most tacked on a certain prefix. "What's Crazy Jane got you doing now?"
"We're supposed to write about a personal experience with changing social mores, particularly integration and sexual liberation."
Amelia laughed. "Sounds like Jane wants to read about your one night stands."
"All none of them," I said, rolling my eyes.
Amelia tapped her head. "You can borrow one of mine." She was in on my little secret. "Hey! We can use it for the column. 'One-nighters vs All-nighters.' I mean the next paper is the last one that''ll come out before summer break and it'll be April 1st."
Amelia and I wrote a point vs counter-point column for the student newspaper. Three guesses as to who took the conservative side of the arguments.
"OK. But why don't we switch sides?"
"Sure!" Amelia's face turned into an exaggerated leer. But then she took a look at my face and the leer melted faster than that cherry popsicle. "Wait... you're serious?"
I tried to shrug casually. The thing about casual is, trying kind of ruins it.
"Sook, it's on co-ed living and one night stands."
As if I had forgotten. "So? I've got a healthy imagination and it's not like we haven't taken, you know, hypothetical positions before." Despite our differences, Amelia and I did agree on quite a few things. "Plus, we write under pen names anyway so it's not like it would affect my reputation or something."
You reputation could use a little affecting, Amelia thought.
"I can hear that, you know."
Amelia grinned so hard I thought the smile my spontaneously combust into a full on giggle. "There would have been no point thinking it if you couldn't." My room mate studied me like she was trying to decide whether or not I was a worthy pick for a volleyball team. "Alright, let's do it. I'll go flirt with some poor boy tonight and say goodnight before things go anywhere and see if it makes me feel more respectable or something." She shook her head and thought how cruel it was to leave some poor guy all blue and charged up for her for the sake of a student newspaper. "You get out there and have a one night stand!"
"Imagination!" I reminded her in an off-key sing-song but she gave my a football huddle smack on the tush anyway.
"I'm working tonight."
"Sookie!" Amelia can wail with the best of 'em.
"It's a week before we go to print."
"Who cares about that! It's a Friday night!"
So maybe I'd had him in mind when I'd proposed the April Fools switch. I am a woman after all and every woman I knew seemed to be off roaring at the head of her own pride and leaving me in the Sahara dust.
The guy I'm talking about, Eric (last name unknown) comes into the student cafe a few nights a week and sits in the same booth, ordering food her never eats. He's foreign (more foreign than anyone but me realizes) and he's good (okay, great) looking so he gets a lot of (female) attention even though he always comes in and sits alone. But I swear he only seems interested half the time in the girls that throw themselves in his path. And I've never seen him leave with the same one twice. And (and I know this isn't my imagination) he stares at me a lot. All of these things make him a good candidate for my... project. Wow, does that sound wrong or what?
"So where are you from and how many times have you been asked that?" I plopped my train down on the formica table top and slid into the booth opposite him. I knew this was a false Sookie-on-assignment boldness. I wondered if he could tell.
The man lowered his book (English as a Second Language, level 4), cocked his head, and raised a blond eyebrow. "Is it a full moon?"
I actually looked to see if the phrase was on the page he'd been reading. The question was so non sequitor that I thought it might be some random phrase he was practicing. "Full moon? I think you need to study harder." The words were out before I could stop them.
To my great relief, Eric let out the most unruly laugh I'd ever heard. "I meant only, you are behaving strangely. You are not usually talking to me. I think... thought maybe it was the full moon."
I knew immediately that I was in over my head. Eric spoke somehow like he owned every word that came out of his mouth. The fact that he had some conjugation trouble just made his confidence more pronounced. "No. Just a slow night. So where are you from."
He considered the question for a moment. "Sweden. And I have been asked more times than there have been men in this shop who lust for you."
Eric tapped the cover of his book, not at all put off, it seemed, by my blush or my mortified expression. "I am studying parallel sentence structure. It is difficult in English. My intent was to compliment you."
I decided the best course of action was to ignore his remark completely. "So why are you stud-"
"Why are you talking with me, Sookie?"
It wasn't until then that I had any idea that he knew my name, or that my name could sound like a caress in the right person's mouth. "I have to write a paper on sexual liberation," I said. Maybe I was being so forward because he was so unapologetic about himself. It was contagious. "And I picked you."
"Picked me? Chose me?" Eric smiled. "What is the topic exactly?"
"I need to write about sexually liberal lifestyles and their consequences. Positive or negative. I thought you might be able to tell me how American attitudes about sex differ from Swedish attitudes..." I trailed off because he was grinning wolfishly and I felt like my words were colliding with the whiteness of his teeth and falling down stunned.
"I have not been to Sweden for some time," he said.
"What time do you finish your work here?"
"Midnight." An hour away.
He stood up. He was in clean, dark shades. These days most people wore shades of oatmeal when they weren't in technicolor. "I'll come back then. We'll have your interview."
My stomach was doing flips as I cleared away his untouched plate of food.
Five minutes after midnight, I was the only one left in the cafe. I swept my eyes around the little restaurant one last time before locking the door. I'm proud to say I didn't jump when Eric was suddenly sitting at the counter. "You're right on time," I said to cover my surprise.
"I hope so."
I leaned my broom and dust pan on the counter and stood across from him. "So you still want to do the interview even though you haven't been home in a while?"
His accent bit the words in strange, exciting ways. Something in me shivered in the almost-summer heat. "OK, well. First question, how do you feel about free love?"
"When you say love you mean sex, yes?"
I took in the pallor of his skin under cornsilk hair. He wouldn't understand the word in any other context. "Yes."
"Then it must be free. You cannot... trap something like that." He reached across the counter with a long arm and very deliberately freed my hair from its head band so it fell as loosely as his. "Not even in a body." His hand brushed my cheek, his fingers like the cold burn of snow.
"Mhm," I said very intelligently. "Second-"
"But you have not answered, Sookie."
His fingers stopped under my chin, except for his thumb which traced my lower lip. We were straying from the subject, or maybe from conversation entirely. "I'm interviewing you," I said.
"It is impolite to take from me if you do not intend to give back." His thumb smeared my lipstick experimentally. "And I have a lot to give, Sookie." His voice said he was used to taking. "You want to talk about free love. Love is a verb. Verbs are for doing."
His lips were colder and softer than I'd imagined, a combination that shouldn't exist, like dew-covered velvet. Imagined. Yep, as in past perfect tense, professor. I'd definitely had him in mind when I proposed the April Fools switch. And maybe this was swimming around my head too.
His fingertips traced a tiny circle below my ear lobe like he was trying to reel me in. It was working. My lips sought his and my tongue forged ahead, a brave pioneer in a forbidden frontier. After a few minutes, he graciously gave me a moment to breathe. In that moment he rounded the counter to my side. Feet planted on either side of mine he stood so his body pressed mine into the counter. "An interview, you say. But first hand experience is better, I think."
"Usually," I agreed, still breathless.
"Well then, are you feeling liberated yet, Sookie?" He ground his hips against mine and my body responded eagerly that she knew all the steps to that dance.
"Not even close."
He laughed and then I was bent back over the counter faster than should be possible. His lips were in six places at once but his hands were most definitely under my bottom, boosting me up. He managed to get me up on the counter and the buttons off my shirt in the same motion, leaving a trail of fire in his wake. Then he was back to kissing me, pushing my work shirt and my t-shirt up over my head as he pushed me back to recline of the counter top.
Salt shakers and napkin dispenser crashed to the floor and I remembered belatedly that the door wasn't locked and that any number of my peers my wander in. Okay, that was a little liberating. So was his mouth at my breast, winding its way across the lace of my bra. His talented tongue circled, a shark in the water, growing perilously closer to my lost at sea nipples until... "Mmm."
"Then I am not representing my culture very well."
At least one part of him seemed resolved to try harder. I managed to control my limbs well enough to wrestle his dark t-shirt over his head. Underneath was no tofu-fed tree hunger. More like alabaster with a side of beef. "You're doing alright."
"Alright?" He sounded offended even as his hands climbed my thighs like the coming tide. I had noticed weeks ago that he had big hands. Nothing at all of the sweetly effeminate guitar strummer there. He pressed one long finger inside me. I took it back, he could probably strum a guitar just fine. A second finger. Okay, with the best of them. Maybe the Beatles should hold auditions.
"Er..ric." Now who sounded like the novice English speaker? "I'm feeling liberal."
"Oh? Does that mean our interview is finished?" His thumb circled up to hit my nub that had gone from shy to swollen with wanting him.
I tried to respond but there were too many vowels coming out of my mouth. "N-ugh. No. It aaa-h. It means taake off your pants."
He leaned forward, the weight of a promise behind the fingers that were driving me wild. His free hand stilled my chin so I was looking up at him. He stared at my mouth. "I'm sorry. My English is not so good. What did you say?"
One of us was too charged up for games. "Take. Off. Your Pants." Hyperventilation can sometimes force articulation.
"Again, please. You must speak more clearly."
"I think I understand."
Thank the Lord, he did. And if I thought he had big hands, I had another thing coming. His hands were planted on either side of my head and he was half inside me when my wits returned to me for one, shining moment. "Eric, don't take too much."
"What?" I was pleased to see that the vampire was also working under a haze of lust.
"When you bite me, don't take too much. I have exams to study for this week."
Eric fell forward onto his elbows, pushing into me fully. Moment of wit and clarity gone. "You know. How?" He punctuated the question with a thrust.
"Come at night. Never touch your food. Dead give away." Eric increased his pace and I locked my ankles across his back and kept up. "And wasteful."
Eric dropped his face to the crook of my neck and laughed against my skin, laughed while he pounded me to pieces and scraped his fangs across my skin. Boy did it surprise him when I bit first, if his strangled shout was any indication.
I'm less repressed than people think.
I didn't see Amelia until a little after dawn. She woke up with the air of a worried mother when I pushed our ill-fitting door open. "You were out late," she said with a yawn. With sleepy eyes she took in my shirt and it's missing buttons. Several conclusions popped into her head, though she believed all of them to be wrong. "How was your night?"
"Imaginative," I said. "Liberating."