Eric and His Great Pumpkin One-shot Contest
Title: The French Connection
Your Pen name: Indigobuni and Zeewriter
Characters: Sookie, Eric, Bill (brief appearance by Lorena and Pam)
Disclaimer: CH gets all the credit for creating this wonderful universe
Beta: Thank you to LindsayK for her awesome beta skills
Actual number of words in fic: 8,995
French translations are at the bottom of the page, as well as a link to Sookie's costume. Please enjoy!
To say my life was a little like a roller coaster lately would have been an understatement. I sat on the balcony of our hotel, and stared out over the city through the misty haze. The rooftops, the street, the sidewalks…they were all paved with the light dew of morning. I could just make out the Eiffel Tower beyond one of the tall buildings that hid its magnificence from me.
A strong arm enveloped me from behind and another one came forth, offering me a cup of coffee. I accepted and closed my eyes, smiling, as a few kisses were placed on my cheek and jaw line. No words were spoken, but as he sat down next to me to admire the view, he laced his fingers with mine. That gesture meant more to me than he'd ever know. I knew we had one more week left here, but the big question, which had yet to be answered, loomed on the horizon…where do we go from here?
* * * *
End of September
"Paris? As in Paris, Paris?" I stood in my boss' office, practically bouncing off the walls.
"No, as in Paris, Texas. Of course, Paris Paris." He handed me a folder with all the pertinent information for my trip. "You'll be going at the end of the October. Your travel itinerary should arrive in a few days. Oh and by the way, since you'll be there over Halloween, I've finagled tickets to one of the most happening Halloween costume parties for you. Now get out of here before you fill up my office with too much sunshine."
I pivoted on my heels and floated out of Andy's office as his chuckle faded into the distance. I'd been working for Andy Bellefleur for three years now, but only as a researcher.
Sometimes I wrote articles about the local happenings, but for the most part I was stuck behind a desk. For over a year now, I'd been bugging Andy to promote me and let me run with a lead story, but he never budged; until now. I wondered what changed.
Wanderlust. That was the name of the magazine where I worked. I'd interned here during my senior year of college, and was offered a permanent position after graduation. It targeted the younger crowd, and gave the reader a different side of the city, as well as places that they might not have thought to see.
"What's got you in such a good mood Sookie?" Lorena Apollon stood next to my desk, peering over my shoulder. I could see her eyes radiating with fury as she glanced at the information from my folder. "What? You got the Paris assignment? That was supposed to be mine!"
"I guess Andy had a change of heart then." It was satisfying to see her that angry, and to know she had been passed over for this.
I cheered internally as I watched her stomp off to Andy's office. Poor Andy, I should have buzzed him to give him a head's up. It wasn't the Christianly attitude to take, but Lorena had been a thorn in my side for two years now, and it was all because of my on again/off again boyfriend, Bill Compton.
Bill was a freelance photographer who we sometimes used for assignments. He and Lorena used to go out, but for the past almost two years, Bill and I had been seeing each other. Yet, she was always there to remind us of their time together and to try and drive a wedge between us at any cost. A few times she almost succeeded, hence the on again/off again part. However, over the past six months, we had been going strong.
I scanned over the information sheet from the folder to the name of the photographer that had been assigned to me. I was puzzled to see two names listed, as it was unusual: Bill Compton and Eric Northman.
When I questioned Andy about it, he said that Bill was only available for the first week of my assignment, but Eric was another freelancer who was available the second week of my sojourn. Bill was thrilled that we were going to see Paris together, but when he found out who the other freelancer was, his fingers curled into fists, and his brows furrowed.
"Is there something wrong with him?" I hadn't even met the guy yet, but if he could make Bill this angry, then maybe I didn't want to work with him.
"Nothing." He grumbled and walked back toward the photo lab to develop some rolls of film, without clarifying anything.
Out of the corner of my eye, I could see Lorena standing near the copier with a sneer on her face. One of these days, that sneer was going to be slapped right off of her.
Too excited to finish working, I took off early and stopped by the Shreveport High Museum of Art. Amelia Broadway was the Assistant Curator there. Amelia and I had been put together as roommates our freshman year, and since then we were inseparable. Even though sometimes I found her to be a little hippy-dippy for my tastes, she was my best friend, and I loved her to death.
Amelia was the complete opposite of me, physically speaking. I had long blonde hair, and she had short chestnut colored hair. I had blue eyes and hers were brown. I was 5'6 and she was 5'2. I was a size 10, 8 on a good day, and she was a size 4. I was a little more on the shy side, and she was vibrant. I liked that she always spoke her mind, although sometimes she didn't know when to shut it. She was such a positive, outgoing person, and you couldn't help but be affected by it.
She had been dating Sam Merlotte ever since our junior year of school. We all met when Amelia and I tried to sneak into a bar using fake IDs. We were only twenty at the time, and Sam was twenty-four, and working in his father's bar. He was the one that caught us.
She was ecstatic that I was finally getting my own assignment, and insisted we go shopping for a new wardrobe. In fact, she took the rest of the afternoon off and we ended up hitting a few stores. I didn't buy much, only a few nice outfits, but we did go all the way to Tara's Togs, where Amelia treated me to a couple of "going out" dresses.
After we carried all the bags up to our second floor condo, we decided to continue the celebration by going out to dinner, and then to one of the local watering holes for a few drinks.
I decided on a more subtle look, and went with a cute knee-length black skirt, a pale blue v-neck cut blouse, and a pair of low heels. Amelia, on the other hand, wore her peasant dress. It was low cut and showed off her ample bosom. It also had off the shoulder flounce sleeves, and a flounce skirt. It was all different shades of colors – reds, blues, greens, oranges, browns.
Since we'd spent so much on clothes, we went for a cheaper dinner and ate at Bonita's. Bonita's had the best lasagna I'd ever eaten, but considering I hadn't gone to many places, that wasn't saying much. After dinner, we walked the couple blocks down to The Hidey Hole. It was a local dive that we didn't frequent too often, but thought we'd give it a go tonight since we were sticking with the cheap theme.
The place had a plain, nondescript atmosphere that you'd see in most towns. There was one long rectangle of a bar, seating up front and in the rear, and a couple of pool tables. There were even a few booths in the back, if you wanted a bit more privacy.
We sat at the bar and ordered a couple of drinks, toasting to my new adventure. Even the bartender was friendly and joined in, giving us a couple of free rounds. After my third gin and tonic, I cut myself off and excused myself to use the restroom. As I washed my hands and exited, I was in such a cheerful mood, that I didn't think anything could spoil it; that is, until I happened to glance over toward one of the private booths.
"Come on, we're leaving." I marched right up to Amelia and grabbed my purse off the bar.
"What do you mean? I thought we were celebrating?" She looked confused.
"Celebration's over!" I threw down some cash to cover our tab and grabbed her hand, urging her toward the door, but she halted.
"Not until you tell me what's going on."
I cringed as I heard his voice calling out to me. "Sookie, wait. It's not what you think."
I closed my eyes for a moment, my fingers curling into fists, and when I opened them, I turned in a rage.
"Bill, there's nothing you could say to me at this moment, that would make me think it's anything other than what I saw. You two were kissing! Kissing!"
"I'm so sorry, please let me explain." He reached for me, but I backed away.
"No. I've had it with you, with this whole drama." By now, Lorena had appeared behind Bill, with that same damn smirk on her face she had at work.
I couldn't help it. I walked right up to her and smacked her across her whore-red lipstick painted face. Amelia began tugging me toward the exit as I tried to go after her again.
"Come on, Sookie. She's not worth it. Bill, if you ever so much as look at Sookie again, I'll have you castrated before you can say 'oh shit'!"
Thankfully the car was parked a few blocks away, and it gave me time to cool down, although not much. I fumbled with the keys and fought back the hot, wet tears that threatened to explode from my eyes.
"Don't you dare do it roomie. He's not worth your anger or your tears." She grabbed the keys from my trembling hands and drove us home as quickly as possible.
For the next three days, I didn't go anywhere. I mostly stayed in my room, brooding over what had happened at the bar, until Amelia couldn't take it any longer. She pulled me out of my bedroom and gave me the lecture of a lifetime, until I promised to get up off my ass and get moving.
She was right. There was no reason to mope around anymore than I already had. I never wanted to see him again. I even called Andy to see if I could get this Eric Northman to take the entire assignment instead of just the second week. Unfortunately, he was wrapping up an assignment in Boston.
Not that I was purposely avoiding the cheater and his ho, but the less I saw of them, the better. Thankfully, my job afforded me the flexibility of working from home, so over the next couple of weeks I didn't venture into the office too much.
* * * *
Amelia had taken me to the airport, and I was glad that Bill hadn't shown up for our flight. I could have cared less where he was. Once we were in the air I began to relax until we made it to New York, and I had to change planes for the nonstop flight to Paris.
After wading through the throngs, and making a quick pit stop, I arrived at the next gate just in time to hear them announce that we could begin boarding. It didn't look like the flight was that crowded, but I still had to wait until my row was called. Once it was, I made my way into the plane and found my seat next to the window. I stowed my carry-on above me, as well as a gift Amelia had given me when she dropped me off at the airport. She told me it was my costume and that I wasn't to open it until Halloween.
As the last couple rows were called, I figured that was it and we were going to take off soon, until some guy came onto the plane, huffing like he had been running a marathon. He began walking down the aisle, looking at this ticket and comparing it to the numbers and letters.
With each step closer, I got a better look at him. He was very tall, and had short blond hair. He was wearing a pair of tight jeans and a black bomber jacket over his white button down shirt. He had this Nordic look about him, as if in a past life he could have been a Viking. In other words, he was gorgeous.
When he stopped in front of my row, he looked down and smiled, and I nearly came undone from it. Please let him sit here…please let him sit here. "I guess you and I are row mates for the next seven hours."
Somehow, I managed to speak. "I guess so." Figuring he'd take the aisle seat, I was surprised when he scooted in next to me. Before we could exchange any further words, the flight attendant came in and did her safety spiel.
We taxied out, and I was so happy that we were first in line for takeoff. Once we reached cruising altitude, I relaxed back into my seat and stared out the window.
"Beautiful sight, isn't it, Sookie?"
"Yes, it's so amazing to see th…wait, what did you call me?" I turned and looked up into his eyes, confused as to how he knew my name.
"Maybe I should introduce myself. I'm Eric Northman. I'm going to be your photographer for the next two weeks."
My eyes widened. You've got to be shitting me. This…was Eric Northman? "What happened to Bill?"
"Well, I finished my Boston assignment early, and when Andy called and asked if I wanted an extra week, I couldn't pass it up." His eyes roamed up and down, studying me. "Now I'm definitely glad I didn't pass it up."
We spent the next couple hours getting to know each other, but I was feeling rather sleepy. I must have dozed off, because when I woke up, my head was resting on a rather broad shoulder. I almost forgot where I was, and smiled as I looked up into a pair of beautiful blue eyes.
Embarrassed, I quickly sat up and smoothed out my top. "I'm so sorry," I said, as I looked out the window at the darkness, hoping my cheeks would stop getting so red.
"No worries. You can sleep against me anytime." I turned to see him wink at me, and again, I almost came undone.
Damn, this was going to be a long two weeks if I could almost come unglued by a wink and a smile. On top of him being gorgeous, he was also intelligent. He had graduated from Notre Dame with a degree in Sociology and Political Science.
I was grateful that we flew the rest of the way in comfortable silence. Although, I did catch him sizing me up now and then. Once we landed in Paris and retrieved our luggage, we shared a taxi to the Hotel Montreal. It was a nice little hotel on the Rive Gauche overlooking the Seine River.
We walked up to the registration desk and gave our information to the woman behind the front desk. I was given the key to my room, and I began to walk away.
"Je suis désolé, monsieur. Nous n'avons pas une réservation pour vous." My French was limited, but I did understand the "I'm sorry" part and, judging from the look on Eric's face, knew there were problems with Eric's reservation.
"Ce Cela n'est pas possible. J'ai eu une réservation commençant la semaine prochaine. Mon employeur m'a dit il a appelé pour ajouter cette semaine aussi." Eric explained. I raised an eyebrow. As if I needed anything else to attract me to Eric, he had to go and speak French.
The clerk shook her head. "Encore, je suis très désolé. Le système montre que vous avez eu une réservation, mais le seul changement fait était une annulation. J'essaierais de vous obtenir une autre pièce, mais nous sommes complètement réservés."
The pretty brunette looked apologetic, but I could also see she couldn't keep her eyes off of him. There was something about her that reminded me of Lorena. "Perhaps we can find some other suitable arrangement for you?" she asked in English. She was blatantly flirting with him now and I felt the pangs of jealousy.
"He can stay in my room," I blurted out before I could stop myself. Eric turned to me with a slight smirk on his face, and the concierge glared at me.
"That's impossible, Mademoiselle, you already have two people staying in your room and that room is too small for a fold out bed," she sneered in her accented English.
I walked closer to the desk. "Actually, no, I do not. It is only me. The other person was, fortunately, not able to make it." I smiled widely, my usual nervous tick. I wanted to smack myself for what I just suggested, but it was too late.
"Sookie, it's not necessary. I can find something else if I need to." Eric stared at me with those gorgeous blue eyes, and I melted a little more.
"It's fine. Really." No, it really wasn't, but I already opened my big mouth.
Eric smiled. "Thank you, Sookie. It's very generous of you." He turned back to the clerk who continued glaring at me. Sorry, sister, you are not going to get your skanky French hands on my man. My man. I shook the thought out of my mind. I just met Eric only hours ago and I was already jealous and possessive. What the heck was wrong with me?
Once everything was settled, we took the elevator up to our room. The first thing I noticed when I opened the door was the lone king-sized bed in the middle of the room. Of course, when it had been Bill and me, we only needed one bed. This was definitely going to be awkward.
Eric leaned down. "I guess we're sharing a bed," he whispered. His closeness sent shivers down my spine. This was going to be the longest two weeks ever.
* * * *
We unpacked and discussed sleeping arrangements. Luckily, the king-sized bed allowed us to sleep comfortably without touching each other. He was generally an early riser, so he took the side closest to the bathroom.
I was ready to take a nap after the long flight. This was my first trip across an ocean and the time change was dragging me down a bit. I grabbed my pajamas from the dresser, and headed to the bathroom.
"What are you doing, Sookie?" Eric said as he stored his luggage in the closet.
"Umm…I was going to change so I can take a nap."
"You don't want to do that. You slept enough on the plane, so you're not too exhausted. If you fall asleep now, you won't overcome the jetlag. Besides, it's just barely noon here, there's lots to explore."
"It can't be that bad…" I've dealt with time changes going to California; this couldn't be that much different.
"Trust me, Sookie." Those eyes were gazing into mine again and, really, who could say no to them.
"Okay," I said absentmindedly.
"Great," he clapped his hands, "let's go grab something to eat. There's a tiny little bistro that I think you would enjoy." He picked up his camera. "Maybe we'll get some good shots while we're out." I was mesmerized. "Sookie?"
"Come on, let's go," he smiled.
"Oh, sure. Wait. Let me freshen up first, at least." I entered the bathroom and closed the door behind me. I took a deep breath and looked at myself in the mirror. "Sookie Stackhouse, what have you gotten yourself into?"
"Sookie, is everything okay?"
"Uh, yes. Sorry, I'll be out in a bit." I can't even keep my thoughts to myself; this man has me all twisted inside. I turned the faucet on and washed my face and brushed my teeth. They felt a little mucky after the long flight. I reapplied makeup and after I felt I was presentable enough, I opened the door. "Okay, I'm ready." I wasn't ready for the sight in front of me though.
Eric was lying on his stomach, sprawled out across the bed. My eyes followed his long legs up to his tight ass encased in his jeans. I could just make out some of his muscles through his shirt.
"Like what you see?" Eric turned to me, leaning on his side. That smirk was back on his face. He was a cocky bastard, wasn't he?
I composed myself quickly and turned towards the door. "I'm hungry. Let's go." I didn't check to see if he was following, I knew he would be.
We walked a few blocks to the bistro Eric recommended. It was a quaint little place with few tables. Eric pulled out my chair at the same time that I reached it. I wasn't used to such chivalry. Bill, as I've come to realize was a selfish, arrogant prick, as he would never have done anything like this.
I perused the menu and decided on a scallop dish. Eric settled on the grilled salmon, and ordered us each a glass of white wine. "How interesting. The wine is cheaper than the soda."
Eric chuckled. "The Europeans know what's good for you. Water and wine are your best bets here."
When our drinks arrived, I lifted my glass for a toast. "To Paris, and awkward sleeping arrangements."
"To Paris, and beautiful women," Eric retorted, staring at me. I quickly took a sip of my wine to hide my embarrassment.
"So…ummm…you know Bill?"
Eric set his glass down before answering. "Yes, I know him. We've worked together in the past. He's not someone I would be close friends with, however." This piqued my interest.
"Oh? Why do you say that?"
"He seems to lack a certain sense of professionalism. The times we worked together it seemed he was always flirting with the women. He's charming, granted, and not a bad-looking man, but I could see these women weren't taking to his advances. Not to mention that if things weren't done his way, he would get irate and walk off sets. It cost him a few jobs, too, that ended up coming to me. He began to get jealous when more and more assignments came my way. Clients didn't want to work with him anymore."
My eyes were wide with his admission. He looked at me, and realization dawned on his face. "Oh, you were going to share a room with him. I wasn't aware that you and Bill are a couple. I'm sure he's changed. I couldn't see him doing something like that if he has you at home." I grimaced slightly.
"Bill and I were dating for some time." His eyebrow quirked up.
"Were?" He asked with a hint of hope.
"Yes, were. I found him cheating on me with his ex, Lorena. So, obviously he hasn't changed. If only I knew earlier. He seemed a decent enough man, but apparently I was wrong." My voice was tinged with sadness, and I tried to remember Amelia's words of wisdom that he wasn't worth it anymore.
Eric reached across the table and took my hand in his. "I'm really sorry. You don't deserve to be treated in such a way. Look at it this way, this opens the doors for other capable men to steal your heart." He said this as his thumb rubbed the back of my hand in soft circles.
The sensation was making me feel all sorts of goodness between my legs. I pulled my hand away, not wanting to give Eric the wrong impression. Though, if I wanted to be honest with myself, I wanted him to get the wrong impression.
I sighed. "It's okay. It's for the best anyway."
Our food arrived shortly after and all discussion of Bill ceased, and I devoured every last morsel, including a few bites of Eric's that he gave me to try. The food was excellent.
Eric laughed at my greediness. "You really were hungry."
"Yes, well, I haven't had a proper meal since two o'clock yesterday. Airplane food is okay, but not filling."
He nodded in agreement, and waved to the waiter for our bill. "So, where to now?"
"Well, there is an outdoor market that I heard is supposed to be fantastic. Everyone knows about the Eiffel Tower and the Champs-Élysées, but we want the places off the beaten path."
"I think I know which market you're talking about, and I can definitely get some good shots there." He stood up and extended his hand to me. I was hesitant to take it, but saw no harm in him helping me out of my seat, except he never let go once I was up and we were out the door. I was going to release my hand, but I liked it.
We ended up taking the Metro to Marché aux Puces. It was like entering another world. The streets were closed off so there were no cars to ruin the ambiance. People were everywhere, buying everything from flowers and food, to crafts and clothing. Everything imaginable was out for sale, and the merchants were trying their best to lure the customers to them.
I finally did let go of Eric's hand and slowly strode through the aisles, admiring the a few items here and there. Eric walked behind taking pictures, and I could hear the telltale sound of the shutter every time he took another shot.
I stopped in front of a vendor selling daisies and orchids, two of my favorite flowers. As I bent over, the woman behind the table spoke.
I nodded. "Oui."
"You are very pretty. Your husband is very handsome, too." I began to shake my head to correct her, but she continued. "You look very happy together. I can see the way he looks at you, and he makes you happy."
I looked over my shoulder at Eric. I saw him smiling under the camera and I couldn't help but return the smile. "Here, take," she gestured me closer and she placed a small orchid behind my ear. "Parfait."
"I agree. Très belle." Eric snapped a picture of me before I could look away.
"Merci," I nodded to the woman, and stepped away to continue walking.
"What was she telling you that made you blush?" I hadn't even realized I was blushing when I was talking to the old woman.
"Oh, nothing." I couldn't very well tell him what she said. There was no need to have him embarrassed at such a ridiculous notion of the two of us together. He furrowed his brows, but didn't say anything.
We spent hours at the market, interviewing the locals and getting plenty of shots. I couldn't help notice how Eric would stare at me, and whenever I caught him, he would just smile and shrug.
When we left the market, we headed back toward the Eiffel Tower and Les Invalides. Eric placed his hand on my arm to stop me as we stood in front of the massive icon.
"Do you mind if I take some pictures here? I've never had the right subject to photograph here and I think you would be a good contrast for the shot."
"Umm…sure. What do you want me to do?"
"Just be yourself." That was an easy enough direction. I stared up at the Eiffel Tower and its magnificence. It truly was a stunning structure. Eric paid for us to go to the top of the tower. Being a Saturday, there was a long line, but somehow Eric managed to get us ahead of everyone else.
It was beginning to get dark and the view from the top of the tower was amazing. The city lights were turning on street by street, while the sun was setting on the horizon. The wind was stronger at this height, and my hair was blowing wildly. I heard the shutter of the camera again.
"Beautiful," I heard whispered, and turned to Eric.
"The view… it's gorgeous," he said huskily. I found myself flustered again, something that had been occurring a lot around him.
"Oh, yes, Paris is beautiful at night."
"It is, but that's not what I was talking about, and you know it." Eric was staring at me fiercely as he stepped within inches of me.
"Eric…" He placed a finger on my lips.
"Shhh… just feel." He lowered his head, and I soon found his lips lightly brushing against mine. I pressed my mouth against his to deepen the kiss when he abruptly stopped.
"I'm sorry, Sookie. That was wrong of me." He backed away leaving me in shock. "We should head back to the hotel. It's getting late and you must be getting hungry again."
I huffed in frustration. "Fine, let's."
We made our way back to the hotel, and sat at a café next door. We ate mostly in silence and headed upstairs afterwards. Eric suggested I shower first while he stepped out, and I didn't ask him where he was going. There was a tub in the bathroom, so I decided to take a hot bath to de-stress myself.
As I lay in the tub, I thought over the last twenty-four hours. It had been interesting to say the least. Eric was a fine specimen of man for sure, and from what I could see, much more of a gentleman than Bill was or ever would be. Eric was kind, chivalrous and a great kisser, even if it had been a short kiss.
That kiss. It made me feel things I hadn't felt in a while, not even with Bill. I also thought back to the old woman at the market. She said we looked like a happy couple even though we weren't even together. I could see myself starting something with Eric, but the events with Bill were too recent and I just wasn't sure if I was ready to start something new so soon.
I heard the door to the room open and realized I had been in longer than expected. "I'll be right out, Eric." He grunted in response.
I stepped out of the tub and dried myself off, putting my hair up in a messy bun and dressing in my pajamas. Luckily, I was smart enough to pack my more sensible pants and camisole. I walked out and Eric was sitting on the bed again. I gasped as I saw the look of lust on his face as his eyes roamed my body. He had a change of clothes in his hand and he stood and walked around me, barely acknowledging me. That was odd.
I turned down the covers, and crawled into the bed. The shower was running in the bathroom and I couldn't help but think of a naked Eric on the other side of the door. His body glistening as the water traveled down his muscles. I felt the tingle in between in my legs at the thought of Eric in the shower, and my hand absentmindedly slid down my body underneath my pants and panties, feeling the slickness already pooling. I was already so sensitive.
"Sookie?" I was so lost in my thoughts I hadn't heard the shower turn off or the door open. I literally was caught with my hands down my pants. I began to slowly remove my hand so he wouldn't notice, but his words stopped me.
"Please. Don't stop on my account." I could hear the smirk in his voice. I opened my eyes and looked at him. He was standing in the doorway, leaning against the frame with his arms crossed over his chest. His naked chest. My eyes skimmed his body and my breath halted as I saw his perfect abs and his 'v' leading to the promise land hidden by his dark blue silk pants. Damn those pants.
I took my hand from my pants and rolled to my side, away from Eric. I heard him snicker and soon felt the bed shift as he lay down next to me. I tried my best to ignore him and fall asleep. It was a good two feet between us, but I could still feel the heat from his body and it was doing nothing for my resolve, or my sleep.
Eric's breathing evened out and he snored softly; nothing like the orchestra noises that came from Bill when he slept. I just couldn't fall asleep. Thoughts of the two of us together bombarded my mind, and I kept tossing and turning to try and get rid of them.
"Sookie?" I stilled, pretending to be asleep. "I know you're awake. You're keeping me up with all of your movements."
"I'm sorry, Eric."
"Are you okay? Are you uncomfortable?" Oh, if you only knew how uncomfortable I really was right now. "I can call downstairs for more pillows if you like."
"That's very thoughtful, Eric, but I'm fine. I promise." I felt the bed shift again, and then his body was flushed against mine, my back to his chest.
"Please don't feel uncomfortable around me. I like you, Sookie, and I will never do anything to hurt you or make you feel bad." I immediately calmed. For some reason, those were the words I needed to hear from him.
"I like you, too, Eric."
"Good." He draped his arm around my waist, and laced his fingers with mine. "Is this okay?"
"More than okay." I felt him place a kiss on my shoulder, and within minutes I was asleep.
I woke up the next morning, the sun shining in my face and a heavy weight on my body. I was confused until I opened my eyes and remembered I was in Paris. The heavy weight was Eric, and I smiled at the thought of how right it felt to wake up in his arms.
Eric stirred and grinned when he saw me looking at him. "Good morning, mon petit chou." He pulled me closer. "I could get used to waking up like this every day."
"Me too," I replied.
"So what's on the agenda today?"
"Not sure, I thought we could go to the Montmartre district and visit Moulin Rouge. You know that was one of my favorite movies," I added giddily. "I've never been here, so I'm trying to find an equal balance of the usual tourist attractions and the more local sights that are just as beautiful, if not more, that people would generally overlook.
"Don't worry. I've been here before, so I'll help. Let's get started on our day then, shall we?" He leaned over, and placed a kiss on my nose. "I'll get ready first. Then while you get ready, I'll get some breakfast."
An hour later we were out and about enjoying the sights, sounds, and tastes of Paris. The next several days were filled with trips to some of the lesser-known places, as well as the touristy places. We enjoyed seeing the Musée Rodin, as equally as the Louvre. No trip to Paris would be worth it without seeing the Mona Lisa. We also toured around the Centre Georges Pompidou, and delved underground in the Catacombs.
I think the highlight of my week, though, was taking a cruise on the Bateaux-Mouches. The weather was slightly warm for October 30th, and countless stars illuminated a crystal clear night sky. Eric and I sat toward the back of the boat as it journeyed up and down the Seine, giving us a spectacular view of these ancient monuments at night.
Eric wrapped his arms around me, and we talked about this and that, in between a few shared passionate kisses. I was really falling for this man, but my heart was still somewhat guarded. After what I went through, I wasn't sure if I could trust anyone else just yet with such a fragile part of me.
I felt Eric's lips press against the top of my head, and he rested his chin against it. "Sookie, I've never met anyone like you before. There's so much I feel I know about you already, yet there's such a mystery about you that I want to know more. Just know that I will never rush you into anything you're not ready for."
There were no words I could say in reply. He was so close to breaking down that wall I had carefully constructed, and it was threatening to topple over if he continued to say things like that.
As our cruise came to an end, we slowly made our way back to the hotel, and I waited for him to crawl into bed beside me. The space that had been between us on that first night, completely disappeared and for the first time ever, I felt cherished as he wrapped his arms around me, and we drifted to sleep.
* * * *
I sat on the edge of the bathtub with the gift box in my lap. I had planned on opening it before now, but Amelia was adamant that I not open the box until I was getting ready for Halloween.
I slid the ribbon off, and delicately peeled back the edges of the wrapping as if I was handling a fragile piece of glass. The top of the box read Frederick's. I could only imagine what she ordered for me, and it was nothing good.
Lifting the top of the box off, I peered inside, and then closed my eyes, shaking my head. Damn you Amelia…you're going to get it when I get home.
After I slipped into what constituted for a costume, I opened the door a fraction and called out to Eric. "Hey, can you hand me my coat?"
He chuckled. "Why, don't you want to show me your costume?"
"Um, not at the moment." The door closed again, and I turned the lock so he couldn't enter.
I don't know why I was acting so shy around him. After all, I really liked him, and I wanted so much to be with him. The obvious tension growing between us was more than palpable.
"Aww, come on. I'll show you mine, if you show me yours." His voice whispered through the door and ignited a smoldering ember inside of me.
I swallowed hard, and unlocked the door. With a deep breath, I threw it wide open and swaggered into the room. For a moment, Eric's eyes went wide, but then took on a lustful glazed look.
He held out his wrists to me, "Arrest me now…please. I may not come willingly, so you'll probably want to use force."
Yes. Amelia had sent me all the way to Paris with a sexy cop uniform. Well, it looked more like a long black shirt than anything. It had a wide belt that I buckled around my hips, and she had included a set of rhinestone handcuffs with keys. The outfit was paired with fishnet thigh highs that had cute little handcuffs at the top, and simple black three-inch heels.
Ignoring his remark instead, I did my own lustful gazing at Eric's costume.
To say his costume left little to the imagination would have been an understatement. He had on a brown leather studded collar that fastened around his luscious neck and draped across the top of his shoulders. His matching studded and pleated leather skirt came down to just above his knees and sat precariously low on his waist. Each wrist was adorned with laced up leather cuffs, and attached to the left side of his skirt was sheathed a fake metal sword.
When I first saw Eric on the plane, I thought he reminded me of some big blonde Viking, but damn. I shivered inside and a sudden need to be pillaged and conquered bubbled inside of me.
I was completely speechless, and my face heated with embarrassment for the thoughts running through my head. I turned on my heels so he wouldn't see and almost lost my balance. A pair of strong arms rested on my hips and I shuddered from the contact.
"So can we go and get this over with already?" He picked up my coat on the way out, and we walked the two blocks down the Champs-Élysées to the Tours Vincennes.
Vincennes was a high-rise building with mostly offices; however, one of the top floors was a banquet hall that could be reserved for large meetings and parties. From what I understood, it had a spectacular view of the Eiffel Tower at night.
I shivered a bit in the cool night breeze as we walked, and wondered how Eric could be so warm without a shirt. He must have picked up on my musings and put his arm around me.
"I'm Scandinavian. We love nudity and cold."
The party didn't start until ten o'clock, and by the time we arrived at eleven, it was in full swing. There were all sorts of costumes imaginable, from the mundane to the elaborate. I swear someone was walking around here dressed as King Louis XIV.
Eric hung my coat up for me, and when he returned to the main room, he immediately pulled me onto the dance floor. I loved to dance, but wasn't sure how well I'd manage in this very short costume. I was already flushed with red from people staring at me.
Eric leaned close so I could hear him. "They're staring at you because you look so hot in that uniform. They want you as much as I do."
His eyes were hooded with lust, and a fierce look of desire. It made me flinch, as shades of Bill's jealousy and possessiveness rang through me. Eric and I had been bonding this past week, but what did I really know of him. What if, deep down, he was like Bill?
To cover my momentary pause, I smiled and blurted out, "Oh no. I think they're staring at the half-naked Viking god dancing in front of me."
Over the next hour we danced, and drank, and talked. It was a typical Halloween party, and I saw nothing overly spectacular about it, except for the view. The DJ was playing the latest hits though, and everyone seemed to be having a great time.
At one point, the tempo of the music changed, and a slow sultry melody blared from the speakers. Eric leered at me and crooked his finger, beckoning me with a 'come hither' look.
I wasn't aiming to get drunk this evening, but I had already swallowed down my second gin and tonic. The air around me was buzzing, and his look penetrated my skin with such heat, that my temperature was climbing to uncontrollable peaks.
I shook my head no, and Eric moved closer, always keeping his gaze fixed on me, and slinked his right arm around my back. He rested his left hand on my shoulder, and circled his pelvis into mine, over and over.
I closed my eyes as erotic sensations washed over me. The heat from his body, and especially his pelvis, hit me like tidal waves crashing onto the beach, and I could feel my nipples tighten, while pools of moisture formed between my thighs.
He pressed his body against mine, and my lips trembled as his hardness pushed against my abdomen. If we had been alone, you'd think we were having sex right about now. My inner muscles clenched as though they were trying to grip something, and aching because there was nothing to hold on to.
Lips nuzzled my neck as the music spurred us on, and a whispered voice reached my ears…you're mine.
Suddenly, my body went rigid and I forced Eric away from me. Was that all I was to him, a prize to be won? I quickly backed away and he stood in place, puzzled by my actions. It was only when he realized I was heading toward the elevators, did he pursue me.
"Stay away from me." I pushed the down button repeatedly, praying it would get there before he did.
I'd never been so glad to see elevator doors open. I entered, and pushed the lobby button, again repeatedly as his large frame loomed closer. I started to breathe a sigh of relief as the doors began to close, but the breath hitched in my throat as a hand stopped it from completely closing. The door slid open again, and Eric stepped in and let the door close behind him.
"Sookie, what's going on?" He reached for my arm, but I shrunk against the corner.
"Don't touch me. I'm not some conquest you can add to your bedpost. I'm not an object to be possessed."
His face mirrored shock as the words registered with him. Before he could answer, the elevator jostled us back and forth, and then came to a screeching halt.
"Are you okay?"
I checked in with my body, and found I was no worse for wear. "I'm fine. Please tell me we're not stuck."
"I'm afraid we are." Eric popped open a panel below the buttons, and lifted the little phone off the hook. He spoke French to the person on the other line and then hung up. "It looks like it's going to be a while before they can get someone here."
Instead of panicking, he sunk to the floor and stretched out his legs. He patted a space next to him, but I remained in the corner.
He was visibly upset by my words. "Sookie, can you really stand there and tell me, after getting to know each other, that you would think me capable of something like that? We have real chemistry between us, I can feel it and I know you do to." He paused a moment to reflect on something, and then frowned at his own musing. "Sookie, I'm not Bill. Believe me; I know all about his temper and jealousy. I also know that he tends to string a girl along, while keeping something on the side. You may not know this about us, but we were roommates in college for a year, until I couldn't stand it any longer. I know all about his ways, so please never confuse me with him."
That knocked the wind right out of my sail, and I carefully sat down next to him. My eyes began to water and he cautiously reached up to wipe them dry. "I'm sorry. I haven't had that much experience with relationships, so you can imagine if Bill is all I have to go by."
Eric placed a hand on my thigh, and looked into my eyes. "You're forgiven."
He slowly leaned closer to my face and I caught myself leaning in to kiss his lips. There was an instant connection again between us, and it was as if we were back on that dance floor, intertwined in a frenzy of heat and lust.
I reached up to cup his cheek as his fingers slid up my thigh, and played with the lacy edges of the stockings. More fingers brushed over my nipples and they hardened as he teased them through the fabric.
My tongue slid over his lip, and down his jaw line as I reached his neck. He tilted his head back, as my mouth closed around his Adam's apple and I lightly sucked. A low moan reverberated off my lips, and traveled straight down to my center, which had heated to lava-like temperatures again.
The fingers that were playing with my stockings, slid up even further and plucked at the thin black fabric of my thong. It snapped back each time, striking my lips, causing them to swell.
He nuzzled my hair and whispered into my ear. "Tell me, Sookie. Tell me what you want."
I managed to form words between pants. "I want…Oh God…I want you so much."
Unable to hold back any longer, he fisted my panties and ripped them apart, completely exposing me. Two long fingers slipped into me as his thumb circled my clit, and I reached up and pulled down the zipper to my costume. Barely able to focus my thoughts, I started unbuttoning his sultan pants, as he unclasped the front hook of my pushup bra.
"So wet…so tight…" Eric's mouth latched onto one of my nipples and sucked roughly, while my hand snaked under his skirt, and caressed his hard cock. I vaguely remembered we were in a stuck elevator, as he moved to pay attention to the other nipple.
I imagined that Eric was big, but the thickness I felt was a little daunting and I wondered if he would actually fit inside of me. My question was automatically answered as he inserted a third finger into my core, and began stretching me to accommodate him.
Moans and groans were coming from both of us, and if anyone was standing outside, they must have thought the elevator was haunted by ghosts…sexy ghosts, who were about to get it on.
My body ached with loss as Eric disengaged from me to pull off his briefs, and unbuckle my belt. I took the opportunity to move so my back was on the floor, and Eric looked down at me, grinning. He had my handcuffs in his hand swinging them around his index finger.
I laughed. "Not on your life buster…" One side of my lips curled into a sexy smirk. "At least not right now."
I pulled him down, and crushed his lips to mine, as his hands roamed the curves of my body, searching for all my sensitive spots. He worked his way down, licking and nibbling my nipples, my elbows, and anywhere else he could get to until he reached my thighs.
He pulled my legs wider apart, and without warning, he took a long slow lick at the wetness that had coated me. My back arched, and I whimpered at how skilled his mouth and fingers were. He reached up and pulled one of my hands down, joining his in teasing my clit, and causing me to spasm on his tongue, as he lapped at my pleasure spot.
He growled in appreciation and blew a stream of cool air over me that caused me to shudder. Barely holding on by a thread, he crawled slowly back up my body, and whispered as he nibbled my neck. "Sookie, I meant what I said. I won't ever let anything bad happen to you. You deserve to be loved and cherished."
I looked up at him lovingly. "Sometimes I think you're too good to be true. I wish I could just open myself up to you completely."
Eric smiled down at me, quirking an eyebrow. "As you wish."
Positioning himself at my entrance, Eric speared me with a long, hard thrust. I cried out and reached up to hold onto the wall rails, as Eric plunged into me over and over again, each time with more vigor than the last. My legs wrapped around his hips, holding on for dear life. I didn't know how much more could take.
I felt myself begin to clench around him, my orgasm imminent, and I needed just the right thing to push both him and me over the edge. The sight of me reaching down with one hand, stroking my clit, was our undoing. My back arched and I screamed out his name and a few "oh Gods" while flickers of hot intense lights danced in front of my eyes.
Eric buried his face into my neck, and with a few thrusts through the tightness, he groaned as he spilled himself into me. I didn't mind the weight of him as he collapsed on top of me, thin layers of sweat beading off both of us.
He rolled off of me, and onto the floor next to me, panting and trying to catch his own breath, while I tried catching mine. We turned our heads and stared at each other, then burst into a fit of laughter. I'm not sure why, but it was a good moment between us.
Unfortunately, that moment didn't last long, as the elevator began jostling again, and we could feel its descent. We jumped up off the floor and quickly righted ourselves as the familiar ding announced we had reached the lobby.
Several people were staring at us, as if they knew what we had been up to, and we sped out of there before anyone could speak to us. As we headed back to our hotel, I remembered that my coat was still at the Vincennes, but Eric said we could get it in the morning. Since I was shivering, he wanted to get me back and warm me up. Warm me up indeed.
A blush crept onto my cheeks as we entered yet another elevator and watched the door close, and we strode down the hallway with long steps, reaching our door.
Eric slid the key in the lock, and cracked open the door. At the same time, he produced something metal and shiny from his pocket. With his eyebrows waggling, he leered down at me and snapped one of the cuffs over my wrist. "So… is this a better time?"
As he closed the door behind us, I couldn't help but think that this man had just arrested my heart.
Thanks so much for reading our fic and we hope you had as much fun reading it as we did writing it! Don't forget to vote :-)
Buni and Zee
Eric's costume - http:// tinyurl . com /yjx98g3
Sookie's costume - http:// tinyurl . com /ykacmsr
Translations by Indigobuni:
Je suis désolé, monsieur. Nous n'avons pas une réservation pour vous.
I'm sorry, sir. We do not have a reservation for you.
Cela n'est pas possible. J'ai eu une réservation commençant la semaine prochaine. Mon employeur m'a dit il a appelé pour ajouter cette semaine aussi.
That's not possible. I had a reservation starting next week. My employer told me he called to add this week as well.
Encore, je suis très désolé. Le système montre que vous avez eu une réservation, mais le seul changement fait était une annulation. J'essaierais de vous obtenir une autre pièce, mais nous sommes complètement réservés.
Again, I am very sorry. The system does show that you had a reservation, but the only change made was a cancellation. I would try to get you another room, but we are completely booked.
Mon petit chou
(roughly) my little cream puff (a term of endearment)