Dead on a Football Field – chapter 7
Thank you so much for your great reviews to the last chapter!
This is the last chapter of my little football tale. I never meant the story to be long. It was just a story about Eric and Sookie and their banter, sex and eventually something more. Never anything interfering or anyone coming between them - Bill, Quinn and Sam were only extras.
Thank you so much to Rachalthemutant who liked the final chapter too and gave it the go ahead. No Rascal – no story!
From the previous chapter:
The tickling and the hairpulling escalated and soon we were kissing deeply and passionately.
"Are you okay with this?" he managed to ask between kisses. "We don`t have to do anything, you know."
But we did. I wanted to feel alive. I wanted to chase the ghosts away. And I suppose I also wanted to celebrate that Eric Northman and I had taken our relationship to a new step.
Acknowledging that it was a relationship.
Sophie Anne and Andre were not very surprised when we announced our relationship. And we weren`t kicked out of the club, which had been my biggest worry ever since Northman and I fucked in a hotel room so long ago.
"We only made the rule to make sure you weren`t sexually harassed, Sookie," Sophie Anne said with a smile. "Now that it`s voluntary, we`ll just can that rule."
My tall, blond striker pulled me closer to him.
"Oh, she will be sexually harassed on a daily basis, Sophie Anne. Don`t worry."
He was so full of himself, I couldn`t help flipping him the bird.
"Just make sure this doesn`t interfere with results on the field," Andre warned.
"But it does interfere with result," I said. "This lazy ass here needed some motivation," I teased. "Look how well he`s doing."
"You are really sacrificing everything for the club, huh Sookie?" Northman winked. "Every time we have sex you are staring at the ceiling, not enjoying anything and only thinking of the next game?"
Andre and Sophie Anne suddenly became very busy.
"We do not want to hear about your sex life and that goes for all the players too. So just keep it professional." Sophie Anne tried to be serious.
And she was right. Of course we wouldn`t be a couple outside my house or his apartment – and perhaps a few more places if the urges came over us. We would be tough assistant coach and successful footballer and nothing more when we had people around us.
Northman had a harder time keeping his dirty mouth to himself, but a stare from me usually helped. Or a harsh word. I sometimes contemplated buying one of those dog collars with electric power in them and pressing the button on the remote to "on" every time I heard him make one of his extremely lame sexual innuendos. Being slightly electrocuted from time to time might teach him a lesson. But then, pain and domination had never turned me on.
Northman really did play like a god of football and I was impressed with his attitude. Gone was the lazy ass I had met in the beginning of the season and in return I had a very dedicated athlete on my team.
Granted, he was no Emil Zatopek, the Czech runner who had been so dedicated at running, he, at the spur of the moment, signed up for the marathon too, after having run the 5000 and 10.000 meter. "Just for the fun of it." And he won. An Olympic Gold Medal. After having won the two others.
No, he was no Emil Zatopek running just for the fun of it, but he wasn`t complaining and bitching about it either.
All in all, Northman and I worked out very well. We had tons of fun. Incredible sex. We even talked a lot and got pretty close. I had started to trust him when he comforted me on that shitty day I thought I would never survive. And he showed me deeper sides of himself. I knew he wasn`t stupid, but I had been prejudicial enough to be surprised at how smart he actually was.
So when he one day came with two suitcases in addition to the toothbrush and shaver he already had at my place, it only felt natural.
We were a good team privately and on a great team professionally. I liked my life.
Of course destiny had to fuck it up. And I couldn`t even blame Northman. He just followed his dream. It was when he thought it was my dream too, things fell apart.
This was a perfect summer. I had found a new level of talent somewhere. Or maybe it had been there all the time, but Sookie`s bossing me around with exercise and food had brought it out in the open.
When I got the call from the national team coach, I knew this was an opportunity I wanted to use for all it was worth. And I did. I scored a perfect goal against Austria, but that wasn`t really noticed by anyone but crying Austrians. And the cheering supporters carrying me off the field. I was a hero for several days.
It was the game against Italy that really did it for me. Italy always made us shiver in our shorts. Not only did they win most games, but you knew you would have to have at least one goal before they got into the match, because the cowards put everyone in defense the second they were ahead.
I had always hated Italian football. I hated how they fell the minute someone looked at them funny, trying to get the referee to issue penalties to the opposing team. For me British football was the ideal, not Italian. And I went into the match with a deep desire to score goals.
Which I did. Three times. It was even a true hattrick and that evening I could read about myself in sportspapers all over Europe. Fuck, it felt good.
I made sure to give Sookie credit for it, both in public and privately. In spite of sore muscles, I fucked Sookie into Orgasm Heaven that night and I fell asleep knowing life couldn`t be better.
The next day showed me that I had been wrong. Life could indeed be even better. An agent approached me about a contract with an English team. It wasn`t Premier league, but as close to it as one could come.
It was West Bromwich Albion, a team with a great history. Unfortunately the yo-yo curse had been cast on the club, making them go up and down from Premier League every summer. This summer they had gone down and they needed reinforcements. And I was on their very short list.
Imagine how life can turn around when you meet the right girl?
The agent was not a fool. He had done his homework and his first question, after we had said a few pleasantries, was "What about Sookie Stackhouse?"
I figured there wasn`t any reason to feign ignorance. She was an important part of my life and the agent apparently knew it. I had to admit that a little guy inside me did summersaults. My relationship with Sookie had reached the ears of important agents. I smiled because somehow it made Sookie and me more official.
"She means very much to me," I answered.
Now the agent smiled at me.
"I`m very glad to hear that because WBA also wants to make her an offer. They need a new assistant coach and they are very impressed with what she`s been doing here. I mean," he looked at me conspiratorially, "we all know that the success of this team had nothing to do with Andre."
Now my inner guy went from summersaults to frantic screaming in joy. But I kept my cool.
"I`m sure Sookie would be a perfect choice for you. I must admit that I hated the idea of having a female coach when she came to the team, but she is tough enough to deal with arrogant asses like me and she impresses me every day. She knows everything there is to know about coaching and she is not afraid of using it."
I stopped myself before I started to sound like a telemarketing person, trying to sell a new insurance.
"That sounds good. I have been authorized to give you both an offer if I thought your relationship wouldn`t cause any problems for the club. And it doesn`t seem to so if I will call Ms. Stackhouse immediately and ask for a meeting."
Then I said something I would later regret saying.
"Can I bring her the good news?"
Such an innocent sentence. So much trouble it brought us.
Northman would never win a poker game because all his emotions were right there in his face. When he came home that evening, and yes, my house was now his home too, he couldn`t stop smiling, even if he tried very hard when he saw me looking at him.
After an hour of silliness I had finally had it.
"You look like a cat that swallowed a canary. Tell me what is happening or I will tie you down and tickle you with a feather. Slowly." I couldn`t help smiling since his face was so filled with joy.
"Oooh, sounds tempting," he wiggled. Then he started coughing slightly and I suddenly paled and lost my breath. What if he was going to ask me to marry him? Nooo, he couldn`t be that stupid?
"Yeah, yeah. Enough of that vulture-circling around a dead camel. Speak up, Nothman. You obviously have something to say."
He pulled me down on the couch and that got me even more nervous. I was ready to jump up and run for the hills if he made any attempts of getting down on his knees.
"You are right, Sookie. I have some great news for us." He grabbed both my hands. Then he looked me in the eyes for a few minutes. "We have both been offered a contract with West Bromwich Albion," he said and he smiled wider than the wife of a US presidential candidate.
"What do you mean we have both been offered contracts? You have been offered a contract to play for WBA?" I didn`t understand anything of what he was saying.
"YES!" He almost made a `Tom Cruise visits Oprah` on my sofa. "I`m going to play for them if Sophie Anne agrees to sell me, but I can`t see how she can say no to all the millions they will be throwing at her."
I smiled. "That`s great, Northman. You really deserve this. You`ve worked hard for it and you have a great talent. I`m so glad for you." I leaned over to give him a hug. This was fantastic. It was his dream come true.
In the back of my mind, a little voice started worrying about how we would keep seeing each other, but I shut that voice up. Hell no, if I was going to stand in his way. An opportunity like this would never come back.
"Didn`t you hear the other part of it, Sookie?" He had little stars in his eyes. "They want you as well. As assistant coach. We`ll still be a team!"
"What do you mean? They`ve never asked me to come join them."
"No, they asked me and I told them I could ask you."
What the hell?? I was stunned and I couldn`t say a word. Unfortunately Northman took that as utter happiness and he kept rambling about how perfect this would be and how happy he was for us. I had to stop him.
"I can`t go, Northman!" I yelled to get through his happy word-vomit.
He stared at me, apparently trying to see if I was joking. I wasn`t.
"What do you mean, Sookie? It`s a great opportunity for you and we can still be together." He searched his brain. "And you can be closer to Jason when he gets out of rehab."
"If I sign with a club, I want to know they wanted me for me, not because of who I screw."
Sometimes it`s best to be blunt.
"What the hell, Sookie. You stupid b… . They wanted you for you…"
"Which was why they sent you to ask me?" I stated.
"What? No! They wanted to ask you themselves, but…"
"But they wanted to make sure it was fine by you first."
"Well, yes, but that doesn`t mean anything. They have seen your work and want you for you."
"Somehow I doubt it. And I`m not going."
He was stunned and looked at me with a mixture of hurt and anger.
"So this…" his hand made a movement between us, "means nothing to you?"
Fuck. I was hurt because they wanted me to sign on as some sort of football wife under contract and he was hurt because I said no.
We quarreled most of the night and in the end he went home. To HIS home. Not mine.
It was painful to say goodbye to him and I cried myself to sleep every night for a month. I had never felt like this over anyone before and it was a shock for me to realize how much Northman had actually gotten under my skin.
The lazy, arrogant bastard. And I was in love with him.
I threw myself into my job, but coaching Quinn, who now had Northman`s spot, just wasn`t the same.
Then one day when I came home from work, a guy was sitting on the stairs to my front door. He got up when he saw me approach, held out his hand and introduced himself.
"I`m the agent who lured Eric out of the country," he said.
I wanted to punch him for causing me so much grief, but I also wanted to kiss him for giving Northman the opportunity he deserved.
"And I`m the assistant coach who stayed behind," I answered.
"Yes, that was what I came to talk to you about. May I come in?"
"Sure." I opened the door and let him hang his coat and showed him to my couch. "Can I get you a cup of tea or coffee or something?"
"No, but please sit down here with me. "
"Okay," I said and sat down in my recliner.
"West Bromwich Albion really needs you, Ms. Stackhouse. I have a contract here and I hope you will at least consider it."
"They need me for…?" I asked in a hard voice, afraid of the answer.
"The coach is great at football strategy and at putting together the perfect team, but he is not very good at turning good players into great ones. I understand this is your strength and they need it."
"So they want my coaching skills?"
"Yes, Ms. Stackhouse. They are offering you a job as assistant coach. A real one. Not a bogus one."
"And?" I asked.
"They want me as a coach and?"
He looked at me without understanding what I meant.
"My point is that I am a good assistant coach, but I`m not the only one around. Why me?"
He nodded and smiled in acknowledgement of my question.
"To be honest, the club also finds it positive that you are a woman. They hope to attract more female fans by hiring you. But I can assure you that your coaching skills are what made them make the offer in the first place. You being a woman is just beautiful icing on the cake."
"Thank you. But I`m sure there is at least one more reason why they made this offer?"
The agent laughed.
"You have quite a head on your shoulders, Ms. Stackhouse, and you are not afraid of asking the tough questions. I like that." He coughed a little. "To give you an honest answer, yes, West Bromwich Albion currently has a sulking striker bitching at everyone in the team and they would love to see him happy. But they would never have made you this offer if they didn`t want you to actually coach. You will just have to trust me on that one."
I was quiet for a while, thinking it through. Then I asked him a few questions on the terms in the contract and before he left that evening, he had my signature on it.
A stone fell from my heart.
Five years later
I couldn`t have stopped smiling if I had been paid a million kroner for it. I had after all waited for this day, this moment, for so long. I could not count the number of times Sookie had said no and finally she had agreed.
The two year contract with West Bromwich Albion had turned into four and when Sophie Anne rang Sookie to ask her if she would take over as head coach after Andre, I figured that my football career was over and I went home with her.
I had taken coaching courses while being a player so when I came home, I was offered a position coaching a women`s team. Actually it was Sookie`s old team. How ironic was that?
I didn`t have Sookie`s willpower as a coach, but I got along fine on my charm. A women`s team was clay in my hands. I just needed to smile and wiggle my eyebrows a little and all the players worked much harder in practice and in the games.
It was probably against some moral codex for coaches to use their looks and charms, but it got me my results and that was what mattered. I never did anything inappropriate with the players, of course, I had my Sookie and wanted no one else. But I could still use my manwhoring or male-bimbo streaks, right?
I would never be able to coach a male team, though. I was pretty sure they wouldn`t run an extra lap just for an eyebrow wiggle from The Great Northman.
And now I was here, waiting for Sookie. I had butterflies in my stomach and I felt like throwing up, but it was still the happiest day of my life.
I looked at all the people waiting for us. Some of them had just come out of curiosity, but most of them were close friends and family. Sookie`s friends and family. My friends and family. No, ours. After today they were all ours.
The doors of the church opened and so did my mouth. Sookie stood there with Jason holding her arm, and she was a sight for gods.
I couldn`t help smiling when I saw her dress. She had of course turned down the traditional white layercake of a dress and wore instead one that was custom made in all kinds of colors. It was made out of flags from her club. No, our club. The club where we met each other. I don`t know why Dolly Parton`s song `Coat of Many Colors` came to my mind, because Sookie`s dress was made with care and it looked great.
Sookie looked fantastic and from the gasp in the church, I would say everyone agreed.
I loved that woman and I couldn`t wait until she came to the altar. Why did Jason walk so slowly? Fuck, wasn`t he an ex-footballer? One would think he could move those feet a bit faster.
I looked down to double check my own clothes. I wore the traditional black jacket and trouser, but I smiled when I looked at my vest because it was also sewn from club flags. And so was my neck tie. Sookie and I had apparently had the same crazy idea – and it proved yet again how well we fit each other. Not that I needed proof of our compatibility. Not after all we had been through together.
Finally Jason Slowfoot had his sister by my side and I kissed her cheek and held her hand. The minister turned around and looked at us.
"Eric, Sookie. We are gathered here today to join…."
I didn`t hear anything else. I felt Sookie`s warm hand in mine and my brain could only administrate one sentence right now and that was `I`m getting married to Sookie, I`m getting married to Sookie.`
I would just have to see the ceremony on video afterwards because it was not possible for me to see or hear anything now. Well, not until I heard the important words.
"Say after me, Sookie. I Sookie…"
"I Sookie…" she said.
"Take you Eric…"
"Take you Eric…"
I couldn`t help smirking and suddenly Sookie realized it too. She looked at me, first with question in her eyes and then with realization. For the first time in our 5 year relationship, I had managed to get Sookie to call me Eric. Not Northman, not Eric Northman. Eric.
I mentally thanked the minister for agreeing on not to say our last names. And not telling Sookie about the agreement.
Sookie finished repeating the minister and afterwards it was my turn. I smiled at her when I emphasized my name and I could see her lips mime something to me.
Fuck you, they said. Of course to most of the people watching us, it would seem that she mimed Love you, but I knew Sookie. Fuck you would definitely be something she could say at her wedding. In the church. In front of the minister.
I bent over and kissed her cheek and then whispered in her ear: "I love you too, Mrs. Northman". I couldn`t help laughing silently. Sookie would of course never change to my last name and I would never ask her to. Why should I? But I was still allowed to tease her, right?
Her opinion on that matter came when I pulled back and looked her in the eyes. Out of her mouth darted her pink little tongue at me. I laughed and so did the whole church.
And after all, she could have flipped me the bird. Which could have been pretty awkward given that a picture of it definitely would be on the front-page of tomorrow`s papers.
Thank you for following this story to the end. I hope you liked it :-D