Okay. Don't string me up by the toes just yet. I promise I will finish Their Book of Dreams. This story is just a little side piece I've been thinking up for the past week or so. It's been fighting to work it's way out. I have a few chapters done and don't plan on this one being very long. I just needed to get this out of my system to start working on TBoD again. I actually made an outline for this story. So there is a clear end in sight. That should make it easier to write and finish. So here it is.


"What do you mean the deposit doesn't add up? That's your damn job. Figure it out and report back to me." Eric slammed down the phone and shoved his fingers into his hair. There were days owning a casino was a blessing. Then there were days like these. His books weren't balancing, state inspectors were hovering over his properties, and his girlfriend hadn't stopped calling all day.

The first two he could handle. Felicia, however, was an entirely different issue. She was hot to get him to propose. He wasn't ready. At 32 years old most men were settling down, but Eric had never went along with the status quo. Turning down a multi-million dollar trust fund to work at a casino had sent his parents into a fit. Six years later he had worked himself up through the ranks. He became VP of operations three years ago. One year later the owner of Night Owl's Casino died. The big surprise came when he left the casino to Eric.

At first he balked at the gift, just as he had his trust fund. But common sense won out. He'd earned it. Now he almost wished he had just taken his trust fund and went to play with the other rich kids.

He knew he had no basis to complain. He had a beautiful home, filled with beautiful things. Hell, he even had a maid. His maid. Ms. Sookie Stackhouse. Just her name caused him to smile. She was the exact opposite of Felicia in every way. Felicia took what she wanted and connived to get what she couldn't take easily. She was cunning and smart.

Sookie was smart too. In a sweet Southern Belle way. He didn't get to speak to her often, but when he did he always walked away smiling. She blushed a lot. He liked that. But underneath her sweet exterior was one smart girl. She could keep up with him on an array of topics. One night he had come home after a particularly bad day and flipped on the news. As he was berating the current President, Sookie was laughing at him. When he turned to her to ask why she was laughing she launched into a speech about how much better this President was than the last. While he didn't agree with her, he was surprised by her intelligence and found himself disagreeing with her just to have her speak to him much longer.

"Northman, we found the problem. It turns out one of the black jack dealers was pocketing chips." His assistant Pam's voice burst his daydream bubble. He shook his head to clear his thoughts and turned his attention to Pam. He almost smiled when he saw the annoyed look on her face. She was like a sister to him. They'd had a few rolls in the hay until she decided she was a lesbian. That was fine with him. He took in her appearance. Black pencil skirt, pale blue blouse, black pumps, blonde her pushed away from her face with a headband. She looked like she belonged in the 50's.

"Are you even paying attention to me?"

"Huh? Oh, Yeah. Send the dealer up. I'll take care of it."

Eric barely noticed Pam leaving. He was rubbing his forehead, trying to get the ache to go away.

Some days weren't even worth getting out of bed for.

~*~

Eric arrived home after 8pm. His mood had worsened progressively throughout the day. After firing Benny and calling the local police he had to fill out a million forms. He hated paperwork. He'd rather be out on the floor making his customers happy. Tonight he didn't get to do any of that. He'd stayed locked in his office until leaving a half an hour ago.

He walked into the kitchen and inhaled the wonderful aroma of Sookie's pot roast. Even though he paid her as a maid she insisted on cooking him dinner as well. He loved coming home and being surprised by whatever she had whipped up. The only problem was she never stayed to eat with him. Most nights he ate alone. Felicia didn't like coming to his home. She said it would give people the wrong idea about her if they saw her leaving his place at night.

Felicia was certainly no angel. They had been together for just over a year and he'd had her in every position conceivable. No, Felicia was no angel.

Eric finished warming up the dinner Sookie had left for him and ate it in front of his big screen tv in the living room. Just as he was about to get up to put his dishes away the phone rang. When he saw the caller ID he settled back against the sofa, unzipped his jeans and waited for the entertainment to start.

"Hey Eric. It's me. So what are you wearing?" Eric smirked. Felicia was definitely no angel.

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So...... What do you guys think?