Chapter 15: So He Won't Break
"Initiative is doing the right thing without being told." –Victor Hugo
After hearing the full details of what Sookie went through during the robbery, I decided I really had to stop feeling for myself and come up with a plan to make things easier on her. The best way to do that was to get my own shit together and that meant dealing with the shop. I also decided I was going to call around to a few friends and see if anyone had tried to pawn Sookie's Gran's ring. If I could get that back for her, I had a feeling it would go a long way to repairing the damage that had been done. I knew how much that ring meant to her.
We ate dinner in bed and fell asleep watching a movie on TV. The next morning she was up before me and making breakfast when I came downstairs. She had already contacted a locksmith and had an appointment set to meet him out at her house later that afternoon. She had also spoken with my mother, so that was taken care of as well.
"Your mom is adorable," Sookie smiled and handed me a glass of orange juice.
"She was worried about you," I pushed myself up onto the counter while Sookie pulled more ingredients from the fridge.
"I invited your parents over for dinner on Sunday. I hope you don't mind," Sookie bit her bottom lip.
"No, not at all. It's been a while since they've been here." I took a drink of my juice.
"Good because I wouldn't have called them back to rescind in the invitation," Sookie said as she started to crack eggs into a bowl.
"How's your head feeling?" I pulled a whisk from one of the drawers and handed it to her.
"Still a little sore but otherwise, I feel fine," she shrugged it off like the warrior I'd decided she was. "Are you sure you're okay with taking me out to Bon Temps? I can ask Jason to meet the locksmith for me if you're not up to it."
"It's fine. Chow is taking care of most of the cleaning, surprisingly enough. I'll probably get back in there later on tonight or maybe sometime tomorrow," I shrugged and when Sookie gave me a disapproving look I reassured her I would do it.
We were just sitting down to breakfast when my cell phone rang over on the counter. Sookie jumped up to get it, but I wouldn't let her. I didn't recognize the number but picked it up anyway and I was glad I did, since it was Detective Sanders calling to let me know that they had picked up Felipe and Victor.
"We got them this morning. We were able to recover Sookie's wallet and cell phone, along with her keys. The credit cards and any cash she was carrying are gone and so is her driver's license. The house is being tossed at the moment to see if we can find the missing jewelry but it might have been sold already," Detective Sanders didn't sound too hopeful about finding the stuff but I knew people who might be able to point me in the right direction.
I handed the phone over to Sookie so she could speak with the detectives. Her car hadn't been located yet but officers were keeping an eye out for it. She was going to need to stop by the police station to see if she could identify the guys in person, even though she'd already picked them out of a bunch of pictures. She also had to sign her formal statement and from then on, her case would be handled by one of the assistant district attorneys.
After breakfast I got in the shower, at Sookie's insistence, while she cleaned up the kitchen. I figured out that she was a lot like me in that she needed to find a way to keep herself busy when she felt like things were spinning out of control. I'd gotten lost for a little while there, thinking of all the things that could have gone wrong instead of how to fix the clusterfuck that had come into our life. A quick check of my email after my shower had me smiling.
I had received confirmation that my tickets for the Black Keys concert had been mailed out to me. I hadn't had the chance to mention it to Sookie yet but with everything that had just happened, a few days in Dallas without all of this other bullshit to weigh us down sounded perfect. I was still sitting on my bed, grinning like a fool when she came into the room to get dressed.
"I can't wait to wash my hair," she groaned and then coiled it into a bun. "It just looks so disgusting and it feels even worse. What are you smiling about?"
I closed my laptop and asked, "Have you ever been to Dallas?"
She thought for a moment before answering me. "Uh, not since college. Why?"
"Because the Black Keys are playing there in a couple of weeks and I bought us tickets. I thought maybe we could spend a long weekend there," I suggested and the smile on her face told me she was in.
"I would love to! Their music has really grown on me." Sookie pulled a pair of clean panties from the drawer she'd stashed them in.
"I thought it was just me," I mock pouted and she climbed up onto the bed next to me.
"Yes, you've grown on me too," she kissed my cheek. "When did you buy the tickets?"
I hesitated for a moment but figured I had nothing to lose by telling her the truth. "About twenty minutes after I got home from our first date. You seemed to like the music then and I thought even if things didn't work out between us, I would still go. But I bought them hoping you would be going with me."
"You really wanted me to still be around after just one date?" Sookie looked surprised.
"Well yeah but I'm not the commitment phobe," she reminded me.
"Ahem, that's reformed commitment phobe, thank you very much."
"Yes, I'm sorry, you're reformed. It seems I've cured you."
"Sometimes I think you bewitched me," I smirked at her and she rested her head on my shoulder.
"Yeah, maybe I did. Did I ever tell you I'm a voodoo priestess in my spare time?" She joked and then squirmed when I tickled her side.
Sookie felt better once the locks were changed at her place and she wasn't the only one. She was considering installing an alarm as well. I hated that her security in her home had been robbed from her as well. Given that she lived out of the way and her nearest neighbor lived far enough away that if she screamed for help, he wouldn't hear her, I was concerned.
I started thinking about the possibility of us living together. It was fast, I knew that much, but it would eliminate a lot of the security issues. On the other hand, it would mean she would have to do a lot of driving back and forth to her job. I decided to shelve the conversation for the time being and see how things went once she was back in her own house. I could spend more time at her place. I honestly didn't care as long as she felt safe. Whether that was with me in Shreveport or me traveling to Bon Temps to be with her, it didn't matter.
We stopped at the bar she worked at while she was in college, up until she started her nursing rotations and had to quit. Her former boss, a guy named Sam, was a pretty nice guy. He was obviously concerned about Sookie and it was through Arlene, one of the waitresses, that I learned Sam had a pretty legendary crush on Sookie. When I asked Sookie about it after we left she just laughed it off.
"Oh please! That was years ago and it was always a one sided deal," Sookie shook her head.
"Well, I can't really fault him for being crazy about you," I kissed the back of her hand.
"Stop it! That was a long time ago! Sam has a girlfriend now, I'll have you know, and Janna is a really nice girl. They're good for each other," Sookie insisted. "Besides, even if Sam didn't have a girlfriend, I never saw him that way, not to mention, I have you."
"Poor bastard," I muttered under my breath.
I almost felt sorry for him.
True to my word from earlier that day, I dropped Sookie off at the house so she could plan out the menu for dinner with my parents while I went over to the shop to take a look at the damage. The place was locked up tight when I got there. We wouldn't be open for business until at least Monday. The broken glass had been swept up and the blood that had been on the floor and the wall was gone.
I stood at the spot where I had found Sookie laying unconscious for quite a while, those moments replaying themselves over and over again in my mind. It occurred to me that I could easily call up the video of the robbery since it was saved to our hard drive. I could see it all for myself and Sookie wouldn't need to know that I'd watched it. I realized, however, that I didn't really want to see it. I knew enough without watching the silent play by play of what she'd been through.
I knew if I watched the footage and saw the terror on her face, or those tears running down her cheeks, it would cripple me with rage and it would make me do stupid things. I would want to take revenge against those little shits that had hurt her and that wouldn't be doing anyone any favors. I took a few deep breaths and forced myself to move away from the counter. I surveilled the things that still needed to be done to get the shop back in business and there wasn't really a whole lot left. Did Chow actually give a shit about the store?
Mostly I suspected that Chow just wanted the weekend off. Whatever. I still needed to finish inventory but I wasn't in the mood for that. My head just wasn't in the right place. I went back to the office and looked at the orders Chow had placed for a replacement case. Thank God our insurance was going to cover the cost of that, or we'd be out another couple hundred dollars.
I went through the old rolodex I kept on my desk in there to see if I could find the phone number I had for a guy named Stan, who ran a pawn shop on the other side of town. If Sookie's jewelry wasn't in the house where the boys were found, odds were it had been pawned. Unless, God forbid, one of them had a girlfriend. I shuddered at the thought of any of those pieces being on another woman's body. The ring was going to be tainted enough already.
"6th Street Pawn," Stan answered in his gruff voice.
It was a voice you wouldn't expect on such a bookish little guy like Stan. I always expected he would be bigger, more like my size. Instead he was about a foot shorter than me and seemed to wear nothing but sweatervests and tweed pants. A guy like that should have had a voice like Kermit the frog, or maybe a stuffy, British accent.
"Hey Stan, it's Eric," I sat back in my chair.
"Long time. Heard about your store. That was some bullshit." Stan said angrily. "How's the girl?"
"Her name is Sookie. She's fine. She was released from the hospital yesterday. She's my girlfriend, actually," I informed Stan.
"Oh shit," he muttered. "I'm sure I've got a nice 9 mil if you're interested in a little Old West justice."
I laughed and said, "Nah, that's alright. The punks who did it got picked up earlier today. I'm actually calling because they stole a ring Sookie was wearing. It's a double banded ring encrusted with blue diamonds with a square cut diamond in the main setting. I was wondering if someone might have brought that in."
"No, I haven't seen anything like that but I can put the word out that you're looking for it. I'm surprised the cops haven't been in to see if I've got it." Stan explained to me.
"Well, anything you can do, I would appreciate. That ring belonged to Sookie's grandmother. It holds a lot of sentimental value for her that the insurance company can't compensate for."
"Understood. I'll keep my ear to the ground on this for you and I'll let you know if I find anything," Stan told me.
"Great. Thank you."
We made a few more minutes of small talk before Stan had to go take care of a customer. Feeling like I'd done all I could for the night, I closed up the store and headed home again. I found Sookie sitting on the bed, wrapped in a towel and combing out her wet hair.
"I couldn't wait anymore," she said even though she didn't have to explain herself to me. "How's the store doing?"
"It's good. I called a friend of mine who owns a pawn shop to see if someone had brought the ring in," I said as I kicked off my shoes.
"And?" Her face lit up with hope.
"He hasn't seen it yet but he's going to do some checking around with some people who might know something. Do you have a picture of the ring somewhere that I could email him?" It couldn't hurt to send the picture. The ring was fairly unique in its design so I doubted there were two of them floating around in the Shreveport area.
"If I do it would be back at my house," Sookie frowned. "I would send Jason over there to take a look but his key won't work anymore."
"Don't worry about it," I leaned over and kissed the top of her head. "We'll figure something out."
She sighed and finished combing out her hair. When she was done, she stood up and dropped her towel rather unceremoniously. It amazed me that I hadn't really thought about sex in the last forty-eight hours. I'd been too concerned with making sure she was okay and getting things settled to think about anything else. Seeing her standing there naked, her bottom lip lodged between her nibbling teeth, I knew she was thinking the same thing I was.
Sookie climbed back up onto the bed and then on top of me. "Thank you for taking care of me. I really don't know how I would have gotten through the last two days without you," she leaned down and kissed me.
I didn't comment on the fact that she wouldn't have had to get through the last few days if it wasn't for me. I knew she would just shush me and tell me to quit blaming myself. The fact that she held no ill will toward me for what happened to her when I was at least a little responsible for it only made me love her more. For me, it would be one of the biggest mistakes of my life and something I would always regret, but deep down I knew that kicking myself was a waste of time. What's done was done and there was no changing it.
I was careful about putting my hands in her hair so I didn't accidentally tug too hard and agitate her stitches. With that in mind, my hands ended up on her breasts instead and the fact that she didn't pull away was all the green light I needed. She took her time undressing me one piece of clothing at a time. After getting my pants off she crawled between my legs and the way she was looking at me left little doubt as to what she was about to do.
"Turn around," I told her and she arched an eyebrow at me. "I give as good as I get, or haven't you figured that out yet?"
"Oh I noticed," Sookie smiled and then did as I asked.
The second her taste hit my tongue, it lit something up in me. That feeling of gratefulness for having been given a second chance to show Sookie just how much I cared about her hit me again. It dawned on me then that I didn't just want her, I needed her. I'd never felt that way about someone before. I was used to the lust and all that kind of thing but the need I now felt wasn't just sexual.
That's because you love her, Northman, a little voice in my head told me. Love just seemed to simple a word, considering how complex an emotion it was. It baffled me how quickly it could sneak up on a person. One minute, I'm fine as I am and the next, I feel like I'm going crazy when she's not around. And the fact that I wasn't running for the hills spoke volumes about how right she was for me. At least I had to assume that was the reason I wasn't running.
The sensation of her moaning around my cock while I was fucking her with my tongue was nothing short of amazing. Damn, she tasted good. How could I have forgotten that? All of a sudden she sat up and started to lean to the side. I grabbed onto her hips to keep her from falling off the bed and I heard the nightstand open. I knew what she was going for and I couldn't help growling against her skin.
"Fuck that feels good," she moaned and shivered a little.
I let myself get lost in her while she put the condom on me. The subtle grind of her hips let me know how close she was to coming and I held her a little tighter while my lips fastened around her clit. Her legs trembled on either side of my head and her fingernails dug into my thighs.
"Oh God don't stop," she moaned, her hips moving faster and faster against my flicking tongue. "Oh fuck, I want you inside me."
That was definitely music to my ears but being the possessed man I was, I couldn't stop then. She screamed when she came and I had a hard time letting up on her. I wanted everything she had to offer and a little more. I was greedy, what can I say? She fell to the side, landing flat on her stomach. Well if that wasn't an invitation…
I shifted myself so I was on top of her and pulled her hair away from her ear. She was still breathing hard and moaning quietly as she shivered with aftershocks. I kissed her shoulders and moved closer to her ear. "You taste so fucking good, lover. Do you have any idea how hard I want to fuck you right now?"
She whimpered her response and rubbed her ass against me. I got up on my knees and lifted her hips up off the bed. She braced herself on her elbows and looked over her shoulder at me. I teasingly rubbed my cock against her clit and smirked when she started to rock back and forth on her knees.
"Eric, please," she moaned after a minute or two of torture for the both of us.
By then I was more than ready and started to ease inside her slowly. Fuck, she was so hot and tight. Her head sank down to the mattress and she groaned as I entered her. I fucking loved that sound. I moved slowly at first, giving her time to adjust, before picking up the pace. My hands moved up her sides to palm her breasts while my hips starting pounding against her.
The sound of her moans and flesh slapping against flesh filled the room. Her hair flew as her head whipped from side to side. She dropped onto the mattress entirely and I fell right along with her, covering her like a human blanket. With her legs closed like they were she felt impossibly tighter around me and the delicate fluttering of her muscles felt fucking awesome.
But I wanted to see her face when she came. I wanted to be able to kiss her and tell her I loved her while I looked into those beautiful eyes of hers. I pulled out and turned her over. Her legs fell open and I settled myself between them, pausing to kiss her for a minute (or five) before sliding inside her again. Our eyes locked and her hips rose to meet each of my thrusts.
The connected I felt to her in those moments was beyond intense and unlike anything I'd ever felt before. Her damp hair was fanned out in golden waves like a halo around her head. I couldn't stop kissing her. Her orgasm hit her hard and seemed to come from out of nowhere and it pulled me over the edge with her. Shit, she was squeezing me so tight, milking me over and over.
I dropped my head into the crook of her neck, breathing in her scent and kissing her slightly sweaty skin. Damn, she tasted good everywhere. When I pushed myself up I noticed that she was crying quietly and I worried that maybe I'd gotten a little too rough with her in the end.
"Did I hurt you?" I was starting to move off of her but she pulled me back.
"Stay," she whimpered, her lower lip trembling. "Stay with me for a little while."
I had no idea why she was crying but the fact that I hadn't hurt her didn't relieve me as much as I thought it would. I tried to gather her closer to me but I didn't want to crush her. She wrapped her arms around me, squeezing herself against my ribs. Eventually I had to peel myself away from her long enough to get rid of the condom before it turned into a great big mess and a total waste of time.
"Come back," she held her arms out to me after I got rid of the condom.
I resumed my position on top of her, pinning her against the bed. "What's wrong, lover?"
"I could have lost you." Was all she said and I completely understood how she felt. "I love you, Eric. Like, scary, deep in my soul love you. Sometimes it feels like I always knew you."
Shit, if she kept that up, I was going to start crying too. I swallowed the ball of emotion in my throat, refusing to be the totally whipped boyfriend I was, and settled for smoothing her hair back from her face instead. I peppered her face with little kisses; her forehead, nose, eyebrows, cheeks, chin, jaw, temples, eyelids and then the corners of her mouth, I left no part of that beautiful face unkissed.
"We're here now. That's all that matters," I whispered to her and she nodded before pulling me into the hungriest kiss I'd ever gotten.
Sorry for the delay! I've had this puppy in my bank but I've been busy this week. It's a very long story but my sister got married yesterday and we're throwing her shower tomorrow so there's been tons of prep work to do this week, not to mention I am balls deep in research for another project. So yeah... it's been a crazy week for yours truly. Hopefully the lemons made up for it a little bit. Thanks for reading!