I wouldn’t say I was scared when I touched down in front of her freshly painted house, but the not saying it didn’t make it any less true. I would have admitted to anxious if someone had held a stake to my heart.
The model rocket had seemed perfect last night when I stood in the mall staring it, a feeling of laughter and hope in my heart, but tonight when I had awakened it seemed like it might have been the worst idea I could have had.
What if she hated it?
What if she thought it was lame?
What if she built it today when I was resting and fired it at me when I knocked on our door?
Well, technically, my door, but the house was a sore subject for her, and I had made it worse. It was supposed to show her that she mattered, that I cared. I thought that was what I told her when I told her she was mine. Somehow, she heard something else.
Did she think I claimed just anyone?
Shaking that off, I moved to the door and knocked. This couldn’t be any worse than facing Russell Edgington, right?
No, not all, I answered myself. I mean, he would have taken your life, Sookie can only break your heart.
I had run a thousand scenarios in the flight over. None of them were what I actually got.
At the sound of my knock the door jerked open and then she was in my arms, hitting me with a force that drove me back a step on our porch. At first, she turned her face to the side, her cheek against my chest and then after a few moments of squeezing me and making an “mmmm” sound when she let go she rested her chin on my chest and looked up at me.
I was speechless.
Fairy Sookie was still in the hiz-zouse, as the rappers say. I could see her dancing merrily in my lover’s eyes. She had tiny wings of fire and an evil little grin on her face, or so I imagined as I tried to reconcile this woman with the one who had fucked me senseless at Fangtasia twenty four hours ago.
“Hi,” she said, looking up at me smiling slightly. My arms had come around her by reflex when she hugged me and now one of my hands moved up her back, under her long hair to rest at the back of her neck and head.
“Hi,” I said back, looking down at her and feeling all the tension I had about the gift leave me. Obviously, it was a hit.
She stepped back then and took my hand leading me into our house without a backward glance. I swung the door shut behind me and followed her to the dining room table where the box containing the rocket was waiting for us. She indicated which chair she wanted me to take and then rather than pull out her own she sat down in my lap, resting her back to my chest.
As my arms came around her to reach for the box my head was next to hers, my chin on her shoulder and I felt my cheek brush against hers. I froze when she turned her head slightly and kissed me softly on that same cheek.
There are moments were passion thunders, echoing in the valleys of the soul over and over again. There are moments when a body can comfort another like no other feeling in the world. It is a rare occurrence when those moments of passion and comfort are one, but her simple gesture did that.
She humbled me with her display of feeling and comfort in my presence that was wrapped in that one moment.
When in Rome, I thought, pulling her back closer to my chest and leaning forward to maintain that contact, I opened the box and began to remove its contents.
“I’ve never done this before,” she said watching my movements intently.
“Me either.” I told her so that she would know this was all new to me, too.
“It won’t be easy.”
“I wouldn’t want to do it if it were. Would you?”
“Probably not. I wouldn’t know how.”
“We have everything we need right here,” I told her, kissing her cheek now trying very much to instill the same magic in the gesture that she did.
“Yes, I think we do,” she nodded agreement. “What do we do first?” she sounded slightly out of breath, though she was sitting still on my lap, in the circle of my arms.
“We trust each other.”
“Yeah, is that so hard, Sookie? For you to trust me?”
“Well, I thought we might just read the directions?” she said holding up the paper and turning to look at me with an eyebrow raised.
There was something strange about insecure Eric Northman that brought what he called Fairy Sookie bubbling to surface.
It was absolute pure evil that had me teasing him with rocket kit instructions when I knew good and well he had been talking about us. That we had been talking about us.
I had been talking about us.
I understood in that moment of watching his face crumble why he enjoyed pulling my chain so much and why insecure Sookie brought out the evil mean Sheriff of Area of Five so easily.
It was a game of chicken. Who would pull back first?
How much resistance did the other one have to give before faith was lost in believing that we had something here?
How much could we risk before we had so much of our hopes and hearts on the line that no amount of “Oh, I was just kidding,” would save lost face and make denials believable?
I had committed to crossing that line when I demanded he pleasure me against the wall in his office.
Had he crossed it when he told me that I was his now?
I could not leave him there, no matter how evil Fairy Sookie might be. Before he could speak and attempt recovery from the “misunderstanding” I had led him into, I dropped the paper on the desk and turned in his lap to face him.
“You may have seen the warning on the box, this rocket can be slightly evil, that it might tease you a little from time to time?” His very intense blue eyes looked deeply into mine and I saw a mixture of things that I didn’t really understand.
“I must have missed that,” he said holding my gaze, his hands resting on my hips. I brought mine up to rest on the sides of his face, rubbing his cheeks with my thumbs, loving the feel of his short stubble against my skin.
“Oh, yes, it clearly says that in addition to being slightly evil and teasing that it can also be demanding, high maintenance, pouty, insensitive, but never boring. Didja see all that?”
“I didn’t know the box was so big,” he answered, his eyes still large and earnest as he held my gaze.
“Fine print,” I mumbled back.
“I see,” he said, still holding me in his hypnotic gaze. “The market research on people who buy rocket kits indicate that they can have poor communication skills, inevitably choosing the worst word combinations possible when they count the most.”
“Oh, really?” I asked, both eyebrows going up in surprise at his words.
“Absolutely,” he confirmed before going on. “They say one thing and mean something else entirely. Sometimes.”
“Hrm,” I said lowering my eyes brows and bringing a finger to my chin as I struck a thoughtful pose. “Is there a translation tool in that box?”
“Too easy, right.” I tapped my chin and continued to look thoughtful.
“But, hypothetically, if the purchaser of said box were to say something like, oh I don’t know, “I own the house, so I own you,” for example, just picking something at random. I have it on good authority that what he would mean is, “I bought your house and restored it because I believed every night that you would return. I cared for it as I would for you, if you gave me a chance to show you.”
“WOW! That’s what he would mean, hypothetically, speaking, really?”
“Oh, yes, it just much more economical to use the shorter version.”
“Hrm, it might be better received if they took the time to go round the long way.”
“Maybe. I will make that suggestion to the researchers, so they can adjust their studies. Bring in new control groups. Perhaps, begin, again?”
“So, the people who purchase rocket kits are just as complicated and demanding as the kits themselves?” I asked, to see if we had arrived at the same conclusion on this topic that we were hypothetically discussing.
“Early testing results support this conclusion,” he said, rumbling in his chest as my arms slid up and around his neck and I moved in closer to kiss him, a reward I felt we deserved to being almost open and honest about what was happening between us. “I do have one last question though,” he said just before my lips touched his. I sighed and rolled my eyes.
“Really?” I asked him, holding still right in front of those lips that looked like they so very much needed my kisses.
“Yes, really.” I could kiss them right now if they would quit talking.
“What is it?”
“Well, we know about the kits themselves and the people who buy them, but I am not sure I understand anything about girls who strap them to their ass to achieve orbit?”
“Shhh, stop talkin’, come here and lemme show you.”