Well, I wanna make love to you tonight
I can’t wait ’til the morning has come
And I know that the time is just right
And straight into my arms you will run
And when you come my heart will be waiting
To make sure that you’re never alone
There and then all my dreams will come true, dear
There and then I will make you my own
And every time I touch you, you just tremble inside
And I know how much you want me that you can’t hide
Can I just have one a’ more Moondance with you, my love
Can I just make some more romance with a-you, my love
~ Moondance by Van Morrison
With as wonderful as Christmas Day was, the days following have been fucking frustrating! I haven’t had the opportunity to see Sookie and Hunter at all. When I returned to work after the holiday, I was informed by my superiors that I was receiving a promotion effective 1 January…Captain Eric Northman. I was both elated and depressed by the promotion. I’m career Army; I planned to do my twenty years of service (if not longer) and then retire. It’s what my father did, or would have done if he hadn’t died. Becoming captain has been one of my goals since I went to officer candidate school. My father had been a captain; achieving the same rank as him felt like another way of honoring his memory.
My promotion means one thing for sure: deployment. I am worried about how Sookie is going to take this. Sookie and I are just starting out with our relationship; she may not want to continue it if she realizes I have to go overseas. Would it even be fair to ask her to wait for me? There’s no guarantee that I would be going into an active conflict zone; but since the majority of my training is in counterterrorism, it’s a pretty safe bet I will end up somewhere in the Middle East.
I’m in so much turmoil over this that I’m in the gym late one night taking my frustrations out on the punching bag. I have no idea how long I’ve been at it, but sweat is pouring down my body. Even with the tape and gloves on, my knuckles feel tender from all the contact with the bag. Part of me knows I need to talk everything over with Sookie, but I’m scared. I just got her; I don’t want to lose her. And then there’s Hunter…I don’t want him to get attached to me and then end up leaving him like his father did. I keep pounding away at the bag until my arms feel like jelly and my brain feels like mush. I grab the bag as it swings through the air, leaning into it as my chest heaves from all the physical exertion.
“I thought I might find you here,” Alcide says as he walks into the room. He’s dressed in jeans and a t-shirt which tells me he isn’t here to work out. I pull one of the gloves off my hand so I can take the towel he offers me; I then use it to wipe the sweat from my face and chest.
“What are you doing here?” I pant out.
“Looking for you, dick,” Alcide says with a smirk. “Do you wanna talk about it?” Alcide then leans against the wall, crossing his arms over his chest. I can tell he is worried about me by his stance and his questions.
I loop the towel around my neck, pull the other glove off my hand and drop it to the floor. I straddle a weight bench, grab my bottle of water off the floor and chug it. “I’m getting promoted 1 Jan,” I tell him after I swallow the last of my water.
His face breaks into a big grin, “Congrats man, I know you’ve wanted it for a while.”
“Yeah,” I say in agreement. My shoulders slump and I look at the floor dejectedly.
“What’s the problem? Do you suddenly not want to be a captain? I know it’s more paperwork, but it means there are fewer people that can boss you around,” he jokes to make me feel better.
“Sookie,” I say with a sigh.
“What about her? You told me you guys were just friends. Have I missed something?”
“Sookie and her son Hunter were the last family members I told their loved one wasn’t coming home. They were the ones that got under my skin; they were reason I requested my transfer.” Alcide’s eyes widen as he realizes how far back my connection to the two of them goes. “Something about her; Al…there was just something about her that got under my skin. I thought about the two of them for months…even while I was with Dawn, I still found myself thinking about Sookie. I ran into Sookie and Hunter in the park a few weeks before Thanksgiving. Hunter had fallen; I got to him before Sookie. She actually thanked me, Alcide,” I tell him with wonder in my voice. “She thanked me for showing some compassion while I told her that her husband was dead. Seeing her at Thanksgiving was like a fucking miracle! I told her I just wanted to be friends; I didn’t think she would be ready for something more than that and I wasn’t going to pressure her. But the more I got to know her, the more I wanted her. I’ve been drawn to her for so long, I couldn’t help it. Christmas Day I kissed her and she kissed me back. It was the best fucking Christmas I’ve had since I was a kid!”
Alcide slides down the wall so he is sitting on the floor. His knees are bent and he rests his arms on his knees. “Why didn’t you tell me about this before?”
I scoff at him. “Tell you what, Al? That I was mooning over a woman and her kid that I had only met one time? That I felt like a fucking stalker because I wanted to make sure they were taken care of? I met her under the worst possible circumstances. Never did I think I would have a shot with her. And now that I have one, I’m afraid the Army will take me away from her.” I close my eyes while my mind is in pain at the thought of losing Sookie and Hunter. How have they come to mean so much to me in such a small amount of time? In all honesty, I’ve spent a total of three days with Sookie; two days with Hunter. Granted, I’ve spent countless hours talking on the phone and texting Sookie, but that still shouldn’t mean that I’m this attached to the two of them.
“Viking, I’ve never seen you this hung up on a girl. She must be something special. As for the Army, the only thing you can do is leave. But something tells me if you leave the Army for Sookie and Hunter, part of you will always regret it. You need to talk to her and soon,” Alcide tells me wisely.
I open my eyes to look at him and smirk, “When did you get to be so smart?”
He rises from the floor and comes to stand over me. “There’s more to me than just my body, bitch!” My laughter follows him as he walks out of the gym.
After cleaning up at the gym, I wasn’t ready to go home yet. I was restless, edgy; I needed to talk to Sookie. I didn’t want to do this over the phone or through texts. I needed to see her, so I sent her a text.
Me: What are you doing?
Sookie: Just putting Hunter to bed. What’s up?
Me: I need to see you. Can I come over? Please????
Sookie: Sure. Everything ok? You have me worried…
Me: Yeah, I’ll be there in 30.
I park across the street from Sookie’s house. I didn’t want the Corvette’s engine to wake up Hunter. I knock softly at the door and I hear barking coming from the other side. Sookie opens the door with a tired smile on her face. She still looks beautiful to me; she’s wearing black yoga pants and a bright sunny yellow t-shirt, her painted toe nails peek out from the bottom of her pants, her face has no make-up, and her hair is pulled back with a giant clip. She is holding an adorable yellow lab by its collar.
“Come in before he tries to run away,” she says to me as she struggles to hold the dog. I hurriedly step inside, closing the door behind me. As soon as the door is closed, she lets go of the dog’s collar. The dog’s paws try to find traction on the hardwood floor as he leaps towards me. He runs around my legs excitedly, rubbing his body against mine, his tail wagging back and forth at a dizzying pace.
“I didn’t know you had a dog,” I say as I bend down to pet and scratch the dog. Apparently I found his sweet spot, because he presses into me forcefully pushing me back against the door. This dog must be at least a hundred pounds. How the hell was she able to hold him back?
“We don’t; he belongs to my neighbors. They went out of town the day after Christmas and I’m watching him. We have a gate that allows him to go back and forth between the two properties. Come on Indy, do you wanna go outside?” As soon as the dog hears the word outside he runs towards the sliding glass door. He impatiently waits for Sookie to catch up and open the door for him. Once the door is open, he takes off like a bat out of hell, barking as he runs around the yard. She flips on the outside light, chuckling as she stands by the door watching him.
“Indy?” I ask her.
“We named the dog Indiana,” she says with a smirk. Holy shit, she’s beautiful and she just quoted Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. She is fucking perfect.
“It looks like they named him correctly,” I say gesturing outside. Indiana somehow climbed under her elevated shed and looks to be digging in the dirt.
“Damn dog,” she grumbles. She grabs a dog treat, banging it against her sliding glass door. “Come on, Indy; do you wanna cookie?” I can see Indy crawling under the shed trying to find a way out. He then gallops across the yard to come inside. Seeing the treat in Sookie’s hand, he instantly sits and stares at her expectantly. She tosses the treat to him; he grabs it mid-air and runs down to the basement.
Sookie laughs quietly, grabbing my hand so she can lead me towards the couch. We sit down on the couch; she snuggles into my side with her head on my chest and my arm slides around her to pull her closer to me. We sit in silence, my hand moving lazily up and down her arm.
“Do you want to tell me what’s bothering you?” Her voice is so quiet in the stillness that it surrounds us. I take a deep breath and sigh; my hand pulls her tighter to me as I start to talk.
“I’m being promoted to captain.” I don’t receive the reaction I expected. She wraps her arms around me, squeezing as tight as she can.
“Honey, that’s great news!” I say nothing in response, causing her to pull away from me. She tilts her head to the side, looking at me in confusion. “Isn’t it?”
“It’s something I’ve wanted for a long time. My old man was a captain; I’ve always wanted to be at least the same rank as him.”
“But…” she says with her eyebrows raised.
I sigh again. “It means that I’ll probably be deployed again.”
“Eric, you’re a soldier; you know you can be deployed at any time. I don’t understand,” she says utterly confused.
I reach out to caress her face with my hand. “I am worried about how you’ll react to this.”
“Oh,” she says as realization spreads across her face. She starts nibbling on her lower lip as she thinks about what I’ve told her.
“Have you been told you’re being deployed?” I shake my head no. “Have they told you that they are going to transfer you?” Again I shake my head no. “So you’re worrying about something that may or may not happen?” I sigh as I shake my head yes. “Sweetie, if I’ve learned anything in the last year it’s that we have to appreciate what we have today because it can all be gone tomorrow. There are no guarantees in this world, as much as we like to think. So do you want to stop seeing me because of something that may or may not happen in the future?” I emphatically shake my head no, causing her to smile. She shifts on the couch so that she is straddling my lap, her hands cupping my cheeks as she stares into my eyes. “Eric, I’m not going anywhere. I know we’ve really only known each other a short period, but there’s something between us. I know it doesn’t make sense, but I think we both deserve to find out what this is.” She leans forward to kiss me lightly on the lips. When she pulls back, I see her lips twisting with humor. “Besides, I thought I was supposed to be the one freaking out in this relationship, not you,” she says smirking at me.
“It’s been a rough week,” I tell her as I exhale in relief. I feel as if a great weight has been lifted off my shoulders. “Thank you,” I whisper against her lips as I kiss her in gratitude. Something that starts out slow and sweet turns into a burning inferno. While we kiss, Sookie is making some of the sexiest sounds I’ve ever heard. Her whimpers and moans turn me on, making me grab her hips so I can slide her against my growing erection. Of course, she moans louder and swivels her hips, forcing me to rub against her harder; it’s a vicious cycle but I don’t want to fucking break it. Her lips move along my jaw to my neck, nibbling and sucking along the skin forcing a moan of my own.
“Sookie,” I growl, “you need to stop that if you don’t want this to go any further.” We agreed to take things slow. I’m trying to stick to that, but I only have so much control. I don’t want her to regret anything she does with me.
She kisses her way up my neck, wet, open-mouthed kisses that cause me to shiver in her arms. Her lips are against my ear as she whispers, “Who said I want to stop?”
Fuck, does that mean what I think it does? Please God, I hope so!
AN: That adorable yellow lab is actually my dog Indiana. We play all the time while I’m writing this story, so I felt it was only fair to put him in here. Plus, kleannhouse asked me what happened to the dog from the beginning of the story; I think this is a good explanation.