Sookie arrives in the parking lot of Howl at the Moon at 6:45. She’s supposed to meet her date at 7:00; she’s always had a habit of being early. Her date had been the one to suggest the dive bar, and Sookie had readily agreed. It wasn’t anywhere she thought she’d run into people that knew her and Bill. Other than her coworkers, family, and closest friends, Sookie hadn’t told anyone about her change in marital status, so she didn’t want to run into anyone she knew and have them question her. That would be extremely awkward for her and her date. Things were going to be awkward enough as it is.
Sookie picks up her phone, sending a text message to her date.
Are you the kind of guy that is early or late?
She doesn’t even have a chance to set her phone down before she has his reply.
Usually early, but I should be there right at 7. J
She responds that she’ll meet him inside and tucks her phone back into her purse. With a deep sigh, Sookie turns off the engine of her car. She stares at her eyes in the rearview mirror. “You can do this. You are a strong, independent woman. You deserve to be happy! Fuck Bill Compton!”
She jerks her head in agreement at the end of her pep talk and then presses the button to release her seat belt. Sookie exits her vehicle, and with a sense of false bravado she strolls across the parking lot, yanking open the front door and stepping inside. She steps inside the dimly lit bar and looks around. There aren’t many patrons inside, but those that are all stop to stare at Sookie. She feels uncomfortable under the scrutiny of so many pairs of eyes.
“You lost little lady?” The bouncer, a large black man with bulging arm muscles folded over her vest-covered chest, eyes Sookie skeptically. He looks like a typical biker; jeans, sleeveless shirt, boots, and leather vest with the emblem of his motorcycle club. He’s even got tattoos up and down his arms; there’s even a few on his bald head. Sookie swallows loudly before opening her mouth to reply, but a deep grumbling voice from behind her answers for her.
“Don’t worry, Hollis. She’s here with me.”
When Sookie pivots, she comes face to face with the largest, most muscular chest she has ever seen. She has to crane her neck up to get a look at the face belonging to the chest, but she’s engrossed in staring at his body. Sookie had seen pictures of Alcide Herveaux on his POF (Plenty of Fish) profile, but they didn’t prepare her for the Roman god-like man in front of her. Alcide’s clothes aren’t the most expensive, but they fit his body perfectly. His jeans are worn and weathered but they hug his long, toned thighs. His broad, sculpted chest is covered by a hunter green Henley with the buttons undone so that Sookie can see his white undershirt. The sleeves of his shirt stretch tautly over his biceps and the sleeves are pushed up to rest beneath his elbows. Sookie’s never been one to get turned on by muscular men, but her mouth waters staring at Alcide’s forearms. They are dark; tan from having been in the sun. The skin covers thick, corded muscles that ripple as he raises his arm, hand outstretched in greeting. Automatically, Sookie puts her hand in his and she gasps in surprise as his hand engulfs hers. She’s not used to someone being this warm; Bill’s skin always felt cool when she touched him. It’s an innocent gesture, but it goes straight through Sookie’s body to her core making it pulse. Alcide must feel something too because his chest rumbles with his growl. That noise is incredibly sexy to Sookie and she feels her womanly juices begin to flow. Sookie can’t help but think she’s in trouble when she’s this turned on and she hasn’t even looked at his face yet.
“Hello, Sookie.” That deep, masculine voice sends tingles down her spine and she fights the need to shiver. Sookie forces herself to make eye contact with Alcide, hearing her Gran’s voice scold her for her poor manners. It isn’t polite to stare was something Gran was always preaching to her and Jason, but Sookie doubts Gran was ever faced with such a handsome devil. His tan skin accentuates the whiteness of his teeth which are showing thanks to his wide, inviting smile. Those perfectly straight gleaming white teeth are framed by two red, very kissable lips. Alcide has green eyes with flecks of gold in them, which make them appear to glow. Though he wears it short, his dark hair is peppered with streaks of white and grey at the temples, making him look distinguished while his stubble makes him look rugged.
Maybe it’s a good thing Tara gave her the condoms after all. Alcide looks good in his profile pictures, but he looks fucking phenomenal in person!
“Hi Alcide,” Sookie responds shyly as a blush stains her cheeks. She’s never been like this around a man before. She’s always been the bubbly cheerleader, the friend to all the guys. Sookie has never been the one to draw attention from the guys. Everyone always knew Sookie was with Bill, so no one ever flirted with her. Well, no one other than Lafayette, and his brand of flirting was always geared towards making her uncomfortable. Bill never flirted with her, or if he had, it had been so ridiculously bad that she’d laughed at it.
Let’s face it; teenagers do not have good pick-up lines.
“You wanna grab a drink? Though seein’ how pretty you look, maybe we should go somewhere else,” Alcide says as his forehead creases with concern.
“No!” Sookie rushes to reassure him. The vehemence of her response makes Alcide look at her skeptically. Sookie’s blush spreads but she pushes on. “We’re already here and I really just want to spend time talkin’ to ya.” She gestures towards a booth near them. “Do you wanna have a seat?”
Alcide gives Sookie a relieved smile. “Sure. I’ll grab drinks from the bar. You don’t strike me as the beer type though, and I’m not sure Sid would know a good wine if it bit him in the ass! Excuse the expression,” he mumbles apologetically.
Sookie smiles brightly as she slides in the booth. “Then I guess it’s a good thing I’ve always been a gin and tonic kind of girl. It’s pretty much the same no matter where you are.”
Alcide smiles again, flashing his gleaming white teeth, nearly making Sookie swoon at his feet. Good lord, how is she supposed to keep from throwing herself at him? While she’s trying to compose herself, he walks to the bar and orders their drinks. While he waits, he leans on the bar, making the denim of his jeans stretch over his backside. Sookie’s always admired a well-shaped male derriere, and Alcide’s ranks up there as one of the best she’s ever seen. She wants to slip her hands inside the back pockets of his jeans, fill each hand with his flesh and squeeze.
Sookie is so lost in her lustful musings that she fails to notice Alcide turning around and heading back to their table. He sets her glass in front of her before sliding in the empty side of the booth. “Penny for your thoughts.”
I’m horny and want to jump your bones! Those are the first words that Sookie thinks in her mind. Fortunately for her, she doesn’t say them aloud, but she does blush again. To cover up her embarrassment, she picks up her drink, sucking hard on the straw. Of course, the drink is on the strong side and she ends up coughing after swallowing thanks to the burn of the gin down her throat.
“You alright?” Alcide looks at her with concern as she continues to cough and try to clear her throat. Tears well up in her eyes and Sookie grabs a napkin to dab at the corners, hoping she doesn’t smear her makeup and make herself look like a raccoon.
“I’m OK,” she responds in a raspy voice. She reaches for her drink and takes a small sip, cognizant of the fact it’s more gin than tonic. The drink helps clear the rest of the tickle in her throat.
He must think I’m an idiot, Sookie thinks dejectedly. Hoping to salvage their evening, Sookie gives Alcide a small smile. Rather than give him the truth about her previous amorous thoughts, she decides to answer him with a safer topic. “I’m nervous. I haven’t been on a first date since high school,” she confesses.
Alcide takes a drink of his beer and makes a sound of satisfaction after he swallows. He cradles the bottle between his manly hands as he nods his head in understanding. “Me too. Hell I think Clinton was still president the last time I went on a first date. I remember Debbie and I saw Toy Story for our first date. I remember tearing up a few times and trying to pretend I was a tough guy so Deb wouldn’t think I was a wuss. Now they’re talkin’ about making a fourth one. Makes me feel old,” he laments with a chuckle before taking another swallow of his hoppy beverage.
Sookie smiles in understanding. “It does feel weird to be dating again in my thirties. When you asked me what I wanted to do for our date, I literally had no idea! I’ve never understood why people go to the movies on a first date. Isn’t the whole point supposed to be getting to know each other? How can you do that when you’re in a darkened movie theater for two hours and can’t talk to each other?”
“I get that. I like the movies, but I think it’s OK as a first date when you’re a teenager and pretty much already know the person you’re going out with. I mean, Deb and I grew up together; it’s not like I had to get to know her,” Alcide ends with a shrug.
“That’s how it was for me and Bill,” Sookie admits.
“How long were you two together if you don’t mind me askin’?”
Sookie sighs before answering. “A long time. We were high school sweethearts, went to college together, and got married as soon as we both had jobs. We were the cliché high school sweethearts you always hear about. I thought it was going to be ‘happily ever after’ but I was wrong. You?”
Alcide finishes his beer before setting the bottle down on the table a little too hard. “Deb and I had been together off and on for over twenty years. Even as kids, we fought like cats and dogs. We’d break up and go our separate ways, but somehow we always gravitated back to one another. I thought once we got married things would settle down, and they did for a while, but once we had our second son, it’s like everything that could go wrong did go wrong. Deb had postpartum depression after both boys, but it was worse after Nathan was born. She actually ended up getting hooked on prescription drugs. She ended up going to rehab when Nate was still a toddler. When Deb came home, it’s like she was a different person.”
His voice trails off and he seems lost in thought. Alcide’s eyes are lowered and he’s playing with the label on his beer bottle, peeling it off in small ribbons, littering the table with the trash. Sookie recognizes it as a nervous habit and does nothing to stop him. While her situation is not nearly as complicated as his, she can sympathize with how he feels. There are so many emotions you go through during a divorce: relief, grief, happiness, anger, and desperation just to name a few.
“She just kinda checked out, ya know, and nothing really seemed to bring her out of her shell. Deb’s battled depression ever since getting out of rehab as well as her addiction to pills. She couldn’t seem to hold a job for more than a few months at a time. And to top it all off, our house caught on fire about a year ago. Deb was the only one home; the boys and I were camping. She barely got out alive; the firefighters had to pull her out,” he utters in a voice full of sorrow.
“Oh my God! That’s awful,” Sookie exclaims. “She wasn’t hurt too badly was she?”
Alcide shakes his head. “We lost everything though including our cats. We moved in with her parents for a time while we had the house rebuilt. Deb then went the opposite end of the spectrum; she became a daredevil, wanting to do anything and everything so she would feel ‘alive’. I could kinda understand in the beginning, I mean she’d gone through a near-death experience. But she started to get into some weird shit right before we split up.”
Alcide looks like he wants to say more, but stops. He gives Sookie a sad smile. “I’m sorry, darlin’. Here we are supposed to be on a date and all we’ve done is talk about our exes. I know I’m rusty at this, but even I know that ain’t a good thing.”
Sookie chuckles, nodding her head in agreement. “Typically it’s not, but for us, I think it’s a bonding experience. No one else I know is going through a divorce, so it’s nice to have someone to talk to that understands how I’m feelin’ or what I’m goin’ through. It’s actually a relief to know I’m not the only one whose life is upside down at the moment.”
Alcide reaches across the table for Sookie’s hand. His large hand engulfs hers. She can tell he works with his hands for a living; his skin is rough and there are calluses on his fingers. Sookie likes the feeling of his hand on hers, and moves her hand so that her fingers are wrapped around Alcide’s. He looks down at their joined hands, a slow smile spreading across his handsome face. Sookie smiles shyly at him in return.
“Oh my God! I can’t believe we closed the bar down!” Sookie blinks rapidly as the bartender flips on the overhead lights, throwing the once dark room into brightness.
The few remaining patrons in the bar grumble about the suddenly bright room before swallowing the last of their drinks. Sookie and Alcide had stopped drinking hours ago, switching to coffee and water, respectively. They’ve spent their time tonight talking about anything and everything under the sun: their childhoods, jobs, failed marriages, sports, hobbies, even Alcide’s two boys, Nathaniel and Jackson. Alcide’s eyes lit up as he talked about his boys, and it was evident to Sookie that he loved them very much. She’d even remarked on how she thought he was a good father because it showed through in the way he talked about his children.
It wasn’t a typical first date, but it had been what the two newly single people needed to get their confidence up.
“I guess we did lose track of time,” Alcide admits sheepishly as he pulls his wallet out from his jeans pocket. He leaves more than enough money to cover their tab and a sizable tip. When Sookie asks if he wants any money, he shakes his head, saying he never makes a lady pay on a date.
That’s a sign of a true gentleman.
“I’ll walk you out,” Alcide offers as he holds his hand out to help Sookie up from her seat.
The butterflies are crashing around in her stomach knowing what’s coming at the end of the date. Sookie is definitely attracted to Alcide, and is anxious to have him kiss her good-night. She wants the kiss, but at the same time, she’s nervous. She hasn’t kissed anyone other than Bill in years. Does her breathe stink? What if she isn’t good? Is it too soon to use tongue? Would that be too forward? Should she lean against him or keep some distance? How does she not seem too forward?
As soon as Sookie stands, Alcide releases her hand. She’s momentarily disappointed but then he offers her a piece of gum. She takes it with a shy smile, watching as he puts his own piece in his mouth. He wouldn’t be chewing gum unless he was planning on kissing her right? He wants to make sure his breath is fresh.
That’s an encouraging sign.
They walk out of the bar side by side. Alcide waves goodbye to the bartender and bouncer as he holds the door open for Sookie. They walk together in the darkened parking lot to her car. Sookie’s heart is pounding away in her chest, and her palms are sweating.
“This is me,” Sookie whispers when they are beside her car.
“Ok,” Alcide acknowledges as Sookie turns to face him. He smiles at her, his eyes burning with intensity and uncertainty. “I had a lot of fun tonight. We should do it again sometime.”
“Me too,” Sookie smiles though she feels her stomach plummeting. That’s so vague, it probably means she’ll never hear from him again.
“Goodnight, Sookie.” Alcide steps forward and wraps his arms around her, hugging her tightly. She wraps her arms around him too. God, he smells good!
Alcide steps back, looking at her like he wants to say or do something more. Sookie is unsure of what to do, but she knows one thing, she doesn’t want the date to end like this. She has to know what it’s like to kiss him.
“Come here. We aren’t ending our date like that,” Sookie declares while grabbing his shirt and pulling him close to her again. She moves up to her tiptoes as he lowers his head. Their lips meet. As they are kissing, Sookie can’t help her thoughts. His lips are so soft and warm and she feels safe in his strong embrace. Their lips move together as if they have been doing this for years. It’s slow and sweet, but Sookie feels the stirrings of desire inside her. When a kiss is done right, it can be an incredible turn on.
Sookie steps away when she finally needs to breathe. Her cheeks are flushed as she smiles shyly at Alcide. He’s staring at her with an intense dark look. Sookie isn’t sure what his look means. Maybe she shouldn’t have done that.
“You had your turn, now it’s mine,” Alcide says in a deep rumble before he grabs the back of her shirt, pulling her tight against his chest before his lips crash down on hers. This isn’t the sweet kiss of a moment ago; this is raw passion. Sookie’s arms wrap around his shoulders, her fingers playing with the ends of his hair. Alcide’s palms rest on her hips with his fingers lying against the curves of her derrière. His lips are hungrily devouring hers before his tongue slips between them to move in her mouth. Sookie moans as she responds to Alcide’s onslaught, feeling the desire clawing at her insides like a rabid animal. It’s been so long since she’s felt like this about a man.
Actually, Sookie isn’t sure if she’s ever felt passion like this.
Alcide pulls abruptly away, leaving Sookie reeling. Alcide rests his forehead against hers, panting for breath. “I’m sorry, darlin’, but if I didn’t end it now, I wouldn’t be able to stop.”
Sookie melts inside hearing that. “I know what you mean,” she whispers. Alcide growls in response before swooping in for another heated kiss. Sookie feels him pressing her against the door of her car and she groans as he hoists her up, rubbing her core against his groin. If she wasn’t wet before, she is now, because dear Lord, he feels huge!
The kiss continues, for how long Sookie doesn’t know, but it feels like the most erotic thing she’s ever experienced. Alcide is the type of man that kisses with his whole body; it’s seduction and arousal at its finest.
When they break apart again, both of them are panting for air. “You should go,” Alcide commands as he backs away from her.
Sookie nods her head mutely, turning to open the door handle. Before she slides down to her seat, Alcide catches her chin with his fingers. She gives him a doe-eyed look having been rendered completely senseless. “I’ll be seeing you soon, Sookie. You can bank on that,” Alcide states firmly though he is smiling tenderly at her. Sookie’s smile is blinding in return and stays on her face the entire time she finishes getting in her car and starting it up. It’s still there as she gives Alcide a final wave and drives away.