Charlaine Harris owns almost everything. I own the rest.
Thank you for all the lovely reviews for the last two chapters. I love each and every one! Sorry it took me so long to post this. This week has been insane with recovery from Thanksgiving and the release of my book. Thank you to those of you who bought it and for Kerriki who reviewed it on amazon already! If you want to find out more information about my book, please visit my blog SeptemberRoberts dot wordpress dot com.
As always, big love for SeriousCrush for her undying love and support, even when her arms are full and her eyes are tired. 🙂
Once Sookie and Pam were in the parking lot, she understood why Eric sent her outside with an escort. She got closer to Pam as a group of loud and seemingly drunken people headed toward the restaurant; two of them were women, the other three were men. The loudest one, an African-American woman, leered at Sookie and made her skin crawl.
“Now, now, Diane. We mustn’t scare the young woman.” A man with a placid face and old-fashioned sideburns spoke as he pulled the leering woman away from Sookie and Pam.
Pam snorted. “I’m not afraid of her.” She put her body between Sookie and the group of people.
He spoke again, filling Sookie’s ears with the soothing sound of his silky voice. “I wasn’t talking to you, Pam. I was talking to the luscious young woman behind you.”
“She is our employee. You know how protective Eric is.” Pam looked at her with a sideways glance.
Sookie opened her mind and found four blank spaces. The fifth person, the other woman, barely had anything coming from her brain. Her thoughts came in fragments and were filled with sex, pain, and blood. Sookie cringed.
“Protection is one thing. Ownership is another.” The man smiled at Sookie.
Pam’s body tensed, and although Sookie didn’t know what was going on, she knew when a fight was brewing.
“You need to wait inside.” Pam didn’t move until the door closed behind the group of people.
Sookie sighed. “Who are they? What was he talking about? Was that woman with them okay?” She turned to face Pam.
Pam shook her head. “Listen to me, Sookie Stackhouse: Nothing good will come from questions like that.
“But…” Sookie couldn’t finish her sentence because Pam put her finger on her lips.
“It’s for your own good. No questions. Good night.” Pam waited while Sookie unlocked the door to her car and got in.
The roads were relatively empty at two in the morning. After the night she had just had, Sookie was wide-awake. As she pulled down the gravel driveway to her Gran’s house, she realized she wasn’t the only one up.
The kitchen light was on, and Gran looked up from the table as Sookie came through.
“Gran, you didn’t need to wait up for me.”
Gran tucked her finger in the pages of the book she was reading. “I was just worried about you, that’s all.”
Sookie sighed. “I should’ve called.”
“Sam finally give you a full shift?”
Sookie shook her head. “Nope, I got a new job.”
“Tonight? You got a new job tonight?”
She grinned. “Yep, I found a job in the paper. It’s in Shreveport.” Sookie opened her jacket and showed her the new uniform. “It’s a place called the Tilted Kilt. I must admit I’m not crazy about the attire, but the pay is nice, and the people seem … good.” She thought of Eric standing in front of her, combing through her hair with his fingers. She shivered.
“It doesn’t hide much, does it?” Gran’s eyes narrowed as she looked at Sookie’s exposed midriff.
Sookie laughed. “No it doesn’t, but my new boss has policies in place to protect us from customers, so I’m not worried.”
“If you say so.” Gran shook her head and stood up slowly. She straightened her back an inch at a time. “Good night, dear.”
Sookie kissed her cheek, and once she was in her room, she changed into a nightgown and hung her uniform on the door of her closet and unpacked the spare ones so they wouldn’t be wrinkled. Tucked safely under her covers, she went through the events of the night.
Perhaps that wasn’t the best idea, because when she woke up several hours later, she felt like she hadn’t slept at all. Her body was tangled in the sheets, her hand was wedged between her legs and she was panting. She had been dreaming of Eric and him.
As the details of her dream came back to her, she was disturbed by the appearance of the man from the parking lot. He was sitting at the head of a very long table with a towel wrapped around his neck. Blood was splattered on his face. When she looked down, she realized she was sitting on the table in front of him on a giant platter, and her inner thigh was bleeding. She wanted to scream when she realized it was her blood on his face. But then, Eric was there, carrying her to a bed and then he was between her legs, licking her clean … and then his tongue was moving against her hot, swollen flesh. She woke up just as she came.
She sat up and waited for her breathing to even out. Work was definitely going to be interesting.
She glanced at the clock. It was almost noon. In the kitchen, she dialed Merlotte’s and explained she wouldn’t be in for the lunch shift. She didn’t want to quit outright, not until she had a better feel for her new job, but she didn’t feel like carrying trays for twelve hours either.
Sookie utilized her free time by enjoying the low rays of November sun in a lawn chair in her bikini. It was just what she needed.
After an early dinner, she showered and changed into her uniform. “Night Gran. Don’t wait up for me this time. I’ll be fine.” She tied the belt of her jacket around her waist, covering her exposed body.
Gran smiled and patted her hand. “Have a good night.”
A good night was exactly what Sookie was planning on. She arrived at her new job a few minutes early, and finding herself alone in the parking lot, she locked her car doors and waited. A few minutes after the sun dipped behind the horizon she was startled by someone knocking on the window. It was Eric. Her hands shook as she unlocked her door.
“Have you been waiting long?” Eric offered his hand to her.
She shook her head. “Just long enough to do a crossword puzzle. You scared me.” Her hand disappeared inside of his, and his cool skin made her feel feverish. She swung a leg out onto the pavement and blushed when Eric’s eyes fell to her lap, where her jacket opened and exposed her legs.
He pressed his lips together and made a soft growling noise. As she stood up, their bodies were inches apart. He inhaled and moaned. “You smell like the sun.”
Sookie cocked her head to the side. “What does the sun smell like?”
“Warm, soft, and sweet. Like you.”
A blush crept over her face again. “Um, thanks.” She tried to pull her hand away from his, but couldn’t.
“Please let me escort you inside.”
Sookie frowned as she scanned the empty parking lot. “Where’s your car?”
“I … walked. I live close,” he added quickly.
Images of Eric’s house began building in her mind. She imagined he lived in a mansion, and his bed was massive, just like him. Suddenly, she could see Eric on his bed, and he was inviting her to join him, just like in her dream. Her fantasy was spiraling out of control. She began to sweat and was breathing hard.
“Are you all right Sookie?”
“Yes,” she flashed him a smile and pulled away from him. “Just thinking of a dream I had last night.”
Eric raised an eyebrow. “Oh?”
Headlights flashed across her body seconds before Ginger pranced over to where they were. “Mr. Northman, good to see you. Hiya Sookie. Glad you came back.”
“Thanks Ginger.” Warmth spread through her body. Sookie had never worked with anyone who actually cared whether she was coming to work or not.
“Tonight’ll be busy, Fridays always are. Are you ready to make a lot of money?” Ginger wiggled her eyebrows, making Sookie giggle.
Eric unlocked the front door and ushered them inside. “Ginger, take good care of her.”
“I always do. Come on, Sookie, help me behind the bar.” Ginger put her arm through Sookie’s.
She and Eric made eye contact one last time before she let Ginger pull her away.
Once they were alone, Ginger leaned toward her and whispered, “I think he likes you.”
Sookie blushed. “You think?”
Ginger nodded. “He’s never looked at me like that.”
“Isn’t there some policy against dating bosses?”
“Not here. No dating customers, but there’s nothing about bosses.” Ginger winked.
“I don’t know. It seems wrong.”
Ginger leaned around her and looked down the hall toward Eric’s office. “There’s nothing wrong with that man. Believe me.”
Through the dinner rush, Sookie didn’t stop moving. Her section was full, and so was her tip pouch. She smiled graciously at the customers and was always one step ahead of the creeps who tried to touch her. Luckily, they were clear broadcasters, and they thought about touching her before they actually did, just like the guy last night. It was one of the perks of her telepathy.
As she was waiting for Chow to refill a tray of beer pitchers, she scanned the room. Eric was sitting in the corner booth. He smiled at her. Her stomach flipped and her pulse quickened. Her focus shifted to a man in her section trying to get her attention; it was the man from the parking lot. He was smiling at her too. Her stomach sank.
She delivered the pitchers and then made her way to his table, pulling her notepad and pencil out. “What can I get you?”
“What time do you get off?” His smile was confident.
“From the menu?”
The man shook his head. “I don’t want anything from the menu. I want you.”
She had never had anyone hit on her like that before, and as she stood there, trying to figure out what to do, he seemed to push against her brain. She narrowed her eyes and whispered, “What are you trying to do?”
He gave her a cool smile. “Convince you. You want to go outside with me.”
Sookie frowned. “No. I don’t.”
Now it was the man’s turn to frown. He stared at her intently, and something pushed against her brain again. “Sir…”
“Bill.” His lips pulled into a smile again.
“I’ll give you a minute to look over the menu.” She turned and checked on the other tables in her section, taking her time before returning to him. “Have you decided?”
He handed the menu to her. “A glass of red wine.”
Sookie kept an eye on him for the rest of the night. He held the glass, but never drank it. Eric was also watching him. They seemed to be engaged in a kind of staring contest. Eventually, the man got up and left. When Sookie went to clear the table, she found a business card and a large tip. She read the card. “Bill Compton.” Saying his name left a bad taste in her mouth. “In case you change your mind,” was handwritten under his name and phone number. She scoffed.
“I’m sorry if he bothered you.”
Sookie jumped and turned to face Eric, who was standing behind her. She smiled and shrugged. “I’m used to creeps. We have them in Bon Temps too.” She tore his card in half and dropped it into the pile of garbage on her tray.
“I meant to tell you earlier, you need to fill out a W4 tonight, so we can get you on the payroll. When you’re done with your shift.” Eric nodded toward his office.
One more hour and then she would be alone with him again. She tried to convince herself she wanted to be near him because he made her feel safe, but that wasn’t the real reason. She wanted him. She had never been in this position before. Usually, men wanted her, and she knew all about it. Nothing killed her desire faster than crude fantasies that involved her. Eric was different. Not only could she not read his mind, but he was also unlike any man she’d ever met. He had confidence, poise, and style, and was terrifying and incredibly sexy all at the same time.
Her hand shook as she knocked on his office door.
“Please come in.”
I can’t say I’m shocked no one voted for Bill…just keep in mind this isn’t the last we’ve seen of him. Good thing Sookie has Eric watching her back. What do you think? Dating bosses, yes or no?