Charlaine Harris owns almost everything. I own the rest.
Thank you frostdance for your information on tartans and help finding the perfect one for Eric. As always, I am deeply grateful for SeriousCrush and her love for me and my stories. She always makes time for me, even when she doesn’t have time to spare.
The Tilted Kilt Chapter 7
Exhilarated. It was the perfect word to describe how she felt to be in Eric’s arms, flying over the city. The wind stung her eyes, so she buried her face against his chest. His skin was smooth and hard and smelled earthy. Her cheeks felt flushed against his cool skin and the longer she was in his embrace the more she wanted to lick him. It was so tempting, but he would definitely notice, and what if he got distracted? Suddenly, images of her plummeting to her death flickered before her eyes and sobered her wandering mind. When they landed, the material of his kilt blew up against her body, and she had to shake her head to stop the flood of dirty thoughts. Somehow, Eric had turned her into a lusty woman, and she was grateful he bought her yawn earlier. Being alone with him wasn’t safe.
She was afraid. Not of him, but of her desire for him. Her inexperience made her nervous and she was too embarrassed to leave herself open to that conversation with Eric. She wondered if he could hear her heart pounding and if he could see the blush on her cheeks that seemed to be permanently on display when she was around him.
She gripped his arm tightly as they walked through the parking lot to her car. He was going to wear his kilt for her. Again.
As she drove home, her mind went over the events of the evening. The more she thought about her conversation with Eric, the more she realized she wasn’t that surprised. Her ability to read minds was so natural to her, and she always believed, deep down, she couldn’t be the only person with something extra. Eric had a whole lot extra going for him.
Vampires were real. Sookie took a deep breath and let the reality of their conversation sink in.
She grunted in frustration when she realized she had Sunday night off work. She told him she would see him tomorrow night, but she wouldn’t. She would have to wait two nights to see him again. Did he realize her mistake, or did he expect her to come in on her night off?
The first thing she did when she got inside, was call The Tilted Kilt. She was about to hang up, but on the sixth ring, Eric picked up.
“Hi, it’s me. Sookie.” She smiled at how flustered she was.
“Hello Sookie. What time shall I pick you up?”
“Yeah, that’s why I was calling. I’m off tomorrow night, right?” Sookie frowned.
“You are indeed off the schedule.” Eric shuffled papers. “I’ve got your address right here. What time would you like me to pick you up.”
“Pick me up for what?” Sookie’s cheeks burned.
“Our date.” His voice was matter-of-fact, as if they had discussed this already.
“Um. Our date, right.” Had she blocked part of their conversation from her mind?
Eric sighed. “I assumed that’s what you meant when you said you would see me tomorrow night. If I am out of line…”
Sookie spoke quickly. “No, not at all. Eight? Is eight o’clock okay?”
“Perfect. Until then.” His voice kissed her ear and made her knees weak.
It took her two hours to fall asleep. It was late in the afternoon before she finally dragged herself out of bed.
“Late night at work?” Gran called out from the front room.
“Yeah, it was a really busy night.” She wanted to tell her everything, but she couldn’t. She couldn’t even tell her part of what happened because she couldn’t explain it with out the whole truth. She took a deep breath and focused on the news that kept her up. “I’ve got a date tonight.”
“Oh?” Gran’s eyebrows rose as she smiled. “With whom?”
“Your boss?” Gran tilted her head.
“Be careful, my dear. That’s like wading into dangerous waters.”
Sookie scoffed. “Believe me. I know.” Eric was dangerous in more ways than one.
“Do I get to meet him?”
“If you’re home at eight o’clock you will.”
Gran winked at her. “I wouldn’t miss it.”
Sookie was pacing nervously as Gran cooked dinner for herself.
“Are you sure I can’t make you something, honey?”
Sookie shook her head. “No, I’m too nervous to eat.”
“Well, you look lovely. Don’t be nervous, it’s just a date.”
“Yeah.” It was just a date with a tall, gorgeous, and undead man. “Oh. He’s here.” Gravel crunched in the driveway. Sookie pressed her face against the window closest to the door and fogged it over as she watched Eric unfold his long body out of a bright red corvette.
He walked toward the front door. She wiped the window and opened the door. Eric stopped two steps down, making them the same height. Sookie stepped out onto the front porch and smiled at him.
“I underdressed.” Eric swept his hands down his crisp black shirt and green, red, and blue kilt. The large swath of material stretching over his shoulder hid part of the black shirt and made her think of him in it yesterday, without a shirt. His long blond hair was tied behind his head.
“What? You look amazing!” Sookie blushed at the force behind her words.
“You are stunning. That dress…” Eric’s eyes swept up her body, lingering on the taut material stretched over her hips and breasts.
“What, this old thing?” She looked down at her dress and smoothed it out for the tenth time that night. Sookie had bought the white dress years ago because she loved the beautiful red flowers all over it, but she’d never had the opportunity to wear it.
“Stunning.” Eric’s eyes were dark and his fangs glinted in the light coming from the porch.
Sookie gasped. “My gran’s inside.”
Eric smiled, and just as quickly as they appeared, his fangs clicked out of sight.
“How did you do that?” Sookie was leaning toward him.
“Years of practice.” Eric winked at her. “You’ll need to invite me in.”
“Oh, of course. Eric, won’t you please come in?” Sookie went back through the door and waited for him to follow her.
“Thank you.” Eric came up behind her and put his hand on the small of her back.
She wanted his hands all over her body and she had to shake herself out of her lust-induced stupor before Gran saw them together. She plastered a big smile on her face and walked into the kitchen.
“Gran, this is Eric Northman. Eric, this is my gran, Adele Stackhouse.”
“Pleased to make your acquaintance, Ms. Stackhouse.” Eric bowed and flashed a pearly smile.
Gran’s mouth hung open as she took in the sight of Eric in his kilt. She blushed and stood. “Oh, please call me Adele. Sookie’s told me so much about you.”
“Has she?” Eric turned and looked at her.
Sookie blushed under his scrutiny.
“Yes, indeed. You’re a very generous boss and she enjoys working for you.” Gran smiled at him and then patted Sookie on the arm. “You two go out and enjoy the night. Be good to her.” She gave Eric a serious nod.
“You have my word, Adele.” Eric took Gran’s hand and kissed it.
Eric whisked Sookie out of the house while Gran was still standing in the kitchen, speechless.
“I think my gran likes you.”
“What’s not to like?” Eric wiggled his eyebrows, making Sookie giggle. He ushered her around to the passenger door and helped her into the low seat.
“Where are we going?” Sookie asked once Eric was next to her. Her eyes fell to his lap and then darted up to his face, hoping he hadn’t noticed how long she had been looking. He had. She wanted to ask him if it was true about how men didn’t wear anything under a kilt, but just the idea of saying those words out loud made her blush. What she wanted to do more than anything was to lift the fabric and check for herself. She was grateful for the darkness of the car.
“That’s up to you.”
“Oh. You don’t have a plan or something?”
“I made a reservation. Are you hungry?
“I am a little.” Sookie frowned as she thought about how strange it would be to be the only one eating.
“There’s a great restaurant not too far from here.”
The car filled with small talk on their way to the restaurant, and when he pulled into the parking lot, Sookie craned her head to see where they were.
“You’re taking me to La Caille?” Her mouth was hanging open.
“You don’t like French?”
“I don’t know. I’ve never been here.” The prices on the menu were enough to keep her away.
“I’ve heard it’s good.” He moved in a blur of speed and opened her door. “Are you willing to try it?”
Sookie nodded and took his hand. After he helped her out of the car, he wrapped his arm around her waist. Her entire body warmed at his proximity.
After Sookie ordered her meal, the waiter turned to Eric. He surprised her by answering the waiter’s questions in French. She had no idea what he said, but everything sounded beautiful.
Once they were alone, Sookie whispered, “What did you order?”
“Appetizers for you, and a bottle of wine.”
“Are you planning on getting me drunk?” Sookie raised her eyebrows and smiled when he shrugged.
Sookie fidgeted with the napkin on her lap. “I don’t ever do this.”
“I know, you mentioned it’s your first time here.”
“No. Not just here. First time.”
“As an adult. I tried dating in high school, but I can’t block people’s thoughts enough to enjoy their company, so I don’t date.”
“No.” Sookie hung her head in shame.
Eric touched her chin gently and forced her to look at him. He was smiling. “There is nothing wrong with being inexperienced. I’ve been around long enough to experience enough for both of us. If it makes you feel better, I don’t do this either.”
“I’m sure restaurants aren’t your thing.”
“Spending time with humans isn’t my thing. But you’re different.”
Sookie squirmed as he looked at her. Luckily, the waiter came back with a platter of covered trays. As she ate, they chatted about work and the weather. Sookie relaxed and enjoyed the meal, which happened to be the best meal of her life.
Eric leaned back in his chair and watched her eat. He seemed content with the silence, and didn’t seem to notice the attention he was getting.
“People are staring at us.” Sookie nodded to a table of women who were obviously swooning over Eric.
“Of course they are, I’m sitting across from a beautiful woman.” Eric raised an eyebrow and gave her a half smile.
Sookie giggled. “They’re not staring at me, silly. They’re staring at you. It’s not every day you see a six and a half foot god wearing a kilt.”
“A god? Is that what you think of me?” Eric leaned forward.
With a wine glass in her hand, she smiled at Eric. She had no intention of answering him. “Is this what it’s like? To be a normal person on a date?”
Eric laughed warm and deep. “There is nothing normal about this date.”
“Even so, I’m having a great time. Thank you for taking me out.” Sookie hiccupped. “I may be a little drunk.”
“Does that mean I’ll need to carry you to the car?”
“Maybe…” Sookie’s pulse quickened at the thought of being in his arms. When they left, Eric didn’t have to carry her, but she was leaning heavily on his arm as he escorted her out of the restaurant. Her body melted into the low seat in his Corvette, and as she waited for him to join her, she closed her eyes.
She wasn’t sure how much time had passed, but when she opened her eyes again, Eric was sitting next to her, watching her and smiling. Sookie jerked upright. “Sorry, did I fall asleep?”
“Only for a moment.” He caressed her cheek with the back of his hand. “You are so beautiful.”
Her heart started pounding, effectively waking her up. “Um, thanks.” She tucked her hair behind her ear and stared at his mouth. She licked her lips. “Eric, I really like you.”
“Shh.” The sound came out his mouth a second before his lips were on hers. His lips were firm and cool and took her breath away.
A moan escaped her throat and echoed through the car as his tongue pushed past her lips and rubbed against hers. She wound her arms around his neck, and twisted her body in her seat to try and get closer to him. Eric wrapped his arms around her body, his cool fingers caressing her heated skin. When his palms skimmed against the sides of her breasts, Sookie gasped and pulled away from him. “This is too fast. I’m sorry. I’m just…” She took a long shaky breath. “Nervous, I guess.”
Eric groaned and closed his eyes.
Sookie bit her lip and second-guessed herself. “I’m so sorry Eric.”
When Eric looked at her, he was smiling. “Don’t apologize. I’ve got all the time in the world.”
“Thank you.” Her words came out as a whisper. She was sure he wasn’t used to hearing no from anyone, and guilt forced her eyes away from his.
The silence that separated them on the drive back to Sookie’s house was interrupted by Eric’s phone ringing. He looked at the phone, and then at Sookie. He shifted in his seat and straightened his back. “I have to take this,” he said to her before answering the phone. “Northman.” He listened and nodded. “Of course. I’ll leave within the hour.” He snapped his phone shut and slipped it back inside his pocket.
Sookie wanted to know what was happening, but didn’t ask. She didn’t have any right to know, and Eric didn’t seem like he was going to tell her. The food and wine in her stomach was making her drowsy again, but her curiosity over Eric’s mysterious phone call was enough to contradict that. Familiar trees flashed outside her window as they pulled into her driveway.
“Thank you for dinner, Eric, and for that kiss. It was really something.” Sookie gave him a sheepish smile.
The stormy atmosphere that surrounded Eric faded, giving way to a smile. “Yes it was. Thank you for a wonderful date. May I take you out again?”
Sookie grinned. “I would love that.”
He opened her door and offered his hand. Face to face, Eric bent his head and whispered, “May I kiss you again?”
Sookie nodded and closed her eyes.
Eric’s mouth fell on her ear, trailing a line of kisses across her jaw, and then finally hovered over her mouth.
Sookie was panting, waiting for the moment when he would kiss her again, and then realized he was waiting for her. She closed the gap between them, crushing her lips against his. He dug his fingers into her hair and devoured her mouth, leaving her breathless and hungry for more. She shifted her body, bumping into something hard.
“Sorry, I didn’t mean to bump into your pouch thingy.”
Eric frowned and then smiled. “It’s called a sporran.”
“I didn’t mean to bump your sporran.”
“You didn’t.” Eric was staring at her mouth.
“But…” Sookie blushed when she figured out what he meant. He kissed her one more time.
“I’m sorry to leave you.” Eric kissed her hand before returning to the driver’s side. “Please give Adele my best wishes.”
Too stunned to move, Sookie stood outside and watched him pull away.
Eric is going to make a stop at the Tilted Kilt. Anyone have any guesses about what’s going on at work? 🙂