Charlaine Harris owns almost everything. I own the rest. Slightly NSFW again…please don’t hate me. 🙂
Sookie swallowed hard. “Um, do you want me to give you some privacy?”
Eric could only smile. “What for?”
She shrugged. “Because you’re going to change?”
His fingers tugged at the button and her breath caught in her throat. This was too easy. A smile played on his lips as the material gave under the copper circle.
Sookie’s fingers dug into the arms of the chair and her heart was pounding. She was staring intently as his zipper, which was eyelevel with where she sat.
Zzzzziiip. He opened the fly of his jeans slowly, only meeting her eyes when the golden hairs surrounding his cock were visible.
Sookie’s gaze was unfocused. Something was wrong.
And then he realized she’d been holding her breath too long. Her eyes rolled up into her head and she slid off the chair. He caught her in his arms and deposited her limp body on his desk, on top of the ledger and bills. Her legs dangled off the edge. He shook his head. Idiot. Always taking it one step too far. He changed quickly, tossing his wet jeans into the corner, and tugging on a new pair. He hadn’t bothered to zip them up when he leaned over Sookie on the desk, and then Pam was in the room.
“What did you do to her?” Pam’s eyes were wide, taking in the state of his undress and Sookie’s lifeless form.
“She passed out. She held her breath too long.” Eric patted her cheeks. “Sookie? Wake up.”
Her eyelids fluttered and she mumbled something incoherent.
Eric touched her cheeks again, cradling her face between his large palms. “Sookie?”
“Eric.” Her smile wrapped around his name and then her eyes opened. She sat up so fast she smacked her forehead into him. With her face covered with her hands, she said, “Ouch.”
The sting of contact faded quickly. “Are you all right?” Concern creased his forehead.
“Are you coming to the show?” Pam checked her watch.
“Yes!” Eric growled, forcing her from the room. He turned his attention back to Sookie. “Are you all right?”
A flush of pink colored her cheeks, matching the bruise on her forehead. “I think so. Did we… I mean… Did you…?” She was looking at his open jeans and breathing erratically. He was still standing between her legs.
“Nothing happened. I was changing and you passed out.” Eric touched her forehead. “You need to take a deep breath.” He nodded to encourage her and then his fingers worked quickly to close his jeans. “I shouldn’t have done that. I’m sorry.” He gave her a half smile.
“You didn’t do anything wrong. I was all swimmy-headed and then I saw…” She swallowed again and her eyes went unfocused.
“I need to go. Pam’s waiting outside.” Eric glared at the door. “Will you stay here?”
Sookie looked at the desk under her and carefully got up, pushing the papers under her legs back into place. “I think I’ll just sit in the chair. I promise not to pass out again.” Her smile was radiant: a mixture of embarrassment and pleasure.
He bowed out of the room without another word. He would only be gone a few minutes, but work had never seemed so tedious. When he came back to his office, Sookie was leaning against his desk.
She looked at him. “Did you make a lot of money tonight?” Her lips were set in a firm line.
Eric looked at the floor. Why did he feel so guilty? “I’m not sure. Chow handles all that.”
“You seem to be doing very well.” Her eyes narrowed and she pointed to the column of deposits on the open ledger on his desk. “How is this legal?”
He opened his mouth to respond, but Sookie turned to face him. She wasn’t done.
“I mean, honestly, you’re better than this. It’s true, people want to experience vamps, but come on! You’re robbing them blind.”
“No I’m not. I tell them to give what they can.”
“They’ll give you everything they have and you know it.” Sookie crossed her arms over her chest. “What are they getting out of this? Some blurry idea of happiness that they handed over every cent to their name?” She scoffed.
Eric frowned. “This is what people want. A brush with death, without the danger.”
“This is dangerous. It’s no better than a gambling addiction. Even if they know they shouldn’t come back, because they can’t afford it, they still do because they want to see you again.” She closed her eyes. “I can’t watch you drain them night after night. People work hard for their money. I work hard for my money. Eric, I like you. A lot. But I can’t be a part of this.” She pulled her car keys out of her pocket and walked out the door.
Pam walked in a minute later. “What was that all about?”
Eric slammed the ledger shut and he held it up. “She saw this.”
Pam shrugged. “So?”
“She thinks I’m robbing these people.”
“We are.” Pam’s face was blank. “Isn’t that the idea?”
“Not anymore.” Sookie was right. He was a thief, and he was better than that.
Eric knew Sookie wouldn’t be back the next night, so he went to her. The Merlotte’s dive was busy, but there was a booth near the back he could sit. He waited patiently, but she didn’t make it easy. She avoided his table, never coming close enough to talk. It wasn’t until she had her purse over her arm by the front entrance that she made eye contact with him.
He was by her side a moment later, walking her to her car.
She stopped and faced him, propping a hand on her hip. “Did you come here to justify your slimy business practices?” Her gaze never left his, challenging him.
His words seemed to deflate her. “Oh.” He could practically see her brain working. “Because I still don’t like it.”
“I know.” He touched her arm. “I came to ask you out on a date.”
She frowned. “Don’t you have work to do?”
“No.” There was no sense in discussing his business plan in the parking lot of a bar. “Are you free tomorrow night?”
Sookie’s eyes narrowed. “Yes. I’m off tomorrow.”
“May I pick you up at seven o’clock?”
“Sure.” She hesitated and then pulled a piece of paper from her purse. She wrote her address on it. Some of the iciness in her voice had thawed as she unlocked her car. “I’ll see you then.”
Waiting twenty-three hours might just kill him.
On to Glamoured: Chapter 13