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Once Upon A Screen Chapter 33

A/N: Hiya people, sorry it’s been forever, but I hit a block and couldn’t get around it, despite help from the lovely Anne. I have ideas, and they’re starting to want to come out again, so I’m hoping it won’t be too long until the next instalment.


Chapter 33 – SPOV

Sex in the corvette was a disaster. I felt like I had bruises on my bruises, and setting the horn off with my butt was just embarrassing. At least we were able to get back on track once everyone went to bed, and boy did we… Whoo!

I was hoping for a little sleep in, but Pam had other ideas. No sooner had the sun come up over the horizon; Pam was trying to bash the door down and screeching for me to get my ass out of bed because we needed to shop. Eric was still using ear plugs so he was not subjected to the shocking noise his sister was able to create, however managed to grumble and poke at me to make sure I answered.

“I’m awake, Pam. I’ll be up in about twenty minutes.” I yelped as Eric’s finger jabbed once again into my ribs. Just because I was now in an ornery mood I flipped the covers right off the bed, leaving Eric naked to the morning air. The annoying thing was that he barely noticed he just clawed at the bed looking for them. An attack of conscience on my part returned them to their rightful place, although I wasn’t going to complain about the view.

A hot shower managed to make me more agreeable, something about the water running over my scalp made me happy. I shampooed, shaved, conditioned, exfoliated and generally just enjoyed the simple pleasure of getting myself nice and pruney. When I eventually made it upstairs, Pam was not happy with me in the least.

“Finally!” she sighed, “I thought you’d melted, or washed down the drain, or went through the looking glass and were playing croquet with the Red Queen.”

“Ok Pam,” I laughed. “I’m sorry I took so long, let me get a…”

“No time for coffee!” Pam declared in ringing tones, jumping to her feet and chivvying me out the door and into the car. “You’ve kept me from shoes, woman! SHOES! I’ll get you a to-go cup of coffee after you’ve redeemed yourself” she added.

I tried my best not to pout as we left the house coffee-less, I guess I didn’t really NEED it, but I didn’t feel right starting my day without it. Pam was now in a fabulous mood, grinning like a loon and chattering about what and how we were going to be shopping today – I think she could sense the limit on my credit card.

“Because you made me stay away from shoes yesterday, we’ll be looking at those mostly,” she said officiously. “Then, you’re going to buy a fabulous dress from my very favourite vintage shop, one – because it’s going to look fabulous, two – because I said so and three – the club we’re going to tonight is 1920’s and they like people to dress up.”

I smiled and nodded and told myself that leaping out of a moving vehicle would not be a good idea. Lack of coffee is definitely a bad thing so I made a mental note to ensure I didn’t waste time with personal hygiene when shopping with Pam.

We arrived at the mall and I was almost running to keep up with Pam as she set out for her retail therapy. A change came over her as soon as we entered the doors, the next hour or so flew past in a blur; Pam in a shop was like a natural disaster, unstoppable, terrifying and expensive.

Shop assistants were left incoherent husks on the floor as Pam inspected and discarded purses, shirts, sweaters, pants, dresses, accessories and shoes at a rate of knots. Despite her rather fearsome approach to shopping, Pam was fabulously perceptive in knowing what shapes, materials, colours and styles would suit my body type. I didn’t once have to brave the fitting rooms with the hideous fluorescent lighting and awful mirrors that manage to make even the most beautiful of women look like a hippopotamus in a tutu.

Three hours after we started shopping, Pam decided it was time for a break. I don’t know if she was worried about me, or if she was hungry – either way I wasn’t going to complain about sitting down for a few minutes.

Pam decided on a trendy café near the shop we just exited. I could see the sales girls running around putting things back to rights after Hurricane Pam had been through. I felt a little sorry for them; my empathy slightly dampened by the idea of the fat commissions they would have made on Pam’s purchases.

We settled in to a small table in the back of the room, a server quickly taking a drinks order and promising to be back soon for our food order.

“Make sure you eat well, I can’t have you going all Victorian on me.” Pam announced, burying her nose in the menu.

“Victorian?” I asked with a laugh.

“Yes, swoony, weak, faint.” She explained “Eric would be whining about his feet being sore by now, and as this is your first shopping expedition with me I want to make sure you don’t collapse on me.”

I laughed again “Don’t worry about me, Pam. I’m made of sterner stuff.”

“You have been holding up remarkably well,” she commented with a smirk. “I may have to steal you away more often.”

“I don’t know if my bank balance could handle many shopping trips like this,” I grinned, secretly thrilled that Pam and I had been able to find so many nice things. I hadn’t gone on a decent shopping spree in a long time.

“That’s what jobs and credit cards are for.” Pam laughed. “I know what you mean though; before I opened the club, I’d only let myself go this crazy every couple of years… super-tricky-to-access savings accounts are fabulous.” She added, tapping the side of her nose. “I also have three credit cards in my freezer.”

The thought of Pam desperately trying to thaw out a credit card with her hairdryer so she could shop was surprisingly funny. Although I doubted she’d ever let herself get that desperate, it managed to take the edge off the ‘no coffee’ grudge I was holding on to.

I looked around as Pam made comments on the people coming and going realising that from this position Pam was able to see the entire café. Like a ruling monarch, Pam watched people come and go, making comments here and there about how someone was dressed or what they could do to look a little better. It made me wonder why she wasn’t working in fashion rather than owning a nightclub.

All of a sudden, Pam launched herself out of her seat and stormed out. My shock at her abrupt exit changed to side splitting laughter when she stopped a woman who had been walking past. The woman was dressed completely in beige, and with her long blonde hair hanging around her face she looked like a Saluki walking on its hind legs.

I had tears in my eyes I was laughing so hard. Pam was gesturing wildly and obviously lecturing her on her dress sense. I didn’t think she looked that bad really – other than blending in to the walls, but I think Pam took the woman’s beige-ness to be a personal affront to her sense of style. She took the woman gently by the arm and steered her toward a store near-by, sending her off with a gentle push. The woman moved toward the store looking completely bemused – turning to check if Pam was still watching… she was.

Once the woman had moved into the hands of a sales girl and wandered out of sight, Pam returned with a happy smile on her face and flopped into her chair – which was most un-Pam-like.

“My good deed for the year was saving that woman from herself.” She said with a satisfied sigh. “It should definitely count as a public service.” I stifled a snort of laughter, and let Pam bask in the glow of her humanitarian efforts.

We managed to finish lunch with no further fashion disasters or interruptions. Our waiter tried to flirt with Pam a little, and only tried harder when she started flirting with the waitress of another section. When Pam succeeded in getting her number, I think his brain might have stopped working due to lack of blood flow.

“I really don’t know why he thought he had a chance – his shoes were from Wal-Mart.” Pam muttered, shuddering at the thought of low cost footwear. Having a few pairs from Target and Wal-Mart myself, I didn’t really understand Pam’s aversion. But then she was fairly fussy in general so I let it slide and made a mental note to hide them whenever she visited again.

Cheque paid and phone number returned to our overly ambitious server, Pam headed back to the car park with me following behind like a well-trained minion.

“We aren’t shoe shopping?” I asked, almost whining at the thought of leaving all the pretty behind. Although it had been a long time since I’d been on a shopping binge I was looking forward to treating myself to a nice pair of heels.

“I was thinking about it over lunch and I decided that it would be better if you picked out your dress before we picked the shoes,” she replied in a comforting tone. “It’s easier that way – especially because we’ll be shopping vintage.” Pam added with an almost motherly smile – it made me wonder what she’d be like if she was Aunty Pam and I was almost cringing at the thought of the baby names she would be sure to suggest, not to mention the couture that would be spoiled by spit-up and strained peas.

A short drive later we pulled in to an out of the way store that looked more ghetto than fabulous and I wondered how far Pam would actually go for fashion… hopefully bloodshed was off the list.

“Fleur!” Pam squealed as we walked in the door.

“Pam!” A woman replied, strutting over and air kissing Pam before stepping back to check her out.

“You’re looking fabulous sweetie, and you’ve bought me a new customer, I knew there was a reason I loved you.” she added with a giggle.

Pam snickered and the two launched into a catch-up conversation that sounded like chipmunk gibberish. I didn’t mind though as it allowed me to study Fleur in more detail.

Fleur dressed like she’d just stepped out of Grease or Happy Days. Her silky black hair was pulled up into a tight ponytail with her bangs puffed into a little pompadour, her skin was pale and flawless, her eyes enhanced with long black spidery lashes, and her lipstick, an amazingly vibrant red. Her slim figure was displayed to advantage in tight black cigarette pants and a red sweetheart neck top, she had finished her ensemble with an arm full of black and red bangles and black mary-jane heels. Whether they were vintage or not I have no idea, but she looked fantastic… I’d never be able to get away with anything like that, too many curves.

“Oh, Sookie, I’m so sorry, that was unbelievably rude of me,” Pam said, patting my shoulder “Fleur, this is Sookie – Eric’s fiancée.”

“Oooooh!” Fleur squealed. “That’s fantastic news! Congratulations darling!” she added squeezing me in a hug and air kissing me. “Show me the ring.”

I was giggling at the excitement a complete stranger was showing over my recent engagement, but showed her nonetheless, holding my hand out for inspection.

“Ohh” She cooed. “It’s gorgeous!”

“Fleur has been my vintage go to girl since forever,” Pam said, linking arms with Fleur and hugging it like a favourite toy.

“Now I know you only visit me at work when you want something, you glamorous thing,” Fleur said, winking at me, “so what can I get for you?”

“We’re going out for New Year’s Eve, dinner and dancing at the Cicada Club,” Pam said, eyeing the racks with anticipation. “You know, of course, it’s late 20’s, Art Deco, but I hate the shapelessness of the fashion from that era so anything you think would make us look fabulous is fine, you know I trust you.”

“Pam, I know you love simple but stunning, and I think I have just the dress for you” Fleur said knowingly, walking to a nearby rack and pulling out a black dress that didn’t look like anything special. “I know it’s not much on the hanger, but humour me and try it on.” she added, pushing the garment into Pam’s hands before striding off to another rack “And this delightful little number is your mother through and through, I know you’re the same size, so try it on to check for me then take it off my hands, I know she’ll look fantastic.” She added, gently adding the extra garment and with a little skip, Pam headed off to the fitting rooms.

“Now,” Fleur said, turning to me. “You, Miss Sookie, are going to be a little trickier, because I have no idea what kind of things you like, but I think you’d look fabulous in one of my favourites. Follow me.” she said over her shoulder, zooming off to another part of the store.

Again, I followed like a good little minion and had to jog to keep up. Fleur had four dresses out and in my arms before I could catch a glimpse of what she wanted me to try on. I glanced down as she chivvied me toward the fitting rooms and saw black lace over red satin and a very full skirt.

“Before you get naked Sookie, come and bask in my gorgeousness,” Pam said laughingly through the curtain. “Fleur, you’ve done it again.”

In typical Pam fashion, the curtain swung aside dramatically and we caught sight of a posing and completely smitten Pam. The dress was boat-necked, fitted and belted. It was completely black except for the back where it folded open to reveal a white satin lining with a huge decorative button. The skirt was slim fitting and with Pam’s long legs it looked spectacular, if a little confining.

“It’s gorgeous, but uh…how the heck are you going to dance in that?” I asked as she twirled slowly, “there’s no split in the back.”

“It’s a wiggle dress” Fleur explained, “It’s supposed to be like that; the hem is supposed to be narrower than the hips so that it keeps the woman’s knees close together when she moves and makes her wiggle when she walks. It’s very sexy.”

“I won’t be dancing too much anyway,” Pam answered “I detest getting hot and sticky… unless I can get an orgasm out of it,” she added with a wink and a smirk, before sashaying back to her fitting room.

I snorted out a giggle and shook my head – that Pam. Fleur was snickering a little too, obviously used to Pam’s complete lack of filter.

“Ok, now that little Miss Poser is done” Fleur giggled.

“I heard that!” Pam yelled

“You were supposed to!” Fleur yelled back with another laugh. “Now it’s your turn Sookie, get in there and let’s see how you look in those dresses.”

The first one I tried was red satin with a black lace overlay, it had a sweetheart neckline with little crystals sewn along the top and scattered over the skirt. It was gorgeous and looked absolutely wrong on me. It was so fitted that it pushed my already ample bosom up to my chin, and the way the boning cut into my waist gave me a Pooh Bear tummy.

I laughingly pulled aside the curtain to show Fleur how horribly it fit. She choked back a giggle and flapped her hands at me to go back and change out of the dress as soon as possible. If it hadn’t made me look like a demented strawberry I would have taken a picture to show the others how awful it looked, however, there’s only so much shame one girl can take.

A dove grey strapless with a yellow sash was next, but again, the boning cut into my waist and although it wasn’t quite as bad as the red dress, it still wasn’t the look I was going for. A hot pink number fitted fabulously, but unfortunately washed me out so that was another dress on the reject pile.

The last dress I tried on was made of a bright peacock blue sari silk with silver embellishing all over. The cross over halter top contained and supported ‘the girls’ and the waist line was cut low enough to give me an hourglass figure before the skirt fluffed out over my hips. I fell in love with it as soon as I’d zipped it up.

I swept the curtain aside to show Pam and Fleur my choice. Doing a little twirl and basking in the ooh’s, aahh’s and general fabulousness of finding a dress I loved.

“That’s the one I was hoping would suit you” Fleur said clapping and bouncing excitedly “It looks fabulous!”

“It’s fantastic” Pam agreed, “and the colour makes your eyes pop. Now we just need to find something for Gran and get you some shoes.”

Pam and Fleur made plans to meet up another day for lunch while I changed out of my new dress. I almost didn’t want to take it off; I just loved it that much.

Another twenty minutes or so passed as Fleur suggested one dress or another before Pam and I picked a dress that would suit Gran to a tea. I was sure she’d love it.

In a flurry of activity, I had paid for the dresses for Gran and myself then hustled into the car to shop for shoes. Apparently Pam wasn’t to be distracted from shoes for too long by vintage fashion and gorgeous friends.

I trailed after Pam for what seemed like hours while she tried on pair after pair of beautiful shoes. They were like works of art for your feet. I tried on a few pairs but couldn’t find anything I LOVED that would want to spend a tonne of money on. I didn’t own many ‘high fashion’ shoes, they’re way too far out of my budget usually, but boy did I love looking.

I found a pair I liked enough to bother buying. They weren’t eye catching or designer, just simple black suede peep toe heels with a little bow over the toes. They were cute, and worked with the style of my dress. I could see how dressing like I was from the 50’s would be fun.

“Just one more store, Sookie? Pretty Please with Dior on top?” Pam asked, wheedling tone and eyelashes fluttering. Apparently this was Pam trying to be convincing.

“Ok Pam, ONE more.” I laughed. Despite my aching feet, and my annoyance with Pam’s ability to spend hours in a single store only to leave without buying anything, I really had been having a good day.

Finally… just as my Pam threshold was reaching “Oh holy hell, just kill me now” and my feet were about to fall off in protest, I found a pair that I just HAD to have… blue satin Manolo Blahnik sling backs. I didn’t bother to contain my squeal of delight, and ran over to gape at their awesomeness.

“Oh Thank God!” Pam groaned.

“Huh?” I half asked half drooled. Shoes… want… so pretty.

“I could have gone home 4 stores ago!” Pam continued. “I’ve been waiting for you to find something fantastic. Now buy them so I can go home and soak my feet. I’ll never tease Eric about his shopper’s feet again.”

A shockingly horrendous credit card transaction later and we were finally headed home, my new favourite shoes safely in my lap. I loved them so much I don’t know if I’d ever wear them, maybe I’d just take them out and look… but they were just so pretty!

“You’re home!” Gran chuckled as Pam and I stumbled in “We were thinking you’d run away to join the circus.”

“No, Gran,” I giggled kissing her hello and working my way around the room to say hi to everyone else. “We’ve been shopping, picked up something to wear for New Year’s.”

“If you’ve been shopping with Pam I’m sure the car is full” Eric said, squeezing my shoulders “Jason, would you mind giving me a hand?”

“Sure. I know my sister, and I’m getting to know yours. I’m surprised they didn’t come home in a semi-trailer.” Jason said with a chuckle.

“It was a close thing, but I managed to talk Pam out of that last skirt that would have put us over the edge” I said, blowing a raspberry in their direction and propping my aching feet up on the chair.

Three trips later everything was in the living room, waiting to be sorted.

“Holy CheezWiz, Sookie!” Jason yelped before collapsing onto the nearest chair. “This is worse than Christmas!”

“Shhhh!” I hissed, placing my hands over the nearest pile “Not in front of the pretties!”


P.S – Yes, I know people who keep their credit cards frozen in small ice cream containers, just so they have them for emergencies. There’s no fast way to defrost them without having to SERIOUSLY think about what you’re using it for. If you’ve seen “Confessions of a Shopaholic” you’ll know they used this idea too. If I had room in my freezer I’d do something similar, but mine is taken up with weird stuff like food.

I got the woman/saluki reference from a book I read a while back and it just made me laugh. I started this chapter while Alex was ‘dating’ Kate Bosworth, (Yes I know! It’s been a LONG time since I’ve updated, I’m Sorry!) and a lot of people I spoke to were almost offended by her dress sense so I thought it kinda fit.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed the chapter and I’ll post another one as soon as I can.

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Sorry it’s not a story update….

I’m weighing in on the same sex marriage debate…

A friend of mine received this brochure in the mail today, she cried. I got mad.

Image

People say marriage is between a man and a woman… why? for children? I can’t have children without medical intervention – does that mean I shouldn’t be married? Or does that mean I should marry the petri dish my baby will be created in? What about those poor people who desperately want children but can’t have them, are they not allowed to be married?

If you’re not protesting for religious reasons, then you’re protesting because you just don’t like gay couples. You’re a bigot. It’s the same as being a racist, but it covers more things… go ahead… try that on and see how it feels.

And to those protesters that bring Religion into it?

The Bible is a great guide, but God didn’t write it. He was ‘translated’ by the prophets – and we all know that things get lost in translation.

I’m not telling you to discard your faith, I’m not telling you that believing in something is wrong, I’m just telling you to use the brain God gave you and put some common sense into the things you say and do.

God judges us when we die. It’s not your job. Your job is to live your life the best way you can.

People who get married don’t always love each other. People get married for money and security, because they’re lonely, because ‘it’s just time’, for citizenship… if anything is going to ruin the institution of marriage it’s not going to be because two people who love each other just so happen to be the same gender.

You learned and teach your children that it’s wrong to hate people based on the colour of their skin.

You learned and teach your children that it’s wrong to hate people based on their religion.

You learned and teach your children that it’s wrong to hate people because of their physical or mental disabilities.

You learned and teach your children that women and men are just as important as each other.

How is this any different?

There are more important, more worrisome things to concentrate your energy on – abuse, neglect, starvation, homelessness, aged care, disabled care, women’s reproductive rights… the list goes on. Two people who love each other getting married? Sooooo not a problem.

Stopping same sex marriage isn’t going to make children’s lives any better, and spreading this kind of thing around is just going to create another generation of fearful and hateful bigots.

 

As you can see from the picture – they didn’t proof read, using effect instead of affect… the inside is pure propaganda http://www.stand4marriage.org.au and samesexmarriage.org.au if anyone is interested in reading the bile these ill-informed bigots are spitting out.

If you don’t (and I don’t blame you) I’ll give you a general over view – basically they think that people choose to be gay. That teaching young children that there are other family types other than ‘Mum, Dad and baby” is starting ‘systematic indoctrination’ and ‘early sexualisation’.

They believe that ‘homosexual indoctrination programs’ exist in high schools in the form of LGBT support groups and fundraisers, that educating children about different sexual attractions and choices will desensitise them to sex acts that they consider wrong – oral sex, mutual masturbation and the use of sex toys. They cite that statistics on ‘homosexual’ STDs, health and relational dysfunction are hidden and that school libraries are full of explicit and pornographic materials. 

“The Little Black Book – Queer in the 21st Century” was made available to high school students in Massachusetts and caused an uproar, because of the use of colloquial language, pictures of erections (to show proper condom usage) and explanations of different kinds of sex acts including fisting, rimming and urination (as part of explaining how STD’s are transmitted and what the risks are).

This isn’t in my comfort zone at all, and yes it’s explicit – but almost every teen has access to the internet, or knows someone who does so you can sure as hell assume that they know more than you do about sexual variety, but only the basics on sexual safety.

This is the reason the brochure was distributed, they’re protesting same sex marriage because they think children will be more at risk from being more informed. That’s a different issue entirely in my opinion.

I’m not condoning promiscuity or hypersexualisation of teens/tweens and children, in fact I’d love it if Bratz dolls were never invented, that there was no such thing as a baby bikini, that miniskirts and high heels for 5 year olds didn’t exist and that thong underwear wasn’t a choice for girls under 18. Sticking your head in the sand isn’t going to make it go away – but it is going to put people in danger from lack of education. 

Stopping same sex marriage isn’t going to turn back the clock, it’s just going to make it that much harder for two people who love each other to be happy.

My mother in law thinks that ‘the gays’ want same sex marriage for the financial benefit… what financial benefit?

My niece probably just wants to know if she can marry her girlfriend and live happily ever after, just like the rest of us.

Hooray for True Blood S04E07!

You got it awesomely right this time HBO people!!

Plenty of Sookie and Eric time and it wasn’t all just sex either – I got all mooshy a couple of times when Eric was being sweet. This is what the last episode SHOULD have been like, although I could have done without the Alcide and Debbie spying on them part.

I just wish it could last, I know Sookie is going to fuck it all up eventually, when Eric gets his memory back… because well… she’s Sookie, but I can enjoy it for now. Alex really is doing a fantastic job this season… and I know it’s a little mean, but Anna needs to work on her sex face – it’s a bit herp derp… although I guess we’re all herp derp during sex, I’m sure I am, not that I’ve ever checked.

I didn’t hate Bill this episode! I was almost surprised about that. I mean, Bill isn’t completely heinous in the books, just a bit of a PITA… whereas, somehow they manage to make him EXTREMELY annoying in TB.There wasn’t an over abundance of useless information in the way of other story-lines this time, they were kept short and uncomplicated, which was really appreciated. It managed to keep Arlene from being annoying and Tara actually cried instead of just doing that lip thing she always does (although it did come up later). The focus of the episode was kept on Eric and Sookie – which is where it’s supposed to be IMO.

Poor Ginger, does she do anything but scream? It cracked me up laughing though, and OMG I hope Pam is back to normal soon… things just aren’t the same without a gorgeous snarky Pam.

So congratulations on a great episode HBO, maybe you should let whoever the writer was on this episode do the job more often, I’m sure you’d get a better response.

XOXO and love this time

Me.

Feels Like Home

“Thank you for flying Virgin Atlantic and welcome to Brisbane. We should be pulling into the gate in a few minutes; we’re just waiting on one to become available. As you know it’s a busy time of year for travel, so we thank you for your patience and ask that you please remain seated until the pilot turns off the fasten seatbelts sign.”

Luckily I was able to fly first class, so it wasn’t as cramped as it could have been further back in the plane, but after 18 hours in the air even I was chomping at the bit to get out of here. The in-flight movies were hopeless, the man next to me snored horribly, and I spilled juice on my pants during a rather rough patch of turbulence.

All I wanted now was to get to my sister’s house, take a hot shower, and go to sleep. I’d flown in to spend Christmas with her as well take a break from my life. It had been so long since I’d had a vacation that I forgot how crazy travel was around the silly season. What made it worse was that it was summer in Australia, so there was all the summer holiday travel to deal with as well. I sighed and made a mental note not to travel at this time of year ever again. Twenty minutes later, sleep was FAR from my mind and I was contemplating getting back on the plane and heading straight back home again. We were still waiting on the tarmac, a child somewhere on the plane was screaming blue murder, and the snoring man next to me had released a stench that could have been used for WMD’s. I’d never been so supremely annoyed in my life! THEN? It got fantastically worse!

I walked out of the gate, intending to follow the crowd to baggage claim and was slightly mollified by the fact I wasn’t locked up with them anymore. I noticed people rushing forward to meet my fellow travellers: grandchildren running to meet grandparents, boyfriends meeting girlfriends, children greeting parents. I loved airports for exactly this reason.

One person that caught my interest was a pretty blonde woman who was looking frantically around. I assumed she was looking for a relative or long lost boyfriend and I lowered my head to keep myself from staring and to continue walking without tripping over the many tiny people running about. She, however, had other plans…

“Eric Northman?” she asked. I nodded and with a squeal of giggles, she jumped up and tackled me, wrapping her arms around my neck and doing the best impression of a monkey I’d ever seen outside a zoo.

“Eric! Hi! Hi! Hi! Hi!” she squeaked in my ear, hugging me tightly and choking off my air supply. “Ohhh! I’m so glad you’re finally HERE! Pam has told me so much about you! You’re going to have so much fun! You’re going to have to take another holiday to get over your holiday! We have SO much stuff planned for you to do! You’re going to LOVE Australia! I think by the end of your trip you’re going to want to move here!”

Her excited squealing was so rushed, I barely had time to register that she was actually speaking English before she moved on to the next explosion of gleeful words. If I wasn’t stupidly tired I might find her entertaining. As it was, she was just annoying the hell out of me.

“Excuse me, but would you mind removing yourself?” I used the tone that I normally reserved for employee disciplinary meetings, but it didn’t seem to scare her at all.

“Oh, sorry!” she giggled, sounding about as close to sorry as I was to a good mood. She clambered down but before letting me move any further, she pulled off my jacket and rolled the sleeves up on my shirt, pocketing my cuff links.

“My sister sent you to pick me up?” I asked, prepared to run if she had even a vague inclination of attacking me again. The cufflinks and jacket were replaceable and a small price to pay for the ability to breathe.

“Oh, yup!” she chirped. Then, with an almost insane grin, she dashed off to follow the crowd to baggage claim. I’m going to throttle Pam, I thought. Where does she FIND these airheads?

I quietly sighed and tried not to drag my feet as I followed the blonde terror who was supposedly keeping my sister entertained. I had come to Australia to get away from the people who knew me as a hard-ass. I was sick of playing the grumpy boss-man with everyone I knew and just wanted to relax. Apparently grumpy boss was my default setting, at least until I was able to get away from this woman.

While we waited for the luggage to start moving, this fair-haired hurricane of enthusiasm was babbling away about day trips and wineries and… climbing trees? What?

“Uh… woman… who are you?” I asked. I was too fed up to bother being polite right now.

“Oh!” she giggled again. “I’m Sookie, Sookie Stackhouse! I’m Pam’s housemate. Sorry, I was just so excited to meet you, I forgot to introduce myself! Here I am babbling away like we know each other, you probably think I’m nauseatingly cheerful or certifiable…” she trailed off with another strange giggle and I withheld a groan of pain, although I couldn’t stop my hand moving to pinch the bridge of my nose while I prayed for the strength to endure.

‘Sookie’ managed to hold her tongue for the remainder of the time we waited for my bags, a blessing for which I was truly thankful. She even managed to get a cart so we wouldn’t have to carry them to her car – which she had informed me was “Way over there” with requisite hand waving and chuckles.

Luggage claimed and loaded onto the cart, we walked out into the ridiculously sticky heat of the December day. I was immediately thankful she had taken my jacket and rolled up my sleeves. If I could have taken the shirt off entirely I would have, but I wasn’t quite that comfortable yet. Not to mention I was so pale I’d probably be burnt to a crisp after two minutes of direct sunlight.

Sookie and I trekked across the lots to the car in the near silence which I had been praying for and she was gracious enough to grant. When we stopped at an old VW bug, I couldn’t hold in a shout of laughter. The little car was not only bright yellow with rust stains, but she had attached a flower to the radio antenna and the seats were covered in what looked like Cookie Monster’s cousins.

“Yes?” She asked frostily.

“Sorry, I’m just… surprised.” I said, feeling a little bad for laughing. “You ah… you couldn’t get something… less yellow?” I asked, snickering a little.

“It wouldn’t be Bumblebee if it wasn’t yellow,” she smirked.

“Closet Transformers fan?” I asked, laughing again.

“Nothing closeted about me!” she replied, poking her tongue out for added emphasis.

She opened the front of the car to stow my bags and I laughed all over again as she struggled to heft them in. My better side made an appearance and I ended up muscling them into place so she didn’t bust something.

“Thank you.” She said, slamming the trunk and moving around to unlock the door, leaning over to unlock mine as soon as she was in.

While I shoved my seat back as far as I could to get myself comfortable in the tiny bubble, she had to move hers all the way forward. She pulled a cushion from the back, which I assumed she used as some sort of booster seat. I was polite enough to hide my chuckles this time, but she caught me and grinned.

“Go ahead and laugh,” she chuckled. “Everyone does. I can’t help being short, and the bucket seats mean I can barely see over the dashboard unless I’m on this thing,” she added, waving the cushion in my face.

“I’m sorry I’ve been so grumpy with you so far. I really am grateful that you were here to pick me up, although I’m sure I could have managed a cab.” I said, half apologising.

“It’s not a problem, and really, getting a taxi over to our place would have cost you a crap-load,” she said with another cheery smile before finagling the gears into reverse and getting us underway. “I was prepared for you to be sour; Pam said you hate travelling and that you’re grumpy with new people anyway,” she said with a smirk.

“Nice to know my sister is talking me up,” I said with a laugh, knowing that she was right to warn people. I really was a terrible traveller.

Watching Sookie manage the traffic, I was glad that I hadn’t caught a cab; getting through the suburbs would have been a nightmare if I’d needed to give the driver any kind of direction. It took nearly an hour to get to the house, but it was worth it when my sister came bursting out of the door with a huge smile on her face.

“Eric!” she squealed, hugging me and bouncing up and down at the same time.

“Hi Pammy.” I grinned, pleasantly surprised at her openly gleeful greeting. We were usually pretty reserved with each other, just because that was how we had grown up. Obviously Sookie’s bubbly nature had been rubbing off on Pam.

“Come in! Come in!” she said, bouncing a little.

“I think I’d better get my bags first; Sookie will hurt herself,” I said with a laugh.

Sookie gave me a grateful smile as I took my bags off her hands; she had obviously been struggling with them, trying to give us space to enjoy saying hello. I felt like an ass for being so harsh with her at the airport. I’d have to apologise again later; maybe I’d take them out for dinner or something.

With that kick in the pants from my conscience, I followed them both into the house. It was a very Pam-like house: picket fence, huge bay window, cream scroll work on the tiny porch and stained glass in the front door. The front garden left a lot to be desired, but knowing my sister and her less than green thumb, the fact that it wasn’t a toxic waste dump was a plus.

We walked through the living space. Past the kitchen, the bathroom and laundry were pointed out, as well as Pam’s room, Sookie’s room, and guest room… wait, Sookie’s room? They’re not a couple?

“You two are JUST housemates?” I asked Pam, after Sookie had gone to make us all refreshments.

“Yep,” Pam replied with a grin. “I was sick of putting my lovers up in the other room and having to search for another housemate every time they stopped being fun and I kicked them out. Sookie is fun without the hassle of being my girlfriend.”

“Ok, but you don’t really NEED a housemate,” I said, now confused as to why my very picky sister would put up with someone she wasn’t sleeping with or related to.

“No, but I needed company,” Pam said quietly and a little sadly. “Sookie is a good friend and she needed to share with someone to manage her bills, so I offered her my spare room. She’s really fun and a great cook. I promise you’ll like her, once you get used to her bubbly hyperactivity.”

“Having a complete stranger climb me at the airport was pretty interesting,” I said with a laugh.

“Oh, she did that?” Pam asked with a chuckle. “She gets so excited, sometimes I think she’s going to bounce out of her skin, and that would just be gross.”

I laughed again and followed her out to the kitchen where Sookie had rustled up some lunch for us all. It looked amazing and after pouting my way through breakfast on the plane, I was pretty hungry.

I practically inhaled the first half of my huge chicken salad sandwich. It looked like it had been made from one of those homemade loaves, and was so full I needed both hands to hold it closed.

My gorging was interrupted by giggles from both Pam and Sookie. I looked up to find them laughing at me, only two bites into their own sandwiches when mine was almost gone.

“Glad to know you appreciate my skills in the kitchen, Eric!” Sookie said with a chuckle.

“It tastes amazing, Sookie, thank you. In defence of my manners, I am hungry,” I replied, a little shamefaced, but too happy about the tastes on my tongue to care much.

“Not a problem. I work at a gourmet deli so I get all kinds of recipes from the owner,” she laughed, depositing another half on my plate.

“You made this?” I asked, forgetting I had a mouthful and wincing when Pam’s hand reminded me.

Sookie chuckled again and nodded. “It’s not hard. Bread-makers are awesome and it only takes a few minutes to throw together a chicken salad.”

“That may be true, but it doesn’t make this any less delicious.” I said with a wink, stuffing my face again. Sookie blushed before turning back to her food, and Pam gave me the high eyebrow. I wasn’t much for compliments and she knew it, but I’d been rude; I had to make up for it somehow.

Now that my stomach wasn’t making me nauseous and I wasn’t surrounded by thousands of people, I was starting to relax. We finished our meal and collapsed onto the sofas, just chatting and laughing.

It was good to be with people who weren’t expecting me to be or do anything; it was so tiring always having to be ‘on’ at work or out in public generally. Even dates were practically an interview lately, so I had given up when the last one asked me what my bank balance was.

In telling Pam my horror stories of dating since she had left for Australia, we had a good laugh, but I caught Sookie looking at me with worry now and then. I don’t know what she was worried about. Maybe she thought I was a little to frank about my dating life. I wasn’t going to apologise for making fun of the girls that were dating my Lexus instead of me. I excused myself to go to the bathroom while the girls were fighting over which movie to watch.

Walking back down the hall way, I overheard their hissed conversation; they mustn’t have seen me or I’m sure they would have shut up.

“… but it’s so sad that he can’t be liked for who he is!” Sookie said passionately. “He’s a great guy when you get past the prickly bits, and he’s really funny! Why are people so shallow?”

“They’re shallow because that’s the kind of people he’s forced to hang out with back home. It’s hard to meet people outside our social circle,” Pam replied, obviously having made her point before I had started eavesdropping.

“I think we should try to find him some fun while he’s here… he needs a good…” Sookie’s sentence stopped dead when she realised I was back in the room. She blushed a little and carried on like she hadn’t just been talking about me. “We settled on Boondock Saints, I hope that’s ok with you?”

“Sure,” I grinned, happy to pretend I hadn’t heard anything. I didn’t need people feeling sorry for me, but I definitely agreed with what Sookie had been saying. I was sick of the crowd of people I socialised with; excepting a few people I had gotten to know and trust, I wouldn’t miss anyone from home if I upped and moved.

I wanted a relationship like my parents had; even now, in their 80’s, they held hands and laughed together. I needed someone I could have a conversation with, laugh with, relax and have fun with. Was that so much to ask? Apparently it was, because I had yet to meet anyone I could spend time with on a long term basis.

Australia was obviously working for Pam; maybe I should think about moving here myself. It’s not like I had anything tying me to any particular location. My parents were in an assisted living facility in Tuscany, Pam was here and I was… everywhere and nowhere. I was so busy thinking about what was or rather, was not going on in my life, that I completely missed the movie and realised the girls had asked me a question.

“Eric?” Pam asked.

“Sorry, huh… what was that?” I stammered, unable to hide that I hadn’t been listening.

“I asked what you felt like for dinner,” she said again with a smirk. “I swear you live in your head too much and I’m making it my mission to get you out of it while you’re here.”

“Good luck with that,” I laughed. “I was thinking that because I was such a grumpy ass to Sookie this morning, I would take you both out for dinner to apologise for my less than appreciative thank you.”

Sookie chuckled. “You don’t have to do that. Pam warned me and…”

I cut her off with a hand in the air. “I’m not taking no for an answer. I was rude and I’d like to make up for it. Now where will we go?”

“There’s a place just up the road, Castelli’s. They only do pizza and pasta, but it’s all fresh and homemade and I swear if you’ve ever had anything better, then I’ll turn purple and start speaking in Russian,” Sookie said in a rush of words.

I couldn’t help chuckling at the utterly absurd outburst. “Then I guess that’s where we’re going, because I’d pay to see that,” I said, after I had settled down a bit. Pam was right: Sookie was funny once you got used to her.

Sookie blushed again. “I’ll just go grab my purse.”

We had a fantastic meal in the little restaurant: fresh bruschetta, delicious pasta and I had a personal pizza that really was pretty awesome. Sookie was so nervous that I wouldn’t like it, she was making those weird shapes with her mouth, like someone trying to get a baby to eat. It was so funny that when I went to take a bite while trying not to laugh, I managed to choke instead.

Sookie immediately jumped to my rescue to pound my back, only succeeding in making me laugh harder and choke again. My life saved and the pizza pronounced to be ‘the best ever’, Sookie managed to settle down and enjoy her meal. She even went so far as to order dessert and made me wish I had too, although I had less than no room for it.

Instead of heading home, we drove to a nearby mountain lookout. The car barely managed to make it up the hill, and I joked about having to get out and push, but the view and the cool breeze were worth it. Pam and Sookie stood on either side and pointed out landmarks so I could figure out where their house was. They didn’t need to point out the airport, but they did anyway. It was strange, but the air seemed cleaner here. I felt like a weight had been lifted and I owed it to my stubborn sister and her bubbly friend.

I gave them both one-armed hugs and asked to go home; I’d been up for a really, really long time and I was starting to feel the effects of a good meal.

The next thing I remember was waking up to the sound of Pam and Sookie’s next-door neighbour singing along to a football fight song. It sounded like the French national anthem, and I’m sure that if any French person ever heard the caterwauling that was going on, they’d be more embarrassed for the Lions than offended at the use of their anthem.

“Garry! Shut UP!” Sookie shouted and slammed a window closed.

Deciding that it was highly unlikely I would be getting back to sleep after that serenade, I pulled on a robe and gathered some clothes. I couldn’t quite see straight yet and hoped to avoid causing myself harm on any corners. Narrowly missing the end of the bed, I staggered out of the bedroom to the bathroom to try and wake up.

“Sorry, Eric!” Sookie yelped as I closed the bathroom door.

It’s not that I’m not a morning person. It’s just that I like to wake up in my own time, not to the sound of a cat being skinned and dragged through a rosebush, backwards, while being doused in vinegar… just saying.

A hot shower and a mint-flavoured teeth scrubbing later, I was feeling a lot more human. Walking into the kitchen, I found Sookie pouring me a cup of coffee and raising an eyebrow to ask if I took milk or sugar.

“White with one, please,” I smiled. “Sorry about that, I’m not much of a morning person.”

“I figured.” Sookie grinned, passing me a cup of salvation. “You are related to Pam after all. The only reason she’s still asleep is because she wears earplugs during football season.”

“Still, sorry, and thank you,” I said with another smile. I don’t think I’d smiled this much since the last time I’d seen my sister. I really needed to get a life I enjoyed.

“Not working today?” I asked, trying to make small talk… badly.

“I’ve already been,” she grinned. “Finished at 10am.”

“Holy crap, so you just eat coffee straight out of the tin then?” I joked.

“Nah, I’m used to being up at all hours.” She shrugged and busied herself about the kitchen, packing some containers into a cooler before putting a lid on it.

“What’s that for? Lunch date today?” I asked, being nosey this time. Something in there smelled good.

“Actually, it’s for you and Pam,” Sookie replied, poking her tongue out. “She was planning to take you up to Bribie Island today, and she’d better get moving or it won’t be worth the drive. You should go pack an over-night bag; just a change of clothes, swimmers and something to sleep in.”

“Do you want me to wake her up?” I asked, knowing how feral my sister was when she didn’t want to be woken up.

“Nah, it’s okay. I have a system,” Sookie said with a grin, pouring a cup of hot water and lowering in a tea bag. I don’t know what it was, but it smelled awesome.

Sookie dunked the bag a few times before squeezing it out, adding a little milk and sugar to the cup and walking to my sister’s room. I jokingly hid behind the chair I had been sitting on as Sookie knocked on the door, making her giggle.

“Pam, rise and shine,” Sookie said loudly, bursting into the room and apparently shoving the cup under my sister’s nose. Pam’s roar of disapproval changed to a moan of thanks part-way through.

Sookie must be some kind of miracle worker. It usually took Pam at least an hour to be sub-human, longer if you wanted some kind of conversation, and at least two for her to be polite about it.

Thirty minutes later, I had a bag packed and Pam was out of her bedroom, showered, dressed and happy. I started to wonder if maybe there was some kind of herbal upper in that tea and glanced at the packet to make sure I wasn’t just imagining it.

“Sookie, why aren’t you ready to go?” Pam asked, putting her cup in the dishwasher.

“I’m not going!” Sookie squeaked, obviously shocked to be asked. “You’re spending time with your brother. You see me all the time.”

“We’re going to the beach; what planet are you on?” Pam laughed. “I know you love the beach and I know you’re not working for the next two days. Now, go pack or I’ll do it for you.”

Sookie looked slightly scared at the idea and took off for her bedroom, coming back a few minutes later with a backpack and a huge towel. She looked less than happy about being bullied into coming with us; I felt a little sorry for her.

“Don’t look at me like that; you know you haven’t taken a decent break in over a year.” Pam said when she saw the slight pout on Sookie’s face. “Now, let’s go.” Pam added, grabbing the keys to her car and leading the way out the door.

Sookie snapped out of her sulk and shooed me out the door, carrying the heavy cooler with her. I took it off her hands when she turned to lock up; it was heavier than it looked and I wondered what she’d packed. She tried to take it back, but with a raised eyebrow from me she quickly gave up. I guess she was used to looking after everyone, not the other way around.

A couple of hours later, we were pulling into a tiny house that was almost lost in the wild garden around it. Pam – being Pam – got out and left Sookie and I to grab everything out of the car while she went inside. She did have the presence of mind to throw open the windows and turn on the ceiling fans, though.

With the car unpacked, food put away and clothes changed, we walked the short path to the beach. I’d never seen anything so awesome. The sand was so white it was practically glowing, and so clean that it squeaked under my feet as I walked. The waves were the kind of blue that you see in photos but never think to see in real life; the sound they made as they rushed in to shore was so soothing, I could have listened for hours. I must have had a stupid grin on my face because Sookie and Pam grabbed me by the hands and dragged me down to the water.

I was entranced with the waves crashing onto the sand and washing up to caress my feet. Meanwhile, Pam and Sookie had set up base camp with a tent-like sunshade and laid out the towels.

While I was getting my toes wet, Sookie and Pam were being heartily appreciated by the guys sitting nearby. I gave them my best ‘you’re fired’ glare and they stopped staring, much to my satisfaction; sometimes being a scary boss wasn’t so bad. It’s not that they didn’t have the right to look at attractive women; it’s just that these women were under my protection and I wouldn’t have them ogled.

I waited patiently for the girls to finish smothering themselves in sunscreen. I was sure I’d only need a little on my face, but bikinis covered considerably less skin. Pam covered Sookie’s back in the gooey white ooze and Sookie attacked me. I had smeared a little over my face, but she assured me it wouldn’t be enough and covered me all over again. Face, ears, neck, arms… she was about to start on my legs when she looked at me strangely.

“Are you going to wear your shirt in the surf?” she asked, randomly.

“Uh, no,” I answered. “Should I?”

“Well, either wear a shirt or take it off so you can put sunscreen on your body. I’m not going to cover you in aloe if you turn into a lobster,” she replied in a motherly fashion.

I choked a laugh and pulled my shirt off as commanded by the tiny dictator. Her hands moved firmly over my back, smoothing the sunscreen and massaging my shoulders slightly. When she had finished my back, I turned around so I could do my front. Sookie’s eyes seemed slightly glazed and her mouth was gaping a little, so I turned back to see what she was looking at. There were a couple of guys nearby who were fairly ripped and had a healthy bronze glow. I guess I couldn’t blame her for focusing on something else when I was displayed in my pasty glory.

Sookie was blushing slightly when I turned to face her; she must have been embarrassed at being caught. I finished rubbing the last of the sunscreen in and made a puppy dog face.

“Now can I go in the water?” I asked, pouting a little.

Pam and Sookie both laughed and nodded. I wasn’t waiting to be told twice, so with a stupid yelp of glee I ran back down to the surf, waded in and dove under the oncoming wave. The water rushed over my head, roaring in my ears and tickling me all over with bubbles. I surfaced and turned to face the beach, watching the girls squeal at the cold water on their legs before they gathered their courage and dove in.

A couple of hours later we were happily exhausted. I felt a little sticky from the salt and wanted to shower, even though I almost wished I didn’t have to. We walked home and got changed again before heading out to the store. We were so hungry, that the meals Sookie had packed for us weren’t going to last, so we figured a barbeque was the way to go.

We padded around the aisles in our flip-flops, shivering slightly in the almost sub-zero temperatures of the shop’s air conditioning. We grabbed bits and pieces for dinner. Pam and Sookie were arguing over which ice cream to get, so I took both cartons from their hands and put them in the cart, effectively ending the argument. I had a craving for a big juicy steak and I wasn’t going to let ice cream stand in the way.

Barbeque cooked and plates loaded with food, we talked and laughed our way through dinner. I groaned and put my knife and fork back on the plate. I had eaten too much, I was sure of it, but I couldn’t seem to care. It all just tasted so darn good! I don’t know if it had been the day at the beach or if everything just tasted better because I was actually paying attention to it. Either way, it was an awesome meal.

“Anyone for dessert?” Sookie asked, pulling bowls from the cupboard.

“I need a little time to digest,” I groaned. “I don’t think I’ve eaten so much in a long, long time.”

“Sookie, if I eat any more right now, I think I’ll explode,” Pam said with a chuckle.

“I’ll take it as a compliment, then,” Sookie giggled and sat down again. “We’ll just have something later.”

We played scrabble, ate some ice cream and finished off a bottle of wine before falling into bed.

I slept like a log and had dreams of walking along the beach, holding hands with someone and watching the waves rolling in to crash on the sand. I’d never felt anything so extremely peaceful and right in all my life.

The next couple of days flew past with visits to the beach and a nearby museum that was tiny but interesting. We drove home with a little sunburn, a lot of smiles and more than a lot of good memories. I could see a difference in both Pam and Sookie. Pam was more relaxed and had lost the slightly annoyed expression that normally graced her features. Sookie was calm and almost quiet; she didn’t have the air of a harried assistant with too many things to do and not enough time to do it in.

So the days went on, Sookie working in the mornings and coming home to wake my sister to take me out for more adventures. I slept in. I read books that I had been meaning to read for ages. I ate good food, courtesy of Sookie. I watched stupid movies and smiled more than I had in years. Sometimes the outings were just Pam and I; we wandered around an art gallery, the city centre, a huge gothic cathedral and the botanical gardens. Sometimes we would wait for Sookie to come home and we’d all go for a drive.

The next day Sookie had free, we drove down the coast and out into the mountains to a forest retreat. It took forever to get there and I was slightly nauseated by the time we got to the top; the tiny road had wound so slowly and steeply, I was amazed we made it at all. I had a few attacks of horror when we had to pull over to the side to let buses past on their way down the mountain. The drop off was so sharp, I was sure that if I breathed too deeply we’d fall off the edge.

The petrifying drive up was worth it when we climbed out of the car and gathered around the bird feeding area at exactly the right time. A wildlife officer put some seed in my hand and in seconds I was covered in brightly coloured birds. A couple landed on my head and Pam was laughing so hard she scared a nearby native turkey, making her laugh even harder.

Sookie snapped photos and grinned like the crazy girl I’d met at the airport. I was glad to see her enjoying herself. Even in the short amount of time I’d known her, I’d realised that she worked much too hard. I was glad to see my sister talking her into relaxing now and again, although I sometimes didn’t condone the deals she made. This trip, for instance, had been wheedled out of Sookie with promises to cook dinner the rest of the week. We all knew it wouldn’t be happening: Pam could burn water.

Birds having been fed and Pam having gained control of her faculties, we went into the café and ordered some food. Despite the day starting out hot, it was surprisingly cold up on the mountain. Hot chocolates were needed and delightfully savoured as we waited for our meals. The portion sizes were more than I was used to, so I ended up leaving half of the massive pot pie, much to my stomach’s dismay. It was delicious, but I was just too full.

After our meals had settled a little, we walked out to the treetop walk. It was a huge suspension bridge built in amongst the trees; if I had been afraid of heights I’d be in trouble. As it was, Sookie was pale and shaking, so I held her hand and made sure I didn’t bounce too much. Pam rushed ahead and bounced as much as she pleased.

At the halfway point, there was a ladder leading up a tree to several platforms that had been built. Sookie urged me to climb up and take some photos, as it was worth squeezing into the tiny safety cage built around it. So, because she’d asked, I climbed. Pam was ahead of me again, exclaiming over everything and squealing like a kid at a fun fair, pointing out landmarks and grinning so hard I was sure her cheeks were hurting. The view from the platform was amazing, but it made me realise exactly how high I was when I made the stupid decision to look down. So while Pam climbed further up, I chickened out and went back down, happy to keep Sookie company on the relative safety of the bridge.

“That was pretty awesome.” I smiled when I had my feet firmly on the ground again. Sookie had regained her colour, but maintained a death grip on my hand until I reminded her that we were back on solid earth.

“Sorry,” she chuckled. “I guess it’s pretty obvious I’m not so great with heights.”

“Not everyone is,” I smiled. “I usually am and those platforms in the tree were pretty frightening.”

“Tell me about it!” she giggled. “I only made it up there once; I’m never doing it again.”

“You come here often?” I asked. We were waiting for Pam, who had decided to go around and climb the tree again; she’d been so excited, she hadn’t taken any pictures.

“I came here a couple of times with my ex. He was big on bushwalking and that kind of thing,” Sookie replied quietly. “There’s a huge swing and flying fox – oh, zip line,” she corrected herself at my confused look, “around here somewhere. I’ve been on those too, but that was the first and last time.”

“If you’re scared of heights, why did you do it?” I asked, slightly confused. She was still a little shaken from the bridge; she would have been terrified on a zip line.

“Well, I wanted to prove to myself that I could, and he was a bit rude about the whole thing,” she replied with a small frown. “I dumped him as soon as we got home… jerk.”

Pam came back at that moment, putting a stop to the conversation. I wasn’t upset about it though; I’d come to feel protective about Sookie over the last week, and if I’d heard any more about the ‘Jerk’ I’d probably say something stupid and upset her. We took a walk around the mountain gardens, flowers and weird plants all over the place that Pam and Sookie took photos of. Their giggles bounced off the rocks, setting off peals of bell-like calls from a native bird that Sookie informed me later was aptly named a bellbird.

It was starting to get late by the time we made it back to the car, so we set off for home, stopping in at the grocery store on the way for Christmas day supplies.

“Oooh, we have to get Tim-Tams,” Pam said gleefully, grabbing a few packets of what looked to be tiny chocolate mattresses off the shelf. “Eric hasn’t tried them yet.”

“Aw, poor deprived li’l soul!” Sookie crooned, patting my arm. “Don’t worry Eric, Pammy and I will corrupt you well and good. You’ll never want to go home.”

I laughed, but already thought she was right. The feeling of this place was so different to what I was used to. It had only been a week, but I already felt at home and could completely understand why Pam had decided to move to Australia. My return flight wasn’t for another week or so, but I was already dreading it. We bought some fresh seafood and lots of fresh fruit. Sookie took great joy in sniffing the mangoes to check their readiness. When she found one to her liking, she practically danced in place before shoving it under my nose so I could smell the heady scent for myself. I had to admit that although the smell of the fruit was delicious, I took more delight in watching Sookie’s little dance. I’d never met anyone who took such pleasure in small things.

Shopping done and supplies gathered we headed home. We unpacked and made room in the fridge for all our goodies, shoved everything in, and then stumbled to bed. If I didn’t know better I would swear they drugged the air around here; I had never slept better than I had the last few days. Again, I dreamed of walking and holding hands with someone; this time I knew it was ‘her’ and I was unaccountably sad when I woke up and she wasn’t next to me.

I got the lovely task of crawling around in the roof the next day, passing down boxes of decorations and fending off attack from creepy crawlies. I hid my shudders of revulsion well, although the cockroaches here were enormous; they were tough to ignore.

The tree was set up, decorated and flashing away merrily. Pam and I hung more decorations over the curtain rods while Sookie arranged presents under the tree. That was when I realised Sookie would be spending the day with us and I didn’t have a gift for her! I’d have to get Pam to sneak me out sometime to get something Sookie would like.

Sookie worked almost non-stop in the couple of days before Christmas; it worked out great for me in terms of shopping opportunities, but I found myself missing her company. It had hit me out of the blue; I had thought about it for ages that morning, when I felt like something was missing and realised it was her. She had found a way under my defences and after getting over the shock, I had to say I didn’t mind her being there. Sookie was always so bubbly and up; she was a pleasure to be around and so different from everyone else I knew.

Placing her badly wrapped gift under the tree, I found myself slightly nervous over her reaction, come morning. I’d never been so anxious about a gift before, partially because I rarely bought them for anyone but family, and partially because I was worried Sookie would think less of me if I’d messed up. Would it be too personal? Would she like it? What would I do if she didn’t?

When Sookie came home that night, I found myself watching her a little more intensely than usual. She hadn’t changed at all, as far as I could tell, but my perception definitely had. She laughed and joked with Pam and I as she moved around the kitchen, hair shining and completely out of control despite her ponytail, eyes sparkling and dancing with mischief when she was about to blurt out something cheeky. She smiled all the time and it was impossible not to smile with her. Sookie was her own person: an intelligent, funny, good-natured, nurturing soul and I had never seen anyone more beautiful in my life.

It was tying my stomach in knots, but the problem with this revelation was that I kept swapping between feelings; one minute I thought of her like a little sister and the next I felt like she was someone I could have a relationship, if not a future with. How the hell had that happened? Just days ago I was laughing at her checking out muscle-bound men on the beach; what had changed between then and now? Why was I even contemplating this? It’s not like she’s shown any interest in me at all; I’m sure to be making it all up… right?

“Hey, Eric? Are you ok?” Sookie asked, putting a plate of food in front of me.

“Yeah,” I smiled. “Sorry, just thinking about stuff.”

“Well, no more thinking,” she replied. “By now you should know I’m an awesome cook, and if you don’t taste the food on your plate I’m going to be mighty peeved and tell Santa to give you coal in the morning.”

We chuckled and dug in; my brain finally stopped grinding after about two bites, when the flavours started dancing in my mouth. The meal was amazing, but it was made more so by the people I was eating with. We settled in to the couches with ice cream and a movie, Pam on one side, Sookie on the other. For some reason, I had been designated pillow and I can’t say I was complaining about having Sookie snuggled into my side. Her hair smelled like apples and I barely paid attention to the movie at all.

Credits were rolling when I woke up; my neck was sore and Pam was laughing at me.

“How you and Sookie managed to fall asleep in the middle of an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie, I really don’t know,” Pam said, poking me in the ribs.

“Well, when you get tired, you close your eyes and then…” I started explaining. Pam’s hand reminded me I was being a smart ass by hitting my ribs.

“I’ll go get a blanket,” Pam said when she’d finished reminding me I was stupid. “Sookie sleeps like the dead; we’ll never wake her enough to get her to move to her bed.”

“She’s only little,” I replied, looking down at her. “I’ll carry her to bed, you put her in and then she won’t wake up with a sore neck.”

“Ok,” Pam said doubtfully. “But no complaining if your arms hurt tomorrow.”

“Shut up, Pam,” I muttered good-naturedly. “I might not be Mr Universe, but I’m not a complete weakling.”

“Ah-huh… yeah, tell that to the jar of pickles you tried to open today.” She snorted, running ahead to open the door and get Sookie’s bed ready.

I gently lifted Sookie into my arms; she curled into my chest and wrapped an arm around my neck. It felt nice to have her there and I smiled at the feeling of completeness I felt when I held her… well, until Pam was able to see me anyway. I couldn’t have Pam finding out that I had a thing for her house-mate if I didn’t even know what that ‘thing’ was.

Settling Sookie onto her bed was easier said than done; she didn’t really want to let go of me. Eventually, Pam got her under the covers and Sookie rolled into her pillow with a small hum of happiness.

“Night, brother,” Pam said sleepily, hugging me tight.

“Night, Pammy,” I replied, hugging her back. “Sweet dreams.”

“No one’s said that to me in a looong time,” she chuckled. “Sweet dreams to you, too.”

I lay in bed staring at the ceiling for a while, thinking things over. It would never work, Sookie and me. We barely knew each other; we lived on opposite sides of the planet, for goodness’ sake. No, better to keep this to myself and get over it; I always had before, I will again. The decision made, I rolled over to go to sleep, but I had a funny feeling… like I was slightly hollow.

I dreamt I was walking along the beach again, holding hands with the mystery ‘her’. It was a perfect evening: the sun was setting the sky on fire as it sank behind the hills, the waves crashed and hissed over the sand and I felt complete. I turned to look at the woman beside me and smiled when I saw the contentment on her face.

“So you never suspected a thing?” she asked.

“Nope,” I laughed. “I’m going to blame it on years of trying to ignore people who wanted me for my money.”

“Eric!” she chided me. “You should know me better than that!”

“I do,” I said, pulling her into my arms. “I know you better than I know myself.”

“Prove it,” she replied with a challenge in her eyes.

I bent my head to hers, brushing my lips softly against her own, sinking my hand into her silken blonde hair and groaning at the taste of her mouth as my tongue sought hers. Her hands caressed my face and neck, moving up into my hair so she could kiss me harder.

“I love you, Eric,” she whispered.

“I love you too, Sookie,” I replied.

Christmas morning came with the smell of coffee, pancakes and bacon. I lay in bed for a little while, remembering my dream and thinking it over. I was trying to think of anything that might have been said or done to make my subconscious think there was something there, when there obviously wasn’t. I kept coming up blank. I couldn’t think of a single thing that Sookie or Pam had said or done with me that they wouldn’t have said or done with each other.

Pam knocked and stuck her head in my bedroom door. “Come on, sleepy head. I want to open my presents before Santa realises he made a mistake and takes them back,” she said with a twinkle in her eye. “And if you don’t hurry up, I’m not leaving you any bacon either.”

“Pam, could you come here a minute?” I asked quietly.

“What? You’re not dying are you? Cause if you are, I’ll kill you,” she said, slightly frightened at my tone.

“No,” I smiled. “I’m fine; I just want to ask you something.”

“Well, you can ask,” she said mischievously. “But I might not answer.”

“Have you been trying to set me up with Sookie?” I asked bluntly.

“No, why?” she asked, taken aback.

“Well, I just… I had a dream and… I dunno, I guess I’m just being stupid,” I said, shoving her off the bed and getting out. “I’ll be out in a minute.”

“Liar,” she yelped. “You big purple liar!”

“Shhhh!” I hissed at her. “I’m not lying, I am being stupid.”

“No you’re not, you gigantic moron!” she squeaked. “You like Sookie! Oh my gosh, you like like her!”

“No, I’m just imagining things because we’ve been hanging out so much,” I said stubbornly.

“No, you’re being a stubborn ass because you’re falling for my housemate,” Pam hissed in reply.

“She’s had a crush on you for AGES. I think she fell in puppy-love with you when she saw your pictures on the walls, and now that she’s met you she’s head over heels.”

“What?” I asked, freaking out a little. “Is she?”

“Eric Johan Northman, you goof!” Pam said. “Of course she is! Who else volunteers to pick up a stranger from the airport?”

“Well, you have to admit, it’s not like I have a great track record,” I mumbled, sitting back down and feeling stupid.

“Tell me about this dream you had and we’ll see what I can make of it,” Pam said bossily. “We both know I’m the smart one anyway.”

I chuckled at her and told her all about what was going on, what the dream was about, and what I’d noticed about Sookie in general. In short, I poured my guts out to my snarky, sarcastic, lovable sister and I didn’t know what the outcome of that would be.

“Oh boy, you really are dumb,” Pam said with a chuckle. “Sookie was staring at you on the beach, not those muscle guys. She’s never easily talked into going places and while you’ve been here she’s joined us every time we’ve asked. Not to mention spilling her guts like she has; it took me ages to get her stories out of her, and you get them over a glass of wine on your first night here! She’s just as interested in you as you are in her, you stupid head.”

I was speechless.

Sookie knocked on the door, “What secret squirrel business are you two doing in there?” she asked. “Breakfast is getting cold and if you don’t get your butts out here right now, I’m giving it to Football Garry.”

“No!” Pam and I yelped, jumping up and lurching for the doorway. “We’re coming!”

Breakfast melted in our mouths and I’m sure I ate entirely too much. Knowing that Sookie had feelings for me had me on such a high, I don’t think I even kept track of how many pancakes I finished off before my stomach started hurting.

“Present time?” Pam asked hopefully.

“After you put your plate in the dishwasher, Pam,” Sookie said chidingly. “You know the rules.”

“Yes, Sookie,” Pam snickered, bounding over to the kitchen to do as she was told.

“Honestly, Eric,” Sookie turned to me. “What did you say to her? She hasn’t needed me to tell her to put her plate in the dishwasher for ages!”

“I didn’t say anything!” I laughed. “It is Christmas though, so maybe that explains it.”

“I know!” Sookie squeaked and clapped her hands, bouncing in her seat.

We cleared the table and started the dishwasher before joining Pam at the tree. She’d taken the time to separate everything into piles: hers, mine and Sookie’s. As soon as Sookie and I touched the wrapping paper on our own gifts, Pam was tearing into hers, gleefully flinging decapitated Santas and reindeer everywhere.

I opened my own presents more slowly, but with no less enthusiasm, keeping an eye on Sookie’s pile. She’d set my gift aside, hopefully not to return, but to open last. I was close to begging her to open it when she finally picked it up again.

“You can return it,” I blurted out. “If you don’t like it, I mean.”

“I’m sure I’ll love it,” she said with a soft smile.

Pam’s elbow hit my ribs with force that was apparently supposed to draw my attention to the fact that Sookie was smiling. Thanks, Pam.

I’d given her a framed photo of the three of us at the beach. It was my favourite one of her, because she’d been looking and smiling at me rather than at the camera. I’d also given her a crystal statue of an angel; during our mammoth talks, she often commented how she thought her Grandmother was her guardian angel because she always heard her voice when she was about to do something stupid.

So I found out what month Sookie’s Grandmother had been born in, and made sure the wings matched the birthstone.

“Oh Eric,” Sookie gasped, tears coming to her eyes. “Thank you.”

“Pam helped. I’m glad you like it,” I said softly. Pam was wiggling her eyebrows like mad.

“I love it, it’s perfect,” she whispered. “I couldn’t have asked for anything more perfect. I can’t thank you enough. Seriously, it’s beautiful.”

Sookie leant over and hugged Pam tightly, gently kissing her cheek and whispering a thank you before leaning over to kiss mine. Just as I had turned to speak again she leaned in, her lips met mine and an electric shock went straight through me. It was exactly like my dream, except she tasted like maple syrup and there were fireworks.

“Oh, I’m sorry!” Sookie gasped, pulling back and blushing hotly.

“I’m not,” I said, catching her eye and leaning in again, gently pulling her face to mine. This time when our lips met, it was on purpose and it was even better than the first time.

“Well, now we have that sorted out, who’s for a Christmas movie? I have Bad Santa,” Pam said loudly, obviously interrupting and making Sookie and I laugh.

“You don’t have anything to say?” Sookie asked her.

“As long as I’m invited to every Christmas and the children don’t call me Aunt Pammy, I’m easy,”

Pam said with a smirk. “But does that mean I have to look for another housemate?”

Sookie blushed again and hid her face in her hands. “Pam!” she squeaked.

“I was thinking… an Australian branch of Northman Inc. would mean I could see you more,” I said, laughing at the shocked look on both their faces. “What? Too soon?”

 

 

Places Visited:

Bribie Island

O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat

Super Sorry

To My Subscribers,

I was messing around with the set up of everything last night and I may have spammed you when I deleted my posts and then restored them again. If so – I’m sorry.

I think I have everything set up the way I want it now

Once Upon A Screen is all indexed and pretty, and I added previous and next links at the bottom to get to the next post in order. Although there is the option to do this as part of the blog post itself, I may have posted one or two things between one chapter and the next so… all fixed

I’m just about to post a new story – well… new to those of you that didn’t get the compilation put together for flood relief in QLD earlier this year. It’s just a one shot, and I’m not sure if it’s any good – but it’s there 🙂

Hope you’re all well.

Love

S. xoxoxo

Once Upon A Screen Chapter 32

Chapter 32 – EPOV

Waking up without Sookie next to me, with the added insult of her having showered without me was not the best way to start the day. However when I saw what she was wearing I couldn’t help smiling because suddenly the sun had come out.

Whoever invented those tiny shorts should be sainted or something. The sight of Sookie’s backside encased in that tight denim was enough to make me groan and want to bite it. She had no idea just how delicious she actually was which only made her more so.

I walked up the stairs and heard Pam and Sookie making plans to swap clothes. Pam never let anyone borrow her clothes so I knew they were up to no good. Jason’s pained look was explained when Pam stood up to put her dishes in the sink. I chuckled to myself imagining what his face was going to look like when he saw what she wore to the club.

“Eric, you going to let your sister out like that? In public?” Jason asked. Stupidly continuing with “And Sookie too?”

I didn’t have to answer as both Sookie and Pam slapped him over the head before giving each other high fives and glaring at me, as if daring me to say something. I ate some toast instead.

“What are we doing today?” I asked, after enough time had passed. I wanted to take Sookie out for some ‘us’ time and a hoon in the ‘vette, so I hoped there was nothing major planned.

“I’m going shopping” Pam said dreamily

“We’re going for a walk on the beach” Mom said “and then we’ll meet up with Pam at Marmalade Café, after that it’s up to you.”

“Sounds good to me” I grinned. I loved lazy holiday time and this one I got to spend with Sookie so it was even better than usual.

Breakfast was finally finished and we got our day started. Pam drove off with an almost scary happy grin at the thought of hitting the shops and the rest of us piled into the SUV to go down to the beach. Sookie and her family hadn’t been to a beach since before she was in her teens, I was glad I was able to share this with them.

I loved the beach; the crash of the waves, the sand in my toes and the sunlight glinting off the water. It was like the chaos of the ocean soothed something in me that needed disorder; it balanced out my very organised and ordered view of the universe and made me relax. Even though I knew there were ways and means of breaking it all down, I didn’t automatically start doing it in my head like I did with other things, this just was… and I loved that it shut my brain off.

Mom, Adele and Jason wandered ahead, stopping now and then to pick up shells or stones along the way. Sookie snuggled against my side and asked about what I would prefer as far as the wedding was concerned. I couldn’t help teasing her a little and ended up with an elbow in the ribs, before she ran away giggling.

The goofy grin that spread over my face was completely involuntary and I chased her down the beach with an easy laugh. Sookie was good for me; I liked who I was when I was with her. Catching her was easy; flipping her over my shoulder was fun, especially when she squealed to be let down, pummelling me with her tiny fists and laughing so hard she was nearly crying.

“Are you sorry for elbowing me?” I asked with a laugh.

“Never!!” she said loudly, following it up with another laughing fit and a struggle to escape.

“Eric, bro, she’s ticklish behind her knees!” Jason yelled.

“Don’t you dare!” Sookie yelped, redoubling her efforts to get down.

“Pay the penalty and I’ll let you go” I chuckled “One kiss to get you out of being tickled, one kiss to get put down and one to get free of my evil clutches”

“No deal!” she chuckled and dug her little fingers into the waistband of my jeans instead. She seemed slightly disappointed that there was nothing there to pull up. “Is it too late to take the deal?” She asked with a chuckle.

“Not too late, but it has changed” I said pulling her down to straddle my waist instead. “Now you owe me another for trying to wedgie me.”

Sookie pouted playfully and kissed me quickly, lingering a little on the fourth and nibbling my lip “Please Eric, may I get down now?” she asked with a flirty grin and a giggle.

“Being a man of honour sucks sometimes” I growled, setting her back on her feet and letting her go.

“You know it pays off in the end” she smiled, sliding a hand into my back pocket and snuggling into my side.

We walked for a while longer before heading back to the car, making sure to brush the sand off as best we could. It was times like this that I was glad the ‘vette wasn’t built for more people, getting sand out was enough of a pain in the ass without having to get into the confines of the corvette.

A quick stop at the house so that the ladies could freshen up turned into a short battle as Sookie wanted to change out of her short shorts and into something more ‘decent’ to wear out for lunch. I was on the side that wanted the shorts… I lost.

We piled back into the car and took off again to meet up with Pam for lunch at her favourite café. I both loved and hated this place, everything on the menu sounded fantastic and I always walked away having eaten too much.

I knew it was greedy, and slightly rude, but I loved trying other people’s food. Pam wasn’t big on sharing so having everyone else there was going to be a major win for my stomach. The scents in this place were just too much to bear sometimes and I often had to restrain myself from asking perfect strangers what their meal was like.

We placed our order and Pam went into raptures over the new shoes she had found, promising Sookie that she hadn’t bought any and that they absolutely had to go back to the store either after lunch or tomorrow morning, because said shoes were just too divine to be left in a shop. I would normally tune Pam out after her first ‘oooh guess what..’ but seeing her and Sookie getting along so well made me smile and I couldn’t help listening in as they squealed over useless scraps of leather that would probably pinch their toes and only be worn twice.

Jason looked half asleep by the second ooh from Sookie, but he perked right up as the waitress placed his meal in front of him and flirted just a little. His reputation as a bit of a ladies man was coming to the fore, as all the other women I had seen him with were either related or technically family I hadn’t had the chance to see him work. It was both impressive and disgusting and I had wondered why he was so successful until he smiled.  He had the same smile as Sookie, and even on a guy it was impressive.

I had to wonder what Sookie was like before she lost all her confidence. Not that I needed another reason to beat the shit out of Alcide Herveaux if I ever saw him again. I had to think that she was a little more like Jason in attitude although maybe not quite so cocky. She was naturally sweet and I had to think that she’d always been that way; I could just imagine her getting all riled up and knocking people on their asses when they were being ridiculous.

My head was pulled back into the here and now when Sookie nudged my leg gently with her foot. The waitress had been trying to place my meal in front of me for a few minutes and I had been off in my own head. I turned and smiled an apology which somehow seemed to make her blush, which made me laugh, which made her blush harder. Sookie let me know how funny this was by kicking me in the shin.

The waitress managed to deliver the rest of the meals without earning the ire of my fiancée, and as soon as it was polite to start eating I dug in to prevent myself from saying something stupid. I almost forgot I was in public when the flavours of my meal burst over my tongue, it was a wild mushroom fettuccini and I wanted to take a bath in it.

Sookie apologized for kicking me by saying sorry and then letting me eat almost half her meal. I almost didn’t want to take it because she was making so many interesting noises while she was eating, but after she insisted I couldn’t refuse. I made a mental note to pay her back later with ice cream; the fact that it would get her to make those noises again was a complete bonus.

Chicken Marsala hit my tongue and I died of happiness. I completely understood why Sookie was making sex noises while she was eating this stuff, it was fantastic. If I had wanted to take a bath in my meal I wanted to drown in Sookie’s meal. Judging by the snickers coming from my sister and the strange looks from the others at the table I assumed that I was making some interesting noises of my own.

“What?” I asked belligerently “It’s good food, so shoot me for enjoying it”

“Dude, do you and the chicken want a room?” Jason asked with a chuckle

“Hey! I’m not the only one who was making noises, Mr Oh Em Gee” I shot back with a grin.

“That was one time!” he protested “And it was warranted! I’ve eaten a lot of steak and that was the best one ever… no offence Gran”

“None taken, Jason.” Adele chuckled, “but you leave Eric alone. The only reason you can hear him is because you’re not making a fuss anymore.”

Jason opened his mouth to argue and thought better of it, sitting back to pout instead. I finished the chicken in a scandalously short time, I almost felt like I’d broken the law eating it so quickly. We paid our bill and left a nice tip for our waitress, Sookie’s problems with her had been resolved apparently and being a part time waitress herself she knew how important tips were.

We all collapsed onto the sofa when we got back to the house, even Pam had somehow managed to put herself into a bit of a food coma. After a short rest and little conversation everyone made themselves busy. Pam went to unload her purchases, Jason was engrossed in a game he had found on TV and Mom and Adele both decided a nap was in order.

“Eric?” Sookie asked playfully, swirling a finger on my chest

“Yeeesss?” I asked, suspicious at her tone.

“Um, ‘cause you love me and I’m so cute and all, would you please let me drive the ‘vette?” she asked quickly, batting her eyelashes and smiling the whole time.

I laughed at her outrageous flirting; she really was very bad at it. “You only had to ask, angel. I was planning on taking you out at some point anyway. Would you like to go now or later?”

“Ooh now!” Sookie said with a squeak, bouncing in her seat and clapping her hands.

“I’ll drive us somewhere quiet and then you can take over, deal?” I asked.

“Deal.” She said firmly, nodding her head. “You should bring the camera.” She added with a wink.

I stared at her for a full minute before realising I was doing so. I grabbed my camera, keys and wallet and we left in a storm of giggles. I drove us out to a small lookout on Piuma Rd, glad that we had come at a strange time of day as there was no-one else there.

Sookie bounced out of the car, breathing in the air and smiling hugely, “Eric it’s gorgeous up here!” she said happily.

“I like it up here, it’s quiet,” I said softly, hugging her against my body and directing her to my favourite view of the surrounding hills.

“It’s nice to get away from the others,” she said, relaxing back against my chest “I love them all, but I want you to myself for something other than sex” she added with a laugh.

We stood for a while, taking in the vista and just being together. It was nice to get away from the others and have some ‘us’ time that wasn’t in a compromising position. I loved that I was so comfortable with her and she with me.

“So, photo time!” Sookie said after she’d had enough quiet. She ran over and sprawled herself across the hood of the car, looking every bit like a pin up girl.

I had to take a few deep breaths and think of something less provocative to be able to take the photo. I snapped shots of Sookie on her own, set the time delay and multi-shot function before running in for some shots of the two of us.

I mentally counted down in my head as I ran toward her. I bent her over my arm and kissed her soundly, losing count somewhere along the way and not realising until another car drove up and disturbed us that we’d been making out for a while. I could kiss her for hours… yum.

I was wishing we’d gone somewhere more private, but alas we hadn’t, so I gave Sookie the keys so she could set the seat and mirrors to her size and went to pick up the camera. I’d managed to get some nice shots of the two of us, although some would probably have to be deleted or locked up because they were definitely not for public viewing.

I showed Sookie our handy work and she flushed a bright cherry red before kissing me gently.

“I love you,” she smiled. “Even though you make me break public decency laws” she added with a laugh

“I love you too,” I said with a chuckle. “Now let’s get going, or I’ll need a cold shower.”

Sookie loved driving the corvette. It was obvious she wasn’t used to driving a car like this and it took her a little while to get comfortable, but after that she was all smiles and she drove it like she’d been doing it forever. It was completely hot and I found myself wishing we hadn’t driven so far from home.

After we’d been driving for a while I noticed that she kept glancing at me. Normally this wouldn’t be a problem, but I was starting to worry that I’d done something wrong when she pulled into a side road that would apparently take us to a hiking spot.

“Why are we stopping?” I asked quickly. “Are you ok?”

“I’m great” she purred, reaching over the centre console and sliding her hand behind my neck. “I just can’t concentrate anymore.”

Ung… She pulled me towards her and kissed me hungrily. I shifted in my seat and wound my fingers into her hair. It seemed that I wasn’t the only one that found her driving this car a turn on.

“Remember when we were in Shreveport and I said I was saving something for your car?” she whispered, her lips brushing against my neck.

“Uh huh” I panted.

“Well, what would you say if we give it a try?” she asked, running a hand up my neck and kissing me again.

“Fuck yes.” I groaned. My brain had officially stopped working and I couldn’t care less.

I completely lost track of time. Sookie’s mouth tasted like spearmint and her tongue caressing mine made me wish it was elsewhere. My jeans were getting uncomfortable and although I normally loved my car, at this point I was completely cursing it for not having a back seat.

I was pushing myself up and over the console, I knew I’d never fit, but it was awesome trying. The stick dug into my ribs and a few times I accidentally hit the horn and my head, making us both laugh. It really wasn’t working this way, so I sat back in my seat and pulled her toward me instead.

“Get over here,” I growled. “I need you.”

“Fuck I love it when you growl at me,” Sookie moaned. “It makes me want to just… ung” she added, seizing my face in her tiny hands and using my body as leverage to try and pull herself over the centre console.

I ran my hands over her body, as much of it as I could reach. Her breasts were the perfect size for my hands and I loved the reaction it caused when I touched them. Her little whimpers and gasps were music to my ears.

Sookie accidentally sat on the horn in an attempt to get her leg over the stick, frightening herself and hitting her head on the roof as she jumped

“Um Eric, this isn’t working,” Sookie panted. “I can’t get over the console, and I’m definitely not flexible enough to get my leg over the stick. I’m coming around.”

She struggled for a minute to get back into her seat before leaping out of the car, running around to my side and practically diving into my lap. “I could kiss you for hours.” She moaned into my mouth, wriggling in my lap, trying to get comfortable.

My knees were pressed painfully into the dash, my elbow was threatening to break the window and Sookie was still trying to get comfortable. She tried kneeling on the floor between my legs, but there wasn’t enough room for her and my knees. She was moving back up my body, slowly kissing her way up my chest and as nice as it felt I was getting a cramp in my leg, so I tried to stretch and…

“OUCH!” we both yelped.

I’d hit her back against the dashboard and she’d slipped and landed on her elbow in my… well… let’s just say neither of us was in the mood anymore. I had tears in my eyes from laughing and the vomit inducing pain I was in. She had tears in her eyes from laughing and the bruise that was sure to be forming on her back. My stretch had been the undoing of our attempt at car sex.

“Um… maybe we should try this in a bigger car?” Sookie suggested with a chuckle. “Corvettes are definitely not made for car sex, at least not on the inside”

“We’ll christen it another time from the outside” I said with a laugh. “Home?”

Sookie nodded and clambered out over my legs. “I think you should probably drive home, it’s getting dark and I don’t know the roads.”

After we straightened ourselves out and I adjusted the seat and mirrors I took over and drove the rest of the way home. I rested my hand on her thigh and she did the same on mine, it was all very couple-y and sweet and if it had been anyone but Sookie I probably would have laughed. I found myself doing a lot of things I never would have, just because it made her happy. I made a mental note for the future to ensure our cars always had a back seat.

“Nice drive you two?” Pam asked with a smirk. “You were gone for a while.”

“Yeah, we drove out into the mountains and uh… hit traffic on the way home. I even had to use the horn!” Sookie said with a twinkle in her eye.

I couldn’t help snickering a little as Pam looked us over with an eyebrow raised and a smirk firmly affixed. “Yeah… uh huh” she said with a snort “and that hickey on Sookie’s neck is really a mosquito bite.”

Sookie yelped and ran to check herself a nearby mirror. “There’s nothing there Pam!” she shrieked “You’re so mean!” she added as she ran and jumped onto my sisters back, tackling her into a chokehold like hug. Laughing like maniacs Pam and Sookie wrestled their way into the lounge where they collapsed in helpless giggles on the couch.

“How old are you two again?” Jason asked with a laugh. “C’mon dinner’s ready.”

We sat down and ate a delicious meal that Mom and Adele had slaved over. I couldn’t have told you what it was though because my mind was completely in the gutter. Sookie was making those moaning sounds again.

“So, the plan for tomorrow night is, we’re all going out to celebrate the New Year” Pam announced. “Yes you Mom, and you too Adele.” She added as complaints rose from the older women.

“I’m too old to go out to a nightclub.” Adele complained. “Besides, how are you supposed to have any fun with me there?” she asked with a mischievous glint in her eye.

“We’ll go out for dinner first, down at the pier so we can watch the fireworks.” Pam stated in full boss mode “then we’ll drop you back here and the rest of us will go out dancing and not come home until the New Year is well and truly rung in.”

“Sounds good to me!” Jason said with a chuckle “I’ll have to spin you round the floor at least once Gran. You too Alexis.”

Both blushed and flapped their hands at him for making them do so, but you could tell they were pleased. I added my insistence to Jason’s and resolved to make sure Sookie and Pam got out there at least once for a dance that was G rated.

After the meal ended and the table was cleared we all retired to the lounge where I think we might have watched something on TV; all I could remember was that Sookie was stretched out along the sofa, her back against my side, my arm over her shoulder and my hand resting on her stomach. The fact that there were other people in the room was the only reason I wasn’t reaching down a little further.

Mom and Adele finally called it a night and after another few minutes of watching something completely useless I was preoccupied with getting Sookie down to my room and squirming beneath me. I’d recovered from the car debacle and had a raging need to hear her scream my name. I nudged her gently with my arm and quirked an eye brow. She smirked and nodded and we both ran snickering from the room.

“Don’t forget to lock the door or I’ll come in and hose you!” Pam yelled out as Sookie and I stormed down the stairs.

Sookie almost slammed the door shut before locking it and throwing herself at me. I caught her up in my arms and walked us awkwardly over to the bed, trying not to drop her and trying to strip her at the same time. We gave up after a minute and just undressed ourselves quickly before collapsing in a tangle of arms and legs onto the bed.

“How is it that we’ve spent the whole day together and I’ve missed you?” she asked with a sigh when our bodies finally met skin to skin.

“I don’t know, but you feel fucking fantastic” I panted.

My hands slid all over her soft skin, moulding her to my body as I kissed her breathless. “Which way?” I asked, breathless myself, panting as she slid a condom onto my shaft and rubbed herself against my thigh.

“I don’t care, just fuck me” she moaned, pulling me on top of her and wrapping her legs around my hips. “Eric… please…”

I slid into her hot depths and we sighed together, our eyes locked in a wanton stare until our hips met. “Mmmm… Sookie.” I moaned. She surrounded my aching length with an almost painful heat and I had to move.

Sookie hissed as I pulled out of her, her nails digging into my shoulders as her clenching walls tried to pull me back in again, her hips making tiny thrusts toward me in preparation for when I sank back into her depths.

“Eric… please… hard and fast” she begged “I’ve been wanting this all day, please… I need you”

At her pleading words my self-control broke and I thrust back in, making her groan in pleasure as I added an extra twist to my hips. I was as close to her as I possibly could be and it still wasn’t close enough.

I sat back on my knees, pulling her up against my chest. We wrapped out arms around each other and clutched and clawed as Sookie ground herself against me, my hips spasming against her and still I wasn’t close enough.

We collapsed back against the bed and as we writhed against each other, Sookie’s legs crept their way up and over my arms. With a satisfied groan we were finally joined enough to suit each other and I pounded into her as hard as I dared. “Ung… Sookie… I’m so close.” I growled “You’re fucking amazing. I need you to cum with me.”

“I’m almost there Eric,” she groaned “yes… yes…” Her hands wove into my hair and we watched each other closely. Our eyes were locked again and this time we would stare into each other as we fell over the golden edge together.

I saw the moment she reached her peak and started to fall. Her pupils dilated and she gasped, the ecstasy on her face triggering my own. We came together in a panting mess of tangled limbs and it took us a minute or more to catch our breaths.

“I love you” Sookie whispered, running her nails down my back.

“I love you” I replied, sliding to the side and pulling her into my arms.

She sighed and buried her face in my neck, her breathing slowing and deepening as she fell asleep against me. I carefully untangled myself from her arms and legs, moving from the bed to go and clean up in the bathroom.

I came back to find Sookie stretched out across most of the bed, her hands reaching toward where I would normally be lying. I slid back onto the sheets and pulled the covers over us. Sookie sensed my body close and smiled as she tucked herself into my side again. I listened to her breathing regulate again before I fell asleep myself with a smile on my face.

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Once Upon A Screen Chapter 31

Chapter 31 – SPOV

I had no idea why, but Eric’s French toast tasted better than mine. I think everyone was still asleep because we didn’t bother talking; we just ate happily and jumped in surprise when Gran and Alexis came in laughing up a storm.

The tales of their antics should have curled my hair, but I was too tired to worry about it. Alexis proposed a movie day and it was met with resounding approval. Pam reminded me about why we were all so tired and I couldn’t help being a little sad that our time was limited and it would be way too soon before Eric was at the other end of the country and I would be keeping the ice cream companies in business.

The look of dread on Eric’s face showed me that he had resolved to get out of the house as quickly as possible. Apparently Pam had an obsession with The Princess Bride, one of my favorite movies. His dread worsened to horror when I started quoting lines and he ran out of the house like a run in a pair of nylons – fast and far.

“So what are we really doing today?” I laughed after both the boys had run practically screaming for the garage

“Baby Eric photos” Pam grinned “I do love The Princess Bride though, so maybe we can have it on in the background and catch the best bits!”

“Deal” I nodded, rubbing my hands together in glee.

“You get the popcorn and I’ll get the albums” she winked

Eric as a baby was gorgeous; fluffy blonde baby hair, huge blue eyes, chubby baby legs and a delighted grin that had barely changed. Even with pegs up his nose he was a beautiful baby. Eric as a toddler was just as cute; all eyes, hair and smiles.

We laughed and giggled our way through book after book of bad eighties clothing, cheesy grins and horrible haircuts. Pam even allowed us to see photos of her… a select few of course, the ones she was happy with. Alexis showed us others when she wasn’t looking, much to Pam’s disgust when she found out.

“Awww Pammy!” I squeaked “Look at you covered in dirt!”

“It’s not dirt, it’s a volcanic mud mask” she smirked

“And I’m the Queen of Sheba” I laughed, flicking through another couple of pages before my eye was caught by someone in a bright white and blue uniform.

“Sweet merciful crap!” I said, my eyes opening wide in shock. I couldn’t contain a shout of laughter as I took in the sight before me.

Gran took the album from my lap and chuckled at the photo that had me in stitches. I laughed so hard I started crying and it took me a few minutes to get myself under control enough to be able to ask questions.

“How long was he in the band for?” I choked out between giggles

“Those are in there?” Pam yipped gleefully, running over to Gran to look over her shoulder “I thought he’d burnt them all!”

That set me off again, cute as he was, I don’t think anyone could have pulled off that outfit well. I couldn’t blame him for trying to hide the evidence.

“He was just so into playing his trumpet” Alexis looked over Pam’s shoulder and smiled

“Does he still play?” I asked, surprised that I had completely missed that he was carrying an instrument.

“I don’t know! I would assume he could, but I don’t know if he does,” she laughed in reply. “Ask him when he comes back in!”

“I can’t wait to see the look on his face when he knows that you know…” Pam smiled dreamily “I almost want to catch it on video so I can watch it when I need a laugh.”

After making Pam promise not to set up the video camera we flicked through more photos, Pam bringing out some of the pictures she had of their time with their father in Europe. Obviously they had taken it upon themselves to keep entertained as there were no photos of their father in the album at all.

There was a photo of them both standing in front of the famous windmill in Paris. Somehow she had managed to talk him into going to the Moulin Rouge, I’m sure she didn’t have to argue too much though. The grin on his face was the same as the one when he tried to talk me into doing things over Skype… mischievous and kissable.

The roar of the corvette engine reached our ears as Eric and Jason pulled into the garage. I heard the sounds of the boys grabbing lunch and some drinks while we were looking through other photos.

I instantly relaxed as Eric’s scent washed over me and his arms scooped me up to hold me in his lap. I felt him nuzzle into my hair, breathing me in; apparently I wasn’t the only one that was feeling half alive while we were apart.

I heard Pam clear her throat to get my attention and wave her hand around asking me to move things along. “You never told me you went through a band geek phase honey!” I laughed, kissing his cheek and wrapping my arms around his neck.

The ‘oh shit’ look that was on his face was enough to set us all to laughing again for another few minutes.

“It was only for a while,” he blushed. “I can’t believe I missed a photo.”

“So… this one time at band camp?” Jason prompted and we all burst out laughing again.

“You shouldn’t believe everything you see in the movies” Eric laughed. “There were some people like that, but they were few and far between”

“Why didn’t you say anything? Amelia was in the band, she plays the flute” I said with a grin. “She’s almost exactly like the redhead in that movie”

Eric laughed hard at that revelation although I knew it was easy for him to believe. We’d shared more than a few stories about housemates and the like in the time we’d been talking. I wondered if Trey knew about Amelia’s band geek side and resolved to ask him.

“The most interesting thing I did was swap sheet music with other instruments,” he chuckled. “It drove our band director mad,” he smiled remembering “We’d transpose on the fly at games and things, it still sounded fine, odd, but fine.”

“So you mean there weren’t any band camp stories?” Jason asked, pouting slightly.

“Not band camp, no,” Eric smirked. “Study hall and free periods were certainly interesting though”

I turned and looked at him. I think I may have broken out a mini stink eye or something, because he started blushing. I snuggled up to his arm so he knew he wasn’t in trouble. It was before I met him after all, and he didn’t get his mad keen kissing skills by practicing on his arm that’s for sure.

Jason leant over and gave him a high five after he was sure I wasn’t going to blow up. Honestly, I swear my brother thinks I’m PMS-ing 365 days a year.

“The only real goofing around we did besides swapping the music, was turning all our chairs around to face the back of the room,” Eric chuckled, remembering. “Another time we all hid outside and when the director went to look for us, we all snuck back in and started practicing like nothing was wrong. He was pretty cool about it really, but considering we were his best student’s, it’s not like he was going to say anything as long as we performed.”

“We did things like that during football practice,” Jason shared with a laugh. “We’d swap numbers in the locker room and all run out with our helmets on. Play our normal positions and drive Coach crazy, wondering what the hell his QB was doing playing running back.”

“Our coach would have kicked our asses if we had done that!” Eric laughed.

“Oh we felt it after doing suicides for the whole practice session,” Jason continued, “but it was still funny as all hell. So how did you play in the band and football anyway?”

“I wasn’t much of a band geek,” he said with a chuckle. “I just happened to be a geek who was in the band, it didn’t last too long. I realized I wasn’t a band kind of person, well, not a marching band anyway.”

“So what kinda band geek are you then?” Jason asked with a laugh

“I ended up joining a Ska group that one of my friends set up” Eric grinned, remembering “It was good while it lasted, but we all split up for college so…”

“Even I have to admit they were good” Pam said with a smirk “I wish he had some band camp stories I could tease him about, but no… I just have to content myself with the horrendous uniform instead.”

“Where did you find the picture anyway?” Eric asked, taking the album and chuckling over his teenage self

“I got reprints of the negatives after you moved to NY” Alexis laughed “Just because you were embarrassed about the uniform doesn’t mean you get to destroy all my photos… if I have to live with myself in bell bottoms and Charlie’s angels hair, then you have to deal with being in the band”

We flipped through the album to find said photos of Alexis, and as bad as she thought they were, they were actually cute. Jason caused uproar when he found a picture of a 14 year old Pam in fluro orange overalls and a wrestling match broke out between the two of them as Pam tried to get it back.

“So, do you still play?” I asked, curling up on Eric’s lap and nuzzling into his shoulder

“Sometimes, not too much though” He said, lowering his mouth to my ear “besides,” he added in a whisper “My lips have something better to do now”

I chuckled as his breath tickled my ear and Pam made gagging noises behind us as Jason introduced her to his armpit…my brother, such a gentleman.

The rest of the day went quickly, movies watched, popcorn thrown, and plans made over dinner to go to the beach and general sightseeing the next day. Being that we were planning a big day tomorrow and an early start, we all got an early night… well; we went to bed early anyway!

Morning dawned bright and early and with a groan I rolled out of bed and into the shower, knowing that if I waited for Eric we would more than likely not end up leaving the room that day, and I really wanted to go to the beach!

I was showered and ready by the time he woke up, and although he pouted at missing out on shower time with me, he smiled when he saw how tiny my shorts were.

“I think I need to buy you some more of those tiny shorts,” he grinned, patting my ass as he walked past.

“I have plenty, thank you very much!” I laughed, watching him leave the room, yum. “I’ll wait for you upstairs” I squeaked and left for some breakfast before I ruined all my good intentions.

Jason choked on his cereal as I walked into the kitchen “Sweet Mother Of Gouda Sook,” he yelped. “Go back down and put some clothes on!”

“You know good and well that I wear these all the time, now hush” I scolded, dropping a kiss on his cheek and bouncing off to get some coffee

“Well don’t blame me if Eric comes back with a black eye” he laughed in reply

“Oh rubbish, Eric likes them!” I huffed.

“That was when you were in your room, it might be a completely different when you start getting looked at on the beach,” he said with a smirk “just sayin’ is all”

“Jason, stop tormenting your sister” Gran said with a chuckle, walking into the room at exactly the right moment, as usual.

“I’m not tormenting her!” he protested. “I’m just sayin’ she should put some clothes on!”

At that rather perfect moment Pam walked out to the kitchen. She was wearing skin tight jeans and a red satin corset. It was obvious she wasn’t wearing underwear under either item and couldn’t care less if everyone knew. Jason’s mouth was hanging open until Gran shut it for him.

“Still want me to change Jason?” I teased, earning a chuckle from Pam who rewarded me with a morning hug

“I do have another corset if you want, Sookie,” she offered. “But we’ll have to lace it up fairly loosely, I’m not quite as blessed as you are” she added with a wink

“Let me check what the plans are today and I’ll let you know, but thank you!” I giggled.

Jason still hadn’t recovered from Pam’s jeans yet and seemed to be doing an impression of a fish while she swanned around the kitchen. I slapped him over the head as I settled down to eat my toast and grinned as he almost thanked me for it.

“Are you not coming to the beach Pam?” I asked after she had joined us at the table.

“I love the idea of the beach,” she replied with a smirk “I like looking at it, but I hate getting sand everywhere so it’s not often that I’ll go. I thought I might go shop for a little while and come back to meet everyone for lunch… if I’m done.”

“Sounds nice, but no shoes until I can come with you” I warned with a laugh as she pouted at the reminder.

“You never let me have any fun…you’re just like Eric” she huffed, pretending to be in a snit. At least, I hope she was pretending.

Eric and Alexis joined us soon afterward, happily digging into their breakfasts and joining in on the conversation. I loved that Eric was so close with his family; they seemed more like friends than mother and son. I couldn’t wait to be a Northman and increase the size of my family by three people I already loved.

Pam had a starry look in her eye as we waved her off, obviously thinking of all the pretties she would be perusing while we were walking the beach. We piled into the SUV and drove the short distance to the beach we could see from the house. The water was even more impressive up close.

The crash of waves on the beach and the sense of calm that washed over me cemented my wish for a small wedding. I was getting married on this beach and that was that. While Jason, Alexis and Gran wandered off, Eric and I dawdled behind, holding hands and acting cute.

“Would you be ok with getting married here?” I asked, snuggling into his side.

“As long as I get to be married to you at the end of the day, I’d marry you in a phone box,” he chuckled. “I’d like to get married here though. More elbow room.”

“I’ll give you elbow room!” I laughed using mine to get him in the ribs before running away squealing as he chased me with a goofy grin plastered onto his face.

 

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