A World Away: Chapter 3
I never saw Eric again, but I never forgot that kiss. Bill and I broke up of course and I’ve had quite a few dates since then, but my focus has been on my training and more recently on my job. I tried not to think of Eric most of the time, but since I’d been captured, I knew that there was a real possibility that I would not survive much longer and so gave myself permission to think of Eric as a gift to myself. I turned a little further away from the sleeping Andre and let the tears fall freely.
I woke early wishing I had taken the opportunity to relieve myself when I’d had the chance the night before. I rose and checked on Andre who was still sleeping peacefully. I stepped out into the early dawn and my guard escorted me down to the creek. I hadn’t bathed for days of course and decided that my modesty was silly at this point. This man had seen me use the bathroom several times a day for days. I stripped from the waist down and waded into the creek. I squatted and did my business and then washed myself in the cool running water.
I’d be lying if I said that I never thought of Sookie Stackhouse. She was the most beautiful girl I had ever seen. The first night I met her was at a dance and we danced most of the night and talked a lot. I had watched her dancing with other guys before I asked her myself. Actually, I kind of forced her by pretending that she had already promised me a dance. I walked her home and kissed her goodnight and then spent the next few months debating with myself about seeing her again. I was so torn because I knew that I did not want to get seriously involved with a girl. I had my pilot training to complete and then basic training. I wanted to become a pilot and fight when we entered the war, which was looking inevitable. But I had never been so drawn to a girl before. Every fiber of my being was telling me that she could be the one, and that is precisely why I stayed away. I simply wasn’t ready for the one.
I’d heard that she was dating Bill Compton and hated him even more. I suppose it was a given that someone would snatch her up, but I couldn’t help but feel jealous. I’d seen them out together a few times and it always tied my stomach into knots, but I stayed away. It wasn’t until the night before I left for basic that I lost my internal battle. I knew that there was a dance at Emory and I suspected that she’d be there with Bill. I watched them dance and waited until she went to the ladies room before I grabbed her hand and pulled her into a classroom. I don’t know what I was thinking, but I kissed her hard. She responded with a passion that I had not expected. I apologized for my behavior but then took her into my arms again and thought that I might just fuck her over one of the desks in the room. I never expected to be the one that needed to put on the brakes, but I finally did just that. Because Sookie Stackhouse was not the kind of girl that you fucked in a classroom and then left for basic training. She was the kind of girl you married. Or at least she was the one that I wanted to marry. Holding her like that and feeling her in my arms as I kissed her, I knew that I loved her. And if I didn’t stop myself right then and there, I never would have made it to basic or to the war itself, and so I tore myself away and ran out of the building before it was too late.
I tried no to think of Sookie very often because it depressed me to know that she was most likely now married to the idiotic Bill Compton and they most likely lived in a little house with a picket fence and she most likely was having his children and taking care of his home and making love to him every night. Those kinds of thoughts did me no good and so I avoided them. But the day I was shot and had to land my plane in an unknown area, I was afraid, really afraid for the first time in my life and so I gave myself permission to think of her. I knew that I may not live through the night and I wanted my last thoughts to be of her.
I had finished a bombing raid and was turning back to base when I came under attack. The plane was hit a few times, but I knew the instant my shoulder was hit. The pain was searing. I wasn’t sure what kind of shape the plane was in, but I knew that I was losing blood fast and would most likely lose consciousness. I found a field and set her down, coming to a stop just before everything went black. When I woke, it was dark. My shoulder hurt immensely and there was blood covering the whole left side of my body. I wasn’t certain where I was but knew that there were more Allied troops in the region than Germans, so my odds were fairly good at being rescued if I could just make it out of the plane. I knew as soon as dawn came that I’d be a sitting duck here in the open. I managed to get out of the plane and did a quick survey of the area. There was really no way of knowing which direction would be the smartest to travel in so I just started walking.
Within an hour or so the sun was starting to rise. I was walking through a wooded area when I heard the sound of running water. I figured it was fairly likely that a camp could be set up near the water and so I followed the sound. I could not have been more surprised to find what I did however as I neared the creek. There was a German soldier standing with his back leaning against a tree. I couldn’t see his moving hand from my perspective but I could tell he was masturbating while watching something or someone in the creek. I followed his gaze to see an American woman (I recognized her uniform from the waist up.) bathing herself while squatting in the creek. She did have a spectacular ass from what I could see. I pulled out my knife and stole up behind the German while he was preoccupied and quickly buried my knife to the hilt into his back before he ever knew what hit him. He slumped quietly to the ground and I pulled my knife out and wiped the blade on his jacket. When I stood, I saw the woman who was standing now facing me, eyes wide and mouth open, still naked from the waist down. Sookie Stackhouse.
I briefly wondered whether or not I was hallucinating, but then she was definitely real and right there. She closed her mouth and eyed my shoulder and then wordlessly hurried to put her clothes back on. The instant she was dressed, I grabbed her hand and we started running back towards the plane. There were obviously Germans in the area, but I had not seen any on my path and so it seemed the logical choice to return to the plane. I was concerned about my condition, but knew that I had to try and get Sookie to safety somehow.
The creek water was refreshing and I would have almost enjoyed it if I wasn’t constantly aware of my guard watching me. I thought of a little creek on my grandmother’s property where Jason and I used to play as children and I was dangerously close to feeling homesick, but knew that I couldn’t start down that path. I finished up and turned to wade back to the bank. As I started towards my clothes, I sensed something odd about my guard. I didn’t want to look directly at him until I had re-dressed though. I started to reach for my underpants tucked into my boot and as I looked down, I caught something out of the corner of my eye. Something was definitely different, and so I stole a glance in the guard’s direction. He was lying on the ground, possibly dead, and Eric Northman was bent over him, cleaning a knife on his jacket. I thought, that’s it, I have lost my senses and am now seeing things. I stood and shook my head a little to clear it, and as Eric stood, I realized that not only was it really him, but he was covered in blood himself. My training kicked in and I began to mentally assess his wound and then I looked back to his face and there were those same blue eyes that had captured me back in school. Only there was no devilish twinkle in them this time. He looked shocked and afraid. I quickly dressed and took his hand. He turned and we ran through the woods together. I had no idea where we were going, but as long as it was away from my captors, it seemed right to me.
After what seemed like nearly an hour of running in silence, during which time I did have to stop a few times to catch my breath, we finally emerged onto a field and I saw what I assumed to be Eric’s plane. I recognized it as a Mustang, which was a one-seater, and wondered what his plan was. We approached the plane and Eric climbed up into the cockpit. I’d carefully watched his footing and followed him up. I sat on his lap and tucked my head up under his chin, avoiding the injured shoulder, trying to make myself as compact as possible. We were still out of breath from our run through the woods, and I had an absurd thought of a long time ago in a darkened classroom when we were close like this and panting heavily for a different reason. I recognized his scent and even though it was completely inappropriate and insane, I felt the familiar butterflies in my stomach at his nearness to me. I had a brief thought that if we die now then at least I would die in his arms.
Within minutes, we were turned around and speeding along the field. I felt the woosh in my stomach as we became airborne and began to climb. I kept my eyes focused on the blood on Eric’s jacket, anxious to tend to his wound as I’d been trained to do. We didn’t fly for very long before I sensed that we were losing altitude. I assumed that we were landing and felt Eric’s body tense and so I held onto him fast as we roughly hit the ground. He cried out in pain and I stole a glance up to his neck and watched beads of sweat running down into his collar. The plane slowed to a stop and Eric opened the cockpit. I climbed out and retraced my earlier steps until I was on the ground. I looked back to Eric. He was very pale and covered with sweat and I knew he was going into shock. As soon as he was out, I climbed back in and started searching for the first aid kit. I found it, unfastened the strap that held it in place and scrambled back out. The confused look on his face disappeared when he saw what I had retrieved. I looked around us to see where we were and we seemed to have landed in a field very similar to the one we had just left. I saw no evidence of any sort of base anywhere nearby and assumed that we had just made an emergency landing and had not made it back to where Eric had intended to take us. Eric reached for my shoulder to brace himself, but his knees buckled and he shakily dropped to the ground on his knees. I knelt down under Eric’s good arm and helped him stand again. I could tell he was very weak. Supporting him as best I could, we walked to the edge of the field towards a stand of trees. Within a few yards of reaching the wooded area, Eric’s knees gave way again only this time he collapsed completely. I went down with him, but then sat up and looked at him. He was unconscious but still breathing. I looked all around, but saw nothing but woods and the field we had landed on. No buildings in sight. I left the first aid kit beside Eric and started running through the woods. I looked up at the sky to note where the sun was so I could get my bearings and would be able to find my way back to him.