Eric’s Story: Chapter 7
On what turned out to be our last full night in Asheville, Sookie and I went out to celebrate buying our beach house. The owner had made a counter offer two days after my initial offer, and I had written a second offer immediately. When I woke that night, Sookie was standing by the bed wearing a huge smile (and nothing else). The realtor had called to say that the second offer had been accepted and we were in escrow. (I asked that he call Sookie’s phone if he had news before dusk.) We first had a private little celebration in bed and then showered and dressed to go out to dinner.
As luck would have it, there were no renters in the beach house at that time, and the owner invited us to stay there for a few nights while the inspection took place and so that we could hammer out some details. (For example, I also wanted to purchase the furnishings, and we needed to agree to a price for that as well.)
When I woke on our seventh night in Asheville, Sookie had us all packed up and we said goodbye to our romantic mountain cabin and drove back to the beach. She woke up as we pulled into the drive at Pawley’s, and I carried her over the threshold, both of us grinning and laughing as if we were starting our honeymoon. Maybe we were.
The following morning Sookie took care of meeting with the realtor and inspector since it was daytime. That was the first day that I had locked the bedroom door from the inside since other humans would be in the house. When I emerged after waking, I found a happy and beautiful Sookie lying in the hammock thumbing through the favorable inspection report. She had also met with the owner’s son who lives in a nearby town and they had gone from room to room discussing the furnishings and he had presented her with a figure that I was more than happy to pay. After making the hammock rock in our own special way and showering, I called the realtor to tell him that I agreed to the purchase price of the furnishings and accepted the inspection report, and we could close in two weeks since I would be paying cash.
Sookie and I went to Frank’s Restaurant and toasted to our new home on our favorite beach. We spent most of that night lying in each other’s arms on the sofa, talking about the house and the future. I told her that her name would be on the title and that I would take care of the maintenance expenses and taxes, but that I wanted her to benefit from any rental income. She started to fight me on that, but I was insistent. She softened somewhat when I told her that she didn’t even have to rent it out if she didn’t want to, but instead could send friends and family here for vacations. She liked that idea. I also told her that in the event of my final death, she would not have immediate legal claim to the house if it were in my name. I told her that I had already set up a trust for her in case I finally die, and that I would naturally add this house to the list of assets that she would inherit, but that red tape may prevent her from having access to the house right away. I said that I didn’t like the idea of the house being tied up in legal paperwork, and that it would make me feel better if it were simply in her name. We didn’t talk about how much time she and I would spend here. That felt like a bigger conversation best left for another night. I didn’t say it, of course, but I was ready to just move here and stay forever. I knew that she needed some more time to adjust to such a commitment.
Sookie started to ask about the trust, and her face grew more serious than I liked. I told her that I knew it wasn’t a pleasant subject, but that we have to be practical. And just as married couples have to make wills to protect each other’s security, I had to make certain that Sookie was provided for if I were to meet my final death. (I had set this up shortly after recovering my memory when I felt that the new regime could easily threaten my continued existence, and I realized that I had inadvertently cheated Sookie out of a promise of security when the curse was removed and my plan to stay with her vanished along with my memory.) I could see that she was disturbed a bit by the conversation, but the fact that she didn’t really argue with me or just leave the room in a huff felt like progress. I knew that our future was a difficult subject for us for many reasons, especially after our recent conversation on the mountain about her decision whether or not to be turned if accidentally killed
The mood lightened considerably when we went to bed later and made love to the sound of the ocean. She fell asleep with a smile on her face, and I loved to see that. I look forward to many nights just like this one, watching her sleeping peacefully, safe and warm in the bedroom of our beach house.