Love Isn’t Easy: Chapter 10
I was shocked back to reality when my phone rang. What was I doing? What was I thinking? I had a boyfriend and yet I was ready to make love with Eric right there on his sofa. He told me that he had never been with Lorena. And I reminded myself (and him) that he had been with a million other girls. And then he told me that he had loved me. He actually used that word. I couldn’t believe it. The man of my every sexual fantasy. And now also a friend whose opinions I valued and…well…a guy I really did like as a person. He had loved me, and I’d had no idea. He’d pushed my hand away that night because he wanted it to be special. Suddenly, I was looking at Eric in a whole new light. He wasn’t just the sex god that made me wet every time he was in the room. Well, okay, he was still that. But now he was also the guy who had loved me and seen me on the worst night of my life and still wanted me. I couldn’t stay away from him any longer and so I kissed him. Maybe it was because he had been with a million girls and had practiced so much. I just don’t know. But that was the best, most passionate kiss I had ever had. I just melted into his arms and if he had asked me to fly to the moon with him I would have. But then the phone rang.
Quinn had broken his leg and would need surgery. His mother and sister were both banged up pretty badly as well. His sister, Frannie, had some pretty scary looking bandages on her face and his mother was still unconscious. Quinn asked me to call the restaurant and let them know. Then the following day, I had to deal with his insurance company and the car and his sister’s boss as well. Suddenly, I had my hands full and any thoughts of breaking up with Quinn had to be put on the back burner. What kind of selfish bitch would break up with a guy under such circumstances? Even if she had been kissed by a god.
When I saw Eric in class two days later, I told him what had happened. He was polite and asked if he could do anything to help. I wanted to tell him that I didn’t want to be with Quinn anymore, that I only wanted to be with him, but I knew that I couldn’t really say that. Because Quinn needed me and I felt an obligation to him. It was so hard after that mind-blowing kiss, but I had to go back to just being Eric’s friend and classmate.
A few weeks later, I ran into Pam at a coffee house and we sat and had a little chat. I had always liked her and thought that under other circumstances, maybe we could be good friends. She told me that after graduation, she had decided she would move to Los Angeles. She wasn’t sure what she wanted to do yet. She was getting her degree in English, but wasn’t ready to make a big decision about her future. Her family had money and would help her get set up in L.A. She was considering law school down the road or maybe a masters, but wanted to take a break and have some fun first. That sounded great to me. I had never been to L.A., and thought it sounded like a dream come true. I was really happy for her. Then she wanted to talk about Eric. I stiffened, not knowing how much I wanted to share about my feelings for Eric.
“It’s none of my business, Sookie, but I love the guy and I know he’s crazy about you. Always has been. When I called him that night from Bob’s party, he couldn’t get over there fast enough to be your hero. And then he moved out of his fucking house because what happened there upset you. I’m not going to tell you what to do with your life. But just so you know, he was the best boyfriend in the world. I know since you’ve known him, he’s been a little lost. And his track record with women has been crap since we got here, but when we were in high school, he was so good to me. He was completely faithful and loyal and loving and respectful. I’m pretty sure I know him better than anyone, and I’m here to tell you that there is no better guy in the world than Eric Northman. That’s all I’m going to say about that.”
She gave me a kiss on the cheek before she left and I was left with a lot to think about regarding Eric, as usual.
The rest of that last semester flew by. I interviewed for several jobs at the campus placement center and landed my dream job at a P.R. firm in Los Angeles. I would be starting shortly after graduation. Amelia decided to go with me to California and try to get acting work. We couldn’t wait to start our new lives.
I had been very busy helping Quinn recover from his accident and his surgery. When his mother and sister were all better and he no longer seemed to require my services, I broke up with him as gently as I could. I told him that I really did care for him, but I knew he wasn’t the one. We parted friends. I doubt if he was really surprised. Even after he’d recovered, I hadn’t slept with him. After that kiss at Eric’s I just couldn’t. It didn’t feel right.
Eric and I had become even better friends, even though I mostly only saw him in class and sometimes we’d have coffee afterwards before my next class. I knew very little about his plans after graduation, and didn’t press him on it. I knew that he had gotten into grad school, but he didn’t say where that was. I also knew that he was waiting to find out whether or not he had gotten a scholarship. It was a real possibility that he wouldn’t get the money and I figured that it was kind of a touchy subject. As much as I was still madly attracted to him, I knew that it would just be stupid to start something up with a guy that was on his way to grad school god knows where while I was on my way to Los Angeles. I would just have to be satisfied with what we’d had. I had learned a lot about men and wondered what my future would hold in that department. Maybe someday I would meet another Eric Northman only this time the stars would be lined up a little better for us.
When I finished my last exam in my Film and Literature class, I emerged from the building to find Eric waiting for me. He walked me to my car and we said goodbye. I told him that I would be moving to L.A. shortly after graduation which was a week away. He told me he was happy for me that I’d found such a great job, and that I deserved it. He gave me a long warm hug and a soft kiss on the lips before I got into my car. I watched him walk away and was surprised at myself when the tears came. Under other circumstances, who knows what could have happened for us. I could see that he was so special and I was sorry that things hadn’t gone differently. I cried a little harder when I admitted to myself that I loved him.