I’ve had this on the back burner for awhile. And I finally got around to finishing it. :) Enjoy!
x . x . x . x . x
“Here, I got us a treat!” Eric flopped down on the end of the couch before picking up my feet to place in his lap. He then tossed a small box into my outstretched hands.
“Cracker jacks?” I smiled indulgently. “Uh-sweetie?”
He looked up at me, his hands beginning to work their massaging magic on my feet and lower legs.
“You do remember that I’m allergic to peanuts, right?”
It was heartbreaking (and a little comical) when his face fell so dramatically.
“Shit. I forgot that they had peanuts in them! Fuck!” he threw his head back and crushed his fists into his eyes.
“It’s okay darlin,” I giggled as I sat up and planted a big juicy kiss on his lips. “I’ll just go make some popcorn. And I think we have a bag of kettle corn in the pantry.”
He caught my hips as I moved around his gargantuan legs that were conveniently sprawled absolutely everywhere.
“You’re the best,” he brought me down into his lap and gripped the back of my head with his huge hands. Tangling his fingers in my hair, he leaned into me and swept his tongue across my lips, begging for entrance. I granted said entrance immediately because I would never turn down kisses from my love. He was the best at it. He knew just when to press and when to pull back, when to nibble and when to suck…needless to say, I gave him tons of opportunities to practice.
I giggled into his mouth as his hands hit a particularly ticklish spot as he kneaded my hips.
“Okay, okay sparky. Let me up so we can start the movie,” I climbed off his lap, hitching my pants up as I went. He swatted my ass as I sauntered past him and into the kitchen and I rolled my eyes, giggling lightly.
“It sucks though! I was looking forward to seeing who got the prize at the bottom of the box!” Eric’s voice floated in from the living room as I grabbed the air popper out from under the cabinet.
“Aw, well, you can still eat them and get the prize,” I consoled gently as I poured kernels into the popper.
“Yeah, I know, but I got them for you,” his voice was moving and I wondered what he was doing. I heard a thump and what sounded like rain in the living room.
“Uh, darlin? What was that?” I leaned into the pantry to grab the kettle corn. My leg began itching and I absently began rubbing it through my sweat pants.
“Nothing!” Eric’s voice had an edge of panic as I heard what sounded like a bunch of galloping elephants skittering on dropped marbles. “Shit!”
Still, no answer.
“What?! I’m fine, everything’s fine. Just-uh-stay in there,” his hysterical voice distracted me from the throbbing ache that had set into my hips as well.
“Ewic?” Wait, that wasn’t right. “Ewic. Ewic. Ewic!”
He came skittering around the corner in his sock feet and his eyes widened in shock.
“Shit! Sookie! What the hell?” he lunged forward and slipped once again in his socks. He floundered sporadically for a minute before coming to a screeching halt in front of me.
“Huh?” I momentarily forgot my inability to say ‘r’s’ and tried to figure out what had Eric’s eyes bugging out of his head.
He lunged toward me, grabbing my hands in the process. “Stop!”
It was only then that I realized that my left hand had been viciously attacking my legs while my right hand had been launching a similar assault on my hips. I glanced down and did a double take when I saw the blood under my fingernails.
Sure enough, when I looked down I could see my sweatpants hiked up and bloody gashes on my legs.
“What da fuck?!” My eyebrows shot up as I raked my eyes over my hips.
“Sookie! What are you doing?!” He tightened his hands around my wrists as they unconsciously fought to return to their previous activity.
“I don know! I ith! Wha da hew?!”
Eric guided me over to the kitchen chair and almost pushed me into it, gripping both of my wrist in one of his large hands. As his other hand fought to dig his cell phone out of his ridiculously tight pants, my mind began to wander over the truly miraculous things those hands could do. Apparently, an idle mind wasn’t the best thing right now.
My legs stopped trying to rub themselves together and I stopped wiggling around the chair to get friction. My eyes shot to his as his face morphed into a pretty comical expression of panic. I would have laughed. However, my ability to swallow was essentially nonexistent and my ability to breathe was rapidly decreasing. And now my eyes were bugging out.
“Ewic! I can breef!”
My panic somehow snapped him out of whatever state he’d been in and he finally wrenched his phone from his pocket, tearing his jeans in the process.
“Ewic! Now Ima hafa sa dem!”
Eric rolled his eyes at me. “You can’t speak correctly, you’re scratching yourself until you bleed and your tongue is swelling. I’m pretty okay with throwing out these pants!”
Raising the phone to his ear and trapping it against his shoulder, he knelt in front of me and began running his cool fingers over my legs. I didn’t notice the burning pain until his fingertips were soothing away the aching itch.
“Jason! Something’s wrong with Sookie. Her tongue is swelling up, and she’s scratching all over,” he paused. “Yeah, she scratched so much that she’s bleeding.”
He looked up and his eyes widened as he listened to whatever Jason was saying.
In an instant, he was at the sink scrubbing his hands vigorously with the peach scented dish soap. Meanwhile, my traitorous hands decided to continue in their endeavor to skin me alive. Only now, I found my finger reaching into my mouth and scraping at my tongue. I couldn’t seem to stop, even as my tongue flopped out of my mouth and drool rolled down my chin.
Once Eric had sufficiently scrubbed his skin raw, he whipped around to face me. Lunging towards me and grabbing my hands once again, he yanked me up and without any preamble, dashed out to the car.
After settling me in the passenger seat and shoving my hands into a pair of gloves he’d had stashed in the glove compartment (gloves, in Louisiana???), he darted around the car and ducked into the seat.
“Sookie, remember when we discussed your peanut allergy when we first started dating?”
I nodded, since I couldn’t swallow and breathing was rapidly becoming next to impossible. Already I could hear the wheeze as air tried to squeeze down my throat and into my lungs.
“Why didn’t you tell me that contact with peanuts could set you off?”
My eyes widened as I realized what had happened. But then my eyebrows furrowed.
“Bu we didn ea any. So how di oo ge it on er ands?”
“Never mind, we’re here,” Eric screeched into the parking lot of the emergency room and unceremoniously yanked me across the center console. He bundled me into his chest and dashed toward the entrance.
“Sir!” A voice broke into my frantic thoughts as Eric whipped his head toward the admission desk. “Wait, Sookie?”
I had never in my life been as glad to see Tara as I was at that moment.
“Eric what happened?!?”
She gulped audibly as she picked up the phone and punched a three number extension.
“Rasul! Sookie had a peanut attack-” Tara held the phone away from her ear and looked at it in confusion. Looking back at the keys, she began pushing numbers again. However, when Rasul burst through the doors marked ‘staff only’ she shrieked and dropped the receiver.
He quickly latched onto Eric’s arm and dragged us back into the bowels of the emergency room. Once he’d ushered us into a curtained off room, he began yanking things and IV needles and bags of fluid out of the cart that had miraculously appeared moments after we had.
“What happened?” He almost growled as he grabbed my arm and held it steady as he tied some tubing around my bicep. He motioned for me to make a fist while he searched for my nearly impossible to find veins.
“We Ewic bwot cwackuh jacks and wubbed muh wegs-”
“No offense Sook, but shut the fuck up! Eric. What happened?” Rasul rolled his eyes at my indignant and probably pathetic snort. Why I’d waste the energy I have no idea. Maybe the lack of oxygen was going to my head finally.
“I forgot Sookie had an allergy and brought us Cracker Jacks. I didn’t realize that just having the residue on my hands would set her off. And I ate a couple and then kissed her,” I could tell Eric was beating himself up over this.
All I wanted was a nice quiet movie night with my boyfriend. Way to screw things up Stackhouse! I just HAD to have a peanut allergy. In the back of my mind I knew it was ridiculous to berate myself, but I needed something to take my mind off the burning sensation shooting up my arm from whatever drug Rasul was currently plunging into my IV.
I must have spaced out because I suddenly noticed snapping fingers in front of my face and Jason’s bright blue eyes were staring into mine. I also noticed that I was still nestled into Eric’s chest, despite being hooked up to an IV and having an oxygen mask on my face. When did that happen?
“Sook? Eric, she’s awake!”
Eric jolted underneath me and I turned my head to face him.
“Sookie?” I nodded at him, not trusting my voice at the moment. “Oh god baby! I could have lost you! How could I be so stupid?!”
He squeezed me to him, tighter than I could really stand, but I didn’t bother to say anything since I liked the feeling. Well, until Jason punched his shoulder when the heart monitor kicked into high gear.
“Jesus, why’d you have to go and scare me like that? What were you thinking, Sook? You know what happens!”
“Jase, I didn’t eat any! I reminded Eric about my allergy and that was it. We made out a little before I went to make popcorn, but I guess somehow he had some residue on his hands,” he cringed when I mentioned our tonsil hockey, but otherwise remained silent. “Come to think of it, why did you have residue on you? We hadn’t eaten any.”
Eric’s face flushed slightly and my eyebrows shot up. He never blushes.
“Well-uh…well ya see…the thing is…Jase, can I talk to you?”
He unceremoniously dropped me onto the gurney and tugged Jason into the hallway before I could register what had actually happened. I rolled my eyes as I heard some stifled whispering.
They were like two little old ladies with the way they gossiped. Seriously, they always knew things way before I did. When Sam was banging Tara all those years ago, I heard it from Jason who heard it from Eric who walked in on them in the employee’s bathroom at Merlotte’s. When Arlene was pregnant with Jesse, her sixth kid (Seriously time to stop there!), Eric told me because Jason had told him a week earlier before she’d even told Terry. When old Mrs. Kreisler got caught masturbating in the back corner of the library, I swear Jason knew before Bud Dearborn did, and he’s the one who came out and arrested her! Those two…
I was brought out of my mental wanderings abruptly when I heard a thud and a “WHAT?”
“What? What’s going on?” I had to ask, even though I knew they’d probably ignore me.
And I was met with silence. And more whispering behind the curtain. I felt like Dorothy.
Sighing, I stood up and grasped the IV pole. I began shuffling toward the curtain, not realizing I still wore the oxygen mask. I was quickly yanked back by my head, which just felt spectacular on my already worn out and abused body.
Sighing, I tugged the damned thing off my face and continued shuffling toward the entrance to my room. The whispering grew more fevered and harsher as I approached. My curiosity was now burning through me and I gingerly reached my hand out to grasp the drape. With a quicker flick than I ought to have been able to make, I ripped the curtain aside.
And I found my boyfriend and my brother locked into a heated debate while Rasul cackled nearby. But what really drew my attention was the jewelry box clutched tightly in Eric’s hand. And what made me gasp was the twinkle as the stone in the ring caught the harsh overhead lighting.
Eric spun to face me and his face drained of all color.
“Uh-Sook! What-uh what are you doing up?” His hand reflexively clenched around the small box.
My eyes hadn’t moved from that little blue box. “What’s that?”
“Uh-” Eric’s eyes shot to Jason, who held his hands up and backed away. He retreated to stand next to Rasul, throwing up a hand and whispering behind it.
“Uh-well…shit. This was the prize in the Cracker Jack box,” he flushed slightly, shoving his thumb into the belt loop of his jeans.
“They’re really going all out, aren’t they? They’re gonna have to hike the price way up if they’re giving out sparklers like that,” my arms crossed over my chest, completely without my brain’s permission.
My knees decided to remind me of my recent brush with death as they buckled and I grabbed onto the IV pole again. The Bobsy twins down the hall darted forward, ready to do God only knows what, but I waved them off, still entirely focused on the blonde behemoth cowering in front of me.
“Aw, fuck…this is SO not how this was supposed to go,” Eric stepped forward, pulling me into his body and holding me up. I nestled myself further into his chest and tried to regulate my already labored breathing…cause seriously-if he’s doing what I think he’s doing then I may have to smack him.
“Sookie,” his finger gently tilted my head up, locking his blue eyes onto my own. A small smile graced his face and the love that shone out of those crystalline depths nearly blinded me. “I had this really romantic and cute thing all planned out…but yeah-that didn’t work. So, I guess I’ll just do this here.”
My heart shot into my throat. He really was doing this NOW??
“My life started when you tripped over my feet at that baseball game. The seventh inning stretch is still my favorite part of any game. And now, well-now I can’t imagine my life without you in it. So…will you please marry me?”
I swallowed convulsively. That beautiful, stupid, wonderful man.
“Of course I’ll marry you! God! I love you so much!”
Jason and Rasul whooped, followed by Jane Bodehouse who apparently still thought she was at whatever booze fest she’d been carted in from.
Jason dragged me away from Eric as Rasul clapped my fiance-fiance!-on the back.
“You better treat her right, Blondie,” he growled as I felt his lips on the crown of my head.
“You never have to worry about that, Jase.” His eyes met mine once again. “I’d rather die than hurt her.”
I squeezed my brother before wiggling out of his arms and nuzzling back into Eric’s chest.
“So-do I get my ring or what?”
Laughing heartily, he lifted it carefully out of the small blue box and I held out my hand. It fit perfectly, and it looked perfect sitting right there on my third finger.
“Eric, you did remember to wash the ring right?”
All eyes shot to Rasul, then down to my finger which was already beginning to itch.