/ -*-*- / CHAPTER FOUR / -*-*- /
I had spent the entire weekend working out what was going to happen on Monday. I had ordered extra supplies and told the deliverer’s, “URGENT” so that they would be there first thing Monday morning.
After Sookie had called Friday afternoon, I had the biggest grin on my face for the rest of the day. Pam and Godric had called me “whipped” already but in all honesty I couldn’t care less. We closed up, Ginger asking me to meet her at a club like she did every Friday night before I walked with Godric and Pam to the subway. We lived separately but each and every Friday night, we headed to Godric’s house for dinner. It was tradition.
Godric was at the barbeque in his yard trying not to burn the steaks as Pam and I sipped on our beers by his pool. Godric was pretty well off and how he managed to get a house with a yard and a pool in the middle of New York was beyond us both. Pam and I lived in apartments near the shop.
“So, excited for Monday?” Pam asks me, a grin showing on her face. I give her the finger and take a swig of beer. “I’m serious, she’s absolutely delicious, this girl.”
“She’s gorgeous, Pam. And no, you cannot taste her.” Pam pouted before smiling.
“Steaks are done!” Godric calls from the patio. We eat and joke and laugh and enjoy ourselves before I check my watch and find its almost two. I kiss Pam’s head and give Godric a hug before making my way out of his house and call a cab.
I think I spent the whole day sleeping, well most of it anyway, because I wake up to hear my phone ringing. I check the time – 730pm – before answering. “What!”
“Eric?” came Pam’s voice. “Where have you been?”
“Sleeping,” I reply, trying to cover my head with the pillow.
“Dude, you were supposed to meet us a Mama Tia’s for drinks. Its tradition.” Another tradition in the Ink Me Baby story, I remember as I groan and tell Pam I’m not up for it. She calls me a big baby and hangs up. I fall bask asleep and don’t wake up until the next day.
So I’m a heavy sleeper, so what. It’s perfectly normal with most people even though Godric tells me constantly that I have narcolepsy and I should see a doctor.
My Sunday is spent taking a jog in the park, going and looking through my favourite bookstore before grabbing a coffee and heading to the gym. Godric meets me there, reminds me that on Friday next week we have to meet with the contractors about the bar. I groan again and focus on my training.
Sunday night I’m anxious and excited and trying to calm the fuck down. She’s just a woman. A gorgeous, blonde woman, but good god has she gotten under my skin. I set my alarm for nine so I don’t’ oversleep and take in the late night Sunday movie. I wake up the next morning to my alarm going off and find out I fell asleep on the couch with the TV still on.
A quick shower and I’m fully awake. I take the time to find what to wear and settle on a pair of dark jeans and a black KISS print t-Shirt. I run a hand through my hair and grab my keys, phone and wallet and head out the door.
“Morning Eric,” comes the voice of my elderly neighbour Sarah as she makes her way over to the lift. She’s almost ninety and still going strong.
“Morning Sarah,” I say, racing down the stairs and out of my building. I call a cab, not in the mood for the subway, and arrive at the shop at nine-forty-five. Pretty good I think. Ginger is already there, setting up for the day when I walk in. She flashes me a smile and I wave.
I head to the back office and sit behind the computer. Ten-o-five. Godric and Pam turn up and the shop opens. We have a few clients booked for the morning but as the minutes tick by and the hours go past I can’t help but feel nervous.
Pam shoots me a look and Godric says, “Calm down, Eric.” We get our last client for the day out the door by one-thirty.
I tell Ginger to start setting everything up and Godric and I move the tables around so that the kids have somewhere to sit. We line all the paints, paper and paintbrushes out and I give the place the once over. Pam checks her watch, “Ten minutes Eric.”
I’m shaking, I can feel it. God-dammit I have never felt like this around a woman. I run to the bathroom, throw some water on my face and take a few big deep breathes. Show time.
When I walk back out to the shop, I see Godric and Pam chatting and Ginger playing on the computer. The bell above the door dingles. I tense up, take a breath and chill.
Sookie appears first followed by ten or so kids. She’s dressed like she was the other day, in another dress and wearing heels. A pair of chopsticks holds up her hair and she’s wearing small black-framed glasses.
“Hey guys,” she says, her gorgeous smile lighting up the room. “These are my students.” She says their names and points to each one but I fade out. I just watch her, smile at her and get the overwhelming urge to kiss her. “So, how are you?” She’s asking me now; she’s speaking directly to me. I grin.
“Great. How was your weekend?” I ask back. I’m a flirt, so what.
“Good. Slow, but I got a lot of work done.”
“Good, good. Tattoo healing nicely?” I ask her, smiling. She grins and leans on the counter to speak to me in a hushed tone.
“Yeah, but there’s an itch I can’t get. Maybe you can help me later.” Girl you are playing with fire, I think as she re-joins her group. They break off and we take four each. Sookie walks around all the groups as we teach them watercolours, brush strokes and I take the time to show them how to use the tattoo machines.
About two hours later, Sookie says, “Half an hour guys. I need to get you back to school before five.” I take this chance to ask Sookie if she wants me to take a look at the tattoo. She smiles, nods and we head to the office. I close the door behind her as we enter.
She has her back to me but is looking at me from over her shoulder. “So,” she says, “You may need to help me again.”
“Course, darlin’,” I say and have to mentally pinch myself to make sure I am not dreaming. I am not about to have a half naked woman in my office. So many fantasies coming true right now. I approach her and take the zip in my hand again, slowly lowering it to the same spot as last time. She hasn’t got it covered but from what I can see it looks like its healing well. “No bleeding?”
She shakes her head. “Nope,” she says softly and I can’t help but want to kiss her again. No! I tell myself. You will not take advantage of this young woman in your office while your colleges and her students are out in the next room. I stand up and help her zip her dress up. She looks at me, confused and I smile. “So, what are you doing tonight?”
I have to stop for a second. Did I just ask her out? She bites her bottom lip like she’s thinking and grins up at me.
“Wanna have dinner? Go get some drinks?” I ask, moving to lean on the desk beside her. “I know this great little Italian place, totally hidden secret that only the true New Yorkers know of.”
“So why do you know about it?” she jokes and I pretend to be hurt.
“Wow, offending me already huh?” I joke back and smile at her. “Godric introduced me to it when I started working with him. So, is that a yes?”
She fiddles with her hands and then looks up at me smiling. “Yeah, sure.”
I grin back and tell her I will pick her up at eight. She shakes her head and asks if we can meet somewhere. I’m a little confused by this but agree. We agree to meet at the café down the road from the restaurant at seven-thirty, to have a coffee before dinner.
We leave the office a few minutes later and re-join everyone.
“I just wanna say thanks,” Sookie says to everyone, “It was really fun.
“We enjoyed it,” Godric replies, grinning. The guy has had a grin on his face since we joined them. Pam keeps giving Sookie a look and Ginger is glaring at her. “It was fun.”
The students say goodbye and I wave to Sookie secretly. She grins and walks out with the class and I turn and sigh heavily.
“So – ” Godric starts.
“You gonna fuck her?” Pam asks.
Ginger huffs and walks away, obviously heaving for the bathroom.
“Pam, seriously,” I say, grinning as I walk away too. They both follow me into the office. It still smells like her.
“Dude, give us the goss.”
“Tomorrow,” I reply, collecting my things and heading for the door. “Have Ginger lock up and I’ll see you in the morning.”
I can hear Pam calling for an explication and Godric chuckling. I don’t care; I’m off to have a date with the most gorgeous woman I have ever met.
A/N: So, here’s the update. Hope you liked it. Sorry its been a while since I updated but you know, life and wedding plans just have rules over my life right now. I’m thinking to writing at least two more chapters before I detach myself from the internet for a while. Maybe. At least one more update before my wedding anyway. Reviews are awesome, they are my drug of choice.