Chapter 22: Chapter 22
Maybe it was Paris. Maybe it was the air of the countryside at her father’s place, Maybe it was the peace and quiet. Maybe it was none of those things or maybe, just maybe it was all those things, but Sookie and I had been getting along like a house on fire, and just as burning hot.
It was trouble. I knew that much if I knew anything at all.
We’d driven, or shall I say she’d driven into the city where we shopped and had a little lunch, and I might have had a glass or two of very good wine—with my lunch—which Sookie abstained from because she was a good, sensible driver. I liked Paris—I’d decided that very early on. It was as beautiful as I had remembered it, but somehow its beauty was even more enhanced this time. I blamed that on Sookie.
We visited a number of rather high end, well known designer boutiques as Sookie searched for her dress. Since she’d packed twelve and had about a thousand more in her closet, clearly she didn’t have enough choices. I didn’t understand women and shopping—I never did and I wasn’t sure that I ever would. Some stores, they were so exclusive you had to have a little card—like a credit card—before they’d even let you IN the damn building. Needless to say, I got many snooty looks from many snooty sales ladies when I walked in behind Sookie in my combat boots and jeans.
Fuck them. I was comfortable.
“I know most girls in the business have stylists, and Pam keeps insisting that I need one, but I don’t know how I’d feel about someone else picking out my clothes for me, you know?”
“I guess. I hate picking out clothes, hate it. Maybe I should get one?” I asked as she ruffled in behind a very clean silver door that led to the changing rooms. This was the sixth place and the fourth dress in the place that Snooty One and Snooty Two had brought to her. I was sipping the champagne and chomping on the strawberries that were left out for her. She wouldn’t care.
“I think this is it. God, I love this designer for formal wear.”
“It’s… it’s formal wear?” I asked, just as she emerged from the dressing room.
She was, in a word, stunning.
The dress was floating, or at least it looked like she was, in it. It was black, but a vivid black that swished and sat just right on her skin tone, making her hair seem even blonder.
“I think this is the one. It’s the spring/summer collection from this year, right?” she asked Snooty One behind me. She simply nodded before rambling on about the fabric and the run way shows and the blah, blah, blah. I zoned out as I realized I had a suit but not a formal tux.
“Um, Sookie? Slight problem.”
“What? It makes me look fat?” She spun around to look at me.
“No. I uh, I don’t have a tux.”
Her eyes widened, “You’re kidding me.”
“Nope. Suits, but not a formal tux.”
“Dude….” she sighed.
“I know. Is there anywhere I could go to get one, like, now?”
“Tailored in a day? Um, no?”
“Well, it doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to fit.”
She ran back into the dressing room and removed her gown, flinging it over the door much to the annoyance of Snooty One and Two.
“Hi. Pack that up please. I’ll take it.”
“We’re not sure you can afford it.”
My eyes widened. Oh no she did NOT.
Sookie tensed right away. “Excuse me?”
Snooty One looked her up and down—she was in skinny jeans knee boots and a long white tank top covered by a black woolen blazer. She looked casual, but comfortable. I had no idea what Snooty’s problem was.
Sookie started in French, going a mile a minute too. I had no clue what the hell she was saying since my French was the basic of basics, until she began speaking in English.
“You realize I have shopped here before, don’t you? In fact, this used to be where I bought all my formal wear. Used to be, being the key phrase here. Pack that up. I don’t have time for your stupid fuckery right now.”
Snooty pouted but took the dress and began to box it up as Snooty Two apologized for her behavior. Sookie just dismissed her, telling her she’d have fun telling her manager about Snooty One.
She dialed a number and I thought she was ringing up the manager right then and there but she wasn’t. It was Amelia.
“Hey, Ames. Is the tailor still with Dad?”
I couldn’t hear the other end of the conversation, but I was ordered to give Sookie my measurements and she told me it was “taken care of,” before she walked up to Snooty One and Two, swiping her credit card for the dress that she unceremoniously yanked off the counter.
“Those bitches,” she said once we were outside the store. “I’m really never going back in there again. Those girls work on commission, too! You’d think they’d be nicer to people for fuck’s sake. I just don’t get it!”
“Being mean and nasty just because you can! It’s so fucked up and unnecessary.”
“Is that why you’re nice to the paparazzi?”
“I just don’t see the point in that either. They aren’t going to go away; they have a job to do. As much as it fucking sucks that they’re there, they are and it’s like a chilly breeze—you can’t stop it from being there but you protect yourself from it. I don’t see the deal with making them pissed at you. It’ll just make them more aggressive, if that’s possible, and really who wants that?”
“They listen to you, they don’t listen to me. Not anymore. I tried being nice, but with the whole Sandy thing, things just went into overdrive. It fucked me off.”
“Clearly. How many of them have you hit now?”
“Two. Well, one ‘allegedly’ and the other one was caught on camera, so that’s a definite.”
“It kind of makes you look like the bigger asshole. You know that, right? I mean they can edit you anyway they want… just stop giving them the ammo.”
“Bill says they’re a necessary evil though.”
“They are. I never thought I’d agree with something that douche bag would say, but they are a necessary evil. When you’re out of work, you still want people to notice you so that you get noticed for roles, right? Hollywood is a small town, but it’s a fucking massive business and there’s always someone better, prettier, taller—though not in your case…” she giggled, “… thinner, with more talent or public appeal coming along. They are necessary to stay visible.”
“You know what’s funny and just a little bit creepy?”
“Sandy said something similar.”
She recoiled in mock horror. “God, kill me now. We have something in common? Ugh.”
“That’s about the only thing you two have in common. You go about the ‘necessary evil’ a whole other way though.”
“You mean by not setting myself up on surprise ‘dates’ with them? Yeah, that could be one way of putting it.” She shrugged. “Look, all I know is that it’s show business. You do very little show and a lot of fucking business. It sucks, but it’s a reality.”
“I don’t like reality very much.”
“Me either. Isn’t that why we all dive into our characters so deeply? But honestly, if it were just about the acting for everyone we’d all be happy doing community theatre.”
“So what’s it about for you?”
“I guess it’s the same for anyone that tries to ‘make it’ in Hollyweird,” she grinned. “You want to prove yourself to yourself. To your peers, you want to be up there with the best of the best doing what you love. And it seems that LA and that side of the business is a side show at the best of times, but it’s the side show to the main show and that’s the one we all want to take part in.”
“You ever think of writing a book of sound bites? I think it would be a best seller.” I nudged her, as I flipped off my phone again stopping the annoying buzzing.
Sookie noticed, but again, she didn’t say anything and neither did I.
By the time we got back to her father’s place, the giant marquee had been set up on the grounds and they were in the process of hanging fairy lights from it, too. It was shaping up to look sort of magical.
We got inside and I was instantly dragged into Sookie’s bedroom. “I thought you said I’d never see in here…” I mused, looking around at what was a very pink and white room. I never took Sookie for one so girly.
“Oh shush, go try these on. I had my dad’s tailor leave the options in your size.” She handed me some pants and a shirt and a jacket.
“If they don’t fit, just holler to me, okay? I have to go find my shoes for this dress. Then we can just relax, finally.”
I tried on the tux and the jacket minus the bow-tie that still laid on her bed. It fit, oddly and what was even more odd, it fit perfectly. That guy was a genius. I looked around Sookie’s room. It was large, much like the rooms in the rest of the house. She had her giant bed with all white linens and tiny pink throw pillows scattered about on top of it, and she had a pile of books beside her bed. Most where autobiographies, others were crime thrillers. I don’t know why I expected some romance novels or something. The next thing I noticed were her photographs. She had them on most surfaces around her room. Of her and her mother—or who I assumed to be her mother—a short blonde woman wearing a tye-dyed dress, her hair in curls. She and her dad, her friends (some I knew, some I didn’t) and one with a guy—a big guy dark hair, tan skin, and a bright smile. I assumed him to this mysterious Alcide.
She looked happy, really happy. She was so tanned and her hair was so short but they looked like a cute couple, and happy. Did I mention that? I wondered what he was like, why she fell in love with him, and more importantly why she fell out of love with him enough to realize she wasn’t willing to marry the poor bastard.
I changed and was back into my old clothes just as she peeked her head around the door.
“Damn, missed the free show,” she smirked. “I’m making something to eat, you want something?”
“Nah, I’m good. Coffee would be great though?”
She nodded. “It’s made. What are you doing? Snooping?” she grinned.
“No. Just looking…”
“Is that the same—”
“Why did you fall out of love with Alcide?”
Bold, yes. She looked a little shocked.
“I… I’m not sure I did.”
“So, you still love him?” I would never let on just how much that felt like a kick in the gut to hear.
“N— I don’t think I still am in love with him, but yes, part of me I think will always love him. We just wanted different things in life. I guess that’s what it came down to in the end.”
Before I could respond she retaliated.
“Have you ever been in love?”
I thought back through my various relationships and came to a rather depressing discovery.
“You know, I don’t think I have. Sad, right?”
“A little. But falling in love is like finding the perfect pair of jeans. You can look forever and you might never find them, but if you do, you tend to get attached pretty quickly.”
“I mean maybe I have—”
“No, you haven’t. Love isn’t a maybe thing, you know deep down and all around when you love someone.”
“What does it feel like?” I asked, fully aware that I probably sounded like a fool, but I didn’t care.
“I think it’s different for everyone. But it feels like happiness squared, like perfection, like your heart is so full it might burst. Then reality sets in and you realize he’s not this perfect thing you envisioned, but a guy, with flaws just like you have. Then it’s finding those flaws and working out if the flaws as well as the fabulous is something you can take. At least… it’s what it was like for me.” She shrugged, sighing slightly as she took the photo of her and Alcide off her little pin board, sticking it in a drawer.
“Come on, coffee awaits. It’s going to be a long night.”
When I said it would be a long night, I had no idea just how long. Though the extra shot in my coffee definitely helped some. I’d snuck into my dad’s bedroom as he was getting ready, looking sharp and far younger than his sixty years in his fitted Tom Ford.
“Lookin’ fly, old man,” I said as I hopped on his bed.
“Lookin’ … well, slightly homeless… young lady.”
I looked down at my appearance, and realized he might have been right. Short shorts and a tank top until my coating of tanner dried.
“Sue me. I wasn’t covering an expensive dress in tanner.”
“But you’re already tan!”
“Yes, but this is to add to that!”
He simply shook his head. “Women. I’ll never understand you.”
“Good, we’re meant to be loved, not understood.”
He smirked at me in the mirror.
“Where’s Eric?” He asked.
“Downstairs with Maria. I think she has a little crush.”
“Ah well, I’m sure she does. He’s a handsome boy.”
“Do you have a crush?”
“Don’t be silly. He’s a nice boy, that’s all.”
“Okaaay, dad. Sure he’s nice, but you’re being overly friendly with him. I don’t get it. You were never this eager to spend time with Alcide.”
“I liked Alcide well enough, I just didn’t understand him.”
“Dad, it was a Bronx accent, not like he was speaking in a—”
“I didn’t mean that, bonehead,” he laughed, as did I. “I meant he and I were on different wavelengths, about a lot of issues. Eric and I have things in common.”
“Like what exactly? Questionable career choices and skanky women?”
“You’re not funny, and no. He’s a good person, he’s just a little bit… lost right now.”
“I’m sure he’s fine, Daddy.”
“Hmm. We say we’re fine but really we need that little bit of encouragement.”
“For any matter of things. Eric is lost, Sookie. He just pretends to know where he’s going.”
“I see, and Yoda, how do we help him find his way then?” I mocked, but the question still held weight.
“We don’t, it’s his journey. We just throw him the life raft every now and then.”
I rolled my eyes. “You’re getting too soft in your old age. Besides, it’s present time.”
“You being here is enough, you know that.”
“Psh, right. Like I was going to let that stop me from shopping for you. It’s predicable, but I noticed you weren’t wearing the one I got you for Christmas two years ago.” I handed him his not at all ninja wrapped gift. It was an engraved antique watch I’d found in New York. It was a brown and tarnished gold finish, and it was made the year and month he was born. I thought it was pretty cool. I’d simply had it engraved with my parting to my dad.
“I love you too, my Sookie,” he said after he read it and attacked me for a hug. I tried my best not to cry when I saw the tears in his eyes.
“You changed my life, girl. You know that don’t you?”
“By being such a pain in the ass?”
“No, by filling up a hole in my heart,” he said, gently kissing my cheek.
“Speaking of the heart…”
“Sookie…” he warned.
“Come on! Dad, what are you waiting for? She loves you. You love her. Please just stop lying to yourselves and admit that.”
He didn’t speak.
“Men! I swear you’re all such stubborn assholes when you want to be.”
“Susannah Louise Stackhouse!”
“Okay fine, be miserable and alone then. But you know what, she’s an amazing woman who won’t, nor should, wait forever for you to make up your damn mind,” I chastised, even if he would ignore me. It was a topic we’d, and they’d been dancing around for years. “Oh, and the new stable guy Jean, he has a crush on her and I think she might even like him back.”
Low blow, but it had to be done. I’d planted my seed as I was assured Amelia had done the same with her mother, and off I went to get changed.
The guests started arriving at eight. The orchestra that Maria had found were set up and playing inside the marquee. It was really a rather grand affair. There was even a couple of photographers there for the occasion. Maria was really amazing at pulling together things like that. She was a wonderful planner.
I slid into my slinky dress as Amelia fixed my waves and I quaffed her to do some more. We both checked each other’s makeup before we made our way outside—hobbling through the gravel path in our too high heels—till we got inside the magical tent that was my dad’s party.
The who’s who of Parisian and America film society had actually shown up, much to mine and my father’s surprise. Though he would never admit it, he was enjoying himself thoroughly and worked his crowd like a pro. I was halfway through my first glass of champagne when I saw him entering the tent, in his tux, looking every inch the movie star I knew he was.
That and he just looked fuck-hot.
“That dress…” he said twirling me around once. “Well worth putting up with the snobby bitches.”
“I think so,” I grinned. “You scrub up well yourself.”
“Yeah, this girl totally came to my rescue today. She seems to be doing that a lot.”
“Does she now? Hmm, she sounds awesome.”
“She is, just a little bit.”
Eric and I were stunned, as well as Amelia who suddenly appeared at our side a few minutes later with a stunning revelation. With a stupidly large grin on her face she said, “Sookie look!” pointing to the dance floor. There were a number of couples dancing to the beautifully put together music, but one in particular caught our eye.
Dad and Maria. Slow dancing, and smiling as big and bold as you like.
“You think, maybe?” Amelia asked.
“I hope maybe.”
“How long have they been… dancing around each other—no pun intended,” Eric asked.
“Years,” I said.
“Forever,” Amelia concurred.
“Oh!” he said. “Damn, I thought they were a couple.”
“No,” I shook my head, “But they should be. Maria is amazing and my dad totally loves her. He’s just too damn stubborn to admit it. And at his age, it’s just ridiculous.”
“Isn’t it at any age?” Amelia asked, not so subtly looking between Eric and me. “I mean if you find someone that pushes your buttons… keep them. It’s that simple.”
“It’s not though,” Eric said just as I was about to. “Sometimes life makes it near impossible, even if that person not only pushes your buttons, but owns them,” he said, glancing to the floor. “At least that’s what I think…”
Yep, definitely awkward.
“And so I said to him that he could kiss my ass for all I cared. I wasn’t going to make my career that way. Casting couch or no, I’m nobody’s butt boy.”
Model and douche bag extraordinaire Chad Renard Tomas—and yes he uses all three of his names—a French American that was currently living and working in Paris, had been talking my ear off about ‘getting into acting’ for over twenty minutes. He was a model for Dolce and was also apparently in a rock band, and now I guess he wanted to act. He was a pretty boy, a typical pretty boy, and coming from me I guess that was sort of hypocritical. But he really took the cake, or in his case took the cake and threw it right back up again. He had that whole skinny chic thing going on. He was almost as tall as me, but not quite, blond like me, but his hair was longer, and had more of a swish thing going on. I wasn’t sure of the technical ‘model term’ for it, but to me it was a hair swish. It was fine. He came and went and I talked with the other guests, some of which were intimidating, others were too drunk to notice they were being idiots. I myself had one glass of champagne since I was being on my best behavior for the night. The last thing I wanted or needed was to embarrass Sookie and her family in any way, especially after they’d been so welcoming to me like they had. I thoroughly enjoyed Paris—the family atmosphere more than anything. It made me realize just how much I was missing and that that was indeed what I was missing. I wanted that feeling always, I just wasn’t sure how to achieve it. My family and their issues were so unlike Sookie and hers. She and they made it all look so easy.
It was when I was talking to Sookie’s father that I noticed it, and it felt like yet another kick to the gut. She was flirting with the douche-model. There was hair twirling and giggling and arm touching and oh my God, I wanted to punch his stupid face in.
“You okay, Eric?”
“Uh, yeah. No, of course. I’m sorry… you were saying.”
I tried to concentrate on what he was saying instead of glancing over his shoulder to his daughter flirting it up with pretty boy.
“I was saying that if you like it here you’re welcome back anytime. You know that don’t you?”
“I… thank you sir, that’s very kind.”
“Kind nothing. You know it’s just so I’m not so out numbered with all these women…” he said, smiling as he held Maria’s hand. She was beaming. It was all kinds of adorable, and I would have enjoyed it a lot more if I hadn’t just seen douche-model touch Sookie’s ass.
“Excuse me just a second,” I said before taking off in their direction. I was sure her father smirked at me, but I paid him no mind.
“Hi again,” I said to him, coming in beside Sookie who instantly stopped talking.
“Uh, hi? You okay?” she asked. Whereas I just put my overly friendly mask on.
“Oh, me? Yeah… I’m fine. You and Chad?”
“Oh, you’ve met? Chad was just telling me how he’s hoping to get a little more notice in the States this year, work wise I mean. He was asking for tips,” she giggled. Seriously?
“Oh, but you don’t model.”
“He meant in acting.” She half glared at me while Chad just sipped his beer.
“Oh, well I’m sure you could give him lots of help. I mean, she’s a giver, Sookie is.” I patted her on the back, and she was clearly annoyed at my tone. “I mean if she likes you, there’s nothing she won’t do.”
“Is that right?” Sookie asked me, clearly pissed, but hey, at least she wasn’t flirting with model dumb ass anymore. I’d rather her argue with me than flirt with another guy who’s not me.
I put my hand to her naked back and I could have sworn for that second I felt her shiver.
“Chad and I were in the middle of something, Eric.”
“I’m sure Chad was in the middle of regaling you with his fabulous tales from the world of fashion but can I talk to you alone for a second?”
She excused herself and me from the company of the Chad and we made our way outside.
“That was so rude, Eric. My God, I was in the middle of a damn conversation.”
“No, you were in the middle of flirting your little ass off with that twat.”
“Twat? Okay, no more Amelia time for you. And he seemed like… a nice guy.”
“Was there a point to this little adventure or am I just walking around the lawn in seven hundred Euro shoes for nothing?”
I didn’t really have a point. I just wanted her away from that guy.
“I don’t like him.”
“So? He wasn’t flirting with you!”
“Aha, so you admit—”
“Eric? What’s this about, really?”
“I just, didn’t like seeing you like that with him, that’s all.”
She exhaled loudly. “You know, you don’t make it easy on a girl?”
“Me? You were the one that suggested the whole ‘friends’ thing.”
“Right, and I like that we’re friends, I really do. It’s just …”
“There are times when it’s harder than others. Because there’s an attraction there that we both acknowledge from the past. I just don’t want … I don’t know what I want, okay?”
“Neither do I.”
“Well, at least we both know that much. We’re so completely fucked up, aren’t we?” she said as we made our way back to the main house and she took off her shoes.
“I don’t know if fucked up is the term. Confused, maybe?”
“And we can’t have it both ways.”
“Over Alcide?” I finished for her.
“I want to be, I really do, I just… And besides you and me, we’d never work.”
“You keep saying that, but neither of us really knows for sure.”
We walked up her staircase together, not really sure why or where we intended to end up but somehow we’d made it to her bedroom door. Here I was waiting to either walk away from her and into my own room or walk towards her and force us both into a decision and possibly into her bed.
“So…” I said, awkwardly.
“So… What do we do here? Do we… ignore this conversation and the fact that it’s lubricated by a few cocktails and some wine, or do we just… risk everything we’ve been trying to build and fuck each other senseless just for tonight and see where it leads us?”
I looked at her lips—full, amazing, and ruby red—to her eyes, that perfect mixed shade of blue that matched my own. I didn’t get time to answer before she grabbed me by my lapels and pushed me against the door, her hand going to the doorknob to twist it before we all but fell inside. It was hot, it was exciting, it was completely wrong.
She kissed me hard again and again, her fingers making short work of the buttons on my jacket, before starting on my shirt. I gripped her ass and pulled her towards me. I was at war with myself internally. I wanted her, I did, and I wanted this with her so badly that it almost physically hurt.
But something felt off, very off. And I hated myself for listening to that feeling.
“Excuse me?” She glared.
“If we do this now… we can’t do this now.”
“Why not? We both know you want to. Stop thinking…” She kissed me again and I wanted nothing more than to lose myself in her again. But look how well that worked for us last time.
“If we do this now, then everything we’ve been working on these last few months is shot to hell.”
“Psh! No it’s not. You’re being overly dramatic.”
“I’m not. And we can’t… I can’t. I can’t have you just once and then have it all go away again. If I can’t have you the way I want you then…”
“Then, what? Jesus, you’re actually serious. You don’t want me at all?”
My phone took that moment to buzz again and this time she wasn’t ignoring it. She grabbed it out of my hand and pressed ignore.
Then she saw the name on the screen and instantly glared at me again.
“You’ve got to be shitting me. This is what you’ve been shady about these past few days? It’s HER? Are you kidding?”
“I’ve been ignoring her, you’ve seen it.”
“Oh, sure. Sure I’ve seen it. I’ve also seen the mixed messages you’ve been sending.”
“And receiving! Fuck, Sookie what the hell? You were the one that wanted the friend thing, remember?”
“Because you needed a friend.”
“And what? I don’t now just because you want to fuck? Is that it?”
“No, that’s not it at all. I’m still your friend! I just thought you—”
The phone buzzed again, and this time Sookie didn’t hit ignore, she answered it.
“Bitch, what do you want?”
I really needed to hear what was being said, but Sookie snapped the phone out of my reach.
“Yes he’s here. You know he’s here, you’re calling his phone dumbass… Why should I let you speak to him? Don’t you take a hint? He’s been ignoring you for days… go find someone else’s mind to fuck with…”
And with that her mouth went agape and she looked at me—first with shock, then anger, and finally it was like she was sad.
“Eric, you need to talk to her,” she said, handing me the phone before she walked out of the room, closing the door so silently behind her I had to question if she had really been in the room at all.
What the fuck did Sandy tell her?
A/N I know I know! Next chapter will be the payoff for cray cray Sandy I promise. A few people have been asking for a outtake on Sookie’s dad and I have been thinking about it, so we’ll see! I do love that guy, hehe.
As always thank you so much for the reviews and love, it’s AWESOME lemme tell you! And as you can tell it does totally encourage the muses! 😀 So, what do we think of this chapter? Sound off below! xox
Chapter 23: Chapter 23
A/N: California Bound is eating my brain people, it just won’t shut up! Gah. So for this chapter we get an all EPOV, I think he needs it, poor thing, don’t worry we’ll be hearing what those months held for Sookie in the next chapter! Enjoy and don’t forget to review! xox
Three months, twelve weeks, less than ninety days—that’s all it took for my life to fall apart at it’s seams.
Pregnant. That was her bombshell. She was pregnant. Apparently what we’d done in Vegas had been the cause, even though I couldn’t remember even talking to her that night—never mind fucking her—since I was so fucking out of it. But that was her news, it was why she was so anxiously attempting to get a hold of me, and why she’d blurted it out to Sookie. When I’d finally talked to her, she was a crying mess on the phone telling me that she was confused and alone and lonely and scared. All the triggers that she knew would get me to come running to her side. That, and she was for all intents and purposes, in this state because of something that I’d done to her. I’d gotten her pregnant.
I was shocked to say the least. I got a lightheaded and a sinking feeling all at once. I remember sitting on that bed, yanking off my bow tie and falling backwards.
I didn’t think it was possible, not with her or her methods at maintaining her desired size. I wasn’t even sure she had periods for crying out loud, so a baby? Not exactly something that I’d planned for. It served me right though, I had been stupid and careless and inconsiderate.
Sookie knew, since it was what Sandy had told her over the phone. For as long as I lived I don’t think I’d ever forget the look of sadness in her eyes when she heard it. She’d given up right then and there on whatever it was she was feeling for me. Team that with my very, very, ill timed rejection and needless to say Sookie was no longer on Team Eric. In fact, she was so far off my team that she wouldn’t even look at me. The next day I’d gotten up with a killer headache and a killer heartache and no way of fixing either of them. I saw no sign of Sookie or anyone else for that matter. Then again it was just seven a.m. and the morning after a very late party. I was so tired but there was no way I was going to sleep. I had too many thoughts racing through my head. Most of them involving a baby.
Ideally Sandy wouldn’t have been the first choice for mother of my child. In fact she wouldn’t have been on the damn list at all, but I guess everyone runs that risk—you fuck someone, even if it’s meaningless and loveless, you run that risk of creating a kid. I was freaking out to say the least, albeit silently. I’d booked an earlier flight back to LA. I was dreading every second of it if I’m being honest, totally and utterly dreading it, but it was what it was and if the baby was mine—yes, if—then there was no way I was going to abandon the kid, no way in hell. Sandy and I were long over. We shouldn’t have even begun, but it was too late for regrets now, or so I thought.
I was lost deep in thought at Sookie’s kitchen table, cradling my coffee and staring out their window as if it had all the answers out there somewhere. Sammy—he was a good old softy of a dog—came wandering in a little while after me, laying his head on my lap, letting me pet him as he looked at me with these big old sad eyes.
“I know exactly how you feel, boy,” I said patting him again.
“How’s that, Eric?” came Earl’s voice from the doorway. He was in black tartan flannel pyjamas with his hair standing up on his head.
“Oh. Good morning.”
“Coffee’s in the pot. Why are you up so early?”
“I don’t sleep much, I don’t seem to need it,” he said, pouring himself some coffee and adding three sugars.
“Why are you up so early?” he asked sitting down across from me, Sammy instantly going to him.
“A lot on my mind.”
“I see. Anything you care to share?”
I thought about it, and really it wasn’t like it was going to be a secret much longer.
“My ex, she’s a bit … temperamental…”
“Is that polite speak for actually mental?”
I just grinned and he nodded.
“Well, she’s pregnant. Basically that’s what it is, and it’s… well … it’s mine.”
There, I’d said it out loud for the first time. Not so bad.
“I see.” He nodded, his face giving away nothing.
“And when did you find—”
“Last night. Well, actually Sookie found out first… then I found out … over the phone.”
“Sir, I didn’t know before, if I had I—”
“You would have what? Done something sooner? Eric, please. I just want to know where you stand with Sookie right now.”
“Eric, seriously I need to know what I’m dealing with, with her.”
“We’re not together, not a couple, not… anything.”
“But you were at one point, yes?”
“Not officially a couple or anything but we …”
Yes, he kept saying that, and yes, it was unnerving.
“I don’t want to hurt her, but what we have or… had is complicated.”
“So uncomplicate it then.”
“Bottom line? I care for your daughter, I do, more than I possibly even knew… and before last night I didn’t know exactly how much I cared. But, she isn’t over Alcide or she isn’t willing to give us a fair shot. She wants us to be friends, but then she wants us to be more, only she doesn’t. It’s confusing and now… there’s this whole other level of fuckedupness to it… and I don’t know what to do.”
“Do you love this other woman?”
“So what are you going to do, if this baby is yours? You can’t just erase her from the equation.”
I ran my fingers through my hair, mostly out of frustration.
“I know that. Believe me, I wish I could.”
“And you need to do tests. If she’s as free with her sexuality as you seem to be, there might be a chance it’s not yours at all.”
“I’m flying back this afternoon. I have to. There’s a lot of things that need to be said that I just can’t do over the phone thousands of miles away, you know?”
He nodded. “That makes sense. And what of your … friendship with Sookie?”
I sighed. What of it indeed.
“I don’t think Sookie’s all that happy with me right now, for a number of reasons, mainly this baby bombshell.”
“And the other reasons?”
I looked to the floor. “It’s slightly more private.”
“Ah, I see. Well, Sookie’s a strong girl, though it can be the undoing of her at times. She tries to be too strong and too tough when really she just needs a little help. I had assumed that you and she would have …. Well, that things would have been different by now, but if that’s now what the fates have in store for you then that’s just how it is.”
“That’s not depressing at all, Earl.”
“You go and take care of your business. Maybe Sookie will come around, and maybe she won’t, but you both need time.”
And time was what I got. Months of it in fact.
When I got back to LA it was really like another world. The paparazzi knew something was up, they didn’t have details but there had been rumblings. I went straight home to find Sandy, Bill, and Calvin sitting in my living room, with her manager as well, while Hoyt sat off to the side and just looked pale and scared.
“I see you’ve all made yourself at home. What are you two doing here?” I asked my ‘team’.
“We’re here to make sure you don’t do anything stupid?” Bill said.
“Like what? Accidentally not realizing that my ‘girlfriend’ was a set up right from the start for attention. Yeah, I made that mistake once thanks.” I glared at him and Sandy spoke up.
“What are you going to do about this, Eric? I can’t raise a baby alone.”
“You of all people shouldn’t be raising a baby at all, never mind alone. You sure it’s mine?”
“Jesus Christ, Eric, is there any need to be so fucking cruel?” she said instantly turning on the waterworks.
“Yes, there is. Actually. How did you get in here?”
I looked at Hoyt who just shrugged. Sandy spoke up.
“Well I’ve been trying to talk to you for weeks but you changed the fucking codes on the gates and warned the security guy about me. That’s not fucking funny, Eric.”
I wasn’t laughing.
“Hoyt let us in,” Bill said. And of course he did. Hoyt was too fucking civil for his own good.
I looked at her then. I remember thinking that for almost four months along she didn’t look very pregnant. Little did I know then just how damn right I was.
I remember the next few weeks consisted of me battling with Sandy over the littlest of things: I wanted a blood test—she refused; I wanted a pregnancy test—she refused. She would then wax on and on in floods of tears about how I didn’t believe her and how she should have known what an asshole I really was, and how dare I second guess her.
She knew I didn’t do well with crying women, I never had. I just never know how to handle them. She also knew how I felt about kids and the idea of them and what would happen should I have one of my own. She knew the issues I’d had and still have with my parents, so abandoning the kid would never be an option.
She knew all of this and she used every single fact against me to fuck with me and my head some more. You see, Sandy, wasn’t really pregnant. No, she had lied to me thinking that I’d somehow over look just how toxic and fucked up we were together in the hopes of winning me back.
But did I know that then? No. I didn’t. I stupidly went along with it, buying her lies hook line and sinker yet again. That she was afraid of needles, that she couldn’t get a hold of her doctor, that we’d do it later. She had me totally convinced. She was pale (paler than ever), she was actually eating—though in hindsight her ‘morning sickness’ did occur after every meal like clockwork—and whenever I asked why she was so small still, she would just make up some nonsense about how her mother was small with her too.
And I, like the giant idiot that I was, believed it.
Sookie and I didn’t speak. Outside of work and shooting, there was just no conversation. Well, that’s a little lie, there was one conversation, but I wished it had never happened.
I’d walked on set again that afternoon—we’d been back shooting for three weeks—and for three weeks Sookie and I hadn’t said a word to each other outside of our cues and our lines. The crew noticed, the cast noticed, and everyone was on edge because of it. Long gone were the days of laughs and giggles on set, now it was awkward looks and panicked conversations. I was sick of it and I walked into her trailer to find her in her chair at her vanity, Jessica on the couch, both of them in conversation.
“Don’t you ever knock?”
“Can we talk?”
“No, get out.”
“Sookie, please just…?”
“I’ll leave you guys—”
“No, Jessica, sit down,” Sookie warned, causing Jess to sit back down again.
“Yeah, Jess could you give us a second? That would be great.” She stood up again and Sookie just told her again that she had to stay. The poor girl was going up and down like a yo-yo.
“Jesus, you two. Look I have to pee anyways and all this up and down isn’t helping. Sookie, just talk to him,” she said as she gave me her most sympathetic look before she left the trailer.
“What do you want? I thought I made it clear that we were not talking.”
“Yeah, you did. And it’s bullshit.”
“Bullshit? Fuck you, Eric! You don’t get to reject me and then just decide when it suits you that you want to talk. Don’t you have a knocked up whore to go deal with?”
“I didn’t reject you—”
“Oh, really? It felt like rejection to me.”
“It wasn’t. You know that, you know how I feel about you.”
“No, that’s the thing, I don’t. I don’t know anything about you it seems. You moved her in?”
She jumped from one subject to another.
“She’s not moved in with me, she’s just … using one of the spare rooms.”
“She feels sick a lot and she doesn’t want to be alone.”
Sookie just shook her head and laughed rather bitterly.
“You’ve got to be shitting me. You really are an idiot, you know that?”
“I’m not an idiot.”
“Oh, really? Funny, when everything you do says otherwise. You know I can’t believe I even considered—” she stopped but I wanted to know the end of that sentence.
She simply rolled her eyes and went back to fixing her hair in the mirror.
“It’s not important, not now. Now that you’re going to be baby daddy to Satan’s spawn. Good luck with that by the way.” She glared. “You know, you guys are making almost every major publication with all these rumors. She must be over the fucking moon.”
She kinda was.
“Sookie, I’m sorry about what happened in Paris, okay? I mean I’m not sorry that we stopped; if we had kept going, things would be even more awkward now and—”
“Oh I highly doubt that.”
“I don’t. You know it’s happened before and that’s the last thing I wanted.”
“I was the last thing you wanted?” She sounded so hurt that it killed me.
“No! Okay, stop thinking that. That’s not why I stopped and you fucking know it.”
“Because I want you, and not just for one night, okay? That isn’t good enough, not you. But the one night—and we both know that’s all it would have been!—because you’re not over Alcide, or you don’t want me like I want you or you’re not willing to take the chance. And Sookie, as much as I want you, those aren’t things that I can change. I can’t MAKE YOU want me, like I want you, and I can’t make you forget about the love of your life.”
“Seems like you can’t do a whole lot, you know, besides knocking up sluts and what not.”
“What? You can’t make me do those things, and I…” She closed her eyes before she sighed this time, not looking at me again. “I can’t make her not pregnant, I can’t make her go away, I can’t make you not want anything to do with her… and that sucks. I also can’t make this feeling in my gut go away that we’re done. We’re just … done.”
“Because of her?”
“Because of us, and then because of her. Maybe I’m not over Alcide, but I’m not even sure if that’s the reason why I keep holding back where we’re concerned.”
“I think you’re scared. I think you can dish out advice till you’re blue in the face but you can’t take your own! I think you have feelings for me that you’re afraid of dealing with, and I think that this whole thing with Sandy has given you the excuse you needed to run away from me.”
“Maybe, but I’m also right and you know it.”
“I can’t be around when this is happening. I mean Jesus, do you know close Hoyt is to moving out because of her? She treats everyone that can’t help her in some way like shit. I can’t be around her, Eric. I’d only end up saying or doing something everyone would regret, most of all me. So, I’m sorry about your situation and I’m sorry about how you feel about me, and I’m sorry that I don’t know or have the right answers as to how I feel about you, but I’m done.”
“Just like that.”
“It’s not just like that, and you fucking know it. If you’d known what I’ve been through these past few weeks with… no. It’s not just like that, it’s taken me a long time to—”
“Give up? That doesn’t sound like you at all.”
“Yeah, well maybe we didn’t know each other as well as we thought we did.”
“No, this is bullshit!” she almost screamed and I could see her carefully constructed wall crumbling as she had tears in her eyes. “You have your shit to deal with, you have a kid to deal with soon. I have no part in that part of your life, it’s none of my business.”
“As MY friend, it is.”
“Who were we kidding? We weren’t friends. We just pretended to be so we wouldn’t be so lonely.”
That felt like a kick in the gut. The mean look on her face made me believe her, made me want to hate her, and I know now that that was her point. She was pushing me away as best and as fast as she could.
She did an amazing job of it, too.
I stormed out of her trailer knocking into Jessica and knocking the three cups out of her hands in the process. I didn’t even apologize I just kept on going. If she was done, then so the fuck was I. Even if just the thought of it killed me a little inside.
That was months ago now, and true to form she and I worked together without a word out of character, and we managed to finish the twenty two episodes in time for the end of May. The show was being slated for a late June release and there was nothing but positive buzz about it and us, and the writers and the fans since they’d started teasers online in April. Everyone was curious, and everyone cared, except Sookie, and except me. I had to deal with Sandy, and the little revelation from hell. I don’t think I’d ever forget that week in late May for the rest of my life. I’d never experienced such rage before in my entire life.
I’d just gotten home from a photo shoot for ‘Fallen’ at the time, and it was a solo shoot with the cast and Sookie and I would be meeting the next week for our shots together. I’d been up since five a.m. I’d been primped and prodded and brushed and made up and in front of burning lights for hours. I was dead tired to say the least, but I had to face some facts.
Hoyt had quit and moved out, he said that he ‘couldn’t take her incessant demands anymore’ and that he worked for me, not for her and that’s not what it felt like to him. He moved in with Jessica into Sookie’s pool house. I rarely saw him, in fact, I rarely saw anyone anymore at that point in time.
I’d gotten home to find Sandy was in the shower. I’d stuck some ridiculously healthy protein filled food into the microwave and ran upstairs to get changed. It was all perfectly normal. My clothes were on the floor so I threw them in the laundry basket, my bed was unmade, so I made it, then I changed my clothes. It was just after seven p.m., and it was still a little bright outside but it was starting to cool down considerably. I noticed that Sandy’s door was open on the way past, well, half open and that her bedroom window was open, too. And since it was getting colder I decided to close it for her. At this point she and I had been civil to each other—not friendly, not anything else but civil. I stayed out most days—either at work and sleeping in my trailer—or working out or just being by myself out and about. Anything to avoid coming home I guess. And she, in a way did the same. She was kinder to me, more open than she had been, and it was almost as if she was the same girl that I’d met shooting that God awful Indie film that seemed so long ago. But she wasn’t. She wasn’t that girl and I don’t know that she ever was, because you see when I went into her bedroom to close that stupid window, I saw it.
I didn’t know what ‘it’ was at first, sitting on her bed under a towel, but it was unmistakable when I held it up.
Padding—false pregnancy padding at that.
My heart sank. My heart sank so far I thought it hit my knees. It hit me all at once, like a freak wave in the ocean just waiting for its moment. I was angry, more angry than I’d ever remembered being in my life. She was lying to me, she was playing with me—again.
This time was too much though. I’d endured months of uncertainty, months of press questions and intrusion as to why she was getting ‘bigger’ and why we were ‘back together’—all of it and I didn’t speak a word. She spoke plenty though. She treated the paparazzi like they were proper press and walking to the store like it was a fucking Oprah interview.
She wasn’t pregnant.
Rage flew though me as I threw down the ugly flesh colored padding and stormed into the bathroom. She shrieked as I opened the glass and saw that her stomach wasn’t that of a pregnant woman almost six months gone, no it was the stomach of a sycophantic liar. I reached for her by the arm and I yanked her out of the shower. She was screaming at me to let her go, but I could and I didn’t until we got to her room next door. I pushed her, not gently but not with any real force either, and she sat on her bed, reaching for the bigger towel that she’d left there. Her eyes were wide and her face was red, and she was still soaking wet.
“You weren’t meant to be home till nine.” Was all she said.
“You lying piece of sh—! Why? WHY, Sandy just fucking tell me why?” I was so close, so close to losing my mind and snapping her neck. “Just…”
I inhaled and I exhaled but I didn’t feel like I was breathing. My heart was still beating though I knew that much. I could hear it in my ears.
“WHY DID YOU DO THIS?” I yelled right at her, holding up the stupid beige padding.
“I… I …”
“I wanted you back and I knew that you’d come back for a kid. You hated the way your parents treat you so… I knew you wouldn’t ignore me if there was a baby.”
“But there isn’t a fucking baby you lunatic! You’re LYING, again!”
“I was but I didn’t think it would…” she was breathless and crying and half naked and pathetic and still I wanted to kill her. “I didn’t think it would go this far. I was going to fake losing it but then you were so excited when I talked about that…”
“You kept on lying to me. And what were you planning on doing, huh? Babies have to be born you know?”
“I don’t know? I was looking into adoption or … I don’t know.”
“So let me get this straight. Not only are you INFUCKINGSANE but you’re an idiot that’s insane. That’s not a good combo, Sandy. And I… I am even worse because I believed you!”
“I love you, Eric, I love you… and she had you… and I couldn’t stand that. Look, we’ve been okay these last few months. I’ve really been trying, you know? And I know you love me too,” she begged, her voice tinged with desperation.
I shook my head, my anger still bubbling up inside of me and I walked to stand against the door frame. If nothing else it would help me stand since I felt my knees give away.
“Sandy, you have no idea what you’ve done to me, have you?”
She wrapped the towel around herself and came over to me.
“I’m sorry. I really didn’t want it to go this far; we were meant to get back together and be happy and then I’d lose it and it would still be okay because you would be there and we’d be together…” she said as she tried to touch my face. I just grabbed her hands and shoved her against the wall, this time with more force that I probably should have.
“I. Hate. You.”
“I hate you, and I never, ever want to see or hear from you again. Do you understand?”
“I don’t hate anyone, for anything, but you took the most private part of me, and you used it against me. That’s not love, that’s fucking … I don’t even know what that is…. It’s cruel. You’re a cruel self-serving bitch and I want you out of my house now.”
“Now. Before I call the fucking cops AND the paparazzi and have your ass arrested for trespassing.”
I knew I couldn’t do that. I had no real grounds but she didn’t know that. She simply nodded and began to get dressed. I ended up putting my fist through the wall outside her room and then there was nothing but silence. Then I saw her standing at my bedroom door, case in hand, her wet hair tied back and her face sombre. I still hated her. For her lies and for my foolishy believing in them.
“I am sorry.”
“And I don’t care,” I answered bluntly as I switched on the TV.
“You think she’s so amazing.” I didn’t need to ask who. “But she’s no better than me. She’s flawed but you don’t want to see it. With me it’s all you saw.”
“That’s not fucking true and you know it. You used me, again. And I bought into it, again,” I said almost inaudibly. I was exhausted and emotionally drained. I wanted to just crawl into a hole and die.
“She whores herself out just as much as I do, only she pretends not to. She made a sex tape for fuck’s sake, Eric. Not even I would have sunk that low.”
I had no idea what she was talking about and I assumed at the time she was talking shit to make herself feel better.
“Why are you still here, Sandy? Do you think that by pointing out Sookie’s flaws to me that it’ll somehow win you favor? She’s ten of what you are, a hundred maybe. Even if she was a street walker she’d still be a better woman that you. Now get out of my house and my life.”
“Get. Out!” I said looking at her again, and she finally seemed to get it. A few minutes later I heard her car pull out of the driveway. And I crumbled into a ball on my floor.
I didn’t know where to go from there, so I simply stayed still.
Chapter 24: Chapter 24
I remember that my blood was boiling when I snapped into his phone, I hadn’t meant to answer it, but on reflex I did, and I barked at her on the other end.
“Bitch, what do you want?”
“I want, to talk to Eric and where do you get off calling me bitch, bitch? Is he there or not?”
“Yes he’s here. You know he’s here, you’re calling his phone dumbass… Why should I let you speak to him? Don’t you take a hint? He’s been ignoring you for days… go find someone else’s mind to fuck with…”
“Why should I? I’ll tell you why, because I’m pregnant with his baby, bitch. So, if you don’t mind I’d like to talk to the father of my child.”
When I heard what she said my heart dropped, I knew then that whatever it was that I was feeling for Eric had to be put severely on the backburner, if only to extinguish it out altogether. She was pregnant with his kid, he was going to be tied to her for the rest of his life.
Her, of all people. I felt sick, light-headed and emotionally battered. And he’d rejected me, and I was slightly tipsy, so all in all I was feeling pretty fucking sorry for myself that night. I was feeling many things towards Eric too, shock for him, anger at him, anger at myself. Confusion, pain, love. Love, yeah that was a new one alright. I hadn’t realised until that night just how much I felt for him that resembled loving him, but the more I thought about it, the more it made sense. It has been seven years since I’d ‘fallen’ in love with someone, and even then I don’t think I realised what love was for a very long time, but with Eric it was different. Firstly, I wasn’t sure I wanted to love him, he was so fucked up in so many ways that maybe even he didn’t know about, but then again, I was probably just as fucked up I just hid it a little better than most. But in loving someone it just sneaks up on you, one minute you’re standing there telling him you want to be his friend and you mean ever word you’re saying because you know he needs a friend more than he needs a lover, and you want to be that friend for him more than anything, and you are – for a while – and things are amazing and you see him through all that bullshit that he hides behind, and you see that he’s this great guy who is kind and funny and sweet, but then the bullshit comes back and the wall goes back up and he’s that asshole you can’t seem to want to look at never mind love – again.
And when Sandy called, that wall went up and in all honesty mine did too. I was so scared of getting hurt again. I mean sure, I’d been the dumper in my relationship with Alcide but that doesn’t mean that it made it any easier. It was a life altering decision in many, many ways and took me a long time to examine that and see my flaws and see just how going with the flow was one of my most major flaws.
And yet, I did it again. When Eric took that phone from me in that guest room I went with the flow, right out of that room and right out of his life.
Some friend I turned out to be.
I didn’t sleep that night, or the night after really, but that night I was just so shocked and so hurt that I wallowed in my own self pity and by the time I dragged my sorry arse out of bed at noon the next day I found that Eric had already left for the airport. No note, no text, no nothing really. Nothing other than my father sitting out on his lawn chair deep in thought.
“Dad I’m going to take Sammy for walk around the grounds okay?”
“You’re in your pyjamas?”
“So? The dog needs walking and after that I’m going back to bed, Sammy doesn’t care that my trousers have hearts on them. And the grounds are private…” I reasoned.
“But still, Sookie, it’s so….odd.” He looked after me his brows knitted together, I knew he knew something but he wasn’t talking, so, neither was I. I went on the longest walk I could manage and when I’d gotten far enough away from the house I let the sobs go that I’d been holding on so tightly to all night. I was of the silly mindset that if no one heard me cry, it wasn’t real, and I knew Sammy wouldn’t judge me, he just nuzzled into my side like always being a good dog and a good friend.
And a good friend was something that I definitely wasn’t, at least not to Eric. Here he was going through something mind altering and life changing and what was I doing? Avoiding him and it because the reason he didn’t want me was this evil twit with no birth control skills. Though I did have to keep reminding myself that Eric had rejected me before she’d called and before said life altering event had occurred, so maybe I just wasn’t’ what he wanted?
Yeah that thought wasn’t depressing at all.
Not at all…
For three days I hardly ate and I only changed out of my pyjamas just so I could shower and change back into fresh ones again, no actual clothes were worn and I lived on cereal, Maria was fluttering about the house complaining that I was going to waste away, Amelia was pissed at me since I looked liked death and wasn’t very chatty, and my dad was avoiding me.
By the fifth day of self imposed vegetation my dad walked into my bedroom and forcefully opened my shutters.
“No, just dad, but Sookie get up.”
“No. I’m fine here.”
“You’ve been asleep for nearly twenty hours, are you dying?”
“If I said yes would you close the shutters?”
“So what is it?”
“You know what it is. I’m sure Eric’s told you. You’ve had that all knowing look since he left.”
“Yes, he told me. He told me that his ex girlfriend is having his child.”
“Yeah. That, great news, huh?”
“But he’s your friend should you not be happy for him.”
I turned then and glared at my dad.
He simply smiled, “Nice to see your face again.”
“Dad… I’m really not in the mood for this right now.”
“Yes, I know, but you know what they say, life’s tough wear a helmet.”
“Who says that?”
“I don’t know… people… that’s not my point. My point is, are you his friend?”
“I thought I was but I just don’t think I’m a very good one, that’s all.
“But you want to be?”
“Is that all you want to be where he’s concerned?”
“Dad.” I whined.
“Tell me Sookie.”
“I don’t know. Okay? It’s complicated.”
“That’s what he said, but really if you two wanted to make it uncomplicated you could. You know?”
“Like you and Maria?”
“That’s an entirely different kettle of fish.”
“I’m sure it is, I mean there’s no scary ex knocked up for one thing.”
“You care for Eric.”
“Yeah I do. I wish I didn’t but, yeah I do.”
“Then he needs you, this can’t be easy for him, for anyone, but for someone that yearns for a family like he does, to have it come to him like this? From someone he doesn’t like much less love? That must… what do you kids say, suck?”
I rolled my eyes throwing back my covers and standing up, “Yes dad, it sucks.”
And suck it did, really and truly. I flew back to LA with Amelia in toe, she was bored with Boston and flying back and forth to London so she had decided that some sun and some LA was what she needed, that and she was scoping out some PR companies on the sly since she hated her bosses. I gave her Pam’s number and since her company held PR people as well as talent managers, I figured Pam would know where to point her in the right direction. We were ambushed at the airport a week later, six guys, very big and very foreign guys with cameras yelling at us in English and in a number of different languages. All about Eric and why we’d broke up and now he was back with Sandy and she was looking rounder than usual and did I think she was pregnant since there was no official word. Needless to say I stayed silent and we eventually made it to our car, I introduced Jessica to Amelia and they became fast friends in the ‘did you hear about Eric’ game that lasted all the way home.
I didn’t hear from Eric but I certainly heard about him, in fact every tabloid and every entertainment show had their speculations going strong. The internet was apparently buzzing and since my twitter had been inundated with questions asking if I knew if Eric had in fact knocked up the spawn of Satan, that the rumours were flying pretty high.
I bet she was thrilled.
Getting home didn’t help, in fact it only made it worse. And in the coming days, back to work became my own personal hell. He looked like hell, pale and tired and in desperate need of a good meal. The bosses thought he was just being ‘method’ and really embracing his character or some other bullshit that they were spinning to keep the higher up’s happy, but we all knew better. The makeup girls were trying to get him to talk at first, they were friendly in that way – that agony aunt kind of way, but no dice, first week back he didn’t speak to anyone.
Second week, he spoke to the crew, then the rest of the cast, but never to me, and never did I initiate a conversation with him. I was still smarting from him dismissal of me, and I was embracing my inner blonde as well as my outer one in that I was embracing being a fool for longer than I should have. But it worked, and we worked and we got the job done. Meanwhile I watched him go further and further into his shell until there was a time when I couldn’t tell when he was being Lucas and where Eric was anymore. Months went by, and in the mean time I began to break out of my self pity. Pam had gotten Ames a job at her company and she was shadowing the head of the PR section for a months’ trial, but so far, they all loved her. We went out to celebrate, just us girls. Avoiding the paparazzi was damn near impossible though since they were now parked outside Eric’s place and that was still next to mine. So, they followed us and they asked us some really dumb and really invasive questions. I thanked them for their interest but that it was all stuff that was on the ‘no comment’ list, meanwhile Pam had great fun telling them all to go fuck themselves in their native language. We did dinner and an event for Dior that Pam’s company was co-hosting in town, Jessica and Amelia were more than happy to tag along for free swag, and Pam insisted that I looked hot in my very much ‘borrowed’ Dior dress – and that photo op would put me in the fashion magazines that week instead of the tabloids for a change. I agreed and a few more cocktails than was probably advised later we then we hit up one of the ridiculously named clubs in West Ho, and got our dancing shoes on.
That’s where I ran into him.
Chad, model douche as Eric had so aptly nicknamed him, though at the time he was still just Chad to me, and in my head that was riddled with cocktail goodness at the time, he looked like a good idea.
He flirted, I flirted, we danced, we drank, and my girls seemed to approve at first, so I thought it was all good. Then we were suddenly making out on the dance floor and then there was handholding and then we were all in the back of a town car heading god knows where.
We ended up at a house party in Beverly hills of all places, the house was bigger than some small countries, and it was filled with all kinds of people doing all kinds of questionable things. Drugs, girls, guys all doing it and each other. Pam simply rolled her eyes, Amelia looked fascinated but still more interested in her drink than the guys or their drugs, and Jessica just looked more scared than I’d ever seen her look before. I guess underneath it all she was still that sweet girl. I giggled as I held her hand and walked away from ‘The Chad’.
“Honey don’t you be doing anything here that you don’t want to do okay? No one can make you do anything or take anything okay?” I was drunk but she was still my friend.
“I’ve just never seen people be so … open with this before.”
I looked around and it was pretty insane. Naked girls in the pool, people making out everywhere, music blaring from all locations, more than enough coke to get a lot of people arrested… like I said, insane. But, I was drunk and happy and tipsy on hot tall model boys with roaming hands and nice lips. And I wanted to forget about work and forget about my life and my Eric and just be a twenty four year old and have some fun.
And fun I had, nice flirtatious fun with Chad. He was I admit a very attractive guy, he was grungy without trying too hard but he always smelled good and he played guitar for some obscure band that I’d never heard of as well as modelling. But, he was fun, and stress free and best of all had nothing to do with the drama on the other side of my life. He and I hung out a lot for about week, five out of seven days we saw each other for one thing or another. Breakfast, lunch or dinner, sometimes all three. I trusted him, he interested me, and he kept my mind off Eric which was no easy feat. When we’d finally slept together it was at his place, he was good but not really all that interested in what I was feeling, he liked his pleasure for himself and in a way made him a selfish lover. But, it was the first time and that’s almost always awkward, right? We’d continued to have sex though, every time we’d be alone for more than a half hour, there was some kind of sexual thing happening. What I didn’t know, what that Chad was in fact a douche, and he was in fact a self serving asshole because as it so happens one of the nights at his place, when we’d gotten more than a little playful – he’d been filming us from his nightstand.
I’d had a few drinks and we’d been having such a good time, we’d gone to a concert in town, had dinner, it was all good. Or so I thought.
Over the course of six weeks he’d gone from being a chilled out kind of guy to being incredibly annoyed with me, since the paps were still following me and I still had a shit ton of work to do when I was off set. Pair that with the questions the paps were asking constantly and it led to one very pouty model.
“I don’t get why they’re so obsessed with that asshole.” He said, over coffee as we sat outside, we knew they were watching us, but it was just too fucking hot to drink inside.
“He’s not an asshole.”
“He was to me.”
“So, that doesn’t make him one all the time. He’s just … going through some shit right now.”
“Yeah, so I’ve heard over and over again. I’m so sick of it, I mean, you’re dating me, not him.”
“You’re pouting, you’re actually pouting, my God.”
“You can’t see where I’m coming from?”
“I can see you’re being childish about this, dude we’ve been seeing each other a matter of weeks, and we’re not even exclusive – or at least we haven’t talked about it, it would be none of your business if I was dating him.”
He knew I was right because he dropped it and we moved on. Things after that though weren’t right since he was convinced I was fucking around on him when I wasn’t, and he was far too happy to see the paparazzi attention, and getting his name out there. It was all red flags, so I stopped answering his calls and I stopped calling him in the hopes he’d get the hint.
He did, but he also got revenge.
“Sookie answer your fucking phone.” Was what I heard from Pam as I attempted to get a sleep in that Sunday morning, two weeks later.
“What? And Jesus, don’t you knock?”
“No, bitch, get up. You’re in so much fucking shit right now fuck!” She said, hand on hip looking at me with a scary Pam glare.
“What did I do? I just went to sleep.”
“You fucked a douche bag that’s what you did! Get dressed and come down stairs, and get me your lawyer on the phone. I have so much fucking damage control to do right now it’s not even funny.”
By the time I’d hauled my ass out of bed and into some shorts and a tank, I gathered my hair into a top knot and tried to stop that sinking feeling from hitting me in the gut as I walked down stairs.
I found Pam, Amy and Jessica standing in my kitchen all of them in deep conversation.
“What?” I asked.
“He leaked a sex tape. That little leach he leaked a fucking sex tape.”
“You.” They all said in unison.
“That’s impossible I’ve never -”
Pam pressed play on the loaded video that was online. And sure enough there we were, at his place, that night of the tipsy sex. It was clearly me, since I was on top, in all my stupid naked glory. His face was strategically edited out though. That asshole.
My mouth was agape. I really couldn’t believe he’d do something like that.
“It went viral this morning.” Pam said, still fuming.
“I take it you didn’t know about this?” Amy asked.
“Of course not, Jesus, I don’t do sex tapes for fuck sakes! Who wants to watch themselves have sex? Doing it on screen is awkward enough. Fuck him. I’m going to fucking kill him.”
“Oh, we’ll kill him alright. In court.”
“He filmed you, without your consent, that’s against the law. And he’s clearly leaked this for money, and I’d say he’s made a pretty penny. I mean you have a name in your own right but you’re also still Earl Stackhouse’s daughter. And that, in this town, means big bucks.”
I put my head in my hands.
“I can’t believe this. I can’t believe I was so fucking stupid. I trusted him.”
Jessica hugged me, and she was sweet about it, Hoyt just looked uncomfortable.
“Where did you come from?” I asked and they explained that he quit working for Eric because of the Queen Bitch and her demands, I just shrugged it off and told him that of course it was okay that he stayed with Jessica. The pool house was hers anyway.
I on the other hand had bigger fish to fry since I had to issue a statement saying that this was devastating and against my consent in every way, once that was done I made sure to tweet too, just to get the message personally across that this wasn’t a planned thing nor was it my idea, and that I was disgusted with the man that had betrayed and used me so cruelly.
Then came the hard part, calling my parents.
My dad was stunned, shocked and as disgusted with Chad as I was. He was so pissed in fact that he was dead set on blacklisting his name all over using his connections in the industry as best he could. Normally I was against using my dads name for anything in my life, but this time I felt pretty damn good about getting him back wherever I could. My mother was equally as stunned and when she started to cry, I did too. She promised that she’d come see me, even if I was all grown up and didn’t need her. I didn’t argue, I had missed my mom.
The paparazzi doubled in a matter of hours, outside my gates and outside the studio, they were everywhere. And they weren’t polite at all this time. I felt hunted, and for the first with them following me, I felt so fucking scared.
I hadn’t left my house for almost three days after it hit, and it had in fact gone viral and ended up all over the world. I didn’t care that people saw me naked, hell they’d seen me naked and in HD before, that wasn’t what hurt, what hurt was the fact that I trusted him so easily, yet I didn’t trust Eric? How fucked up was that? I loved Eric, I knew I didn’t love nor would I have ever loved Chad, and yet I started something with him, knowing fully well that it was going nowhere. And that’s when it hit me.
Why I was pushing Eric away so far and so fast and so often.
I knew it had the potential to go somewhere great, and that’s what I was more terrified of than anything. It wasn’t failing with Eric, it was succeeding.
I’d seen the tabloids and I’d seen the E! news, it was all over, my scandal and Eric’s scandal head to head on the night time news. I felt sick. I felt used and abused and I hated him for it. I hated myself for being so trusting. I finally called him, he’d changed his numbers of course the little toad, but I’d found him, and when he answered I just wanted to know one thing.
“Why?” I asked trying my best to keep my emotions in check.
“It wasn’t planned.” He lied.
“Really? You didn’t set up a camera when you knew we’d be fucking, you didn’t plan on taping us… you didn’t plan on selling it and selling me out to the fucking world?”
“You didn’t answer my calls, you used me first.”
“Oh, please don’t be such a little bitch. You know I’m taking your ass to court right? And I will win, and just so you know, you’re fucked. By fucking me over, you’ve just fucked yourself.”
“You’re making what? A million, maybe two on this? Good for you. Spend it wisely, because modelling? Acting? Good luck getting hired after this.”
“Are you threatening me?” He sounded scared but tried to sound mean.
“No, not at all Chad. I’m just giving you a heads up, you know, unlike what you gave me.”
I slammed the phone down, not really feeling any better about my situation, but more satisfied that I’d scared him than anything else.
It didn’t help that I had a talk show gig lined up the next week. Pam and Amy and just about everyone said that I should cancel it, but no, I wasn’t backing down. Yes I was hurt and my pride was wounded- and I suddenly had a new found respect for Eric since before this I really hadn’t experienced the ‘other’ side of Hollywood. Everyone had always been nice to me. And I figured it was because I was nice to them. Turns out, that’s mostly bullshit, and when a scandal hits it’s like blood in the water, and I was realizing that at a rapid rate. I knew my photo was all over the magazines and I knew that the video was being watching and talked about, but there wasn’t anything I could do about that then. It was done. I wasn’t ashamed, of myself or my body, or for trusting someone, though I knew next time I wouldn’t trust so easily.
Ellen was a good talk show to do, the audience was friendly and she wasn’t too serious, and she gave me free underwear, for my next sex tape. Of course I cleared it with her, I wasn’t going to not talk about it, but there was very little I could say since I’d filed a suit against the prick. Though I did tell her that I hope everyone enjoyed the show and I hoped my wonky boobs don’t put people off watching the new show. Everyone took it well, and Ellen was totally sweet about it too, then we danced and I even played the game of the day, all in all I left feeling better about the situation knowing that I wasn’t being conceived as a total trashy whore.
It was when I got home from the taping that I found Hoyt pacing the yard.
“Thank God you’re home, Sookie I don’t know what to do, he won’t listen to me.”
“Look, okay I know you guys had that big fight…”
Big no, intense yes. I hadn’t meant half of what I’d said to him, but it was just too hard at that moment, I knew how I felt about him and seeing him so… broken, it broke me too. And dealing with my own shit and then my feeling for him, all in all it just left me with a lot of anger and I needed somewhere to channel it.
I couldn’t walk in the main entrance to Eric’s place since the Paps were sitting at the end of the street and they’d snap me going in. So, I got Hoyt to give me a leg up over the fence in the yard. I got in and in threw the doors by the pool. The house was a mess, there was shit everywhere, the kitchen was a shambles, papers, broken glass, food, all laying around. It got worse as I went into the living room. And then to the upstairs. I saw that the wall outside one of the rooms had a few ‘fist’ like shape in it, the debris laying one the ground.
He’d been drinking that much is clear. And the smell when I walked into his bedroom… well it was like death.
He was laying in bed and I couldn’t tell if he was breathing or not, but then he snored so I figured he was okay. And that pissed me off. I marched out of his room and down the stairs and into the kitchen where I filled the basin half full of water and marched right back up stairs again, and without so much as a word I chucked the water over his head.
“FUCK, FUCKING FUCK HOYT WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU -”
“It’s not Hoyt, asshole it’s me. And what the fuck are you doing?”
“Leave me the fuck alone.”
“No? Sookie, if you’ve come to gloat or say I told you so, then I don’t want to hear it okay? I know I’m a fucking idiot I don’t need you to tell me.”
“Truth is, I don’t know why I’m here, Hoyt said he was worried and asked me to talk to you, I have no idea what you’re talking about.”
“I don’t want to talk about it.”
“Fine, look all I know is that you’ve been on a three day bender of booze that makes Charlie Sheen look like the pope, and this place smells like a fucking brewery…”
“What are you doing here?” He said finally standing up. Naked as you like but looking like hell.
“I’m doing what I should have done months ago, I’m trying to be a good friend. Now, go take a shower.”
“I don’t -”
“Go take a fucking shower, I’m making you some coffee and something to eat and you’ll drink it and you’ll eat it and then you’ll tell me what the fuck is going on.”
“I don’t -”
“Eric Northman, so help me God if you don’t get into that fucking shower- ”
“Fine. Fine, just stop yelling at me, my head already feels like it’s going to explode for fuck sakes.” He said, stumbling past me and into his en-suite. I heard the water turn on and I was satisfied for then. I yanked his curtains open and opened his double doors letting in fresh air and much needed sunlight. I then stripped his bed and flipped the mattress outside to dry since a little of the water had soaked through, he could use one of his other six bedrooms in the mean time. I grabbed the empty bottles and thankfully noticed no drugs. Hoyt had told me nothing other than he’d gotten a shock and hadn’t spoken since the previous Wednesday. He’d been like this for almost a week? Fuck.
I went down stairs and avoided all the broken shit as I made us both some coffee and some toast for him, my bet was since he’d been drinking he hadn’t exactly been eating and he’d need something light to start him off again. Whatever had happened had hit him hard.
Then I noticed, she wasn’t around, and in fact she hadn’t been around for a week.
What the fuck had she done.
I brought the coffee and the toast upstairs and noticed he was still in the shower. I yelled through the door.
“I’m leaving this in the room with the white duvet cover. Okay?”
he didn’t answer me so I left the coffees and the toast on the tray in the other room and I went into his bathroom. He was thankfully still standing, and under the spray.
“You about done?”
He just nodded. So I handed him a towel.
“Why are you here, Sookie?”
“Because… it’s where I’m needed.” I said giving him a minute to dry off. He looked so skinny and pale and with a beard that would have been impressive had it not looked so out of place on his boyish face. I waited in the other room, slipping off my shoes and sitting up against the head of the bed sipping my coffee. He came in a few minutes later in sweatpants and nothing else.
“Here.” I handed him the coffee and toast. “eat at least a little bit.”
He sat on the edge of the bed, suddenly not the six five man that I knew, but a boy who just needed someone to give a fuck.
It broke my heart as I watched him tenderly take the toast and take small bites along with small sips of his coffee.
“Thank you.” he said after a long silence. I just rubbed my foot against his knee and he smiled slightly. When he finished eating we’d still not spoken, instead I moved over in the bed, pushing down the bedding with my feet, I simply patted the space next to me.
“You’re tired, Eric. And I think right now, we could both use just a little snuggle time.” I raised a brow just to see if he’d take me up on my offer.
“Don’t you want to know why?”
“Meh, when you’re ready you can tell me, and I can tell you… but for now…” I patted the bed again and he kneeled in gently before laying down facing me.
“Good I was hoping you’d brush your teeth.” I said, smiling. I knew that whatever had happened to him, it wasn’t good and for once I was in no place to judge him, I was just doing my best.
I turned my back to him and he automatically snuck in behind me, wrapping his arms around my waist and pulling me closer to him, he smelt fresh and alive again, major plus. He buried his face in my neck, covered by my hair, and I heard him let go after a few minutes – the soft sobs came, and they came and my heart broke for him all over again. But I didn’t say anything, he didn’t need talking to right then, he just needed to know that someone cared, and that someone was me, so I just held on to him as tightly as he was holding me, in the hopes that somehow we’d come out the other side intact.
A/N: I wrote 13 pages in six hours last night, I think that has to be some kind of insane record for me! lol! So I really hoped you all liked it! I’m dying to know what you all think so please sound off below! xox