That fucking redheaded bitch better back the hell off. Cock-a-saurus belongs to Preg-a-saurus and I’ll chew her up and spit her famewhore tasting ass out.
I knew they’d be having a couple of tame love scenes together, but actually watching them kiss wasn’t something I was as prepared to see as I thought I was, so let’s just say that Mr. Northman was very lucky the Captain was sleeping off the effects of his hard night partying with the crowd the night before, instead of standing at attention.
Because you can bet your ass I looked.
I was still seething inside when her sickly, and more importantly falsely,sweet words registered in my just-as-red-as-her-bottle-dyed-head mind. Greenland? What happened to Sweden and my Swedish massage?
Weren’t most native Greenlandic people Inuits? Like Eskimos? Would we just be rubbing noses instead?
I really didn’t care where we were so long as I got to see Eric, but before I could tell Sophie Anne exactly where I’d like to shove a fistful of chocolate along with a few stalks of broccoli, Eric quickly turned to me and asked, “Don’t you have to get Bubba to the vet?” and dragged me away. Once we were out of earshot of everyone else, he stopped and turned to me again, saying, “I’m sorry. I only found out about the change in location yesterday and I was going to tell you last night, but I was distracted.”
Seeing his raised eyebrow reminded me just how distracted we were and why, and really this wasn’t so different from his inability to inform me of premier or holiday parties, so I smiled back at him, saying, “It’s no big deal. I don’t care where we are so long as I get to see you, but you’re still obligated to give me a Swedish massage.”
I waggled my eyebrows at him to let him know ‘Swedish massage’ was code for massive amounts of fucking and speaking of distracted, seeing Eric standing there with his shirt billowing open showing off all of his extra time at the gym, along with the traces of eyeliner they put on him for filming, was making me dizzy. Wicked and Immoral must have been distracted too because instead of hearing Greenland they must’ve heard Naples and decided to get a head start by going on holiday straight to Eric’s nipples, but it seemed my waggler was broken and their holiday was short lived when Eric stilled my hands as he said with a broken expression on his face, “You can’t come to visit.”
Whatchu talkin’ about Willis?
If I didn’t know any better, I’d think he was getting some use out of his Swahili app, or perhaps he’d downloaded a Greenlandic one, but instead he explained, “We’re going to an Air Force base there. It’s remote and the military only approved a certain amount of people because of the limited space. We’re staying on the base because there aren’t any towns anywhere close to where we’ll be, so they even had to pare down the crew that’s going. I’m sorry.”
But…I got a passport…and he’d be gone for SIX weeks…and I wouldn’t get to see him…and the crowd had already worked themselves into another frenzy spilling not quite beer because his stupid lickable chest was literally in my face.
“Sookie,” he pleaded through the mournful yet lust clouded haze in my mind. “Please don’t cry.”
I didn’t even realize I was until his stupid lickable chest was pressed against my face and I felt the wetness that had nothing to do with the now jeering crowd down below, but hearing how upset he sounded made me try and rein it in and I sobbed, “It’s…okay…I…I’m…not crying…”
He couldn’t even laugh at my ridiculous hiccup filled lie and only continued to shush me while telling me how sorry he was and how much he loved me, but that only made it worse. Preg-a-saurus’ evil twin Hormone-a-saurus had set up shop, so we were both out of luck. Eric hadn’t noticed her putting out her ‘Open for business’ sign, so when I’d finally mostly calmed down he made the mistake of saying, “Six weeks isn’t so long. I’ll be back before you know it.”
I heard the cha-ching sound of the register signaling her first sale and sobbed, “Six weeks IS a long time! That’s a quarter of the Bean’s lifetime. A quarter of the Bean! It’s like making it grow another head! Would you want your baby to have two heads? I swear to God Eric, if our baby has more than one head it’ll be all your fault!”
I knew I wasn’t making a damn lick of sense and sent a silent prayer to God our baby wouldn’t have two heads and I felt him sigh at my craziness, but Hormone-a-saurus was dancing around and shaking her ass, proclaiming herself ‘In da house’, so in a brilliant marketing strategy, she backhanded Brain-a-saurus so Mouth-a-saurus could make a break for it which is why thoughts of two-headed babies disappeared and the question, “What about Cock-a-saurus?” came tumbling out of my mouth.
Stupid prehistoric brain!
“Excuse me?” he asked and I just knew if I looked he’d be wearing that damn lickable smirk on his damn lickable face.
Why did he have to be so damn lickable?
I was worried Hormone-a-saurus had locked me in her shop and thrown away the key, but the only thing that seemed to bring me back from the brink of my absurd ice age was the sound of Bubba’s soft whine and feeling him press himself against my legs. He’d done it earlier too when I felt like I was going to lose it seeing Eric kiss Sophie Anne, so I was only more impressed by the work Terry put in with him and I finally forced all of my emotions back into a box, sealing it tightly, and wrote ‘Eric Northman – Greenland’ on it so it would reach him at his new destination when I shipped it out, chock full of Hormone-a-saurus’ evil wares.
Probably not the kind of care package he’d be looking to receive, but oh well.
When I thought I could speak without breaking down again, I mumbled, “I’m alright. Just hormonal.”
“I know,” he murmured into the top of my head. “It’s why I won’t push to find out about this Cock-a-saurus you speak of.” He then proceeded to rub himself against me letting me know he knew exactly who Cock-a-saurus was, but his goofy porntastic efforts earned him a snort from me and he sighed again, saying, “I really am sorry.”
I knew it wasn’t his fault, nor was it his choice, so I couldn’t hold it against him. We’d discussed him taking that role in depth before he ever signed on the dotted line and even if the location would have been Greenland from the start, I still would have supported him, so how could I do any less now? “It’s not your fault,” I said and meaning every word. “We’ll get through it.” I meant every word of that too.
Hopefully Wicked and Immoral would use the time while their favorite target was away to turn into pyromaniacs and burn Hormone-a-saurus’ shop to the ground.
Once I reassured Eric I really was okay, he walked us to my car and I almost found it in me to laugh seeing how distraught he was over the idea of me taking his little buddy away, so I didn’t bother to mention I doubted he’d be able to take him with him into the frozen tundra of Greenland either. Certified Service Dog or not, that would just seem cruel to take him.
To take him from me that is.
Bubba didn’t seem especially upset having to go with me and he was picture perfect the entire time we were at the vet’s office. He really was a great dog and when I swung by the maternity shop on the way home I could hear Eric’s voice in my head yelling at me to ‘Take him with you!‘ It was a beautiful day out, if not a little on the chilly side, so I knew he would be fine if I left the windows cracked and went in alone. I only needed to pick up a few new bras because the girls were getting preposterously large and all it took was hearing Amelia’s new nickname for me the night before, Lady Tits-A-Lot, to not procrastinate, but just the fact she knew Sir Mix-a-lot had an album named Return of the Bumpasaurus cemented her ‘lifelong friend’ status with me. Never mind Baby Got Back; I had that and front, but as I got out of the car and saw those woeful puppy dog eyes staring back at me, I couldn’t resist. Those damn things were hypnotic, especially when it came to sharing my food with him, so I strapped his vest on him and grabbed a hold of his leash, feeling like the world’s biggest liar as I took him into the store with me.
I’d stopped in there a few times since Pam first brought me there and liked most of what they carried. In fact, it was where I’d picked up my favorite outfit from and I could probably be found browsing through the racks on most Saturdays, even if I didn’t buy anything, but only because I often got bored without Eric around.
Bubba was really starting to grow into himself and was now easily twice the size he’d been at Christmas, and since there wasn’t much room in between the clothing racks, I had him lay down near the wall close to where I was looking and tried to find a few bras that didn’t scream ‘early 90’s rapper.’ I wasn’t paying much attention to anything other than the bras in front of me while trying my best not to think about Eric having to leave, when I noticed a woman I would swear could be my twin from behind. She even had my same color hair and ponytail, but what really did it was she was wearing my favorite outfit.
I couldn’t help moving closer and when I saw her in profile, she looked to be about as far along as I was, but now that I could see her face, it was easy to see where our similarities ended. She must have felt me staring at her because she turned to me and smiled asking, “When are you due?”
Considering she was in the same boat as me, I didn’t feel like she was being rude for asking and said, “Early June. How about you?”
I felt kind of awkward now that she’d caught me looking at her and I didn’t want to seem like a stalker, so I smiled and said, “I love your outfit. I have the same one at home. It’s my favorite.”
“It’s very comfortable,” she agreed.
When I couldn’t think of anything better to say, other than ‘Hey! We have the same hair color too!’, I kept it to myself and just smiled awkwardly again before going back to looking for bras. After I finally selected a few I liked and tried them on without thinking about the size I now needed, I noticed my doppelganger was gone from the store when I emerged from the fitting room and grabbed a hold of Bubba’s leash to go and pay for my things, but as we were walking to the car, I jumped feeling someone’s hand on my shoulder from behind and then nearly fell over trying to keep a hold of Bubba’s leash as he whipped around and turned into mother fucking Cujo. My adorable sweet puppy was suddenly a mass of angry snarls and gnashing teeth with the scariest deepest barking I’d ever heard. He’d moved to put his body in front of mine and everything about him was bowed up with his fur standing on end as he continued to growl menacingly and snap his jaw at what turned out to be my almost-twin.
She looked just as scared as I felt seeing him that way and I quickly apologized, saying, “I’m so sorry! I don’t know what’s gotten into him. He’s never done this before.”
I just thanked God he wasn’t trying to go after her and seemed content to just stand there in between us and be horrible to her because I doubted I would’ve been strong enough to hold onto him if he’d really wanted to get away. She took another step backwards, perhaps sensing Cujo was only letting me believe I still had control of the situation, and said, “No, it’s my fault. I shouldn’t have snuck up on you. I just wanted to see if maybe you were up to having a cup of coffee. I don’t know any other pregnant women and thought it would be nice to commiserate.”
I didn’t know any other pregnant women either and agreed it would be nice to have someone else to talk to that was going through the same things I was, but seeing as how I’d somehow ended up with the remake of Stephen King’s rabid dog, I said, “Today probably isn’t good seeing as how my dog has been possessed by a hellhound, but how about we meet up here next Saturday around noon? We could maybe have lunch at the café across the street and I can leave him with his Master to guard the entrances of the afterlife?”
“Sure,” she smiled. “I look forward to it.”
Bubba’s growling got softer and softer the farther she walked away from us, but I’d been so busy trying to convince him it really was time to get in the fucking car now, she was already gone by the time I realized I didn’t even ask what her name was. As soon as it was just the two of us in the car he turned back into his normal lovable self and happily flopped down in the seat after I’d belted his harness in, only now instead of being filled with worry and dread over Eric’s upcoming departure, I was worried about Bubba having a multiple personality disorder.
I probably had a touch of it too, so it would make sense I’d pick a dog with the same traits.
All I could think about was him possibly turning on the baby like that and the thought terrified me, but I couldn’t bear the thought of giving him up either. I knew logically, he probably only reacted to me being startled and then took it out on the stranger that made me jump, but I needed more reassurance than I could muster up on my own and called the only person I knew that could give it to me.
Twenty minutes later I was pulling into Sam and Terry’s driveway and Bubba’s excitement was palpable knowing exactly where we were, so I felt comfortable enough in letting him run off of his leash as I made my way to their front door. Terry had it open before I could even knock and Bubba was acting the part of the adorably happy puppy seeing him, which just made me look like a liar considering Terry’s first question was, “He tried to attack someone?”
“Yes!” I said feeling those goddamn tears come back. “I think maybe it’s because I was startled and maybe I yelped, so he was probably just reacting to that, but still. He was possessed like everybody needed to hide out inside of a Ford Pinto only my name isn’t Donna and I’m not having an affair and I don’t want to name the Bean Tad because Tad dies and it’s a fucked up movie,” I ended in choked out sobs.
Fucking Hormone-a-saurus is in the black today.
It was glaringly obvious Terry wasn’t used to dealing with crazy hormonal women, or perhaps women in general, because all he could do was stand there and gape at me with a deer in the headlights expression while I continued to sob uncontrollably with thoughts of my poor Bubba morphing from Cujo into Pet Semetery.
Just how fucked up was Stephen King’s mind anyway?
Sam came to our rescue by brushing past a now relieved looking Terry and wrapping his arms around me, soothing, “Aww Cher, everything will be okay.”
“Eric’s leaving,” I whisper sobbed into his chest. It felt and smelled all wrong, but beggars couldn’t be choosers.
“What do you mean he’s leaving?” he asked with his body stiffening and a scary edge to his voice.
Was that where Bubba got his Cujo tendencies from?
Both Terry and Sam liked Eric a lot, but I had no doubts whose side they’d be on if things ever got dicey between us and rather than have them going on a hunt for my husband, I quickly tried to pull myself together and said a little more calmly, “For the movie.”
Sam’s body relaxed again as he chuckled and asked, “Is that what this is all about? Cher, you knew he’d be going away to film on location, but you’re going to visit him and he’ll be back before you know it.”
“No,” I grumped. “This is about my dog turning into one huge chomping snarling jaw, but…I can’t visit Eric while he’s gone. They changed the location of where they’re going and I can’t go.”
We all went inside where I explained the sudden change in filming location and they both nodded with Terry saying, “I’ve been plenty of places while I was in the military that civilians will never see. A remote place like that isn’t going to have hotels and restaurants or even another airport within hundreds of miles, so they have to keep track of how many people they let in just for the limited amount of bunks available.”
I wanted to gripe that I would’ve been bunking with Eric, my swollen belly gave away the fact that it wouldn’t be the first time either, but I didn’t want to beat a dead horse knowing nothing would change it so I tried to conjure up some acceptance and smiled pitifully at them both, asking, “If I go into premature labor, can I count on you guys to get me to the hospital?”
They both looked terrified with Sam asking, “Uh…there’s nothing wrong, right? With the baby? You won’t do something like that while Eric’s gone, will you?”
Cha-ching went Hormone-a-saurus’ cash register.
“Oh for Pete’s sake!” I growled. “What do you think? I can just strap my knees together and keep the baby in there until Eric gets back? If I’d done that, there’d be no baby to begin with. You all act like you don’t know how a vagina works!”
I watched as they turned towards each other and then back at me with a knowing look, making me realize how that might sound when directed at two gay men and I couldn’t help laughing until I thought I might piss myself.
As if my day could get any worse.
While Terry took Bubba out back to work with him and see if he could get an idea of what went wrong, I filled Sam in on the redheaded she-devil and like a true friend, he scowled, hissed, and snarked in all of the right places making me feel infinitely better, so I was in a great mood by the time Terry came back in and said, “Well Sook, he seems right as rain so the only thing I can say is he must’ve saw that other woman as a threat to you. Did she seem angry or anything like that?”
“No. All she did was ask me if I wanted to grab a cup of coffee and bemoan our pregnancies together. If anything, I would’ve thought Bubba would’ve been sweet to her because she looked a lot like me.”
“Dogs go more by scent and instincts than anything else. Maybe you should listen to him and if you see her again, just walk the other way,” he said ominously.
“Oh please,” I said exasperatedly. “Now I’m supposed to run my lunch dates passed the dog? Don’t you think that’s a little ridiculous? She’s a waddling whale like me. What’s she gonna do? Beat me up for my lunch money?”
It wasn’t like a drove a fancy car or had a huge diamond ring on my finger letting everyone know I lived in a fancy schmancy gated community or that my husband was well off. She didn’t even seem to know or recognize me which was always a plus in my book, so when Terry said, “Fine. Bring Bubba back here next Saturday morning around ten and I’ll work with him for a couple of hours, but in the meantime, if he does it again, take notes on the who’s and what’s so we can try and pinpoint what his trigger is.”
Bubba was back to sitting at my feet like a perfect little angel, so I agreed and thanked them again for all of their help before we finally headed home. I was feeling better about the idea of Eric’s leaving as long as I didn’t think in terms of just how long six weeks was, but seeing his text message when I got home didn’t help matters.
It looks like we’ll be here for a while, so don’t wait up for me. I promise I’ll make it up to you tomorrow. I love you.
I could feel my lower lip wobbling as I replied back that I loved him too, but I really didn’t feel like sitting around the house all by myself all night long knowing I would just get all weepy again. I’d just seen Amelia the night before and knew she’d probably want to be with Tray, so I was trying to think of something to do when I happened to glance at the calendar on my way into the kitchen. I’d completely forgotten we had plans to meet Eric’s dad for dinner before his big debut performance tonight and hesitated wondering if I should go alone. His father had been nothing but kind to me since he’d started coming back around again, but we’d never spent any time together without Eric there and I wasn’t even sure if that was something he’d want to do.
I knew Eric would feel bad when he realized he’d missed the show and would feel even worse if there was no one there to cheer for his dad, so that was what tipped the scales and tipped my ass into a nicer dress and out the door. I almost left Bubba behind considering how he’d acted earlier that afternoon, but I figured if I was going to learn what his Cujo triggers were, I’d actually have to take him places and was happy he had that little red vest so I could actually take him inside with me.
Oddly enough, we were having dinner at the little diner I used to work at what felt like a lifetime ago now and we arrived a few minutes early, but I could see Eric’s dad through the window already seated inside. I’d been in his presence many other times by then, but I still felt nervous as we made our way into the diner and his head was buried behind the menu so he didn’t realize we were there until Bubba nudged his leg looking for some pets.
“Hey,” he smiled at me and then gave Bubba’s head a good rub. Seeing it was just me, myself, and I, he asked, “Is Eric running late at the studio?”
I don’t know why I always felt so chicken shit around him, aside from that one time I slapped him when we’d first met, but I continued to stand there awkwardly and answered, “Yes. Very late. As in he won’t be able to make it.”
I was starting to think this had been a bad idea and decided I’d probably just leave after delivering the message that Eric couldn’t be there, but then I wasn’t so sure anymore when he looked crestfallen and softly replied, “Oh.”
Damn Northman men with their damn Bubba eyes.
As long as he didn’t turn into Cujo, I’d be okay, so I offered, “But, umm…I’d still like to see your performance. You know, if that’s alright with you.”
His eyes lowered from mine as he tried to smile through the shame on his face when he said, “I don’t know why you’d want to after the way I’ve treated you in the past.” We’d never talked about how things were when we’d first met and I was willing to let bygones be bygones so long as he didn’t fuck Eric over, but before I could tell him that, he said, “I’m sorry about that. I can’t even really blame it on the booze so much as how much looking at the two of you together reminded me of me and his mother.”
We’d never talked about that either and I wasn’t so sure now was a good time since I wasn’t sure if Hormone-a-saurus had gone home for the day to roll around in all of the profits she’d earned earlier that day. Instead I continued to stand there awkwardly, shrugging my shoulders and smiled, saying, “Well, water under the bridge and all of that. I’m willing to let it go if you can forget the fact I slapped you across your face before I even crossed the threshold.”
His barking laughter and the expression on his face reminded me so much of Eric’s that I couldn’t help grinning for real as he said, “Well, if you can forget what I said to make you slap me then you have yourself a deal. Now, are you gonna have a seat or are you just going to stand there until it’s time to go?”
I rolled my eyes playfully now feeling more relaxed around him than ever and slid into the booth across from him, saying, “Oh, well if you insist.” The Bean was insisting on a bacon cheeseburger and as we sat there, several of my former co-workers stopped by the table to catch up on each other’s lives. Eric’s dad was perfectly charming throughout the whole meal and even got to feel the Bean kick, which made his face light up just like Eric’s, but when I found myself telling him about Sophie Anne’s little display earlier that morning, I was surprised seeing him get more than just a little bit pissed off.
It reminded me of someone else I knew, only about twenty-five years younger.
“I told Eric he needed to watch out for her,” he grimaced. Seeing my arched brow, he added, “She’s a famewhore and will do whatever’s necessary to get her name in the papers.”
“According to Eric, she tastes like one too,” I laughed. “But I’m not worried about Eric doing anything with her. He can’t stand her and I know he loves me.”
He seemed to relax a little hearing me say it and admitted, “That’s what Eric told me too. Just don’t be surprised if there are rumors leaked about some torrid love affair going on between them on the set.”
Considering what my reaction had been just seeing them kiss, it wasn’t a bad idea to start bracing myself for that too just in case, so I nodded my reluctant agreement and waited for him to use the restroom so I could follow him to the community theater. While he was doing that I shot a quick text to Eric to let him know where we’d be in case he got home before us, but I almost didn’t remembering how well that had turned out for me the night before. Bubba had acted just like he normally did the entire time we’d been there and had been lying underneath the table on my feet when I felt the growl rumbling through him, but couldn’t quite hear it yet.
Instead I just felt a shiver work its way down my spine as I heard, “Sookeh?”