Do I REALLY think I’m in love with Sookie?
I stared back at her afraid of even my own thoughts, so I looked at my father and asked what he was doing there to distract us both, but I didn’t hear a word he said. I could see his mouth moving but I couldn’t hear him over my mind’s voice throwing up shields labeled ‘HELL NO’, ‘IMPOSSIBLE’, ‘NO FUCKING WAY’, and ‘GET THE FUCK OUTTA HERE’.
There was no way I could be in love with Sookie. Not only was it way too fucking soon to be thinking in those terms, I honestly doubted I was even capable of having that emotion. Obsessed? Pussy whipped? Yes, those were feelings I could identify with and reluctantly admit to myself that I felt them about her, but love?
I loved my car; my career; her cooking. Material things, not people.
I liked her a lot and I lusted her even more, but that was it.
End of story.
Once I set myself straight I realized the room had gone quiet and wondered if everyone was waiting on a response from me to a question I didn’t hear, but I didn’t like the way either one of them was glaring at Sookie and I felt my protective streak kick in with a low growl building in my chest until Pam showed up diffusing the situation as only Pam can.
I was still in a fog as I sat in my chair so Octavia could get to work on my makeup and stared at the now closed door to my dressing room where Sookie had just exited when she broke through my reverie saying, “Your Sookie seems very nice and she’s quite beautiful.”
Octavia always made small talk when she did my makeup, but it had always been about something innocuous like the weather or the news. God knows she’d been around my father enough to have had something to say about the people in my life so I was a little surprised she’d mentioned Sookie at all.
“She is,” I replied. After all, it was true.
She continued working on my face saying, “I guess I’ve been around Hollywood folk too long. I’m almost too ashamed to admit that I wasn’t expecting her cordial greeting. So many of the beautiful young ladies around here are too full of themselves to give us common folk the time of day, but I can tell she’s different. It’s no wonder you fell in love with her.”
If she hadn’t been working on my eyes I’m sure they would have popped right out of my head when she said what my brain was adamantly denying. I couldn’t correct her due to our situation, but I was a glutton for punishment and couldn’t resist asking, “Does it show?”
Please dear God, don’t let it show.
Not that there’s anything TO show.
“That you love her?” she asked. When I nodded she confirmed, “Yes.”
“How does it show?” Glutton; remember?
After a long moment she said, “Look at me.” I’d thought she was going to line my eyes since we all looked pasty and pale without heavy makeup on film, but instead she pulled back a little and laughed. At my quizzical look she said, “Because that’s the first time since she walked out of the room that you haven’t been trying to stare a hole into the door. You love her.”
I had already prepared myself to dismiss whatever flowery nonsense I was sure she was going to spout off about love and romance, blah, blah, blah, but I couldn’t. She was right; I had been staring at the door since Sookie walked out of it. But that didn’t mean I loved her. It just happened to be where my eyes landed when I was thinking things through. The fact that I’d been the one to suggest she leave so I could think things through and now wished she’d return because I missed her also did not mean I was in love with her.
I just missed her; perfectly acceptable.
Octavia soon finished up and left the room so I could change and get out onto the set. I overheard a couple of the crew talking about one of the extras getting hurt, but it seemed like everyone had a SAG card around here so I doubted it would take much to find a replacement if one was needed. I was standing off to the side going over my script one last time when my father walked up saying, “Where’s the gold digger?”
I made a pointed look at his crotch and said, “Since she’s not attached to your dick I assume Garlic is off trying to trade up.” I was running low on spice names and would have to study the aisle they were kept in the next time I went grocery shopping with Sookie if she hung around for much longer because I certainly wasn’t going to sing to her ‘If you wanna be my lover’. Not. Fucking. Happening.
“I was talking about your whore, not mine.”
I’m sure we were equally shocked when my hand clasped around his throat as I shoved him against the wall and while I still felt something for him as my father, it was nothing compared to the rage I felt hearing him call Sookie a whore. While we were the same height and build, my father had let himself go to shit a long time ago and I was a lot stronger than him so I nearly laughed at his feeble attempts to remove my hand, but I was too fucking pissed off. I leaned in until we were nose to nose and said, “This is the last time I’m going to say this. Back the fuck off. If you’ve got nothing nice to say about my wife then keep your fucking trap shut because if you say one more negative thing about her, you and I will be done. Not only won’t I consider you my father anymore, but you sure as hell won’t be getting another paycheck from me.”
He was starting to turn blue so I released him from my grip and as he choked air back into his lungs he looked back at me incredulously saying, “After all I’ve done for you; sacrificed for you; you’re willing to just kick me to the curb over some two-bit white trash?”
His voice had risen with every breath he took and I knew we were starting to attract attention, but before I could respond, his whore walked up asking, “Fighting about me boys? No need, there’s plenty of me to go around.”
Un. Fucking. Real. I pointed at her, too angry to think of another spice name, saying to my father, “That is two-bit white trash.” I then pointed at the door saying, “And don’t let that hit you on the ass on the way out. You’re fired.”
He straightened up in shock sputtering, “Eric! You’re being unreasonable! It’s always been just you and me against the world son. Once you calm down you’re going to regret all of this.”
He couldn’t backpedal fast enough, but I was done with his bullshit. We’d fought before but I’d never actually fired him so he knew I was serious. I’d only kept him around out of the guilt I felt over the very things he’d mentioned earlier; the sacrifices he’d made for me, but after experiencing a mostly blissful four days with Sookie (no matter what my feelings for her were, she was my new personal sun) I could no longer deal with the toxic cloud my father had been in my life. Maybe he was right and I would feel bad after I calmed down, but I doubted it.
Someone must have called Security when I was in the middle of choking him to death because I saw them watching everything from the sidelines and motioned for them to come forward, pointing at my father and saying, “This is my ex manager. This is his infected cunt. Neither one of them are welcome here any longer. Understand?”
After they were escorted from the set amid the gossiping crowd, the producers approached me asking if I’d still be okay to tape the show having seen the majority of what had gone down between me and my father, but I assured them I’d be fine. I actually did feel fine; almost like a huge weight had been lifted from my shoulders and I couldn’t wait to tell Sookie the good news. While I was sure she’d miss harping on All-Spice with me, I had a feeling she’d be more than willing to give that up if we didn’t have to deal with them any longer.
I glanced around when I could looking for Sookie during the taping, but I never saw her and when I finally returned to my dressing room I was surprised to see just Pam waiting for me. Before I could ask her where Sookie was she asked with glee, “Did you hear about the fight?”
I started cleaning the makeup from my face with some wipes before I washed it off with soap and water saying, “What do you mean hear about it? I was in it.”
“What are you talking about?” she asked, all glee gone from her face.
“Between my father and I before the show. I fired him.”
“GET. THE. FUCK. OUT. Are you shitting me? Because if you are I’m going to crazy glue your dick to your stomach the next time you fall asleep anywhere near me.”
I couldn’t help cringing at the imagery she’d painted having no doubts about her follow through and said, “No, I’m not.” Realizing she’d been unofficially doing his job for years I thought it only fair for me to actually ask her to do it now that he was gone. “Want the job?”
“Pfft…”she waved me off saying, “I’ve been doing the job for years, but that sure as hell doesn’t mean I won’t be issuing a press release declaring me as your Master.” She started making her way out of the room with her fingers already flying across her BlackBerry when I asked, “Where’s Sookie?”
“Waiting by your car talking to Alcide,” she called over her shoulder as she walked out the door.
Son of a bitch! I quickly changed and washed the shit off of my face making my way outside and finding Sookie exactly where Pam said she would be; waiting by my car talking to Alcide, only instead of talking they were laughing. I knew I was feeling irrationally jealous and I’d had no problems with Alcide until Sookie came into the picture. I actually liked him and while I wanted to rip his arms from their sockets before his dickbeaters could even think about touching what was mine, I knew I would regret that. He seemed nervous when he glanced at me, probably wondering if he was now out of a job since he technically worked for my father, but I simply couldn’t do that to him. Yet. Instead I opened Sookie’s door for her and said to him, “See you in the morning?”
I shut Sookie’s door once she’d climbed into the car when he asked, “Will I still be able to get into the studio come morning?”
“Don’t be a dipshit. You’ll just have to answer to me now.” I smiled knowing I would never again hear him say ‘But I don’t work for you’. His answering half-grimace half-smile let me know he was thinking the same thing. Since we weren’t girls there weren’t any hugs involved so I got into the car without another word to him.
We’d been driving on the main road with me still lost in thought about what had happened earlier with my father when I realized how quiet it was in the car and looked over to see Sookie staring out the window. My personal sun looked a little gloomy so I asked, “Is something wrong?”
She didn’t say anything at first and I was about to ask again when she sighed saying, “Yeah, I guess there is.” Her ominous tone put me on alert and I asked, “What is it?” If my father had somehow gotten to her before he’d been booted from the studio, heads were going to roll.
Sookie finally turned to face me and said, “Pam told me there’s some party she expects me to attend on Friday night for your show.”
Fuck. “I was going to bring it up, but it kind of slipped my mind. Do you not want to go?” I knew Pam would be pissed if she didn’t, but I’d handle her.
“Do you want me to go?” she retorted.
“Why wouldn’t I?”
She just sighed again and chewed on her bottom lip which I’d come to learn meant she was thinking so I kept quiet until she finally said, “My inner tween is wanting me to huff at you while crossing my arms and stomping my feet because I don’t know how you really feel about me, but I can’t really fault you there because I don’t know how I really feel about you.”
She might as well have been speaking Mandarin since I didn’t understand a fucking thing she was saying and asked, “What are you talking about? I thought we cleared this all up the other night when we agreed we were going to try being in a relationship with each other.”
Fear gripped my chest at the thought that Sookie no longer wanted me and I swear to fucking God, if she said it was because she wanted to be with Alcide I would kill him.
“I’m talking about the fact you failed to mention the party just like you failed to mention I might run into one of your previous lady friends at the studio. I know enough about your sexual history thanks to those porn posters that you had hanging on the walls, by the way; thanks for taking them down, and I’m okay with that. I really am because that’s what it all is; history. But I can’t help but wonder if maybe you didn’t say anything because you didn’t plan on me being there, either at the party or the studio tonight. After all, I invited myself to come along. So tell me Eric; which is it? You didn’t say anything because you didn’t plan on me being there for some reason or because you didn’t think enough of me to have the decency to warn me I might run into one of your ex whatever’s?”
Her voice had never risen above a normal range, but I could see the hurt and anger in her eyes. Unfortunately I was still a little raw from the fight with my father and I was hurt and angry too that she would question my motives where she was concerned. It was also unfortunate I didn’t seem to have as much control over my inner tween as she did.
“Are you fucking serious? How many times do I have to say it? I. Want. You. And I don’t give a shit about any of the rest of them nor can I possibly predict when you might run into someone I’ve fucked; there’ve been A LOT of them, but I’m sorry. There. Happy now?”
I regretted it immediately but said nothing as she turned her head back towards the window mumbling, “I’m fucking ecstatic.”
We remained silent for the rest of the drive and I wanted to apologize, but I couldn’t. I’d spent a good portion of the day going over and over the way Sookie had made me feel; I’d even contemplated whether or not I was actually falling in love with her and yet she was questioning our entire relationship based on me forgetting to tell her about some stupid party. I guessed it was Dawn she’d run into at some point in the night, but I’d find out from Pam later since I didn’t want to ask Sookie as it appeared she was done talking to me for the night.
As soon as we walked into the house she refused to even look my way and went up to her room without a word while I stayed downstairs hoping she’d come back down to talk. When an hour had gone by I realized there’d be no more talking for the rest of the night and went to my own room hoping to sulk myself to sleep. I’d forgotten about our earlier rolling around on my bed until I saw the comforter all bunched up to the side and quickly straightened it out not wanting to be reminded of what almost was. I also did my best to ignore her scent on the sheets when I’d finally gotten into the bed after showering and changing into a pair of pajama pants, but like The Borg said: Resistance is futile.
The thought she was just across the hall made the seemingly miles wide chasm between us all the more ridiculous as I thought over what she’d said in the car. Her argument was much more adult than mine and I remembered again one of her first statements; she didn’t know how I felt about her.
How did I feel about her? I still didn’t think it was love I felt for her, but it was something like that. I definitely felt more for her than I had for anyone else I’d ever come across.
Would that be a good enough answer?
I hoped it would be and eventually went to sleep intending on telling her the next morning what I should have said in the car. Imagine my surprise when I went downstairs an hour before she would have had to leave for work only to later discover she was already gone. She’d taken the Audi again, but knowing her car wouldn’t have started, that knowledge didn’t make me feel any better. I ran up and checked her room seeing her clothes were still there, but I still couldn’t help feeling anything other than unsettled.
What if it had gotten bad enough she just left? What if last night had been a deal breaker?
I stood at the front window staring at the empty driveway feeling an entirely new sensation.
I finally turned and headed back towards my room to get ready with the house feeling emptier than when I’d first moved in. I wasn’t sure I could go back to living the way I was before she’d come into my life and I didn’t know if I’d even want to. The only thing I knew for sure was that I wanted the opportunity to apologize and try and make it up to her. Of course she’d actually have to be there for me to do that.
For now all I could do was hope like hell she planned on coming back. If she didn’t, I’d go to her.