The crowd waiting for us in the lobby was the largest I’d ever had to contend with and any thoughts I might have entertained that the news of our marriage wasn’t that big of a deal were instantly crushed. My height advantage was the only reason I could see the outer doors that led to our relative freedom from the masses, so I started moving in that direction pulling Sookie along with me. Her now sweaty hand held mine in a death grip, but I didn’t take a chance to look down at her knowing if I did it would only prolong the ordeal.
We were nearly at the door when I felt her grip tighten, but the moisture between our hands made our hold slip and just as our fingers gave way I looked back to see one of the paparazzi pricks had grabbed a hold of Sookie’s arm. The fear on her face looking back at him was clear as day while he shouted something in her face, but she disappeared from my view as the rest of the crowd surrounding us both filled the space between us and I felt something inside of me snap.
Up until that point, I’d always had a relatively good relationship with the paparazzi that always seemed to be wherever I went. I knew they had a job to do and it was my job that caused them to seek me out. I understood it was a necessary evil I’d have to put up with if I chose stardom, knowing they only sought out the few popular ones of my chosen profession.
But Sookie hadn’t chosen fame and considering we were both drunk out of our minds, the night before, I didn’t consider her marrying me to be her choice either. That credit went to Jose Cuervo and if she were any one of the other women I’d fucked, I would have kept heading towards the doors because every one of them were fame seeking whores. They’d revel in the shit surrounding us now, but at some point over the last hour I’d come to realize that Sookie was nothing like them. Her quick temper and mouthy retorts got under my skin like nothing I’d ever experienced before and while her one demand to be a part of our sham marriage was pretty bad in my eyes, it was understandable on her part. She could have asked for anything, but as it turned out she only wanted respect and that one desire made her rise above every other woman I’d ever been with.
Sookie could bring out the absolute worst in me in a heartbeat, but seeing the fear on her face while getting manhandled and shouted at brought out something else in me that I’d never experienced before; protectiveness.
I spun around in the spot where I stood and made my way back to where I’d last seen her. Most of the crowd parted like the Red Sea and those that weren’t quick enough to get out of my path were forcefully shoved away with my eyes glued to the one man who’d caused my Disney Princess’ distress. His back was to me with his camera pointed towards the floor in front of him, shouting nonstop, but I heard nothing; I only saw red.
As soon as I was close enough I grabbed the cocksucker by his collar and lifted him up throwing him off to the side, not caring where he landed, and my eyes swept across the area looking to see who else wanted to fuck with me. I’d never felt such rage before and was about to start picking them off one by one when my eyes fell on Sookie sprawled out on the floor. The sight of this woman, who I wanted to fight in a match to the death just a short time earlier; the cause of my year long fuck ban; whose tears now brought me down from going over the cliff of having a complete sociopathic anger induced breakdown, calmed me enough to get a hold of myself. I leaned down, scooping her up in my arms, and her scent calmed me even more as I carried her out of the casino knowing if she could get this reaction out of me, I’d be completely fucked if she ever did go crying on Oprah.
She still seemed frightened when I got us in the limo with her arms still clinging around my neck so I tried to calm her down by jokingly asking her where her little woodland friends were. It seemed to do the trick and once I got her joking about her other nonexistent Vegas weddings she appeared to be back to herself, or at least a non-bitchy version of herself. I liked it. Her apology for how she’d acted earlier and gratitude for my ‘rescuing’ her just moments ago threw me and I found myself liking her even more. There was a sweet side to her that I didn’t even think to look for earlier having never been around anyone ‘sweet’ in my life. I’d only ever been surrounded by people who wanted something from me (fame or money), people who did what I told them to do (for either fame or money), and people I took direction from (for both fame and money). ‘Sweet’ wasn’t in the genetic make-up of any of them, but I suddenly found myself wanting more now that I’d gotten a taste.
Unfortunately, Pam decided to put a halt to that by climbing into the limo at that very moment and once we were on our way her words gave me pause.
“Great acting you two! That shot of you carrying the bride to the limo with her lovingly holding on will make the front page of every magazine by next week. It looked real!”
I looked back at Sookie wondering if that was what her tears were; an act. She’d already threatened to use them in a systematic attack on me if our arrangement ever went south and seeing how quickly her stricken face had gotten a reaction out of me, I started questioning if it had all been a lie. Could she be that good of an actress?
The doubt alone reinforced the protective shield I’d built up as a child raised in show business and it scared me how quickly she’d managed to poke a hole in it to begin with. I’d have no problems fucking her, that was for sure, but it would take a hell of a lot more than sweet words and a few tears to completely breach the armor I already had in place. The slight glare in her eyes I noticed forming after Pam’s praise, instantly doing away with the damsel in distress persona she’d had a minute earlier, helped strengthen my defenses. I was wrong about her; I just didn’t know which one was her true personality.
The do-gooder life she led didn’t help when it was time to figure out a cover story for our relationship until she finally mentioned the gym she used to belong to. I wondered if she knew Tray after asking who my trainer was, but Pam kept right on talking so I didn’t get a chance to ask. The question was completely forgotten when she turned her glare filled eyes back at me more or less asking when the last time I fucked anyone was. Seeing her look at me that way, it was hard to reconcile the sweet girl I had been hoping she might be when confronted with the bitch I already knew she could be.
I knew my last fuck had been with a brunette that had been cast as an extra on the show, but I really couldn’t remember exactly how long ago it had been at first and I definitely couldn’t remember her name. One look at Sookie’s face, now flushed with anger, brought the asshole in me out instantly and I fucked with her, tapping my chin before giving them my best guess.
Her indignation over the thought she could be seduced by me in a mere two weeks made me even more irritable. I was a hot commodity with a huge fan following. There were tumblr accounts dedicated to nothing more than me, with any woman I happened to be pictured with torn into cyber shreds. I wasn’t conceited enough to Google myself and only knew about them from Pam telling me, but still. I was wanted by thousands and had sampled a good portion of them with no complaints yet, so the mere notion that I couldn’t seduce her in that time frame was preposterous.
How one look from her could swing my emotional pendulum from wanting to protect her one moment to wanting to wrestle her into a choke hold the next was baffling and my response seemed to be based on them, whether I wanted to react or not. I was pretty sure I liked getting her riled up too and she didn’t disappoint when she flung herself as far from me as she could and pouted looking out the window. At least she was never boring.
I looked over and saw Pam taking in both Sookie and I with a small upturn of her lips, probably from too much Botox, before checking messages on her cell and leaving Sookie and I in our own uncomfortable silence.
It only lasted a few seconds before Sookie spoke up saying, “Do you really think we need to lie to our families? I don’t know if I can…”
Pam’s cell phone ringing cut Sookie short with Pam yelling, “Are you fucking kidding me?” before ending the call in a huff. She reached over and turned on the TV, changing the channel to ‘E Entertainment News’. I heard Sookie say, “Oh my God,” when she saw some shirtless guy with tousled blond hair standing in the doorway of what I assumed was his house. Pam turned up the volume.
Interviewer: You are the brother of Sookie Stackhouse who recently married actor Eric Northman are you not?
Jason: Sure am. (Grins and waves at the camera)
Interviewer: Their marriage last night was unexpected and Miss Stackhouse, or should I say Mrs. Northman, were never seen dating one another. Can you tell us how long they’ve been seeing each other?
Jason: (Scratches head; examines something he pulled from his scalp; shrugs shoulders and flicks unknown debris to the side) I’m not sure, but she’s always liked him. Hell, her room back at Gran’s is still covered in his posters. Sookie’s been livin’ out in California since she left to go to school there and only comes back a few times a year. She mostly stays in touch with Gran, uh, our Grandmother Adele Stackhouse. I tried callin’ Sook when I heard last night, but she didn’t answer it bein’ her weddin’ night an’ all. (Waggles eyebrows and elbows interviewer)
Interviewer: So you had no idea that she’d been seeing Eric Northman?
Jason: Nah…we don’t talk ’bout no relationships. We mostly catch up on what’s goin’ on ’round here and the Bon Temps High School football team’s record. (yells) We’re gonna kick your (bleep) this year Clarice! Yah hear me? (Holds up pointer finger in ‘We’re #1’ fashion with big grin)
Interviewer: So what you’re saying is you have no knowl…
Jason: (Interrupts) Say, that Eric Northman fella was a real ladies man like myself, right?
Interviewer: Well, he has been linked with several women over the years…
Jason: (Interrupts) So, now that he’s married to my sister an’ all he won’t be datin’ none a them fine ladies no more. (Leans in whispering conspiratorially) Ya think he’d give his new brother-in-law his little black book? (Winks at the camera)
Interviewer: (Mouth gaping)
Jason: Never mind, I’ll just ask him myself. (Unknown female voice heard in the background saying, “Jason, come back to bed.”) (Looks at interviewer) That’s just between you an’ me, kay? (Winks again; shuts door)
There was no fucking way that idiot was her brother. No. Fucking. Way. I refused to believe I married someone with branches of Hee Haw in their family tree and looked over at Sookie expecting her angry denial that she’d never even met the poster boy for ‘Sofa King Wee Todd It’, but instead she had her head buried in her hands, that damn tattoo on her finger taunting me, saying over and over, “No no no no no…”
Pam broke into her denial asking, “Does that answer your question?” Then she turned her anger to me snapping, “I swear. If I hear even one whisper that you’ve opened a twitter account I will cut off your balls and hand feed them to you before you can say ‘WINNING!'”
I shrank back in my seat staring at my newly inked ring finger and doubted Sookie heard Pam’s muttered, “I am so charging extra for this shit.”
If she could spin that clusterfuck we’d just watched, she’d earn every fucking penny.