I sat there staring out the window fuming over having to look like a twit for having married Eric after a supposed two week courtship. What kind of dumbass does that? Then again, what kind of dumbass gets drunk enough to marry a complete stranger (I didn’t count my former fan girl status as knowing him) after two hours?
I guess I was that kind of dumbass, proven by the stupid tattoo on my ring finger.
The interior of the limo had gone quiet allowing me to think over everything and the more I thought about it, the more I realized a whirlwind courtship could work to my advantage at The Brigant Academy. When I’d filled out the equivalent of the Yellow Pages worth of forms for their background investigation, I’d been asked to list the names of any significant others I had an intimate relationship with in the previous six months and I filled in the truth, a big fat ‘None’. I would have just shredded the stacks of papers right there and then and applied for a job at Doggy Daycare if I’d had to list Eric’s name, with his notoriety, but since I’d turned in those papers a month ago they couldn’t accuse me of lying by omission on their forms.
A weak thread to hold onto, but a thread nonetheless.
The only problem was Gran. She knew me well enough to know that I wouldn’t go off and marry someone after two weeks. I just wasn’t that kind of girl, regardless of the fact his face littered my childhood bedroom walls, and I didn’t think I’d be able to sell her on the cover story Pam had come up with, so I broke the silence asking if she really thought it would be best to keep our families out of the loop. And just when I thought my day couldn’t possibly get any worse, it did.
My lovable, adorable older brother who had a heart of gold, but was as sharp as a marble and as thick as a brick, mocked me from the television screen. He was like Forrest Gump without the dumb luck to strike it rich with the wheel still turning, but the hamster long dead.
I sat there stunned, unable to even blink, until he leaned in whispering into the microphone asking about Eric’s Dial-A-Skank list (no doubt bigger than the Yellow Pages), as if no one but the guy holding it would hear him. I had to hide behind my hands hoping we’d just plow into a tractor trailer at some point on the way back to L.A. and I wouldn’t have to deal with any of it.
I vaguely heard Pam say something about twitter, but I was too lost in my own horror, silently wailing about the injustice of it all, to really hear anything else. I had tried to live my life as a good person and wondered why God had forsaken me after one drunken night. Maybe I had unknowingly married the Devil and God was pissed off?
After hearing everything Jason had said on national TV I no longer had any illusions that I could share the truth about my spur-of-the-moment marriage to Eric with my family. I loved Gran to death, but her one fault was, oddly enough, her love for her grandchildren. She’d always given Jason more credit than he deserved in the ‘smarts’ department and while I knew she might be able to keep our secret from her friends, she’d think Jason would know better than to tell anyone else our dirty little secret and would share it with him in the belief that, as family, he should know. I’d always had Gran to confide in no matter what, with her words of wisdom always making me feel better, and my heart sank knowing I couldn’t run to her confessing my biggest fuck up ever.
Pam’s harsh tone snapped me out of my self-imposed isolation asking me, “Are there any other hillbilly gems in your ancestral line we can look forward to seeing? A sister perhaps that we’ll get to see wearing a stained wife beater, holding one of her five babies, by five different baby daddies, in one hand and a Pabst Blue Ribbon in the other?”
I wanted to snap back at her use of snarky southern stereotypes, but seeing as how Jason had just made them all true I couldn’t muster up any righteous anger over her words and sighed out a resigned, “No.”
“No?” she asked again, clearly not believing me.
“No!” I snapped. “Jason is my only sibling, and other than our Gran, there’s no one else.” I paused for a moment internally cringing at the possibility of my one other relative, who I no longer considered a part of our family, turning up out of the blue for the first time in over five years. Seeing as how God seemed to have it out for me, I confessed, “Well…I do have a cousin that we haven’t seen in years. She got hooked on drugs and disappeared with the money Gran had given her to go to rehab. For all I know, she’s dead.”
Pam rolled her eyes saying, “Fabulous. I’m sure she’ll be showing up on tonight’s episode of ‘Extra’ or ‘Inside Edition’. If we’re really lucky they’ll be interviewing her from the street corner where she’s turning tricks sporting a black eye from her pimp. Who else are we going to have to worry about coming out of the woodwork?”
I decided it was time to pull up my big girl panties because, knowing his love of attention, I was sure we’d be hearing something from him soon. I had no doubt the missed call on my cell phone from Quinn was due to the news I’d married Eric. Amelia used to love to tease me about my childhood obsession with Eric in front of him with Quinn always making some nasty comment about Eric in response. I’d thought it was funny and cute that he’d be jealous over something like that at the time, but I was sure it was chafing his ass now. Served him right. Asshole.
Huh, another silver lining resulting from my dumbassness.
“I have an ex fiancé named John Quinn. We broke up a year ago.” Looking over at Eric I continued, “He’s a trainer at the gym you go to which is why I asked who you used.”
Eric’s face took on a look of recognition and I thought I detected a waft of smugness coming from him, no doubt from his new knowledge of my Eric Northman poster collection thanks to Jason’s big mouth, but he remained silent. I’d expected him to have gone off on me about Jason’s shitastic interview by now, so when he didn’t say a word about it or the posters, I was grateful and wondered if I was only getting a temporary reprieve.
“Why’d you break up and who did the breaking?” Pam asked.
“If you must know, it was because he was a lying cheating bastard and had been during our entire relationship. Once I found out, I broke up with him. It’s also the reason why I stopped going to that gym.” I hated even thinking about it, much less talking about it, and felt the need to make myself clear once more to Eric reiterating, “I won’t be made to look like a fool again, so if you want this imaginary marriage to work you’d better keep your dick in your pants.”
His eyes narrowed angrily and his mouth opened to retort while I braced myself for whatever douchey-ness he was about to let fly, but I was merely left shocked when his hands clenched into fists as his mouth shut again with no pearls of wisdom about his cock or his cum to chew on. Figuratively, that is.
Just when I thought I knew what to expect from him and he decided to change things up. I kept my wary eyes on him however, waiting for the fucktard from this morning to make an appearance, but he just silently glared back at me until Pam called an unspoken timeout saying, “If it appears his dick might present a problem, I’ll just keep it in my purse until your anniversary. Good enough?”
I glanced to her right where her large Birken bag sat noting after what I’d seen that morning when Eric was still an unknown entity dubbed Mr. Pillow Face, I wasn’t so sure what he was packing would fit in her already full bag.
No! I silently chastised myself. Don’t think about his nakedness! It was pretty hard not to after having fantasized about him for so many years, especially now that I had firsthand knowledge that I hadn’t been giving him his due in the size department, but he made it easier not to think about his dick whenever he acted like one. Part of me was hoping he would so I wouldn’t.
I was starting to confuse myself and was happy when Pam started talking again. “We’ll need to make arrangements for your things to be packed up and brought over to Eric’s house.”
“That’s not necessary; I can do it myself!” I snapped, whether it was from the thought of Eric humiliating me on a worldwide scale; the thought of Quinn’s shameful betrayals; or the thought of wanting to see Eric naked again and knowing what a bad idea that would be, I wasn’t sure. Eric definitely had his dickface moments, but the softer side I may have gotten a glimpse of was still eating away at me. Besides, he was HOT.
Pam looked at me like I was dense saying, “Have you already forgotten the circus in the lobby of the casino? Hell, they’ve already tracked down your dim-witted brother in whatever swamp town you call home, so what makes you think they won’t be waiting for you back in L.A.?”
I guess I was pretty dense because the media never crossed my mind and I couldn’t imagine trying to carry my boxes of books and whatnots out to my car being surrounded by mayhem.
When I didn’t say anything more, Pam continued, “It’ll be pandemonium around you both for the next few weeks, so I suggest you let that sink in. I’ll have movers go to wherever you were staying and pack up your things and bring them to you, but it would be easier for you to just remain at Eric’s house unless the two of you are going out together for your photo ops. He lives in a gated community so, barring any long range shots taken with telephoto lenses, you should be able to have some peace there.”
“How fun!” I barked out sarcastically already hating my gilded cage. I glanced over at Eric, but he seemed lost in thought looking out the window and left Pam and I to work out the details on our own.
Pam gave me a scolding look saying, “You need to just buck up and shut the fuck up. No matter what the cause was, the two of you created this shitstorm and now it’s time to deal with the fucking consequences. I’m not going to listen to you bitch and whine for the next fucking year over how unfair it all is. Life isn’t fair sweet tits. Learn that lesson now.”
I knew she was right, but I still wanted to stomp my feet and have a tantrum. It was a shock to my system to go from absolute anonymity to being thrust under the spotlight literally overnight. I didn’t want the fame, but I’d have to do whatever needed to be done if I wanted to keep my job.
I looked back at Pam ruefully admitting, “You’re right. I’ll try to keep a more positive outlook on things. It’s only for a year right?” I forced a smile on my face while thinking just how long a whole year was. It was too long.
Pam nodded her head seemingly appeased by my response before her look became darker and she said, “Sookie, you need to prepare yourself for when you meet Eric’s father. He can be…difficult.”
I noticed Eric’s body tense beside me, but he continued to just look out the window without offering anything to our conversation. He seemed lost in thought, but I had no clue as to what it was and found myself wishing I could read his mind. That would have been a handy skill to have when I was still with Quinn. After dealing with the two of them for the last few hours, I thought I’d done alright holding my own if you didn’t count my mini-meltdown when I’d gotten separated from Eric in the lobby. Remembering him coming to my rescue warmed my insides again, but I quickly doused them remembering he was an actor. He was acting concerned…acting.
But her hesitation alone gave me pause because describing either her or Eric as ‘difficult’ would be akin to calling an angry Tasmanian Devil mother protecting her young ‘moody’, so just how bad could Eric’s dad be?
“When you say ‘difficult’…” I asked questioningly.
“I would be canonized as a Saint before Mother Theresa in comparison,” Pam replied.
I knew my jaw was hanging open, but I couldn’t close it fearing how bad he must really be for Pam to acknowledge his difficult personality.
“You’re taking the time to warn me, so what are you expecting him to do or say when we meet?” I asked.
Pam shrugged her shoulders saying, “You never can tell. He’s like the worst stage mother, living through their child’s stardom vicariously, but he’ll attack anyone he thinks will impede upon his success. And when I say his success, of course I mean Eric’s success. He doesn’t differentiate between the two.”
“So, what…you think he won’t be charmed by my southern grace?” I nervously laughed out.
I thought I detected a hint of a smile on Eric’s face, but at that very moment the limousine turned up a steep incline and it was the first time I noticed we were back L.A., or technically, the Hollywood Hills. Sure enough there was a sea of people, the majority of whom were holding cameras, and they swarmed the car as we approached the gate.
It was opened by the guard on duty and the car continued forward before turning up a long winding driveway before coming to a stop in front of one of the most beautiful homes I’d ever seen. I looked at Eric, speaking to him directly for the first time since snapping at him earlier, asking, “You live here?”
It wasn’t what I expected at all, even though I really didn’t know what to expect, but it surely wasn’t the mansion in front of us with the beautifully landscaped gardens. Gran would love to toil around in them all day long.
Eric looked back at me with no expression whatsoever, but said, “I guess now, you do too.”
A man of many words, he was not. Both Eric and Pam climbed out of the limo with me right behind them and as we approached the front door, it opened revealing a man who was undoubtedly Eric’s father. His features were nearly identical to his son and could very well be what Eric would look like in thirty years.
I remembered Pam’s warning and put on my ‘church’ smile looking up at him, but before I could say a word he looked harshly from Eric, to me, and back to Eric biting out, “So, this is the tart you’re ruining your career for?” His eyes fell on me again, raking over the front of my body and leaving me feeling violated as he added, “Don’t tell me…it was her tits right?”
Difficult? I could think of better words to use to describe Mr. Northman.