When the taping ran long on Tuesday night, I ended up working later than I’d planned, so I wasn’t surprised to find Sookie dozing on top of the bed covers when I got home that night. There was a basket of folded laundry at her side, so I guessed that had been her last chore for the night whether she’d planned to do more or not. The stubborn woman that she was, I still hadn’t been any closer to convincing her we should hire help for around the house, but now that I’d met her Gran, again, and knew what she was like, I planned on recruiting her as my ally in my quest to get Sookie to take it easy. She might be able to tell me no, but I was willing to bet one stern look from Gran would have her caving quicker than me when I’d been on the verge of being Pam’d in the past.
If I had to, I’d figure out a way to have Jason put Gran on Skype, even if I had to become the first Shitter investor.
I could tell by the way her hair was pinned up and the light cherry-almond scent wafting around her that she’d soaked in the bathtub at some point that evening and was sorry I’d missed out, but finding her wearing nothing but a robe wasn’t a bad consolation prize. I’d been a fool to think that I could hold back from having sex with her until the baby was born and when she started freaking out in our bedroom on the night we’d returned from Louisiana, my goal had to been distract her with sex by making love to her. Little did I know that as soon as I saw, and then felt, her bare skin against my own, it would be my own undoing and I was just grateful that I hadn’t hurt her when my primal instincts took over with fucking taking precedence over loving.
But, I DID love her.
And it was ridiculous just how much I missed her whenever she wasn’t around. Rationally, I knew that we’d only be apart for a few hours; couples parted ways every day to go about their normal lives, but every time I watched Sookie walk out the door I’d feel the ache start to build up in my chest that wouldn’t vanish until she was with me again. If she’d let me, I’d chain her to my side always; literally, but I knew I couldn’t.
When did I turn into such a pussy?
Maybe I’d get her a kitten for Christmas so I wouldn’t be the only pussy in the house.
I shook off my thoughts and grabbed the basket from the bed, putting the clothes away in our closet and found myself smiling like an idiot because her clothes were next to mine.
For no one’s benefit but my own, I silently formed the fingers of my hand into an ‘L’ shape and held it against my forehead in the universal ‘Loser’ sign with a sigh before stripping out of my clothes and stepping into the shower. I closed my eyes as the water ran down my body and my thoughts wandered to how everything in my life had changed so much in such a small time frame. It wasn’t that I was unhappy about the changes, I wouldn’t go back to my life before Sookie for anything, I was just flummoxed over how much my priorities had shifted, literally overnight. Before she’d come into my life the one thing I wanted most was to be on top; the actor every director sought out for their films. I wanted everyone to know my name and to see my work; I wanted awards and validation from the public; validation that I’d craved but never truly received from the people in my private life, but now none of that seemed as important to me anymore. I still enjoyed acting, but my true happiness lied with Sookie and the life she’d given me. While she’d made jokes about wanting me to be her house husband in the past, the idea was starting to sound more appealing with every passing day. Having spent close to a whole week with her where we were never apart only made any separation now that much worse. I should’ve been grateful for the small time apart, but I wasn’t. I hated it and time was growing short for me to decide what I wanted to do. My contract for the sitcom would be up once the season was over and I still had to come to a decision on whether or not I still wanted to be in Victor Madden’s movie with Sophie Ann. According to Pam, I’d taken off as soon as I’d heard Sookie had been in an accident, so even though the part was mine for the taking, nothing had been decided; no contracts had been signed. Pre-Sookie, I would’ve given my left nut to be in that movie, but I wasn’t so sure now. I’d have to leave for weeks at a time. Parts of the movie were being shot on location in Sweden and Denmark and while I was sure Sookie would love to explore it all with me, the filming schedule would have us there during the late stages of her pregnancy and I doubted she would want to be so far away from home just then.
Undoubtedly, my home was wherever Sookie was, but Los Angeles was the only area I’d ever called home. I’d been around the world, seen many places most others could only dream of, but spending those few short days in Bon Temps had opened my eyes to a whole new world of possibilities. I’d liked the small town atmosphere. I’d liked that everyone knew each other and not just in a superfluous ‘I’ve seen your work’ sort of way around Hollywood. It seemed like the perfect place to settle down and raise a family. I’d noticed that the house next door to Gran’s was for sale and Sookie had told me it had been empty for years after the previous owner had passed away. We’d walked by it one afternoon and I’d been surprised it was still standing given the state of disrepair, but Sookie had mentioned she’d loved the old southern style of it and hearing her then had planted the seed that was now starting to bloom with my own uncertainty about our future. Not our future together, but what lied in store for us after the baby was born.
Did I want to raise our child under the spotlight we’d never be able to escape from living in L.A.?
Would we be able to shelter it from the trappings of being raised under an umbrella of fame of fortune?
I seriously didn’t want to spawn the future generation of Paris Hiltons, especially after all of the mistakes I’d made in my own youth, but it seemed so easy for children of celebrities and means to fall down the rabbit hole.
Maybe I could convince Sookie we didn’t need to actually cut the umbilical cord once it was born?
I eventually shook off my thoughts when I realized my hands were pruned from being in the shower for so long. The tankless water heater assured the water would never run cold, but I still hurried to finish up my shower so I could find the peace I needed, which was lying asleep only a few feet away.
I didn’t bother to dress; a pair of pajama pants would only be a hindrance later on and now that I knew I wouldn’t hurt Sookie or the baby if things got a little heated at some point, I’d adopted the ‘less is more’ attitude; less clothing equaled more opportunities for sex.
Sookie still tossed and turned in her sleep whenever I wasn’t there to keep her still and her robe had come loose while I’d been in the shower, only staying on around her shoulders from her arms being trapped in their sleeves and leaving me with the view of her perfect naked form. She’d been complaining about her clothes not fitting right anymore and fretting over every pound she gained, even though it was to be expected, but she looked perfect to me. Her baby bump was more noticeable without her clothes on and I gently crawled up alongside of her, pressing my lips against her belly button and whispering, “Daddy’s home.”
I’d watched the video Dr. Ludwig had given us of Sookie’s ultrasound too many times to count, but it had yet to get old. I’d memorized every bounce it had made on that heart stopping day and even though Sookie had yet to actually feel its movements inside of her, I had no doubts it was bouncing around at that very moment.
Just like its mother who at that very moment smacked me in the head with a flailing arm in her sleep before settling her hand in my hair and quieting down again.
“Did you see that Bean?” I asked her belly, full of mock hurt. “Kick for daddy,” I whispered against her skin and pressed both of my palms against her bump. I always wanted to touch Sookie, but if my hands weren’t on more arousing spots on her body, then they could be found attached to her midsection. I knew it was too early to feel the baby kicking, but that didn’t mean I was any less desiring for it to happen. I hated the thought of missing it when it finally did occur and it only strengthened my need to chain Sookie to my side.
If only she were more materialistic I could tempt her with gold or platinum chains.
But my Sookie was not materialistic in any way; it was one of the things that I loved about her while simultaneously frustrated the shit out of me. I wanted to take care of her in every way, but she fought me tooth and nail when it came to anything she deemed frivolous; which was almost everything. I’d been pleasantly surprised when she’d gone along with everything we’d gotten for Gran’s house, but I knew that was only because those things had been for Gran. If I tried to do more than gas up Sookie’s car for her she acted as though I was using a staple gun to affix a diamond tiara to her head.
I would not have that problem with Pam.
I sighed softly against Sookie’s skin and asked, “Were you good for mommy today Bean? You didn’t make her sick, did you?” Sookie’s morning sickness was virtually a thing of the past, but certain smells could set her off, so she wasn’t out of the woods yet.
I pressed my ear against her bump as though the Bean might actually reply when Sookie’s fingers, which had lay loosely in my hair, fisted the strands caught in between them. Her lower half squirmed as her hand pushed against my head and she moaned, “Mmm…Eric…”
I felt my lips form into a smirk, not that I tried to stop it, and tilted my head to see that whatever it was Sookie was dreaming had her dripping with arousal. Placing one last soft kiss against her belly, I whispered, “Go to sleep Bean. Daddy’s got to keep mommy happy.”
Because I’m altruistic like that…
Even if I hadn’t decided on my own on sliding further down Sookie’s body, her hand in my hair was quite insistent that was precisely where it wanted me to go and her legs spread apart without any prodding from me, so I settled in between them and waited. Either she sensed where I was in her sleep or she’d felt the breath of air I blew across the wetness in front of me because I wasn’t there for very long when she pulled my head towards her center while shimmying her body down the mattress, whining in her sleep, “Errriiic…”
What’s a guy to do?
I parted her folds with a swipe of my tongue making her gasp above me, but now that I had tasted her I couldn’t be bothered to look up and see if she had awakened. My tongue moved slowly, seeking out every drop her dream state had produced and my hands moved to hold her hips still that were now writhing in front of me. More dreamy gasps of my name had me latching onto her clit while I slipped two fingers inside of her, reveling in the feeling of her walls contracting around them. My cock had sprung to life with her very first utterance of my name, but now it was throbbing painfully hard against the mattress knowing that even in her sleep it was me that made her feel this way.
“Eric,” she cried, with her second hand joining her first and her hips grinding down against me signaling she was at least half awake, so I stepped up my game and it wasn’t long before her walls clamped down on my fingers with her screaming something along the lines of, “Guh,” and “Rick.”
I licked my fingers clean and kissed my way back up her body before stealing a kiss from her lips. Seeing her dazed expression, I smirked, asking, “Who’s Rick?”
My cock was literally banging against her, bobbing up and down right above where it wanted to be, and without missing a beat Sookie grabbed onto it, placing it at her entrance, and lifted her hips up to meet my descending ones, saying with a smirk of her own, “Rick Springfield, silly.”
I groaned feeling the tight wet heat surrounding me, but stilled myself inside of her and felt my eyebrow creep up into my hairline as I growled, “Rick Springfield?”
First Johnny Depp and now I had to worry about some has been soap opera star?
Sookie tried to pull off a serious look, which was ridiculous since she’d literally just been fucked awake, but she nodded her head and wrapped her legs around me before replying seductively, “Mmmhmm… He’s got that sexy Australian accent.” When all I did was glare at her in response, she wiggled her hips, giggling, “What? I always wanted to be Jessie’s Girl.”
I’d seen her childhood bedroom and knew for a fact all she’d ever wanted to be was Mrs. Eric Northman, with a ridiculous heart dotting the ‘i’, so I knew she was kidding but that didn’t stop me from coming to the conclusion that I needed to pound that silly notion about has been soap opera stars and foreign accents right out of her. She came to agree with me.
I was waiting for Sookie in the kitchen while she finished getting ready to go to work the next morning. Sadly, coffee was one of the smells that made her sick, but didn’t stop her from craving one either. I had absolutely no understanding of a pregnant female’s hormones and just stopped for a cup in the mornings after leaving the house to save myself either the violent retching or pout filled looks of longing. I’d claim it was my altruism at work again, but really it was my self-preservation instincts kicking in.
Sookie could be scary when she wanted to be.
I’d just picked up my phone when I saw I had an email from my PI, Andy Bellefleur, on Debbie Pelt and reading it soured my good mood, making me wonder if he ever had good news. He had great credentials and stellar recommendations, but he’d been pretty worthless as far as I was concerned and reading that he’d found nothing on the woman, left me dumbfounded. Granted, she could’ve given me a fake name, but then again, he could just be an idiot; I had no way to know which one was a more likely scenario.
“What’s with the face?”
I hadn’t heard Sookie enter the room until she spoke and I looked up trying to gauge where she was on the hormonal roller coaster. I’d planned on telling her about the other task I’d given Bellefleur when I’d first woken up from the coma, but I hadn’t wanted to do it when we were trapped on a crowded airplane with Sookie already freaking out about the maybe-stalker. I decided to ignore her question for the moment and felt her out by asking, “How are you feeling this morning?”
My acting skills must have been lacking because she saw right through me, answering, “Suspicious.”
I glanced at the clock to see how much time we had before she needed to leave for work and decided she’d only be more suspicious if I didn’t answer her in full, so I reluctantly admitted, “Well, the private investigator got back to me.” I held up my phone and gave her the gist of his email, saying, “He didn’t find anything on Debbie Pelt.”
“What?” she asked, walking towards me and taking my phone so she could read the email for herself. When she was finished, she handed it back to me with her eyes narrowed, asking, “What do you think that means?”
I just shrugged, offering her my guesses, saying, “Maybe she gave me a fake name or maybe he couldn’t find his asshole if he sat on it. Who knows.” When she just stared back at me, I laid the groundwork for my segue and added, “He hasn’t been helpful on any of the other jobs I’ve given him either.”
I’d stressed the word jobs, as in plural, and it took a moment before Sookie caught on. “Jobs?” she asked, stressing the letter ‘s’ and making it sound like a ‘z’.
I ran my hands through my hair while the sting of betrayal ran through my veins. I hadn’t known who Sookie was or what she meant to me when I’d first contacted him to look into how we’d come to be married, but that didn’t make me feel any better about it now. My skepticism then seemed justified at the time, but now it just felt like I’d shit all over our entire relationship; on everything she meant to me now and I was worried that she’d see it that way too, but I didn’t want to have any secrets between us. I’d hadn’t been hiding it from her, per say, but it just hadn’t come up yet. Resolving to just do it quick, like pulling off a band aid and hoping the adhesive wasn’t attached to my balls, I confessed, “After I woke up from the coma and learned everything, I asked him to look into how we came to be married in Vegas.”
My whole body tensed with my face and shoulders cringing from what I was sure to be her outrage or hurt, but instead her eyes lit up as she asked, “Did he find out anything?”
When will I learn that Sookie will always surprise me?
I stared back at her dumbfounded wondering if she was the one that knew how to speak Swahili instead of me because surely I hadn’t heard her right, but when she added, “Well?” I knew I had.
I shook my head no in response, asking, “You’re not mad that I hired him for that? Upset?”
Her eyes glanced over at the empty coffee pot with a look of longing before meeting mine again as she said, “No, why would I be? I’m just as curious as you are.”
The relief that flooded through my system made me feel a little woozy, but that didn’t stop me from scooping her up in my arms and planting the mother of all kisses on her. She giggled when I pulled back to let her catch her breath, asking, “What was that for?”
I verbalized my internal answer which just made her smile wider as she asked, “Does that mean you’d be willing to do me a favor?”
“Anything,” I answered truthfully before realizing that wasn’t true. I’d do anything but give her up.
She raised an eyebrow before asking, “Would you be willing to stop by the school tomorrow afternoon and sit in on rehearsal?”
“Of course,” I replied. She’d mentioned it not going well a few times and while I wasn’t sure how much help I could be, I was willing to do almost anything she asked of me.
Just not give her up.
On Thursday afternoon I found myself driving through Compton with a scowl on my face seeing, once again, where my pregnant wife spent a lot of her time. I found it admirable that she wanted to work and to try to make a difference in the young lives under her charge, but that didn’t mean I had to like where she chose to fulfill that need. It made the idea of chaining her to my side all the more appealing, but if I tried, I’d have to make sure she was handcuffed too because she would beat the shit out of me.
I didn’t feel any better about things when I walked up the steps and into the front door where there was a security station set up with no one manning it and walked un-accosted all the way to the auditorium. Rehearsal had already started, so rather than interrupting the flow, I sat down in the darkened back row and watched silently. The production they were putting on wasn’t one of the more popular ones, so I’d never seen it myself and while the kids seemed to know all of their lines, it came across as rigid, like they were afraid of letting themselves go to be fully immersed in their characters. The show itself was just a couple of weeks away, so I knew there wouldn’t be a lot of time to do much to fix it, but there was a Spring performance Sookie would be directing as well.
But would I be there to help out?
I still hadn’t come to any conclusions on what to do about the movie, or the sitcom for that matter, but I wanted to get Sookie’s input before I decided one way or the other. She’d be effected by whatever decision I made as well, so I wasn’t about to sign on for something that she would end up resenting me for later.
My attention was drawn back to the stage by the girl that had just walked on. I remembered her as being the troublemaker Tara, that had come into the office when Sookie and I were there the day she’d accepted the job, but after getting to interact with her in both class and at rehearsals after school, Sookie could only sing her praises. I’d have to defer to Sookie on how smart she was, but I could definitely see that she had a natural talent on the stage. She had a presence about her that couldn’t be defined but made your eyes automatically gravitate to her. In my eyes, she was the best of the bunch, but she too held back a piece of herself and when it was over I stood up and found Sookie in the front row.
“You’re here!” she exclaimed happily. I wasn’t sure how much of a PDA she’d be comfortable with in full view of her students, which had all circled near the front of the stage, but Sookie didn’t seem to care as she wrapped her arms around me and leaned up for a somewhat chaste kiss that led to “Ooohs,” and the stray snickers from those present.
Remembering the empty security post when I’d entered the building, I looked back at her with a grimace, saying, “I am, not that there was anyone manning the front door to stop me or anyone else walking in.” Debbie Pelt, or whatever her name was, was still lurking in the back of my mind. I wasn’t concerned for myself, but for Sookie’s wellbeing and the idea of hiring full time bodyguards for her came back to the forefront of my mind.
Sookie just dismissed my words with a “Pfft,” and a light smack to my chest as she turned us to face the crowd and said, “Kids, I’d like you all to meet my husband, Mr. Northman. Eric, these are my kids.”
I zoned out a bit as she named them off, one by one, knowing I’d never remember them all and when she was through, I smiled and nodded, saying, “You guys can just call me Eric.” ‘Mr. Northman’, while true, reminded me of my father and made me feel older than I wanted to.
Sookie turned back to me, asking in rapid fire, “How long have you been here? How much did you see? What did you think?”
The pleading in her eyes, along with the eagerness of her questions, made me realize just how important this was to her and I answered honestly, “It wasn’t bad.” I’d certainly seen worse by seasoned professionals and this was just a high school play.
Her face frowned making me remember her hormonal roller coaster, but she took a deep breath before asking, “Well, do you have any tips on what we can do to make it better?”
I was certain that answer would have me in the doghouse, but I also knew there wasn’t a lot of time to work with. Their rehearsal time was nearly over as it was since it took me a while to get through the traffic on the freeway to get there, but I offered, “It really just needs a few tweaks here and there.” They rehearsed on Tuesdays and Thursday, but Tuesdays were out for me since that was the night we taped the show, so I thought about it for a moment and asked her, “Is there any way to have an extra rehearsal this Saturday?” I wasn’t aware of any plans Sookie may have had, but with the performance coming up so soon, it was all I could think of.
Her brow furrowed again in thought as she said, “Well, I’d have to ask Mr. Beck, but…” She turned to the students still gathered at the edge of the stage and asked, “Would you all be willing to give up a Saturday to come here for rehearsal?”
Most of them nodded with some of them saying they’d have to ask for time off from their part time jobs, but everyone seemed pretty much in agreement. It only made me respect them more for being willing to give up a day of their weekend to try and make their performance better, but the smile Sookie gave me was the cherry on top.
And I’d do ALMOST anything to make her smile like that again.