I’m in love with Sookie.
I know this not only because of the way she makes me feel; how much she consumes my every thought; how I can no longer imagine a future without her in it, but because instead of sleeping in on a Saturday morning with perhaps giving her another reminder of how she got pregnant in the first place (not that either one of us can remember it) before driving into Compton to spend four hours with her Drama Club, I’m at the furniture store trying to act as though I really do care about the dining room set she’s hell bent on buying this morning when, in actuality, I could give two shits and would much rather eat all of my meals off of her naked body.
It would be messy, but fun.
Maybe I should’ve put on eyeliner this morning when she’d told me her plans.
I’d bought that costume as a joke for Halloween, but it just didn’t work with my cast, so I hid it away for future use. Now that I knew what kind of reaction it brought out in her, I had half a mind to make it my weekend outfit.
Johnny Depp wasn’t the only one with swagger.
“Eric? Are you listening to me?”
The sound of Sookie’s voice brought me back to the present from where I’d been replaying the previous night’s pirate porn in my mind and I looked down at her, nodding with a, “Mmhmm.”
I would swear that she had a built in lie detector, or perhaps my acting skills weren’t as great as I thought they were, because her eyes narrowed suspiciously as she repeated, “Mmhmm…,” and then added, “Alright, then what did I just say?”
That you want to go for another walk down my plank?
The salesman was giving us some breathing room, unless Sookie had questions about a particular item, and was standing far enough away that we wouldn’t be overheard, so I waggled my eyebrows and repeated my inner thoughts. She valiantly fought off a grin before losing the battle and said, “I knew you weren’t listening to a word I said.”
“I’m sorry,” I apologized. I blamed the lack of coffee, but more so, just her mere presence. Whenever I was around her, my thoughts seemed to stray to wanting to just be in her and I gave her my best apologetic look, asking, “What did you say?”
She grinned even wider, saying nonchalantly, “That Pam must be the Hindu goddess Kali reincarnated. With how frisky she got with me in the dressing room last night, she must have more than two hands.”
That’s what I get for not paying attention.
“Not funny,” I growled at her, but despite my declaration Sookie was lost in a fit of giggles from my reaction. While I started planning suitable punishments for Pam that would never come to fruition because, let’s face it, she was Pam, Sookie walked over to yet another dining room set, asking, “So, you’re sure you don’t mind moving the pool table?”
I knew my decorative skills screamed ‘bachelor pad’, but I gladly left that life firmly in my past. Now that I had Sookie I had no issues with letting her make us an actual home and said as much which earned me a kiss. She’d already called everyone we wanted to share the baby news with that morning and there was no way for all of us to fit around the kitchen table for dinner, which was why she was adamant on buying a dining room set now, so we could get it delivered in time.
“What about this one?” she asked, pointing at the set in front of her. They were all starting to look the same to me, but I tried to show a little more enthusiasm as I shrugged my indifference.
Her clothing was covering my eating surface of choice.
“You don’t care,” she pouted and my ‘oh shit’ alarm rang loudly in my head.
I knew then we were dangerously close to a potential death defying drop on the hormonal roller coaster and I put my arm around her shoulders, the contact more for my benefit than hers, and said, “I care about you being happy, so whatever you pick out is fine with me,” and hoped it was the right answer.
You’d think someone would’ve written a rule book by now on how to deal with pregnant wives.
Maybe Dear Abby had a helpful pamphlet on it. I’d have to ask the handsy Hindu goddess, Pam.
Her response of, “Whatever,” just made my stomach twist while I twisted my fingers into the sleeve of her shirt in case she tried to get away.
It was my only option since I never got around to picking up those gold and platinum chains.
Knowing Sookie’s pregnancy hormones could also work in my favor, I nudged her body closer to the table in front of us with my own and surprised her by picking her up and placing her on the top facing me. The cast had been a cockblocker of sorts and I was grateful it was a thing of the past, so that I could just move our bodies into whatever position that happened to strike my fancy. With The Captain (Junior’s new nickname as of the night before) pressing against her center and my hands locked down on each side of her hips, I purred, “This one seems to be about the right height.”
Her breath caught in her throat and I couldn’t help smiling when her legs automatically wrapped around my hips as she whimpered, “Eric…”
Her eyes had lost all of their previous frustration and now stared back at me full of lust as I moved my lips closer to hers, asking, “Yes, lover?”
Her hands had already started snaking up the front of my shirt, with her fingertips ghosting over my nipples causing a shiver to run down my spine, so I was surprised when instead of leaning forward for a kiss, she pushed me away with her legs dropping back down, saying, “We’re not having sex in a furniture store.”
Oh yeah…we were in a furniture store.
My shoulders were the only thing that dropped down with her words and I had to discreetly readjust The Captain while Sookie giggled at me, but at least she was in a better mood, even if I was the one that was left frustrated now. She slid off of the table and signaled the salesman to come over to us, but her eyes never left mine as she said to him, “We’ll take this one.”
I had never looked forward to dessert more than that very moment.
While Sookie filled out all of the forms to have it delivered, I called Alcide so he’d be there when they arrived, since we’d be at the school, and a half hour later we were finally on our way to Compton. Sookie had been rambling on about what she was going to cook for dinner, while I was just thinking about dessert, and then stopped short, asking, “What were you and Pam fighting over yesterday?”
I knew we’d have to discuss it eventually, but I was still undecided on what I wanted to do and knew Sookie would be asking that very question, so I’d hoped to have an answer for her beforehand. We still had another twenty minutes before we arrived at the school and I knew there’d be no putting it off until later, so I took a deep breath and answered, “It was about my career.” Pam had been completely thrown for a loop when I’d told her I was thinking about taking an extended break from acting, if not retiring altogether. We had enough money socked away that we’d be able to live comfortably, especially if we moved to Bon Temps.
“What about it?” she asked, before adding sarcastically, “And thanks for telling me about the studio’s holiday party.”
“Sorry,” I said appropriately chagrined. I’d seen the memo about it, but hadn’t given it any thought since then. Being one of the stars of the show, I had to go and was just happy at least now I’d have Sookie there to make it bearable.
She patted my leg letting me know she wasn’t really mad and asked, “Now what was the fight about?”
Honestly, the whole ordeal had been stressing me out. I’d been working for virtually my entire life and didn’t know any other way of living, so I figured I might as well just get it out and blurted, “I told her that I wasn’t sure if I wanted to renew my contract for the sitcom at the end of the season and maybe skipping out on the movie deal too.” I thought that was enough for one mouthful and held off on mentioning the possibility of me retiring from acting.
“What?” she gasped in shock. “Why wouldn’t you want to do the movie? I thought it was what you really wanted.” When I just looked at her, not sure where to even begin in order to answer her, her eyes dropped to her hands which were now twisting in her lap, and she added in a whisper, “It was the only reason you agreed to stay married in the first place.”
The way she’d said it made it sound like it was still the reason I had stayed married to her and after everything we’d been through together, what I could remember of it anyway, it pissed me off. Even though I knew better, I snapped back with, “And from what I understand, you only agreed to stay married to keep your job. Is that why you’re sitting here now?”
Seeing her eyes well up with tears, I felt like the biggest asshole on the planet and had to wonder if pregnancy hormones were contagious, so I grabbed onto her hand, saying for the umpteenth time that day, “I’m sorry. It’s just that the way you’d said it made it sound like I wouldn’t be here with you now if that movie role wasn’t still on the table.” When her eyes finally met mine and I saw a tear break free, I couldn’t stand it anymore and pulled over onto the shoulder of the freeway, so I could wrap myself around her, saying into her hair, “I love you. I don’t care about anything else except for you and the Bean.”
It was true. I’d give up everything I had if it meant I would have them with me and I knew me having to go away to film on location would be difficult for both of us. I was terrified that the separation would cause irreparable damage to our relationship, especially since it would have to occur during the late stages of the pregnancy. I didn’t want to miss any of it, but at the same time, acting was all that I knew. Torn didn’t begin to describe how I felt.
“I’m sorry too,” she sobbed into my shirt. By the time she calmed down enough to pull away, we were already running late, so I pulled back onto the freeway and did my best to tell her everything; all of my concerns; all of my worries and by the time I was done, we were pulling into the parking lot of the school.
“Well?” I asked her, smoothing her hair from where it got messed up from her crying into my chest.
Her red rimmed eyes just stared back at me with no expression whatsoever when she finally forced a smile and said, “We can talk about it more later on, but whatever you decide, I’ll support you.”
I didn’t like the way that sounded and squeezed her hand, correcting, “Whatever we decide.”
I wouldn’t be making that decision on my own without her input and the uncertainty in her eyes didn’t make me feel any better, but when she got out of the car I had no choice but to follow along after her. The security guard was at his post when we walked in through the front door and I gave him the hairy eyeball, but didn’t say anything about the last time I’d been there and it had been left unmanned and when we got just outside of the auditorium doors, we both stopped at what we heard.
And not like Sookie’s caterwauling rendition of ‘Do You Think I’m Sexy’, but actually good singing.
I watched as Sookie smiled back at me, our earlier emotional conversation seemingly forgotten for now, and she slowly pulled the door open just enough for us to slip through before letting it shut softly behind us. Up on the stage were all of her students and there was music coming from somewhere, but I couldn’t be bothered with trying to figure out where it was coming from thanks to the performance going on.
All of the girls, and even some of the guys, were lined up on stage singing Beyonce’s ‘Single Ladies’ and doing the dance routine from the video; perfectly. It was entertaining to say the least and Sookie and I slumped down into the back row to watch. All of the earlier problems I’d witnessed in their acting performances with them not letting go were gone, now that there was music involved, and I leaned over to Sookie, asking, “Is this part of the show?”
“No,” she smiled back at me, adding, “But I wish it was. They’re fantastic.”
‘Fantastic’ was an understatement and when it was over we both stood up clapping as loud as two people could. When the sound reached the stage, Tara, who’d been in the front row of singer/dancers, peered out over the seats and asked, “Mrs. Northman? Is that you?”
While I’d gotten used to the idea of Sookie being my wife, I still liked hearing my name attached to hers and smiled when she yelled back, “Yes it is!”
Yes she WAS!
We made our way to the stage with Sookie gushing, “You guys were fantastic! Where did you all learn to do that?”
Tara laughed and waved her hands like it was nothing, saying, “We were just messing around waiting on you to get here.”
“But you all were so good!” Sookie exclaimed. “There’s no way you all just pulled that out of your aa…butts.”
Most of the kids snickered over her almost curse, while some of them looked shocked that Sookie actually knew how to curse.
Little did they know…
Tara studied Sookie’s face for a moment before shooting me an evil eye, but smiled when she looked back at her, saying, “Nah…it’s something that Mr. Velasquez had us learn to loosen up before choir practice.”
I didn’t know who she was talking about until Sookie turned to me still beaming and explained, “Jesus Velasquez is one of the Biology teachers. I haven’t had the chance to talk to him much, but he seems nice enough.”
If nothing else, we at least knew he was a fan of Beyonce.
I watched as Sookie climbed on stage and started herding some of the students to go over what scenes they’d be doing when Tara came down and stood next to me. I wasn’t sure what the evil eye had been about until she glared at me, accusing, “It looks like Mrs. Northman’s been crying. You being an ass?”
“Excuse me?” I asked.
“Are. You. Being. An. Ass?” she enunciated sarcastically. When I just stared back silently at the little girl who looked like she wanted to kick my ass, reminding me of Pam in every way, she added, “Because you came to the wrong neighborhood if you think you can get away with that shit. We like her.” She leaned forward, completely serious, and added, “We’ll kick your ass.”
I couldn’t help laughing back at her, while considering the fact that she could probably do me some damage, and due to her loyalty to Sookie I decided to humor her, saying, “I apologized. She accepted.”
She stared back at me gauging the truth of my words before settling down, saying, “Yeah, well, don’t let us hear otherwise.”
When our silent stare down started to get old, I offered an olive branch and said, “Your little performance earlier was really good.”
Her eyes flicked back to the stage watching the other kids getting into their positions before coming back to me as she asked, “Did you pay attention to the words?”
“What do you mean?” I asked, confused.
She looked back at me like she didn’t know whether she wanted to have a conversation with me or kick me before she finally said, “If you like it then you’d better put a ring on it.”
Her eyes glanced pointedly at Sookie before coming back to mine, but I still didn’t know what she was getting at and said, “What are you talking about? We’re already married.”
Lost memories or not; I’d seen the video of the whole thing.
I guessed I wasn’t the only one to have seen the video because Tara shot back, “I know. I looked it up online.” She eyed me disdainfully and added, “It was so fucking storybook romantic I’m surprised Walt Disney didn’t come back from the dead just to be your best man.” I just stared back at her completely flabbergasted that I was being taken to task by a teenager over how Sookie and I had gotten married. Tara just crossed her arms over her chest defiantly, snarking, “She showed us the lovely ring you got her too. Did it come with a single or double wide trailer?”
If I didn’t know any better, I’d think she was Pam reincarnated and I glanced down at my matching tattoo and huffed, “Sookie hasn’t complained,” while now wondering if Sookie felt the same way. “She’s happy; we’re happy, so that’s all that matters.” Even as I said the words out loud, I wondered if I was trying to convince Tara or myself.
“Do you think she would?” she huffed back.
I knew Sookie well enough to know that she would never complain about something that had to do with her; her wants; her wishes; her dreams. She could find the silver lining in anything and would just set aside her own desires as long as the end result turned out how she thought it should. Only those closest to us knew the actual happenstance of our Vegas wedding; too much booze and a sexual chemistry of WMD proportions were the catalysts; not love and intimacy that grew over time. We had that now too, but had I done Sookie a disservice by not giving her the proposal or wedding she’d always dreamed of?
Even that douche bag Quinn managed to propose to her.
And she’d worn HIS ring…
I didn’t like thinking he’d managed to do better for her than me in that regard, but I couldn’t refute it either. She must have imagined over the years what it would be like; her ‘Mrs. Eric Northman’ teenage scrawl told me she had, but she’d never said a word to me about it. I knew she wasn’t looking to get a big diamond ring; she simply wasn’t wired that way and while I loved that about her, technically I hadn’t put a ring on it and I didn’t just like it, like the lyrics said; I loved it. I loved her.
Tara just stared back at me while my head went into a tailspin over everything she’d just brought up and now that I felt like a complete failure as a husband, I gave her my own evil eye and just said, “Don’t you have rehearsal?”
She replied sarcastically with an, “Mmhmm…” and wandered away, softly singing the ‘Single Ladies’ chorus and leaving me to stew on my own.
The old adage said, ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’, and while I knew that our relationship was solid now, I couldn’t help feeling like I had some fixing to do.