Joan’s on Third

A/N:

Look what mystic notions made! The hug between Skars and MManson at the Scream! awards was inspirational!

HE inTouch cover!

HE Okay! cover!

Also, even though I realize that Eric and Sophie Anne never dated for real- the song Sorry by Nerf Herder keeps running through my head as the plot unfolds…
http:/www.musicsonglyrics.com/N/nerfherderlyrics/nerfherdersorrylyrics.htm

Thanks so much to everyone reading and reviewing! Did you notice I got to my replies this week? Ha ha! Woo hoo! I’m going to tell you right now that I’m going to struggle this wee with them. I’m headed on a business trip and not sure how much time I’ll have on the computer.

As usual, I have to say thanks to my girls, A Redhead Thing and Sapfirerose for being beta-fantastic. Thanks to TVgirl and Seastarr08 too, cuz they’re awesomesauce and are always willing to let me bend their ears about this story.

xxXXxxXXxxXXxxXXxx

SPOV

We went to dinner with Daph and Sam at Marix, which was one of my favorite Mexican restaurants that Eric had introduced me to. It was actually Tex-Mex if you wanted to get technical, and it was delicious. They had two locations, one was in West Hollywood, but I liked the Santa Monica one better because it was by the beach. Eric had told me about the restaurant a few years ago when we were emailing back and forth. It had been part of our argument about Michigan and California Mexican food. I think he was quite pleased with himself that he’d recommended a restaurant that I turned out to really like. It didn’t matter to him that I was a sucker for good chips and salsa; in his mind, his choice was a success.

They also had good margaritas and freshly made guacamole. We took our time looking over the menu and everyone ordered their favorites. Fajitas for both Eric and Sam, seafood enchiladas for Daph, and for me, the carne asada emborrachada, which translated to roasted drunk meat. It was grilled skirt steak marinated in Dos Equis Amber beer, lime, chipotle and honey and it came with sauteed onions and peppers, black beans, and rice. It was like nothing I’d ever eaten before, the combination of flavors blended together perfectly.

The food was great and the margaritas went down smooth, but I didn’t want to drink too much. Pam would not have been happy if I was sloppy drunk leaving the restaurant when I was supposed to act like everything was fine. I let myself get distracted by Sam’s storytelling, and then listened as he and Eric talked about future projects. Daph and I talked a little about wedding plans, but I just wasn’t in the mood to think about it. Somehow, I managed to put all of the drama out of my head for an hour or so while we visited, but everything came right back to the forefront of my brain again when we stepped into the parking lot and the paparazzi started yelling questions at me.

“Are you afraid of her?”

“Do you think she’ll hurt you?”

“Do you think she needs psychiatric help?”

Sadly, the answer to all of those questions was,probably yes. Although I wouldn’t say that out loud to anyone, except maybe Eric, but he already knew how I felt.

We went over to Sam and Daph’s after dinner and sat around their fire pit talking and laughing. I tried to relax again and joined in as we talked about football and our plans for Thanksgiving. We were meeting the entire Northman family in Colorado, where Elsa was planning to cook a turkey in Sven and Rachel’s apartment. Zee, Rachel and I were going to help with the side dishes, but Elsa insisted on making the turkey even though we weren’t at her house. Rachel hadn’t hosted Thanksgiving before, so she wasn’t arguing. It was going to be a tight fit in their apartment, but the Northman’s were a close family and they all seemed to have a great attitude about it.

Sam and Daph were headed to Louisiana to spend the holiday with their families, and they had me in stitches telling me stories about Sam’s relatives. Daph joked that in addition to the turkey there were always some mystery meat on the side that she was afraid of. While they had grown up in the same small town, Sam and Daph agreed that his family was much more country and Cajun than hers, joking that we might have seen some of his relatives on the TV show Swamp People. When we got ready to head home, Daph gave me a hug and told me to call her anytime if I needed someone to talk to. I nodded, having a feeling I would take her up on it.

The following few days flew by in preparation for our trip to Colorado. Then we were off, fighting through a throng of photographers at the airport who seemed to be staked out there to catch all of the celebrities as they flew out to visit their families. Sophie Anne had holed up in Blackhart’s house, maintaining her silence with the press. Thankfully I hadn’t received any additional voice-messages or blog comments from her.

Thanksgiving went by in a blur. I kept busy in the kitchen helping Elsa cook and having a great time talking to Rachel and Zee about plans for the nursery. They wanted a Dr. Seuss themed room, so we promised to be on the look out for great accessories. Eric and I made wishes and pulled on the wishbone, and I won, but I wasn’t telling anyone what I wished for. The food was great, and Elsa was good about not asking too many questions about the wedding that I somehow couldn’t bring myself to plan.

It wasn’t that I didn’t want to get married to Eric, but in the midst of dealing with everything, I couldn’t focus. I tried to avoid talking about what had happened with Sophie Anne, but everyone had seen the reports, and Eric had called his family the night that it happened. I hoped that getting the police involved would mean that all of the drama with Sophie Anne would be behind us. I spent a fair amount of time Thursday afternoon sitting on the couch with Eric, snuggled under his arm, trying to feel normal.

I went shopping with the girls on Friday, getting great deals on things Rachel and Sven needed for the baby and buying a few Christmas gifts while the guys watched movies and ate leftovers. I ended up having a really good conversation with Zee and Rachel about Sophie Anne over coffee and hot cider about how they agreed that although they would have been upset about what happened, she really just needed to get help.

Sven and Rachel’s apartment wasn’t large enough for all of us to sleep there, so we had rooms at the downtown Hilton and met up there in the afternoon to relax in the pool area before we went to dinner. Elsa spent the meal suggesting baby names and wedding caterers, and I saw Rachel coveting my gin and tonic. After congregating for a while in our hotel suite, everyone went to their respective rooms and Sven and Rachel headed home. Then suddenly it was time to leave, and I was already tensing at the thought of the paparazzi at the airport again.

I couldn’t believe it was only a month until Christmas, and I still had no idea what to get Eric. I was trying to be normal, to live like I wasn’t looking over my shoulder for a scary redheaded actress. More articles about Sophie Anne popped up in the press, some I was sure were orchestrated by Pam, which documented the worst of her antics before her trip to rehab and others about her increasingly unkempt and disheveled appearance when she dared sneak out of the house.

No matter how hard I tried to get over it, the whole thing had really freaked me out. Over the next couple of days, even though I knew it was my imagination, I kept thinking I saw her when I was out running errands. Someone had rung our doorbell in the middle of the night and then run away, and even though I wasn’t convinced, Eric thought it was just teenagers. Then one afternoon, when I was getting back into the car at Whole Foods, I knew it hadn’t been in my head.

Sophie Anne was parked straight across from me staring at me and looking creepy as hell. I’m not sure how I did it, but I didn’t panic, I just backed out of the spot and called Eric, who told me to call Detective Bellefleur. After I told him what happened, he said that although she technically wasn’t supposed to be within one hundred yards of me, it was a public parking lot and could be argued that she hadn’t realized that it was my, well Eric’s, car that she parked across from. I mentioned the feeling that I was being watched and the late night visitor. He was angry that we hadn’t called sooner, and he told me to be vigilant, to report any suspicious cars or activity on the property and that he was going ask to have increased patrols past the house. If I had been freaked out before, now I was downright scared.

Eric called Pam and she came over to the house to hear the whole story. She casually walked into the house without knocking, lowering her sunglasses halfway down her nose. “Have I not convinced this chick to check into the crazy house yet?”

“Pam,” Eric chided her. “Don’t make fun of mental illness.”

Her head cocked and she looked at him like he was an alien. “Um. Okay, Mom. Anyway, what the hell is she thinking? What did Detective Whatshisname say?”

I sighed. “He said that although it probably wasn’t, Sophie Anne being there could have been an coincidence, so there’s really nothing they can do about it.”

“He said he’d send a car by the house a couple of times each night and to be on the look out for anything strange, Eric added.

Pam snorted, and I loved her for it. I thought most everything in Hollywood was strange. She called Diane and bitched her up one side and down the other.

“Are you not showing her the articles that have been posted about her in the last week and a half? Jesus. Her career is in the toilet and she’s stalking Sookie? Does she want to end up in made for TV movies and deodorant commercials? You do know you’re leaving me no choice, correct? I’ll send out the pictures of her with that girl in very compromising positions. And she’ll talk. You know she will. Portia will tell everyone how Sophie Anne was a controlling and manipulative girlfriend who stalked her and physically attacked her when they broke up.”

Sophie Anne dated a woman? And Pam had that pictures of it? I felt sick. I didn’t want to bring her sexuality into this. It didn’t have anything to do with what she was doing to us. Or did it? Was it about me? Did she want both of us? Shit. Now I was really going down the rabbit hole. I looked at Eric, dumbfounded, and he seemed just as shocked as I was.

Pam was quiet for a few seconds, rolling her eyes and listening to something Diane said. “No. She’s running out of excuses. I can tell you right now I’m going to leak rumors that someone else has come forward to report her obsessive behavior, and we’ll go from there.” She paused a minute and sighed. “I know you’re doing what you can Diane, but maybe her mother needs to physically drag her ass to a treatment center before she ends up in jail with no career to come back to.”

She finished the call and leaned back, rubbing her temples.

“Pam,” I said quietly. “You know I don’t really like this, right?”

She rubbed a hand over her face. “Sookie, I don’t like this either. I certainly don’t want to trash her sexuality because, well,” she pointed to herself, “Pot, meet Kettle. But Portia is another person who supports the idea that this is an ongoing problem Sophie Anne has, not just clouded judgement from drugs and alcohol.”

“I know,” I sighed. “I just felt like I needed to say it out loud.”

Pam nodded. “I understand. It’s your Midwest values.” We both laughed tightly and then she continued. “I think I’m actually going to do some digging and see if I can come up with time stamped photos of the two of you in that parking lot to show that you were there at the same time and hint that she’s cheating her restraining order and has stepped up her stalkerish behavior towards you.”

“That sounds better.”

“I don’t know if I can come up with the pictures, but I”ll try.”

“Thanks, Pam,” Eric spoke up. He’d been uncharacteristically quiet since she began talking to Diane. He sighed. “What are you thinking about in terms of precautions?”

She nodded and exhaled, and I wasn’t sure what they were talking about. Then the two of them launched into a conversation about security details and it was so foreign to me that it was like they were speaking a different language. They couldn’t possibly be talking about me. But they were.

Pam wanted around the clock surveillance on the property and Eric wanted me to get a bodyguard. I was scared, but I didn’t think I needed a hired security detail, and after a heated debate, we came to the conclusion that Pam and Alcide should work out of Eric’s home-office for the time being. I wasn’t supposed to go anywhere by myself, and when I did, I would go out with Eric, Pam or Alcide, which I knew Alcide wouldn’t be happy about.

Eventually, Pam left on her mission to find pictures of Sophie Anne and I at Whole Foods. I had no idea what sources she was going to tap into, and frankly I didn’t want to. Eric stayed with me, not returning to the set for the afternoon. I waited for him to freak out again about how this was all his fault, but thankfully, he didn’t. He let me cry when I finally broke down and asked me if I wanted to go to Michigan for a few weeks. I knew that he couldn’t go with me because of his filming schedule, so it was pretty huge, him being willing to let me fly half way across the country to avoid dealing with this. But that’s what I felt like it would be – avoiding things – and after dealing with Bill head on, I knew I could handle this, especially with Eric by my side.

“Thank you, for even putting that out there, but no.” I took his hand and laced our fingers together. “I’m staying right here, with you.”

“Please be careful,” he said quietly.

“I will. But I won’t hide.”

He nodded. “I wouldn’t want you to.”

And so began Operation Sookie is Spooked But Not Afraid. It involved me doing my everyday tasks with a chaperone who pretended like they really wanted to run errands with me or sit in the car when I had meetings.

Eric and I continued to present a united front, going to a concert and out to eat as a couple. Sophie Anne dropped out of sight, and Pam said Blackhart had taken her to Palm Springs to “get away.” Pam had managed to find the time stamped photos showing me entering Whole Foods at the same time Sophie Anne pulled into the parking lot. The article that Just Jared ran was harsh, saying that Sophie Anne’s behavior was frightening and bizarre. On top of that, it claimed that she was at risk of being dropped by her management agency and that a cosmetic company had cancelled plans to hold meetings with her regarding an ad campaign.

I still wondered how she had known where I was, but I was pretty sure it was thanks to the paparazzi. I sighed. Now that I had seen the way that Pam worked the tabloids and the paparazzi, it totally confirmed my belief that they were full of shit. Yeah, they posted lots of pretty pictures, and some not so pretty ones, but they didn’t know what was going on in celebrities’ lives, they only knew what they were fed. And if they weren’t fed anything, they made shit up.

The first day that I was under Alcide’s watch, was of course, the day I had a million things to do. I had a meeting with an editor at the Times, I needed to drop some things off to Holly at her work, meet Daph for lunch, and exchange some pants that I had bought for Eric that were too short. Aside from meeting with my editor, Alcide tried to convince me that he could just drop me off back at home and run the errands without me. Unfortunately, he tried to reason with me before I’d finished my morning coffee and I completely flipped out on him.

I waved my spoon around, pointing it in his direction. “Don’t treat me like a child, Alcide. I’m more than capable of running my own errands. If you keep it up with that attitude I’ll just go by myself. Don’t think I won’t.”

He stood there looking at me like he’d seen an alien. “What the fuck just happened?”

“You pissed me off too early in the morning.”

“Seriously. You went from being a slug sitting at the counter to screaming like a banshee. It was scary.”

“Shut up, Alcide,” I said as I stood up from the breakfast bar and headed back down the hall to get ready. “I’ll be ready in half an hour.”

“Alright, boss.”

“Shut up!” I called back over my shoulder.

It had been close to a week, and he was the first one to make me feel like I was a burden. Asshole. I didn’t want to call Eric and tattle on him, but I really wanted to call and tell him that Alcide was a jerk, which was basically the same thing, so I just slammed the bedroom door and got in the shower.

After my meeting, Alcide and I stopped by Holly’s office and then went to Joan’s on Third to wait for Daph. I had noticed a few paparazzi down the street on our way in, but once they realized Eric wasn’t coming they would leave me alone. The weather was nice, so we grabbed a table outside and I sat with my back to the cameras.

Daph arrived, and after I told her to ignore Alcide, we ordered our food and then got down to girl talk. We joked and gossiped and talked about everything butSophie Anne. She knew that I was sick of talking about it, and hearing about her, and seeing her damn picture plastered all over the tabloids and the internet. Our food arrived as Alcide’s cell phone started ringing. He spoke quietly for a second, then excused himself and stood off to the side to have his conversation.

I was leaning towards Daph, listening as she told me a story about Randy Quaid and his wife trying to break into her neighbors’ house, when there was a commotion on the street. I should have known what it was about, but I didn’t see anything when I looked over my shoulder. Then in an instant, Daph gasped, and I realized someone from the street was frantically shouting my name not even half a second before Sophie Anne flipped my salad plate into my lap.

“Oh my god!” I gasped, quickly standing upright. “What the hell are you doing here?”

“What am I doing here?” she huffed. “I’m the one that should be here. You’re nobody. You’re just a gold digging whore! You’re not good enough – oof!” She would have continued, but she’d been tackled by a rabid Alcide.

He was holding her down and practically growling. The paparazzi had come in closer and were swirling around them, a manager from the restaurant was calling the police, and Daph had her phone out to call Sam, or maybe Eric. I stood there for a second, taking it all in, trying to get my head around what had happened.

Without really meaning to, I walked over towards Sophie Anne and Alcide, who were still struggling. I knew I really should have stayed back, but I couldn’t stop myself. Looking down on her, I was struck by how sick she must truly be, but at the same time I was furious. I mean, I was nail spitting angry at her.

“You stupid bitch.” I shook my head. ” All we wanted was for you to get help. You just put yourself in jail, and there’s not a damn thing I can do to stop it.” I turned on my heel and walked back up the porch steps and straight into the restaurant, where I flopped down in an empty chair and put my head in my hands to wait for Eric.

The manager came in, apologizing over and over, offering to pay for my dry cleaning, then telling other customers everything was alright. Daph was sitting next to me, asking me repeatedly if I was okay and patting my back. Alcide came inside and stood next to me while he talked on his phone. I heard every word he said, but couldn’t have told anyone who he was talking to. At one point I saw him look down at me, and I had a feeling Eric was on the other end of the phone wanting to talk to me, but I couldn’t do it. I was hanging on by a thread and I was going to lose it when I got home. I was going to be fine for as long as I was in public, but after that, all bets were off.

A police cruiser had shown up, and apparently Sophie Anne was sitting in the back of it. An officer came inside to talk to me, but Alcide told him there was a restraining order and that Detective Bellefleur had been called. He asked if I was alright, whether she had physically harmed me, and then told us he’d be outside until they talked with Andy.

So I sat there waiting for Eric, trying to keep my composure, with Daph sitting next to me looking as shocked as I felt and Alcide pacing back and forth and swearing a lot on his phone.

xxXXxxXXxxXXxxXXxx

A/N:

Oh my stars and stripes! How do you think Eric’s going to take the news? And holy crap, what’s Pam going to do? LOL

Thanks for reading! Take a second to review if you don’t mind. I love to hear what you all think!

Marix Restaurant. Cadillac Margaritas anyone?

Swamp People is a real show on the History Channel.

 

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