OMG. OMG. HE past 1,000 reviews this week! Thanks soo much everyone! For the other authors out there, you understand how amazingly huge that is, but for you awesome readers who don’t write, reviews are the only thing we get out of this – well, that and meeting some really awesome people in this fandom. So – from the bottom of my heart, thanks you.
Big thanks to A Redhead Thing and Sapfirerose for their continued support and excitement for this story. You girls deserve primal animalistic sex with TB Eric, or any Eric of your choice. I’ll pull whatever strings I have to make it happen for you.
Now I’ll shut up. Here you go…
Before Sookie and I made it back to the car in the airport parking lot, my bonehead brothers were blowing up her phone with text messages professing their love for her and telling her to forget about me and run away with them. She was giggling like a mad woman, texting them back to tell them that she loved them too.
It was all so normal, and so bizarre, at the same time. I hadn’t introduced a girl to my family in years, Sookie had sort of fallen into my life and into my heart and there she was, fully accepted by my brothers. I wasn’t even worried about my mom meeting her, and that was huge.
My mom was a force to be reckoned with, not unlike a certain Stackhouse I knew. She organized and orchestrated things down to the tiniest detail. The inability to get her sons married off was starting to make her a little crazy. Over the years, she had tried to set us up with women she met through her job at the hospital and the daughters of friends.
Now that we had moved away and were grown men, she had been relegated to whining about our bachelorhood and lack of children every time we spoke. Whenever it came up, each brother tried to force her attentions on another, saying, “Sven has a new girlfriend,” or “Chris had a date last night.” I was easy prey, because I was always filming with some female celebrity or invited to a party that, in my mom’s eyes, would include a veritable buffet of single women, so both brothers tended to push her on me.
Mom had left me a shy voice mail a few days ago that I hadn’t shared with anyone, not even Sookie.
“Eric, it’s mom.” Thanks mom, because I didn’t already know that. “I just wanted to call and say that I’m really happy that you have a girlfriend. I mean, that’s what it says you confirmed in the magazines.” Ouch. Fuck. I should have told her myself. “Anyway, I wish that I had heard it from you, but I’m really happy for you. I know that you’ve been kind of isolated.” She sighed. “I’d love to talk with you, so call me. Have a good time with your brothers. Don’t let Sven get hurt or do anything dangerous. Love you.”
I felt like a heel for having mom find out about Sookie that way, but everything had been so out of control since the minute she got knocked out. I mean, at first I didn’t think it was real; I thought that it was just me having feelings for her, and then it was like a whirlwind. I found out she was the woman I had been emailing and the girl Sam wanted me to go out with, but Sookie didn’t know any of that, she didn’t remember anything. Then, after we’d spent time together and had grown close, when I was ready to tell her how I was feeling, Sophie Anne went insane. Damn. It sounded really crazy when you put it all together like that. I had a feeling though, when all was said and done, my mom would be okay with everything when she met Sookie. She’d see what I saw, and nothing else would matter.
Hollywood was a pretty wicked place, and it felt strange to be close with my family; if not physically, at least emotionally, in that sea of individuals out for their own gain. The time with Sookie, and the understanding that she didn’t really have a family, made me appreciate mine even more.
Now, we had a week left before I had to head back to California. I was sitting in the living room at the beach house with my nose buried in my script. Sookie was on the other end of the couch, surfing the web to make a list of restaurants that she wanted to visit in L.A. for her blog.
My cell phone rang and Kidd Rock’s Cowboy blared. It was Alcide; I wondered where the hell he’d been. “Northman.”
“Hey. Checking in. You had a busy time while I was gone.” He gave a dry laugh.
“Exactly where were you Alcide?”
“You loaned me out.”
“Remember? My parents wanted me to help them move, and I told them there wasn’t a chance in hell. You got all vindictive and mean and called my mom and told her I would be there.”
“Ah, yes. That was rather mean of me, to make you help your aging parents. I forgot that it was the same time as my vacation.”
“I can’t imagine how. You were all smug about it and used the word ‘fortuitous.’ My mom made you jam and cookies.”
I laughed. “Tell her thanks. How was your trip to the heartland?”
“Every trip back to Missouri reminds me why I left.”
“You’re a cold hearted bastard, Cide.”
“Don’t I know it.” He paused, and I could tell he mentally shifted gears into business mode. “Listen, Pam wants to know if you are going to bring Sookie to any events during the Fourth? You know, MTV will have that beach house again, and since he did that cameo on Bloodlust, you’ve got an invite to Ben Affleck’s big cook out. Then there are a couple of parties for the Arts Council, and Pam said something about trying to get you into Spielberg’s for fireworks.”
“If she can get us in for fireworks, we’re there,” I said, glancing at Sookie. “If we do any of the other stuff, we’ll probably go to Ben’s. Sookie and Jen would probably really like each other. Do we need to RSVP?”
“Yeah, they need to order personalized sparklers for you or some shit,” he said sarcastically. Then he was serious. “Yes, you need to RSVP.”
“Tell them we’ll be there. Anything else?”
“No, but I’m sure Pam will think of something.”
“Most likely. Later.”
Sookie had put the laptop on the coffee table and was turned around looking at me.
“Who would I get along with?”
“Ah, Jennifer Affleck, or Garner. I don’t know what her married name is.”
Her eyes actually sparkled and she was grinning from ear to ear. She sat up on her knees and bounced. “Oh my god! Really?”
“Sookie,” I teased. “I can’t take you to their party if you’re going to get all fangirl.”
“Did I get all fangirl about you?” She was inching towards me.
“You had amnesia.”
“Oh, yeah. I promise I’ll be good. But really, Ben and Jen?”
“That is so cool. Maybe Matt Damon will be there.”
I laughed. “Maybe, Matt and his wife and kids.”
She snorted at my comment. She was right next to me on the couch, grinning. Her arms came around me and she climbed into my lap, planting a sexy kiss on me. When she pulled away, she cupped my face and whispered, “I think I might like California.”
I laughed and pushed her back on the couch to tickle her. “You’re going to use me to meet celebrities?”
“Ha ha! No! Stop!”
I continued tickling her and she shrieked with laughter. After a few minutes we were both short of breath but I continued to go after the spots that I’d learned made her wiggle and laugh. I thought she was ready to cry “Uncle!”, but her words totally surprised me.
“I won’t meet any of them.” She gasped. “Stop! I won’t meet any of them!”
I went still. “What did you say?”
“I won’t meet any of them.” She said quietly.
“Why did you say that?”
“What? Because that’s not why I’m coming to California. I’m coming for you. I don’t care about anyone else.”
“Sookie, I was just teasing you. I’m excited to have this invitation too. I hung out with Ben on the set a bit, but they’re new friends for me. Sam and Daphne went to their party last year and I was jealous.”
“Alright, I just mean, we don’t have to go. I don’t care if we never leave your house. Wait do you have a house?”
I smirked at her. It surprised me sometimes that we were still learning things about each other. “Yes, Sookie. I have a house.” I leaned forward to kiss her. She was so adorable, lying there looking confused, but she pushed at my chest to sit up.
“Stop. Tell me about your house. How big is it? Is it by the ocean?”
“Sookie, you’ll see it next week.” I sighed. “I wouldn’t call it big. It’s not on the water, but it’s in the hills and you can see the ocean from my pool area.”
“You have a pool?”
“Yes, and an outdoor fireplace.”
“Sookie, it doesn’t snow in California, we use our patios year round.”
She giggled. “I guess you do. Tell me about the house though.”
“It’s nothing too huge. Four bedrooms and an office, a couple of bathrooms, a nice living room and a big kitchen.”
She was grinning. “So, like three times the size of my cottage?”
“Something like that. I bought it furnished from some guy who moved back to Europe. He updated everything, but he only lived there two years. He never really assimilated and went back to Czechoslovakia or something.”
“Did you make that up?”
“No, but my realtor probably did.”
“Wait, didn’t your brothers say it was really modern? That doesn’t sound like you. You didn’t redecorate?”
“I’d like to say that I’m not there very often, but that’s not true. I only updated the rooms I use; my bedroom, my office and the living room. That’s lame isn’t it?”
“It is, kind of. But if that’s all you use.” She shrugged.
I exhaled, looking around at my script and the laptop on the table. “Can we take a break?”
She giggled. “You want to take a study break? And make out?”
I waggled my eyebrows and pushed her back onto the couch and we did just that.
Eventually we spent the rest of the afternoon working from opposite corners of the couch. We changed clothes and went into Saugatuck for dinner, wandering in and out of shops after we ate. There were still a fair amount of tourists in town, which Sookie said was normal. I got waylaid by a few fans asking for autographs and pictures as we shopped, but for the most part people left us alone. I was really getting used to the lack of paparazzi. I’d even stood on the deck with Sookie, wearing nothing but the blanket wrapped around us one morning, and had no fear that someone was hiding in the bushes for a picture at seven in the morning.
The week we had left together flew by. We enjoyed ourselves, doing everyday things that were so much better with her; grocery shopping, laundry, reading the morning paper, watching movies and eating bowls of cereal. With Sookie, they were anything but routine. We stayed at the beach house most nights. Sookie decided that she wanted to listen to the waves, and I had to admit, I was quickly becoming addicted to the sound.
On my second to last night in Michigan, we went back to her place for poker night. According to Amelia, it was an annual summer event including a poker tournament and dinner party that alternated between friends homes. It was Amelia’s turn to host this year, but since they were neighbors, the party would be held at both Sookie and the Dawson’s homes. Dinner would be at Sookie’s, and then those who wanted to play poker would head over to Amelia and Tray’s, while others would stay at Sookie’s to drink and socialize, or wander back and forth between houses. It was a small group, maybe twenty people, who all seemed to know each other quite well.
Sookie was cleaning up the kitchen; she wasn’t going to play poker since she was playing hostess. She leaned close and whispered, “Plus I’m catching up with everyone again now that I actually remember them.” I laughed and shook my head, then gave her a quick kiss as I followed Tray next door.
It was very laid back and everyone seemed to welcome me into the fold. Ginger and Felicia were harassing me about my character on Bloodlust, saying he was an evil, controlling vampire and he would never get the girl. More than anything, they were trying to get me to give up information about the coming season, and we were all laughing when I tried to convince them I got killed in the first episode. The press had already leaked that I was in every episode in the coming season.
I made it through the first two rounds of poker. I moved on with Tray, Ginger, and two men who were a couple, Mick and Michael, who refused to sit next to each other at this final table, saying it was bad luck.
Ginger continued to try to distract me, asking questions about female celebrities she’d like to fuck. Her words, not mine. She was slightly successful because she had me laughing several times picturing her with the very hetero celebrities she was naming off. Finally, Felicia slapped her on the back of the head.
“You do not want to have sex with Pamela Anderson and you never have. Now you’re pissing me off. Eric, ignore my wife, she’s being a child.”
I laughed, telling them that I really thought they would like my friend Pam if they ever got to California.
After a while, Michael and Ginger had been knocked out leaving just Tray, Mick and I to play. Sookie had wandered over from her house and was standing behind me with her hands on my shoulders. Now that was distracting.
On the next deal, I went all in with a pair of kings, only to be knocked out by Tray’s two aces. I shrugged, leaving the table as I congratulated Tray and Mick on a good game, since they were the final two at the table.
Sookie and I moved away from the crowd, and although I wanted to see who won, I wanted to spend time with Sookie even more. We went into the dining room, and she put her arms around me, standing on her tip toes to kiss me. I kissed her back, thinking of nothing but getting over to her house and stripping her naked.
Amelia giggled as passed through the room. “You two are so cute.”
“Thanks, Meels,” Sookie teased, still on her tip toes, her eyes locked on mine.
I smiled at Sookie, and then turned to grin at her friend. “Great party, Amelia.”
“Whatever, lovebirds,” she laughed and continued into the living room.
Poker finished up, with Mick winning the pot. Tray laughed, saying he let him win; he was being a good host and all. It had gotten late, and people began to say their good-nights. Sookie helped Amelia clean a few things up and load the dishwasher before we walked back to her house.
I was really going to miss this. I had friends in California, but with our crazy schedules it was pretty rare that we could all get together for a dinner and poker party. It seemed like the only time we all got together was for an awards show or someone’s premiere, and that definitely wasn’t a relaxed atmosphere.
Sookie had cleaned up almost all evidence of the party before heading over to Amelia’s. I locked up the house and met Sookie in the bedroom, where she’d already climbed onto the bed.
“You look beautiful, Sookie,” I said, taking her in as the moonlight played on her hair.
She rolled to her side and sat up on her elbow. “You don’t look so bad yourself.”
I joined her on the bed, stretching out next to her, running my hand along her side. I sighed, thinking I wasn’t going to be able to leave her, even for a few days.
She put her hand on my lips, and I brought my eyes to hers. “Don’t. I’m not worried about it. We’ll figure it out. Okay?”
I nodded, kissing her fingers, before moving her hand aside and leaning forward to kiss her lips. I rolled our bodies so that she was stretched across my chest, as I ran my hands over her back while we kissed. I heard her moan into my mouth, but I kept things slow, taking my time to savor her. We made love throughout the night, waking each other with warm mouths and gentle touches, unable to get enough.
I woke in the morning, tangled around her from behind, our skin sticky from contact. I didn’t know what Sookie had in mind for our last day together, but I would have been fine if we never left the bed. I hugged her to me and kissed her neck with a sigh.
“Mmm. Good morning,” she said sleepily as she turned to face me.
“It’s your last day here. What do you want to do?” I raised an eyebrow at her and she laughed, “All day?”
“Well, maybe we could eat and take a walk on the beach.”
“That does sound nice.”
So that’s what we did. We lounged in bed and made love, then drove over to the beach house and had breakfast. We went for a walk on the beach before it got too hot, pausing several times to sit in the sand and watch the waves. Then we went back to the house and straight to the bedroom, made love and napped, then wandered to the kitchen to make sandwiches for lunch. I packed a few things and then looked over my script, while Sookie did some work on her laptop. We made small talk, but seemed to avoid the big issue.
When it was time to think about dinner, I suggested the pizza place that Sookie liked, but she shook her head and wrinkled her nose.
“I don’t want to share you tonight. Is that okay?”
“That is more than fine.”
I put my arms around her and we wound up in bed again before she managed to pull together a feast between the leftovers in the fridge and things in my freezer. We cleaned up the kitchen and I led her behind me outside to the balcony. Pulling her into my lap, we sat in an Adirondack chair and looked out at the water to see the sun setting on the horizon. We didn’t talk; I just held her and rested my chin on her head.
“You okay?” she whispered.
“I’m good. I just needed to hold you a minute.”
“Hey, I’ll be with you in California in less than a week. Besides, you need to clean your bachelor pad up so it’s fit for a lady to visit anyway.”
I laughed, but we still hadn’t talked about what would happen after her visit to California. I didn’t want things to be over between us after that, god anything but that. I thought she felt the same, but we hadn’t discussed how we would make it work. In the back of my mind, I was hoping that she would come to California and never leave, but that was unrealistic.
“And then I’ll be back for the premiere party, that’s in a month.” She was trying to be positive.
A month was too long, and it meant she was planning on coming home. I sighed. “Sookie, what if I asked you to move to California?” It was out of my mouth before I had second thoughts.
She was quiet for a moment, long enough for me to think I’d royally fucked up. She was still cradled in my lap, facing away from me. She let out a deep breath and then she spoke. “I would say that I have a house here, so we should plan to come back and visit.” She paused and then, more quietly said, “Are you asking me?”
“Are you saying yes?” My heart was pounding. I couldn’t believe I had asked her and I certainly couldn’t believe she had sort of said yes.
She turned around in my lap, so she was on her knees, straddling my legs. “Eric, are you sure about this?”
I looked into her eyes, and saw everything that I needed there. I couldn’t go back to California without knowing she was going to join me, for good. “Yes, I’m absolutely sure.”
“Good,” she said before kissing me quickly. Then she grinned, leaning her forehead against mine. “Almost everything I own is already packed.”