Hair and Makeup: Chapter 25
The second week on Quinn’s film was a little better than the first–at least in some ways. I wasn’t sick. I didn’t have my period. I was used to Quinn calling me and every other woman in sight “babe.” But I could see that not all the women thought he was so wonderful. He was one of the few people in my world who knew that I was seeing Eric since Eric and I had run into him twice in restaurants. I really had no intentions of discussing my personal life with Quinn, and had decided that I would try to avoid the subject if it came up.
Monday morning, Quinn sat in my chair and asked, “So, how’s Northman?”
“Fine.” I started to work on his foundation.
“So, how’d the premiere go? I hear Oscar buzz.”
“Great.” I had no idea what he was talking about.
Quinn raised his voice a little to make sure the rest of the trailer could hear him. “Sookie’s dating Eric Northman.”
I felt the blush creeping up my neck.
A few people just said things like, “oh, really,” and, “great.” One very loud woman said, “Girl, you better put a leash on that man. He was getting eaten alive by that Selah Pumphrey Saturday night.”
I just smiled and focused on my work. Well, that explained why he wasn’t at the wrap party. He was being eaten alive. Then Quinn asked, “Why aren’t you in New York?”
“Because I’m here, working on you, silly.” And I got dumped, apparently for Sophie-Anne LeClerq and then Selah Pumphrey. Oh, and maybe that beautiful manager, Pam. Man, he works fast.
The actress in the chair beside Quinn was doing something with her phone while getting her hair done and leaned over towards me to show me her phone. “He sure looks great in a tux.” I politely looked at a photo of Eric and Selah waving at the crowd on a red carpet. She had on a beautiful dark blue gown that faded into lighter blue towards the bottom and looked like a goddess. I just nodded in agreement, smiling as best I could.
I wanted so desperately for someone to change the subject. Quinn went on. “So, when’s he coming home?”
Finally, phone girl found something else of interest on her phone and announced it. Something about Twitter and a movie she had just worked on. I feigned interest, grateful to move onto another subject.
Every single morning, I had to suffer the latest news about Eric. I started to think I’d made a huge mistake pretending like things were okay between us. I would have to work with these people for months. Surely, they would realize sooner or later that I was lying. I was in a panic as to how to back out of this one. Apparently, Eric was in New York and on every morning show and talk show known to mankind. I had to sit through the reports every day. He certainly was a busy guy.
I was starting to see that dating a famous guy had some real drawbacks. No one reported Bill’s every move to me—what he’d done every morning. I would have to keep that in mind if a famous guy ever asked me out—not that I could imagine ever going out on another date again. The very thought of it made me a little queasy.
On Thursday night, we were almost through for the night. It was close to 2 and we probably had another couple of hours to go. I was fixing Quinn’s makeup for the martini when he said out of the blue, “I was kind of surprised to see you on this film. Is Northman not taking care of you?”
“Um, well, he doesn’t have anything shooting right now.”
“No, I mean taking care of you. You know, paying your bills.”
It took me a minute to process what he was asking. “No.” I was immediately mad at myself. I should have told him it was none of his business.
“Shit. I always do. Otherwise, you never know when they might sell a story to the press. You gotta keep ’em happy.” He winked and my stomach turned a little. “So, if you don’t…you know…belong to Northman, then I take it you’re available.” I didn’t want to say yes, so I said nothing, feeling the panic rise in my throat. He leaned in closer and lowered his voice. “You know, there’s nothing better than a good fuck at the end of a long day, especially a long night. Are you game?”
“Suit yourself, babe. Just let me know if you change your mind.”
“Sure.” His concealer may have been a little messy from my hand shaking, but that was just too bad.
So, I was settling into the new film, but kind of dreading it as well, when the first a.d. came into the trailer Friday after lunch and asked to speak to me. I was waiting for Quinn but stepped outside for some privacy. “I have some bad news for you, Sookie.”
I wasn’t sure I could take any more bad news. Was Eric on Good Morning America having sex with Selah Pumphrey this morning? Did he call me a loser on national TV? Has he announced his upcoming wedding? I just waited patiently.
“John Quinn has left for the day and he won’t be back.”
“Is he okay? Is he sick?” Oh dear, did I give him my flu?
“He’s fine. There were some…um…artistic differences between Quinn and the director and she’s decided to re-cast his part.” Maybe he finally called the wrong woman “babe.”
“Oh. I see.”
“I wish I could say we could keep you, but Quinn’s replacement has his own makeup artist. I’m really sorry.”
“No, that’s fine. Um…please keep me in mind though—you know, for future work. You have my resume.”
“Of course. Thanks. Just pack up your kit whenever you’d like. I’ll take you off the clock in…uh…half an hour?”
“That’s fine.” We shook hands and just like that, I was done with the new film. Thanks a lot, Quinn…I mean, babe.
It was just after 11 when I got home. (Lunch was from 10-10:30 since crew call was at 4—it’s always six hours after crew call.) I had anticipated working until dawn, so was thrilled to be home and in bed at a reasonable hour. My body sure was happy to snuggle down under the covers.
I slept for a solid twelve hours and woke feeling like I had a hangover. I drank some juice and checked my email and thought—wow, I have time on my hands. I had anticipated working for months and suddenly, I was free. I wasn’t sure what I would do with the week coming up. I’d start to look for work, of course, but whatever I found, if anything, wouldn’t start right away anyway, so I was probably looking at at least a week of freedom. Maybe more. I wondered where Eric was and what he was doing. Still in New York? What if I sent a text message? There would be no danger of seeing him if he was in New York, right? What if I just sent a quick hello, how are you? Would that look too desperate? I just missed him so much.
I decided to start my new freedom by taking care of myself and fished my yoga mat out of the closet. I pulled on some stretchy pants and a tank top and spread out in the living room. I was so stiff and heard some scary popping sounds, but decided to give myself a break and just do what I could with my poor tired body. I only managed about forty-five minutes and then skipped the final relaxation because I knew I’d fall asleep. So, I rolled up the mat and put it away and crawled back into bed for the real deal. Before I knew it, I was back to sleepyland.
The buzzer woke me and I stumbled out to the living room to hit the button, letting my mystery guest up. I won’t lie and say I didn’t hope it was Eric. After all, the last time anyone showed up here unexpectedly, it was Eric. So, was I crazy to hope? When I peeked through the peep-hole, my heart did a flip-flop. Eric.
There was no time to worry about how I must have looked. I opened the door to a choice of two smoothies, and found it adorable that I picked the one he had been drinking. I ached for him to touch me.
We sat on the sofa like adults and chatted about my film—my new former film. I could see that he had powder on and thought it was a shade off—a little too pink. He must have just come from a job or an interview. When he touched my neck, my heart skipped a beat, but then I realized that he was silently inquiring about the ring around my neck. I suddenly felt like I’d been caught stealing and went to get the other pieces to return them to him. I certainly didn’t deserve them. When he asked me why I was wearing the ring around my neck, I felt the rush of emotions, knowing that I was saying goodbye to the last tie I had to him by giving the jewelry back.
I was trying so hard to keep it together and he was asking me about how I felt. He mentioned something about us going to Two Bunch Palms and New York and Hawaii and I was confused and asked about his taking Sophie-Anne to the spa. When he said he went alone, I felt the first real glimmer of hope that I still had a chance. Then when he spoke about keeping me in his contract and charging more money, I realized that he still wanted to work with me and my heart dared to hope a little more.
And when he said that the trip to Hawaii was on Thursday, that’s when I realized—maybe this wasn’t over at all. Maybe I was going to Hawaii with the sexiest man alive that I also happened to be madly in love with. Maybe my carriage hadn’t turned into a pumpkin at all and maybe it was going to take me on a dream vacation with my Prince Charming. The emotions were swirling in my head when I registered he was placing the ring on my finger and then he said he loved me. Eric said he loved me. I launched myself at him, clinging to his body and weeping into his neck. It wasn’t over and he loved me. He held me tightly, stroking my hair and saying, “shhh,” over and over. I couldn’t seem to stop the tears. It was just such a relief and so overwhelming. Finally, he asked into my hair, “Why are you crying, baby?”
I kind of choked out a sob, but it didn’t sound much like a word.
“Are you happy or sad? Is this what you want? Am I wrong to hope for this?”
I did manage to shake my head and get out the word, “Happy.”
He squeezed me a little harder and just sat tight until I was able to get the tears under control. When the crying finally stopped, he pulled my face from his neck and wiped my tears with his thumbs. I looked into his eyes and whispered, “I love you so much.” Eric clenched his jaw and nodded and hugged me to him again, kissing my cheek, my hair, my temple. We both took a deep ragged emotion-filled breath and rocked our bodies together in silence. We were back.