Hair and Makeup: Chapter 3
My call time Tuesday morning was 9:30. Eric always had a twelve-hour turnaround, and I always worked the same hours that he did. I was a little bummed that Monday went so long because then that pushed the call for the next day, of course, and it made it more likely that by Friday, we’d be working very late, kind of killing the weekend. For the first time in a long time, I was looking forward to my weekend. Eric said he wanted to take me out to dinner and I was really hoping he’d ask me out for Saturday night. It felt great to be excited about something—to have someone to look forward to seeing. Every time I had a flash of thought about the previous morning, my stomach did a little flip-flop. Wow. I had it bad for Eric Northman.
I took my breakfast burrito into the trailer and sat to study my call sheet. Nothing unusual today. More scenes on the stage. A little blood on his chin after lunch. I started to unpack my makeup and brushes and lay them out on the towel when I remembered what I’d brought in my purse. I pulled the condoms from my tampon case and stuck them in the bottom drawer of my kit and couldn’t wipe the smile off my face. I don’t remember when I’d put those condoms in there in the first place, but they seemed to fit with the tampons, maxi and mini-pads, safety pins, double-stick tape, band aids, travel toothbrush and toothpaste—all items for personal emergencies. I removed the lone remaining condom first and checked its expiration date and breathed a sigh of relief. Then I found a spot for the new ones and rearranged everything to accommodate the newest emergency item that I fished from my purse—a pair of panties. I hated being unprepared.
I finished setting my table up, filled my teakettle and opened the pack of clean towels to put away. Then just sat on the bed to wait for Eric.
I heard the click of the door and my heart leapt, but then I immediately heard Sophie-Anne’s voice and rearranged my face to accommodate my professional smile rather than my giddy-as-a-teenager grin. “Good morning, Eric. Sophie-Anne.”
They both said good morning and Eric sat in his chair. He seemed to be suppressing a giddy grin as well.
“Do you mind if I go over some things with Eric while you work, Sookie.”
“Of course not. Can I get you anything?”
“I’d love some eggs. Scrambled with spinach and goat cheese. And a cup of tea—anything decaf.”
“Got it. Eric?”
“I’ve already eaten, thanks.”
I didn’t have my walkie yet, so I stepped outside and found Sam to relay Sophie-Anne’s order. It certainly wasn’t my job to feed the director, but working on a film is all about teamwork.
When I returned to the trailer, Eric and Sophie-Anne were deep in discussion about the scene we had scheduled for the morning. I went to work silently and started to shave my actor. Soon, Andre joined us with Sophie-Anne’s breakfast, Eric’s sides and my walkie-talkie. He sensed being in the way (amazing after yesterday, I thought) and left quickly.
I did my job and made a concerted effort not to glance at Eric’s crotch while I worked. He mostly listened while Sophie-Anne spoke, but then I’d stand back when I sensed he wanted to respond to her. Andre came and took them both to set when I was finished and I started to pack my set bag to follow them.
Tuesday was another long day. Eric and I never had a moment alone and so couldn’t have a conversation about the insane behavior that started our week. I thought I caught a special smile from him a few times, but it may have just been my wishful thinking. I was still reeling from the notion that I’d had sex at work and with the actor I was assigned to work on. I had never done anything even remotely like that in my life, of course. Suddenly, I started to eye the other crew members and wondered if that sort of thing ever happened in the other departments. And had Eric ever done that before? And would he wonder the same of me? After all, it took me all of five seconds to produce a condom. Did he wonder why it was in my kit? It probably would seem odd to someone who didn’t know that I had about a jillion different oddities in my kit. Was it just some meaningless crazy moment to Eric? Wait, he did say later that he had feelings for me and wanted to ask me on a date. I just needed to settle down and be patient. He had a lot on his mind every day. He’d get around to asking me out when he could, right? It had been awhile since I was in the dating pool, but I was still pretty sure it was customary to let a guy buy you a few dinners before you let him boink you at work. I really needed to calm down. I was freaking myself out.
My call time Wednesday was noon because we’d shot Tuesday until midnight. I was already pretty tired and it was only the middle of the week. Sophie-Anne and Eric came into the trailer together again and I tried not to feel sorry for myself because I didn’t get any alone time with Eric. I was giving myself a little pep talk in my head while I did his hair—reminding myself that he was a very in-demand and busy guy and not to take it personally that he wasn’t able to make out with me at work. I wasn’t really listening to the conversation between Sophie-Anne and Eric until I sensed Eric tense up before answering her question. He shot me an uncomfortable glance before telling her, “I can’t Saturday, but thanks for asking.”
“Why not? Do you have a date? Bring her. Eric, there’ll be a lot of movers and shakers there. You really should be there to kiss ass properly. Stan Davis, Russell Edington—didn’t you say once you really wanted to work with him?”
“Yeah, I did. And I do, but I have plans.” He squirmed a little, obviously uncomfortable with the subject.
“So, it is a date?” Her tone changed to teasing. “Interesting.” My stomach began to drop and my hands wanted to rip some of his lovely blond hair out. He had a date on Saturday night, and obviously was uncomfortable discussing it in front of the girl he’d just banged Monday morning. Suddenly, I felt like an idiot. “So, is it serious?”
“I have high hopes. Let’s just leave it at that.” High hopes? Wow, that smarted. But of course, he must be seeing someone. He’s a huge star—one of the most eligible men in Hollywood. And definitely the sexiest. That’s what People magazine kept saying, and I concurred, dammit.
I finished Cassanova’s hair and turned to begin packing my set bag. Sophie-Anne and Eric left to go to set. I fought the tears back and followed right behind them.
To make my day just a little worse, Eric had a love scene on Wednesday after lunch. I’d be lying if I said that it never bothered me to see him rolling around swapping tongues with Hollywood’s young and beautiful leading women (and a couple of the leading men as well, come to think of it). But of all days, this was a particularly tough one for me. It was a closed set because of the nudity so I sat just outside the barn doors with most of the crew until I heard my walkie: “Sookie, go to two.” I switched channels for privacy. “Go for Sookie.” It was Sam. “Eric needs a little body makeup. Can you please step in?” I stood and picked my set bag up. “Copy that.”
He was lying on his side in bed with the most perfect looking naked woman I’d ever seen. She was the only one who had a view of the goods, which I assumed were neatly encased in the little sack-o-genitals that men wore for such scenes. I wondered how many other women on the set today had seen the real deal. Come to think of it, I hadn’t exactly seen any of it—only felt it…with my vagina. Those sorts of torturous thoughts haunted me as I carefully made one of Eric’s butt cheeks match the rest of his upper torso that I’d sponged down earlier.
“Thank you, Sookie. Please step away.” Sam gestured for me to exit the stage, which I did. I sat on my little set chair outside as the sun set and pulled my phone out, checking my sadly neglected email while Eric had simulated intercourse on the other side of the huge stage door. God, what a strange business. It seemed even stranger now that my heart was involved. Dammit.
I was so tired on Thursday when I dragged myself in for our 2 p.m. call. Sophie-Anne continued to accompany Eric while he was in my chair. I tried to act as cheerful as I could, but inside, I was starting to crumble.
I was amazed at how many of the other crew members noticed that I wasn’t wearing my ring. I didn’t give a lot of details, of course—just told people that my fiancé and I had broken up. I was completely floored when Sam turned to me at the table during lunch and said, “Sookie, so will you have dinner with me on Saturday night?” My fork froze in mid-air as I looked around the table, hoping for an instant that there was another Sookie nearby. Seven pairs of eyes turned to me, waiting for my answer.
“Please say yes. People are watching.” His smile was so sweet and expectant.
I liked Sam. He was very attractive and had always been nice and friendly to me. I was newly single and Eric obviously was tied up in something with someone else that he had high hopes for (dammit). I really couldn’t think of a reason why I shouldn’t have dinner with Sam, so I just smiled and said, “Sure.”
Everybody went back to eating and Sam shot me a look of gratitude. I spent the rest of the day trying to look forward to my date, but honestly, I was so tired and grumpy about Eric that I had a hard time thinking optimistically about anything.
I woke up and dragged my tired butt into work Friday at 4 p.m. to start my day. In spite of how exhausted I was, I hadn’t slept well the night before. I kept tossing and turning and fretting about my upcoming date with Sam. Not only was I not looking forward to it, I found that I was actually dreading it. No matter how many times I told myself that I was just “getting back out there,” it felt wrong to be going out with Sam when I clearly had strong feelings for Eric. Sure, Mr. High Hopes didn’t return my feelings, but that didn’t change what I felt in my heart. My heart said that it would be wrong to lead Sam on.
I was set up and waiting for Eric, trying not to think about Monday’s events, which was impossible in the trailer where it had all happened. I heard the door open and Eric came in—alone for the first time since Monday. I smiled what I hoped was a normal smile. “Good morning, Eric.”
“Morning.” He didn’t look at me and he wasn’t smiling.
He sat in the chair as I examined his skin. “Want me to shave you?”
“Please.” Okay, I had no clue what he was so grumpy about. I just went about our normal routine—well, the one that was normal before the nipple-sucking and panty-stealing and boning. Andre came in with Eric’s sides and my walkie. I finished Eric’s face and hands and was starting on his hair when Andre left the trailer. I could feel Eric’s eyes on me and wondered what was wrong. It didn’t feel right. He finally broke the silence. “You told Sam Merlotte you’d have dinner with him on Saturday night.”
I was shocked, but kept working on his hair. “Yeah.”
“So, that’s not just a rumor.”
He picked his sides up off the bed and started to read, a look of complete disinterest on his face. I had no idea what he was all bent out of shape for. He was the one planning on hoping high Saturday night with god knows who way before I ever said yes to Sam. Maybe he was expecting me to remain pure and just be a member of his harem. No thank you, Mr. Movie Star, Mr. Sexiest Man Alive. Twice.
He didn’t even wait for Andre, but got up and left the trailer as soon as I was finished. Fine. I was too tired to care. Well, okay, that’s not true. But I was pretty tired.
As soon as my set bag was packed and I’d grabbed my little folding chair, I found Sam and asked if I could have a word with him when he had a minute. I set my chair up and put the bag on it and looked around for Eric in his tank top so I could do his body makeup. As soon as I spotted him, Sam took me by the hand and led me out the door. Eric glared at me.
Sam stopped me around the corner from the stage and let my hand go. “Is everything okay, Sookie?”
“Yeah, everything’s fine. I’m so sorry to bother you. I know you’re busy, but I didn’t want to wait. I…um…I need to cancel our date for tomorrow.”
“I just…it just feels weird. I’m so sorry. I really like you, Sam. I do…”
“It’s okay, Sookie. I shouldn’t have put you on the spot like that when I asked you. I understand. I hope we’re still friends?”
“Of course. Thanks for understanding, Sam.”
“Hey, you can’t blame a guy for trying, right?”
I reached up and kissed Sam on the cheek, but was interrupted by a sharp, “Excuse me!” from behind.
I turned to see a very pissed-off Eric. Sam jumped in. “I’m sorry, Eric. What can I do for you?”
“I’m waiting for my body makeup.”
“Of course. Sorry to keep you waiting.” Sam spoke with the respect reserved for the star of the film (even if he was acting like a spoiled brat).
The three of us headed back onto the sound stage and Eric stood by my chair, arms extended to his sides compliantly. I waited for him to separate his feet so I could reach him better, but he didn’t do it. I looked up at his face but he kept his expression blank and stared straight ahead. I was forced to take a step closer to him to reach his shoulders and thought I caught a tiny smirk of triumph. What a child.
The sun was up when we emerged from the sound stage after wrap. I was close to the point of weeping by the time I got into my apartment and started peeling off my clothes. I brushed my teeth and washed my face, pulled down the blinds on my bedroom windows and was asleep before my head hit the pillow.
The phone woke me a little after 3 p.m. My friend, Arlene, wanted to get together for dinner. It was always so hard to get to see my friends when I was shooting a film. I hated to say no to her in spite of the fact that I really preferred to just stay in my pajamas and eat ice cream for dinner. But I said okay and got up to start my very short day.
By 8:00, I was sitting in the bar of Chaya Brasserie in a dress I hadn’t worn in months. Arlene and I decided that instead of a reasonably-priced dinner, we’d rather have expensive drinks and appetizers at our favorite local restaurant. I could walk to Chaya from my apartment, and it was one of those really beautiful and hip places where a newly single woman should be seen instead of in her pajamas with her nose in a pint of Haagen Dazs. I had shaken off my bad mood and replaced it with lip gloss and dangly earrings and a little black dress that was cute enough to turn heads even on a coat hanger. Judging from the number of men who had offered to buy me drinks, it looked even better on me than it did on a coat hanger. Maybe I would enjoy this whole single thing, after all.
I was nursing my gin and tonic when I heard a little ding, indicating I had a text message. It was from Arlene: “Sitter emergency! I’m so sorry, hun, but I won’t be able to make it tonight! Forgive me?”
I texted back: “Always.”
Arlene was a single mom and, of course, her kids came before flirting with strangers at Chaya. That’s okay, I thought. I’ll just finish my drink and walk home. I could still enjoy the evening. It was such a gorgeous restaurant and the people-watching couldn’t be beat.
My phone dinged again and I looked down, hoping that maybe Arlene had found another sitter. I didn’t recognize the number. “You’re with the wrong guy.” I looked to my left and then to my right. There was no guy. I scanned the room to see who was playing a joke on me, but I didn’t see anyone I knew.
I continued sipping my drink and studied the phone, thinking I might get another mystery text. It was obviously a wrong number. I typed back: “I think you’ve got the wrong number.”