Hair and Makeup: Chapter 4
I sailed into work on Tuesday in the best mood I could remember in a long time. Sookie Stackhouse was single and she’d said yes to dinner with me. Sophie-Anne accompanied me to Sookie’s trailer and needed to discuss work, but that’s okay, I thought. I needed to keep my hands to myself anyway, and being alone in the room with Sookie would make that a challenge. I didn’t want her to think I expected her to just let me have sex with her whenever we had five minutes of uninterrupted privacy. I wanted to wine and dine her, show her that I did have manners and knew how to treat a woman. She was very special and I wanted nothing more than to make her feel that way. As soon as I had a minute, I asked my p.a. to make a dinner reservation for two at Chaya for Saturday night. Everybody likes Chaya. It’s beautiful; the food’s good. I figured our clocks would be pushed by Friday, so I had Bobby make the reservation for 8:30.
On Wednesday, Sophie-Anne invited me to a dinner party at her house Saturday night. Normally, I would have gone. She had invited several producers and directors that I hadn’t met and wanted to, but all I could think about was that I had plans with Sookie. It was our first date and I didn’t want to share her with other people. There would be lots of parties and functions ahead for us, but only one first date. I wanted it to be special, and so I declined Sophie-Anne’s invitation. She kept pressing me for information about my plans and I did admit to having a date, but felt extremely uncomfortable discussing it in front of Sookie. The last thing I wanted was for Sookie to feel awkward about our obvious change in status in front of the director of the film. I’m sure there are rules about such things, and while I seriously doubt that someone in my position would be questioned for crossing that line, I would imagine it could be detrimental for someone in Sookie’s position. No, it isn’t fair, but that’s just how it is. So I hemmed and hawed until Sophie-Anne finally left it alone.
That afternoon was the hardest lesson in dick control I think I’ve ever had to endure. Sookie had to put makeup on my ass in front of a room full of people. It’s certainly not the first time she’s ever had to do such a thing, but it was the first time I’d had to suffer such sweet torture since the Monday morning that rocked the world. I considered it my most professional moment. My dick didn’t move.
I was tired, but still on top of the world until the end of the day Thursday. As I was leaving Thursday night, I heard a few of the crew guys giving Sam Merlotte, our first, a hard time about going out with Sookie on Saturday night. I could tell by the shit-eating grin on his face that it was true and I was floored. She hadn’t even said anything to me about cancelling our date and she’d said yes to somebody else? Is she fucking kidding me? Was I imagining that we had sex on Monday morning? Did that not mean anything to her? She seemed so happy about it when I asked her out later that day. Was she pissed because I hadn’t spent any time alone with her since then? She knew better than anyone what it was like to work with me. I had people pulling at me from every direction all day long. Of all people, she should be able to understand that.
And she really didn’t seem the type to play the field. I guess I never really knew much about her personal life except that she had been engaged to geek-boy, but I just didn’t see her as the kind of girl to play with a bunch of guys. I mean, I’m sure she could have her pick of anyone she wanted. I could see that every man on the set drooled over her. She was so beautiful and so sweet. But apparently, she was also fickle as hell and thoughtless when it came to other people’s feelings. Shit.
I confronted her about the date with Sam when I got to work on Friday and she confirmed it. She didn’t seem to think there was anything remotely strange about making a date with a guy even though she had already made a date with another one—one who’d had her bent over her makeup table earlier in the week. Jesus. I guess I didn’t know her at all. When I got to set, I watched Romeo Merlotte take her by the hand and lead her off the stage. Were they going to her trailer for a quickie? Did she have any condoms left? I walked outside in time to see her kissing him on the cheek and demanded that she get back inside to finish my makeup. Yes, I felt like a fool and hated myself. So what?
I crawled into bed Saturday morning, drained and miserable. It had been a tough week anyway with all the scenes we’d shot. Add to that the emotional rollercoaster ride that Sookie had put me through, and I was beat.
My phone woke me late in the afternoon. Chaya was confirming my reservation. Shit. I’d forgotten to cancel it and almost told the guy that I wasn’t coming when I changed my mind. There was no reason why I couldn’t try to salvage my weekend. I could still enjoy a nice dinner out. I called Pam and asked if she wanted to go to dinner with me.
“Chaya? What’s the occasion? Are you firing me?”
“Yes. You’re fired.”
“Seriously, what’s going on?”
“If you must know, I did have a date with Sookie Stackhouse.”
“Really?” I could hear the amusement in her voice ready to erupt into full-on shit-giving.
“Yes, really. But she broke it.” That was a lie, but saying she made another one with someone else without breaking it made me seem just too loser-y for words.
“Okay, I’m game. What time?”
“See you there, Prince Charming.”
I was still so tired that I debated about trying to get a nap in before dinner, but I really needed to go through the week’s mail and emails. I tried to work on my lines for Monday, but I just couldn’t concentrate. I finally gave up and took a shower and got dressed. I was putting the clothes I’d left in a trail to my bed into the laundry hamper when I remembered to fish Monday’s call sheet out of my shirt pocket. I’d already read it—knew what time I’d be picked up Monday morning and which scenes we’d be shooting. I started to toss it in the trash can when I stopped and looked a little closer. The names and numbers of the crew members were listed, of course. I scanned the list…Sookie Stackhouse, H & M, Eric Northman…and there it was: her phone number. I felt like a cheater programming it into my phone. She hadn’t given it to me. But I had it anyway. Was I supposed to ignore that?
The whole time I was driving the forty-five minutes from Malibu to Beverly Hills, I couldn’t stop thinking about Sookie. I’d thought about her all week, of course. Hell, I’d thought about her since the day I met her. It had been a long time since a woman had said no to me. It came with my job, and my level of success. Okay, so technically, she never said no, but still, it was the same thing. I felt rejected. I was pissed and I was jealous of Sam Merlotte, but I still wanted her. The bottom line was that I wasn’t ready to give up just like that.
I valet parked my car and checked inside for Pam. I was a little bit early. The bar was packed, as usual, but I didn’t see her. I paced for a minute out front and decided fuck it, I’m going to call Sookie. Wait, I can’t. She’s on a date. I’ll just text her. I pulled my phone out and sent her what I hoped would sound like a light-hearted attempt at flirting and not the controlling stalkery message that I feared might be closer to the truth. I told her she was with the wrong guy. Okay, there. I did something. The ball’s in her court now. I stepped inside and decided to get a drink at the bar. Pam should be here any minute, I thought.
As I stepped up to the bar area, I saw her. She was a vision in a little black dress, her hair falling in waves over her shoulders. God, she was gorgeous. I looked around for Sam, but didn’t see him. I did see a dozen other men eyeing her appreciatively though and thought, yeah, I know just how you feel. Get in line. She was punching in something on her phone and I hoped she was answering my text. Sure enough, just as I approached her, I heard my alert that I had a text. She heard it too and looked up into my eyes. “Eric.”
“Wow. You look beautiful.”
“Thanks. So do you.” She blushed and looked nervously around the room.
“Waiting for Sam?”
“What? No. I was just meeting a girlfriend, but it turns out she’s not going to make it. I should probably take off.” A girlfriend?
“What happened to Sam?”
“Oh, um. That went away.” It was funny that she used that term. It was a set term.
“Are you free for dinner?” This was too good to be true. She was alone and we were in the same restaurant.
“Dinner? Oh gosh, no. I wouldn’t dream of intruding.” Intruding? I was just about to emphasize that she would not be intruding in any way whatsoever when I felt her looking beyond me and heard Pam behind me.
“Pam. Great. You’re here. This is Sookie Stackhouse. Sookie—Pam Ravenscroft.” They said polite hellos before Pam turned back to me.
“Would you excuse me? I just remembered that I need to return a phone call. I’ll be right back.” And she turned and vanished through the crowd.
“She sure is pretty.” Sookie lowered her lashes shyly and it was all I could do to not kiss her.
“Yeah.” She was fiddling with her phone and looking around. It suddenly dawned on me why she seemed so uncomfortable. “Oh, Sookie, Pam is my manager.”
“Oh. That’s great.”
“No, I mean she’s just my manager. Well, not just. We’re also great friends. We’re not on a date.”
“Oh.” This time she looked into my eyes and I caught a soft smile. “Oh.”
“Would you like another drink? I think I’ll get something from the bar.”
“No thanks, I’m fine.”
As I was heading back to her little table for one, Pam rejoined us. “Would you like a drink, Pam?”
“No thanks. Um…I really hate to do this to you, Eric, but something has come up and I can’t stay.”
“Really?” I wanted to kiss her. (But not the same way I wanted to kiss Sookie.) “I’m sorry to hear that.” Liar.
“There’s no reason you two can’t continue the fun in my absence though. Nice meeting you , Sookie. Goodnight, Sweet Prince.”
I turned back to Sookie. “Well, there you go. It seems we’re both on our own. May I tell the maitre d you’ll be joining me?”
She smiled and nodded her head and my heart soared in my chest.
We had the date I’d originally hoped for. The food was wonderful. Sookie was relaxed and so was I. We cleared up the ridiculous misunderstanding about the date. In my adolescent fumbling when I asked her out, I apparently forgot to include the actual day that I wanted to see her. In my head, we were all set for Saturday night, but I had failed to share that rather important piece of information with the object of my desire. Date much, Northman?
When she told me that she broke her date with Sam, she finished the sentence under her breath, “…because I was so stuck on you.” I reached across the table and took her hand as she looked at me sweetly. I was at a loss for words so I just squeezed her hand and hoped she understood.
As I was taking care of the check, I asked her if she wanted to go somewhere else. I didn’t want the evening to end.
“No, thank you though. I’m pretty beat. Could I trouble you for a ride home? I only live a few blocks away.” Trouble me? Was she kidding? My prayers were answered.
“Of course I’ll take you home. It would be my pleasure.”
When we pulled up to Sookie’s apartment building she asked if I’d like to come in.
“I’d love to see your place…if you’re not too tired, I mean. I promise not to keep you up too late. I know the hours you’ve been working.”
She retrieved a parking permit from the table just inside her living room and I ran down and put in on my dashboard. Not that I was planning anything, but I checked the signs: No overnight parking without permit. Good to know. You know, for the future. On this particular night I intended to be a gentleman no matter what my dick had in mind.
When I climbed the stairs again, her door was ajar. She was heading into what I assumed was her bedroom with an arm full of clothes and reappeared quickly, a little out of breath. “I wasn’t expecting company. And I haven’t exactly had a lot of time to straighten the place up this week.”
“I know. You should see my place.” There was a tiny awkward silence. “So…I like your apartment.” She showed me the kitchen and dining room and pointed out the bathroom and bedroom before offering me a seat on the living room sofa.
After a short debate, we decided to share a glass of wine. I didn’t really want anything else, but I wanted an excuse to stay for a little while at least. Sookie poured the wine and put on some soft music. She turned off the lights in the rooms we’d just toured and lowered the living room lights with a dimmer on the wall by the door. Nice touch, Sookie. I noticed that she had candles scattered about the room, but none of them seemed to have been lit before. She saw me looking around. “Would you prefer that I light some candles?”
“No, this is nice. Just relax. Have a seat.” She sat down beside me. I put my arm across the back of the sofa and she scooted a little closer.
We sipped our wine and chatted comfortably about nothing in particular. I found it impossible not to touch her hair with the hand that was draped around her. I apologized again about the mix up with Saturday night and for the fact that I’d made her think I had another date. I told her how happy I was that I had found her at Chaya after all. We kept commenting on what an amazing coincidence that was. She thanked me for dinner with a smile that I found I simply couldn’t resist, and that’s when I leaned down and kissed her lips.
It was soft and slow and sweet—nothing like the kiss in the trailer. She put a hand on my cheek and stroked the skin there that she’d touched a thousand times before. I tentatively offered a gentle nudge of my tongue and she gingerly accepted it, returning the attention with her own.
I held her in my arms and we explored each other’s lips and tongues with measured reverence. I didn’t want her to feel rushed. I only wanted to kiss. I’d wanted to kiss her so many times on so many days. To finally have her permission was heaven and I didn’t want to do anything to blow it.
She finally broke the kiss and nuzzled my neck, planting tiny kisses there as well. I pulled her to me in complete bliss and she melted into my body, resting her head on my chest. I stroked her shoulder with my thumb and closed my eyes, relishing the perfect comfort of having her snuggled up to me. Our breathing slowed to a matching steady rhythm and before I knew it, I was fast asleep.