Hair and Makeup: Chapter 8
I had Bobby make a reservation for Saturday night at Spago. The week was a busy one, but it went by quickly. I got a little bolder about kissing Sookie in her trailer, but I was very careful to keep it from getting out of hand. I suffered my usual hard-on the whole time she worked on me, but that was certainly nothing new. What was new was the ability to flirt with her and steal a kiss once in awhile and share a fun giddiness that only comes with a budding new relationship.
I stopped at the store on my way to Sookie’s house on Saturday and picked out some flowers. Watching the cashier wrap the flowers in cellophane and tie the bow, I realized that it had been years since I’d bought a woman flowers. Were they out of fashion? Would Sookie think it was too much? I knew that certain flowers as well as certain colors had meanings and suddenly panicked. I asked the woman putting them together what these particular flowers meant.
“That you’re a thoughtful and sweet man. Trust me, she’ll love them.”
I felt a little better driving to Sookie’s, but my mood dramatically fell when I got to her place. The downstairs door was propped open with a doorstop so I went on up. Her front door was also open and there was a man standing inside her living room. We made eye contact and I tentatively asked if Sookie was home.
“Yeah, she’s in her room. I’m Bill Compton.” Fuck. Geek-man.
“Eric Northman.” We shook hands and nodded, then his eyes fell on the huge flower arrangement in my hand. I might as well have screamed: I’m the new guy.
“I guess you have plans for tonight?”
“Yes.” Leave, motherfucker.
“She’s a little upset. Want me to stick around?”
“No thanks. I’ve got it.” Mine now, loser. But then I was worried and wondered what the prick had done to upset her. Then I had a sudden thought: had something happened between them? Was she seeing him again? Fuck. I looked around the room but there wasn’t a trash can big enough to accommodate the flowers. He finally walked towards the door and said good night as he closed it behind him. Good riddance.
I set the flowers down and knocked on Sookie’s door. I could hear that she was crying. She was sitting up on the bed with mascara under her eyes, trying to smile. My heart broke and I scooped her up into my arms and she just let it all out. Selfishly, it felt good to be needed, even if it was just as a big pillow to cry into. But I was also concerned about what had her so upset. When she said it was about Bill and then that it was hard to say, I braced myself. This was going to hurt. My first suspicion was that she wanted to go back to him and that she and I were over before we really got started. Except that I realized that I had gotten started. I was already very much involved emotionally or I wouldn’t be bracing myself for the pain of this conversation.
When she told me about Bill’s news, I was greatly relieved at first. She wasn’t going back to him. In fact, this little piece of information pretty much took care of his ever being considered as a suitor again. I got a secret thrill out of that knowledge. But then I felt bad that she had to be subjected to the prick’s indiscretions. Not only did she have to suffer the pain of learning about his cheating, but she had to deliver the news to me that we may be sharing a secret little bacterial surprise. Great. I consoled her and told her it was going to be okay, and meant every word.
Once she’d calmed down and stopped crying, I went into the other room and called Spago. They don’t deliver, and normally I don’t play the movie star card too often, but I did it this time for her, asking that our dinner be delivered. Of course they said yes. Very few people say no to me anymore.
Sookie came out clean-faced, but red-eyed and sat with me on the couch. She thanked me for the flowers and I told her again that everything would be okay. I mean, what’s the worst that could happen? We find out that we both have gonorrhea? Okay, so we get a shot or something and just move on. End of bad story.
I knew she felt like she had to say something just to be responsible, but I was shocked that she thought, even for a second, that I might have someone else to tell the news to. Jesus. But then I also knew not to take it personally. Her fiancé had just told her he’d been sleeping with someone else. Why should she think I’m any different? I assured her that there was no one else to tell. Then I realized that I hadn’t had sex for a really long time—since before my last film. Then I thought, you know, maybe there’s a bright side to this. We can both get tested for everything and start fresh, not having to worry about s.t.d.s or our past behavior (or the behavior of our exes). It’s something we’ll need to do if we move forward anyway. Let’s get it out of the way now. I wanted to move forward.
We managed to lighten the mood while we ate dinner and ended up watching a bad chick flick that I had narrowly avoided making. We did some serious making out on what was now my favorite couch. I kept thinking how much I wanted to make love to her, how much I wanted to stay over again, wake up to her, only this time spend the day in bed playing Russian roulette with Bill’s little gift. I was pretty sure she had condoms stashed in the apartment somewhere if she had them in her kit at work. Maybe we could use up a dozen or so. (I was feeling very optimistic after my long bout of celibacy.) But in the end, I decided to back off and stick with my plan to go slow. I wanted to win Sookie’s heart even more than I wanted to bury myself inside her, and that was certainly saying something.
I invited her to come see my house and have lunch with me on Sunday and she said yes. We drove to the Inn of the Seventh Ray and had a nice walk on the beach, which I had begun to take for granted. She seemed to like my house, but seeing it through her eyes, it seemed kind of cold–masculine, I guess. I had never thought about selling it, but I wondered what kind of home she and I would make together, and knew it wouldn’t look like this one.
I had behaved myself all day in spite of the fact that Sookie’s breasts were taunting me from my new favorite t-shirt. I finally broke down and touched one. Who could possibly blame me? Sookie’s response was amazing, sexual, hot. I thought about the makeup trailer encounter and wondered how much longer I would be able to resist her.
Monday, I had Bobby pull me aside when it was 9:00. I waited until the crew was setting up for another shot and my stand-in was in place before I excused myself to go to my trailer. My doctor’s office said they’d fit me in as soon as I could get there. Like I said, no one says no anymore. I asked Andre to send Sam Merlotte in to my trailer. I lied and said I felt like I was coming down with something. That meant expensive rescheduling to someone in his shoes so he went into immediate accommodation mode. He took his schedule out and promised he would rearrange a shot today and have my driver standing by to take me to the doctor. I wished I could make it as easy for Sookie, but knew, of course, that that was impossible. Before I headed back to set, I texted Sookie: “Seeing the doctor today. Anything I can do to help you do the same?”
“No thanks, I’m on it.” She was awfully capable. The woman has condoms in her kit, after all.
While I was eating lunch, Sam came to me and said my driver was ready whenever I was. He had called in another actor who was on hold for a quick shot so I could take a break. It was an additional expense for the film, but cheaper than having the crew standing around waiting for me while I went to an appointment. As I jumped into the car, I texted Sookie to let her know what was happening.
I didn’t have to wait long, and was on my way back to the valley within an hour. I sent Sookie another text: “We’re going to have to come up with another story to keep from our grandkids. I’m good.”
Within a minute, I got, “Thank goodness.”
I sent right back, “Any luck with an appointment for you?”
“They can squeeze me in any morning this week if I get there first thing. Our call should be pushed by Wed. or Thurs., don’t you think?”
“Let’s not wait. I’ll fix it with Sam for tomorrow.”
As soon as I got back, I headed to Sookie’s trailer to get my makeup touched up. (I explained to the doctor that I was made up because I was filming and figured the people in the waiting room would just have to think what they wanted.) I immediately hugged Sookie to reassure her that we were fine. Just as I was about to kiss her, the door opened and we broke apart and headed to the bedroom. Sam came in. If he’d seen us, he gave no indication.
I sat in my chair and Sookie began to work on my foundation. Sam pulled his schedule out. “We should be ready for you soon, Eric. If you’re feeling okay, I mean.”
“I’m fine. Unfortunately, my doctor was called away on an emergency, and I wasn’t able to see him.”
“Can I get you a medic?” He put his hand on his mouthpiece clipped to his shirt, ready to call for a medic.
“No, thanks, but could I ask another favor?”
“I’d like to go back to my doctor first thing in the morning. Can you start the day with something else, maybe have me in around 10:30 or 11? I won’t need a pick-up, just a drive-on at the gate.”
“Absolutely. Consider it done. Sookie?”
“Great. Let me know if we can get you anything, Eric.”
Sam left the trailer, already on his walkie ordering a drive-on pass for me for Tuesday.
Sookie cocked her head, assessing my face after she’d powdered it. “Thank you.”
“You’re welcome. Would you like me to go with you?”
“No, that’s okay. You have that big monologue tomorrow. You can use the extra time to work on it.”
She was so thoughtful. And so practical. But I was a little worried about her going to the doctor’s office alone. I knew my odds of having anything were pretty slim because we’d only had sex the one time and used a condom. I had no idea how many times she’d been exposed, and didn’t feel like it was appropriate to ask her about it. I hated the thought of her getting bad news alone.