Love in L.A.: Chapter 1
These are all Charlaine Harris’ characters.
A/N: Please enjoy Love Isn’t Easy before starting this story.
After that first night that Eric and I were together, I was happier than I have ever been in my life. I was starting my new job in a new city soon, and I had a new love. Actually, I had loved him for a long time in my heart, but we were finally able to express it to each other, and it was heaven. Unfortunately, time was not our friend. Amelia and I had planned on leaving for L.A. in several days. We needed the time to drive across the country and find a place to live. I had a deadline because my job would be starting soon. Eric had planned to go home and spend some time with his aunt. Then he needed to figure out when he would be coming to L.A. There were just a lot of little details to be worked out and not a lot of time for us to really enjoy our new relationship. But the most important thing was that we were together in our hearts even if it would be awhile before we could be together physically.
After years of wanting Sookie, agonizing over Sookie, being pissed about not having Sookie, being with her was finally as easy as just answering my door. Who would have thought? That first time we couldn’t get enough of each other but I was trying to be a nice guy and slow things down, not realizing that she had already broken up with her boyfriend. But once I realized that she was no longer with him (and it made my heart swell when she said she hadn’t been with him since our kiss), holding back wasn’t an option. I had fantasized about this girl for four long years and yet those fantasies couldn’t come close to how great it was in reality. I felt like I had finally found my way home. And she said she loved me.
Finally things were all coming together for me. I was going to the school where I wanted to be. I got my scholarship. And Sookie was going to be living there. I couldn’t have planned that any better. Unfortunately, I needed to take care of a few things before I could make the cross-country drive. Sookie and Amelia had already made plans to drive out and Sookie needed to start her job. I had already committed to spending time with my aunt and needed to make some money. My scholarship money wouldn’t be available until classes started in the fall and I didn’t have enough left at the end of the year to get a place in L.A. I knew that L.A. was an expensive place to live.
So for the few short days we had in Shreveport, Sookie and I were together all the time. When we weren’t making love, we were packing her things and selling her furniture and getting her ready to go. That final morning Amelia drove up and waited while we said our goodbyes in my parking lot. Sookie cried a little and we both couldn’t seem to hold each other close enough. I told her how much I loved her and that I would talk to her later and that we were going to be fine, but inside I was already missing her. I wished that we’d had more time together before being separated like that.
I cried when I said goodbye to Eric the morning I left. I know it sounds crazy because we had only made love for the first time a few days before, but in my heart I felt like I had loved him for so much longer. He felt like my boyfriend the minute he opened that door to me. And then I was going to have to leave him and start my new life without him. It was tough.
Amelia and I trekked across the country following each other in our loaded down cars sharing cheap roadside motels at night. Eric and I talked on the phone every day, several times a day and it felt a little less ominous to be apart. But I missed him already.
We stayed at a friend of Amelia’s father’s for the first week in L.A. and spent every day looking at apartments. I was shocked at the prices, but then we finally found a small decent two bedroom apartment in West Hollywood that was fairly close to where I’d be working in Beverly Hills. I spent the last of my savings on a new bed and then bought a few other things—a lamp, dresser, table and chairs at some local thrift shops. Amelia sprung for a new sofa and living room chair as well as her own bedroom furniture. She found a job almost immediately at a restaurant just down the street.
I started my new job and was pretty nervous about it, but soon I realized that since I was the new girl, my duties were mostly copying and filing and doing simple office tasks and just learning the business, and I realized that I could do those types of things in my sleep. My boss was a very cute guy named Alcide Herveaux. His father owned the firm and Alcide was a vice president in spite of his youth. He was really nice to me and very patient. He asked immediately whether or not I was single. I told him I had a boyfriend, and then he asked if we lived together. When I said no, he said, “That’s good. When things get busy, your schedule can be a challenge, so it’s good to be single.” I hoped that’s all he meant and that he wasn’t interested in me. That could get awkward.
Shortly after Sookie left for L.A., I went home and found a bartender job for the summer. I stayed at my aunt’s and made some decent cash and hoped that it would get me to L.A. as soon as possible. Sookie was working days and I was keeping vampire hours, so it was tough trying to talk to her on the phone. Thank god for email. I had never had a long-distance relationship before. Hell, I hadn’t had a girlfriend since Pam in high school. It was tough. I don’t mean that it was tough being faithful. That was easy. It was tough being apart, that’s all. And being in different time zones and having jobs with different hours. It was just a challenge.
Sookie had told me about her new boss and mentioned that he was in his late twenties. I asked if he was single and he was. I knew he’d be trouble. Sookie has no idea how beautiful she is and I didn’t really realize it at the time, but she is also incredibly naïve and easily taken advantage of. Our first fight was about this guy and her inability to see that he was interested in her. It was so frustrating being in another state and not there to be with her. I had never had feelings like that for anyone before really. I discovered that I was very jealous and possessive, and realized that it was something I’d have to work on. Men were going to hit on Sookie. I was going to have to learn how to handle it.
Pam was already all set up and she had seen Sookie a few times. She was living at the beach (her folks had money and helped her out a lot), and had gotten a job as a script reader for a producer at Paramount. I felt a little better that at least she was there sort of in my place if Sookie needed anything. I know that sounds silly, but I felt bad that Sookie was having to start her new life without me there.
That seemed like the slowest summer I’d ever had. It finally came time to leave, so I packed my car up and headed west to my new life with Sookie.