Runway: Chapter 17
A/N: I just hit 1000 reviews with this story, popping my cherry for the second time, inducting me once again into the 1000-year-old Viking Club. (Hair and Makeup was my first story to hit a thousand reviews.) KatrinaP wrote the thousandth review, so I’d like to present her with the framed torn fishnets that Sookie saved (don’t worry—she washed them). Thank you, Katrina, and all of you who have reviewed this story. Your sweet words have made me the drooling, shaking, strung-out review crack whore I’ve become and I couldn’t be more grateful. Here’s a little EPOV to show my gratitude…
I met Clancy and Felicia for dinner after work on Monday. I told them that I’d met someone and they were both really happy for me.
When I got home, I called Pam and told her I didn’t get the house, but that I was fine with it. If it went over the asking price, it went too high in my opinion. Pam agreed that there would certainly be other houses.
She asked how things went with Sookie and for once, she sounded sincerely interested and not eager to give me a hard time about it.
“Actually, things couldn’t have gone any better. I’m…well…she’s…it went great.” I’m in love with her? She’s the one? I wasn’t sure how much I should say.
“I’m so glad for you. Really, I am. I’m happy for you both. I’m not going to say I told you so.”
“You just did.”
I didn’t tell her about the offer to buy Sookie’s runway agency. I decided I’d wait until the offer was accepted.
When I hung up, I called Sookie, but got her voice mail. I just said, “Call me, okay?” I missed her so much and was already thinking about my work schedule and when I could get back to L.A.
I also wanted her to come to New York so she could have the vacation she missed out on with her first trip, but I wasn’t certain when she’d feel comfortable taking time off again. Maybe we could hire her an assistant so she could leave the office more easily and spend a little time in New York occasionally—at least until I bought a house and spent more time in L.A.
I liked the idea of us hiring an assistant—of us making decisions together. It was definitely Sookie’s business—she had built it and she should make the big decisions, but I wanted to be there to support her whenever she needed me. I liked the idea of being her partner—both in business and in life.
I knew I was probably getting a little ahead of myself since we really hadn’t spent much time together yet, but I was just so damned crazy about her, it was hard not to let my imagination run wild. I could really see myself with her for good.
I tried to tell her that at dinner on Saturday night, and I hope I was clear on how I felt. I hoped she knew how happy it made me to think of us together in one of those old dream houses.
The whole night with her Saturday night was like a dream. As much as I enjoyed Sookie’s company, I, of course, also enjoyed our amazing sexual chemistry. I had never been so incredibly attracted to a woman so quickly, and yet I was also so drawn to her sweetness. I found myself wanting to fuck her blind in one minute and then hold her and take care of her in the next.
It sucked that I had to leave in such a hurry on Sunday and we didn’t get to spend the morning together being lazy in her bed, but I felt good about getting the offer to Sam down on paper before I had to take off.
When I got back to New York that night, I called Sookie and told her that I was feeling down about being apart from her, but she seemed a little uncomfortable about discussing it, so I dropped it. I really wanted to hear something about how she felt about me. I had a flash of a fantasy that she’d tell me she loved me, but knew that was probably too much to hope for at that point.
Long-distance relationships brought with them their own inherent problems and I knew because we were still so new, I needed to take it slow and not push her. I was careful to not just blurt out how much I missed her or how much I felt for her in a phone conversation even though I secretly wanted all that from her.
I went to bed without hearing back from her, but wasn’t worried about it. I figured I’d just talk to her in the morning and fell asleep thinking about her.
I was leaving the gym a little after noon the following day when I got a call from Sookie. She sounded excited about something.
“Eric, I have some really great news.”
I assumed it was that Sam had accepted our offer. “What is it?”
“I’m able to buy the agency without your money after all.”
“What?” That wasn’t the news I was expecting.
“I found another way to get the money together, so you can keep your money. I’ve already torn up your checks.”
“What are you talking about? I thought we’d agreed on this.” I was starting to get pissed.
“This way, I don’t need the money. I thought you’d be pleased.”
“Well, I’m not. Where’d you get the money?”
“Oh, um…I found another partner. You can keep your money, Eric.”
“Yeah, I got that. You keep saying that. Have you talked to Sam?”
“Yeah, he’s rejected the offer we wrote up and it looks like he’s going to accept my new one.”
“You know what, I’m going to call him. I’ll call you right back.”
I hung up completely confused and pissed. What on earth had happened in the two days since Sookie and I had agreed to become business partners?
I got to my building and inside my apartment before calling Sam.
“Sam, it’s Eric Northman.”
“Hey, Eric. Have you spoken to Sookie?”
“Yeah, I just heard from her. So, what’s going on?”
“Well, it turns out that she and the guy who’d made the first offer have worked out a deal to buy the runway division together.”
I felt my face getting hot. “Quinn?”
“Yeah. Do you know him?”
“Well, Sookie said you’d be pleased to be released from the obligation. Quinn and Sookie just sealed the deal this morning. Their offer was a little higher than yours. We should have it all wrapped up by the end of the week.”
When I heard the words “sealed the deal,” I wanted to punch a fucking wall out. That motherfucker. How the fuck had this happened? He was her business partner now? Had she lost her mind?
Suddenly, I realized that I really didn’t know her at all. Maybe I had just seen her the way I wanted to see her. Maybe I had been blinded by the physical chemistry between us and really hadn’t seen who she really was. Maybe she had incredibly bad judgment. Or maybe I did.
“No problem. I’ll talk to you soon, Eric. Let us know next time you’re in town.”
“Sure. Will do.”
I called Sookie back.
“Hi,” she started.
“I just talked to Sam. You and Quinn are partners now?”
“Yeah. He was the only other person I knew who had the money and wanted the agency. It just made sense.”
“It made sense? Are you fucking kidding me?” My anger was building.
“Are you mad because it’s Quinn? There’s nothing going on between us, Eric. I’m not going to go out with him anymore.”
“Well, that’s wonderful news. Of course, I realize that that could change with the fucking wind. It takes you five minutes to suck some new guy into your bed.”
I immediately regretted what I’d said and knew I should hang up before my temper got any hotter.
“That’s not fair, Eric.”
“Not fair? I’ll tell you what’s not fair. What’s not fair is you reneging on a deal without so much as a fucking conversation. That’s what’s not fair.”
Her voice started to get shaky. “I thought you’d be happy. This way you can keep your money.”
“Yeah, I got that. I fucking got it. I CAN KEEP MY FUCKING MONEY!”
I hung up before she could say anything else and threw the phone onto the sofa as if it had burned my hand. Then I grabbed my keys and ran out the door, so incredibly pissed and needing some air to get my emotions under control. What the fuck had just happened to my life?