Universal: Chapter 16
I went through a pretty severe depression after Sookie and I broke up. I’d lost the Vegas job and had had emergency surgery that set me back physically, but none of that really bothered me until I lost Sookie. Then, all of it bothered me. It all kind of overwhelmed me, actually.
Of course, my body healed from the surgery, but my psyche was in bad shape for a long time. I can’t even count the number of times I picked up the phone to call Sookie and tell her I wanted her back, but then, I’d picture her with some gross fat hairy fuck, lying on her back, pretending to like his dick in her and … well, I didn’t call her. I just couldn’t take it.
I knew I needed to get out of the house—to try to engage other people. I hadn’t directed anything new, but still had the shows at Universal to monitor. I couldn’t imagine dating anyone, but when one of the dancers invited me to his birthday party, I thought, this will be good for me. I should go. And so I did.
The party was at a loft apartment in West Hollywood, and naturally, I watched the door all night, wondering if Sookie would come. She knew all the dancers from the last show at Knott’s, obviously, and many of them were at the party. I saw Pam Ravenscroft come in and I held my breath, but Sookie wasn’t with her.
I was hovering over the table of food, trying to look natural when Pam came over to say hello. We made small talk about the Spiderman show, but then, I couldn’t stand to not ask about Sookie, and finally, I broke.
“How’s Sookie,” I asked and my palms started to itch.
“Tell her I said hello, will you?”
“Sure. You paid her for Vegas, didn’t you?”
I nearly spit my drink out. Obviously, Pam knew what Sookie was. And did she know what had happened between us? It made sense—they were friends.
“No, I didn’t pay her.” I tried to sound dignified. It was insulting for her to ask, I thought.
“Shit, really, Eric? You should have. She missed a lot of work staying there to take care of you.”
“I offered. She said no.” I wasn’t one of her johns, I thought.
Pam just nodded and then started to look at me funny—like she had an idea.
“You know, Eric … I was just wondering. Are you seeing anyone?”
“You should go out with Sookie. You’d make a great couple.”
“Uh … no. Are you serious?” Apparently, she didn’t know what had happened between me and Sookie, which was a good thing.
“Yes, I’m serious. Think about it. You’d be perfect together. You have the same hair color. You’re straight, right?”
“Yes, I’m straight. But I have no interest in dating Sookie Stackhouse.”
“Why on earth not? She’s beautiful.”
“Yes, there’s no denying that.”
“And she’s smart.”
“All true. And a prostitute.”
Pam started to cackle. People turned to look at her, she was so loud. Apparently, she didn’t know. Maybe Sookie wasn’t as candid about it as Andre had said she was.
“A prostitute?” she howled. “Oh my god, that’s funny. And I’m a Chinese lumberjack.” She kept laughing.
I didn’t laugh, thinking it wasn’t funny in the least and suddenly, Pam stopped and looked at me and said, “Holy shit, you’re not kidding.”
I didn’t answer. I thought it was obvious that I wasn’t kidding.
She grabbed my arm and looked around before lowering her voice and saying, “Listen, you watch what you say about her, Eric.” She said my name like it was a dirty word. “She’s a good friend of mine.”
“Then you should know what she is. She’s a hooker.” I was just angry enough to tell everyone in the room. She was a hooker who broke my heart into a million fucking pieces.
“If you weren’t my boss …” she hissed. It was a definite threat.
“Ask her yourself, Pam. She’s very open about it.”
“Really?” She put a hand on her hip, her other one still gripping my arm. “She told you this?”
“Actually, yes. She confirmed it. Andre was the one who told me initially.”
“Come here,” she said. She took my drink from me and set it on the table and pulled me across the room and down some stairs and through a bathroom door.
She closed the door behind us and locked it. Then she got in my face. Bring it on, I thought. I knew I was right. I got a little bit of a thrill knowing I would disappoint her a small fraction of how I had been when I’d heard the news.
“You listen to me, Eric Northman. You keep your mouth shut about shit like that, do you hear me? Andre Fuckface is a liar and a skank. He’d sell his mother to get ahead.”
“Well, she confirmed it herself.”
“Oh, really? Sookie confirmed it?”
“Yes. She told me a regular customer of hers got her the job at Knott’s in exchange for her services.”
Her mouth was open. I could see the wheels turning. Ah ha, I thought. You didn’t know that.
“Yeah, a regular customer at Merlotte’s. Some big honcho at Knott’s who liked the way she kept his iced tea glass full, not sat on his cock, you dimwit.”
I wasn’t expecting that. At Merlotte’s? Where she waitressed?
“Well, she told me herself that Sam was her pimp,” I said defiantly. So there, I thought. She’d used that actual word. There was no arguing that.
“Sam?” she said, her face all screwed up. “Sam?” As in Sam Merlotte? Of Merlotte’s Bar and Grill?” She started to laugh again. I preferred it, actually, to the threatening body language I was getting before. “He’s her boss, moron! Her boss!”
I started to feel a rumbling in the pit of my stomach. Sam was her boss at Merlotte’s?
“Wait!” I said. “Did she ever date him?”
“Yes, but that doesn’t mean he was her pimp! They went on a couple of dates. She’s gorgeous. Who could blame the guy for trying?”
It still didn’t make sense. We’d had multiple conversations about her profession. There wasn’t any doubt about that. “She admitted it to me, Pam,” I pleaded, but realized I was suddenly trying to convince myself
“Okay, Eric. I’m going to do something I never do here. I’m going to break a confidence. And it’s only because I love Sookie like a sister and it’s either tell you this or punch your lights out.”
I waited, my stomach in knots.
“Sookie has only been with one guy. One. Some douchebag named Bill that she met when she first moved here. She was a fucking virgin until then. She’s the real deal, Eric. An innocent. I’m not, okay? And, honestly, I don’t know anyone else who is. But I do know she is, and she doesn’t deserve people like you and Andre Fuckwad calling her a whore in public. So, you need to cut that shit out right now.”
I was speechless and suddenly sick to my stomach. Could Pam be right? “That can’t be right,” I said, stupidly.
“Oh wait, there was one more guy. Some complete dickweed she met who she never even slept with but who she went down on once, and the little prick made her feel like a tramp for doing it. She’s still kicking herself for one lousy blowjob.”
My mouth fell open. I was that dickweed.
“She’s a fucking nun, Eric.”
We stood there for a long painful moment while everything she’d said sunk in. I realized in one horrible instant that everything I’d thought about Sookie was wrong. I had judged her and insulted her and called her a whore, for god’s sake, and all she’d done was … I couldn’t even think it … all she’d done was suck my dick.