Chapter 13 – Just the way you are
The B&B guests departed on Monday morning so Sookie, Eric, Pam and the girls decided to head out for a movie and then dinner that afternoon. They returned home in the early evening to find someone had spray painted the word ‘whore’ on the side of the barn in large letters. Eric called the police then drove to Russell’s house to drop off Sookie, Pam and the girls before he returned to the B&B and waited for the police.
Once the police arrived, they checked out the area, including the buildings and did not find anyone on the property. They photographed the graffiti and questioned Eric about the hours they were gone to get an idea of when the crime was committed. Nobody had any doubt about who had painted the Barn, the problem was proving it.
Eric picked everyone up at Russell’s and brought them home. The girls got into pajamas and joined the adults in the family room. When Sookie announced at 8 that is was time to start bedtime, they balked. They were too scared to sleep. Eric had whisked them away from the graffiti quickly, but they knew someone unwelcome had been on the property. Pam offered to have them out in the RV with her and they agreed, much to Sookie and Eric’s surprise. So they packed up some sleeping bags and other necessities and walked them to the RV. Sookie questioned Pam quietly on the way, “Are you really OK with this? I don’t mind keeping them with me or doing a sleep over in the family room.”
“Sookie, the teacups and I have bonded over shopping. We’ll be fine. I have my phone and will call you or Eric if they need you.”
Back in the house, Eric waggled his eyebrows and commented that they had the house to themselves. Sookie bit her lower lip nervously. It actually turned Eric on more. “Um, I’m going to take a quick shower, I’ll be out shortly,” Sookie said as she left Eric in the family room. When she emerged from her bathroom, Eric was there waiting, in only his boxers, in her bed. She took a visible gulp and approached the bed.
“Sookie, I’m not going to push you, I do want to enjoy some time alone though. Won’t you join me in bed?” He held out his hand and when she took it, he tucked her into the bed with him. He could tell she was nervous; she seemed too nervous for someone who had been married.
As if guessing what Eric thought, Sookie informed him “Eric, you should know that Sam was my first, I mean, I was a virgin when we met. In fact, I hardly dated. I’ve obviously had sex, but I don’t have any other experiences except with Sam. I’m not sure I know how to please you.”
“Sookie, you being here with me pleases me. I want to kiss you and touch you, but if I make you uncomfortable you can just tell me to stop.”
“Ok Eric, but no full hanky panky.”
Eric agreed and then he started with kisses to her neck, making Sookie giggle. He slowly moved to her mouth and pressed on her lips with his tongue, Sookie welcomed him in. He had turned down the lights and was hoping Sookie would be OK with taking her top off. He wanted to feel her skin against his badly. He started slow, and inched his hands up under her shirt. The advantage of pajamas: no bra. She was starting to moan with excitement now and his ‘mighty sword’ was as hard as steel. He started to tug her shirt up and got no resistance from Sookie so he continued and pulled it over her head. In the soft light he could see her breasts and whispered “you’re beautiful Sookie, never hide from me again.”
She misted at the words, but kept her tears under control. She pulled Eric down on top of her as she also wanted the feeling of skin to skin. They kissed like this, connected together for a few minutes before Eric slowly made his way down to her breasts. He took one in his mouth and Sookie arched her back off the bed from the sensation. “ERIC, oh it feels so good.” She felt him smile from her breast and then he switched sides. He kept a hand on the breast his mouth had abandoned, continuing to roll the nipple with his fingers.
Sookie reached down into his boxers to find he was huge as she suspected (and feared) and he was very hard. She grasped him and started stroking him up and down, using the pre-cum at the tip to lubricate. She knew she was doing something right when he hissed with pleasure and closed his eyes. She continued pumping him, sometimes adding extra pressure, sometimes with a slight twist. “Sookie!” he roared as he came. Ever the gentleman, he moved to return the favor. Keeping her pajama bottoms on, Eric moved his had inside and said, “Spread your legs for me Sookie, I want to pleasure you.”
She did as he asked and he started touching her through her underwear. She was so excited by this point; he could feel her wetness through her panties. He started rubbing his fingers over her clit and her hips began to buck. He used one hand to hold her down while he continued. Sookie begged “Eric, please, more, touch me.” Eric enjoyed her pleas; sped up his rubbing and she erupted. They clung to each other through her aftershocks; eventually parting to get ready to sleep. After grabbing a towel to clean himself and the sheets, Eric found her top and helped her get dressed. He put on pajama bottoms in case they had late night or early morning visitors and snuggled. Eric snaked his hand up under her top to hold a breast and then fell asleep.
Tuesday was very busy since Sookie insisted on holding open mic night as usual. Her swelling was gone but she still had some bruising and Pam promised to help her with makeup to cover as much as possible for the guests. The story of Bill’s actions had spread through the community and many guests made a point to talk to Sookie and offer support with her Bill issues or help at home if she needed. Sookie was glad she pushed herself to host the weekly event; the support from her neighbors was welcome. Even ever-prissy Pam seemed to enjoy herself in her designer jeans, silk shirt and Gucci boots. Sadly, Sookie wasn’t up for any dancing and while Russell pouted, he understood. Eric and Jessica helped Sookie make quick work of the clean-up while Pam put the teacups to bed. Eric raised an eyebrow at her offer, but said nothing for fear he would break the spell that had turned Pam into a caring human. While Sookie was happy to have held the event, she was exhausted and Eric just held her while they both fell asleep.
They spent Wednesday preparing for the trip to LA. Sookie and Eric (he was still not letting her out on her own) met with the teachers at school to plan for the girl’s school work while they were in LA. Pam stayed at home to pack for her teacups. She only packed the basics since she planned to spend many hours purchasing whatever they would need when they were there. Holly arrived to review last minute instructions for the weekend. Having proven herself last weekend with the guests and meals, Sookie took a breath and told Holly she trusted her to make decisions as needed for the weekend. If Holly was surprised, Eric was downright shocked at Sookie’s ability to let relinquish some control. Sookie had one task she needed to do without Eric; a trip to the salon. He put up a huge fight until he agreed that Pam serve as her escort. Sookie refused to have Eric waiting for her in the salon ‘holding her purse’ while she got a very painful Brazilian wax. She knew Eric’s place had a pool, and she wanted to be prepared.
While Pam and Sookie were gone, Eric pulled Holly aside to discuss some of the concerns he had about her staying at the B&B alone. “Holly, I need to tell you about some security measures I have taken at the B&B. I don’t want you alone with Bill in the area. I know he’s not after you, but he has proven he’s unstable. I’ve hired some local security guards.” He handed her a business card and continued. “Add these numbers to your phone so you can reach them if needed. As a new guard comes on duty, they will come to the B&B to meet you. Sookie is not yet aware of this, so keep it quiet for now.”
Holly promised to add the numbers to her phone and to keep the secret the added, “Sookie is not going to like not knowing, I wouldn’t want to be you when you tell her.”
On Thursday morning the gang piled into the rental car and headed towards the airport. Once on the plane the girls grinned from ear to ear at sitting in First Class. The flight attendants were taken with their cuteness and treated them like princesses. About an hour into the flight though, they started to fidget; the novelty had worn off. Surprising Eric and Sookie again, Pam pulled her flight bag out and produced iPods and headphones for both girls; preloaded with age appropriate games and songs. Sookie just sighed. “Seems like there is no stopping Pam is there?”
“Sookie, I haven’t figured out how to stop her in this many years, so good luck with that.”
The landing was a bit scary for the girls. Since they needed to be belted into a seat, Sookie and Eric split up so they each had a girl next to them. Pam huffed that she was neglected, but nobody took her seriously.
As they departed the plane and headed to baggage claim, Pam was holding a tired Eleanor and Maura was between Eric and Sookie holding a hand each. That was how they were when they passed the security checkpoint and were bombarded with paparazzi. The questions began immediately and Maura panicked, letting go of Sookie to wrap both her arms around one of Eric’s legs. When Eric picked her up to shield her, the questions only increased:
“Who are the kids Eric?”
“Is this a secret family you have always had?”
“Are you off the market?”
They huddled closely and plowed their way to baggage claim. A limo driver was holding a ‘Northman’ sign so Eric approached, confirmed his identity, and asked him to take Sookie and the kids to the car while he got the bags. By now, Maura was openly crying from the aggressive crowd, and Eric was getting angry.
Pam was worried. Eric had a temper with paparazzi. He could ignore them when he was by himself, but the times he had pushed back before were when a companion of Eric’s was scared by the questions and cameras. She stepped in to change tactics. “Eric, I’ll stay here and start grabbing bags, send the driver back after you’re all settled in the car, he can help me.”
Eric was about to argue when Maura said, “please stay with us Eric, I’m scared.” That was the end of the argument.
Once in the car, Maura clung to Eric while she shaking and crying. Eleanor planted herself in Sookie’s lap. Although younger, Eleanor wasn’t as scared. She had been with Pam and not as much in the limelight. While waiting for Pam and the driver to return, the only sound was Maura’s sobs. Eric was horrified; they had not been in LA for ten minutes and had already been attacked. He feared that Sookie’s reaction would mean the end of them as a couple. This wasn’t just about her; the girls, Maura mostly, had really been frightened.
Pam and the driver returned and they headed to Eric’s house. The drive was about an hour with the traffic. After a short while Pam was able to distract the girls with some of the views of LA. By the time they arrived at Eric’s community, the girls were back in good spirits and were awed by the security gate and the homes in the neighborhood. They arrived at Eric and Pam’s house and were awed by the size. “Mama, it’s a mansion” Eleanor exclaimed.
Eric chuckled and deadpanned, “Eleanor, it has to be; half of the space is used for Pam’s clothes.”
Once in the house, Pam took over and gave a tour to Sookie and the girls while Eric delivered the luggage to the appropriate rooms. They all met in the den that was filled with boxes – items Pam had shipped from her Pennsylvania shopping trip. She started opening them and handing out items for the girls so they could take them to their room. Once the clothing was distributed, Eleanor and Maura begged for pool time.
Sookie explained, “We need groceries, the pool can wait.”
Eric suggested, “Why don’t you and Pam head to the store and I’ll do pool time with the girls. Typically, the paparazzi don’t follow Pam.”
“Oooh, Sookie, we can have bonding time. Come, let’s go.”
Pam drove out of the community while Sookie ducked down in the front seat. Eric was correct, paparazzi did not follow Pam. Once on the road, Sookie sat up and Pam started a conversation. “You know, until last week when Bill attacked you, I didn’t realize the extent of Eric’s feelings for you.”
“What do you mean, Pam? I thought Eric had been keeping you informed, well somewhat.”
“Sookie, when you hung up from the conference call after Bill had hit you; he was beside himself with anger, guilt, and sadness. I sent him out for a run when he said he needed to hit someone, and after an hour he came back and was still reeling. We sat and talked for a while. Sookie, he may not want you to know this, but he broke down. I know you haven’t known each other that long, but the separation was already affecting him. When you were hurt, he became obsessed with getting to you. We were on the phone for hours making studio meeting changes, travel arrangements and Oscar rehearsal plans. For the Oscars, he forced Victor to work with the Oscar team since they weren’t willing to change their plans just by talking to Eric. Victor didn’t want to handle it either, but Eric threatened to fire him.”
“Oh God, I’m so much trouble. How can I ever apologize enough for this?”
“Jesus Fucking Christ Sookie! I didn’t tell you this to make you feel guilty. I’m trying to tell you that he was moving heaven and earth to get to you. He may not realize it yet, but he loves you.”
Sookie remained quiet so Pam continued.
“I hated you at first. Eric and I have always had each other. I was afraid you would hurt him but I was even more afraid that you would be stealing him from me. Now I see that you are good for him, maybe the best thing that ever happened to him. After spending time with you, I see why he is so enthralled and I promise to support your relationship. However, if you hurt him, I’ll hunt you down and kill you.”
“Wow Pam, I appreciate your support and telling me everything. I don’t intend to hurt Eric. To leave Eric now would hurt me too much as well.”
“You love him.”
Sookie knew it was a statement more than a question, but she still replied, “I think so Pam, but that really is between Eric and me.”
“Of course Sookie. And just so you’re prepared, I’m happy we had this little chat, but don’t expect me to go easy on you. I don’t do tender chats all the time; it would cut into my bitchiness reputation.
“Bring it on, Pam.”
“Come, we have arrived at the store. Let’s get this shopping done so we can get home quickly.”
Once back at the house, Sookie put the groceries away and started dinner or lunch, she didn’t even know since her schedule was thrown off by the time zone change. She called everyone in a while later and found that Pam had dressed her teacups like dolls in new matching outfits. Pam really took matching seriously; she had the same thing on as well. Sookie just rolled her eyes and served the meal. While they ate, Pam started making plans for the visit; she could do the planning since Pam only picked at her food, not really eating it. Maura noticed Pam’s ‘picking’ and said, “Mama, Pam is not eating her dinner, she is just pushing stuff around on the plate. We aren’t allowed to do that, how come she can?”
“Because Pam is an adult. When you’re an adult you can ignore home cooked food so you can look like you’re starved if you want to. While you’re still my child in my house, you’ll eat properly.”
Pam sneered at Sookie and took a bite of the chicken. Her eyes went wide and she smiled. “Oh, Sookie, this is delicious, now I’m sorry I took a bite. What is it?”
“It’s chicken with a mustard cream sauce. I’m glad you like it. We should get back to the planning. We only have a week here.”
The week’s plan:
Friday – Teacups shopping with Pam, Eric at Oscars’ practice, Sookie working on InnKeeper tasks.
Saturday – Venice Beach, everyone
Sunday – all about Oscars – prep for Sookie, party for the girls
Monday – Eric –studio appointments in the afternoon, Sookie – InnKeeper, Pam and the girls – shopping (again, seriously?)
Tuesday – Universal Studios – everyone
Wednesday – Eric, meeting with Victor and the Studio, Pam, Sookie and the Girls – Disneyland
Thursday – Eric – final studio meetings, Sookie – InnKeeper, All, packing
Thursday night – Red Eye to PA
Plans made and now hanging on the fridge (using the fancy heart magnets the girls sent for Valentine’s Day), they cleaned up from dinner. Even though it was early, the time zone change made everyone tired, so they picked a movie and settled in. Sookie was the first one asleep. Eleanor, cuddled on Eric’s lap went next. Once she was softly snoring, Eric was out. Pam and Maura hung in until the end of the movie, and used the opportunity to take pictures of the sleepyheads on the couch together. Pam roused everyone just enough to get them into bed.
Sookie and Eric had debated the sleeping situation before they left the B&B. She was much better so while they girls had not asked yet, they could no longer use the excuse that she needed to be cared for during the night. The problem; neither wanted to sleep alone. The second floor of Eric’s house had been divided into two wings; each had a master bedroom and guest room. In the end, they decided to have the girls sleep in the guest room near Pam’s room and Sookie’s clothes would be in the guest room next to Eric. She would go to sleep with him and set the alarm early enough to get into the guest room before the girls woke.
Now they were headed upstairs for bed and while Sookie wanted to crawl into bed, she needed a shower from the plane grime. Eric suggested a bath. He had a large tub in his master bath. Sookie just stood speechless. A bath would mean naked. Was she ready for that? Bathroom light could be harsh too. Oh god, every flaw, every stretch mark. She started biting her lower lip and Eric knew she was nervous.
“Sookie, we have been through this, you’re beautiful. Don’t hide. Please?”
“Ok Eric, you can start the bath. Let me grab some nightclothes from my room.”
Once in her room, Sookie undressed and put on a robe. She grabbed her nightclothes. She put up her hair for the bath. She brushed her teeth. When she ran out of excuses to leave her room, she sat on the bed and talked herself out of her panic. She convinced herself that Eric wasn’t lying to her, that he did believe she was beautiful. The problem is – SHE never thought she was beautiful, even before she had kids. She and Sam only made love with the lights off. Sam did see her naked, but they had been together for a while at that point, not weeks like she and Eric. She was gone so long that Eric came looking for her.
“Sookie, come love, the water will get cold.”
‘Love, I like that. And look at his face, he looks like a boy waiting for Christmas morning.’
She rose and started to walk, but Eric scooped her up and carried her to his bathroom. He had turned off the lights and candles were lit instead. It was beautiful. She turned to thank him, and while she had been taking in the room, he had undressed. God, he was beautiful. He approached her and untied her robe. She was barely breathing as he swept it from her shoulders, kissing from her collar and down her arms as he removed each sleeve. He helped her into the tub then got in behind her. Taking the bath sponge, he cleaned her back, then her arms. He moved to clean her stomach, then her breasts – those he did without the bath sponge. “I didn’t realize how dirty my breasts were. You’re doing a very thorough job.” She giggled a little and Eric knew she was finally relaxing.
“Sookie, turn around so I can do your legs.”
She complied and he took one leg and worked from the foot up to her sex. He teased over her lady bits and then down the other leg. When he was done with her legs, Sookie took the sponge and returned the favor. She had never experienced such an erotic bath in her life. She enjoyed washing Eric, also foregoing the sponge to clean his chest. She washed his legs just as Eric washed hers, teasing the very stiff mighty sword when she approached it. Once she was done, Eric reached forward and pulled her to him, crashing his lips onto hers. Then he worked his way down to her breasts, nipping and suckling them equally. Eric turned Sookie around again so she was lying with her back on his chest. He used one hand to tease her breast and the other worked its way down to her slit and stroked it. He heard her gasp at the sensation as she pressed herself into his hand. “More Eric, I need more.” He complied by speeding up his ministrations while rubbing his cock over her back. Sookie reached around to grab him and stroke him while he continued to make circles over her clit. When he was close, he whispered to her “come for me Love.” And she was undone. Eric followed right behind. They soaked for a few minutes waiting for their breathing to return to normal; then he helped her out and wrapped her in a towel. Once she was dressed, she set the alarm for early – 5AM to move to the guest room and they snuggled in bed, Eric spooned protectively around her back.