Chapter 10– Need you Now
“Pam, I know you’re a professional stylist, but I’m not a celebrity! I can’t wear some of the dresses you’re suggesting! I wear underwear Pam, not floss!”
Gasping, Pam replied, “Sookie, you risk panty lines? Besides it is underwear, it’s called a thong and we can use tape instead of a bra. I told you this already.”
“Pam, have you seen forty year-old D-cup breasts that fed two babies? I don’t think just tape will work! Can’t you add dresses I like to the list for the shopper? You know one’s with backs and some kind of straps, would a sleeve kill you? Dang!”
“Sookie, it’s bad enough you’re already OLDER than Eric by 4 years. What would you so sweetly call it? Oh yes, you’re not a spring chicken. If you wear one of the dresses you picked you’ll look matronly, like Barbara going somewhere with George Bush. I’m looking out for you here.”
“PAM, that’s enough” boomed Eric’s voice into the office, “give me the phone.”
Pam replied through gritted teeth, “fine.”
“Sookie, I’m sorry. I’ll speak to her, Pam can be a”
“Bitch? Seriously, I know that now. I’ll give her what for when I meet her in person. Don’t fight my battles for me”
“Only if I can watch.
Hmm, what time is it? Have your guests all checked in?”
“Eric, It’s 10PM here. Pam called me after she sent pictures to the personal shopper and me to review. You sound sleepy, have you been napping without me?”
“Let’s talk tomorrow; I have to be up early for breakfast. Goodnight.”
Eric approached Pam in her bedroom and discussed the conversation with Sookie. “You have to work with her, not force her Pam.”
Rolling her eyes, Pam ignored his comment and simply asked, “So what do ‘forty year-old D-cup breasts that fed two babies’ look like Eric?”
“I wouldn’t know.”
“I’m grabbing dinner Pam. I’ll talk to you later.”
NOW Pam was curious. She had assumed that Eric was fucking her. It was obvious he cared for her. He was flying her out to go the Oscars; he defended her, his whole demeanor changed when he spoke of the time they spent together. He looked softer, happier if she had to put a word to it. But, this situation wasn’t going to work. Sookie was a distraction on the other coast. His last relationship was a disaster; the break-up nearly ruining him. He was better off not getting involved with anyone. She was going to keep an eye on this situation and she would let Sookie know if she hurt him she would kill her.
Eric was in the kitchen trying to make dinner, but Pam had not bought any groceries while he was gone. The fridge was empty, but as he looked around, the whole house seemed empty. It was beautifully decorated by Pam, but it wasn’t a home. No pictures, no artwork on the fridge, no Sookie. What was his problem? He left her only hours ago and he was comparing his house to her home. ‘I am so screwed.’
The Tuesday after Eric left, he received an email from Bart. Sookie and Russell had been tearing up the dance floor at open mic night, and he videotaped their dance to Finger Eleven’s Paralyzer. God she was sexy. He got hard watching the video, over and over again. He texted her later that night to tease her about the video.
E: I thought you were missing me?
S: I am.
E: Looked like you were having fun at open mic night. Did you know Bart sent me video?
S: I can miss you and still enjoy some part of my life. Tell me you’re joking about the video!
E: I suppose I can let you have some fun. I moved the video to my iPad so I could have a bigger view than just my phone screen. I think I’ll go play that video again then go to take a cold shower since I have a hard problem to take care of.
E: Yes, Sookie?
S: Don’t be a perv. I might also need cold showers after our video or phone calls, but I don’t go advertising it!
E: Why Sookie, I have that effect on you? And for the record, I don’t know how to not be a perv Sookie.
S: Eric, it’s not news that you’re sexy and have that effect on me, just hush. Goodnight.
E: You think I’m sexy?
As a sort of payback, Eric sent the proofs he had received for the Rolling Stone shoot the next day. Sookie called after she received it. “This is a bit unfair Eric! You have no shirt on in these shots! I was clothed in the video Bart sent you.”
Eric chucked and replied, “But I’m still in the photos, your gorgeous ass was moving in the whole video.”
“You think my ass is gorgeous?”
“You are distracting me from yelling at you for sending the shots.”
“By all means, go on and yell Sookie; or are you just going to admit that you’re going to have those on your iPad and look at them every night before bed so you can dream of me?”
Sookie quietly replied, “Maybe. Thanks for the photos Eric. I do miss you and seeing pictures helps.”
“You know, I asked the girls about the countdown calendar they mentioned to me and they suggested I pick a calendar and cross out when each day is done so I can quickly see how long it’ll be until you arrive. We had a very serious discussion about whether I cross the day off when I wake, or just before bed. They believe that since I’m not getting a gift each day as they are that I wait until bedtime for the day to be crossed off, since the day is truly complete. Their calendar provides a toy each day that must be played with for the day to ‘count’. Who knew there was such logic to this process? I guess that’s the long winded way for me to tell you that I miss you too. My calendar does not have that many X’s on it yet.”
And once again, she had to call for clean up on aisle three – she was a pile of goo that was Sookie.
A week had passed since Eric left. Eric and Sookie spoke, texted or video called every day, sometimes with the girls, sometimes with Pam. Eric knew that Sookie’s weekend was booked with couples getting away close to Valentine’s Day so he sent a bouquet of pink camellias to the B&B hoping it would keep him in her thoughts as she worked for her guests. He also knew she was nervous about her appointment in New York scheduled for Monday. He really wished he could be there for support. Pam had made the shopping arrangements, having dresses pulled from many of the top designers. She would be on video conference for the whole appointment and since Sookie wanted her dress to be a surprise, he was specifically not invited to participate. He arranged for a limo to drive her and Amelia to meet with the shopper, Isobel. When Russell heard about it, he begged to go as well. Bart and Tray decided to band together and have all the girls over at Tray’s house for a sleepover since Sookie and gang would be home late. Eric and Sookie were talking before her guests started arriving about the upcoming weekend and the dress shopping.
Sookie was spiraling into her worries about the dress shopping; worry about Pam, worry about the extravagance, and worry about her body – to which he said to ‘knock-it-off’. Eric changed the subject and asked what she had planned for her Prix Fix dinner on Saturday, since talking about her cooking distracted Sookie.
“Oh, I had a wonderful find at the market; halibut. We hardly ever get it on this coast. So I’m doing parmesan halibut. I have to get my veggies tomorrow so I don’t know what else is going with it. My guests can choose between a flourless chocolate cake and mini strawberry pies for dessert. Wait, you just distracted me with food talk, didn’t you?”
BANG BANG ERIC!
“Does she have radar for when we are on the phone? Do tell Pam that I said hello. I should get ready for my guests. I’ll talk to you tomorrow.”
“She does have the ability to interrupt our calls, doesn’t she? Talk to you tomorrow my sweet Sookie.”
“Pam, what could be so urgent you have to bang like that.”
“I’m getting ready to go out; I want you to come with me. You have not left the house except your studio meetings or to work out since you got back.”
“So? I don’t have any interest in going out to clubs or bars right now.”
Pam responded in a warning tone, “Eric.”
“Pam, don’t you have a date or something? I really want to stay in.”
“And sulk because you’re not with her? Is this going to be a problem?”
“Leave me Pam.”
The weekend flew by and Sookie was suddenly in the limo with Russell and Amelia headed to New York. The appointment was at Noon, and was going to take the bulk of the afternoon. Russell and Amelia were enjoying the mimosas that Eric had ordered for the limo but Sookie was too nervous to partake. They arrived and met with Isobel at a private studio that she used for appointments. There were three racks with about 10-15 dresses on each and Sookie thought she was going to faint at the prospect of trying on all the gowns. Isobel explained that one rack was Pam’s picks, one rack was Sookie’s, and one rack held the dresses that Isobel had pulled herself based on her phone interviews with both of them.
Pam was called on video chat and Isobel and Sookie grabbed the first dress. It was just what Sookie expected from Pam. Backless! Slit up the front – and not a modest one either. She tried it on but didn’t even want to come out of the dressing area. She finally agreed to show everyone and both Russell and Amelia knew it wasn’t Sookie. Pam rolled her eyes at their reaction since it was her favorite dress.
The same occurred for another 12 dresses; black (Sookie wanted color), strapless, backless, slits to almost the hip. For some Sookie put her foot down and would not exit the dressing room claiming they were just plain indecent.
Sookie asked to try on a few of the sleeved and backed dresses she had selected. Pam called them all matronly or clownish. “Sookie, if he wanted to take Mor, he would have called her and asked her to the Oscars instead of you. And the colors, you look like a toucan. Surely you don’t want to embarrass Eric.” Russell and Amelia both sucked in air and braced themselves for Sookie’s reaction, but she kept quiet.
Isobel was truly stuck between Pam and Sookie. Sookie was getting frustrated and was ready to leave. Pam had been very emphatic that Sookie purchase a dress that was Pam approved. Russell suggested that instead of looking through the dresses that Pam and Sookie selected from the internet; they peruse the other rack that Isobel found based on Sookie’s comments. Sookie wasn’t happy, but at least she went over to look. She found one that was blue silk organza. The skirt flowed instead of clinging. Once Sookie pulled it off the rack and held it up, she started to put it back. Russell approached her to speak to her privately. From his perspective, he saw her eyes light up when she saw the color and felt the organza. Not even Sookie could say any of the dresses from her rack had made her smile like this blue dress. So he asked her why she had put it back.
“It plunges to low. I can’t wear a bra,”
“Isobel, can you advise Sookie on what type of bra she can wear with this dress?”
“Sure, that dress would actually not be a problem. It plunges low, but it still has ample fabric coverage on the front and back and one of our backless bras would work. I can grab one to try if you like. I didn’t add any specialty bras to my rack since Pam had informed me we would be using tape.”
“PAM! You knew how I felt about this!”
“Sookie, I was only trying to get you to try new things.”
Shortly after, Sookie came out in the beautiful blue dress and a bra that showed no straps. More importantly, the dress suited her and she was smiling.
Caroline Herrera, Hand Painted Silk Organza Gown
Even Pam had to agree on the dress; though she still had to make some snarky comments about it not being sexy enough. She sent Eric a one-line text: sapphires. Pam was sure this was ‘the one’ based on Sookie’s face. Pam knew Sookie would argue if she was told the price (almost $8,000) but per Eric’s instructions, she was not to be informed. Isobel suggested that Pam have a seamstress available the day of the Oscars to stitch the bra into the fabric once she was in the dress. It was the best way to prevent any strap slipping. Pam confirmed that she would arrange for it.
Pam then asked Isobel to bring out shoes to go with the dress. Isobel brought out some Jimmy Choos with a 4 inch heel and an ankle strap. Sookie was actually pleased. The strap would help her with the heel height and there weren’t platforms. The shoes were Pam approved and even had a matching bag. The dress was being delivered directly to Pam for safekeeping until the Oscars. “OK Sookie,” said Isobel, “We need a cocktail dress as well for after parties or other LA events.”
“Yes, Pam already warned me, I mean told me about that. Since you already picked some styles, let’s start there. You did a fantastic job on the gown.”
Now that Isobel knew how to please both women, she pulled out a selection of her favorites from the rack, and Sookie tried on only a few before finally deciding on a grey Metallic halter style, another sky high pair of shoes and a bag:
Carmen Marc Valvo Studded Satin Cocktail Dress
With those final decisions made, Sookie ended the shopping trip. Little did she know that Pam had ordered a few other items for Sookie from Isobel via email on the side (with matching shoes and bags). ‘I love spending Eric’s money!’
Sookie texted Eric in the limo on the way home to tell him the deed was done and she would call him later to discuss because now she needed the champagne in the limo.
They arrived home shortly after 8PM and Sookie strangely found herself alone for the evening, a very rare occurrence. She called Eric to tell him about the day. She thanked him for the limo saying the drive home would have been impossible on her own since she needed to drink after spending hours on the video conference with Pam, the she-devil.
“So tell me about some of the dresses Pam picked.”
“Eric, some of the dresses barely covered my nipples! She was expecting me to wear tape to hold them in.”
Eric was familiar with these dresses and the tape. He had been on the arm of women wearing barely there dresses and the tape many times. The tape often left a sticky residue when the evening was over. He agreed with Sookie, that was not her type of dress. Even still the thought of Sookie wearing something that revealing excited him maybe a bit too much. When Sookie started describing the backless dresses and the high slits, he had to interject, “Sookie, you better stop telling me about the dresses with less fabric. I’m spending more time imagining you in them rather than listening to you.”
Sookie chuckled, “Is the mighty sword rising up a bit there Eric?”
“Mighty sword Sookie, now who is being the perv? I may need to hang up and take another cold shower.”
“Don’t hang up.”
“What are you suggesting Sookie? Phone sex?”
“Wha…NO I, um Eric, I don’t know anything about that. I just wanted to talk more to you. I’ve never done anything like that before. Have you?”
“Well, honestly no. I have never been without, well, I mean, um I have never gone so long.”
“Eric, I know you have had many lovers before. Are you saying you have been celibate since you started your trip to Philly? Not to be nasty, but this long, is that like a record for you? Is not being seen out like that going to be a problem for you?”
“It’s not like I have kept track, but this long might be a record. I’m not sure you understand Sookie. I don’t want those other women now, not the flings. I want you. You are the only one who makes me feel like this, the feelings and the physical reaction I mean. Sookie, I’m not seeing anyone here and I can’t wait for you to arrive. I really want to pursue a relationship with you, if you’re willing.”
“Eric, I am willing. I can’t wait to see you again either.” With that, Sookie heard the front door slam.
“Hang on Eric, someone was here, I’m going to check.”
“Sookie, take the phone with you.”
“I’m in my office on speaker phone since I thought I was alone. Gimme a minute.”
After a few minutes, she returned to the phone “Bill was here, but he just left.”
“Sookie, you need to start locking the doors.”
“Yeah, I guess it’s time.”
They continued to talk about their days. Eric was laughing while sharing some of the stories Pam had told him about the dress shopping. They finally ended the call three hours later, when Sookie decided she needed sleep.