Chapter 17 – Glad You Came
Sookie ran to the foyer to collect a hug from Alcide and shake hands with Godric. “Welcome to my home Godric.”
“Thank you Sookie, it’s nice to see you again.”
Eric had joined everyone in the foyer and was shaking hands with Alcide and Godric. Two other very large men joined the group in the shrinking area. Alcide turned to introduce them.
“Sookie and Eric, these gentlemen are going to run security for the film locations. John Quinn and Maxwell Lee, may I introduce Sookie Merlotte, the owner of Bon Temps B&B and Eric Northman, my co-producer and star of this film.” He turned to Eric “the rest of the crew is arriving as we speak. They’re parking in the RV area.”
Sookie started, “Let’s get everyone settled into rooms and RVs; then we can meet in the dining room, say about 45 minutes?” The group agreed. “Alcide and Godric, if you’ll follow me I’ll show you to your rooms. Eric, you’re handling the RV assignments?” Eric nodded and started for the door.
While everyone settled in, Sookie returned to the kitchen to put out some snacks and drinks for the group with Eric’s help. Alcide joined them shortly. “Am I still welcome in the kitchen?”
“Of course you are. Here take this tray out to the dining room.”
“Oh, I’m welcome as help I see.”
They had completed the kitchen tasks and were waiting for the others to arrive in the dining room. Alcide was already picking at the cookies on one tray and asked “Where are the little ones?”
“You mean Pam’s teacups? She has taken over the girls, calls them her teacups and has shopped to the point that I cannot fit the clothes in their closet. She even buys them matching outfits. I don’t mean that just Eleanor and Maura match, I mean that Pam matches with them. They arrived home at 11AM today from a sleepover, I got to say Hi, and she took them for lunch out and shopping. Luckily, they have a tutor arriving at about 3PM, so they should be back soon.”
“Pam? Eric’s sister Pam is willingly spending time with children? I thought the trip to Universal was an anomaly.”
“Universal was NOT an anomaly and I have pictures to back up my story. She turned to Eric, “Eric, quick subject change before we are joined by anyone; do you have anything you want to confess to me about security?”
“Eric, it’s a small town. The man who owns the firm you hired to watch the B&B while we were gone goes to my church. I’ve been waiting for you to fess up. Now I understand that the film security heads are coordinating with him to supply extra men for coverage. I just thought we should have all the information on the table.”
“Eric, I’m glad Holly was protected. Just know you could have told me. You should also remember how many people I know in town.” She leaned over while she giggled that last part and gave him a kiss.
Quinn, Maxwell and Godric joined them and they started discussing the schedule for the next few days. Alcide started, “The trucks with supplies are arriving within the hour. The crew members are settling into their RVs and we’ll all meet in the Barn at 4PM for a kick off meeting.”
Sookie chimed in. “Dinner is planned for 6PM in the Barn. Will that work for your meeting? I can change the time if needed.”
“That’ll work. If we have any meeting items that were not covered before you put out dinner, we can cover them before we break up for the evening.” Eric stated.
“One more item for me, and I’ll be out of your hair. Tomorrow, the caterer doesn’t start until lunch, so I’ll have breakfast ready at the Barn for 7AM.” Eric nodded.
“Sookie, can we speak later about some security concerns?” John Quinn asked.
“Sure Mr. Quinn, I’m not sure what I can offer.”
“Just call me Quinn please. I understand there is a specific potential threat here and I wanted more information.”
“Ok, I’ll be in the Barn doing some meal prep for a while, you can find me there.”
On her way out, Sookie ran into a gentleman in the foyer. “Hi, I’m Preston Pardloe, I’m looking for Eric, Alcide or Godric; can you help me?”
Sookie directed him to the dining room; then departed for the Barn. She met up with Holly who was already starting dinner prep. “Hi Holly, thanks for getting this started.”
“It’s no problem Sookie. I know you have to do breakfast tomorrow morning after I leave for school, so I’m trying to get as much prepped for tonight and tomorrow as possible.”
Sookie walked over and hugged Holly. “You’re a lifesaver, thanks! I’m just thrilled you agreed to start in the kitchen with me at 5AM before you head to school. Jessica is arriving to help me by 7AM. Hey, have you told Pam you’re getting up that early?”
“She is a heavy sleeper, so she’ll be fine. She wants me to wake her before I leave anyway so she can get the girls dressed and out the door for you. She really loves her teacups.”
“I’m going to ask Eric if she perhaps never had dolls when she was growing up. I believe she thinks they are living dolls. Speaking of which, they are pulling in now. Wait until Alcide sees the matching outfits. His eyes bugged out when I told him.”
Sookie ran out to greet the girls. She sighed when she saw yet more bags in the trunk. “Pam, I’m running out of space.”
“Sookie, these are for spring, we won’t need to rotate them into their rooms for a few weeks. I’ll keep them in the new storage unit until then. Don’t you worry about a thing; I’ll handle the change of seasons for you.”
Alcide heard the car pull up and ran out to greet the girls. He swept up both girls at once for a big hug. “Alcide,” Eleanor started, “we need to start working on my birthday party. Mama said that was your job.”
“Isn’t your birthday next month?”
“Yes, but Pam told us invitations should be sent out six weeks in advance. She is going to be our overall event coordinator; you will have to do the ‘heavy lifting’ as Pam said.”
“Ok, how about we settle in with the crew today and maybe we can have a meeting tomorrow night, just you, Pam and I?”
Eleanor agreed but Maura whined “I’m left out?”
Alcide turned to her and said, “Certainly not. How about you and I play a game after the birthday meeting, just the two of us?”
“Like a date?”
Pam grabbed the bags and called for the teacups. The girls were just about to follow Pam to her room when the tutor pulled up. “Girls, looks like you’re busy. Mr. Twining is here. Go grab your backpacks and meet him in the office.”
They both groaned but did as they were told.
“I’m going to get a complex with these two.” Mr. Twining chuckled.
“Sorry Charles, several folks arrived for the film today, the competition is too great.”
“Oh, they don’t need new people. Just having Pam here makes my presence unwelcome for them.”
“True. She is a bad influence.”
Pam gasped, “Sookie, I’m shocked. I’m teaching them how to put their best foot forward.”
“Sure Pam, but they need to know how to read the labels first.”
“Fair enough.” She turned to Charles, “When will your session be over?”
Pam shifted the bags to one arm and pulled out her iPhone to start tapping and checking. “I’ll collect them from the office at that time. We have nails to do and outfits to plan for school tomorrow. Sookie, I’ll have them with me until dinner. I have quite a bit to squeeze in to prepare for the school week with them.”
“Pam, you’re tracking a to-do list for the girls?”
“Yes, I have a new teacup file in my calendar and it is linked with my reminders and tasks. I entered their school schedule in so I know what day they have art or gym so I can dress them appropriately. Oh, and for art, I’m basically sending them in whatever they owned before I took over their wardrobe.
“Pam, don’t you think that is a bit much for Kindergarten and Second grade?”
“Honestly Sookie, do you think this,” she pointed from her head to her feet, “just happens. It takes planning. I’m grooming them.” Pam called for Holly “I have presents for you.” Holly’s face lit up and they walked off to Pam’s room.
Charles, Sookie and Alcide watched Pam walk away; then they started laughing. Alcide finally broke his laughter to comment, “I think she was serious.”
“Alcide, you have no idea.”
Sookie returned to the Barn to continue in the kitchen. She was soon joined by Quinn. “So, tell me about Compton.”
Sookie continued to cook while she reiterated the details of their business partnership, the increased and unwelcome attentions from Bill, and finally the two incidents that involved the police. When she was finished, she was visibly upset from discussing Bill. Quinn looked up from his note taking and said, “I can see where anyone would be interested in you. You’re a fine looking woman. Don’t worry Babe, I’ll protect you.” He started to move closer to her and he raised his hand towards her face. Sookie flinched and moved backwards only causing her to trip on one of the stools in the kitchen. When she started to fall backwards, Quinn grabbed her and pulled her up. Taking advantage since he held both her arms, he started to pull her closer and whispered, “Yes, a fine looking woman.”
“Quinn, let go of me” Sookie asked as she was struggling a bit in her arms.
“GET AWAY FROM HER QUINN!” Eric had walked in just in time to see Sookie struggling in Quinn’s arms. “You’re here to help protect her, not be another potential problem! Get the fuck out of here; I’ll speak to you later.” Eric had made his way to Sookie and took her in his arms. “Are you OK?”
“Yes Eric, I tripped, that’s what started it. He didn’t now know I was spoken for. I’m sure that once you tell him, he will not be a problem.”
Eric was boiling over with rage. He wanted to announce to everyone that Sookie’s was his and they all better back the fuck off.
Sookie could see he was upset so she just kept stroking his chest trying to calm him down. His film meeting was starting shortly and he needed to get rid of this emotion. She had an idea of where to direct the rage and she thought she might enjoy it too. “Come with me.”
Eric allowed himself to be led by Sookie to her walk in pantry. She closed the door and he spun her around, pushing her up against the door. He kissed her roughly over and over again. She knew what he wanted and she told him, “Eric, take me, take what you need.”
Eric quickly unzipped his jeans while Sookie removed her panties. Eric lifted Sookie up against the door and lowered her onto his erection. He pounded into her forcefully while attacking her mouth, neck and chest with kisses. It did not take long for Sookie to start her hitched breathing. Eric started biting her nipples through the dress and she went over the edge. She clamped her mouth down on his shoulder to prevent crying out and when she bit a little by accident, Eric came with an uncontained roar. He put her legs down, but they continued to hold each other for a few minutes. Eric found a kitchen towel and helped Sookie clean up before they put themselves back to rights.
“Yes, much. Did I hurt you my Love?”
“No, that was hot. I have never had naughty sex like that before. Maybe I’ll flirt with other men if that is the reaction I get.”
“Don’t you dare!”
Sookie giggled and they left the pantry, taking a quick scan to ensure they were in the Barn alone. She was quite relieved. “I really must get back to cooking, and you need to prepare for your kick-off I am sure. Scoot.”
“Scoot? I don’t scoot. I swagger.” And with that, he turned and sashayed away, giving Sookie a perfect view of his ass.
‘Heaven help me. I don’t know if I can keep up with that ego.’
Holly returned with the crew for the start of the meeting. She and Holly tried to keep the noise down so they did not disturb them. Soon enough, dinner was ready and they moved the trays of food to the buffet. Sookie moved around the room trying to meet as many folks as possible. There was only the crew now, 20 people who arrived early to work on sets and other film prep work. Soon there would be closer to 100 people on her property. ‘How will I keep track?’
Pam arrived with the girls since they were having dinner in the Barn as well; Godric turned to Pam and admonished her for missing the meeting. “Godric, I’m a consultant for your costume team, not part of the official crew. Besides, I was needed by my teacups.”
Godric looked confused and Sookie explained. “You see my daughters the social butterflies, running from table to table to meet everyone?” Godric nodded. “Pam has decided they are hers and she refers to them as her teacups. I suppose if she missed the meeting it is probably my fault she was occupying them while I cooked.” She turned to Pam. “What do you mean you’re a consultant?”
“Sookie, I have a Master’s Degree in the History of Dress from The Courtauld Institute of Art. I consult on many films.”
“Wow, and here I thought you just shopped without a degree. Do you have like a 007 license to kill a poorly dressed person in LA?”
“Sookie, I don’t have a license to kill poorly dressed people, if I did, I would have shot you after seeing the pictures of you in Carhartts.”
Dinner was breaking up and the meeting was over. However, it will still early. Sookie suggested some music and dancing. Most of the group agreed and soon, they had a party going. Preston approached Sookie for a dance and she declined, explaining that she was with Eric. “Jesus Sookie, does everyone on the film want you?”
“Eric, stop. I hardly think two of the crew constitutes everyone. Why don’t you ask me to dance?”
“My dearest Sookie, would you do me the honor of a dance, so that I can rub my body all over yours and stake my claim in front of everyone in the room?”
“Charmer.” Sookie deadpanned.
They joined a few folks who were already dancing, including Alcide with Maura and Godric with Eleanor. Sookie rolled her eyes. When they returned to the table after a few dances, Sookie told Eric, “The girls will be bored when everyone leaves.”
“I don’t know, I think Pam is planning to keep them. She and Alcide may be fighting for joint custody.”
“Over my dead body!”
Pam took the girls back to the B&B to put them to bed. She was kind enough to stop in the kitchen where Sookie was cleaning up to have the girls say goodnight. Shortly after, the party broke up and Sookie was ready for bed. She was going to be up at 5AM with Holly to get breakfast going and she needed sleep. She and Eric quickly prepped for bed and snuggled in. Eric knew she was tired and had the early day planned so he just rubbed her back until she was asleep.
Monday morning was hectic, but by 9AM, everyone had been fed, the kitchen cleaned, and the girls at school. The film crew was working on the property enhancements; making it appear as a working farm. Sookie had always had a garden but this year, it was going to be expanded. While computer graphics would be used to make the garden appear even larger, the film crew was starting with a significantly bigger plot than she ever had. She was looking forward to reaping the benefits come late summer. After walking the property to check out the crews’ work so far, Sookie headed to her office for some InnKeeper work. Since Valentine’s Day, she had only stayed in touch with Bill via email and file sharing as needed. She had a new email from Bill and that was about to change:
I realize you have been hiding behind email for the past few weeks and I have tried to respect your space. However, we have several items that must be discussed in person related to the InnKeeper business
*Delivering the code you have been writing as enhancements to our existing customers
*Creating new file downloads of the enhanced code for new customers
*Kick-offs for the new customers that signed this past month
I know that an in person meeting will be awkward for both of us, but as adults who share in this business, we must put our feelings aside and work together. I will be at the B&B tomorrow at 1PM for a meeting.
Sookie had only one thing to say in response. “FUCK!”
“Language Sookie” Pam said as she appeared in the doorway.
“Believe me Pam, if ever a situation called for bad language, this would be it.”
“What’s going on?”
Sookie waved Pam to her desk and turned the monitor for Pam to read. Her reply was “FUCK! We have to get Eric out of here at that time or he’ll kill him.”
Sookie and Pam started discussing options when Eric walked in. “What has the two of you looking like conspirators?”
Sookie took a deep breath and explained the situation. She had decided to be honest with Eric and just hope he would agree to stay out of the B&B while Bill was there. Eric didn’t really agree. “Sookie, I’m not leaving you alone with him. I have a right to protect you.”
“First, I won’t be alone. I’ll ask Quinn or Maxwell to sit in on the meeting. Second, my concern is that you’ll feel the need to retaliate against him for his prior actions. I don’t want you in trouble with the law for the exact same thing he did. Please, I’ll be protected. It scares me to think what you’ll do; not that Bill doesn’t deserve to be hurt, but not at the cost of losing you to jail time.”
Eric wasn’t happy. She had a logical argument and she knew him well. If he saw Bill, especially in the house with Sookie, his first instinct would be to go for the kill. He gritted his teeth and said, “Fine, but we are not done talking about this whole situation. I want him out of your life, and if that means no InnKeeper then so be it.”
Sookie started to respond and Pam actually grabbed her arm and managed to quiet her. She knew it would be a huge fight and they were both upset and angry. She did not want them to say something they would regret later. Eric turned to leave and Pam was torn. ‘Do I go after him to calm him down, or stay with Sookie since I quieted her from saying her piece.’ In the end she stayed with Sookie and explained her reasons for cutting off her reply. Sookie could see the logic and reluctantly thanked Pam for preventing a disaster. She left a calmer Sookie to go in search of Eric.
She found him in the Barn, just sitting quietly by himself. She sat next to him and placed her hand on his. They sat in silence for a while until he finally spoke up. “Bill scares me Pam.”
“He’s unstable and he could really hurt her. I don’t think straight when it comes to her safety.”
“No, you don’t. But you cannot force decisions on her. Use the guards to keep her protected and see what happens with his trial. Back off on the InnKeeper. You know Sookie is counting on that to secure Eleanor and Maura’s futures.”
“Pam, I can buy her out and Bill can just hire a replacement for Sookie. He can deal with the devaluation of the company by not selling when the opportunity was at its best.”
“And you will keep that to yourself. Sookie feels the need to provide for her children. You’ve been a couple for a few weeks. There’s no way she is going to allow you to buy her out like that.”
“Pam, buying out her half would be a drop in the bucket for me.”
“Yeah, that’s exactly what she wants to hear Eric. Something she works very hard for is pittance for you. That would really go over well.”
Eric sat in silence while he considered her words. Finally, “Pam, did you ever consider becoming a couple’s therapist. What you say makes sense.”
“I’m quite happy in fashion, thank you.”
Eric made arrangements for Maxwell and Alcide to join the meeting with Bill. He did not want Quinn close to Sookie and he wanted Bill to realize he was serious about Sookie’s protection. He took a mid afternoon run to get rid of the rest of his anger and was taking a shower. He was lost in thought and did not realize he was being joined until he heard the shower door open. “Want some company?”
“Did you get the Bill anger out of your system?”
“Never say that name when you’re naked in front of me again.”
“Ok sir” Sookie said as she exaggerated a salute.
Eric grabbed her and they enjoyed hanky and panky time before getting out of the shower.
Just before 1 on Tuesday, Bill arrived and was escorted to Sookie’s office by Maxwell. Alcide was already waiting in the room and seated across from Sookie’s desk in one of the chairs. Jessica was seated at her own desk, off to the side. Maxwell gestured for Bill to have a seat in the other chair across from Sookie’s desk. Then he moved to stand behind Sookie.
“Sookeh, can you ask your friends to leave so we can get down to business?”
“No, start with your agenda.”
“No? This in InnKeeper business, our conversation should be confidential.”
“Bill, you and I will never have a confidential conversation again. Maxwell,” Sookie gestured behind her “Is a guard. He is here to protect me from you. Or did you forget our last face to face? Alcide is my friend and is here to ensure you keep your place. Now, begin your agenda so I can get back to preparing for open mic night.”
Bill reviewed the agenda and he and Sookie made plans and decisions as needed. When he was finally through his items; Sookie added, “I have two other items to discuss.”
“I want to sell the company. I need you to reconsider, or buy me out.”
“Sookeh, we have been through this before. This was your husband’s company. You dishonor him by wishing to sell out. Darling…”
“Don’t you Darling me. Sam would want me to do the best thing for the girls. Selling now with the lucrative offers we have is the best. Please reconsider, and quickly. Since we are not selling the company today and we need to work together somewhat; I want to change the official address of the company to a small office space in Morgantown. I don’t want this company run out of my home. I have far too many people coming and going to also run InnKeeper here. I’ve already found the space, and I have the contract here. I just need your signature.”
“Sookeh? I don’t understand?”
“Bill, can’t you understand that your recent actions have made me uncomfortable around you? This is my home; I need to separate the part of InnKeeper that involves you from my home.”
“Sookeh, I think we just need to discuss what’s happened recently. Perhaps your guards can just wait outside the door?”
“Bill, I thought I made it clear already. We will have no time alone. Please sign the paper. I’m paying for the space on my own, so this will not cut into your precious profits.”
‘Maybe this will make her happy and build some of her feelings back for me.‘ Bill reluctantly signed the contract and was escorted out by Maxwell. Sookie breathed out and put her head on the desk.
“You did good” Alcide praised her. “Getting him to sign that paper was great. Now you can get the restraining order. I can see Eric running towards the house from the Barn. I’ll give you some alone time.”
“Thanks for your support.”
“Jessica, can I escort you to the Barn?”
“Yes, thanks Alcide.”
Eric rushed into the house from the Barn after he saw Bill’s car leave. He ran into Maxwell on the way and he confirmed that the meeting was mostly all business and Sookie had put him in his place when needed. “You should be proud of her, she was tough as nails.”
He got to the office, picked up Sookie from her chair and placed her on his lap. “Tell me about the whole meeting.”
She discussed the meeting, Bill’s request for privacy, her request to sell, and that Bill did sign the address and office contract forms. “Did you call Russell for the restraining order yet?”
“Eric, you were already out the Barn door before I had pulled myself together. You can call him now.”
Bill was seething. He had wanted time alone with Sookeh. He wanted her to drop the ridiculous assault charges. She had lied to him that day saying the trip to California was all business. She deserved to be hit. She was his and he would not tolerate lies. He would need to work to create a wedge between Eric and Sookeh and wait for the opportunity to go in and take what was his. Luckily, he had arranged for the Jansons across the way to be unavailable for a while so he could move in and keep a closer eye on the situation. As soon as Sookeh was alone, he would be back for her. He just needed to pack a few things so he could stay there for an extended period. He was getting his suitcase out of the closet when the doorbell rang. It was a process server. After confirming he was William Compton, he was served with the restraining order. He could not step foot on the B&B property. “That BITCH.” He yelled out loud. ‘She played me with the address change. She will pay for this when I get my hands on her.’