Chapter 19 – A Matter of Trust
Freyda backed off for a bit after her initiation at the Bon Temps B&B. She pouted and complained about everything she could, but she did not confront Sookie. She still cursed and was paying into the fines on a regular basis. Since the Freyda crisis seemed to be over, Sookie was sure she could just relax and enjoy her new relationship. No such luck. Victor decided to come in the last week of March for a visit. He also invited himself to stay at the B&B. She had a room available since Eric was staying in the house, that wasn’t the problem. Sookie hated him for just assuming she would provide him a room. So, here she was next to Eric as Victor’s car arrived; a stretch limo for one person, of course. Eric was paying the bill, so why should Victor care?
“Why does he need to come here to give you scripts, why could he not just mail them?”
“He wants to nag me on the parts; he does not feel he can do that effectively over the phone.”
Sookie froze. She and Eric had talked about his doing less movies, ‘does Victor know that, is he going to be a problem’ she wondered.
Eric was standing behind Sookie with his arms around her waist when her felt her stiffen and whispered, “Don’t worry love; I’m not going to let him talk me into leaving you for extra movies.”
Since Victor was exiting the car, she just squeezed Eric’s arms. “Victor, welcome to Pennsylvania.”
“Yes, charming Eric.” Victor replied with a sneer.
“May I introduce Sookie Merlotte, Sookie, this is Victor Madden.”
Presenting her hand, Sookie said “It’s a pleasure to meet you Mr. Madden.”
“Yes, I have been curious to meet you Mrs. Merlotte.”
‘Yuck, he shakes hands like a limp fish and he feels slimy.’ Sookie was thinking as she said politely, “won’t you please come in? I’ll show you to your room.”
“Why don’t you show the driver to the room with my bags first? Eric, let’s find somewhere to meet privately.”
Sookie saw that Eric was angry and ready to reply so she stepped in to keep the peace. “Certainly Victor I will see your bags get to your room. Eric, you can use my office.” She pecked him on the lips and signaled to the driver to follow her.
In Sookie’s office Eric spat at Victor, “Don’t treat her like that again, Victor. You’re not really a guest here; you’re staying only because of Sookie’s kindness. You will not treat her like a servant in her own home.”
“Eric, she is a nothing, how often do we need to go over this?”
“Change you tune Victor, I have already warned you. Now what business did you have that required first class air, a stretch limo and time out of my day?”
“Dragon Sun. You sent me an email to turn it down?”
“Yes, that’s all I get from you is ‘yes’?”
“Why do you need more, it’s my life, my career. I still have Meanwhile to film next year. What the fuck is your problem?”
“What is it you plan to do after this film is over? Play house here for the rest of the year? You will be bored with her before the summer gets here. You’re making some serious career mistakes over a fuck.”
“Victor, she is not just a fuck, and it’s none of your business. Do we need to discuss anything else?”
“Yes, but we can continue tomorrow. I wanted to talk with Godric about the film and some publicity anyway.”
“Let me walk you to your room first. Godric is in the family room, I’ll see if he wants to meet you.”
“I can come with you.”
“No? What the hell is it with you and your one word answers tonight?”
“You need to be invited into the family room, and right now, you are not.”
Eric left Victor at the door to his room, and Freyda used the opportunity to build an alliance. “Victor,” she purred, “I see you’re also not permitted in the slut’s house. Let’s discuss this together.”
Victor smiled and invited Freyda into his room. Once seated, he asked her to start. “Victor, she has treated me horribly. She’s an uneducated country hick that has Eric wrapped around his little finger. You know, I had wanted to help Eric get over Sophie-Anne and now she has her claws in him. I’m so afraid she will hurt him, or worse, ruin his career. She simply has no knowledge of the demands of a Hollywood career.”
Victor listened with fake sympathy. He knew her comments were a load of crap but he could use her to break the couple up, that was his end-goal anyway. He even took her hand to express his concern over her ‘ordeal’ and by the time they were done sharing their stories of disgust with Sookie, they had launched a plan. First, Victor needed to apologize and get into the twat’s graces. Once he did that, he could help build up rumors of Eric and Freyda. Freyda, meanwhile, was to get as much time alone with Eric as possible; even if it was just the appearance because for now, they were both sure he would not cheat on Sookie. They only wanted to make Sookie think he was cheating. They broke up their meeting when he heard Godric at his door.
The next morning, the cast and crew were meeting in the Barn for breakfast. Victor was there at a table with Godric when Eric joined them.
“Eric, I would like the opportunity to apologize to Mrs. Merlotte, can you arrange that for me?”
“Sure Victor. Do you really mean it?”
‘Eric, I may be a ruthless business person, but I do have manners. You appropriately reminded me that I had forgotten them yesterday.”
Eric raised an eyebrow, but agreed to bring Sookie around later.
“Godric, we’re still starting the filming next week?”
“Yes, the rehearsals have gone very well and we have a final walkthrough on the sets later today. You remembered to invite Sookie for that, right?”
“Yes, she’s anxious to see the pond. I thought she would give in at some point, but she really wanted to wait until it was done.”
“Great, so you have costume fittings until lunch, then we’ll meet up for the walkthrough?”
“Yes, see you then.”
Victor joined Eric for his fittings so they could talk more business. He had an outline of the publicity schedule for Bored to Death and was reviewing the potential dates. Eric wasn’t happy about the travel, but at least it was the summer and he could take Sookie and the girls on most of the trips. ‘I’ll ask her tonight now that I have some of the locations. The girls will need passports. I’ll love showing them Europe, maybe we can stop at my home in Sweden while we are away. I also need an excuse to take them in the winter.’
“What’s got your attention, you haven’t listened to me for a while?”
“Just planning something. He turned to the costume assistant, “Are we done here? I have a date.”
“Yes Eric, tell Sookie I said hi.”
Victor looked puzzled so Eric explained while he walked out, “Sookie and I have lunch every day, the crew is aware and they all adore Sookie. Except Freyda.”
“Freyda has feelings for you, Eric. She is hurting.”
“Freyda has no feelings for anyone or anything except her fame. She just wants to be tied to me for career reasons. Don’t let her fool you.”
“Well, let me join you for lunch so I can make my apology.”
“No, again with the one word?”
“Sookie and I have lunch every day alone.”
He ran into the house yelling, “Sookie, where are you?”
“The office sweetie.” Then she added in a sing song voice, “alone.”
Eric ran to the office then shut the door. “Alone? We get to try out the new shades.”
“Yes Mr. Northman.” Sookie said from behind her desk. She had her hair in a tight bun, glasses, and a red coat dress.
‘Somebody is in the mood to play.’
“Ms. Merlotte, did you get all the work done I left you for this morning?”
“Yes, Mr. Northman.”
“Then, are you ready for your reward?”
“Oh yes, Mr. Northman.”
“You’re overdressed for your reward.”
Sookie stood and unbuttoned her coat dress slowly. Eric gaped when the dress dropped, Sookie was naked. ‘Someone was really ready to play.’
“Where would you like me Mr. Northman?
Eric guided her onto the desk she had cleared off for the occasion, laying her on her back; then he sat in the chair and spread her legs, placing her feet on the back of the chair. He admired the extremely high heeled shoes, kissed her ankles then dove into her lady bits. He licked the whole slit then focused on her clit. Sookie was squirming and moaning. “More Mr. Northman, more.” He added his fingers and started pumping while he continued to suck on her slit. ERIC! She came hard and Eric stood and dropped his pants. He gently helped her onto her stomach and with her heels she was the perfect height for him to push into her from behind. He pulled her back a bit to reach around and rub her clit. All the way out and back in again he repeated. Her sweat was beading on her back and he bent over to lick it, taking some nips on her back along the way. The sensation was overwhelming to Sookie and she came, milking an orgasm from Eric. He laid over her while he caught his breath and Sookie said, “thank you Mr. Northman, I appreciate my reward.”
“My pleasure Ms. Merlotte.”
Sookie giggled while he helped her stand and get her back in her dress. “Let’s go clean up and grab some lunch.”
While they were eating Eric caught Sookie up on the day including his desire for Sookie and the girls to travel with him on his Multiverse promotion tour and that Victor wanted time with Sookie to apologize. “Let’s look at all the dates and locations when you have them; then make decisions. As far as Victor is concerned, the polite southern lady is telling me to accept that.”
“So is the other part a tough Northerner, and what does she say?
“I don’t trust him or like him, but I will accept his apology.”
“You’re a true lady, unless you’re being my sex kitten.” Eric checked on the time, “You ready to tour the sets?”
“I’ll meet you in 10 minutes at the Barn; I need to straighten the office. Somebody wrecked it.”
They giggled and kissed goodbye. Eric saw Victor chatting with Freyda when he entered the Barn. He approached Godric to tell him Sookie would be right out. They started to head out and meet up with Sookie and Freyda ran up to Eric and grabbed his arm. Sookie was just approaching and Freyda wanted to make a show of being affectionate with Eric, but she did not succeed. Eric peeled her arm off and informed her that any affection between the two of them was for the film only. Otherwise, his arm belonged to Sookie.
Sookie smiled as she heard the end of their chat and took Eric’s hand as she walked out with him and Godric to see the pond. The pond was huge, much bigger than Sookie had envisioned. “How did you build a new dock that looks so old?”
Eric turned to Preston, the set Director who explained, “Hollywood magic.”
“Sookie pouted, that’s all I get?”
“No, it’s actually paint, but look how we did it.” Preston bends to expose that under a thin layer of wood painted to appear old is a new dock made from composite materials, not fully wood. “This way, Sookie, when we are done, we take the ‘old’ away and you have a dock that will last significantly longer than just plain wood.”
“I love it. Someone will need to teach my girls to fish.”
“I plan on it, Love.” Eric replied.
Freyda actually fake choked at Eric’s words earning a glare from Eric, Alcide and Godric.
Needing to prepare for guests coming to the B&B for the weekend, Sookie broke away from the tour. Jessica had arrived and was working on some new InnKeeper customer kick-offs while Holly was prepping an arrival cheese tray for the new guests. Lala had decided to ignore the set tour and was picking at the caramelized nuts. “Sook, you and Holly is gonna makes me a fatty.”
“I don’t think so Lala, I have seen you working out; you won’t let that happen.”
“What’s got you all smiles today Sookie?”
“A surprise with perfect timing, here it is now.” Sookie heard the front door open and she dragged Lala away from the nuts to the foyer. “SURPRISE!” Sookie yelled to Lala.
“Baby! Whatcha doin here?” Lala questioned as he ran to Jesus.
“I missed you and we have a meeting.” Jesus answered as he made room for Russell in the foyer.
“Yes, Sookie arranged for us to meet with Russell to discuss adoption or finding a birth mother.”
Lala just started balling. “I’s gon’be a mama?”
“Well, I think technically you will be a daddy, but that’s the gist.”
“Russell why don’t you show Jesus and Lala to my office for your meeting? Mena is still getting off the bus here for all of you to stay for dinner, right?
“Yes, but Bart is at the hospital working late and won’t be joining us.”
“Ok, I’ll see you guys later. Here comes one of my guests.”
Sookie checked the guests into their rooms and headed to the kitchen to help Holly with dinner. “Holly, what are you plans after you graduate this May?”
“I have already been working with the career office at school, so I’m not sitting idle. I just don’t’ have anything firm yet.”
“You are welcome to stay here anytime while you’re at school or making your decisions. What about Pam?”
“I like Pam, but I’m 20 years old. We are simply friends with benefits – I guess that is the best description.”
“I wish I could keep you full time when you graduate; I have come to depend on you.”
“Thanks Sookie. I can help you find another student that will still be in school through next year.”
“That would be great!”
They were interrupted by Eric clearing his throat. He had Victor with him. “Sookie, can we see you in the dining room?”
“Sure, let me wash up and I’ll be right with you.”
Sookie joined them in the dining room and allowed Victor to apologize. He said all the right words and Sookie accepted the apology but she did not like or trust the man. Still, she was gracious; even inviting him to family dinner that night.
The rest of the group started arriving for family dinner and platters were moved from the kitchen to the dining room. Victor made a show of blending in well, but Sookie honestly did not trust him. While they were playing games in the dining room, one of the couples staying at the B&B, Kate and John Grimaldi returned from their dinner out in time to be invited for dessert. They joined the group and started chatting as Sookie served fresh strawberry pie.
“So Sookie,” Victor asked, “you leave next Wednesday for Louisiana?”
“Yes 10:15 flight out of Philly. I always spend Easter there with my brother. The benefit is the filming schedule; you guys have the run of the house while I’m gone.”
“Ah, but to be away from Eric so soon, must be hard.”
“It’s only for a week, and I’ll have Pam with me.”
Victor decided to ask about Freyda. “Where is Freyda, did she have plans for the evening?”
Eric chose to reply. “Freyda is not welcome in the house except for her guest room.”
Victor’s eyes went wide as he put on a display acting shocked. “Eric, what do you mean? She is your co-star and a friend.”
“We can discuss it later, Victor. I’m sure that Sookie’s guests did not choose a weekend away to be bothered by Hollywood drama.”
Kate and John glanced at each other and John said, “Since we have a long day planned for tomorrow, we will retire for the day anyway. Sookie, we’ll see you in the morning for breakfast.”
“Have a good evening.”
Russell and family also said their goodbyes and headed out.
Victor watched the couple head to the guest rooms then turned to Eric. “Explain your actions with Freyda, is this grudge going to cause a problem with your onscreen chemistry? You have the new scenes to consider.”
“Victor, it’s called ACTING and having chemistry with Freyda will be just that: ACTING.” Noticing the group in the room became quiet and they all appeared uncomfortable, Eric suggested: “Victor, perhaps we should take this to the office.”
Eric looked at Sookie, she wasn’t happy with the topic. Still, she nodded her head saying, “We’ll meet y’all in the family room.”
In the office, Victor started in on Eric. “You have got to make up with Freyda, this won’t do for you to separate from her during filming and you know it. It wouldn’t be a problem if you were just eating in the Barn, but you eating with the family AND having Lala, Alcide and Godric with you is a problem.”
“Victor, if we were filming in LA, we would not be having this discussion. IF, and that’s IF Freyda wants to apologize for behavior towards Sookie, we will discuss it further. Bring nothing about this up again until you know I have told Sookie about the new scenes Victor.”
Victor put his hands up and replied, “Fine, I will go talk to Freyda and I won’t say anything to Sookie.”
Eric made it upstairs in time for bedtime stories. The routine always had Sookie and Eric doing the bedtime stories and tuck-in AFTER Pam had planned the outfits for the next morning. In the morning, Pam would take over after breakfast to dress and pack the girls. Given that Bill was still considered a threat; Pam drove the girls to school. Pam helped on the weekend by taking the girls to pee-wee basketball if Sookie needed to serve guests in the morning. Pam EVEN drove the girls to church on Sunday if Sookie was cooking. They were dressed for church like rich debutantes, but since Pam was taking on the extra responsibility nobody said anything.
Later that evening, Sookie and Eric were discussing the filming and some new decisions to the storyline. Eric knew Sookie wasn’t going to be happy, but his contract handcuffed him into the new scenes.
“Sookie, I need to tell you about a few news scenes that have been added to the film.”
“Judging from your mood, I don’t think I’m going to like it, am I?”
“No.” He took a breath and continued. “Sookie, we heard from the Motion Picture Association. The film will be rated R due to several factors – the most compelling being the rape topic in the film. Even though it is only discussed, it’s been decided the description and circumstances warrant the R rating. Since we’re going to have the R rating, some of my scenes will change.”
“Ok. You aren’t the rapist or the victim, what does this change mean?”
“You know the movie is based on a book? In that book, the main couple, Freyda and I, has more than just hugs and kisses. The new scenes will be filmed the time you’re away for Easter.” Sookie cringed, knowing what was coming. “The writers and Godric have decided to add more intimate scenes to the movie. I’ve already reviewed my contract with Pam and there were no stipulations about this and in fact, the contract leaves the opening for any topic additions to the script.”
Sookie was paralyzed to speak or respond in any way. She sat silent on the bed next to Eric, looking at her lap. Erin finally reached out to put his hand on her chin and turn her face to look at him. “Eric, I just need a minute.” Eric watched as Sookie left the bed and went into the bathroom to start a shower. He listened to her get in and he waited, knowing she needed her time. A few minutes into the shower he started to change for bed and he heard her come out, “join me?”
He slipped off his sleep pants and ran into the shower. “You OK?”
“No, but I know this is your job and I want to be supportive. I also plan to spend time with Pam tomorrow, away from here to vent and get it all out. You know, I think I’ll drag Pam to the salon and get a Brazilian. I can use that as scream therapy. Whenever I see that Freyda bitch, I want to look her in the eye and never let anything but confidence show.”
“I wish you didn’t need to think about any of this, but I like your plan.”
“Me either. How did this come about anyway?”
“I don’t know the details but the rumor is somebody put a bug in the head writer’s ear.”
While they continued to wash each other, Sookie asked. “So what happens next?”
“We meet with Godric tomorrow to discuss ‘things’ around here.”
“Who is this ‘we’and what things?”
“We is you, me, Alcide, Godric and Freyda. Things are: her long overdue apology and the fact that she does not spend time in the house like others. We are meeting right after breakfast.”
“So, let’s call her now and just invite her to breakfast at the house.”
“Yes, the only problem is I promised Alcide biscuits and gravy since I’ll be going away for Easter and he begged me to make it as his Easter present. I can only imagine the look of disgust on Freyda’s face when I serve it. I may run out of time to serve fruit with it or something that will give her an excuse to not eat a biscuit, and I am not giving her a spit bucket.”
After finishing in the shower Eric called Freyda about breakfast. She agreed to meet them for breakfast with the rest of the family. Eric warned her that the girls are present for breakfast and she needed to be considerate.
Once in bed, Sookie asked, “I want the details, how intimate are these new scenes?”
Eric groaned, “I knew you would ask. I just think knowing will bother you more.”
In a warning tone, Sookie responded “Eric.”
“Ok, ok, I’ll tell you.” He took a deep breath then responded without breaks, “Deepkissing myasswillbeonscreen Ihavetotouchherbreasts.”
“Just so we are clear, that’s MY ASS you’re talking about, it belongs to me.”
“And where we these events take place?”
Eric sighed knowing he should just get it over with. He knew his chances for fucking before sleep were going down the toilet since she was getting upset at these details, but he answered. “One scene will be filmed in Pam’s room since it’s the largest and the other scene in the old Barn.”
“Are you going to be rolling in the hay?”
They snuggled in silence for a few minutes before Sookie finally broke it by saying, “I love you and I trust you. I have a theory about why this bothers me so much, we will see if this theory holds next year when you film more of the Meanwhile sex scenes. I think it bothers me that you have to touch Freyda, when that is what she wants personally. Your co-star for Bored to Death and Meanwhile, Reese Witherspoon, she doesn’t bother me as much since she is married with children. It just seems more like it is work, does that make sense?”
“Yes. Reese and I have become friends, the scenes are just work. Freyda, I have come to hate, and that it part of the reason for the meeting tomorrow. We need to spend more time together so touching her is tolerable.”
“Ok, enough talk about touching Freyda. Touch me instead.”
‘She is remarkable, I thought she would be furious and reject me and now she wants me to touch her.’ Eric thought for a few seconds to himself before Sookie interrupted his inner monologue.
“Eric, where are you? Get busy!”
“Of course my Love.”
Breakfast was tense but they survived. Freyda did express her apologies for how she had offended Sookie when she first arrived. She also apologized to the children for being ‘mean’ that day as well. Sookie straddled breakfast in the kitchen with serving her guests who were thoroughly enjoying biscuits and gravy. Freyda did not, however, eat. Freyda only drank coffee and declined anything else that was offered. Alcide was fine with that; he ate her share of biscuits, gravy and eggs.
After breakfast, Pam took the girls to get them ready for basketball and they started the meeting about the film. Godric actually led the meeting.
“I wanted to get everyone together since there has been tension on the property and with the new scenes being added; I want to resolve this situation. I have several points to make and would like to continue without interruption. Can we all agree to that?” Everyone nodded. “Freyda and Eric, I’m positive you’re professionals, but your off screen tension is too hard to ignore and will affect everyone when we need to film any scenes where you’re a couple. Sookie, you have become a friend and I find myself in a unique position to care about your feelings on this situation. I want you to feel comfortable in your own home,” He turned to Freyda, “and I understand that Freyda has been a problem. Finally, Alcide I have asked you to participate as a witness over not only this meeting, but the requests I’m making of everyone.”
“Sookie, I respectfully request that you allow Freyda to join in our B&B meals for breakfast and dinner. I feel getting to know one another in an informal setting would be beneficial. Before you agree, let me add the second part of this request to Freyda.”
“Freyda, you will respect Sookie, her children and anyone else she has in her home. No cursing, no derogatory comments. Ladies, can we agree?” They both nodded.
“Eric and Freyda, I need you to build a rapport. I know you won’t be best friends, but can you get along enough just enough that the rest of us can stand to be in the same room when the two of you are together. I would like you to both bury the axe for now and rehearse, collaborate on your feedback on the script, you know, work together.”
“Alcide, you and I will also work with them during these meetings to, well referee if needed. I know they are not going to get along right out the gate.”
“OK, let’s get to work.”
Sookie, turned to Eric and said, “I’ll be in the office while you work with Freyda. I’ll see you at lunch.”
Eric and Freyda did work together for many hours over the next few days. Sookie allowed Freyda into her home. Though Freyda behaved, Sookie didn’t trust her. She was leaving on Wednesday, and this was the last open mic night before she went. Eric had hired Holly for all the open mic nights so he could enjoy as much of Sookie’s time as possible. Tonight was no exception. Sookie was leaving early in the morning and they were attached. Russell didn’t have a chance for a dance with Sookie. ‘I can’t believe she leaves me tomorrow and won’t be back until next Wednesday. Not only is she leaving, but I need to spend time with Freyda acting in intimate settings. Thank god for the iPads at least we can conference call. I’m also going to need to talk her into some phone sex while we are away. She is shy about that, so I’ll need to tread carefully.’
Sookie and Eric said goodnight early, and left open mic. This was a first for her, since she always did the closure. She had come to trust Holly so much; she did not feel the need to stay when she wanted to be with Eric. ‘I’m going to fuck him and claim him before I leave tomorrow. I hope Bon Temps keeps me busy enough to cut down on my thoughts of missing Eric.’
Sookie grabbed some laundry on her way up – items that needed to be added to her suitcase. “What needs to be done for packing, Sookie?”
I need to pack these sundresses in the garment bag; can you add the tee-shirts to the suitcase?”
“Sure, because the sooner I get you packed, the sooner I can have my way with you.”
“You think so?”
“I know so, and oh my, what is this?” Eric pulled out the copy of GQ Style with him on the cover.
“What, ummm, well, I don’t have any pictures developed of you yet. I need that magazine as a security blanket to make it through the week.”
“Where have you been keeping this since I saw it that day on your desk when we first met?”
“In my desk drawer.”
“What do you have planned for this magazine, Sookie?”
‘Aha, I hit the nail on the head, look at that blush. Phone sex is in my near future.’
“Eric, it’s your fault, you’ve spoiled me with your attentions.”
“Spoiled you? You went for years before I arrived, and now you’re worried about a week.”
“Give a girl a break, a week is a long time without you.”
“So, what will you give me so I can give you permission to pack this?”
“Permission? I own that magazine.”
“But you were planning to use it with my pussy, and I need to give you permission.”
“Well, you said that my ass is YOUR ass, so your pussy is MY pussy. You started it earlier today. If you cannot even say pussy and I can, that means it’s mine even more so.”
“You’re distracting me from packing.”
“And you still are not saying pussy or what you’ll give me.”
Sookie turned to Eric, smiling and enjoying the banter even though she was a red as a beet. “What do you want?”
“I want you to say pussy, I want to claim my pussy tonight, and I want to have phone sex while you’re away.”
Sookie bit her lip and looked up at Eric. “Eric, the first two are easy. Phone sex, I’m not sure about.”
“Do you promise to try?”
“Hurry up and pack those sundresses, I’m done with your suitcase and I want you.”
“Ok, then you can claim your pussy.”
He did, many times. Sookie was actually sore when she left the next morning, but she loved it. She cried when the car came to pick her up, but the soreness stayed with her as a reminder of their night together. They checked in and were in their first class seats, Eleanor with Pam and Maura with Sookie and the plane took off.
In the back of the plane, Bill was smiling. Sookie had not even recognized him in the airport waiting area. He stayed in a corner with his hat, and she was so occupied with the girls and Pam, she never even looked around her. Yes, this was good. Sookie was traveling without Eric and without guards. His spies had done well by getting the travel details he needed. He would call Jason as soon as the plane landed so he could arrange for Sookie to be alone. He was going to enjoy their trip to Louisiana.