Chapter 1


“Do you guys think that Pam Ravenscroft is sexy?” I ask the room, taking a sip of the margarita in front of me.pam

“Well, that depends,” responds my best friend Amelia.  “If you like that whole stick-figure, icy, queen bitch thing she seems to have going, then yeah.  I guess someone could see her as sexy.  Why?”

I look around at the curious faces of Amelia and our other friends, Kennedy and Holly.  Every Friday night we have a “girl’s night” where we can get together and gossip, whine, and in general be ourselves without fear of judgment.  “Sam and I were watching one of her movies last night and he couldn’t take his eyes off the screen when she came on.  When I asked him about it, he said that she was the sexiest star in Hollywood right now and that she would ‘make his list’.  I wasn’t really happy about that.”

Holly and Kennedy look confused.  Is it possible that they haven’t heard of the “Freebie List”?  Amelia just smirks, so I explain.  “He saw something on TV a few years ago about a ‘freebie list’: a list of 5 people he could sleep with if given the chance and I couldn’t be mad.  It’s usually celebrities, fantasies, but still… it’s kind of demoralizing.  There’s no way I could ever compete with the women he has on his list.”

Holly sips her cosmo and asks, “So who else is on it?”

“Pam Ravenscroft, Maria Cooper, Luna Garza, Marnie Stonebrook, and Callisto Diaconis,” I rattle off to them.  I know the list by heart since Sam has to mention it each and every time one of them appears on our television.

Nodding, Amelia chimes in.  “Well, he’s got good taste.  At least three of his would make my own list.”  Amelia likes to play on both sides of the fence.

Kennedy chuckles.  “So who’s on your list?  Like I actually have to ask.”

“I don’t have one.  I can’t think of one person, much less five, that I would cheat on Sam with.  Just the idea gives me the creeps.  You guys know I’m not down with infidelity.  That’s a big no-no with me.”

“Oh, come on, Sookie,” Holly challenges.  “It’s a fantasy!  There’s no harm in it; it’s not like it’s ever going to happen.”

Amelia, who’s known me since I was three, gives me an evil grin.  “I bet I know one and can guess the other four who could convince you that monogamy isn’t all it’s cracked up to me.  Number one: John Quinn.”quinn

“EWW!” I can’t help exclaiming and we all laugh.  “I’m going to assume you’re joking with that.  He is so not my type at all.  However, Jake Purifoy… he’s more in the right direction.”jake

“Yeah. I remember you drooling over him in that football movie when we were in high school.  Umm… JB DuRone would definitely make it.  I know for a fact that you went to see that awful stripper movie just because of him.”jb

I giggle as a blush heats my cheeks.  Sometimes I hate that she knows everything about me.  “So?  He’s pretty to look at.  Shame he seems dumb as a post when he doesn’t have a script in front of him.  Pass.”

“Sook, its imaginary, casual sex, not a relationship.  It doesn’t matter how smart he is.  He stays on.”

I look over at Holly.  ‘This was my list, right?”

She and Kennedy laugh at Amelia’s glare.  “Let her play, Sookie.  It’s just fun, right?”

“M’kay… number three would be… Claude Crane,” Amelia declares with a proud smirk.claude

My hand shoots up in the air and I shake my head.  “NO!  Nononono!  VETO!”

“What’s wrong with him?”

I shoot her a look of pure disbelief.  “He’s incredibly talented and hot as hell, but he’s gay!  Nope, sorry, if this is my imaginary list, I have to at least have a tiny chance of ever turning on said entry.  No, VETO!”

“Fine.  Spoil sport.  Let’s think… Preston Pardloe.”preston

Kennedy nods.  “I’ll second that one.  When he plays the nasty professor in those movies, his voice makes me want to dig out my old schoolgirl uniform and get detention.”

We all start laughing and take a break to refill our drinks.  Amelia looks around my living room at the various books and movies in my collection, trying to gauge who should be the fourth and fifth celebrities on my list.  The whole thing is fun, but completely pointless.  It’s not like the opportunity to meet, much less have sex with these people comes along often, if ever.  But hey, it’s Friday night Girls’ Night, so I decide to just keep drinking and let Amelia have fun.

We reconvene in the living room in our usual spots, Holly handing Amelia her White Russian.  She takes a sip and locks eyes with me again.  “Number four would be… Niall Brigant.”niall

Holly gasps.  “He’s like, old enough to be her father!”

I shake my head.  “No, she’s right on that one.  I’ve thought he was sexy since I was a teenager.  Something about his eyes and his voice… he may not be classically handsome, but he is definitely sexy.  There is a difference.  He would absolutely make the cut for me.”

Acting slightly prissy and superior, my best friend takes her seat next to me and grins.  “So we have Jake Purifoy, JB DuRone, Preston Pardloe, and Niall Brigant.  Now Sookie dearest… do we even really need to speak the name of Lucky Number Five?”

No.  No, we do not.  Just his name makes me feel giggly and giddy.  Even Sam knows of my crush on Number Five.  He makes fun of me constantly for it.  I feel like a teenager whenever I watch anything with him in it.  It’s slightly embarrassing… and everyone knows about it too.  “I don’t know Amelia, do we?”

In unison, Holly, Kennedy, and Amelia giggle-shout at me, “Eric Northman!”eric

I have every season of his show on HBO and lots of his movies on DVD.  His talk show appearances and newer movies are saved on my DVR.  I love watching him on Youtube speaking his native Swedish, even if I don’t understand a single thing he’s saying.  It’s a frankly embarrassing obsession, but I own it.  “Alright, so you have made my ‘dream shag’ list… do you want to print and laminate it for me too?” I ask sarcastically.

Amelia leans back into the cushions of the couch.  “I don’t think that’ll be necessary.  But don’t forget to let Sam know you have a list too.  You never know when things might end up right on your doorstep.”

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