Chapter 20


Is this even worth the trouble?  I make it a point to keep as much drama as possible out of my personal life.  I have to deal with enough of it on a daily basis with my work.  Having a disgruntled little lumberjack storm in when I’m about to go down on his ex… not how I was planning on spending a leisurely spring morning.

Surprisingly, I’m not nearly as frustrated as I was after a simple kiss several months ago.  Sure, I’m still worked up from having Sookie’s naked body writhing under me, but it’s actually manageable if I can distract myself.  Once I’m back at the house, I pull up my laptop and connect to the Wi-Fi.  Scanning through my email, I see the interviews the studio has scheduled for me over the next couple of weeks.

I grab my phone and call Pam, wanting to see what her schedule is for those same weeks.  She’s not a lead, but still has a fairly large role on the show and is starting to get more press as her part grows.  She answers the phone yawning.

“Eric, I really can’t right now. Liam is on his way over and I’m still waking up.”

Shit.  I forgot about time zones.  “Sorry, Pammy.  No, I wasn’t actually calling for that.  The studio emailed me about the press schedule and I was wondering if we’re going to see each other at all before the premiere or if they’ll have us on opposite coasts like last year.”

“That’s why I’m waiting for Liam to get here.”  Liam is her personal assistant/substitute boyfriend/part-time plaything/occasional trainer.  Sometimes I wonder where I can find one person that can take on so many roles for myself.  Life would be much easier.  She continues, “With the movie getting ready to film, they’re sure to have you scheduled in more places than me.  I’m just part of the background on the show.”

“Hush… your role is growing and going to be a big part of this season and you know it.”

She yawns again and I hear her footsteps pad over her tiled floors.  “Never mind… it’s not a problem.  I want to know how the party with strangers went.  Have you made any progress with the little Southern belle yet?”

I sigh and lean back into the cushions on the back of the couch.  “Pam, it’s weird.  She broke up with her boyfriend because he was cheating, but didn’t tell him.  She assumed it was a given based on some discussion they had at the beginning of their relationship.  I was getting ready to… well, she was naked on her couch and he walked in on us.  It wasn’t pretty.”

Her cackle has a witch-like quality and makes me shiver and grin at the same time.  “Oh, that is just perfect!  Let me guess, little Miss Perfect shooed you off so she could make up with her hoe-down honeybunny.  Was she using you to make him jealous?”

I run my fingers through my hair as I think.  “I don’t think so… to any of it.  Yes, I left them alone, because it was just damn awkward.  I don’t think she’s going to take him back and nothing about how she was acting made me think that she was using me.  Fuck… how the hell did I get into this?”

I can practically hear her smirk.  She’s spent too much time with me.  “Because you’re actually a nice guy most of the time who tends to think with his dick a little too often.  Okay… new topic.  When are you leaving and where are you going first?”

Turning my attention back to my email, I look over the schedule.  “I fly to New York in three days and am there for a week.  Then I fly to L.A. and I’m there for five days, then we have the premiere.  After that, I’m free for a week before filming starts here.”

She nearly deafens me with an especially loud yawn and I roll my eyes.  Even with the time difference, it’s not like it’s the crack of dawn in Cali.  “I have no idea why you insist on handling everything yourself.  I’d be lost without Liam.  He manages my whole life.”

“I know,” I say dryly.  “I don’t think I could handle someone running my life like that.  I am far too much of a control freak to hand things over to someone else to manage.”

“Don’t I know it, Mr. Dominant.  Speaking of which, why aren’t you trying to melt my phone with your sexy talk if you were cockblocked earlier?”

“Honestly… I don’t know.  I guess I’m just distracting myself with wor…” I hear a knock at the door.  “Hold on a sec, Pam.  Someone’s at the door and I can only think of a handful of people who have the code to get through the security gate.”  I know damn well who it is, just not how I’m going to react to seeing her.

When I look through the peephole, as I knew, Sookie is standing there looking as fresh and sweet as she did earlier.  No swollen eyes, no tear stains… just a sweet smile when she meets my eye through the glass.  I take a deep breath and flip the deadbolt.

Sookie’s smile widens when I open the door for her and I can’t help but still be drawn to her.  Unable to look away, I know my voice is suddenly distracted.  “Uh… Pam… we’re going to have to talk later.”

She says something, but I’m clearly not paying attention.  I hear her laugh, sigh, and the beep of the call disconnecting.  I step back and let Sookie come in, our eyes still locked on each other.

“Are you okay, Sookie?  He didn’t do anything, did he?  He looked angry enough to hurt you.”

She shakes her head and speaks softly.  “Sam would never hurt me… physically.  I confronted him with the picture, explained my position, got my keys back and kicked him out.”

I have to ask.  “What are you doing here?”

She closes the door behind her.  “I made a decision.  I want this,” she gestures back and forth between us, “for whatever it is.  I don’t expect more than a little bit of fun while you’re here, then… well, you leave, I stay, we go back to real life.  If you aren’t completely turned off by my mess of a personal life… I’m in.”

She’s in.  She’s not demanding anything… no commitment, no promises for after I go home… just “fun” for while I’m on her turf.  I don’t know whether to be relieved or a little offended.  But there’s no way in hell I’m going to turn her down.

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