Seven Years Ago
“What are you doing today?” Sookie is lying on her bed with her laptop and text books surrounding her. The dedication she shows to school amazes me. She’s a member of Phi Kappa Phi, the national honor society for scholastic excellence. It goes without saying that she’s on the Dean’s list. But she doesn’t spend all her time studying; she works at the bar on the weekends, finds time to hang out with her friends, including her boyfriend Jake. The first time Jake showed up at the bar it fucking killed me! I didn’t realize Sookie was even seeing anyone. He came to the bar to watch her sing. Jake’s a good-looking guy, if you like that Abercrombie and Fitch type. And he seems to genuinely like Sookie, from the way he acts the few times I’ve seen them together.
Is it wrong that I hate him?
Since moving in the house, I haven’t brought a single girl back here. Not because I haven’t had the opportunity; I have. Believe me, I have. Girls throw themselves at me, I don’t even have to try to flirt with them. The women in the club are very vocal in letting me know they are available for ANYTHING I want. But I don’t want them; I want the pretty blonde in front of me wearing a tank top and yoga pants with a pen sticking out of her messy up do.
“I’m working on my design for my final project and I’m trying to study for my upcoming exam. Unfortunately, I have no desire to be doing either thing. I’d rather be sitting in the park soaking up the sun,” she says with a heavy sigh as she flops down on the bed dramatically.
I can’t help but laugh at her woe is me attitude. “I don’t think sitting in the park is really an option today. It’s pouring outside.” A loud boom of thunder chooses that moment to shake the walls with its intensity. I chuckle again at her disgruntled expression as she props herself up on her elbows.
“UGH! Damn weather man! I swear I’m studying the wrong thing. Why is it that a weather man can be wrong every day and not get fired? Seriously, that’s the field I need to get into!”
Chuckling again at her exasperation, I move into her room and sit on her desk chair. “You’d make a cute weather girl. They’d put you on one of those early morning shows because you have such a great personality. You’d be the perky weather girl,” I say with a big smile.
Sookie groans loudly as she flings an arm over her eyes dramatically. “I’d hate myself if I had to do that every day. I don’t do mornings! Have you seen the amount of coffee I need in the morning just to be able to talk like a normal human being and not a caveman? I swear I need an IV drip of coffee. I’ll be so happy when I no longer have 8:00 am classes! Who functions correctly at that hour?”
She flops over on her side, propping her head on her hand. Her other hand rests on the curve of her hip. I’m trying really hard to be good, but the top of her bra is showing where her tank top is hanging low due to her reclining position. Her tank top is red, and the lace of her bra is a baby pink. I lick my lips hungrily and feel my cock stirring inside my lounge pants. I shift uncomfortably in the chair and try to look anywhere but at her chest.
“Well since my dream of enjoying the sunshine has been ruined, what can I do for you today?”
My cock twitches again and I’m now semi-erect. Dozens of various sexual acts run through my mind as I take her innocent words and drag them through the gutter. I can’t tell you the last time someone other than Rosie and her four sisters touched my cock. It’s been months; not since Dawn have I been with a woman. Lafayette was right, I was a damn fool. Whatever shot I’d had with Sookie, I’d blown because I let my dick do the thinking. And now I am paying the penance because every woman I go out with I end up comparing to Sookie. I’m sick of the starving, bitchy models and actresses struggling to get their big break; I want the wholesome girl-next-door with the voice of an angel that sleeps a few feet away from me every single fucking night.
“Hello, Eric? Earth to Eric!” Sookie tosses a pillow at my head to bring me back to the here and now. She’s looking at me as if I’m crazy. I guess she isn’t far off the mark.
“Sorry,” I say with a sheepish grin. If she only knew what I was really thinking . . . “Would you be willing to read lines with me? I have an audition tomorrow.”
Since I’ve moved in and am not distracted by a revolving door of women, I’ve really focused on being an actor. Lafayette put me in touch with his agent, Pamela Ravenscroft. She’s a ferocious bitch that I swear drinks the blood of small children to survive, but she is very good at her job. I was impressed at our first meeting when she was able to list the highlights of my acting roles without looking at my résumé. Pam, in return, had been impressed with my work in Sweden but much less so with the few roles I’d managed to snag while in the this country. I’d had a few commercials, bit parts as a featured extra, but nothing of substance. Nothing I was proud of. She said I was marketing myself incorrectly. I was going for auditions to be the handsome boyfriend or the hunky older brother. She said those roles weren’t me; I needed to find something more cerebral, more emotional. Pam said to put my trust in her; if I did, I would get what I wanted. How could I refuse?
“What’s the audition for?” Sookie thankfully sits back up on the bed and begins cleaning up the mess on her bed. She stacks her books in a pile, puts her notes and pens back in her bag, and powers down her laptop.
“It’s for a two-episode arc on Law and Order: SVU. I’d be playing the victim actually. They are doing two episodes about a guy that is sexually assaulted during a fraternity event.” I’m animated as I talk about the part. This is just the type of role Pam was talking about that I needed. I really needed to get inside this character. Yes, it requires a pretty face, but the heart of the role is in its emotional complexity.
“That sounds awful! Why would you want to do that role?” Sookie looks horrified and I have to reassure her that nothing bad is gonna happen to me. The assault doesn’t take place on camera.
“Besides, Pam said this would be the perfect type of role for me. It’s about a young, good-looking guy but it’s about more than just his pretty face. I’m tired of always being thought of as a pretty face with a nice body; this is the chance to show a range of emotions. I have to be vulnerable, traumatized, and vengeful; it’s a chance to show what I can do.” I want this part so fucking bad I can taste it! I’ve been on a run lately where I haven’t gotten a single call back; it’s fucking depressing. I’m starting to wonder if maybe my father was right; that this is just a fucking waste of time. But what will I do if I’m not an actor? I didn’t graduate college; I have no trade skills. All I know how to do is an actor or a bartender, and I don’t really want to be slinging drinks the rest of my life.
“There’s just one problem that I can see,” Sookie says as she reaches for a copy of the script. “Why are you auditioning if they want a young guy? You’re so old; hell, you’re practically ancient!”
My eyes narrow at the impish blonde on the bed biting her lower lip trying to fight the smile threatening to spread across her lips. Sookie loves teasing me about my age. Everyone had been shocked to learn that I am twenty-eight; I am the eldest in the house and Sookie is the baby just shy of twenty-one. She’s batting those blue eyes, trying to be innocent but she isn’t fooling anyone. Before she can react, I’ve pushed her back into the mattress, tackling her as my hands attack her most ticklish parts. Sookie shrieks and screams in between laughing as I make good use of my tall frame. I’m straddling the tops of her thighs, locking her legs in place so she can’t accidentally damage the goods. I might be feeling blue-balled, but that doesn’t mean I want the boys literally black and blue from a wayward knee. My hands are mercilessly attacking her ribs and stomach while deftly avoiding her counter measures. She’s wriggling around on the bed and her shirt has risen up, so my fingers are attacking bare skin which makes me pause.
“Eric, stop! I can’t breathe!” Sookie is gasping for breath. Her hands are gripping my wrists thinking she can stop me from continuing my tickle attack. Seeing her like this gets my mind thinking of other reasons for us to be wrestling in a bed. I should climb off the bed since my body is also reacting to Sookie lying flushed and panting in a bed.
“Are you ready to apologize?” My conscious says I should get out of her bed, however I didn’t tell myself I was going to.
“Never!” There is a defiant sparkle in her eyes as she responds. Before I can resume my attack, the sneaky devil bolts upright, bringing our chests flush together before her lips capture mine in a kiss. My lips were slightly parted from my heavy breathing which gives Sookie access to suck erotically on my lower lip. Each time she sucks my lip in her mouth, her teeth skim along my sensitive flesh, a sensation that quickly has my cock at full attention. She releases my lower lip but keeps her lips on mine, giving me feather-light kisses that inflame my senses, leaving me hungry for more. My hands fist in her hair and my lips claim hers in a kiss full of passion, pouring out every ounce of frustration I’ve felt over the last year.. My kiss is needy, desperate; I am a man drowning and she is the only thing that will quench my thirst.
Sookie eventually pulls back when we both need to breathe. Her eyes have become an indigo color as they blaze with passion. Her lips are red and swollen from my onslaught and her breasts are heaving; each rise and fall causes her pert nipples to graze my chest. My hands have slid out of her hair to cup her face, my thumb brushing across the skin of her cheek. What can I possibly say after that?
“I always knew you’s be a screamer in bed,” Lafayette says from the open doorway. He brings his coffee mug to his lips, taking a healthy swallow. “Bout time you’s end up in bed together. I’ll tell Jesus to stop at the store on his way home; we’re gonna need ear plugs.” Lafayette smiles knowingly at us before he sashays away like the diva he is.
Lafayette’s words snap me out of my Sookie-haze. I hurriedly climb off Sookie, my movements awkward thanks to the raging erection in my pants. Avoiding looking at Sookie, I pick up my copy of the script, using it as a shield to hide my cock. I turn to leave the room. That wasn’t supposed to happen. Don’t get me wrong, I’m beyond words that I finally kissed Sookie. It felt fuckin awesome! Her body is soft where mine is hard, and she fit me perfectly. I swear I tasted strawberries and cream when I kissed her; it reminds me of warm summer days eating strawberry shortcake. Those breasts pressed against my chest were a sweet torment and I regret not becoming more intimately acquainted with them. We could have been bosom buddies. But that ship has sailed. I’m already imaging how awkward things are going to get with Sookie; we live together . . . we work together . . . fuck! How could I forget she has a boyfriend?
“Where do you think you’re going?” Sookie’s voice is demanding and it stops me in my tracks. Looking over my shoulder, I find her arms crossed over her chest and she’s cocked an eyebrow waiting for my answer. If she were standing, she’d be tapping her foot impatiently.
“I uh . . . I was gonna practice my lines in my room.” Smooth Northman, real smooth. At least I didn’t say that I was going to take a cold shower first. Spending all my free-time with my hand has apparently made me stupid. Has science done a study searching for the correlation between masturbation and dying brain cells? If not, I’d be a prime candidate.
“I thought you wanted my help.” She picks up the other copy of the script then slides off the bed. Sookie walks gracefully toward me. “We’ll practice downstairs in the living room. Afterwards, you’re taking me on a date; someplace nice, but not too fancy.”
Yup, brain cells are definitely dead because I can only stand still as a statue doing my best goldfish impersonation as I blink rapidly with my mouth opening and closing without the aid of words coming to my rescue. Sookie smirks as she pulls my copy of the script out of my hands, revealing the reason for my stupidity.
“You’re gonna need all the help you can get if you think your dick can magically memorize your lines for you. Osmosis works for water; you can’t absorb your lines that way. Besides, we don’t want you to accidentally get a paper cut down there; you might need it later. Or is that your plan; getting hurt so I will kiss it and make it better?” Excuse me, where has this sex kitten been? I want to ask her about Jake, I want to know if this is a one-time thing or is it going to lead to something more.
But in this moment, my body is definitely in charge. I take a step towards her, ready to find out exactly how her mouth can make it all better. But she stops me with a hand to my chest. Her lips are curved in a smile and there’s a playful sparkle in her eyes.
“Work first, playtime later.”
My eyes are glassy as I watch Sookie as Emme sharing her first kiss with Rene. I remember how elated I felt when Sookie and I finally became a couple. True to her word, she helped me practice lines for my audition and then we went on our first date. For dinner, I took Sookie to a restaurant in Little Italy. I’d been nervous about finally getting to go on a date with the girl of my dreams. What if I screwed up? Or worse, what if when we got to dinner we had nothing to talk about? My fears were unfounded; our conversation that evening was back to the easy banter Sookie and I had the weekend we met. She was funny, engaging, vivacious, and I was utterly captivated. And the noises she made while she ate . . . I thought for a minute I was having dinner with Meg Ryan in that scene from ‘When Harry Met Sally’. By the time dinner was over, the rain had let up so we were able to walk back through Soho to our house. We were about two blocks away when the rain started again. Sookie and I ran back to the house; she’d had to take off her heels to run without falling. By the time we reached the house, we were a dripping, ragged mess. To me though, she never looked more beautiful and I’d ended up kissing her until we were both breathless.
It would have been so easy for me to carry Sookie upstairs that night and lay claim to her body, but I didn’t, I wanted to show her I was a gentleman. Despite all the chemistry between us, we knew that we needed to be cautious with how we progressed because of how tightly our lives were interwoven. As much as my body was screaming for release, I wasn’t in a rush. I’d rather have Sookie for the long haul than a moment’s gratification.
I credit Sookie with being the reason my luck changed with my career. I got a call back after my first audition with Law and Order: SVU. And then I got a second call back. After the third audition, I was told I got the job. I was over the moon; when I got home and I celebrated with all my housemates. We drank, laughed, and told stories late into the night.
We are nearing intermission of the show. It is the scene where Emme meets Louis for the first time, where Louis tells Emme he can make her a star. Sookie looks so earnest and innocent as she sings about wanting to be a star, how she is willing to do anything to have her dream come true. Louis looks villainous as he encourages Emme, while Rene, stands to the side heartbroken as he realizes he is going to lose the woman he loves. It’s a powerful song, three different melodies woven together to create tension and drama. The song ends with the lights going out and the curtain dropping. The crowd erupts into thunderous applause and shouts of appreciation. The house lights come on and people mill about during intermission.
Pam rises from her seat, walking to the entrance of the box. She turns to look at me. “Are you coming? Don’t you want something to drink?” I shake my head no; I need some time alone. Pam shrugs her shoulders but leaves the box. Tonight’s performance is gut-wrenching; I’m reminded of every memory of Sookie and me as I watch her perform on the stage. But I’m also left with so many questions. Why is she performing on stage? The Sookie I knew didn’t want to be a performer; she hated being the center of attention! When Sookie and I had broken up, she’d been in her final year at NYU and I knew she hadn’t graduated from NYU. I checked every graduating class until I learned she was singing on Broadway about two years after I had left New York for good. I knew Sookie had an exceptional voice, but was surprised by how easy her jump to Broadway was. Sookie never worked in the chorus line or as a bit player like other struggling actors. Her first role on the stage had been a small but vital one. She’d followed that up with a co-starring role in a successful show that she did for about eighteen months before she left the show to join Bayou Blues. I knew the show was going to continue after Sookie left, but I hadn’t heard any credible information about what her next move might be. There were talks that producers were trying to entice her to Hollywood, but I can’t see Sookie wanting to do movies or film. Then again, I never imagined her on Broadway. I guess I really don’t know her anymore, which is just another gaping wound I have because of my stupidity.
The door to the box flings open. I assume it is Pam with whatever refreshment she wanted since not many people are allowed in this area. Imagine my surprise when I hear a voice from the past.
“Mother fucker you’ve got some nerve bein’ here tonight! Haven’t you done enough to hurt my girl?”
Rising from my seat, I turn to greet the intruder. “Good evening Lafayette. It’s good to see you again.”