6. Climbing the Wall.

Pam walked in her Garage at 12.45pm, later than usual but she’d stayed back a little to finish inputting the overtime so she could have the afternoon off to deal with their visitor, she was surprised to find that the dryer had already been loaded up and was running. Knowing that Sookie only had two outfits, she assumed that Eric had been more of a host than she expected and was taking good care of their unexpected guest. Despite Pam’s misgivings about her fragile Son being around such a worldly woman, she could see that Sookie was good for him. Her heart fluttered at the prospect of Eric finally getting to know someone, someone who wasn’t related to him, someone who was the opposite sex, she knew that Eric had a ‘thing’ for Sookie, she just hoped that Sookie returned his feelings and didn’t just use him as a means to an end but she didn’t seem like that kind of girl – goodness knows she’d been used enough in her own short lifespan. As she entered the kitchen she found Eric and Sookie at the table with mugs of coffee, leaning in towards each other and speaking quietly.

“Well, hello you two, have there been any problems? I didn’t see that reporter’s car outside.”

“No Pam, that spin doctor, Sam Merlotte came over and ran us through how we should react to them. He spoke to them and threw them off the scent for a while in exchange for an exclusive interview when I … we’re … ready.”

She glanced at where Sookie’s hand was squeezing Eric’s and her hand flew to her mouth. “You’re … together?”

Eric blushed and pulled his hand away, much to Sookie’s disappointment. “Well, we … uh … like each other a lot but …”

“What Eric is trying to say is …” Sookie took his hand again and looked into his eyes. “We trust each other, we don’t have any intention of hurting each other and we’re going to see where all of this takes us but when Eric feels he’s ready, I’d be proud to call him my boyfriend.”

“I see, well as long as you’re taking your time and not rushing into anything. Both of you have a lot of things to sort through, mostly you baby boy.”

“I know, I … I’m going to see Al. At his office downtown, Sookie is going to come with me.”

“Today?” Eric nodded and Pam smiled proudly. “That’s great! Will Sookie be sitting in on the session?”

“Oh no! I couldn’t do that Pam, Eric’s time with Mr. Cataliades is private, if I was there he might not feel he could speak freely. I’ll find something to do, I’m sure there’s a coffee shop or somewhere like that I could hang out in for an hour or so.”

“Well I have your solution to that one, I took the afternoon off in case you needed me for anything so we can go to the mall and get to know each other a little better.”

Sookie smiled warmly, getting to know Pam seemed like a great idea to her but Eric blanched, knowing how protective his Mom was of him. He just hoped that Sookie came back rather than running for cover. They ate a light lunch and Eric fished Sookie’s clothes from the drier so she could change out of her sweats before leaving the house. Deciding to take Pam’s car as it had more space for passengers, Sookie and Eric sat in the back holding hands and smiling at each other. If it wasn’t such an amazing sight for Pam she might feel a little sick at the sweetness of it all. They found Aloysius’ office and Sookie went inside with Eric while Pam waited in the parking lot, several minutes later Sookie came back out smiling from ear to ear and got in the passenger seat next to Pam.

“That went well; he didn’t panic once, even when the receptionist was a little snippy!”

“Really?” Pam shook her head in disbelief. “Well, let’s go shopping Sookie. Eric needs some new clothes if he’s going to be getting out and about more often.”

“You know I never even thought about how he gets his clothes.” Sookie cocked her head to look at Pam. “I guess there are a lot of things I don’t know about Eric.”

Pam nodded and her mouth turned down at the corners a little. “The one, very important, thing you need to know is that he’s never had a girlfriend. He … didn’t spend a lot of time in high school, he was sick a lot and never even graduated, so socially …”

“I know he was bullied.” Pam turned to Sookie open mouthed. “He told me about it the last time I was here. I get that he’s … cut off and probably a little backwards but I’m okay with that, at this point the thought of hiding from everyone is pretty attractive.”

“It’s not a voluntary thing for Eric; he didn’t choose to hide away. Yes, he was bullied but that wasn’t what made him the way he is, not entirely. He wasn’t sick because he was bullied; he was bullied because he was sick.”

“But he seems so strong and healthy.” Sookie remembered the definition of the muscles on his chest and back and couldn’t imagine him being poorly at all.

“Now he is; I’m sure he’ll tell you everything himself … given time, right now I’m more interested in knowing about you.”

“Okay, what do you want to know?”

“Have you had sex with Eric?”

“No!” Sookie sputtered. “I don’t see how that question pertains to you knowing more about me but you should know your son well enough that he’s not the type to just jump into that kind of … thing after he’s only met someone twice.”

“Good, now we both know what kind of person he is, you’ve been good for him Sookie – don’t fuck it up by pushing him further than he’s ready to go, let him lead.” Sookie nodded, biting her tongue to prevent her from making a snippy comeback. “What do your parents think of all this … business?”

“They were shocked when I went public without telling them what I was doing but they’re proud I’m not hiding what happened anymore, we don’t see each other so often anymore; they didn’t like Bill and Bill didn’t like going to Corning to visit with me, he always had to ‘network’ when we had time off and preferred me to be with him, he said I made him look good.”

“So he cut you off from your family?” Sookie thought for a moment then nodded sadly. “Okay, do you have any friends?”

“I have Arlene, she’s my agent, I used to spend time with the girls I worked with in the restaurant I waitressed in but Bill said they were a bad influence; that hanging around with them wouldn’t help me be an actress.”

“And being dependant on him would? Sheesh, he sounds like a top guy.”

They pulled into the parking lot of the Arnot Mall, checking the time to see how long they had to wander around the shops; they talked a little more about Sookie and what she got up to between Rich Men’s Families and Galaxy Pioneers but eventually Sookie got bored talking about herself.

“So how did you meet Felipe?”

“He was Eric’s teacher, Eric was constantly being sent home due to some illness or another, one day he came to the house because he suspected me of neglect.”

“No! You’re like, the best Mom in the world, how could he think that?”

Pam shrugged. “Eric always had something wrong with him, we were poor because I had so many doctors’ bills but he thought Eric was sick because we were poor and I couldn’t look after him. In a way, after I got over the offense it caused me of course, I’m glad that Felipe was looking out for him. One night he came over to check on Eric when he had a bad virus and I broke down, he comforted me, we ended up in bed together. The rest, as they say, is history.”

“What happened to Eric’s real Dad?”

“I don’t usually talk about it, sure Eric and Felipe have an idea of what went on due to snippets here and there but they don’t know the whole story.”

“Oh okay, I’m sorry for prying.”

“Don’t be, I actually feel like you’re the best person to talk to about it, after everything you’ve been through. I grew up in Watkins Glen, in high school I was one of the smartest in the class as well as one of the prettiest girls, I dated a few guys but never went any further than letting them feel me up over my clothes, until I met Steve Newlin when I was 16. He got me drunk and against my better judgement, we went all the way, the next week at school everyone knew, including his ex-girlfriend Sarah, Steve didn’t want to have anything to do with me after that but word soon got round that I was that girl. The girl who did the things their uptight girlfriends wouldn’t, even though I didn’t, Steve got back together with Sarah and eventually I started dating Ricky.”

Pam stopped walking and sat on a bench, taking a tissue out of her bag before continuing. “Ricky was sweet, said he didn’t care what lies other people told, he knew I wasn’t like that. Like normal teenagers, our relationship went to the next level and I ended up pregnant the month before we were due to graduate. He … said he wasn’t the father; that I’d been screwing around just like everyone thought, my parents were devastated, they gave me the passbook to my college fund and told me never to come back.”

“He used your reputation against you.” Sookie nodded. “Did you go back? After Eric was born?”

Pam shook her head. “They’ve never met him. Until Felipe came into our lives all we had was each other. As far as Eric knows, they’re dead.” She shrugged. “Dear ol’ Dad’s last words to me were that I was dead to him, so it’s his own damn fault he never got to see his grandson.”

–**–

Eric’s session Aloysius had been interesting for the counsellor, the fact his patient was here in his office was a major event, add that to the fact the last few days had been immensely stressful; Mr. Cataliades was very impressed with Eric’s handling of it all.

“So, how do you feel about talking to the press about yourself? Getting involved with an actress is bound to get you noticed.”

“I know, I haven’t really thought about it to be honest, I’ve just been enjoying spending time with her.”

“In a romantic sense or just as friends?”

“Both, we trust each other and we’ve kissed … twice.”

Al was thinking it was about time Eric saw some action but kept his opinions to himself. “And how do you feel about that?”

“Excited, worried, thankful but mostly … terrified.”

“Terrified? This would be because …”

“Uh … hello? 24 year old virgin ring any bells? Geez, I just had my first kiss this morning and she’s … experienced and I’m really, really not.”

“So read up on it, watch educational videos and get tips from the internet. Chances are if you do enough research you’ll have a better understanding than most guys when they lose their virginity. As long as she gets off, it’s a resounding success.”

Eric nodded, knowing that the heat emanating from his cheeks was more than likely accompanied by an alarming shade of red. He’d spoken to Al about his lack of sex life briefly in other sessions but the fact that there was now a possibility that he would have a sex life made it uncomfortable for him to talk about. He wanted to say that he’d seen plenty of videos but he doubt that they’d be described as educational. He wanted to say that he’d read plenty about sex but he doubted that smutty fan fiction about Galaxy Pioneers counted, even if it was written by women.

“Apart from the sexual side of the relationship, are there any other misgivings about your being with Sookie?”

“Not really.” Eric shrugged. “I get that she’ll have people taking her photograph and that if I’m with her I’ll have my photograph taken too but … I just feel that as long as she’s with me then I can handle it.”

“What about when you go out on your own? Once you’re associated with someone famous, you don’t need to be with that famous person to have the press want to talk to you.”

“I hadn’t thought about that but I’m making a belated New Year’s resolution, cross that bridge when I come to it. No point worrying about what might happen.”

“Let me know how that goes for you Eric.” Aloysius chuckled. “You’ve made big steps these last few days, I’m proud of you and I can bet that your Mom and Felipe will be too. Will you be coming here for your session in two days time?”

“Uh … Sookie goes back to the set tomorrow, I don’t drive and I don’t think I’m quite ready to be taking the bus anywhere.”

“Gotcha, I’ll come to your house at the usual time then. Have you been doing your exercises?”

“Yeah, yesterday I called information and asked for the number of my old high school. The day before I called the main number at my Mom’s workplace and asked to speak to her.”

“No incidents?”

“Not about those calls no.” Eric laughed.

“Excellent. I’ll go over some new things I want you to try at our next session.”

Eric nodded and Al saw him to the door, pleased that Sookie and Pam were already in the waiting area for him.

–**–

Bill Compton slumped in his chair with his phone in one hand and a bottle of beer in the other. Both of his ears were red and painful from him talking to everyone listed as an entertainment agent in the entire northeast. Out of all his calls only two agencies seemed interested in representing him, three of them had outright said they wouldn’t touch him with a ten foot pole and one had told him that they didn’t represent douche bags under any circumstances. After a long ‘chat’ with Rasul, Bill was informed that his character, Captain Kirkton, would spiral into a dark moral abyss leading to the demise of the hero over this season and would return next season as one of the villains of the show. Bill didn’t care, bad guys were more interesting anyway and he still had a job, he was still regular cast and he would still be famous. Bill groaned as the doorbell rang, trudging through the empty bottles on the living room floor and down the hall to find a courier at the other side of the entrance.

“Bill … Compton?”

“Yes that’s me.”

“Letter for you, sign here please.” The courier stepped back to try and avoid the brewery-like smell coming from Bill.

Bill signed the screen with the annoyingly small plastic stylus and took the letter inside to open it, waving the courier away like a servant. He almost ripped the letter apart in anger when he read the subject heading.

For The Attention of: Mr William Thomas Compton.
Re: Sookie Stackhouse libel action.
Dear Mr. Compton
In response to your recent telephone conversation with Ms. Arlene Fowler, we demand that you publicly retract your statements regarding Miss Stackhouse’s sexual preferences with an apology within two days of receipt of this letter. If a retraction and apology is not apparent in this time frame, we will be contacting you again to begin proceedings in a civil libel case. You are not required to reply to this letter but you must make us aware of the publication/media that your retraction and apology has been published in.
Sincerely
Johan Glassport
Glassport, Fisher & Muntz, Attorneys at Law.

Deciding to get it over and done with, Bill called a cab and went to the studio. Sure enough, there were a few reporters and paparazzi hanging around for a glimpse of someone newsworthy. The reporters turned as they saw the cab approaching and watched as Bill half stepped/half fell out of the rear of the vehicle.

“Any of you guys interested in a statement?”

Bill slurred his words a little and swayed on his feet. None of the reporters were going to pass this up. They crowded around him, snapping pictures and making sure their equipment was recording every breath.

“I, Bill Compton, am sorry to Sookie Stackhouse for accusing her of liking to fuck more than one guy at once. It’s obvious in the time that I spent with her, that she’d never be into anything remotely interesting like that. I just said it because she caught me cheating on her, can you believe the bitch took pictures of me screwing Lorena against the wall?”

“There are pictures? But in your statement you said that you hadn’t been unfaithful.”

“And your point is? I did what I had to, to cover my ass. Don’t act like you don’t know it goes on, everybody lies in this business.”

“Do you have anything to say about Sookie’s video statement?”

“Hell, I’ve got plenty to say about that, the truth does not set you free. If she’d kept her mouth shut about a lot of things people’s lives would be simpler. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got places to be.”

Bill stumbled back into the cab and got the driver to take him back to his apartment while the reporters stood looking at each other, wondering if what had just happened really happened.

–**–

Pam laughed as she cleared away the dinner dishes; it was a breath of fresh air having someone else at the dinner table with fresh stories and jokes. Not to say that she didn’t enjoy Felipe and Eric’s company, it was just nicer to have different things to talk about. Sookie sat back in her chair and rubbed her stomach, it had been a while since she had a decent meal cooked for her outside of going to a restaurant, Bill tried to have skills in the kitchen but could never really cook well.

“Pam that was amazing, I’m so glad I wore pants with an elastic waist!”

Felipe leaned back and playfully smacked Pam on the bottom. “Yeah, I had a 28” waist before coming to live here!”

Pam smacked him with a towel and Eric chuckled at their banter. Felipe crossed his arms and watched Sookie and Eric glancing at each other, before Eric even met Sookie you could see his eyes light up when he talked about her and seeing Sookie look at Eric the same way … it gave him such hope. Hope that Eric would finally start to live. The teacher made an executive decision in an effort to maybe give the two a push.

“Pam, do you want to go to the movies tonight? We haven’t seen ‘Avatar’ yet; it’s supposed to be really good.”

“That sounds great Felipe! Let me get changed and then we’ll get going.”

Felipe nodded and winked at Eric as Pam left the room, Eric blushed and said he hoped they had a good time before excusing himself to go to his room and check the messages on Sookie’s site again.

“What was that all about?” Sookie asked no-one in particular before looking at Felipe, who was looking anywhere but at her. She shook her head and smiled. “You’re a crafty one Felipe, have a great time, I’ll go check on Eric.”

Sookie could hear him tapping away at his keyboard from the top of the stairs, making sure she walked heavily so he would hear her before she spoke.

“Are there a lot of new comments? Are they good or bad?”

Eric turned to smile at her. “Actually they’re all good; you might want to read this though.”

Sookie went to the screen and sat down in the chair that Eric vacated for her, holding her hand over her mouth as she read Bill’s ‘statement’. The one saving grace was that whoever wrote the update for the gossip site made it known that Bill was drunk off his ass while talking to them. She thought that it was a cop out on Bill’s part but at least she got the apology and retraction that Arlene had been gunning for. Once she’d finished reading the article, she got up and went over to Eric’s trunk of DVD’s.

“So, do you wanna watch a movie or find something on TV? It’s my last night here for now, what with filming and everything, I’m not sure when I’ll be able to make it back for a visit.”

“Well.” Eric sat on the bed and picked at the hem of his shirt. “I was thinking … and if this is lame then we’ll do something else but I’d actually like to … talk to you. Y’know, get to know each other. We know the big stuff already but it’s the small stuff that counts right?”

“Eric that’s a great idea! Can I ask first?” Sookie jumped on the bed and lay down on her stomach as Eric turned to face her. “What’s your favourite colour?”

“Red, what’s yours?”

“Pale blue, umm … what’s your favourite band or singer?”

“Wow, I like lots of different types of music so I don’t think I could choose just one. Do you have a favourite?”

“Okay you’ve got a point, I don’t think I could choose just one either.”

They continued their quizzing of each other as the evening turned to night and they were lying on the bed facing each other, Eric didn’t even notice when he held Sookie’s hand and started stroking his thumb over the backs of her fingers. Sookie felt more relaxed than she had ever felt; there was no pressure on her with Eric and it made her even happier that he was relaxed around her.

“Who was your first crush?”

“Crush? Uh … like someone I wanted to be my girlfriend?”

“Yeah, I know you didn’t get to do all the usual high school stuff but there must have been a girl who caught your eye.”

“Sandy Sechrest, all the guys in school had a thing for her. She works in the Sunoco Felipe met you in now.”

“No-one famous? My first crush was Eddie Vedder from Pearl Jam, I was 8.”

Eric cleared his throat. “Uh … 8? Wow, you … uh … started early huh?”

“Well it was just a childish crush, I thought we would kiss then get married and have babies. I guess guys don’t really notice girls until they can imagine having sex with them or touching their boobs.” As she laughed she noticed Eric drawing away from her and a blush staining his cheeks once again, she frowned a little. “Hey what’s wrong?”

“You have to promise not to … laugh or maybe run away screaming.” Sookie nodded and Eric closed his eyes and took a deep breath. “You … you were my first crush in a famous person kind of way.”

Sookie opened her mouth but couldn’t find anything to say, she had been under the assumption that Eric had been a Galaxy Pioneers fan who took an interest in her due to the negative feedback she got for joining the cast. Would she have reacted differently to any of the last week’s situations if she’d known he was a fan of her rather than the show? No, she didn’t think she would, she would still have agreed to having him run her site and there was no doubt that she would still have been attracted to him, somehow knowing that Eric had been keeping an eye on her through the years actually made her feel better about everything.

Eric was becoming increasingly more uncomfortable the longer it took Sookie to say something, as he was about to move away from her off the bed she grabbed his arm and kissed him, moulding her body into his until he relaxed and returned her passion. Sookie ran her hands though his hair, tugging lightly as Eric’s hands stroked up and down the soft curves of her body, he let out a small moan as she sucked on his bottom lip and she felt him harden against her stomach. Her lips moved to his neck, sucking and nibbling from below his ear down to his collar bone.

“You can touch me Eric, just … explore, go with what feels right.”

Sookie felt his head move in a nod and moved her hand down to squeeze his bottom, noting how firm it was before sliding one of her legs between his and pushing her hips against Eric’s. Eric grabbed her hip and hissed in pleasure as he felt her lick his neck, he brought his hand back up to raise her head and crushed his mouth to hers, hearing a growl emanate deep from his chest as their tongues wrestled for dominance. Slow and unsure, Eric brushed his fingers over Sookie’s breast, feeling the hard bump of her nipple under her clothes and feeling her shudder at the brief contact.

“Are you okay?” He pulled back, concerned that he’d done something she didn’t like.

“I’m fine, I want more.”

She placed his hand firmly back on her breast and latched onto his neck again, pulling at his clothes and clawing at his back until he had rolled over and was almost on top of her. Leaning on one elbow, he stroked and squeezed at the fleshy globe in his hand, brushing his thumb over the firm peak in a circular motion before pinching lightly. Sookie gasped against his skin and pressed her hip into his crotch, rocking back and forward as Eric ground his teeth and tried to think of something, anything, to stop him from coming too soon but the noises Sookie was making meant his concentration was most definitely not up to his usual standards. He closed his eyes and remembered his counsellors words, as long she gets off it’s a success, and Eric had had enough failure in his life so far, he wanted so much to keep her happy, keep her with him.

He gently pulled away and smiled nervously at Sookie as she watched him climb from the bed and kneel on the floor, pulling her legs either side of him as he went. When he started to tug at the waistband of her pants, she stopped him.

“You don’t have to do that.”

Eric was confused; didn’t women like guys going down on them? They seemed to really enjoy it from what he’d seen in movies and read online. “You don’t like it? I mean I know I’ve never done it but I just thought I could try.”

“I … I don’t know if I don’t like it.” She let his hands go and tilted her head to the side. “No-one’s ever did … that to me. You don’t think it’s nasty?”

Eric shrugged. “From what I’ve seen and read it’s great for both parties, it looks hot and sounds hot and a lot of women judge a guy on his talents at it. No, I don’t think it’s nasty … I just wanted to try and make it good for you.”

Sookie’s eyes shone and she licked her lips before leaning back on her elbows, this was something she’d wanted to have done to her but Bill had said that guys hated doing it, that porn stars called themselves actor’s because they had to act like they were enjoying it. She lifted her hips and nodded to Eric.

“Well … I did tell you to explore.”

Eric worried away at his bottom lip with his teeth as he gently pulled Sookie’s pants and underwear down to her ankles before removing them along with her socks. He repeated the phrase ‘you can do this’ in his head like a mantra, stroking his hands up her legs over her knees before parting them. Sookie slid her bottom closer to the edge of the mattress at the same time, exposing her naked lower half to Eric sooner than he intended. Sucking in a deep breath, Eric ran his hands up the inside if Sookie’s thighs, seeing the goosebumps appear on her skin; he kissed the inside of each knee and looked up at her face.

Sookie’s eyes were dark with want as she nodded encouragement to Eric, he kept his eyes on hers as his lips followed the same path his hands had moments ago and pressed his lips to each side of the place she desperately wanted him to touch her. Eric licked his lips and ran a finger down her slit, raising an eyebrow as he found her slick with arousal. He didn’t think he’d really done that much to turn her on but in the spirit of going with the flow he parted her folds and continued to familiarise himself with the wet, heat of her sex, gently pushing a finger inside her and watching closely for her reaction. Satisfied that what he was doing so far was right; or right for Sookie at least, he leaned in and found her clit with his tongue, pressing against the firm bundle of nerves and licking slowly. Sookie let out a surprised ‘oh’ at the new sensation and wriggled on the bed to try and gain more friction.

Spurred by Sookie’s reaction to his efforts, Eric inserted another finger inside her and increased the pressure and pace of his tongue. The feel of her around his fingers was doing nothing to dispel the erection straining against his pants and he was surprised to find he was enjoying how she tasted, it wasn’t sweet like he seen it described, it was savoury but definitely not unpleasant. After revelling in the newness for only a few minutes, Sookie found herself hurtling towards something incredible, she had always enjoyed sex with Bill and previously thought she’d had orgasms but the tightness coiling in her abdomen and the sparkles of light obscuring her vision were something she’d never experienced. As Eric listened to her breaths bursting from her chest, punctuated with high pitched ‘uh’ and ‘ah’ noises, he felt how much wetter she was getting and moaned against her, sucking her clit between his lips and nuzzling against her. Sookie squealed and clamped his head between her thighs, her body involuntarily folding itself in half as she called out to God and Eric felt the channel his fingers were inserted inside become much, much tighter.

Sookie trembled as the tension left her body and she flopped back on the bed, Eric removed his fingers and brought them up to his mouth to lick them clean. He glanced at Sookie, thinking she looked very exposed lying there, so he picked up her underwear and began putting it back on her. He’d managed to pull the lacy garment up to her knees before she looked at him to see what he was doing, raising herself from the mattress; she finished replacing her panties by herself and stared at Eric in wonder.

“I … you … that … that hasn’t ever happened to me before.”

Eric frowned. “I know, you already said that no-one had …”

“That’s not what I meant. I think … I think you just gave me my first real orgasm. I’ve never felt anything like that Eric!”

He opened his mouth to tell her that, really, he had enjoyed himself almost as much as she had, he could feel his pants had a damp patch from his own fluids leaking out during the act, but before he could say anything Sookie was off the bed and lying on top of him, her hands in his hair and her mouth preventing anything other than moans from escaping his lips. One of her hands moved down to rub Eric’s throbbing hard-on through his pants, causing his eyes to roll back in his head and a guttural groan from his throat. Eric’s back arched off the floor as Sookie pushed her hand beneath the waistband of his clothing and gripped the rigid flesh in her hot hand, feeling every inch of him.

“Christ Eric! You’re huge!”

As she looked at him, she realised that he was too distracted to react to her statement, Sookie regretted helping Eric to put her panties back on, she wanted to feel him inside her so much but she also wanted to repay the favour he had done her. Eric screwed his eyes closed and his fingers scrabbled at the floor beneath him as Sookie stroked up and down his length, he was so close to coming but the sensation of having someone else touching him was something he didn’t want to end, not yet. Sookie removed her hand and Eric let out a noise that was half frustration and half relief, she straddled his waist and shuffled backwards on her knees, pulling Eric’s pants down as she went. Seeing all of ‘little Eric’ standing proud, Sookie ran her hands up Eric’s thighs before leaning over and licking him from base to tip, Eric’s back arched again and a string of profanities resonated around the room as Sookie sucked and licked, running her tongue around the head before taking as much of him into her mouth as she could.

“Sookie I’m gonna … nnngh.”

That was the only warning the actress received before Eric’s hands tugged at her hair and her mouth was filled with his seed. Never having been in that situation until now, Sookie swallowed Eric’s come, grimacing a little at the strange salty taste but not overly disgusted by it. Eric was shaking a little and staring at her with wide eyes and flushed cheeks. Noting the first signs of Eric’s panic, Sookie placed her hands on his chest and attempted to diffuse the situation.

“Oral sex is loads of fun; I vote that we do this a lot more often.”

Eric looked at her and laughed, they righted themselves and were just getting comfortable in each other’s arms in front of the TV when they heard Pam and Felipe return from their evening out.

–**–

Arlene sighed as she left yet another message for Sookie to call her, she understood her client wanting to ‘get away from it all’ for a day or so but ignoring calls was just rude, especially when Arlene was the one calling. She knew that Sookie was due back on set at 10am this morning and hoped that the actress would be stable enough to pull her finger out and get there on time. She checked the time, 9.15, and decided to dial the studio and see if Sookie had went through security yet but before she could pick up the handset it rang and the caller ID flashed with Sookie’s number.

“Well, well, well, look who finally thought it was a good idea to return the 8 missed calls she’s received from her agent.”

“Sorry Arlene, I’m just at my apartment right now getting changed then I’ll be going to the studio. I didn’t actually listen to any of the messages you left, I hope it wasn’t anything really important.”

“You mean not important in the sense that I’ve had calls from every up and coming actor and a few well known actors for you to accompany them to events seeing as you’re now single?”

“What? No … I don’t want that, I’m not … well I’m not single anymore.”

“What do you … oh! Eric?”

“Yeah, he’s so sweet and … sexy and … well he’s just amazing.”

“It was pretty obvious you two were into each other but, to be honest, I didn’t think either of you would ever have the stones to do anything about it. Kudos, honey, he’s a keeper, I’ll let everyone know you’re not interested.”

“Thanks Arlene and I don’t know if Sam told you but we kind of promised Sophie-Ann LeClerq, from ‘OK!’ magazine, the exclusive interview about us, when the time is right of course.”

“He didn’t tell me but you have, so it’s six and half a dozen. Get to set sweetie and call me later to tell me all the details of Mr. Hunky web designer.”

Sookie promised Arlene she would call and the agent set about the task of informing all the guys who wanted to use Sookie’s recent rise in public profile for their own gain; that they were out of luck.

–**–

Sookie repacked her emergency bag, this time putting two changes of clothes inside, and sent Eric a text to let him know she got back safely. Throwing the bag on the trunk, she got in her car, there were still a couple of photographers hanging around snapping away at her mundane tasks but she didn’t really mind them so much. It was the ones with the questions, the rude comments to get her attention and the ones with a complete lack of respect for privacy that bothered her most. She was photographed again as she got to the studio but they seemed more interested in the car that was arriving just as she was waved through the gate. She parked her Audi and watched as the Mini Cooper that had been behind her parked a few spots away, Lorena got out of the Mini and walked towards her with her bright pink nose explaining why she was wearing huge sunglasses on an overcast day.

“Lorena, are you okay?”

“I can’t believe he dropped me in the shit like that! Ever since he opened his big mouth yesterday, the press haven’t left me alone. I’ve got several women’s magazine’s asking me what it’s like to be ‘the other woman’.”

Sookie’s hand flew to her mouth. “Oh Lord! I’m so sorry Lorena!” She closed the distance between them and wrapped her arms around her colleague. “We should do something together, to show them that Bill was in the wrong and there’s no bad feelings between us, if the press see us together that ‘other woman’ crap won’t fly.”

Sookie felt Lorena nod against her shoulder and sniff a couple of times before they both headed into the studio for their days work.

–**–

Eric was busy over the next few days; the comments had tapered off on the site over the Bill thing before Sookie called him to make sure Lorena received a positive spin from her end too. Arlene had given him an official statement to publish about Sookie and Lorena’s relationship and how there was no animosity between them, then the next day Lorena’s reps had contacted him regarding a redesign of Ms. Ball’s site. He agreed to the redesign but refused to be the maintainer – Sookie’s site was work enough for him.

He spoke to Sookie every night at 10pm, no matter where she was she made time to call him or answer him if he called her. Speaking to her always left him with an empty space in his chest when he hung up on the call and it would still be another 3 days before she would have the time to come up to see him again. He had talked extensively about his feelings about Sookie with Al and his counsellor had concluded that there was the distinct possibility that he was in love with her and that whether he was or wasn’t – the feelings he had right there and then were a good thing.

Pam was at work, as was Felipe, and Eric found himself at a loose end between lunch and dinner, he thought about the progress he had made in the last week or so and figured it was time for him to experiment, on his own, without Sookie and without his Mom. He stood at the back door with a cup of coffee, surveying the garden that he hadn’t spent time in since … before he got chickenpox when he was 13. He stepped out, down the few steps and onto the patio, looking around him and noting that there was no-one else around. He shrugged and sat on one of the chairs from the small outdoor dining set they had, the day was cloudy but not particularly cold, Eric closed his eyes and let his mind wander, imagining what his reunion with Sookie would be like.

“Hey! What are you doing there?”

Eric’s eyes snapped open and he looked at the man leaning over the fence. “I … live here.”

“I ain’t ever seen you, and I’ve been in this house for 6 years. I’m gonna warn you once, get off the Northman De-Castro property or I’m calling the cops.”

Eric stared open mouthed at the man, on one hand he was offended that this neighbour would call the police because he was sitting in his own yard, on the other he was fairly pleased that this neighbour was looking out for his Mom and Felipe’s house while they were at work.

“You deaf? Are you gonna get your ass outta here or wait for Chemung’s finest to haul you out?”

Clearing his throat he held his hands up and tried to control the quaver in his voice. “Look, I really do live here, I’m Eric Northman, Pam Northman-De Castro is my Mom and Felipe De Castro is my Step-Dad. You haven’t seen me before because … I don’t get out much, if you want you can call my Mom at work and ask her?”

The neighbour stood back from the fence and regarded Eric through narrow eyes. “I’ll call Pam if you don’t mind, you just stay put while I talk to her.”

Eric nodded and watched as the neighbour pulled out his cell and spoke quietly into it, realising there was nothing much he could do about the situation he stood and continued drinking his coffee. When the man was finished with his call he came back to the fence and held his hand out to Eric, putting his mug on the table, Eric walked slowly towards him and grasped the offered hand, shaking up and down a few times before letting go.

“So Eric huh? You mustn’t get out much if I’ve never seen you. The names Bud Dearbourne, sorry about … y’know … just that we neighbours have to watch out for one another.”

“It’s okay.” Eric shrugged. “I guess I can understand your reaction, strange guy sitting in the yard drinking coffee.”

“Yeah, well, you have a good day now. I’ll be seeing you.”

“Yes … yes you will Mr. Dearbourne.”

Grinning at the fact his first solo expedition had taken place without any panic attacks and only minor anxiety caused by his neighbour threatening to call the police, Eric went back inside to call Sookie and tell her what he had just done.

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