Walking into Sookie’s house made my blood boil. I had a feeling something bad was going to happen with Hadley around but I didn’t think it was going to be this bad. She tore Sookie’s house to shreds. If there was one way to get on my bad side, it was fuck with what’s mine. Sookie was mine, so I considered myself fucked with. Hadley was going to be a lucky bitch if someone else found her before me.
It might have been the blind rage I had over Sookie’s house getting ransacked talking, but if I saw her the meeting wasn’t going to end well. I wasn’t going to say that to Sookie. She didn’t need me angry and ready to murder her cousin.
“Sookie, you can’t stay here,” I told her once the crime scene techs left. The windows had been smashed out. “Not until you get the windows and locks replaced.”
“I don’t want to be a burden–”
The look I gave her shut her up. “You are not a burden, Sookie. You are…” The first thing I think of in the morning. The best part of my day… “You’re my favorite person, Sookie. You are anything but a burden. I’ll help you pack what’s left and we can take it back to my place. If you want I can even make some of the harder calls for you.”
She nodded with fresh tears in her eyes.
“Thank you,” she whispered.
“You don’t need to thank me,” I assured her. I reached up to run my fingers through her hair. “You’re important to me, baby. I have to make sure you’re safe above everything else.”
“I still want you to know I appreciate you,” she said. Sookie wrapped her arms around me. “I don’t know if any of my clothes are wearable anymore,” she sniffled.
“I can go through them with you,” I offered. I rested my hand on the back of her head, massaging lightly. The other arm wrapped around her shoulders trying to hold her as close and tight as possible. “If they’re not wearable, I’ll even go shopping with you, or for you if it’s too much right now.” I knew it was my job to make sure she was safe and well taken care of. If that meant I had to go shopping for women’s clothing, so be it.
“Let’s go through them first. Did you see Kennedy’s room?” Someone had spray painted ‘I’m a cunt’ above the bed. It was classy.
“I did. She didn’t deserve that,” I frowned. “Neither did you.” I kissed her forehead. “I have room for Kennedy at my place too until you get your windows and locks changed.”
“I think she’s going to stay with Sahara,” she said. Sookie wiped the tears off her cheeks. “God, I’m so stupid. I was so set on helping her because I needed to. I should have seen she was casing the place. Then my dumbass just leaves her here by herself overnight? Stupid, stupid, stu–”
“Stop,” I growled. “You’re not stupid, Sookie. You’re a good person with a huge heart. You didn’t fuck up, Hadley did. She didn’t give you any reason to think she was up to something.”
“You knew,” she pointed out. “You knew she couldn’t be trusted. I’m usually pretty good at seeing through bullshit. I didn’t see through hers. I just… This is why I don’t trust anyone.”
“I don’t trust very many people either,” I told her. “You trusted her because she’s family. No matter what they’ve done to you, they’re still blood and sometimes that can blind you. It’s not your fault you trusted her. If she was my family, I probably would have done the same thing.”
“I should have been seeing the heroin addict and not that she was family. What if my insurance won’t cover all this? I’m pretty sure I’ll never see my mom’s necklace again. She’d be a moron to pawn my stuff around here,” Sookie ranted. “And what the fuck is this brown shit everywhere?!”
Annnd, the anger was starting to set in. Good.
“We can go around to the pawn shops just in case,” I said. I walked over to pick up one of the pillows that had said brown shit on it. I sniffed it. “Soy sauce?” That was what it smelled like.
Sookie’s face turned red.
“Are you fucking kidding me?” She was pissed. “I told that sneaky twat not to eat Chinese food in my living room so she squirts soy sauce everywhere?! Fuuuuuuuuuuuck!” She snatched the pillow away from me and threw it across the room, knocking a broken picture frame off the wall.
I wasn’t going to try to stop her. If she was pissed, she had every right to let that anger out. I walked through the house, checking out the damage. Having the added mess from the investigators didn’t help. There was black shit everywhere from them dusting for fingerprints. I walked through the house to get to Sookie’s room. It was in the worst shape of all the rooms. I walked into her closet. Damn. What was there was in bad shape. It pissed me off even more. I took a few deep breaths, trying to keep calm. I wanted to go out and find Hadley so I could drop her ass off at the police station.
If only we could turn back time, or if I would have been more persistent about Sookie putting her up somewhere else. Logically I knew it was neither mine, or Sookie’s fault. Hadley was a cunt, that was it. An addict and a cunt. Maybe she was a good person once upon a time. She wasn’t anymore and it seemed like Sookie and I both learned a lesson.
We ended up going to a department store to get Sookie a few new items of clothing. Hadley left her shoes in fairly good shape, but her clothes were all fucked. By the time we got back to my place it was getting close to sundown. I was hungry, tired, still pissed off at the situation, and at Hadley.
“Lover, do you want me to order a pizza or something?” I asked Sookie when we walked into my place carrying six bags of clothes.
“Sure. I’m not really hungry.”
“What do you like on pizza? If you’re not hungry now, you will be eventually.” Or I was going to force her to eat because she needed to.
“No pineapple, no fish,” she answered. “I’m going to go get this stuff in the wash and then take a shower.” The anger had faded for the time being. She was back to being sad.
“I’ll be here when you’re out,” I promised.
“Okay.” Sookie took her bags back to the laundry room.
I went to the kitchen so I could make the call to the pizza place. I ordered a regular pepperoni, and a second combo pizza on pan crust. I didn’t splurge on calories like this often, but every now and then a pan pizza was needed.
Once the pizza was ordered I opened the fridge so I could pull out a beer. I walked out to my back patio with my cell phone in hand. It scared the shit out of Sookie since it hung over the hill. The supports were pretty damn good so I wasn’t that worried about it. I sat down on one of my loungers and made a call I’d been meaning to make. Mom.
“Hello,” she answered.
“Hey, I didn’t catch you at a bad time did I?” I wasn’t sure what her schedule was these days.
“No, I’m just drinking a big glass of wine and watching clouds.” I couldn’t tell if she was being sarcastic.
“Really?” I’d known the woman for thirty-two years, you’d think I could tell.
“I’m out of tequila.”
“After last night, I am too,” I chuckled. I was sure she heard me crack open my beer.
“What was last night?”
“Threw a birthday party for my girlfriend,” I answered. I hadn’t had a girlfriend that I told my mom about in… three years?
“Girlfriend? Like a girl you take on dates and might someday want to raise children with?”
“I’ve taken her on one date so far,” I replied. I took a drink of my beer. “It haven’t taken her on more because date night her cousin called and crashed at her place until last night. Her cousin is an epic cunt, by the way. The girlfriend’s name is Sookie and I really, really like her.”
“You must if you threw her a birthday party after one date.”
“We’ve been seeing each other for close to a month now. She’s… different from the other girls I’ve dated. She isn’t trying to be with Steel.” Mom hated the fact I was a pornstar. It drove her crazy that most of her friends had checked out my movies. I thought it was funny. “I know she’s in it for me.”
“She knows you do those movies and she didn’t run?”
“She met me on set of one of my movies. I was filming a scene with one of her friends. We got to talking and I asked her if we could hang out again.” Telling my mom I screwed her a lot within an hour of meeting her wasn’t going to go well. “She’s a stripper.”
“Oh wonderful,” Mom laughed humorlessly. “Career day for your kids will be a delight.”
“Give her a shot, Mom. She’s sweet, and kind, and caring. She had a rough time growing up and still turned out a good person. Sookie treats me well, too.” I sighed before I added, “She went home from her birthday party this morning and her cousin has ransacked her house. She stole a bunch of her shit and ruined her clothes.”
“She’s a good person with a shitty family, apparently,” she said. “Are you serious about this girl?”
“I am. Ras said he hasn’t seen me like this about a girl… ever.” Mom loved Rasul. It didn’t matter he did porn. Her favorite boy could do no wrong in her eyes. It was kinda funny, actually. I knew I’d always be her baby no matter what. I didn’t get jealous. “There’s something special about her that draws me. I want to protect her and spoil her and all the good things a man should do for a woman.”
“Would you quit the movies for her?”
I thought about that for a moment. I had something to fall back on once I was ready to quit. If Sookie asked me to, I wouldn’t think twice.
“Yes, if she asked me to quit for her I would,” I answered after a few seconds.
“Interesting. It doesn’t bother you that other men see her naked all the time?”
“Not at all. She’s a beautiful woman. They can look at her all day and night, but I know she’s coming home to me. Anyone could look at me naked on the internet anytime they want.” I wasn’t going to tell Mom about the replica of my cock that was on the market. “Not to mention, those men aren’t allowed to touch her. I’ve seen her work, she’s seen me work. We’re secure in what we have.”
“I’ll never understand it, but if it works for you, I’m happy.”
“Thank you. I think she’s getting ready to quit. She feels like she’s getting too old for it.”
“How old is she? Oh please don’t tell me she’s fifty…”
I laughed and said, “No, she’s only twenty-six. Today is her birthday, actually. If you ask me, she has another ten years at least. It’s not what I think, though. She’s starting to get uncomfortable with it.”
“Wait, today is her birthday and she had her house destroyed? Get her a big glass of wine and maybe a cake.”
“She’s in the shower now washing the day off. I have a pizza on the way, pan crust, and I have things to bake her a cake. You think I should?” I could get it done in 33 minutes.
“Does she like cake?”
“I think so.” Who didn’t like cake? I got up from the patio chair I was in. I paused to listen for a moment. I could hear the water going still. “Chocolate or butter cake?” I went into the kitchen and started to get the ingredients out. I turned on the oven to 350 while I was at it. If nothing else it could bake while we ate our pizza.
“I prefer chocolate, but I don’t know if she would.”
“Not helpful,” I chuckled. I got the stuff for a butter cake. “I’m going to make your butter cake recipe.” It was the cake she made me while I was growing up. I loved it.
“If she doesn’t like it, dump her. You don’t need that kind of negativity in your life,” she advised.
“I will,” I promised. “Maybe I can get her to take some time off and we can fly up to see you so you can meet her?” I didn’t even need to measure the ingredients as I added them to the bowls.
“That would be nice. Where’s she from?”
“Louisiana,” I answered. Her accent wasn’t very pronounced anymore but it was still there and cute as hell. “She moved to Vegas from there and here from Vegas.” I started to mix the wet and dry ingredients together.
“Do you really see a future with her?”
Was she trying to test me?
“Yes,” I replied again. “I haven’t had these kinds of feelings for someone in a long time, Mom. So far she’s everything I didn’t know I was looking for.” I grabbed my cooking spray to spray the bottom of the pan. I wasn’t getting crazy, it was going to be a single layer butter cake with a pre-made frosting. I wasn’t telling my mother.
“Well I hope it works out for you.”
“I hope so too. What’s new with you?” I hadn’t talked to her in too long. It wasn’t normal for us. I poured the batter into the pan. As soon as I was putting it in the oven there was a knock on the door. The pizza.
“Not much. Oh! I got a cat,” she said. “His name is Lucifer.”
“Lucifer?” I laughed. I opened the door for the pizza man. “What kind of cat is it?” I signed the slip before I took the pizzas and went back to the kitchen. Sookie came walking out of my room wearing one of my old T-shirts.
“Gray. I’m not sure otherwise. He started coming by the house and leaving me dead mice. He’s a little evil, I think. There’s a spot on his back where the fur is a little darker and it looks like a pitchfork.”
I chuckled and said, “He was bringing you dead mice to try to woo you into feeding him.” Sookie stepped up to me. My arm wrapped around her shoulders as she hugged my side.
“It worked. He’s still mostly an outdoor cat but he comes in from time to time for a scratch and a warm bed.”
“I’m glad you have a companion. No new men in your life?” I reached up to run my fingers through Sookie’s wet hair.
“Ha! No. Lucifer is enough.”
“One day,” I chuckled. “Sookie just came out. I’ll let you get back to Lucifer and your wine.”
“Alright. Give the girl a back massage. Wish her a happy birthday for me.”
Sookie went to get plates out.
“I will. I love you, Mom.”
Mom and I hung up. I turned on the oven light so I could watch the cake. I would know when it was done by the smell.
“My mom says happy birthday,” I told her. “And to give you a back massage.”
“I like her already,” Sookie said with a weak smile.
It had been a really rough day for Sookie. Everything was finally starting to sink in and settle. As she put two pieces of pizza on a plate I wrapped my arms around her from behind. I kissed her temple as I gave her a good squeeze. I didn’t say anything. Holding her was enough for the moment.
After a couple minutes we could start to smell the cake. I released her to go check on it.
“It was a little last minute, but I’m baking you a cake,” I said as I reached in the oven to touch the top. It needed a few more minutes.
“You didn’t have to do that,” she said.
“I did it because I wanted to. Even if you don’t like cake, everyone deserves one for their birthday. It’s the same cake my mom used to make for me.”
“Right about now I deserve a big kick in the ass instead of a cake.”
“I think you’ve had enough bad for the day,” I replied. I knew losing the necklace was the absolute worst thing that could happen to her. No amount of cake, or pizza, or back rubs was going to bring it back.
All the same, I pulled the cake out of the oven when it was ready. Instead of eating I started to clean the kitchen. I knew there wasn’t a way to fix any of what happened. I hoped she could see I was trying. It was all I could do short of becoming a vigilante and hunting Hadley down to get the necklace back. At the moment, I was actually thinking about it.