The first few days back are kind of like when I first bought the house. I spend my time giving the place a good cleaning and I shop for the things I’ll need to get by. My first night home I make myself some good old fashioned comfort food, calories be damned. Sometimes a girl just needs to eat her hurt, so that’s what I did… with baked mac ‘n cheese.
Once my house is in order, I start doing things for fun. I go hiking, fishing (Daddy used to take me when I was little) and horseback riding. I spend a lot of time thinking about life beyond The Cathouse. The more I think about it, the more I’m starting to think it might be time to move on. I’m a semester shy of finishing school, which means my exit date is coming up anyway.
True to her word, Jessica comes out to see me the following week. My house is just over the border in California, but I’m like three minutes from the state line. I’m outside watering flowers I bought when her sleek, black Mercedes pulls into the driveway. There’s a garage, but there’s a covered parking area that extends over the driveway. The covering is actually the deck that extends off of the living room of my split level house.
I put down my watering can and go down the steps to greet Jessica.
“ Hey, Sook,” she says, hugging me tight and then says softly, “I miss your face.”
“I miss yours too. I’m so happy you could come out. How was the drive?” I help her get her stuff out of the trunk.
“It was good, I like having the time to think about things,” she says as we walk up the front steps.
“Long drives are great for that,” I agree, and open the front door for her. I gesture for Jess to go in first and then follow behind her.
“So what have you been up to all alone out here?” she asks as she follows me to the guest room.
The guest rooms are downstairs so we’ll have our privacy here much more than we do at the brothel.
“Getting back to nature, I guess you could say. Yesterday I rode the most beautiful blond palomino you’ve ever seen. I think I fell in love with that horse.” I open the guest room door and flip on the lights, even though there’s plenty of natural light.
She smiles and then her face goes a little dark before she says, “I might as well get it out of the way. He came by and left a note for you.” She opens her purse and pulls out a small folded piece of paper to hand to me. “He looks like shit.”
I just stare at the paper.
“He came in?” I ask without looking away from the note in her hand. My heart is beating like a jack rabbit right in the middle of my throat.
“Yeah, about a week and a half ago. I wouldn’t tell him where you were though.”
I nod. I’ve tried not to think about Eric.
“I don’t know if I should read that.”
“I can’t say one way or another. He scribbled something down pretty quickly, so it can’t be much,” she tells me.
“Yeah, but we both know just a few words can change your whole life. It took five to change mine.”
I think I love you.
I’ve heard him say it a million times in my mind since the first time he said it. Those words haunt me.
“Can these words be any worse?” she pushes. I think she wants to know what he has to say. “Maybe he just wants to go back to how it was before. I know as well as you do how good he is.”
“You read it. If it’s awful then just throw it away and never tell me what it says.”
She takes the paper back from me and opens it up. She looks sad and then holds the paper out for me to read it. “It’s not that bad.”
My hand is shaking when I take the paper back. His handwriting is awful, but I can clearly make out what he had to say. Just four words this time, and they shake me as much as the last time we talked.
I’m broken without you.
My eyes well and I don’t want to cry. If he flew out to see me this isn’t just a line or a john that’s confused love and sex. This is the real thing.
“Dammit,” I mutter and wipe my eyes.
“I’m sorry, honey,” Jess says and wraps me in a tight hug.
“I don’t know how to respond to that,” I say quietly. “He’s married. It was one thing when I was just this girl he was fucking, and that’s bad enough, but now… I think I have to let him go.”
“Are you sure about that?” she probes, making sure I’m making the right choice.
I pull back and say, “There are too many ifs. If he was single. If I wasn’t a prostitute… God can you imagine him telling his kids how we met? Daddy needed to get fucked properly so I paid Sookie to do me right. No.”
“Do you want to take a trip to clear your head?” she asks me. “We can do Vegas or something. Maybe being around guys that aren’t about to pay for sex will help you get your head back in the game and try to forget all about Eric.”
“That’s not a bad idea,” I say as I calm down a little. “We could get Neveah and maybe a few other girls to come along.”
I should just throw the note away, but I can’t do it quite yet. Instead I fold it up and tuck it in my bra for safe keeping.
“There’s… I have his cell number,” I confess. “I could call him. Do you think I should?”
“Honey, calling him is not forgetting about him. Give me your phone. I can delete it if you want,” she offers, holding out her hand for my phone.
“I’ve thought about calling him a thousand times in the last two weeks. I know I should delete him, but if I do that it’s like he’s really gone.” I’m sure she knows all this already. She’s a girl.
“You don’t want him gone, do you?” she softly states.
“In a perfect world, I would have my Pretty Woman ending,” I say with a sad smile. “But that’s not the world I live in. I have to move on and hope that he can, too.”
“You’ll get your happy ending with or without him, I promise.”
∞ ∞ ∞
Three days later, Jess and I drive into Reno together to meet Neveah so we can all fly down to Vegas together. We booked a fancy suite at a hotel on the strip. We’re staying until Monday. The flight takes no time and we take a limo – at Jessica’s insistence – to Caesars Palace.
“I haven’t been here since my birthday last year,” I tell them.
“I married my first husband here,” Neveah says nostalgically.
“What do you mean your first?” Jess giggles.
I reach for the bottle of chilling champagne to pop that sucker open while Neveah explains.
“I was eighteen, convinced I was madly in love and we eloped in the middle of the night,” she says. “It lasted four months.”
“It sounds so romantic,” Jess giggles.
“Right up to the night the sheriffs busted into our trailer to serve a warrant for his arrest,” Neveah laughs. “He’s still in jail, I think.”
“What’d he get arrested for?” I ask.
“Armed robbery. He had a warrant two counties over. I sure don’t miss Kansas.”
I shake my head and pop the cork on the champagne.
We drink our fill on the champagne and when we arrive at the hotel, check-in is a breeze. We’re shown up to our suite. There’s a fantastic view from our room and we decide our first order of business is to get dolled up and hit the casino.
After a quick round of showers we get to work on each others hair and makeup. Jess is a wizard with a curling iron. Neveah does my eyeliner for me because she’s got a steadier hand. I put on a one shoulder black sequined Halston dress and a pair of black heels with a little diamond looking thing on the toes and a thin strap around my ankle.
I also wear Eric’s earrings, but the girls don’t need to know I got them from him.
“Jess, can you clasp my bracelet for me?” I ask her.
“Sure,” she comes over to put my bracelet on me. “Those earrings are cute, you should let me borrow them sometime.”
“Definitely,” I smile.
“Alright girls, are we ready?” Neveah asks, clapping her hands.
“Almost. I think we need to take a lame Facebook friendly picture and text it back to the Cathouse,” I suggest.
“We can get someone at the casino to take one of us, and then have him buy us drinks!” Jessica suggests excitedly.
“Good idea. I like your plan better,” I laugh.
We grab our purses and head out. All three of us are wearing little black dresses and impossibly high heels. I’m one of the few girls that never wears the lucite stripper shoes. I think they’re tacky.
The casino is crowded when we get downstairs, but we make our way to the bar to get drinks. A round of cosmos and a shot of tequila later, we decide to check out the action on the floor.
“Our picture!” Neveah reminds us.
“Shit. And we’re not even drunk yet,” I laugh and whip out my cell phone. I look around and end up tapping a tall, dark haired guy on the shoulder.
He turns around and my heart skips a beat. He’s gorgeous. Pale green eyes (that are, no joke, my favorite color), just a little bit of scruff and he’s definitely toned. Yum.
Oh, and he’s checking me out right back.
“Sorry to bother you,” I say as my cheeks flush. It’s the booze. “But I was wondering if you would take a picture of me and my girlfriends?”
He smiles at me, flashing his perfect teeth and says, “Sure, but it’ll cost you.”
“Oh really?” I smirk.
“Mmhmm, I could use a pretty girl on my arm as a good luck charm at the table,” he winks.
My smirk morphs into a smile.
“What’s your game?” I ask.
“Craps. I wouldn’t mind you blowing the dice before I roll,” he tells me, sounding surprisingly sincere.
“I think I could handle that.” I resist the urge to make a joke about blowing someone I just met. Instead I hand over my phone. “I’m Sookie,” I introduce myself.
“A pretty name for a pretty girl,” he compliments, “I’m Levi,” he takes my hand and brings it up to his lips so he can kiss it.
“Nice to meet you, Levi,” I smile and I’m hesitant to take my hand back, but I have to so we can get the picture taken. I step back so I’m standing between Jessica and Neveah.
“Fuck him,” Neveah whispers in my ear. “The best way to get over someone is by getting under someone else.”
I don’t know if I agree with that, but if I’m going to try it out, this is the guy I’m going to do it with.
Alcide and I are cleaning up the paint from painting Alyssa’s room. She wanted a pale pink and of course I can’t tell her no. Thankfully Al can’t either and agreed to help. We’ve just finished cleaning the brushes when he asks me how I’ve been since Aude left. We’ve talked, but not a lot and I’ve been throwing myself into work, pretty much ignoring everyone but my kids. I’ve not heard anything from Dixie, and that’s if Scarlett even gave her my note.
“I could be better,” I tell him.
“It’ll get better. You need to get drunk and laid. Shake it off,” he says.
“Nah, you know that’s not me. I’m not Levi,” I snicker. I could’ve been like him so easily if I never married Aude. “I can’t even think about fucking another woman right now.”
“You really do love that broad, don’t you?”
“Unfortunately, yes,” I shrug. “I’ve never felt anything so real. She was a breath of fresh air.”
“She never responded to the note you left? I still can’t believe you flew out there.”
“She needed to know I was serious, and I know you would crawl to the ends of the earth for Maria-Star,” I remind him.
“True story,” he agrees, and reaches into the fridge for a beer. He grabs me one too.
We sit on my couch and I’m taking a swig of my beer then my phone chimes. I normally don’t get text messages and definitely not this late. My heart jumps when I see it’s from Dixie.
Dixie: Just want to let you know it’s over Eric Northman. I’m moving on. I met a guy and he’s wonderful!! Don’t send anymore notes with my friends telling me how broken you are!!
I think she’s drunk.
That doesn’t stop my heart from sinking. If she met someone else it means she’s not working at The Cathouse anymore. She’s moving on with her life and even though I’m single now she’s choosing to move on with someone else instead of me.
“Fuck!” I yell, startling Alcide.
“The fucking cunt met another guy. Which means she’s no longer working as a prostitute, which means she fucking didn’t even think about me.”
“It’s fucked up,” I throw my phone down on the table. “There’s no point in fighting for her. She’s made up her mind.”
“Sorry, bro,” he says.
“I’ve been through worse,” I admit. “Maybe the getting drunk and getting laid plan is a good plan after all.”
“Now you’re talking,” he nods. “Come on, lets go to Puzzles and see what’s there.”
I agree and I get up to shower. Alcide runs home to clean up and probably have a quickie with his wife. I wash up, dry off and get dressed in a pair of faded blue jeans, a black fitted t-shirt and my chucks. I even gel my hair down. With Alcide as my wingman, I’ll be getting fucked tonight.
We’ve been at the bar for an hour before I spot a girl that looks clean and fuckable. Things I’ve never thought about someone, but the six beers I’ve had and the two double shots of tequilla turn me into someone a little more… loose.
She’s got brown hair, green eyes and Alcide says her tits are fake, but that just makes her more perfect. She’s not Dixie. Doesn’t look a thing like her. We make small talk and flirt until last call, at which point Dawn suggests we go back to her place to keep the party going.
We stumble into her apartment down the block, and as soon as the door is shut, she pounces on me. She’s a sloppy kisser, but I don’t care. Dawn directs us to the couch and pushes me down. She whips off her shirt and throws it across the room. Her tits don’t move, so I’m betting Al was right.
Dawn straddles my lap and unzips my jeans. Her skin in missing the sweetness I got accustomed to with Dixie. I barely get my mouth on her tits before Dawn is getting on her knees to suck me off. I’ve never done the drunken hookup thing before and now I know why. Dawn’s not very good at giving head. I try closing my eyes so I can pretend that it’s Dixie’s mouth on my cock, but she would never use her teeth this much.
Seriously, I’m afraid this bitch is going to bite my cock right off.
This gets me thinking about some other asshole fucking my girl’s hot little mouth and it just pisses me off. I start to go limp at the thought of Dixie fucking another man. That pussy is mine. Mine.
“Isn’t it good, baby?” Dawn asks with my flaccid cock in her hand.
“Yeah,” I lie, “I think I’ve just had too much to drink.”
“Do you want me to keep going? I’m sure I can get you hard again,” she purrs. Her purr is not sexy, not sexy at all.
“Nah, sweetie, I should just go,” I offer and she sits back on her heels looking a little put out that I don’t want her sucking my dick, or offering to get her off.
“Well fuck you, then. Get out!” she yells, surprising the shit out of me.
I jump up and head toward the door as I tuck my cock away and zip up. I can call a cab outside. Not the first time in recent weeks someone has told me to get out. I call the cab and have them meet me at the closed convenience store down the street from Dawn’s place. I need to get as far away from her as possible right now.
Once I get home I stumble to my room and fall on the bed, passing out completely clothed.
Sookie in Vegas