Uh, right. Author's note. Here's my solo deadpan entry! I'll post Dead Lost, which I wrote with the wonderful Lubadub later! Hope you enjoy, and thanks for the feedback you all gave during the contest!


I have a life, and it only goes in one direction. Forward. - Don Draper

He'd been an associate at Herveaux, Norris, Brigant, and De Castro for three years before he was made a partner, after another ad agency had offered him a substantial amount of money to switch teams. Niall Brigant, one of the founding partners, had countered by offering him his name on the company and a substantial amount of money. It was the partnership that had convinced him. He cared about appearances. Growing up with very little, in Topeka, Kansas, he'd learned to value them greatly.

For three years, he'd had an amazing corner office with a view of the park, a huge expense account, and no shortage of secretaries to screw. They turned over quite quickly, leaving when they were ready to get married and have children. He'd been married, once, for a few years, but it was never his lot in life to be tied to one woman. He'd decided that, and she'd decided that as well when she'd caught him in a compromising position on the couch in his office one day. There was no denying it, after that, not that he'd ever tried before. He'd felt bad about hurting Sophie though, but she had been a secretary before, and she knew the kinds of things that went on. It was how he justified it, when she'd walked in, and her heart broke, in front of his eyes.

There had been no children. She'd wanted them, and he'd put them off. It was for the better now, that he had. Less complicated. She'd gotten the house, and now she was married to some pencil pusher. He'd seen them about a year ago, having dinner at a mid-range steak house. He'd taken her better places.

Since Sophie, he'd filled his nights with attractive women, in such succession that they all blurred together, distinguishable only by really memorable things, like the ones that did something really weird, like calling him Daddy, or the ones that gave his dick interesting names. The best one was The Crippler. He'd fucked her a couple of times, just because she was creative.

It was the sixties, so there was no shortage of skirts to chase, be it a waitress, a stewardess, a shop girl, or anyone else that caught his eye. He liked girls in uniforms; they were usually easy. Women were starting to think themselves liberated, both spiritually and sexually, and he was happy to do what he could to push the woman's movement along. He'd fucked a few hot clients, and print ad models, but he found it usually led to problems. He was a professional, and the best at what he did. It's why he was always in such high demand, and muddying the waters usually irritated him. Clients came to him, for his provocative campaigns, which were always attention getters; the topic of much conversation.

When Niall called him into his office, which was the largest in the company, and designed with a Middle Eastern, Arabian Nights theme, he remembered why he'd chosen Herveaux, Norris, Brigant, and De Castro, when he was fresh on the job market, after the war. They were innovative, eccentric.

Brigant's office was complete with colourful cushions on the floor, tapestries on the wall, designed to make the room look like a tent. He'd even been known to have his secretary dress up like a belly dancer on occasion, for special meetings. When he thought about it, eccentric didn't even cover it.

"Eric Northman, thank you for taking time out of your schedule to meet with me. I know we keep you quite busy around here." He patted the cushion on the floor beside him, and Eric sat down, his long legs awkwardly in front of him. Brigant didn't do much more anymore. He was rarely in the office.

"Of course Niall, I'm always interested in hearing what you have to say." He was ancient, and an icon in the ad game. He usually had some interesting insight. Or some completely bat shit crazy philosophies. Either way, a visit to his office was always worthwhile. He was brilliant, having come up with a very famous sunscreen ad about ten years prior. He got Eric's need to be provocative.

"My old college roommate, Corbett Stackhouse, contacted me a few days ago, to inquire about using our services for his restaurant. You've heard of Bon Temps, right?"

Good times. He certainly had. It was very chic, very up and coming, serving a mix of French and Cajun cuisine. Nailing their ad campaign would be quite the feather in his cap. "Yes, I dined there a few weeks ago. Good atmosphere."

"Well, Corbett is involved financially in the business; it's his children that run it. They want a campaign, and I want you to do it. I don't want Herveaux Jr., just you. It's a big account, and they have other interests that we'd be wise to look into involving ourselves in."

"Okay?" He was confused. He usually worked quite well with Alcide, the son of one of the senior partners. He was the ideas man, and Alcide was the businessman.

Niall leaned in, bringing his face close to his. "This campaign needs to be really strong. I want you to dedicate all your efforts to it, for as long as it takes. The daughter needs you at 2am, you're there. They're about to get some unwanted publicity, and Corbett is worried about business."

He swallowed. "What kind of unwanted publicity?"

"I'll let the daughter fill you in. She runs the place primarily. You'll be dealing with her. She's very smart. Her brother is quite irresponsible, but has great connections."

"Great, when do I start?"

"I took the liberty of arranging a lunch meeting, for the two of you at Bon Temps. Today. You'll meet her at 1pm."

"Sounds good." Eric went back to his office and replaced the grey tie he was wearing with the blue one that the office manager, Pam, said made his eyes stand out. He fixed his hair, and made his best panty wetting face in the mirror. The Stackhouse girl was going to be putty in his hands.

He poured himself a glass of scotch, lit up a cigarette, and took some time to write some ideas down that he'd had. He always had ideas, they poured from him, like the scotch from the bottle. He'd been able to avoid service in the Korean War, because of his ideas. He'd been drafted, but when they saw his marketing background, and his ivy league degree, he was put to work writing the tag lines for recruitment posters. He'd done his part, in a roundabout way. For a while, he had issues with the work he was doing, encouraging young men to go and die for a cause which he deemed pointless from the beginning. His parents were Swedish, so he had not been raised with the American values that pushed people to sign up out of some nationalistic obligation. He felt completely unobligated to risk his life, for people he didn't know. Call it selfishness, call it survivalist, he didn't care. He'd be grateful not to have had to go to that God forsaken country. He had friends, good friends, from University that never made it back.

There was no use thinking too much about that. It wouldn't bring them back. He grabbed his khaki overcoat, put it over his Brooks Brothers suit, and pulled on his fedora. It was a cool day in April, not quite warm enough to go without a jacket.

Bon Temps was not far from the office, so he decided to walk, and enjoy the day. His life had fallen into a bit of a mundane pattern; wake up, work, eat out, cruise for tail, fuck, sleep, and repeat. On some days, certain activities would take up more or less of his time, but it was not a routine he was unhappy with. He found it quite fulfilling, in its own way. He wasn't a complicated man, at least he liked to think he wasn't. He told himself that was why he avoided attachments, in order to keep thing simple.

He walked into the restaurant, and was immediately struck by the incredible decor choices. If Ms. Stackhouse selected these things, then she had very eclectic tastes. Perhaps that was why the Stackhouses got along with Niall so well; a penchant for the unusual. The colour scheme screamed disorganization, a mix of deep purples with oranges and greens, with some red thrown in for good measure. It somehow worked. The place was packed. It was huge, occupying the bottom floor of a very high end apartment building in the financial district. The location was fantastic.

He approached the hostess, a redhead with huge breasts. "I'm here to meet Ms. Stackhouse."

"You must be Mr. Northman, please, come with me. She's expecting you."

She led him to a private table, in the back. He was not expecting what he saw. She stood to greet him and she was a knockout. Long blond hair, loosely tied back, great breasts, and curvy hips, encased in a tight red dress that matched her lips. Her huge blue eyes were playful, beckoning him. He'd imagined her to be a bit of an old maid, unmarried, working for her father. He was pleasantly surprised, and found his thoughts drawn to what was underneath the tight, red silk. "Mr. Northman?"

"Ms. Stackhouse." She brought her hand up to meet his, and he was surprised to see a huge diamond ring on a very telling finger. "Or is it Mrs., something?"

"Mrs. Compton. I use Stackhouse for the business. Niall didn't tell me you were so, tall." She eyed him up and down and smiled sweetly.

He'd thought she looked familiar. "You're Governor Compton's wife. I couldn't place you."

She sat back down, and he watched her shift as she crossed her legs. "Indeed I am. So, I thought we'd have lunch, and then I'd give you the tour, and then we could go to my apartment and talk business. I live upstairs. I like to conduct business in a more personal setting. Makes it not seem so official. I have my staff meetings in my apartment." William Compton was at least fifteen years older than her. He placed her at around 30. The Comptons were one of the founding families, lots of old, old money. When he'd ran for office, Eric had always wondered how he'd managed to score such an attractive wife. He had assumed that she was a trophy, but he wasn't getting that impression from the delectable creature before him. She was smart, if she was running this place.

Her southern accent made his dick hard. He'd always had a thing for accents. Sophie had been from Texas. It was the first thing that attracted him to her, after her tight little body, and naivety. He'd loved that, for a while, but it had gotten old. They'd never been able to carry on a deep conversation. He was always telling her things, but she had very little to contribute, probably as a result of her sheltered upbringing. "That sounds amenable. So, Niall told me to ask you about some unwanted publicity that we're countering with this ad campaign." He looked into her eyes, and a smile came over his face. It was uncontrollable. She was like sunshine, bright, welcoming, warm. He couldn't imagine her fucking an old fart like Bill Compton.

"We'll talk business in a bit. First, I want you to see what you'll be creating a campaign for. The food is the best part of Bon Temps. I'll order for you." He thought that was unusual, but went with it, and wasn't disappointed. The Cajun shrimp with escargot and gumbo was the best meal he'd had in weeks.

"This is amazing." He lit her cigarette, and they sat there for a few minutes, enjoying a comfortable silence. He liked her; she was easy to talk to.

"I'm glad you approve. I'm very interested to see what you hammer out, of that brilliant brain of yours. Niall brought your portfolio over a few weeks ago, when we had him for dinner. Come on, we'll take the tour."

He left the tip, twenty-five percent, on the table, and followed her back, into the kitchen. It was very modern and clean. "Eric, this is Lafayette. He's the head cook." Lafayette was a very flamboyant black man, wearing more makeup than Mrs. Compton.

He reached out his hand, and Eric took it. "Pleased to meet you."

"Laf came up with the menu. He made this place the success it is." He put an arm around Ms. Stackhouse.

"I've known Sook since we were kids. She's really the reason all this came together. Don't sell yourself short, Sug." Eric thought her quite progressive, having hired a black homosexual as her head chef. He was impressed. They continued their tour, and he was impressed. Bon Temps was popular, but with his help, he was fairly confident that he could make it the place to eat.

"I have to say, Mrs. Compton, I am impressed. You are running quite the establishment." He had been calling her Ms. Stackhouse in his head, because for some reason, it bothered him to think of her with William Compton.

She smiled. "Thank you. Shall we go up to my home office and chat a bit further?"

"Of course." She led the way, taking him through a back door and into a posh lobby. They took the elegant elevator to the penthouse. She smelled amazing, fuckable, in the small space. He hadn't expected any less. "Tell me, Mrs. Compton, Niall said your family was wealthy, but by what means?" Eric's family had been working class, so he was usually a bit apprehensive when it came to unearned wealth. From what he had seen at Bon Temps, Ms. Stackhouse earned her keep.

"We come from old money, but my father has made the majority of our money recently on real estate investments. Recently, he has been buying businesses that show promise, but aren't terribly successful, and refreshing them, with new management or renovations, like we did with Bon Temps. He's been very successful." He appreciated that they didn't just sit back on their wealth, and that at least one of Corbett Stackhouse's children worked quite hard. He knew nothing of the brother.

They got off the elevator and walked into an elegant apartment. It was very southern, but screamed New York at the same time. He decided she was a master at fusion, in all areas of her life. "My office is just in here." They walked through an elegant living room, with a grand piano.

"Do you play?"

"No, Bill does." She grazed her hand across the keys. "He's not here very often though." She raised an eyebrow. He wondered what that meant. He wasn't used to dealing with women like her, beyond business. He liked to be on top; with her, he wasn't sure he would be. He was enjoying the way she took control, and it surprised him. "Come on, in here." She brought him into a very New York office, complete with a decanter and a cigar humidor.

"Is this Mr. Compton's office?"

She rolled her eyes. "No. It's all mine. Do you not often conduct business with women, Mr. Northman?"

"I do, but not with women that smoke cigars."

She smiled. "I'm not like most women." He wondered what that meant too. "So, we're about to have a shitstorm rain down on this family. Niall said you were a master at public relations. I'd like to hire you in that capacity as well, as to create a campaign for us."

"I'd be amenable to that arrangement, once I find out what exactly the 'shitstorm', as you so eloquently called it, entails."

"My husband is having an affair, one that is going to go public, within a matter of weeks."

He raised his eyebrows. He was cheating on her? Eric was slightly surprised that he would feel the need to fuck anyone other than his young, hot wife. Only slightly surprised though, since he had fucked people other than his young, hot wife. "That's it? Men have affairs all the time. Why don't you just file for divorce, and why is it going public?"

"He's fucking our pool boy. Or he was, rather. I don't think Rodolfo would continue, since he is no longer employed by us. I should have known, since we have a very small pool, at our Kennebunkport estate, that we only use for two months out of the year. There was never a need to have anyone on full time. I fired him, once I realized that we were paying him nearly $15,000 a year for nothing, and now he's going to the press." She sat back in her chair and sighed. Eric felt like there was more to this than she was telling him.

"There's more to this. If you want my help, Ms. Stackhouse, then I'll need to have your full discretion." He strategically raised an eyebrow, knowing the reaction it usually got.

She sighed again. "Fine. I may have set the whole thing up, firing him. It had nothing to do with the money. We have lots of money. I want out of this marriage, and I want the sympathy vote, so it won't affect my business. I wouldn't have got it otherwise, unless he was at fault. I'm a successful woman, and people are uncomfortable with that. Rodolfo is a publicity whore. I found out, six months ago, but I've been biding my time." Eric was both surprised and impressed by her execution of this plan. She was smart. He felt a bit of sympathy for her anyway, marrying an older man, only to be rejected for a pool boy. He was sure he could amp that up. Compton was going to be ruined, politically, and socially by this. Society was not very accepting of his lifestyle choices, especially for those in the public eye, like he was. John Kennedy on the other hand, he could cheat as much as he wanted, but it was with a gorgeous woman, not a pool boy.

"I have to say, I'm impressed. I think I can help you gain the sympathy vote."

"Mmmm. There's a reason, I specifically requested you, Mr. Northman, besides your professional reputation, which is impressive." She crossed her legs again. It did not escape him.

"Oh, what would that be?"

"Your other reputation." She looked at him, and he knew what she was getting at. "Niall thought you might be just the one to help me, with some, companionship."

Eric was confused about what kind of companionship she was talking about. He decided to go with the more innocent option, but hope for the more provocative one. "So you want me to escort you, for meals and to parties?"

"I think that was Niall's idea, for this to be an innocent arrangement. Maybe refresh your reputation as well. I, however, want you to fuck me, or at least have it appear as though you are. Niall said that you are quite indiscriminate with your conquests, and experienced." She licked her lips, and he felt himself grow hard. She'd opted for the less innocent of the options, and he was itching with anticipation with the possibilities. She was exquisite. "If you're uncomfortable with the concept, then I will have to explore other options. I have been alone for far too long, Mr. Northman, and I have needs." Six months was a long time without sex, and if Bill was more interested in pool boys, he doubted that he was fucking his wife often before that, and certainly not in the way she deserved to be fucked.

"It's Eric." He decided right there, that he'd be more than willing to go along with her plan. In fact, he decided that she was the most brilliant strategist that he'd ever met.

"You can call me Susannah, or Sookie, if you prefer. My friends call me Sookie. Bill calls me Susannah." She smiled sweetly. He was impressed that she had the balls to deliver her plan, to a man she barely knew. "Niall highly recommended you, and I have to confess, I did see a picture beforehand."

"I'll go with Sookie then. I'm intrigued by your offer. I will have to draw a line at the hours I'm billing you for, as I will not be comfortable charging you for some of my services." He raised an eyebrow.

"I was hoping you'd say that. So you're interested?"

"More than interested." This was a surprising turn of events. One he was pretty happy about. "So where do we go from here?"

"To my bedroom?" She winked. "Too forward?"

"No. I have to admit, Sookie, I'm quite turned on by you. You're gorgeous, and your intelligence is oddly refreshing. I'd love to take you to bed." He was fairly confident that while she was in control of some things outside of the bedroom, the Bill situation would give him a certain advantage in the bedroom. He knew he was the more experienced, and he guessed her confidence had been slightly shattered by her discovery. He'd ask for more details later.

"Shall we proceed to the pleasurable part of our meeting then?" She stood up, and he followed her, out the door, and down a hallway to a master suite. This room was very Gone with the Wind, old south, with a four poster bed and floral accents. It worked though.

They looked at each other for a minute, anticipating what was underneath all the formality they'd been working under for the past couple of hours, and their clothes, too. She began, by stepping out of her peep-toe pumps. "Unzip me?"

"With pleasure." He came up behind her, and slid the zipper on her dress down. It pooled to the floor around her feet.

Black panties with a matching bra. It was his personal belief that women only wore black underwear if they were planning on getting fucked. He was glad he'd lived up to her expectations. She stepped out of her red dress. Her body lived up to his expectations. She was a bombshell, and he fucked attractive women all the time. "Your husband is a fool."

"Thank you for saying so." She smiled, as he unbuttoned his shirt, dropping it to the floor. She walked over to the bed, confidently, and laid down, propping herself up on her elbows. He couldn't wait to bury himself inside of her. He dropped his pants next, and joined her on the bed. His size was impressive to most, and he thought she'd be no exception. He lowered himself onto her, and kissed her deeply.

She moaned into his mouth. Her breath tasted like the red wine they'd shared at lunch. They both enjoyed the kiss. She shifted, as he pushed himself into her hip.

He was on his best behaviour, from a sexual perspective. He also wanted this to be an arrangement they carried on for a bit, since they'd be working so closely together. He'd make the mixing business with pleasure exception, in this case. He also decided that he wanted her to want him, because a small part of him, but more than he was comfortable with, wanted her. Maybe just for fucking on a regular basis, but maybe for something more. He'd never met a woman that he had surprised him so much, in such a short amount of time.

"I want more." She said, breathlessly.

He smiled at her, and reached behind her, removing her bra quickly and effectively. He took one breast in his mouth, the other in his hand, and began toying with her. He assumed that if her husband was into pool boys, it was unlikely that he was a breast man. She was moaning like she'd never been touched there, like no one had ever taken the time. He hoped, for her sake, that that wasn't the case, but he was enjoying her ministrations all the same. She brought her hips up to meet him, and he slowly continued his way down her body. When he reached her black, lacy panties, she lifted her hips for him to slide them off.

He lowered his head between her legs, sliding his tongue in and out of her folds. Her breathing hitched. "No one has ever touched me like that before," she said, breathless. Eric decided that her husband was a selfish bastard, right then and there.

"Then they've missed out. You taste like honey." He didn't think he'd ever tasted anyone as sweet. It must have been all the Cajun fusion cooking.

She wondered what he tasted like, but soon all thoughts left her mind, as he began making her feel aroused in a way she'd never felt before. She sat back on her elbows and let the events of the past six months melt away. She smiled at him, as he moved up beside her, brushing some hair out of her face. She'd never taken Bill in her mouth; their sex life had consisted solely of missionary sex on Saturday nights with the lights out, but she thought it was a good a time as any. She eased him onto his back, and reciprocated.

At first, she was completely and utterly shocked at his size, but as she began running her tongue over him, she thought of some of the advantages to it that she'd be reaping shortly. He moaned, and she thoroughly enjoyed knowing that she was bringing him pleasure, despite her lack of experience.

"Fuck, that feels good." She thought of responding, but chose to be polite and not talk with her mouth full, and from his continued moans, she decided that he appreciated her choice. When he began bucking his hips, she decided that she'd rather be benefiting from his actions in other ways, and moved up to meet his face. He captured her mouth with his, and rolled on top of her.

"Are you ready for me, Lover?" He grinned at her, as he positioned himself.

"I certainly hope so. I'm pleased to see that you measure up in more way than one." She smiled back, and then moaned as he slowly entered her, inch by inch. There were a lot of inches, she decided.

When he was all the way in, she glanced over and checked the clock. 5pm. Bill's timing was always impeccable, as was hers. He'd be here any minute. She hoped Eric wasn't too angry with her, for using him, but she thought he'd get over it. He moved in and out, at an excruciatingly slow pace, and she arched her back to meet him. She wrapped a leg around his hip, and he grunted his approval. Things were really heating up when she heard the key she was expecting turn in the door. He stopped moving, and looked at her. "Don't stop."

He shrugged. "Whatever you say. It is your house, after all."

"Sookie, darling, are you home?" She rolled her eyes, and pouted when Eric stopped moving.

"Don't stop."

Eric suddenly realized what her game was, and while he should have been mad, a part of him appreciated that she thought he was the perfect man to make her husband jealous. He assumed it was because he was very attractive, or so he'd been told. He was also younger, and self-made. Bill's opposite in every way. If she wanted to make him jealous, he'd certainly aide her in her mission. He had, after all said that he'd help her. He increased his speed, and she cried out his name. That ought to do the trick, he thought to himself. He was aware that his body was quite exposed, and he thought that would probably work to her benefit, so he didn't make any attempts to cover himself.

Sookie glanced up, to see Bill standing in the doorway, unmoving. She knew that, while his tastes were varied, that he was also very possessive, and seeing an attractive, younger man, fucking his wife, in his house, in their bed, would infuriate him. She hoped it did, just as she'd been infuriated at catching him in their bed, at their summer estate. Hopefully this infuriated him more. She'd wondered for years about his sexual orientation, but his blatant disregard for their bed irritated her. He was silent, as he watched Eric thrust away. Sookie was very impressed with his stamina, and even more so when he leaned over and whispered in her ear. "He's watching, right?"

"Yes." She whispered, as she kissed him, hard.

He pulled away, slightly. "Do you want me to finish?"

"Yes, and I would like to finish as well." She raised her voice. "Bill, will you excuse us. Perhaps you could go sit in the living room, and close the door." Eric was aroused, by her cheeky behavior. She really didn't give a shit anymore. He liked that.

Bill stood there, for another few seconds. He looked even older than Eric remembered from the papers. "I will speak to you shortly." He turned and closed the door. They were the picture of dysfunction.

Eric grinned at Sookie. "Would you still like him to hear us?"

"Yes, please." She smiled at him sweetly.

"Would you like to be on top?"

"I've never been on top." He rolled over, taking her with him.

"Now you have been." She liked being on top, and took control easily. He knew she would, and took the opportunity to knead her breasts in his hands, which made her moan uncontrollably. He thought Bill would appreciate that.

She moved up and down him, varying her speed in a very experienced way. He was impressed with her natural sexabilities. She was also amping up the volume on her, vocals. They were turning him on, as were her small hands on his chest. He groaned, as she pinched his nipple. "Fuck, Lover."

"Oh, Eric." She moaned slightly exaggeratedly, but he felt like there was a bit of truth in there as well. He could tell she was close, and he attempted to delay her orgasm for as long as possible. For Bill's benefit, of course. When he felt like neither of them could take it any longer, and he felt her fall over the edge, he came, loudly. "Ohhh, Mrs. Compton." He cried out, and she giggled, as she collapsed on top of him. They lay there for a moment, connected in their shared revenge mission. And in the fuckhot sex they'd just had. That too.

He really liked her style. She didn't sit back and have her heart broken. She was proactive.

She also appreciated his style. And his willingness to help her out. She decided that this was the beginning of a beautiful, wonderful, mutually beneficial relationship. He brushed his fingers through her hair, and she smiled softly at him.

He was a really great lay. And her husband was in the living room. "Will you stay?" she questioned.

"And help you with him? Sure."

"Can I tell him you're my lover?"

"I am your lover. We just fucked."

"Right. Sorry, I've never had a lover before." Sookie giggled, rolled to the side and grabbed them both a cigarette, lighting his for him. She didn't care about his reputation. He was good in her books, both in and out of the sack. When she was finished, she pulled herself up, put on his shirt and threw him a robe.

"Is this Bill's?"

"It was just dry cleaned." She was adding insult to injury, and she knew it. It had been her plan all along. Eric was perfect for this. He had balls, she thought as he shrugged, pulling it over him. It was, short on him. He had great thighs. Sookie wondered if Bill would appreciate them as much as she did. She didn't really want to think about that. She opened the door, taking Eric's hand as she proceeded into the hallway. He upped the ante by putting an arm around her waist in a protective way. He knew it was silly, but even after knowing her for a day, he wanted to protect her, even though he knew she really didn't need it.

"Hello Bill."

"Sookie, what the hell is going on here? Who is he?"

"Bill, this is my lover, Eric. Eric, my husband, Bill."

Eric smiled at Bill. He felt a bit bad for him, not because he had just fucked his wife, but because he was about to lose a lot more than that. From what she'd said, he'd lost her ages ago. As someone who loved his job, he sympathized, a little bit. Bill did not return his smile, instead choosing to keep his eye contact with Sookie, who was looking thoroughly fucked, her once perfect hair askew. This was not what he had expected his afternoon to consist of, but he wasn't complaining. It was a break from the banality of his usual schedule, with the fucking included. He chalked it up to a good day.

"Bill, I want a divorce."

"Apparently."

"Rodolfo will be going to the press. I've fired him. There is no way that you get to have fun in this loveless marriage. I will not be used to further your political agenda any longer." She sat down on the chaise and pulled Eric down with her. The demise of his own marriage had been so quiet, with lots of papers signed. This was going to be fiery. "I was resigned to our arrangement. I got to run my own business, you stayed out of that, but I will not tolerate you carrying on sexual dalliances out of the public eye, while I am scrutinized for my friendships and the people I choose to hire." Eric was impressed. Her reasons for outing Bill were unexpected. She didn't like the lie that he perpetuated, both to her and to the public. He thought she was forward, for employing Lafayette, but he was also fairly certain that she was scrutinized for her actions, because of his lifestyle.

Bill glared at her. "This will ruin me."

"You didn't seem too concerned about that, when you were grunting in the pool house. Bill Compton, you've made your own bed here, and I want you out of mine, completely."

"Sookie I..." Bill's eyes had narrowed.

"I'm not finished yet, in this sense." She winked at Eric, who leaned back on the chaise. He had thoroughly finished her, in another sense. "You chided me, for hiring Lafayette, for the damage it might do to your reputation. You publicly spoke against homosexuals in the public sphere. You told me I couldn't hire my best friend, because of his sexual orientation, and now this? I'm angry Bill, and I have every right to be."

"I..."

"I'm still not finished. I've wanted a divorce for years, and I've been trying to figure out how to do this, without people assuming that I'm just acting out, as I'm married so such an old, boring man. I know how women that file for divorce are viewed. Even if you were having an affair with a woman, I'd still be judged for not standing by you. You gave me the perfect out. I'm kind of sorry that it will come at such a high cost to you, but you always did call me selfish. By the way, don't even think of denying it. There are photos. Things have already been set in motion."

Eric loved her southern accent, being used in such an articulate, well thought out way. It made it even sexier to him. He was sure there were closeted men, all over the workforce, probably one or two in his office, if he thought about it hard enough. Most had the sense not to marry, as a woman scorned can be a very dangerous thing. Bill had tried to have it all, and, from the looks of the way things were developing, he had failed quite miserably.

"Are you quite done, Susannah?" Bill had stopped making eye contact with her, and was looking past her. Eric felt a little bit awkward, being witness so such devastation on his end of things, but Sookie was an important client, and he'd played a part in this as well. "I will remove my things within the week." He stood up, trying hard to look dignified. Eric thought it didn't work, since his wife had just handed him his balls on a platter. Bill walked towards the door.

"Oh, Bill?" Sookie shouted after him.

"Yes, Susannah?" He stopped, shy of the elevator.

"Send the car and driver back." She smiled sweetly at him. Sookie felt fortunate that her father had had the foresight to keep all of their investments in his name. She'd have him sign over Bon Temps, once she was officially divorced. She sat back and smiled, as the elevator door closed. "Thank you for staying, you really nailed the point home." She giggled. Eric thought it was adorable. He was impressed that she'd maintained her composure so well.

" You are most welcome. I should be thanking you, for your business, of course." She had been a great fuck. Better than he'd had in a while.

She checked the clock on the wall. 6pm. "Eric, would you like to eat? I'd love to show you some things on the dinner menu."

"Only if I can have you for dessert." He raised an eyebrow.

"You took the words right out of my mouth." She smiled at him, sweetly as ever. "We should clean up first though. Join me in the shower?"

When the story broke, as planned, two weeks later, Eric and Sookie were dining on a patio in Soho, and smiled for photographers. Bill, as Sookie anticipated, denied the rumours at first, but had no choice but to resign from his position when a few strategic pictures leaked to the press of a rather steamy encounter with an effeminate pool boy. Sookie asked for nothing in the divorce, and things proceeded quite quickly.

Eric didn't have to work very hard to spin things positively for Sookie. Her plan, combined with Lafayette at her side, had made her a martyr for both divorcees and, the ever growing gay and civil rights movement. Her grace and poise, in a difficult situation that no one wanted to imagine being in, had made her popular with everyone else. He helped her with her press statements, which were always gracious, and continued to see her, both privately and publicly.

It took him a while to come up with a great ad campaign, because she kept him sufficiently distracted, but within a few weeks, he had the perfect tagline. It was simple, clean, and those in the know would get the double meaning.

Bon Temps. Good times for all.

During the 1960s, I think, people forgot what emotions were supposed to be. And I don't think they've ever remembered.

- Andy Warhol