Sookie Packhouse plays a backwater Louisiana waitress on the show True Love. She was happily shacked up with her leading man Bill Compter, when in walked six and a half feet of Norse God named Eric Northgard in the role of vampire sheriff…requiring her to do a whole different kind of acting. Can she film their scenes together without yielding to him?
Disclaimer: I'm not implying there is anything going on between certain actors who shall remain nameless. This is all in good fun. Don't sue me. I also don't own Charlaine Harris or Alan Ball's characters. Again, no suing, OK?
When I decided to take on the role of Anna Staquin, the telepathic waitress in the new show True Love, it was with a view to powering down a little and making my life less hectic. The years of constant travel to and from often remote movie locations hadn't done me in yet, but negotiating the emotional quicksand of divas, man-whores and good friends who you never see again just might. I was worn out, and I was looking forward to tucking into a multi-season job where I could settle down a little.
I couldn't imagine my good luck when I walked into my first table read and saw the actor who was to be my leading man. Bill Compter's dark good looks and vivacious personality drew me to him immediately, and I found myself falling hard.
By the time we shot episode three we were living together and had fallen once again…this time into a comfortable domesticity. Well, I'd wanted to settle down, I consoled myself. It just all happened so quickly.
The show had all the earmarks of a hit, and our on-set romance had already drawn the attention of every tabloid in the country. I had thought long and hard about the logic of finding love at work, but like my Gran always said, 'you find love where you find it,' so I dove in headfirst.
As I stepped out of the elevator and walked through the maze of hallways at the production offices, I felt a little sad. Filming the first three episodes was like a honeymoon, but this next episode would introduce some new characters and that's always hard when you have a group that's already getting along so well. It can as easily mess with the chemistry as add to it.
My brain was multi-tasking at worrying about this, while simultaneously scanning over my lines when I barreled head first into something very hard. At the impact my arms wheeled wildly and my hands flew out to grab hold of anything that would help to keep me from flying backwards. I was stunned senseless. I took a deep breath and tried to regain my equilibrium before I made sense of what had just happened. I was staring at light blue fabric, or, not just staring at it, my nose was actually touching it, whatever 'it' was, it smelled wonderful, like the ocean. I looked up and came to the shocked realization that I was smelling a person – a very tall, very firm person.
Looking down at me, with an eyebrow raised and an amused look on his face, was probably the best looking man I had ever seen. Tall, blonde, perfectly muscled, and with eyes that were so light blue that they almost glowed next to his T-shirt, the man looked like a Norse god come to life.
He had obviously put me under some kind of Norse god spell, because I was mesmerized by those eyes and having a hard time getting my mouth to work. "Uh, I, agh, um, gosh, I'm so sorry," I squeaked.
"It's OK," he chuckled as he brought his hands to lightly rest on my shoulders and gave me a little series of pats. Then he applied a bit of gentle pressure and pushed me back a step.
To my total embarrassment I realized I was still invading his personal space because he was leaning against a wall with no way to step away from me himself. That, together with the fact that I was just staring at him and not speaking, made me look like a champion level loser.
"You know, you should watch where you're going. Or maybe wear a helmet," he added with the biggest, cutest, goofiest smile I'd ever seen.
Oh no. I had it bad and I had no idea who he even was. I hoped he was just an intern, but he could be an executive, or maybe our guest director. The possibilities for just how embarrassed I should be were endless and got worse as I ran through them.
"Well, I should go," he said. "Um, do you mind letting go of my belt?"
His belt? I looked down and I could practically feel the blood draining from my face. Jesus Christ, Shepherd of Judea. Not only had I gripped his goddamn belt buckle with both hands to steady myself, but I was still gripping it. To make matters worse, his jeans were low slung and I could see an inch of skin with a hint of blond hair where the weight from my hands was pulling his pants down even farther. Both hands couldn't be more than an inch from his…Oh God, Sookie, don't even think about it.
Every ounce of blood that had drained from my face came back into it with a vengeance and I was now the color of a beet. My knuckles were burning where they brushed against his skin, and I was tingling as if there were an electrical field between us.
"Uh, I, agh, um, gosh, I'm so sorry," I choked.
"It's ok…you can really let go now," he said a little more urgently.
I looked down at my hands, Sweet Baby Jesus, they were still right there holding his belt. As if this moment couldn't be any more of a disaster, I felt like I was about to have a panic attack and when that happens I can't do anything.
Suddenly, large, warm hands were gently prying my fingers from around his belt.
I uttered another unintelligible series of sounds, my eyes pleading insanity, while he looked at me with an unreadable expression. With no better option occurring to me, I turned and fled.
Not cool, Sookie.
I consoled myself that I would probably never see him again. These were the offices for so many shows and there were always people coming and going. I hoped we could go to our graves being the only two who knew about it. I hoped he got early onset Alzheimer's.
I slipped into the ladies bathroom and splashed my face with some cold water. I looked up and shook my head as water droplets zigzagged down my flushed cheeks. I laughed a little nervously. It was a laugh or cry moment. Or maybe laugh or die. Die of mortification.
'Onward and upward.' That's what my Gran always said. I was going to subscribe to that today. I took a deep breath and made my way to the table read for episode four, hoping to distract myself with the task of meeting my new coworkers and getting the chemistry right. Chemistry. The tall man and I had had some kind of chemical reaction all right.
Stop, Sookie. Stop. Your boyfriend is behind that door.
I pushed open the boardroom door and relaxed when I met Bill's eyes. Our easy familiarity calmed me and I scooted in beside him, giving him a quick peck. Our relationship wasn't a secret. Everyone on the set had watched it develop and they were all happy for us.
I kept my eyes on my script. It was always awkward in these meetings to determine who was who – actor, new producer, new director, new writer. I didn't want to offend anyone, so I usually kept busy until I was formally introduced by Allen Bell our creator.
Speak of the devil. "Hi kids," said the ball of energy as he burst into the room. "Okey dokey…smokey. We're changing things up a bit now. This cast is getting bigger and it will just keep getting bigger as the next two seasons play out – and the third if we get lucky and keep getting renewed…which you know we will, because you are all fabulous. Fab-fab-fabulous! Sookie, Bill, I'd like to introduce you to your new cast mates. First up, please give a warm welcome to Eric Northgard who will be playing the vampire sheriff of Area Five, Alex Skarsman."
I looked at Allen and then along his arm and past his pointer finger to the other corner of the large boardroom table. There, sprawled out like a lion in his chair, was Mr. Tall.
Oh dear God, what did I do to deserve this? I am so fucked.
A/N: C'mon, we all wonder what she really thinks of him. Admit it! This is my first kick at an all human fic. I'd love to know what you think so far… xo Cagey