An entry into the I Write the Songs 2013 contest, hosted by Northwoman. The title for this entry comes from The Doors song of the same name. www . youtube watch?v=IW-gerAdxpY I'm not sure what the new fanfic rules are about posting links but there is the link to the song, with spaces. Or you could just go to youtube and search for "I Looked At You" and it will come up. It's a great 60s song.
Voting for the contest will be going on for a few weeks.
As always, thanks to my wonderful beta, Chicpea, who did a stellar job finding all my typos, offering suggestions and being the awesome person she is. She's got some new twific soon to come.
Teaser: It's 1967. New York. Eric Northman is one of the biggest Ad Men on Madison Avenue. An unexpected request leads to the studio of famous artist Andy Warhol, where he meets someone else he would never have expected. Someone who is about to open his eyes to an entirely new lifestyle.
I Looked At You
"How did it go?" It was the first thing Peter Threadgill asked when Eric Northman walked into his office.
"It could have been better," Eric said, while pouring himself a drink at Pete's mini-bar. He unbuttoned his charcoal grey suit jacket's single button and sat down on the sofa with a sigh.
"What happened? I thought Bass was a shoe in?" Peter chuckled at his own pun from across his desk.
"They should have been. Everything was prepared for the direction they wanted to go in. Alcide and Thalia delivered the storyboards for the commercial perfectly and Joe worked with what they asked for to develop the print." Eric sipped the drink in his hand. It warmed his body and loosened him up. The office often felt stifling to him despite its rather grandiose size. His own office was nearly the same size. "But now Bass decided they don't like the direction we're going in and they want to change it completely. They want younger. Fresher. A new edge."
"Wasn't James Dean seen wearing their shoes? How much fresher can they get? They've been selling that style for years because of him." Pete got up and poured himself a scotch before coming to sit next to Eric, unbuttoning his suit jacket in the process.
"That was over ten years ago. No one cares about James Dean anymore. Hell, I barely remember the guy."
"Alright, so?" Peter slapped his knee. "Give them whatever they want. This is New York, I'm sure we can find someone with enough edge to satisfy the old man."
"That's just it. It's not old Willard Bass in charge anymore. His nephew took over the board and showed up to the meeting today."
Threadgill nodded, understanding where this was heading. "Who does he want?"
Eric downed the last of his drink. "Warhol."
"He wants us to get Warhol back to do the artwork."
"Is he serious?"
"Very," Eric said. "I told him Warhol doesn't do that anymore. He said if there was anyone who could get him to reconsider it was me."
"Well, at least he paid you a compliment when he screwed you," Peter said, sipping his drink.
Eric made a sound very close to a snort before getting up and placing his glass back on the mini-bar.
"So what are you going to do?" Peter took a pack of cigarettes from his pocket and shook one out, bringing his lips down to catch it. He offered the pack to Eric who pulled one out for himself. The sound of lighters clicking on was loud in the silence.
After a long pause to inhale and take care of their nicotine addictions, Eric said, "Go to The Factory, I guess."
"That should be fun. All the degenerates in one place," said Peter, standing up and bringing his own empty glass to the mini-bar for a refill.
"It's not that bad. Besides," Eric said, giving Peter a slap on the back, "you have to get with the times. The Norman Rockwell days are over."
"Yeah, yeah. You think I don't hear those assholes outside complaining I'm getting too old for this? I don't need to hear it from you."
Eric chuckled, buttoned his suit and turned to leave.
"Oh, and Eric?" Pete said, as Eric had his hand on the doorknob. "Enjoy the red couch."
Back in his office, Eric thought long and hard on the best way to pitch this job to Andy Warhol. He was the creative director and it fell on his shoulders to keep this account at T & L. It wasn't as if Warhol needed to do commercial art anymore, but that would not stop him. So he thought while he stared out the window on the 38th floor of Threadgill & Leclerq.
Northman was a tall man, imposing even, in his stature of six-foot-four inches, and built wide in the shoulders. He played football all through high school and college. He swam regularly and he played tennis with some of his coworkers on the weekends. Physically, at thirty years old, he was at his peak. Too young for Korea and too old for Vietnam, he lucked out on both. His parents, Cathrine and Anton, were Norwegian immigrants and came to Ellis Island in 1939 to escape the beginnings of the Nazi occupation. Eric, being only two years old at the time, couldn't remember the voyage. His older brother, however, being six, remembered a little more.
Eric possessed many of the features of his lineage; fair skin, bright blue eyes and pale blonde hair, he was the very image of Nordic. He knew he was a good looking man too, and he used it to his advantage. He was well known among his colleagues as a ladies man. Some of the other Ad Men liked to keep pools on him. How long until he slept with his newest secretary. Sometimes it wasn't a secretary, but the wife or manager of one of his clients. His partners at the agency didn't know about that. Sometimes it was Thalia, his art director. It was a rare heart that he couldn't charm his way into.
The buzzer on his desk went off, startling him from his thoughts. The voice of his secretary, Maudette, came over the speaker. "Mr. Clancy, Mr. Herveaux, Mr. Velasquez, Mr. Lee and Miss Barberis are here to see you."
Eric hit the button on the speaker. "Send them in."
Clancy was through the door first and went straight to Eric's own mini-bar to pour himself a scotch rocks. "Well that was a shitter."
"Speak for yourself, Gingy," said Joseph Velasquez. "My work was flawless." The copy editor was right. The slogan for the new footwear was not the problem.
"If the copy was so good, why didn't they mention anything about it?" Clancy asked, snidely.
"It was me," Thalia said over their continued argument. Everyone turned to her. "Didn't you see their faces when they saw I was presenting the artwork instead of taking notes?"
"The art was good, Thalia," Eric stated. "It was just what Bass needed. Even if the bastards were too stupid to notice."
"You think I don't know that? Even going the pop art route didn't win them over. Advertising copying art copying advertising. Ridiculous." The art director walked over to Eric's mini-bar and poured herself a drink.
Thalia Barberis was the first woman in Threadgill & Leclerq to reach such a high position in the company outside co-owner Sophie-Anne Leclerq. Few women worked in advertising as it was, and the ones that did often fought tooth and nail to have their work recognized as equal to men's in the same position. Thalia resented anyone who thought less of her work just because she was a woman. It was one thing to admit someone else was better than her. It was another to not even be considered because something didn't dangle between her legs.
Sophie-Anne Leclerq inherited her half of the company when her father died. Having no brothers, her father left his half of the company to her in his will, albeit grudgingly. But Sophie-Anne was no incompetent woman. Often called "The Red Pistol," she, almost single-handedly developed the advertising that brought women into the work force during the Second World War. While the men fought in the South Pacific, Sophie-Anne, through her well executed ideas, got women entering the labor force, keeping the economy going. It was she who first noticed Thalia's work in a shop window.
Sophie-Anne always thought three steps ahead of everyone else and that was what made her so successful, and so resented. She knew women wouldn't quietly go back to their homes once the war ended. She knew a market was emerging for the Negro population. That was why she also hired Maxwell Lee. It was something she wanted to capitalize on. Her partner, Peter Threadgill, had protested the development of advertising toward Negros, not seeing them as a real market, let alone a profitable one. He eventually relented his opinion as the popularity of the Civil Rights Movement grew.
"They liked the TV spot. They're still sticking with the art for that, at least," said Alcide, in an effort to temper Thalia's growing anger.
"So what's going to happen now?" Maxwell Lee asked. He was the co-account man with Clancy on this one. It was something the second generation Irish-American wasn't thrilled with.
"What happens is, tonight I go to The Factory. Clancy," Eric said, turning to him, "you, Peter and Alcide are all coming with. Make sure you know the account backwards and forwards. Warhol might have gotten his start with Bass, but who knows if he'll ever consider coming back. We need to convince him that there's a reason to."
That evening as four of the top men on Madison Avenue prepared for their descent on 47th Street, another small group prepared for their evening on the town.
"Are you sure you want to go back tonight?" the Brunette asked as the pair dressed.
"Oh, yes. Don't tell me you didn't have fun last night?" Asked the Blonde, casting a look at her friend.
"Of course I did. I've never felt so normal."
"I know. It's so easy to just blend."
The two women styled their hair carefully. They both had long hair and tonight they mimicked the big and loud style of Raquel Welch.
"But that's not the only reason you want to go."
"No," confirmed the Blonde.
"I don't like the idea of that painter capturing me on one of his cameras."
The two stepped out onto the street together.
"No one's watching his pictures anymore. Haven't you read the paper lately? His films are getting far too seedy for the public to embrace."
"We'll keep out of their way."
The Factory on 47th Street was a big loft space. High ceilings and concrete floors, with ventilation fans in the walls and big windows. It served as Warhol's studio as much as it did the party center for all the artists and young people that Andy favored. Painted all over in silver foil, with silver walls and silver furniture, it gained the name "The Silver Factory."
Most of the people Eric Northman knew on Madison Avenue couldn't stand Andy Warhol. To them he represented the antithesis of what they worked for, selling products to people. Eric recognized that in mocking advertising and calling it art, Andy was essentially doing the same thing, and for next to nothing. He rarely paid the young women who starred in his films but the buzz he created around his starlets drew people in. People with money. They bought his art at high prices claiming to understand it all and believing the pieces were the epitome of chic and modern. Eric wished he'd thought of it first. He was very good at recognizing talent when he saw it. That was why he had one of the best creative teams in the business.
When the elevator doors opened, Peter Threadgill lit a cigarette. "Into the queer lion's den we go."
Eric and Clancy had been to The Factory just last night, and Pete's joke about the red couch held more significance than either of them knew. The red couch in Warhol's Factory was a bit famous all on its own. Warhol used it all the time in his photographs and movies. Eric and Clancy were having dinner with a client who had brought with him a young and wannabe actress. She knew Andy well.
Eric remembered meeting Andy and having drinks with him, but not very much after that. The artist was quite taken with the tall blonde. Eric didn't have anything against homosexuals, per se, but he also did not want to be the subject of their pickup lines.
The place was loud, crowded and full of famous faces. For the Ad Men, mingling now meant the possibility of millions of dollars' worth of accounts. Many turned up their noses at them, figuring them for your average money men in nice suits. With their respective drinks in hand, they all went their separate ways to scout for potential and to keep an eye out for their main target.
The place was full of drugs, smoke and bodies. At the far end of the studio, a band played and many of the people were crowded around them. Several people were openly having sex in whatever space was available. Some of them were being filmed.
Eric saw Alcide watching one couple with surprised interest. When the couple moved he realized why. The male of the pair was Mick Jagger. Eric couldn't help but stare too, and was only jolted from it when a hand landed on his shoulder.
It appeared that Andy had found him.
"Back so soon?" Warhol was wearing those large plastic glasses that made his face look smaller. His own blonde hair was cut in a shaggy style. He was also quite drunk.
Eric smiled. "I guess I couldn't stay away. How are you, Andy?"
"Oh, I'm wonderful. I couldn't have asked for a better night," said Andy, indicating the enormous crowd. "So many wonderful things are happening these days." He paused and looked Eric up and down before sighing. "I suppose you're looking for that sweet young thing from last night?"
"What?" Eric asked, confused.
"That adorable blonde girl who swept you away from me last night. The one who refused to let me take her picture."
Eric thought back to last night. It was all a bit hazy. Occasionally he would indulge in whatever drug was being passed around. He'd tried LSD and speed not too long ago. But he couldn't remember taking anything last night.
"I don't remember," Eric said, shaking his head.
"Oh…I didn't think you'd had so much to drink but maybe I was mistaken."
Just then Alcide and Clancy walked up next to where the two were standing. Eric was glad for the distraction. "Andy, you remember Clancy from last night? One of my business partners."
Warhol looked him over for a moment. "Oh, yes, of course. Your hair. I remember how striking it was." Clancy had hair the color of bright copper and it was very distinguishing. "And who is this?" His eyes moved quite slowly over Alcide.
Alcide, nearly as tall as Eric, with dark, curly hair and green eyes, put his hand out. "Alcide Herveaux. I work with Eric and Clancy here," he said, nodding to the two of them. "I run the television department at Threadgill and Leclerq."
"Oh," he said with a faint smile on his lips. "Another Ad Man. Lovely."
The three of them glanced at each other.
"Actually," Eric said, "Andy, the reason we're here is we'd like to discuss some business with you."
"Oh, I'm not doing business tonight. I'm having too much fun for that. Speaking of which, the three of you must let me take your picture," he said and leaned over to whisper something into someone's ear. A minute later a young man popped up with a camera.
The three Ad Men posed for Andy Warhol with their cigarettes and drinks in their hands.
"Perfect," he said. "Come and talk to my assistant. He'll set up a time for us to talk when we're all a little more sober. Meanwhile, enjoy the band and the fun. I hope you don't mind being on camera."
The three of them looked around. Several of Warhol's "Factory People" were wandering around with film cameras. When they turned around, Warhol had disappeared into the crowd, taking Alcide with him. His assistant was there in his place and informed them they could return tomorrow afternoon to speak with him.
"That was easier than I thought it would be," Eric confessed.
"We haven't signed him yet," Clancy reminded him.
Just then Peter walked up to them. "Where have you been?" Clancy asked.
"Enjoying the natural fauna."
Clancy grunted. He always felt like he pulled more weight for the company but was never treated like a proper executive.
"We have a meeting with Warhol tomorrow," Eric told him.
"Oh, good," said Peter. "So now we can enjoy the rest of the night."
"Shouldn't you maybe go home to your wife?" Clancy asked with some annoyance.
"Shouldn't you?" Peter countered.
"I'm not married."
"Yet." Clancy's wedding was in fact, three weeks away. Peter, however, had been married for nearly 30 years. Though that never stopped him from having his own fun.
Eric didn't think it stopped Pete's wife from having her fun, either. They'd never get divorced though.
Clancy tapped Eric on the side. "Hey isn't that the fox from last night?"
Eric turned around to see who he was talking about. Across the room a voluptuous blonde woman in a sleeveless black and white checked dress appeared to be in deep conversation with a Mediterranean looking woman wearing a blue and pink shift dress. Both wore long gloves that went up past their elbows – the blonde in black gloves and matching shoes, and the brunette in pink.
"Which one?" Asked Peter.
As if they could tell they were being discussed, the two women stopped talking and turned to look at Eric and Clancy.
"I think I would remember a girl like that," Eric said, with a grin.
"Are you sure?"
Clancy thought for a moment. Maybe he'd been mistaken. It looked like the same girl from yesterday.
"They're both looking our way boys," Peter said. "I suggest we move over there before someone else does."
The girls returned to their conversation, fully aware the three men were walking toward them.
"You sure about what you want?" The dark haired woman asked.
"I think so. We'll see after tonight." They gave each other a significant look.
The two women took out cigarettes from their purses. Before they could light them, however, three lighters appeared in front of them.
They leaned over to grab the light with the cigarette and inhaled.
"Thank you," said the dark-haired woman. The other smiled. "I'm Tara. This is my friend, Sookie." Both women were beautiful. All three men were in solid and silent agreement about it. Tara, with her dark hair and eyes and light olive skin, looked like she'd come right from some southern part of Spain or Italy. Tall, thin and dressed in one of the trendiest outfits she could find, she looked like a fresher Edie Sedgwick.
Sookie was her opposite in many ways. While they were about the same in height, Sookie was light where Tara was dark. Her hair was a pale blonde and her eyes a blue-grey. She was curvy where Tara was not, with a fuller bust and hips. Neither one of them looked a day over 25 at the oldest.
"That's an interesting name, Sookie. I haven't heard it before," Eric said.
"It's an old southern name."
He was about to ask her where she was from but Sookie was quicker. "What are your names?"
"Martin Clancy, but everyone just calls me Clancy."
"I like that, just a last name," said Tara, with a smirk.
"Do you think you boys could find us some drinks?" Sookie asked.
The three of them moved quickly to find drinks for the two women and themselves. When they returned, Sookie and Tara were engaged in conversation with Warhol's latest "it girl," Mary Waronov.
Almost automatically Clancy and Pete veered off with Tara and Mary, leaving Sookie and Eric to their own devices.
"Is it strange that I feel like we've met before?" He questioned.
"I think everyone has that feeling once in a while. Déjà vu maybe?"
"Surely, I'm not the only blue-eyed blonde you've ever met?"
Eric laughed. "No, I guess not. You actually look like most of my family."
Sookie gave him a questioning look. "Where are they from?"
"Norway, all of us, originally. They all came here when the war started."
Sookie nodded. "I had family near there."
"They're gone now. Tara's probably the closest thing I have to family these days." Sookie glanced behind her only to catch Tara's eye. She gave Sookie a wink and went back to her own conversation.
"I'm sorry," Eric said.
"Don't be," Sookie said, shaking her head. "It was a long time ago. I can barely remember them."
Before Sookie could ask another question, Andy Warhol was suddenly in front of them with a weather worn and twitchy looking Alcide.
"Oh there you are, you two. I'm glad you found each other. Eric, maybe you can convince Sookie here to let me take her picture."
"Oh, Andy you know I'm terribly shy about having my picture taken. I'm sorry," she said. "But let me make it up to you!" Sookie grabbed Warhol's camera with some enthusiasm and winked at Eric. "I'll take a picture of the three of you."
As Sookie and Alcide passed by each other, giving each other a once over, they both came to an abrupt stop. After a moment Sookie smiled and turned around. "Everyone ready?"
Eric and Andy were both looking at Alcide who was staring at Sookie. Breaking out of what seemed to be his own trance, he joined the other two and Sookie snapped a picture of them all.
"Honestly Sookie, with your hair cut and curled up a bit, you'd be a dead ringer for Marilyn. Let me paint you."
Sookie seemed embarrassed by all of Warhol's attentions. "Andy, dear, you have so many talented people here. I don't think I'll be in New York long enough for that."
Her eyes flickered to Eric, who couldn't hide the expression in his face.
Sookie and Eric didn't get the chance to talk by themselves again for another half hour as people in Andy's circle kept coming up to him. Men and women alike were enamored with Eric and Sookie. Every so often she would catch Alcide looking at her curiously.
"Like a living Ken and Barbie," one of them whispered. Sookie heard though.
When it looked like they were finally being left alone for a minute, Eric put his hand on Sookie's arm.
"You want to get out of here?"
Sookie smiled. "Definitely." She glanced around for Tara but she was already gone.
The pair made their exit quickly without any interruptions to the elevator and walked into the night.
"That's quite a place up there." Eric stated.
"It is, isn't it?"
"If you don't mind my asking, what were you doing there?"
Sookie chuckled. "Being up there is always an interesting experience for me. What about you though," she asked as they walked down Second Avenue, "you hardly look like you fit in with that crowd."
"I was there for business."
"Ah. Well, you're not on business anymore," she said and stopped him in the street. Sookie loosened his tie enough so that she could pull it right off. "I'm holding on to this for the rest of the night."
Eric couldn't help but make a grab for his tie.
"I'm going to need that back."
"You'll get it back," said Sookie. "But you'll have to catch me first." She taunted Eric with the tie before sprinting off at a light speed.
Eric took off after her. She was fast, but he had longer legs. Also, he didn't think she was trying very hard to run away. He thought he'd caught up with her about three blocks from where they'd started when she turned the corner, but when he reached it she was gone.
He was suddenly pulled up against a wall by a sure hand. "Gotcha!"
Eric laughed. "Alright, I surrender! Even if I was supposed to be chasing you!"
"No one said I couldn't turn the tables on you."
Eric put his hands up. "No, they didn't. So what do you intend to do with me now that you have me?"
"I was thinking about having my wicked way with you."
"Oh no. Not that. Anything but that."
Twenty minutes later and Eric and Sookie found themselves checked into a simple suite at the Waldorf-Astoria. Eric removed her gloves while Sookie swiftly unbuttoned his shirt. They fell back together on the bed and kissed.
They were both excellent kissers. Eric was strong and liked to lead. Sookie didn't mind. She quite liked it even, but she wanted to be on top. She pushed him back and unbuckled his belt, shimmying down so that he could get his pants and shoes off. He was a muscular man, well-proportioned in all the right places. His chest had a sprinkling of light blonde hair.
She leaned up on her knees to pull her dress off but just as reached over her eyes he grabbed the dress and twisted it with her arms still inside and her eyes covered. Like that he kissed her hard and pushed her down on the bed. She was not all soft curves either, but hard muscle underneath her dress. He moved down to kiss her neck and collar bone.
"Stay like that," he whispered and reached around her back to unclasp her bra, pushing it up to where her dress was.
He took one breast in his mouth and the other in his hand. Sookie moaned with pleasure. She was happy Eric appeared to be a skilled lover. It was hard to find a man in this day and age who knew how to please a woman in bed. The moan did it for him, and he whipped off the dress from her eyes and arms, tossing it on the floor with their other discarded clothing. He wanted the eye contact when he made love to her. Sookie found herself very aroused by it. She wanted more.
Eric moved down her body slowly, taking her slip and underwear with him as he went. When he finally pulled off her slip he made his way back up her thigh just as slowly until he was moving his tongue inside her. She felt herself building up and cried out when she came. Eric looked up at her with a satisfied grin on his face.
Sookie sat up and grabbed him by the neck for another long kiss. He pulled her close and like that he slid into her and they rode each other until they were both spent.
"I agree," was the only thing Eric could say for the next couple of minutes.
After a few more minutes, Sookie asked, "Are you ready to go again?"
Eric cocked an eyebrow at her. She took that as a yes.
An hour later they were lying together in the warm bed when Sookie asked him, "Where does your wife think you are?"
The question startled him. "How did you know?"
"A man like you? Young and handsome with a good job? Of course you're married," she stated. "You also have a tan line around your ring finger."
"Oh," he said, looking down at his hand. "I don't always wear it depending on what the client I'm seeing might want. Someone like Warhol…"
"I don't think he puts much stock in the idea of marriage. All he's seen are bad ones."
"What about you? Are you married?"
"You're far too young to be a widow," he said, eying her critically.
"I told you, Tara is the closest thing I still have to a family."
"Was it sudden?" He hesitated. "You don't have to answer that."
She thought for a moment. "Yes, I suppose you could say it was sudden. It was unexpected, certainly."
The room grew loud in the silence. "You still haven't answered my question."
"She thinks I'm working late. I do work late a lot."
Sookie made no comment on that. "Do you love her?"
Eric sat up and looked at her. "That's an odd question to ask someone you've just fucked." He pulled a cigarette from the jacket he'd thrown on the floor and lit it.
Sookie sat up to look him in the eye. "I just want to know what kind of man you are."
He considered that for a moment, inhaling on his cigarette. "Aude and I…we, I got her pregnant. She didn't want to see the women's doctor about it. So I married her." Eric got up and retrieved a glass of water from the bathroom sink, gulping it down.
"Many men have done the same. It was an honorable thing to do."
"Maybe," he said. "She was engaged to my brother."
"Really?" Sookie moved forward. "That's quite a twist. What happened?"
"He went to fight in Korea. Never came home."
"I'm sorry," she said. "I lost my brother to war as well."
Sookie watched him as he made his way back to the bed and sat down. He stroked her long hair and kissed her. That was all the talking they did for a while. When Eric thought back on that third round, all he could remember was the mind shattering orgasm Sookie gave him. Eric had been with plenty of women in his day but nothing had quite prepared him for what he did with Sookie.
She was doing something to him. He didn't know quite what, but he knew he liked it very much.
The night wore on and eventually they both knew they had to leave. They showered together under the warm spray, washing each other in silence.
"I want to see you again," Eric said as they dressed.
Sookie had just finished putting on her shoes. She smiled at him. "I'd like that." She stood up and they shared another long kiss. "Zip me up, will you?" She turned her back to him and he slowly zipped the back of her dress. His hands stayed for a while on her shoulders.
"Is it true that you're leaving soon?" He asked.
"Not that soon. I just have no desire to be one of Andy's superstar girls."
Eric snorted at that. "I don't blame you."
When they reached the street they both got into separate cabs, heading in different directions. Eric went home to his wife and children and Sookie went home to the apartment she shared with Tara.
"I see you're back," Tara said.
"Oh, well spotted," Sookie said with some amusement in her voice.
"I wasn't expecting you yet for a while. How was your night?" Tara was still wearing her dress from earlier and Sookie reasoned she couldn't have gotten back that long ago herself.
"Fun. More so than I expected. What about yours?"
"You were right about the filming. After a while, I didn't notice. I've never seen so many drugs in one place."
"Did you try anything?" Sookie asked.
"That Clancy found some LSD from someone."
"Really? How was that? I've been so curious about it."
They both headed into the bathroom to wash their makeup off.
"I don't know exactly how to describe it. The experience was….different. I almost didn't make it back."
"Maybe I'll try it someday. With more precautions."
The next morning found Eric in his office nursing a light hangover and very little sleep. Maudette deposited his coffee on his desk and left him to see to her own work, only buzzing him when his team arrived to prepare for the Bass-Warhol pitch.
They all shuffled in, except Alcide, who was conspicuously absent. Those who were with him last night were bleary eyed, and those that weren't, were waiting for bad news.
Thalia was the first one to break the silence. "Jesus, what happened last night?"
"We have a meeting for this afternoon."
"Really? That's great! So why does everyone look like they're at death's door?"
"Long night," Clancy, Pete and Eric all muttered at the same time.
Alcide walked in then, unannounced, bursting through the door. "Oh, good, I see you all survived."
"Yes, and where were you all night?" Pete asked, lighting a cigarette.
"After telling Warhol I worked in TV, I couldn't get away from him."
That received laughs from almost everyone.
"Good, he likes you. You're coming with us later," Eric said. "Now, let's get this ready."
A few hours later, Eric and his team of directors found themselves at a celebratory lunch, most of it liquid. Surprising to almost everyone, Warhol agreed to design the ad. As it turns out, show an artist the right price and he'll design whatever you want.
Two nights later, Eric found himself wrapped around Sookie once more. He couldn't stop thinking about her.
"What are you doing to me?" His head dipped to her neck as he drew in a breath. His fingers skimmed her thigh.
"I'm not forcing you to be here, you know." Sookie turned to lie on her side, facing him. Her own hand moved up and down his chest.
"Like it's that simple."
"It could be. You could go home to your wife and children."
"I don't want to talk about them."
"What would they think," she wondered aloud, "of what their father does?"
"They would think I provide for them. They have a nice house in the suburbs to live in. Food on the table. Toys to play with. Their mother doesn't have to work. They have everything they need."
Sookie found out that Eric had four children with Aude. While they had married out of necessity, they both grew fond of each other. Their second child was planned. The third was not. The third also happened to be twins.
"Would you provide for them even if your wife ever found out about all the women you've been with?" He'd confessed Sookie hadn't been the only women he'd slept with outside his marriage. He felt compelled to tell her everything about himself.
"I would. I wouldn't abandon them."
She asked Eric a lot of questions about himself over the next several weeks. Their schedules kept them from meeting often but they spent at least two nights together every week for the next month. She wanted to know everything about him it seemed, but she was always vague about herself. No one knew about their affair. The only person who asked if Eric ever saw that blonde from The Factory again was Alcide.
Eric found out she was born in Denmark, in a town only a short boat ride away from the one he originally came from, in Norway. Sookie had also done a lot of traveling. New York was only her latest destination.
He confessed that after immigrating here with his family, he'd never had the chance to travel overseas again.
Every question he asked her only sparked a hundred more. He wanted to know where she found the money to live such a lifestyle if her parents were dead and she wasn't working. It would have been too rude to ask.
He knew he was growing quickly infatuated with her. She never seemed to demand anything from him like so many of the people in his life. All she wanted was his honesty. He gave that to her.
"Do you like advertising?" She asked him, one night after they made love.
"What do you like about it?"
Eric had to think for several moments before he could answer. "Closing the deal, I think. It's very satisfying. The idea pitching."
"You're a big idea man."
"Yes and no," he said. "I'm good at the pitch. The ideas though, I'm not a big outside-the-box thinker. That's what the rest of my team is for."
About a week later, the pair didn't go to the Waldorf for their usual tryst. Sookie brought him back to her apartment. Tara was out for the night, enjoying the fall air. Eric wasn't sure what to expect from it. She was always vague about the things she liked. They didn't go out much together and he felt that to look at her apartment, to see the things she owned, would go a long way toward telling him about her. After all, knowing people was part of his job.
Her apartment was bigger than he expected; tastefully decorated in a combination of modern furniture and classic art, it felt both old and new. The colors were bright and vibrant. There was a lot of white mixed with bold patterns of red, brown and dark blue.
He didn't get the chance to look around much as Sookie dragged him quickly to her bedroom and shut the door. For as much as Eric was known around Mad Ave as skilled in the bedroom department, Sookie was just as much his match. She was a bold lover and knew exactly what to do to drive a man wild.
At the start of a second round of lovemaking she moved on top of him. They moved together as one and when he said he was close, Sookie moved in to capture his lips. They shared a deep kiss and her movements slowed. Her kisses trailed down to his neck where she licked and sucked. Their movements picked up again and she bit down on him, causing him to explode in side her.
Some moments later, as he started coming down from his orgasm, he realized he felt light headed.
Her face was still buried in his neck.
Black spots were starting to appear in his vision. Eric moved his hands between them and pushed her with all his might. Her face wrenched from his neck, and what he saw made his eyes widen in shock. Fangs protruded from what were earlier, perfectly normal looking teeth. They were covered in blood. His blood.
"What the hell are you?!"
Eric didn't wait for an answer as he tried to shove her off. He didn't manage to get very far though. As soon as he sat up he felt dizzy. Sookie pushed him back down on the bed.
"Stop," she said.
"Get the fuck off me!" He tried to move her hand from his chest but it wouldn't budge even an inch. "Jesus, what are you?"
"I'm a vampire."
Eric shook his head and then moaned. The bleeding was making him lightheaded and his neck hurt. "No. No. It's not possible."
He grabbed her by the shoulders and tried to shove her off but Sookie batted his large hands away like they were flies and pinned them to the bed next to his head. He struggled. Sookie had to be careful – she didn't want to accidentally break his wrists.
"I'm sorry, Eric. I thought… I want you to be with me."
"You want me to be a vampire?" He spat.
Sookie sighed. "I'm sorry. It wasn't my intention to traumatize you." She looked down at the bite marks in his neck and back up to his eyes. "You'll thank me some day. You'll like being a vampire."
"No. Sookie!" He locked his eyes with her, pleading.
"It's okay, Eric. Just relax."
When Sookie felt the tension in his arms let out, she released his wrists. She finished emptying his body of blood and replaced it with her own.
Sookie got off him and smoothed her hair down. She went over to her vanity mirror and wiped off the blood on her lips. The heavy curtains that hung above her window were open. Eric hadn't noticed the indoor shutters behind them. She closed the shutters and slid the curtains into place.
She arranged Eric flat on the bed. He looked just like he was sleeping, except he wasn't breathing.
Sookie stepped out of her bedroom and closed the door. Tara was waiting for her.
"How long have you been standing there," she asked.
"Long enough. Did you really think he'd just accept it?"
Sookie shook her head. "Maybe. I don't know. I hoped he would."
"Like you did?"
"I gave him a choice!" Sookie yelled. "He kept coming back."
"Was that before or after you gave him your blood?"
Sookie's eyes narrowed at Tara's implication. "Have you been following him?"
"I was just curious."
Sookie didn't understand why Tara was antagonizing her. Neither of them was given the choice to be a vampire. She'd never met a vampire who had. "I did not influence him." She said. "I glamored him that first night. He didn't remember me." Not entirely, anyway.
Tara shrugged. "Okay." She glanced toward the door. "Are you still planning to head west once he wakes?"
"Yes. There's more room. This city is so congested."
"What will you do there?"
"Train him, first. I need someone strong. Eric looks right for what I need." Sookie was only partially lying to Tara. She didn't want to show her the affection she felt toward Eric. She knew he could be a great vampire. He had the drive for it. And despite Tara's company, Sookie was lonely. She wanted a companion.
Sookie had ambitions though. She was an older vampire and she was thinking of settling somewhere new. Somewhere she could grow and cultivate a business for herself. But she needed someone she could trust implicitly. Someone who could intimidate when she was not there. Eric would fill those shoes completely.
"What about Godfrey?" Tara asked, pulling Sookie away from her thoughts of the future.
Godfrey. Her maker. The thought of him touching Eric made her fangs pop out. "He's far from here," she said. "And Eric is too old for his liking."
Sookie couldn't stop her maker if he should want Eric, but she would do her best to make sure that never happened.
Thoughts of Godfrey brought her back to her own turning. Godfrey had turned a young boy, no more than 13. The boy had grown so despondent that Godfrey had to command him not to hurt himself. When the boy saw Sookie in her village, Godfrey said it was the first feeling of hope his child had in decades. Sookie reminded the boy of his mother. Unfortunately, her turning only ebbed the boy's suffering for a short time. Eventually, the boy caused so much damage that he had to be put down. After that, Godfrey allowed Sookie to go her own way. Once she was given her freedom, Sookie found she could quite enjoy being a vampire.
Sookie also had a rare gift that helped to keep her alive for so long. In her human life it was a curse. Sookie was telepathic. It drove her to solitude while she was human, living on the edge of her village with her family. She couldn't control her telepathy, but being a vampire gave her a much stronger ability. She could still read people, but now she was able to shield herself against the thoughts of others better. She couldn't read vampires at all, except on very rare occasions. She was glad for that. Vampire minds were dark places.
She hoped Eric had a gift when he woke. She thought about all the things she would teach him. Everything that they would do together.
Yes, she was certain. He would be a fine vampire.
Ironically, The Doors, arguably one of the greatest rock bands of the late 60s, never actually played at The Factory, nor has Jim Morrison every been spotted there. Though Mick Jagger was a regular.
The Silver Factory became the Silvery Factory when Andy Warhol saw what designer Billy Name did to his own home and wanted the same look in The Factory. Billy Name is also the one who found the Red Couch.
Thanks for reading!