Charlaine Harris owns almost everything. I own the rest.
This chapter has spoilers for an event that happens in Definitely Dead (the 6th book), except I gave Sookie the opportunity to respond to Bill’s betrayal properly.
Any mistakes are my own. If you find them, message me and I’ll fix them (didn’t know ya’ll signed up to be my betas did you?)
SPOV (in Eric’s body)
I woke up alone. I listened and couldn’t hear anything in the house. I moved upstairs and heard a sniff just outside the door leading to the backyard. I opened it and found Eric, staring at the sky crying. I scanned the yard and couldn’t find anyone here, so I asked him if he was alright. He tried to hide his tears, which is when I assumed that he was embarrassed about crying. He changed the subject by asking about last night, and then had the audacity to insinuate that we had sex. Apparently he didn’t remember anything about what happened…about how I had cared for him.
There wasn’t even a hint of desire in Eric’s body last night, what with all the puke, but it was a different story now. I could feel the heat from the sun still radiating off of my skin, and I had the urge to hold him and sink his fangs into my warm flesh. I needed a distraction, and went inside to grab my trusty bottle of cold synthetic blood to keep his libido and hunger in check. Eric helpfully suggested that I warm the blood to make it taste better. I was grateful that he didn’t understand that I was drinking it cold on purpose, because I really didn’t want to have to explain.
I thought about grabbing another bottle, but remembered the wet sheets in the washer and rushed to the laundry room. Eric followed me and then proceeded to stare at me like I was an alien.
“Are those my sheets?” he asked.
“Yes.” Whose sheets would they be if not his? Why was he looking at me like that? It was clear that I had made a mistake and washed them wrong, but he didn’t leave me much choice last night when he threw up all over them. What was I supposed to do? Just leave him in a pool of vomit? I had hoped that he would have been grateful for last night, not wake up and criticize the way I did his laundry. I was getting angrier by the second.
I decided to focus my energy on tidying up his room, since I had not thought to make the bed when I woke up. I saw my dress hanging over the shower rod, and handed it to him. He actually had the nerve to complain about it being stiff, and that’s when I lost it.
“Because, Eric, I hung it up to dry after I washed it by hand. If you don’t like it, maybe you shouldn’t have downed half a bottle of tequila and thrown up all over the place last night!”
“I wouldn’t have, if you hadn’t been such a bitch!” he screamed.
“Oh, so this is MY fault?” I screamed back. “Because I wanted to clean the floors, change the sheets, clean my body, and shop for you. No. You know what? Fuck you Eric.” I could just hear Gran’s disapproving voice about how that kind of language was not suitable for a young lady, but damn it, I was mad and I needed to get away from him.
After everything I did for him last night, this is how he treats me? I chastised myself for having unrealistic expectations. What had I expected him to say? ‘Thank you Sookie.’ Yep. That summed it up. All I wanted him to say was thank you. I definitely had a personal interest in making sure my body was safe, but I did more than make him safe. I made him comfortable.
I couldn’t walk fast enough, and once I was out of his neighborhood and on the main road back to Bon Temps, I thought about the time that Bill showed me how he could hover above the ground. I wondered if Eric could hover too, so I willed his body off of the ground and squealed in surprise when he shot straight into the air. It took me a few terrifying seconds to learn how to control his body in flight, and then nothing else mattered. It was like the wind around his face blew the worry and anger right out of me. I stayed close to the road so I wouldn’t lose my way, and thoroughly enjoyed the view of the property surrounding my house.
Landing was much more difficult than I anticipated, and felt a sickening crack in one of his legs. Pain shot through his body, and I crumpled to the ground, and took a sharp breath when the pain subsided as his leg healed. I often wondered if vampires felt pain, and now I knew that they did, they just hid it well.
I wasn’t sure if it was the flight or the injury, but I suddenly felt very hungry. I retrieved the spare key I kept in the potting shed and unlocked the back door. I warmed up a bottle of blood and made my way out to the front porch, sitting on the swing while I thought about what had happened at Eric’s house. Why would he thank me? He was Eric after all. Why was I so disappointed? The more I thought about it, the more I realized that I was glad he didn’t know how much I did for him, because then he would know. He would know that I… I couldn’t think like that. I shook his head in frustration and thought another little flight might help clear my head. Just as I lifted the bottle to take the last sip, I realized I wasn’t alone.
“Bill!” I choked, sputtering blood down the front of Jason’s shirt.
“Is she here?” Bill’s voice was cool and smooth.
“Not exactly…” I started, deciding that Bill should know what was going on. I never got the chance to finish my thought.
“Did she spread her legs as easily for you as she did for me?” Bill sneered.
I stared at him with Eric’s mouth hanging open. “What?” I couldn’t keep the hurt out of his voice.
Bill laughed cruelly. “It wasn’t my idea, I am just a humble servant, dutifully following the Queen’s orders…”
“The queen’s orders…” I trailed off, trying to make sense of everything. Bill seemed to be talking to himself more than to me.
“The Queen’s pet was really forthcoming with the details, all except the part where Sookie was an inexperienced social pariah.”
“Social pariah?” I repeated feeling anger build deep inside Eric’s body. His hands were clenched into fists.
“That wasn’t the worst part. It was the inexperience that was really frustrating. She has an amazing body, and has no idea how to use it. I guess she was lucky that I was assigned to procure her, otherwise, who knows if she would have ever had an opportunity to fuck.”
That was the final straw. I grabbed him by the throat and squeezed hard enough to make him stop talking. Eric was stronger than him, outweighed him, and was fueled by anger that ran so deep that I could not control what happened next.
I threw him into the driveway, where he landed in the gravel with a heavy thud. Bill tried to get up, but I moved faster, pinning his chest down with Eric’s foot.
Bill’s voice was gravely when he said, “Eric…?”
I fell on top of him, pinning his arms on either side of his body with Eric’s knees and sitting Eric’s full weight on his torso. Eric’s hands balled into fists again, and his eyes filled with tears. “I. Am not. Eric. I was trying to tell you…”
A look of sheer misery passed over his face as he finally heard me. “Sookie?” I nodded and blinked Eric’s bloody tears out of his eyes. Bill’s eyes softened and he said, “Oh Sookie, it all makes so much sense now. When I saw you last night I thought something was wrong, but I wanted to respect your wishes…”
“Oh, now you’re going to respect me? Are those the queen’s orders too…or did you just want to pity fuck me again?” Eric’s fist hovered over Bill’s face.
“Please let me finish,” Bill whimpered.
“There is nothing you can say,” I said as I punched him in the mouth. “Ever.” Punch. “Again.” Punch. He opened his mouth to say something and I reared back and screamed, “NEVER AGAIN!” Both fists fell then, landing with satisfying wet thuds as Bill’s face began to bleed. I couldn’t stop hitting him, even though Eric’s fists ached.
It was only when I felt someone touching Eric’s shoulders that I focused his eyes. Eric was standing behind me with a look of pity on my face. “Sookie,” Eric said quietly, “he’s not worth it. Come inside.”
Eric’s hands fell limply by his sides. I blinked sending another stream of bloody tears down Eric’s cheeks and saw Bill’s face begin to reform under the layer of his blood. “I never want to see you again, ever in my life,” I whispered. “Ever.” I stood up and did not look back.
I slumped Eric’s shoulders against the front door, feeling the rage seep out of his body, only to be replaced with the agony that comes with betrayal. Tears continued to streak his face, and his body shook with sobs. Eric knocked quietly on the door, “Sookie, please let me in.” I opened the door for him. He didn’t say another word, he just went down the hall and into the bathroom in my bedroom.
“Come with me. You need a nice warm bath,” Eric said, gently taking my hand. He led me down the hallway and pushed me into the steamy bathroom. “I’ll give you some privacy.” He gave me a weak smile and then closed the door behind him.
The bath was wonderfully hot, and as I folded his body into the small tub, I could feel the tension leave his neck. I was still angry and hurt, but the more I thought about it, the more grateful I was that I found out about Bill’s deceit now, rather than later. I had been so naïve!
Fresh tears spilled down Eric’s face, tingeing the water pink. He called me an outcast, and implied that my inexperience in bed had been intolerable! How could he be so cruel?
I think the thing that hurt the most was the fact that I didn’t see it coming. Perhaps his silent thoughts were not such a blessing after all. I had never let anyone in my heart like him, and it hurt like hell to have it cut from the inside.
Eric knocked on the door, “Sookie? Are you alright in there?” I didn’t say anything. He waited for a few seconds, and then went on. “Listen, I’m sorry I was such an ungrateful dick earlier. I…I’m sorry.” Sounded like he had been talking to Pam. “Thank you for taking care of me. I have no idea how you did what you must have done last night, and I am very grateful. I should have told you earlier. I’m sorry.”
I smiled despite my fragile emotional state. I heard his footsteps retreat into the kitchen. He was rifling through the fridge.
When I came out of the bathroom wrapped in a towel, I noticed that Eric had put out clothes for me on my bed. It was only a t-shirt and sweat pants, but it made me smile. I didn’t have the energy to pick up the blood-splattered clothes in the bathroom, so I left them there.
“Thanks for bringing clothes for me…” I said trying not to startle Eric, who had my head tucked inside the fridge looking for food. He had changed too, into my favorite long flannel nightgown.
“It’s the least I could do,” Eric said pulling out a jar of pickles.
“Don’t go overboard with the pickles, my back will kill you in a few hours…too much salt.”
“Oh. I don’t really see anything that looks edible.”
“I’ll make you some eggs and bacon,” I offered pulling a cast iron pan out of the oven.
“You don’t need to take care of me anymore. Especially after what happened… Do you want to talk about it?”
“No.” I turned his back to him, trying to pull it together before I started crying again. “It’s not a big deal. I’ll show you how to do it so you can cook for yourself.”
I lined up the ingredients on the counter and explained, step by step, how to prepare eggs and bacon. “Oh, I just remembered, I made biscuits a few days ago, they’re on the top shelf on the right. You’ll want a couple of those.”
Eric leaned into the fridge and said, “Where on the top shelf? I don’t see biscuits!”
I pushed past him and found the container where I had put them. “I wouldn’t just put biscuits in the fridge loose! They go stale too fast!” Eric shrugged and popped the container open. “They need to be warmed up.”
“Don’t let me do that…I burned the bread at my house.”
“I wondered what that smell was! How did you manage that?”
Eric looked sheepish. “I didn’t read your note very carefully. I thought it said to ‘nuke’ the bread for a few minutes.”
I couldn’t hold in a laugh. “You’re lucky you didn’t set off the smoke alarms!”
“Why do you think all the windows were open?” Eric laughed too.
“Hand me a plate, will ya?” I said, gesturing to the cupboard over the sink.
I slid his food onto the plate and put it on the table for him. He sat down and looked at me expectantly. I figured I should probably eat with him, so I warmed up a bottle of blood, noting that it was the next to last one in the fridge. I added it to my shopping list, and filled up a glass of water for Eric. I sat down next to him and watched him devour the simple meal I had prepared for him.
“Sookie, that was delicious. Thank you.” The words sounded forced, and we both noticed it. “I really need to get used to saying that. Thank you!” He laughed again and then patted my belly. “I’m full.”
As much as I hated to admit it, it was really nice to have company, especially after my confrontation with Bill. Eric and I stared at each other, trying to figure out what to do now. It was the middle of the night. I definitely wasn’t ready to be alone, so I said, “Want to watch a movie? I could use a good laugh.”
Eric nodded and followed me into the front room. “I’m a little food drunk, so I may fall asleep.”
“Better than drunk-drunk!” I teased.
“Would you believe I was trying to pay tribute to Callisto?” Eric asked, raising my eyebrows hopefully. I let out a burst of laughter and shook his head. “Didn’t think so…”
I popped a movie into my DVD player and settled into the opposite end of the couch from where Eric was sitting. I had to move the coffee table farther away from the couch since I couldn’t stretch out Eric’s long legs with the table where it was.
About half way through the movie, Eric slumped against me. His breathing was slow and even and my skin was flushed and warm with sleep. I paused the movie and lifted Eric up and carried him to my bed, tucking him safely under the covers. He smiled sleepily and murmured another ‘Thank You’ before diving back into a deep sleep.
I closed all the blinds in the house and locked the doors before I finished watching the movie, and then I flipped through the channels watching infomercials for a while. Eventually, I started to feel the pull towards sleep as the sun made its way to the horizon. I was reminded of Bill as I climbed in his hidey-hole, and I cried one last time. I was glad that this night was over and I would be able to turn my brain off all day long. Being dead to the world had never felt so good.
This story is well on its way to being my most reviewed story, and I can’t tell you how much I love that! Every review encourages me to write, so keep ’em coming.