Third Time’s The Charm: Chapter 1

Charlaine Harris owns almost everything. I own the rest. A huge thanks to FairytaleAmber for her help editing. I owe you big time! 🙂 All remaining mistakes are my own.

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Chapter 1

 

Quinn. What a waste of time. I can’t believe he lied about everything. I learned more about him in a five-minute conversation with Jake than I have over the few months we’ve been seeing each other. It’s not much of a relationship, that’s for sure. We spent one night together. One night. That’s all he’s willing to give me. I think I deserve more than that! He hasn’t even kissed me since I’ve been here. He’s too busy working. Same old story, different day.

Sookie checked the stage, hoping to catch another glimpse of Eric. Now there’s a man who knows how to give me what I need. Why didn’t I try harder to make things work with him? Why is everything so complicated?

Sophie-Anne touched her arm. “Sookie?”

She blinked, erasing the thoughts in her head and focusing on her boss. “Sorry, I got a little … distracted.” She gave her a half smile. “What were you saying?”

“Kentucky and I need to talk. Will you go fetch our missing luggage?”

Sookie nodded and excused herself. She glanced at Andre’s blank face before she left. She shuddered as she thought about what could be churning around in his mind. He’s definitely not thinking about lying boyfriends and longing for exes. That’s for damn sure. She had almost made it to the door when she noticed a tray of wine glasses filled with blood tipping toward her. A shriek left her lips as the syrupy red liquid spilled down the front of her blouse and dripped on the floor.

The server who had been carrying the tray apologized up one side and down another as he bent over to clean up the shards of glass, revealing Frannie with a gleeful smile plastered on her face.

Sookie glowered.

“Oops. Did you get covered in blood, blondie?” Her grin turned into a smirk.

“Did you do that on purpose?”

Frannie shrugged.

I don’t give a rat’s ass whose sister Frannie is. Sookie clenched her hands into fists and stepped to the side, letting a group of servers into the space between them so they could clean up the mess. All in all, it only took about a minute.

She looked up into Frannie’s eyes and whispered, “You’re lucky I’m working.”

“Ooo. I’m scared.” Frannie scoffed. “What are you going to do? Force me to eat possum? Isn’t that what ya’ll eat in whatever small back-woods town you come from?”

Sookie lunged toward her, intent on beating the hell out of her, when someone grabbed her shoulders.

“Babe, what seems to be the problem?”

She spun in Quinn’s arms, focusing her glare on him. “When were you going to tell me you have a bitch for a sister?”

Quinn raised his eyebrows. “Now wait a minute.” He glanced at Frannie and then at Sookie again. “What happened?”

Frannie’s face was the picture of innocence when she said, “Your clumsy girlfriend bumped into that waiter and then she tried to blame me for it! Can you believe it?”

Quinn sighed. “Babe?” He shook his head.

“You actually believe her?” Sookie screeched, getting the attention of half the room. She didn’t care who looked. “That bitch spilled synthetic blood all over me.”

“Watch it. She’s my sister.” Quinn narrowed his eyes and directed her out into the beige service corridor, away from the growing crowd, never releasing his grip on her shoulders.

Frannie followed them.

So much for having a private conversation. “She did it on purpose!” Sookie ground out.

“Why would I do that?” Frannie asked.

Sookie yanked away from Quinn. “Because you found out I’m dating your brother and you obviously don’t think I’m good enough for him.”

Quinn held his hands up to form a time-out. “How do you know each other?”

“We met earlier,” Frannie said. “While she was supposed to be working for those blood-suckers.”

“Don’t you dare talk about my work ethic. I’ve been here for the whole convention, unlike you, who just happens to show up the night before a big event so you can mooch off your brother.”

Quinn frowned. “How do you know that?” he asked, his voice steely and cold.

“Jake told me…” Uh-oh. Shouldn’t have said that. She looked away.

“You asked Jake about me?” His jaw clenched.

“Yeah, I did. Okay? It’s not a crime to try and find out information about someone you’re dating. You haven’t told me anything. You haven’t been honest about anything.”

“Oh, and I suppose you have.” Quinn crossed his arms over his chest.

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“I’ve seen the way Eric looks at you. And you right back.”

“I knew it! You’re nothing but a fang banger!” Frannie interjected.

“He’s… He’s complicated.” Sookie stammered. “Stay out of it, Frannie.” She spat her name out.

“Don’t talk to my sister like that.” Quinn growled, making the hair on her arms stand on end. Frannie sidled up next to her brother, the two of them forming a wall.

Sookie’s blood boiled. “You’re really going to side with her?”

Quinn gave her a condescending look that said, poor simple Sookie. “She’s my family. She’ll always be first.”

“Then you can forget about us. I don’t need this.” She motioned down to her bloodstained shirt. “I’m not going to be second. Especially not to her.”

Quinn didn’t flinch. “So we’re done?” he asked in a flat, matter-of-fact voice.

Sookie nodded. “Yep.” She turned on her heel and walked away, leaving Quinn and Frannie staring after her. She dodged through the kitchen and then made her way toward her room. Her hands shook as she pulled her card key out of her pocket.

With a slight whoosh of air, Eric appeared beside her. “Sookie.”

After she recovered from the initial shock of his arrival, she turned to face him. “What do you want, Eric?” He still wore the black robe with the gold belt. His golden mane of hair spilling over his shoulders. Some of the tension eased out of her shoulders. “I need to change.”

“I saw what happened. She tipped the tray.” He gave her a cool nod.

She sighed. “I figured as much. She’s so horrible.”

A smile tugged up the corner of his mouth. “Looks like you, what’s that expression?” His eyes went up inside his head, pulling the right phrase out of his brain. “Dodged a bullet. Yes?”

Her shoulders sagged. “I guess. He wouldn’t defend me. He wouldn’t even listen.”

Eric nodded and touched her back, soothing her more. “I heard.”

“Great.” She rested her forehead against the door.

“I don’t think there’s anything wrong with you inquiring about his past. Especially when everyone else knows it.” His hand rubbed circles on the small of her back. “You also had the Queen’s attention. She’s interested in our complication.”

“Everyone heard our breakup?” She searched his face, hoping it wasn’t true.

“You weren’t exactly quiet, and we are vampires.” He smiled. “I explained our history to the Queen.”

She tilted her head. “Oh really? What did you tell her?”

“That we have been lovers—”

A sharp laugh escaped her mouth. “Of course you started with that.”

“And that I stayed with you during the witch war, and also that we have exchanged blood on a couple of occasions.” He took an unnecessary breath. “That is the most interesting part of our past, as far as she’s concerned.” He stepped closer to her, and when he spoke again, his breath caressed her ear. “She wants you in the fold. I am already under oath to her, so I am the logical choice.”

“She wants you to turn me into a vampire?” Dread gripped her as she stared into his beautiful face.

Eric laughed, and Sookie frowned. Wait, she doesn’t want me to be a vampire? What does she want? What does being in the fold mean?

“Don’t laugh at me. Tell me what’s going on.” She scowled at him.

“Another exchange. It will solidify our bond.”

“I don’t want to be bonded to you. I don’t want anyone to own me.” She pouted and pulled away from him, bumping into her door.

Eric frowned. “That’s not how it works. Would you rather be bonded to Andre? That’s what he suggested, but I told him I would talk to you, and the Queen agreed I am the more logical choice. You are too valuable to her. She can’t risk losing you to someone else.”

Chills went up her spine. “Not Andre.” She shook her head and her eyes went wide.

“If we are not bonded, you will be forced to drink Andre’s blood.” His eyes clouded over and his jaw tightened.

“I don’t want that.” And neither do you, apparently.

He shook his head.

“Can I change first? My shirt is starting to dry and I’d really like to try and get this stain out.”

Eric stepped away from her and motioned to the door. “Be my guest.”

They walked inside the room together and Eric grimaced as he took in the sight of her roommate’s disheveled things. “She’s been a joy to stay with,” Sookie said. “I’m going to jump in the shower, then we can discuss.”

She left him staring at the pile of things on Carla’s bed.

The synthetic blood had soaked through her blouse and bra and stained her skin. She turned the shower on as she stepped out of her clothes. Her slacks had a few splatters, and only took a few seconds to rinse out, but the shirt would take much longer. Good. That’ll give me time to think.

She hunched over in the tub and turned her attention to her ruddy shirt. Of course the queen would want to have control over me, why didn’t I see that before I agreed to come? Not like I had any other choice. When the queen tells you you’re working for her, you can’t just tell her no. I’m screwed. I’m either bonded to Eric or Andre. She took a deep breath. Would it be so bad to be bonded to Eric? She rubbed a bar of soap across the silky fabric as the warm water pelted her skin. He had always looked out for her, kept her safe, made her feel special, given her presents, and no one had ever made her as happy as he did the weeks he spent with her during the witch war. Maybe being connected to him wasn’t such a bad thing. Especially considering her current situation. Even if it was the best idea, she still had a lot of questions for him.

Wrapped tightly in a towel, she stepped out of the bathroom. Now I need to get dressed. Why didn’t I pick out clothes to change into?

Eric sat on her bed reading the romance book she’d brought from home. His robe had fallen open a little, revealing the milky white skin stretched taut over his chest. His eyes danced when he looked up from the pages. “You enjoy this?”

She blushed. “It’s fun to read, I guess.” Something’s got to keep me warm at night.

He started reading out loud. “She could feel his manhood pressing against her leg, sending a shiver down her spine.” He smiled again.

She swallowed hard and attempted to avoid looking at his manhood, failing miserably. It had been months since she’d had sex. With Quinn. Just thinking about that night made her furious. I trusted him. She shook her head. “I have questions. How does it work?”

Eric lifted one eyebrow and glanced at the page. “I think they’re about to undress and fuck.”

She reached over and grabbed the book out of his hands and put it back on the nightstand, positioning herself right in front of him. “Not the book.” I’ve read that part enough to know they’re going to have sex, not just once, but twice. She hid her smile. “The bond. What will it be like?”

“Oh.” He sat up and became much more serious. “I’ll be able to feel you, you’ll be able to feel me. Especially when we’re near each other.”

“I guess I already feel you,” she said and frowned. “That’s what it is, isn’t it? I never realized it until just now, but I’ve been able to feel you a little since the bombing in Dallas.”

He nodded. “The third bond will make it permanent. It will also be stronger. If you need me, all you have to do is feel it and I’ll be there.”

“And if you need me?”

He smiled and stretched his legs out on either side of where she stood, trapping her. “Then you’ll know and you’ll come to me. You’ll need to come to me.”

“And if the queen wants me to do something?”

“She’ll go through me. Politics.” He shrugged. “I’m your best bet.”

“Can’t we just say we did it?” she whined.

Eric raised his eyebrows. “You think Andre will be satisfied with your word? He’ll want proof.” He caressed the side of her neck.

Sookie’s eyes closed. “Proof.” Proof meant a big ol’ bite mark on her neck.

“He suggested we exchange in front of him, but I requested a more private setting.” His fingers followed the slope of her collarbone and played against the edge of the towel, making her heart race.

Focus! “How will he know you didn’t just feed from me? You’ll heal within seconds.”

“If I smell like you, and you like me, that should be enough.”

The hand she’d been clutching her towel with began to ache. “I need to get dressed.” She couldn’t look at him or think about the way her body hummed whenever he touched her. I just broke up with Quinn and I can’t stop thinking about rubbing against Eric. What’s wrong with me?

“Or you could let go.” He put his hand on top of her white knuckles.

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I know what I would do… On to Third Time’s The Charm: Chapter 2

105 thoughts on “Third Time’s The Charm: Chapter 1

  1. padore says:

    “Let it go, Let it go…” sorry, I just had to burst into song. Eric or Andre….Andre or Eric…hmm, that is so not a difficult decision! As for Quinn and Frannie – good riddance. I never really liked either of them…so no loss. Now, Sookie, just let it go…..

    Like

  2. ozzo says:

    DROP THAT TOWEL!

    Like

  3. kardamon says:

    Mhmmm, if she’s clutching the towel so strong her fingers might get numb and stop working… I wonder what would happen then?
    (oh, btw, she should be using cold water for washing off blood)

    Like

    • So true… I thought synthetic blood might be different enough. 🙂 Yes, those fingers are going to get mighty tired of holding on. Especially when Eric is so persuasive! 🙂 Thanks so much for reviewing!

      Like

  4. murgatroid98 says:

    Oh yeah. Let that towel go. You know you’d rather be with Eric. Love it.

    Like

  5. msbuffy says:

    🙂 I think we’re all on the same page.
    (peroxide will get the blood out better than anything else!)

    Like

    • Peroxide is my go to, but hard to find in a hotel. And yes, we’re all on the same page. She needs to let go. Eric will take good care of her, that’s for sure. 🙂 Thanks for reviewing!

      Like

      • Adriana says:

        oh, I didn’t know about peroxide. Do you mean regular hydrogen peroxide? I have a couple of items that need that.

        OH, and don’t think I fell off the page. Tne towel has to come off and she needs to R-E-L-A=X. She’s wound up tighter than a ball of yarn, she needs to unleash her sex kitten Sookie and go for it.

        Like

      • LOL, she needs to let go and embrace the future that waits for her (Eric!). It’ll happen, just you wait. 🙂

        Yes, regular ol’ hydrogen peroxide will take out blood stains, just so long as they haven’t been washed and dried with hot anything. 🙂

        Like

  6. theladykt says:

    Frannie should have gotten a slap in the face to start. Witch. But Quinn was never good enough for her.

    Like

  7. cyn says:

    All I can say is thank you! !!! You alway make me happy when I get my email alerts from you. Go team Eric.

    Like

  8. valady1 says:

    At times like this, we must come to the inevitable conclusion that towels are highly over-rated. Let it Go Sookie (that song, my granddaughter has the CD from Frozen and we listen to it over and over and and and..you get the idea)..Glad that Frannie did the bitch thing early so Quinn is no longer in the picture.

    Like

    • I figured Frannie should be good for something, right? The role seemed to suit her perfectly. And yes. Towels are highly overrated. Who need ’em? Not Sookie, that’s for damn sure. Don’t worry, she’ll smarten up! Thanks so much for reviewing!

      Like

  9. shoegirl01 says:

    Let it go! (And yes I now have that song as an earworm!)

    Like

    • I’m so sorry! It seems to be the theme song for this chapter and it was TOTALLY unintentional. I’ve yet to see Frozen, but I still somehow know all the words to it. 🙂 I think you’ll like what comes next! 😉 Thanks for reviewing!

      Like

  10. patsy1965 says:

    This going to be interesting. I have always had a problem with SA wanting her to bond to Andre or Eric for that matter. I’ve always wished CH’s Sookie had a bit more backbone, smarts and power. (Both supernatural and human power 😉 ) Ok, I’m ready for the next bit and I too would know what I’d do…:)

    Like

    • I thought it was a smart move by SA, getting Sookie to be loyal to her queendom seems like a good move, but why suggest Andre? Ew. I thought it would be better for Eric to have a little say in the matter BEFORE it was forced on her. Of course, you already know by now that I’m all for a bond between them, so I didn’t think much of it when I read the books. What bothered me the most was how much she hated it and resisted in the first place. She’ll have plenty of power and backbone though, don’t you worry! 🙂 Thanks so much for reviewing, I always look forward to hearing from you, Patsy. 🙂

      Like

  11. FairytaleAmber says:

    She couldn’t have been clutching that tightly. 🙂 Come on Eric is in your hotel room reading an excerpt from a romance novel to you while wearing something scandalous. Not too many options for me. Brain turn off, libido turn on! hehehe! Can’t wait to see what Sookie chooses…

    Like

  12. chileah says:

    I hope your sookie see’s this as a good thing and not feel trapped after which was a main problem with her accepting Eric after the bonding she felt trapped instead of it done out of love.

    Sookie honey let go of the towel Eric will make it all better for you.. Just let go of the towel…

    Like

    • You know my Sookie is smarter than book Sookie, and this is no exception. 🙂 What I didn’t like in the books was that Sookie didn’t get a say in the matter. It was forced on her, and this kind of is too, but at least she’s aware of what’s happening. I guess the way I look at it is that she’s already neck deep in vampire affairs, why would she expect to not be tied to them one way or another?

      BTW, Sookie’s going to do the right thing. Just you wait. 😉 Thanks so much for reviewing!

      Like

  13. racecz5 says:

    Good start, I’m looking forward to the blood exchange!

    Like

  14. ashmo2000 says:

    I know what I’d do! In fact Eric wouldn’t had to come to me, I’d probably be secretly stalking him.

    Like

  15. ericluver says:

    Let the damn towel go you silly woman! Might as well make the blood exchange more enjoyable *waggles eyebrows* 😀

    Like

    • Sooooo much more enjoyable. Why do you think Eric requested a private discussion? 🙂 Sookie’s brain will kick in, and then she’ll know that she’s doing the right thing. 🙂 Thanks so much for reviewing!

      Like

  16. […] Third Time’s The Charm: Chapter 1 […]

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  17. nan says:

    Sookie….”throw in the towel!!!” Perfect figurative language for the chapter. LOL

    Like

  18. kinnik says:

    Nice! I can’t wait for what comes next. So much better than the original version! Thank you!

    Like

  19. lostinspace33 says:

    Mmmm…me too! 😉

    Like

  20. yaffom says:

    So far I’m liking this version much better. Sookie, let go! Great chapter! Looking forward to the next update.

    Like

  21. askarsgirl says:

    Omg that was so awesome! Eric and the romance novel was hilarious! And I’m happy the kitty got dumped right away! I can only handle so many “babes” before I go mental!!
    Just do it Sookie, you know you want to…😃 well I want to but that just ain’t gonna happen😉
    Can’t wait for the next chapter!!

    Like

    • I laughed as I wrote that part…Eric reading a trashy romance. I’d love to see that. 🙂 “Babe!” is more than I can take. Seriously, what a douche.

      Now, on to better things. Sookie’s going to make the right choice, just you wait and see. 🙂

      Like

  22. meridiean says:

    Actually I was thinking, “Let it go, let it go, let it go, let it go…” from Aerosmith’s “What It Takes”…………….still, we all trust Sookie to do the right thing…

    Like

  23. Adriana says:

    My only complaint is that you do not update daily. You’re my crack.

    Like

  24. 888spike says:

    Yum yum you have another fabulous story for us 🙂

    Like

  25. YvonnAd says:

    Hi,
    I would suggest following the advice of another queen (frozen)— to just LET IT GO!!! WOW you just gave me new meaning to that phrase. I love it.
    Damn Quinn. And do you have to wait 24hrs to be with Eric just because you just broke up with Quinn. I mean come on they hardly had a relationship. Hehehe. Sorry slutty side of me said – do it, do him, do him now. J/K. I know our Sookie has morals.
    So excited for the next chappy.
    Why is Eric so darn sexy?
    Thank you,
    YvonnA

    Like

  26. gyllene says:

    It seems the consensus is that Sookie needs to let go of her towel. Although I don’t like that Eric and Sookie are being forced to bond; I do like that they get to talk about it beforehand and that Sookie knows what’s going on. I can’t wait to see how this turns out.

    Like

    • I can see why the Queen wants her though, and being bonded is a sure way to keep her loyal. I never thought being bonded to Eric was such a bad thing, and I think Sookie may just come around to my way of thinking. 🙂 Sookie’s going to make the right choice and EVERYONE will be happier for it. Thanks so much for reviewing!

      Like

  27. redjane12 says:

    Ugh Frannie and ugh Quinn… Seriously what was Sookie thinking dating that douche… Terrible taste in men, Viking excepted of course…

    Like

  28. Loftin says:

    Yes!! Drop the damn towel…like it’s on fire! Let go and get lost in him. You can do it!! Lol!

    Like

  29. luvvamps says:

    You can’t stop there! I need more! Please?

    Like

  30. honulvr says:

    Ooh! Love it! Can’t stand ‘hey babe’ the tiger, not quite as bad as Bill, or Sam, but annoying enough for an outloud expletive whenever he appears. At least we never had to suffer through a TB version of him. So glad I’m not watching that anymore, saw some comments about second episode. Horrendous!! How can anyone think that the HEA is Bill F’n Compton after all he’s done? Actually, at this point I hate TB Sookie so much I want the ending to be Bill turning her and making her his blood slave/child till the end of time.

    Like

    • LOL. I’m still watching TB and I can’t really figure out why. I’m totally uninterested in what happens to Sookie. At this point, it’s more of an experiment to see how the writers are going to top off the big pile of steaming shit they’ve buried themselves under all these seasons.

      Babe! is more than I can handle too. What was the point of Quinn again? I can’t seem to find one in the books. So lame. He had to go right off the bat… now she can move on to BIGGER and better things. 😉

      Like

  31. jules3677 says:

    Excited to read another of your stories. Eric appears quite accommodating in this one. Frannie is a pest. Pleased that Quinn is no longer part of Sookie’s life. Looking forward to reading the next chapter.

    Like

    • Thank you! I think you’ll REALLY enjoy the next chapter… Eric is very accommodating as long as he gets what he wants, and he’s about to get everything. 🙂 I’ll post tomorrow! 🙂 Thanks for reviewing!

      Like

  32. Cyndi says:

    I love it when you give us long chapters. I love the way you are going with this story. Thanks.

    Like

    • Compared to the tiny chapters in Stay this must seem to go on forever! 🙂 Finding chapter breaks is hard sometimes, especially when I switch POVs, which is why these are longer…all Sookie, all the time. 🙂

      Thank you so much for the love, I always appreciate it! 🙂

      Like

  33. geenakmom says:

    Drop the towel Sookie! 🙂

    It’s not like its a hard decision….. Eric or Andre…… Duh! Eric!

    Like

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