**THIS STORY IS COMPLETE**
It still surprised me. After several months of rising with Sookie clutched to me, it still hadn’t become something I took for granted. Not that Sookie was prone to letting sunset slip by her notice, even when she’d been swamped with errands and chores and occasional day work, she always did her best to be by my side… There had only been a handful of nights that I didn’t rise to her being with me or a ringing phone. We both liked it that way… In light of our Twilight Zone experiences, even when she’d been carrying a grudge about an infrequent disagreement, she made sure to swallow her pride enough to be with me at sunset so that I wouldn’t think we were experiencing another ‘skip’.
Judging by how completely warm I was, Sookie had been with me for a while… I wrapped my arm around her shoulder to pull her closer and something immediately felt ‘off’… Even though her hair was damp from a shower, she still smelled like Alcide.
She hummed quietly, not quite awake. “When did you get home?” That’s what I was afraid of…
“This morning.” We hadn’t been apart for longer than an hour of my nights in over a week.
Her head jerked up to look at me and her terrified facial expression was just as disappointing as how repulsed she was to see me… the feeling was faint… too faint… as though our bond wasn’t complete…
She shot off of the bed, taking the sheet with her to cover her body. “What the hell! Cover yourself up! Where am I? What the fuck do you think you’re doing!?” Her hair had been cut short enough that it didn’t cover her neck and she was thinner than Mine. I wasn’t fond of either look.
I left the bed to go to our closet and pull on a pair of jeans… and then took her little robe over to her. “We were snuggling in our bed, Sookie.”
“Our bed? You sleazy shitheel… I was just starting to think I could trust you! Where am I!?”
“200 Hummingbird Lane. In our bedroom.” I envied My Sookie for being able to disconnect from the circumstances entwined in the still unexplained events. I found myself curious about every version of our lives and no matter the situation, I never failed to think of the various Sookies with regard. It wasn’t uncommon for her to yell and berate them. It had gone on for a while before she admitted that she hated skipping… and that she considered it her punishment for complaining about telepathy. She explained, it was bad enough to be telepathic, but skipping was everyone’s problem.
“I DON’T HAVE A BEDROOM WITH YOU!!! Ohmygod! Where’s Alcide? What did you do to Alcide?”
“I’m not sure. I only just rose myself. He was supposed to be taking you out for errands today. It’s likely that he’s upstairs.”
“Yes. Errands. You wanted to have lunch with Halleigh about getting some input on Hunter’s curriculum and you had tentative plans to go to Tara’s shop and see about Fangtasia uniforms. You and Pam have decided that Fangtasia needs boundaries. Well, you said ‘boundaries’. Pam said ‘style’.”
“Why would I care what the fangbangers look like? And you think Alcide was going to take me? How the hell was he going to do that from Jackson, jackass? He’s not due back until tonight.”
“Why was he in Jackson?”
“Business… So his dad says, but we’re pretty sure that he just wanted for him to run into Deb… You know what… I’m not… Why am I here?”
“You thought you were snuggling up to Alcide?”
“Why wouldn’t I? We’ve been together for months!” Not funny… and much worse than finding her to be with Compton. I much preferred the versions of Us where Sookie and I were together.
“How did you find yourself dating Alcide Herveaux?”
She growled and finally started stabbing her arms into her robe. “You know how! This isn’t funny! I don’t…”
“Shhhh… If he’s home, you’re likely to frighten Hunter.”
“Hunter is…” Knowing what the fuck was going on (at least in part) when she obviously didn’t, I gave up and held my hand out to her…
She took a step away from me. “You’re high if you think I’m going to hold your hand!”
She might not have been My Sookie, but she was full enough of the same fight that I chuckled at her. “Suit yourself. Follow me. If Alcide isn’t upstairs, then we’ll call him.”
“What. The. Fuck!? Why would you go to all the trouble of bringing me here and then call my fiancé? What are you, retarded?”
“No, but this isn’t the first time this has happened to Us. However, it would be the first time that it’s happened to just you.”
“You’re no less confused than you were the first time it happened, but in all honesty, I’m quite concerned about the health of Your Alcide if he woke up naked with My Sookie.”
“Seriously? What the hell does that even mean? I hate the way you talk to me like I’m an idiot.”
“I’m sorry if you think I’m belittling you. I was just going to offer some proof that I’m not being a ‘sleazy shitheel’. I’ve had this happen several times in the past. Sookie and I blame your Faerie heritage and my Vampirism. It’s happened to Sophie-Ann and your cousin as well. I suppose you could say that lines get crossed from time to time. It will straighten itself out.”
She started laughing wryly. “Faerie?… Cousin?… You promised to give me a break. You promised that you’d lay off now that I’m engaged… and the baby… I can’t believe you.”
“Baby?” Another breeding Sookie?
“FUCK! Yes, baby! Alcide and I told you two weeks ago! You knew before my own brother.”
“What about Adele? I’m sure she’s excited.”
“You son of a bitch!” She was crying before she reached me, punching and kicking with everything she could muster…
She was moving so erratically that it was difficult to get a hold on her to stop her. “Sookie, calm down. What did I say?”
She sobbed, “You know what you said!”
“Is your Gran gone?”
“You know she is!”
“No, I don’t. I couldn’t possibly know that anymore than I knew that you’re engaged and pregnant… How did she die?”
“Rene… Because I was with Bill…” It would figure since we hadn’t encountered another version where Bill was involved and Adele was still alive.
“This might be hard for you to comprehend, but she’s upstairs.” Judging by her happy and dutiful mood, Adele was tooling around the kitchen preparing their supper.
“I didn’t think you could be so mean… that’s horrible…”
“Let’s go upstairs. I’m sure you’ll enjoy her cooking again while we explain, yes?”
She insisted on showering before she would go upstairs… leading to questions as to why all of her normal toiletries were in place… and then more interrogation about her clothing being in a dresser she’d never seen…
Hunter’s dragon Pillow Pal and fleece blanket sitting neatly on the sofa in the sitting area gave her pause as well… Just as much as emerging from the closet in Hunter’s rarely used farm themed bedroom.
It was only once we were in the hallway that things became familiar enough to her that she looked at me again, shock written on her face in deep lines.
As soon as we’d opened the door to the ‘apartment’ I could smell and hear that Adele was cooking and it was only a matter of time before it hit Sookie… she was still staring at me when it did, despite her earlier crying fit. She started shaking her head as her eyes filled again. She whispered, ‘No…’
I nodded, offering my hand again… this time she took it…
Having her hand made it easier to catch her when she fainted the moment we reached the kitchen and she saw Adele standing over a pan of fried chicken… Adele turned in just enough time to see me catch Sookie.
“My stars! Eric? What’s wrong with her?”
“She’s a little overwhelmed. This isn’t Our Sookie…”
“It’s happening again?”
“So it seems… You were murdered by Rene Lanier in her version too.”
“Awww, the poor thing… seeing a ghost… No wonder she’d get the vapors… What else is different for her?”
“She’s engaged to Alcide and carrying his child.”
She laughed. “Really? Her and Alcide? That’s hilarious.” At least she found something funny about it.
“Has he already left for the night?”
“No, he took Hunter to the store with him for me. We’re out of sugar. Can’t have fried chicken without sweet tea, not when y’all don’t let me make it often.”
“Well, it should be entertaining to see him arrive…”
She covered her mouth to hide that she was struggling to not laugh. “Should we try calling him? Or Sookie?”
I thought about it for a moment… but before I had the chance to agree with the suggestion, the wall phone began ringing, making us both smile.
Since I was holding Sookie upright, Adele went to answer, laughing. “Sookie Emporium.”
I heard Sookie laugh at the greeting. “Is there an abundance of Sookies again?”
“Yes ma’am. We’re having a two for one sale. This one fainted when she saw me. Where are you?”
“I’m with Alcide on the way to Bon Temps… I woke up in his bed… Is Eric where he’s supposed to be?”
“Yes he is… but… You’re… you’re engaged to Alcide… and pregnant.”
“I heard… what a riot!”
Adele gave a little laugh. “That’s what I said. Eric’s not laughing though… How is poor Alcide?”
“He thinks I’m having a nervous breakdown… Eric is a ‘four letter word’ at their house…”
“…At least you didn’t faint when you woke up with him… Or did you?”
“Me? Are you kidding? We’ll be there in just a few minutes.”
It took a few minutes, but Sookie was just starting to regain consciousness enough to cling to Adele and tell her how much she’d missed her. It was depressing… just like it had been the other times.
I heard Alcide’s truck rumble up the driveway and before he was in sight, he called from the foyer, “Is this some kind of twisted Vampire joke? How the hell did my house phone call my cell four times?”
Sookie left the kitchen slowly with Adele and I close behind and went directly to her guard… She wrapped her arms around his neck and practically climbed the poor confused asshole. “You have no idea how much I missed you.”
“Uh… yeah… two hours is a long time… What the hell got into you?”
Hunter came to me after putting the sugar on the table and had me lift him so that he could whisper, “Wrong Sookie?” All I could do was nod at my perceptive little friend.
Sookie lifted her face from his neck to give him a confused look. “You’ve been gone for two days…”
“Uh… no… as much as I’d like to forget that you had me help pick out fangbanger uniforms earlier, I spent the whole damn day with you…”
Sookie cut his answer short by kissing him… or trying to… Alcide wasn’t exactly cooperative… and I was pretty sure that it wasn’t just because I was standing there either. It wasn’t nearly as amusing as I thought it would be. She made it difficult, but he finally managed to pry her away from himself. “Are you trying to get me killed?” He wasn’t afraid of me.
“That’s not funny!”
“No shit!… Eric, could you do something with her?”
“I could, but she’s your problem. My Sookie is on her way from Shreveport. She woke up from her nap in your bed.”
“No. Fucking. Way.”
“This one is engaged to you.”
“Uhhhhh. No she’s not.”
Sookie slapped him, but not nearly as hard as Mine could have. “That’s the same thing your dad said when we told him! You giant asshole!”
I held my hand out to shake his. “Nice to meet you, Giant Asshole. I’m Sleazy Shitheel.”
He snorted, “This is one of those things… She’s got the wrong guy… Me?”
“It seems like it. The calls to your phone were My Sookie because she woke in your bed before you returned from a business trip. You’re bringing her home.”
He actually looked like he’d been ‘paused’ somehow, frozen for a moment before he turned to her. “Where was I?”
She groaned, “Jackson… Your dad sent you to supervise some stupid surveying gig… but when you got there, Debbie was waiting for you at the apartment. Your dad set it up.”
He started laughing. It was no secret that Jackson Herveaux was angry that Alcide had broken up with Debbie before she could get him abjured or killed, but the Jackson we knew was ‘shitting kittens’ that his son was dating a witch, not a telepath. “That sounds like something he’d pull.”
“What are you talking about? It’s something he actually did… This isn’t funny.”
“Calm down. His Sookie and Your…” He shook his head and started laughing. “Sorry… I can’t say it. They’re on the way. Everything’ll be fine…”
“FINE!? This. Is. Not. FINE! I woke up with Eric! ”
“AND!? We’ve been together for six months and all you have to say is ‘and’? I have no idea what I did… what HE did!” As though I didn’t already have an idea what she thought of the me she knew, that would’ve solidified it. Sleazy shitheel.
Alcide rolled his eyes. “Cool your damn jets… He hasn’t been up long enough for either one of you to do something you’d regret.”
She glared at him for a moment, but didn’t seem to be calming down at all. “You expect me to believe that another me and another you are going to come walking in that door…”
“Yeah… color me retarded, but since you know damn good and well that your grandmother wouldn’t be screwing with you, I think you need to go park your ass in the kitchen and wait for them to get here.”
She became weepy again. “I can’t believe you. This is… are you having second thoughts? Because this is a really shitty way to chicken out.”
Hunter giggled and whispered to me, “She’s not using her shields…”
Sookie balked, staggering away and putting her back into the wall. “You… you’re a… a…”
He grinned, more amused by the situation than he should’ve been. “T e l e p a t h. Yep.” He’d taken his time saying telepath as though he was teaching her a new word. Little wise-ass… He was spending too much time with Pam.
She gasped, “You poor baby!”
“Nuh-uh! You tell me all the time that I’m way luckier than you were. You should listen to them. Eric wouldn’t lie to you.”
Her look became angry again, directing it at me. “You son of a bitch! Where did you get him!? WHAT, you figured you couldn’t have me so you’d go shopping for another mind reader! That’s horrible! What did you do to his parents?”
Adele had been watching, staying out of the conversation and waiting for Sookie to calm down, but when Sookie lashed out at me again Adele was finished with being a spectator. She grabbed Sookie by the ear and yanked her towards the kitchen. Alcide, Hunter and I were exchanging amused looks when we heard her order Sookie onto a chair.
Hunter stayed in my lap and watched Adele pour a tall glass of iced tea. Sookie’s eyes filled when Adele set it down in front of her. “Sookie, Alcide was right. You should cool your jets… How did you meet Eric?”
“I don’t… I told you when I…”
Adele gave her the smile that Pam said could calm a Were out of a shift during a full moon. “This weirdness has happened before. It isn’t a dream… For us, our reality is that I suggested you go to Fangtasia to try and find someone to help figure out that business with Dawn and Maudette to keep Jason out of jail. You talked to Eric and y’all came up with a plan that helped you figure it all out and you two have been together ever since… Now, how do you know Eric?”
Sookie studied the ice in her glass before taking a long drink. “I uh, I went to Fangtasia like that, but the cops came before I could talk to anyone but the bartender about anything.”
Adele nodded. “And Rene killed me?”
“That’s happened in another version too, if it makes you feel any better. How did you end up meeting Alcide? Was he hired to be your guard?”
She shrugged. “Sort of… So you met Bill?”
“So I was sort of on again/off again with Bill… He kinda disappeared so Eric hired me to find him because Bill was doing some project for the queen… Turns out he got kidnapped by his maker, but Alcide was who Eric found to take me to Jackson to find Bill.”
“So you and Alcide went to Jackson and found Bill…”
“Yeah. A lot of stuff happened. Hell, I got staked and Eric had to heal me. It was bad enough that I don’t get a tan there yet… Anyway, Eric brought me home because Debbie, Alcide’s girlfriend at the time, showed up and started making trouble… When Alcide brought my suitcases and stuff to me because we left before I could pack, he stuck around to help me out because I got pretty messed up. We kind of got ambushed when we got back to the house. Alcide and I have been together ever since and Eric has been a huge thorn in my side.” A thorn? As opposed to a stake?
“What do you mean a huge thorn?”
“He was just kinda being flirty in a creepy way before then, but while we were in Jackson, he showed up and started being nice and… I still don’t get why he even hired Alcide if he was going to show up in Jackson anyway. But he started calling me his…”
I couldn’t help myself. I finished, “Future lover.”
She scowled at me, speechless.
I nodded. “That was me.”
“I KNEW IT!”
“No. Hold on. We’ve told you that this isn’t the first time. The first time this happened to us, My Sookie and I ended up meeting at Fangtasia to sort things out. So when it happened again and you weren’t here, I went straight there. She wasn’t there, but I was… And the other version of Me was on the phone with Sophie-Ann because Compton had been out of contact. After a while without contact from Sookie, I became concerned that Mine might have somehow been with Compton. Alcide was chosen to be your escort on my suggestion because I already knew about his father’s debt and that he could be trusted. For us, Alcide is your guard…”
Adele added, patting his shoulder, “More like a member of the family.”
“The family pet is more like it… Continuing… Since being seen in Jackson would have been poor form, there being two versions of me at the time was helpful. The Me you met first stayed in Shreveport and made a nightly appearance as an alibi in the case that I was recognized in Jackson. I took Bubba with me to Jackson to get as much information about finding Bill, by extension My Sookie, as I could.”
“The ‘other Eric’ did jack shit?”
“No. He was quite busy making sure he was seen and being watched. If he had been your escort like he planned, then Lorena’s cohorts would’ve reported his absence. If Bill had been ended while you were there, you’d belong to Russell Edgington by right.”
“So… that was you? You were the one who climbed into my bedroom window? You were the one who helped me when I was staked? You were the one who took me home? You were the one who took a bullet when we were ambushed?”
“Three actually. Yes. That was me.”
“Then why…” She stopped, folding her arms and laying her head down on the table.
I joked, “Alcide, you’re a horrible fiancé. Hold her hand or something.”
He snorted. “One of these days I’m going to get you. Hard.”
“I doubt it… I sleep with a mind reader.”
Hunter added with a giggle, “And play checkers with one.”
I chuckled at him. “That too.”
She sighed and when she looked up, she immediately grabbed my hand. “Oh god… How did you…? Where…? That’s… Get that off of your hand!”
“My ring? I’m not taking it off.”
“That’s not yours. It’s Alcide’s! We… I just bought that for him.”
“No. My Sookie bought this for me months ago.”
“You think we’re married?”
“No. I was wearing it in Jackson. I’m surprised you didn’t notice it then.” I always wear it.
“I was a little busy getting staked.”
“I was a little busy being bled on.”
“Yeah, well… I kind of wish the other you was the one that was there… He might be more understanding about how done I am with Vampire shit.”
Pam hadn’t been spending a lot of time in her own safe room downstairs since she’d convinced Jason to lightproof his basement for her… it saved her from having to cut their ‘parties’ short.
She immediately sat on Alcide’s lap and wrapped her arms around his neck. “Miss me?”
He deadpanned. “With every fiber of my being… One of these days I’m going to tell Paulette that you molest me when she’s not around.”
“She might curse you with broken heels or make your hair fall out.”
“She might be willing to share you though.”
He snorted. “Are you willing to risk that?”
She seemed to be thinking about her answer when she realized that Sookie was glaring at her. She leaned forward and sniffed. “Why do you smell like my Wolf?”
Sookie blurted, “Because I’m engaged to him and we’re having a baby!”
Pam rolled her eyes and started running her fingers through Alcide’s hair. “Nonsense. If he was going to leave Paulette’s bed, he’d come to mine. Not yours… Isn’t that right, muffin.”
He laughed through his nose. “There’s another me on the way here with Our Sookie.”
“Two Alcides!? A three way?”
Without warning, Adele whacked Pam across the back of her head and shook her finger in Pam’s face. “There’s a baby in the room. You watch that mouth of yours!”
While the rest of us laughed, Pam pouted, “Sorry Gran. I’ll behave.”
Sookie dropped her head to the table and mumbled about how crazy she was until we heard Alcide’s other truck in the driveway.
From where he stopped in the doorway the only thing the other Alcide could see was how Sookie wrapped her arms around my head and kissed me. He growled the entire time My Sookie’s lips were attached to mine.
“We were in a good mood when we died this morning.”
“They were both lonely and angry with Jackson though.”
“Did you ask about the other you?”
“Not yet. Pam arrived and immediately began propositioning Alcide.”
Alcide finally said something, “Do you think you could at least have the decency to not do that shit in front of me?”
My Sookie giggled at him. “Would you stop being a bitch and come here?”
“Why should I?”
“Because your Sookie is in here mumbling that she’s lost her mind.”
“My Sookie, huh? Right… I’ll just be going… I’ll have someone bring your shit to you.”
My Sookie started nudging her other self to get her attention, but it wasn’t working.
I tilted my head to the side to see past Sookie, “Herveaux.”
“What the fuck could you possibly have to say to me? Whatever fuck-fuck games you’ve been playing…”
“Not that I mind the idea of having two Sookie’s for myself, but you should take yours with you. Our resident Wolf doesn’t need a Vampire, a Witch and a Telepath fighting over him. I’m sure he couldn’t handle any compromise they come up with.”
Our Alcide growled, “Speak for yourself,” while the other told me to go fuck myself.
“Fine then. Since you’re throwing in the towel, would you like to discuss child support and visitation?”
He growled as he cracked the joints in his neck before he snapped, charging into the kitchen… where he was just as surprised to see a second Sookie as he was to see a Vampire on ‘His’ lap.
My Sookie slapped his ribs to get his attention. “See! I fucking told you. Didn’t I?”
“She thinks she’s gone nuts… It doesn’t help much that Eric’s a smart ass and told her about Jackson…”The Alcide not being held down by Pam’s ‘affections’ went around the table and crouched down next to His Sookie. It took him a moment to get a reaction out of her and when he finally did, she hugged his neck tightly enough that he joked that his head might come off.
I shook my head in my defense. “It’s not as though I blurted. It came up.”
Hunter nodded. “He teased Our Alcide, not Sookie. Then Pam got in trouble for talking about a 3 way with the extra Alcide.” Pam was swatted again because Hunter repeated what earned her the first one.
The other Alcide looked at his other self and Pam. “3 way?” Adele warned that she’d ‘get him’ too.
Pam looked at him with doe eyes and cooed, “It’s my dying wish…”
“You’re dying w…? You already died!”
She nodded and stood up, taking a hand from each Alcide. “And it’ll happen again at dawn. We’d better get a move on…”
My Sookie snatched Alcide’s arm out of Pam’s grasp. “Would you stop flirting with engaged men? Let him tend to her.”
Pam sang, “Every party needs a pooper, that’s why we invited you… Party poooooper…”
The song was just as sophisticated as the raspberry Sookie answered it with.
It took several minutes before Sookie could calm down. Grimly enough, her slight emotional collapse only seemed to ease once Adele began putting dishes on the table to serve dinner.
Alcide’s Sookie started to cry again once her plate was full. Quiet weeping while she nibbled one item at a time as though it was her last meal. We’d already met a Sookie who’d lost Adele the same way and the scene wasn’t much different. The poor thing was beside herself… The grief she felt over losing Adele was enough that My Sookie couldn’t bear to think about it and we used Fangtasia as our escape from suffering it with her. Between Adele’s heart attack and the skips, Sookie and I came to the realization that eventually we’d be in same position, starved for Adele’s company, torn between going home and greedily taking every moment we could get.
We knew how fortunate we were to still have her.
My Sookie watched her while she ate and finally cleared her throat. “So… this won’t happen to you guys often, if that makes you feel better.”
After another long silence, the other Alcide seemed to volunteer himself to speak for them. “Why’s that?”
“We’re pretty sure this is the sum of Vampire plus part Faerie. Hadley and Sophie-Ann have the same thing happen. We deal with this every couple of weeks, sometimes more. We had three in one week. We see versions where me and Eric are together mostly.”
“Hadley being the cousin that disappeared. The junkie.”
“Right. She was turned. It could be different for y’all, but since things seem to match up for us in the Compton arena, I would guess the groundwork is there. Hunter is Hadley’s boy…since he’s a telepath too…” Sookie nodded towards the other’s lap. “He probably will be too. We’ve seen it happen.”
“Even with me being Were?”
“The other father was too.”
“You’ve got to be kidding me! Seriously?” He looked like he was about to ruin the table and everything on it.
“We’ve been keeping notes. We’ll make sure you get a copy. Things were different from childhood. Between me and this Sookie, just a few months… So um… the thing is, since we’ve done this a few times, we usually end up either getting some kind of information or helping out in some way… This could be a catching up type of visit since Eric’s already run into y’all before. Since she had so much of his blood in Jackson, I’d bet that’s the reason, but there have been versions where she’s never heard of him. He might’ve skipped just to help her when she was staked. But…There’s a version of us that visited, we see them a lot. She lost Gran just like your Sookie did and we thought it was just because She needed some closure… But that’s when they met Hunter and it turned out that they got Hunter dropped in their laps pretty much as soon as they got home. Hadley’s a wild card. Our version is a selfish turd. Hunter’s better off with us because his dad can’t cope with his ability and he doesn’t belong at the palace with his mother…”
With a mouth full of mashed potatoes, Hunter added, “And I’m happy here.”
Sookie smiled as she continued. “And he’s happy here… For them, Hadley went nuts and threatened to kill him because she’s jealous of that Me. So that Eric protects him. It could be that something is brewing on that front. Who knows? Texas and Mississippi know about her thanks to Compton’s dumb ass…”
Our Alcide cleaned his hands with a napkin and excitedly pulled his phone out of his pocket. The video had just started when he passed it to his other self. Adele swatted them both for watching it at the dinner table, and again for laughing at it. Our Alcide’s head was numb to Adele’s blows by then, but he respected her enough to pretend it hurt. The other Sookie didn’t seem to be the least bit curious.
“It could be that Compton is playing fuck-fuck games and you need to watch out for that.”
I added, “The important thing is that you know Sookie isn’t safe until Compton is dead. Even in your version, he tried to isolate Sookie. He’s the reason your Adele is dead and he did nothing to help her prove Jason’s innocence. When she was attacked by the Maenad, he argued to let her die instead of be healed and owe your version of Me a favor even though it hadn’t been mentioned. He had to be convinced to let her be treated… You know too well what he did to her in Jackson…”
He grumbled, “And that he pitched a fucking fit about you touching her. She already smelled ‘too much’ like you.”
“Poor Bill. He had to rape a girl who smelled like me. Seriously, be creative when you kill him and record it so I can see it the next time our paths cross.”
“How’s he gotten his ticket other than the bonfire?”
“Diantha beheaded him once and in that version, I staked Lorena for coming after Sookie… and there was the version where he tried to sway Hadley’s attentions while she was still Human and a puddle of him was found in his condo. My favorite so far was that Sam detained Sookie after work to ‘apply his charms’. The Rattrays got the best of him and Sookie met that Me by notifying Me that he was dead.”
“All roads lead to you then? For Sookie, I mean.”
“Not necessarily. I’m beginning to think that all roads lead away from Compton. He’ll get her killed eventually if not kill her himself. He’s turned her. She was convinced that he was her savior and once Jason and Adele died, she ran away with him. We haven’t met them again.”
“Beautiful. She won’t let me kill him.”
My Sookie shook her head. “Here’s the thing, as long as he alive, he’ll be able to find her. Compton needs to die…”
Our Alcide offered, “Pick a sunny day and bulldoze his house.”
Pam purred, “You’re sexy when you talk about murder… But I have a better idea. Go to Your Eric. Negotiate for him to do it.”
He shook his head. “We’ve kind of burned that bridge. We told him to go fuck himself when we found out about the baby.”
I snorted, “Do you think that could hurt my feelings? Pam’s right. Go to him. In exchange for Bill’s death, you’ll agree to let Sookie work at Fangtasia one night per week for two years… I’d counter with four nights. You bargain for Friday and Saturday and that you’re allowed as her escort. She’ll sign a contract that includes sick and vacation time and protection. And off the books, his cooperation will allow him note-passing. I’ll send updated journals when we meet in skips if he agrees.”
“I’m not sure he wouldn’t laugh me out of his office. You’ve got your Sookie. I’ve got his.”
“How did Shreveport handle Hallow’s visit?”
“We knew about them right away because Sookie was still living here… We found you, well, Eric running down the road on New Years. We called Pam and the Colonel… We got ahead of them. Eric had no clue who he was until the next night when he got up, but Pam and the Colonel put shit together… bitches were gone in no time.”
“Sookie was still living here? She doesn’t anymore?”
He shrugged. “Since you’re the one that was in Jackson, I don’t have to tell you how nuts my ex is. Sookie came home one night right after the thing with the Witches. Debbie was waiting for her. Sookie had to shoot her to get away. She moved in with me and started waiting tables at Outback. I didn’t want to take any chances with Debbie running loose.”
Our Alcide shook his head. “I can’t believe she was nuts enough to go after Sookie.”
“Why not? Crazy bitch… She thinks Sookie is in her way…”
Our Alcide snorted, “That’s the same thing she said about Paulette…” The other Alcide gave a confused look in Pam’s direction, so ours explained, “I’m not with Pam. She swaps bimbos with Jason. I’m with Paulette. Pam just toys with me and then calls Paulette so they can laugh about how ‘awkward’ it makes me.” Pam’s mouth fell open while the rest of us laughed. She was the only one who didn’t know that Paulette had clued us into the joke. It had been going on for months.
Since Vampire politics weren’t something our company needed to concern themselves with, we did what we could editing the journal.
Just as she’d done in the past, Adele had taken drinks and dessert out to the porch so that she could do her best to give Sookie some peace.
Our Alcide made no secret that he was ditching his other self to spend some time with his Fae-free girlfriend… Sookie and I worked while the visiting Alcide sat awkwardly across the table from us. He jokingly apologized for how ‘weird’ it was for him to see ‘his fiancé’ sitting on my lap, so I countered by mentioning how ‘weird’ it was to have My Bonded profess her love for her guard. I won.
It was nearly 3am when Adele was worn out enough to say her goodnights. Alcide’s Sookie sobbed, if not wailed, that she didn’t want to go home… she wanted to stay with Gran. She pleaded to be left, promised to go home eventually, shouted that it wasn’t fair that she had to lose Adele again…
Adele was patient, while Sookie and I silently understood that eventually, we’d know how she felt. She promised that Sookie would get to see her again and gave Alcide a container of leftovers for Sookie to enjoy while she could… We weren’t sure if letting her stay would cause a problem we couldn’t solve, otherwise, I was tempted to show her to the guest room Bubba usually used.
When all was said and done, and Sookie was reluctantly on her way back to Shreveport with her fiancé, Adele closed the front door behind her.
She huffed, “Five.”
“Five what?”Sookie and I had asked at the same time.
“That’s five great-grandbabies I’ve been teased with. You two need to stop toying with me. Give me some great-grandbabies. Times a wastin’. I ain’t getting any younger and you might as well since you’re waiting to go over until Hunter’s independent.”Sassy, bossy…
Sookie shook her head. “Gran… I don’t think you…”
“If you’re about to give me some scientific hogwash, save it. Do what other couples do and get in vitro… and don’t you dare say you don’t want telepathic kids, because I’ll send you to the yard for a switch. You hated it because you had a dud as a momma. I’m going to bed. G’night.”
Sookie and I managed to keep from laughing until we were in our room.
As Sookie slid out of her clothes, she giggled, “If we keep it a secret she’ll give us a hard time because she’ll think we’re doing it just for her.”