Chapter 3: The Competition

 Dead Tired: Resurrection

Chapter 3

The Competition

**

*Sookie’s POV*

I rested my head against his shoulder and swung my legs over his lap while I tried to catch my breath. The way he stroked my hair like he used to was sweet, even if the setting was less than romantic…  Even though he was fine, he waited patiently for me to recover.

When I caught a chill from a breeze and shivered slightly, he broke the silence. “I’m sorry.”

I leaned back to look up at him. “What for?”

“I showed no self control. I took too much blood. I marked you. I exposed you to the cold. I’ve been very inconsiderate in general.” He had to have known that I didn’t have a single complaint about what we’d just done. It wasn’t like he attacked me, scared me, hurt me…

I shook my head and calmly got up to start collecting our strewn clothing while I tried to figure out what could’ve been going through Eric’s head to make him apologize for doing something we’d both wanted.

He seemed just as confused as I was, watching me until I slid into the car and buckled my seatbelt.

Eric joined me in the car just as I was reaching the conclusion that he might’ve been expecting something different… expecting me to live up to his imagination… maybe I wasn’t the same as I had been when he stayed with me or he was just remembering me differently… I was scared that he was disappointed.

He drove for a while before he spoke. “Have I hurt your feelings?”

I blurted, “Do you have buyer’s remorse?” If he did, I wanted to know… right away. I’d need to figure things out, change plans, crawl into a hole and die.

“What? Sookie, NO!

“Then let’s get back to the house.”

“Do you accept my apology?” Accept it? He must’ve actually thought I’d be upset…

I tried to make a joke to lighten the mood; we’d both managed to freak ourselves out over nothing. “I don’t feel like you’ve done anything to apologize for, but feel free to try to atone when we get to bed.”

“Sookie, I could have killed you.”

It took me a minute. I was still trying to calm my nerves from thinking Eric was already bored with me. I sighed, “How do you figure?”

“To begin with, I was very greedy.” Hardly. I’d been almost drained and knew too well what it felt like… that wasn’t something I’d ever forget.

“Run your fangs out for me?” I waited for him to glance in my direction, fangs down, before I reminded him that I could move things with my mind with a flick of my wrist. When his fangs retracted he winced. “Even without that I can still hold you off. I trust you, always have. Your self control is impressive, especially considering that I egged you on several times including, but not limited to when I suggested pulling over. It isn’t cold enough to hurt me and the private bite marks are your thing, which I prefer because of where I live, but I don’t demand them. That’s a non-point anyway since I plan on taking your blood later which will heal them. OK? Seriously, when have you ever known me to not voice a complaint?”

He didn’t answer. He studied the road like he was driving Miss Daisy.

“Eric, please say something.”

“I don’t know what to say.” He could’ve said that he was surprised I wasn’t forcing him to defend himself from suspicious accusations… God knows I set that precedent.

I sighed, “Say that tomorrow night we really will take your truck.”

He took my hand from my leg and held it, still unsure of something. “Where will we be going tomorrow?”

I gave his hand a squeeze. “I don’t care if we just go to Fangtasia, as long as I get to spend the night with you.”

**

When I dug into my purse for my house key, I noticed how early it was and that my cell had 21 new messages… “Wow, it’s only 11:30.”

“Would you like to go back out?”

“Where would we go? There isn’t much to do in Bon Temps.”

“We could go to your bar and have another Vegas wedding… you could eat. We’re a tad overdressed though.”

I giggled, “I don’t think you can dress down Italian silk, Eric.”

He raised his eyebrow. “I won’t wear any if you won’t.”

“Sam might not be shy about nudity, but there are health codes…” He rolled his eyes and went to his trunk to pull out a small duffle bag. “What’s that?”

“Well, ever since I met you, I’ve needed to keep spare clothes on hand. You’re quite messy.”

I cocked my head to the side. “Did you pack that expecting to stay over?”

He looked down at the bag for a moment. “No… Actually, I packed this expecting to hide you.” Hide me?

“What?”

“After the takeover… I don’t trust de Castro or Madden.” I could’ve hit him. Just out of the frustration of it all… What he called being protective… I called sweet. As much of a nightmare that the takeover was for him, he was still planning for my safety.

“Neither do I, if it makes you feel any better. Maybe we’ll get lucky and they’ll fall chest first on a chair leg or something.”

He chuckled, and took my key to unlock the door. “Be careful what you wish for, Sookie. We couldn’t know what that would mean to us. There are worse Vampires than de Castro to be subject to.”

I shrugged. “None that I can think of.” And damn if I didn’t know plenty.

“You should get out more.”

I tried to give him a dirty look, but my smile ruined it. I was only half offended anyway. “Are you calling me sheltered?”

He smirked. “If I am?”

“Sheltered people don’t go out to bars owned by Shifters with Vampire dates in the middle of the night.”

He gave me a nod like he was conceding. “Then, of course, I must be mistaken.”

**

We only spent a few minutes changing and while I pulled my hair back again, Eric pricked his finger to heal the bite mark on my neck…

He seemed pretty determined to change his clothes and head out… None of the usual leering. Nothing playfully perverted. Just changing his clothes and leaning against the door jamb while he waited for me. It was unusual for him… it was like he wanted to leave the house instead of be alone together. Like he was worried about something…

So for just about the millionth time, I wished I could read his mind. It would’ve been nice if he would just let me use the bond for clues like he did.

I ended up worrying that he was either anxious to gloat to Sam or he was still thinking about what happened earlier.

Honestly, I kind of preferred the gloating option.

It felt weird walking into Merlotte’s as a customer and it didn’t help that when Eric and I took a booth in the corner, we noticed that Bill and Sam were at the bar, glaring at me like they wished we would die.

Eric slid in sideways with one foot on the floor and the other resting on the bench with his knee in the air.  I slid in on the same side and settled into the void between his legs. He leaned to whisper, “Ignore them, Lover, unless you want me to call Bill over to deal with him.”

I huffed, and spoke loud enough that I knew they’d hear me, “Do what you want with Bill, but leave Sam alone. I’m not ready to quit work yet.”

He smiled, but he didn’t have the chance to say anything before Holly came over to take our order. “Hey Sook. Phone’s been ringing off the hook for you all night.”

“Messages?”

“Not a one. I was starting to worry, but now I see why you weren’t picking up your cell.”

I rolled my eyes and rattled off, “True Blood O+, club sandwich; no cheese, Vegas wedding & a Long Island iced tea. We’ll take the blood and Vegas wedding now.”

She bobbed her head. “Nice to see you too, Sook.”

“Psssh. I saw you last night and I’m hungryKnow what? Add fries to the sandwich, pretty please.”

She left to put our order in, chuckling about bringing my sugar up before she tried to talk to me anymore.

Eric whispered, “You’re very popular.”

I rolled my eyes. “That’s not always a good thing.” Her answer hadn’t solved my curiosity. I couldn’t help but think she was evading… She’d been hesitant to explain her charity work in the past.

“Are you trying to save the Weres from themselves again?”

“Ummm… I know to keep Alcide out of the kitchen when he’s been drinking. Does that count? Forks don’t do well in the garbage disposal.” He tried really hard to hide it, but he was irritated by my answer. “What?”

“I’m just concerned that your sense of charity could bring trouble your way. Has there been any activity since we’ve been able to talk?”

I rested my forehead against his and put my hand on the back of his neck. Since Sam and Bill were paying too much attention to what Eric and I were doing, I sent, “Since we’ve been out of contact, I’ve been working, watching out for myself and blowing off steam any way I could; usually with Alcide because I can trust him to have my back if something happens.”

“Blowing off steam?”

“Movies, dinner out, whatever floats our boat. He’s done a very good job of watching out for me and helping me kill time for the past couple of months… He’s not like the rest of them.”

“I wasn’t implying that he was.” He didn’t have to say it. The only way Eric would’ve been completely alright with the idea of another man being in my life would’ve been if I lied and told him Alcide was a eunuch.

“Are you going to deny that it crossed your mind?”

He paused for a second before he answered, “No. I don’t want to argue about…”

I interrupted him with a kiss; just enough to keep him from his train of thought. “I have no intention of arguing. You promised me that you’d try to get along and I believe you. I’m just letting you know, if he was like Sam or Bill or Quinn, he would’ve taken advantage of the takeover and tried to squirrel his way into my life like the rest of them.”

His eyebrow twitched. “Understood.”

“You’re skeptical.”

“You’re more trusting than I am.  Since you’re unable to read Were minds reliably…”

I shushed him quietly. Not only did I not need the reminder, I didn’t want him to waste time being wrong. “That’s not true anymore.”

“As easily as humans?”

“As easily as I used to hear humans.”

“Humans are easier for you now?”

I nodded. “Like reading a book, when I try. I can access things they aren’t thinking about at the time… it’s cool and all, but I’m enjoying the fact that I don’t have to try to use my shields anymore. I have to try to drop them.”

“Interesting new development.”

He stared as I sat back when Holly delivered our drinks. “That might be the understatement of the year… You ready handsome?”

“Yes… You don’t have to improvise.”

“Oh, I assumed…” Pam didn’t have a problem with fruit, but liquor was a turn off… and Bill wouldn’t go near me until I’d brushed my teeth, no matter what I ate or drank.

“I can’t eat, but I can taste.” He winked and held his arm out. I could feel that we were being watched, but I’d stopped caring. I gave his arm a slow lick again and shook a sugar packet over the area. His reaction this time was stronger than the last. As I worked I sent, “Are you putting on the reaction because of the audience?”

Eric’s thoughts even sounded lusty in my mind. “No. I can feel more now. In the club I was over stimulated.”

For that round of drinks, I scraped my teeth over his skin teasingly, each time with more pressure. When I finished the set and went in for my cherry prize, I rubbed against him making his chest vibrate… and teased until I needed air.

**

Eric swept a lock of hair behind my ear and was looking me in the eye when he boomed in his sheriffy voice, “Bill do you have something on your mind? You seem to be giving our table a lot of attention.”

Arrogant ass that he was, Bill stood from his barstool and blustered to stand over our table. “I was just wondering why I can’t get away from you.”

I snorted at him… Not only was he being ‘that ex’, but he was addressing me instead of his superior. “Here’s an idea… move.

“I was here first.”

I couldn’t help but laugh. “That’s a mighty grown up standpoint, Bill… I’d like to use the ‘shuffle your feet’ argument.”

While Eric chuckled, Bill hissed, “Shuffle your feet?”

“Yes, Bill. Shuffle your feet, lose your seat. It’s one of the most basic of strategies. If for any reason, you abandon a location, you may not take it back with the same station you once held while within it. Sure it’s not in the Art of War like ‘I was here first,’ but it’s still a valid rule of engagement. Your cumulative time in Bon Temps is only 33 years and you spent nearly 50 years in Seattle with that nasty whore I had to save you from. I consider you a Louisiana expatriate. I’ve always lived in Bon Temps, which gives me 26 years of seniority as a citizen. I was here first.”

He scoffed, “I don’t particularly care for your opinion and I seriously doubt that you read the Art of War.” Oh really? What part of the months that we were together made him think that I was illiterate? He was really starting to aggravate me and I decided that the best way to return the favor was to be a sassy bitch.

“There has never been a protracted war from which a country has benefited. Sun Tzu said that right before he said that you’re an ass… If you run into me where you work, this would be different. But I’m here almost as often as I’m at home and you know that because you are stalking me and kidding yourself when you think that you might get back into my bed. Given our history, you should know better… Jesus, you’ve got to drop it.” I turned to Eric and sighed, “Detta är bara patetiskt. Jag trodde inte vampyrer gnällde så mycket.”

“Drop it? What am I dropping exactly?”

“This. Us. You lost me. Get over it.”

He snarled in Eric’s direction. “Because of him.”

“Precisely what are you blaming him for? Cluing me into the fact that you lied to me?”

“He turned you against me…”

“That’s one way to put it. You’re pissy because you tricked me and he set me straight. As scared of him as you wanted me to be, it stopped working when he was the one who was honest. I never would’ve been yours if I’d known all along…”

“You. ARE. Mine.” As soon as Bill said that I was still his, Eric’s whole body was rigid. I couldn’t help but think that if Eric wasn’t ‘trapped’ in the booth, he’d have corrected Bill by pulling his fangs out.

Eric gave Bill a severe look. “Compton, you need to abide Sookie’s wishes. Avoid her and stay off of her property. Leave.”

Bill glared at us for a minute before he finally left.

While we watched Bill’s taillights disappear through the window, Eric leaned to put his mouth next to my ear. “I’m proud of you… You didn’t get overly emotional as you have in the past.”

I couldn’t help myself… “I’m proud of you for not pitching the ketchup bottle through his face.”

He chuckled, “Too messy and it wouldn’t have done the job.”

**

Since Gran would’ve come back from the grave to tan my hide if I had tried to talk to Eric while I ate my dinner, I started thinking to Eric when Holly dropped my sandwich off.

To be honest, I was kind of pushing him… I was really hoping that my new powers weren’t freaking him out. He’d been so quiet when I’d told him, I couldn’t help but wonder… Then again, it wasn’t like we could chat up a storm about it at the restaurant… but not even in the car or while we were at the house or anything? He’d never made any bones about being curious about my telepathy before… why so quiet about all of the other stuff?

“I’m starting to think you’re like a bug-light for my exes. I haven’t laid eyes on Quinn since the night of the takeover and Bill hasn’t been too bad…”

“I suppose that would be a matter of perspective. What’s he been up to these days?”

“He’s been sticking to lurking, you know, creeping around my house as an excuse to get ‘fresh air’ and not having an answer when I ask why he can’t walk to the east, south or west… that kind of stuff. He comes here to get True Bloods. Him and Alcide have had more than a few stare-downs.”

“But he’s been ‘passive’?”

“Not really, but I haven’t paid him any mind. Alcide’s been doing that for me. He suggested that I move… Offered me his dad’s old house since it’s empty.”

“Jackson?”

“Yeah… but I wouldn’t want Gran’s house to sit empty.”

“That was your only reason for not wanting to move to Jackson?”

“No, no, no… Sorry. Not move to Jackson, like Mississippi. Move into Jackson Herveaux’s old house.”

“That would’ve put you in Shreveport. Closer.”

“And I would’ve gone nuts to be so close to you that I could feel you wake up at night… Most recently, Alcide’s been nagging me to talk to Jason about switching houses.”

“Why is that better? You’d still be in Bon Temps.”

“Yeah, but he had it in his head that I’d stop ‘excusing’ Bill’s stalking because of being next door neighbors… and there’s that whole, ‘Madden having my address’ thing.”

“Why didn’t you do that then? Your Gran’s house would’ve stayed in the family.”

“I thought about it when Alcide first brought it up, but then Jason and Crystal broke up. I didn’t want to bug him about it when I still wasn’t really talking to him…”

“If you had mentioned it to Pam…”

“You’d have worried and you had enough to think about.”

“I wouldn’t have worried. I’d have taken you to Shreveport to stay with me.”

“With everything…?”

He cut me off, “Yes.”

*Eric’s POV*

Having a silent conversation with Sookie while she ate her meal was surreal to say the least.

While I found some solace in seeing her eat because I was concerned about her weight loss, the discussion was lacking… with the amount of practice she had from being telepathic since birth, she had complete control over her facial expressions. No one would know to look at her that she was completely engaged in a dialogue. I missed how expressive she was normally.

Not only was it like speaking to someone on the phone when they were right by my side, but I was still reeling…

That she trusted me with her secretive new talents was encouraging… uncharacteristic of her and problematic for me, but encouraging nonetheless.

I found myself faced with a dilemma.

Sookie had trusted me to confide that she’d discovered abilities that could make her infinitely more desired. Me. She could’ve sent the message to me through Pam and if she’d told her Witch friend, the whole of Louisiana would’ve known by then.

When she first asked if I could ‘hear’ her in the restaurant, I was sure that she’d discovered my secret, perhaps known all along or at least since I’d had amnesia. It wasn’t as though I would know if I’d told her then…

I’d kept my inherited telepathy a secret for hundreds of reasons… the most significant of them were centered on Sookie. I hadn’t enjoyed the budding ability, but I was concerned that if she found out, she’d have added that to the list of imagined ulterior motives she had for why I’d wanted her. I didn’t want her to believe that I only wanted her to take my blood to improve my ‘reception’. She already spent too much time thinking I was using her.

The ability was weak, sporadic at best and was more of a curiosity than anything at first. I caught myself thinking that she was being melodramatic when she complained about it… but the effects of her taking my blood in Dallas hadn’t been the half of it… it was more prevalent when I recovered from being cursed… and more so once I healed her after being staked… It wasn’t until we were in Rhodes, when our bond was completed, that I had any idea of how annoying mind reading could be. Telepathy was every bit as annoying as she said it was and then some… It took too long for me to get used to it.

The dilemma was how to tell her. How to explain the side effect of sharing blood without leaving her feeling betrayed, used… It was why I’d kept it from her from the start.

I’d rarely had the chance to ‘hear’ her thoughts since she was so persistent in using her shields. In fact since I’d made a habit out of avoiding humans except to feed, the only thing my ‘gift’ did with any consistency was make me wonder how Sookie could stand to be among her own kind, let alone work in a place where they flocked… Since Rhodes, Fangtasia had become a blight… and made True Blood a preference to touching a live donor.

**

I was waiting for Sookie to finish ‘telling’ me that the Fellowship had been a growing problem in Bon Temps so that I could explain…

But the Wolf interrupted by arriving at Merlotte’s… She seemed to notice before I did and it was disappointing that she welcomed the interruption.

We both watched him tauntingly ask Sam if she was there… The Shifter pointed in our direction without speaking, but it was obvious that he was hoping Herveaux would be just as pissed to see me as he was…  As soon as Herveaux spotted us, I heard him think, “It’s about fucking time.” I was surprised that he wasn’t irritated to see me with Sookie, have a ‘there goes the neighborhood’ or a ‘the party’s over now’ thought… It said a lot for his character that he seemed happy for Sookie to be with me.

Sookie slid out of our booth and as she hugged him, she thought, “Nevada finally crawled out of his ass. I’m a happy girl.”

He answered, “If you’re so happy, why the fuck are you hugging me? It’s just going to piss him off.” Sookie called out to Holly for a beer to be brought for our party crasher, but he growled at her. “I’m not sticking around long enough for that. If I knew you were with him, I wouldn’t have come out here and interrupted your damn date.”

“I’m not going to hide that I missed you while you were out of town. He can feel it… Besides, I’m eating anyway. One beer and then you hit the road.” Knowing I’d be suspicious of her silence, she finally spoke, “What’ve you been up to?”

“Not a whole lot. I came out to remind you about the cookout tomorrow night…” he continued by thinking, “Not that you’ll want to go now, but at least I know why you weren’t answering your phone.” The silent messages were starting to annoy me even if they did seem innocent in nature.

“Alcide? The last time I did a pack related thing, you got me drunk and we woke up in your yard.” The thought didn’t please me in the least. The only thing that settled me was that neither of them seemed ashamed.

“I know and I’m sorry. I wanna make it up to you. Food, drinks and no death, God willing. Honest injun.”

“Quinn?”

He looked like his stomach turned at the idea of being in Quinn’s company. “No. Why?”

“Fucker showed up at my door tonight and tried to start shit when we were on our way out. To put it mildly, if I hadn’t been wearing a new dress, I’d have shot him in the face.” I couldn’t help but laugh.

Sookie took a bite of her sandwich, so I gave him the boiled down version. “He solicited her for a ‘hook up’ and she threatened to neuter him. She’s batting 1000 tonight, not 20 minutes ago she put Bill Compton on his histrionic ass.”

The wolf rolled his eyes and thought, “It doesn’t matter. That fucker won’t back off until someone kills him.”

Holly arrived with his beer and once her friend was gone, Sookie reached over and warmed my True Blood even though I doubted I’d finish it since she fed me. “Thank you.”

Herveaux asked. “One of the new ones?” I felt slightly less honored that she’d told me about her new powers once I knew he’d been told as well… It made sense that he knew. If the rumors were true about how much time they’d been spending together, he’d have needed to know, but the fact that she hadn’t come to me to explain was more annoying. I should’ve known.

She nodded and cooled his beer until his mug was frosted.

His eyes widened and he said “So you can bring the ice tomorrow right?”

“Only if I can bring a date. What time and where are we going?”

“Ledbetter Heights Club Park, 6:00 and I’m joking about the ice.”

“If you see Quinn, call and warn me or him for that matter.”

“I think it would be more fun for the audience if you didn’t get a warning… Watching Little Sookie Stackhouse rip The Mighty Quinn’s head off for free would make for one hell of a campfire story, dontcha think?”

She thought about that while she finished chewing. “Maybe I’d burn him alive… No. I’d have to touch him for that too.”

“He’s retarded and all, but I don’t think he’s dumb enough to show his face at a Longtooth function.”

Sookie flagged our waitress down to order another Vegas Wedding and Herveaux looked at me with envy. I liked that a lot. “You’re one lucky mother fucker.”

All I could say was, “Yes. I know.”

**

When Holly delivered Sookie’s drinks, I shook the Were’s hand as he left. I didn’t mind that he kissed Sookie’s cheek on his way out. It was friendly and I hadn’t picked up on anything from either of them that would suggest I needed to be concerned. He even joked about her needing to take it easy on me because of my age as he left. It was the first time that reading minds had proved to be valuable to me… Hearing that he was happy for Sookie, that he shared the same ideas for Bill’s ‘future’ and didn’t harbor any ill will towards me was reassuring. I actually felt like I could trust him or, as a minimum, believe that he wasn’t obsessed with Sookie like Compton, Quinn and Merlotte.

Once he was through the door, Sookie leaned over and started at my neck, making the lick as long and slow as possible… I was hard again by the time her tongue reached my ear. I jokingly protested when she started sprinkling the sugar and it fell into my shirt… she did as she had before, slowly scraping her teeth against my skin to get the sugar and quickly doing the other 2 steps. By the time she got to the cherry, I’d blindly slapped the first bill in my wallet onto the table for her friend as I herded her through the dining room to the door… I barely noticed the scowl on the Shifter’s face; I was on a mission.

For the first time in years, I looked at a Corvette with disappointment once we were outside.

“What’s wrong, Honey?”

“I’m starting to agree with you about the Corvette not being good for our sex life.”

She giggled as she slid into her seat and no sooner than I was in, she was leaning into my lap. “Sookie? What are you doing?” I knew what she was doing, but the idea of Sookie doing it was surprising enough to make me ask…

She answered me by opening my pants. It was too much. Her house wasn’t far enough away and as we drove up the driveway to her house I considered killing the engine and staying in the car for a while, but I wanted more than just a blow job…

Once we were inside, there was no more waiting…

Putting her on the table…

Ripping and yanking one another’s clothes out of the way…

Shoving the table one thrust at a time until a leg snapped off…

She didn’t give me the chance to worry about her reaction before she started laughing.

Sookie pushed me back, putting me on a chair…

Straddling me…

Twisting…

Bucking…

The way she took control…

She’d always been so shy before… Awe.

Getting louder every time she came…

Showing no signs of tiring…

I blindly grabbed for something sharp…

Cutting my neck, testing her, daring her…

Not getting the chance to drop the knife before she started pulling from the wound…

And I started cumming from the first swallow she took…

Amazed that she kept sucking until the wound closed…

She sagged against me, panting and shaking.

**

She was still trembling when she sat up, clasping her hands over her mouth…

She started to giggle and then hit my shoulder.

“What was that for?”

She leaned closer, whispering, “I still had my shields up, but I know you saw Amelia’s car when we got here.”

“I thought you did too.”

She rolled her eyes as a full blush spread over her cheeks and she took my hand to tow me back to her bedroom. She wasn’t too embarrassed to spend the next few hours fucking me though. From what I could tell, she seemed to have missed me as much as I had missed her.

I ran my fingers through her hair while she snuggled up to my side. “So I owe you a dining room table….”

It was difficult to not laugh when she thought, “Is buying shit a ‘guy thing’? I swear…” She smiled and all but purred, “Nuh, uh, uh… now that we’re engaged, we share everything. We broke our dining room table.” She thought that she was being coy but it wasn’t lost on me that she’d just said that we were engaged. Not to mention, she’d also just said that we shared everything. If I didn’t take that chance, I might not have gotten another one anytime soon. I knew that she would resist from watching Compton fuck up time and again.

“Oh really?”

“Really.” I chuckled. I had her. She confirmed it. I got her to agree to consider everything ‘ours’. That was a huge step since I had seen her pout about the cost of a suitcase of clothes. I laughed in my throat as I watched it dawn on her.

“Son of a bitch!” She slapped me and covered my face with a pillow. I was too busy laughing to ‘fight’ back. I caught myself having fun. I heard her Witch coming into the room so I ‘pleaded’ for help until Sookie removed the pillow. I thanked the Witch for ‘helping’ but when I noticed the snarled look on her face, and her annoyed thoughts, it made me wish she hadn’t come in at all.

“What’s going on in here?” She was being insolent.

“I think I just agreed to join assets.” Sookie folded her arms across her chest and I couldn’t help but laugh in spite of the dirty look I was getting from her roommate.

“It’s not my fault. She started it.” Thankfully, she rolled her eyes and stomped back to her room, thinking that she was sick of Sookie and all of her ‘little bedmates’.

“You think you’re pretty smart eh, Northman?”

“No. I think I’m very lucky.” I kissed her, wanting more. “What other man in the world can brag that he had to trick his fiancé into sharing his possessions, and she was angry about it… So tell me lover, what does one wear to a Were ‘cookout’? Do you know what you’re wearing?” Since I’d been volunteered to attend, I might as well not stand out anymore than I had to.

“Have you ever been to a Were party before?”

I shook my head. Ceremony, yes. Rites, yes. Party, no.

“They’re wild, like unbridled. It’s really fun. They cook way too much food, drink way too much booze, laugh too hard, dance way too hard. There is usually some kind of sport… It’s really laid back and crazed at the same time. I’ve always had a great time. The last one I went to one I ended up in a dance off with some of the teenage girls in the pack.” And found herself in Herveaux’s yard… It sounded like a frat party.

“So what do you plan on wearing?”

“Um, I guess I’ll wear my jean skirt over my bathing suit.” My pale ass!

“Your bathing suit, in January?”

“Yup, and I’ll be taking an extra outfit just in case. Weres like water play. Water guns, water balloon fights, ice snipers… that kind of stuff. Their bodies run hot so they don’t have the temperature issues like humans do.” Sookie wasn’t a Were though. How the fuck did she plan to avoid hypothermia?

“Ice snipers?” It sounded asinine.

“It’s playful. It could be an ice cube dropped in the back of your shirt or some of the boys like to fling ice into cleavage. Once, I was standing in line at the buffet and someone snuck up to the guy in line next to me and dumped a huge glass of ice water down the back of his pants… When it comes right down to it, if you leave one of these things dry, you didn’t have a good time.” She giggled as she’d explained.

“So if someone does it to me…?” Fuck! What did I agree to by promising that I’d be ‘nice’ to her friends? Sookie had retarded me. I had once been too smart to issue such a blanket statement. Was it too late to take it back?

“Try to take it in good fun. If they begrudge you being there for any reason they’ll just ignore you. Weres aren’t as highfalutin as vampires in general.” Highfalutin!? First I was high handed and then I’m highfalutin.

“What exactly is that supposed to mean?” I was trying to sound playful but I was, at least slightly, insulted.

“Well, if I have to put a fine point on it, you and Pam are the only Vampires that I’ve ever witnessed having fun and being honest without being tortured. You guys tend to be a bit bombastic. It can put people off. Weres tend to be nearly opposite, down to earth, nearly naked.”

“Are we that bad?” I knew we were. Vampires were that bad. We bored each other to tears and we did it for centuries on end.

She plucked my forehead. Seriously? “You aren’t. Pam isn’t. But you can’t tell me that there aren’t vampires that you’d sooner remove your fangs than spent time with voluntarily!” She’d made her point.

“I guess Vampires do tend to be a bit prickly.” I genuinely understood what an ass I had been at times, even if it took Pam telling me. I had enough time to reflect on the mistakes I’d made and knew that I was lucky for her to be willing to see me…

“You know I’m not talking about you, right? From the moment I laid eyes on you I was drawn to you. There was something familiar in your eyes, like I needed to be with you. It was so strong, it scared me.”

If asked, I would have said the same thing, which amazed me.

**

“Lover, since we’ll be in Shreveport for the party tomorrow night, do you still want to go to Fangtasia?”

“Sure, the party will only last until 11 or 12… then you can take me to the bar and show me off for a while.” That was a surprise.

“Will you spend the night at my house with me?”

Her eyes lit up. “Yeah… I have to admit that I’ve been curious. Part of me pictures you sleeping under the bar in Fangtasia because you work so much. We’ll have to take 2 cars tomorrow night though. I’m on the schedule for Sunday afternoon.”

She sat up and slid off the bed. I followed her, both of us still nude as she flitted around the house here and there… she started laundry and tidied the kitchen as much as possible while I used my phone to check my email and texts and send a couple out.

“I texted Bobby. He’ll be bringing our truck out in the morning. We can just take the Suburban and then you can drive back on Sunday in your car.”

“My car?” She looked like she wanted to hit me… and she’d already dismissed that I’d called the truck ‘ours’…

“Your car. Something always came up so I waited for a better time. Are you going to yell at me now?”

“Do you want me to?”

“No, but yelling is what I’ve expected since I bought it.”

She narrowed her eyes. “Why? Is it a Corvette?” The thought had crossed my mind and judging how her lip turned up in disgust when she asked, I guessed that I had made at least a slightly better choice.

“No… I know you’ve never liked my car. But, old habits die hard. I own every year of Corvette since ‘53. Your car is befitting your personality though. Sexy, refined, humble, classic, and depending on what is demanded of her she is just as comfortable purring as she is roaring. You’ll see it tomorrow.”

She scoffed, rolling her eyes and when we returned to the bedroom I showed her that I was putting my wallet into her purse. “I need you to go shopping in Shreveport tomorrow.”

“What am I getting?”

“I want to contribute to the party, but I don’t want to make a show of it. If you could go to ‘Palisades’ and pick up my order, just take it to Alcide so that he can take it to the club for set up. It will be ready at 4. Most importantly, I’ll need something to wear for the cookout and you’ll need something to wear to Fangtasia. Go to the mall and get a goober costume for me and something slutty that I can rip off of you. Feel free to take Amelia and do lunch and you might want to buy some things for keeping at my house like your toiletries and some clothing.”

“Eric, you know that I don’t like the idea of spending your money”

“No Sookie, remember, it’s our money. You couldn’t possibly spend too much. I know that it’ll be a hard adjustment for you to make but, money is the last thing you need to worry about anymore.” I knew she would, regardless.

“I don’t know how to wrap my head around that. I’ve always been poor.”

“Use any of the SwitzerBank cards. Trust me. You’d have to buy a house to notice the difference.” I shouldn’t have said it. I could tell that it actually scared her to have access to a large amount of money. Bill was a fool for not figuring out a way to spoil Sookie.  She deserved to be treated like a queen. She always had.

**

I held Sookie for as long as I possibly could… enjoying the gentle sounds she made in her sleep…

The way she sighed…

Her hypnotic heartbeat…

Warmth…

Scent…

The best of which was that she clung to me while she dreamt…

About me.

It was perfect until dawn came and fucked everything up.

I held out for as long as I could but finally fell to rest in that damn ‘hidey hole’ of Compton’s…

The only enjoyable part of that scenario was that it still smelled like me.

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43 thoughts on “Chapter 3: The Competition

  1. Wow, he has random telepathic abilities? I would’ve never saw that coming. It certainly is interesting, but I wonder how he’s going to tell Sookie. Bill got knocked on his ass, and he deserved it.. He just doesn’t seem to get the fact that Sookie doesn’t want to be with him anymore. I want to see Eric at this Longtooth Pack party; it should be very interesting. Great chapter!

  2. I’m looking forward to this “oh ya, and you gave me telepathy when you took my blood” conversation. Curious about how that’s going to turn out. The pack party should be a good show with Eric and Sookie there. And yay for putting Bill in his place and a little nose rub for Sam since he’s being an ass.

  3. I like how you alluded to his telepathic abilities here instead of later on in the story as you did before. It’s almost like reading a new story 🙂

    • He was telepathic, but he kept that tidbit to himself for a long time… Hunter was the first one to bust him on it (chap 17), but he kept the secret until Sookie caught him a few chapters later (chap 27).
      😀

  4. I absolutely adore the re-vamp! The way it’s re-written makes it almost seem like a new story! 🙂 I was almost afraid that you would leave out Alcide running into Eric and Sookie at Merlottes, but you made it even better with the whole telepathic interlude!!! 😀

  5. I remember the ‘cookout’ from the first posting of Dead Tired and I’m so excited to see how things fare this time around….thank you for the update!

  6. Hope Eric doesn’t keep the telepathic stuff from Sookie too long. Ya know how she is about secrets *huff* Looking forward to that conversation *wicked grin*

  7. It was interesting to see Eric’s telepathy revealed so early in the story, considering how long it was kept secret in the original. Even more so to see how his telepathy played a role in his understanding of her relationship with Alcide. I’m curious if the relationships will develop in the same way since this time he seemed genuinely happy for them to be together and in the original he had some worries that he would lose his friendship with Sookie. I missed the line about vampires having their periods, that was hilarious.

  8. I am really enjoying the rewrite of Dead Tired but I wish the old version was still up. I would love to read it too and compare. I feel like maybe some of the spunky-ness from the first writing is missing. But all in all I do like it.

  9. Inherited telepathy! WOW! that’s an interesting tidbit…hope he comes clean about things sooner though…

    this perspective is helping alot with understanding both their gradual shifts in perspective with eachother…alot of it makes more sense. keep going!!

  10. I liked this chapter and I didn’t even remember that he was telepathic too.
    Hope this “new” version of your story will show a better Eric and not the lying and cheating Eric you had before. He kept so many secrets and cheated on her so much that it made me dislike him so much.
    Anyway, excellent chapter 🙂

  11. I am thoroughly enjoying this story. You did a great job improving it.

    I didn’t the telepathy thing coming, but it opens a lot of possibilities. If Sookie can ‘transmit’ some of her abilities to Eric via her blood, does it mean you will go the TB road and give Eric the ability to walk in the sun, at least for a short while?

  12. I like the idea of Eric already having telepatic habilities, but I certainly missed the (Vampire having a period) comment in Sam’s bar and Eric’s conversation with Pam right after, it was very fun. Can’t wait to read more!

  13. Awesome!!! I like that you are showing how Eric knows that Alcede wasn’t a threat to be jealous of. I love the retelling I can’t wait for the pack party. Thanks!

  14. Loving the rewrite. This story and Meanwhile are about the only fanfic updates I look forward to right now. Even though I liked Dead Tired the first 2 times I read it, I can see how you have matured in your writing. My biggest issue with the original Dead Tired was how you did the alternate POVs and I love your solution. The story flows better. Keep up the awesome writing!

  15. Love it! Did notice one thing though. There’s a section where the POV switched for one paragraph. Actually, it switched during the paragraph.

    “I rolled myeyes. “That’s not always a good thing.” Her answer hadn’t solved my curiosity. I couldn’t help but think she was evading… She’d been hesitant to explain her charity work in the past.”

    Can’t wait to read more. Love the rewrite.

  16. Sam is the epitome of “you snooze, you lose”. No sympathy, none. Bill is a condescending ass. Why did she ever fall for him to begin with? Twatamelia is lovely as always *rolls eyes*

    Love the Eric hearing Alcide in this revamp.

  17. I’m loving the rewrite…especially how you have changed it about and only gained not lost anything.

    I can’t wait for the conversation about Eric’s partial telepathy. I was always fascinated by Sookie being the Infinite, I can’t wait to see what you plan to do…

  18. i agree with luvamps this updated version gives us a little bit more insite to what you wanted to come across in your first release of this story. I am enjoying Eric’s telpathic ways, i now understand his acceptance of Alcide a little bit more… until the next chapter Kristie

  19. I love the way you are combining the chapters and adding some new material so that the story is tightened and seems new. Great job.

  20. This certainly is a different version of events, I’m glad you didn’t just scrap this thing all together and a new ability for Eric, that guys gonna be as superpowered as Sookie by the time you’re done 😉

  21. Love! This is more economically written. You seem to have stripped out a good bit, but it only makes it better.

  22. Not sure if I replied to this chapter –but I love the scrubbing you’re giving to this story –lots of redundancy cleaned up, added tidbits, tighter, funnier dialog. You can tell how much you’ve grown as a writer since you first published this story –everything gets better and better and the “re-do” of Dead Tired shows the growth you’ve undergone…
    Lovin’ it!
    Pat

  23. I love how comfortable Sookie is now in her own skin. I love that Eric now has more understanding of Sookie’s telepathy. Please continue this story.

  24. Alcide is awesome! The were party sounds like it will be fun 🙂
    Eric’s revelation is….. Well, to say I’m agog would be an understatement.
    LMAO that Sookie got ‘tricked’ into sharing Eric’s wealth 🙂
    And what is Amelia’s issue?

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