I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me that it was the wrong time of year to enjoy such a concentration of sunlight…
Why look a gift horse in the mouth?
I wish I could say that I was just assuming that we’d had an unexpected warm day and that Sookie had taken advantage of it by lying out… but honestly, I didn’t care.
It was December, so I was eager to enjoy myself. Who the fuck was I to ask how Sookie had brought me so much sunlight?
She was already starting to cool, so she’d been inside for a while, but the scent was still heavy enough to bathe in.
She whimpered when I kissed her, only waking completely once she was nearly out of breath.
Helping me peel away her bikini and running her fingers through my hair…
Letting me have my fun, fill my senses, enjoy the high…
I couldn’t help but slide my fingers in, steel a taste… making her cum just made the scent that much sweeter…
Rubbing and nipping everywhere I could, from her neck to her ankles and back again.
She moaned and gasped, squirmed and shuddered…
Kissing me again once I made my way back to her lips…
Smiling, shaking her head and saying, “Why does this dream feel more real now that you’re further away?” Fuck me.
I pulled her hand out of my hair, confirming that there was nothing on her finger. “FUCK!” I had to force myself off the bed. Given the mood I was in, I went to the curtains, hoping that I could open the window… any relief. Better than a window… there was a small balcony…
Sookie covered herself with the sheet. “This isn’t a dream!? How did… shit. The plane ticket. Were you watching my bank account?”
“Where are we?”
“That’s not funny. You obviously know where we are… Could you come inside… cover up… SOMETHING? You’re naked…” Because whatever commercially scenic hotel we were in billed my aching cock in the brochures.
“I don’t know about you, but I don’t spend a lot of time using balconies to look at other balconies. Is this Mexico?”
“No! How do you NOT know?”
“I didn’t do anything to put myself here. Where are we?”
“Paradise Island, Nassau.”
“The Bahamas? What the fuck are you doing in the Bahamas? You clearly didn’t come with any Vampires or you’d have a light-tight room…” I didn’t smell any other scents for that matter.
“You’re not funny! How did you find me so fast?”
“I wasn’t looking for you, but am I to assume you’ve robbed Louisiana of a telepath?”
“Is that what I am? Gee, thanks for reminding me! Are you going to take me back? I never would’ve thought you…”
I gave up my hopes that fresh air would help my mood. I walked back into the room only to be shrieked at about still being nude… because I would’ve kept clothing out there.
I used a towel to effectively make a ridiculous tent and she grabbed my hand when I reached for the phone. “Who are you calling?”
I snatched the receiver from her. “I’m calling the concierge. Apparently, I made it all the way to the Bahamas without a stitch of clothes.” And I wouldn’t make fun of Sookie for wearing random sweatpants or pajamas anymore. Thanks to the skips, she’d found herself in need of clothing several times.
While I was arranging for clothing to be delivered from the boutique downstairs and a way home, Sookie searched… she tore the small hotel room apart looking for clothing, then abandoned her sheet to put her robe on to go search the hall. Since she was so convinced that I’d hidden my clothes from myself, I suggested that she look at neighboring balconies and the garden to be sure I hadn’t pitched them in my dastardly scheme to stalk her 1000 miles just to give myself blue balls.
By the time she was back, I was calling Fangtasia, being told that ‘Master Eric’ wasn’t to be disturbed. The message I had to carefully word… “Skip called from the Bahamas. It’s urgent.”
Sookie had her mouth open to begin my berating when the concierge called back with an update. My clothes would be delivered within the hour and my charter (which was the only way I’d get home before dawn) would be ready at midnight.
As soon as I hung up, she yelled, “I’m not going back with you!”
“Good. You weren’t invited!”
“What? Why the hell would you come all this way and then just turn around and go home?”
“I already told you that I didn’t mean to come here. I died in my bed this morning and rose here with you…”
“Did you think you were dreaming too?” The question, if taken at face value, would’ve been harmless, but the way she asked was venomous.
“No. I was perfectly aware that I was in bed with Sookie…” I licked my lips to remind her of what she ‘dreamt’. “And she got much more out of it than I did. But YOU are the wrong Sookie.”
“What? Do you have a back up Sookie? One that puts out and doesn’t argue?” Yes.
“Does the Eric you know think you’re nothing but a telepath?”
She shrugged. “I don’t know. Maybe.”
“Then why don’t you figure that out instead of throwing accusations at me. I’ll leave you alone as soon as my clothing is delivered.”
“I don’t get it. How did you get here if you…”
“Did you find my phone while you were looking for my clothes?” She nodded and pointed to the bed. I grabbed it and opened the photo album I’d been keeping. “We’re assuming that it has to do with Vampires and Faeries coupling. It happens to Hadley and Sophie-Ann and happens to me and my wife…”
“You son of a bitch! You’re married and you’ve been flirting with me all this time…”
“Close your mouth. Don’t ask questions and begin a conniption before the answer is complete. Yes, I’m married. I’m married to My Sookie. The Eric who’s been flirting with you is as unattached as I was before Sookie walked into my life. Before you start calling me a liar or a lunatic, look at the album… It’s turned out to be the most convincing evidence we have. We can’t explain why it happens, it just does. Adele began calling it ‘skipping’ months ago. Jason has joked about bonding with Bubba so he can skip as well. Once I get back to Shreveport, I’ll be able to go back to my version of reality, back to my family… I’m hoping that my Sookie is waiting at home for me.”
“As opposed to?”
“She’s woken up with Compton before.”
“Do y’all not like Bill or something?”
“Bill Compton is a bastard. The sooner you cut him out of your life, the better off you are.”
She huffed, “I might believe you if there was any evidence to that fact. You keep telling me that Bill can’t be trusted, but you just want to get into my pants.”
“Not me. I have a Sookie in my bed every night already. I have nothing to gain by telling you Compton is a prick.”
“Then what has he done?”
“He might as well have killed your grandmother himself…”
“He didn’t hurt Gran…”
“He didn’t have to, Sookie. He glamoured Rene to do it for him. He’d have done it himself except he needed you as an alibi.”
She shook her head, letting a tear fall. “Did he admit to it?”
“He didn’t have to. How did you find Dawn?”
She sniffled, “She was sprawled out on her bed… strangled…”
“And Maudette was killed, how?”
“But Adele was…?”
She covered her mouth and gasped, “Stabbed.”
“It’s a long story and I’ll gladly explain on the plane.”
She wailed, “Why the hell would I go back? Oh my God! I… My house is right next to his! If he killed Gran…!”
I shrugged and offered my phone to her again. “If the Eric you know has been flirting with you, then I’m sure he’ll offer you protection. Why have you run away?”
“My Gran was murdered. I’ve been attacked by a Maenad. I had an ancient pedophile save me from being raped. I was manhandled and whooped by Weres. I was nearly killed by one Vampire and then raped by…”
“Bill.” Fuck. She was the version I was with in Jackson. “So you’ve been back from Jackson for a week…” I was interrupted by the room’s phone. I finally took her hand and put my phone in it… the first picture was of me and My Sookie on the London Eye. Seeing herself with me somewhere she’d never been, finally made her curious enough to look at the photos and give me the chance to answer the phone.
“Hello?” I assumed it was the concierge, calling to tell me I was fucked and had to stay for the day since that would be my luck.
“I love you madly, Eric. I’m sorry for whatever she’s said or done.” My Sookie’s voice always sounded so much sweeter to me during a skip.
“You have no idea how good it is to hear you say that. Do you still mean it knowing that I almost fucked her?”
“Lemme guess… she laid down after sunbathing and she thought she was dreaming when you woke up high?” The saddest part was that Sookie wasn’t guessing… she was reminding me of 2 other times. At least that Sookie had a sense of humor about it since it was September’s Sookie and she was already bonded to ‘Me’ by the time it happened.
“She’s been yelling and/or crying for a while and I’m still hard… Where are you?”
“Not close enough to help, Sweetie. Sorry. I’m at Fangtasia. I’m with the other You.” Lucky bastard. He has the good one and I’m spending my evening with a belligerent brat… well, she had been belligerent until she started looking through the album. At the time, she was quietly weeping.
“And I’m in Nassau, waiting for the boutique to deliver some clothes. I’ve had to charter a flight. I’ll be getting home just before dawn. Are there problems?”
“Now that I’ve killed Bill, the only thing wrong is that I miss you. This Sookie pulled a Hoffa.”
“No. Hoffa went to the Riviera… This Sookie doesn’t want to return with me. She’s panicking, thinking Her Eric found her so easily. She’s planning to leave… What should I know?”
“Um… I woke up in Bon Temps. Bill grabbed me on the way to the car and started in…”
“Started in how?”
“I love you, Sookeh. You mustn’t leave. How could yew scay-ah me intentionalleh? You ah Mine.” Complete with horrible accent and phony baritone. It had been too accurate.
“Don’t. Ever. Do. That. Again.”
She giggled. “Sorry. Anyway, he had a few kittens because I ‘stunk’ of you. He grabbed me again and I shoved a branch from Gran’s prized hydrangea into his chest. The end.”
“Alcide will be upset that you didn’t record it for him.”
“HAY! He already got to kill a Bill! It was my turn! Besides… he’ll get over it because Ema drew it.” I chuckled as I realized… we’d all assumed the ‘puddle’ in the driveway was transmission or brake fluid… to the extent that we all took our cars in for tune-ups.
“We should tell her that it was just a broken oil pan. She’s a little distraught over how many deaths she’s drawn.”
“I can go along with that… so I get to Fangtasia and well, you’re a very good kisser. Couldn’t help myself.”
“Not funny. Continue my briefing.”
She huffed, “Spoil sport… Ok, so, what we know is that this Sookie was in Jackson and got healed by Eric, but this Eric needed me to explain things to him. Somehow, everything went the same for them, but there wasn’t two Erics.”
“How did they keep Lorena’s toadies from reporting his absence?”
There was a pause before the other Eric answered, “Pam force-fed Viagra to a man and glamoured him and a couple of girls to fuck in my office during business hours. Local Vampires knew better than to ask for me because they heard…”
I finished for him, “But Lorena’s spies exposed themselves by trying to interrupt. Beautiful. There’s a very good reason to keep Pam.”
Sookie giggled, “No shit. That’s a good one… So, I get here and find out Sookie’s had enough. She skipped town and sent letters to Eric and Jason… Hell, sweetie, I don’t have to tell you what she went through in Jackson since you saw at least one version happen first hand. Who can blame her? Her letters said she didn’t want anyone else to get hurt because of her…”
“Nevermind that she has been beaten, mauled, raped and objectified.”
“Right, now all that considered, she didn’t go far enough away. This Eric guessed Florida before I found the charge in her account from Delta. It was only a matter of time before he tracked her down. A couple of nights maybe. Bill was looking for her too.”
“He’s not an issue now though. Should I just leave her here then? I was going to suggest she come back to Shreveport with me, but if Eric is the only one who can find her…”
“His eyes lit up when I told him about the clinics… that being in the open makes me safer. Judging by the way he kissed me, he’d prefer it if she came home.” Rubbing it in, Sookie? Really?
“Judging by the way she squealed when I went down on her, she might be inclined to return…”
Runaway Sookie shrieked, “I thought I was dreaming!”
I couldn’t help myself, “My wife would certainly have that excuse, but you have a track record of denying your feelings for Your Eric. What does it say that you were begging for…”
“Why? Because you’re still hesitant to admit your feelings for him? Or because he can hear that you haven’t denied anything?”
She grumbled, “Asshole,” while the other Me asked to speak to her.
When I offered the phone to her, she shook her head and backed up. I had to call her a ‘chicken shit’ before she’d take it from me.
She growled, “Hello.”
“Since Bill’s been ended, and I’m the only one who can find you now, you can consider yourself safe where you are, but you forgot a few details. Do you have a preference of a new name?”
“Nothing about your name is common. Three states of Vampires know who you are. You might be able to blend in, but your name won’t. Let me know what name you want and I’ll send new credentials.”
“I don’t really want to owe you any favors.”
“I owe you already. Jackson was my fault and I didn’t realize it. If you need anything, just call me. Call your brother. He’s worried…”
“You went to Jason?”
“He came to me. Rather, Bill brought him to help accuse me of doing something to you as expected. Just call him on his cell phone. It’s harder to trace.”
“Wait… how was Jackson your fault?”
“As it turns out, your reason for being in Jackson was staged because I had you pull that bullet out of my shoulder.”
She looked at me questioningly so I held up two fingers and said, “That we know of.” Given the myriad of ways Jackson could have gone, I was sure we’d meet more eventually. It was early yet.
“It… it doesn’t sound like…”
I cut her off. “Everything you left to avoid was neutralized when Bill Compton was ended.”
The other Me added, “Even Pam understands why you’d leave, but this Eric and Sookie have come up with a way for her to be openly telepathic too. Just let me know. I’ll do what I can to help. I’ll look into the Vampires down there so you’ll be prepared.”
“Um… ok… thanks.”
“I promised to give Jason word, but I think he’d rather hear from you. I’ll call him tomorrow night to give you some time to do it.”
She looked puzzled as she handed the phone back to me and went to the small suitcase on the dresser to gather some clothes.
My Sookie huffed, “Hurry home. I’m on your lap and I miss you.”
“Sookie, could you stop flirting with other Mes?”
“You want I should go down on him instead?”
She whined, “But you’re all so sexy and… I miss you…”
“I’ll repeat, NOT. FUNNY.”
She giggled. “We’re sharing the desk while we tracked y’all down. You should let your snacky-poo know that one call to his bank would’ve tracked her Dallas check back to her bank… he’d have found her tomorrow. She needs to realize Bill probably would’ve boxed himself up and landed in Nassau before sunset tomorrow.”
“I’ll let her know.”
“Let her know what?” Sookie had barely let me hang up the phone.
“They found you because Sookie knew your bank information. She still has the account… but it would have only taken one phone call before Your Eric found out what bank you use. After that, Pam could’ve glamoured to find the charges for the plane ticket.”
“But would he have bothered?”
“Yes. As a minimum, he would’ve warned you that you weren’t well hidden enough to evade Compton. He guessed Florida. If he could feel you…”
She nodded and finished, “Bill would’ve… I didn’t realize what Bill was up to. Eric, I’ve… I’ve felt sorry for him.”
“I’m sure… The other Me obviously didn’t hold that against you. My fucking wife is on his lap at the moment.”
She snorted before breaking into a full laugh, but she shook her head with her hands up. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry. I just… to hear you talk about ‘your wife’ is weird enough, but… you’re jealous that back in Shreveport, she’s basically sitting on your lap… after what I woke up to? This is the definition of insanity.”
“Actually, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome.”
She rolled her eyes and started for the bathroom with her clothes. “Is that what this is? Your Sookie ‘got it right’ by being with you from the jump? So you guys get to impart your wisdom to the rest of us?”
Since we still hadn’t figured that out, I shrugged. “We’re learning as we go… Knowing that you’re safer to go back now that you’ve killed Lorena and Bill, are you traveling with me?”
She put her things on the bathroom counter and came back over to face me. “I’m still worried that something is going to happen to someone I love because of me.”
“In all the scenarios we’ve seen when we skip, the misery that you’ve been through has been because of Bill and Rene. Your Rene is in prison and your version of Compton is no longer a consideration.”
“What about later? What about Stan Davis and Russell Edgington and Queen…”
“Stan Davis has Barry now thanks to you. Russell Edgington most likely considers you to owe him a favor, and nothing more, because you bled all over his limo and guest room. Sophie-Ann is a bizarre creature, but she has a very firm grip on the concepts of freedom and family. Since she gains insight from the skips, she won’t employ extreme measures. She’ll offer you a contract… I would like to point out that this isn’t like you. Are you really running from ‘what ifs’?”
She huffed. “If you laugh, I swear to God, I’ll kick your ass… I dragged my ass out of bed a couple of days ago and went to the grocery store. I ran into a friend of mine. She was jittery so I listened in… Eric, I met Vampires and life as I knew it was over. Vampires brought on Shifters. Shifters brought on Weres… Maenads and Trolls and whatever Dr. Ludwig is… My friend is a Witch and I never put any bank in that, but there’s new Witches in Shreveport that she’s TERRIFIED of. Every time something new happens…”
“It certainly isn’t pleasant for you… It’s understandable for you to be concerned, but why didn’t you tell your Eric about it?”
“I did. I mailed both letters at the same time. I sent one to Pam anonymously, but I wrote both of them so he’d know it was me.”
“There are good Witches and…”
She glared at me as she interrupted, “If you give me some Wizard of Oz joke…”
I chuckled, “I wasn’t going to. My assistant is a Witch. She’s likely to be one of the most powerful Witches I’ve come across, but she, and I’m quoting Paulette, ‘uses her powers for love instead of destruction’. She uses her skills to cast wards and protection spells. She bound a pair of young Weres from shifting without their Packmaster’s approval because they were being mischievous enough to have most of Oklahoma wolf hunting… What I’m getting at, was Holly terrified of their intentions or their power?”
“I… How did you know it was Holly?”
“Because Holly is the only Witch My Sookie knew until she met Paulette and her family. Holly is only practicing and has no special craft or ability. Well?”
“I don’t know. She was thinking about a brother and sister and… that screwing around with the Vampires in the Area was going to get everyone killed.”
I took my phone from the arm of the chair where she left it and scrolled through the album to find one of the new Christmas photos. I held it out to show Sookie. “The two in the background? They are Porter and Paulette Simonette.”
“The woman on Alcide’s lap?”
I nodded. “Paulette. They started dating almost as soon as Paulette joined us in Shreveport.”
She grinned from ear to ear. “Yeah? They look sweet together… Not like that Deb nut. That isn’t the Witch Holly was picturing.”
I nodded. “Get dressed. I’ll call Fangtasia back and then you can call Jason.”
Eric was laughing when he answered, “Northman.”
“Greetings. Do I want to know what she did to make you laugh like that?”
He chuckled, “No. Pam’s not talking to us right now.”
“Pranking while coasting across plains in existence. Lovely. While you’ve been enjoying your evening…”
“More than you know.” I could be such an asshole.
“I discovered why Your Sookie left. She mailed a letter to Pam anonymously in regards to Witches being in the Area. Her friend Holly is terrified and knows that they have plans to interfere with Vampires somehow.”
“Witches? She survived a Maenad attack and she’s afraid of…”
“As soon as she met a Vampire, someone died. As soon as she met a Maenad, she was attacked. Werewolves have tried to kill her and she saw Hobbs melt the skin from a man. I think she might have an excuse to be leery of a natural Witch powerful enough to scare her own kind and dumb enough to antagonize Vampires.”
“Fair point… Your Sookie knows the witness too, yes? Questioning her would be sensible.”
“And calling Paulette for input.”
“Are you certain you aren’t just thinking of reasons to get your wife off my lap?” Was she still on it?
“That’s exactly what I’m doing. Have Pam look through her mail. Find something out. It might be useful to us as well.”
I lounged on the bed wrapped in a towel since I was still waiting for my delivery from downstairs.
Sookie scowled as she dialed her brother. “Cover up or something!”
“No. Stop looking.”
She flipped me off as her brother sleepily answered, “Sook?” How did he know it was her?
“Shit! How are… I… Wait. Before I forget, that Eric guy, he told me to tell you if you need anything call him. No questions asked.”
“Eric said that?”
“Yeah. After he read Bill the riot act for being like the world’s shittiest boyfriend and threw him outta town. He’s worried that someone could still find you… How come you didn’t tell me e’erthing? I mean… you been through a lot.”
“It just wasn’t something I could really talk about.” I couldn’t have been happier to hear the knock on the door.
“Makes me wanna whoop Bill’s ass myself. That fuck. When I read my letter I went over to your place… he came over and sniffed around. He said he smelled another Vampire in your bed…”
She scoffed, “Oh God! That idiot… that’s like over a week old… from before I went to Jackson.” I tossed the towel at her and dug into my bag of new clothes. I couldn’t bring myself to care that the shirt was a souvenir and the shoes were flip flops. At least they carried actual jeans.
“Yeah, well… Bill was shitty anyway… checked his mailbox when we left for Shreveport… you shoulda seen the looks…”
“That sexy Vampire…”
“Eric?” I chuckled quietly because she was still preoccupied from earlier.
“Naw… I mean, I wouldn’t go gay for him or nothin’, but he’s alright… Talking ‘bout the one with lips that could…”
Sookie cut him off, unwilling to hear how he was going to fill in the blank. “Pam.”
“Right… her. Anyway. Eric was reading his letter when we got to his office. Just got it I guess… he looked like someone killed his puppy… Bill just looked like the first kid in line when the roller coaster shut down.” That sounded fairly accurate. Jason had his own special descriptive style… once you learned to think in crayon, he painted fairly accurate mental images.
“How shitty was he?”
“He started off by accusing Eric of taking you or knowing where you are… Eric told him that if he had ya, he wouldn’t be wastin’ time at Fangtasia.”
She snorted, “Oh did he?”
“Yeah… so… e’erthing ok? I mean, what are you, like at an airport or something?”
“No. I’m… On my way home.”