Once back at my house, Sookie followed me down to my room, making herself at home enough to stir some sulking on my part… My Sookie would have been on edge in my driveway which was why I’d only ever called her to Fangtasia. Sure, Compton could have followed his blood to find my resting place, but it would have given me an excuse to end him earlier.
While I went to shower, she sat at my desk to begin scanning the spellbook so she could take digital copies to Her Paulette… Marnie and Mark were still an active possibility in their version of life.
By the time I was turning off the water, Sookie was explaining everything to Pam in detail… I should have known Pam wouldn’t have waited for her update, but I was allowed to be surprised with how casual Sookie was with her…
It was another reason to sulk. I was sure that I’d never seen My Sookie interacting as happily with Compton and she supposedly loved him. For that matter, My Sookie would’ve been on edge because she wouldn’t have known Pam’s tension was from being deprived information.
I dressed at my closet while Sookie explained Paulette’s theory about the spells and as she finished, she went to my dresser to take one of my undershirts and a pair of my boxers so she could take a shower.
Pam sat on the corner of my bed and gave me ‘that look’ until I told her, “Go ahead. I know you have something to say.”
“Seriously, when did this happen? That IS NOT the same Sookie.” She didn’t have to tell me that.
Sookie snickered from the shower, “You might as well tell her. Ours knows.”
I spent the next ten minutes explaining the bizarre phenomenon of skipping to Pam with Sookie’s occasional help from the bathroom (thanks to her impressive hearing). By the time I was done, Pam was bored.
She shook her head and huffed, “How long have you two been working on that?” That was more sedate than the reaction I expected.
Sookie giggled as she emerged from the bathroom, “Since the first time I walked into Fangtasia.” Sookie’s thighs were covered with red blotches that were going to be black bruises in a matter of hours. The only peace I got from seeing her injuries was from knowing she belonged to a Me and she wouldn’t be left unhealed for any amount of time.
Sookie’s answer was perfectly worded. The boredom in Pam’s eyes disappeared instantly… She shouted, “Months!? This has ALL been one long set up!?”
“No. The only reason we didn’t say anything earlier was because we were sure you wouldn’t believe us. Since you’re here, do you want to go with us to the airport to get My Eric and His Sookie?”
“So you can make fun of me for standing in the cold and waiting for something that isn’t going to happen?”
Sookie shrugged. “Whatever. Suit yourself.”
“You don’t care if I go or not?”
Sookie shook her head. “Why would I? Just keep this in mind if an Eric walks into Fangtasia when he’s already in his seat on the stage or in his office.”
“You aren’t fucking with me!”
I couldn’t help myself… I blurted, “Why the fuck do you believe her over me?”
“Because of your mood. You didn’t believe yourself when you explained… but you aren’t having any fun with this. You’re… you’re…”
“Not full of shit?”
She nodded. “That’s one way to put it.”
Sookie’s clothing was washed and dried in plenty of time for us to leave for the airport. She filled her idle time by sharing anecdotal information about other versions, but as the evening pressed on, our respective matches closed the distance…
Saying we were anxious would have been an understatement… We left for the airfield much earlier than we needed to, but Pam was the only one to mention the timing.
As Sookie paced the tarmac next to my car, I was practically overwhelmed by panic… Something was scaring My Sookie enough that I could have sworn I felt her trembling…
The fear had been enough, but when her mood became a sudden nothing, the only thing to stop me from meeting the plane while it was still making its final approach was that the Sookie with me could explain…As it turned out, My Sookie’s fear was most likely caused by the pilot’s announcement about the pending landing and the nothingness was the result of a telepathic trick… My Sookie was using Eric’s quiet mind as a shelter.
Small planes and large, Sookie was afraid to fly and landings caused more fear than any other part of the flight… Sookie joked that the only way she could enjoy a carefree flight was on ‘Air Eric’. She trusted him more than machinery.
As the plane finally touched down, Sookie asked, “Do you think you can handle hanging back for a minute?”
Pam didn’t give me the chance to answer. She snorted, “He might last 30 seconds, but only if we tie him down with silver-“
I had to put my hand over her mouth so I could speak for myself. “What do you have in mind?”
Sookie shrugged and tried to keep from laughing at Pam. “Proving a point.”
“What kind of point?”
“The kind of point that puts things into perspective for Sookie… It won’t take a minute.”
I growled, agreeing with a nod… if for no better reason than not wanting to seem too eager to see My Sookie again.
Pam mumbled into my hand, “You can let me go now.”
“No. This is good.”
Sookie took Pam’s hand to rescue her from the muzzle. “Pam’s with me so she can ‘call’ you when I’m done.”
The small plane had its own steps and Sookie shoved the pilot out of the way as soon as they were lowered.
I wasn’t too far away to hear Pam and My Sookie gasp… or the amorous noises caused by Eric and Sookie’s reunion.
Only a moment later, My Sookie shrieked, “OhmyGod!” and then Pam called me…
I could see Sookie wrapped around another Me as I climbed the steps to join everyone in the cabin. I had to duck to step inside, and before my back was straight again, My Sookie had her arms around my sides as though her life depended on it.
I wasn’t opposed to the greeting, just surprised by it.
The other Me mumbled to his Sookie that she’d been ‘cruel’, so Pam explained, “Sookie asked where you were. All the other one said was ‘taking care of the Witch problem didn’t go according to plans’.”
That sneaky, double-talking bitch implied something regrettable happened to me… and it caused My Sookie to cling to me like a life raft. Beautiful.
The other Sookie finally took her face away from Eric’s neck to say, “And I dare her to claim she doesn’t care about you. She had no reaction to hearing Compton is dead, but she almost swooned at the idea of you being hurt.”
My Sookie sniped from against my chest, “That was a bitch-move. Your husband already turned the past few hours into an Eric-Infomercial!”
Interested in making a purchase?
The other Sookie giggled, “Yeah, she is.”
“You heard that?”
“Yup. I told you it doesn’t happen often…”
The other me grumbled, “Or reliably… Never Pam and through the various encounters we’ve had, different Sookies have heard Stan Davis, the Berts, Russell and Andre, but in the version where she heard Andre, he was her Maker.”
He nodded as though it was nothing. “He went rogue as soon as Hadley mentioned her telepathic cousin. His intention was to take her to Sophie-Ann, but she put up such a fight he didn’t have a choice… so he said. Regardless, the only time Sookie can read Vampire minds reliably is when I’m her Maker…”
“Even then, it’s only between the two of us… We should go. The air is much colder here and I’m not sure Pinkus can tolerate the sudden change.”
The other Sookie was still attached to him at his waist. She tilted her head to the side to ask, “Pinkus?”
He nodded, “We’ll have to hope Hunter wants to change his name… As it turns out, the Bahamas has its own species of endangered iguanas. Pinkus won’t grow to be nearly as large as Monte Carlo…”
His wife giggled again, “If he goes back from a skip with us, Gran won’t care if it’s a T-Rex… and Hunter will be excited just because it’s nearly extinct.”
He raised an eyebrow in My Sookie’s direction. She scoffed as she let go of me to grab her bags and start for the steps…
During the short drive back to the house, the other Sookie sat in the back seat with her husband, jokingly teasing him for going to the Bahamas without her. He very seriously told her, given what My Sookie’s scent had been like when he rose, he’d found where they were going to be taking their new boat in May… and then explained his inspiration for buying it…
Since Pam had taken her own car, she was already waiting in my driveway, impatient to take part in as much of the skip as she could.
The other Sookie made a beeline downstairs to get my laptop while Mine took in her surroundings. There wasn’t any way to be sure of what specifically surprised her about my house without asking and I wasn’t sure I wanted to hear the answer…
Unfortunately, Pam asked.
Sookie shrugged, “It’s just nothing like Fangtasia… I never really spent any time thinking about it, you know, what his house is like… this is pretty.” ‘Pretty’ was better than anything else I could imagine… hearing it compared to Compton’s antebellum shack would have been just as insulting as a fiction based preconception.
The other Sookie snuck up on her to say, “Ours is prettier. Gran keeps a tablecloth on the table and her pretty pink Kitchen Aid appliances really brighten up the kitchen.” With my black marble? Their Pam must have had a little party.
“Gran lives here?”
She nodded. “And in Bon Temps. We split our time between the houses when we’re in the Area at all… Wait ‘til you see the study. I swear, sometimes it’s hard to get Gran to leave long enough to run to the grocery store. It usually takes getting Alcide to ask for something we don’t have in the house for dinner…” She held my laptop out for me. As I took it from her, she smirked and wiggled her eyebrows. “Now if you’ll excuse us, we’re going to borrow your room for a bit.”
“Do you consider a threesome cheating?”
While My Sookie glowered, the other one knew I was joking enough to throw her head back and cackle.
When she was done with her laugh she came over to give me a hug, kissing my cheek and reminding me of ‘what we talked about’… and while she said goodbye to Pam, Eric put a memory card in my hand…
The two of them wasted no time going downstairs and she called back to Sookie to say there was a sandwich in the refrigerator for My Sookie and she’d leave her clothes by the bed for her.
The door to my room was barely closed before Pam whined, “Now I have to wait for them to get done fucking too?”
I rolled my eyes at her. “Sookie and I weren’t fucking earlier. That was a joke…”
“I still have to wait for them to fuck…”
“No, you don’t. They’re going home.”
“They don’t know how it happens. The confusion resets itself once they go to bed together. Sookie compared it to watching a candle’s flame being snuffed out. They’ve tried to have it witnessed by another pair of them, but it can only be witnessed telepathically.”
She stared at me with her mouth open for a moment before huffing, “Fuck this. Nothing exciting ever happens when I’m around. I always have to hear about it later. I’m going home…”
Sookie watched her leave and stared at the door to the garage until she heard Pam’s tires squeal as she drove away…
She actually giggled.
“Don’t be so amused. She thinks she’s doing me a favor by leaving us alone.” Or she was leaving on her own terms rather than waiting for me to ask.
She shrugged and pointed to the refrigerator. “Do you mind? I didn’t realize I was hungry until Sookie said ‘sandwich’.”
I shook my head and watched her take the little Styrofoam box and bottle of tea to the other side of the counter. “Did you not eat anything since you woke?”
“Some… I got upset and didn’t finish.”
“He upset you?”
“Not him… hearing how every gripe I have has sprung from choices I made… I was kicking myself.”
“It can’t be undone, unfortunately… Sookie told me in nearly every version they’ve met, Compton was all but an angel of death to someone in your life. I understand Adele would remind you that you still have your brothers, yes?”
She nodded. “Just one brother, but yeah, she would say something right up that alley.” Fuck. Of all the things for the other Me to not explain…
“Your mother and father were estranged for a while…”
She tilted her head to the side with a curious look on her face. “Yeah. That’s no secret. I’m what happened when they got back together.”
“Brandon is what happened while they were apart.”
Nearly everything about her stopped. She stared at me with a mouthful… perhaps waiting for a punchline she wouldn’t get…
“I can look him up for you. According to Sookie he lives here in Shreveport with his daughter… they’re both telepathic. It’s funny when you think about it. He works for Herveaux & Son. He took the job because Weres were more difficult for him to read.”
I took my laptop to sit next to her, beginning the search for Brandon since Sookie seemed to need time to process the idea of having another brother.
She gasped when I typed ‘Russo’ into the last name field of the public records search. “What?”
“I… You spelled it wrong… R O U S S E A U.”
“You know him already?”
She shook her head. “No… Gran had me take her to a funeral a couple of years ago. The woman’s name was Julie Rousseau and I overheard Gran thinking that she was one of Daddy’s old flames.”
“If we’re assuming it was his mother who passed, he’ll probably be excited to find that he has more family…”
“Or I should let sleeping dogs lie. Everyone I know gets hurt.”
“You should be more focused on the fact that you continually get injured… ‘You’ didn’t even escape tonight without bruises.”
“How did that go? With the witches?”
She gasped again, covering her mouth. “OhmyGod!Holly?”
“No. Not your friend. The two she was frightened of. Marnie and Mark Stonebrook. Their intentions were to capture me using some type of spell and feed from me to make themselves stronger. After seeing you hold a woman over your head and choke a Were until he passed out, I can’t imagine how much damage Marnie could have done if you hadn’t had the luck of running into Holly when you did.”
“Sookie is that strong?”
I nodded. “Their Pam calls her ‘Vamp-lite’. It seems the only thing she hasn’t already adopted is the ability to fly.” As soon as I spoke, I wished I could unsay everything… The other Sookie was excited for Hunter to mature so she could be turned, but that didn’t mean My Sookie wouldn’t overreact to the idea. Changing the subject… “Did Eric mention that Sookie had been taught a few magical basics?”
She nodded, either unfazed or successfully diverted and I was too relieved to care which. “Yeah. She warded him out of their room.”
She blushed and looked away. “I’m so not going into those details… Why do you ask?”
“You first. Why did she ward him out of their room?”
“To tease him. That’s all you’re getting. Your turn.” Tease? After spending the evening with her, I couldn’t help but picture a hundred ways she could torment him while he could look, but not touch… I almost forgot what I was about to say, but by the time I pushed my imagination to the side, Sookie’s face was bright red.
“Would you accept lessons? I was already considering having your property warded against ill-will, but…”
She narrowed her eyes. “Were you going to mention it to me first?”
“No. It would have sparked an unnecessary debate and the ward only would have interfered with the comings and goings of those who would harm you.”
“I would have known right away.”
“I doubt it… unless your senses are heightened enough to smell magic.”
“Do you think Bill would’ve stayed quiet about not being able to get to me?” That prick would have charged into my office, knowing I’d had the ward cast… but not that the ward was only to keep her safe. He would have exposed himself… I should have had her property warded as soon as we returned from Dallas when I thought of it.
“Fair enough. Lessons? I know a Witch who would…”
“Can I have Holly teach me some things?”
“Holly is just a Human who practices…”
“I would be too though.”
“Alright. Have Holly teach you what she can.”
She studied my face for a moment with her head tilted to the side. “What?”
“Nothing. You’re welcome to stay here for the day, but Sookie left your car at Fangtasia. You can take my car if you aren’t comfortable stay-”
She waved her hand as she interrupted, “I’ll stay here for the day. I’m too tired to drive all that way and I’m dying to know what’s on the disk. I don’t have my own computer… Eric, say what you were thinking.”
Lovely… “Holly doesn’t know her ass from a hole in the ground in a Supernatural sense. She didn’t recognize two of Marnie’s minions had stolen their names from the Salem Witch Trials… she thought ghosts could possess Humans… and she assumed Weres could be made Human by killing the Were who bit them. Paulette is a very powerful natural Witch… She’s the only one I would trust as your tutor because she’s done a remarkable job with the other Sookie’s education and I’ve been told that she can be trusted with your telepathy.”
“Why didn’t you just say that?”
“Because I don’t want to argue with you.” It was too close to dawn for it to end well.
“Why did you agree to me seeing Holly about it then?”
“Because you’d never know if I still had Paulette ward your property in addition to what your friend taught you.”
She huffed, “Shit… Eric… You’ve got to stop that…”
“You asked, Sookie. You shouldn’t ask questions if you don’t want to hear the answer…”
“Hold on… I’ve been a bitch to you. I’m sorry. I was up to my chin in lies because I don’t know better and I can’t read your mind… I meant that you’ve got to stop clamming up. I need to hear your reasons. Truth be told, I’d feel more comfortable having Holly teach me because I’ve never met Paulette. I don’t know the difference so I need someone to tell me.”
I nodded. “I’ve already come to the conclusion you’ve been sheltered on a criminal level. I’m just as guilty as Compton in that aspect…”
“No you’re not… You know damn well I wouldn’t have listened because I was hopelessly convinced Bill was ‘the good guy’. Everyone said he was an asshole, but when you didn’t tell me why, I assumed it’s because you’re trying to get me in bed… And since Jason’s public displays of intelligence are limited to football and cup size, I assume he’s being an overprotective big brother because I don’t have any way to gauge that either. Everyone else I know is just terrified of Vampires in general. And none of that matters any-damn-way because the only person I really would’ve listened to…”She finally paused to breathe, shuddering as her eyes welled. “… didn’t live long enough to see a bigger picture… and believe me, if Gran got any hints he was up to something, she would’ve uninvited him in a heartbeat. You and Bill couldn’t be more different, but…”
“How were you supposed to know why?”
She nodded to agree, but stopped to sniffle and give me a puzzled look. “Are you making fun of me?”
“No. I’m just letting you know you don’t have to explain. I’d been blaming your naïveté for your attachment to Compton already, but it wasn’t until tonight that I was clued in to how your gift was clouding your judgment.”
“What do you mean?”
“I knew you couldn’t hear our thoughts, nothing more. I didn’t know you could sense deceit or read our moods. Given the new information, I can understand why you’d be confused.”
“You ARE making fun of me!” How the fuck did she come to the conclusion that I was teasing her from that?
“When have I ever made fun of you? Stop that. It’s not fair that you assume the worst of me.”
“Fair? You want to talk about fair…” Here we go… She’d been pleasant for long enough, it seemed. Her inner bitch wanted a turn.
I interrupted, “Once I met the other Sookie I had fun tonight. I spent the evening with a Sookie who talked to me instead of questioning everything I said. She laughed when I made a joke instead of cynically looking for a hidden meaning. She didn’t assume I had a clandestine agenda because she knew better. The only difference between the two of Us is he had the benefit of making a better first impression on you because Bill Compton wasn’t present. I haven’t done a single fucking thing to hurt you intentionally, yet you seem to be under the impression I’m out to get you.”
She was quiet for a moment, studying the countertop before nodding and saying, “You’re right. I’m sorry.”
I stared at her while I searched my memory, trying to recollect if I’d ever heard of a substance that caused Vampires to hallucinate. I finally managed to ask, “What are you apologizing for in particular?”
She shrugged and huffed, “Everything. I don’t even know where the hell to start. After all the stuff Eric told me tonight, I feel like a complete idiot. I pigeonholed myself. I bought it all, hook, line and sinker. ‘You didn’t want me. You wanted control over my ability.’ I thought you were just working me like an investment. I’ve been suspicious of you and your behavior from the night I met you and even if it was justifiable because all I had to go on was what I was told by the only person who knew you, I didn’t have to be such a shithead about it.” I wished Pam had stayed. At least then I’d have a witness.
I was at a loss. How the fuck did one evening make such a huge difference? “He won’t be causing that problem any longer.”
She growled, “I know… How do I get that mess out of a lawn?” Excuse me? I’d half expected her to want to hold services for him.
I couldn’t help but chuckle. “You’re going to have to douse it with kerosene and burn it. If you try to wash it away with a hose it’ll just kill a larger area.”
“If that’s the case, I could just leave it. As full of crap as Bill was, he might make decent fertilizer.”
“Why would you think he’d be that useful?”
She snickered and mumbled that she was going to hell for making jokes about someone who just died before taking a bite of her sandwich.
Since there was less than an hour before dawn by the time she was finished eating, I carried her suitcase as I gave a brief tour that ended in one of the unused bedrooms upstairs… and before I left her, she gave me a grateful hug and peck on the cheek.
As I made my way down to my room, I tried to figure out what the fuck the other Me had done to get through to her.
Seeing the neat little stack of folded clothing on the corner of my bed inspired a different manner of musing completely. Mine or not, a Sookie had been in my bed.
That was enough to give me ‘sweet dreams’.
I emailed Paulette about a permanent position as my assistant and Sookie’s tutor and settled into bed with a few minutes to spare and just in time to feel Sookie getting closer.
She knocked on the door to my room lightly and cracked the door to ask, “Mind if I come in?”
“Something on your mind?”
She stepped in wearing her pajamas and stopped just inside the door. She fidgeted for a moment before she folded her arms to stop. “I wanted to say something and I kind of want to get it out there before I… well, I… I tend to over think things.”
She huffed, “K… Here goes… When Long Shadow came after me, I got out of Dodge as quick as I could… too fast to thank you for saving my life. When Rene came after me, it was weird to see you floating outside my hospital window. Thank you for checking on me. When the Maenad got to me, I was in pain and scared of dying… Thank you for making arrangements for my treatment. Thank you for following me to Dallas. Thank you for tending to my injuries. Thank you for keeping me company at Stan’s nest. Thank you for taking me to the orgy. Thank you for sending Bubba to look after me. Thank you for hiring Alcide to escort me to Jackson. Thank you for following me there too. Thank you for looking after me. Thank you for healing me. Thank you for helping me save someone you hate and I should’ve hated. Thank you for pulling me out of the trunk. Thank you for taking me home. Thank you for killing those Weres who came after me. Thank you for coming back to check on me then. Thank you for being nice to my brother when Bill brought him to Fangtasia tonight. Thank you for missing me in spite of how I treated you. Thank you for caring enough to throw Bill out of your Area in my defense. Thank you for not giving up on me completely… I’m sure I missed a few, but they’ll come to me… And I’m still working on a list of apologies.”
All I could do was stare and be grateful I couldn’t actually choke on my tongue. As difficult as it was to get it to cooperate with speaking, I might as well have been.
She grinned at me and shook her head. “You don’t have to say anything. I just didn’t want to forget any of that.”
I nodded instead of asking for proof she was My Sookie.
She snickered and walked towards me, making herself at home in my bed and scooting over to lay her head on my shoulder and drape her arm over my stomach.
“What are you doing?”
She tilted her head to look up at me. “Snuggling.” She was smirking, teasing me for having done the same thing to her.
I deadpanned, “I feel violated.”
She giggled, “Is that even possible?”
“I don’t know. Would you like to test me?”
She laughed through her nose, biting her lip hard enough I could feel it. “You know better than that. I’m not that easy.”
“Yes, you are. I heard that you’ve already been in bed with another Vampire tonight.”
She rolled away from me and buried her face in the pillow and groaned.
Of course I followed her. “In case you’re confused, this is ‘making fun’, Sookie.”
She grumbled into the pillow. “I should’ve known I wasn’t going to live that down!”
I chuckled against the back of her shoulder and watched goosebumps spread over her arm. “I have to ask… are you on a list of some kind? Do you wake up with Vampires between your legs often?”
She flopped her head to the side and whined, “Often enough. Is my number printed under the caps of True Blood?”
I teased, “As a matter of fact…”
She giggled and twisted around to face me, resting her hands on my arms. She didn’t seem to care that I was half on top of her. “Great… I oughta look into-”
We were both distracted by a sudden shuffling on the other side of my room. We exchanged puzzled looks before she seemed to realize what it was.
Sookie slid out of the bed and wandered over carefully and crouched down next to my desk… When she stood again, she was holding a pink and orange faced iguana. “Poor thing… I guess iguanas don’t skip.”
“What the fuck am I going to do with that?”
She grinned and soothed the lizard by rubbing the top of its head with her finger. “Poor Hunter’s gonna have to wait until May to get his own. At least Eric already knows how to get one… I’ll keep him if you don’t want him. The care instructions for him seemed easy enough. Like having a cat again… Ooooooh, except I won’t have to worry about Bubba wanting this little guy for a snack.”
“You want an iguana?”
“I wouldn’t ask Santa for one, but this guy needs a home… I’m going to put him in your laundry room so he doesn’t make a mess of your carpet. I’ll be right back.”
I watched Sookie walk out with him and listened to her promise to go shopping for him tomorrow on her way up the stairs. It wasn’t any fucking wonder how Compton managed to garner her attention. All he had to do was be ugly and defenseless.
When she returned she used the sink in my bathroom to wash her hands and then slid back into bed next to me.
She caught me staring again and asked, “What?”
“You should keep Pinky…”
“You should keep Pinkus a secret so you don’t wake to find Merlotte in disguise.”
“Oh my God! Who told you about that!?” Unfuckingbelievable.
“Tell me you’re joking.”
“No… You were just joking?”
“Yes. Was he disguised as your cat?”
“No. A dog. It wasn’t creepy, just a poorly executed plan to keep an eye on me. I flipped my everlovin’ lid though. I took home a friendly stray because I was spooked and too proud to ask someone to stay with me and woke up with my naked boss curled up at the foot of the bed.”
I was staring again, but this time was because I was concentrating on not laughing.
She narrowed her eyes and groaned, “Go ahead.”
“Don’t tell me you haven’t got a joke on deck. C’mon…. Ummmm… How ‘bout, ‘Great. Now we need to check for your number inside Alpo bags too’.”
I snorted and shook my head, refusing to play along. She was doing my work for me and I didn’t have to risk crossing any lines she had when it came to her friends.
“Nothing about whether we ate breakfast together or if I put a bowl on the floor?”
I chuckled, but I only shook my head.
“You don’t want to know if he had coffee or drank out of the birdbath or anything?” That mental image was my tipping point.
“Sookie! You watched him use the yard!? How rude!”
She cackled so violently I wasn’t sure if she noticed I was laughing with her. I hadn’t even had this much fun with the other Sookie
When she finally got her breathing until control, she reached up and ran her thumb over my eyebrow. She was still smiling and practically cooed, “I like it like this. It’s like it could light up the room.” I was actually surprised that she’d show her cards so quickly. She’d always been so vague in describing her ability.
“It can’t always be like this though.”
She nodded and lowered her hand to rest it on my chest. “I know, but I don’t have to like how dark I’ve made it… I’m about to lose you, aren’t I?”
“No… Why would you say…” It took a moment for it to catch up to me. She hadn’t been suggesting that I wasn’t interested in her if I didn’t have to chase her… somehow she’d sensed that dawn’s pull was beginning before I had. “How?”
“In short, your mind’s like a fog… It’s getting tighter, more dense. Do you want me to go?”
“Are you sure? I understand if…”
“Stay here… Will you still be here when I rise or will I need to look for you again?”
She grinned apologetically and shifted so she could reach to kiss me. “I can’t think of a reason why I’d be any further than your study.”
I had to struggle to say, “Good.” Given that it sounded more like a primitive grunt, I doubt she grasped how much I meant it… or that it was an open invitation.
She hummed as she settled back into position. “That’s sweet… you’re welcome at my house too.”
I was barely holding on, only conscious of my surroundings, but miserably unable to respond. Not that I’d formulated more than ‘thank you’, but I didn’t want her to think her invitation wasn’t appreciated.
She rubbed her hand over my chest and whispered, “Calm down… we can talk later. G’nite.”
She let a long yawn and the heat of her breath was the last thing I felt before I was pulled under.