One Week Later…
Every night since Sookie, Tina and Shelly came to stay at my house had been more pleasant than I expected.
The sleepover might’ve been like any of the other nights if we hadn’t marked the occasion by having Bobby try to serve pizza, cupcakes and root-beer floats as High Tea…
I’d rise, feed, do as much work as I could while I waited for the sun to set, and then go to Fangtasia to bring Sookie and the girls back to the house. Sookie insisted that I stop ‘catering’ their visit after the sleep over (except for her waffles), so she’d make dinner for the girls while we practiced the sign language they’d been learning. They didn’t know that the cell phones were tracking devices, but they were aware that learning sign language was a silent way to signal me if they heard trouble since whispering did no good around Weres and Vampires… they’d been diligent with their lessons ever since they found out about seeing their father for visits.
Sookie and Pam had been trading nights at Fangtasia, not that Pam would’ve minded being a full time nanny since she’d been taking the girls out as soon as Sookie and I left the house. The once empty closets upstairs were pushing maximum capacity after only 3 trips to the mall with her little helpers. It hadn’t taken much discussion for me and Sookie to realize the other Pams had probably just been apprehensive of Hunter because he lacked ‘shopping genes’.
Since the ‘Winnie’ joke had run its course, Sookie used her doctor’s appointment on Friday to have more fun at Pam’s expense… Pam was frantically replacing all of the pink baby items she’d bought with blue. Sookie convinced her the doctors had been wrong and printed an ultrasound photo from the internet just for the prank…
Given that Sookie was making it a point to keep the house in pristine condition, the only thing I had close to a complaint about was that the live feeder mice for Sunshine and Snuggles were being kept in the garage so the girls wouldn’t have to think about how cute some parts of the food chain were.
Considering my lack of complaints, and I’d have been lying if I denied how much I enjoyed my company, I pushed Sookie to discuss living arrangements Thursday on the way to work. I hardly broached the subject before Sookie told me that the girls felt safe at my house and weren’t thinking about the divorce… That she’d stay as long as I promised to let her know before she overstayed her welcome. I was surprised enough that she wasn’t resisting my invitation that I let her put a rent check in my hand when she kissed my cheek and told me to stop buying their groceries.
Over the course of the week, several of Sookie’s friends from Bon Temps went to see her at Fangtasia, including repeat visits from Lafayette, and they all had gossip for her. Merlotte had ‘hired’ one of Sookie’s cousins to replace her and when Norris found out, Merlotte just so happened to get mugged after closing again.
I checked my phone, first and foremost… making sure that the girls hadn’t used the panic function on their phones and that there weren’t any emergencies.
Upon rising, there were usually a few texts from Sookie. Some business related, some household.
That night there was only one message. “Wear your happy pants. We have that dinner with Sam tonight. He’s already bitching about meeting at 8 bc he thinks the girls should be in bed by then.”
We should be ashamed of ourselves for keeping his daughters up until 10 so that their mother, who works nights, could rest since they sleep later.
I was halfway through my shower when I realized that I was ranting to no one about how many fucks I gave for Merlotte’s parental guidance.
It started all over again when I saw Merlotte’s truck, complete with a new windshield, parked next to the Escalade behind the bar… I landed on the roof and watched him twitch while I finished my long list of complaints.
He glared at me for a moment before he slid out of his seat slowly so he didn’t aggravate the injuries from his ‘mugging’.
“You’re supposed to be at Logan’s at 8. Not Fangtasia at 7.”
He held his neck to look up and answer, “I was waiting for you.”
“Because I’m fuckin’ playin’ nice, alright! I want to see my kids. I was hoping I could visit with them for a bit before we go to dinner so we could talk before their mouths are full of food.”
“You know I’ll know if you’re full of shit.”
“Yeah. I do. Don’t be a fuck. You can have Sookie. Fuck her. I lost her. Whatever. But those girls will always be mine.” How sweet. He could write for Hallmark.
“Are you sane enough to avoid a repeat of last week?”
“I guess I don’t have a choice, now do I?”
“No. You don’t.”
I followed Merlotte into the back hallway of the bar and heard the usual miniature stampede coming in my direction.
The arrogant look on Merlotte’s face was short-lived. As soon as he cleared the entry to the floor of the bar, the footsteps came to a sudden halt.
He’d squatted down, expecting an eager greeting and when he didn’t get anything but disappointed and frightened expressions, he looked up at me like he wanted to kill me.
I shook my head. “Don’t look at me like that. You damaged your relationship with them. They’re allowed to be guarded until you earn their trust back. They’re smart to question you.”
“And you would know that because you were a perfect father, right?”
“No. I know that because I’ve never given anyone a second chance to betray me. Your children have impressive survival instincts.”
He scowled at me as he stood up and his mood only deteriorated when he was out of the way enough for Tina and Shelly to leap into my arms. I was getting the greeting he thought he deserved, including the wave Sookie gave me from where she was waiting behind the bar.
“Were you ladies bad today?”
Shelly nodded proudly. “Bobby made uggie cup’akes.”
“You made him cook for you?”
Tina explained, “We told him purple icing. It was too pink then it was too blue… he almost cried.” So cute, so wicked…
“You two should have your fun while you still can. Paulette is coming next week. We’re going to be nice to her.”
Sookie giggled, “Oh no! What’ll y’all do when ‘Camp Bully’ is closed?”
“We already have a plan for that…” I set the girls down and took a step back. “Your father came early so that he could spend some extra time with you. Why don’t you take him to your booth and show him what you’ve drawn today.”
Tina actually scowled at me and grabbed Merlotte’s hand to lead the way and signed ‘not happy’ behind her back.
I joined Sookie behind the bar where her gun was on the counter and she immediately pinched the seam of my jeans and asked, “Happy pants?”
“My clown suit is at the dry cleaners. This will have to suffice. How was the day shift?”
She snorted, “Things are pretty dead here. Do me a favor… Turn me.”
I chuckled, “Excuse me?”
She giggled and walked away. “I’m so sick of peeing. I’m ready to turn in my tan if that’s what it takes to not be in the bathroom all the time.”
“You’d be pale and fat forever.”
She whimpered, “It’s almost worth it.”
“It’s almost over and it’s not as though you didn’t see it coming. You have done this before.”
She blew a raspberry as she turned down the hall to the restrooms and mumbled, “If you’re not gonna help, you don’t get to rub it in.”
For the two minutes Sookie was gone, Merlotte glared in my direction every few seconds. For the most part, Tina and Shelly had drawn an ‘Everyone But Daddy’ retrospective. Part of me wanted to gloat because the daft prick had brought it on himself, but the other part understood that Tina and Shelly would be better off if Merlotte pulled his head out of his ass. Gloating wasn’t going to encourage that… I may or may not have read the email of forwarded Dear Abby columns from Pam that included the topics of children and divorce.
I leaned on the bar and pretended to be engrossed with my phone, texting Pam to ask if she finished making Tina’s Halloween costume.
The girls were talking about swimming when Sookie came back. She rolled her eyes, “All better for five minutes.”
“You might not have that problem if you weren’t drinking a gallon of tea every day.”
“I’m going to make my next appointment for after dark so you can ask the doctor yourself. It’s good that I’m hydrated.”
“How about caffeinated?” She bit her lip, refusing to answer. “Uh-oh, the Vampire reads.”
She giggled and pinched my side. “Not the point… The Human changes the subject. Everyone behaving?”
“As much as possible.”
“What did he say to you outside?”
“It was an extraordinarily intellectual exchange. He’s a very deep man.”
She put her hand under her stomach to support it as she bent over to laugh through her nose. “Lie lie lie lie lie…”
“That hurts my feelings, Sookie.”
She was still snickering when she leaned back against the bar. “Come on. What did he say?”
“Am I allowed to paraphrase?”
“Is this your plan for what you’ll do when Booby is canned? It’s Sookie’s turn to get a hard time?”
“Now I’m confused. Which is it you want to know? How we’ll replace Booby Bullying or what nuggets of wisdom your ex-husband imparted to me?”
She studied the ceiling for a moment before answering. “You know what… I’d rather hear about your new hobby.”
“That says something.”
“It sure does. Well, out with it. How are you and the girls going to spend your free time once Booby’s off the hook?”
“I didn’t say I was going to tell you.”
“Darius is working out well. The waitresses are a little bitter that ‘the hot Vampire bartender’ is gay, but Ramon is mucho gusto.” She changed the subject? Shit.
“That’s no fun at all. I was hoping you’d make an offer.”
“You mean like a trade? Like you’d tell me about your new hobby in exchange for… say, a backrub?” Not that I needed a massage, but at least it was an excuse for contact.
She huffed, “Alright. If that’s what I’ve gotta do…” She turned around and leaned over the bar. “Go ahead.” That sneaky bitch. Brilliant. But… fucking sneaky.
I chuckled, “You know that’s not what I meant.”
She raised her eyebrow and bit her lip. “Maybe you should’ve been clearer while we were negotiating. Get to work.”
“Are you sure about this? You might enjoy it enough to beg for more.”
“Wouldn’t it be smart for you to bring your A-game then? Make it good enough and I could be your puppet for the price of a backrub… for the next week or two anyway.”
I wasn’t sure that it was such a good idea to touch her in front of Merlotte, but once I centered myself behind her, I forgot why. The way she was standing… she wasn’t pregnant.
I could only imagine how much tinier her waist would be once she delivered, but the idea was enough.
As soon as I kneaded the first muscles, her moan had my attention and Merlotte’s.
Her legs were braced, set wide for support… it was too easy to imagine a few minor modifications… like removing our company and clothes…
Merlotte let it go on as long as a couple of minutes, several moans before he interrupted. “Your back giving you a hard time, Sook?”
She sighed, “It always does.”
“I’d do that for you if you want…”
“Sam, if you ever touch me again, you’ll draw back a nub.” I tasted blood before the urge to laugh passed.
“Whatever. I was just offering. You aren’t taking blood while you’re pregnant, are you?”
As I worked up her spine, she grunted, “Nunya.”
“It really is. That’s my baby.”
“You met Hunter. His mother was taking blood while she was pregnant and he’s no worse for the wear. So nunya.”
“Sam, not in front of the girls. Jesus.”
“When then? You don’t answer when I call you unless it’s scheduled. Then you pass the phone to the girls right away. Did you go to your appointment this week?”
“Yes. Everything’s fine. Blood pressure is good. 3 centimeters dilated. 50% effaced. Anytime now. Blah blah blah.” The ‘blahs’ stemmed from frustration… she’d mentioned the last 8 weeks were always miserable for her and doctors tended to placate her with empty promises that she’d deliver soon. ‘Soon’ hadn’t proven to be as much as a day before her due date in the past.
“You have a plan?”
“When I go into labor, the girls and I are going to the hospital. I’ll call Lafayette on my way and you will let him leave if he’s working.”
“Your new boyfriend won’t be there?”
“I doubt it. There won’t be room for all the guys I’m Not Dating.”
“You wouldn’t tell me if you were.”
“I’ll tell you what, you’ll be the first one to know when I start dating again. How’s Crystal?” I chuckled and sucked air past my teeth.
“You two look mighty comfortable.”
“The only thing that could make me happier at the moment would be if you’d leave me alone. On top of everything else, you’re ruining the best backrub in the history of vertebrates. You came here to visit your kids. Visit. Leave me out of it.”
The girls had gotten annoyed enough to slide out of their booth and wander away, mumbling that they were going to the restroom… Leaving Sookie and me alone with her ex-husband.
He didn’t seem to care that Sookie had no tolerance for his jealousy.
“You know, that takes balls to have him touching you in front of me.”
“No. It takes balls to stick your dick in my cousin after we got married. I should’ve fucked your brother when I had the chance… I’m warning you now, I told the girls that they have the right to end any visit with you if you make them uncomfortable. Chill your ass out because they’re already thinking that they’d rather go out to dinner without you. They know you’re using them as an excuse to harass me.”
“I’m allowed to have a fucking reaction to being replaced. All they’ve said is ‘Eric this’ and ‘Eric that’.”
“Good. Since your ex-wife is too stupid and hormonal to make any good decisions on her own, you should be glad she got lucky enough to have a friend like Eric to watch out for her dumb ass. The kids love him to death…”
“Because he spoils them.”
“Keep telling yourself that.”
“He has to be buying them…”
“Why? Because they like him? It couldn’t possibly be because he’s good to them, right?”
“They said he did fireworks just for them and rented a bounce house…”
“He sure did. It’s not like you’re a pauper, Sam. He’s not showing you up by doing things you can’t. I wouldn’t have let him if that were the case… Funny thing though, he promised to take them to a movie and then actually took them instead of using work as an excuse to have someone else do it. He could just as easily not spend a penny on them and they’d like him just the same. Again, you’re making this about Eric. You’re focusing on what he does instead of what you don’t.”
“Who taught them to swim?”
“They can’t swim…”
“They can now. Like little mermaids… Daddy has a pond behind his house and after all the cookouts and parties he’s had, you’ve never once taken them swimming. One night and the girls were racing to the bottom of a pool.”
“Listen to me, Sam. I can tell you from experience that a father can’t be replaced, but ‘father’ is nothing but a word that describes a genetic link unless you elevate the word to a higher significance in their vocabulary. Your children already feel more for the word ‘friend’ than they do for ‘father’.”
“Right. You’re gonna stand there and tell me that you don’t prefer Calvin to Corbett because Calvin let you get away with murder.”
“You want a list? How about Calvin was the one who’d help me with my homework after he put in a 12 hour shift? How about Calvin is the one who killed my uncle when he found out I was being molested? How about Calvin gave me away because my own father was too drunk to walk down the aisle with me and even though he didn’t approve of you, Calvin has the boutonniere he wore pressed between the pages of his bible? How about when Father’s Day comes around, Calvin’s gift is the one I stress out about because he’s the one who’s been looking out for me as long as I can remember? Fuck you for thinking cum automatically makes you important to someone.”
“You love your father.”
“And he loves me, but I prefer Calvin’s company.”
“That’s because you’re a petty bitch. You know your father couldn’t have done anything to Bartlett without getting caught.” Her parents could’ve been keeping him away from her at least.
“I know my father didn’t believe me anyway. Next.”
“Your father couldn’t help you with your homework because you didn’t live with him.” And only took advantage of about half of the visitations he was allowed.
“I know my father never bothered asking to see my report cards either. Got anything else?”
“Did you have to replace me with a fucking Vampire?”
“I haven’t replaced you. I don’t need another disrespectful hard-on in my life. Stop worrying about my social calendar and start working on how your children feel about you. I hate you. There’s nothing you can do about that. You still have a chance to be more than just a visitation to them.”
“How am I supposed to do that when you won’t let me see them alone?”
“You’re not catching on, Sam. They don’t want to be alone with you. In the last week, they’ve logged more than 500 minutes on their new cell phones that they don’t want you to have the numbers to.”
“They have cell phones? At their age?”
“Yeah. They like knowing they can call for help since your little performance at the apartment.”
He finally stopped.
I can’t imagine why that bit of information was more meaningful to him than Sookie’s description of her relationships with Norris and her father, but whatever it was seemed to hit him like a ton of bricks.
He sat in the booth and stared blankly at the table, gobsmacked, until the girls returned from the bathroom.
At Logan’s, Sookie and I took a seat in the booth next to the table Sam shared with the girls.
Sam hadn’t been informed that I’d be in company and was less than pleased, even more so when I let Sookie slide in first… I was making it as obvious as possible that I was there in a protective capacity.
Sookie waited until the waitress took her order to open her laptop, immediately revealing that her background was a photo of her and the girls. All by itself, it was a good picture of all three of them, but when Sookie tried to open a window, I stopped her…
Asking about the context of the photo as an excuse to leer at her in the magnificently obscene bikini she was nearly falling out of… and a tattoo I hadn’t had the pleasure of seeing in person. “When was that?”
“Early Summer. I was barely showing. See what I mean about wanting my body back?” Yes. Absolutely.
“Where are you?”
“Jason rented a place on the beach in Monterey for the week. It’s beautiful there. We had so much fun we already rented it again for next year too…”
“Making a tradition?”
She nodded. “Hopefully. It was gorgeous…” I let her open her photo file, scroll to the folder marked ‘June’ and start a slideshow. “I think we did everything we wanted to do, but I couldn’t imagine getting bored with it. Have you ever been?”
“California, yes. Not Monterey though…” I watched the slideshow blink by, one photo at a time… mostly beach photos so Sookie was practically nude… the maternity clothing she wore to accommodate her pregnancy completely hid how tight and tone her body was without the bulge. Even in the sack-like bathing suit she’d been wearing, her legs and cleavage had only been teasers… Given the amount of background noise in the kitschy steakhouse, I wasn’t worried that Merlotte would overhear when I whispered, “Has it occurred to you that repeated pregnancies have been a way for your husband to deter the attention of other men?”
She giggled, “See something you like?” Definitely.
I used her mousepad to select one photo in particular. Tina and Shelly being towed on a body board by a little boy, not much older than them. “That’s cute.” And directly before a picture of Sookie in a bright red bikini that left nothing to the imagination, coming out of the surf with chilled nipples.
“That’s Jason Junior… We have great pictures of that week because Jason bought a new camera, but he isn’t in a damn one.” Because I cared about what her brother looked like in a bathing suit?
She backed out of the folder and opened another window. “We need to focus on business. If the girls catch wind that we’re looking through pictures, they’ll defect to our table.”
“Oh, we wouldn’t want that.”
She snickered, “We’re taking the high road, remember?”
“Is that what that was? The high road involved bending over in front of me and moaning. Good. I’ll remember that.”
“You’re so bad… and that reminds me. You got your backrub. You owe me an explanation. Out with it. No stalling.”
“What am I explaining?”
“You, sir, are explaining what you and the girls have planned as your outlet once Bobby is out of the picture.”
“What do you mean by outlet?”
“If you really want me to explain, then I’ll tell you once you’re done. Otherwise, it’s just a stall tactic.” I actually wasn’t stalling.
“Princess Days. The girls have been getting spoiled by the ridiculous chores we’ve been giving Bobby. I didn’t want them to think having Paulette here was a bad thing because they could take it out on her. Paulette’s errands will be less ‘unattainable’ in nature, but revolve around the girls’ interests.”
“And what do ‘Princess Days’ incorporate?”
“I suggested that we do them on Mondays since Fangtasia is closed and none of us work. Just a day where they’re in control. What they eat, how they relax, when they go to bed which gives them the leeway for more slumber parties. Since Tuesday starts at midnight, that would be the end of the line for them. Special occasions notwithstanding. I thought it would be a guaranteed perk since the new baby would get a lot of attention. Now what did you mean by outlet?”
“For them, it’s how they’re getting through their parents’ divorce. For you, it’s your excuse to spoil them.”
“I’m not…” Nevermind. Yes, I was.
She giggled, “Yeah. Thought so… on to business?”
“Am I being punished?”
“Not at all, but I want to talk about…”
I reached under the table and pulled her legs onto my lap, massaging her calves since she’d opened the door… therapeutic massage was on the list of publically appropriate acts.
Her eyes rolled back and she rested her head on the wall behind her, breathing, “Fuuuuuuuck… that’s not fair.”
“You were saying?”
“I shouldn’t have to talk my boss into working.”
“You aren’t being very convincing.”
“You’re playing dirty.”
“I can stop.”
“Don’t. You. Dare. You get a reprieve. We’ll talk business while I eat.”
“How about that… A little birdie told me I could have a puppet for the price of…”
She put her hand over my mouth. “Stop talking. You’ll ruin it.”
My reprieve didn’t last long enough. Since Sookie’s eyes were closed, I only got to watch the slideshow go through two cycles. She’d spent most of the week in a bikini… even when they weren’t at the beach, she wore a bikini top with a snug pair of shorts…
As it turned out, the business we needed to discuss was relatively simple. She wanted me to watch her make the new schedule so that I could see how to do it myself in the case that changes needed to be made while she was taking time off. The journal Sookies didn’t so much as have their own email addresses, while Mine was writing Excel formulas.
The other order of business, the one that took a bulk of the time, was the uniforms proposal Sookie had put together. Charts included.
While Sookie and I debated the pros and cons of dry cleaning or permanent press and dresses or separates, Tina and Shelly spared the occasional glower in our direction. They were bitter that Sookie and I were having more fun than they were. Our business had proven to be more fun than their ‘dinner with Daddy’.
Sookie had been monitoring Merlotte to make sure he was ‘behaving’, only to find out that he was completely preoccupied with what we were doing instead of his children… and yes, they knew.
When Merlotte offered to order dessert, Shelly signed, ‘home’ under the table. When I told him that they’d already had enough sweets for the day, because Booby had made cupcakes, the girls couldn’t have looked more relieved.
Since I’d stayed behind to keep an eye on Merlotte, giving Sookie and the girls a head start, by the time I was home, Sookie was promising to do the listening next week so the girls could try to enjoy themselves… And they were arguing that they didn’t even want to try… Merlotte might’ve spent more time picturing Sookie and I fucking than I did.
Even though Pam arrived in footie pajamas and pigtails, Sookie and I couldn’t bring ourselves to make fun of her. Merlotte’s visitation had all but ruined the evening for all of us. They… WE had been in better moods the night he broke into their apartment.
Sunday night wasn’t ever busy.
That night wouldn’t have been any different if there hadn’t been a collection of Sorority Reunioneers… Every few minutes, they’d bray like a herd of donkeys and drink another shot chanting, “Kappa Delta 20 WooHoo!” I was waiting, hoping one would vomit, start a fight, pass out, something so that I had a good excuse to toss them out without any luck.
And because that wasn’t annoying enough, the baby-infatuated deviants were back and leering at Sookie. It was their 4th visit to Fangtasia since Sookie started… Of course, that was counting the night that they left as soon as Ramon told them Sookie had the night off.
By the time Sookie came over to my seat, she looked just as close to killing someone as I was.
I pulled her onto my lap, sweeping her hair away from her neck to pull her ear closer to my mouth. “Do you have any idea what it takes to disgust someone like me?”
She whispered back, “Cabbage?”
“Yes, but in my defense I wouldn’t go near it as a Human either.”
“Ok. Is there a point?”
“It seems like you have fans… rather, Maggie does.” And they’d placed bets on what her blood type would be based on Sookie’s scent.
She whimpered into my ear, “Are you sure it’s not just a ‘pregnant women’ fetish? I’ve already met a bunch of those.”
“That’s why I ‘belong to you’ though right? Even if it’s not the real reason…”
“Which is why you’re on my lap right now.”
She snorted, “Fuck that. They might not get the hint. Dinner’s on me. Go ahead.” She tilted her head, baring her neck. She had no idea how tempting her offer was.
When I chuckled against her, it gave her chills. “I don’t think we have to go that far. Get up and follow me to my office. They’ll assume as much.”
As soon as I closed my office door behind me, she huffed, “I don’t want any details about that creep… So, we’re just hanging out in here long enough for you to ‘feed’?”
I nodded. “It’s a shame we wasted dinner on business since we have the chance to talk about it now.”
She stuck her tongue out. “I had an ulterior motive. I was hoping that Sam wouldn’t pay any mind to us since we were talking about stuff he never shows an interest in. I did the scheduling and whatnot for Merlotte’s.” It didn’t surprise me that Merlotte was letting someone else run his business… not when other men were taking care of his many children and someone else was protecting his wife.
“So if he hadn’t gone to dinner, what would we have talked about then? Would I have seen more pictures of you barely dressed?”
“You could see me barely dressed now, but you’d have nightmares… The gossip about us is actually funny. Have you heard it?” No, go back to the topic of nudity.
“No, I’ve only heard repeated whisperings about you being Mine.”
“The servers have been passing shit back and forth ever since you sent Kyra home and wouldn’t let her kid sit in the break room during her shift.”
“Nevermind that the ‘child’ in question is old enough to have his own job and that he wasn’t trusted to be alone ever since he set a sofa on fire.”
She shrugged. “They don’t care that it’s different. They see it as you playing favorites and it’s a great excuse to gossip. They heard that pregnant women taste better and that you’ve been sending me to sperm banks to keep me pregnant.”
Something about that was funny to her. “They’ve also added into the mix that the girls could be yours since it’s not normal for kids to not be scared of Vampires.”
“You’ve got to be joking! Are they all that stupid!?”
“Yes… You haven’t heard the best one yet.”
“Do I want to?”
“I’m the real ‘Renesemee’. Sookie is just as stupid of a name as Nessie…”
“Who is that?”
“Edward and Bella’s half-breed daughter in Twi…” Before she could finish, my hand was over her mouth.
“The answer to my question then, would be no. I didn’t want to hear that.”
She giggled, “Come on, it’s funny. I mean… Even Ramon is buying that they’re yours.”
“How is that funny?”
“Um… There was a time when the world was flat too.”
“That might be an excuse if you ignore the last few thousand years…”
She snickered and put her hand on my chest. “Eric, you’re giving too much credit to waitresses who can’t get a beer order right. Laugh.”
“It’s not funny…”
She scoffed, “Why the hell not? That last one’s just retarded. The first one makes you look like a twisted son of a bitch. How is that a bad thing?”
“To begin with, the girls are around them often enough… They could…”
“The girls know better… Would you rather that everyone knew your fridge was covered with drawings of sleepovers and fireworks?”
I rolled my eyes. “There’s a difference and you know it…”
“And if everyone knew you could give a million dollar backrub when you look that good in leather pants, they’d stalk you.” Oh really?
“See something you like?”
The way she was smirking, biting her lip… I wanted to hear her answer enough that whoever started knocking on the door to my office was close to death. “Sookie! Sorry to interrupt, but… Dave’s here and you never answered me…”
Sookie rolled her eyes and went to the door, cracking it just enough to stick her head out. “Ashley, you need to work on boundaries. I’m your manager, not your BFF… Since you’ve already blurred that line though, I’m going to point out that your boyfriend probably wouldn’t be so uptight if you learned how to give a proper blow job…” I couldn’t help myself. I reached around the door to wipe the corners of her mouth, only to have her add to the joke by licking her lips and thanking me.
Ashley was quiet for a moment before stuttering, “I… I… I don’t know what to do…”
Sookie huffed, “He’s probably just heard that this place is practically a Bunny Ranch for Vampires and wants to make sure you aren’t getting hit on too hard. Let him sit and watch a shift or two. Have Leo and Fred keep an eye on him and tell Dave that if he starts anything I’ll toss his ass myself.”
“Are you sure?”
“No. I’m trying to get rid of you because I’m in the middle of something.” I was swatted for chuckling.
“Oh… um… Okay… um… there’s someone looking for you.”
“Dunno. Some guy. Not real tall. Blondish hair. Blue eyes. Lots of muscles… He asked for Sookie Merlotte though…” Fuck. Sookie had been using Stackhouse since her first night at work.
“Where is he?”
“Dunno. He got here at the same time as Dave. He looks all kinds of pissed. That your ex-husband?” It definitely sounded like Merlotte.
“Thanks…” Sookie shut the door and leaned against it. She huffed, “Like we need more shit going on… Are you done ‘feeding’ yet?”
I nodded, still amused in spite of the unexpected company. “Was it good for you?”
She rolled her eyes and sighed, “Amazing,” as she reached for the front of my shirt to untuck it. “We might as well sell it.”
Sookie winked as she turned around to open the door only to be met face to face with the man that Ashley described. ‘All kinds of pissed’ was a fitting depiction, but it wasn’t Merlotte.
Sookie gasped as he glared at her. “What the hell are you doing here?”
He growled, “Thought I’d stop by and see how you’re doing since you haven’t bothered to call me and tell me ANYTHING.” That ruled out Hotshot since everyone in that little corner of the world was aware of what was going on in Sookie’s life and he didn’t smell like a Were.
“We’re still settling in. I was going to call you tomorrow night so you could talk to the girls… I didn’t want to bother you with the details.”
“More like you know you should be ashamed of yourself… Let’s go…” When he grabbed her arm she resisted just enough that he pulled her over… She managed to twist enough that she landed on her hip instead of her stomach, but she was perfectly still for long enough that I couldn’t figure out if she was stunned or seriously injured. The only thing keeping her visitor alive was that Sookie was hurt and that took priority over killing him…