I’ll Remember You
Needless to say, our fun was cut short. Sookie claimed my dress shirt as she began ranting and pacing.
As she rambled, shedding light on the reasons she was so concerned (and about me, no less), I learned enough to understand her alarm, but her tirade provided the entertainment…
Sookie complained to Sullivan, explaining she could hear him fantasizing about catering to her every whim, rather, what he imagined would be her whims. He immediately began experimenting with a ward that bound his thoughts…
He was happy to bind his thoughts… It would allow him to surprise her.
As for Sullivan’s ability to glamour Vampires, I hadn’t missed that detail in his resume. The incantation and charm had been conceived once he arrived in Shreveport… along with a charm that could prevent a Were from shifting during a full moon, and the design of a new ward that replaced the previous gris-gris method. Now every room was warded as though it was a Human’s home. The key-holder had to invite anyone to enter, regardless of breed.
It was all very impressive as long as I could set aside the fact that he’d just watched me fuck the love of his life, but his efforts were desperate measures to prove how powerful he was to Sookie. He wanted to impress her as Pam suggested…
I probably should have taken the situation more seriously, but between the way Sookie looked in my shirt and wondering what part of our exploits Sullivan had witnessed, I was mostly annoyed by the fact she didn’t plan to stay until just before I died…
Sookie left my room in the hopes of catching him before Sullivan could escape her range… She was planning to either use common sense to calm him down or kill him. She promised to call me if she needed help thinking of somewhere to hide his remains.
Before dawn, I emailed Klaasje and confirmed plans I’d established weeks ago when Jason first called to invite me for Pam’s surprise party…
And at the last minute, I was inspired to arrange for an excuse to see Sookie, before the party, the next night.
Unlike the last time I visited Shreveport, I didn’t rise in an anxious state, flummoxed by a predicament I was inexperienced with.
I decided I enjoyed the peace and I should try it more often…
Somehow, I wasn’t surprised it was only temporary.
As secluded as I was on the 2nd floor, primarily used when juries were sequestered, it was no feat to hear the elevator open at the other end of the hall.
Two sets of footsteps; one heavy, one light. Two heartbeats, but only one of them was racing.
I was sure enough they were on their way to my room that I left my bed to take a pair of jeans from my bag… and I was buttoning them when the knock on the door gave me a reason to think it was something other than a donor or a maid with a fresh supply of towels.
The knocking was heavy, practically brutal, and more urgent than a staff member would have a reason to use.
A gruff voice grumbled, “Eric, we have a problem.”
I was sure, after hours of ‘hanging out’ during my last visit, one of my visitors was Alcide, but his companion was a mystery until I opened the door.
Sookie was standing behind him… like she was hiding. She hadn’t showered since she’d been with me, let alone brushed her hair. She was still wearing my shirt and added a baggy pair of jeans and sneakers to complete her ensemble… and she was peaking at me over Alcide’s shoulder as though he was protecting her from me.
I stepped back and invited them in. “How was your ‘man-cation’?”
“Thank fuck you know who I am!”
“Did you think I’d forget you?”
He snorted, “Well, I had to wonder if her scent and her issues were connected.”
“She doesn’t know who she is.”
Sullivan was going to die… in small pieces.
“What? Tell me you’re talking about an existential, premature mid-life crisis.”
“That would be fucking awesome at this point… She called me when Sullivan didn’t answer because I was the next contact down on her recent calls list. Our plane had just landed. We thought she was fucking with us until Brandon got to her. Her mind is fucking blank. The furthest back she remembers is opening her closet door at about 7am. It took forever to calm her down because she was going nuts being able to hear what people were thinking… Brandon had to teach her how to use her shields… What the fuck happened last night?”
“I checked in. We talked for a while before we fucked. It was nearly 4am when she looked for the energy drinks we’d asked for and the cart was already in the room… Sullivan had left it.”
“That fuck-stain! There’s gonna be a line to fuck Sully’s shit up!”
He’d connected the dots quickly enough.
“I was under the impression everyone thought his infatuation with Sookie was hilarious.”
“It was for the first week. You know how we fuck around. But then he moved here. We’ve been trying to find a way to get him out. He’s like a magical tapeworm.”
Sookie breathed, “Who is Sullivan? I mean, I have his number.”
Alcide explained, “Sullivan’s so in love with you he follows you around and waits on you hand and foot. When you go swimming, he’s waiting on the side of the pool with a fresh towel. You haven’t had the chance to get hungry in ages because he has room service find you while you’re working. He took a class on reflexology so he could give better fucking foot rubs…”
She grinned slightly and mewled, “He sounds really romantic.”
Brandon’s testimony about the state of her mind aside, that was all I needed to hear. My Sookie couldn’t have said that with a straight face.
Alcide rolled his eyes. “Any questions?”
I shook my head. “Not about that… Do you have any idea where to find him?”
He shrugged. “We’re so fucked. I can’t think of a reason he’d be sitting at home waiting for us to kill him… I’ve got to put someone on his trail. I’ve got too much shit to do. We can’t tell the empath that his little sister’s a blank slate. I’ve got a laundry list of errands I have to knock out before midnight that I couldn’t do today because I’ve been babysitting Veg-Sookie… Look, I know you’ve got shit to do on your end, but… can you babysit her?”
I actually didn’t have anything to do. I’d arranged everything so Pam could enjoy her gift even if something came up at the last minute to prevent me from leaving my Kingdom, but…
Sookie whimpered, “You want to leave me with him?” as I asked, “Babysit?”
“Yeah. She had a list a mile long of stuff to take care of. Brandon and Jude took over most of it. What’s left is stuff she can sleepwalk through. Oh… And I tried everything. We’ve been out to Bon Temps and the boat-house trying to jog her memory. I took her to Mini…”
“Mini?” I should have asked last night when Sookie mentioned the name.
“Minerva. Jude and Hadley’s baby. We call her Mini. Her thing is weird, but I figured it was worth a shot.”
“What’s her ‘thing’?”
“Repair, kinda… it’s only organic stuff, but the flowers everyone sent when she was born are still in her room and look like they just came from the florist.
“She has control over it? She can’t be but a couple of months old.”
“Four months, but she got those weird Daemon growth spurts from her old man. She looks like she’s 5-years old and understands every damn thing you say. She doesn’t have to do anything either. She just has to touch something. Their first clue was the morning after she was born, her crib had taken root, straight through the bedroom floor. Jude says his mom was the same. Mini should be able to control it eventually, but I babysat last week and needed to trim my nails after I put her shoes on her…”
And as soon as he mentioned it, I realized Sookie’s nails were much longer than they had been the night before.
He nodded with a smirk on his face. “Pain in the ass. You should’ve seen the way we all scattered to replace all the wood furniture… Anyway, Sook needs to get her hair and nails done, pick up her dress, get her jewelry. We figure you’re the best candidate to make her presentable because you know how Pam would vote on that kinda thing. Sook needs to be kept away from the rest of the family because they’ll all clue Jason in that something’s wrong… As it is, Jason keeps apologizing for letting his stress about the party get to the rest of us… Did I say clusterfuck? Because this is a good one.”
“And of course you can’t tell Pam about Sookie because if she finds Sullivan first, she’ll discover I’m in Shreveport.”
“Yeah… and right now, we’re trying to get through tonight so we can start working on this at dawn. With the party, we’re hoping Pam doesn’t notice Sookie’s out of it. That’s another perk of having you babysit. You can coach her to not give anything away.”
“Why isn’t Brandon more worried about Sookie’s state than a surprise party?”
He sighed and shook his head. “He knows Sookie better than anyone because they practically share a brain… When Sook snaps out of this, if Pam’s birthday was ruined because we couldn’t keep shit from falling apart, there’d be hell to pay. She’d castrate all of us. We can’t argue his logic.”
Fuck. Brandon was right. Sookie would be livid if Pam’s birthday festivities were ruined on her behalf.
“Since I’m particularly fond of my cock, I suppose I’m babysitting.”
He sighed, “Thank God. She has her cellphone and her car keys in her purse. The phone has the salon and boutiques’ addresses in it. I haven’t been able to get her to eat or shower, so good luck with that.”
I looked past Alcide to ask, “Why haven’t you eaten?”
She gulped and defended, “I haven’t been thinking about eating. I’m feeling pretty dizzy.”
“And why did you opt to remain covered in cum and sweat?”
She whimpered, “You can really smell that?”
Alcide offered, “She didn’t believe me.”
“I’m not taking her out like this. Go to her room and bring back something for her to wear. If I do it, and Pam goes to Sookie’s room for any reason…”
He nodded, already turning to leave as he finished, “The jig is up. Gotcha. Be right back.”
Sookie took a step to follow him, but she stopped herself and stared at the doorway.
“Do you know what you’d normally eat?”
She opened her mouth to answer, but closed it again and shook her head.
Her eyes began to water before I leaned into the hallway. “Alcide, order dinner for her. She doesn’t have a sense of her preferences either.”
He gave a thumbs-up and confirmed, “On it.”
When I closed the door and turned around, Sookie was staring at me.
“My argument still stands. Your previous reasons to refrain from fucking me were moot.”
I was hoping, looking for her tell-tale flirty smirk, but she blushed. Her neck, ears and face were bright pink instantly.
I stepped closer to her, looming… listening to her heart rate become erratic.
She backed up a step and put her hands up defensively. “I don’t… I don’t know you… please don’t.”
It was disappointing she didn’t have the kind of reaction to me I’d come to expect. Chills, ragged breaths, arousal…
“Do you have any memories? Did you wake up here in spite of living somewhere else or having a different past than what Alcide explained?”
I had to ask. I didn’t want to spend the evening preparing her for a party, only to discover she’d leapt and her leap-partner was looking for her.
She shook her head. “No… do you know a lot about amnesia? Is that like a specific kind?”
“You could say that… Go shower. I’ll bring your clothing to you when Alcide returns.”
She turned, but balked… and nibbled her lip when she looked up at me. “Um… are you like… are you my boyfriend?”
When I laughed, she scowled at me and put her hands on her hips.
“That’s cute. Why would you think I’m your boyfriend?”
“Um… because… well, Brandon asked the clerk about what I did last night. She said I disappeared after a tall blond guy checked in. That we were flirting… and Alcide said I smell like sex and I’ve got this bite mark…”
“That would be because you ran off to look for Sullivan before I could heal it…”
When I let my fangs down, so I could prick my finger, she jumped, gasped, stepped away and looked towards the door.
I missed my confident, fearless Sookie… and I wasn’t sure I’d wait until dawn to look for Sullivan.
I reached out and healed her marking as I explained, “Normally, you would have entered the room while I was dead and taken my blood to heal that… and probably left a straight pin in my finger so I’d know you’d been here.”
She cringed. “So… you are my boyfriend.”
“I’m not a booty call, am I?”
“No. You jokingly mentioned that last night though.”
“So… we… like…”
As much fun as I would have stringing along anyone else, seeing her struggle to finish a sentence was rankling.
“You’re my child’s best friend, business partner, and sister of her bonded pet. If I have to label our relationship, I’d call us friends.”
“But… we hooked up.”
I nodded. “Last night and when we met during my last visit a few months ago.”
“So… friends… with benefits?”
I shrugged. “Sure. If agreeing to that term will make you shower sooner, yes, we’re friends with benefits.”
“Do I really stink that bad?”
“You didn’t last night, but now, you’re stale… You’re wasting time. Unless you want me to join you, hurry along.”
Her eyes widened and she spun on her heel, practically running into the bathroom.
Sookie was still in the shower when Alcide returned with a large purple purse over his shoulder.
“What do you think? Is it me?”
I chuckled, “You’re fabulousss. Is that the only bag you could find?”
“Yeah. If I had to go through the lobby, I would’ve just carried her shit in my hands. It’s all there though…” He whispered, “I lucked out… one of her favorite outfits was actually in her room. I fucked with her though. Let me know if she says something. Her bra and panties don’t match, that’s a big tick of hers, and I brought Brandon’s toothpaste. Cinnamon. She says it’s like brushing with Goldschläger.”
I nodded and took the bag from him… I opened the bathroom door just enough to hang it on the hook, but Sookie still gasped and froze behind the frosted glass partition.
Alcide shouted, “Grow the fuck up! You can’t even spell modesty!”
I snorted as I closed the door and asked, “Is there a way you can quietly confirm Klaasje’s arrival? She was due to land a few hours ago.”
He nodded. “Settled her in myself. She was just getting here when we got back from Bon Temps. I put her across from Sookie’s room because she wasn’t part of the secret. Sookie was ‘icked out’ by the travel-box even though she personally checks them all in.”
“She couldn’t have lost everything. She didn’t recognize either house? Any of her belongings?”
He shrugged. “Nope. She complained that the boathouse seemed antisocial and hid from Sue… The belongings bit is tricky. Most of her stuff is upstairs in the über-closet and I’m ‘in Baltimore’ so I can’t risk Pam catching my scent… I fucked with her food too. She doesn’t like the way they do chicken-fried steak here. Not a fan of the gravy. Normally, she’d order it without and then make a sandwich out of it… I guess we’ll see how much of her is in there… I gotta run. Can I help you out at all? Any errands I might be able to consolidate into my list?”
I shook my head. “No. Have you sent anyone to search for Sullivan yet?”
He nodded. “Yeah. Nate and Trey are on the way over to his condo now.”
“Nate and Trey are… the ‘Supe Police’, yes?”
He nodded. “Nate proposed to my kid sister after her graduation. Technically, he’s family.”
“Do you dislike him?”
“Nope. But Sookie and I are the last hold-outs for being single.”
“That fucker… Bridesmaid in purple. Three months and counting. Surprised he took his dick out of her long enough to go to Baltimore.”
It was hard to keep a straight face considering Sookie’s rant the night before.
“Always a bridesmaid, never a bride?”
“That’s not it. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll settle down eventually, but… Somehow being in a couple gives people a license to point out all of your personality flaws because that’s why you’re single. Nevermind that the same couples still have all their personality flaws they had when they were still single. Fuckers are worse than ex-smokers.”
“Nevermind that single people stick together and complain about …”
He looked down at his watch and turned to leave. “Oh, look at the time… I need to be at the place… with the thing…”
I chuckled at him… I’d heard that excuse no less than a dozen times the last time I visited, and once while Jason and I were teasing Pam in Eijsden. It was the Stackhouse way of jokingly saying ‘fuck your opinion, I’m leaving’.
I received Sookie’s room service, collected fresh clothing for after my shower, and added another item to the list of ways Sookie wasn’t herself…
Her shower went on long enough she seemed to be testing the hotel’s supply of hot water… I’d witnessed Sookie take a shower in less than five minutes, so at the half-hour mark I joined her.
I expected her to be surprised and frightened, but I didn’t expect for her to be blocking thoughts so completely that she didn’t know I was in the shower with her until I asked her to pass the shampoo.
I caught her to keep her from slipping and bashing her head against the bathtub. She stared up at me with her mouth open in shock… it was too sad for even me to make a joke about.
“You’re going to be mortified by your behavior when you regain your memories. The Sookie I know never would have let someone she feels threatened by sneak up on her.” Then again, I wasn’t sure Sookie was threatened by anyone.
She whimpered, “I heard you open the door earlier.”
“Because I wasn’t trying to be silent. I wanted you to know your clothing arrived.”
“So Vampires can be really quiet?”
“Sookie also doesn’t ask redundant questions… Your time is up. Your meal has arrived. Go eat while I shower. We need to leave as soon as the sun sets so we don’t risk running into Pam.”
She nodded and stepped out of the tub. “K… sorry.” I stepped under the water and a few minutes later, she blurted, “WHOA! I can’t wear these!”
I looked around the partition, hoping she was bothered by the mismatched underthings, but she was holding up a pair of glittery sling-back Jimmy Choos.
“I won’t be able to walk!”
“Sookie, look at the bottom. They’re worn. Alcide said they’re your favorite.”
“It doesn’t matter. I’m sure you can walk as far as the car. You won’t be expected to stand at the salon-”
She reached into the bag and pulled out a pair of jeans and shouted, “I couldn’t even get my arms into these!”
I knew she meant they looked too small, but she was questioning her own taste… and I had a particular fondness for how small Sookie’s jeans were.
“Those are jeans, idiot. Your legs go in to those.”
She gasped and snatched the bag as she stormed out.
While I showered….
She scoffed at the contents of her bag.
She clumsily moved the items on the room service tray and mumbled about fattening food.
She sounded like she nearly drowned in her drink at one point.
I stepped out of the bathroom, still drying myself, to see Sookie sitting at the table, seemingly content to eat what Alcide ordered for her whether she usually liked it or not.
Her feet were bare, her hair was wrapped in a towel… She managed to successfully put the correct body parts in their respective articles of clothing, but she wasn’t wearing the bra Alcide packed.
“Enjoying your meal?”
She looked up and immediately used a hand to shield her eyes. “It’s a little tough, but yeah… I don’t know what’s in the drink though. Booze. I think he was testing me. I don’t like it.”
“You drink regularly with your friends and family. I’ve seen you drink shots… He was testing you though. You don’t usually enjoy the steak.”
She studied the piece on her fork before setting it down. “Damn it… Nevermind. My throat’s sore anyway.”
I couldn’t help but laugh.
I turned to the bedroom to dress, but she followed me.
“Why are you laughing at me? Do you think it’s funny I don’t even remember what I like to eat?”
“No. I think it’s funny you don’t remember what you did to irritate your throat.”
“What? Do you know? I asked Alcide if I have allergies or something, but he said no. And there wasn’t any medicine at that boathouse… Did we argue? Did I yell or something?”
“Why didn’t you wear your bra?”
“The straps show… You aren’t going to tell me?”
“Is that the only reason?”
“Yeah… Why are you being so mean? I just want to know why my throat’s sore.”
“You give a remarkable blow job, Sookie. One of the best I’ve ever had.”
Her eyes widened, and when she blushed this time, the color of her face matched her magenta top.
I chuckled, “Are you ready to leave then?”
She spun around and yanked the towel from her head, snatching her shoes and purse and drumming her heels into the floor.
“Yeah. I’m dying to get treated like a sideshow by my giant insensitive Vampire babysitter who thinks it’s funny his not-girlfriend doesn’t remember their last booty call. I can’t wait to see what else you’re going to make fun of me for. Maybe you’ll get lucky and I’ll forget something really embarrassing. Can’t wait!”
If I didn’t know better, I’d think I just saw a glimmer of my Sookie bubble to the surface.