Bill knew he needed the Queen’s help. Ever since the party at Fangtasia Sookie had been pulling away from him and leaning towards Eric. When he’d said as much to Sookie she’d denied it saying that just because she’d gone to the concert with her friends it didn’t mean she was leaning anywhere. As he finished packing he thought more and more about the Viking who was trying to take his lover away. Yes he needed help alright. There was no way he could fight him alone, and fight him he would. Sookie belonged with him, no one else.
Perhaps he should fight fire with fire, take his Sookie out beyond Fangtasia for a date. They had yet to successfully go out together without interruption, maybe once they did she would stop pulling away from him. She denied it but she was leaving him, he could see the future unfolding before him and yet he found no way to stop it. There must be a way.
The second Sookie told Tara that Bill was out of town again, she started planning a girls night in. Just her, Tara, Arlene, Holly, and Lafyette. Since it was the middle of the week they’d decided on a cocktail potluck where everyone brought whatever liquor they had in their house and they’d line it up and see what they had the makings for.
Tara stuck with Bloody Mary’s and after the fifth she started making jokes about how Bill might like one. Arlene and Holly both made Long Island Ice Tea’s for each other just to see whose was better, after the first hour they couldn’t remember who won that contest. Lafyette drank his pink Cosmopolitan, he only had the one and sipped it all night so he could be the designated driver which he grumbled about all evening, good naturedly of course since he was the only one besides her who wasn’t acting a complete fool. She went with a Tom Collins, it wasn’t her usual Gin and Tonic but it had Gin in it at least.
She only had two, enough to get her buzzed and in the party mood, but not enough to get her to participate in the best stripper contest that somehow got started. When it finally came time for everyone to make their way home to their own beds she followed them out and waited on the porch to make sure they at least made it out of the driveway without incident. Turning to go back inside she walked straight into a large muscular chest.
Tilting her head back far enough that she almost fell backwards, alright maybe she was more tipsy than buzzed but she deserved it after being left behind by Bill again, she found the smiling face of a too handsome Viking looking back at her.
“What do you want?” Her Gran would tan her hide if she’d heard her speak to anyone that way, but she was peeved with him, so she figured it was allowed. Though at the moment she couldn’t rightly remember what it was that had her so angry with him, knowing him it was more than justified.
“Why my dear Sookie have you been drinking this evening?” He looked far too gleeful about her less than sober state.
“Maybe what’s it to you? Why are you here?” Had she already asked that? Had he answered?
“To help you clean up after your party.”
He made the statement so matter of fact and with such confidence that in her less than straight state of mind she just took him at his word, never questioning his answer.
Walking around him and into her house she made her way towards her kitchen stopping to whirl around, which was not the best idea, when she heard a clearing throat behind her. When the room finally stopped spinning, and her feet stopped swaying, she found that there at the threshold stood her little helper. How was he going to help her from out there she wondered vaguely with no real answer coming to mind, so she did the smart thing and asked someone who was less drunk than she was.
“How are you going to help me from out there?”
“I cannot enter without your invitation.”
Again his statement was so matter of fact, with no coercion following it that the invitation just sipped past her lips without her brain even realizing it. The whole time she kept wondering why he didn’t have an invite already since he was such a helpful guy.
“Oh, well then, come on in little helper person.”
“Thank you my dear.”
He seemed slightly out of place standing in her predominantly feminine home. She tried to remember if Bill seemed out of place there as well but couldn’t seem to keep the line of thought in her mind. Once it was gone she couldn’t be bothered to try and get it back either. The only thing on her mind at the moment was how someone so tall could walk around without hitting everything. Again not finding an answer in her gin soaked brain she decided to ask.
“How do you walk around without bumping your head into everything? You’re like ten feet tall.”
“Not quite that tall, and as to how I don’t continuously hit my head that’s simple. Practice.” She seemed to be amusing him, though for the life of her she couldn’t understand why.
Turning once more she shrugged her shoulders dismissing the thought before walking towards the kitchen again. Standing in the doorway she surveyed the damage and had to admit it wasn’t really all that bad. Mainly it was just empty bottles littering the counter tops that needed to be thrown away and four empty pizza boxes. Beyond that it was just five plates and twice as many glasses. She tried to remember why there were so many glasses when there had only been five people but again the answer was elusive.
Feeling Eric move to stand directly behind her she let her body fall back slightly until she was flush against him so that this time when she tilted her head back she wouldn’t fall over. Tilting her head back she looked up into his blue eyes that were alight with laughter. What he found so amusing she couldn’t quite figure out, but whatever it was must have been hilarious for even that much of his emotion to show through.
“Hi.” That hadn’t been what she’d intended to say, but it was all that her foggy brain could come up with.
“Hello again, shall we get started?”
“Okay.” Even to her own ears she sounded petulant like a child who’d just been told they couldn’t have any desert until after dinner. Even though she knew the mess wasn’t that bad and it wouldn’t take more than twenty minutes to clean for some reason the thought of starting the mundane task seemed daunting. Moving towards the sink she began to push up her sleeves determined to walk a straight line.
When he’d arrived at Sookie’s home Eric had been expecting to find her alone. He’d been informed of Bill’s departure early that evening and had made his way to her doorstep hoping to be able to strengthen their tenuous friendship without Bill’s interference. When he’d arrived however he’d found her surrounded by her friends who were all getting steadily more intoxicated. At first he’d started to turn and leave her to her merriment, but their antics had caught and held his attention. He’d been disappointed when Sookie hadn’t participated in the stripper portion of the evening but he had learned a few things about her during the delightful game I Never that they played.
When he’d realized that this party wasn’t a sleepover he’d decided to press his luck, and what luck it was. She’d been so smashed that when he’d offered to help with the cleanup she’d just invited him in like it was no big thing. While he wasn’t looking forward to any form of manual labor he found he would do far worse if it meant spending time with her. When she’d leaned her body fully into his he had been torn between wanting to laugh and wanting to groan. She was so lush and soft he remembered every curve of her body from their future encounter.
Shaking his head to clear his mind of such thoughts, which would quickly lead to disaster when he was trying to build her trust in him, he moved to stand beside her at the sink. He watched as she started grabbing glasses, placing them in the sink of soapy water, transfixed by the way the bubbles clung to her hands. She began to hum as she soaped up the dishes and handed them to him to rinse, while he freely admitted that he knew nothing about domestic chores he was fairly certain that she wasn’t doing things exactly right. He would correct her or try to fix things but he wouldn’t even know where to begin. Conversation would be easier, and he noticed that a drunken Sookie was an honest Sookie.
“Sookie, why isn’t Bill here helping you?”
“He went to New Orleans again on ‘vampire business’ Nah.”
When she’d spoken of vampire business she’d moved her hands so wildly during her air quotes that she flung soap bubbles on her face. Reaching over with his clean hands he brushed them away taking time to linger over her lips. He watched her try to scowl but not quite pull it off, and it was so cute.
“Hey, now don’t you try any funny stuff mister. I’m not having any of that while Bill is away.”
“So you’ll have when Bill gets back?” He couldn’t resist teasing her, she was delightful like this.
“That’s not what I meant and you know it!”
“I know nothing of the kind lover. I am not the mind reader here, I can only guess at your meaning from the words that come out of your delectable mouth.”
He watched her place her hands on her hips and get ready to yell at him. It was a stance he was quite familiar with since she seemed to yell at him more often than not.
“You make me so…so…”
Her booze addled mind tried to come up with the right word unsuccessfully being the helpful guy he was he decided to supply her with one.
Without warning she reached out and grabbed the spray nozzle from the back of the sink and sprayed water right in his face. Since he’d been about to reply to her scream of indignation she’d gotten a fair amount in his mouth. Turning his head to the side he spit out the water and when he turned his head back to reprimand her childish behavior he found her doubled over with laughter. Well what was good for the goose. Picking up the sprayer from where it hung limply having fallen from her hand when she’d started to laugh he waited for her to look up and squeezed.
Sookie lay in her bed not wanting to open her eyes. Even with them closed her head was splitting and she didn’t want any form of light hitting them. This was why she never drank; the morning after hangover just wasn’t worth the temporary buzz. Deciding to chance it she slowly cracked her eyes open and sure enough the morning sun was just waiting to punish her for her night of revelry. Closing her eyes as far as she could she stumbled to the offending window and jerked the blinds closed. Not having the energy to make her way back to her bed she pressed her back against the wall and just let her legs give out sliding slowly down to the cold hardwood floor.
Thinking back she tried to remember what all happened the night before. If she had to be on the lookout for embarrassing photos or even more embarrassing footage she wanted to know now so she could come up with a game plan. She remembered everyone showing up, them deciding on their drink of choice, ordering the pizza’s , the stripper contest that she thankfully had not participated in, everyone going home and… Her eyes shot open in horror Eric.
She’d invited Eric into her home! Even worse she was fairly certain that she’d sprayed him in the face with water. Oh no, what was she going to do? He wasn’t exactly her friend, but he wasn’t really an enemy either, so she couldn’t just let her horrid behavior stand. She had to make a gesture of apology, just saying it wouldn’t be enough for this one. Saying the words was for if you said something hurtful while you were drunk, if you sprayed someone in the face with water the morning after rules were a little more complex.
Thinking about it as hard as she could with her skull splitting apart she came up with one possible solution. Grabbing her cellphone from her nightstand she dialed the number to Fangtasia. She knew he wouldn’t be awake yet but there would be people there answering the phones for different reasons, she would just leave a message with one of them to give to Eric when he came in after sunset.
“Hello, this is Fangtasia where all your bloody dreams come true. How may I help you?”
She’d been hoping she would get Ginger, but she didn’t recognize this woman’s voice at all.
“Yes, I’d like to leave a message for Eric Northman.”
Before she could go any further she was rudely interrupted by the anonymous girl. Today was just not her day at all.
“I’m sorry but vermin aren’t permitted to leave messages for the Master. Goodbye!”
Just like that she was listening to a dial tone. Alright, so not very friendly during the day, good to know, she’d wait a little while before trying again. Hopefully next time she’d get Ginger.
Getting dressed proved to be difficult to do with her eyes closed, but she managed. Finally after about the fourth cup of coffee she began to feel like herself again. Around noon she tried Fangtasia again while she was running around trying to find her car keys so she could get started with her day. She had the day off from Merlotte’s but she still had a few errands to run.
“Fangtsia the bar with a bite!”
Thank god she was talking to Ginger. There was something she never thought she’d say even just to herself.
“Ginger hi it’s Sookie. Listen can you give Eric a message for me when he gets in, can you tell him to please call me whenever he gets a minute tonight?”
“Sure thing sugar, anything else?”
“No that was it, thanks for your help.”
Finally finding her keys that had somehow migrated to the freezer she made her way out into the world to tackle her less than stellar day head on.
After four hours of “tackling the day” she felt completely drained. The hangover headache from hell she’d thought she’d beaten into submission had only been playing possum, now it was back for revenge. Sitting in a café in Shreveport with her head in her hands she cursed Gin with all her might.
“You look like you could use this.”
Looking up, then up again, she found a tall dark haired mountain man standing in front of her table holding a glass of questionable content.
“What is it?”
“The best hangover cure you could get.”
Closing her eyes for a moment she reached out to his mind to see if he was telling the truth and found his thoughts very murky. While she could get a little of his intent and a word here and there his thoughts weren’t just pouring into her mind like most people. In fact his mind kind of reminded her of Sam, which meant one thing, Shifter of some kind. Reading that at least his intent wasn’t bad, held a hand out for the tall glass of muck and gestured for him to sit. It would be rude of her to just send him on his way after all. Taking a sip she repressed her shudder of revulsion as best she could and finally looked the kind stranger straight in the eyes.
“I’m Sookie by the way.”
“Hello Sookie, I’m Alcide it’s nice to meet you.”
Smiling she shook the hand he held out to her, maybe her day wasn’t all that bad after all.
The second Eric entered Fangtasia the new girl, Olivia, came swanning up to him trying to catch his attention. The whole reason he hired her was because her blond locks reminded him so much of Sookie that if he took her from behind he could fantasize that she was Sookie. Unfortunately since he’d taken her to his office for a feed and fuck several times since she’d joined the staff now she thought he favored her or something. Her attitude with the rest of his employees was beginning to become a problem and he once again thought about just firing her. After, he promised himself, after Sookie became his was soon enough to get rid of the pale imitation standing before him. He brushed her off and made his way back to his office.
He’d almost made it to the door when Ginger called out to him. God she was annoying and tended to grate on his nerves but she was an efficient worker who did as she was told so he gritted his teeth and turned towards her.
“Master, Sookie Stackhouse called during the day and left a message asking that you call her back whenever you have a moment.”
“Thank you Ginger dear.”
Without another word he turned away and walked swiftly into his office closing the door behind him with a little more force than necessary. He tried to come up with a reason behind the call, but the possibilities were too numerous to count. She could wish to apologize for her behavior, or reprimand him for his own. Sitting at his desk he knew there was really only one way to find out for sure.
“Sookie, I received your message from Ginger. What is so important?”
“Eric, hi I uh, well that is I just wanted to umm… apologize for the way I behaved with you last night. I shouldn’t have sprayed you with water or really any of it. I thought about a way to maybe make it up to you if you’re interested.” She sounded so nervous he could clearly imagine her standing there with her phone, her bottom lip firmly between her teeth.
“I’m listening.” This was a new development in all his recent dealing with the delectable Miss Stackhouse she’d never apologized to him. He wondered what she’d come up with to say she was sorry.
“Well, you see Bill and I were supposed to go to this movie premiere tomorrow and since he won’t be in town I wasn’t planning on going so I thought maybe I could give the tickets to you as an apology gift.”
Thinking it over quickly he came up with the perfect way to turn this to his advantage, and hopefully gain another foothold in her life.
“I will only accept the tickets and your apology if you go with me. They are your tickets after all and I would feel bad if you missed something you so obviously wanted to do because of me.”
Holding the breath he didn’t need he waited for her reply.
“Fine, it’s a midnight showing so I’ll meet you there at eleven and we’ll go.”
“I can hardly wait.”
With that they both hung up and he closed his eyes to savor his victory. She would be his! Standing up he walked to the door flinging it open with enough force to put a dent in the wall behind it.
Hanging up the phone after talking to Eric Sookie wondered again if she was doing the right thing. Yes she’d behaved badly the other night but wouldn’t going with him to an event she and Bill had planned to go to be a betrayal? She didn’t know what to do! When he phone rang she glanced down half expecting it to be Eric again and groaned. Today was not her day.
“Hello, sweetheart, how was your day?”
“Fine, you know same old same old.”