Late the next afternoon Sookie snuggled into the best pillow to ever cradle her cheek before her aching back demanded a stretch…and then the beloved little demon in her womb decided to play soccer with her bladder. With a grumph and a huff she finally managed to extricate herself from the surprisingly comfortable bed and waddled her way to the bathroom.
After answering nature’s call, she shuffled over to the sink to wash her hands and winced at the sight of her swollen black eye and split lip in the mirror. All the memories came rushing back followed by a strong kick from within. Sincerely glad that the baby whose sex she had chosen not to know seemed to be fine, she smiled down at the detectable movement as she thought back over the previous night.
For someone no longer attracted to her and who rarely voluntarily spent time with her, Steve sure hadn’t taken the break-up as well as she and Willa had hoped.
Sookie had tried to handle the break-up with class. She’d politely asked Steve to come in the house and talk with her, but he couldn’t be bothered. He’d rolled his eyes and said that he’d be there in a minute, then dug right back into the heaping pile of food on his plate after laughing at something Sam had said.
That was when Fairy Sookie decided that she’d had enough. She hadn’t been the one to invite anyone over to stuff Thanksgiving down their throats at her house. She hadn’t willingly volunteered to cook and bake for days on end to prepare the feast so that Steve fucking Campbell could look like lord of her manor.
Human Sookie had started shushing Fairy Sookie not too long after Bill had died. She liked that side of herself, but that side of her personality just didn’t fit in with her friends after all, so she had tried to “let her out to play” less and less. After a while she had become accustomed to bending over backward trying to please people she’d long thought of as her friends and, while some did genuinely care for her, when it came down to it, they all had lives and interests of their own…lives and interests that didn’t necessarily include her.
They’d all been happy for her when she turned up pregnant – just her luck to be one of those women who got pregnant while on the pill – because it suited what they thought she should want, and while it had been nice feeling their love and warmth, still, it hadn’t lasted long. They all had lives and interests of their own, after all.
Once again everyone had fallen back into their own little spheres leaving her alone with her unborn child and steadily worsening relationship. Calls were still usually returned the next day, or the day after, but planned visits and lunch dates were canceled at the last minute or not made at all.
She had been furious when Steve had announced just four days ago that he’d invited all her friends – well, all the people he thought she should be friends with – over for a Thanksgiving day dinner. After yelling at him for not only inviting people over to her house without asking her in the first place but also for springing this on her at the last minute – turkeys take forever to thaw – she had called everyone and told them that it was being rescheduled for after the sun went down so that her vampire friends could come, too. Steve’s attempt at excluding her undead friends had backfired royally, but she was still miffed at herself. Her good manners had precluded just canceling the whole damn thing as she truly wanted to do.
Irate, disgusted, and her face still flushed and tear-stained from crying, as Sookie hauled her sore, aching, and roundly-pregnant self back down the steps, more and more memories of his little and not-so-little insults and proofs of his lack of true affection for her surfaced.
By the time she reached the others, Fairy Sookie was livid. She grabbed the pitcher of tea, and promptly dumped it over Steve’s head, down his shirt, and into the plate of food that was obviously more important to him than she was.
“Have you got time for me now you self-centered conniving asshole?”
He looked stunned since he had never seen her so angry before, but she thought she saw something flash in his eyes briefly before he stood up to shake off as much tea as he could.
“What the fuck did you do that for?” He looked around at the numerous guests he’d invited over, and the ones he hadn’t, and his face reddened in either anger or embarrassment.
Sookie didn’t care which.
“All I asked you to do was come into the house for a minute, but nooo,” she said, still brandishing the glass pitcher like a weapon. “No, you had to stay out here with all these people that you invited to my house without even bothering to ask me if I felt like cooking and baking for the past two damn days! What part of “I don’t want to host Thanks-fucking-giving because I feel like shit” did you not understand two weeks ago, asshole? Now, do you want to do this out here or do you want to come back in the house?”
“Ugh, Sookie, why do you have to be such a fucking bitch all the damn time? They’re your damn friends – I invited them for you!”
“Bull. Shit,” she enunciated very clearly. “No only did you try to exclude my vampire friends, but you knew damn well that I did not want to have to deal with all this mess! Who did you think was going to do all the cooking and baking and cleaning and everything else? Sure as hell wasn’t going to be you, now was it?”
Knowing that she was right, Steve took a couple of steps back and changed the subject.
“Well what the hell did you want to talk about, anyway?” The sweet tea was starting to dry into a sticky mess in his hair and down his shirt. She heard someone snicker when he tried to wipe his hands off on his jeans.
“You want to do this out here? Fine! I could not give a shit less.” She struggled briefly with the ring before finally removing it from her slightly swollen finger, then tossed it to him.
Angry disbelief raced across his face as he let the ring bounce off his brawny chest and land on the ground in front of his dusty loafers.
“What the hell do you think you’re doing, you dumbass bitch?” The redness on his face was definitely anger.
“I’m breaking the hell up with your ass and kicking you and it both out of my house,” she screamed back at him. Surely he could understand plain English!
“What the fuck? No, oh, no you’re not,” he ground out, obviously having a difficult time controlling his temper as his hands kept clenching and unclenching. “You ungrateful little slut! Not after all I’ve done for you!”
“What? Are you trying to say that you moved in on me without me ever asking you to for me? Oh, or did you fuck around on me for me? Is that what you’re trying to say?”
“What the fuck? What the hell did you do, listen in to my thoughts or something? You ought to know better than that shit – for all you know I’d just been thinking about it!”
“Did you really think I wouldn’t notice that cheap whore perfume on you the last couple of times you dragged your sorry ass in? No, Steve, it’s over and I want you out of my house.”
A flash of something showed in his eyes again a split second before he headed toward her with his fist raised. As fast as Willa was, by the time she had Steve off her and shoved up against a nearby tree with Jessica’s help, Sookie’s eye and lip were already throbbing.
Thankfully Jason had finally decided to put down his turkey leg and made a big deal of handcuffing the bastard…after Willa and Jessica had pulled him off her, of course. Sookie rolled her eyes.
As she stood in the bathroom of the luxurious hotel suite holding a cold wet cloth to her eye, she thanked her deities once again for Willa’s help, and Jessica’s, too. After the confrontation, her nerves had started getting the best of her, and she had been more than glad to leave if only for the night.
She guessed her former engagement ring was still on the ground where it had landed, and shrugged. She wouldn’t know. After Jason had hauled Steve off to the local jail, while everyone else taking up space at the Thanksgiving dinner had just sat and stared at the break-up drama, Willa had steered the trembling blonde toward her car while Jessica had glared at the so-called friends who were just sitting there with their mouths open.
After settling her in comfortably and making sure that the younger vampire would stay by her side, Willa had vamped back into the house to grab Sookie’s purse and keys, and they’d left. Quicker than she’d ever thought possible during the silent drive, they arrived at the most expensive hotel in Shreveport. As the valet parked the car, Willa escorted Sookie to the elevator bank.
“I own half the floor just below the penthouse,” she explained as they entered the elevator. “There are three other bedrooms, and they’re all light-safe, but you can override the window controls with no problem. You can stay with me as long as you want, Sookie.”
With a sniff, Sookie replied, “Thank you, Willa. I don’t know what I’m going to do, but I’m sure glad to be here tonight.” She withdrew a balled up tissue from her pocket and tried to stem the tears of frustration, heartbreak, and she didn’t even know what all else.
Shaking her head, Willa countered after they had finally reached her floor. “I know exactly what you’re going to do. You’re going to keep growing that baby and you’re going to get a good night’s sleep, and you’re not going to worry.”
They quickly arrived at Willa’s door, and after giving Sookie the security code, they entered one of the nicest hotel spaces the telepath had ever seen.
“How,” she started to ask as she looked around in amazement, but stopped because she didn’t want to be rude. The bank of windows on the opposite wall were uncovered to display a beautiful night view.
Willa simply laughed. “You know that Eric settled a lot of money on me after he finally returned, right?”
Sookie nodded then toddled over toward the kitchen for some water.
“Well, he gave me half of this floor, too.” She started to tell Sookie that Pam had the other half…and that while Eric owned at least a dozen properties in the area, he also owned the entire top floor, but decided that maybe those tidbits ought to wait until another night. One thing at a time…
“So, you see? I don’t have to worry one little bit about money or anything else, and so you shouldn’t, either. You’ve been an amazing friend to me when I was really down and needed one. It’s my turn to get to help you now.”
“But…” Once again Sookie’s pride warred with her common sense.
“No buts,” she interrupted. “You wouldn’t want to hurt my feelings, now, would you?” She grinned triumphantly, knowing that her friend would be hoisted on her own petard.
Sookie expelled a gust of air, rolled her eyes, and grinned. “Of course not.”
“Good, that’s settled. In a little while I’ll call down to the concierge and have them go shopping for you some food and whatever else you need, so why don’t you make a list as soon as I find you some paper and a pen? In the meantime, there’s a room service menu around here somewhere…it came with the place,” she said as she started looking for the menu she’d never actually used before.
An hour and a half later Sookie’s belly was full and her lists were made, so Willa shooed her off to bed; the telepath’s exhaustion was palpable, and she worried about how the stresses and events of the past couple of days would affect her and the baby.
Tucked into the warm comfortable king-sized bed, Sookie tried to carry on a polite conversation with Willa as the vampire went around the room checking to be sure that everything was up to standard. Since she was as much asleep as awake, some of her words were mumbled…but Willa clearly heard her say something that she not only understood, but that made chills go down her spine.
“Willa? I never told him I was telepathic.”
The vampire thought frantically while remaining motionless in the chair beside Sookie’s bed until the fairy-hybrid quickly fell asleep.
She knew what she wanted to do, and she had a pretty good idea of how Sookie felt about her Maker just as she had a pretty good idea about how he felt about her, too. But even if she was wrong – and she knew she wasn’t: they were both nuts for staying apart – something was definitely rotten in the state of Denmark as it were, and this kind of thing was by far his area of expertise.
Willa called Eric.
**A/N: So, what did you think? Also, just breathe, my lovelies – Eric’s fine, but he IS about to get quite a shock…**