Chapter 12: One Too Many Times

SEPTEMBER 3, 2005

SOOKIE POV

I opened my eyes to the sun streaming into my room. I waited for a few moments and then reached for the saltine crackers on my nightstand. I sat up carefully and ate three of them before sipping a warm ginger ale.

It was a remedy to morning sickness that Arlene had shared with me during one of the rare occasions when she’d been kind to me since learning that I was to be an unwed mother.

Never mind that Arlene had given birth to one of her children when she wasn’t married.

Never mind that I’d supported her—even when her fiancé had tried to kill me.

Never mind that I’d always tried to be a good friend to her—that I’d never judged her.

Never mind that I’d offered countless hours of free babysitting—and given countless shift changes over the years.

All that mattered to Arlene now was that her new boyfriend was a Fellowship member. And—while she was “born again”—she’d obviously not been born with the charity spoken of in the bible.

Or the acceptance.

Or the love.

The Fellowship seemed to somehow find only hate in that book.

And intolerance for anyone who didn’t share their beliefs exactly.

In Arlene’s mind, I was a “daughter of Sodom—or Gomora”—depending on the day. And I’d befouled myself with vampires even before whoring myself to “others.” In fact, according to Arlene’s thoughts, I was the very definition of what was wrong in the world.

Plus, she was afraid of me—but not because I was Eve reincarnated or anything. No—she was afraid of me because I knew all of her own dirty little secrets.

For example, Arlene couldn’t count her sexual partners on both of her hands—and her feet. I know. She’d tried during a shift just last week! Also, she’d had two abortions—one when she was fourteen and had seduced her mother’s twenty-six-year-old boyfriend and one within the last year when she’d learned that she was carrying Rene’s child. Of course, publically, Arlene judged every woman who committed “murder” by “abortin’ an innocent child”—even if the woman was raped!

In addition, Arlene had never had a boyfriend or a husband that she’d not cheated on—including her current boyfriend, the Fellowship nut. In fact, she was sleeping with the minister of the Fellowship church, too! Whenever she was short on cigarette money, she would sneak some of the tips off of other waitresses’ tables. She thought that Terry was retarded because of his PTSD, but she preferred him to Lafayette, who she thought had gotten “what he deserved” when he was killed. She still called him “that faggot” in her mind. Of course, I’d never known about the true venom of her thoughts or the darkness of her spirit before—because I’d thought that being a good friend to her included staying out of her head.

So—yeah—she had every right to be scared that I would spew her secrets. After all, as a spiteful person, she expected others to be the same. But I wasn’t spiteful—though I was tempted at times—and I now watched her like a hawk to make sure she didn’t steal my meagre tips. But the truth was that I felt guilty any time I even thought about sharing Arlene’s secrets because doing so would hurt Coby and Lisa too. I just prayed that they didn’t turn out like their mother.

At least, Sam didn’t put Arlene and me on the same shift very often, though I was working a lot of doubles and couldn’t always avoid her.


Speaking of Arlene—she accosted me almost as soon as I walked into work. Hell! I’d not even gotten my apron on yet!

“So—can you take my Friday night shift or not?” Arlene asked from behind me. I wanted to say no, but Fridays were one of the best tip nights.

“Sure,” I responded, trying to sound amiable as I turned around. “Can you do my Friday day-shift? Or do you need the whole day off?”

“The whole day,” she smirked. “I’ve gotta Fellowship event to attend in Monroe—with Whit,” she added triumphantly—as if emphasizing the fact that I didn’t have anyone in the world to attend any events with.

Not that she was wrong. But I’d much rather be alone than with someone of Whit’s “character.”

Whit Spradlin, Arlene’s current flame, was about the most prejudiced person I’d ever come across—at least ten times worse than Arlene. And that was saying a lot!

“That’s nice,” I lied in response to my erstwhile friend’s comment.

“You know, Sookie,” Arlene said, looking at me judgmentally, “it’s not too late for you. You could come to the meetin’—maybe even get saved from your sins.”

“But then who would cover your shift?” I asked with mock innocence before turning away from her so that I could collect an order from Terry. Truth be told, he was the only person at Merlotte’s that I was truly comfortable around anymore. Another truth was that Sophie and I had asked Mr. Cataliades to make up a long-term contract for us, one which would kick in after Rhodes.

If Eric decided he wanted me to go.

In exchange for one week a month spent in New Orleans, using my telepathy to help Sophie, I would receive $5,000 per month and a furnished home to live in while I was there. I would also be provided with a nanny to take care of my daughter while I was working—as well as guards for my baby. Finally, the contract would provide healthcare for me and my child.

Better yet, it would give me options. Because of the jobs I’d already done for Sophie, the mortgage on the house—the whole thing, not just the part that I’d been behind in paying—was almost paid off.

After that mortgage was gone, I would own the farmhouse free and clear! No debt at all!

Beyond the mortgage, my monthly expenses were not great, so $5,000 a month would be more than enough to see to my child’s and my needs—especially since I was used to operating on less than $1,000 per month.

I’d already made a savings account for my child, though it currently boasted only $53. But I knew it would, one day, have a lot more in it. I planned to begin putting $500 dollars into it each month as soon as the new contract with Sophie kicked in.

I never wanted for my child to want for anything.

Because of my employment with Sophie, I would also have the option of where to live. I’d seen the home that Sophie had bought for me, a cute little place that was actually a bit out of New Orleans, which was what I’d requested so that my telepathy could “rest” there. Of course, the unspoken thought Sophie and I shared was that my child might, like me, be a telepath; thus, she, too, would need to “rest.”

Sophie had surprised me when she told me that Hadley had actually had a child several years before: a little boy named Hunter. He, too, was a telepath. I’d met Hunter twice now, and he was a sweet little boy. Thankfully, his father was a good man, who loved Hunter no matter what. I’d already agreed to help Hunter with his telepathy so that it wouldn’t turn out to be a curse to him—as mine had been to me.

Sophie had promised me that she would wait to approach Hunter for what she termed “employment opportunities” until he was 21 years old. And I trusted in her sincerity. Despite the circumstances under which I had met Bill, I believed that Sophie’s ideas of his procurement of me had been much different from what he actually perpetrated against me once he decided that he wanted me for himself.

“Here you go, Sook,” Terry said with a crooked grin as he handed me two chicken baskets.

“Thanks, Terry.”

“Your pup will be ready for you around October 1,” he declared. It was clear that he was proud of his dogs, and raising them helped him to cope with his PTSD.

I smiled at him. “I can’t wait. Would it be okay if I came by again when we both have the lunch shift off? I’d love to see him again,” I said of the puppy I’d picked out the morning before.

“How about the day after tomorrow?” he asked.

“Perfect!” I enthused.

“Better get those baskets out before they get cold, cher,” Sam said from behind me.

I turned with the food in hand and smiled at my boss; sadly, it was my “crazy Sookie” grin. “Sure thing, Sam!”

Sam had—more than once during the past few months—tried to convince me that I ought to marry him. And those proposals had made things awkward between us—to say the least. Oh—I could tell that Sam’s offers were meant well. He’d always had a thing for me, though he’d neglected to act upon that thing until Bill was in the picture. Maybe if he’d asked before I’d learned certain truths about Bill and realized even more important things about Eric—and how I felt about him—I would have considered Sam’s offer.

But it was no good. A marriage wouldn’t work between Sam and me. I viewed him as a friend only, and I hoped we’d stay that way. But I wasn’t sure I’d be getting that wish, considering how Sam had reacted when I told him that I’d be needing the first week of every month off—beginning in October.

I’d been hoping to keep my job at Merlotte’s for at least a couple of months longer. Even if I had steady money coming in from my work for Sophie, I wasn’t sure I’d ever really feel “comfortable” where money was concerned.

Old habits. They seemed to have more lives than I did.

After delivering the chicken baskets, I did a quick circuit of my tables, with a tea pitcher in one hand and a sweet tea pitcher in the other. While I was doing that, I mentally listed other things my customers needed—or would be needing soon. I used their thoughts as well as my years of experience to anticipate them.

In fact, I now used their thoughts as my “practice”—as I tried to improve my telepathic skills.

After all, my customers were good for little else nowadays.

I was now quite used to the fact that the “regulars” would under-tip me—for no other reason than that they viewed me as a whore who didn’t deserve their “hard-earned” money.

As if whores should make less money? It was the oldest profession according to some! Wouldn’t it stand to reason that they’d make more?

I stifled a grin at that thought, knowing that I wouldn’t be bothering to argue philosophy with the bar’s patrons.

My hourly rate at Merlotte’s was only $2.13, and—for months—I’d had to hustle just to make minimum wage, though during some day-shifts, I made even less than that.

I just thanked God that I had another source of income because of the work I did for Sophie, not that Sam made it easy for me when I requested days off. Hell! According to him, any two days off I had in a row were a “hardship” to him—even when I asked for a Tuesday and Wednesday, Merlotte’s slowest days. In fact, when I’d asked for those days, he said it wasn’t fair for the other waitresses that I was trying to avoid the least profitable shifts. When I’d asked for weekend days off, he chastised me for not working during the busiest times when he “needed me the most.” When I asked him to just give me any two days in a row off—whenever he could easiest spare me—he complained that I wasn’t being “grateful,” even after all the shifts he’d given me.

Of course, ever since I’d been at Merlotte’s, Sam had been in the practice of giving all of his waitresses two days off in a row, though he’d always rotated those days. It was only after I’d started taking those days to go to New Orleans to work for Sophie that they became an issue for Sam.

Nope—it was safe to say that I wasn’t that comfortable around Sam anymore because every time he talked to me, he tried to talk me out of working for Sophie.

I sighed as I cleaned off one of my tables. The bill had been $39.12. The tip was 70 cents—all in dimes.

My night went from bad to worse as Jason entered the bar with Hoyt and other members of the road crew. Hoyt looked at me apologetically as Jason glared at me.

Worst of all, many people’s memories leapt to the last time Jason had come into Merlotte’s when I was working.

I couldn’t blame them. My memory jumped there too.

Because the universe seemed happy to torment me at times, Jason sat in my section—with an arrogant smile on his face. Anticipating what Jason and his crew would want, I got two pitchers of Bud and enough mugs to go around before going over to their table.

“I’m gettin’ married on the 11th,” Jason said with no preamble.

“Congratulations,” I responded. Jason had been with Crystal Norris for months, so I wasn’t surprised by the news. Crystal had miscarried Jason’s child back in March, but Jason didn’t seem to think there was anything wrong with her having been pregnant out of wedlock.

Of course, he thought that everything was wrong with my pregnancy.

“You’re not invited to the weddin’,” he said, glaring at me.

“I wouldn’t have expected to be,” I responded quietly, trying to keep the hurt out of my voice.

“Missy at the bank told me that you made another big payment toward Gran’s house. Whatcha doin’ for the vamps to earn all that money, Sookie?” Jason asked, his voice raised enough for everyone in the vicinity to hear him.

Missy Jenkins had given Jason information about my bank account before. Pillow talk. But she was one of the only tellers at the bank, so I couldn’t exactly avoid her. And she had a young child at home, so I wasn’t prepared to get her into trouble for her gossip mongering either.

I knew from Jason’s head that he thought I ought to offer him some of my windfall, proving that he didn’t really care about how I’d actually earned the money for the back payments on Gran’s mortgage. He just thought that he deserved some of what I made to make up for all he “had to put up with”—just for being my brother.

Of course, he’d certainly never offered to help me or Gran financially. The most Gran had been able to get out of him was a chore or two in exchange for a meal.

I didn’t answer Jason’s question, though almost everyone within earshot assumed that I was selling one of two things to vampires: sex or blood. One or two people even speculated that I was going to sell them my child. They wondered if babies had tastier blood—since veal was better than a mature cow. I cringed and shut them out.

“So—can I get y’all any food tonight?” I asked the table.

“Three orders of bacon/cheese fries,” Hoyt said with a polite smile. “And another pitcher— when you get the chance.”

“Have Arlene bring it,” Jason said with a sneer. “I don’t think I can eat if you’re our waitress.”

“Of course!” I said with a very wide and a very fake smile.

I quickly put in their order with a sympathetic-looking Terry before asking Arlene to cover Jason’s table. When she looked put-out, I offered to take over her six-top, but to leave the tip for her.

She agreed.

I looked at Sam and motioned toward the bathroom. Pregnancy made me need to pee at least once an hour, but I needed the bathroom for more than just bladder relief. I figured that I deserved a splash of water on my face after my encounter with my brother. I honestly didn’t know why Jason seemed to despise me so much nowadays. But—after our encounter the week before—I could safely say that I was pretty much done with him.

Clearly, however, he wasn’t done with me.

I wet a paper towel and held it against my forehead as I recalled Jason’s tirade from the previous week.

He’d heard that I was having a girl—something I’d told Terry. Arlene had overheard us talking and had spread the gossip. In truth, however, I didn’t care if people knew the gender of my baby.

I had been happy about my news—pleased to learn that cute little dresses were in my future.

Jason had burst into Merlotte’s that same night, and he’d said more than one thing that had been fueling my nightmares.

Actually, he’d yelled those things for all to hear.

I closed my eyes tightly as his words bit me again.

“I heard you was havin’ a daughter! Too bad she’ll have a whore for a momma as a role model!”

I shook my head at the memory of Jason’s words.

But those hadn’t been his worst.

“You’d better not desecrate Gran’s memory by naming your whore in trainin’ Adele! I’m gonna name my own girl after her—you hear!”

He’d shaken me as he’d said that. Shaken me hard enough so that the bruises were still on my upper arms.

I’d lifted my chin in defiance to him and had pronounced that I was—indeed—going to name my baby after Gran.

He’d shoved me down, and Sam had gotten between us while Terry had called Bud.

I wet the towel again.

Bud had hauled off Jason, but I’d been left with a sobering realization as I’d been bombarded by the thoughts of those at Merlotte’s.

I could defy a hardware store clerk and paint my daughter’s room blue, but I wasn’t going to name my daughter “Adele.”

Gran’s name elicited a lot of thoughts from the people in Merlotte’s, but they all strayed to my “sins” and how Gran would hate them.

Hate me!

Honestly, I didn’t want my daughter to have to hear those thoughts every time someone called her name.

I rewet my towel and dragged it along the back of my neck.

A big part of me hoped that living in New Orleans would become a permanent thing—though I hated the thought of leaving the farmhouse. But I didn’t want to subject my daughter to the thoughts of the people of Bon Temps either—not if those thoughts would be even more negative than the ones they’d had about me when I was a child. After all, I was just “crazy”—a “freak.” But my daughter would also be thought of as the child of a “whore.”

I glanced at myself in the mirror before lowering my eyes to the sink basin. Three fingers! I could count the men I’d slept with on only three fingers, but the thoughts around me were sometimes so fervid that I almost believed I’d fucked hundreds of men.

I took a long breath, threw away my used paper towel, and turned to leave the bathroom—only to be confronted by Sam, who was entering the room.

He locked the door behind him, and I tensed.

“You okay, cher?” he asked.

“Yeah. Just a little bloating and overheating,” I lied. “Pregnancy stuff.”

He nodded. “I heard what Jason said.”

“Most of the people in Merlotte’s did,” I commented.

He took a step toward me.

Oh-uh.

“You could silence him and most of the others out there if you just married me. I’d even adopt your child. Hell you could put my name on the birth certificate—pretend that she was mine all along! I’d be happy to claim her. And you.”

The intensity in his eyes made them almost yellow.

I took a deep breath. “I appreciate the offer, Sam. I really do. But I can’t take you up on it.”

“Why not?!” he yelled angrily. “Is it because of the vamps?”

I closed my eyes and hoped that Sam would soon calm down. “No. I need to concentrate on my daughter right now. And on myself.” I paused. “You are a real good friend, Sam. But that’s all we’re ever gonna be—okay?”

“Dammit, cher, I could be good for you! Will be good for you!”

I’d stopped stifling my telepathy when I could be in danger—a lesson hard learned. So I heard that Sam thought that I would accept him—finally—if we just had sex. And—as he took another step toward me—I wondered if he might try to force the issue.

“It would be rape, Sam, and I’d hate you for it,” I said as I took a step away from him.

I was ready to scream and to fight, but my words were enough to pour a cold bucket of reality over Sam’s thoughts.

Thank God!

He took a step away from me. “Rape? I would never force you! Never!” he said insistently.

Better than anyone, I knew that people often didn’t follow through with their thoughts. And Sam was a good man—in most ways. But his idea that we should get married was only becoming more forceful in his mind, and his pursuit of me had to stop—before he did follow through with his desire to “claim” me.

“Sam, I’ve told you more than once that I’m not gonna marry you. I don’t love you like I should love a husband.”

“But you could, cher. If you tried. If you gave us a chance. You could grow to love me. I know it!”

I sighed. “No, Sam. I would be settling for you. And that wouldn’t be fair to either one of us.”

“Settling?” he growled. “This is about the vampires—isn’t it? I can protect you from them!” he promised.

“That’s just it. I don’t need your protection,” I sighed.

“You are naïve if you think you’re safe with them,” he returned.

“The only vampire who has truly harmed me is in Asia right now,” I said, thinking of Bill’s latest assignment from Sophie.

Sam scoffed. “I have a good memory, cher, and I think you are tryin’ to revise history.”

“No—I’m getting my facts straight—finally,” I said with frustration. “Who’s hurt me? Rene Lenier—human. Your friend, Callisto—Maenad. Steve Newlin—human. A whole bunch of other Fellowship members—all human. Marnie Stonebrook—Were witch. Other witches—all humans or Weres. The Pelts—Weres. Quinn—weretiger. Yes—I was sometimes in positions where I could get hurt because I was working for vampires. But blaming the vampires would be like blaming the police for not being able to stop every criminal before the fact. Heck! I’m more qualified to stop most bad things from happenin’ than they are!”

“Is that how they’re using you?” Sam asked, sarcasm lacing his tone.

“It’s how the queen is employing me,” I corrected.

He rolled his eyes. “And I’m sure that all the information they get out of you is for the greater good.”
I shrugged. “Part of my agreement with all the vampires I’ve ever worked with is that guilty humans are turned into the human police when possible. And, honestly, I’ve never been asked to do anything that would hurt an innocent person.”

“Yet!” he said skeptically.

“Why do you insist upon seeing the worst in vampires, Sam?” I asked, truly curious.

“They are selfish, evil creatures,” he returned.

I sighed. “Now you sound like Arlene: prejudice without proof. Not all vampires are bad, Sam.”

“They’re killers!”

“So are some humans,” I responded. “And some of the two-natured.”

Sam frowned. “Cher, you need to stay away from them!” he growled, his thoughts darkening again.

“No, Sam,” I said. “You need to stop trying to interfere in my life.”

“Interfere?” he asked incredulously. “I love you! I want to marry you. And I’m even willing to take on a bastard child for you!”

It felt like Sam had hit me in my gut, but there was no way I’d allow him to harm the child resting near that gut.

I noticed his hands forming into balls of tension. “If I wanted to interfere, I’d tell you that you can’t keep your job here if you expect to be left off the schedule one week per month,” he said triumphantly, thinking I’d choose Merlotte’s over my job with Sophie.

He was dead wrong about that.

I squared my shoulders. “Okay, Sam.”

For a moment, he looked even more triumphant.

“You no longer have to put me on the schedule at all,” I said. “Do you want me to work out the night—and this week? Or would you prefer me to leave now?”

“Cher, I didn’t mean for you to quit!” Sam backpedaled, his eyes immediately showing a mixture of desperation and contrition.

“No more ‘chers,'” I said quietly. “No more marriage proposals. No more attempts to manipulate me into acting how you want.”

“If you think I’m the one manipulating you, you’re stupider than I thought!” he said angrily.

I sighed. “Okay then. I guess I’ll leave now.” I shrugged. “Truth be told, leaving Arlene in the lurch for Friday doesn’t sound half bad right now—considering what her mind is telling me.”

“What’s that?” Sam asked, clearly a little taken aback.

“She thinks I’m seducing you,” I conveyed.

I moved toward the door.

“Cher, I . . . .”

I gave Sam a warning look. I’d had one too many endearments from people who weren’t actually on my side.

One more “babe” or “cher” and I was likely to show my pregnancy hormones in full!

But then I remembered that Sam had once helped me when I couldn’t find another job, and I found that I couldn’t leave on such a bitter note.

“I will never be able to thank you enough for giving me a job in this town when all the other job-wells had dried up for me,” I said sincerely. “I don’t know how Gran and I would have made it all those years without the money I earned here. I’ll always be a friend to you, Sam Merlotte, but you aren’t being one to me right now.” He didn’t stop me as I unlocked and opened the door. “When you decide to be my friend again—if you ever do—give me a call.”

As I left the bathroom, I was face-to-face with Jason. “You marrying Sam like you should?” he asked.

Seeing into Jason’s thoughts in that moment, I saw that Sam had visited him weeks before—asking for his permission to marry me.

The only problem? Jason and I had already been estranged by then—which Sam had known very well.

On his best day, Jason wouldn’t have been a very good steward of my life. But, lately, he had no right to be involved at all! And the fact that Sam did involve him spoke volumes!

“Ask Sam,” I said before moving past Jason towards Sam’s office. Quickly, I took my measly tips from my apron and placed it and my order pad onto Sam’s desk before grabbing my purse from its usual spot.

And then I walked out the back door—not bothering to look back.


ERIC POV

Before I’d invited Olivia into my home, I’d decorated the second largest bedroom with her tastes in mind. The walls were a silver blue, and the furniture was a rich reddish brown. The textiles in the room were deep blue and cream.

The bedroom was a study in elegance, just like the woman now sleeping in the bed.

I got up and put on my robe before making my way downstairs to my day-chamber, a place where Olivia had still not been. I’d only ever contemplated letting one human into that place.

I tried to close my mind to thoughts of that person, however.

Instead, I refocused on Olivia. She should have been perfect for me. She was intelligent. Hell! She’d even taught me a thing or two about the evolving stock exchanges around the world. And I’d profited from her guidance in that arena.

But money wasn’t everything.

I lay down in my lonely bed. When Olivia had asked if she could stay with me during the day, I’d explained to her that vampires simply didn’t rest next to humans. And—I could honestly say that I never had. But I couldn’t honestly say that I’d never wanted to.

I didn’t need such a big bed. Hell! I didn’t need a bed at all, for I had been “born” from the dirt and had rested there for centuries.

Her half,” I said, looking at the empty part of the bed.

I turned away from that half.

I’d ordered the bed on January 10—right after my time as an amnesiac. I knew that I’d spent my days with Sookie in the cramped “cubby” in her closet, but I’d been practically driven to buy a bed we could both fit into.

And that bed had taunted me ever since.

Because it had stayed half empty.

But I couldn’t get rid of it.

And I didn’t want to rest anywhere else.

“Fuck you, Sookie Stackhouse!” I whispered into the dark room.

Once again, I tried to focus on the litany of Olivia’s qualities.

But I couldn’t prevent comparisons from forming.

Most people in the world would label Olivia as being more beautiful than Sookie Stackhouse.

But it was a blond head and a set of teeth with a gap that met me when I closed my eyes.

Most people in the world would find Olivia to be more intellectual company.

But I missed Sookie’s innate cleverness and wisdom—the way that she seemed to view the world as no one else could have.

The way she challenged me at every turn.

Or—at least—she used to.

Most people in the world would prefer Olivia in bed—given her perfect mixture of natural grace and eagerness. And her lack of a gag reflex.

But I found myself aching for a body I couldn’t quite remember, but one that I somehow knew fit me better than any other ever had.

I should have preferred Olivia because she’d preferred me from the start. There had been no drama. No second guessing. And no Bill Compton!

But none of that mattered.

Olivia was someone I wanted to prefer. She was the ideal companion for a vampire who wanted a companion.

However . . . .

However.

She wasn’t the woman I loved.

She was not my heart’s desire.

I closed my eyes and recalled the details of the curse Hallow had unleashed against me. It was supposed to have made me view her as my heart’s desire—to have made me go to her without my memories. Hallow had planned to use me for sex and to take my blood.

But—as I’d learned during my thousand years—”love spells” often didn’t work out as planned. And—though Hallow was a strong witch—she wasn’t a particularly educated one. Thus, only part of her spell had worked. She didn’t count on the fact that I was already in love with someone else when her spell was activated, and her curse couldn’t touch that authentic love.

As a matter of fact, I did rush to my heart’s desire without my memories intact.

But that beloved was Sookie Stackhouse.

Time apart. Distance between us. Our weakening blood tie. The hurt I felt when I thought about her. Her short relationship with Quinn. Her pregnancy.

None of those things were capable of changing a certain truth: Sookie Stackhouse was still my heart’s desire.

But that didn’t mean I was willing to risk my heart again. It had already been demolished by her—one too many times.


A/N: In the books, Sookie seems to just give in to a life with Sam. Honestly, I thought that Sookie was a little clueless to the fact that Sam seemed to make overtures quite a bit-even asking her to be his date to his sister’s wedding-even though she was with Eric and he was with Jannalyn at the time (no wonder she hated Sookie). Anyway, though Sam is “better” than Bill in my mind, I would have rather had Sookie end up with someone new if she didn’t get with Eric at the end of the books. But, oh well, fanfiction is good therapy (writing and reading).

Anyway, I wanted for this Sookie to have reassessed the behavior of everyone around her-including Sam. Still-I think it took her too long to quit. But-I get it. She was wanting to wait until her new, more permanent contract with Sophie kicked in.

And-as for Eric? Sigh. I know it wasn’t a long POV from him, but most of you were right that he’s with Olivia because she’s “safe.” She will not break his heart like someone else we know about. But Eric is also holding back from her-not surprising. I feel very sad for him. Of course, all he would have to do is swallow his fear and just go to her. But he’s scared of those feelings he has. And-remember-he DID try with Sookie at the beginning of this piece.

 

Kat


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39 thoughts on “Chapter 12: One Too Many Times

  1. It is safe to say Sookie has had an awful couple of days. I can’t imagine the heartache and pain. I’m so glad she denied Sam. I’m glad she quit, but I’m worried about her $ situation. Maybe she could increase time with Sophie. I wonder who will make first move E/S. I think it needs to be Sookie. At least Eric realizes he still loves her. Oh the angst !

  2. It’s almost as if Jason and Sam have been glamoured to pressure her to marry Sam. I hope both Arlene and Jason get their serving of karma soon. It’s probably too much to hope that they become better people, so I hope they are miserable and suffer forever. Obviously Sookie is a better person than me. I would out their secrets in a heartbeat.
    Blessings

  3. Yes yes yes!
    I absolutely loved this chapter.
    FINALLY Sookie quits her job and moves on , no more evil thoughts from her fellow colleagues and from the patrons..
    Oh Eric ….
    We all know he wants his heart’s desire…
    Can’t wait to see what happens next
    Jackie69

  4. I am glad that Sookie finally quit Merlottes. It was not safe for her to be there with Sam harassing her and Jason insulting and assaulting her. With the job she has with the queen, this is the best option. It would also be best for her child to be away from all those judgmental people. I wonder if she could move into the new house now and if so what she is waiting for. I wonder if Pam will tell Eric what Sookie said to her, about her still loving Eric. I wonder if the Queen will tell Eric how Sookie was blinded by large amounts of Bills blood. I hope that Eric breaks up with Olivia soon. She is not good for him and he is just stringing her along. I can’t wait for more! I am so loving this story!

  5. Arlene is such a hypocrite. She was married several times, extremely promiscuous and engaged to a serial killer no less! I loved that Sookie dgaf anymore about respecting Arlenes’ mind privacy any-more. She is shown herself t be the better person here by protecting her children. Not forgetting the small minded country hicks she has t contend with every time she works. These folk probably claim to be Christians but show her no Christian charity.

    Love that Sookie practically has her mortgage paid off. It always annoyed me that Sookie in the books and the show did#;t ask for more money. Her skills are rare after all and dangerous so she’s entitled to danger money. Not forgetting the emotional and physical toll reading people takes on her.

    Jason is an arsehole. Ironic calling Sookie a whore when he’s the biggest manwhore going and it’s heartbreaking that everyone would think her calling her Adele would sully Grans’ memory …… Not forgetting Sams’ creepy and somewhat outdated opinion that Sookie need to be married to him to cleanse her bastard. Sam is lucky she didn’t kick him in the nuts! I cheered when she quit. Sookie needs to get out of Bons Temps asap!

    So Eric is tormented by his lonely bed and the half he had hoped Sookie would occupy but he has a lady with no gag reflex now sure isn’t that all a vampman wants now! ;D He’s going to end up hurting Olivia in the long run dragging on this rebound.

  6. OMG -this story needs to be flagged with a Angst level 10!! Thank goodness she has FINALLY moved on from Merlottes – although I do understand why she has stuck at it for so long. I have to say that in a strange way I do feel quite sorry for Olivia – she has done nothing but fall for a man (vampire) who cant return her feelings as he loves another, but here is hoping that when they do split (cos I am still hopeful that this will be Sookie/Eric at the end) it is not harmful or hateful to her

  7. Oh my. Sookie and Eric both waste so much time thinking and being afraid of the “what ifs.” For two people who are willing to take risks, and especially in Eric’s case, live life to its fullest, they’re terrified of one little word with four letters. Oh, the irony! What more proof does Sookie need that she is a risk taker after that epiphany that leads her to walking out on her job? The more negativity with which she surrounds herself, the more she feels “less than.” Removing herself from any atmosphere where Jason is present would be the best thing possible, for a lifetime! Due to the way you’ve written this QSA, Sookie might be better off going to her to ask for permanent residence in the home built for short-term stay. Not only would she be under the queen’s protection, but it would give her the space she needs to put things into perspective concerning those she considers “family and friends,” and perhaps the time she needs to consider what her next steps will be,
    Eric’s POV and/or thoughts were just as I suspected. Olivia is a lovely woman who would be a fine companion, but not the one he wants. His heart belongs to another, and always will. As Olivia pointed out to him in an earlier chapter, she knows this and wants to be told before she develops deeper feelings. She might just get that notice soon. Terrific chapter!

  8. Oh sookie, I am so sorry for small minds. She punishes herself enough for her missteps in life, no one deserves this abuse. I’m shocked at how visceral it is. How violent. Even if she never found her way to Eric again, she needs to take care of herself. He’s not her priority now, just her regret.

    And Eric. How ironic that he is the one “settling” for the one seen as better suited.

  9. I am so beyond happy and relieved that Sookie finally quit Merlotte’s. I would really love it if she would throat punch Jason. Sam is creepy and I totally agree with your comments. As for Eric….poor guy. You sure can’t blame him for not wanting to go to Sookie. I sure hope Pam does some interfering and gets them two back together. 😊

  10. Thank God Sookie walked out of Merlottes. Glad she didn’t finish out her shift too. She has some will power. I would have slapped and kicked Sam. How can she even say he’s a friend? He had the same thought’s that Quinn had. AND he’s calling her daughter a bastard. Sookie needs to get out of there. She, Pam and Sophia should hang out one night. That could cheer her up.
    I think Olivia will be hurt. The only good thing, which is sad to say Eric could glamour her. If it comes down to that.
    Will something happen between Eric and Sookie at the summit? It’s not really up to Eric. Sophia can tell Sookie she’s going.

  11. Poor Sookie !Living With a Mistake That Caused Her To Lose Eric ANd Then Realize All The Things About All The People She Thought She Had And Then The Fact That Her And Her Poor Baby Are Alone, Wow Can Only Imagine The Pain She Is Living With…. More Please

  12. Finally done with Merlotte’s – Arlene will have to find someone else to take her shift 😀
    Jason really has gone off into the deep end in this story – sorry to see that. Funny how those in glass houses are throwing the biggest rocks

  13. And another sad but great chapter. Finally she quits her job, no longer nasty comments from nearly everybody there. I love, how Sophie has become a good friend to Sookie and how she is free from pressure to work her ass off. Seeing Eric afraid of beeing hurt once more is very sad, Who will be the one fixing this messes up story? Sookie ? Sophie? Pam? love this story.

  14. I’m so glad that Sookie quit Merlotte’s and that she’s Sam with clearer vision. I wanted to gag every time book Sookie thought about what a “good” friend Sam was. Good friends call you on your shit, but they don’t berate your choices and constantly call you stupid. Good friends don’t belittle every man you choose because they secretly (or not so secretly) want to be the one you’re with even though they were always too chicken shit to pursue you. Good friends don’t hide their true nature, especially when they already know yours. Ugh. This is one of the best decisions Sookie has blamed so far. Moving would be an even better one. (Though, personally I believe Shreveport would be a better choice than NOLA). Get away from the toxic thoughts in that rotten little town. Maybe then she’d start believing in herself.

    Loved Eric’s POV, but it made me so sad. For him and Olivia. I can’t blame him for being afraid, Sookie has hurt him multiple times and as the saying goes…”once burned, twice shy”. I think Sookie needs to be the one to step up and make the first move, but I can’t see her doing that as long as he’s with Bore-Livia and she thinks he’s happy. He needs to cut that anchor loose.

    1. Ugh. Dang typos. Should have proofed before I hit send. That should have read ”that SHE SEES Sam with clearer vision” and “..best decisions Sookie has MADE so far…”

  15. so the pool of friends is getting smaller and smaller… i don’t see the use of staying in BT any longer but if truth be told i understand her need to stay close to Eric. one day maybe they will actually talk. If she goes to Rhodes i do not see it happening then either. But it was awesome how she up’d and quit and used his words against him, dumbass shifter…. as for Eric he knows he loves only one woman and he is miserable about it but like many of of us he is trying to stay safe and by staying with Olivia. I get it i really do, but i aches for him because he tears himself up every time he thinks about what could have been. KY

  16. Hahahaha! Eric is now doing to Olivia the exact thing he is condemning Sookie for. While I love the Viking with all my heart, he has never had to walk a mile in Sookie’s shoes.
    Why would she have any faith in him when he really has never shown her his true self? How would she trust him not to screw around on her when everytime she walks into his bar she gets hit with wall to wall Eric porn? Everytime they start to have a serious conversation he tends to deflect it with sexual innuendos! It really doesn’t scream “Sookie, I love you! Walk through the ages with me!”
    If anyone is looking for some story ideas…How about Sookie goes to Fangtasia one night to call Eric on his shit. The catch being that she can somehow share her telepathy with him and force him to see and hear all the crap she has to endure. Or also, a True Blood story for a certain basement scene. Except Sookie isn’t the whiny Bill loving harpy. And when the “see something you like” comment comes up she replies that “she would but it’s covered in cheap fangbanger crotch as usual”.
    Ok my rant is done now! Awesome story so far wish it was going to be longer than 20 chapters.😘💖

    1. Ooh, I love that idea about Sookie calling Eric out on his shit and being able to “somehow” pass along all the thoughts related to him that bombard her every time she goes to Fangtasia!

  17. I sort of wonder if Olivia will be the one to end it. She strikes me as being an intelligent woman and she’s already asked Eric about the woman he loves/loved?
    I don’t think she’s stupid and if at any point she sees Eric with Sookie, she’ll work it out. She seems dignified and perhaps that, added to her intelligence, and the knowledge that Eric doesn’t love her, will see her bow out gracefully. No woman wants to be second-best!
    Hopefully then Eric might be willing to listen if Sookie makes the first move, which I think she should!

  18. Such a toxic work environment! So glad Sookie has seen the light and decided to get away from there! Ah….Eric I don’t think you’ll be able to escape your “heart’s desire” –you can try to smother it, ignore it, squelch it, run from it –but you are hers as she is yours….. Now…who will crack first?

  19. Sookie is a way better person than me. Anonymous letters would’ve been mailed to the Bon Temps newspaper with the dirty secrets of the nastiest people in town after I moved to New Orleans. However, Sookie isn’t as vengeful as I could be in her situation.
    Eric realizes he’s just settling, it’s an attempt to get over Sookie. Too soon for that. Sophie needs to do a little of her nosey girlfriend, butting in right now. Seems Sookie really isn’t talking too much to Pam as she’s a good buttinski and that particular skill is in need right now.

  20. Good for Sookie! I’m glad she got out of Merlotte’s. That whole environment was just no good for her. And Eric..well I understand he’s running scared of his feelings for Sookie, but he’s got to dump Olivia, no gag reflex or not!! That little revelation made me hate her even more😜
    I just hope when this is all over and they’re back together that Eric gives Jason a very hard smack upside the head!

  21. O my goodness ..what the hell is wrong with those people in Bon Temps? I mean abesoulety no one stood up to help a pregant woman who’s being abused. I really would think friend or not Hoyt being a good person would kick Jason’s ass. I mean you don’t put a hand on a pregant woman no way. As for Eric he crossed too many lines when it comes to his realtionship with Olivia. He has the girl sitting by his side on his dais. Now he has her in his home. He doing abesoulety everything one would do with someone they want, and care about. I mean if he doesn’t want her than be a man and let her go. I mean really he, thinks one of her redeeming qualities is non gag reflex as opposed the women he loves. I understand he’s been hurt , and is trying to protect his heart. Yet, if he treated Sookie with half the admiration he treats Olivia with , maybe she wouldn’t have questioned his feeling for her. I can’t see how this will be a Sookie and Eric fan fic, but you’ve worked your magic before , Kat. I look forward to see it at work.

  22. OMG PLEEEEEASE UPDATE SOON. My heart is breaking for both of them. I just want Sookie and Eric to reunite and for her to move in with him ( I’m guessing he has a house in Shreeveport ) and get out of that horrible little narrow minded, judgemental town. I hope she tells Eric EVERYTHING that happened to her ( Jason hitting and shaking her violently and all the things he said to her ), plus all the things other people have said to her and how she’s been treated. She has suffered more than enough. I want Eric to kill Jason, but we all know that won’t happen. I also hope that when he does go back with Sookie, that he glamours Olivia to have no memory of being with him sexually. Last thing Sookie wants is to hear her memories of being in bed with him. I totally love this story. Will you make it a PDF when complete…hint hint. 😄

  23. Arlene Sam and Jason just get my blood boiling! Actually, maybe Terry and Hoyt should go out back to check on something and for some reason the gas stove exploded and Merlottes goes up in a big mushroom cloud. Yes that sounds good. 😜

  24. i feel so bad for sookie. at least eric has someone sookie has no one and to hear what they think of her even her brother. she needs to stand up to them tell the bank about their teller running her mouth tell jason hes a piss poor brother and tell eric to f****K himself he isnt all that innocent dont get me started on sam or arlene sure sookie pushed eric away with her track record with men do you blam her bill,quinn,her own brother treat her like shit she cant hear vamps so shes scared eric will treat her like bill did

  25. Wonderful chapter. Your writing is so emotionally charged. You are so adept at making your readers feel. The longing, fear, pain, hope, prejudice, torment, love and want. All of this is felt deep inside each of your readers. That is powerful. It’s what keeps us reading and enjoying your stories. And will keep me doing that as long as you keep writing these wonderful tales.

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