Chapter 15: I Hear the Clock Tick

DECEMBER 24, 2007, 11:00 P.M.



Christmas Eve.


Today was the day I’d died—in Life 1, at least.

And the day was now almost over.

Almost survived.

One. More. Hour.

I had decided to mark the occasion with a whole bottle of champagne.

After all, my whole existence with vampires and witches and Weres and fairies had been replaced by peace and “normalcy” as I’d relived the days between “coming to” in Merlotte’s walk-in—”Merlotte’s Heaven—and now.

On December 22, I’d found myself the most nervous. After all, in Life 1, that had been the day that Niall’s last round of enemies had come to kill Hunter and Remy, Jason and his family, and Sam.

That had been the day that I’d met Margie at the mall—the day I’d bought gifts for Sam that seemed like the things a fiancé would give—rather than something from just another friend.

Of course, this time around, Sam had enjoyed a very different life. He’d never had a dalliance with the Maenad. He’d not spent years “wondering” about me. Nope. In fact, a long time before Jannalynn could come sniffing around, Sam had married Maudette Pickens!

As a matter of fact, I’d been a bridesmaid at their wedding!

Their little girl, Adele (named for Gran), had had her second birthday the previous September. And Sam and Maudette had just found out that the child they were expecting in April was actually twins—two boys.

As I poured myself another glass of bubbly, I let myself sink into my memories—both sets of them.

It was funny the things that had stayed the same and the things that had changed.

Of course, I had been able to change quite a few things myself. For example, I’d been able to “distract” Jason with homemade chicken and dumplings on the night that he’d been fated to hook up with Crystal Norris. I’d also facilitated his meeting Michele “early.” Just like in Life 1, however, they’d fallen in love quickly. And she was good for him. But, this time around, they didn’t have a Marie. They had Joshua, who was almost a year older than Marie would have been. And they were expecting a set of twins in three months.

I chuckled. Sam and Jason had been toasting each other’s “fertility” just the night before, even as Michele and Maudette had indulgently let them. However, unlike with Sam and Maudette’s twins, Jason and Michele weren’t certain of the genders of their children. Apparently, one child—a boy—had “shown” himself. And Jason had quickly dubbed him Corbett.

But kid number two was “shy,” so his or her gender remained unknown. We’d nicknamed “him/her” Pat.

Corbett and Pat’s ultrasound picture was on the refrigerator.

To my eyes, they both looked like blobs, though beautiful ones.

I took a big swig and remembered a blond little girl who would never be.

Marie’s was the first life I mourned in Life 2. She was a child whom my meddling had snuffed from the world—an egg that didn’t get fertilized. I cried for her often, even as I wondered what other horrible outcomes I’d inadvertently caused. It was enough to drive a person crazy.

But—whenever I was in danger of falling into despair—I focused on Joshua, who hadn’t existed in Life 1. Little Adele hadn’t been alive there either—let alone the twins Sam and Maudette were expecting. And the twins Jason and Michele were expecting.

So many other things had altered because of my influence on Life 2 too. And I prayed that they were mostly for the good.

Holly, who had begun working at Merlotte’s before “planned,” had—strangely enough—ended up marrying Andy Bellefleur. Halleigh Robinson, ironically, had ended up with Hoyt Fortenberry. But both couples seemed happy, despite their “inadvertent swap.” And both had a kid each.

Arlene had quit before the shifters and Weres came out. Even better, Whit had married her, and they’d moved to a Dallas suburb before she could do any damage in Bon Temps. I was sad about Coby and Lisa being lost from my life. But—because of Arlene—I’d learned that some people just couldn’t be positively influenced, even by someone who knew the future. Honestly, I just hoped that Coby and Lisa could overcome any of her “lessons” to them.

Dawn’s outcome had also been interesting—to say the least. She had been a nice surprise in my life; in fact, I counted her as my closest friend!

After Eric was done with her, which was something I’d been able to confirm because of the massive glamour job done upon her—a glamour job which I’d sometimes fantasized was an apology of sorts—Dawn had begun dating Sid-Matt Lancaster of all people! A man who was Gran’s age!

Dawn and Sid-Matt had married not a month after they’d started dating. I’d been a bridesmaid at their wedding too!

A lot of the people in Bon Temps had judged Dawn as being a “gold digger,” but I knew better.

Since Sid-Matt’s hip replacement, six months before, Dawn had wheeled her husband around dutifully and faithfully. And—despite the venom she got from a lot of people—Dawn held up her chin with pride. She was thankful for Sid-Matt. And—no offense to Eric—but Dawn cared for the octogenarian a hell of a lot more than she had for the bona fide millennial.

In fact, she loved the heck out of Sid-Matt!

And with good reason.

Sid-Matt respected Dawn and had encouraged her to get her education. For him the sun rose and set with her.

His thoughts had told me that he’d been waiting for eighty years to feel like she made him feel.

As surprising as it might have been, they were honest to God soul mates! And—from day one—their relationship was among the most heartfelt that I’d ever “heard” about. Thus, I treated them with as much kindness as I could. And, perhaps because of that, Dawn began to seek out a true friendship with me.

And—by a twist of fate (and time)—I was now closer to Dawn than I was to Tara!

Speaking of Tara, she’d gotten together with J.B. without ever having endured any “vampire drama” since I’d made a point to invite her for a girls’ night out on the day that Life 1 me would have seen her in Jackson.

Ironically enough, because she’d never endured Mickey, Tara didn’t really appreciate J.B., though she’d married him anyway. She was contemplating divorce even though she was pregnant with their second child.

Tara and J.B.’s child was my godchild, but Tara resented me for my education and my professional success. It was odd. I’d admired her for those things in Life 1.

I closed my eyes and sighed.

Marriages and children—and/or divorce—most of my friends were following this “normal” life pattern.

Even Lafayette had found a life-partner—in Terry Bellefleur of all people! I couldn’t help but to wonder if Terry had been closeted during Life 1 or if Lafayette’s charm could turn the head of even the straightest man.

It didn’t really matter.

What mattered was that Terry certainly seemed happier now that he was “out.” He still dealt with PTSD, but Lala loved him to distraction, and Terry smiled more than he ever had before. As in Life 1, Terry and his partner raised dogs rather than children.

Unlike in Life 1, the puppies were adorned with bedazzled collars.

Gran thrived more and more with each baby (or puppy) born—not just those belonging to relatives, but also those who belonged to friends. She’d smiled for a week when Sam and Maudette had named their daughter for her.

Gran’s smiles had lasted even longer when Joshua was born.

And she had laughed louder than I’d ever heard her laugh when Michele had told her that one of the children she was carrying was too “shy” to let his or her gender be known. Gran had stopped just short of questioning the child’s paternity!

Of course, both Gran and I knew that Michele would never cheat on Jason.  Somehow, Michele thought that Jason was “perfect”—something I questioned her sanity about from time to time.

And, indeed, the thought of one of Jason’s children being modest was quite amusing!

And—just a few hours before—Gran had smiled so wide that it looked fake when Dawn told us that she and Sid-Matt were expecting a child. Like me, Gran didn’t judge her old friend for seeking out a younger woman. In fact, she applauded him and had invested a bit of her savings into Viagra because that stuff “had to be a miracle worker.”

I’d invested too.

Of course, Gran was the honorary godmother/grandmother to several children—including Adele and Joshua, as well as Andy and Holly’s newborn—and I made a point to babysit anytime I could so that Gran could experience the feeling of being around children again. She said it kept her young.

Still, she worried that I was alone—without a husband or children. So I made a point to smile a lot around her—even when it was pretend.

I’d become very good at pretending.

Meanwhile, despite being the only single person in my circle of friends, I couldn’t imagine feeling more “normal,” even though most of my friends considered me the least “normal” among them.

Oh well. It seemed as if I couldn’t “win” no matter what I did.

In fact, I’d tried to “date” over the years—both for Gran and myself. But human contact was still not something I could tolerate.

And Weres? Honestly, I’d avoided them and all others of two natures—other than Sam and little Adele, of course. I didn’t want to get involved in “Alcide drama” or Longtooth drama—though I’d heard from Sam that Colonel Flood was still in charge. I figured that was a good thing. Not surprisingly, I had taken pains to stay away from Hotshot. Calvin Norris was a nice guy, but he wasn’t for me in Life 1, and he wouldn’t be for me in Life 2 either!

And—as for vampires? Well—there was only one I trusted enough to want to be “with,” and I’d not seen him in years.

Still—I’d tried with humans. But a single kiss had been one too many—for a variety of reasons.

At least most people no longer thought of me as “Crazy Sookie.” And they certainly didn’t attribute my “irregularities” to any kind of “extra” ability. Nope. Thanks to Eric’s blood on the second night I’d been in Life 2, I’d had better control over my shields for a while. And, by the time that blood had worn out, I’d had the opportunity to perfect what I called my “robot skin.” Now—even when my shields went to shit—I could keep a placid expression on my face. Not a crazy smile, but a neutral expression.

Even the Viking himself would be proud of my control.

The only things that tested my control nowadays were thoughts of Eric or Hunter. And I refused to think about them where I could be seen.

Yep—I was hiding in my bedroom as I drank my champagne.

I lifted my glass as if to toast my “other” self—my dead self.

Maybe, given my control and my “new” life, I was just as much of a vampire as Eric.

I took a long swig of champagne as I watched the clock change from Christmas Eve to Christmas.

It was a new day.

My first new day in a long, long time.

I sighed.

In private—I still allowed myself feelings of regret.

What I regretted most was keeping Hunter from Gran.

But, in the end, I knew—absolutely knew—that Hadley’s name ought never to be spoken in the same sentence as the word “Stackhouse.” Did that choice bring me guilt? Yes it did. Every hour. Every day.

But it was the kind of guilt that I could bear because no one had died because of that choice.

And saving people had become my modus operandi, a phrase I’d learned in my online Latin class.

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 25, 2007, 3:00 A.M.

Somewhat surprisingly, despite my bottle of champagne, I’d been unable to sleep.

And—in the deep of the night—I found myself out in the cold, pulling weeds from my father’s grave, which was where I spent quite a bit of my time nowadays.

Especially when I couldn’t sleep.

Since it was quite cold outside, I had brought the old afghan with me. It always seemed to warm me.

It was Christmas, so I said a prayer.

I prayed for the safety of everyone I loved. I prayed that my parents were happy in Heaven. I prayed for all the children who were new to the world and for the others who would soon be born into it.

I prayed for the Viking living less than an hour from me.

I had made a point of attending every Sunday morning service in Life 2—even though I knew that humans’ conception of the afterlife was limited. Still, I felt like having God on my side could only help. Plus, I liked what the current minister of Gran’s church had to say. He tended to preach about the practical—about the good that people could do for one another. Heck—the previous Sunday—he’d had me saying “amen” right along with the rest of the congregation as he’d preached about the second chapter of the book of James.

What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him?”

I knew the answer to that. Faith couldn’t save a person, though I had plenty of faith to spare now. Faith in God. In Gran. In Eric. In myself.

But faith wasn’t meant to save. I’d learned the hard way that it was meant to test a person. I figured that I’d failed that test in Life 1 when I’d drunk from the pen that Mr. Cataliades had given to me.

But it hadn’t been faith that had given me another chance. It had been love—a vampire’s love.

His wish. His work.

Indeed, the book of James taught that one’s works—one’s actions—could outweigh any lapses in faith. Or, at least, I hoped they could.

In Life 2, I’d done my best to have faith. But I’d also done good deeds whenever I could.

It was the “big” things that I had trouble knowing how to deal with: things like Hurricane Katrina and Rhodes. But, on the night I’d told him about those things, Eric had promised me that he’d see to them.

And I trusted him.

I had faith in him.

But sitting still and trusting had been very hard.

Strangely enough, in Life 2, I knew very little about vampire politics; of course, that was partly because vampires played their hands very close to the vest. And their public personas were likely nothing like their private ones.

From watching the news, I knew that Sophie-Anne was still undead and kicking—since she was often interviewed as an AVL spokesperson; I also could guess that the vampire population of Louisiana was thriving. When Hurricane Katrina didn’t cause a catastrophic amount of damage, I’d felt a fair bit of satisfaction and relief, knowing that Eric had done exactly as he’d promised—taking care of what he could.

In Life 2, only nine people had died in Louisiana because of Hurricane Katrina. Too many. But not nearly as many as in Life 1.

In fact, when no horrible images of bodies outside of the Superdome or floating corpses in the streets of the Ninth Ward were shown on the news, I’d taken a trip to the cemetery to tell Daddy all about what Eric must have done, for—indeed—Daddy had become my confidant when it came to Life 1 versus Life 2.

And, then, less than a month later, no one had died because of a terror attack in Rhodes. Because one didn’t happen! In fact, the summit had gone so well that a third one was going to be held there soon.

That wasn’t to say that the Fellowship hadn’t tried to plant their bombs. They were simply thwarted.

In fact, Steve Newlin was currently awaiting his sentencing because of the attempted attack on the Pyramid of Gizeh.

I somehow knew that Eric’s hand had been guiding the changes in Rhodes too.

I looked to the east.

As the sun rose to light up Christmas morning, I wondered at the fact that I was now living a life that I hadn’t lived before. I had no additional inside information on Supernatural activities.

Or sporting events.

It was just me—Sookie Stackhouse—flying blind.

I watched the sun until it lit all of Daddy’s tombstone, and then I hurried home.

Gran—as always—was up already. She’d told me the year before that there wasn’t a sunrise left in her life that she didn’t intend to see.

I snuck into the house so as not to worry her, shivering as the heat of the dwelling “reminded” me just how cool it was outside.

In fact, the December morning had brought a little frost with it—though just enough to dust the still-green grass.

Avoiding the squeaky boards on the staircase, I hurried to my room.

As I looked out the window at the climbing sun, I determined—once and for all—that I wasn’t in heaven or hell. That I wasn’t crazy.

I really had been wished back into the past.

With that final recognition, a single name escaped my lips: “Eric.”

I kept my eyes open and looked into sunlight that the vampire would never see. “Eric loved me enough to wish me here,” I said firmly. “And that wish must have been epic,” I added.

I vowed in that moment that—whenever I felt lonely—I would remember Eric’s wish. It had been strong enough to send me back in time. It had been strong enough to bring back to life everyone who had died because of me. It had been strong enough to give me the “normal life” I’d always told Eric that I wanted.

Epic, indeed.

I’d stopped doubting Eric’s love for me even before the end of Life 1, but now—knowing what his love was capable of doing when combined with a little fairy magic—I was truly in awe of it.

Maybe it was because of that love that I’d not been tempted to seek a romantic relationship in Life 2.

Because, really, who could live up to Eric Northman?

That wasn’t to say that I didn’t long for companionship, but it was Eric’s companionship I ached for. Every. Single. Day.

As I looked into the light of the first full day that I would be living for the first time in years, I thought about all the Erics I had known.

The first—a rascal who’d wanted to make me his. An unrelenting flirt who frustrated me as much as he intrigued me.

The second—innocent and memoryless. Almost falling in love with me. Always showing an interest in all that I was. Willing to give up his “real” life to stay with me.

The third—the Eric who had gotten back all of his memories, except for the ones we’d made together. Confused and frustrated as he was, he’d still stepped in to save me from Mickey, the Pelts, and Andre. He’d endured my suspicions and my coldness. And I’d never even had to tell him why I often behaved so coldly toward him. I’d never had to admit that it was because I was scared of being rejected by the face of the man I’d fallen in love with. That Eric had only demanded “what’s” from me, not “why’s.” I was pretty sure that was because he knew what I needed—even then.

The fourth—the Eric who remembered everything, including how he’d behaved with me when he was cursed by Hallow. I’d watched him actively trying to reconcile his feelings for me. He’d mourned when he’d failed to protect me from Neave and Lochlan. He’d plotted to try to “keep” me even as our world began to spin out of his control. I gazed into the sun and remembered what his eyes had looked like when I’d rejected—when I’d killed—our blood bond.

I had never seen anyone look so lost until I’d looked in the mirror following his departure to Oklahoma. Only then had I understood. Only then had I wept for our bond.

And, of course, that Eric—the very one that I’d rejected—had been the one who had wished me through space and time.

He had loved me through space and time!

The very thought of him took my breath away.

And then there was the last Eric I’d met—the one who was, ironically enough, the closest to the first. And the closest to the last, too.

The one to whom I’d given all the knowledge I could imagine would benefit him.

I had grown to love all of the Erics I had known, appreciating every moment I’d had with them. And, though I knew that I’d disappointed Gran because I didn’t get married or give her any of the babies she fawned over, I just couldn’t imagined loving anyone who wasn’t an Eric.

But I did give Gran all that I could. Thanks to the fact that I had continued to bet on every sporting event I could recall, the mortgage was paid off, the property taxes were paid in advance, new gutters had been installed, and the front porch had been screened in. The porch swing had a comfortable new complement—an outdoor chair that looked and “felt” like a recliner. In fact, anything that had entered Gran’s mind as a “need” or “want” for the house during the past two and a half years had been gotten.

And Gran’s pride in our home couldn’t be measured. In fact, sometimes she just walked around the house, appreciating the fresh paint. Or she’d just turn on the back left burner of the stove because she could—because it had been broken for a decade before I’d been able to surprise her on her birthday with a totally functioning range.

Even though I now no longer would be betting on sporting events, I had learned how to catch my own “fish”—so to speak. I was already getting paid to do the accounting work for three businesses. And—as soon as I had my bachelor’s degree—I planned to open my own little accounting firm.

Still, I kept a weathered eye on the horizon, looking for any problems. But I also let myself contemplate the future.

Even if I wasn’t in it for some reason.

I’d saved enough money to make sure that Gran would never want for anything.

There was enough in my savings account for Jason and his family to have a nice cushion, too.

A part of me wondered if I shouldn’t just wander off into the sunrise I was witnessing—taking any potential future problems with me. But I knew I couldn’t leave Gran.

I smiled a little as I thought about her.

She always said that the future was the thing to live for, but I also recognized a likely truth—that my future would be lonely.

Gran would eventually die of old age. The lives of those around me would move in ways that mine never would. However, I had done all I could for them—with the lessons I’d learned from Life 1.

But that life was over now.

And I was in uncharted waters. I just prayed that I wouldn’t somehow sink the boat I’d built.

A/N: Time after time—indeed. Well—Sookie is back to where she “started” in “Time.” I know that a lot of you want her to have a romantic relationship, and she did try. But she’s determined that any relationship she could have (save one) would be inferior and dangerous. But, make no mistake, this Sookie thinks about Eric—a lot—but she hasn’t stopped her life. As a woman who was single for a long time, I know that the hardest part is sometimes convincing loved ones that you are happy! LOL. And Sookie is happy in so many ways. She’s been able to shine in her studies—finally! She’s a godmother and an aunt. And she loves it! And Gran is still there. Yes—she hides her inner sorrows, but who doesn’t. I know I hide mine a lot of the time.

As for Eric? I know a lot of you are frustrated at him too, but-I think-as time goes on, communication is probably more difficult. And each day is like a little reminder that the list isn’t done.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed the reading!


Thanks to Seph and Kleannhouse!


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54 thoughts on “Chapter 15: I Hear the Clock Tick

  1. I’m a little worried about Eric and his daddy issues. That still leaves appius coming ! And the gueen of Oklahoma… More please

  2. Until reading this chapter, I’m not sure I truly appreciated what a complete and utter mind f*ck it had to be for Sookie existing in and knowledge of two different timelines. Reading her sorrow and guilt for Marie not existing life 2 brought it home for me. 😢

    Now that she’s past life 1’s timeline and is solely living and experiencing everything new in life 2, she can finally be rid of those terms: life 1 & life 2…and just consider it “life.”

    I really feel like she’s gonna be alright now. I finally feel some hope for her and her future.

  3. I am really happy for all that Sookie has accomplished in the new timeline. BUT! I really wish she would stop blaming herself for all of the deaths that occurred before. They weren’t all because of her. Lafayette, everyone killed by Hallow & her brother and Sweety Des Arts, Rhodes, Sophie-Anne, Hadley, Siegbert & Wybert, Gladiola. Those deaths could have still happened even without Sookie being part of the Supe world. Yes she told Eric who was able to intervene & prevent it from happening. But if there had not been an Eric, Sookie probably would not have stopped them the 2nd time around. Hopefully she can come around to that thinking soon.

    Hope we get to hear from Eric in the next chapter or so. Curious to see what’s going on with him at this point. Did Appius appear in Oklahoma? Did he try to sell Eric to Freyda? Did SA intervene? Looking forward to more!

  4. This chapter made me tear up a little at her mourning for Marie and Hunter. And, although she is sad and hides it she does have a lot to be proud of! This is the Sookie that CH should have written but we have you to make it a whole lot better. Sookie always wanted “normal” and she has it now, thanks to Eric. And, what an epiphany for her to realize the depths of Eric 1.0’s feelings for her that he wished for what she wanted the most. I think this is where I got a lump in my throat, to realize that someone loved you so much to give you what you wanted even though it meant they would never see you again. CH wrote about the extra 100 years but downplayed the true meaning behind it, that Eric wherever he was would make sure that Sookie would be safe even if it meant he was completely out of her life. (I’m going to go have a good cry now)

  5. Great as always. But a question did you mean December 22 not January 22 as the date Jason, Sam, and Hunter were killed?

      1. Glad to help. I saw you changed it. I think out of all your stories this one has had me anticipating updates more than any other. I know that you are only posting one chapter a day usually. But I check for updates at least a dozen times a day even after I have read the posted chapter. Love it, I am never bored with your stories.

  6. Reading about the “shy twin” reminded me that my Irish dad said I would be a “Pat” no matter how I turned out 🙂 But I seriously teared up for the rest of the chapter. All the mourning Sookie had for those that lived and those that never lived –like the babies…… And I wonder…since there is a “guardian” in her woods, has Clovache heard Sookie’s “conversation” with Corbett? Have there been those that have traipsed through those woods that were ended by her before they could ever get to the Stackhouse homestead –like…say….Naill…..Lochlan…..Neave? Hmmmm……

    Now the future is uncertain –but one thing she does not know, is how Eric is looking out for her in this life. He loves her across time and space, even if he doesn’t understand it himself.

    The “couples” you’ve paired have some surprises and smiles. Dawn and Sid Matt? I guess she does have a thing for older guys! And Terry and Laf? Well!

    I remember the passage in Dead Until Dark when Sookie and Bill are having their first walk and talk. She explains to Bill how difficult her life has been with the telepathy. Bill asks her “what are you going to do?” and she says, “grow old and die” —seems like that is what she, indeed, has planned……unless a Viking takes care of the last, and seemingly insurmountable issue of Appius……

    1. Yep–that passage from Book 1 struck me too. I just couldn’t see Sookie “dating” casually. Even with stronger shields (when she had vampire blood), human thoughts came through her shields. And being with a Were or werepanther would be problematic. Plus, there’s the element that Sookie would want to be honest with a mate. I actually thought about hooking her up with Calvin for a while and wrote in that direction (b/c the werepanter community is so enclosed from the world, so her secret would be easier to keep), but–in the end–Sookie wasn’t really “into” Calvin. Plus, once Jason wasn’t involved with them, I doubted that Calvin would be interested in Sookie. He wouldn’t know that she was a Supe, after all. Anyway, thanks so much for your always thoughtful comments!

  7. Eric can’t really connect with her while the danger of Appius is still there, but my heart is breaking for both of them. It takes so much strength and sacrifice for each of them to keep away. I keep hoping that Eric will find a way to eliminate his maker. This story is gripping as well as thought provoking. Think of all the choices we each make that effect the others in our lives. Thanks for sharing your wonderful creativity.

  8. Love the story but the list that “isn’t done!!” Has a solution if Sookie & Eric Would work TOGETHER!!! Couldn’t Sookie could use the CD to kill Alexi and Appius for True loves freedom?!? They are so stubborn though and I can see how you say the more things change, the more they stay the same!

  9. The more I read Sookie’s inter monologue the more I want to kill myself. For all the boo hooing in canon about not becoming a vampire she went and did it all on her own. All of her outward appearances are fake and she has emotionally distanced herself from everyone. She needs more counseling now then she did when she first came back. I’m kind of disappointed in Sookie. If I had a chance to redo, I wouldn’t have walled myself up like this. She’s not living she’s going through the motions.

  10. Does Eric still write to Adele? I feel like Sookie should slip him a note now that she’s in her new life just to let him know she’s thinking of him. They could correspond through Adele and then no one would know. They have to work together to get rid of appius. I also agree you can be happy both single and without children. People always assume that because you’re married with kids that something is wrong with you. Some people just do things their own way. Thanks for writing.

  11. Another great chapter.
    I finally realized what you wanted Sookie to accomplish in her life 2!
    Sookie is indeed happy in so many ways; she is investing her time in getting a college education and that is great considering her telepathy!
    All of her friends are leading healthy and happy lives: NO crazy Jannalynn in Sam’s life,NO Crystal in Jason’s,NO Mickey inTara’s etc…
    But most of all she is no longer considered as Crazy Sookie!
    She misses Eric with all her heart but al least Sookie has learnt her lesson :that Eric TRULY loved her to make that wish !
    So what she is still single …only time will tell!

  12. Sookie has done well. I hope she will eventually stop blaming herself for all those deaths in her first life. She has more than atoned for things that were not her fault. I suspect Eric has the key to her complete healing. Maybe one of Jason’s twins is ‘Marie’. Excellent chapter.

  13. I continue to enjoy this story and be desperate for more each time a chapter ends. For this one, I am just thrilled about the happier outcome for Lafayette and Terry – I always liked both of them very much.

    Sookie is being Sookie, doing the best she can with what she thinks of as her limitations. I am curious as to whether she will “re-integrate” with supe society at some point, and if so what the impetus will be.

  14. Loving this story. Both Eric and Sookie are being pragmatic — they’ve been given a gift of what’s in store in the future, and they are both being smart about how they approach it. As I’m fairly certain there will be an E/S HEA, I’m not going to sweat the angst just yet.

    In SVM (if I’m remembering correctly), Appius showed up because he sensed Eric’s happiness (with Sookie), and he wanted to come and muck it up. When he discovered Eric’s emotions were due to a human, he arranged the marriage with Oklahoma. In this story, Eric isn’t at that stage with Sookie, so there is no need for Appius sell him into marriage with Freyda or anyone else. As long as Eric is feeling frustrated, Appius will probably stay away. But, Eric won’t approach Sookie until Appius is finally dead, and he’s in a catch 22 situation on that one.

    Waiting for one of them to break down and call the other….

    Hmmm…will there be an Xmas gift from Eric under the Stackhouse’s tree?

  15. You’re so good. I love all the differences in the relationships that have formed. Terry and Laf was a surprise, and Dawn. I wish we knew more about how Hunter is faring. The Fae have been noticeably absent, too.
    I’m looking forward to her new life. It sort of feels like, now is almost a fresh start for her. I wonder how Eric is going with his list, is appius his only chore left? I always wondered what drove appius to search out Eric, whether he felt Eric’s feelings for Sookie through the bond. Perhaps in this life, he hasn’t even thought about Eric. I’m sure I’ll find out eventually.
    I can’t thank you enough for such wonderful daily updates.

  16. The changes in Life 2 that Sookie and Eric have been able to accomplish are HUGE! I love that they have been able to save so many while preventing the deaths and tragedies of Life 1 along with the all the different couplings that have occurred; some I never would have guessed. To me, even though Sookie’s not dating, in a relationship, or married makes perfect sense. After Eric, whom she still loves, who could possibly replace or compare to him? She might be lonely, but there’s nothing lonelier than being in a one-sided relationship, and even if she’s not in one, who’s to say she’s lonely? She’s doing all the things in this life that she never had the opportunity to do in Life 1. She’s pining for Eric, but she’s rational enough to understand why they can’t be together at present. Once that last thing is eliminated, they may find their way to one another since Life 2 has now just become Life. She knows Eric loves her and she needs no more proof than the sacrifices he has made for her. This was a terrific chapter, letting us know where Sookie stands right now and how she’s made it to this point. Great writing, editing, and fantastic banners! Awesome team!

  17. I’m feeling the sadness and happiness of both our main characters. I think that for them both, Sookie more than Eric, this morning would be the scariest thing in the world.

  18. Loving this story, slightly sad a chapter but a happy one at the same time. Can’t wait for the next one.

    Oh at the very beginning you have the wrong date (January 22) I think you meant for it to say [December 22] just a note.

  19. Our Sookie is growing up and blossoming out beautifully, she now knows that all past issues are resolved for her and her future is in her hands now. She has LIFE to live. Yes she pines for Eric and her heart aches for him and i am sure his does for her. It was a true test of patience and fortitude for her to get to this point in the juncture of the Life’s, she made it and she should be proud of herself for everything she has accomplished. Money in the bank, fixing the home up, Gran’s happiness and Life, friends(true ones), a college education…all this SHE accomplished and she feels good about herself and that is what matters. True, she isn’t married and nor does she have children but you do not have to have those things in your life to be happy. … hell there are married people and people with children out there that are miserable. I think everyone should give her some slack for that. She loves one man and that will never change, she holds him in high regards and NO-ONE will ever measure up. Will she become happy one day-yet i think she is already there (YES), will she see her Viking again (hope so), will she learn about what he did in the name of Sookie(or should we call it love) (we can only hope she finds out). But there is still time out there for them and i am sure Eric will set us all straight soon enough. To the Future, to whatever it may bring their way. KY

  20. I love the way Sookie listed all the different Eric’s. I am glad that everyone is safe now. Sookie is doing good in everything but her heart ache. I have no clue of what’s next.

  21. So now begins the first day of the rest of her life. Her sadness over the child Jason & Michele had in life 1 that will never exist in this life was palpable. But I am an optimist, and hold out hope that the shy baby hiding behind the little boy will be another iteration of that little girl.
    Sookie has done everything for everyone else, and of course she has gotten an education and is happy for the lives that are now happy because of her chance to make things right. The final realization, that her Eric loved her enough to wish this for her.

  22. She has so many things to be thankful for and happy about but she is so sad. She and Eric need to find a way to be together before much longer (fingers crossed)

    1. That pretty much says it all for me too. I don’t know if Kat meant it to come across this way, but while I think Sookie is happy and proud (rightfully so) of her accomplishments, she seems to carry her sorrow about Eric deeply. Like it’s now just a part of her being.
      I hope Eric was able to do something about Appius and will eventually contact Sookie, but I’m also curious as to what the “guardian” in the woods might have heard her saying to her father’s grave, and maybe passed on to Eric.
      I don’t think either of them will be totally content until they’re together again. But that’s just me 😋

      1. Yes, I also wonder if the guardian heard anything and if they report regularly or just if there is a problem. I’m figuring they only make contact if absolutely necessary so things aren’t traced back to him.

  23. I understand the time jumps, I do, really…. But it just breaks my heart for them to be apart..I really hope this is suppose to be a S/E HEA 🙂 Loved Terry and Lafayette 😉

  24. Time ,the theme is most definitely time. It been such along time for Sookie and Eric to not be together. That it’s making me nervous ,as to what exactly might have happened to Eric? Did he end up with Freyda? Hope not. Shoot, I got distracted by my lil loves , that I now lost what I was writing Lol. Man, I’m being such a bad commenter now. Sorry, Kat. Just loved, the overall, abundance in family, blood and otherwise. Didn’t see the Dawn , and Sid-Matt Lancaster realtionship, that’s for sure. Different strokes for diferent folks I guess? As for her and Sookie becoming friends, not that surprising. I became friends, with one of my first loves ex-girlfriends. So , I know, it could most definitely happen. Sookie afterall is one most loving inviduals. Still eww that Eric had sex with Dawn, but there’s probably not many people in Louisanna that haven’t. Wait, that just sounded really bad. Though in Eric in Dawn case it’s true though. They both enjoy sex, and Eric enjoys having sex with many, many people sometimes at once. Neways, way off topic. Just worried why it’s been so long that Eric and Sookie are not together. Much like Sookie , I look forward to the future of this story. Finally, it’s come full circle.

  25. Just out of curiosity, why hasn’t Sookie try a relationship w a daemon or even a witch? Your story shows that there are other people out there as like w Andy & Hoyt. Happiness doesn’t have to be the same as in the first life.

  26. Loved the chapter. The different pairings were a big surprise. I thought the saddest part was when she couldn’t sleep and was out pulling weeds at Corbett’s grave stone then she wrapped the old afghan around her and laid down between her parents headstones. I was so hoping Eric would show up when she was out there. Need an update on Eric’s progress. Is he getting any closer to claiming Sookie again?
    Looking forward to the next update.. So anxious for them to reunite and hope it happens before Gran passes on. I want Gran to see Sookie happy before her time is over. I was sad reading some of her memories of her Eric’s knowing they were both alone.

  27. I am so loving this story and I can’t wait to see how you take care of Appius (we all know that you hate him as much as we do!)! Can’t wait for the next chapter! Thanks for feeding us so regularly!

  28. Sookie has saved everyone she lost in Life 1 and was able to make the lives of others happy. Life 2 is just wonderful all around, but Sookie isn’t quite as happy as she’d want to be. Everyone has benefited except Sookie and Eric.

  29. Sid-Matt?!?!?! Can’t believe I’m about to say this but I’d like to read that!

    I mean, who asked who out? What do they have in common? So curious!

  30. Wow. Talk about shaking things up!
    Terry and Lafayette. I can see Lafayette being amazing with Terry. And that he would respond so well to Lafayettes fun spirit. That makes me smile!
    Sam and Maudette. Definitely better than Jannalyn! Or the Maenad for that matter.

    Tara…. That doesn’t surprise me unfortunately. It’s sad, but of all the positives that have happened in life 2, this one… Well… I guess nothing is perfect. And seeing as Tara hadn’t gone through hell, she was going to continue to have that chip on her shoulder. Hope JB finds an amazing girl.

    Dawn and Sid-Matt. That’s brilliant. Good for them! And I’m glad that she can see the genuineness of Sookie’s friendship and support. It’s not like Sookie is going to pick up on any stray Eric memories to be jealous over lol.

    Jason and Michelle and their ‘shy’ Pat lol. That’s funny. But, there was a bit where Sookie was jokingly thinking about Paternity being in question… Not that anyone would think that Jason would cheat… Did you mean Michelle? Not that it matters that much, it just made me blink, and re-read it. I probably still read it wrong lol

    I’m guessing that Sookie isn’t Really going to be happy until Eric is back in her life. Don’t get me wrong, I can see that she is content. With moments of happiness and pleasure. Enjoying giving her Gran the house she’s dreamed of. Being and amazing Aunt and ‘Aunt’. But…. Even she knows there’s a whole only Eric can fill. I get the feeling she is simply doing her best to, well, do her best. Accepting that nothing will be fantastic, but good is ‘good enough’.

    I could of course be sleep deprived, and this whole thing is just confusing dribble.

    Just to be sure…

    I. Loved. This!!!

  31. This was truly a beautiful chapter. I actually had tears in my eyes reading Sookies thoughts on Eric. This chapter just brought this story to another level for me. For some reason, it never dawned on me that Sookie would surpass the point of her former life (why I’m not a writer :). ) you have such a great writing skill. Even though I didn’t want Dawn to be with Eric, it certainly added to the story, felt real and the way he ended things made me feel better about it. Thanks for a the chapters this week. It’s been a pleasure reading them.

  32. Sookie is too hard on herself. So many lives exist and are thriving because of her and because of Eric.
    I hope that Sookie is now able to put Life1 truly behind her in order to thrive herself in this new future.
    I keep thinking that Gran’s cluviel dor must play a part in helping Sookie to free the Viking she loves from his maker.
    Or maybe another more powerful being might step in to free the world of Appius or maybe he will just piss off enough other vampires that they would happily all line up to take a shot at him. Think the slapping scene from Airplane if you will, only this time with pointy wooden things. 😉
    Loving this story Ms Kat for you are a masterful storyteller.

  33. She’s made a good like for herself. I like that she is now flying blindly. I remember how I enjoyed how creative she could be in a pickle in some of the earlier books.

  34. I commend Sookie on her unbelievable will power to not hop in her car and make the short drive to see Eric. I would, at the very least, be stalking him by now! Lol Love this story and looking forward to the next chapter already. I’m so grateful you are posting one a day!

  35. im very happy for her but i so miss eric and sookie together i would not have her strength and why if eric loved her why didnt he make it so he would remember her. i hope after he gets rid of appius ad freda he goes to sookie ad they hae their happy ever after. i so love your storys thank you so much

  36. I think it is great that Sookie has made so many positive changes in the lives of her family. I know that relationships with human men is not an option. Sookie really is not safe having a relationship with a supe either. You never know who may have been glamored to report any “weirdness” in regards to Sookie to Bill Compton or QSA. The vamps know how to play a long game. I am glad that Sookie has now reached the end of life 1. She is starting a business. There is no reason that she could not adopt a child. She can now try to move forward. Great chapter.

  37. A great chapter, but it made me very sad. Everyone is safe and sound and Sookie has ended her studies well, but still – no Eric in her life. Sigh

  38. Rewriting history, not just for Sookie, but for all her family members and friends, was a great task and you did well, managing some big surprises as well …You have a very fertile imagination. Now that we are entering “uncharted territories”
    as time goes by (another great song) I can’t wait to read where you are taking us next … This story is just great and I cannot thank you enough for it.

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