Amelia’s dad was at their winter house in the Mediterranean so the big antebellum mansion he occupied the rest of the year was vacant. A caretaker came to clean it once a week. Otherwise Copley Carmichael’s household staff was off duty until he returned from Santorini in the spring. It was for that reason Amelia had chosen that as the site for her New Year’s soirée.
She also decided to go formal with it. Black tie dress code was not optional. She had formal invitations printed up and she consulted a party planner in regards to decorations and catering. To say she had gone all out for the party would be the understatement of the year.
“I haven’t seen this much crêpe paper since prom,” I told Tara. Black streamers were being hung in the entryway. Gold and silver confetti were going to be scattered everywhere. We had two hours until party time. A professional stylist was rotating us in one by one for hair and makeup. Al Cumberland, a local photographer, was coming to take pictures of us.
“You obviously missed out on Maudette’s wedding,” she replied.
“Fighting with Eric in Biloxi was more fun,” I snickered. My on/off boyfriend of five years took me to Mississippi the weekend of Maudette’s wedding. I spent most of the trip watching him flirt with cocktail waitresses and lose a chunk of his inheritance from his grandparents at high stakes poker.
“I don’t know why you don’t just cut bait on him,” she said. “You two obviously aren’t going anywhere good.”
“Well there’s a fine line between love and hate. I ride it constantly. Too bad it happens to be right where his dick is.”
“Sookie, no dick is that good,” she snorted.
“You say that because you haven’t had it.” I didn’t expect her to understand. I barely understood.
Things were good between us in the beginning but we were still kids then. The blinders had since been ripped off.
“I don’t want it. Last I heard he was giving it to Aude,” she shrugged.
I tried not to flinch at that.
“He’s not mine. He can do what he wants,” I said like it didn’t bother me.
Tara gave me a skeptical look, but didn’t respond.
“Tara, your turn,” Pam said as she and Claudine came down the right side of the dual grand staircase.
“Sook, are you okay without me for a bit?” Tara asked.
“Yeah, I’ll be fine. I’m almost done,” I said. “Besides, I’m sure Pam will help.”
“I don’t do manual labor,” Pam replied automatically. She was already dressed in a very tight black mermaid style gown.
“Christ, Pam, can you breathe in that thing?” I was pretty sure she had a corset on under it. Her waist looked extra tiny and her boobs looked like they’d been super sized.
“Just wondering. You look beautiful, both of you.”
Claudine’s dress was white and very sheer with an intricate gold bead pattern all over it. She looked angelic, really. Even more so standing next to Mistress Pam.
“Thank you, Sookie,” Claudine said with a beaming, teeth whitening commercial smile. “I do wish I had been as blessed as you and Pam.” Her eyes went from my chest to Pam’s. Claudine was probably a B cup, but that was it.
“Don’t. I’d kill to be able to go out without a bra,” I sighed.
“That’s why I wear corsets,” Pam grinned. I failed to see how a corset could be more comfortable than a bra, but to each her own.
Personally, I liked my internal organs right where they were. Besides, Eric liked my curves. At least I thought he did until I heard about him hooking up with that skinny bitch Aude. She looked like a knockoff of me, in my opinion. How gross to hook up with some second rate copy.
“Any resolutions for the new year?” Claudine asked me.
Break Aude’s face?
“I’m definitely hitting up the gym.” Apparently I needed to.
“Why? You look perfect as is,” Pam said. She looked at Claudine and said, “I don’t do resolutions. I do, however, wish Dumb and Dumber would shit or get off the pot. This Ross and Rachel bullshit is so 1999.” She was talking about Eric and me.
“Hey, I’m not the one fucking around with someone else,” I said in my own defense. Eric had accused me of fucking around with Bill Compton but that was stupid. First of all he was too old for me. Chronologically he was only four years older but he had the personality of a stuffy college professor.
“Eric isn’t fucking around with anyone. Who told you that?” Of course she would take her cousin’s side.
“Pretty much everyone in town.” A small town like Bon Temps had a lot of secrets from outsiders, but gossip was cheap. Eric and Aude were playing pool and dancing together at Merlotte’s on Friday night. He hated dancing. I wasn’t jealous though. Her skinny ass could have him.
“Sookie, don’t be silly. He’s crazy about you,” Claudine tried to convince me.
“Are you going to believe this podunk town when rumors of him and me hooking up go around? It’s rumor, Sookie. Believe me, I know my cousin’s taste and it’s you. That’s all.”
I might have believed that if I hadn’t watched him flirt with other women right in front of me. It was a dick move whether or not he meant it.
Just then my phone buzzed in the back pocket of my jeans. I got down from the step ladder and pulled the phone out. A text from Eric.
“Ugh,” I groaned and put the phone back. I needed to go upstairs to finish getting ready. My hair and makeup were done already.
A few seconds later I saw Pam pull her phone out of her tits.
“Sookie. Can you please check your phone? He’s sending me messages now.” She tucked her phone away.
“Of course he is.” I left the step ladder where it was and started up the steps. On the way up I pulled out the phone and read his stupid text message.
Dickface: Baybeeeeee. I need you to come get me. I’m stranded on Sparrow Lane. 💋❤
Me: Sucks to be you.
Dickface: Please, Sookie. It’s snowy and cold. My car died and won’t start.
Call Aude to come get your trifling ass.
I turned off the screen and tucked the phone in my pocket again. Screw him. Of course he called me as I was undressing to get my gown on.
“Call your new girlfriend to come help you,” I snapped at him and hung up.
He called back.
I didn’t pick up so he called again.
“I’m blocking your number,” I said when I answered.
“A, I’m not seeing anyone else and B, I’m going to freeze to death out here. Please, baby.”
“I’m in the middle of getting dressed,” I said, ignoring his bogus claim he wasn’t seeing anyone else.
“I know you’re mad at me but I’m mad at you too. I wouldn’t have called if I had any other choice. I’m sure Bill would be pissed about you picking me up, but I need you, babe. Please,” he pleaded.
“You’re not still seriously stuck on that, are you?” I sighed. “Have Pam come get you.” Yeah, that wasn’t happening. In that dress there was no way she could get behind the wheel of a car.
“She said she can’t sit down,” he said, confirming what I thought.
I knew his parents would be useless. His mom was a lush and his dad was probably with his girlfriend. The apple didn’t fall far from the tree.
“Did your car die or were you doing donuts and spun out?”
“It died. I think it’s the alternator.”
I sighed heavily.
“Where are you?” I couldn’t just leave him there and anyone who might be willing to get him was getting ready for the party.
“On Sparrow, just past Rosewood,” he answered.
“That’s out past Hotshot!” Ugggggh!
“I was on my way home from Bossier to get ready for the party,” he said in his defense.
I took a deep breath and blew it out slowly.
“Fine. Sit tight. I’ll be there as soon as I can,” I relented.
“Thank you, baby. You know I love you.”
“Ha! Save it for your new girlfriend.” I hung up before he could reply.
I wiggled my way into my medium gray gown with silver sequins and beads on it. Getting it zipped up was a challenge, but I managed.
We’d had a freak snowstorm two days prior. Some of the back roads were still a mess, so I stopped by Amelia’s room hoping she’d let me borrow the pretty black Range Rover in the detached six car garage.
“Ames, Eric needs me to go pick him up. Can I borrow your car?” My little Honda was likely to get stuck in the snow.
“You should leave his cheating ass out there,” she said. Tara nodded her agreement.
“Why doesn’t Aude go pick him up,” she added.
“He says he’s not seeing her.” He wasn’t very convincing.
“Uh huh,” they replied in unison.
“I’m just going to get him and I’ll be right back. He’ll keep calling if I don’t go.” It was like having a toddler who wouldn’t let me go to the bathroom alone.
“Well, hurry. We have some serious partying to do.”
“I know, I know. I’ll be as quick as I can,” I promised.
At the last minute I opted to wear my Uggs instead of the fancy, strappy pumps I’d picked out to go with the dress. I did, however, grab my snow white peacoat,wallet and phone. Eric was going to owe me big time for this.
I was freezing my balls off. We didn’t get a lot of snow in Louisiana. My car chose a really crap time to die on me. It was partly my fault. I’d been having issues with it but the procrastinator in me figured it could wait until the new year.
I was wrong.
I was lucky as hell that Sookie agreed to come get me. I didn’t actually ask anyone else. She could get pissed at me if she wanted to but being in her presence, pissed or not, made me feel better. Everything about Sookie made me feel better. Except the fact she’d been screwing around with Bill Compton. Ewww. He was old and gross, although, he wasn’t actually old. Just… old in a way I couldn’t really describe.
Despite her accusations I hadn’t been dating Aude. I hadn’t even looked at Aude in any type of sexual manner. She lived down the street from me and we were friends. That was it. I wasn’t attracted to her. Hell, the only woman I’d been attracted to in any kind of way in over five years was Sookie. Even when we split, which was often, I wasn’t out looking for other girls. I was devoted to a woman I could barely get along with.
As soon as I saw the headlights I assumed it was my girl… ex-girl. No one had been on the road in the last two hours I’d been stranded. I was in Bossier getting my haircut and beard cleaned up before the party. My clothes were in the back of the car, waiting for me to get somewhere to put them on.
When Sookie stepped out of the SUV she was in I froze, not because it was colder than Santa’s balls out, but because my girl looked like an angel.
“You’re lucky I’m more reliable than your new girlfriend,” she said.
“What new girlfriend? I’m not seeing anyone.” Not even the girl I wanted to be seeing. The one standing in front of me that was contaminated by Old Bill.
“Yeah, okay.” Sookie turned and got back in the SUV.
“Sookie,” I sighed, chasing after her. When I got to the car door I opened it again. “Hey, I’m serious. I’m not seeing Aude. I swear it.”
She wasn’t convinced.
“You know I’m not here to talk about your love life. Could you get what you need to get so we can go? I have somewhere to be. Maybe with Bill.” She was trying to piss me off.
“Of course it’s with fucking Bill,” I grumbled. I turned to walk back to my car so I could grab the bag with my suit for the party.
When I got back to the SUV I groaned as soon as the warm air hit me. I was frozen and the hot air made my icy hands ache.
“Is your new boyfriend going to be there?” I asked. I really didn’t want to be in a room with them flirting all night but at the same time I wanted to be wherever she was.
“Oh you mean Bill, the most boring man on the planet? Yes, I think he will,” she answered. “Since this night is off to a great start he’ll probably trap me under the mistletoe.”
“Make sure I’m not around. I don’t want to have to murder him for touching you,” I muttered.
“You could be touching me if you could quit messing around with other girls.”
“I’m not messing around with other girls, Sookie. I never have. Never,” I snapped. I didn’t know where she kept getting that bogus information. “It’s just been you for the last five plus years.”
Sookie didn’t reply. She put the SUV in reverse to turn it around. I looked out the window. It was just going to turn into an even bigger argument. I didn’t want to argue anymore. I was over it. I wasn’t over her. I didn’t think I ever would be over her. She was The One and I knew it. We couldn’t seem to get it together. If it wasn’t her friends telling her I was fucking some other girl, it was my friends pointing out the obvious, that she was too good for me anyway and I should move on. It would’ve been easier for both of us.
“Where did you get the dumbass idea I was seeing Bill, anyway?” Sookie asked out of nowhere.
“Bobby,” I answered. “He told me he saw Bill kiss you. I almost strangled Bobby for saying the words.”
“Bobby’s a fucking mouth breathing, window licking paste eater who has less sense than God gave geese,” she retorted.
“Yeah, well he saw it,” I shrugged. “Who the hell told you I’m seeing Aude, because I’m not.”
“I’ll give you the much shorter list of people who said you’re not seeing Aude. Pam. End of list.”
“That’s because your friends are all jealous of what we could have if they stopped butting into our lives. I’m not seeing Aude, Sookie. She looks like a mouse and she’s too skinny. I’m not interested in getting impaled by bones, thanks.”
“Then why do you flirt with other girls in front of me? What else am I supposed to think?” She was going a little too fast for how icy the roads were.
“I’m not flirting with girls, Sookie. I’m a nice guy. To everyone. I don’t look at any other girl and think anything other than friendly thoughts. I’ve been trying to tell you for years you’re all I see. I love you,” I sighed. It was exasperating having the same fight again and again.
“Oh then when we get to Amelia’s I’ll make sure I giggle and wink and smile at Alcide–”
“Is he who you want?” I snapped. Alcide was one of my friends. He’d confirmed the story about Bobby seeing Bill and Sookie kiss.
“It’s not flirting; it’s just being nice. Like you are with other girls.”
She made me want to scream.
“Fine, Sookie. Do you want me to be an asshole to everyone? Will that make you happy?”
“I want you to– Fuck, never mind. I’m so tired of this. Tara was right, no dick is that good.”
Fucking Tara needed to mind her own goddamn business. She was always stirring shit up. Sookie never saw that, of course. She saw the bullshit Tara made up, but not the truth.
Then all of a sudden Sookie lost control of the car. It spun out and she screamed bloody murder as she tried to keep the very expensive Range Rover that wasn’t hers from going off the road. The SUV did a full 360 and skittered to a sideways stop on the side of the road. Sookie was breathing hard and looked terrified.
“Oh my god!” Her hands were violently shaking. I could see her heart pounding by the way her cleavage was rhythmically vibrating.
“Are you okay?” My seat belt was off in record time. I was practically on her lap trying to check her out. I didn’t care if I had a severed arm, I needed to make sure Sookie was alright.
“I’m fine.” Sookie took off her seatbelt too and got out of the car to make sure it wasn’t damaged.
Who gave a fuck about the car? Cars were replaceable, Sookie wasn’t. I got out of the passenger side to follow her, making sure she was moving okay. There wasn’t any damage to the car that I could see, not that I was paying a lot of attention.
“Sookie, get back in. It’s cold out here,” I said. “I’ll check it over.”
“I’m not the one who spent the last however many hours in the cold. You get back in.” Stubborn.
“I’m not worried about me. Get back into the damn car,” I growled.
“I’m fine, Eric, just spooked.” She kept moving around the car, carefully holding up her skirts.
“I’m spooked too,” I sighed. I still followed her around the entire car, not worried about the cold. I was sure as soon the adrenaline wore off I’d be freezing.
When she was satisfied the car was fine Sookie got back in behind the wheel. I followed suit. Before she could start the car again I reached over to cup the side of her face, tilting her head toward mine.
“You sure you’re okay?” I asked, studying her pretty face. Nothing seemed out of place.
“Yes, I’m sure.” She seemed calmer, less pissed off and freaked out.
I didn’t stop myself from leaning over to kiss her forehead.
“Do you want me to drive?”
She laughed and said, “This is Copley’s car. No way, speed demon.”
“At least if I crashed it he would kill me instead of you.” After I put my seatbelt on I reached over to thread my fingers with her’s without thinking.
She didn’t fight it. Sookie was careful about getting the SUV turned around toward the house. A few minutes passed before the snow started again.
“Fuck me,” she muttered.
“Pull over and I will,” I joked… not really.
Sookie didn’t laugh at my quasi joke. She did let go of my hand to turn on the radio. John Legend came through the speakers loud and clear, and Sookie quietly sang along under her breath.
I wasn’t able to be in the girl’s presence without touching her. My hand settled on her thigh. I watched the road, making sure nothing jumped out in front of us. It was the middle of winter at night so I didn’t imagine anything would. I appreciated she slowed down to a manageable speed.
The drive back to the house seemed like it took forever. With Sookie going so much slower and the snow, time seemed to drag. When we got back into town I took notice of a few cars stopped at odd spots on the street. If Sookie noticed she didn’t say so. Her eyes were glued straight ahead on the road. After the spinout she wasn’t taking any chances with looking around. I did see Jane Bodehouse standing still in the middle of the crosswalk but knowing her drunk ass, anything was possible. For all I knew she was having some sort of alcohol induced hallucination that she was being chased by a bear or some shit.
If someone was going to hide from an imaginary bear in the middle of the street in the middle of the night, it was crazy Jane’s drunk ass. At least she wasn’t naked this time. No one needed to see that the first time she decided to go streaking. I couldn’t get wood for a week.
Everything was as quiet and still as I’d expect it to be in town. We pulled up to the house and everything looked normal there too. Lights were on, people could be seen through the windows and smoke was rising from two chimneys sticking out of the roof. It was like any other New Year’s party. Sookie drove past the house to the enormous garage.
“Are your friends going to give me shit and dirty looks when we get in there?” I asked as she parked.
“Probably, the same as yours.” She took off her seatbelt. “You ever think we would be better off and happier if we just went our separate ways once and for all?”
“I can’t imagine my life without you in it,” was my answer.
“That’s not an answer.” Sookie grabbed her phone from the cupholder and got out of the SUV.
I followed her out and to the house. I waited for her to walk in. As I walked in behind her it dawned on me that the last time I looked at the clock it was two minutes after midnight. We spent the new year time change being mad at each other. Maybe she was right? Maybe we would be better off if we–
What the fuck?
“What the fuck?” I stopped short just inside the kitchen. Dawn had a bottle of champagne in her hand and she was pouring some into her flute, only the liquid stopped moving midstream. “Dawn?”
“Dawn!” I yelled louder. Music had stopped too. Sam was frozen mid-stride. Al and Ames were frozen as they danced. Pam was kissing her girlfriend Miriam. “What the fuck?”
“You said that already,” he muttered as he looked around at everyone in the room. “Creepy motherfucker,” he added when he walked past Bill who was glaring at Pam’s ass.
“Eric, what the fuck is going on?” How was nobody moving? I had seen a car or two stopped on the street but I figured it was just the stoplight.
“I don’t know,” he answered. He looked over at me with a nervous look on his face. Eric didn’t get nervous.
I grabbed the cordless phone off the base in the kitchen and called 9-1-1. Of course it just rang and rang and rang.
“No answer at the sheriff’s office,” I said as I hung up.
He looked at his cell phone. “The time hasn’t moved since I looked at it in the car,” he told me. “It’s been 12:02 since… whenever I looked last.”
“This is crazy. Fuck, what if we died in the crash?” Holy fuckballs. It made complete sense, didn’t it? How else was it possible that time stopped?
“Did we really crash?” He walked over to where I was standing. He took my hand and pulled me closer.
“The spinout, whatever. What if it was worse than we thought and we’re dead?” I didn’t want to panic but that seemed like a perfectly logical thing to do considering no one was moving or responding to us.
“If we were dead wouldn’t they be moving around and not be able to see or hear us?”
“I don’t fucking know. I’ve never been dead before.” Time didn’t just stop. I’d wished for it plenty of times and not once had it happened. “Fuck! I knew I should have just stayed here.”
“Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice!” Eric said loudly.
“Really?” He didn’t seriously think Michael Keaton was going to pop out and offer him a Zagnut or something, did he? “This is serious, Eric! Our friends can’t stay like this. We have to do something.”
“I know, Sookie. If we’re dead it was an option,” he snapped. “I don’t know what the fuck to do. Have you touched anyone? Wait! Don’t touch anyone. What if it’s contagious?”
I reached out and touched Dawn’s arm anyway.
“I don’t think it’s contagious.” I unbuttoned my coat and pulled it off. Eric sucked in a breath behind me.
“Damn,” he breathed. I felt his hand run down my arm from behind.
“What?” I hung my coat off the back of a chair.
“You just… You look so damn good, babe,” he told me. “I miss you. All of our friends are fucking statues and we’re fighting like assholes.”
“We’re doing what we do best,” I shrugged.
“You know we do a few other things that are way better,” he reminded me.
“Eric,” I sighed. I shook my head and added, “I’m going to go upstairs and get out of this stupid gown.”
“I’m coming with,” he said, leaving no room for argument. “I don’t think we should be apart right now with,” he motioned to our frozen friends, “All this going on.”
“I think I can dress myself without help,” I told him.
“I didn’t offer to help. I just don’t think we need to be apart when the world is literally frozen.”
“And how is staying together going to stop us from being frozen?” I countered. Besides, he was the last person I’d call anymore if I needed help.
“If one of us sees it happen, we might be able to figure out what’s happening and stop it or reverse it.”
“Until the other one freezes too. I’m just going to get changed. I’ll be right back,” I said. He always had to make things so fucking complicated. We once had an hour debate over me going to the bathroom alone. It was fucking stupid.
“Fine. If I’m frozen when you’re back you’re going to miss me,” he said before turning to walk through our friends, looking up close at Al’s face.
“Not as much as you’ll miss Aude,” I muttered as I walked away.
“For the last time, I don’t fucking want anything to do with fucking Aude!” Eric yelled after me. “Or any other fucking woman!”
I didn’t believe him.
Five years of up and down bullshit and I couldn’t remember the last time we were really happy together. We started dating halfway through senior year of high school. Like most teenagers we were ass over elbows in love in less than a month. The honeymoon phase gave way to stupid fights and jealousy. He’d hear that I danced with some guy when I went to a party with my girlfriends. I’d hear he was going for coffee with some chick he was taking a class with. Innocent things that got twisted up and turned into fights. We broke up and got back together at least a dozen times over the years.
Upstairs I traded in my pretty party dress for the skinny jeans and pullover I had on before the world stopped. I had a pulse. I was breathing. If I pinched myself I felt pain and pressure. I wasn’t dead.
So why had everything stopped?
Fuck, I should have paid better attention in physics class.
I checked the other bedrooms and gasped when I located Tara in one of the rooms, up against the wall mid-fuck with Quinn.
There was not enough brain bleach in the world to get that out of my head.
In that moment I realized what a hypocrite she was. She talked a lot of shit about Eric. I had heard her say I could do better more times than I could count. Yet here she was, fucking this musclebound shithead who picked stupid fights with people who were smaller than him. Quinn was a mama’s boy to the nth degree and had the charm of a squeaky grocery cart wheel. She had no place judging my love life.
From that moment on I resolved not to take anymore of her bullshit seriously.
I turned and left the room to go back downstairs before Eric panicked and thought I was Queen Elsa’s latest victim. I found him in the living room with a magenta permanent marker in hand, drawing a dick on Bill’s cheek.
“That’s what the fucker gets. I don’t like the way he’s looking at my cousin. I don’t like the way he looks at you either,” he said, drawing a spurt of cum right under Bill’s lip. “Done.”
He was fucking twelve.
I shook my head and said, “You should go upstairs and check out the third bedroom on the left.”
“What’s in there?”
“Are you going to accuse me of something I shouldn’t be accused of if I go look?” He looked wary.
“No.” I was just going to psychologically traumatize him a little.
“I don’t know if I want to look. If I was in a bedroom with you I know what I’d be doing,” he said.
“Will you just go look?” Jesus it was like pulling teeth.
He narrowed his eyes at me before he slowly left the room, heading for the stairs.
I rolled my eyes again. I really had to wonder why I loved him sometimes. Everything was a fucking fight. I was so tired of it. Was it our friends or was it just that we didn’t belong together? The fights didn’t bring us together or make us a stronger couple. Was it all just a waste of time?
I knew he found what I saw when I heard the shouting upstairs.
“Ahhhh! My eyes!” he yelled. I laughed. Served him right. “That is not fucking okay, Sookie!”
A few seconds later it sounded like a herd of elephants coming down the stairs.
“Why are you trying to traumatize me?” he asked, wiping his arms off like it was possible he’d catch something.
I smirked. “You didn’t want to see Quinn’s doughy ass?”
“Hell no,” he cringed. “And you seriously believe someone that would fuck Quinn when it comes to me and what I do with who?” He looked a little offended that I would believe Tara when she told me he was screwing around with Aude.
“You believe fucking Bobby! I’m pretty sure he tells you the shit he does because he wants you–”
“Fucking Alcide confirmed it!” he yelled.
Yeah, the friend of his who hit on me constantly. Real shocker there that he’d try to break us up.
“Then why don’t you just let me go, Eric? Quit yanking me back in and let me find someone who actually trusts me! Every time we fight it’s the same thing. I’m tired of it.”
“Like you trust me? You believe everything your goddamn friends tell you.” Like he didn’t? “Why do you keep coming back if you think I’m fucking everything with a vagina?” Because I love you, fucktard! “I don’t know how else to tell you that I don’t care about any other woman.” Then why did he flirt with them right in front of me? That was so disrespectful and rude. “I don’t want them, Sookie. I’ve never wanted anyone but you. Jesus, even before we were together I was in love with you,” he sighed, shaking his head.
“Maybe we should just split up for good. Love’s not enough and we don’t trust each other,” I said.
He was still shaking his head. After a moment he looked over at me. “Do you think it’s us or our friends? I don’t know if I ever would have accused you of fucking around on me if they didn’t egg me on.”
“I don’t think that’s true. If you trusted me it wouldn’t matter what they say. You would defend me. I know because I’m guilty of the same things you are. So what are we doing here, Eric?”
He walked closer to me and took my hand, lifting it to kiss the back without taking his eyes off of mine.
“We’re doing a really shitty job of loving each other. That’s not fair, because you are the only one I’ve ever even wanted to love.” He wrapped his arms around my shoulders. “I’m sorry, Sookie.”
I loved him. If I didn’t I would have given up a long time ago.
“You’re an asshole,” I said as I hugged him back.
“We should get out of here,” he whispered, kissing the top of my head. “Pack a suitcase and drive down to Florida to start over. Away from all the bullshit.”
“I don’t know if it matters anymore. We’re the only ones left.”
“Then you can move into my place with me and we can figure out how to live off the land.” He pulled back enough to tilt my head up. “Our friends are clearly no good for us anyway.” He dipped to peck my lips.
“Then let’s boost a boat and find an island somewhere. If this freezing thing ever reverses itself we’ll be long gone and on our own,” I suggested.
“Can we wait until it warms up some?” He had a goofy smile on his handsome face.
“We can drive to California and find a yacht.”
“Mmm, I like it,” he smiled, rubbing my back. “I love you, Sookie. More than anything. Can I tell you something? You don’t have to believe me, but I want you to know.”
“You’ve always felt more like an Erica?” I joked.
“Not a chance,” he smiled. “Even when we’re apart I haven’t been with anyone else. You’ve been then only one since we got together.”
“Uh huh. I don’t flirt with girls because I want to hook up with them. It gets us better service when we’re out,” he told me. “Baby, you really are The One.”
“The one you want to fight with for the rest of time? Time that doesn’t move…” Were we immortal? If time stopped did that mean we’d never get old?
“The one I want to do everything with. I want to fight with you, sometimes because you’re cute when you’re mad, the one I want to kiss and snuggle.” He dipped down to kiss my cheek. He rubbed his crotch against me before adding, “The one I want to have babies with. We can start the whole world over like Adam and Eve.”
“How incestuous,” I snorted.
“Oh, unless somewhere across town there’s another couple that can still move. What if there’s like a thousand people left in the world that can still move…”
“Already thinking of your next girlfr–”
Eric growled and said, “There will never be a next girlfriend.”
Maybe he was right. Maybe getting away from the so-called friends who had done nothing but try to pull us apart was the right decision. A fresh start someplace new could change everything for us. There was only one way to find out.
“No, there won’t,” I whispered.
His lips crashed into mine and even though we fought all the time I knew I felt the same as him; that I couldn’t picture my life without him. I didn’t know if it meant we were destined for each other or if we were just too afraid of moving on separately. For the first time in a long time I wanted to try. I wanted to find out what we were really made of. I owed it to myself to find out.
“Happy New Year, baby,” I whispered against Sookie’s lips. I couldn’t imagine my life without her in any world. Even with all of our friends stuck in weird poses. We were together. That was all the mattered.
“Happy new year,” she whispered back. Her arms wrapped around my neck and she kissed me again in a way she hadn’t in a long time.
As I kissed her back I reached down to cup her ass. She knew the drill and hopped up to wrap her legs around my waist. I missed her. I missed everything about her. The last few months had been miserable without Sookie. That time I spent with Aude was not at all sexual. We’d gone to the bar a couple times only as friends and neighbors. If she wanted anything to do with me like that she didn’t let on. She knew I was still in love with Sookie. That was never going to change. Sookie was my queen. In my eyes she was the only woman that existed.
“Should we chance it or go to a room?” I asked as I staggered toward a wall, bumping her against it. Her lips felt like heaven. So did her body.
“Upstairs. We might be a while.” She knew me well.
I smiled and kissed her quickly before I headed up the stairs, carrying Sookie right along with me. I carried her to the first bedroom I found free. I knew nasty, doughy ass Quinn wasn’t in it. As soon as we were in, I kicked the door closed behind us.
“Please tell me you have a condom,” Sookie said as she unbuttoned my pants.
“You know I do,” I smiled. I knew she would be at the party. Better safe than sorry, right?
“You better get it–”
Music started downstairs. Thumping could be heard against the wall.
What the fuck?
“Sookie, what…” I looked down at her and then at the door. “Do you think…”
“Maybe?” Her legs dropped, as did my chance of getting laid.
Before I moved off of her I leaned down, caging her in with my arms.
“If the world is back to normal, you and me, we’re still… together, right?” I asked, searching her eyes for the answers.
“We’re out of here tomorrow,” she nodded.
“Good.” I kissed her one more time. I stopped and cringed when I heard Quinn shouting down the hall… oh, ewww. He just. “I think I just threw up in my mouth a little.”
“I think all my eggs spoiled.”
“If he ruined my chances of having babies with you he’s going to wish he stayed frozen.” I kissed her again before I got off of her.
“Hey Bill,” Al yelled over the music downstairs. “Nice dickface!”
“Should we stay here or make sure they’re not all deformed or something?” I said quietly.
“They’ll probably wonder how the hell we got here and I got dressed in my other clothes with no one seeing us,” she pointed out. “Do you think they’ll believe they were frozen?”
“Tara just banged Quinn. My guess is they’re all too drunk to notice,” I shrugged. I helped her up from the bed, pulling her into my arms. I didn’t want to let her go.
“We should go get a nice shot of your artwork before it washes off,” Sookie said. “That’ll make a great Christmas card next year. From one dickhead to another…”
I chuckled and said, “We can have it turned into postcards and send it to all those assholes to let them know we’re doing great without them.” Sure, I was going to miss my friends. Not one of them was worth losing Sookie. I couldn’t believe I put up with and believed their shit for so long.
“We can get out of here and have a private party at your place,” she said as we left the room. Tara stepped out of the room where she and Quinn had been fucking.
“Cheater,” she coughed as she walked by us.
“That’s fucking bullshit,” I muttered. I looked down at Sookie and said, “See, that’s the kind of shit that’s been dragging us down. Yes, let’s get out of here. Hell, I’ll even leave my car on the side of the road.”
“Hey Tara, make sure you don’t get a yeast infection from fucking the Doughboy,” Sookie said. It was the first time I’d seen Sookie stand up to Tara.
Tara was too stunned to even attempt a comeback.
I squeezed Sookie’s hand before I tugged her to follow me down the stairs. When we got there there room was full of our asshole friends. I noticed Claudine staring at us with a huge smile on her face as Pam and Miriam tried to melt into a wall while they made out.
“Fuck, there you are, bro! I was starting to think you weren’t coming,” Bobby said. His smile faded when he realized I was with Sookie. “I told you for New Year’s you should drop all the dead weight in your life.” He fucking stared at my girl as he said it.
“I am,” I smiled, pulling Sookie a little closer. “I’m getting rid of you.”
“What?” Bobby laughed. He obviously didn’t believe me.
“I didn’t stutter.” I also wasn’t laughing.
“You can’t be serious. She’s fucking around with Bill–”
“Hey Bill!” Sookie called out, making Bobby go paler than usual. “Bill, have we ever dated, kissed or had sex?”
A disappointed looking Bill shook his head.
“There you go, Bobby. If you want to worry about who Bill is fucking, why don’t you go talk to him.” I looked around the room and noticed we’d gotten a lot of attention. “That goes for the rest of you too. This relationship,” I motioned between Sookie and myself, “Is between us. We don’t need your two cents about who’s fucking who.”
“Here, here!” Pam yelled, grabbing a random glass to raise it. She was shitfaced.
“Let’s get out of here,” Sookie said.
“You got it, babe.” I kissed the side of her head.
Without a second thought Sookie and I turned to leave the house. We didn’t need them. All our group of ‘friends’ ever did was bring us down. When I thought back through our relationship we had always been fine if it was just us. It was that bunch of assholes that brought us down. Sure we were dumb for believing them, but ultimately our lives were going to be a lot better without them.
“Happy New Year,” I said again once we got into Sookie’s car.
She leaned over to kiss me before she said, “Happy New Year,” and started the car.
A new year and a new life together. It was time for a fresh start. Getting away from Bon Temps was going to be worth it as long as we had each other. I was ready. It was clear Sookie was too.
~ The End ~