I swear to fucking Christ Sophie Anne was fucking up all of her lines on purpose, but apparently that was just fine and fucking dandy since she was fucking Madden and her constant catty remarks about Sookie weren’t helping either. I always thought I was above actually hitting a woman, but she was truly pushing my patience. What I really needed was either a muzzle for her or Bubba’s calming presence, but since I had neither I just did my best to ignore her while trying to keep my internal dialog, in response to her bitchiness, from making its way out of my mouth.
“She’s so BIG!”
“Not as big as your fucking mouth you redheaded cunt.”
“Is she having TWINS?”
“No, but honestly I wouldn’t have been surprised if she was considering the amount of my cum that’s constantly going into her.”
“It’s a good thing she’s got those CHILD BEARING HIPS to squeeze that thing out.”
“Sookie’s still a tight fit, but I imagine if you ever get knocked up that kid will just fall right out of your infected hole. I’m surprised you don’t walk around wearing a crown of golden arches flashing ‘One Billion Served’. For the kid’s sake, I hope it comes out in a biohazard suit.”
I hated that nasty bitch more than ever, but even I was surprised by how she was acting. She’d come on to me a few times whenever we’d run into each other before I’d ever met Sookie and I hadn’t wanted anything to do with her then, so I couldn’t imagine she’d think I would want her now. Up until now she’d been friendly in a strictly work sort of way and had even been cordial, if not a little stiff, when they’d met the first time Sookie had been to the set, but now she was acting like she was jealous and it was completely fucking ridiculous.
She kept her game face on whenever Madden was around though, so I started keeping myself within earshot of him and she finally seemed to get the hint and skulked away, but that’s when she started fucking up all of her lines. All she had to do was pout out her collagen filled lips at old lover boy and all was forgiven, but the rest of us poor shmucks were left doing retake after retake well into the night and long after we should have been done for the day.
By the time we were finally able to call it quits I was cranky and tired, but I knew I’d have off the entire next day and it was that knowledge that fueled me with the energy to get my ass home. I normally left my cell phone in my trailer knowing if anything urgent happened, Sookie knew to call Alcide and he would get me, so I didn’t even think about checking my messages until I was walking into the house.
Just had dinner with your dad and then I’ll be going to watch his acting gig. Have Bubba with me and I’ll be home late. Love you.
Fuck…I’d forgotten all about that. His performance was scheduled to start at seven and if Sophie Anne wasn’t a giant cunt, I would’ve been able to be there. I felt better knowing that Sookie had gone though, and since her car had been in the garage when I pulled in and it was now after midnight, I knew she’d probably been home for a while, but it only got me in an even more fucked off mood since I’d missed out on going too. I didn’t even get the satisfaction of Bubba coming out to greet me yet, so I went looking for him and found Sookie sound asleep in bed with Bubba lying down in my spot next to her. His body was pressed firmly against her side and even though he clearly saw me and his tail was softly wagging, he didn’t budge.
“Here boy,” I whispered, figuring I would let him out one final time before going to bed myself.
He lifted his head, but only to readjust his paws underneath his chin and laid right back down. His eyes stayed open and his tail still wagged, but he didn’t seem to want to get up so I glared at him and gave up, going to take a quick shower instead so I could wash the skank off of me before climbing into bed myself. I tried to slide in underneath the covers thinking he would move out of the way to give me room, but all he did was huff out a breath of air and stayed exactly where he was.
“Bubba…mooovve,” I whisper whined and getting more pissed off, trying to shuffle him out of my spot next to Sookie, but all I ended up doing was shuffling myself underneath him so that I had his ass in my face and I noticed he was starting to get fucking heavy.
And getting slapped in the head by his wagging tail was no picnic either.
I couldn’t figure out what in the hell had gotten into him, but I didn’t want to launch him from the bed either and continued to push at his body while he dug his paws into the bed and our impromptu Alpha match had woken Sookie because she finally stirred enough to gruff out, “What are you doing?”
“Bubba…won’t…move…” I huffed wondering if I needed to up my workouts again considering I was having trouble trying to move a seventy pound dog.
Sookie huffed herself and sat up a little, crooning, “Here Bubba,” and patted the space next to her on the other side of the bed and my little buddy turned turncoat got up and gingerly walked around her body before resuming his former position pressed against her side. Normally he slept at the end of the bed by our feet, so I looked at her and half-barked, “The hell?”
She let her head flop back down onto the pillow and with only one eye open she said, “He’s been acting weird all day, but after the Sookeh Monster snuck up on me tonight, he refuses to leave my side. I even had to go outside with him into the backyard so he could do his business.”
Whoa… Back. The. Fuck. Up.
“Did you just say Bill fucking Compton snuck up on you?” I sat up and asked, no longer whispering.
There was no mistaking his fucked up pronunciation of her name. How fucking hard was it? It rhymed with ‘cookie’ for Christ’s sake!
She still only had one eye open and it rolled into the back of her head before she smiled and asked, “Did I say fucking? I hope I don’t make those kinds of slipups when I’m teaching because God knows the kids will fall out of their chairs and die of laughter.”
“Sookie,” I growled, not in the mood for her deflecting banter. Normally I found it funny and sexy, but now I was even angrier, and tired, and all around too pissed to enjoy it. My day had gone from bad to worse and I was fucking done with the bullshit.
“Eric,” she mock growled back. When it became clear I wasn’t amused, she finally picked her head up off of the pillow and said, “It was nothing.” I might have been able to handle it better if I hadn’t had such a fucked up day, but it took all I had to not start yelling and when she seemed to sense it, perhaps from the fire shooting out of my eyes and the steam billowing from my ears, she finally croaked out in a fucked up voice, “Sookeh…” and then spoke normally, adding, “That’s as far as he got because Bubba started snarling from underneath the table and then your dad came back from the bathroom at the same time. I guess he didn’t know everything that happened before with good ole BFC, but he didn’t hesitate to put himself between us and sent him packing in a way that would’ve made you proud. Of course, I was red, but since his assholery was directed at that prick, I didn’t really care.”
“What the fuck was he doing there?” I growled, fighting the urge to command her to stay at my fucking side for the rest of her life so I could beat the shit out of any and all fuckers that dared to look at her.
But I had a sneaking suspicion she’d beat the shit out of me if I even suggested it.
“It’s a diner Eric,” she huffed just like Bubba had a moment earlier. “He was probably there to eat. After your dad scared him away our waitress mentioned that he’s been going in there regularly for the past few months.”
I wanted to throw the bullshit flag because I refused to believe it was just a mere coincidence that he just happened to show up where she just happened to be having dinner, but I had nothing other than my gut feeling to go on.
And my guts hated Bill fucking Compton’s guts and unfortunately, my mouth just decided to go with it.
“That’s fucking bullshit!” I yelled. “That’s it! You’re not going anywhere anymore without someone with you!” I threw myself back down onto the mattress and ended with, “You’re getting a fucking bodyguard and that’s the end of it!”
“Excuse me?” she asked while poking her finger into my back. “If you’re unaware, that’s Swahili for ‘I don’t fucking think so.’ What in the hell crawled up your ass and died?”
I punched the pillow picturing that fucker’s face and kept my back to her, growling, “It’s not up for discussion. You’re getting a bodyguard. The end.”
“Like hell I am!” she practically yelled. “You’re overreacting as usual and you sure as shit can’t make me take a bodyguard everywhere I go!”
“Watch me,” I gritted out through my teeth.
“Fuck. That,” she spat back at me. “You’re leaving in a few weeks anyway. You won’t be here. You will be traipsing your ass around exotic locales kissing Sophie Anne while I’m stuck here ballooning up like one of those whales in your fucking book!”
I knew that shit was gonna bite me in the ass and I whipped around to face her, seething, “Exotic locales? Kissing Sophie Anne? I’ll be in the middle of fucking nowhere, WORKING and freezing my fucking ass off! It’s not like you didn’t know what I did for a living beforehand. Hell, you’ve known what I do long before you ever met me. Your little shrine in my honor back at Gran’s house is proof enough.”
From the look on her face, I could see that shit was gonna bite me in the ass too and no sooner had I realized it when she threw the covers off of herself and got out of the bed.
“Where in the hell are you going?” I asked. We’d fought before but we hadn’t not shared a bed since…well…I could remember.
“I’m going to sleep in the guest room,” she huffed while angrily stomping out of the room, but not before she added, “That bed is too small to share with the dinosaur sized dick that’s in it and I’m not talking about what’s in between your legs!”
Even Bubba managed to glare at me before he too trotted from the room after her and in my frustration, I yelled back, “Perfect! Just fucking perfect! Perfect end to a perfect fucking day!”
Fucking hell…that bed had never been bigger now that she wasn’t in it.
And I hated it.
I planned on giving her some time to cool off, or maybe fall asleep, and then I could slip in beside her unaware. If I hadn’t been so tired from the long ass days I’d been working, I doubted I would’ve been able to sleep on my own anyway knowing Sookie was in the next room undoubtedly pissed off at me, however I somehow managed to not only fall asleep, but slept well into the next morning. I really didn’t think I’d done anything wrong and if anyone had been overreacting, it had been her, so I’d expected her to be waiting for me downstairs with an apology on her lips and then reaping the benefits of having a day’s long makeup sex session, but she wasn’t waiting for me. She wasn’t even in the fucking house. I knew because I searched the whole damn thing. Even Bubba was gone, along with her car, so I grabbed my phone to call her only for it to go to voicemail.
‘Where are you?’ I texted, wondering if she’d just run out to pick up something or if she was being a bitch and showing me that she could, in fact, go out without the bodyguard she was still getting.
It was several minutes before I got my answer to both questions.
So, being a bitch it is.
I knew her pregnancy made her hormones out of whack, but there’d been no tears or crazy ramblings from her the night before, so I knew she was just pissed for, in my opinion, no fucking reason. I, however, had every reason to be fucking pissed now that she was ruining my one day off. I’d wanted to spend it with her and we’d even talked about maybe taking a drive down to Miramar to see if it stirred any of my memories, but now I’d be stuck sitting alone and worried until she walked through the fucking door again, so I texted back, ‘Where?’
I’d be her fucking bodyguard for the day and had every intention of going to wherever the fuck she was, even if all we’d end up doing was glare at each other while walking through the fucking grocery store aisles. She must have realized my plans though because she only texted back, ‘Out and about.’
Fine. If she wanted to play fucking games then I could too. I stormed into my office and went online, logging into our cell phone carrier’s website and added on the GPS locating service onto her phone line, but my stalker plans were foiled when I realized I’d need her phone to actually download the software onto it before it could be activated, so I sat back in my chair running through the ways I could track her down.
Call in a missing person’s report to the police?
‘How long has your wife been missing?’
‘An hour? Maybe two?’ Yeah, not likely to get anything more out of that than a ticket for myself.
Report her car stolen?
She’d kill me by running me over with her car as soon as she got the chance.
Call TMZ to see if they knew where she was?
The recording of my call would be on their website within seconds of me hanging up along with the headline, ‘Trouble in paradise? Eric Northman stalking own wife.’
Pam would kill me.
Pam and Sookie got along better than even Pam and Jason did, and considering their mission accomplished night out together that was saying a lot, so I shot her a quick text asking her to call Sookie and find out where she was. While I was waiting to hear back from her I took the ring, I still needed to find a way to give Sookie, out from its hiding place in the back of my desk drawer and stared at it. I was glad I’d talked to Gran first because I would’ve never known what to get her and probably would’ve gone overboard, thereby pissing her off. Again. And even though I was pissed off at her now, I knew the fight we were in the middle of would blow over soon enough and still wanted to find some special way of giving it to her. She deserved something normal at least once in our relationship.
But I wasn’t normal enough to come up with any ideas.
Just as I was tucking it away again ten minutes later, Pam finally text me back.
‘She said, and I quote, “I’m a grown woman. I’m OUT! You can just tell my Neanderthal husband I’ll be home when I’m damn well good and ready. I may be pregnant, but I’m not barefoot and chained to the stove. He can just order pizza for dinner.” You’re a dick. That’s me saying it, not her, but I’m sure she’s thinking it and she’s right.’
Fucking bullshit! Goddamn women always banded together like they were all born from the same fucking cooter box. I jabbed my reply onto my touchscreen so hard, I was surprised it didn’t break.
‘Did she tell you that fucking Compton is stalking her?’
It was only seconds later when I got my reply.
‘No. She told me he HAPPENED to go into the same diner she was in for dinner. Seriously, you watch too many Lifetime movies. I always knew you were a pussy.’
I had to stop myself from pitching my phone against the wall and the only thing that kept me from doing it was the fact Sookie wasn’t in the fucking house and might need me. Or, God forbid, she might actually want to talk to me at some point before the Bean was born.
I still didn’t think I’d overreacted the night before, but I supposed I could’ve gone about it differently. I was already tired and bitchy when I’d gotten home, so I may have taken that out on her, but I still had half a mind to text her that the Bean was half mine too and she had no right keeping it from me by staying out all day long. There were a finite number of kicks I’d get to feel between now and the time I would have to leave in another three weeks or so and she was making me miss out on a few. It was bad enough that she’d taken my dog with her too.
I wandered around the house for the next couple of hours completely fucking restless and it only drove home the point that I was fucking useless without her there. Those chains I’d thought about getting to tie her to me were looking better and better when my dad arrived for our usual Sunday dinner, only I’d forgotten all about the fact he was coming over at all.
“What’s wrong with you?” he asked as soon as he saw my face.
Was I that fucking transparent?
“Sookie and I are fighting,” I admitted as we walked into the kitchen where there was no dinner cooking because I was lame and couldn’t fend for myself when she wasn’t around.
I took out the takeout menu for the local pizza place and internally kicked my own ass since that had been her snarky suggestion in the first place, as he asked, “What did you do?”
“Why are you assuming it’s my fucking fault?” I huffed back. Just for that, I was ordering pepperoni because I knew it gave him heartburn, but he still couldn’t resist it.
I knew it was childish, but figured I had the right to be since I missed out on doing it when I’d actually been a child thanks to him.
“Fine,” he chuckled. “Then what did she do?”
It no longer felt weird talking to him about stuff that didn’t have to do with my career and ever since he’d shown up on Christmas Eve, he had yet to give me any reason to suspect he was being anything but sincere in making an effort to just be my dad, so I didn’t hesitate answering, “She told me about that fucker Compton showing up last night, so I told her she wasn’t leaving the house again without a fucking bodyguard.”
“And how did that go over?” he asked while doing a piss poor job of hiding his smile.
“How do you fucking think?” I growled. “I woke up this morning and she was already gone. She won’t answer her phone when I call, but she’ll answer for fucking Pam and she even stopped answering my texts about an hour ago. All she would tell me was that she was ‘out’ and when I tried to get out of her when she planned on fucking coming home, all she would say was ‘soon’. Well her idea of the definition of soon is fucking different than mine.” He tried to cough to hide the fact he was laughing at me, but I ignored it and said, “You were there last night. You saw Compton and, from what I heard, you scared his ass off, so you must agree with me.”
“Oh, she gave me a what for too. I never liked that asshole anyway and since she looked uncomfortable with him standing there, I didn’t think. I just reacted.” He grinned at me, adding, “You must get that from me.”
“So, you think I’m overreacting?” I asked.
“Eh,” he shrugged. “You’ve got a pregnant wife you’re being protective of. You’re not the first poor schmuck to feel that way and Compton’s a creepy fucker, but do you really think he’s out to get Sookie? From what our waitress was saying, he’s in there all the time. It was probably just a coincidence.”
I might have agreed with him had it not been for our run in that led to him being fired from the show, but my dad didn’t know the reasons behind it and if I told him now, I’d have to tell him the truth about how Sookie and I had actually met.
But did I trust him enough to tell him that secret?
I ordered our pizza and after thinking about it one more time, I decided to tell him everything. What surprised me the most was how unsurprised he was and when I was through, all he said was, “You sure are one lucky son of a bitch. You could’ve done so much worse.” Seeing my shocked expression, he laughed, “What? I can tell that she loves you and God knows you get all mooney-eyed whenever she’s around. She’s good for you and I get a grandkid outta the deal. What’s there to be upset about?”
He was a far cry from how he’d used to be, but then so was I, so I couldn’t throw stones. Nor did I realize I got mooney-eyed whenever Sookie was around me, but I couldn’t argue the fact either and ignored that part, saying, “Compton! He was there the night we met. He was sitting next to her at the bar and from the looks of it, he was trying to pick her up. Then he tried to fuck with her when he was here for a poker game, so if you add to it everything he said right before I beat his ass, don’t you think all of that adds up to fucking weird?”
He shook his head, saying, “Just because you’ve got yourself your own stalker doesn’t mean she’s got one too.”
He knew about Debbie Pelt, or whatever the fuck her name was, but I couldn’t even be sure the photo Pam’s guy had been able to get was the same woman who’d come to the house the day the fire department did. The eyes maybe looked the same, but I just couldn’t tell for sure because who in the hell looks the same as they did when they were fifteen?
I’d forgotten how much I’d changed until I’d seen Sookie’s childhood bedroom. Which I threw in her face the night before. And pissed her off.
I didn’t say anything because I was feeling more and more guilty for the way I’d treated her before she stormed out of our room, so as I grabbed my phone to text Sookie an apology, hoping that would get her to finally come home already, he said, “Maybe he’d been trying to pick her up that night and was pissed she chose you instead, but that was months ago. She told me herself she hasn’t seen him since the night he’d come to your house, so do you really think he’s all of the sudden stalking her now when she’s six months pregnant with your baby? Or do you think maybe he just happened to go to the same diner he’s been going to for months and ran into her, but because you already hate him, you’re assuming the worse? Hell, for all I know he was going to apologize to her before I threatened his family jewels.”
Could it really be that simple? Was I overreacting?
Before I could give it too much thought, the doorbell rang, so I grabbed my wallet to pay for our pizza only when I opened the door, it wasn’t the pizza guy.
It was the police.
“Is there a problem officer?” I asked while trying to remember if I’d actually called in the fake missing person’s report.
“Are you related to a Sookie Northman?” he asked, making my stomach drop.
“Yes!” I answered with my voice rising as I started to panic. “She’s my wife! What’s wrong?”
“Sir,” he answered calmly, “She was found lying unconscious next to her car at the dog park. They’ve taken her to Cedars Sinai, but I’d be happy to take you there.”
Unconscious? How? Was that why she didn’t respond to my texts?
“But…but…she’s pregnant. What about the baby?” I stuttered from my mind going at warp speed.
My father was at my side a moment later, asking, “What’s wrong?”
I ignored his question for the time being and asked again, louder this time, “What about the baby?”
“I’m sorry sir,” he shook his head. “I don’t have any information on her condition other than how she was found. Now would you like me to take you there or will you be driving yourself?”
“Sookie?” my father asked. “What’s wrong? Take you where?”
“She was found unconscious at the dog park and they have her at Cedars,” I answered before turning to run back for my keys, but he caught my arm, saying, “No. I’ll drive you. You’re too upset and you know what happened the last time.”
He was right. I couldn’t remember it, but I knew he was right because I couldn’t remember it, so we both got into his car and ten minutes later we were pulling up to the hospital. My lead foot was another trait I shared with my father and I was thankful for his. There were a couple of policemen standing just outside the Emergency Room doors, but the only reason I even managed to noticed was because one of them was holding Bubba’s leash and as soon as he saw me he started whining and trying to pull his way free to come to me.
I didn’t plan on stopping, but I couldn’t leave him either, so I ran up and said, “That’s my dog. He was with my wife. They said she was found unconscious at the dog park? Sookie Northman?”
“Yes sir,” he answered while Bubba continued to whine and wrapped himself around my legs. I supposed he was feeling a little traumatized too, so I took the leash from him and as he said, “She must have put him in the car first because he was inside of it when we got there and tore up the interior of the driver’s side door, we assume, trying to get to her.” My eyes looked back down to him and it was only then I noticed he had gashes on his front paws with dried blood. It was harder to see with his dark fur, but they contrasted against the concrete sidewalk. I didn’t care about the car though and Bubba seemed fine for now, so my only concern was for Sookie when he kept on talking, saying, “But we’re guessing she must have gotten attacked by another dog because she’s got bite marks on her arms and from the looks of it, she fell and hit her head pretty hard on the pavement.”
I didn’t listen to another word they had to say and instead ran inside with Bubba and my father at my side. As soon as we got to the desk, I rambled in a panic, “I’m Eric Northman. My wife Sookie was brought in? They said she’s unconscious and was attacked by a dog.”
I hoped God wasn’t a cruel bastard because having one amnesiac in a couple was enough for anybody, but trying to explain who I was and the fact she’d be having our baby in another three months, if she didn’t remember any of it, might be more than either one of us could handle.
“She’s my patient.” I looked over at the small Hispanic woman as she said, “I’m Doctor Garza. Why don’t you follow me and I’ll bring you to her.”
My feet were already moving as I asked, “Is she awake? Is she okay? Is the baby okay? They said she was attacked by a dog?”
“She’s not conscious yet, but the CT scans didn’t show any signs of swelling on the brain or fractures and yes, she did sustain several puncture marks to her forearms consistent with a dog bite as well as some gouges on her body that look like claw marks.”
Her eyes went to Bubba who was still with me and I automatically defended him, saying, “He would never hurt her. He’s very protective of her and is extra gentle with her because of the pregnancy. He’s a certified service dog and that’s his own blood on his paws from him trying to get out of the car to get to her.”
She didn’t look like she wanted to believe me, so my father said, “Why don’t you leave him with me and we’ll wait for you out here.”
“Fine,” I said, not wanting to prolong any added delay, but I added, “Thanks.”
I was grateful that he was there and he seemed to know that by looking at me, but he just patted me on the back and said, “Hurry up. I’m worried too.”
When we turned to go down the hallway, she checked the chart in her hands and said, “She’s just down the hall here in trauma room three. You said she’s pregnant? How far along is she?”
How in the hell could they not notice she was pregnant?
I hoped it was just some doctor speak they were taught to repeat back the patient’s or family member’s concerns so they’d know they were heard instead of imagining she’d gotten her medical license by mailing in a bunch of fucking box tops, but I kept my mouth in check and just answered, “Twenty-four weeks.”
“Really?” she asked as we stopped outside of the room marked ‘Trauma 3’. “Are you sure?”
“Are you serious?” I asked, finally losing my temper. I strode into the room and ripped back the curtain, barking out, “Go get me another doctor that can recognize a pregnant woman when they see one!”
Only when I finally turned and looked down at the bed, Sookie wasn’t lying there.
And the woman didn’t look pregnant.
But she looked exactly like that crazy bitch outside of the coffee shop.