I could barely wrap my mind around the concept when applied towards Sookie’s brother; ironic given my curse, but still. Granted, I didn’t know Jason that well, but unless he’d murdered that Bill guy from the other night, I couldn’t picture Sookie’s carefree brother killing anything that didn’t have antlers on its head.
“Was it that Bill guy?” I asked and immediately regretted it.
My question seemed to snap her out of her despair as she shouted, “No! That’s just high school bullshit. Jason didn’t murder anyone!”
“That’s not what I meant,” I quickly added, berating myself for not completing my thought out loud to begin with. “Of course I don’t think he murdered anyone, it’s just that they didn’t seem to get along the other night and I can’t imagine why the police would think he’d be capable of killing anyone.”
…else, I added silently. Purposely silent that time.
“It’s because he fucks too much,” she huffed and started walking so fast towards the exit that even with my longer leg stride I practically had to run to keep up with her.
Had he been accused of fucking someone to death?
I’d been working at the coroner’s office for eight years and had never been presented with that particular cause of death, but I wasn’t about to ask the question out loud and risk Sookie’s wrath again. It would seem our own ‘fucking’ plans were on the backburner now too, but I certainly didn’t hold it against her and when we reached her car I took the chance to grab her keys from her hand eliciting a scathing look from her. I remembered all too well how easily she’d overpowered the would-be mugger in the park and held my hands up in surrender, saying, “You’re upset. At least let me drive you there.”
Her eyes were trained on her key ring still dangling from my fingers before she closed them and took a deep breath. When she opened them again, she sounded calmer, agreeing, “Fine, but first promise me that you won’t drive like Miss Daisy is in the backseat.”
Her tone had lightened and I felt confident enough to joke back at her, smiling, “Fine, so long as you promise to get me out of any speeding tickets.”
It took a moment, but she finally smiled back at me, saying, “Deal.”
I didn’t try to talk to Sookie on our way to Bon Temps since she seemed to be having one hell of an argument going on inside of her head. It was in the way she muttered under her breath with her eyebrows narrowed and her fists sporadically clenching that clued me in, but as we were coming up to the exit off of the interstate, she finally spoke up out loud, saying, “I’m sorry.”
“For what?” I asked. She was free to argue with whomever she wanted to inside of her head. I just didn’t want to give her a reason to want to argue with me which was why I’d stayed quiet.
“For the worst date in history,” she sighed.
My heart sank wondering if I’d somehow read her wrong earlier. Even with our reason for running to Bon Temps, I hadn’t been able to stop myself from reliving everything that had happened between us at the theater during our silent drive. It was something I was sure I’d be thinking about often and fondly for years to come, but maybe Sookie hadn’t had as a good of a time as I had. Well, I knew she didn’t have as good of a time as me, but we’d been on our way to rectify that when everything got put on hold.
Or had it just been turned off instead?
The wheels in my mind were spinning trying to work up the nerve to ask her if it had really been that bad for her when she spoke up, saying, “We should be halfway through the Triple Crown by now, but nooo…just because my brother’s so deep, his fucking is getting in the way of ours.”
On! Turned right the fuck back on!
I released the breath I’d been holding and quelled the urge to pull over onto the side of the road to try and get at least a third of the way towards that Triple Crown. Instead I chuckled in relief, saying, “If anyone should be apologizing, it’s me. At least I got to cross the finish line.”
Sookie giggled softly and reached out, lacing her fingers through mine. Just feeling her touch again was enough to make all of the tension leave my body when she replied, “Well…that’s my fault too.” When I turned to look at her questioningly, her own eyes darted towards my crotch and back to my eyes again as she added, “I was already too worked up to have stayed quiet and as much as you were bucking in your seat, I just might need to get myself a saddle if I’m gonna get in the race.”
Christ, I was surprised Sookie even still wanted me around given how spastic I must’ve seemed to her. I wasn’t a virgin, but I certainly wasn’t all that experienced either. Like she’d said earlier; practice makes perfect and to practice, you need someone to practice with. One or two women every eighteen months or so wouldn’t come close to making me any kind of expert lover and I could already feel my face getting hotter at my faux pas.
Sookie must’ve noticed because she nudged my leg, asking, “Why are you blushing? Is my lack of a brain/mouth filter getting to be too much? I’m sorry…”
“No,” I replied, wondering if now was really the time to out myself as an ‘almost virgin’ when we were on our way to see her brother who was a suspect in a murder. I obviously knew the mechanics of sex; I’d even participated in the mechanics several times, but they’d all been virtual strangers and while I’d done what I could to try and make it a pleasurable experience for them too, I couldn’t know for sure if I’d succeeded. Sookie wasn’t a stranger and now I was left worrying if I didn’t please her as much I truly wanted to, give her as much pleasure as she’d dreamed of, she’d give up on me.
“Then what is it?” she asked. We’d just come to a stop at the only traffic light I’d seen in the small town and was about to deflect her question by asking which way I needed to go when she grunted angrily and got out of the car.
“Sookie?” I called after her, but I was sure she couldn’t hear me through the now closed door.
Or through the steam coming out of her ears.
I pulled over onto the side of the road and scrambled out after her; right into the front door of the local police station she’d stomped into. I didn’t have to call out for her though because I could hear her in the attached office and got there just in time to hear her say, “Are you getting that senile Bud that you can’t see Jason’s no murderer? You’ve known our family for our whole lives!”
There was another cop that put me in mind of a cross between Barney Fife and Mr. Bean, sitting at the front desk with a huge smile on his face listening to Sookie’s tirade. A quick glance at his uniform told me his name and since I could see her through the door looming over the desk in front of her, I motioned towards her, telling him, “I’m with her, Officer Prior.”
I couldn’t tell if his shocked expression had to do with Sookie’s outburst or the fact she was with someone like me, but I didn’t waste any time thinking about it and strode into the office. According to Bud’s uniform he was the sheriff and he looked none too pleased at Sookie’s senile crack, but he just leaned back in his chair and laced his fingers across his chest, saying, “Now I know you’re upset, but you need to watch yourself young lady.”
“Or else what Bud?” Sookie taunted. “Are you gonna call me a silly little girl and not hire me again? Was it because I’m smarter than you? Because I’m a better shot than you? Or was it just because you’re mad that I’ve got a bigger dick than you?”
NOW the lack of brain/mouth filter might become a problem.
The angry red line rose up on his face like a cartoon thermometer, but before anything could be said by either one of them, I wrapped my arms around Sookie’s waist from behind, saying, “You’re right; she’s upset. Sorry,” and carried her right out of the building before I ended up arranging to have her bailed out, but not before I heard Officer Prior yell out, “You tell him Sookie!”
I guessed she wasn’t the only one that had an issue with the sheriff and was surprised that she hadn’t fought me at all, but as soon as I set her on her feet she yelled, “God damnit!”
“I’m sorry!” I half-yelled back with adrenaline still pumping through my veins. “But it looked like you were about to get yourself thrown into a cell!” I couldn’t believe I was actually almost yelling back at her, but I guessed that orgasm earlier had boosted more than just my confidence level where other men were concerned.
“I know!” she huffed out a lower decibel and kicked a rock into the street. “I’m sorry. I’m not mad at you. I didn’t mean to lose my cool in there, but I just can’t stand Boss Hogg with all of his caveman bullshit. I might wear Daisy Dukes on occasion, but that’s not my god damn name and he was always jealous of daddy for being a cop where actual crimes occurred, so he was more than happy to choose that dipshit Rosco P. Coltrane doppelganger Andy Bellefleur over me when Kevin Prior got killed by a drunk driver a few years back. I applied for the job so I could be closer to Gran, but I wouldn’t put it past him to just be trying to jam up Jason on spite alone. In a town this small, there’s not much else to do besides hold a grudge.”
At least now I knew why Officer Prior looked shocked that I’d addressed him and was just thankful they’d been too busy arguing to have heard me, but I still had no idea why they were questioning Jason about a murder and now seemed as good a time as any. “Who died and why do they think Jason might have done it?”
Sookie seemed to realize that there were a few people loitering nearby listening in on our conversation, so she motioned for us to get in the car and told me which way to go before saying, “Maudette Pickens. She worked the midnight shift out at the Grab-It Kwik and she was found strangled by a customer around four o’clock this morning.”
“Why do they suspect Jason? Was he the one that found her?”
“No,” she sighed, suddenly looking tired. “But everybody saw him leave the bar with her the night before. Jason said Bud was hinting around that maybe he’d gone in there to surprise her, found her with another guy, got jealous and killed her.”
I pulled into the driveway of a typical ranch home a minute later, but asked my next question anyway. “Had they been seeing each other for very long?” I couldn’t help putting myself into Jason’s shoes and even with the benefit of my curse I could only imagine how devastated I would be if it had been…
Nope. Not going there.
“Knowing Jason?” she asked rhetorically as we got out of the car. “He probably saw her for about an hour. Ninety minutes, tops.”
There wasn’t much for me to say about that and I followed Sookie into the house where we found Jason sitting on the couch with a dazed expression and only seeming to come to when Sookie sat next to him, saying, “Tell me everything.”
He shook off his stupor and said, “There’s nothing to tell. We hooked up the night before. The end.”
“Bullshit!” Sookie declared. She stared him down like she was counting each of his pores and said, “You’re hiding something. Out with it.”
Jason either didn’t notice or didn’t mind my presence, so I sat down in a chair across from them and watched him chew his bottom lip just like his sister did when she was nervous. His eyes stayed on his lap with him refusing to say another word until Sookie exclaimed, “Oh my God! You did it!”
“I DID NOT!” he roared, shooting to his feet.
Sookie and I both stood up in unison, but she was the one to shove him back down onto the couch, saying, “Then tell me what the fuck you’re hiding. Bud must’ve had more of a reason to suspect you if all you did was fuck her the night before.”
“That is all he has,” he said dejectedly.
His eyes were back on his lap, but Sookie wasn’t buying his protests and prodded him on with, “But…”
Jason buried his face into his hands and didn’t bother to remove them as he mumbled out an incoherent response.
“Adipshitsayswhat?” Sookie asked softly, leaning in towards Jason.
“What?” he asked, as he finally let his hands drop so he could look back at her.
The corners of Sookie’s mouth turned slightly upwards as she repeated, slower and louder this time, “A dipshit says ‘what?’”
Jason’s eyes were the first to relax hearing her little joke and the rest of him quickly followed when Sookie wrapped her arms around him, saying, “I love you big brother. You can tell me anything and I’ll still love you. I want to help you, but I can’t unless you tell me what it is you’re still hiding.”
“She taped it,” he admitted into her shoulder.
Sookie seemed reluctant to let go of him, but her eyes shot over to me as she asked, “Taped what?”
“It,” he replied noncommittally.
By our expressions, we both know what it was and rather than dwell on it, Sookie moved on and asked, “Why does that matter? A lot of people record themselves.” I could see Jason tense up again and Sookie no doubt felt it since they were still hugging, so she joked, “Are you worried someone’s gonna see it and know you weren’t on your game that night?”
I waited to see him relax again like he had with her earlier joke, but he only tensed up more which made her ask, “What is it? What’s on that tape you’re worried someone’s gonna see?”
Sookie couldn’t see Jason’s face since they were hugging, but I could make out his expression and watched it change into resignation right before he pulled away from and said, “It was the first time we’d ever hooked up, but I knew from a couple a the guys that she was into some kinky shit.” He paused for long enough that Sookie got antsy and started gesturing with her hands for him to continue. He sighed and looked at the wall away from Sookie, admitting, “She liked to get choked. Said it was like the fuckin’ bees knees in gettin’ off, so when they finish searchin’ her place, they’re gonna have video of me doing the same fuckin’ thing to her that killed her.”
I could understand his concern, but I really didn’t see what the big deal was and offered, “But that doesn’t mean anything. She was obviously still alive after that and had apparently shared her desires with more than just you if you’d heard about it, so what would your motive be to kill her?”
I thought if anything they’d be grasping at straws if they tried to use that to convict Jason of any crime, but Sookie shook her head, saying, “It’s not a slam dunk and I doubt any respectable prosecutor would jump on it, but if Bud manages to somehow get charges to stick and Jason has to go before a jury; if they see him doing the same thing that killed her it could be enough to sway them. Bud could go the other route and instead of Jason killing her in a jealous rage, he went to the Grab-it Kwik and just killed her to get off.” She looked even more worried and leaned her head back on the couch, asking no one in particular, “How many times have you seen innocent people get out of prison years later when new evidence comes to light?”
As if she’d read my mind, I heard her whisper, “One is too many.”
I’d compared Sookie’s presence to actual sunshine the very first day I’d met her, but looking at her now, worried for her brother’s freedom, it had dimmed. Seeing her like that made my chest ache and it was all it took for me to vow to find some way to help her. The question was…