Step 1: We admitted we were powerless over our addiction – that our lives had become unmanageable.
“What are you doing?”
The suddenness of Sam’s arrival, along with the unexpected sound of his voice in her ear, made Sookie leap up in her seat and slam the laptop closed, while she let out a harsh, “Geez! Quit sneaking up on me! You nearly gave me a heart attack!”
“So,” he replied.
The way he’d said it made her wonder if she could pick a fight based on his one word response before he could pick a fight based on his still unanswered question.
But she didn’t get the chance to pick anything, hearing him repeat, “What are you doing?”
“Nothing,” she lied, silently thankful she was the only telepath in the room.
“Didn’t look like nothing,” he challenged. “In fact, it looked like you were searching for something to do with him.”
The way he’d spat out the pronoun her former lover had been relegated to in the weeks following their divorce made Sookie even more agitated.
Both from Sam’s attitude and his 20/20 eyesight.
She briefly wondered if he ever shifted into a hawk.
But instead of asking him that, she mustered up her own amount of indignation and denied the fact she had been doing that very thing, by saying, “I wasn’t. I was just looking up some new recipes for tomatoes.”
“Ugh,” he muttered under his breath. “I’m sick of tomatoes.”
So was she, but she wasn’t about to admit that to him.
Just like she wasn’t going to admit to anything else she might have been doing online and only said, “Too bad. I just picked a bunch from the garden this morning, so we’re having tomato soup for dinner.”
“Again?” he questioned, not bothering to hide his disdain. “I’m a carnivore, Sookie. I need to eat meat.”
“Whatever,” she said with an eye roll, thinking of at least one kind of meat he didn’t seem all that interested in eating.
The seal sex had gotten old pretty damn quick.
As for herself, secretly she was dying for a nice juicy burger, but there were so many damn tomatoes, she knew they needed to eat them before they went bad. She’d already unloaded countless bushels to all of their friends, but even they were sick of them now too.
She really wished she’d never started growing the damn things.
But – like her Google search history – she wasn’t about to admit that to Sam and snarked, “You can chase down a few rabbits or squirrels on the next full moon.”
“Whatever,” he growled back at her before storming out of the house and back to his one true love.
She’d found herself home alone more often than not anymore and in the deepest darkest recesses of her soul – and her internet browser history – she knew what was really bothering her.
She missed him – the pronoun formerly known as Eric.
But it wasn’t just him. She also missed the excitement in her life that had gone away when the undead had left hers alone. But she knew it wasn’t normal, which was what she’d wanted to be.
At least, she’d thought so.
But maybe the grass wasn’t always greener…
Sookie had basically given up on living – not life itself – but going out and into the land of the living. She stayed home all of the time, Googling him in the hopes someone somewhere would have something to say about him.
Her once tidy house was now a mess. She had laundry piled up the wazoo and yet she didn’t give a damn.
But if anyone with hawk-like eyesight had anything to say about it, she would be quick to tell them what Scarlett O’Hara would have said about that.
Step 2: We came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
Sookie dawdled around the display of pamphlets at the rear of the church, following the Sunday service, hoping to get to speak to the pastor alone. She knew she needed help – she’d damn near needed the help of a weedwacker to cut through the overgrowth of hair on her legs that very morning – so she was hoping for a little bit of spiritual guidance.
And if the reverend couldn’t offer that, then maybe he had some guidance to give on the proper oil to gas ratio for the weedwacker.
She never could remember what it was supposed to be.
While she knew that Steve Newlin wasn’t someone anyone should’ve looked up to – he’d had an overabundance of nuts up in that bar he called a head – she was curious about what the local reverend would have to say about the undead.
And those who constantly Googled them.
“Sookie?” she heard over her shoulder and spun around to see the man who had been leading their Sunday services for as long as she could remember staring back at her. “I was glad to see you at today’s service. We haven’t seen you in quite some time, but we got the tomatoes you left for us.”
She watched as his eyes widened in a way that told her if he never saw another tomato it would be too soon.
Amen to that, brother.
But she didn’t have the time or the balls to tell him what Scarlett would have to say about that and only said dismissively, “Yeah, yeah. Been busy in the garden. Weedwacking. You know, the usual. So, tell me reverend, what do you think about vampires?”
“Vampires?” he questioned, looking like she’d offered him another bushel of tomatoes.
“Vampires,” she repeated more harshly. “You know, the undead who walk among us. Abominations? Or one of God’s creatures?”
“My dear,” he offered in a gentler tone than she’d just used, making her feel even guiltier than her Google search history. “Is something bothering you? I thought you were seeing Sam now.”
The way he’d said Sam’s name was in a way that it was obvious – to him, at least – that she’d made the right choice in beaus.
But what the reverend didn’t know was that Sam could choose what animal he wanted to shift into once a month.
It made her wonder what the reverend would have to say if she’d asked him a question similar to her last that had to do with Sam.
Cats or dogs?
But looking at him, she decided he was likely a canary person and avoided it altogether, instead denying, “There’s nothing wrong. I was just asking for your opinion.”
“I’m afraid there is no right or wrong answer,” he finally replied. But perhaps it was seeing her angry kitten face starting to form, that made him quick to explain, “That is for the individual to figure out for themselves.”
All his explanation did was give Sookie an idea of who she would unload her next batch of tomatoes on until he went on to say, “Look at it like this. Jesus could turn water into wine. And while some people are fine with merely consuming a glass or two, there are those who would glutton themselves on it to their own detriment.”
“So if someone,” he began, eying Sookie like the word was synonymous with her name, “thought their involvement with vampires was unhealthy for them personally, then perhaps there are others who have felt the same way and can help to guide them towards a fang-free lifestyle.”
Sookie idly thought the reverend would make a good politician, being so adept at answering a question without really answering it at all. But as she made her way back home, her mind went from plotting how many tomatoes she would be leaving on his doorstep to what he’d said.
Others who have felt the same way…
Guiding others towards a fang-free lifestyle…
She nearly ran her car into a ditch when the lightbulb appeared over her head.
She’d been so busy Googling Eric, et al, that she never once considered searching for what she was sure she truly needed.
Wine wasn’t her vice.
And maybe tomatoes.
But surely there was a Fangbangers Anonymous somewhere that could help her.
Step 3: We made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
Sookie forced herself to wait until the next full moon to do her next search. The last thing she needed was Sam and his hawk-like eyes catching her at what she’d been denying for weeks now. Instead, she busied herself with canning tomatoes, knowing the scent alone was enough to keep Sam and his seal-slapping self away from her.
When the night finally came, Sookie gave Sam a halfhearted, “Enjoy your squirrel dinner,” before he left the house for his run and then ran over to her laptop the moment she could sense he was no longer nearby.
Pulling up her trusty Google search engine, she began to type what she was seeking. Ignoring the suggestions Google gave her when she hit the ‘F’ key – having already learned all there was she needed to know (and some things that she didn’t want to know) about ‘Fucking Eric Northman’ – she continued on and then finally pressed the enter key.
But while she found exactly what she’d been searching for, she quickly found it wasn’t exactly what she’d been searching for.
The thought alone made her feel a bit like a pastor turned politician.
But she ignored it – because Sookie was an old pro at ignoring things – and began clicking away at the numerous options the Fangbangers Anonymous website had to offer. What she had first thought were profiles of people who had overcome their unhealthy obsession with the fanged crowd, she soon learned the exact opposite was true.
These people were decidedly pro-vampires. So pro they’d even started writing stories about them.
Them and her.
Clicking on one, she began to read and admittedly, she felt a little violated seeing how others portrayed her.
She wasn’t that bratty.
So she stuck her tongue out at the screen and gave it the double bird before stalking out of the room.
Step 4: We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
After she’d eaten her weight in ice cream, Sookie picked up the laptop from where she’d tossed it on the couch and did what any red-blooded woman would do.
She tortured herself with the opinions of others.
But the more she read, the more that feeling soon morphed into feeding her ego, which was far fewer calories than Ben and Jerry had to offer her.
These people actually liked her with Eric. And sometimes even with some guy named Godric, whoever in the hell that was.
In fact, she hadn’t been the only one to compare sex with Sam to seal sex and she made sure to bookmark the page, so she could show it to him the next time he had something to say about her tomatoes getting overripe.
But page after page – story after story – showed her that there were people out there who thought she would have been right to stay with Eric. How great her life could have been had she made a different choice.
How stupid it was for her to be gifted with the essential spark – to be a descendant of Fae royalty – and do absolutely nothing with it.
And maybe they were right.
The fact she’d turned into Google’s bitch over the last few weeks was proof that she hadn’t let go of her feelings for Eric.
So maybe being a normal human was never meant to be in the cards for her.
Step 5: We admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
“What in the effin’ hell do you mean that maybe you shoulda stuck with Eric?”
Hearing her brother’s words, she tossed one of the tomatoes in her arms at him and smiled, seeing it splat all over his chest.
They were definitely past their prime, since she had let the garden fall by the wayside, as she tried to figure out a way out of the mess she’d made by using the Cluviel Dor to save Sam.
What in the effin’ hell had she been thinking?
“I mean maybe saving Sam with the magical fairy doohickey hadn’t been a smart choice,” she answered, ignoring the Eric in his line of questioning. “What in the hell did he ever do for me?”
At least Eric had given her a new coat when she’d needed one.
He’d had her driveway re-graveled.
Hell, he’d even gone so far as to dress up like the love child of Liberace and Elton John to accompany her to an orgy.
Surely that alone was enough for her to have used the magical doohickey to save him from a vamp marriage he’d wanted no part of.
All Sam had given her was a hellacious flea infestation, which was why she was outside now, with nothing better to do than rip out her dead tomato garden, while the deadly foggers filled her house, making it look like The Addams Family homestead on Halloween.
She giggled to herself imagining the look on Eric’s face if Mortimer “Grandpa” Addams had turned up at his Dracula party.
But the sound of her brother’s voice stopped her mid-mental-snap in the theme song now playing through her head when he asked, “Where’s all this comin’ from?”
“Reflection,” she replied, unwilling to tell him about the Fangbangers Anonymous website.
The last thing she needed was her brother going on there and reading what amounted to porn between her and Eric.
But that thought led her to making a mental note to never check Jason’s internet search history.
“Whaddya mean?” he asked, scratching his head and in the process, giving himself a tomato paste half-mohawk. “Them vampers cain’t see their selves in a mirror?”
Shaking her head, she nearly told him that he should look in one, but decided against it and only said, “I mean I’ve been thinkin’ about things and I spent a lot of time with Eric. Like a lot a lot of time, so don’t you think it’s kinda lame that I just threw all of that away for some guy I only felt things for because of a magical doohickey?”
“But vampires’re bad for ya, sis,” he offered in a brotherly listen-to-me-‘cause-I-know-what-I’m-talkin’-about kind of way.
But having listened to her brother for the entirety of her life – even when she really wished she hadn’t – she knew exactly how to get her point across to him in a way that he would understand.
“Sex with Sam is awful.”
Locking eyes with her in the next moment, Jason nodded and said, “Dump him.”
Step 6: We were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
“What do you mean, we’re through?” Sam asked, eying his belongings now piled up in the front yard.
“I mean, it was…” Sookie began, but couldn’t bring herself to lie to him. So she switched it up to, “The thought of you and me together was nice for a while, but the magic is gone. Literally. We both know the fairy doohickey is what caused us to be together, but it’s worn off.”
“You know that’s not true,” he argued back. “You and me have always been meant to be together. Why else would you have used the fairy thing to save me?”
“Because I’m not known for thinking things through!” she yelled back.
She even had a plethora of fanfiction stories to back her up.
“You don’t mean it,” he sighed, running his hands through his hair, while slowly shaking his head. “I’m gonna head to the bar and give you time to really think about this. When you’re ready to admit you’re wrong, you know where to find me.”
With those parting words, Sam climbed back into his pickup and drove off, spraying her beautiful Eric-gravel all over the yard.
She could only shake her head, while she reached for her phone and when he picked up, she said, “Reverend? I’ve got a whole bunch of stuff to donate to the church sitting out in front of my house. Can you come and pick it up?”
Step 7: We humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
“Sookie,” he greeted in his usual jovial way. “How are you my dear?”
Looking back at the portly demon lawyer, she briefly wondered if she was literally making a deal with the Devil. But then she remembered that Copley Carmichael had already claimed that plotline and pushed ahead saying, “I need your help.”
“Oh?” he questioned. “Are you ready for me to take your telepathy away?”
“What?” she squawked back and quickly added, “No! And how in the hell can you even do that when my great-grandfather said it can’t be done?”
“There is no continuity,” he offered sadly, shaking his head in disappointment. But seeing her what-the-fuck look, he explained, “Between realms.”
Then gesturing for her to take a seat, he changed the subject by asking, “What kind of help are you seeking?”
“I want Eric back,” she replied, trying to sound fairy princess-y, but in reality sounded more like a Kardashian.
“Want in one hand…” he muttered, with a small shake of his head. But seeing the look in her eyes, he realized he’d said his thought out loud and said, “I’m afraid the Northman now belongs to the Queen of Oklahoma.”
“That Okie bitch can go to hell!” Sookie fumed. “Eric was my husband first!”
“Have you seen the movie The First Wives Club?” he asked with a smile. “It was quite amusing.”
Thinking of another Goldie Hawn movie, Sookie eyed him in a way that made a shiver run down his spine, saying, “I’ve also seen Death Becomes Her. Freyda becoming finally dead is just fine by me.”
“What you are speaking of is treason,” he whispered, with his eyes darting back and forth, reminding her of a Kit Cat Clock.
Fed up with his I-can’t-help-you attitude, Sookie stood up and stomped her foot, shouting, “I’m a fairy princess! That has to count for something!”
Story after story had her “coming into her powers”. Shooting the equivalent of fireballs from the palms of her hands.
So why was she stuck being such a lame version of herself?
“Perhaps,” the portly Kit Cataliades Clock lawyer offered. “It could mean something, but only if you are willing to change your mindset. Do away with what some would consider a character flaw.”
Having already gotten rid of Sam, she couldn’t imagine what other character flaw he was talking about, so she dismissively waved her hand at him and huffed, “Quit talking in circles and just spit it out already.”
Step 8: We made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
“This is stupid,” she grumbled, eying the blank page in front of her, while trying to come up with a list of people she’d harmed in some way with her righteous attitude.
The sound of the ruler slapping down onto the desk made her jump sky high and she gave Kit Cataliades the stink-eye, while he said, “This shouldn’t be that difficult.”
Sookie would beg to differ.
She was also hungry and willing to beg for a sandwich (no tomatoes!), but instead she thought to stall the inevitable by asking for the umpteenth time, “What does doing this have to do with getting Eric back?”
“You going up against an entire state all alone is sheer folly,” he explained.
“You need allies,” he added. “You need those who are willing to stand with you to get the Northman back from Oklahoma’s clutches.”
“I have lots of friends,” she argued back, gnawing on the pencil in her hand out of hunger. “They all showed up at the end of the last brouhaha thingy with Copley Carmichael and the Devil.”
“That was just odd,” he mused aloud. “Completely out of character. They were likely under some sort of mob mentality spell.”
Hearing his lame explanation for the just as lame appearance of all of her “friends”, Sookie sat up straight and said, “That’s it! What if we find a witch to put Freyda under a spell?”
Surely Amelia could at least turn her into a cat.
Glancing back at Sookie – and honestly, tired of all of her hemming and hawing – the demon lawyer shrugged his shoulders and agreed, “It’s worth a shot.”
Step 9: We made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except even when to do so would injure them or others.
Holding the hissing cat formerly known as the Queen of Oklahoma by the scruff of her neck, a triumphant Sookie cooed, “Oh, I’m sorry. But you’re not the type of pussy Eric goes for.”
Then shoving the royal feline into the burlap sack already filled with rocks, Sookie tied it shut and promptly tossed it over the bridge, with a “That’ll teach ya.”
Step 10: We continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.
Staring up at a still dumbfounded – and cat hair covered – Eric, Sookie found herself feeling inexplicably shy.
So she appeared to be speaking to her shuffling feet when she softly offered, “So…maybe I should have used the magical doohickey to save you instead of Sam.”
Tilting her head up by her chin, he could only shake his head before giving her a small exasperated smile and ask, “Ya think?”
Step 11: We sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God – as we understood Him – praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
“Oh my God! Don’t stop!” she chanted, letting Eric have complete control over her body.
He always did love to be in control.
“Better than seal sex?” he grinned, thrusting so hard and so fast she was sure she’d end up on the other side of the box spring.
So. Worth. It.
“Don’t ruin the mood,” she huffed, more from trying to catch her breath than anything else when they were lying in a post coital bliss.
“How can I when the lingering odor of Raid flea fogger is doing that just fine on its own?” he asked with his face twisted up, purposely not breathing any air into his lungs.
She ignored his jibe, while getting up to open a window and when she returned to the bed, Eric traced invisible patterns across her bare back with his fingertip, before saying, “Tell me more about this website.”
“Like your head isn’t big enough,” she snorted. “Never you mind about that website. Just be thankful that I found it and happened to agree with them.”
“But Bill was made a king?” he asked with his own snort, unwilling to let that one slide.
“Don’t look at me,” she giggled. “He’s no Prince William and I’m sure he doesn’t even own a pair of khaki Dockers.”
“You said he has made a child in some of these stories?” he asked and added, “A ginger haired girl?”
At her nod, he wondered aloud, “Perhaps she is Prince Harry.”
“Perhaps,” she agreed and then crawled on top of him, adding, “But this is our wedding night and you have other things you should be doing.”
“Do tell,” he smiled.
But she didn’t tell him anything.
Instead, she showed him.
Step 12: Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to fangbangers, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
“What are you doing?”
She’d been tracking Eric’s bubble ever since he’d risen for the night – not the only difference in her relationships between him and Sam – so she wasn’t scared to the high heavens by the suddenness of his arrival.
Nor was she afraid to let him see what was on her laptop and kept it open, answering, “I thought I’d give writing my own story a try.”
“Reaalllyy…” he purred into her ear, liking the idea of his Sookie telling the world how much she adored him.
But reading the first few lines, he became confused – and jealous – asking, “Lover, who is this Godric and why do you feel so drawn to him?”
“Don’t worry,” she smiled, both from the jealousy in his voice and – in fiction, at least – the idea she could give him a Maker he actually deserved. “You like him too.”