Hallo! Did you miss me? Or is this the first time you're reading one of my stories? Either way, thanks for stopping by to check this one out!
This is a translation of my Polish story, "Więcej grzechów nie pamiętam", but I changed the title, since it's not easy to find a good English equivalent of the phrase (if you're curious what the original title means, PM me ;) ).
Breathesgirl agreed to be my Beta again, so you can thank her for the smooth transition into readable English :)
About the story:
It starts at the end of the book 4 and it toys idea of a different outcome of breaking Marnie's spell. I know there are many stories that pick up at this point, but I hope that I managed to come up with something original. It sticks close to the canon, so expect spoilers for the first five books. Also, it's rated M for later (for both sex and violence, and some swearing, I think). It is definitely a Sookie/Eric story, but just so you know, it's a slow-burn, so it'll take them some time to get closer, especially since the beginning is not exactly smooth... but that's for you to find out why.
See you at the bottom!
Disclaimer: Sorry... what rights? I'm afraid I don't remember selling any rights. You see, there was this witch...
The day was dark and gloomy. My first thought upon waking was that I should turn on the radio and see if there was a snowstorm coming. For a moment I tried to concentrate on a fleeting image from my dream but I couldn't get hold of it. The only thing I knew was that I'd been dreaming about something very intensely but the memory of the dream itself disappeared with my returning consciousness. I groaned out loud and stretched. I had slept a long time – just how long, I realized only when my eyes fell on the alarm clock and I saw that it was already four P.M. I sat up quickly.
How is it possible that I didn't wake up earlier? - I thought.
Sure, it was a New Year and I had spent the previous night on my feet at Merlotte's, but still, I was surprised. I must have been more tired than I thought.
I wasn't about to waste any more time. Luckily, I didn't have to go to work – a shift on New Year's Eve meant that I had the following day off.
I grabbed some comfortable old clothes and went to the bathroom to take a quick shower. I was strangely sore. My muscles were tired, as if I'd worked out the previous day. I thought that the hot water would do me some good. So far I remained in blissful ignorance. It was only when I undressed that I saw the first sign that something was not quite right.
I had a few bruises which I had no idea where they came from but they were not what caused me to break into a cold sweat.
On my shoulder. On my chest. The next two, less visible, in the groin. They were faint, clearly closed and mostly healed, but they looked pretty fresh.
I stood there in the shower, transfixed by the sight . My temples throbbed frantically. How did it happen? I have not been with any vampire since Bill. Was it possible that I got drunk after work and did something unspeakably stupid, like stopping by my ex's place and sleeping with him? Or maybe it was him who visited me? Was that where my bruises came from? But Bill was supposed to be in Peru, and I have never drunk so much that I would not remember a thing! Could it be that vampires had finally discovered a way to glamour me?
I earnestly tried to remember what happened last night, and I realized that I didn't remember going to bed. The last thing I could recall was the drive back home from Merlotte's. At that time I was definitely still sober.
Finally I pulled myself out of my thoughts and, not knowing what else to I do, I finished my shower and got myself dressed quickly, ignoring the foreboding feeling that was threatening to take me over .
A strong, chemical smell of cleaning products hit me when I entered the kitchen. The room was squeaky clean. I furrowed my eyebrows. I wasn't a slob but I didn't remember scrubbing it so thoroughly lately. Did I have a drunken cleaning fit? That, at least, would be more preferable.
I let the coffee brew and made myself some breakfast.
My hand stilled midair when I reached to my new calendar – that I also didn't remember putting on the wall, by the way – and saw the date. It read 4th January. The word of the day was 'annihilation'. How fitting – my memories of last night apparently got annihilated. I must have accidentally removed a few cards together instead of just one, too. What was wrong with me last night?
I turned on the radio hoping to catch some news about the weather but when the speaker's words registered with me my heart skipped a beat. He said: 'January the 5th.' The fifth.
I misheard him.
I run to switch on the TV to confirm that it was some kind of a mistake but the guy in a newsroom used the same date. I plopped heavily onto the couch. I couldn't believe that I lost five days! How was it possible? I would have thought that someone was playing tricks on me, but it was unlikely that they (whoever it was) would be able to talk a nationwide TV station into cooperating for the sole purpose of playing a prank on me.
I had to try one more thing to check if I wasn't experiencing some weird hallucinations. I grabbed the phone. The first one who came to my mind was Jason, but he didn't pick up, so I called Sam.
"Hi, Cher," he greeted me warmly. "I was just thinking about calling you to make sure that you're okay. How are you? Did everything go according to plan?"
I took a deep breath. Something was up after all, and it seemed like Sam knew that there was something going on. I had no idea what plan he was talking about. It looked like I had not dropped off the face of the Earth and had been up and around for the last few days, apparently getting myself involved in some vampire shit. Damn it.
"I'm fine," I reassured him, wondering what was it about my supposed plans that got Sam concerned. "Sam, I have a few questions and I'd definitely like to talk to you later, but for now I really need you to tell me one thing: what's today's date?"
I was met with a few seconds of stunned silence.
"January the 5th" was Sam's answer when he recovered. Then, probably looking for some logical explanation of my question, he quickly added: "You were supposed to work the evening shift tonight, but if you can't make it…"
"No! No, it's okay, I'll be there."
I wanted to see him and find out if he could be any help to me in explaining what happened to me but this was not a conversation I wanted to have over the phone.
"Sookie, did something happen?"
"I don't know yet," I said frankly and then hung up.
For a moment I sat in the kitchen trying to gather my thoughts. I had to face the facts: for some reason a few days in my life were missing. The most urgent matter was to determine what had happened during these days. The next time I got up I did so with a purpose. I walked through the whole house inspecting it carefully and searching for the signs that would help me solve this riddle.
I noticed a few alarming things. The front door looked like somebody had broken in recently. Someone had strengthened it with a few nails so that they held on, but it was clearly just a temporary fix. I also found a man's coat on the rack – mine, on the other hand, was missing. Was I involved in some incident, lose my coat in the process and borrowed someone's else clothing? Whose? The only thing I could tell about the coat's owner was that it belonged to someone tall. Upon further inspection I found Jason's shotgun (it looked used!) near the coat-rack and a small stash of True Blood in my fridge. Whatever I'd been up to it definitely involved vampires. However, the most disturbing discovery awaited me in the last room I checked – the laundry room. I almost didn't notice it at first, but I saw that my washing machine was full of unloaded, clean laundry and I decided to take care of it.
The contents of the washer solved the mystery of my missing coat – it was there, torn and stained with the badly washed blood.
Something happened. Something bad. Something brutal, including physical violence and casualties, or at least injuries. I knew that the blood wasn't mine because I was fine. It looked like I'd been in a fight. Maybe someone killed a vampire near me again, like when Long Shadow's pieces exploded onto me? What if it was one my friends who died? Was it the same person I kept True Blood for in my fridge? Maybe I hit my head really hard and that was why I didn't remember? Maybe I was just in shock and my mind was repressing some horrible truth?
Suddenly I thought of one more possibility – if my coat wasn't, in fact, missing, then why was this other coat on the rack? What if its owner was still in the house?
I did a quick mental scan and immediately found a void in the hidey-hole in the guest room.
There was a vampire in my closet.
I glanced at the windows. I could tell that dusk would come quicker that usual because of the heavy clouds, which meant that my guest would be up soon – by my estimation I had less than the hour. I was nervous about the fact that I didn't know who this person was. I thought about the vampires that had invitations to my home and made a short list with only two names on it: Pam and Bubba. Neither of them had ever bitten me though, and I seriously doubted I'd ever let them bite me in the places some of the fangmarks were, no matter what my state of mind was. Not that any of that even really mattered considering that I could have invited someone in during the time I didn't remember. I just really hoped it wasn't Bill since that would make me feel like a pushover.
Once again I looked at the sky then checked the time and I made a quick decision.
I had enough unknowns as it was. If there was an enemy in my closet, I'd rather know before he could wake up, so that I had any chance to defend myself. I wanted to at least know if it was a stranger or someone I knew. I drew the curtains on the windows and slipped inside the closet, leaving the door only cracked behind me in order to keep most of the light outside. I switched on the flashlight and squeezed myself into the tiny space to open the trapdoor to take a peek with some difficulty.
I gasped and covered my mouth with my hand.
"Eric," I whispered.
My heart was thumping like a jackhammer but he didn't even as much as twitch. I looked for a few more seconds at his still, calm face before quietly lowering the trapdoor and then closing the closet door behind me. I even walked out of the room and to the kitchen. My reaction was partly caused by my need to somehow escape the situation and put some distance between us.
Eric. Why? How? What was he doing here? Was he the one who bit me? Did it mean that…
Reluctantly I had to admit that it was one thing that actually wouldn't be so surprising out of everything that I had discovered so far. On the purely physical level Eric was every woman's dream and even though I knew very well why it wasn't a good idea, I knew how great the temptation was too, and keeping in mind some events from Jackson, I also realized that where it came to Eric, I was prone to moments of weakness.
The thought of what might have happened made me nervous in an entirely new way. Still, I couldn't help but feel slightly relieved – at least it wasn't Bill. I might have been irrational, but for some reason I didn't feel as pathetic as I would have if it had turned out that I was hiding that cheating asshole in my closet.
A small part of me was also pissed and disappointed – if I did sleep with Eric, I could at least remember it!
Then I froze at the thought what kind of power Eric could gain over me depending on whatever happened during these few days and I didn't remember.
I changed into my work clothes, all the time anxiously waiting for Eric to rise. Finally at half past five I heard a movement in the guest bedroom and, not able to wait any longer, I knocked on the door.
Eric was sitting on the bed with his face hid in hands.
"Eric?" I called unsurely.
He looked up at me.
"Sookie," he said. "I remember. I remember everything."
He seemed shaken.
"Well, that's just peachy," I shot back. "You'll have to tell me what happened here then. You see, I don't remember anything."
Oh yes, I did! ;)
So, now I can tell you that the idea of this story originates from the question what would have happened if it was Eric who was left with all the memories of what had happened between him and Sookie and had to deal with the aftermath of the amnesia storyline on his own? Would he do any better than Sookie?
Let me know what you think!
Next time (see? I actually know what happens next ;) ! ) Sookie learns some surprising news.
Well, surprising for her, probably not as much for you ;)