A/N: Thanks to the gals on the Eric/Sookieverse thread for their help with my flower inquiries. I don't think I have ever mentioned them in an authors note. You girls all rock! As do my wiki sisters, of course!
As always, thanks to my BETA queen FDM. If she doesn't know how much I love her by now, well…I'm sure she does! And after that hot ass update from the Professor for my birthday on Monday, she's certainly solidified her love for me! Than meant a lot!
I thought I would have no problem sleeping that night. I was dead tired, and more than ready for sleep to take me away when I finally pulled the covers over my body. But sleep didn't come fast enough. I lay in bed for what must have been an hour or more, with thoughts of Bill penetrating my mind. It wasn't just the fact that we had broken up again, but his inauspicious words, that wouldn't let my brain shut down. I wasn't sure why, but I had a feeling of foreboding in the pit of my stomach, that said something bad was going to happen in New York.
By the time I fell asleep, my brain was too riddled with dark thoughts to allow for pleasant dreams.
The first dream came by way of fire. Not the pit of hell fire that some bad dreams are made of, but by way of a burning building. I was back in Jasper's warehouse in Last Chance, only this time; it wasn't Jasper who held me captive. I can't explain how I knew that, but I knew it. Squinting, to keep as much smoke out of my eyes as possible, I saw a vaguely familiar figure lying on the ground at my feet. I couldn't tell through the smoke, but I was sure it was Bill. He wasn't moving. As I tried to reach my hand out to help him, that part of the dream ended.
The next thing I knew, I was no longer in the warehouse, but standing in front of an old brick building. No fire, no smoke, no noise. Looking around I saw that I was very obviously in a large city—New York City maybe? I wasn't sure, since my limited knowledge of the Big Apple came from books, television and cinema. But if this was New York City, there would surely be noise. And traffic. And people. But here, where I stood, there was nothing but silence. No cars honking. No people talking. Just nothing—and it was beyond unsettling.
When I awoke, my nightmare addled mind felt more tired than it had before I went to sleep. It was still early morning, and I didn't have to work until five, so I could have gone back to sleep for hours if I wanted. I didn't. The thought of returning to my nightmares was too good an incentive to stay awake. Of course, staying awake would make me analyze the dreams further, and that didn't sound appealing either.
Breakfast. When I was a child I had nightmares too—sometimes featuring my creepy uncle, sometimes featuring my parents dying—but no matter how bad they were, my Gran would always try to comfort me with breakfast the next morning. And that's what I would aim to do for myself.
By the time I was done cooking and had the table set; it was nearly covered with food. Steaming plates of flapjacks, country ham with gravy, thick cured bacon, grits, and steamy hot biscuits, waited to be eaten. What was I thinking? I was one woman, one woman amid a smorgasbord of carbs and calories. I'd do my best.
As I sat, forty-five minutes later at the table, digesting myself into a food coma, my doorbell rang. I peeked out the window by the front door, and saw a florist delivery truck parked in my driveway.
"Morning," I said as I opened the door, to see the delivery man holding an enormous bouquet of flowers.
"Good morning," the man said, "sign here please."
I signed, and then wondered how I was going to carry the bouquet inside the house without toppling over. It was that huge.
"Uh…thanks," I managed to say, as he shoved the vase—more like giant ceramic pot—forward. I managed to carry them inside the house, and set them on the coffee table.
Daisies, birds of paradise, summer hibiscus, and a plethora of other flowers I'd have been certain didn't belong in an arrangement together—yet managed to look beautiful anyway—sat before me. Pulling the card out of its holder, I held my breath as I opened it. It could only have been from one of two people, my once again ex-boyfriend, or the Viking who still called me lover.
Good morning lover, I hope you slept well.
The flowers should have arrived at 11 a.m.
You have one hour until your car arrives.
It really does not matter what you wear, so
long as you are comfortable.
Sam knows. You've been replaced
for the day.
I shook my head—Eric. I looked at the clock above the fireplace mantle. 11:02 a.m. I rolled my eyes, but was unable to stop my growing smile, as I leaned in toward the flowers. I closed my eyes for a moment, and took in the bouquet's wonderful aroma.
So, he actually did call Sam like he mentioned he wanted to the night before. I had written it off as all talk. I was surprised he had called Sam by his name, rather than his typical term of shifter, and then I figured that was obviously because he had to have someone from the florist scrawl the note. Shape-shifters were certainly not out of the closet like vampires.
I was going to a spa, which was evident, considering that was the other part of what I thought had been a hypothetical idea, and he had requested that I dress comfortably. I was still drained from Tahoe. Eric was right about that. I hadn't really had a good night's sleep, or a night home without something going on—witnessing Jasper in a g-string, going undercover in a stupid disguise to Fangtasia, and finally working a night from hell at Merlotte's, and then, a breakup—I needed this. Even if my brain was protesting the acceptance of Eric's offer, my body would most certainly welcome it.
An hour later, my kitchen was clean, and I was sitting on my couch wearing blue jeans, an old t-shirt, and tennis shoes. There was a knock on my door a few moments after I sat down on the couch to wait.
"Afternoon Miss Stackhouse," Albert said in his rich Southern accent, as I opened the door.
"Good afternoon Albert. It's good to see you again." Under far better circumstances. The last time Albert was sent to retrieve me, I was on a plane to Tahoe shortly after.
"You as well, Miss Stackhouse."
"You can just call me Sookie, Albert, I'm really much more down to earth than you probably realize." I said with a chuckle.
"Yes Miss Stack—I mean Sookie. Are you ready to go?"
"I guess so. Can you tell me where it is that I'm going?"
"Mr. Northman gave specific instructions not to tell you, said it's a surprise."
"Of course it is." I smiled, locked the front door to my house, and followed Albert to the car, climbing in after he opened the rear passenger side door for me. It was the same car he had picked me up in before, a very comfortable, black Lincoln Town Car.
On the drive to wherever we were headed, I drank half a bottle of chilled champagne, which was waiting for me in an ice bucket, along with a glass. Albert said Eric wanted me to be as relaxed as possible. He thought the champagne would help. I have to say, I welcomed it. Yes, it was barely past Noon—on a weekday—but you know the saying, it's five o'clock somewhere, right? Bottoms up!
We arrived at our destination, the Time Well Spent day spa in Shreveport, around 1:15, and a pretty, middle aged woman greeted us as Albert opened the door for me, and I exited the car.
The woman, who introduced herself as Darcy, immediately got to work explaining what I would be doing during my day at the spa. Some of the things she'd mentioned, like a facial peel and a mud mineral bath, I'd always wanted to experience. Others, like metaphysical treatments and gommage, I'd never so much as heard of, but I was more than willing to give a shot.
After several hours of various treatments, the last on the menu for the day was a rejuvenating mineral mud bath. It sounded…interesting, to say the least. Since there was really nothing else to do while sitting in silence, as I relaxed in the warm mud, I began thinking. Maybe I had been too harsh on Eric. I couldn't shake the idea that while, the Eric who stayed hidden with me while suffering from amnesia, and with whom I was more than intimate, wasn't exactly the same Eric now, I could no longer deny the generosity and thoughtfulness that he had in him, and that he was so freely giving to me now.
By the time Albert picked me up from the spa, it was well into the evening. I had lost nearly all track of time—massages, mud baths, and facial treatments, I learned, will do that to you—and it was nearly 6:30 p.m.
Whatever Eric's motives, if he had a motive, I appreciated him. I appreciated this day to alone. He had given me, if only for a short time, myself.
When I got home, I was somewhat surprised that Eric's car wasn't there. I'd be lying if I said a tinge of disappointment didn't flash across my face at that moment. I waved to Albert, who waited until I reached my front porch, before driving away.
It was when I began to put the key in the lock that I saw something out of the corner of my eye. A package with an envelope attached to it, sat on my Gran's old porch seat. I left my keys hanging in the door, retrieved the box, and turned to go back inside.
I placed it on the coffee table, next to the giant bouquet of flowers Eric had delivered to me, and grabbed the envelope from the top of the box. I figured it could only be from Eric. Maybe it was an extension to the already glorious day he had provided for me?
The note inside read simply:
I hope you had a great day to yourself.
Now, I hope you will spend your evening with me.
I opened the box, which had been tied with a simple satin ribbon. A dress. He bought me another dress. A second note fell out to the floor as I pulled the material from its box.
Will you be my date? Pick you up at nine.
The notes had been scrawled in his handwriting this time, unlike the flowers. I wondered how and when he had dropped the dress off for me, considering it had only been dark for an hour or so when I had gotten home, but I didn't dwell on it. Eric was capable of a lot of things that left me to question the hows. It was the why in this case, which I was more concerned with. And I had a feeling I knew why. I was being wooed; flowers, the spa, a dress…a date?
I had to admit, the idea of being wooed was new to me, and was certainly a different approach coming from a vampire, especially coming from Eric.
A/N: I know this was pretty much just a chapter of Sookie by herself, but hey…she needed it—and how sweet of Eric, right? I promise the next one will feature something much more exciting.
Now, how do I give my hubby a hint to send me to a spa?
*I. Do. Not. Own. The. Sookieverse. Characters.