A/N: This piece takes place sometime after From Dead to Worse. It's just a conversation I wishthey'd had. I guess you could say I'm still mad at Bill about the whole Selah thing!
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters or stories from The Southern Vampire series. That distinction belongs to Charlaine Harris. I just borrow them because I love them so much!
I pulled my car around the house and parked by the back door. All the lights were out as I tiptoed inside, and I cast out a mental net, hoping my roommates were asleep. It had been a busy night at Merlotte's and I was dead on my feet. Octavia usually went to bed early, so it was rare that I saw her on nights that I worked this late, but Amelia sometimes waited up for me. I loved her, but I was in no mood for an hour long chat session tonight. Relieved to detect no conscious brain activity, I made my way down the hallway to my bedroom.
The big bed looked more inviting than usual, but after nine hours of running around, slinging beer and burgers, I felt like I'd been dipped in the fryer myself. It would have been downright sinful to crawl between those clean sheets without a shower. I slumped down in the chair for a moment, trying to muster up what little energy I had left, then trudged to my dresser and grabbed the first t-shirt I saw.
I tried to make quick work of my shower, but the hot water made that impossible. After I'd washed my hair and scrubbed every trace of my workday away, I kept finding excuses to linger. Exfoliating scrub, shaving, deep hair conditioning. I only conceded when it became clear I'd used up all the hot water, a realization that had me hopping out more quickly than I'd moved since I'd left work. I dried off, wrapped my hair in a towel, and threw on the t-shirt. Fangtasia. Well, that just figures.
I was sitting on the edge of my bed, combing the tangles out of my hair and looking forward to collapsing onto my pillow when my mind picked up something outside. It wasn't a noise or a thought. Rather it was an emptiness. Vampire.
Of the vampires I knew, only three were the type to drop by. Eric, the sheriff of Area Five, was no stranger to my home, but his visits were usually preceded by hints that bordered on sexual harassment. Well, actually they were sexual harassment, but apparently vampire society didn't have any regulations against that kind of behavior. And if I was being honest, I hadn't always minded Eric's advances. In any case, I would have known if it was him since we were now blood bonded (long story).
Pam, his second in command, had also been known to drop by a time or two, but that was only at Eric's insistence or to see Amelia (they'd had a fling). Since Amelia was now seeing Tray, and she happened to be sleeping rather soundly upstairs, I doubted it was Pam strolling through my yard.
That meant that unless I was being stalked by yet another supernatural being out to kidnap or kill me, it could only be one person...well, vampire. Bill, my lying, cheating ex-boyfriend. Right on cue, I heard the knock on my front door.
I wasn't the least bit surprised to see Bill standing on my porch. He, however, did look surprised, as if he expected someone else to be answering my door.
"Hello, Bill," I said, sounding every bit as tired as I felt.
"Good evening, Sookie. Did I wake you?"
"No, but I do need to get to bed."
"Of course," he said, looking disappointed. "I am sorry to have disturbed you."
As tired as I was, and as mad as I wanted to be at him for everything he'd ever done to me, I couldn't let him walk away looking so sad.
"It's fine, Bill. What did you need?"
"I was just hoping we could talk."
What was it about vampires and the need to talk about everything? Eric still wanted to talk to me about his recovered memories of his time with me. Thankfully, it had been a couple of months since he'd said that, and I had yet to hear from him. It had been much longer since the string of events Bill wanted to talk about, but they had been horribly painful, and I had honestly hoped we could just leave it in the past. But it was clear he was never going to give up.
"Okay, fine. But you need to know now that this won't change anything," I said, stepping out onto the porch. "I'll listen because you need closure or something. But nothing you can say will take away what happened."
Hurt flashed across his eyes before he pulled his face into that steely unemotional expression that vampires were so good at. I usually found it annoying. This time it was just convenient, allowing me to pretend I didn't notice as I crossed to sit on the porch swing. And just to make my position perfectly clear, I sat in the middle of the wide seat, forcing Bill to take a chair facing me.
"Sookie..." he began, then he paused, as if looking for some kind of response from me. I tried to master that blank vampire expression, and he continued, "Sookie, you are alone now."
"Alone? I have Amelia and Octavia and plenty of others who care about me. How am I alone?"
"What I mean is you have no man...to care for you."
"I don't need a man to care for me as you put it. And besides, I don't see how that's any of your business." In fact, it seemed my life was much easier when no men, dead or living, were involved.
"Sookie, I know I cannot change what happened. If I could, even if it cost me my life, I would. I have been unable to...get over you."
There was a time when those words would have done something to me. But a lot had happened since then. Maybe I'd healed. Maybe I'd grown up. Maybe I just couldn't get past the pain.
"You had no problem getting over me when Lorena called you. And you had no problem getting over me when Selah showed up."
"I had no control over Lorena's call. If I'd had a choice, I would have stayed here with you. The fact that you came after me, saved my life...I know that means something, Sookie."
"It means I didn't want you dead. It doesn't mean I want you back."
"You were jealous of Selah," he stated, as if that somehow helped matters.
"And you were jealous of Eric," I countered. I immediately regretted it.
"Yes, I was. And yet I still love you. I still want you. I don't care that Eric has had you. I want you to be mine again. You would not have been jealous of Selah if you did not want me as well."
"Is that how you see it? You think that flaunting another woman in front of me to make me jealous will make me come running?"
"No...not running. But I thought perhaps it would make you realize you still had feelings for me."
"Of course I have feelings for you. But for every bit of love I feel, there is also hate and anger and humiliation. And dragging that woman into Merlotte's every night did nothing but show me how much you didn't want me! Why would you do that, Bill?"
"I---" he started, reaching for my hand.
I yanked it away. "No, you don't get to make any more excuses! You gave me everything, and then you snatched it away. You left me for someone else. You thought leaving money for me would erase all the pain you caused. You nearly killed me in that trunk! And then, just when I started feeling like maybe we could be friends, like someday I might be able to get past the hurt and...I don't know...maybe work things out, you took up with Selah!"
"I did not take upwith Selah until after you kissed the shifter."
"That was a mistake! And one that you weren't supposed to see! And it stopped there. I didn't start kissing Sam every time I saw you, did I?"
"Yet you brought Selah into Merlotte's every day! Just so that I would see you with her! Did you think that hurting me on a daily basis was going to win me back?" How stupid and desperate did he think I was?
"It was not my intention to hurt you, Sookie."
"Well, you know what they say about good intentions, Bill."
He looked defeated. I looked like I was about to cry---which I was if I didn't pull myself together.
"I am sorry to have bothered you," he said, and in an instant, he was gone, a cool breeze left in his wake.
I was furious...and sad...and relieved. Now how was I supposed to get any sleep?
After finishing this little one-shot, I couldn't get some things out of my head. Soooooo....there's a sort of continuation now, "Undone," a multi-chapter fic that picks up some time after this conversation.