Sookie was hot and sweaty when she awoke in the morning. She groaned and tried to kick the covers off, but realized she was laying on them and the reason for her warmth was her 6’5” bff snuggled up to her like she was a body pillow. She could see the bruises formed on his nose and on the side of his face by his ear. Poor Eric. He was such a good friend to her and she couldn’t help but feel guilty for letting him down these past few months.
She could smell breakfast cooking and her stomach rumbled. “Come on,” she nudged him. “Time to wake up.”
He mumbled something and flung his arm over his eyes to block out the light. “Ow!” He sat up quickly, gently touching his nose. “Shit!”
“Does it still hurt?” She got up and slid her feet into slippers.
“Well, it didn’t feel good getting smacked with my arm, that’s for sure. Man, this su- wait. Is that food I smell?” He quickly stood up and breathed in deeply. “Hey, my sniffer still works. What’s your mom cooking?”
“Dunno, let’s go find out!”
They bounded down the stairs and were greeted by the rest of the family just sitting down to eat. The table was piled with pancakes, eggs, sausage and bacon. Her mom must have realized Eric stayed over since she didn’t normally make so much, but Eric ate like his stomach was a bottomless pit.
“Morning, kids,” Corbett greeted them, sipping on his coffee.
Michelle handed Eric a glass of orange juice. “It’s nice to see you, Eric. My, what happened to your face?”
Jason’s head jerked up and he rubbed his sleep filled eyes. The only reason he was up so early was because tonight is their championship game. “Man, you look like shit!”
“Jason! Language!” Corbett smacked the table. “Watch how you talk around your mother and your sister, I will not have those words spoken at the table.”
“Yes, sir,” Jason grumbled. “Hey! Alcide got into a fight last night! Was that you?”
Eric’s face flushed and he shrugged his shoulders.
“Sookie? Did something happen with Alcide?” Michelle looked at her daughter with some interest.
“Yes, ma’am. We broke up last night.” She took a bite of her crispy bacon before cutting into her pancakes.
“So you beat him up, Eric?” Jason asked incredulously.
“Not exactly,” Eric responded, shoveling in a mouthful of eggs.
“Did ya try and steal Sook from him and he beat you up?” Jason was almost gleeful.
“Jason, that’s enough. If you must know Alcide said some not so nice things about your sister and Eric defended her honor.” Corbett sighed. “Now obviously Eric and Sookie don’t want to talk about it. Let’s just be glad that asshole is out of the picture and move on.”
Everyone grew silent and Sookie sneaked a look at her daddy.
“Dad, language!” Jason laughed heartily before his dad boxed him on the back of the head.
The tension broke as they joined in laughing and Corbett apologized for his rudeness.
“Are you coming with us to the game tonight, Eric?” Michelle asked politely.
Eric finished chewing and swallowed. “Sure, that sounds like fun! If Sook wants me to come.”
“Sounds great!” She smiled and took another drink of her milk. Her stomach began to churn and she jumped from the table and raced to the bathroom. She barely made it inside and closed the door before she began to empty her stomach.
There was a knock on the door. “Sunshine, you okay?”
“Yes,” she called, fighting back the urge to vomit again. “I think it must be the stress from last night.”
“All right then. Let us know if you need anything.”
She lay on the floor in the bathroom, the tile cool on her skin. Each time she felt like she might be able to get up her stomach turned and she got sick again.
“Sookie?” Eric’s voice was muffled behind the door. “I have some 7UP for you.”
She groaned and tried to move. “Come in, I can’t get up.”
He slipped in the door and quickly closed it behind him. “Man, you look terrible!”
“Gee thanks, Eric,” she took a sip of the warm 7UP and appreciated that he thought about putting a bendy straw in there for her, making it much easier to sip on.
He ran cold water in the sink and soaked a washcloth, squeezing out the excess water. Sitting down on the floor next to her he gently wiped down her face, her neck and arms, before laying it over her forehead.
She sighed. “That feels like heaven.”
“I’m sorry this is happening to you, Sook.” He looked so worried for her.
She took his hand and squeezed it. “It’s not your fault, Eric.”
“I know, I still feel terrible, though. Is there anything I can do for you? Anything at all?”
“Can you just sit here with me?” She asked.
“You got it.” He scooted over and gently lifted her head onto his lap. He stroked her sweaty hair back from her face and flipped the washcloth to the other side.
“Do you think Alcide will show up?” Sookie asked as she and Eric followed her parents up the bleachers.
“Hard to say with him. I guess it depends on how bad he looks.” Eric chuckled. “Don’t worry if he does, though. He’s not getting anywhere near you.”
She looked at him out of the corner of her eye and shook her head. He was pretty bruised up but it didn’t take away from his handsome face. “Thanks, Eric. You’re the best friend a girl could ask for.”
He turned red and laughed. “Yeah, yeah, yeah…tell me something I don’t know.”
They took seats right behind her parents just as the game was about to start. Jason played catcher and he was warming up the pitcher. Despite his smaller stature, Jason was a brick house and had knocked more than one player away from home plate.
“Good work, son.” Corbett turned around and patted Eric on the knee. “He does look worse than you.”
Eric and Sookie looked up to see Alcide walking along with a bit of a limp. He looked like he was in a car accident.
“Well, Corbett, I would like to take credit for all of that,” Eric whispered in his ear. “But that limp he has? I heard some girl kicked him in the balls last night after he got handsy at a party.”
Corbett choked on his soda and laughed so hard Michelle turned to look at him in horror. “What is so funny?”
“Oh nothing, honey, just guy talk.” Corbett responded before he kissed her quickly on the cheek.
Alcide and his group kept their distance and the game was action packed. Despite everything that was going through her head, Sookie was able to forget for just a little while the trials she was about to face.
Bon Temps pitched a no-hitter and won the game 5-0. After the game Corbett and Michelle congratulated the team and headed home.
“You guys up for a celebration?” Jason asked, still flying high from the win. “We’re gonna have a kegger at JB’s house. His parents are out of town.”
Sookie looked at Eric and shrugged. This might be her real last chance to go out and have some fun before things began to change. “What do you think?”
“I’m game if you are. Do you feel up to it?” He asked quietly. “Alcide will probably be there.”
“I know,” she nodded and sighed. “But I’m not going to have much of social life here soon, so maybe I should just make the most of it.”
“Whatever you want to do is fine with me, Sook.” He swung his arm around her shoulder and she leaned into his side.
“Let’s go.” She smiled.
“We’re in.” Eric told Jason.
“All right! I am gonna hit the showers and I’ll see you guys there!” Jason took off with some of his buddies from the team, roughhousing and laughing as they went.
“In spite of everything, this has been a pretty good night.” Sookie said. “I’m happy for Jason, JB and Hoyt. They worked real hard this season.”
“It’s a good way to go out, it being their senior year and all.” Eric agreed as they walked slowly to his car, kicking loose rocks that skipped across the pavement.
“I can’t believe we are going to be seniors next year,” she lamented, leaning against the side of Eric’s car, enjoying the cool night air.
“I know, it’s kind of scary, college is just around the corner. I need to decide where I am going to go.” He unlocked her door and helped her in.
Once they were on the road he asked, ”Do you know where you want to go?”
Sookie was silent and took a deep shaky breath. “Well, I knew where I wanted to go. Just not so sure if it is going to happen now.”
“Shit, Sookie.” He groaned. “I’m sorry. I wasn’t thinking.”
“It’s okay, Eric, really.” She patted his leg reassuringly. “How about you?”
He shrugged his shoulders like it didn’t matter and turned on the radio. She let him listen to a few songs before she turned the volume down, preparing to herself to make him talk.
A/N: Remember comments help feed my muse! I like to know people are reading and whether you enjoy it or not. XO