Happy New Year Ms Stackhouse

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A/N: Unbetad as MsBuffy is on a much deserved break so mind the small messes, they’re totally mine.

 

“No.”

 

The reply was simple. Succinct. Annoyingly like the man himself. The thick letter was shoved right back across the desk in the same neat line it had initially travelled.

 

She blinked. More than once at the unexpected response, spoken so harshly without viewing its contents. Truly stunned and lost for words for the first time in her life she simply took the contested object in her hand and returned to her desk. Where she sat staring at a blank document on her computer screen till it turned dark with disuse.

 

The wound had yet to heal, perhaps that was why.

 

A multitude of similar thoughts continually played on repeat in her mind till she was startled by the feel of a large hand on her shoulder and the calling of her name. She glanced up at him in surprise, till it dawned on her it was lunchtime. It was strange to see him out of his own office and in her personal space for a change. In a panic she bolted out of the high-rise building, wallet in hand, before he could even finish the sentence he had started.

 

With panted breath she put in their regular order, specified to his wishes and only for that care did she repeat it every day with minute detail to ensure the order came out right. Sookie chatted idly with the Deli owner, who with an identical scrutiny made sure her order was prepared to exact specification.

 

“How was your Christmas, Belllissima?”

 

She blushed profusely, not on account of the silver haired man with the seductive Italian accent accolades of her supposed beauty. No, instead the flush of red that crept over her face had come at the memories of that unexpected Christmas.

 

“That good, huh?” he grinned in return to which she could only nod before grasping the proffered bag of food forcing her to run out of the deli at the same speeds she had entered it. Her haste only diminished at the confrontation with the kerb where she wondered what had her so embarrassed. She’d asked him to stay, he hadn’t given a reply but her front door had remained closed until the following morning. He had simply moved back towards his previously vacated spot on the sofa while she had remained behind holding his coat pondering what she had just asked.

 

Her hands had held onto the leather for an exceptionally long time while she mentally debated whether to send him on his way again. Eventually she did enter the living room again with a heavy load in her arms, blankets and a pillow, and a set determination only to find him already placing the throw pillows in a neat little pile.

 

She carried a shy smile, a lingering gaze found one another incidentally as they did their best to tuck in the sheet as neatly as possible around the sofa cushions. His hand lingered atop of hers when she handed over the pillow and in the only uncoordinated moment of the night both hands relinquished their hold at the same time allowing the cloth full of feathers to fall between him. A thumb dragged over her cheek before, with permission, his lips pressed against hers.

 

“Good night,” she had whispered when her briefly closed eyes opened again before retreating to her room with a lingering look from the bedroom door where he repeated the same words.

 

“FUCK!” she yelled out into nearly empty office space when the door banged in on itself as she entered in with too much force before apologising profusely to her unoffended co-workers.

 

It had been fucking perfect, until the next day, when it all came crashing down. She thought her morning had started off badly when she woke in a bed moist with cat pee but that opinion was soon amended when she heard the cries and snarls that were erupting from her living room. The morning was subsequently spent in the emergency room when it turned out her limited first aid kit couldn’t keep up with the profuse amount of blood that gushed from Bill the cat’s inflicted wounds to her boss’ previously flawless face.

 

Her tirade against her neighbour had been cut short when she noticed Eric was looking particularly pale in the passenger seat while threatening to rip the balls of the cat herself if Lorena didn’t get it done by the time she got back. Eric had, however, looked even more pained whenever she gripped the clutch on the manual gearbox mid-shift a little forcefully causing the car to whine with the abuse than during all the stitches that were carefully being placed by a young surgical intern who regarded Eric with far too dreamy eyes to Sookie’s liking.

 

He had cracked a joke to ease her mortification that failed to produce a laugh from anyone but the intern while Sookie could only utter words of apologies. Her nervous energy only seemed to ease when he accepted her insistent offer to drive him to his hotel room to recuperate as far away from the menacing cat.

 

“Sorry,” she whispered when entering his office while he waved her in simulating he was on the phone. Sookie set out the usual lunch order in front of him while his back was turned from the desk to the window behind. His voice was soft and gentle, something she had only come to truly know the tone of in those few days between Christmas and New Year. Once again she placed the thick envelope with his name on it in plain sight beside his lunch, feeling the need for it even more necessary than before.

 

Sookie retreated as fast as she was able, leaving him to his conversation with Pam, who by the sound of it was having a hard go of it in her mother’s sole presence. She had never had much privy into his personal life, the circulation of the signed divorce papers were the first true insight into it. Her secondary insight had come when they settled in his hotel room after she had carefully examined and nursed the inflicted wounds.

 

They were just about to tuck into a satisfyingly tall stack of pancakes when an unexpected knock on the door interrupted the moment. Her intended table mate was soon exchanged for a blonde little girl who stared at Sookie with her arms crossed and a scowl so deep one would assume she were from a different planet while her parents argued in hushed whispers in the bedroom of the large suite. The only word that was spoken at an audible level and with a particularly venomous hiss was ‘her’.

 

Sookie tried to distract the little girl by offering her some pancakes which she politely declined with waggling pig tails informing that she wasn’t allowed to eat carbs. Pam had just agreed to a glass of juice when her mother stormed by in a whirlwind screaming, “You fucking deal with her!”

 

The ‘her’ in question instantly jumped into her father’s arms when the door slammed shut telling him all about her day at great detail while he regaled his war stories of surviving the attack by Bill the Constipated Cat. Pam bravely vowed to kill the beast on sight causing her father to chuckle with delight. In a subsequent tender moment Pam did what Sookie had wanted to all morning but no longer dared and pecked the wounds softly while Eric hissed for dramatics sake. Apologetically the toddler pulled her arms around him and rested her head on his shoulder, pulling him into a hug with limited strength.

 

“I should go,” Sookie had whispered when within seconds the little girl had fallen fast asleep in his comforting hold. Up until that moment Pam had petulantly refused any night’s rest until her father had read her a story driving her mother to the brink of insanity in the process.

 

“Stay?” he pleaded mostly with his eyes. When she threatened to protest again the plea became firm, before falling to a familiar command. “Stay.”

 

With the assurance of an affirming nod he got up to place Pam under the covers of the untouched bed where Sookie watched from the doorway to see a now familiar finger creep down her rosy cheek before a kiss was placed on her forehead and he stared momentarily as a smile swept over his daughter’s face through the soft snores.

 

The room was darkened and Eric couldn’t help but smile at the woman standing like a shadow engulfed by light from behind her. He treaded towards her lightly causing her to anticipate for what was to come. It never came, and only later did she realise the man was a father first who didn’t want his daughter to accidentally wake up to him kissing anyone else than her mother when the ink on their divorce had only dried a day ago.

 

Sookie’s lunch had gone cold when she was lost in those thoughts again for an extended period of time. She wasn’t the only one, the door to the microwave was hindered by the large form of the man Sookie was now desperately trying to avoid. A storm was brewing all over his face when it finally met hers, however, it soon settled into calm waters with the sudden sighting of her.

 

“Close the door,” he requested when her hand lingered on the handle in her failed attempt to leave unnoticed. Eric didn’t utter another word settling the small kitchen in silence until the ding of the microwave thundered into the room while she nervously held her breath. He took the items from her hand and programmed the microwave precisely to the second before they silently waited for both their lunches to be warm again.

 

“Come?” he requested while holding her lunch hostage, gesturing to their usual spot to eat inside his office where they soon fell into their old routine and ate in a comfortable silence that was only interrupted by talk of pressing work matters. He cleared the table, as always, the waste ensconced in the plastic bag it came in before being firmly knotted closed. He didn’t disappear from his office to dispose of it as per the usual routine, instead he sat like Rodin’s Thinker, elbows on knees, in deep thought.

 

She whispered his name in question when for the first time since they had met, the silence had become awkward between them rather than familiar.

 

“Pam says hi,” he eventually revealed in that same unfamiliar soft tone. The worried frown on Sookie’s face literally turned upside down as a smile reminiscent of his daughter’s crept up her face at the mention of the little girl that had worn them both out with her enthusiasm.

 

Eric was indulgent with her, appeasing her every wishes that included hauling in a Christmas tree at twelve feet high that tested the ceiling height and was subsequently decorated in a garish pink. Under her strict instructions the concierge acquiesced to give Santa access to their room when he showed up at the front desk after she ascertained there was a severe lack of chimneys in the hotel and expected her gifts to arrive in good order nonetheless.

 

“She’s not really mine,” Eric had confessed when they were stealthily placing the presents he had kept on a high shelf for her under the tree.

 

“But she’s yours,” Sookie supplemented knowingly from the limited time she had witnessed the very close father-daughter bond between them. A simple ‘yes’ had been enough to confirm he was her father in every way that mattered even if she hadn’t come forth from his seed.

 

A very enthusiastic Pam had roused her exceptionally early from her bed the next morning, a cot in the living area Eric insisted he take before she pointed out Pam would be more at ease sleeping with her father than a relative stranger. He easily agreed after that since it had been quite the discussion to keep her with them and only with the argument that her own bed was now a cat urinal did she finally see sense.

 

Pam babbled on how her father made her wait impossibly long but the girl simply couldn’t contain her excitement any longer and dove into the mountain of presents mid sentence. Sookie took a seat beside Eric where he held out a rather large mug of caffeine induced goodness in apology while his daughter viciously tore into wrapping paper in order to take possession of its contents. She kissed him, taking Eric completely by surprise and with a quick glance to the preoccupied toddler he returned the touch of her lips eagerly, be it for brief seconds.

 

Without the hawk eyes of her mother Pam happily ate her stack of pancakes that Christmas morning before becoming distracted with the plethora of toys that now littered the floor. The gift, however, she was enamoured with most was the small silver bracelet with a ballerina pendant that Sookie had bought her from the hotel gift shop.

 

“Do you have some place to be?” Eric had asked tentatively when she was clasping the small eyelet, locking the bracelet on Pam’s slim wrist. She had simply shaken her head when Pam looked aghast at the idea. There was an open invitation with friends who had eagerly offered her a place at their dinner table with the news that Jason would be spending Christmas with his in-laws in Alaska the first year after their Gran’s passing. She hadn’t truly decided on whether to take them up on that offer till that moment and she felt completely content in refusing the invitation now.

 

“Stay!” Pam commanded in much the same tone as her father and at Sookie’s laughter the little girl had asked with a wobble to her voice, “Please, stay?”

 

And she did.

 

“How is she?”

 

Eric shrugged with pain in his eyes at the thought of the conversation he had just engaged in. Pam was anything but happy to leave the bubble of domestic bliss they had been in for those few days where her every wish had been granted and she hadn’t been shy about making her discontent known on the phone. Something Sookie had witnessed first hand as every possible future home for Eric had been rejected for one reason or another in a multitude of properties that Sookie would have willingly given up a limb for.

 

By New Year’s eve they had yet to find anything to suit Pam’s discerning tastes and they had simply collapsed on the sofa hours before midnight. Startled by the sudden intimacy of waking on his chest without the protective barrier of a young girl between them in the early hours of the morning, the tv still on in the background; images of balls dropping and people kissing in a seemingly endless loop, Sookie briefly considered leaving without a trace of her presence, as if she had never truly been there, that these past few days were a vague haze conjured up by fantasy, because that was what it had felt like. The scars on his face, however, would reveal the truth as it was. So instead she left a note in explanation of her absence. She needed time, to process. Sookie hoped he would understand, thankful for having already said goodbye to Pam the previous evening when her mother had come to collect her, to spare him the explanation of her sudden absence.

 

“I’m sorry,” Sookie whispered once more while resting her hand atop his.

 

The familiar sight of a thick white envelope fell on the table between them. She sighed in resignation, which somehow seemed fitting since the letter inside stated her intent of doing exactly that.

 

“You’re going back to her,” Sookie surmised knowing that the ‘her’ in question was his daughter, who had hated every possible home because it wasn’t hers. The ‘her’ for which he would endure the company of her mother, and it wouldn’t be the first time.

 

Sookie had no desire to quit her job, however, in the day away from Eric she had come to the conclusion that she wanted ‘more’ with him but not with her boss. In her mind the letter of resignation was like a responding love letter to his divorce contract that he would instantly understand the meaning of. His callous dismissal of it spoke volumes in their collective silence.

 

She had hurt him. Badly.

 

“No.”

 

In offering an identical envelope covered hers, instead of it reading Mr Northman it said Ms Stackhouse in his neat script.

 

“What is this?” she whispered, the sharp corners digging into her hands, while she remained scared to reveal its contents.

 

“Bonus.”

 

The word stung, causing tears to prick at the corner of her eyes. In her mind she was convinced he had decided to quit her before she could, for her to simply be an interlude in his complicated life, with a nice severance package to sweeten the deal by the estimation of the weight of it. However, the papers in her hand revealed a different truth.

 

“You want me to be a partner?” Sookie whispered with sudden awe when she took in the contract that stated as much, dated December twenty-first.

 

A sly smile dominated his face with the true look of surprise on her face, “You earned it with the devotion to this job Sookie, Happy New Year Ms Stackhouse.”

 

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A/N: When I sent this to MsBuffy and Charity to read to gage reactions I accompanied the email with the following comment:  I don’t think I’ll post it in fear of the smutterati who will chase me down with their dildos. So please don’t hurt me for a lack of duelling tongues or an exercise maze consisting of Eric’s previously silent tongue speaking in a whole different manner. I have an alternative offering for that in this chapter from 6 Months to Live for those really wishing to read of an intimate encounter, it works with a squint for these two.

It’s called a companion piece for a reason and I feel these two deserve something more than a quick fuck against the hall closet, which the 6MTL piece isn’t but that level of intimacy took many chapters to achieve and isn’t conjured up out of thin air. I will consider picking this story up at a later date and who knows maybe something like the 6MTL chapter will emerge but even if it doesn’t this story sits contently next to Merry Christmas Mr Northman as is. In the meantime these two pieces will be archived as the Ms/Mr series. I hope you all liked it as much as the first piece, I certainly do, and I hope you will leave your thoughts behind and have a Happy New Year!

 

I couldn’t resist casting Pam and yeah she’s totally contemplating chopping Bill’s head off….

 

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88 thoughts on “Happy New Year Ms Stackhouse

  1. As much as I agreed that MCMN finished at a great place this piece was awesome! And if it does get continued at some time I will happily read it.
    As for THAT chapter of 6MTL it is bookmarked and would be dogeared and worn if on printed paper! (Yes, I’ve read it that many times!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, I didn’t want to put anything out that diminished the original and I’ll see how far it stretches beyond this. You know I have the sick feeling if THAT chapter was printed on paper the pages would be sticking together 😉 That comment just made my year! Happy New Year and read that chapter as often as you want and I hope there aren’t Kardashian induced thoughts after every time!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I have no Kardashian thoughts EVER except that they should never be reported on or have ever been on any tv/radio/internet! Lol
        And if THAT chapter is ever printed out it should be laminated! Lmfao

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Well that’s good to hear, I agree that the K-klan should really disappear from view I have no interest in oiled up asses either…. LOL lamination… it appears you have thought about this…. at length… 😉

          Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t know how you do it but I am grateful just the same..
    If you had actually added more conversation it would have taken away from the overall story line which is unacceptable.
    Eric, in the true sense of SVM and TB, is a strong character whose presence screams at us, moreso because he can say quite a bit with very few words than because he can say so very little with a lot of words. Did that come out right? I hope so.
    I hope you do continue this at some point, perhaps a companion piece for Valentine’s Day?
    In some ways I prefer these little related one shots than I do a whole long story; with one shots you’re not expecting another installment. With a full story the readers can get downright ornery and demanding when a chapter isn’t forthcoming in a timely manner–never mind that real life, holidays and stuff happen regardless of what we actually would rather be doing.

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    1. The one shots make you pick and choose and bring it down to an essential and I think that makes them strong and sometimes stronger. There isn’t much room for the superfluous. They’re much like Eric that they can tell an elaborate story with little words.

      I’ve always thought of Eric as a man (or vampire if you will) who weighed his words carefully, there was always a strategy about them that was even present in his amnesiac state, he was more open and honest with his frustration but the words were still carefully chosen when he spoke them deliberately.

      Valentine’s seems a natural fit for these two, more so than the Fixin’s family. We’ll see how quickly I break my New Year’s resolution 😉

      I’ve only had one complaint so far and that was on the fact that my story was rife with details and the pace felt too slow for what they thought was initially a promising story, I took it as a compliment I don’t set out to write the wham bam stories that will get you to a predictable end quickly with a known fanfic narrative. I’ve never had a complaint on the frequency of updates, I’ve even noticed now that I’ve slowed them down a bit people are better able to keep up.

      To a certain extent I understand the disgruntled sounds from readers, you commit to reading a story and if it appears the writer just continually ignores it in pursuit of that younger model because new and shiny things are just that more interesting, beginnings are far easier to write than endings.

      The one shots are great if they’re differentiating enough and truly tell a story in one piece which keeps you from pining for a next chapter. I think it’s more a case of you want more of the same but the story-line is tight enough to leave you satisfied on that front. It’s why I wrote this as a companion piece and not the opening chapter to many more. In contrast I find drabbles a little unexciting, they feel more like cutting room floor remnants than anything else and I’ve probably seen the term one-shot used once to often for what is essentially a drabble.

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    2. You ain’t kiddin’ they get ornery… Try taking a little vacation, or Heaven forbid, you get sick ’cause, you know, it’s all about them… Patience, all yinz! Just as Ms. James has so very nicely pointed out, even editors have real lives, holidays, take vacations, we get sick (especially when we are already sick), and stuff does happen. Sometimes it happens more often than we would like! I don’t make resolutions, but perhaps I should look at toughening up in 2015.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I never commit to a posting schedule, lol. I know life sucks and life happens so I try to buffer myself from the ornery ones by not giving them a definite timeline. What has helped me with this though is that I rarely post anything until I have it finished and edited on my computer. At my best, which admittedly the stories still weren’t THE best, I was writing upwards of 50,000 a month and usually more.
        Why do I do this? I HATE dropped stories or stories which seem to be taking forever to finish so I try not to do this to my readers.

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        1. That makes sense, it’s why I won’t start posting a story that allows me to take a month or more off if I want or have to, I personally also dislike the peanut section dictating where my story should go and I fear if I were to post on a written chapter per update schedule that those comments would seep in even if you don’t want it to. The comments I’ve seen on other people stories accusing a writer of being an asshole or whatever for abandoning something I find unacceptable. There should be room for genuine constructive criticism but that kind of berating has no place in this. People tend to forget you’re reading an evolving thing, ask any creative out of the many things they have going all at once, half if not more gets scrapped and there’s nothing wrong with that it’s part of the creative process and I respect a writer more if they simply say I have no stamina or direction for a piece and give an insight to where they had intended to take the story than needlessly drag it out for the sake of ‘finishing’ it.

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        2. Well, readers truly appreciate that kind of commitment. I know I do! I also try not to make ‘my’ writers wait, but I think I deserve an annual vacation. I typically work even while on our summer vacation, and I might have done as well with this one, but I got sick.

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          1. Everyone needs time to regernate or they burn out.
            I know I was supposed to be working on some stuff this week but my brain decided that since my body was allowed eight days off then it was as well so it decided that if I was going to concentrate on anything other than stuff I’ve already read a hundred times then it wasn’t going to do anything all, lol.
            Now if I could just entice the muse back….
            Hope you’re feeling better.

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          2. I think we should all just agree as writers to block out certain periods of time so we can do other stuff without feeling guilty and alleviate the editors workloads. The readers without updates can take that time to read something they were meaning to for a while but never got round to or you know pick up an actual book, it really doesn’t hurt as bad as one might think 😉

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        1. I don’t know Ms. Buffy, unfortunately, so I can’t say yeah or nay to her need to toughen up but I can say that some of the commenters need to put on some rose tinted glasses!
          My comments, by and large, haven’t been too bad, and I have taken suggestions and comments for one story and used them for ideas for another.
          My theory, if they can’t leave a nice or constructive comment then they don’t need to be reading the story any way *shrug*.
          A lot of times I don’t comment because I feel that a nice or alright says enough and I can’t get myself together enough to jot down notes as I read so I can make a constructive comment afterwards, lol, since that takes away from the experience for me.

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          1. MsBuffy does a lot of editing for a lot of people and is a lovely support to us all but even she needs to be allowed to check out now and then because we’re not paying attention to our spelling and grammar…

            If the comments are a lead up to an actual discussion they’re great points of inspiration and therefore sometimes a little dangerous in sparking too many new ideas. I like the ‘like’ button, it shows you’ve read and enjoyed it but don’t necessarily have anything to say or someone else has already commented on what I would say so why repeat it. Where the sites allow it I will also sometimes ‘like’ someone else’s comment. The only comments that truly have bothered me and they are scarce but still are the “I think they should have sex now” comments, if that’s all you’re reading for then I really need to forward you to some other writers who deal almost exclusively in that, it can be great but it’s not me.

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            1. I can agree on the sex bit. I find myself not as interested in that bit of the story as I used to be…I’d rather follow the plot and a lot of times I’m just reading for the pleasure of reading some of my favorite authors, even the stories I’ve already read about 20 times.
              I can write the sex scenes all I want but if I’m not feeling it then the characters aren’t either which means the chapter falls flat and isn’t the best any author has to offer.

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              1. It needs to make sense and add to the story for me it can’t simply just be there for the sake of it. Since I came late to the fanfiction thing in reading and writing I’ve read a lot of the ‘epics’ where I would probably skip over through large portions of it because it consisted of mostly sex scenes. Certain moments are important but I don’t need it every other chapter, like in real life the moment needs to be there otherwise why bother.

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            2. Agreed. Constructive criticism helps all of us whether or not we’re aware of this. A well-crafted commentary on what may help someone become a better writer, if this is what they have truly have an interest in, or what they wish to present, brings the focus where it should be. Negative, inflammatory comments do nothing but incite more of the same and they’re useless. Both types of commentary also show one’s intelligence level and manners. I’ve always thought it was just bad manners to write mean and nasty comments. If it becomes clear through the comments that a specific reader wants to read nothing but your characters having sex, why not direct them elsewhere? There are plenty of blogs throughout our little part of the universe where those stories can be found (I know cause I edit quite a few of them!). I love your stories because your characters AREN’T!!! Not that I don’t enjoy the others as well, but ya know. Variety really is the spice of life, folks!

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              1. I feel every writer has his or her niche and the better you know it the better your audience knows what to expect. If it’s all smut than it’s all smut, nothing wrong with it. If we all wrote the same thing where would the fun be in that… I always wonder what people are hoping to achieve with those negative comments, it just makes writers extremely upset and there are, I’m sure, many who have simply stopped writing when it’s such a minority opinion. Now out of genuine curiosity I’m wondering if the all smut writers ever get comments like ‘I think they should stop having sex now’….

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        2. Never! You’re my favored ingrate, for real! The little brats haven’t even called to wish us “Auld Lang Syne.” That’s probably spelled wrong, and I don’t even care. I’m just glad I haven’t ended up in the hospital this week. I am going to take a hard look at the list though and make some decisions. Your stuff is easy and I get a pre-read to the good stuff! LOL! 🙂

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          1. I think you spelled it correct and that song always reminds me I’m so happy not to be celebrating New Year’s in the UK since it pretty much consists of staying up till twelve and singing that song and then going to bed… My giant pyromaniac family enjoys the spectacle of fireworks too much I think it’s more important than Christmas to us… I’m glad you’re not in the hospital either and if it’s getting that close than I say boot us all out and only edit what you enjoy… and stop calling me easy makes me feel all tarty and cheap.. see I’m trying really hard to make the other ingrates look good… is it working? 😉

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            1. OOPS! I wouldn’t want to make you feel tarty and cheap! Your writing is very easy to work on; I have no idea if you, personally, are easy or not! If you are, have fun but be safe, but if not, well then, I’m very sorry. I would have never thought that… When I speak of The Ingrates, I’m speaking of my kids, not writers! LOL! There are only three, and then some of you who’ve become “children of my heart.” My friend & I named our kids that years ago & the name just stuck. Yes, it sounds awful, however…

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              1. LOL. I need my sarcasm font… I was kidding and I know the ingrates are the actual kiddos therefore I’m super special to be named one albeit a virtual one. My brother and I called our parents the parental units, not as offensive but it always pissed them off to no end. I think if I have kids I’d end up calling them shitheads like Pam… the dog already goes by shitbox… so you’re doing better than me 🙂

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                1. Seriously! We need to invent that! The little darlings have been called that and worse, but I prefer ingrates. It works because it’s true. I never cared if it pissed them off or not, I certainly didn’t raise them to be that way. They just are. The oldest one is starting to come out of it a little. The other ones have their own kids so they’ll quickly learn and we’ll just sit back & smile. 🙂

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                  1. I’ve been told by Charity that sarcasm is expressed in backwards italics according to the internet but to me that just screams irony instead of sarcasm… Keep smiling at the kiddos they’ll learn eventually… at least one hopes 🙂

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                    1. I don’t even know how one gets backward italics, and yes, I believes that it does scream irony. Sarcasm takes special, daily practice to refine in order to perfect over many, many years. Irony is random. Trust me. I’m old. 🙂

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                    2. I’m stumped on getting the backwards italics too at least in a non design program. Sarcasm is just being really mean and everyone else thinking you’re joking… at least that’s the best definition I found so far… I’ll trust you on the irony even though you’re not old!

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                    3. No, my sarcasm is never intended as mean! If anything, it’s deflected back toward me more in a self-deprecating sort of way. Yes, I’m old, and getting older. I woke up one day & realized I wasn’t 22 anymore in my head after the ingrates passed that by, and then I realized that I didn’t even want to be! 42 would be nice! 52 would OK as well. It’s like Decade Roulette!

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                    4. You can be mean about yourself in a self-deprecating way… I guess, it certainly isn’t being kind… Even though it’s not that long ago I wouldn’t want to be back in the early 20’s either still too much too learn back then. As far as I’m concerned if you’re young in mind the packaging doesn’t really matter all that much it beats the general idiots who actually are 22 and clueless 🙂

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                    5. I would much rather be mean to myself than I would to another person. I can laugh at myself, I prefer to laugh WITH others.

                      That’s for sure. I know I was clueless, but I had fun! I had more fun at those other ages. Life gets more fun & relaxing as the hindsight increases although there’s really nothing I’d do over again… No regrets here! 🙂

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  3. Wonderful companion piece. I agree with tj above –SVM Eric was a man of few words and those words spoke of action and direction. I love both of these. Rather unexpected ending –him wanting her as a partner…and the contract was dated well before Christmas…..
    Great!
    Pat

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    1. Eric truly curated his words, there was always purpose to them, book and show. I shall credit it to wisdom of age, and he has plenty of it to spare. This Eric’s a planner too, the date was indicative of his intents and that it had nothing to do with his pursuit of her but simply for the job performance that she had put in and put into contract a working relationship that was essentially already there. I’m glad to hear you enjoyed this just as much, now hand over the Viking and chocolate! Happy New Year!

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      1. Eric’s economy of words has me wondering though: in the books and show was he a man of few words even as a human?
        I would like to think so. Back then their attention had to be to survival first so there wouldn’t have been a lot of time for the frivolous.

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        1. I would say by simple logic there were fewer words to express things in his vocabulary as a human but he would probably be a talented storyteller as the Scandinavians relied heavily on oral history so he would understand the importance of a chosen word and its effect. On the other hand his position as Prince/Chief’s son would have raised him to be careful about what he said. I think all the Erics (human and vamp) always knew what they were bargaining with, never offering false promises that he couldn’t back up. Truth was key and he wouldn’t lie for the purpose of making someone else feel better, his m.o. always revolved around coaxing and reasoning rather than manipulation, in the book he forgot to give Sookie the manual to reading his unspoken thoughts and maybe with that bond intact that spoke enough for him…

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          1. I didn’t think he was ‘royalty’ in the books? It doesn’t matter, really, in the long run because I agree with your thinking.
            Eric is from a time when Oral history was the norm. They knew how to ‘write’ in the form of runes but I’m thinking it was a difficult thing to do since they didn’t have paper and pens to aid them.
            Now, to the present…He’s a business man, a business owner, he would have to know how to get his points and ideas across to other business men without using a clue by four to knock them over the head with his ideas so he would have to choose his words carefully. I bet he’s a walking thesaurus, lmao, of different ways to say something and have that word or phrase convey a whole paragraph!

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            1. I don’t know if a Chieftain’s son made him royalty in the book but it gave him an elevated position in the clan that came with certain advantages/disadvantages so I equate the two as the same in that sense. I’m a business owner so I know you need to employ a different way of speaking to people to get things done and you often achieve more by being silent and speaking directional and to the point rather than with verbosity, it earns you greater respect. A technique I often use (but only found out when someone pointed it out to me) is simply repeating back what someone’s spoken to you and adding to it subtly so they feel understood and that gives them confidence in your ability. Basically I have a business mode that gets switched on whenever necessary and I imagine this Eric would be much the same.

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        1. They were both promised to the muse so you shall have to fight him/her/it for it… good luck 😉 If I knew it would arrive intact I’d send you some from my mountain of Belgian stock though.

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  4. The first one was lovely and this is a fitting companion piece. I love how they are both so focused internally, and from Sookie’s POV allowing us the surprise of Eric’s’ actions and responses. You are right, in this minimalist exchange, intimacy would come slowly. He seems to be healing and slowly, cautiously building a real place for her in his life. Nice use of light touches to create a much finer picture…although the thought of a Bill-piss saturated bed was truly horrifying!

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    1. I’m glad to hear you like them both, they seemed just up your alley 😉 I like exploring the inner dialogue without the necessity of it being a stream of consciousness it allows for the juxtaposition in the interpretation of the facts as it plays out before two or more characters that you don’t get in a single POV. As convenient as it would be to say Sookie found an instant HEA with a recently divorced father my penchant for realism just couldn’t buy into that and his careful steps show more dedication to me than say a shiny ring or a mind blowing performance in the sack. Sorry about Bill, his balls will be coming off any day now and it’s Charity’s fault she predicted Bill would be pissing everywhere to mark his territory with Eric around but that cat will have to sleep with one eye open with Pam around 😉

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    2. Absolutely horrifying. That cat would have been dead before it had the chance to scratch Eric’s beautiful face. I would have drop-kicked the little bastard over & into the next town, and just let anyone from PETA or any other animal agency fuck with me. Waking up to a male cat-piss ruined mattress? Even the kindest and most supportive fanatic would be freaking out.

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  5. It was just as beautiful and heartfelt as the Christmas one, anything more would have cheapened the whole feel of it. The beauty of these is that each could stand on it’s own without the other so I think you do have mastery of a one shot…

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    1. I’d like to say it’s an art form but then I sound like a pompous ass… but I do think they are the best indicator of how someone can manage a complete story-line, if you can do it in limited words than you can do it in a larger whole. I think the desire for more of a one-shot should be related to the wanting more of the same rather than wanting more of the story because it failed to tie up loose ends and that’s what I set out do here. Thanks for tempting the muse even if I do grumble about it all the time 😉

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        1. Not taking that on as a New Year’s resolution, I would have broken it many times in less than twenty-four hours now… I grumble to contain the muse, otherwise I’d be writing twenty stories at once and then you’d be grumbling too because you have to edit all the shit…

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  6. it was a great companion piece and it has me wanting more, not because there was no intimacy . there was just in other ways. they are both hurting but his gift to her was awesome. and for her to want to resign because she has feeling for him is understandable but i am glad he didn’t accept it. until there is more Happy New Year. KY .

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    1. Happy New Year to you too! I’m glad it felt like a true companion piece and had you wanting more simply for the sake of what it delivered rather than a need to see them ‘getting it on’. It’s really a piece of actions speak louder than words and in their close working relationship they’ve sort of established their own language and know each other’s tells well, but Eric wouldn’t be Eric if he wasn’t always one step ahead of her, so he knew but just had other ideas.

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  7. Somehow I missed MCMN but I absolutely love both of these! I think the lack of smut makes these pieces stand out and it makes sense with him being her boss and him fresh from a divorce. Love the casting for Pam–that is one adorable little girl!

    Perfect endings for both of these–thank your muse for me please, because I enjoyed this one even more than MCMN. 🙂

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    1. Pam looks like an angel but we all know better…

      I’m glad you enjoyed these two pieces and found MCMN a little belated but still enjoyed it post Christmas. I felt it an unfair starting point for them both to enter a relationship in imitation of their work relationship, they do deserve a clean slate to start from simply because of the distribution of authority and Eric obviously wasn’t in the most loving relationship before and he doesn’t seem like the type to simply exchange one thing for another for selfish pursuits that’s why the presence of Pam was so important in this piece.

      Muse says thank you, and I do too! Happy New Year!

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  8. Geat piece….their intimacy wasn’t shown in between the sheets but in a very different way… brava..
    The picture of Pam is adorable…
    Must get going…
    I’ve got to clean all the mess of last night’s partying…

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    1. Very true and that only makes the intimacy that more special between them. Glad you like Pam and I share your pain… I’m still slightly scared to go downstairs and look at the aftermath of the New Year’s celebrations….

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      1. My thoughts exactly. Intimacy is what can get you between the sheets. Sex is what happens when you get there.
        I reblogged a post on intimacy on my tumblr this week and it speaks volumes even though there are no actual words. It’s two photos of a woman laying on her stomach with a man’s fingers trailing down her back. That says more that 1000 words to me.

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  9. Happy New Year, my favored ingrate! You know, of course, that I love this already so I don’t have to tell you. These two are my new favorite; “grown-up” human versions of Sookie & Eric, and incredibly realistic even without all the words. Hmm… Perhaps all the more realistic due to the lack thereof.

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    1. Happy New Year to you too! I need to get you a reward or something because WP informed me in my annual report that you were the number one commentator so you should feel very proud 😀 This probably is more realistic for a lack of verbosity between these two, life is in the small details after all not in the indulgent grand fantasies we tend to read about all the time, actions speak louder than words seems very fitting for this set…

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      1. I was going to email you & tell you the same! You were in my top 5, but you were my #1 Referral Source! You & VictoryinTrouble tied. I need to send both of you awards & presents! 🙂

        I love these incarnations of Eric & Sookie. They are very familiar to me for some reason, but from a very long time ago. I hope you return to them someday.

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        1. Yeah I’m putting up a ‘no feeding the muses’ sign soon but I’d like to get back to these two at some point because I just like the idea of little Pam attacking Bill’s balls with a pair of rocks before turning him into a fashionable scarf…

          I think they exist from a point of familiarity, it’s not the instant bam we’re in love type thing and maybe that’s a little old fashioned now but I find that part far more interesting than the insta-love.

          We should just have a party instead with our fellow #1’s and celebrate a successful year with our new fangled blogs, no gifts necessary for me at least…

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          1. A party sounds like wonderful idea! Let’s get me over the flu first, and then through the NFL playoffs, and we’ll have a party! WOO-HOO!!

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            1. *hands over chicken soup and that giant list of medicines you told me to take when I was sick* hope you feel better soon, evil flu, I’ll stick little Pam on it after she’s done torturing Bill the Constipated Cat.

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              1. Eating the chicken soup slowly but surely as my hubby has been taking very good care of me this week. Alas, all I suggested to you are things that as an epileptic I can’t take, and they aren’t for this kind of flu! Better to do the BRAT diet for this one (bananas, rice, apples, toast), and stay hydrated. This IS an evil flu & it’s sweeping all through the country at a very rapid pace. The number of confirmed cases (like people going to the doctor for a diagnosis) has tripled in our state this week and the same is true of many others. I’ve never understood going to the dr.’s when you’re sick like this… Why go & chance getting others sick, or catch something else? That’s just foolish. I don’t think I need my doctor to tell me that I have what they’re talking about on every newscast. I’m an educated woman who had kids; I’m certain I can put 2 & 2 together & come up with it on my own. If it lingers, then I’ll go.

                I’ll be happy to help little Pam with it as well as with the torturing of Constipated Bill in any form.

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                1. Take good care of yourself and make the hubby sweat a little in pampering you while you can 😉 Hospitals and doctor’s offices are the worst place to be if you’re sick so definitely only go if it’s dire… I actually need Bill alive for my new endeavour so just don’t kill him otherwise it’s fair game….

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  10. I love that you developed a relationship and not just screwing. Don’t get me wrong I love a good lemon like anyone else but sex doesn’t always make a story and I love that you made me like them without baiting me with sex scenes. Great job as usual!😘

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    1. Thanks jroxraytech, I think the right sex scene can work wonders in a story but the ‘sex sells’ adage really doesn’t do it for me if it masks an otherwise uninteresting story. It’s not everything that exists between two people and I’m glad you like them even when they’re not consummating their declarations instantly. I think there’s room for growth with these two and that’s their interest, a relationship embarked with caution could be just as interesting if not more so than one of instant passion. Thanks for the lovely and thoughtful words!

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  11. Since I did ask for a ‘pendant’ I can’t hide how HAPPY seeing this made me… Eric is still pretty quiet but then actions… Bill the cat peeing on Sookie’s bed and attacking Eric was SO absurdly hilarious… Loving little Pam (esp. her intentions of disappearing Bill…) and generally the slow but deep connection between Sookie and Eric… It was a bit funny her trying to resign and his trying to give her a part of the company… I don’t think the story needs explicit sexy times, there is enough implied for me… But it’d be good to hear Eric says he has no intention to return to his crazy-ass ex-wife and give it a real shot with Sookie so she stops suspecting in her inner monologues that he is not committed to their relationship…

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    1. I’m completely enamoured with the term ‘pendant’ piece so it may have had something to do with it… Bill is a true self licking asshole in this and if all goes to plan he will have a spin off of his own in the future so Pam and her assassination plans are going to have to wait for a bit… This story relies on subtlety so even if there were sexy times it would be subtle, nothing overt. I think Eric giving her a contract pretty much implied a deep commitment to her and his dedication to Pam is the only reason he appears to have endured the crazy ex-wife but Sookie’s sudden perspective change has made her weary so she’s allowed to be a little cautious in the beginning, they’ll find their way, of that I’m sure…

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    1. Thanks Mindy I’m happy to hear it, it’s a rather elaborate story in a compact form but these two have an interesting connection. About the more… I have to wait and see where this takes me but who knows?

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  12. Pam is adorable!
    I was seeing things moving slowly for them. But this was an unexpected, but lovely addition 🙂
    Thankyou
    I think Lorena needs to find another cat sitter if she wants Bill to live lol

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    1. People fell into two camps with where the other ended, one imagined that had the discoball drop to the tunes of bow chica bowwow and the other more the slow movement but I’m glad to see everyone enjoyed this follow up. I’m recommending Pam for the job of future cat sitter…no guarantees on how alive he is after that….

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