It was just over an hour later when Sookie pulled up in front of her house. She had taken the time on the journey home to reassess her life. She went over everything she had done in the last few years and Sookie was disheartened to realize that she was ashamed. She had let her desire for a man and fear of being alone override her common sense. She had become one of those women she hated. She had based her worth on having a man.
Dye my hair red and call me Arlene, Sookie snorted as she climbed out of Alcide’s truck. Slamming the door, she frowned as she ran her hand over the smooth surface. I’m sorry, Alcide, she thought as she closed her eyes and pictured the burly wolf. I’m sorry I couldn’t love ya like you wanted. I’m sorry I was so frightened to be alone that I got involved with you, knowin’ I’d never love you like ya loved me. I’m sorry I couldn’t give ya my heart, and, I’m sorry ya died cause I was too stupid to stay away from Bill.
Taking a moment to say goodbye, Sookie smiled as she recalled some of their happy times. She knew it was a mistake getting involved with him; he was only ever supposed to be her friend, but they did have a few good times and she would miss him.
Sookie jumped as she heard her name being shouted and whirled around. Her brow furrowed as she saw Jason jumping out of his squad car and come running up to her. “Jason,” she greeted, somewhat confused by the concerned look on his face.
“Sook, where ya been? Are ya okay?” Jason asked hurriedly while running his eyes over her to see if she was injured in any way.
“I’m fine, Jas,” Sookie assured him more confused than ever when she realized Jason thought she was hurt. “Why? What’s happened?”
“Jess called me. She said ya were actin’ weird,” Jason confessed worry now being eased away.
“Jess called…” Sookie trailed off as she fought down a wave of annoyance. Of all the… “Cheese and rice!” She exclaimed as anger leaked through her tone. “I can’t believe she called my brother and tattled on me.” Sookie took a deep breath and tried to calm herself. At that moment, all she wanted to do was go find Jessica and shoot her with her faery light. “What is this? High school?”
“Sook, what’s goin’ on?” Jason asked as he saw his sister start to pace. “Jess said ya were actin’ weird and ‘ere ya are… um, actin’ weird.”
“Actin’ weird,” Sookie repeated with a little chuckle. “I guess I am.” She nodded, knowing to many people her behavior would be considered weird. Looking at her brother Sookie smiled at the confused expression on his face. “There’s a cure… for Hep V.”
“For humans?” Jason asked, thinking about the one thing no one else had. “It can cure ya?”
“I don’t know,” Sookie admitted with a shrug. “Don’t much care either. I ain’t takin’ it.” Seeing Jason open his mouth to reply, Sookie held her hand up to silence him. “The cure’s Sarah Newlin,” she told him rendering him speechless. “Eric and Pam have her chained up at Fangtasia. Apparently she swallowed or injected herself with it and now her blood is the cure.”
“How’d ya find out?” Jason asked after regaining his voice. He couldn’t quite believe what he was hearing, but, he knew if Sookie said it, it was the truth.
“By doin’ somethin’ incredibly stupid,” Sookie confessed with a small shrug. “I took Bill to Fangtasia to get the cure and he refused. Apparently it’s his time to die.”
“Dumb fucker,” Jason snorted, shaking his head at Bill’s stupidity. No one would ever accuse Jason of being the smartest man around, but even he knew when you’ve got a disease that will kill you and you find out there’s a cure… You take the fucking cure! If Bill wants to die so bad, he can take the cure; then meet the sun. Absolve my sister of her guilt first, ya fucker.
Sookie grinned as she heard Jason’s thoughts and she was glad someone else got it. She was surprised it was Jason but, as she thought about it, she realized she shouldn’t be. Jason was much smarter than people had ever given him credit. He might not have been what people called book smart, but he was people smart. He could usually read people quite well.
“He couldn’t tell ya before ya drove him out ‘t the vamp bar that he wanted ‘t die?” Jason questioned, disgusted by Bill.
“This is Bill we’re talkin’ ‘bout, Jas,” Sookie retorted. “He probably didn’t intend to tell me until three weeks after he died, and then it’d only be cause he was tryin’ to protect me.” Sookie rolled her eyes as she spewed out one of Bill’s favorite claims. Protect me, my ass!
“Okay, so why’d Jess call me ‘t tell me ya were actin’ weird?” Jason asked, getting back to what had him driving like a bat out of hell to get to his sister. The way Jessica was talking on the phone, Jason was half expecting to find his sister shooting her faery light into the sky again.
“Cause I told Bill if he wants to die so much he should just meet the sun,” Sookie replied with a smile, quite proudly too. “I finally told him I was done with him, Jas. I told them I ain’t gonna hold his hand and I ain’t gonna cry over him.”
“Good for you!” Jason said, proud of his sister. “Ya’ve cried enough tears over that fucker, and he don’t deserve any more. Ya shouldn’t feel guilty just cause he thought ya were his personal juice foundation…” Jason trailed off as a figurative light bulb went off over his head. “That no good motherfucker!” He snarled as he realized what Sookie had just grasped a few short hours before. “That’s why, innit? He wants to die just to make ya feel guilty. Son of a goat fuckin’ whore! If that fucker wants ‘t die so bad, I’ll fuckin’ kill him!”
Sookie watched as Jason paced furiously. She could practically feel the anger radiating off of him and, for once, she was content to let Jason fume. Normally, she would’ve tried to calm him down and make him see reason, but this time there was no reasoning. He understood exactly as she had. Bill Compton was a lying, manipulative bastard.
“And Jess what? Called me ‘t try and make ya see sense and go runnin’ back ‘t Bill?” Jason guessed after calming down enough to continue their conversation. “Fuck that! Nah, only thing Bill deserves is a silver enema, and a stake ‘t the heart. Motherfuckers!”
“There’s no chance of me runnin’ back to him, Jas,” Sookie told him. “That’s never gonna happen.” Seeing his skeptical look, Sookie quickly added, “I know I’ve said that before, but I mean it this time. Whether he takes the cure or dies, I’m done. He’s manipulated me for the last time. I won’t let Bill, Jess, or any of them make me feel guilty cause I don’t love him anymore.”
Pulling Sookie into his arms, Jason hugged his baby sister, knowing that despite her newfound courage and strength, it had still been a hard decision. She had loved Bill once. It might have been a love built on manipulation and deceit, but it was still love. No matter how bad it was, and he knew, just as Sookie now did, that it was bad, you just don’t get over love with a click of the fingers. It took time and time was something that Bill had never let her have.
“I feel like I’ve woken up from a real bad dream, Jas,” Sookie confessed as she accepted the comfort of her big brother. “I can still feel the phantom touches of the dream, but I know it’s over, and it’s no longer holdin’ me prisoner. I feel… free.”
Jason smiled at her words, understanding what she meant. He had felt the same after Violet had been killed. He knew he hadn’t been under Violet’s influence as long as Sookie had been under Bill’s, but he understood the feeling. As he thought about it, Jason realized he’d been living in his own dream for a while as well.
Seeing Hoyt again had made Jason face up to some of the mistakes of his past. Hoyt had been his best friend for as long as he could remember. They had grown up together, worked together, and, on many more than one occasion, gotten drunk together. Yet, Jason had tossed all that aside and for what? Jessica was an eternal virgin whom he had never recognized even thinking about before she had given him her blood, and she was the one who didn’t really know what she wanted.
Well, like Sook, it’s my time to say goodbye. I ain’t playin’ Jess’ game no more.
“Free’s good,” Jason said, pulling back and staring down at his baby sister. “Next comes happy. I wanna see ya happy again, Sook, cause ya ain’t been happy in a long time.”
“I know,” Sookie admitted as she took a step back turning toward her house. Nodding her head toward the house, she offered Jason a silent invitation as she made her way to the porch. “I’ve been carryin’ ‘round so much guilt, Jason, blamin’ myself for every little thing that’s gone wrong, but I can’t do that anymore. I’m not responsible nor to blame for other people’s actions.” Reaching the door, Sookie opened it and stepped inside, leaving it open for Jason. Pausing just inside the doorway, Sookie turned, looked at the open door, and added, “Bill Compton, I rescind your invitation. Jessica Hamby, I rescind your invitation,” before making her way into the living room.
“So whatcha gonna do now, sis?” Jason asked as he followed her into the living room. He made a mental note to rescind Jessica’s invitation when he got home.
“I don’t know,” Sookie confessed with a shrug. “Live my life how I wanna. I’m going to do what makes me happy. What I want. I can’t live my life how Bill wanted me to, or Momma and Daddy, or even Gran. I’m not normal, Jas, I never have been and for the first time in my life, I don’t wanna be. I can’t be what I’m not. I’m a fuckin’ faery and yeah, it might be lame as hell but it’s me! I don’t wanna be anythin’ else…”
As she ranted to her brother Sookie finally began to see just how she had let other people influence her life and make her ashamed of what she was. She had learned from an early age that what she could do was not normal. For years she had listened to her mother rant about how her daughter was a freak. She knew her mother loved her, she had felt that, but she also knew that Michelle feared her.
All through her childhood, into her adolescence, and finally her adulthood, Sookie had heard about how weird she was. She had been hurt more times than she could count by the thoughts of the people who were supposed to love and protect her. Even Adele had often wished that she had a normal granddaughter. She would tell Sookie that there was nothing wrong with her, and she should be proud of whom she was, but Sookie would often hear her thinking how much easier and better it would be if her granddaughter was as normal as everyone else.
“… Everyone is always tellin’ me what they want for me, but nobody’s botherin’ to ask me what I want,” Sookie continued happy to finally release all her frustrations. “Gran used to tell me I could have a family of my own, a husband, a couple of kids, and a white picket fence. Bill’s always tellin’ me he wants me to live a normal life, and be happy, but, ya know what? It’s a crock of shit! Bill never wanted me to live a normal life and be happy. He always wanted his little fairy high, but now, now that he’s dyin’, he wants me to give up what I am and live a life I don’t want, simply to make him happy? Fuck that! If I ever get married and have children, it’ll be cause it’s what I want; not want Gran wanted for me or Bill thinks I should do. It’ll be for me! I’m not livin’ my life for them anymore!”
Jason grinned as he listened to Sookie rant. He could see some of her old fire returning and he loved it. This was the Sookie with whom he grew up. The woman who would break a tray over someone’s head when they got too handsy, this was the woman who would stand proud and tell those who wronged her to fuck off! This was his sister.
“A-fuckin’-men! Your life, your rules, and fuck them sumbitches who try ‘t tell you different!” Jason said with a proud smile.