This story begins at the start of Definitely Dead. Eric shows up at Sookie’s house just as she is leaving to go out on her date with Quinn. I am trying to fix just one of many mistakes.
Sookie immediately becomes smarter. LOL! Meridian informed me that she seemed too smart, but why would I write a story if it was to stay with canon Sookie? So, beware! She’s a smarter Sookie. 🙂
The beginning is from the book. Word for word so if you want to skip it keep going down until you see the line separating it from where I took over, or you might need a fresher.
I got my black wrap out of the closet, the one Alcide had given me to replace one Debbie Pelt had vandalized. I’d need it later in the evening. I slipped into my black sandals. I experimented with jewelry, finally settling on a plain gold chain (it had been my grandmother’s) and plain ball earrings.
There was a knock on the front door, and I glanced at the clock, a bit surprised that Quinn was fifteen minutes early. I hadn’t heard his truck, either. I opened the door to find not Quinn, but Eric, standing there.
I am sure he enjoyed my gasp of surprise.
Never open your door without checking. Never assume you know who’s on the other side. That’s why I’d gotten the peepholes! Stupid me. Eric must have flown, since I couldn’t see a car anywhere.
“May I come in?” Eric asked politely. He had looked me over. After appreciating the view, he realized it hadn’t been designed with him in mind. He wasn’t happy. “I suppose you’re expecting company?”
“As a matter of fact I am, and actually, I’d rather you stayed on that side of the doorsill,” I said. I stepped back so he couldn’t reach me.
“You told Pam that you didn’t want to come to Shreveport,” he said. Oh yes, he was angry. “So here I am, to find out why you don’t answer my call.” Usually, his accent was very slight, but tonight I noticed that it was pronounced.
“I didn’t have time,” I said. “I’m going out tonight.”
“So I see,” he said, more quietly. “Who are you going out with?”
“Is that really any of your business?” I met his eyes, challengingly.
“Of course it is,” he said.
I was disconcerted. “And that would be why?” I rallied a little.
“You should be mine. I have slept with you, I have cared for you, I have… assisted you financially.”
“You paid me money you owed me, for services rendered,” I answered. “You may have slept with me, but not recently, and you’ve shown no signs of wanting to do so again. If you care for me, you’re showing it in a mighty strange way. I never heard that ‘total avoidance aside from orders coming from flunkies’ was a valid way to show caring.” This was a jumbled sentence, okay, but I knew he got it.
“You’re calling Pam a flunky?” He had a ghost of smile on his lips. Then he got back to being miffed. I could tell because he began dropping his contractions. “I do not have to hang around you to show you. I am sheriff. You… you are in my retinue.”
I knew my mouth was hanging open, but I couldn’t help it. “Catching flies,” my grandmother had called that expression, and I felt like I was catching plenty of them. “Your retinue?” I managed to splutter.
“Well, up you and your retinue. You don’t tell me what to do!”
“You are obliged to go with me to the conference,” Eric said, his mouth tense and his eyes blazing. “That was why I called you to Shreveport, to talk to you about travel time and arrangements.”
“I’m not obliged to go anywhere with you. You got outranked, buddy.”
And it would have degenerated from there, if Quinn hadn’t pulled up. Instead of arriving in his truck, Quinn was in a Lincoln Continental. I felt a moment of sheer snobbish pleasure at the thought of riding in it. I’d selected the pants outfit at least partly because I thought I’d be scrambling up into a pickup, but I was just as pleased to slither into a luxurious car. Quinn came across the lawn and mounted the porch with an understated speed. He didn’t look as though he was hurrying, but suddenly he was there, and I was smiling at him, and he looked wonderful. He was wearing a dark gray suit, a dark purple shirt, and a tie that blended the two colors in a paisley pattern. He was wearing one earring, a simple gold hoop.
Eric had fang showing.
“Hello, Eric,” Quinn said calmly. His deep voice rumbled along my spine. “Sookie, you look good enough to eat.” He smiled at me.
“You look very nice, too,” I said, trying not to beam like an idiot. It was not cool to drool.
Eric said, “What have you been telling Sookie, Quinn?”
The two tall men looked at each other. I didn’t believe I was the source of their animosity. I was a symptom, not the disease. Something lay underneath this.
“I’ve been telling Sookie that the queen requires Sookie’s presence at the conference as part of her party, and that the queen’s summons supercedes yours,” Quinn said flatly.
“Since when has the queen given orders through a shifter?” Eric said, contempt flattening his voice. Now that Eric had mentioned it, I did think it was odd that the queen would send Quinn of all people.
“Since this shifter performed a valuable service for her in the line of business,” Quinn answered, with no hesitation. “Mr. Cataliades suggested to Her Majesty that I might be helpful in a diplomatic capacity, and my partners were glad to give me extra time to perform any duties she might give me.”
I wasn’t totally sure I was following this, but I got the gist of it and it didn’t seem right.
Eric was incensed, to use a good entry from my Word of the Day calendar. In fact, his eyes were almost throwing sparks, he was so angry. “This woman has been mine, and she will be mine,” he said, in tones so definite I thought about checking my rear end for a brand.
Quinn shifted his gaze to me. “Babe, are you his, or not?” he asked.
What a question that was. No, I knew that I wasn’t Eric’s, but did I want to be? At that moment, I wasn’t sure, but I knew that if I was having these thoughts then I shouldn’t be going out on a date with Quinn. I knew it wasn’t fair to any of us until I could resolve my feelings for Eric once and for all.
I must have been taking too long to respond because when I looked up, Eric had his trademark eyebrow up in question and Quinn was looking at me nervously.
“I’m sorry to do this, but Quinn, I can’t go out with you tonight. I need to talk to Eric and resolve some things that are still between us. I hope you understand,” I said trying my best to easily let him down.
“I think I understand perfectly. Once a fang-banging whore, always a fang banger whore,” he snarled at me.
Without even thinking, I took two steps forward and slapped him as hard as I could across his face! I hadn’t even registered what I’d done until I felt the stinging pain of my hand. Pulling my injured hand against my body, I covered my gaping mouth with my other hand.
Looking to my left, I noticed Eric was in a defensive stance. His fangs were still down, he was in a crouched stance, and his hands were curled into claws. If that wasn’t enough to scare Quinn, then the noises emanating from Eric should have, but Quinn wasn’t afraid of him at the moment. He was staring daggers at me, and they both looked ready to pounce; Quinn on me and Eric on Quinn. I needed to stop this before there was any more bloodshed on my front lawn.
“Eric,” I said in as steady of a tone as I could manage. He didn’t respond, and it caused Quinn to start growling as I began moving toward him. Eric crouched lower and the noises he was creating got louder.
“Eric, please,” I begged. The only response I received was a quick flick of his eyes toward me. I moved even closer to him and placed my hand on his upper arm. I could feel the muscle underneath my hand was taut as was the rest of his body, ready to strike.
“Don’t do this,” I said as I moved my hand up his arm tightening my hold.
As Eric turned to look at me, his features visibly softened, and his stance straightened out.
“Yeah, do what your blood whore says!” Quinn spat with venom.
Eric growled, and before he could do anything, I lunged in front of him. “Quinn, please go now. I never meant to hurt you, but I didn’t think it would be fair to go on a date with you without resolving my issues with Eric. Now that you’ve acted like such an asshole you can forget about ever going on a date with me.”
“I didn’t realize you were still into fangers. I should have known,” he said shaking his head as he stepped off my porch and headed to his car. His mind was a whirling mix of red rage.
“Wow. I would never have agreed to go out with him if I knew he was anything like that,” I said looking up at Eric at the end. “Would you like to come in and talk?”
He gave me a nod before going silently to the door and holding it open for me.
“Why were you going out on a date with him?” he asked once he’d crossed over the threshold.
“Can I get you a True Blood?” I asked as I headed into the kitchen to get myself a glass of sweet tea and a minute away from Eric. I had not planned on talking to him this night or any night if I was truthful with myself.
“Yes, thank you,” he replied from the doorway. I guess I wasn’t going to get a minute to compose myself.
I quickly moved around the kitchen getting us drinks as I talked. “Why not go out on a date with Quinn?” I shrugged. “He’s a good looking guy who’s difficult for me to read, and he asked. Nobody else was asking,” I shook my head, and then put his True Blood into the microwave.
“If I were to ask you out on a date, would you go?” he questioned from behind me.
“To tell you the truth, I don’t know,” I sighed and took his True Blood out of the microwave. “Since you woke up from the witch’s curse, things have been different between us.”
I walked into the living room and sat down on my couch. Eric followed, sitting down at the other end. I handed him his True Blood and took a drink of my sweet tea before placing it on the table.
As I was sitting back, Eric grasped my hand, inspecting it, before he got up and went into the kitchen.
He came back out and placed a towel filled with ice on my injured hand.
“Thank you, Eric.” I was surprised by his gesture and that he’d even thought that my hand could still be in pain from slapping Quinn.
He gave me a slight nod while looking me up and down. “Do you think I care nothing for you?” he asked, surprising me.
“I believe you care about me as an employee, about how I can help you out with my telepathy, and as a part of your retinue,” I said the last part with distaste and a slight scowl.
“You’re never going to get over that, are you?”
“I don’t like being anyone’s asset, Eric, and you know that.”
“I know, but you have to look at it from my point of view. That’s the way it is in the supernatural community. I don’t think of you as only a member of my retinue or an asset. Surely you know that.”
“I know nothing of the sort. I haven’t heard from you since we were in New Orleans, and then when you want me to come see you about business you couldn’t even call yourself. You can’t expect me to drop everything and come running whenever you call. I don’t expect that with you.”
“Don’t you?” he asked with a look of disapproval on his face. “I come whenever you call for me. Always. And you only call or come to me when you need something. Maybe you should think about that.”
He turned in his seat and slowly drank his True Blood while I thought about what he had said. I was astonished to find out that he was right. I only called or went to see him when I needed help.
“You’re right,” I said after a few minutes. Eric looked surprised that I had agreed. “It’s wrong of me only to call or come see you when I need something. Why would I expect any different?” He looked as if he was about to start talking, so I held up my hand. “But from the first moment we met, I was seeing Bill.”
“Don’t remind me,” he responded, finishing off his blood.
“We hadn’t been broken up that long, and then you were cursed. After you came back as yourself, things have been strained between us, to say the least.”
Eric shook his head. “I wish you would have told me the night I woke up what had happened between us. Do you know why I wanted to know what happened so badly?” he asked looking at me with a storm of emotion in his eyes.
“You like to be in control and have to know everything,” I stated.
“I do like those things,” he said with a smirk, “but, no, that is not why I wanted to know. After I woke up and you realized that I didn’t remember the week we had spent together, you were so sad. It was as if someone had died.”
“He did die,” I replied quietly.
“Who died? I thought only the were-bitch died.”
“My Eric died,” I said softly, looking at my hands in my lap.
“I don’t understand how we came to be together when I was without my memories, but you obviously liked him much more than you do the real me,” he replied angrily.
“In some ways, yes, I did like him better than you. You were so sweet,” I said before he interrupted me.
“I am not sweet.”
“When it suits you, you can be. You’ve shown me kindness when I haven’t done anything to warrant it, but when you had amnesia, you didn’t have this tough exterior blocking who I believe you are deep down in your soul. I was your whole world then. We talked for hours on end about everything and nothing,” I paused looking at him, watching as he took my words in.
“I also knew it wouldn’t last. You offered to stay with me without your memories, but I couldn’t do that to you. I know you have a whole Area of vampires who rely on you and along with your businesses, and employees. You didn’t know what you were giving up and, no matter how much I loved that Eric, I couldn’t deprive you of a thousand years worth of memories. I couldn’t be that selfish; it would have been in no way fair to you even if I did want to keep you.”
“Did you want to keep me?” He asked quietly, almost as if he was unsure that he wanted to know the answer.
“More than anything,” I replied sadly, thinking back to those few days we had together, back to our car ride to and from Shreveport the night of the Witch War.
“Could you ever want me as I am now?” His voice was curious and more serious than I would have expected.
“I do like you, Eric, and I did miss the old you when you were cursed. There are so many more factors now, but I’d like to try to see if we could be something. I have stipulations though if you want to date or be in a relationship with me,” I answered turning toward him.
“Okay, and what would those be?” He asked with his lips tugging up into a faint smile.
“If we’re going to date then I expect for you to not have sex with anyone else and…”
“I’ll be faithful to you, of that you do not have to worry,” he said honestly.
“How long can you wait? I’ve heard of your reputation.”
Eric made a noise that sounded something like a mixture of a huff, a growl, and a groan, and then turned more fully toward me. “It is only that. A reputation. It doesn’t mean it’s true. Let me guess; it was Bill who told you of my ways,” He paused when I looked at him guiltily. “Yes, I’ve had sex with numerous people throughout my long life, but that doesn’t mean I cannot be faithful to the only woman I have ever wanted or … wait? Sookie, I’m failing to see why we’d have to wait. We’ve already had sex.”
“True, but our situation was different. You were different.”
“You’re right. I’m not that man you knew; I’m more. He’s still inside me, and I believe you can bring him out.”
Could my Eric still be in there?
I knew I definitely wanted to get to know the man before me, and if that other part of him really did still exist, maybe I could find it? The possibility that I could have ‘my’ Eric back was thrilling, but I knew at best he would be a mix of who was sitting before me now, who he was when I first met him, and ‘my’ Eric.
The possibilities were endless and exciting. I found I couldn’t wait to get to know this Eric Northman.
“Someday I’d like for you to tell me about when you were human if that’s alright with you.” I couldn’t imagine the stories that Eric would have, what it was like living back then, what his family was like.
“Someday,” he replied as he leaned back against the couch crossing one ankle over his knee as his arm stretched out on the back. He was definitely making himself comfortable, and even though he was sitting on my Gran’s old flowered couch, he looked as if he belonged there; as if it was natural for him to be here with me.
“Any other stipulations?” He asked with a smirk and a raised eyebrow.
“I know I probably have no right asking for this, but I know how closely related feeding and sex are, and the thought of you feeding off of another person…” I took a deep breath and slowly let it out. “I can’t stand the thought of your lips, your fangs on another’s skin.”
Eric grinned at my stated jealousy but quickly became serious once again. “I am an old vampire. Therefore, I do not have to consume very much blood to survive and, if it puts your mind at ease, I can drink True Blood and bagged donor blood until you feel that you’re willing to let me drink from you. Anything else?”
“You,” I said pointing at his chest, “will call me yourself. Don’t have Pam do it unless it’s unavoidable. As for the rest, I don’t know. I’m almost as inexperienced as you are in the dating world. Bill’s the only boyfriend I’ve ever had, and the closest thing he did to take me on a date was take me to Fangtasia. At first, I saw him often, but then he slowly started to pull away from me and worked on that damn database all the time. You know what happened next and to top it all off the whole relationship was fake. At least for him, it was,” I said with my blood starting to boil. It was true that I was still not over all that Bill had done to me, and I wasn’t sure if I’d ever forgive him. “I’m sorry I shouldn’t be talking about Bill with you.”
“I am the one who’s sorry. I hated what Bill did to you and that I forced him to tell you that he was sent by the Queen. I only wanted you to know the truth, and in doing so you were hurt,” Eric responded looking a mixture of anger and remorse.
“There was no way around me not being hurt, Eric, and, if it weren’t for you, I probably never would have known. I doubt Bill was ever going to tell me willingly. Can I ask you a question?” I asked. I needed to know the answer to my next question.
“Anything.” He gently took my hand in his and started to rub soothing circles on the back of my hand with his thumb.
It was a little sweet, but I wasn’t going to tell him. It would only make him stop, and feeling his thumb rub on the back of my hand was providing a comfort that I hadn’t felt since before my Gran died.
“When did you find out that the Queen sent Bill?”
“After he arrived in New Orleans. He was almost frantically trying to find out when the Queen was going to see you, and it struck me as odd. I did some digging around, and Rasul was the one who told me of his suspicions. We could not prove it. There was no way I could question my Queen, but I knew I was right. I am sorry I hurt you, Sookie. Whether you believe it or not, I do care for you. I might not show it in the way you expect, but this is all very new to me. Even in my human days, I didn’t date.”
“Thank you,” I replied, squeezing his hand. I could tell that he didn’t like what had happened to me, and I didn’t blame him for what Bill had done. I was also surprised that he was being so open. It brought a small smile to my face. Eric Northman actually admitted that he cares for me. But why? He could have anyone that he wanted, not some barmaid with no education.
“Sookie?” I heard Eric question. I quickly looked up to see a pensive look on his face. “What are you thinking about over there? One minute you’re angry, then happy, and now somewhere between sad and contemplative.”
I wasn’t sure I was ready to share how I felt unworthy of Eric, so I put a smile on my face and changed the subject hoping that he would forget about my rapidly changing moods.
“I will continue to help you with my telepathy if you need me, but I’d like some advanced notice if it is at all possible.”
Eric gave me an odd look but didn’t mention the subject change. Instead, he trailed his fingers along the back of my neck until he reached my hairline, and then slowly started running his fingers through the hair at the nape of my neck. “I will try my best, but surely you must know that circumstances arise that need more immediate action, but I will never force you to help me. It will be up to you, and I will pay you for your assistance.”
It sounded fair, so I nodded my head in agreement.
“One more thing. At least for now,” I stated nervously. Who knew what I’d think of once Eric was no longer here or later down the line? We both were truly new to dating although I didn’t really feel as if stating conditions on my telepathy had anything to do with dating, but I wanted to put it all out there while I had a chance.
Eric’s only response was a curious lift of his eyebrow.
“I want to stay out of vampire politics as much as possible. All supernatural politics would be preferable.”
I watched as Eric gave me an appraising look before he spoke. I had a feeling that I wasn’t going to like what he had to say. Was he trying to decide my emotional state? Was he afraid that I was going to freak out on him?
“I understand not wanting to be in the supernatural world. It is a dangerous place, and I will do everything in my power to keep you safe and out of the fray of politics, but,” I nodded. I knew there would be a but in there somewhere. “Now that the Queen has requested you at the summit in Rhodes, there will be many vampires there, and there’s a high possibility that many will learn of your gift. I’m afraid once your cousin opened her mouth to the Queen and let her know of your abilities you were always going to be brought into my world,” Eric said with sympathetic eyes.
With a heavy sigh, I rubbed my eyes for a moment before returning my attention back to Eric.
“I was afraid of that. All I’ve ever wanted was to be normal, and when Bill walked into Merlotte’s and I couldn’t hear his thoughts, I thought I was finally getting my chance at normalcy,” I confessed. “Except it didn’t bring anything normal into my life. The whole town thought I was stupid for associating with, and then dating a vampire. Then there’s all the added danger that has been brought into my life. Hell, upon meeting Bill, I was beaten outside of Merlotte’s. If Bill hadn’t been there to give me his blood, I’m sure I would have died that night; since then been almost drained, raped, and I’ve killed two people. I’m now a murderer,” I whispered as tears stung my eyes.
Eric’s hand stilled, and his body stiffened briefly before pulling me to his side and wrapping his arm around my shoulders, letting me cry.
I didn’t cry for long. I knew how much Eric hating seeing women cry, or at least me, so I tried to compose myself as best as I could. I dried my eyes and cheeks with the arm of my shirt and sniffed a couple of times so that I wouldn’t have snot running out of my nose. I was pretty sure that Eric would find that human function disgusting.
Once I was composed, I looked up at Eric with a small smile of thanks for once again comforting me. His thumb brushed away a tear that had escaped the swipe of my sleeve.
“I despise all that has happened to you since you’ve been brought into my world. I promise to protect you and make sure no one hurts you ever again with the best of my ability, and that you never have to be put in the position to kill another soul.” He brushed a strand of hair from my face and tucked it behind my ear. “Enough talk about upsetting things. Let’s talk about this date that we are to go on. When are you available? I will be very busy up until we leave for the summit, but I will make sure to set aside a night or two for our date,” he said, waggling his eyebrows.
A giggle escaped before I even realized the broad smile on my face. Eric somehow always knew how to cheer me up. It was crazy that he seemed to get me. I wondered if I’d ever feel like I truly understood him.
“Seeing as how you haven’t asked me on said date, I don’t know what you’re talking about,” I replied with a mischievous smile.
Eric’s eyes flashed to mine before a smirk graced his face. “I see. I’m terribly sorry that I seemed to have not asked you on a proper date. Should I go outside and knock on the door?”
I could only shake my head so that I didn’t laugh out loud, even though I knew that Eric could feel exactly what I was feeling.
Slipping off the couch, Eric got down on one knee and grasped my hands in one of his large, cool hands.
“Sookie, would you please do me the honor of accompanying me on a date in the very near future?”
I couldn’t help it; a burst of laughter escaped and I clamped a hand over my mouth.
“Eric, you only get down on one knee when you’re proposing marriage. Not for a date.”
“I think this will be a very important date and that it merits me getting down on one knee,” he replied with a smirk.
Truth be told, I was a little nervous that he thought this date was important. I mean what if we found out that we really didn’t like each other? Although I highly doubted it. We had been around each other enough to know that we liked each other. I even loved him. My Eric.
“Don’t overthink it, Sookie. There’s no reason to be nervous. It’s only me,” he said quietly as he looked at me earnestly.
“There’s a lot to be nervous about when it involves you, Eric Northman, but, yes, I will go out on this very important date. The next night I have off is Sunday.”
“What a coincidence. Fangtasia’s closed on Sundays. The only business that I have that night is the business that I came tonight to discuss with you. We are having a meeting about the summit, and I need for you to attend. Afterward, we can go on our date. Or we can go another night that you have off. I’m sure Pam can cover for me for a few hours.”
“After the meeting is fine. I know you’re busy.”
“Excellent. Unfortunately, I need to get back. I have much to do to prepare for the summit. I’ll call you in a couple of days.”
Eric stood, stretching to his full height, before picking up my hand to help me stand. He didn’t let go of it as we made our way to the front door. Turning toward me, he softly brushed his lips against mine.
“This is the beginning,” he whispered against my lips. He dropped my hand and made his way out off the porch. Just before he was getting ready to take off into the night sky, he raised his hand in a wave and gave me a wink.
Dating Eric Northman would definitely be interesting, and I couldn’t wait to see where this journey would take us.
What do you think? Do you think I should continue this?