Both Eric and Sookie were quiet for the rest of their journey to Fangtasia. Eric was thinking he didn’t know what he would do if Sookie didn’t want to bond with him, and Sookie was lost in her own thoughts trying to imagine anything that Eric could possibly say that would make her not want to bond with him. He was essentially asking her to marry him or at least that’s how she understood it.
She let out a long sigh as she wished Eric had been the one she married instead of Dirk. The only good thing that had come out of their relationship was the baby boy she was now carrying.
She rubbed her free hand over her belly as if she was trying to soothe him already.
Sookie was surprised when Eric had seemed excited to learn it was a boy although she was slightly worried about if he’d want to be a father to another man’s baby. He’d said that they were both his, but could or would he love her baby? She sure as hell hoped so because if she had to let go of Eric again she wasn’t sure she’d be able to survive.
The car turning off brought her out of her thoughts and back to the present.
“What’s kept you so deep in your thoughts over there?” Eric asked while he unbuckled her seatbelt.
“Are you worried that something could happen to the baby? That he’s in danger?” He asked, looking down at her stomach.
“No, I know you won’t let anything happen to either of us,” she replied, noticing that his eyes seemed transfixed on her belly. She reached over and brought his hand to her belly. A smile spread across her face as she watched his large hand flatten and spread across her stomach.
They sat quietly for a minute in the same position until the baby seemed to wake up with the hiccups causing Eric to actually jump back as if he was startled.
“He’s got the hiccups,” she said with laughter as she brought his hand back.
“I’ve never felt anything like it,” Eric answered with awe. “He’s okay?” he asked looking to Sookie’s face and then her belly.
“He’s perfectly fine,” Sookie placed her hand on top of his.
Eric continued to stare down at their hands until the baby was no longer moving. He looked back up at Sookie with his sweet smile that she had only seen when he had no idea who he was.
“Thank you for sharing this with me,” he said softly.
All of Sookie’s fears on whether or not he’d ever come to love her baby vanished. Leaning forward, she brushed her lips across his before she spoke.
“Thank you for everything,” Sookie cupped the side of his face and ran her thumb along his cheek. Eric leaned into her touch, her heat, that made him feel alive each and every time she touched him.
“We should get inside before Pam and Willa come storming out wondering why we’ve been sitting out here for so long,” He pulled her hand away and kissed her palm.
Sookie had barely noticed he’d moved before her door was open and he was helping her out of the car.
“Does Pam know I’ll be here?” Sookie asked nervously.
Eric looked down at his nervous little fairy and entwined their fingers. “No,” he replied as he pulled her through the backdoor. He felt her go rigid for a moment before she let him lead them down the hall and into the bar portion of Fangtasia.
Sookie saw Pam, Willa, and an unknown brown-haired man, who from his brain signature she could tell he was a Were, all standing around the bar. Taking a quick look around, she realized the place looked exactly as it did the first time she visited.
They all turned at the same time. Willa had a smile on her face, the man whom she assumed was Eric’s investigator looked at them curiously, and Pam was scowling at them.
“Fuck a zombie! What the hell is she doing here?” Pam spat out, each word filled with more hatred than the previous one.
“She’s here because we’re together now,” Eric said as he pulled out a chair and helped Sookie sit before he sat down next to her. Taking her hand once again he looked up at the shocked expressions on each of them. “Do you want anything to drink?” He asked as he brought their joined hands to rest on the table.
“Water?” Sookie asked. She was unsure if she should get it or if someone else would. There were no employees; with three vampires and a Were present, she knew they most likely thought of her as the least important person in the room.
“That’s all you want?” Eric asked as he stood.
“I can’t drink alcohol because of the baby,” No matter how much I might want it, she thought eyeing Pam.
“I’ll learn these things, I promise you,” he replied while he filled a glass with water.
He placed her water in front of her, and then sat down next to her again.
“Willa, do you have Sookie’s stuff?” he asked as he watched Sookie take a long drink.
“It’s in my car,” Willa responded while she made her way over to her friend. “Are you okay, Sookie?”
Putting down her drink, she smiled at her friend. “I’m good. How ’bout yourself?”
“Just fine. I’ll go get your things,” Willa said looking back and forth between Eric and Sookie.
Looks like they finally talked. It’s about time.
“You can put it in the SUV. Clark, let’s hear what you’ve found out,” he said motioning for Clark to join them.
“I made my way out to Bon Temps this morning just like you asked. When I got there I immediately noticed fresh scents, probably only an hour or so old. It was the same two fairies who had been there previously. No sign that the Were had been back though.”
“Could you place the Were?” Eric asked. He pushed his chair closer to Sookie’s, and then draped his arm around her shoulders.
Clark eyed the ancient vampire’s actions. He could smell Northman’s blood in her, but didn’t detect her blood in him. His boss was definitely staking his claim on this Sookie.
Nothing like dealing with a possessive vampire.
Sookie let out a small giggle when she heard his thoughts.
“What’s so funny, älskling?” Eric asked with a smile on his face.
Pam was watching them from the bar. She couldn’t remember the last time Eric had smiled or felt this happy. Probably when he was last with Sookie. Still, she didn’t like it. Once she had him alone they’d be having words, but for now she’d keep quiet.
“You being a possessive vampire,” Sookie replied with a laugh.
“Oh, sweet Sookie, you haven’t seen possessive yet,” he smirked at her with a wink.
Clark’s shocked expression had Sookie giggling again.
“I’m a telepath,” she stated. Sookie watched him gulp and become nervous. It was something she was all too familiar with. “Weres are harder for me to read unless you’re thinking something strongly or to me.”
“Good to know,” Clark replied uneasily.
Eric’s body tensed before he spoke coolly toward the man. “Are you thinking, doing, or planning anything that would cause you to become so nervous?”
“No,” Clark shook head his vehemently.
Eric turned seeing Sookie also shake her head.
“Good, keep it that way or losing your job will be the least of your worries.”
That was just what Clark feared. He’d known Northman long enough to know that he never bluffed. If he did anything that Northman deemed inappropriate toward this Sookie, he would pay for it and not only with his job.
“Eric,” Sookie said, lightly swatting his arm. “Leave the poor man alone. He hasn’t once thought anything bad and, even if he did, people think things all the time that they don’t plan to act on. I can tell he’s a good man.”
Eric let out a grunt, but glared at his investigator, letting him know that even though Sookie had let him off the hook, there would still be trouble if he caught wind of him thinking or doing anything that upset her.
“Now, where were we? Oh, you knew where the Were was from,” Sookie stated before drinking more of her water.
“Does he now?” Eric asked, leaning back in his chair.
“Sorry, force of habit when I meet someone new.”
“Nothing to be sorry about,” he said taking her hand in his. “I wasn’t expecting you to use your gift. You don’t have to do that if you don’t want to. It’s not expected of you.”
Both Sookie and Pam’s mouths hung open in disbelief at his statement.
“If I ever have need for your service, I’ll ask you beforehand and, of course, pay you. I’ve gotten along just fine without your gift and never want you to feel as if it is something expected. That’s not what we’re about.”
“You won’t need to pay me for me helping you, but thank you,” she replied with a smile.
Through their tie, Eric could feel how much it meant to her that he didn’t expect her to use her gift, and also that he wanted to pay her. He could feel that she was determined to take no money from him, or stop reading his employee.
“We’ll talk about it another time,” he stated before turning back to Clark. “You know this Were that was on her property?”
“I wouldn’t say know, but I’ve encountered him a few times. He’s a rogue from Alabama. He’ll do just about any job for the right amount of money. He won’t stop until he’s finished the job and gotten paid. His name is Patrick Sullivan.”
“Fuck! Why would two fairies pay a Were to do a job they could easily do themselves?”
“Maybe because they have to be in their realm and time passes by much more quickly here than there. When I was gone, it was only for fifteen to twenty minutes tops, and I missed over a year’s time here,” Sookie explained.
“Do you have any enemies in the Fae realm that you know of?” Eric asked. He was angry for not realizing these implications and not asking her any of this sooner.
Instead of trying to get her to be his when she had returned after being gone for thirteen of the longest months of his life, he should have found out where she had been and what had happened. He’d had a pretty good idea since one minute their tie was gone and the next it was back and waking him from his day rest.
“Besides crazy ass Queen Mab and her followers? I don’t think so.”
“Fucking hell! Why didn’t we ever talk about this? Why didn’t you tell me?” He asked with evident hurt in his voice.
“There was always something going on. You got amnesia right after I got back, then there was the witch war, the whole Authority bullshit, Russell, Vamp Camp, Hep V, you disappearing for six months and coming back infected,” she glared at him. “Then after you got healed, we didn’t see each other again for over four years. When was I supposed to tell you?” She asked with tears in her eyes. “I haven’t had any problems or even seen another fairy, except for my great grandfather since Warlow died.”
Eric growled when he heard the fairy-vampire’s name. He knew that Sookie had taken his blood and had sex with him while he was stuck in Vamp Camp. He still wasn’t happy about it.
“If I had any problems or any idea that they were after me, I would have come to you,” she said quietly as a tear slipped down her cheek.
Once Eric smelled and then saw her tears, he quickly scooped her up and placed her in his lap. Tucking her head underneath his chin, he started to caress her hair and spoke quietly to her.
“Please don’t cry, dear one. I won’t let anyone hurt you. If I would have known that the Queen herself was possibly after you, I would have provided more security than having Willa check up on you every once in a while. But now I know and all that matters is you’re here with me and safe.”
Sookie nodded her head, but still continued to silently cry.
“Don’t think of the past,” he urged her, running his fingers through her hair. “We’re together now and have all the time in the world to talk. Right?”
She nodded her head again while a few more tears escaped, and curled up into his lap as best she could with being almost eight months pregnant and in a chair.
“Is this those pregnancy hormones you were talking about?” he asked against the top of her head.
“Yes,” she half laughed and half sobbed out.
He nodded his head against the top of hers and wrapped his arms tightly around her. “I hate it that you’re crying, but I understand, or at least I’m trying to.”
Eric continued to try and soothe her, when he tilted his face up to see Pam, Willa, and Clark all staring at him in astonishment.
Pam had only seen this side of Eric a few times and it seemed they were mostly reserved for that fucking, magical fairy vagina who was currently sitting on his lap.
Willa was shocked to see how caring her Maker was to her friend. Eric had never been mean or cruel to her, but they were still trying to forge a relationship. She knew he must care for Sookie more than she ever thought if he was willing to let anyone see this side of him.
Clark only knew that while Eric was a good employer, and an honorable vampire, he was also one that you didn’t want to get on his bad side. Eric rarely showed any emotion whatsoever and if he did, it was because someone had gone against his laws. When that happened everyone knew to clear out of his way. You did not want to be in front of him once his temper was raised. So to see him holding this woman in his arms and trying to console her was not something Clark thought he’d ever see from any vampire, let alone Eric Northman.
It was obvious to everyone in the room how much Eric loved his Sookie.
“Wipe that stupid grin off your face and tell me what else you know,” Eric said impatiently.
“Like I said before, when I arrived at the house, the scent from the fairies was fresh. They hadn’t been gone long before I got there. They had circled the house, but didn’t go in. They…” He looked over at Sookie before letting out a deep breath. “They destroyed her car. It was still in flames when I got there, and they left a message in blood on her front door. ”
“What did it say?” Eric growled out. He sat up ramrod straight, curling himself around Sookie, trying to shield her as if danger was imminent.
“You’re next hybrid bitch,” Clark said quietly, afraid that since he was the messenger of bad news, he might be killed.
Sookie turned and sobbed into Eric’s neck until she fell asleep while everyone else sat at the table and quietly strategized on how best to catch the fairies who were after her.
Sookie didn’t wake up again until Eric was laying her down in his, their bed.
“Where are we?” she asked as she stretched out on her side and opened her eyes to see a worried Eric.
“Back at the safe house,” he replied as he sat down on the edge of the bed beside her.
“But I thought we were going to the grocery store,” she stated and started to sit up. Eric wrapped an arm around her waist and helped her.
“We were, but you were very upset and had fallen asleep so I figured you needed your rest. Clark offered to get you groceries tomorrow, and then I’ll meet up with him to retrieve our supplies and see if he has any new information.”
“It’s probably too late now to go anyway,” Sookie really didn’t want to eat anymore of the canned food, but it would only be for one more day.
Lifting up her hand, Eric placed a kiss on her palm before he cupped her face with both hands.
“I know you probably don’t want to eat the food here,” he started.
“It’s okay. It’s only for one more day.”
“You didn’t let me finish.”
“I’m sorry. Please go ahead.”
“I knew you didn’t want the canned food here so I… I guess you’d call it, raided the employee refrigerator at Fangtasia. It isn’t much, a few things of yogurt, a banana, and an apple, but it’s only until I meet with Clark. Now that you’re awake, you can make a list of the foods you want and I’ll send it to him.”
“Thank you for thinking of me,” she said as she leaned over and hugged Eric.
“Always,” he replied, kissing the top of her head.