I knew it was too good to be true. The last six months had been quiet, too quiet. Nothing had happened. We hadn’t heard from the Queen, and Eric had Jessica checking the property to make sure there were no Were scents around. We had our meeting with Alcide about the Weres Eric had encountered the night Bill kidnapped me. Alcide didn’t know anything about it, but said he would keep a look out. Eric had sent out trackers, but so far they hadn’t found anything either.
Most nights we spent a few hours at Fangtasia. I worked in the office for a little while, and then would go out and sit in our booth listening to the customers. Eric would do his Sheriff duties, sit on his throne for a little while, and then sit with me. Some nights after work Eric would take me out to dinner or we would just come home where Eric would watch me make dinner. For some reason he liked watching me in the kitchen.
I had been keeping in contact with everyone from Bon Temps. Once every week or two, Eric would take me to Merlotte’s and we would have dinner with Jason, Tara, Hoyt, Jessica, and sometimes Lala. Sam and I were polite to each other, but we had never returned to the friendship we once had. I would read his mind occasionally, and he was always thinking hurtful things about Eric, me, or both of us. Eric suggested that we stop going, but I wasn’t going to let Sam keep me from having dinners with my friends. I thought that eventually he would see that I was fine. Everyone else had seen that Eric really wasn’t a bad person.
I was sitting in our regular booth scanning the crowd, and Eric was back in his office with a vampire who was checking into the Area when I caught two strange brain patterns. I knew they were Weres, but there was something different about them. I noticed them talking to Pam, and it left me curious, wondering what they wanted. Weres don’t usually talk to vamps, so I thought that was a little strange, and they definitely don’t go to vampire bars.
Pam had them sit at the bar while she went back to the office. I noticed Pam give me a side-glance when she went back into the direction of the office. I turned my attention back to the bar and noticed Thalia was sitting across from me. I didn’t say anything, but I gave her a small smile. Thalia was not a vampire you wanted to mess with. I knew Pam wanted her to guard me since neither Pam nor Eric were out on the floor.
All the regulars knew not to mess with me, and all the vampires knew to protect me, but I still received murderous glares every once in a while from the fangbangers. Of course, they didn’t know I could read their minds. They were jealous that I got all the attention from Eric. He never showed them any positive attention anymore and it seemed that most liked the negative attention anyway. I’d never understand going to a bar and paying to be treated like dirt.
Pam came out a couple of minutes later and went straight to the bar to talk to the strange Weres. There was something about them I didn’t like. About ten minutes later Pam escorted them back to Eric’s office. When I noticed them going back there I pushed caution into the bond.
It only took about five minutes before I felt Eric getting angry. His anger continued to intensify and I didn’t know what was going on in that meeting, but I could barely keep it together with the amount of rage that was now pouring through the bond. Just when I thought I couldn’t take it anymore I felt Eric calm down. He was still very angry, but it was manageable now.
I saw Pam walk to the front for door duty, and then Eric was by me snatching me up from the booth. “Thank you, Thalia, for watching over Sookie,” Eric said with a nod to her. Before I knew it, we were out the door and into the sky.
“Eric, what the hell is going on? First, I feel you so angry that I was shaking, and then the next thing I know we are out of there and in the sky. You’re scaring me,” I said with my face pressed up against his. I knew he could hear me. I felt his arms tighten a little more around me.
He didn’t say anything until we were back home. Eric flew us into the backyard, and he took us straight into the living room where he sat me down on the couch and started pacing. I watched him pace for almost thirty minutes before I couldn’t take it anymore. I knew it must be something bad since I had never seen Eric act like this before. I could see Eric was trying to figure out every possible scenario, but watching him pace and stressing out, and not knowing what it was about was driving me crazy.
I figured it had to have something to do with me; otherwise, we would be still be at Fangtasia and in his office with Pam. Instead, we were home, and I had no clue.
“Eric!” I whisper yelled. I meant for it to come out much stronger, but I was about ready to panic, and that was all that came out. Eric stopped pacing and looked at me. It seemed as if he just registered that I was there. I looked up at him pleading with my eyes. “Please tell me what’s going on. You’re scaring me. Please,” I whimpered.
Eric vamped over to me, kneeled in front of me, and pulled me into his arms. “I didn’t mean to scare you,” He said while stroking my hair. “I’ll tell you what has happened, but I want you to stay calm and know that nothing bad will happen,” I nodded, though I wasn’t feeling too positive right now. Eric got up and sat on the couch with me, holding my hands while rubbing circles on them with his thumbs.
“I had an unexpected meeting with some Weres tonight. I had no idea what they could possibly want from a meeting with me,” he stopped and looked at me directly in the eyes. “Sookie, they want you. They want me to hand you over to them.”
“I don’t know why they want you. I told them under no circumstances were they getting you. They told me that they were very powerful and, if I didn’t hand you over, I would be very sorry.”
I couldn’t even think straight after hearing this news. Why would they want me? How did they even hear about me? My mind was going a million miles a minute trying to figure out what was going on.
“They’re coming back tomorrow night at 10:00 and, if I don’t hand you over, something very bad will happen. Can I ask you something?” I nodded. I didn’t even think I could speak at the moment. “I felt you right before they came in. You were sending caution through the bond. Why?”
“I was scanning the crowd when I noticed them talking to Pam. I could tell they were Weres, but that there was something different about them. I just don’t know what,” I said shaking my head. “What are we going to do?”
“We are not going to do anything. You,” he said, giving me a pointed look. “Will be staying home tomorrow night when I meet with them. Then I will kill them.”
“I’m coming with you. We have to figure out why they are after me. I can try to read them during your meeting.”
“NO! YOU ARE NOT GOING! I WILL NOT LET ANYTHING HAPPEN TO YOU!” He jumped up and shouted at me.
“I’m going! I cannot just sit around while you go off and kill them. Don’t you want to find out why they want me or how they found out about me?”
“Of course I do! I will get the information out of them, but I need you safe while I do that.”
“I know that you want me safe, but you know that it would be easier if I was there to read them.”
“It may be easier but it’s not safer. The answer is NO!”
“I know you can keep me safe and still have me there. I know you can take out a couple of Weres if there is any trouble. Please, you have to let me come to the meeting. Please!” I begged. I felt as if I needed to be there.
“I will think about it, but if I do let you go, then at the first sign of trouble I will have Pam get you out of there and there will be no fight. You will go.”
I smiled brightly, “I promise at the first sign of trouble I’ll leave.”
“I haven’t said yes. Why are you smiling like that?”
I kept smiling at him. I knew he would let me go. Eric could feel how strongly I wanted to be there and knew that I would get into trouble trying to figure out a way to be there anyway.
Eric came back to the couch and sat there for a long time strategizing. It looked as if he had gone into down time, but I could tell he hadn’t. Finally, he looked over at me.
“Are you sure you’ve never encountered a brain pattern like theirs before?”
“I’m sure. I could tell they were Weres, but there was something different about them. Do you have any ideas?”
“No, they smelled like regular Weres to me. At first I was wondering why they asked for a meeting with me and not their Pack master, so I don’t think they are from around here,” he said with a shake of his head. “We will have to be very cautious tomorrow night and find out why they’re here.”
I ran my hands over my face and through my hair. “Everything has been going so well. I should have known that I couldn’t be happy for too long, danger is always right around the corner.” I knew I was whining, but really, everything had been so great lately. I’d never been happier. I was using my telepathy, I had people around me who accepted me and made me feel normal, and I was in an actual relationship with someone I loved more every day. Then BAM!
“Why don’t we take a bath and relax? I don’t want you to worry. I promise I won’t let anything happen to you. What do you say?”
“How about you go start the water while I go make myself a sandwich and eat it real quick?”
“I’m going to call Pam, let her know what’s going on, and get the water started. Come down when you’re ready,” Eric kissed me on the forehead and left to go downstairs.
I quickly made myself a sandwich and ate it. When I was done cleaning up the kitchen, I headed downstairs to our bathroom. I walked into the closet and undressed, putting my clothes and all of Eric’s clothes that were on the floor into the hamper. I walked slowly into the bathroom to find it a little steamy but lit with candles all around the room and smelling of almond oil.
Eric was already in the bathtub, or more like a pool, laying back relaxing. His eyes were closed, but he smiled when I entered the room. When I walked up to the tub, he held his hand out to help me into the tub.
I slowly stepped into the tub. Eric sat up a little and once I was seated in front of him, he pulled me to his chest and wrapped his arms around me. I placed my hands on top of his and sent love through the bond. I had finally gotten the hang of our bond. I could send certain feelings to Eric and I could decipher his emotions much better than in the beginning. Normally I loved it. I loved feeling Eric all the time, but times like tonight when he was so full of rage it could be a little much.
“I love you, you know,” he placed a kiss on the side on my neck. “More than I can even express, I want you to relax, and not worry about this for the rest of the night.”
“I know you do,” I smiled.
“I don’t tell you very often…” I interrupted him.
“I can feel it. I feel it every night.”
“Sometimes you should hear the pretty words and I should tell you more, but I’m happy to know you feel it from me every night. I wanted you to know and that everything’s going to be all right. I promise you this.”
“If you told me that you love me all the time it wouldn’t be special when you do tell me. I probably tell you too much and it doesn’t mean that much to you anymore.”
“I feel special every time you say it me,” he tightened his arms around me. “For over a thousand years no one had told me that they loved me. Not that I was looking for it, but it means so much to me to hear it from your lips and know that I’m the one you are giving your love to.”
I turned around with tears in my eyes. Eric was being so sweet, almost too sweet. It made me wonder if he was not as confident as he was making himself out to be, as if something bad was going to happen. A tear escaped, but Eric caught it tilting his head to the side.
“Eric,” I whispered. “Are you sure everything’s going to be okay?”
“Yes, why are you asking? I don’t understand what’s going on with you. First you’re happy and now you’re worried.”
“I was just thinking that you are being so sweet that maybe you’re more worried than you’re letting on.”
“I will say that I am worried about you being there and getting hurt, but I’m not scared of them. We can handle them, no problem, don’t worry about that.”
I gave him a chaste kiss on the lips and then moved down to his neck, kissing, sucking, and nibbling up to his ear. I nibbled on his earlobe for a few moments then whispered to him, “Thank you for being so sweet to me.” Then I kissed one of his eyelids. “For taking care of me, protecting me,” I kissed his other eyelid. “For being you,” I kissed the tip of his nose. “For loving me,” I said, and then kissed him with everything I had.
We kissed passionately until I had to pull back to breathe. I opened my eyes to see the most amazingly, beautiful cerulean eyes shining back at me. Eric quickly lifted us out of the tub and onto the bed staring back at me.
Eric moved down to my feet where he started to kiss and lick up one leg, and then the other up to my hip. He left open-mouthed kisses all over my stomach, up to my breasts where he laved my nipples and then sucked them into to hardened peaks. He moved up to my neck and jaw working his way over to my mouth.
We made love until an hour before dawn and I was completely sated. I didn’t think my legs could work if I wanted them to at that moment. I was sprawled out over Eric and he was running his hand over my back while I lazily ran my fingers through his chest hair. I could feel my eyelids drooping so I moved myself to snuggle up to Eric’s side laying my head on his shoulder with his arms around me. I hugged my arm around him squeezing tighter.
“Good night, Eric. I love you.”
“Good night. Sleep well, my Sookie.”
I woke up to Eric nuzzling my neck. I smiled to myself until I remembered the meeting tonight.
“Good evening, my sweet Sookie. I really do enjoy waking up to you in my bed and in my arms,” Eric said to me using his most sexy, seductive voice. I felt one of Eric’s hands slide up to one of my breast while the other trailed down to run through my folds. I closed my eyes and moaned at the contact.
“Good evening. You really know how to wake a girl up.”
After another round of fabulous sex in the shower, Eric and I were both dressed to go to the meeting with the Weres. I went up to the kitchen to make something to eat. Eric sat at the table talking to me and emailing on his phone while I ate. I could hardly eat, but I knew I needed my strength for tonight. Who knew when I would get to the chance to eat again?
We pulled up to Fangtasia at 9:30 and went straight into Eric’s office. Eric sat behind his desk and I sat on the couch. Pam came in a couple of minutes later.
“Sookie and I are going to stay in my office. When the Weres get here, bring them back. Notify Thalia that she is to come and stand outside of my door once you bring them in. If anything starts to go wrong, I want you to get Sookie out of here. Do you understand?”
“Good, go back up front until they arrive,” Pam bowed slightly and left the room.
I sat chewing my nails. I couldn’t get over the bad feeling I had about those Weres. There was something about them that was wrong. At 10:00, Eric stood, came over to me, and held out his hand. I took it and he pulled me up to stand, and then wrapped his arms around me.
“You have nothing to worry about. If you can’t get anything off them, I’ll let Pam get the information out of them. Come, I want you to be beside me and behind my desk during this. He grabbed up a chair to put next to his.
A few minutes later, there was a knock on the door. Pam walked into the room with the two women who were Weres. They both sat down in front of Eric’s desk. Pam closed the door and stood behind them leaning against the wall.
“I am glad that you came to your senses and brought the telepath,” one of the women said. I couldn’t get much from them since they were Weres, but I could tell they were happy Eric brought me. They really thought he was going to hand me over.
“Yes, I brought her, but you cannot have her. I’ll never give her up. She is my bonded mate.”
“I don’t care what she is to you. If you don’t give her up then we’ll make sure the drinks that you are serving are poisoned, your dance floor will have cracks in it so your customers will trip and fall, and we will wreak havoc until there is nothing left of your bar.”
“How could you possibly make all those things happen?” Eric asked calmly.
“We are witches. Our leader is very powerful and all it will take is a simple spell.” Witches? What else is out there? Goblins, trolls, Bigfoot? This couldn’t be good. If they were powerful than who knew what kind of spell they could do?
“I don’t care if this bar goes under. Nothing you can come up with will make me give her up.”
“We’ll see about that,” she said and got an evil look in her eyes. I had been trying to listen in on their thoughts the whole time, but all they had been thinking about was they were sure Eric would hand me over so they could take me back to Hallow.
All of a sudden, her thoughts turned to some other language that I didn’t know. I was sure she was casting a spell.
“Stop her!” I yelled. Eric reached across his desk, grabbed her by the neck, and twisted. Just like that, she was dead. The other witch took in the scene and poofed out of existence.
I stood there in shock trying to figure out what had just happened. As I started to calm down, I noticed that I could barely feel Eric in the bond. I turned around and looked at him. He was sitting in his chair with his brows furrowed.
“Are you okay, Eric?” He made a kind of grunting sound. “Why are you blocking the bond? I can barely feel you.”
Eric shook his head as if he was trying to clear it. “I’m not blocking the bond. Maybe they put a spell on us so we can’t feel each other. It will be much easier for them to kidnap you if I cannot feel you.”
“Master, I can barely feel you. Can you feel us?” Pam asked.
“I can feel you, but it’s less than normal,” he said looking at us. “We should all go home. I need to figure out what’s going on,” Eric stood to walk out, but stopped and got a far off look in his eyes.
“What is it?” I was starting to get worried. Why would they alter our bond?
“I don’t know. I just feel strange. I don’t like this,” he said shaking his head slightly. “We should definitely go home. Pam, go straight home. We don’t know what kind of spell they cast, but I’ll feel much better knowing you are safe since I cannot feel you fully.”
“Yes, Master. Let me know if there is anything you need.”
Eric rushed us outside, scooped me up, and took to the sky. Even though I could barely feel Eric, I could feel that he was extremely worried. His whole body was tense. I didn’t say anything as I felt the wind whipping my hair around and stinging my face.
Once we landed, I noticed Eric sweeping the area once more before heading into the house. After he walked us in, Eric sat me down and he immediately set the alarms. As I watched him, I was getting more and more worried by his actions. I was extremely worried when he heated up a True Blood and started drinking it.
I went into the living room and sat down on the couch. After a few minutes, Eric came in and sat beside me. He picked up both my hands in his large one.
“Under no circumstance, do I want you leaving the house tomorrow. I know you hate this, but we don’t know what the spell was, and I cannot feel you completely right now. I don’t think I would wake up if you were gone and something happened to you. Promise me this.”
“I promise, but Eric, you’re really starting to scare me.”
“I’m sorry. I do not wish to scare you, but I’ve never been in this situation before and we need to be cautious. The more time that goes by, the less I am able to feel you and Pam in the bond. I’m going to go to the office for a while. Why don’t you go eat some dinner?”
“Sure,” I stood up and gave him a quick kiss. “I love you,” I said to him. Eric only nodded back; I could tell he was already miles away in his head trying to determine what happened and how to fix it. I had a feeling he wanted to be alone with his thoughts while he tried to do this so I did as he requested and set off to eat some dinner.
While I ate, I was trying to see if I could remember any of the words I heard from the spell. I think I was so shocked over what was happening that I literally couldn’t remember a single thing. Once I was done, I went downstairs to the bathroom to get ready for bed. I didn’t want to bother Eric. I was feeling guilty that our bond was messed up because he wouldn’t give me up, not that I wanted him to give me up. It was the fact that if they didn’t want me, then Eric’s bond with Pam and I would be fine.
I went and got into bed and lay there thinking. After probably an hour, Eric came in. He went straight to our closet, came out naked, and got into bed. Eric snuggled up close behind me, but once I started to turn around, he lay on his back for me to snuggle up close to his side.
“I’m sorry,” I whispered.
“You have nothing to be sorry about,” he replied as he wrapped his arms around me tighter.
“If it wasn’t for me this wouldn’t be happening.”
“I’m never going to give you up. We’ll fix this. I already called Alcide and he’s getting his best trackers out there on the scent. Once we find out where they are staying, we’ll capture their leader and have her reverse the spell.”
“Hallow. The leader’s name is Hallow. That was the only thing I got out their heads. I was trying to remember some of the words from the spell that I heard, but I can’t remember. I’m sorry.”
“Like I said you have nothing to be sorry about. Try and get some sleep, tomorrow will be a long night.”
“I’ll try. I don’t know if I’ll be able to turn off my brain.”
“Try for me,” Eric said and kissed the top of my head. “Good night, Sookie.”
“Good night,” I replied and kissed his chest above his heart.
I lay there for a long time trying to sleep. I didn’t know if I would have ever have gone to sleep if Eric hadn’t been stroking my hair. I think he wanted me to go to sleep so I couldn’t feel how worried he was. Eventually I fell asleep hoping that we would find the witches tomorrow night and everything would be back to normal.