“Sookie, you look lovely this evening.”
“Thank you, Eric. How are you?” Immediately I saw he was starting to try and shut me out.
“I’m fine, Sookie. I’m a vampire.”
“I know you are a vampire, Eric, but you can still be upset. I know pain doesn’t just go away overnight.” Right then I heard a door slam and I knew it was Bill slamming our hotel room door. I jumped a little, and then walked over to the couch, sat down, and put my face in my hands. Why was Bill acting so childishly?
I felt a cool hand on my shoulder, and I looked up into the most beautiful blue eyes I had ever seen. They were like looking into the ocean, and it looked as though he was concerned.
He moved around me and sat on the other end of the couch. “Are you alright, Miss Stackhouse?” Eric asked.
“I’m fine. Bill and I had a fight, and he said some things that hurt my feelings,” What was I doing? Why did I tell him that?
“What was it that he said that upset you?”
“It doesn’t matter anymore,” I said with a sigh.
“Sookie . . .” I looked at him and saw that same concerned look on his face. Why was Eric concerned over me? I meant nothing to him. Eric didn’t care about humans. He didn’t care about anyone but himself.
“What do you care, Eric? I would think you would be happy we were fighting.”
“I don’t know why I would care but . . . I don’t like seeing you unhappy.” Wow, really? What was going on with him?
“Tell me, Sookie, and maybe I could help you.”
“Eric . . . I seriously doubt you could help me. Have you ever even had a relationship? What could you possibly even know about them?”
“Nothing, but maybe if you were to tell me about your problem, you would feel better.” What the hell was going on? Eric Northman was trying to make me feel better?
“Fine, but if you make fun of me, I will stake you!” With that, he gave me an up-raised eyebrow.
“We were fighting about me coming over to your room. Bill said that you have no feelings and that last night was a big act. I told him that I knew that you had feelings. If he could have them, then so can you,” I let out a big sigh and looked up at him. “Then he told me that he wouldn’t be in the room when I returned because he was going to feed.”
Eric actually looked shocked that I had just told him all that. “I don’t believe he would go to feed and tell you about that. Is that something he normally does? I would have thought that you would not want him feeding on others, or at least not telling you about it.”
Did Eric actually understand that people or I would expect monogamy? “I’m surprised you would even think there was something wrong with him feeding on other people. I didn’t know you knew about monogamy,” I said to him, and I was sure my shock was evident on my face.
Eric gave me that eyebrow and said, “I know what monogamy is, Sookie. I’ve been around for a very long time. I just know you are not like all the other typical humans out there, and you would most likely expect it.”
“Yes, I expect monogamy. I’m not a fangbanger. I don’t sleep around and I expect the same from with whomever I am involved.”
We sat there quietly for a few minutes. I didn’t know what to say or do. My stomach made the loudest rumble I had ever heard. I was so embarrassed, I felt as if I was blushing from my head to my toes.
“Have you had dinner yet, Sookie?”
“No, not yet. I haven’t had time to eat today.” Where was he going with this? Was he bipolar?
“Would you care to accompany me to dinner in the restaurant they have here?”
“Eric, I know you don’t mainstream and I would not want to watch you feeding in front of me.”
“Sookie, Sookie, Sookie,” he said with a tsk. “Did you really believe I would feed in front of you? I will drink synthetic blood while in your presence.”
“Really? You would have dinner with me and only drink synthetic blood?
“Of course, that’s what I said.”
“I guess if you’re sure?” He gave me a nod, and then that wink of his. Oh, that wink of his! Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea, but I was there trying to comfort him and he was being more open with me than he normally was. I actually liked this Eric. I wondered when he was going to return to being the smug, annoying asshole he normally was.
He held out his hand for me and we headed for the elevator.
We walked up to the hostess and she immediately started to drool over Eric. “Table for one or do you need a donor?” Are you kidding me? Could she be any more obvious?
“Table for two,” Eric said in his very bored tone. She finally looked at me and then acted as though I wasn’t there again.
What does he see in her?
I’m much prettier than she is.
Maybe it’s some type of business deal or something.
Classy, very classy. Not as if I’m not used to it, but still, for her to think the only reason that Eric would be with me was for business was insulting.
“Right this way,” She led us to our table and I had to slam my shields into place to not hear all the thoughts people were thinking about us. Most of them were about how I wasn’t good enough for him and they were prettier, but some were really gross sex things they were imagining with Eric.
“Sookie, are you okay?” He said while he leaned over the table. A little too close, but this was Eric we were talking about.
“I’m fine, Eric. It was just all the nasty thoughts about me and all the wonderfully, disgusting sex things they want to do to you. Lucky me!”
With an upraised eyebrow he said, “Why would they be thinking nasty things about you, Sookie?”
“Come on, Eric! Really! As if you don’t know that you’re this Viking Vampire Sex God! Everyone thinks they are prettier than me and they wonder why I would even be in your company.”
“That is why I have such little faith in humans if they cannot see what I do in you. Do you really see me as a Viking Vampire Sex God?” he asked while he waggled his eyebrows.
Just then our waitress arrived to take our order, the whole while looking at Eric. “What can I get for you?”
“Sookie . . .”
“I’ll have the Chicken Parmesan and a sweet tea, please.” She barely looked over at me when she heard my voice. “And for you, would you like for me to get our donor list for you?” It was clearly obvious that she was offering herself.
“I’ll have the Royalty Blended. That will be all,” he said in a dismissive tone.
We sat there in silence for a few minutes. It was so nice using his void to drown out all of the thoughts in the room. It wasn’t long before the waitress brought our drinks. “I didn’t know there was any synthetic stuff called Royalty Blended. What’s that all about?”
Eric just chuckled and said, “Do you really want to know?”
“Of course I want to know or I wouldn’t have asked you about it.”
Leaning in closer once again, Eric told me as quietly as he could so only I could hear, “It’s mostly blood from royal families with just a small amount of synthetic blood in it. It’s as close to the real thing without it being bagged blood or a donor.”
“Oh,” was all I could say. I did ask and I did want to know.
When the waitress brought my food, which looked delicious by the way, she brought Eric another glass of Royalty Blended. This time she included her phone number on the napkin. Eric just flipped over the napkin so we couldn’t see the writing. When I was about halfway through with my meal, I thought I heard Bill laugh. I looked over to my left and saw Bill with an exotic-looking girl coming from a hallway. I didn’t mind so much that Bill was walking down a hallway coming from God knows where. What I did mind was that the girl was pulling down the bottom of her dress trying to get it situated, and Bill was tucking his shirt into his pants. I turned back to Eric with tears in my eyes. I couldn’t believe it. Did Bill think that I went to Eric’s room to have sex with him? Did he think that gave him the right to cheat on me?
I stood up abruptly and my chair made a loud noise when it scraped across the floor. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see that Bill had looked over and he had been caught. “I’m sorry, Eric, but I have to leave,” I picked up my purse and left the restaurant as quickly as I could. I heard Bill call out for me to wait, but I didn’t care. I only wanted to make it to the elevator and up to my room. Once I made it to the elevator and hit the button, I prayed that it would arrive as soon as possible.
“Sookie, please let me explain,” Bill said, but I didn’t want to hear it. I couldn’t possibly be special to him if he could cheat on me so easily.
“Bill, I don’t want to hear it. I can’t believe you did that to me.”
Looking almost as furious as he had earlier, he said, “What were you even doing in the restaurant? And what were you doing there with Eric?”
Out of nowhere, a 6 foot, 4 inch, blonde Viking appeared with a smug look on his face. “I took her down to dinner after she explained to me how you didn’t bother and instead you were going to go feed, but it looks and smells as if you had a little more than just a feed,” Eric said with a smirk.
Bill glared at Eric. “Sookie, I love you, please, let me explain.” Just then, the elevator door opened and I rushed inside.
Eric gave Bill a deadly, icy stare. “I suggest you stay out of the elevator and leave Sookie alone.” The whole ride up to the fifth floor I was trying to keep it together. I didn’t want to cry in front of Eric. When we got to the fifth floor, I quickly made it to my hotel room door when I had a horrible thought.
“Oh My God, Eric! He will be up here any minute, won’t he? What am I going to do? I can’t stay here!”
“Give me your room key. I will go in and get your luggage. You can go to my room for now, and we will call the front desk to see if they have any rooms available,” He handed me his room key and I waited in his room worrying my bottom lip. I couldn’t believe Bill cheated on me. I wondered if he was ever faithful to me.
After just a couple of minutes, Eric walked in with my entire luggage. He took it into the bedroom, and then came to sit down beside me on the couch.
“Sookie, I’m sorry you had to see that, but he shouldn’t bother you in here. Do you want me to see if I can get you another room?”
“Would it be okay with you if I stayed here? I would just feel safer, but if I’ll be in your way or you don’t want me to, I can get another room,” I said nervously.
“You can stay here. I only have to do some business with Isabel. I need to call her and meet up with her sometime tonight since we will be heading back to Shreveport tomorrow night,” Eric said with a brief look of sadness, but he covered it up quickly.
“Thank you, Eric. I really appreciate it. I’ll try to stay out of your way. Do mind if I go and take a bath?”
“That’s fine, go ahead and take a bath. You won’t be in the way, Sookie. I’m going to go call Isabel now. All your stuff is in the bedroom,” He got out his phone to call Isabel while I made my way into the bedroom to get everything I needed.
Once the tub was full, I lowered myself into the warm water and broke down. I couldn’t stop sobbing and thinking about the fact that my boyfriend had just cheated on me. Finally, after about thirty minutes, I stopped crying and my sobs quieted down, but the tears continued to stream down my face.
The next thing I knew the water was freezing. I must have fallen asleep. I stepped out of the tub and dried off as quickly as possible. Once I put on some pajama pants and a camisole, I started drying my hair with my towel. While I was drying my hair, I thought I couldn’t believe where I was. I was in Eric Northman’s hotel room and, oddly enough, he hadn’t bothered me at all. This was so not what I was used to; no flirting or sexual innuendos. I couldn’t believe I took a bath without any interruptions. It must have been because Eric was still upset. It wouldn’t last long.
As I was walking out into the bedroom, I heard Eric talking to a woman. I hoped it was Isabel because I was definitely not staying here if he was going to be fucking somebody in the other room. “Sookie, can you come in here for a minute?” I heard Eric ask. Great, now he was probably going to kick me out of the room so he could have sex or invite me to join them.
I slowly walked into the other room to see Eric and Isabel sitting down.
“I wanted to thank you, Sookie, for staying with Godric during his final moments when we couldn’t. I have been Godric’s second in command for a long time, and I will miss him terribly,” Isabel said.
I could only look at her and give her a nod.
“Well, I should get back to my room. Thank you again, Sookie. You will always have friends here in Texas,” she said when she got up to leave.
“Thank you, Isabel. I appreciate it.”
After Isabel left, I looked over at Eric and he was still sitting on the couch with his head hung down. I went into the bedroom to get the shirt Godric had removed. I sat down next to Eric and I handed him the shirt.
“I thought you would like to have this.”
He took it from me and nodded his head while looking at the shirt. I didn’t know what to do. I wanted to comfort him, but it wasn’t as if vampires liked to be comforted. Maybe I should just go to bed, but I knew how hard it was for me when Gran died.
I reached over and put my hand on his knee. He looked at my hand on his knee, and then at me. One lone bloody tear was running down his cheek. I reached up to wipe it away and he said, “Sookie, why are you being so nice to me?”
Sighing, I said, “That’s what you do for friends.”
He chuckled lightly. “You think of me as a friend?” I nodded my head. “I thought you hated me?”
”I don’t hate you. I mean, you’re being so sweet right now letting me stay here so I don’t have to deal with Bill and you’ve saved my life twice since we’ve been in Dallas,” I looked down at my hand on his knee, and then back up to his face. “I am mad at you, but we’ll talk about that some other time.”
“Another time,” He nodded. “Right now I need to get to bed. The sun will be rising in just a few minutes. Are you coming, Miss Stackhouse?”
“Yes, but no funny business, mister!” We both got into bed and lay on our backs for a moment. I was the first to turn, looking over at Eric with tears in my eyes. Eric turned toward me and held his hand out for me to hold. I gave him a small smile and put my hand in his. He gave it small squeeze. Last night I was giving him comfort, and now tonight, he was doing the comforting. Will wonders never cease?
“We will talk when I rise about traveling home. Good night, Sookie.”