I woke up to the most beautiful lapis blue eyes looking at me. Eric was standing above the bed staring at me. “Good morning,” I said while I stretched my arms and legs.
“Good morning, Sookie. We need to discuss our traveling. Do you want to take your flight home with Bill?”
I stiffened when I heard his name. “I would rather not go back with Bill. How are you getting back?” I couldn’t stand the thought of having to be by Bill for an entire flight.
“I’m driving and, if you want, I can give you a ride, but we would need to leave soon. I have to be at Fangtasia tonight.”
“Great! I’ll just go shower really quick and get dressed. I’ll be no more than thirty minutes. I really appreciate this, Eric.”
I took the fastest shower I had ever taken and got dressed. I was willing to do anything to not be on that flight with Bill. If you had told me a week ago that I would be trying to avoid Bill at all costs and take any help that I could from Eric, I would have thought you were out of your mind. Amazing what can happen in just a couple of days! I put everything in my suitcase and took it into the other room.
Eric grabbed both of our suitcases and we headed out the door. When we got downstairs, I followed Eric to a red Corvette with a license plate that read ‘BLDSKR.’ I let out a laugh, and Eric looked up from putting our luggage in his trunk with his eyebrows raised.
“What?” he said. I couldn’t believe this was his car! Well, of course, I could believe it, but still.
“This is your car? Is this what you always drive?”
“Bloodsucker? It’s a little much, don’t you think?” I was trying to stop laughing since Eric didn’t seem to think it was funny and I didn’t want to piss off my ride. I was lucky to get this much hospitality from him. He looked at me for a few seconds before coming around to open my door for me. Before I even had my seat belt buckled he was in his seat with the car started.
So there I was heading back to Louisiana with Eric Northman in his car that he all but took up. If I didn’t think his size was intimidating before I certainly did then. I tried to look out the window and take in the scenery, but I noticed everything was going by way too fast.
“Eric, slow down! You’re going to get us killed!”
He laughed at me, a real laugh that I don’t think I had ever heard from him before. Something that I decided I wanted to hear more of, I thought.
“Sookie, I have never had a car wreck. You’re perfectly safe with me.”
I huffed, “Says the vampire who can’t die if we get into a car accident. Remember me? I’m mortal and I’ll die.”
“Sookie, this is how I always drive. I promise you’ll be fine. Why don’t you rest and you’ll be home soon?” Please, how was I supposed to rest when we were going more than 100 mph?
Eric turned on the radio and out came the most peaceful music I had ever heard. I shot a look over to him. “What?” he said not even looking over at me.
“This is just not the type of music I would have expected you to listen to.”
“Did you think I listened to the music that is always playing at Fangtasia? That’s what is expected of us to play. I listen to all kinds of music.” The music was so relaxing that I ended up falling asleep.
The next thing I knew, I was waking up to the sound of gravel crunching underneath the tires of Eric’s car. I sat up and rubbed my eyes taking in my dark house. I let down my shields to see if there was anything out there and found nothing. Eric stopped the car, took my luggage out of the trunk, and had my door open before I could even get my hand on the handle. He held his hand out to help me out of his car.
Once we got onto my porch, I dug into my purse for my keys, unlocked my door, and stepped inside.
“Eric, will you please come in?”
I hoped that I was making the right decision allowing him in, but he had been so nice and had carried my luggage up for me. My Gran would want me to be polite.
“Thank you, Miss Stackhouse. Do you want me to leave your luggage right here or would you like me take it into your bedroom?” He said with a smirk.
“Right here is fine. I want to thank you for letting me stay with you last night and for driving me home. I really appreciate it. You didn’t have to do that and you were actually a gentleman. So, thank you.”
He actually bowed at me and said, “You are welcome, Sookie. I need to go and get to Fangtasia, but I will see you soon.”
He leaned down and kissed me on the cheek, and then before I could blink he was gone.
When I woke up the next morning, it felt so good to be in my own bed with the sunlight streaming through my windows. I got up and made some coffee so I could continue with my day. I needed to do laundry, clean the house, and call Sam to let him know I was back. After I got my laundry started and I had at least one cup of coffee in me, I decided to call Sam.
“Merlotte’s. This is Terry,” he answered after two rings.
“Hey Terry, it’s Sookie. Is Sam there?”
“Hey Sookie! Yeah, he’s here. Let me get him for you.”
“Hey, Sam. It’s Sookie. I just wanted to let you know that I’m back. When do you have me on the schedule next?”
“Cher! I’m so glad you’re back. How did your trip to Dallas go?” he asked.
“Not good, but I don’t want to talk about it right now. I’ll tell you about it when I see you.”
I didn’t want to talk about it, but I knew I would have to eventually and Sam needed to know that I was not involved with Bill anymore.
“I hope you’re okay. Can you work tomorrow night?”
“I’m fine and I’ll see you tomorrow night. Bye.”
I spent the rest of the day doing laundry and cleaning the house from top to bottom. I needed to keep my mind busy and cleaning was always the best therapy for me. Around 6:00, I was done cleaning, and decided I needed to take a shower before I made myself some dinner.
I got out of the shower and had just gotten dressed when I heard a knock on my door. I lowered my shields, scanning to see who it was.
I headed downstairs and answered the door.
“Sookie, can I please come in to talk to you and explain things?”
Explain? I didn’t know what there was to explain. He cheated on me. There wasn’t anything to explain about that.
“Bill, there’s nothing to explain. I don’t want to talk to you and I don’t want to see you! Just please leave me alone.”
“But, Sookie, please,” he whined.
“No! Bill, no! Leave me alone!” I slammed the door shut and locked it. I went into the kitchen to start making something for dinner, but instead I sat down at the table and cried for a few minutes. I couldn’t believe that my first boyfriend, my first love, my first everything, had cheated on me. I guess it wasn’t any different from any other relationship that I would have had with a man, human, or vampire.
After eating dinner, I grabbed the book that I had been reading and snuggled up in bed to read. I didn’t read much of it. I couldn’t stop thinking about Bill and what would have happened if I hadn’t caught him. I slept restlessly all night. I kept having nightmares of finding Bill having sex with different women in different places.
When I finally got up, I had slept most of the day away. It was almost 2:00 and I had to be at work by 4:00. I ran downstairs to start my coffee so it would be ready when I got out of the shower. After drinking my coffee I got dressed in my uniform, grabbed my purse, cell phone, keys, headed out to my car, and was on my way to work.
As I walked into Merlotte’s, it looked just like it always did. Arlene was picking up an order at the window, Terry was cooking in the kitchen, Holly was serving drinks to one of the tables, and Sam was behind the bar. The normalcy was just what I needed. When I saw Sam, he got a big smile on his face and nodded his head toward his office. The second I walked into Sam’s office, he closed his door, and then enveloped me in a big hug and said, “I’m glad to have you back, Cher.”
“I was only gone for a few days, Sam,” I said with a little laugh.
“I know, now tell me what happened in Dallas.”
I sat down and told him about the FOTS, finding Godric, him meeting the Sun, going to see Eric (which he didn’t seem to like), getting into a fight with Bill, and then discovering that he had cheated on me.
“We’re over, Sam, and then last night he came to my house trying to explain his side again. I just thought you should know in case he comes in here. We are not together.”
“Good! You are too good for those bloodsuckers,” he replied.
“I need to get to work. I’ll see you out there,” I didn’t want to get into it with Sam. I wanted to get my mind off Bill, not fight Sam about why I had a vampire for a boyfriend.
My shift was running smoothly. I kept my shields up and had on a real smile until the whole bar went quiet. I turned around and saw that Bill had just come in and was walking over to sit in my section.
“Do you want me to take care of him?” Sam asked me.
“No, I got it. Just don’t expect me to be nice,” I said while I walked over to Bill. “What can I get for you?” I said with my fake smile plastered on my face.
“I’ll have a TruBlood O +.”
“We only have AB. Is that okay?” I didn’t want him drinking my blood type. I used to think it was sweet, but now I found it creepy.
“That will be fine,” He said coolly.
I walked over to Sam at the bar and told him one TruBlood AB. Once it was out of the microwave, I put the lid back on it and shook it up. I sat it down on Bill’s table and started to walk away when I felt a steel grip around my wrist. I turned around and glared at him.
“Let go of me! Now!”
“Sookie, may I please talk to you? Give me five minutes of your time. Let me explain.” Now the whole bar was looking at us.
“Bill, I don’t want to talk to you. It’s over. Stop bothering me and let go of me!” I said in a whisper-yell.
“No! You will listen to me!” Bill said while his grasp on my wrist was getting stronger and tighter.
“STOP! YOU’RE HURTING ME!” I yelled and tried to get him to let go of my wrist. I looked at him, and he had the strangest smile on his face, one that I had never seen before from him. It scared me. Did he like that he was hurting me?
Sam came from around the bar telling Bill, “You need to leave my establishment. You’re no longer welcome here.”
Bill let go of my wrist and walked out of the bar as if nothing had ever happened. I was just glad he left. I didn’t know how Sam thought he was going to make him leave. Was he planning on staking him? It wasn’t as if Bill would have allowed that to happen.
I went into the bathroom for a few minutes to try to collect myself. I only had a couple more hours left of my shift, and then I could go home. I had a feeling it was going to be a long two hours. When I resumed the rest of my shift, my shields were not as good as they were earlier. Everyone’s thoughts were about Bill and me, and I struggled to block them out.
Did you see the way he was looking at her?
She’s going to get herself killed someday.
That fangbanging whore totally deserves whatever happens to her.
I was messing up orders left and right, trying so hard not to listen to what they were thinking, and not cry. I was at the counter picking up an order when I felt a void walk in. ‘Great, Bill’s back. Could this night get any worse?’ I quickly took the order to its table and turned around expecting to see Bill sitting in my area. Only to my surprise, it was Eric.
“Hey, Eric. What can I get you?” I said while trying to block everyone’s thoughts on who this new vampire was.
“I’ll have a TruBlood and hopefully a moment of your time,” Eric said while looking me up and down.
“Sure. I’ll be right back,” I walked over to the bar and put a bottle of TruBlood in the microwave. Once the microwave went off, I took it out, put the lid over it, and shook it while walking over to Eric. Everyone was wondering how I knew this gorgeous vampire. All the women and quite a few men wanted him. As I was walking over to him, I took in the sight that was Eric Northman. He looked so good it should be illegal. Dressed in his standard black jeans, boots, and a V-neck T-shirt with his leather jacket on, his hair was slicked back, and he was staring at me with those piercing blue eyes.
I placed the bottle in front of him and took a seat. “So what brings you all the way out here tonight?” I said while looking down at the table.
“Sookie . . .” he said. I looked up at him. “Are you okay? I felt that you were scared earlier and in pain.”
“I’m fine. Bill was here earlier and he won’t leave me alone,” I said as I wrung my hands on top of the table. Eric shot his arm across the table and his cool fingers gingerly took ahold my wrist, now slightly bruised from where Bill had been gripping it earlier. He ran a cool finger all the way around my wrist looking at the bruise.
“Who did this to you? Was it Bill?” he said. His eyes had a murderous look to them.
“Yes, he wanted to talk to me, and I told him that it was over between us, that I didn’t want to talk to him anymore. When I tried to walk away, he grabbed my wrist and wouldn’t let go,” I replied, trying to keep the tears at bay.
Eric sat there for a minute while his finger kept tracing the bruise. “Does it hurt?” he asked.
“A little, but it’s not too bad. I’ll live,” I glanced up and he was staring at me as if he was trying to figure something out. What he was trying to figure out I’ll never know.
“I will go and talk to him. I’ll tell him to leave you alone. That’s my job as his Sheriff. How much longer is your shift?” he asked.
“I have about an hour left,” I answered, wondering why he was asking.
“Good. That should be enough time for me to talk to him. I’ll see you soon, Ms. Stackhouse.” With that, he was up and out of the bar before I could blink.
The rest of my shift I had a difficult time keeping everyone’s thoughts out of my head. Now they were all thinking about Eric and having sex with him, even some of the men! It seemed as if the only one who wasn’t thinking about sex with Eric was Sam. He was upset that I was talking to another vampire. Once my shift was over, I got my purse out Sam’s office and walked out the back entrance to go to my car.
Walking over to my car, I saw a tall shadow leaning against my car. “Eric, what are you doing here? I thought you were going to go talk to Bill,” I asked puzzled.
“I went to talk to Bill, but I don’t think he is going to listen to my warning. He was acting strangely,” he said shaking his head. “Anyway, I thought I would escort you home to be sure that you made it there safely, if that is all right with you?”
“That would be nice. I have a feeling Bill isn’t going to give up so easily.” I looked around, and then asked, “Where is your car?”
In his bored tone he simply said, “I flew.”
I stood there with my mouth hanging open for a few seconds. “Of course, you flew. Is there anything you can’t do?” He just looked at me with that damn smirk of his.
“So I guess we’re taking my car. Do you want to drive or shall I?” I asked. Eric looked distastefully at my car.
“I will drive. You’ll just mess up my seat if you do,” Watching Eric try to get into my car was comical. He was lucky I moved the passenger seat back all the way so he could get in. Still, it looked as though my car could barely contain him.
Once I arrived home, Eric walked me to my door. He had stopped right before he got to my porch. I looked back at him before I opened the door. I saw his nostrils flaring. “Is everything all right?” I asked.
“Compton’s has been by here recently,” he said and his nostrils flared again. “Some time after my visit with him. Can we talk inside?” I was tired and just wanted to take a shower, but I gave in.
“Eric, won’t you please come in,” I said inviting him in, even though he already had an invitation to my home.
We went in and took a seat on my couch. I sat there looking at Eric and he sat looking in front of him for a long time. I didn’t know what he was doing. It seemed as if he was never going to speak. Finally, he turned to me and said, “Have you rescinded Bill’s invitation to your home?” I didn’t think I liked where this was going.
“No. Why?” I asked him.
“I think you need to rescind his invitation. When I was over there earlier, he was acting as if he didn’t have to follow my orders. It’s as if he’s following orders from someone else. It was the way he was wording what he was saying that made me think something seemed off and when we got here, I could smell that he had been here very recently. I want you to be safe. Just in case.”
Without even thinking I said, “Bill Compton, I rescind your invitation to my house.” I looked at Eric and asked, “Will that work?”
“That will be fine. Are there any other vampires that have an invitation to your home besides me?”
“Nope, you are the only one,” I said with a shake of my head.
“Good. Where’s your phone?”
I got up and went over to my purse to get it. While I was walking back over to the couch, he held out his hand for the phone. I handed it over to him and he quickly typed a bunch of stuff into my phone.
“I have put all my numbers in, plus Pam’s, if you need to reach me. If Bill tries or does anything, call me. When is the next night you have off?”
“Um… Sunday, I think.”
“Do you have plans for Sunday night? I think if Bill finds you home alone for the whole night he might try something.”
“No, I don’t have any plans. What should I do?”
“Well, if you had said a different night I would have asked you to come to Fangtasia, but we are closed on Sundays. How about I come here?”
“You don’t have to babysit me. I’m sure you have better things to do with your free time.”
He furrowed his brows in thought for a moment before he finally spoke, “How about we talk Saturday? If Bill has been continually bothering you, then I will come Sunday and if not, then I won’t come. Does that sound alright with you?”
“And what are we going to do if you come over here? Hmm. I can tell you right now we will not be having sex.”
“Oh, Sookie. You spoil all the fun!” He said smirking at me. “We can just hang out.”
“You, Eric Northman, want to just hang out. Do you even know how to hang out?” He let out a loud roaring laugh that made me smile.
“Of course I do! What do you think I do with my free time?” I raised my eyebrows at him. I was pretty sure he was having sex with someone during almost all of his free time, that’s what I thought.
“Don’t worry about it, Sookie. I will try to be a gentleman. Haven’t I been good lately?”
“Yes, you have been good. I have to admit it,” I said and thought about it for a moment. “Fine, we will hang out as friends and watch a movie or something.”
“Friends?” He asked.
“Yes, friends, don’t you have any friends?”
“No, I’m a vampire. We don’t have friends,” he said shaking his head. “We have acquaintances, but we don’t have friends.”
“Well, that must be lonely. If you don’t have any friends, then who can you trust?”
“Sookie, you can’t always trust your friends. You should know that by now,” he said seriously.
“I know. I think sometimes I trust a little too easily, but I would hate to not be able to trust anyone.”
“I have a very select few that I trust.”
“Who do you trust?” I asked him.
“I did trust Godric and Pam. Pam is very loyal and I think I’m beginning to trust someone else.”
“Who is it that you think you can trust? You obviously don’t trust a lot of people, and I don’t think you would be careless in giving your trust away.”
“I’m not careless in giving away my trust, that I can assure you.”
“So who?” I asked again.
“I trust you,” he said, his face blank.
“Me. You trust me? Why do you trust me?” I asked confused.
“Because you are very loyal, trustworthy, and many other things that I value.”
“Really?” He only nodded. “Well, I’m honored that you trust me,” I smiled at him.
“You could have staked me in my sleep in Dallas. I have never let anyone besides Pam or Godric sleep with me. Do you trust me?” He asked.
“Why don’t we talk about that another time? How about Sunday? I’m really tired and you probably have plenty of things you need to do,” I said with a big yawn at the end.
“As you wish. I will see on Sunday.”
We both got up and I walked him to the door. When we got to the door, he lifted up my bruised wrist again and looked at it. “If you want, I can heal your bruise. I would only have to rub my blood on it. You don’t have to drink any.”
“That’s really sweet Eric, but it’s okay. It doesn’t hurt, but thank you.”
“Good night, Sookie,” He leaned down and kissed me on the cheek.
“Good night, Eric.”