I woke up to complete darkness and what felt like a lead weight lying across my stomach. Last night’s events slowly started filtering back to me. Bill was sent to procure me, the Queen of Louisiana wants me, and I might be a fairy.
Everything I thought I had with Bill was a lie. Even knowing that I was no longer with him, it still hurt to know that he was my first love, the man to whom I had given my virginity, my first everything, and it had all meant absolutely nothing to him.
At least I knew Eric wasn’t in on it. If he was, I didn’t think I would be able to take it. Thinking back to last night and the conversation we had during dinner put a little smile on my face. The fact that he actually wanted a relationship with me, and I think he already had some feelings for me. I couldn’t believe I was going to try to be in a relationship with him.
He was so sweet with me last night, comforting me, and taking me to one of his houses. He said that he trusted me and I knew how important that was for vampires to keep their resting places secret. He put me into the security system here and I was in awe that he trusted me so much. If I hadn’t already decided to be in a relationship with him last night would have sealed the deal.
Thinking about all that seemed like it was hours ago, but it wasn’t all that long ago. I needed to get up and take care of my ‘human needs.’ Once that was all taken care of, I walked out of the bathroom and left the light on so I could see inside the bedroom.
I found the keypad scanner, input my code, thumbprint, and headed out of the bedroom so I could eat some of the food I brought. I ate a banana and had a bottle of water. I felt sick to my stomach thinking about the Queen and that I might be a fairy.
I decided I would discuss it with Eric when he rose. I wondered what he knew about fairies and what I needed to know about the Queen.
I decided to lay down with Eric for a while. Once I lay down, I took a few minutes to study his face. There was no way I would do this while he was awake. He was so beautiful and while he slept, he looked so peaceful which was something I’d never seen on his face when he was awake. Finally, I pushed on him to get him to lie on his back and once he was on his back, I curled up against him and laid my head on his chest. Laying there calmed me and, before I knew it, I fell asleep.
I woke up with two big arms circling me and Eric’s face in my hair.
“Good morning,” I said to him.
“Hmmm, good evening, Sookie. I could get used to waking up with your warm body next to me when I rise.”
“You could, could you?” I snuggled into his chest a little more.
“Sookie, we need to get ready to go to Fangtasia so you can sign a contract. I also know that you probably have many questions for me. Let’s get the contract signed and sent to the Queen, and then I will answer your questions.”
I got dressed, had a quick bite to eat, and gathered all my stuff together to leave.
“You’re going to need to put your coat on again so you don’t get too cold,” Eric said to me. “I will drive you home from Fangtasia once we are done there. “
He held out his arms for me and when I stepped into his embrace, we took off into the air. I laid my head down on Eric’s shoulder and looked at the sky. It was so beautiful. Not very many people got this view and I couldn’t believe how lucky I was.
I could tell we were almost to Shreveport when I saw all the lights of the city. Just a few more minutes and we were touching down in Fangtasia’s parking lot.
Once we were inside, I’d settled on the couch, and Eric was going through paperwork. Pam walked in.
“Sookie, how lovely to see you again. Why is my Master in such a bad mood tonight? Are you still denying him?”
“It’s good to see you too, Pam,” I wasn’t going to answer her questions. I didn’t know what Eric wanted her to know and I really didn’t want her embarrassing me with her sexual innuendos. Not tonight.
“Pam, we’re here to fill out some paperwork that must be sent to the Queen, and then I will be taking Sookie home. I need you to take care of the bar tonight.”
“Of course, whatever you need me to do.”
“Thank you, Pam. That will be all for now. I will fill you in with what’s going on later.”
“Very well, Master. I’ll go back out to the bar now. It was good seeing you, Sookie. I hope to see you soon.”
“You too, Pam.”
“Sookie, look over this contract and let me know if you have any questions. We want this sent to the Queen as soon as possible.”
I looked over the contract he had printed out for me. It stated that I would be paid $500 each night that I worked for him. If I had to go out-of-town on a job, I would get paid $1500 a night plus wardrobe expenses. All travel would be paid for, including food, and Eric was to accompany me on any out-of-town work. I may also have someone I trusted with me for any jobs that were local.
“Eric, this is way too much money to pay me, but everything else looks fine.”
“I don’t think you understand how valuable your services are. I know that you see your gift as a hindrance knowing what others are thinking, but for our kind, it’s very important to have the people who work for us to have no hidden agenda. I would gladly pay you more, but I figured you would not accept any more than what I have included.”
“I understand that you want people who are loyal to you, but you know that if we’re together, I’ll do it free for you.”
“I don’t want you to do those things for free. What I would really like is for you to work here multiple times a week. You could help find drainers, drug dealers, underage customers, and much more. If I have new people I need to hire I would like for you to interview them.”
“I already have a job. I don’t know that I could sit and listen to all the things people think here. If you need me to read people who you want to hire, then I’ll be happy to do that,” I said while I signed the contract.
“Just think about it, Sookie. We would get to see each other more and I would really like that,” he said sincerely.
“I’ll think about it. I really will and we’ll figure something out where we’ll be able to see each other.”
“Let me fax this to the Queen, and then I will take you home. On the way you can ask any questions that you have for me.”
After Eric faxed the contract to the Queen, he put the original in his safe and we left for him to take me home.
After we had been on the road for a few minutes, I turned my body toward Eric and he glanced over at me with a small smile.
“Do you really think the contract is going to be enough for the Queen to leave me alone?”
“Truthfully?” I nodded. “It should be enough, but Sophie Anne is a real bitch and I think she will still try to get you down to New Orleans. That’s why I wanted to get the contract faxed to her as soon as possible and set things in motion.”
“What am I going to do if even you don’t think she will leave me alone?” I said as tears started to well up in my eyes.
“There are a couple of things we can do. I think we should wait and see how she proceeds after she receives the contract. I will keep planning. I don’t want you to worry. I’m not going to let her take you away.”
“Could you get in trouble for trying to help me? I don’t want you to get into trouble,” I said, worrying my bottom lip.
“The only way I would get into trouble would be if I defied a direct order from her. We’ll talk more about what we can do later. I don’t think you are going to like your options, so that is why I want to wait and I’d rather not talk about them in the confines of the car. You don’t need to worry about me, Sookie. I’m much older and stronger than Sophie Anne. Trust me, I’ll be fine.”
“What do you know about Fairies?”
“I don’t know much. They are a very secretive race. Vampires cannot be around fairies without draining them dry. Their smell and blood are irresistible to us. They have many different powers, but what powers, I do not know. They live in a different realm than us and are known to be extinct here.”
“Do you think I’m a fairy? Is that where my telepathy came from?”
“I don’t think your telepathy comes from the Fae and I don’t know if you have any fairy in you. You definitely smell better than most humans, and I do believe there is something ‘other’ in you.”
“Have you ever tasted a fairy?”
“I have, a very long time ago. It was during a war long ago.”
“If you tasted my blood again, do you think you would know if there was any fairy in it?”
“Possibly. The only other time I have tasted your blood was when it was poisoned.”
“Will you taste it for me?”
He looked over at me with his eyebrow quirked up. “I never thought the first time I would taste your blood without it being poisoned would be for such a clinical reason.”
“Oh! It doesn’t have to be for a clinical reason. Just let me know if you do taste it whenever you have my blood. I really hope the Queen is wrong, otherwise every vampire that’s out there will be after me.”
“Did Bill ever mention your blood?”
“He told me I tasted differently, but he definitely didn’t mention anything about me being a fairy. Do you think he told the Queen I was?”
“I certainly hope not. If she believes you are, she will never give up in her attempts to get you.”
For the rest of the ride to my house we were both quiet. We pulled up to my house; Eric got out, and had my door open before I could even get my seatbelt undone. We started toward to my front door when I noticed Eric stop mid-stride.
“What is it? Is it Bill again?” I asked.
“Get back in the car and lock the doors. Stay in there until I come back. Go,” he said while his eyes scanned the area.
I got in the car and locked the doors as instructed. I watched Eric run off and I saw him circle the house. He was gone for a few minutes, and then I was startled when Eric tapped on my window to get back in the car. I quickly unlocked the door and Eric was back inside the car taking off down my driveway.
“What’s going on?”
“I smelled two different Were scents and they circled your house, but that’s the only place I smelled them.”
“What does that mean?”
“I think it means that the Queen sent someone to get you while I was in my day rest. She thought she could get you and have you in New Orleans by the time I rose.”
“What am I going to do now?” I said as my voice and mind started toward a hysterical edge.
“Don’t worry. I’m going to take care of you. Do you trust me?” I nodded. “I’m going to take you to my house in Shreveport. I’ll have Pam get you some food and anything else you need. Then we’ll talk and figure out our next move.”
“OK, I trust you to know what is best in this situation.”
“Sookie, I promise you that I will not let anything happen to you,” he said while placing a hand on my knee.
“Thank you!” I replied while I looked out the window and tears fell silently down my face.
“I need you to get Sookie some food and anything else she may need. She’ll be staying with me for a few days. I’ll explain it all to you once you deliver everything,” Eric said. He must have been speaking with Pam.
We drove in silence after that. Eric placed his hand over mine and I laced our fingers together. He didn’t remove his hand until we pulled into a gated neighborhood and had to slow down.
After going through the gate, I tried to see what the houses looked like, but it was too dark. Finally, we pulled into a very nice looking ranch style home with lights along the driveway and sidewalk. We pulled into the garage where there was a black Escalade and nothing else. It was the cleanest garage I had ever seen.
After going through the security to get into the house, I walked into a very modern looking kitchen with all new appliances. We kept walking until we got into the living room. It had big, comfortable leather couches and chairs, and one of the biggest TVs I’d ever seen, a fireplace with a sword above it, and a fur rug below it.
“Please sit down, Sookie. I know you are overwhelmed right now, but I promise you that you are safe. Pam should be here shortly with your food. I have bedrooms upstairs if you want to stay up there or there are bedrooms downstairs. The downstairs ones are completely light tight and no one can get in without being in the security system. I would like for you to stay with me, but if you feel uncomfortable you can stay in Pam’s room or upstairs.”
I sat there for a minute taking it all in. My life used to be so simple and now I was hiding from the Vampire Queen of Louisiana. Never thought I would say that…
“I’ll stay wherever you want me. I don’t want to inconvenience you any. I truly appreciate everything you’re doing for me.”
“Sookie, I take care of what is mine and you are not an inconvenience. I want you here. If I didn’t want you here, you wouldn’t be here.”
“I know. I’m sorry. You’re right; I’m just overwhelmed right now.”
Eric pulled me closer and I snuggled up to his side. He lightly ran his hand up and down my arm until Pam arrived.
“Alright, I have everything I can think of that our dear, sweet Sookie could need for a couple of days. I can get more later. Now, would you please explain what’s going on?”
“Sit down, Pam, and I’ll tell you all about it.”
I left to go into the kitchen and put away the food while Eric told Pam what was happening with the Queen. After I put away all the groceries, I put a pizza into the oven for dinner. There were still a bunch of bags on the counter, but I decided to deal with all that later and joined Eric and Pam.
“So what are you planning to do about the Queen?” Pam asked Eric.
“We have a few options that I want to discuss with Sookie. I have a feeling she isn’t going to like any of them. We’re very new in this relationship.”
“Relationship? When did that happen? You don’t do relationships!” Pam exclaimed.
“Pam,” Eric said sternly. “What are your ideas?”
“I don’t know. Obviously, you don’t want to hand her over. Right?” He nodded. “Obviously.”
“Do you know if she’s a fairy?”
“No, I don’t know. I don’t know if I’ll even be able to tell after having her blood.”
“You haven’t had her blood yet? What the hell have you two been doing?” Eric just glared at her. “You don’t want to be King so you’re not going to kill Sophie Anne. Although it would be nice to get rid of her.”
“No, I don’t want to be King. I think I need to talk to Sookie alone about her options. Why don’t you go and close Fangtasia, and then come here first thing tomorrow night? We’ll finish this discussion then.”
“Fine. I’ll finish putting away the stuff in the kitchen and I’ll see you tomorrow night. Sookie, you do make things so very interesting.”
“Come over here, Sookie, and let’s talk. I want to tell you what I think our options are,” he said as he patted the spot next to him.
I sat on the other side of the couch from him and turned my body toward him. He slid over a little closer and held both my hands in one of his.
“I know that we are very new to this relationship and what I’m about to suggest may sound extreme, but I’ll do any of them for you. I wouldn’t suggest them if I didn’t want to do them.”
I nodded. They must be bad if he was putting it like this. I didn’t think I’d ever seen Eric act like this.
“One option is to form a blood bond. On top of that, we can pledge to each other for extra protection. Another option is to leave the country, but I don’t know when we would be able to come back. The last option would be for me to kill the Queen and become King.”
“I know you don’t want to be the King, so that’s out,” He gave me a small smile. “I don’t want to leave the country and never see my friends and family again. Can you explain what a blood bond and pledging are?”
“A blood bond is when a vampire and a human mutually exchange blood three times. Supes would be able to smell that you are mine. If anyone was to try to take you from me, hurt you, or drink from you, then it would be considered an offense, and it would be my right to kill them. This is permanent and can never be broken. We would be bound together for the rest of your life. You would be able to feel my emotions just as I would feel yours. I would always be able to locate you, and we could send emotions back and forth to each other. For example, if you were scared, then I could try to send calm feelings to you. The stronger we feel for one another and the more exchanges we have make the bond stronger. There may be more, but this is something so rare that vampires normally do not form with humans, so there isn’t a great deal of information.”
“So could you make me feel things that weren’t real? Would you be able to control me?”
“No,” he shook his head. “I will not be able to control you or make you feel things that are not real. I couldn’t make you dislike someone or make you walk into traffic.”
“I thought vampires liked their secrecy. I can’t imagine you wanting me to feel your emotions. How many times have you had a blood bond with someone?”
He chuckled at this and gave me a small smile, “You are right, vampires do like their secrecy, and I have never had a blood bond with anyone. Vampires do not give their blood out freely. Before I met you, the last person I gave my blood was Pam. Right now, the only humans that have my blood are you and Lafayette. I only gave him my blood to heal him after you found him in the basement.”
“Let’s not get into talking about Lafayette and the basement right now. What were you talking about when you said that pledging was extra protection?”
“If we pledge a ceremonial knife to each other, it’s the same as a human marriage in the Supe community.”
“Married! I think it’s a little soon to be getting married, and I don’t know why you would want to be bound to me until I die. You do realize that I will die one day. I will get old, gray, wrinkly, and saggy. There would be no way you could possibly want me when I look like your grandma.”
“I do agree that it is a bit too soon to be talking marriage. It doesn’t have to happen right now. It could wait. As for being bound to you until you die, maybe one day you’ll decide you would want to be turned, but that is a discussion for another time. If you decide to remain human, then, yes, you will get old and die, but a relationship such as ours does not have to be sexual in nature.”
“I just don’t know, Eric. This is so much to take in, and it’s so unbelievable that you would even be willing to do these things, especially for me. I’m going to need some time to think this over. It probably wouldn’t be as difficult if we both loved one another and had been together for a longer time. I mean, what if we don’t work out? I can’t imagine loving you while being old, and then seeing and feeling you with younger women.”
“I understand you need time, and that this is a very important decision for you to make. Don’t worry about when you are older; you have no idea what you may be like by then, but I can most certainly assure you I would never parade women in front of you. I promised you I would be faithful to you and I swore to it.”
“I’m fairly certain when you said you wanted to be in a relationship with me you weren’t planning on being bound to me for the next 60 or so years. If we didn’t work out or I decided not be a vampire, having a blood bond wouldn’t be very fair to either of us.”
“Are you already deciding that we will not make it, Sookie? Please, just consider it. Think about all your options. I will do whatever it is you want. That’s enough serious talk for tonight. You need to eat your pizza while we watch some TV and try to relax.”