“What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.”
I woke up to my phone ringing, then it stopped, and then started ringing again. As quickly as I could, I removed myself from Eric’s steel embrace and retrieved my phone as it started ringing once again.
“Hello?” I asked blearily through a yawn.
“Sookie, I’m sorry to wake you,” Charlie said, his voice laced with apology, “but Quinn’s here. In my room,” he whispered the last part.
“Okay. He’s not threatening you or anything is he?” I couldn’t understand why it seemed to be a big deal that he was in Charlie’s room. Maybe it had to do with the fact that I was half asleep.
“No, no. Nothing like that. He’s been demanding to see you for the last hour. I’m sorry, but I don’t think I can hold him off any longer.”
“It’s fine. Just give me time to get showered and dressed. What time is it anyway?”
“A little after ten. I’ll let him know that you’re up and getting ready. Do you want me to order you breakfast?”
“Definitely and make sure you get coffee. Lots of coffee. I may need an entire pot to get through the day. I won’t be long. Is Hauk there with you?”
“Not yet. I sent him a text message, and he can hear what’s going on in here, but he’s waiting to come over until you get here. I’m not really sure how much sleep he needs, but I have a feeling he didn’t meet the quota.”
“Me neither. I’ll see you in a few.”
I quickly showered, brushed my teeth, got dressed, and grabbed my phone and purse. I gave Eric a kiss, and then I was out the door, off to officially meet who we hoped would become my daytime bodyguard.
Charlie opened the door with a relieved look on his face. I quickly read his mind to see what was happening. Normally Charlie was extremely laid back; I’d never seen him on edge before.
Thank God she’s here. If I had to sit in the same room alone with him any longer with him staring at me with those creepy eyes…
“Charlie, are you okay?” I asked. I knew he was, but he didn’t know of my telepathy at the moment since we weren’t practicing and I wanted to let him know that I was concerned.
“I’m fine now that you’re here. Did you know that the guy we’re supposed to meet has purple eyes?” he whispered.
“I did. Aren’t they pretty?” I asked with a smile. I thought they were, and I wasn’t sure why they bothered Charlie. I knew that it was quite rare for someone to have purple eyes, but it did happen. He would just have to get used to them.
Charlie’s eyes widened at my comment but other than that he didn’t respond. I walked around him and patted him on the shoulder.
“Did you order breakfast?” I called out over my shoulder.
“Yeah, it should be here in a few minutes.” I heard from behind me.
Quinn was sitting in a chair looking a little impatient when I first spotted him. I probably would have been intimidated by him too if he hadn’t been nice on our first encounter.
“Mr. Quinn,” I said as I strode toward him with my hand out.
“Mrs. Northman, please just call me Quinn,” he replied, standing up to shake my hand.
“Then you must call me Sookie,” I answered back.
Quinn looked over at Charlie with a questionable look.
Is she trying to get me into trouble? Most employers want to go by Mr. or Mrs., definitely not by their first name.
“Call her by whatever she wants. If you don’t, boss man won’t be happy,” Charlie stated as he sat down on the couch.
“Boss man?” Quinn questioned.
“Yeah, Mr. Northman. You do not want to get on his bad side, and a sure fire way to do that is by not doing what she asks.”
“Charlie, you make it sound like I ask you to do all kinds of things that I shouldn’t. You’re going to give him a bad impression of me,” I said, poking out my bottom lip and plopping down in the chair across from where Quinn had been sitting.
“I didn’t mean it like that, I swear. Seriously, they are the best and easiest employers I’ve ever had. Sookie is not a trouble maker,” he said, shaking his head. “She’s gotta be one of the sweetest people I’ve ever met. My only advice is not to let anything bad happen to her. If she got hurt, I’m pretty sure Mr. Northman would kill you and possibly anyone else around.”
Doesn’t sound too sweet to me. How sweet can she be with a vampire as a husband? With Eric fucking Northman as her husband?
“Thank you, Charlie,” I said, letting him hear the annoyance in my voice. He wasn’t helping matters talking about Eric killing people if I got hurt.
“I’m sorry about what Charlie said, but I can’t say he’s lying. If any harm were to come to me while you were around or on duty or whatever you want to call it, Eric would most likely hurt you and maybe kill you,” I stated with a sheepish smile. I didn’t want to lie to him, and I was pretty sure that Eric would be threatening his life, later on, tonight. He needed to know what he was getting himself into.
“I understand, Mrs…” he started, but at seeing that I was going to correct him, he corrected himself before I could. “I understand, Sookie. Vampires are very possessive by nature. Hell, most Supes are, and if all’s said and done and I’m your bodyguard, and you got hurt, then I’d expect something unpleasant from your husband.”
“Unpleasant?” Charlie snorted with an eye roll as there was a knock on the door. “That must be room service.”
Charlie left us alone while he got our food and I thought it was a perfect time to ask a very important question before Hauk got here.
“Do you have any problems working for vampires?” I asked. This was the true test. I knew that Weres and vampires didn’t get along, and if he had a serious problem working for one then we might have a problem.
Working? No. Being forced to do whatever they want? Yes. Everyone knows of Eric Northman and his reputation, but while he may be a vampire, he’s also known to be loyal to those people who have earned his trust and honorable. Hauk vouched for him, and there are not many vampires that will do that for another.
“Depends on the vampire,” Quinn said, his deep voice breaking me away from his thoughts. “You don’t need to worry. I’m not going to try and kill your husband while he’s sleeping or anything of that nature. While there are plenty of vampires that I don’t get along with I’m not going to hate anyone based on their race.”
“Let’s eat, guys,” Charlie called from the table.
I chuckled and looked at Quinn. “He loves to eat.”
“Good,” he replied. Upon seeing my questioning look, he continued. “I don’t know if you know this or not but Weres eat about three times the amount of a normal human.”
“I had no idea. Wow! That sounds like a lot.”
“You have no idea,” he chuckled as we headed over to the table that was covered with different dishes. There was bacon, ham, sausage, scrambled and fried eggs, french toast, waffles, pancakes, toast, bagels, fruit, coffee, milk, and orange juice.
“Did you order everything on the breakfast menu?” I asked once I took in all the food.
“I left a few things,” Charlie replied as he piled his plate with food.
“I hope you’re hungry,” I said to Quinn as I started to load a plate with food. I chose bacon, scrambled eggs, a slice of ham, a waffle with maple syrup, and, of course, coffee. Since the entire table was filled with food, we went back to the living area to eat. When I was about halfway through eating my breakfast, Hauk came through the door that connected his room to Charlie’s.
“How is everyone today?” he greeted as he sat down beside Charlie on the couch with a bottle of blood. I wasn’t sure what the brand was; all I knew was that it wasn’t True Blood or Royalty.
Quinn choked when he first saw Hauk walk in the room with the sun hitting him as he made his way over to the couch, and then all he could do was stare. It seemed his brain had nearly shut down over seeing Hauk during the day. I couldn’t get anything from him.
Are you getting anything? I asked Hauk. It was quite handy that we could communicate telepathically if we had our shields lowered.
Nothing. I’ve been reading him since he first arrived and everything seems good. I guess we’ll know once he gets over seeing me up during the daytime.
We sat quietly while we waited for Quinn to respond. I started eating the rest of my breakfast as I continued to listen with my shields fully down. I guess one good thing about staying at a vampire hotel was that almost everyone was asleep during the day, and I didn’t have to worry about my shields. With frequent nips during sex, it was easy to maintain my shields all the time.
After a few minutes of everyone sitting in silence, Quinn’s mouth started to open and close. I couldn’t get a coherent thought out of him yet, so I finished my breakfast as I waited.
“You’re a… vampire, right?” he finally asked.
“Hence, the blood,” Hauk replied lifting his bottle of blood in the air toward him.
“How are you here?”
“I believe I just walked in,” Hauk replied with a grin and sipped his drink.
Quinn’s awe slightly wore off, and he glared at Hauk. “How are you awake and in the sun?”
Are the windows UV tinted here? It doesn’t matter if they are, it’s morning, and he’s sitting across from me in broad daylight.
“Before I was turned, I was a fairy.”
“Have you always been able to be up during the day and out in the sun?” Quinn asked, shaking his head.
Maybe this is all a dream. Maybe I fell asleep on my way here or while I was waiting on the Sheriff’s wife.
“I’ve always been able to be up during the day, but I’m unsure about being out in the sun. My Maker was not very kind, and I was commanded to be by his side while he slept. It wasn’t until his true death that I learned I could feel the sun on my skin without it burning me.”
“I remember when your Maker died,” Quinn replied. “It hasn’t been too long ago. Why are you hanging out with Northman when you just got free of your Maker?”
Hauk let out a bellowing laugh, doubling over and clutching his stomach. All we could do was stare at his hysterics until he calmed down. I wasn’t sure what he thought was so funny. When I tried to read his thoughts, there was only laughter. Hearing his laughter inside and out caused a small smile to form on my own lips, but I still wanted to know what was so funny.
Once he calmed down he wiped away a bloody tear that had escaped from his laughter. “There is no hanging out with Northman. He tolerates me and nothing more because of his wife.”
“Now why would he do that? I can’t imagine him wanting you around her,” Quinn drolled out.
Sookie? We have to tell him something. He’s going to be suspicious if we don’t. If he’s going to be around as your bodyguard, he’s going to notice your odd behavior when you read minds and how you came upon your knowledge.
If we tell him, I’m a telepath he’s going to know that you’re one too. I don’t know what to do. I’m not sure we should tell him or what Eric wants him to know. I trust him to be my bodyguard, but not with being a fairy and our telepathy. Maybe in time.
“You’ll have to let Northman answer that if you want to know the answer,” Hauk finally replied.
Quinn’s gazed flickered back and forth between the three of us.
“I get it. I get it,” he replied and then popped a piece of sausage in his mouth. “We all gotta earn each other’s trust. So… do you guys have any questions for me? Am I hired? What am I supposed to do exactly?”
“Eric gets the final say, so we’ll have to wait until dark, and he talks to you. As for what you’re supposed to do… I guess if I go out, you’re to come with me and make sure that nothing happens to me. I’m not sure if you’ve been filled in as to why we’re in Dallas or not; we’re here because Godric, the Sheriff of Area Nine, has been kidnapped from his home. Since he’s an old friend of Eric’s, we’ve come to try and help find him.” I looked at Hauk to see if I’d covered what I needed and didn’t give anything away that I shouldn’t have.
“Yes, so we may come to be in some dangerous situations, and if they find out that we’re here to help they may come after us.”
“What?!” I had never thought of the fact that if we were discovered trying to find Godric that they might come looking for us.
“It’s a possibility. We don’t know who we’re up against,” he replied. “What we do know is that there were four humans who were in his house and one vampire. We were unable to identify any of their scents last night, but Northman does know that he’s encountered the vampire before. Their scents were already fading since it had already been a few days after he was taken and the smell of burnt flesh was prevalent throughout the area.”
“Okay,” Quinn stated and then clapped his hands causing Charlie and I to jump. “So we got a bit of mystery to solve.”
“Your job isn’t to solve a mystery, it’s to keep her safe,” Hauk looked over at me, “while we try to find Godric. Just make sure you do your job, or your life will be forfeited.”
“Alrighty then! I think we need to stop talking about killing people and do something a little lighter. Don’t you?” Charlie asked, looking over at me.
“Yes,” I said, standing up with my hands on my hips. “What are we going to do?”
“There’s a pool on the rooftop. Do you want to go up there? Swim? Layout?” Charlie asked.
“I think since Quinn will be with you, I’m going to go back to bed if that’s okay with you?” Hauk said, standing up.
“I know you can’t go out during the day, but we could stay here if you want,” I responded.
“I could use some more sleep, and you guys should go have fun. Unless you don’t feel comfortable?”
“No, I’m fine. You sleep, and we’ll go to the pool. What should I wear?”
“A swimsuit,” Charlie replied hesitantly.
“Do I have a swimsuit? Do you think Eric packed one?” I asked looking between Charlie and Hauk.
“You’ll just have to look. I can’t imagine what he’d pack for you or that he actually packs anything at all,” Charlie said, shaking his head.
“I’m going to go back to my room and look for a swimsuit. First, though, we need to get you a room,” I said turning to Quinn.
After getting Quinn a room to stay in until we found Godric and then dumping out and going through all the clothes that Eric had packed, I found a swimsuit to wear. We all met outside my room, and then made our way up to the rooftop pool.
Charlie whistled as we all looked around and saw that we had the pool all to ourselves.
“This is pretty sweet. Is it always like this at vampire hotels?” he asked as we each found ourselves a lounger to layout on.
“I don’t know. The only hotel I’ve stayed at was in New Orleans, and it was winter then,” I replied as I took a towel from Charlie and lay it on the lounger before I sat down.
“Surely you’ve stayed in other hotels before,” Charlie stated.
“Of course, she has,” Quinn said, rolling his head to look at me.
“I’m sure I have. I know I have, but I don’t remember them,” I said with a shrug. “I think we stayed in a hotel when we went to Norway for our honeymoon.”
“Oh, Sookie, I’m so sorry. I keep doing that,” Charlie said with a sad look on his face. I liked that he had forgotten that I couldn’t remember the first twenty-six years of my life. It meant that I wasn’t doing something all the time that reminded him of how little I knew when he first met me.
Smiling at Charlie, I said, “It’s fine. It’s great actually. It means that I’ve come a long way since you met me.”
“You definitely have.”
“Can one of you tell me what the hell you’re talking about?” Quinn asked gruffly as he peeked out from under his sunglasses.
I looked over at Charlie, and he gave me an encouraging nod. “Well… back in January, I was in a really bad car accident and almost died,” I started. Quinn sat up giving me his full attention. “It was during the day. I’m not really sure what time, but it was many hours before Eric woke up for the day.”
“Woke up for the day?” Quinn interrupted.
“Pfft,” I said, waving my hands in the air. “That’s what I call it. I don’t like saying he’s dead for the day or at all so he’s asleep and he wakes up.”
“You do know that’s not really true. Right?”
“I know that I can’t call him up right now, but if I really wanted or needed to, I could wake him. Anyway, on with the accident, I had multiple broken bones, severe head trauma, and was unconscious when Eric got to the hospital. He gave me his blood, glamoured them to release me, and then we left. When I woke up the next day, I had no memory.”
“No memory at all?” Quinn asked with uncertainty.
“None at all,” I said, shaking my head.
“You were already married to Northman?” he asked leaning forward.
“Yes, we’ve been married for four years.”
“What did you think when you found out your husband was a vampire?”
I shrugged my shoulders. “It made no difference to me. I would have been just as shocked to find out that I was married to a human or anything else.”
“Hmmm. Well as long as you’re happy now.”
“I am. I don’t know what I would have done without Eric there to help me. I would have been so lost. I’m really lucky to have him. So there may be times when I don’t know something or someone that I should. Most everyone in Eric’s Area knows that I was in an accident since neither Eric nor I was around for a good while afterward and I’m sure they thought I was odd when I did come back, but they’ve never asked any questions. They are all very loyal, but we don’t really want it getting out about my amnesia since there would be plenty who would try and take advantage of that fact.”
“I understand, and I give you my word that I won’t tell a soul without your direct permission.”
“Thank you. Can I ask you a question?”
“Sure,” he said, shrugging his shoulders before he lay back down with his hands behind his head.
“I know you’re a weretiger, but I don’t really know that much about Weres. Can you shift whenever you want?”
“I can shift whenever I want, but I have to shift when there’s a full moon. I take it you don’t know any Weres?”
“The dayman we had before Charlie was a Were, but he was fired the first night I met him again after the accident, so no, I don’t know any but you.”
“What kind of tiger are you?” Charlie asked from his lounger.
“A Bengal,” Quinn replied.
I didn’t know there were different types of tigers, but luckily he pictured what he looked like after he shifted. He was a huge! He was a good choice for a bodyguard. I don’t think anyone would mess with him as a human or as a tiger. I could see why Eric had chosen him.
“I don’t know about you guys, but I’m getting hot. I’m going to jump in the pool to cool off and then I think we could order lunch up here. What do you think?”
Quinn’s brows furrowed. “I thinking that you think about food more than me,” he said with a laugh, “but yeah, that sounds good.”
“Cool. I’ll be back in a bit,” he said as he stood and walked over to the pool.
“How long has he worked for you?” Quinn asked as we watched Charlie dive into the pool creating a huge splash.
“A little over six months,” I said with a smile as I watched Charlie surface from his dive.
“You like him,” Quinn stated.
“What’s not to like? He’s a good friend.”
“He’s an employee.”
“Yes, he’s an employee and a friend. His job has been to take me places during the day since I didn’t know where anything was. It’s an easy job. He’s introduced me to a lot of foods that I would have never tried if it wasn’t for him. Before meeting him, I went off what was in my pantry and what Eric told me I liked since I couldn’t remember what I liked or how to cook. Charlie’s done a good job of teaching me to cook. I was trying on my own by watching cooking shows and reading from my Gran’s cookbook, but it would take me forever to cook myself a meal even with Eric’s help.”
“Northman helped you cook?” he questioned with disbelief.
“Yeah, it was funny since neither one of us knew how to cook. Well, he knew more than me, but only a few simple things.”
“I still can’t picture him in the kitchen cooking,” he said, shaking his head and chuckling to himself. “Not with the reputation he has.”
“I’m sure the more time that you’re around him you’ll realize that he can be a good guy when he’s not in the public eye.”
Quinn chuckled again. “We’ll see about that, but I guess he can’t be that bad if you’re still with him. You seem like a sweet girl.”
“Thanks, and you’ll see,” I said, smiling.
“So the bar had menus for the restaurant downstairs,” Charlie said as he handed us each a menu. “Maybe tonight we can eat down there or somewhere else now that you’ve got a bodyguard.”
“I’m sure if we don’t want to eat room service again we can eat elsewhere, Charlie.”
“Good. I don’t want to be stuck inside my room all night.”
“I don’t know what the plan is for tonight, but if I’m with Eric, you don’t have to stay in your room. You can go out and do whatever you want.”
“Cool. Hmmm… I think I’m going to have the ribs,” Charlie said after looking over his menu one final time.
“Ribs at the pool?” Quinn questioned.
“Yeah, why not?”
“Just seems like a strange place to eat ribs,” Quinn stated.
Charlie only shrugged his shoulders as he called over a waiter from the bar so that we could order.
As I ate my turkey club and Quinn ate his cheeseburger, we watched Charlie dig into his lunch. It did seem that ribs were a little too messy to be eating outside at the pool since Charlie’s fingers, mouth, and chin was covered in barbecue sauce. Instead of wiping it off with the only napkin he had left when he was done, he jumped into the pool to get rid of the sauce. Quinn and I could only laugh as we watched him scrub his face with the pool water and the looks on the waiter and bartender’s faces.
“I think we should get out of here before they kick us out,” I said as I stood and started to collect our stuff.
“They’re not going to kick you out. You’re a vampire’s companion, and they don’t want to piss him off. You could practically do anything you wanted, and they wouldn’t say a word.”
They wouldn’t say it, but if I wanted, I could hear it, and I didn’t want them thinking badly about us. I didn’t want us to be known as troublemakers, and if they didn’t like us and trouble came looking for us, they might give us away.
“Still I think I’m done for the day,” I said as I continued to gather our stuff. “I’m going to take a nap until Eric gets up. I didn’t get much sleep since I was up until almost dawn. I guess you could say I pretty much have vampire hours. Well, I can’t sleep that long in the summer, but I try to spend as much time with Eric that I can since there’s so little night time hours during the summer.”
“Got it. I’ll try and adjust my hours since I know you’ll be asleep until afternoon, but don’t worry. Weres don’t need as much sleep as humans unless we are hurt and healing.” Grabbing his phone, he looked at it for a minute before responding. “You have about four hours until sunset.”
“I’d better go and get some sleep then. I’m sure Eric will want to start the night as soon as the sun’s down. Are you going to stay here?” I asked.
“Naw, I’ll walk you to your room and try to get some sleep too. Hey, Charlie!” Quinn yelled the last part. “We’re going to head down to our rooms and get a nap in before tonight. You coming?”
“You guys go ahead. I’ll be down later.”
“I’ll see you later, Charlie,” I called out to him as we passed him. “I’m gonna take a nap before Eric gets up.”
“You do that,” he said with a mischievous smile.
I woke up to Eric nuzzling my neck, his arms and one leg wrapped around me. Moaning, I snuggled in closer to his chest and tightened the arm I had around him.
“Good evening, Lover,” Eric huskily greeted me as he placed kisses along my neck. “You smell of the sun and me, the perfect combination. Mmmm,” he groaned.
“Thank you for being here when I woke up,” he said, the last as he nipped at my ear.
“Eric,” I moaned out. “I’m almost always with you when you wake up. There’s no need for you to thank me.”
“I’m thankful for every night that I wake up, and you are by my side.”
“Good, because I plan for you to wake up with me by your side for the next thousand years or so,” I said as I trailed kisses down his chest until I reached the deep ‘V’ of his hips and began to lick him until I reached his rock hard cock.
“Mmmmm, nothing would make me happier, Lover,” he purred as I continued my way down.
I licked him from his base all the way up until I reached his tip where I sucked hard since it was already leaking precum.
“Fuck,” Eric moaned. His hands quickly gathered my hair and his hips flexed a little, searching for something more than my lips.
With a small chuckle, I took him as far as I could into my mouth, and what I couldn’t take, I used my hands. My name was a sacred chant from his lips, and I took my time pleasuring him. As I picked up speed, I hollowed out my cheeks and trailed my tongue along on the way up. I watched as the firm muscles of his stomach tensed, as his hand in my hair tightened, and I could tell that he was teetering on the edge of ecstasy. With a smile around his cock, I grazed my teeth along his length, and he came hard and long down my throat.
I kissed the tip of his head before crawling back up his body and snuggled against his chest. His hands traveled up and down my bare back, and I sighed against his touch.
“I don’t want to get up,” I said as I trailed my hand along his stomach.
“I wish we could lay in bed all night, but we have a meeting with Stan Davis. We need to get out of this bed and get ready. Do you want to eat dinner here or do you want to go somewhere else?”
“Are Charlie and Quinn coming?” I asked as I continued to rest my head against his chest.
“If you want them too. How was your day by the way? I’m sorry I didn’t ask sooner but you provided quite the distraction when I woke up,” he said, wiggling his eyebrows. “I’m guessing Quinn passed the double telepath test.”
“It was a good day except that I was woken up too early. Quinn passed,” I said, hesitating for a moment.
“What is it?” Eric asked cupping my face and tilting my head to look at him.
“I told him about my amnesia but not about being a fairy or a telepath. He wanted to know why Hauk was ‘hanging out’ with you, but we told him that was for you to tell. Hauk said he’d probably become suspicious, but that’s all I felt comfortable with telling him. I trust him to be my bodyguard but not with our secrets.”
“Good,” he replied kissing me softly before speaking against my lips. “That’s how it should be, and you may never feel comfortable telling him. He’ll know what he needs to know. The least amount of people who know, the better, and if you ever hear anything from him that you don’t like or makes you not trust him, I want you to let me know.”
“I will,” I said, giving him one final kiss before getting out of bed and heading into the bathroom to turn on the shower.
“I’m going to send Charlie a message letting him know that we’re going to dinner after we get ready and to let Quinn and Hauk know,” I said over my shoulder as I dug through my bag to find my phone.
“I’ll meet you in the shower. I’m not done with you yet,” he replied as he retreated into the bathroom, causing my body to shiver in anticipation.
“I asked around about restaurants, and there’s supposed to be a great Mexican restaurant just around the corner. We can walk if you want,” Charlie said when we met him, Hauk, and Quinn downstairs.
“Sounds good to me. How ’bout you?” I asked Quinn.
“I’ll eat just about anything,” he replied with a smile. “Maybe you should ask the vampires, though.”
“They have names,” I replied, each word filled with anger. Our situation wasn’t going to work if they couldn’t even call each other by their names.
“I know. Sorry,” Quinn said looking a little sheepish until he saw the smiles on Eric and Hauk’s faces.
“As long as they have blood available we’ll be fine,” Eric stated, wrapping his arm around my shoulder as we followed Charlie.
“I highly doubt they have anything but True Blood; nothing like what you’re used to,” Hauk stated as he smirked at me. “I’ll be fine. I plan to find a donor when we get to the King’s house.”
We all stopped and stared once we made it to the restaurant. It certainly didn’t look like much, and it was in a strip mall, but as long as the food was good, I didn’t care.
“Do you still not care?” Quinn asked after he took another look.
“If it’s acceptable for you then I’ll make do. If I have to, I won’t breathe.” Looking down at me Eric said, “If you don’t want to eat here, let me know, and we’ll find someplace else.”
We walked in, and the restaurant was hardly busy, but it looked nice and clean. I think Charlie had started to get nervous that it would be a dump, and Eric wouldn’t approve. I ordered cheesy bean dip, guacamole for my chips, and chicken fajitas. As for Quinn and Charlie, I think they ordered at least one of everything on the menu. Neither Eric nor Hauk ordered a blood.
Eric scrunched up his nose when he saw that they didn’t even offer True Blood. They only had Red Stuff, which was cheap and even more disgusting than True Blood according to Eric.
While we ate, Eric spoke quietly on the phone in Old Norse to whom I was assuming was Pam. Normally they spoke in Swedish, but I guess he thought it was possible that Hauk could understand what they were saying. I had checked to see if he understood what they were saying a time or two. Luckily he didn’t; Eric had started to trust him, but I knew he wouldn’t like it if Hauk could understand all their private conversations. I knew Eric spoke many languages, but I think Pam only knew a few.
“Are you not uncomfortable watching us eat?” Quinn asked Hauk and Eric after he had consumed half of his meal.
Hauk only shook his head and went back to his conversation with Charlie about what he was going to do while we went to Stan Davis’ house.
“I’d be a pretty shitty husband if I couldn’t stand to be around my wife while she ate.” Eric squeezed the shoulder his hand was draped across. I gave him a smile and continued to eat. I was about halfway done while Charlie and Quinn were close to finishing. I didn’t want everyone waiting for me to finish when we had plenty to do tonight.
Quinn let out a deep rumbling chuckle. “Hell, there are plenty of human men who can’t stand to be around their wives when they eat, but good for you,” he said, tipping his beer toward us.
Eric let out a sigh before kissing the top of my head. “Let’s get this out of the way. I don’t know what you’ve been told, but your top priority is keeping Sookie safe, no matter what she says or does. She’s probably going to want to be your friend; that’s just who she is, and that’s fine, be her friend, but remember you also have a job to do. If she gets hurt under your watch, the first thing I’ll do is neuter you and move on from there until you wish for a quick death. Do we understand each other?”
“We do,” Quinn gave him a slight nod.
“What’s neuter?” I asked.
Charlie choked on his bite of food and Quinn spit out the drink he had in his mouth when I asked the question, causing me to furrow my brows in confusion. No one had that type of reaction when Eric said it.
Eric chuckled and picked up my hand kissing my knuckles. “It means to remove an animal’s sexual organ. In his case, his testicles.”
“Eric,” I whisper yelled. “Would he be able to have sex after that?” I questioned quietly.
Letting out a loud, booming laugh, Eric doubled over and had to wipe away a blood tear before he finally calmed down.
“It would significantly decrease his need and desire to do so,” he replied flatly after a moment of composing himself.
“That’s not nice,” I replied with a frown. I knew how much Eric and I enjoyed sex and if someone cut off his testicles and it made him not want sex anymore, neither one of us would be happy.
“I know. It’s not supposed to be nice. He knows that I’m serious, and if he doesn’t want it to happen, he’ll keep you safe. It’s that simple.”
“Were you talking to Pam on the phone?” I asked as we walked back to the hotel to get our car and head to the King’s house.
“Yes, I was informing her of the new security upgrades I’m having installed at our house, her house, and at Fangtasia, and that I need for her to be there when they finish so that she can glamour them.”
“Told ya,” Charlie called out from behind us.
Feeling Eric’s slight annoyance that we had an audience, I hugged myself to him as we walked. Eric values his privacy and isn’t quick to open up to someone. I knew that if it was up to him, it would only be me, him, and occasionally Pam, but he put up being around Charlie and Hauk for me, and now we had added another to our group.
“Charlie was telling me last night how you’d probably want to upgrade our security with this new threat out there,” I explained.
“I only want you safe,” he murmured, squeezing me a little tighter.
“That’s what I said. I don’t care what you have installed as long as it keeps you safe.”
I love that you worry for me, dear one. I heard Eric send to me.
We arrived back at the hotel, and Eric handed over our ticket to the valet. Charlie and Quinn both started to go inside until I called them back.
“Is Quinn not coming with us?” I asked confused.
“I don’t believe he’d be very welcomed at the King’s house. If I cannot be with you, then Hauk can stay with you. There’s nothing to worry about; you’re my bonded mate. No vampire will bother you, but you need to remember we’re not in my Area anymore. We have to go by someone else’s rules while we’re here,” he explained.
“I remember,” I quietly responded. That’s what had me worried. I didn’t know the rules here or how they treated humans. I only knew that most vampires didn’t treat humans very well. They were treated like pets if they were lucky.
“No need to be worried,” he said against my temple as he placed a kiss there. “I won’t let anything happen to you.”
“I know you won’t,” I said, placing a kiss on his chest. Pulling away slightly, I turned toward Charlie and Quinn. “I guess I’ll see you guys later. I’ll call you tomorrow after I wake up,” I said the last part to Charlie.
“See you tomorrow,” Charlie waved back.
The drive from the hotel to the King’s house took around half an hour with all the traffic in the city, even with Eric driving.
We pulled up in front of this huge three-story mansion on a hill. I’d never seen anything like it before, at least not that I could recall. There weren’t houses like this in Louisiana.
Looking over at Eric, he had a small smile on his face from feeling my wonderment of the house before us.
“Does he really need such a big house?” I asked as I took off my seatbelt.
Eric left out a slight chuckle from my side of the car as he held his hand out to assist me.
“This is his royal residence. He has many who live here that work for him. If you haven’t noticed we vampires like to live in luxury,” he explained.
“I never thought about it. I thought it was normal.”
“Good, then I’m doing my job.” He placed a kiss on the palm of my hand before putting it in the crook of his elbow. We silently walked to the front door where we were stopped by a guard.
“Northman and party. I have an appointment with His Majesty.”
The guard called through some sort of headset to get confirmation of our appointment. From his mind, I read that he already knew we were supposed to arrive, but they had no idea why Eric wanted to see their king. I gave his arm a squeeze and sent him my satisfaction that all was well so far.
We were escorted through the royal residence until we came to a living room that was being used as a waiting room.
The three of us sat quietly on a couch until the king was ready to receive us. Hauk and I dipped into the heads of each vampire and human who was on the compound. Neither of us found anything that we could use to find Godric or that they had any ill will toward us.
A young good looking man with dark skin and blue eyes, dressed in jeans, a white shirt, and a jacket came out from around the corner straight toward us. Eric looked over at him when he felt me tense up, but sent his approval of the man.
“Mason,” Eric nodded to him.
“Mr. Northman,” he replied back with a nod, first to Eric, then me, and Hauk.
“Do you have anything new to report?” Eric asked him in a quiet tone so that only we could hear him.
“I’m afraid not,” Mason said, his eyes misted with tears.
Eric gave him another nod before he introduced us.
“Mason, you know Sookie and Hauk. Stay here until I’m done with the king and we’ll talk later.”
“Yes, sir.” He sat down in a chair next to Hauk before he got out his phone and started typing away.
“Mr. Northman,” a pretty brunette purred at Eric. “His Majesty will see you now.” I watched as she looked at him from head to toe before licking her lips.
Eric stood with a hand out for me to take until Ms. Liplicker informed us that only Eric could go back and see the King. I knew that if I read her mind, I would not like what I found, so I asked Hauk to do it. We had to make sure she was not a threat to us or if she knew any information on Godric. She wasn’t a threat; she only wanted to fuck my husband according to Hauk.
“Stay with her,” Eric directed to Hauk before he followed Ms. Liplicker.
“I don’t like her,” I whispered to Hauk.
He looked at me letting out a light chuckle but otherwise didn’t respond.
“Mason?” I asked the young man sitting to Hauk’s side.
“Yes, ma’am,” he replied looking up from his phone.
“Do you know Godric?”
“Yes, ma’am. I’m his dayman,” he said giving me a strange look.
“Do you happen to have a picture of him that we could see? It would help with our search if everyone knew what he looked like.”
“I’m afraid I don’t. You know how he is,” he said with a light laugh.
Actually, I had no clue how he was, but Mason had been there on a few occasions when I had met with both him and Godric. I watched as he mentally went through a few of those times. Luckily when I had asked for the picture he had thought about what Godric looked like so now I knew.
It was surprising to see a vampire over two thousand years old looking like a teenager. He wasn’t tall and had short brown hair and blue eyes. He had tattoos peeking out from underneath his shirt.
Hauk gave me a slight nod letting me know that he had received the image as well.
“Yeah, of course, I know him. What was I thinking?” I was thinking I had no clue who Mason or Godric was. Luckily now that my telepathy had returned it was easier if I was around someone whom I had known before, but didn’t remember something they were talking about being as they normally thought about it as they were speaking. I would just listen to their minds and surmise at what they expected to hear.
We continued to sit quietly while we waited for Eric to return. I was moving from one mind to the other to see if anyone had any thoughts about Godric, but I was coming up empty. It didn’t look as if anyone here was part of his kidnapping or knew anything of it, but then again just because they weren’t thinking about it didn’t mean they weren’t complicit.
I know that most delectable smell. It smells like Sookie but… what would she be doing here in Dallas? No one knows I’m here.
What the hell was Bill Compton doing in Dallas?
“Bill Compton is here.” I sent to Hauk.
I could tell that he was trying to pinpoint his exact location, but before he had the chance, Bill came walking in the room trying to look as if he didn’t know I was there.
“Sookie, what a surprise. What are you doing here and where is your husband?” he asked looking around for Eric.
Maybe she finally left him. I wonder what did it? No matter what I tried, I could never get Eric to cheat or feed on anyone I sent to tempt and seduce him away. I can’t believe Eric Northman’s fucking faithful to his wife. It must be her blood. She smells better than anything I’ve ever smelled in my life. I need to taste her to find out.
Hmmm. Maybe I can glamour her into following me into one of the bedrooms here. I bet if he found her and saw with his own eyes that she was with another man he’d leave her. I only need to wait until I can get that vampire that’s always with her out of the room. Why is he always around? Is Northman sharing now?
I was trying with everything in me to hide what I heard from Bill. He had checked himself out of Area Five about a month ago, and we were hoping we’d never see him again, or at least not for a few hundred years.
We knew he had been trying to split us apart from the first night he had shown up at Fangtasia. It seemed as if he hadn’t given up on that fantasy quite yet, but there was no way in hell he would ever taste my blood.
“I’m right here,” Eric said from behind Bill.
“Are you okay?” Eric sent to me as he glanced at me. I gave him a slight nod and wished that I could send my own thoughts to him as I could with Hauk. It would definitely make life so much easier.
“A pleasure as always, Sheriff. What brings you to the Area?”
“I think a better question is what business you have here, Compton,” Eric narrowed his eyes, and Bill sneered in response.
“Northman, bring your wife and let’s finish our meeting.” An angry voice called out from the office Eric had been in before Bill could respond.
Stepping around Bill, Eric helped me up, and we made our way into the office. Once the door was closed, he turned to me telling me not to be worried and that everything was fine.
“I heard you run into Compton out there,” the man behind the desk said. “I’m still trying to figure out what he’s doing in my state. The only answer he’s given that’s checked out is that he’s been released from Sophie-Anne’s court.”
Eric led me to one of the two chairs in front of the desk, and then we sat down. I scanned the king who was oddly wearing glasses, khaki’s, and a white short sleeved button up shirt. I’d never seen a vampire with glasses before. Why would a vampire need glasses?
“Do vampires ever need glasses?” I sent to Hauk.
“No!” He sent back with mental laughter.
“Your Majesty,” Eric bowed his head. “This is my wife, Sookie.”
“Nice to meet you, Sookie,” he replied with a nod. “I’m the King of Texas, Stan Davis.”
“Nice to meet you too, Your Majesty,” I said with a head nod.
“If you ever get tired of this giant, come see me. I’m sure I could show you a good time,” he said with a smirk.
“I’m sorry but I’m quite attached to my husband,” I replied with a smile toward Eric.
“Stop flirting with my wife,” Eric growled out.
“It’s all in good fun. It’s nice to meet the woman who finally tamed the great Eric Northman. Now back to business, if you need any assistance, just let me know. No one kidnaps a vampire in my state, let alone one of my Sheriffs. I know you were called in by his progeny to help locate him, but I want to be informed of any leads you receive.”
“As you wish.”
“If that is all, you may leave. I have many more meetings tonight and one of them is with Compton,” he said the last part with a sneer.
I guess he wasn’t a fan of Bill’s either. Good to know.
“It was a pleasure meeting you, Sookie,” Stan said as he stood and walked around in front of me.
“You too, Your Highness.”
“Call me Stan,” he said, looking at Eric with a sly grin.
“Stop flirting,” Eric growled good naturally.
“I can’t help it,” Stan chuckled. “To see you attached to a human. Married!”
“Let’s go before I become the King of Texas,” Eric said, leading me out by the hand.
When we walked out we saw Bill standing in the corner of the room, so Eric nodded his head for Mason and Hauk to follow us.
“We can’t talk here. Meet us at the hotel,” Eric said when we all reached the car.
“Yes, sir,” Mason replied before quickly making his way to his own car.
“I’ll get a ride from him and give you two some privacy,” Hauk said and then vamped over to Mason’s car.
“What was that about?” Eric asked once we were on the road.
“I think Hauk likes Mason, like likes him, unless it’s because you have something you need to tell me.”
“What would I have to tell you?” he asked as he laced our fingers together.
“I don’t know. Something Stan told you?”
“You didn’t listen in?” He questioned with a quirked eyebrow.
“Nope. You know I try to give you your privacy, and I was busy listening to everyone else in that enormous house. There had to be at least thirty humans and twenty vampires.”
“I’m guessing you heard nothing if we’re talking about who Hauk might like.”
“You have nothing to be sorry about,” he let out a sigh. “We have no leads as to where he is, and I can’t figure out who that vampire was there on the premises.”
“I’m sorry, honey,” I replied, putting my other hand on top of our linked hands.
“Honey?” He asked in an amused tone.
“I don’t know. I felt like I should use a term of endearment, but I don’t really have one for you, and you have so many for me. Would you rather I call you baby?”
Eric whipped his head toward me with a look of horror on his face. “Never.”
I wanted to laugh at his response, but I could tell he really didn’t like it.
“What would you have me call you then besides your name?”
“Be serious. That would not have been appropriate in the situation. Did I never have any endearments for you?”
“Yes, but they were mostly when you were feeling saucy and/or horny. Not trying to make me feel better,” he said, looking out the windshield.
“What were they? Maybe I’ll like them and start using them again.”
“Sex God. Normally you’d get all possessive and add a ‘my’ in front of them,” he said with a sexy smirk.
“Did you like it when I used them?”
“Of course, I did, but you can’t call me baby. I’m over a thousand years old.”
“I wouldn’t be calling you a baby or that you act like one. It’s like a different way of saying I love you.”
“I still don’t like it.”
“Okay, I’ll see if I can come up with something else. It’s not fair you got all the good ones,” I said with a fake pout.
He lifted our joined hands and kissed my hand as we pulled up to the hotel. We made our way to our room to wait for Hauk and Mason to arrive.
Sitting down beside Eric I decided to play with him a little bit before our guests got there. He turned off his phone and sat it down on the table beside him the moment I was beside him.
“What do you think about honey buns or buttercup?” I asked, picking up his hand and playing with his fingers.
“You know I don’t mind you eating, but I don’t want to be called anything that has to do with food.”
“So no sugar-booger then?” I said as I tried to hide my smile.
“No sugar-booger,” he replied his lips twitching in an attempt to try and not smile.
“No… love muffin.?”
“No,” he said shaking his head before he snatched me from my seat next to him to deposit me on his lap and started to tickle me.
“Please no. Stop,” I squeaked out as I tried to pry his hands from my stomach.
“You want me to stop?” he whispered next to my ear.
“As you wish,” he said, pulling away quickly and sitting up straight with a smirk on his face.
Eric chuckled silently, locking his eyes with mine. “Where did you come up with these names?”
I pointed to my temple. “When I’ve read people.”
“This made you want to call me these names?” he asked tilting his head.
“Not until tonight. I feel like I should have something else to call you, a term of endearment. You call me them all the time.”
“You’ll come up with something,” he said as he started to rub my back. I laid my head down on his shoulder and tried to come up with the most ridiculous name I could think of.
“Snugglesome hugglesome?” I asked laughing into his shoulder.
Eric let out a bark of a laugh. “Please tell me you’ve never heard anyone say that before.”
“No, but it’s perfect. You like to snuggle and hug.” I tried to say with a straight face.
“I only like those things with you, and that has to be the most ridiculous name ever,” he replied.
“See it’s perfect for you. I’m the only one who will call you it. You know you like it, snugglesome hugglesome.”
“Now you’ve asked for it,” he said before he pinned me down on the couch. Straddling my hips, he took both of my hands in one of his and pinned them above my head before tickling my sides.
“You can’t tickle me when you secretly love it,” I screeched.
“I can and I will,” he replied with a big smile on his face and continued his assault on me.
“Please, I might pee my pants if you don’t stop,” I pleaded with him, but his only response was to shake his head and keep tickling me.
“I’ll do anything you want,” I half laughed, half pleaded. “Please, Eric. Stop,” I cried out with a laugh.
KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK
“Saved by the knock,” I said with a breathless laugh. Eric grinned at me as his eyes traveled down to my lips.
“Lucky you,” he rasped, letting go of my wrists and planting a firm and promising kiss on my lips.
It only took him three strides to answer the door. Opening the door wide, Hauk, Mason, and then Quinn all stepped in, scanning the room.
“Why are you guys looking around and acting all weird?” I asked as I sat up on the couch.
“We could hear you screaming from the end of the hall,” Hauk said smirking.
“As you can see I’m fine. Eric was tickling me, and I was trying to get him to stop,” I said. He sat down next to me, and I gave him a mock glare/pout.
They continued to stand there only, this time, they were staring at us. “Do you want something to drink?” I asked as I stood and went to the mini refrigerator in the room.
I received a round of I’m fine but thanks from everyone. I needed something to drink after all of my laughing and screaming so I got a bottle of water before I went back to the couch.
“Please, everyone sit. I don’t know about you guys, but I’m tired. This feels like the longest day of my life, and I’d like to get some sleep soon.”
Eric reached out and placed me on his lap, positioning us so that we could look at everyone.
“If you’re too tired you can go to bed, and someone can inform you of what we talked about tomorrow,” he said quietly.
“No, I want to know what’s going on. It shouldn’t take too long, should it?” I asked as I lay my head down on his shoulder.
“Not long at all,” he said as he wrapped one arm around me and the other started to rub my back.
“According to Mason, there’s been no suspicious activity around the house or any type of ransom demands. I found out from my meeting with Stan this evening that he knew nothing about Godric’s disappearance until tonight. He hasn’t heard of any other attempts or knew of anyone else missing. The Fellowship has been unnaturally quiet the last few months in the state.”
Picking up my hand, he started playing with my fingers. I felt him take a deep breath before letting out a heavy sigh.
“Unfortunately, we have no leads and no one really knows where to go from here. Wherever Godric is, he’s blocking his bond to his child, and it will be another couple of days before he can make his way here. We need to find him before then because for all we know he could be running out of time.”
“There’s only one thing I can think to do, and I don’t want to do it, but it might be our only chance to find anything out. Unless you found something tonight that I don’t know about?” he asked, looking at Mason first and then Hauk.
They both shook their heads no and looked down.
“Sookie, I think you, Chalrie and Quinn should go to Godric’s house during the day and see if you can find anything. Mason can let you in when you get there. Are you willing to do that?” he asked tilting up my chin with his thumb and forefinger.
“If you think it’s the only way then, of course, I’ll do it.”
“What do you think they’ll find out during the day? Are you a private detective and I didn’t know about it?” Quinn asked the last part to me.
“Let them worry about what they can find and how. Just make sure you do your job.”
“Okay. I get it. Something else is going on here, but you can’t talk about it right now. I can understand that.”
“Good. Mason, I’ll program your number into Sookie’s phone in case they need anything tomorrow. Anything else we need to talk about?”
When everyone stayed silent, Eric said. “All right there’s less than a couple of hours until sunrise and my wife’s tired. We’ll meet again at sunset and go from there.”
Sitting me down on the couch Eric rushed everyone out of the room before he scooped me up and deposited me on the bed before he started taking off my clothes. Once all my clothes were off, he picked me up again and placed me under the blankets. He then quickly undressed and slid into bed behind me.
“Sleep now, my Sookie,” he said as he spooned up behind me. He wrapped an arm and a leg around me and then lay his head down behind me on my pillow. “Please be safe tomorrow. I hate that I’m putting you in danger. If you feel uncomfortable or unsafe in any way, I want you to come back to the hotel right away, no matter what. Promise me.” His grip on me tightened, and I could feel his overwhelming worry for me.
“I promise,” I said with a big yawn. “Good night, snugglesome hugglesome. I love you. Always.”
“Good night, my beautiful wife,” he said, his lips caressing my ear. He placed a kiss beneath my ear before he buried his nose in my hair. “I love you, du är mitt allt.”