“I’m going to make you fall in love with me all over again,” he said.
I looked away while my blush ran from my cheeks down to my toes or it certainly felt like it.
I decided to excuse myself to use the restroom and away from Eric for a few minutes. I had a gorgeous man (vampire), who was my husband, said he loves me, and he was going to make me fall in love with him again. How could I fall for him when I didn’t even know who I was?
“Excuse me. I need to use the restroom,” I said as I stood up and took my plate to the sink.
“Do you know where it is?” he asked.
“I saw one earlier, I just haven’t needed to use one until now,” I said as I made my way out of the kitchen and down the hall to the bathroom I spotted earlier.
After I was done going to the bathroom, I stepped in front of the sink to wash my hands when I got my first look at myself.
My hands slowly made their way up to the left side of my head and I ran my fingers over the rough stubble that made up most of the left side of my scalp.
Tears started to stream down my face and I couldn’t hold back my sobs. I closed my eyes to try and pull myself together. I knew it was petty to cry about my hair, but I couldn’t help it. On my right side and the back, I had long, blonde hair but on my left, I had no hair.
When I opened my eyes, Eric was standing behind me looking unsure about what to do. I guess a crying woman made him uncomfortable. Our eyes met in the mirror and Eric placed his hands on my shoulders, but I quickly squirmed out from under his hands and left the bathroom.
“Sookie…,” he said and I quickly turned around toward Eric.
“Look at my hair,” I said pointing to the side of my head where my hair was missing. “How can you look at me?”
“It’s only hair and you’re still beautiful to me. I would rather you be here with your hair like that than the other alternative.”
“I know it’s horrible for me to only be thinking about my hair but,” I shrugged my shoulders. “I don’t remember anything else. I only have the here and now. How come I don’t have any cuts or bruises?”
“When I gave you my blood, it healed all of your cuts and bruises. Even the incision that was placed to reduce the swelling in your brain.”
Eric motioned for me to sit down on the couch with him. I sat down to the left of him to wait since he seemed deep in thought.
“You have a friend that’s a witch who lives in New Orleans. She might be able to come up with a spell or potion to make your hair grow. Would this be acceptable?”
“Yes,” I nodded my head. “I’m sorry. I know I shouldn’t be worried about how I look.”
“You have nothing to worry about. You’re handling everything quite well. I can’t imagine what it must be like to be unable to remember everything.” He stood and turned toward me, “I’m going to go into my office and call her. Will you be alright while I’m gone?”
“I should be fine. Thank you.” I sat there running my fingers over the stubble on my scalp until Eric came back.
“I talked to the witch and she said she’ll be able to help. We’ll meet with her tomorrow night at first dark.” Eric told me as he slowly took my hand in his and gently rubbed his thumb against my knuckles. “Let’s go upstairs to our bedroom and pack our bags. We’ll be gone for a couple of nights.”
Eric walked with me up to our bedroom and directed me to the closet. It was packed with clothing for the both of us. I heard Eric chuckle and I looked over at him.
“My child, Pam, bought us all the clothes. She lives to shop,” Eric said with a knowing grin. “I can’t remember the last time I shopped for myself. Pack a few things and we will leave soon. The drive will take about four hours.”
I looked around the closet for a few minutes before I noticed a small suitcase that Eric had set out for me to use. I had no idea what to pack since I didn’t even know what time of year it was.
“Yes, Sookie,” he responded back to me as he came back into the closet.
“I don’t know what to pack,” I furrowed my eyebrows. I was getting frustrated with everything being so unknown to me. “Can you help me? I don’t even know what time of year it is.”
“Of course, I’ll help you.” Eric started pulling a couple of jeans, sweaters, and boots and placed them in the suitcase. He handed me another pair of jeans and a long sleeve shirt. “By the way, it’s January so it’s a little cold outside especially at night. Do you want me to also pack your intimates?” Eric asked with a raised eyebrow and a suggestive smile.
My heart fluttered and I could feel the blush on my face. “N-no, but thank you,” I stuttered then turned toward the bathroom. “Do we have time for me to take a shower?”
Eric took a few steps closer to me and lifted my chin to face him, with a soft smile on his face he said, “We have time,” he let go of my chin and started walking out of the closet. “I’ll put our suitcases in the car and pack you a snack in case you get hungry before we have a chance to get you something else to eat.”
I walked out of the bathroom after enjoying my shower with its four different shower heads coming out of the walls and water falling from the ceiling, to find Eric sitting on the bed with his elbows on his knees and his face in his hands.
I moved slowly over toward him since he hadn’t moved since I came into the room.
“Are you alright?” I asked as I placed a shaky hand on his shoulder. Eric’s head whipped up and he quickly stood.
“I’m fine. I was just deep in thought and didn’t hear you. Come. We really should get on the road.”
We were in Eric’s car, which was a flashy, red sports car of some sort. He informed me when I was ready we could go shopping to get me a new car since my previous one was totaled in the accident. I watched out the window as we left our building and out onto the street. I couldn’t see much since it was dark except we had come out of the tallest building around.
I was trying to take in my environment when I heard Eric chuckle. I faced him with a smile on my face. “What are you laughing at?” I asked.
“This whole night,” he said and I scrunched my face up. Nothing about tonight had been funny.
“What do you mean? I’ve found nothing funny.”
“I was thinking about you sneaking up on me when you came out of the shower,” he said with a shrug. “I was so lost in my thoughts… it’s dangerous for me to let my guard down.”
“Why? I’m not dangerous to you. I’m pretty sure you’re much stronger than I am.”
He chuckled again, “I am, but I don’t need my guard up with you. I can relax and be myself when I’m around you.”
“So… you’re different when you’re around other people?”
“Yes,” he said and then ran his hand through his hair. “I’m in a position of power within the vampire world. I’m the Sheriff of Area Five and with that title, I make sure all the vampires in my area follow the laws we have in place and they come to me to settle disputes, among other things. A vampire should never let their guard down or they will more than likely meet their true death. Vampires are ruthless killers that is our nature. Most vampires think of humans to be used for food and sexual release. Nothing more. When I’m around other supernatural creatures, I will have to act differently. I will not treat you with disrespect, but I will probably seem as if I’m acting cold toward you. You will also have to act a certain way, but we have time before you’ll be around other vampires.”
My body stiffened as I heard this. I didn’t like the idea for either one of us having to put on an act.
“Neither of us like it, but that is the way it has to be. I cannot be seen as weak, but it’s not as bad as you may be thinking. You are known as my wife and because you are my wife you are treated with more respect than other humans.”
“Why did you marry me if vampires would think you’re weak for doing so? Do you feel that way about humans?”
“I married you because I love you and want to spend the rest of my existence with you. I don’t particularly care for most humans, but I’ve never been a very social vampire. I enjoy being around very few and at the bar we own, the human clientele is only there to see, fuck, or get bitten by a vampire. After humans knew of our existence, our way of life changed. We no longer have to hide who we are, our meals come willingly to us and throw themselves at us.”
“And you don’t like that?” I asked skeptically.
“It’s easier now that we don’t have to hide our existence, but I don’t need or want them like most vampires do,” he said, but looked over at me still feeling my cynicism. “Sookie,” he said with a sigh. “We have been married for four years and together for more than five. We were together before the reveal happened. I have been alive for a very long time and had my share in fucking many, but it was a very lonely existence until you came into my life. Although many think all vampires do is feed and fuck and cannot be monogamous that has not been the case for me ever since you walked into my life.”
“Is it legal for a human and vampire to marry?”
“No, it is not,” he said.
“Then how are we married?”
“We married before the reveal. The government believed I was human so it was legal. All marriages before the reveal are acknowledged, but it’s not legal to marry now.” He reached over and touched my left arm. “You have a scar here,” he said as he rubbed his thumb over my wrist. “Vampires also have a marriage ceremony. This scar is from when we pledged ourselves to each other.”
“Will you tell me about the ceremony sometime?”
“I will tell you about anything you want to know,” he said with such sincerity that I knew he was telling me the truth.
“Are you considered weak because you’re married to me?”
“There may be some who think I am weak because of the way vampires view humans, however, I am anything but weak. I’m one of the oldest vampires here in the new world and have quite a reputation. If they’re smart, they won’t mess with me or mine.”
“What does your age have to do with anything?” I asked.
“The older the vampire, the stronger the vampire,” he explained. “You don’t have to worry, all the vampires in my area know who you are, and most like you.”
“Why do they like me if vampires don’t think fondly of humans?”
“You’re different from most humans. You hold no prejudice for any supernatural creature,” he said with a shake of his head. “You, Sookie, treat each one you meet based on who they are, not what they are. Most humans only know that vampires exist and we are treated one of two ways. We are either monsters or they want to be bitten or fucked by us.”
“I think everyone should treat you by who you are and not what you are, but I’m happy that I treat you that way,” I said with a genuine smile.
“There’s something else I need to tell you and I think it’s the reason you treat everyone the way you do.”
“Okay… What is it?” I asked.
“You’re a telepath. You can read the minds of humans, Weres, and witches, but you can’t read vampire minds. There are also other supernatural creatures that you have not met that you may be able to read.”
“What’s a Were?”
“A Were is a werewolf although there are others who transform into other animals such as were-panthers and were-tigers, but only werewolves call themselves Weres. You can read all of them, just not as easily as you can humans.”
I sat there, staring at the vampire beside me. My vampire husband. Who just explained that I can read people’s minds. Werewolves too. Right. Nothing crazy about this whole situation.
“Why do you think this is the reason I treat people the way I do?”
“You had a rough childhood growing up hearing all the thoughts around you until you built up your shields. The town you grew up in, which is about forty miles away from Shreveport. That’s where we live,” he said and looked over at me. I nodded my head showing that I was following along. “The people in your town treated you unkindly and made you feel like an oddity. I think since you were treated differently, it’s easier for you to accept others who are different.”
“Do I go and visit anyone from my hometown? What’s it called?”
“Bon Temps and you don’t visit very often. It’s a very small town and a lot of times when you meet your friends from there, they come to either Shreveport or you go to a couple of different towns around Bon Temps and Shreveport.”
“Do I have any family?” I asked. You would think they would want to visit me after I had gotten into such a terrible car accident, but Eric hadn’t mentioned anyone. Maybe they didn’t approve of me being married to a vampire.
Eric looked over at me with a somber smile. “No, I’m sorry you don’t. Your Gran, Adele, died three years ago of a heart attack after your brother died in a car accident. His name was Jason.”
“What about my parents?”
“Your parents died when you were seven. I never met them, but you were very close to your Gran and your brother. You both went to live with her after your parents died and she raised you both.”
“Oh,” was all I could say. All of my family was gone. Not that I could remember any of them, but it was still sad. I guess it was better that I didn’t remember them. It would be worse if I still thought they were alive and found out they’re dead.
“Are there very many people like me? Telepaths?”
“You are the only telepath I’ve ever encountered. I also want to warn you that the witch we are going to visit; according to you is a very loud broadcaster.”
“What’s that mean?”
“You can read her thoughts very clearly and they come in loudly, but you’ve always said that she says what she thinks. She’s very trustworthy. I want you to be prepared when you meet her again. It may be overwhelming for you, but if it gets to be too much and you want me to, I can try to help you through the bond.”
“Do you know how these shields work? How I use them?”
“I know a little. Only what you’ve told me. Ever since you’ve started drinking my blood…,” he was saying until I screeched.
“Blood!? I drink your blood?” My whole body tensed and the only thing holding me in the car’s leather seat was the seat belt strapping me in.
“Yes,” he sighed taking a deep breath. I just noticed that was the first time I’ve seen him breathe. “Do you remember when I told you about our blood bond?” he asked and I nodded my head. “We exchanged blood those times and we exchange regularly.”
“Why do we exchange regularly?”
“Because we both enjoy it. You didn’t mind taking my blood,” he said with a somber smile. He looked over at me with a sad look upon his handsome face before he ran his hand through his hair.
I may not remember anything about myself or anyone else, but Eric remembered everything and I was questioning it all. This must have been hard on him as well. I felt bad that I was questioning everything between us and it was making him sad. I wanted to do something to make him feel better. I started to reach my hand out to touch his hand that was on the gear shift, but before I placed my hand on his, I changed my mind and put both my hands back into my lap.
Eric grabbed my hand and placed it with his on the gear shift.
“Never worry about touching me, Sookie. I always welcome your touch,” he said as he squeezed my hand.
“I’m sorry this must be difficult for you,” I said and looked over at Eric to see him nod his head. “We both don’t know how to act around each other. I’m sure you want to act like you did before the accident and I don’t remember you or anyone, but I do feel something for you. It’s telling me that I can trust you,” he smiled at that and I continued. “I’m interested to see what I will feel toward the witch we’re going to visit. What’s her name again?”
“Amelia and yes I do want to treat and act like I would normally with you,” he said and then glanced over at me, “but I don’t want to scare you away.”
“How would you normally act around me or treat me other than you are now?”
“I don’t think you want to know. I understand that you don’t know me right now. It’s fine. I’ll be fine so you don’t need to worry about me.” I decided I wouldn’t push him if he didn’t want to tell me.
“You’re taking this whole situation quite well. In fact, I think you’re more accepting now than the first time you found out. No one knew of vampires back then. You were shocked that you couldn’t hear my thoughts and I found out I couldn’t glamour you. Normally, I would have just killed you since I couldn’t glamour you, but there was something about you from the moment we met,” he said with a wistful smile.
“How did we meet?” I asked him. I was eager to find out how I became involved with this gorgeous man.
“You applied to be my personal assistant and since vampires cannot be out during the day and there are things that can only be done during the day, especially before the reveal occurred.”
“What did I do for you or do I still do it?”
“You would take items to the post office, take and pick up my dry cleaning. Go to the bank and pick up supplies for our other businesses and no, you don’t do it anymore. When we got engaged, you stopped working as my personal assistant because you were too busy planning our wedding plus you were getting to the point where you were not up much during the day, so we hired someone new. Now we have Alcide who’s our day man and he’s a Were.”
“Do I work now?”
“You work at our bar and you help me out with some of the office and my sheriff’s paperwork. Other times you sit out in the bar using your telepathy to look for underage patrons, drainers or anyone looking to cause trouble.”
“What’s a drainer?” I asked him and saw that he gripped the steering wheel a little tighter. “I’m sorry. Am I asking too many questions?”
“No, you’re fine. I told you, you could ask anything you want. A drainer is someone who steals blood from an unwilling vampire and either uses it for recreational purposes or sells it. Either way, in most cases the vampire either dies of blood loss or the drainer stakes them for their own protection.”
“Why would they do that?”
“When they take our blood like that they call it ‘V’ it’s drained from a vampire then put into a vial for a buyer to drink. It will heighten their senses, increase strength, make for an intense sexual experience, cause hallucinations for a short period of time, and it may cause them to believe they can do things they cannot do like fly or jump off a building without getting hurt.”
We were quiet for a while, while I tried to digest all the information that I learned since we had gotten in the car.
“Can you tell me how my shields work?”
“You’ve said it’s like building a wall around your mind. Once you figure it out it shouldn’t be too hard for you to use them since you’ve had my blood recently.”
“Do you know why I can’t read vampires?”
“You think it’s because we have no brain waves because we are dead.”
“You know, you don’t seem dead. You’re sitting right here talking to me and you have feelings.”
“Vampires die for the day.”
“You woke up today and talked to me. You moved,” I argued with him.
“I woke up when I felt your distress in our bond, but under most circumstances I wouldn’t wake up. When a vampire is in their daytime rest, we are at our most vulnerable. That is why when you left our bedroom you had to put in a code. When we get back, I’ll go over the whole security system so you can go outside or if you need to engage the light-tight shutters for extra protection.”
“What do they do?”
“The light-tight shutters are a thick metal and they come down over the windows or doors. You can choose where you want to have them come down or the whole house and doors. If you felt in danger in any way, I would want you to seal the whole house.”
“You said that you can’t be out in the sunlight, right?”
“Correct. I would burn.”
“Then how come you have windows in your bedroom? Why didn’t you burn?”
Eric smiled over at me, “It’s our bedroom and we had special UV windows installed. The light can still come in, but it cannot harm me.”
“That’s cool!” I exclaimed and Eric chuckled at me.
“It is,” he said. “Our loft was your anniversary gift to me, to us and you had the UV windows installed.”
“If the windows can block out the sun so it isn’t harmful to you then have you seen the sun?”
“I have. It had been more than a thousand years since I had last seen it.”
“Did you miss it?”
“I didn’t. It was something that I accepted early on when I became a vampire. The same with eating food, but I was unprepared for how beautiful you are in the sunlight,” he said with a soft smile. “I had forgotten all the colors in the sky when the sun rises and sets. I would miss it now, I never knew true, ethereal beauty until I saw the sun kiss your skin. What I would give to watch the first and last rays of sunlight shine on you for all of eternity.”
I blushed at the compliment, unsure of what to do or say. “Maybe when we get back, we can enjoy the sunset together.”
“I would like that,” he said while lightly squeezing my hand.
I was thinking about how Eric had seemed to be asleep today until it was dark, so I didn’t understand how he could be awake while it was light outside.
“What has you so confused over there?” he asked.
“How can you be awake during the day? You didn’t wake up tonight until it was dark or I didn’t see you until after dark.
“You have always been so smart, my Sookie. Normally, I wake up about an hour before the sun sets and I can force myself to stay awake in the morning because of my age. A young vampire cannot fight the dawn or wake up until the sun sets. After we got home from the hospital, I stayed up long past dawn to see if you would wake up. I was hoping that you would wake up before I died for the day, but you didn’t. Since I forced myself to stay awake for so long after dawn, I didn’t wake until the sun had set.”
“If you are forcing yourself does it harm you in any way?”
“If I stay up too long past dawn then I’ll bleed from my nose and ears. It’s called the ‘bleeds’,” he explained. I scrunched up my nose at hearing this and Eric chuckled. “You’ve always hated it when I would stay up. As much as you enjoyed my company, you hated to see me with the bleeds.”
“I definitely don’t like the sound of it. Please don’t do it unless you have to. Okay?”
“I will try. I felt the need this morning. I wanted to be there for you when you woke up.”
“Thank you, I appreciate it. It might have been better that you were asleep at first. If you were awake and talking to me, I might have freaked out even more. I had plenty of time to think on my own and you did wake up a little,” I said and patted his hand.
Eric chuckled and shook his head, “You shouldn’t have to try and make me feel better. That is my job.”
I turned my gaze toward him, “I think it’s both our jobs since we are married, is it not?”
“I believe it is, but you’re the one without your memory and everything is unfamiliar to you. You shouldn’t have to reassure me during this time.”
I smiled over at him. “I understand and it’s sweet that you wanted to be there for me. How much longer until we get to where we are going? I’m getting a little hungry.”
“It will be about another hour. If you want, we can look for something when we come to the next town or you can eat what I packed for you.”
“I’ll just eat what you packed for me. I’m happy that you know how I like my sandwiches and I didn’t have to figure it out on my own. Do you know other foods that I like?”
“Of course, I do,” he said and looked over at me. “It may have been a thousand years since I last ate food, but we normally at least share one meal a day together.”
After I got my sandwich, apple, and water out of the little cooler that Eric had packed for me, we were quiet as I ate. We were probably only about ten to twenty minutes away from New Orleans when I broke the silence to start asking questions again.
“Did you want to become a vampire when you were turned?” I asked. I had learned all kinds of things about vampires and it made me wonder if it was something, he had chosen.
“Most vampires before the reveal did not get a choice in whether or not they became a vampire or not. I was dying on my funeral pyre when my maker, that’s what you call the vampire that makes you, came upon me. Weak from too much blood lose, I could not fight him off. He had already killed the men that had remained with me until I was taken to Valhalla.”
“What happened? Why were you dying?” I asked. Horrified at the thought that he was dying all those years ago and if had not been for his maker, he would not be here now with me.
“I was wounded in battle, but my maker had seen me fighting out on the battlefield. He thought I would make a good vampire. I was an excellent warrior when I was human and have become even more so in all my years as a vampire,” he said with a big smile as he pulled onto the off ramp and then navigated through the streets until we came upon the hotel we were staying at. The Saint Hotel.
Eric parked in front of the building and handed the keys to a man standing outside on the sidewalk after getting our suitcases out of the trunk.
“The valet,” he said as he pointed to the man who had just gotten into the car and driven away. “He’s parking the car where all the guests’ cars are parked.”
“How did you know I didn’t know what he was doing?”
“I felt your curiosity. Come let’s get checked in. You are tired and should rest,” he said and held his hand out to me. I took his hand as we walked inside.
As Eric checked us in, I looked around at our surroundings. It was very quiet and there was no one in sight except for the man behind the desk. There were huge pictures along the wall the desk was on and to the left of the room was a sitting area with a purple wall of fabric with a few green pillows.
“Sookie,” Eric said. “Are you ready to go to our room?” I nodded, as we were led to the elevators by a man carrying our suitcases. When the elevator doors opened to our floor, I was shocked that the hallway was so dark and lit by purple lights with artwork along the hallway.
After the man opened the door to our room, set our bags in the bedroom, and Eric gave him some money, he left. I walked around the rooms taking it all in as Eric followed behind me.
There was more artwork on the brick walls and the carpet and curtains were all red with two black leather couches that looked like chairs with a large TV up on a wall. I made my way to the bedroom to find more red carpet, even the walls were red. A large bed sat against one wall with white bedding and a black throw at the bottom.
The bathroom and bedroom were separated by a glass wall. A white curtain was on either end that you could close for privacy. It was a little like our house since there wasn’t much separating the two rooms. The bathroom had black and white marble floor and walls.
“Do you like it?” Eric asked from behind me.
“Yeah, I was just thinking that this room and our bedroom are kind of alike,” Eric nodded his head. “The bedroom and bathrooms are not really separate.”
“It does. They’re both modern. Although, our house in Shreveport is more industrial. Do you like this style?”
I shrugged my shoulders, “I like it, but I don’t really have any reference to know the difference.”
“Why don’t you get ready for bed? I will wait for you out here,” he said and motioned toward the bedroom.
After going to the bathroom, brushing my teeth, washing my face, and changing into the pajamas that Eric brought in for me, after I asked him what I normally did to get ready for bed, I was finally ready but nervous. I didn’t know what to expect. What kind of hotel was this? Was it for vampires?
I walked into the bedroom to find Eric standing with his back to me with only a pair of black silk sleep pants on. He turned around once I walked in and I think my mouth hit the ground at the sight before me.
Before me stood the most beautiful man, I had ever seen. True, I couldn’t remember anyone else except the men I’d seen at the hotel, but I had a feeling that no other man could compare to Eric. He smiled at me as he walked to the bed and sat down on the opposite side of me.
I continued to stand there looking at him while he made himself comfortable on the bed by laying down and crossing his legs at the ankles. He looked over at me, patted the bed, and then pulled back the covers on my side.
I slowly walked over to my side of the bed and got in. I laid on my back, staring at the ceiling, too afraid to look at the half naked gorgeous vampire… my husband, next to me. My heart was racing and there was an unfamiliar ache in my belly. After a few moments of silence Eric finally spoke.
“If you’re that uncomfortable with being in bed with me, I can sleep on the floor. I’m sorry I didn’t think of this before. I should have asked you and we could have gotten you, your own room,” he said in a dejected tone.
I turned on my side to look at him and what I saw broke my heart. Eric was on his side, facing me with sad eyes filled with longing. I quickly moved closer to him and cupped my hand to his cheek before I knew what I was doing.
When I went to remove my hand, he placed his on top of mine. “Leave it,” he said before he removed his hand from mine. I nodded my head and rubbed my thumb across his cheekbone. Eric closed his eyes, looking content with my touch.
“I was nervous because I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t know where you were going to sleep. Is this a vampire hotel? What about the windows?”
“You are worried about me?” he said with a smile and I nodded at him. “This is a vampire-friendly hotel.” He turned onto his back and pointed to a button on the wall beside the bed. “This button brings down the light-tight shutters,” he said and then pushed the button. I laid there watching the shutters came down and made a clicking noise. Eric got out of bed, walked over to each window, and inspected them. I tried not stare, but I almost couldn’t help it. He was gorgeous and absolutely breathtaking without a shirt. I watched as he then moved on to the door and locked it as well. The instant he turned around I averted my gaze to one of the shutters and hoped that my cheeks weren’t as red as they felt. If they were, Eric didn’t say anything, instead he came and got back into bed, but this time under the blankets.
“I will leave a light on so that you’ll be able to see if you get up before me tomorrow. There’s a phone in the other room and a menu by it. Call room service and order yourself some food when you get hungry. I’ve already looked over the menu and wrote down what you like on a notepad that I placed next to the phone.”
“Thank you for taking such good care of me. I didn’t even think about what I’d do for food tomorrow.”
“No need to thank me. I only ask that you don’t leave our hotel room tomorrow until I get up. I would hate for anything to happen to you or for you to get lost during the day when I cannot help you.”
“That shouldn’t be a problem. I don’t have any idea of where I would want to go.” We were quiet for a minute just looking at each other when I had a thought. “Hey, Eric?”
“Yes, Sookie,” he said with a smile.
“You said this is a vampire-friendly hotel right?” He nodded his head. “Do vampires work here? Was that man who brought up our suitcases a vampire?”
“No, why do you ask?”
“You said that I can’t read vampire minds. Right?”
“Correct,” he answered.
I shrugged my shoulders as best as I could, “I haven’t heard anyone’s thoughts since we arrived here. I thought it was because they were all vampires. Maybe I don’t have to worry about my shields. Maybe they’re already up.”
“Hmm,” Eric said. “You cannot read vampires, but you’ve always said that you can tell when one’s around because you can sense a void where their thoughts should be. How many are here in the hotel?”
I laid there and concentrated as hard as I could for at least five minutes as I tried to find a void. Any void but I couldn’t find one. I couldn’t even find Eric’s.
“None,” I said. I couldn’t understand why I didn’t find any of these voids.
“What about mine? Can you find my void?”
“No,” I said barely above a whisper. “What does that mean?”
“It either means that your shields are strong. Stronger than they’ve ever been or it could mean that you no longer have your telepathy.”
“Is that a good thing or a bad thing?”
Eric furrowed his eyebrows as he laid next to me studying my face for a long moment. “When you were growing up you always wanted to be like everyone else and to not be able to read minds, but once you met me and started using your telepathy you accepted it. My only worry is that you are or were not able to be glamoured because of your telepathy. I would never use it on you, but if you’re able to be glamoured than any vampire if they got you alone could make you do anything.”
“Eric…” I said as tears welled in my eyes. “What are we going to do? I don’t want anyone to be able to control me.”
Eric smiled at me until one of my tears escaped my eye and trailed down the side of my face. “That’s my Sookie, never wanting anyone to control you. Don’t cry,” he said as he wiped away my tear with the pad of his thumb. “Please, don’t cry. There’s no need to get upset or worry until we know for sure if you can be glamoured or not. Will you let me try and glamour you so we can find out if it’s even possible?”
“Yes, will I be able to feel anything? Will I know it’s happening?”
“You’ve always been able to feel if a vampire is trying to glamour you, but most humans cannot. That’s why vampires use it. Whoever they are trying to glamour never knows that they’ve been glamoured. Are you ready?”
“Ready,” I said. I knew Eric wouldn’t do anything to hurt me, so I was determined to relax and let him try.
“Kiss me, min älskare,” Eric said with a smirk on his face.
I nearly gasped when I heard him. Did he want me to kiss him? I couldn’t help but look at his dark pink lips before looking back into his eyes. “Am I supposed to do as you said?”
“Yes, I’ll try harder now, use more of my influence,” he said and looked into my eyes with such determination that I was afraid I’d do whatever he said no matter if I was glamoured or not. “Kiss me, min älskare.”
“Nothing, I don’t feel the need or whatever to kiss you. What does min älskare mean?” I asked instead of kissing him. As tempted as I was, I didn’t feel compelled to kiss him because he ‘glamoured’ me to do so. But that didn’t mean I wasn’t curious.
Eric looked at me with sadness in his eyes once again before he spoke. “It means my lover.”
“Lover?” I sputtered out.
“Yes, Sookie, you are my lover or you were. You’re many things to me and lover is one of them. I’ve been calling you my lover for many years.”
“Do you call me your lover in front of others?”
“Yes, sometimes in English but mostly in Swedish. You’ve always liked it when I say it in Swedish. You like it when I talk to you in Swedish or you did.”
I leaned over and gave Eric a quick, chaste kiss on the lips before I laid myself back down on my side of the bed. I giggled at the look of surprise on Eric’s face before I snuggled into the blankets making myself comfy.
“Good night, Sookie, min älskare.”
I giggled again before responding back, “Goodnight, Eric.”
“Do you know how much longer it is until the sun rises?” I asked after we had been quiet for a long time. I wasn’t sure if Eric was still awake or not.
“Dawn is thirty minutes away. Are you okay?”
“I’m fine. Just a lot of things to think about. I didn’t know if you were awake or not.”
“I cannot die for the day or as you like to call it rest for the day until the sun is coming up. I can go into downtime, but any movement or sound you make will bring me out of it. I won’t wake up tomorrow unless you are distressed.”
“I don’t like you calling it dying for the day.”
“You never have, but I want you to know the term in case you hear someone else mention it, you will know what they are talking about.”
“It’s no problem, Sookie.”
“Not just for that but for everything. For not giving up on me and not be frustrated at the situation or me. I know it must be trying.”
“I’ll never give up on you. Never worry about that and I know there’s nothing you can do about the situation. Neither of us can, so we will just make the best out of it. I only hope you don’t give up on me.”
“I won’t,” I said with a big yawn.
“Jag älskar dig, min älskare. Godnatt. Vi ses när jag stiga.” (I love you, my lover. Goodnight. I’ll see you when I rise.)
“You’re right. I do like it when you speak Swedish.”
I was about to fall asleep, but something seemed to be keeping me from falling over the edge. Almost like something was missing.
“This may sound strange, but can I hold your hand?” It couldn’t have been more than a second before I felt Eric’s hand wrap around mine and I fell asleep.