Two weeks later – Fangtasia
Life had been running smoothly. I had quickly set up a routine for myself so that I could get a sense of normal in my life. I would wake up about two hours before sunset and make myself something to eat using Gran’s cookbook. Every day, I tried to make something new. I was getting quicker as I learned where everything was.
A few times I would sleep in until Eric woke and he would try to help me cook whatever concoction I was going to make that day. We were both learning since I had no memories and he had only cooked over a thousand years ago while out in battle. Back then his form of cooking was throwing some type of animal over a fire to cook. Things were a lot different and more complex with all the ingredients used now.
I had learned the filing system that I had come up with at Fangtasia and after a few days I finally I filed away all the paperwork that had occurred since my accident. Once that was done, filing took me very little time every night. Before I had used my telepathy out in the bar to look for underage kids, drainers, and anyone looking to make trouble. Since I could no longer use my telepathy, I needed something else to do while we were there. I didn’t want to just sit around out at the bar.
Eric came up with the idea of putting me in charge of all the human employees. I would do their schedules, payroll, serve as their contact for problems, oversee deliveries and inventory. Anything that I found out that both Eric and Pam hated to do. I was happy to take some of their burden off them and give myself a sense of purpose. I was a little nervous at first to do the payroll, but Eric sat down with me and explained what I needed to do. I was amazed that as he explained how to enter their hours and fill out the forms on the computer that it all came naturally to me. It put a big smile on my face. I felt Eric’s pride in me, and when I looked up, his smile matched my own.
I was sitting at the bar after I had stopped two of our waitresses from getting into a fight over stealing tips. All of our employees were happier having to deal with their issues with me than with Pam. I learned that Eric didn’t have a lot to do with the everyday things with employees. Only giving them their paychecks. Pam, on the other hand, had been in charge, and her dislike for humans had caused most of the waitresses to be scared of her. The only reason they continued to work there was for the money. They couldn’t get that type of pay anywhere else being a waitress.
Every vampire that lived in Eric’s area had to come to Fangtasia once a week to be on display for the human clientele. It wouldn’t be a vampire bar if there were no vampires for the tourists and fangbangers to see. Tonight was Bill Compton’s night. To say I was less than enthused would be an understatement.
Last week when he came in I had a creepy feeling that he was watching me, but every time I looked his way he was looking in the other direction. Not that, that means much. I lived with a vampire. I knew how fast they could move and if he didn’t want me to see him looking at me, he could easily look away before I had a chance to catch him.
He didn’t know that we were onto him, though. We knew that he was most likely there because he somehow had heard of me. We were not going to let on that we knew why he was here, but Eric was being very cautious and every vampire in the area except for Bill knew to that I was not to leave Fangtasia with anyone but Eric or Pam.
Longshadow, our bartender, sat a drink in front of me just as Bill Compton sat down on the barstool next to me. I took a lingering sip from my drink, Ginger Ale, to give me a little more time before I had to acknowledge his presence. I wanted to roll my eyes as I watched from the corner of my eye, as Bill tried to get into my line of sight. I wondered if he’d try anything tonight.
“Sookeh,” I heard Bill say as he leaned forward grabbing the bottle of True Blood Longshadow placed in front of him. He couldn’t even say my name right. His southern gentleman act wasn’t fooling anyone. I gave him a reproachful look before he corrected himself. “Mrs. Northman.”
I gave him a slight nod in acknowledgment before turning around to watch Eric walk out into the bar from his office. He gave me a smile and an eyebrow raise outwardly, but through our bond, he was sending me his irritation at seeing Bill sitting beside me and caution before moving to his throne that was on stage. It was his turn to sit on the throne and act indifferently toward the vermin as Pam called them. I could feel how hard it was for him to sit there and not watch over me and see what Bill was up to.
“How are you this fine night, Mrs. Northman?” Bill asked leaning forward once again.
“I’m fine. Thank you, and yourself?”
“I’d be better if I didn’t have to spend my time here,” he said looking around the room. “I don’t know how you can stand having to spend so much time here with these humans grazing about and trying to get your husband’s attention,” he said with a look of disgust on his face.
I turned around on my stool and took in the room before I replied. “It’s not really as bad as you’re making it out to be. It is known that my husband has no interest, and he is left alone. We don’t spend that much time here though,” I said as I shrugged my shoulders.
“Where do you spend most of your time?” He leaned forward as he asked his question.
I kept finding it odd that he continually leaned forward as if he was trying to look at my face. With any other person, I would have been looking at them as I spoke to them, but I didn’t want to encourage Bill. Especially since we knew he was probably here to take me to his queen.
It then occurred to me that the reason he was leaning forward was so that I would look at him. Was he going to try and glamour me? Eric had warned me about how a vampire would glamour a human by catching their gaze. Once their eyes met, there was nothing the human could do to get out of it.
I turned my body to finally look at him. Knowing that I couldn’t be glamoured. Eric had Pam try since she was the only vampire he trusted to not take advantage of me if she succeeded. He was relieved to find out I still couldn’t be glamoured.
“Out to dinner, movies,” I shrugged again. “Mostly we’re at home.”
“And where is that?” he asked in a hushed tone. I was assuming he asked quietly hoping that no other vampire would be able to hear him. Was he trying to glamour the whereabouts of our home?
“My house?” I asked. His only response was a nod. “Here in Shreveport.”
His eyes narrowed only a slight amount at my response.
“How long has it been since you’ve lived in Bon Temps?”
I thought about it for a minute. I wasn’t really sure how long it had been. I had been married for four years, but I knew that we had lived together before we had gotten married. I’d have to ask Eric about it. A small smile spread across my face. I loved listening to Eric as he told me stories about us or from his long life.
“Over four years.”
“Do you make it out that way very often to visit your friends?”
Why was he asking me all these questions? I had been feeling like a normal person with my routine and working, but hearing Bill ask questions that I had no answers to made me realize that it was going to take a long time before I could answer all the questions that would be asked of me.
But he shouldn’t have been asking me these questions. He didn’t know Eric or me, and I remembered Eric telling me how vampires would act toward me. They treated me with respect because I was married and bonded to their sheriff and I treated them based on who they are as a person not because they were a vampire.
I didn’t like him talking to me at all, let alone asking me all these questions.
I watched as he turned his head and watched a beautiful woman with long dark brown hair, and big brown eyes walk in. Her skin was a shade that I hadn’t seen on anyone around here before (in all of my three weeks of memories). She wore a tight black dress that clung to her every curve and sky-high heels.
I turned myself to watch as she moved across the dance floor and made her way right in front of Eric. He slowly turned his head and looked up at her with both of his eyebrows raised. I saw his mouth move a couple of times, but I couldn’t make out what he was saying.
I continued to watch as she tried unsuccessfully to place her hand on his arm or leg, but Eric wasn’t having any of it. Finally, he pointed over toward me. When her head turned to see who he was pointing out, he gave a smile and motioned for me to join him.
“Excuse me,” I said to Bill as I got off my stool and made my way over to Eric and the beautiful woman. When I got close enough, Eric held out his hand for me to take. He pulled me to him and wrapped his arm around my waist.
“Sookie,” he said as he looked at me. “I was just talking about you to this… woman here. What’s your name?” he asked looking back at her.
“Luciana,” she purred out. Once again trying to make her way closer to him, but Eric used his arm that was around my waist to pull me onto his lap, putting a barrier between himself and her.
“As I was saying, Luciana, this beautiful woman who’s sitting on my lap is my wife,” he said with a pointed look. “I do not partake in others. You don’t have to leave the premises, but you do have to leave me alone.”
We watched her walk over to the bar and sit down on the stool that I had just vacated. Instantly she and Bill started to talk. I thought that was a little odd, but I was glad he was talking to her instead of me.
Eric turned my body so that I was sitting sideways on his lap, wrapped his arms around my waist, nuzzled into my neck, and tickled me with his fangs. Making me laugh and squirm on his lap.
Keeping his face in my neck, he whispered so only I could hear, “What was Bill saying to you? He was speaking just low enough that I couldn’t hear him over the music.”
I turned a little more in his lap so that I could whisper in his ear where hopefully no vampire could hear.
“First he was talking about how horrible it must be to have to spend a lot of time here. When I told him that we really aren’t here much, he asked what we do when we are not here. I told him that we go out to dinner, the movies, or we’re at home. Then he asked where we live,” I pulled back to look him in the eye after telling him.
“I only said Shreveport.” I moved back to his ear and proceeded to tell him everything. “He had just asked how often I go to Bon Temps to visit my friends when that woman started walking up to you.”
“You did well just as I knew you would,” he said and placed a kiss behind my ear.
“Thank you. Did you notice that she literally walked in and came straight toward you?”
“No, but now that you mention it, it does seem strange.”
“What did she say to you?” I asked him.
“That she heard that I liked beautiful woman, and I do. I’m married to the most beautiful woman in the world,” he said with a fanged grin.
I bit into my lip to contain the large smile threatening to take over.
“Anything else?” I asked.
He shrugged. “She insinuated that it’s common for me to feed and fuck a new woman every night. I informed her that she must be mistaken. She certainly was persistent. I haven’t had to deal with a woman like that since right after the great reveal. It didn’t take them long to know that I was not going to have anything to do with them.”
“Isn’t it odd that she went and sat down next to Bill, and they started talking.” I took a quick look over at them, and their heads were close together and it looked as if they were whispering to each other.
“Not really. Some humans come in here to be with a vampire. Any vampire. Why she chose Bill is questionable when there are other vampires here that are much more attractive and less annoying.”
We both chuckled at this. Bill was definitely not attractive with his plain clothes, long sideburns, and ridiculous accent.
I sat on Eric’s lap while we talked about nothing important. Work, dinner, if I wanted to get a car to replace my totaled one. He was happy that I wasn’t ready yet to be out on my own. I didn’t have anywhere to go that he couldn’t take me.
The only time I’d been out without him was when Pam had taken me shopping. She was hoping that with my amnesia I wouldn’t remember what horrible fashion sense I had before. Unfortunately for her, it was still the same. I appreciated her taking me shopping and trying to become my friend again. I found out that she definitely acted differently outside of Fangtasia. Eric was right, she did like her pink. Everything she bought or tried to get me to try on was pink.
We watched as Bill and Luciana moved across the bar to a table for more privacy. They kept their heads together whispering until they decided to leave. Eric found it odd that they were talking quietly enough so that he couldn’t hear what they were saying most of the time.
Every once in a while, he would nuzzle my neck and whisper the little things that he heard in my ear while grazing his lips seductively along it and causing an ache I was now becoming familiar with.
From the few times that Bill had raised his voice enough for Eric to hear, it seemed that Bill was upset that Luciana wasn’t successful in trying to seduce Eric. He wanted her to do it right in front of me so that I would lose trust in him and think he was cheating on me.
This made Eric furious that anyone would try to hurt me by making me think he’d be with another woman. He could barely keep himself under control so that he didn’t fly across the room and rip Bill’s head from his shoulders.
When Bill and Luciana stood and walked out the front door of Fangtasia, Eric quickly stood as well. He swiftly sent a text to Pam letting her know that we were leaving for the night. I was ushered out the front door, and we stopped in the parking lot as Eric tried to find where Bill had gone. Eric didn’t want Bill to end up killing the woman in his area since she hadn’t succeeded in her mission to seduce him.
He caught sight of Bill and pointed in the direction that he was in. Luckily he had escorted Luciana to her car and was walking in the direction to his car. I watched as she pulled out of her parking space and out of the parking lot. I had just turned my head to see if Bill was going to follow in the same direction when I was suddenly engulfed in Eric’s arms. There were loud pops coming from somewhere behind us. Eric’s body roughly jerked forward a few times and chaos broke out around us.
Humans were screaming as the sound of car tires screeched throughout the parking lot. My heart was racing, and my palms were sweaty.
What was going on?
I wanted to panic, but I knew I was safe in Eric’s arms. He tightened the hold he had on me once more before pulling away. His hands had a slight, almost unnoticeable tremble as he quickly examined my body for something. Was I hurt?
“Eric, what’s wrong? What happened?” I asked confused.
“You- You’re okay,” he replied with a relieved whisper before he slumped to the ground.
“Eric!” I cried out.
Instantly Pam was by our sides. She went around to Eric’s back and looked up at me. It was at this moment that I saw Pam as a vampire. A real vampire. Gone was the snarky, playful Pam and in her place was the dangerous warrior who demanded retribution in blood.
I noticed a few other vampires that were in the bar outside assessing the situation. Pam glared at them before yelling at them.
“Go!” she commanded. “Bring me the one’s responsible for this and put them in the basement until I return.”
They took off down the street at vamp speed as Pam pulled Eric up by his arm before placing it around her shoulders, guiding him around the back and to her car. Eric’s legs were barely moving to help Pam get him to her car.
I tried to rush to her car so that I could get the door open for her, but by the time I got there she already had the door open, Eric, leaning against the window in the backseat, she was sitting in the driver’s seat with the car already running, and had left the door open for me.
I quickly crawled in and pulled the door closed behind me. Pam sped off, leaving me clutching the door and frantically trying to put my seatbelt on.
“Pam,” Eric weakly said. I looked over at him and saw that he was reaching out to me. I grasped his hand and held onto it for dear life.
“I’m right here,” I replied, squeezing his hand a little tighter. I felt his fingers move a slight amount.
“Pam. Sookie,” he said.
“Eric, she’s fine. She’s sitting right next to you,” Pam replied, and I could detect a small amount of worry in her voice.
“Drive. Slow- er,” he croaked.
“Are you kidding me? I’m not slowing down,” Pam said exasperatedly. I could see her looking into the rearview mirror and glaring.
“I’m fine, Eric. Really. Is there anything I can do to help you?” I asked scooting closer to him.
“You can let him out of his ridiculous vow to not drink blood from anyone but you,” she stated while looking back at me through the mirror.
I sat there for a moment shocked. I wasn’t keeping Eric to any vow. I didn’t say anything until we had pulled into the underground garage and were in the elevator headed up to the loft.
“If Eric wants out, if it will help him in any way then … I’m not holding him to anything Pam.”
When the elevator door opened Pam picked Eric up bridal style as if he only weighed a few pounds. If it wouldn’t have been such a dire situation it would have been comical seeing her carry his large body under her tiny frame. She started to take him to the couch in the great room until Eric uttered for the bedroom.
Once she laid him on the bed, I climbed on with him, holding his hand and stroking his hair.
“I’m going to call Clancy to bring you a couple of glamoured donors,” she said to Eric all the while looking at me. I looked at her and shrugged.
“You… will… not,” he grounded out, his brows furrowed and his eyes closed. “Bring me True Blood.”
“You know as well as I do that drinking that synthetic shit won’t heal you. You’ve got silver bullets in you, and your body will never expel them on synthetic alone. You need a donor. Tell him, Sookie.”
“Eric,” I said while my hand cupped his cheek. “If you need a donor then please do what you have to, to heal.”
“Even she can see you need one. I’m calling.”
“No!” he exclaimed using more energy than he should have. “I command you to leave now and interrogate the shooters. You will not get me any donors.”
Pam worriedly looked between Eric and me before putting her full gaze upon me before she spoke. “You will take care of him.” She glanced back down at him, and her toned lightened slightly, “Call me if you need anything.” I nodded only once before she took off and I heard the front door slam downstairs.
Up until now I hadn’t noticed that I couldn’t feel Eric. He hadn’t shut our bond down once since the night I asked him to let me feel him. I had become accustomed to feeling him inside of me all the time and to not be able to sense any emotion of his had me worried and lost. I felt alone. Like a piece of me was missing and I wanted it back.
I wanted Eric back.
“Eric,” I called to him. As his eyes slowly blinked open, I leaned over him and placed a hand on his cheek.
“Why can’t I feel you in the bond?”
“Pain,” he said with furrowed brows.
“You’re blocking it because you’re in pain?” I asked. His only response was to nod his head slightly before closing his eyes once again.
“Pam said you need human blood to heal. Eric, please! I hate seeing you like this. I hate not being able to feel you. You have to feed off someone,” I said desperately. “Let me call Pam,” I pleaded with him.
“No,” he said forcefully. For only a second, I could feel searing hot pain on different areas of my back. Was that what Eric was feeling? What he’s blocking me from?
“You have to do something! I can’t let you continue on this way. I want you to drink from me. Will you heal if you do?”
“I cannot, Sookie,” was his only reply.
“Why? I want to help. I’m not scared. Please let me do this for you!” I was desperate for him to heal and be back to his normal self. I was used to seeing him happy, joking with me, and strong.
Not like this.
“I cannot risk hurting you, taking too much. It may take me longer to heal like this, but if I did anything to inflict pain upon you when I could have prevented it, I could never forgive myself. Bring me some Royalty, it will help.”
“But not enough, right?”
“Enough to help with the healing. You are helping me by being here with me. I’ll drink the Royalty and start to heal more.”
I ran downstairs, flung the refrigerator door open, and quickly grabbed two bottles of Royalty. After heating them up in the microwave, I rushed back upstairs and collapsed on the bed next to Eric. I was panting from running up and down the stairs as I unscrewed the top to one of the bottles. How was Eric going to drink this laying down?
“Eric? How are you going to drink this laying down?” I asked him, sitting up beside him.
“I can’t drown. Place it at my mouth and pour. I’ll be fine. You’ll see.”
After downing both bottles, Eric still didn’t seem any better, he was paler than usual, and he was still blocking me. I had enough of him being stubborn. I understood that he didn’t want to hurt me, but he was hurting himself more by not taking any blood.
“You don’t look any better after those two bottles. You either need to take my blood or someone else’s. What’s it going to be?”
“I’m not taking anyone else’s blood. You may not remember my vow to you, but I promised you this. I am a man of my word.”
“Then take from me,” I said as I gripped his hand tighter. He opened his eyes, his blue-green orbs trying to penetrate my own. Begging me to give up. “I’m going to ask you a question, and I want you to be honest with me. Will you do that?” He barely moved his head in affirmation.
“Why is it taking you so long to heal? I thought vampires healed quickly.”
“Silver,” he answered. His eyebrows furrowed slightly.
“Would you heal faster or better if you had my blood?”
I watched as his eyes scanned my face, but once they reached my eyes, they stopped. I already knew the answer by his reaction. He wouldn’t lie to me, but he didn’t want to tell me that what he really needed was real blood. My blood.
“Thank you, I know that you didn’t want to tell me,” I said with a small smile. “Now,” I gave him a fixed look. “You are going to take my blood.”
“No,” he growled out.
“I trust that you won’t hurt me. It’s been almost an hour, and you can only lie here. If you won’t drink the blood from a donor, then your only other option is me. What’s it going to be?”
“I can’t risk hurting you or worse.”
I wasn’t going to let him lie in our bed in pain if there was anything I could do about it. If the pain I felt earlier was any indication of what he was feeling, I didn’t know how he could deny me.
I knew he wasn’t going to give in and take my blood, so I reached over his body to open the compartment on the side of the bed. I had looked in there after we had gotten back from New Orleans and I was surprised to find a dagger in there. From what Eric told me, we used it for our blood exchanges to form our bond. When I asked him why it wasn’t put away somewhere else, I learned that I used it for our continual exchanges so that I didn’t have to bite him and could take blood from anywhere I wanted.
I was going to use the dagger now. If I could use it to cut my husband for his blood, then I would use it to cut myself and make him drink from me. I sat back down beside Eric and swiftly cut my wrist open.
Eric’s eyes had closed once again, but when the pain of my cut or the smell of my blood registered within him, I watched as they opened and his nostrils flared. I pushed my wrist to his mouth, but he only stared at me.
“This is what you need. Please take it. I know you would do the same for me.”
“You can’t drain me dry or overpower me. Do you realize the danger you’re putting yourself in?” he replied as he continued to stare at me.
“I trust that you’ll stop,” I replied, shoving my wrist against his lips. He gave me one final look before he grasped my arm gently with both of his hands and pulled it against his mouth.
I ran my free hand through his hair. At first, he sucked hungrily from the wound, but after only a minute he slowed down, taking his time. Once he slowed down, he sat up on the bed with great effort, pulling me to his side. I laid my head down on his shoulder, as his free hand rubbed up and down my back.
I felt his tongue lick the wound closed before he pulled away and rested his forehead against mine. “Never do that again,” he said sharply, causing my eyes to widen and lock onto his. Eric had never talked to me in that way. I had seen him run through a gamut of emotions while we were out and about or at Fangtasia, but I had never been on this side of him being unhappy. It wasn’t something that I wanted to happen too often or ever again for that matter.
His tone and eyes softened, “I was only worried about your wellbeing.”
“That’s the problem. You were only worried about my wellbeing; I was worried about yours. I knew that you wouldn’t hurt me, and you proved it. You were gentle and even comforted me. I wanted to take care of you. I still do.”
“You don’t need to take care of me. I’m healing. By the time I rise tomorrow night, I’ll be as good as new.”
“I may not need to take care of you, but I want to. Let me, please,” I said looking up at him, imploring him to see my side of this. “It’s my job as your wife.” He nodded his head, giving into me. Putting a smile on my face. “Are you in any more pain?”
“Only a small amount now. The last of the bullets are making their way out of my body. Once the silver is out, my body only has to heal the damage that’s left, but there will be no pain while I heal.”
“Will you open the bond after they are expelled?” I asked. Wanting it back as soon as possible.
He gave me one of his small, crooked smiles before he bowed his head back down to mine. We sat in silence for a few minutes. Waiting. Slowly I started to feel the warm feelings, that I now knew was Eric’s love for me, filling the empty spot in my chest that had been vacant while he shut down his side of the bond.
I could feel that he wasn’t up to full strength, but I wasn’t going to mention it to him. I had a feeling that he didn’t like me seeing him weak like this. He liked being the caregiver, not the other way around. It was getting late and I wanted us to be able to relax for the rest of the night.
“How about I give you a bath and maybe we can watch a movie in bed afterward?”
He chuckled at me, “I’m a thousand-year-old vampire, Sookie. I am perfectly capable of bathing myself.”
“I know you are, but I want to do this. Will you let me or do you not want me to see you like that?”
“Like what? Naked?” he asked.
“Yes, naked or weakened.”
“You are the only one that I would ever let see me in such a weakened state and take care of me. If it will make you happy to care for me in such a way then how can I say no.”
I pulled away from him and hopped off the bed. “Stay there,” I called back to him as I went around the bed to walk along the smooth rocks underneath my feet and started the water. Once it was the right temperature, I looked back into the bedroom to see Eric.
He was right where I left him. With my back straight and my shoulders squared, I walked over to him and knelt at his feet. It took me a moment to work the knots out of the laces of his boots, but eventually I took off his boots and socks and stood between his legs.
The palms of my hands began to sweat, and I could feel a blush start to warm my cheeks as I reached for the hem of his shirt. I lifted the soft fabric up and over his head and tossed it near the trash can.
Eric watched my every move and though his face remained impassive, I could see the light in his eyes and feel his pleasure through the bond.
With a deep breath, I took a step back and held out my hand to him. Eric took it and with great effort, I helped him stand up.
“Are you okay?” I asked, eyeing him carefully.
“I am,” he replied with a nod.
“Okay, good,” I breathed out. My hands fumbled with the buckle of his belt. It was hard to focus on what was in my hands when all I could see were beautiful, strong lines, dips and curves of his chest and abdomen.
Thankfully, the buckle flicked opened and with slow and steady hands, I unbuttoned his jeans and pulled the zipper down. With a slight nudge of his jeans resting on his hips, the denim fell onto the hardwood.
A gasp ripped through my lips, and I whipped my head to the side. There were two things that I’d just learned about my husband. The first was that my husband didn’t wear underwear. Secondly, he was beautiful everywhere. I mean everywhere.
Focus Sookie, focus. Now is not the time ogle your injured husband’s perfectly, sculpted…
With a new determination and focus, I looked up and stared at his neck, too embarrassed to look in him the eye.
Eric placed a firm hand on my shoulder and gracefully stepped out of his jeans and with slow, calculated steps, I helped Eric walk over to the bathroom.
We stepped into the bathroom and stopped in front of the tub.
“Sookie,” Eric whispered. I gathered my courage, and when I finally looked up, I was greeted with a wink.
This was going to be an interesting bath.