Warning: There will be some sexual violence in this chapter.
Since I had started to live with Eric, we had established a routine. I would either be in bed when Eric woke up or I would be in the shower, it didn’t seem to make any difference either way, Eric would ravage me for almost an hour first thing and then we would get ready to go to work.
I would go to Fangtasia with him and I would sit out at the bar in his booth while he worked in his office and then we would trade places. Once I had filed all the paperwork and finished anything I needed to do with the employees I would go back out to the bar. Normally the office stuff didn’t take too long since I had already filed three months’ worth of paperwork my first night doing it.
Tonight I was sitting at Eric’s desk working when I felt him coming closer and he was not in a good mood. Eric was angry and apprehensive for some reason. I looked up when he walked through the door.
“What’s wrong?” I asked him.
“You have a visitor that’s insisting on seeing you.”
“Oh. Who is it?”
“Sam. I told him you were busy but he said he would call the cops and tell them I have kidnapped you since no one has seen you for a couple of weeks.”
“Why would he do that? He saw us at his bar and I called and talked to Jason and Hoyt this week. He’s just being an asshole. I’m going to go out there and talk to him so he will leave us alone.”
“That’s fine,” he nodded his head. “I will be on my throne if you have any problems.”
“You do know how ridiculous it sounds when you say that don’t you?” I say to him, laughing, and rolling my eyes.
“It may to you but I am the main attraction around here, it’s my bar, so it’s my throne.”
“How would they all feel if they knew you had a girlfriend? That you were becoming so domesticated?” I tease him.
“I don’t really think of you as my girlfriend and you know it. You are my bonded. I know that is not a common concept with humans but you are much more to me than a girlfriend,” he says very seriously and I makes me melt a little inside. “And I’m not becoming domesticated.”
“Okay, okay,” I say since I can feel he is not in any mood for me to be teasing him. “I’m sorry for teasing you. You know I love you. Let’s get this over with.” I tell him and raise up on my tippy toes to give him a quick peck on the lips.
“Yes let’s get it over with, so we can go home and you can show me just how much you love me,” he says with a smirk.
“Yes, so I can show you,” I say.
We walk down the hall heading back into the bar area. Eric takes his place sitting on his throne. I spot Sam sitting at a booth on the other side of the room; I walk over and sit down across from him.
“What the hell where you thinking, Sam? Why did you threaten Eric when you know he has not kidnapped me? Why? Do you have some sort of death wish?”
“Why? Why? Because no one has seen you since you left the bar that night. Then the next night I get a call from that bloodsucker and he threatens me. He said that I bruised your arm when I grabbed it but then he said that he had already given you his blood so there was no evidence.”
“All of that is true. I did have a bruise and he did give me his blood. I may have not been back to Bon Temps but I have talked to Jason and Hoyt. I’m going to be renting my house out to Hoyt and Jessica.”
“Why would you be doing that? Are you that desperate for money? I’ll give you your job back if you need it.”
“I’m not in any need of money. I’m working here now. I read people and I’m also the office manager so I file paperwork and deal with the employees. Believe it or not but I’m really enjoying myself. I’m using this disability and it is getting so much easier to control. Plus, I’m finding drug dealers, underage kids and drainers who should not be here. It’s a lot better than using it to figure out what someone wants to drink.”
“I can’t believe you are letting him use you like that. Are you stupid? You are getting yourself deeper and deeper into their shit. Why are you going to rent out your house to Hoyt and Jessica if you are making such a good living here?”
“First of all Eric is not using me. He offered me the job and I took it. There was no pressure for me to take it and I’m never going to get out of their vampire shit. The Queen sent Bill for me. There is always going to be some vampire that is going to try and take me away. Second, the reason I’m renting out my house is because I’m living here in Shreveport. I don’t want my house to sit with no one in it and they needed a place.”
“Don’t you see that Eric can easily take you away just like any other vampire?”
“Eric isn’t taking me anywhere but home. Stop thinking he’s so evil. He’s not going to hurt me. He’s the one who’s protecting me from all the others. If you are my friend you would see that.”
“Why are you so fucking blind, Sookie? You are going to get yourself killed being around them.”
“And you think that being around a shifter is any better?”
“Of course, it’s better. I have no ties to any packs or vampires. You would be safe. Why can’t you see that?”
“Why can’t you see that you can’t protect me? What are you going to when they send twenty or thirty Weres to come get me? What are you doing to do when they send five or more vampires after me?” I sigh. He is never going to get it. “It’s just not that. My life is with Eric. He’s my boyfriend and I want to be with him. You and I are never going to happen. You have always been my friend up until recently but I only care for you like a brother. I’m sorry.”
“Does he like you calling him your boyfriend?” He says with a sneer.
“No. He doesn’t. He would prefer it if she called him her bonded,” Eric says as he walks up to the table.
“Your … your … your bonded to him? Why, Sookie? You can never get away from him now. Did he trick you into this? I can kill him if you want me to.”
“NO! I was not tricked it was my decision and why the hell would I want you to kill him. I just told you he’s my boyfriend and my life is with him. I love him.”
“He is obviously controlling you through the bond. Don’t you see that?”
“What I see is you grasping at straws. He can’t control me and even if he could he wouldn’t.”
“How do you know he can’t? He’s just lying to you. Why can’t you see what he is doing to you?”
“It’s because of my disability that he can’t control me. Just like I can’t be glamoured. Sam, please stop this. I’m happy, really happy for once in my life. I’m sorry that it’s not how you wanted it but this is my life and I’m going to do what makes me happy. Please don’t come back here and try to stir up any trouble. My friends and family know where I’m at. I think it is time for you to go now,” I say as I stand up. Eric puts an arm around my shoulders and kisses the top of my head as we walk back to the office.
“I’m proud of you. You handled him really well. Do you want to go home?”
“Not yet. I’m going to finish my work in the office first. Thank you for letting me take care of that. I know you wanted to handle that your own way and I could feel how angry you were at what he was saying.”
“I knew you could handle it. Let me know when you are ready to go home,” he said and then kissed me until I was breathless. Leaving me just inside the office with a smirk on his face.
I tried to get back into making the employee schedule for next week but I couldn’t stop thinking about what Sam said. It didn’t matter what I said he was never going to listen to me. If I wasn’t with him then supposedly I was never going to be safe and happy.
Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be happy, in love and living with Eric but here I was and it was wonderful. I decided that I needed to get some fresh air and clear my head of Sam’s stupidity.
I walked out of the office and went out the back door. I let the door close behind me as I leaned against the wall. I looked up to see the moon and stars. I had been doing that a lot more this week than seeing the sun. I either need to find a tanning bed here in Shreveport or start, setting my alarm so I wake up earlier and lay out.
I took a few deep breaths enjoying the night’s cooler air when I heard a sound coming from the parking lot. I figured it must be a cat or something since I only heard the noise once. It really was a beautiful night out but I decided I should go back in and finish my work. Then I could go home, maybe Eric and I could use the hot tub tonight.
When I turned around to open the door Bill was standing at my side. What the hell?
“What are you doing here, Bill?” It had actually been awhile since I’ve seen him and let me tell you I have not been missing his visits.
“Well, Darling, I have come to have a little fun with you before I take you to the Queen.”
The next thing I knew Bill had some type of cloth in front of my mouth and I could barely stay awake.
I woke up with a horrible headache and I could barely open my eyes.
“I see you’re awake but I’m not quite ready for you yet. I didn’t think I would be able to get you tonight so I’m a little unprepared. This is going to hurt,” he said before he punched me in the face. I felt a blinding pain where he hit my cheekbone and then I was out like a light.
The next time I woke up, I was tied to a chair in Bill’s living room. All of my clothes were gone except my bra and panties. My headache was still here and I kept going in and out of consciousness.
I fought hard to stay awake. I knew it would be easier for Eric to find me if I was awake. I needed to stay awake. I could feel him but I knew he was far away, probably in Shreveport. He was extremely pissed but I felt his relief that I was awake. Unfortunately, I couldn’t keep my eyes open.
I woke up feeling hands running up my tights. I was hoping earlier was a dream and I was in bed with Eric but my headache told me it wasn’t a dream. I opened my eyes to see Bill running his disgusting hands over me. I tried to jerk away but I couldn’t move since my hands and legs were still tied down.
This wasn’t looking good. Bill had tied my legs spread open and he kept getting closer and closer to my underwear.
“This time I’m glad to see you awake, Darling. It’s time for us to have a little fun and then tomorrow I’m giving you to the Queen. I’ll be back into her good graces and then I can get out of this shit hole.”
“Please don’t do this Bill. Please!” I begged him.
“It’s too late for that. You’ve made me look stupid and I will be punished just like I’m going to punish you,” Bill said before he slapped me hard across the face.
Tears fell down my face but I would not make a sound. I wouldn’t give him the satisfaction. He pulled out a knife and I held my breath. What was he going to do with that? I didn’t have to wonder very long. He cut my bra and panties off me.
“It’s been too long my sweet Sookie. I have missed having your body whenever I wanted. I’m sure you’ve been giving it to Northman but never again,” he laughed. “You are never going to see him again and if you do it will be at the palace where the Queen will have control over you.”
“You can’t do this. I belong to Eric. He is going to kill you when he gets here.”
“You’re so naive Sookie. He will not be making it here tonight. I made sure of it. By the time he gets here tomorrow night we will be on our way to New Orleans. He can’t save you from me or the Queen and that’s only if he lives.”
“You’re wrong. He will save me and when he does he is going to kill you.”
Bill started to take his clothes off in front of me. I turned my head so I wouldn’t have to watch. How could he do this to me? I knew Bill wasn’t the vampire I thought he was but I never thought of him as a rapist.
Oh God! He’s going to rape me. ‘Please Eric! Please! Find me!’ I prayed and called out in my head. I knew Eric felt what I was feeling. I could feel he was full of rage. My body was shaking from my fear of what Bill was going to do to me and Eric’s rage pulsing through me. The only good thing I could think at this moment was I could feel him getting closer. I only hoped he would get here in time.
I was jerked out of my thinking when Bill’s hand grabbed my chin and made me look at him. I tried to fight his hold but he was too strong.
“There will be none of that. The harder you fight me the harder this is going to be on you.”
“Do you really think I’m just going to sit back while you rape me?” I yelled at him.
“It doesn’t matter, I will have you one last time,” he roughly grabbed my breasts with one hand and with his other hand he grabbed my hair, pulled my head back, and started to kiss down my neck. I tried to fight him off as best as I could. I tried to bite him but he slapped me hard across the face again.
He let go of my hair and palmed both of my breasts. “I have missed these but I have missed this more,” he said as he slid his hand down my stomach getting closer and closer to the one spot that if he touched me, I would break. Bill knew about my uncle. He had killed my uncle. How could he do this?
“Please Bill! Don’t do this? Please don’t do this?” I cried and begged.
He looked up at me with an evil smile on his face. Right then I knew there was nothing that was going to stop him. He was enjoying this too much.
He got right in my face and said, “I’m going to enjoy every inch of your body and your blood and there’s nothing you can do about it.”
I had to think of something. Anything to buy me time. Eric was almost here. There wasn’t much I could do though. I head butted him in the face but he just smiled back at me.
“You shouldn’t have done that,” he said and then punched me hard in the stomach. I threw up all over him and by the time, I was finished emptying my stomach contents I was seeing stars.
“You stupid bitch. You are going to pay for that. You know how much food disgusts me!” He yelled at me. He pulled my head back again and then punched me in the jaw. I cried out as the pain radiated through my jaw and body. I heard a loud thump outside and then a roar so loud it shook the windows. Eric!
Eric was my last thought as I slipped out of consciousness. I kept slipping in and out. I couldn’t see anything. I could only feel my own pain and Eric’s bloodlust. Everything was happening to the right of me. Once I heard Eric yelling, another time I heard Bill screaming in pain, and then I heard sounds I don’t ever want to hear again.
I woke up to Eric frantically calling my name over and over again. I slowly opened my eyes to see Eric’s concerned face right in front of me.
“Eric!” I sobbed out. I tried to move but realized I was still tied up. Eric zipped out of the room and was back before I could blink with a knife and was cutting my bindings off.
Once they were off, I threw myself at him. He wrapped me in his arms hugging me to him. I never wanted to leave his embrace ever again. It was the only place I felt safe.
Eric stood up and tried to sit me down but I just clung to him tighter. “No! Please!” I begged. He walked us into the kitchen and sat me down on the counter with me still attached to him.
“I just want to give you my shirt to cover you up. Let me take it off and put in on you. Then I can give you some of my blood and we will leave this place. Can I do that for you?” I heard the pleading in his voice. I couldn’t get a handle on his emotions. They were all over the place. I felt guilt, rage, affection and so many others.
I nodded my head and the second he let go of me, my body started shaking and I started sobbing even harder. Eric slipped his shirt over my head and had me back in his embrace.
“Shh. It’s going to be alright now. I’m so sorry I wasn’t there and it took me so long to get to you. Please take a little bit of my blood. I can’t stand to see you like this and know you’re in pain.”
I nodded my head. I was still crying too hard to speak. He pulled one arm away and I heard him pierce his skin with his fangs. Eric pulled back a little more and then presented his wrist in front of my mouth.
“Drink and then we will get out of here and go home,” I nodded my head again and drank. Once his wrist closed up, Eric pulled me back into his arms and walked out of the kitchen and out of Bill’s house. I hope I never have to see it again. I wonder what Eric did to Bill. I’m pretty sure he’s dead I thought as we took off into the nights sky.
I kept my face in the crook of Eric’s neck crying the whole way home. I wanted to stop but my body had different ideas. Eric was feeling extremely guilty but I didn’t want him to think that this was his fault. I was the one who went outside without telling anyone. I should have been more aware of my surroundings.
It took us about twenty minutes to get home. By the time we got home I had calmed down some. At least my body had stopped shaking. Maybe Eric was influencing me but I’m not sure.
Once we got inside Eric took us straight into the bathroom and started the tub. While waiting for the tub to fill he got out his phone and he’s fingers flew across the keys.
“I’m letting Pam know that I have you and we are home,” he must have felt my slight curiosity. “I’m going to sit you on the counter here while I get undressed is that okay? Unless you want to bathe by yourself.”
“I want you in there with me. Please,” I say. I was still crying but my sobbing had stopped.
He nods and then undresses at vampire speed and then quickly takes off the shirt of his I was wearing. Eric picks me up and steps into the bathtub with me. He slowly sits down and I cling to him, straddling his body.
Eric just held me for a long time. Eventually he got the shower gel and soaped up his hands. He washed my back and then my arms but he couldn’t reach anything else with me in this position. I felt him cupping water onto my hair and then massaged shampoo into my hair.
“Sookie, I need to rinse out your hair and I would like to finish washing you. Can I do that? I promise that you are safe here. We are at home and I will let nothing hurt you. Never again.”
I feel him trying to push down his rage but he couldn’t cover it up from me, not all the way. I just nod for him to continue cleaning me. I turn around to sit in between his legs. First, he rinsed out my hair, and then washed my legs, and then my stomach. When he reaches my breasts, he stopped.
“May I touch you here to clean you?” He asks. I nod for him to continue. He’s being so careful with me but I am thankful for it. I don’t know how I’d feel right now if he was touching me in these places without asking. I know Eric would never do what Bill did but I feel so violated. I’m going to have to explain this to him. He needs to know that this isn’t just because of Bill.
“Do you want me to clean here?” he asked when his hands were on about to move to the inside of my thighs. “I will only clean I promise.”
“Yes,” Is all I say. I figured I needed to start talking before he wonders just how broken I am. After I tell him my past, he may think I’m too broken and not want me anymore.
Once I am clean and rinsed off Eric slowly gets us out of the bathtub. He wrapped a towel around me and one around him. He set me down on the bed and quickly got out one of his t-shirts and a pair of yoga pants for me out of the closet. He came back with a pair of boxers on.
I slowly put on the clothes he brought for me. I’m happy be gave me one of his shirts to wear. It smells like him and his smell always makes me feel safe. When I’m dressed I get into bed and Eric joins me. He pulled me into a tight embrace and kissed the top of my head.
I laid there for a long time while trying to figure out what to say. Eric was rubbing my back with one hand and stroking my hair with the other while humming lightly.
“I need to tell you something,” I said and tried to sit up so I could look at him.
“You can tell me anything,” he picks up my hand and kisses the back of it then slowly rubs circles on it with his thumb.
“When I was little I used to have a funny uncle,” he furrows his brows at this.
“I don’t think I know what you mean by funny uncle. You don’t mean he made you laugh. You feel sick and ashamed talking about him.”
“No, he was not funny. Not like that. It started when I was around five. He would come over and touch me inappropriately. He told me not to tell anyone and I didn’t for a long time. I tried to tell my parents but they wouldn’t believe me. My parents died when I was seven and then Jason and I went to live with Gran.
“He came over one day and Gran needed to go the grocery store to get an ingredient for the pie she was making. My uncle offered to watch me while she went to the store. She came back earlier than what he was expecting and caught him in my room. Anyway, she beat him with a broom and told him to never come back. He never did. The worst part of it was what he was thinking while he was touching me. What Bill did to me tonight brought back those feelings and those thoughts? I will understand if you do not want me anymore. I should have told you before,” I said and looked away.
Eric pulled me into his lap and cupped my cheeks with both hands. Looking me in the eyes, he said, “I wish I knew you when you were a little girl. I would have made sure you did not go through that. This does not change my feelings for you in a bad way,” I raise my eyebrows at that. “I knew you were strong but you telling me this it shows me that you are stronger than I imagined.”
I don’t know how he can think that. I don’t feel strong at all. “Sookie. Look at me.” I had turned my eyes downward when he was talking before. I didn’t want to see his rejection. I slowly looked up at him. “Nothing is going to change the way I feel about you.” He stops talking and pulls me even closer to him. I have my face buried in his chest. I feel him take a deep breath and then let it out.
“I don’t know how Bill got to you tonight but I am sorry I was not there to stop it. One minute I could feel you and then the next I couldn’t. Immediately went into the office and you weren’t there. You weren’t outside in the parking lot but I could smell you and Compton. I could smell the chloroform he used to knock you unconscious. I couldn’t tell where he was taking you though. Pam and I were coming up with a plan. One of us was going to head to New Orleans and the other to Bon Temps when a large number of Weres attacked us.
“When I felt you wake up, I could tell you were heading towards Bon Temps. We fought through the Weres as quickly as possible. I’m sorry it took me so long to get to you. I pushed myself to go as fast as I could possibly go. I was pushing my strength to you. I could feel him hurting you and your horror. I need to ask you this but I want you to know that it will not change my feeling for you. I just need to know if he died too soon. Did he violate you?”
“He didn’t rape me. He touched me with his hands but he was going to.” Eric’s grip on me tightened. “He still died to slow for what he did to you,” he said.
“Let’s lay down. I have something I want to tell you.” I stiffen up. This can’t possibly be good. “Don’t worry it’s a story I want to tell you. You opened up to me about your uncle and I want to tell you about my human family. My father was a chieftain in my village. I guess to you, it would be like a king. My father wanted me to take on more responsibilities so that one day I would take over. I was lazy and didn’t want to be the chieftain or marry anyone. One night I was having sex with a servant girl and when I came back to my home where my family lived, they were dead. My mother and baby sister were already gone and when I got to my father he was very close. I promised him vengeance.
“They were killed by Weres and I saw a dark figure leaving with my father’s crown. I have been looking for who killed them for over a thousand years. The last I saw of the Weres was in WWII until tonight. I was too late to save my family that night and I was almost too late to save you tonight. I have not cared for any human since my family died until you.”
“You weren’t too late tonight and if you had been with your family back then you probably would have died. I’m not happy that your family died but I’m happy that you are here with me now. Thank you for saving me tonight and for telling me about your family.”
I lift my head up and look Eric in the eyes. “Thank you,” I said to him and gave him a chaste kiss on the lips. I can still feel and see the guilt on his face. “Eric, It wasn’t your fault Bill took me tonight,” he starts to interrupt but I raise my hand to stop him. “No, let me finish. I left the office and went outside to get some air. I just couldn’t get what Sam said out of my head,” he raised both his eyebrows at that.
“It’s not what you think. It’s not that I agree with him. It’s the opposite. I was angry at what he said. I thought he was my friend but obviously, he isn’t if he cannot be happy for me. So I went outside to get some fresh air. It was such a nice night out and I was just getting ready to head back inside when Bill showed up. He put a rag over my mouth and then I was just out. It’s my fault. I didn’t tell you what I was doing. We should have just went home. I’m sorry, Eric! Please, you have nothing to feel guilty about.”
“I do but let’s not fight about it tonight. I’m just happy that you’re safe and home here with me. Jag älskar dig, min Sookie. Mer än du vet. He sat up and kissed me so sweetly.
“Let’s lay back down. It’s been a long night for you and you should rest.”
“This is definitely not how I was planning on spending my night once we got home.”
“No it isn’t but we have many more nights to spend together. Although not enough,” he said sadly.
“Bill said he was planning on taking me to the Queen tomorrow night. He wanted to get back into her good graces. I don’t think she has given up on me but I don’t think she was in on it either.”
“I don’t think so either but we need to figure out where the Weres came from. I have an acquaintance that is a Were and he owes me. I will call him later tonight or tomorrow and we can meet him at Fangtasia for a meeting.”
I panic at the thought of going back there. Logically I know nothing will happen. I’ll be lucky if Eric gives me any breathing room while we are there but right now, after tonight I’m not thinking rationally.
“I promise you, you will be safe. We don’t have to go in tomorrow if you don’t want to. You can take your time and go back whenever you want to. I want you to feel safe.”
“I feel safe with you, in your arms,” I tell him and give him a kiss on his chin.
“We will see how you feel in a couple of days. Tomorrow night we will stay home and watch a movie. We’ll do whatever you want.”
“I wanted to use the hot tub tonight that was my plan earlier.”
Eric pulled me tight against him. If I were any closer, I probably would have been inside of him. He was sending me calm and strength and something else. Something that made me feel warm inside.
“Can I ask you a question?” I feel him nod against the top of my head. “Earlier you were speaking Swedish, right?” He nods again. “What were you saying?”
“I said I love you, my Sookie. More than you know.”
“You love me?” I ask him in utter disbelief.
“Of course I do. Don’t you feel it?”
“I don’t know. I feel something that feels like warmth and affection.”
“That is my love for you. I thought you knew.”
“How was I supposed to know? I don’t speak Swedish.”
“You can feel it that is how you are supposed to know.”
“It would have been nice for you to tell me. I’m sorry but I’m going to be a girl here. You have to tell me things not just expect me to feel them. Before I told you I loved you, did you feel it?”
“I felt something but I was unsure of what it was. You know that I’ve never been in love so I didn’t know what it felt like. It was my mistake that you would know. I have told you before it was just in Swedish.”
I laugh at him. “It doesn’t count if you say it in a language that I don’t know. How would you like it if I said I love you in a language you don’t know?”
“You can try,” he laughs at me. “I’m not used to all of this, Sookie but I’m trying.”
“I know you are and you’re doing a good job. I sometimes forget this is as new to you as it is me,” I tell him.
“You are the only one I have ever loved. Just know that my Sookie.”
“I love you, Eric,” I say as I snuggle as close as I can get to Eric.
He wraps his arms around me and throws a leg over me making me feel safe, protected, and loved. “As I do you. Sleep well.”