He was back, at least I think he was, for some reason it happened again, the flickering. This time all I was doing was thinking of Eric and how he was, or where he was, or if he was alive. Suddenly there I was, for a split second, in my kitchen looking at him. I had been at the club for a few hours at that point, I had caved and ordered an orange juice, and thus far had felt no other feelings that were not the hangover or the sweet refreshment of the beverage. I was people watching, or fairy watching, it was intriguing to say the least. I discovered where we were, which was both hilarious and insane, we were in a field just north of Bon Temps, and apparently, we were invisible! I was too tired or too brain tired as it felt like just then to even try and process what that meant or how that was even possible, so I decided to just accept it. What else was I going to do, try and logic my way around fairies?
“Claude, would you guys be willing to do something for me.”
“Besides saving you and giving you shelter here from our enemies?” He questioned in a rather sassy manner, I did not have time for sarcasm.
“Well, honestly, yes.”
I told him ‘like what’ and he just laughed at me as if I were completely nuts.
“This isn’t a joke, if Russell –“
“If Russell or any vampire gets wind of where we are and how we shield ourselves from the human world, we will all be dust, I’m sorry Sookie but that’s too large a risk for us.”
“And so what am I to do then? Stay here forever?”
He looked around.
“It’s not so bad here, and Hadley seems to like it just fine, she’s been here for months now.”
“Hadley?! Is … Hunter with her?”
“Yes, she works here some nights, the child is as safe as brick houses here too, and there is no fear here, just happiness.”
“Ya’ll sound like you dropped some serious LSD.”
He laughed then, this time more genuinely.
“We like to have a good time.” I looked around and saw just how good a good time was in Fairy club-land. I needed to get out of there I needed to see Eric.
“Fine, okay fine. Can you … can you pop me back home?”
He looked confused, while it was true I had been there for hours, and dawn was fast approaching, he didn’t know what I knew.
“But the wolves and the vampires.”
“They aren’t there anymore, but Eric is now, and I need to see him.”
He looked to another fairy behind the bar and they both seemed unsure.
“I promise you he means me no harm okay?”
He just shrugged and I could tell by his mind that he thought for sure I was crazy, hell, maybe I was finally. After everything that had happened to me, it was a damn miracle of was as ‘normal’ as I was. Which, I guess was not much at all in the grand scheme of things.
He gripped me tight, and the next thing I knew I felt dizzy, but turned around to find we were standing in my living room; Eric was at the kitchen entrance, his fangs out and an almost drugged look in his eyes.
Right, fairy scent.
“Stay back, Vampire.” Claude warned.
“Eric, you won’t hurt him, right? You won’t hurt Claude.”
“Jesus Sookie that smell,” He confessed gripping onto the doorframe as if to hold himself back.
“Claude, he won’t hurt you, I promise.” I tried to reassure him but he was having none of that.
“If you feel sure he won’t harm you then there is no need for me here.”
“But there is every need, we have to talk about what we talked about but with Eric.”
Both men acknowledged each other, but Claude shook his head no.
“The risk is too great, Sookie, I am sorry.”
“She needs you now; she needs her kind… for all of us to survive.”
“Sookie is choosing her own fate.” Claude replied.
“I don’t believe in fate.” Eric answered with some sass, still death gripping my doorframe.
“Then you are a fool, Vampire. To think you stand where you stand if not for the hand of fate, that she stands where she stands had not every choice she was guided to make lead her there.”
“And what of you then does your guided choices not lead you somewhere? She needs that now.”
“I cannot provide it. I am truly sorry, but to risk outing our entire race to the VA and one of, if not THE oldest vampire known to the world… I am sorry Sookie.”
With that, he popped out and Eric’s grip on the wall ceased.
I barely had time to blink or breathe before we were both wrapped around each other with a sense of urgency I had never felt in my life before. I knew part of his intoxication was the fairy scent, and I was covered in it of course, but this was sheer arousal, his fangs had even been retracted, it wasn’t my blood he wanted in these moments, it was me.
My heart sored at that realisation.
After Eric filled me in on everything that went down at the Authority, I was feeling decidedly nauseous, it had been one hell of a night so far and I wasn’t sure I could really handle much more. Of course Eric also smelled Alcide, and that got me some serious stink-eye.
“He came over, askin’ about Debbie again and we sort of got drunk a little.” There was no way in hell I was going to tell the already stressed out vampire about the kiss, I didn’t really need that extra angst right now. “But thank God he was here because he was the one able to hold off the other wolves, I need to call and make sure he’s okay actually.”
“Bill said he smelled wolf, I assumed he meant the ones that came for you at the VA’s request but now –“
“How the hell was he in my house, I haven’t invited him back in since before.”
Eric furrowed his brows at me. That just wasn’t possible, I signed the house back to myself, there was no invite, what the hell?
“You were with them, the Fae yes?” He began to pace. “There could be an explanation but it’s a myth, one that isn’t written about extensively, but there are stories.”
“Their lair, a club, whatever they have decided to disguise it as… it doesn’t exist on this plane.”
My head really hurt at this point.
“What now? Plane of like this world? But I was out past old Bakers field, how the hell is that not on this plane of whateverinthehell?”
I rolled my eyes, sighing.
“I’m getting’ real tired of this sneaky magic shit not playing by the rules.”
He smiled quickly, reaching out to tuck some of my hair behind my ears.
“It also explains that when you went to the land of …wherever, that neither Bill nor I could feel you in our blood any longer, you technically don’t exist here anymore when you’re there. So, he could enter the house freely with you gone.”
“You realise he now knows something’s up, right? I made a point of not inviting him in, suddenly he’s roaming free, he knows.”
“What he thinks he knows is irrelevant, trust me he’s too busy brown nosing to the Chancellors of the Authority to notice much else.”
“And if he does and if he senses we’re up to something behind his back?”
“Then we just have to trust that whatever love he once had for you still is in him somewhere, and that that sense of protection will prevail, keeping you out of harm’s way.”
“But you told me the truth on that one too, didn’t you?” I began and he just looked at his shoes. “You came here and you told me the truths that Bill had been hiding from me from the second we met, and I punished you for it by sending you away.”
“I never blamed you for that, you just had your heart ripped open, and I understood why you needed to shoot the messenger.”
“Stop being so understanding please, what I did, what I ignored… Eric the things I’ve done… some of which I’m only beginning to see clearly now, I don’t know how to reconcile them within myself anymore.”
He let out a slow breath before taking me in his arms, a strong but soft hug waited for me and I took it in an instant with no hesitation.
“Life is long, Sookie, even for mortals, and sometimes there are blocks of time that you wish you could erase but you cannot. Everything you’ve done has shaped who you are now, what you know and what matters, what should matter, is where you go from here on out.”
“Eric I’ve killed people.”
“So have I, you killed them in self-defence, I killed them…for lunch.” He almost smirked but I was more taken aback by his phrase. “That doesn’t –“
“What did you say?” I asked stepping back, the memory of the very first dream I had featuring a High Definition sexing from Eric, rang in my ears.
“All I mean is…”
“Have you used that phrase before? Have I heard it before from you?”
He furrowed his brows.
“Except I have, in the very first dream I had about you… That’s what you said, or almost what you said.”
He looked shocked.
“No… No those were my dreams … mine.”
“Uh, no…” I sounded out as I paced my kitchen, “No, it was mine. Right after you tricked me into sucking out the damn bullets I went to bed and … I dreamed of … you know.” I motioned with my handed up and down his frame. He just smirked by the time I stopped pacing.
“No, you were inside my head, again Sookie.”
“No, nuh-uh, you were inside mine!”
He smiled then, genuinely before cupping my face softly.
“I think we were inside each other’s heads, Sweetheart.” His eyes crinkled slightly in the corners as he smiled, and my heart skipped several beats hearing that term of endearment said so sincerely from him.
“This should feel creepier than it does.” I clarified making him laugh then, before he dipped down to kiss me. I welcomed that too, more than wanting it, wanting it all. The soft touch of his fingertips on my face made my muscles tense and flex, I wanted so much more and I knew he did too, but I also knew for certain that Bill would return and with him, the certain fate that meant I either fled or I was taken . For some reason he had not predicted me touching him back and the confident cocksure Eric I knew seemed unsettled. It was different. It was new. I lifted my hand to his shoulder, and that is when I felt it there, something hard and plastic. He slipped his free hand to the back of my warm neck and pulled me closer despite my hesitance now I felt something seemingly strapped to his body, slowly parting his lips to mine, deepening the kiss even further. I had to pull back, before we both got as lost in the other as we seemingly needed to.
“What’s this?” I asked touching through his t-shirt with some gentle reverence. Whatever it was, it scared him.
He swallowed before stepping back from me, and lifting up his shirt to reveal a weird device of some kind, one that did not look pleasant in any shape way or form.
“Technology these days, I can be ended by an iPhone app from anywhere in the world, as can Bill… If…”
The horror must have shown on my face as he lowered his t-shirt again.
“If you don’t bring me in, Jesus Holy Christ. There has to be a way to stop this to get it off.”
“It’s tamper proof, but I have a feeling there may be something waiting for me in Fangtasia that may help.”
“How long do you guys have?”
“Sunset tomorrow, technically, a call is to be made to ensure we have …acquired the target.” He sighed. “But as soon as possible is preferred.”
“Anxious to bleed me dry no doubt.” I sighed, sitting down at the kitchen table then; he took a seat next to me. “They won’t help us, the Fae. Claude chickened out and I can’t really say I blame him. It is like me swimming with a million sharks with no protection and trying to kill them all in the process. They won’t help and you and Bill will bite the dust if I don’t comply, I have to go in.”
He shook his head before running his hand through his hair.
“NO. You hear me? No. There are other ways, Sookie, we just haven’t… thought of them yet.”
He stood up then with purpose.
“I’m going to Fangtasia, to check on Pam and Tara and try and figure out another solution along the way, they will help you, if it’s the last damn thing they do they will.”
“Stubborn, just like vampires, you really think you’re going to convince an entire race of …magical beings to defend me just because my big scary vamp boyfriend says so? I don’t.”
With that, he turned around.
“Your big what now?”
Oh yeah, that.
I smiled, I could not help myself, the look on his face was adorable and reminded me so much of ‘my Eric again.
“Well… actually…” I began but before I could finish there was a knock on my front door. “God damnit!” I yelled knocking me off my train of thought.
It was Bill.
I looked to Eric.
“What do I do here?”
“We handle it.”
I had no idea what that meant, but I guess I was about to find out.
“How?” Bill asked from the other side of the door as he saw Sookie standing behind me, he looked dumbfounded as he tried to enter and now found he could not.
“It doesn’t matter how, all that matters is that we have to keep her safe, right?” I asked cautiously, I knew only one thing for sure and it was I trusted him as much as I trusted Russell at this point. Bill and loyalty were never two things that meshed well as far as I could see.
He shifted from one foot to another and nodded.
“I agree, of course, what matters is Sookie’s safety, she must not be tasted by any member of the VA or they will know for sure what she is. I think the safest thing for all concerned here is if I claim Sookie as mine, again, and that way they have no rights to her blood.”
“Like Hell!” She said coming up front and centre now, “No. Absolutely not. No way. Are you forgetting everything we’ve been through, Bill?!”
“No of course not, but I do think it would be for the best.”
“Well I don’t think that.” She snapped.
“Alright then, what bright idea do you have that means this time tomorrow night you won’t be on their dinner menu, huh?”
I did not appreciate his threatening tone, or the annoyance in his eyes. Sookie would never be his again, even if belonging to another vampire did give her more time, I knew Sookie would not go for that. Pressurized or not, that wasn’t who she was now, she had grown past being led down the garden path by Bill Compton, and no one was more happy about that fact that I was.
“Bill, we will take our leave, it will be dawn soon and neither of us can really afford to stand around here while that happens, now can we?”
It was dangerously close to dawn; I could feel my blood churn and my skin crawl at the idea of its inevitable arrival.
He pouted, looking from Sookie and then to me.
“Fine, but we are expected back tomorrow night with a solution one way or another, Sookie you must see –“
“Bill, believe me, I see it. The last thing I want is for you or Eric to become goo because of me, but I also have no desire to become Sunny Delight for a bunch of crazy ass vamps either, so forgive me for not exactly towing the line here.”
His face relaxed then, and he nodded.
“I will be at home, we will meet here at sunset, and I trust one of us can come up with an alternative… before it is too late for all of us.”
With that, I unceremoniously slammed the door, maybe in his face, maybe not, either way I did not care if it was rude. His pompous ass had more than worn out his welcome as far as I was concerned.
Sookie side-eyed me, even mad and scared her country girl manners still won out. She flipped the lock on the door, before informing me what I did was rude. I just smiled causing her to roll her eyes.
“There are no more wolves coming for me, right?” She asked hugging her arms around herself and I reassured her that, no, there were no more wolves. Bill and I were the wolves at her door now, sadly.
She nodded but did not speak, and I watched as she walked over to the doors of the cubby, opened them gently and descended the first few steps.
“In that case I’m going to need you to stay here, you can do that right?”
I knew I should have returned to Fantasia, I knew I had to see what it was exactly Nora wanted me to see, but somehow I just could not say no to her. If this was to be our last night together, who was I to deny either of us the pleasure?
I fired off a series of texts to Pam, ensuring her of my safety, for now, and that I was staying here for the day, I would return to her at dusk to brief her completely on the goings on. I didn’t wait for a reply, my time with Sookie was always going to be precious, but that night it was to be even more so.