So I stole his car, not exactly my finest moment, nor was me knocking him on his ass and leaving him there. I felt terrible once I had calmed down, which was not until I got back home, having tested out Eric’s silver Porsche to the limits to get there. My light tricks really were escalating quickly, I was able to knock open his fortified garage with a flick of the wrist, and I hot wired his care too. Though that was a skill, I had learned from years of borrowing Jason’s truck and forgetting the keys. I hoped I hadn’t killed him forever-dead with that blast, and as I calmed down from my anger (which even to me seemed a little extreme) I began to feel incredibly guilty.
I got home and raided my fridge for something ridiculously calorific, and found the ice cream, the ice cream that Eric had bought for me, and then felt even worse. I had knocked out a thousand year old vampire who had the sweetness in him to send his assistant for sweet things for me, to feed me and keep me from starving. I sat in the middle of my bed then with the pint of ice cream, and I sobbed. I imagined I looked like one of those girls from a bad rom-com, sitting on her bed with mascara running down her face, sobbing into a tub of chocolate ice cream. I was worried about myself; my moods had always been somewhat stable, chilled even. Before Bill’s blood, I felt like I knew my moods pretty well, I never had much of a temper, not to the point that I could knock out a vampire and leave him there without a care! Then my life changed, flipped right upside down and back again and maybe around and around a few times for good measure. I was filled and refilled with vampire blood, discovered my Tinkerbelle powers, and discovered that murdering someone felt really powerful. It almost felt like the more I used my light, the more dark I became.
I really hoped that was not the case but it sure felt like it was.
I showered and did my hair in wet braids, dragged out a book and attempted to read it. Attempted to control my thoughts, but it was useless. Attempting to sleep was even more fruitless because when I finally did manage to drift off, the dreams came right back.
I wanted to blame the ice cream, but being honest with myself is that it was all me, all in my seriously fucked up head. That night I dreamt of all the death I had seen in the past few years, my gran laying in the same spot where I would finish Debbie Pelt, Tara left for dead with half her head missing, the fortune teller in the back of Andy’s car, Rene and the shovel I rammed into his skull, decapitating him. Then there were the vampires, including Lorena who I ended with oddly timed help from a seemingly helpless Bill. Then there was Godric, who I watched evaporate into the air as if he was never there in the first place, and all the dead at his nest the night of the bomb, it all came back to me in life-sized HD.
I woke up the next morning feeling as if my body had just run a marathon; I looked like I had too.
What the hell was happening to me!
I pulled myself together long enough to get ready for the lunch shift, but my head was even less in the game than usual, I ended up screwing up three orders in less than twenty minutes, and I had spilled two cokes from my usually wonk free tray. It was so bad that even Arlene was telling me to get myself fixed before I came back in from my break.
“You alright Sookie?” I heard from the office as I stacked up on new napkins, it was Sam.
I walked in to find him behind the desk, he was placing orders no doubt.
“Yeah, I heard out there… you getting enough sleep?”
With vampires in my life as much as they were, it was a fair question.
“I am and I’m not if that makes sense, I mean a lot has happened… lately… and I just … I guess I need to process it all before it drives me completely crazy.”
He nodded. I knew he still didn’t know about Tara, not many people did. The way I saw it, it wasn’t my story to tell, even if she had ended up how she was because of me. I would wait until she decided, it was the least I could do.
“I get that, I mean I’ve been dealing with so much myself lately with Supes and Shifters, then there’s Luna and Emma and dealing with everything after Tommy…”
It was my turn then to nod, if anyone knew what I was sort of going through it was Sam. It was always Sam, he was just that guy. The one that related to you in ways you didn’t even realise at first, the friend that was forever understand and deserved so much happiness because of all the shit they had been through from day one. He was that person.
“You ever just wish you could take a night off, from life? From worrying about whether or not you’ll actually live to see the morning, or if one of your friends will end up eaten or staked, or if you’ll end up eaten!” I said trying to make light of the situation.
“Yeah, I do. I think we should try that, it sounds so good right about now.”
“Taking a night off from life?”
“Yeah.” He smirked standing up from where he sat. “When was the last time you went to a movie, just had dinner at a normal time, just relaxed.”
I shook my head, not counting my time-lapsed year in Fairyland; I couldn’t even remember the last time I just kicked back.
“Exactly,” He noticed. “If you’re free tonight, I’m free. Why don’t we catch a movie? Get something to eat that isn’t fried, and catch up, it’s been a long time Sook when you really think about it.”
I liked the idea of being normal, even just for a night.
“Okay, it sounds good. I have something to do around six, but I should be free for eight?”
He nodded with a smile and we hugged like friends should hug, it felt nice.
“Sounds good, I’ll find us a place near the movies and book.”
“You sure Luna won’t mind I mean…”
“Nah, she knows we’re friends and we haven’t hung out a lot … for a long time, she’ll be fine with it I’m sure.”
I left work a few hours later a little happier, I had plans, normal person plans. Not shooting lights or zillion year old vamps across fields. Nope, a movie of some kind, hopefully mindless and funny, and food cooked by someone else hand delivered by someone else.
I went home and showered, and picked out a nice spaghetti strapped maxi dress that I had planned to wear with the dark denim crop jacket I had laying around somewhere, I threw on some heels and headed off to Fangtasia. I had apologies to make.
When I got there, they were just opening up, there were no customers yet, but I didn’t expect there to be. The sun had gone down not an hour before; things were just waking up on this side of the supernatural world.
Ginger greeted me with a smile and an offer of a drink, and while I would have loved to take her up on her offer of some good old-fashioned Dutch courage, I couldn’t if I was to drive back to Bon Temps.
“Is Eric here?”
“Yes, but he’s in a business call, they all are.”
“Mmm. Pam, Nora, Eric, Bill.”
Shit, Bill was there too? I thought for sure he would be off trying to secure his crown, finding ways to suck up to the Authority before they all arrived back in the same location.
“Oh… I’ll wait then if that’s okay?”
“Sure thing, you want a soda?”
I accepted her soda with lime, no lemon, I had never been overly fond of lemons, and I waited.
Ten or so minutes later Ginger had disappeared through one door and Bill and Eric came out of another. Bill seemed shocked to see me Eric seemed indifferent.
“Sookie…” Bill began, “are you in any danger?” He asked full of concern or what seemed like concern. There was a time I would never have questioned it, now I questioned every syllable that came out of his mouth.
“No, I am fine. I came here because I have uh… business with Eric.” I admitted causing Bill to side-eye me somewhat before he pursed his lips in the way that he does.
“I see, well don’t let me… hold you back.”
“I won’t.” I sassed.
With that he nodded at me, and turned to Eric.
It was all very cryptic and I guessed I wasn’t privy to this secret vampire code between the two of them, I found I didn’t really care.
As Bill left, I saw Pam exit Eric’s office and head toward the basement. Part of me wondered if Tara was around, if she was okay, if they were taking good care of her.
“Can we talk, please?”
He didn’t blink, he didn’t really move, and for a second anyone would have been forgiven for thinking that he was a big tank top wearing marble man. Only he was not, there was so much more to him and yet I had reduced him to distraction sex.
“I have work to be getting on with, make whatever it is quick.” He said walking toward his office; I assumed I was to follow. I did so, and if I had had a tail it would have been between my legs.
He walked to his desk and sat, shuffling papers and tidying up, ignoring me at all costs. It felt really shitty but I guess after how I behaved he really could have just drained me or something, I could deal with the cold shoulder.
“I wanted to say I’m sorry, about last night about it all. The way I behaved.” I sighed more at myself than anything else. “It was wrong and strange…”
“You pitching a fit is hardly strange.” He spoke monotone but still being a smart ass.
“Well, yes. You are right… I guess. Nevertheless, doing what I did, leaving how I left after the things I said it was very rude and I am sorry. I also have your car…”
He rolled his eyes then.
“What? You don’t care about your shiny silver very pimped out ride?” I asked.
“As long as it’s not wrapped around a tree, I assumed you could handle it. I have more pressing matters to attend to.”
Oh, that stung, not his cold shoulder but his dismissal of everything else.
“So that’s it then? You and I are… what? Back to square one because I assumed –“
“Sookie.” He said sharply, standing up and suddenly I had his entire attention. It was overwhelming.
“This might come as some surprise to you, but I do have other things, other very pressing things to deal with, like an all-out war that’s brewing, like an Authority that is pissed and wanting my head – literally. Like my child nursing a new-born into sanity, those types of small matters that I’m sure somehow managed to escape your attentions while you were fraternising with Shifters.”
But I showered! And it was a hug!
My mouth went agape at his knowledge and I wondered then for a time if he was having me followed.
“Actually I did know all that, because in case YOU forgot I spent my last two nights in a freezing cold field knocking you on your ass at your request! I came here to say sorry because how I acted was wrong of me, and I have been going through a lot of weird shit lately and you are the only one that seems to understand it so I just thought I would drive out here and tell you myself. Excuse me for interrupting you as you plan to save the world but as things stand I couldn’t give a shit about the world and that’s what’s most terrifying about this whole damn thing.” I was ranting I knew I was, I probably wasn’t making any sense either. “But you know what if someone had done to me what I did and said to you I would have been hurt, excuse me for thinking that you still gave a damn!” before I could storm out again his hand was on the door. He slammed it shut on me leaving me trapped between the door and him as I turned around.
My God, he smelled good.
“I give a damn, Sookie. I give all the damns if that is what you want to hear. There are just things that I have to do, to ensure our … all of our survival otherwise what I think, what I want, it won’t matter because in five days I’ll be gone if things don’t go to plan.”
We were so close, too close for this type of conversation. He wasn’t moving, and I couldn’t move so we were stuck. Him looking down, unflinching, and me, well I was just trying not to crumble under his penetrating stare.
“Why is this the spot you always tell me you’re going to die, I think your office is cursed.” I quipped trying to lighten the suddenly very heavy mood. He just almost smiled.
“I am sorry, Eric.”
“Do you? Do you know how this feels? How…dark I’ve been feeling lately?”
His arm fell from the door, no longer needing to hold it closed or to keep me in place, his face changed slightly, there was more emotion there now.
“Since… I guess since Debbie. I…” Could I tell him of my dreams, of my feelings within them? I wasn’t sure I wanted anyone to know that deep dark secret. “I think it’s somehow…”
“Related to your fae.”
Wait, no. that was just my cracked theory. I panicked.
“From what I know, books, legend, dealings in the past…”
That was an interesting slip.
“The fae aren’t a particularly pleasant bunch to be around, not just for a vampire – they are vicious, conniving and duplicitous.”
“I wonder who that reminds me of…”
Pots and kettles all around then, huh, he could have easily been describing vampires.
He smiled then, genuinely smiled and took a half a step back; we were still practically chest to chest. If my chest went up that high, that is.
“Couldn’t it just be the reams and reams of vamp blood I’ve drank? I mean both yours and Bills and witches and shooting…” I was fully fledged panicking then, I didn’t want it to be true, I wanted it to be something that would fade in time. My fae percentage seemed like a pretty long-term thing.
“From what I know the blood of a vampire can in some instances encourage change in behaviour, but it would have started right when Bill first gave you his blood…”
“My light did start appearing until you gave me yours.” I admitted, it was something that had been on my mind too, along with everything else.
That seemed to surprise him.
“I’ll look into it, see what I can find. I would just try and keep track of your moods for the next few days, if you use your light more, see if the changes intensify.”
“But I don’t want them to intensify! I want them to go away!”
“I get that. But keep an eye out anyway?”
I agreed but felt extremely anxious about everything again.
“I think I should probably go now, you’re obviously busy…”
He looked back up at me then, and his face seemed to soften.
“Is your head okay?” I asked then.
“It is I heal fast on the outside, once I woke up and realised what the hell happened.”
On the outside huh, it made me wonder about his inside. I knew now, probably better than anyone what Eric felt like inside. It was what made my treatment of him that much worse.
“Okay… I’ll go.” As I turned to leave he spoke from where he stood at his desk, his fingers fidgeting with the stapler.
“I wasn’t… rejecting you, Sookie. It was not about rejection, it wasn’t because…. It wasn’t payback or whatever was going through your head for dumping me, just know that okay?”
I felt foolish; Eric was not a petty man even when he probably had the right to be. I did feel incredibly awkward, this whole thing was awkward in truth since I knew he said he loved me, I said it back, and yet somehow we were here, in awkward-land.
“I… uh… I’m going to dinner with Sam.” I didn’t know what compelled me to tell him this, I mean, technically he had no right to know how I spent my time or who with, and yet I told him. “As friends, of course. I mean he has a girlfriend and I … well we are friends. I don’t know why I’m even telling you this…” I said self-consciously running my hand through my hair, “but there it is. I’ll talk to you later, I guess.”
I left without another word, got into my car and drove to meet Sam at the movie, Eric never left my thoughts the entire night.
“The donors are here.” Pam announced as she poked her head around my door shortly after Sookie left. I was lost inside my own head and only really realised she was there after a few seconds.
“Right, I’ll be right down.”
“Do, and hurry, we have a new-born that is starving and not great with patience.” She said rolling her eyes.
I picked myself off my chair with some effort, the truth was, Sookie’s last blast had left its mark, literally, I was limping. Me, a vampire!
I went to the basement where I found Tara circling the donors, three women, one blonde-haired woman, one redhead and one brunette. Pam really did not discriminate on hair colours; we had one of each, even if seeing Sookie, smelling Sookie had dampened my appetite for other women.
“Hungry, Tara?” I asked and I knew she was as I could feel it it was so palpable.
She just glared. A few nights with Pam showing her the ropes, so to speak, and she was able to control her feeding urge a lot better. Once she had started feeding after starving herself against every instinct in her body, she was ravenous; teaching her to maintain control was a huge deal and one that was difficult for some. However, giving Tara her dues, she picked things up quickly and was soon feeding slowly, savouring every drop.
I let my ladies go first and I watched and enjoyed them enjoying themselves. There was undeniable potential in Tara, as a human she had been a fighter, but as a vampire, she could be so much more, she could be untouchable in time. The blonde that had been chosen for me, for obvious reasons on Pam’s part was standing awkwardly, waiting for me to make my move. The women were being paid handsomely for their time and blood; she was just doing her job. However, as attractive, hygienic and fresh she seemed, I still wasn’t hungry enough for her to bother. Instead, I told her she would be paid in full and made my way upstairs. I knew Pam’s eyes were on me, but I could not have cared less.
I just wanted to be alone.
Actually, that was a lie; I wanted to be with her.
The idea of her out spending her precious time with the Shifter, it made me jealous beyond belief. That he was the one that got her smiles, and her laughter and her everything. Then I was angry, not at her, no, she had every right to spend her time with whomever she felt like, but I was angry at myself for not making it be me that she wanted to spend that time with. I would do and go where she wanted, if it meant to a movie theatre or to a human filled restaurant where we would chit-chat… I was sure I could do that. Just because it was not something I had ever done for a human woman doesn’t mean it was something I wouldn’t do for her.
As I heard the club come to life, I decided to be anti-social that night and focus on everything that Nora had left me, my only Authority insider and the my vampire sister, she had left me several folders on the other members, to learn and know off by heart before our ominous meeting. In the spirit of knowledge being power, I became a good student that night and I knew the other member possibly better than they knew themselves all before eleven. Of course, my absence pissed Pam off; I was the main draw at the bar, even now. I just did not feel like being on show, channelling my inner stereotype. I may have been brooding over Sookie, but that did not mean that those feelings were there for public consumption. By her second call in to try and get me out there, I was gone.
Gone to her.