When Sookie woke in the afternoon she rolled out of bed and grabbed a robe before heading downstairs to the kitchen to get something to eat. Her rumbling stomach was what woke her in the first place. After a quick breakfast of scrambled eggs, sausage and toast, she cleaned the mess up and headed back upstairs with a large mug of coffee. Eric had written down the password for his laptop for her so she could use that if she wanted to.
Sookie took a seat in the large leather chair behind his desk and started the computer. While sitting at the bar the night before she had given serious consideration to his suggestion that she use her talent for profit. Given the circumstances in which she grew up, she hadn’t ever really considered anyone would take her seriously, much less pay for her services. With the supes, however, she knew they believed in her ability.
It would have been nice to be able to look at someone else’s business plan or see what a comparable rate was for services like the ones she could provide but the only other telepath she’d met was Barry. As far as she knew, he was stuck somewhere in that God awful fairyland for the rest of eternity. Just thinking about going back there gave her chills. Like everything else, it wasn’t what it seemed to be.
Her encounters with Claudine had always left her feeling like the other side was beautiful. It was always so full of light and perfectly warm. Everyone seemed to get along so well and they were all so friendly with her. For once she was with her own kind. Sort of. But that wasn’t even really the case since she wasn’t only just one of them. Or was she? She had obviously inherited her fae lineage from her father, since it had been Granddaddy Earl who had passed it on.
Had Gran known all along? Was that the reason she had been so accepting of how different Sookie was? But why wasn’t Jason affected the same as his sister? They shared the same parents. It stood to reason he would have the same power she did, and yet the only thing special about Jason seemed to be how many women he could talk into his bed in a single night. That wasn’t exactly a talent that was unique to him, however.
Sookie surfed the internet for a while, trying to gather as much information as she could before the sun started to sink into the horizon. She had promised she would be in Eric’s bed when he woke. Their days together would be limited since she had every intention going home just as soon as she was sure Debbie Pelt was no longer a threat. Of course she was sure something else would pop up but the immediate danger would be gone.
She printed a few things before shutting down Eric’s computer. She took her mug back to the kitchen, turned off the coffee machine and washed out the pot before returning upstairs to Eric’s room. He was in the exact same position as he had been when the sun rose. The bedroom was dark as could be and would remain that way until the retractable shutters moved out of the way at sunset. Sookie climbed into bed with Eric and considered how she wanted him to find her when his eyes opened.
After letting various scenarios play out in her mind, Sookie decided she’d let him pounce on her. He seemed to enjoy that and truthfully, it was fun for her, too. She rolled onto her stomach and turned her face away from his. Her eyes closed and she let herself relax. Without intending to, she drifted off a little so when Eric woke, she was caught by surprise when he rolled on top of her. He was definitely awake, and definitely excited she had kept her promise.
“Are you sleeping, lover?” he whispered in her ear and kissed her shoulder.
“Not anymore,” she smiled against the mattress.
“What have you been up to all day?” Eric asked, knowing damn well she hadn’t been sleeping all that time.
“I did some research on the internet,” she squirmed and tried not to giggle as he kissed his way down her back.
“What did you research?” he paused when he was half way down her spine.
“Business plans,” she whispered and then squeaked when she felt his fangs scrap against her skin.
“Mmmm,” he purred and the vibration against her lower back was incredible. “What else?”
“That’s about it,” Sookie’s mind went blank.
Concentrating on business with him moving down her body like that wasn’t easy. His kisses landed in random places and when she propped herself up on her elbows, Sookie looked over her shoulder to watch him move. He kissed her everywhere he could before turning her over and repeating the process on the front of her body. By the time he settled between her legs it took all the control she had not to grab the back of his head and force it down.
Sookie could feel his hunger and restraint not to devour her. When her hips started to rise he grabbed onto them and held her in place, his tongue flicking mercilessly against her clit until she was screaming his name and grabbing onto the sheets so hard she was sure she was going to rip them off the bed. He kept her hovering on the edge of her orgasm for as long as he dared before turning his head and biting her thigh. Tasting her blood in combination with her other juices was pure heaven for him and if it were possible, he would have spent hours combining the flavors.
After his small feeding he sealed the wounds on her thigh and kissed his way up her body. They rolled over, her legs falling on either side of him. Sookie kissed him lazily while his fingers tangled in her hair. He broke the kiss and shifted a little to angle her breast into his mouth. There was a slight nip of his fangs on the surface of her skin and he drew at the wound while sucking her nipple into his mouth. The combination of sensations made her shiver.
Sookie returned the favor, nipping and kissing her way down his torso. She didn’t get as far as she wanted to before he pulled her back to his mouth. Eric moved her hips, lifting her up and holding her there. She grabbed his cock and stroked him a few times before placing him at her entrance. Eric’s hips rose at the same time he brought her down, sheathing himself inside her in one fluid motion. Sookie rocked her hips against his and leaned down to kiss him. Their tongues battled for dominance and she started to move up and down on him. Eric sat up and wrapped his arms around her tightly, and moved from her mouth to her neck.
Her scent was intoxicating, as was the rocking of her hips against his. They rolled a short time later and her legs wrapped around his waist, pulling him deeper inside her. He left a trail of wet kisses past her collarbone to her breasts and then back to her mouth. Eric waited until her orgasm hit to bite her neck. The wildness in her blood when she came was delicious, and he released just after her blood hit his tongue.
Eric dropped on top of her, peppering her flushed skin with little kisses until he reached her mouth again. When he pulled out of her he rolled onto his side next to her. The shutters had come up and the sky wasn’t quite completely dark yet. Sookie turned so her back was to Eric and he spooned her from behind. Her eyes closed as his arm closed around her.
They were quiet for a bit, communicating through the bond between them. It was the ringing of Eric’s cell phone that broke the peaceful silence. Madonna’s ‘Material Girl’ filled the room and Sookie laughed. Such an odd choice of ringtones.
“Madonna? Really?” Sookie laughed.
“It’s Pam,” Eric kissed her shoulder and then rolled over to get his phone. “Northman.”
“Nan is here,” Pam told him.
Fuck. Of course.
“I’ll be there in twenty minutes,” Eric grumbled internally. He was in no mood to deal with Nan but he couldn’t really put it off.
“She wants to speak with Sookie.”
“We’ll be there,” Eric promised and then hung up the phone.
“Where are we going?” Sookie asked, turning to face Eric.
“We have company at Fangtasia,” Eric didn’t sound happy and Sookie could feel his anger.
“Nan Flannigan wants to speak with you. I’m guessing she has questions about your abilities after what she saw at the tolerance festival,” Eric told her and was completely uncomfortable with Sookie’s nervousness. “Don’t worry; I won’t leave you alone with her. You’ll be fine.”
Sookie nodded but her nerves weren’t eased by it. They got out of bed and headed for the shower. Eric distracted her as best he could with another orgasm up against the wall of the shower but by the time they were in the car, Sookie’s nerves were back full force. He reached for her hand and tried to push a little calm her way.
“What are you doing?” Sookie took her hand back.
“I just want you to be calm,” he took her hand back. “You’ll be fine, lover. You’re with me, and that’s all that matters. Nan can’t take you against your will.”
“You’re sure?” Sookie’s heartbeat was all over the place.
“She’s welcome to try but it would be unwise,” Eric kissed the back of Sookie’s hand.
Sookie felt jittery all over and completely unprepared for a meeting with Nan Flannigan. She remembered the meeting that had taken place after Godric had been rescued from the church in Dallas. Nan was a tough bitch who made Pam look like a Sunday school teacher by comparison. When they arrived at Fangtasia, Eric held Sookie’s hand as they walked through the front door. With her nerves all frazzled and whatnot, Sookie’s shields weren’t as effective as usual. She was immediately bombarded by the thoughts of pissed off fangbangers who wanted to know just what the fuck Eric was doing walking in with a woman.
News hadn’t yet trickled down that he was off the market but then Eric hadn’t made the official announcement to anyone but Pam. Bill had guessed at it but Eric hadn’t bothered to confirm the king’s suspicions. Eric carried Sookie’s scent, just as she carried Eric’s. Sookie paused when they reached the door and Eric stopped alongside her.
“Will it look strange that I don’t have marks on me?” she asked, catching Eric off guard.
“Actually, given Nan’s penchant for mainstreaming, she would probably consider it forward thinking that you aren’t marked as we would have done in the old days,” Eric kissed Sookie’s head and once again tried to push some of his calm and reassurance into her. “Just be yourself and things will be fine.”
Sookie nodded but held onto Eric’s hand as hard as she could. If ever there was a time when she wished she had more vampire blood in her system, this was it. Pam met them near the bar and Sookie ordered herself a drink. She was going to need it if she was going to get through a meeting with Nan without throwing up. Once Sookie had her drink, she walked through the crowded bar sandwiched between Eric and Pam.
“She wanted to close the bar for this,” Pam arched an angry eyebrow.
That couldn’t be a good sign. Eric hadn’t noticed any of the big, armored trucks outside so he wondered what Nan’s problem was. “Is she alone?”
“She came unguarded. I assume she really does just want to discuss something,” Pam looked over her shoulder at Sookie and then opened the door to Eric’s office.
Nan was parked in Eric’s chair behind the desk, dressed in one of her pastel business suits. She was pale as ever and wearing far too much makeup for someone with her bone structure. It was hard to tell if she was wearing lipstick or if her lips were stained from the blood she recently drank. A fresh True Blood sat on the desk but it had clearly gone untouched. Nan was an old vampire. Not as old as Eric, but old nonetheless. He found it hard to believe she really embraced the mainstreaming movement as much as she claimed to but he knew better than to challenge her. Like it or not, she was in a position of power and he didn’t need her recommending he receive the true death to the Authority.
“Northman,” Nan stared right at him.
“Ms. Flannigan,” he nodded and then turned to Sookie. “You remember Sookie Stackhouse, yes?”
“Yes,” Nan shifted her eyes to Sookie. “You’re the human who rescued that one’s maker from the hands of fanatics in Dallas.”
“Something like that,” Sookie wasn’t too comfortable with that description of events.
“You two can go. I need to speak with Miss Stackhouse alone,” Nan fixed her icy stare on Eric after staring Pam down.
“I’m not going anywhere. Sookie and I are bonded now,” Eric informed Nan after Pam left the room.
“Calm your tits. I’m not here to interfere with your bond, Northman,” Nan rolled her eyes.
“Then why are you here?” Sookie asked.
When it became obvious Eric wasn’t going to leave the office, Nan pushed back from the desk and stood up. She was tall and thin, right about Pam’s height. She might have been pretty once upon a time but now it was hard to see past the pale and the fangs. For someone who didn’t want to look threatening to humans, she was doing a piss pour job of it.
“You broke the necromancer’s spell. I watched some kind of light shoot out of your fingers and I want to know how it happened,” Nan folded her arms over her chest, taking up a macho posture at the edge of Eric’s desk.
“I don’t know how I did it,” Sookie said and that was the truth. Nan, of course, wasn’t buying it.
“What are you, human? And don’t tell me you don’t know. I know Compton knows something. He’s hiding it from me. He’s been trying to keep you under wraps for a long while now. He killed Sophie-Anne to keep his secret from getting out,” Nan looked Sookie up and down.
Sookie looked to Eric, unsure of what to say. She figured she’d divulge the telepathy first since that was going to come out sooner or later. “I’m a telepath, Ms. Flannigan.”
“What else?” Nan sniffed the air as discretely as she could but Eric heard her do it. She was checking to make sure the pair was as bonded as they claimed to be. Sookie’s scent was definitely present on Eric but his was a bit harder to detect on her. She smelled too much of sunshine.
The fact that Sookie was part fae was something Eric desperately wanted to keep secret and he knew Sookie was very well aware of how crucial it was to keep it quiet as well. Bonded or not, vampires would do everything in their power to get their hands on her if that information became public. Drinking her blood couldn’t offer the same kind of high a vampire would get from draining a full blooded fae, but there would be just enough to make it difficult to stop drinking. It was difficult for Eric, at times, and he loved her. He could only imagine what a vampire who didn’t care for her would do.
“That’s it,” Sookie said with conviction.
“Bullshit,” Nan said with the same level of conviction. “Humans don’t have abilities like those, even if they are witches.”
Sookie shrugged and said, “Frankly, it’s none of your business, Ms. Flannigan, and I don’t appreciate your tone.”
Nan narrowed her eyes at Sookie and without looking away from her, she said, “Northman, you might want to impress upon your human how little the Authority gives a fuck about the feelings of humans.”
“You’re not here by order of the Authority,” Eric answered and Nan turned her eyes on Eric.
“None of your guards are here. If you were acting on orders of the Authority, you wouldn’t be here unguarded. You’re here out of your own curiosity,” Eric stared Nan down.
“Careful, Northman, there are still orders for your true death in effect,” Nan warned and Sookie’s head whipped around to face Eric.
“What is she talking about?” she demanded.
Eric growled, pissed off at Nan for bringing that up. Telling Sookie about that would do no one any good. Eric liked the idea of having that little nugget of information in his back pocket. It was knowing little things like that that could make all the difference in a crucial moment.
“What is she talking about, Eric?” Sookie asked a second time and he could feel her anger rising in their bond.
“We’ll discuss it later,” Eric sure as shit wasn’t going to discuss it in front of Nan. It was time for that bitch to hit the road. “If there’s nothing further, Ms. Flannigan, I have business to attend to here.”
“I’ll be back,” Nan stood up straight. “The Authority may have use for your telepath.”
“Then they can book an appointment, assuming I want to work with them,” Sookie folded her arms over her chest.
Nan gave a cold smile and said, “You’ve got bigger balls than your bonded. I almost like you.”
“The feeling is almost mutual,” Sookie glared at Nan and then stared at Eric once she was gone. “Start talking, Eric.”
Eric walked around to his desk and pulled the leather chair away from it. He sent a quick text to Pam, telling her to order a new one. Hell, if he could he’d torch the entire bar and start from scratch. He really didn’t care for Nan Flannigan at all. He often wondered whose agenda she was trying to further: the Authority’s or her own. Sometimes it was hard to tell.
“While I was under Marnie’s spell, Bill appealed to the Authority for permission to sentence me to the true death. He thought me a danger to our kind but I suspect it had more to do with wanting to keep me away from you,” Eric explained and he felt Sookie’s fury explode in her veins.
“I’ll stake him myself,” she shook her head. “Why didn’t you tell me this sooner?”
“What difference does it make? He set me free and we’re together. He can’t touch you now,” Eric pointed out.
“Until your death sentence is carried out!” Sookie argued and forced her hands to stay balled at her sides instead of flying through the air to slap Eric like she wanted to. “What happens if you die, Eric? The bond we have doesn’t mean anything if you’re dead.”
“Nan isn’t going to follow through on her threat,” Eric sat on the edge of his desk.
“Oh no? She seemed pretty serious about it before,” Sookie folded her arms over her chest.
“If Nan is angry with anyone right now, it’s Bill. You were his for how many months and he failed to report your status to her? My guess is that she came here because he didn’t tell her the truth. She’s grasping at straws, using whatever leverage she thinks she has to get you to talk. If the Authority, or Nan, for that matter, really wanted me dead, I’d be dead by now,” Eric explained but that did little to assuage Sookie’s anger.
“I want to go home,” she sighed, no longer feeling like being around Eric.
“I can have Pam take you back to my house,” Eric offered.
“No, Eric, my home, not yours. I can’t be around you right now,” Sookie turned away from him.
“It’s not safe for you there, not until Debbie is caught,” he said sternly.
“Well maybe I’m tired of running all the time. If that crazy bitch wants a fight, she’ll get one,” Sookie said over her shoulder, angry pout in place. “If you won’t take me back I’ll call my brother or take a cab.”
“You’re not going back there,” Eric said from behind her, knowing issuing any sort of an order to her in that moment was dangerous.
“Screw you! You didn’t even think enough of me to tell me the truth. At least I’m telling you where I’m going,” Sookie reached for the doorknob but that damn vampire of hers was much faster and blocked her way out.
“Be as angry with me as you want, Sookie, but I’m not letting you go back to Bon Temps unguarded to get yourself killed,” Eric stared her down.
“Don’t you dare try that intimidation shit with me. You can’t keep me here, or in your house against my will. That’s called kidnapping, buddy,” she poked him in his chest.
Her anger, whether or not she wanted to admit it, had more to do with fear. Losing Eric would cause all sorts of trouble for her. Not only would his true death break her heart but it would leave her wide open to be claimed by any other supe. There were so many factors to consider and while he might have come to a point where felt confident enough to be assured of his immortality, Sookie was nowhere near that. Given that the Authority had already approved his death, she had to wonder just how safe he really was.
“You want to go back to Bon Temps? Fine; I’ll take you back,” Eric stepped out of the way after opening the door for Sookie.
She shook her head, frustrated as hell with him. He didn’t get it; that much was obvious. She stormed out of his office and headed for the back exit of the building. Eric might be harder to kill but he wasn’t invincible. Jerk.
The ride back to Bon Temps was spent in silence. Eric tried to get Sookie to talk to him but she kept her arms folded over her chest and her face turned toward the window. When they pulled up to the house nothing seemed to be out of place. The only thing supernatural Eric smelled was Jessica, suggesting she’d been sent over to do a little checking around after sunset. Sookie let herself into the house and since the paperwork hadn’t been changed over yet, giving her ownership, Eric followed right behind her and there was nothing she could do about it.
“Do you plan to spend the rest of the night ignoring me, Sookie?” Eric asked as she marched up the stairs.
She sent him an emotional ‘fuck you,’ and kept on walking. Eric went to the cabinet in the living room to check and make sure there were no loaded guns ready to fire rigged up in there. He made sure to stand to the side when he opened the doors so he couldn’t get blown to smithereens. Although, at that particular moment, getting shot might actually be a good thing. If nothing else it might get Sookie to talk to him again.
Water started overhead and thoughts of their earlier shower had him wanting to run upstairs and join Sookie in whatever she was doing. Instead he walked around the house, checking other areas that might be trapped to make sure she would be safe. The kitchen door was locked and just as it was outside, nothing seemed to be out of place inside. Eric took his time before heading upstairs to check on Sookie.
The bond wasn’t full of so much anger anymore and he decided it was worth the risk to go up and see for himself that she was alright. Eric found her in her bathtub, her hair piled high on her head and her eyes closed. The smell of lavender filled the air which partially explained why she was so relaxed. The lights were out and candles were lit. Under other circumstances he would have stripped off his clothes and gotten into the tub with her.
“Are you speaking to me yet?” Eric knelt down beside the tub. Sookie kept her eyes closed along with her mouth. “Shutting me out changes nothing, Sookie. I compromised your safety enough already; I won’t do it again.”
All of a sudden she sat up, eyes watering and stared right at him. “I’m not worried about me, you idiot; I’m worried about you! I’m going to die one day anyway; it’s what humans do. I’ve accepted that; I’m okay with it. I don’t want you putting yourself in danger for me. Enough people have died already, Eric. I don’t want your death on my conscience.”
“I can handle myself,” Eric insisted and Sookie screamed in frustration.
“But this isn’t just about you anymore, Eric! Gah!” Sookie pushed herself up out of the water and reached for a towel.
She wrapped the towel around herself and padded toward her bedroom, water dripping off of her as she walked. She’d drain the tub later. Eric followed her from the bathroom, each of them prepared to do battle.
“If you’re going to lecture me about being safe then you could at least pretend to do the same. Or do you not remember being shot the other night?” Sookie glared at him.
“And I’m fine,” he argued.
“That’s not really the point! If that bullet had been wooden we wouldn’t be having this conversation because you would be dead. I would still be scrubbing what was left of you off my living room floor.”
“There’s always going to be some sort of threat, Sookie. Whether it’s Debbie Pelt, Bill, Russell Edgington or the Authority, there’s always going to be something out there that wants me dead,” he told her and she shook her head.
Was it like this with Bill, too, or had she just blocked it out? And she was due to give Bill a piece of her mind as well. She definitely had some things to say about him pursuing a death warrant against Eric.
“That’s great, Eric,” she sighed and turned away from him. “Well, you know what? You go deal with your death threats however you want. I’m tired. I’m tired of running from people who try to intimidate me and I’m tired of fighting with you, so why don’t you just go home and leave me alone?”
“I’m not leaving you alone here,” Eric said firmly.
“Well I don’t want you here. I don’t want to be anywhere near you,” Sookie said just as firmly. “If I could, I would rescind your invitation.”
“And I would spend the night hovering outside your bedroom window, watching you to make sure you didn’t get killed,” Eric stared at her.
“You can be a creep from your cubby hole. I’m done talking to you for tonight,” Sookie went back to the bathroom and slammed the door behind her.