“Bill, please come in,” Sookie smartly whispered before Bill reached her door so he wouldn’t know his invitation had previously been revoked.
The second he came to a halt in the kitchen, he snarled and charged at Eric. There was a small scuffled there on the floor, but it didn’t take long for Bill to be overpowered by Eric. He quickly had the toddler vampire by the throat, his fangs glistening menacingly in the darkness. It dawned on Sookie then that she hadn’t bothered to turn on a light when she entered the room. She quickly reached over and flipped one on.
“What have you done to Sookie?” Bill demanded angrily, even as Eric had a tight grip on his throat.
“Bill, I’m alright,” Sookie insisted. “I tripped and the vase with the flowers in it broke. I cut my finger picking up the glass and Eric healed it.”
“Sookie is mine and you have tasted her!” Bill began to struggle.
“With my permission,” Sookie stepped up. “Now you calm down or I’ll rescind your invitation.”
“You were angry; I felt it,” Bill said without removing his eyes from Eric. “What are you doing here, Northman?”
Eric smirked and said, “I was invited. Sookie and I had things to discuss in regards to a job I have for her at Fangtasia. There have been reports of a necromancer in the area.”
Sookie was surprised by Eric’s decision to reveal that, but it would certainly lend credence to his story of needing her help.
“She is mine,” Bill reiterated, and Sookie’s temper rose again.
“I can make decisions for myself, Bill. Eric has asked for my help, and I have agreed to do as he’s asked,” Sookie said firmly and evenly, doing her best to control her temper.
“Are you going to control yourself, or should we take this outside?” Eric asked with a hint of amusement.
Taking it outside would only save Sookie’s home from further destruction. As it was, a chair was already going to need to be replaced. Eric could feel small cuts all over his body healing already, thanks to the broken glass that had been on the floor. It would be easy to assume that Bill was gullible since he seemed to be buying the story he was being fed so far, but it was a plausible one. Perhaps the toddler vampire wasn’t nearly as smart as he liked to think he was.
“And your anger?” Bill glazed over Eric’s question.
“Eric explained to me what a necromancer is, and that she has a plan to kill of vampires. It made me angry,” Sookie said simply. “Now will you please calm down? I’m perfectly fine. Eric hasn’t hurt me,” she said and tilted her head so Bill could see for himself that there were no healing bite marks on her neck.
“I’ll be calm,” Bill said, and Eric finally released his neck.
Bill landed on the floor with a thump, and then went to stand at Sookie’s side in a possessive way with his arm wrapping around her. Sookie forced herself to stand still. There were things she and Bill needed to discuss, but she wanted a little time to get her thoughts in order. She had questions she wanted answered, but she wanted to ask them all at once. She also wanted the chance to ask Eric about a few things first so she would have a chance to compare answers.
“Tell me about the necromancers,” Bill said, and Eric proceeded to tell him about the coven that had moved into Shreveport with the limited information they had obtained from Lafayette. “And you feel that sending Sookie in to clean up our problem is a wise decision?”
“All I’m doing is reading the woman’s mind to see if I can find out what she’s plannin’, Bill. It’s not like I’m goin’ in there as an armed assassin,” Sookie stepped away from him, clearly annoyed with his lack of confidence in her. “Goin’ into the Fellowship was much more dangerous than this will be.”
“Yes, and we saw how little regard there was for your safety then, too,” Bill pointed out, and Eric hissed.
“I should have known that Hugo was the traitor, and I didn’t. Eric had no way of knowin’ what was gonna happen to me in that church. It should have been a simple mission and because I hadn’t put things together about Hugo I got caught. That isn’t Eric’s fault,” Sookie defended the senior vampire, and then continued, “And if I recall I tried to get a message to you and you never showed up! Eric is the one who came for me.”
Bill hissed at that while Eric didn’t bother to restrain his smile. Eric perfectly recalled the confrontation he’d had with Sookie the night Godric was found at the Fellowship church. She had very clearly accused Eric of allowing her to walk into a trap because it was his Maker they were trying to save. While Eric hadn’t known it was a trap, he had known it was a possibility one had been set. Yet, there was no other way he could see at the time to get Godric back. At the time Sookie had felt betrayed by him, but with a little distance she was seeing things differently. Or maybe that was just Bill’s hold on her loosening its grip.
“You know why I couldn’t rescue you from that basement, but if you had just listened to me in the first place you wouldn’t have needed rescuing. Don’t you see that Eric will always use you for whatever purpose suits him at the moment? You cannot trust him, Sookie,” Bill insisted.
“I’m goin’ tomorrow, Bill, and there’s nothin’ you can say to change my mind,” Sookie said firmly, and turned to Eric. “I gave you my word and I intend to keep it.”
“Fine,” Bill said as if anyone had asked for his opinion or permission. “We will go at sunset and I will accompany you.”
Sookie’s eyes moved over to Bill’s and she said, “She’s a necromancer, Bill! Do you really think walking into her place of business is the brightest idea? I’ll go during the day, as planned, and report back my findings.”
“The decision has been made, Bill,” Eric said before the toddler vampire could argue further.
Bill didn’t look happy, but Eric didn’t really care too much about that. He did, however, get the hint that it was time for him to make himself scarce. At least for the time being.
“Sookie, we will talk tomorrow,” Eric said, and when she nodded, he used vampire speed to leave the house.
He got in the car and drove down her driveway. He turned onto Hummingbird Road and parked the car on the shoulder a mile away from the house. Eric took to the sky after that, and hovered in the trees on Sookie’s property so that he was close by, but out of sight. He could hear the argument taking place inside Sookie’s house, and it wasn’t very pretty. He presumed it was more of the same rhetoric Bill had been spewing at Sookie since the night he first brought her to Fangtasia.
Eric could feel Sookie’s patience growing thinner and thinner, and couldn’t help gloating a little when Bill tried to talk Sookie into allowing him to spend the rest of the night with her, only to be rejected. Bill left Sookie’s house under duress, but returned to his own property. Eric waited a few minutes before flying the rest of the way to Sookie’s home, and landing on the gravel in front of her house. Before he could climb the front steps Sookie appeared at the door.
“I rescinded his invitation,” she said quietly.
Eric nodded and said, “It’s for the best.”
There was a quiet moment that passed between them. He could feel Sookie’s exhaustion, and it was understandable considering everything she had been through in just the last few hours alone.
“Are you sure you want to go through with the mission tomorrow?” Eric asked her.
“I can do it,” she said with determination.
“I have no doubt about that,” Eric smiled at her. “You’re much stronger than Compton gives you credit for, Sookie. Don’t underestimate yourself.”
He felt gratitude in her blood, and her smile was warm. “Thank you, Eric.”
He reached into his pocket, climbed the steps of the porch and handed her a small piece of paper. “This card has Bobby Burnham’s phone number on it, as well as my cell phone. If you need anything, contact Bobby during the day and me after sunset. I’ll be here tomorrow night as planned.”
Sookie nodded and slipped the card into her pocket. “I’ve never broken up with someone before. I’m not sure I know how to do it.”
“I’m afraid I won’t be of much help to you there,” Eric said kindly, and reached out to tuck some of her hair behind her ear. It surprised him when she nuzzled against his hand just a little. “All of my previous… entanglements never came with strings.”
“You’ve never been in love?” Sookie’s eyes went wide.
Eric looked at her intensely and with a heavy voice said, “I didn’t say that.”
He heard Sookie’s breath catch, and when he leaned down to kiss her forehead Sookie tilted her head back just enough for him to get her lips instead. Her eyes closed, but she didn’t pull away. Instead her mouth moved against his, and Eric didn’t hesitate to kiss her back. They were going to need to talk about this development in their relationship, but it could wait until she cleared up her unfinished business with Compton.
Eric pulled away before either of them could go too far, as painful as it was to do such a thing. While Sookie took deep breaths to try and regain her composure, Eric finally got to kiss her forehead as he had originally planned.
“Until tomorrow, Miss Stackhouse,” he said politely, and then vanished into the night.