Sookie stood there on her lawn, staring up at Eric, feeling stunned by his request. Just where in the hell did he think he was taking her? She trusted him, but she didn’t like the idea of having decisions made for her. Bill did that all the time, and it was frustrating. Sookie didn’t want to be seen as a weak little girl who was unable to take care of herself.
But if she questioned Eric it would negate her claim that she trusted him so it was a bit of a catch-22. Sookie suddenly heard Gran’s voice in her mind, reminding her that if she trusted her heart with the right person she would always be safe. She didn’t want to go too deep into the possibility that Eric might be that person, but there was that possibility. For the time being she needed to get acclimated to having her body back to herself, and move on from her relationship with Bill. It may have all been a lie on his end, but Sookie had meant it when she said she loved him and it was going to take time to heal those wounds.
“Sook, we’s ready for ya!” Lafayette called from the back porch.
“Coming!” Sookie called back.
“Are you going to pack a bag?” Eric asked her.
“I said I trust you. Don’t let me down,” Sookie said, and then turned to walk into the house with Eric following behind her. “So what do I need to do?” she asked when she found the boys in the living room.
“I’ll just need a little bit more of your blood. We’ll drop it at the cardinal points that Eric and I marked, and then Lafayette and I will chant. A barrier will go up around the house and will keep away any being that comes with the intent of doing you harm,” Jesus explained.
“So not just supernaturals?” Sookie asked for clarification’s sake.
“Correct. Anyone that comes with the intent of harming you won’t be able to pass the barrier. It’s an invisible barrier, but they’ll more than likely bounce right off it,” Jesus told her, and Sookie nodded.
Jesus produced a small chalice that looked damn near ancient, and Lafayette handed him the knife from before. A small cut was made on another of Sookie’s fingers, and she squeezed her blood into the chalice. When Jesus was sure he had enough Sookie took her finger back. She debated for a moment between offering it to Eric and wrapping it in a tissue before she held her finger up to Eric.
He nicked his own finger with one of his fangs and said, “Don’t worry; this will just heal the cut.”
Sookie nodded, and watched while Eric moved his finger over hers. The interesting thing was that when their blood mixed, there was something like an electrical reaction. Little sparks seemed to form there while his blood worked to heal her wound. Their eyes met, both of them curious. The witches had been too busy going over their incantation to see what had happened, but when Sookie opened her mouth to ask, Eric quickly shook his head.
He leaned down and whispered, “That might have something to do with the fairy in your blood. The fewer people who know about that the better.”
Sookie nodded her understanding, but was still curious as to what the hell just happened. A few moments later, Lafayette and Jesus were headed outside to cast the spell around the house. Sookie went upstairs to pack the bag that Eric had asked her to pack. She had a million questions, but she would wait to ask them until they were away from her house. Eric might not like that she was inquisitive, but he was just going to have to get used to it. She didn’t like being kept in the dark, or feeling like she was being used as a pawn.
“How long will I be away?” Sookie asked while she considered what to take.
“I would say at least a day or two, but you won’t be far from here,” Eric revealed. “You’ll still be able to go to work; I just don’t want you to be alone here until there are better security measures in place.”
“What kind of security measures?” Sookie asked as she plucked articles of clothing from the closet and her dresser.
“I’m thinking a werewolf might come in handy, and I just happen to know one locally that owes me a favor,” Eric said, and made himself comfortable on her bed again.
Sookie stopped to stare at him. Werewolves were real? She might have been a little more shocked if it wasn’t for the fact that she was part fairy, Eric was a vampire and there were two witches outside her house casting a spell. Instead, Sookie shook herself and wondered if maybe this was like that episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer when Buffy kept having flashes of being in a mental institution.
Maybe I really have lost my mind and this is some crazy alternate universe, Sookie thought to herself.
“What has Bill told you about the supernatural world?” Eric asked.
Sookie paused long enough to say, “Not much.”
Eric shook his head and said, “Well, you’re about to get a crash course in supernaturals, but it will wait until we get to Shreveport.”
Sookie nodded, and then went to the bathroom to get what she needed from there. She came back to her bedroom to find that Eric hadn’t moved, and seemed to have gone into a trance of some kind. Only when she reached for a picture on her night stand, he came to life again. His eyes followed her while she lifted the frame and smiled at the photograph it contained.
“I really miss my Gran, but I miss Tina an awful lot too,” Sookie said sadly as she stared down at the picture of her, Gran and Tina that had been taken by Tara one lazy summer evening a couple of years before.
“Who is Tina?” Eric asked.
“My cat,” Sookie smiled. “Well, technically she was Gran’s cat, but since we got her when I was about ten she felt like she was mine too. She was killed.”
“Someone murdered your cat?” Eric asked incredulously.
Sookie nodded sadly and said, “Killed her and put her body on the ceiling fan in the entryway so when I hit the switch…”
Sookie felt her stomach turn at the memory of what had happened when she’d turned the fan on. She had always presumed that Tina was a warning, and that René was responsible for it, but now she wasn’t so sure. If Gran’s suspicions about Bill were true, and he had killed her, then killing a cat would mean absolutely nothing to him. Sookie contemplated telling Eric about the things Gran had said, but it wasn’t the right moment. She decided she would tell him when they got wherever it was Eric planned on stashing her.
A few minutes later she had enough clothes and personal things to keep her going for a couple of days. Then she remembered the letters she had been meaning to read, and she grabbed those as well. She doubted she would find anything in the letters she didn’t already know, but her curiosity demanded she read them anyway. Right about that time the witches came back inside. Sookie made a mental note to grab her cell phone charger from the kitchen. Eric followed her downstairs again and the four of them met in the living room.
“There is one more thing you all need to know,” Sookie said, looking from one man to the other before her eyes settled on Lafayette. “There’s a new waitress at Merlotte’s, and you two both know her. Her name is Holly Cleary, and she’s the one who set up my appointment with Marnie. I know you said you wanted to lay low, Laff, but if all you were steering clear of is Eric I think it’s safe for you to come out of hiding now.”
“Can’t we just glamour her?” Lafayette suggested.
“To leave the coven? To forget that you’re in the coven too? I don’t think that’s going to work, Lafayette. What else are you hiding from?” Sookie asked.
Lafayette shifted his eyes to Eric, but then looked down at the floor again.
“Are you finished dealing vampire blood?” Eric asked Lafayette, and he nodded. “Good, then as far as I’m concerned your actions here tonight have given you a clean slate. You don’t have to worry about me sending any vampires after you as long as you continue to not deal vampire blood.”
Lafayette looked relieved, and maybe just a little pale.
“But Lafayette,” Eric started, and waited for him to look into his eyes. “The next time you’re discovered dealing vampire blood, I’ll come for you myself. Am I understood?”
“Understood,” Lafayette agreed.
“Excellent. Gentlemen, we will meet you at Sookie’s brother’s home tomorrow evening. I trust that you know where that is?” Eric was still looking at Lafayette.
“Yeah, I know where it is,” he agreed.
No one asked why Sookie had packed a bag, or where she was going. After thanking Lafayette and Jesus for all of their help, Sookie sent them on their way. She went to the kitchen to get her phone charger, and left a note for Jason on the fridge in case he came by in the morning looking for her. She doubted he would, but she didn’t want him to worry about her. Sookie wasn’t specific about where she was, and realized she was going to need to develop a code so Jason would know when she’d left the house in search of safety.
“If you’re ready, we should get going. We have a stop to make on the way,” Eric told her.
“Yeah, I’m ready,” Sookie sighed, and looked around her kitchen before grabbing the keys off the counter.
She locked up the house and as Sookie walked down to the fancy BMW parked in her driveway, she tossed the keys to Eric. Eric took Sookie’s bag and put it in the trunk while she got in the passenger’s seat. Eric got behind the wheel a moment later, and started the car. Sookie put her seat belt on, but Eric didn’t bother with that. Then he wouldn’t since he was a vampire with amazing reflexes and the ability to fly. If there was the potential for an accident, it was more than likely he would have both of them out of the car before there was an impact.
“How many houses do you own?” Sookie asked.
“Many,” Eric said as he drove away from her house. “In my Area, I own five. I’m looking into a sixth.”
“A sixth? Why so many houses? You can only rest in one at a time,” Sookie pointed out.
He smiled and said, “Because where I spend my days is not somewhere I do any… entertaining.”
From the things she had seen in the minds of fangbangers she knew exactly what he was talking about, and didn’t really want to think about any of it. “Oh,” was all she said.
“I’m actually going to take you to an apartment building downtown,” he informed her. “That way you will have neighbors close by, and the building security won’t allow anyone up to the apartment. It’s guarded by vampires at night and Weres during the day.”
“Weres?” Sookie asked.
“Werewolves,” Eric clarified.
“Oh… so are there a lot of supernatural tenants there?” she asked.
“There are a few,” Eric conceded. “I own the building.”
Sookie’s jaw dropped, but she didn’t really have anything to say to that.
“I didn’t want to discuss where I was taking you in your house in case it’s been bugged,” Eric revealed.
“Bugged? You mean like someone could be listening in on things?” Sookie asked. That was something she hadn’t considered, but she realized it was possible. There were plenty of chances for Bill to go into her home when she was at work at night and put the little devices all over her home.
There was a part of Sookie that didn’t want to believe that Bill would do something like that, but on the scale of offenses he had committed against her, bugging her home fit right in. Her anger level rose and a fresh dose of betrayal washed over her. Sookie refused to cry. She told herself that Bill Compton wasn’t worth a single one of her tears, but she knew there would be another breakdown in the future because of him. It was okay to feel betrayed and take her time moving on.
Bill was her first love, and that wasn’t something that would just disappear because the relationship ended. It hurt much more than she wanted to admit. Sookie remembered being in high school, thinking all the girls around her were exaggerating or being overly dramatic when they talked about having their hearts broken, but now she understood. It wasn’t just emotionally painful, but physically painful. She could feel an ache in her chest, as well as her stomach.
The really fucked up part, at least as far as she could tell, was that all of her memories were tainted. All the things that she had once cherished about their relationship felt like lies to her now that the truth had been exposed. There had been ups and downs with Bill just as there would be in any relationship, only Sookie was left to wonder what the hell she had fought so hard for. She could kick herself for the rest of her life for not listening to her instincts when they told her to run.
The easy thing to do was blame Bill’s blood for her choices, and assume that he had tried to control her that way. It was certainly plausible, but she didn’t know if that was the case. Even if it was true, and Bill had influenced her she still had to take some sort of responsibility for the things that had happened to her. She wasn’t without some sort of blame. She’d had plenty of chances to walk away from him and she didn’t; she always let herself get sucked back in.
Sookie resolved not to make that same mistake twice. She looked over at Eric, feeling unsure of what she felt where he was concerned. She still trusted him that much she knew. He was still good looking, and she definitely felt an attraction to him. In the last few days Eric had become someone she could rely on. He was helping her without asking for much of anything in return. Eric hadn’t tried to put a claim on her when she broke up with Bill. Instead, he had tried to comfort her.
There was that little niggling voice of doubt in her mind that pointed out maybe he was manipulating her by lulling her into a false sense of security, but Sookie rejected that notion. Eric was the kind of vampire who was just going to take something if he really wanted it, but he hadn’t done that. And she hadn’t asked for his protection beyond her breakup with Bill; he was doing all of this on his own.
Then there was the argument on her porch before the severing spell. She still wasn’t sure what that was about. Eric had obviously been trying to get her to see something that she just wasn’t seeing. Sookie was going to ask, but by then they were pulling off the highway. Eric drove at break neck speeds, and that meant what should have been closer to a forty minute trip only took about twenty.
“Where are we stopping?” Sookie asked after they got off the highway.
“The grocery store. Humans do need to eat, the last I checked,” Eric smirked in her direction. “And there’s one other place, but it’s a surprise.”
There was a mischievous smile on his face, but rather than needle him about it Sookie decided she would stand by her earlier admission and just trust him.