Chapter 29: Safe, Sound

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Sookie would never believe it if she wasn’t seeing it for herself. Was this the reaction he would always have to her blood when taken in excess quantities? Moli was on her feet and stalking toward Eric.

“I’m not drunk,” Eric giggled.

Giggled.

What the fuck was happening?

Sookie had never seen anything like this before, but that wasn’t saying much considering her limited experience with vampires. Bill was the only other vampire to have had her blood, and he certainly never reacted that way. If anything, Bill always seemed more intense after biting her. He would become more predatory, but always stopped short of taking too much. There had been one exception, and that was the night he’d crawled out of the earth after that house fire that killed his ‘friends.’

Sookie had gone to the cemetery to pay her respects and say goodbye, thinking that Bill had met the True Death along with the others that had died in the fire. She was on her way back when his hand had shot up from the ground and grabbed her ankle. Being that she was still pretty inexperienced with sex at that point, the coupling that ensued had been painful and her first taste of how dangerous a vampire could be when they were hungry or injured. Thoughts of it caused her to take a step back from Eric, but that just meant she was tripping over the coffee table.

He reached out to steady her, but it happened so fast it was startling and Sookie yelped in surprise. Moli lunged at Eric, her little sharp teeth exposed and ready to attack whoever was hurting her new mistress.

“Moli, no, I’m okay,” Sookie said, and then reached for her pet when she was steady on her feet again.

“I wouldn’t hurt you,” Eric said as if he’d been chastised. “I like you, Sookie. I thought you were going to fall.”

“Eric, it’s okay; I’m okay. Moli is just doing her job by protecting me,” Sookie assured him. “Are you ready to go outside now?”

“The sun!” Eric said with excitement and then took off at vampire speed with Sookie and Moli chasing behind him.

“Eric, wait! Slow down!” Sookie called, but it was no use.

Eric was already up on the roof by the time she got there. Not only was Eric basking in the early morning rays, but he had also stripped off his clothing and was floating.

“Eric!” Sookie shouted at him, but he merely adjusted his position so he was floating horizontally instead of vertically.

“I forgot how much I miss the sun!” he said and turned toward Sookie.

She gasped at seeing the fully monty for a second time, and quickly put her hand up to block her sight of that particular part. Sookie stepped closer to him with the intention of talking him back inside, but already his skin was starting to turn pink.

“Eric, you’re starting to burn. You need to come inside now,” Sookie said as she got closer.

“You look like you’re glowing,” Eric reached for her, and tucked her hair behind her ears. “You’re beautiful, Sookie. You should be in the sun always.”

She smiled softly at his compliments and said, “That’s very sweet of you, Eric, but if you don’t go inside you’re going to be hurting soon and I can’t give you anymore of my blood to heal you.”

“Your blood is magic,” he smiled at her.

Sookie wasn’t sure how to feel about that. The romantic, swoony side of her wanted to take that as a compliment. What she was starting to think might be the fairy in her took that as a threat. She was going to have to learn how to get those two sides of herself to balance and coexist peacefully. She knew Eric meant it as a compliment, that he was trying to be sweet to her. The reality of their little discovery would come later.

Smoke began to rise from Eric’s skin and the pink turned to an angry red. His smile faded and he returned to his feet, clearly troubled by the pain he was experiencing.

“Eric, go inside. I’ll be right behind you,” Sookie promised him, and after pausing just long enough to kiss her squarely on the lips, Eric took off at vampire speed for the safety of the building. “Moli, komma!” she called, giving her command in Old Norse, and the dog quit sniffing around to follow her back inside.

Sookie stopped at the door and looked at the sun. She couldn’t imagine what it would be like not to see it for a 1,000 years and then have the ability to do so again. It hit her then how dangerous her situation was. Eric was right about her blood, and if it became common knowledge amongst other vampires she was definitely going to be up shit’s creek. She trusted that he would have a plan for how to deal with this. Not only did he have the ability to be in the sun, but taking her blood also seemed to dull his sense of self-preservation.

When he started to burn Eric hadn’t quickly retreated to a safe, light-tight space. Instead he had languished there in the sun, only going inside when Sookie urged him to do so. She wondered if that was unique to Eric, or if all vampires would have the same reaction. They would have to do tests on other vampires to find out for sure, but that would mean taking a lot of her blood. The only vampire she figured Eric would trust with Sookie’s little secret was Pam, but Sookie wasn’t sure she trusted Pam. If she trusted Eric did that mean her trust should extend to his child?

She would have to think about that later, however, since there was a confused vampire waiting for her in the penthouse. Sookie went back indoors and made sure to seal the roof access door before going back to the apartment. She found Eric in the kitchen guzzling a bottle of TruBlood. There was already an empty bottle sitting on the counter.

“How are you feeling?” Sookie asked when he finished the second bottle.

“I will be fine,” Eric’s tone had returned to normal, which she was grateful for.

“What was that, Eric? You were… not yourself,” Sookie said, and approached him carefully.

“That was an unexpected side effect. It was as if I drank pure fairy blood,” he said, shaking off the last of the effects.

“So you were drunk,” Sookie teased. “I have to tell you, I didn’t like seeing you that way.”

“Nor did I enjoy feeling it,” Eric revealed.

“Control freak,” Sookie smiled at him.

“This isn’t a joke, Sookie,” Eric said seriously, and her smile faded with his chastisement. “I shouldn’t have been feeling effects like those. The fairy in your blood isn’t that strong, but it affected me as if I had tasted a pure blood.”

Sookie didn’t know what to say since she knew even less about fairy magic than Eric did. He appeared to be lost in thought, possibly sifting through his options. Moli nuzzled her legs, and Sookie knelt down to scratch Moli’s head.

“Eric, I understand that this is serious,” Sookie said when she straightened up again.

“Do you really?” Eric looked at her skeptically. “Pam searched your house last night. She found listening devices and hidden cameras all over your house. I don’t think it’s much of a mystery who has been watching and listening.”

Sookie felt her stomach drop into her feet. Tears stung her eyes and she turned away from Eric. She felt like she couldn’t breathe, like everything was caving in on her. As if Bill hadn’t already violated her in enough ways he had completely invaded what little privacy she had left by bugging her home so he could always be watching her. Sookie didn’t know what to say but she knew she needed to be alone for a while. Without a second thought she went to the bedroom and slammed the door behind her.

In her mind she had a full-blown Scarlett O’Hara meltdown, throwing herself on the bed while kicking and screaming to have a tantrum that would embarrass a naughty two-year-old, but in reality she just sat at the edge of the bed. Her feet rested on the platform below the mattress and she hugged her knees while her tears left her eyes at a new record speed. Sookie rocked back and forth while she sobbed; her emotions all over the map. She was furious with Bill for his betrayal since they seemed to keep on coming one after another. She missed Gran and really could have used some of her wisdom. She was afraid for her future, and what this new discovery about her blood could mean. Sookie knew she was in danger, but Eric was right to point out that she really had no idea how bad it could get.

Eric let her be, but then she remembered that it was daytime and he needed to rest. There was the possibility that he had simply left her there to deal with her own emotions, but for some reason she didn’t feel like that was the case. Her gut told her that he hadn’t left her, that he was still waiting for her to come back. Sookie went to the bathroom, splashed some cold water on her face and decided she was going to put her big girl panties on and deal with the situation she was in.

Sookie emerged from the bedroom to find Eric standing in the same place she’d left him. She exhaled slowly as Moli came skittering to her feet.

“I’m trying to keep up, Eric, but it isn’t easy. I’ve had a lot coming at me and-”

“And you’re handling it all very well,” Eric cut her off. “I am not impressed by many humans, Sookie, but I find that I am very impressed with you. No, I’m proud of you.”

His approval of her meant more than she realized, and it felt good to hear that he was impressed with her and even better to learn he was proud of her. When she took a closer look at him, Sookie realized there was blood coming from his nose and ears.

“Eric,” she gasped. “You’re bleeding.”

“I’m resisting the sun; it’s normal,” he said nonchalantly.

“You should go rest. I’ll be here when you rise later,” Sookie said, feeling guilty for keeping him awake for so long just so she could have a breakdown.

“Not yet. There is something else I need to discuss with you before I go to rest, and I am going to remind you again to trust me,” he told her.

“Okay,” she said nervously.

“At some point today a werewolf by the name of Alcide Herveaux will be coming here. From now on he will be tagging along with you wherever you go. He will be my eyes, ears and shield when I am not with you until we figure out what to do about the situation with the queen. I need for you to trust his judgment and listen to him when he tells you that a situation is dangerous. His job is to keep you safe and nothing more,” Eric told her.

“You got me a bodyguard?” Sookie asked incredulously. “Eric, I don’t like the idea of anyone puttin’ their life on the line for me.”

“This isn’t up for discussion, Sookie. He will be watching you with or without your consent. I am merely informing you of his presence so you aren’t alarmed by it. I won’t negotiate this with you,” Eric said firmly.

She inhaled sharply, prepared to argue her case but the pitiful sight of the bleeding vampire in front of her reminded her that Eric was making his own sacrifices for her safety. She nodded, accepting his decision and said, “Fine.”

“I left a list of commands for you to train Moli with on the table in the alcove. When I rise tonight we’ll need to make a quick stop by Fangtasia and then we’ll go to your house to deal with the surveillance equipment. If you could contact your brother and inform him of what’s happening, that will make everything go much smoother,” Eric reminded her.

Sookie nodded and said, “I’ll call him around lunchtime. What does Alcide look like so I know it’s him on the monitor?”

“He’s about my height but a bit stockier in his build. He’s got dark, wavy hair and green eyes,” Eric described. “Do not, under any circumstances, allow anyone into this apartment besides him. Because I no longer feel your blood I won’t know you’re in danger. As of this moment the only people aware of your location are myself, Pam and Herveaux. Tell no one where you are, not even your brother. In fact,” Eric paused and disappeared from the kitchen, only to come back a moment later with a cell phone in his hand. “Use this when you call your brother; it’s untraceable. I can’t be sure your phone hasn’t been bugged or tapped.”

Sookie gasped since she hadn’t considered that possibility, but she wouldn’t be surprised to find out Eric was right.

“Thank you, Eric,” Sookie said sincerely. “Are you resting here?”

“It would be better if I didn’t, but I fear I don’t have much choice. When Herveaux comes make sure the bedroom door is closed. The apartment is light-tight so you can feel free to move around as much as you like. No matter what you do you won’t disturb me,” Eric told her, and Sookie nodded. “I’ll see you at sundown, Sookie.”

“Don’t let the bed bugs bite,” Sookie said, and offered him a small smile, which Eric returned.

Then he was gone.

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