Sookie took Moli up to the roof one more time so she could do her business before going on the hunt for a spare blanket so she could get a couple hours of sleep before calling Jason. She planned to read the letters that she’d brought from home, but she was just too exhausted to do it right then. Just taking Moli up to the roof nearly depleted what energy she had left. Sookie was able to locate a blanket, and then made herself comfortable on the couch.
Moli curled up beside her, and after remembering to set an alarm on the cell phone so she would call Jason, Sookie fell into a deep sleep. There were no dreams, just pure darkness. It had been a long time since Sookie had gotten rest without being interrupted by one thing or another—that is until the sound of Moli barking and the phone chirping pulled her from sleep. It didn’t seem possible that five hours had passed already, but it had.
Sookie reached for the phone and turned the alarm off. Moli settled a moment later and when Sookie got up to go to the bathroom, she realized that Moli had a little accident while she was asleep. She sighed, but continued on to the bathroom before she had an accident of her own. Eric was flat on his back, his face pointed toward the ceiling. There were still small amounts of blood near his ears and nose, and Sookie decided that since he wouldn’t be disturbed the least she could do was clean him up while he slept.
After a quick pit stop in the little alcove where the toilet was, Sookie found a washcloth under the bathroom sink. She wet it with warm water, rang it out and then went to clean the blood off of the sleeping vampire. His skin was a bit stained, but she suspected that would go away before he rose in the evening. With the days shortening she was sure he’d be awake before seven. When she was satisfied with Eric’s appearance she leaned down and kissed his forehead softly.
Already she knew she would never be able to repay him for what he was doing for her, and she wondered what his motives were. If there was one thing she knew for absolute certain about vampires, it was that they never did anything free of charge. So the question in her mind begged to know what Eric would be expecting in return for his assistance. Was it really just because he wanted to fuck her, as he so crassly put it?
Putting his undead life on the line seemed like a pretty big gamble for just a roll in the hay, so there had to be something else, some bigger pay off Eric was hoping to achieve by keeping her alive. Sookie just didn’t know what that thing was. She returned to the bathroom to rinse out the washcloth, and then searched for a hamper to put the cloth in. She didn’t find one so she simply left the washcloth hanging over the faucet to dry. She would ask Eric later what to do with dirty laundry.
After that Sookie went back to the kitchen and sliced a bagel before putting it into the toaster. She found some cleaning products under the kitchen sink and went to clean up the little mess that Moli had made. The bagel popped up and she grabbed a small container of cream cheese from the fridge to properly dress her bagel. Then with Moli following her around the penthouse, Sookie took her plate and the cell phone up to the roof with Moli following behind.
While the dog ran in the sunshine Sookie ate her bagel and called Jason. Much to her amazement, he actually answered the phone.
“Stackhouse,” he said with an obviously full mouth.
“Jason, it’s me,” Sookie said.
“Sook? Where you callin’ from?” he asked her.
“I had to borrow a friend’s phone. Listen, it’s a really long story and I don’t have time right now to tell you the whole thing, but I need you to pay very close attention to what I do tell you,” Sookie insisted.
“Alright,” Jason said hesitantly.
“You have to keep this to yourself, Jason. This is extremely important,” she said.
“Alright, alright, I heard ya,” he huffed.
Sookie closed her eyes, said a quick prayer and then explained the short version of what had been going on over the last three days. She didn’t get too deep into things, but she made it clear that her relationship with Bill was over and that Jason needed to avoid him at all costs. She didn’t tell him about the fairy blood, but that was a detail she could supply for him later.
“The reason I’m tellin’ you all of this is because there are people who want to take me against my will,” Sookie told him.
“Who?” Jason demanded. “I’ll stake that sumbitch myself, Sook, I swear it.”
“It’s not just Bill,” Sookie sighed. “The people he works for… they’re the ones who sent him to get me. It’s really complicated, and I promise I will explain everything to you. Right now I need to know that you’re going to be safe, that they can’t use you as a pawn to get to me.”
For once, Jason’s Fellowship of the Sun training might actually come in handy. She still couldn’t believe her brother had gotten caught up in all of that, but there might end up being a silver lining to his stupidity. From what she had seen at the church Jason was a pretty good shot. If nothing else, he’d managed to nail that hypocrite Steve Newlin right between the eyes with a paint ball at a pretty good distance.
“What do you need me to do, Sook?” Jason asked, and she was surprised to find him being so amicable.
“I need you to meet me at your house tonight. I’ll be bringing Eric with me… and someone else…” she trailed off.
“Who?” Jason asked nervously. “And what are you doin’ with Eric? Ain’t he been tryin’ to get his fangs in you since the night you met him?”
“Things have changed, Jason. Eric is helping me, okay? He’s trying to keep me safe. That’s why we need to meet you at your house later.”
“Okay, so who’s the other person?” Jason asked.
“I need you to keep this to yourself. Can you do that for me?” Sookie asked.
“Sook, I already told you-” he said with exasperation.
“Lafayette,” she revealed.
“What? Sook, he’s been-”
“Jason!” she cut him off.
“Right, sorry. I just…” he dropped his voice to a whisper. “We all thought maybe he was… you know…”
Yes, she knew what everyone thought and it made her sick to her stomach. Most people assumed that Lafayette was viciously attacked and murdered, and a lot of them thought he had it coming because he was gay and not ashamed of it.
“Yeah, I know, but he isn’t. He’ll be at your house tonight with Eric and me. We should be there no later than ten,” Sookie told him since she wasn’t sure how long they would be at the farmhouse disposing of the surveillance equipment.
“I’ll be there,” Jason promised. “Sook, where are you now?”
“I can’t tell you, but I promise you that I’m safe. Eric’s taking good care of me. He even bought me a puppy last night.”
Jason snorted and said, “Now don’t seem like the right time for that, Sook.”
“She’ll be my guard dog when she gets bigger. You’ll meet her later, too; her name’s Moli,” Sookie said and the dog barked in the distance.
“She ain’t one of them yippy little things you can carry in your purse is she?”
“No,” Sookie laughed. “Moli is a German Shepherd, you know like the police use.”
“Shit,” Jason said, as if that information alone made him realize just how deep his sister was into whatever trouble she was in.
“Yeah,” Sookie agreed.
“Look, Sook, I gotta go but I’ll be home all night so come on by whenever,” Jason told her.
“Okay, oh, and Jason? Call this number if you need to get a hold of me. I won’t be usin’ my cell for the time being.”
“Got it. See ya tonight,” Jason said, and then hung up.
Sookie set the phone aside and debated over whether or not it would be best to take some time off work. She hated to constantly be doing that to Sam. Just when she was thinking she might be able to get back to normal, something else popped up to make that damn near impossible. Sookie decided to wait until Eric was awake to see what he thought. Maybe taking time off of work would tip her hand too much. It might be better for everyone else to think she was just as blissfully unaware of what was going on as she had been a few days before. If she could be lulled into a false sense of security, why couldn’t she turn the tables and do the same to them to the people interested in thoroughly fucking with her life?
After she finished eating Sookie headed back inside. She needed to shower and since she had no idea when Alcide would be arriving she figured she better hurry up about it. Moli followed her to the bathroom, and hopped up onto the bed to lie down beside Eric. Not that she was expecting him to, but he hadn’t moved at all. Sookie bit her lip, but reached into the glass shower stall to start the water.
Her mind reeled back to when she’d come out of the bathroom two nights before to find him stretched out on her bed like he belonged there. There was no way of knowing what, exactly, he’d seen while she was drying herself off but she figured it was safe to assume he’d seen just about everything there was to see. Sookie flushed a bit, but stripped off her clothes anyway. She stepped into the shower and washed herself off quickly. Every now and then her eyes would cheat over to where Eric was, but he hadn’t moved.
Still, she found it hard to relax the way she would have liked to. Sookie stepped out of the shower and reached for one of the enormous black towels hanging from a hook on the wall. She dried off and then wrapped the towel around her to retrieve her bag from the bedroom where it was sitting on the counter at the vanity. She rifled through it until she found a pair of old blue jeans and a gray and white striped extra long fitted t-shirt. Sookie dressed quickly and then grabbed her hairbrush to detangle her hair.
By the time she left the bathroom it was close to 2:30. She could only hope that Alcide hadn’t come and gone, thinking Sookie wasn’t there to meet him like she was supposed to be. She put new water and food into Moli’s bowls and then got down on the floor to play with the dog for a bit. Moli had a good temperament; she was playful, affectionate and already quiet loyal to her mistress. Sookie had always thought she was a cat person, but she was starting to think she might have been wrong.
Sookie was in the process of teaching Moli how ‘sitja,’ or sit, when chimes sounded. She looked over her shoulder to see a handsome face capped with dark, wavy hair on the monitor. Alcide. Sookie got up quickly and Moli followed her to where the monitor was. She inspected it for a moment before locating the intercom button and pressing it so she could talk to the man waiting for her to buzz him up.
“Hello?” she said since it didn’t seem wise to tip her hand.
“Sookie Stackhouse?” his voice was gruff and his eyes a little suspicious.
“Perhaps,” she said, and the man on the monitor snorted. “You are?”
“Alcide Herveaux. Eric Northman said you would be expecting me,” he said, and looked right into the camera as he spoke.
He was definitely a good looking man. He was tan, buff and had a very masculine face.
“I am. Come on up, Mr. Herveaux,” Sookie said and pushed the button that would open the elevator doors.
She watched him board the elevator, and then waited the few seconds it took for the car to rise to the penthouse level. When the doors open she found herself face to face with well over six feet of denim, flannel and muscle. If it wouldn’t have been quite so obvious she might have fanned herself. As it was, Moli charged at Alcide with her little sharp teeth ready to attack yet again. She growled and latched herself to the leg of his jeans.
“Moli, no!” Sookie bent down to pull her dog away from Alcide. “I am so sorry,” she apologized when she managed to get Moli away from him. “She’s still a young thing and not really used to being around people, I guess. She didn’t bite you, did she?”
Alcide chuckled and said, “It’ll take a lot worse than the little chompers on that one to leave a dent. Besides, she was probably just reacting to my… other side.”
Sookie instantly felt silly and said, “Right, of course. I completely… I feel silly.”
“Don’t. I was told you’ve never been around a werewolf before, so it’s to be expected,” Alcide said kindly.
“You are my first,” Sookie confirmed, and decided it was best to hold Moli until she got comfortable with Alcide’s presence. “He’s a friend, Moli; he won’t hurt us.”
“How old is she?” Alcide asked, tentatively reaching out to let Moli sniff his hand.
“Eight weeks. I just got her last night so we’re all still gettin’ used to each other,” Sookie explained and then scolded Moli when she moved to bite Alcide. “Moli, no! No biting him.”
Alcide laughed again and said, “Don’t be too hard on her, Miss Stackhouse; she’s just doing her job. She’s a good pup.”
Sookie smiled and said, “Thank you. I like her. And please call me Sookie.”
“Alright, Sookie,” he nodded.
“Can I get you something to drink?” Sookie asked, and set Moli down again.
“No, thank you,” he answered politely. “So, would you mind tellin’ me a little bit about your situation? Pam wasn’t too big on details when she called last night.”
“Uh, sure,” Sookie said, but she wasn’t sure what to say and what not to. She decided to give him pretty much the same story as she’d given her brother earlier until she’d had a chance to talk to Eric about what was safe to reveal and what wasn’t.
While she talked she opened her mind and listened to the thoughts in Alcide’s head just for her own peace of mind. His thoughts were red and snarly, and unlike anything she had ever encountered before. She caught bits and pieces of what he was thinking, and so far he seemed to like her even if he didn’t exactly approve of her being in a relationship with a vampire. She bit her tongue to keep from correcting him. She wasn’t Eric’s girl.
But that raised the question of whether or not she wanted to be. It really wouldn’t be so bad, from what she could tell. If he took care of her this well when she was just another human, she suspected it would only increase if she agreed to be his. Of course that would require a conversation about ground rules because just like she was sure Eric had deal breakers in his mind, she had a few of her own. That was something to think about later, however. At the moment she needed to focus on her guest.
“Well now you know about how I got mixed up with vampires,” Sookie said, but conveniently left out the part about being a telepath until she knew it was safe to tell him about it. “How did you end up mixed up with them?”
Alcide’s eyes got a little darker, his posture shifted and he looked anywhere but in her eyes when he said, “My father got in over his head with some gambling debts. Eric paid the marker, but in exchange I had to owe him a favor.”
“So you’re paying off a debt by lookin’ after me?” Sookie asked for clarification.
Alcide nodded and said, “After this, Northman and I are square and I can go back to my regular life without worrying he’ll be contacting me for anything else.”
“What kind of vampire is Eric?” Sookie asked, and that got her a look of surprise.
“You’re staying in his penthouse and you don’t know?” Alcide asked, and she read from his mind that he assumed she had to be a pet in order to garner so much of Eric’s attention and effort.
“Oh I know,” Sookie smiled and continued, “I’m just curious as to what you think of him.”
Alcide paused for a moment while he thought, and Sookie made sure to listen as well as she could to see how truthful he was being with her. She was relieved to discover that his thoughts mostly matched what he said out loud.
“As far as vampires go, you could do a lot worse than Eric Northman,” Alcide started. “He’s known for being a fair Sheriff in his area. I mean he’s been around for a pretty long time so he must be doing something right, but if I’m being completely honest, I don’t trust vampires. They’re sneaky and manipulative, and since Eric’s been around as long as he has, he must excel at being both of those things.”
“That’s fair,” Sookie smiled softly.
“I’ve never been a bodyguard before,” Alcide confessed. “But I’ll do what I can to keep you safe. You seem like a nice girl, Sookie Stackhouse.”
“Thank you, Mr. Herveaux. I appreciate you doin’ this for me,” Sookie smiled at him.
“It’s not like I had much choice in the matter,” Alcide said, but didn’t seem bitter about it.
Maybe I can convince her to stay away from vampires after this. She seems too sweet to get caught up in all that vampire mess. She should be gettin’ married and havin’ a mess of kids instead of hangin’ around vamps. They’ll just use her and throw her away; they always do.
Sookie switched to her ‘crazy Sookie’ smile, and then bent to play with Moli. If that was the way Alcide really felt about vampires that could potentially be a problem.