Eric rose to find Sookie’s faint scent hanging in the air. He sat up, and growled when he didn’t detect her presence anywhere nearby. In fact, she wasn’t anywhere in Shreveport. He grabbed his phone from the bedside table and dialed the number for Merlotte’s, since he assumed that was most likely where Sookie would be.
“Merlotte’s,” the shifter answered the phone.
“I need to speak with Sookie,” Eric said.
“We’re a little busy right now. Can I have her call you back?” Sam offered.
“You know who this is, Shifter?” Eric asked, and Sam snorted.
“I know who you are, Northman. Sookie’s busy, but she’s fine. There hasn’t been any trouble in here, and that Were you have keepin’ an eye on her is doin’ a fine job. In fact, I’d say he’s real dedicated to his work. Now if you’ll excuse me, I gotta go,” Sam said, and then hung up.
Eric ended the call on his end, and quickly got out of bed to shower and dress before checking on Moli. By Sookie’s scent, combined with the Were’s much less pleasant one, he knew Sookie had been gone for about two hours already. Eric took Moli out to let her do her business, and while he was on the roof he dialed Alcide’s number.
“Herveaux,” he answered.
“Give me the report,” Eric said, and followed Moli around the roof.
“I tried to talk her out of going to work, but she insisted. So far everything’s fine. It’s busy in here, but no one has been giving her any trouble that I’m aware of,” Alcide said.
“Make sure no one gets close enough to even try. I don’t care if that means throwing her over your shoulder and carrying her out,” Eric said, knowing Sookie would have one hell of a fit over it at first.
“Yeah, I know the drill,” Alcide said with a hint of annoyance.
“I’ll be there in less than an hour,” Eric told him, and then said, “I need to speak with Sookie.”
“Hang on a second; I’ll get her.”
Eric called Moli to him while he waited, and was impressed to see she was already responding to commands. He was bringing the pup back inside when Sookie’s voice filled his ear.
“What’s up, Eric?” she asked. Her tone was so casual, as if the last couple of days hadn’t happened.
“Have you seen Bill anywhere around?” Eric asked her, since that was the thing he most worried about.
“No, I haven’t. So far everything has been normal ’round here, but I’m busy so I can’t keep chattin’ with ya unless ya have somethin’ important to talk about. Sam’s starin’ at me already,” Sookie said quietly.
“I’ll be there shortly,” Eric told her, and then hung up.
It was obvious to Eric from his last visit to Merlotte’s that the Shifter was the territorial sort, and he especially didn’t take to Sookie being threatened in any capacity. Hopefully there would be a way to use that once Eric and Sookie were bonded, because if Sam chose to go the other way and insult Sookie’s intelligence for her decision to bond herself to a vampire, Eric suspected that would be the end of her friendship with the Shifter.
Once he was back in the penthouse, Eric showered and dressed quickly. Moli followed him to the door, whimpering and begging to go along but there was nowhere to keep her once he was at Merlotte’s. He paused to pet the pup, and then left her behind in the penthouse. Keeping her there for much longer wouldn’t be good. Moli needed room to run around, and he was sure Sookie was anxious to get back home. Once the bond was complete, Eric would feel more secure about letting Sookie go back there.
He got up to the roof and was just about to take off when Eric sensed the presence of another vampire. His fangs dropped with brutal force and he whirled around to see who was up on the roof with him. “Show yourself and I’ll let you die a quicker death,” he commanded.
A petite brunette woman with blue/green doe-like eyes stepped from the shadows. She was dressed in leather from head to toe, and her lips were the same shade of blood red as they had always been, probably even before she was turned. Eric couldn’t believe what he was seeing. It was his blood sister, Nora, who had been presumed dead for the last 134 years.
“Nora?” Eric knew it was her; he would know her anywhere.
“Hello, big brother,” she said as she approached.
“Godric told me you were dead,” Eric looked her up and down as she approached.
“I asked him to. I needed for everyone to think I had met the True Death,” she said, and came to a stop right in front of him. “No kiss hello for your little sister?”
Nora had a pout on her that was hard to say no to, and before either of them knew it, Eric had her bent back in a kiss that looked like it belonged in a movie. Despite the appearance of passion, Eric felt none, and when Sookie’s face flashed in his mind he quickly let go of Nora.
“What are you doing here?” Eric asked when he let go of the vampiress.
“I think the better question is where I’ve been,” she smirked.
“It is, but I’m short on time. I need to get back to Bon Temps,” he said.
“Then I’ll fly with you and we can talk on the way,” Nora said, and began to levitate.
Eric followed suit, and in moments they were speeding east toward Bon Temps. It was rare for a single maker to produce two children with the ability to fly, but Godric wasn’t the ordinary Maker. Pam had been pissed to learn she hadn’t inherited that ability, and she was downright furious when she found out that Nora could fly. It just didn’t seem fair, as far as Pam was concerned, not that there was anything anyone could do about it.
“So where have you been all this time?” Eric asked as they flew along.
“I was in Romania in 1877 when the Russo-Turkish war began,” Nora started. “At the time there was talk of a faction of vampires wanting to get together to change the Old Ways. With technology evolving, and all of the fighting going on in the world, we knew we were going to need to adapt. We both remember what the Inquisitions were like.”
Eric nodded, remembering all too well some of the horrific things he had seen in those days, but wondering what that had to do with where Nora had been for the last 134 years.
“We also know how barbaric the practice of medicine was in those days, but the technology there has also changed rapidly. We knew a time would come when it would be possible for us to share the earth with the humans. The question was when that time was going to come. We started to prepare for it, and a power began to rise up with the inception of the Authority. For years it was a cloak and dagger operation, funded by some of the world’s oldest vampires who could afford to keep us traveling and get us the information we needed in order to further the agenda that was decided on.
“It was necessary for everyone to believe I was dead. Of course I could not fool Godric, but he was aware of where I had gone. When the war began in Romania I had the perfect cover for faking my death, so I had him spread the word that I had been killed by Russian soldiers during a fight. Since then I have been working for, and traveling with the Authority,” Nora revealed.
“So you’re a member?” Eric asked, even though that should have been obvious.
“Since its inception,” she nodded.
Nora had been turned in a small village in Scotland back in the early 1400s during a time when Eric had gone off for a bit to explore the world on his own. Eric had been traveling through Bangladesh on his way to Thailand when he’d gotten his Maker’s call. The call hadn’t been urgent, but had intensified over time. Five years passed before Eric answered it, and found his Maker in Argentina with Nora at his side. In the beginning there had been attraction between Eric and Nora. She was a beautiful girl with milk white skin that probably hadn’t changed much with her turning.
“So why are you here, revealing yourself to me?” Eric asked her. They were maybe five minutes away from Bon Temps.
“Because Nan Flannigan is pissing off a lot of people,” Nora said with a quirked eyebrow. “Her hunger for power is fucking up the agenda, and she’s made some bad deals with some bad vampires. And that cunt insulted our Maker.”
“Which vampires?” Eric asked, but Nora didn’t answer his question.
“Word is that a younger vampire is about to try and seize the throne form your queen,” Nora informed him.
Eric smirked, but kept his opinion to himself. Inwardly he thought that a bag of kittens might make a better regent than Sophie-Anne, but it would be treason to say so out loud, especially in the presence of a member of the Authority. That was a shitstorm he just didn’t need at the moment.
“Are you going to tell me who this vampire is? Or is this a warning to get the fuck out of Dodge?” Eric asked her.
Nora smiled and said, “You forget I know you, big brother, and you never run from a good fight.”
“That’s true,” Eric smiled back at her. “I do enjoy a good battle.”
“I’m glad to hear you say that,” Nora said as they started to descend to the ground. “Because before he met the True Death, Godric wrote me a letter. He told me about a girl named Sookie, and a gift she has.”
Eric turned to look at Nora with an almost malicious look in his eyes.
“The letter hasn’t been made available to the other members of the Authority. Her secret is safe with me,” she assured him.
“Why are you here, Nora?” Eric asked again, knowing she was just toying with him.
“Because the vampire looking to seize the throne is also aware of Sookie’s gift,” she said as they touched down in the Merlotte’s parking lot. “I believe you’re familiar with Bill Compton.”