“So what’s with the new guy?” Sam asked, nodding toward Alcide, who was sitting at a table by himself with a glass of water and a bored expression on his face.
“He’s lookin’ out for me during the day when Eric can’t,” Sookie said, and Sam snorted “What’s so funny?”
“You let Eric get you a bodyguard?” Sam asked incredulously.
“You think I got a choice in that? Heck no,” Sookie said as Sam put a couple of beers up onto her tray. “But that doesn’t mean it was a wrong move.”
“What kind of trouble are you in, chér?” Sam asked nervously, just as the door of the bar opened, and Eric walked in with another woman behind him.
Sookie only saw an arm and a little of the woman’s dark hair, but then she stepped to the side. Immediately Sookie could tell the woman was a vampire, and she was looking around the bar, scanning it. Alcide stood quickly, and Sookie’s eyes shifted in that direction. Eric strode over to the bar and bent to kiss Sookie’s temple.
“I don’t want any trouble in my bar, Northman,” Sam said from behind the bar.
“As long as the rednecks behave themselves there won’t be any problems,” Eric answered, his eyes trained on Sookie.
“Who’s your friend?” Sookie looked up at him.
“You must be Sookie,” the woman said, coming to a stop beside Eric. “I’m Nora, Eric’s sister.”
“Sister?” Sookie raised an eyebrow, looking from Eric to Nora and back again.
“We share a Maker,” Eric explained, and Sookie nodded.
“Godric spoke highly of you,” Nora offered, and that made Sookie smile and relax a little.
“He did?” she was also surprised.
“It’s a long story,” Eric said as Alcide approached.
Sookie nodded, knowing it was probably best that they didn’t discuss too much supernatural business in a room full of humans, especially since Jane Bodehouse had parked herself at the bar and had a tendency to run her mouth to everyone who would listen. Enough rumors about Sookie were already going around town. She’d heard in the minds of others that it was suspected she was caught up in some vampire sex ring, or some such nonsense.
Honestly, where people got their ideas Sookie would never be able to figure out.
“If you’re good here, I’m going home for the night,” Alcide said when he was standing beside Sookie.
“Yeah, I think Eric’s got it covered from here. Thank you, Alcide,” Sookie said politely.
The Were smiled back at her briefly, nodded to Eric and then took his leave.
“Can I get y’all something to drink?” Sookie offered once Alcide was gone. “I’m afraid all we got here is TruBlood A+ and O Neg.”
“Nothing for me, thank you,” Nora said politely, and then went to claim an empty table.
“I’ll wait until later,” Eric winked at Sookie, who resisted the urge to slap his arm. “If you have a moment, there is something we must discuss.”
Sookie looked over her shoulder at Sam, who was busy pouring a round of shots for a group of rowdy frat boys over by the pool table. She looked around at her tables on the other side of the room, and noticed that table twelve was waiting for their check.
“Give me a few minutes to get everyone settled, and then I’ll take my break,” Sookie said.
Eric nodded, and went to go join Nora at the table.
“Sook, I can’t let ’em take up a table if they aren’t buyin’ anything,” Sam said from behind the bar.
“I know,” she said, and then went over to table twelve to give them their check.
Sookie refilled the drinks at table nine, brought more ranch dressing to table five and delivered a basket of fried pickles to table seven. When everyone seemed to be all set for the moment, she nodded to Eric and headed for the front door of the bar. Sookie waited a little further in the parking lot for Eric to appear, and Nora was right there with him when he did.
“So what’s going on?” Sookie asked.
“It seems Bill’s duplicity doesn’t end with you,” Eric revealed, and Sookie lifted an eyebrow.
“He’s made a deal with Nan Flannigan,” Nora offered, and Sookie swung her eyes toward the female vampire.
“Nan Flannigan… the spokesperson for the Authority?” Sookie’s eyes went wide, and the vampires nodded just once. “But what would she want with Bill?”
“I’m not really sure,” Nora said, gaining the attention of both Sookie and Eric. “I overheard her talking on the phone, reminding him of the deal they made. From what I can gather the gist of it is that if he takes Sophie-Anne out, he would assume regency of this area, and with the full support of the Authority. No charges would be filed against him for committing treason, and the Authority would have a puppet sitting on a throne with Nan pulling his strings.”
“Is she aware of Sookie’s abilities?” Eric asked.
“Not to my knowledge, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Bill has disclosed everything to her,” Nora said with a shrug.
“So he fucked me over twice?” Sookie glared, her temper soaring.
In her mind she imagined the least Christian thing she could think of to do, and that was staking him during his daytime rest. Part of her panicked, and was tempted to drag Eric around the back of the building to finish their bond right then and there. It would keep Bill, or any other vampire, from coming near her, but she didn’t want that to be her big reason for completing the bond. Then she remembered the thing she had seen in Alcide’s mind.
“Eric, there might be an even bigger problem than Bill,” Sookie said, and looked nervously in Nora’s direction, unsure of whether or not to trust the other vampire.
“Nora is a trustworthy vampire, Sookie,” Eric informed her, and because she trusted him, she decided to give Nora a chance.
“Earlier when I was talkin’ to Alcide I saw some things in his head when he was thinkin’ about his girlfriend. There’s a vampire supplyin’ blood to a pack of werewolves,” she told him, and there were fangs dropping in surround sound.
“Who?” Nora hissed.
“I don’t know who he is,” Sookie stepped closer to Eric on instinct, and Nora relaxed just a little.
“What did he look like? Did you see the vampire?” Eric asked.
“Not real well. I probably couldn’t identify him if you put him in front of me. All I remember is dark hair, pale skin and sunglasses. That isn’t much to go on,” Sookie thought out loud.
“No, it isn’t. Do you know the location of what you saw?” Eric asked her.
“No, but I can ask Alcide tomorrow,” she offered.
“When this traitor is found, it will be his last sunset,” Nora said angrily.
“So what are we going to do about Bill?” Sookie asked, changing the subject back to the original problem that needed solving.
“Nora and I will come up with a plan,” Eric said, which irked Sookie.
“I want to help,” she said, and Nora looked amused. “I’m not just some helpless little girl, if that’s what you’re thinkin’.”
“Godric said you had a fire in you,” Nora’s smile grew, and she turned her head to look up at Eric. “She’s a good match for you, big brother.”
“Sookie likes to bite off more than she can chew,” Eric acknowledged.
“But I chew it every damn time,” Sookie said, and folded her arms over her chest.
“I like you,” Nora said with just a hint of a smile on her face. That was a pretty big deal for a vampire. “She could be a valuable operative, Eric.”
Sookie smiled up at Eric after shooting a respectful nod Nora’s way, and she could see he wasn’t thrilled about the idea of putting her in the line of danger. Sookie patted his arm and said, “Looks like you were out voted, big guy.”