Chapter 5: High Speed

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Sookie sat there stewing in her anger, trying to decide what her next move was going to be. She had a message passed to her via a medium whose identity she couldn’t reveal for his own safety. She wanted to know why it was so dangerous for Lafayette to come forward, just like she wanted to know why Pam had kidnapped him in the first place. Lastly, she wanted to know why it had been a group of witches that had come to the bar to free her friend. What interest did they have in Eric’s bar?

Those were questions best left for another time. Sookie had enough on her plate to worry about, and an engagement hanging over her head. One thing was for certain, she wasn’t going to marry Bill right then. She was going to give him a chance to explain things to her before going off the deep end and breaking things off entirely. That seemed like the fair thing to do.

But could she trust him?

Bill had lied to her before, and about some pretty important things. He had lied about his involvement in Uncle Bartlett’s death, only coming clean because Sookie had caught him in his lie. He hadn’t bothered to tell her about Jessica until the baby vampire appeared on the landing of his stairs, fresh from the shower and looking every bit like the exact kind of innocent little thing any vampire would want to get its fangs into. There had also been moments when her instincts had warned her to run away.

She had broken up with him once, hadn’t she? Sookie wasn’t sure it could be considered a breakup since they hadn’t even really gone on an official date, but the night she met Eric there was that incident with the cop on the way home. Bill could have very easily glamoured the officer to go away, but instead he scared the man so badly he could barely move. Bill had shown a side of himself that was completely different from the person he had allowed her to see up until that point.

But no, even that wasn’t entirely true. She thought back to the night she went to his house to bring him the information about the electrician he needed to continue his renovations and those other vampires had been there. Those vampires had definitely been scary, and every single instinct in her body was screaming at her to run away as fast as she could. For a moment she had thought Bill might allow the other vampires to feed from her. Her life had flashed before her eyes, terror filling every single part of her. It dawned on Sookie, as she sat across from Eric, that Bill had known just how scared she was.

He had said it himself back in Dallas that Eric could sense her emotions since she’d had some of his blood. How convenient that Bill had omitted that little nugget of information when she had first asked what having his blood would do to her. He had mentioned being able to locate her if she was in trouble, but he hadn’t mentioned a single syllable about feeling her emotions. By that first night at Bill’s house he had already given her his blood. He had known every single thing she was feeling, and still he sat there doing nothing to protect her. It was only at the last possible moment that he had acted, and even then it seemed he was doing so when what he thought to be his was threatened.

Every single moment of their relationship was up for review. Every word Bill had spoken would be passed under a magnifying glass to see what Sookie had been too blind to see before. What a fool she had been. Gran would be so disappointed in her unwillingness to see what was going on around her. Of course Sookie had no reason to suspect there was fairy blood running through her, but it wasn’t even about that.

And she would be visiting the cemetery to give Gran what for in the morning.

She had been so desperate for companionship and love that she had latched on to the first blank space she could find. She didn’t take into consideration what, exactly, Bill might want in return. She had bought into his romantic gestures, genteel mannerisms and the way he always seemed to show up when she needed him when they first met. Sookie had allowed herself to see Bill as a knight in shining armor, when really, she had to wonder if her life hadn’t become so troublesome as a direct result of having met Bill Compton.

Gran had been murdered because of her. Jason had become the fall guy for the string of murders around town that Rene had committed. Now that might not be directly linked to Bill’s arrival in town, but it all felt so closely knit that it was hard to say what belonged in what compartment. It was all such a big, tangled mess of information. Trying to sort it all out was going to be next to impossible.

Her head started to pound. Between all the thinking she was doing, the rush of new information and the awful thudding from the music in the club, her head felt like it was trapped in a vice with someone slowly tightening it around her ears. Sookie hung her head and rubbed her temples. She was exhausted and just wanted to go home.

Then she remembered she didn’t have her car.

“You wouldn’t happen to have the number of a cab company, would you?” Sookie asked when she lifted her head.

Her question caught Eric off guard, and he asked, “What would you need that for?”

“To get home. I got a ride here,” she said, and resumed rubbing her temples.

“I’ll take you home,” Eric offered.

“Uh, no, thank you. You’ve already done enough for me tonight. I’m sure you have better things to do than play chauffeur,” Sookie stood up slowly, her head spinning a little as she did so.

“Nonsense,” Eric stood as well. “Besides, maybe I like the idea of being confined in a small space with you for the next forty minutes. Or do you still prefer cancer to my company?”

Sookie’s jaw dropped, surprised that he remembered her comment. Then she felt ashamed of herself for having been rude to him when he had been helpful to her. Eric didn’t have to get her help when she was injured. He very well could have left her to die, but he hadn’t. Eric had acted swiftly, and had been gentle with her while they waited for Dr. Ludwig to arrive and begin the healing. She vaguely recalled hearing him humming as he sat in one of those chairs out in the bar. She didn’t know what the tune had been, only that it wasn’t Bill’s cadence that was filling her ears.

She remembered her eyes focusing on Bill, when she could open them, but her ears and mind were focused on the humming coming from the vampire that had folded himself nearly in half to, in effect, stand guard over her. At the time, she had wondered what his interest in her was. Yes, they had a deal for her to help him out with reading humans when he needed it, but could her services really be so valuable to him that he was willing to go to such lengths to preserve her life?

Not just the healing, but then offering himself up in exchange for her and Godric at the Fellowship of the Sun when it seemed they had been ambushed. Eric had acted without a second thought, and while she presumed that the offer had been made in attempts to protect his Maker more than herself, the important thing was that Eric had thought to include her. He had bargained his life for her own, and she couldn’t help but wonder if Bill would ever be selfless enough to do such a thing.

Sookie shook her head to clear it a little. All the thinking was only making her headache worse. After a moment’s thought she figured she didn’t have anything to lose by letting Eric drive her home. For all of his bluster and talk of being a bad ass, he had yet to let her get injured when she was in his care. He always looked out for her, and now he was feeding her the information she needed to take care of herself.

“Only if you’re sure it isn’t a burden,” Sookie finally relented.

Eric smirked and Sookie found herself wondering what had caused him to do that. Where was her telepathy when it was really useful?

“Come along, then,” Eric gestured for her to go ahead of him. “Are you afraid of heights?”

Sookie looked back at him over her shoulder as they exited the bar through the back door. “Why does that matter?”

“How about flying?” Eric tried again.

“I don’t particularly care for take offs and landings, but the in between isn’t so bad. Why?” Sookie continued to look at him suspiciously.

In the blink of an eye Eric had his arm around her and she looked down to realize they were floating above ground, but only by about three feet. Her arms wrapped around his neck instinctively, clinging to him tightly.

“What are you doing?” she gasped for air, her heart still thudding wildly in her chest.

“Taking you home,” Eric rose a little higher.

“Car, Eric. Why are we floating?” Sookie stared down at the ground.

“Don’t look down, Sookie,” he urged, and tilted her chin for her when she didn’t do it herself. “Look right here,” he motioned to his eyes.

She opened her mouth to say something, but then closed it again. Her eyes locked on his, and for once she found herself wishing she could be glamoured, if only to calm her down quicker.

“You won’t drop me, will you?” she asked nervously.

“Not likely,” he smirked. “I suppose it will depend on whether or not you can keep yourself from slapping me.”

“Don’t drop me and I won’t slap you. Deal?” Sookie suggested and Eric nearly laughed. He had a lovely smile when it was genuine. He also had perfect lips.

I shouldn’t be thinking about his lips; or how good he smells; or whether or not it would be inappropriate to wrap my legs around him for good measure, Sookie told herself.

“Deal, but I will require a favor in return for this when we land at your home,” Eric informed her.

“I’m not giving you more of my blood,” Sookie said defiantly.

“Your blood isn’t what I’m after,” he started, and when Sookie looked at him with an expression that clearly called bullshit, he added, “tonight, anyway.”

“Then what do you want?” Sookie asked nervously, knowing that it could be any number of things with him.

“I haven’t decided yet, but I give you my word that it has nothing to do with your blood, or with sex,” Eric told her, still hovering only about six feet off the ground.

Sookie thought it over for a moment. If her suspicions about Bill were legitimate, she was going to need help in ridding him from her life. The first thing she was going to do when she got home was rescind his invitation. That should help an awful lot. If nothing else it would guarantee her a little time to think on her own without worrying that Bill would just come by whenever he pleased.

But she couldn’t put off dealing with it forever. She needed to make good and fast decisions about her life. It would be helpful if she had more information, but she was going to have to go by what she knew in her heart to be true, and follow her gut.

“Fine,” Sookie sighed, knowing she was opening herself up to a world of possibilities by trusting that he wouldn’t ask for something too outrageous.

“Excellent,” he clutched her a little tighter. “Hold on as tight as you want.”

Sookie nodded, and kept her eyes on Eric’s as he continued his ascent into the night.

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