Sookie fooled with the cowl neck on the form fitting crepe dress she was wearing, trying to get it to lay just right. After days of talking about it, and promising it was going to happen there was actually time enough for her and Eric to go out on their first date. The contract from Sophie-Anne had come back with a signature on it, so all that was necessary was for Sookie to sign it, and it would become binding as soon as it was filed with whoever it was vampires filed their papers with. A contract like that would definitely never go through human courts; that’s for sure.
Eric had refused to tell Sookie anything about where they were going that night, and would only tell her to wear something she was going to be at least a little comfortable in. He had also requested that she be ready one hour after sundown, which wouldn’t be a problem as long as she could get the neckline of her dress to cooperate. Finally she got it just the way she wanted it, and grabbed her bag off the dresser.
They were back in the penthouse since the threat had passed with Sophie-Anne. There was still the question about the werewolves, but Sookie figured she had a better chance of staying safe if she stayed out of Bon Temps. She couldn’t hide out forever, but in the meantime the penthouse felt as secure as anyplace else. She’d been thinking about the bond situation, and the things Claudine had said when she’d gone to the Summerland. Eric hadn’t pushed her at all on the bonding issue since she had asked for more time. Even in spite of what had happened with that little dream/coma, whatever it was she had gone into, he hadn’t demanded that she make a decision.
“Are you ready?” Eric asked, and Sookie looked into the mirror to see him standing in the doorway behind her.
“Yeah,” she smiled at his reflection, and turned to face him. “So do I get any hints now on where we’re goin’?”
“No,” Eric said with a smug smirk on his face as she approached him. When she was close enough he leaned down and whispered in her ear, “You smell good enough to eat.”
“Not on a first date, you won’t,” Sookie teased, and then stepped around him to go get her coat.
Moli was waiting by the door, thinking she was going as well. Her tail was wagging and she was staring expectantly at Sookie.
“You’re stayin’ here tonight, girl,” Sookie said, and got a whimper of response from her new sidekick.
“Moli, koma,” Eric commanded, and the dog got up to follow her orders. “Sitja,” he said when she was standing in front of him. Moli sat and stared up at him, waiting for her next order. When it was ‘stay,’ she growled a little.
“I think she might as stubborn as you are, Sookie,” Eric teased.
“Ha. Ha,” she said as she slipped her jacket on. “Can we go now, or do you want to tease me some more first?”
“We should be going. We have reservations,” he said, and opened the front door of the penthouse for her.
Sookie passed by him and headed for the elevators. They rode down together in a comfortable silence, with her arm looped around his, occasionally smiling at each other while they waited for the doors to open in the lobby. As soon as they did the smell of blood hit Eric’s senses, and his instincts had him stepping in front of Sookie.
“Eric, what—” she started, but he held up a hand to silence her.
The smells of blood and vampire flooded the elevator, and his fangs burst from his jaw. He turned to Sookie and said, “I want you to return to the penthouse, and push the emergency button here when you get there. Take Moli, go to the bedroom and lock yourself inside. Do not open the door for anyone.”
“Eric, what is goin’ on?” Sookie asked.
“Just do as I tell you,” he said, and pushed the button for the penthouse.
The doors closed before she could argue, and he could only hope that she followed his instructions to the tee instead of fucking around and investigating on her own. The vampires he smelled weren’t familiar so he knew they weren’t the employees that watched the building. He found the source of the blood when he located the two weres that were supposed to be watching the building during the day, dead and bleeding behind the security desk. They were also naked and their uniforms were missing.
Eric looked at the mini control panel that was hidden behind the desk, and the red light was blinking to indicate that the elevator had been stopped with an emergency. The page was sent to all of the vampires on duty and in the building so they could properly protect themselves. He realized then that it might be too late, and there were a good deal of vampires living in the building that might have already been staked. Why the building had been compromised wasn’t exactly clear to him.
His first thought was that it had to be a group acting on Russell Edgington’s command, but that wasn’t the only possibility. While it didn’t seem likely, there was always the possibility that the Fellowship of the Sun was involved somehow, not to mention any other number of anti-vampire organizations that might be looking to make a statement to the human world. Then there was also Sophie-Anne, who might be going back on her word, thinking she had lulled Eric and Sookie into a false sense of security.
The threat that worried Eric the most was the possibility that Nora had double crossed him, and this was the work of her employers. Having an actual telepath in their service could be a very big boon for them, and if he was going up against the Authority, he was in deep shit. Eric called Pam, just in case she decided to ignore the signal that should have been going off at Fangtasia already that there was a problem.
Eric tapped into his one sided bond with Sookie, and knew she was anxious but safe up in the penthouse. He listened carefully for other pulses or the breath of another human. He didn’t sense any other vampires nearby, but that wasn’t a good sign. There should have been at least four on the premises under his employ watching the building to guard against this very thing. The fact that he didn’t sense any of them was not good.
He moved to the core of the building where the security suite was to check and see if anyone was in there. He arrived to find the door had been blasted open and the vampire that had been manning the controls was now a bloody pile of goo in the middle of the room. The footage was going to need to be reviewed to see what, exactly, had happened. There was blood everywhere in the room, and it was a good thing that all of the video that was taken was immediately backed up on the internet because some of the machines in the room had started to short out thanks to all of the blood dripping all over the place.
“What the fuck?” Pam asked when she entered the room behind Eric.
“There are two dead Weres down in the lobby, one dead vampire in here and there should be at least three others somewhere on the premises. I sense no one but you and Sookie,” he told her.
“I brought reinforcements just in case. Chow and Felicia are outside waitin’ for your orders,” Pam told him.
“Take them and search each floor. Make sure none of the residents here have been harmed. The last thing we need is for Nan or the AVL to show up here. I’m going to get Sookie,” he said.
Pam nodded and then went to go get Chow and Felicia, while Eric pried open the elevator doors with the intention of flying up the elevator shaft and punching his way through the car. By her blood, Eric knew Sookie was just fine. Scared, but fine. It took several punches to the bottom of the elevator car before he was able to tear out a hole big enough for him to fit through. He was on the lookout for falling silver, but there was none.
When he got to the bedroom door inside the penthouse he heard Moli’s growls on the other side. “Sookie, open the door,” Eric said, and a few moments later the deadbolt flipped over and the door cracked open just a little.
“Eric, what is goin’ on?” Sookie asked when she opened the door.
“We have to get out of here. I’ll explain once you’re in a safe place,” he said.
“Now, Sookie,” he very nearly barked.
She glared at him for a second, but then grabbed onto Moli’s leash and her purse, and followed Eric through the penthouse to the door in the living room that led to the freight elevator and the roof. Sookie opened her mind and reached out to Eric’s, which was something she didn’t want to do but her curiosity was getting the better of her. His thoughts were in Norse, which didn’t surprise her at all, so those were useless to her, but the images in his mind made her gasp.
“Sookie, let’s go,” Eric said when she stopped walking.
“How many are dead?” she asked him.
“I don’t know. Pam, Chow and Felicia are doing a sweep of the building right now. I need to get you out of here,” he said and opened the door to the roof.
“What about Moli?” she asked. “Can you fly with both of us?”
“Moli will stay up here for the time being. You’re a bigger priority and I doubt anyone is going to be interested in a pure bred canine,” Eric said, taking the leash from Sookie and tying it to one of the pipes so that Moli wouldn’t accidentally jump over the side. The dog whimpered, clearly not happy about being separated from her owner.
But then Sookie sensed other vampire minds closing in quickly.
“Eric, we’re not—” she didn’t get to finish her sentence before she felt a sting in her neck and everything went dark.