“Eric?” I cried, as I stood there watching him, feeling helpless, alarmed and surprised. Dwayne’s thoughts were made of pure evil. It was rare in humans to think along the same lines his ran. It gave me the creeps. I was more surprised by Dwayne’s thoughts, than the fact he had hurt Eric.
Dwayne’s hand gripped Eric’s and refused to let go.
“Sil-ver,” Eric moaned, in anguish.
I turned on Dwayne, who suddenly released Eric’s hand. He held it up for me to see. Grinning proudly, he replied, “silver coin.”
Sure enough, there was a silver coin in the palm of his hand. I glared at him. “Why would you do that to him? What did my fiancé ever do to you?” I cried out, defending Eric.
It seemed strange calling Eric by that name, but I loved it. Too bad this incident was on the night of our engagement. We should be heading home to celebrate, not dealing with a psycho like this.
“The dead man lives…” Dwayne shrugged his shoulders as if he didn’t give a damn. He squatted down until he was eye level with Eric. “Let that be a lesson to you, vamp. You may have charmed the judge with your good looks, knowledge and your marriage proposal…but I don’t buy it. We’ll see who has the last laugh.”
Eric stood up to his towering height. He was a good six inches taller. He glared down at Dwayne in anger and hatred. I placed my hand on his chest, trying to keep Eric from making the situation worse.
“I do not remember you telling a joke,” Eric quipped back, now back in control of his temper.
Dwayne shrugged his shoulders and sauntered away from us, shaking his head and chuckling to himself. Sally had watched from a safe and wary distance, and she hurried to catch up with her husband. I watched them go, wanting to go after them, but decided that this wasn’t the time or the place.
I took a look at Eric’s hand. There was a circular burn mark in the middle of his palm.
“I’m sorry this happened to you, Eric. What would you like me to do? Do you need my blood or anything?”I took his hand and placed a kiss on his palm anyways.
Eric shook his head. “No, I will be fine,” he still grimaced with pain. “You see? It is already healing.” Sure enough it was.
“I can’t believe that he would do something like this,” I complained.
“I can believe it,” Eric replied with sarcasm. “There is something about him…I cannot explain, but my gut is telling me to be very careful around him. He is not all that he seems to be. Come, we have something important to celebrate.” I looked up at him. “Our engagement,” he reminded me, when he noticed the puzzled look on my face. “We will go home and celebrate the fact we are engaged.”
Eric took my hand in his good one. We climbed into his car and drove home.
It was awkward in the house when we returned. Eric watched me carefully, while I put my purse away and checked the messages on the phone. The closer we got to home – the more tense Eric had become. I could tell he was bothered by something. I waited for him to tell me what it was. I was trying to act patient because I knew he would tell me eventually.
“You are not upset?” He asked me, cautiously. He seemed to be studying me with a puzzled expression on his face.
I turned to look at him. “No, should I be?” I replied.
“Well…I thought that you would be disappointed and upset by the way I proposed to you,” he explained. “I know that you wanted something with flowers and candles.”
“I’m not upset. I was surprised…but I wouldn’t say that I’m upset,” I told him. I studied him for a few minutes. “Why, were you scared of my reaction because it wasn’t romantic or something?”
Eric nodded his head. “I am sorry. I had planned on making it special for you, but when the judge asked us about our future plans, I got ahead of myself. I wanted to prove to the judge, how much you really mean to me and that she had nothing to worry about. I am sorry for disappointing you,” he looked away from me, feeling ashamed.
I walked over to him, and turned his head towards me by touching his cheek. “I’m not disappointed,” I tried to reassure him. “I’m happy! I’m ecstatic! I don’t remember ever feeling this way,” I paused, as I looked up at him. “All I wanted was it to be memorable and it was that. How many brides could say their fiancé proposed to them during a court proceeding?” I smiled up at him, sweetly.
An impish smile appeared on Eric’s face. “Yes,” he agreed. “I would think that does not happen very often. I am glad. I am very happy that you agreed to be my bride. What should we do now?” He asked, curiously. “I am unfamiliar with how engaged couples celebrate.”
“I don’t know, some like to celebrate…in bed,” I suggested, naughtily. The ideas running through my mind definitely revolved around sex. Sex with Eric had always been spectacular. I wondered if it could be better than it was already.
“Yes, I think we shall,” Eric agreed, right before he kissed me.
He picked me up and carried me upstairs to our bedroom. He placed me on the bed and gazed down at me. “Are you sure that you want to marry me?” He asked, suddenly unsure of why I wanted him.
I reached for him. “I have never been surer of anything in my life. Make love to me, vampire,” I ordered. I pulled him closer for a kiss. “Let me see what huge…fangs you have,” I growled.
Eric growled, his fangs elongated as he took me. He stripped me naked in a blink of an eye and he was inside me before I knew what was going on. It was very passionate and loving at the same time. When it was all over, we cuddled in bed. My head rested on his shoulder. My hand with my new engagement ring rested on his chest.
Eric picked my hand up and kissed my ring. “This ring is a symbol of Frigga,” he explained, tenderly.
“Who is Frigga?” I asked him curiously.
“Frigga was the Goddess of marriage in my day,” Eric explained. “This is a whole new experience for me. I never thought that I would find myself here, next to you, talking about marriage,” he shook his head in awe.
There were still many things that I didn’t know about Eric; like his past, what times were like back then. I had so many questions to ask him.
“Do you believe in that Goddess stuff to this day?” I asked, curiously. I had grown up in a Christian household and still attended church from time to time. It had never occurred to me that we might not have the same religious beliefs.
“Yes and no,” he replied. “I have developed a wide interest in beliefs. I believe in life after death, but I do not know which religion is right. I prefer to think where you go depends on what that person believes. What you believe is a personal choice. If you believe that there was a Jesus, then I will not try to change your mind.”
He turned his head to look at me.
“I believe that there is good in this world and I know that there is evil. I think it is up to the person to decide which one to be. I try not to be prejudiced against anyone’s religion. As for vampires, it is different. I do not think that we have an afterlife. I believe that where I go will be nothing but a dark void.”
That thought kind of depressed me. I hoped that he was wrong. “Well,” I smiled up at him. “I think one of the reasons why I love you, is because you accept me for who I am and have never tried to change me. I love you.” We kissed.
I looked at the ring on my finger. “I have never seen anything more beautiful in my life,” I told him, gratefully. “I have a confession to make…” I had to turn away from him to hide the expression on my face.
“What?” He asked, curiously. He had a puzzled expression on his face.
“I knew…” I confessed. “I read Bobby’s mind and I knew that you had sent him shopping for a ring. I’m sorry…I have been waiting and wondering how you were going to do it ever since.”
“Was this before or after he threatened you?” He asked, hesitantly.
“It was around the same time. It was why he said what he said to me. He didn’t want you to marry me because he felt like I was taking his position away from him,” I explained. “He was only doing it to protect you…but that was how it all started.”
“Bobby should not have told you,” Eric frowned.
“He didn’t, I read his mind,” I objected.
“Fear not, lover. I have talked to Bobby and he will leave you alone from now on,” he explained, as if the matter were solved.
We laid in companionable silence for a while. We were both thinking about the court proceedings and our engagement.
I smiled. “I can’t believe that we’re one step closer to gaining custody of Hunter!” I exclaimed. “I was shocked when the judge granted us weekly visitations.”
“I am surprised too. I think that she was impressed by my marriage proposal,” Eric joked. He knew as well as I did, that the judge hadn’t appreciated the timing or the action during a court proceeding.
I laughed. “I think you charmed her with your knowledge and your speech. Are you sure that you didn’t glamour her?” I teased.
Eric laughed now too. “You know…I had not thought of that. It would make this easier on us all if I did that…” He laid there with a pensive and sneaky expression on his face.
“You will not do it, Eric or…”
“Or…what?” Eric replied.
I knew he was only teasing. “Or else I will retract my agreement to your proposal. I will move back home to Bon Temps. I will rescind your invitation into my house and I will never speak to you ever again, Eric Northman!” I threatened.
“Oh…okay then, I will not glamour her,” he agreed.
I gave him a stern look, then we both burst into giggles. The way we were connected, reminded me of why I thought he was my soulmate. Too bad I hadn’t figured it out sooner. He really did understand me and knew when I was joking or bullshitting. He knew when I was serious or when I needed cheering up. There were so many ways in which we connected on more than on a basic level. I never had any of that with either Bill or Quinn.
“So…” I started to say. “You mentioned in a court of law that you wanted to marry me soon…” I paused, as I gazed at him. “How soon is that?”
“I have never planned a wedding. I do not know how long it takes to plan one. Do you know?” He asked.
“I’ve always wanted a church wedding, but it’ll have to be at night, and I’ve always wanted to have a dance. Tara, Amelia and of course, Pam can be my bridesmaids,” I told Eric my plans for our big day. “I have a lot of work cut out for me, I guess.” I frowned, as I suddenly realized just how much planning went into a wedding. “Who are you going to have as your groomsmen?” I asked him, curious as to whom he would pick.
Eric thought about it for a moment. “I think I will ask your brother, Jason. Sam could be one. And I was thinking…King Felipe?” He looked at me to see if I objected to any of them.
I nodded my head. Just as long as he didn’t choose Bill, I’d be happy. I wasn’t sure if I wanted him to be invited to the wedding at all. Eric and I still suspected him as being my stalker.
We made some more plans. Eric would have Bobby look into finding a place for the reception. If he couldn’t find anything, we would have it at Fangtasia, as a last resort. I suggested having it at my house, in my yard under a tent or something. Just in case it rained on the human guests. Eric seemed to like that idea too.
I went to sleep with wedding and decorating plans rolling around in my head. I would have to go shopping for the color of paint that I wanted for Hunter’s room the next day because he would be there before I knew it. I had a lot to do and that made me happy.
Just as he promised, Eric showed up at the Savoy’s house after Sookie had fallen asleep. He regretted having to leave her. She had gone to sleep with a smile on her face. He was glad that she was excited about their upcoming wedding and having weekly visitations with Hunter. If anything, it would keep her preoccupied to enable him to get things done.
Eric watched from the shadows of the trees in the yard. He noticed a pickup truck pull in. He recognized Dwayne get out of the truck. He was carrying a case of beer. Eric wanted to pay him back for the handshake that he’d received earlier in the night. However, he reigned in his temper.
Hunter was relying on him to protect him and so he shall. He watched, as Dwayne entered his house and closed the door behind him. Eric silently walked to Hunter’s window, he smiled, as he realized that Hunter had left it open wide for him.
He entered the house and watched Hunter’s sleeping form for a few moments. He went to the door of his bedroom and listened to what was happening on the other side. He could hear Dwayne had turned on the TV and was watching a ballgame or something.
Eric returned to Hunter’s bedside, leaned over and kissed him on the top of his head, the boy must have been a light sleeper, because he woke up.
“Uncle Eric?” he asked, groggily. “What time is it?”
“In the middle of the night,” Eric whispered. “Hush, go to sleep. I am here to watch over you.”
“Did you hear that I’m going to be staying with you next week?” Hunter asked, excitedly.
“Yes,” Eric grinned. “Did you hear that your Aunt Sookie and I are getting married?” He replied.
“That’s great, Uncle Eric!” Hunter exclaimed. He jumped out from underneath his covers and hugged him. “Now, you, I and Aunt Sookie can be a real family!” He told Eric, excitedly.
“Well…the courts have to decide that first, but…yes,” Eric replied with a huge grin. “We will be.” Eric heard something strange coming from the other room. He decided to check it out. “I hear something. I am going to check it out. You stay here, okay?”
“What do you hear, Uncle Eric?” Hunter asked, curiously. “Is that another magic trick of yours?”
“Yes,” Eric replied. “Go to sleep. Forget that I am here,” he told him.
Hunter grumbled and complained, but decided that Eric was right. He was tired. He crawled back into bed and went back to sleep.
Eric listened at the door for a few minutes. He could hear a different voice in the room. It wasn’t the TV either. This voice belonged to someone else in the room.
“I don’t care what that vampire told you!” He could hear Dwayne yell. “I want that V moving and I want it done now. It’s important that you make it appear like Eric Northman is the one behind it too. That’s an order.”
“But…but..Dwayne, I told you…he almost killed me the last time!” The other voice complained. “I don’t want to get caught,” he whined.
There was a scuffle. “If you want to live, you better do it, or the next time we’ll be talking in front of my loaded rifle!” Dwayne threatened.
Eric could hear the other person leave and drive away from the house. It made him think. Who had he threatened lately? There were many. The one most recent came to mind, because he had been with Sookie at the time. The V trafficker they had caught at Fangtasia. Could Dwayne be the boss? If so, who was supplying him with the V? Eric needed to find out these things.
He was one-step closer to getting to the bottom of things. He only needed more time and investigating before he would have all of his answers.