Eric watched her sleep. She looked so peaceful, happy and relaxed, like she didn’t have a care in the world. He wanted to see her like that for as long as she lived. He wanted very much to help Sookie. He loved her so much. He wanted to do anything that made her happy. Who cared if he had no clue about being a father? All that mattered was her. He knew her well. She was very stubborn and proud. She would rather die than ask him for anything, but he knew better. She needed him and what he could do for her. He would make sure that not only did she gain custody of Hunter, but that she would have everything that she could ever possibly want or need. He would just have to do it in a way that she couldn’t fight him on it. He had to be sneaky. He knew that she was smart. He just had to be smarter.
He still wasn’t sure if being a father was something that he felt comfortable with, since he had never really thought about it until now. It made him re-evaluate or re-think everything that he had done in his life. Were they the right decisions? Would the people he loved get hurt by those decisions? Was running a vampire bar the proper thing for a father figure to do to make sure that Hunter was clothed and fed? What kind of father would he be? Would the kid even like him?
He was for sure going to be Hunter’s only father figure. There was no way in hell that he’d allow any other man to get close enough to Sookie in order for that to happen. She was his and no one else’s. He would be damned if he would allow anybody else to have that kind of connection with her. While he may not be the best role model, in his opinion, he knew that if Sookie was the boys’ mother, then that child would be the luckiest child in the world.
He felt guilty, although not really knowing why, that he couldn’t give her that one little thing. A child of her own. He wished that he was human…almost. He was able to provide her with everything that she could ever possibly want or need, except for that one thing. He hated it. He ached to see her with a baby at her breast…his baby. But since that wasn’t possible, adopting Hunter was the next best thing.
He agreed with her, that it was a reasonable alternative. Hunter needed her, she needed him. They would have their own little family. This was a totally new concept for him, but he could see it working. Besides the way they taste, he knew that kids had a special place in this world. Just like thousands of years ago, they needed to be looked after and taught right from wrong. They were the future of tomorrow. He knew what it meant for the future because he would be a part of it and wanted to make sure that this world didn’t end up corrupted or destroyed.
Eric knew what must be done. He felt badly that she was having a hard time trying to find a lawyer, but he would see that she got one. He knew just who to call too. He would just have to call in a couple of favors. He briefly considered getting Niall involved, but other than the respect that he had for him and knowing how much Niall loved her himself, he didn’t really want to involve Niall in this kind of problem. What kind of father would he be if he couldn’t rely on himself? He was the provider. It had been how he was raised by his human father. It was how it was done. It hadn’t changed in the millennia since he’d been turned. Calling in Niall would only be as a last resort.
That was, in part, why he was going to meet with Bill. There were some other things too, but he wasn’t going to think about it right then. The main thing was, he needed to get his biggest money-maker to do some investigating and soon.
Eric continued to watch her sleep, content to just lay there. He hated to leave her, but duty was calling. Nothing would get done if he didn’t get up off of his ass. He leaned over and kissed her on the forehead, hoping that she was in a deep enough sleep, so that she wouldn’t wake up when he left her.
He slid out of bed and put his shoes back on. He used his vampire skills to sneak quietly out of Sookie’s room and out of her house.
Bill sat at his computer, punching in keys on the keyboard, when he heard someone coming. He swiftly turned his head, closed his laptop and went to the front door. He frowned when he opened it to find Eric standing there with a wicked grin on his face.
“Bill,” Eric greeted him in a no-nonsense tone.
“Eric.” Bill backed away to allow him to enter. It angered Bill to see Eric standing there…taking a look around, then turning back to him…as if he owned the place. “What brings you by?” Bill asked, taking a peak outside the windows to see if Eric had brought anybody else with him.
“You really need a paint job,” Eric commented, taking in the interior of the house. “And the wood needs to be re-stained.”
“Yes, well…” Bill didn’t appreciate Eric’s comment on his decorating skills. “I’m getting to that, but I’ve been busy.”
Eric turned back to Bill, taking him in. “Yes, I can see that. What are you working on now?” He asked, curiously. He hated it that everybody wanted to make the most out of Bill’s skills on the computer, but he was a real money maker for him as well, so he couldn’t really complain. He earned a lot of his profits through Bill.
“Nothing,” Bill replied, being purposely vague. “I will ask you again…what are you doing here?”
“I need you to do something for me.” Eric replied back, studying him. “It’s important.”
“I need you to watch over Sookie for a few days. I have some…issues that I have to deal with at Fangtasia. Will you do that for me?” It was the last thing that Eric wanted, but there was no way that he’d leave Sookie unprotected.
“Of course,” Bill gave a slight nod of his head in agreement. “You know that I care about her.”
Eric glared at him. Like hell you do, he thought to himself. Not in the ways that really counted. “Yes, you do.” He agreed, amicably. “I also wanted to let you know that I’m going to be a father.” He announced. He grinned at Bill, already knowing how this news would make him feel. Bill’s expression would make his day.
“Oh?” Bill asked, curiously. “You’re planning on turning someone, after all these years?” He asked, surprised.
“No,” Eric shook his head. “Sookie and I…we’re adopting a child.” He grinned at him, barely able to conceal his delight. “You see, we are really serious now. The time is right. We are very happy and want to share in our love.”
Bill blinked. “Shouldn’t you get married first? Isn’t that the normal order of things?” Bill paused, taking in this news. “I always thought that Sookie was the kind of woman who wanted marriage and children, but in that order.”
Eric grinned. “Yes, well…we are doing things our own way,” he shrugged. “And the marriage thing is only a piece of paper. We are bonded. You can not be closer than we already are. Can I count on you to look after her?”
“Yes,” Bill grumbled, sounding not very happy.
“Good.” Eric left as quickly as he had come in, feeling happier than ever.
Bill was going to look after Sookie while he was gone. This would enable him to concentrate on taking care of some unpleasant business at Fangtasia. Lord knows, that he hadn’t been able to concentrate on anything else other than her, since she had entered his life. This way, he wouldn’t have to worry if she was safe or not. He knew that he could count on Bill because whether he liked it or not, he knew that Bill cared for her too. He was just thankful that Sookie had now realized how much she loved him in return.
He flew back to Sookie’s house, to check in on her before he flew back home to Fangtasia. She hadn’t moved a muscle. “Sleep well, lover,” he leaned over her and kissed her gently on her forehead before leaving. “I love you.”
He stared at her, memorizing her face for a few moments before taking off. She would always take his breath away, he thought, then left.
Clancy and Pam held the man down, who was struggling to get free. He was tied to a chair in Eric’s office, when Eric arrived. He looked at them and grinned, noticing that Pam had worn one of her favorite pair of high heels, that were now stained and muddy.
“What happened to your pumps?” Eric asked, curiously amused. This earned him a hard glare from Pam.
“This little milk bone, made me chase after him in the woods,” she replied, jerking her thumb at their prisoner.
Eric chuckled as he walked past them towards his desk.
“I’m telling you the truth. You have to believe me!” The man cried out from his chair. “I don’t know anything. Why would I lie to you?”
Eric leaned against his desk and crossed his arms, studying the man. “Yes, why would you?” he countered. He stood up and leaned down to stare into the man’s face. His face was only inches away from the man’s. “You will tell us the truth. Where do you get the V? Who’s your supplier?”
Eric wasn’t happy that his sources had revealed that someone was selling V in his club. He needed to get to the bottom of it and take care of this unpleasantness before Sookie gained custody of Hunter. He knew how the legal system worked. If he was going to be the father figure in Hunter’s life, then this is the worse possible thing to happen at his club. They would be sending out people to investigate all of his businesses. He was going to have to make sure that any illegal activity was dealt with before the investigations began.
“I don’t know!” the man cried. “We always meet after dark. They are always wearing masks. I don’t know anything!” He exclaimed, sounding paranoid. “Why would I lie to vampires? I know what you’ll do to me.”
Eric studied him. He exchanged looks with Pam and Clancy, trying to gauge their reactions. “You say that they always wear masks.” Eric turned his attention back to the man again. Both Pam and Clancy didn’t know what to think, but he could sense their thirst for punishment. He gave them a look back that told them to hold off until he got what he wanted first. “Tell me…are they big? Tall? Fat or skinny? Male or female?” He asked, trying to get to the bottom of it.
“I don’t know…I don’t remember.” The man replied.
Eric exchanged another look with Pam and Clancy.
“You will answer or I’ll take particular pleasure in draining you dry.” Pam leaned over and threatened in the man’s ear, her fangs elongated.
“Honest! I’m telling you the truth. I don’t know anything. I would tell you if I had more info, but I don’t.”
“Pam, what do you think we should do?” Eric asked his child, mostly as a tactic that they had used in the past to gain information. “Should we trust this no-good human?”
“No,” Pam replied back. “Let me drain him. I’m thirsty. It’s been awhile since I’d had blood,” she replied back, sounding almost detached, but not enough so that the man would get suspicious. “Please master?” She pleaded, making it sound almost like she was begging. “You know how much I like men like these…they’re very tasty.” She looked down at the man to see his reaction. Her showed him her fangs, as if proving just how hungry she was.
If Eric hadn’t had a lot of skill at hiding his emotions, he would’ve burst out laughing. Everything his child had said was the furthest from the truth as you could get. He had taught her well. Maybe he could teach Hunter to be good at things too?
It caught him off guard, as thoughts of Sookie had always done. He knew that he was in danger once again. The first time that had happened was when he had found himself thinking about Sookie a bit too much. Look at how that turned out. He was happier than he had ever been and thought that he was the luckiest man in the world. Maybe this will turn out to be the same?
“I know how much you like them, Pam,” he agreed. He sighed, pretending that it was an awful decision for him to make. “Since he’s not being cooperative…I think you should just do what your heart desires.” He told her, knowing that the man would understand what he had said.
“No!” The man cried out in horror and fear. “Okay…maybe I do know a little something…” He looked at all three of them separately. “But you can’t let them find out that I told you, got that?” He pleaded. “Promise?”
Eric studied him, curiously. So far, this man was the closest source that they’d had. He was starting to lose his patience. He wanted to see heads roll. “Go on…” he motioned for the man to continue. “We don’t have all night.”
“I do,” Pam gloated from her position from the man’s side.
Eric glared at her. This wasn’t the time to act witty, he thought. Pam quickly bowed her head in apology.
“Um…you see,” the man seemed stumped for words.
“Cat got your tongue?” Clancy asked curiously, staring down at the man. “Maybe if we cut out your tongue…you might be better able to talk?” He threatened.
“I am…I will, but please…you have to promise me that they won’t find out. You have no idea what they will do to me!” He exclaimed, scared and shaking in his seat. He was so scared that he pissed himself.
Eric noticed the stain on the front of his pants and rolled his eyes with disgust. Humans. He wished that it wasn’t in the middle of the night, or he’d call his beloved telepath in to help them deal with this. She needed her sleep. No matter how much he wanted her there, he would make sure that she got what she needed. But she would make this interview short and painless. For him, anyways. She was the only human being who had ever gotten to him or that he had respect for. This man was only reminding of the reasons why no humans ever had before.
“Okay,” Eric agreed. You couldn’t find out information without showing at least a little bit of compassion. At least with humans, that is. “I promise…your “sources” will not find out about this. Now talk.”
“Okay…it’s like this. When I’m running low…of V, I call up this guy. His name is V.D.-”
“Catchy,” Pam interrupted.
Eric gave her a hard look. “Go on…” he urged. He could feel his adrenaline pumping. He wanted to roll some heads.
“He doesn’t live here in town. He lives out of town so we meet halfway. Out on this farm out in the boonies,” the man explained. “Honest, I have never sold here in my life. I’m telling you the God’s honest truth.” He crossed his heart and raised his hand in a boy-scout gesture. “On my life…I would never disrespect you like that.”
Eric was getting impatient. He was sick and tired of this pussy-footing around. “I believe you,” he replied, although he really didn’t. “Continue.”
“I sell to some fangbangers that usually come in here,” he explained. “Maybe they’re the ones who sold in your club?” He pointed out.
“Who gives this V.D., V?” Clancy demanded to know. “Do you know who the vamps are who give it to him?” Everyone knew that it was a cardinal sin in the vampire world if vamps were giving it willingly.
“I don’t know,” the man sighed. “I wish I did…but I don’t.”
Eric paused, while he thought about it for a minute. He tried to see whether or not Pam and Clancy were believing this story too. It looked like they didn’t know what to think.
“Release him,” Eric replied, with a wave of his hand. The man looked hopeful for the first time since he had entered the room.
“But Eric-” Clancy objected.
Eric glared at him, willing him to disobey. While he valued Clancy’s vows of fealty, sometimes Clancy was more trouble than he was worth. “Yes?”
“Don’t you think that…?” Clancy trailed off, as he read the expression on Eric’s face. “I guess you want the usual?”
“Yes, you know what to do,” Eric ordered. “I’m going to find out about those fangbangers.” With that, Eric quickly left his office, closing the door behind him. He walked out into the bar area. He could hear the man’s screams coming from his office. The usual always was that they drank from humans, but didn’t kill them. At least Pam and Clancy had been able to eat, he thought to himself.
“Sir,” Thalia approached him as he walked by the bar. “We have another problem.” It was unusual for her to sound uncertain, but she did. She knew that Eric wasn’t going to like it. “The cops are here. They’re taking in two fangbangers.”
“What the hell for?” Eric demanded, angrily.
“They got into a fight.” Thalia replied, shrugging her shoulders.
Eric sighed. All he wanted was to head back to Bon Temps, so that he wouldn’t have to deal with all of this mess. He gazed up towards the ceiling, as if praying to the Gods to come take him away. He needed to get outside and get away from it all.
He pulled out his cell phone and dialed a number.
“I need a favor,” he spoke into the phone after it was picked up. “A really huge one…”