“Eric,” he answered, briskly, in his usual phone answering technique.
“Eric, I need you,” I whispered to him over the phone. I didn’t want the lurker outside of my window to overhear, because he might try something funny…like enter through my bedroom window. I knew that Eric would be able to hear me anyways.
“What is wrong, lover?”
“There’s someone…a man, I think, outside of my bedroom window,” I explained, in a hushed whisper. “Can you please come back here and check it out? I’m scared…” I couldn’t keep the sound of fear from my voice.
“Your wish is my command,” he replied. “Do not move. Stay in your bedroom. I will be there soon.” He ordered, issuing instructions.
I didn’t argue with him. If there was anyone who knew that they were doing when it came to stuff like this, it was Eric. I was immensely grateful and relieved. “Thank you, Eric.” I breathed a sigh of relief.
We hung up and I sat, huddled in my bed with the covers pulled up to my neck. I watched that shadow in my window for what seemed like ages. I tried reading the shadows’ mind to see if it was a human or not. It wasn’t. It was definitely a vampire, because I could feel a blank hole, where I would normally feel brainwaves. I only hoped that Eric got there in time. The shadow looked like it was trying to figure out a way to get in. Every time it looked like it had figured out a way, it looked liked it decided against it. Either, the vampire didn’t have an invitation inside my home or the vampire was confused. I hoped that it was the former, rather than the later. You never knew what crazy people might do and for vampires, it was even worse.
My heart raced. I knew that Eric was coming. I could feel him getting closer and closer to me. I could feel a mixture of emotions getting stronger and stronger. I could feel that he was angry and out for blood. I could feel his excitement. It made me excited too. I suddenly felt a burst of energy that I hadn’t felt before.
I stared at the shadow at my window. I knew that Eric wouldn’t like it, but I didn’t like feeling as helpless and as useless as I was feeling now. I wanted to help Eric. I decided to be brave and to face it head on.
I climbed out of bed and tip-toed towards the window. I pulled back the curtain just a little bit, but not so much so that the lurker would know that I was standing there looking at him.
It was a full moon outside. I could see that it was a male vampire, but I couldn’t make out his features or anything. He must have heard Eric land because suddenly the vampire took off into the woods. I watched him until he disappeared.
I saw Eric approach my window. I opened it up so that I could talk to him.
“He raced off over that way,” I pointed towards the woods. Eric looked in the direction that I was pointing at. “He’s also a vampire,” I explained, knowing that Eric would appreciate as much information as I could supply.
“He is heading towards Bill’s,” he said. He dug his phone out of his pocket and dialed what I assumed was Bill’s number. “Bill, there was a vampire who was spying on Sookie through her bedroom window. No, I was too far away to recognize him. He is heading your way through the woods. Take care of it if you see him. As soon as you handle the situation, call me back.” He instructed, before ending the phone call. He turned towards me. His eyes full of concern. “Are you okay?” He asked.
“Yes, I’m more scared than anything, but now that you’re here…I feel much safer.” I replied back, relieved that he had come so quickly. “Did you see him at all?”
“No,” Eric frowned and shook his head. “I did not get close enough to get a good look. Did you?” He asked, curiously.
I shook my head. “No, it was too dark,” I explained. I paused, while I thought about who it might have been. “Who could it be?” I voiced my questions aloud. “What was he doing outside my bedroom window?”
Eric climbed through my opened bedroom window and closed it behind him. “I do not know but…rest assured, lover, I will find out.” He vowed, trying to reassure me. He took me into his arms and gave me a kiss on the top of my head and gave me a hug. He looked at the clock on the night stand. “Bill will be calling me back soon.” He frowned. “I do not like this. I should go out searching for this vamp.”
“No,” I pleaded with him to stay. “I need you here with me.” I squeezed him around the middle of his waist, making it impossible for him to move. “Please don’t go,” I begged.
“Do not worry, lover. As much as I want to go take care of this, I will not leave you alone. This could be a trap. He may come back while I am searching and do something harmful to you. No…” Eric shook his head, thinking things through. “I will stay.” He pulled back from me to take a good look at my face. “You never invited him in, did you?”
“No,” I shook my head, relieved. I wondered who it could be. I looked at my alarm clock and wondered why Bill hadn’t called Eric back yet. “Do you think that Bill has seen him? Do you think that Bill is okay?” I asked, scared at the possibility. Although, I didn’t really care about him anymore. Showing up in my room, like he’d done the night before was making me scared that Bill not might have my best interests at heart either.
I wondered if I should say anything about it to Eric. But then again, I didn’t think that I could live with the guilt that Eric’s actions would make me feel. Eric would be brought in front of the Vampire Magistrate. He would have to pay a stiff fine. It would be all my fault. Better to keep my mouth shut as a way to protect Eric, I thought. I knew that there were still a number of vampires who weren’t happy with my relationship with Eric as it was. Being the cause of a trial in front of the Vampire Magistrate, would only enforce their convictions.
“We will find out soon enough,” Eric replied back. “In the meantime…you need to go back to bed. You had an eventful day and you have a lot of things that you need to do.”
“For Hunter, you mean.”
“Yes,” Eric replied back. “Come…” he flipped the covers back on my bed and motioned for me to climb back in. “Go to sleep. I am here. I will keep you safe.”
Since he was right, I was tired and I knew that he would keep me safe, I didn’t argue. I climbed back underneath the covers. Eric tucked me in. I smiled up at him, as he sat down next to me on the bed. “You have great bedside manners,” I commented in the darkness. “That means that when Hunter comes to live with me, I know that you’ll be able to tuck him in too. I won’t have to worry about things if I’m working late.”
Eric laughed. “Well…we will see,” he replied back, not wanting to go there yet. “I have not even met him. What if he and I hate each other?” He pointed out.
“Perish the thought,” I exclaimed, aghast at the thought. “But if you do get along…will you tell him bedtime stories? I’m sure that you’re full of them.” I teased.
Eric laughed. “As I said…we will see. I am still getting used to the idea of not having our privacy anymore. Are you sure that you want that interrupted?” His hand slid underneath my pajama top and cupped my breast. I knew exactly what he meant about having privacy. He wanted to be able to do bad things to me. I grinned, in the darkness.
Before I could answer, Eric’s cell phone rang. Eric picked it up, expecting it to be Bill. “Yes?” Eric answered, impatiently. “I see.” He listened some more. “I see,” he repeated. “Are you sure?” He asked. He waited some more. “Okay. Talk to you soon. Oh, and Bill…thanks.” He hung up the phone and then placed it on my night stand.
“Well?” I asked, curiously, impatient. “Did Bill see him? What happened? Does he know who it was?”
Eric shook his head. “Bill told me that he searched the woods, but he did not find anything. The vamp must have left. The other night, I asked Bill to look after you, if I am busy taking care of business elsewhere.”
I had to keep control of my emotions so that he wouldn’t be able to tell just how scared I was that Bill was going to be looking out for me. I wondered if I should mention what happened the other night now.
He looked down at me, with concern. “I do not like this,” he frowned.
“What?” I asked, still trying to find control. Had he read my mind? I was sure that I had been keeping it purposely from him. I didn’t want Eric to leave to go confront Bill. I wasn’t sure if he was behind everything that had happened and Bill had apologized to me. I wanted to leave things as they were. Eric had enough worries of his own. I didn’t want to burden him any further.
“I do not like it that you live here and not closer to me. Maybe you should move in with me until we find out who this man is,” he frowned.
I sighed. “Eric, you know that I can’t do that. Besides, Amelia is back, maybe she can cast a spell on the house like she did before?” I suggested, hoping that he would agree to that idea.
“A spell…” Eric shook his head. I could tell that he didn’t like the idea. “I still think it would be better if you were protected by me.”
“Eric,” I sighed. It seemed like it was a never-ending discussion between Eric and me. “I don’t like this any more than you do, but I can’t leave my house. I can’t leave my job. I need the money more so now than I ever did before. Thanks for the offer, but I hope you can understand that.”
Eric nodded his head. “You are a stubborn woman,” he grumbled and complained. “Remind me why I wanted you in the first place?”
I smiled. “Because you liked my hot body and my telepathic mind?” I quipped back.
“Oh…yes,” he replied. He grinned down at me. He liked my answer. “Go to sleep. I will make sure that the vampire does not return or scare you again.”
Content that Eric was there and that he would keep me safe, I closed my eyes and drifted off to sleep.
When I awoke the next day, the first thought that came to mind was that I never did confront Eric about hiring Mr. Cataliades without my knowledge or consent. I sighed. Maybe it was for the best if I accepted his generosity for what it was, and just moved on.
After I had showered and dressed for work, I walked out into the kitchen and poured myself a cup of coffee. Amelia was seated at the table, reading the morning paper. She looked up at me, as I sat down. This was what I had been scared to face, with Eric still in the house, I thought to myself.
“Morning,” I greeted her. I glanced down at the paper that she was holding in her hands. “Anything newsworthy?” I asked. I wanted to try to put what had happened the night before behind us.
“No…nothing,” Amelia replied, then went back to reading her paper.
“Look…” I spoke up, hating the awkwardness in the room. “I’m sorry that you walked in on…that. We didn’t know that you had returned home,” I apologized, shamefully.
“Sookie…it’s really not worth talking about,” Amelia tried to shift the blame. “Honestly, you and Eric are happy and together…I’m sorry that I interrupted you,” she apologized too. She grinned at me from across the table. “I trust that you had an interesting night.”
If she only knew, I thought to myself. Suddenly, I wondered if Amelia had heard anything suspicious happen during the night. “Hey, I don’t suppose that you heard anything…strange last night, did you?”
“Like what?” She asked, curiously.
“There was someone outside my bedroom window,” I explained, shrugging my shoulders. “It appeared like they were spying on me.”
“No,” Amelia replied back, startled. “Was it someone you know?” She asked, suddenly very concerned.
“I don’t know,” I shook my head. “It was dark. I couldn’t make out his face or anything. When Eric returned, he took off towards Bill’s. All I know is that it was definitely a vampire,” I explained.
Amelia blinked. “I thought Eric was with you all night? Where did he go?” she asked, puzzled and confused.
“Um…I told him to leave after…you know, after what happened with you. I told him that it would be less awkward for us if he weren’t around,” I answered.
“Oh,” Amelia replied back. She didn’t comment on it any more than that. “And you’ve never seen this vampire before?” She questioned.
“Well, it was dark. The vampire wasn’t able to enter our house. I’m assuming that they didn’t have an invitation. Most vampires I know have one.” Although, there was one in particular that I was definitely thinking about rescinding. But I didn’t tell Amelia that. I wanted to wait until things blew over with this first. Eric had enlisted Bill to watch out for me in his absence after all. Eric would question why I had rescinded my invitation to Bill.
I went into work. It was busy, since it was the weekend. My feet ached by the time that I was finished my shift. The only good thing about it was that I had earned a lot of extra money in tips. That would definitely help in my fight to gain custody of Hunter.
It had been relatively uneventful, for a bar on a Saturday night, except for when I had gone on my break. Sam had called me into his office.
“How are you doing, Sookie?” he asked, full of concern.
“Good, why?” I didn’t know why he would call me into his office, just to ask me that. There had to be another reason, I thought.
“Oh…nothing.” Sam replied, hesitantly. “How are things going between you and Eric?”
This was new, I thought to myself. Sam was asking me questions about Eric. Usually, he steered clear of any topic that concerned him. “Um…good.”
Sam stared at me, thoughtfully. “I’ve heard that he’s making it known that you’re together.”
“Yeah, sure.” I really didn’t want to have this conversation with him. “Do you have a problem with that?”
“No,” Sam shook his head. “I’m just curious. I wanted to find out if what I’m hearing is true.”
“What are you hearing?”
“Well…” Sam leaned forward in his chair behind the desk. “I’ve heard that things are getting pretty serious between you and Eric and…that you are even planning on adopting a child together?”
“Oh,” I replied back. I frowned. I somehow had a feeling that I knew where he had heard that piece of information from. “Where did you hear that piece of interesting gossip?” I asked, angrily, not really wanting to get into it with him. I had always hated being the center of town gossip in the past.
“I heard it from Portia Bellefleur. She came in here, drank lots of booze and then proceeded to tell everyone in the bar that night about you and your plans. Knowing your relationship with Eric, I guessed that you and he decided to do this together,” he explained. “Excuse me, but I’m a little surprised. Eric doesn’t strike me as the fatherly type.”
“Well, he’s got Pam doesn’t he?” I pointed out. Portia was the last source that I had expected. Although, it shouldn’t surprise me either. She had always liked to gossip. “I’m sure she told everyone what her thoughts were on the matter,” I grumbled, switched back to the subject at hand.
“Yeah, that’s one way of putting it.” Sam grinned, sheepishly at me. “So, it’s true? You’re adopting a kid?” He asked, incredulously.
“Yeah,” I admitted, shyly. “It’s true. I’m sorry that you didn’t hear it from me first.”
Sam blinked. “Excuse me, but I thought you always wanted to get married first before having children? And I thought that you wanted to have children of your own? What made you change your mind?” He asked.
“Um…” This conversation was not a very comfortable one to be having with a boss. And the boss in question used to have affectionate feelings for me too. I shifted around in my seat. “It’s Hadley’s kid,” I explained. “His father recently died. He wants to live with me and I told him that he could.”
“Oh,” Sam was speechless.
“Eric hired a lawyer for me and he’s been really great and supportive…even though he thinks it’s a bad idea.”
“I do too,” Sam replied. “It seems that Eric and I agree on a lot of things that concern you.”
“Sam…” Just like his words, I could tell that he wasn’t crazy over the idea either. “Like I told Eric, my mind is made up. I’m going to do all that I can to make sure that Hunter is placed in a decent home and I hope that it’s mine. He needs me and I’m the only one who can really help him.”
“Why do you think that?” He asked, curiously.
“Because he…” I wasn’t sure if I should tell Sam. The less people who knew about Hunter’s telepathy, the better. I was already protecting him like a mother, I realized. “Let’s just say that…nobody really understands unless they’re a part of my family.”
Sam stared at me for a few moments, while he thought about what I said. “No wonder Eric seems to be supportive.” He assumed. “It’s part of your blood-bond.”
“I guess…” I replied back, uncomfortable about having this conversation. “Excuse me, Sam, but would you mind if I went back to work? I need the money so that I can have some money saved up for Hunter.”
“Fine, go ahead.” Sam waved me out of his office. I walked out and back into the area behind the bar.
Arlene noticed me putting my apron back on and came up beside me while she poured some drinks for her customers.
“Sookie,” she stated, in an unfriendly-like manner.
“Arlene,” I replied back, not sure if she wanted to talk to me or not. I stood there and looked at her, expectantly. I guessed that she hadn’t wanted to talk to me because, after she had finished pouring her drinks, she returned back to her tables, not saying another word.
I sighed. I had wanted to ask her a few things about being a single mother. How does she manage it and who she could recommend for a babysitter? But I was scared. She had changed a lot in the short while that she had been dating a man from the Fellowship of the Sun. I wasn’t sure how to talk to her anymore. But I knew that I would eventually have to ask her, since she was the only one I knew that had kids and would know what to do.
I returned back to work.
After my shift ended, I cleaned up, walked out to my car and climbed in. I drove home, with the radio station turned up. Even though it had been loud in the bar, with everyone’s thoughts and the music playing on the jukebox, I wanted to hear some noise. Probably so that I wouldn’t feel alone.
It was late at night. I was driving down the highway towards my house. I wanted to get there quickly, because it had been a long day. The road was twisty and hilly, but still I sped home. I could tell that Eric’s bad driving habits were beginning to rub off on me. I hoped that I didn’t get pulled over with a ticket.
My talk with Sam somehow made me feel a little bit better. While he didn’t like the fact that I was adopting Hunter either, I could tell that he would support me too. I was glad.
My thoughts switched to wondering who had been lurking outside of my bedroom window the night before. What did they want with me? Did it have to do with my telepathy? Did it have to do with Eric? Who was it? Was it Bill? I was relieved that Eric had decided to stay the night after that. I knew that he had been wanting to go chasing after the guy who had been there, but had decided to watch over me instead. I was grateful that he had known that I wouldn’t want to be alone after all of that. Even if they had managed to find out who it had been, I had confidence that Eric would get to the bottom of it sooner or later.
Sometimes I was really glad that he was the sheriff and was as powerful as he was.
I drove along, not really paying attention to the road, when suddenly I felt one of my tires go flat. I carefully manoeuvred the car over to the side of the road, and stopped the car.
Great, a flat tire on a dark and deserted road, I thought to myself. What were the chances?
I had visions of past horror movies that I had seen; suddenly pop into my mind. Many of the murders in them had started off exactly this same way. I fought back my fears. Those were only in the movies, I thought to myself. They didn’t happen to me. I climbed out of my car and opened up my trunk, hoping that my spare tire was inflated and drivable. It wasn’t.
Great, now what was I going to do? I wondered. I rushed back to my car door and dug inside my purse for my phone. After what had happened with my car when I had saved King Felipe and Eric from Seibert, I had Tray Dawson’s phone number on speed dial.
There wasn’t anybody there, but I left a message for him to call me back. I hung up the phone, trying to figure out what else I should do. I realized that I would have to call Eric, even though he was in Shreveport dealing with things there. It might take him awhile to get here, but I knew that Eric would come to my rescue regardless.
I dialed his number and Pam answered.
“Fangtasia,” she greeted into the phone with a bored sounding voice. “Where all your fantasies come true.” She added, almost sarcastically.
“Hey, Pam,” I greeted her as soon as I could. “I need to speak to Eric, is he busy?”
“Hey, Sookie,” she replied. “Yes, he is, but I’m sure he won’t mind being interrupted since it’s you that’s calling. How are you?”
“Well…” I didn’t know if I wanted to get into it with her, but I figured that she would hear about it eventually. “I have a flat tire. That’s why I’m calling. You see, my spare is flat and I have no way to get home. I left a message with Tray Dawson, but he hasn’t called me back yet,” I explained.
“Oh, a flat…” Pam replied, gleefully. “I remember when I came across this girl with a flat. She was very tasty.”
“Pam, you’re not helping.” The images in my mind that her words conjured up didn’t help matters any. I was freaked out enough as it was.
Pam laughed. “Okay, I will get the man.”
Eric came on the line. “Yes?” He asked, curiously. Just from the sound of his voice, I knew that he wasn’t alone and that his visitors were vampires.
“Eric, I need a favor,” I began to explain. “I have a flat tire and I’m stranded on the side of the road.”