Eric led me inside Felipe’s mansion, where we were to pay our respects before leaving. But Felipe didn’t want to hear it. It was time for some dancing and entertainment, he told us.
A band was set up and began to play. I looked over at Eric, who stood looking at some of the couples dancing on the dance floor. I remembered a dance that we shared once before. When Eric had flung me up in the air, so that I was flying. I wondered if he’d do the same thing now.
“Come, let’s dance,” Eric turned to me, then held out his waiting hand.
I put my hand in his and he led me onto the dance floor. I moved closer to him and we began to dance, effortlessly. We didn’t seem to need the music. Our bodies moved as one, in perfect unison. It was one thing that we had in common, the ability to dance. Eric led me perfectly, though I had no idea where he’d learned to dance during the thousand years…and with whom. I pushed those jealous thoughts from my mind, knowing that Eric was with me now and how much he loved me.
I was pleasantly surprised and breathless, when Eric did indeed begin to fly. He carried me up above the dance floor, my feet not touching the ground. I wanted to look down, to see how high we were flying, but I couldn’t. I couldn’t tear my eyes away from his glowing ones. They sparkled and glittered. I was held spellbound in his gaze.
The music eventually died down and Eric lowered us to the floor. He broke our embrace, then took my hand and led me off the dance floor. I turned to walk forward and noticed that he was leading us towards Felipe.
“Your majesty,” Eric spoke to Felipe, bowing his head, slightly. “We’re terribly sorry, but we’re going to have to leave.”
“I hope it’s nothing serious,” Felipe was immediately alarmed and concerned. He glanced at me, then back at Eric once again. “I’m sorry about the Were-tiger, I didn’t think that he would show up and cause a disturbance, like he did. Trust me, he won’t be doing that again. I’ll see to it myself.” Felipe frowned.
I grew scared. While I didn’t want to get back together with Quinn, I still didn’t want to see anything bad happen to him either. “I assure you, sir,” I spoke up. “He was no disturbance. We had some past issues to work out and it was a good thing that he came. I’m sorry if he made you feel uncomfortable.” I apologized, hoping that it would be enough.
Eric squeezed my hand, reassuringly. He could feel my fears for Quinn and tried to reassure me that no harm would come to him, even though his own feelings were completely opposite. Eric didn’t care, but he did care for me and didn’t want me to worry. I hoped he could feel how much I appreciated it.
“You’re not leaving, are you, Eric?” Felipe looked at Eric with surprise, after he got over his disappointment. “I was hoping to go over some of my own ideas and plans for your Area.” He frowned, disappointedly. “I think that we could really turn Louisiana into the great tourist attraction it once was before Katrina.”
“I would love to hear about your ideas, sir, but you see…my bonded is feeling tired. She must get her rest. She has a big day tomorrow and I want her to get some much needed sleep,” Eric explained, as he glanced at me and gave me a look that told me to follow along.
“Yes, sir,” I spoke up. Then I faked yawned, to play it up further. “I’m still in Louisiana time and I think I’m suffering from jet-lag,” I added.
“I’m sorry to hear that.” Felipe frowned with concern. “I had a special surprise for you, but I guess I’ve forgotten what it’s like to be human,” he explained. He turned to me, with an apologetic look on his face. “We’ll make arrangements for you to get back to your hotel right away and I’ll have to arrange for my surprise on some other night.”
He motioned with his hand, for someone to fetch his driver, who would drive us back in a limousine. I glanced up at Eric, to see what his reaction was. It was strange that we had Felipe trying so hard to please us. That Felipe had genuine concern and disappointment on his face. I briefly wondered how Eric commanded such respect from a King who had just taken over his territory. I hoped that Eric had done nothing illegal in the process. But I was curious to see if Eric noticed the same thing.
Of course, he was keeping his mind closed off from me, which was getting to be annoying. What was the point of being bonded and able to read each other’s minds, when half the time we weren’t doing it?
Soon, the limo pulled up outside of the mansion. Eric led me towards the door, cautiously. I could feel that he was tense and wondered why. I glanced up at him, briefly, while he held the door open for me to climb into the limo. I slid over in my seat and waited, while Eric briefly exchanged pleasantries with Felipe.
He climbed in and had to shift his long legs in order to get fully inside. The limo pulled away from the house and drove down the driveway.
There was something troubling me in the back of my mind. I turned to Eric after he had motioned for the driver to put up the partition, so that we could have some privacy. He turned to me, already knowing what I wanted to talk to him about.
He took my hand in his and looked me in the eyes. “Don’t worry. You are mine. You will be safe.” He tried to ease my fears.
“I know,” I replied, hoping and praying that he was right.
“Trust me,” he replied. “I have something planned for tomorrow.” He frowned. “I hate that she has made it impossible for me to accompany you. I will ensure that you won’t get hurt…somehow.”
“How?” I asked, puzzled and confused. “What are you planning? Quinn won’t help me now, so you can count him out. Who else is there that can help me?” I bit my lip, scared to the bone. “Maybe I shouldn’t even show up?” I suggested.
“No,” Eric shook his head. “You told me that she will mess with our bond if you don’t. Unless…you want that. I’m not sure if it will cause us bodily harm, but I do know that it’s no…what’s the word…picnic. You will meet her and I will make sure that there’s somebody there to keep you safe from harm. I will not lose you after waiting for you so long,” he vowed.
“Is that why you were so hurt by Quinn showing up like he did?” I asked, curiously. “You behaved differently than I have ever seen you behave before. I didn’t know what to think when you yelled at me. Don’t you trust me?” I asked, curiously. “You can trust me; just like I trust you.” I vowed.
Eric nodded his head. “I do…it’s just that you’re the first woman to ever make me feel this way. I wanted to believe that you wouldn’t leave me, but I remember how the tiger made you feel. You liked the fact that he was alive and I’m not. You liked the fact that you could go out in daylight with him; while I can’t. There’s much that you could do with him; that you can not do with me. I wonder if maybe this is wrong.” He frowned, as the thought hit him.
“No,” I exclaimed. “It’s not!” I stared at him, astounded that after all of his past actions of trying to get me into his bed and bonded to him, that he would be suddenly changing his mind now. It scared me. “Don’t say that,” I cried, as tears came to my eyes.
“Oh, Sookie…don’t do that,” Eric sighed, after seeing my tears. “You know that I can’t stand to see you cry. It hurts me.” He took me in his arms and held me close.
“Then, don’t say that what we have is wrong,” I replied back. I pushed back out of his arms. “This is right. I told Quinn tonight that this is right. Don’t prove me to be wrong.” I cried, into Eric’s shoulder.
“I won’t. I am saying that ever since people have found out that you are my bonded, it seems as though we’ve had more trouble, than there would be if I had left you alone. This is my fault. Dimitri wouldn’t have taken you, if it weren’t for me. Agatha wouldn’t be messing with our bond, if it weren’t for me.” Eric tried to explain.
“What do you mean?” I asked, as a sudden thought struck me. “Are you saying that maybe you know who this Agatha is and why she’s after us?” I asked, suddenly more than curious.
“No,” Eric shook his head. “I have no idea why she is after us. All I know is that if I had left you alone, you would be safe.”
“And if you had left me alone, I would be dead right now,” I pointed out to him. “How many times have you saved my life? How many times have you been there, when I needed you the most?” I reminded him. “Don’t tell me that what we have is wrong,” I shook my head. “I don’t want to hear it and you’re wrong if you believe it.”
“Okay,” Eric replied, agreeably, nodding his head. “You are right, lover. I am only letting my crazy thoughts get the best of me. I just wish that you didn’t have to face things that could endanger you,” he explained. He gazed into my eyes, his own glittering. “My lover, I do believe that we just had our first fight tonight,” he winked at me.
“We did?” I asked, surprised. “Oh,” I replied, remembering when I’d gone to him in the garden.
“And you know what’s the best thing about fighting?” Eric replied back, grinning at me, wickedly.
“What’s that?” I asked, curiously. Although, judging from what I could feel Eric feeling and by the glint in his eyes, I could pretty much guess.
“The best part about fighting is…making up,” he grinned at me.
I laughed. Trust Eric to have a one-track mind. “Really. And what makes you think that we’re going to be making up?” I teased, grinning back at him. His mood was infectious.
“What makes you think that you will be able to resist me?” he teased back.
“Well…because it took you how long to get me in bed before.”
“It was only a matter of time until you realized that resistance was futile,” Eric shrugged his shoulders. “And I would’ve had you in bed sooner, if we had not had some outside interference.”
“Such as?” I asked, wondering what he thought of as outside interference.
“Well…” Eric paused, as if unsure if he should tell me about it. “There was first Bill and then Quinn. You were always getting together with men, who wouldn’t appreciate you, as I do. I think that you were scared of me.” He looked at me, trying to see if it was the truth. I nodded my head. I wasn’t scared of him now. “I think I could have seduced you much sooner, if you weren’t as stubborn as you were.”
“Stubborn, huh?” I repeated, not liking the fact that he had called me stubborn. “And if I had gone to bed with you before this, would you have fallen in love with me?” I pointed out. I was very curious about this. It was always in the back of my mind, that part of the reason Eric had been drawn to me, was because I wouldn’t give in. I had been a challenge to him and he liked that.
Eric frowned. “I am not sure. Maybe. But in a way, I am glad that you resisted me like you did. It makes me appreciate you more.”
“Good,” I squeezed his cool hand in mine. “And not only for my telepathic talents?” I asked.
Eric shook his head. “No, the first thing I noticed about you was your beauty. Once I knew about your talent, it made me want you more. When I first met you, in Fangtasia, I tried to take my eyes off of you, but I found that I couldn’t. You were…very intriguing to me.”
“Maybe it was my fairy blood?” I asked, teasingly.
Eric laughed. “Maybe…or, maybe your hair was out of place and since I’m a perfectionist, my eyes kept being drawn back to you, wanting to get it right again,” he teased back.
I joined in his laugher.
“Sir, we’ve arrived,” the driver spoke over a speaker.
Eric pushed a button and answered back. “Good, we won’t be long,” he told the driver.
“We’re not?” I asked, surprised. I looked out the window, which was the first time since I’d entered the car. Such was the thing about talking to Eric. He consumed everything around me. I wasn’t aware of anything going on, except for what we were doing.
I noticed that we weren’t at the Grand Mimosa, like I thought that we’d planned. Instead, we were at a normal house, on a normal street, in the middle of the suburbs.
The limo pulled to a stop.
“Eric, where are we? What are we doing?” I asked, alarmed and wondering what he was up to.
“Nothing. You stay right here. I won’t be long,” he said to me, before he gave me a quick kiss on the lips. “I’ll be back,” he gave a really bad Arnold Schwarnegger impression.
Eric climbed out of the limo and walked towards the front door of a house. I looked out the window at him, wondering whose house it was and what we were doing here.
Eric could feel her eyes watching him. He knocked on the front door and while he waited, he turned to look back at the limo. He didn’t want to do this, but he didn’t have any other choice at the moment.
The door opened and Frannie stood there, looking up at him, surprised.
“What are you doing here?” she exclaimed. “Quinn doesn’t want to talk to anybody.” She explained, before Eric could give her a reason as to why he was there.
“Tough. You get him. Now.” Eric growled.
In Frannie’s fear, she quickly ran to get Quinn. He was much better equipped to deal with the Viking vampire. After a few moments, Quinn appeared in the doorway.
“May I come in?” Eric asked him.
“Why?” Quinn replied back.
“Because you say you love Sookie…well, if that’s true, then you will want to help her,” Eric pointed out.
Quinn thought about it, then backed away, allowing Eric to enter. Eric stood in the foyer, glancing around the interior of the house.
“Is Sookie with you?”
Eric nodded his head. “She is in the car,” he answered.
“Why isn’t she the one who is asking for help?”
“When has Sookie ever asked for help before?” Eric countered. “She doesn’t know why we are here. She doesn’t even know whose house this is. I want to keep it that way.”
Quinn looked at him, angrily. “And why would I help her now? I’m sure that she came running to you, as soon as she was through dumping me.”
“I am sorry,” Eric replied, although the tone in his voice didn’t sound the least bit so. “It is Sookie’s decision. I’m only here because I know that you love her, almost as much as I do.” Eric started to pace. He wasn’t used to being the one who asked for help. It was usually him who was the recipient of requests.
“I would like your help. You see, there’s a witch who is after Sookie. This witch refuses to meet with her at night, when I could defend her. That leaves me with you. Since you love her, and a were-tiger…I thought that you would be willing to defend her for me,” Eric explained, swallowing past the lump in his throat. His fear of losing Sookie at the hands of Agatha, made him swallow his pride. “If I could be there with her, I would. But since I can’t…that leaves you. Will you help defend her for me?”
“So…what would you do if I don’t?” Quinn asked, curiously, knowing that he was walking a thin line.
“I will kill you…right here. Right now,” Eric growled. His fangs elongated in his anger. “If you claim to love Sookie as you do…you will do this. Think of this as a favor that I will owe you,” Eric could taste the bile in his throat.
Quinn grinned at him. “Well…let me think about it and I’ll get back to you,” he knew how hard it was for Eric to ask him for this favor. Especially knowing how he felt about Sookie himself. Eric must be scared for her badly, Quinn thought to himself. He grew alarmed. Usually an Alpha-male like he and Eric were, refused to ask for help because they knew that they could do it all on their own. Unless…it was very serious and Sookie was in deep trouble. “What’s going on?” he asked, as he pushed his feelings aside, as his own fears grew.
I watched the closed door of the house from inside the limo, wondering what Eric was doing and who he was visiting. It couldn’t have waited until after I had fallen asleep? I asked myself. Eric had been there for quite awhile. I looked at my wristwatch. It was too long. I decided to leave the comforts of the limo. I climbed out of the backseat, closing the door behind me.
I walked, hesitantly up the walkway, still curious about whose house it was and what Eric was doing there. No sooner, than I had raised my hand to knock on the door, the door opened and Eric stood in the doorway.
“What are you doing? I thought I told you to wait in the car,” he exclaimed.
I shrugged. “I was wondering what was taking so long and what it’s all about,” I explained.
Eric took my hand and led me back towards the limo. “Don’t worry, you’ll find out soon enough,” Eric evasively answered.
I knew that Eric was keeping something from me. I could sense it and I could feel it. I tried reading his thoughts, but of course, his mind was shut off from me too. I grew scared. “What?” I demanded, stopping suddenly in my tracks. “And don’t tell me not to worry…you’re scaring me.”
“We’ll talk more about it in the car,” Eric pulled me towards the limo. I could tell that whatever he wanted to tell me, he wanted to wait until we were private.
“Okay…but you will tell me everything and don’t leave anything out,” I declared.