Sam had changed back into his human form and had changed behind the bushes into some clothes. He had taken me to the nearest hospital emergency ward, in a taxi.
The doctor had reset my arm, put a cast on and had given me painkillers to help ease the pain. Which was very painful, I thought. Now, I was in one of the rooms, waiting for my release papers, so that we could get on our way.
I wondered what Eric was up to. I could feel his presence in the distance. He was very angry. He must’ve found out about Victor and was going after him. Good, I thought. It served Victor right. This was the first time that I was glad that Eric loved those moments of action. I wouldn’t hold him back this time. He was free to take things out on Victor. And take him out if he wanted to.
I have never been so angry myself. This was a whole new feeling for me. It wasn’t the bond either. I wished that Agatha had felt more pain before she had died. While I could understand her motivations, I just hated the fact that she had used me to get to Eric. It wasn’t right. Selling vampire blood wasn’t right either. I think a part of me was really angry by the fact that they were coming after Eric, when he had never done a thing to them to begin with. It was all about greed. Who would’ve thought it? I was becoming protective of a Viking vampire…someone who had taken care of himself longer than anybody I knew.
I pushed my thoughts away; when Sam re-entered my curtained off room. He had disappeared while the doctor had set my arm. I was pretty sure that he had just wanted to give me some privacy, while the doctor had fixed my arm.
“Hey, Sook,” Sam greeted me. “How’s it going? Did the doctor give you painkillers?” He asked, full of concern.
“Yeah,” I nodded my head. “I guess that I should tell you that I might not be at work for six to eight weeks,” I joked.
“I kind of figured that,” Sam agreed, laughing. “But if you still want to come by, you could always work on my books for me,” he offered. I knew that Sam hated the bookwork part of his job.
“Ha, ha,” I replied back, sarcastically. “You know that math wasn’t my best subject in school.” I paused, thinking of something else that we could talk about to pass the time until my release papers came through. “Um, thank you. I didn’t know that Eric had contacted you.”
He looked at me with concern. “Yeah, well, he told me that he thought it would be best if the less people who knew; the better. I’m glad that you only suffered a broken bone. Tell me…how did all of this happen?” he asked.
I realized that the last time that I’d talked to him, that I hadn’t explained the full details, that is…as I knew them. I told him my story, beginning with the kidnapping. “You remember the Witch War and what happened to Eric before that, right?” Sam nodded his head. “Well, that was the reason why Agatha came after us. She used me to get to Eric.” I couldn’t help it, I burst into tears.
“Sookie…” Sam tried to comfort me.
“No,” I replied, shaking my head. “Both Eric and I knew that it was bound to happen…sooner or later. We just didn’t think that anybody had a real enough reason to come after us…until now. I can’t help it. I feel like if I didn’t have these feelings for him, then both of us would be safe. But then again, there’s the bond thing too. I feel like I can’t live without him.”
“You’re torn, is what you’re saying,” Sam guessed. I nodded my head. “Sookie…do you love him?” Sam hesitantly asked.
I knew that Sam had always had a soft spot towards me and we’d actually tried dating once. It didn’t work, at least for me. He was too good of a friend to think of something more with him. It would ruin the friendship.
Besides, from the moment that I’d met Eric, I’d been fighting my feelings for him. Even Bill, who I’d been dating at the time, didn’t measure up. But I had used him to hide behind because I’d been so afraid.
“Yes,” I replied, finally. I’d just admitted how I felt about the one person who had scared me the most. But it wasn’t the normal kind of fear. This was the fear of knowing someone so well and knowing how right they were for you deep down into your very soul. That was why it was so scary. “Eric may be rich and powerful. He may have lived for a thousand years. He may sometimes get his hands dirty in business dealings. He may love a good fight. He may have slept with an astronomical amount of women in his day. But I love him. There’s nothing that I can do about it now.” I ended my speech with a shrug of my shoulders.
It looked awkward because my arm was in a cast and placed in a sling.
“Don’t forget that you have a blood bond with him,” Sam pointed out. “It could be all to do with that and not genuine feelings at all.”
I shook my head, no. “Believe me, I’ve thought of that too.” I agreed. “As you know I resented the bond at first. Who would want to be that close to a vampire? Who would want someone to know exactly what they were feeling and be able to find them all the time?” I questioned. “But I think even without our bond, I would be having these kinds of feelings. Lord knows that he’s an attractive man. Sex with him is…” I paused, once I realized that I was telling Sam, how good Eric was in bed. That wouldn’t be cool. “You get the drift. Anyways, I realized when I was kidnapped, just how much I love him. I can’t go back now.”
Sam gave me a long look, full of concern. “Sookie, all I ever wanted for you was to be happy. I guess, if being in love with Eric is what you want…”
“It is,” I inserted before he could finish.
“Then, I’m not going to stop you,” he continued. “Truth be told, Eric is really the only vampire that I have respect for. He’s an honorable man. He will always look out for you. So, I can’t really hate him all that much. You should’ve seen the way he was when you had been kidnapped,” he shook his head, in disbelief. “It’s obvious that he feels the same way. I guess since he feels the same way about you; as you feel about him, that’s something at least.”
I smiled at him, glad that he was able to accept it. “Good, give me a hug?” I asked, hoping that it would ease some of the pain of his unrequited feelings for me.
Sam leaned over and hugged me, but gently, because of my arm. “You even have a cast on it,” he commented, then looked down at my arm. “Can I sign it?”
I laughed. It felt good to laugh since I hadn’t laughed since I’d met up with Agatha. “You bet,” I grinned.
A nurse came in with my release papers. I was free to go. Yippee! I filled them out, then Sam walked me out of the hospital.
Eric beat Quinn there by a mile. Eric grinned at the thought, because he had beat Quinn in many ways besides that one. The most important one being…Sookie. Eric still resented the fact that Sookie attracted admirers; like a dog to a bone, but he wasn’t surprised either. It was one of the many reasons why he loved her, himself. She attracted men, like honey to bees. She was definitely a challenge that made his winning her heart, that much more enjoyable to win. Which catered to his Viking conqueror’s soul.
Although, he hated hospitals and hadn’t wanted Sookie to go to one; he had allowed her to go to one for a number of reasons. Firstly, because he wanted to come after Victor on his own and get his revenge. He was too full of rage in order to hold it in now. Blood lust was fully on his mind. His thoughts were full of the vile and disgusting plans that he had in mind for him. Did he really want Sookie to see that side of him? While it was part of his nature of being a vampire, Sookie was still a human and couldn’t possibly know what it was really like for him. He’d never really cared about what a human thought about that until now, but with Sookie…he did.
Secondly, he would have spent far too much time giving Sookie his blood and making sure that she was healed okay enough before leaving. Victor was smart. He would try to make a run for it and Eric wasn’t sure if he’d be able to find him. Even though he prided himself on being able to track down both vamps and humans; quickly and with relative ease. He wanted to get this out of the way with first. While he had a lot of connections, he also knew that Victor had friends in high places too. Higher places than he had. Friends that lived in the state of Nevada, which was where they were at that moment. They might try to protect him. He didn’t want to create more enemies than he had already, especially with the state of Louisiana being seen as a newly acquired territory to King Felipe. He didn’t want this hanging over their heads. They had enough things to worry about as it was. He didn’t see the need to invite one more bad thing to happen to them. It was better if they ended things now. Signed, sealed and delivered.
Besides, he knew that Sookie was in safe hands. The doctors could still fix her arm. He could still give her blood after, in order to help her heal faster. But Victor was first and foremost in his mind. He wanted answers. He wanted them now and he didn’t particularly care how he got them.
Last, but definitely not least. A broken arm was not a life or death injury. If Sookie had been more brutally hurt or if her life had hung in the balance; he would’ve gladly stayed and given her the blood that she needed. Since it wasn’t, he had known that while he was still concerned for her safety, he knew that she would at least live. He knew that he could trust Sam enough to know that he could manage to watch over Sookie until he had finished his mission.
Not to mention, that he’d always looked out for himself first. Although, he could tell that he was beginning to change and see himself and Sookie as one unit…he still wanted to watch out for his own best interests in order to make sure that things were better in the future. He needed to protect what was his and what better way was that, than to make sure that those responsible were punished or were brought to justice? This was how he’d managed for a thousand years and look how long he’d lived. There weren’t very many vampires who lived this long because they didn’t try to protect their best interests or their futures.
Speaking of vampires…the first place Eric had thought of that Victor would hide himself at was Felipe’s. He guessed that would be the first place that Victor would go to. He would want to hide from him. Victor knew that his King would protect him. Victor knew that Eric had a hundred plus years on him and that Eric loved a good fight. He was running in fear. Eric grinned at the thought of it.
Eric barrelled his way through Felipe’s front door, his fangs elongated and raring to fight. A few of the King’s guards approached him, wondering what was going on. Felipe then arrived and looked at Eric, speechless.
“What is the meaning of this, Viking?” he demanded, angrily. “This is my home that you have invaded. Why do you come here, unannounced?” he asked.
Eric spun around and faced him, angrily. “I’ve come for Victor. Where is he?” he demanded, equally as forceful.
Felipe blinked. “Why are you looking for him?” he wondered. “As far as I know, he’s back in Louisiana looking after things,” he answered.
“No, he is not,” Eric growled back. “He is here in Las Vegas. I know this for a fact. He has done something wrong and needs to be punished,” he explained.
Felipe had a surprised look on his face. He motioned to his men to back down. They had been waiting for a moment’s notice to attack Eric. They backed away, giving Eric and Felipe some space.
“What has he done?” he asked, puzzled and confused.
“Where is he?” Eric demanded instead, figuring that Felipe would only try to defend Victor. “And don’t lie to me. I will find him eventually.”
“Was it something serious?” Felipe asked again. “I haven’t a clue what you’re talking about,” he shook his head. “If you would calm yourself down, then we can-”
“No!” Eric interrupted. “He has plotted and planned against me, while pretending to be my partner in the kingdom of Louisiana. He has teamed up with a witch who wants to destroy my life and hurt my bonded in the process.”
“He hurt Sookie?” Felipe asked, surprised and stunned. “Is she still alive?”
Eric snorted. “Like you really care. All you want her for is your own political gain. Yes, she is still alive, but she did get injured. I mean to make Victor pay,” he threatened.
“I’m sorry you feel that way, I really thought I knew Victor,” Felipe sighed. “Okay, follow me,” he motioned with his hand to walk down a hallway. Eric followed him down the hallway. “He’s in here,” he told him, once they got to the library. “I’m sorry, I really didn’t know,” he tried apologizing to Eric, who really didn’t care to hear it.
“Save it,” Eric replied. “Give us some privacy. I do not want there to be any witnesses.”
Eric was relieved that Felipe was kind enough to give him that. He hadn’t been too sure that Felipe would like the fact that Eric was ordering him around. But Eric guessed that Felipe knew how it was when someone went after the person you loved the most or your blood bonded.
Eric entered the library, where Victor was standing by the bookshelf, looking through traveling books.
“Don’t even think about it,” Eric threatened. “You won’t be going to any place on this earth. Not, if I can help it.”
Victor looked up at Eric in surprise. “How did you find me here?” He asked, in surprise. “Nobody knows that I’m here,” he exclaimed.
“Wrong,” Eric replied back, his words heavily accented. “I knew that you would run. I know that you tried to hurt Sookie Stackhouse. I’ve got proof.” He paused, shaking his head. “Did you really think that I’d let you get away with it?”
“With what?” Victor replied back, not too innocently, although pretending to. “I never touched her. You can ask around. You just want me out of the way, so that you can run Louisiana by yourself.”
Eric looked at him, stunned. “Are you kidding me?” he asked, incredulously. “If I wanted to run Louisiana, I would’ve done it a long time ago!” He paused, trying to figure out why Victor would think he was that ambitious. “True, I love power and money, but I’ve realized that’s not what I want anymore.” He tried to explain. It puzzled him, because not too long ago, being a King had been something that he had wanted to do…but not anymore.
“You see…I’ve realized that there are other things that I want. One of them being…Sookie Stackhouse. You hurt her; you hurt me. I think that’s why you decided to use her in the first place. You found Agatha because you knew that she had a just reason to come after me. You used her, just like you used Dimitri. You knew that Dimitri and I go way back. You want me gone. It’s that simple,” Eric guessed.
“In part…you are right,” Victor admitted. “I have to admit that I envy the way that your followers have vowed fealty to you and stuck by you during our take over. I can’t think of very many others; who would have had that same kind of loyalty.” Victor frowned. “I don’t like the way the King respects you either. I have worked hard for hundreds of years to get to where I am today. You, without ever trying, have succeeded in far less time and have earned his respect much higher than I could ever hope to achieve.” Victor explained.
“I figured that if Agatha and I worked as a team to get rid of you, then we would both have what we wanted in the end.” Victor added. “Which was you; out of the way. I’m sad to see that we have failed,” he sighed.
Eric digested what Victor had told him. He couldn’t help what others thought about him. Victor should’ve come after Felipe instead. “I can’t control how other people think, unless they’re human,” Eric commented. “You know what happens now.”
“You won’t get away with it. You will have a really stiff penalty to pay,” Victor replied. “This is the King’s home. You don’t think that he and his guards will kill you after you’re finished?” Victor made one last appeal. He nodded his head. “I think you better change your mind. Your human isn’t worth what you will have to deal with for eternity.”
“I think she is,” Eric replied back, stubbornly.
“You would really kill me, for a human?” Victor questioned, stunned that Eric wouldn’t back down. “You surprise me, Viking.” He shook his head. “Don’t forget that you will have Felipe to answer to,” Victor winked at him, grinning.
Both Victor and Eric spun around and noticed Felipe standing there with two guards behind him. Eric was relieved. He could tell by the expression on Felipe’s face, that he had nothing to worry about anymore, not where he was concerned. Victor grew afraid for the first time since Eric had entered the room. His eyes rounded in surprise.
“But your highness,” Victor tried pleading with Felipe. He bowed his head. “I know that I have done something wrong and I need to be punished but…not like this. This Viking isn’t a part of our kingdom like I am. I have always been loyal to you. I have made you a lot of money. You would choose him over me?” He questioned, surprised that he was having to defend himself. “I’m very distraught and troubled that your opinion of me has dropped to this level.”
Felipe moved closer to Victor. He put his hand on his shoulder. “I’m sorry, Victor. I do appreciate everything you’ve done, but…” he paused, glanced at Eric, then faced Victor again. “You have broken many rules that I hold dear. You have proven that you are disloyal. You went behind my back, when you knew that I had given Eric my word that we wouldn’t kill him if he vowed fealty. He hasn’t broken them, but you have. You know how hard it was for me when I lost my bonded. You knew that I had plans for Eric’s bonded, Sookie. To me, that is reason enough to let Eric kill you.”
Victor was silent, while he listened to Felipe’s speech. He knew that it was hopeless. His life was over. He hung his head in shame. “I’m sorry to have betrayed you,” he spoke his last words.
Felipe dropped his hand and moved away from Victor. He turned towards Eric. “Go ahead. No one will know of what you’re about to do, except the others in this room. Because they vow fealty to me, you have nothing to worry about.” He explained. He took one last look at Victor then left the room, with his guards following along behind him.
Eric grinned, wickedly, his fangs elongated, itching for a fight. It had been way too long. “Don’t worry, this won’t hurt a bit,” he hissed to Victor before he moved in for the kill.
Sam and I headed back to the Hotel Mimosa, where Eric had told him to take me to in order to wait for him in a safe place. I wondered what Eric was up to. All I knew was that whatever it was…he was really enjoying it. Which made me afraid. I hoped that Eric wouldn’t get himself into any more trouble. You never knew with Eric.
“Are you sure that you don’t want to order up room service?” Sam offered on the bed beside me.
We were on the bed, with the TV turned on, but I wasn’t paying any attention to it. My thoughts were consumed by what Eric was feeling and wondering what he was up to.
“No,” I shook my head. “I’m not hungry. I can’t think about food until Eric returns, safe and sound.” I explained.
“Suit yourself,” Sam shrugged, then turned back towards the TV.
We laid there, side by side, for awhile. I think I was even beginning to fall asleep. That’s when the phone rang.
Startled, we both turned towards the phone, wondering which one of us was going to answer it.
“It’s your room, you answer it,” Sam suggested, looking at me.
I picked up the phone and held it up to my ear. “Hello?” I hesitantly asked. I was relieved as soon as I heard his familiar voice. I closed my eyes, thankful that he was still alive.
“Good, you are there,” Eric replied back. “I wanted you to know that it’s done. You don’t have to worry about anything anymore.”
“What’s done?” I asked, suddenly alarmed. Eric was keeping his mind closed off from me, so that I couldn’t read his mind. “What don’t I have to worry about anymore?”
“Nothing, I just wanted to let you know that I’m over at Felipe’s and that I’ll be back soon. Try not to miss me,” he said, obviously in a happy and joking mood.
I could tell that whatever he had done had changed his mood. He was jovial and happy. He was excited. I wished that what he was making me feel was what I was feeling too, but judging from the words that he had spoken, I couldn’t shake my fears that he’d done something that would make things worse for us.
“Of course, I always miss you. What have you done? When will you come back?” I asked, curiously. “Will you tell me what you’ve been up to once you return?”
“I will be home before you can say, Merlotte’s. And I will…if you’re interested in hearing it,” Eric replied. “Sam is there with you?” he asked, switching subjects.
“Yes,” I answered.
“Can I talk to him for a few minutes?”
I handed the phone to Sam, who looked at me, surprised. He knew that it was Eric on the phone. He took the receiver and held it up to his ear. He listened for a few minutes, not saying anything in response. I wondered what Eric was telling him.
Finally, Sam spoke. “Don’t worry about a thing. I have things handled. Bye.” He hung up the phone and laid back down on the bed.
“What do you have handled?” I asked, curiously.
“Oh…nothing,” Sam replied, being purposely secretive. “Are you sure that you don’t want to eat?” He asked, changing the subject, once again.
I had a sickening feeling that Eric and Sam had something planned, although I didn’t know what it could be. “Maybe I will, after all.” I replied, changing my mind. I would be able to think better on a full stomach.
Eric bowed before the King. “It is finished,” he explained.
“Good. I’m terribly sorry about what has happened. Rest be assured that if there’s anything that you want, I will give it to you. It’s the least that I can do for not foreseeing what Victor might do. I knew that he was greedy, as am I, but I didn’t think that he would purposely do something like this,” Felipe apologized. “I want to make it up to you, if I could. Is there anything that you would like me to do?” He offered, by way of apology.
“Yes, there is one thing that you can do,” Eric replied.
“What’s that?” Felipe asked, curiously.
“You can leave Sookie Stackhouse alone. Don’t involve her in your plans.” Eric suggested. “If you would drop it; we can call us even. I will still vow fealty to you and help you with Louisiana.”
Felipe frowned. Eric could tell that he didn’t want to give up his own plans with Sookie, but Eric knew that he had no choice. Not if he wanted to make amends. Felipe was caught between a rock and a hardplace. “Fine,” Felipe relented, reluctantly, after a long moment deep in thought.
Eric grinned. “Thank you, your majesty,” he replied, grateful that Felipe had agreed to it. He only hoped that Felipe was a man of his word.