I worked the lunch shift that day, which was okay because it wasn’t very busy. It would’ve been nicer if it would’ve been busier because I would’ve made more money in tips and the day wouldn’t seem like it was dragging. Merlotte’s clientele consisted of the same old regulars who usually came in on their lunch breaks or the die-hard alcoholics who began their drinking when Merlotte’s opened each day.
I was standing around, watching the customers who were seated at my tables, for when they would be ready for another refill of their drinks. Giving me something to do other than twiddling my thumbs.
Arlene, my former BFF, came rushing up to the bar from the back. She angrily glared at me but didn’t say a word to me because she just couldn’t understand how I was willing to date vampires. Well, I wasn’t at the moment, but I had in the past. Ever since she began dating Whit, we had grown apart. He had been taking her to the Fellowship of the Sun center, where they had been busy brain-washing her and telling her that vampires are evil and that anyone who has anything to do with them was going to hell and damnation.
I couldn’t understand the FoS’s mentality. Vampires weren’t completely evil, I thought to myself. In fact, I had been lucky enough to meet a few who were anything but. Immediately, my mind remembered the time when one such vampire had been willing to give everything up in order to be with me. But it wasn’t the case now. His memory had come back, and with it, his old mentality had returned too.
I sighed once again.
Ever since Eric’s memory came back, I’ve been sitting on pins and needles, waiting for when he might show up at my door. (If you’re wondering why I won’t make the first move, the feelings that he stirs in me, quite frankly scare me. Plus, I’m an old-fashioned Southern gal, who believes that a man should do the pursuing.) There has always been a part of me who was scared of him, but not for the reasons you might suspect. Sure, he’s a vampire, but it’s not fear for my safety that I fear him. It’s because whenever I’m around him, the things that I feel (blood bond or no blood bond) scare me simply because of my fear of the unknown. I have never felt as strongly about another person in my life. Including Bill, who had been my first love and had stolen my virginity. Including Quinn, who, looking back on it, I consider that relationship almost like a puppy love.
Eric had always looked at me in a certain way, as if he wanted to possess me, body and soul. My stupid body felt compelled to respond. It was scary to me because Eric was a thousand year old vampire who probably had more than his fair share of women over the years. Women who may have been more beautiful than me and had more confidence than I do in myself. Never mind the fact that Eric knew the effect that he had on me. It was daunting and very scary.
Pam, Eric’s second in command had told me that Eric was extremely busy with the new King and his entourage. He hadn’t found the time to come to visit me…yet. Yet, being the operative word. In a way, it was a relief because of my fears. Does he feel the same? Is this real? I wasn’t sure if I was ready for this conversation that he wanted to have. But Eric had wanted Pam to call me, just so that I knew that he hadn’t forgotten about me. Which was really sweet and scared me at the same time, it was like he knew that I would worry.
Because of our blood bond, we could sense each other’s moods, especially if we were close in distance. There was a part of me who wondered if what we had felt had been really real. We had exchanged blood many times, while some of the times were under duress, there had always been a special connection between us from the very first moment that we had met.
At least, for me it did. I still remember when I noticed the way he’d been staring at me when I had walked into his vampire bar named, Fangtasia with Bill. I had asked questions about people who had been murdered, all the while feeling Eric’s gaze focused on me. It had spooked me. I had felt self-conscious and wondered what he really thought of me.
I wondered if I ever would’ve met any of them, if it hadn’t been for my cousin Hadley, who had been turned into a vampire and had told the Queen that I was a telepath, in the first place. The Queen had sent Bill out so that he could seduce me so that his Queen would be able to control me and my “special” powers.
More like a curse, I thought to myself. You see, I can read minds, human minds. I had been enlisted a number of times to help out the vampires for their political gains. Was that what Eric thought of me? As someone who he could control in order to get what he wants? As someone who was a means to an end? I hoped not.
But still…there had been something there. The first time I had kissed him, during a massacre no less, there had been something that had touched me deep down. And I don’t mean my privates either, well, that too, but it wasn’t just that. He was skilled. He knew how to use that skill. If I hadn’t been going with Bill at the time, I’d probably would’ve jumped Eric’s bones right then and there, just to get him out of my system.
He’d always been there for me. When my relationship with Bill blew up in my face, he was the one who had supported me while I felt the pain of betrayal. When I’d been close to dying because someone had decided to stake me, he’d stayed with me amongst strangers in order to make sure that I made it out alive. He fed me his blood to ensure my survival. He had been always able to make me laugh. He seemed to really “get” me. When I had found him running along the highway, heading towards my house in Bon Temps, I had taken him in. His memory had been wiped clean by a bunch of witch-bag-hos. Under my care, he listened to my problems and seduced me until I was pile of mush.
I had known that it wasn’t the real Eric and maybe, in hindsight, I allowed myself to fall completely in love with him because I knew that he wouldn’t remember. It was safe. It didn’t scare me.
I guess, I’ve been hanging out with Pam too much lately, because her latest obsession was Dr. Phil. She would come by my place after Fangtasia closed and my shift ended and we’d sit in front of the TV and watch that day’s episode of Dr. Phil that she had taped while she’d been asleep, since she was a vampire and obviously wouldn’t be awake during the day.
The only thing I could figure out due to my Dr. Phil viewing was that the reason he scared me was because there was a part of me who knew that he was the one for me. My true love…my friend…my lover…my soul mate. It’s a scary concept. Anyone would be scared to meet someone that you knew was right for you, but also what he was and what you knew he did, wasn’t exactly what you had pictured in your mind when you had dreamt of your prince charming while growing up. Mind you, I never thought that I’d find anyone because of my ability to read minds. It made things difficult to say the least, in my past relationships with human males. That’s probably why I was able to finally let go with vampires, because I can’t read their minds at all.
My mind definitely hadn’t ever imagined that my one true love would one day be a vampire. A thousand year old vampire at that. It was daunting. You have no idea. What had he experienced? What had he seen? How many women had he slept with over the past thousand years? I couldn’t help but feel insecure of my skills in the bedroom. Would I be enough for him? Did he ever find real love before me? What was she like, if he had?
My thoughts consumed me, so it took a shake on my shoulder for Sam Merlotte to get my attention.
“Um, Sookie,” he said, shaking me back to the present. “One of your tables is looking a little dry,” he pointed out, not wanting the customers to leave because one of his waitresses had been too busy daydreaming or lost in her own thoughts.
I quickly got myself together and headed towards the table. They were a nice couple, who were tourists. I could tell from hearing their thoughts in my head that they thought my little town of Bon Temps was a quaint little Louisianan town. There wasn’t much to do for fun but it was homey and had it’s charms.
I quickly gathered up their empty glasses and headed towards the bar to refill their drinks. While I poured their drinks, all of a sudden I felt a little shaky. My heart raced, the hairs on the back of my neck stood on end. I felt like someone was watching me, closely. I looked around the bar, letting people’s thoughts enter my mind, trying to figure out who it might be. Not finding out anything, I tried to fight the feeling.
I quickly walked to back to the table and delivered their drinks. I walked back towards the bar and told Sam that I was going to get some fresh air from outside the back door.
Rushing outside, I let the back door slam shut. I knew that it wasn’t locked, which was a relief because in my previous experiences, that I would more than likely would need a way out. Even though I was outside, I felt closed in.
I’m not one to feel claustrophobic, but I was feeling it now. I looked around, trying to detect motion in the woods that surrounded the bar. I waited, wondering if someone was going to come out and attack me. Would they do it while I was expecting them? I wondered.
I walked towards my car, hoping that if I climbed in, I might not be as exposed as I felt at the moment. I opened up my car door and climbed in. Luckily, I had kept my keys in my pocket, so I started up the car, letting music from the radio try to soothe me.
Knock, knock, knock, I heard someone rap their knuckles on my passenger side window. I turned to look. I breathed a sigh of relief, when I realized it was someone that I knew.
I reached over and rolled down the window. “Hi, Bubba.” I greeted him, smiling. Bubba was a vampire, who had problems when he was turned into a vampire. You already knew who he was. He was world famous when he was alive. People still talked about sightings of him from time to time and in a way, they were right. Bubba had watched over me in the past, following Eric’s orders. I wondered if it was the same thing tonight. “Did Eric send you to me, once again?” I asked, hoping that it wasn’t the case.
Not that I didn’t want Bubba to watch over me. He was good at it and was very helpful. But he wouldn’t be here, unless he had a reason…or unless he was chasing after cats, his favorite type of food.
Bubba shook his head. “Sorry, Miss Sookie,” he replied. “I’m sorry.”
“What are you sorry for, Bubba?” I wondered, the fear in me came forth once again.
“I was supposed to watch you, but got distracted by a cat,” he explained. “When I returned to your house…it was gone.”
“Gone,” I blinked, not sure what he was saying. “What do you mean, gone?” I asked, fear pushing to the surface.
“Gone,” Bubba replied. “I’m so sorry, Miss Sookie,” he apologized. “Mr. Eric isn’t going to like it. You won’t tell him that I was neglectful, will you?” He asked, fearful of the repercussions.
My heart raced, I wasn’t sure what Bubba could mean. “Gone?” I repeated, questioningly. “I need to see for myself.”
I didn’t know what Bubba was trying to tell me, so I wanted to get home to see what he meant.
“Mind if I go with you?” Bubba asked, hopefully, smiling at me. It was his way of trying to make things right. His big form climbed into my passenger seat and closed the door.
“Sure,” I replied, then backed out of my parking space behind Merlotte’s and drove away.
The closer I got to home, the more fearful I became. Are Amelia and Octavia alright? I wondered. What does Bubba mean, gone?
When I pulled into my driveway, which had been newly gravelled, thanks to Eric. I drove up towards the house. Nothing looked out of place to me. The house was still standing. The lights were on in the living room. Amelia and Octavia were probably watching TV.
“Bubba, my house is still here,” I told him, once I had come to a complete stop. “You see, the house is fine.” I was really puzzled as to why Bubba would think that my house was gone. I looked at him, curiously, in the darkened car.
I stopped the engine and started to climb out of the car. “No, wait!” Bubba reached over and grabbed my arm.
I turned back to him, curiously and alarmed. “Why? What’s wrong, Bubba?” I asked, becoming scared now. I didn’t like Bubba’s reaction at all. What had he heard?
I tried to listen, letting people’s minds in. I could tell that Amelia and Octavia were watching a sit-com on TV. Even without my gift, I could probably figure that one out. I could hear them laughing from outside.
“Don’t you hear it?” Bubba asked me, his hand still gripping my forearm.
I shook my head. “I don’t hear anything, Bubba,” I replied, puzzled and confused. “What do you hear?”
“I’m going to check it out. Mr. Eric would want me to make sure that you’re safe.” Bubba stated, before releasing my arm and moving his big form out of the car.
I watched him walk around the yard, until he disappeared in the woods between my house and the graveyard. I tried listening once again, but didn’t hear anything. I then began to look for dead spots, meaning vampires. That’s what their brain waves give out, nothing but a dark hole. I could feel Bubba’s dark hole, but that was it. Was Bubba only being paranoid?
Deciding that I was sick and tired of sitting in my car, besides I knew that Bubba was around, I climbed out of the car and headed towards the house. There’s nothing to be afraid of, I thought to myself.
I walked up to my new big back porch, then dug around in my purse, looking for my keys. It was the rule in my house to always keep the doors locked, because you never knew who might come by.
I finally dug them out of my purse and was about to put the key into the lock when I felt a pair of arms wrap around me from behind. I tried to scream, but a hand reached up and covered up my mouth, making whatever noise that I made muffled.
The hand held a cloth, that had some sort of stinky liquid on it. Chloroform, I thought before I blacked out.