Ten minutes later, Lafayette and Jesus entered the living room to see a resting Eric and Sookie on the couch. Both had their eyes closed. They were wrapped together with Eric holding Sookie to his chest. His leg was slung over hers. A slight snore was coming from Sookie, and a sound similar to a purr was rising quietly from Eric’s chest.
“It’s the damnedest thing!” Lafayette said softly. “If someone had told me a year and a half ago that I’d be seein’ this, I’d have told them that they’s crazy.”
Eric and Sookie were stirred as the doorbell rang. Both straightened into a sitting position, and Sookie’s first impulse was to check Eric for burns. “Still okay, min kära,” he assured.
Lafayette looked out the door and saw a couple standing there. “It’s a man and woman.”
Still not able to use his sense of smell from inside the privacy spell, Eric rose and neared the door, even as Sookie tried to keep him in the darkest parts of the room.
“Miranda and Jarod?” she asked.
He nodded once he was able to see them through the window in the door. Sookie gestured for Jesus to let them in.
Jesus quickly opened the door and told the couple to come in. Immediately, he shut the door behind them, trying to limit the light allowed into the room.
Sookie was struck immediately by Miranda’s red hair, which shone in the reflected light of the sun that streamed in after the couple. Miranda stood about 5’10” and looked like she was straight off of a fashion-show runway. She was dressed in blue jeans and a black sweater with combat boots on that looked like they’d seen actual combat. Miranda’s sharp blue eyes immediately began to take in and assess her surroundings.
When her gaze landed on Eric, she gasped. “Fuck, Eric. What are you doing? I thought it was bad enough that you were forcing yourself to be up in the day to call us, but what the hell are you doing in sunlight?”
“Waiting for you to get here,” Eric answered coolly. “Now come, so that I can introduce you to my fiancé.”
Jarod and Miranda looked at Eric like he’d just been abducted by aliens. “Fiancé?” Jarod asked, his Australian accent prominent with even one word.
“Yes, this is Sookie Stackhouse. She is my bonded. And she will soon be my pledged. And these are our,” he paused, “friends, Jesus and Lafayette.”
Just then, Jason came in from the kitchen proclaiming, “The steaks are almost ready, Sook. We eatin’ at the table or in the livin’ room?”
“Ah,” Eric continued. “And this is Jason Stackhouse, Sookie’s brother.”
Miranda breathed in sharply and looked at Sookie and Eric with a shocked expression. “You are bonded!” she said with a slight Irish accent.
“That’s what I said,” Eric deadpanned.
Jarod was the first to recover from his surprise at seeing Eric awake and in the daylight as well as from the news that the vampire was bonded. He reached out and shook the hands of the men before he walked over to Sookie and extended his hand to her. His bright green eyes were full of amusement, and his curly, messy brown hair spoke immediately to his casual attitude. “It’s an honor, Miss Stackhouse,” he grinned with a short bow. “I have met many people in my travels, but I never thought I would meet one who would tame Eric Northman.”
“Trust me,” Sookie deadpanned as she took Jarod’s hand, “he still bites.”
Jarod, along with Lafayette, broke out in laughter, “Oh, Eric, I like her already.”
Ignoring the men in the room, Miranda came forward taking a long look at Sookie. “The night before he died, Godric called me to tell me to clean up the mess that had been made of his home by a bomber. He said that he’d met an amazing woman named Sookie, who had helped Eric find him at the Fellowship of the Sun church. Godric also said that this woman had stolen his child’s heart. He was talking about you, I assume?”
“Yes,” Sookie whispered even as she felt her bond with Eric open up with his sadness at hearing Godric’s name. She grasped his hand and held it firmly.
“Well then,” Miranda concluded, “it will be a pleasure to take care of your safety. I think we will be good friends. For now, however, I want to check the perimeter of your property.” She looked at Eric, obviously ready to take command. “Tell me everything I need to know to keep my charge safe.”
Eric responded, his tone matching hers, “The property extends to the old cemetery on the northeast side and the road to the south. It goes to the rivulet to the west and encompasses about 15 acres, all told. Beyond the cemetery is the property of the vampire king of Louisiana, Bill Compton. He may be a threat to Sookie since he was once tied to her by the blood. He has heavily armed human guards; their guns are most likely loaded with silver bullets. Sookie is also part fairy, and they may try to kidnap her and to take her to their realm; they have tried at least twice already. Because of her fairy blood and her telepathy, she has been coveted by multiple vampires, and she may become the target of others. Jesus and Lafayette here are witches and are going to put a protection spell around Sookie’s property today, which will make things easier, but if I know my bonded, she will not agree to stay within its boundaries and will, therefore, require your protection during the daytime until further notice. She is also,” Eric paused, looking for the right words, “a danger magnet, so good luck!” He ended with a falsely innocent smile at Sookie, who punched him lightly in the arm.
“Ouch!” Eric said jokingly about two seconds after she’d hit him.
Sookie glared at him playfully before adding, “I’m also starting back to work tomorrow; I’ll be workin’ the day shift―that’s from 11:00 to 4:30―at Merlotte’s. I’m a waitress.”
Eric rolled his eyes but did not argue with Sookie about her job. He knew better. Instead, he looked at Jarod, “Sam Merlotte is also a shifter and a friend to Sookie, so that may make things go more smoothly.”
Miranda sarcastically asked, “Anything else?”
“Nope, not unless you count the fact that my fairy magic is letting Eric have some access to the daytime and the fact that he wants to glamour y’all so that you can’t talk about that to anyone.” Sookie chuckled a bit. She had liked both Jarod and Miranda immediately. “Oh―and there should be some extra steak left for lunch, and you should both come eat when you are done with your little perimeter patrollin’ thing.”
Miranda smiled and took Jarod’s hand. “We will return shortly.” Then she looked over at Eric, “Nothing is ever easy with you, Northman.” She led Jarod out the door.
As soon as they had left, Eric looked down at Sookie, “Min kära, do not fear, but I am beginning to feel the pull, so I should retire to my resting place, but we have time to talk and plan before 10 tonight. That is when Bill arrives, correct?”
Sookie looked concerned and nodded, shooing Eric toward the cubby. “I’ll be back in a minute,” she said over her shoulder to her brother and the boys as she followed Eric to the cubby.
As soon as Eric was in bed, he chuckled, “You need not tuck me in, min kära.”
“I know,” Sookie said lying down next to him. “I just want to be close for a few more minutes, okay?”
Eric pulled her to him. “I am always pleased to have you near me.”
Sookie lay with Eric until he went completely still and she knew he had re-entered his daytime slumber. She kissed him lightly on the forehead and got up. “I love you,” she sighed as she began to climb the steps.
Almost imperceptible behind her, Sookie heard Eric answer, “I love you too, wife.”
Sookie beamed and climbed higher.
A/N This is how I would cast Miranda and Jarod, in case you are interested.