Disclaimer: I don’t own the characters in True Blood or the Southern Vampire Mysteries. So neither copyright infringement nor offense is meant. I simply want to make the characters do what I wanted them to do for a while. I am especially “unownerly” when it comes to this story. You will recognize a lot of the dialogue throughout as being quoted from Season 5 of True Blood, though I’ve tried to use Eric’s thoughts to make this story “different” from its source. That said, I claim no ownership to the quoted material and have placed it in bold so that it is set apart from my own words.
“That’s my phone,” I told my vampire sister, knowing that our sexual encounter was coming to an end—without either of us cumming. I honestly couldn’t say if I was disappointed or relieved about that.
“You still got your phone?” Nora demanded, her hand grasping my chin painfully. Gods, her grip was fucking strong! I pulled out of her and quickly pulled up my jeans, giving her a little kiss on the nose and then one on forehead―just to rattle her cage. Gods, how I loved annoying her!
“How could you be so stupid?” she yelled.
I smirked. She sounded as if she was an infant at the moment. Yep—I loved to rile her. To do it even more, I decided to act like an infant as well. I turned around toward the boxcar even as I tried to get “not-so-little Eric” back into the cage of my jeans and zipper him in. “My phone is untraceable, Nora!” I yelled petulantly.
Bill was looking at me with a smirk on his face. Again, there was no judgment in that look, and for that I was grateful. I’d half-expected for Bill to go off on the lack of morality of my actions, but thankfully, he was not a hypocrite. After all, he’d fucked Lorena even as Sookie had been looking for him in Jackson. Sure—he’d had his reasons, but one of those had certainly been lust. Another had been pain, and I appreciated the fact that Bill likely could empathize with the pain that was rebuilding in my chest—now that my immediate physical gratification was gone.
I vowed not to be conquered by the feeling of guilt that was once again trapping me in its web. Thankfully, Bill was still wearing his smirk, and that gave me the strength to put on one as well. Who knew that Bill Compton could come in so fucking handy?!
“We fight like siblings,” I said, finally caging the beast. “But we fuck like champions.”
Bill’s look flashed from amusement to skepticism before I looked away. And—yes—I knew why Bill’s expression had changed. After all, I was skeptical too—skeptical of whether I would really ever be able to fuck like a champion again if my partner wasn’t a certain someone, whom I still wasn’t fucking going to think about!
Except that I was thinking about her. Fucking Sookie!
I checked the number quickly before answering. “Alcide, my faithful friend,” I said, amused by my own little joke. My thoughts about the Were were slightly less charitable. I didn’t like the way the wolf drooled over a certain someone. “How are ya?” I tagged on.
I could have been thinking about how it didn’t much matter since I was already conveniently fleeing the area. I could have been ruefully laughing at the double-clusterfuck I’d found myself in; being hunted by both the Authority and Russell Edgington at that same time had to be a fucking record of some kind! I could have been chastising my asinine idea of letting Russell live and suffer so that he could never find his peace with his beloved, Talbot. I could have been wondering why Godric’s spirit had visited me the night I’d buried Russell. I could have been thinking about how all of this had started—with the deaths of my human family.
Herveaux was telling me that someone had obviously dug up Russell. He added that he’d offered Sookie his protection but that she’d turned him down flat. I didn’t know whether to feel heartened or angry that she’d refused protection. It was just like Sookie.
I kept it together enough to end the call. “All right. Thanks for letting me know,” I said stiffly.
Immediately, I opened the bond, this time keeping it open.
For the first time in my very long life, I found myself in the middle of a scenario that I couldn’t think of any way out of—a Catch-22, the fucking Kobayashi Maru. There was no way to win! No card to play.
I closed my eyes.
If I went to Sookie, I would bring the Authority down onto her.
If I didn’t, how could I protect her from Russell?
I didn’t turn around to face my comrade right away.
I needed to think. I needed to breathe—even though I had no need of breath. I shot my hand up in a gesture, signifying to Bill—and Nora if she was looking—that I needed a minute, and I did. I really fucking did!
I walked a few steps forward and breathed in the night air. In the industrial area where we had stayed, the air tasted of oil, but I still took it in in long drags.
My gut screamed at me to go to my bonded—to protect her. But what good would that do? Then she would have the Authority AND Russell bearing down upon her, and she’d be just as likely to accept my help—to accept me—as she had been the night before.
In fact, my presence would likely make things much more dangerous for her. Russell was my enemy first and foremost, after all. Sure—he coveted Sookie, wanted her, and maybe even hated her for putting Talbot into the garbage disposal—but he wanted to kill me more. Of that, I was almost certain.
I took a moment to fully assess Sookie through the bond. She was safe. Anxious. Hopeful. Impatient. Sad. Guilty.
And Pam was close to her—very close. And there was another vampire nearby too―another vampire I felt. And that could mean only one thing: Pam had made a child.
I shook that knowledge away for the moment and evaluated the situation.
I’d seen only one being fight directly against a 3,000-year-old vampire and win, and that had been Sookie Stackhouse. The light in her hands had shot Russell across the fucking parking lot. But, then again, Russell had been injured at the time.
I closed my eyes tighter and prayed to gods I’d not spoken to in a millennium. “Please let him come after me and not her,” I spoke to myself. “And if he does go for her, please let that power she has been gaining be strong enough to protect her when I cannot.”
My prayer felt like a shot into the dark—even to me—but it was all I had at the moment. Going to her now would be like putting any extra-large Russell-attracting target onto her. If I stayed away, Russell might too—at least until the elder vampire’s desire to kill me was sated.
I assessed the bond again. Still the same. She was still hurting emotionally, but she was still physically safe.
Resolved, I turned around slowly and looked at the two vampires who were waiting for me to speak. I knew—fucking knew—that if I told Bill about Russell, then God himself could not keep him from going to Sookie, but that would take the Authority to her as well, and Bill was even less equipped to handle them or the Russell situation than I was.
And while Nora was an excellent sounding board, she’d be able to do nothing about Russell either—at least not yet. No—I intended to follow Nora’s plan, get the fuck out of Dodge, and then arrange for Alcide to send an anonymous tip to the Authority about Russell.
Russell had been buried in cement for over a year and had been resurrected from it for only a day. That meant that he would require some time to heal. I had a window—a narrow timeframe I could use in order to figure out a plan to ensure Sookie’s safety. It wouldn’t be long—a week at the most—but it was something.
I assessed my bonded. She was still safe.
Bill asked again, this time more insistently. “Eric, what’s wrong.”
I demonstrated that I had taught my sister everything she ever knew about lying effectively. “It is Pam. She has made a new child.” A lie and a truth.
Bill’s eyebrow rose. “Why would Alcide Herveaux feel the need to call you to tell you about that?”
In a millisecond, I had thought of a suitable reason—one that might even be true, given what I had felt through my bonds with Pam and Sookie. After all, why else would Pam still be close in proximity to Sookie.
“It was a friend of Sookie’s that Pam turned,” I reported dispassionately.
“Who?” Bill asked, clearly shocked.
“The female,” I ventured. Of course, the guess at gender was fifty-fifty.
“Tara?” Bill exclaimed.
“That’s the one,” I agreed. I had to think to myself for a moment to remember who Tara was. Oh—yes—the unpleasant one. The fireplace poker wielder.
Well, if my lie were true, it would serve Pam right for trying to shoot Sookie with a rocket-launcher.
Bill seemed to accept what I was saying. Hell—even I was starting to believe my lie. It was much less disturbing than the truth. And it was plausible, after all.
“Why would Pam do that? Did she attack Tara?” Bill asked.
“Why does Pam do anything?” I returned enigmatically. “And no.”
“I trust that this has upset Sookie,” Bill said with concern.
“Yes,” I confirmed. “But there is nothing we can do about it now.”
Bill nodded in agreement. “This is likely what made her so upset yesterday. Something must have happened to harm Tara. Is Sookie safe?”
“Yes,” I said assessing the bond. I decided to fill out my lie a bit, completing the picture I’d been weaving. “Alcide’s not sure, but he thinks it was one of the necromancer’s witches we’d missed―one looking for revenge. Tara was mortally wounded, and Pam was looking for me at the house. Tara’s killer was eliminated, and Tara has been given a new life. Sookie was unharmed.” Hell—the scenario sounded excellent to my ears!
Having processed and accepted the story, Bill nodded.
“We should go,” Nora said.
I nodded. “Yes.”
Nora threw me my shirt. I slipped it on in a flash and then caught my jacket as she threw it as well.
She walked over and whispered to me so that Bill couldn’t hear. “This Sookie of yours is always in trouble, I assume?”
I nodded again, even as I checked the bond.
She was still okay. I was still not.
I stayed mostly quiet as we walked the three miles we needed to cover in order to reach the harbor. Nora had a schedule to keep with her contact, but there was no need to rush. I’d not thought about picking back up where Nora and I had left off in the boxcar. Sex was not even on my radar at that moment.
Only one thing was: Sookie.
The rhythmic music of our boots against the wood and concrete as we traveled was somewhat soothing to me. It made nice background noise for my incessant checking on the bond and Sookie. She remained nervous and hopeful. Alive.
I checked on Pam too. She was pissed off, but also worried and excited. Anxious. I figured that my new “grandchild” had not yet arisen, but I could feel him or her, just the same.
Pam needn’t have been worried about her child rising, and in that moment, I felt a little guilty about not being there to let her know that.
I wondered if my new “grandchild” was indeed Tara. I would prefer Lafayette, actually; at least that human was amusing. Gods—I just hoped it was not Jason Stackhouse. No one needed that boy to be a vampire.
I checked Sookie again. Fine.
As we approached the dock, Nora greeted someone who was obviously her contact as well as a friend.
Nora made introductions, which I honestly cared less about.
Bill smirked. But I would get my revenge on “Mark Clark” soon enough.
The unpleasant woman was telling us that it was time to say goodbye, and I put my connection with Sookie to the side for a moment.
I walked over to her and put my hands onto either side of her cool face. She was beautiful, and I cared for her deeply.
“Take care of yourself,” she said.
As I leaned in to kiss her goodbye, all hell broke loose! Machine gun fire surrounded us, and all of Nora’s contacts evaporated in the way that all vampires did—when they had been hit in the heart with wooden bullets, that is.
I was surprised to discover that I’d not been hit at all. Nor had Bill. Nor had Nora.
All three of us dropped fang and looked up at those firing upon us—not that this action did us any good. But I had always preferred seeing my enemy.
“In the name of the one true Vampire Authority,” an annoying and mechanical-sounding voice called out before spewing a bunch of drivel about the Authority’s divine right. “Do not fucking move,” the voice—thankfully—finished.
I didn’t move. I knew better than to move. And so did Bill and Nora. We were immediately surrounded and taken into custody.
I checked the bond.
Sookie was still okay. I was not.
A/N: From the show, we didn’t know exactly what Alcide told Eric, so I got to “imagine” it! Hope you liked the expanded scene.