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.
“What the . . . ?” Sookie started.
“Fuck,” I completed in my head, wishing that was what Sookie and I were doing even then.
“Oh, my God, Tara!” Sookie exclaimed happily, looking at her friend after glancing quickly at me. “Are you okay?”
No surprise there.
“Well, this reminds me. You still haven’t gotten around to transferring the ownership of my house back to me,” she said, her eyes fixing upon me.
Anyone else would have taken that as an affront—a sign that Sookie was ungrateful for what I’d done for her home and for the fact that I’d saved her from Russell only earlier that night.
I was not just anyone, however. I was the vampire—the man—who knew both sides of Sookie Stackhouse. I was the vampire who could feel her emotions and the throbbing of our bond. “Fairy” Sookie was testing me—trying to gauge whether I would gift to her the one thing that “human” Sookie treasured above all else.
It had been a night for me to embrace more of my family—to embrace my role as the patriarch of that family. When I gave Sookie her home back, I would be giving her the most tangible evidence of family that she had left—other than the fuckwit next to her.
A home. Her home.
I’d always been able to tell that the building was more than wood and nails to Sookie. It was memories. It was shared moments with the one human who had seemingly accepted her. Moreover, secluded in the woods, it was a place of shelter when the world bombarded her with its thoughts.
Sookie’s concern was clear in her eyes and in the bond. “What the fuck are you talking about?”
“I need you to come with us into the Vampire Authority. They got Bill and Jessica. And Pam,” I said.
“And you owe Pam,” Tara said acerbically.
“I thought you said Bill was there of his own free will,” Sookie commented.
“‘Free will may be something of an exaggeration,” I hedged.
“What do you mean?” Sookie pushed. She always did.
“He’s being influenced by some ancient vampire blood,” I answered.
“Something like that,” I responded.
“It is very powerful,” Nora added. “I succumbed to it too—for a while.”
“And you?” Sookie asked, directing her gaze toward me.
“You got drunk and almost slept with the Were,” I commented. “I got drunk and did considerably more damage.”
“No,” I said softly. “You don’t want to know.”
Jason scoffed. “Well—none of this shit matters anyhow. ‘Cause there ain’t no fucking way I’m gonna let Sook go anywhere with you.”
“Jason, I got this,” Sookie chided her brother.
“What about Mama and Daddy? Sook, you ought to tell all these fucking fangers to go back to hell where they came from!” Stackhouse scowled.
“Something funny, fanger?” Jason asked me.
“Yes, bloodbag,” I returned, offering a slur of my own.
“Stop acting like children,” Sookie chided glaring at Jason and then me, essentially putting an end to our name-calling.
“You smell like something I once dreamed of,” Nora said to Sookie dreamily.
I rolled my eyes at her lack of control.
“Eric, please ask your sister not to look at me like that,” Sookie ordered me, causing my dick to harden even more. “Look, I already know vampires are behind the TruBlood factory bombings,” she accused.
“Bill was behind those bombings,” I corrected, not wanting to hold back the truth from her. “And he did it to force mainstreaming vampires to feed on humans. We’ve got to get him out of there before he loses himself completely. Now, if anybody can get through to him, it’s you.”
“And you owe Pam,” Tara reminded again.
“Okay,” Sookie agreed with a sigh.
“Sook, please don’t do this,” her brother begged.
“Don’t you want to save Jessica?” she asked incredulously.
“Okay. But I’m coming with you,” Jason responded, his jaw jutting out stubbornly.
Guess that was a family trait.
“If I wanna be a fool, then I will be a fool. That is my God-given right as an American,” Stackhouse said with a comical level of passion.
Didn’t he have a job or something?
Sookie stood up. “Okie dokie. I guess everything’s decided. What’s the plan?”
“It’s too late to get to the Authority and attack before dawn, but we should go in there near first dark tomorrow. I’ll give you directions and you can drive us there during the day today,” I explained.
“I’m driving,” Jason glared.
“Fucking vampers,” Jason muttered before looking at Sookie. “I’m gonna go change clothes and get some vamper-killing stuff from my house, and we’ll stop by that redneck store to get some more tomorrow,” he added. “I’ll be back in an hour.”
Sookie sighed, but nodded.
“Sorry ’bout the ‘vamper’ name-calling,” Sookie said sincerely—looking at Nora and then Tara—once Jason had left the room. And then she looked up at me, her eyebrow rising. “Meatsack? Really?”
I chuckled. “I’ll have to work on my own name-calling if I’m to be around your brother.”
She rolled her eyes. “What about y’all?” she asked, her expression turning to concern. “How will y’all stay protected during the day?”
“We have travel coffins that look like glorified Sanka cans,” Tara intoned.
“They are indestructible,” I returned, though I was looking at Sookie.
“Keep telling yourself that, Pops,” Tara sassed.
“Pops?” Nora asked with distaste. “That’s not how things work in a vampire line. Eric is your patriarch, and you should respect him.”
“Oh—keep a lid on it Auntie. Respect is earned in my world,” Tara scoffed.
“Auntie?” Nora growled, looking as if she were about to attack Tara.
Nora sighed dramatically.
“Or maybe you’d prefer Gramps?” Tara challenged me.
“Pops it is,” I said with a chuckle, giving Sookie the tiniest of winks.
Looking at a picture on the mantle, she smiled softly. Having placed the photo there myself after her home had been repaired, I knew exactly what she was looking at: a picture of herself, her Gran, and Tara.
In truth, I was also enjoying the moment—and for even more reasons than my bonded’s smile.
First, it felt good to be with family. My years with Pam had been nice, but we’d become friends more than anything else. Plus, there was a different dynamic when there were three or more family members in one place. I recalled that from my time with Godric and Nora.
Second, I felt myself moving into the role that my maker had always occupied in my bloodline: peace-keeper, guide, confidant, father. Godric had led Nora and me—sometimes by the scruffs of our necks—into peace with each other when we squabbled. Or—he’d order us to separate for long periods of time when we fought. Nowadays, I could liken the relationship we’d had to something like an extended human Thanksgiving gathering. Inevitably, there would be family conflict, but the love would override that. And that affection would bring the group together again and again.
I had no illusions about Nora getting along well with Tara or Pam. Nora was not good about sharing. She’d always been selfish when it came to me—just as she’d been selfish when it came to Godric. However, she was an out-of-sight, out-of-mind kind of person. And—once she was working on a “project”—she had little time for any individual being.
Still, it would be fun to oversee her and Tara for a while. And—once Pam got added to the bunch—the crew would be downright motley.
Third, I was basking in the emotions of my bonded. Of course, Sookie was concerned about Bill, Jessica, and maybe even Pam, but she’d been enjoying the interactions between me and those of my bloodline just as much as I had been. I didn’t know too much about Tara’s human family, but it seemed as if she’d had a rather broken one—the kind that took the “fun” out of dysfunctional.
Sookie had mentioned once that Tara had lived in “Gran’s” home many times during her human life. Now Sookie was looking at the picture of her friend with a feeling of peace that I’d not felt from my bonded since that awful night when Marnie had almost burned me and Bill at the stake, Sookie had rejected us both, Tara had been turned, and Bill and I had initially been taken by the Authority.
Indeed, that had been a fucked up night!
However, as Sookie turned her smile toward Tara—even as my “grandchild” and Nora continued to squabble—her feeling was relief. I could read her thoughts in that moment as if I were the telepath. She intuited that Tara had found a family—the kind that put the “fun” in dysfunctional.
The kind that would accept her—embrace her—as she was.
And Sookie was happy for her friend—despite the fact that Tara had been nothing but cold to her during the visit.
My bonded looked up at me, her eyes shining with “happy” tears that I knew she didn’t want to shed with so many people around.
“So—uh—you’d better draw me that map to the Authority before dawn and then get yourselves settled in your coffins,” she said practically.
“Sanka cans,” Tara muttered.
Sookie smiled to herself and then quickly got up. “I’ve got some paper and a pen in the kitchen. I’ll be right back.”
A/N: I liked this scene quite a bit in the show, but I did wish that it could have been expanded, so I did just that! Remember, the bold shows the dialogue from the show. You will see some more dialogue mixed into the “original” scene and more at the end. I also wanted to deal with the element of Sookie asking for her house back as she did. At the time, some people critiqued her as being ungrateful, and I could see that. But I always saw her as “testing” Eric in a way (and maybe you could critique her for wanting to do that too). I don’t think that Eric would ever mind being tested, however. He quickly passes the test, and the scene moves on. To me, this should have been a transitional moment for Sookie-a moment where she sees that she can trust Eric. And that is how it’s going to play out in this story. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed the extension.