Bill deviously chuckled as he shut the door and turned to Christopher. Despite the sweet feeling of the looming kill, he was bitter that Sookie wasn’t home. He visibly clenched his teeth under his nasty smile.
Christopher stared blankly. Bill drew nearer. A horn honked outside somewhere in the distance.
“Where is Sookeh?” He ordered Christopher to tell him, his breath coming out in a green cloud as he spoke, making the young man cringe a little even while glamoured.
Christopher blinked his haze filled eyes as he stared at Bill, almost seeming to gaze right through him in his glamoured state. “She has gone out with Eric Northman on a date,” he said in a far away voice.
Bill grumbled under his breath as he glided up to Christopher. He was right; that bastard Northman was enchanted with the sweet smelling girl who he longed to sink his only remaining fang into. He winced at the pain of the gaping hole in his gum where Northman had knocked out his fang, making a mockery of the younger vampire to all who laid eyes on him.
Bill reached one hand towards Christopher and wrapped his fingers around the young man’s throat. His face twitched as an unsatisfied feeling overwhelmed his senses. Killing him like this felt so unfulfilling. He wanted to see the fear in Christopher’s eyes as he squeezed the life from him. He wanted to hear Christopher shriek in murderous fright as he sank his one fang in him and drained him dry. Nothing was more satisfying then seeing a human beg in the last moments of their life.
“I release you from my glamour,” Bill sneered, his hand still on Christopher’s throat, preventing him from uttering a word.
Christopher’s eyes widened as he came to his senses and realized the situation he found himself in. He clutched at Bill’s hand around his throat as he tried to gasp for air, but it was no use. The vampire’s strength far outmatched his own.
In desperation, Christopher pressed his wrist against Bill’s face, which was adorned by a silver watch that he never went without. The vampire’s skin began to sizzle with a sickening sound as a wisp of smoke wafted from his face where the silver made contact.
Bill screamed out and released his grasp on Christopher’s throat. He bent over and clutched his face, giving the human a chance to run across the room towards the kitchen, where his dinner was burning.
“Son of a!” Christopher yelled as he reached for the frying pan of curry on the stove. He had been having a hankering for curry for some time, but Brandy hated the smell so he had used the opportunity of the girls being out to cook his favorite meal.
As he grabbed the pan to sling at Bill, the vampire zoomed towards him in such a blurry flash that Christopher lost hold of the pan. The food slung all over the kitchen and some of it landed in Bill’s eyes.
“Ahhh!” Bill squealed in a high-pitched shrill as the hot liquid burned his eyeballs to the point where he couldn’t see. It would take several seconds for them to heal so he could see again. The pain was crippling and caused him to fall to his knees screaming out in excruciating agony.
Suddenly Bill felt the frying pan hitting him over the top of the head in rapid succession as he flopped on the ground in a blind frenzy, like a fish out of water.
Christopher let out a battle roar, or as close to a battle roar that he could manage as he stood over Bill and beat him over the skull.
“You are the ugliest fanger I’ve ever seen!” Christopher screamed as he made for the wooden spoon he had been stirring his curry with. He hoped to plunge the spoon through the vampire’s chest and end this intrusion once and for all.
As he grabbed the spoon off the counter, he felt the vampire grab the back of his head and sling him across the apartment, sending him crashing into the glass coffee table on the other side of the couch in the living room.
Christopher lay there bleeding, cut up from the glass. His eyes were closed as his unconscious mind dived deeper within himself in an incoherent swirl of fog.
Bill drew nearer, his vision coming back. He had the most hateful and disgusted look on his face as he snarled with his solitary fang fully extended. “Enough games,” he spat. He would end the troublesome human now and be done with it.
“Thank you for a wonderful evening Sookie,” Eric said smugly as he came to a stop in front of her door and turned to her.
“We shall have to do this again in the near future,” Godric said with a genuine smile as he glanced over at Brandy.
“Thanks for dinner. It was nice,” Sookie said shyly.
“I trust you found it arousing,” Eric quipped as he arched one eyebrow. “I certainly found it very stimulating.”
Sookie glared at Eric with a red face, remembering how he had sensed her arousal in the restaurant booth. He had been the most infuriating vampire regarding the whole incident and actually told her he knew she was turned on. He could smell it, see it, and seemed to love every minute of torturing her with his teasing smile and pompous blue eyes.
“Perhaps next time you ladies would allow me to cook you a meal,” Godric said putting his hand on his chest in a polite gesture.
“You cook?” Brandy chuckled in disbelief. “How is that possible? You’re a vampire. You can’t eat.”
“Do not ask me why, but he seems to enjoy the culinary arts,” Eric said in derision. “All he did for years was cook.”
“I find the act of cooking relaxing. I have studied it extensively. Please allow me to cook for you tomorrow night. I have not had the pleasure of preparing my newest recipes for humans yet. I would like your opinions.” Godric said with hopeful eyes.
“His meals are rumored to quicken the pulse and ignite the taste buds,” Eric said with a suspicious tone and a cagey twitch of his lips. “He has made them for a few of the humans on my security team and they always eat every bite and proclaim how delicious his food is.”
“Yes, but it is unfortunate that Larik choked on my scrambled eggs,” Godric said in regret. “It is very sad indeed that he did not chew properly like most humans do.”
“How does someone choke on scrambled eggs?” Brandy asked.
“It would seem that he swallowed a particularly large piece of the eggshell from the eggs that I crushed together after having a random reaction to the pepper.”
“I told you that you should only put one cup of pepper in per egg and to crush the shells up better when you threw them in! Humans like their eggshells crushed up properly,” Eric argued. “He thinks the more pepper you put in eggs the better since a chef once told him…”
“He told me the more pepper on eggs the better. That is precisely what he stated and I have followed his advice to this night,” Godric defended scrunching his brow. “The humans on your security team quite enjoy my peppered eggs. The incident with Larik was only due to his inability to chew properly. The doctor at the hospital even confirmed as much when I arrived to question the medical staff about my eggs.”
“Then why did the doctor run away when you shoved a plate of the eggs in his hands and told him to try it? He even tripped over a nurse trying to get away.”
Godric put his hand up as he gestured calmly. “He was called away on a medical emergency. The situation was only coincidental. Human doctors are very dedicated to their patients.”
“I still stand by my statement that you should crush the eggshells better and use just enough pepper that they are coated in only two or three layers of blackness. There should be more egg than pepper.”
“That is where you and I disagree, my child. You are not the expert in cooking. I shall make my eggs for the ladies and they will be the final judges.”
“I’m actually allergic to eggs,” Brandy blurted.
“Uhh me too,” Sookie muttered as she laughed nervously. “Runs in the family.”
“How coincidental,” Eric boasted with a smug smirk of victory. “I guess they will not be able to try your eggs after all.”
“It is of no consequence,” Godric’s eyes showed a slight hint of disappointment. “I have many other recipes in my repertoire.”
“Wonderful, can’t wait!” Sookie turned to unlock the apartment door. She did not look forward to eating Godric’s cooking if his other monstrosities were anything like his peppered scrambled eggs or maybe she should call them eggshelled scrambled pepper!
She cracked the door and turned back to face Eric. “Thanks again for dinner. It was a lot of fun.”
“Perhaps next time you can treat us to dinner,” Eric said with one corner of his mouth turned upward.
“Of course…” She began. “WAIT! What?” She narrowed her eyes at him as he chuckled. She wondered if all vampires joked about having their date for dinner or if that was just unique to Eric Northman. Godric didn’t seem to make comments like that to Brandy. Godric was the perfect gentleman. Godric seemed to act normal, well as normal as a vampire could get anyway.
“That would be a memorable dinner indeed,” Godric said with a shit eating grin as he shook his head at his child approvingly.
Okay, never mind. As it turns out Godric was just as ornery as his child. Sookie looked over at Eric and started to roll her eyes when his fangs slid out. How obvious does he have to be? She gets it. Vampires like human blood. He didn’t have to drop a million hints at every opportunity. She started to tell him off when his smile turned into something very vicious and so savage looking that she visually flinched away from him in fear.
He reached out and grabbed her by the arm, pulling her away from the door. As she was hauled towards him she looked over to see Godric with his fangs out as well, and he was pushing Brandy behind him. What in the world had riled the vampires up so much to make them become so angry?
“Someone is in the apartment,” Eric hissed.
“I told you, we have another roommate: Christopher,” Sookie said alarmed.
“He’s gay so you can chill out,” Brandy objected as she struggled against Godric’s iron grip.
“Little One,” Godric hissed softly. “There is someone in the apartment besides your roommate. Eric, stay with them. I will enter.” He looked over at Brandy waiting for her to permit him to enter.
She hoped to god that Christopher wasn’t hurt. “Yes, you’re both invited in.” She gestured toward the door.
Godric sped inside leaving Sookie and Brandy outside the door under Eric’s protection.
“How do you guys know someone is in there?” Sookie whispered heavily. “It could just be one of Christopher’s friends.”
“Human blood has a stronger aroma than any other smell. We knew your friend was hurt shortly after you opened the door. We would have known immediately if not for the intense scent of spices from human food being cooked. In addition, we heard the intruder open the window and escape down the fire exit mere seconds ago.”
“You knew that without even seeing it?” Sookie was amazed despite the building dread that culminated in her belly, the awful feeling of what could possibly await her on the other side of that door.
Eric’s only response was to tap his nose and ear. It was not a gesture of superiority, merely reminding her of the heightened senses of vampires.
“So the jackass who broke in is gone?” Brandy said, tears of anger and worry pooling in the corners of her eyes. “We have to go in and see to Christopher!”
“Wait for Godric to give the all clear.” Eric was not going to gamble the safety of the woman who seemed to awaken his heart and captivate his mind. “There could be more than one.”
Sookie had no idea who could have possibly wanted to break in her apartment but the dreadful feeling that she would walk in to see her friend dead, nearly made her heart seize in what felt like cardiac arrest. She waited in the hall with baited breath for Godric’s all clear as her palms sweated and the goose pimples on her arms tightened her skin.
After waiting in silence for the longest thirty seconds of her life, Sookie heard Godric call out a few words in a different language from inside the apartment. She looked up at Eric who had his arm wrapped around her.
“It is safe now,” he said. Sookie started to dash inside only to be grabbed around the waist by Eric. “Sookie, I’m not sure you should see this…”
Her eyebrows raised in alarm and she quickly pushed his hand away before running through the door. Brandy and Eric rushed inside behind her to see Christopher lying on top of the broken glass coffee table.
“I will pursue the intruder down the fire escape,” Godric hissed as he jumped out of the window and disappeared into the thick night.
“Christopher!” Sookie and Brandy screamed in unison. “He’s alive!”
Sookie was soon on the ground lifting Christopher’s head. “Call an ambulance!”
Brandy hurriedly pulled her phone out of her pocket and dialed 911. Her heart beat furious as she explained the situation to the operator.
There was a time that Eric could have healed Christopher with his blood in such a circumstance, but in the new human-vampire era of coexistence there came heavy penalties for healing a human with vampire blood without prior written consent. There were so many side effects from consuming vampire blood that it was deemed unsafe for human consumption by the FDA. Despite all of this, Eric was almost willing to break this law in order to ease Sookie’s suffering heart as she cradled her friend.
Eric began walking around the apartment to investigate. He needed to distract his mind because the rage was about to boil over; the rage that someone dared to break into Sookie’s apartment. The truth was that he was seething inside but his carefully composed exterior fooled anyone who saw him into thinking he was an ocean of calm.
He could smell the unmistakable odor of death around the place. It was the smell that all vampires left in their wake. But to be able to individually distinguish who the vampire was would be impossible, especially with the pungent aroma of curry spread throughout the apartment. He ground his teeth in his jowls and clenched his fists as he swore to himself the responsible party will feel his wrath for this violation.
“The intruder was definitely a vampire,” he growled.
“I thought they had to have an invitation?” Brandy said incredulously, with the phone still to her ear.
“Your friend must have invited him in.” Eric glanced over at her as he dipped his finger in some of Christopher’s blood on the kitchen counter and smelled it. “No doubt the vampire glamoured him for an invite.”
Eric was no stranger to investigating crime scenes from his old Sheriff days in Area 5. It wasn’t so long ago for a vampire though. Thirty years was a mere blink of the eye, but still, sometimes he missed the thrill of hunting down a suspect who had broken vampire laws.
“Yes,” Brandy said turning her attention back to the phone. “Our friend says the intruder was a vampire. He is one, so he should know.” She paused momentarily. “That might be a good idea.”
Eric rolled his eyes. He could hear the operator on the other line. She was exclaiming that they would be sending their special Dallas police unit to handle the situation. The unit was made up of vampire police officers. They were known as Razorbacks in the community, pigs with fangs, and they were pretty much a joke, mostly baby vampires and supernatural failures trying to make a name for themselves. The acquisition of power called to every vampire, it swam through their veins as surely as a fish swam through the sea, and even the weakest and most pathetic of his kind were no exception to this stone-cold fact.
“Tell them to send an ambulance for Christopher!” Sookie cried as she cradled her friend. Eric was immediately by her side wrapping his arms around her. Her plea of agony had triggered some protective instinct in him that made him want to comfort her. He ran his hand over her shoulders and up and down her back.
“Your friend will live Lover,” Eric said softly. “He only hit his head and has been knocked unconscious.”
“Are you sure?” She said looking up into his deep blue eyes, the worry pooling in her own recesses. “I can’t read his mind, but I’ve never tried to read someone unconscious. It’s there but it almost seems blank, like a vampire.” She paused, a tear running down her cheek. “Well not like a vampire, but you know what I mean.”
Eric’s eyes widened. Then realization swept across his face. Her immunity to glamour combined with her sweet smell, and now this revelation that she could read minds could only mean one thing—Sookie was some sort of supernatural. She probably didn’t even know it.
Everything made much more sense. He had wondered why she didn’t wear the glamour proof contacts. He had tried to glamour her in the restaurant to test her, and she proved to be immune. She avoided giving any explanation, but he chalked it up to some random fluke that she was born with. Sookie was full of all sorts of surprises.
Eric looked her in the eyes, his piercing blues willing her to bare her soul to him, not through glamour but sheer intensity. “You are a telepth and immune to glamour?” It was more of a statement than a question Sookie realized.
“Oh… Uh…” Sookie stuttered. She had not meant to reveal to Eric, or any vampire for that matter, that she was telepathic, but she was upset and worried about Christopher and it slipped out. Her Gran had told her a long time ago to keep that little quirk to herself or it could be dangerous if opportunistic supernaturals found out. Though they were ingrained in human society and law abiding citizens for the most part, every now and then you would hear about a vampire or other supe using humans with special abilities to strengthen their power. She looked at Christopher and tried to focus through her tear flooded eyes. “I… I meant…”
“We will talk of this matter later Lover,” Eric said staring at the side of her face. “There is no need to fear me.”
He meant what he said. He would never use Sookie or do anything to hurt her. If she had telepathy, that was only another thing that made her more special and intriguing in his eyes. Such a gift would be beneficial to him, but he would never force her to work for him, especially now that his maker was living with him and scrutinizing practically everything he did.
It made sense why she didn’t want to reveal this information to him. She was smart to not tell vampires. Eric growled inwardly at the thought of a vampire capturing Sookie and forcing her to do their bidding. She definitely needed his protection and he would be providing it from this point on.
Bill arrived at his office in Monster-Mart. He was in a rage at his failure and burst the door open to walk in, huffing the entire way. His maker was sitting in the chair behind his desk with her red heeled shoes propped up on a stack of papers as she leaned back in the chair.
“By the state at which you have arrived, I am going to assume you failed to dispose of the human girl,” Lorena said with a red-stained sneer as she looked down her pointed nose at him.
“She wasn’t there,” Bill whined. “I got there and her roommate was there. So I glamoured him for an invite.”
“Good. You will be able to return later then, perhaps while she is sleeping.”
Bill looked at his feet while he fidgeted.
“What?” She said rolling her eyes. “Don’t tell me you killed the roommate and tipped them off?”
“No, I didn’t kill him. Northman arrived before I could finish the human,” Bill defended. “But I got out of there before anyone saw me.”
“At least the human was glamoured and won’t be able to identify you.”
Bill looked back down at his feet.
“Oh William,” she said with a mocking sneer. “Don’t tell me you unglamoured him to play with him like a cat plays with a mouse.”
“I just wanted to have a little fun. But the human silvered me and threw hot liquid in my eyes.” He looked at his maker and though he knew that vampires could not flush with anger, he could have sworn her face turned a few shades pink. “I was blind!”
“You are worthless!” Lorena screamed. “Now they probably know it was a vampire who broke in! You smell more rotten then most. My god, why don’t you take showers, William?”
“I’ll figure out a different way to get to Northman!”
“You better. This company provides us with too much profit, and I will not lose it. Not to a vampire like Northman!”
“I will, I will,” Bill said rubbing his hands together. He looked up at his maker in shame. “Do you think maybe we could?”
She pursed her lips. “Did you wash it today?”
“Did you use soap or just run water over it?”
“Fine. I’ll meet you in the back in five minutes.”
“Ma’am, we’ll take care of him. It looks like he just bumped his head and knocked himself out. We’re going to take him to the city hospital,” a paramedic explained to Sookie.
“He gave the vampire who broke in a run for his money. He must be a tough little human.” A particularly young looking vampire in a police uniform said as he inspected the broken coffee table. He couldn’t have been more than 14 years old when he was turned. He looked over at Godric who had just arrived back through the fire escape moments ago. “Are you sure it was a vampire who broke in?”
“Soooooie,” Eric said and the girls turned to look at him strangely. The vampire cop frowned and Godric smirked.
“Yes,” Godric said, becoming serious again. His child enjoyed harassing the Razorbacks too much for his own good. “I lost his trail not far from the building. He must have had a vehicle parked nearby that he drove away in.”
“Maybe I ought to go see if I can pick up his trail.”
“If my maker says the trail ends,” Eric said taking a step towards the vampire officer. “Then the trail ends and I doubt an infant such as you will be able to find it. Do you understand my meaning Razorback?”
“There’s no need to use derogatory terms, sir.” The police officer grimaced as he brushed one hand nervously through his hair.
“What’s a Razorback?” Sookie quietly asked her friend.
“Pig with fangs,” Brandy whispered to her.
“Do you females have another place you can stay besides this apartment?” The young police officer asked as he turned to Sookie and sniffed the air, making Eric growl in a low rumble too softly for the girls to hear.
No one missed the fact that Eric was poised over Sookie, nearly wrapped around her like her own personal gift paper with his colossal size. He was staking his claim to the vampire officer, warning him that she was his.
The Razorback gasped and quickly turned and faced Brandy instead. “It might not be safe with a vampire on the loose who has an open invitation. You can’t rescind it if you don’t know his name.”
“They will be under our protection,” Eric hissed in territorial annoyance. “Now if that is all, I would like to take them to a safer location.”
“Very good,” the officer mumbled taking out his notepad and jotting something down. “Also, I recommend you humans wear your safety contacts to avoid this situation in the future. The male didn’t have his contacts in, and that is safety protocol number one. Never answer the door without your safety contacts. Also, I noticed that you, Miss, don’t have any contacts in either. That’s just asking for trouble, especially with your sme…”
“Officer,” Godric intervened before Eric lost it. The Razorback didn’t even know he was insulting Eric by suggesting he didn’t have the know-how or ability to protect what was his. “Miss Stackhouse took her contacts off earlier tonight because they were irritating her eyes. Since she was in the company of protectors we saw to her safety. I cannot speak for the male, but I assure you that you need not school us on safety procedures.”
Sookie wasn’t surprised that Godric lied to the officer. What she didn’t know was that vampires were so aware that she didn’t wear the contacts. She thought to herself that she should probably put them in anyway so she didn’t arouse questions in the future.
“Okay then.” The officer said handing Godric a card as he avoided making eye contact with Eric. “If you think of any thing else that will help our investigation please give me a call.”
“Certainly.” Godric pocketed the business card and gestured towards the door for the officer to leave. He would not be calling the incompetent Razorbacks and already knew his child would insist they pursue the intruder on their own. You did not get to be their age by relying on others to solve your problems.
After the officer made his exit, Sookie turned to Eric. “What do you mean we are under your protection?”
“You are staying with me in my penthouse. It is not safe for you here.”
“We insist you both stay with us until the culprit is caught,” Godric added. “At least for a few days.”
Eric zoomed to Sookie and took her hand in his. “I assure you that we have no nefarious agenda. We only want to see to your safety. We will pursue this vampire and destroy him.”
“We don’t even know any vampires besides you guys,” Brandy said angrily. “I don’t know who the hell would break in here.”
“Maybe it was just a random act of violence,” Sookie suggested.
“Perhaps you have acquired a vampire stalker, Miss Stackhouse.” Godric said.
“Lover, your scent is exquisite to vampires. Surely you must know this?”
“No, I didn’t know that,” Sookie said surprised. “I don’t go out a lot at night so I don’t meet many vampires.”
“Maybe it was that puke face who drugged you,” Brandy hissed.
“Surely Compton is not that stupid,” Eric said turning to look at Godric.
“We should not rule him out. He has proven his lack of intelligence in the past by continuing to attempt to drug humans in your establishment.”
“I will rip him apart.” Eric growled, clenching his fists. “He will rue the night our paths ever crossed.”
“In the meantime, we should take the women back to the penthouse for their own safety.”
After packing a few changes of clothes, Sookie followed Eric out of the apartment and they all piled in the elevator and went skyward.
She wasn’t exactly sure what she was getting herself into by agreeing to stay with Eric, but at least she had Brandy with her. Her friend would not tolerate any shenanigans, and in that moment she was thankful for Brandy’s confrontational attitude.
It would seem that Eric and Sookie were destined to be thrust together. She was entering a dark world to which there was no turning back, but she was glad that someone as strong and powerful as Eric was willing to protect her against this unforeseen danger.
This was the second time he came through for her. The first was being there for her at the bar when that nasty vampire tried to drug her. She looked up at the tall blond vampire as they rode up the elevator and sighed. Their destinies were now inevitably intertwined.
A/N: Eric grins at you through a fangy smile. “Hi, Lover. How about you type up that feedback and come a little closer. I promise I won’t bite… hard.”