Chapter 2 – Do me a favor
Eric stared at his phone, and for the first time in his considerable life-span he felt nervous. He had received news from Dallas that his maker was missing. When he reached out to him through their bond he felt no immediate distress, but he also couldn’t find him. He knew he needed to go to Dallas, and since the Fellowship was rumored to be involved he hoped to bring Sookie with him as well. The nerves came in while he contemplated how exactly to ask for her aide.
He could text her but he doubted he would be able to convey his need accurately that way. Not to mention that this particular situation could not be properly condensed into such a short burst of communication. Plus he had no way of knowing for a fact that Sookie would even read any messages that he sent to her. Normally that would be fine, but this was too important to leave such things to chance.
His second option would be to call her, however, he had come to learn that much of Sookie’s conversations were conveyed using her expressions. A phone conversation ran the risk of miscommunications and misunderstandings. Something he could ill afford.
His final option would be to go see her and discuss the matter face to face. Then he would run the risk of her refusing to hear him out at all, but that option had the added benefit of having her cousin there who seemed to be a bit more open minded and would likely take his side in this.
Decision made he got up to leave his office. He hoped that Sookie’s cousin would intercede on his behalf and help him gain the help he needed to find Godric.
Bill climbed the steps to Sookie’s door and raised his hand to knock. He detested having to ask for entrance to see his Sookie, but he knew that she would not react favorably if he simply walked in without announcing himself. Hopefully soon that would all change. When the door opened he was shocked to find not his lover, but some unknown woman, looking at him inquisitively as though he were the one out of place.
“Yes?” Her inquiry helped him to shake off his confusion and he set his features to convey his displeasure which never failed to gain him what he wanted from humans. Until now, apparently.
“I am here to see Sookie.” He did not ask her name or her reason for being in his lovers home for then he would be admitting that he did not already know the answer which was beyond unacceptable.
“Well, of course you’re here to see Sookie this is her house after all. The question remains though, who are you? While you’re at it how ‘bout telling me why you want to see Sookie.” Looking in the young woman’s eyes he got the infuriating impression he was being played with. That she knew exactly who he was and was just being contrary.
As he opened his mouth to put her in her place a sound from behind him caused him to turn from her, to find none other than his Sheriff standing on his lovers front steps. Just before he could demand an explanation a squeal sounded from behind him, the woman seemed to be dancing in place.
“Eric! Hey what up dude?” Without giving the Sheriff a chance to answer she turned back to Bill and shoved at his chest with her hand, he presumed to get his attention.
“See! Him I know.” How did this infuriating woman know Eric? Well, knowing the raunchy swede there was one way that came to mind immediately. He was having difficulty suppressing his smile, but then Northman’s words took care of that problem.
“I am here to speak with Sookie.”
“Sure thing, darling. Sookie! Eric’s here! Oh, and some other dude is here too. But mainly Eric!” Just as he was about to make his feelings about the woman’s behavior known, his lover came into view. She scanned all three people, never lingering on any one person, before turning to the woman.
“Daina! You know who Bill is!”
“I do not! You have no pictures of him and I’ve never met him even though I’ve been here two whole days. How could I know for a fact this was Bill just from your description, huh? For all I know he could be a serial killer.” The look she gave him told him she was reprimanding him for his absence, of all the nerve.
“Incompetent boyfriend who forgot where you lived.”
“Daina! enough already.” By now his lover was laughing so hard she had to hold her sides and lean against the doorway to keep herself upright, even Northman was grinning with amusement. He on the other hand was far from amused.
“Never mind that now! You go talk to Hottie McHotterson and the undead accountant and I will get to know each other now. Since this is the first I’ve seen of him.” With that the woman shoved his lover, none to gently, towards the Viking who was watching the entire interaction as though he were used to such displays.
As he watched his Sookie walk away he realized he had said not one word to her, and she had not said any to him. Turning to face the woman responsible to vent his anger he found the doorway vacant. She had walked away!
Sookie followed Eric out to the cemetery. Spooky choice of meeting place, but out of all the options, definitely the most private.
“Why are you here?” Not the most polite start, but to the point at least.
“I have come to ask for your assistance.”
“Daina!” Sometimes having a disembodied voice float through your mind was very disconcerting. She was glad Daina couldn’t do that to anyone else. She’d drive the poor bastards mad.
“What? Also I totally heard that and just so you know I’m mentally sticking my tongue out at you. Maybe physically too with the way your dull tax attorney is looking at me, it’s so hard to keep track sometimes.”
“This is a private conversation! Aren’t you talking to Bill anyway?” Why couldn’t her cousin ever just butt out when she was talking to Eric? If anyone else was asking for her help she’d leave it all up to her, maybe throw her two cents in if she was asked maybe, but with Eric she seemed determined to be a part of every decision.
“What like that would take all my concentration, please, how dare you insult me. Again, heard that you really should shield better, and the reason I need to be a part of every decision is so that you don’t keep making the wrong ones. Now, say yes!”
“No!” She did not make the wrong decisions! Did she?
“Then what are you going to say?”
“What do you need my help with?” Thankfully vampires were fine with long pauses, or this conversation could get awkward. After all she was holding two at once and that at times got confusing and the person physically with her could be ignored sometimes for minutes at a time.
“Well, okay, if you want to be all grown up and responsible about it.” Her tone left no doubt what she thought of that option.
“Someone I… know has gone missing I’m here to request your aide in finding him.”
“What do you mean no? How can you say no?”
“I’m not saying no! I’m just not saying yes.” Daina herself had just accused her of making bad decisions she would not make another one just because she rushed into something.
“Well, thank goodness you cleared that up otherwise I would be completely lost while I eavesdropped and followed this conversation.”
“Why do you need my help?” She made sure to emphasize the MY so her meaning would be clear. What could a telepath do?
“It is believed he may have been taken by the Fellowship of the Sun.” Was the only response she got and really the only one she needed.
“Awww! Say yes! Or so help me I will kick your puppy so you’ll know how he’s obviously feeling right now. He totally has the please don’t kick my puppy again face.”
“I don’t have a puppy.” Best to just play dumb and try to throw Daina off-track. It actually might work with her attention span.
“I was being metaphorical it doesn’t have to be a… you know what don’t even get me started you knew what I meant just like I know what you’re doing now. I will not be distracted by the shiny thing flying through the air so stop waving it around! Say, yes!”
“Finally! You know we could have avoided this whole conversation had you just said yes at the start like I told you to, but oh no not you! You had to get all the information and actually think about it! If it’s not immediately clear I am mocking you in my mind, and again maybe out loud with the way the dead guy keeps staring at me like I should be committed.”
“Go away already! I have a conversation to finish preferably on my own!”
“Fine, fine, fine! Be that way! Greedy, selfish, Viking hogging, mind reading, pain in my backside!”
With that Sookie felt Daina retreat from her mind. She knew the girl did it on purpose. If Daina didn’t want you to know she was there, you wouldn’t know, so she was obviously making a point. She’d make time later to ask her what it was. For now she had plans to make.
“Alright, anything else I need to know?” While knowing the Fellowship was involved was a lot, she knew there must be more or he wouldn’t look so nervous about asking her to help him.
“He was taken in Dallas so we would need to go there.” There it was, the other shoe. He didn’t think she would agree to go to Texas in order to help him. To be fair a few days ago, pre-Daina, he would have been right. Now though, she couldn’t get what her cousin said out of her mind, he did look a bit like someone had kicked his puppy. Or in actuality, like someone had stolen his friend away.
“When?” She would have to talk to Sam, pack for an extended trip, so much to do with what she was guessing would be not a lot of time to do it in.
“As soon as possible.”
“Tomorrow, soon enough?” If she tried to push it any later she just knew that Daina would do an end run around her and they’d end up going tomorrow anyhow, so she might as well just bite the bullet and suggest it herself.
“Yes, of course, thank you Sookie.” His gratitude seemed genuine and as far as she could tell he was being completely honest with her so she found a genuine smile tugging at her lips instead of her usual strained Crazy Sookie grin.
“No problem.” This way she could subtly send Daina back towards her home while she was helping Eric. It was win win for her.
“That hurts me it really does, if you keep this up I might start to think you don’t like me oh dear cousin of mine.”
“Shut up! You can be really annoying sometimes you know that?” But she sent her a mental hug to soften her words, it wasn’t that she didn’t love her cousin, she did. It was just that they seemed to love each other more the greater the physical distance between them.
“Fine then, it’s homeward bound for me, I’ll just help you with your little vampire problem first, cause I obviously love you more than you love me, but that’s alright I’ll be the invested one in this relationship I don’t mind. But I swear if the words it’s not you it’s me come out of your mouth blondie you and I will have problems.”
Daina’s laughter echoed in her mind long after her cousin actually stopped talking to her but she didn’t mind. She knew Daina would understand and she was right.
On the way back to her house Sookie tried to figure out why she agreed to help him. Besides Daina’s constant bitching in her mind to say yes, she’d come to that decision all on her own as well.
She didn’t have to wonder long, Daina had pointed it out but she’d seen it even before then, the look in his eyes when he’d spoken of this person was so full of pain and heartache. Emotions she knew all too well, she knew then, as apparently Daina had from the start that there had been no other answer but yes. Because the moment the word left her mouth for just a second all that pain disappeared and was replaced by hope like she’d thrown him a lifeline he wasn’t sure he would have when they started their little talk.
Daina stood opposite Bill listening in on Sookie, since she was sure as hell not listening to Bill. Letting her eyes roam over the man who held her cousins heart, she just didn’t see it. Not that looks were everything, they weren’t, though they did help on occasion.
It was just Bill looked like… a wife beater. Many would argue that there was no specific look to an abuser and that would be because they’ve never spent time with one. Yes, not every beater fit the look but in her experience everyone who fit the look was a beater.
She watched his face as he ranted at her in a condescending tone about her place in his relationship with Sookie, i.e. she didn’t have one. The tone of voice was designed to make the listener feel both contrite for what they had done, and stupid for doing it in the first place, but ultimately forgiven for their misstep since it was clear they hadn’t the brains to know better.
His eyes were pinched as though he was willing them not to narrow, she guessed because he noticed her inattention and was trying and failing ,as per his usual she guessed, to hide his true emotions on the subject.
His mouth was set in a grim line of distaste, most likely meant to make her fear his displeasure and quake in her boots, but only served to make her wonder how her cousin could ever kiss him. Just the thought made her want to barf.
Then there were his clothes. Seriously, did he not know how to roll with the times? He look like he was at least a half a century behind everyone else. She’d seen some vamps keeping a death grip on their “look” from their pre-dead days, but this was ridiculous.
Poor fashion and poor manners aside it was his hands that held her attention the most. His fists kept flexing, like he was having to forcefully remind himself not to hit her to gain her undivided attention. Yes, he was definitely up to no good.
She watched his entire body relax and his face turn into what could pass for easygoing at a glance. He must have heard Sookie making her was back to the house, now the fun would truly begin. She wondered how Billy boy would take the news that his girlfriend had made plans to leave town without talking to him, gaining his permission first?
Bill wanted more than anything to shake the woman, whose full name he still didn’t know and he refused to call her by her given name because that would imply that he actually liked her which he didn’t.
He’d tried to glamour her onto his side, make her support his pursuit of Sookie since she obviously had a great deal of sway over his lover, but found she wasn’t paying him enough attention for him to be able to do so. He’d just been reviewing his options when he heard Sookie approaching the house and Eric taking flight as soon as the door opened. First, he would deal with whatever Northman had wanted, then he would see about this stranger.
“Sookie! Darling, what did Eric want?” He kept his tone light, but concerned, and was frustrated when he saw her reaction of annoyance.
“He came to ask for my help in finding someone.” His thoughts turned to all the excuses he could make to keep her from agreeing when they discussed it, he was so engrossed in his thoughts he almost missed what came next.
“…tomorrow. I need to call Sam and let him know I’ll need the time off, and I guess I need to book a flight?”
“I think Eric will have taken care of the flight don’t you?”
“You’re probably right but still…”
“I could call Pam and ask if you’d feel better knowing for sure.”
“Would you? Thanks, Daina!”
“Sure not like talking to Eric’s other half is that much of a hardship.”
His lover had already agreed to help without asking him first? She never did anything, especially not anything involving vampires, without asking his opinion first. As he watched Sookie walk up the stairs, presumably to pack for this trip she was speaking of he turned to the other woman, he would have answers damn it!
Daina noticed the moment Bill came back down to earth and realized what was happening around him. If the look on his face was anything to go by he was less than pleased, and more than a little confused, and the small immature part of her soul just did a happy dance at that.
“Goodnight Bill, we have so much to do for our trip tomorrow you should probably just head on home. We’ll call you when we get back and you can stop by again.”
With that she turned to leave the room pausing just long enough to stir him from his outrage and see him out the door. He’d really had no other options if he’d done anything else Sookie would have come down to investigate and it would have all come crashing down on him. When she moved to close the door he gave her such a look of hatred she could only smile. Bring it fang face, your days are numbered and it’s about time you realized that!