Pam started her search at Fangtasia, she figured the first thing she would need was a better grasp of her Makers’ schedule for the week at least. She needed a better idea of when these witches had come into contact with Eric the first time. If it had happened the night before or even earlier than that he would have told her, they had both been on their guard since coming back from the future on the lookout for incoming threats. The witches hadn’t strayed far from either of their minds.
Entering his office without him there, or without a specific purpose, felt strange. The first thing she noticed though was the shirt over his office chair. That shouldn’t have been there. Eric was meticulous about keeping his office clean and presentable since it was his “work” area. With a mercurial queen that stopped by unannounced whenever the fancy struck her and a Magister who liked to keep his underlings guessing Eric always said it was best to always keep things how he wanted his “superiors” to see them. If Eric was forced to change his clothes in his office, for whatever reason, he always made sure the discards were in the closet before he left.
Picking the shirt up to look at it she found that it smelled of bleach. What?
Opening the door she called for Ginger, the fool was never far from anywhere Eric might be. When she came it Pam held up the shirt and sneered at her.
“Why does this smell of bleach?”
“Oh. The Master came in early tonight to do some kind of paperwork or something. When he came in Olivia was startled and she accidentally splashed him.” So Eric came into his office to change. Then what?
“Did anything else happen tonight?”
“Yeah. Some people came in right after him. We tried to stop them and tell ‘em that we weren’t open yet but they just blew right past us. We figured the Master would put them in their place. When they didn’t come back out we just thought they must be one of those important types that come here sometimes.”
“And when did they leave?”
“They didn’t. Or well, if they did I didn’t seem ‘em and I’ve been out front this whole time.”
They seriously needed better help. Not one of those whores had even thought to check if something had gone wrong when none of them saw Eric or the witches leave. They didn’t say anything to her either when she came in. If the witches had been important vampire guests like they thought then their just letting Pam breeze in without warning could have gone badly. For all of them.
“Thank you Ginger, you may go back to work.” She couldn’t close the club, that would be too suspicious. She just needed to try and track the witches while they still thought they had the upper hand. They didn’t know that she already knew what they were, even if she hadn’t found who they were yet.
It didn’t sound like Eric had been expecting them. If he had they wouldn’t have caught him without his shirt on and he would have had her here to oversee the help while he was occupied in whatever meeting they had obviously come for. So why come here to Eric tonight? What had they expected to happen when they barged in? Had they made demands?
Shaking her head she tried to reason through what to do next. She needed to track them, that was a given, but how? Sniffing the air she got a faint whiff of a scent she hadn’t come across before. It was nearly overpowered by the smell of the bleach, but it was there.
With no other options she decided to follow the scent and see where it led. If the trail hit a deadend then she would go with plan B or calling on a witch. Fight magic with magic. If she was lucky she might be able to end this tonight without anyone ever realising what had happened to Eric. The last thing they needed was for Bill or his whiney ass fledgling figuring out where they were in the timeline.
Not that Eric wouldn’t be able to defend himself even in this state the man was still a goddamn Viking for fucks sake. It would just be an unbearable annoyance to deal with the aftermath.
Sookie wasn’t sure what she was supposed to do with an Eric without all the confidence and swagger of a thousand year old badass. This version of the man seemed more boyish and almost innocent. Deciding the only thing to do was to continue on with her night like she would if he wasn’t there she moved towards the kitchen to make her dinner. With a schedule like hers a person had to get used to eating smaller meals at odd hours so a two a.m snack was par for the course.
She was gathering the things she’d need to make a homestyle parfait. She had the yogurt, bananas, chopped pecans, and strawberries out on the counter but when she turned around to grab a bowl she ran into a shuffling Eric. He looked around uncertainly like he didn’t know what she was doing in this room, but whatever it was he was curious about it. She looked at him for a minute before she decided to take pity on him and give him something to do. Sometimes all you needed to find some comfort was something small to focus on.
“I’m making a quick snack before I head off to sleep. If you want to help me with it I’ll get you a tru blood and we can eat together before bed.” Holding out the knife in her hand she gestured towards the already peeled bananas, she figured that was the best job for him. Even if he messed it up the worst he could really do was mush it and that would still be perfectly edible. Grabbing the bowl she put the yogurt in the bottom before putting it next to the banana waving between the two to get him started. She would have walked him through it a bit more but memories or no memories she didn’t think he would take that well.
While she busied herself hulling the strawberries and cutting them into quarters she tried to not sneak too many glances over at him but it was hard to stop. He was so adorable. He stood at his “station” glancing between the knife, the bowl, the banana, and her own work with the strawberries before he started cutting everything to match the size of her pieces. Any time he caught her looking he would give her a sheepish little smile like he thought she might yell at him for doing it wrong. She wondered if Eric had ever truly been like this before, even as a human. Somehow she doubted it.
When her bowl was assembled she did away with the mess and grabbed the promised bottle of blood from the fridge, setting them both up at the table. Now she had to make early hours small talk with someone who didn’t remember his own name let alone any current events. What were they supposed to talk about?
“How do we know each other?”
Oh right this must be so strange for him. Here he was in some random ladies house after having been dropped off like a pet at the kennel. At least with Pam he had that vampire connection where they could feel each other, with her he was flying blind. That must be terrifying.
“Well, we met nearly a year ago when the vampire I was spending time with back then brought me to the club you own in Shreveport. We’ve been sort of just circling around each other since.”
“Do you belong to this vampire?”
“No. No, I don’t.”
“Would you like to belong to me?” She wanted to be offended, the wording was so wrong and grated against her every nerve, but when she looked into his eyes she only felt cared for. He was looking at her like he wanted to take care of her forever and for always, and not in a patronising, you can’t look after yourself kind of way either. It was like he wanted to make sure she never had to worry or go without for the rest of her life. He was looking at her like she hung the moon in the sky and he wanted nothing more than to worship her for the rest of eternity.
This was a dangerous feeling to have. She had to find a way out of this conversation and back on solid ground.
“No. Thank you.” Not giving him a chance to say anything else she got up and started rinsing her bowl before heading up the stairs to bed. She wasn’t sure where she was going to put him where the sun couldn’t reach him but she had promised to keep him safe so that’s exactly what she would do. Nearly every room had windows of some sort but her room had the least and the ones it did have were the smallest of the whole house. Grabbing a heavy winter quilt from the hall closet she set about making her room as light tight as she could.
Once she was finished she looked around to check for any other obvious dangers and was relieved to find none.
“Come on, you can sleep in here with me.” She thought about just giving him the room and moving out herself into a different room, but that didn’t seem right for a lot of reasons. First of all he was scared enough without having to practically die all alone, leaving him to that in a strange place just seemed cruel. Beyond that if they shared a space then if something went wrong with either the makeshift light blockers or the spell she would know right away and hopefully have time to act.
Watching him curl up on her bed that was nearly a foot too short for him to lay in with any kind of comfort he looked like all he needed in the world was a hug. She couldn’t leave him like that, so she wouldn’t. She didn’t owe anyone anything except herself and her conscience would poke at her if she even tried to leave now. Crawling into bed beside the giant teddy bear she took her place beside him. It didn’t take long at all until his long frame was engulfing her like a huggable pillow. Right now she was his only safe space and she couldn’t begrudge him that.
As dawn broke over the horizon she felt the life leave him, his limbs became heavier and locked her in place but she didn’t mind. She wanted him to wake up the same way he fell asleep, safe and with her there to watch over him.
Bill had tried to go to Fangtasia to inform Eric of his new status and position, but the man hadn’t been on his usual thorne. When he’d questioned one of the waitresses she had said that both Eric and Pam were gone for the night, something about a meeting. Just his luck, when he finally got one over on the bastard he didn’t have the good grace to be where he was supposed to be so he could rub it in his face.
He had wanted a moment of triumph after his abject failure to reconnect with Sookie. She had even barred him from entering her home, and he suspected that if he had pushed things she would have rescinded his invitation. He knew that he had messed up when he lost his temper with her, but the idea of her spending an entire night with Eric had made him panic. All he could see was the future horror of her leaving him for the Sheriff.
He needed to find a way to permanently separate the two of them and if neither of them would cooperate and keep their distance of their own accord he would have to find a more permanent solution. If an accident were to befall the Sheriff no one would ever suspect his newly appointed investigator. After all no one would ever suspect him of having the cunning and skill needed to take down someone like Eric. If he was going to make this work, he would need an accomplice that could move things along, for a price of course. He knew just the woman for the job, picking up the phone he dialed a number he hadn’t needed to use in months.
“Nan, it’s Compton we need to speak.” Sophie-anne had proved to be a generous benefactor but he had known that all good things eventually came to an end so he kept his backup plan in play just in case.
Jessica felt out of the loop. Ever since they went on that vision quest or whatever the fuck it was it was like everyone was avoiding her. Bill never seemed to really have time for her unless he was complaining about something not going his way. Like just recently he disappeared down to New Orleans without even telling her, or offering to take her along with him, or nothing. This whole being a vampire thing was not even close to the dream life they advertised on the t.v.
Sitting in a back booth at Merlottes she waited for Hoyt to come by, they hadn’t made plans or nothing but she noticed that the whole road crew tended to end up here at the end of each day even if they came one at a time. She guessed it was really the only place to get a drink after a long day without having to resort to drinking alone at home, and she knew just how depressing that could be. No matter what you were drinking. Hearing the rowdy heavy booted stomp of a bunch of them heading in she sat up and primped her dress a bit so she could look her best when he first saw her. Instead of Hoyt it was just a bunch of random guys that didn’t mean anything to her at all.
Followed by Sookie’s brother Jason.
Seeing Jason she started to have a bit of an idea. Bill was so busy because he was worried about Sookie leaving him, but if she could get him some help keeping her around then maybe he would finally relax enough that things could go back to normal.
Oh! She had the best ideas, she didn’t know why Bill didn’t listen to her more.