Chapter 8 – Don’t Begrudge Me

Sookie sat down at the cafe with a sigh. She knew she should probably go ahead home so she could be certain she would be there when Eric woke from his daylight rest, but she just couldn’t face going home right then. It wasn’t that Eric was being difficult or even that having him with her wasn’t fun, though she supposed she shouldn’t be enjoying his memory loss quite so much as she was, it was just that it was too surreal. He was Eric but he just wasn’t the real Eric. He would talk to her without a single leer or any double edged words. She found herself forgetting what and who he was far too often for comfort.

He’d only been with her for a week now and yet she still couldn’t find it in herself to toss him out. It was only supposed to be for one night, two at the most, but it would seem that finding a witch in hiding was hard even for a vampire like Pam. Every time she brought up the idea to Pam that Eric might be safer and more comfortable staying with her she automatically shut her down. She just kept muttering about the future and how irritating it was.

When someone suddenly took the seat beside her she startled out of her thoughts quickly taking in her surroundings.

“Sorry, Sookie, right?” It took her a moment too long to place the man across from her, normally she never forgot a face but she hadn’t been sleeping much lately.

“Alcide? Sorry, I was busy gathering wool, I didn’t hear you there.” Which she was sure was partly because of his fuzzy thoughts. They were all so hazy they just sort of faded into the background like white noise.

“Yeah, I noticed that. You okay? This is the second time I’ve seen you and both times you’ve seemed kind of miserable. Though I have to admit this time you don’t seem nearly as miserable as you did last time. Or as hungover.” She tried not to wince at the reminder. If she thought too hard about it she could still feel the echoes of that headache haunting her.

“This time Gin was not a factor so that might have something to do with it.”

“You may have a point there.”

She found herself smiling for the first time in a long time with someone who wasn’t Eric. Smiling at his antics while he was so different from the true him she knew made her feel guilty, but this was just easy and carefree. Her life had just been so depressing lately she just couldn’t help but be relieved to finally find someone who not only remembered who they were but who didn’t want anything from her.

Eric didn’t know what to do with himself when Sookie was away. Both she and Pam stressed that he needed to stay in her house, they said that if anyone saw him it could bring trouble down on them all but it chafed at him to be so still. She would go out for what seemed like the whole of the day at times running what she called errands before coming back just to get ready to go to work for what seemed the whole of the night. He knew he was being unkind in his thoughts, she spent time with him and did her best to keep his spirits up but on days like this one when he only saw her in passing it was hard to recall that.

He was getting ready to maybe try again to find something of interest to read on the limited bookshelf when he felt a strange sensation run up his spine. It was a shiver of awareness he had never felt before, at least in his recent memory. It was this instinctive knowing that someone was entering his space, and not just any someone but another vampire. 

There was a vampire on Sookie’s property while she was away!

Flashing out the backdoor, all warnings to stay hidden forgotten, he circled around to get behind the intruder. He was standing on the porch now, his hand wasn’t raised to knock, instead he seemed to be sniffing the air. He was trying to catch the scent of the occupant of Sookie. He didn’t like that, he didn’t know why but the thought of this man having her essence in his lungs made him want to hiss in anger.

He felt his fangs drop as his anger built, his gums ached as he thought about digging his teeth into the others throat. He wanted to rend and tear him, but he knew he couldn’t. If he got blood everywhere without a good reason he would be scolded, again. Flashing to stand behind the other he cleared his throat to gain his attention. He knew he was an intimidating figure and he had over a foot of height and more than a small amount of age on him. He was the aggressor and this man the interloper. 

“Why are you here?” If the man had a good reason to come by he would let him pass and be on his way but if he did not he would kill him where he stood. He owed Sookie his protection after everything she had already done for him, it was the least he could do for her.

“Why am I here? Why are you here? And what are you wearing?” He quite enjoyed his comfortable loose clothes, they moved well with him when he needed to run at full speed. He was wearing the clothes Sookie had generously provided for him, they belonged to her brother and were the best she could do until they could allow him to go home to his own clothes. She and Pam had talked about bringing some of his clothes to him but neither wanted to risk someone following Pam here.

“I asked you a question.” He would not allow himself to get distracted thinking about Sookie. 

“I was hoping to see Sookie, but she’s not at home. As her boyfriend it is my right to call on her, you have no excuse for your presence. You have been absent from the club and your duties as Sheriff and now I find you here. What are you trying to do Eric? Whatever it is, it won’t work. Sookie is mine and mark my words she will never be yours.”

“Sookie is not yours, she says she belongs to no one.” He had asked her only once and she had refused claiming that she belonged only to herself. 

“She says? Don’t say it like you don’t know, our argument is all your fault. You may have managed to drive a wedge between us for a time but I assure you it won’t be for long.” 

“I have done nothing.” He did not like being accused of manipulating Sookie like that. If she had come to see that she was better served without this creature that was her choice.

“You won’t get away with this!” He flounced off at human speed, stomping his feet as he went, he looked ridiculous. 

Bill wasn’t sure what Eric was up to but he would stop him, he had to. He knew none of the bastards other plans had worked to take his Sookie from him but this had to be the closest he’d ever come. Sookie wasn’t speaking to him, she wouldn’t even tolerate his presence and she had the shifter keep him from her while she worked. This was Eric’s fault, he knew it was. His Sookie would have forgiven him by now, she was a kind hearted and gentle woman, if not for that Viking coming between them. He didn’t know what the other man had said to her, but he must have taken considerable time and effort to make her think the worst of him, he hadn’t even taken time away from whispering in her ear to attend to his sworn duties and that was how he had him now.

He was the newly appointed Investigator of Area Five of the great state of Louisiana and as such it was his duty to make sure that all inconsistencies and rumours were thoroughly looked into. He had per protocol tried to announce this new appointment to his Sheriff but had been unable to locate him and had soon become concerned by his continuous absence. Wanting to do a good job and make his Queen proud he had of course set about looking into the absence and found him shirking his obligations in favor of spending time with a human woman. The heavy scent of Eric around Sookie’s home would back up his interpretation of events if necessary. Concerned about this odd behavior from an elder who was known for his dedication to his position he looked into things a bit more and found a pattern of misbehavior that had been allowed to go unreported by the denizens of the area. It was his humble opinion that the Viking was taking advantage of the situation and using his power and position to obtain tributes that should rightly go to the Queen of the state.

As a sworn investigator he was obligated to report this to a superior so that it could be dealt with according to their laws. Normally that superior would be the local Magister but since he was publicly friendly with the Norseman it was within his rights to choose an outsider of equal or greater standing to hear his case. An outsider like Nan.

One of the main things that was holding Sophie-Anne in power, much to the chagrin of Nan and her ilk, was the presence of Eric. His power and reputation was legendary and the fact that he was a resident of Louisiana stayed many a hand, not all of them of course she had held her lands for centuries before his arrival, but things were changing. Power was shifting. If he gave Nan this nearly gift wrapped reason to have Eric clapped in silver for a few years so that she could more easily deal with the Queen he was sure she would be easily persuaded to allow him to have Sookie as a reward. While Sookie wasn’t an official part of Louisiana’s retinue her known association with both him and other vampires but her squarely under his control when all was said and done.

Standing still, all the agitation and frustration of being powerless had finally left him, he had the upper hand now and he wasn’t going to waste it. Flashing from his home he headed towards Shreveport and the waiting Nan, his salvation.

Debbie had watched Alcide flirt with some stupid blonde and could barely contain her seething rage, she knew he was only doing it to get a rise out of her. Who the hell did this bitch think she was! Alcide was hers damn it! They were a forever kind of love and no one least of all some bimbo was going to take that from her. When she realised that the two of them had met before she knew she had to do something before this bitch ruined her happy home.

Standing outside her house she waited for her to come home, finding out where she lived wasn’t hard at all with the right friends in the right places. She brought her hand up and started scratching at her arm while she waited, God she was going crazy she needed some V soon or she was really going to lose it. After, she would go to Russell after she got a different kind of fix, this was more important. No one came between her and Alcide. Even if they weren’t together at the moment that didn’t mean anything, they always come back to each other. Always! Everyone knew that. She bet this bitch knew it too, she was just trying to be clever, well it wouldn’t work. She was the clever one here! Her!

Hearing the car pulling in she crouched behind some bushes and waited for her moment. This was going to be so easy. When the girl was walking by she leapt at her landing full against her and taking them both to the ground. She got in a few hits to the girls face, she wouldn’t be so pretty after she was done, but the girl was scrappier than she thought she’d be for such a little thing. She got a knee between them and slammed her full force in the belly knocking the wind out of her. She laid on the ground for a second trying to breathe through the pain of it as she heard the girl screaming for help. Who did she think would help her? No one was there.

Getting up onto her knees she reached out and pulled the girl back from where she had started crawling away, she needed to finish this. Suddenly a pair of hands grabbed her around the waist and heaved her away forcing her to try and stop her skid before she hit the actual house. Glancing up she tried to stop the world from spinning so she could see clearly but all her blinking just made it worse. Feeling nauseous she stumbled to her feet and made her way into the house behind her, she was going to be sick. 

She found the kitchen first and leaned against the table her hand held against her head and it was so damp it was gross. She hadn’t thought she was sweating that hard, but maybe she was wrong. Looking around she could see two of everything, just like a homewrecking bitch to have so many extras, but she finally found the knife block. After a few misses she was able to get her hands on one, this was going to be good. Turning back around to go find the other girl she ran straight into a seething wall of muscle.


There was a vampire here. No wonder she hadn’t heard another heartbeat. 

That was the last thought she had before her head was no longer attached to her body.

Sookie had just finished cleaning up the mess Eric had made of her kitchen floor when there was a new knock on the door. It couldn’t be Eric; she had told him to take the body parts far enough away that if anyone cared to look into it if she was found they would never think to look here. She should just stop answering tonight, it never seemed to be anything nice. Opening the door she found a sight that looked almost funny, it was Jessica with a very uncomfortable Jason behind her. He looked so awkward standing there on her porch, the universal small smile for sorry, this wasn’t my idea on his face.

“Hey you two. What are you doing here?” At her house so late, together, or at all any answer would do. She was being a bit uncharitable but she had just spent the last hour scrubbing werewolf off the linoleum and all she wanted was to get a long hot shower before anything else started up.

“I ran into Jason at the bar while I was waiting around for Hoyt and we got to talking about things. All kinds of things really but then we started talking about you and Bill, so now we’re here to talk to you about it.”

“You came over here after midnight on a Tuesday to talk to me about my romantic life?” She looked over to Jason who just shook his head in confusion.

“She just asked me for a ride over here, Sookie. She ain’t said nothing about any of this. I thought you was expecting her, at least she made it sound like that.” Oh her poor naive brother. When he looked at Jessica he saw a teenage girl who needed a knight in shining armor. It didn’t even cross his mind that as a vampire she didn’t actually need a ride to get from anywhere to her house. 

“Well I wasn’t, but since you’re both here now you might as well come on in out of the cold. I’ll get you both a drink.” Judging from the number of times Jason had blinked at her trying to understand what she was saying she might have to offer him a bed too. Her brother was drunk as a skunk and there was no way she was letting him get back in his truck.

She didn’t want to deal with this right now, but she couldn’t just turn them away either. Walking back into the house she went to get him a glass of water, he would thank her in the morning. 

“So what about me and Bill did the two of you just have to talk to me about?” If she was being honest she didn’t really want to have this conversation, and she knew Jason didn’t either. Her brother never really approved of her relationship with the vampire.

“You’re hurting Bill.”

“How?” If anyone had hurt anyone Bill had been the one to hurt her, physically and emotionally. He was easily angered and never seemed to think before he started screaming at her about anything to do with Eric. She understood that Eric was a sore point for Bill, and she was starting to think that maybe it was a hurt that went farther back than just recently.

“How? You’ve left him for Eric.”

“No. I left him full stop, Eric had nothing to do with it one way or another. Not that it has anything to do with you but I am currently single. I am with no one, not Eric and not anyone else.” She was tired of people making leaps about her romantic life and talking to her about how that affects them and what they think about it.

“But Eric-”

“Eric has nothing to do with it. I left Bill because he lost his temper again and did something I couldn’t forgive. I left him because of his actions and my choices. That has nothing to do with you and even less to do with my brother.”

“I just think you should give him a second chance. Bill loves you.”

“I don’t love him.”

She watched as her words made the teenager stop and stare before a sweeping anger seemed to rise in her. Her teeth were clenched and her hands were flexing open and closed. She took a step back expecting a strike to the face or maybe to be grabbed and pulled out of her own house and over to Bill’s home across the cemetery to repeat herself to him. It didn’t escape her notice that Jessica for all intents and purposes had been raised by Bill, the same man who pulled her out of her place of work and outside just to yell at her.

Instead the baby vampire lunged at her full body and pushed her back with her full weight bending her backwards over the table behind her. She could feel the sharp squeeze of hands around her neck pushing her back on the table, her head being forcibly turned to the side to bare her throat. She was about to die! 

Before she could feel the sharp pain of fangs breaking skin she was drenched in a warm wet mess instead. 

Wiping the blood from her eyes with a sleeve that felt just as soaked as the rest of her she tried to blink the world around her back into view. Jason was standing in front of her with his eyes wide and his mouth open looking lost and confused. He had just killed Jessica. 

“I didn’t… I just wanted to… she was going to… I didn’t-” He couldn’t find his words and she couldn’t either. 

Jessica was dead. The girl had never really had a chance, she was slated for destruction from the beginning. Bill had never truly taught her how to survive and left her to run wild and this was the result.

Jessica was dead but Jason was still here and she needed to pull herself together to keep him safe. No one could ever know what had happened here, if the vampires found out that her brother had killed a vampire, even one as young and wild as Jessica, he could be in real trouble and she couldn’t let that happen.

Grabbing his shoulders she shook him as best she could to get his attention and help him focus. This would be so much easier if he wasn’t drunk to start with.

“Jason!” When his eyes started to focus she let him go to put her hands on her hips like their gran used to do when she wanted them to really listen to her. “You need to go home and burn the clothes you’re wearing, I don’t see any blood but I don’t want to take any chances. Go home, burn the clothes, and never talk about this again. Not to me, not to anyone! Do you understand me? This never happened.”

She watched him stumble out and wanted to help him more and make sure he made it home safe but she had get rid of all the blood and viscera that was once Jessica. Getting him home safe wouldn’t help at all if Bill felt Jessica’s death and came here to find everything just waiting for him to see. If he found the puddle that used to be his Childe and smelled Jason in the air then it would all be over. 

Pulling up her sleeves she pulled out her cleaning supplies again, twice in one night. She might just have to remodel her whole kitchen to make sure that none of the blood was seeping under the floors and causing long term problems. 

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