Seeing as I would spend most of the next evening shopping with Pam and Jessica, I set up the alarm on my cell phone for mid afternoon. When I finally left the sanctum of my bedroom, I was surprised to see that Gran had just woken up too.
“Good morning, dear… Or good afternoon.”
“Good afternoon Gran, I would have expected you to be up by sunrise and hidden away in the library.”
She smiled. “I had difficulty sleeping last night. I stayed up with young Jessica until she went to rest at dawn. The poor little thing…”
We sat down on the couch, little Freyja taking her spot on Gran’s laps.
“We talked for a while” she continued. “She didn’t have it easy, the poor girl. I don’t like to talk bad about people I never met, but her father… That man is horrible from what she told me. One of those Bible thumpers who think the Lord granted him permission to punish his child for nothing…”
“How did you got her to apologize last night? When she arrived she was angry and rude…”
“I simply told her the truth, dear. That Eric didn’t have to take her in, but that he did anyway and that he was a good man, probably the best man I’ve ever known apart from your grandfather Earl, your father and dear Godric. I told her we would love her, help her. She’s just a scared little girl, Sookie.”
“You are exceptional, Gran.”
The rest of the afternoon was spent in relative quietness, each of us quietly reading a book from Eric’s collection of thousand. Nearly an hour and a half before sunset, I felt the familiar twinge in the bond indicating that Eric was rising. I excused myself from Gran and made my way upstairs. Eric was already up, typing away on his cell phone.
“Good evening, min alskäre…”
“Good evening. Texting Pam?”
He nodded. “She should be here as soon as she rises to take you and young Jessica shopping.”
“So I guess you’re on ‘vermins duty’ tonight?”
He nodded and groaned before tossing his phone on the bedside table and lunging himself on me. My pyjamas were quickly discarded as were his boxers and his Gracious Plenty was slowly entering me.
“So wet for me, lover” he whispered, nibbling at my earlobe.
“Always… Just for you…”
Eric continued to pound into me until we both came, screaming each other’s name. He then collapsed on top of me, his weight on me making me feel incredibly safe.
“You’re turning me into quite a wanton” I said, once I was able to catch my breath.
“Good, I quite enjoy wanton Sookie.”
His lips sought mines in a searing kisses before he carried me to the bathroom and filling in the bathtub. We took our time bathing each other and exploring each other’s body. When we finally went back to the bedroom, the shutters were up and the soft rays of the moonlight were filling the room. Eric was almost already dressed when someone knocked on the door.
“Jessica… What can I do for you?”
The young girl looked scared at the shirtless man standing in front of her.
“I… I don’t have anything to wear… I…”
Having put on my dress, I left the walk-in and joined them in the bedroom.
“Good evening, Jessica. I hope you had a nice rest.”
There was an awkward silence.
“Eric, why don’t you go put on a shirt and warm some blood for Jessica while I help her find something to wear…”
“As you wish min alskäre.”
A quick kiss on my forehead and he was gone.
“Come on in, Jessica. Let’s see if we can find something in your size.”
At the sight of the walk-in closet, Jessica let out a gasped.
“I know, I had the same reaction the first time.”
I looked around and find a bright yellow sundress and a denim jacket.
“Here go put these on, we’ll even match” I said, motioning to my own white and grey dress and jacket. “Your feet are bigger than mine, but these thongs should do for the meanwhile.”
I smiled. “I’ll be downstairs. Pam should get here shortly.”
As it was, Pam was already there, sitting in the kitchen and sipping a Royalty Blend – in a crystal glass, not in a bottle, she was lady after all and lady didn’t drink out of disgusting bottle who had been who knows where.
“Good evening, Pam. Love that colour on you.”
She was wearing a turquoise sleeveless shirt with a white pencil skirt and the assorted pumps.
“Thank you, Tinkerbelle. You’re not so bad yourself… Although sundress and denim jacket? Really? So not sophisticated!”
Gran laughed. “You’re going shopping for a teenage girl, Pamela, you’re not going to Fashion Week in Paris!”
“You are right Adele… Please accept my deepest apology, Sookie.”
I was speechless. Pamela Swynford De Beaufort, apologizing? Eric skipped behind me, his right hand settling on my waist and kissed the side of my face.
“Welcome to the Twilight Zone, min alskäre. Your grandmother has quite an effect on my Childe.”
Jessica quickly came down dressed in her borrowed clothes and, after she feed, Pam was ushering us toward her pink minivan. Just before I settled in the passenger seat, Eric took me in his arms and properly said his goodbye.
“Do you want us to join you at Fangtasia after we’re done with this whole shopping trip?” I asked, my hands finding their way to his long hair.
“No. Come back here directly. Fangtasia is no place for a girl as young as Jessica, even though she’s a Vampire now.”
I smiled and kissed him. “You’re starting to care for her. Don’t you dare deny it, Eric Northman!”
One more kiss, this time more passionate. We were unfortunately interrupted by the shrill honking of the minivan horn.
“Get your sweet little ass in the car, Sookie! Eric will still be there to sex you up later!”
“What? Oh, sooner or later the baby-vamp was bound to learn that whenever the two of you are together all you’re thinking about is how to get each other naked as soon as possible.”
I rolled my eyes and entered the car.
“Eric, don’t forget, you have some vermins to entertain!”
“Don’t forget you are shopping for Jessica, Pamela. No shopping for yourself with my credit card!”
The blond vamp looked hurt. “Of course, Eric.”
“Pam… As your maker I command you to only shop for Jessica tonight!”
Hurt soon made place to anger and Pam spent the rest of the drive to Mall Saint Vincent cursing in Swedish at her inconsiderate Maker.
“I hope you realize how degrading it is for me to come shopping is such a… horrible place” said Pam once we entered the mall.
“I’ve never been shopping before” said Jessica, almost whispering.
Pam suddenly stopped midway and looked at the poor girl as if she had a second head.
“What do you mean you’ve never been shopping before? Teenagers are shopping all the time!”
The young girl bit her lower lip. “Daddy wouldn’t let me out of the house… Unless it was for church or bible camp. Most of my clothes were hand-me-down from my cousins or mama made them…”
“Well tonight we’re shopping” I said, circling her shoulders. “And we don’t even have to look at the price tags since it’s on Eric’s!”
“Please, Tinkerbelle, don’t remind me that Eric is paying for all of this and I can’t even have a tiny little thing…”
I laughed and Jessica looked confused.
“Why do you call her Tinkerbelle?”
“Yeah, Pam? Why do you call me Tinkerbelle?”
Pam smirked. Of course she wasn’t going to tell Jessica that I was indeed part fairy, we didn’t know if we could trust her yet.
“Well, let me tell you about the night Eric and I made the acquaintance of a tiny little girl who ended up ensnaring a Viking’s undead heart.”
“Come on, Pam… I’m pretty sure Jessica doesn’t want to hear about how I met you and Eric!”
“You met them when you were a little girl?” the redhead asked as we entered Abercrombie & Fitch. “But I thought Vampires had only come out of the coffin about two years ago…”
And so, while Jessica was in the changing room Pam told her what she dubbed ‘the story of Eric and Sookie’. Just like Eric had done previously with Coby and Lisa, Pam told a story that could compete with the best romances of all time. She made it sound as if what was between Eric and I was timeless, worthy of the greatest love stories.
“Come on, Pam… You’re embellishing everything! You make it sounds as if Eric and I are the ultimate Romeo and Juliet of the Supe world!”
“Romeo and Juliet, really? Don’t you dare compare what you and my Maker have to this insipid teenage love story! Although I’m sure Eric would die for you and vice versa, you would probably come up with a way to escape the True Death. I’m telling you, Jessica, these two are sickeningly in love. Whenever they’re together it’s as if the rest of the world ceases to exist.”
“That’s not true, Pam!”
The blond vamp raised an eyebrow. “Really? Then how come you never had a boyfriend before? How come Eric seemed to stick to that Tru Blood shit for weeks whenever we visited Boston? How come he hasn’t fucked anybody but you since Corbett’s funeral? I’m telling you, with you giving him a nice big slice of your cherry pie it made him even more hopeless devoted to you!”
“What do you mean cherry pie?” asked Jessica, carrying a pile of clothes. “I thought vampire couldn’t eat regular food?”
I blushed furiously while Pam was smirking like the devil.
“Oh, little Jessica… You are so innocent!”
“Can Eric eat normal food because he’s so old?”
Taking the clothes Jessica had chosen, I made my way to the registry.
“Forget everything Pam told you, Jessica. No, even though he’s very old, Eric can’t eat regular food. The whole cherry pie thing is a metaphor. Come on, we still have plenty of shopping to do.”
I thought that if Pam was going to embarrass me endlessly by telling countless anecdotes about me and Eric, then I was going to make this shopping spree into a nightmare for her. From the receipts I received every month, I knew which shops were her favourites so I took Jessica to these boutiques and literally tortured her by making the young baby-vamp model outfits that I knew my friend would love to get her well manicured hands on. While in one of Pam’s favourite boutique, something peculiar happened. Jessica spotted a beautiful pink Cashmere cardigan. The salesgirl, hoping for a huge commission, brought the item to the young girl. But once she saw the hefty price tag, Jessica did a little freak out.
“Oh… I’m sorry, it’s too expensive. If it had been on discount, like maybe half the price… Do you think you might be able to reduce the price?”
The salesgirl’s gaze was empty of any emotion. A quick look at Pam and I had my answer. Without even realizing it, Jessica was glamouring the salesgirl.
“Of course, ma’am. I can reduce the price by 50% or we could do 75 if you prefer.”
“Really?! Yes, of course! It’s going to look so good on me, don’t you think?”
“Yes, ma’am, it’s going to look very good on you.”
Pam was completely shocked.
“I guess we found what her ‘gift’ was…”
“We better tell Eric… This could get problematic if not controlled.”
“Not controlled? I’m going to take the girl to Fashion Week and I’m going to have her glamour Karl Lagerfeld into doing a whole collection just for me!”
I rolled my eyes and went back to helping Jessica. As a coup de grace – to Pam, obviously – we finished our excursion by making a stop at Target to get Jessica certain essential items, like underwear, socks and beauty products.
“You shouldn’t spend so much time with Eric, Sookie. You’re starting to become as ruthless as him!”
We made our way back to the house on Magnolia Drive, the trunk filled with bags from Abercrombie & Fitch, Forever 21, American Apparel, Banana Republic, Gap and – oh sacrilege! – Target.
“I’ll leave you to bring the bags inside” said Pam, leaving us at the front door. “Eric texted me earlier and only stayed 30 minutes at the club so it’s up to me to entertain the vermins for the rest of the night. Tell him he’ll owe me a pair of Manolo for that!”
As soon as the bags were out of the trunk, Pam’s pink mini-van sped up and disappeared along the alley.
“Is she always like this?” asked Jessica.
Grabbing several of the bags I answered. “No, normally she’s worse.”
Before we even reached the door, it was swung opened on a very frustrated Viking.
“At last! I was starting to get worried!”
“It’s my fault, Eric” said Jessica. “I took too much time choosing shampoo at Target…”
“He’s joking, Jessica! But he was definitely starting to get bored, that I can tell you!”
“How can you tell that?” she asked, as Eric was helping us with the multiple bags.
“She could tell through our bond, young one” explained Eric. “She felt my boredom and my desperation at not having her by my side.”
The redhead frowned. “The bond? What is that?”
How to explain blood bond and blood tie to a barely 2 days old vampire?
“I will explain all that and even more in the next few days. Did you enjoy your shopping trip?”
The young girl smiled could have lit up the whole state of Louisiana.
“Yes! I got so many outfits! Dresses and skirts that stopped before my knees!”
“Not too short, I hope?”
“Don’t worry, Eric. Everything is age appropriate.”
“I hope. Jessica is still a young one, both in vampire and human terms. Why don’t you go put your bags in your room? When you’ll be ready, come down. We will start your education.”
“Yes, you have so much to learn, young one. I will teach you about our world, the Supernatural world. And we will complete your ‘regular’ education later.”
While our young protegee went up to her room I took the opportunity to tell Eric about her little trick with the salesgirl.
“She glamoured her! Without even realizing it!”
“I guess I won’t have to teach her… I remember Pam having problem in the beginning.”
I let out a laugh before kissing him.
“I missed you…”
“So did I, min alskäre.”
“Is it why you deserted your duty to entertain the vermins?” I asked. “Pam said you owed her a pair of Manolo Blahnik for that…”
“What can I say? You spoiled me… I used to enjoy watching the vermins trying to get my attention. Now? It’s a duty keeping me from spending time between your delicious thighs.”
“Eric! Jessica could come down at any moment! And Gran…”
His hands made their ways to the hem of my dress.
“Jessica is actually showing Adele her purchase…”
“But they could come down! Behave yourself, Viking! We have an innocent girl under our roof now!”
A smile lit up his face.
“I love it when you say ‘our’…”
“I love it too…”
We kissed again, but where interrupted by Gran’s clearing her throat.
“Gran! Did Jessica show you what we bought?”
“She did. She should be down shortly. As for me, I’m going to bed. So should you, Sookie. We have a long day tomorrow.”
She didn’t let me time to question her and went back up to her room.
“What did she meant by we have a long day tomorrow?”
“Adele has a meeting with her ladies friends of the Descendants of the Glorious Dead.”
“Yes, but it’s in Bon Temps. You don’t want us to go there without you…”
“Which is why I’ve arranged for one of my associate to accompany you. If you want, he’ll drop you at the farmhouse – you should be safe with the security system. He will then escort Adele to Merlotte’s where the meeting will be hold. As I told you, I don’t want either you or Adele to feel like prisoners here. I hope you will find this to be a good compromise.”
“A good compromise” I said as I kissed him.
“I will join you then at the farmhouse at sundown, where I plan to hold you for the night down in the cubby.”
“A very, very good compromise, then.”
Jessica came down just before things got more heated and, after one last kiss, I was making my way to our bedroom where Eric joined me just before dawn.