I was shaking, shivering and not because I was cold. I could barely breathe. Eric took the phone I had dropped on the bed, put it on speaker mode and started roaring at my brother.
“Stackhouse, what the fuck did you tell your sister…”
“Northman? You fucking asshole! ‘Dream of nice things’ you said, you fucking prick! I bet you laughed your fucking vamp ass off at those fucking dreams you sent me, right? I woke up with a fucking boner! I ain’t gay! I felt… violated! It was just like when those were-panther girls raped me! ”
“If I remember correctly from my human days, Stackhouse, waking up with a boner as you say is quite normal. As for being gay… I don’t know, your tomcatting may be a way to hide…”
“I ain’t gay! Just ask Jess… I knew you had sent me those dreams!”
Eric sighed. “For fuck’s sake! Of course I didn’t send you those dreams! I’m no fucking dream weaver, Stackhouse! Even if I was, I have better thing to do than sending you homoerotic dreams! And for your information, you really aren’t my type. I like my blond a little shorter, curvier and smarter. Now, what the hell did you tell your sister that sent her shaking and hyperventilating?”
“There was a raid, a Hep-V vamps raid. Vampire Bill and Sam – did Sookie tell you Sam is the new Mayor? Well Vampire Bill and Sam were planning a program, one human for every vampire… Anyway there was a mixer and infected vamps attacked it. Jess and I weren’t there, but… Those vamps took a bunch of people, Arlene, Holly, Nicole…”
“Arlene’s got 3 kids” I explained. “Holly’s the Sheriff’s girlfriend and Nicole… Nicole is Sam’s pregnant girlfriend…”
Eric closed his eyes and ran his hand through his hair.
“Alright. We’ll leave Sweden immediately. I want you to arrange a meeting between your Sheriff and I…”
“Well… I ain’t so sure Andy will want to meet with you… You see he ain’t too keen on vampires, you know… His daughter…”
“His daughter… She wouldn’t happen to be a nice little Halfling, wouldn’t she?”
“Adilyn? If you mean if she’s like Sookie then yeah, she is.”
“Tell him that if he agrees to meet with me that his daughter will be under my protection.”
“I’m not so sure it will work, you see… His other three daughters… Jess… She drank them dry… But it was an accident, I swear! Jess… Well Jess is still a young vamp and Vampire Bill left her alone with them and…”
Eric let out a groan.
“Fucking Compton… Just arrange the meeting with your sheriff, I’ll see what I can do once we land in Louisiana.”
“Alright… I’ll do my best… Northman? You’re taking good care of my sis, right? I mean, those last six months she hasn’t really been herself… Did she… Did she told you ‘bout her dating Alcide?”
“I did, Jason” I answered. “And don’t worry, Eric’s taking really good care of me.”
“If you say so, sis. But fair warning, Northman. If you treat her like shit like Alcide did… I got a stake with your name waiting for you…”
Without even saying goodbye Eric swiftly hung up. His arms snaked around me, his chin resting on top of my head.
“Stop feeling guilty, lover.”
I frowned. “What? How…?”
He smiled shyly and I was brought back to that day, down in the cubby, when he said he would be happy if I kissed him.
“The bond. Even though we haven’t fully completed it, I can already feel some of your emotions. You should be able to feel some of mine too.”
I closed my eyes for a second and laughed. Yes, I could feel some of his emotions.
“Lust? Eric Northman! You just learn that your area is in shamble with a horde of Hep-V vamps infesting it and all you can feel is lust?”
“And whose fault is it? I’m sorry, lover, but this is the effect you have on me!”
His hand cupped my breast, sending shivers down my spine. Soon his mouth was latched to my nipple while his fingers traveled south…
“What have I said about feeling guilty?”
I sighed, torn between the immense pleasure he was giving me and that awful guilt creeping in me.
“Sorry… But I can’t help it! Eric, I… I can’t shake the feeling that while we were making love, while I was the happiest I have been in so long, that my friends were… While I was ecstatically happy, my friends were attacked.”
“You are not responsible for their wellbeing, lover…”
“I know, but… If I had been in Bon Temps…”
Something changed in him. He nodded and stopped his ministrations.
“You wish you had stayed in Bon Temps… You wish you hadn’t come…”
I took his face in my hands, tears filling my eyes.
“I’ll never regret coming after you. Eric, I… I love you. The love I feel for you is… I can’t even find a word to fully describe it, it is so intense. But I can’t help asking ‘what if’? What if I stayed? What if I had been at that mixer?”
I felt him stiffen. “I refuse to even think about the possibility of you having been at that mixer, lover… To imagine you being surrounded by a mob of Hep-V infected vamps… I will kill anybody who wishes you harm.”
There was no way denying he truly meant what he said. If not for his past actions like that time when he had protected me from the blast of that bomb at Godric’s nest, his tone was deadly serious. I didn’t dare look in his eyes so I looked down at our intertwined hands. His left one raised my chin, forcing my gaze up.
“I’m not worth it… I’m not worth killing anybody for…”
His mouth silenced me. It was quickly becoming my favourite way of being shut up. He finished the kiss by playfully biting my lower lip.
“You are worth it, Sookie Stackhouse. Women worth much less than you had people killed for them. I would gladly meet the True Death a thousand times for you.”
His words sent tears to my eyes.
“I don’t want you to die for me, Eric. Please don’t die for me… I don’t think I’d be able to survive without you.”
“I wouldn’t be able to survive without you either…”
He once again kissed me, leaving me breathless.
“You should get dress while I call Gustaf and the others…”
I sighed. Back to reality…
Plans were made and we were soon organizing our departure. It was decided that we would leave Sweden in mid afternoon in order to arrive in Shreveport a little after sunset. Saying goodbye to Gustaf, Thorfinn and Brynhildr proved to be difficult. Even with our very short acquaintances, I had become quite attached to Eric’s human family.
Lafayette and I boarded AIK jet the next afternoon along with the four traveling coffins. Gustaf had arranged for us to bring back several bags of donor blood. The news reports from home were quite grim. Luckily for the rest of the world, the Hep-V pandemic had been contained to the United States. Canada had been the first country to close its borders to vampires coming from America unless they produced a clean bill of health. The rest of the world had soon followed in their footsteps.
As soon as we were in the air and the seatbelt sign was off, I made my way to Eric’s coffin. We would face this new obstacle together. We were a team. Together we would be invincible.