Since returning from Jackson, Eric has been a model vampire in the great state of Louisiana. Area 5 is running without issues; the vampires in his area know to follow the rules or they will be dealt with swiftly. Eric had participated in the AVL’s television campaign to capitalize on the sympathy vampires received after the Fellowship of the Sun debacle. His 30 second commercial was an internet success; he suddenly became the face of the vampire movement. Because of his overnight success, Fangtasia was flooded with people trying to get a glimpse Eric. He sat on the throne at Fangtasia every evening enthralling the vermin. Revenues for Fangtasia skyrocketed, which led to Eric sending a higher tribute than necessary to the Queen. The Queen, while pleased with the increase in money, wanted more.
During this time, the Queen called to inform him that her child Hadley was homesick and wished to stay in Area 5. Sophie-Anne informed Eric that it was his responsibility to ensure her child’s safety. In the same conversation, the Queen ordered him to sell Hadley’s blood to raise the money she needed to pay her bills. Sophie-Anne really was making it too easy for them to destroy her.
Eric informed Hadley, Pam, Jessica, and Thalia of the Queen’s plans. While he was not surprised by Sophie-Anne’s lack of regard for her child, Eric felt sorry for Hadley. Pam offered to foster Hadley since she already had Jessica, but Thalia surprised everyone in the room by offering to teach the young vampire herself. Eric wondered if it was so she could report back to The Ancient Pythoness about Hadley.
In the three weeks he had been back from Jackson, Eric had spoken with Godric, Russell, and the Guardian nearly every night. Russell had recorded the interrogation sessions with Lorena, and copies of the interrogation sessions were provided to Eric and the Guardian. Eric watched the many hours of footage over and over again. Although Lorena had been turned over to the Authority as little more than a charred, emaciated skeleton, Eric did not believe she had suffered enough. She intended to put Sookie through a lifetime, if not more, of slavery. The True Death seemed almost benign compared to what she had planned for Sookie.
Eric reanimates for the evening and his first thoughts are of Sookie. The pain is familiar as it streaks through his body while he once again thinks of her. She has not contacted him since she went to Barbados. Given the great distance between them, Eric has not been able to sense her moods. All he knows about Sookie’s well-being is the information that Dr. Ludwig puts in the weekly update reports she sends to himself, Godric, and Fintan. He could have Giselle and Izaiah give him daily updates about Sookie, but he did not want to infringe on her privacy. He knew she would not forgive him for spying on her. As far as Eric knows, Sookie has only spoken to Fintan and Jason since arriving in Barbados. Why has she not tried to contact him? Does she no longer love him? The familiar doubts plague him relentlessly as he lies in his bed frustrated.
His cell phone ringing forces Eric to move from his bed. The caller ID shows an unknown number. He snarls as he picks up the phone, “Who is this?”
“Hi,” a female voice says quietly.
Eric’s anger is quickly replaced by longing. “Hello Sookie,” he says in a husky voice.
Silence stretches between the two lovers, neither knowing what to say to the other. Eric is saddened by the silence. Never has Sookie been at a loss for words around him. To break the silence he asks something trivial. “What are you doing?”
“I’m sitting by the pool watching the sunset. Your home is beautiful Eric.”
Eric closes his eyes as he envisions Sookie’s words. He can see her beautiful body covered by a bikini and matching sarong lying on a lounger by the pool. He feels his cock stirring to life as he fantasizes about finding her on the lounger once the sun is completely out of sight. Her body smelling like sunlight and coconuts as he settles on top of her, burrowing his nose in the crook of her neck as his hands move down her sun-kissed skin. Eric’s eyes snap open and he tries to shake the image from his head. “I am glad it meets with your approval,” he says hoarsely.
“Eric, are you ok?” Sookie sits on the lounger in Barbados with concern on her face. Hearing Eric’s voice fills her with an intense longing. She misses him, she aches for him, but part of her is scared. There are questions she needs answers to, and only he can give them. Giselle has been instrumental in helping Sookie recover. Sookie had difficulty discussing her torture and fears with others because she did not want their pity. Giselle did not pity her; she had overcome her own demons and could offer support as only a fellow survivor could. Giselle did not look at her as if she were broken or weak; instead she helped Sookie rediscover her sense of self and control. Sookie knows she has nothing left to fear from Neave, Lochlan, and Debbie Pelt; Godric and Fintan both informed her that the three were dead. The Guardian himself called her to tell her Compton and Krasinski were incarcerated at the Authority’s Headquarters until the trial.
He lets out a ragged sigh before answering. “I miss you Sookie.”
Happy tears fall as a sob escapes her lips. “I miss you too. I’m so sorry,” she whispers.
“Min älskade do not cry. What do you have to be sorry for?”
Sookie takes deep breaths trying to calm down before responding. “I’m sorry I ran. I’m sorry I hurt you. I’m sorry I’m still hurting you by keeping us apart.”
“Sookie, I understand you need time to heal. I do not like that we are apart, but I would never begrudge you what you need. If time is what you need, I can give you that. I am not going anywhere,” Eric vows.
Sookie smiles although Eric cannot see her. “I have a favor to ask of you.”
“Anything,” Eric offers.
“Will you come to Barbados next week? I’m not ready to come home yet, but I need to see you. I miss you. There are things I want to discuss with you, and I want a neutral territory to do it. I want somewhere where it will be just you and me; no interruptions, no distractions. Can you do that?” Sookie holds her breath waiting for Eric’s reply.
Eric asks cautiously, “How long do you want me to stay?” He feels hope rising up in him at the thought of being with his Sookie again. He had expected her to stay away for a long time, so her request is unexpected.
“I don’t think it will be longer than a week. Will you be able to get away for that long?” Sookie can only imagine how much the Queen has taken issue with the amount of time Eric has been gone from his area.
“I can arrive Sunday if you would like. I would have no problems being away from Fangtasia since it is usually not a busy night. We are closed Monday so I would miss nothing. Pam and Thalia can cover for me during the week. I would need to be back Friday or Saturday so the Queen is not suspicious. Is that suitable?” A week meant she was not ending things between them. A week was time for them to reconnect. A week was not nearly long enough in Eric’s opinion but would have to do.
“Yes, I’d like that very much,” Sookie says with a smile. “Well, I won’t keep you much longer. I know you have things to do. Good night, Eric.”
“Good night Sookie.” He waits a beat before saying, “I love you.”
Eric can hear the smile in Sookie’s voice when she whispers, “I love you too.”
Eric arrives at Fangtasia in a better mood than anyone has seen in weeks. He calls Pam through their bond so she will join him in the office. She walks into the office wearing a black leather jumpsuit with her hair pulled in a high ponytail. She notes the happiness coming from him as she watches him work at his desk. She asks, “You talked with Sookie?” What else besides the blonde telepath would make Eric feel this happy?
Eric nods, “She called me shortly after I rose. She sounds more like herself, not like the numb shell she was in Jackson.”
Pam smiles in genuine delight, “That’s wonderful news! Did she say when she is coming home?”
Eric shakes his head regretfully, some of his happiness fading. “No, but she did ask me to go to her in Barbados. I will be leaving Sunday.” Eric looks at Pam expectantly.
Pam huffs, “And you expect me to cover for you. What do I get out this?”
Eric smiles at his child knowingly. She is posturing. She will gladly cover for him, but she wants to seem like it is a great imposition. “As your maker, you know I do not have to give you anything. I can merely command that you do my bidding.”
Pam pouts and moves to sit on the corner of Eric’s desk. “But I’ve been a good girl this year. And Jessica’s never experienced Fashion Week. You would deny her the experience of a lifetime.”
Eric smirks, “We would not want that would we?” He watches Pam saunter towards the mirror in his office to check her appearance. “You surprise me. You have grown to care for her. I never thought you would be a maker.”
Pam looks at her maker in the mirror. “It would be a shame if I did not continue what Godric started with you and what you have continued with me. She may not be blood of our blood, but she is my child just as much as I am your child. I will teach her everything you have taught me. I will not let her fail,” Pam vows before leaving the office. Eric feels an overwhelming sense of pride in his progeny. She may come across as being selfish and spoiled, but he knows she is loyal and dedicated to those she cares for. She will truly be an extraordinary maker.
After finishing the work in his office, Eric moves to sit on his throne. The bar is filled to capacity and there is still a line of humans waiting to enter. Eric smirks seeing the human’s spending money their money in his bar; it is like taking candy from a baby.
“See something you like Master?” Yvetta has climbed up to the dancer’s pole immediately in front of Eric’s throne. She is wearing a black thong, bustier, and heels. She contorts her body around the pole in what she believes to be a seductive move. For the last three weeks, she has thrown herself at Eric every chance she gets. Eric has ignored her attentions; he has no interest in gold-digging whores.
“It always pleases me to see money being spent in my bar.” Eric ignores Yvetta as she dances in front of him. She made it known that she is willing to do anything to please him…for a price. Eric knows her kind; she’ll make her body and blood available for as long as Eric lavishes her with gifts and money. Once upon a time, he would have enjoyed what Yvetta offered. But he has no interest.
Eric signals one of the waitresses and she hurries to bring him a True Blood. Ginger sets the True Blood on the table beside his throne and scurries off the stage. Eric brings the bottle to his lips and takes a drink. The stuff is vile, but the idea of feeding from a fangbanger is revolting.
“I have something better than that stuff,” Yvetta shimmies down the pole and then rests her back against it. Her finger slides along the skin at her neck and then in the valley between her breasts, trying to be alluring. All it does is make Eric want to rip her arm off.
Eric crooks his finger to beckon Yvetta. She slinks forward to reach him, thinking she has finally won. She is on her hands and knees before Eric with a smile on her face. “Yes, Master?” She licks her lips as she looks at Eric with lust.
Eric smirks at her; she truly has no idea who she is messing with. In the blink of an eye, Eric has vamped to his feet and has Yvetta by the hair of head. He twists her head to the side so she can look in his eyes. He leans down to growl in her face. “You mean nothing to me. You are nothing but a gold-digging whore. You have nothing that I want. You will leave my club. You will never return. If I see you here again, it will be the last night of your life.” Eric drags Yvetta’s kicking and screaming body through the club. Pam holds the door open for him so he can throw the trash outside. Eric tosses Yvetta’s body into a group of fangbangers waiting outside. When he comes back inside, the vermin part for him like Moses parted the Red Sea. Instead of returning to his throne, he walks back to his office.
Eric closes the door to his office and settles behind his desk. He pulls his phone out of his pocket, opening the pictures app. He scrolls through the albums until he finds the one he is looking for. He gazes at the different pictures of Sookie, stopping on the picture of her in his bed after she had gained the additional powers of telekinesis and teleportation. The picture is of Sookie lying in his bed, the sheet draped diagonally across her body. Her skin is flushed and glistening, her eyes sparkle, a shy smile touches her lips, and her hair is in wild disarray. But what holds Eric’s attention is the look of love and happiness shining from Sookie’s eyes.
Eric looks at the picture with longing. “I will be with you soon Lover.”