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Monday, August 27, 2012

Chapter 20 ~ Andre Observes

The next morning, Sookie woke bright and early to a barking puppy licking happily at her face obviously wanting off the bed so he could go out. She wasn't upset that he'd woken her up. She was actually happy that he had enough bladder control and sense not to pee on the bed. Scooping him up and sliding her feet into her slippers, Sookie made her way outside to set him on the grass.

"Go potty, Thor." When he immediately squatted down to take care of his business she said, "You're such a good puppy!"

When he was done, she picked him back up and headed inside the house. After filling his bowl with puppy chow, she set about making herself some biscuits and eggs since she didn't want to pass out and have Eric go all caveman on her again. After breakfast she was heading upstairs to take a shower when there was a knock at the front door. Pleased that Thor seemed to shadow her every step, she went to answer it and was only slightly surprised to find Bobby waiting on her porch.

"Bobby … good morning. I'm guessing Eric sent you, huh?"

Nodding, Bobby held out the bag in his hand. When Sookie took it from him he withdrew a note from his pocket and handed it to her while saying, "Mr. Northman wanted me to remind you that you needed to be ready by 7pm tonight instead of 8pm."

"I will. I'm sorry you keep having to drive all the way out here."

Bobby merely quirked a brow at her before turning and heading off the porch to go back to his car without replying. When he was gone she shut the door with a huff and made her way over to the couch so she could see what Eric had sent her. Thor was jumping and squirming around her feet trying to dig into the bag and she laughed at his antics before tapping his nose saying, "No Thor, let me open my package and then we have to get ready for work." She giggled again when Thor sat back on his haunches and turned his head to regard her with curiosity.

Reaching into the bag she smiled softly to herself when she pulled out the books Eric had given her to read along with the box set of Castle. Setting them aside she said to Thor, "He's certainly not making it easy for me is he?" Thor barked at her before returning to regarding her silently as his tail wagged furiously. "Guess we know who you're cheering for huh?" Reaching for the letter she tore it open and read:

My Sookie,
I'm glad you enjoyed the puppy so much. It pleases me you are the kind of woman that delights in so simple a gift instead of riches, but do not think this will keep me from buying you expensive things. I've sent your books and Castle so you can finish enjoying them. Take as much time as you like with them, and I look forward to discussing American Gods with you when you finish. Bobby should have reminded you to be ready by 7 tonight, but I will do so again since tonight is important as I told you. I will be sending you a special dress for you to wear tonight since you will be presented to Andre. It should be delivered to you while you are at work. I know you detest the idea of being displayed but you must remember that appearances are everything in the vampire world. Please keep in mind tonight that I do not see you as an object. You are much more to me.

See you tonight.

She couldn't help but smile at his words even though she was apprehensive about what was going to happen tonight. Eric had made it clear this Andre character was scary and not to be messed with and that it was imperative she make a good impression while he was here. She wasn't happy about how she was supposed to act, but she'd do it if it kept her safe. She didn't trust Eric entirely but he had a point last night; he could have made her addressing him as Master part of their initial deal but he hadn't.

'He really does give me more leeway than others so if every once in awhile he asks me to act a certain way in the interest of safety I can buck up and do it.'

She set her books and DVD set on the coffee table before standing to look down at Thor. "Come on Thor, let's get ready for work." Heading towards her new bathroom she laughed down at Thor as he padded along beside her yipping up at her happily.

An hour and a half later, she was pulling her Mercedes into the Merlotte's parking lot. She'd gotten here early so she could catch up on the books and she was glad for the quiet. She took Thor out to use the bushes before settling him down on a pillow in Sam's office and starting in on the books. She spent the next two hours totaling up the numbers from the last two days. She knew the moment Tara and the other employees started trickling in because Thor lifted his head and growled in the direction of the hallway. She patted his head and told him he was a good boy and that it was ok. He licked her fingers before snuggling back into his pillow to go back to sleep.

An hour after Merlotte's opened she'd finally finished with all the books, making the weekly food and alcohol orders, and calling the necessary vendors when she gathered Thor up along with his pillow and toys and headed into the front. She was going to settle him behind the bar during the day while she worked. Stepping into the main area she saw Arlene toss a glare at her and focused in on her thoughts to see what was wrong.

'I don't know why everyone thinks she's so special all of a sudden. Why is she gettin' a hundred thousand dollar car, her house all fixed up nice and pretty, and a vacation while I'm working double shifts and trying to take care of my kids by myself? Why can't I get a break? Maybe if I spread my legs for some dead guy I can get a sugar daddy to pay all my bills.'

Forcing herself to put on a smile so that Arlene wouldn't know she'd been looking inside her head she said, "Hi guys! I missed you all. Sorry I took a few days off so suddenly but I really needed the rest."

Tara smiled up at her friend as she said, "No problem." Seeing the puppy in Sookie's arms she asked, "What's up with the puppy?"

Nuzzling Thor as he licked at her chin Sookie replied, "Eric bought him for me when I told him about Tina. I'm supposed to keep him with me since it's a real sociable breed. I'm going to set him up on his pillow back here behind the bar. Can you watch out for him while you're working the bar, and do you think Eggs will keep an eye on him when he starts his shift?"

"Sure Sook! Eggs won't mind either! Can I hold him?" Tara asked as she held her hands out for the puppy. There were only about seven people in the bar so there wasn't that much of a rush.

Handing the puppy over, Sookie said, "Thanks. I know he's going to be a handful for the first few weeks, but Eric said it's a smart breed and he'll learn quick. I'm sorry to be such a bother, but even if Eric hadn't told me he needs a lot of company I don't think I could have left him home alone."

Laughing as the dog licked at her face as well, Tara said, "It's no problem Sook! I love dogs you know that."

Arlene, ticked all over again, said, "You just make sure you two don't spend more time fawning over that puppy than doing your jobs. I don't want to spend all my time covering your tables because you're focused on it instead of the customers."

Seeing Tara about to rev up to one of her angry tirades in her defense, Sookie said, "Arlene I know you've been working double time lately and I know my taking off the last two days didn't help so I was thinking that you could take a couple days off this next week … paid, of course. Take some time for yourself while your kids are at school and just relax. You'd lose out on tips, but during the day it wouldn't be all that bad."

Arlene immediately brightened at this and said, "Gee … uh … thanks Sook. You sure Sam won't mind?"

"Sam left me in charge while he's gone. If he has a problem with the way I did things when he gets back he can take it up with me. Besides you know if he were here he'd say the same thing. Just let me know ahead of time what days you want off and I'll set it up with the other girls."

A smile forming on her face Arlene scratched the puppy's head and added, "He is pretty cute … what kind is he?"

Retrieving Thor from Tara Sookie said, "Some breed from Sweden. I forgot the name. I'll ask Eric about it later. I'm just going to get him set up on his pillow and get to work."

After that, the day progressed quickly. Thor actually did really well and picked up quickly on the fact that he was supposed to stay on his pillow unless Sookie took him off it to go outside, which she did about every hour and a half to keep him from having an accident. At around 3 a delivery man arrived with a package for her and Sookie knew it was her dress. She put it in the back quickly and decided she'd look at it when she went home. Tara had agreed to close up for her that night so at around 5 Sookie said her goodbyes and headed out.

When she got home, she fed Thor and then headed upstairs to take her shower. She smiled when she got out and saw Thor curled up on the bathmat waiting for her. She was starting to like Eric's idea of him following her around. After applying a cherry blossom scented lotion she dried her hair, laughing when Thor howled the first few minutes she turned the blow dryer on, and got her makeup done before wrapping a towel around her to go see what kind of dress Eric had sent for her to wear that night.

She smiled when she opened the box. Inside was a red satin strapless dress. The bust would fit her perfectly, and, as always, accent her breasts. The skirt was scrunched in places and would fall to about mid thigh, and there was a black satin bow that laced around the waist and hung off to one side. As always, it was racy but tasteful. Matching shoes and purse were in the box and after she removed the dress she shook her head as she saw the tell tale blue and white box beneath that signified something from Tiffany's.

Setting the dress down on the bed she picked up the Tiffany's box, opened it, and pulled out the black velvet case inside. Opening it up she gasped as she saw what was inside. "Oh my lord," she whispered.

Inside was a necklace and matching earrings. The earrings were platinum diamond solitaires with large ruby tear drops dangling down. The necklace was a simple platinum chain with a larger diamond solitaire and ruby tear drop. They were gorgeous and quite obviously expensive. Seeing a small note at the bottom of the clothes box, she set the jewelry aside and read:

My Sookie,
They're not a puppy, but I hope you like them all the same. Please wear them tonight. I can't wait to see you in them.
Smiling at the note and unable to be angry at his gift at the mention of her puppy, Sookie decided she wouldn't argue about them. She still didn't like him buying her such gifts and was determined to talk to him about it after Andre left, but for now she would enjoy getting to wear something so beautiful. With that in mind, she took off the towel and dropped it on the floor, where Thor promptly scratched it into the position he wanted before lying down on it, and grabbed the dress to put on.

Thirty minutes later, she was checking her appearance in the mirror seconds before she heard the knock at the front door. Opening it wide she found Pam standing in a black floor length black corseted dress. "Hello Pam."

"Sookie," Pam greeted, as she took in her Master's bonded.

The girl looked good in the red dress and her curly hair was pulled up atop her head with a few strands hanging down to frame her face. She noticed the new jewelry and reluctantly admitted it looked good on the girl. "Are you ready?"

"Just let me get Thor and my bag." Turning around Sookie grabbed her purse which held her phone and her Kel-Tec before calling, "Thor!"

"Thor?" Pam asked questioningly before she sneered as Sookie collected a black ball of wiggling fluff in her hands. "Absolutely not. That thing is not going in my car."

Arching a brow at Pam Sookie said, "Then I guess I'll have to drive myself because Eric told me he wanted me to take Thor everywhere with me."

Surprise evident on her face Pam asked, "Eric gave this thing to you?"

Nodding her head Sookie replied, "Yep. Told me to bring him to Fangtasia and everywhere else I go too."

Spinning on her heel Pam muttered, "Vilka förödmjukelser jag måste utstå på grund av den flickan! Vad tänker Han på?" [The indignities I suffer because of this girl! What is my Master thinking?]

When Sookie was seat belted in the car beside her with her puppy in her lap she said, "That thing had better not mess up my car in any way."

Rolling her eyes Sookie answered, "I fed him over two hours ago and he went to the bathroom before you got here. He's not going to mess up your car."

"He'd better not." As she pulled out onto the road Pam said, "I wish to speak with you about tonight."

"Yeah, yeah, I know. Keep my mouth shut and call Eric 'Master'. I got it."

Slanting her eyes at the girl beside her Pam continued, "Well I'm going to reiterate it, then. You need to be aware of how dangerous stepping out of line in front of Andre is. Eric is far too tolerant of your behavior in my opinion, but tonight it cannot be allowed."

"This Andre guy is really that dangerous?"

"Yes. Eric is right, something is not right about the queen sending him to test you. If she were only interested in gauging your talent she would have sent one of her lackeys … not her favorite child and second in command. This doesn't make sense. Eric is right to be wary. Andre's coming serves another purpose other than to see you and test your abilities. Until Eric finds out what the queen is up to you must behave in front of her and all those that serve her directly. Most of the vampires in Eric's area are loyal to him first and foremost and those that work for him especially so it is very doubtful that the queen has been informed of Eric's leniency with you before now, but with Andre here you must curb your behavior. Eric cannot afford to have others see him as weak, and his treatment of you and allowing you the liberties he does makes him appear weak in front of other vampires. He normally does not care as all know how strong he truly is, but in front of Andre or the queen it is very dangerous."

Sookie was silent a moment before asking, "You don't like me do you? And it's not just because you're a vampire and I'm a human is it?"

Pam was silent a moment before replying, "No. I do not, but I am learning to accept you. Eric has made it clear he intends to make you a permanent part of his life, and if I do not wish to leave his side I must find a way to make peace with your presence beside him. He wants you and will have you. I will be ok with this fact in time."

Taking a moment to digest this, Sookie finally continued, "Do you think I should distance myself from him? You talk like his interest in me is dangerous for him."

As much as Pam wanted to tell her yes and warn the girl away from her Master so she could keep him to herself she knew she couldn't. Shaking her head she replied, "No. Eric is strong enough to protect himself, and what belongs to him. I do not fear for his life over this. I fear for his comfort. Eric is one of the greatest vampire enforcers the world has ever known. He could take the Queen and all her children on by himself if he needed to, but it would cost him. He could lose everything he's worked these last 60 years to build and would have to start all over again somewhere else. He wants you and Eric has never wanted any woman for more than a meal and a fuck. If you make him happy, I want him to have you."

"Is he really that powerful?"

Smirking at this Pam said, "Oh yes. Eric is known the world over as a great warrior. I've seen him attacked by ten vampires at once before and he was left the victor and hardly wounded. Eric is quite capable in a fight, but best of all he is able to smell one in the air long before it happens. From one email from the queen he's already deduced that she's plotting against him. He hasn't spoken of it to me yet, but he no doubt has already begun forming plans to circumvent her and backup plans should the initial ones fail. You will learn soon that Eric is always ten steps ahead of his opponents. He despises our politics and that is why he is comfortable as a sheriff and has not sought to be King, but he plays the game well despite this."

"If he doesn't like your politics why be a sheriff at all? Why not stay out of the hierarchy completely?"

"Because as a sheriff he has standing and only has to report to the Queen, and she is wary enough of him to only make demands of him that she knows are absolutely necessary. She presses her luck with him from time to time but she is many centuries younger than him, and she knows he could defeat her if he so chose. The only reason she accepted him as her sheriff is because all know that Eric is loyal to those that do not double cross him. As long as she never betrays him he will serve her well."

Sookie was silent a moment before saying, "I guess I understand that. Eric does order others around a lot as sheriff, and I guess he wouldn't appreciate being under the thumb of someone else like that."


They were quiet for awhile more before Sookie asked, "Do you know what it is Eric wants from me? He said he wants to keep me until I die, but I just don't see it. There's no way he's going to want me when I get all old and wrinkly."

'She really doesn't understand does she? She hasn't given thought to becoming vampire or that this is the future Eric wants for her. She doesn't even want to be vampire. This girl is so strange.' Shrugging her shoulders Pam said, "The fact that Eric wants you at all is baffling to me. He already had the use of your skill, and while you are pretty he's certainly had better. Why he is so set on having you for his own is beyond me, but I can assure you that his interest in you is not temporary."

"You know I should be offended by the majority of that statement but I appreciate the fact you speak your mind. I don't like liars."

Smirking at her, Pam replied, "People only lie to others they want something from or are worried about offending. Your feelings mean little to me at this point, and you have nothing I want. Why should I lie to you?"

Sookie laughed and said, "I think I might come to like you given some time as well Pam … if only a little." Pam merely smiled and the rest of the ride was made in silence.

They arrived at Fangtasia a half hour later and Pam said, "Andre is already here. He arrived the moment Fangtasia opened tonight so remember not to speak unless spoken to. When you see Eric bow your head to him and call him Master."

"I don't have to bow all the way like Ginger and the others?"

"No. You are above them. Simply incline your head and call him Master and wait for him to give you further direction, and remember if you have to speak to Eric when he has not addressed you first bow your head and call him Master, then wait for him to acknowledge you."

Pam was silent after that and Sookie followed after her dutifully with Thor clutched to her chest. He must have picked up on her anxiety and went still and quiet in her arms. She saw everyone following her with their eyes and blocked out their rude thoughts as most of the Fangbangers knew she was special to Eric in some way by now. Eric wasn't sitting on his throne and Sookie figured he was in his office so she wasn't surprised when Pam led her towards the back.

Pam entered Eric's office and stood off to the side so Sookie could come to stand beside her. "Master, I've brought your telepath."

Eric nodded at Pam before smirking at Sookie. He was pleased by her appearance and thought she looked beautiful in the clothes and jewelry.

'I knew that dress would be lovely on her. And the jewelry suits her. Soon she will wear nothing but jewels.'

Bowing her head Sookie replied, "Master." She fell silent after that and waited for him to give her some kind of signal as to what to do.

"Pet, come here," Eric said as he held his hand out to Sookie. He was sending gentle waves of calm to her through the bond, but he didn't want to send too much and alert her to the fact he could do it at all. When Sookie stepped forward to take hold of his hand he pulled her onto his lap and said, "Sookie this is the queen's child, Andre, Andre this is my human, Sookie Stackhouse. Say hello, Sookie."

Sookie looked across the room at the vampire seated on the couch as Eric wrapped an arm around her waist. Andre looked to be about 18 or 19 but she knew he could be centuries old despite this fact. Eric's previous description of how dangerous Andre was didn't do him justice in her mind. The young looking vampire oozed malice and evil from every pore and had her on edge in seconds. Plastering a smile on her face and trying to ignore the fact she was sitting on Eric's lap she said, "Hello sir," while bowing her head slightly. She didn't want to address him by his first name, but Eric hadn't given his last so she decided Sir would have to do.

"Human," Andre replied as he let his eyes rake over Sookie. When he was finished with his inspection he added, "At least she's not a stick figure like so many of the bloodbags these days, and you certainly decorate her well."

Nodding his head at Andre's assessment Eric pulled Sookie back into his chest and stroked her hair as he replied, "Yes, her body is very pleasing, and I enjoy seeing her in nice things. She is my asset after all and is a reflection of me."

"Why does she have a dog?" Andre asked as he eyed the puppy clutched to Sookie's chest.

Nuzzling Sookie's hair, Eric said, "She has performed well over the past few weeks and deserved a reward. My human is strange and prefers simple things; she wanted a dog so I gifted her with one for proving useful and obeying." Eric could feel a pain shoot through Sookie at his words and he squeezed her around the waist to let her know his words were for effect.

"Well let's see this gift in action. That is why I'm here after all," Andre said as he rose from the couch.

Nodding his head Eric stood and set Sookie on her feet. He pulled her purse from her shoulder and put it on his desk as he addressed Andre. "Most certainly, however keep in mind she may not pick up anything useful tonight. I've told her to only tell me when she hears something important so if she hears nothing of significance she will remain silent. If the night passes this way then we can bring several of the vermin before her and she can tell you their exact thoughts for you to have a better demonstration of what she can do."

"Very well." 

Eric took Sookie by the arm and led her towards the front as Andre and Pam followed along after them. Pam went to man the door while he seated Sookie in her usual chair and Andre took a seat in the one on his left. He could feel her nervousness so he squeezed her hand before waving Richelle over and ordering, "Bring Sookie her usual gin and tonic."

Sookie was doing her best to remain quiet. She knew that Eric was acting for Andre. He'd hugged her while she was sitting on his lap and squeezed her hand before taking his own seat. These tiny acts of comfort on his part really eased her mind and helped her to keep her mouth shut. Richelle brought her drink over and she accepted it with a smile and a nod as Thor curled up on her lap.

Taking a sip, she thought, 'Just hold it together for tonight … just get through tonight.'

The next hour and a half passed quickly and when Thor began to fidget in her lap she turned to face Eric and said, "Master?"

"Yes?" Eric was thoroughly pleased by Sookie's behavior and he looked forward to the day she addressed him as such because she wanted to.

"May I take my dog outside?"

Waving Pam over to escort her Eric replied, "Yes, do not tarry. Return to me quickly."

"Yes, Master," Sookie said as she stood to follow after Pam. When they got outside Sookie stood beside Pam as Thor made use of the gravel parking lot and said, "He's scary."

"Indeed. He is not to be taken lightly, nor is the fact that the queen sent him. You are doing well though. Just keep your mouth shut and you'll be fine."

"Gee thanks Pam, you are so comforting. You know …."

'Oh shit! That's the mind reader from Dallas! Steve told us to watch out for her! I gotta get out of here before she catches me!'

Her head spinning in the direction she'd heard the thought from, Sookie saw a man of medium build step out of the line of fangbangers waiting for entrance into Fangtasia, and begin walking back towards the opposite end of the parking lot.

Having seen Sookie's attention quickly diverted Pam asked, "What did you hear?"

Nodding her head at the man, Sookie whispered, "He's Fellowship. He knows I'm telepathic, he's trying to get away before I can read his mind."

Fangs popping out as she followed Sookie's line of vision to look at the man she was indicating Pam ordered, "Return to Eric and alert him to this fact. I will bring the human to his office. Remember to address Eric properly." With that she walked off.

Picking up Thor who had come to sit at her feet after handling his business, Sookie headed back into the club as she thought, 'Why couldn't it be a quiet night?'

Eric scowled as he watched Sookie enter alone and when she came to stand before him and bowed her head he asked, "Where is Pam?"

"Master, I heard a Fellowship spy in the parking lot. He knew who I was when he saw me while waiting in line and tried to get away from me before I noticed him. Pam is retrieving him and said she'd bring him to your office."

Standing with a smile, Eric held his hand out to Sookie and said, "Well done pet, come." When she took his hand, he addressed Andre, "Shall we?"

"Of course, it seems your human is proving useful yet again." Andre followed after Eric and Sookie into the office. He watched as Eric once more took a seat in his chair and pulled the girl into his lap. Seconds later, Pam entered with a human in tow.

"This is the spy Sookie heard in the parking lot Master," Pam said as she shoved the human to his knees before Eric's desk.

Eric looked to Andre and said, "Shall we glamour him or would you prefer a further demonstration of my human's gift?"

Waving his hand, Andre said, "Let's see what she can do."

"Very well. Pam release him from your glamour, and hold onto him. Sookie find out why he is here."

Sookie set Thor down on the ground and said, "Stay." Moving to stand beside the man who was struggling in Pam's hold, she set a hand on his arm and asked, "Why are you here?"

"I'm not telling you anything!"

'Shit! She can't find out about the website! Don't think about it! Don't think about it!'

Sookie smiled softly and said, "What website?"

The man's eyes widening in fear he said, "Get out of my head, you freak!"

'Shit! Shit! Shit! These vamps find out we know all about their society and we're screwed! Shit don't think about it!'

"You can't keep from thinking about it Kevin … it's in the forefront of your mind the harder you try not to keep it there."

Struggling harder and harder against Pam's hold Kevin, the Fellowship spy, cried, "Don't say a word you bitch! Fangbanging whore! You're a traitor to your race!"

'All our targets are on there! Don't think of the password! Don't think of the password!'

"What password, Kevin?"


Suddenly she saw it all as his mind opened to her. Stepping back with a gasp, Sookie turned to face Eric and said, "It's on the internet."

Sensing her rising fear, Eric asked, "What's on the internet?"

"All of it, Master; they have all the vampire areas, and territories listed. They have lists of all vampire residents and known addresses. Vampires of rank are listed with their business as well. Sheriffs, magistrates, queens, kings, area inspectors and just regular vampire residents, they have a website with a database, they've made you targets, they're organizing like terrorists cells and each cell can access the website from anywhere across the country. This way, if some of them are caught, they can't give up any of the others."

Eric's fangs popped out along with Pam's and Andre's as he motioned her to his computer and ordered, "Show me."

Moving to stand between Eric's legs, Sookie logged in to the internet and brought up the Fellowship website. Clicking on a small star icon at the bottom right of the page she watched a text box appear asking for a password. She typed Kevin's in and then a map of the US popped up. She clicked on Louisiana and a picture of the state with different colored areas popped up. Clicking on the one containing Shreveport she watched a picture of Eric in the parking lot of Fangtasia appear. There was a description as well.Her name was highlighted where she was listed as his pet, and, when she clicked on it, a picture of her at Merlotte's appeared with a description.

Name: Eric Northman
Age: 1,000 approx.
Standing: Area 5 Sheriff
Skills: Flight
Pets: Sookie Stackhouse
Location: 1812 Westland Dr, 3222 Lark Rd, 6215 Morrow Dr, Shreveport, LA
Work: Northman Realty Group, Northman Investment Firm, Nordic Travel Agency, Northman Towers, Fangtasia Bar, suspected ownership of several strip malls and construction companies but no financial records to back this.

Her name was highlighted where she was listed as his pet, and, when she clicked on it, a picture of her at Merlotte's appeared with a description.

Name: Sookie Stackhouse
Age: 25
Standing: Sheriff Northman's pet
Skills: Telepathic
Locations: 3 Hummingbird Lane, Bon Temps, LA
Work: Merlotte's Bar, Fangtasia Bar

Going back to the area main page she saw Pam's name and clicked on it.

Name: Pamela Ravencroft
Age: 250 approx
Standing: Resident of Area 5 and child of Eric Northman
Skills: None
Pets: Sarah Mathews, David Tillings, Dorothy Richards, Talia Sanders
Locations: 1813 Raven Court, 3132 Holly Ave, 4115 Desert Dr, Shreveport, La
Work: Pam's Lingerie Corner, Fangtasia Bar

Feeling Eric pressing against her back, she looked up at him over her shoulder and saw the rage in his eyes. He grabbed the screen and turned it to face Andre so the other man could see what was on it. She watched Andre as his face darkened.

Andre hissed as Eric used the mouse to select the New Orleans district and a picture of his queen popped up closely followed by his own.

"She must hear of this. I must leave immediately to alert her of this fact, and she will no doubt inform the Council and other monarchs of this site. Continue to interrogate the human and find out everything he knows." Focusing on Sookie he said, "What website is this and what is the password?"

"It's the main Fellowship site. When you're on the homepage in the bottom right corner there will be a star. Click on it and a box will appear for the password. Type in "Righteous". That should get you in."

Nodding, Andre let his eyes wander over her slowly before a leer appeared on his face and he said, "You are certainly a useful thing, aren't you? This human could have escaped us tonight if you hadn't heard him. He dressed to blend in and we would not have thought to look twice at him."

Wrapping an arm around Sookie's waist and pulling her back against his chest, Eric stroked a hand along her arm and replied, "Yes, she is quite the asset. I am glad she has been of such service this evening. We will find out everything this fool knows and I will report it to the queen immediately."

Not bothering to look at Eric, Andre let his gaze stay on Sookie for a few more moments before spinning around and leaving the office.

When he was gone Eric turned to Pam and ordered, "För ner honom i källaren och tag reda på allt han vet om hemsidan och hans inblandning i Brödraskapet. Alla medel är tillåtna, bryt ner honom.., och försäkra dig om att han förstår att en del av smärtan beror på hans tillmälen för Sookie." [Take him to the basement and find out everything he knows about this site and his dealings with the Fellowship. Use whatever means necessary. Break him and make sure he knows some of his pain is due to the fact he called Sookie a whore and a freak.]

"Yes Master," Pam replied before grabbing the struggling human and dragging him kicking and screaming behind her.

When she was gone Sookie turned around to look up at Eric as she said, "They know where you live."

"No they know where some of my safe—well, formerly safe houses, are. None of those addresses were my true home that you stayed with me at, which you will be returning to."


Sitting in his chair and pulling her down to sit sideways on his lap Eric explained, "They didn't have my correct address, but they do have yours. It is no longer safe for you to stay at that house so I will take you back tonight to gather necessary supplies and you will return home with me until this issue is resolved."

Shaking her head Sookie replied, "I'm not leaving my home, I'm not hiding."

"Oh yes you are."

Glaring at him Sookie pushed her hands against his chest to put some space between them and said, "No, I'm going home. I can take care of myself!"

"Sookie, stop being foolish, staying at your home would be dangerous. They know where you work and where you live. You cannot stay in Bon Temps. You will be moving to my home with me until all of this is taken care of, and you will not return to Merlotte's."

Squirming in his hold until he finally released her, Sookie picked up Thor and held him against her chest. She argued, "Eric would you put your life on hold because someone was threatening you?"

Understanding where she was going with this, Eric stood as well and said, "It's not the same Sookie and you know it."

"It is the same! I'm not going to be driven out of my home or out of my life because of people that don't like me. I've been persecuted my whole life because of what I am…this is nothing new to me."

Seeing the stubborn fire in her eyes and knowing she wouldn't cave on this, and to force her would drive a wedge between them, Eric said, "Envisa kvinna som inte kan ta reson... Jag borde kedja fast henne vid min säng och få saken ur världen!" [Stubborn woman who can't listen to reason. I should chain her to my bed and be done with it!]

Retaking his seat he replied, "Very well. I will allow you to remain—"


Glaring at her he continued, "Allow you to stay at your home and continue to work at the shifters under two conditions that are nonnegotiable."

"And these conditions are?"

"I will assign you bodyguards to watch over you whenever you are not with me, and I will install a security system and safe room in your house."

Mouth dropping open in shock for a moment Sookie quickly shook her head and replied, "Absolutely not!"

"Then you come home with me. One or the other, Sookie, choose." Eric sat back and watched Sookie clutch her puppy to her chest as she paced back and forth in front of his desk.

Coming to a decision Sookie asked, "How many bodyguards? Where would they be? How would it work? What do you mean safe room?"

"You would have at least two with you at all times. Though I will probably hire four so they can switch shifts. They would be wherever you are, but skilled enough to stay out of your way. You will be able to do what you always do, you will just have bodyguards with you. A safe room is an impenetrable room located in your house that you can retreat to if there is danger. You would be able to take shelter here until your guards neutralize a problem, or until I can come for you."

Taking a seat on the couch, Sookie drew Thor into her lap for some reassuring petting. "Eric, I thought you wanted me to carry a gun and learn self defense so I could look after myself, not so you could treat me like glass."

"I want you to use those means as a last defense. I want you safe and out of trouble's way as much as possible. I did not think we would be facing a threat like this so soon, but now that we are I will take the necessary precautions to keep you safe. Sookie, these fanatics will seek to remove you from the equation entirely. You saw for yourself in Dallas how dangerous they are. Martyrs cannot be reasoned with. If one of these people gets close to you, they'll be coming in for the kill. Until this website is down, and we catch these fanatics, we have to assume you are a full time target. Possibly more so than any of the vampires listed simply because of your gift. They will naturally try to attack you during the day when I am not with you, and thus you need protection. If you will not spend your days safe inside my home while I'm resting then you must have bodyguards."

Sitting back on the couch, Sookie realized he was right. These people were basically terrorists, and while her inner feminist didn't appreciate being looked after, she had to admit that she really wasn't equipped to handle a situation like this. If she didn't want to spend her days hiding in Eric's underground hole, she would need some form of help during the day. Releasing a sigh, she finally admitted, "Ok. I guess it would be stupid to walk around like I don't have a target on my back."

Pleased she was willing to see reason, Eric said, "Good. Now there are two other matters we need to discuss."

"And they are?"

"First, due to this new development, I will need you here at Fangtasia every night we are open, and you need to be prepared for the fact that once the queen alerts the Council and other territories of this website, your services might be required. An out of town trip might be called for soon, so be prepared."

She shrugged her shoulders. "I can handle that. What these people are doing is wrong and how did they get all this information? How did they know about Vampire society like that?"

Growling, Eric replied, "I don't know, but we will find out. Let me worry about that. The next thing I was going to speak with you about is Bill."

Sitting up now, she asked, "What about him?"

Annoyed at her sudden interest, but knowing he had to overlook it, Eric said, "It is just now approaching sunrise in Portugal and I spoke with Lorena last night after taking you home. She has agreed to a phone conversation. We can call him now and you may speak with him."

Sookie was silent a moment before whispering, "O … okay."

"It would be best if you not tell Bill the full extent of our agreement. It will likely only increase his pain at his situation to learn you've indebted yourself to me. Tell him you've agreed to work for me a few times in return for me negotiating for his release. Any more than that and he will only know more misery. He has enough troubles handling Lorena at the moment I'd imagine."

Nodding her head as she saw the logic of that statement, Sookie watched Eric pick up his office phone and dial. She sat back as she listened to him speak.

"Lorena. Northman. Yes. I'm aware of our agreement. Do you have him there? Yes, she's here."

Eric looked up at her and motioned her over as he stood so she could sit in his chair and said, "She wishes to speak with you first. Be as respectful as you can, if you wish to speak to Bill."

Nodding as Eric moved to sit on the couch by Thor, Sookie took the phone and said, "Hello?"

"Well, well, well. If it isn't Bill's little human, how are you?"

Resisting the urge to yell at her for kidnapping Bill Sookie simply replied, "I've had better nights."

Lorena laughed. "Mmmm. I'm sure, so Northman tells me you wish to speak to my child?"


"Very well. You have two minutes … make it count."

There was a shuffling sound and then Bill's voice came over the line, "Sookie?"

"Bill! Oh thank God! Are you ok?"

"Sookie where are you?" In Portugal, Bill was strapped to a chair with silver chains, but he was focusing on ignoring the pain. He was pretty sure he knew where Sookie was as he'd heard Lorena speaking to her Maker about "Northman interfering" and he was worried about how Eric had used his disappearance against Sookie. He might have been sent after her by the queen, but he truly did love her and didn't want her to end up as some slave to Eric.

Knowing what Bill was getting at Sookie said, "I made a deal with Eric. I'd do a few jobs for him and he'd get Lorena to give you back, so right now I'm at Fangtasia listening to his patrons."

"Oh Sookie, Eric is dangerous, you can't trust him."

"I'm being careful Bill, right now I want to know about you … are you ok?"

Bill was silent a moment as he glared up at Lorena. She was holding the phone to his ear and smirking down at him. "I'm not finally dead, Sookie, and if Eric has promised to get me back, he'll keep his word; you just have to be careful he doesn't back you into a corner. He's tricky, Sookie, and he can get more out of you than you realize. What exactly was your deal?"

Across the room, Eric forced himself not to smile as he heard Bill's words over the phone. 'Oh Billy boy, if only you knew. I got far more out of her than she realizes…she's mine now.'

Sookie forced herself not to be aggravated by Bill's lack of faith in her and said, "I don't want to talk about that now, Bill, I just want to talk about you."

In Portugal, Bill smiled and asked, "You never answered me that night Sookie. I was dragged away before you could. Perhaps you'd like to tell me now, then when I return we can celebrate."

Her stomach dropping at that Sookie swallowed and stuttered, "Uh, well I think I'd like to answer that question in person Bill, when you get back."

'Of course, first I have some questions for you, and depending on what you tell me my answer could very well be no.'

"Time's up!" Lorena laughed as she took the phone away from Bill and shoved the gag back into his mouth. "Hope you had fun little human, I know I did."


Sookie stared at the phone for a moment before setting it down. Looking up she saw Eric watching her curiously as he rubbed Thor's head and she whispered, "Can you really get her to let him go?"

Nodding his head Eric replied, "She's caving. Lorena knows she cannot hold out against me for long. I say two or three weeks more, maybe a month, then he'll be back."

'Of course you'll be in my bed by then and he won't be able to touch you since we're blood bonded, but you don't need to know that yet.'

Sookie was quiet a moment before asking, "Can I go home now? Or do I need to stay? I know it's early."

"No, you can go home. I doubt anything else will happen tonight and you deserve to rest. However, I'd like a few moments to make some necessary phone calls. Take your puppy and sit up front and wait for me. I'll only be a few minutes."

Too tired to argue, Sookie moved out from around his desk and took Thor when he offered him to her. As she made her way to her seat in the front she thought, 'Things just seem to keep getting harder and harder.'

When she was gone, Eric let a smirk cross his features. While he wasn't pleased with what they'd discovered from the Fellowship spy tonight, he was pleased with Sookie's conversation with Bill. Due to his vampire hearing he'd heard Bill's side of the conversation as well as Sookie's. Bill had asked for an answer and Sookie hadn't given it; that was progress. Not to mention, she hadn't professed love for him as she had so many times in the past. Sookie was truly beginning to leave her infatuation for Bill behind and he couldn't be happier. He hadn't lied to her. Bill would most likely be returning in two or three weeks, since that was about as long as he thought it would take him to get Sookie in his bed.

Taking a seat at his desk he picked up his phone and dialed. "Alcide, Northman here, I'm calling in your debt."


  1. "I do not see you as an object" HA Liar. Wow Arlene is such a hateful biatch. Vacation indeed. Pam is so cool. Blunt but cool. As much as I love E/S stories, I wanna stake Lorena and Eric, too be honest, at this point. She is going to have your balls in a vice when she finds out what you've been hiding and lying about

  2. Eric Eric ERic such a fool you are to think you have her where you want her.... oh our little fairy human is a truely confusing individual... Pam, got to love her.... and Arlene GRRRR i hate that woman in any story.... turning the page to the next chapter Kristie