Pre Edit Count – 2,917 Words
Song I listened to for this chapter: All the Right Moves by OneRepublic.
Everyone’s head jerks towards Godric, “Someone else in the nest?” They repeat.
Chuckling at the stereo effect, he answers, “It is a little eerie to hear you all answer in stereo. But yes. I have a feeling that this is to get Sookie separated from us, and the best way, is to kill members of the nest. Dawn was almost a member, by the simple act of her dating Jason. She never would have been, but no one needs to know that. This was an attack on all of us, not just Jason. Dawn’s death will affect all of us because it affects Jason.” Godric’s eyes get darker as he realizes more and more how exposed Sookie is. He doesn’t allow it in the Bonds, but deep down that familiar anger and fear is surfacing, the one from the period of time that she was gone from him.
Eric growls as he holds Sookie closer, “They will not get a member of this nest.” He may not know what Godric is thinking –though he can feel the slight muting effect– but he knows that he is worried about Sookie. His maker can go to a bad spot if he keeps thinking in this manner; Eric needs to do what he can to make Godric realize Sookie is here and they are able to keep her safe. Safer since they sleep less and Sookie keeps their hours now.
With the information he has in his keeping, Godric worries that the end game is nothing less than Adele’s murder. Other than her brother or one of them, that is the death that will hit her the hardest. However, keeping in mind his promise not to say anything, he just tells Eric, “We will need to keep up our defenses. And we need to move forward in pulling more of the faces out in the open.” And ensure nothing happens to Sookie. She must make it their Mating, since he is getting the idea that once it is completed the three of them will be harder to kill.
And with that, the foursome spend the rest of the time before nightfall planning.
It was evening in Bon Temps. The quiet of the night is only a mask, hiding all the schemes going on in the sleepy little town. There is a murderer who is celebrating his latest victim as he listens to all the shocked voices in Merlotte’s chattering over the death of one of their own. Then there is the planner who is watching in the trees for any sign of the grief and outrage in the house in front of him. Further away are others who are working in the background, all for the same reason, to get the pretty blonde, who happens to be a telepath.
In the Stackhouse residence, everything is not quiet, nor has it been since evening fell and the vampires in the house started to move around, allowing a very upset Sookie out of their clutches.
Sookie storms out of her house yelling back over her shoulder, “I was locked up all day, not able to even leave the room. I can damn well handle walking to the mailbox without you holding my hand, Eric!” She is wearing her trademark sundress, her hair up in a ponytail. But the look of fury mars the look of an innocent Southern lady on her way to a garden party.
There is a roar, then Eric’s voice rings out, “Fucking Sookie! Get your pretty little blonde ass back here before Godric gets back from dealing from whatever fuck up your brother has done now.”
However, by the time Eric didn’t hear a response, Sookie has disappeared from the immediate view from the porch he is on. He is fuming as Adele comes out and clucks her tongue at him.
“Eric. Give the girl some time to herself. I understand about the Bonds and such, but you have been pushing her hard since she was attacked.”
Eric rubs his hand over his face and leans against the stud in the porch. “Adele, she just doesn’t understand. There could be someone after her and that attack on her may not be just a retribution for her saving that idiot Compton.”
He is dressed in a black tank, leather jacket, with dark jeans. He hides a smile from Sookie’s earlier teasing as she dressed after him, telling him if he was going to be dressed like that, then she would wear her normal attire. They had picked on each other the entire time, with him finally ending it by gathering her in his arms and kissing her. She had been giggling the entire time and he had enjoyed the mirth bubbling up from the Bond.
Nodding her head, Adele answers him, “And you know Sookie. She has never accepted that you two are to be mated. I understand why you and Godric decided on this Bonding thing, but she is feeling hounded right now. Back off a little bit and let her get settled. This Bonding thing –and now Jason being arrested again for murder– has her on edge. Give her some time and she will be calmer.”
Growling, he rolls his eyes to the heavens as though he is praying for patience. “I cannot wait until she is turned, then she will understand the absolute hell she is dragging me though with her rebellion. It is not like we have kept it a secret from her. She has known about this as long as she has understood that she is Godric’s. Why is she fighting it?” The last is barely heard around his growling as though he is frustrated.
Adele sighs as she walks to the chair. There is no sign at all that this was being staged for the vampire in the woods. Nor is it showing how worried Eric really is about this charade. He knows it is needed, Bill needs to have some kind of encouragement. They need to draw out the other players and right now, the only hint they have is Bill himself. He had given up the queen, but who else is behind it all?
Eric is keeping a close eye on his Bond, knowing that the rest of the nest is also on alert. Over at the police station, Godric has gone to help Bobby and Cataliades, who have been held up with petty things, trying to get Jason free. Andy is fighting to keep him there, throwing everything in the book that he can, while making enemies of everyone else in the station with his pettiness. Thankfully Jason is still comatose in shock.
Adele studies the man in front of her. She remembers clearly the first time she saw him, when she walked up on the porch with Godric right beside her. Godric had clearly been on guard, not trusting her with her own granddaughter, but then, knowing what she does now, she can’t blame either vampire. The little girl that Eric had caged in his arms was frightened and their other half. Once they had found her, if anything had happened, both would have been meeting the sun the following day. That was then, now their lives are so intertwined, she doesn’t believe that one of them will survive the death of the other.
As expected, Eric looks exactly the same as he did all those years ago. The only difference is the love he holds for Sookie. When it doesn’t need to be hidden, it shines from his eyes. The love that he has for her granddaughter will be the stuff of legends. And right now, the look and the hand running through his hair makes him more human than he would ever know.
Not saying Godric doesn’t love her as much as Eric, in fact Adele worries about the Gaul. He is scared of losing Sookie. Terrified. He barely survived the first time and knows he would not survive a second time. Godric loves her so much; his life is dedicated to her. He loves Eric, but you can tell how much the vampire had missed her. And Adele is seeing little signs that he is not looking at the happier side as he was, that the attack had scared him.
Eric is jolted out of his wonder of the Bond as he hears Adele murmur behind him, “It’s because she doesn’t want to know her entire life has been decided for her before she could even think for herself. Knowing that there is no use in dating, no use for that fumbling first kiss, the blush of first love in school as notes are being handed with ‘if you like me check yes’. All of it worthless, since she will end up with you, no matter what. She can’t have that first romance, nor the dream of having children since she knows she will be turned. But even if she wanted to take the chance of having that child, knowing she may have to leave it with us to raise, she couldn’t, since you wouldn’t allow it.”
As Eric thinks over her musings, she continues, “But then, if she will give herself up with you, then she will never know that betrayal of first love, nor would she find that you will ever hurt her. You will provide for her, treat her better than she can ever imagine. She will live like a princess, and you will have everyone who looks to you at her feet. All she needs to do is give you her heart.”
She looks up to him as he turns to her. “She wants to be treasured and be thought of first. But she doesn’t think that you can do this. She can’t see past the trappings and let herself see the true you. The one that hasn’t taken a fangbanger except to feed from. She sees how cocky you are, how you need her bow to you, for you to be the one in charge, with only Godric overriding you. She even understands why, but her spirit won’t allow her to just give up. Eric, you need to woo her.”
Eric is staring at her, but his brain is racing. How much did he and Godric miss that they could have given to their mate? How much has she missed by not being allowed to have those interactions when she was younger? And with those thoughts, Eric vows to start wooing his little mate, and will tell Godric of this. Godric may have done it the first time through, but Sookie doesn’t remember it and she deserves those memories.
All of a sudden, Eric head whips around, and Adele stills. It’s show time for Sookie.
Sookie is storming down the pathway to the mailboxes. Her heart is hammering, and she is hoping that Bill will think it is from her fight with Eric.
She can feel through the Bond Eric’s and Godric’s support and never ending love. She has always known both love her without a doubt, but being able to feel this, like she is in their bodies, is amazing.
‘This is the reason you three needed to Bond right now. You need the support of your Mates, and they will need yours in other times. Calm down, Sookie. There is no reason for you to be frightened, I am here and can easily take Compton. Any mistakes you make, will be trumped up on the Bonding process. Just go with the plan. Compton is watching you right now, judging the distance to the house. He is waiting for you to be out of hearing range for him. He is not considering that Eric and Godric are older and have better hearing.’ Leigh lazily tells her through their link. She is with Sookie right now, Godric had wanted her to be kept quiet until tomorrow night at Fangtasia when Sookie is going to be announced as their Bonded.
Frowning, Sookie asks Leigh, “Can you read his mind?’
‘No, but it isn’t that hard to guess what he is thinking.’ The humor in Leigh’s reply made Sookie stumble as she tries not to laugh.
Leigh huffs, ‘I thought you could walk and chew gum at the same time…’
A loud growl sounds in their link as Sookie is trying even harder not to laugh.
‘Is this a hen-only conversation or may I join in?’ Godric’s silky baritone slides against Sookie’s mind in an unmistakable caress.
Leigh rejoinder though makes Sookie stumble again, ‘I don’t know if cocks are allowed.’
Sookie then feels some bewilderment and worry from the Bond with Eric. She frowns and is about to think at him when suddenly Bill is standing in front of her.
She jerks to a halt, her mind seething, ‘Sookie, it even rhymes with cookie! Does he go around saying cookeh?’
Godric’s rich voice fills in, ‘What about Bookeh? Or hookeh?’
‘I got one! Nookeh!’ Leigh’s sly voice fills the Bond with even more laughter, and surprisingly to Sookie, Eric’s voice is in there.
‘I was going to say that one. However, there is also booteh. But I agree with you Min Alskare. He should be able to say your name.’ Along with his words come the same caress that Godric gave her. She relaxes slightly.
Bill is watching her and smirks a bit when she relaxes once she recognizes him. “I am shocked to see you by yourself. I would have thought that Eric would be at your side.”
Sookie glares at him as she crosses her arms. “I think I can check the mail without anyone watching over me, but I guess I was wrong.”
The three in her head all laugh in their own way. Sookie wouldn’t be herself if she wasn’t somewhat sassy.
Bill shakes his head. “Sookeh. Now is that anyway for a lady to be? A gentleman would be only glad to escort one such as yourself on any errand that needs to be done.”
Sighing, Sookie looks off to the side. “Sorry, Bill. I just have not had a second to myself since the attack. A simple walk to the mailbox should be within my ability.”
He smiles then bows slightly as he holds out a hand towards the aforementioned mailbox. “I would be glad to escort you on the way. One can’t be too sure that there are not others waiting to attack such a lady as yourself.”
Barely able to keep the shudder from her body, she feels Leigh as well as her mates pushing confidence towards her. She nods to him and continues on her walk.
Smiling at his success, Bill quietly walks next to her towards the mailbox. Because her and his houses are the only ones on Hummingbird Lane, the boxes were located on the rural road. It actually is a goodly ways for Sookie to make by herself at night, but they were counting on Bill taking the opportunity it presented to worm his way into her affections.
Sookie is watching him out of the corner of her eye and finally says, “Thank you.”
Looking over at her Bill nods his head, “As I said, I am shocked that Eric is allowing you to walk without his presence. This is nothing more than being a gentleman.”
‘I’ll show you a gentleman, you fucking asshole.’
‘Eric! Stop making Sookie not laugh.’ Leigh rebukes him, causing Eric and Godric to laugh. They both send her their apologies when they feel her disgruntlement.
‘Just wait you three. I will remember this and will get my just rewards. I know Pam at least will help me.’
The three chuckle but are silent as they wait for the next load of BS that Bill will spew. So far, Godric is wondering about Bill’s turnabout, waiting to see what else he says.
Sookie looks down and then she tells him, “Eric didn’t want me to walk by myself. I insisted, being tired of being hovered about.”
They reach the mailboxes and Sookie quickly retrieves the mail, then turns back to make her way home.
Looking over at the blonde next to him, Bill asks her, “What would your grandmother say if she heard about this? I cannot imagine a lady like her liking her granddaughter walking about late at night.”
Looking up at him, she narrows her eyes. “I can take care of myself, quite well, and Gran knows that, Mr. Compton.”
Shaking his head, he rebuts, “Sookeh. I am merely trying to point out the dangers to a southern bred lady. Plus, you were attacked just days ago. How do you know that the perpetrators were after you in retribution only? Maybe there is another reason, what with you being so well known as the Sheriff’s Potential Child. Dallas is large and has their own issues. It would be easy to take you and throw Godric in a rage to get you back. And now that you have Bonded to him, it is a larger risk to him. I am not shocked that Eric and he are sticking close to you right now.”
Shaking her head, Sookie tells him in a soft voice, “It’s not like I asked for any of this. I wanted a normal life, to have the 2.5 kids and white picket fence. But since I was old enough to understand, I have been told my destiny is to be Godric’s Child and what a great honor that is. I was told that I was fated to be Eric’s mate, so what use was there in dreaming of anything else? But I cannot stand him. He is such a man-whore it isn’t funny! How can I be sure he will be faithful to me?” The last is said with a heartbreaking voice.
Before he can say anything, Sookie stops with a look of dread on her face. “Cheese and rice!” She turns to him, laying a hand on him to stop him, she begs, “Please don’t repeat that. I am sorry, I should not be complaining!”
Bill turns to her and covers her hand on him with his own. “I would not betray your confidence. Feel free to talk to me about any problems you have. It will help for you to get them off your chest, and you don’t have to worry about me repeating any of it to Eric.”
Before Sookie can reply, Eric appears in front of her, growling at Bill. “What are you doing with my Bonded, Compton?”
Bill smiles. “I was just escorting her on her errand since she was by herself. I had instructed her about the pitfalls involved and reminded her that a lady of her standing shouldn’t be by herself.”
Eric has Sookie pulled up tight to him, as he snarls at the man in front of him.
“Mr. Compton has a point, mein Sohn (my son). Sookie should not have been by herself.” Godric lands in front of the group then looks at Bill, “However, you should know that you shouldn’t be speaking to a Bonded human without her Bonded in attendance, Mr. Compton. But for now, we will call it even. Thank you for escorting my Child on her errand.” His voice had a definitive finality to it.
Godric pulls Sookie from Eric and taking her in his arms, he tells Eric, “Wir werden zu Hause auf dich warten, mein Sohn. Beeil dich.“ (We will be waiting on you at home, my son. Hurry up.) With that he takes off with her in his arms.
Eric just growls at Bill, telling him, “Be at Fangtasia tomorrow night. There should be a message from Pam to that effect. I will be looking forward to your attendance.”
And with that Eric is gone.
Bill smiles and moves to his own residence, whistling as he goes…
Final count, 3,385 words.