“Oh. My. God…”
Maybe he was delirious from the pain?
Even after everything I’d witnessed tonight – after everything I’d seen and learned over the last few weeks, this almost seemed like too much.
And that was saying something because Elvis had ridden over here in my car, serenading us with ‘Hound Dog’ after learning the Were would be there too.
On some level I sensed Eric zip over to my side, but I ignored him. I’d done a pretty good job of ignoring him for most of the night. His flirting – his leering – his ripping fingers, heads, and bits of scalp off of people. I ignored every last bit of it because we had more important things to concentrate on, so I continued on with that path and scooted closer to try and get a better picture of what was going through Gabe’s mind by asking, “Where? Where is that place you left Pam at?”
Head wounds bled a lot and considering part of his head was stuck to the dirty wooden floor at his feet, his wound was bleeding a lot-a lot. But I ignored that too, hoping he wasn’t so far gone in his pain that he wouldn’t be able to think of anything else.
“Fuck you!” he spat back at me, spraying me with blood and saliva.
The ‘eewww’ barely had the chance to form in my thoughts before I was hit with another spray of his blood and spit when Eric smacked him across the face, roaring, “WHAT. DID. I. SAY?”
“Eric!” I snapped. As gross as I was – as gross as we both were – now covered in blood, I put myself in front of Eric with my back facing him and wrapped his arms around my waist. I kept my hands on top of his, knowing I had no chance of holding him there if he didn’t want to be, but hoping it would keep him from smacking any more coherency out of Gabe’s mind before I could get the answers we needed.
But I really should have thought that through better.
From what I could tell, Eric didn’t find me gross at all because his grip on me tightened as he rubbed his front against my back and dropped his face to the side of my neck, licking away whatever he came across, with a purr rumbling through his chest.
It was no wonder him and Tina got along so well.
What he was doing was a lot more difficult to ignore, but I fought off my body’s reaction to him, along with fighting to keep his hands from sliding up my front, to concentrate on Gabe and asked again, “Where is that building?”
I could tell he was starting to go into shock, with his mind shutting down to spare him from the pain he was feeling, so I was only able to catch glimpses of his thoughts before he finally succumbed and passed out.
A half-whispered out, “Shit!” left my lips when I then felt Eric – all of Eric – thrusting against my back.
He spun me around before I could utter another word and the next thing I knew, I was pinned between the wall and Eric’s body with his mouth on mine. My lips had parted in a gasp at the sudden movement and it was all the invitation he needed for his tongue to plunge right in, with him using it to smack the coherency right out of me. My legs automatically wrapped around his waist, with my hands fisting the fabric at his shoulders, and I blamed his skill in the art of kissing on why I didn’t push him away.
At least not right away.
But as our kiss dragged on and his lower half moved against me, driving me to abandon everything I’d ever been taught about being a proper young lady, all I could think about was how worried I was for him. How special he made me feel and even though his automatic assumption I would be his future lover annoyed me to no end, I still wanted him to try and convince me otherwise. The disappointment I’d felt when I’d assumed he was with Pam had been replaced with hope that maybe there could be something more between us in the future and it was a future I wanted to have, so Gabe’s final thoughts had scared me to death. If what he’d thought was real and not a delusion, then Eric was in danger.
They all were.
“Eric,” I panted out, finding the will to push him away when all I wanted to do was hold him closer – to hide him and protect him from ever being harmed. If it hadn’t been for the fact his child was already in danger, then I may have very well tried to convince him to let me.
“I want you,” he breathed out against my skin as he ran his fangs along my neck.
Gee…I never would’ve guessed.
“Eric,” I repeated, and tried to put more force behind his name and into my hands as I pushed against his shoulders. “We need to question the other two. I need to see if they know where the place is that Gabe brought Pam to.” When he didn’t seem fazed by my words, I shoved harder and said a lot harsher, “Pam! We need to find Pam!”
His body froze for a long second before he sighed against my neck and made chills run down my spine when he placed one last soft kiss just under my ear. He moved to put his face in front of mine and the fire in his eyes made my insides heat up, but all he did was press his lips against my forehead and then released me from his grasp, reluctantly placing me back on my feet. Thankfully he didn’t let go right away because I swayed for a second and when we were both somewhat calmed down again, he asked, “What did you hear that had you so upset? Where is Pam?”
“That’s just it,” I said, “I don’t know. I don’t know if he was imagining it from the pain, but if it’s real…”
I trailed off because I still couldn’t wrap my mind around it.
It can’t be real, can it?
Eric’s hand gently cupped my cheek and tilted my head so that my eyes would meet his as he asked, “If what is real? What did you hear?”
“I saw,” I whispered. The images flooded through my mind again and I closed my eyes, admitting, “They – The Fellowship – they aren’t acting alone. The government…it…the place where he left her to come here…”
“Where Sookie?” he asked when I didn’t continue.
“I…I’m not sure, but it looked like a…a prison,” I answered and finally opened my eyes to let the tears out. “It’s big and it’s guarded with soldiers. Not soldiers like Gabe, but real soldiers armed with guns that shoot silver and wooden bullets. It’s fenced and there are huge steel doors like bank vaults use. There’re long tunnels and security checkpoints through the whole damn thing just to get to where the vampires are kept and I think it’s underground. And it’s not just Pam. They…there are hundreds of vampires being kept there.”
I’d only been able to get flashes of it thanks to the pain going through Gabe at the time and the earlier intensity in Eric’s eyes changed into a different kind of fire, with every trace of his amorous desire disappearing as he asked incredulously, “Hundreds?”
Well, it wasn’t like I could count them all in the quick images running through Gabe’s mind at the time, so I only shrugged and said, “It was a lot.”
“Why?” he asked, seemingly to himself as he started to pace again before stopping in front of Gabe’s unconscious body where he roared at a frightening decibel, “WHY?” Gabe didn’t even twitch and Eric’s rage was irrefutable when he grabbed onto Gabe’s head and twisted it, with a sickening snap ringing out into the air, and yanked down hard enough that Gabe’s arms gave way from his shoulders, while his body fell onto the floor as his arms still dangled from the rope above him.
Well…I guess we won’t be finding out why from Gabe.
A lake of blood pooled around his body and Eric seemed unfazed by the blood dripping down onto his shoulders from Gabe’s dangling arms, but seeing the bones and tendons spilling out made my mind wander with me wondering if I’d ever be able to serve meat again, much less eat any of it.
Maybe I’d give vegetarianism a try…
I pushed myself off of the wall I’d been leaning against and headed towards the door, saying, “Let’s see if one of the other two know anything useful.”
When I opened the door I was assaulted with the not-so-kind thoughts of the waiting Were – he was thinking he was surprised Eric and I hadn’t taken the time ‘fuck’ while we were in there – so I fought off the urge to assault him since I’d left my softball bat in the car and turned my eyes to El…I mean, Bubba and said, “Would you please bring the next one in?”
“Sure thing Miss Sookie,” he smiled and grabbed onto the closest one, carrying him into the shed like he weighed next to nothing. He made quick work of pulling Gabe’s arms down so he could use the rope to tie up the next guy.
When he was through he carried out all of Gabe’s remains without being asked, shutting the door behind him, and perhaps I was a little delirious myself because I snickered out softly, “Bubba has left the building.”
Eric didn’t seem to find any humor in the situation and immediately released the man from his glamour, asking, “Where are the vampires being held?”
The man was terrified – too terrified to think straight with a blood covered angry vampire in his face – and when his eyes glanced down and saw the Gabe-shaped bloody outline left on the floor, that was all he could think about. His eyes slammed shut while his body trembled and I might have felt bad for him if he hadn’t been praying for God to kill all vampires and vampire lovers.
Future lover, thank you very much!
What he’d actually thought was ‘fanged devils and fangbangers’ with a picture of my face entering into his thoughts and the things he imagined Eric and I doing to one another were downright nasty and straight out of a pornographic horror film, but I kept my cool. Walking over to Eric, I pulled him back and nodded for him to stand off to the side before placing my hand on the man’s chest to get a better read and softly soothed, “It’s okay. Just tell me where the vampires are being held. The place with all of the soldiers.”
He hadn’t said the words out loud, but I heard him clear as day and I took a step back with my eyes opening wide in disbelief as I asked, “How many are there?”
Eric’s body tensed hearing my question, but he remained unnaturally still as I heard the roll call run through his mind.
Texas. Mississippi. Nevada.
“Why?” I asked. “Why are they keeping them all?”
It just didn’t make any sense. Vampires were immortal, so did they plan on keeping them incarcerated forever? What purpose did it serve? What had they done to be jailed to begin with?
I nearly vomited hearing his unexpected silent response.
This guy was a part of the upper echelon of Fellowship soldiers just like Gabe and therefore had been given the privilege of getting a tour of one of their main facilities. I could see in his head he’d been walking right alongside Reverend Steve Newlin himself.
They’d taken off from what looked like an abandoned airfield in Texas in a private plane and landed in the middle of the desert where they were met by a group of men. Those men weren’t in uniform, but the soldiers were there too and they’d been driven a short distance away, through high fences topped with razor wire, with security checkpoints and cameras seemingly every few feet. Everyone in the vehicle was checked at each one until they finally pulled up to what looked like an industrial park.
Rows of buildings were lined up side by side and they were led into one where they all climbed into an elevator and descended down. More soldiers met them when the doors opened and they walked down a short hallway before going through a huge steel door that was at least twenty feet high, twelve feet wide, and six feet deep. They passed walls of windows where people dressed in labcoats worked on the other side before coming to another huge door. This one, their tour guide explained, was made of pure silver, and was nearly as big as the first one they’d come through. Inside was a cavernous room with row after row of tall steel fixtures. Each one was accessible by stairwells that went up four floors in all and each row held twenty silver cells on each side with a vampire occupying nearly every one.
He had no idea he was answering my questions even though he hadn’t said a word out loud, but I still grabbed onto the front of his shirt and shook him screaming, “Where is that?” It wasn’t the silver cells or the seemingly impenetrable place they held them all that made my insides churn. It was what they were doing to the vampires they had in their custody.
They cut them – bled them – trying to learn what it was that made them the way they were. They burned them with silver and sunlight to see the effects for themselves. They chopped off limbs and studied the way in which they could regenerate them. They studied the healing properties of their blood and saliva. They kept the lucky ones blindfolded so the staff couldn’t be glamoured while the unlucky ones had their eyes taken from them, but they wanted to know the key to that as well and that was their true end game.
They wanted to figure out a way to reverse the process so they could turn any vampire into a super soldier the military could use at their disposal.
They partnered with Newlin because it was his soldiers who did all of the dirty work. The military were acting in secret and needed to keep their hands clean where the public was concerned because the whole country hadn’t adopted the same xenophobic stance towards vampires as most of the south had. I’d heard enough to know Texas and Mississippi only had temporary holding facilities with all of the vampires ultimately going to this main one in Nevada.
I just didn’t know where in Nevada.
“WHERE?” I yelled again and even though he held his tongue, it rang out loud and clear in his thoughts.
I released him from my grasp and wandered away, too stunned to say anything, and slumped against the wall where I slid down and rested on my heels. Eric re-glamoured the man and appeared in my line of sight only a second later, but even that didn’t make me flinch.
“Where are they Sookie? What did you see?” he asked while gently pulling the strands of hair away that had been stuck to my face thanks to Gabe’s blood.
“You said you can tell Pam is west of here, right?” I asked without answering his question. When he nodded, I asked, “Can you tell how far?”
He concentrated for a moment before replying, “Several hundred miles. She feels farther away now than when I’d been held by Lanier.”
That was what I was afraid of.
“It’s because he moved her,” I barely whispered. After everything I’d seen and been a part of tonight, all I wanted to do was crawl into bed and pull the covers over my head, hoping it was all a bad dream. But it wasn’t.
It was real and I couldn’t afford to bury my head in the sand.
I steeled myself knowing we still had a long night ahead of us and pulled myself to my feet, finally explaining, “She’s in Nevada. They all are. From what I can tell that’s the main location where all of the captured vampires are being taken to.” I could only hope that Pam wouldn’t be subjected to any of the atrocities I’d seen in his mind since the tenor of Gabe’s thoughts led me to believe he’d planned on returning for her.
“Do you know where in Nevada?” he asked.
I breathed out a lung full of air, hoping the lump in my throat would go with it, and answered, “Groom Lake.” Raising my eyes to meet his own, I added, “Area 51.”
After quickly telling him everything I’d learned, for the next couple of hours Eric and I tag teamed the remaining two prisoners, with each of us using our own methods of getting answers, trying to learn all we could about where the vampires were being kept and the security measures they had in place. The last prisoner was new to the Fellowship and didn’t know much about that end of things, but we did learn a few tidbits about Newlin and the way the Fellowship worked.
When we were through, Herveaux and Bubba took care of what was left of them while Eric walked me home, so I wouldn’t get blood all over the inside of my car. I took a shower while he went back to deal with everything else and by the time I emerged in my pajamas, I found him freshly showered as well, in his room with his laptop open.
“You should get some sleep,” he said with concern when he saw me standing in his doorway and added, “But first I need you to invite Bubba into the house.”
I turned on autopilot to go downstairs, but he stopped me by saying, “You can do it from here. I just want him to be able to get in if there’s an emergency. He’s patrolling the woods surrounding your home, but I’ve already told him Tina is a pet and he’s to leave her alone.”
“Huh?” I asked in a daze, wondering what Tina had to do with anything.
Eric’s lips quirked to the side as he said, “He’s different. He was far enough along in his death that he shouldn’t have been turned, but the vampire working in the morgue he was brought to was a fan. He detected the spark of life still present and turned him.” His eyes held mine and added, “Bubba prefers feline blood.”
Of course he does because this night couldn’t get any crazier. Why not? After all, now we were dealing with government conspiracies at secret military bases where they probably kept E.T.
“Oh my God!” I suddenly laughed out. “I’m Scully and you’re Mulder!”
It made sense. Eric was a fox.
Tears streamed down my face as I laughed uncontrollably, but Eric’s eyes only grew wider with concern and he closed his laptop and set it off to the side as he stood up. He scooped my body into his arms and brought me back to his bed, placing me under the covers and turning off the light before crawling in behind me, but I didn’t question his motives. I couldn’t when he wrapped his arms around me and the tears were suddenly caused by an entirely different reason, so I turned in his arms, sobbing against his chest and eventually cried myself to sleep, worried to death for his child and appalled at what my own government was doing to them.
I woke up the next day exactly where I’d fallen asleep, not quite sure what time it was since the window was blacked out, but knew I couldn’t linger for very long because I had to go to work. After everything we’d learned the night before, I knew I’d need to take some time off, but I wanted to tell Sam in person. I owed him at least that much and that way I’d be able to try and read his thoughts since he’d rightfully assume my leave of absence had to do with Eric.
My eyes narrowed in the darkness to stare back at him for a few seconds and I felt a warmth spread through me seeing him lying there looking so peaceful. I hated the thought of any harm coming to him and gave into my urge to give him a tiny peck on his lips before I dragged myself back to my room, but the affection I felt for him disappeared seeing the note he’d left on my bathroom mirror.
My future lover,
Per our discussion yesterday, I’ve transferred the money due you into your account, so there is no need for you to work at the shifter’s bar for the foreseeable future. I hope to find you here waiting for me when I rise (preferably naked and at my side), but regardless of whatever state of dress or undress you choose to greet me in, I hope that your rationality from yesterday will prevail and keep you from acting out in your misguided belief that your actions weren’t worth every penny. Believe me when I say I’ve low balled you, but feel free to rough me up a bit later on.
We’ll both enjoy it.
Your future lover
Of all the highhanded…no good…low down…
My feet carried me right back into his room where I flipped on the light and waved the paper in front of his dead-for-the-day face, yelling, “What gives you the right?”
Not even a twitch.
“ARGH!” I yelled before stomping out of the room and slamming the door behind me. I stomped all the way downstairs to get a pen so I could leave a note for my so-far-in-the-future-lover–we’d-be-getting-around-in-hovercrafts-on-Mars, but when I slammed the piece of paper down onto the table with my pen poised like a dagger, I noticed the post script I’d missed.
P.S. You’re beautiful when you sleep.
Stupid incredibly sweet vampire!
I took a few deep breaths to calm down and decided I would argue with Eric later over the money, but I’d already planned on telling Sam I would need the time off anyway. That didn’t mean I’d leave him hanging today though, so I scribbled a note to Eric telling him nothing more than I would be at work when he rose, but for him to either stay in his room or go out through the window in my bedroom if he needed to leave. Gran would be returning sometime after lunch, but she hadn’t gone upstairs ever since her fall and I didn’t think that would change today, figuring she’d be tired when she got home and there would be no need for her to go into Jason’s room. But just in case I made sure everything was tidied up before I left for work thinking I’d find a way to introduce her to Eric later on.
I had every intention of going with him to free Pam, and whoever else we could get out of there, but I refused to lie to Gran. She would worry, but I knew she’d be just as upset as me over how they were being treated and would understand my need to help them.
But I’d leave out what happened to Gabe and the others because I wasn’t so sure she’d be THAT understanding.
After leaving the note tucked into Eric’s hand (after talking myself out of taping it to his forehead), I stepped outside and then jumped a mile high because the Were, Herveaux, snuck up on me, saying, “Uh…hi?”
I wanted to yell at him for scaring me, but seeing the apologetic look on his face, along with feeling a little at fault myself – I was a telepath for Christ’s sake and should’ve been paying attention – all I said was, “What are you doing here?”
His regretful look disappeared as he scowled, “Northman wanted me to guard you during the day while you’re at work.”
Eric knew me better than I thought.
His anger was so focused I was able to hear his thoughts much more clearly than the little snippets I’d heard the night before. He was angry at more than just having his day dictated by Eric – something I knew a little bit about myself – and after everything else I’d heard from not just him but the Fellowship ‘soldiers’ too, I couldn’t help but ask, “Why do you hate them so much?”
“You wouldn’t understand,” he huffed out. “And you’re a fool to trust that he wouldn’t do the exact same thing to you that he did to those guys last night. Northman is a vicious son of a bitch. I don’t know what he’s got on you or what he wants from you, but as soon as your debt to him is paid you’d be wise to steer clear of him.”
“I understand more than you think,” I huffed right back and headed for my car. I didn’t know if Eric had told him I was a telepath and figured I shouldn’t out myself right away without talking to him first. But if he trusted him enough to watch over me when he couldn’t, then I figured I could at least try and get along with him, so I calmly said, “I know that you’re a Were.”
He failed miserably at trying to cover his surprise, but quickly straightened his features and said, “Then it shouldn’t be any surprised why I don’t like fangs.”
I whipped around to face him, angrily spitting out, “Like you don’t have fangs on every full moon?”
“That’s different!” he snarled back. “I was born that way and we never would’ve stormed a church killing a bunch of humans!”
I had no clue what led to Eric being a vampire, but I didn’t see any difference and said, “And Eric can’t help what he is any more than you can. Do you honestly think that if the Fellowship learned about you all that they wouldn’t be hunting you too?”
All of the horrible images from the night before sprang up in my mind and tears welled in my eyes as I took a step towards him, poking him in the chest while the words tumbled out of my mouth. “The Fellowship had kidnapped a vampire and planned on murdering him at dawn. Can you honestly tell me you all wouldn’t have done whatever you could to get one of your own back? Do you really believe the humans wouldn’t freak the hell out and cage you like animals if they found out about you? Do you know that our own government is in on it and has hundreds of vampires locked away, doing horrible things to them? Hacking off their limbs? Ripping out their eyes so they can’t use their glamour? Burning them with silver and sunlight – bleeding them – all in the name of science to create some super soldier? If they succeed, who do you think they’ll use to go after you when your kind is found out?”
He was taken aback – by my words, my posture and my tears, but the anger he’d been showing changed into nothing but curiousness when he asked, “Why do you care?”
“How could I not?” I asked and suddenly lost all of my steam.
I was too tired – exhausted really – and had more important things to worry about than what he thought, so I turned to head towards my car again without waiting for an answer. But I didn’t get far when he called out, “Listen, I didn’t mean to upset you. It’s just that Weres and Vamps aren’t exactly allies, but I didn’t know all of that was going on. Is that what those guys told you last night?”
My feet stilled and I turned to face him with nothing more than a nod, finding a reserve of energy from somewhere within and concentrated with all of my might to reach through the red snarl of his mind to try and hear the thoughts behind them.
She’s right. If they’re doing that to vamps then they’d do worse to us. We’re like them – we walk alongside them every day and they have no clue, so they’d consider us a bigger threat. I need to talk to the Colonel and see if he’ll talk to Northman. Maybe there’s something we can do to help them out before our secret is out too.
Hearing his thoughts now, for the first time I saw him as something more than an ass. We would need all the help we could get to free Pam and the other vampires, so I was sincere when I said, “I think maybe we got off on the wrong foot. I’m Sookie. It’s nice to meet you.”
I held my hand out to shake and when he finally took it in his own, he nodded and said, “Alcide Herveaux. Nice to meet you.” But when he thought, ‘She’s not like a normal fangbanger and Northman doesn’t treat her like one. Maybe I was wrong about her,’ that was when I truly started to like him.
Merlotte’s was the same as it always was and Sam’s eyes bugged out when he noticed Alcide take a seat in my section. Now that I knew he was a shifter, I guessed he knew what Alcide was too and for the first time I felt like a little less of a freak now knowing I wasn’t the only one who was different.
I was glad Arlene had worked the early shift and left not long after I came on duty because I could both hear and see her worry about Rene when he obviously hadn’t come home the night before. She was hoping he’d just stayed out with Gabe and got caught up in Fellowship business, and while I felt bad for her, the majority of me thought she was better off without him – even if she’d never know why or what happened to him.
I waited until my break to tell Sam I needed time off and he was quick to blame ‘that vampire’, but at least he had the decency to keep his voice down. I wasn’t sure just how much Eric would want me to tell Sam, but I guessed it wasn’t much and instead I pulled the friendship card on him. It was low. It was playing dirty. And it certainly wasn’t fair. Sam was my boss – first and foremost – before he was my friend. But considering I’d helped question three ‘prisoners’ the night before and witnessed five deaths, playing on Sam’s affinity for me wasn’t even the worst thing I’d done that day. I even added a little bit of a pouty lip and an extra batting lash or two when I asked if I could leave after the dinner rush because I knew Eric would be chomping at the bit to get Pam out of that hell hole. But in my bid for priority seating when I arrived to my eternal resting place – Hell – I blamed Gran’s homecoming for why I wanted to leave early.
And it worked.
And I didn’t feel guilty.
Nor did I want to think about what that said about me.
Alcide stuck around until sunset when he gave me a nod – and a substantial tip – before heading out, but I didn’t think much of it figuring that was the end of his shift. I thought his presence was overkill anyway considering no one knew about my secret life as a vampire sidekick, so I wasn’t expecting anything out of the ordinary when I stepped out of the bar to walk to my car, but thankfully my yelp was muffled by Eric’s chest. He’d seemingly appeared out of thin air when I was suddenly crushed to him, with his arms wrapped around me, and I worried for a split second something was wrong until he planted his face against my neck and inhaled deeply, purring out, “Good evening, lover.”
“Future lover,” my mouth said before my brain could catch up.
I felt his lips form into a smile against my neck, just as I felt my skin turn red hot from both my word vomit and his proximity, when he tried to sound innocent as he asked, “Immediate future? Like…five minutes from now future?”
I made sure to clamp my lips together before they could betray me again and tried to squirm out of his hold, but Eric only seemed to enjoy that even more and said, “This would be much more fun without our clothes on.”
“Eric!” I was aiming for ‘harsh rebuke’, but it came out more like a pleading pant of air, so I swallowed hard in case there was anything else trying to get out without my permission and asked, “What are you doing here?”
He finally pulled away enough to look into my eyes, but I couldn’t guess at what he was thinking until he said, “You foolishly went to work when there was no need. I am here because you are. I won’t leave you unprotected.”
Stupid highhanded vampire – adding the sweetness onto the end to temper the bitterness of the beginning.
I ignored the way he made my insides flutter and adopted the same cold and calculated tone, saying, “I am here because you foolishly thought you could order me around and dictate my life to me. I am foolishly leaving work early and have foolishly requested time off so I can help you free your child, but make no mistake Mr. Northman. I am my own woman.”
He stared me down like I gave two figs what he thought, which maybe I did – a little – but not when it came to my job or whatever role he would end up having in my life in the future. Vampire sheriff or not, when it came to any future relationship, we’d be equals or we’d be history. And maybe I really was foolish because I’d seen him kill four men just hours earlier, but I wasn’t afraid of him at all.
I already knew without a doubt he’d never hurt me.
His eyes narrowed just as the corners of his lips turned upwards and he said, “Foolish woman. You’re mine.”
I opened my mouth to let him have it, but he was quick to stop me by kissing me.
Talk about playing dirty…
I couldn’t find the strength to hold onto my anger and after a while I could barely remember what I’d been angry about, so I was a little confused when Eric pulled away first and said, “We should go.”
My lust filled brain thought about going back home so we could continue our wordless argument on the couch – or possibly in my bed – but then it sunk in.
Gran would be home by now.
Did it make me a bad person for lamenting over the thought?
Did I really think THAT was what would make me a bad person after everything I’d been a party to over the last twenty-four hours?
I pushed it all away because I couldn’t feel any guilt over those things after hearing everything they’d been a party to and instead pulled Eric towards my car and headed home. “Gran should be there,” I said as we turned onto Hummingbird Road. “She’ll want to meet you and while I don’t think we should tell her everything, I don’t want to lie to her either. She’s gonna know something’s up anyway when I have to leave for Nevada, but I’ll read her thoughts and tell her enough so that she won’t worry too much.”
“She’s already there,” Eric replied and when I looked over at him, he added, “I heard her moving around the house when I first rose. Her scent is already familiar to me after having spent so much time there, so I know it was her.”
A spike of nervousness swept through me when we turned onto my driveway because for all intents and purposes, this was the first time I was bringing a boy home to meet my Gran.
A vampire boy.
A thousand year old vampire boy.
A case of the giggles pushed all of the nervousness out of me, with me nearly doubling over on top of the steering wheel, and Eric looking at me like I was crazy only added to my hysterics. I ignored his wary expression and got out of the car, grabbing onto his hand and pulled him along behind me as I snickered out, “A word of warning. When she asks you what your intentions are for dating her granddaughter, do not say it’s for me to be your future lover unless you want a rolling pin to the back of your head.” I glanced up at his six foot four frame and wiped the tears from my eyes, still giggling, “You’re fast, but I think she can take you.”
He smiled at my silliness and squeezed my hand, but as soon as I opened the backdoor into the kitchen we both froze seeing Gran sitting at the kitchen table.
With the King of Rock and Roll sitting across from her like it was the most normal thing in the world.
Their smiling faces turned towards us just as Gran’s eyebrow rose up and she pointedly looked at Eric before looking at me and saying, “Young lady, I think you have some explaining to do.”