“We are not merging,” Eric spoke with an even tone before it fell to condescending, “For some half-baked faltering spark plug that’s vaguely related to you.”
“HEY!” Sookie cried out with a surge of indignance with the dig at her brother. She slapped away Niall’s quieting hand, suddenly becoming vested in the proceedings in which she had initially sympathised with their negotiating adversary, that was, till she met him. “Just because his spark isn’t apparent doesn’t mean it’s not there!”
“What? Like his brain?” he replied sardonically, happy to be pushing the buttons on the other side for once.
Her composure was completely lost at that insult to her brother, never mind that it was a rather accurate description. No one was allowed to call her brother an idiot except her! “How dare you!” she yelled back, her own spark emerging between her hands in a display of the damage with the contained rage that had been gathering since the announcement of Jason’s engagement.
“Resorting to violence already, Princess?” he spat out acerbically. “Typical Faeries.”
“Excuse me?!” she gasped out in shock. “At least we’re not bloodthirsty! Literally!”
“Your species has incited more bloodshed than ours ever has,” he pointed out. “Literally!”
“Children, please,” Niall tutted, hoping to avoid an eternal argument that never saw any winners. “How about a seat on the board?”
“Fine,” he grit out with a vicious snarl, cursing himself for giving in so easily, but wanting this done already, regardless of the price paid. If Pam wasn’t his beloved Childe he’d probably have wrung her dainty little neck countless times by now.
“Very well,” Niall smiled, preening with pride with his mental haul. “Sookie will preside on our family’s behalf.”
“What? NO!” Sookie cried out while Eric made a similar sound of protest.
“It’s our seat, we do with it what we want,” Niall pointed out, completely ignoring Sookie and only addressing the vampire’s objection. “It’s just one seat of many, what concerns could you possibly have?” he posed with feigned innocence.
Frustrated with the manipulation of the well-versed Faerie prince who admittedly made a fair point, instead his eyes fell harshly to the pretty blonde next to her grandfather. He nodded in accordance despite his misgivings about trickster faeries meddling in his company, his gaze still boring into her. A satisfied smile finally fell upon him as the rapid thoughts connected in his jumbled mind. ‘Yes, this would work quite well,’ he mused to himself, eyes unwavering. Niall would deeply regret his little manoeuvre if he only knew what was in store for his precious great-granddaughter. Oh, how she would pay for this all, the previously extortionate price demanded for Pam suddenly coming out a bargain with what he just gained!
Sookie gulped with sudden unease at the vampire’s look of intense satisfaction, the direction so intense she suddenly caught the projected thoughts from his mind. Yes, little faery, be afraid. Be very afraid because I’m going to make your life the hell you just made mine.
Sookie attacked her entree ferociously with intermittent glares at the blonde vampire seated across from her, things did not seem to be improving. She had stopped bothering to even pretend to be cordial, leaving that to her Gran and Niall who seemed to be chatting up a storm with Godric over the upcoming nuptials.
Eric, meanwhile, shoved around the textures of blood with disinterest that decorated his plate, yes, that was, indeed, as it was described on the self-pretentious menu, ‘Textures of Exotic Blood’. He groaned just thinking about it and vastly preferred the days of old when textures of blood meant spilt crimson all over sumptuous fabrics that aggravated a newly-born Pam over the loss of such precious cloths. Considering the company he found himself in, he didn’t see any objection to reliving those times saving the stupid Stackhouse boy for desserts. Stupid Pam.
“Stop that!” Sookie hissed, uncomfortable with his persistent, absent gaze that had settled on her while his imagination had run wild.
“Make me!” he retorted, which she only managed to return with an aggrieved scowl as she silently bit her tongue for her grandmother’s sake. He grinned with supreme satisfaction while observing her imposed reserve, and most certainly not because of the enticing rush of blood that flushed her cheeks. Fucking Faeries.
“You will join Jason and his party?” Niall interrupted their stalemate of two. She glanced back at her great-grandfather whose face communicated it wasn’t much of a question, but rather a command.
“Yes, Sir,” she nodded sullenly with the relegation of being Jason’s babysitter for the night. Forcing him to live up to the Brigant crest where it had ingrained in her naturally.
“I’ll be coming along,” Eric announced when she consolingly attacked the chocolate dessert just placed in front of her that she had decided would be her only consolation prize for the night ahead.
“I don’t think so, buster!” she spoke out bitterly when the rich dusting of cocoa powder assaulted her throat and forced her into a coughing fit in her attempt to swallow it down and protest at the same time.
“Sookie!” her Gran scolded with a disapproving look that bruised harder than any switch ever would. “If Mr. Northman wants to come with you, he’s allowed. We’ll all be family soon.”
“Fine!” she huffed before tossing her napkin over the plate of chocolate sin now thoroughly ruined by him. “Let’s go.”
Eric was up and out of his seat in seconds, ready to drag her along and out of the room, a scuffle not going unnoticed by either of their elders who looked on in reproach, and a tandem chorus of apologies was begrudgingly uttered before they scurried out of the room.
“Where are you taking me?” she demanded hotly, not because he was hot, well he was, but she expertly chose to avoid that fact in favour of unleashing her unbridled temper as he rushed her along the long hallway in the opposite direction from where she had come.
“Are you always this difficult?” he questioned when she dug her feet into the plush carpet and refused to move.
“Do you always drag women along?”
“They’re usually quite happy to come,” he answered without much thought before leering, “Usually more than once.”
“Oh, GROSS!” she exclaimed when she finally caught on to his double entendre.
He couldn’t help but chuckle at her apparent innocence, or rather her pretence of it. He’d noticed soon enough that she firmly adhered to her elders’ wishes in place of her own, and the innocent and demure act fell in line with those expectations. Were these different times and circumstances he’d happily pluck at those tightly held strings to unravel the fascinating creature that lived beneath, but right now he had a wedding to stop, and it would start with derailing the bachelor party.
“COME!” he demanded impatiently, tugging her along again.
“That works for you and all those adoring women?” she glared, not giving or moving an inch.
“You’d be surprised how effective it is,” he said with a grimace, slightly disgusted with himself momentarily. He sighed before squaring out his shoulders, “We’re going to hotel boutique, you’ll need something else to wear for a night out in this city.”
“I have plenty to wear,” she bit back, hiding the hurt she felt over the simplicity of her wardrobe being measured out by him before emphasising, “In my room!”
“Something not picked out by your grandmother?” he questioned with an accusing brow. “Something you wouldn’t wear to church?”
“I so do! It’s not like she buys all my clothes,” she huffed, leaving out the fact that those items were mostly shorts and t-shirts, and aside from the formal dress now with the dry cleaners she really didn’t have anything appropriate to wear to Jason’s bachelor party. “But if you insist,” Sookie gruffed while moving past him with a demonstrative shove. “Let’s go.”
He amused himself with the angry sway of her ass before speeding past her and making a selection of dresses before she even managed to arrive in the shop. “Here,” he said with a thrust of fabric that veered her into the direction of the changing room.
Instantly she balked with the collection of dresses that were both too short and too revealing in the front and by his estimation of her size, undoubtedly too tight. “He has no clue what he’s doing,” she apologised to the sales associate who took back the dresses in understanding.
“Will you stop hovering,” she spoke lowly while continuing to browse the racks, taking far too long by his standards.
“That one,” he encouraged.
“No,” she disagreed, even though she had kind of liked the short fuchsia number. With extra force, she moved the dress along the rack with a creaking sound that she knew bothered his sensitive hearing intensely. Instead, she picked up a dress with long sleeves and a high turtle neck that would fall just below the knee.
“What are you, a nun?” he scoffed, forcing her hand back to the rack. “This is worse than what you’re wearing already.”
“Perhaps I can offer a suggestion?” the sales associate interrupted before Sookie managed to unleash her full wrath on the arrogant vampire. She held up a deep red dress with cap sleeves that draped artfully around the waist, and despite its modest length, would split open high on her leg. She gasped at the beauty of it while a set of fangs audibly descended beside her in approval. Momentarily she hesitated, chewing at the corner of her bottom lip. She wanted to fight him on it, but then she really, really, liked the dress. With a small pep in her step she bounded towards it, fingering the fabric before she eagerly asked to fit it.
“Make sure she has some shoes to go with it,” he instructed the sales associate who immediately went about her task. “And a clutch or something,” he added, remembering the correct term drilled into him by Pam.
“Is this on right?” Sookie queried through the curtain, assuming the hovering presence was the sales associate, but instead found herself crammed in with a tall vampire staring her down in the mirror. He scrutinised her carefully before a cool finger traced the nervously palpitating vein, and then hummed his approval, suddenly finding himself with a lack of fighting words for the beauty standing in front of him.
“You should wear your hair up,” he finally commented, the first words he had uttered towards her somewhat resembling a compliment, while gathering the strands of hair in demonstration. For a moment he reminded her of her overbearing cousin Claude and Sookie couldn’t help but smile, for the first time feeling at ease in such close quarters with the detestable vampire. He was gay! The fact was only reinforced by his selection of shoes and a handbag when the sales associate joined them with options.
“Does this meet with your approval?” she asked with only the slightest hint of petulance, her feet firmly planted in the heels, hair casually twisted up in a chignon and clutch in hand.
“It’ll do, pig,” he grinned before receiving a hard whack with the clutch. He’d almost forgotten the impact those innocent little bags could harbour. “You look very nice,” he spoke sincerely, causing her to blush furiously; after all, she couldn’t help deny that made her feel very nice.
“Toss this, will you?” he instructed the sales associate while gesturing disdainfully at the balled up dress and scuffed shoes on the floor.
“Oh, no, you don’t,” she warned, grabbing the bundle before he could manage to get a hold of it. “Can you send it up to my room?” she asked, addressing the amendable sales associate while she settled the bill.
“You make such a lovely couple,” she noted with a wink while Sookie could only stare in return disbelievingly, though somewhere she was glad she wasn’t the only one mistaking him for a heterosexual.
“Thanks,” she mumbled not really in the mood to describe the actual extent of their relations as she fisted the receipt into the impractical tiny clutch. She found her supposed other half impatiently waiting outside with a painted-on glare, and then she returned one of her own.
Stupid, handsome vampire! Correction; stupid handsome, gay, vampire!
“So I guess you’re pretty excited about your little girl getting married?” Sookie attempted at small talk while they waited on his car that wasn’t arriving as fast as the impatient vampire would have liked.
“Hardly,” he replied in the same clipped tone he had reverted to from the moment she had slipped into her new dress. There was also a severe lack of looking at her or even in her direction since. She supposed he was obviously agitated and eager to get to Jason’s bachelor party, for whatever reason she wasn’t quite sure.
Before she had the sense to ask, she was shoved into a sports car, and barely buckled in when his heavy foot was already on the gas pedal. Between loud shrieks and a few daring glances behind her hands, he weaved them through the heavy traffic uptown where Sookie was convinced every breath she took would surely be the last. “You fucking maniac!” she cried out when they came to an abrupt and rather hard stop in front of the sports bar. She scrambled out as soon as she was able with the help of the valet while still unsteady on her legs.
“Got you all hot and bothered did it?” he whispered into her ear and moved out of her direct circle of clutch attack in an instant.
“Asshole!” she cried out while hobbling after him and into the heavily populated bar.
“SOOOOOKIE!” her brother cried out, making no doubt about it he was beyond intoxicated. The smell of cheap beer surrounding her with his overly friendly embrace that lifted her off the ground. “SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOKIE!”
“Jase, hun, you gotta let go,” Sookie wheezed, her eyes growing wide at the prospect of the rest of his gang who had started to descend on them with embracing arms and she feared the breath would be permanently squeezed out of her. Their jumbled minds all zoomed in on her, promises of a stripper that hadn’t turned up now projected at her like a red flag as the only whiff of oestrogen available in the bar. She braced herself, fuming at her situation. This was all Eric Northman’s fault who had chosen that moment to conveniently disappear.
Too woozy to really react, she managed to get Jason to loosen his hold, but it didn’t stop all his friends from coming in to greet her all at once, and even though she had known them all since they were kids, and even though their touches were as innocent as could be, the direct and simultaneous contact mixed with their whirring drunken minds was a telepath’s personal hell.
“Stop!” she whispered with the most volume she could manage with tears pricking at her eyes, but the word was barely coherent as her shields faltered, already heavily worn down by the busy atmosphere of the city, the emotional day, and the night as she threatened to come apart till suddenly, there was relief.
Sweet relief in offer from the blank void that had forcefully whisked her out of the tangle of arms who started to punch wildly at the intruder and only managed to punch each other in the process. The commotion, however, was lost to Sookie as she suddenly found herself in the cold outside, shivering in the arms of the vampire who had been nothing but an ass all night, but now soothed her like a well-versed parent and bringing her to calm, his leather coat coming to surround her bare arms, a hand soothing down her back gently till she absorbed herself in the offered refuge.
This was new.
This, she had to admit, was nice.
Too bad he was gay.
A/N: *Snickers* (not the candy bar, that stuff is rank)… This might be my favourite closing line to a chapter ever… laugh away in the comment section and all that other nice stuff 😉
Thanks to msbuffy for always keeping the humour in check and the fabulous editing works.