“So this is what luxury feels like,” she finally spoke after an endured silence. The cashmere grazing her skin was the softest material that had ever withheld her. The cocoa was intoxicatingly heady and rich, more so than she had ever tasted before. The fire was deliciously fragrant and warming. It scared her for the comfort she found in it, knowing it was a state of being that wouldn’t last.
Eric was thrown by her statement. He was comfortable, certainly, but he did not perceive his lifestyle as overly sumptuous. A multitude of lifetimes had made him well aware of the pleasure in comfort and how time would transform luxuries into necessities. He wondered if he was doing right by Sookie Stackhouse in thrusting her into his world of vanities. He never considered the person who would stand beside him in six months. Would that person so humbly invite two stranded vampires into her home? Most likely deceiving himself he stood to think she would.
“The presence of good company is always a luxury,” he replied after some contemplation.
Sookie wouldn’t describe herself as afflicted with homesickness, not that she had ever experienced such. Staying in Eric’s home had been more comfortable than she had ever known and she enjoyed the company. After her Gran’s death she had been experiencing loneliness in a much more overt manner. Her telepathy had made her intrinsically lonely for much of her existence. It was hard to connect to another when one half of the relationship had access to all the other’s thoughts and feelings. Her social circle was small despite her innate sense of kindness she was mostly scorn by her fellow townspeople. It hadn’t taken long before Sookie had bit back with shored up defences to compensate those she had failed to build up around the mind in her younger years. She rather they be fearful of her biting personality than scorn her for something she had no choice or control over.
She had become unsure of how to act now. As far as she was concerned Eric and Pam would remain unaware of her extra ability. Were they to find out it would just be another anomaly to her personality. Perhaps they would perceive her as somewhat different but they were hardly normal themselves. The fact that their minds were silent to read would save her from the scrutiny she was otherwise accustomed to. Her lack of insight into their minds and an absence of necessity for her defensively grating personality left her at their mercy. She felt vulnerable and weak in their company. She had never felt more like a normal human. It unnerved her immensely.
Her loss of home ground had made her almost timid. Eric was relieved not to have to experience the brunt of her more abrasive side. He was, however, missing that innate fire of the little sparkplug that he had discovered in that dingy diner. Not that it would be considered helpful in the goal they were working towards. He just did not enjoy the emptiness she seemed to be exuding.
Sookie had proved to be an excellent student, quick on the intake of all things supernatural and the battlefield of its politics. She was naturally curious and this helped Eric in his teachings of her. Despite that, Eric felt she had remained hesitant, straining her to truly engage with him as a peer despite having the aptitude for it. He tried to engage with her congenially but his leering nature only seemed to turn her mute, causing Eric to refrain from it as much as possible. It was highly confusing to him. Eric was beginning to question how sensible it had been to keep her in his home as it now had started to make him uncomfortable and saw him retreating to his basement level often.
When Eric discussed his concerns with Pam she had little regard for it. She found an agreeable Sookie quite manageable. She didn’t argue with her over the clothes and shoes she was zipped and shoved into. Even when it was quite apparent she loathed what she was forced to wear. Pam was not concerned for the girl in the clothes for she was working towards an end goal. She held little regard for the casualties along the way.
Granted a life size doll was a rather boring endeavour for Pam, she had sincerely hoped to find a kindred spirit in Sookie in her pursuit of all things fashion. For as short as Pam had known Sookie she had seemed to take a certain amount of pride in her appearance even if they were with ridiculous items like her red cowboy boots. Those boots had happily been relegated to the back of Sookie’s ever filling closet ready to depart to good will. Eric had forbidden Pam to rid Sookie of the little items that she held there but Pam had been working stealthily to move them out of Eric’s home one by one. They were positively clashing with her sensibilities not to mention the house.
Nearing the third week of her stay Sookie had settled into a routine and to Eric she seemed to be slowly letting some of her apathetic guard down. Upon waking he would find her in the library, his favourite room of the house and now apparently hers too. She would often be reading a book on the supernatural particularly on the fae. Her heritage had intrigued her but she never asked about it. Eric had wondered if her newly discovered status was the reason for her uneasiness but he assumed, quite rightly, it was just another mitigating factor to her demeanour.
After a polite greeting she would wordlessly follow him to the fire pit where he would wrap the cashmere blanket around her and set light to a fire. She would enjoy a cup of cocoa that he would prepare for her just like the first night and they would talk a little. It was mostly Eric who would speak of his past lifetimes, he tried desperately to make her laugh to get some reaction from her mostly at the expense of Pam’s former antics. She always laughed but only incidentally was it out of true joy.
Upon Pam’s arrival she would express her inevitable annoyance at Eric for exposing her stumbling nights of her early existence. Then the evening’s classes would start for Sookie. Eric would depart to Fangtasia to oversee its exploitation and his sheriff duties whilst Pam concentrated on the finery of etiquette and social graces as well as Sookie’s wardrobe.
When Pam finished up her portion of the evening’s classes she would head over to relieve Eric from his obligations while Sookie enjoyed a warm meal. Eric had noticed Sookie appreciated cooking and eating her own dinner. He found he liked her lifted mood that would quickly dissipate after. Eric had been taking flight instead of his beloved car lately to be able to arrive home to catch Sookie devouring her food happily. Afterwards he would educate her on the relations and different types of the supernatural.
Before she retired to her bedroom she would have a light snack and bid another polite good night leaving a sighing Eric behind. He didn’t know why he cared so much for her mental health. It had been distracting him from his plan to dissuade Pam from her wish of ultimate release, much to his displeasure. He convinced himself he ‘cared’ for her out of the interest in his own wellbeing within his home. Likewise he convinced himself this disconnected version of her was frustrating his attempt at bedding her. In reality he had lost somewhat of an interest in her as a possible sexual partner. Physically she was extremely appealing to him regardless of Pam’s overworking of her natural allure. He missed the passion that she held and had ignited in him as he was desperately grappling for its return.
Eric had considered bringing Jason round for a visit to lift his sister’s spirit or evoke some reaction from her that wasn’t her polite and agreeable disposition. He knew that this wasn’t the real Sookie Stackhouse. Jason had seemed to be rather effective in riling his sister up and was somewhat fearless of the possible verbal assault she could unleash. Considering how selective Eric was with those who gained entry to his home for now Jason was just not making the cut. Eric shivered- a rare occurrence in a vampire’s existence- at the thought of Jason Stackhouse’s monkey paws all over his house. No he had decided he would entertain the thought of Jason’s aid when he felt that Sookie’s reclusion to herself remained a stagnant condition.
He had decided the situation was not as dire yet and considering his child’s lack of helpfulness in the circumstances he was leaning heavily on seeking his maker’s council. He had known her in her own environment for a good period of time and perhaps he had insight to offer that would draw Sookie out of her guarded shell. His strained relationship to his maker was inhibiting him from picking up the phone and when he finally did he was informed by one of his ‘disciples’ that Master Godric had taken a vow of silence and was not to be reached until further notice. Eric’s frustrated reply had resulted in his office’s urgent necessity of a new phone, computer monitor and desk lamp along with a thorough clean up. Pam was none too pleased.
Frustrated he took off into the air after viciously drinking from a desperate fangbanger that had crossed his path towards his exit. Despite the pain the fangbanger had blissfully collapsed in the hallway thanking him profusely. It only sought to further disgust his opinion of humanity. Something that a small part fairy had so effectively restored mere weeks ago.
He had decided on a longer trajectory to cool off his inflamed temper until he felt his child’s emotions boil through their shared bond. He considered it a delayed reaction to his own flare up this evening but he had shielded her from it. He sped homewards in concern for his child and his Sookie. In his panic he hadn’t found the time to dwell on his annexation of the part fae in his house.
On arrival he heard screams emanating from the master bathroom upstairs. He had expected Pam to be having an outburst on account of the emotions he had experienced through the bond. Rather it was Sookie who seemed to be screaming almost incoherently.
Pam never shied away from a good fight and responded with equal fire much to Eric’s consternation. For all his thousand years he was well aware that the most vicious of fights were fought amongst the female gender no matter what the species.
The door flew open at great speed startling Sookie who quickly sought to cover her already covered body among the mountains of bubble bath. Pam was unfazed as she had felt her maker approach and continued her own tirade.
“You are nothing but ungrateful Sookie Stackhouse. Have you thought to take in what surrounds you? Who surrounds you? You’re just another worthless blood bag the only value you gain is in Eric’s presence.”
“Pamela!” Eric growled at her incensed. “Apologise now.”
“No! I refuse to refute the apparent truth. She has you walking on eggshells in your own home when she should be worshipping the ground you walk on,” Pam seethed as her anger was now directed towards her maker. “She has the audacity to refuse my instructions. I will not have my authority questioned.”
“Apologise,” he reiterated whilst forcefully grasping on to her arm just below her shoulder.
“No,” she responded coolly convinced of her own justification.
“Apologise or consider your presence in my home unwarranted.”
“Fine!” she screamed pulling herself from Eric’s grip on her body. “You deal with her petulance.”
Eric spared Sookie a quick glance who was heaving heavily in the bath tub desperately trying to settle her temper as he sped after Pam’s departing form. He caught up with her as she was heading out the door where he brusquely held on to her.
“What transpired between you two?” he demanded of his progeny.
“It was nothing,” she spoke dejectedly still reeling from her Master’s defence of a human over her. “I don’t even know, she just snapped. Forget it. I’ll speak with you tomorrow.”
Eric was well aware she was speaking far from the truth but decided that it was of little use to push her on it now. He nodded his assent before he watched her speed off into the night’s darkness. He flew back up the stairs smelling the salty sweet tears of the little fairy in his bathtub. He landed beside her on the outside of the tub handing her a soft cloth for her tears.
“Are you alright?” he questioned softly in a tone he was sure he had never exercised even on Pam’s darkest days.
“I’m so sorry Eric,” she trembled in her speech, “I didn’t mean to… I’ve been trying so hard. It was too much I couldn’t take it anymore.”
“Shh,” he soothed. Eric took the cloth from her to dry the new tears that were falling whilst she pulled her knees closer to her body moving the foam mountains that surrounded her. When she appeared to have calmed down somewhat he moved the wet strands of her cascading blonde hair behind her ears and gave her a small smile.
She nodded with a small smile. No one had ever been able to comfort her aside from her beloved grandmother and with her death she never thought to revel in it ever again.
“Will you tell me what happened?”
She let out a small sigh at his request but started to speak nonetheless. “Pam was educating me on proper grooming habits. She…” Sookie sucked in a much needed deep breath. “She went too far.”
Eric remained purposefully silent knowing it was the best way to pull a confession from someone. Sookie continued when the noiseless atmosphere unnerved her more than what she had to confess, “She demanded dominion of my hair. I need to retain some say over my own body.”
“Pam wants to cut your hair?” Eric spoke slightly annoyed as he himself was luxuriating in the length of her locks between his fingers.
“Not this hair,” she spoke delicately as she carefully fingered her own hair from his grasp as she hung her head somewhat embarrassed at the subject matter. Eric inwardly sighed at her retreat from his touch he wanted nothing more than caress her slick body as little of it as he could see. His outrage at Pam’s boldness was however taking over. He lifted her head with his fingers as he spoke to her.
“You were right to refuse Pam, she has no say about a single hair on your body. She is here to teach you not command you,” Eric returned sternly in a tone that was meant for Pam but landed with her. “She will not return until she has made amends to you and apologised for the way she spoke to you and myself.”
She nodded at Eric in understanding but her spirits hadn’t lifted any further much to his chagrin.
“Maybe you should just find someone else Eric. I don’t know if I’m suited to do this.”
“No,” he spoke so quickly Sookie almost thought he was hurt by the thought of her departure although she deemed it unfathomable. “You have a natural grace and presence that will elevate me in your presence not the other way round. You have value on your own do not let anyone tell you differently.”
“You’re not mad at my outburst?” she asked uncertainly.
He shook his head in response whilst he spoke, “I wish you would express yourself more. I need you comfortable in your skin not a Stepford wife. You have my full permission to ‘burst out’ if Pam or I are out of line. I just ask you not to do it in public. It would be damaging to our positions to be seen challenged by a human with no repercussions.”
“Thank you,” she said ever so softly which further enticed his baser self.
“Come,” he said as he stood with a large bath sheet spread between his expansive arms. To his great relief the fire he had feared so much before erupted from her eyes. He never thought he would be chanting in delight at its return.
“If you think I’m just magically gonna expose myself to you because you were nice to me for five seconds,” she spat at him. “Then you’ve got another thing coming buddy.”
He chuckled at her upsurge which only sought to further infuriate her with his mocking of her threat. “I’ll close my eyes. I promise not to peek.” There was little in the feigned innocence of his expression that gave her any cause to believe the words coming from his mouth.
She huffed at him, “Yeah right I bet those oversized fingers are crossed right now.”
“I have some honour Sookie,” he said slightly affronted displaying the uncrossed fingers on his hands. “If I say I won’t peek I mean it.”
“Fine,” she said testily taking his offense as genuine. “Close your eyes.”
“As you wish,” he returned and did as asked. She eyed him wearily for a few seconds until she was certain his eyes had remained firmly closed. Had he been a lesser man, granted he was one most of the time, Eric would have easily snuck in a peek without her capable of realising. For some reason he felt the need to uphold himself for Sookie. She stepped out of the tub into the towel and subsequently into his embrace.
“Eric?” Sookie spoke when the embrace lasted a moment too long and had ventured into awkward territory. He opened his eyes and reluctantly let her go, still entranced in the comfort he found in her small body. She rushed towards her bedroom hoping to relieve herself of any further uncomfortable circumstances.
“Put on some comfortable clothes,” he spoke after her fleeing form.
“Are we going out?” she asked whilst dressing faster than she ever thought possible fearful at how long his vow of honour would last.
“Would you like to go out?” he questioned out of genuine interest. Sookie had become very housebound despite Eric’s encouragement for her to venture out during the day or for her dinner, to which he would gladly accompany her.
“No I think I’ve had enough excitement for one night,” she responded as her head found the rounded neckline of her t-shirt. “What did you have in mind?”
“I thought we would retire to my bedroom,” he spoke leeringly as he peered his head round the door into her dressing room where he disappointingly found her fully dressed.
“Fat chance asshole. I’m a lady,” she snorted at him. In her simplicity surrounded by elegant clothes in full effect of her true self she was a rare sight to behold.
“Glad to see you back,” he beamed at her.
“Glad to be back.”