Back to Normal: Chapter 8
As soon as the side door closed and the Pythoness was gone, Eric turned and walked down the steps and down the center aisle towards the double doors, taking huge strides. I jumped up from my seat and followed him as soon as I realized that he was on the move. I had to run to keep up, and the vampires standing on either side of the aisle all turned, staring at him as he went by. I looked around for Pam or Bill, but saw neither. I had no idea where we were going, but Eric apparently did. He opened the doors and walked through the lobby and out the front door. I gave a quick glance at Quinn, still standing where I had left him and mouthed a “thank you.” He smiled and nodded. I turned back around and Eric was getting into the passenger door of Pam’s car. Wow. I had no idea how Pam managed to get outside and into the driver’s seat so quickly, but well, there she was. Eric closed the door and sat with his eyes down in his lap, wiping the blood from his chin. I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to do. I stopped and turned around looking for Bill. Or maybe I should leave with Quinn? Then I heard the click of the car door lock and turned back to see Eric reaching into the back seat and opening the door, then he turned back around in his seat, eyes still cast down. I took that as an invitation and jumped in. As soon as I had the door closed, we sped off.
The ride to Eric’s house was silent. I wanted to touch him, console him, but I sensed through the bond that he was very angry and decided to sit tight and wait.
When we pulled into the garage, Eric got out and went into the house. Pam and I took our time. I heard him walking up the center staircase when we entered the living room. I started to follow him when Pam grabbed my arm and shook her head no. She and I sat in the living room in silence for about five minutes. Then Eric came back down and walked into the kitchen. I heard him opening the refrigerator and then in a minute the ding of the microwave, and then he was back up the stairs with two True Bloods in his hands.
Pam and I had been sitting for about another ten minutes or so when she suddenly jumped up and went to the front door. She led Bill into the room and I stood and hugged him to me and said “thank you” into his neck. He held me and stroked my back, and then when he stepped back, he looked to Pam and then back to me and said, “Call me if you need anything, okay?” I nodded that I would. And then he turned to Pam. “You’re going to talk to her?” And then she nodded yes. They exchanged a bow and he left.
I looked to Pam for an answer and she just walked into the kitchen. I sat back down on the sofa in the living room and in a few minutes Pam came in with a True Blood and handed me a gin and tonic. “We need to talk, Sookie.”
I took a sip of my drink and a deep breath and waited for her to begin.
“First of all, I just want you to know that you are the bravest human I have ever known and I am proud to know you.” She held up her hand to silence me when she saw I was going to speak. “I would say that you are the bravest being, but my master is that.” We both nodded in agreement to each other.
“I will never forget what you did tonight and will forever be in your debt as Eric’s child. Now, you need to understand what happened in that courtroom and what it will mean for you and Eric. As a human, you may find this hard to understand, but Eric has been publicly humiliated in the worst possible way. To be defanged in open court is…well…imagine a human man on stage at halftime at the Superbowl being ceremoniously castrated.” My facial expression must have given away my thoughts. “Okay, good. I see you get the picture.”
“What can I do?”
“Unfortunately, very little. Be patient. Brace yourself. Expect the worst from him. This will test your relationship like nothing else. Remember the castration analogy and it may help you to understand. He is wise and he is brave, but he is also a man. And one with great pride. Never forget that.”
“How long will it take for his fangs to grow back?”
“Most likely about a year.”
“And how will he feed?”
“Well, that’s something that the two of you will have to work out together. In human marriages, sometimes one partner may become incapacitated through an injury or illness. This is the same sort of thing. You’ll have to adapt. Re-learn a way to please each other and stay connected. It will be a trial for your relationship, your intimacy. I don’t really know what to tell you because I have known very few human/vampire bonds myself, and I have certainly never known one to survive such a test.”
Pam seemed to be through, and so I told her that I wanted to go up and talk to him.
“Good luck, Sookie.” And she gave me a kind of sad little smile.
I climbed the stairs, wondering what I would say to Eric. I got to his room and knocked. There was no answer, so I turned the knob, took a deep breath and went on in.