Drained: Chapter 11
I was in such a great mood at work the following day. People were still talking about the vampire situation. The news was asking for donor volunteers to help feed the vampires since there was a complete recall on True Blood, and people were stepping up to help.
There were also very vocal vampire haters in the news declaring a victory in the war against the undead. Ironically, the haters seemed to have created more vampire sympathizers by making the vampires the victims of a vast hate crime. I’d always thought good people far outweighed bad people in the world, and sometimes it took an issue like this to define the differences between the two.
I was beginning to see the light at the end of this nightmarish tunnel for me and Eric. He was getting stronger every day, although I had no idea if he was capable of defending himself or not. He said he needed to be able to fight before he could go to New Orleans.
I was hoping I’d be able to go home soon and reclaim my life without looking over my shoulder all the time. It was becoming evident that Amelia would soon be able to work again. Her thumb was almost completely healed and her stitches would come out in the next day or so. Without the money I earned from her, not to mention the free meals, I wouldn’t be able to stay here much longer.
Logically, I was relieved that I could soon go back to my life and that Eric would soon be well enough to go back to his, but emotionally, I didn’t want our life together here to end. I had fallen in love with Eric and the thought of an end to our simple little world was painful. I had no illusions that he would ever be content in my tiny life in Bon Temps, and I knew I wouldn’t fit into his life of vampire politics in Shreveport or New Orleans. I loved the kind of life a small town provided.
But no matter how much I knew we couldn’t mesh our lives together, I also knew that I loved him and that my life would never be the same because of that.
At the end of the day, I asked Amelia if she had more chores for me to do. I thought I should make as much money as I could while I could.
“You don’t have to do that Sookie. I can pretty much do things for myself now.”
“I know, but I could really use the money.” I figured honestly was the best policy. Well, at least in this little situation.
“Oh, okay, then. If you wouldn’t mind. Maybe you could clean up a little. There’s always laundry to do,” she said with a smile.
I started a load of laundry and dusted the office and Amelia’s room. Then I swept the floors. While the laundry was drying, I asked if I could use her computer to read the news and she said it was fine.
I became engrossed in the articles about the vampires and lost track of time. There had been so many arrests, and the True Blood bottling facility in New Jersey had been shut down.
Makeshift vampire hospitals had been set up all across the country, and sick and half-drained vampires were being cared for. They were all in public buildings with basements—in the morgue in Shreveport and the basement of the main library in New Orleans.
I clicked on a link that provided the names of vampires who’d been rescued. I scanned the list for Shreveport, but there was no one named Pam. Then I looked at the list in New Orleans. No Rasul or Andre. I printed out the two lists and put them in my purse for Eric.
When I realized how late it was, I jumped up and ran to the dryer and got the laundry. I folded Amelia’s sheets and towels and put them away while she sat on her bed watching the news. Then I went to the bathroom to shower quickly. It was almost dark out and I was anxious to get home to Eric.
As soon as I was dressed, I opened the bathroom door and found Amelia standing there looking very worried.
“What is it?” I asked. I could tell something was wrong.
“There was a man here.”
My heart jumped in my chest.
“What do you mean?” I asked, trying not to panic.
“He was looking for you. He had a badge.” She held out a business card and I grabbed it and read it. Pete Thornton, Bureau of Vampire Affairs. I handed it back and saw that my hand was shaking.
“What did you tell him?”
“Nothing. I told him I didn’t know anyone named Sookie. But other people here know your name, so I know he’ll be back.”
“Are you in some kind of trouble? Do you think this has something to do with all the stuff on the news? Do you know any vampires?”
I thought of Eric lying in the basement all day, completely vulnerable. Had this Pete guy found Eric? I began to feel a sick wave of panic.
“I have to go.”
I brushed past Amelia and grabbed my purse off the desk in the office. As I headed to the front door, Amelia followed me, asking, “Do you need anything? Wait!”
I stopped and turned to see her grab a wad of cash from the register. “This is for today,” she said as she began to put it in my purse.
“It’s too much.”
“Just take it.” She grabbed me and hugged me to her. I could hear in her thoughts that she knew something was very wrong and was worried about me. “Be careful, okay?”
“I will. Thank you.” I hugged her one last time and then ran out the door, thinking of nothing but getting to Eric to make sure he was safe.