Drained: Chapter 4
When I got back to the house after working at Amelia’s, I changed into the dress I had in the trunk and washed my clothes out in the little creek. I wasn’t sure how long I’d be camping here in this house and wanted my limited wardrobe to last as long as possible. I hung the wet clothes in the bathroom and decided I’d wear the dress as my nightgown since it was fairly loose-fitting and comfortable.
I set the candles on the top of the washing machine and lit them, saving my flashlight battery. Then I opened the sheet and began to drape it over the sofa where Eric lay. It was a challenge getting it underneath him since he was just dead weight, but I finally managed to do it and felt a little better about our sleeping on the filthy old sofa. At least now we’d be on a clean sheet.
I pulled the quilt over me and found my spot on top of Eric and drifted in and out of sleep, exhausted from my day. I became vaguely aware of a hand on my bare behind underneath my dress and figured that it must be after dusk and Eric was awake. I removed the hand and sat up a little to see Eric’s face in the candlelight.
Eric’s eyes were closed. I whispered, “Are you awake?”
His head gave a tiny almost imperceptible nod, but his eyes didn’t open. I guess he’d exhausted his energy feeling my butt.
I pushed Eric’s lip up to reveal his teeth, but his fangs weren’t down. I touched one, but nothing happened.
“I need your fangs to come down, Eric.”
There was no response.
“Didn’t you just have your hand on my ass? How did that feel?”
They both plopped down with a little click. I knew it was a dirty trick, but it worked.
“That’s good,” I said.
I pressed my wrist to one of the fangs until it pierced the skin and then held my wrist to Eric’s mouth.
His lips closed over the tiny wound and he sucked a little. I watched him swallow three times and then said, “Don’t take too much, okay?”
He stopped sucking and I withdrew my wrist.
I watched his face and his eyes slowly opened and looked at me.
“That’s better, huh?” I asked.
He didn’t respond but just continued to stare at me.
“It’s me, Sookie Stackhouse. Do you remember what happened to you?”
Eric’s brow furrowed.
I sat up and climbed off of Eric and put the quilt back over him. Then I found an old folding lawn chair against the wall and set it up facing the sofa and sat down.
“We’re in an abandoned house out in the country east of Shreveport. I think we’re safe for now. You were being drained when I found you in Fangtasia. Do you remember?”
He didn’t answer.
“I’m hoping you’ll get your strength back from my blood, but we can’t let you have too much at once. I need it too, you know.”
Eric opened his mouth and I leaned in to hear him whisper, “True Blood.”
I sighed. “Well, here’s the thing. It turns out that True Blood has been tainted with silver nitrate. Were you getting sick before you were attacked by the drainers? You don’t have to answer. I’d be willing to bet that you were.”
I proceeded to tell Eric everything that had happened in the previous day and what I’d learned from the BVA agents. When I told him about Bill’s death, I watched his eyes follow a tear as it rolled down my cheek.
Then I explained how I’d brought him here and had lucked into finding Amelia’s restaurant which would allow us to stay hopefully long enough for Eric to recover and for that reporter in Shreveport to uncover the story and get the bad guys put away.
Eric never spoke, but just lay still and watched me as I talked, catching him up on our predicament.
I finally had to use the bathroom and excused myself to go outside to my favorite bush.
When I came back down, I set my little alarm clock and put it on the washing machine.
“Do you mind if I sleep on top of you? I guess I could sleep in the car, but I feel safer down here with you. I hope you don’t mind. I need to get some sleep if I’m going to be up early to go to work.”
I turned on my flashlight and blew out the candles. I moved the lawn chair to the side, removed my sneakers and climbed under the covers, carefully settling myself on top of my vampire mattress. As I turned off the flashlight and set it on the floor, Eric whispered, “Thank you.”
“You’re welcome, Eric.”