Payback: Chapter 12
Sookie and I have finally gotten back into a fairly normal routine at home. She had been severely traumatized by her recent abduction, but seems to be healing both physically and emotionally. Sometimes I forget that she is just a human. She is so strong and brave. But when I think that she had to witness the brutal murder of her high school friend and husband to her girlfriend, that must have been traumatic for her. And then, of course, there was the knife-wielding psychopath who came just this close to raping her, but did succeed in carving an insult into her flesh. She had to deal with that trauma, plus the feelings she experienced when she killed him. She has been through a lot.
Interestingly, her satisfaction in killing the psychopath has led to a clearer understanding of my nature as a vampire. I can remember her saying in some argument before we went to Los Angeles that she could never understand how consumed vampires are with revenge and violence, and then after her own vengeful and very violent reaction to her attacker, she seemed to re-think her position. Of course, I would prefer that she never have to know those feelings at all. I simply want her to have a safe and secure life, but I fear that marrying a vampire has doomed her to a world of violence. Ironically, the very thing that I want to protect her from is only present in her life because of me.
Once the perpetrators of the Mina attack seemed to be taken care of, Sookie and I were hoping to go back to the beach. We had had such a blissful and quiet life there, and we both missed our peaceful and beautiful home. Unfortunately, Sookie felt that she couldn’t leave her friend Tara yet. Tara was still grieving the loss of her idiotic husband and needed Sookie’s strength. And so we stayed in Shreveport.
Eric and I had finally gotten back into a normal routine here. I was still spending much of my time during the day with Tara. She was doing as well as could be expected, I suppose. I had been eating at Merlotte’s some, catching up with the local gossip through Sam. There was a lot of buzz about the suspicious disappearance of a dozen or more local men, JB being one of them. I had listened in to the brains of Andy and Bud a few times, and they were stumped. Fine with me.
Terry mentioned once that he heard of a very odd and recent Elvis sighting near Bon Temps. All who were within earshot of him at the bar just rolled their eyes. I became very concerned and wondered if any of the scary men in the barn may have gotten away. I saw Bubba one night as I was leaving after a visit with Amelia and Octavia. He just kind of appeared out of the woods when I was getting into my car. I thanked him for saving me and told him to be careful because some of the men in the barn may have seen him and escaped. He promised he would.
When I wanted to go to the beach before, Eric wouldn’t leave because he was investigating the attack on the Mina. After that seemed to be behind us, I felt like I needed to stay here for Tara. It’s too bad because I really would have loved to have gone back to our romantic and quiet life there. I missed it. Not that we weren’t happy here. We were. Our sex life seemed to finally be back on track. No more arguments. No recovering from some awful injuries. We were both fine and getting along great and acting like newlyweds should. Until, of course, the big fight.
The one issue we still seemed to tip-toe around was my bond with Bill. I tried never to mention it, but I have to admit if often interfered with my life with Eric. Eric and I had exchanged blood a few more times since the double bond, so what Eric felt (according to Eric) seemed like it was pretty much back to normal. I usually felt like Eric’s thread was much stronger than Bill’s, but I did notice one night when we were all at Fangtasia at the same time that if Bill and Eric were together (I guess both the same distance from me?), I had a hard time separating the feelings. As long as Eric was with me and Bill was in Bon Temps, Eric’s bond was dominant. But just the fact that Bill’s was there at all was pretty annoying. I know, I know—he saved my life, and I am grateful. But still, it was exhausting trying to separate the two feelings—kind of like having to keep my shields up all the time. But I tried not to complain. In fact, like I said, I tried never to mention it.
One night Eric and I were lying in each other’s arms in post coital bliss and he started to tell me what had happened to him on the Mina. I cried through his whole story. It was so terrifying to me—both what he went through and what Pam suffered. Then he asked me what exactly had happened to me. I told him what I remembered and what Bill had told me and I could sense that he kind of tensed up when I got to the part about my waking up in the lifeboat, having had Bill’s blood. I said, “I’m sorry, honey. I know it’s probably hard for you to hear that part. But he saved my life. If he hadn’t given me his blood, I surely would have died.”
“I know, lover. I am trying to come to terms with it. I think considering that I am a possessive and controlling vampire that I’m doing pretty well. I can deal with it as long as I know that Bill never drank any of your blood. That would be a whole different story.”
I held my breath. He must have sensed my panic. He pushed me away and sat up and looked me in the eye. “Tell me he didn’t.”
“Um…well. He did, actually. But just the one time. I thought you knew that.”
“How the fuck would I know that? Why would I know that? My gods, do you know what you have done? You were unfaithful? To me?”
“No! Of course not! It was nothing like that. He woke up on the Navy ship and he had been burned and needed blood. Tray and Quinn helped me with it.”
“Tray and Quinn know about this too? Good gods, do you know how humiliating that is? You might as well have had a foursome with them Sookie!”
“Hey, stop that! That’s ridiculous. You’re acting like I did something to disgrace you. I was just trying to feed the vampire that had just saved my life.”
“By letting him bite you? All the vampires on my rescue ship had bagged blood. There was no biting. Was there no bagged blood on your ship?”
“Well, yeah, but I hadn’t thought of that at the time.”
“No, you were too busy letting your former lover bite you! In front of two other men! Why didn’t you just let him fuck you?”
“Stop it! I didn’t do anything wrong!”
“You took a vow, for gods sakes! To be faithful! Does that not mean anything to you?” He was standing and yelling at this point.
“I would never cheat on you Eric! You’re making too big a deal about this. It meant nothing!”
“Oh really? Do you think it meant nothing to him? He must think I am a fool. You both make me sick!” He started to get dressed.
“Wait. Let’s just calm down. I had no idea that this was wrong—that it could be considered cheating. I don’t know all of your stupid vampire rules, Eric. In my heart it was not cheating.”
“Well in mine it was.” He started to leave.
“Where are you going?”
“To Fangtasia. At least with the fangbangers there, you know what you’re getting. They don’t pretend like they’re not sluts.”
I felt like he had slapped me in the face. Did he just call me a slut?
He was headed down the stairs as I ran out into the hall and yelled down, “Don’t you do anything stupid! You took a vow too, you know! I did not cheat! I DID NOT CHEAT!” By that time, I was sobbing and he was gone.