Eric stepped out of the car and put his sword through his belt. I could tell by the way he hefted it that it was quite heavy. He reached back in the car for my hand, and I stepped out to see a thirty foot long red carpet leading to Fangtasia. There was always a small roped off area for the line of fangbangers, etc. trying to get it, but tonight it was a velvet roped red carpet.
Eric tucked my hand behind his elbow, winked at me, and walked me to the entrance. At the door stood the biggest, meanest looking man I had ever seen. He was huge, totally bald, and had these gigantic bushy black eyebrows with piercing dark eyes.
Eric stopped in front of him and inclined his head, “Ivan, this is Sookie. Do you remember your instructions?” Ivan nodded. Eric narrowed his eyes, “What are the instructions?”
Ivan swallowed and actually began to blush. In a strong Russian accent he began, “I…proteck…vith Ivan…life.”
Eric nodded, “Very good. And your English is getting better, as well.”
I looked at Eric strangely as he pulled me into the building and then I laughed.
He stopped and looked back at me. “What, Lover?”
I grinned. “Why Eric Northman, you brought home a stray.”
He shrugged. “I guess I did.”
I chuckled. “It’s your turn.”
He looked confused.
“To say it,” I continued. He had a blank look on his face, and I just grinned. “Damn blood bond.”
At that, Eric threw back his head and barked with laughter. I’m quite sure he frightened a couple of fangbangers standing near by.
He smiled at me again, with his beautiful eyes twinkling. “That seems to explain it.”
Leading me into the bar, we met Pam, who was dressed like, for lack of better words, a sexy Mary Poppins. She had on a long sleeved, dark green gown with black accents that had a belled skirt and a very low neckline that showed a lot of décolletage (word-of-the-day, a French word even!).
Pam grinned at me. “Sookie, how good of you to join us. I didn’t really want to join the circus, but I’m not sure I could have stayed much longer.”
I smiled back and gave her a quick hug. “You look fabulous, Pam. Thank you for doing my holiday baking. You chose all of my favorite recipes. Everything was wonderful.” I pulled back from her and said, with all seriousness, “Exactly what were you going to do in the circus?”
Eric groaned and Pam smiled. “The high-wire act. No one really need know that I have perfect balance and couldn’t die if I fell. I would just impressively go for a quick walk in front of a huge crowd once or twice a night.” She winked. “I thought it all out.”
Eric narrowed his eyes. “You know you can still go. I wouldn’t want to deprive you.”
She looked straight back at him, “Oh no, with Sookie around again it will be way too much fun here. Someone is bound to attack us soon.” I gasped a little. “Sweet girl,” she said, “You keep it interesting around here.”
Eric was shaking his head, “Come, Lover. Let’s leave her to her childishness.” He glanced at Pam once more and we moved in to the party.
As I looked around, I saw a wide array of clothing. There were people dressed in styles from many different time periods and a fair amount of people in modern clothes as well. I saw a giant of a man at the bar with flaming red hair dressed in full Highland regalia. He had on a beautiful plaid kilt with a sporran made of some kind of pelt at his waist. There were soldiers, or perhaps I should call them veterans, from several wars, samurais and a few women that looked like geishas. There were a number of people in what Gran would call homespun, that really defied being identified as any specific time period.
Eric nodded at a few people as he led me through the bar. At first I didn’t recognize anyone, and then I saw Bill. He was wearing a tuxedo, and he was wearing it well. He was my ex, but he was my first, in many senses of the word; my first love, my first lover and not my first, but my worst, heartbreak.
Eric seemed to feel that I noticed Bill. “You may talk to him, if you must.”
“Oh, may I?” I harrumphed a little and walked towards my ex. It wasn’t so much that I wanted to talk to him, but I knew I should be polite and say hello, and I would much rather do it on my terms than Bill’s.
Bill knew I was walking towards him the way he always did. Even without being bonded, he seemed to have some kind of radar for me. A smile lit his entire face, a look I had rarely seen on him, and then it vanished and his face was blank.
I realized Eric was right behind me, but even if he hadn’t been on my heels Bill would have smelled him all over me. I pretended Eric wasn’t stalking behind me, laying claim, and gave Bill a small smile. He sighed and whispered that I looked great.
Eric growled and I saw a little bit of fang showing, so I stepped back. Bill was pushing his luck, with both of us, but I said, “You look dashing this evening. How have you been?”
“Thank you, Sookie. I have been well. Eric kept me busy with the king and his entourage and I have been working on selling my database.” He glanced at Eric, who was not even pretending to give us privacy. “I didn’t realize you would be here tonight.”
Eric’s eyes narrowed and I heard another growl deep in his throat. “I told you I was inviting her, Compton. Did you think she would refuse?”
Bill almost stuttered, “I, well, no. I didn’t think Sookie wanted to be involved in vampire politics and our world anymore.”
Eric opened his mouth to speak and I put my hand on his chest.
I turned sideways and looked Eric in the eyes although I was addressing Bill. “I don’t want to be involved in the politics, but we are bonded. I’m not entirely sure what that means yet, but I was promised a nice evening with no discussion of our future. I’m glad to be here and,” I finally looked at Bill, “If you can’t accept that, we’ll move on and mingle with some other friends.”
I felt Eric’s approval through the bond and I felt Bill’s simmering glare.
“I worry for you, Sookie. But you are right; tonight is for celebration. I am glad you are here, no matter the circumstances.” He bowed graciously towards me, and I saw Eric sneer a little in disgust, but he kept his comments to himself.
Eric took my arm and led me away from Bill. I knew we were moving to his booth in the corner. It wasn’t my idea of mingling, but I suppose as a 1,000 year old vampire, mingling meant that people came to you.
As we walked I could sense a few fangbangers looking at us. I heard their thoughts.
“I thought that bitch was history.”
“She’s not wild enough for him.”
“If I could just get him alone, he’d dump the blond.”
I was feeling a little possessive after my speech to Bill, and before he helped me into the booth I stopped him. I looked Eric in the eyes and he cocked his head as if unsure. I put my hands in his hair and leaned in so my lips were just below his ear.
“I meant what I said Eric, I don’t know what all of this means for us. But know this,” I licked his ear and had his full attention. “For now, you are mine.”
Our eyes were locked and he groaned a little as I sucked gently on his earlobe before moving to kiss him full on the lips. He slid his hands to my ass and pressed me against him. I could feel his length along my stomach, and couldn’t resist giving him a little grind. Heat was pooling between my legs. We were both moaning and I was twisting his hair because I was pulling him towards me with all of my strength.
He pulled back and his eyes looked drugged. “Lover, you are playing with fire.”
I smiled. “No, I am letting all of those fangbangers know that you will go home with me tonight.”
He leaned forward and kissed my neck where my pulse beat. “Those women are trash. They have nothing to do with us.”
He kissed my lips gently and I would have gone anywhere and done anything with him. He looked at me again for a long moment, and I could sense his mental headshake. His eyes cleared and his mouth lifted into a wicked grin. “Now let’s sit down before we miss the show.”
I had no idea what he was talking about. There was a vamp band on stage and that I could have cared less about.
He sensed my confusion, or lack of interest. “You’ll see, Lover. It’s not to be missed.”
A waitress brought us drinks, a TrueBlood for Eric and gin and tonic for me. I glanced at the bar and saw Felicia, who gave me a salute and continued getting drinks for the thirsty patrons. I looked around the bar which had really filled up. It looked a little like a costume party with many different styles of clothing mixed in among the crowd. The band took a break, promising they would be back with a special guest. Many of the vamps cheered and others looked as unimpressed as I did. I guess I would have to wait for the show to find out what the fuss was about.
Vamps were stopping by to say hello to Eric, I was nodding as expected and smiled at those I knew, but took everything in around us. There were bottles of champagne on several tables, but of course the vamps were drinking blood in champagne flutes.
After about a half an hour, the band came back on stage. They began to tune up their instruments, and the lead singer stepped forward. “Good evening. It is an honor and a privilege for us to be here tonight playing for the second year in a row with this man. He needs no introductions, and you all know the rules.” He glanced to the side of the stage, grinning from ear to ear. “Enjoy.”
Bubba took the stage dressed in the white eagle jumpsuit. You know the one with the red, blue and gold beading of eagles on it? It was on display at his home; I had toured it on my senior trip to Memphis.
My mouth fell open. I could not believe my eyes. “What the?” I looked at Eric and he just grinned.
“He volunteered last year. He thinks he is doing a tribute of music that was popular when he was alive. He has no idea all of the songs were really his.”
I was still shaking my head in disbelief. “Eric, what if someone says his name, won’t he be upset? I mean, that could be bad.”
Bubba was singing “Hound Dog” and Eric was still smiling.
“Everyone here knows the rules, and Ivan is standing by to grab Bubba should there be any problems. Last year was wonderful, and he said he wanted to do it again. I promised him some special cat treats as a thank you.”
My stomach turned a little at the mention of cat treats, because I knew he actually meant cats, as treats. But the opportunity to hear the King live, well, un-dead, on stage was too much and I settled in to listen.
Bubba had almost finished his set when my cell phone rang. I tried to ignore it, and Eric seemed to understand. He pulled it out of my evening bag and glanced at the caller ID. Frowning, he flipped open my phone.
I was a little shocked he would just answer it, and then he said, “What the fuck are you doing calling my woman on New Year’s Eve?”
Ok, now I was flabbergasted. I tried to take the phone from Eric and he managed to grab both of my hands in one of his and hold them away. I could only hear his side of the conversation.
“Of course she is with me…Well, you found me…Yes…Is this from a reputable source?… When?…I’ll call you when we’ve discussed this…You have my word…You will not stand alone….No, she doesn’t want to speak to you.”
And he clicked my phone shut and glanced at Pam, who was already moving towards us. He made a circular motion with his fingers like he was rounding up his troops and grabbed my hand to lead me out of the booth.
“Ummm, who didn’t I want to speak to?”
He continued pulling me towards the hallway that went to his office, “The Were,” he growled.
“Um, which Were?”
He looked at me for a second, “I forget you are tangled up with so many unsavory characters. It was Alcide,” he said with obvious distaste. “There is word of an attack against the Weres and Fangtasia. I must speak to Pam and Bill, will you join us, Lover?”
I have always loved Bubba. I have no idea why AB didn’t feel the need to use him in TB, but, after four seasons of -whatever it is Ball is serving up (I don’t know what to call FANFIC on Television)- I’m kind of glad that CH got to keep Bubba as her own. I’m sure she keeps him happy and well fed.
Thanks for taking the time to read.