Charlaine Harris owns almost everything. I own the rest.
Thanks to SeriousCrush for all her help along the way. Thank you for all the lovely reviews and amazing support. I wouldn’t be here without you. 🙂
“Who are you looking for?” Pam teased as Eric peered through the curtain at the waiting faces below.
“You know who I’m looking for. She’s not here.” His face fell. Being with her the night before had stirred something in him that went beyond desire.
Yes, he was curious about why she was so different, but he wanted her more than anything.
“Maybe she’s not coming.” Pam was taunting him now.
“Keep it up and you’re not going to eat tonight.”
Pam’s smirk turned into a pout. Chow interrupted the rest of their conversation. He was giving them the signal. Time to get to work.
“Ladies and gentlemen! Prepare to be Glamoured!” Pam was met with a cacophony of deafening screams as she stepped out onto the stage. Their fan base was growing every night. Last night Chow turned people away, leading Eric to believe they should do two shows a night. Despite the sea of adoring faces chanting Eric’s name, it was the one that was missing that mattered the most.
“Oh come on, cheer up.” Pam thrust a blonde woman onto his lap after the show. She was working the room, tasting everyone who offered.
The woman on his lap was panting. The same way Sookie had. He inhaled. This woman smelled like alcohol and hairspray. Sookie was sweet and musky, and the fragrance only intensified when he touched her. This woman paled in comparison. He lost his appetite.
He stalked over to the door and yanked it open, forcing the person holding onto the doorknob into his arms. It was Sookie.
She straightened her body, twisting out of his arms, leaving a void. “I need to talk to you.” Her gaze darted around the room as she pushed him inside and slammed the door behind her. Her mouth hung open. “It’s true! You are feeding on humans back here.” The color in her cheeks drained as she watched Pam lick the wrist of a half-dressed woman.
“They’re all willing.” Why was he justifying his actions to her? Murmurs of consent filled the room.
“Oh are they?” Sookie’s face was pinched as she pushed against his chest with a finger. “Or are they here because you told them to do it?”
Eric held his hands up defensively.
“You know what? I don’t care. I came here because you asked me to, but now I just need to warn you. Shreveport police are out there. They heard about your ‘behind the scenes’ party.” Sookie quoted with her fingers as she looked with disgust at the woman still siting in Pam’s lap.
“Pam!” His voice snapped her out of her feeding daze. “Take care of them. We’ve got trouble.” Apparently, his partnership with the police department wasn’t on his terms anymore. Pam moved quickly, ushering the four women to a storage closet. She came back alone.
“We don’t have much time. Get me a deck of cards, a box of matches, a ginger ale, and two bottles of blood.” Sookie rearranged the room so the center of the room was a table with three chairs. She sat in one and directed Eric into the other while Pam scurried to fill her order.
“Why are you helping us?” Eric searched her face for the answer.
She shrugged and frowned. “I don’t know. Just sit down.”
Pam threw a deck of cards across the room to Eric, who promptly handed them over to Sookie. Her nimble fingers sliced through the deck, separating it and then shuffling it together once before dealing. She dumped the box of matches onto the table, dividing them into four uneven piles: one in the middle, one for Pam, one for Eric, and a huge pile for herself. Voices grew loud on the other side of the door. Sookie picked up her cards and plastered a smile on her face. “Now do ya’ll understand Texas hold ‘em, or do you want me to go over it again?”
Pam took her seat and picked up her cards just as a group of people pushed past Chow into the room. “Shreveport PD, this is a raid.”
The three of them turned to face the handful of undercover officers. Pam sipped on her bottled blood and batted her eyelashes.
“Did ya’ll wanna play with us?” Sookie drawled.
The officer in charge frowned. “No, I thought something else was happening back here.” She scanned the room.
“Nope, just me beatin’ the pants off these here vampires in a game of Texas hold ‘em.” She winked and took a sip of her ginger ale and then turned her attention back to Eric and Pam. “Do you want me to show you again? I just feel so bad, winnin’ so much!” She fingered the pile of matches in front of her and smiled.
“Are you Eric Northman?” The officer asked, taking a step closer to him. She wouldn’t look him in the eyes. She knew. “I need a word with you.”
Eric went willingly, answering her questions and denying her allegations that Glamoured was a cover for something more sinister; a human trafficking ring. Before the group of officers left, they gave him a warning. They would be watching him.
When he returned to the back room, Pam was leaning toward Sookie, showing her the cards in her hand. “Okay, with that hand, I would bet heavily. You have a full house. Queens over fives.”
Pam put her cards down and beamed. They both noticed Eric at the same time. “What happened?”
“They came here to charge us with human trafficking!”
“It’s a good thing Bon Temps got here when she did.” Pam’s head jerked toward Sookie.
“Yes, and it’s a good thing she knew there was going to be a raid before it happened.” Eric sat at the table with them. “I think it’s time you told the truth, Sookie Stackhouse.”
She crossed her arms over her chest. “You first.”
Chapter 5 coming soon!