It’s Friday! 🙂
Charlaine Harris owns almost everything. I own the rest. I ❤ you, FairytaleAmber!
“Eric?” Sookie squeezed her eyes shut trying to clear her vision and pain exploded through her left temple. She touched the skin gently. “That smarts.” No blood, just a goose egg. She pushed herself up, only to find herself alone. In the cemetery.
“Eric?” She squinted through the dull moonlight filtering down through the trees and winced. Crickets chirped and frogs croaked, but she couldn’t see Eric anywhere. Rocking forward onto her hands and knees, she saw something glistening in the grass where Eric had been sitting. She touched it. Wet, dark, and thick, it coated her fingertip. She frowned and brought it to her nose. A mixture of sweet and bitter, she hesitantly touched her tongue to it. “Oh god, it’s Eric’s blood.”
A memory flashed in her brain. Eric yelled, and then his skin started burning. The last thing she remembered was screaming. Everything else a blur. How long have I been sitting here?
The grass had been gouged in two long stripes, leading away from where Eric had been. That’s when it hit her. The blood and the obvious signs of Eric’s body being dragged away: we were attacked! She forced herself to stand, ignoring the pain in her head and looked through the thick trees one more time, but instead of looking for Eric, she looked for the person who hurt him. I need to find him. I need help. I need to get out of here! Her heart pounding in her chest, she grabbed her shoes and ran as fast as she could the rest of the way home, following the worn path that ran through the middle of the cemetery.
She gasped for breath and the muscles in her legs burned when she reached her house. Once inside, the smile on Gran’s face quickly dissolved. “Honey, what happened? Where’s your date? Why is your dress so dirty, and why do you have blood on your mouth?”
Sookie sucked on her bottom lip. “We were attacked. Someone, or something got him. Whoever it was hit me upside the head.”
Gran clicked her tongue and bustled to the freezer, pulling out an ice pack. “Here, put this on.”
“Thank you.” Sookie slumped into a kitchen chair and said, “I need to find him. He got hurt real bad.”
Gran picked up the phone. “You want me to call the police?”
Sookie just stared at her. “I wouldn’t put much faith in Bud. He doesn’t think too much of vamps.” Just the other night she caught a snippet from him that made her stomach churn.
“Well who can we call?” Her wrinkles deepened as she frowned.
Sookie leaned against the ice pack and closed her eyes. “I don’t know.” And then she had an epiphany. She jumped out of her chair, as if the idea had bitten her in the butt. “Yes I do. I know where he works, they’ve got to be able to help me.”
Gran twisted her hands together and started pacing the room. “I don’t like it one bit. It’s late. I think you should let the authorities handle this.”
Sookie shook her head. “No. I have to help him. If I go running to the cops, they’ll laugh me out of the building. Bud would rather see all vamps dead than lend a hand.” She grabbed her keys and purse and walked through the front door.
“Be careful!” Gran called out after her.
“I will be! You stay inside, okay?” She got in her car and drove as fast as she could.
* * * *
While she had never been to Fangtasia, she knew exactly how to get there. Everyone did, and that night, everyone seemed to be there. The bar overflowed with tourists and fang bangers, dressed in flowing black clothing. Sookie couldn’t protect herself from the onslaught of thoughts radiating from the crowd, only making her head ache more. She moved through the horde of people, pushing toward the bar.
A vampire behind the bar seemed to glide toward her. His long stringy hair and angular nose greeted her first, and then he opened his mouth and showed his fangs while he asked, “What can I get you, sweet thing?”
Sookie struggled to focus on him. “Eric is in trouble. I need help. He needs help.”
He narrowed his eyes and then looked over her shoulder. “Who are you?”
“Yes. Who are you?”
Sookie turned and came face to face with a beautiful blonde vampire. Her delicate eyebrow arched as she waited for Sookie to answer.
“Eric is in trouble! Are ya’ll going to help me, or not?” Sookie raised her voice, getting the attention of the thrill-seeking humans around her.
The blonde vampire gripped Sookie’s arm while she said, “Come with me.” And then they moved down the hall so fast Sookie could hardly feel the floor under her feet. The vamp pushed her inside an office and then closed the door behind them, muffling the sounds from the bar.
“Now,” she said as both eyebrows rose impossibly high. “Who are you?”
“Sookie Stackhouse, not that—”
“Ooo. So you’re the woman Eric has been going to see every night.”
Sookie held her head high, determined not to let this vampire get the best of her. “Yes. I am. And you are?”
“Pam. Eric and I own Fangtasia together. What’s this about Eric needing help?” She looked amused.
“One minute we were…” Her eyes glazed over and heat spread through her body.
Pam invaded her personal space and inhaled deeply. “You smell like blood and sex. Did you fuck Eric?”
Sookie blushed and looked at the floor. “Not exactly.” She swallowed hard. “One minute we were, um, together, and then the next, his neck started smoking and he screamed. Whoever it was, they knocked me unconscious. When I came to, he was gone. Only a pool of blood and two gouges in the grass remained. I think someone took him.”
Pam narrowed her eyes.
Sookie held up her hand as if she were taking an oath. “I swear!”
Pam paced in front of her. “Who would do that? Who would benefit from his disappearance?”
“I don’t know. That’s why I came here for help.” She shrugged.
Pam stopped mid-step and gave her a deadpan stare. “I wasn’t talking to you,” she said and then started pacing again. The next time she stopped, she looked right at Sookie and said, “You need to take me there.”
Sookie nodded and started walking toward the exit.
“Let’s go this way. Just give me a minute to hand over the reigns.” Pam ducked down the hall and came back before Sookie had time to blink. “I don’t want any of our customers to see us leaving together. It’ll give them the wrong idea.” A smile slid across her face, pulling her lips away from her razor-sharp fangs.
“Sure,” Sookie whispered, disappointed that her voice sounded so frail.
“I’ll follow you.” Pam jingled her keys and unlocked her sleek black car.
The heat of embarrassment spread across Sookie’s face as she got in her dumpy car. If I could afford a nice car, I would have one. But tips are barely enough to cover utilities! When Sookie pulled out of the parking lot, Pam’s car came up right behind her. She watched her in the mirror the entire drive back to Bon Temps.
Sookie parked at the edge of the road near the cemetery, a stone’s throw away from her driveway. Pam waited by the side of her car before she could even turn it off. “We were over there.” She pointed toward the clearing where they made out.
“Where’s Eric’s car?” Pam scanned the dark road on either side and frowned.
“At a restaurant a mile thataway.” Sookie thumbed back on the road.
Pam nodded. “And?”
“We got into an argument. So I started walking home. He followed me.” Sookie’s heart started pounding. “It’s my fault. Someone probably overheard us arguing and decided to be a hero and save a damsel in distress.” She buried her hands in her face and let the hot tears gather on her palms.
“An incredibly strong hero armed with silver?” Pam asked as she crouched on the ground next to the pool of blood on the ground. Her unnaturally flexible body contorted until her face hovered inches over the grass. “This is his blood.”
Sookie nodded and wiped her cheeks. “I thought it might be.”
Pam frowned. “He’s been hurt. Badly.” She ran her fingers in the gouges in the ground, the freshly turned earth clinging to her skin. “What’s over there?” she asked as she pointed toward the other side of the cemetery.
“Houses. Some of the oldest houses in Bon Temps are around here.”
Faster than Sookie could follow, Pam stood inches away from her face. “Is there a house owned by the Compton’s around here?”
Sookie said, “Yeah, there sure is. Although old man Compton died a few weeks back, so I don’t think he’s going to be much help.”
“Son of a bitch.”
Sookie’s eyes went wide as her brain engaged. “Wait a minute. Compton. That’s Bill’s last name. The creepy vampire that had been stalking me at work.” She swallowed hard. Now that I think about it, the cemetery had been silent, just like at Merlotte’s. Bill had been watching them. “Do you think he did it?”
Pam cracked her neck. “There’s only one way to find out.”
Pam and Sookie are on the case! 🙂 On to Worth It: Chapter 6