The After Party: Chapter 4

Charlaine Harris owns almost everything. I own the rest. Big love to FairytaleAmber for all her help. All remaining mistakes are my own.


Chapter 4

Sookie’s POV

“I know about Bill’s project,” she started, knowing she walked a very fine line between life and death. “And more importantly, so does Mississippi.” That got her attention.

Sophie-Anne’s posture relaxed. “Go on.”

Sookie sighed and then told the story of Bill’s abduction and Lorena torturing him for information. “He told her everything.”

Sophie-Anne swore in French. “I suppose I need to negotiate with Russell now. I will not allow him to usurp me! Eric, why didn’t you tell me about Bill’s situation?”

Sookie held up her hand. “There’s just one more thing. They don’t have the program. I do.”

Delight spread across the queen’s face.

“When Eric informed me that Bill had gone missing, we decided to rescue him before a war started between Louisiana and Mississippi.”

“How very diplomatic of you.”

“It was Eric’s idea, ma’am. He knew Bill was working on a special project for you, but he didn’t know what it entailed. I do.” She paused and looked right at queen Sophie-Anne. “He was working on a database. Of vampires.” She hoped like hell she was right.

“Yes. A very profitable venture into the digital world. Just imagine!” Her eyes glittered. “And you, my darling Sookie, have saved it from the greedy hands of Mississippi.”

“Yes, I have.” She had to resist the urge to sit down. The emotional rollercoaster of their conversation left her weak in the knees. She leaned against Eric and tried to keep her hands from shaking.

“I am in your debt,” the queen said. She wasn’t happy about it, either. She circled around Sookie, sizing her up.

Hadley sighed and smiled at Sookie.

“What would you like for it?”

“Oh I don’t…” Sookie said stopping herself before she finished with want it as she realized the queen wanted to pay her for it. Taking a humble approach, she looked down. “It belongs to you.”

“True,” Sophie-Anne said, and then she added, “but I think you should be rewarded for your courage and loyalty. You could’ve handed it over to Mississippi just as easily.”

“That’s exactly what Bill wanted to do. I have more integrity than that.”

The queen let out a short, surprised laugh. “I like you. You speak your mind, and you’re more fearless than any other human I’ve met.”

Sookie blushed. “Thank you, ma’am.”

“There must be something I can do for you.”

Sookie sighed. As much as she hated to admit it, she needed a lot of things. “My driveway needs to be re-graveled, and my water heater is on its last leg.”

“So practical,” she said, looking at Eric. She nodded at Sookie. “Done. I would also like to offer you a job.”

“I’m not interested in moving,” Sookie stated before the queen got carried away.

“No need. When I need you, I’ll give you notice and send a driver to you. I will expect you to attend meetings and conference with me, once or twice a week, perhaps a little more if the situation arises. You will be under my protection at all times. Eric will make sure of that.” She looked up at him and lifted her eyebrows expectantly.

“Of course, my queen.”

“That sounds fair,” Sookie said.

“One hundred?” the queen asked Sookie.

She frowned. One hundred what? Before she could ask, Eric spoke again.

He shook his head. “Two hundred.”

“Done.” Sophie-Anne nodded. “Now if you’ll excuse me, I will get someone to draw up a contract.” She took Hadley’s hand and they left the room together.

“What just happened?” Sookie whispered.

“You nearly got yourself killed, but you explained why she shouldn’t kill you, and then you negotiated a job.” Eric sighed.

“Two hundred what? What were you talking about?”

“Your salary. Two hundred thousand.”

“Dollars?” she shouted and then covered her mouth. “A year?”

“Yes, but with as quickly as she agreed, I should’ve started higher.” He clenched his jaw.

“What in the world am I going to do with that much money?” Her head swam.

“Whatever you like.” He kissed her.

The door opened again, and that time, a young man accompanied the queen. “Andre, this is Sookie. She’s going to be working with us. She’s a telepath.”

Andre bowed slightly and smiled, sending a shiver down Sookie’s spine.

“Here is your contract, please look it over. It is for two years. After that, we can renegotiate.” She motioned for Sookie to step up to the table.

Sookie read each line carefully and signed the bottom.

Sophie-Anne smiled and handed the contract to Andre, and then gave Sookie a check for ten thousand dollars. “I have no idea how much gravel and water heaters cost. Will this be sufficient?”

Sookie nodded trying to keep her mouth from falling open. “Thank you, ma’am.”

“Did you bring the program with you?” she asked.

“Yes. It’s in my car,” Eric answered. “I will go get it for you.” He left before Sookie could protest. She didn’t want to be left alone, but then it occurred to her that she would be spending a lot of one-on-one time with the queen and she should probably get used to it.

“Ma’am, I’m sorry I was so rude earlier, about Bill,” Sookie said to Sophie-Anne.

The queen waved her hand dismissively. “I’ll allow it this time. Many men have wronged me too. It didn’t end well for any of them, just as it won’t for Bill.”

As Sookie tried to figure out what she meant by that, Eric returned with the box.

Sophie-Anne clapped her hands together. “Excellent. I thank you both for coming to me.”

Eric took Sookie’s hand. “We have a long drive ahead of us. Thank you for seeing us on such short notice.” He bowed toward the queen while Sookie curtsied.

“I look forward to working with you. I’ll be in touch,” she said to Sookie.

* * * *

Once they pulled out of the city, Sookie turned toward Eric and said, “The queen said something strange. While you were getting the stuff.”

He glanced at her and frowned before turning his attention to the dark road that stretched out in front of them. “What did she say?”

“Well, I apologized for being rude, about her sending Bill to get me.”

Eric let out a short laugh. “Of course you did.”

“My gran raised me with manners, and I apologized for letting my anger get the better of me. Anyway, she said men had wronged her too and that it never ended well for them, and then she said it wouldn’t end well for Bill either. What do you think she meant?”

He shrugged after a few seconds. “It’s hard to tell with her. I’m surprised you made it out of there alive. I’m strong, but she’s stronger. There would only be so much I could do to protect you.”

“I’ll keep that in mind in the future.” She swallowed hard. “I’m just so damn mad about the way Bill manipulated me.” She clenched her jaw. “I know I shouldn’t have talked to her like that.”

“She said she liked you. That’s rare.”

Sookie let out a low whistle. “And Hadley? When the hell did that happen?”

“Were you close?”

“When we were kids. We talked about everything, and then after her mom died, she split. I haven’t seen her since. I’ve got to say, Hadley being a part of the queen’s team had a lot to do with me agreeing to work with her. I hope I get to see her while I’m on assignment.” She grinned. “I guess I’ll have to quit Merlotte’s. Sam is going to be so mad! But I can’t work both jobs, can I? And why should I bust my ass every night for lousy tips when I’ve got a steady job?”

“You shouldn’t.” He laughed.

“You’re happy,” Sookie stated. She knew it for a fact. She could feel it coming off of him. “How can I feel you? Earlier, when I was putting my foot in my mouth, I almost threw up because you were so anxious!”

Eric slowed down, pulled onto the side of the road, and looked at her. “I can feel you too. At Russell’s, you were so angry … well, I thought it was anger. Jealousy and anger are difficult to distinguish. And then when I held you, it turned to bliss. You have had my blood…”

“I thought it took a few times.” She frowned.

“Three,” Eric said, but he looked right through her. “It takes three for bonding.”

“Dallas and then at Russell’s. That’s two.”

He shook his head and his eyes focused on hers. “The night Callisto joined the group in the woods. When she filled them with madness and left them there to die…”

Sookie shivered and rubbed her shoulders. “I’ve tried to forget that night.”

“Bill and I held you up. Your entire body convulsed. I put my hand over your mouth.” He paused and then added, “You bit me.”

A flash from that night came back to her, including his sweet viscous blood coating her tongue. “I’ve had your blood three times.” She pushed the car door open, suddenly desperate for fresh air.

He nodded.

Her head swam. She stepped outside, leaned against the car, and took several deep breaths trying to sort everything out. The cool, dark night surrounded her.

I’m bonded to Eric.


On to The After Party: Chapter 5

48 thoughts on “The After Party: Chapter 4

  1. ozzo says:



  2. YvonnAd says:

    Nothing wrong with bonding to Eric hun. I say embrace it. Wooohoo. I know Eric has some convincing to do maybe a little gravelling. Maybe he can work he way back up and ask Sookie out on a date. Since they’re technically bonded.
    it sounds yummy. Only you make sweet lemons.
    Any who love the pic you posted. If that’s your backyard view. .well no wonder you make great lemons. Love it. Thankyou.


    • YvonnA, it’s only backyard view for the weekend. Vacation time! 🙂 We’ve been playing outside a lot.

      I totally agree…being bonded isn’t a bad thing, just takes some getting used to. 🙂 She’ll come around fast. Just you wait and see! I’m so glad you enjoyed the chapter, more sweet lemons coming your way!


  3. ericluver says:

    Great chapter 🙂


  4. lostinspace33 says:

    Well, this is going to be an adjustment, I guess. Hopefully she won’t do anything stupid about it.


  5. suzyq591suzy says:

    I hope Sam does not give her too hard of a time. Oh who I am kidding he is always an ass about Vampires. 🙂


  6. Meridian says:

    Dear Sophie-Anne: I need a new purse. That’ll be $462,000,000. Oh, and plus tax, too. Thanks!

    Great chapter! I think she handled the queen just right although she should be a lot more pissed off at Hadley for blabbing her big fat mouth about the telepathy… At this point Sookie should realize that ERIC has known all along about the OTHER blood incident and did what he did anyway…


    • I like to think of Eric as innocent…he’s not trying to force her into something, he’s just been at the right place at the right time. Sure, he tricked her the first time, but the second time wasn’t exactly by invitation, and the third time was to get what he wanted: sex. I don’t think either of them will complain about being bonded. Why would they? I’m not completely insane! LOL

      Hadley is family though, and you know how family gets a pass when they do something stupid! We all have family members like that, don’t we?

      Your taste in purses is REALLY great. I’m sure QSA would be more than willing to fund it! Thanks so much for reviewing!


      • Meridian says:

        I can see that it might take Sookie a little while to get used to it, but YOUR Sookies are smart enough to stop and think before just flying off the handle (I’ve yet to figure out which ‘handle’ that expression is talking about, but there ya go…). I can see this Eric knowing the risks of bonding yet partially “not minding” and partially “wanting to”… Yeah, he was sneaky the first time he got his blood into her, but even then it was with the best of intentions…intentions that came with him being sneaky, too, but hey! 😀

        And I do have spendy tastes in purses… #badme #sorrynotsorry 😀


      • It’s true. My Sookie is never an idiot. At least I hope so! I agree that it would be a little of wanting and not minding. If you’re gonna be with someone, why not be with them forever? 🙂 Eric always had good intentions when it came to Sookie, even if he didn’t explain at the time. 🙂


      • Meridian says:

        I love how you show that exact thing in your versions of E/S’s interactions – that he really never is out to get her or out to use her.


      • I could never imagine Eric would use her…he might manipulate a situation to his benefit, but not if it meant hurting her. He seems selfish yet caring. I’m glad you like my E/S interactions! 🙂


      • Meridian says:

        Like? I love them! Your Erics always respect your Sookies. He might go about it in an unusual way, and yeah, he’s learned the fine art of “also coming out ahead”, but in the end (and especially after he’s gotten to know her) he does treat her well. And your Sookies aren’t spineless mouthy morons, either. They’re by necessity usually somewhat naive – which is fine because she generally IS naive, but she’s not stupid about it. ❤


      • Aww, thanks! I’m so glad you love my respectful non-stupid couple! 🙂 Naive and stupid are not the same thing for sure, and there are plenty of people who are assertive without being users. Well, people I like anyway. 🙂 And I definitely like Eric.


      • Meridian says:

        Absolutely! And so do your Sookies! 😀


      • They like each other a lot. Especially naked…

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Meridian says:

    Also, that huge chunk of rock in that pic looks like a tugboat… 😀


  8. Tania says:

    Great chapter 🙂


  9. theladykt says:

    Glad the sophie ann thing went well.


  10. patsy1965 says:

    I know your Sookie isn’t gonna throw a hissy fit about being bound to Eric, right? Right? And, how lovely for you, I always wanted to see Utah. I’m afraid my hiking days are over, though. Have fun and stay safe. 🙂 patsy


    • Patsy, you KNOW my Sookie isn’t going to flip out. She just needs to let it sink in…and I’ll be damned if she’s not with the most persuasive man on the planet. 😉

      One of the perks of living in Utah is being a day drive away from everywhere, including some of the most famous parks in the world. Arches, Bryce, Zion…all close enough to visit over a long weekend. 🙂 I just went on the east rim loop at Dead Horse Point, and it was amazing. Not steep, not taxing, just perfect, and the scenery? Breathtaking!

      Thanks so much for reviewing! 🙂


      • patsy1965 says:

        Or any of the trails easy? I’m a double amputee and would love to try something. I love to look at photos of Zion and Bryce Canyon.


      • A lot of Zion is accessible via paved trails, and Bryce is the same way. Dead Horse Point has great views from paved trails as well, but if you want to see potholes or more remote areas, you have to off-road it. 🙂 What I would suggest, if you’re seriously planning a trip to S. Utah, is to call the park rangers. I happen to know a few of them and they are MORE than willing to help answer questions and help people enjoy their experience at the park. 🙂 I hope that helps!


  11. shoegirl01 says:

    Woot is right! A smart Sookie and a not too crazy Sophie-Anne is great. Now to tell Sam where he can put his opinions and job 🙂
    Bonded huh? Now there’s a minefield to get through for both


  12. ashmo2000 says:

    Good thing Sookie was able to talk herself outta the queen’s shit list and get her gravel fixed along with a water heater. Now they have to figure out their new bond;)


  13. askarsgirl says:

    Well I’d say her meeting with QSA was pretty successful and I could think of way worse things than being bonded to a sexy Viking Vampire god😉


    • You and me both! 🙂 I never thought it was a bad thing though. It was just another part of the books that made me shake my head and say, Really? You’re going to complain about this too? Yep. She sure did. 🙂 Thanks so much for reviewing!


  14. murgatroid98 says:

    I’d say that meeting went well, even with a bit a rough start. Sam will have to get over himself. I wonder if Sookie should tell Jason that Hadley is alive and well (sort of). Also, Bill Compton owes Sookie and her family a major blood debt it seems to me.


    • Bill is in deep shit with a lot of people. Sookie always manages to remember to say the right things to save herself, and it’s always a good idea to get on the queen’s good side, right? 🙂 Thanks so much for reviewing!


  15. msbuffy says:

    Hmm… Is this Eric being sneaky or Sookie just realizing that she’s had his blood three times. It’s something he would know. $200K, yeah, she can quit working for Sam. Great update! Love the pic at the top!


    • It was a glorious weekend. My shoes are still filled with sand. 🙂 I left red footprints on my front porch! I remember when I got home from Paris, years ago, there was still fine silt from the catacombs packed into the soles of my shoes. I didn’t want to wear them because then the trip would really be over when the dirt was gone. Silly, I know…

      Eric is just putting it together too, tricked her the first time, didn’t intend for the second, and then offered her a third so he could get what he wanted: her. 🙂 I’m so glad you enjoyed it! More coming soon!


      • msbuffy says:

        I’m so glad you had a good time! 🙂 I know what you mean about the trip or vacation ending… It’s not at all silly! I don’t know anyone who gets old & wishes they had done more housework! seen the catacombs in Paris? I read a book about them & would love to see them… Many other things too! 🙂


      • Yes! They were amazing and creepy and cool all at once. We spent most of our time in Paris at museums, and it was worth it! We also ate everything and talked to people and listened to street music and took the metro everywhere. I need to go back…but my next trip will be to Iceland and then Madagascar and then the Galapagos. So many places to see, so little time! I personally hate housework, which doesn’t bode well for my house…

        Liked by 1 person

  16. jules3677 says:

    The Queen’s on their side. Eric & Sookie have bonded. Sookie has a decent paying job … finally. 🙂 Let. The. Fun. Begin. 😉


  17. geenakmom says:

    Was a little tense there with Sophie-Ann. I’m glad she was able to negotiate with her for a contract. I’d be more perturbed at Hadley’s big mouth.
    And BAM! Right there you brought up one of CH’s MANY inaccuracies with the blood bond. I remembered she bit him at the ‘orgy’. I know Sookie is freaking out but I have faith she’s ok with it.


    • Yes! The second time I read the book, I thought, Wait a minute…she just had his blood a second time. If the bullet sucking in Dallas counts, then biting his hand counts too, right? Hadley’s got a big mouth, but family is given a little room for mistakes, right? 🙂 Thanks so much for reading and reviewing!


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