Charlaine Harris owns almost everything. I own the rest.
Padore is wonderful and full of inspiring ideas. Just thought ya’ll should know that. 🙂 All mistakes are my own.
“If you need me, I’ll be in my office,” Eric said.
Pam lifted an eyebrow as she wiped the counter in front of her. “Off to spy on the cleaning lady? You still don’t trust her, after all this time?”
“She’s only been there for six weeks. She might figure something out.” He leaned close to her so the man at the bar a few feet away wouldn’t hear them.
“How much longer do we have to wait?”
“The queen said they are going to make the announcement within the year. I wish she would tell me a specific date.” The man sitting near him started leaning toward him, listening. Eric turned to face him. “You don’t know anything about what I just said. You are finished with your drink and were just getting ready to leave.”
The man nodded stupidly. “Yes. I need to leave.” He gulped his beer and then pushed away from the bar.
Pam rolled her eyes. “Humans.”
“I’ll be in my office.” Eric turned and left.
Once in his office, he stretched out behind his desk in his comfortable chair. He switched on the monitor on his desk and turned on the feed coming from his home security cameras.
Hiring someone to clean their house was the best decision he ever made. He hated cleaning up after parties, and even though he could command Pam to do it, he didn’t like the idea of her resenting him. He laced his fingers behind his head and watched the dark-haired woman picking up beer bottles and wiping the counter in the kitchen. Smug satisfaction crossed his face as she mopped a pile of vomit off the floor. The smile on his face froze when a blonde woman entered the kitchen with an armful of pink sheets.
“Hello. Who are you?” Eric let his feet fall to the floor and leaned closer to the screen. He watched her open the laundry closet and wash Pam’s sheets, and then the dark-haired woman swore.
Eric loomed over his desk as he watched his father’s crown fall from the display shelf over the couch, but just before it hit the ground, the blonde woman caught it. His shoulders relaxed. The other woman called her by name. Sookie. “Sookie,” he repeated her name, rolling the letters around in his mouth. He watched her go back to Pam’s room to change the sheets. The room went dark when she left. He switched to the hall camera and then to the one in his bedroom.
He zoomed in on her face as she looked around, and then she started removing the sheets from his bed. She frowned and tugged on the material, but it wouldn’t come off. She had to jump to get onto his bed, and then she crawled right toward the camera, showing off a fair amount of cleavage. Her shoulder dipped, framing her breasts within inches of the lens. She grunted and then inhaled sharply. She scowled at her finger and squeezed it, finally removing a splinter. A drop of blood came to the surface and Eric’s fangs descended and he groaned when she sucked on it, smudging her pink lips with blood.
“Oh shit,” she said. Panic crossed her face and then she bolted out of the room. Eric switched to the hall camera and followed her to the bathroom.
“Everything okay?” the dark-haired woman asked as she scrubbed the bathtub.
“I poked my finger on a splinter and thought I bled on the sheets, but it’s not coming off.”
“I should’ve warned you. Sometimes his sheets are stained.”
I didn’t realize I’d been so careless.
“So it’s not from me?” Sookie asked.
Eric’s eyes glazed over as he imagined Sookie in his bed, offering her luscious body to him. His cock hardened just thinking about it.
“Maybe he gets nose bleeds?” Sookie suggested.
“Whatever the case, I’ll stain treat it before putting it through the washer.” Sookie went down to the laundry closet again, grabbed a fresh set of sheets and returned to his bedroom.
Eric loomed over the monitor, his dick straining against his zipper. She got back on the bed and started smoothing the sheet in place, her breasts swaying back and forth as she moved, and then she turned around, her round ass wriggling while she grunted with the effort of hooking one of the corners. He imagined the sounds her sweet mouth would make while he fucked her. She crawled toward the camera again, and then started cleaning the shelf. She bit her lip while she worked, focused on each object. And then she picked up the camera, tilting it toward her cleavage as the cleaning cloth swirled around the smooth glass. Obviously realizing what it was, she blushed and put it down.
She attempted to cover her chest while she finished making his bed, but abandoned the idea when she needed both hands to work. The blush in her cheeks spread to her neck and the top of her breasts and then she slid onto the floor. Once she had her shoes back on, she wiped down his dresser.
While Sookie and the dark-haired woman finished cleaning, Sookie found the camera in every room, looking directly into each one and smiling. It’s like she can see me. When they finished, he sighed.
* * * *
Eric and Pam both inhaled deeply as they entered the house that night. Something overpowered the scent of cleaning solution. Something delicious.
Pam’s eyes closed. “It smells good in here. Like, really good.”
Eric nodded and headed straight for his room. The scent intensified. He bent over his bed and inhaled again. His fangs snicked into place. The sweetness clung to his sheets, but there was an even stronger source. The garbage can. Eric fished out the splinter of wood and held it to his nose. The aroma of Sookie’s blood overpowered him. It was a familiar scent, a faint memory tucked away in his brain, connected to family and death. He frowned in frustration as the memory refused to surface.
He growled when Pam came into his room.
“What is it?” She held her nose up in the air and moved her head back and forth like a bloodhound.
“Sookie.” He showed her the fragment of wood between his fingers.
Pam frowned. “What’s a sookie?”
“Our new cleaning woman.”
* * * *
Before leaving his house the following Sunday night, Eric wrote a note and left it on his pillow.
Sorry about your finger. I had the bookshelf fixed. E
He watched the clock over the bar, and headed to his office well before eight. Right on time, Sookie and the other woman walked through the front door. They agreed on the areas they would clean and set to work.
Just as Sookie started on Pam’s room, Pam walked into Eric’s office. “Is she there? What does she look like? Where is she?”
Eric held his finger to his lips. “She’s in your room,” he whispered.
“She can’t hear you, you know,” Pam whispered back.
He glared at her and turned his attention back to the screen.
She craned her head over his shoulder and said, “Mm, I’d like to sink my teeth into that.”
He growled in response and then they watched her in silence. He knew from watching her last week that she would visit his bedroom next, so he turned to Pam and said, “You need to get back to work.”
Pam pouted. “But I want to watch Sookie clean.”
“As your maker, I command you!” Eric ordered.
Pam rolled her eyes, stuck out her tongue, and left.
Eric switched to his bedroom camera and waited for the lights come on.
Sookie kicked her shoes off and crawled up onto Eric’s bed. She started undressing the mattress, but stopped when she noticed the note. She read it, her lips moving with each word. She smiled right at the camera and said, “Thank you.”
“You’re welcome,” he replied to the monitor.
* * * *
As the weeks passed, Sookie became bolder, gazing into the camera longer and talking to it occasionally.
She talked to him while she cleaned. “You have a real pretty house. No wonder you have so many parties. If I had a house like this, I’d entertain too.” With the sheets balled up in her arms, she said, “I’ll be right back.”
He switched to the hall camera just in time for her to give a little wave, and then she was back in his bedroom, chatting while she put new sheets on.
“I like your sheets, they’re soft and a pretty gray color too. You have really nice taste.”
“Sookie, who are you talking to?” the other woman called out from the bathroom.
“Myself,” Sookie replied, but she winked at the camera. She polished his dresser, pausing when she came across his business card for the bar. She turned it over, read it and put it back exactly where she’d gotten it.
* * * *
The next Sunday, the dark-haired woman came in crying, interrupting their cleaning routine. “I can’t believe he would leave me like that. We’ve been together two years. Two years!”
“I’m so sorry Beth. Is that why he’s been acting so weird?”
Beth nodded and wiped her eyes. “Must be. You’ve got the right idea, staying single.”
Eric smiled but Sookie frowned.
“It’s not that I want to be single. It’s just the way it is.” She looked away and shrugged. “I just haven’t met the right guy yet.”
Beth snorted. “Clearly, I haven’t either.”
“I think we should go out after work. Get your mind off things,” Sookie said. “There’s a bar not too far from here, Up All Night. We could check it out. They’re open every night of the week, including Sundays.”
Eric scooted closer to the monitor.
“I don’t really feel like going out,” Beth whined.
“We’re not going out, not really. We’re going to sit down, get a couple of drinks, and wallow in our loneliness.”
Beth laughed. “I could sure do with a little wallowing.”
“It’s a plan, Stan!” Sookie hugged her friend, bounced down the hall, and set to work, each movement methodical and precise.
He had watched her long enough that he could predict every step she took. Pam’s room always took longer than his, but that was because she left a mess every week. By the time Sookie made it into his room, her skin had a beautiful rosy glow. Unlike most weeks, she closed his bedroom door behind her and crawled right up onto the bed.
She looked directly at the camera and said, “I don’t want you to think I’m stalking you or something, you know, with my idea to go out with Beth. I have a feeling you’ve probably been to Up All Night, because I found the card here. You might even be there tonight.” She swallowed hard before she went on. “Really what it comes down to is this: it’s close. That’s all.” She nodded and then got to work, but when she started changing the sheets she stopped and looked at the camera again. “Sometimes I feel crazy talking to the cameras. You probably can’t even hear me. I wonder what you look like. I can imagine your daughter pretty well. I was a teenage girl once.” She smiled. “But I can’t peg you. It sure doesn’t smell like an old man in here.”
Old man? Eric frowned.
“I live with my gran, so I know what the elderly smell like. They smell like medicine and soup.” She smiled. “I personally don’t mind the smell.” And the she closed her eyes and inhaled. “But it smells good in here. Like the sea and something strong and masculine.” Her eyes snapped open. “God, I hope you can’t hear me. I don’t know what’s gotten into me.” She laughed to herself, shook her head and finished her work without another word.
He paced the length of his office, keeping his eyes glued to the monitor. Sookie and Beth finished their work and just before they locked the front door, he could hear Sookie tell Beth, “See you at the bar.”
He stared at the dark screen for a few seconds and then bolted to join Pam.
She lifted her eyebrow and looked him up and down. “What’s got you all flustered?”
“She’s coming here.”
“Sookie?” Pam asked.
He nodded. “With the other woman, Beth.”
They both watched the door, and when it opened a few minutes later, Eric tried not to gape at Sookie. She put her arm around Beth and led them to a table tucked in a corner. Beth started crying again.
“Hang on,” Sookie said as she made her way to the bar.
Pam positioned herself in the middle, but Eric bumped her out of the way. Pam pouted but remained out of the way, pretending to clean the shelves of alcohol.
“What can I get you?” Eric asked, letting his eyes soak her in.
Her shoulders relaxed. She looked at him long and hard, frowned, and then finally smiled. “Two Long Island iced teas, please.”
He nodded and started pouring shots into two tall glasses. He slid the finished drinks across the counter and said, “If there’s anything else you need, don’t hesitate to ask.”
I know what I would ask for. On to Up All Night: Chapter 3