Eric rose that afternoon with rage and frustration running rampant through his veins along with something strangely akin to excitement. The anticipation of seeing his Sookie again was warming that place where he assumed his heart used to beat. After instinctively surveying his area for potential threats and finding none, his thoughts then immediately went to Sookie and the surprising call from Willa early that morning.
Although she probably wouldn’t be able to tell exactly what he was sending or that he was the one sending it in the first place, he sent another burst of extreme pride and appreciation to Willa.
Even though at her age she was still dead for the day, he smiled knowing that she would rise knowing of her Maker’s approval. The gift of a Maker’s particular kind of approval was something all vampires craved whether or not they recognized the need. He wished he had more reasons to send the same to Pam. It was tremendously satisfying as a Maker to be able to do such a thing for his progeny.
He supposed that really should make the time to tell Willa that even though he had released her, he hadn’t completely severed all of a Maker’s ties with her…or with Pam for that matter. Neither progeny knew about all aspects of the Maker/child bond, and he was quite frankly in no hurry to educate either one.
Whether they liked it or not, both were still his progeny, and as such, he demanded the right to maintain the sort of contact with each that would allow him to know if either were ever harmed or in some sort of trouble. Just because he had been a shitty Maker to Willa so soon after Turning her didn’t mean he was willing to neglect her now, and Pam would always need her Maker’s support even if she would never admit it.
Frustrated that the sun was still too high in the sky to allow him to leave the confines of his quarters well-hidden on the other side of the basement of Fangtasia, he quickly checked his messages, showered, and then paced like a caged animal as he contemplated Willa’s informative yet disjointed message.
As per his usual now-damn’d habit these nights, he had turned off his phone several hours before the sun rose. He enjoyed his solitude and didn’t wish to have to deal with whatever manufactured “emergency” his underlings decided to foist on him instead of solving for themselves. That’s why they got the big bucks, he had stated more than once to Pam and her dismay – she was his primary assistant, of course.
However, being the businessman and reluctant semi-politician that he was, he also made a point of checking his messages before retiring for the day just in case there had been an actual emergency that needed his approval or final vote.
After weeding through several messages from his accountant, a couple of his brokers, and one wrong number, he had been surprised to hear Willa’s voice.
“Eric? It’s me, Willa. I think something weird is going on and I don’t know what to do, but you would, so I’m calling you.”
His eyebrows rose as he wondered why her whispered vamp-speed speech sounded slightly nervous, but put it down to their still strained but improving relationship.
“Um, I don’t know if you know this or not, I mean, knowing you, you might, but I’ve been, um, friendswithSookieforawhilenow,” her voice waivered as she crowded the words together. Even through his shock he still managed to appreciate how Willa sounded as if she were confessing something to a parent, and he went as still as only a vampire could.
Willa was friends with Sookie? His Sookie? Since when?
“At first it was just because I was lonely and bored and she was really nice, you know? Well, of course you know. But anyway, we got close. Ok, um, so I’m sure you know this but she started seeing this guy Steve a while back, and I never trusted him. You did know she was seeing some guy named Steve Campbell, right? I mean, you know everything that goes on,” she laughed nervously into the phone.
Of course he knew that Sookie had been seeing someone named Steve Campbell…and that she had gotten pregnant…and that she quit her job…and that she was engaged to the motherfucker as well. While he had tried to stay away from anything having to do with her life because it hurt too much knowing these things and not being able to… But just because he had tried to stay away didn’t mean he couldn’t keep basic tabs on her anyway…
Wait…Was? Was seeing? Past tense?
The sudden continuance of his child’s voice refocused his attention.
“Well, even after he proposed to her I still didn’t completely trust him, so I hung around even though it was obvious that he didn’t want me there and I kept kind of an eye on him. I’m really glad that I did now,” she paused as if contemplating her upcoming words.
“I don’t know exactly what happened between you and Sookie but there’s something weird going on here now and I thought you should know and you might be able to help us figure out what it is.”
Eric mentally cursed Willa’s tendency to ramble on – something was apparently happening and he needed to know what it was now!
“Steve was never all that good to her, but tonight he was horrible. Sookie had finally had enough of him so she broke up with him, and he hit her! I slammed him against a tree and me and Jessica held him there until Jason finally put his turkey leg down and came over and hauled him off to jail. He and Lafayette and Sam and everybody else just sat there at that huge table and watched the drama and didn’t do anything when Steve was yelling at her and hitting her and she’s almost nine months’ pregnant and nobody but me and Jessica did anything,” she whisper-shouted, her mouth so close to the phone that he could almost hear her fangs descending.
His reaction was instant. He straightened to his full height, and certainly felt his own fangs descending forcefully, aching to rip into this son of a bitch who would dare lay a hand on his Sookie! The deep, low growls he couldn’t stop thankfully didn’t interfere with his hearing.
“Sookie’shereinmyapartmentwithmenowandIdon’tknowwhattodo. Oh, and she never told him that she could read minds but somehow he knew. Call me back. Bye.”
Eric thanked whatever deities who might be listening for his progeny’s quick thinking – Sookie would certainly be much, much safer in Willa’s apartment than in that old run-down farmhouse out in the middle of no fucking where.
Then he cursed.
He cursed that soon-to-be-dead fucker Steve fucking Campbell.
He cursed her so-called friends for allowing that jerk-off to get close enough to hit her.
He cursed himself for having turned off the ringer to his phone.
He cursed the sun for rising and preventing him from leaving his elaborately furnished quarters under Fangfuckingtasia.
Unable to stand the confines of the serene and luxurious environment another moment, he strode back into the basement portion of the vast subterranean complex beneath the strip mall he now owned, and resumed his pacing.
“What the fuck kind of asshole hurts an innocent woman, much less a pregnant woman,” he snarled to the dark and grimy room.
Furious with himself and the situation, with a roar that rattled the bar glasses above he vented his frustrations on the assorted detainment and torture equipment scattered about the basement until his wrath was spent and little remained but the walls and various piles of rubble.
Oh, well, he thought as he surveyed his handiwork then watched the split skin over his knuckles heal. Pam has been wanting to redo the basement. Maybe now she’ll stop pouting over letting Sarah go.
Breathing hard despite the lack of need for such an activity, he sat down heavily on the lower portion of the stairway with his elbows on his knees.
He felt like such a fool. If he’d had half a brain, he’d have contacted Sookie on some pretext or other. He’d have called her…gone by to see her, something…
But he hadn’t. His pride and what had been left of his heart hadn’t let him. He’d thought…but then when she’d chosen fucking Compton yet again…
With a sigh of mental exhaustion and physical frustration, he rose and went back to his quarters. After securing them for the day, he turned his phone’s ringer on and grabbed his laptop. He fired off several emails, one of which went to his private investigations company.
Just because he was the founder of New Blood didn’t preclude him from investing in, and starting up, quite a few other very profitable, and convenient, businesses.
Before now, he hadn’t investigated too deeply into this Steve fucking Campbell because he’d tried to stay out of Sookie’s life after that last time she had made it clear that Compton came first.
Those nights were now over.
His team should just now have started investigating the fuck out of that asshole, and said asshole needed to enjoy the shit out of whatever time he had left on this planet because the second Eric got his large, strong hands on his body…
Finally feeling the sun’s pull, Eric had reluctantly allowed himself to go to bed, but it was well over an hour before his anger and frustration had eased enough to allow his dayrest to claim him.
As he now waited for the sun to finally dip far enough below the horizon to allow him safe passage to his penthouse apartment, he called the team tasked with researching this Campbell fuck-up for a progress report, then cancelled all meetings for the rest of the week. Somehow he was quite sure dealing with his Sookie’s problems would be much more invigorating than dealing with ESPN, CNN, HSN and the NYSE combined. Pam could hawk the New Blood key chains and baubles and talk inane bullshit almost as well as he could.
The instant his instincts told him it was almost safe enough to leave, he was out of Fangtasia and into his modified ‘Vette with the light-safe “vamp-tinted” windows. Within minutes he was parked in the underground parking area he had installed beside the hotel when he’d purchased the old building.
As he entered the well-lit tunnel connecting the parking area with the hotel, he decided against going to his own apartment first. Despite Pam’s best efforts, he still saw nothing wrong with his snug black t-shirt, well-fitting jeans, and black leather boots.
Just as the sun finally set for the night, he approached Willa’s admittedly overly-secured suite and paused before the door. A deep inhalation proved what his gut already told him – his Sookie was indeed mere feet away.
Blood bond or not, he could have sworn that he still felt her even after all this time.
**A/N: Feeling better about Eric now? So…what’d ja think?**