Thank you so much!

Hope you enjoy this one :) Hopefully its progress for them lol.


Chapter Eight

Once Sookie's shift finished for the night and she started driving home, she still felt depressed and sad over how the evening's events had gone with her soul mate, Eric Northman. She just couldn't understand; If they truly were meant to be soul mates, then how could he be so mean to her? Really, she knew she shouldn't have let his words and behavior affect her that badly. She couldn't help it, though.

Once she pulled up into the driveway and got inside, her Gran was waiting in her spot in the kitchen again, halfway through reading her book. She sat up straighter when Sookie came in, hanging her bag up on the rack by the front door.

"Hello, Sookie. How was your night tonight?"

"Lousy," Sookie admitted, quite sullenly. When she reached the kitchen, she slumped against the door-frame. "Guess who came in tonight again?"

"Who?"

"My soul mate," Sookie confessed reluctantly.

"And?" Gran stared at her, almost waiting on pins and needles for any exciting news. Pity there wasn't any to tell. "How was progress? Is he still fighting it, dear?"

"Oh, he's more than just fighting it, Gran," Sookie grumbled in irritation. "I just can't believe it! How can I possibly be soul mates with this... this mean vampire? He said that while my body was nice, my face was lacking. Or something along those lines." She waved a hand in the air dismissively. "Honestly, I never got what he was trying to say. But it was just.. it hurt my feelings. I thought soul mates were meant to be... perfect for each other?"

"Well, clearly it's going to be harder if he is fighting." Gran's voice took on a sympathetic air. "He's probably an old vampire, and the idea of soul mates... it's maybe something he doesn't believe. But as I said, fighting is pointless. He'll realize that in time, dear."

While Gran said it to cheer Sookie up in some way, she felt anything but. "Yeah, but thing is, Gran, I'm not so sure I'm wanting him to start believing. I just can't believe that my soul mate, of all people, turns out to be this mean, obnoxious vampire!" Sookie thought about how she had felt while around him, the way she had seemed to forgo all sense of control on her limbs. "It was so... scary, Gran. I had a hard time from restraining myself from throwing my arms around him!" Sookie grimaced in embarrassment when she remembered how her hands had sat on his backside. "It was like I lost all control of my limbs, like my body had a mind of its own just because he was near!"

"Oh, I think that is quite normal, dear," Gran assured her confidently with a short laugh. "It's your bodies way of acknowledging that you two are meant to be. While your heads might try to fight against it, your bodies know that they are destined to be near each other."

Maybe Gran was right on that? Sookie wondered. Her body certainly felt moved by him, like it wanted to get close to him and never leave, as though they were two magnets that were designed for nothing more than to stick against each other.

"You think that's why?" Sookie asked her doubtfully. "Because our bodies know, deep down inside, that we're destined for each other?"

"Well, that is the only explanation I can find reasonable enough."

"Gran, how do you know so much about soul mates?" Sookie asked curiously. "Or was it just something you've read out of your romance novels?"

"Something I just read out of my romance novels?" Gran laughed. "Of course not, honey. Believe it or not, I had a soul mate myself, back in the day."

Sookie's brows rose in astonishment. "With Grandpa, you mean?" she asked skeptically.

"No, it wasn't Grandpa Earl. It was another man. I met him when I was in my early twenties, just after I had married your great-Grandpa Earl. The concept of human marriage never seemed to phaze him; He went after me regardless, and hard."

"He was a vampire?"

Gran paused for a moment, thinking deeply. Sookie could tell that she wasn't quite certain just what he was. "No, I wouldn't say he was a... vampire exactly, dear. He was... different compared to other men. He could flash light out of his fingers and he said I made the best and meanest spaghetti in all the realm." Gran waved her hand in the air dismissively, blushing. "I hadn't the slightest idea what he meant by that, though I did take it as a compliment at the time."

"Wow then," Sookie said in bewilderment.

She had no idea that her Gran had experienced a soul mate connection herself; If so, then it was truly no wonder her Gran was so adamant on the idea of soul mates existing in the world.

"But you've never told me this before? Not even once?" Sookie shook her head to get over the shock. "And so what happened to him? Your soul mate? I know you were still married to Grandpa Earl?"

"Well, I don't know what happened to him, dear." Gran looked a little lost as she sat her bookmark in her book to keep her place. "Something happened, and he just disappeared after about two weeks. Never saw him ever again."

"Do you feel sad about that? About never seeing him again?" Sookie could tell her Gran could.

"I just wonder sometimes about how it all would have gone, of how it all would have been. I admit that there isn't a day that goes by where I do not think of that funnily dressed young man that begged for me to make him spaghetti."

"You have his initials on you as well?"

"I do," Gran admitted, almost breathlessly. "On my inner thigh. That's why when you were born, when your father called me on the phone and explained to me about your birthmark, that I knew it wasn't just any plain, old birthmark. It was your soul mates mark; Your E.N."

Sookie still didn't understand why, if her grandmother had a soul mate, then how she could have been able to resume her marriage with Earl as if things were normal. "But you were married to Grandpa for over fifty years and he never suspected anything?"

"Never. After Niall up and left, I realized I'd just have to sit back and resume my marriage with Earl. I'm not saying it wasn't the most challenging time of my life, especially when there was a part of me that always wished for Niall, but... I managed it, in the end."

"Niall?" Sookie repeated. "So that was his name? Niall?"

"Oh, yes. Niall Brigant." Her grandmother shivered dreamily.

"Well, who knows, Gran?" Sookie said, attempting to cheer her grandmother up, "Just maybe one of these days this Niall Brigant might reappear, asking to come in and for you to make him a bowl of spaghetti?"

Gran sighed longingly. "Oh, I doubt that, dear. Unfortunately, I feel he is long gone now."

"You never know, though," Sookie kept up. Tonight's conversation with Gran had really given her things to thing about. She pushed off the door-frame. "Well, I'm gonna get to bed, Gran. Love you."

"Yes, love you, too."

When Sookie climbed upstairs and got changed into her long T-shirt for bed, she realized her mood had improved some. Worst case scenario, if her soul mate kept fighting their connection, it was possible for Sookie to resume a normal relationship with someone else. Her grandmother had showed her as much into how capable it was.

Once Sookie got into work the next afternoon, she felt some tension from the other staff, particularly Lafayette. He was acting strange, and Sookie couldn't help but sense that he was mad at her over something. Every time she went to pass on an order, he'd act aloof and short with her. As far as Sookie knew, she hadn't done anything wrong to him, had she?

By the time she had returned to the kitchen with a new round of orders, she was fed up. "Hey, Lafayette. Have I done something wrong to you? For the life of me, I can't figure out what it is?"

Usually her and Lafayette got on like a house on fire. They'd joke and laugh. Tonight, however, he would ignore her or always keep his back turned to her while he cooked. It wasn't like him.

"I ain't no matchmaking service, Hooker, that's all I'm saying," he said, shooting a look in her direction before turning away again.

Sookie's face scrunched up in confusion. "When did I ever say you was?"

"Well, clearly that's what tall, blonde and dead assumed I is last night. I'm all for you finally getting a piece, but next time, Sook, you gotta handle it all on your own."

Tall, blonde and dead? Was he referring to who she thought he was?

"What? Did he do something to you?" Sookie asked, her voice shrill in outrage.

"He got me in a fucking choke-hold last night, while asking all this stupid-ass shit about you. About your likes, dislikes. If you got any pets, what your favorite color is..."

"You're kidding me?" Sookie was almost trembling in outrage. She couldn't believe it; How dare he!

Lafayette batted his false-eyelashes at her, "Is I looking like I am?" His thoughts told her he was being one-hundred-percent serious. "I mightn't know what is going on between you and that hunky piece of dead meat, but please, keep me out of it."

"Gosh, Lafayette. I'm so sorry! I didn't realize!"

When Sookie jumped back into working, in going around tables, asking if anyone needed any refreshments, she still felt as though her head was going to fly off her shoulders any... minute now. She couldn't believe what Lafayette was telling her. First, the vampire had dared to be mean to her last night and insult her. Then he had to go and scare Lafayette, getting him into a choke-hold while demanding answers to all of these ridiculous questions about her. Who the hell did he think he was?

If only Sookie knew where he lived, because then she would have turned up after work to give him a mouthful of what was on her mind. She was livid, and her hands kept shaking non-stop throughout the night. Once her shift was over, she still felt red-faced with fury.

Once she got into her car, she switched her brain off for a moment, letting her body direct her to where she wanted to go. She didn't feel like heading straight home to Gran like she usually did once work was finished. No, she felt too angry.

She let her feet stop and accelerate without thought, let her hands guide the steering wheel into whichever direction they chose. She took a left down a street, then went down a long residential area. Almost half an hours driving, and then her hands flicked on the blinkers and she turned left into a busy parking lot. When she came into her right mind again, Sookie sat up against the steering wheel, blinking heavily in confusion at where she had driven herself.

She certainly hadn't been in this area before, but it was almost like her body was familiar with it all and knew where to take her to get there. It was a weird mind-out-of-body experience that shook Sookie for a moment as she inspected her unfamiliar surroundings.

She had parked the car in the parking lot of a place called 'Fangtasia'- or so the glowing neon red light told her out front. She didn't even know what Fangtasia was exactly, but the name told her it had everything to do with vampires. Then she saw the line out front of people, and realized it was a bar. A bar for vampires, perhaps? Why on earth had her body guided her there, of all places?

Her curiosity getting the better of her, Sookie yanked her hair out of her ponytail and grabbed her pink lip-gloss out of her purse, applying some on before climbing out of the car and locking it up securely. She didn't even know there was a vampire bar in Louisiana, for goodness sake.

She pulled down her Merlotte's T-shirt self-consciously as she watched all the people lined up to get in. She was severely under-dressed in her work uniform, while others were dressed up to the nines, in rocker get-up and Gothic, skimpy clothes like fishnet stockings and band T-shirts. Why had she taken herself here?

A male vampire was at the door, carding people. She felt that familiar void inside his head that told her he was a member of the undead community. He had long mangled black hair, and was wearing leather pants and a band T-shirt. When her time came, Sookie smiled at him tensely as she grabbed her I.D out from inside her purse.

"How funny," she laughed nervously. "Getting carded at a vampire bar." The man's dark eyes stared at her for a moment nerve-wrackingly before scrutinizing the picture on her I.D. "You're a vampire," she stated stupidly.

"No shit," the vampire muttered. Sookie caught a glimpse of his fangs. "Tell me something I don't already know."

"You wouldn't happen to know another vampire called Eric Northman by any chance, would you?" she blabbed out before she could stop herself.

The vampire fixed a foreboding look on her while passing back her I.D. "He's my boss, and he's inside. Why? You came all the way here just to see him, little chick? So what? You're not the first..."

Oh, great. Her soul mate was inside the bar. Now Sookie thought she knew why her body had led her to the vampire bar, of all places. What had Gran told her last night? That it was her bodies way of telling her that they were destined to be?

"I'm his soul mate," Sookie said shakily, without thought.

"Is that so?" The vampires staring was starting to unnerve her. He looked bored and unimpressed. "Well, you know how many times I've heard that line from humans in the past six months? Try around the hundreds mark, and get a new one..."

What?

"You tell that to his face, and I assure you, tonight will be your last..." the vampire trailed off menacingly before moving aside to let her in.

Sookie stared at him uncomprehendingly before pushing her way into the bar. The narrow hallway was lined with pictures on the red walls of vampire movies, like Dracula. The further along she went, the louder the heavy metal music and the thoughts of non-vampire patrons came.

Sookie felt her hands start to tingle as she reached into the big main room, and she felt both shock and wonder at what she saw. She certainly wasn't expecting the bar to look as it did; There were vampire dancers who moved so fast it was a blur. For some reason, her legs took her further away from the bar where people were lining up to get drinks.

"Boring," Eric spat out from up in his chair to Pam, who was standing next to him. "Staking my eyes out would be more fun than this."

"Tell me about it," Pam said, before she saw the female human that was aimlessly looking around the bar about one foot away from them. "On second thoughts, I think tonight just got interesting."

When Eric glanced up at her in confusion, wondering what the fuck she was talking about, Pam gestured towards someone in the bar with interest. Eric's eyes flickered towards the person, and the instance they met the body of the woman standing a foot away, he felt that disturbing itching sensation along the middle of his back, irritating his mark.

What were the odds that she would appear in the bar tonight, of all humans?

He shifted uncomfortably in the chair when his eyes raked down what she was wearing; She was still in her waitress uniform, yet her blonde hair was out, flowing around her shoulders and collarbone. Like last night, how he had felt when being near her in that bar in Bon Temps, he felt compelled to stand from the chair and be near her. It was disturbing, frankly; He felt like rubbing himself all over her, smothering himself into her tanned skin like lotion.

As Sookie's wonder died down a bit, she began to be aware of what else she was feeling. Her breaths came out short and rapid, like she had just ran all the way into the bar and the skin at the nape of her neck was pulsing.

It felt burning hot and she recognized why it was happening to her all too well. Her stomach clenched in dread as she turned her head. Her eyes immediately sought out the cause of these entirely uncomfortable sensations drowning her.

Damn it, she had let herself walk blindly straight into a trap, where he would be, her soul mate in denial.

He was sitting up on a stage in a chair with a female vampire right behind him, and with some uneasiness, she realized he was staring directly at her. There were blood-red curtains behind them and a fake tree and if Sookie hadn't felt so nervous, she might have scoffed under her breath.

Then she remembered what he had done to Lafayette and, despite all the discomforting sensations attacking her, fury broke through the surface. Now was the perfect time as any to let him know a piece of her mind.

Straightening her shoulders and setting her chin, she started making the walk towards him, noticing how his eyes wouldn't leave her. Even as he said something to his female vampire friend which made her climb off the stage and leave, his eyes remained on nothing else but her.

She tried to make her face look disgusted, even though she thought he looked handsome tonight, in dark jeans, a leather jacket, and tight-fitting T-shirt. Only when she came closer and she caught his expression better in the glow of the lights, she discovered with some confusion that he no longer looked disgusted by her as he had last night. He looked something else, though she wasn't sure what it was.

"Miss Stackhouse," he greeted, nodding once. "What a surprise. What brings you here to my bar this evening?" At the sound of his voice alone, Sookie felt the terrible urge to straddle him in that chair right there. But then she thought she caught a patronizing tone to his voice, and she folded her arms over her chest while kicking that urge down. "Oh, wait. Really, I shouldn't have to ask. It's me, no doubt?"

Sookie's disgusted face worked with her this time. "Oh, please," she scoffed. "You wish." She had to clear her throat, before saying strongly, "I just want to know who the hell you think you are, doing what you did to one of my good friends like that?"

She felt the rage simmer in her even more when he glanced away from her for a moment, feigning thought while stroking around his chin with his finger. He leaned forward in the chair and Sookie felt the mark on the back of her neck pulsate harder.

"I have no idea in the slightest of what you are talking about," he said very convincingly with a shrug. "Whoops, sorry."

"Oh, I'm sure you do," she said, her voice rising over the music. "My friend Lafayette, who also works with me told me that not only did you get him into a choke-hold, but you were asking questions about me? Anything ring any bells now with that?"

When he had the audacity to just sit there silently, ignoring her questions while his eyes roamed down her clothes, Sookie was incensed enough that she stood up on the stage over him, close enough that her legs brushed his kneecaps.

"You know, if you want to know something about me, then you might as well ask your questions to me instead of involving other people into it," she stated, trying to sound firm and strong. "Seeing as we're soul mates and all, I figure that is the very least you could do!"

That sudden bout of confidence she felt deflated when, without warning, he stood, looming over her in all of his six-foot-something height. His chest brushed against hers through the fabric of his shirt and along with being so close the way they were, Sookie felt all the little hairs stick up at end on her arms.

"So ask away," she demanded, staring at a spot on his shirt to avoid looking him in the eye. If he was trying to intimidate her, he had succeeded. "Usually that is what normal people do when they try to find out stuff about the other person. If you wanna know about me, then let's do this, right here, right now."

She swallowed dryly before finding enough courage to lift her eyes up to his face. He was studying her in a strangely gentle way, almost devouring her with his eyes. It was definitely a massive improvement considering how, last night, he seemed as though he felt she was something grotesque to look at.

She caught his arm move out of the corner of her eye and then he said loudly and clearly in a voice that told her he got his way often, "Another chair."

It all sank in when she noticed the vampire that had carded her outside was carrying a chair in his arms. He sat it down next to her before sending a swift nod her soul mates way. When Eric lowered himself back into his chair, he stabbed a finger at the empty chair beside him.

"Sit," he muttered, though she could tell it was more so a threat than an offer. When she sat, she watched as he straightened his long legs out on the floor. Then he moved them in her direction, caught her feet between his legs, and pressed tightly. Sookie couldn't tell whether it was a deliberate move to annoy her or not, but it did help some with making her mark stop pulsating so annoyingly the way it was. "As you just put it so eloquently, let's do this. Shall we?"

"Okay," she agreed, feeling her anger immediately dissolve. She wasn't expecting him to agree so easily, and it threw her off for a moment. Once she got her bearings back into gear, she glanced his way again. He was still watching her, in an unnerving intense way. "Should I go first? Or do you want to?"

When he never said anything, just simply sat an elbow on the arm of his chair to start stroking around his chin, she realized she would have to be the one to start.

"Okay, I guess I'll begin then, seeing as you seem perfectly content to keep quiet." Without any control on what she was doing, she started rubbing her hand back and forth over her arm. The way he was staring at her with such avid concentration, it made her feel oddly... tingly. "So you don't believe in soul mates?" It was the only question she could think of.

"I don't," he admitted without hesitation. "I have been on this earth for over a thousand years and not once have I heard anything about this soul mate bullshit." When Sookie opened her mouth to retort back, he got out quickly, "But of course, it hardly surprises me that you would believe in soul mates. It seems the type of foolish romantic drivel that you humans believe in nowadays."

Sookie bit down the urge to yell at him. "Okay, so you don't believe in soul mates." She tried to sound calm and rational about it all. "But surely, you can't deny that there is something freaky happening here, right?" Lifting her hand, she gestured between them. "You said you felt it yourself? That zapping sensation when we first touched, and then.. everything else?" She felt hot just mentioning it to him. "I'm guessing you've never felt that before? I certainly haven't, so... obviously something is happening here, don't you think?"

Like before, he simply stared at her, rather impassively while stroking around his chin. She would have killed for the chance to know what he was thinking on this or to know whether or not she was finally starting to get through to him, the stubborn jackass that he was.

"And what about those initials on our backs?" she went on, using all the evidence she could find. "You've got mine, and I've got yours? Unless you've got any other decent explanation for it all, I just... I think we're soul mates." She didn't care how impassioned and desperate she sounded. "I mean, what else could-"

"- I do not have a human for a soul mate," he cut through her words firmly, his nose scrunching up. "While it is an entertaining theory, I'll give you that; it is just not possible."

"Oh? And why isn't it possible?" she ground out through her teeth irritably. "Deny it all you want, but I know what this means. Trust me, I'm not all that pleased that you've turned out to be my soul mate, either, but neither of us can deny that there's a possibility there that its true! My grandmother has been telling me, ever since I was a little girl, that those initials on my back meant that I had a soul mate out there that was right for me!"

"Well, there are plenty of humans out there with the same initials as mine," he muttered indifferently, still evidently trying to fight against it.

Sookie stared him down with all her might, leaning on her side in the chair closer towards him. "I know that, I'm not dumb," she whispered furiously. "But either way, even if there was, we'd see that they don't effect us like how it is with you and me. I mean, we can hardly be near without wanting to throw ourselves at each other!"

She shot a pointed look down at his hand. While one hand was stroking his chin, the other closest to her had started wandering towards her, whether he realized it had or not. She watched as he glanced down at his hand himself, and he clenched it tightly into a fist before slouching far away from her in the chair with obvious difficulty.

"You see what I mean now?" she asked, perhaps a bit too excitedly. "Our bodies know that we are destined to be together, that we're soul mates!"

He clenched his eyes shut tightly for a moment and she watched as he ground his teeth together. She could hear him breathing raggedly as he tried to control himself. The fact that he was fighting this that hard; it was so ridiculous to her!

"See?" Unable to help it, she fell back in the chair with triumphant laughter. "Denial is fruitless- or so my Gran says. Sooner or later, either you or I are gonna crack eventually. These past few times of being around you, you weren't very nice to me and I ought to feel disgusted by you, yet there's something in me that won't let me truly feel that, no matter how hard I try!"

Stunning her, he stood from his chair abruptly, turning his back on her. Sookie's laughter and smile immediately went.

"That is enough," he snapped gruffly, and when he looked down at her past his shoulder, she saw his fangs were extended and he was breathing heavily through them. His eyes slithered down her critically, wounding her, "You and I..." His voice was so low, so throaty, that she almost couldn't hear him, "We are done here." To top it all off, he snarled at her through his fangs rudely before stomping away off the stage and out of sight.

Sookie sat in confusion for a moment, wrapping her arms around her chest, wondering what she had done wrong as that hollow sensation due to him leaving filled her chest. Then it occurred to her he was still fighting it; He stormed off in a huff because he didn't want to have to listen to it. She huffed under her breath incredulously before getting to her feet and climbing down the stage, towards the exit. Good Lord, what was with him? Still being kept in denial about everything when the evidence was there?

Oh, well. At least she had tried, hadn't she? It wasn't her problem if he was being a stubborn ox, but hopefully he would come around.

Hope you enjoyed this one? Don't worry, Eric won't deny for too long :)