The sound of her car tires crunching the loose stones up the pothole-filled driveway snapped Sookie out of her fog. Her first thought was that she really needed to see if Jason and Hoyt could spend some time smoothing that thing out, before she completely trashed her already crappy car. The drive was so quick from Shreveport that she didn't even remember getting there. She'd had a lot on her mind, with school and her research project. Yet, she was compelled to come home this night for some reason and she was never one to ignore her intuition.
She opened the creaky screen door and tried the lock on the wooden one. To her surprise it was unlocked! She quickly opened and then slammed it.
"Gran!" she called. "Gran! You know you aren't supposed to leave the door unlocked!"
Her gran came out from the kitchen, wiping her hands on an apron.
"Oh Sookie, dear! You're home! I wasn't expecting you."
Sookie moved to embrace her beloved grandmother. Her mother really, after all these years.
"I know. I hope you don't mind. But, I just felt I needed to be here for a couple of days. Maybe it's the pressure of the research project and all my classes. Or maybe I just needed to get away from my crazy roommate!" she whispered into Gran's hair while they were still hugging. She got this overwhelming feeling of sadness, as if she had not had the chance to hug her gran in quite some time. Tears threaten to spring to her eyes, but she stuffed the feeling back down and stepped away.
Not letting go of Sookie's hands, she exclaimed, "Mind?! Child, this is your home and you know you are welcomed any time. I do have to admit though, that I am expecting company."
"Oh no! I'm sorry. Should I go and come back later?"
Adele swatted her grandchild across the head. "Now what would make you think something like that! It's just your uncle and cousin Hadley joining me, now us, for dinner. In fact, I think they might have just pulled up."
Sookie hadn't heard a vehicle, but turned around and sure enough, out the front windows she could see the reflection of headlights coming up the driveway. Her Gran always seemed to have a "sixth" sense about things.
"Why don't you go out and greet them, while I finish up here in the kitchen. Did you bring your laundry with you?"
Haha. Her gran knew her so well. There were two baskets full in her backseat. So, off she went, back outside.
"Sookie! What are you doing home?! I'm so happy you're here! I have to tell you about this great gal I met!" Hadley squealed, hopping out of the car before it seemed it had even stopped. The girls embraced and quickly exchanged compliments about the other. Again, Sookie had this weird feeling that something wasn't quite right about this interaction with her cousin. But, when she searched her memory, all she thought about was how close they were – like sisters almost, with her mother dying so young of cancer and her dad taking off.
"Now don't ye be hoggin' the hugs, Hadley. Come give uncle Fergus some sugar!"
Uncle Fergus. Now there was a sight for sore eyes. Sookie felt a real strong connection with him. She ran over and he lifted her up and spun her around, as if he had done that since she was a little girl. And perhaps he had. Once again, Sookie had this weird sense of something – déjà vu?
"I feel like it's been a lifetime since I've seen you!"
"Aww, dove. T'is only been about, what, a day at most?! Did you hit your head that hard?!"
"At the bar the other night? That bugger spilled his drink and you slipped and fell? I was right there with Dermot and Claude, remember?"
Curiously, Sookie felt like that was true and she automatically touched the back of her head and winced at how sore it felt. But, when she tried to recall that event, really any one singular event, everything seemed strangely blank. When Fergus started to look worried, she quickly arranged her features into her crazy Sookie smile, the one she gave everyone when they tried to pester her too much about her 'feelings'.
"That was quite a spill, wasn't it! I'm so grateful you were there! You always seem to be there when I need you. All of us really!" she had no idea where that had come from, yet felt like it was the right thing to say.
"I'm going to just grab my laundry. Why don't you go see if Gran needs a taste tester and I'll be in, in just a second," she offered. She needed a minute in the cool fall air to shake the crazies out of her head.
Fergus gave her a big grin and nodded his head and headed towards the house. Sookie went to her car and started to bring her baskets up to the porch, one at a time. On her second trip, a light from across the cemetery at the old Compton place caught her eye. No one had been there for years. It was in some serious need of love. She always thought that some day, maybe she would buy the place and fix it up. Then they could have a whole Stackhouse compound in this little part of Bon Temps.
Lately, though, the place had been an attraction for high school kids partying and daring each other to spend the night in the "creepy, haunted" house where "vampires" lived! Of course, being next to a cemetery didn't help squelch those rumors that were nearly as old as her!
She decided before heading inside, she would just wonder over there and make sure nobody was going to burn the place down. Armed with her cellphone in her back pocket and a mini can of mace and flashlight combo hanging from her keychain, she headed through the familiar path of the civil war era graveyard.
As she reached the other side, she noted there was a brand new Red Corvette in the driveway. " Definitely not teenagers. Hmm, and someone with money obviously. Not from Bon Temps," she commented aloud to herself.
Just as she reached the door to knock, it opened and standing in the doorway were two of the most lovely men she had ever seen. One was of average height, dark hair and dark eyes. Something about him seemed aggressive in nature, but also old, too old for his appearance, apart from the sideburns worn in an era definitely past. The other was a tall, taller than any she'd ever seen around these parts, man with the same shade of blond hair as her own. He was broad shouldered and obviously built, as she could only imagine due to the clothes he was wearing.
They both took a strange inhale, as if they were scenting the air around them, or perhaps even her. This unsettled her a bit, but trying to be the gracious Southern Belle, she turned on her crazy Sookie smile and held out her hand. "Hi there! I'm Sookie Stackhouse! My family owns the house there through the woods. I saw some lights over here through the trees and just wanted to make sure it wasn't some kids causing trouble. Are you two buying the old Compton estate?"
"Well, aren't you sweet!" the blond man retorted. Something in the tone of his voice made Sookie bristle at that.
"Not especially," she replied, placing her hand on her hip and cocking it to the side, the way she always did when she was getting ready to argue with someone.
The blond smiled, a brilliant white smile with perfectly straight teeth. "Well, Sookie, I am Eric and this is my partner, Bill."
Sookie's heart fell. Another beautiful couple lost to team male, she thought. "Partner? Oh, that's wonderful! Umm. So when are you two moving in?"
The man named Bill laughed. "You must forgive Eric, he is…not from around here and is unfamiliar with some of our lingo. Eric is my business partner and I am the great nephew of the previous owner. Seems since there was no will, either the property would be auctioned or a living relative had to claim it. So here we are."
Eric was frowning, wondering what the beautiful woman child had thought when he said "Partner". She smelled like no other human and his fangs itched to descend, just to have a taste.
"Well, if you need something, you don't hesitate to come by and ask. My Gran is there most of the time, my brother lives nearby and I have an uncle who is an antiques dealer. He can pretty much find anything anyone asks him to! In fact, we are all gathered for dinner. I'd better get back. If you'll excuse me, it sure was nice meeting y'all!"
She stepped down off the porch and was ready to run back home, when she heard the deep rumble of Eric's voice. That voice did things to her lady bits and she'd felt like she knew what it sounded like whispering in her ear, moaning her name. What the hell was wrong with her?!
"Wait, Sookie? We are looking for an assistant. Sort of a gal Friday. Someone who can run errands and such during the day, while we are otherwise….occupied. Would you happen to know someone around here that might be interested? With us being out-of-towners, it would probably be best if we let the assistant arrange for our handlings with the house. Until we get our affairs in order."
'Me! Me! Me!' her mind screamed, but the logical side of her reminded her that it was dark and these were two complete strangers. She knew how men behaved when they thought no one was looking. Seen it a thousand times at the bar she waitressed at just outside campus. "Umm. Not off the top of my head. I'll give it some thought. Do you have a business card or something?"
Eric opened his leather jacket and reached inside. He swiftly pulled out a card and held it out for Sookie. She was watching their every move, still on alert that all was not exactly as it appeared to be.
She stepped back up on the porch to take the card and accidentally brushed her fingers against his hand. Jesus Christ, Shepherd of Judea! It was like a weird electrical shock had struck them both. In an instant, memories or visions passed before both their eyes, revealing moments from another time where they had once been an important part of each other's lives.
Shaking off the awkward, yet surreal moment, they said their goodbyes and went their separate ways.
"What was that all about, Eric? Involving a human in our affairs?" Bill asked as they got in the car and made their way back to Shreveport.
Not being able to shake what he had 'seen' in that brief moment between them, he replied, "There is something special about her. I can't put my finger on it, but she'll be a necessary addition to our lives."
When Sookie made it back to her Gran's, she told everyone about her run in at the Compton house, except for the part about the weird moment between her and Eric. Uncle Fergus was mad that Sookie decided to walk over there all by herself and gave her a stern lecture about 'running off half-cocked' all the time.
But after dinner, he cornered her. "Fate is a powerful thing, Sookie. When she wants two people together, no obstacle is too great. Just guard yourself and know that I'll always have your back."
She gave him a hug and thanked him for his somewhat strange advice. "Oh, and about you waitressing? It's a Dead End Job. You're smart and gifted. Don't sell yourself short. Maybe something like this assistant gig would be a better fit."
Thank you dear readers for going on this adventure with me, especially those of you who have been here since the beginning. This will be my last FanFic story. But maybe some day soon you'll pick up an ebook on Amazon or a paperback in Barnes & Noble and recognize my writing style and know that it was here, with Eric and Sookie, that it all started. Light and love to you all - Teknical.