Reminder: I pursed my lips. "Fine. Are we heading straight to the club?"

"Yes."

Telling him goodbye I made my way back into the bar before making my way over to Arlene to tell her that I could cover her night shift tomorrow as long as she covered mine tonight.

"Oh thank you, Sookie!" she pulled me into a hug. "You have no idea how much weight that is off my shoulders, I owe you big!"

I smiled despite myself, patting her on the back gently before pulling away. "Don't worry about it. I'd better hurry and finish up my tables before I clock out, I'm on a tight schedule it seems," I continued to smile.

Happy thoughts were so much easier to block out, it sounding like a quiet but warm hum against my mental shields instead of bad thoughts trying to force their way into my head.

I just hoped the rest of the night ended on such a good note.


Disclaimer: I do not own True Blood unfortunately; I'm just messing around with the characters!


Chapter Five


Sookie

I was just finishing up my final table as I restacked the napkins in the dispenser when I felt rather than heard the atmosphere in the entire place go still and quiet, as if a switch had been flicked and the awkward and uncomfortable silence was the result.

Eric had arrived it seemed.

It was the same every time he entered the place, but I guess I shouldn't be surprised. Not a lot of people in Bon Temps were open to the whole vampires and equal rights, but it made me wonder what they would think if they realised they were living in Eric's area, since he was the sheriff and all.

Or did that only apply to vampires?

I shrugged off those thoughts, figuring if I was still curious about it later then I could simply ask Eric. If he didn't give me an answer or simply didn't want to then I doubt it would bother me, much anyway.

Turning around I waved when I saw Eric standing by the entrance. I winced briefly at the suddenly pressure of thoughts and murmurs as they got too much before I recollected my shields and threw them up.

Thank god, I sighed when my head was my own once again.

I jumped slightly when I felt cool fingers brush against my cheek. I hadn't even realised he had moved closer until his touch brought me out of it.

"Hey," I smiled.

Eric stared down at me, staying quiet for a brief moment before he pulled his hand away. I loathed the fact I still felt my skin tingling.

It's the chilliness of his skin, I told myself. That was why I reacted that way. He had obviously flown here. It was cold out.

"Hello, Sookie" he drawled. "Are you ready to leave?" he looked around the place with obvious distaste.

I rolled my eyes at his stuck up attitude, having expected nothing less. "I just need to go grab my purse and keys, but then we can go."

He nodded before taking a step back and gesturing me to hurry along with a small gesture of his hand. I bit my tongue as to fight back the urge to make a snarky comment, knowing that it had been my idea to do this tonight even after we had already changed the plans.

I sighed, but went to collect my belongings anyway.


"Thank you," I couldn't help my manners as he held the door open for me when we reached Fangtasia. "Jesus, it's chilly!" I shivered, wrapping my arms around myself.

I hadn't expected the weather to take such a cold turn, if I had I would have made sure I had taken a jacket or even a coat with me when I made my way to work that morning. I knew I had a wrap in my car, but considering that was parked all the way back in Bon Temps and I was in Shreveport I doubted that was much use.

I yelped when I was suddenly airborne and lifted into a firm set of arms.

"Eric!"

Feeling him chuckle deep within his chest I couldn't help but wrap my arms around his neck, terrified that he would accidentally drop me. While the thought was unlikely, my self-preservation wouldn't let my grip lax in the slightest.

"Put me down now, Mister! Preferably before you drop me!" I demanded, flushing.

"I will not drop you, Sookie" Eric smirked down at me. "And in fact I find I quite like the feeling of having you in my arms, all that bare skin on show" he leered.

Crap I thought, I was still in my uniform.

If there was one thing I disliked about Merlotte's it was the skimpy uniform. The white t-shirt did nothing to hide the fact it was tight around my generous chest, and the shorts small enough that my legs and thighs were on show for all to see.

Like I said, I hated it.

It made me uncomfortable, especially since I was raised in a good Christian household. Displaying all that skin on a daily basis was not an appealing thought I was comfortable in, not at all.

"Stop staring at me like that," I complained, bright red in the face as he kicked open the back door of his club causing me to yelp again as I held onto him tighter before I knew what I was doing. "Eric!"

"That's right," he purred. "Scream my name."

My blush deepened if the heat raising to my face had anything to do with it. I scowled, embarrassed as I began to squirm in his arms for him to put me the hell down.

"Well, well, well" I scowled deeper when I heard Pam's amused drawl. "I have to say, Sookie, I did not expect for you to give in so easily. Though, then again it might loosen Eric up a bit since all that sexual-"

"Pam!" Eric snapped before she could continue, leaving me wondering what she had been about to say.

She rolled her eyes. "Whatever, like I care. You here for the vermin?"

I frowned. "Vermin?"

"The drainer, the V-dealer, the pathetic crying human whose currently occupying our basement," she expanded.

"Oh," was my bright response. "Do you have to call him vermin?"

I wasn't exactly comfortable with that term.

Pam rolled her eyes. "He came into our club probably wanting to either try and drain a vampire or score some V and you think he's too good to insult?"

I pursed my lips unhappily, but didn't argue.

It was then I realised I was still in Eric's arms. Looking up I shot him a pointed look which he out right ignored. I sighed. "Let me down, Eric."

"No."

I scowled. "Why not? I'm here, I have legs, so why you feel the need to carry me I don't know."

"He wants to get into your pants," Pam felt the need to point out.

As if on command my blush intensified.

"Pamela!"

Looking only slightly chastised Pam rolled her eyes before sighing lazily, though at least her comment had resulted in Eric thankfully placing me down on my own two feet with a gentleness I hadn't expected from him.

I smiled up at him in thanks, even if he was in the wrong for picking me up in the first place without my permission.

"So…" I shifted on the balls of my feet. "Do I have to go down the basement?" because that thought was not appealing in the slightest.

Eric's lips curved. "You think I would make you go down into such a vile place?" he quirked a brow as he took a step towards me, invading my personal space as he literally towered over me enough so that I was forced to crane my neck to look up to him. "Oh no, you are far too special to be in such a hell hole."

I flushed, finding myself speechless since I didn't think he was teasing.

"Pam, go get the blood-bag!"

Huffing, Pam rolled her eyes but with a mutter of "whipped" which drew a growl from Eric before she suddenly gone. I bit my lip, even more nervous now that it was just me and Eric alone, even if it was only for a few minutes.

I broke the silence. "I thought there were two of them?"

I recalled Eric having told Pam to grab him when his associate arrived, but so far I hadn't heard either of them refer to a second prisoner they wanted me to invade the mind of. Did they kill him by accident? Because if so, I was not ok with that.

Guessing my thoughts, Eric chuckled. "No Sookie, it turned out that he was either stood up or there was a change of plans. Pam grabbed him before he made a move to leave the club."

"Oh,"

That was good then. It meant I only needed to look into his mind and not another. It was invasive enough as it was without having to do it twice.

"Has he told you anything?" I asked curiously.

Eric shook his head. "His lips have been firmly sealed, and since you forbid" his lips quirked, "me from using my usual means of getting information out of the vermin, you will have to find out all you can."

It was worth the extra work, I figured. If it meant Eric not torturing anyone I didn't mind spending a little extra time with the V-dealer.

Eric looked as if he wanted to say something else but I cringed when I suddenly heard the crude cursing and yells from the human Pam was dragging behind her. Literally dragging.

"Will you shut the fuck up!" Pam kicked him in the gut causing him to groan and me to flinch.

"Pam," Eric sighed. "You know the rules."

She scowled, her eyes flickering in my direction. "If you didn't have my maker by the balls-"

"Pamela!"

Huffing, she grabbed a bar chair before forcing the human into it, roughly grabbing his arms which she handcuffed behind him before Eric done the same with his legs.

I really was not looking forward to this.

Then again, when did I ever?

"Stupid fuckin' vamps! What the fuck is goin' on? I ain't done nothin'!" he rambled on, the stench of fear and panic following off him in waves.

Shying back slightly I licked my lips nervously as both Eric and Pam sneered down at the human with obvious disgust. I doubted it was solely on the basis that the bloke also stank of his own urine.

It was not a pleasant scent in the slightest.

"Sookie?"

Snapping out of my haze I looked up only to see both Eric and Pam looking at me expectantly. "Oh right," I gushed when I realised they were waiting for me to do my thing.

Making a move to approach him I smiled when I saw Eric flash to grab a chair before placing it in front of the profoundly sweating bloke. Even with the whole situation I couldn't help but lean up on my toes and peak him on the cheek in thanks.

I didn't stay standing long enough to see his reaction, moving to take a seat in front of the man tied to the chair as I took him in.

He was young, late twenties if I was guessing, but I knew I wasn't the best when it came to judging ages. His hair was scruffy and un-kept and he was clearly wearing the same clothes that he had been wearing last night if the smell was anything to go by.

Clearly he had also dressed to fit in, leather pants I knew he must be cursing himself internally for choosing to wear and a tight top which had been soaked through with sweat.

Lovely.

I looked towards Eric. "What do you want me to ask him?"

"Ask him what his intention was when he came into my club."

Nodding, I reached forward to gently lay my hand on his bare arm, knowing my disability worked better with skin to skin contact. He immediately flinched away from me, his thoughts immediately beginning to filter into my head.

What the fuck does this bitch think she's doing….

what the fuck...

oh shit, they look serious…

mistake…

.shouldn't have come here…

Shifting through the unnecessary thoughts that didn't give me much information, I licked my lips before asking, "why did you come to Fangtasia?"

Fuck….

gunna die….

"I don't k-know what you're t-talking about," he stuttered out while his thoughts told me different.

"He was meeting his friend here, apparently they thought it would be cocky to meet in a vamp bar considering what they were dealing in."

The blokes eyes widened. "What the fuck?" he looked at Eric alarmed. "Don't you listen to the lying bitch, I just came here for the drink and dancing…"

"Hush human!"

Eric looked pissed, though whether it was from him calling me a bitch or actually having the nerve to deal in his bar I didn't know. Probably both.

I continued to talk as his thoughts continued to whirl. "Uh, he's also pissed that he got stood up considering he was nervous enough as it was without being left stranded-"

"Shut the fuck up! Where are you getting this from!"

My brows creased when I heard another stray thought, one which would have most likely skipped my attention had it not been for the way he flinched.

"You hear something, Sookie?" Pam asked curiously, only to have Eric shush her.

I resisted the urge to flinch away as I unknowingly sank my nails further into his arm, not realising what I had done until I felt the wetness begin to drip down my fingers and the bloke try and squirm away.

"Oh, sorry!" I immediately apologised, loosening my hold.

I heard Eric snort behind me. "You don't need to apologise, Sookie."

I shrugged. It wasn't as if I could simply turn off my manners at a flick of a switch. I wasn't raised that way.

"What else did you want to know?" I glanced up at him.

"Can you get any names?"

Closing my eyes I refocused back on his thoughts, Eric's question meaning the bloke couldn't help but think about who his supplier was.

"His wife has no idea that he's been doing this. At first he done it for the money, delivering it to clients, now he's pretty much hooked on the stuff."

I ignored his continued shouts of me being a demented bitch. I had heard it all before.

"John Row's," I heard him think. "He was meeting him at eleven, apparently he had three vials of some vampires blood he was going to sell him for cheap."

"How the hell did you know that! What's going on?"

The man tied to the chair was in tears now, and it wasn't until then I realised how it must seem. He had no idea of the fact I could read minds, so me holding onto him with two frightful vampires looking over my shoulder while I sprouted off details I shouldn't know.

I would have felt bad for the bloke if he hadn't…uh…you know tried to buy vampire blood and all.

"His dealer is low-key, just started. I think this was his first, or one of the first few anyway that he actually intended to sell it on himself."

Spending the next half hour getting all of the information out of him as possible, I soon found myself sitting in Eric's booth with a glass of orange juice an hour later after Eric had taken the human back to the basement while Pam had opened the club.

Morally, I was still conflicted about the whole thing. I knew that justice would be served when Eric glamoured the man into confessing, but that didn't mean I liked the fact he was kept in such bad conditions until then.

I was hesitant to push for more though.

I jumped when Pam suddenly occupied the booth opposite me. "Oh, you startled me," I held a hand over my racing heart.

"You will get used to us suddenly appearing sooner or later," she drawled instead of apologising. "Being around us all the time will help that."

"Uh…ok," I took a sip of my drink.

The action took her attention as she rolled her eyes. "Why do you not have your usual gin and tonic, did the pathetic human at the bar mess up your order?"

I shook my head, not wanting her to go and eat him. "I'm not drinking tonight."

"Why ever not?"

I shrugged. "I'm half asleep as it is, I doubt the alcohol would do me much good. Not to mention I have another morning shift tomorrow, and the night one."

She stared at me blankly, blinking. "Why don't you just ask Eric for money if you are struggling?"

I looked at her with shock. "Why would I do that?" I asked confused.

"Because he has money, you need money, so ask him and he will give it to you" she rolled her eyes as if talking to a child, as if she expected nothing less than for me to do as she offered.

I shook my head. "I don't want his money, Pam."

And I didn't. Why would I? I hadn't earned it, we weren't married and I surely wasn't going to take it even if it was offered for no reason. I was not a kept woman, and I certainly didn't want to be in his debt.

I knew he would collect sooner or later.

"You know, you are the only human I know who would turn down free money," she raised a perfectly plucked brow.

I was the one to roll my eyes this time, taking another sip of my drink as I ran the tip of my finger over the rim of my glass.

I shrugged. "There are more important things in the world than being rich."

From the expression on her face I could tell that she didn't exactly agree, but I didn't push. It was clear that she was most likely born into money when she was still human, so even the thought of not having it so easily at her disposal probably never entered her mind.

It was alright for some, I thought.

The rest of the night was uneventful, and while I had planned to go home straight after the interrogation of the dealer, I found I didn't mind hanging around for a bit. It wasn't the fact that I was enjoying the thoughts running through the sex filled minds of the patrons, but my mind was still whirling with what I had heard slip through the prisoners thoughts.

"Eric?"

He was in front of me before I even had the time to blink, relaxing against the red leather booth while blissfully ignoring the startled but adoring gasps of the dancers nearby.

How low must a person's respect for themselves be that they would literally kneel before him to kiss his boots?

It reminded me of the first time I came to the club and witnessed that exact situation happening. I may not been the most richest, beautiful or desirable woman, but even I had more self-respect that all of them combined.

Their thoughts weren't much of an improvement either.


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