Eric had barely made it home before the sun had set. HIs shift was over and as he started to leave he caught sight of Sookie walking to her car. He stopped dead in his tracks. He watched her as she approached her car, but something triggered her to stop and look around and when she did, they ended up looking right at each other. Neither one of them could look away. She looked so soft and kind and pretty and there was an urge in him that wanted to comfort her in a way that no one else had ever done before. It irked him and while his emotions warred within him, he stayed his face as her eyes attempted to cut right through him. And then she did it….she tilted her head in question, a tentative smile on her face. That little movement, that tiny gesture spoke to him. His eyes left hers and he noted the sky. He had to go. He could postpone it no longer, but he had to look again and as he did, their eyes met. A few seconds later, a quick smile crept over his face and he left.
Eric walked down the stairs of the hospital to the basement. Once there, he was able to enter a secret passageway that lead to a room he often used when he worked past the end of his shift. He didn’t like to stay there, but it worked out well to have something available to him in a pinch. It was a comfortable space, with modest furnishings, but, most importantly, it was secret and it was secure. No one knew that the space existed, that is no one except the hospital administrator, Pamela Ravenscroft.
Pamela Ravenscroft ran the hospital and was also Eric’s confidente and his best friend. She arranged for this secure room in order to guarantee Eric’s employment and his safety. She’d known Eric for the past 5 years. They had become close after he had saved her life one night. Pam had always felt that she owed him for the new chance at life that he had given her, and with her connections and his gifts, they were able to forge a very successful business and personal relationship.
Eric stepped inside his bedroom and undressed to take a shower to wash away the night’s grime. Standing in the shower with the water beating down on him, he couldn’t help that his mind wandered to Sookie Stackhouse. There was no doubt he was attracted to her. He’d barely spoken to her, yet he couldn’t stop thinking about her. This was so unlike him and he couldn’t help how bothered he was by it. He straightened up and turned off the water. He stepped out of the shower, dried off, and sluggishly walked over to the bed. It was time for him to rest. He climbed in, had one last thought of the young blond, and then he died for the day.
Sookie made it home about thirty minutes after she left. She was bone tired and looked forward to collapsing in her bed. She lived in Bon Temps, a small town about 20 miles away from Shreveport. Her home was in a rural area, surrounded by acres of wooded grounds. She also had a cemetery that served as her back yard. For most people, that alone would have been enough to move to a more populated area, but Sookie had never been bothered by the cemetery. She actually enjoyed the quiet and took comfort in knowing that that was where people came to let their loved ones rest.
As Sookie climbed her porch steps and unlocked the door, she had a brief thought of Eric Northman. How strange it had all seemed. Maybe it was because she had been so tired and drained, but she couldn’t shake the strange connection they had in the parking lot. She figured she’d see him again when she returned to the hospital to visit Jason and she would pay better attention to the blond doctor.
Sookie entered her home, locked the door, and then started her climb up the stairs to her bedroom. She didn’t have enough energy to change her clothes, so she plopped down on her bed, grabbed the comforter, and wrapped it around her as she succumbed to the much needed sleep.
Five hours later Sookie stirred. The sunlight was shining brightly into her room and she knew it was time to get up. She would shower, grab a bite, and then return to the hospital to visit her brother. Sookie rolled onto her back and couldn’t contain the groan that left her mouth. She layed there a few minutes longer until she knew she could no longer avoid the inevitable. As she struggled to get up, she looked forward to the warm water that would soothe her body.
Sookie was dressed and ready to go an hour later. It would take her another thirty minutes to get back to the hospital and she hoped that Jason would be up and speaking by the time she got there. After a quick call to her boss to let him know what was going on and that she’d be missing a few days work, she was on her way. Anxious to see her brother, Sookie had to keep slowing down every time she’d catch herself speeding. The last thing she wanted to do was to tempt fate and end up in the room next door to him.
The parking lot was pretty full by the time she got to the hospital and there were many more people milling about. It looked quite different during the day than it had the night before. Somehow it all seemed colder.
Sookie made her way to Jason’s room and she was disappointed that he was still sleeping. Checking in with the nurse, Sookie got an update about his status. Jason had been up earlier. He had a little pain from his head injury and his broken ribs, but was actually doing better than expected. The nurse expected that he’d probably be up in the next hour or two, so Sookie grabbed a magazine, went back to the room, and made herself comfortable in the bedside chair.
Just like clockwork, Jason woke up an hour later. “Sook? Is that you?
Sookie grabbed his hand “Jason! Oh my god, I’m so glad you’re awake. You don’t know how much you scared me. I was so…sniff…scared. So…sniff…scared.”
“Hey now, I’m gonna be okay. Lookie here, I ain’t got nothing but a few broken ribs and a bump on the head. That’s pretty dog gone good if you ask me. And honestly, I feel pretty good.”
Sookie couldn’t help but cry as she listened to him. The thought of losing Jason was too much after all they’d been through, but she was so glad to hear he was doing so well. Jason pulled her closer so he could give her a hug. It hurt to squeeze too tightly, but he was willing to bear a little pain to comfort her. He didn’t know what he’d ever do without her. She was always there for him no matter what trouble he got himself into. Sure she’d give him hell, but there was no doubt he could count on her.
“Jason, what happened? Do you remember the accident?”
“No. I wish I did, but I don’t know nothing past gettin’ off work. I keep trying to think on it.….but I got nothing.” Jason tried to recall, but the details of the accident were the things that alluded him. He could only hope that the memory of what happened would come back. He didn’t like not knowing and he couldn’t get past the thought that he was missing something important.
Sookie continued to hug him. It concerned her that he didn’t have any memory of the accident. She didn’t know if that was normal or if it meant something else was wrong. Either way, she’d be asking the doctor to find out.
“Hey, it’s okay. I’m sure you’ll remember in time. But enough of that, did they say when you’d be gettin’ out? Can I take you home soon?”
“Well, if all goes well, I should be outta here tomorrow. I’m definitely ready to go home…although, they got themselves some real nice nurses here. I could stay a day or two. Get to know them, if you know what I mean.” Jason smiled big when he said that, while all Sookie could do was groan. Yeah, he was feeling better.
A few hours later, Jason and Sookie were saying their goodbyes. He needed to get his rest and she would be back tomorrow to pick him up to take him home.
On her way down to the first floor, Sookie’s thoughts went to Eric Northman. Since she was there and Jason was doing so well, it seemed like the perfect time to swing by the Emergency Room to see if he was working. She would thank him for taking such good care of her brother. She approached the receptionist and asked if he was working. Her stomach turned a little bit as she awaited the answer — she was nervous. To her disappointment, he was off tonight. She thanked the receptionist and went on her way.
On the drive home, Sookie couldn’t contain her happiness at the thought of bringing Jason home the next day. After how horrible the previous night had been, she was amazed at how things stood now.
Sookie was halfway home and singing at the top of her lungs when she was startled by a flash in the sky. Her car slowed as she searched out her windows to see if she could find the source of the light, but she couldn’t see a thing. She pushed the gas pedal to pick up speed and continue on her way. She drove another mile before she saw the flash again. Once again, she could see nothing out of her windows, and this made her start to worry. She picked up her speed and this time had no intention of slowing down. She just wanted to get home and she wanted to get there now.
She had traveled another 5 miles without seeing anything out of the ordinary before she began to relax again. She was about 5 miles from home when the light came for the third time, except this time the light seemed to come straight down on her car. Sookie screamed as she swerved to miss the light, but there was no missing the light. It engulfed her and her car and, feeling disoriented, Sookie drove into a ditch. She hit her head on the steering wheel and felt groggy from the impact. She struggled to open her eyes and in her attempt to focus, she thought she saw the outline of a man. She blinked hard several times to try and see the figure in front of her, but it was to no avail. She felt herself losing consciousness when the figure came right up to her and the last thing she saw was blond hair and stormy blue gray eyes.