Disclaimer: I do not own SVM universe, Charlaine Harris does and opened my eyes to a world and characters I never knew existed. She forever has my thanks. Now, to rearrange the cosmos. No copyright infringement intended.
Haunted grey blue eyes were locked in a frozen gaze. On her. Sam’s mouth was parted slightly as if at any moment he would take a breath or speak. But he could not, never would again. A high wind picked up from nowhere and dissolved his body to ash and dust before her eyes.
“Sam! Sam, I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.” Sookie ran through the darkened parking lot after the remains of her boss before tripping on a branch and falling to her knees.
“If I would have known, I could have done something to save him.” Sookie sobbed hysterically into her hands. She knew there was nothing that she could have done differently. No magic that could’ve made someone come back from the dead. No vampire in sight to turn Sam over into a new life. With his thoughts fresh in her mind and his previous warnings to her about vampires, she doubted very much that he would’ve liked being a vampire.
But he could have continued on.
“When it’s my time, that’s it.” Sam had said with a snap of his fingers one night after closing the bar. Dawn had been discovered only two days earlier and the gruesome reveal had made the patrons and employees of Merlotte’s very reflective on their own lives. Death did that to people.
Beside the random words that flowed from their lips from the shock, their minds were vivid rings of chaos. Those times for Sookie always left her with headaches to rival an elephant stampede. She had always called in sick a day or two to avoid the strain on her shields. Since it had been her co-worker’s death, she had to suffer through.
Another shot from the woods rang out, startling Sookie from her memory.
The snarly voice echoed through the darkness around her.
Sookie’s eyes were wide as she jumped to her feet and tried running from the haunting sound. Her legs were working hard against a sudden gust of wind. Time stretched thin and she felt as slow as molasses, unable to go forward no matter how her thighs tried to eat up the distance. Sookie had barely moved two inches when she heard the voice laughing manically at her inability to get away.
“No! Leave me alone!” Sookie screamed and covered her ears in a futile attempt to block the malice of that voice. She dropped and rolled tight into a fetial position. If she couldn’t run away, she would try and protect herself as much as she could before the monster ripped her apart.
“Sookie,” A gentle male voice called for her.
“Sookie,” It was Eric. She knew that sound anywhere. Sookie could’ve picked him right out of a crowd by is pitch and tone alone. He was looking for her? Oh thank God, he would make this right. Relief swept through her.
Sookie’s eyes peeled open. Her brow furrowed as she blinked the fuzziness of her nightmare away and tried to figure out where in the hell she was. Eric was leaning over her, his body pressed close, they were in his bed.
That’s right, he took care of me last night. In the aftermath of… don’t go there.
Eric’s face came into focus as Sookie sucked in breath after deep breath to calm the terror from the fading images out of her mind and back behind her shields. He stroked her cheek with his fingers as if he knew his touch would help relax her faster.
“There you are lover, nothing more than a dream. You are safe with me.” Eric soothed. His masculine smell was another welcomed reminder that he was very real. Yes, she was safe here in Eric’s home, in his bed. Her guardian angel beautiful and ferocious, the perfect combination a girl needed to gather her wits about her.
Sookie exhaled one last time, her pulse had finally taken the hint and slowed down to a reasonable pace.
“You came for me.” Sookie spoke still raw from the nightmare as tried to recall all the details of the fading dream.
“I always will.” Eric promised as he leaned down the last few inches that separated them to brush his cool lips against hers.
Her skin tingled from Eric’s touch, an electric jolt that went straight down to her toes. Threading her fingers through his long hair, she brought him flush against her.
God, she missed Eric. Only one week of not having the love they had recently discovered was killing her. She missed the cool flavor of his mouth as it tangled with her warm tongue. The way his strong hands curved possessively over her hips, was simply divine.
Sookie sighed, leaving the opening Eric needed to deepen their kiss. It would be so easy to start pulling at his clothes and stripping off her own. She wanted too. They could be everything tonight that she had missed this last week.
Her hand slid across Eric’s well-defined muscles of his shoulder. His skin was cool, but not cold. Like the underside of her pillow in summer. Completely refreshing.
Heaven help her, but Sookie was looking for some much needed revitalizing from Eric this very moment.
As her naughty hands traveled down the cool, firm skin of his back, Eric took the opportunity to nudge her willing thighs apart. He began a tantalizing dance of his cock thrusting against her, the thin lace of her panties acting as the only barrier.
Yes, yes, yes!
Eric moaned against her mouth. “I have to taste you, Sookie. I have thought of nothing else for months.” Eric spoke against her jaw as he started to work his way down her neck.
No, no, no.
This was not the Eric she had come to know and love deeply just a few days ago. This was the all-powerful, sexy-as-fuck Eric who would love her and leave her.
“No.” Sookie framed Eric’s face with her hands to stop his decent. She couldn’t continue this with him, not yet. They needed to talk and she needed to spill the beans about their time together. Eric may not appreciate why she was in shock when he awoke the night after the witch war and couldn’t recall his memories or why she was so angry.
Eric deserved to know, everything. What she expected from him when they made love again.
Sookie wasn’t 100% sure how he would take her news on his missing time with her. But she was pretty sure that Eric would consider a future with her. What kind remained to be seen.
He may have no memories, and she had an advance degree on just how perfect they were together. And God willing, they would be again.
Eric didn’t move an inch away, he keep still with an intrigued countenance. “We need to talk about us before we go any further down this road, please.” Sookie spoke in earnest.
If Sookie had expected him to be angry about her sudden halt to their sexual activities, he never showed it. In fact, Eric looked relieved. Was Eric pleased that she was sharing with him, instead of shutting him out? To be honest, Sookie knew she was acting out of character at the moment. She should be deflecting his attention, throwing a mega-sized tantrum and railing against him for coming on to her before she was even truly awake.
That crazy Sookie was long gone.
Death had made Sookie realize that she could keep running from the conflicts life presented and settle for a half-life, or she could stare deep into the love of her life’s brilliant blues and tell him everything they meant to each other.
Her confidence bolstered a bit more at the last thought. Eric was the love of her life.
If after she laid her heart wide open and Eric decided he wanted no part of her. Well, that would certainly crush her. Not even Bill’s calculated betrayal could touch the impending devastation that would be Eric’s dismissal of her from his life.
Ugh! That hasn’t happened. Stop thinking this way!
At least she would have no regrets for the rest of her days. Sookie would hold her head high in years to come, knowing she had truly fought for them, their relationship, even if he wouldn’t.
Please don’t let him shut me out.
Eric smiled and said, “By all means Sookie, let’s talk.” Eric stayed exactly where he was, his turgid cock resting against the apex of her thighs. Damn his vampire gifts. No breathing and able to hold any position comfortably until dawn. Sookie blushed as she recalled some positions they had recently shared, and most until the dawn.
Sookie coughed to distract herself. “Um, we, ah. I-uh, I think a bit of distance is needed here, Eric.” Sookie could feel the heat of her flush creep down to her knees as Eric gave her an absurdly sexy, knowing smirk. Leaving a quick tender kiss on the corner of her mouth, he stood up from the bed. After untangling himself from her, Eric let the silky sheets slide down revealing his very nude, completely magnificent form. Sookie swallowed as she fought to tear her gaze away from the many, many hard planes of his body.
Snatching back the discarded sheet, she hastily covered her breasts. She couldn’t even force herself to be upset that he had undressed her before he had climbed into bed. She did still have her lacy thong in place. Not that that obstacle was much of a deterrent for the Viking vampire. If she recalled correctly, both Eric’s were quite taken were her fancy panties. And both seemed to know just how to rip past them.
“Can you, uh. Put on some pants or something. You are very distracting.” Sookie smiled, holding her hand just low of her eyes to avoid looking directly at Eric’s erection. She was very confident that it was looking right in her direction.
Eric chuckled, murmuring, “As you wish.” He turned on his heel and walked to a large wooden dresser on the other side of the bedroom where he pulled out a pair of silk black sleep pants. He bent over to step into them, one foot at a time. Sookie’s hand had dropped as she got an eye full of his gorgeous, round backside.
Sookie prayed once more that Eric was open to a relationship with her, if only so she could bite his delicious ass again.
His neck turned sharply to her, smiling his million watt smile. Caught. Dead to rights.
“Sorry.” Sookie mumbled, startled that she had been caught.
Good job Stackhouse. Tell him to get dressed but continue to ogle him. Just brilliant.
“Don’t be, I enjoy that you like my body. I certainly relish the feel of yours.” Eric spoke in serious tones that had started playful but he was completely sincere.
Striding back to the bed, he sat facing Sookie waiting patiently for her to speak. Oh, right. She had told him she wanted to talk. Otherwise, she was sure they would each be half way to round two.
“I’m in love with you.” Sookie blurted.
Eric’s eyebrows rose in surprise to her revelation. Well, if he was pleased that she was talking, he would be ecstatic about her candor.
Sookie held up her hands in way of explanation. “Wait, let me back up. Since we’ve met, I’ve been attracted to you. Fought it every step of the way, actually.” Shaking her head at her own pigheadedness.
“Why?” Eric demanded.
She shrugged. “What could you have possibly gained from me after one night that a million other girls would give you on the other 364 days of the year?”
“What?” Eric was confused, the tinges of anger colored his tone, his word came across as an accusation.
Sookie closed her eye and breathed out. “Besides my telepathy Eric, what other charms do I have to keep the interest of a thousand year old Viking?” Sookie looked away a moment. Well, she had bared herself. Now what.
“You think so little of yourself.” Eric shot off the bed irritably cursing under his breath, he paced at the foot of the grand bed. “You are beautiful. Based solely on our first meeting I absolutely intended to fuck you. You are fearless and witty.” Eric stopped and looked her in the eyes. His blue gaze was ice cold. “Your telepathy is irrelevant.”
Hesitating a moment while she let that last statement digest, she answered in a skeptical voice. “Oh, come on. You used it as an excuse to find the thief in your bar. Then there was the Dallas fiasco. It’s not irrelevant that I would assume you would think of me as some shiny new toy. Covet, play with and then set aside.”
Eric strode to her in his obnoxious vampire speed. His face was two inches from hers as he lowered himself, his muscled arms caged Sookie’s back against the head board. “How else could I get you back in my domain? You belonged to another. Protocol demanded some ingenuity on my part.” Eric paused and then added. “At any time I was within my rights to take you for my own, but I sensed that actively pursuing was not the best way to win you.”
Sookie gasped. “Pursuing me? You already were, are you telling me that what I have been experiencing up ‘til you were cursed by witches was the watered-down Eric approach?” She asked.
That damn lickable eyebrow shot up, making his brow wrinkle in the sexiest way. Wow! That was a mind blower, she would have to sit and recall many things later and see if they matched up. But for now, she accepted his explanation. And in truth, the old Sookie was too scared to take any chances on Eric’s advances. She would have assumed sexual attraction was all Eric wanted and at the time, she was going out with Bill. Sookie was not a two-timing hussy, which looking back on now didn’t seem to be such a bad thing. It may have even saved her some more heartache if she had been the one to leave Bill.
But who knew.
“Okay, fine. So you wanted me. Then what?”
“What do you mean?”
“I mean, assuming you had made your intentions known.” Sookie gulped. “Assuming I had agreed. What then?”
Eric smiled in understanding. “You would be by my side every night. Live with me, eat with me, and sleep with me. Until the day I choose to turn you into my Bonded Child. And Sookie, that day would have been sooner rather than later.”
Sookie swallowed again, she needed some water for her now dried up throat. “Turn me?” Sookie spoke hoarsely.
Eric nodded as Sookie’s disbelief hung in the air. “And if I didn’t want that?”
“To be honest, you would not have had an option. Nor would your opinion matter.”
Her feminist and human sensibilities found their voices, but she beat those down. Sookie needed to hear his words, not just jump to conclusions, she could freak out later. “Excuse me?”
“Sookie,” Eric soothed as his thumb grazed over the apple of her cheek. “I am vampire, over a thousand years old. I know when something is right, when a mortal has the right temperament to be immortal. The pull I feel for you is strong, overwhelmingly so. In my time I have only made one child. Do you know why?”
Sookie shook her head in the negative. She was shocked at his arrogance but also stunned that he was willing to share his insights, he had all but told her that at one time her desires were immaterial. Sookie had the impression that his previous stance and changed.
“Because lover, I have found no others worthy to share my world. Pam is an exceptional vampire. A beautiful, loyal child who would fight and die for me, and I for her.” Eric’s fore finger stroked over her plump bottom lip. “You Sookie, are extraordinary and would only become more so after you shed the mortal cloak you wear. To have you live the next fifty years or so with me and then leave me behind to endure your death.”
Eric’s stopped as if trying to smother a bad taste, the words of her life and death hang in the air like oppressively, and then his fangs snapped down.
“No” He seethed. “You. Are. Mine!” His hand was gently massaging the nape of her neck, then Eric crashed his lips to hers. Sealing his promise.
Sookie scrambled at his proclamation. Her trembling hands stroked his arm and shoulders as they breathed each other in, willing Eric to calm down. His possessive streak scared the bee-jeepers right out of her.
He pulled back a few inches, allowing her to catch her breath. “Uh, are you still planning on turning me?” Sookie asked in a low voice. To be honest, the idea of being vampire wasn’t without some consideration on her part.
When vampires had announced themselves, Sookie and Gran had talked for hours about every possibility of life and death. Gran had made the comment that given her current age, it would be silly to continue on as an old lady vampire, using her words. She had also lost focus for a moment, considering her fantasies, then said that given the chance at thirty-five years old, she would have jumped at the opportunity to become immortal.
“Yes.” Eric broke Sookie’s concentration on her past conversation with Gran. “I would have never asked when we first met but in light of…recent events, I find my curiosity peaked. How do you feel about me being your Maker?”
Eric as her Maker.
Eric Northman with ultimate control of her actions.
Sheriff Eric Northman tapped into her every feeling and able to command her anyway he saw fit.
Eric protecting her.
Eric loving her.
Eric with her, forever.
“I feel…okay with that arrangement. I couldn’t imagine another vampire in your place.” Sookie smiled as she noted the triumph in Eric blue gaze. No, it was more than that. He was deeply satisfied and relieved. Sookie’s insides melted at seeing this vibrant, confident, arrogant vampire nervous over her reaction to him.
Taking the seriousness out of the moment, Sookie rolled her eyes, “Thanks for asking.”
Eric chuckled. “Oh, my pleasure.”
“I have one condition.”
Smirking and shaking his head as if he waiting for the other shoe to drop. “Of course you do lover. What is this condition?”
“Is there a, um, particular time you are going to turn me? I mean, I love you. I want to be with you. But you have no idea why.” She watched his reaction at declaring her love again. No emotion, his mask was firmly in place. Sookie knew she was putting herself far out on this limb and hoping beyond expectation that Eric would catch her.
“I know pre-curse you wanted nothing more than to fuck me, but now. Well, what kind of relationship do you want? I can’t even imagine what your last feeling of me was before you were cursed by those witches. But let me set the record straight, during that time, we fell in love. We fell hard. We had sex Eric, but it wasn’t just sex. We felt each other and we were both scared to voice it.
“We cared for each other, we were a team. It was everything I never knew I craved.” Sookie’s eyes closed remembering their time. Laughing and making love. Hiding in the woods and fighting against their enemies. United. Their time had made her so happy and she was dying to submerse herself in that happiness again.
“I want that again. I want us again. What I’m asking for here Eric, is…can you give me… a future where we can discover that love again?”
Sookie stared deeply in his blue iced eyes. She had shocked him, his fangs were tucked away once more in his gums as his mouth lay slack. Was her request such a shock to him, he couldn’t be that dense to think that a girl would want more from her lover. Could he?
A moment later Eric’s jaw tensed and he turned his back to her, his footsteps softly thudding on the hard wood floors as he headed for the bedroom door. Sookie’s heart cracked open in embarrassment, he telling her no. Eric wanted an eternity of being his Bonded Child and nothing more. Chills licked up her spine to the base of her skull as her heart ached in her chest.
This was Sookie’s worst fear realized. Eric was going to laugh at her and walk away without a care in the world. She would be left to pick up the shambles of her life, a life without him. Sookie’s closed her eyes, if only she could get out of here. Sookie realized that other than being in Eric’s home, she truly had no idea where she was. She had been so numb while he drove, she never paid attention to her location.
“You are using words that I don’t understand.” Eric had turned his head to the side, but didn’t look at her. Her vision was blurry from tears that threatened to fall as Sookie witnessed the soft light from the hall spill over Eric profile. His straight nose, proud brow and the glittering light that danced off his golden head of hair. “I am offering a great gift not romantic love.” Eric thrust the words at her with carelessness that she would have only associated with Bill Compton.
Sookie closed her eyes against the pain of that statement. “Coward.” She breathed.
Spinning around to face her, Eric snarled. “What did you call me?”
“A coward.” Sookie kept her voice low and never took her eyes off him. He was furious, surly no one in their right mind had called Eric Northman a coward and lived to tell the tale.
Clenching his jaw, Eric shook from head to toe looking like he was trying to tape down the rage he felt. His fists at his sides were tight balls of fury, he was a barley contained tornado. “I am due more respect than that Miss Stackhouse. What you ask of me is nothing I can give and expect to live long. Our world is about strength, real or perceived makes little difference. But weakness is blood in the water. Sharks for thousands of miles can scent it and take action.
“My offer is to turn you at a time of my choosing and keep you with me always. Whimsical notions of love and romance will be shelved Sookie. You will devote your entire being to me and crave to give me more than you have ever dreamed of giving another. An immortal life is nothing you have been prepared for, but I will guide you. This is my vow that I will honor.”
“Then my answer is no. If you want some mindless servant, you could throw a rock in any direction and find several of them tonight. I have too much pride to let my love for you be used against me, Eric. I will wither and die under those restrictions. Whatever girl or vampire you think you would be getting, well, I can rightly say that she would be a complete failure. In fact, I can guarantee you would need to kill me so that you could keep your precious life.”
“Sookie-.” Eric was shocked but still completely livid over Sookie requesting something so foolish.
She held up her hand to stop him. “I’ll call my brother, he can come and pick me up. I’ll need to give him your address too.” Sookie looked around the room for her clothing, locating her torn, bloody clothes hanging from a laundry basket in the large closet. She wasn’t thrilled to be putting those back on. Perhaps Eric wouldn’t care about losing one of his shirts tonight.
“I need some privacy, please leave.” Sookie turned her head away from Eric to stare at the wall. Unchecked tears fell freely down her cheeks, but she didn’t care anymore. This was so much worse than being used and set aside. Eric had been cruel. Using her declaration of love for him against her for eternity.
She couldn’t, wouldn’t do that to herself or the memory of the beautiful time they had shared. That Eric would live on in her heart.
Sookie had been so sure that this Eric was the same as his amnesic self, deep down. They were both there, just under his beautiful surface was an even more brilliant soul. Now, though, after his announcement of how he pictured their arrangement, she wasn’t so sure. Either way, Eric could take his proposition and stuff it where the sun would never shine.
“You are mine, you will not leave me tonight or any other!” Eric roared from the door.
Sookie sighed, “Then turn me so I can start the process of dying. Because Eric, all you will get from me is a burden with the current plan you have laid out.”