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Before finding out about Bill’s deception, things had seemed strained between her and Bill lately. After Jessica’s making, Bill seemed to close himself off emotionally. He hardly ever smiled anymore and when he did, it didn’t reach his eyes. She had thought maybe things were starting to get better, and then they came to Dallas; his maker showed up and revealed his true intentions towards her.
Was she really considering this? Could she really do it? Watching Eric yesterday with Godric had shown her that there was another side to the vampire that not many, if anyone, got to see. Perhaps Eric had depths not even Bill had.
Yes…she could do this. It wasn’t something she would really have envisioned for herself …but sometimes you made sacrifices for the people you cared about. And she would do this.
Her decision was made.
“You want me as your child.” she whispered softly. Eric looked up at her.
“Bonded child.” He corrected.
“I’ll be your bonded child, if you come with me back to our room.”
His blue eyes darted to meet hers and they pierced straight through to her soul.
“Turn me, Eric…I- I’ll be yours forever if you want me. You’ll be there to teach me how to feed; you’ll teach me everything between a maker and child. Teach me about a world I don’t understand. Become my husband, my friend, my lover. Teach me pleasure like I’ve never known.” Despite feeling both mortified and excited by her boldness, her tone was a little louder and filled with no uncertainty.
“Do you love me?” Eric asked while his right hand weaved into her hair and slid it onto her cheek. He tugged back gently so her face was lifted to look at his.
“Not yet…but I do have feelings for you.” She admitted, placing her left hand on his right hand on her cheek feeling him. Her right hand gripped the front of his black sweater and tugged it forward, hoping his body would follow the cloth.
He let this infuriating, small human tug him forward but didn’t respond as her lips met his. She knew he was still trying to fathom all the angles in this unexpected turn of events.
Come on Eric…please do this, she thought as she slid her hand from his and wound her fingers into his hair, tangling in his golden locks. She had tears in her eyes and she sniffled, hoping he’ll choose not to meet the sun.
Suddenly, his grip on her hair tightened and he returned her kiss. His tongue slowly moved over her bottom lip, seeking permission to enter. She sighed softly, opening to him, and his tongue swept inside. She knew she’d won this battle with him then. He was going to turn her, to keep her, and to stay alive. She sighed with relief and felt her heart jump with joy. Sookie would rather spend an eternity with him then watch him take his own life on a rooftop in Dallas.
Eric’s free hand reached forward and grasped her hip, tugging her up against him. His lips released hers and moved down to her jaw, nipping softly. His mouth placed soft kisses along her slim neck and over to her ear where he whispered.
“Wrap your arms around my neck and your legs around my waist, Sookie. I’ll accept your offer, but we won’t do this here. I’m afraid there would be far too many distractions.”
He never said the word Bill but she knew exactly what he was referring to.
She nodded and wrapped herself around his tall, well-muscled frame. His long arms wrapped themselves around her waist and he tucked her head under his chin, pressing her face into his chest. After a moment, he placed a surprisingly soft kiss onto the top of her head and took off into the pre-dawn sky.
They had landed in front of a simple ranch style house, Eric had led her inside. He made sure all the doors and windows were secured and then told her to follow him upstairs, where he had shown her to a room that was decorated in hues of yellow and blue.
“You can use this room while I rest,” he stated with a nod before turning to head down the hallway.
“Wait!” Sookie exclaimed, surprised he hadn’t dragged her to the bed yet. “Aren’t you going to turn me?” Eric sighed.
“Sookie…I will not turn you based upon what might quite possibly be a well-intentioned whim of yours.” He stepped closer to the young telepath and deliberately yet delicately inhaled. It was odd for Sookie to see his broad chest rise and fall with the unusual motion.
“Your scent is mingled with that of the sun. It was that way when you first came to Fangtasia, and has been so every time we’ve met. Despite the natural aversion of vampires to the sun, it is a scent we universally find…appealing. Since you smell so richly of it, it stands to reason that spending time in the sun is something you greatly enjoy. Thus, I have decided to grant you one more day in the sun’s rays. Enjoy it, and think carefully on the commitment you’re making.”
He looked at her for a moment longer, and turned to leave. When he was halfway down the hallway, he stopped.
“If you need or desire anything today, there are keys to the car in the garage on the kitchen counter. Take it and get what you need. I’ve also placed some money near the keys. My only request today is that you not contact anyone. I don’t want to alert Bill to where we are. If, when I rise tonight, you have decided that you have changed your mind, I will take you back to Bon Temps immediately and we will forget the whole matter.” He turned his back to her and started down the hallway.
“Please enjoy your day, Sookie. I will see you at sunset.” With that, he disappeared through the door at the end of the hall. She stood there until she heard a beep that could only be the sound of an alarm being armed.
At sunrise the old lady was standing at her window, looking out into the city and only once or twice glancing at the sky. She had decisions to make, decisions that could change everything. She thought long and hard about one decision she had to think about carefully; meeting Sookie face to face. Meeting her could put her remaining family in danger…including Sookie. Knowing her husband and what he was capable of…would be Sookie’s undoing. The old lady had to warn her that not only was trouble about to come from vampires but those of her lineage as well.
Jenna was satisfied that Sookie saw the truth in her words…or mind. She hoped Sookie made it to the Viking in time and made the right choice. She popped in a room and saw her mother looking out the window again. Nowadays, that’s all she does…her time is almost at an end and she had a lot to answer for and a lot of wrongs to fix. She sighed deeply. Jenna approached her mother putting her hand on her shoulder comforting her.
“I’m back.” she said in a small, quiet voice.
“Did you do what I asked?” she asked in tired voice. Jenna nodded her head. “Did you succeed?” Again, Jenna nodded. She was concerned about her mother’s gradually dying health and she was desperate to find a solution to it. But deep down there wasn’t one and even if there was, her mother would not accept it.
I’m paying the consequences of the choices I made, child. It’s time we just accept the inevitable. The least I can do is prepare her, warn her and make sure she doesn’t make the same mistakes I made. I promised this to Fintan and I plan to keep that promise.
She held back her tears as much as she could. She was desperate to save her mother, but there was nothing more she could do, except grant her last requests.
“Are you well mother?” she asked softly. She ignored her daughter’s question and turned away from the window.
“Prevent the queen and Compton from interfering with the Viking and the Telepath. Without each other they will not survive.” She sighed and nodded her head.
“What do you need me to do? Someone has already captured Compton, and I don’t believe it was the queen.”
“His maker took him…but they’ll both be back for the girl soon and Lorena will want revenge against the telepath. She’s informing the queen about Compton’s failure right now as we speak.” She pulled an envelope from the nightstand and handed it to Jenna. “Give this to Viking after he turns the girl and then proceed with your mission.” Jenna nodded her head and then popped out the room.
After a few hours of tossing and turning, Sookie finally fell asleep but only to be woken at 10. She didn’t feel completely rested, but enough to sit back and think things through. The more she thought about it, the more she realized she didn’t mind being turned. If the bond between a maker and child is so strong…then maybe there’s some kind of law that prevents vamps like the queen from taking her. There is a lot she has to learn.
An eternity with Eric is a lot better than enslavement. She doesn’t see this as a sacrifice…it’s more like giving Eric another reason to live and continue on being the man that he is. I promised Godric that I’d take care of him and I plan to keep it no matter what. Whether Godric asked her to care for him or not she’d still choose to be his…forever, it’s not love…but its close. She appreciated the fact that Eric wanted her to think about her decision. It only made Sookie like him even more.
Why she failed to notice he was considerate of her feelings before she’ll never know, but this time she’ll be grateful of everything he does for her, because in his deep blue eyes he cares for her a great deal. After making herself breakfast, and washing the dishes she made, she decided to go outside on the deck and tan.
The sun shone dazzlingly over the body of Sookie, reflecting off the coconut-scented oil that covered her form, making her skin look of a sparkling glow. She was sprawled in a lounge chair on the deck behind what she had learned was one of Godric’s safe houses, a soft burgundy towel spread beneath her. She had already spent several hours in the sun, contemplating Eric Northman, ancient vampire and head honcho of Louisiana’s Area 5.
A couple of hours went by and Sookie started to drift off. Sookie sighed and turned over onto her stomach, her front already a beautiful golden color. As she laid her head on the towel and closed her eyes, she smiled. Eric was showing small signs that he wasn’t quite the monster everyone made him out to be. If she were to compare Eric to anything, it would be an onion. There were many layers to him, and the more layers she peeled away, the more he revealed.
Although, of course, he smells much better than an onion, she mentally amended. He smells rather nice, actually a little bit like a fall morning, when there’s dew on the grass and the soil is wet with it. She sighed again dreamily. She didn’t realize how much Eric really affected her. Even thinking about him filled her stomach with butterflies. From the stories she’d heard in Godric’s nest two nights prior and the whispers (and thoughts, she had to admit) of the staff at Fangtasia, she knew Eric was considered a fair-minded sheriff, and an even more just maker.
She could certainly do worse, as far as makers went. She could, after all, have gotten stuck with the blood-thirsty Stan Davis, or even that creepy Chow she had seen at Merlotte’s with Eric and Pam the night they came to pick up Bill for the tribunal. She couldn’t imagine having to spend eternity with either of them.
From what she’d learned of vampires from Bill and what she had heard elsewhere, she knew she wouldn’t have to stay with Eric forever. Maker and child often went their own ways after a time; even the strong bond of love and mutual respect between Godric and Eric hadn’t kept them at each other’s side permanently. She would eventually be on her own again, and when that happened, the sky was the limit as to what she could do and where she could go. Vampires didn’t seem to be very constrained in their life choices in the new post-Revelation world.
She had spent a lot of time thinking about her life back in Bon Temps. As much as she would like to think there were things waiting for her, she couldn’t find many definite pros to the situation. There was her brother. Jason only cared about himself, and that was a constant ache in Sookie’s heart. She loved her brother, but she also knew him extremely well. He had his life and there really wasn’t a big place in it for her. The only time Jason came to visit these days was for a meal or for her to help get him out of trouble.
Then there was Sam and her job at Merlotte’s. Sure, she had enjoyed working there and Sam was a great friend, but did she really want to be a waitress forever? How much longer would she be able to handle the mean thoughts of those around her? How long could she continue to live in her guise of Crazy Sookie? It definitely put a strain on her self-esteem and her level of inner peace.
There was also Gran’s house to consider. She really didn’t want to give it to Jason. She knew he didn’t have the time to care for it, and he definitely couldn’t afford the additional property taxes he would incur. Sookie was very attached to the old farmhouse, it being the setting of so many of her happy memories, which surely outnumbered Jason’s, if only because she had continued living there after he had moved out eight years earlier. Perhaps Eric will let me keep it, for when I am ready to be on my own.
She’d ask him when he rose for the evening. She sighed heavily as she contemplated Bill. Her relationship with Bill had begun and progressed faster than you could shake a stick. She really thought she had been in love with him. However, after she had sucked those bullets out of Eric’s chest, Bill had slipped and let out a secret. He told her that she might become sexually attracted to Eric, and that Eric would always be able to sense her emotions, and he would always know where she was. After her initial shock and her anger at Eric for tricking her faded, she realized that Eric was not the only vamp whose blood she had ingested.
Bill had given her his blood to save her life after she had been so severely beaten by the Rattrays, and it hadn’t just been the few drops she hadn’t managed to spit out from Eric. It had been mouthfuls and mouthfuls. After that, she had felt such gratitude toward Bill for saving her, which had opened the door for her to feel so much more and she had. Now, with her newly acquired understanding of the effects of drinking a vampire’s blood, she found herself with so many uncertainties. Why had he failed to tell her what his blood might do to her? Was her attraction to Bill based solely on the fact that she had taken his blood? She tried to remember the feelings she had about him before the night of the beating.
Sure, when she’d first seen him at Merlotte’s, she had been intrigued by him; he was, after all, the very first real live vampire she had ever seen after hoping for years to glimpse one. She had genuinely enjoyed their interactions, and she had /loved/ the silence of his mind. She had found him attractive, but she found lots of people attractive without falling in love with them.
When she met Eric for the first time, she knew without a doubt (or any of his blood, thank you very much) that she was bone-deep attracted to him. How could any heterosexual woman not be? The man was absolutely gorgeous, exuded confidence and charisma, and had light blue eyes that twinkled as if he had just heard a very funny, very naughty joke. He had also exhibited a very unambiguous interest in her.
And now she was discovering that he wasn’t quite the evil creature she had thought him to be, or that Bill had implied that he was. Yes, she hated the way he had abused Lafayette when he had been caught selling V, but he had spoken the truth when he stated that someone else would have treated him much worse. She also hadn’t forgotten that Eric had let Lafayette go for her, even though letting a V-dealer off the hook would bid him as a weak sheriff.
The other thought that found its way into her brain was that Eric let her speak her mind, even if her mind happened to involve a remark that questioned his character or challenged his position as sheriff. Every time she was in supernatural interspecies company with Bill and she tried to speak freely, he would say Sookie, no, or Sookie, stop or just Sookie or he’d give her a squeeze that clearly meant for her to shut up right now; something that rubbed her the wrong way. It was almost as if he was embarrassed about what she might say. She was pretty pissed about that every time too.
She knew she wasn’t well educated, but that didn’t mean she was an idiot with no clue as to how to behave socially. Her Gran had raised her as befitting a Southern lady, and that had included the art of conversation. She respected Bill enough to be careful in her speech if she thought she might not understand a situation, but even when something was crystal clear, Bill was always ready with the gag order of an exclaimed warning or a just-slightly-too-firm grasp.
There was also the fact that every time she asked Bill about his world, the world of vampires that she now found herself in, he would usually respond with something like it’s complicated. Did he not trust her? She surely trusted him, and wasn’t that trust supposed to go both ways in a relationship? At the end of the day, she had frequently found herself with more questions than answers, far more than she cared to have about her relationship with Bill.
Thanks to the privacy of the deck and the tall trees which surrounded the sizable backyard, she had been able to sunbathe in the nude. By the time she was wrapping the towel around her body to head inside, she knew she was going to go through with her deal with the Viking. She was a Stackhouse, and Stackhouse’s kept their word.
Feeling satisfied with her tan, she stood from the chair, grabbed her towel and wrapped it around her body. She slid the door open and walked to her bedroom was she was resting earlier. She closed the door to her borrowed room and decided to just keep the towel on. She didn’t know how messy Eric was when it came to feeding (Bill had usually left blood all over his cream-colored sheets), and she knew she didn’t want blood on the only outfit she had with her. She lay back on the bed, arranged the towel to preserve as much of her modesty as she could, crossed her ankles, and waited for Eric to rise. Moments later, there was a soft knock on the door.
“Come in!” she called out, as she felt her belly flopped with nervousness. Eric entered wearing the same black sweater and black slacks from the night before. His hair was slicked back and as always, he looked stunning. Sookie raised herself up onto her elbows to meet his gaze as he sat on the bed beside her.
“Have you made your decision, Sookie?” Eric asked bluntly. No Hello, Sookie or How was your day? from Eric Northman, but she did after all like the fact he was blunt and to the point. Despite the fact he has all the time in the world…he still doesn’t waste it. The man was straightforward as always. At least he hadn’t ogled her towel-wrapped form; that had to count for something.
“I have. I still want you to turn me, Eric.” she announced. He nodded and stood from the bed.
“What about Bill? I thought you loved him.” he asked, just slightly mocking. Sookie sighed. She was absolutely certain that she never really loved Bill. Maybe she cared for him, but no, not love him. It was the blood that made her do things that were completely out of character. Like letting him claim her like she was an object, or stopping her from speaking her mind like everything she said was nonsense. She’s finished with Bill Compton and his bullshit.
“I thought I did too. Right after Lorena forced him to reveal why he really came back to Bon Temps, I just knew… knowing what your blood did to me, it made me question my relationship with Bill. I just knew our whole relationship meant nothing to him and everything else made sense. I’ll tell you all the details, which I’m sure you want to hear.” She turned her head to the side, offering her neck to him.
“So impatient, Sookie? You surprise me yet again.” Eric said as a tiny smirk transformed on his stoic face as he watched her offer her succulent neck to him. As the human girl turned her heart-shaped face back to his in astonishment, he let his smirk linger long enough for her to glimpse it with her wide, surprised eyes, before replacing it once again with a bland expression of gravity.
“I need you to get dressed. If your answer is still as you say, I will take you for one last human meal.” When she gaped, he feigned a look of mock offense and crooned, “You look surprised. Do you think I am so cruel as to deny you the taste of human food one final time? After all, even your Jesus had his famous last supper; why should Sookie Stackhouse have anything less?”
Sookie’s mouth hung open. She knew Eric would have another side to his personality but she never really expected this. She smartly chose to ignore his jab at her religion, and instead pondered what exactly Eric was up to. He wanted to take her to dinner? She knew from Bill that vampires liked to eat very close to, if not immediately upon arising. He had told her that it helped them to think more clearly, helped them to keep the beast at bay, as he had put it. That, however, was decidedly not what Eric was doing now, though. She had even offered him her throat. She knew for a fact that Eric hadn’t fed tonight, and she wasn’t as naive as others thought.
She knew Eric didn’t mainstream like Bill and she also knew for a fact that Eric despised True Blood. The vampire in question smirked yet again, placed his cool finger under her chin and gently closed her mouth.
“Sookie…you’ll find in the coming years that I’m not always as I appear to be. What is that phrase you humans use? Oh yes, do not judge a book by its cover. Get dressed, my little bullet-sucker. I’ll be waiting downstairs.” With that, he turned and walked soundlessly out of the room. Sookie grabbed her dress from the closet and headed into the bathroom. She took a very quick shower, left her hair down, brushed her teeth once again and pulled the dress on. Twenty minutes later she was walking into the kitchen. She found Eric on his phone, speaking in a language she did not recognize. From the tone of his voice, he was irritated with whoever was on the other end of the conversation.
She mentally noted that she would have to ask Eric to teach her how to speak whatever it was he was speaking. It sounded beautiful. As Eric snapped the phone closed, he turned to her.
“Pam will be here around four AM to help us afterward.” He said with a wave of his hand.
“So, Little One, do you know where you would like to dine tonight?” Sookie thought for a second and then nodded.
“I’d like something simple, really. Since I don’t know any of the local restaurants out here, I thought maybe we could head out to one of the chain places, like Apple-bee’s or TGI Fridays?” Eric shrugged.
“It matters not to me, Little One. I’m not the one who will be eating at the establishment. If that’s what you wish let us not delay.” He paused, glancing at her sidelong with merrily twinkling eyes. “I can, after all, hear your digestive juices gurgling.”
Sookie’s eyes once again became round with shock while her cheeks turned red with embarrassment. Damn that super-sensitive vampire hearing! She hung her head in mortification and raised a petite hand to cover her eyes. After a second of hiding her face, she parted her fingers slightly and chanced a peek at Eric. His posture was relaxed, and he was smiling.
“Come.” He reached his large hand toward her, and she took it without a second’s hesitation.