Three years, eleven months, and seventeen days…
That’s how long it had been since Eric made his biggest mistake and lost the love of his life in the process. Eric was sure if he wanted to he could pin it down to the nearest second as well. Some nights that was all he did.
Three years, eleven months, and seventeen days ago, Eric had let his pride and arrogance cost him the most important thing in his life, and since then he had cursed himself between every sunset and each first light of dawn.
Eric had been foolish in his belief that he could handle everything that the Yakuza devised and stay one step ahead of them. He had allowed his arrogance to override his common sense, and for that he had paid the ultimate price. It was too late when he realized that he had lost the one thing he couldn’t live without.
He had lost Sookie.
If he lived another thousand years, Eric didn’t think he would ever forget the heart wrenching pain he had felt when the humming inside of him that was all Sookie fluttered out, and he was left with nothing but emptiness.
Three years, eleven months, and seventeen days earlier
Ginger almost fainted when she saw Eric stroll barefoot into the bar. A happy sigh escaped her painted lips as she noticed his black shirt was open and she wanted nothing more than to lick the small beads of water that trickled down his pale chest. She had heard the showering running in the small bathroom when she had passed it fifteen minutes earlier, but she had no idea Eric was in there. If she had, she would have knocked down the door just to get a glimpse of Master naked, not that she hadn’t seen him naked before. She had seen him naked more times than she could count… Although given the hundreds of times she had been glamoured, that wasn’t an impressive thing.
“Ginger dear, your mouth is open,” Pam said sneeringly as she watched the almost-brain dead human gawk at her Maker. Pam rolled her eyes while Ginger paid her no attention, her focus solely on Eric. Pam knew Ginger had been glamoured more times than was healthy, but even she couldn’t have been so stupid to think Eric would ever sully himself with her. Her Maker had much better standards. Eric didn’t do that kind of trash…
No, he does the Sookie Stackhouse kind of trash instead, Pam sneered internally. Well, he did, but not anymore! My Maker has finally seen the light when it comes to the faery gash. He’s finally seen her for the disloyal trash she is!
Pam was practically giddy with just the thought of Eric being done with Sookie at long last. The gash in a sundress certainly ensnared her Maker longer than anyone else and Pam was starting to believe she would be stuck with her forever, but all that had changed earlier that night. Sookie had shown them all just how disloyal she was and Eric had…
She’s out of my life for good! Pam crowed unable to hide her smile at the thought. No more Sookie or Willa. It’s just me and Eric again exactly as it should have been all along. We can soon get out of this dump and never look back.
Turning to her attention back to Ginger, Pam huffed out an annoyed breath when she noticed the dumb as a post blonde was gazing at her Maker adoringly. She might have found it amusing when they first arrived in Shreveport, however; now that she believed Eric and she were on the road to reconciliation and would soon be on their way out of town Pam was no longer amused. Ginger might not have any real chance with her Maker, but Pam wouldn’t put it past Eric to fuck Ginger just once out of sympathy. Well, not while I’m here, Pam swore. She wouldn’t share her Maker with anyone again. Well, at least not with anyone whom she didn’t also share an interest. There would be no more Sookies, Willas, or Noras. As far as Pam was concerned Eric was all hers now. She had made him suffer long enough for the whole Sylvie affair. He may have chosen her over the French whore, but Pam still had to make him pay for having ever put her in such danger. It was finally time they put their pasts behind them and move on together, the way things should have been all along.
“Ginger, grab a cloth and clean the bar,” Pam ordered shooting the loyal woman a look of utter contempt before sauntering out from behind the bar. She added an extra sway to her step as she crossed the distance to Eric’s throne where he was lounging looking at something on his phone. Pam grinned as she plonked herself down in his lap and wrapped one of her arms around his shoulder. Her grin turned into a scowl when she saw he was trying to contact Willa and she hid it quickly before he had a chance to notice.
“Is there something you wanted, Pam?” Eric asked not bothering to look up from his phone. He was desperate to hear back from Willa.
“Now that you mention it,” Pam purred in reply as she leaned into him and laid her lips against his neck.
“No!” Eric barked, pushing her back slightly. He already held too many regrets for that night; he wasn’t going to add to them. “If that is all…”
Pam scowled at his apparent dismissal. Things weren’t going how she wanted! She wanted him to fuck her on his throne in front of Ginger. It would show the dumb waitress that Eric was Hers, and only Hers. Pasting on a fake smile Pam stroked a finger down his chest as she shifted on his lap so she was straddling him. “Careful, Eric, they are watching,” she whispered in his ear as she leaned into him pressing her breasts against his chest. “We don’t want them to get suspicious of us now,” she added moving her lips to his and brushing them across them lightly. “We’re so close to getting everything we want…”
“Everything you want, Pam,” Eric replied with his voice equally as low as he stared into her eyes. Eric knew what she wanted, but he also knew he couldn’t give in to her. It would never be just the two of them ever again. He was grateful that she had found him and forced him to take the cure, but that gratitude didn’t mean he had to give her everything. He didn’t have to live his life her way. She wasn’t the only woman in his life, she never would be and, as much as she didn’t like to admit it, she never had been. Nora came before her, Sookie and Willa after. It hadn’t ever been just the two of them and it would never happen that way.
“We want,” Pam snarled clutching at Eric’s shoulders. Everything she had done had been for them and she would be damned if she let him back out on her now! They were so close to getting their happily ever after; the happily ever after she wanted for them. She wouldn’t give up now, not when they were so close. Everything was falling into place. Before long they would be able to take out the Yakuza; once that was done, Sarah and her lovely blood cure would be all theirs. They could pimp her out and make a fortune off of her. They could get out of Shreveport and start living their lives again, together.
Canting her head to the side, Pam smiled when she realized some of the guards Mr. Gus had left behind to watch them were paying extra attention. “We have an audience,” she purred, sex dripping from her voice as she flipped her hair over her shoulder. Reaching for the buttons on her blouse she slowly unbuttoned them exposing her black lace bra to Eric’s uninterested look. “What do you say we give them a show?” She added as she slid a hand between them and reached for her Maker’s belt.
“No!” Eric growled grabbing her hand and stopping her. “I already told you, Pamela. What happened was a mistake; it will never happen again.”
Fury blazed in Pam’s eyes as he denied her again. She knew he was feeling guilty for what had taken place earlier, but in her eyes he had nothing to feel guilty about. He had protected and saved his child. She had been in danger and he had acted accordingly. It was just more proof to her that he loved her. He had put her first. Why couldn’t he see that?
“Don’t be stupid, Eric!” Pam replied harshly as she reached for him again wanting to please him. “It’ll make them drop their guard,” she whispered in Swedish trying to make him see things her way.
Eric’s hand closed round her wrist and he was just about to push her away when a strange feeling passed through him. His eyes widened in disbelief and he clutched his chest as a howl of pain was wrenched from his throat. He swore he felt his heart start beating only to feel it stop, and then die in his chest before shattering into a million pieces.
“Eric,” Pam said concern leaking through into her tone. “What is it?”
Eric clutched at his chest as the ever-present hum that was Sookie’s life became silent. “Sookie,” he whispered brokenly as he searched for the bond that had just been extinguished. He refused to believe it was gone. It couldn’t be gone because if it was that meant… “NO!” Eric snarled standing up and pushing Pam off his lap. He paid her no mind as she tumbled to the ground.
“Eric!” Pam cried pissed off at his treatment of her. She hadn’t missed him saying Sookie’s name, and she knew that the faery cunt was somehow to blame for what was happening. Why can’t that gash just fuck off and die and leave us alone? Pam thought as she stood up. “What…” The rest of her question died on her lips as she watched Eric launch himself at the Japanese guards and tear them apart with his bare hands. It took him all of thirty seconds to reduce them to a pile of blood and guts. Her brow crinkled in confusion then while she watched Eric run out of the club at vampire speed. Pam could barely believe what she had seen. She knew Eric was capable of it and she had seen him tear people apart before, but he had just risked everything they had been working for and what was worse, it hadn’t been for her. When her life had been in danger, Eric had made a deal but he hadn’t done that this time. He had eliminated everyone who might have posed a threat and he had done it because of Sookie.
Pam wasn’t sure what was happening with Sookie but with a bit of luck, Mr. Gus and his people would have killed her before Eric reached them. Pam smirked at the thought. Wouldn’t that make her night just perfect? She knew Mr. Gus had gone to kill Sookie because she knew about the cure; Pam had made sure he was aware that Sookie knew about it, but she hadn’t actually thought he would succeed in killing her. The faery gash had more lives than a cat! The bitch always seemed to survive, but maybe, just maybe, this time her luck had run out and one of the Yakuza had managed to kill her.
Now, that’s how my happily ever after starts…
Eric pushed himself harder than he ever had before as he flew through the air heading toward Bon Temps. The empty feeling inside him drove him on and he was praying to every God he had ever believed in that he would find Sookie safe and sound. As he flew Eric cursed himself for his stupidity. He should have taken the Yakuza out a long time ago, after they had killed Sylvie, instead of allowing them to grow stronger.
As he neared Sookie’s property, Eric felt an icy sensation creep over him and it was at that moment he knew he wouldn’t like what he was about to find. Clearing the trees that surrounded Sookie’s house Eric instantly noticed the burned out cars in her driveway and recognized them as belonging to Mr. Gus.
Landing in front of the cars, Eric growled as the scent of death filled his nostrils and his fangs clicked down. He paused in the middle of the driveway and, canting his head to the side, drew in a breath to scent the air and to try to determine just what had happened. He could smell blood, fear, and death. He could also smell sunshine and vanilla, a scent unique to Sookie and he realized she had stood in the exact same spot as him very recently. Still, where was she now? That was the more crucial question.
Taking a step toward the house another growl tore from his throat when he noticed the damage it had sustained. His eyes widened in terror as they landed on the broken windows and splintered porch. This wasn’t supposed to have happened, he observed while creeping nearer. His feet felt like lead as he crossed the short distance and he was almost shaking with dread as he placed his foot on the first step. He didn’t want to enter only to have his worst fear confirmed. He wanted to remain in denial, to pretend that nothing was amiss, and he was not very nearly eager to walk into his most evil nightmare.
Eric had barely touched the first step when the front door was wrenched open and an irate Jason stormed out clutching Sookie’s shotgun with it aimed directly at him.
“Get the fuck off my sister’s property!” Jason snarled. He couldn’t believe after everything Sookie had told him that Eric had still had the balls to come there! Jason could not keep the look of utter devastation on Sookie’s face as she screamed out in pain over what Eric had done from his memory; it was for her sake as well as his love for his sister that he didn’t pull the trigger. He knew if he did he probably wouldn’t survive it but, at that particular moment, everything was secondary to Sookie’s pain.
Eric was taken aback by the fury in Jason’s tone and briefly wondered of the reasoning behind it before dismissing it altogether. He had far more important matters to worry over than a pissed off Jason Stackhouse. At that time the only thing of utmost concern mattering to him was Sookie and what had taken place with her. Given the state of the house and the burned out cars in the driveway, Eric gathered that Mr. Gus and his men had been there, yet Jason’s reaction was not that of a grieving sibling and so it gave Eric reason to hope. “Where is Sookie?” Eric asked climbing the porch stairs.
“As if ya give a fuck!” Jason spat. “Why don’t ya just fuck off back ‘t your fuckin’ club?”
Eric bit back a growl at the disrespectful tone Jason was using in speaking to him, and then he reminded himself that Sookie wouldn’t be happy if he broke her brother. Of course, Sookie would need to be safe before she could be pissed off. “Your sister could be in danger,” Eric said in an attempt to appeal to Jason’s feelings for Sookie so he could learn of her whereabouts.
“It ain’t Sook who’s in danger,” Jason replied losing none of his anger. “It’s any fucker who thinks they can hurt her. No one hurts my sister while I’m ‘round…”
“Don’t be stupid, Jason!” Eric growled while advancing toward him. “The men after her are killers. They would not hesitate to kill you in their effort to kill her. Now tell me where she is so I can protect her…”
“Fuck you!” Jason spat, gripping the shotgun tighter. “I ain’t tellin’ ya shit and if ya so worried ‘bout Sookie maybe ya shouldn’t’ve told them ‘bout Sook knowin’ ‘bout the cure and where ‘t find her.”
A look of absolute dread wavered over Eric’s face at hearing Jason’s words and he swore if he was capable he would’ve thrown up right then and there. In all his scheming he never imagined for one minute that Sookie would have believed that… No, the thought alone was too agonizing.
Jason sneered at the look on Eric’s face feeling no sympathy for him at all. He was only reaping the consequences of his own actions. “Did ya come to finish the job yaself? Ya boys failed, so you’ve come ‘t try and kill…” The rest of Jason’s words were lost on the wind when Eric jolted forward and slammed him against the wall.
“I would never hurt Sookie!” Eric snarled incensed that Jason would even dare accuse him of something so deplorable. “I lo…”
“Spare me ya bullshit,” Jason shot back refusing to listen to Eric try and claim he loved his sister. “I ain’t buyin’ it and neither is Sook. She knows what ya did. She saw it all in the fucker’s head who tried ‘t kill her… Ya sacrificed my sister for ya fuckin’ cure.” Jason shook his head in disgust at Eric. He had always kind of liked the Viking vampire, even when he did hate him, he still kinda liked him. He believed Eric really loved his sister. Jason thought he could trust Eric with Sookie… It distressed him knowing he had been wrong.
“I didn’t…” Eric trailed off as he let Jason go backing up. What could he say? He hadn’t told the Yakuza that Sookie knew about the cure. He also hadn’t revealed where she lived. He could say that, but it was a lie and he knew it. He did tell them, but nothing was supposed to happen like this. Sookie was never supposed to be placed in any danger.
“Tell them ‘bout Sook?” Jason said guessing what he was thinking. He let out a bitter laugh. “I might’ve believed ya if Sook didn’t see it all in their heads. Did ya forget she can read minds?” He added tauntingly. “Ya know I didn’t want ‘t believe it when Sook told me. I thought there’s no way you’d do that, but you did. Ya sold my sister out for money. Ya just as bad as that fucker ‘cross the cemetery.”
Eric flinched at Jason’s words. Being equated to Bill was like silver to his skin and he hated the comparison but, given the circumstances, Eric could understand where Jason was coming from. “I didn’t… It wasn’t…”
“Save it, cause I don’t wanna hear it,” Jason interrupted in no mood to listen to his excuses.
Eric nodded realizing Jason wouldn’t listen to anything he had to say, not that he could blame him. Yet even knowing that, there was one thing Eric desperately wanted, no, needed to know. “Is she safe?” He asked. “Is she alive? I thought she was…” He couldn’t even say the words. “I can’t feel her anymore.”
Jason stared at Eric, assessing him. He knew what he was asking and, despite how angry he was with him, Jason couldn’t let him think she was dead. Given everything that had occurred, it might have been wiser to do so but he knew Eric was no threat to her now. “She’s alive.”
Eric felt the iciness lift off his chest at Jason’s words and he let out an unneeded breath. She was alive. That was the best news he could hear right then and he thanked Odin, Thor, Freya, and every one of the Norse Gods of old for answering his prayer. She’s alive… but she thinks I betrayed her and she hates me.
Looking at Jason, Eric gave him a small nod. “Thank you,” he told him sincerely, grateful that he had told him when Eric knew he didn’t have to. “Where is…”
“Somewhere ya can’t hurt her,” Jason replied interrupting Eric before he had a chance to ask. “She’s far beyond your reach now.”
Eric swallowed hard as the icy sensation returned to his chest. ‘Far beyond your reach…’ Eric felt his thousand years weighing him down as he thought about what that meant. She was gone, but she is still alive, a little voice inside him whispered. It was that knowledge he was clinging to right then. She was alive. As long as she was alive there was a chance he could make things right.
“If you see her tell her I’m sorry,” Eric said needing her to know. He wanted to let her know much more besides that but, right now Sookie knowing he was sorry was the most important.
“If I see her,” Jason replied promising him nothing. “Now get off my sister’s property. Ya ain’t welcome ‘ere no longer.” Jason didn’t wait to see if Eric would do as ordered. He just turned around, walked back into Sookie’s house, and slammed the front door.
Eric stood on Sookie’s porch staring at the front door hoping that she would come running out and let him have it with both barrels. When nothing happened and the door remained closed, he reluctantly turned around and made his way off the porch. Anger swelled in him as his eyes landed on the burned out cars and he vamped over to them. He cursed himself for the hundredth time that night as he grabbed the first car and lifted it. Despite his burning anger, he knew the cars needed to be disposed of; they couldn’t stay in Sookie’s front yard. He may not have been able to do anything else in that moment, but he could get rid of the two burned out cars for Sookie.
It didn’t take him long to do it and once his task was completed, he hovered in the air over Sookie’s farmhouse. “I’m sorry, min kärlek,” he whispered, his eyes rimmed with blood tears. He took one last look at the house before shooting upward. It seemed he needed to have a chat with his child.