“You fucked her,” was the first thing Eric heard when he walked into his hotel room.
“Is that how we are greeting each other now?”
“What the hell were you thinking?” Pam demanded. “Well, I know what you were thinking with. I can’t believe you were so stupid to fuck her.”
“Are you quite done?” Eric asked as he crossed the room and sat down on the sofa.
“Seriously Eric, what the fuck were you thinking? You know you can’t have her. If Freyda finds out, she’ll have your balls. I can’t believe you risked everything like that. Is she really that good of a fuck you…”
“Pamela!” Eric growled, shooting off the sofa towards her and making her stumble back. “Do not ever talk about Sookie like that.”
“I’m sorry,” Pam apologized, lowering her head in submission. “I like Sookie. I just fear what this will mean for you.”
“I know you do, child,” Eric replied, softening his tone. “And given the threat from Freyda, it probably wasn’t the wisest thing to do, but I don’t regret it.”
“Did you at least talk after you kicked me out?” Pam asked, still smarting about that.
“We talked, in between her trying to push me away. Sookie had quite the tale to tell,” Eric replied. “It seems good ol’ Bill found her.”
“Bill found her a year after she left Bon Temps.”
“Why didn’t he tell us? What did he do to her?”
“He tried to get her to bond with him,” Eric said his anger returning. “He conveniently forgot to mention that de Castro was dead and lead her to believe she was still in danger. It wasn’t until a year later that he told her de Castro was finally dead and I was King.”
“Please let me torture him, Eric,” Pam practically begged.
“Compton will pay,” Eric promised.
“How did Bill find Sookie when we couldn’t?” Pam asked.
“The witch,” Eric growled.
“Amelia? She was helping Bill?” Pam asked confused.
“No, she used magic to keep me and Sookie hidden from each other. I could not find her and Sookie could not contact me.”
“Eric, I don’t understand.”
Eric explained all he had learned that night, from the numerous times Bill had found her, to the magic they suspected Amelia had used to keep them apart. He told Pam how Sookie had tried to call them both after she had been hurt and the message she got every time. He didn’t tell her how Sookie was hurt or who had hurt her, just that she had been hurt badly and needed him, needed them, but due to Amelia’s interference she was unable to contact them. It pained him as he explained to Pam how Sookie had come to believe he didn’t care about her.
“I’ll kill her,” Pam snarled.
“That was my reaction,” Eric admitted, “but Sookie…”
“Don’t tell me Sookie defended her,” Pam interrupted.
“No, quite the contrary, but she made me realize killing the witch would put me at odds with the Longtooth pack and a powerful coven.”
“So, why should we care what a bunch of wolves or witches think?” Pam sneered.
“Because they could prove to be dangerous for us. Have you forgotten the trouble Hallow caused already?”
“I haven’t. But Eric, you can’t let her get away with this.”
“I’m not. The witch will pay, alongside Compton; we just have to be smart about it.”
“Is Sookie okay?” Pam asked, forgetting her earlier anger at the telepath. From what Eric had said, or hadn’t said, Pam got the feeling Sookie had been hurt badly. She hadn’t forgotten how much of a danger magnet was, and Pam doubted it had changed just because she had left Bon Temps.
“She suffered greatly,” Eric replied, his voice filled with anguish as he recalled just how she had suffered. “I will not go into detail as it is Sookie’s story to tell, and if she wants you to know she will tell you herself. But she was hurt badly.”
“You expect her to be a part of our lives from now on,” Pam remarked.
“I do,” Eric admitted. “I was forced to walk away from her once. I will not do it again.”
“But, Eric, what about Freyda?”
“What about her?”
“She’s not going to just accept Sookie being back in your life,” Pam said trying to make him see reason. “You know as well as I do the contract between you and…”
“I do not care what the contract says,” Eric growled. “Nor do I care what Freyda thinks or feels. I will bring Sookie to my side. She will not stop me.”
“Eric, you can’t be serious,” Pam said, realizing what he was planning. “You can’t think Freyda will sit back and watch while you elevate Sookie to a station she craves. She’ll have you before the council for breaking the contract before Sookie even steps foot in the palace. Eric, think about this; you’re risking everything for her and for no gain.”
“You are wrong,” Eric replied. “I will gain her. I am risking everything so I can have my wife – my true wife – back.”
“And how are you going to do that?” Pam asked. “Freyda might put up with you fucking every female in sight, but she won’t put up with this. She’ll bring you before the council; you know she will, and as much as I hate to admit it, our laws are on her side. Appius and that stupid contract saw to that.”
“I don’t know,” Eric admitted, “but I will find a way. I promised Sookie I would, and I have no intention of breaking that promise.”
“Maybe you can buy your way out of the contract,” Pam said, but even as she said it, she knew it wouldn’t happen. Freyda wanted him; she wouldn’t give him up for money or territory. “We could arrange for her to have an unfortunate accident.”
“While her meeting the final death would please me greatly. I would be the number one suspect. No matter how we planned it, no one would believe I had nothing to do with the death of the wife I despised. Especially if it coincided with the return of Sookie to my side.”
“We could pin it on Bill,” Pam tempted. “Everyone knows of their relationship.”
“What relationship?” Eric snorted. “Freyda fucked him a few times to try to make me jealous. Why she thought that would work, I don’t know.”
“Because she heard how you used fight over Sookie,” Pam replied. “She thought you’d hate losing anything to him.”
“I would happily lose her to him.”
“So we can’t kill her and can’t buy her off, so how the fuck are we going to get rid of her?”
“I have no idea, but I will find a way. I will not spend another thirteen years without Sookie. I will not spend another year without her.”
“You’re serious about this?”
“I am,” Eric replied. “I am done playing Freyda’s games. I want Sookie back. I want my wife back, and I will do whatever I have to in order to make it happen.”
Sookie sank down into her usual chair in at the edge of the dance floor as she half-heartedly watched her waitresses clean up the bar. Her mind was still consumed with thoughts of what had happened earlier in the night. Part of her still couldn’t believe Eric was there. She had spent seven years thinking about him and the next five trying to forget him – not that she ever could. Seeing him standing before her had rocked her to the core. She had tried to hold on to her anger, tried to feign disinterest but couldn’t. Sookie had imagined Eric turning up countless times over the years. There hadn’t been a day that went by in the first year that she didn’t fantasize about him turning up and telling her he had found a way out of their predicament and could be together again.
She had been disappointed when Bill turned up instead of Eric; he hadn’t been the one she wanted to see. Even after Bill had told her Eric was King and had gone back to his old ways, she didn’t give up her dreams. It had hurt her to hear that, but she refused to give them up; they were all she had. Not even marrying Stefan had killed them. Looking back, she knew she was a terrible wife. She hadn’t married him because she loved him, but because she was lonely. She didn’t really blame him for cheating on her; she had checked out of their marriage shortly after it began. Since him it had been one one-night stand after another. She had taken the vampire approach to sex: fucking without feeling.
“Cheese and rice,” Sookie cried, jumping out her skin. She glared at Diantha as she slid into the chair opposite her. “You scared me half to death.”
“Sorry,” Diantha replied. “You’reusuallymoreawareofyoursurroundings.”
“Speak slower, Diantha,” Sookie said tiredly. “I don’t think I have it in me to decipher what you’re saying tonight.”
“What’s wrong?” Diantha asked concerned. She couldn’t remember the last time she saw Sookie so out of sorts.
“I had an unexpected visitor tonight.”
“Northman?” Diantha asked, shocked.
“What did he want?”
“To tell me I was in…” Sookie trailed off as she remembered they weren’t alone. She flicked her eyes over to the waitresses milling around. Getting their attention, she dismissed them for the night and waited for them to leave before turning her attention back to Diantha.
“So what did he want?” Diantha asked again.
“To tell me I was in danger.”
Sookie couldn’t help but laugh at Diantha sardonic tone. Her penchant for finding danger had become quite the joke between them over the years with Diantha often joking that Sookie could find danger in a convent.
“I suppose it’s been quiet of late,” Diantha remarked. “So what’s the danger this time?”
“His wife,” Sookie answered, grimacing.
“The Queen of Oklahoma?”
“Unless he married someone else without telling me.”
“What does she want?” Diantha asked.
“To torture, maim, and kill me,” Sookie replied dismissively. “You know, the usual.”
“Why? Why you? And why now?”
“Apparently Eric pissed her off and she’s after me to get back at him,” Sookie explained. “Eric and Pam came to warn me and get me to safety.”
“But you refused to leave,” Diantha said, knowing her friend well.
“I told them I can protect myself. They didn’t believe me though.”
“Did you tell them how or why you can?” Diantha asked.
“No,” Sookie replied sheepishly.
“Sookie,” Diantha sighed. “You just told them you could and gave no explanation why. I’m not surprised they didn’t believe you.”
“In my defense, it’s not an easy thing to explain,” Sookie said defending herself. “I told Eric he wouldn’t believe me if I told him, and I doubt he would. I still have trouble believing it myself.”
“Do you trust him?” Diantha asked.
“Yes,” Sookie answered without thinking about it, but as she said it, she realized it was the truth. She did trust him. She always had, even when she probably shouldn’t have, even when she pretended she didn’t, deep down, she did. She knew she had been hard on him, something she regretted deeply, but that had been due to all her Bill baggage.
She had been distant with Eric and tried to push him away because she had been afraid of how much she cared for him, how much she loved him. Bill’s betrayal had hurt her, but Eric had the ability to destroy her. She had kept him at arm’s length for so long because of fear of being hurt again, which had not been fair to Eric. He had suffered for Bill’s crimes.
“If you trust him, tell him,” Diantha urged.
“It’s not that simple,” Sookie said, letting out a sigh. “What am I supposed to say? While recovering from being gang raped by a group of fairies, I made a wish to be safe, to be protected. It came true, and now I’m an even bigger freak than I was before. He’ll think I’m crazy.”
“Explain it all to him. Tell him about the cluviel dor; tell him what it was, what it could do, and what it did do. If you trust him, tell him.”
“I don’t know if I can.”
“Because I’m scared,” Sookie admitted.
“I’m scared Eric won’t look at me in the same way anymore,” Sookie whispered. “I’m afraid that if I tell him, I’ll see pity or disgust in his eyes when he looks at me. I couldn’t bear that.”
“You didn’t tell him what happened to you?”
“I told him some, but he doesn’t know everything. He knows I was raped and by who and how many they were, but he doesn’t know the details. How could I tell him my own cousin tied me to a table and let his friends take their turns with me? How could I tell him it wasn’t just their bodies they raped me with?”
Diantha could still see the pain in Sookie’s eyes and hear it in her voice when she spoke of what happened. She knew for a fact she was the only one who knew everything that had happened to her, the younger woman having confided in her after one of her many nightmares. Not even her uncle knew the true extent of what those bastards did to Sookie. He only knew what he saw when they had burst into that house that fateful day.
Diantha didn’t think she would ever forget the sight of a beaten and broken Sookie, chained naked in the middle of the room, her arms bound above her head as she hung from the ceiling, two fairies raping her at the same time while Claude and another laughed at her cries of pain. Diantha hadn’t waited a minute, attacking the two hurting Sookie without a hint of remorse before turning on the other while her uncle tore Claude apart. She had unchained Sookie and was tearing the other one apart when Dermot had walked in. Both her and Desmond had gone for him, but they had been shocked when Sookie got to him first and stabbed him through the heart. As they watched him turn to dust, Diantha had realized Sookie wasn’t as broken as she thought.
“He might understand,” Diantha said finally. “You should tell him; if not what happened, then at least how you can protect yourself. You shouldn’t let him worry.”
“He’ll worry, regardless,” Sookie replied. “It won’t matter if I can protect myself.”
“Just like you still worry about him,” Diantha returned. “You may think you hide it, but I know you still worry about him. You never stopped.”
“I can’t help it. I tried to pretend I don’t care, but…”
“You do,” Diantha finished for her.
“Yes,” Sookie admitted.
“Tell him, Sookie,” Diantha urged. “He clearly still cares for you. He came all this way to warn you.”
“I know, and despite acting like an ungrateful bitch, I was grateful,” Sookie said. “I just… I just don’t know what to do. I’m not the only one in danger here; Eric is too. I couldn’t bear it if anything happened to him because of me. I don’t want him to get hurt because of me.”
“And I’m guessing he doesn’t want you to get hurt because of him,” Diantha replied.
“So what do I do?” Sookie asked, genuinely seeking her advice.
“Go to him. Tell him why you can defend yourself; show him how,” Diantha said. “You’re stronger together. Uncle always thought so.”
“And what about his wife?” Sookie asked. “She already wants me dead. Do you think she’ll forget about it and leave us alone, just because me and Eric are stronger together?”
“She’ll never let us be together,” Sookie said sadly. “She wouldn’t allow it twelve years ago and she isn’t going to now. Despite what Eric said, she’ll never allow us to be together and there is no way around it.”
“So you’re just gonna give up?”
“What choice do I have?” Sookie argued. “I told you and Desmond about the contract Appius made with her. Eric tried to find a way out of it, but couldn’t. He had to marry her and she made it clear I couldn’t be with him. The contract backed her up. There was nothing we could do, and there still isn’t.”
“Does Eric agree with you?”
“No, he said he’d find a way out, and that he’d find a way for us to be together again, but he’s fooling himself.”
“Is he? I don’t know him as well as you, but from what I’ve heard, he always gets what he wants. Have faith in him.”
“I have faith in Eric. It’s everything else I’ve lost my faith in.”
“I can ask Uncle. He might be able to find a legal loophole,” Diantha offered.
“They’re already married, Diantha. I don’t think a loophole will help,” Sookie replied dejectedly.
“It can’t hurt to look, and if there’s always a few illegal things we could try,” Diantha said, smirking mischievously. “Now, why don’t you tell why you’ve got that just fucked look.”
“Diantha!” Sookie exclaimed scandalously. “I have no idea what you’re talking about, and I’ll have none of that nasty talk.”
“Right,” Diantha drawled. “Your hair looks like you’ve had someone hands running through it.” She flicked her eyes over Sookie. “You’re not wearing any underwear. You smell like sex, and you have a huge hickey on your neck.”
“What?” Sookie cried, covering her neck with her hand. “Damn it, Eric.”
“Ha, so it was Eric then.”
“You can’t say anything. If she finds out…”
“There’ll be hell to pay, I know,” Diantha said waving her off. “I won’t say anything, you know that. But I want details.”
“No,” Sookie refused.
“Details,” Diantha sang.
“You’re a pain; do you know that?”
“Yes, and I still want details.”
“Fine,” Sookie said, letting out a sigh before telling Diantha all that had transpired that night. She left out some of the more intimate details, not wanting to share them with anyone.