“I am unsure,” Eric admitted.
“None of this makes sense. You said you looked for me but couldn’t find me,” Sookie said.
“I tried to contact you but couldn’t. But why?”
“It seems someone or something is conspiring to keep us apart.”
“But who and why?” Sookie asked.
“I don’t know, but there are a number of suspects,” Eric replied.
“Your fairy kin for one,” Eric answered. “Bill, Freyda, de Castro before I killed him, other monarchs.”
“If the fairies had the ability to do it, wouldn’t they have done it before?” Sookie asked. “They never approved and would’ve done anything to split us up. They proved that when Claude spiked all those fangbangers with fairy blood. If they could’ve hidden you from me or vice versa, they would’ve done it when I was still in Bon Temps.”
“True,” Eric agreed. Dosing all those fangbangers with fairy blood so they smelled sweeter, glamouring them to try and seduce him, and arranging for Sookie to walk in on them hadn’t been very inspired, and Eric believed they hadn’t thought it through properly. They hadn’t realized he could resist doing anything more than feeding on them, even when he had tasted the fairy blood. He couldn’t resist the temptation to feed on them, the call of the fairy blood too strong, but he had been able to resist fucking any of them regardless of how much the fangbangers begged. He wouldn’t have ever betrayed Sookie in that way. She meant too much to him to lose her with meaningless sex.
“Do you think Bill could do something like that?” Sookie asked.
“I think Bill is capable of anything.”
“I’m not arguing with you there,” Sookie admitted. “He’s proven there is little he wouldn’t do. I just meant could he do it, would he know how?”
“He could have learned how to on one of his many trips to complete the database.”
“But again, why?” Sookie asked. “Why wait for me to leave Bon Temps to do it? I mean Bill knew about the contract, he knew what it meant, he knew the details, so why bother?”
“To be nearer to you,” Eric replied like it was obvious. “He has shown numerous times he is obsessed with you. He would do anything to redeem himself in your eyes; by keeping me away, he could play the Southern Gentleman to his hearts content. He could finally be your knight in shining amor.”
“Bill Compton will never be my knight in shining armor,” Sookie said firmly. “No one will be; I don’t need one, and I don’t want one. But he’s not near me. I haven’t seen him since the night in Denmark when he found out I was married.”
“It doesn’t make sense that he would go to such lengths to have you to himself, only to leave you alone,” Eric agreed.
“He didn’t really have a choice,” Sookie snorted.
“What happened during your last encounter?” Eric asked.
“I threatened to stake him when he tried to glamour Stefan,” Sookie answered smiling at the memory. “At first he thought I was bluffing.”
“What changed his mind?”
“I silvered him,” Sookie admitted. “I’d had a few not so nice run-ins with some vampires the year before, so I had taken to carrying an atomizer filled with colloidal silver… and a water pistol filled with lemon juice,” she added as an afterthought. “When Bill tried to glamour Stefan in front of me again I sprayed him with the silver. The look on his face was priceless; you’d have thought I betrayed him. I made it very clear to him if he didn’t leave me alone, I’d stake him myself.”
“I wish I would have seen that,” Eric said chuckling.
“If you’d have been there to see it, it wouldn’t have happened because…”
“I would have taken care of Bill for you,” Eric finished, “nor would you have been married. The more I think about it, the less likely I think Bill is behind it.”
“So, if not Bill or the fairies, who?” Sookie questioned.
“Well, you know her better than me. Is this she would do?”
“It is possible, but something tells me no,” Eric said. “She is vindictive enough to do it, but I don’t think it is her. She wouldn’t hide that she had done it.
“Great, so that eliminates someone else. So it’s not her, Bill, or the fairies,” Sookie replied frustratingly. “So we don’t know who did it, or why. Why did they do it? Whoever did it had something to gain, but why? To isolate us, well me. Who would benefit from this?”
“I don’t know,” Eric admitted reluctantly, “but I intend to find out and when I do whoever did this will pay.”
“There’s something I don’t understand,” Sookie said as she thought about it. “If whoever or whatever did this to keep us apart, so we couldn’t find each other. Then, how did you find me?”
“I hired numerous people to search for you all over the world,” Eric told her. “Marcus, as you know, was one of them. I had him looking for you for a couple of months around Europe without any luck until last night when he walked into your bar and saw you. He contacted Pam, told her, and she made the arrangements.”
“So he just strolled into the bar I’ve owned for the last four years for a drink and saw me,” Sookie said disbelievingly.
“It seems so,” Eric replied. “He claims he couldn’t find anything else about you.”
“He wouldn’t; I took care of everything else a long time ago. Most of my things are owned through dummy companies,” Sookie explained, seeing Eric’s curious look she laughed. “Let’s just say Mr. Cataliades is very helpful. He’s no longer on the run and lives not far from here now. He set up the dummy companies shortly after I got divorced. I used that to buy my house, car, and bar. You wouldn’t even be able to find my marriage license or divorce papers now.”
“Is Mr. Cataliades the only one you stayed in touch with?”
“Other than Jason, but I’m guessing you already know that and had someone glamour him to find out if he knew where I was.”
“Pam glamoured him around four months ago, but he didn’t seem to know where you were.”
“He doesn’t. I send him, Michelle, and their children presents, but I’ve never told them where I was or seen them since I left.”
“You never told the shifter, wolf, or witch?” Eric asked.
“No, I didn’t even tell them I was leaving.”
“I know; they were most angry about it.”
“I’m sure they got over it,” Sookie replied dismissively.
“You do not miss your old friends?” Eric asked curiously.
“Not really. I mean, I miss hearing how stupid I am for getting involved with vampires or how I should be with someone like myself, but I don’t think I knew any other one-eighth fairy telepaths. Or there’s my old favorite, I shouldn’t be involved in the supe world. Of course, when they said that they meant I shouldn’t be involved in the vampire part of the supe world. Alcide never had a problem dragging me into werewolf crap.”
“You used to be very loyal to the shifter; what changed?”
“Was it loyalty or stupidity?” Sookie replied questioningly. “I never saw what was right in front of me. Sam, for all his ‘Sookie you’ve got to get away from those damn bloodsuckers. You’ve got to get away from the supernatural world’ was more entrenched in it than I ever was. Did you know he knew about de Castro, who he was, and what he was like? He knew about the take over the day after it happened without me having to tell him. He had connections in were packs, vampire kingdoms, and with other shifters. That doesn’t sound like someone who tries to avoid all the supe crap; it sounds like someone who is very much a part of the supernatural world.”
“The shifter was quite adept at hiding his connections. Even I was unaware just how much he knew,” Eric admitted.
“How are they all, do you know?” Sookie asked out of the blue.
“Do you really want to know?”
“Not really,” Sookie confessed, “but I can pretend to.”
“The shifter married the werebitch he was seeing…”
“That one, yes. He still runs his little ramshackle bar, and they have a few mutts. The wolf is still packmaster; he never married but has half a dozen kids, including one with the witch.”
“You’re joking,” Sookie said laughing. “I’d never guessed that.”
“I am not. The witch is living in New Orleans with her husband, I believe his name is Bob, and two children. She is still practicing magic; her husband is a witch as well. They are part of a coven.”
“You seem to know a lot about Amelia,” Sookie remarked.
“I made it a point to know what she is up to,” Eric replied. “She caused quite a bit of trouble for me after you left.”
“Amelia? No, that’s so unlike her,” Sookie drawled sarcastically. “What did she do?”
“She accused me of kidnapping and killing you,” Eric told her. “When you left without telling her she was convinced I had something to do with it, that I had killed you. She claimed I did it because you broke our bond. She reported me to the police.”
“You serious?” Sookie asked, seeing that he was. “Well that’s stupid,” she spat. ”She knows you would’ve never done that and all she would’ve had to do was perform an ectoplasmic reconstruction and she’d known I left on my own. But then again, this is Amelia we’re talking about; she thought it was a good idea to go to the Hair of the Dog and talk about me breaking the bond.”
“What?” Eric growled.
“Didn’t I ever tell you about that?” Sookie asked.
“Don’t suppose it matters much now,” Sookie dismissed. “I don’t know why she was so surprised I didn’t tell her I was leaving. I hadn’t seen or spoken to her in weeks before I left. Not since she thought I should be with Alcide.”
“After informing Alcide I’d broken the bond, she convinced him it was a good idea to follow her back to my house and make a move on me. Thanks to Claude I found him naked in my bed. I kicked him out of my house and then in the morning I kicked Amelia, Bob, and Claude out as well. She apologized by email, but I never saw her again. We sent some emails back and forth, but that was it.”
“I should have killed the witch,” Eric growled. “The wolf too.”
“I wonder how she went from deciding I should date Alcide to having his kid,” Sookie wondered.
“From what my people tell me she had a brief affair with him twelve years ago.”
“You had someone watching her?”
“I do not trust her,” Eric confessed. “I want to know what she is doing to make sure she is not causing any trouble. I learned my lesson with Hallow to never underestimate a witch. I won’t…”
Staring at Eric curiously, Sookie swore she could almost see the wheels turning behind his eyes as he put something together.
“The witch,” he growled.
“What about her?”
“She is behind this.”
“Behind what?” Sookie asked, still not getting it.
“Us not being able to contact each other,” Eric replied.
Sookie opened her mouth to tell Eric he was wrong when the words died in her throat. Knowing Amelia like she did, she realized it was something she could and would do. She had shown after they had broken the bond that she didn’t approve of Eric and Sookie’s relationship and not for the first time, Sookie wondered why. As far as Sookie knew Amelia hadn’t been prejudiced against vampires. She had rented an apartment to Hadley, and worked for Sophie-Anne from time to time. She even had a brief relationship with Pam. So why was she dead set against Eric and Sookie being together?
Eric had once told her that Amelia had hated him; was that true? Did she hate him? And if she did, why? Was that what drove her? Or was it something else? Sookie wasn’t sure, and she wasn’t sure she’d ever find out. To find out for sure, Sookie would have to go back and visit her old friend, but she wasn’t sure she could do that. She didn’t know if she could restrain herself enough to find out the answer. She was afraid of what she would do to Amelia.
“It sounds like something she would do,” Sookie conceded.
“I will kill her.”
“Is that wise?” Sookie asked, taking Eric by surprise. He was expecting her to scream and shout at him, rage that Amelia was her friend and was probably only trying to help, not ask him if he thought it was wise to kill her.
“Yes,” Eric answered simply.
“Eric think about it for a minute,” Sookie said. “If Amelia did this, and I think she did,” she added quickly seeing the murderous look on Eric face, “– I do. Killing her might make you feel better, but it could prove dangerous, to you. Amelia’s not some nobody who visited your club. She’s witch, a member of a coven, the mother of a kid of the Longtooth packmaster; her father is a known businessman. She’s not someone who can just disappear without a trace.”
“I can make her disappear.”
“Yeah, you probably could. But at what price?” Sookie questioned. “What would it cost you? Amelia has a lot of people, powerful people, who would miss her.”
“And I would wager that is not unintentional,” Eric mused.
“What do you mean?”
“I think the witch has put herself in a position where she would be missed if anything happened to her,” Eric said as he mulled it over. “Killing her would most likely put me at odds with both a powerful coven and the Longtooth pack. The two of them would undoubtedly join forces to avenge her death. She knows this, and I am guessing she also knows I would be aware of it if I ever discovered her duplicity. She knows I will not risk a war.”
“You don’t think she did it deliberately do you?” Sookie asked. “You can’t be serious,” she added when she saw that he did. “You think Amelia deliberately got herself pregnant by Alcide and then married Bob just to protect herself from you? That’s crazy, Eric. She was dating Bob before the bond was…” Sookie trailed off as she remembered how surprised she was when she found out Amelia was back with Bob. It hadn’t been that long since Tray had been killed and Sookie wondered if it was too soon, but Amelia had distracted her by the news she had found a way to break the bond.
Now that she thought about it, Sookie found the timing quite suspect. The last time she had seen Bob he hadn’t wanted anything else to do with Amelia after she had turned him into a cat, and a few months after Amelia had returned to New Orleans to get over the supposed love of her life, they were back together. Had Amelia gotten back together with Bob because she knew how pissed Eric would be about breaking the bond? Factor in as soon as they had broken it, she had run and told Alcide all about it, and Sookie was starting to think she might have done everything they were accusing her of. If Sookie had done what Amelia had wanted her to and gotten together with Alcide, then they would have had the protection that Amelia had now. “I think you might be right.”
“She will not get away with this,” Eric promised. “I should have punished her when she broke our bond.”
“Why does she hate you so much?” Sookie asked, not understanding Amelia’s motivation at all.
“I do not know, nor do I care,” Eric replied. “She has interfered with us for the last time. You could have been hurt. You could have needed me.”
“I was. I did,” Sookie whispered, her voice so low even Eric had trouble hearing it.
Eric gazed at Sookie, her face filled with a pain she could no longer hide. He could see her walls starting to crumble as her defenses came down. Tapping into the bond he couldn’t explain, he could feel her pain, her shame, and in that moment he knew watch ever happened to her had been terrible, whatever it was had shaken her to her very core and changed who she was. He longed to take her in his arms and soothe her, protect her from all those who seek to do her harm.
Acting on instinct, Eric rose from his chair and moved around her desk, he pulled her out of her chair and into his arms. He ignored her struggles as he held her tight. It had been almost thirteen years since he had last held her, but as he buried his head in her hair and breathed in her scent the time drifted away and it felt just like yesterday. Her scent was almost the same, just a little sweeter with a hint of something that was familiar, but he just couldn’t place. Eric tangled his hand in her hair and just held her. The feeling of her in his arms was calming, her body pressed against his felt like home, and he had missed it more then he could ever express.
Ceasing her struggles, Sookie sank into Eric’s embrace cling to him as all the old painful memories came back, she had spent years trying to forget what had happened to her, but with Eric there holding her like he used to, the walls she had built to block them out came crumbling down. Part of her hated Eric for making her relive her nightmares, even if he didn’t know he was doing it. The knowledge that he hadn’t forgotten about her was almost too much for her to bear. She had spent years thinking he no longer cared; in a way to rationalize it to herself, she had told herself he never did. It made it easier for her to believe he never cared than to accept that he had just stopped. She felt the shame of what happened to her, what they had done to her deep down in her bones. She wanted to lash out, to scream and cry, to hit someone, but those who had hurt her were long dead, and she swore a long time ago she would never shed another tear for them or because of them.
Eric could feel her shaking in his arms as she relived whatever horror she had faced. He wanted to know who had hurt her, so he could kill them slowly and very painfully, and if they were already dead, he would kill someone who looked like them. Refusing to let her go, Eric lifted her into his arms and sat down in her chair settling Sookie on his lap. He held her to his chest as he ran his hand up and down her side, whispering nonsensical things in her ears to soothe her.
“You are safe now,” Eric assured her.
“Safe?” Sookie choked letting out a bitter laugh. “I’ve got your crazy bitch of a wife after me, not to mention dear ol’ great-grandfather Niall. I’m sure he’s pissed and wants revenge after what I did to…” Sookie trailed not wanting to go down that path.
“Did to who, Sookie?”
“No one, nothing; it doesn’t matter,” Sookie said in a rush of words.
“Have you seen Niall since you left Bon Temps?” Eric asked seemingly changing the subject.
“No,” Sookie answered, surprised he hadn’t pushed the subject she was trying to avoid. “I know he still wants me as a broodmare though, but I found a way to protect myself and I doubt he’s willing to lose anymore studs trying to get me.”
Eric listened to her words, trying to put everything together from the little she was saying. He doubted she was even aware that she was giving him clues. From what she said he was convinced Niall had found out where she was and had sent someone after her, someone she seemed to have killed. She had mentioned earlier that the fairies who had found her had gone on to the Summerland, and he was now convinced it was at her hands.
“What of the fairies that lived with you, your kin?” he asked.
Eric felt Sookie seize up in his arms, and anger, hatred, shame, and disgust smashed against him, making him grit his teeth as the feelings almost overwhelmed him. It was then he knew whatever happened to her, happened at their hands.
“They’re both dead,” Sookie answered, her tone hard and filled with malice.
“What did they do to you lover?” Eric asked softly.
“I can’t…” she stuttered, “I don’t… Eric, please.”
“Ssshh,” Eric murmured. “You don’t have to tell me if you don’t want to. I am sorry I wasn’t there for you. I would have killed them before they had the chance to hurt you if I could have. I wouldn’t have…”
“They hurt me, Eric,” Sookie cut him off finally letting it out. “They hurt me so bad. Claude blamed me for Claudine’s death; he never forgave me. And Dermot wanted to go back to fairy; he thought Niall would forgive him for siding with Breandan and let him go home if he… he… had… an… heir.”
Eric closed his eyes and held her to him tightly as what she was saying hit him. Anger swelled up in him and his fangs snapped down as he realized what they had done to her. He felt the need to hunt, to destroy the ones who had hurt her, to avenge his mate. He wanted to bathe in their blood, to tear them limb from limb, it was the only the feeling of Sookie shaking in his arms that grounded him. She had needed him badly and he hadn’t been there for her, but he was with her now and he wasn’t leaving. Freyda could go to hell; he wasn’t leaving his true wife. He placed a gentle kiss on top of her head while he got himself under control. He could feel her shame and disgust and Eric realized they were directed at herself. She was ashamed at what had happened to her, and was disgusted at what she had suffered.
“You have nothing to feel ashamed of,” Eric said, tilting her face up so he could look into her eyes. He was surprised to see no tears in her eyes, but he could clearly see the shame etched on her face.
“How do you know I’m feeling ashamed?” Sookie asked hoarsely, her voice filled with the tears she refused to shed.
“I can feel you,” Eric admitted truthfully. “I have been since I rose this evening.”
“But that’s not possible,” Sookie argued. “I broke the bond.”
“I know, but I can. I have been able to feel you all evening. Are you saying you can’t feel me?”
“I…I don’t know,” Sookie replied frowning. “I’ve had everything locked down in my head all night. I’ve not really been paying attention to anything that wasn’t in front of me. I would know though, would I?”
“Can you feel me, Sookie?” Eric asked both anticipating and dreading the answer. He watched as her eyes became unfocused, her emotions changing swiftly as she prodded against the once broken bond. He saw the look of surprise in her eyes the moment she felt it too, and he knew the answer before she even opened her mouth. She could feel him as well.
“It’s not possible,” Sookie breathed in disbelief.
“Apparently it is.”
“But how?” she asked.
“I do not know, but I like feeling you again,” Eric admitted.
“You like feeling my shame? My disgust? My humiliation?” Sookie asked angrily.
“I told you, you have nothing to feel ashamed of.”
“You don’t know that, Eric,” Sookie raged. “You don’t know what they did to me.”
“It is not your fault,” Eric replied, trying to make her see she wasn’t at fault for what happened to her. “You are not to blame. They should be ashamed for hurting you. The shame lies with them, not you.”
“You don’t think I should be ashamed that my great uncle forced himself on me?” Sookie asked brokenly. “You don’t think I should be ashamed that Dermot raped me while Claude held me down and watched. That Claude… that Claude… oh God, he hated me. He wanted to see me humiliated, broken. The things he did to me… how he….”
From what she was saying, Eric gathered that Dermot wasn’t the only one who raped her. If he was understanding her correctly, and part of him prayed to the God he didn’t believe in that he wasn’t, Claude had raped her as well. Eric wasn’t sure what to make of that; he knew Claude was gay. Did Claude hate her that much? But then he remembered rape had nothing to do with sex. It was about power. Claude would have done it to prove her had power over her.
Eric needed to know, but he didn’t want to ask. He wanted to help her since it was clear she was still hurting. She hadn’t dealt with what happened to her. But did he have the right to ask? It was clear she didn’t want him to know, but it seemed she didn’t want anyone to know. That line of thinking was something he could relate to, as he had never wanted anyone to know what Appius had done to him.
Eric hadn’t forgotten the shame he felt the first time Appius had forced himself on him and every time after. He may have learnt how to endure it, and at times get pleasure from it, but he had never truly accepted it. He couldn’t. It had never been his choice. Every time he had sex with Appius it had been because Appius wanted it and he had been powerless to refuse. But unlike Sookie, he had come to terms with what happened to him; it hadn’t been easy, but he had. Sookie was still hiding from it. She had admitted it had happened to her, but she was distancing herself from it, putting up a wall. She was still hurting, but pretending she wasn’t. She needed to heal, but as long as she hid from it she never would.
Lifting her from his lap, he placed her on the edge of her desk. Cradling her face in his hands, he stood up and stared deep into her eyes,” What they did to you was not your fault,” he said firmly. “They are to blame here Sookie. What happened to you was terrible and it shouldn’t have happened, but lover, you are not to blame.”
“I could have stopped them,” Sookie whimpered her guilt meshing with her shame.
“How? They were stronger than you and there was two of them…” Eric trailed off as he heard Sookie’s breath hitch as shame flooded the bond. Seeing the broken look in her eyes, he felt his heart drop, as he realized what she wasn’t saying. “Oh lover,” pressing his lips to her head as he tried to starve of the murderous rage growing inside him. “How many?”
“Five,” she answered, her voice barely a whisper.
“Oh lover, what did they do to you?”
“Anything they wanted,” Sookie answered brokenly.
“What happened to them?” Eric asked through gritted teeth, trying hard not to imagine what they had done to her.
“They’re all dead,” Sookie replied a hint of satisfaction coloring her tone as she recalled the brutal way they all died.
Eric was both pleased and pissed at hearing that; he was happy knowing the ones that hurt her had paid for it with their lives, and couldn’t hurt her anymore, at least not physically, but he was pissed he didn’t get the chance to make them suffer. And he would have done. By the time he’d have been done with them, they would have been begging to die.
“How did they die?” he asked, hoping she would say painfully.
“Screaming,” Sookie replied darkly without a hint of remorse. “Mr. Cataliades and Diantha found me about a week after Claude and Dermot did. Ever since Bill hunted me down I’d been checking in with Desmond every month for safety. I was supposed to check in a few days after they took me, and when I didn’t, he and Diantha came looking for me. Desmond tore Claude apart with his bare hands – it was brutal – while Diantha killed the other three. Dermot turned up at the end, just as Diantha was biting chunks out of one of them. He was never around while the others had their ‘fun.’ I’m not sure if he even knew what they were doing to me. Out of them all, he was the only one who showed any type of remorse, but it didn’t matter. He was just as guilty. I killed him. I stabbed him through the heart with an iron dagger.”
Eric found himself grateful to the demon lawyer and his niece. Knowing Claude had died painfully soothed him slightly, and familiar with Diantha’s reputation, he was sure the other three did as well.
“I’d never seen Desmond so mad,” Sookie continued. “He told me they’d have suffered a lot worse if Fintan was still alive.”
“Does Niall know?” Eric asked suddenly thinking of the danger she could be in if he did.
“I’m sure Dermot told him before he moved on to the Summerland.”
“You have not seen him?” Eric questioned. “He has not been to see you?”
“No,” Sookie replied. “I… I stayed with Desmond and Diantha for a few months after it happened. I needed time to heal, and they were the only ones I trusted. Desmond knew of a way to ward his property so no fairy wishing to do harm could enter. Although, he said only an idiot would try to get to me while I was with him, and Niall is no idiot.”
“But you are no longer staying with them,” Eric remarked.
“No, but I’ve learned how to protect myself since then,” Sookie said with pride. “The next fairy that came after me found that out the hard way.”
“You were attacked again?” Eric growled.
“About seven months after I killed Dermot. Dillon sent someone after me. He was pissed at me, and blamed me for Claudine’s death, and Claude’s too. Apparently, he didn’t care about Dermot though. I don’t know how, but he got a message to some fairy. I was still living in Denmark at the time, and he was waiting for me in my old apartment when I returned home.”
“Did he hurt you?”
“He didn’t get a chance. I took his head off before he even had a chance to touch me.” Seeing the look of surprise on Eric’s face, she continued, “Like I said, I’ve learned how to protect myself.”
“You wouldn’t believe me if I told you.”
“It doesn’t matter how I did it; it just matters that I did,” Sookie said, cutting him off.
Knowing she wouldn’t tell him if she didn’t want to, and not wanting to push her anymore, Eric let it drop. “Have you had any trouble since then?”
“Not from the fairies; they seem to be leaving me alone for now,” Sookie replied, grateful he was letting it drop. “I had a few run-ins with some vampires, but nothing life threatening… well not for me anyway.”
“You no longer seem concerned about the death of vampires,” Eric remarked remembering her reaction to Victor Madden’s death.
“It was them or me. I chose me,” Sookie replied without a hint of regret. “I won’t be anyone’s victim again.”
“What made you decide on Sweden? Why did you move here?” Eric asked out the blue changing the subject.
“It’s easy to get lost in the crowd. Blonde-haired, blue-eyed women are a dime a dozen here. We’re not exactly uncommon. I don’t stand out, and it’s easy to blend in, even if I’m surrounded by giants. I could finally stop dyeing my hair and be me again.”
“You are happy here.” It wasn’t a question more of a statement.
“I am,” Sookie admitted. “I’ve had little trouble in the last few years I have a good life here, a nice little house, and my bar.”
“What about friends?”
“I have Desmond and Diantha. I don’t need anyone else.”
“There is no man in your life currently?”
“They’re many men in my life, just none that mean anything to me,” Sookie replied with a shrug. Looking at him, Sookie smiled, “I know where you’re going with this Eric, and the answer is still no. I’m not leaving.”
“I understand you don’t want to leave, but Sookie you must understand. Freyda will come for you; she wishes to hurt me by hurting you.”
“I understand Eric, I do. But what am I supposed to do? Me leaving is not gonna stop her hunting me. Where am I supposed to go?”
“You can come back to Louisiana with me.”
“No,” Sookie refused immediately. “I can’t. I can’t be near you Eric if we can’t be together, and as long as you’re still married to her we won’t ever be. By my reckoning you still have another eighty-seven years to go.”
“We could be. I could find a way.”
“No you can’t,” Sookie said, smiling sadly. “If there was a way you’d have found it by now. You know you would,” raising her hand, she cupped his face, stroking his cheek with her thumb. “You’ve gotta face it, Eric. Me and you, we’re not meant to be.”
“I can’t accept that. I won’t.”
“You’re gonna have to.”
“There has to be a way. I love you.”
“And I love you. I never stopped, although God knows I tried,” Sookie admitted. “I tried everything I could think of to get over you, but nothing worked, and I know nothing ever will. I love you as much now as I did when we were together, if not more. I’ll never stop, but Eric you’ve got to accept it. It’s over between us, please.”
“Never. It will never be over between us Sookie,” Eric said firmly his eyes full of fire as he swooped down and claimed her lips with his own.
Sookie stiffened in his arms as she felt his lips move over hers, her mind and body at war with each other. Her mind was screaming at her that this was a bad idea and no good could come of it, while her body screamed at her to let go, to give into what she was feeling, what she always felt when he was around. It had been a long time since she felt anything but sexual gratification with a man and Sookie found herself giving in to her feelings. She silenced her mind as she gave in and kissed him back. Fisting her hand in his shirt, she pulled him closer to her as she parted her legs, allowing him to stand in between them.
Eric tangled his hand in her hair as he tilted her face up. Licking along the seams of her lips, he begged for entrance, which Sookie eagerly gave. Eric groaned into her mouth as his tongue twisted with hers. He possessed her mouth in the same way he longed to possess her body, completely. Eric lost himself in the kiss, nipping at her lips before sucking on her tongue. Her taste, her scent, and the way her body pressed so perfectly against his drove Eric crazy. He had almost forgotten what it was like to kiss someone, having not kissed anyone in almost thirteen years. In fact Sookie was the last person he kissed. He may have fucked countless others over the years, but he had not kissed anyone.
Sookie moaned into his mouth, heat pooling between her thighs as Eric stole the breath from her body. She ran her hands down his chest, loving the feel of his body beneath her hands again. Flicking her tongue over his fangs, Sookie smiled into the kiss as she felt him shudder. She nicked her tongue on his fangs, wincing at the slight sting.
Eric groaned loudly as her blood spilt into his mouth; he sucked on her tongue, wanting to get the last drop. He ran his hand over her neck, rubbing his thumb over her pulse point that was beating erratically, before moving it over her shoulder and down her arm, his lips following the path his hand took. He sucked hard on her pulse point. Marking her for all to see.
Slipping his fingers into the front of her dress, Eric pulled on the material hard, yanking it down exposing her bra-covered breasts to his hungry gaze. Lifting his hands, he cupped her breasts, his thumbs ghosting over the scalloped edge of her bra. Pressing his lips to hers again, Eric nibbled on her lips as his hands became reacquainted with her breasts. He swept his thumbs over her nipples, making them pebble, and smirked as he heard her breath hitch. Pushing her bra out of the way, he cupped her naked breasts, weighing them in his hands. She felt amazing in his hands and he couldn’t wait to taste her again.
Straightening up, Eric took a step back and gazed down at Sookie, as she sat perched on the edge of her desk, a slight glow radiating from her skin. Her ample chest was heaving with each breath she took. Her plump lips were swollen from their kisses. In that moment Eric swore she had never looked more beautiful.
“You still have the most beautiful breasts I have ever seen,” he said slowly running his fingers over them. Bending down, he flicked his tongue over her right nipple before sucking it into his mouth.
“Eric,” Sookie whimpered as she tangled her hand in his hair and held his head to her breast.
“Fuck, lover,” he moaned around her breast. “I have missed you so much.”
Knocking everything off her desk, Eric pushed her back, laying her down on it, and leaned over her. Gripping her bra, he pulled on it hard, destroying the clasp before throwing it over his shoulder not caring where it landed. Eric purred as he rubbed his face between her breasts, breathing her in.
Lifting her legs, Sookie wrapped them around his hips as she tugged on his shirt, desperate to feel his naked chest pressed against hers. Yanking his shirt off, she threw it behind her before sighing as his cold chest pressed against her heated one. She raked her nails down his back, delighting in the small groans he gave.
Eric ground his hips against hers as he kissed down her body, paying ample attention to her breasts. He pulled her nipple into his mouth, sucking on it hard making Sookie cry out before letting it go with a ‘pop.’ He scraped his fangs over her breasts, scoring the milky white flesh, and little beads of blood were breaking the surface, mesmerizing Eric. He stared at her as a small drop of blood trickled down the side of her breast. His eyes met hers as he lapped at the blood, savoring her taste.
Sookie threaded her hand in his hair, tugging on it gently, making him purr. She could see lust burning brightly in his eyes and she knew the same lust was reflected in her own. She smiled at him as she stroked her fingers through his hair. She had always loved his hair; she loved the feeling of his silken locks over sliding over her naked flesh, loved it falling over their faces as he moved above her, and she really loved tangling her fingers in it and pulling on it when he had his head buried between her thighs. She missed him more than she could ever say. There were no words to describe how empty she felt without him; her heart ached for him. She knew what they were doing was wrong. He didn’t belong to her anymore, and he belonged to another, even if he did despise her. If anyone ever found out they would be in so much trouble; Sookie didn’t fool herself into believing Eric would be the only one to answer for their passion, but as she stared down into his soulful blue eyes, she couldn’t find it in herself to care. She would happily face anything they could throw at them if she could just spend a few hours in his arms again.
“You are thinking too much, Lover,” Eric said, breaking into her musings.
“I can’t help it.”
“Then let me distract you,” Eric purred nipping her stomach.
“Eric we can’t,” Sookie said, saying the words she didn’t want to but had to. “The contract said…”
“I don’t care,” Eric growled lifting himself up on to his arms, he placed a hand either side of her head and stared down at her. “I don’t care about the contract, or the bitch I was forced to marry. She has kept me from you for far too long.” He slammed his lips down on hers. “Mine,” he growled into the kiss.
All will to resist fled Sookie as Eric took her lips in a bruising kiss. She needed him more than she needed the oxygen in her lungs. She tightened her legs around his waist, pulling him closer. Her hands flew to his ass, groping him over his jeans. He still had the best ass she had ever seen. Slipping a hand into the back of his jeans, Sookie wasn’t surprised to discover he was going commando. Sliding her other hand between them, Sookie rubbed his cock over his jeans.
“Fuck lover,” Eric cursed breaking the kiss. Sliding a hand up her leg, Eric pushed the skirt of her dress up until it bunched around her waist. “I need you.”
“Take me,” Sookie breathed, giving into the feelings he was eliciting in her.
Sliding his hand between her legs, Eric ran a finger over her lace-covered sex, groaning at how wet she was. Pushing her panties aside, Eric teased her clit with his thumb as he pushed a single digit deep inside her. Eric groaned, feeling her around his finger. She was as tight as he remembered and he couldn’t wait to bury his cock inside her again. He pushed a second finger into her, twisting them as he thrust them inside her, stretching her in preparation for what was to come.
“Oh!” Sookie moaned grinding her hips against his hand.
Not being able to wait a second longer, Eric pulled his fingers out of her, chuckling at the hiss of displeasure Sookie gave, “Patience lover,” he teased as he undid his jeans and pushed them over his hips and down his legs, letting them pool at his ankles.
Grabbing her thighs, he pulled her to the edge of the desk. Gripping his straining erection in his hand, Eric rubbed the head of his cock over her soaked panties before he hooked his fingers in the waistband and tugged hard, snapping the elastic. He let them flutter to the floor as he lined himself up, catching her eyes, he pressed forward slowly, the head of his cock penetrating her, making her gasp. He slid into her inch by inch until he was sheathed snugly deep inside her.
“Oh God!” Sookie cried out, her body singing.
Eric dug his fingers into her thigh, spreading her legs slightly as he thrust gently into her. His eyes fixed on where they were joined. “Fuck,” he groaned as he watched his cock disappear into her over and over.
“More,” Sookie begged, arching her back as her breasts bounced with each of Eric’s thrusts. “Harder.”
Never one to deny her, Eric slammed into her faster and harder, his hips a blur of movement as he pounded into her. This was what he wanted, what he needed, what he had craved for so long. No other filled the gap that she left, and he suddenly felt dirty for thousands of women he had taken in the past twelve years. Sex had lost its meaning to him; it was now just a means to an end, a way to occupy his time. But with Sookie spread out before him, her pussy gripping him so tightly, it regained meaning. With her he wasn’t wasting time, but savoring it. As her silken depths took him in again and again, he realized this was where he was meant to be. This was where he belonged, and he’d be damned if he let anyone or anything get in his way.
Sookie Stackhouse was his, she always had been, and she always would be.
“Oh God, yes,” Sookie screamed.
“That’s it,” Eric groaned, feeling her tightening around him. Slipping a hand between them, he rubbed his thumb over her clit.
“Oh… yes… Eric,” Sookie cried as her orgasm crept up on her. Spots danced behind her eyes as coils tightened in her belly until they snapped, sending her spinning head first into a powerful release. Her body shook as her orgasm rolled over her, stealing her breath and making her body sing.
Eric gritted his teeth as he thrust through Sookie’s release in search of his own. He had forgotten how great she felt wrapped around him. As he slammed into her hard, the force of his thrusts moving the desk, he felt the familiar tingling at the base of his spine as his orgasm built, his balls tightening. He came with a roar, uncaring of who heard, emptying himself into her welcoming body. He collapsed on top of her, careful to keep his full weight from her. Eric placed soft kisses on her shoulders as he listened to her breathing even out.
“I love you,” he said, his voice soft and low.
“I love you too,” Sookie replied, her voice catching as tears welled in her eyes.
“Please don’t cry,” Eric said.
“You never did like to see a woman cry,” Sookie replied with a little laugh.
“I never liked to see you cry,” Eric corrected.
“Eric, what are we going to do?”
“I don’t know,” Eric admitted. “But I know I want you back in my life.”
“You know that’s not possible,” Sookie said. “She’ll never let us be together, and I can’t be just your friend.”
“You could never just be my friend. It is not who we are. You are my lover. The only one I love.”
“But I’m not your wife, not anymore,” Sookie replied sadly. “She holds that position now.”
“I wish she didn’t,” Eric told her truthfully.
“So do I… only I’m making that wish too late,” Sookie said as she thought about the cluviel dor. If she had used the fairy trinket when she first found out about the contract she could have avoided all the pain of the last twelve years. But like Eric hadn’t realized he could have annulled the contract by becoming King, she hadn’t realized she could have wished the contract away until after he had pledged to her. She couldn’t even use it now, having utilized its magic years ago.
“I will find a way for us to be together. I promise,” Eric swore.
“Don’t make promises you can’t keep,” Sookie begged.
“I will keep this one; I swear.”
Pushing on his shoulders so he would get up, Sookie sat up. She pulled on the bodice of her dress covering herself as best she could. “Don’t give me hope where there isn’t any,” she said as she hopped off the desk and straightened her dress.
Eric watched her pace back and forth, as he pulled up and refastened his jeans. “We will be together again,” he swore as he picked up his shirt and slipped it on.
“How though, Eric? I don’t mean to keep repeating myself, but your wife will never allow us to be together. And I won’t be your mistress. I won’t be the dirty little secret you run around with behind her back.”
“I would never ask you to be,” Eric replied indignantly. “I would never ask you to be less than you are. You will stand by my side. I will share everything I have with you. Everyone who owes me fealty will honor you.”
“You’ve said those words to me before,” Sookie said, remembering the same words being spoken to her by her sweet amnesia Eric.
“I meant them then, and I still mean them,” Eric told her. “I do not know how and I do not know when, but I will bring you to my side. You will be my Queen.”
“It’s not possible,” Sookie argued.
“It is. I will make it possible.”
“No,” Eric interrupted. “Do not refuse me now. Give me time; that is all I ask.”
“How much time?” Sookie asked frustrated. “Am I supposed to wait forever? Eric you have to face it; as long as you’re married to her we can’t be together and last I heard there is no divorce in vampire marriages. I don’t like it, but I’ve had to accept it. You’re hers. You’re not mine anymore, and I’m not yours.”
“You are wrong,” Eric said firmly. “You are mine. You always have been, and, Sookie Stackhouse, you always will be. Nothing can ever change that.”
“Maybe you’re right. You will always own my heart, but it’s time to let you go, and it’s time you let me go. Seeing you again has been… painful, soul destroying, but amazing. And the sex was great as always. I needed to see you; I needed to know you hadn’t forgotten about me. I was so angry with you, thinking you had, but now I know you hadn’t. But Eric, it’s time. You have to let me go. Holding on to me, to us, knowing we can’t be together will kill us.”
“No, I will never let you go,” Eric said with conviction. “You own my heart, Sookie Stackhouse. I can never, will never let you go. So don’t ask me to. You belong with me. We belong together.”
“You’re wrong,” Sookie argued weakly.
Stalking across the room, Eric took Sookie’s face in his hands and brought his lips down on hers in a soul-stealing kiss. “Tell me that didn’t feel right. Tell me a single touch by me doesn’t make you burn. Tell me you haven’t spent the last twelve years wishing you were with me and I’ll go. I’ll let you go and I’ll never bother you again.”
“I…I…” Sookie stuttered. She wanted to tell him that she hadn’t, that she didn’t. But she couldn’t. The words refused to be spoken. She knew it would be easier on them if she could, but she couldn’t lie to him.
Resting his forehead against hers, “We will be together again,” he swore before taking her lips in another kiss. He wrapped his arms around her and held her tight. “I will come for you,” he said as he broke the kiss.
He placed a finger over her lips. “Trust me,” he kissed her on the forehead before taking a step back. “I love you,” he said before strolling out of her office, leaving a confused yet hopeful Sookie behind.