“Sookie,” Eric croaked scarcely believing his eyes. She was there. Bloody, but somehow in front of him, and on his plane at that.
“Eric, are you okay?” Sookie asked concerned.
The concern in Sookie’s voice snapped Eric out of it. He sped across the plane to her. Grabbing her by the upper arms, he pulled her to her feet and into his arms. Holding her tight, Eric struggled to believe she was actually there. He ran his hands over her, searching for any sign of injury as he breathed her in. As he held her, he felt their bond spring back to life, and Eric felt his shoulders relax as he could once again feel her. He basked in the feelings, content to just hold her.
“I’m sorry,” Sookie whispered.
“What are you sorry for, lover?” Eric asked, placing a gentle kiss on her head as a wave of her sorrow washed over him.
“For worrying you, for being stubborn, for not telling you how I can defend myself,” Sookie replied, naming just a few things she was sorry for.
“It is okay,” Eric assured her happy to have her in his arms again.
“No, it’s not,” Sookie argued.
“Still so stubborn,” Eric replied, making Sookie snort with laughter. “What happened lover?”
Tilting her head up so she could look at him, Sookie smiled slightly, “Is it safe to talk here?”
“No,” Eric admitted as he surveyed their surroundings. There was no way he could assume no one was listening in. They would have to wait until they were back in Louisiana until they could discuss what happened. He called Pam to him, uncaring that she was feeding, and he turned to face the door of the plane, Sookie still held firmly in his arms.
It was less than a minute later when Pam came storming through the door, a snarl etched firmly on her face, her lips stained with blood. Her eyes widened as she saw Sookie at his side.
“Do not look at me like that, Pamela,” Eric growled angrily. The look on her face as she saw Sookie told him she had no idea she was there beforehand. He was furious at her for getting a quick feed and fuck while she knew Sookie was missing. “Inform the pilot that I want to return to Louisiana immediately.”
“Do as I say,” Eric snarled in no mood for her to question him.
Sensing his anger, Pam lowered her head and moved to do as he ordered. She wasn’t sure why he was angry with her, but she had no intention of aggravating him further.
Sinking down into one of the seats, Eric pulled Sookie onto his lap, refusing to let her go. He buried his face in her hair and breathed in her again. He had no idea what had happened or how she had escaped Freyda, but at that moment he didn’t care. He was just happy she had.
The trip back to Louisiana passed in silence, none of them willing to speak. Once the plane touched down on the private airstrip just outside New Orleans, Eric ordered Pam back to the royal residence, instructing her to deal with any business that had come up in his absences. Finally realizing why he was angry with her, Pam eagerly complied, not wish to provoke his ire any further by arguing with him.
“Aren’t you going with her?” Sookie asked as she watched Pam drive away in the car that had been waiting for her.
“No lover, we need to talk without any interruptions,” Eric replied. “I have another house not too far from here. It is very private, only Pam knows about it.”
“Okay,” Sookie said.
Pulling her to him, Eric wrapped his arms around her, ”Hold on tight,” he instructed as he shot up into the air. He chucked at the shriek of surprise Sookie gave as she tightened her arms around him and wrapped her legs around his waist.
It was only ten minutes later when Eric touched down in the backyard of his property. He refused to let Sookie down as he entered the house, holding her to him as he walked through the house to the living room.
“Lover, what happened?” he asked as he finally set her down.
Sinking down onto the sofa, Sookie rested her head in her hands as she struggled to think how to explain it all. “You’re not gonna like it,” she started.
“Just tell me,” Eric said as he sat down beside her.
Lifting her head, she stared at him, “I don’t know where to begin.”
“Try the beginning,” Eric suggested as he took one of her hands and held it in his own.
“I’m not sure I know where the beginning is anymore,” Sookie replied.
“The Were’s that kidnapped you,” Eric helped, “Desmond said he was surprised they got close enough to touch you.”
“That’s one of the things you’re not gonna like,” Sookie admitted.
“Sookie, tell me,” Eric ordered.
“I knew who they were when they walked into my bar,” Sookie said. “I knew why they were there.”
“You knew they worked for Freyda, and that they were there to kidnap you?”
“What did you do?”
“Nothing,” Sookie confessed.
“Nothing?” Eric repeated. “Sookie, how could you be so foolish?”
“I wasn’t being foolish. I saw an opportunity and I took it,” Sookie defended.
“What opportunity? To be kidnapped?”
“Yes,” Sookie snapped shocking Eric.
“You let the kidnap you?” Eric asked not believing his own ears.
“How could you be so stupid?” Eric raged. “Were you trying to get yourself killed?”
“Of course not,” Sookie scoffed.
“Then explain it to me,” Eric demanded, “because right now I’m thinking you have a death wish.”
“I just… I…” Sookie sighed as she tried to compose herself. “When they showed up at my bar I knew why they were there. I could have defended myself against them, and I did to begin with, I killed one. I could have killed them all, but it wouldn’t have made any difference. She would’ve just sent more, only next time I might’ve not known until it was too late. They would’ve probably been better prepared. So I let them subdue me. It probably wasn’t my greatest plan, but I knew I could protect myself and she didn’t. She underestimated me.”
“It was your stupidest plan ever,” Eric retorted he couldn’t believe she actually let them kidnap her. He was more convinced then ever that she had a death wish.
“Probably,” Sookie agreed. “I’ll admit I wasn’t thinking too clearly. I’d had enough Eric. I wanted her out of our lives. I hated her. It was because of her we were apart. None of what happened would have if it wasn’t for her and that stupid contract. I wanted her dead.”
“So did I,” Eric told her. “But you didn’t have to get yourself kidnapped.”
“There was no way out of it and you know it Eric,” Sookie said softly. “The only way you were ever gonna be free was if she was dead.”
“Then you should have let me handle it,” Eric argued. “I would have dealt with her.”
“Eric, you know as well as I that you would have been the first suspect,” Sookie replied. “They would’ve put you on trial just like they did with Sophie-Anne. At least this way there is no way they can pin it on you. You were halfway over the Atlantic.”
Eric couldn’t help but smile as he remembered thinking the exact same thing; they were starting to think alike. That realization caused a wave of dread to take over him. “Sookie, please tell me you didn’t do all this just because I had an alibi.”
“No, I didn’t,” Sookie replied truthfully. “I took advantage of them attacking me when they did, but I promise you I didn’t do it just because you had a alibi, although I’m glad you did.”
“Tell me what happened,” Eric demanded again, at least mollified that she didn’t do it just so no one could blame him. “The werewolves subdued you, then what?”
“I was knocked out; they drugged me with something, and the next thing I know I woke up in a cell in Oklahoma a few hours before sunset.”
Eric listened as Sookie explained everything that had happened, from the time she came to, to her confrontation with Freyda. She explained how she had taunted the former vampire Queen with what had happened between them in Stockholm driving Freyda crazy.
“And then I staked her,” Sookie finished with a shrug, “and then the other vampire when she came in.”
Eric stared at Sookie barely hiding his shock. He had assumed Sookie had played a part in what had transpired, but he never thought for one second she had staked Freyda and Marietta single-handedly. He had dismissed her claims that she could protect herself as fanciful thinking, something it seemed he was wrong to do seeing how she had killed two vampires within minutes of each other. But he still couldn’t help but wonder how. How had she killed both Freyda and Marietta and escaped the palace without anyone seeing her? And how did she know where to find him?
“You killed both Freyda and Marietta,” Eric said it was more of a statement than a question.
“With a stake.”
“That was not what I was asking and you know it,” Eric said with a hint of censure in his voice.
“I know,” Sookie replied. “How I was able to do it is a strange tale to tell and one I don’t fully understand myself.”
“Will you tell me?” Eric asked, knowing this was what she was keeping from him Stockholm.
“Yes…” Sookie whispered; pausing, she took a deep breath. “I’m not sure how to begin, or where.”
“The start is usually a good place,” Eric replied making Sookie smile.
“Do you know what a cluviel dor is?” Sookie asked.
“It is a fairy trinket, highly magically, very rare. Why do you ask?” Eric asked, not understanding her reason for the question.
“Because before I left Bon Temps, before the whole thing with Victor, I found one among my Gran’s stuff in the attic,” Sookie answered, ”along with a letter. She explained it was a gift from Fintan and that she had never used it and that it was mine now. I had no idea what to do with it, but Desmond warned me to make sure none of the fairies that were hanging around knew about it. So I kept it hidden. The only person who knew about it was Amelia and I told her to keep quiet… so she probably told everyone.”
“Why didn’t you tell me?” Eric asked hurt that she had hidden it from him.
“I don’t know,” Sookie admitted. “I wish I did. I wish I would’ve told you and I regret that I didn’t…”
“You do realize you could have used it to get me out of the contract with Freyda?”
“I do know,” Sookie replied. “I realized a few years after I left I could’ve used it, but I swear Eric, I didn’t realize it at the time. I barely thought about it. I wish I would’ve used it and I’m sorry I didn’t.”
As Eric listened to her talk, he could tell she was being truthful. He could feel her regret at not telling him or using it to get him out of the contract. He believed her when she said she hadn’t realized until it was too late; he couldn’t be angry with her when he had made the same mistake. He hadn’t realized he could have voided the contract if he was King until after he pledged to Freyda. Eric wasn’t happy that she hadn’t told him about it, but then could he really blame her? He certainly hadn’t told her everything. Pam had practically forced him to tell her about the contract and Freyda in the first place. Could he hold it against her that she hid things from him when he was guilty of the exact same thing?
“It’s okay, lover,” he said, finding he actually meant it. “We both made mistakes in the past, but what does any of this have to do with how you killed Freyda and Marietta?”
“When I left Bon Temps, I took the cluviel dor with me,” Sookie replied continuing her story. “I don’t know why, something just told me to. I never thought about it until…”
“Until?” Eric asked when she made no move to continue.
“Until…” she closed her eyes and took a deep breath, “until after what happened with Claude and the other fairies,” she continued as she let out the breath. “When… after… I’d been rescued I was in a bad way. I was hurting not just physically, although my body was hurting from what they did to it, but mentally as well. I felt weak, defenseless… used. I was having nightmares every night. I kept reliving what they did to me. I woke up many times thinking they were still alive and in my room, that’d they come back for me. It didn’t matter that I’d seen them die, in my mind they were still there, still hurting me. I just wanted to feel safe. I wanted to feel protected.” She turned to face him on the sofa, “I wanted you.”
“Oh, Sookie, I’m so sorry. If I had known I would have been there,” Eric swore. “I would have moved heaven and hell to have been at your side.”
“I know,” Sookie replied, giving him a sad little smile. “I don’t blame you; I know it wasn’t your fault. But it was when I was recovering I remembered about the cluviel dor.”
“You used it,” Eric said. “You made a wish.”
“I did,” Sookie admitted. “I just wanted to be safe, to be protected and that’s what I wished for. It was a simple wish, or so I thought, but you always told me that fairies are tricky creatures, and it seems so are their magical trinkets.”
“What happened?” Eric asked curiously.
Opening her mouth, Sookie let her fangs slide down. “It made me an even bigger freak.”
Eric gazed at Sookie in shock. For another of the numerous times since meeting Sookie, he was again at a loss of what to say. Reaching out a hand, he stroked a finger over her fangs making her moan. “You are a… no…” he trailed off as he tried to put it all together, but try as he might he couldn’t explain it. She had fangs like a vampire, but she still had a heartbeat and was warm. Seeing how she had killed a were and two vampires, he also guessed she was stronger as well. “What are you?” he asked finally making Sookie wince.
“Me,” she whispered dejectedly. “I’m still me; ain’t I?”
“Forgive me, Lover, but this is a lot to take in,” Eric replied.
Sookie nodded her head, but said nothing in reply as she prepared herself for his rejection. I’m so stupid; of course he won’t want me anymore. Why would he? I’m just a freak.
“Enough of that,” Eric growled feeling her desolation, guessing what she was thinking. “I am not leaving you again, but please explain all this to me. I need to know everything.”
Eric’s words boosted Sookie and she started to feel the sliver of hope that they could work everything out. “I’m not sure I can explain everything, because I still don’t understand some of it myself,” she said. “I’m not sure what happened. We think I wasn’t specific enough with my wish…”
“We?” Eric asked, cutting her off.
“Desmond. He tried to research it, but as best as we can tell, nothing like this has happened before.”
“I always thought you were one of a kind,” Eric told her making her smile. “What did happen?”
“Best we can tell is, when I made the wish the magic inside the cluviel dor gave me the means to protect myself by activating the supernatural blood inside me. Desmond thinks it was just supposed to enhance the fairy blood, making me more fairy.”
“Obviously that didn’t happen,” Eric deduced.
“No, he thinks it was because I had more vampire blood inside me. Even though I broke the bond, your blood still resided in me, even though it had been seven years since I’d last had it,” Sookie explained. “The magic of the cluviel dor somehow animated the vampire blood, effectively turning me.”
“But not completely as you still have a heartbeat and are awake during the daytime….” Eric trailed off as something hit him. “If it was my blood that turned you, does that mean I’m your maker?”
“I don’t know; command me and find out.”
“I command you to kiss me,” Eric ordered.
“You don’t have to command me to do that,” Sookie said, giggling and placing a gentle kiss on his lips. “And that was because I wanted to; I didn’t feel the need to do it.”
“Shame,” Eric replied, pretending to pout. “So how do you explain your heartbeat and day walking?”
“Desmond thinks that’s due to the fairy blood,” Sookie said. “That part of me clung to the sun and my human side clung to my life. None of it makes sense to me, but as far as we can tell, I’m part vampire, part fairy, and part human freak.”
“You are not a freak,” Eric snapped hating to hear her talk about herself in such a way.
“That’s a matter of opinion.”
“Does anyone else know?” Eric asked.
“I haven’t told anyone other than Desmond and Diantha,” Sookie replied. “Niall might know, or at least suspect as I haven’t heard anything from the fairies in years. Not since I killed the one Dillon sent.”
“It would be wise to keep to keep this a secret,” Eric said switching to King mode. “Others could see you as a threat and they might try to take you out. Plus there are those who would wish to use you for their own gain.”
“I have no intention of telling anyone,” Sookie assured him.
“What are your strengths and weaknesses?” Eric asked suddenly.
“I’m extremely sensitive to silver, iron, and lemon. In fact, they hurt like hell,” Sookie answered truthfully knowing Eric was only asking so he could protect her and not because he was looking for a way to harm her. “Sunlight doesn’t affect me. I still have to eat normal food, but I also need blood. I heal, but not as fast as the rest of you. I also get tired and need to sleep. I’m stronger, a lot stronger in fact. Desmond believes my strength is that of a vampire several centuries old if not older. My telepathy is stronger, I can now hear over a greater distance and Weres and Shifters are easier to read. I can also teleport, only not very far, maybe three hundred feet at the most and it hurts like hell when I do. That’s how I got out of the palace, I teleported myself into the grounds and ran. I have all the weaknesses vampires have, with the exception of the sun. I also age…”
“What?” Eric asked, not expecting to hear that, not that he was expecting any of it, but he had assumed that she was immortal now like other vampires.
“I age much slower than humans, but I do age,” Sookie told him. “We think I should live for a few centuries at least, but I’m not immortal.”
A small smile spread across Eric’s face as he heard that. She would live a few hundred years at least. That would give him plenty of time to convince her to become a vampire fully. She would see the world change around her in that time, and he hoped it would be enough for her to want more and let him change her, because he knew right there and then, he wouldn’t survive without her again. If he lost her again, he would meet the sun the next day.
“Lover, this is great news,” he said.
“You’re not angry or disgusted?” Sookie asked voicing her fears.
“Of course not,” Eric assured her as he pulled her into his lap. “I am sorry it happened like it did. I do not ever like to see you hurt, but I am glad you can stay with me for a long time.”
“You still want me?” Sookie whispered.
“Always,” Eric growled hungrily. “You are mine Sookie Stackhouse. I am never letting you go again.”
“I don’t ever want to be without you again,” Sookie said truthfully. “I love you, Eric.”
“I love you too, Sookie,” Eric replied before pressing his lips to hers and kissing her gently.
Sookie happily returned the kiss tangling her hands in his hair as she moaned into his mouth, the moans turning into a whimper when Eric broke the kiss and set her down on the sofa beside him again. Confusion swept over her when she saw Eric stand up. “Eric?”
“Ssshh, lover,” he said as he turned to face. Dropping to his knees in front of her, he pushed her legs apart so he could slip in-between them. “I love you Sookie. I had forgotten what love was until you walked into my life. I tried to ignore it, pretend I didn’t feel it. I did and I managed up until I was cursed, but after that I could no longer deny it. I promised you that I would bring you to my side and share everything I had with you, a promise I did not keep up until now. I spent the last thirteen years without you and it was hell. I do not want to spend one more night without you. I want to bring you to my side. I want you to be my lover, my wife, my Queen. Sookie Stackhouse will you marry me? Will you be my wife and Queen?”
Tears streamed down Sookie’s face as he listened to Eric’s beautiful words. She had dreamed of hearing them for so long, but had resigned herself to never hearing them, believing them to be over. But as she thought about it, they weren’t ever really over. Time and distance could never destroy their love, and she doubted anyone or thing could.
“Sookie?” Eric asked nervously.
“Yes!” she cried.
“Yes,” Eric repeated.
“Yes, I’ll marry you,” she accepted happily. “Of course I’ll marry you.”
Eric crashed his lips to hers, his arms wrapping around her as he picked her up. He smiled into the kiss as he felt Sookie’s legs wrap around his waist, and he raced them through the house towards his bedroom. Laying her down on the bed, he braced himself above her and stared down at Sookie, at the beautiful creature beneath him. He couldn’t quite believe his luck. The wife he hated was dead. He had the love of his undead life back, and she had agreed to marry him and be his Queen. For the first time since he had been forced to walk away from her all those years ago, he was happy, truly happy.
Eric knew he had a lot of work to do. The fallout from Freyda’s death wouldn’t be pretty and he still had Bill and Amelia to deal with, but at the moment Eric didn’t care. He would deal with everything that came with Sookie by his side, where she should have been the whole time.
Lowering his head, Eric placed a soft kiss on Sookie’s lips, “I love you.”
“I love you too,” Sookie replied, smiling up at him. “Now shut up and make love to me.”
“My pleasure,” Eric growled as he proceeded to do just that.