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Twenty Questions

By idream3223

Romance / Fantasy

Chapter 1

Chapter 1-Change

This is no way to treat your new landlord.
I am not yours, and I want you out of my house now!
Funny about ownership, isn't it?
A little piece of paper, and the only power you had over me is gone.
What do you want from me?

Sookie stopped at the bottom of the steps and looked Eric in the eye. Seeing him for the first time since he had appeared in her room. What the what? Everything?
"Eric, what do you mean, 'everything'?" He moved toward her, slowly insinuating himself closer to her body. If he had been warm, she would have felt his warmth at this distance. Which, means, she thought, he can feel mine. She repressed a shiver.

"I am asking you to be mine," his voice deep, his gaze deeper and the rumble in his chest that accompanied those words made her vibrate on the inside as well. It was foolish to
trust him. It was inevitable to trust him. She sighed, moving the rest of the way into the kitchen, taking a seat at the table and looking at him expectantly to join her there.

"Eric," she began, looking him directly in the eye, ignoring the smirk on his lips and seeking to dig past it, to dig to the heart of him with her eyes and her words, because she not only wanted truth, she wanted to give it in return. "Ever since I met Bill, things in my life have moved so fast! I don't think, I react.”

She paused here, struggling for how to say what she meant, "I use this hectic pace to avoid dealing with the emotional fallout. It's not a new trick, just one I thought I had outgrown." She shut her eyes tightly, scrunching her face. "I am running as fast as I can, but I am going nowhere. Nowhere at all." She paused giving him time to speak, but he sat silently, entranced at her words, hypnotized by her honesty, her calm, her forthrightness in talking to him as a person for the first time…ever.

"I know from what you, Bill and Jason have told me that from your perspective I have been gone for a year, hell, more than a year. From my perspective I have been gone about 20 minutes and you," tears came to her eyes now, "You, Eric Northman just a few hours ago, fed me to Russell Edgington, and then told me that the man I thought I knew, that I thought I loved, had never ever truly loved me at all." The smirk had disappeared by now from Eric's face. His eyes locked to hers.

"If I take the time to process what has happened, I will likely be able to appreciate that the bearer of bad news is not necessarily the one who should be punished. If I have the
time to think about it, I may be able to appreciate that the plan that got me drained to the near to the point of death for the second time, in as many days, was also the plan that saved my life. If I have the time to think about it, I may also be able to see the wisdom of an alliance with an old and powerful ally like you."

Surprise now colored Eric's expression, telling her that for all his song and dance, he never really thought she would say yes. She sat back, crossing her arms over her chest. He had underestimated her. Did he think that she was so foolish as to not recognize the need for an ally, and a strong one at that? She was coming to that realization before the Fae joined the fray.

"What I can tell you," she said quietly, leaning toward him, "Is that I can never be with you the way I was with Bill." Was that a fleeting look of disappointment she saw?

"You are saying that you would never be mine?" Yes, she was sure now, that was disappointment in his tone, and on his face.

"You misunderstand, Eric. When I said I could never be with you the way I was with, Bill, I meant I could never let myself be so trusting and naive ever again. That no matter what you might or might not deserve, the woman you want "everything" from is broken. She is even more broken than she was when you met her. She is broken and she is angry, and she no longer believes in happy endings, or that love conquers all. That there is someone for everyone, and all that other happy horse shit that people say to themselves to get through the day."

Her tone was bitter and cold as she said these words, her lips snarled and anger ruling her features as she looked him, focusing all the emotion directly on him. It fell like waves crashing and crushing him.

His first true look at her, inside her, at the mess that he had helped to create by exposing Compton's lies, by pursuing his vengeance and bringing Russell to Bon
Temps, by telling her she was' too important throw her life away', and then seeming to roll back on that by offering her up as a lamb to the slaughter.

Eric knew he might not have painted this picture of bitterness, rage and loneliness in front of him, but he had framed it. He had centered it on the wall, hung it, and in doing so had effectively hung himself.

She was right there, and she was million miles away. So fucking beautifully broken that he wanted to throw himself on her jagged edges and let the blood flow. Let the blood pay recompense for errors and sleights that it might heal, that it might save.

"If you can manage to convince me to give you "everything", I don't think you are going to like what you find, Eric. There are some dark places in me now, places that even I have no refuge from. They are sharp, and moldy and they burn me," a single tear slipped down her cheek now from her right eye, following the curvature of her face, to hang on her jaw momentarily before dropping to her robe. "They will burn you, too!" she whispered savagely. Her eyes pressed into him and he wondered if this is what glamour was like from the other side. She silently demanded that he retract his request, and walk away while her words thrashed him, shoved him. "I will make sure you get to feel it, too!"

"Is that what you want, Sookie? Truly? To take me inside you until all I can feel is your dark burning me? To cut me on your edges and watch the blood run? Truly?" He was sitting forward now on his chair, eye fucking her, burrowing into her mind, pressing for truth and wishing for the thousandth time that he could just fucking glamour it out of her so for once and damn all he could know the fucking truth about her, and then in turn himself.

Did he understand her as well as he thought he did?

She leaned back now, crossing her arms again, surveying him with her detached gaze. "I don't know, I need time to process everything that has happened. Time to think about all the things I know should hold sway, and temper my rage. Time to appreciate…you. Unless the truth I have shared with you has changed your mind about what you think you want from me? Do you no longer wish to be mine?" She smiled when she said it, a glimmer of humor but a dash of truth. His smirk surfaced, again and he inclined his head to her.

"Vampires do not belong to humans, Sookie. You know this, and it would be a mistake to let that notion live, even in jest."

"Hrm," she said, moving her hand to her face and relaxing against her folded arm on the surface of the table. "Perhaps I don't understand the term correctly then." She hesitated
a moment. "Russell humiliated me, you know? When we were in the library and he was quizzing me about what I was. He said, 'Oh, sweetheart. You really don't know anything at all, do you?' and it really pissed me off that he was right. I didn't know anything at all. Bill had hidden so much from me that I was ignorant and defenseless in the face of that
ancient monster." Her anger flared again and then slipped back beneath the surface.

"So, Eric, tell me, what do you mean when you say that you want me to be yours?

Hearing her say the words, and thinking of their meaning momentarily left him speechless as he conjured images of her belonging to him. "I would drink from you whenever I wanted, but only ever me. It would be forbidden for another to touch you. However, me you could not deny. You would pleasure my body at my
demand, again, only me, only ever me, never to be denied, no matter my wish. You would do as I told you, no questions, and no doubts. No exceptions ever. In return I would protect you from all others and provide for your welfare and safety. You would share yourself with me in every way, tell me, touch me, give me anything and everything I ask you for, and in time anticipate even the things I don't. You would become a part of me, and I would care for you as I do myself. You would hold nothing back from me. You wouldn't want to. I would show you the world, and I would teach you how to make sure you were never taken advantage of by the likes of Compton ever again."

Sookie didn't speak right away, which made it seem like she was listening, rather than just using the time he was talking to think of what she was going to say next. Slowly, she
stood at her kitchen table, looking slightly down into Eric's smug expression as he defined his slavery, and thought that she would simply sign on the dotted line and take that lemon home. She slowly took a step back from him, and he mostly expected her to run. Instead, her face and hands started to glow, her stance shifting into a fighting position.

Eric's response was conditioned and automatic when he assumed an attack posture of his own. Vampire and Fae know each other of old, and while this was new for Sookie and Eric, the world is too old to have seen anything new for a very long time. Sookie's lavender glow filled the kitchen now and her voice was deeper and more resonant than it had been before the fireworks started. She was more confident than angry now.

"Vampires do not belong to humans, I agree with this. I am not human." Eric actually blinked at that, and while he heard the words and comprehended their meaning, he was lost as to what they meant in the grander scheme of things.

"What would you have then, Fae? A vampire on a leash that you can lead at will? A slave of your own?" Contempt for this idea making him spit the words out like they burned his

"Vampire, I do not know what I would have of you. Perhaps nothing at all. I seek only to illustrate that never ever will heel for you, never ever will I be at your beck and call and never ever will you be able to force me to do it."

"You could choose to do it, Sookie."

"Eric, my broken heart feels like I already did, and that it didn't work out so well. Tell me, would you choose to do it for me? Would you choose to be mine if I were the stronger, wiser, older one in this scenario?"

"Yes!" he said, not hesitating.

"Why?" she asked tilting her head in genuine surprise at his quick and passionate response.

"Because some things are worth more than pride, Sookie." Her glow slowly began to diminish and in a few seconds she was just plain old Sookie Stackhouse again. Arms crossed protectively across her chest, staring at him like she was seeing something she didn't understand. "Leave now, Eric. I need to think over what has happened, what has been said and figure out what I want now."

"From me?"

"Pfft, Northman, the whole fucking world doesn't revolve around you!"

"It doesn't?" One eyebrow going up in mock surprise.

"No, and I know that because it revolves around me!" a secret smile playing hide and seek on her face. The first glimpse of the Sookie he knew since he arrived. It was comforting, and confusing all at the same time. He had wanted the old Sookie, but this new one, she drew him, too. Could there be some way to have both? Ha! His mind whispered, you haven't even managed to get ONE of them to agree to be yours, and now you think you can handle both Sookie Stackhouses?

"Come back here in two days, Eric. Know what you want, if anything, from me. There will be truth on that night, even if a river of blood runs from its roots. You are not the only one who requires things."

"What do you require, Sookie?"

"Change. I require change." He bowed slightly at the waist and exited from her squeaky backdoor before flying off into the night. Sookie wasn't the only one who needed to

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