Chapter 3- Where?
This, this was why he hated her. In a thousand years no one had ever pushed him, pulled him, and fucked with his head the way she did. No one expected anything of him at all, they were too busy trying to please him and curry his favor, or hiding from him in fear when they pushed too hard to get it. Sooner or later he always got to remind them that behind that beautiful mask lurked a monster.
Of course, this is why he loved her, too.
Eric had spent his two days, not that he would ever admit this, planning and practicing what he would say to her when they met again. He wanted to present things in a way that would be positively received, welcomed even. He had gone all alpha the other night, and that had not gone over well at all. Now, for all his planning and plotting he had barely been able to get a word in edgewise, or a thought for that matter either.
What the fuck was this new thing she was doing? Had she learned that in Faerie? It intimated him, and at the same time made him want to flop over and let her rub his belly.
Damn, that was new, too. Intimidation? Submission?
What the fuck do you do when the powers that be suddenly start granting the secret wishes of your soul?
He was standing in front of her, her bag was over her shoulder and she was looking at him expectantly.
"Well, Northman, are you in or are you out?"
"I-uh, need a minute, I need to think," he sat back down on the swing, his elbows now on his knees, his body leaning forward, and she standing in front of him. They had swapped positions from earlier that night.
Sookie shrugged, dropping the bag on the porch and leaning back
against the railing, crossing her arms. She remained silent as Eric tried to
make sense of where he was,
and what this all meant.
"Where do you want to go, Sookie?" He realized suddenly that she said not here, not Shreveport, not Louisiana, not the US?
"Not sure specifically."
"Are you just running away? I am not clear on the goal." He watched her uncross her arms and stalk toward him, right up between his legs, forcing him to lean back, uncross his hands and open up to accommodate her.
Her hands moved to his head, first cupping the back of his neck,
and then moving up to thread her fingers through the strands of his hair. His
eyes drifted closed at her touch.
She was close enough that he could rest his chin on her chest, and when he opened his eyes he was looking up at her downturned face. She wasn't really seeing him. Her voice
sounded far away when she spoke.
"I thought a lot the last couple of days about where I am,
who I am, and what I wanted, what I needed. Do you have any idea what it feels
like to have been gone for year and see
that the world went on without just fine? Folks got together and fell apart, the sun rose and the sun set and Sookie Stackhouse was gone for all of it, and it all still happened. Life moved on, for everyone but me. Life can't move on in twenty minutes."
She paused here still touching him, now gently massaging his neck. His hands moved down her back coming to rest on her waist, ready to hold her there if she pulled back. She didn't. "I thought about how many things I had lost, or that had been taken from me and how much it all hurt. All the vampires and other things that wanted to hurt me, and could hurt me, and then I thought about you."
"You think I would hurt you, Sookie?" Eric's tone was soft, his chin still resting on her chest.
"I dunno, Eric. You've seen in the things I showed you tonight that I want…I want believe that you care about me. But I have been such a fool, over Bill and so many things. I think I realize now that just because I want a thing, doesn't mean I am going to get it."
"If you are not sure that I won't hurt you, and that I care about you, then why ask me to leave with you?"
"Because you offered to teach me, Eric. The other night you
said you would teach me how to make sure that no one like Compton ever hurt me
again. I think about you and I
think how you lived a thousand years, and I don't even really know what that means. It's so big I can't even get my head around it. What I do know is that you are a survivor,
Eric. You're smart and wily and you can teach me, if I let you. Will you teach me?"
"Yes, I can show you how to survive," he hesitated. "I can do that here though, Sookie. We don't need to leave to do that."
"I can't break out of myself and learn to be someone new
here, Eric. Everywhere I look I see memories of…of my past, and my mistakes and
I need to be somewhere new, Eric, so
I can be someone new." She was holding his head now, looking into his eyes, willing him to understand that she needed this, and that she believed he could give it to her.
"I know it's asking you to give up a lot, Eric. I will understand if you would rather stay here with Pam and Fangtasia. Really, I will, but I am leaving tonight with or without you." He frowned at her.
"You know I would never let you go, Sookie. I can find you through our bond that we made in Dallas."
"Yes, you could Eric. But the simple truth is that if you feel it's more important to stay here, than to come with me, then you will not come looking for me either. Besides, hauling me back here, and keeping me against my will, that will never get you where you want to be."
"And where do you think I want to be?"
"Between my legs," she responded smiling slightly at
his consistency and her audacity to just roll it out there like that. Eric's
response was to pull her deeper into the V of his legs
and lean up to feather kiss her lips.
"Saucy wench," he whispered, his tongue slipping out
to trace her bottom lip, slowly. She leaned down to him slightly, not only
allowing but encouraging his exploration.
She let him kiss her for several minutes, gently exploring the land he had plundered in his office that night so long ago. "It won't be easy, Eric. I told you the other night that I was broken, and that hasn't changed."
"Umm," he said, continuing to tease her lips open. He wanted to deepen the kiss, wanted to hear what she had to say because he knew it was important, and wanted her to shut up and kiss him back, to let him have this that he had waited so long for. He never waited for anything, ever! He just took what he wanted, and he wanted to take this, her, now.
He reigned himself in, not letting her go from his grasp, but pausing in his one vampire crusade to conquer this holy land. "Where do you want to go, Sookie?" He licked his lips, savoring the taste of her willing kisses on his skin.
"I want you to take me where you started, Eric. Vikings
come from Sweden, right? I have never asked you where you were from, or who you
were before you were turned." Eric
"Why in the hell would you want to go there, Sookie?"
"The tie between us, at least the beginning of it, was
Godric. I want to know you as he did, and I want to know him through you."
She whispered the words, softly, hoping to
lessen the pain they might inflict at dragging these memories up again. She felt his hands clench on her back as he absorbed her words. "He was a survivor, too. I think you both can teach me the things I need to know." She kissed his forehead again, softly. He turned his face to the side and closed his eyes, hugging her tighter as he thought about what she was asking him to do.
So many memories, some crystal clear, some fuzzy with time, roads walked, and choices made. How long had it been since he had thought about the path that had brought him to door of Sookie Stackhouse? At what point did everything become so mediocre that there was no point in remembering anything anymore? When had he lost track of that part of himself? How could he find it?
At that moment, his face buried in the softness of her breasts and their arms around each other, he realized that if he agreed to do this he would be leaving himself behind. The self he had created on his journey here would be unzipped on his journey back to the beginning. Did he want that? Was she worth that? Yes, she probably is, he thought, but what tipped the scale was the realization that along the path he would be able to mourn Godric, at last. Remembering and then allowing himself to let it all go, and move on. Movement was life, and he needed to accept Godric's actions. If he could understand them, then perhaps he could avoid rooftops in his own future.
At first it had seemed like this was only about, Sookie, but now he saw he it was for him as well. He had another flash of being behind that light tight door in Dallas.
will care for him? Eric?”
“I dunno, you know how he is…”
"If we do this, will you take more of my blood and bond with me?" He looked up at her again, pulling himself from his reverie between her breasts.
"I dunno, Eric. What does it mean to be 'bonded' to you?"
"It means that I can find you if you are in trouble, you know that already. It also means that you would dream of me again, and if we share blood three times you would be able to feel my emotions as well as me feeling yours." She moved now, to sit beside him on the swing, distancing herself while she thought over his request.
"Bill told me in Dallas that it would make me sexually attracted to you. Is that true? That I could want you, only because of the blood we shared?" He took her hand, stroking it.
"Yes, the magic of the bond is, at its root, designed to
keep our source of food and comfort at our side willingly. Before you say no,
remember that I
too am offering myself to you, to know me through the bond, to feel my emotions, to be a part of me."
"So, this is an important tool for you to be close to me, connected and know when I am being truthful with you?"
"Yes, that as well. It would also mark you as mine in the vampire world. No other could touch you without my permission or it would be within my right to end them." He sensed her hesitation, and while to some degree he understood it, it stung that she didn't immediately leap at the offer to be his, to feel him. She took a deep breath, and reached for his hand, entwining their fingers. She started to glow again, and he could hear her in his mind.
I have an alternative offer. For now, at least, I am not comfortable bonding with you. I don't mean to hurt you, I am not rejecting you, Eric. I want to be close to you, but I want to be sure that it is ME that wants it, and not the Bond that wants to make sure I don't leave you when you need a snack.
is no question, I will feed you, and care for you on this journey and I expect
you to do the same for me, on faith and hope and a bond that exists between is
Godric. In honor of his memory.
I know you need a way to learn to trust me, so instead of the ability to read my emotions in blood I offer you this…
Suddenly he was inside Sookie's mind, standing at an entry way. He looked around and found her standing beside him holding her hand here as she was on the porch.
I don't understand, he heard himself think.
grant you access to my mind when you want it, as you have me to yours.
I will trust you to come here, of your own accord and see the truth of my words whenever you need until we have trust between us.
This will not protect you from other vampires, Sookie.
think we will meet so many, in the beginning at least? I would have some time
with you just you, Eric. Away from everyone and everything to know you better.
not possible? We could revisit the need for a bond of protection later, couldn't we?
He thought it over. Yes, they could take their time with this,
and what she was offering him was no less than what he had offered her, more in
some ways. He pulled her hand to
his lips and kissed it softly.
Yes, this is acceptable.
They were back on the porch now still holding hands and looking at each other. When Eric had left Shreveport tonight he had planned to convince her to be his and to have her screaming his name as he took her over and over until dawn. There could be no other outcome.
Except that there had been. A possibility that he had not even
allowed himself consider because he thought he knew her so well, and she was
predictable. He snorted at his own
short sightedness. If this had been a battle to the death he would be dust in the wind. How would he ever be able to conquer this creature? This marvelous, confounding, beautiful creature that left him in pieces at every turn.
She wanted him to go back, remember the man he had been a
thousand years ago, and show her his humanity. At this point he felt it was
quite an assumption that there had
ever been any in him to start with. There was certainly none left.
Only she would ask of this of him.
He would have done it, even without the invocation of Godric. The addition of Godric in her words made this feel ordained in some way though, to know his Maker had a hand in this, that he would be Sookie's Maker in a way as well.
Would she want to see him and know him when they left the path of humanity and embraced the monster he had become along the way? Would she run then, and scream that there was nothing she could learn from a monster? Probably. It would take a while for him to get his mask off though, so they had time.
There was always the chance that she would see his monster and stay. It wasn't likely but it was an option and if tonight had taught him anything it was he had to consider it. He would never win this crusade if he didn't allow himself to learn from his mistakes.