Previously: Since it’s been a while since the previous two stories, I thought I’d give you a recap of what’s gone on until now. In She’s Not There, Eric bought Sookie’s house and pined for her while she was in Faerie. Alas for Eric, his reunion with Sookie when she returned from Faerie didn’t go as he hoped.
In He’s Not There, Eric lost his memory thanks to Marnie and stayed with Sookie. They fell in love and exchanged blood, creating a two-way bond called the blóðfesta, which brings with it full emotional awareness of the other person and an ability to locate them geographically.
When Eric and Pam were kidnapped by Marnie, Tara and other coven members, Sookie was able to locate Eric using their bond, but unable to rescue him until later at the Tolerance rally. At the rally, Sookie enlisted the help of Lafayette and Jesus to fight the witches, and Lafayette channeled Godric, setting off a battle for control of Eric’s body between Marnie and Eric’s maker. Sookie broke Marnie’s spell on Eric by blasting him with her faerie light and Tara killed Nan Flanagan, who wanted to take Sookie to the Authority for questioning.
Where we left off: Tara, Marnie and the other witches have been taken to the Authority for trial, Jesus and Lafayette have been glamoured to forget what really happened at the Tolerance rally and Sookie, angry at realizing how comprehensive her new bond with Eric is, tells him she needs time and space before they can ever be together.This story picks up immediately where He’s Not There ended. For a change of pace, this is in Sookie’s point of view.
Chapter 1: Flying Away
I could feel Eric flying away with my heart.
While that sounds like some corny metaphor, I mean that I could literally feel it as he moved away from me in the night sky on his way back to Shreveport, like some kind of human GPS.
And the heart part? Although I had been the one to ask him to go, now that he was leaving, it was ripping me apart. The further he went from Bon Temps, the more I felt like a huge, sucking hole was in my chest where my heart used to be. Not just because I was upset by what had happened between us – although I was – but apparently because one of the effects of the blood bond we had formed was to make physical separation between us an unpleasant thing.
If you can call feeling like someone has gutted you and carted away your insides unpleasant.
Fucking Eric. Fucking bond. Fucking stupid me.
I had closed the front door and locked it as soon as Eric had taken off into the darkness, waiting until I knew he was well on his way before letting the tears I had been holding back break free. I let my forehead sink against the doorframe, and let my sorrow and regret flow with profuse weeping and an unfortunate amount of snot.
But I didn’t call him back. I could have, with this new bond that had driven us apart even though he said he had intended it to bring us closer together; all I had to do was summon him back with my feelings.
But I had sent him away for a reason. I had told him I needed time away from him – from the intensity of the bond – to think clearly about what I wanted with him. And if the wrenching ache in my chest wasn’t proof that I had made the right – the logical –decision, nothing was. Right?
I stepped back from the door, wiping my wet cheeks and runny nose on my hoodie sleeve. Gross, I know, but I was going to have to do laundry in the morning anyhow. After I had arrived home earlier in the night, emotionally and physically exhausted, I had realized that both my bed and the guest bed were still rumpled with sheets that Eric and I had made love on. Too tired to strip either bed and too upset with him to crawl into a bed we had recently shared, I had curled up on the couch, and tried to rest while I waited for him to finish up dealing with the aftermath of what had happened at the Festival of Tolerance. Instead, I had lain there, rehashing the dizzying events of the past few days, trying to make sense of what was going on, and trying to figure out how I should feel.
Which was tough, because even though he was still in Shreveport, I could feel Eric feeling my feelings and then feel him sending me his feelings to make me feel better.
And for a little bit, it worked, because I would feel better and just feel the love I had for Eric…until I began to wonder if he was making me feel what I was feeling somehow, and I’d get mad all over again, which made him send more feelings and – well, you get the picture.
I didn’t get a lot of rest while lying there waiting for him to finish dealing with the Authority so we could talk instead of just feel feelings at each other.
And I wasn’t sure I was going to get any rest now that we had talked, either, because I still didn’t feel like stripping any beds, especially now that my sinuses were all clogged from crying.
Grabbing a box of tissues and peeling off my soggy-sleeved hoodie, I crawled back onto the couch again, turning out the lights and pulling one of Gran’s crocheted afghans over me. At least I had never quite made love to Eric on the couch, although we had come close once before Bill had interrupted us.
Lying there in the dark, I could feel the tears well up again, and I just let them go, swabbing up the mess with handfuls of tissue until I just couldn’t cry any more. If you had told me ten days ago that I would end up with my heart broken and my head aching from crying over Eric Northman, I would have thought you were crazy. But here I was, miserable, and worse yet, feeling his misery, too, although his seemed dulled by tiredness and a bleak blanket of emotional cold.
A good hour of crying later, but finally wrung out of tears, I turned over on the couch, closing my eyes more tightly and pulling one of the throw pillows close to my chest. Although I had finally stopped crying, I still couldn’t stop thinking about how I had gotten into this mess.
I had always been attracted to Eric Northman, although if you had tried to get me to admit it, I would have lied to your face about it. (God knows, I lied to Bill enough times about it; he had an annoying habit of accusing me of having “feelings” for Eric whenever he felt insecure. And reminding me at those times what a liar and scoundrel Eric was. Which just made me stuff down any attraction for Eric even deeper, of course.)
But until Dallas, I truly hadn’t felt anything more than a flickering lust for Eric that I did my best to smother since he also terrified me. Not that I was fool enough to let him see that; my Gran raised me to always face my fears and be strong, and I had followed that advice when it came to dealing with Eric Northman. I made it a point of pride to never let him see that he kind of scared me in a way Bill never had. It wasn’t that I was afraid he was going to bite and drain me, although Bill like to remind me that was all Eric could possibly want from me, but with Eric, I always felt as if I was walking on the edge of a dangerous precipice that I could fall over before I even knew what had happened. I wasn’t sure what was over that precipice…but I knew it was going to be something that changed everything for me, and that scared me in ways I can’t begin to tell you.
I could say that it was seeing him with Godric on the roof that had changed how I felt about Eric, but it really started with the dream I had the night he first tricked me into taking his blood after the explosion in Godric’s house.
Bill had told me before we had gone to bed that night that, having had Eric’s blood, I could expect to be sexually attracted to the 1,000-year-old vampire, but the dream I had about Eric after I had fallen asleep had still been…unexpected. Even shocking.
In the dream, Eric and I had been in bed together, having just made love, and he was telling me why I’d make a great vampire and I was playfully arguing with him. He was smiling and relaxed, his hair falling loose around his face instead of sternly slicked back with gel the way he normally wore it, and his hands were wandering reverently over my skin as if he was treasuring every inch. His voice had been soft, intimate, as he told me that he used to think I had no sense of humor and I, in turn, told him that he was just a big faker – that he was deep and full of love, not at all the cold, empty vampire made of stone I had imagined.
In the dream, I felt…happy. Beautiful. Loved. And completely safe with Eric.
Despite Bill’s warning about what to expect after having Eric’s blood, I had been puzzled over that dream when I woke up. It had been erotic, yes, with Eric and I stroking and kissing one another as we talked; but what stuck with me all the next day was not the sexuality but the affection of the dream. I felt deep affection towards Eric Northman in that dream, and he had clearly loved me. That was not at all what I expected a vampire-blood-fueled sex dream to be like.
I could understand if I had had a lusty, porn movie kind of dream about Eric after having his blood. He was, objectively speaking, a good-looking man who exuded sex without even making an effort. But I didn’t understand why his blood would have made me feel so much emotional longing for him, or why it would make him appear to be someone that was clearly – to my mind, at least – nothing like the real Eric.
The first time I saw him after that dream – which was the night we met with Nan Flanagan and the Dallas vampires to debrief from the debacle at the Fellowship of the Sun— my eyes had been drawn again and again to Eric. He had been slouched across the room, his face grim and his lips tight as the AVL representative had quizzed his Maker, Godric, about the kidnapping and the bombing.
Despite the seriousness of the discussion, I found myself distracted, my sidelong glances lingering on Eric’s tense face as I looked for any sign of the sweet, affectionate lover of my dream. I didn’t know which I wanted more: to see that the softer, more open Eric in the dream was real or to know for sure that he was just a lie made up by Eric’s blood inside me, that the real Eric was the unfeeling, lying, manipulative bastard I believed him to be.
But the way he had jumped to Godric’s defense…the obvious love he had for his Maker…that had left me wondering if there was some small –very small— grain of truth in my dream.
And when I had seen the usually self-controlled Eric sink to his knees, his normally deep voice breaking with sobs as he pleaded with his Maker not to meet the sun, in that moment my dream lover and the wretched vampire on the roof were one and the same. As Eric left the roof at Godric’s command, I had reached out to briefly take his hand in mine, assuring him that I would stay with his Maker as long as it took. And afterwards, I dreamed of offering Eric comfort in his grief. Offering myself to him.
Of course, I hadn’t actually offered myself to him. Not only was I still with Bill, but, for all that I sometimes thought I saw glimpses of my dream Eric in the real vampire, he gave me plenty of other reasons to think it was just my imagination.
He had chained me up and offered me to Russell Edgington, for starters, like I was just some disposable bargaining chip, and that was after he had given me a kiss that had felt like either the end of the world or the beginning of one.
I wouldn’t even have been in a position for Eric to grab me as a tool in his power play with Russell if I hadn’t let my secret soft spot for “dream Eric” lead me to Fangtasia to see why the he had sounded like he was saying goodbye earlier in the night. No, stupid me had gone running to Eric’s bar to see what he meant about not being around anymore and I had ended up nearly losing my life as a result. All because of some silly fantasy I had about what Eric was really like underneath his cold exterior, fueled by dreams where he was powerful but loving and gentle with me.
Now, remembering the mistakes I had made with Eric in the past, I shifted uneasily on the couch, turning to face outward into the room again. My head was still pounding, but at least my eyes were finally dry. Too dry, even; they felt like I had rubbed them with sand.
I could even blame what had happened over the past week with Eric on my foolishness over the Eric of my dreams. I mean, who falls in love in just a week with someone they just met? Seriously? But Eric without his memories had reminded me so much of the Eric I had dreamed about – even more gentle and kind than in my dreams, and so clearly good at heart – that I had let down my guard. For so many months I had wondered if what I dreamed was really some part of Eric, reminding myself all along that I had no reason at all to believe it, when, suddenly, there he was, in the flesh, standing barefoot on a country road, half-dressed, shy and polite. Dream Eric. My secret Eric.
Obviously, I am an idiot when it comes to men. First, I was taken in by Bill, and now I had to wonder if I been taken in by a seemingly sweet Eric just because he reminded me of my ludicrous dream crush. I had tried to keep my wits about me while he was in the house, but little by little, Eric without his memories had led me to lower the walls I usually kept up where regular Eric was concerned. I started to trust him – even after I had seen him drain my fairy godmother Claudine. And when I saw how vulnerable he was after his day in the sun, how depressed he was at having lost sunshine again after having gone without it for a 1,000 years, it made me see him differently. He just seemed so…human to me.
And so obviously shocked by what I told him about himself. The first few days he was with me, I had enjoyed pointing out what a total jerk I thought Eric Northman normally was. But each time I had said something nasty about him, I had seen the way it jolted and embarrassed this “new” Eric. After a while, I started to feel like I was just being…well, mean. I know it sounds ridiculous to think that anyone could be “mean” to Eric Northman and have it make an impact, but I swear, I kept seeing him flinch and become more deflated with every offensive comment I made about him. By the time he came into my bedroom saying he’d had a bad dream about Godric telling him he was evil, I had begun to wonder guiltily if all my picking at him had been the cause of it.
When he and Tara got into it in my living room that next night, with her yelling about all his past crimes and calling me crazy for letting him stay with me, I found myself wanting to soften the truth for him. Not lie to him, because I like to be honest as much as I can, but just not hit him over the head with his sins when he was clearly feeling bad about himself already.
It wasn’t like he had asked me to be kind when he’d confronted me after Tara had stormed out; he’d asked what he wanted to know very directly. But I could see by his reactions that what he was hearing from me was making him kind of, well, disgusted with himself.
His face got tighter and more grim as I went on explaining our shared past, and then, the strangest thing happened. He asked me in this clipped voice, “Why are you letting me stay with you?” And when he said it, he said exactly the way the “other” Eric would have, which was the first time I really saw something that made me think that maybe they were still – somehow – the same person. Until that moment, I guess I had thought that, somehow, this was a “new” Eric, a stranger who just happened to look like the Sheriff of Area 5, but who had no connection with the vampire I had known.
It shocked me a little, but it also made me think. When Eric had been so depressed after his time in the sun, he had asked me if I preferred “the Eric who doesn’t feel.” Was feeling what made the two Erics different? Or could it be that snarky, sarcastic Eric was just as emotionally deep inside, but had learned over 1,000 years to hide the feelings this Eric showed so easily?
Just as this thought had occurred to me, Eric pointed out grimly that he was “clearly capable of extreme cruelty,” and after a moment to think about what I wanted to say in reply, I had reassured him that while that was true, I had seen a change in him and believed he could be different.
His response was to announce that I had a beautiful light in me (which made me start, since we hadn’t yet discussed what “light” meant to a part-fae like me) and that he couldn’t bear it if he “snuffed it out.” His voice was husky with emotion as he spoke and his eyes regarded me with a sincerity that just about broke my heart. I felt a sudden surge of affection for this confused, conflicted man who was a new Eric but might be a part of the Eric I had always known. I found myself gazing at him with an almost shy astonishment at the depth of my own feelings, when he suddenly stood up … and walked right out my front door without so much as a goodbye.
I was surprised and then dismayed as I realized he was actually leaving my – well, his home – leaving me – apparently to protect me from himself. Rather than continue to stay here where he might be safe, he was willing to venture out into a world where he knew virtually no one else and where a bunch of witches were evidently gunning for him – and all to save me from any threat he feared he might pose to me. I felt a tingle of respect that he would make such a (stupid but noble) choice, quickly followed by sorrow that apparently my faith in Eric was stronger than his faith in himself. I realized that I truly did not believe he was any threat to me – at all – and that if he believed himself to be, it was probably because everyone kept reminding him of who was “supposed” to be.
If I had truly hated Eric Northman the way Tara said, I would have been glad to see him walking out my door, even if it was dangerous for him. But the truth was, I didn’t want him to go. And while part of me told myself that it was because this Eric was so vulnerable to a world he didn’t understand and that he was at risk of getting his vampire ass bewitched or beaten or something, the rest of me knew that it was just because I genuinely cared about him.
And he and his ridiculously long legs were moving at a really good clip down my driveway.
I had ended up dashing out the door, calling to him to wait and then pleading with him to come back inside. He had nearly reached the bend in the path towards the road when he finally hesitated. I saw him turn, almost reluctantly, and I positively willed him to come back to me. When he finally started to move towards me, I had held out my arms in welcome, anxious to hold him, comfort him, and let him know that I trusted him.
When he reached the porch, I drew him to me, wrapping my arms around his neck, the height of the steps I stood on making us closer in height than we normally are. And while he had clutched me close and buried one of his huge hands in my hair, he had not been anything but gentle and gentlemanly with me, his hands never straying anywhere “improper” even though I was pressed against him.
The last time I had been in Eric Northman’s arms like this, he had been giving me what was unquestionably the hottest kiss of my entire life.
And I realized, as he held me like a piece of china, brushing my back with his fingertips delicately (but with frustratingly friend-like tenderness), that I wanted him to kiss me like that again.
So, I had pressed my lips against his jawline, softly. He had drawn back in surprise, his astonished eyes meeting mine, and I had taken his face between my hands before brushing my lips lightly over his to show him what I wanted. He responded, but unlike the fevered kiss in his office, this time he let me control the movements of our mouths – at least until I made it clear by the way I grabbed at his hair and thrust my tongue in between his lips that I wanted more from him.
Although I had only intended to kiss him, something snapped inside me as he responded and I urged him to come inside the house with me before we ended up having sex right there on the porch in front of God and everybody. We had ended up stumbling, clothes coming off left and right, until we ended up on the couch – the same one where I was now trying fruitlessly to sleep – and Eric had been just about to put his mouth between my thighs where no one else’s mouth had ever been when Bill had interrupted us.
As embarrassed as I had been at first about being caught by Bill (of all people!) making out with Eric, I had been livid when Bill hauled Eric off in silver to imprison him. It had made no sense to me that Eric was a danger to anyone in his state – and although I could now understand why Bill had been concerned, it still seemed to me that Bill had been unnecessarily harsh with Eric when he had him in his power.
That Bill had also thrown me out of his house so coldly had also hurt me, but now that I knew what happened after I had gone – that Bill had been about to execute Eric until the Authority had stopped him – I could no longer be surprised. The Bill I thought I knew would never have been so ruthless, but after learning that Bill had sought me out to bring me to his queen, I had to wonder if had ever known the real Bill at all. I wondered what else I didn’t know about Bill Compton, and, for that matter, whether I could trust anything he had ever said to me.
Including, now that I thought about, anything he had told me about Eric.
I rolled over on the couch again, deciding that I should think about that some more when my head didn’t hurt so much. How much of what I had felt about Eric was based on what Bill had told me about him rather than what I knew for myself?
Just as I was thinking about that, I felt a shift in emotions from Eric Embarrassment. Annoyance. Grimness.
I guessed he was probably filling in someone – probably Pam – on what had happened with me. I could also feel a faint echo of something – no, someone – else through my connection with Eric. Whoever it was felt…smug. And relieved.
Great. So not only could I feel Eric’s feelings, I could also feel what must be Pam’s as well? Not as strongly, that was for sure, but still, a distant little tickle of emotion that was somehow distinct from Eric.
At least Eric’s feelings had gone quieter again, as if he was trying to shut them off. Not with a lot of success, though. He was still angry and depressed.
In frustration, I buried my feet under a throw cushion at the other end of the couch, trying to feel more grounded and protected from the darkness.
The night that Bill and his guards had taken Eric, I had tried to think of anyone who could help Eric, but the only thing I thought to do was to call Pam, whose phone went right to voicemail. I had left her a message, but when she didn’t call back after several hours, I had finally given up and gone to bed, conscious that I was scheduled to work the next day.
Even though I had spent only a single, chaste night with Eric in my bed by that point, I missed him when I crawled between my sheets late that evening. I had tossed and turned for much of the night, telling myself repeatedly that Eric was going to be fine, that Bill wouldn’t actually do anything to hurt him. In retrospect, it was a good thing that I hadn’t really known at the time what Bill’s plans were for Eric or I am sure I would not have gotten any sleep at all.
The next day had been stressful. First I had gone to work, despite being exhausted and distracted by Eric’s situation, only to have Sam up and fire me out of the blue. And then, I had stopped at Jason’s house and found him tied up to his bed because he was afraid (wrongly, as it turns out) he was going to turn into a werepanther. The only good thing I could say about the day was that at least I knew nothing was going to happen to Eric while the sun was up, and that keeping busy with Jason kept me from fretting about how helpless I felt about what seemed like my inability to help Eric.
I knew I cared about deeply about Eric, but I hadn’t realized how deep my feelings were until I saw him standing in the woods that evening, his blond hair shining like a halo in the moonlight. My heart had welled up with a raw joy when he appeared, and it dimmed only for a moment when I suddenly worried that he might have escaped from his cell and might be on the run. But, almost as if reading my mind (or my emotions?) he had reassured me that Bill had set him free willingly. I was confused, but I suddenly realized I didn’t even care why Bill had done it – it was enough that he had, that Eric was no longer imprisoned, that he was with me again. That he could stay with me.
And as I looked at him, grinning at me happily from across the glade, I realized that the sudden rush of feeling I was experiencing was love for him. For Eric. I still wasn’t sure how I might feel about him once he got his memories back, but in that moment, it just didn’t matter. I loved the Eric who was with me, who had been willing to leave me to keep me safe, who wanted to protect me and who I, in turn, wanted to protect.
The sex we had in the woods that night was, like the dream I had first had of Eric, unexpected and surprising. I had always assumed sex with Eric Northman would be technically amazing, based on the number of fangbangers whose lusty thoughts about him had assaulted me every time I entered Fangtasia, and even though we were doing it in the grass beside a lake on a chilly fall night, it was every bit as fantastic as I had anticipated . But never in a thousand years would I have expected our first time together to be what could only be described as lovemaking. Eric had been surprisingly gentle at first, taking care not to rush my body into accommodating his, and he had been devoted to bringing me pleasure. And through it all, I had been able to feel his love for me, and in return, show my love for him.
He also hadn’t bit me.
And at first I had been tensely waiting for it as he moved his mouth over my body until he finally whispered, “Shhhh, Sookie. I’m not going to hurt you. Ever.” And then he had playfully licked at my neck, suckling the skin until it turned me on, but never once sinking his fangs into the pulse that beat beneath his lips.
I didn’t know what to think of that. Bill had always bit me during sex, always. I thought it was a given in having sex with a vampire. And especially with Eric, since Bill had always told me that feeding on me and fucking me was all Eric Northman wanted from me. That Eric hadn’t even suggested that he be allowed to bite me…well, I just didn’t get it.
And the rest of the sex…well, it was everything I had ever imagined it would be, and more. Eric might not have been able to remember anything about who he was before the witches had cursed him, but he sure hadn’t forgotten how to touch a woman. By the time I had heard the snarly, tangled thoughts of Alcide and Debbie nearby in the woods, I hadn’t even cared if the two weres could see what Eric and I were doing. I was just beyond shame at that point.
And now, remembering sex with Eric was turning me on. I sighed and rolled over, pressing my thighs together tightly, as if that would distract my body from where my mind had gone.
I knew that Eric could feel what I was feeling. I knew because I was suddenly hit with a positively mean-spirited rush of raw, primal lust that made me start to tremble with desire in the dark. It blasted through me like a storm, making my skin tingle and my heart begin to pound like a jackhammer.
And then, just as suddenly as it had started, it stopped and I felt nothing but coldness.
I normally don’t curse much, but being hit by an emotional freight train like that so unexpectedly was one reason I was so upset with Eric. If he really did love me, how could he not have warned me about what would happen if we exchanged blood? And now he was deliberately screwing with my emotions just because he was feeling hurt and angry? Well, screw him.
I angrily got up from the couch and went into the bathroom to find something for my aching head. Maybe it would make the ache in my heart go away, too.
After I had swallowed some over-the-counter pain pills, I brought the glass of water I had used in the bathroom back to the living room and put it on the coffee table before I crawled back under the afghan.
If I had been falling for him the night we first made love, it was a done deal after we went through the day of the sun spell together. It had just about killed me to see him suffering under the weight of silver I had had to use to keep him safe, but when I realized how close we had come to his actually walking out into the sunlight and dying, it had been worth it because I knew without a doubt: I loved Eric Northman. And losing him would have been just too much for me to bear.
When I had offered him my blood to heal from the silver, it had been the most natural thing in the world. He had not once asked to have my blood in all the days we were together, and even when he did finally take my blood in order to heal, he had taken only the most careful, small sip. When he had bit his hand and offered his own blood to me, I had been confused and startled, but never once was I suspicious. Eric had demonstrated his love for me repeatedly the last few days and we had built up a deep well of trust between us. I truly believed he had nothing but my best interests at heart.
Even when things became surreal after we had exchanged blood, I had trusted him. I figured it was just an unusually vivid V high, probably because Eric’s blood was so old. The things we experienced together in our little bubble of bliss were astonishing…spiritual-feeling, even. We had made love over and over again in our magical little grotto and when the effects of the blood exchange finally began to fade, I had fallen asleep entwined with him, happy and completely satisfied.
Of course, now I couldn’t believe I had been so naïve, so completely lacking in basic common sense.
That night, I had woken up in the bed we had shared and realized he was gone. At first I had panicked, especially when I saw the front door standing wide open, but then I had realized I could feel him. And that sense of Where’s Eric had drawn me like a magnet to the trailer that lay to the west between Bon Temps and Shreveport, where I discovered that that evil witch bitch Marnie had him.
I was grateful for being able to find him, don’t get me wrong. I had fallen completely in love with the Eric I had come to know over the last few days and I really wanted – needed – to find him when he went missing.
But being able to find him like that? Like a vampire can find anyone who has had the vampire’s blood? It freaked me out because nothing had prepared me for that. I had had a lot of Bill’s blood in the past, but it had never left me able to track him or feel anything from him. When I first realized that I could locate Eric, I didn’t know if it was because Eric’s blood was so old or whether it had something to do with our having exchanged blood, but whatever it was, Eric hadn’t warned me.
That had pissed me off. And scared me. Even as I was still doing my best to rescue Eric from the control of the witches, I was wondering if I had made a terrible mistake in trusting the more harmless-seeming version of him. Maybe even seemingly sweet Eric had a deep-rooted manipulative streak that was just, well, part of who the real Eric was.
As soon as the immediate crisis of what had gone down at the tolerance rally had been resolved, I had wanted to talk to Eric to find out the truth, to know if he had understood what he was doing when we exchanged blood. I had lain on the couch, cycling between my feelings of love for him and my anger and suspicion that he might have deliberately manipulated me, completely torn about my feelings.
And what had I found out when he finally arrived?
That the bond did more than just let me know where he was and let me feel his feelings. Way more. As soon as we had touched, all the questions I had had had melted away like the snowflakes in sunshine and I had been positively dizzy with love and longing to just be close to him. I had wanted to just snuggle against his chest and just let the doubts I’d had float away like nothing. Touching Eric had become like a drug. An amazing, addicting, mind-altering drug.
But Gran raised me to be a strong woman, like I’ve said before, and although it was tough, I resisted that seductive feeling and stepped away from him. It made my mind clear, which just made me that much more sure that whatever this bond was, if it made me not want to think, it had to be a bad thing. Didn’t it?
And had he done this probably-bad-thing to me deliberately?
Why, yes. Yes, he had. He openly admitted that even without his memories, he had known we would have some kind of permanent bond when he gave me his blood. And while he said he didn’t know all the details of what effects it would have, he had known that we would be “One” and that he had wanted that for us. But had he told me what was going to happen? No. No, he damn well had not.
After all the things that Bill had “neglected” to tell me – that he had been sent to procure me for his queen, Sophie-Anne; that taking his blood would make me be attracted to him; that he had let me get beaten up in order to get that blood inside me – I had become wary of what any vampire’s agenda was where I was concerned.
Or at least I was until I looked into Eric’s innocent-looking blue eyes and he offered me his blood. Instead of questioning why he would do that, I had barely hesitated before latching onto his hand like a baby on her mama’s breast, all caught up by his sweet, guileless expression and my feelings for him.
What a fucking idiot I was.
Especially for having given him my heart. I wish I could have said that what had happened between us these last few days had just been a physical thing – Sookie Stackhouse gets laid by an expert, breaks orgasm record, news at 11! – but the truth was that I had fallen – hard – for the sweet-natured Eric who had taken shelter with me. I had loved him with my whole heart by the end of our time together. And he had just broken that heart by not being honest with me.
Now, as I lay there in the dark, feeling stupid and hurt, I could finally feel my headache starting to ease, driven away by the drugs. And far away in Shreveport, I knew it must be nearly dawn because I could feel that Eric was finally going into his day sleep. The connection between us grew quiet and that was what finally let me start to drift off.
And when I finally fell asleep, I dreamed that I was flying through the sky in daylight, trying to find Eric and my heart that he had taken with him. But this time, the bond had no pull and as I circled aimlessly over the streets in Shreveport in ever-increasing frustration, I felt like my heart and Eric had both flown away for good.