Starts at the end of TB S7 Ep4- Death is not the End. One Shot. E/S HEA. Complete.
I sat there crying, smack in the middle of Fangtasia, with Arlene in my arms, and saw Eric leave.
Was this goodbye then? Again?
‘No!’ My heart cried out.
This was not the time for a good bye. This was not the last I saw of Eric Northman. This was not the way I wanted to see him at the end…
I still hadn’t reconciled those wile blue veins on his chest with him. I still couldn’t believe he had that accursed disease, which was killing him slowly but surely. I just could not believe he was dying.
Sure I’d seen him weak and vulnerable. He had not been able to break through a wall of his own former club. I had seen the effort it was taking him to stay upright. Most heartbreaking of all, I had seen the resignation in his eyes. The fire had gone out of those beautiful blue eyes of his. Even his little jokes could not make up for that which was missing from his eyes.
It was too much…It was as if his eyes had died before the disease took him too.
When he walked away, after checking on me and Arlene, even his smile died on his lips.
That half smile of acknowledgment struck deep inside, making me gasp in pain I didn’t know I was capable of feeling. After all, I had lost my best friend and my boyfriend, in the worst possible way, within the span of two days. I should have been numb already. That was the limit of what even I could take. I was numb and in control in the morning when I confronted Holley and then later, Jessica. I had snuffed out my grief and stepped up like the Stackhouse woman I was raised to be. From that point on, all I had to do was hold on and move on. I could do it, right? Right?
The blue veins sticking out of Eric’s chest, that resigned look in the ancient Viking’s eyes, brought me to my knees, fucking again. It left me blubbering tearfully, writhing in agony and denial, refusing to move on…
This was something I knew I couldn’t move on from.
No! He couldn’t die on me!
I couldn’t let him die on me!
This was Eric Fucking Northman Goddammit! He could survive and fight anything and everything life threw at him. He was the constant, the solid ground, the sounding board. He couldn’t just up and stop existing. He couldn’t just up and stop fighting. He couldn’t give up…
“Arlene, honey? I have to go…Would you be alright?” I leaned back from Arlene and looked into her tear stricken face.
I knew it from her thoughts that she’d be alright. Arlene nodded and convulsed in another bout of sobs, clutching both Jason and Keith as she let go of me.
I got up and ran out.
They were all standing, huddled together, deep in conversation. As soon as I stepped out the door, Eric turned sideways and our eyes met. I gave him a look I hoped he would understand and then started walking on the other side of the lot. Eric left the group and moved to follow me. Some words were exchanged within the vampires, which I didn’t hear. I reached the end of Fangtasia’s parking lot and turned to look at Eric as he approached. From afar, I couldn’t see the proof of Hep-V killing him from the inside. He sauntered towards me, almost making me forget our dire situation. As much as I wanted to fling myself straight into his arms, close my eyes, and finally let go and break down, I stood rooted on the spot. Of all the times I lost control in my life, this was not going to be one of those times. I still had shit to do!
Eric came to stand a foot from me, leaning in a bit. He had this knack of not appearing intimidating to me even with our difference of stature. His face was calm and he was again looking at me like he wanted to record every bit to his memory. I could see this was going to be an uphill journey with him.
Nonetheless, I squared my shoulders and crossed my arms.
“Eric…Have you found out a cure?” I asked, a bit more forcefully than I had intended, but so be it.
Whatever he was expecting, this was not it. He blinked in surprise.
“A cure for?”
“Global fucking warming!! What cure should we be looking for Eric Northman?”
“We?” He cocked an eyebrow.
“Damn straight ‘we’… So?” I tapped my foot for good measure, “what have you found about curing Hep-V? And you better have started looking Eric or so help me, I will stake you myself before you drown yourself in apathy!”
He smirked and shook his head.
“Promise me something Sookie…Do not ever think about changing even a lick of that stubborn head of yours!”
“Don’t try to distract me.” I gave him the best stink eye I could manage and went on, “We have to find a way to cure you Eric. We have to make you good and undead again. If someone fabricated this virus, then a cure should not be impossible to have either. You can’t not do anything about it! That’s not who you are!”
His face became serious and he sighed.
“There is no cure. I looked when Nora was infected. Not even Bill’s god-blood could save her.” He answered, his eyes starting to rim with red.
“Bill’s God-Blood?!? Jesus Christ on a cracker Eric! Would you listen to yourself? What is wrong with you?” I whisper-yelled.
“She exploded in my arms” he hissed, “just like I have seen every single infected vampire explode to their death, sooner or later. Fuck Sookie! What do you want me to do?Everyone has to die one day.Even someone invincible like Godric did. There is no cowardice in accepting the inevitable. Some things just can’t be controlled. That is the only inevitable to our lives or un-lives.”
This was the most worked up I’d seen him get since he came knocking on Bill’s door this evening. But, with each of his depressing words, my grief gave way to more and more annoyance. By the time he was done with his drivel, I felt liked slapping the fuck out of him. Frankly, what was up with everyone giving up hope today?
“Yeah?” I challenged, “As far as I know Eric Northman, Godric was not a bloody Viking warrior, who fucking fought when the situation called for it.”
He went rigid. His fangs snapped out and he growled.
“Godric was ten times the vampire I am. Do not compare me to him.”
Even if I wanted to smack him, I had to control myself. He was hurting. And he was down the dumps. Letting this become a yelling match would take us nowhere.
“Good! I won’t then. But you don’t get to bring Godric in this conversation either. He died Eric. People die. You are infected with a disease, but you are still fucking here. Tell me to stop fighting when you are truly dead. Not before that!”
I could see clearly that this talk had opened his wounds again. His eyes took on that lost look I hated so much. He remained silent.
“She was your sister right? Nora? How much long did it take for her?” I asked gently.
His shoulders sagged and he bowed his head, not meeting my eyes.
I stepped closer, taking hold of his hand and cupping his cheek with my other hand. I nudged him to look at me. He complied.
I dropped my voice further. “But you looked for a cure? You tried to find a way out of it?”
His eyes becoming glassier than I had ever seen and he nodded.
“You didn’t give up till the end?”
He shook his head and regarded me silently. I waited in silence, to let him think about what he was saying.
“That was different.” he finally answered, sighing in a very human way.
I let go of his hand and cupped his face with both of mine, looking at him intently. “Not for me, it isn’t.”
He raised his eyebrow in silent question.
“I am not giving up on you. I’ve lost too much Eric. I just can’t lose you too.” I answered, keeping the tears back. “I will find a cure if there is one to be found. But I won’t sit on my ass and wait for someone else to light my way! That’s not who I am!”
His lips quirked up in a crooked smile. He pulled me closer, his huge hands resting on the small of my back.
“Exactly what level of fuckery are we talking about here? I don’t have much time on my hands lover!”
I saw the mirth in his eyes, the shift in his mood and my heart sang praises to my Lord for that small opening.
“First, let’s compare notes. What all do you know about this damn Hep-V?”
We ended up at my house, Eric, Pam, Willa and me. The others took their leave and went their own ways.
The three vampires took turns on telling everything they knew about Hepatitis V, from vamp-camp, from Willa’s nosing around in her dad’s things, and from a cursory look at a hard drive Eric had taken from one Dr. Overlark at vamp camp, before killing him. Eric brought out a laptop hidden in a safe in his cubby, which I had known nothing about, and fired it on.
“Where’s the drive now?” Pam asked.
Eric kept doing the thing he was doing, I didn’t exactly know what and opened a website with a number of folders showing.
“Ummm where’d you get internet from?” I asked.
“My phone can act as the modem.” He supplied and turned to Pam, “And we don’t need that drive now. I uploaded all content to my cloud drive. I can access it securely from anywhere with an internet connection.”
Pam and I just looked at each other while he clicked away at various folders. Apparently I was the not the only computer illiterate person in the room.
“O ok…So what do we have here?”
“This is a hell of a lot of files to look at. It might take a while so we better divide them amongst us. Willa do you own a laptop?”
Willa shook her head.
Eric turned to me. “You?”
I shook my head too.
“Do you still have your flat screen?”
“Great!” he interrupted and picked up his laptop, “come along then.”
How was my TV going to help with dividing work?
Turned out, my TV, the one Eric installed when he renovated my house, was an effing internet TV!
Huh! How the world had changed in front of my own eyes!
I didn’t even pretend to know anything about it.
Eric pulled out the hundreds of file folders on my flat screen and tasked Pam and Willa to go through certain parts of it, while he settled on the couch with the laptop, going through the remaining parts.
Pam caught my eye and gave me a nod, smiling like a proud mom. Through the façade of her devil-may-care attitude, I clearly saw the gratitude written plain on her face… Gratitude for galvanizing her maker to do something about his not so little problem. I knew she wouldn’t actually thank me or anything but I could take what I was getting. I smiled and nodded back. She turned to vamp through the document she was starting on.
Hours later, we got our first breakthrough in understanding how the virus infected the vampires and humans.
Willa found extensive notes on the synthesis of Hep-V. The documents said that the complete strain was made up of two key components, the actual mutation inducing virus cell, and the accelerator which circulated the virus quickly throughout the available bloodstream. When administered together, the accelerator spread the virus rapidly to bring about death within a day or two of being infected. Without the accelerator, the virus went through its normal life cycle, slowly destroying a vampire from within, scavenging and destroying their blood and then eventually their bodies. The older and stronger the vampire, the slower the effects, but eventually, it led to the true death.
“You know, that’s surprisingly similar to how any viral infection affects a human.” Willa mused.
Pam gave her a bored look, which had Willa narrow her eyes.
“I’ll have you know, sister,” she sneered, “before this asshole turned me I used to want to enter the field of stem cell research and was taking up various courses in school for the same. Viruses and their effects on the human body is the most basic thing even a junior graduate in my class would know.”
“Oh so daddy’s little girl was gearing up to be our dear Dr. Overlark’s research assistant, was she?”
“That’s enough Pam!” Eric interjected and gave Pam a stern look, before turning to his youngest progeny.
“You were saying?”
Willa glanced uneasily at Pam and then turned her back to her, facing Eric and me.
“A virus is not a living organism. It is thousands of times smaller than bacteria, or any of the cells of a human body for that matter, and cannot even be seen through a normal light microscope. You need an electron microscope for it. It just contains a set of genetic instructions, either in the form of a DNA or an RNA strain. They do not carry anything to carry out a chemical reaction for life. To do that, and to reproduce, viruses latch on to host cells. Host cells are the living cells from a human, a plant or synthetic in nature.
Once a virus enters a human, it uses the healthy cells from the body to provide materials for it to multiply and produce more viruses to latch on to other healthy cells, and worsen the infection. Antibiotics don’t work on viruses. Just the body’s own defense mechanism, that is the antibodies in the blood, have the capacity to find the infected cells and the virus and destroy them selectively. Humans experience fever during a viral infection. But that is the body’s natural reaction to viruses. Most virus strains cannot survive high temperature and by an increase in temperature, the human body automatically curbs the spread and multiplication of the virus, while simultaneously fighting the existing bad cells through antibodies.”
Oh boy! I wished I had paid more attention in my biology lessons back at school. Not only did I not know shit about my own TV, I didn’t even know what my own body was basically doing to fight infections…
“Humans and their fucking diseases!” Pam snarked, “Can you please speak English and stop with the science lesson?”
Willa glanced uneasily at Pam, clearly at a loss of what to say, and then looked hopefully at Eric, nervously shuffling on her feet.
In that moment, I understood one thing about her. She might hate Eric for having abandoned her and for not being there for her when she needed him the most. But Eric was still one of the most important people in her life. She might act out and curse and snap at him, but Willa looked up to him too.
Eric shifted his laptop from his lap to mine and walked up to Willa. He crouched down to get at eye level with the young vampire and cupped her face.
“Willa…There is no reason for you to feel nervous or doubt your intelligence. Do not ever be shy of sharing your thoughts with me, whatever they might be. You are educated, well read, smart… Caring and giving in the extreme… You saw something wrong going on and even if it was your own father behind it, you stepped up and helped us get to vamp-camp and then escape from it. I will always be grateful for what you were ready to do for me.”
Pam huffed in irritation, a rude gesture that Eric ignored.
A bloody tear escaped Willa’s otherwise stoic face and she leaned into Eric. He tenderly kissed her forehead and pulled back to look into her eyes again.
“I know I have been a shitty maker. I can’t even imagine what I would have become if my maker had left me within a few days of turning me. Yet here you stand, still strong, having survived on your own. You are a worthy individual, a worthy child.” He gathered her in his long arms and held her close. “I am proud of you.”
I knew Pam wanted to interrupt their moment but I didn’t want to let her do that. This was between Eric and his youngest. They needed to do this sooner than later. And honestly, the girl needed to be held as much as any of us. Who better for it than her estranged maker? Eric Northman did give good hugs.
I stood up and pulled Pam towards the back of the house.
“C’mon Pam, I need to talk to you about something.”
I knew I couldn’t pull her all on my own, not if she didn’t want to be pulled, but Eric gave her another look from over Willa’s head that would barter no compromises. Pam sighed and shook her head but grudgingly followed me out back.
Eric and Willa joined us on the porch in a while, both of them looking slightly less wound up than they had been before. Eric joined me on the swing and pulled me close enough to rest his chin on top of my head, tracing soothing circles on my upper arm with his fingers. Pam just glared at all three of us and didn’t move from her stance against the railing.
“There is a universal way to kill any kind of virus. Heat and UV radiation.” Eric said.
This caused Pam to unfold her arms from her front and clutch the wooden rails. Her poker face didn’t give away anything though.
“Heat works on humans. The UV radiation method is still being researched,” He continued, “but it shows promise. On humans.”
His words hung thickly in the air. We all just stared at each other, no doubt recognizing the weight of the revelation.
I did not want to get my hopes up only to be squashed later, but I couldn’t help the growing excitement in my heart. If what Eric said was true, then was treatment of Hep-V, as simple as exposing the infected vampire to UV radiation? Or heat? Could all of it have been so simple?
“Think about it. The data we had says that the virus can spread by exposure to even tiny amounts of bodily fluids. In that case, I am pretty sure I was exposed to the virus when Nora exploded in my arms, but my subsequent trips in the sun and then my crispy adventure in Sweden might have cleared it up from my blood.”
“Are you thinking of exposing yourself to the sun? Fucking again Eric?” Pam asked, clearly pissed.
“It’s worth a try.” He shrugged, as if a vampire meeting the sun was nothing, “besides I have been in the sun before. I got out undead didn’t I?”
“Things have changed now. You are weak. You can barely move from point A to point B. Who’s to say that instead of just killing the virus, the Sun won’t kill you in a second too?”
“It’s still worth a try Pam.”
Pam came to kneel in front of Eric. I saw her eyes begin to rim with red.
“No Eric! It’s not. We will find a way. But you will not expose yourself to the sun just for an experiment.”
“Don’t get overdramatic Pam! I know you loved playing Russian Roulette too!” I could almost hear his eyes roll in his voice.
Pam got to her feet, looking really angry now.
“I don’t enjoy putting my eternity to risk, not any more than you taught me to! I did it to get to you! Maybe if you were not being such a whiny bitch and blocking me so effectively, I wouldn’t have had to put myself in danger. Stop acting the injured dying Romeo here and step the fuck up Eric!”
I shifted to look at Eric. He just sat there with a blank expression, silently regarding Pam, as if he was staring at a mildly weird but interesting museum piece. Pam, being Pam, thought this was a good enough chance to get more stuff off her chest, as long as Eric was silent and listening.
“You abandoned me in this shit hole, after more than a century together, just because your bitch of a sister died in your arms. What. The. Fucking. Bull. Eric?! You have seen more death than all of us here combined and you are saying you couldn’t handle one more and then get the fuck over it? And what about Willa? You turned her, without thinking, and then abandoned her too. And for what? To get infected yourself and then finally die on us? What do you think? Is this enough reason to get over dramatic?”
I could almost taste the tension emanating off of him. She was his child. She should have caught on to it by then.
“Guys just stop ok!” I interrupted, “Can we please take this grudge fest to another time? We still have work to do!”
Oblivious to my attempts to break the tension, Eric continued to stare at Pam. Pam placed her hands on her hips and stood defiantly in front of him.
“Can you shoot me with your light Sookie?”
“Can you shoot your light on me? Your light takes after the rays of the Sun. We can experiment getting hit by them first.”
Oohh! So we were back to finding the cure again! Well alrighty then!
“It could kill you too Eric.”
Eric finally turned to look at me, with a raised eyebrow and smoldering eyes, melting me to goo on the spot with the memories that expression conjured in me.
“And what a way to go!” he smirked.
“Pull up your shirt.”
Now his second eyebrow joined the first one. Up.
“Tut tut Miss Stackhouse! The things you’d do to get me naked.”
“Eric Northman! Pull up your shirt and show me where most of the blue veins are! And without any sexual innuendo if you can!”
He chuckled and took off his leather jacket, turning his back to me and then taking off his tank too. My jokes died at the sight of his bare back and shoulders. His beautiful sculpted strong back, covered obscenely with crisscrossing spidery dark blue veins.
The dam broke then and a tear slipped my eyes. As long as he was covered, I had been pretending that he was fine. That he was not far gone and we could save him. Bring him back. But these veins covered every inch of his previously flawless skin. I could not bear the sight of his magnificent form marred like that. It was sacrilege!
I tenderly put my hands a little under his right shoulder, at a spot where the veins seemed to be emanating from, and lightly kissed the spot. He shuddered at my touch. I half cupped my hands, to make a dome on his skin, and gently, ever so carefully, started forming a ball of light between us, just like Niall had taught me. That ball packed the energy of a thousand suns and the damn virus better sit up and take notice of it.
If Eric felt the heat, he didn’t react to it in any way.
“You ok?” I asked nervously, after a couple seconds of holding a small ball of light over his skin. I didn’t want to cause him any more pain than necessary.
“Yes” he grunted, through his teeth, and I knew this was painful for him.
I maintained the ball for another minute or so and then quickly removed my hands. As soon as my hands left him, Eric collapsed on his knees, and I saw the angry brown burn at the spot where my light had hit him.
“You burned him!” Pam yelled.
“Back off Pam!” Eric yelled back, barely keeping himself upright.
“Pam, Willa, help him inside to the cubby please.”
When they just stared and made no move towards him, I lost it!
“RIGHT FUCKING NOW!” I screamed and rushed inside to my kitchen. I found two glasses, a knife and snatched my phone before rushing over to the cubby. Thank God they were all there already. Eric lay on the bed on his stomach.
I threw the phone to Willa and she caught it. “Call Adeline if I pass out please.”
Then I cut my wrist over the glass.
Three separate clicks alerted me to the dangerous state the vampires got into by the scent of my spilling blood. But I had to trust them, because I needed them here. There was no other way.
“Pam, Willa, as your maker, I command you both to not feed on Sookie.” Eric mumbled, still very much in pain.
As my blood filled one fourth of the glass, enough for two mouthfuls, I nudged Eric to turn to his side. He met my eyes and took the glass from me. I immediately put my wrist over the other glass.
“One of you please heal Sookie’s wrist.”
“No Eric…You’ll need this.” He started to protest, but I beat him to it. “Just shush! Ok? You said I was yours didn’t you?”
“Yes I did but…”
“But nothing! New house rules buddy! The human belonging to the vampire feeds the vampire their blood, in exchange for protection. Do you want to protect me or not?”
“Then drink. Christ Eric! I didn’t know the day would come when I would have to cleverly talk you into drinking my blood!”
Eric smiled and brought his hand to cup my face, playing again with the hair at the back of my neck, a gesture so soothing and so intimate, that I suddenly felt shy in front of Pam and Willa.
“I can go find you a healthy donor.” Willa offered.
“No sweety…If I am going to use my light to burn away this damn virus, then Eric is gonna need my blood to heal from this. It will also help his body from burning up from the next blast.”
I turned to Eric and gestured towards the glass of blood.
He brought the glass to his nose and inhaled deeply, his eyes closed, fangs popping in response. I don’t know why that made me blush.
He took a tentative sip, groaned and downed rest of the contents of the glass in one long swallow and then held the empty glass to his mouth longer than necessary, eyes closed again. I looked at his shoulder and sure enough, the burn had started to heal. The angry red scar healed itself, revealing flawless white skin underneath. We watched with bated breaths to see if the blue veins would reappear as well or not.
They did not.
The whole side of his back, surrounding the area where I had exposed him to my little sun-ball, was clear of the ugly blue veins. I lightly ran my fingers over his massive shoulders in awe, slightly disbelieving in what I had been able to do for him. Eric snapped his head sideways to look at me and quirked an amused eyebrow. I guess my touch was not wholly scientific in nature.
“It’s working Eric” I whispered and stared at the clean area on his back again, “The blue veins are gone from here. You were right.”
I looked up to meet his eyes and for the first time since I saw him last evening, his eyes were burning with excitement, anticipation and something else that I couldn’t recognize.
We couldn’t stop now. I didn’t want to wait till sunrise.
I handed him the other glass, containing a mouthful or two more of my blood and brought my hands to cup the other side of his back.
“Ready for the next one?”
He nodded. “Keep ‘em coming Lover! You sure know how to get me hot and bothered…”
I chuckled and formed another ball of light between my hands and his skin…
Next Evening, around 4 PM
The constant ringing of her phone woke Sookie up from deep sleep. For a few moments, her tired sleepy brain did not register the sound. By the time she realized it was her house phone that woke her up, the ringing had already stopped.
She stumbled in the dark and started towards the kitchen.
There was a message waiting on her answering machine.
‘Listen I know it’s kinda last minute and all but ummm Holley, Nicole and Arlene are still too out of it so I wouldn’t dream of asking them. No one else has the kind of space. Could we ummm, like have a little get together at your house? I am sorry for springing this on ya but I really need to share some important information with the townsfolk and we can’t risk getting together at a public place again, ya now with the free for all entry and all and vampires running amuck…So Laf will bring food over and help you set up. Folks would be turning up at around 6 or so. Please do this for us Sook… Take care. And sorry again for the late notice!’
Sookie sat at the kitchen table, staring at the phone, too tired to glare at it anyways, and dropped her head on the table, banging it a few times in frustration.
“Well c’mon in y’all…I own an open fucking house!” she mumbled and pushed herself upright. She had a forced party to plan after all!
Evening 7:30 PM
Everyone had started trickling in at around six. Lafayette had come an hour earlier and helped Sookie set up tables and push some furniture around to make room for everyone. Together they had arranged the dishes of food and the disposable plates, glasses, spoons, forks and bowls on the cleared tables. The people, a lot of them glaringly missing, arrived in groups and went about exchanging false smiles and checking out the refreshments.
Vampires Bill, Jessica, James and Keith arrived around ten minutes later. Violet was already there with Jason.
Sam went around to the end of the sitting room and called for everyone’s attention. He started his speech by asking us not to panic and keep calm.
His warning did the opposite actually!
Sookie dipped into his head and gasped at the words playing there, hearing what Sam knew. She didn’t even hear the actual mellowed down words he spoke.
Turned out that the horde of infected vampires camping at Fangtasia hadn’t been the last of them fuckers.
This morning, Jason’s office received word from another the sheriff’s department at Jonesboro, a town about an hour’s drive from Bon Temps, that they had been warned by the New Orleans PD about a large group of infected vampires heading from Nola towards the northern parts of Louisiana, raising hell wherever they went. They were last seen at Alexandria, which lay midway between New Orleans and Jonesboro.
Just three hours away from them!
Everybody went silent, in shock, or in fear. Well silent outwardly. Inside, everyone was freaking out and screaming at the top of their lungs. Their inner voices hit Sookie like a wrecking ball.
When they did started speaking, it was just a whole pile of fuck you’s and damn you’s and god help us and the like. Nothing that actually helped anyone!
“Sookeh!” Bill Compton found Sookie and grabbed her elbow, trying to shake her out of her daze, and spoke softly, low enough for the others in the room to not hear him, “Hold on my dear! Do not be afraid. I will protect you till my last breath.”
Only just realizing that Bill was holding her upright, and that he was saying something to her, Sookie scrunched up her face and looked at him in confusion. “Excuse me?”
Bill stepped in front of her and looked deeply in her eyes. “I know there is no forgiveness for all my crimes of the past Sookeh. I know those crimes would always stand between us. But despite your distrust, I implore you to let me protect you. There is no one else more capable of keeping you safe. Now that there are more infected vampires coming this way, you’ll need to be protected. You’ve already had my blood again. I can feel and locate you. If only for the sake of appearances, please agree to be mine Sookeh!”
Bill pleaded with his eyes, wishing that he could glamor the blond telepath. He had to make her believe in him again. He had to get her to his side again. If only she would forgive him. Bill knew there was no one standing between them now. Eric Northman had been the last glitch and he would not be there for much longer.
Sookie looked at him with pity in her eyes.
“I will never be yours again Bill.” She said as gently as possible, wanting to let him down easy. She started to walk away, her eyes going involuntarily to the front door.
“But this is madness! I would not allow your stubbornness to become a threat to your safety! You had Alcide before. But he is gone now!”
Sookie’s lip quivered at the mention of her dead boyfriend. It was still too soon and too raw for her to talk about him. She wished Bill had not brought him up so callously. She again looked across the room at her front door.
Bill placed his hand on her shoulder to try to comfort her. He could see and feel that she was hurting. But he couldn’t let her grieving heart come in the way of this talk. He had planned all evening for this conversation. In fact he had been planning since the moment that bullet killed Alcide. The untimely return of Eric Northman just galvanized his need to make Sookie his. He couldn’t risk Sookie getting back with the Viking and getting infected in the process too.
“Sookeh…I am not asking for us to go back as we were before we went our separate ways…I am just asking you to think practically about your survival in this situation.”
Sookie tensed at his touch and tried to not let her discomfort show.
“I know you are a survivor.” Bill went on. “I know you will come to see the logic behind my proposition. Be mine and I will not expect anything romantic right now. I will give you time to grieve. You can take as much time as you want Sookeh. Just pair up with me and I will protect you.”
Sookie relaxed. Suddenly her tense face softened and a smile started on her lips. From his blood in her, Bill sensed a sense of calm and happiness descending on her.
Joy ran through Bill’s dead heart to watch her opening up to him, at last, and at the prospect of having her again, however he could.
“I knew you would see the truth of my words Sookeh.” Her smile grew, “I always knew you were reasonable and practical… … …Sookeh? … … …Sook…?”
Bill suddenly realized that the telepath was not looking at him at all. She was looking at something behind him. Looking and smiling like a loon…He hadn’t seen that smile in a while on her pretty face.
“There you are! You’re late!!” Sookie side stepped Bill and rushed past him, running straight into the arms of…
Bill stared at the ancient vampire, open mouthed, along with all the other vampires in the room, and Sam Merlotte, who stopped speaking mid-sentence.
Eric Northman stood at the door, with Sookie in his arms, Pam and Willa at his sides. He was wearing his signature black tank and fitted jeans. He was also wearing his usual smirk. However, what every vampire was staring at was the lack of blue veins on his chest, and the lack of dead resignation in his eyes.
Eric threaded Sookie’s hair in his fingers and brought her face up for a soft kiss. Sookie sighed and melted into him.
“Mmmm…Ludwig cleared me and this,” he licked her lower lip, “was the first thing I wanted to do. You said your guests would be gone by now.” Eric whispered to her lips.
“I know, but they like to talk. A lot!” she whispered back, so low that only Eric, Pam and Willa could hear what Sookie said. Willa snickered.
Eric kissed her again and hugged her close.
“Gentlemen…Ladies…” his eyes roamed the room and took note of every breather and non-breather present. He didn’t look pleased with the sight. “Escort your humans to their homes. Rush order please…” said the Viking, calmly, authority and power dripping from his very presence.
Sam Merlotte stepped forward, shaking off Nicole’s warning grip on his arm, and came to stand in front of Eric.
“Northman!” he nodded in a cursory way, “I see that you have healed, miraculously must I add, but what gives you the right to barge in our meeting and tell us off? A huge danger is looming over the head of this town and I believe that instead of throwing our weight around, we need to try to be more helpful to the general good of the people here!”
Eric let go of Sookie, shifting her behind him, and came to stand within ten inches of the shifter.
“So, herding all your sheep in one puny enclosure, at the dead edge of town, which by the way any vampire can smell from miles away because of a special scent around here, eating dinner and gossiping like old ladies is your practical step against the infected vampire problem? And at night no less!” he sneered and raised an eyebrow in mock disbelief.
“Eric!” Bill stepped up, standing beside Sam, seemingly in the mayor’s support, “The people needed to know about a new threat. And I would always keep Sookie safe. She was in no danger.”
“Oh King Bill strikes again! I know how you’ve been keeping her safe. I know how you and Sookie sat in a forest clearing to lure in the Hep-V vamp gang, got attacked, outnumbered and had to rescued by our industrious Mr. Stackhouse here” he turned to look at Jason and winked, to which Jason responded with a grin and puffed up chest, “and his group, who by the way were not invited in the first place. Awesome plan of action! With strategists and warriors like you, how could the South lose the Civil War Bill?”
Eric stepped back and exaggeratedly looked at his watch.
“And…you’ve been here, what, two hours now? I bet all the important notices have been given and we now have a plan of action?”
Bill growled and bared his fangs. “Watch it Eric!”
“Oh sweety! They are adorable…but put your baby fangs away before you piss me off and lose them for good.” Eric smirked.
Sookie pinched Eric’s butt to gain his attention, “Eric!! Don’t insult my guests!” she whispered, not sounding serious about it at all.
Eric turned towards her and said in a mock chastised tone, “But honey, you wanted me to get rid of them didn’t you?”
Sookie rolled her eyes at the show he was putting on.
“You have no authority over me Eric! In fact you have no authority over anyone here. You can’t order us around.” Bill sneered condescendingly.
Eric, who was still facing Sookie, with his back towards Bill and Sam, exasperatedly cocked his eyebrow at his fairy and mouthed ‘he asked for it’.
Before anyone could see or realize what was happening, Bill was dangling two feet above the ground, being held by his throat, kicking the air futilely. Eric just held him still and addressed the other vampires, his tone becoming serious again, his voice taking the decibel that only the supes in the room could hear.
“Me and my two girls caught an advance party of the new Hep-V gang coming from New Orleans. They are being restrained at Fangtasia. We found some good information with minimal torture but I can tell they will be more forthcoming with a little more motivation. It seems that they are forming organized units throughout the country and have been communicating amongst each other. Can we expect you guys to accompany us there to further question them and discuss our strategy?”
All vampires present stepped out from wherever they were standing and came to stand around Eric, clearly recognizing his power and age, each of them nodding or bowing to their ex-sheriff as they approached. Sam huffed and sighed but said he’ll meet them there in half an hour. He then turned to the guests and announced that their vampires would escort them home and that they needed to remain indoors for the night.
One by one, the vampires and humans left for their homes. Jason offered to help and Eric readily invited him to the group. In the books of the Viking, Jason was a strong ally for their group, weightier than say Bill or even Jessica.
Speaking of Bill, the civil war veteran was still hanging on Eric’s arm, getting completely ignored by all and sundry. He ended up hanging there and ending up bearing an unwilling witness to the ancient Viking vampire and the telepathic part fairy’s first proper kiss after getting back together. Sookie, completely out-of-characteristically oblivious to their company, kissed Eric with gusto and giggled into the lips of her vampire, refusing to breath at all. Eric kissed her nice and proper, taking no prisoners. Finally they broke it off and stood on her doorway, looking at each other, breathing each other in, basking in each other’s presence.
“Come back soon!” Sookie whispered.
“Always my Sookie. Always.” Eric whispered back.
“I love you.”
Eric touched her nose with his and nipped her lip playfully.
“I love you too. Sleep now love, replenish your strength. You’ll have to barter a hell of a lot more than your blood for the amount of protection I am about to provide for you!” he smirked and Sookie chuckled.
“Eric…” Sookie pushed and giggled at his pout, “Go sit on your throne and order people around!”
Eric laughed out aloud and gave her an exaggerated bow. He then walked to the porch, Bill in tow, and took to the sky towards Fangtasia. He had a battle to prepare for! And a non-distressed damsel to protect!
It felt good to be back!