It was dead quite.
The small snowflakes fell like shining cotton balls on the frozen lake. It was very early in the morning but there was no light from the sun, yet. The moon was shining somewhere though and just then a gap in the silent moving clouds lit up the lake and the snowflakes. A dense growth of frosty, snow covered birch and pine trees, surrounding the lake, were visible for a few seconds before the shroud of darkness swallowed them up again. There was no wind and yet the clouds were moving. How?
There was a faint rusting of twigs on the forest floor and Sookie stepped out in the clearing, out of breath and covered in leaves and dirt. She had been looking for something. She had needed to be somewhere. It was just like the previous nightmares. She stumbled through unknown lands, always looking for something she never found. She just didn’t know or understand what she was looking for.
Sookie had a number of small cuts and bruises all across her body, perhaps from falling and tripping and running blindly in the darkness. She clutched at a tree on the edge of the clearing to catch her breath and peered out onto the lake, just as the moon shone through the clouds.
Someone was standing there, on the edge of the lake.
Oh thank God! Maybe the stranger could tell her where she was… Maybe she could get some help…
Sookie stepped out into the clearing and slowly walked towards the stranger, calling out.
“Excuse me…Do you know what place this is?”
“Uhh, excuse me if I am intruding, but, urmm, I think I am kinda lost! Could you…”
“Hur kunde du hitta mig?”
She didn’t know the language of the words but she knew what they meant and she knew that voice even in sleep.
Eric turned to look at her and Sookie could not help a slight hitching of her heart. Those were the same beloved eyes that looked at her; the same calm stoic face, but he was looking at her with an expression of incredulity. His gaze was distant and piercing at the same time, living the two worlds of the present and some reminiscent past. He was her Eric as she knew him but there was something else about him, something definitely different. His hair was very long and all over the place, almost disheveled. He was dressed in leather and furs and was wearing strange strappy sandals. To Sookie, he looked to have walked out of the Lord of the Rings or Beowulf universe or something. She couldn’t help a small giggle at that thought.
At the sound of her giggling, Eric took two steps towards her and came to stand right in front of her, towering over her and as always engulfing her in his presence. He had a smile playing on his lips. Almost nervously, he raised a hand and cupped her cheek, drinking in her sight, with an intensity in his eyes that blew her mind. With his other hand he gently traced her eyes, her nose, her lips and her jaw.
“Du kom! … Hur?”
Uhh why was Eric behaving so weirdly?
“I didn’t come here Eric, I am lost! Whats with you?” She nervously glanced around at the snow, the lake and the forest and giggled again at the outlandish scene around her. “And why is it snowing? I have never seen snow falling in Bon temps!”
Eric smirked and raised an eyebrow at her questions…
Oh there’s the damn eyebrow again!
“Du vet inte var du är?”
Sookie scrunched her face in confusion. Eric smiled and put his fingers on her forehead and smoothed out the lines that were forming there.
“Du vet att denna plats min kärlek… du kommer ihåg”
“Eric Northman, I have been stumbling and falling and lost in this God forsaken arctic forest since like forever. You’d think I’d have noticed if I knew the place!” She huffed and pouted and put her hands on her hips, challenging him.
Eric gaped at her for a second and then he started laughing. He placed a hand at his side while he doubled over in his laughing fit, his other hand firmly on her shoulder.
Sookie’s heart warmed at his wonderful and carefree laugh. Outwardly, her pout grew a bit and she crossed her arms in front of her in a defensive gesture. She clearly wasn’t getting the joke here. “What’s so funny?”
Still laughing, he pulled her to him in a big tight embrace and her small frame was almost lost in his big arms. He swung her a bit and then brought one big hand into her hair to tilt her head towards his face. Looking very deeply in her eyes, he spoke in a low, husky, lovely voice. “Så eldig … så arg …Vi är hemma min käraste… detta är hemma”
Sookie was very confused and very tired of the cryptic talk that was making absolutely no sense to her. However, being held by Eric like that was oddly the best comfort she could hope for. She snuggled and rubbed her cheek on his chest and put her hands around him to hold him in turn. Being there with Eric, breathing in his wonderful earthy and spicy essence, held securely in his strong embrace, absolutely felt like home.
Eric kissed the top of her head and placed his chin there while drawing comforting circles on her back. He started humming a soft restful tune and Sookie melted further into the embrace. The tune sounded strikingly familiar though she could not clearly remember where she had heard it before. She just closed her eyes and gave in to the sensations of joy and contentment coursing through her.
Eric held her and waited for her to wake up. He didn’t even notice when he started humming quietly. Sookie was warm and comfortable in a feather soft bed. Still sleeping, she snuggled further into the embrace and rubbed her cheek on his cool hard chest. His scent was comforting and she sighed.
Eric watched her intently.
He had been watching her since quite some time now.
Her steady heartbeat and her scent did wonders to his tired and overworked nerves. He briefly reminisced about her stay in the hospital when he could just watch her sleep and be with her without any questions asked. She had managed to relax any nerves in him then, even if she was comatose. This time it was different though. Too much was hanging on a thread. His queen wanted Sookie and would stop at nothing to get her. He was embroiled in a fucked up case of Andre’s vanishing act. If he thought about it and if his mind was in the straight thinking condition, turning Sookie over to the queen and then holding some dirt on the queen’s head would get Sophie Anne to withdraw her complaint against him and everything could go back to normal. He mentally ticked it off even before the thought formed fully.
Not an option!
Bill Compton was a spy in his area and contributed to getting him stuck in a bad spot and he really needed to be taught some respect. Of course Bill was interested in Sookie too.
I need to look at all the data collected on him and see how I can use it.
Eric knew for sure that fairies were following Sookie around. An actual full fairy came in his bar tonight and though he did not know why, he suspected more plots.
Considering everything, both of them had a giant ‘X’ of being targets on their backs. And now, whether they planned it or not, they were in it together.
Then there was the light. It always came back to the mystery of the light. Was it a coincidence that he recently had his first experience with a vampire dream or vision or whatever the heck it was, of his mother telling him to follow some kind of light?
And now Sookie was manifesting images of ancient runes on her forehead. Eric recognized those runes. Though his human memories were from a different era and happened a long time back, he still remembered most of it. He remembered his mother praying to stone shrines carved with those runes. Even if he didn’t exactly remember the script or the symbols, he was sure he caught a few similar patterns on Sookie’s forehead. It was those runes that got him to completely loose it with her. It was frustrating that Sookie knew nothing about them and she couldn’t even be glamored to get forgotten memories out of her subconscious mind. They were not ordinary tattoos.
Such things didn’t just happen out of the blue. He knew it. He had been in this world since too long and seen too many things to know an awful lot about how such things just didn’t happen. It was tough to survive so long and unscathed in the supernatural world he lived in. He had seen people broken, tortured, sold or worse for being a lot less than what Sookie was. Eric looked again at Sookie, sleeping blissfully unaware of the madness around her. His hold tightened on her. If he was honest with himself, he felt very protective towards her.
Why the hell?!
Sookie needed to be kept safe and out of the supernatural spotlight. His world would devour her if she was discovered. Thinking about what could happen to her, woke up a consuming need in Eric to shield her from the horror.
The irony was that she trusted him when he didn’t yet know what he could to keep her safe. If things at his trial went as Sophie Anne planned, he wouldn’t be around much longer. If he was lucky, he would still be silvered for years. How could he protect Sookie if he couldn’t even protect himself?
And here she was, resting so peacefully with a vampire. The runes had cleared out during her sleep when he started to hum an ancient song from his birthplace. She still looked out worldly to him though. Eric again thought about what she had said to him earlier in the evening. He was flabbergasted by her knowledge of the exact events that had taken place at Fangtasia. He clearly had not been wrong about her being in the bar for those few moments, however she managed to do that. So in addition to the telepathy, was she a psychic or spirit traveler of some kind too? Eric smiled grimly at that prospect. She could never go back to that life now. He was also not sure how he had been able to ignore and leave a fairy in his own office to go after Sookie. She must have some kind of magic. Things never went the expected way when she was around! And she wanted a normal life?
Without meaning to or without even knowing about it, Sookie was now entrenched deeply in the supernatural world and he did not know how to begin talking to her about it. The question now was, would she trust him enough?
The sooner he understood her and she him, the sooner he could think about some way to outmaneuver the queen and make her safe. Where to start?
Eric’s phone buzzed in his pocket and he carefully shifted without jostling Sookie, to see who was calling. It was a message from Pam.
Did you leave a Halloween treat for me in your office? Or is it a trick?
Ah! The fairy…
He quickly typed back-
Don’t do anything. Get her contact details, tell her I won’t be back at the bar tonight and apologize that I walked out on her. I have some business to settle. And Pam, DO NOT play! And DO NOT let any vampire drain her!
A second later, he received a pouty face with a trade offer consisting of clothes and shoes.
Eric sighed and replied with a zombie face. He knew this was coming. His phone beeped again. What now?
Why are you so happy?
Of course his child would feel that and like the meddlesome creature she was, would want to know.
Nothing you should be concerned with. How is business? Anything I need to know?
Another flash with a reply.
I am concerned with my maker’s lack of boredom. Business is booming. Halloween party a success.
Eric chuckled and put away his phone. Pam was bored and would not stop the banter all night. Everything was alright at the bar and that was all he needed to know. He could now concentrate on other things. Sookie was clearly not waking up soon and the night was wearing off. She would have to stay over in his home during the day. He was surprised at himself that he didn’t feel any threat to his security from her. Opposite to that, he felt thrilled to have her this close. Plus, being able to see her as soon as he rose for the night was oddly exciting. He rationalized the thought with a lengthy explanation to himself that getting to know her side of the whole fucked up story would be immensely useful for him.
Yeah right! Whatever lets you sleep, or uh, die peacefully!
He emailed Bobby the code for his resting place and instructed him to bring human food and any other stuff that a human woman might need during the day. On second thoughts, he included a footnote to be very polite with her and help her with anything else she might need.
Eric needed to know where her bodyguards were and why they hadn’t contacted him yet. He also needed to take care of his area business and would have to make a number of calls to take care of all that he was planning. He had to read through the nightly updates from his other contacts, wanted a report from Adele and Jason’s guards, had a meeting with the geek who managed his surveillance server and then subsequently an hour kept aside to discuss the surveillance feeds and data with the ex-homeland security agent whose sole job now was to knit pick through all the suspicious material Eric sent him over to analyze. He could have been taking care of all this business from Fangtasia but he did not want to leave Sookie alone during the night, while he could keep an eye on her. After tonight, he seriously didn’t want to trust anyone else with her.
Having her there, with him, gave him a fresh reason to fight out his idiotic queen and redeem his name. If it were not for Sookie, he could simply have pulled all dirt on Sophie Anne and exposed her to the Vampire Council. They would have found her guilty of illegal procurement, illegal vampire blood trade and illegal dealings with other supes. Sophie Anne would never put the grudge of one missing child who attempted the draining of a valuable asset in his area above losing her face in front of the whole vampire world. She would have had to step back. Even if the council did not put her away, Eric knew he had the other sheriffs of the area in his control and could simply overthrow the queen any day. But doing all of that was forcing his hand at the game before he wanted to go all in. He would also be forced to disclose Sookie’s talents to the vampire council, in order to justify his supposed removal of Andre. The vampire council would certainly want the girl for themselves then and he had nothing on the council apart from spies.
Eric Northman had never taken impulsive, desperate measures and he would not do so now. It was simply not his style. All of these had to remain Plan B. He focused his gaze again on Sookie’s peaceful face and took an unnecessary deep breath. Then he nuzzled her hair for his fill of her scent and kissed her forehead, before slipping quietly out of the bed and the room. He needed to work on his Plan A. He needed to come up with something to deflect the queen, without having to give up Sookie and without involving the council for now. Sookie’s and his life and freedom was depending on it.
I don’t know Swedish and this is what I could find from a number of language translators online. I hope I did not mess up anything. If something is wrong, I apologize for that and request my dear readers to please help me out with the correct translations J
Hur kunde du hitta mig? – How did you find me?
Du kom !… Hur? – You Came!…How?
Du vet inte var du är? – You don’t know where you are?
Du vet att denna plats min kärlek… du kommer ihåg – You know this place my love…you will remember
Så eldig … så arg …Vi är hemma min käraste… detta är hemma – So fiery…so angry…We are home my dearest…this is home