Oh my God!
I really just told Eric Northman that I loved him!
He really just kissed the living daylights out of me!
Must be Christmas!
I found a seat towards the end of the hall and sat down, completely in a daze, a big part of me still wanting to run out of there and go find Eric. This happened with me when he was around. He could light me up like a match and then douse me in cold water in a split second. I said and did things I would never do otherwise. He always brought out the best, the worst and the craziest in me.
It scared me to death…
It also turned me on…
I sat looking at him, from the obscurity of the large audience, not listening to the drivel the mayor was speaking about vampire rights, human-vampire cooperation and peace. My eyes wouldn’t, couldn’t move from his face, the face that said so much and gave away nothing, the face that was awakening so much inside me. There was this barely controlled need inside every particle of my being to be as close to him as possible. I seriously didn’t know how I was going to go back from this place after the event was over. His eyes were trained on the speaker at the podium but I knew he was watching me too. Don’t ask me how I knew that!
He took out his phone from his pocket and looked at whatever he was looking at. He smirked and his eyes found mine for a second, before settling at the speaker again, all the while when his fingers were typing away on the keypad. That one moment when our eyes met, made sitting there all the more of a torture than it already was. I felt like running and jumping on the stage like a lunatic and kiss him senseless. I felt like scraping my hands through his soft hair and gazing deep into his dancing eyes as he took me again and again and again until we both lost ourselves in each other, until we couldn’t tell where I ended and he began. I wanted him to drink me in, to be one with his very essence…
Eric shifted on his seat and glanced at me again. I knew more than I saw his eyebrow cocked at me.
And I smiled. So he must know what I was thinking…Again, don’t ask me how I knew…
Something prickled at the back of my head and I turned around just in time to see the doors open and two vampires entering the conference, fashionably late. It was a female and a male and they were diametric opposites of each other. Can’t explain it well but I didn’t get a good feeling from the two. Something was not right with them. The man vampire walked with a swagger but had a sort of shifty look in his eyes, the look of a conman. The female was, well stunning. She walked in with the air of owning the place, chin held up and a chip on her shoulder. Her eyes were fixed in a predatory kind of way, on something over my shoulder. I looked back too, curious towards the object of her intense gaze. It was the stage, the middle of the stage. There was only one person sitting where she was looking. I flipped again and tried to make sure I was getting her line of sight right.
No freakin’ way!
The two came to sit on the empty chairs directly in front of me. I was already bristling at the female, for looking at Eric with that look in her eyes.
Can one stake a vampire at supernatural conference, in front of media from all over the country? Oh how I wished I could! And Niall was right. That conference was a drag and went on for hours. Hundreds of people were constantly droning on and on about random stuff, in their heads, which in turn meant that I had to continuously concentrate hard on my shields. After some time I didn’t care whether I was blocking the thoughts or the actual spoken words. All the chatter was just beginning to grate on my nerves. Now only if Eric was speaking, I could have listened, for once…
Eric stepped off from the stage and I lost sight of him. I could to go out to clear my head for a bit too, but I didn’t, as I was currently holding the one-man-stake-out on the two vampires sitting in front of me, like the cops on crime shows. Somehow because of the way the vampires looked at Eric and the bad feeling I was getting from them, I felt a rush of possessive entitlement and wanted to know what the bloody hell were they up to. Damn vampire super hearing, because they were whispering to each other in very low voices and I was not hearing a lot of what was being said. It was frustrating me to no end. I stretched my spying abilities to the limit.
The people in the hall began to stir and stand up and that’s when I realized the speeches must be over or they might be having a break for the benefit of those with human needs. The shady vampires from my front stood up too and started to walk away.
‘Oh C’mon tell me what you were talking about! I know you’re up to no good!’ I thought in exasperation.
Suddenly, out of nowhere, the woman turned to me and huffed, “I was telling Stan that Eric is not answering my call.” Her mouth shut with a clack and her eyes bugged out.
“What?” I gasped!
“Freyda?! What the hell are you doing?”
Yeah what hell indeed!
Apparently her partner in crime thought she was crazy too. She was still standing like a rabbit caught in the headlights so I repeated. “What do you mean?”
“I am saying that Eric is not answering my call! He should answer my call!” She repeated like a parrot and shut her mouth immediately when the sentence ended, with her teeth doing the clacking thing again. Her eyes went red with anger and she looked to be the most shocked out of the three of us.
Her companion was staring daggers at her and shaking her like a ragdoll. “Shut the fuck up Freyda! I command you to shut up!”
“Freyda? Freyda is it? What call are you talking about?”
The other vampire turned to stare daggers at me now and I defiantly stared back. He hadn’t ordered me to ‘shut the fuck up’, now had he? I felt a pressure on my head, the glamour kind of pressure. “Run away, human”, he added the sneer when he said human, “You didn’t see us and we were not talking about Eric Northman.”
I matched his sneer, and added spite for good measure, “You run the fuck away! Your glamour shit doesn’t work on me vampire!” then I turned to the Freyda person who for some mysterious reason, seemed to be unable to stop herself from answering me, “Why are you calling Eric?”
“Because Eric is mine!” she spat…
Oh yeah? Well join the fucking queue skank!
I carefully reigned in the anger I was feeling and clasped my hands so that I would not ‘not-so-accidentally’ blow her away for being more annoying than should be legal. I still needed more information. I mean I knew that she was obviously not talking about a phone call. Vampire makers called their children through blood. And I knew squat about any other method of calling. So I needed to ask and hopefully she would answer. I could confirm it from Eric later. “What call are you talking about?”
Freyda clutched her side and doubled over, “The call through the blood bond.” She was in tears now, her lips stretched thin in a line, as if she was in a lot of pain, and no amount of commands and killing looks from her companion seemed to keep her mouth shut, “We used his sword. I am bonded to Eric. Eric is mine!”
The fuck he is!
And then I thought about the other part of her words. His sword!
Eric’s sword! From his office!
Cheese and rice!
My instincts were spot on. They were shady and they were up to no good. “What bond Freyda? What did you do with the sword?”
“Enough!” The other one snapped and dragged Freyda away from me, towards the circular area around the stage where everyone was congregating. I didn’t follow or try to hear them again. I had heard enough! This was serious. I had to tell Eric. Could he be in some kind of danger?
I looked around and spotted Pam standing some twenty feet away from me, looking bored. I quickly walked up to her, mentally cringing at the once over she gave me when she saw me approach. When I reached near enough to speak, her nose twitched and she inhaled.
“Well well well! What’s that smell, Tinkerbelle?”
“Oh please, don’t start Pam. I need to find Eric. Where is he?”
She smirked at me. “You tell me! His scent is all over you!”
I blushed. Not very smart but I couldn’t stop. “Well we uhh… talked earlier.”
Pam raised her perfect eyebrow, “Talked huh? We should get together and talk someday too Sookie…”
“PAM!” I rolled my eyes and tried to distract her, “Do you know a vampire named Freyda?”
Her expression changed in an instant, from smirking to dead serious. “How do you know her?”
“I don’t know her that much. But she and another vampire are up to some mischief. And they were talking about Eric and blood and bonds.”
Pam’s eyes went wide. She snatched my hand and started dragging me out of the auditorium. What was it about vampires dragging people around tonight?
“Uhhh Pam? Shouldn’t we call Eric?”
She didn’t spare me a glance and didn’t slow down. “What do you think I’m doing?”
Oh… yes… the maker-child connection of course! Nice to not need a cell phone! She dragged me towards the same double doors where I had had my little tryst with my vampire…
And I caught myself…My vampire?
A huge grin spread on my face, on its own. Yes, my vampire indeed!
We entered the doors and hurried towards the end of the hallway (the one that we never reached the last time I came here), and entered some kind of conference room, with a huge flat screen TV, an overhead projector and a semi-circular table in front of the TV, with chairs all around the table. Pam pushed me into a chair and stood in front of me, tapping her designer pumps in impatience.
“What else do you know?”
“Well there were these two vampires sitting in front of me back in the hall and I didn’t like the way they were looking all shifty and shady. So I decided to try and listen to what they were talking about.”
Pam smirked again. “Of course you had to. Fairies are more meddlesome than is good for them.”
I rolled my eyes for good measure before continuing. “My meddlesome ass has saved your designer butt more than once Pam. So listen to me. I couldn’t hear what they were talking about before but when everyone started to rise, the vampire Freyda suddenly turned towards me and said something about trying to call Eric and him not answering.”
“Yeah that’s what I said. And she looked shocked and in a lot of pain too. The other guy, air quotes, commanded her to shut the fuck up but apparently she wasn’t listenin’ cuz she didn’t shut up and said that Eric was hers and they used his sword, Eric’s sword Pam, and that she should be, uhh, bonded to Eric.”
“BONDED?!” Pam screeched in a rare show of emotion.
“Geez Pam! My ears!”
We silently stared at each other for a minute, Pam looking more and more panicked by the second, her brain, no doubt, going a hundred miles a second with the information I had shared. I, on the other hand, was feeling joy building up in my core. Joy and anticipation! Strange!
The door flew open and in floated Eric, complete with a rush of wind that blew my hair all around my face. He crossed the distance between me and him in one huge stride and swept me in his arms, plopping down on the chair I was sitting in and settled me into his lap, in the twinkling of an eye. Pam and I both gaped at him. He had never done anything like this with me before, even when we stayed together for the couple of days when he had amnesia. Double meaning words and innuendos, yes, touchy feely displays in front of anyone else, no, never, ever! Not that I was complaining though! And sitting in his lap really felt very very good…I immediately felt safe and peaceful.
He inhaled deeply and gave me a crooked smile, “What, my Sookie?”
My breath hitched when he called me his and I momentarily got distracted in his eyes twinkling with mischief.
My dreamy moment was rudely interrupted by Pam, when she declared in her trademarked monotone, “Well fuck me! Your Sookie huh? She is why you were farting rainbows all night!?”
Eric didn’t move his eyes from me when he said, “Why are you distressed Pam?”
“Freyda is saying that you are hers and you are her bonded.”
Eric’s posture shifted, his hold tightened on me and his voice dropped several degrees in temperature, “My bonded? Freyda?” he paused, “What is this Pam?!”
Pam explained whatever I told her before.
Eric looked at me again, “And she said all of this to you? Just like that?”
“Well yeah! She just suddenly turned to me and started telling me that they had used your sword and now you should be bonded to her. She said you were not answering the call.”
Eric narrowed his eyes and asked, “This is exactly how she said it? That they used my sword and I should now be bonded to her? That I should answer her call?”
“Yeah. That’s what she said.” I shrugged.
Eric got that far-away look in his eyes, like the one he got when he was thinking and trying to remember something. He turned me on his lap, to sit facing him and hugged me tightly, cradling my head in the crook of his neck with one huge hand. He placed his chin on top of my head and said in a measured tone, “Pam get word out and see if anyone knows where our lovely Hallow is hiding these days.”
“Yes. The same. Sookie?” I looked up and he fingered a stray strand of my hair to play with, “Do you remember anything else?”
“Well this other vampire ordered Freyda, more like commanded her, to shut up and she looked to be in pain but she couldn’t stop talking. He had to drag her away from me.”
Eric shared a look with Pam and stated more than asked. “Yes she was with Stan.”
“Who are these people Eric?”
Eric tucked the strand of hair he had been playing with behind my ear and caressed my cheek instead, seemingly prolonging the time before he gave me his answer. “Do you trust me Sookie?”
I didn’t have to think before I replied. “Yes I do…”
A small smile appeared on his lips, “Well in that case…they are of no consequence for you…I’ll take care of them…ok?”
Why was I getting the feeling that he was somehow testing me here? If I said I trusted him to handle the situation as he deemed best and not ask him about it then I would keep on thinking about whatever it was he was up to and I would never let it rest in my mind. But I did trust him.
Then what was this bee in my bonnet?
Eric was still looking at me with equal parts seriousness and amusement. So I chose my words carefully to properly convey what I was feeling.
“Eric I do trust you to do the right thing of course. But those vampires were talking an awful lot about you, much more than I am comfortable with. I know we still have a lot of ground to cover between us and don’t want to push you any more than necessary. But I am already involved now. And keeping secrets from me has never helped your cause and you know it. Tell me. Please…” I added my own crooked grin for good measure.
Eric smirked and cocked an eyebrow, as if mentally ticking something out. So did I pass the test? He took my face in his hands and looked straight in my eyes. “Woman! You are learning the art of negotiating information from me and you are fucking amazing at it. I can see I am in trouble already!” he kissed me gently on my lips, “and of course I can’t keep things from you. You’ll just go ahead and get into heaps of trouble trying to do something brave and stupid and absolutely reckless, not to mention, save this smitten vampire from some of his own shit, in the whole process… Again…” his eyes shone with pride and joy and I was mesmerized by the light shining in them. “God! I have missed you Sookie Stackhouse…”
I was going to tear up if he kept this up. And he still hadn’t told me about this Freyda Skank and he was not going to get away with it. So I rolled my eyes and gave an exaggerated theatrical sigh… “Are you ever going to tell me who the fuck is Freyda?”
Eric gave me a sly smile, “See how much trouble I am in?”
I slapped his chest and huffed, “Eric Northman! Spit it out already!”
“Yes Eric! Spit it out already! I am wrinkling here!” interjected Pam, every consonant dripping with sarcasm.
Eric trapped my hands in one of his, again repeating his action from before, and sat back in the chair, looking steadily at me. “Freyda is the vampire queen of Oklahoma. Her companion was her maker Stan, the vampire king of Arkansas. Freyda has been after me for a marriage contract, to secure her state and her power within vampire monarchies.”
I knew there was something wrong with the way she was looking at Eric…And marriage? Shit! Would he marry her? She was gorgeous and a queen and immortal like him. But…
“But nothing…Of course I won’t marry her.”
Thank God! And did he just complete my inner monologue?
I breathed out the air that was stuck in my lungs at the word marriage. Up until now, I had been so caught up with my own issues that I hadn’t even considered the fact that Eric might chose to be with someone else in the permanent married sort of way. So hearing him talk about an actual tangible marriage contract brought out a flurry of emotion and feelings inside me that I didn’t see coming. I couldn’t help myself when I threw my arms around his neck and clutched him to me in a very possessive way. “Good…And thanks for telling me.” I choked out. I really could not find any other words to convey how much this meant to me. How much he meant to me…
“You don’t have to tell me. I know…” he said
There! He did it again! Answered to something I was only thinking…What trickery was this now?
I sat up and stared at him. “How are you doing this?”
“What am I doing?” he said innocently.
“Really?!” I narrowed my eyes and silently called his bluff. “You have been completing my sentences. The sentences I haven’t even spoken out loud. Care to explain how you are doing it?”
Again a far-away look entered his eyes as he chewed on his lip. Without breaking eye contact, he said something to Pam in a language I didn’t understand and Pam sauntered off with a parting smirk and eye roll. He was silent for a bit and we just stared at each other. He sighed and broke the impasse. Then he moved forward and kissed my forehead.
“Sookie do you remember that day in the cubby of your home, when I was bound in chains and you healed me with your blood?”
I nodded, not understanding where he was going with this.
“We started a blood bond that day, when we drank from each other. After that I could feel you all the time, much more clearly than when you ingested a few drops of my blood in Dallas. But after the witch was killed and you…” he paused, struggling for words, “walked away, that presence in my blood which told me about you started to withdraw and close down. This went on for a while till the time when I couldn’t feel your emotions at all. The bond shrunk down to the point where I could only tell your location. I think it had something to do with your choosing to distance yourself from me, to close yourself to me. You shut down your side of it.”
He paused again and I felt a wave of despair hit me. Eric lowered his eyes and looked at our clasped hands, raising them to press his lips to the back of my hand. His jaw clenched and unclenched and he looked into my eyes again. “By the way, do not ever, ever, pull that stunt on me again! I don’t know what I’ll do if tomorrow, you suddenly get confused about your feelings for me and decide to run. You always run when things go bad, leaving your problems to fester and your allies in a lurch. That’s not a good strategy to follow. If tomorrow, for some reason, you start feeling that I am not right for you, then I want you to stay and fucking explain what’s wrong, and maybe give me a chance for a change. Not take off and leave me high and dry and addled as fuck.”
His words cut me. Deep. But there was truth in them. Cold, harsh, cutting truth. Plus there was nothing in those words that I hadn’t known and berated myself for before. I knew he wouldn’t trust me easily. Who were we kidding? I had taken years to be able to trust him too. And he had some very good reasons for not taking up with me in good faith. After all, I had run from him before. Multiple times… Without explanation…
So I needed to pull on my big girl panties, listen and understand his very valid concerns, and try my best to establish trust again, between the two of us. He deserved this. And I wanted this.
“I understand why you don’t trust me Eric. Believe me… I actually reached a point where even I couldn’t trust myself. And that is the worst place for a person to be. Took me a while to recognize the fact that I hated what I had become. I understand that right here, you still see the Sookie who abandoned you at the point where you really needed her the most and I am really sorry for that. But I am not the same person any more. This past year has been hell for me in more ways than one Eric. I don’t know why it took me so long to get it in my thick head that the things I truly hated in you, your stubbornness, your high handedness, your temper, your inhuman side, were the same things I truly hated in my myself. I thought I could run away from you and run away from all these things within me too. But I could not. Because there were the other things I truly love about you too. Your over imaginative mind, your courage, your sense of responsibility towards your family and friends, your pragmatic way of looking at things, the way you solve problems, your great capacity to love and feel things…”
His hands left mine and he held my face a mere inches from his as I wrapped my arms around him, pulling him closer, “Those were the things I wanted to see in myself too. It took me years to realize how alike we are. I won’t let this go Eric. I won’t let you go. And you are most welcome to chain me in your dungeon if I try to run away again” I smiled.
“I can do that…” and there was my favorite smile again, the one that reached his eyes and made my insides melt.
I kissed him softly on the lips and pulled back. “So now tell me. How the fuck are you completing the sentences from my head? Are you the town telepath now?”