“I am never letting you go. You know that right?”
She snorted adorably.
“Good! Because I am not done with you.” I kissed her, and couldn’t help roughing her up a bit, “I’ll never be done with you.”
Her eyes, those beautiful chocolate brown pools of pure light, moistened, as she threaded her fingers through my hair and pulled me closer to kiss me, before whispering, “Yes. I know.”
“There’s no going back from here Sookie.”
I felt the steady resolve in her heart, as much as I saw it written plain on her face.
“No…No going back.” She confirmed.
Moving to the next part then…
We needed to bond. Properly, in the old fashioned way, without cheat spells. It would make her truly mine, just as it would make me truly hers.
The last time we exchanged blood, it had been a wonderful and powerful moment, but I had acted like an ignorant newborn. I let myself get swept up in the moment and hadn’t been thinking logically at all. Not that I regretted the exchange. Far from it actually… But, I should have explained everything about the bond and its ramifications, before the actual blood exchange. What we had done in the basement of her home, hadn’t been a simple blood tie, like the one that she had with Bill, or myself for that matter. A mutual blood exchange was so much more. Regretfully, Sookie hadn’t known.
I should have acted responsibly and brought her to my side, her rightful place, before starting the bond. As it were, that level of commitment required that I claimed her as mine and provided for her every need, physical, emotional and social. I knew she would not have agreed with all of my ideas, in fact I am sure she would have thrown a fit and called me a caveman, but at the very least she would have understood the meaning of a blood bond with me, and how sacred it was to me and my kind…how rare it was in our world. She would have known that in the thousand plus long years of my existence, she was the one and only person who I had felt close enough to start a bond with. Even if she rejected me afterwards, surely, that knowledge would have meant something to her. Perhaps then, Sookie wouldn’t have been so quick to brush me and our relationship away…
But, foolishly, I did no such thing. And she never understood the importance of the exchange. No wonder we drifted apart. I paid dearly for that lapse and had Sookie not come to me willingly, I would still be paying.
This one, however, would be life changing. This time, I wanted to make a commitment to her, with all my memories and thoughts intact. And it would be insurance against the breaking spells Hallow or any other fuck up with their two bits of magic might try to cast over us.
I hoped and wished that she agreed to it.
“Whatever it takes?”
She straightened out a bit and wiped her eyes, as she nodded solemnly, “Yes. Whatever it takes…”
I captured her gaze as best as I could, without letting my glamour coming into effect and directed all of my heart and soul into what I was going to say and do next.
“We are going to complete our blood bond Sookie. And we are going to do it the proper, old fashioned way… With our blood.”
Her eyes went wide and she gulped. Her heartbeat stuttered under my probing gaze.
“Do you understand what a blood bond is?”
She nodded. “A bit… I know it would allow you to feel my emotions. I know you would be able to locate me.” She chewed on her lip, momentarily distracting me from her eyes, before continuing, “You would be able to influence my feelings.”
So she knew some things, the ones that were similar to a blood tie, but nothing else of importance. I was really glad we were having this conversation. To put her at ease, and to avoid getting distracted myself, I gently pulled her lip from under her teeth and tucked back the loose hair from her face.
“Hmm… that’s right. You are right about me being able to feel you. In addition to that, you would be able to feel my emotional state and locate me as well, much like right now, with the fake thing. However, influence does not work that way. I can send feelings to you, and you could do the same. I would only have as much influence over you as you would have over me…No less, no more…With a little practice, you would be able to tell what is coming from me and what is purely yours. The lines between yours and mine would be dim though.”
“But how would I differentiate between the feelings Eric? What if I can’t tell which is which? I only just started taking control of my life and actions. Would having the bond with you mean I’ll be again, forever, confused over where my emotions came from?” she frowned.
I smiled. “Tell me Sookie, when you hear human thoughts in your head, can you separate your own voice from them?”
“Of course I can. But the thoughts and voices sound different than mine. And I have very good shields now. I can chose who I listen to.”
“But you had to practice to build those shields, yes?”
“So we’ll practice with feelings too. And I can damp down my side so that you don’t keep receiving all the time. Considering who you are, maybe you could shield yourself from me too.”
Talking about that, I realized I would really not like her shielding herself from me. Not when she felt so good, nestled right where my heart used to beat.
“But I would like that you wouldn’t shield yourself from me. Think about it. If you feel pain, I can physically share it and make it less for you, although I’d do anything to avoid such a circumstance where you are in pain. If you need comfort, I can literally send it to you. The best thing is, you will never, ever, feel alone, or abandoned. You will always have me, right inside you, just as I will always have you inside me. But sharing of feelings is not the only thing a bond will entail.”
I could clearly tell she was intrigued, but detected no traces of panic in her. So far, she was doing good. So I proceeded with the next part of the explanation.
“Blood bonds are rare Sookie. And what they symbolize, is a very powerful declaration to the supernatural community. In over a thousand years, I have come across only a handful of vampires who shared a blood bond with their human partners. Three mutual exchanges of blood will forge a permanent connection between us. In my world, you will be mine, unquestionably, irrevocably and incontestably. I will protect you, provide for you, take care of your wellbeing.”
“Isn’t that somewhat like a pet? But forever and with additional feelings to deal with?” she interrupted.
“No my dear. Not like a pet. Pets are passed around, forced to change masters, can be snatched by a vampire higher up in the hierarchy, can be bought, and can be released easily. I am sorry to say this Sookie, but they are treated like second grade citizens, inanimate objects mostly, and hardly have a say in their lives. If a vampire is honorable, he will treat his or her pet well. If not, well then too bad for the human…
A bonded partner, on the other hand, is an equal party in a relationship. So much so that an act of respect or disrespect towards you will directly translate to respecting or disrespecting me. You would be an extension of me, not just my occasional indulgence or plaything.
To touch another vampire’s bonded, without their permission, can earn a swift true death to a vampire at the most, and torture or another punishment at the least, no matter what position they hold. A blood bond cannot be easily broken and breaking it entails great deal of pain for both parties, with a risk of death, plus very complex and powerful magic. Needless to say, I have not seen it ever broken. ”
She nodded seriously and I gave her another moment to absorb all that I was telling her. I could take this as slow as possible. It was imperative for her to fully understand the concept.
“What would it mean for us Eric?”
“What are you trying to ask? Please speak freely.”
“What will it mean for our … ummm … relationship? How would the bond affect our lives specifically?”
“I was getting there. If we exchange blood twice more, we will be bonded. As I told you before, we will be able to feel each other like we can now and tell each other’s locations. Since you are supernatural too, you might absorb some of my powers when the bond is complete, mainly an enhanced sight, speed and sense of scent, quicker healing than normal humans. Your aging will slow down. These are all direct effects of drinking vampire blood. Without a bond, all these effects slowly fade out. But with a bond, and your own heritage, these changes might become permanent for you. The bond will not let my blood leave your system and the continued presence of my blood in your body would aid your healing, physical appearance, aging and other senses. We would also, always feel the need to be close to each other and would feel physical discomfort if we got too far, for too long.
As for us, I believe that I would never be able to let you go after it, even if I tried for some outlandish reason. One, you are a constant need inside me that refuses to go away and believe me, I have tried, and two, your safety is paramount to me, which I can ensure if I always have you by my side.”
I paused again, for her benefit as well as mine. It wasn’t easy for me to open up and lay bare the stronger of my emotions to anyone but me. Not even Pam and Willa understood them completely. I hadn’t understood them either, before knowing and coming to love Sookie and before my brush with true death in Sweden last year. However, I knew that now was the time to own up to them and tell her everything. She might not like what I said. But she had the right to know. I could tell that she was beginning to get overwhelmed but I needed to go on.
“You’ll be a part of me Sookie. You would always be a part of me and even in the event of your natural death, I may not be able to move on to another partner or even move on at all. To save myself that ache, I might not let you die.”
Her eyes widened.
I kissed her and ran my fingers through her hair in an attempt to relax her. I felt fear and worry assail her heart and waited for her to shore up her feelings to think about what I was actually saying. I had wanted to skip telling her the part about not being able to move on after her and wanting to turn her if her life was threatened. I knew I was putting undue pressure on her to take a step towards immortality. But I could not hide that fact from her either. It would be wrong to not share that particular reality. Whether she chose to join me as vampire or chose to die as a mortal, her choice would affect us profoundly. I needed her to be aware of everything and hopefully, make an informed decision. I would never shield her from the grim realities, just to spare her the horrors. She was not a child. And monsters do not stop in their pursuit of an individual who shuts his eyes and pretends the monsters are not there. Sookie would need to be strong. And she would need to take control of her life and make important choices even in the face of the limitless horrors of this world. I would support her. I would be her rock, her safe place. But those horrors, those choices, she needed to be able to face on her own.
So I put it all before her. She just stared at me and didn’t say anything. Then I realized she was not breathing…
“Breath min kärlek…” I whispered.
She closed her eyes and took a few deep breaths.
“On my stars, Eric! You sure know how to leave a girl breathless. But what’s this talk about not being able to move on?” she grimaced.
“I am not saying that I will meet the sun in the event of anything untoward happening with us. I am not that kind of person Sookie, surely you must know that. I have not survived for this long a time by harboring un-survivalist ideas like that; more so now, when I am responsible for the safety of a number of people who I won’t abandon, including you and your kin. Only twice in my time in this world have I freely wanted to face true death, once for Godric and then once for you. I don’t regret asking Godric to let me meet the sun by his side. But I do regret agreeing to lay down my life at the point of Marnie’s gun.”
She tried hiding it but I caught the slight flinch in her gaze. I hurried to explain before she could grow insecure and withdraw.
“Sookie, I had no guarantee that the witch would let you go after she did away with me. My true death wouldn’t have solved anything. I could be more useful, not-finally-dead. And did you forget that eventually, you were the one that saved my dead ass from that bitch? You are not helpless. You don’t need me to die for you.”
She gave me a small smile.
“I know I am not anything like the Southern gents you are used to. I am not mortal and will never be able to give you children. I will never be able to share the sun with you. Not unless you have more fairy godmothers tucked away?” she slapped my chest and I chuckled before continuing seriously again.
“I am miles apart from the romantic heroes you love to read about. I can be charming when I want to be but I do not believe in flowery words and tall claims females always seem to crave. However, all of this doesn’t change the fact that I will hate this existence if you are not at my side. I know that I will not be able to love anyone else if I don’t have you to love. Some part of me might survive your death. But another, bigger, more important part will perish with you. And you won’t be there to save it this time. So, I need you with me. And I need you safe. You are mine and I will do everything in my power to keep you safe. After the bonding, this need will only increase. Sookie I…”
She interrupted and put a finger on my lips.
“Wait. Give me a moment please?”
She removed herself from my lap and started to stand. I immediately felt the loss of her warmth and grabbed her wrist to keep her where she was.
“I can’t think straight, sitting naked on your lap.” She explained, blushing deliciously.
Well what a pity! For me.
Still, I gave her the distance she needed and remained on the bed, just monitoring her emotional state. She gathered a sheet and draped it around herself before walking over to the small sitting area at the other side of the room.
Outwardly, she appeared to be scared and overwhelmed. Her emotions though, were a jumbled mess and I couldn’t pick up even one out of the bunch. Disquiet seeped into me and started to burn up my certainty. She remained silent, unseeing of anything around, and kept breathing deeply. Why wasn’t she saying something?
Her eyes met mine and she raised an eyebrow, in a perfect imitation to my move.
She brought her knees up and put her head between them, in the classic pose of a human having a panic attack. I debated staying put or going by her side to try to sooth her. Eventually, I decided to use our magical connection and tried pushing calm towards her. Slowly, breath by breath, her heartbeat slowed down to a normal rhythm and she sighed. After about five almost unbearable minutes, she raised her head and looked at me again. I breathed a silent sigh of relief.
“That was you right? The sudden peace and calm?”
“Tell me something honest Eric. Do you want me as a vampire?”
Talk about a loaded question.
“I want you, anyway possible… human, fairy, vampire… all three?”
She sighed and straightened up. Despite wearing just a sheet, a layer of perspiration and the traces of our lovemaking, Sookie Stackhouse looked the epitome of no-nonsense professionalism. She had her tough negotiator face on.
It was arousing as fuck!
“Do you have any more information for me? Regarding the bond?”
“I told you whatever I know and whatever I perceive will happen afterwards, based on my experience with blood ties and through observation of other bonds. Personally I have never blood bonded before. I do have a bond with my progenies and had one with Godric. But Maker-child relationships are different.”
She chewed on the words she wanted to say for a couple of moments and then seemed to have decided what course of action to take. I liked this new, taking-time-and-thinking-things-over Sookie. Not that I didn’t like the fly-off-the-handle Sookie. Honestly, I’d take whatever she gave me.
In Pam’s words, I was pussy-whipped. That’s what!
“I love you Eric.”
Praise the gods!
“I want to be with you. I really appreciate that you stepped up and said what needed to be said. In fact, the first thing that drew me to you, was the fact that you call a spade a spade and you don’t sugarcoat it for my benefit. Not that you’ve not had your moments of deceit…” She grimaced and I smirked… “but at least you owned up to them and didn’t tell me that your actions were for my own good. I don’t always like the god honest truths you sometimes drop on me, but I am thankful to God that you do.”
She paused for a breath. I was practically hanging on her words in fascination.
“I want to have this bond with you. I want to spend as much time as I can with you. Even if these are new waters for us, we have known each other since forever and I know I can trust you. I ask only that whatever you do that concerns us, or our families, just give me a fair chance to voice my opinion. That includes turning me into a vampire.” She gave me a pointed look at that. I sobered up and nodded. She continued, “I will happily give you all of me Eric, heart, body, soul.”
My blood soared at her words…
“But I will not give up my right to choice. I don’t want to be lost in your world, loose myself, hang on your every word and toe every random line you choose to draw for me. I will not lose myself again, even if it is for you. I have done this, knowingly or unknowingly before and it just doesn’t work for me. This is where I am at. Now you tell me. What do you expect from me?”
She was simply breathtaking.
How could I even dream about changing even one fucking inch on this woman? Who the fuck would want to draw lines and hoard her in? I loved her exactly how she was. Flighty, stubborn, full of fire…
And she had grown so much as a person.
She raised her brow in question and I inclined my head in acknowledgment to her words.
“You are mine Sookie, bond or not. I would do anything in my power to ensure your happiness, safety and wellbeing. Some things that you would be expected to do might annoy you. But please keep in mind that who we are in front of others and who we are to each other are two very different things. I do not want to change you as you say… …but being with me will bring changes to your life that you might not be able to avoid.”
I paused, giving her the opening to say anything she wanted to. She remained silent.
“You will be a king’s bonded companion. That raises certain expectations from you, just as it is for me. We are an archaic, old-fashioned race with age old laws and customs. I might not agree with all of them and take my liberties with quite a few, but being a king, I cannot ignore them outright. Appearances mean a lot to vampires. Just keep an open mind and give me a chance to explain whenever I need you to act… deferential should we say?”
She made a face but gestured for me to go on.
“I would expect you to not fight me on things I want to do for you. You will accept round the clock security, without exception. Keep yourself alive and kicking and we’ll just deal with whatever else comes up.”
“How serious are you about the round the clock security?” She made air quotes with that part and made a face. I could feel her stubborn side rearing up and if it came out, then we’d be arguing all night. I really wanted to do the second exchange tonight so that we could be bonded as soon as possible, so I decided to keep my words as logical and as reasonable as possible, to sooth the beast, so to say.
“Very serious Sookie. You do know you’d make quite the bargaining chip for my enemies. And I have a lot of enemies. If not for anything else, please do this for my peace of mind?”
She pouted and I cocked an eyebrow.
“Alrighty!” she sighed. “But please keep it reasonable Eric. I don’t want to shower or pee in front of a guard.”
“Trust me Sookie. I am not going to let a guard watch that!” I chuckled.
“Not even a female guard?” she teased.
“I made Pam.” I deadpanned, “So no…Especially not in front of females.”
She took a deep breath and smiled. I felt her think about coming closer to me. I beat her to it and was at her side in a blink, kneeling in front of her, her legs on either side of me. She gasped and the sheet slipped from her hands, exposing one luscious breast. I didn’t even think about it and my hands were on her.
“Any more questions, Miss Stackhouse?” I gave her my best racy voice and tweaked her nipple.
She returned my gaze with absolute heat. “Nope… I am all yours Mr Northman.”
I cupped the back of her neck and brought her face a few inches from mine.
“So can we safely establish that you want to tie yourself with big old me? For ever? Warts and all?”
She smiled and it reached the depths of her eyes. “Yes.” was her simple answer.
I carefully sifted through the emotions running through that pretty, stubborn head of hers, looking for even a slight trace of doubt or unwillingness. Somehow she understood what I was doing and what I needed to do. The importance of it.
So she held my gaze steadily, and started dropping her walls and shields to open up to me.
As her meticulously built shields fell away, one after another, a picture started taking form in my mind’s eye. The picture of Sookie Stackhouse, human, telepath, fairy.
Daughter… grand-daughter… sister… lover… friend… foe…
Her eyes started watering but she did not blink. I felt her mind protesting against my influence but she beat it down. The feeling could be compared to glamor but then a human loses cognitive mind function during glamor. Sookie remained alert and aware. And she traveled the darkest and brightest crevices of her mind with me.
One could say, I delved into her being and combed the threads that she was made of, just like most vampires would do before siring a child.
I saw her inside out…the light and the dark…her joys and her sorrows…her trials and her victories…her strength and her vulnerability…the treasure of emotions that she felt…love and hate, tenderness and anger, her capacity for forgiveness equaling her capability for vengeance.
This Sookie, stripped of all pretenses and shields, was magnificent! I knew, in that moment, that bonding with Sookie, was probably the best thing I would do in my existence.
Without taking my eyes off her, I slowly brought my wrist to my mouth and bit deeply. She flinched at the sound of my breaking flesh and for a split second, her eyes flashed to the bleeding wound.
I offered it to her.
There was no restraint, no doubt and an immense amount of love and trust in her eyes as she brought her mouth to my wrist and closed her lips on the open cuts. Then she sucked and groaned loudly as my blood entered her.
I almost came at her first pull.
She pulled my hair and brought my face down to her exposed neck. I took in a drag of her heady scent and then licked the spot that throbbed with her strong pulse. My fangs clicked into place, and as gently as I could, I pierced her perfect skin and pressed her artery with my tongue. Her glorious blood rushed into my mouth, just as my blood entered her body and became one with her.
I pulled her down to the floor on top of me and in one fluid movement, entered her from below. While our life force flowed out to each other, we started moving almost simultaneously in the trance-like, age old dance of lovers. Her sweetest essence changed and morphed with mine. Her aura, a pure yellow golden light that always surrounded her, burst forth from every single pore of her exposed skin, and I saw it transforming into a deeper, darker shade, tinged with red. Just as her light transformed into something else, I felt it enter me and illuminate every dark corner inside me, from within.
I got lost in the sensation…
We were both lost…
Her blood in my mouth, her scent, now mixed unmistakably with mine, her glistening sweating skin moving against mine, her soft moans, surrounded me, washed over me and drowned me. In the haze of our exchange, she appeared to me as a pure ball of light, my own personal sun, that didn’t burn me, but warmed my cold skin, stirred my dead heart and ran through my body, animating my stagnant veins.
I held on to her, as tightly as possible without breaking her, and gave myself to her.