“So you thought to put me in line with sex?” she screamed in outrage, scrambling out of his hold. “You pretend to be vulnerable-“
“No,” he growled, keeping her body to him. “You’re partially right, with Pam I pretended. It was a rearing tool, she needed that falsity to understand her subservience as my Childe and the moment she figured it out, it was over. I never pretended with you, the bond would have told you so. My experience with Pam only served as inspiration for us to fuck out this imbalanced frustration. It wasn’t the method.”
She calmed briefly sensing the truth of his words, and despite how open he had been with her moments earlier in the throes of passion, he appeared even more vulnerable while awaiting her verdict. “Did you mean it?” she questioned in a tiny voice. “With nobody else?”
“Nobody else ever came this close,” he answered honestly. “Never truly been anybody’s but yours. It’s what you wanted to hear isn’t it, that I’m yours?”
She nodded, tears escaping her eyes, the unsettling undertones of her violent nature finally evening out to a modicum of calm. “I don’t really understand why you’d want me,” Sookie sobbed, her hitching breath threatening to swallow half of her words. “I’m this volatile mess.”
“It’s simple,” he whispered, cradling her to him before depositing her softly on the bed. He hovered over her briefly, thumbs wiping away at the tears while she awaited his answer. “When you let me in, throw caution to the wind, and stop hiding all there is to see. I come to understand, loving you isn’t care, duty, or responsibility. Nor is it compassion, obligation, or an advanced form of lust. It is just you, and it makes all the sense in the world.”
His fingers carefully extracted the lace pieces from her body one by one while her eyes followed his every move. “You fuck me like no other could, or like I ever would let another,” he complimented with a chuckle as her cheeks instantly flushed the same red of her singed eyes. “But when it’s like this,” Eric whispered reverently while sinking down into her with the gentlest of touches, rocking inside her with a roll of languid hips, her fingers instantly coming to trace every small tremor in his muscles that strained, causing him to tremble and shake with the sheer intensity of such a small yet powerful touch, encouraging him in with sweet murmurs and soft kisses, this ill afforded kindness. “It’s like you hold me with your heart, warmth beyond any feeling of heat. Sookie, how can I be anything but yours?”
“Eric,” she whimpered, tears flowing even stronger with his words.
“This is why,” he spoke softly while thrusting into her languidly, never allowing her gaze to move away from him. “Sookie, always remember why. A thousand years, no one ever came this close, and all you did was to walk up and look me in the eyes.”
“Eric, you know how scary that sounds,” she exhaled through a small cry. “What that asks of me?”
“Sookie, do you know how scary it is for that to happen when it happens?”
“I do,” she nodded, remembering that strange pull he had on her from the first meeting. With Bill by her side, she had merely put it down to his unique age. However, Godric had no such pull with her, nor had Russell, but then she only knew that now. “I, ah-” she trembled momentarily in his hold as an unexpected wave took over in the miniscule movements his body evoked inside her with a guided precision.
“Sookie,” he exhaled as her induction led to his undoing, both trembling in the aftershock unable to utter another word.
“I get it if you want to leave,” she whispered after a moment. “I’m strange.”
He growled at her and the tears that had surfaced. “Why would you think that? Did you not hear a word of what I said?”
“I thought this was goodbye,” Sookie whimpered. “I thought you were being kind, giving me a moment to remember you by… Listen to me Eric, I don’t even know how to make sense anymore.”
“You love me, yeah?” he questioned with little enquiry, knowing the answer better than she did. Sookie nodded without a thought. “That’s all that matters for now.”
“But if I change-”
“Hasn’t changed yet, now has it?” Before she could answer he added with determination. “It won’t.”
“How can you be so sure?”
“When you live as long as I have, you know what to hold on to and what to leave behind, you’ll come to understand,” he shrugged before depositing a soft kiss on her temple and coming to lie beside her. “You’re adjusting to a new perspective, a new reality, and a new nature. How do you feel now?”
“Better,” Sookie offered with a warm smile. “Stronger.”
She gave a small squeeze to his bicep, and he, too, noticed the difference in strength that could no longer be considered human at that point. “What will it mean to be an Eternal Fae, Eric?”
“I don’t know,” he admitted, having given it little thought after Cecily informed she would roam this earth with him forever as long as he kept her safe before maturing. “It makes you powerful, something covetable.”
“Oh,” she whispered in an expression of worry shared by both.
“Russell may know more,” Eric offered before exhaling a deep sigh while he gathered his thoughts. “Your display leveraged something to our favour.”
“You don’t trust him,” she ascertained through the wary tone and the bond.
He shifted on his elbow to really look at her. “If I lost you the way he lost Talbot, I’d exploit everything to my gain whether or not I was morally just. It would all become righteous in my mind. It’s why they came for you, the Authority, they want you, but they also want me disabled.”
“We don’t leave each other anymore,” she commanded, but he answered avowing as if it had been a question. “Ever.”
With his second confirming nod, something inside her settled, the restless energy that still lived in the traces of them dissipated with his assurance. “So where do we go from here?”
It was somewhere midway between Northern Louisiana and Mississippi that Godric finally caught up with his ancient counterpart and tackled him to an abandoned field, upturning the soil in the process with the impact. “What are we to each other?” Godric demanded when they came to a standstill.
“We are allies now, my friend, best get used to it,” Russell answered with amusement. “Though I warn you, mud fights are far from appealing with our physiques, your Childe, however…”
“You inspire little trust,” Godric accused, ignoring his little quips.
“Good,” Russell grinned. “Then you know what you’re dealing with. I’d say that’s been a weak spot on your part.”
“Do not think to know me,” Godric warned.
“Why not? Is there not truth in it?” he spoke with little interest. “Can we have this conversation some other time? I’d like to dust off my throne before I retrieve my Talbot.”
Godric sighed with a shake of his head, “You think it all so simple.”
“No, I hope for it to be simple, I know it to be far more complex than even beings of our superior knowledge, intellect, and age can grasp, but I allow for hope.”
“How is that not faith?”
“I believe in my own capabilities first, and never bother with another, try it sometime,” he informed matter of fact. “Now if you will excuse me, I have a party to break up. Unless you care to come along?”
“I have my own kingdom to see to.”
“We can see to both,” Russell shrugged. “We’ll be the ancient belles of the ball where everyone scurries away that comes across our paths. Let’s wear matching outfits.”
“How can you joke at a time like this?”
“How can you not?” he grinned while patting away the last of the clumps of dirt. “If I can’t laugh, I am no longer living. Well, as much living as an undead being can do. So, ready to meet your granddaughter?”
Godric nodded and companionably at great speed they flew to Jackson, Mississippi.
“Explain that to me again, Stanislaus,” Nan demanded impatiently with a look of incredulity.
“You’re vampire, woman, not deaf,” he growled, agitated with her use of his full name that he long left behind, and her holier than thou attitude. “I’d talk it through with Northman and we’d offer you the chick. Simple.”
“She is his Bonded!”
“So, it’s not like he cares for anyone he sleeps with,” he shrugged. “I told you I’d deliver, you didn’t demand how, Nan.”
She bristled, tossing the lit match of her cigarette his way, disappointed that it already extinguished by the time it reached him. “How you came to the throne is a still a mystery to me.”
“I had an opportunity, I took it.”
“Which was pretty much your plan for handing over the telepath.”
He stretched idly on his sofa, briefly noting the strange bite mark on his nipple from the night before. “Pretty much,” he agreed with little apology. “This is Texas, baby, we work with what we got. We’re rogues.”
“Good luck with that,” she dismissed as if he were a mere child, which in her mind was far too generous description at that. “So the commandos with the guns, they’re not yours.”
“To take out half my retinue in the process? I’m not that dumb. I thought they were yours,” he spoke with little interest before swallowing the ball of spit he had tossed into the air, causing Nan to scrunch up her face in disgust. “Why do you care? You’re rid of an enemy with those sun worshippers, I’m the one who lost my men.”
“Your actions in eliminating Newlin Sr. are the reason they became a threat in the first place,” Nan spoke pointedly before sucking harshly on her cigarette causing it to nearly succumb to ashes with the vigorous pull.
“Oops?” he offered with no apology whatsoever.
She stood to move before informing, “I have some calls to make.”
“Go right ahead,” he replied with disinterest, ignoring her implied request that he leave the room. She cleared her throat which he ignored as well, a second effort remained fruitless and with a huff she moved to the hallway while Stan pondered whether or not to take a nap. Or to see if one of the women in his bed had roused already, unable to make up his mind, instead he continued to lay there incidentally listening in on the conversation out in the hallway with little interest.
“We’re leaving,” Nan announced upon her return.
“Bye!” he spoke with a little too much excitement.
“That includes you,” she informed with a derisive gesture for him to get moving before tossing a shirt to his face.
“I’m not leaving my post. Especially not with the sun still out,” he protested after shoving the shirt aside and letting it drop to the floor. “Our deal is done, you didn’t get your telepath, and you reached the Northman and his friends.”
“This is Texas, baby,” she imitated poorly. “Get the fuck in the van.”
“Pumpkin!” Russell greeted with glee when he entered the immaculate throne room where Pam had taken position on the matching throne, his crown sitting waiting on his seat. She stood to greet him with the same excitement till she saw the small, linen-clad vampire emerge from behind him and stiffened. “Meet your grandpappy!”
With a healthy swallowing of pride, she moved from the dais and bowed respectfully to her Grandsire in accordance with their ancient laws.
“Please rise my child,” Godric beseeched, not wishing to stand witness to the forced subservience a moment longer. “You have certainly done your Maker and King proud.”
“Thank you,” she returned carefully, not quite sure what to make of him. Eric assured her the worst of his ideals had evaporated, but she didn’t dare trust in that. Related by blood or not, this was the one who sought to take her Maker away from her after all, creating these chaotic circumstances they now found themselves in.
“I never doubted you for a minute, Peaches,” Russell doted while pinching her cheeks to a rosy pink. “Now tell me what you’ve done with the place.”
“Well, there may or not have been a few convenient casualties of war,” she grinned with an exaggerated wink.
“Oh darling! You really do know how to clean house,” he cackled as she listed the traitorous vampires who had aided Isabel along with a few others. “Our beloved usurper?”
“Saved her just for you,” Pam smiled demurely before displaying a dedicated Pinterest board on her phone. “But I have lots of ideas,” she explained, showing pretty feminine patterns for embroidery works alongside gory pictures of torture devices. With a questioning grin from Russell she answered, “I had a lot of time on my hands while the wolves were taking everyone out.”
Godric gave a disapproving noise at the sight of her plans and the two vampires’ delight in the proceedings. “I think Isabel should be mine to discipline,” he interjected. “She was my second in command. She betrayed me first.”
“But-” Pam pouted.
“He’s right, Pammikins. She’s his to deal with. Want to take her to New Orleans with us?”
Godric shook his head, “No, but I should like to speak to her before we depart.”
“You’re leaving already?” Pam asked with disappointment after Russell sent Godric towards the dungeons.
“Busy times, doll,” he offered apologetically. “If all goes well, my Talbot will be with me by sunrise. I leave my kingdom in your capable hands once more. Now show me that scrapbook thingy again.”
“So it has worked, she is coming to full capacity?”
“Yes, sir,” she nodded alongside Hugo who preened with the accomplishments.
“You did well, Cecily,” the Elder acknowledged. “You proved yourself to your kind.”
“Of course,” she answered succinctly.
“You do not seem happy about this,” he ascertained with a light tap of his fingertips. “This was your proposal, you saw the threats, and we acted. Should we have brought her here instead?”
“I just worry,” Cecily admitted with a small sigh. “I forgot what it is like to be that young.”
“You fear your former Maker and his Childe are not up to their task? You assured us this would be the case!”
She shifted nervously on her feet, a strange sensation now after being unable to properly feel the ground beneath her for eons. “I worry for her. That is all.”
“Claudine was right then,” he spoke thoughtfully. “You indeed grew too attached to Sookie, she was right to recommend you leave her side.”
She corrected her nervous posture, standing proud in front of the man of authority. Her fired eyes burning bright, “No, Claudine was wrong; I should have seen her through her transition. She should know what is to be asked of her. If not me, send someone else, send Hugo for all I care. Just find someone to help her through.”
“We cannot afford that risk anymore,” the Elder dismissed. “She is our secret and needs to remain just that. Too many know of her already.”
“I think you’re making a mistake,” Cecily spoke in defiance while Hugo’s hand nervously came to rest on hers in an effort to stop her from speaking out of turn.
The Elder eyed her with warning before emitting a composed breath. “Time will tell then. For now you have done well and you return as you were.”
A/N: Thanks to msbuffy for cleaning up my messes again.
Yes, I’m well aware… lots of things going on, more questions… poor Sookie, what game has Cecily been playing… at least Pam is having fun with Pinterest… now I did the writer thing, you guys do the reader comment thingy… eh… thoughts?