“I’m sorry,” Godric tried again.
“It’s not good enough,” Eric spoke on her behalf, paining him to have to utter such words to his Maker, but believing them regardless feeling as strongly as she. Her hand squeezed his in a gesture of appreciation. “We will talk of this tomorrow,” he informed sensing the fatigue from the emotional drain on her. Godric nodded with resignation while Sookie asked after the care of Ness during the day.
“Talbot’s gift is to remain awake during the day. The sun, however, remains his enemy,” Godric explained. “He might need some help cooking.”
“Ok,” Sookie whispered, not wishing to take the complicated situation out on the sensitive girl who was already greatly confused by it all. “I’ll help.”
Godric’s eyes warmed at hearing that causing them all to understand there was more to those words than they knew. “Thank you.”
“It’s not fair to her,” Sookie tried to explain her reasoning to clarify she was in no way doing it for him. “You’ve been unfair to us all.”
“I had my reasons,” Godric spoke softly but Sookie had already turned her back on him, Eric trailing behind her cautiously. Her taught manners had been lost somewhere in the evening as she forgot to bid him goodnight.
She sat staring emptily as Eric changed in front of her, remaining in the same position till he returned from the shower. Her face scrunched up with the sudden sight of him. “You’re wet,” she observed as if it were a revelation. He crouched in front of her, taking her cheeks in his palms.
“I love you,” he whispered before kissing her forehead hoping to convince her what he felt was real, that whatever was revealed didn’t make it suddenly a lie. Eric had long since stopped pretending and he refused to allow her to believe it to be false. She looked up at him in surprise, kissing the bottom of his chin softly before pulling him behind her in the bed, the towel lost to the floor. She surrounded herself with his arms, the only sanctuary she could find in this newfound cold and hard landscape.
“No, you don’t,” she whispered to the pillow by her head. “We’re right back where we started, a sham of a couple. A sham we shall remain.”
“I didn’t understand it before,” Eric spoke carefully, the tip of his nose caressing the back of her neck. He knew better, the bond knew better, and, subconsciously, she knew better. Her mind simply needed to play catch-up.”I do now.”
“Godric?” she whispered clenching her lids closed, trying desperately to hold back the tears while experiencing the pain her rejecting words were causing him. It scared her that he wasn’t mad from hearing them, that he didn’t confront her. That maybe, what she had so carelessly spoken, was actually true. That with all her callous actions she had made the words spoken come true and scared even him away.
“No,” he replied caressing the skin that was as sensitised as she was right now. “That is something I care the least for right now.”
“He’s your maker.”
“We’re the same,” he tried to explain.
“You and Godric?”
“NO!” he growled out with impatience, turning her round so she would face him. “You and I, we’re the same.”
The force of their shared bond assaulted her while his eyes bored into hers and implored as much as he was saying. It was cruel, he knew it, and so did she, to confront her when she was already so drained emotionally by the night’s events, but he hurt, so, in turn, would she. It was, after all, the nature of their bond, ricocheting like a cruel pendulum between them.
“We’re broken,” she whispered with a startle. Despite the harsh image of that, it brought her great comfort and so, in turn, to him.
Eric hummed his agreement before seeking her lips, pausing to kiss the corner of her mouth, only to travel further to make the tears that were beginning to fall go away. Her fingers found the short hairs in the nape of his neck begging him to let up so she could see him, to speak the words that she now understood, and to refuse to allow a mythical bond to speak for her.
“You feel whole with me.” He nodded while she clasped his cheek not wishing for him to speak just yet, it was her turn. “You feel what I feel; manipulated, forced, orchestrated by invisible forces. Despite all that, you feel whole with me.”
She kissed him softly with the sighting of recognition while his body covered hers. “And that made it worth it to you,” she stated when wrapping her arms and legs around his naked body, hugging him tightly.
“Yes,” he whispered into her neck while returning the embrace, finding a warmth he never dared hope for moments ago. Thankful that she understood and dare he hope, feel the same. Her thoughts were following but her emotions as experienced through the bond were already there.
“What’s between us, it’s the only thing that’s real,” she spoke loudly breaking the exchange of whispers with the stark reality. Somehow it wasn’t so scary anymore. She looked up, high, where he now always seemed to be, her eyes were glossy, but never seemed more alive with the sparkle that wetness brought them in the dim light, fingertips traced the contours of his face as his body nestled into hers. The weight of him on top of her felt right. The fact that he was naked and she was not felt right.
It felt right.
“I love you,” was spoken with tenderness, before adding with a giggle, “too.”
“You understand now?” he beamed.
“I do,” she smiled with wet tears where that foreign feeling found the words she lacked to express. “We found something real.”
“I found you,” he emphasised, to make clear that it had been his choice no matter what his Maker would reveal to them the next night. “I fell for you and you…”
“Descended like Galatea,” she finished reminding him of one of their first true conversations. “I’ll never be stone again.” She pecked his lips in gratitude. “I’ll never be cold again,” Sookie finished by repeating his words, “I didn’t understand it before, but I do now.”
“You love me?” he demanded with little force, for he only wanted to hear it once more.
“I do,” she smiled brightly. “Make love to me?”
“Happy to oblige,” he grinned finding warm skin under the comfort of her pyjamas and pulling her down to the edge of the bed. His hands soon moved with expert dexterity, despite their size, opening each small button one by one. Every patch of bare skin greeted with a kiss. Impatience made way as soon as he found the elasticated waist of her pants, she squealed with shock when they flew up into the air while he caught her ankles with the sudden movement. Cool lips ghosted down to the inside of her thigh while she giggled with the ticklish feel and mischievous eyes sought out hers when settling her legs over his shoulders.
“Eric!” she screamed moments before a wet tongue made its intent known to taste what lay between her thighs. “Stop!”
He obeyed, begrudgingly, and looked up to ascertain her sudden halt, her chest red with excitement and cheeks flushed with heat, her momentary daze made way to voice her stray thought. Lifting up on her elbows she met his expectant look with a face of worry. “You’ll make things right with Pam?” she whispered with worry. His face turned serious and subsequently he placed her legs back over the bed while he moved his body next to her.
“You hide it well,” he noted while brushing the hairs from her face as they automatically turned to one another. She looked on with confusion so he elaborated, “How much you care, for me, and for Pam.” Sookie looked down, avoiding his adoring gaze, trying to hide that he indeed knew her so well. He allowed it, pulling her into his chest before kissing the crown of her head.
His hand moved between her chest finding the erratic beating of her heart and caressing the thin skin above it softly. Slowly but surely her head moved back to look up at his, expectantly waiting for him to say something she didn’t dare ask. Scared of the answer, he gave it anyway.
“I’m not going anywhere,” he voiced and with her continued look of apprehension added, “I promise.”
“You let go of Pam,” she spoke with a wobble.
“It was time,” he replied with deep sigh, regret marring his features. He had come to some realisations too, where his Maker had distanced himself as much as possible he had done the opposite with Pam, suffocating her in the process. “It has been for a long time. She is right, it’s time she stood on her own. I just wish…”
“It happened under different circumstances,” she finished before pecking his chest. He sounded his agreement while she snuggled closer into him, both content at the contact of their skins.
“As nice as this is-,” Eric stated after a few minutes until he heard the soft snores emitted against his chest. He looked down curiously while she failed to hide her mischief through the bond, in turn he pulled her back up the bed gently tucking her in among soft pillows and crisp white sheets. He hovered his face over hers, admiring her acting skills as she continued her performance. “It’s a shame you know,” he whispered into her ear while his hand moved perilously close to the previously vacated area, fingers tantalising her arousal once more. “I was going to eat you out till there wasn’t a drop left.”
“Eric!” she shrieked out when his cool fingers found heated flesh.
“Faker,” he grinned while she swatted away his hand.
“Your faker,” she whispered imploring the importance of that single word. He didn’t dare utter the word ‘mine’ remembering the trauma it recalled the last time it was spoken. He knew now why, still the word remained locked behind lips despite the permission she appeared to give. “You can say it now.”
“My faker?” he spoke carefully, but she simply shook her head. “My everything?” he hazarded, falling back on the compromise they had made then. Again she shook her head, her blonde hair fanning further around the pillow.
“It’s not so scary anymore,” she offered. “Not when you will say it. You’ll give new meaning to it.”
“Mine,” he spoke finally, without the caution of his previously uttered words.
Her face grew excessively bright, and the sight was contagious as he fell under that same spell and to any observer they would appear like two grinning fools, it would be the least of their worries. “Thank you for loving me, Eric. Especially when I didn’t know how.”
“I guess we both needed to learn eventually,” he noted seriously.
“Only took you a thousand years,” she teased, a thing she soon regretted when he tossed her up in the air and caught her in his arms again. “Put me down, you giant!”
“Never!” he declared while twirling her in the air at near nauseating speeds. “I have you now and I’m never letting go! Say you’re sorry!”
“I’m sorry! I’m sorry,” she shrieked out between bouts of laughter before he finally slowed down and allowed her to catch her breath. She grew more serious then, her arms remained hanging tightly around his neck. “I really am, you know. Sorry.”
“I know,” he replied softly before kissing her tenderly making her forget momentarily all that had happened in the whirl of forty-eight hours. “Remember we’re the same.”
“That we are,” she whispered in return. Mistaking her shivers for the assault of cold air he settled them both back under the covers where she stared into the carefree blue of his eyes. Her fingers traced over his eyebrows wondering where this Eric had been hiding all along, one which she had only found in glimpses while he coaxed her out of her guarded shell, disarming her as he did now.
He moved his body to hers, resuming what they had once started where he sought out the most sensitised spots on her body. Sookie’s hands found his face, imploring him to look up at her for a change. Nervously she stammered out, “Should we exchange blood?”
That’s when she knew for certain that it was a deep love she felt for him, one which had crept in steadily without her aware till it was simply there and she could no longer deny its presence. She knew because he had answered ‘no’.
She shook with grief, with the rejection, scrambling herself up to the headboard, making her body as small as possible, with her head hiding to her knees, unable to understand how he had survived her dismissive behaviour whenever he had offered his love up to her. It hurt.
He pleaded with her, repeating her name through her sobs, holding her closely while she desperately tried to claw out of his grasp.
“Listen,” he commanded when she finally seemed to calm down. Sookie nodded meekly between tears, and only when they settled to even breathes did he continue while his hands soothed her bare back from the unintended ache. “We wait it out, the blood. Then we decide to start again. Not circumstance, not faith, not happenstance, just us.”
“Just us,” she smiled in agreement. “I like that. I like us.”
She woke to an ache from the physical aftermath of emotional turmoil, and the echo of a pain now lost to her. His hair was mussed without the restraint of product, it flopped happily over his face in reminiscence of how carefree they had been after all had been said and done and she wondered if this was what it was like for everyone else; for those without scars to bear to the physical world. Simple, pure and careless fun.
“I love you,” she whispered and saw a small smile appear on the already content face, but he showed no other motions of being awake. She moved the strands on his forehead, left behind a kiss and watched the hair fall back in place. A small movement that gave her comfort, the knowledge that he would be exactly as he was the last time she left him.
He was surprised to find her exactly where he left her, albeit clothed, napping lightly in the same position they had fallen asleep in. “You came back to me,” he whispered when her eyes fluttered lightly to awareness.
“I didn’t want to leave,” she replied huskily before kissing him lightly. “Talbot’s rather helpless in the cooking department,” Sookie informed with a snort while recalling the day spent trying to put out the small fires he created much to little Ness’ amusement. “He’s a mess without his household staff.”
“You like her,” Eric noted with an indulgent smile as he had witnessed the excitement emerge whenever the name of the little girl rolled off her tongue.
“You don’t?” she questioned with accusation.
“We hardly met,” he pointed out.
“She had a twin brother,” Sookie whispered allowing the pain of this loss to come to the forefront, no longer afraid to feel the need to put on a brave face with him so strongly. “He died with their mother, while she was sleeping on Godric’s chest. It’s all she knows.”
He wiped away the tears that came from that pain till his hands stilled with her next revelation. “They named him Eric.”
“I never knew,” he replied while sitting up against the headboard where she settled in his side. Her hand found his and she marvelled how easy the fingers intertwined and found one another. She kissed the union of that before looking up to find his eyes again, a place that brought her instant calm.
“Ness needs a family,” Sookie spoke calmly. “She needs her family.”
“I was thinking more along the lines of Pam,” she jested, causing him to chuckle with the thought of Pam mothering Ness. “I think that’s what Godric was driving us towards. Asshole couldn’t just ask.”
“There’s more at play than us,” Eric pointed out wisely. “But we’re not the answer.”
“Just the medium,” she agreed while tossing him a shirt and some pants with a look that communicated he dress quickly. “He’ll tell us soon enough.”
Sookie raised her voice in the direction of the door instructing the little girl to come in before she dared knock. A wild head of curls peered around the door carefully before bounding in with excitement of being able to roam the halls freely without having to hide all the time. She stopped short in front of Eric’s tall frame where they both looked at each other with curiosity.
“Hi,” she whispered shyly before lifting her arms into the air. “Up?”
He instantly acquiesced and gave a greeting in return as he took in the scent of her. It still baffled him that she smelled so strongly of Godric and the faintly reminiscent smell of her mother, which he had yet to place. It completely overtook his confusion of how a vampire came to father a birthed Fae child. Or two.
“You’re tall,” she observed from her new perspective.
“You’re short,” he countered dryly.
“Like Pappa!” Ness retorted happily.
“Like Pappa,” Eric agreed.
A/N: Thanks to msbuffy for her superb editing skills once more.
See I fixed… well parts of it, Godric will have some explaining to do for all his actions but that will be in the next chapter and give explanation on how Ness and her brother came to be and the motivations for his manoeuvrings.
Updates might be slightly later than usual on account of my work on the TB/SVM Directory that’s in the works. I sent out the next chapters for betaing so depending on how quickly I receive those back it’ll be a few days later than normal up to a week but I have some other offerings ready and waiting for time in between 😉
So you can all breathe again now and tell me what you thought or something like it…
In case you haven’t seen it my new distraction, aka minor side project, Beehl the Constipated Cat from the Ms/Mr Series has come to life in a spin-off of his own. See it here (takes you to the warning page because I’m not taking any responsibility for butthurt feelings)