“They’re handling her like spun glass, bror. We sit and talk in meetings, and nothing gets done.”
She appeared tired, a thing I had failed to notice with all my focus being absorbed by Sookie and her care, and I knew it had nothing to do with the hour of the night.
“Accountability,” I surmised, having been reminded of it by the mute nurse only minutes ago.
“I don’t know what is so special about her or the child she carries, lest not forget I’m the human here who gets told as little as possible, but no one dares to propose anything. Instead they argue whether it’s physical, meta-physical, magic, poison… the list is endless when the solution is so simple.”
I dared take a small sip again from the heavy tumbler while eyeing her sceptically, “Which is?”
I scoffed, preparing to get out of my seat, drinking down the last of the spirit in one large gulp before returning to Sookie. Anger and I had been steady friends for a while now. Isa didn’t know shit.
“I’m serious,” she stated while obstructing my path, pushing harshly against my chest. “I mean it.”
“Go to bed, Isa.”
“She woke up when you got angry, Eric,” my sister reminded. “What harm is there in trying?”
“I suppose you have a theory?” It was a dumb question; Isa had theories from the moment she could babble nonsensically, stringing random thoughts together into a narrative only she ever seemed to understand.
“You’re connected,” she pointed out. “You’re the answer to pulling her back. Screw my medical opinion and the cowards that don’t even dare come near her. You’re allowed to be mad about this. You’re allowed to be mad at her.”
With that something broke. I had been upset, pissed, and enraged for the situation, with Sookie’s nobility and willingness to save everything and everyone, but herself. Never with her. As ever, Isa was right, I was mad and denying it. I was fucking mad at fucking Sookie Stackhouse for fucking leaving me, for leaving her child, and not telling me about it, for dangling a fucking carrot of happiness in front of me, and then taking it away! It boiled over and I tapped into that dark side, that shadow that was cast from the moment I was reborn, this untethered beast that fed off the extremes, bloodthirsty and pounding into the drums of my ears till there was only one way out, startling Isa only for the moment with the intensity as it all expelled with a roar.
It filled the room.
A loud gasp.
She was awake! She was fucking awake!
“Send her away,” he demanded of the woman between us, refusing to come in the receptacle that separated us. She looked at me questioningly, her tongue still firmly lodged in between my legs, the sudden loss of cock from her behind and a foreign language stilling her movements. I glared at him, only for him to glare back.
She nodded, pulling the pile of clothes from the floor and rushing out of the room. Shame lost to her a long time ago, something that couldn’t be said for the either of us. It hung as thick in the air as his unsatisfied cock.
“Are you thinking about him?”
Granted, I thought of my Cousin and Sookie more often than not in these past few weeks. I had, however, initiated this brief moment to kill the standoff between my Maker and me, but also for just one moment not to have to think. Win-win.
He growled the name of my newly Bonded instead.
Repeating that name aloud to him with an implied question mark turned the situation from tense to volatile.
“You’re jealous,” I shouldn’t have laughed at him then, vulnerable as he was. Though I had to, it was preposterous.
Again more growl than word.
My hands cupped his cheeks seeking out his evading eyes, closing the physical distance between us, fearing the emotional one was only growing the longer we were together. I knew then inviting him to bed was a mistake, inviting along an even greater one. I saw that now as I observed the taut features of his face, tense with strain. This wasn’t like him, hiding, especially from me.
“What makes you think another could ever take that place,” I whispered, ignoring the tears that were brimming in the rims of his eyes. They stayed, Kristian never was one to submit to such weakness. Not even with me, this is the closest I would ever be a witness to it. My eyebrow sat in a condemning arch as he scorned me with disbelief, not uttering a word, reminding me all over again why I preferred sexual partners with pussies. They tended to hiss and shriek, but at least they made a sound, anything was better than his silence. “Jason’s fun to buy shoes with. That’s it.”
“That’s it?” he accused in a low whisper. “You feel for him.”
“He feels of Sookie,” I confessed, diverting my own eyes with the shame of having such human attachments. “He’s family.”
“You’re more than that,” I whispered against his lips, his body finally submitting to mine, his weight heavy above me as it came to meet my softer flesh. “You were more before there was ever a drop of blood between us.”
Kristian nodded, I thought I detected relief, but it felt more like a dismissal. He retreated, my bed, empty once more, leaving me with the rank smell of the interloper and her human sweat. She had acted as a barrier between us, and now her absence mocked our inabilities to be just two.
“I should go.”
My head sank with its weight to my upturned knees. So it was time, quicker than I thought it would come. My fault I suppose, instead of asking him what was wrong, or for him to tell me, we had remained silent for too long and I had nothing left to keep him here.
“Ok,” I whispered, not even willing to see him anymore if all he was going to do was say goodbye.
“Why?” he spoke lowly, suddenly beside me again, lifting my chin to meet his impenetrable gaze.
“Why do you let me defeat you?” Kristian probed, our foreheads resting on one another, unsure which was which to necessitate this support.
“Because you’re the only one that can.”
“Fight me, Pam.”
“I don’t want to fight anymore, Kristian. Least of all with you.”
Tears were falling now, mine, brushed away by his thumbs, but through my tightly closed lids I could still scent the ones escaping him.
Cue mistake number three of the night; squeezing in a threesome before visiting Sookie the one night her brother decided he wanted to see her and now stood pounding on my door with urgency. My Maker held me tight, unwilling to let me go. From his grasp or anywhere else, I was no longer sure.
“Don’t leave,” I begged.
“I never leave, Humlebi,” he murmured into my hair.
My eyes found his, “Stay at least.”
It was small, a nod of concession, but the gesture was large, my hands clutched tightly onto him.
“PAM!” Jason roared again with pummeling fists.
“Go,” Kristian urged when I couldn’t find the words to express gratitude or affection, so foreign had it become between us in these past few weeks. A rare smile escaped his tightened lips and my façade cracked lightly in response.
It was part breath, part whisper, but she had spoken my name. It was heard, and it was the most glorious sound to my ears. I operated on pure instinct, the bite was rough and painful, and I couldn’t care. Blood that refused to take before poured down her throat, and I could feel the magic elixir healing her as I urged it to do so. Her excessively white pallor tinged rosy, the sickly sweat departing.
I urged her to continue to drink while she tried to speak again. Yes, I wanted to hear her voice, to hear her speak my name again, not caring for the information locked in her brain. She spluttered against my wrist when I knew she had taken enough, but I wanted more, a human flaw that continued to motivate me into second life. Always reaching for the unattainable, for what wasn’t mine while selfishly refusing to share what was, which so much was. Her body was a known quantity to me now and I needed to possess it all, including the foreign growth inside that was without a doubt wholly mine.
Her eyes grew wide, choking and strangling against the forced blood as it pooled in her mouth. I cursed myself, she had only just woken and my obsessive instincts were now inundating her into lost consciousness again. I stared in shock with the menacing eyes above, finding myself planted firmly on the floor without Sookie in my grasp.
“Go!” Isa commanded with a menace I had not witnessed for a very long time.
I cowered in the corner, observing my very human sister who had thrown me off with ease where Sookie had struggled.
“There you are,” she smiled when the worst of Sookie’s coughing had ceased, gently rubbing her back.
“Isa,” Sookie beamed back. “How’s-”
“The baby is fine. Now let’s make sure you are.”
I was shocked to see her reaching for me, shame overcoming me for inadvertently causing her strain, and endangering our child.
She glared harshly when I refused to come, ignoring my whispered apology and reluctantly I sat beside her where with a contented sigh she rested her head against my shoulder while Isa continued to look her over. My sister grinned knowingly while pulling a few vials of blood and briefly departing from the room.
“Are you still mad at me?” Sookie whispered against my chest and, despite Isa’s earlier proclamations that Eric Northman was no sentimental pussy, rivulets of red were escaping my eyes.
“No,” I whispered sincerely, holding her hand over her stomach with mine, “I’m happy.”
“Took you long enough,” Jason growled as it appeared to be the tone of voice all men would be taking with me tonight.
“Your sister will still be there five minutes from now,” I glared back, sustaining little patience with my foul-tempered Bonded.
“This isn’t about Sookie,” he grit out.
I eyed him carefully, scrutinising every flare of a nostril and crease in his wardrobe. “Change the shirt,” I agreed instantly while taking in the ugly branded t-shirt with skulls and roses and the vulgar display of a mediocre designer’s name plastered all over it. “She’ll hate it.”
“Sook loves this shirt!” he yelled with sudden fluster. “She gave it to me!”
“As a joke,” I countered dryly, remembering the snickers all too well when she bought it.
“Fuck!” he growled while I rolled my eyes, Kristian and he really should just make it their official tongue. Unlike me, it was getting old, fast. “This isn’t about my shirt!”
“What’s that Lassie, has someone fallen down a well?” I queried with a loving pet to the bouncy bunch of hair on his head. He’d probably destroyed another priceless vase or painting. I’d stopped counting after the third one. Jason, however, like a guilt ridden child, continued to fess up each and every time.
Another growl came as a response, predictable.
“I saw that filthy Impurus FUCKER!”
Well that was new. I nearly blinked at that, but then I saw those fuckers all the time.
“No more play dates with Aelia for you,” I chuckled while I beckoned him to follow me down the halls. “Teaching you all those naughty words.”
“For FUCK’S SAKE, PAM,” he hollered, well at least it wasn’t a growl, and, despite his human façade, had me pinned harshly against a wall. Fucking element of surprise. “I FUCKING SAW HIM! FUCKING HELL!”
Fucking hell indeed. Eyes were upon us and an eerie silence befell us. While in the privacy of our own inner sanctum where everyone was family, behaviour like this and displayed by Eric in the past could be excused, but my seemingly human Bonded had just humiliated a Queen in front of her people. It didn’t take me long to act, well ahead of my guards, a perfectly manicured thumb pressed hard, depriving him of oxygen to his already rather empty brain before he crumbled to the rare and exquisite marble slabs of the floor. A flick of my wrist, and Shahbaz picked him and had him over his shoulder. The palace workings continued as if nothing had occurred while I continued a confident stride.
My knees wobbled, weight resting upon them a foreign thing now, while Eric indulgently held me up. The intended destination, the bathroom, now appeared endlessly far away making me regret the insistence that my catheter be removed.
“You’ll be at full strength soon enough,” he offered gently, even though it was apparent Eric was extremely nervous over the entire expedition.
“Do you mind?” I whispered for his sake more than mine, I was sure I would make it to the bathroom on my own eventually but his continued worry was stifling. He heaved a big sigh of relief and had me cradled to him in moments.
“What’s been happening while I was gone?”
“You were never gone,” he answered sternly before setting me down on the lid of the toilet while he set the temperature on the shower. It was strange seeing all his things in what I had considered my bathroom for so long, he had moved in with a clear intent to stay, and I had yet to decide how I felt about that. Everything was all still so new between us, and then there was a baby I had planned without him and I had never found the courage to tell him about.
“I’m sorry I didn’t tell you before,” I whispered while picking at the looms on the plush towel he had placed in my lap. “I wanted to, it just never felt right. I lost one before, I didn’t want to say anything till I knew…”
Eric’s hand came to rest against my stomach, nursing the life inside with more comfort than I ever could.
“You had to be certain,” he acknowledged. “It’s not what made me mad, Sookie, you had your reasons. I don’t like it, but I accept it, but knowing how precarious that life inside you is…” He crouched before me, eyes level, that intense anger coming to the forefront, the one that had connected us and with sheer intensity brought me back. Where from I still wasn’t sure. “Don’t ever do that again,” he seethed. I should have flinched with the intensity at which he spoke, but all I could see was the anguish that motivated it.
“You say you love me, and if you do, know you have to care for yourself first, Sookie, then for our child. I can’t go through that again, I can’t lose you.”
Tears welled, but it didn’t matter, hidden as they were with the damp fog of the hot shower that had started to surround us. His lips brushed against mine carefully, with far too much restraint, the tensile strength of what I had come to understand were weeks of pain that had separated us, pushing that otherwise soft mouth in a hard line.
“I have to tell you something,” I whispered, dreading having to tell him more, however, knowing it would be wrong to withhold this from him. “Someone else knows I’m carrying your child.”
“Yes, Pam told me,” he answered between soft kisses to my neck while hands caressed from top to bottom.
“No, not Pam,” I corrected with a far too violent shake of my head, dizziness setting in momentarily. “It’s Bill, he knows, and he’s alive.”
A/N: Thanks as ever to msbuffy for her superior editing skills.
Right… I’m supposed to be in evil mode…. since you know cliffies… ehm… sorry?
You really thought it was that easy to accept Bill was dead… tut tut, lesson to you all; when Jason has something to say make sure to listen 😉 On the plus side: Sookie’s awake! More on the repercussions of that next time… thoughts welcome as always!