January 28, 2004
“But I’ve never been on a plane before.”
“I know, that’s why we’re flying at night, and it’s a private plane.” He said his next sentence while waggling his eyebrows. “The back of the plane has a bed.”
She giggled. “Do you think that’s going to distract me?”
“I most certainly do. Now, let’s get to Fangtasia, so I can finish work and we can leave.”
They were in the car on their way to the bar when Eric asked about homework. “Are you all caught up, or will you need to work while we’re there?”
“I do have homework to do. I’ll do the work during the day so it won’t cut into our time.”
“You can do it at the pool; since there’s network connectivity in the pool room. I’ll be sure to set it up before I die today.” She glared at him. “Rest, I meant rest.”
Pam greeted them at the office door to Fangtasia. “Well, you must be eager to get out of town; you haven’t been this early for a while.”
“Nice to see you too, Pam.”
“Come crumb cake, I want to catch up.”
“Where are you taking her?”
“Hmm, I guess nowhere. You should leave the office, it’s soundproof and we can gossip without you here.” He glared at her. “You’re getting her to yourself until Tuesday night. I need my BFF. Even though I saw her the other night, we had the Longshadow mess. I haven’t had girl time for days!”
He appeared annoyed but the truth was he liked that Pam had Sookie, so he gave them this time. “Fine. But I will be back in to complete my paperwork in 30 minutes.”
“That’s plenty of time.”
He kissed Sookie on the nose and left the office. The door hadn’t even closed completely when Pam turned to Sookie and said. “Dish!”
“What do you mean, Pam?” They moved to the couch.
“You aren’t a virgin anymore, are you?”
“PAM! That’s kinda private.”
“Not between Best Friends.” She watched Sookie’s face relax a bit so she pressed. “He was gentle, right?”
“Yes Pam, I did that thing you told me and he was calmer.”
“That THING is a blow job Sookie.”
“Yeah a blow job.”
“Did you enjoy yourself and I mean, did you cum?”
“Blunt much?” Sookie made a face like she was offended, but she just started giggling. “Yes, he’s very talented.”
“I told you about that talent months ago, you just chose to ignore me.”
“Pam, do you honestly think I would have enjoyed it months ago?”
“Oh, you humans and your brains, making much ado about nothing. So, did you exchange again?”
“Yes, but not until Wednesday, since I needed to heal without blood. Then we had fun in the tub, most of the water was on the floor by the time we got out.”
“Oh, those are the best baths. So let’s talk about some more tricks you can use on your trip this weekend. First . . .” Pam continued to educate a wide-eyed and blushing Sookie until Eric returned to the room. The giggles from the couch and the two of them looking at the PC together were cause for concern, but like the last time he caught them giggling over the laptop, Pam had a butterfly picture on display when he looked. “I’ll just go and work the door. Sookie, you have homework to do.”
“We really have to fly?”
“It’s a one hour flight, and I want to take you many other places that will require flying. This is a great introduction. I’ll be with you the entire time. You don’t need to be afraid; I can break out the door and fly us to safety if anything happens.”
“Are we really going to be alone in there?”
“Yes, there is a flight staff that will remain in the front cabin after we have reached a cruising altitude, we’ll be able to have fun.” He said as he waggled his eyebrows.
“Yes, well I was more concerned about appearances. I mean, I want to be able to be close to you and not worry about vampire politics.”
“That’s not a problem, and even if we were flying with the Queen, I would be ok with comforting you for the flight.”
“That’s good to know.” She took a deep breath. “I can do this.” She said, trying to convince herself.
While they waited for the plane to be ready, they chatted about the training she had started with Potts. Sookie explained that after just a few days she felt more confident about herself. She never realized how naïve she was about her safety. Potts’ instructions on awareness as basic self defense had opened her eyes. She was happy that Eric thought enough of her to arrange for her to learn rather than ignore that she was able to participate in her own safety.
Soon, they were belted into their seats and the plane was backing away from the building. The take off was surprising for Sookie, she hadn’t expected the speed, but it wasn’t too bad and soon the flight attendant announced she would be in the front cabin if she was needed. Remembering Pam’s advice, Sookie told Eric she was exploring and moved to the back of the plane where the bedroom was. When she got to the door she called Eric “I thought you wanted to distract me?”
He ran to the back. “You didn’t say THIS is where you were headed.”
“Just get in here and relax me.”
Mr. Northman, welcome to Dallas. I hope you and Miss Stackhouse enjoy your stay.” They’d barely made it to their seats for landing and Sookie was still fixing her hair as they said goodbye to the flight staff.
“Thank you. We will see you for the return flight on Tuesday?”
They left the plane and settled into the waiting limo. “Godric! This is a surprise.” She reached to give him a hug that he welcomed.
“Hello Sookie. You remember Theresa.”
“Of course, how are you? Isn’t it pretty late for you?” She asked of Theresa remembering that she did not keep full vampire hours due to her nursing position.
“I am well. I stayed up to say hi and see you to the house.”
Eric finally spoke. “Yes, we are staying at one of Godric’s houses in Dallas.”
“Oh, thank you Godric.”
“My pleasure Sookie. I hope you like it. Eric and I spoke and he felt the house with the indoor pool would be best.”
“I’m just happy to be away from everyone.”
“Sookie we won’t be aware from everyone. You won’t see them, but there are guards on the property for our protection.” Eric saw her deflate a bit. “Min kära, we’ve spoken about this, guards are part of our lives.”
“I know.” He kissed her forehead and she turned back to Godric. “Will we be seeing you again while we’re here?”
“Just when you are leaving. Theresa wants to see you off since she will be moving on shortly and will likely not see you again.”
“I’m 39 Sookie, it’s a long shot, but I want to have a child and Godric has found a doctor to help me.”
“But you don’t want to stay here and raise the child?”
“Sookie, why don’t we talk tomorrow afternoon? You can call me when you are awake.”
A long house came into view as they pulled into a driveway. “Here we are.”
“Godric, it’s beautiful.”
“I’m sure you will enjoy your stay. The kitchen has been stocked with simple ingredients and prepared meals so you only need to heat up anything. Eric picked the foods.” She smiled up at Eric.
“Well, my dear, enjoy your getaway and we will be back to pick you up Tuesday just after first dark.”
Eric picked her up bridal style and carried her into the house. “Alone at last.”
She giggled at his actions. “We’ve been alone at home.”
“Not with an indoor pool, not for this many hours in a row; I’m taking full advantage. Take off your clothes.”
“Should I even bother telling you that our bags are still on the front porch?”
“There’s nothing in there that you need.”
“You told me to buy a skimpy something for the pool.”
“Hmmm, that you need, so I can rip it off of you.”
“I have some other things in there that I think you want.” He grumbled but put her down and went to grab the bags. “Show me where the bedroom is, I’m going to change.”
“Is it going to be worth it? You could have been naked already, and it’s getting close to dawn.”
“You have 3 hours before dawn and you know you stay awake longer than that.” She started waving her hands trying to guess at the direction of the bedroom. “Come on, show me to the bedroom and I’ll be ready all the faster.”
They made it to the bedroom and she instructed him to wait on the bed with his clothes on. He raised an eyebrow at her request but complied. She came out of the bathroom in a blue silk and lace babydoll and Eric grew hard. He wanted to rip it off but she put her hand up to stop him as he started to get off the bed. “Uh uh, stay put.” She walked to the bed and started unbuttoning his shirt. “I’m undressing you tonight and you will comply. You ripped my nightgown off last night and you are not ripping this one off.” He growled but stayed in position. Sookie in control was hot. His belt was unbuckled next, then his button and zipper were undone. When she freed him from his jeans, he popped out hard and ready for her. She smirked, enjoying that she had that effect on him. “Lift.” She said as she tugged on the waist of his jeans. Now he only had his shirt and she tugged on his arms to pull him up to sitting so she could pull it off. “There, much better and not a button lost its life in the process.” He chuckled at her. Then he reached his arms up to pull on the macramé straps of her gown and she slapped his hands away. “I told you to stay put.” Retaking control, she grasped the hem of her babydoll in her hands and lifted and pulled the garment off receiving a growl of approval from Eric. She straddled him and leaned down to kiss his face and chest, and eventually his mouth; devouring his taste. “Eric. I want you.” She whispered into his ear, her tongue flicking his lobe. Kneeling upright again, she moved to take his length in her hands and rubbed him through her wet slit. Once he was coated she guided him and he plunged while she lowered herself. They continued their rhythm until he repositioned himself back to sitting up so he could suckle her breasts. With the extra attention, Sookie came yelling Eric’s name. Eric showed no signs of stopping though. He continued his thrusts and repositioned Sookie under him and sped up. To deepen his penetration, he moved one leg up over his hip and shifted his angle. Sookie let out a moan of pleasure with each thrust. She could feel all of him as he moved in and out and she built to another release. “Harder.” She ordered and he complied, sending her over the edge in just a few thrusts and her orgasm spurred his. He collapsed on top of her and when he went to move from her, she kept him there.
“Sookie, I’ll suffocate you.”
“Just stay for a moment, I like this feeling.” His arms moved to cage her beneath him and take more weight so she could still feel him, but not be crushed. “I love feeling so protected Eric.”
“I’ll always protect you, Sookie.” He started a soft kissing campaign to her face and she felt loved and safe.
“I know. I’m grateful for that.”
“I’ll show you.”
Sookie woke at about 2PM, surprised that she had slept so long. She looked at Eric, resting beside her and said. “You wore me out last night.” She giggled, “I hope you want to do that again.”
After eating her lunch, she called Theresa and arranged for her to come over for a while. They had just settled into their seats when Sookie burst out her questions. “Theresa, what’s going on?”
“I didn’t want to talk in front of Eric because I know he regrets what happened, and you know I have forgiven him, since I told you that in December. I want to have some of the life I had always wanted. That includes a baby.”
“But what about Godric, why not raise the child with him?”
“He wants that, but Sookie, I need to put this behind me. Sookie, I’ve been with a vampire for 17 years. I’m ready for regular bedtime, eating dinner with my housemates, and other human stuff. I’ve got a friend, she’s single and willing to move in with me and stay even if I do get pregnant. I don’t want to depend on a man for anything. It’s taken a long time for the programming to go away.”
“Wow. If this is what you want, then I’m happy for you.”
“Godric and I will still be friends, but this is really more about my being healed and ready to move on. That was Godric’s goal all along, so he really is supporting this.”
“Poor Godric. He’ll be so alone.”
“Sookie, Godric cared for me, and we enjoyed each other, but I wasn’t the love of his life.”
“Oh, who was his love?”
“You’ll need to ask him someday. But just know, he will be fine.”
She nodded then her face changed to curiosity as she caught her “Can I ask you a question?”
“How did you come to forgive Eric?”
She sighed. “Godric had long ago explained to me why Eric did what he did.” Sookie’s ears perked up. This was something really wanted to know. “But those reasons are secret. I saw your interest, but I can’t share it with you.”
“I was already on my way to forgive him, since some of what happened was, hmm I can’t say it was Godric’s fault, but he did have something to do with it. Anyway, Eric called me; I guess it was early November of last year. In all these years he tried to make amends with gifts. Impersonal items, with standard notes, or even notes Pam wrote. I knew it was different in November, HE was different. It was him talking to me and I knew he was truly sorry about what happened. You and I both know he’s done and still does things we wouldn’t do, but he punishes those that deserve it or his actions were related to his survival. He knows the difference between those actions and what he did to me, and he regrets it. Sookie, honestly I believed him, I mean, I really do believe him.”
“I’m glad for both of you then.”
They continued to talk about Theresa’s plans. Sookie thought she was incredibly brave, knowing what she wanted and trying so late in life for a baby. She made a good living as a nurse and Godric was paying for the fertility doctor and her house, so she was certainly able to handle the financial needs. Sookie hoped Theresa would be able to have a baby, at 39 she didn’t have too much time to keep trying, but she was sure that Godric would be paying for the best doctors. When she left, Sookie felt a twinge of sadness. Since they planned to stay in touch, the sadness wasn’t about Theresa leaving Godric, so she dissected it. In the end, she believed the twinge was about her strength in her decision. Wanting a child so badly spurred her to give up the comfort of Godric and his home to the unknown of an infant and single parenthood. Could Sookie have been lying to herself about wanting a child? No matter now, she was with Eric and it was never going to be a possibility.
Eric rose to an empty bedroom, but he realized Theresa had come over for a visit as they had planned. He heard the end of their conversation, some pieces of Theresa leaving Godric and choosing to have a baby. He also felt the sadness in Sookie as she left. He wondered if Sookie really did want children and she had even convinced herself that she didn’t. Perhaps they could explore adoption or insemination if she really wanted a child. He shook himself out of his thoughts, he was excited about his plans for their evening, and he took a fast shower so she could have the bathroom to get ready. A naked Sookie greeted him when he was just stepping out of the shower and he wanted to go back in with her, but he had plans. When he told her to get her shower and get ready, she pouted. Laughing at her, he promised he had plans that she would be pleased with and that she should just comply. A dress was hung on the back of the bathroom door with the appropriate accessories. “This is for you, Sookie. I would be very pleased if you would wear it when you come downstairs.”
“I hadn’t expected to dress up.”
“It’s all part of the surprise. I’ll be waiting for you downstairs.”
Sookie showered and shaved herself smooth as quickly as she could. Now that Eric had supplied something fancy to wear, she would need to spend extra time on her hair and make-up, but she was so excited for the surprise she wanted to get downstairs as soon as she could. The bag was from Saks Fifth Avenue and Sookie could almost see Pam smirking in front of her, purchasing an extremely expensive dress that she knew Sookie would have to wear. Sue Wong was the designer and Sookie held the dress out to admire it. As soon as she saw the one shoulder design, she quickly checked the accessory bag and was relieved to find a very sturdy looking strapless bra. The dress looked vintage and modern at the same time with a lace overlay reminiscent of the 20s. She loved it and dressed hurriedly so she could get downstairs to Eric.
Eric was vamping around the house getting the special dinner planned. He set the table as Pam instructed, including candles and flowers that were delivered with the catered meal. The bedroom door opened upstairs and he moved to the bottom of the staircase to greet Sookie. Pam was going to get a reward for this one. Sookie looked breathtaking in her dress and heels and he held his hand out to her as she took the last two steps. Even after everything they’d done in the past few days he saw her blush start just from his stare he guessed. “You look beautiful min älskade.”
“You look quite handsome yourself.” And he did in his Armani black suit, shirt and tie. “Are we going out?”
“No, come this way.” He led her to the dining room and she gasped. “You really do move quickly for a giant. This is beautiful and I can’t believe you set this up while I showered and dressed. I must take too long to get ready.”
Guiding her to her seat he said. “You don’t take too long, but if these are always the results, then it’s time well spent anyway.” He lifted her plate cover. “I ordered your dinner. I hope you like it.”
“I always enjoy filet. You spoil me by buying it often.” She inhaled. “It all smells wonderful.”
“Then dive in.” Sookie had long since gotten accustomed to eating in front of Eric. He always had a goblet, though now that she was feeding him, he only took sips. Her moans started and so then did the constant adjustment to his pants. They talked of nothing important while she ate and he enjoyed her smiles. Since she was so happy and light now, he was afraid to bring up the sadness she felt when Theresa left. He wanted to enjoy her feelings right now. Soon, just in a few hours in fact, she would be able to enjoy his moods as well. Anger, he decided, he would block though; his Sookie did not need to see that side of him.
When she finished her plate, he removed it to the kitchen and returned with a small chocolate cake which she also ate completely. Now was the time for his plans. He was nervous and he admonished himself for the feeling. ‘1000 years dead and a 24 year old woman has me scared. Get a grip Northman, this is what you planned.’ He rose and then knelt before her, taking her hand. “Sookie. I love you and I want to spend the rest of my days with you – for eternity if you decide that. I’m looking forward to completing our bond, but there is something else. Since human laws don’t permit us to marry in the US, I ask you now to marry me in the vampire tradition. We can be pledged, and in the supernatural world, that would make us husband and wife.” Sookie’s eyes started filling with tears as she understood what was happening. “Sookie, will you be my wife?”
She was smiling widely as she answered. “Yes Eric. I want to be yours in all ways; just as you will be mine.”
He smiled. “Then I want to present you with this ring to signify our engagement and the night of our bonding.” He reached into his pocket. She gasped when he opened the box and put her hands to her mouth. “I chose a yellow diamond Sookie, since you are my sun now. Will you wear it?”
“Oh Eric. It’s too much.”
“Nothing is too much for you.” He slid it on her finger then reached up to wipe the tears from her eyes. “Sookie, I didn’t purchase a white diamond solitaire since I hope someday that US laws will change and we can marry and follow your human traditions.” She started to sob a bit more. “Don’t cry min kära, please don’t.”
She took a breath so she could speak. “I’m not sad or disappointed that it’s not a white diamond, I mean, this ring is gorgeous. Even if we do have a human wedding, I never want another engagement ring. This is perfect.” She took a deep breath to regain some composure. “I just never thought I would date or find love Eric. Never. I’m, I’m just overwhelmed.” She looked up at him and smiled through her tears. “Overwhelmed but happy.” She leaned over to kiss Eric while he still knelt before her. The kiss grew and he reached to lift her while he stood. “Take me to bed Eric and we can finish our bond.”
With Sookie in his arms, Eric flew upstairs and into the bedroom. Sookie stood before him a bit nervous. “What has you nervous? Are you having second thoughts?”
“No, none. I um, do we do this before, during or after?”
“The bond?” She nodded her head. “We can do it however we want. I would prefer to do it just as you cum my beauty.” Her blush was just as he expected, but she did answer with a quiet OK. With that settled, he started on her dress. “You know, this dress is spot clean only.” She rolled her eyes, knowing what was coming. Then she heard the rip. “30 seconds is too long to get to you.”
“I’m jealous I don’t have the strength to rip that suit off of you.”
“I can undress too quickly.” Sure enough, he was in front of her out of his clothes while hungrily gazing at her in her strapless bra and panties. “Say goodbye to that gorgeous lingerie.” She squealed but ran, deciding to make it a game. Vampire speed and those long legs ensured he would catch her, but at first he moved after her at a regular human speed. She giggled as she rounded the bed, ran into the hall, and down the stairs, all while Eric gave chase. He caught her in the kitchen and she pretended to fight his hold while he carried her back. She bounced when he tossed her to the bed and he crawled up towards her. The game was too fun, so Sookie tried to crawl away from him, but he caught her ankle and pulled her back. “Oh no, little girl, I caught you, fair and square.”
“Whatcha gonna do to me.” She asked and bit her lip.
“You’ll see.” Then he ripped the bra and panties she’d been trying to save. The chase had been in fun but it excited him very much and he wanted her. He could smell how much she wanted him as well. “First, I want to taste you.” He moaned at her taste when he landed between her legs and started to bring her to her first orgasm. It didn’t take long given how worked up they both were. Before he moved up her body, he reached to the nightstand and dagger with a jeweled handle out of the drawer. When he noticed that Sookie looked at it warily, he explained. “It’s for the bond. It’s just a little bigger than the one we used before.” She relaxed below him and he positioned himself between her legs.
Eric wanted to savor their bonding so he started slowly, kissing and caressing. Sookie was getting worked up below him, but he didn’t speed up his attentions until finally she begged. “Eric, please.”
“What my love?”
“I want you.”
“But you ran from me. How can I be sure?”
“I know damn well you can tell how much I want you.” She moved her hand to her lower lips so he could feel her want. “I’m more than ready, so fuck me.”
“Language Sookie. A proper lady should not speak like that.”
“Stop talking and get busy.”
He just chuckled but pushed into her just the same. “Like this?”
“Yes, more, harder, faster.”
He had been moving at a very slow pace, but worked himself up in response to her pleas for more speed. They moved in sync and he lifted himself just enough to enjoy to mottled blush on her chest. He knew he would never enjoy another woman again. When he felt she was close he pulled her up while he knelt back on his heels and made a gash in his neck with the dagger. “Drink Sookie.” He ordered, and she did. Once she was latched on, he bit into her neck and drank. The effect was immediate. What he had felt before, the connection to Sookie was but a trickle compared to the breadth of the bond that opened between them. Sookie felt it too and gasped in shock. She could feel his surprise at the bond, his lust and mostly his love. They both came seconds later and fell to the bed in a heap.
He wasn’t surprised to hear her crying. Gods knew he was overwhelmed by the feelings and he’d had a preview from the one sided bond. Comfort, he offered her comfort by taking her in his arms and caressing her back while she sorted through the emotions from the bond. “Eric.”
“Yes min kära.”
“You love me. You, you really love me.”
“You were also surprised by the bond. I thought you could already feel me?”
“I could but before it was like a garden hose and now it’s like a fire hose. It’s much more now.”
“Is that OK?”
“Yes, we can also work on blocking the bond. I know, for example, I don’t want you to feel what I feel when I’m in Sheriff mode with my underlings who need judgment and punishment.”
“Eww, I agree there.” She said as she made a face for a second as she thought about it. Then she changed to a puzzled look. “What does min kära mean?
“Just another expression for you; Swedish for my dear.”
“I like it. So how do we send feelings through the bond?” He looked at her. “Lust? You send me horniness after all that?” He waggled his brows and pulled her under him.
“Will you make me some eggs?”
“Will you let me feed you?” They had moved to the kitchen to ‘replenish the human’ as Sookie requested. She giggled but nodded yes. “You giggle at me, silly girl. Feeding can be very erotic.”
“I defer to your judgment.” She turned serious again. “You didn’t answer my question about how to send, you just sent me lust you perv.”
“It’s not that hard, I already feel your emotions, you just need to direct something.” She still looked puzzled. “Now you’re frustrated, so think of me and push it, if you will.” He waited. “That’s it, I got it. Try other emotions.”
They spent the time he cooked for her sending emotions back and forth. Sookie also noticed she could hear more clearly. “Eric, I can hear more or better I guess?”
“You’ll be stronger too. It’s all side effects of the blood. You already had some of that.”
“I must admit I liked that part – My skin glows.”
“I thought was your love for me.” He placed her plate down and sat with her at the table.
“Maybe it is, but I was glowing a bit back in October after I first had your blood. I can assure you it wasn’t love then.”
He chuckled at her comment. “Agreed.” He reached up and played with a section of curls. “Your hair is brighter too.”
“I know – it grew so much in the past months, and the new growth is brighter. Maybe I should cut all the older hair so that the color is consistent.” She watched his face fall at that comment. “What?”
“Don’t cut your hair, please. I love playing with it.”
“OK.” He’d started to feed her the eggs he had scrambled for her. “So we are really engaged? I mean, what’s the word?”
“We’ll need to consult that dating book . . . the one we never got.” She giggled. “We are engaged to be pledged in my world, why not be engaged for your custom as well?”
“Ok. Tell me about the pledge ceremony.”
“The pledge ceremony itself is very simple. The jeweled dagger we just used?” She nodded. “That is a ceremonial dagger and we will use it for our pledging. It’s from Godric. I asked him to leave it in this house. We can add to the ceremony but the basic requirements are that you hand me that dagger, I kiss it to acknowledge our pledge and use the dagger to cut from our wrists to fill a chalice. We then drink our mixed blood from the chalice. This would need to be done in front of witnesses.”
“Yes, but like I said, we can add to it. Invite your friends and family, have your Gran walk you in, whatever you want.”
They were quiet for a few moments as Eric concentrated on feeding her and she realized he was right about the experience being erotic. Between the looks he was giving her and the feel of the food and fork on her mouth, being fed WAS having an impact. “I’m not going to be able to walk tomorrow at this rate.”
“You should just stay in bed with me all day. Hmmm, or maybe you should lie out in the sun and then snuggle back into bed with me for my wake-up.”
“That sounds like a good plan, as long as it’s sunny.” She took a final sip of her milk. “I’m done here. Can we try out that pool?”
His face beamed. “Now who has the good plan?” Then he thought. “Unless that’s going to cool you down too much.”
“You’ll have to warm me up again.”
“I can do that.”
They headed to the pool and Eric grabbed a float for Sookie.
“Yes min älskade.”
“Can I ask you something about Godric?”
“Are you or were you and Godric lovers? I know that sometimes makers and children have that relationship.”
“We were, and I mean WERE. The last time I was with Godric in that way was 1979, the kick off to the meetings about the Great Reveal. But I spoke to him in December and told him as long as I have you in my life there would be no other lovers for me.”
“Will you miss that?”
He thought for a moment then answered honestly. “No. If you would have asked in 30 years ago if I would have given that up, I would have said never, but with you I don’t need that connection.”
“You’re sure? I don’t want you to have regrets. I’m not saying I would approve of you slee . . .”
“Sookie, I’m sure. You don’t need to spend another moment worrying about this. Godric is no longer in a lover role for me, he is my father and your soon to be father-in-law.”
“I like that.”
They floated for a few minutes before Eric decided to bring up what he thought would be a difficult topic. While it would be hard, he also knew that now he could feel Sookie’s reactions and send her calm and comfort. “Sookie, I want to ask you something.”
“You can ask me anything. You know that.”
He touched her face to get her to focus on his words. “Sookie, when you were sick with fever, you cried out some things that I don’t think you were making up from delirium.”
Her eyes widened the closed tightly. She simply asked. “Bartlett or my mother?”
“Both.” She slid off the float to turn away from his gaze. When he reached for her, he felt her stiffen, but he continued. “Sookie. What did your Uncle Bartlett do to you?” To gain some space, some privacy, she started to move away from him, but he would not have it. “Sookie please, I can feel your pain and now shame. Share this with me; let me help you move on.” He sent her waves of calm and love.
Tears started to fall from her cheeks and she looked down. He wanted her to turn and face him, but he realized if he had any hope of her sharing, she needed this tiny bit of space. Finally, she spoke. “He molested me.”
It was as Eric suspected and his anger threatened to spill from his very being. “And you were 7 or even younger?” He moved to wrap his arms around her again but she shrugged him off.
“I was 5 when it started and it didn’t stop until my Gran did something when I was 7.”
“Why did it take 2 years for it to stop?”
“That would be part of the problems with my mother. She thought I said things about Bartlett to get attention. She also said I lied about hearing voices to get attention too. She would punish me for both.” She said with bitterness. “My father was away working too much and she told me not to tell him or she would hurt me.” The tears started. “He never raped me, well, you know. But he did rape my older cousin. I heard it from his head. I could hear…” She gasped for breath. “I could hear what he planned for me before he did it. Sometimes that was the worst part.” She broke down for a few moments and finally accepted the comfort of Eric’s arms and the soothing emotions he sent her. When she recovered she continued. “Shortly after we moved in with Gran, she announced he was coming over for a visit and I ran to hide. She found me in her closet and when I explained what happened she believed me. Eric, she really believed me.” That started another crying jag and he was almost overcome with the emotions rolling through the bond. “When he arrived, she ran him off the property with her gun and told him never to come back. Jason was screaming trying to understand what happened. He was only 9, so we didn’t tell him. Gran tried to get me help, spending precious dollars on therapists who really couldn’t help.” He’d picked her up and moved out of the pool to get her warm and clean her face.
“Why wouldn’t therapy help?”
“When you can hear that your therapist is worried about the run in her stockings or her grocery list, it really doesn’t help much.”
He hadn’t thought of that. “Your childhood wasn’t easy. Your mother was an ass. Then you didn’t date as a teen. The idiots of Bon Temps treated you poorly. As a young adult you worked to provide for your Gran. And most recently, you rescue your brother from an evil vampire.”
She cut him off from where he was headed. “And I fell in love. Stop. I am not my past. I don’t live it every day. I don’t want pity about this Eric. I mean it. Take us for example. I hated you – I mean HATED YOU and I wallowed in my depression at the situation at first. With your and Pam’s help, I started to see little things to be happy about and gradually found more to be happy about than be sad. I don’t try to make myself happy about Bartlett or my mother, but I try to compartmentalize it as something in my past that I can’t let dictate my life. So I repeat, I don’t want your pity for this or for my life.”
They were settled on a chaise beside the pool, Sookie wrapped in a towel. Eric just held her for a long time as they both thought about what was said. Finally he spoke. “Does he live?”
“I don’t want your revenge either.” She looked down at their hands while she played with his fingers: A distraction from the uncomfortable conversation.
“I don’t know if I can let it go, Sookie.”
She sighed. “He’s an old man, crippled according to Jason. There is nothing to be gained. Death might be a relief.”
“Why would Jason know of his condition? Why was he never told?”
“As I said he was 9, so we didn’t tell him. Then when he was older, it was just my wish that he not know. I was . . . I was ashamed.”
“I felt that months ago you know, when I asked you about dating and your prior experiences. I felt the shame and I didn’t understand it then, just like I don’t understand it now. It is this Bartlett that should feel shame.”
“I can’t explain it, I just feel it. Like I could have prevented it; maybe helped my cousin Hadley.”
They were both quiet for a while before Eric finally spoke. “I want to rip your Uncle limb from limb, but I will refrain for now and think about it before I act.”
“I guess that’s the best I’ll get, huh?” He nodded.
“Where is your cousin now? Somehow my investigators never found her when researching your family.”
“That’s because she is lost to us. We have no idea where she is. She ran off after stealing money from Gran. It breaks my heart that her Mama, my Aunt Linda, had no idea where she was when she died.”
Sookie sat quietly again for a few minutes until she started to get chilled from the cold towel. “Can we warm up in a bath?”
“Sure, we should get to the light tight room as it’s getting close to dawn anyway.” He stood and walked with Sookie to the bedroom. “Thank you for trusting me, for sharing this with me.”
“I’m sorry I’m broken. Guess this is the baggage we talked about in November.”
“You are not broken; I told you before you are perfect.” He kissed her nose and she smiled. “I was right then, and I’m still right now. I always am.” She laughed at his arrogance.
A short while later they settled into bed for the day after their bath. “I will see you tonight, wearing nothing but the sun on my skin.”
He groaned at the thought. “You make me wish I could dream.”
“I’ll dream for both of us.”