Sookie Stackhouse pressed her back against the door, breathing heavily as tears streamed down her face. She hated herself for what she had done. Just a few moments ago, she had broken up with the only two men – vampires, to be exact – in her life that she had ever dared to fall in love with. But the truth was that she only loved one of them while the other one slowly faded into her past, something like a dream that had started out nice but soon turned into a nightmare. At least she had finally made her peace with her first lover who had betrayed her trust more than she had ever believed to be imaginable. Bill was the vampire king of Louisiana now, and he'd never be anything else to her again.
Yet it was her Viking whom she yearned for with every breath she took – the vampire whose heart she had just broken and ripped apart when he opened his soul to her. She had looked right into his eyes and seen his pain; had not dared to blink while she watched him break like a piece of glass. It had shattered her heart into pieces, as well, although he'd never know it.
He could be a ruthless killer at times; at least he finished off his prey quickly, without cruelty. She, however, had embedded her poisoned arrow deep inside his heart, and it would eat him up slowly, destroying everything that had been human in him. He might never trust again, never more feel love. Still, she felt angry. She wanted to shake him, shout at him, ask him why he'd believed her so easily after all they'd shared; how he could have listened to her lies and think that she didn't love couldn't she?
Eric. He was a part of her now, and she loved him more than her own life. This was exactly why she had to let him go, before he tried to save her once again. When she had seen him kneel down on the wet ground before the Moon Goddess Emporium, trading his immortal life for hers, something had cracked inside her, and she had instantly known what to do. A thousand years of love and pain, good and evil. So many memories. She could not, would not allow him to die in order to protect her. Her days were numbered anyway.
Eventually, a vampire would find and drain her. The scent of her fairy blood was too seductive, and they would follow her to wherever she fled. Russell Edgington had been right when he had predicted that some vampire would find her some day and know about her fairy blood. She would be drained without hesitation. It was a fact. She'd better get used to the thought that her life wouldn't last as long as she had once expected. As a consequence of being a vampire bait, she most likely wouldn't be around long enough to watch her grandchildren play on the front porch of her little house.
But they would not kill her Viking. She knew that since he had given his heart to her, he'd do anything to protect what was his. But despite his strength and cleverness, he would end up dead – finally dead this time – along with her. While her fate was something she could accept and learn to live with it, his wasn't. She wouldn't allow him to sacrifice himself for her.
So she had stepped away from Eric – lying to him, betraying the love they had shared for that short, bittersweet moment in time. Wiping away the tears from her cheeks, she began to run towards the cemetery, to the relative safety of her house where nobody would watch her as she broke down crying. As she had expected, Eric did not follow her this time. Reaching the front porch, she raced up the stairs and entered. Only after slamming the door shut behind her, locking it twice, she finally gave in to the pain that tortured her, threatening to rip her apart. She knelt down on the same rug they had made love on only a few nights before, burying her face in her hands as grief washed over her.
Alone. She was truly alone now.
It had almost grown dark when she awoke in her bed. At some time during the day she had managed to drag herself up the stairs and fall into a deep sleep, burying her face in the pillow that still carried his fragrance. She inhaled deeply, trying to memorize his smell. It would wear off very soon. The ocean in winter. Golden fields of wheat and corn, warmed by the evening sun of a midsummer's day.
"Eric," she whispered, her voice broken.
She winced when the telephone on her bedside table rang, the tone high and shrill in her ears. "Leave me alone," she murmured, hugging her pillow. Maybe it was Sam, wanting to ask why she was late for her shift. She knew she should have called him to tell him she was ill, but she couldn't bear to hear his kind voice right now. He would know in an instant that something was wrong, and he'd ask her exactly that. His sincere sympathy would bring back her tears, and she feared that she would never stop crying this time.
But the phone kept ringing and ringing, although she tried to ignore it. Finally, she grabbed the receiver and held it to her ear. "Fuck off, whoever you are," she said. Since getting involved with vampires, her language had not improved, to say the least.
"Fuck yourself, Sookie," a female voice said. It was Pam.
"What do you want?" Sookie said. "I know that you don't want me to be with your maker. Well, I have some good news for you. I'm not his, and I never will be."
"I know," Pam answered. Her tone wasn't sarcastic as usual, but grave. "You are a cold-hearted bitch. He threw himself at your feet, and you broke his heart – not that I ever imagined he still had one. But he loves you … at least he did."
Sookie sat bolt upright. Something felt very wrong here.
"You rejected him, of all men!" Pam continued, clearly agitated now. "I could tell you stories about the most beautiful women in the Old World, queens, courtesans and opera singers, who would have done anything to make him look at them, just once."
"Oh, drop it, Pam," Sookie said. "You've made it clear enough that I'm not worthy of Eric, and probably you're right. You don't have to convince me of his virtues, and I certainly don't expect you to understand my actions."
"He would have sacrificed everything for you, stupid … fairy!" Pam hissed. Sookie wondered what made her hold back the much uglier insults she obviously wished to utter. "You made him weak and vulnerable. Now he's nearly gone, and it's all your fault. If I hadn't sworn to him never to hurt you, I'd rip your worthless heart out and feed it to those stinking weres so seem to be so fond of."
Sookie opened her mouth to tell Pam to shut up and leave her alone, but for some reason she didn't. Suddenly she realized what Eric's progeny had said.
"He's … gone?" she whispered faintly.
"I said, nearly. But he will die in a few hours, by my own hand."
Sookie jumped to her feet, aghast. She clutched the receiver so tightly that her knuckles went white. "Kill him? I know you hate me, Pam, but I am positive that you'd never do anything to harm Eric. You love him, too!" she cried, not even realizing that she had just betrayed her true feelings to the female vampire. "You can't kill your maker!"
"I can if he commands me to do so," Pam answered, her voice bereft of any emotion now. "He ordered me to stake him with his own sword as soon as dawn approaches."
"But you don't have to do it. You defied him before when you shot at the Moon Goddess Emporium. After all, you saved his life! Why can't you now? You don't want to kill him, do you?"
"Of course not," Pam spat out. "However, look what it cost me. I might have lost him forever. Vampires must obey their makers at all times, Sookie. I begged for his forgiveness when he returned to Fangtasia tonight, promised to do anything. He said that he understood when I explained myself to him, but his eyes were cold. I don't think he'll ever forgive me for having endangered you. He wanted me to leave him, but he had orders for me, as well." She paused for a moment, hesitating.
"This time, I can't act against his direct command. It's simply not possible," she continued. "Eric said that he'd prefer to die by my hand than leave this world without honor. He has been condemned by the Authority to meet the true death. He and Bill have openly acted against Nan Flanagan's orders when she was still in power, and now it's even worse. They have been forced to kill Nan and her guards because she threatened you. Well done, I say. She was such a bitch."
"I still don't understand," Sookie stammered, confused. "Even if he has been condemned to death, why would he even care? Eric is very old and powerful, and he probably has mighty friends in the highest places. I'm sure that he could easily leave Fangtasia and hide for a while. You said that he was rich. I'm sure he has other houses he can stay in until the death sentence is lifted from his head. It's just not like him to simply accept …"
"No, it isn't like him at all," Pam said, her voice shaking with fury now. "He is a warrior who stays and fights. It has always been this way – at least, until he met you, Sookie. When you told him that the two of you were over, something … happened to him." She was silent for a moment, seemingly not used to talking about emotions. "He doesn't want to fight anymore. He said that he has lived longer than any creature on earth should, and he wishes to join his ancestors who reside in the holy halls of Valhalla. It seems that he can't bear the thought of living without you."
"Oh my God," Sookie whispered. Fear grabbed her heart in its icy fingers, and she was unable to think of any possible answer.
"Sookie", Pam said. "I don't want to beg you, but I will, if I must. You have to come to the Old Willow Cemetery near Shreveport, at once. If anyone can still get through to Eric and convince him that he must live, it's you."
"But what do I need to do? How can I possibly …"
"Honestly, I haven't the faintest idea. You are his blood-bonded, which means that you will find a way."
Sookie started to pace the room, her mind frantically searching for a solution. She took a deep breath before she answered.
"I know this cemetery. I'll come. Where's Eric?"
"In his crypt, of course. You'll find it."
Sookie opened her mouth to ask Pam about this mysterious crypt, but all she heard was the distinctive click of Pam hanging up.
Half an hour later, Sookie parked outside the Old Willow Cemetery. Everyone who lived in the Shreveport area knew it. Even tourists visited the site from time to time. It was a beautiful place, with tombstones and old memorial stones, statues and mausoleums. Everything was overgrown with deep green ivy. Gnarled willow trees stood watch over the dead, their branches almost touching the mossy ground.
This place held a magical atmosphere, as if it had been taken right out of time. Back in the days of the Civil War, only the wealthy families had been able to afford a burial here. Newer tombstones stood beside ancient ones, the names of their owners hardly recognizable. Although it wasn't cold, Sookie shivered while she looked around, searching for something that might look like Eric's crypt.
Uncountable night flowers and vines stood in full bloom, emanating their alluring scent. By day, it was a peaceful, quiet spot where one could sit on one of the old stone benches and hang onto their thoughts for a while. However, by night it was a cold and lonesome place. She couldn't stand the thought of her strong, passionate vampire being here. Not knowing where she should go, she simply followed the main path, then to the left until she came to a remote corner of the cemetery. It seemed to be the oldest part.
The trees stood so close together that their dense leaves filtered out most of the moonlight. Not far away she could see a large rectangular mausoleum, made completely of white marble. It looked like a Greek temple, with four columns framing a heavy brass door. A statue of a woman stood beside it to guard the holy spot. Standing on a small chariot with a raised sword in her hand, a coat of feathers around her shoulders, the stone figure looked more like a pagan goddess than an angel.
As Sookie stepped nearer, she saw that the outer walls of the tomb were engraved with runes. Absentmindedly, she ran her fingers over one of them. One of the truckers that frequently visited Merlotte's had once shown her a tattoo of similar runes on his arm, telling her they were Celtic. Still, they looked different, with sharper edges. Clearly not something you would expect to find on a Louisiana grave.
"Viking," she murmured as she felt her heart beating faster, and her legs began to tremble. Unsteady, she leaned forward and pressed her hands against the cold marble of the tomb's wall. She closed her eyes for a moment and breathed deeply, trying to calm down. When she finally raised her eyes up to the brass plate over the door, the faint shine from the lanterns along the main path just gave her enough light to read the withered inscription.
I hope you liked the first chapter of my Eric&Sookie lovin' story! This is how I think Season 4 should have ended. Originally, this story was written for the most awesome True Blood site on the net, EricandSookieLovers Dot Com. If you like my story, check out my other books on Amazon, "Bound to the Prince", a fantasy/paranormal romance, and "House of Pleasure", an erotic novella. Enjoy, and don't forget to comment! I love reading your reviews.
xoxoxo Warmest regards, Deborah
Visit me on my website, DeborahCourt Dot Com
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