The Dark Queen
By Deborah Court
Deep down below the world, in a place long forgotten, a sinister, old power awakened. It reared its ugly head and sniffed the moldy air, blindly searching for something in the heart of the darkness where it dwelled. Feeling an instant, excruciating hunger, the thing tried to scream out with pain, yet only uttered dry, croaking sounds of desperation. It had slept for a very long time and, without nourishment, its senses didn't work properly. Writhing and cringing with need, it didn't even know what it was that it so urgently craved. But after a while, the presence began to feel that something was moving outside, far above the vault where its corpse had been rotting for over a century.
There were beings moving up there in the light, on the other side of the thick walls that surrounded the prison of this presence. Living, breathing creatures. The thing felt a sudden overwhelming hate that returned to its mind like an old friend. It could hear them suck in the air greedily, so determined to continue with their worthless lives. It also heard the steady thump, thump, thump of the hearts that pumped the essence of life through their breakable bodies. The presence began to shiver with anticipation as it imagined how it would rip those delicious organs right out of the creatures' bodies with its sharp claws. It would eat their hearts and indulge in the taste of their living bowels, drinking their warm, red blood while they were still dying and watching.
Unexpectedly, a single ray of light broke through a crack in the old walls, and lighted up a small spot on the floor, not far from the place where the thing meandered on the floor like a blind, dried-out snail. It tried to get to the light, instinctively moving towards the seductive source of energy. Choked, agonized moans came from its throat and echoed in the emptiness of the vault. A trail of slime and decay was left on the floor where the thing had crawled. Finally it reached its goal and raised a trembling, withered hand into the sunbeam, bathing in the glorious warmth of the light.
It was back, soon to rise to power again. And this time, it would kill them all.
In all of his dead and undead life, Eric Northman had never been as happy as during those last few days in Öland. Finally Sookie was his, as he had always wished. It was a relief to know that she was safe with him on this Swedish island, where there was not much else to do but make love and wander along the beaches at night, the Baltic Sea lapping at their bare feet while they went for long walks, hand in hand. Often they were just talking to each other, silly, useless tales of times long gone. Usually, he only spoke when there was something meaningful or necessary to say, but Sookie seemed to have changed many of his habits since he'd met her for the first time.
Walking along the sand, he would have imagined that he'd be the one to do most of the talking. After all, he'd lived a very long life in comparison to hers, and had many stories to tell. She couldn't hear enough of his memories of times that had already vanished into the fogs of the past, and people he had met along the way.
But his Sookie wasn't as inexperienced as she looked, either. Although she had never traveled very far from Bon Temps, she had gained much knowledge simply by listening to other humans' thoughts – involuntarily, most often. He never grew tired of listening to her when she told him how disappointed she was about most people's indifference toward others, their selfishness and lack of compassion, or how surprised she occasionally was when she found kindness in those from whom she'd never expected it. And it made him genuinely happy to know that she thought about him the same way; that she saw something good in him. He didn't even know why. He had never cared about others' opinions, especially not what humans thought of him. Yet he wanted her to believe in him, despite all that he had been and done. He couldn't change his past, and he wasn't really sure he would if he'd had the choice.
Now everything seemed to have changed. The fact that Sookie had brought him back from death's threshold had awoken something new within his soul, a deep, constant flow of emotions he had kept locked away for such a long time. He knew that this was his chance of a new beginning, with his precious fairy – who had redeemed him with her unconditional love – at his side. As long as she loved him, believed in the good in him, anything seemed to be possible. And he loved her back with a depth that only his age could bring; at her own tender age, she never could comprehend how much she meant to him.
If their bond, and anything else they shared, was so strong after just a few moments in time, he hoped to find out how their love would grow after being together for many years. That reminded him of something he needed to talk about with her when the opportunity arose. Although it wasn't really necessary so soon, his mind already wandered off to an uncertain future. Their only chance of being together forever was if he turned her into a vampire. This decision would also solve her most significant problem – that of every other vampire she met craving her blood, eventually killing her – for good.
But it had to be her own choice, and he didn't want to put pressure on her, after all she had gone through to save him. He hoped that she'd come to him and ask him one day, but he wasn't so sure when this would happen, and if she wished to be a vampire, at all. If not, he'd be perfectly happy to stay at her side for as long as her life would last – probably he could prolong it by feeding his blood to her on a regular basis -, as long as she didn't expect him to live on afterwards. He'd never be able to endure a life without her at his side anymore.
As a vampire, she would be a magnificent creature, even if she had never seemed so lovely to him as she did right now, at this moment. She was strolling along beside him, holding his hand and chattering about sweet nothings while he was lost in his own thoughts.
Suddenly a shiver ran through him, and he stopped in his tracks. Sookie came to a halt beside him and watched him anxiously, a worried look on her face. Since he had come so close to dying, she often fussed around him like a mother hen who was trying to protect her fledgling. Even his small sign of discomfort seemed to worry her. "What is it, Eric?" she asked, her dark eyes scanning him for anything amiss.
"Nothing," he murmured, trying not to upset her when there was no evidence that anything was wrong. Just for a second, he had felt that Pam was in distress, but the feeling had soon faded. He assumed that whatever the problem was had dissolved quickly, for his progeny seemed to have calmed down already.
Her obvious concern was ridiculous, considering that he was one of the oldest and strongest creatures she had ever met, and she only a wisp of a woman, weak enough for him to snap every single bone in her body with a simple move of his hand. But her love felt incredible, engulfing him completely. Her mere presence warmed his old soul like the sun that gave his wheat fields their golden glow during the day – a sun that he probably would never see again.
Not that he really needed it anymore, now that Sookie was his.
"Let's go back to the farm. You had some plans for the rest of the night, didn't you?" he said.
Sookie smiled happily when she saw that there didn't seem to be anything wrong with her favorite vampire.
"Yes," she said, teasing him with the naughty half-smile that was so typical for his very own fairy. "I'd like us to engage in some human activities together. Over the last weeks I've been learning a lot about life on a farm while you slept during the day."
He turned her around and pulled her right into his arms, lowering his head. "Isn't this human enough for you?" he said, brushing his lips over hers before he deepened the kiss, coaxing her into opening her mouth for his exploring tongue. Her sigh gave him just the answer he wanted, and he swept her up into his arms to carry her all the way back to the farm.
© All characters are the property of Charlaine Harris and True blood HBO. No copyright infringement is intended. No monetary compensation is gained. Used for entertainment purposes only.
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
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