**A/N: So…this is the last Part of BNP. I don’t know about you guys, but it’s been a hell of a ride for me. What started out as a one-shot ended up 39,878 words long (including ANs cause I’m too lazy to subtract those). Same general rules apply in this final Part – Sookie isn’t necessarily the most linear thinker, but she’s come a long way, bay’be. Eric’s in the Part, too (*smug grin*). After this at some point in the near-to-far future I’ll polish and post the outtake. Please ignore any/all mistakes – I should probably have gone over this one more time but wanted to get it on out to y’all. For now, enjoy!**
Sookie rolled over and gazed at the fine features of the Viking dayresting by her side. The dim light coming from the partially open bathroom door cast a soft light on his beloved features.
Even now she couldn’t believe he was there…or that she was “there”, either.
As seemed to be the case with “all things Eric”, once he had come back into her life things had sped forward at an inhuman clip.
He was the embodiment of glorious pandemonium, and she wouldn’t change a thing about him.
Sookie remembered with more clarity than she liked how at one time she would have resented her Viking’s ability to turn her entire world upside-down.
Now, though… Now she knew that his “chaos” was actually far better organized than she’d realized.
He still turned her world upside-down and probably always would, but she didn’t mind – there was thought to his actions, thoughts and planning and a knowledge of the world and the way it worked that he had and she didn’t.
Sometimes she liked his plans and sometimes, in the past at least, she hadn’t, but Eric was smart and his plans no matter how far-fetched always had at least some sort of reasoning behind them.
His muscular shoulders, visible above the bed coverings, were broad enough to handle the problems he so willingly chose to bear, and his hands, although she couldn’t see them as one was under his head and the other was behind her waist, were more than big and strong enough to handle whatever came their way.
She truly couldn’t think of a single thing she would change about him even if she could.
Well, maybe his tendency toward over-protectiveness, but even that was simply one of the countless ways he showed that he cared.
Case in point… She smiled to herself as she remembered how earlier that morning – well before the sun’s rising – he had encouraged her to fall asleep far earlier than she’d wanted to.
There had been no way to avoid succumbing to the magic in his hands when he struck with the massage routine…a fact he gleefully employed in his “make Sookie go to sleep” schemes.
She hadn’t wanted to go to sleep. She’d wanted to stay up and, even though he was holding out the goods on her where sex was concerned so that wasn’t an option just yet, sit on his lap and listen to the sound of his voice as he told her about adventures from his past.
Until they could recreate some of their sexy times from his amnesia nights, being cuddled on his lap with her ear resting against his chest as he spoke of long-ago exploits, journeys, and insane characters that he’d known ‘way back when’ was the best thing ever.
He enjoyed these times, too. She could tell from the bright excitement in his eyes and the tone of his voice as he relived glorious “good old nights” with someone he knew adored him as much as he adored her.
But come four in the morning and ugh – bedtime for Sookie. Eric was still convinced that she needed healthful pampering and that “early nights” were a part of a beneficial caretaking agenda.
According to his over-protective Viking self, she still needed to bake in the sun every non-rainy midday, now didn’t she, which meant she couldn’t sleep all through the day, now could she? So it was early to bed for her…
Try as she might, he still didn’t quite believe that she was fully well yet even after having willingly taken his blood on her first night away from Dr. Ludwig’s hospital.
She smirked a little – she had shocked him when she had offered to make it a mutual bonding, and she could tell that he had come so close to accepting her offer, but in the end he hadn’t so much declined as postponed a bonding between them.
Despite the tenting in his pants and the fire in his eyes and the fangs suddenly appearing in his mouth, he had explained she had spent more than nine years in a state of chaos caused by both her emotions and her fairy-light, and that he wanted her to have a chance to get comfortable within her own self before taking any major steps, even with him.
Sookie blinked away the mist in her eyes at his consideration.
As impatient as she was with both his wish to wait and with his over-protectiveness – he still sneakily inspected her dinner and late-night supper plates to make sure that there were at least three color groups on it…there was no telling where he had come up with that dietary rule – she didn’t mind.
Although he now more than understood what had caused her reaction to him during his visit to her home, the look in his eyes during the only time he had discussed it at length had been more than enough to let him have his too-careful way with her, at least for now.
She also figured that even he needed some time to come to terms with everything that had happened between them in both the far past and the more recent past.
It constantly amazed her that Eric had put his entire life on hold to be with her. With his globe-trotting ways she’d have thought he’d have been bored to death with how things were going since he’d showed up on her doorstep, but apparently not.
He had pretty much been by her side since she’d been released from the hospital a week ago and he didn’t seem to be in any sort of hurry to leave, either.
All things considered, taking it slow wasn’t a big deal, not when she knew they were both in it for the long haul.
She gazed at his beloved face from his forehead to the dip in his chin. He had his head resting on his folded arm as he “slept” on his side, and his hair fell across his forehead. His features were softened and more boyish in his daysleep, and he wore the look well.
His arm was heavy about her waist, her body having simply moved under it when she’d turned over. The weight was comforting, steadying in the security it somehow provided.
It was almost overwhelming how much had changed since she’d left the area so long before, but even more so were the changes since that night less than a month ago when Eric had first come to see her.
Sookie couldn’t imagine being without him now, didn’t want to. Even though she’d had absolutely no plans to ever return to Louisiana, now that she was back and in the arms of the one she loved the most, leaving simply wasn’t a thought.
She was fine right where she was, thank you very much…even if she was living in one of the Queen of Louisiana’s royal residences.
Home…home was in Eric’s arms, even if “home” was temporarily Queen Pam’s big ol’ house.
A snicker escaped her lips when she remembered the conversation in the hospital when she’d found out that Pam was now a queen.
“Wait…back up, what? Did you just say that Pam, your Pam, is now the freakin’ Queen of freakin’ Louisiana?” Sookie couldn’t have been more shocked if she’d tried.
Eric had smiled, smirked more like, then quirked that brow of his. Any concern he might have had over her reaction was very well hidden.
“Yes,” he had then regally nodded his head, “I’m Maker to the Most High and Mighty and Well-Shod Queen that Louisiana has ever known.”
Sookie had dropped her hands onto the bed on either side of her legs and gaped at Eric for a long minute.
“How in the hell did that happen?”
She could just see Pam being the queeniest queen who ever queened all too clearly.
Eric had carefully watched her expressions as they danced across her face when he told her all that had led up to Pam taking over the state. He was immensely gratified that regardless of their history, Sookie seemed not only pleased for Pam, but proud of her, too.
Sookie had blinked a couple of times as she digested all the information. She’d made sure to appear properly impressed at the right times, and true to her nature she had been. Of course she’d been glad that Pam had stepped in so quickly to help her Maker; that part hadn’t actually surprised her, but it was still a lot to process…
“Just…just tell me this,” she’d finally asked. “How pink is her Palace?”
Eric had coughed to muffle his bark of laughter then suggested rather blandly, “You can find out when you’re free to leave here.”
At first Sookie hadn’t believed that Pam had actually invited her, the telepathic Sookie she had loved hating, to live in the same state with her, much less in one of her “royal residences”, but the blonde vampire had.
It had taken Eric several conversations to convince Sookie that Pam truly did mean for her to stay there with him and that she was more than willing to provide for her “human comforts”.
After all, Pam was the reason they were together.
That story had made her head spin, and she was still surprised that Pam honestly meant for her to live in that “royal” house in Shreveport with Eric.
By the time Dr. Ludwig had given her the all-clear to leave, Eric’s permanent suite and the empty one next to it had been combined into one enormous wing, and there wasn’t a single hint of pink to be found anywhere.
Direct access to a private balcony for sunbathing just off a daytime living area had even been built in for the fairy who still needed regular access to the sun and who would be active during the daylight hours.
A small army of Weres was ready at a moment’s notice to pack up Sookie’s home in Yuma – all they needed were her permission and the keys.
A supe chef knowledgeable in the food restrictions of the Fae had been brought in and she was already in the process of creating a separate kitchen for herself offside the regulation “royal” kitchen.
Pam, even while holding court in New Orleans, didn’t do things by halves.
That she was so willing to allow her Maker to move the one person she liked least on the planet into her own home wasn’t the most surprising thing that Sookie discovered, however.
It was that Pam had bought her house.
That seemed to be becoming a family tradition of sorts. Sookie had to wonder if Pam ever made a child of her own whether that child would also end up buying her house at some nebulous point in the future.
What Eric hadn’t told Sookie was that his progeny hadn’t honestly thought about Sookie in years beyond the bare necessity. During the hand-off of the deed from a smug Pam to an honestly shocked Eric, several truths and the full story had emerged.
At that time, Pam actually been glad that the telepath had pulled a runner.
Later, though, when her new Second, Jessica, had told her about the old house coming on the market, Pam had taken it upon herself to snap it up before subsequently glamouring Jason, who reeked of stale women and whiskey, to stop with the fucking and the drinking and get the hell out of the area. He could find himself a decent job working on the rigs for all she cared just so long as he got the hell out. From what she knew the brat had always managed to find trouble with both hands, so the area would be better off without him.
If she had accidentally paid almost double what the old pile of decaying wood was worth, well, that was fine too. Expediency was worth the price and so on…
The house was worth it to Pam because, in her mind, it was still Eric’s, at least that’s what she’d told herself when she’d had the contractors all-but take it apart and put it back together again. She’d known that he’d want it at some point because of some memories or something or whatever.
Her Maker would have a marshmallow for a heart, wouldn’t he?
When she had presented Eric with the deed in his name, he had simply wrapped his arms around Pam and thanked her. Pam had flown back to New Orleans as if gifting her Maker with his ex- and current girlfriend’s house was an everynight occurrence.
Immediately thereafter Eric had called his lawyer to have the deed transferred back into Sookie’s name, and had presented it to her astonished face the very next evening.
It was good to be the Queen’s Maker…and one of the richest, most powerful vampires on the planet.
Sookie remembered sitting there in the den, Eric on one knee before her, and staring in shock at the envelope in her hands. Jason, it seemed, had had her declared dead and as the next of kin had inherited everything…including the house.
The real estate agent handling the sale had disclosed to Pam’s agent that the seller simply couldn’t face the memories and wanted to sell fast.
Privately neither Sookie nor Eric thought that was the complete truth, but neither voiced their suspicions, and Eric certainly didn’t bring up Pam’s meeting with her brother at the house after the sale had gone through.
Either way, Sookie was glad that if anyone had to buy her family home it had been someone who would do so for Eric.
Since moving into the residence with her Viking, Sookie hadn’t actually seen Pam, not even once, and that seemed to suit both of them fine. Neither held an active animosity toward the other now but neither wanted to “rush things”, either.
Jessica was a different story, though. While they weren’t close yet, the two were slowly forming a friendship of sorts…it would just take time.
She’d staked the redhead’s Maker, after all.
Jessica had told her during their first hug that she understood why Sookie had done it, had admitted that she, herself, wouldn’t have had the heart to do it, but that it might take her a while to get over it.
Sookie didn’t doubt that she would.
Jessica had been the one who had told Pam about Bill getting Sookie to stake him. Pam for reasons no one ever knew hadn’t chosen to reveal this information to Eric…who had unfortunately overheard Jessica’s inadvertent revelation when the redhead had been talking to Sookie.
Eric…had been furious.
Sookie would have sworn the temperature in the room had fallen twenty degrees as his expression changed from polite patience to barely controlled fury.
It had never occurred to her that he hadn’t known of Bill’s cowardly request or of her eventual compliance…
Barely a minute later Jessica had wisely excused herself and, once alone, he had immediately gathered Sookie into his arms.
A long while later his snarls had finally subsided enough for her to tell him about that time, that cold, horrible time in her past, and how it had led to her flight from the area. He had held her close during her halting tale, had wiped tear after tear and rubbed countless circles on her back as he encouraged her to purge her soul.
Even now at odd times growls would come from his chest and a certain fire would light his eyes. She suspected it would be a long time coming before that stopped, too.
She couldn’t blame him – she had a nice long list of things she’d like to do to Bill herself if she could bring his slimy ass back.
Willa, she suspected, would gladly help her.
Eric’s dark-haired progeny had visited her in the hospital a time or three and had proven to be an easy-going, laid-back visitor. At first glance, other than Eric they had nothing in common, not really, but both were polite Southern women with backbones a lot stronger than they were credited with having.
Their backgrounds were vastly different because of finances and opportunities, but their upbringings and the changes in their lives because of the supernatural were oddly similar, and that provided them with a mutual foundation beyond the tall, blond Northman.
Sookie would be eternally grateful for Willa’s unexpected hand in getting her back with Eric, and made sure the vampire knew it.
After catching the brunette’s wistful gaze directed at the Maker she still wasn’t quite comfortable around, Sookie decided to give her new friend a hand of her own. She certainly hadn’t missed the wistful look in her Eric’s eyes when he had lightly discussed his lack of relationship with his youngest child.
While in the hospital and ensuring that Eric was present as always, she’d asked Willa to tell her in detail how she’d found her, and afterward had allowed herself to “doze off” so that the Maker and the Progeny might have some time together.
If the same happened again two nights later when Willa visited again, no one said anything. Sookie had already secured Willa’s willingness to visit with her once she moved into “the residence”, so her “nap” was once again well timed…as was the next one.
During the conversation on the second night after she and Eric had moved in, Willa had revealed to both of them that Pam had taken the initiative of sending glamoured humans to “DustyZona” to basically spy on Sookie and gather her life and job information.
According to Willa and whispered to them only under the strictest of confidences, Pam had taken a step back to see how happy Eric actually was in his current life…and hadn’t been pleased with the obvious conclusion.
Her Maker needed a little Telepath in his life.
Apparently a portion of the staff had to be replaced the following night.
Willa had then whispered to both Sookie and Eric that Pam had most reluctantly been almost proud of how well “that fucking little fairy” had done for herself.
Eric had been torn between anger and humor until Sookie had laughed so hard she had to visit the toilet.
The next night Willa had taken her aside “to show the telepath her quarters” as a way of having a private conversation. She had then confessed to Sookie that she didn’t really hold anything against Eric now, that she in fact felt a little bad for the guy after learning everything he’d been going through during the time of her Turning.
She just wasn’t sure how to form any kind of relationship with him now.
Willa had been surprised by Sookie’s spontaneous hug, and the two had sat and chatted for over an hour. During that time Sookie had made several suggestions about how to get closer to Eric, mentioning at one point how Eric was a secret hugger, that he liked fast cars and and mocking reality tv, and that he had a not so secret appreciation for medieval woodcarvings. In turn Sookie had quizzed Willa on Pam’s newfound tolerance for her telepathic self, and their hour passed quickly.
The thought of Pam being so reluctantly impressed still brought a smile to her face.
As her gaze lingered on Eric’s long lashes, she thought about her old life in Yuma, her business…and wondered just how much of a hand he’d had to play in Misty’s willingness to split that business.
She knew he would do anything, literally anything, to make her life easier, to remove any possible worry or stress from her life, so she wouldn’t put it past him to…well, something.
Whatever…if he wanted to do things to make it so that he worried less about her, she wouldn’t cut up stiff anymore like she used to. Not interfering with his desire to help her would be just one of the many things she would do to make his life easier.
Consideration went both ways, she’d finally learned.
While she would never be a doormat, she wouldn’t be a recalcitrant ostrich anymore, either. They both deserved better than that.
Besides, she’d be seeing Misty in a week, anyway. Her co-owner had some commitments to tend to then she was taking a week off to come see Sookie and together they would scope out the Shreveport scene.
Because Shreveport needed another caterer, she thought with a snort. Well, if Eric had anything to say about it, it did…
Shreveport…well, it wasn’t Bon Temps…seemed like another country when compared to Bon Temps at that.
Since her return to the area, she’d made some discoveries, many of which she wasn’t sure how she felt about.
Well, she was pretty sure she knew how she felt about Jason.
Come to find out, about a year or so after she left, he had sold their Gran’s house, made some improvements on his own house, then rented it out to one of his buddies and left the area to work on a rig somewhere in the Gulf.
The fact he had sold the house bothered her even though she realized he’d had every right after the way she’d up and left.
The fact he’d left the area and, according to Eric who had been the one to tell her everything, was apparently doing pretty well for himself was good, though. She wished him every success but felt no need at the present time to look him up.
Reconnections could wait. She had things, and a Viking, to do in the meantime.
She glanced down at his lips. That was if he ever decided that she was well enough…
Naturally she felt a bit badly for Misty, felt as though she’d left her in the lurch, but returning even to close her house, much less her part of the business, was not an option.
Besides, the woman needed a break anyway. With her personality, maybe she and Pam…Sookie grinned.
Pam had done her a good turn, and turn about was fair play. Misty…well, it wasn’t like they weren’t both gorgeous, successful, opinionated, single and lookin’…and the creation of another division of Tasty Morsels in Shreveport would naturally require several visits…
Eric would have been slightly terrified if he’d seen the smile that now graced his Sookie’s lips as she made up her mind to officially meet-n-greet the Queen of Louisiana within the next couple of nights.
She knew they would never become friends, that common civility was the best they could honestly hope for, but they both had one huge force of nature in common: Eric.
Somehow Sookie knew that the main thing Pam held against her was worry for Eric’s safety and all the ways his involvement with the telepath could cause him grief.
She just needed Pam to know that those worries were no longer valid.
It might take a while, ok, a long while, for Pam to see that things were different now, but heck, she wasn’t going anywhere.
She looked at Eric’s sculpted chest.
Nowhere except crazy, maybe.
She looked quickly away and noticed the time. In about an hour she would be having her second meeting with the therapist Dr. Ludwig had suggested.
The woman, Dr. Thibodeaux, was a full Were and one of the nicest, most unassuming yet most insightful people Sookie had ever met.
Both Ludwig and Eric had stressed to her that she absolutely must feel completely comfortable with the person she talked to, that if she had any qualms whatsoever no one would take offense and that there were several others she could meet and innumerable others who could be brought in over time, but she had liked the lady the first time she’d met her at the hospital.
They hadn’t had a session that evening – evening so that Eric could inspect her, naturally. Their first session had taken place on the sunny balcony, and it had been as hard as Sookie had thought it would be.
Hard, but good.
This time she knew to bring a box of tissues.
As she reluctantly rose from the bed, she, also reluctantly, pulled the covers over Eric’s prone body. With a pat to his mighty fine ass, she went to the closet.
Between Willa and, considering some of the outfits she’d found in there, she suspected Pam too, the large space was crammed full of every type of clothing she could possibly ever need. There was a separate closet for shoes, purses, jackets, coats as if she would ever need them, and bags.
After lunch, and then the session during which the tissues had been needed, under the now overcast sky, she returned to their sleeping quarters, stripped down to her birthday suit, and slid into the bed.
Just because Eric was determined to wait didn’t mean she’d make it easy on him.
She situated herself back into the “little spoon” position and hauled Eric’s heavy arm back over her waist, and waited.
Eric was right, she had discussed with the therapist, in wanting to wait at least a little while before mutually bonding with her.
While she didn’t discuss his wanting to wait about sex and how much she was against that plan of non-action since she didn’t consider that any of the therapist’s business, she felt comfortable discussing just about everything else with the woman.
Her head was on straighter now than ever, and she did need this time to get used to herself.
She had survived terrible things, she had seen and done terrible things, and it would take her a while to feel settled in her bones and then in her new life, but she would get there.
Some things would just take…time.
Even the idea of going out at night still caused what she now knew to be an anxiety attack.
Eric had flown her to their new residence; that part hadn’t been difficult to bear at all. She was in the strong arms of the one who loved her most – how could she fear anything just then?
But later, on her second night in their rooms, when he had asked her if she wanted to go out and eat, maybe go somewhere since she hadn’t been any place for fun in weeks…that had brought on an entirely different reaction that she still couldn’t explain.
She’d felt her skin starting to crawl and her heart speeding up and she felt as though she couldn’t bring enough air into her body to count. Her chest hurt and her head hurt and she squeezed her eyes so tight they hurt, too, but when she opened them…
When she opened them the look on Eric’s face had made her want to get hold of herself, that she was freaking him out and that’s not what she wanted to do but she just couldn’t stop and the thought of going out at night – at night in the dark around people, people who weren’t…people who might…
He had scooped her up into his arms and blurred them through their rooms to their bedroom, and the next thing she knew they were in the middle of that huge, lovely bed and he had her in his lap and he was rubbing her back and humming into her ear where it rested against his chest.
His words from that night still burned her heart with their love and understanding.
“There will come a time,” he had started whispering after her breathing and heart rate had calmed somewhat but the shaking hadn’t quite stopped, but then his voice had broke.
He tried again although his voice hadn’t been much steadier.
“There will come a time when the thought of going out with me at night will fill you with joy and anticipation.” He paused, then said with more confidence, “There will come a time when we will make plans and do things that will bring a smile to your face and a light to your eye, and it is ok that now is not yet that time. We will get through this.”
He had stopped speaking to tilt her chin up until she was looking into his eyes, and the fire within them had warmed her soul.
“We will get through this.”
His determination was so deep and so strong that she’d had no choice but to believe him, and later that same evening he had taken her flying.
And he had taken her flying once again the next night, and then the next. So far they hadn’t landed anywhere, he hadn’t even suggested doing so, but she had a sneaking suspicion that when they inevitably did, she would be fine with it, well, so long as he was with her.
That afternoon she had discussed the situation with the therapist who had reminded her that while many anxieties had an easily recognizable root cause, many didn’t, and that at least for now it was fine if she had no idea exactly why she was afraid of going out at night.
Stressing over it would do her no good. Instead, suggested the therapist, she was to enjoy her outings with Eric, and simply breathe.
Sookie knew she wasn’t well yet, knew that there were no sudden cures for non-physical problems, but she took faith in knowing that she wasn’t as broken now, either.
Time had helped, sure, but the process of “getting well” took effort and thought and dealing with things she didn’t want to deal with but would because the end result was worth it.
She was worth it.
Her future with Eric was worth it.
A soft scoff escaped as she considered buying stock in the tissue company. She just knew it would take more tears to cleanse the pain from her psyche, but she could do that.
She was strong, she was durable, and she was determined.
So, with a sigh Sookie decided to stop worrying about it that weird fear of the night. Eric had big shoulders and big hands – he could handle helping her get over it. And as long as she was able to fly with him, that part of the night, the night sky above in all its glory, had no limits.
Softly and easily Sookie drifted off to sleep with memories dancing through her mind of being in Eric’s strong arms as they floated far above the city.
This is the only intermission…make it count. Somebody pass me some popcorn? Maybe a coffee? I could go for some steamed crab legs with salty melted butter… Ummmm…butter…
Eric woke the way he always did: instantly and in complete control of himself.
After automatically scoping his surroundings and physical state of being the way his Maker had taught him so long ago, he allowed himself the luxury of sensing the warm, soft woman whose body was tucked so sweetly into his own.
Sookie…sweet, strong, Sookie…
His blood in her veins made accessing her overall condition easy, and he could tell she was sleeping soundly if not too deeply. He could detect no pain, no distress, only peace, and was pleased.
A moment later he inhaled his first breath upon waking, and realized his mistake instantly. The sun-warmed scent from her skin filled his body with a fire that went straight to his cock.
He cursed as his black silk boxers tented at light-speed.
He clenched his jaw and ground his teeth, and when he tensed his stomach, he froze.
A few extremely subtle shifts later verified what he feared – his Sookie was completely naked in his arms.
That… little… vixen…
If she had any idea how much restraint he had been using to be near her without dragging her off to his bed…without covering her soft, pliant body with his own and…
He tightened every muscle in his body and counted to 10,000 before daring to relax.
He’d realized of course that she was becoming frustrated with his apparent “no sex” policy, and while he was naturally pleased that she wanted him, it truly was not his intention drive her crazy.
What he wanted…what he needed was a return to that closeness they’d shared during the time he’d had amnesia.
That time held a precious place in his memory and he wanted it back so badly he ached for it.
Before then he hadn’t known such an intimacy had been possible, and afterward…afterward everything had been so fucked up that a return had been impossible.
Now…now he wanted her with the furious burning of a thousand suns and there was no way she could miss his near-constant erections, but before he allowed himself the bliss of her body, he wanted that…that warmth back, that connection with her heart that had meant so much to him…but only later when it was too late.
They had once been so close, and fuck he wanted that back before he gave into the glorious temptation and made her scream his name.
There would only be one more “first time” for them and by Odin he wanted it to be right.
He wasn’t sure what exactly he was waiting on but he knew he’d know it when he felt it.
…if she didn’t drive him batshit crazy in the meantime.
When she’d claimed him in the hospital, and he knew it for the claiming it was, he’d come so close…he clenched his fists in memory…but he’d known she wasn’t ready, not then.
She needed time to get to know herself now, to know who she was now and find peace with her past and strength to look forward to her future.
Although his body still hadn’t calmed down, he was now in much better control of most of his reactions and could enjoy the sunny scent of her skin.
As he dipped his nose into her hair, he wondered how her second meeting with the therapist that afternoon had gone. He hadn’t pressed her for details about her first meeting and had known she hadn’t told him everything that had been discussed when she’d voluntarily talked to him about it, but since her overall being had felt more peaceful than not when he’d checked their bond, he certainly hadn’t pressed the issue.
She was doing well, he had to give her credit.
His fear for her health was slowly easing although he couldn’t imagine a time in the future when he wouldn’t be paying attention to what she ate or did or how she felt or if she was well-rested or…
Her acceptance of his admittedly over-protective actions had surprised and pleased him. Once upon a time she would have thrown fits worthy of the brattiest of toddlers, but now she accepted his actions as proof of his love and adoration with admirable maturity and tolerance.
With a smirk he wondered how much longer he could get away with it.
Abruptly his expression sobered when he recalled her slight regression several nights ago. It had broken his heart, but he’d already known to expect something of the sort. But just because he’d expected it didn’t mean he’d…expected it.
The memory still made his heart feel sore.
After she’d met with and approved of Dr. Thibodeaux, he had taken the mind doctor aside for a chat while Ludwig had spoken with Sookie, and he had asked the woman what to expect and how he could best help his Sookie to continue improving.
It hadn’t even galled him all that much to ask what he could do to help simply because it concerned the well-being of the most important person in his life.
After their chat, the doctor had given him her numbers and email address and had gladly invited him to send her any questions he might have as they came up, and after Sookie’s breakdown about going out at night, he had done so.
To his eternal relief she had approved of his actions at the time and had gone on to give him some pointers about what to do if, or sadly when, it happened again. When he had suggested to the doctor that he take his Sookie flying in the night sky, her abundant approval had been a slight balm to that frustrated part of himself that resented his inability to solve all his Sookie’s problems.
While he would gladly take the burden she suffered and carry it within himself, he knew that no such thing was possible. No matter how much he wanted to help, this was a battle she would have to face and fight until she won it. He would be by her side, however, at every point along the way. If she needed someone to give her strength, he would very gladly give her his. If she needed someone to lean on, he would be there.
The only thing he couldn’t do was fight this for her, and it burned a hole through his gut that he couldn’t, but at least she gracefully accepted the help he could give.
One of the hardest parts thus far had been stopping himself from sending her too much calm, strength, or comfort through their bond. He knew she had to feel the things she felt so she could learn how best to manage and control those feelings, but he didn’t have to like it. He would provide her with only enough of what she absolutely needed to get passed the worst part then he would send only the usual warmth and love.
So far it had worked, and they had been lucky. He had thoroughly enjoyed taking his Sookie up into his arms and lazily gliding around in the midnight peace above the city.
If he had slipped a bit of joy and exhilaration to his beloved during their first flight, that was fine, too. By their third flight she hadn’t needed it.
He was sure she wasn’t aware of their ever-widening, and ever-lowering, path, but according to the strong attention he kept on their bond she seemed perfectly fine with their ventures.
His arm involuntarily closed around her waist and pulled her closer into his welcoming body as he considered how far she’d come.
The pride he felt in her accomplishments knew no bounds – she was by far stronger mentally and emotionally than she would ever realize.
And if he could bring Bill fucking Compton back to life he would torture that son of a fucking bitch well into the next millennium for the way he had treated her. That fucker’s life would be forfeit but the death would be a long, long time in coming.
He would bring fucking Lorena back and torture her for centuries just for having Turned that Darwin reject…then he would go back to torturing Bill…
Eric’s fangs, already descended from the throbbing in his loins, elongated even further as he contemplated all the deliciously evil ways he would ensure Compton pleaded nightly for death.
“You’re not thinkin’ ’bout Billy-boy again, are you?”
The softly sleepy voice of the woman in his arms interrupted Eric’s vicious thoughts.
He hadn’t realized he’d been growling.
He snarled something that didn’t sound enough like a negation.
When she turned over to face him and her naked body stroked against his chest and stomach, his eyes shut and brain stopped functioning.
No matter how hard he flexed his stomach or his thighs as he fought his natural reaction, his cock wasn’t going down anytime soon.
He sensed her moving and mentally pleaded with her not to test what little resolve he had left, but was surprised when he felt her hands on his face.
His eyes sprang open, and he looked down into her face. The sweetness of her expression calmed him, but only minutely.
“Bill’s gone, Eric. He’s gone and like I said the other night, I’m no longer blinded by his Bill-shit. He’s no longer a part of my life and soon enough he won’t even be a part of my memories, either, at least not enough to count,” she sought to reassure him, her sleepy, furry voice making his cock twitch.
She slowly stroked her hands over his jaw and down his throat to rest them against his chest.
“That asshole isn’t the one who came looking for me and he isn’t the one who has stayed by my side for days and nights on end – you are. And you’re the one I want there, Eric; you’re the one I want to take me flying and don’t think I haven’t noticed how we’re getting closer and closer to the city, either. But it’s ok because I feel safe with you. You make me feel things that amaze me but they make sense because I love you.”
She smiled as her eyes filled with tears.
“You make me feel like I can do anything. You make me feel like it’s going to ok, like you’ll never let me fall no matter how high we go. So fuck him, Eric. Fuck him and his shitty Maker and his ugly sideburns and that horrible accent. Fuck him and his cowardice and his stupidity and fuck everything about him. This might be a huge bed, honey, but there’s only room enough for two, and I choose you.”
That was it.
That…that was what he had been waiting for even if he didn’t know it would be those specific words.
Without conscious thought he moved from resting on his side to resting most of his weight on his forearms…and on his Sookie as his body covered hers.
He lowered his head as she gasped in surprise and took full advantage of her parted lips as he thrust his tongue in pale imitation of the motion his hips most desired.
As she stroked her hands down his chest to drift over his ribs, he arched his back to grind his silk covered length into the warmth between her quickly parting thighs.
When she needed to breathe he raised his head.
“Are you sure? Once we start I’m not sure I’ll be able to stop,” he growled as he flexed his hips once again.
In answer Sookie raised her feet to his waist, hooked her heels into the elastic band of his boxers, and lowered them. With his assistance the dark silk was discarded at the foot of the bed.
“Take me flying, Eric. Make me soar,” she whispered as she lowered her hands to cup his firm ass. “I want to see the stars.”
**A/N: So…what did you think of this Part? What did you think of this entire writing experiment? Parts of the last sections were more my usual style, but the first bits were a different style for me and took some nerve to try and actually post for you guys to see. I hope it didn’t disappoint? Let me know what you thought!**