**A/N: TRIGGER ALERT: MENTION OF SUICIDE. I detest angst and steadfastly refuse to read it, therefore any time I find myself writing it, I’m always a bit…horrified. I’ve been told that I write it (frighteningly) well, which makes me feel somewhat…hypocritical? I don’t read it but I can write it? WTF? Well, you be the judge of that. I do guarantee an appropriately cheesy HEA, though, so there’s that reassurance. For this fix-it fic, the last episode of True Blood never happened.**
When Eric Northman walked into his office at the Shreveport, LA headquarters of New Blood, he detected the barest hint of a scent that seemed as familiar to him as his own. After two focused sniffs, he found the source – a letter, mixed in with the other mail on his desk, carried the scent that…
In an instant he was in his chair, letter held to his nose, his eyes closing in pleasure from a soothing memory.
It had been three long, endless months since he’d last seen her, since he had been forced to let her go where her foolish heart had led her.
Every night, usually starting when he rose and lasting until he could force his mind elsewhere, his thoughts had turned to the fairy-hybrid he had always considered his.
But…she wasn’t. In the end she had chosen to let him walk out of her life, and so he had gone.
Forcing his thoughts back to the present, he studied the letter, and found that while it held remnants of her scent, the envelope had someone else’s address on it.
Why would a lawyer be sending me a Sookie-scented letter?
Confused and with a curious sense of dread, he grabbed his letter opener, and carefully opened the envelope.
Three hours and two missed meetings later, Pam entered the office and found Eric sitting at his desk, his head held in his hands, his pristine white shirt soaked with blood tears.
As she fell to her knees beside her beloved Maker, she spotted two blood splattered letters that had fallen to the side.
A moment later, she sat as still, as stunned, as Eric.
Three months after she had killed Bill Compton, Sookie had killed herself.
Mr. Eric Northman,
In representing the estate of Miss Sookie Stackhouse, it is my duty to see forwarded to you a letter left in my care.
Please contact my office at your earliest…
Pam felt that place in her chest clench, and wondered what was wrong. She also didn’t understand why Eric would be receiving a letter from a lawyer regarding Sookie and her…and her estate? Shaking her head but keeping a wary eye on her too-still Maker, she reached for the other blood splattered letter.
I can’t take it anymore, so, I quit. I’m done.
What I’m about to do isn’t your fault, so don’t blame yourself, ok? I just feel the need to tell you that I never stopped loving you, that you were always in my heart, and in my head, but I never knew how to tell you that.
It’s been three months since I saw you, and I don’t think you’re coming back, are you? I don’t blame you. There’s nothing good around here anymore, nothing worth seeing or anything.
I killed Bill, Eric. That sounds like a line from that stupid movie, but, I killed the first man I ever loved. Now, though, I wonder if I ever truly loved him at all. I guess maybe it was his blood and it’s gone now? I don’t know. I just don’t really feel much of anything anymore.
It doesn’t matter. Nothing really matters anymore. I’m just sick of everything, and nothing looks like it’s ever going to get better.
I’d love to feel your arms around me one last time before I go, maybe have you tell me that it’s going to be ok, but that’s not going to happen. I don’t even know where you are, and even if I did, why would you care? It’s not like you have a reason to.
I’m so mad at Bill. I feel like if he hadn’t kept shoving his damn bloody wrist in front of my face every time I turned around my head might have fit on my shoulders better, but now I’ll never know.
I just feel so empty, so alone, so bad. I just can’t do it anymore.
Well, anyway, since you put so much effort into it, I’m leaving you this house and the land it’s on. The lawyer has all the paperwork, all you have to do is go by and I guess sign for it? I don’t know, but I sent it out in today’s mail.
So, I guess this is it.
I love you, Eric. I think I loved you from the first time I saw you, but I didn’t know what it was then. I guess I do now, now that it’s too late.
Be happy. Smile more. Laugh when you can, and hope when you can’t. You’re a survivor, Eric. You…you’re a warrior, so fight.
I left you Gran’s afghan in the cubby.
In shock, Pam dropped the second letter, which seemed to release her Maker.
With a great roar and an unearthly keening, in a sudden blaze of heart-wrenching fury the Viking destroyed the entire floor of his building. Glass, metal, sheetrock, brick…all crumbled in his wake. Only an eerie silence marked his leaving.
Come daylight, no one knew where he was.
Pam went to her dayrest in their oldest safe house in the area, and wondered why she kept finding tears creeping down her face. It was only Sookie… Breathers come and breathers go…right?
She still couldn’t feel her Maker.
On the six-month anniversary of Sookie’s death, Eric returned.
Tall, strong, broad of shoulder and dead of eye, no one, not even Pam, dared ask him where he had been or what he had been doing.
She had shivered upon seeing him – his eyes had never been that empty, that…flat. Where a spark used to live was now a barren wasteland.
Had he truly loved Sookie that much?
His body went through the motions of building and maintaining his financial empire, but his heart was gone, buried somewhere in Bon Temps.
He had hired his old contractors to tend to the place, satisfied that someone’s grandmother or sister or whoever would clean and inspect once a week, but not one step had he taken in that direction.
It would be many months before he could force himself to visit the house in Bon Temps.
A harsh early spring storm had rolled in that day, on the one-year anniversary of his Sookie’s death.
That night Eric chose to fly, unconcerned about the lightening bursting all around him, uncaring or perhaps daring it to strike him down.
Sadly, it did not. Instead he arrived at her house soaking wet, but hadn’t shed a tear.
No tears had fallen since his return to Shreveport.
As he stood before her old front porch and surveyed the glider moving in the wind, he sank to his knees, threw back his face to the heavens, and howled.
For over an hour he stayed on his knees in the blinding rain, his pain ripping through his chest and escaping from his throat until finally, finally the tears returned.
Some time later, it could have been minutes or hours, he would never know, he regained his footing, and he stood, his face raised to the sky for a moment.
Walking slowly, almost mechanically, he approached the stairs, then climbed them. He stared at the door and the glider and the dark windows, scenes and memories coming to life in his dead, numb mind. In waves the wind and the rain beat at the porch, but he gave them no mind.
Suddenly finding himself too weary to stand, he sat down in the old glider, bowing his head as if the weight were too much to bear another moment.
Almost instantly, as though he had been watching the battered Viking and waiting for this precise moment, a spry voice inquired, “Nasty weather tonight – why don’t you go inside?”
Without raising his head and in a tone long past caring, Eric replied, “I don’t want to know that my invitation is rescinded.”
“You are still welcome in this home,” came the less chipper reply.
“And you know this how? I still have my set of keys but I never changed the deed.” The wind whispering through the graves had more life than his voice.
“Because I was listening when my great-granddaughter said the magic words.” The odd cadence of the man’s speech, as well as the timbre of his voice, teased at the Viking’s memory.
Eric had vaguely thought that he recognized the man sitting beside him, and sure enough, he did.
Niall fucking Brigant.
“Why are you here,” he asked the elder fairy, wanting to know but… not really. He just wanted to be alone with his grief and memories.
“Why are you here? What took you so long?”
“What do you care?”
“I’m here because my granddaughter cares.”
“Sookie is dead. Why are you…?”
“No, Northman, she is not. I got to her in time, in more ways than one.”
Walls around Eric’s heart, erected by tragedy and maintained by grief, creaked under threat of the hope implied by the man’s words. He fought to quell that foul rising, knowing from experience that the more desperate the hope, the less likely the miracle.
The sight of Eric’s fangs and eyes surging to life gave the elder fairy pause, but a rare compassion filled his old gaze.
“Come. Let’s go inside and dry off, and talk.” Niall rose, stood before Eric, and placed his hand on the younger man’s shoulder. “Come. It’s been long enough.”
With that annoyingly enigmatic statement, Eric rose to his full height, tall, strong, broad of shoulder and no longer quite so dead of eye.
He removed the keys from his pocket, the keys that had been on his person for so many months, and unlocked the door with unsteady hands.
Two steps into the house and he stopped. Though faint, the scent of his beloved enveloped him, soothed him, enraged him.
In the blink of an eye he was in her bedroom, her pillow held to his nose as he sat on her bed. A few moments later in shuffled Niall, his suit magically dry but horrendously wrinkled, his hair going everywhere it shouldn’t.
“How did you know I was here,” Eric asked, his voice muffled by the pillow.
“Witches aren’t the only ones with ward magic. I came the instant I was alerted to your presence on the porch.”
Sookie’s scent in the pillow pulled at so many memories that he had to cast the precious thing aside for the moment. He had to think straight…the old fairy was the key.
“The letter from her lawyer said she is dead. Her obituary said she is dead. Her grave just over there says that she is dead.” The words felt pried from his soul, but had to be voiced.
Niall shrugged his shoulders, his expression both understanding and arrogant as only a fairy could manage.
“She almost was. Her heart had stopped beating, but no, she was not buried. I took her away from here before that could happen. She had started to cross over into The Summerlands, but again, I stopped that from happening. Eric, I stopped her, and I took her home so that her spark would have a chance to…”
The Viking was growling, his confusion and heartbreak warring with the threat of hope bordering on manic euphoria.
Niall sat down on the foot of the bed, tired, proud, contrite.
“Sookie’s spark was a lot stronger than any of us suspected, but it was…young. Immature. Do you know how she tried to kill herself?”
The sudden question jerked Eric’s head back around to face the older man.
“She attacked herself with her own Light.”
Shock flooded Eric’s features. “Is that…? Can you even…?”
Wryly, Niall shook his head.
“Nope,” he answered, popping his ‘p’. “In the end, that is what saved her.”
“After her passing, I received a letter from her, and she was incredibly depressed. Why didn’t you save her? If you heard her invite me in, why the fuck didn’t you step in? Why did you let her suffer,” he growled, furious indignation on Sookie’s behalf and for himself harshly evident.
What the hell is going on?
Niall sighed heavily, and lowered his head.
“I didn’t know. Through harsh coincidence I had just that evening decided to pop in to see if she wanted to make some spaghetti of all things, and the first thing I heard was her inviting into her home a vampire who wasn’t there. Actually, I heard her say that she wasn’t sure if your invitation was active or not, but that she wasn’t taking any chances, and so she said, and I quote, ‘Eric Northman, I officially invite you into this house.’ A couple of minutes later, I saw her gather her Light into the largest ball I have ever seen, and then she…she directed it at her own heart. In the seconds it took me to reach her, she had already fallen to the floor. Her heart, though, had stopped.”
The old man shuddered, and Eric suspected there might even have been a wetness in the old fairy’s eyes.
“She had an odd glow about her even though her body was, I guess, technically dead, but there was a truck coming down the driveway, so I had to act fast. To save her, I had to violate one of the basic rules of my people – I had to replace her body with the corporeal image of one who did not exist, but in her likeness. As Jason entered the house, I teleported Sookie and myself to the portal, and from there I took her into the true fairy realm. Jason discovered the one left behind, and that is who rests in one of the family plots. It was…it was after I entered the true fairy realm that I realized… I immediately went to The Gate, the entrance to our afterlife. That is where I, as her oldest living relative, was able to meet her, to stop her as it was not yet her time.”
His blood rushing through his ears and his head spinning, Eric rose and paced, listening strongly to the old fairy’s words, more focused than he had been since…
“When she shot herself with her own Light, it violently sped up the spark’s maturation process. It was the previous onset of that process that had caused her depression and so many other problems. If she had been among her people during that time, the negative effects would have been negligible at most. She would have been given the proper nourishment and magics would have been shared with her that would have soothed and eased her way, and she would have been given the information she needed to cope. But, because she was in this toxic realm, alone and uninformed, she didn’t stand a chance.”
Both fell silent as the storm raged outside, each lost in their thoughts.
“Why am I only now finding this out,” Eric eventually asked in a hollow voice.
All this time…
“Because you have only now made it possible. Remember, time shifts differently, and in different ways, between the realms. Sookie has only been in mine for a little less than three months. Normally the maturation takes between three to five years, but the Light rushed her process. This has been a very dangerous time for her and I feared leaving her side.”
Niall abruptly called to the nightstand a bottle of Mountain Dew, and a tall glass of blood which he promptly passed over to the shocked vampire.
“You’re too pale. Drink up.”
Eric didn’t dare ask from where the old fairy had managed to conjure fresh, pure blood, but he almost smirked at the sugary taste. Fairies did love their sweets.
He drained the glass and felt oddly better.
“As old as I am, I will admit that I don’t know everything about the way of the Fae, but Sookie’s heart had stopped beating. Her spark, and her spirit I guess, were still active enough to keep her going after she chose at The Gate to continue living. She is doing quite well now. At first she would come to for about an hour twice a day to eat, bathe, and ask questions…lots of questions. Then she would fall back into a sort of restful nothingness until the next waking time. Now she has progressed to remaining awake for most of the day, but she must still rest between her lessons.”
“Yes, her lessons on how to be a fairy, of course. Much of it is instinct, but even so, she is being taught how to access those instincts.”
Eric stood deathly still, and closed his eyes. “How long?”
The question was understood.
“At this bizarrely accelerated pace and considering the time shift, for all I know she may be almost well when I return.” A bright smile filled the old man’s face.
“When can I see her?”
“Once she’s well, any time she decides to come back. And,” he said strongly to override Eric’s impending interruption, “I do believe she will return to this realm.” He took another swig of his drink, then continued. “In fact, I already have some…associates…preparing to create a new identity for her even as we speak. ‘Sookie Stackhouse’ is dead.”
Eric nodded. As sad as he was that Sookie would no longer be Sookie, he could hardly contain his joy from learning that she still lived.
She truly still lived.
How was he supposed to…
“Why do you think she might return to this realm?”
“Because after she learned what was taking place, one of the first questions she asked was if she could come back.”
The sudden twinkle in the old fairy’s eye gave Eric more hope than the words from his mouth could. The jagged threat of that hope tore at his raw, broken heart, but he could no more stop it than he could stop the sun from rising.
“Eric, Sookie will be back. It might be months…weeks, even days, only the powers that be know for sure, but she will be back.” Niall finished his drink and tossed the empty plastic bottle into the trash can.
“Well, I’ve been gone longer than I had planned. Is there a message you would like for me to deliver to her?”
Surprised at the old fairy’s consideration, Eric nodded, then blurred to the escritoire in the hall. He grabbed some paper and a pen, and proceeded to write…a letter…to his Sookie.
The terribly wonderful absurdity of the situation threatened to overwhelm him.
Once the letter was sealed and handed over to Niall, Eric exchanged an old-world nod with the fairy, then watched him pop away.
When Niall arrived back in his own realm, he wasn’t surprised to see Sookie sitting in the garden absorbing that sun’s especially healing rays.
The change in her appearance was heartwarming.
“My dear, how marvelous you look! I had a feeling you would complete the maturation sooner than later!”
With a brilliant smile he exchanged a long, relieved hug with his granddaughter. Niall would have sworn the whole ordeal had aged him two more centuries at least…
“How do you feel now that you’ve made it through to the other side?”
Sookie was beaming. “I feel great! Amazing! Incredible! It’s like I was never sick, like I’ve never felt bad a day in my life!” Merry laughter accompanied her pronouncement.
Logically Sookie remembered how bad it had been, but part of the healing process had included the removal of the magically befouled emotions she had never been meant to feel in the first place.
“Did you see him? Did you tell him? Was he even…” The hopeful tone of her voice rang loud and clear.
Niall held up his hands in mock surrender, Eric’s letter blatantly displayed. The change in his granddaughter, now a daughter of his heart, made that old heart sing.
It was too bad that she had fallen for the Northman hook, line, and inevitable sinker, but she had. He knew of several full and half-fairy males who would have made ideal temporary or permanent mates for her, males who would have treated her as the princess she is and who could have created beautiful children with Sookie when she was ready, but she had chosen the Viking.
He shrugged. So be it. Who was he to stand in the way of true love?
Children these days…
“Yes, yes, and yes! Here, child, before you explode.”
With an agility now born of the Fae, Sookie grabbed the letter and sat down. Her energy was rising steadily, but, as she had told her healers, her batteries weren’t completely recharged yet. Since the healers didn’t know what batteries were, her comparison had been confusing, but the looks on their faces still made her smile.
Niall watched as the bubbling joy on her face gave way to a much more serious contemplation. What he hadn’t told Eric, what Eric didn’t deserve the burden of knowing, was just how badly Sookie had suffered.
The emotional aftermath of dealing with Compton – and Niall would always hold himself responsible for not having ended that joke – had been very much to blame for kicking her transformation into the danger zone.
The majority of Fae magic was based on emotion, and when the emotions of a fairy are in turmoil, so then is that fairy’s magic.
When the ingestion of far too much vampire’s blood was factored into the mix, the results were questionable at best.
The ancient fairy shook his head. Sookie had taken much more of that damn Compton’s blood than perhaps even she realized, which had not only strengthened latent parts of her spark, but had caused the barely detectable beginnings of the maturation. When his poor grandchild had been hit with the emotional upheaval of that idiot’s death, a surge in the maturation had occurred in someone who wasn’t ‘fairy’ enough to tolerate that change.
She shouldn’t have survived.
Her heart hadn’t.
She spent the first month in his realm in something of a magically-induced coma. During that time the healers had somehow removed from her traumatized heart, brain, and soul the negative effects that had understandably led to her…
He hated thinking about that part.
In the end, he knew he was to blame, that if he had been more conscientious in checking in on her, on monitoring her welfare, it would not have come to pass. Certainly she could have called upon him at any time, but why would she?
Well, she was healed now, healed and gaining strength, and for the past two months she had been learning, as she put it, “how to fairy”. And she was a natural! There were several things he had known full-blooded fairies to take weeks to perfect that she had mastered within days!
A brief expression of arrogance crossed his face as he watched her gently handle the Northman’s letter. She truly was of his line.
With utmost care, Sookie slid a shaking finger under the lightly sealed flap of the envelope, and almost reverently withdrew the letter written on her grandmother’s old stationery.
Niall tells me that you live? Truly? You cannot know how pleased I am to hear this. When I thought you dead, a part of me died with you. Knowing that you exist somewhere has brought light, joy, even color back into the barren wasteland of my heart.
Your letter, what I had thought to be your final words, broke me, yet now it gives me hope. Now I can say to you what I lacked the courage to admit for so long:
I love you, too.
No matter what your name is, I will always call you my heart.
Please come home.
Sookie’s eyes overflowed with glad tears as her skin glowed faintly from the love and joy flooding her heart.
Eric loves me? He…he really loves me? After all this time…after all the… ERIC LOVES ME?
She jumped up from her seat and, in her enthusiasm, popped the three feet separating her and her grandfather to appear just before him.
“Let’s have a chat with your healers and we’ll see,” he said kindly as he placed his hands on her shoulders. Naturally he would consider her health first, although he did understand her urgency. Her foot had been far too close to The Gate…
Together they popped to her rooms, and he called the healers. Following a quick consultation during which Sookie was ordered to drink a very large dose of Light Water and given one more lesson on how to constantly control her scent, she was left alone with Niall.
“This will always be your home, child. You know how to use the Portals, so I expect you to visit any time you wish. I will be keeping a much closer eye on you now. I have failed you in many ways, and I apologize. I will not fail you again.”
“Don’t, Niall. You haven’t done anything wrong. I could have called you and…”
“But why would you have thought to do so? You had no way of knowing that the way you were feeling was in any way connected to your Heritage. No, that was in no way your fault. You are not to blame. I am. Bill was. But not you.”
Niall stepped aside and searched through his pockets a moment, then with a shrug held out his hand and a thick envelope appeared in his hand which he promptly handed to his granddaughter.
“This packet contains more information, cash for your realm, and the contact numbers for my lawyer there, the Dae Cataliades. He is readying your new identity and only awaits your chosen name. Now, go your Viking, Sookie. He is truly worthy of your affections.”
With final hug for her grandfather and a merry laugh, Sookie went home.
Even considering how little time had passed between Niall’s return and being cleared to leave, she had to consider that up to a week might have passed. The time shifts and differences between the realms made little sense to her, so she couldn’t really tell how long it had been.
As she looked around the kitchen where she had popped to upon exiting the portal, she didn’t notice anything different. It was clean, but…well, of course there wouldn’t be anything different – no one else was living in her house and vampires don’t eat!
She laughed to herself, a common occurrence these days, then drifted toward the living room. There, by the waning early evening light, she did notice a few small changes, and smiled softly.
Her Eric had definitely been here!
With her recently acquired magical skills, she quickly set the room to rights, then returned to the kitchen. She loved the land of the Fae, and had truly enjoyed her time there after recovering enough to do so, but she had missed many things from the human world, too – namely coffee and sweet iced tea.
She had been gone for a year, apparently, and had little hope for fresh coffee in the cabinet, much less fresh milk in the fridge, but as hope sprang eternal she checked, and her jaw dropped in surprise.
Her refrigerator was fully stocked with all sorts of fresh fruits, vegetables…meats… and dairy. She flitted to the cabinets and, sure enough, they were fully stocked as well – including a fresh canister of her preferred brand of coffee!
Happy, grateful tears filled her eyes, and she smiled as they flowed unchecked down her cheeks.
Eric had done this for her! Her Eric had done this in preparation for her arrival even though he couldn’t know when she would actually be there.
He had made sure she would have what she needed whenever she did come home.
Softly joyful laughter mingling with the asthmatic wheezing of a coffee maker greeted Eric as he woke from his dayrest.
In the blink of an eye he rose, dressed, and exited the cubby.
At first the woodsy aromatics of coffee met his nose, then he detected the scent that could only be his Sookie.
Eric blurred to the kitchen and paused in the doorway to stare, entranced, at his blonde fairy, resplendent in shimmering red silk, hair flowing freely, steps lighter than air as she flitted about the room.
When he finally remembered to think, he was glad that he had ensured that her foods were restocked starting the night after his meeting with Niall.
The past two weeks had been heavenly agony.
For some reason he refused to examine, he trusted the old fairy’s assurances.
The night after speaking with Niall, Eric had contacted Pam. Initially she had thought him deranged when he had tasked her with restocking the provisions in Sookie’s house, but upon hearing the whole story, she had then shocked him.
Whether on his behalf or in response to her own feelings he would never know, but twin tears had fallen down her cheeks, and she had hugged him for long warm minutes.
After dashing to the restroom to remove evidence of feelings, she had immediately gone to several grocery stores and filled the back of her minivan with innumerable bags of comestibles.
She hadn’t even asked for his credit card.
Since then and without complaint she had taken over his professional duties as he spent night after night after night in Sookie’s old home, going to his dayrest in the cubby only to rise again to pace the interior and patrol the exterior of that old house in Bon Temps.
Pam made many trips from Shreveport every other night to bring whatever Eric requested, be it more clothing, more books, an object he thought Sookie might like or enjoy.
Finally, his vigilance had paid off, and Sookie was in her kitchen.
As he watched her unnoticed, he wondered what name she would choose for herself, and knew it wouldn’t matter. She would always be his Sookie.
She took one last sip from her coffee cup, and placed the mug on the counter.
Eric took a step forward.
It was time.
An instant later his arms were filled with a laughing, crying, ecstatic fairy.
When she eventually released her death-hold on his neck, she flooded his face and neck with tiny happy kisses
He couldn’t hold in his own laughter at her joyous antics, and tightened his hold on her as he twirled them around in her old kitchen.
Suddenly her laughter fell and more tears rose.
“I’m so sorry, Eric. I’m so sorry for…”
His own eyes misting over, he interrupted her broken apology. “No, mitt hjärta, min älskade, min själ…no, no. I am the one who will apologize. I should have been here for you, I should have…”
The furious shaking of her head halted his words.
“No, Eric. You had no reason to be here. After all that…”
Once again, but with a faint smile for the absurdity of the situation, he interrupted her.
“No, Sookie, I had every reason to be here, only, my pride would not let me.”
She placed a finger softly to his lips.
“Then I must apologize to your pride, Eric. I haven’t treated him very nicely, now have I?
The challenge in her direct gaze took his breath away.
And so he kissed her.
Softly at first to savor the experience, then more forcefully as she met and matched his passion.
His hands slid over the smooth fabric of her thin gown, one lingering on her waist, the other falling to cup the sweet curve of her bottom. She buried one hand into his hair as she drew his head toward her, and clutched at his broad shoulder with the other.
Lips crushed, tongues dueled, and teeth nipped for long hot minutes as the former and future lovers became reacquainted with the other’s taste, scent, and sounds of rising passion. His hands on her body tightened, her nails dug into his shoulder, her whimpering moans growing louder as his low, deep growls voiced his own increasing needs.
With a mutual shudder they parted so she could breathe and he could control his baser needs.
There, in the middle of the heart of the home, they stood forehead to forehead, reveling in the newfound certainty that they were loved and needed, and so very wanted by the other.
Softly she drifted her nose down his jaw, over the sensitive skin of his neck, and rested her head on his shoulder.
“So,” he asked, trying to think of something other than his throbbing cock. “Have you chosen a new name yet?”
Laughing softly in a way that did not help Eric’s situation, Sookie replied, “No, I haven’t. I’ve thought and thought about it, but nothing seems to fit, you know? I’ve got to come up with something, but…” She exhaled gustily.
Eric thought, then a moment later he whispered, “Keep Sookie, it is who you are, but change your last name.”
A tiny happy sob escaped her lips as she nodded her head into his neck.
“Yes! That’s perfect, Eric. Sookie Northman I am, then.”
The broadest smile of his life lit up Eric’s face…his eyes…and his heart.
“It’s going to be ok now, isn’t it,” she stated more than asked several quiet minutes later, her words drifting to his ear as a soothing balm.
He angled his head over hers, instinctively protective of his heart, and purred as he gathered her even closer and smoothed his hands over her back.
**A/N: So…what did you think?**