Valentine’s Night, An Eric and Sookie Short – Chapter 1
A/N: CAUTION: I AM THE ANTI-CANON. I’m taking the barest gist of what was written in THAT SO-CALLED “BOOK” WHICH SHALL NOT BE NAMED (and various items from TB, so don’t be surprised) and twisting it to suit my needs. Since SHE WHO REALLY SHOULDN’T BE NAMED could freely change on the briefest of whims any facts she had previously written to suit her current writing needs, then I can, too… So, on that note, I give you my interpretation of how things could have been:
After three very long, very miserable years of a despised forced marriage and many vengeful machinations, Eric had finally maneuvered the weak and despised King Cyrillus Hardin of Florida into pitting Felipe De Castro against Queen Freyda the Whore-Bitch. Subtle rumors being as they are, no one could trace the origins of certain threats and innuendos, and once they gained momentum, they grew into their own savage beasts.
As expected and suitably encouraged, Freyda, vain, greedy, and not all that intelligent, fell for the perceived threat of her former cohort De Castro, and obligingly waged open war against him.
By extension this war included all of De Castro’s subjects, which gave Eric the perfect opportunity to rid both De Castro and many of his followers of their undead existence. Later it was perceived to be De Castro’s fault that Freyda’s bejeweled, product-infused head tumbled down a well-lit stairwell. De Castro. Of course. The rapist formerly known as William “Bill” Compton was, sadly, a casualty of friendly fire. Sadly.
How Hardin managed to become separated with his own head remains a mystery to this day, but no one is overly-concerned. Temporarily burdened with kingship over Nevada, Arkansas, and Louisiana, King Northman happily watched as Hardin’s highly-capable second in command begrudgingly took over Florida. That any vampire in their right mind would want “The Sunshine State” was beyond him, but it certainly wasn’t his problem…now. After he handed over the Regency of Arkansas to Pierce Novak, a physically unassuming yet brilliant vampire of surprisingly immeasurable help during his marital incarceration, neither was Arkansas. He never had anything against that fair state, which in fact had a great many positives, but the foul miasma of Freyda lingered low and vile.
King Northman then placed his eldest child, Karin, in charge of Nevada with the injunction to spare no one who held even the taint of loyalty toward the old regime. Karin happily complied, and no one much minded that, within a few nights, Nevada had ‘misplaced’ a quarter of her vampire population. Her child, Dougan McAlister, was quite proficient.
Now all his problems were solved…save one.
Sookie Stackhouse Merlotte.
At least she had already gotten that damn shifter out of her system, Eric thought as he paced the length of his office in Shreveport. After divesting himself of the problems of Arkansas and Nevada, his next order of business had been to establish a “royal residence” in Shreveport as he had no intention of staying anywhere near New Orleans. It was a great city to visit, he thought, but damn’d if he wanted to live there.
Shreveport was closer to Bon Temps.
He finally lowered himself onto one of the leather sofas in his office, and closed his eyes as he leaned his head back. It had now been over three years since he had insulted Sookie by offering to make her his fucking mistress. He had been desperate, and had not stopped to consider that he was basically offering to make her his whore, but he could now see exactly why she would take it that way…because that was exactly what he’d suggested.
He pinched the bridge of his nose. He had a long, hard road ahead of him if he was going to get himself out of the mess that he’d created. Not for the first time did he wish his glamour held power over her mind.
Foolishly, he’d also told her of his threat to turn her. Somehow, he didn’t see himself being able to make up for that one. His only excuse was how very desperate he had been to keep her in his life in some way, in any way. In his anger, he’d delighted in the thought of changing her, of creating her eternity whether she wanted it or not, and of having and using a Maker’s Command to control her. Remembering the insane ideas that had snaked through his half-crazed mind during that time revolted him.
He’d been hurt, too, during that time. Badly. His Maker’s betrayal, which had not surprised him, had blended with what he had viewed as a betrayal by Sookie, which had wounded him much more deeply than he’d cared to admit at the time, and created a savage vortex of emotional anguish. It was no wonder he’d struck out at her in a fundamental way.
That she’d chosen to use that damn cluviel dor to save her furry little friend instead of caring enough about him… He nixed that train of useless thought…then wanted to both destroy the room and throw up at the thought of her having sex with that damn shifter. He could just imagine Sookie’s reaction if Sam had proposed shifting into an alternate form in their bed.
At the time it was obvious to him that she’d chosen to save her friend rather than her husband, but looking back rationally, he could almost understand her decision. Almost. He hadn’t made certain that Sookie understood that there was no legal way of avoiding the marriage sentence. In her lack of complete knowledge regarding the situation and in the wake of her friend’s imminent demise, she had made the best decision she could considering the information available to her.
They both had made decisions that led to the death of their relationship, and those actions had little to do with his Maker selling him into what amounted to sexual slavery to a weak bitch queen. She could have used the cluviel dor and saved them somehow – he still didn’t entirely understand the magic behind it…and he could have talked with her more about what had been going on and made certain that she knew he had no other option.
But he had had to be the Alpha, he both consoled and berated himself. He had to take care of his own problems, and to even discuss them with his chosen wife would have been a weakness he couldn’t allow…a sharing of the burden that he just couldn’t permit.
And now…because of his pride and his Maker, and by his own actions and words…and lack thereof, he had lost her. True, his Maker’s subversive actions certainly hadn’t helped, but he could have taken Sookie into his arms and literally flown them away from all that was happening. But that would have been no life for either of them. For one thing, he never ran from his problems, and Sookie would never have agreed to leave behind either her family or its homestead.
If he had only talked with her, had let her know what was going on and how very dire the situation truly had been, then maybe…
Well, his Maker was finally dead, and so was the bitch. He was free, finally free, even if the encumbrance of monarchy was an annoying yolk around his neck. At least being a king did enable him to properly protect his Sookie.
However, he wouldn’t blame her if she chose to never speak another word to him. He still couldn’t believe he’d told her about his plans to turn her against her wishes…
Somehow disentangling himself from an enforced vampire marriage had been easier than he wisely figured regaining the affections of a single part-fairy woman would be.
He called Pam.
My Dearest Sookie,
It is with great…
I hope this letter finds you well…
Considering our parting words, I am not sure how you will regard my con
First, I apologize to you from every corner of my heart for all the words I last said to you. You are still, and will always be, the wife of my heart, and I solemnly vow upon this night to never turn you without your express permission. Please forgive me for ever having suggested otherwise.
As you hopefully now know, I am free of the marriage forced upon me by my thankfully dead Maker. I am free, Sookie. For the first time in my entire existence, I am free, and I would choose to spend my freedom with you if you would have me.
I will be the first to admit that we have many problems to solve between us before such a thing could truthfully be imagined, but I want to. I want to do whatever is necessary so that we can be close again.
Sookie, I underestimated you, and I will always regret not making sure that you knew exactly what was going on with my Maker’s edict in forcing me to marry someone definitely not of my choosing. I hate that you may have thought that I wanted any part of that travesty.
I already had a beautiful, courageous, generous, and delicious wife who I wanted, who I loved, and who I still want and love.
I will not give up on my dream of being with you, but the choice is yours. Should you choose to have nothing more to do with me, please know that your security in Louisiana, Nevada, and Arkansas is always assured, and if you should ever need anything, anything at all, let me know and the world is yours.
Curled up on the old sofa in the living room, Sookie dabbed her eyes after she read the letter for surely the hundredth time. She grabbed another tissue, then wrapped the ugly old afghan back around her legs. January was cold enough even in Bon Temps. So where the hell had he found fresh daisies?
Every letter had been accompanied by a huge bouquet of fresh, lovely daisies. Far be it for her to turn down pretty flowers in the dead of winter. On autopilot, she picked up the second letter she’d received from King Northman, who had sent her a letter a week for the last three weeks.
My Dearest Sookie,
Unless you command me to stop, I will continue writing you. I find a strange solace in thinking that you are reading my words and only hope that you actually are.
I don’t know how much attention you pay to Supe activities, so you may or may not be aware that I have moved the “base of operations” from New Orleans to Shreveport. While it is true that I am more familiar with the Shreveport area, what you may not know is that I did this so I could be closer to you.
So as to not frighten you I will not tell you just how often I think of you and the times I spent between your lovely thighs, but rest assured, I do. Thoughts and images of you occupy my mind very, very frequently.
Eloquent words cannot express the depths to which I miss you.
On another note, it seems my Sergeant at Arms, your fan Rasul, still remembers you and inquired as to your health. He is now Karin’s most capable Sergeant at Arms in Nevada.
Pam sends her regards…of a sort. She declined the Regency over Arkansas. She says her shopping would suffer in that “pretty shopping void”, and refuses to admit that she has no desire to leave my side. I am fine with this although my credit cards are suffering greatly.
Should you find yourself in Shreveport and wish to drop by, simply come to where the old Plausington Estates were located near the river. “They” are now the royal residence. Your name and image are known by every guard to assure your easy entrance, and a suite has been created and set aside for your convenience. I would love to have you drop by.
I would love to have you, period.
And on that note I will close this letter. Until next time…
Fucking, fucking Eric.
Sookie rose on unsteady legs, determined to subdue the grin threatening her lips as she added another log to the fire. The fire in the fireplace brought back memories of when Eric did, in fact, ‘have’ her.
At the time she didn’t realize that those were the halcyon nights of their relationship. They were by no means perfect, but they were very much perfectly imperfect, if such a thing were possible.
Wanting the comfort of a hot drink, she made herself a cup of hot chocolate. On the way back to the living room, she ran her fingertips over another huge vase of fresh daisies and grabbed the bag of marshmallows…and the now well-worn flannel shirt many sizes too big for her smaller frame. While the shirt no longer held his scent, in her imagination it still did. It was also tangible proof that the heavenly nights gone by had actually existed.
That shirt was what had brought the truth about her sham of a marriage with Sam to a head. His shifter nose knew the truth about the worn-out flannel, and he had demanded that she throw it away. She refused. He threatened to leave. She opened the door for him and told him to not forget his toothbrush.
A week later he had called wanting to return and work on their marriage. She informed him that she’d already called her lawyer, Mr. Desmond Cataliades, and had initiated divorce proceedings. For the past two and a half years, she and Sam had proven that they fared much better as friends than spouses.
With Sam, she had felt loved, and adored. She had her “breakfast with the hubby” times, and she’d had peace, but it hadn’t been…enough. He had even encouraged her to take classes on line to get an education, and even if his suggestion was based more on his jealousy at watching her serve other men in the bar than on any sort of care for her future, she did take his suggestion, and now had a two-year business degree.
While others may mock her for being so proud of such a small accomplishment, to her it was invaluable proof that she could do better things. She had several ideas floating around in the back of her mind about how she could use her education, and now that she had her two year degree that took her two and a half years to achieve, she wanted to get something, a career of some sort, going.
Granted she didn’t have to work. Ever. Unbeknownst to Sam, once she had contacted Mr. C, her entire world had changed. Once she was officially single again, Mr. C had a few things to tell her. A few billion things, to be more exact…
Her fairy great-grandfather, a certain Mr. Niall Brigant, had left her an honest-to-God fortune, much information, a fairy dagger, and a vial. And, on his orders, Mr. C had been forbidden from telling Sookie about the contents of his will and demon-secured safe until she was single again. It seemed no one in the Supe world was surprised her marriage to Sam the Shifter hadn’t lasted.
Some days her head still reeled with all the information she’d received. Since Niall hadn’t anticipated seeing her again anytime soon, he felt obligated to inform her more about her fairy side.
He’d said she would age very, very slowly after reaching her maturity. In fact, she actually looked a few years younger now.
He’d said she would probably develop more fairy powers as she aged. Now, not only did she have her “microwave” fingers (and could easily heat and chill food and beverages, a gift she actually found useful), but she could “pop” at will, and if she concentrated really hard, she could also call someone to herself…much to Sam’s dismay.
One night about a year after her divorce, she had sensed an unknown Were in her woods and had unknowingly popped Sam to her side; they were both glad he had been dressed. The Were was actually looking for Sam, had traced his scent to Sookie’s house, and had attacked the shifter when he came out onto the front porch. That was when Sookie realized that she could also levitate living beings before frying them. She later practiced levitating inanimate objects, too, but still couldn’t call them to her.
Ensconced back on the couch, Sookie took another sip of her hot chocolate then placed the mug on the table. She looked at her fingertips, and for the millionth time wondered why her powers hadn’t manifested in time to save Eric from The Bitch Queen.
Then she wondered if it would have even mattered. According to Eric, he’d been planning on turning her, the ultimate betrayal, before then. And he hadn’t even bothered telling her what was really going on with the whole marriage fiasco.
That was two insurmountable betrayals in a very short time. Months ago she had admitted to herself that she did still love the bastard, but he had betrayed her trust in several ways, and as much as she did love him, Doormat Sookie had left the building.
Once she knew his reasoning, she may have tried to forgive him for locking her up in his basement dungeon like a common vampire criminal and for fang-raping her afterward, but she certainly hadn’t forgotten it, nor had she forgotten how he had used her without bothering to even ask her first.
And he still hadn’t learned to actually talk to her. She also hadn’t forgotten how purposefully cruel his bite had been after killing Madden. He had hurt her and on purpose…that was certainly not something you did to someone you supposedly love, she didn’t think.
Sure, she thought, he’d been mad that she hadn’t been jumping for joy over Madden’s death, but damn, that was no excuse to attack her like he did. After all, she’d helped to plan it all out – that should have counted for something. Just because he was pissy that she wasn’t excited over death and vampire goo wasn’t an excuse to hurt her on purpose. That was just plain abusive.
After blowing her nose and wiping away tears from painful memories, she ran her fingers over his third letter. Funny how much more conversational he got in a letter, she thought with exasperation. If he’d been this communicative in person in the past, things may have been completely different. But, it was too late now, she reasoned against the pull in her heart.
The cluviel dor had been used, and while Sam’s life had been saved, her marriage to Eric hadn’t been. Of course, that marriage had been on a downward spiral from its deceptive inception: not once had he ever truly asked her to marry him.
He just considered that the handing off a pretty knife made it a done deal whether she wanted it or not. Of course she knew why he had done it, and she had come to honestly appreciate not only the protection afforded her by that action, but the thought behind it all. He had genuinely cared about her and wanted to keep her safe even at possible detriment to his own position in the vampire hierarchy.
Having Amelia create a potion to break their bond was the worst thing she’d ever done, she suddenly realized. She should have at least discussed it with him beforehand, during what little time he’d been around, that is.
She also realized a bit too late that vampires and humans have different ways of judging the passage of time, too. What had felt like forever to her had probably only seemed but a moment to a vampire who was over a thousand years old.
Yeah, she’d done her own share of things to ensure the failure of their marriage, but even so, she was certain that she could never really trust him again. He had done too many things to break that trust, especially there at the end.
Oddly both reluctant and eager, she slowly withdrew the letter from the fancy, expensive ‘King Northman’ envelope, smoothed it out, and read it.
My Dearest Sookie,
I have sent you two letters, and have yet to hear back from you. This causes an unfamiliar feeling in my chest: fear.
Am I too late? Am I being too impatient? Has too much time passed by? Have I made too many mistakes to win back your love and your trust?
I fear that I may have, and this tears my old heart to pieces.
Every night I long to wake with you in my arms. I very much long to hold you in my arms once more, to smell the sunshine in your hair and on your skin. The memory of your touch, of touching you, haunts my waking hours.
I am jealous of your hands as they get to touch your hair, your body. I am jealous of your eyes in that they get to see your reflection in your mirror. I am even jealous of your bed as it gets to hold you in your slumber.
Yes, I am king, but even with all the power currently at my disposal, I feel no elation without you by my side. How can I say this? You belong by my side. I once promised such a thing, and I long to bring it true. I need you by my side.
I realize that I cannot undo things from the past, no matter how much I would give to be able to. You deserve my best, and I have consistently shown you much less than that. In a way I feel that you don’t know me at all, and it is my fault for holding so much of me away from you.
While it would kill me, I can understand if you no longer wish to be involved with me, but I have to ask: can we not at least be…friends? Can we at least start over as friends?
I will beg if I must, I will plead for a word from you, even just a word. Waiting to hear from you, and receiving nothing, is torture.
Yours truly in eternity,
Fucking, fucking, fucking Eric.
How dare he! Fucking Eric with his fucking…begging. Pleading.
She knew exactly how it felt to go weeks without hearing from the one she loved.
Doormat Sookie may be gone, but Sookie was…still herself. She couldn’t stand the thought that Eric was that miserable. Although a part of her, the part that held the best grudges, wanted to make him suffer, even though she didn’t trust him she still didn’t want him hurting.
Sookie finally retrieved her nice stationery and sat at the kitchen table to compose a reply.
Friends? Really? After all we’ve been through together? I don’t know if I trust you enough for that.
I know I’m a telepath, but you can’t expect me to read your mind, Eric. You have to actually talk to me, using words and everything, instead of keeping unimportant little details like YOUR IMPENDING MARRIAGE away from me. And you owe Pam a huge apology for acting like an ass to her, too.
You would not believe how angry I am at you. I was sitting on the couch earlier tonight remembering all the things you’ve done to me, and that’s when I realized that even if I did still love you, not that I’m saying I do, I wouldn’t ever be able to trust you, and if I can’t trust you, I can’t be with you.
To be fair, though, I also remembered all the things you did do for me, and I want to take this chance to tell you that I did appreciate them, and I do appreciate them. I see now that you stuck your neck out for me a lot of times when maybe you shouldn’t have, but you did it anyway. Thank you.
But in a lot of ways, neither one of us has been all that good for the other, or to the other. I don’t know if we could stop that, either.
Ever since I divorced Sam, which I’m sure with your spies you know all about, I’ve been making a point to be more honest both with myself and with the people around me.
So, here goes: I regret breaking the bond. There, I said it. I regret it even if doing it told me what I needed to know. I needed to know if I really loved you, and I found out that I did. I did really love you.
Of course that information came too late.
I’m bitter about our forced divorce, the humiliation of it all, and the shock of it all. I’m bitter that you didn’t even care enough about me to TELL me what was going on. I deserved to know, hell, I might have even been able to help – cluviel dor, anyone? – but you didn’t even bother to ‘grace’ your wife with the knowledge that you had a MARRIAGE coming up until it was too late.
Yes, Eric, I’m bitter.
You played the whole thing off like you had some sort of magic that would fix it all, but no, you didn’t. You had too much pride, and that was it.
Well, I hope you’re enjoying your new single status.
I’m sure some other bitch queen will come along with an offer you won’t refuse.
Anyway, good luck being king. I know you never wanted that kind of responsibility or paperwork.
PS: Thank you for the daisies. Where did you find daisies in the winter?
The night Eric received Sookie’s reply, he immediately canceled all plans and sequestered himself to his chambers. He held The Letter under his nose and took long, slow, deep breaths of the paper to capture every scent, then placed it gently atop his bedside table.
With hands that shook slightly, he warmed the bags of blood that comprised his evening repast, then downed the foul liquid as quickly as he could and savored the memory the taste of his beloved.
Finally he admitted to himself that he was scared to open The Letter. What if she, somewhat rightly, told him to go fuck himself? What if his spies, her guards that she knew nothing about, had missed something and she was actually involved with someone else? No, he consoled himself, they were too thorough for that to happen. He knew of her every movement, even if he didn’t know why she was in contact so often with Cataliades, of all demons. No, she wasn’t seeing anyone else.
He took The Letter in hand once more and debated opening it in his bedroom, or at the desk in his den. The desk won out on the probability that her letter contained news he wouldn’t like.
When he finished reading The Letter for the fifth straight time, dissecting every word, every phrase, and every possible angle, he went to his bathroom to wash the bloody tears from his face, but nothing could contain his smirk. True, she had called him out on some of his shit – he did love her fire, but…whether she realized it or not, she’d also left it open for him to reply, and reply he would.
**A/N Pt 2: Ok, is this worth continuing? I have one more chapter in mind for this (unless the muses attack) – do you want it? What do you think?**