A “What if” story starting in the middle of Book 4 (Dead to the World). What if Sookie had said “yes” when Eric suggested they return to “their home” before the witch war? What if she’d chosen her own desire to “keep” him over her impulse to ensure that his memories were returned? (Story inspired by a reader who would like to remain anonymous.)
Could you please write a story starting in Book 4? I always wondered what would happen if Sookie said “yes” to Eric before the Witch War, when he offered to give up everything to stay with her. We all know that she says no and that he loses his memories of her. But what if she‘d said, YES, turned around the car and driven back to her house?
Many thanks to:
Three people helped to make this story possible.
My friend (who wants to remain anonymous) for the inspiration
Sephrenia for the banner art
Kleannhouse for the beta-ing
“My very heart-strings are on the tenters.”—John Ford’s Broken Heart
Chapter 1: My Eric
January 5, 2005
[A/N: Dead to the World quoted in italics]
“We could go back,” Eric said. In the dome light of the car, his face looked hard as stone. “We could go back to your house. I can stay with you always. We can know each other’s bodies in every way, night after night. I could love you.” His nostrils flared, and he looked suddenly proud. “I could work. You would not be poor. I would help you.”
“Sounds like a marriage,” I said.
“Yes,” Eric concurred. “I will speak to your brother, and I will ask him for your hand,” he added—as if I were fishing for him to follow protocol.
I thought that he and I were well beyond that.
Pam stepped out onto the front porch of her home. Eric and I should have been heading inside for the war meeting, but neither of us moved. I knew that Pam still felt Eric—still kept track of him through their bond.
I couldn’t look at him in that moment, so I looked at her, shining in the moonlight.
Eric’s vampire child was a beautiful specimen of “life”—though she was also death personified. Her blue eyes shined even in the limited light, and I could tell that she was looking at me. And—yes—she was judging me too.
I was used to that part.
But her eyes also shone with understanding. Being able to feel him, she—surely—felt his contentment and his preferences.
I was counting on that—on her. Any doubt from her, and I was marching Eric straight inside that house!
Of course, Pam couldn’t feel my own guilt—my selfishness.
Pam looked down and away. And then she looked back up at me and gave me the tiniest of nods.
Was it permission? Was it acknowledgement of my self-interest? Was it understanding of my need to keep him?
Or was it something deeper than that? Pam liked me—for a human. But I had no illusions; I knew that she didn’t much care about my life or my desires.
No. If she was agreeing with the fact that Eric and I were not staying, then it was somehow for Eric’s sake.
“My progeny accepts that we wish to find a life together,” Eric said confidently as if he’d been reading my thoughts.
“Maybe,” I sighed as Pam returned into her house.
“She knows that I have been made happy by this decision,” the vampire added, reaching out to take my hand.
“Okay,” I nodded before putting the car into reverse. As I pulled out into the street, I contemplated going back. A block down the street, I contemplated the same.
“Do not fret so much,” Eric said thoughtfully.
“You feel my emotions?” I asked.
“Hmmm,” he acknowledged. “Guilt—yes. And uncertainty.”
“I’m taking your life from you,” I said softly.
“I chose this life,” he returned. “I did! The other me—whoever he is, wherever he’s gone—I cannot speak for him or act for him. Maybe it is not fair to those in his life, but I cannot split myself in two. And I want to live, Sookie. Me!”
My Eric looked momentarily sulky, but then sure of himself again.
“He had a thousand years,” Eric continued. “I will ask for but one human lifetime—to spend with you. And then I will allow Pam to reverse the spell—if she learns how to do so from the witch.”
I gasped and looked over at him. “You’d do that? Live a whole lifetime and then give yourself up?”
“If it allays your guilt—then yes,” he responded.
I took a deep breath. “What if we start building a life together and then you decide that it’s too,” I paused, “little for you?”
“Impossible,” Eric insisted.
“Nothing is impossible when it comes to the supernatural world,” I sighed. “I’ve been learning that the hard way.”
“I won’t grow tired of the life I’ve chosen,” Eric said stubbornly.
“Promise me something,” I said, trying to sound firm. “If you do get tired of it—if you ever change your mind—promise me that you’ll go to Pam. Don’t stay just for me—out of obligation or guilt. Or pity. I couldn’t bear that—okay?”
Eric looked sullen for a moment. Clearly, he wanted to argue with me. Clearly, he wanted to insist that he’d never stop wanting me.
But I knew the deck was stacked against us. Still, I was placing a very large bet on us and risking my heart again—but in a way much more profound than I’d ever risked it with Bill. However, I felt “brave” in that moment—because the man I was trying to “win” was all I had ever wanted.
He “got” me. He wanted me. I “got” him. I wanted him.
In that way, the situation was simple.
I sighed. Louisiana was full of people who gambled on the large boats in the Mississippi River or in the Gulf of Mexico. I knew I was making the same kind of selfish bet that people made with their kids’ college savings accounts or with the paychecks their families needed for groceries.
But there was also a part of me that agreed that this Eric—my Eric—had the right to a life too.
Yes—that belief supported my own selfish inclinations. But it was true nonetheless.
And at the root of it all, I loved Eric—my Eric—though I was still too chicken shit to say it aloud.
The simple fact was that I couldn’t deny him—not even to allay my guilt, not even to be the “better” person.
So I took him home with me.
And this time, I would keep him there—unless he decided to go.
I was a selfish bitch, and I wanted my Eric back—just as much as Sookie wanted to keep hers.
I resented the telepath, though I liked her more than most other blood-bags. Also, I understood her motivations.
Even in his current form, Eric was a great vampire.
A great man—not to be confused with a hu-man.
I think that Eric had been bored when he made me. I think that he’d been lonely. Of course, by all accounts, I’d taken to my vampirism with no regrets regarding what I’d left behind.
I have always known that I amused Eric in ways that went well beyond the physical. In fact, we both seemed relieved when I gained enough control over my vampire libido to become “choosy” in my bed partners. He thought I was beautiful—of course. But we were not each other’s first choices of sexual partners.
You get my point.
As magnificent as Eric was, I had always known that my maker had scars so deep that he would disappear into their caverns if he ever let himself.
I knew that many of these scars stemmed from his maker, a bastard I’d thankfully never had to meet because he’d lost “interest” in Eric.
Actually, “he’d lost interest—eventually,” Eric had said.
I’d never pushed for information on Appius Livius Ocella, but Eric had—over the years—hinted at the nature of his maker’s “interest.”
Eric had never used the word “rape” to describe what Ocella had done, but I knew my maker had never preferred males. Oh—he had sometimes had to “act” with men to get something he wanted or needed. And bloodlust did tend to cloud a vampire’s usual choices, but I knew that—on the rare occasions that Eric had been with men during my lifetime—he’d never been a bottom.
Not in any sense of the word.
In purely sexual terms, the “bottom”—when it came to male gay sex—was the one who “received.” The “top” was the one who “gave.”
Often, the “top” was also the dominant in the relationship: the “man” so to speak. However, there were certainly exceptions.
Of course, I didn’t know anything about male-on-male sex—at least not in a physical sense. Despite some interesting studies I’d read—and despite my own experimentation with the so-called “female prostate”—I had no idea what the male prostate was like.
The gay men that I knew—both vampires and humans—tended to rave about the prostate, especially if they were “bottoms.” They indicated that the stimulation of it with fingers or dicks made orgasms “transcendental.”
Whatever. I’d take my clit over a prostate any day of the fucking week.
Of course, I also knew gay men—”tops” more often than not—who didn’t like “ass-play” done upon them. They were simply attracted to males, so that was whom they desired to fuck.
Again, I’d take my equipment over a cock any day of the week. But, then again, not even my maker had ever been able to give me an orgasm by dick alone. He’d always had to play with my clit, too, in order to get me off.
Especially after I’d first been turned, I’d tried all kinds of sex—both with Eric and with other men and women. I’d even asked my maker for anal sex one night. With a disturbingly haunted look in his eyes, he’d bristled at that idea, but had provided me with a human male—a glamoured one—who was of “reasonable length” to fulfill my wish the very next night.
“Reasonable” had translated into four and a half inches and about as wide as a thick carrot. I’d been angry at Eric for the “insufficient” human—at first.
But my maker had asked me—very sincerely—to accept the man for my first anal experience.
So—to please him—I had.
I’d soon learned that Eric had glamoured the man concerning “how to prepare my body.” Since I was an anal virgin at the time, my maker had insisted that it was necessary. I’d wondered at that—since vampires had such a high pain tolerance. But then Eric had lectured that when the body was not prepped, the experience was painful—even for a vampire.
I’d gone along—just wanting to “get off” in a new way.
As soon as the human had “prepped” me with oils and had given me a very nice round of cunnilingus—also per Eric’s instructions—I’d realized why Eric had made all the fuss. The act of anal sex was fucking painful, and even though I might have had some masochistic tendencies—at the time—I didn’t like the pain and the pressure of anal sex.
Oh—I had orgasmed during the act. Eventually.
Eric had made sure that the human stimulated my clit throughout the sex, but I never tried anal again. A vampire’s body always returned to its initial state, so—while I might have gotten used to the feeling and the pain of being penetrated that way—I would have felt discomfort every time.
Every. Single. Time.
That was why it was truly cruel to turn a virgin woman—in my humble opinion. I had not been one of those at my own turning. As a teen, I’d snuck out of my room at night way too many times for that.
I smirked at the memories, but that expression fell away when I recalled Eric telling me that “he’d eventually gotten used to his master’s attentions”—that he’d eventually “learned to like them to a certain extent.”
He’d also once said that Ocella had figured out worse things to do to him than to take his body.
Certainly—not everything Eric had ever said about Ocella had been bad. Clearly, he’d learned many lessons from his own maker, and Ocella was a great vampire in many ways—great at surviving and strategizing. But Eric had also made clear that some of his maker’s “lessons” would never be transmitted on to me.
And—perhaps most ominously of all—my maker had once told me that he remembered his maker and his lessons every night of his life.
I had seen my maker “break” men when torturing them. Eric could be relentless. He’d learned that from Ocella. However, I’d always felt him compartmentalizing when he did such things.
Hiding in a way.
I had guessed that it was because he spent his first centuries as a vampire being well and truly broken.
Indeed, for a man like Eric—so rooted in honor and respect and pride—being broken would have been devastating.
But this new Eric—the one in Sookie’s care—was different. He was blissfully ignorant of all the pain and agony that my Eric had endured. The new one had never been broken. He didn’t carry the scars and the memories of his maker’s abuse in cavernous internal disfigurements. He didn’t carry the fear that his maker might become “intrigued” by him once more.
Yes—I wanted my Eric back, but I couldn’t ignore the fact that the one present in the world at that moment was happier than my maker had ever been.
Free from his past.
Free from duties he hated.
Free from a business that had begun to bore him in ways that it didn’t bore me.
I sometimes wondered if Eric kept Fangtasia running for me. I knew that he’d gotten “over it” only a short time after we’d opened the bar, though he dutifully took to his throne every night.
A throne that had been my idea.
And—as far as being sheriff went—Eric despised the bureaucracy involved. However, he didn’t like to be fucked with; he didn’t want to live under the rule of another.
Thus, Eric ran Area 5 like a company. He was CEO, and Sophie-Anne was the type of “owner” who didn’t ask questions as long as the profits stayed high. In fact, Eric had made very clear “rules” with Sophie-Anne when he’d become her sheriff.
Rule number one: He would be loyal and never seek her crown—if she left him to rule his area in peace.
Rule number two: He would raise the profits of his area so that she’d never have to interfere.
Rule number three: If there was an outside threat, he’d come to her aid.
Rule number four: If he ever found her spying on him or trying to micromanage him, all bets were off.
“Fuck!” I muttered to myself.
I knew what to do about the witch war. That would go on as planned. I’d figure out the cure for Eric’s “problem,” but I would hold off on using it. I was just glad that it was a myth that spells died with their casters because I did intend to kill Hallow and her brother—her whole fucking coven.
After “playing” with them—that is—and carefully extracting the information I required.
I would also—in deference to both the “new” Eric and Sookie—endeavor not to kill the “innocents” that Hallow had conscripted into service.
But there was one question I didn’t know how to answer once the war was waged and won.
“How the fuck am I going to deal with Sophie-Anne?” I muttered aloud.
“You have no idea how bad the situation really is,” Bill Compton said from behind me.
A/N: Hello all! This story was suggested by a good friend that I “met” on ff. net and with whom I’ve exchanged periodic emails. She gave me the idea to take on the challenge of these SHORTS, working from reader suggestions. By the way, if you have a suggestion, feel free to add it HERE.
I hope that you liked chapter 1. This story is angsty, but probably not for the reasons you might think. I also experimented with using flashbacks. I hope it works for you.
Thanks for reading, and please comment if you have the time.