“Sookie, I . . . .”
She strained her body to raise up a little and stopped my words with a kiss. I bent down to make the connection easier for her and momentarily enjoyed her taste before pushing her as far away as I could.
“Maybe if I don’t try to stop myself from burning—if I don’t try at all—I’ll flame out quickly. Maybe you won’t burn,” I said desperately.
She shook her head. “I would burn, Eric. Even from fifteen feet away, I could feel the heat when Godric went.”
I sighed. “And I am not as old as Godric.” I shook my head. “I couldn’t do it anyway.”
“How long?” she asked.
“Then keep kissing me goodbye,” she ordered.
“With pleasure, Miss Stackhouse,” I agreed, ignoring the silver chains as I got as close as possible to her. Out chests were flush. Her lips felt perfect against mine.
What a way to go, I thought to myself.
My fangs had long-since descended. Impending doom. A Billith on the loose. Sookie in my arms.
Yeah, there were lots of reasons why they’d clicked into place.
I was just starting to marshal my magic so that I could hold off my burning as long as I could when I felt Sookie slice her tongue on my fangs.
I tried to pull back.
“No,” I muttered.
“Drink,” she ordered. “It’ll protect you from the sun.”
“Only for a few minutes,” I reminded.
“You’ll drink more then,” she said.
“And I’ll get only a few minutes more,” I said insistently.
“Then you’ll drink again!”
“Until I kill you!” I growled. “No! I won’t do that!”
“No!” I yelled. “Don’t you see? If I did that, I might gain a few more minutes of misery, but I’d lose so much more. I’d lose my soul.”
She smiled up at me as more tears streamed down her face. “I knew you had one of those.”
“You helped me to find it.”
“Eric, please, drink—even if it’s just a few times. I want that time—more time with you,” she let out a little sob.
I thought for a moment. “You’re right,” I said with a nod; we could have more time together. Most importantly, however, I realized that I could drink to the point that she passed out. Thus, she wouldn’t feel the pain of us burning. And I could save her from that much—at least.
I could not kill her, but I would do all I could to make sure she did not suffer.
We were tied together in such a way that my options of where to bite her were limited. I bent down, curving my spine into the silver, in order to reach her neck.
“Eric!” she yelled, as my skin sizzled from the chain’s slight movement. “Just kiss me. Do it that way.”
“A slice of your tongue wouldn’t be enough,” I said.
“Then bite,” she said.
I shook my head. “It would be too excruciating for you, and the blood still wouldn’t come fast enough.”
“Okay,” she said, her voice squeaking a little. “Wait!” she said with sudden realization.
“Yes?” I asked.
“I know you. And I know why you’ve agreed to do this!”
“Sookie, I . . . .”
“I don’t want you to have to die alone,” she said insistently.
“And I won’t let you feel the pain of burning!” I returned, just as insistently. “Not when there’s no need for it!”
“You high-handed . . . ,” she started.
I interrupted her words with a short kiss. “It needs to be now,” I said when I broke it. My senses were all telling me to run.
“Please,” she whimpered. “Don’t take enough to knock me out the first time—okay? Promise me that much—at least.”
I nodded. “I promise.” I bent down and then bit, just before the first rays of the sun bit into my back.
I took about as much as I’d taken that day with Russell. That morning, I’d lasted about four minutes as I’d beckoned him into the light via the cameras at Fangtasia. Russell had taken much more that morning, so I knew it wouldn’t yet be enough to make Sookie unconscious.
“You okay?” she asked, even as she looked toward the rising sun over my shoulder. Given our placement, I couldn’t see it, but I could see its light in her hair.
“For now,” I confirmed.
She nodded, clearly trying to hold off tears. “I had a chance recently—to shoot out all the light within me. To get rid of the fairy and to just be,” she paused, “human.”
“You tried,” I said with realization. That must have been what I’d felt through our bond while I’d been high on Lilith’s blood in the karaoke bar.
“How do you know?” she asked.
“I felt the energy of it.”
“A few nights ago—I felt energy through our bond, but you were not feeling fear, so I didn’t think you were battling. I felt only determination and self-loathing from you that night.”
She sighed. “That night—I was hating the part of me that made me different—because that part killed my parents.”
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“I found out that a vampire was the one that killed them—a vampire that was attracted to my blood.” She laughed bitterly. “I guess—at least—I won’t have to deal with his comin’ for me now!”
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“Warlow’s his name, and my ancestor gave me to him—in a contract written in blood,” she said, shaking her head.
She chuckled ruefully. “You wanna know the irony? He appeared in my bathroom—like he was trying to get out of this bubble or something? Anyway—he said that I was his.”
“How is that ironic?” I asked, still growling a little.
“Because I always hated being claimed like that, but right now—at the end—I just wish I had time to be yours.”
“Sookie,” I said, my voice laced with emotion.
“Please drink a little more,” she said.
I nodded. Selfishly, I took only as much as I’d done before, praying that she would stay awake—stay with me for just a little while longer.
Obviously, she was weakened, but she was still awake as she leaned against my shoulder.
“You used the word bond before. Billith too—though Bill never used it before,” she said tiredly, though she marshaled her remaining energy and looked up at me.
I smiled down at her. “You had no bond with him. But in the cubby—when we shared blood—we started a bond.”
“What’s a bond?” she asked.
“To a vampire, it is a vow of devotion,” I responded. “And if it were to be made three times over—made permanent—it would be stronger than any marriage. And more sacred.”
She frowned in confusion.
“Had I known, I would have told you of its significance—and let you choose,” I assured. “That night in the cubby, I went by instinct. After taking your blood and being with you for those nights and that horrible—wonderful—day I spent in silver, I wanted nothing more than to be connected to you. I’ve not regretted it,” I stated passionately. “And I won’t—even if, in these last moments we have, you do.”
“I don’t regret it. That night—I chose you too.” She sniffled. “Ever since we’ve been apart, I’ve ached inside. And now I know why. It’s the bond.”
“I’m sorry . . . .”
She interrupted. “Don’t say that. I think that ache’s what’s been keeping me goin’—despite everything that’s happened.”
I smiled at her. “Me too.” I closed my eyes for a moment. “Sookie, I need to feed again soon, and when I do . . . .” I stopped.
“It’ll knock me out,” she sighed.
“Wait! You said three exchanges would make us married—right?”
“More than married—to a vampire.”
“Then—Eric Northman—will you more than marry me?”
“Give me a little of your blood,” she said excitedly. “It’ll strengthen me a bit. So when you take mine again, then I can stay awake. That’ll be the second exchange! And then we’ll do it again. And you’ll be my husband!”
“Sookie, I . . . ,” I started to protest, but then stopped. “Yes,” I agreed, not finding a goddamned reason in the world not to die fully bonded to the woman I loved above all things.
I bit my own tongue, making a large gash. “Kiss me,” I said.
She smiled before doing just that. As she took in my blood, I felt our bond growing.
My dick was growing too. I’m sure she felt it, given the fact that our pelvises were chained together. She moved a little, grinding against me as much as she could, before breaking our kiss.
“Now drink again,” she panted, obviously as aroused as I was.
I nodded and sank my fangs into her neck, even as I felt both of our orgasms.
I took a few pulls, but when she swayed—despite my blood strengthening her—I stopped.
“Okay?” I asked.
She nodded almost dreamily. “I see snow!”
I chuckled. “It is called the euphoria. It indicates that the bond ‘took’—so to speak.”
“So that’s what happened the last time?” she asked with awe.
“Why snow?” she asked.
“It was my fantasy—to make love to you in the snow,” I smirked.
“And this time?” she asked in the challenging tone that drove me wild.
“Maybe it’s yours,” I chuckled.
She smiled. “So—uh—should I drink from you again?”
“It needs to be a separate exchange,” I said, remembering what Godric had taught me about bonds.
“How do we make it separate?”
“It’s all about blood,” I informed. “If the blood is in both of our mouths at the same time, a bond forms. To count as another exchange, our mouths must be clear of blood before we drink again.”
Her eyebrows raised. “So what? I swish spit around my mouth till all the blood is gone?”
I chuckled. “Yep.”
“How will I know when I’ve got it all?” she asked even as she started her swishing.
“My blood contains magic, which I can feel, and it wants to be deeper inside you. Just. Like. I. Do.” I leered.
Her own lust rose again, but she kept swishing.
I smirked. “In fact, my blood is already out of your mouth.”
She glared up at me. “So I’m swishing for nothing?”
I chuckled. “Yep.”
She rolled her eyes. “So what about my blood—in your mouth.”
“Already fending off the sun,” I assured.
“So—uh—let’s do another exchange,” she said.
I nodded, trying to keep the sadness out of my eyes. Even with more of my blood, I knew that taking more of hers would likely be all her body could handle.
“Should we—uh—say something? Vows?”
I smiled at her. “Why not?”
“You first,” she said.
“If Valhalla is real, I will see you there, my love. Thank you, Sookie. Thank you for being mine. I am yours—in this life and the next,” I said.
She smiled up at me, obviously having liked my words.
“If heaven is real, I will see you there, my love,” she said, mimicking my words. “Thank you, Eric, for being mine. I’m yours—in this life and the next.”
I smiled and kissed her—for as long as I dared before I slit my tongue and gave her my blood. Again, our bodies grinded together as much as possible, though I knew that she’d be too weak to achieve orgasm. And I would be too sorrowful.
When I once more felt the sun beginning to sear my flesh, I pulled away.
“Husband,” she said, her lips stained with my blood.
“Wife,” I returned, even as I bit into her neck. I felt the bond growing again, and then I felt it solidify.
“Eric, I can feel you—feel your love,” she sighed even as she drifted asleep.
I drank more of her blood then, wanting her to stay that way.
When I stopped, I leaned back so that she could rest better against my body. I figured it would take about three minutes before I would burn us both to ash.
I opened my eyes.
“It is snowing, min kära. Min fru,” I smiled, even as tears of blood fell from my eyes.
Tears of sorrow.
Tears of joy.
A/N: Thanks to everyone who is following this story! I really appreciated the volume of comments last time, and I hope that you keep them coming. I love to hear what you all have to say! I was so pleased that most of you liked the start of this piece and that many who gave up on Inner have decided to give this one a chance! As is clear immediately, I jumped ship from Season 6 canon because I didn’t want to jump the shark w/ the show.
I hope that you enjoyed this chapter. In truth, I think it’s one of my favorites that I’ve written in a while. I really liked this notion of impending death bringing truth to the forefront between Sookie and Eric. Otherwise, they might have been too stubborn. LOL. I definitely pushed the concept of bonding by letting them have two exchanges that “counted” in such close succession, but I figure that I get to make up my own rules now—right? I also wanted to deal with the whole snowy bed sequence from Season 4. How/Why did that come about? I decided to make it a sign that the bonding worked—a kind of magical shared “trip.”
Thanks so much for reading!
Until next Wednesday,