As he sat, Eric smiled when he saw that Sookie did not sit on the opposite couch again. Instead, she sat next to him and reached out for his hand.
“I need to tell you some things that Jesus told me today, and then you can tell me if you think I’m right about the light.”
“Okay,” Eric said, squeezing her hand in encouragement.
“Well, first of all, Jesus told me some things he learned about fairy magic. My fairy blood is definitely the reason for my telepathy; fairies actually prefer communication via telepathy to speaking, and I got a taste of this first hand when they tried to keep me there.”
Eric’s hand gripped hers a little tighter and she smiled, “I’m not going anywhere, Eric. I promise.”
He released his grip a bit and smiled sheepishly. “Sorry.”
“Anyway, in addition to telepathy, fairies are supposedly able to propel their thoughts into other people, but I’ve never done that. Some can also kind of beam into places, like Star Trek, but I cannot do that either.”
She looked at him to make sure he understood the reference before going on, “And then some fairies have the light in their hands, like me. Jesus said that the light can be used to both attack and to heal.”
“Ah,” Eric said. “I asked Jesus to look in to that since your light did nothing to hurt me at the Festival of Tolerance. In fact, it broke the witch’s curses and helped me recover my memories.”
“That’s what I thought,” Sookie said excitedly. “I think it knew that I wanted to save Bill but not hurt you, so it just healed what was causing the problem.”
His voice got low, “You also used it to make me feel better one other time, Sookie―or at least, I think you did.”
“That morning on the roof?” she asked.
“Yes,” he confirmed. “Before you took my hand, I wanted to die right along with Godric; after you touched me, I felt like I could go on somehow. I thought it was just the comfort that my blood being in your body was giving me, but now I think it was more.”
Sookie nodded, “I think so too.”
After a few moments, Eric asked, “Did he say anything else about the fairy magic?”
“Yes,” Sookie said nervously. “He said that fairy magic could work kind of like vampire magic in a way,” she paused, “to make bonds.”
Eric looked at her in surprise.
“Jesus thinks that the magic in me could also be transferred by sharing my light or even by my blood, just like your kind of magic. As with vampire bonds, the fairy bonds have their safeguards, so it takes permission and intention from both parties to form them as well.”
“So we formed one of those too,” Eric stated, certain of that fact even as he said the words. “But it must be stronger than a vampire bond, Sookie―or at least stronger than a first bonding like ours was. The fairy bond must account for the empty spots we both feel. It probably also explains how you called me to your dream and how I was able to come to you.”
“That’s what Jesus guessed,” Sookie said. “And I think that the white light you saw, trying to encase the bond, was my magic too. That’s why you got the impression that it was me trying to help you.”
Eric looked at Sookie seriously, “I believe you are right.” He stood up and walked over to the fireplace, standing a few feet in front of its dying embers and looking intently into it.
Sookie gave him a moment, hoping that he would not be angry that her fairy-ness had somehow gotten a foothold into his body. She perceived that vampires probably had a double-standard about ties and bonds. It was fine as long as it originated from them, but she wondered how Eric would feel about being bound to her just as much as she was to him.
Finally, she stood up and took her empty tea glass and his empty goblet in the kitchen and began to prepare some dishwater. Doing nothing would make her crazy, and he deserved his time to process things, just like she’d had hers.
She suddenly felt his hands come around her waist from behind. His embrace was tender, and she sank backwards into his body. “Why did you go, min kära?” he asked.
“I thought you might want some time to think about everything, to see what you thought about the whole fairy bond thing. I hope you’re not angry.”
“Angry?” he asked, real surprise in his voice. “Why would I be angry?”
“Well, you were basically trapped into a permanent bond with a fairy while you had amnesia. I’m sorry I didn’t know.”
“But that is the same thing that happened to you. You were first tied and then bonded to me without full knowledge of all the repercussions of it. I cannot be angry at you because your kind of bond is actually much more powerful than mine. It only adds to your extraordinary nature.”
“So you are not mad, and you are not upset?”
“No. I was thinking about how honored I am that you chose to bond with me in this way. But you did not understand what was happening, so I found myself concerned that you regretted the bond.
“I don’t,” Sookie said quickly.
“I don’t either,” Eric added.
Eric loosened his embrace after dropping a kiss on Sookie’s head.
Sookie smiled at the gesture and began washing the few dishes from dinner. Eric nudged her away and took over the task as Sookie looked up at him in surprise.
“What?” he asked in mock hurt. “I know how to wash a dish.”
She smiled playfully, “I can see that.” She paused dramatically, “I just thought I never would see it.”
He laughed as she took some Tupperware containers out of the cabinet. She ladled the leftover soup into single-serving portions and secured the lids tightly before putting all but two in the freezer. She put those into the refrigerator.
By the time she had finished that and wiped down the table and counters, Eric had washed the dishes including the big soup pot. She glanced at the clock and sighed. It was 4:00 in the morning, and she was feeling the strain from all the spent emotions of the night.
Eric smiled down at Sookie. “I should probably go, min kära. It is late, and I’m sure you are tired.”
“It is late, and I am tired,” Sookie agreed, “but I don’t want you to go anywhere.”
He stared at her intensely, “What do you want?”
Sookie looked up at Eric, her gaze rivaling his in the intensity department. “I want you to come to bed with me, and when you have to go down to your cubby because of the dawn, I want you to take me down with you. I want to hold you until I fall asleep tonight. And I want to be held by you until I wake up. I want you to spend the rest of the night after I fall asleep making sure you want to reestablish a vampire blood bond with me. And while I lie outside tomorrow in order to absorb more sun into my body just for you, I want to spend some time making absolutely certain that’s what I want too. And then when you wake up tomorrow, I want to be the first thing you see. Finally, after we have another dinner together, I want us to talk about what we have both decided.”
“You want a lot,” Eric said, a contented smile playing on his face.
“It’s not a lot to ask if that’s what you want too,” Sookie said hopefully.
“It’s not a lot to ask at all, min kära.”
While Sookie saw to her human needs and changed into a comfortable nightgown, Eric checked in with Bubba and did a quick sweep of the area himself. He made sure the fire was out fully before following his nose to Sookie, who was in Adele’s old room.
His nose also picked up one other thing, Godric’s shirt. He walked over to the dresser and picked it up carefully.
“You should have that,” Sookie said. “Your dream self told me that you found it but that you left it here. I should have given it to you a long time ago, but it never seemed to be the right time.”
He sat down on the bed, the shirt held firmly in his hands. “I felt no pain from him that morning.” Eric looked up at Sookie, his eyes shining brightly, “But I did feel pain from you. You mourned him.”
“You picked up this shirt so that you could give it to me.”
“I smelled you returning downstairs that morning. I smelled this shirt. I smelled the salt of your tears. I wanted to open the door when you walked by.”
“Why didn’t you?”
“It was all too much―what I was feeling. It was more than I knew how to feel.” He stood up and went to the closet. He pulled down her box of keepsakes, placed the shirt inside reverently, and returned the box to the shelf. He turned back to look at Sookie, “It feels like it belongs here for some reason.”
Sookie smiled at him. “Okay then,” she said softly. She grabbed his hand and led him to the bathroom where his toothbrush from when he stayed with her was waiting for him. They brushed their teeth together, sharing both the sink and teasing glances through the mirror.
When they were both done, Sookie reached up with a towel and wiped some water from the corner of his mouth. “It always surprised me that y’all brushed your teeth?”
“I just didn’t think you could take in anything but blood.”
He laughed, “We can take in a minimal amount of other fluids. The trace amounts of water that we take in when brushing our teeth or when out in the rain cannot harm us. Also, we can take in human fluids other than blood, if you remember.”
She blushed warmly. “I remember.”
They put their toothbrushes next to each other in the copper holder and then returned to the bedroom.
“I see you decided to move rooms after all,” he said as he casually stripped himself of his shirt and jeans, glad for once that he was wearing some boxer briefs underneath.
“It was time,” Sookie said softly as she pulled down the covers on the side that seemed to naturally be hers. “Plus, this was the bigger bed.”
“Oh, I like that part,” Eric said suggestively, waggling his eyebrows.
“Not tonight, cowboy. Now come here,” Sookie said, settling in and then patting her stomach. “Come and let me hold you for a little while.
“Are you really going to make me do this?” Eric asked in mock frustration.
“Yeah, I sort of am,” Sookie returned.
“Stubborn woman!” Eric huffed jokingly.
Sookie patted again.
Eric smiled and settled onto her stomach comfortably as Sookie started to drag her fingers through his hair.
“Now you don’t have to miss it,” she said softly.
“You washed the sheets and hung them out to dry in the sun, min kära,” Eric sighed as he nestled in more.
“Did you do that for me too?”
“Nope, that was for both of us.”
“I like the sound of that,” he said.
After a few minutes, he resettled so that he was on the pillow next to her, looking into her eyes.
“You like the sound of what?” she asked, picking up on his earlier words.
“Of you using the word ‘us’ to describe―well―us.”
She smiled over at him.
“What part did you miss most from when I was amnesia Eric?”
Sookie giggled at his phrasing, but then looked at him seriously, “It was this part.”
Eric pulled her to him and held her to his chest, inhaling the scent of the sun that she had captured just for him. He closed his eyes as she relaxed into him. Eric felt the empty spot that had been left behind in him after the severing of the blood bond pulse slightly. She had wanted him to make sure―to be certain that he wanted her and wanted to bond with her in every way.
He had respected her desire for time, but he needed none; she would always be his first choice. He was a ruthless killer, yet she could love him. She had also taught him that he was still a man that wanted to love and be loved.
He listened to the beating of her heart as it slowed into a regular rhythm that indicated she was asleep.
After an hour or so, he felt the dawn drawing nearer. He carefully sat up so that he wouldn’t disturb Sookie and grabbed his cell phone, which he’d put on the little table next to the bed.
He sent a quick text to Miranda Stevenson to see if he could secure her and her partner Jarod Campbell as Sookie’s daytime guards. Both owed him a favor and had been very loyal to Godric, so he trusted them with her protection. He asked that they come as soon as possible.
Next, he speed dialed Pam. His child answered on the first ring.
“You are happy tonight,” she said by way of greeting.
“Yes,” he said simply, keeping his voice quiet. “Is there anything to report?”
“No. Thalia, Rasul, and Isabel are all in place. Isabel has brought a sizeable retinue of vampires from Godric’s old area. Rasul is recalling the New Orleans vampires and is already planning ways to increase revenue through tourism. And Thalia is―well―Thalia.”
“Sounds like things are as we expected. And Bill?” Eric said as he ran his fingers lightly through his beloved’s hair.
“He seems to have done very little today. The bugs you installed in his home picked up nothing of substance.”
“Well, he was a nice figurehead for Nan; hopefully, he will stay that way and let us run our territories in peace.”
“You will make him a rich man,” Pam said disgusted.
“Yes, between Rasul, Isabel and myself, we will turn quite a profit, I think.”
“Will he accept the inevitability of you and Sookie?”
“That remains to be seen, but that is why we are listening to him. Because I love her, I hope he does.”
“And if he does not.”
“If he does not, then I will do what it takes to make sure Sookie and I are protected, even if it means removing him from the picture permanently.” Eric paused. “I am staying at Sookie’s home tonight. I will touch base tomorrow at some point.”
Eric hung up as he continued to stroke Sookie’s hair.
“I hope you don’t have to hurt Bill,” Sookie said, her voice quiet and heavy with sleep.
“I hope that too.”
“But you would?”
“Yes, you need to know that I would do anything to protect us now.”
Eric continued to hold Sookie as she fell back to sleep. In the past, he would have tried to hide the fact that he had a dark side from her, but she had a right to know what he was like before she bonded herself to him this time. He just hoped that she could accept him.
His phone signaled a new text, and he was pleased to see that Miranda and Jarod could be in Bon Temps sometime on Friday. Like Sookie, he’d be glad when Herveaux was out of the picture; he’d certainly never intended for her to be uncomfortable around the Were.
Ten minutes before dawn, he picked her up, carefully cradling her body to his. He would make sure that converting this room to a light tight space would be a priority. She nestled into his chest and sighed contently as he carried her to the cubby, using his power of flight to make sure she was not jostled in any way. He settled them into the small bed, snuggly fitting her body to his. He inhaled the scent of sheets dried in the sun and buried his face into Sookie’s hair as he spooned her body to his. The dawn was already twenty minutes old before he finally let himself succumb to his daytime sleep.