It was dark—pitch black—but Sookie was not frightened. She immediately knew where she was because of the smell of the room. It smelled like vampire―particularly her vampire―and it smelled of oak. She was in the cabin.
She reached out her hands and took a step, almost tripping over the sofa.
“Okay,” she said out loud to herself, “couch.” She ran her hands along the piece of furniture in order to orient herself. Then she made her way carefully over to the wall where she knew she’d find the light switch. After a minute or so of looking, she found it and tried flipping it on, but nothing happen.
“Son of a mother,” Sookie said in frustration. Then, she thought for a moment. She reached out to the fairy bond, but couldn’t feel Eric.
“Eric!” she yelled out. “Eric?” There was no response.
Sookie felt her way along the wall until she reached the stone of the fireplace. She knew that Eric kept matches on the mantle. She felt the match box immediately and sighed with relief. Carefully, so as not to spill the whole box, she got one and lit it. Its light filled the space around her and gave Sookie long enough to see the candle that was on the other side of the mantle. Quickly, she lit it, and the room danced with dim light. Sookie sighed with relief. She took that candle and was able to find others around the room, and before long, there was plenty of light for her to see by.
“Eric!” she yelled again, but there was still nothing.
She took a candle and went into the kitchen. She saw a new toaster on the counter. “Eric?” she said excitedly. “Eric!”
Still she couldn’t feel him, but something told her that he was there nonetheless.
She next walked down the hall and opened their bedroom door. “Eric?” she yelled as she went inside the room. “Eric!” Again nothing.
She went back into the hall and punched in the code for Eric’s cubby. She carefully climbed down the ladder and was disappointed not to see him there. “Damn it!” she said, frustrated.
“Eric!” she yelled a few more times. She moved back up the steps of the cubby and then back into the living room. She set the candle on the coffee table and noticed how cold it was in the cabin. She set out to build a fire for heat. Luckily, there was enough wood to get her started. She quickly prepared some paper and a bit of kindling wood―just like Gran had taught her―and lit the flame. She stacked the logs over the kindling so that the air between them would help the fire ignite, and she stood back as she watched her creation begin to burn more strongly. She noticed only one piece of wood was left, so she decided to get some more from outside before she settled in.
She looked down at herself for the first time and noticed that she was still wearing the same ill-fitting, thin tunic that she had been wearing in the fairy realm when she’d gone to sleep. It was Ivan’s tunic. She cringed. She felt the urge to change clothes and get out of the evil fairy’s garment, so she returned to the bedroom and quickly discarded the offensive clothing straight into the garbage can. She grabbed one of Eric’s T-shirts and got a pair of sweatpants out of her drawer. She quickly put on a thick pair of socks and her slippers and grabbed one of Eric’s jackets from the closet. She breathed in the scent of him; in that moment it felt like he was right next to her.
“Eric!” she yelled again; Sookie looked around in irritation when he didn’t appear before her. She mumbled to herself. “If you don’t get your skinny ass here soon, I’m gonna kick it!”
She hurried to the front door and typed in the security code. It was very cold outside and smelled faintly of snow, but the moonlight illuminated her way. Sookie looked up and noticed that the orb was not quite full, but very bright. She ran around to the side of the cabin where the extra wood was kept. She glanced up and saw Eric’s little work shop. She walked toward it and opened the door. Once again, the light did not turn on, but the moonlight lit the little space adequately enough for her to see that no one was there. Sookie sighed in exasperation before quickly closing the door and rushing back to get the wood. She hurried in and put the wood in the holder next to the fire before running to collect another load. This task completed, she moved to put some blankets onto the floor, but was surprised to see some already there. They’d not been there when she went outside; of that she was certain.
“Eric!” Sookie yelled, looking around the room. “Vampire! I am serious! You had better come to me right now!” Sookie looked around again, but there was no one there.
Sookie once again picked up her candle and gave the cabin a thorough search, but she couldn’t find her husband. Discouraged, she once again climbed up the cubby steps and went back to the living room. The sight she saw there froze her in her tracks. Eric was standing next to the fire, looking down at its flames. “Eric,” Sookie said quietly.
He turned around, and she rushed toward him, stopping about a foot in front of him.
He spoke softly, “I saw the light, and I came. You found me.” He took the candle from her carefully and then almost as if afraid to do so, he touched her cheek. A slow smile began to grace his features. “You found me, min kära. I thought I was lost forever, but you found me.”
“Are you the real you or the dream you?” Sookie asked.
Eric looked into her eyes. “I am the Eric that was made by you in the fairy bond, but I have been lost in the dark.”
Sookie moved one of her hands over her chest and tried to feel the fairy bond. She looked up at Eric with wide eyes. “I feel something!” she exclaimed. “It’s there!”
Dream Eric nodded and—mirroring her action—raised his free hand to the place where their fairy bond lived within him. “I feel something too, but it is faint. I feel like if the fire goes out, I will be lost again.”
Sookie looked at Eric with fear in her eyes and then quickly put a couple more logs onto the fire and stirred it so that it was even brighter.
Eric chuckled, and it was Sookie’s turn to raise her hand to his cheek tentatively. “I’ve only been separated from you for a few hours, but I missed the sound of your laugh.”
Eric once again mirrored her action and then lowered his forehead to hers. “I have felt lost without you, my love. It has felt an eternity to me—to him.”
Sookie sank into his embrace for a moment and then looked into his eyes. “I need to try to heal the bond―okay?”
Eric smiled and nodded. Sookie put both of her hands onto his chest and tried to muster her power, but only a weak light emanated from her hands. Still, she sunk that into his chest.
“Did you feel anything?” Sookie asked.
“Yes,” Eric said in a whisper.
“Did he?” Sookie asked desperately.
Dream Eric shrugged but then nodded. “I think so.”
Sookie felt the fairy bond grow a little stronger. She concentrated on that bond and once again tried to draw forth her magic. This time a brighter light rose in her hands. She looked down at them excitedly and then once again sent the light into his chest.
He closed his eyes and smiled. “It is stronger. And he is trying to help you now; can you feel his magic in you?”
Sookie felt tears in her eyes. She nodded, “Yes.”
Dream Eric looked at Sookie with reverence. “You are my miracle, Sookie. I love you.”
The tears slipped down Sookie’s cheeks as she felt Eric’s love for her filling up their fairy bond; this time she summoned her magic from that very love, and a strong, bright white light formed in her hands and kept getting bigger and bigger as she focused on their love.
“Do it,” Eric said, bracing himself for the impact of the blow.
Sookie poured her magic into him with all of her might.
In Sookie’s mind, she was calling out to her beloved, begging for him to hear her and to come to her. Suddenly the Eric in front of her seemed to change. Whereas before he’d been wearing the same clothing he had on when she was taken to the fairy realm, now he was dressed in his grey track pants and the dark green T-shirt she’d seen him wearing in the image from the pool. He looked down at her with shock in his eyes—shock and awe.