Sookie took in a deep breath. “Eric, I will love you no matter what you say to me next, but I need to know why you killed Bill.”
Eric nodded. “I know.” He paused for at least a minute as if he were gathering both his thoughts and steeling himself for her reaction. He looked nervous.
She couldn’t have that—not on account of Bill Compton. “Eric,” she soothed, “even if Bill’s accent just finally annoyed you to the point of ending him, I’m still gonna love you. But I know you, and I have seen your restraint―despite his past behavior. I already know you had a good reason for doing what you did. I just need to know what it is so that I can have closure.”
“You cared for him?” Eric half-asked and half-stated. In truth, he knew that Sookie would understand why Bill had to go, but he still wasn’t looking forward to telling her. He didn’t like the thought of hurting her in any way.
Sookie considered for a moment. “No—in the end, I didn’t care for him. In the end, I just wanted him to leave us in peace, and I’m guessin’ that he didn’t do that.”
“No,” Eric shook his head.
Sookie squeezed his hands. “Eric, there was a time—after I had Jesus break the blood tie with his spell—when I hoped that Bill and I could remain friends. Even though I was certain it was you that I missed and wanted to be with right after the severing spell, I still did all that I could to be fair and give Bill a chance to earn my trust and my friendship. And he didn’t. Instead, he used some kind of twisted logic to justify all of his questionable actions and plans, and he threatened you. He threatened my family.” She squeezed his hands even tighter. “And I’m guessin’ that he threatened it again while I was gone.”
So did she. “Okay, then. I want you to tell me what happened, and then I will be happy to never again speak of Bill Compton. And there is no way in hell that I am gonna let him hurt us again—no matter what you tell me.”
Eric nodded again and gave her a little smile. “After I brought Hunter here,” he began, “I checked out his father, Remy Savoy, thinking that Hunter might be better off with him than with me. I was wrong. The man is a drunk, and at least twice, he spoke publically about what he termed as Hunter’s abnormalities.”
Eric noticed his wife’s look of pain as she recalled her own childhood. He hurried on, “Remy spoke of how he was better off without the boy. I had Pam and Jessica glamour him so that he would completely lose interest in Hunter and never speak of him again. Then they glamoured the police to drop the kidnapping charges against Hadley. The plan was to make it seem as if Hadley and Hunter had gone to California so that Bill would pursue them there; however, Bill apparently had someone monitoring Remy enough so that he became certain the boy was a telepath like you. By bugging Jason’s truck and Lafayette’s car, he found out that Hunter was in our home and that Hadley was in the fairy realm with you. He hired mercenary vampires and an army of humans to attack us. He planned to use Jason to invite him into the house.”
“Shit,” Sookie sounded.
Eric continued, “Shit indeed.” He looked down and squeezed Sookie’s hand a bit before looking back into her eyes. “That was around the time when you were forced to eat the light fruit. You called to me for help, and I was doing what I could, but it,” he paused, “weakened me.”
“Eric!” Sookie said, horrified. She squeezed his hand back. “Finding out about Bill can wait a minute; you tell me right now what you mean by ‘weakened.’”
He smiled a little. “My beautiful spitfire,” he sighed. “As I sent you energy, I was depleted. It was,” he paused, “uncomfortable.”
“Oh my God,” Sookie said as she realized what he must have gone through in order to keep her alive. “How long was it for you? It was only a few minutes for me, but,” she paused as her voice caught. A tear slipped from her eye; Eric immediately raised his freehand and brushed it away. “Eric, how long were you in pain?”
“Almost a month,” he answered evenly.
She shook her head as more tears fell. “Your strength to me never wavered. So that means that you didn’t,” her voice caught up in a sob, “sleep―did you?”
He shook his head. “I will never let go of you.”
Sookie gave him a searching look as if seeing some wonderful part of him that even she’d never noticed before.
“I do not like these,” Eric whispered as he continued to brush away her tears.
She reached out and stroked his cheek gently. “Eric Northman, I need for you to tell me something.” Her voice was filled with awe.
“How many languages do you speak?”
His eyebrow lifted; he was not expecting that question. His lips tipped up in a smile. “I love it when you do that.”
“Surprise me,” he said, running his fingers along her cheek and then jawbone.”
“How many, Viking?” she smiled a little too.
“Over a hundred.”
She nodded. “Good—that should be enough to start.”
“Enough for what?” he asked.
“Enough languages. You are gonna teach me how to say ‘love’ in every single one of them―because one language isn’t enough anymore, Eric. The love I feel for you needs more words.”
He smiled; her breath caught. He was so physically beautiful—achingly so—but she knew the truth. She knew that his outer beauty paled to what was on the inside. It didn’t seem possible, but it was true.
“Jackpot,” she whispered.
He looked at her curiously.
She smiled. “That’s what I hit when I fell in love with you.”
So did she. “Tell me one right now.”
“Do you want the noun or the verb?” he asked.
“What do you think?” she challenged.
“Fine. The verb it is.” He grinned. “Do you have a preference for where I start?”
“What do you think?” she smirked.
He grinned wider. “Fine. ‘To love’ is ‘elska’ in the language of my father.”
“Elska,” she said, trying out the word. “And how do I say ‘I love you’?”
“Ég elska þig,” he responded.
“Ég elska þig, Eric,” Sookie vowed. “I fall more in love with you every day.” She leaned forward and kissed him tenderly on the lips. Then she embraced him and held him to her tightly. She thought about the pain that he must have suffered for a month as he’d not slept and had sent her all of his energy so that she wouldn’t die after the fairy bond rejected the light fruit. “Ég elska þig, my beautiful, beautiful husband.”
“Ég elska þig, fagr kván minn. [“I love you, my beautiful wife.”]
After a few more minutes of just holding him, she sat back up and took a deep breath. “Okay, you can finish tellin’ me about Bill now.”
Eric nodded and took both of her hands in his. “Bill overheard Lafayette and Jesus talking about my,” he paused, “incapacitated state. Bill made a plan to kill me and take Hunter. He was going to,” Eric stopped and shook his head.
“Eric,” Sookie said, squeezing his hands, “what was Bill going to do?”
Eric kept his eyes lowered, but Sookie could see the pain in them. “He wanted to do to Hunter what he dreamed of doing to you. He wanted to train him to be his own personal telepath. He wanted to tie Hunter to him by the blood and planned to feed on him while he was still a child. He was confident that Hunter’s blood would taste similar to yours. He planned to wait until my son came of age and then to,” Eric paused again, “take him sexually and train him to be a perfect sex partner. He planned to use the tie to make him docile.”
Sookie’s eyes grew wide, “So he was gonna use Hunter as a replacement for me?” She shook her head. “Tell me he suffered, Eric,” Sookie was the one growling now—and not with passion this time. “Tell me that he didn’t touch Hunter. Tell me you kept some of his goo around so that I could kill him again!”
Eric couldn’t help but to smile proudly at his wife. She looked like Miranda did when she was protecting her child. He dropped one of her hands and raised his own to her cheek comfortingly. “He did not even see Hunter―who was very brave, by the way.”
Sookie was a little comforted by that thought. She took a deep breath. “You made him suffer for what he was going to do?”
Eric shook his head. “No, Bill did not suffer much―though a little at Pam’s hands. I gave him a choice, and he chose to answer my questions about the time he’d been taken to the fairy realm and other things I was curious about. He cooperated, so I held to my word and gave him a swift death.” Eric paused, “Perhaps, it was more mercy than he deserved, but it was also what you would have wanted, so it is what I did.”
It was Sookie’s turn to shake her head. “I don’t know, Eric. After what he planned, I may have made him suffer.” She looked down. “Just yesterday, I killed six fairies.”
“To protect yourself and Hadley?” Eric asked, now stroking her shoulder lightly.
“In battle, min kära?”
She nodded again.
He sighed. “No matter how you feel in this moment, you would never be one to want an enemy to suffer as I would have made Bill suffer, Sookie. I killed him swiftly because that is what you would have truly desired under the circumstances and because he did tell me the truth in the end.”
Sookie raised her freehand to his cheek to stroke him there. “Eric Northman, you are a good man. And you are my man.” She leaned forward to kiss him lightly on the lips; however, just when he went to deepen the kiss, she pulled back.
“Hold on,” she said suddenly, “are you king? Oh shit. You didn’t want that!”
Eric chuckled, “I would have been willing to do it for Hunter, min kära, but no. Thalia became queen.”
“Thalia actually did it?” Sookie asked in disbelief.
“Yes, she is honoring her vow to protect our pledge, as she once promised. And she has been a good queen too―though the AVL was not happy to have lost Bill. The Authority seemed to have been keen to simply let her be, but now it looks like de Castro has the majority of the support among them. Otherwise, he would not try what he’s getting ready to try; he is something of a pansy.”
“What’s Thalia doing about de Castro?”
Eric shrugged his shoulders. “When I told her that the Weretiger was here, she was,” he paused, “ displeased. She’s disappeared. I do not know where to, but I imagine she will soon have a bloody sword. Meanwhile, we are buckling down. I’m not sure when the Weretiger will attack, but Jesus and other witches are working on counter-spells. Miranda and Tray are shoring up our defenses and are ready to take on day-time attackers. And if they come at night, I will be ready for them.”
“What of Hunter. He’s safe, right?”
Eric smiled at Sookie’s instincts to protect the child―whom again he couldn’t help but to think of as their child. Make no mistake, he knew that Hadley was Hunter’s mother, but he also knew that as soon as Sookie was back, she’d be a mother to the boy as well. Neither Hunter nor Sookie would be able to stop the love that would flow between them. Eric knew them both too well to doubt it.
He continued to stroke her shoulder in comfort. “Hunter will be fine―no matter what happens,” he assured. “I have hired a Britlingen. They are from a different realm—like fairies—but they are the best bodyguards that I know of, and if there is a serious enough breach, she will take Hunter to her realm for a while to keep him safe.”
Sookie’s eyes widened, “There aren’t time gaps there―are there?”
Eric grinned, “Nope―already checked. She’d keep him there and send another of her kind back to help and monitor the situation. Then she’d return Hunter when all was safe.”
Sookie nodded, “So―no matter what happens―Hunter is safe.”
Sookie grinned at him. “I think you must be listening to your son, Eric Northman. You’re saying ‘nope’ and ‘yep.’” She emphasized the ‘P’s’ in each word. “I like this influence he has on you.”
Eric smiled, “Tell me―what did you do today, min kära?”
She returned his smile. “It may have been only two days for me that I’ve been without you, but I missed you asking me that question.”
Eric’s face took on confusion as he did quick mathematical calculations in his head. “Two days? How is that possible? Sookie, how much time have you spent in the fairy realm versus at the pool? You said you spent only fifteen or twenty minutes there the first time you were taken to that realm, yet you were back in a little more than a year. I have spent many nights thinking about how long you would be based on your rescuing Hadley. I am glad that you are back at the pool, but how did you get there so fast?”
She smiled, “I asked Niall the same thing. He said that the time differences are not constant between Faerie and here. He said that the more connections between there and here, the less time difference. So even though I have been inside of Faerie longer―I’ve probably been in actual Faerie for about an hour all told—it seems like the same amount of time has gone by here as last time.” She smiled wider and placed her hand over the fairy bond in Eric’s chest. “It’s this that did it, according to Niall. He says he’s never seen a stronger bond.”
“Nor will he again,” Eric said, raising his hand over the bond in her chest. “You are my miracle; do not forget it.”
She smiled. “Where are you?”
Eric returned the smile. “I am here actually―in our bedroom.”
“What does everything look like, now that it’s all renovated?”
Eric smiled. “It is bigger, but I’ve yet to move in the new furnishings—as I said before. I’ve kept the old bed where it was and the old closet and dresser are the only furnishings―just as before. You would like the French doors and the balcony, min kära―though I have not opened the doors yet.”
“Why not?” Sookie asked as she caressed his chest.
Eric waited for a moment and took an unnecessary breath; his voice was quiet. “I will tell you about the difficulty of my time without you one day Sookie―one day when you are back with me fully and when I can feel you like I am meant to feel you. Until then, I am not sure that I can.”
A tear quickly rose to Sookie’s eyes. Eric’s lips might not be speaking of his pain, but his eyes were telling her of long nights full of suffering and despair. Yes—she believed that everything that had happened had been for a reason, but in that moment, she wanted to build a time machine with her own hands so that she could kick Claudette’s ass for making Eric suffer like she had.
Sookie continued to caress his chest. “I don’t know if I could have survived without both bonds, Eric. I found it difficult to do so for only a few hours, let alone months.” She paused, “You killed Claudette—didn’t you?”
He looked at her curiously. “Did Niall tell you?”
Sookie shook her head and answered a bit sheepishly. “Claude was trying to teach me how to use my telepathy better, and I delved into his mind when he wasn’t expecting it. He was thinking about how he was sad that he’d never get a chance to reconcile with his sisters, though—like Niall—he doesn’t seem to have any animosity toward you.”
Eric sighed. “Jessica killed Claudette, actually. She’d been poisoned by silver and only fairy blood would save her. I offered Claudette her life in exchange for helping me get to you, but she offered me only her curse. It was a,” he paused, “grim time for me. If not for Hunter,” his voice trailed off.
“Then I am even more thankful for Hunter,” Sookie said as she pulled herself into Eric’s lap, letting the blanket she’d been covering herself with drop. “How much longer before day time where you are?”
“Seventy-one minutes,” he answered with a little growl.
“Then you’d better get crackin’, Viking. I think we’ve done enough talkin’ for one night.”
Eric chuckled and pushed her playfully onto her back, hovering over her. His hands began to stoke her sides, sliding along first the slope of her shoulders, and then the rise of the sides of her breasts, and finally the curve of her hips. She sighed and leaned into his touch, already feeling her juices begin to flow.
“You never told me what you did today,” he said as his fingers moved in circles over her thighs, her belly, and then her breasts. His lips followed in a succession of light kisses down her body.
She moaned under his ministrations. “I learned to send my thoughts to Niall. I learned to better control my telepathy and my light from Claude. I learned that you can ride a bike.” She moaned again and then lost herself to his touch as his fingers began to trace her folds. From that moment on, she also seemed to lose her ability to speak.
He settled next to her and began softly kissing her breasts even as his fingers continued to circle first her opening and then her clit, before stroking up and down her sex in lazy figure eights. Sookie sighed underneath his caresses as her juices began to flow freely from her body.
“Do you like this, lover?” Eric asked huskily.
“Yes,” Sookie gasped. “Please. More.”
He growled a little as he dragged his tongue languorously over a nipple, feeling it harden even more.
Ever so slowly, he moved his fingers from her clit to her rear entrance, which he teased with very soft, fluttering touches. He watched her expression carefully as his touch became a bit more explorative.
Sookie gasped, and her eyes flew open. She’d not been expecting his touch there.
Eric laughed lightly at the blush which immediately colored her cheeks. Fuck—how he loved her blush.
“One day―if you are comfortable doing it―I will ask you to do this to me, lover,” he purred. He moved his finger back to her folds and coated it with her own wetness before returning it to her rear, circling the puckered opening he found there.
“But Eric,” Sookie stammered, even as she was surprised by how good her husband’s unexpected touch felt. “That’s so,” she bit back a moan and unconsciously opened herself more to his exploring finger.
“Dirty, lover?” Eric chuckled a bit and then pushed the tip of his finger against her rear opening. He kept his touch gentle, and he kept his eyes on his wife’s face.
“Oh,” Sookie cried, her reaction sounding somewhere between pleasure and pain.
His voice was low and mesmerizing. “Some people like anal play very much; in fact, when it is done how I like it, I enjoy it quite a bit. But there is always some discomfort at first. Do not worry. I will not go too much further tonight, lover.” He brought his other hand to her clit and drew circles around it, even as he continued the light circles around her rear. “I know that you have probably been taught to think of this act as unnatural or dirty, but it brings pleasure to many women and men.”
He continued speaking almost hypnotically. “You are one of the most liberal-minded people I know, Sookie. You accept everyone―or at least you try to―no matter how they are different from the norm, yet you still sometimes cling to that norm for yourself. Think of your friends Jesus and Lafayette.”
“Just mine?” she managed to stammer.
“Fine—our friends.” He chuckled at that fact that his wife could easily put him in his place even as he was driving her body crazy with desire. He continued speaking, “What do you think that our friends do in their bedroom, lover―if not this?” He moved his finger slightly deeper into her and felt her open up and relax a bit. He smiled at her body’s reaction to his stimulation.
“But isn’t it just,” she began to question before she moaned once more due to his light probing.
“Isn’t it just homosexual men that enjoy this?” Eric asked, finishing her question and chuckling again.
She nodded; her eyes were shut as she continued to enjoy his very shallow thrusts in and out of her rear. Her face was still inflamed with her blush, but her body was inflamed in a very different way.
“You tell me, lover,” he said sensuously. “I think that people like what they like―sexual orientation notwithstanding. But you need only tell me if you do not like this, min kära, and I will stop.”
She moaned again and rose into his touch, comforted by the notion that he wasn’t going to go too far. Plus, she trusted him not to hurt her. She was also receiving a lot of pleasure from his gentle touching. “No,” she gasped. “I like it.”
“I’m glad.” He groaned as he watched Sookie’s erotic movements under his ministrations and listened to her soft moans. However, he made no attempt to push his finger in deeper.
Surprised by how much Eric was arousing her, Sookie felt herself beginning to tingle and realized that an orgasm was not far away. She moaned. “A little more, Eric.”
He smiled as he watched her experience something new under his experienced hands. He loved her mix of bashfulness and sensuality. But mostly he loved it when she showed him her pleasure—showed him what she wanted. He obeyed and applied a bit more pressure, gauging her face for any discomfort.
“Eric.” She breathed out his name jaggedly.
He could tell she was close to her release, but after a few more strokes, he withdrew his finger from her rear entrance, not wanting to go too far too fast. When she moaned in protest, he continued circling her puckered opening, knowing—based on the sounds that she was making—that she was finding that quite pleasurable. Despite her obvious response to this new kind of touch, he knew that many women found deep anal penetration much too painful, and he didn’t want to hurt his beloved.
He spoke quietly. “One day, I will push in farther, lover, but I will wait until the vampire bond is back so that I can stop immediately if you are feeling too much discomfort. However, if you do like it, I will spend many other days slowly opening you, and then one day, I will take you like this, and it will feel good to us both. But I will only do that if you feel pleasure―do you understand?”
She nodded as she groaned beneath the continued light touches of his fingers. Truth be told, she wanted more right then, but she was a little fearful of her desire as well.
“Lovemaking between you and me must always be about pleasure for both of us, Sookie.”
She nodded again as he brought the fingers of his other hand to her more experienced entrance and plunged one inside of her. “Do you feel pleasure?” he asked seductively—teasingly.
She made a sound that resembled both a grunt and a groan but was able to say nothing as he worked his digit in and out of her sheath a few times before adding a second finger.
He purred, “It seems that you liked what we were doing a few moments ago, lover. You are very wet for me right now―even more so than usual.”
“Eric,” she gasped as she thrust her hips upward to meet his fingers.
He chuckled. “Either way, I must confess that I enjoy a bit of anal stimulation myself, Sookie.” His voice dripped with sex. “The thought of your delicate little fingers finding and stroking my prostate something like this,” he curved his fingers to stimulate her G-spot, “makes me very aroused.”
“That’s what it,” she stammered, “feels like?”
“I cannot be sure since I do not have one of these.” He once again stroked her spot. “But I imagine it is similar.” He kept his voice low, even as he continued working her. “I never preferred men to women, but I confess to being slightly tempted to switch teams, as it were, the first time a man—Godric—touched me like that.” He chuckled again. “Of course, the fact that women could touch me like that just the same soon occurred to me.”
Sookie was working very hard to follow what her husband was saying, but her eyes were glazed over with passion, and she was losing the ability to listen to the English language―just as she had seemingly lost the ability to speak in it proficiently. Still, she was mesmerized by her husband’s voice.
He continued, “Of course, anything too large hurts like a son of a bitch since I’d not lost that kind of virginity before my turning, but a finger or two―a well-placed finger or two―is quite stimulating.” As he said these words, he was making sure that he was stimulating her with his own very talented fingers.
He brought his body over hers and then quickly replaced his fingers with his engorged cock. As soon as he was bottomed out in her warm channel, he sighed loudly. “Of course, this is enough for me if it is all you care for, min älskare.” He groaned as he began moving, “More that e-fucking-nough actually.”
She moaned, brought her legs around him, and pulled him into her tighter even as her arms entwined around his shoulders and her lips found his. Their tongues and hips moved in synchronicity until they were both ready to give into their releases. “Eric,” Sookie exclaimed, as she finished first. Between the sound of her enraptured cry, the dig of her nails, and the clamping down of her walls, his own release was soon drawn from him as well.
Once spent, he pulled out of her—loving to hear her whimper at the loss of him. He did not miss the fact that he too whimpered a bit. He settled her comfortably onto his chest and pulled a blanket over her cooling body.
Once she’d caught her breath, she giggled, and he saw her face flood with a new blush. “You are full of surprises, vampire.” When she looked up at him, her blush grew deeper.
He grinned. “I hope you like surprises, min kära.”
She nodded. “Just go slow with me, okay? I love being your lover, but I’m new at a lot of stuff.”
He placed a kiss on her nose. “Dear one, you and I will have many, many years to experiment with sex. We are already pretty much perfect at it—in my thousand-year-old opinion. But I am a man who likes to work at what I love to do. However, I will make sure that you always love it too.”
She sighed. “Thanks. And for the record, I did like what you did,” she said through lowered lashes.
He quirked a brow. “I could tell, or I wouldn’t have done it.” He winked.
She rolled her eyes. “Fine. How much time do we have now?”
“The sun rises in twenty-one minutes.”
Sookie sighed and settled into him. “Tell me more about Hunter until you have to go―okay? Start by telling me why he looked so much like Pam when he was convincing you not to make him wear those knee pads when he rode his bike.”
Eric chuckled and pulled her closer. Then he spent the next nineteen minutes telling her about his son. She snuggled into him and listened. There were periodic questions or chuckles as he gave her a glimpse of Hunter—a glimpse that Sookie realized she was greedy to have more of.
Eric sighed when it was two minutes before dawn. “It’s almost day, min kära. As much as I want to simply fall asleep here in your arms and in this dream, I need to move to the cubby.”
She nestled into him for a moment and took in their shared scent. “Okay. I’ll try to come earlier tomorrow night, but it is odd at the pool because the sun is always up there.”
Eric nodded and then kissed her forehead.
“I love you, Eric.”
“Ég elska þig, Sookie.”
Those words spoken, Eric found himself sitting on the side of the bed. He heard the light-tight shutters engaging throughout the house and hurried to the cubby where he found Bubba and Pam already settled. Bubba seemed content to simply sit in a corner to get his sleep, and Pam had already placed herself in the bed, issuing a challenge to her maker with her eyes.
“You,” Pam said only half-seriously, “have been so content and happy for the last several hours that I think I deserve to have the bed.”
Eric raised his eyebrow, smiling at his child’s lack of logic. “Clearly,” he said as he secured the cubby and then sank down on the floor. Within moments, the day had pulled him into unconsciousness. However, it did not pull the smile from his face.
A/N #1: First of all, I’m sure that you picked up on the fact that Ég elska þig is supposed to mean “I love you” in Old Norse. However, I am not sure about this translation. I have consulted with my friend from Iceland in this case since most scholars believe that Icelandic kept many of the patterns of its parent-language. Anyway, this is the closest I could get. By the way, the word þig is pronounced more like “thig.”
A/N #2: I know that I introduced a new element into Eric and Sookie’s sexual repertoire, but don’t worry. I’m not going to push this too far in this particular story because it wouldn’t fit this version of them. I think that we can all agree that Eric is a very sexual being (Sookie too), and a little experimentation seems natural between them, but this version of Eric would go very slowly, just as this version of Sookie wouldn’t ‘let’ him go fast. Anyway, don’t expect crazy dungeon sex next. I’m not putting them on a slippery slope.