Disclaimer: I don’t own the characters in True Blood or the Southern Vampire Mysteries. So neither copyright infringement nor offense is meant. I simply want to make the characters do what I wanted them to do for a while. I am especially “unownerly” when it comes to this story. You will recognize a lot of the dialogue throughout as being quoted from Season 5 of True Blood, though I’ve tried to use Eric’s thoughts to make this story “different” from its source. That said, I claim no ownership to the quoted material and have placed it in bold so that it is set apart from my own words.
As I remained unmoving on my throne, I felt Pam coming, and with her was her new child. When they were at the door of the bar, I smelled that the whelp was Tara Thornton. Oh well. At least her being undead would match the “lie” that I had told to Bill the other day, and it proved that I was one hell of a deducer. However, that was of little comfort to me now.
I steeled myself as Pam came into Fangtasia; she was cursing Ginger. My child was agitated and flustered, but she had no idea of my presence yet.
“Where is everyone?” she yelled angrily as she walked into the bar that we had started together.
“Oh, my God. Sookie, you fucking did it,” Pam said with surprise and gratefulness in her eyes and voice.
Even though I didn’t know the context of Pam’s words, I couldn’t have agreed with them more. Sookie had done a great many things. She had changed me fundamentally. She had loved me. She had rejected me. She was—even as I sat there—rejecting herself. Hating herself.
Pam, however, seemed to believe that Sookie had done something to get me to come back. Maybe she was right in a way.
I could see Pam lifting her façade in order to cover her happiness that I was back, and then I felt her fear. My first instinct was to comfort my child, but I stayed cold and expressionless.
Pam had every justification to be afraid of me. We had not seen each other since I ordered her away after she’d aimed a goddamned rocket launcher at my bonded—at the woman I loved! Despite Pam’s protests that she didn’t know what love was, she would have been able to feel the great emotion I had for Sookie. Yet she had disobeyed me and launched that rocket anyway.
It wasn’t her disobedience that had hurt me the most about her action either. It was the fact that she would risk that which I loved. Could I ever trust her again if she was willing to do that?
I felt my anger over her actions and my current impossible situation swell in me like a prayer answered. That anger eclipsed Sookie’s sorrow for the moment. It distracted me from my own emptiness at being away from her. It numbed me to the fact that she’d rejected me. And, most importantly, it anesthetized me to what I needed to do to Pam.
“Well,” Pam said in a tone that could only be described as half-snarky and half-apprehensive, “no need for apologies—right? I’m certainly not waitin’ for one. Barely remember what we got all het up over.”
Pam and I had not often fought during our years together—at least not about anything major. And I’d never sent her from my sight as I’d done at the witch’s store. Thus, I knew that her memory of the situation was just as good as mine. Still, she was trying to brush the episode away—which only raised my ire more.
“Let bygones be bygones,” she said, her eyes pleading just a little. “Bi-girls be bi-girls,” she added, obviously trying to charm me with her humor. It had worked so many times in the past that I couldn’t blame her for attempting to use it now.
Obviously nervous, Pam was so focused on me that she hadn’t noticed Bill. That was careless on her part—and I hated that I’d caused her to be careless.
She looked at Bill with both surprise and disdain. “Oh. Hi,” she said by way of a greeting.
I was ready to get the show on the road, but I did not want to do it with the newest member of my line—or Bill—present, so I feigned ignorance as I looked over Pam’s shoulder at Tara. “Why is she here?” I asked as if I didn’t know.
Pam looked nervous despite the fact that I had given her my blessing to make a child more than a year before. “Uh,” she started, “she’s mine. I—uh—made her vampire while you were gone.” My child smiled apprehensively. “Congratulations! You’re a grandfather.”
I took in the blood on Tara’s clothing and the scent of my ‘grandchild.’ From the smell of her own burnt flesh lingering on her, she had obviously tried to kill herself—most likely using an X-ray machine or a tanning bed. I’d seen many new vampires who’d not wanted to be turned do similar things.
I felt myself looking down for a moment, wondering what sequence of events had led to Tara’s turning. I couldn’t help but to worry about Sookie and to posit that her concern over her friend was—at least in part—driving her current state of grief. Tara obviously hadn’t wanted to be a vampire—hadn’t chosen it—if she were already trying to end herself. That meant that Sookie had likely chosen it for her. Having seen the volatile nature of Tara before, I figured her reaction to Sookie had been devastating for my bonded one.
I looked over at Bill and saw a similar expression on his face. However, as much as both of us would have liked to have been with Sookie right then, we had a job to do. Plus, we were sporting devices that would lead the Authority to wherever we went. And I didn’t want them anywhere near the woman I loved!
Pam’s trepidation became even clearer as soon as the others had left. Her eyes were wide and fearful as she asked me, “What’s wrong? What’s happened?”
I let her see no emotion in my own eyes as I leveled a stare at her—a stare that I knew would make her crumble if I kept it up. Pam might posture about the uselessness of human emotions, and she certainly judged me for my own emotions regarding Sookie, but she had plenty herself.
I paused as I steeled my resolve once more. I didn’t want to hurt Pam. I knew that she loved me. I knew that her distress and her hatred for Sookie were fueled by jealousy and worry. She feared that Sookie would replace her in my affections. She felt apprehensive because she’d never “felt” me so emotional as I’d become over Sookie. Pam had always been fearful of what the future might bring. She had worried about growing old when she was a Madame. And now she worried about being alone—abandoned by me.
For my “questioning,” I knew that she was right where I needed her to be emotionally. I knew that the kind of torture I was about to inflict upon her would cause much more damage than the silver that had been injected into my veins the night before.
But I had to do it. I was out of the chair in a blink and had Pam by her throat in another one. And at the same time, I opened my bond with her, flooding her with my disappointment in her actions, as well as my all-consuming anger.
She groaned under my wrath and my hands.
My fingers were poised around Pam’s neck, squeezing just enough for her to know that I could kill her with a slight twist of my wrist. The fear and betrayal coming from my progeny’s eyes and from her side of our bond almost broke my resolve.
But I held onto my rage.
“Did you free Russell?” I began, my voice controlled and steely.
“What?” Pam asked, shaking her head. “Of course not,” she responded, trying to smile a little. “Eric, what’s all this about?”
“It is about disobedience,” I said, still holding her with my hand and my stare. “It’s about disloyalty.”
“If this is about the fairy, Eric . . . ,” she started.
“This is not about Sookie!” I seethed, even though I knew it mostly was. For better or worse, everything came back to my bonded for me now.
“Eric, you’ve changed. Surely you can see how bad she is for you. You would’ve never . . . ,” she began again.
“Never what?” I asked, my voice cold again. “Never punished you for your direct defiance of an order?”
Pam had to croak out her response since I was applying more pressure to her throat now. “She wasn’t worth your life. I couldn’t let you kill yourself for her.”
“Let me?” I asked austerely. “That was not your decision to make, Pamela. Did you free Russell so that he could kill her? To get back at me?”
“Eric,” Pam beseeched, shaking her head in denial, “I would never do anything to hurt you.”
I let my rage take over, and I threw her on top of the bar.
“Stop fucking lying!” I yelled down at her as my fangs clicked into place. The truth was that Pam killing Sookie would have hurt me—more than anything else that she could ever do, including letting Russell out.
Yes. My own death would bring me a moment of pain when it came. However, it would be nothing compared to the pain of losing Sookie. The last year without her—I realized—had been my greatest torture. Facing her rejection would also torment me, but seeing her dead would truly kill whatever spirit was left in me.
“I’m not lying. I swear,” Pam whimpered, even as I grunted out my anger above her. I squeezed a little harder.
I’d never seen my child more afraid, more ready to break. But it wasn’t quite enough. I would have to push again.
“I don’t know where Russell is,” she promised.
Her face told me that she wasn’t lying. My instincts told me that she wasn’t lying. But there was a flash of hesitation—of guilt—in our bond as she said the words.
That flash meant that at least part of her was glad that Russell was out—most certainly because she hoped that he would kill Sookie now that he was.
And in that moment—even as I felt another blast of self-loathing from Sookie—I felt some for myself too. I should have tried to better explain to Pam what Sookie meant to me before we went to the witch’s lair. However, I had barely been able to admit it to myself and to Sookie that I loved her. Making things so much more difficult, my revelation to Sookie had been met with the immediate admission that she loved Bill too. Then she had told me that she thought it might be just my blood that had made her love me—that she didn’t know if the love she felt was even real.
What hurt the most was the knowledge that she might be right. Getting Bill’s blood after she’d been shot had clearly affected her feelings for him. Getting mine could have done the same.
Before she’d had my blood in Dallas, she’d obviously been attracted to me, but that was not something that would have automatically led to more—not for Sookie Stackhouse. After she’d had my blood, she’d shown me moments of affection, such as when she’d reached out and briefly taken my hand on the Dallas rooftop. Or when she’d washed my feet.
Had those actions—the very actions that I clung to as the greatest kindnesses I’d ever been shown—been because of my blood in her? Only because of that?
Even now the fear of that possibility welled inside of me, and I was glad that my back was still turned to Pam. Complicating things even more was the fact that even if Sookie’s love was real, it might not be for “me.” She had fallen in love with the shell of me—the me without my memories. She’d told me honestly that she would have never allowed the “old” me—the real me—into her bed.
Were the few drops of my blood that made it inside of her enough to make her love me—and not just to fuel her lust for me? Had she loved me before she took my blood a second time in the cubby? I could tell from the bond that she did have love for me now, but what if it was only for the “me” that had none of his memories? Could she love the “real” me—the vampire I was underneath the projection I showed to the world? She’d seen me more clearly—known me more fully—than anyone else ever had, yet she’d walked away from me.
Or was all the love she felt for me just an illusion created in her because of my blood? The “old” me wouldn’t have given a fuck where her love had originated from, but the “real” me was truly scared for the first time in my life—but not of Russell or of the Authority or even of my own true death.
I was scared that—even if we all did manage to live through this shit-storm—I would have to face the inevitable fact that my blood would one day fade away from Sookie altogether.
Which didn’t seem fucking likely!
The bond itself would always remain inside of me, but without more exchanges, it would become empty of Sookie—empty of life.
And that thought carved into me.
I was vampire enough to admit that I had an innate desire to make my bond with Sookie permanent, but if we did that, she would always doubt her own feelings for me. On the other hand, if my blood faded in her, she might find that she had never really loved me at all.
Godric chose me as his child because he had thought me brave. Now I felt anything but. The bravest thing for me to do would be to wait—to let my blood in Sookie run its course until I could no longer feel her emotions in the bond and it became a tomb of loss and memory. Only then would she know if what she felt for me was real. But, given the strength of our bond, how long would that take?
Months? Years? A fucking decade!
Long before the bond was “gone,” she would likely seek out love from a Were or a shifter—someone she couldn’t “hear” as well with her gift. Thus, by the time she could be sure, any love she might have legitimately felt for me would likely be lost to the ravages of time itself.
Could I face going on with a heart full of love for Sookie and a bond that I would always feel—but would never again be filled by her light? The fact that I couldn’t answer that question scared the fuck out of me!
My thoughts went brought back to Pam as I heard her slowly rise from the bar behind me.
Yes. Before we’d gotten to the witch’s shop, I should have told Pam of Sookie’s importance to me. I should have assured her that she would always be my beloved child, even though my romantic affections were reserved only for Sookie now. I should have reassured Pam that there would always be a place for her in my life and in my dead heart. Instead, I had allowed Pam’s hatred for Sookie to fester to the point that I actually thought she might have freed Russell Edgington!
I now doubted the one who had stood by my side for over a hundred years, and it was my own goddamned fault!
My head swirled with paradoxes. Perhaps, it was my certainty of my child’s innocence that made me doubt her. I had been certain that Sookie would understand my love for her and would feel the love we had together in the bond, but—thinking that love might not be real—she had turned away from me. I had been certain that Nora had not been a radical Sanguinista, but now I felt in my core that she likely was just that. I had been certain that Russell would remain secured in his concrete prison until he rotted, but I’d been dead wrong about that. I had been certain that I could fight or think my way out of any situation that found me, but now I had a tiny wooden bullet trained over my heart and ready to kill me because there was a fucking App for that!
I had been so certain of so many things for so long, and none of them seemed to carry any surety anymore.
None. Of. Them.
A/N: The scenes between Pam and Eric in this season were so amazing. I hope I am doing this justice so far.