Chapter 08: Hatched
“It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad.”—C. S. Lewis
Sookie’s eyes opened as if they’d been yanked open.
She somehow knew that the room was dark, but she could still see clearly; in fact, the world seemed somehow brighter than usual. But that brightness was different from sunlight. While the sunlight could make things hazy—diffuse—her eyes seemed to be taking in every line and shadow of every object she could see.
Almost to the point of pain.
In addition, she found herself assessing her surroundings in ways other than sight—as if she were afraid that she might be attacked. She was in a room—a bedroom. She felt satin sheets against the exposed skin of her hands and arms; the sheets slid along her body as she moved. She moaned in pleasure. The satin covered a different material enclosing much of her body—something softer, but less luxuriant.
Both fabrics felt wonderful, and her skin tingled to feel more.
For a moment—as her skin seemed to stretch out to embrace the textiles—she thought about nothing except for the feeling of the materials touching her, but then her mind remembered something.
Something important. Something essential.
She had been dying the last time her eyes were open. With her last gaze, she’d seen Eric’s eyes looking down at her in sorrow.
However, the pain of Debbie’s attack had left her body by the time she’d locked into his eyes—or maybe because she’d found those eyes. There had been nothing but numb oblivion as she’d met her final moments.
Was she now in Heaven? She’d expected clouds—not sheets.
However, the wonderful feeling of the covers that she was grasping in her hands seemed heavenly.
Again, she moaned in pleasure at the sensation.
But—suddenly—her moan became pain-filled as a feeling of emptiness roared through her body, emanating outward from what seemed to be her very core.
Or maybe her soul.
She’d never felt so empty in all of her life, and she automatically curled up into the fetal position, her body now screaming as it cramped. With extreme difficulty, she managed to use one of her arms to throw off the now-heavy and constricting covers.
How had they gone from pleasurable to smothering so quickly?
Was she in hell? Had she done too many wrongs for God to want her? She figured that only in hell would someone suffer such pain—such hunger.
She heard a click, which echoed in her ears as if she were underwater, and she tasted something horrifying and amazing all at once. She immediately knew that it was her own blood, but it was not the metallic substance she’d tasted on those occasions when she’d bitten her tongue or instinctively soothed a small wound on a finger by putting it into her mouth.
No—the taste was sublime, and it frightened her.
She wanted more, but she knew that her own blood was not what she really wanted. The pain inside of her grew.
And then—suddenly—she recognized the truth.
She was not in Heaven.
She was not in hell.
She was vampire!
She sat up straight and was greeted by eyes that seemed both open and closed to her. She wanted to drown in those eyes, knowing that they could tell her how to stop the pain. However, she was afraid of drowning any more than she already had.
Afraid of losing herself.
Still, she couldn’t look away. The blue of those eyes was familiar to her—but it was so different too. The color was sharper somehow—infinitely more varied. She saw greens and violets. She saw browns and blacks. However, the blue tamed the other colors—ruled them with more shades of itself that Sookie had ever seen altogether.
Those blues ruled over her too. She could sense it—feel it with every fiber of her being. She wanted to embrace that rule—to let it take away her pain.
But she also wanted to fight.
The pain attacked her again, and she felt the once luxuriant sheets tearing with a grip she’d not known she was subjecting them to. But that ripping wasn’t enough. Her emotions felt erratic, and she thought for a moment of the first time she’d ever babysat an infant, listening to the unpredictable and unformed thoughts of the child as he became colicky. The child hadn’t understood what was happening—hadn’t understood why he was in pain. And—nothing she had tried would settle him. The child hadn’t calmed until his mother had come home and given him medicine that would make his pain fade into oblivion.
Sookie had been relieved to “hear” the child’s unformed thoughts settle when the drug had taken effect, but she’d also been terrified that only obliviousness had helped him.
Sookie’s own pain heightened once more, and she felt herself striking outward. A lamp flew across the room. She pressed her hands to her ears as it shattered, the sound so loud that it brought a tear to her eye.
A red tear!
“You made me a vampire!” Sookie yelled out, cutting her tongue with her fangs as she did.
“Yes,” Eric responded calmly.
His calmness boiled her blood.
In the next moment, Sookie was somehow out of the bed, though she’d not felt herself moving. She was holding Eric by the throat. Somehow, he was now on the floor, and she was on top of him.
“I wanted to die!” she yelled out. “I trusted you to let me die!”
Eric said nothing, and Sookie knew in that moment that—though she seemed to have overpowered him—he was letting her have the upper hand. His eyes offered solace and pity.
She hated both!
Feeling a myriad of seemingly every emotion all at once, she leaned forward and bit into his flesh, letting her fangs talk for her.
She moaned. He tasted sweet—like the port wine Gran sometimes drank with chocolate after holiday meals. Eric’s flavor was wonderful, but she stopped drinking only moments after starting. Feeding from him was like eating fudge; it was so delicious, yet it had to be taken in small quantities, or it she knew that it would make her sick.
Her maker’s blood would be her favorite taste. Always.
Sookie grasped that truth that with greater clarity than she’d known anything—ever! But she also instinctively knew that it would be a treat and that she could never take too much of it. And she knew something else too: Eric’s blood—no matter how good—couldn’t nourish her.
She felt Eric’s erection under her, and she experienced lust as she’d never felt before. It tore through her. And then her pain tore through her again. She ripped Eric’s shirt from his body.
“Having sex with me will not sate the lust you feel right now,” Eric said quietly, even as he stopped her from tearing off her own clothing, “or the pain. But I can give you what will quell both.”
Her body was vibrating with need and pain.
“I hurt!” she yelled out.
“I know,” he said, touching her face gently. “Let me help you.”
“I feel so—wrong!” she exclaimed.
“You are newly risen. Your emotions will be out of control for a while. And they will be overpowering. But I can help you through the worst of it. Will you let me?”
“Please,” she whimpered. “Help me.”
As if her weight were nothing to him, Eric got up, taking her with him. “Sit on the bed,” he said, his voice taking on an edge that caused Sookie to shake even more. Part of her wanted to resist his order, but she knew instinctively that she shouldn’t—or couldn’t.
She wasn’t sure which.
Eric had already prepared a large glass with blood from one of the bags Nora had arranged for. He’d already set the time on the microwave, so he simply pressed the button to start it.
“Your first human blood will not be cold,” he said, even as Sookie suddenly fixated on the machine that contained a scent that was like ambrosia. She couldn’t believe that she’d missed that scent before.
It seemed like hours to the newly risen vampiress, but it was only seconds before the microwave dinged.
Sookie stayed seated, but reached her hands out for the blood.
Eric didn’t make her beg. He had the glass to her quicker than a human could blink, and Sookie was drinking in the blood as quickly as she was able. Meanwhile, Eric was back at the microwave, putting a second glass into it.
She’s finished her first taste of human blood even before the microwave was done warming her second.
“So good,” she said, licking her lips. “I need more. I hurt.”
Eric brought her another.
She drank quickly again—as he prepared her a third glass.
By the time her pain ebbed, she had drunk most of three bags from the mini-fridge.
Finally, she felt as if she could breathe again. So she did. She felt the air move into her mouth and into her lungs, but it didn’t seem interested in filling them. She looked down at her chest. It was unmoving with the air flow. She took another breath and concentrated.
Her lungs obeyed and her chest rose.
“We no longer require air to live, so it simply comes into our bodies and drifts around before leaving as it came,” Eric informed. “Vampires have learned that no breathing process takes place. We don’t expel something that is more carbon dioxide than oxygen. We simply use the flow of air to speak. But you can consciously take air in—as you just felt. Doing this once helped us to look like we were more human. However, now it will feel like a movement to you—like taking a step. You must decide to breath and then tell your body to do so. Blinking is the same.”
Sookie looked at Eric and suddenly realized that she’d not blinked since she’d arisen. She consciously closed her eyes and then consciously reopened them. She did this several times in quick succession.
“Your body, I’m sure, feels both foreign and familiar to you,” Eric said softly, even as he brought her another glass of warmed blood and sat down with another glass, which he began to sip. “It was the same for me once. Try to drink more slowly, and feel yourself exercising control over the rate of speed at which you feed.”
“Will it always be like that?” Sookie asked, trying to find some control—over both her actions and her emotions.
“No,” Eric responded. “That is the worst hunger you will ever feel—unless you are drained again. When you awoke, your body had very little blood inside of it—just a hint of yours and about a pint of mine; thus, your body needed to be refilled. The magic animating you is now animating that blood. It is—quite literally—making that blood your own. The magic will use this new blood—absorb it—to keep itself alive. But it will not begin to drain you unless you fail to eat to replenish yourself.”
“What if I refuse to eat?” Sookie asked defiantly. “Will I die?”
“No,” Eric responded. “You will lose control again, however. Your body and the magic within it will compel you to drink, and you will feel pain again. You will be driven mad and become extremely weak if you don’t feed, but you will not die that way.”
“So the pain won’t be as bad as long as I drink,” Sookie sighed.
“Correct. When you awaken for the night for the next year or so, you will feel an ache—a hunger. But as long as you’ve had enough blood the night before, you will be able to retain your control long enough to find food and feed responsibly.”
“What if I don’t want to stay a vampire? What if I want to die?” Sookie asked with a growl, once again losing her control.
“Then you should choose a method other than starvation to kill yourself,” Eric said evenly, though there was great pain evident in his eyes. “As I have indicated, if you are starved long enough, you will turn into the monster you fear yourself to be already. You will lose all control—and lose yourself. And you will not find yourself again until many are dead in your wake.”
“Will you let me meet the sun?” Sookie asked desperately, her emotions still slingshotting. “Will you stake me?”
“Yes,” Eric said, his eyes betraying a level of sorrow that almost broke Sookie because of her heightened senses. “But I cannot do so for a month.”
“What? Why?” Sookie asked. “I don’t want to be like this.”
“I know, Sookie. And I was prepared to let you die, but Nan Flanagan showed up and commanded that you be made a vampire.”
“So you just did what she asked?” Sookie asked indignantly, even as she unconsciously ripped through the comforter on the bed.
Eric’s growl filled the room, low and vibrating. Sookie’s teeth chattered a little and her fangs—once again—scratched her tongue, drawing blood. This time, however, Sookie was lucid enough to feel the wound healing.
“I didn’t just do anything, Sookie!” Eric said coldly. “Here are some truths that you will acknowledge. Number one—when I turned you, there were several guns, which were loaded with wooden bullets—pointed at my heart. And—though you may have wanted death—I did not!”
“So you killed me to save your own skin!” Sookie accused, growling back. The sound was animalistic and cringe-worthy to her ears. But she couldn’t control it any more than she could control the anger that seemed to be overtaking her.
“Silence!” Eric yelled out, once again, issuing a command Sookie felt she needed to follow. “You are allowing your emotions to control you. You need to calm down and assess which ones you truly feel and which ones are coming from your fear!”
However, Sookie had no interest in ‘assessing’ or ‘controlling’ anything!
In that moment, she realized that she was still sitting—because he’d commanded her to sit! But she wasn’t going to allow that! Never!
So she tried to stand, her legs shaking and a pain growing inside of her.
“You are trying to go against a maker’s command,” Eric said evenly. He pulled what looked like an iPod from his pocket. He pressed a button. “I can speak without being overheard now. You are to remain silent,” he commanded again.
Sookie tried to speak, but only managed to growl. However, even the attempt was clearly hurting her.
“If you continue to struggle, the pain will get even worse,” he continued, closing his eyes tightly as if trying to close out her pain, “but feel free to test the limits of your freedom. It is a reality that you need to accept. It is a reality that all vampires must accept. I’d hoped that your fairy nature would make you immune—as you were immune to glamour—but you are not immune to my commands,” he added sadly, “though most would not have tried to resist this long. However, you must intuit that your efforts against my commands are futile.”
“You bastard,” Sookie mumbled out, even as she tried to take a step toward him. Again, pain tore through her as she continued to try to disobey his previous orders to stay seated and silent.
“Come to me,” Eric commanded grimly.
Though she wanted to resist going to him now, Sookie quickly responded and obeyed.
“Kneel before me,” he ordered, even as he opened his eyes and took a sip of his blood.
Sookie could tell that Eric was trying to be calm, but his hands were shaking slightly.
The glass in her own hand shattered as she attempted to stay on her feet.
For five minutes she did not kneel—would not yield—even as Eric watched her with a kind of sorrow he’d never felt before.
Sookie could see that intense sorrow in his eyes; she could feel it. She registered the tears that streamed down his alabaster cheeks. She felt the agony ripping at his soul—and at hers. But still she stood.
Her knees shook.
Her mind was rattled with pain that almost rivaled the hunger she’d felt earlier, yet somehow, this pain was crueler.
For it was being forced upon her—by the one she loved.
Finally, her strength gone, she yielded; she dropped to her knees, only to find Eric next to her—having dropped to his knees with her.
A/N: So—Sookie’s awake…and resisting her new nature. No surprise there. Just to be clear, Eric does have the ability to command her. Any vampire can try to resist his/her maker, but pain is the consequence. Eric is having to teach her that the hard way, but it’s a needed lesson for her.
I toyed with the idea of having her be immune to the “maker’s command,” but—in the end—I thought it would be more interesting this way.
More as soon as I can get it to you.