“I remember. I remember everything.”
I stood there in shock. My mind was warring with my heart at that moment. One was elated that Eric remembered our time together, but the other was telling me to run far, far away. What if getting his memories back made no difference to him now? What if Eric hated finally knowing just how sweet and vulnerable he was with me? What if this was the end of what could have been? The ‘what ifs’ were going to drive me crazy, and then I’d finally live up my ‘Crazy Sookie’ name.
“Sookie,” Eric called to me from his spot in front of the fireplace. My eyes darted to him, and my body relaxed almost unconsciously.
I hadn’t really thought about it while I was sitting with him, but being with Eric as we simply sat there and watched the fire gave me the same feelings that I had when Eric had amnesia. The only difference was that we had not talked or shared anything tonight while we sat before its warmth.
Tonight I had been with my Eric. All this time I had thought, I would never see him again and could only hope I would get glimpses of him every now and then, but tonight had proven that if Eric was willing I could have more.
Still, the question remained: would he give me more? Would Eric drop his mask when he was with me? Could he drop his mask with me and be both the old and the new Eric? I craved my sweet Eric, the one who allowed me to be his whole world. I treasured the vampire who had survived for over a thousand years, the one who still had a sense of humor after all this time, respected me, and seemed to be one of the only people in this world who truly understood me, but I missed the softhearted Eric, who openly loved me.
I blinked as Eric moved to stand in front of me, the blue of his eyes intent with unasked questions. They scanned my face for a long moment before he nodded his head, scooped me up in his arms, took me back to our place in front of the fire, and settled me on his lap.
Tonight I was too tired to process just what Eric having his memories would mean for me. Or him. Or us. I sighed and looked up to find Eric looking down at me. I opened my mouth to speak, but Eric quietly shushed me and wrapped his arms tightly around me. My body instantly nestled into his chest. He felt like home. I couldn’t help to wonder if it would be the last time I’d feel this way.
“Don’t worry. We’ll talk about it tomorrow,” he said softly.
Nodding my head, I yawned and snuggled in closer. I must have been more tired than I realized because the next thing I knew I was waking up in a room that wasn’t familiar. I was alarmed for just a moment before the events of yesterday and last night came rushing back to the forefront of my mind, and here I was tucked safely away in Eric Northman’s house.
Weres had broken into my house and destroyed it, and it seemed that Quinn was responsible. Was he that angry that I had chosen to stay home to try and resolve my issues with Eric or was it something more? Eric thought there was a possibility of more, but he hadn’t elaborated as to why Quinn may have done this. All I needed was for someone else to once again be out to harm me.
In actuality, Eric and I barely spoke at all last night. Initially, I was breaking down about what had happened to my house, and then after we left, Eric had behaved so strangely. He was quiet, stoic. At one point I thought he was unhappy that I was there in his home, and that I would be finding a new place to stay today during the day.
I had found Eric nearly despondent and sitting in front of the fireplace last night. We sat there without speaking, and it was more than I ever thought I’d get from this Eric. It was like being back in time with my Eric.
It brought a smile to my face just thinking about how close I felt to him last night, but it slowly slid away while I thought about Eric’s words as I was leaving the room. He remembered everything. Based on his silence I wasn’t too sure that he liked what he remembered. We hadn’t even been on our first date yet, and it could already be over between us.
Turning my head to the right, I searched for a clock on the nightstand so that I could see what time it was. How long was I going to be left with my mind going a mile a minute, wondering what would be in store for me once Eric rose? I didn’t find an alarm clock or anything for that matter, except for a lamp and my cell phone, miraculously plugged into a charger.
I flipped open my phone to see that it was almost four in the afternoon. I couldn’t believe that I had slept almost the whole day. I guess it was understandable after being up until almost dawn and given how much I had cried yesterday. I hadn’t meant to throw myself at Eric and breakdown, but once I opened my eyes and saw him, I couldn’t help myself. I felt safe and couldn’t hold back any longer. I was a quite surprised when Eric had scooped me up, not once, but twice last night to comfort me. He had even sung to me, and he had the most beautiful voice. Was there seriously nothing that man could not do? He seemed almost perfect, except for the way he had treated me after he got his memories back once the curse was lifted.
I couldn’t dwell on that forever though, or nothing would ever become of us, and Eric had already started to return to his pre-amnesia-like ways after I told him about the time we spent together. Maybe I could have spared myself some heartache if I had told him what had happened the night he woke from the curse. Yet it did me no good now; I couldn’t change the past. I could only hope that Eric still wanted me in his life once he wrapped his head around his memories.
That’s what I believed he was doing last night. I couldn’t imagine what it would be like to have all my memories taken from me to then get them back, having missed a week of my life. I had told him of some of our time together, but there was only so much that I could say. It is hard to express what had happened between us during that week. If you hadn’t lived it, it was nearly impossible to comprehend. We had fallen in love. It was simple and perfect, and I could have kept my Eric, but I knew it wouldn’t be fair to anyone involved. I gave him up with the idealistic notion that Eric would remember our time together and maybe, just maybe he’d feel the same.
I didn’t know how Eric felt last night after everything had come back to him, but I was sure it was a lot to take in. I would give him the time he needed and hope that he still wanted me.
Stretching out on the most comfortable bed I had ever lain on; I decided that I needed to get up and on with my day. There was no use in worrying or trying to figure out what might happen. One thing I had learned about Eric Northman was that he was unpredictable. That wasn’t entirely true, though. Sometimes it was hard for me to wrap my head around how much I had allowed Bill to poison my thoughts about Eric. I never gave him a chance and only thought the most awful things about him, no matter what he did to prove otherwise. Eric had always been there to help me, even when it was detrimental to his wellbeing, even when he said that he’d help me until it was no longer in his best interest.
After taking care of my human needs, I made my way into the kitchen to find a bowl of fresh fruit and a brand new, fancy coffee machine on the counter. It was the type that all you had to do was stick a little cup in, push a button, and voilá, a cup of fresh, hot coffee! It was a machine that I could never afford or the little cups that went with it. Sitting beside the coffee maker was a big box of those expensive coffee cups. I shook my head at the sight. I wondered if Eric had told his dayman to get the best. Knowing him I didn’t doubt it. There was already a mug underneath the machine, and all I had to do was hit the glowing blue button for my much-needed caffeine fix. While I waited for my coffee, I peeked into the refrigerator to see what food had been brought while I slept the day away.
I was shocked to discover that almost the entire refrigerator was packed with food from eggs, butter, milk, lunchmeat, and cheese to cartons of pre-made meals. One shelf had an array for blood in bottles and bags, but the rest was all for me. The freezer was also full. How long did Eric say I was going to be here? I couldn’t eat this much food in a month, even if I tried, let alone a few days.
After perusing the refrigerator for few more minutes, I started to take out items to make breakfast. I grabbed eggs, bacon, mushrooms, spinach, cheese, and green peppers and set them on the counter. I hadn’t thought that there might not be any cookery for me to use, but as I started going through the cabinets, I discovered that they were stocked with more food, dishes, and pots and pans. I had a feeling Eric’s shelves had never seen the light of day before now.
It didn’t take me long to whip up an omelet with a side of bacon and eat it with my coffee. Eric’s house was quiet. Almost too quiet, and I needed something to take my mind off of what could happen when Eric rose for the night. After staring at his remote that I found in the living room for a good five minutes and being unable to locate the power button, I spotted a book on Vikings sitting on the coffee table. The cover was an abandoned village by a beautiful blue-green sea. What struck me was the name under the title.
Was it possible that Eric had something to do with the book now resting on my lap?
Deeply engrossed in the adventures of Leif, I was startled when the couch dipped beside me. When I looked up with my hand clutching my chest and to my right, I was met with Eric’s face in a hard expression and his mouth set into a tight line.
My heart dropped instantly to my stomach, and my eyes started to sting, but I was determined not to let Eric see me cry. Why had I let myself hope that one day he would feel the same for me as I did him?
Returning his book to the coffee table, I stood and walked across the room, and then spoke without looking back.
“I’ll get my things, and you can drop me off at Jason’s. Thank you for last night, and I’ll reimburse you for the food, the coffee maker, and whatever else,” I blurted out while I made my way down the hall to the room where I had spent the night.
I took a deep breath to steel my nerves, and then threw the clothes I had worn last night into my suitcase while I tried to calculate how many shifts I’d have to work to reimburse Eric. Surely he’d let me make payments. If not, I’d have to take it out of my tuition savings.
I was wiping away one of my traitorous tears that escaped after I’d left the living room when I felt large, cool hands first grip, and then start to massage my shoulders. I only let the comforting gesture go on for a minute before I shrugged his hands off and whipped around to glare at Eric.
“Don’t,” I tried to say with conviction, but instead the one word hitched in my throat causing me to cover my mouth before a sob escaped.
Eric stepped toward me, but I took a step back and held one hand out to stop him. When he took another step, a garbled whimper slipped past my lips and caused him to halt.
After looking at me with furrowed brows for a few moments, Eric stepped around me and sat down on the bed. I stood and watched him to see what he’d do or say, but his only action was to stare at the floor.
After a few minutes of tense silence, I didn’t know what to do. Maybe I should call Jason or Tara to pick me up. After scanning the room to make sure nothing of mine was laying around, I grabbed the handle of my suitcase and started to head to the door.
“If you give me your address, I can have someone pick me up, or if you’re uncomfortable with that, I can walk to the nearest gas station or fast food restaurant, and have them pick me up from there.”
I had just turned and started out the door when I heard a loud crack coming from the bedroom.
When I finally got the nerve to look, I found the nightstand split in half and a look on Eric’s face that I never wanted to see again.
His head was down, but I could still see the deeply pained look on his face. I must have gasped, or made some sort of noise because in an instant Eric’s previously pained face morphed into anger, the likes of which I had never before experienced.
Trying to back up out of the room, my back hit the wall instead. Instinctively my body started to turn into itself while I stared up into his outraged face.
“Never!” Eric barked out in a roar causing me to shrink even more. “I would never hurt you!” He bellowed with a mixture of pain and anger flashing across his face.