Eric was lying on a big pillowy bed; his body covered in black veins. He was barely able to lift his head but he did manage a small smile for me as I came in the room.
“Lover,” he whispered. He sounded so old and weak. “What are you doing here?” He coughed up blood when he finished speaking. He wiped his mouth with a tissue and put it in the trash can at the side of the bed. “I am happy to see you here at the end though.” More coughing. My Eric wasn’t long for this world.
“I’m here to help you Eric, if you’ll let me.”
“There’s nothing to be done Sookie. The disease has nearly run its course. If I’m lucky I have a few more nights left in me,” he wheezed.
I crawled up on the bed with him and gently laid my head on his chest but he flinched from the pain of the additional weight. I shifted so I was sitting against the headboard. “Use me as your pillow my love. I will ease you as I can.”
It took some doing but we managed to get him moved so my legs were his pillow.
I smiled as he sighed contentedly as I ran my fingers through his hair.
When I felt he had drifted off into down time, I leaned forward, placing my palm flush against his chest. I pictured him at his healthiest and pushed all the love and happiness I had ever felt for and about him into the light.
The light was pulsing strong and fast as I pushed all the healing I was capable of into him.
Finally, as dawn broke, I felt the last of the virus leave his body and he slipped into the natural death of all vampires. I laid my head back against the headboard and closed my eyes.
Niall had warned me that such a healing would drain me severely; he was more right than I cared to admit.
I drifted off to a dreamless sleep, content with the knowledge that Eric would rise once his body had repaired itself from the damage done to it by the Hep-V. No one knew how long that would be, but I had a feeling that it would take some time.
Exactly 72 hours after I began Eric’s healing, my eyes snapped open and I felt the oddest thing. I was craving blood and not just any blood: Eric’s blood. With absolutely no compunction, I sank my fangs…wait a minute, fangs? The craving was too strong, I would have to think about it later.
I sank my fangs into Eric’s neck and groaned as the flavours burst over my tongue! He tasted of all things natural; the earth, the air, the salty sea, and the fire from a volcano all erupted as his blood coated my taste buds and flowed down my throat.
I felt hands roaming my body just as I felt Eric become aware for the night. He panicked for a moment but was soon right there in the moment with me as I continued to drink from him.
A burst of lust hit me from out of nowhere and I groaned and writhed on top of him.
I suddenly found myself beneath a much improved, incredibly horny and hungry vampire but I didn’t give a damn. I cried out in frustration and anger when Eric drew away but the look on his face put a stop to things just as quickly as I had initiated them. “What is the meaning of this Sookie? Surely you know you are now a carrier of Hep-V!” He was not pleased! He was so far from pleased that I shrank back into the mattress in fear even though I knew he would never intentionally hurt me.
It took a minute but I finally found my voice, “Eric, look at yourself. You’re healed, you have spent the last three nights healing!” I know there was fear in my voice but it was mostly anger coming through. How dare he stop a newborn’s feeding!
In the moment it took for him to visually examine himself I lunged for him; I wasn’t done feeding yet, not by a long shot, plus there were other things to take care of and I intended to take care of them whether he liked it or not!
He pulled back from me even as he pinned my shoulders to the bed and looked at me critically. “What’s going on Sookie? Where did your fangs come from? How am I healed?”
I growled in frustration and fought every urge coursing through me to give him a reply, “Eric, please, I need to at least feed before I can answer you. Please!”
He either saw the truth in my words or heard the desperation in my voice, maybe both, but he finally gave in only he sat up and pulled my back to his front and put his wrist in front of me. I didn’t care, I was getting the blood I so desperately needed.
Several mouthfuls, and several much needed spontaneous orgasms later I pulled away from his wrist and sighed contentedly.
He released his hold on me and turned me to face him, “Now, you will explain.” That was not a question, it was a command if I ever heard one.
I sighed at his lack of manners but started explaining any way. He deserved to know what had happened and why I was now a vampire.
“Eric, I felt your pain when Warlow died.” I didn’t expect the expression on his face when he heard those words. He looked sad and, if I didn’t know better he looked repentant.
“I tried to find you but Pam was useless and our tie wasn’t strong enough for me to follow it to you.”
“Wait, what do you mean Pam was useless?”
“I mean she wouldn’t help me look for you. She said she was desperate to find you but she refused any help I may have been able to give and Willa didn’t have any idea of how to go about finding you.
Since, in a round-about way, Warlow was Bill’s child I even tried to get him to find you but he claimed that with Warlow’s death Lillith left him so he no longer had a connection to any with his blood.”
Personally I think he wouldn’t help me look because he was playing the My Dick’s Bigger Than Yours game. I was there and Eric wasn’t so he couldn’t protect me. Whatever.
“I was getting desperate and falling into depression when Niall popped in. He could feel what was going on, even though he didn’t know the details. When I explained he smiled.”
Eric looked a little surprise when he heard Niall’s name, “You are related to Brigant?”
I nodded, “I am. He is my Great-Grandfather on my father’s side.
He helped me look for you. He had his contacts from all over the world looking for any trace. Finally, about a week ago, he found you here.
When he told me where you were and how sick you were he explained a few things to me. He told me that I would be able to heal you but that I would essentially be giving up my Fairy spark, everything that made me a Fairy, in order to do so.” Eric looked stunned when I told him what I gave up in order to heal him.
“He didn’t know exactly what would happen to me but he suspected that as my strengths travelled through the light to get to you, your strengths would transfer to me. I guess he was right. Your biggest strength, the biggest part of who and what you are, is being a vampire so now I’m a vampire too.”
His face locked down so only that calm, cool exterior could be seen. I knew though that he was processing what I had told him and I could feel a jumble of things coming from him. I was only able to pick out a few feelings since everything he was feeling was moving too fast for me to pinpoint what most of them were. Joy was the most prevalent but surprise and disappointment were in there too.
He pulled me to him and just held me as he spoke, “I’m sorry you had to sacrifice so much for me Sookie. I know you never wanted to be a vampire. I can’t believe you gave up the sun for me!”
I pushed back a bit so I could look him in the eyes. “Eric, I have lost too many people I love to even consider losing you when there is something I can do to prevent it. I would much rather lose the sun than lose you Eric. I love you.”
He smiled at me through his tears. “Sookie, Sookie, Sookie . . . The lengths you will go to for those you love constantly astounds me. What else have you done to me Sookie? I should not be able to feel you.”
I smiled at Eric through my own tears but shook my head. I knew what he was talking about but had no idea what happened.
We heard a scuffle outside the door and a vaguely familiar voice growled, “Who do you think placed you here you fools? You were to protect them until they rose. They have risen. You are dismissed!”
Eric was at the door in a flash, fangs bared and all business as he ripped open the door. I rushed to the door and actually had to fight Eric to be able to see around him. Finally the voice spoke again, “Sookie.”
I smiled and relaxed a bit, “Eric, this is my great-grandfather Niall Brigant. Please let him in.”
Eric backed up enough for Niall to enter but kept me behind him, not letting me anywhere near my great-grandfather. Finally I’d had enough of Mr. Protective, “Eric!” I hit him on the back which caused him to round on me although he still kept Niall in sight as well.
“Sookie,” his voice was calm but his demeanor was anything but. He was all about protection. “Do you remember how I attacked the fairy in front of your house? Do you remember how I drained her?”
I was frustrated but nodded my head. “That is because of her scent. The smell of fairy is intoxicating to vampires and tasting them…well you saw me after draining a relatively young fairy. I don’t want you to go through the same thing.”
Niall finally spoke up, “She won’t attack me Viking. She, and now you, are immune to our scent.”
Eric looked at Niall skeptically but took a deep breath. His eyes widened when nothing happened. “You still smell delicious but I no longer feel the urge to attack. How can this be?”
I sat down on the couch and tugged Eric down beside me as Niall sat opposite us in one of the chairs. “Sookie already explained that you now have shared strengths, yes?”
I nodded as Eric told him that I had. “That should explain it then. Since she was a fairy she would have known the scent and carried that genetic knowledge over with her into this new life.” I think I was catching flies: He never told me I would carry over any genetic knowledge.
“She will still have her genetic knowledge of all things fairy but she gave her light in order to save you, the one she loves with her whole heart; the one she is IN love with.” Great-grandpa Niall smiled when he said love and Eric looked absolutely smug about it!
I punched Eric on the arm, “No need to look so smug Eric. No need for any I told you so’s either.”
“There are some things the two of you need to know though.
Sookie, you have not retained any of your Fae powers and you lost all of your humanity; you are 100 percent vampire with two exceptions. You can withstand weak sunlight for short periods of time so the two of you should be able to watch the sunrise and sunset together whenever you want.” Not surprisingly I felt joy coming from Eric. I guess he was entitled. I’m sure he enjoyed his Warlow SPF while he could. Now he didn’t have to give it up completely.
“Sookie, you can also handle human drinks. Like all vampire you are on a strictly liquid diet but you can still drink tea, coffee and other liquids with no ill effects. However, your body will treat solid food as any other vampire’s body would.”
Eric sounded euphoric, “You said the two of us should be able to watch the sunrise.”
Niall nodded his head, “I did. She passed her ability to withstand sunlight to you but the transfer weakened it for both of you. The early morning or early evening is all you’ll be able to handle. In essence she has shared the sunlight with you.”
“Why can I feel her so much more strongly than I could before?”
Niall looked at me intently, “I did explain to you about the fairy bond Sookie. Have you forgotten?”
“No, I haven’t forgotten but you never really explained that we would be able to feel each other like this.”
Niall sighed, sounding more like he thought he was being put upon than anything else, “Northman, you feel her as strongly as your progenies, yes?”
Eric nodded his head although he seemed to be a little reluctant, “That would be because when she shared her light with you it created a fairy bond which is just as unbreakable as a vampire bond only there is no magic which can mute it or remove it. Once she drinks your blood that will complete the transfer of powers: She gave you her spark and you will give her your blood. You will never be able to release her. In effect she is now your bonded child and mate.”
I looked at my great-grandfather; glared is probably a more accurate description. “You never told me that doing this would marry us grandfather.” I was spitting mad!
I started pacing around the room, vampire speed, as I spoke my thoughts. “It would be nice if just once in my life I had all the information BEFORE I made a decision! Especially one which didn’t affect just me! I can live with my screw ups but I can’t force someone else to live with them!
Eric and I never even talked about marriage! We barely know each other! What gives you the right to give me only partial information?!”
I whirled around and faced Eric, “Eric, I am SO sorry! I would have still healed you but it would have been nice to have all the information before I made the decision!”
Niall stood and I felt his anger building, “Sookie. You were a fairy and as the oldest male of your line it was my right to marry you to whomever I saw fit!“
I was dumbfounded! “You had no right to marry me off to the first man who would have me!” I’m sure my blood pressure would have been through the roof if I had still been even remotely human.
“You had too much vampire blood in you to even try to remove it from you without risking your final death and you would never have been accepted in Fairy because of it. You would no longer have been able to cross the portal because of it either.
By your own admission you never fit into the human world so I thought you would be happier as a vampire.”
I whirled back around and rushed to Niall, stopping so I was standing toe to toe with him, “I never wanted to be a vampire! I only did this because I couldn’t stand the thought of losing someone else I love!”
Niall’s hair was starting to wave in the wind which had suddenly sprung up inside the apartment, “I will not apologize for doing what I thought was right for my kin. It goes against the grain to give a fairy to a vampire but I have seen in both your actions and your memories that you love the Viking so you might as well grow up and accept that others do occasionally know more about something than you do.”
My own anger was rising, burning hotter and hotter with each word my great-grandfather spoke, “I did not ask you for permission to marry! It’s the twenty-first century, I can pick my own husband thank you very much!”
Niall looked like he was about ready to explode. Well he could get in line because I was about ready to let him have a good dose of my own righteous anger when Eric pulled me down onto his lap and wrapped his arms around me.
“It might also behoove you to be grateful for the little bit I did.
If I had not given you over into the Northman’s protection you would not have survived another six months! Giving you the knowledge you needed to heal him was a small price to pay for your survival child and survive you shall.”
I struggled free of Eric’s arms but had no idea what to do with my anger so I just glared at Niall.
“Northman, you have the tools you need to teach her what she needs to know in order to survive; including the power to command her stubborn and willful ass when you need to. Use it liberally.” He sounded positively gleeful when he told Eric to use the maker’s command. “Perhaps one day she will be a grateful child instead of a willful bitch who cannot see when someone is doing something for the greater good.”
Niall was suddenly gone, leaving me with nowhere to put my anger. I crumpled to the floor with my face in my hands, shaking violently as the anger slowly left my body.
I felt my hunger rising again but I was fighting it. I peeked at Eric through my fingers and he was just sitting on the couch watching me as I came to grips with everything that had happened in the last three days.
Finally I couldn’t stand the silence any more so I spoke up, “Eric?”
He blinked and looked at me, “Sookie, get cleaned up and changed. I need to feed and so do you.”
I stared at him incredulously. That was it? Get cleaned up and changed? Didn’t he care? I ruined his life and that was all he had to say?
He sighed deeply, “Sookie, please just do as I ask without an argument.”
Reluctantly I went into the bathroom and took a quick shower.
When I returned to the living room Eric was still sitting where I’d left him. “Eric? Are you okay?”
When he looked at me there was sadness in his eyes but he responded, “I’m fine Sookie. Come, I need to teach you to feed.”
I stared at him in shock, “You mean…?”
He nodded his head, “Yes Sookie. You will learn to feed from a human. There is no other choice since True Blood was tainted and I do not trust the blood banks.”
“There are no buts here Sookie. You must consume blood in order to survive now. Tea, coffee and other human drinks are all well and good but they do not have what a vampire, formerly fae or not, requires. Now come.”
He got up and took my hand to lead me outside but I resisted, “I AM sorry Eric. If I had known…”
He sighed and turned to me, “Sookie, there is one lesson you need to get into that thick skull of yours. The past is the past; we must learn from it and move on or we end up like Compton; stuck in the past and hating what we are.
We will talk about all of this, I promise, but I must feed and you need to as well. Now come.”
He opened the door and led me out to the hall then down to the street.
He took me to a nearby restaurant and paid a hefty fee for a room and several donors to be brought to us. I started to object about the money but the glare he gave me told me in no uncertain terms that there would be no arguing about it; he would pay the money and we would feed no matter what I thought about the subject.
I sighed and sat on one of the chairs as he fed. I tried watching but the jealousy I felt was beyond anything I had ever experienced before. I wanted to rip the donors’ heads right off their shoulders.
Even turning away didn’t help. Finally I went and stood outside the door. Fortunately the rooms were soundproofed so I didn’t have to listen to what was going on. I did have to feel it though. Feeling his lust as he fed from those donors just about pulled me back into that room so I could knock some sense into Eric.
It was torture standing out there with everybody walking by. My fangs itched to come down and I was constantly fighting myself not to take off after someone. I had just taken the first step toward someone who smelled absolutely divine when I felt this uncontrollable urge to go back into the room.
When I went back in Eric looked so much better! Maybe I had taken too much earlier?
Eric stood with me behind one of the two women left and explained how to feed. It’s not as easy as he made it look either; feeding is a messy proposition and not hurting them is nearly impossible. It’s not easy to stop without draining them; not when you’re so caught up in the taste and how it makes you feel that you’re not paying attention to the signs that you’ve taken enough already.
Both times Eric had to pull me away from the woman. The worst part, absolutely the worst, was when it all came back up. That had Eric perplexed for a while.
He paid each of the donors a hefty tip, called in a cleaning crew and we left with only about thirty minutes left until dawn.
Eric laced his fingers with mine as we walked, like true lovers, along the sidewalks of Paris as the sky slowly brightened. By the time the sunrise started we were within sight of the Eiffel Tower. The view was magnificent!
The sky was slightly cloudy so the blues and reds were muted and seemed to run into each other creating all new colours just for us.
Neither one of us said anything during our walk. I didn’t know about Eric but I wanted to enjoy my first sunrise with him and I didn’t want anything to ruin it. No matter what the following nights brought I wanted that one perfect moment with him; no thoughts, no arguments, nothing but the two of us enjoying something he never expected to be able to do again and something I never expected to be able to do with him.
By the time we got back to the apartment I had a massive headache which brought me to a realization, “Eric? Did you glamour the donors not to think anything around me?”
He looked at me questioningly, “No, why?”
“I didn’t hear a thing from them, even when I touched them, and I haven’t heard a single thought other than my own all night!”
He smiled, “Telepathy was one of your fae gifts, yes?”
I nodded so he continued, “You gave up all things fae when you healed me so my guess is that you gave that up as well.”
My future suddenly looked a whole lot brighter when I heard that. Maybe I could lead a normal life?
We stopped so he could open the door and he continued once the door was closed and locked behind us, “I am sorry you had to give everything up in order to heal me Sookie.
Truthfully I thought you were a hallucination brought on by the Hep-V. I thought I was seeing my sunshine, the light of my life, one last time before the Valkyries came to take me to Valhalla.”
“You’re not angry?” How could he not be? I took away any choice he may have had in being healed, having another child, being married…
“I am angry but not at you. I’m angry for you. You made the right decision for you but you didn’t have all the information for it to be a fully informed decision.
I’m angry with Pam, with Bill Compton, with pretty much the whole North American political scene but I’m not angry with you. How could I be? You healed me. You loved me enough to make a decision regardless of my thoughts on the matter. You sacrificed yourself for me, to save me. How could I be angry about that?
Other than Pam, Godric, and Nora, you are the only one who has ever done so and at that point you didn’t have my blood in you.”
“But I did have your blood Eric; in the cubby when you had amnesia.”
He nodded in confirmation, “That should have worn off by now though.”
I made some sort of negative noise, “I felt you Eric. I felt your pain when Warlow was killed. It brought me to my knees.
I’ve felt your pain every night for the last six months Eric. Some of it was so intense I couldn’t even get out of bed that day but mostly it was just an ever present nagging sensation that something wasn’t right.”
He looked at me, surprised, “Your fae nature must have come into play then because a vampire’s blood should work its way out of the human host in about 120 days unless the human has more of that vampire’s blood during that time.”
“I guess I was just a freak of nature all the way around then. I never fit in with the humans and I never fit in with the fairies.”
Eric pulled me around so I was facing him, “You were never a freak of nature Sookie. You were, and still are, a beautiful woman who didn’t have the help you needed as you were growing up.
If your Grandfather had lived he would have made sure you had the coaching you needed to be the best you that you could possibly be.” I felt the tears brimming as I imagined what my life would have been like if I’d had the help I needed all along: How much happier I could have been.
“He would have helped you to believe in yourself and your abilities and he would have taught you how to harness any fae abilities that showed themselves.
You did the best you could with what you were given Sookie and you turned out remarkably well.”
I could feel the tears streaking down my cheeks at his words but he didn’t stop there, “I have wanted you since the moment I saw you enter the bar with Bill, before Pam ever brought you to my attention.
That had nothing to do with your scent or any of your abilities. My wanting you had everything to do with the beautiful woman who walked into my bar. When that beautiful woman just happened to sass me, something even vampires don’t dare do, I was even more intrigued. My wanting you had everything to do with who you are, not what you are.”
I sniffled as I grabbed a double handful of Eric’s t-shirt and lay my head on his chest. The night had been far too long even though we rose half way through the night. There had been too much information, too much…everything over the last couple of years.
I had spent the last six months in nearly constant pain because of the vampire in front of me, and my own idiocy. I guess my own brain and body thought they needed a break because I just crumpled right there in Eric’s arms.
The next thing I remember my eyes were opening and Eric was sitting across the room at the desk doing something on his computer.
I smiled at the sight. He was stooped slightly as he examined something on the computer screen. As my eyes revelled in the sight of a naked Eric my urges took over, ruining the moment for me.
I suddenly found myself standing behind Eric with my fangs buried in his neck. He groaned but stayed as he was for a moment, only snaking a hand up to his shoulder and laying his hand over mine.
At the first taste of his blood I groaned but soon I was groaning for a whole different reason. It felt like my lady bits were on fire; like a volcano was getting ready to erupt in my panties. The trouble was I didn’t know what to do about it. Apparently Eric did because the next thing I knew I was on my back on the bed. Every stitch of clothing I’d had on was somewhere in the room and the imminent eruption down below was building far too quickly as Eric’s fingers worked themselves in and out of me until the eruption happened and the lava flowed over the sides and down my thighs.
Over and over again Eric worked me until I lost track of the number of orgasms he gave me and became a quivering mass.
When my mind finally came back to me I totally lost it; I broke down and cried and cried and cried.
Eric, my sweet Eric, just held me and let me cry.
When I was finally done he continued to hold me and let me calm down before he said anything. What he said surprised the crap out of me too, “Coffee my love?”
I sniffled and looked up at him with a smile, “Please.”
Without my knowing it he had brewed a pot of coffee and put out the cream and sugar for me. I smiled a little wider and went to wash my face since it seemed I was covered with more blood than I had consumed.