How could this have happened, Sookie thought as she stood watching her house go up in flames. Tears stung her eyes as she cursed the Hep-V infected vampires had who started the fire. They had become smarter as the virus mutated and now they were capable of thought, planning, and living a whole hell of a lot longer.
The farmhouse she had grown up in had been in her family for generations and was now being annihilated by bright, wild, and deadly flames. There was nothing she could do; even if she could call for help, no one would come. There was no stopping the fire when there were no emergency services left standing in the surrounding areas. Lifetimes of laughter, joy and love; memories that had been made in that house and the people whom she had loved and lost, they were gone.
Sookie was all alone now.
She had thrown Alcide out when he could no longer handle the vampire shit that still surrounded her life, and the thoughts in his head that no longer matched up to his words. She was never going to be his precious ‘Debbie’ and much to Alcide’s disapproval, she was never going to be able to leave the Supernatural world. No, Sookie was never going to be normal. She was part-fae and there was nothing anyone could say or do to ever change it. The day she realized this was the day she promised herself she would never again settle where her heart was concerned.
It also didn’t escape Sookie’s notice that Bill was making her life as difficult and as frustrating as possible. Sookie had a sneaking suspicion that he was doing this in hope that she would come running to him. Power went out? No problem, she had candles and flashlights. Suspicious flat tire? Sookie liked to walk anyway. Little did he know that no matter how bad it got, it was never going to happen. It didn’t matter how many times she told Bill Compton that she wasn’t interested and would never be with him, he wouldn’t leave her alone.
Jason was also gone. Violet had taken him somewhere up North where there were less vampires that were infected. Although she missed her brother, Sookie was happy to know that he was safe and that Violet would take care of him. At first she didn’t like the female vampire, however; Violet had proven that she cared for Jason and only wanted what was best for him. Sookie missed her brother, but he wasn’t the only one she missed.
The fierce Viking disappeared after freeing all the vampires from the camp where they were imprisoned. He had lost his beloved Maker and only sister in a short period of time, and needed some time alone. Sookie couldn’t blame him for leaving and she was sure that she would never see him again, no matter how much she wished.
Sookie was startled and stumbled backwards when the second story of her house collapsed and crashed in the first floor. The sound of wood and glass cracked and hissed loudly in protest to the white hot flames. All Sookie could do was stand there and watch everything burn.
It was funny that even in a time like this her thoughts continued returning to Eric. She remembered the week that he had stayed with her while he had been cursed by the witches. It was then she believed that was when she fell in love with him, that she had fallen in love with his innocence and the goodness of his heart, but when the spell was broken, she couldn’t see how they could ever work. What Sookie didn’t know then was that she had fallen in love with him long before the witch ever cursed him. However, back then Sookie was confident that sooner or later, Eric would grow weary of her and leave her with nothing but the pieces of her broken heart. How could an uneducated waitress from the middle of nowhere keep Eric Northman happy and content? At the time the thought was ludicrous, but Sooke soon realized that she loved the real Eric Northman, the one with his memories, the ruthless vampire sheriff who not only tricked and manipulated her, but who also protected and saved her countless times. That same Eric Northman loved her; the thought didn’t seem so ridiculous anymore.
I’m still me, just more, he once told me. God, how she wanted to believe him, but now it was too late. She had waited too long and finally lost him.
Eric was gone.
She had been so confused after having Bill’s blood again. How could she ever think that she loved Bill again? All he had ever done was lie and manipulate her from the very beginning. Unfortunately, it took her too long to understand what Bill’s blood had been doing to her over the last couple of years. By the time she discovered Bill’s blood had manipulated her once again it was already too late and Eric was gone.
What she wouldn’t give to see him one more time and let him know how sorry she was for rejecting the best thing that had ever happened to her and how she still loved him. She would explain how scared she had been about her feelings for him. Bill’s deceit had nearly broken her when she found out their whole relationship had been a lie. What would happen to her once she opened her heart fully to Eric and let him in? She knew she would never recover if Eric broke her heart and left her. Instead she broke both of their hearts and never gave them a chance and had miserable ever since.
She had been a coward.
Her home didn’t look like a house anymore.
Isn’t a home where the heart is? Sookie thought as her body shook with uncontrollable sobs. Although her memories were with this pile of ash and fire, her heart was with Eric. Sookie roughly wiped her tears away but it was no use. Another loud crash echoed throughout the night, but Sookie couldn’t distinguish what had happened with her blurred vision. The fire had spread out to the backyard and engulfed the large, rusted propane tank that once heated the house. An ear shattering explosion lit up the night sky and blinded Sookie as the intense force from the blast drove her back several feet. With a loud thud, Sookie’s body landed on soft grass but she scrambled away from the fire due to the unbearable heat.
The shock of the blast dried her tears but it must have also given her a concussion.
“What the,” she mumbled, her eyes squinting as she gazed into the raging fire.
Is somebody in there?, Sookie questioned herself as well as her sanity.
“No, that can’t be possible,” she said to herself. “No one could survive in there.” Her eyes must have been playing tricks on her as she thought she saw a figure in the flames.
Wiping the sweat and tears from her face, Sookie stood and took a few steps toward the fire. She gasped as she watched what looked like a person moving in the fire. There was no way anyone could live and be walking around in the fire, but that’s exactly what it looked like. She cast her telepathy out trying to catch a thought or brain signature of whomever was walking around her engulfed home, but nothing registered. Maybe she really did have a concussion when she hit her head from the blast.
The sky was beginning to lighten when the figure stepped out of the flames and started to walk toward her. Sookie’s heart stopped and her eyes widened when a man stepped out of the fire and began walking towards her.
A jolt of pain tore through her and she closed her eyes, cursing her brain for being so cruel as to imagine the one person she wanted more than anything.
She whimpered at the sound of his voice and although her eyes were screwed shut, hot tears rolled down her cheeks.
He’s not real, she thought to herself. He can’t be.
His voice was louder this time. God, he sounded so real.
“Look at me.”
With a deep breath, she opened her eyes and through her tears she saw the blurred image of Eric Northman standing before her with something large and white behind him. She quickly wiped her eyes and nearly choked on a gasp when she saw what was behind him.
“Wings?” she murmured, confusion furrowed her sweat covered brows. “You have wings.”
Sookie smiled and a laugh tore out of her mouth.
Eric looked down at Sookie with concern and shock. She was becoming hysterical.
“Sookie,” he repeated one last time before he took one more step toward her, and then reached out and cupped her tear stained face.
The shock of his soft, warm touch slammed Sookie back to reality. Her body stiffened and she wiped her head up to look at the man in front of her. “Eric?” Sookie voice cracked as her lower lip trembled.
“Lover,” he replied as a mischievous grin corner of his lips .
Sookie grabbed both of his wrists and squeezed.
He’s here, she rejoiced. He’s really here.
In the back of her mind she momentarily thought that maybe she was knocked out from the explosion, that this was just some messed up dream or maybe she was dead.
He felt so real.
“I’m here, Sookie.” Eric wiped her tears with his thumbs and smiled.
“How? “ Sookie quietly asked, afraid that if she spoke any louder she would wake up from this dream. “How is this possible?” Her fingers uncurled from his wrists and she touched his face, tracing his jaw line and gently caressed his smooth cheek.
“Anything is possible,” Eric replied as he closed his eyes and softly kissed her fingers before looking back at her.
“But how, Eric? You’re a vampire. How could you possibly survive the fire and have wings. Wings!”
With a somber smile, Eric tilted her head to the side and took in the beautiful sight of his heartbroken and confused lover.
“I’m no longer vampire, Sookie. I died a little over a month ago from Hep V.”
Eric was dead. Regardless of how real he felt, maybe she really was only imagining him here because she had wanted to see him so badly. Maybe this was all a dream. Sookie thought to herself. There was no way Eric was here now if he had died.
“Are you really here?” she whispered almost too quietly for him to hear.
“I’m really here,” he said before looking at the house that was only a smouldering pile of ash at this point.
“Wait, Hep V?”
With a heavy sigh, Eric swallowed his pride and closed his eyes. “I made poor choices, Sookie. After everything that happened,” he hesitated, “I lost my will to live and I didn’t care if I lived or died.”
Pain lanced Sookie’s heart when she heard him say he had pretty much given up.
“I’m sorry, Eric,” It was all she could say.
Eric flapped his wings behind them and then curled one around Sookie and the other around himself. “Don’t apologize, Sookie. Like I said, I made some careless mistakes but if it weren’t for you, I would have been truly dead,” he replied as he looked down at her and smiled. “I have you to thank for me being here.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about. I had nothing to do with you suddenly sprouting wings.”
Eric chuckled at her. “Yes, you did. Moments before my final death, I had a visitor giving me another chance at life if I promised one thing,” he took a step back and Sookie immediately missed his closeness.
“Was it worth it?” Sookie asked.
“I got to see you again so it’s definitely worth it,” he responded, his eyes blazing with intensity.
“What did you promise, Eric?” Sookie was getting nervous what he would give up to live again.
“That I would come and see you one final time to give us both closure. However, why would you need closure, Sookie?” he asked flatly, not letting her hear the hope in his voice.
“I wanted to move on,” Sookie said while avoiding his gaze. Gods, how much she missed him. “I tried not to think of you, but everyday your name was on the tip of my tongue, and every night I dreamt of you, of us.”
“I thought that you would have forgotten about me.” Eric softly murmured, taking a step closer. Sookie could feel the heat of his body so close to hers that it made her want to reach out and hold him, but the fear that this was really just a dream and that he would disappear like so many of her dreams stopped her from doing so.
“How could I ever forget about you?” She asked with a broken smile. “I love you.”
A gasp rushed out of her mouth as Eric’s strong arms wrapped around her and pulled her against him. He held on to her tightly, inhaling the sweet scent of her hair as he kissed the top of her head.
She loves me, Eric frantically thought. She still loves me.
The sound of his heart beating in his chest shocked her, but she relished its sound. It meant that Eric was still alive, that he was here with her and maybe, just maybe, they could have a second chance.
“Are you going to stay?” she asked into his warm hard chest.
“No.” Eric replied, letting his hands settle on the curve of her hips.
“You’re leaving?” Sookie’s voice cracked as she finally had the courage to look up into the eyes of her only true lover.
Without hesitation, Eric bent his head down and kissed her, his lips remembering the feel and taste of her. He kissed her upper lip then her lower lip, tugging at it with his teeth.
“Would you come with me?” Eric quietly asked, resting his forehead against hers.
Sookie was silent for a moment even though her heart screamed her answer the moment he asked.
“Where would we go?” Sookie questioned.
“Does it matter?” Eric responded with a shrug.
No, Sookie knew that as long as she was with him it didn’t matter where they went. Nothing mattered as long as she was by his side.
Home is where the heart is, she thought with a smile.
“Nope,” Sookie finally replied, popping the ‘p’.
“Then let’s go,” Eric said, a mischievous grin curling his full lips while his eyes filled with love and hope. Eric’s impressive wings stretched and expanded and Sookie couldn’t help but gasp and laugh. It was going to take some time to get used to this new Eric.
With a confident nod and an excited smile, Sookie took Eric’s hand and squeezed it tightly.