Pre Edit Count – 3,966 Words
Song I listened to for this chapter: Desert Rose by Sting (Feat. Cheb Mami)
As they walk out the door, Jesus looks back. “Think this will work as they hope?”
Lafayette smirks. “Oh I be sure that it will work. Those two are made for each other. Just took them awhile to know it.” And with that, he takes off in his Corvette, heading to the hospital for Jesus to get what he needs.
Once he hears the car heading down the driveway, Eric picks up Sookie and carries her to her bedroom. He puts her down and tells her, “Change into something that you won’t mind ruining.” His mind is full of thoughts, most of them centering on the woman in front of him in one fashion or the other. He is thinking of ways to ensure her safety as well as what all will be needed for the coming ritual.
She looks around then up to him. “Where are my clothes?” She couldn’t find anything that resembled her clothing when she had come up here earlier; in fact, she suspects the man before her had made a lot of the choices. But then, there is also what he had told her about the rot, and how she often had to rewash clean clothing ever since the Maenad had been there. Her clothing would often smell as though it had been left in the washing machine even though she had smelled and washed them the day before.
His attention on her, allowing his subconscious to work on the issues, Eric smirks. “Here.” He had enjoyed all the time he had spent replacing her clothing. Frankly by the time Jason had sold the clothing, very little had been salvageable. Although he had looked for certain items to be saved no matter what it took.
Lifting an eyebrow at him, she puts her hands on her hips and glares up at him. She walks over and opens the top drawer of her dresser then turns around with a skimpy negligée in her hands. And this is why she is upset. She needs more normal clothing to wear. She would not be caught dead in something like this in case she got in an accident!
His fangs drop as hunger for his Sookie overcomes him, as he can imagine her in that. In fact, that thought alone had made him buy a lot of the clothing she now has.
She raises an eyebrow at the drop of his fangs along with the look on his face. There has never been any doubt that Eric has wanted her all this time, but now there is almost naked longing showing on his face. But they wouldn’t be “Sookie and Eric” without some of their normal remarks. It is part of what made her fall in love with him.
Unable to help himself, he just grins.
“Eric Northman! Where the hell are my clothes?” she resisted the tiny stomp she wanted to make, but the smile on her face is enough to take the sting away from her words. She has missed having this banter between them.
His own eyes bright, Eric just laughs. “That is not something I expected to hear yet…maybe after the third date if I understand dating conventions correctly.” He grins at her, and one fang is showing, making him just… adorable. It is not something she would have thought of him…
She taps a toe. He vamps to her and draws her into his arms with her back against his chest as he looks through the drawer. “It looks like it is all here.” He can’t help it, he has always loved the fiery side of Sookie, and he never wants it dulled, or even banked. It is that passion that he will fight to keep in his little fairy.
She actually growls. He laughs and kisses her on the neck, then admits to her, “I may have bought you some clothing, after we had to rid you of so much. And I personally may have chosen some of the items.” His voice is full of playfulness.
He smiles, his fangs finally going back up as he noses her neck. “Do you know how many people I had looking for a certain dress when I could not find it in your closet anymore?” That dress, oh how he had raged when he couldn’t find it. It has starred in so many of his fantasies. So he made sure that when they found it, they bought many copies of that dress. He has a plan for each and every one of them. And he has made sure that they can make more for when he has gone through those ones…
She looks up at him, puzzled. What dress is he talking about? He acts like it is something she should know, but she has worn many dresses in her time around him. And she has admittedly burned one: the blue one from the Fellowship of the Sun debacle.
He clarifies for her, “The dress I first saw you in. I will admit, it is my favorite, and has been featured in many daydreams for me. I was actually devastated to not find it here safe, and had many people searching for it.” ‘Many’ seemed such a little word for the number of people he had working on it. He even had a picture from the cameras from that night in case he needed someone to redesign the dress.
She looks at him as though he is mad. “Why? It was a Walmart special, I think, or I found on a clearance rack somewhere. It was bought in a time I was hopeful for dates.” Her voice trailed off at the end. Not much, but very noticeable by a vampire that has an obsession with her. He always notes the little things like that with her.
His eyes change color, and he tells her softly, “I will give you all those dates and much, much more.” The promise is there in his voice, and he means every single word.
She shakes her head. This is part of the problem. Eric cannot seem to understand that money is a big deal to her, and at the same time, with the way she was brought up, something made or given great care would mean more than anything bought with his money could. “Eric, I don’t want your money. While I have learned the difference in being a kept woman and being given a gift, I just can’t be a gold-digger. I want you for you.” Communication is the key per her family. So… she will try it out.
He kisses her, then tells her softly, “Sookie, I know you don’t want me for my money. I have so much I really don’t care. I can’t spend it all, neither can Pam. There comes a point in wealth that it makes itself. And since we are to be Soul Bonded, well my lover, all that money is as much yours as mine.” If he couldn’t spend that money on the person he loves most of all, then what use is it? He just doesn’t want her worrying about things that she shouldn’t be worried about; bills and other items of that sort are not what should concern her. Now that she will be in the Supe world, she will find that they are the least of her worries anymore.
Sookie bites her lip as she tries to think of a way to tell him that she just doesn’t feel right, but at the same time, lessons from her grandfathers have shown her that she would be hurting his pride. Supes are extremely sensitive about providing for their mates, and that is exactly what she is: his mate.
He looks at her. “Let me guess, you still don’t like it.” He lifts that eyebrow at her, and he wonders what her excuses will be this time. He never doubted that this would be an argument, so he would rather have all the facts since there is not much leeway here in his world.
At her nod, he smiles. “Unfortunately, it won’t change. You are my other half, my mate. I have a need to provide for you. But, unlike most, I understand your need to be independent. Once we get to that point, we can talk about it?” He offers her that option, leaving it out there for them to deal with in the future. He is hoping once he can speak with her, and show her how it is in their world, she may be more receptive.
She looks up at him, and huffs. He just chuckles, and nuzzles her neck. She finally has to ask, “Is it a cat thing the neck?” She fondly remembers Tina doing it to her quite often.
He nods. “Scenting. Your scent is there, and mine sticks there, too. The mixture of the two is divine. Plus I have always thought your neck was lovely. Don’t’ be surprised that the gifts of courting draw attention to it.” He already has ordered some items to be delivered from his vaults. Who knew that he would design jewelry through the ages for his little mate? He had stowed the pieces away and never even shown Pam a lot of them.
She sighs. “Is this going to get any better?” She sure hopes so, but it will take so much more time and effort for her to stop the kind of thinking that could ruin their relationship even now. She will need Eric’s help.
He smirks. “I sure hope so. But what I am thinking is not the same, I bet.” He smiles against her neck, thinking of when he will finally be one with her in all ways.
She nods, enjoying the motion of his face against her neck. In a way, it was somehow soothing. “I am trying to go against 23 years of teachings. It wasn’t until my grandfathers pointed out that I didn’t pay attention to the right things that I realized that I wasn’t taking into consideration today’s context when I heard from Gran’s head what she was thinking when she taught me things. And this town didn’t help, either. It’s like it’s stuck back in Mayberry time.” The disgust as she said the last told enough of a story in Eric’s mind to have him nod.
He thinks, his hand on her stomach and his fingers caressing it. He carefully asks, “So the problem is that you are stuck in a time that doesn’t exist for anyone, not even my kind?” While he is being careful of the fiery spirit in his Fae, he also wants to be sure he understands what she means. He can’t help if he doesn’t understand the issue.
Leaning back into his arms and relaxing completely against him, she sighs. “Yes. And I know now that it is wrong, but how do you change your thinking so easily,” her voice pleads for help as she looks up at him. She knows her way of thinking is wrong, but how to fix it?
He thinks on the matter as he pulls her closer, and goes through her drawer to pull out a set of pajamas to give to her. “Don’t worry about ruining these, but I suspect you will feel better in them. Go ahead and change, Lafayette will be back soon.”
As she nods and heads to the bathroom, he pulls her back and kisses her, just a quick one, enough to assure of her of his love for her. Then he lets her go. All the while he is thinking over what she said.
He suspects that the problem is her telepathy. It has been ingrained in her thinking to never let anyone know about her gift, and she subconsciously reads minds to find out what would help her fit in best. And Gods help her, she is right about this town. He had found that out all too easily. They may think they are progressive, but they are truly stuck back in the 50’s. Only their respect for the Stackhouses had allowed him to remain here unharmed, especially when they realized he was doing it all for Sookie. They thought he was as crazy as she was, but they could understand the type of memorial he was wanting to make.
So, a part of it will be fixed when they can move away from here, but that doesn’t help now. She is struggling, and he too is struggling. She has no idea how big of a concession it is for him to agree to talk about it. His instincts, not only as a vampire but as a human with the values he was raised with, are fighting on this. He respects women, he always has. In his time, his woman would have been in charge when he was aviking. So, that is not it, but the man is supposed to make sure his wife had as easy a time as he could give her before he left.
Eric sighs to himself as he waits for his love to come out. The sleep set he gave her will protect her modesty. He had gotten her some naughty things, but he had made sure that there are also clothes that she would feel comfortable wearing as well. He knows how sexy his mate is; he just suspects she has no idea. He will encourage her to have more self-assurance, which is one of the many things that would be his honor to teach his lover.
Thinking of all the issues and the solutions he can come up with, Eric slips into downtime as he stands there leaning against the wall. His mind is busy making a list of everything that he wishes to do to his little Fairy along with any problems he can identify and plan for in case they happen, the main one being what they will do once the Soul Bond is complete.
Sookie comes out of the bathroom, surprised. The pajama set is actually cute. It is pink with black lace around her throat and the cuffs of the top and pants. The shirt had a built in bra, that you couldn’t tell from the outside, and had black roses scattered on it. It’s not something she had expected Eric to have picked out for her, but she can’t forget that he had personally picked out most of the clothing.
Tonight has been surprising, and to be frank, she likes the playful side of Eric; it’s a side of him that she hopes to see more often. She cannot help but smile as she wonders what kind of lover he will be. She suspects that neither will be bored in the bedroom portion of their lives.
When she walks out, she sees him leaning against the wall, and for a second his eyes are far away. Then she can see the second that he knows she is there, and his eyes snap forward to her. She cannot help the slight blush that colors her cheeks as she realizes that he has always done that. Whenever she enters a room, his attention is always on her.
He smiles at the outfit, and asks, “Are you comfortable?” He is being honest and looks forward to her answer, knowing this is the type of clothing she prefers.
She nods, telling him frankly, “I am surprised that you picked this out. It’s something I would have bought for myself if I had found it on sale.”
Shaking his head at the comment, he wonders if she could actually teach Pam how to shop for sales. “While I enjoy the thought of you in the other items I bought, I knew you would feel better in these for around the house, I believe it is called.” He smiles, “Plus I enjoyed the thought of you being in your pajamas, and know you would never wear the other stuff unless it was a special occasion.” His smile softens as he thinks of waking beside her as she reads still clad in her pajamas. Things like this are what he is looking forward to, the little things that make life worth living in the long run.
She just shakes her head, her hand on her hip. “If this had been the Eric I had been introduced to, things may have been different,” she tells him bluntly.
He leans away from the wall and walks toward her, his eyes caressing her curves that aren’t hidden in her pajamas. He meets her eyes as he comments, “It does no good to wonder about such things. This is our time, and we are taking it. Who knows what could have happened, and I really don’t want to waste any time with you wondering about the ‘what if’s’. They don’t matter. What we do from now on does.” At the end, he encloses her in his arms, and not able to help it, rubs his face on her hair. He smiles at her chuckles, then softly tells her, “Hang on.” With that he swings her into his arms and within seconds is back down the stairs. He stops in her kitchen to grab a roll of trash bags, then he has her in front of the Cubby.
She runs her hands over it, amazed at the carpentry. He softly asks, “You like?” He is watching her when she looks back at him.
She nods. “The carpentry is amazing.” Her awe for the handiwork is not only obvious in her voice, but also in her actions.
He genuinely smiles. “Thank you. It is one of my hobbies. When I came up with the idea, I had informed the men working on it that I would take care of the outside of the entrance. I wanted you to have a piece of me.” He rests his hand on the wood, remembering the hours he had spent making the doors. His hands trace the Yggdrasil he had carved on the front, taking so many hours to make the details match. The tree is also his symbol, and he admits he was selfish in putting it here. Any vampire would know that she is under his personal protection just by seeing it, and the mark is on other spots, obvious to others.
Nothing more, nothing less. Sookie just takes a deep breathe with the memory of what he said upstairs. ‘What if’s’ don’t’ matter…from now on does. Her hands trail down the ribbon intertwined in the branches of the tree.
He shows her how to open both doors, letting her know that unless you unlock the other, the wooden doors only open to a shallow shelving unit. Opening them both opened a thicker set of doors, but as he floated them down the hatch, she saw that the cubby, as she thought of it, is actually not really that big. The bed was simple, with barely enough room for them both, and she can see a bathroom area off to one side.
Eric set her down, and as she looks toward the bathroom, he tells her, “It’s a fully human bathroom, just slightly larger for me.” He smirks as he adds, “I am larger than most.” He leers at her, wanting her to laugh.
She can’t help but laugh. “That right there is why I never took you serious, Mr. Northman. Everything out of your mouth was a sexual innuendo.” Or worse…
He lifts an eyebrow. “Or at least that is how you took it.” He looked at her earnestly as he leans forward. “Not everything has a sexual connotation to it, Miss Stackhouse.”
She is still shaking her head at him. “Really?” She is not buying the innocent look. No way buster!
Laughing at her, Eric is soon stripping the bed, layering it with the trash bags, the he puts the sheets back onover them. Sheets are easy to replace. Even the mattress is. But he could see her rejecting a new mattress over new sheets. He knows that plastic is not comfortable to lie on, and he will have her as comfortable as he can make her.
He looks up when he is done and only a few seconds have passed. “Truly. Not everything I say is sexual. Nor am I innocent of not trying to rile you up. I just said that your mind didn’t have to go to the gutter.” He lifts that eyebrow at her…that damned eyebrow that often makes her heart stutter.
She smirks at him. “As if you can be innocent,” she laughs. But he can hear the edge to it, and can tell she is thinking of what is to come.
He pulls her into his arms as he tells her again, “You don’t have to do this. We can see if there is another way.” He never wants her in pain. Ever. Nor does he ever want to see another of those damnable tears of hers.
She shakes her head. “I trust my Granddadies. If he said this is the best way and my granddaddy agreed, then we will need to do it.” Then she looks up at him and asks with a vulnerable look in her eyes, “You will stay here?”
He holds her closer. “I will be here during the whole procedure, and will make sure you are taken care of. I will not rest until I know you are safe.” As if he could leave with his mate in pain. As it is, he will be making sure that he is has enough control of himself to not attack anyone when they bond. He is not sure what will happen, but it is possible.
She sighs. “It will be ok. It has to be.” But he didn’t miss how she snuggles into his arms. And he cannot deny the pure joy he feels at that, knowing that she is turning to him for comfort.
Then he hears the pair returning, and tells her, “They are back. Stay here and I will bring them down.” He looks down at her, waiting for agreement.
She nods, then turns to study the cubby in detail, Eric pulls her back to kiss her forehead and flies back up the hatch.
Once he is up there, he looks at the doors, but then shakes his head. They will know about it soon enough, and the shields are in place. No one was getting in who didn’t belong. With that in mind, he heads outside to help them unload their vehicle.
Soon enough they are in the cubby, and the space seemed that much smaller. Sookie is lying on the bed, and Jesus has her hooked up to some machines, and has her ready for when they will need to transfuse her with Eric’s blood.
Jesus looks up as Sookie asks, “Would the transfusion count as another Bond?” He had been wondering about that, not that he didn’t doubt that the two would be happy with it, but in case he ever helps with this again he will be prepared.
Eric shakes his head. “No. The magic requires us to exchange and have the blood of the other still on our lips. Don’t worry. The first Bond will show all that we are Bonding. There will be no way for another to mistake the signs.” He is behind her, holding her up. He had told her this is the best way for them to exchange. When she had said something about bleeding on him, he had asked her if she really thought she would be the first person to bleed on him.
Eric had watched Jesus attach all the wires and such to her. He had asked a few questions, making sure he knew what was what in case something happened. He is not taking a chance with his Sookie, especially not when she is finally his.
Nodding she looks up at the two men in the room. “Ready?” She is slightly shaking. Her grandfathers had made sure she knew how much pain she will be in, as well as the alternatives.
Lafayette just laughs. “Hooka, we should be asking you that. From what Jesus told me, this may be very painful. You sure you wants to do this?” He looks concerned for her.
She shakes her head. And she can feel Eric soothing her, rubbing his hands up and down her arms, well, as much as he can with all the needles in them both.
Eric looks to Jesus, and when he sees he is ready, he reminds them all but talking to Sookie, “I will bite my wrist, and present it to you, drink as quickly and deeply as you can. I will be biting you on the neck at the same time. That is it. If somehow nothing happens by the time it closes, don’t worry. It will be enough. I will be taking as little as possible, seeing as you are about to expel so much. Jesus and Lafayette will start the transfusion as soon as I stop drinking. You are to worry about nothing but getting through this. Everyone understand?” He looks at them all, and once they are all ready, he bites into his wrist and presents it to Sookie.
She takes it without any hesitation. And as he told her, she draws deeply from him. Her eyes roll back at the rich flavor of him. She expected it to be like Bill’s blood, the cold coppery stuff she gagged down, but this was nothing like it. This flavor had no real distinction but was rich as chocolate, smooth as wine and the feeling of the bond starting? Amazing.
Eric gasps as he feels her, and then moves forward to bite. He had been nuzzling the spot he had chosen for the bite for a while just so he could do this quickly.
The second her blood hit his system, he felt the Bond forming. His eyes widen, and his purr erupts from him so loudly that both Jesus and Lafayette start. The pure joy and love he is receiving from Sookie is uplifting and he sends back what he can to her. He knows she won’t feel it the same way, but he will make sure she knows she is very much loved. This is his goal for the rest of their lives.
He is there, and he remembers the worry he has for her, but as he drinks from her, he can feel the Bond strengthening. He is not sure why, but he wants it to be as powerful as it can be. Finally stopping himself, he waits to see if the Bond will strengthen on its own. When it does but just not as quickly, he licks the puncture marks to close them.
Once they are sealed, he leans his head into the crook of her neck, letting it rest there as he rejoices in the feelings that he has missed so much. No longer was their Bond only telling him if she lived and was on this earth. Now it tells him so much more, and he is taking a moment to relish in it.
He feels the wound on his wrist close as he nuzzles his mate, then they both arch as one as pain suddenly shoots through Sookie.
Jesus starts when they both do that, then his eyes widen as he sees proof of the blood expulsion in person. He hopes he never will see that sight ever again nor does he ever want to witness this being done again. Only the fact it is rare makes him confident of that request.
It seems like Sookie is pouring blood out of her very pores. And the cry from both Eric and Sookie is frightening. The pain and how they mirror each other, well, he truly expects to see the blood coming from Eric also.
He dives to pull the blocker from the transfusion line between the two. Luckily, Eric’s wrist is higher than Sookie’s, and he remains just aware enough to force the blood from himself. Jesus had been hesitant about doing the whole transfusion thing as Eric had directed, but he is seeing the control the vampire has over his own blood.
Eric had told them he could force the blood through the tube into Sookie’s veins, the only thing he was worried about was the pressure. That is no longer a concern as Sookie’s very body rejects any blood that is not Eric’s.
In fact, Jesus has no idea how she is even alive. To have what happened occur meant that every vein in her body must have burst, but if that really is what happened, she would have died. Yet, even her eyes are clear. He can only watch as she continues literally sweating blood.
Sookie could not think past the pain. She is only aware enough to realize that Eric is in pain with her, and she had never wanted that!!! She knew it would hurt her, Niall had warned of it.
Eric on the other hand works to force the pain to the side, and once he can do that, he does the only thing he can to help Sookie. He knocks her out. It is not something he wants to do, and the pain doesn’t end for him, but thankfully it does for her.
He opens his eyes and looks at the sensors. His fangs come down so fast that he had nicked his own lips where the taste of both their blood now lingers. But watching the sensors, he calms down some.
Lafayette just stares wild-eyed. He shakes his head as he watches the woman he loves as a sister basically explode with blood. There is not a spot on her that isn’t red. But when she slumps unconscious, his quick look at Eric shows he is the cause. He just says, “Muther-Fucker.”
Eric grits his teeth, then tells them, “It is the magic. My blood is traveling through her veins, and they are whole. But, it does hurt. Somehow, we are keeping up though. As she loses, I give her what she needs.”
Jesus only nods as he checks her out. “I will never understand the hows, but I will tell you this: I never want to see this again.” Nope.
Nodding in agreement, Eric closes his eyes and rests his head on the wall behind them. “Unless another gives her blood, she will never go through this again. Though, from what I understand, her body will reject the blood in a normal fashion. Bill will pay for this. There is no reason for him to have given her this much blood.” He growls the last out, his rage showing, but he controls it so he can concentrate on the matters at hand.
The threesome agree, then unfortunately settle in for a very long wait. It ends up taking the rest of the night along with several hours in the morning before Eric relaxes from the pain finally ending in Sookie.
Lafayette had only watched in horror as Sookie’s body ejected Bill’s blood. He took it as for blessing it was that Eric had knocked her out, and kept her out. He had no idea how he did so since it was obvious that Eric had been right there with her enduring the same level of pain. He knew that he wouldn’t have been able to, and he respected the vampire in front of him even more.
Eric almost weeps from the freedom of that pain. Within a half hour of it starting he had needed the blood bags, however as dawn crept closer, he had become more worried. Now that it is over, he swears that she will never feel that again. He knows now how imperative it had been with the terrible amount of blood she had ejected.
When he knows it to be over, he tells the two men, “I am going to wash her in the shower. Can you clean up the bed? I need to have her resting beside me. That way if anything happens, I can be here to help.” And since she is his Bonded, it is exactly where she belongs.
Jesus lifts his eyebrows. “Even after you die for the day?” He is removing the instruments he had placed on her to monitor her stats. The blood pressure cuff is the last to come off as he had been keeping check even though it never changed while she was sweating out all that blood. The only elevation had been caused by her pain levels rising. Her temperature hadn’t risen, either. All in all, he had been shocked that none of her vitals had shown anything more than the fact that she had been in severe pain, and even then the change wasn’t truly worrisome.
Eric’s lips lifted in a tired smile. “Jesus, her return to this earth woke me from the middle of death in the afternoon. Now that we have a Bond started, if she stubs her toe it will awaken me. If she is bitten by a flea, I will be aware. No worries about that.” With that, he takes them to the bathroom.
He hates to finally see her naked for this reason, but there is no way he can allow her to wake up to this morbid sight. He starts the water, and tears away their clothing. He had been only in his jeans as Sookie insisted that he rid himself of his shirt. Only the comment that he didn’t wear underwear had her blushing and stammering that he should keep the jeans on. He would have not minded if he had removed those too.
He moves into the shower with her while keeping her unconscious, which is not so hard anymore. Her body knows she needs the rest.
He keeps the cleaning quick, but even that has been enough to make him harder than a rock. Her body is perfect. There is not one thing he would change or improve. He finds that his purring only increases as his body answers in pleasure at the sight of hers.
He had placed some clothing down in “the cubby” as Sookie calls it, and he grabs a pair of pajamas for her. He has no idea why he would have chosen to include a pair that wasn’t meant for him to rip off her, but he is glad that he had. She would be uncomfortable enough as it is.
When he carries her back to the bedroom, he sees that the two men have cleaned up and have even moved the medical equipment away from the bed. He places his mate on his bed, then looks to them. “Do you need the equipment brought upstairs?” He needs them gone, but he remembers the kindness they have done for his mate.
Jesus only nods as he explains, “I think it will be less stressful for her if it’s gone.” He wants to leave the two alone. They had just completed the first part of a soul bond, something that should have been a joyful occasion, but instead it had been overshadowed by pain.
Eric nods, and with a blur of movement he deposits the equipment up on the ledge. He tells them, “As you go up, there is a keypad on the right. Key in 4826 and it will slide a hatch over the room. You can stand on it then open the door.” He wants them gone. As soon as they key in the temporary code, it will erase itself from the system and he and Sookie will be safe for the day.
They nod, then move up the ladder. Eric moves to Sookie’s side of the bed, and listens for the hatch to close. Once it does, he nuzzles into his mate, and lets his body slide into its death. Tonight will come with its own issues, but never again will he wake to not feeling his mate’s emotions, and that is enough to grant him pleasure as he relaxes into his day death.
Final count: 6,060 words.