AN: I’m glad most of you are enjoying this story and THANKS so much for the kind reviews! I value each and every one of them. Reviews make me take into account issues I may have not have considered. Case in point: several readers have expressed concern about Sookie being an immortal virgin. This issue never occurred to me since I am a firm believer that the reason the first time is awful for so many is due to the inexperience of the partners and not due to female anatomy, which is highly variable anyway. Besides, as I mentioned to a couple of readers, who better for Sookie to “give” her virginity to (for eternity) than Eric Northman, a man who has had a millennium to perfect his sexual technique? )
This is rough despite going over it a million times, but I wanted to get it out to you. Now I’m off to the next chapter of the neglected Prisoner…
My Lady d’Arbanville, why do you sleep so still?
I’ll wake you tomorrow
And you will be my fill, yes, you will be my fill.
My Lady d’Arbanville why does it grieve me so?
But your heart seems so silent.
Why do you breathe so low, why do you breathe so low?
My Lady d’Arbanville, you look so cold tonight.
Your lips feel like winter,
Your skin has turned to white, your skin has turned to white.
I loved you my lady, though in your grave you lie,
I’ll always be with you
This rose will never die, this rose will never die.
The following night:
Eric paced relentlessly in his underground bedroom, while splitting his attention between his two children, one on the other end of the phone receiver, the other in the bathroom.
He spoke rapidly, in Swedish.
“She is taking it as well as can be expected, but I have been bombarding the bond with calm and reassurance. She is frequently on the razor’s edge of panic despite my efforts. Well, yes, of course she is in shock, not only from her murder but also from the rude awakening she had, learning she is vampire—and other things…I do not want to elaborate over the phone. Yes, casual and dress attire. You would be the better one to guess her size. And ah, Pam…some bagged blood—assorted. And what of Compton? Hmm. Yes, well, I suppose he could be telling the truth, but it is irrelevant. I don’t give a fuck—let them send for him then! We will discuss later. ”
Eric disconnected the call and hesitated where he stood. He could feel his new child’s barely contained panic, terror, and grief as she bathed. He had encouraged her time alone in the bathroom since he could feel her need for solitude. He didn’t begrudge her the need to grieve, to mourn not only her life but also everything that mortality had offered her: human marriage, children, grandchildren…things that were now impossible.
Closing his eyes, he once again replayed his recent actions back in his head. The rage and horror while holding Sookie’s dead, broken body had caused him, a being who had countless years of calculation and subtlety, to act on impulse. Something he just did not do. But he had not hesitated for even a second…it had felt natural and…right to turn her. And now, honestly, even after a period of introspection, he had no true regrets about giving her his dark gift… indeed had he been confronted with the situation again, he knew he would act accordingly in the same manner.
However, he empathized with her pain, knowing that she would initially struggle with her new life, made all the more difficult initially due to her violent murder at the hands of the drainer trash. He knew firsthand what it was like to be assaulted and helpless; to be at the mercy of a psychopath as you felt your very life drain away. It was something his new child had not deserved.
He felt red, burning rage flare up again as he once again thought of Compton and the queen. Eric realized that Compton had likely told the truth to Pam. Sophie-Anne would send for him if she did not hear back from him in a timely manner, her urgency driven by her greed at obtaining the fae telepath. A molten surge of bloodlust inundated him as he thought about twisting Compton’s head off and bathing in his viscera, but he quashed it quickly when he felt a sharp rise in Sookie’s anxiety and grief, while at the same time an overwhelming need for him screamed through the bond.
Sookie lay at the bottom of the bathtub; eyes wide open, reveling in her ability to submerge underwater without the need to breathe.
She was attempting to drown out not only her thoughts, but also the ones that came unbidden to her from all directions. At first, the voices had been deafening, maddening, as a confusing barrage of minds from several miles away pummeled her. Luckily, as soon as she was able to dam the tide of panic with Eric’s calming influence, she was able to shutter out much of the noise. She had slowly learned to shield at a young age, a skill developed out of necessity and now luckily seemed enhanced, just as the amplification of her telepathy had been since her “rebirth.”
And…the big shock, which she hadn’t mentioned to Eric, but this morning she had awakened mid morning while he was dead for the day.
Fearful, she had remained silent beside him until he had risen, none the wiser about her ability to “day walk.” In her mind, it further reinforced just how much of a freak she had become—no longer human, or part fae (whatever that really meant), and apparently, it was looking like she was not really all vampire, based on what Eric had described. But then again, he had mentioned the possibility of having a “gift” beyond that of immortality, such as his ability to fly. Maybe she was just abnormally “gifted”?
But again, just what the hell was she?
The implications of her new abilities, as well as the knowledge she was no longer human terrified her. Adding to her anxiety and fear, she was also experiencing intrusive memories of her death: overwhelming slices of terror, helplessness, and agony she felt during the Rattray’s merciless assault. Her mind replayed choppy images of their faces, contorted into rictuses of evil glee while their drug fueled jeering laughter pierced the night. After Mack had paralyzed her with a vicious kick to her spine, she lay there helpless, looking up as Denise stomped her chest. And then, a kick to the head, and…that had been it.
Until she awoke in a panic, under the earth in Eric’s arms…
And now—her whole world had been turned upside down and inside out. Nothing made sense.
She felt like an undead Alice falling down the rabbit hole…to what end? Immortality, by definition, offered no end. But then again, Eric had explained ways that “their kind” could be ended in different ways: sunlight, silver, staking, beheading. “Meeting the sun” didn’t sound so bad to her. And what if she were immune to sunlight given her ability to rise during the day?
And yet, as distraught as she felt right now, she would not do that to her maker. It would cause him pain—that she knew, and she would not do that to him, no matter how desperate and miserable she may feel.
She allowed her mind to wander, subconsciously searching out for the comfort of her maker’s thoughts. Even underwater, she had heard Eric speaking in an unfamiliar language, and while his thoughts only seldom slipped into English, she caught the barrage of images and feelings shooting through his mind at breakneck speed.
It was easy to decipher the turmoil of his thoughts. His concern about her safety and welfare gnawed at him, as well as his ravening anger at Bill and queen “Sophie-Anne.” Also, there was also a niggling doubt in the back of his mind that she would resent him for turning her and thus feared her rejection.
But rejecting him was the furthest thing from her mind.
Through the bond, she consistently felt his concern, protectiveness, and tenderness, to an extent she had never before experienced, not even from her parents or Gran. And his thoughts betrayed the dizzying depth of his feelings towards her, which was as surprising as it was breathtaking given the brief time they had spent together. She could tell that he had not wished for her to lose her mortal life in such a way, felt his distress and guilt at finding her dead, as if he had failed her in some way…and on the cusp of those thoughts, she felt his loneliness and his consuming, obsessive desire to keep her by his side.
There was no doubt in her mind: he fiercely and lethally protected what was his and she now undeniably belonged to him.
No, she didn’t begrudge him. He had literally snatched her from the jaws of death, and for that she owed him and was profoundly grateful. It was just so overwhelming. She felt alien and…lost. Her life as she knew it was over. Gran, Jason, Sam, Tara…how would they treat her when they learned the truth? Would she want to drink their blood, drain them when she eventually faced them?
She shuddered and sat up, gasping in a sudden onslaught of panic, which was only heightened by her missing heartbeat. She hugged herself around the middle, her torso shaking in awkward, silent sobs while red splashes hit her body and plopped into the water, creating macabre pink patterns around her.
Her head turned as she felt him approach, hearing the concern in his thoughts as he warred inside, not wanting to intrude and yet yearning to go to her.
Her lips turned up on their own accord in a wan smile.
She may be adrift, but here there was an undeniable stalwart rock in the midst of a stormy sea. If there were one thing she knew deep in her bones on a fundamental, intuitive level, her maker would not abandon her.
She kept her eyes on the door, unintentionally sending out tendrils of need, her bond instinctively reaching out to him, seeking him and recognizing that her maker stood behind the door, just out of reach.
Suddenly, the door swung open and as her grieving eyes picked up on the concern etched into his face, she was overcome with a tsunami-sized wave of tenderness and gratitude for the man standing before her.
Eric’s eyes were glowing with passion, a mixture of desire, pride, and concern. But belying the intensity of his gaze, he held out a large towel in silent invitation of calming sanctuary.
So strong was the desire to go to him, her bond flailed out to him, and before she knew what happened, she had popped from the bathtub into his shocked but waiting arms.
Suppressing his urge to question her apparent ability to teleport, he simply wrapped her up in a cocoon of Egyptian cotton and strong maker’s embrace.
Sinking into him, she allowed herself to find solace, without her characteristic self-consciousness, if only for a few minutes…
Gently lifting her in his arms, he brought her into the bedroom and sat her on the bed before fetching one of his shirts for her. He left the room after murmuring a reassurance he’d be back after he warmed her some synthetic blood (she saw in his mind he’d be introducing her to human blood soon, but she quickly pushed that to the back of her head).
Stoically, she dried off and dressed in one of his t-shirts, which hung down to mid-thigh.
Needing no words between them as the bond hummed in mutual need and affection, she saw he had returned with two bottles in each hand. He sat down beside her and handed her one, while keeping one for him.
Capturing her eyes with his, he reached out with his bottle to clink to hers. Smiling a shy smile, she reciprocated and obliged with a silent toast.
Thanks for reading! The pace is going to pick up after this chapter, but I thought we needed to hear more of what was going on with Sookie’s reaction to being turned before we moved on.
So…the True Blood season premiere wasn’t as bad as I had thought (though that’s like saying a root canal wasn’t as excruciating as it could have been). A bit surprised that Tara bit the dust so quickly, but my reaction was like Lafayette’s (namely, relief). The scene with the stand-off between Jessica and the backwoods zombie!vamp was enjoyably creepy. Anyone wonder why the hell Pam ended up in Morocco when she shares a maker-child bond with Eric and should have felt a pull to Sweden? And what was up with the stupid Deerhunteresque scene? Pointless. If they were trying to tap into Pam’s depression and suicidality it came off as contrived. I guess they’ll drag it out so that Eric makes an appearance before the finale, right before we see Sookie and Bill together again, huh? Sigh…