When Eric rises for the evening, he eagerly checks the fledgling bond between Sookie and himself. During the first week of their separation, Eric would begin to check the bond with Sookie, wanting to make sure she was ok. But then he would get angry at himself for wallowing and force himself to close down his end of the bond so he couldn’t feel anything. Even after returning to Shreveport, Eric forced himself to stay busy to keep his mind and heart from thinking about Sookie. However his blood was constantly calling for her; a siren’s song designed to completely ensnare its prey. His blood ached for Sookie and it had started to take a physical toll on him. He felt like he couldn’t breathe with the bond closed, that he was suffocating. Once he gave in to the call of the bond, Eric felt the tension inside his body ease slightly but it never fully disappeared because of the distance between them.
He had arranged for the first present to be delivered around the time that he would rise for the night so that he could feel her emotions as she read the letter. Eric reveled in the emotions he felt coming from Sookie; they were exactly what he expected when he had written the letter. And at the end of it, Eric felt a deep sense of satisfaction as he felt Sookie’s happiness. It wasn’t something she had felt a lot of lately; in fact, she had seemed as moody as he.
Eric’s good mood lasted for the next several days. Sookie had not contacted him, but he hadn’t expected her to. It was enough for now to feel her though their bond. For the second day, Eric had sent her two snow globes, with the note that he longed to lie in the snow with her once again. The surge of lust he had felt through the bond made him strut around Fangtasia proud as a peacock that evening. On the third day, Eric gifted Sookie with three bottles of French perfume, knowing she would rail at his extravagance even as she inhaled deeply of the light, sweet fragrances that would complement her natural scent beautifully. The fourth night had appealed to their shared sense of humor. As he had said in his letter, he wasn’t going to follow the lyrics of the song exactly, but when he had seen this particular item he couldn’t help but buy it. The four calling birds that Eric sent to Sookie were of a figurine of the seagulls from Finding Nemo and when you pressed a button on the base of the figurine, the birds said, “Mine. Mine. Mine.” Eric knew Sookie hated the idea of being owned, but he could tell from the burst of humor he felt when the present was delivered that she understood his intentions exactly.
On the fifth night, Eric hurried through his daily routine of getting ready for the night since he was on throne duty this evening. Pam had tried to convince him that he should dress more festive because of the holidays and that they should decorate the bar to fit in with the holiday season. She had even tried to convince him to hang mistletoe over his throne, charging the vermin for the privilege of kissing whoever was seated on the throne. Eric had no desire to touch the vermin let alone kiss them; there was only one woman he wanted to kiss underneath the mistletoe. He had threatened to make her wear an elf costume, complete with striped stockings, bells on her shoes, and pointy ears if he found a single Christmas decoration in the bar. Part of him was hoping Ginger would be stupid enough to bring in something holiday related so he could blame it on Pam. It would serve her right for all the tormenting she has done the last few nights. She had been absolutely horrified by the gifts Eric had sent Sookie. If it didn’t have a designer label or cost a fortune, it wasn’t a proper gift in her opinion. Pam had put her foot down for today’s present; the song lyric was five gold rings, therefore the present should be jewelry. Eric had finally relented when Pam had shown him something that Sookie wouldn’t balk at. It was expensive, which satisfied Pam’s expectations, but it was simple in its design so that Sookie would be comfortable wearing it. Rather than have his day man deliver the gift, he will be delivering it himself once he has satisfied his obligations at Fangtasia for the evening. The other reason he needed to see Sookie was because of all the paperwork to transfer her home back to her had been delivered to him today; all that remained was for both of them to sign on the dotted lines.
Before Eric left his resting chamber, he made a mental note to arrange for more bagged blood to be put inside his chamber. When he had returned to Shreveport, he had given up drinking from donors; they no longer appealed to him. Even in New Orleans he had found it difficult to stomach the blood from the donors he’d shared with Nora. At least there he had the option of drinking Royalty Blended, which is mainly what The Guardian drank. Eric didn’t want to order large quantities of the higher end synthetic blood because it was extremely expensive due to the importation taxes levied on it; donor blood could be easily acquired from the local blood banks if one was willing to pay for it.
Eric arrived at Fangtasia a little after 8:00 pm, took care of a few matters in his office, and was on the throne by 8:30. By 8:45, he was already bored and glancing at the time on his cell phone every few minutes to see if he could leave yet. He really needed to find someone else to sit on the throne to appeal to the masses; he had better things to do with his time than be a freak show attraction for people to gawk at. Perhaps he will even give Pam his shares in the bar. He doesn’t need the income and if things with Sookie go the way he hopes they will, he doesn’t want her to ever have to worry about his fidelity.
Another fifteen minutes had passed when a text message from Pam came through.
King Dickweed is here and he looks more constipated than usual.
Eric refrains from rolling his eyes as the door opens to show Bill Compton with his entourage of heavily armed security guards. On Bill’s arm is a pale, anorexic-looking woman with sable-colored hair, wearing an ill-fitting red evening dress that looks trashy and not classy. Eric cannot help but notice the woman’s uncanny resemblance to Lorena. He smirks to himself; Compton always did have mommy issues.
“Good evening Your Majesty,” Eric says in a slightly mocking tone as he bows in an exaggerated way. “I trust everything is well this evening.”
“Sheriff, it has come to my attention that you have been harassing Sookie,” Bill says sharply. “Need I remind you that she has requested you stay away from her.” Eric seethes as he listens to Bill. Not once does he make mention of the fact that she requested they both stay away from her. Eric knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that the conniving king has made it a point to insert himself into Sookie’s life nearly every day since Halloween night. He’s used the excuse that they are neighbors in a small town to justify his stalkerish tendencies, but Eric knows Bill refuses to give up Sookie. The king claims to love her, but he loves her blood and her ability; he had not concerned himself with her at all while she was gone. In fact, Bill had ordered Eric to give up his search for Sookie about three months after she had disappeared. How could Bill really love her if he had given up on her so easily? It took Sookie disappearing for Eric to realize the depth of his feelings for the woman who challenged and fascinated him at every turn. Eric had scoffed when his maker had commented on his feelings for the young telepath, but Godric had seen the truth that Eric was not willing to admit. Eric meant what he had said the night she had returned; everyone that claimed to love her had given up on her. He never had, and he never will.
“Has Miss Stackhouse made a complaint about me?” Eric’s voice is clipped and his accent becomes more pronounced as he fights to maintain control of his temper.
“She doesn’t have to. I am doing what is best for her,” Bill says smugly. Eric wants nothing more than to pound his fist repeatedly in the pompous asshole’s face until there is nothing left but a bloody pulp. The only reason Compton is interfering is because he wants to keep Sookie for himself.
“With all due respect Your Majesty,” Eric sneers the title, “you have no authority to keep me from Sookie.”
“I am the King of Louisiana! I am the only authority in this state!” Bill drops the arm of his companion and storms in front of Eric. His short stature looks ridiculous next to Eric’s imposing frame. Eric looks down at Bill as if he is nothing more than a pesky fly that needs to be swatted away.
“You are king only because I allow it,” Eric murmurs quietly so none of the humans that are watching the confrontation can hear his words. However, all the vampires are aware of Eric’s words and watch the scene with interest. “If I wanted to run this state, I could take it from you in an instant.”
“Are you threatening your king?”
“No, I am merely reminding you of the facts,” Eric says simply. “The only way you could best Sophie-Anne was because you had Nan Flanagan in your corner. Now you have no one. If you think to interfere with Sookie and me, a human that I have started a blood bond with, then I will be forced to end you as is my right. Interfering with bonded mates is punishable by death, regardless of what position you may hold. I am well within my rights to end you for the blood offense you have already committed,” Eric murmurs in warning. The other vampires in attendance begin murmuring at hearing Eric is bonding with a human, and their murmurs cast the King of Louisiana in a decidedly unflattering light. Bill looks around at the vampires in attendance, knowing that the court of public opinion sides with the Viking. Bill glares at Eric, hatred burning brightly in his eyes. Bill cannot help but think he should have ended his rival for Sookie’s affections when he had the chance. Eric Northman is the proverbial fly in his ointment; he needs to be dealt with quickly.
Bill gestures for his companion to rejoin him before he spins on his heel and stalks out of the bar with his guards following close behind him. The vampires in attendance resume their earlier activities while the humans try to crowd closer to Eric. They aren’t exactly sure what they just saw but they are all drawn to the power and danger radiating from the statuesque vampire in his black suit and black button down shirt. The only spot of color comes from the red pocket square in his breast pocket. Knowing Eric has no patience for the vermin surrounding him; Pam leaves her post by the door and vamps to the stage.
“Why don’t you just end him and be done with it?” She speaks in Swedish to keep their conversation private. “He’s going to force the issue and you will have no choice but to act.”
“It would hurt Sookie if I ended him,” Eric replies softly in the same language.
“Did you mean what you said? You have begun a bond with her?” Pam asks her questions with no emotion in her voice. Eric looks his progeny in the face trying to find what her feelings are on the subject, but her face and the bond are both calm. In the few occasions where Pam had been in the same room as her maker and the telepath, she hadn’t noticed a change in either of their scents, but to be honest, she had not been paying close attention.
“I did, and I would like to complete the two more exchanges to make the bond permanent. Is this going to be an issue?” Eric knows Pam does not like Sookie, and she has never tried to hide her feelings. However, Eric will not stand for Pam trying to hurt Sookie again. If he has to, he will send his progeny away to protect the woman he loves. It will hurt him to be separated from his child, but Eric cannot be without the woman he loves.
Pam swallows as she thinks over Eric’s answer. She knew it was more than just Sookie’s fairy vagina and telepathy that kept Eric interested. Pam hadn’t understood his fascination with the telepath since coming back from Dallas, and she had done everything possible to remove Sookie from their existence. If she were honest with herself, she knew she had done it out of jealousy. Pam was used to being the only woman in Eric’s life; she didn’t share well with others. However, if she didn’t accept the fairy as her maker’s mate, Pam knew she would lose Eric for good.
“There is no issue Master,” Pam says subserviently as she lowers her head. “I will do my best to get along with Sookie. I am sorry for any problems I have previously caused.”
Eric smiles in relief as he feels the absolute sincerity coming from Pam. “You make me proud to call you my child,” Eric says affectionately. He lifts Pam’s head so he can place a chaste kiss on her forehead.
“Go,” she says affectionately. “I know you would rather be with her. I’ll take care of the bar.”
“Make sure you buy yourself something pretty for all your hard work,” Eric says as he climbs off the dais. He vamps through the crowd, avoiding the vermin so they do not pollute him, before rushing out of the building.
“Don’t worry,” Pam says as with smug satisfaction as her fingers fly over the keys on her phone as she settles down on the throne. “I already have with your credit card.”
Eric didn’t bother wasting time with his car; he is in far too much of a hurry to see his beloved. He flies as fast as he can, her present for day five nestled securely in his hands while the deed to her home rests in his inner jacket pocket. The feelings of anticipation and fear battle fiercely inside him for dominance. He cannot wait to see his beautiful lover, yet he worries she will refuse to see him. All of his gifts have been well received but what if she is only accepting the gifts to be polite? Fuck! This is why he hates having feelings! They make him feel like one of those Emo teenagers running around with asymmetrical hair and skinny jeans.
Landing in the yard besides the steps leading up her porch, Eric pauses to take in the home. He may temporarily own it, but it has always been her home. That is why everything was redone to show what the home looked like before the maenad’s destruction. If she isn’t happy with how things turned out, he will gladly have Herveaux’s company come back out to fix it so the house is exactly the way she wants it. Squaring his shoulders and taking an unnecessary deep breath, Eric marches up the porch steps to knock on the front door.
“Just a minute,” Sookie calls out from near the back of the house. He hears water being switched off and then Sookie’s quick steps as she makes her way towards the door. She pushes the lace covering the glass in the door aside to see who it is and her breath catches when she sees him standing before her. Sookie stares at him with a look of wonder on her face, not moving from her position on the other side of the door. The silent exchange stretched on for several minutes as the separated lovers look their fill of the other, memorizing the perfection that they each see in the other.
“Hello Sookie,” Eric says softly from his side of the door with a tender smile on his face. “Are you going to invite me in?”
Sookie’s lips twitch as she stares up at him. “And what’ll happen if I do invite you in? The last time you needed an invitation it was about protection.”
Or passionate, primal sex Eric thinks with a low growl. The minx is toying with him; it seems Fairy Sookie is on display tonight.
“Whatever you want to happen Lover,” Eric says softly. “If it’s for me to go, then I will. But I would rather come in and spend time with you. I have missed you,” he admits honestly.
Sookie steps back and the door swings open so he can enter. “Come on in,” she says as she scoops the kitten up in her arms. Eric moves gingerly across the threshold, unsure of what to expect. Sookie closes the door behind him and moves towards the living room with her new pet. She settles on the couch before letting the kitten free. The tabby immediately moves towards Eric, sniffing to decide if he is friend or foe. He must find something he likes because the small animal rubs against Eric’s legs before strutting off to the kitchen.
“He is adjusting well I see,” Eric says as he sets the gift box down on the seat beside Sookie. He remains standing in front of the couch, with his hands balled up in his pockets so he doesn’t wrap Sookie up in his arms and never let go.
“Yup, he definitely lives up to his namesake,” Sookie says with a smile as they watch the little kitten come rushing from the kitchen to pounce on one of his stuffed toys, attacking it with all the savagery his tiny form can muster.
“What did you name him?” Eric prays it is not Thor or Loki. Ever since those damn movies came out, people have begged him to dress up as the God of Thunder; as if he would do something as sacrilegious as desecrate his long-lost Gods.
“Viking,” Sookie answers softly.
“Why?” Eric’s voice is thick with emotion as he stares at the woman for whom his undead heart beats.
“Because he reminds me of you,” she admits with a smile. It is the same smile that she used to give him all the time when he was without his memories. It’s soft, loving, and oh so tender that it makes his heart ache.
“It’s the fangs,” Eric smirks trying to cover his emotions. “You like the feeling of them in your skin.”
“Ass,” Sookie says with a chuckle. “In case you’ve forgotten Buster, I know you have a heart in there. It’s the reason I let you in tonight. You and that kitten both try to be so tough yet you both are looking to be loved.”
“And do you love me?” Eric drops his mask and lets Sookie see the raw emotion on his face. It is the same hopeful look he had given her right before she had walked away from him.
“Of course I do; I wouldn’t have let you in the door if I didn’t.”