Remember, dearest, when one door closes, another opens.
As soon as the words registered in her mind, she turned to the last remaining door in the chamber of her mind. The door that said simply ERIC. She moved toward it, placed her hand on the knob and turned it slowly. When the door was opened all the way, Sookie leaned into the darkness and listened a moment.
She summoned all the strength, all her courage, all her love and she called out to him in the dark.
I LOVE YOU, ERIC!
And he answered her….
We influence each other. It can’t be helped. We use the same phrases and mannerisms of the people we are most closely associated with, absorbing them, weaving them into the tapestries of ourselves. In some ways, we become them, acting and reacting as we believe they might, particularly if you are unsure of how to act, it is easy to fall back on someone else’s behaviors.
Sookie and Eric were both masters of masks and doors, of hiding themselves, even from themselves, in order to survive. She was not surprised to see that there was a door with Eric’s name on it in her mind. She found some of his behaviors useful, as she had demonstrated with The Pretender, channeling Eric’s persona at him, convincing him that she would hurt him, badly. He was a part of her now, in so many ways, his darkness complimenting her own.
What did surprise Sookie, however, was that an ‘Eric’ did not come out of the door. A ‘Bill’ had appeared from his, an ‘Adele’ from hers and of course the others had also manifested when their doors were opened.
She stood at entrance still peering into the darkness behind Eric’s door, exultant in feeling him again, though she could tell her was far, far away, but also curious. If nothing was coming out, she would have to go in.
She took a hesitant step and then another and gasped when suddenly there was light.
AND THEN THERE WAS LIGHT!
The room behind Eric’s door was like a museum of Eric and Sookie. The walls covered in memories, pictures that moved, changed and replayed over and over again. The images, moments overlaid each other playing all at once creating a cacophony that she could not process. Instinctively, she raised her hand and said, “Stop!” All motion and noised ceased, like pause on a movie.
She stepped further into the room and did a one eighty looking at everything, slowly processing. Some images, familiar images, leaped out to her.
Eric on his throne at Fangtasia the night the first met.
She and Eric on the roof, dawn approaching, his hand in hers.
Him covering her body on Godric’s nest, just as the bomb went off.
Him holding her on her porch, his head resting on breasts while her hands weaved through his hair.
Their passionate embrace where they realized their desire to be one, forever.
She gasped at the longing each memory evoked from her, reaching for Eric and feeling him, though still far away.
Then her eyes fell on images of her and Eric that were not familiar. She moved toward them and looked more closely. They were in The Library, standing in one of the endless rows of shelves. She was in his arms and looking up at him, the look on her face was so pure and full of love it took her breath away. When she saw the same look on his face she felt tears slide down her cheeks and she reached out to touch him. As soon as she made contact there was motion and sound again, in this one image, this one moment.
“I never knew,” Eric said softly as he gazed into her eyes.
“Never know what?” she asked just as softly. His eyes drifted close for a moment.
“Being Love I brought it to others, inspired it to grow, and I felt the joy of that action as was my Purpose. I was on the outside of it though, and had no real concept of what it would feel like to IN love and not on the outside of it.” She smiled sadly and shook her head trying to pull away.
“No, this can’t be. You are the most important of ALL of us! Nothing is worth anything in all of Creation if there is no Love!” He smiled down at her, and kissed her forehead gently.
“There is no love in me any longer without you.”
“But I have to go! I can’t stay! My Purpose is to walk among them. Hope is no good tucked away. I was made to do this, you were made to be here; to be the Heart of us all!”
His hands moved to her face, his eyes drilling into hers. “I don’t care! I care about you, I want to be with you, only you, forever!” His passionate plea cut to heart of the woman in the image as well as the woman in the room, watching this, some forgotten part of her existence play out. The sobbed in unison. “You are my heart now, and I can’t be that for anyone if I don’t have you in my arms. Nothing else matters to me!”
“But, Love is all! Love stands in the face of Chaos and demands that they rise above, that they find the best of themselves in the worst situations, that they endure and go on. I can’t place myself and my desires above all of Creation! I won’t ask this of you!”
“You didn’t, my Beloved. It is my choice. When you go, I go with you. It can be no other way.” Any other protest she might have made was snuffed out as his lips claimed hers. She watched her body melt into his and felt her longing for Eric increase. She needed him now, but he was still so far away!
The image stopped moving, frozen on their passionate embrace. She looked around for more unfamiliar images, looking for the next piece of the story. In the corner she saw them again, not in the Library this time, somewhere else instead and this time Jones was with them. She moved closer and reached out to touch the image.
“IT IS FORBIDDEN!” Jones yelled at them, as they stood facing him hand in hand.
“We are not asking for permission, we are simply telling you what is going to happen.” Eric spoke with such authority that she was shocked when Jones continued to argue.
“If you do this, we don’t know what will happen! Your function is to stay here! Hers is to go. This is how it was always supposed to be! You cannot stay together. You were never meant to be together! Love is for all, how can you take that away from Creation and not realize the consequences?” Jones was passionate and adamant in his argument that they should not be together that they had to think of the greater good. Sookie watched herself move toward Jones and pull him into an embrace as she comforted him.
“Jones, you of all Creation must understand this. If I lose him then I lose Hope, I lose myself.” Eric stepped closer and embraced them both before speaking, adding his voice to hers.
“Without her, Jones, there is no Love left in me. We did not choose this, it happened the moment we saw each other. I was whole, in a way that I never dreamed possible. To lose her, to lose this feeling now would leave nothing of me either. I, too, would lose myself, and be unable to inspire Love ever again.
“The way this happened, too, speaks of a grander plan than any of us ever realized, because we are dead to you now either way.”
“NO!” Jones said, pushing them…us away. “You can’t do this!” Eric sighed and took my hand again.
“You can’t stop us. This is Order at its finest! This is right! This is best!”
Again, the image stopped, locked on Eric’s fierce expression.
I was Hope? I was like Jones and the Master? And Eric…Eric was Love? Whatever they are, we were too? And we gave it all up to be together?
Sookie stood there a moment, trying to come to grips with what she had just seen. It was confusing, and it was not at the same time. Somehow she knew in heart that what she was seeing was real, had been real. It had happened, was happening right now. Together they had put their love for one another above all else, he had always, always loved her. In that thought, there was warmth and hope. Hope, she thought and felt something inside her crack open.
There was a rush of power from inside her unlike anything she had ever felt before. It made her skin tingle, and her body feel warm. Instinctively, she looked around the room for more images like these. Her eyes locked on one other and she moved toward it, slowly now, entranced with what she saw there. It was a bright burst of lavender light, so bright that all else was obscured. She reached toward it and touched as she had done the others.
The flare of light decreased and at the heart of it, she saw herself locked in ecstasy with Eric. They were in the same position they had been when they realized that they wanted to be together forever, her back to his chest, him buried inside her, his lips on her neck as she wound her arm around his head. Their strangled sounds of passion and whispers of love echoing in the room.
This is how we fall, she thought. Feeling that power within her grow, doubling and tripling in size as Hope was reawakened within her. Eric gave up his power to be with her, he gave all his love to her. But her function, her Purpose was always to be here, on this plane of existence, she had given up nothing, and being with Eric had made her stronger than ever.
She saw it then, in the images before her. The Master, watching them fall, a look of hatred and longing on his face brought goose bumps to her skin.
“You have broken the Order, and now you are mine!” She heard him scream and just as they were falling to their lives together, she felt Eric leave her. He was there and then he wasn’t. She screamed his name, calling for him, but there was no answer and she was left falling alone. The Master had separated them, hiding Eric from her, and she had been left alone until…Eric showed up at her house and said he wanted “everything”.
And now, The Master had separated them again, grabbing her as she came through the mirror from Parapejl. That one instance in time when she had been vulnerable traveling between the worlds. He couldn’t get her in Parapejl. She was safe there, and so was Eric. But Eric was coming, she could feel him closer even now, homing in on her since she had opened his door. She had to stop him!
Eric, don’t come here! She sent desperately shoving warning and fear into the Bond along with her words of warning. She felt him hesitate and then push on, his need to be with her again overwhelming his reason. She understood, she felt it, too, but if he came here now, The Master would have them both. Eric! Stop, it’s not safe!
Opening her eyes in the basement once again, she turned to the mirror and saw him step through. Their Bond singing joy in her soul at being close to him again. He had her in his arms a second later, his lips pressed frantically to hers. A thousand emotions in the Bond, a thousand questions fired at her from his mind. Are you all right? Where are we? What happened to you? I thought I lost you! I love you, Sookie, oh gods, how I love you!
He swept her off her feet physically and mentally and she was overwhelmed in all the emotions. She clung to him fiercely, firing back the same questions, kissing him just as fiercely as he was her. They were so lost in each other that for one sweet moment.
Their Bond singing, their lips feasting on each other, their hands touching, grasping, holding. Finally, Sookie gasping for air, Eric pressed his forehead to hers, hands cupping her face, their bodies pressed as close together as they could get them, he whispered, “I thought I had lost you!”
“Well, it wouldn’t be first time, now would it?”