“Take all your clothes off and let me make it better.”
Come With Me Now- Faeted
Revealing yourself in any way is a risk. It was a risk that I was still not comfortable with despite the revelations that I had beheld since the scroll had appeared to me in her yard. I had just taken a big risk and shown her how I would want to be consoled if I were in her position and when she burst into hysterical girlish giggles I would have blushed with embarrassment if my undead nature allowed for such folly.
Instead, I immediately pulled my hands from her face and moved back, disarmed to the point that I could not stop my body language from giving away my discomfort at her reaction to my attempt at intimacy. Immediately, she tried to stop giggling and moved toward me, swallowing her delighted peals of laughter as best she could. I let her hug me, but I was hesitant to hug her back. Comparatively, it was a small thing when stacked against “I hate your fucking guts,” but that had been a naked moment of vulnerability that I had been moved to share with her.
Her reaction put me back in my shell. A shell that I had been trying to get out of for years with her. She clung to me still snorting as she tried to contain herself. “Sorry, Eric,” she said into my neck as she body still jerked from amusement against me.
“What’s so funny, Sookie?” hearing my tone ended her amusement and she pulled back to look at me, her eyes large as she realized that she had made a mistake.
“Oh, no! I didn’t mean-” she stopped and looked for words and after a moment not finding any, she threw herself at my lips and kissed me. As far as apologies go, it was at the top of my list and I had been around a very long time. Responding to her perfect apology I pulled her closer and opened my lips to her, that her penance might move to the next level. She melted into me, losing herself and her purpose to the passion that bubbled up between us. Her kiss took me back to our time together in her house when I didn’t know who I was and she gave me everything she was. She must have seen that in my mind because she pulled back and buried her face in my chest, hiding.
“Sorry,” she muttered to my pecs.
“For what?” I asked her softly.
“I lost myself again. You make me forget that things are still…not settled between us.”
“They are for me.” She looked up then, frowning.
“You still don’t know where I have been or what I have been doing, or why I left in the first place.”
“Nope.” She pushed away then but I refused to let her go. My hands roamed her back under my jacket, soothing her and also searching for these wings that had started all this intimacy and kissing. The wispy dress she was wearing was sleeveless and low cut in the back. Easily, I slipped my hands inside and searched until I found a couple of small nodules under her shoulder blades. I looked at her as I massaged them gently, waiting for the explanation that she thought would change how I felt about her. Her eyes fluttered shut in pleasure at my touch, and I realized that these nodules were very sensitive. I wanted to kiss them, lick them and see if I could make her shiver and call my name.
“Eric!” she moaned in arms.
Yes, say my name like that again, I thought to her, my head diving for her long beautiful neck, wanting her to be able to talk while I found a wordless place to adore her.
“Please, stop.” She almost sounded like she meant it. I sighed and stopped. Perhaps she was right. We still needed to talk and this was leading to the land of not talking like an expressway. I stopped kissing and caressing her but I absolutely refused to let her leave my arms. I needed the illusion that I could keep her from disappearing on me again.
“Ok, Sookie. Tell me. Please.” She kissed my cheek softly again, and we both sighed like love struck teens. With anyone else I would have been uncomfortable again, but I had once asked this woman for everything. I was no longer foolish enough to think that she would not require the same in return. I had to get used to her seeing me like this. She needed to see me like this. I wanted her to see what she needed to see to believe how I felt for her. Perhaps it would become easier in time.
“About a month after Bill died, Niall came back to see me.”
“Oh, yeah, I forgot you missed that last time. Niall is my six thousand year old fairy grandfather.”
“Niall Brigant?” Her eyes grew large with surprise.
“You know him?”
“Of him. Rumors mostly.”
“Like what?” her curiosity was written all over her face. I could only indulge her.
“Godric told me that he had met him once. He was hunting a vampire-”
“Warlow!” Sookie exclaimed, wriggling in my lap to better see my face.
“Warlow? Like the one from the Bible of Lilith?’ She nodded.
“I did not know his name, I am not certain that Godric did either.” I stopped then, thinking of the vampire that I breached Fae to drink from before going to vamp camp after Nora died. Small world.
“I was to be his bride.”
“His what?” She sighed again.
” I guess you didn’t talk much while you were feeding, did you?”
“I knew from Bill that he was Lilith’s progeny. I knew that he could day walk. I needed to be able to walk in the sun to save Pam and the others. I saw-” he stopped. Her gaze sharpened and she waited for me to go on. “I saw you come out of Fae in the cemetery and realized that you had him tucked away where I couldn’t get to him without Fae blood.”
“Where do you-” she stopped and then looked back at me, “Adalyn.” I nodded. She snorted then shaking her head. “I wondered how you got there but how did you know where he was?”
“I came to find you, followed your scent to the cemetery and saw you come out of Fae.”
“You were there and you didn’t say anything?!” I shook my head, dropping it again as I remembered my thoughts.
“I smelled him on you, and you were mumbling about going out on dates and I assumed that you…you wanted him now.” I didn’t go into how I was sure she would never want me, but she heard it anyway.
“It was a fucked up time. I had just found out that my parents had tried to kill me when I was a kid and I needed…I needed someone. He was there, telling me that we were destined for each other for a long time and he wanted to…turn me.” I stiffened.
“And you considered this?”
“I am not sure you could say I was thinking straight enough to consider anything. Bill had just turned into some kind of monster that could come into my house even without an invite. I was tired of being hunted, and you-”
“I, what, Sookie?” she had tears running down her cheeks again.
“You had made it plain that you didn’t care and-”
“I DIDN’T CARE?! What the fuck are you talking about?”
“I had just gone into The Authority because you asked me to. I had just staked Bill to save you. And you-” she sobbed now, but took a deep breath forcing herself to go on, “You offered me money to leave! You didn’t want me here.”
“I WANTED YOU SAFE!”
“THEN WHY DIDN’T YOU OFFER TO COME WITH ME? DON’T YOU THINK AFTER I STAKED BILL TO SAVE YOU THAT I CARED ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED TO YOU, TOO? You just wanted me gone, you didn’t even say anything when I rescinded your invitation when you gave me the house back. I thought if you cared at all, that would have prompted you to say SOMETHING! ANYTHING! But…you didn’t.”
“You wanted me to beg!”
“No, I wanted you to tell me that you cared. That you wanted to still come and see me. That you wanted an invitation. That I was being a foolish little girl who was irrevocably changed and that I could never go back to the girl in the white dress. I wanted you to tell me that the woman I was now was far better than the girl that you had never wanted had been. I wanted you to tell me that you could accept and love the woman I was now.” I was not backing down from that.
“I wanted you to tell me that you were staying for me, or tell me that you would go away with me to someplace safe! I would have taken you anywhere! I wanted you to trust me enough to let me come back and when you took my invitation to your home away it broke my fucking heart! I wanted you to be the woman you had become because she was strong and beautiful and I wanted her more than ever! I wanted her so much that I was willing to let her go because that what I thought you wanted!”
“You should have said that.”
“So should you, Sookie! I made mistakes, yes, but I begged you at Bill’s after we finally put Marnie in her fucking grave, I begged you to give me a chance and you told me that you didn’t want me! You never gave me any indication that had changed!”
“I thought you could feel me. I had just had your blood in the cubby and I thought you would feel that I wanted you. I thought that giving you the chance to get away after you got your memories back, after I had given in and taken you when you didn’t know that you didn’t want me that it was the honorable thing to do! I thought you could tell that I was dying inside that night!”
“I did feel it, I thought it was for Bill. You said you didn’t want either of us, so I tried to do the right thing and let you go because I respected you.” She wiped her face and sighed, her heart broken. I knew the feeling. It was all done now, but it made me so angry that we had both been such colossal fucking idiots.
“And so…Warlow?” I said finally. She nodded.
“And so, Warlow. I thought that I could…forget you. I thought that I could learn to be happy and then he hit me when I wouldn’t do what he wanted and threatened to turn me against my will-”
“HE WHAT?” She sighed and looked down.
“It’s done now. Please, just let me get it out. Let me tell you now, even if I couldn’t then.” I locked my jaw and bit a hole in my tongue to keep my silence. She was right, it was done now. “Bill told me if I wanted to save you and everyone else I had to give Warlow what he wanted and marry him. So, again, to save you, and I guess to try and make the best of a really shitty situation I told Warlow I would marry him if he gave Bill his blood to walk in the day.”
“But then he couldn’t because I had already nearly drained Warlow.” She nodded.
“Yep, you fucked my noble plan right up the ass.” She smiled sadly then, “But at least I knew you were all right. That if you could walk in the sun you wouldn’t burn the way Bill told me he had seen his vision thingy.”
“So you knew I would be all right and you were going to marry Warlow anyway?”
“I am a woman of my word, Eric. I wanted to slow things down when the immediate danger to you had passed, at least that is what I said, but he knew I think. I had had his blood by then, too and he could feel me. I think he knew I loved you. It’s really fucked up that he knew it and you didn’t. I think that is why his dark side came out a little sooner than he intended. It’s probably good that you were gone. He was six thousand, twice as old as Russell. I didn’t want you burning again in the sun or whatever to try and stop what I had given my word I would do to save you.”
“So what happened?”
“Niall and Jason killed him.”
“Well, at least I helped Jason be stronger.”
“He was at the camp when I got there and he had been fed on. I healed him. I was thinking of you when I did it. I knew what he meant to you, so, I took care of him. I thought one of us losing a sibling was enough.”
“You mean Nora?” I nodded, unable to speak too much about it even now.
“She was infected with Hep-V. Bill was supposed to get Warlow’s blood to help her.”
“He never told me that! Eric, I would have done everything I could to help if I had known.” I sighed and rested my forehead against hers.
“I am so really glad that fucker is dead.” She nodded against my head, commiserating more than agreeing I thought.
“No, I am agreeing.” I looked up in surprise. She shrugged.
“What he did to me even at the end was unforgivable. He wanted me to give up my light to end him, and when I refused he asked me to stake him. It was horrible, but I felt obligated because I was the reason that he was infected. Also, because of all the history between us, but enough time has passed now that I see how much damage he did to me and to my life. I hope he is happy wherever he is, but I am glad he is gone.”
I never thought I would see the day. Of course, all of this had been telling me that the I could have seen the day much sooner if I had pulled my head out of my ass pretty much anywhere along the way. It was almost too much to stand, and I forced myself to turn away from things that were done and focus on moving on. I was starting to believe that she could really be mine after all and I didn’t want to lose sight of that bemoaning what could never be changed.
“So, a month after Bill met the True Death, Niall came for you?” I prompted.
“Yes. He told me that I was in danger and he needed to take me some place safe. I tried to argue, but he convinced me that he knew what was best. I didn’t have a lot of fight left in me. I was missing you so much, and I was trying to accept that it was over with us. So, I agreed to go with him to Fae.”
“Danger from what, Sookie?”
“He didn’t say and I still don’t know everything, just that I had been discovered by people who would come and take me and I needed to leave. So, we left and when we arrived in Fae something that I didn’t expect happened.”
“For a start. I had been told by my cousins, the ones that I was with when you killed Russell?” I nodded, she went on, “That my spark could fade, that I could use it all up. But when I got to Fae and spent some time there my spark started to grow. One morning I woke up with wings.”
“Can I see them?” I really wanted to see them. I felt like a human child at Christmas. She smiled at my obvious excitement.
“Not here, they don’t manifest in this realm.” I was saddened by that. “I also gained other powers.”
“Like what?” I was excited again.
“Increased light power, like what I shot you with when you got your memory back, only much stronger. I can teleport now, too, and I can come and go between this realm and Fae as I wish, I don’t need a portal anymore, but having one near makes it easier. I can mask my scent, so that vampires can’t smell me, and I can cast illusions. Niall taught me how.” I thought about that scene in her yard last night and realized for the first time who must have put it there and left the scroll for me. The question was why?
“I just told you I was being hunted, again, that I had sprouted wings, and that I could kill with light balls now as well as walk between the realms and you say what else?”
“I have heard nothing that changes how I feel about you in a negative way. Learning about Warlow and what you tried to do for me only reinforces for me that loving you was always the right thing for me to do.” Her breath caught in her throat.
“Loving me?” she whispered, moonlight pooling with the hope in her eyes. My heart ached for her, for me, for us. We had lost so much to misunderstandings and pride.
“Loving you. I love you Miss Stackhouse,” I told her in my most serious tone of voice, pushing it through my eyes, my voice and my body as I pulled her closer. “Always have, always will.” I would have gone on unto the dawn with my declarations but her kiss prevented verbalization, so as I kissed her, kissing me and I thought my love to her.
I love the way you always try and do the right thing.
I love the way your faces scrunches when I tell you something you don’t like.
I love that you gave me the chance to tell you I love you and finally HEARD me.
I love that you have wings and killer light balls.
I have killer balls, too. You might not remember, it’s been awhile. Would you like to see them again? Perhaps they will light up for you, too?
Before she could answer that, someone cleared their throat behind us and in a flash we were standing. I placed her behind me, and then I felt her step up beside me and saw her hands light up with one of those killer light balls.
I really had never ever loved her more than I did in that moment.