I meant to take her in my arms. I meant to hold her, hold her together until she had recovered enough to be able to do it for herself, but I fell forward into nothing but air. She had left me again, as she had that night. Once again she disappeared and for a moment I let myself think it might be for the best. After all, I had done nothing but hurt her again and again. Perhaps she was better off away from me after all. I had failed her so completely that I could barely fathom the depths of it. Worst of all, I had not even been able to see it, I had blinded myself to it because of my own fear and my own pride.
I had been chipping away at who she was, what made me love her since the night we met, and I never even knew.
Come With Me Now- The Villain
I woke from the day to the smell of my own blood tears, still in the cubby. My chest ached like I had wooden stake in it and I felt such despair that I could not bring myself to move. I lay there hearing her scream again and again in my mind and I let go of everything and sobbed my pain into the dark.
“Why do you cry?” I hadn’t known she was there until she spoke. Opening my eyes I could see her there in the dark, her beautiful inner light casting dim shadows through the dusty empty room where we had been one, once, in another life.
“For all the wrongs I can never make right.” She cast a look around a room that I knew she could barely see.
“I believed here.”
“Believed what, Sookie?”
“That you could love me. That you did love me.”
“I did. Even when I did not know who I was, I knew who you were. I did love you here, Sookie. Here and in all the places before and after.” She shook her head denying my words again.
“It was a dream.”
“It was a dream. It was a dream that you ended. I told you that I only wanted to be with you forever, and you told that there was no such thing as forever.”
“I was talking to myself that time, too.”
I did not know that there was no such thing as forever until you told me.”
“Ouch.” she said quietly before going on, her tone subdued and distant, as though she were back in the past and speaking to me from a distance. “It was going to end when you got your memory back. I knew that. You asked me if I would still want you when you did.”
“And you hesitated, telling me only that you hoped you would. I heard the uncertainty in your voice. It hurt to know that you were unsure of me.”
“It was me that I was uncertain of in that moment. The right thing to do was to help you get them back, but I knew that once you did you would remember that you didn’t care about me at all. That you never had. I had allowed myself to take advantage of you when you were vulnerable. I had wanted you for so long, and I just couldn’t stay away from you any longer. I called you back that night, I kissed you that night because I thought that for just a moment I could have what I had always wanted.”
“What I had always wanted, too, Sookie. I was there, too. I wanted you, too!”
“How many chances did you have before that night, Eric, to take me like that? But you never did! I did not understand everything that you did before then, not like I do now, but you had never taken advantage of me when I was vulnerable! I did a terrible thing that I can never forgive myself for that night!”
“It wasn’t like that! Stop twisting everything!”
“Twisting everything? As if I could! Never ever when you were yourself had you wanted me, never had you said you cared, and when you didn’t know who you were and needed a friend I lost myself in the dream of what might have been and took advantage of you! You needed comfort and friendship and I-” she stopped, raising a hand to cover her mouth, stifling a sob.
“You what?” I pressed her, needing to see how she had seen our time together. She shook her head, still not able to speak. I rose from the bed and moved closer to her.
“Then let me tell you, Sookie. When I left that night, after being confronted with all the terrible things I had done to you and those you love I knew in my heart that I would only bring you pain. Leaving was the right thing, no matter what happened to me when I left your house. When you called me back, and opened your arms to me, I wanted to be in them so badly that nothing could have stopped me. I was trying to do the right thing, but when you called my name and I saw you on the porch waiting I knew in my heart that the right thing was you and me together. It’s always been the right thing. Please tell me you can see that!” She sobbed again, but didn’t answer me. I waited, needing to know that she could see what I was trying so very hard to show her.
After a few minutes she quieted and when she finally spoke she said the last thing I could ever have expected. “So, from your perspective in all this, I am the bad guy, aren’t I, Eric?”
“Yes, you have told me what you saw from your side and what you felt and how you translated all that and it ends up that I am the bad guy.” She stopped a minute and then took a deep breath before going on. “You have loved me since that night in the basement with Yvetta, and I have done nothing but reject you and flaunt my love for Bill. From your perspective you gave me everything you were and I threw it on the ground and walked away every…single…time.”
“Yes, and from your side, you loved me with everything you were, wanted me every night but didn’t think I wanted you. From your perspective, I kept walking away from you, too.”
“And the whole time, since the night we met, we have been madly, passionately, in love with each other, but were too caught up in our fear and doubt to trust it, to say it. To let ourselves feel it.” She sounded so sad.
“It would seem so, yes.”
“I am the villain of this story. I didn’t see that coming.” She let out a long uneven breath as she soaked that in.
“Things and people are rarely that simple, Sookie.” She laughed then, sounding more like herself than she had since this journey had started.
“At least not when it comes to us, anyway.” I moved toward her now, slowly so she would feel me coming and pulled her gently to me. She curled into my chest, her arms coming up around my back and her hands locking there, trapping me, as if I would ever want to run. I still had many questions but I let them wait as I held her close, burying my face in her hair. Weights I didn’t even know I was carrying slipped off my soul and I felt as light as a feather in her arms. I should have taken more time to hold her like this, I thought.
“Yes, you should have,” she said into my chest. I felt both my eyebrows go up in surprise.
“When did that happen?”
“Just now, I think.”
“Does it matter?”
“No, I suppose not,” I answered, kissing the top of her head again. The last time she had been in my arms was when flew her home that night so long ago.
“I had wanted to fly with you for so long.”
“I didn’t know you knew I could fly.”
“I saw that night in the field when you staked Russell. I would dream about being in your arms under the stars, safe and loved.”
“Would you trust me to make a dream come true tonight?” Her inner light grew brighter, filling the room and making me squint against its sudden intensity. Still holding her close I floated us up out of the cubby and walked out onto her porch with her hand in mine.
She smiled at me as I led her down the steps and into the yard. I pulled her close, her back to my front, and then shot into the sky as if propelled by a canon. She squealed in fear and delight when I stopped ascending about five hundred feet up. We were standing in the sky, my arms around her and her holding on to my arms.
“Any place special?” I whispered in her ear, and felt her tremble in my arms.
“They’re all special with you.” I knew exactly what she meant. I kissed the top of her head, and wrapping my legs around hers, tilted us toward the ground so she could look up or down as she pleased and flew west, away from the sun. It was still hours away, but I wanted every minute I could get with her.
When she laughed I knew she understood, and better than that, she agreed. This wasn’t only her dream. I had wished for it as well. Apparently, we had been wishing for the same things for a very long time.
As she had said earlier, I didn’t see that coming.
I flew slowly, making the wind kiss her skin softly, like I would do if she permitted that trespass from me. Sometimes, I rose higher, and flew her through some low hanging cumulus and delighted in her girlish giggles as she reached out to capture their wispy nature. A futile effort but one that caused us both immeasurable delight none the less. Several times I rolled us over, flying with my back to the ground, her resting against me and we both looked at the stars in the sky.
If there was a perfect moment in the history of all time for me, this was it.
Sometime later we came to Caddo Lake, near the Louisiana Texas border and I landed us softly in the grass. The full moon was reflected on its surface which was calm enough to almost be a mirror. From our vantage point there appeared to be two full moons. It was breath taking. When we landed I took my leather jacket off and put it around her shoulders. Her long hair was down and she was dressed in a wispy white sleeveless gown. In the moonlight she looked more like a beautiful Fae than had ever seen her look.
This was how she looked in my dreams. When she came to me, when she called me to her, when she loved me as I had always wanted her to love me. It’s funny, I thought, how we can see a person every day and never see who they truly are. She revealed herself to me this night, her true self, and she was everything I ever dreamed she could be. She gasped, reaching up to place a hand on my chest.
“You see me too beautiful,” she whispered.
“Not possible. Even if you can read my mind now, you could never know what I see when I look at you.”
“What do you see?”
“Everything.” There was no other way to say it.
“What does that mean?” she sounded breathless, like she was running. I prayed she was running toward me.
“The sun, the moon, the reason for all things to be. I look at you and I know that while I doubt I am in their good graces, there is a higher power. You could be no accident. You are the culmination of someone’s perfect plan come to fruition. You are the night and the day and,” I knelt before her now, looking up with my heart out for all the world to see, “all the things that move in the light and the dark. You are hope and dream, you are destiny and despair. You are the trees that move and the wind that moves them. You. Are. Everything!” She smiled a crooked and sad little smile at me.
“I’m just a fucked up little fairy girl, looking for her own peace of mind.”
“To you, maybe, but you asked me what I saw. Listen when I tell you that to me, you are everything.” Her hand came up to my face then and her thumb caressed my cheek bone gently, reverently. I could see the wonder grow in her eyes as her brain processed my words. “And you get bonus points for quoting Eternal Sunshine of A Spotless Mind off the cuff.” Her smile bloomed in full then and she leaned down to place a soft kiss on my forehead.
“I love your twisty brain, Eric Northman. Only you would have gotten that.” It was my turn to smile. There was warmth in being recognized, in being seen, and most especially in being appreciated. We had watched that movie while I stayed with her, that and endless episodes of Buffy. I had cherished every one of those nights and memories and held them close in my darkest hours.
“If we could forget it all, Sookie, would you?”
“You mean like they did in the movie?” I nodded, still looking up at her.
“No, I wouldn’t. Not now anyway. After all this talking, I feel like I would not want to go back and make the same mistakes again. I would rather take what we have learned and go forward now.”
“Go forward? Together?” She hesitated and I felt my hopes dashed once again.
“Eric, there are things that you don’t know. Things that I will not accept your offer and then reveal. Before you throw your lot in with mine you had better know all of it.”
“It doesn’t matter. Whatever it is, it doesn’t matter.” She raised an eyebrow at me, took a deep breath and then spit out words that I would never in a million years have expected.
“After you left I received a visit from an uptight Englishman named Giles who told me that I was the Chosen One, The Slayer and that my job was to kill vampires, starting with you.” She stood there, looking at me, waiting, with a straight face, for about ten seconds and then she lost it. I let her snicker. She had made her point. It was grand and romantic to say no matter what I would be there, but there were circumstances that could make my flowery words more than a little moot. She wasn’t going to get off quite that easy, though.
“I knew it!” I roared. Rising and stepping back and away from her, my face contorted in a mask of jealousy and rage. “The whole time I was there when I lost my memories and we watched that show you had a secret crush on Xander! You told me I was crazy! You told me it couldn’t possibly be so! But you wanted him that whole time!” For a moment she drew her hands up to her face in mock horror and then came toward me, playing along.
“No! No, Eric you couldn’t be more wrong! It was never Xander! You must listen to me!”
“Oh, so you would have me believe that it was Wesley, then?” For a moment she nearly smirked, but she caught it in time.
“Oh, my stars, I never said that!” Her hands came up to her heart and her eye lids fluttered rapidly for a moment before disclosing the name of her one true love. “It was Spike!” She mock swooned then, and I caught her, turning on the way down with vampire speed so that she landed on me and I on the ground.
“SPIKE!” I sputtered, mock indignation into her face as she lay on top of me, grinning.
“Oh, yeah. I got a serious thing for blonde haired, blue eyed bad boys walking the road to redemption. Didn’t you notice?” Her eyes were wandering over my face, taking me all in, memorizing me as she spoke rapid fire nonsensical gibberish about her desire for a fictional bad boy when she had a real one right here under her, needing her and wanting her so fucking badly-oh, my turn!
“I must admit that I had not noticed until recently. But, you certainly have my attention now, Miss Stackhouse.” Her eyes fluttered shut. She liked me saying her name like that. Responding the soft exhalation of air that puffed out of lips in time with her fluttering eyelids I rolled us over and positioned myself between her legs, which in turn came up around my hips, caressing me lovingly, and familiarly. It had been awhile but they remembered me as I did them. I could feel it. “Miss Stackhouse,” I started again, grinding into her just t a little looking for a pun about bad boys to make her laugh so I could steal a kiss-
“OW! OW! Move, move Eric, please!” I was off her in an instant, looking for what was wrong.
“Sookie, what happened? Was it me, did I-?”
“Shhhush, Eric. It’s fine. I just had a rock digging into my wings.” Relief flooded through me. Nothing serious then. Just a rock in her…
“Your, what, Sookie?” She stopped wriggling around in the grass then and looked up at me her eyes large and a little frightened.
“Wings?” she said in a high voice, her face scrunched again, as if she expected me to go vampire psycho at this latest turn of events.
“Uh-huh, so this would be all of it that I had better know?” She nodded and shrugged at the same time. What would I want to hear if I had just told the woman I loved with all of my being that since she had last saw me I had sprouted wings, possibly invisible wings, since I had yet to see them? What would make me feel better in situation? I thought for a moment, and then I realized exactly what I would want to hear, what would make it all better and put me at ease if my beloved were to say it to me in the face of such a revelation. Looking her deep in the eyes, my hands on her shoulders, my face completely serious, as was my mood, I said the magic words that I myself would need if this were reversed.
“Take all your clothes off and let me make it better.”