*When last we saw this Eric and Sookie they were going to Dallas to find Godric and perhaps attend the Night Vision Convention that was happening there. This picks up on their road trip, which its taking places not at Valentine’s Day but in the early fall. Still, I think I found a way to incorporate some hearts and flowers into the event. Hope you enjoy!*
Valentine One Shot—Night Vision 24. Things I Never Gave You
When the car was packed and the doors were locked Eric stopped and looked back at the old farmhouse one last time. Sookie stopped as she was climbing behind the wheel and looked at him. Eric’s face was sad, and she could feel the weight of his sorrow on her own heart.
“We’ll come back here,” she promised him, wanting to make him feel better.
“If we can,” he added before he dropped his head, shaking it slightly. She could feel it right on the edge of his tongue to suggest they forget Warlow, Dallas, the convention and Godric completely. They could unpack the car, go back inside and watch Pump Up the Volume wrapped in each other’s arms, safe and warm.
She wanted that, too, more than anything else in the world. No matter what it meant to the future she would have done it, if he had spoken the words, but he didn’t. Instead he sighed and folded his six foot four inch frame into the passenger seat. She was as proud of him as she was disappointed in herself for even considering it to be an option.
Dallas was 1,135 miles from their haven in Virginia, roughly eighteen hours. They had planned their trip to last for three days, agreeing without discussing that they would not rush. Their first stop was five hours away in Red Veil, North Carolina. They had driven silently, holding hands for the first three hours before they stopped for lunch and to change drivers.
They were sitting in a booth when she felt something in him shift dramatically. His sadness swept over into happiness with a playful dose of mischievousness. She followed his gaze to the booths on the opposite wall to see what he was looking at.
The restaurant was mostly empty, but two of the booths had patrons. One held a young couple in their late teens, early twenties. They were tattooed and pierced and dressed in ripped jeans that perhaps spoke to their budget as much as it did to their bohemian lifestyle. They were sharing a piece of pie, laughing at some private joke.
Despite her tough appearance the girl was blushing and tilting her head as her male companion whispered to her, lacing his fingers through hers intimately. They were clearly very much in love. Sookie smiled, knowing exactly what that girl was feeling without needing to listen in. She felt the same when she looked at the beautiful man across from her.
Then she looked at the second couple. They were elderly, probably in their seventies from the look of them. They sat quietly, sharing their meal without words and giggles or coy glances. As she watched them she saw love of a different kind. When their food came, the man handed the woman the pepper shaker without her even having to ask. He passed her the artificial sweetener for her tea, three packs and she opened them without asking for more. Instead she looked at his plate and then asked the waitress to bring him steak sauce for his entrée when she noticed the waitress had forgotten.
This was love of another kind. The kind that came with time and intimacy. It wasn’t showy, but it was warm and spoke to the knowledge of each other that came from a lifetime of sharing meals together. As one they clasped hands across the table and bowed their heads. Neither spoke aloud, but as one they looked up when they were done and smiled at each other before they started to eat.
She looked back at Eric, who was still smiling as his gaze came back to her. “What?” she asked him. He shrugged.
“There are so many things I never gave you,” he said quietly. “So many things you should have had.”
“There’s still time,” she answered, reaching for his hand. He gave it to her willingly, a cross between the young lovers and the old, for they were neither. They were in the middle of those timelines, even if they were at the beginning of their own story. “Once this is behind us,” she started but he cut her off.
“Tomorrow is not promised. We missed out on the beginning things, the part where I look at you like you are the only woman I will ever love. The part where I feed you pie because all we can afford is single slice and nothing makes me happier than seeing you eat it slowly as you smile at me like I hung the moon just for you.” She brought her other hand up to cover the other side of his.
“And we probably don’t get to retire and grow old together. We probably don’t to get live a life where you know what I need and I know what you need and we take care of each other as we get old and gray and senile.” He had tears in his eyes as he spoke, and his chest was thrumming with love and sadness in equal measure.
“No, probably not,” she agreed. “Our paths are different, but they are no less than anyone else’s.” He shook his head, blinking away his unshed tears and trying to smile for her.
He was quiet as he took the wheel for the rest of their journey to Red Veil. While she checked them in to the motel he wandered around the lobby with his hands in his pockets until he came to the wall of brochures outlining the local attractions. She felt him shift again as he reached out to pick out a few, flipping through them slowly. Then he grabbed a few more, folding them and sticking them into his pocket before he took her hand and followed her back to unload the car and settle into their room.
“I’m gonna go out for a while,” he told her, kissing her softly.
“Oh?” she asked, curious about the feelings he was getting from him.
“Yeah,” he kissed her then, wrapping her securely in his long arms and holding her closely. “I’ll be back soon.” His kiss made her think that it would be better if he stayed.
“Are you sure? We have this king sized bed right here.” Her hands roamed down to his ass, pulling him against her. He chuckled.
“We’ll get to that later.”
When he returned several hours later he had bags and a smile that lit up their tiny room. “I have something for you,” he told her holding out a bag for her to take.
“For me?” she asked, her excitement obvious. He nodded. “I’ve never…gotten a present before!” she breathed out, her eyes wide and bright with joy as she took the offered gift. When she pulled out the dress he had gotten her, her face exploded with light. When she held it up to her and ran to the mirror over the dresser to see how it looked she was jumping up and down on her toes.
The dress was white with red flowers, bright and summery, feminine with just right amount of flounce. “Oh, Eric! It’s perfect!” she cried launching herself into his arms to hug him tightly.
“There are shoes to match,” he whispered in her ear as she squeezed him close to her. She squealed a little very un-Sookie like scream, looking around for them. “Right here,” he offered her another bag. She tore into it pulling out the three inch red heels. “Go, shower and get ready. We are going out tonight.”
“We are?” she smiled at him. He handed her another bag that had special lacy undergarments to match her dress. She was in the bathroom like a shot, humming as she closed the door. Eric sat down on the bed smiling at her unexpected exuberance.
She was normally so reserved and serious, but if this was the first time she had ever been treated the way a woman in love should be treated he guessed it was no mystery as to why. He vowed to himself that he would make a point to do at least one thing for her every day that showed her how he felt for her. Something, anything that made her heart sing the way he could feel it right now.
When they got to the restaurant where he had spent a fortune to reserve a special dining room just for them on such short notice, she was still glowing. He pulled her chair out and placed her napkin in her lap before their first course was served.
They talked of small things through the meal. Places they would like to travel to, funny things they had seen or heard about, how much they had enjoyed their time on the farm. When desert came it was under a silver covering lid. The waiter placed it on the table and retreated closing the door behind him, leaving them alone for the first time since they had arrived.
He pulled the cover back, watching her face. When she smiled at him with love in her eyes his delight was almost more than he could stand. She eyed him and the Twinkies laid out with the same desire as she licked her lips. “You shouldn’t have,” she teased.
“No, probably not, since they are so bad for you, but tonight I wanted you to have all the things you love.” She took his hand, lacing her fingers through his, giving him her full attention.
“I do.” He knew she didn’t mean the snack cakes.
“Dance with me?” There was no music but he wanted to hold her close. She rose and stepped into his arms.
“I didn’t tell you but that gray suit you are in makes you look quite yummy.”
“Oh? Yummier than a Twinkie?” She glanced back at the table as he spun her slowly in his arms. She was taking too long to answer that. “Well?” he prompted.
“I’m thinking. I’m thinking.” He laughed, his head going back as he gave in to the joy of having her in his arms and in his life. She smiled up at him. “You’re both golden and delicious on the outside.”
“True,” he agreed still smiling widely.
“And you both have delicious creamy filling,” she looked up at him through her lashes, an evil seductive smile on her face. His breath caught at her words, lost in the images she had conjured with her seemingly innocent sentence.
“Also true,” he agreed, his tone deeper and more sensuous as he looked down at her.
“I think,” she started slowly, looking from him back to the silver tray, “That I want…both of you!”
“Oh, greedy, are you?”
“Only when it comes to you,” her words seductive. “And Twinkies,” she added quickly, smirking at him. Before they left her fed her two Twinkies, spooning out the filling on his finger so she could suck it off before she devoured the cake. Caught up in the moment he kissed her when her mouth was full, both of them winding up with their lips covered in desert. When she climbed into his lap to lick his mouth clean of every crumb his hands came up to her hips, holding her close.
After she had gotten every last bit of Twinkie she kissed him. “I have a confession to make,” she told him as she spread the sticky sweetness from her lips to his neck with kisses.
“Wh…what’s that?” he finally managed to ask her as he turned her his head, giving himself over to her sweet sugary kisses.
“I didn’t wear the pretty underwear you bought me.” Before he could speak again, she tongue filled his mouth, as her hands tangled in his hair.
“Fuck, I love you, Sookie,” he moaned as she rocked in his lap, his whole mind and body focused on the sensation and the images that she had just put into his mind.
“I love you, too, Twinkie,” she told him teasingly. “Now take me back to our hotel room and let me show you how much.”
The next day they stopped on the outskirts of Memphis, Tennessee. Again, Eric disappeared for a few hours after they had checked in. When he came back and picked her up he put her in the car, buckling her in slowly, and stopping to kiss her a couple of times before he closed the door and moved to the driver ’s seat.
When the car started the music started. He took her hand as he drove out of the urban area and to wooded area, smiling and looking at her as each song played on the CD from 1997. You Were Meant for Me, Return of the Mack, How Do I Live, You Make Me Wanna, Semi- Charmed Life, Barely Breathing, I Believe In You and Me, I’m Still in Love with You, Every day is a Winding Road. It was like a time machine in the CD player.
As they turned off the main road into a two lane blacktop he finally spoke. “What you have here is a classic teenage Eric Northman mix tape.” She looked at him waiting for more. “It was my go to move when I was…not yet the man who took you out to the fancy dinner last night. Back then I made a mix tape, grabbed a six pack out of the garage, got some chips and took my girl to the parking spot.”
She almost said, I remember, but stopped herself, not wanting to spoil the moment. She had witnessed more than her fair share of these Northman moves from the trees as she watched over him. It was strange to be the girl who got to have this date, this beginning that he had said should have been theirs. She closed that part of her mind down and put herself in the moment. It worked because she felt her heart beating faster when he got to the parking area.
She glanced around Tennessee’s answer to the Lover’s Lane. There was a car already there, its windows steamy in the early darkness. Eric respectfully turned off the lights on their SUV and parked a safe distance away. Once settled, he reached into the back and pulled out a beer opening it before he handed it to her. Then he opened the sun roof to let the stars in with them. She took his hand as she sipped the beer and listened to the music looking up at the stars.
The quiet was broken by the sounds of the lovers in the car in front of them. “OH! GOD!” the man screamed out as the car started to shake and shimmy. “DO THAT AGAIN!” a woman screeched out into the night. Eric looked at her and they both started laughing, covering their mouths to stifle the sounds.
“Now if this really was 1997 and that was your average teenager up there this would be over in about thirty seconds,” he whispered to her, leaning in close. Suddenly, his warm lips so close to hers, it stopped being funny.
A few seconds later her beer was in the drink holder and she was in his lap, kissing him. “Let’s not let them steal the show,” she told him, reaching down to undo his jeans just as hers completely disappeared. She felt his laughter in their bond, so when he next spoke she knew it was a game. He wanted to play.
“Now, hold on,” he said, placing a hand on her shoulder. “I’m not sure about this. I mean, I like you, I really do, but if I do this…well, you might not respect me in the morning, Sookie.”
“Oh, baby, I’ll respect you so much!” she panted in his ear, grinding down on his growing erection.
“You say that,” he breathed out, fighting his desire admirably, “But how can I believe you?”
“Believe me,” she answered, attacking his neck.
“Oh, I think…we should stop. Maybe have another beer. Look…look…at the um stars a bit.”
“I’ll make you see stars, baby,” she assured him, as she reached down to take him in her hand.
“But…but…I’ve never done this before!” he gasped as she squeezed him, moving her hand up and down slowly on his shaft.
“Really?” she asked, leaning back holding her laughter in.
“Really,” he assured her, looking every bit the young innocent he was pretending to be. She stared at him a minute, a little surprised that he had decided to play it this way. In a second she decided to go along with him. She slowly took her hand away from him and stared down at his chest summoning the innocent inside herself. Honestly, she had never done this before. She had never gone parking with a boy that she was in love with. When she looked at it that way it wasn’t as hard as she might have thought.
“Me either,” she confessed in the dark quiet of the car. He put his open beer in the holder next to hers.
“But you seem so sure, Sookie. So confident.” He said, his hands coming up to cup her face gently.
“I read a lot.” She offered, almost feeling the innocent blush come up to her cheeks.
“I gotta get a library card,” he muttered as he pulled her down for a kiss. When it ended his moved to her neck, one of hands coming down to cup her breast through her shirt, which she had left on when she made her pants disappear with magic. “I dream about touching you like this,” he whispered to her as his thumb found her nipple and flicked it gently. She moaned and pressed her hips down on him again.
“You do?” She surprised herself by sounding just like any breathless teen in any movie she had ever seen.
“Oh, God, yes!” he told her, sucking her neck softly with his hot open mouth. “I wake up covered in my own come from dreaming about being inside you!” She whimpered. “Do you…think about me that way? Do you dream about me, Sookie?” The raw need in his voice made her already wet pussy start to drip down her thighs. She was caught in a full body shiver from his touch and his words.
“Yes,” she told him, bringing her arms up around his neck, as his hands pushed up under her shirt and bra to cup her breasts. “Last night I dreamed about you.”
“Tell me,” he begged as he massaged her, squeezing her nipples.
“You took me out to a fancy restaurant like we were all grown up and then we went back to our room and you put your mouth between my legs, kissing me…sucking me.” he groaned underneath her, “You made me come in your mouth. You said I tasted so good, Eric.”
“So good.” She kissed him again, letting herself enjoy his touch.
“What happened then?” he asked resting his forehead against hers, his hand slipping down to stroke his long hard length. Her eyes followed him in the shadowy dark. When he positioned himself she moved her hips forward and let him slide the tip into her slick wetness.
“Then, you fucked me with your big dick until I came again.”
“Oh, fuck! Dirty talk makes me so hard, baby!”
“In my dream, when you slid into me, spreading me open, it felt so good,” she moaned as she took him all the way in, stopping when he was buried inside her. “I dream about you all the time, Eric.”
“Need you,” he said in her hair and his hands went back to her breasts when her hips started to move on him.
“OH! OH! FUCK YEAH!” the couple in the other car started screaming as their interlude escalated.
“Will you scream for me like that, Sookie?” he panted in her ear.
“OH! OH! YES, ERIC!” she screamed out as she slammed her hips down on him again and again. His head fell back to the seat as she came around him. Lost in the story they had weaved each other he came with her, thrusting up deep inside her as he squeezed her breasts and shouted her name over and over.
“SOOKIE! SOOKIE!” she fell against his chest, panting and giggling at their explosive ending.
“What the fuck is a Sookie?” the girl in front of them asked a little too loudly.
“Will you hush, woman?” Her partner whispered loudly, adding with a grin that was easily heard, “I don’t know what it is, but we need to look that shit up, ‘cause I want you to do that to me!”
They were still giggling, limbs twisted together in the driver’s seat when the other car drove away. “Bet he’s gonna get a library card, too,” Eric said, kissing her passionately initiating round two.
“Really?” she asked, feeling him rise again beneath her.
“Oh, yeah, baby. Us young bucks got better rebound than Jordan.” When she finally stopped laughing it was only to moan for him again.
When they got to Little Rock, the last stop before they arrived in Dallas, they checked into a fancy upscale hotel called Terminus, “Where all the best journeys end,” the brochure assured her while he checked in. The hotel parked their car and brought their luggage in, the bellman walking them up the door of their suite.
“Wait here,” Eric asked her while he went in with the bellman, set their bags to the side and tipped him generously before returning to her side. He smiled down at her, his hand touching her face as he leaned into her slowly, taking deep breaths as she just looked at her.
Her head was tilted all the way back so she could look into his beautiful eyes that were so filled with love it warmed her skin. He swept her into his arms, kissing her once as he crossed the threshold of their room like they were on their honeymoon. As soon as her feet touched the floor she pulled him down to her and kissed him. He slowly started undressing her and walking her step by step toward the Jacuzzi in the corner of their room. He started the water running as she undressed him.
Each space of his skin her touch revealed was covered with a kiss of her soft lips. Before the tub was even half full they had forgotten it existed as she touched him. “I had other plans for right now,” he told her as she pressed her warm skin to his.
“Mmm?” she asked without speaking as she continued to kiss him, going to her knees on front of him as he sat on the edge of the tub. His hand tangled in her hair. We have all night, she spoke to him telepathically.
Yes, he agreed the same way, letting himself enjoy her touch. When she gently bit the inside of his upper thigh his cock twitched next to her face, begging for her attention. Her hand came up to wrap around him, pumping gently as she opened her mouth to take him.
Have I told you today how much I love you? She continued to speak in his mind, her soft voice soothing him as her mouth whipped him into a frenzy.
I don’t think so, he sent back.
Well, I do, she swallowed him, pushing him down her throat as she sucked him and bobbed her head.
You…just want me…for my…body, he teased her as his thoughts came unraveled at her deep caresses.
Yessss, she agreed, sliding up his long shaft her eyes twinkling at him as she took him in again.
I can live with that. Her mental laughter tickled him deep inside as she cupped him in her hand and sucked harder pulling his release out in short hard bursts that left him calling her name and holding onto the tub so he didn’t fall to the floor. She eased him out of her mouth pausing to swirl his head with her tongue before she finished with another gentle bite on his upper thigh. Then she moved up and kissed his open mouth pressing her body to his, moaning softly when his arms came up around her back, and holding her close.
Together they slid into the full tub and started the jets. She rested against his chest as he opened the bottle of chilled champagne that he had ordered to be ready and waiting for them. She tilted the flute back draining it. Watching her throat swallow the cold liquid caused him to stir against her back again. He poured her another glass as she smiled at him. “If there were strawberries, this would be perfect,” she told him.
“You want strawberries? I can order them. Anything you want tonight is yours.” She took another long drink and then turned to him.
“I take it back,” she said licking her lips. “This is perfect and I don’t want anything but you.”
“That’s easy. I’m already yours.”
“Show me.” The waters sloshed over the sides of the tub before he was done.
Later, they were on the bed, she was face down and he was rubbing her shoulders with scented oil, working out the kinks that had been there for who knows how long. She made small sounds of pleasure as his big hands rubbed her skin, working the oil in and taking away any thoughts that weren’t centered in this moment.
“If every day of forever were mine I would spend it like this you,” he told her, his tone distant and dreamy as though he had hypnotized himself with the soothing patterns he drew on her skin.
“It could be,” she answered in the same tone. He stopped rubbing and looked at her face that was turned to the side with a smile covering her features.
“What do you mean?”
“I could turn you into a vampire.” Her eyes opened when he stopped moving. She looked back at him and then turned over slowly to see his face.
“You never mentioned that before.”
“I never thought about it before. You were so scared of it when you had my blood the first few times. And I guess I was always so focused on the coming war and keeping you alive to do what you had to do that it never came up.” He swallowed, his mind considering her offer.
For some reason his dreams of the tree came back to him and the fact that she was never there with him when he walked the endless branches. If he accepted her offer would he be able to return to that place? Did it matter if he couldn’t?
“Let’s think about it tomorrow,” he said. She looked at him uncertain. “It’s a big decision and we don’t know what the long term implications would be.”
“No, we don’t,” she agreed, sitting up to put her head on his shoulder.
“When all the days are mine we will know what to do.” She nodded, her head bobbing against his shoulder in agreement. Not wanting her to feel sad our doubtful her pulled her close and rolled them over to the middle of the giant bed in their suite. “Tonight is mine, it’s ours and we can just be a man and woman tonight with the rest of the world locked away outside.” She looked at him intently.
“I can have anything I want tonight?” she asked.
“I want to make a podcast with you.” He smiled looking uncertain. “I want to be a part of the work you do. I want to be there and see you work the magic that is inherent to you soul.” In all their time together she had never asked this. She had always made herself scarce when he was recording, though she had told him that she was a fan of his show. Slowly, he nodded.
When the opening song that he had selected, I Get To Love You, by Ruelle, finished he sat back in the hotel chair with Sookie in his lap and looked for the words to start.
“We seek meaning in our lives. We keep score of good and bad deeds done and considered. We hope that by the time we get to the end that it all balances out. Dreamers think that we might even finish with a balance in the column of good. Those of us who are driven by unseen forces, internal and external, to be famous or to perform actions that lead us into immortality in film, books or legends hope that when we have passed from this place we will be remembered.
“In all this math and ego our souls perform we often miss that there is nothing greater about us than the people we love and nothing luckier for us than the ones who love us back. We forge our living destinies with the people we meet. The few we let in leave the deepest marks of all, shaping us into something even we ourselves don’t recognize in the end.
“When this journey started for me I was an unknowing man, incomplete, sliding along the edges of myself with my eyes closed, pretending that the center of me was whole and that I had everything I needed in this life. Then I saw her. She was beautiful and dangerous and she saved me.
“Lots of people say that, but she really actually did save me. From evil dark kings, betraying friends and things that go bump in the night. She fought them all and then she turned to me and made me whole by shining a light on all the things that weren’t there for me. Each hole, each scar she kissed, making them vanish as she melded into me, seamlessly.
“She inspires me, she completes me and she is the reason that I can be here with you today. Her name is Sookie and she is the heart of me. Whenever I doubt, or I feel scared I reach for her hand. She never fails me, she is always there, has always been there even when I wasn’t smart enough to see it.
“Looking back now I shake my head and think how foolish I must have been to not see my guardian angel. To not feel the warmth of her hands hovering around me as I walked my way through this weary world. How much more blessed I might have been to have my blindness lifted sooner?”
He kissed her head then, holding her close as she rested her head on his shoulder, her eyes closed as she let the sound of his voice carry her away as it used to when he read to her on the old sofa at the farm house back in Virginia.
“But, I suppose there is a reason that we don’t see things until we do. Maybe we only see them when we are ready. Maybe to see them sooner increases the chances that we will fail to appreciate the wonder of what a true union of souls can offer a wayward straggler in the dark.
“We made a holiday that comes once a year so that we would be reminded to tell the ones who mean the most to us that we love them. The cynics call it a Hallmark Holiday, something created to feed the consumerism that runs rampant in our society and maybe, maybe it was. Maybe hearts filled with chocolate and cards with romantic promises were created by Mad Men like Don Draper to convince us that love can be bought and worshipped with the dollar. I think that’s only true if you are letting yourself be told it’s time to say I love you.
“If you select these tools to send a message from deep inside your heart then to me that is different story. To me the holiday is important because in the everyday crazy that fills our lives it reminds us to stop and pay homage to what means the most to us. It also reminds me that that is the very least we can do and that those who love us, who protect us, who share themselves with us completely and fearlessly deserve that kind of recognition every day of every year for as long as time is yours.
“If you have someone that is special to you, tell them today. Tell them every day. Tell them especially if they don’t feel that way about you because love and the power that it has to change and shape a soul is not dependent on anything except the heart that contains it.
“If you are still searching for someone special then don’t give up. As you look around you today consider that everyone you meet is special or will be special to someone someday. In the moment you see them in the store or at the cross walk they are in your safe keeping. For that moment as you look at them you have the greatest responsibility in the world on your shoulders because you are the care taker of love. Love found, love yet to be discovered and you yourself are its guardian.”