*SPOILERS* For those not familiar with the books Sookie is not happy with the bond and feels as though Eric uses it to manipulate her into feeling things that she would not feel under ordinary circumstances. At this point in the story they are in a relationship though she stubbornly refuses to leave her home in Bon Temps to be nearer to him where he can protect her from their many enemies.
Earlier in the story she had asked her witch friend Amelia to find a magical way to sever the bond between her and Eric so that she can get back to being herself. Nothing happens with that for several books and then out of the blue Amelia shows up with a spell to undo her connection to Eric. She has Amelia perform the spell without even talking to Eric about it. Once it is complete he calls her on this way frantic because he thought she was dead and she tells him what she has done. He is so angry that he tells her he can’t talk to her right then and he will call her later.
After the fact, she does seem to regret at least not telling him in advance but shows little remorse about the loss of the bond itself, though she knew almost nothing about it.
I hated that. I like this better.
I hit the door of Fangtasia like the hounds of Hell were on my heels. He has been sitting on his throne but rose immediately and moved to my side so fast I could not track him. He loomed over me, seeming to grow larger than his usual height, looking at me with concern on his face. The moment his hands touched my shoulders I closed my eyes and let out the breath I had been holding.
“Sookie? What’s wrong?” He shook me a little to make me answer. I opened my eyes and looked at him, really looked him for the first time since I don’t know when and I felt a tear slide down my cheek. Immediately, his thumb wiped it away. Then I was in his arms and we were out the door and into the night sky. He held me close and whispered soothing things in my ear as I held on to him tighter than I ever had before.
He took me into his house as soon as we landed in the yard and carried me to his large plush sofa keeping me in his arms and on his lap. “Tell me,” he pleaded into my hair and I swallowed the lump in my throat and looked for the words to express what I was feeling.
“I need to know something.” I looked up into his stormy blue eyes.
“Anything,” he said sincerely and waited for me to go on.
“Tell me everything about this bond between us.” I surprised him.
“Has something threatened you?” He hissed at me, his fangs coming down at the thought of someone trying to hurt me.
“No, maybe. I don’t know. I have a chance to break this bond and I almost did it tonight without talking to you. I…realized that before I did that I wanted to understand what this truly is, this connection between us.”
“You no longer wish to be bonded to me?” In split second he had gone from vicious protector to broken hearted lover. A few words had completely crushed him. I had completely crushed him. My hands went immediately to his face and I turned in his lap to face him, needing to feel him close.
“I don’t know. I don’t know what it means really. I need you to tell me.” He fell back against the cushions and closed his eyes, clearly trying to reign in his stormy emotions. He sat there completely still and I started to fear that he would push me off his lap and tell me to fuck off.
“Eric?” I asked, my voice shaking.
“I forget how young you are, lover. I forget that you don’t know the things I take for granted.” I nodded, not really agreeing, because I didn’t know for sure what he was talking about, but wanting to encourage him to go on. I needed him desperately to go on. “I was afraid that you would come to hate me for what happened in Rhodes.”
“I don’t hate you, Eric. Never that. I just don’t understand what this all means and you never explained it.”
“Don’t you trust me to know what is best?” His eyes were open now and I felt naked and alone even though he was right there with me.
“I trust you to keep me safe, when you can.” He twitched beneath me and I felt like I had staked him in the heart. We had not healed from the time I had been taken and Victor had silvered him to keep him from my side. His disappointment in his failure to protect me hung about his like a cloak of miserableness.
I should have been more aware of that but I had been caught up in trying to survive myself and had nothing left to give him as he mourned. I was mourning, too. It was a wound that we shared and he had given me everything he had not taking the time to handle his own emotional fall out. The fact that he still carried it with him was evident when he was not able to meet my gaze. We would get to that, but first I needed to know about this bond.
“Eric, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean that the way it sounded. I meant that you believe you are doing what is best for me, in your opinion. I am asking you to help me form my own opinion by teaching me the things you take for granted.” After a moment he shook off his melancholy and looked at me.
“Close your eyes, Sookie.” I wasn’t sure what that would do, but what the hell. I did it and waited. “Listen, not with your ears but with your whole body. Take some deep breaths and clear your mind.” His hands came back to my waist, supporting me and then pulling me into his arms again so that I could rest on his chest. “Let all the tension leave your body and believe that right now, you are in the safest place you could be. No worries, no concerns, no doubts. There is only you and you are floating in a sea of warmth and comfort.”
His voice was so soothing and hypnotic that I felt myself doing as he said, growing more and more relaxed and in tune with myself as the moments passed. “Now, focus on your heartbeat and listen.” At first there was only the soft beat that filled me and then I thought I heard something else under that. Something that sang with a crystal melody, sharp, clear and beautiful. As I focused on it the sound became clearer and I felt myself floating toward it wanting to be closer.
Outside I snuggled deeper into my vampire, moaning softly in pleasure and contentment. “That sound you hear, Sookie, visualize what it looks like and describe it to me.” His voice sounded so distant and yet it was inside me as well. I heard myself answer him, but my words sounded far away and slow to my ears that were focused on the sounds I was following.
“It’s like…a thousand crystal bells, playing all at once. It’s strong and unbreakable and yet so fragile that one wrong move would shatter it.” I could see them then, refracting light like prisms as they played. They went up into the sky until I couldn’t see them anymore. They were incredibly large, each one the size of my house or bigger but I knew somehow that was just the way I was seeing them. It was all about perspective. “Follow them, Sookie. Let yourself go and follow them to where they take you.”
I felt my body rise up and wind around them, spiraling into the sky, through the clouds and into somewhere else entirely. I could still hear them and still see them but I shifted focus to look for where the crystal path led. I gasped when I saw him, floating in the night sky, the crystal bells leading right to my Eric. His arms were floating akimbo and his eyes were closed with the most peaceful look on his face.
If the bells had been the size of my house, this floating image of my vampire lover was the size of Louisiana itself. I felt my heart double pump as I beheld his beauty in this place. In the night sky it seemed he wore a crown made of the stars themselves and I felt tears come to my eyes. He was so beautiful!
Suddenly his eyes opened and he looked down at me, so tiny in comparison to his gargantuan form. The warmth of his smile was a thousand suns and when he held his arms open to me I moved toward them like a compass to true north. I belonged there.
When I felt his arms close around me I realized that I was now the same size as him and when I looked down I saw that the spiraling path of crystal bells actually started in my chest and ended in his. In them I could see galaxies spiraling, planets and suns and supernovas that winked and then blinked out as though eons had passed in a less than a second.
When he pulled me against him the bond ignited as it pressed between us and the flash of light was so bright that I tried to shield my eyes. When I tried to look again we were wrapped around each other floating in space.
“Our bond connects us to each other, but it is much more than that. It connects us to everything, everything, Sookie, more strongly than ever before. I can feel you, and you can feel me and we are no longer two, we are one. One being with all of our gifts focused on piercing the darkness around us. There is nothing we can’t do or be if we are together.” He swung an arm out the universe around us. “Do you hate me so much that you would give all this up?” I felt his pain in my chest and the sound of perfect crystal bells become chaotic and off key. This was what discord in our bond sounded like.
“I do not hate you, and don’t you ever say that to me again, Eric Northman!” the discord grew louder.
“Then why would you think of leaving me?” Blood tears rimmed his eyes now and I felt my heart break as his pain washed over me. I pushed it back. I thought of him and our times together and pushed that back at him full force, fighting him in this new way to make him see the things that he would purposefully forget to make his case against me.
I wondered for a moment if I could accidentally kill him with the force of my love. When I saw him shake at the onslaught of my emotions I pulled some of it back, wrapping my arms around him. “I’m sorry,” I said into his hair as I held him to my breast and sent him soothing peaceful thoughts. Slowly, the crystal bells found their rhythm again and resumed their beautiful melody. When he was settled I went on.
“I didn’t know about any of this. I didn’t know we could experience anything like this.”
“You were never open to it. You immediately assumed the worst in Rhodes. Since then you have fought me at every side, resenting me and the bond and pulling away from me. It has been so painful, Sookie. It was like having exactly what I had always wanted within my grasp and not being able to touch it.” Darkness rolled through the bond then, burning anger and shards of pain and loneliness that once again sent the bells off their tune. Immediately he looked at me, regret in his eyes again.
“I’m sorry, Sookie. I didn’t want you to feel that.” I was gasping and still processing that storm that had run through me.
“Why…why would you hide that from me?”
“Isn’t that obvious?”
“Oh, fuck you, Eric! You tell me that I can’t accept who you are and what is between us and then you set about hiding yourself from me taking away my chance to accept it at all! You don’t get to have it both ways! You are not alone in this anymore! I am here, too and this is not just about your anymore, buster. It’s about me, too! Us! Pick a side damn it and tell me what you want!”
“I want you, foolish woman! I have always wanted you! Before I even met you, you were what I would think of when I thought of what I needed to go on.”
“Then stop hiding from me!”
“I wasn’t hiding from you! I was…protecting you.” His voice trailed off at the last part.
“No wonder you were so angry at me.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, I may be young as you say, but I let my feelings out. Loudly, and often. I say whatever comes to my mind and do whatever I want. You hold everything inside and pretend you don’t feel anything at all. How you must resent me.”
“You are too reckless, Sookie.”
“Perhaps, but you are too repressed, Eric.” The corner of his mouth came up.
“If we are in this then we are in this. You get heaping buckets of my crazy immaturity and I get your frustration and anger and we work through that together. We get it out of the way and we know that despite our faults we are in this together. I need that, or I am going to break this bond.”
I felt his fear at my words, and then I felt him bring it under control. I sighed. He wasn’t hearing me.
“Tell me, Eric, don’t press it down.”
“I don’t want you to end the bond. It is not practical to leave yourself so exposed.” I raised an eyebrow at him waiting. He tried again. “Being joined to you makes me feel alive again, Sookie. Everything about you makes me feel alive again. I don’t want to lose this connection with you. This is just the beginning I think,” he said gesturing around again. “There has never been a union like ours and there is no way to know what our limits are or if there are any at all. I want to explore that with you.” He kissed me then, and I felt the depth of his love for me sing in our bond. It was the most beautiful sound I have ever heard.
I opened my eyes in his lap and covered his face in kisses, baptizing him in my tears. He undressed me slowly, reverently and when we joined I saw the starscape of crystal bells again. We moved in time with their tune and played our song all through the night.