As David’s words sunk in and he realized the nightmare that had been dancing on the edge of his mind since their separation, Eric felt himself start to collapse. The bleeding psychic wound where he could no longer feel Sookie, the sense of utter helplessness, and now this suspicion of her location confirmed. Despair washed over him, snuffing out his rage, his pain, and worst of all his hope. David cracked open another beer.
“I know you are in pain, Eric, that the separation in the Bond is negatively impacting your ability to think and function, but you have to get your shit together!” He took a deep drink and then looked back at Eric. “What have you learned since you arrived here? Think!”
Eric stopped and looked back over what had transpired so far and slowly started to realize that he was better off than he had thought, that at least some of the answers were there for him, that he had been given those along the journey. He also realized that he was not the vampire he was before, he was more than that now. He could read vampire minds, he could shoot light bombs from his hands. He was stronger than he had ever been. Perhaps, this would be enough to win Sookie back! He felt hope returning and he looked at David again, wonder dawning in his eyes at the being before him. He also had a resource that he had not fully maximized yet. Willing himself to calm down and focus he sat down again.
“I…I have learned that I have been given a chance to gather the tools and experiences that I need to handle this situation that I am now facing.” David nodded encouragingly.
“When you faced Russell and The Master, what did you see? You already know why he wants her, think, Eric! Remember and tell me why!”
Eric closed his eyes and summoned the memory of his conversation with The Master and what he had seen there when he pressed in, using his new power.
Sookie with The Master, smiling happily as she sat beside him. Looking at The Master in exactly the same way she had looked at him this morning. Eric digging deeper into The Master’s mind saw Sookie rise from the throne beside The Master and he saw that she was heavy with child.
Immediately again, rage filled him, blinding him. His body began to shake in an attempt to control it, and then he felt his dead heart break. Never, no matter what, never, he could never give her THAT. What if that is what she wants? What if she picks him because he can give her a child? Is her happiness more important than my own? Knowing the answer to that was yes, he hung his head again. He could never deny her something that mattered to her so much.
David cleared his throat and opened another beer.
“So, Eric, when you imagined Sookie taking your blood for the first time, did you see her throwing a fit, hitting you in the chest and calling you, what was it? Oh, yes, a “big lying A-hole? Swearing, as she turned into Compton’s chest, that would, ‘never do anything for you EVER again!'” Eric shook his head. In his mind he had imagined that she would willing take his blood and be so caught up in the experience that he would be able to enjoy her sexually. He imagined what she would look like the deepest throws of passion, while he was buried inside her, he imagined-OH! He looked at, David sharply. “Yeah, I didn’t think so. I don’t know anyone who would imagine something they really, really wanted ever going badly. Do you?”
“So, what I saw was not what is to pass, but rather what he wants from her?”
“It is what he wants, yes. As to whether it comes to pass, I fear that is still up to you and Sookie.”
“He, The Master, he…” Eric hesitated, his voice cracking with emotion, “He can give her a child?”
“He can see that she becomes pregnant, yes, but so could you. There are donors for these things.”
“Is that how what I saw some to pass?”
“In a roundabout way, but you aren’t asking the right question, Viking.” David sipped his beer again. “Why would you seek a donor for Sookie to have a child?”
Not even hesitating, “Because it was what she wanted. Nothing matters more to me than her happiness.”
“Do you think The Master would say the same?”
“It doesn’t matter if he would or not. He would never mean it as I do. I would give her anything, do anything for her including, letting her go.” The fierceness of his reply was underscored by the look in his eyes as he looked at David, demanding that his host and even the universe itself hear his vow. If he had to, he would let her go, if that is what she wanted. Is that what she wants? His heart cried out, feeling her loss, and begging to be reunited even as he spoke the words to David. He knew it would finish him, but he also knew that he would rather be dead than have her unhappy at his side. That would taint everything they had shared, devaluing their experiences.
Their time had been golden, if it was over, then he would not tarnish it by pretending that anything less would ever be sufficient.
“He would never let her go, he would never place her above himself. I have seen enough to know that. His sense of entitlement is too great to love anyone more than himself.” David arched an eyebrow at Eric’s statement.
“And how are you any different, Captain ‘Suck It Out, I’m Dying’?”
Eric smiled at the memory. Her lips on him had been exquisite as he had expected them to be. “I am different now, because despite that, and a thousand other things just like it, she now loves me, ALL of me. I am different because of Sookie. My love for her is all I am now. I was able to hold her close to me on this journey because I was able to let go of my past. I know how I feel when I am with her, and I want to feel that every day for eternity. She has told me that she wants the same. If she still feels that way, I will fight to my True Death to be with her. If she has changed her mind, then even if I were with her, it would never feel the same again anyway. She has honored me, I can do no less for her and be worthy of standing at her side.”
“So you would give her a child because it was what she wanted?” Eric nodded. “Why would The Master give her one, do you think?”
“If he loves, then likely the same reason, but…”
“But?” David prompted.
“Jealousy is not an indicator of love. If he started this because he was jealous, it doesn’t mean he loves Sookie.” David smiled again, his face showing pride.
“No jealousy is most definitely not an indicator of love,” David agreed, opening another beer, into the second case by now but showing no signs of intoxication that Eric could see.
“What happened to her?” Eric asked softly. “The Writer, how did you lose her?” David’s eyes locked with Eric’s, surprise showing clearly there. He sighed.
“I have underestimated you, Viking. She left me because I told her it was more important that we perform our functions, do our jobs, than to let our feelings dictate our actions. I broke her heart and she disappeared.”
“How came you to Persona Non Grata?”
“There is more than one love story, Viking. Yours is great, no mistake, but I had my favorites as well. I felt most connected to the story of David and Jo Anne. She loved him above all others, and he shoved her away until he lost her. When I lost The Writer, I thought of David, and hid in his persona. Now I live on an island named after one he made up with her one whimsical night. I drink too much and pretend that I don’t need anyone at all, but like him, I would do almost anything to get her back.”
“Even give up your ‘function’?”
“I already did, I left it when I came to hide in Sookie’s world of Parapejl. Nothing mattered anymore without her. I…I didn’t know that was going to happen until it did. If I had my answer might have been different.”
“How does all this work,” Eric pressed on. “What are Jones and The Master? How does that fit with The Librarian and The Writer?”
‘You tell me, Eric.” Eric sighed, knowing that this could be important information, but not sure how to get his hands into it, and not sure if it took him closer to getting Sookie back.
Jones told me, Eric remembered. Everything I am, I have, is his, and everything he is and has is mine. In this there is balance, order from chaos. Her actions and my actions are out of The Order. To prevent Chaos he must act. I would do the same, were the situations reversed and have on many occasions.”
Jones is Order, The Master is Chaos, and these are universal constants in balance. The Librarian, The Writer, The Library…Why do people speak in parables? Am I…Am I standing in front of what some would call God? Eric looked at David again, more in wonder than anything else.
David shook his head, “I am but a servant, as were you once, Viking.”
“What? I was once as you?”
“Long ago, yes.”
“I don’t remember. Why am I no longer like you?”
“You gave up your function to pursue Love.”
“Did I find it?”
“Oh, yes! ‘It is a grand tale. One worthy of telling again and again’.” David looked at him again, waiting to see if he understood now. “Was she worth it?”
Eric smiled, allowing himself to remember how it felt to have her in his arms, to kiss her, to join with her, to feel her sing to his soul in the Bond they shared. “Oh, fuck yes, it was worth it! ‘Love is all’.”
David smiled at Eric, “I wish I had been as wise as you, my old friend. It is good to see you, again.”