Eric woke from his daytime rest in the secure chamber of his primary home in Shreveport. He could feel that the sun had fully set and found it odd because at his age he normally rose an hour or so beforehand. Something felt off within him, but he couldn’t quite figure out what it was. Nothing had been out of the ordinary within Area 5 or the kingdom recently, but he still couldn’t shake the feeling off completely. He’d lived for over a thousand years relying on his instincts and they were telling him that something was wrong.
Since the sun had already set he searched his house and the surrounding property, but with his senses he already knew that there was no one to be found there. Pam and his day man were the only two that knew its location and he’d glamoured the latter so that he could only remember his way there when necessary to carry out his duties, but he wouldn’t be able to think of or speak its location ever, even under another vampire’s glamour (he had Pam test him). Eric thought it was pretty fucking ninja of him and smirked at the thought.
Satisfied that there was no one lurking about, Eric showered and changed before heading to Fangtasia. After the Great Revelation ten years earlier he’d opened Fangtasia, along with Pam, to take advantage of the newly known existence of vampires in the human world and it had quickly become a successful venture. It provided a place where the vampires in his area could report to him as their sheriff as well as having the added bonus of ready and willing vermin show up in droves each night in the hopes of attracting the attention of a vampire, so there were always fang bangers to choose from for a feed and fuck. The novelty had quickly worn off however and he found himself feeling more and more disillusioned every time he had to put in his time enthralling the vermin from his throne. When time was no longer of any consequence as an immortal, boredom was inevitable. Eric longed for something more; he just didn’t know what that was.
He arrived at the club a little after eight and noticed there was already a line of humans extending around the corner of the building. Parking in his spot at the rear of the building, he locked his Corvette and went in through the backdoor straight to his office. He had just finished with his emails and was starting on the stack of Area 5 paperwork Pam had set aside for him to go through when he sensed her approach, looking up just as she strode through the door with what appeared to be his dinner. A lovely brunette with dark brown eyes and full breasts almost spilling out of her low cut top along with a redhead whose long legs were showcased by the scrap of fabric that she wore as a skirt barely surrounding her hips. He smiled like the predator he was thinking his child had done well with her selections that evening.
“Master,” she said with a barely contained grin.
Eric smirked already smelling their arousal at the sight of him and a cocked eyebrow looking at Pam and asked, “Is it my birthday or are you softening the blow before telling me you ordered the entire fall line of Jimmy Choo’s and charged it to my credit card? Again.”
“Christian Louboutin,” she smiled and once he gave her a slight nod indicating his approval of the two women she’d chosen for him, as well as her new shoe purchases, she left the office shutting the door behind her.
“Good evening ladies,” he purred as he stood and walked around his desk. He would need some extra room that evening since there were two of them and he had already begun picturing how and what he planned on doing to them. Still smelling their arousal from the moment they entered the office, he could also smell the fact that they were untouched by any other vampires, a rarity in his bar. ‘She must have ordered the Chanel line as well,’ he thought, but quickly set it aside as at the moment he had other pressing things to attend to.
Pure lust was pouring off of both of them and as soon as Eric leaned back against the front of his desk they were on him. The brunette started inching the hem of his shirt up his body while placing kisses across his abdomen as Eric turned the redhead around so that her back was pressed against his side. He ran his hand down her side and around her front barely touching the outer edge of her breast causing her to arch her back seeking out his touch while the brunette went to work ridding him of his pants.
The nagging feeling Eric had upon rising earlier that evening telling him that something was wrong had been pushed to the background until that moment and began screeching at him to stop, causing his motions to still. He tried to ignore it and forcefully skimmed his nose along the side of the redhead’s neck seeking out the spot where he wanted his first taste of the evening and while she smelled a little better than most of his meals he didn’t find her scent appealing at all. Repulsive even.
Eric could feel his lust, both for blood and sex, fading fast so he released her from his hold choosing to concentrate on the brunette whose hands were currently making their way into his now open jeans and as soon as she wrapped her hand around his length her touch felt wrong. Again Eric tried to ignore it and closed his eyes just concentrating on the feel of her hand stroking him up and down, but it was a wasted effort. His senses were screaming inside of him to throw both of them out of his office and perhaps even the building.
He looked down to see the redhead playing with the brunette’s breasts while pleasuring herself and could see that the brunette was about to take him into her mouth. Hoping that would bring him back into the moment he watched with anticipation waiting for the feeling of her hot wet mouth around his cock, but his body reacted without thought. Eric’s hand gripped the back of her head and pulled her to her feet before her mouth had the chance to make contact and he paused again shocked at his motions. She started to lean in towards him assuming he wanted to kiss her, but like the redhead, her scent was repulsive to him even though there was nothing wrong with her. ‘It wasn’t like she was a shifter or a were‘, he thought, and in fact, they both smelled good for humans. Even so, the thought of having either one for a feed or a fuck seemed out of the question.
Frustrated, he set himself to rights and glamoured them both into believing they had mind blowing sex together before sending them on their way. Eric downed a bottle of True Blood before going out into the bar to put in his time on the throne and saw Pam approach and speak to the girls he’d just sent away. He didn’t miss the fact that she sniffed each of them and just before she turned away he caught a flash of what appeared to be sadness on her face.
‘What the fuck is going on with me?’ he wondered. He couldn’t remember ever having felt like he did now and he could remember everything he’d done in the last 1000 years. Eric carefully hid his confusion from the others placing the mask of boredom and disdain on his face knowing otherwise he would be seen as weak which was never a good thing for a sheriff. He let his gaze wander across the masses before him as he tried to pinpoint what it was he was feeling and why. Eric had always despised having any feelings other than those brought on by feeding, fighting, or fucking which is why he locked them all away not long after he was turned.
He could feel the anger and frustration building inside of him and heard the wooden armrest of his throne crack from the pressure he’d unknowingly been exerting with his grip. He was just about to say ‘Fuck it’ and grab the first fang banger he could find to fuck the feelings away when he caught the sight of a blond head near the bar.
Eric could tell from where he sat that it wasn’t their natural hair color, but something inside of him sat up and took notice. As the sheriff he couldn’t be seen approaching a human while on display so he sat and watched out of the corner of his eye waiting for the blond to turn around. When she did he let out a growl of frustration, scaring those closest to his dais, upon seeing she was nothing more than another run of the mill human. The two he’d had in his office earlier were prettier than that one and his inner beast roared in anger, yet he still had no idea why he felt like he did.
Flashes of another blond started filtering into his mind and his body stilled as if waiting in anticipation for her arrival while fearful that any movement by him might make the images in his mind disappear. In his mind’s eye she was wearing a white dress with little red flowers that looked more like splashes of blood and he felt the crotch of his pants tighten in response. He saw her from behind as she spoke to someone at the bar and fully appreciated her hourglass figure perfectly encased within her sundress. If his heart still beat it would be thundering as he realized she was just about to turn allowing him to finally see her face when he felt a hand on his knee pulling him out of the first daydream he’d ever had in his 1000 years. He’d never dreamt before, in either his daytime rest or while awake, but it had to have been a dream because he knew he would have remembered her.
Eric looked down to see which one of the vermin had gotten brave enough to approach him while he’d been locked away in his mind with his mystery blond. He’d not given the customary signal for them to back the fuck off indicating his disinterest so with a swift kick of his foot he watched as they went flying backwards onto the dance floor. He hoped that would be enough of a signal for everyone else tonight as well.
Eric could no longer take feeling like a caged animal sitting there with the anger, confusion and unexplained longing building within him and he sprung out of his seat heading towards the back exit. Eric saw the look of disappointment on Pam’s face while she spoke on her phone as he left the bar, but he couldn’t care less about her disapproval of him not being there being bad for business knowing if he had stayed business would have been even worse because he surely would have killed anyone that dared approach him again, human or vampire.
Eric jumped into his car and got onto the highway hoping the blinding speeds and loud music would be an outlet to whatever it was he was feeling. He had no particular destination in mind, but after a while he noticed the tightening in his chest lessening with each mile the farther he travelled from Shreveport. The last time he’d been this far north was a few years earlier when he’d left tribute in the form of an ox when there were reports of a Maenad in the woods surrounding some backwater town in his area named Bon Temps. She relocated shortly thereafter so he’d assumed the tribute was satisfactory and he’d had no need to return since then.
No sooner had the thought crossed his mind than he came upon the exit for Bon Temps. Eric decided to take it on a whim and again the tightening in his chest lessened a little more. Odd.
He drove through the center of town and saw, unsurprisingly, that it was nothing more than a one traffic light, little podunk town. He was about to head back towards the highway when he saw the sign for Merlotte’s Bar and Grill up ahead and decided to check it out. Eric knew it had once been owned by a shifter during the time of the Maenad, but had been sold to a human when the shifter decided to seek out his birth family according to the supe gossip vine. He’d never been curious enough to see it for himself until now and once he pulled into the parking lot he knew without seeing the inside they wouldn’t be giving Fangtasia a run for their money any time soon.
Eric could smell the stench of beer and sweaty humans from the parking lot and almost got back in his car, but something within him was drawing him inside. Prepared for the fear he would both sense and smell as soon as the patrons saw him, Eric stepped through the front door and stopped giving everyone a chance to see the thousand year old vampire that just walked in knowing most of them had probably never seen one in their little corner of Louisiana.
As expected everyone turned and looked at him, but unexpectedly, they all returned to their conversations without so much as another glance.
The bartender was just hanging up the phone as he looked over at Eric and said, “Evening sheriff.”
He wasn’t surprised his reputation extended this far into the swamps and gave him a cursory nod before choosing an empty booth to sit at. Eric knew he hadn’t ever been there and yet it seemed oddly familiar. He thought perhaps it was only because once you’ve seen one hick bar you’ve seen them all, but somehow he knew that wasn’t it. The bartender himself placed a heated bottle of True Blood on the table before him without a word and returned to behind the bar while Eric sat there in shock that they actually had any in stock. He knew of no vampires ever residing in this area and as sheriff he knew where every vampire in his area lived.
He continued to ponder this strangest of evenings while nursing his drink when, as a bar owner himself, Eric noticed there weren’t any waitresses working the floor. There weren’t many customers that evening, but he still thought there were enough customers for there to be at least one or two on duty. The bartender, ‘Terry’ was his name according to the customers calling out to him, and the busboy were taking orders and serving the drinks and food themselves.
Again, the recurring sense of familiarity washed over him while he continued to just sit there with his eyes taking in every little detail trying to place it somewhere in his mind. Eric had been lost in his internal musings for quite some time when, with his vampire hearing, he heard a female’s voice angrily whispering from the back hallway of the bar, “Terry is the coast clear yet?”
Eric looked up in time to see what must have been the waitress given her white t-shirt with a green ‘Merlotte’s Bar and Grill’ logo on the left side and black shorts along with unnaturally red hair when he heard the bartender sigh exasperatedly as suddenly everything clicked.
Memories flooded into Eric’s mind, the force of which would’ve brought him to his knees if he’d been standing. Sookie was the one who walked into his bar for the first time wearing that white dress. His bonded. He couldn’t feel her! Their bond was gone. That’s what was wrong. Eric’s eyes shot over to the bartender who was back on his phone, but he flew out of the door and into the sky before hearing anything with his only need being he had to find Sookie.
Eric was at the farmhouse less than a minute later bursting through the front door calling out her name and it wasn’t until he’d checked every room in the house in a panic when he finally realized the state it was in. There were sheets covering all of the furniture and the rooms held a stale smell as if they’d been closed off for months if not years. He couldn’t detect her scent anywhere. Running to her room he ripped the pillow from her bed and held it to his face inhaling deeply needing the reassurance of her distinct smell of sunlight and part-fairy to know he wasn’t going mad. But there was nothing there. No smell of sunlight. No smell of part-fairy. No Sookie.
He walked outside telling himself ‘She does exist!’ while the ache in his chest increased as more and more memories of her and their time together continued to stream into his consciousness and he stood stock still unable to move only now noticing the overgrown weeds surrounding the house and knew his Sookie hadn’t been there in quite some time if the yard had come to look like this. He struggled trying to remember when the last time it was that he’d seen or spoken to her while he pulled out his phone calling Pam.
“Master,” she answered.
“Pam,” he barked, “I need you at Sookie’s house now. She’s not here and it appears she’s been gone for some time. I can’t feel her in the bond. Meet me at Compton’s.” He hung up before she could reply, still confused as to what had happened, but angry at her for bringing those women into his office while knowing he was pledged to Sookie. Even if he hadn’t been in his right mind at the time and had actually fed from or fucked those women Eric knew Sookie would feel hurt and betrayed, which was something he vowed she would never feel because of him when they had been pledged by the ceremonial knife. Once he had his answers he swore Pam would be punished for her betrayal of him and Sookie.
Eric burst in through Compton’s front door not bothering to knock and found him sitting on his couch in the living room.
“Compton! Where is Sookie?” he demanded.
Bill sighed and said, “Sheriff, can I offer you a True Blood?”
‘Why am I the only one concerned?’ he thought. ‘I know both Pam and especially Bill value Sookie’s friendship. So why am I the only one ready to tear apart the world to find her?’ Something inside of him snapped and he had Bill against the wall with his hand around his throat growling, “Where. Is. My. Bonded. Compton.” He didn’t care how mad Sookie would be at him; if Bill had done anything to her he would be meeting his final death at Eric’s hand.
“Eric,” he said calmly, “I think it would be best if we wait for Pam to arrive.” Eric stared down at him tightening his grip on Bill’s throat, but the younger vampire didn’t struggle at all. In fact, Eric only saw pity in his eyes as he looked back at him causing Eric to release his grip and drop him to the floor.
WHAT THE FUCK!
“Meet me at Sookie’s with Pam once she arrives,” he ordered and began walking back to the farmhouse at a human speed while putting together the broken fragments of his memories coupled with what happened tonight.
Eric let every memory he had of Sookie pour through his mind looking for the answers he so desperately needed. The first time she walked into his bar he knew he had to have her, at the time, if only for a feed and fuck. After getting to know her a little better, Eric wanted more than that from her and the satisfaction he’d felt when he finally got his blood inside of her was like nothing he’d ever experienced. It wasn’t just the smug elation he’d expected to feel at besting Compton at the time, but the start of their bond allowing him to feel her passion and fire had changed his end game. He no longer wanted her just for her body; just for her gift; just as an asset. Sookie made him want her. He wanted to be the one she turned to for her every need. He wanted to be the one to fulfill her every desire. She, barely a quarter of a century old human, changed him, a thousand year old Viking vampire sheriff. Having known the warmth of her touch, the scent and taste of her skin, the passion and fire that burned within her spirit and soul for him, he knew he could never go back to the way he’d existed prior to knowing her. Nor would he want to.
The courage she’d shown when she got staked in Jackson, and then to be raped and practically drained by the one she almost died to come rescue proved she had the spirit of a warrior, his true match. The only good thing to happen in Jackson was seeing her perform that dance with her friend Tara and getting more of his blood in her. Even before the time he’d spent with Sookie under the witch’s curse and later regaining his memories, Eric had known he wanted more from her. He wanted what she had at one time willingly given Compton. Her actions in Rhodes, even if she was technically still seeing the were-tiger, was what cemented his resolve where Sookie was concerned. Not only were they permanently bonded by blood, when she knew the bombs were about to go off in the hotel she put her own life on the line to save him and his child. Not Compton. Not the tiger. Him. She’d finally chosen him. Eric had wanted everything she’d had to give, but he surprised even himself when he’d realized he wanted to give her everything in return. It was why his first thought during the takeover was to go to Sookie. To protect her. Not his Queen. Not his child. Sookie had been the one he chose to protect and he would have met his final death to keep her safe, even if Compton was the only one to say the actual words.
While their pledging hadn’t been under the most ideal circumstances, Eric had never once had any doubts that it was what he wanted. He wanted Sookie to be his, and only his, forever. He knew she would be upset when she found out the true meaning of it all and even though she didn’t view it as a marriage, which it was, over time her acceptance at least had been a small victory.
Eric was halfway across the cemetery by then but before he could contemplate anything further an unexpected splash of color on the ground caught his eye. It was the middle of the night, but with his vampire senses he could see perfectly and walked closer to inspect what turned out to be fresh flowers lying atop a grave and the unmistakable scent of Compton. The name on the headstone made Eric involuntarily draw an unnecessary gasp of air into his lungs.
With his memories finally returning and now seeing the date of her death he knew she’d been gone for some 6 years. ‘How could it be?’ he wondered. ‘Why hadn’t he remembered until now?‘
The marker lay in between her grandmother Adele and her parents, all of them taken from her before she’d been ready and yet she’d managed to survive their loss. Eric had survived the worst kinds of torture and physical pain in his lifetime, but seeing her name signifying her death caused an unimaginable pain to rip through his body bringing him to his knees while an anguished roar that could be heard for miles left his throat.
Blood red tears ran down his face while his body convulsed on top of his bonded’s grave as his last memories of her finally filtered into his consciousness.
He’d been on his way back to Shreveport to finish up some necessary paperwork so he could take Sookie away for while. They hadn’t spent much time together after his maker had met his final death and Eric had stayed away dealing with everything that entailed. His fear at Ocella’s return with his new child Alexei had left him terrified for Sookie’s well-being. It was an unwelcome and unfamiliar feeling at the time, but with their final deaths the terror turned into anger.
He’d been angry at Ocella for intruding in his world once again. Angry that he could deny nothing his maker asked of him, even if it had meant hurting Sookie, if not worse. He was angry at Sookie’s attitude toward Ocella knowing firsthand what kind of monster he could be while knowing he could not protect her from him. And finally, he’d been angry at himself for feeling a sense of loss at his maker’s demise. Monster or not, the bond between a maker and their child wasn’t something that lessened through the years and he’d felt his maker’s final death to his core. He wanted to be rid of Ocella’s hold on him and Eric had been angry that even after he’d been reduced to a pile of ash, Ocella still had a hold on him.
So he’d stayed away from Sookie for a couple of weeks to try to work through it all until he’d felt her terror through their bond on that final night. He’d missed her terribly, but hadn’t decided whether or not he was ready to face her. Ready to admit his feelings of failing to protect her, but once he’d felt her terror wash through him there was no other decision to be made. He flew into the night towards the shifter’s bar as fast as he could and relaxed somewhat as he felt her fear and adrenaline subside. His relaxation went out the metaphorical window when he arrived to see the shifter’s bar had gone up in flames.
Eric quickly entered through the front door and grabbed Sookie by her shoulders and even upon seeing that she appeared relatively unscathed he still demanded, “Are you hurt?” She brushed off her latest near death experience seemingly more upset about her singed hair and Eric’s less than polite responses to those around them.
Sookie continued to answer questions the local sheriff, Bud Dearborn, was asking her while Eric wandered away pulling out his cell phone and calling Pam. Once she was free to leave, Eric drove Sookie home in her car with each of them lost in their own thoughts. Eric was furious that she was, yet again, vulnerable to being hurt and he hadn’t been there to protect her. He wanted her to quit working there, once and for all, and even as he later said the words he knew she would never agree.
Once Pam’s stylist, whom she’d brought to Sookie’s house to try and salvage her hair, and Pam had left for the evening Eric tucked a weary Sookie into her bed and laid with her until she’d fallen asleep. He simply stared at her fighting the urge to just spirit her away in the dead of night. He wanted to cover her body with his own and shelter her from everything that seemed to be out to get her. Eric knew he had to tell Sookie what his thoughts had been concerning Ocella, but not now. Now she needed to rest, not just that night, but for at least a week if not longer. They’d both been going non-stop from one emergency to another and Eric thought they could both use some time away from everyone and everything.
Knowing that the shifter’s bar would be closed for the foreseeable future Eric thought it was the perfect opportunity to take Sookie away for a while. He had wanted to take her to see his homeland in Sweden where he maintained a home on the land where his village once stood. When Sookie had come into his life he’d made sure to have it renovated to accommodate humans since he’d only ever brought Pam there in the past. But, he had wanted to share that part of his life with Sookie so he had the bathrooms and kitchen made suitable for her use.
He’d said nothing to Sookie about it when he left her that evening knowing he’d have to petition Felipe for the time off and didn’t want to disappoint her if his request was denied. Eric had just touched down in Fangtasia’s parking lot when he was brought to his knees by the pain that ripped through their bond. He had barely noticed Pam’s appearance at the back door with her bloody tears mirroring his own, having felt her maker’s anguish through their own bond.
She watched as Eric launched himself back towards Bon Temps with him already knowing what he would find. The scent of her blood filled his senses before he even landed on her front porch. Ripping the door from its hinges he came across her bullet riddled form lying in a puddle of her own blood sprawled across the floor of her bedroom. The closer he got to her the more he could sense the spark of life leaving her body.
Eric scooped her into his arms and tore at his wrist with his fangs before pushing the open vein into her mouth sobbing, “Lover you must drink.” She barely had enough strength left to open her eyes, but he watched her do just that as fresh tears fell from each of them.
If it hadn’t been for his vampire senses Eric wouldn’t have been able to hear her say, “I love you Eric, always.”
And then she was gone.
He held her lifeless body in his arms unable to let go, either physically or emotionally, until he caught movement out of the corner of his eye and launched himself at the source prepared to rip them limb from limb only realizing at the last moment that it was Pam. He’d been so lost in his grief that he hadn’t sensed her arrival.
“Master?” she whispered, the red tracks along her normally pristine features giving additional evidence of her upset.
Eric had no words to give her and in the only human gesture he’d ever witnessed from Pam, she wrapped her arms around her maker’s body and held onto him with all of her strength.
They stayed that way for a time until Eric could sense dawn’s impending arrival. Looking down at her he kissed Pam’s forehead and tucked a strand of hair behind her ear before saying, “You must go seek shelter for the day.”
Knowing he had no plans to seek shelter from the sun himself she held onto him tightly unable to grasp the mere notion that her maker would not be there when she rose that evening. From the moment she rose as a vampire she could never imagine her existence without him there. The only way she had thought Eric would meet his final death would be in battle and she knew she would’ve been fighting alongside him and would have given her life to save his. Pam racked her brain for anything she could say to him to make him stay when it suddenly came to her.
“Master, I smelled Madden outside of Sookie’s house when I arrived…the second time,” she whispered. “He must be behind this. Don’t you want vengeance?” she pleaded, desperate for him to agree.
Pam couldn’t bring herself to look in his eyes, fearful of what she might see and when she felt her maker’s body tense and the call for battle and blood raced through their shared bond she relaxed knowing she had time. There was time to convince him to stay.
It took them only a week to locate Victor Madden, with Eric having called in every debt he’d held to find him. Felipe de Castro had given Eric his approval to seek out and end Madden for Sookie’s death, not only because it was his right as her bonded, but because de Castro had personally pledged his protection to her.
They found him the evening before Sookie’s funeral and while the few hours before dawn had been painfully tortuous for Madden, Eric ripped his head, the only appendage left attached to Madden’s torso by then, from his body sending him to his final death only moments before the sun rose that morning.
Pam had kept a careful watch of her maker and used what little time she had to plot out what she needed to do to keep Eric from meeting the sun once Madden was finally dead. She had no doubt that Eric planned on leaving this world once the funeral was over and she’d already moved the pieces on the chessboard in her mind to keep that from happening. She was her maker’s progeny after all and for her the stakes had never been higher. She wasn’t ready to be without him. She wasn’t ready to continue on without their bond.
The entire town had come to pay their respects at Sookie’s funeral, held in the evening so everyone that wanted to attend could. It was all Eric could do to keep his emotions in check when he heard their whispers of how her choice to be with a vampire had led to her death, believing deep down that their sentiment was true. If only he’d pushed her away, or hidden her from those that wanted her for her telepathy she might still be there. No matter how much it would’ve hurt both of them he would’ve rather had her living a world away than dying in his arms.
Eric’s body was still racked with grief over the now realized loss of his bonded when he felt Pam’s arrival behind him. Turning he saw she was standing in between Compton and a woman he came to recognize as the witch, Sookie’s old roommate, Amelia Broadway.
“How?” he asked them, not feeling the need to elaborate.
Understanding, Pam replied, “A spell.” Eric glared at her clearly wanting more information so she continued, “I knew you were planning to meet the sun, so in the moments before dawn after Sookie’s funeral I had Amelia perform a spell. It should have wiped your memory of Sookie and everything else that would or could remind you of her. I thought if it worked you could go back to how things were before she’d come into our lives.”
Tears formed in the corners of her eyes as she admitted, “But it didn’t work. So we tried again the following night. And again, and again, and again. It hasn’t worked for more than a few hours after you rise in the evening and every night you leave without feeding on anything other than True Blood. Every night you end up at Merlotte’s. And each and every night we inevitably arrive here, but I haven’t given up hope that one night the spell will work. It will work and I’ll have you back,” with her tone slowly changing from utter conviction to a whispered prayer.
Eric could barely grasp what his life had become. For six years he’d been reliving this never-ending nightmare. He looked up at Pam and asked, “Why?”
Her response caught in her throat before meekly whispering, “I’m not ready to let you go.”
He felt her turmoil and sadness, but it came nowhere near to how he felt knowing that Sookie was gone forever. To him, only a week had passed since her death and the loss he felt was still fresh, slicing his insides raw.
Eric turned to Amelia and asked, “And you? Why do you continue to perpetuate this lie by doing this to me?”
Eric had asked them these questions nearly every night in some form so she didn’t hesitate as she replied, “For Sookie. She would want you to continue on.”
Her words rang true, but it didn’t matter. Sookie was no longer there so she couldn’t be angry at him for not doing as she wished. He wanted, needed, to be selfish in this one instance to end the pain he barely had control of knowing he couldn’t last one more night without her.
Eric’s eyes fell to Bill and without any prompting Bill said, “I remain here for Sookie as well. As much as it pains me to say, she loved you Eric and she wouldn’t want your final death to be because of her.”
“I DON’T CARE!” Eric roared. “SHE’S GONE! DEAD! And her wants and wishes died with her.” He fixed his stare on each of them ordering, “This ends tonight. This ruse will no longer continue.”
Eric was just about to command Pam as her maker to leave and take the others with her when Amelia quickly chanted under her breath and Eric’s form was frozen in time by her stasis spell. Pam wiped the tears from her eyes while Bill lifted Eric’s body and carried him to her van as Amelia tried to comfort her.
“I’ve got a few more feelers out to a coven in Ireland. Maybe they’ll know what it is that we’re missing or doing wrong,” Amelia offered.
They followed Bill and watched him lay Eric’s body, frozen by the stasis spell, in the back of the van so Pam could place him back in his resting chamber before returning to Fangtasia to finish out her evening. Amelia leaned in whispering the words that would erase Sookie from his memory, for at least a few hours when he first rose. The spell she used was built upon the original spell Hallow had used to curse Eric years earlier and each night she changed a word or phrase hoping it would do the trick. Pam had become Sheriff of Area 5 in Eric’s stead when he became incapacitated. De Castro was aware of their situation and had agreed to allow Eric to return to his former position if the spell ever took hold; out of the debt he felt he owed the Viking for failing to protect his bonded from his own Lieutenant.
Climbing into the van, Pam looked over at both Amelia and Bill, her unlikely allies in her quest to save her master, and she smiled softly and agreed, “Maybe…” before driving off into the night.