Pam was right, I was a pussy. I’d been thisclose to Sookie when I’d stopped by Compton’s house waving my court order in the EMT’s faces and making them leave, but I didn’t have the balls to go knock on her door. I’d done a lot of thinking over the previous two days and now that my memories had returned I was afraid she wouldn’t want the real me. I’d done some pretty bad shit over the last few years, not that the subjects of my deeds didn’t deserve it, but still. Sookie had a kind soul and an even bigger heart, so I wasn’t so sure how she would take to the real me or if I’d ever even have to chance to tell her about any of it.
I didn’t know where Pam was getting her information from, but as soon as I’d returned to the safe house from Compton’s, she was waiting for me with her hand out. I’d thought she had returned to Washington so I was surprised to even see her there and when I’d asked what she wanted, she said, “Your Man Card, it’s been revoked.” Now that my memories had returned, so did the knowledge of the favors I held throughout the world. Within hours her collection of hats lost an unfortunate fight with the Potomac River, but I’m sure the resident geese and ducks found them amusing. I certainly did.
As soon as we’d returned to the safe house from Sookie’s (I no longer felt right calling it ‘home’) I hopped into a cab and went straight to the airport taking the first available flight back to New York. Rasul just looked at me, knowing better than to try and stop me, and I didn’t give a flying fuck what Pam would think about me leaving. I had to get away, knowing I would find it next to impossible to stay away from Sookie. She had asked me to leave and the only way I knew to comply with her wishes was to put as many miles between us as I could stand.
Returning to my New York apartment, however, was no better because everywhere I looked I was reminded of our time together there. It was where we’d first made love so I buried myself within the sheets that had long since lost her scent and remained there for days. Pam called too many times, but since she was smart enough to have mentioned she’d given Sookie that phone number I wouldn’t turn it off in case she decided to call me. I was pathetic and I didn’t care in the least. Sookie had changed me. Gone were the feelings of restlessness, the call for battle; replaced by the call for her. I knew that would never change, nor did I want it to. I just wanted her.
I spent my time in New York thinking over everything. In a way, Sookie was right when she’d said she didn’t know who I was. While the man she knew and had fallen in love with was real, it was only one side of me. I had a much darker side that she’d never been exposed to and I wasn’t so sure that I wanted her to be. Now that I had all of my memories of who I was before Sookie, I had to find a way to make it mesh with who I’d become because of Sookie. I’d lain in bed for days just staring at the ceiling, wondering what she was doing. I wanted to lash out in anger and beat my frustrations out on someone, anyone, but I knew I only had myself to blame so I stayed put. I barely slept with every minute seemingly taking an hour to tick by and as the days dragged on I could feel my willpower slowly slipping away and knew I had to go back. I couldn’t stand being so far away from her and ended up back in Louisiana with nothing more than the clothes on my back. It was the first time I could ever remember doing something without having planned it out first. I had no plan at all, just an undeniable longing to have her in my arms again; to have her love me again.
And that was how I ended up walking towards the farmhouse on Christmas Eve. The sight of it alone brought with it memory upon memory of when I lived there with Sookie. At the time, I’d felt like it was my home, our home, but seeing it didn’t bring me any feelings of being home again. It had never been the house; Sookie had been my home.
While I was a man without a plan, what I lacked in strategy, I made up for in determination. One way or another she would hear what I had to say. Even if it changed nothing between us, I couldn’t walk away for good without fighting for us one last time. I was pacing in her front yard trying to come up with what I would say once I knocked on her front door when I felt my phone vibrating in my pocket. I had no doubt Pam knew exactly where I was at the moment, so I almost ignored it thinking it was her. I was so glad I didn’t.
Hearing Sookie’s voice again, hesitant as it might have been, eased the tension in my chest that I’d been carrying since I’d last seen her. While she’d ignored my question of whether or not she was a fan of mine, like Octavia, the mere fact she’d been the one to call me gave me hope that maybe; just maybe, we could find our way back. I was willing to do whatever it took to have her back in my arms again so the fate of my future depended on whether or not she felt the same.
I was surprised I was even able to form the response when she’d opened the door. Her eyes were lined with dark circles underneath them and it was obvious she’d dropped a few pounds since I’d last seen her, making her appear even more fragile in my eyes. I wanted nothing more than to scoop her up into my arms and protect her from everything that dared to try and harm her. But I didn’t because I knew it was my foolish notions of trying to protect her by lying to her that caused it all to begin with.
“Eric?” The sound of her voice pulled me from my mind’s silent appraisal.
“I love you.” The words were spoken from my heart before my brain had a chance to do anything about it. It was true, I did love her, but I also didn’t want to scare her away before I had a chance to tell her everything I needed her to hear. That’s what happens when you don’t have a plan, my brain chided me.
She opened her mouth to respond, but I held my hand up wanting to put it all out there before she could tell me to go. “You were right when you said you didn’t know who I was and, to be honest, I’m terrified of what your reaction will be once you find out. But I’ll tell you all of it, every secret; every lie; every truth. Before my time with you I was a loner; I preferred it that way. I thought I led a full and somewhat satisfying life with no need to share it with anyone else. And then I met you. I remember walking into that shack you worked at and feeling my heart jump in my chest when I first laid eyes on you. Your voice washed over me like a warm summer’s breeze and for the first time I had to fight the urge to stay there with you and abandoning my mission altogether. I felt a pull towards you from that very moment, but now…after everything we’ve been through together; after everything we’ve shared…now it’s like you’re the sun in my world. I can’t help but to gravitate towards you. You’re the only light and warmth in my life and it was something I never even knew I was missing. Without you I feel lost…incomplete. I told you once, in the beginning, no matter what we found out about my past, you felt like home to me. Sookie, those words have never been truer.”
The words spilling from my mouth, while true, sounded cheesy even to me. I could see the tears forming in her eyes as I spoke, they mirrored my own, but I couldn’t tell up from down at that point and had no idea whether or not that was a good sign. The thought of losing her forever ate away at me from the inside out. With my memories restored I knew exactly who and what I was; an assassin, maybe the best in the world. But the tiny woman in front of me could bring me down with nothing more lethal than her rejection and being the survivalist I am, I did what I was trained to never do. I begged.
Falling to my knees in front of her I said, “I’m sorry for lying to you. I’m sorry for hurting you and getting you hurt. Sookie, if you ask me to leave I’ll do my best to abide by your wishes, but I honestly don’t know if I can. I…”
My words were cut off when Sookie flung herself at me, burying her face into my neck and saying, “All I needed to hear was that you still love me. The rest is just details.”
Having her in my arms again felt exactly like I’d told her; I was finally home again.
She pulled back and looked into my eyes whispering, “I love you Eric.”
It was as if I could see the broken shards my life had consisted of swirling in the air around us, each of them clicking back into place and making me whole again. My lungs expanded as though I’d been underwater for far too long, her words being the oxygen I needed to survive. There was nothing I wouldn’t do for the woman in my arms because I was nothing without her.
“I love you too Sookie.”
I don’t know which one of us moved first, but our lips met each other’s softly, almost hesitantly. It was nothing like the furious clash of our first kiss back in my apartment, but it felt like a first kiss just the same. In a way, it was; it was our first kiss without the baggage of fears and doubts of the unknowns our lives were made up of back then. I knew who she was and she was learning who I was. Having been without her for so long, I wanted to savor every moment I had with her and was merely grateful being with her again.
So we stayed, wrapped up in each other’s arms and kissing as though we were lying on a hammock on a beach instead of on our knees, on the porch, on Christmas Eve. One hand fisted into her hair, holding her face to mine, while the other trailed down to the small of her back, pressing her body against my own.
I would have happily stayed that way for hours until I noticed Sookie was trembling, so I pulled back saying, “You’re cold Lover. You should go inside.” I had no expectations of how the night would turn out and I didn’t know if she’d want me to stay. I was simply happy knowing she still loved me.
Sookie had her own thoughts on the subject and voiced them succinctly. “We should go inside.” She stood up, taking my hand in her own and leading me inside before shutting the door behind us. “If you think I’m letting you get away that easily, you have another thing coming Mr. Northman,” she ended with a smile.
Fine with me, I thought. I started heading towards the couch thinking Sookie would want to talk, but she pulled me towards the bedroom with the hand she’d not let go of yet. I hesitated, not wanting her to think I expected anything from her, given everything we’d been through since I got my memories back, and started saying, “Sookie, I don’t want you to think I expect anything or that we have…”
She silenced me by twirling back around and kissing me stupid, my arms automatically wrapping around her, before she pulled back saying, “Make love to me Eric.”
Like I said, there was nothing I wouldn’t do for the woman in my arms…
I picked her up, with her legs wrapping around my waist, and kissed her all the way into the bedroom before laying her down in the center of it. I let my jacket drop from my shoulders onto the floor and kicked off my boots, not tying them came in handy, before crawling my way up until I was hovering over her body. Kissing my way down from her lips, I started at her chin and slowly moved across her jaw to my favorite spot under her ear. I couldn’t help smiling at the involuntary shiver that ran through her body knowing, at the moment, she was anything but cold. The smell of her soaps and lotions, along with her unique scent, invaded my senses and I inhaled them deeply knowing it was one of the things I missed most about her while we’d been apart. Everything about her was addictive to me and I needed my fix.
The feel of Sookie’s hands slipping underneath the hem of my shirt so her fingers could trail along my back made me abandon my plans to huff her scent like she was a Sookie sized can of Dust-Off and instead I trailed my kisses down her neck, nipping my way across her shoulder and licking my way back along her collarbone. Then I started all over again on her other side.
While I moved at a snail’s pace across her skin, Sookie’s legs had wrapped around my waist again with her hips finding a slow rhythm, grinding against my jean clad erection. I couldn’t help moaning against her skin and caught a hint of a smile flash across her lips, knowing the effect she was having on me. It was pure torture, but one I would gladly endure. Once I finished my path across her collarbone I moved back to her lips, pulling her lower lip in between my own while my hands slipped underneath her. Holding her ass in place, I did a little grinding of my own and slanted my mouth over hers to swallow the cry it produced.
My actions and Sookie’s response to them had both of us wanting to speed things along. Her hands started pulling at the hem of my shirt in an attempt to pull it over my head, so I sat up on my knees, but I pulled her body up with me. We removed each other’s shirts at the same time with our lips only parted long enough for them pass over our heads before joining up again. I had her bra undone and off her body completely a second later before pressing her back down onto the mattress with nothing more than the weight of my body on top of hers. Feeling her hardened nipples pressed against my bare chest was the only thing that made leaving her lips bearable and knowing what awaited my attention farther down her body caused my whole body to throb with anticipation.
My tongue swirled a wet trail around her rose colored peak before sucking it in between my lips and lapping my tongue over and over across it while Sookie buried her hands in the hair on the back of my head. Her breaths were shallow and her body flushed with desire, with all communication between us whittled down to nothing more than sighs and moans. When I moved over to pay equal attention to her other breast, I let my hand trail down her stomach and into the front of her jeans. I was momentarily distracted by the fact that they shouldn’t have been loose enough for my hand to fit and made a mental note to get her to eat something later, but when my fingers dipped into the moist heat awaiting me there as Sookie’s hips bucked up into my hand while she grunted in pleasure, my focus became singular once more.
I redoubled my efforts with my mouth at her breast, with my free hand gently kneading the other, and slipped a finger of my other hand inside of Sookie causing her back to arch up off the bed with only the force of my mouth and hand keeping her in place. Her head thrashed from side to side as her hips thrust up into my hand, grinding her clit against my palm. Her arousal flowed freely making my hand slick with her juices and all I wanted to do was taste her, but she was too close to climaxing for me to take the time to pull her jeans off. I could be patient. When I slipped a second finger inside of her, it was her undoing and the sounds she made were almost my undoing. Her whole body tensed as her inner muscles clamped down on my fingers and I looked up in time to see her eyes had rolled into the back of her head before squeezing shut while she gasped air into her lungs.
Seeing the way I affected her made me painfully harder, but I still hadn’t had any of her addictive taste yet so I made quick work of pulling her jeans and underwear from her body. Sookie tried to sit up with her hands reaching for my waistband, but I pushed her back down on the bed. Her indignant grunt was met with my growl as I bit her side, demanding her submission, and again noticed her ribs were showing more than they had before. My next growl against her skin was in frustration that she hadn’t taken better care of herself, but before I could fall into the abyss of knowing it was all my fault, her giggling from her extreme ticklishness pulled me back into the moment.
I stared down at her naked body laid before me like a dream come true and answered prayer all in one, hardly believing my luck in all things Sookie. Luck that she came looking for and found me that day in the ocean; luck that she convinced her surrogate family to not only save my life, but not call the police; luck that she had a kind heart, but an even braver spirit when she didn’t abandon me when things got scary; luck that she actually loved me back. I was a luckiest man alive.
The first swipe of my tongue parting through her folds caused both of us to make sounds of approval; hers from the sensation and mine from the taste. In the past, with other women, it was something I’d never thought of as more than a means to an end, but it was something I actually craved with Sookie. I craved each and every whimper, moan, and scream I could coax from her lips. If I could live on nothing but what I feasted on between her thighs, I would never know hunger and probably put on a few pounds if I had my way.
I lightly stroked my tongue up and down, barely touching every nook, cranny and curve I’d memorized long ago while licking away every bit of her essence I came across. I knew my teasing attempts at stoking her fire again had worked when she grabbed my head and wiggled her hips whispering, “Please…”
Her every wish would forever be my command so I held her hips in my hands as I dove forward with purpose. My tongue no longer danced across her sensitive skin; it demanded she yield to me. I wanted the pleasure of her coming from nothing more than my tongue and I wouldn’t be denied. Thrusting and swirling in and out of where another part of my anatomy longed to be, her hips bucked and jerked with staccato breaths intermingled with strangled cries hissing from her throat as she crested higher. When I wrapped my tongue around her clit, suckling and flicking the engorged flesh over and over, her thighs pressed against each side of my head as her body tensed and she screamed out again with her release.
If I had feathers I would have been preening right about then now that I was done preening her.
Sookie was still coming down from her orgasm high, not noticing I’d taken the time to remove what was left of my clothing until she felt every part of me pressing against her naked body. I watched as her eyes eventually focused on mine and only when her legs wrapped around my waist, letting me know she was once again cognizant, did I lean down and whisper, “I love you Sookie,” against her lips as I pushed inside of her.
For the second time that night I felt like I was home again.
I wanted to go slow and draw out every part of our reunion, but it didn’t take long for me to realize how much of a fight I had in front of me. Immediately I was nearly lost in her heat. I shuddered feeling her muscles spasm along my length as I buried myself inside of her to the hilt. She gasped while I groaned; her fingernails dug into my back while my teeth imprinted on her shoulder. My mind grasped at invisible straws trying to think of anything but Sookie and the way she was making me feel so I’d last longer than a 14 year old boy locked in the bathroom with a Victoria’s Secret catalog. It was the sounds that did me in. The sound of our joining; the slapping of flesh against flesh slickened by the flavors I still savored on my tongue had me well on my way to apologizing, yet again tonight, only this time for coming before her.
I should have known my Sookie would come to my rescue again because her chanting of my name built in crescendo until she punctuated it by sobbing out, “I love you!” as her inner walls clenched around me, so I didn’t have to even try to hold back my own hoarse cries as I emptied inside of her.
When our breathing evened out and our heart rates slowed to normal, I reluctantly pulled out of her and fell to her side, quickly pulling her sweaty body flush against mine. I thought our tears were done, for the night at least, but both of us welled up when she trailed her finger along my cheek and looked in my eyes whispering, “Merry Christmas Eric, I’m glad you came home.”
Over the following weeks Sookie and I spent virtually every minute together. It took a lot of coaxing, but I eventually got her to agree to keep the money Pam wired into her account and I had enough money socked away that neither one of us would ever have to work again if we didn’t want to. Out of necessity, we told one last lie to our friends and neighbors in Bon Temps. I was quite the spectacle at first when they’d heard I had been in the witness protection program after witnessing a murder (little did they know, I was the one committing them prior to my arrival in their town), but the killer had been killed himself, so I was now free to resume my real identity.
When Sookie and I were alone is when I told her everything about my past, leaving absolutely nothing out. I sugarcoated nothing, nor did I omit any detail no matter how insignificant. I wanted nothing left standing between us to give her a reason to pause and lose her trust in me again. It was the most detailed debriefing I’d ever given in my life, warts and all, but with every touch of her hand or kiss from her lips after learning some new ‘thing’ from my past, I felt a little more of her light seeping into my darkened soul. It took three months before she finally knew all of it. I waited until then, for her to truly know me, before doing what I’d been longing to do.
I was surprised that she was surprised when I dropped down on bended knee in front of her, figuring she must have been expecting me to propose at some point, so she was only more beautiful when her stunned expression turned into one of amazement when she answered, “Yes.”
Pam still called like clockwork, once a week, to check in with us. She still hadn’t given up trying to get me back into the Alliance and she seemed sincere saying she wanted Sookie as well. Given Pam had a thing for curvy blonds; I had no doubts she wanted Sookie. Even with her irritating brass balls, I had to admit to having a certain fondness for her and knowing she had the personality of an annoying but lethal Chihuahua, I was surprised when she and Sookie seemed to forge a true friendship. I’d never known Pam to have any friends, but they would hear them giggling on the phone to each other laughing about something ‘tacky’ or ‘minty’…I had no clue.
I didn’t really miss working, but there were times when I’d see something on the news about certain people I knew to be on our, or the Alliance’s, watch list and couldn’t help speculating on how my choice to stay in Bon Temps with Sookie might have altered the paths of others, both good and bad. People like de Castro still walked the earth, unaccountable for their actions, and a part of me felt selfish for not doing what I’d been trained to do. It was only a very small part of me that felt that way because there was no way in hell the rest of me would be okay being away from Sookie for weeks at a time while I chased bad guys all across the globe.
It was on a Sunday morning in early April while sitting side by side with Sookie on the couch that I learned my ‘last mission’ had been completed. Sookie was looking at wedding dresses on her laptop for our small ceremony, to be held in June, while I watched the morning news. Even though we had enough money in our bank accounts that our future children wouldn’t have to work either, Sookie would only give in to ‘splurging’ on her dress. The ceremony would be held in our backyard with her brother, Tara and JB, Tray, Octavia, and her friend Amelia as our only guests. Pam too, if she behaved between now and then.
Looking at the television screen, I knew the location before the newscaster uttered their first word of what I was looking at; after all, I’d seen enough aerial shots and satellite pictures. The crater and billowing smoke was new though.
“That’s de Castro’s military base,” I said nudging Sookie to get her attention.
Her head lifted towards the TV as I turned up the volume and heard the local reporter saying a large explosion had taken place at a ‘suspected terrorist site’ and ‘prominent businessman Felipe deCastro’ was rumored to have been on hand at the time of the blast. They were speculating on a bomb-building exercise having gone wrong.
I paused the live broadcast and pointed out to Sookie the telltale signs that it was bomb alright, but not one they were building that caused the explosion. This one was likely dropped from 25 thousand feet above them given the size of the crater it left behind.
The phone rang seconds later and, seeing it was Pam calling, Sookie put it on speakerphone.
“Are you watching?” she asked.
“Yes.” There was no need for subtlety with Pam; she certainly didn’t have any.
“It’s a shame really, you’d think with all of their ‘expertise’ they’d be a little more careful with the C4 when their boss was in attendance,” she said. I could almost see her filing her nails in boredom, but I knew her well enough to hear the trace of amusement in her voice.
“Mhmm, or having ten thousand pound bombs dropped on top of them by drones they can’t even see; they’re so high up in the air.” I knew she knew better than to believe I would believe that bullshit. If she were in the room, I’d find a fucking handkerchief and throw it down.
“Hmm?” she asked innocently. When I didn’t bite she sighed dramatically saying, “Yes, or one of those. Pity they’ll never be able to prove anything. Moving on. How do you feel about Paris in the spring time? I’m sure Sookie would find it very romantic.”
I looked over at Sookie and cocked an eyebrow, silently questioning if she knew what Pam was getting at. When her only response was a shoulder shrug, and feeling completely wary of Pam’s tone, I asked, “Why do you ask?”
“A little birdie told me a certain thorn in our side from North Korea is planning a little secret vacation to Morocco in a few weeks. It’s just a hop, skip, and a jump away from Paris.”
I looked back at Sookie while telling Pam, “I told you, I’m done.”
“Yes, that statement is still in my vault. But don’t forget that I know you better than you even know yourself and I have my doubts. Sookie would have fun and I’ve seen her throw knife or two, so I’m sure she’d do even better if you were conscious this time around! I know the two of you are probably bored to tears in that little backwater you call home now. Just think, now that my two favorite lovebirds are getting hitched, you could like Mr. and Mrs. Smith, only Northman! ”
When I glanced at Sookie again I was surprised to see her eyebrow raised up, but I couldn’t discern what her silent question was at first. We were both ignoring Pam who had gone off onto a tangent of when she’d had sex with Angelina Jolie before she ‘had a bunch of rug rats’. Sookie tapped at the keys on her laptop for a moment and when she turned it so I could see the flight times from Shreveport to Paris, my responding cocked brow was met by her shoulder shrug paired with a smile.
While Pam continued her diatribe of why she would never be a mother (thank fucking God), I pulled up the websites of some of the nicest hotels in Paris for Sookie to look them over as I wondered if I could get her to join the Mile High Club on the way there. I started compiling a list of all the places I wanted to take her to in and around Paris knowing our time would be limited since we’d have to be home again in time for her to become Mrs. Eric Northman.