Hi peeps! Long time, no see. Sorry about that! I have been so swamped between my kiddo getting ready to graduate high school and the self publishing circus.
My very first book will be released on May 17th on kindle if you’re interested! I’m exhausted, but super excited too 🙂 You can find it here. Since it’s happening in just a few days I’m afraid I have to remove the fic version 😦 It honestly breaks my heart, but it must be done. I will leave the pdf version up until Sunday evening. Please go grab it, if you haven’t already. As a consolation prize I’m adding in a sneak peek of the next chapter of YMMWD. Thanks and enjoy!
The odd little woman comes inside. “Hello, Sookie. I’m Amy Ludwig. I’m the resident doctor to the likes of him and others, like you,” she introduces herself, sedate and cautious.
“Yes, he told me. It’s nice to meet you.”
She smiles, or tries too. It’s more of a grimace. “You look much better than the last time I saw you.”
“Ummm, thank you. I don’t remember much.”
“That’s fine. He explained.”
An uncomfortable silence begins to stretch between us, neither of us able to look away from the other.
Then she looks at Erik.
“He’s different,” she says, her rough voice seeming to scratch the air. It matches the noise in her head. That’s all there is too. Just noise. I haven’t caught a single word swirling within it.
“Calmer, more at peace.”
I laugh out loud. “Erik? At peace? I don’t think so.”
“Let me rephrase. He is more at peace than he was when I last saw him.”
“That, I might believe.”
“How do you think he’s doing?”
“Well….” I stop, not sure if she’s anyone I should be discussing him with. Erik seems to trust her, but I’m not so sure I do. Maybe he is right. If I could hear her I would know whether she’s trustworthy or not. I guess I have to go with his gut. “When he stops trying not to love me, he is different. Happier. Then it hits him, what he’s feeling, and he hurries to hide behind his walls again. I am definitely learning a new level of patience.”
She laughs at that, a deep laugh, like rocks grinding together. “I would imagine you both have been. I don’t know what your child’s heart saw in him that night, but it chose well. Northman is an honorable vampire despite his surly nature. I think the two of you were made for each other. You need each other. He’s teaching you how to live again and you’re teaching him how to love.”
I can only look at her, doubting I have taught him anything.
“Not everyone is meant to face these universes alone I don’t believe. The two of you just weren’t built that way. You were meant to lose yourselves in one another, to be strong when the other is weak, to heal your fears and pains together. Bonded as you are, you’ll be stronger than any that could stand against you once you are both healed.”
“I hope you’re right.” I turn and stare out the window, watching him, feeling him. Whatever he’s reading has his emotions spinning. I want to go to him.
“He does loves you. You know that, right?”
I shrug. “I think so. That doesn’t mean he knows what to do with it.” I glance back over my shoulder at her. “He loved Godric and Pamela long before me, his human family too, he’s always been capable of it. But he’s afraid of it–of his own for me and mine for him. He has no faith or trust.”
“Would you if you were him?”
Erik picks that moment to turn around and look at me, his eyes full of something I can’t decipher. He’s muted the bonds again, hiding from me.
I turn around and face her. “No, I probably wouldn’t.”
“Some are thrown into disaster. They either survive or they don’t. You two are survivors. You’ve been left scarred by your battles but you’re still here, and willing to keep fighting. Others are their own disasters. Niall is exactly that, I think. Before it’s all said and done his greed and cruelty will bring about his end.”
“Erik and I will be his end,” I say with enough venom to shock even myself.
She nods her head respectfully. “Of that I have no doubt.”
Erik joins us then, carrying in the four huge bags Dr. Ludwig brought as if they’re no more than feathers. He places them down gently, then rises to his full height, his worried eyes darting from me, to her, and back again. “Are you ladies having a nice visit?”
“We were,” Ludwig says to him, as cheerfully as her gruff voice will allow her. “But I must be on my way.” She nods to me again, this time with her smile-like grimace. “It was nice to see you again, young lady. I’m pleased you are doing so well. I hope to see you both again soon,” she tells us, looking back at Erik. He nods at her. She turns back to me, leaning my way just the slightest. “Take care of your vampire,” she whispers with a wink, then she’s gone with a loud, pop.
Erik is still scraping his eyes from the back of his skull before the air finishes crackling.
“She’s quite odd,” I say to the room, turning and heading towards the kitchen.
His amusement trickles through the bonds and I can’t help but smile, but I’m careful not to let him see it. I get busy making some coffee. I expect it’s going to be a long night. Behind me, he begins zipping around the house. Sounds like he’s unpacking the bags from what noises I catch. I straighten up the already pristine kitchen until I feel him behind me.
When I turn around he’s holding a letter out towards me. “It’s from Godric.”
I gently slide it from between his fingers, looking at the two held carefully in his other hand. “He wrote you as well?”
“Yes, and Pamela.”
“They’re both alright?”
He nods again, and even with the bonds muted I can feel his emotions pitching and swirling like the angry ocean outside.
I lay my letter on the counter and go to him, wrapping him in my arms. “I’m so glad to hear that,” I whisper, rubbing his back. He stays tense and strained under my hands. I pull back and look up at him. “Are you alright?”
The muscles in his jaw twitch, his eyes shining bright with turmoil as he shakes his head so slightly I almost don’t catch it. I take his hand in mine and pull him towards the stairs. He doesn’t let me. His eyes are narrowed when I look back at him.
“Please? I promise no sex. I just want to lay down with you.”
We stand there for several long seconds while he struggles with himself, then he squeezes my hand. “I need to go… Only for an hour or two. I need…”
I let go of his hand and give him what I hope is an understanding smile. I don’t want him to leave. I want him to stay and let me help him, but it’s obvious that’s not going to happen. “It’s okay. Go. Just be careful.”
“You’ll stay here?”
“I promise. I’ll be right here when you get back.”
He steps closer, wrapping his hands around my arms, pulling me in. Placing a kiss on my forehead, he lets his lips linger for a moment, then he’s gone in a gush of air.
I don’t know how many more times my heart can break for him and still survive. I want to pull his from his chest and all his pain with it. To take it all within myself, his heart to protect and his pain to endure. To let them fill my every crook and crevice and use them to stoke the fire burning inside me. I want that fire to all but consume me. Only then will it be the right time to unleash it. And unleash I will.
That bastard will pay for what he’s done to us.
Knowing he might feel my anger and misinterpret it, I shove it down then pour myself a cup of coffee, taking it and Godric’s letter to the sofa. I may as well get comfortable, I doubt Erik will be back anytime soon.
I finger the blood red wax that seals the envelope, reluctant to break it, but there’s nothing for it. I carefully peal it open then slip out the crisp paper, unfolding it. I feels and looks as old as Godric. His handwriting is as beautiful as Erik’s too. I wonder if they learned together.
Taking one more sip of coffee, I begin to read.
I wish I was having this conversation with you in person, but as things are, this is safer for us all.
I must apologize for that. All of this, your life, Erik’s, is my fault. I wanted to save him from a horrible existence, but only succeeded in giving him one of a different kind. And in turn you. I have been attempting to right my wrongs ever since. Most to no avail. But this I believe I can mend.
Love him, Sookie. With everything you are. I know your young heart has suffered and is battered and bruised, but I saw its warmth when I was with you. Felt its need to heal and be healed. You are strong, perhaps even stronger than him. He needs you and your love. I left him floundering without an anchor. He doesn’t know how to exist without one, without a purpose.
When I found him bleeding out that night so long ago I was conflicted by his willingness to die for those he loved. I thought it foolish, yet I wished for someone to be as devoted to me. My choice was selfish. He would’ve died bravely, gone to be with his gods in Valhalla, known his loved ones were at peace. I took him from that and threw him into hell. And now, once again, I am torn. He has taught me more than any other being. My heart bleeds for the suffering he has endured, yet I cannot imagine wanting an existence without him.
So love him, despite his anger and pain. Let him see that you can be the anchor that can be his home and not a weight around his neck. Don’t let his need for vengeance, or yours, distract you from your hearts. Don’t let it become your purpose. And throw off the guilt I know you carry, so that he can do the same. Neither of you are responsible for the pain you’ve endured. That all belongs to Niall and myself.
Your little heart knew what needed doing that fateful night, it chose him for a reason. And his choose to save you. Let them be your guides. Justice will find its own way in the end.
You’re safe for now and I will continue to do everything in my power to make sure it stays that way. So please, take this time to heal each other. Love him until he has no choice but to give into his heart. He has never believed it, but it is the best of him and it is far from the cold, dead thing he thinks it to be. It will take time and much patience from you, but I know he can be brought to love you in return. Once he does, nothing and no one will ever come between you again.
Be well and watch over him. I will see you as soon as it is safe.
All my love,
My eyes open enough to notice the fire has died when Erik wakes me, picking me up from the sofa and carrying me downstairs. I stay quiet until he settles us on the bed.
“Feel better?” I whisper.
His answer is his lips on mine, his hands sliding into my hair.