Just as I did last night, I pop to my chambers and straight on my bed. I am crying again, but at least I am not a sobbing mess this time. As I lay there, tears silently falling, I go over everything that happened tonight in my mind.
Our talk with Claude and Claudine that I slept through most of. Eric waking me in such a delicious way. Good heavens the things that man can do with his tongue! I squirm remembering them so very well. Thinking of when I gave him the same treatment he gave me makes me smile proudly. He was putty in my hands, or mouth I should say. Healing him with my light brought us both insane amounts of pleasure, but his gratefulness afterward was heart-breaking. Our love-making that followed was so sweet and pure but extremely intense too. And lastly our second blood exchange was even more incredible than the first. I could literally feel Eric stitching himself to my soul with each draw of his blood I took. Between our fae bond and the blood bond I do not believe anyone will be tearing us apart. I can only imagine what the final exchange will feel like. I doubt there will be adequate words to describe it.
Having to say goodbye to him after all of that was dreadful. I once again felt like my heart was being ripped from my chest. I tried to hold back my tears, I know how much he hates them, but I could not hold all of them back. He wiped away the few I let fall and kissed me sweetly before letting me go. I could see and feel that he hated it as much as I did.
I have been crying through all of this so I lay there a few more minutes trying to calm down, before deciding a hot bath is just what I need. I gather up a clean dress and walk down the hall to the wonderful bathing chamber we have in the palace. It is only for the family, so it is always nice and private. I knock to make sure no one is using it and then enter when no one answers. I lock the door behind me and walk to the changing area. There are two soft fluffy chaise lounges, a vanity, and a changing screen. I lay my dress out neatly over one of the chaises and slip out of my clothes. The stone floor is cold on my feet, causing goosebumps to rise on my skin. I quickly walk across the cold floor on my tiptoes to the huge bathtub and slide into the hot water. The tub is really a small circular pool built into the floor. In the room below this one the servants keep a fire burning underneath the tub around the clock so that the water stays hot. Steam is always rising from the water’s surface helping the room stay rather warm too.
I lay back against the side of the tub, closing my eyes, and try to relax. It is very hard to do though when all I can do is imagine Eric going back to that monster and what he will do to him this time. Not to mention the talk I must have with Grandfather.
I do not want to even think about what my love may go through once he arrives back at the nest. The tears start to flow again just thinking about it. I feel horrible for wanting to completely block it from my mind, but it hurts so much. It terrifies me to no end that Appius may kill him. I want to scream out in frustration because I feel so incredibly helpless!
I sink below the surface and cocoon myself in the quiet. All I hear is the beating of my heart and I know now that it beats for only one reason. Eric. He is my life now, my heart, my everything, and I will save him no matter what it takes.
I shoot to the surface, determination filling me. We are going to end this and the sooner I can get to Grandfather the sooner we can. I hurry and wash my body, then dry off quickly. I get as much water out of my hair as possible before brushing it and then shaking out my curls. I slip on my dress and run out to find my cousins.
Less than thirty minutes later the three of us are outside Grandfather’s door. He is alone so hopefully this is a good time. I raise my hand to knock on his door, but right before I do I hear his voice from inside.
“You may enter.”
Of course he knew we were out here, the man misses nothing. I would not be surprised if he knew exactly why we were here either. I look at my cousins, who each give me a small smile, take a deep breath and open the door.
“Hello my children. To what do I owe this visit?” he asks, smiling kindly.
I falter for just a moment but promptly pull myself together.
“There is something very important I must speak to you about, Grandfather,” I say, my voice holding surprising strength.
“Your cousins must be here for this?” he asks, raising his eyebrows.
“They know all of what I need to speak to you about. They agree that you should know too,” I tell him.
“Very well. Have a seat,” he says gesturing to the chairs in front of his desk.
I motion for Claudine and Claude to take the seats, there is no way I will be able to sit still through this.
“Thank you, Grandfather, but I believe I will be more comfortable standing.”
“Alright, but Sookie dear, you seem troubled. What has you upset my child?”
I look to Claude begging him to give me strength, amazingly he reaches for my hand holding it tightly. He looks up at me smiling and I hear him speak to me in my mind.
“You can do this Sookie, do not forget how strong you are?”
I squeeze his hand in a silent thank you. I believe he may love me after all. I take one more deep breath and look to my Grandfather who is sitting back in his chair patiently waiting for me to begin.
“I am not sure where to start, but I suppose the beginning is best. Just over a week ago, the night you sent Claude to find me, I met someone in the human realm,” I say quietly, my nerves getting the better of me. Grandfather’s eyebrows slowly raise and he twirls his finger in the air telling me to continue.
“Before I tell you who he is, I need you to know some things,” I say, but it is more of a request to continue. He nods his acceptance.
“First off, I love him,” I breath out hastily.
That certainly gets his attention. He leans forward bracing his elbows on the desk, his fingers steepled.
“I loved him from the first moment I saw him, Grandfather and there was nothing I could do to stop it. It was as if everything in our universe and his was pushing us together,” I declare passionately. I have walked to his desk, leaning against it, hoping to make him see the intensity of my feelings. He is just looking at me, his appearance outwardly calm and serene. His mind is a complete blank to me, he has made sure to block me out. I can not even get a sense of his feelings. I lose a bit of my nerve, turning away from him to pace the room as I continue.
“I was shocked at first, but it just felt so right that I could not deny it. I gave myself to him that very first night and I did not know it at the time, it was seemingly out of my control, but Claude and Claudine say I chose him as my mate and my light accepted him,” I say, my voice barely above a whisper. I can not look at him right now, so I stare into the fire instead. Except for the crackling it is making the room is deadly silent. I jump slightly when his voice suddenly fills the room.
“Am I to understand you now are bonded eternally to this man?” he asks, his voice full of authority. I turn to look at him again.
“Yes sir, but I did not know that was what I was doing! No one here ever told me of a fae bond! I did not even know what one was! How could I choose to do something that I did not know even existed? I did not
mentally make that choice. My light made it for me!” I cry. I let out a shuddering breath and walk back to his desk. My emotions are getting the better of me.
“I am not sorry it happened though, Grandfather. I truly love him, with everything I am, and he feels the same.” I stop to take in a deep breath. I am not feeling well all of a sudden. I am getting more anxious than I was before and I feel sick to my stomach. I suppose it is just my nerves. I do my best to push it aside, Grandfather needs to hear the rest.
“I believe I was always meant to find him and him me. He and I both believe we are fated. Claude and Claudine agree,” I say, the strength in my voice returning a bit.
He looks to each of them in turn, “You both believe this?” he asks.
Claude speaks up immediately, “I do. I have seen them together twice now and it could not be more obvious. Their love for each other is unmistakable,” he tells him emphatically. Grandfather is plainly surprised at Claude’s support of me. He turns to Claudine to see if she agrees.
“I was very troubled when Sookie first told me about him, but I too have seen them together and I can no more deny it than I can the nose on my face. Her light is absolutely radiant when she is with him, glowing brighter than I have ever seen anyone’s shine, and as much as I hate to admit it, he loves her passionately. You can feel the love and adoration rolling off of him in waves. He vowed to both of us that he would love her always and protect her with his life. I do not understand it, but I sincerely believe they were meant to be,” she tells him softly.
My heart swells hearing her approval of us. I give her a tight hug, whispering a “thank you” in her ear before I straighten back up to face Grandfather again.
“I think it is time you tell me who your bonded is child.” He said it softly, but I know he will demand an answer if I do not willing reveal Eric’s identity soon.
That lovely wave of peace, I get when Eric is involved, washes over me and I am no longer afraid to tell Grandfather the truth. I look him dead in the eye, no pun intended, and tell him of my love.
“His name is Eric Northman, he was born a viking and was turned around four hundred years ago. He also has fae blood running through his veins,” I say boldly, not fearing his reaction.
“He is vampire,” he sighs out heavily, as if struggling under a great weight, his voice for once sounding its age. I do not think he even heard me speak of Eric’s fae blood.
“Claude, Claudine, you both need to leave. Your cousin and I have much to discuss,” he tells them wearily.
“But Grandfather, please. We would like to be here for Sookie and for you. To assure you he is a good man. To help put your mind at ease,” Claudine pleads with him.
“And there is more that she needs to tell you. Something even more astounding than a faerie and a vampire bonding,” Claude adds.
He gives them both an understanding look before raising his eyes to mine, his expression changing to one of strain. He stands and lets out another deep sigh. “I knew this day was coming, I have known since shortly after I took you in, my child,” he says quietly before walking to look out the huge window that takes up the outer wall of his office.
“What?” I whisper breathlessly, my heart racing. “Do you mean you knew I would find someone to love one day, or do you mean you knew about Eric?”
“I did not know his name until just a few moments ago. I also did not know he would be a vampire. Only that you would find a very unusual mate before your one hundred and thirtieth summer and that you would bond to him within hours of meeting him,” he sighs again.
“But…….how? I do not understand. Who told you and how could you know this and not tell me?” I ask, my mind in complete confusion. I glance at my cousins and they both look as shocked as I feel. Claude gets up and guides me to his seat. Between the stress of telling Grandfather and me not feeling well, I am sure I look bad to him.
Grandfather has yet to face me since rising from his chair. Still staring out the window he continues, “I was told I could not say a word to you about him or it would upset the future. Possibly keeping you from finding each other. My instructions were to stay quiet until you came to me and then I was ordered to accept your bond and help you anyway I could, even if I thought it was preposterous. I was promised that old debts would be settled and peace would come to my family if I complied. If I chose not to stay quiet or not to help when the time came, I would lose you as I did your Mother and her Father before her. You would die at the hands of a vampire,” he says, finally looking at me, his eyes full of sadness. “Now I learn I have already lost you to a vampire,” he laments.
“You have not lost me, I am still here and I still love my family. I always will,” I reassure him.
“Sookie you must tell him the rest,” Claude encourages me.
I get back up and walk over to Grandfather, bracing myself against a table when another wave of nausea hits me. I wish it would go away, it is making me angry. I do not need this right now.
“Claude is right, there is more to tell you. You must realize that Eric has some fae blood since we were able to bond, right?” I ask. He nods stiffly, so I continue.
“He swears he was completely human before he was made vampire, so we assume his maker passed the blood to him when he was turned. But Eric has two makers, so we are not sure where the fae comes from. Eric’s true maker was given the true death a hundred years ago by another vampire. That vampire drained Eric and filled him with his blood, remaking him,” I explain hastily.
I turn away from the three of them for a moment, taking a few deep breaths to try to calm myself. It does not work. My anger gets the best of me as I shout, “He has been torturing Eric ever since!” My outburst shocks all of us, but it does not slow me down.
“Grandfather, it is Appius! Appius has Eric! He is still walking the human realm and he is tormenting the man I love!” I yell, tears rolling down my cheeks.
His eyes narrow to slits and his brow wrinkles, “It can not be,” he breathes. “Are you certain?” he asks, gripping my arms.
“I am positive! Appius Livius Ocella is Eric’s new maker and I want to kill him all the more now! First he took my family and now he is torturing my bonded! It is time for him to meet the true death! But we need your help. Please Grandfather, help me finally end him!” I beg, tears streaming down my face.
Grandfather gathers me in his arms, gently holding me. “Shhhh, my child. We will take care of this. I need to meet your vampire though, Sookie. I need to see and hear all of this from him. I must be certain he is the one I was told about. Do you understand?” he asks, pulling me back to look at him.
“Yes. Eric wants to meet you too. He understands you may have doubts and he wants to ease your worry. I know you will accept us once you see us together though,” I whisper, feeling a bit better.
“When do you plan to see him again?” he asks.
“Tomorrow night or the next. It will probably take that long before Appius lets him leave the nest again,” I say quietly. I rest my head back on Grandfather’s chest. I feel so strange. It is as if I am dreaming yet half awake at the same time. The dream seems pleasant, but I know it is only keeping the nightmare away for a fleeting moment. What is going on with me?
Next thing I know I am screaming in pain and anger, falling to my knees. My heart feels like it is being crushed and my mind is overwhelmed with rage. I am ready to kill whoever is doing this to me. I want to rip them to shreds. My family tries to help me but I knock their hands away viciously, growling at them to leave me alone. When I hear one of them say “bond” however I am able to break through the rage for a moment and think clearly.
“Eric,” I gasp.
I do not understand how, but it must be him I have been feeling over the last hour. Our blood tie is squelched when I am in Faerie so it has to be our fae bond screaming his pain and anger at me. His rage is crushing me. I have never felt anything like it. I can hardly breathe I am so overcome by it. He is in pain too, so much pain. It does not feel physical though, this is mental and emotional pain I am experiencing. Tears are flooding down the sides of my face as I roll around on the floor. I have to help him. I must get up and go to him. He needs me. Fuck my promise to stay away. I can not and will not leave him to this suffering.
“Please,” I beg, trying to get to my hands and knees. “I have to…….help him,” I sob.
Grandfather helps me to sit back onto my knees,”We will help him child, I promise, but let me help you first,” he says, placing a glowing hand over my heart. I instantly feel the weight of Eric’s torment lifting. When most if it is gone I push Grandfather’s hand away.
“Enough. I need to know he is still with me,” I pant, slowly getting my air back. “Thank you though. I might actually be able to help him now.”
“You are welcome,” he says quietly.
I push to my feet, “I am going to him. I will be able to track him through our blood tie when I get there,” I tell him.
“I will come with you. You can not fight Appius alone,” Claude says.
“We will all go with you,” Grandfather says, waving his hand to conjure better fighting clothes for all of us. Swords and bows included.
“Thank you,” I manage to smile at them through my tears.
“We will pop to the forest first and then go from there,” I tell Claude and Claudine as I slip my hand into Grandfather’s so I can take him with me. They both nod, accepting my plan.
Seconds later we are standing in the forest and there is my love leaning against the rocks, covered in blood. Our blood tie and bond explode back to life, bringing me to my knees again as his staggering emotions wash over me.