Title: Gaze No More in the Bitter Glass
Author: Terri Botta
Support Stacie Auction Winner: KristinCP
Ficlet Challenge: Write "Reflections of What Might Have Been" from Eric's POV
Rating: M for Mature
A/N: By request. Reflections from Eric's POV.
Gaze No More in the Bitter Glass
It is the dripping of the water in the basin that begins the first flash. A kitchen floor. His fear permeating everything...
The evening has been so surreal and beyond belief that he almost feels out of body, like he's drank from a woman who was high on LSD. The trip hadn't lasted long, but what he'd seen…
He shakes his head and tries to focus. When Niall called him he almost refused, but he knew the fairy Prince would just find another way to get to Sookie, and he would rather be there than not, so he agreed. He hated the cautious, wary look on Sookie's face when they saw each other again because all he'd wanted to do in that moment was hold her or lay himself at her feet.
She had saved him. She had saved Pam. The hotel was blowing up all around her, but yet she had run to his room and saved him. He has only dim memories of that horrible day, but he does remember Her. Her screams, her terror, her refusal to leave him or Pam. Only her fear could have woken him that day, only her voice and her strength could have kept him moving. Poor Pam was burning in the sun after she'd fallen out of her coffin, but he'd had the wherewithal to get himself and Sookie safely down without plummeting to the concrete. Her hammering heart was a drumbeat in his ears, pounding in his head and keeping him conscious for those precious few moments.
He remembers nothing after they landed, and she leaped from his arms to save his Child. His next memory is of when he woke, burned and in agony, in a safe house with the rest of the wounded around him. Pam – her foot burnt to the bone. Bill – his face nearly seared off. Sophie-Anne – her legs gone. And they were the lucky ones. Andre and Sigebert had still been missing at that point. Sigebert had made his way out of the rubble after dark, but Andre was nowhere to be found. He was presumed dead, and even then he couldn't find it in him to be anything but relieved.
'What horrible nightmare is this,' he'd wondered, but Cataliades was there with them, and he had told them everything that had happened. He had told them about what Sookie had done. Sookie. His bonded. His brave and wonderful and strong and irritatingly independent Bonded.
'I could love you.'
The thought came out of nowhere, but it brought him back to the present. He was in Sookie's kitchen after she had invited him in because he'd been shot and he'd asked for surcease. He'd half expected her to send him packing, and he'd been surprised when she'd agreed. Not that he was stupid enough to refuse her invitation, but it hadn't been what he'd been anticipating.
He's been quiet and thoughtful with her all night. Seeing her again after the bombing in Rhodes is especially difficult because there is so much he wants to say to her, and so much he can't say to her, and so much he wishes she would say to him. But it isn't the night for that, and now he wonders if that moment has come just as he's resigned himself to another night of half-truths and disappointment.
The water sloshes in the basin, and he feels the onset of a headache, which is odd because vampires don't get headaches often. He tries to distract himself by looking around the newly repaired kitchen. He'd wanted her to ask him to pay for it, but he supposes that in a way he did because he knows she used the money he'd paid her for keeping him to hire the contractors and purchase the appliances.
He needs to figure out a way to replace what she spent from her savings, but he knows he will have to be very clever to do that, and he is all out of clever tonight.
She'd asked him what he'd thought of her new kitchen, and he'd answered honestly. It was nice enough, but it smelled wrong. Sookie's kitchen should smell like home and comfort.
He didn't realize that he'd felt that way until the familiar scents were replaced by the smell of new drywall and linoleum. Now it strikes him as a loss.
'At least the table survived,' he muses, smiling softly at the wooden surface. There is something in the patina of the grain…
'You are smart and you are loyal. You have a sense of fun and adventure. You are brave....'
He creases his brow. They are his words, his voice, but he has no memory of saying them.
'You have the most beautiful breasts I've ever seen.'
Now that is something he would have said, but when? He suddenly realizes that he is beginning to remember his missing memories, that the headache is the dam sealing them back beginning to break. He is desperate to remember. He wants to hammer at the barrier and widen the cracks, but he knows he can't.
Memory loss is common in the young ones. They, too, struggle to remember their pasts. What has he always told them?
'Relax and let them come. Don't try to force them out. You will remember everything in time.'
Perhaps he needs to take his own advice.
The witch has gone out, taking the stench of her fear with her, and he and Sookie are alone. She asked him to sit and wanted his bloody shirt, and he has given her these things willingly. He wants her blood, lusts for it actually because she still smells incredible, the scent of fairy still clinging to her skin and hair. He wants to bury himself in her and cover the scent with his own, but his bonded is nervous and unsure, and he knows he must be patient. Everything with Sookie must appear like it is her idea or she will balk, but that is fine because he knows how to be patient. Very patient.
She turns around and brings the basin of steaming water over to the table. He has sat down as she requested, and he is now facing her, his feet firmly planted on the linoleum. She places the basin down on the table, but that is wrong. The basin should be on the floor, and his feet should be bare – bleeding even.
He creases his brow, forcing himself to relax as Sookie immerses a cloth in the hot water and uses it to clean his bloody skin. Even though she is washing his neck and chest instead of his feet, the feeling is still familiar, and he finds that he cannot stop watching her. He focuses on the individual drops of water dripping from the rag, on the wisps of steam curling from the basin, on the soft, shallow breathing coming from his bonded's lips.
She is remembering too. He can feel it. Confusion. Uncertainly. Lust (he likes lust). Sadness (he's not too fond of sadness because it is the sadness associated with loss.) He realizes that she misses him, or rather she misses what they were to each other when he was cursed. He knows from the snippets he has been able to gather from her and others, that they were… quite close.
Sookie, being the intensely private and willful woman that she is, has not told him half of what he has been able to discern from what she hasn't said, and he still gets the impression that she is protecting him from something, but he can't imagine what it could be because the situation with the Pelts is out in the open.
She is finished washing him, and she takes the basin away, going back to the big sink to dump out the bloody water. He wants to whine at the loss of her nearness, but he stops himself at the last moment, and he watches her as she picks up his bloody shirt and submerges it in the freshly filled basin. Her feelings are chaotic, but leaning towards resignation, and he feels more desire coming across the bond.
He is silent when she turns to him, her eyes full of questions, and he tries to comfort her with a look as she approaches him. He stands, his eyes holding her gaze, and waits for her to make the next move. She is going to feed him, of that he is sure, but he wants more than her blood, but for that he will need to be still and allow her to come to him. She stops right in front of him, her neck craned up because he is so much taller than she, and they stare at each other for long moments.
He waits. What happens next must be her idea.
"Eric…" she says and offers her hand.
He takes it and urges her forward, just enough for him to bend down to touch his lips to hers. His kisses her very gently, nothing like the savage, bloody kiss he gave her on the roadside after he'd finished disposing of the would be Were assassin. He keeps it tender and soft, his mind probing the bond for clues as to how she wants him to proceed, before he breaks the kiss and looks at her again.
She is still uncertain so he ups the ante a little by caressing her arm and lowering his mouth to her neck. She sighs and shivers, but the little tremor tells him that she does not want him to bite her just yet. He takes his time and gives her a chaste kiss right on the pulse point. It is a promise to himself that he will have her hot blood very soon, but that his lust must be patient.
It won't be long though. She might not notice it yet, but her nipples have peaked, and the aroma of her growing arousal is permeating her scent. Combine that with the smell of fairy still on her, and he just wants to grab her and take her on the table…
Flash to Sookie arched on the wooden surface, her head thrown back, his hands gripping her thighs to hold her steady…
He chokes back a growl and distracts himself by kissing her again slowly so he keeps himself under control. She begins to relax and return his kiss, and he slides one hand behind her to urge her a little closer. She steps forward of her own accord and his heart just soars, but he lets her set the pace as he deepens the kiss. It's funny how the taste of her chases the last of his headache away.
They both sigh at the same time and her desire flares, kicking his own into high gear, but she hasn't given him permission yet, and he isn't so far gone that he has forgotten that this is all about her. It's getting close though, so she'd better make up her mind quick before he makes it for her.
He slides his lips alongside her neck again, panting and practically vibrating with need. He wants her. He wants her so badly, but every rational thought he has is screaming for him to hold back. He scrapes his fang across the soft spot behind her ear, and she gasps but does not pull away. He grunts and opens his mouth further, preparing to lick and suck on the sensitive flesh of her throat, but then he feels her little hand pressing flat against his naked chest. He freezes immediately and waits. She looks him tentatively in the eye and he meets her questioning gaze.
'Please, my lover. Please. I know you cannot hear my thoughts, but please read my need through our bond. Please, my darling. Please…'
He sees her gulp and struggle to clear her throat before she rasps, "Not where anyone can see."
Mentally he is doing a Warrior's Victory Dance, but outwardly he chooses to be obtuse, just to draw her out and move things along, so he dips his head towards the inside of her arm.
"Not there either," she says in a harsh whisper.
He stops and looks at her blandly, waiting, and it is all he can do to stay still when she licks her lips, her pink tongue flicking out enticingly.
Flash of memory of that tongue licking along his cool skin, blazing wet heat across his chest and other… more sensitive places.
'Oh, sweet Freya, have pity on me and make her give in.'
"Let's… let's go somewhere more private," she suggests softly.
'Oh thank you, Freya. Thank you Gods of the Aesir. Thank you. Thank you.'
He finds it in himself to smile gently, to keep the smirk off his face because he can feel that she is still uncertain. His undead heart skips a beat when she smiles back at him and slips her hand into his to guide him to her bedroom.
The memories come back even faster the moment he crosses the threshold into her inner sanctum. It smells the same, and he sees himself huddled under the covers with her, holding her hand because she is the only thing he has to cling to.
'Woman? What's your name?'
Oh! In his cursed state, he hadn't even remembered her name!
'Sookie. Sookie Stackhouse.'
The name of his personal savior. He'd held onto that hand for hours, just listening to her sleeping beside him. So trusting, so innocent. He'd loved her then, wanted her then. His Sookie. His and his alone.
She closes the door and turns to him, stepping into his personal space and craning her head up towards him. He runs his hands up her arms, stroking her soft skin, reaching up to rub her shoulders lightly. He remembers rubbing her shoulders before, only they were in a shower together, naked, and his hands were covered with soap.
'I'll do that for you.'
'Have we ever made love?'
'Then I was a fool. Turn around, lover.'
The memory comes back so sharply he can feel the humid air on his skin and smell the perfume of her shampoo. He kisses her lightly, caressing her with each measured gesture, telegraphing his need and desire in the brush of his fingertips. Her arousal deepens, and he bravely slips his hands under the hem of her blue shirt.
He hesitates for a moment, but she still seems willing, so he lifts the bit of clothing over her head and lets it fall to the floor. Then he reaches behind her to finger the clasp on her bra. He hears her draw a deep breath, watches her chest heave and her nipples grow hard in anticipation. Her nipples aren't the only thing that is very hard now.
'Please let me do this right…'
His apprehension is alien to him, but Sookie is so much more than a mindless fuck. She is his bonded, even if she does not realize what that means, and he wants her to enjoy him so much that she will never kick him to the curb again.
'You broke your word to me, lover,' he wants to say. 'You promised me that you'd still see me after all of it was over, but when I didn't remember what had happened while I was cursed, you did your best to forget it yourself. Have you so little faith in me that you did not think you could trust me with the truth?'
He undoes her bra and frees her breasts, wishing he could breathe because then he'd have a reason to gasp at how perfect they are. Most beautiful set of breasts he's ever seen, indeed. He stares at her, taking in her magnificence. He's seen her before, but now his memories are overlaying each other and he is overwhelmed for a moment. He appreciates the view, then lowers his mouth to taste one pert nipple.
"Ah…" she moans as she arches her back, pressing the nipple further against his lips. His crotch throbs. He doesn't know how much more of this he can take, but luckily it feels like she's finally making a decision.
He kisses her as he reaches for the clasp of her pants, and he is rewarded by her fingers scrabbling at the button of his trousers. He grunts and chokes back a moan as she pulls his fly open and shoves his pants down his hips. The fact that he isn't wearing any underwear seems to drive her wild because she wriggles in his arms and tugs him towards the bed.
His control snaps and he gives her a push, shoving her onto the mattress as he hooks his fingers into her panties and pulls them off. Her thighs quiver as he strokes her flesh, and she grabs at his shoulders, trying to get him to cover her, but he has other ideas. He flashes her a grin, then begins kissing his way down her body. She is tense with anticipation, her hands grabbing at the sheets, and he can hear her panting as he laves her nipples, her navel, the sensitive place at very top of her pubic hair…
He flicks his eyes up and sees her watching him, her mouth open, her neck taut, her whole body straining, waiting for what they both know comes next. The fact that she remembers how much he likes it when she watches what he is doing to her is an incredible turn-on, and he shudders as the vision of her spread out before him while they are both still wet from the shower comes blazing into his mind.
He'd tried to take her, but he'd been too big. She needed preparation before she could accommodate all of his generous size.
'Maybe I should have said it's a gracious plenty?'
'A gracious plenty. I like that.'
Oh yes. Oh yes, he did.
He'd pulled out then told her to watch him as he made her way down her body. He repeats what he did then now as he takes two of his long fingers and slides them into her. She jerks and closes her eyes briefly before forcing them open again. He can hear the moan slipping from her lips as he gently moves his fingers inside her, stretching her carefully, probing deep.
"Ohhhhhhh…." she sighs.
He smiles again, but she's rolled up her eyes and doesn't see. He pauses and waits for her to look at him again before proceeding.
'Watch me,' he'd instructed.
Her eyes find his again, and he lowers his mouth to her core. He uses his thumbs to spread her folds and expose the tiny bundle of nerves to his tongue, and she jerks and writhes as he teases it with just the tip. He licks her in earnest then, altering the speed and angle of his swipes as he resumes finger-fucking her. Her taste is incredible and he is desperate to bite her, but he holds back, waiting until she gives him what he wants.
She's almost ready, and when he has her on the edge, he turns his head and sinks his fangs into the throbbing artery right there next to his face. She screams and climaxes, and it drowns out his groan of relief as her hot blood floods his mouth and he is in raptures. He sucks on the wounds while she continues to convulse, her head thrown back and her fingers tearing into the bedclothes.
She is magnificent in her pleasure.
He can't wait anymore, and, frankly neither can she, so he removes his fingers and fangs, lifts up, and mounts her in one thrust. He's careful, judging her reaction to make sure he's not hurting her, but all she does is lift her thighs and invite him in.
She cries out and grips his shoulders as he slides in to the hilt. She took all of him right away and that is impressive.
'Oh, my lover. If you think you're going to get away from me now…'
He smirks to himself, but he has a job to do. He has to make sure he does her so well that she will never, ever want another lover for as long as she lives. He bucks his hips and strokes her G-spot, and she's so aroused from her first climax that she orgasms again. He wants to join her, but she came too fast, and he wasn't quite ready. But that's okay because he knows she has another orgasm in her, and he sets his sights on drawing it out.
He rides her, making good on his promise to bite her and fuck her and rub himself all over her. He growls and groans deep in his throat, his fangs and cock aching, as he pumps her hard and bends his back so he can suckle her breasts without missing a beat.
She moans and spreads her legs, her hands gripping his ass and urging him deeper, deeper, deeper. He wants to bury his whole body inside her pulsing heat and stay there for eternity.
"Eric…" she gasps and looks at him.
Their eyes lock, and every last memory that had been hidden away from him comes back. Everything, Every moment. Every word. Every feeling.
'Gods of the Aesir…'
He loses his pace for a second as he is overwhelmed, but he regroups and renews his efforts to make her come screaming his name.
'Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.'
Her eyes get wider and wider as he hits her sweet spot, and she stops kneading his ass to grab his forearms and hold on for dear life. She tenses up, and he can feel her getting ready which is perfect because he is ready now too.
'Just one more thrust…'
He hits her G-Spot and she comes; a scream rips its way out of her lips and he answers her with a roar of triumph as he spills inside her. He feels himself hanging onto his wits for a moment before he comes crashing down and collapses on top of her. He has a small thought to wonder if he hurt her with his weight, but she is trembling and gasping as they ride out the aftershocks.
When he can feel his body again, he pulls out and gathers her up, tucking her next to him as he strokes her hair. She shivers so he covers her with the blankets, cooing and murmuring in Old Norse because he has temporarily forgotten English. It doesn't matter. He can tell that she knows what he's saying.
'You are so beautiful. You are perfect. Thank you. Thank you.'
He holds tenderly and she cuddles close, hiding her face in his chest, but he can feel her sudden sense of loss and smell the salt of her tears. She is crying and trying to stifle it, but he thinks he knows why. Now that he remembers everything, he remembers the love, the closeness and bond of affection and companionship they had shared. He croons and pulls her closer, trying to decide what is the best way to proceed.
'She misses the me who was her partner and she grieves me as one who is lost to her. Oh, my dearest. Yes, you lost me, but I am back now. And I will never, ever forget again.'
He kisses her temple and lets out a deep, contented sigh as she sniffles and curls her fingers into his chest hair. It is such a sweet, endearing gesture.
"Sookie…" he whispers softly, letting his awe and wonder fill his voice.
She tenses and looks up at him like a scared rabbit. He smiles and sends reassurance across their bond – a bond that is going to grow and get stronger and tighter very soon if he has anything to say about it.
'You are mine.' "Sookie… I remember everything."
She processes that, and he sees her realize what he meant, and her whole body shivers under his intense, loving gaze.
Oh Hell, indeed, but now that he remembers, he's going to make her life Heaven, even if he has to be a devil to do it.