A/N-This story is completely unrelated to any of the other stories that I have written. It follows D&G and contains spoilers, so stop reading now if you don't want to know! This is a One-Shot, just something that came to me on a whim...again, unrelated to anything that I have previously written, or may write in the future.

Also, none of my characters. All of these belong to CH.

All of my life I simply wanted quiet. You have no idea how priceless the sound of nothing can be to someone like me. Every place I go is filled with voices, sounds, thoughts. I can't escape it, I can't hide from it, I can't run away from it. The noise follows me wherever I go. I would give anything to permanently remove the noise from my life.

Try to picture this, you're sitting in a room watching TV, or listening to the radio. Now, cover your ears with your hands, really cover them up. You can sort of drown the sound out, but it's still there. That's my life. I can kind of make the noise go away, but it is still there. It is always there, always.

When I first met Bill I was completely drawn to his silence. The fact that when I was with him and there was no sound, no noise was hypnotic. I could be still, be relaxed, be normal. If I had known that I couldn't hear a vampires thoughts as soon as they came out of the coffin, I probably would have been seeking them out. I very possibly could have been one of those fang banger types hanging out at the vamp clubs, hoping to get some alone time with a vampire. Only instead of looking for a goof time, hoping to be bit, I'd be looking for the silence of their brains. Romantic, right?

I think the quiet is what really drew me in to this world. The quiet that was their minds was so arousing, so beautiful, it called to me. It begged me to follow it into the dark places it traveled. I willingly went, not realizing how far gone I really was.

I had no idea that I was in too deep. What had originally attracted me, made me desperate to act, was now having the opposite reaction. The quite that called to me was now being replaced with screams, explosions, gun fire. I was now always in the center of some supernatural action. That now seemed to be the shadow following at me heels. Every corner I turned, every new face I came across was the same. If there wasn't noise, there was danger.

So that brings me to today. I am surrounded by the one thing that I have coveted my entire life. The one thing that I have envied for so long, but could never have. My head is completely silent. The only thing that I can hear is his words, they echo in my mind, taunting me, teasing me, torturing me.

"You're killing me." I can hear his voice, I can hear the pain in the words, I can feel the sting. "You're killing me." All I wanted now was some type of noise to fill the quiet. The quiet that I had searched for my entire life, the quiet that had called to me was now mocking me. I craved noise, prayed for noise.

As I sat on my porch, watching the sun set, I thought about everything that had happened. After the Fae war, after I was rescued by Bill and Niall, I knew I was never going to be the same. A person can't survive that type of captivity and not be changed, inside and out. It just is impossible, plain and simple.

Amelia was gone. She couldn't handle being in Bon Temps after losing Tray. All the rumors that surrounded his death were just too much for her to handle. He died protecting me, trying to help me. The fact that the blissfully ignorant people in this back water town were blaming his death on some drug dealings were just disgusting. His death was considered honorable among his kind, yet the rumors about him cut her to the bone.

I understood why she needed to go. She did not blame me, even though I blame myself. She just needed time away, time to heal. I knew before she even told me she was leaving. Part of the noise that is forever haunting my life. I just cried and hugged her for a real long time, knowing that she couldn't put into words what she was actually feeling.

Eric actually gave me space and time to heal. I could feel his apprehension about my physical and my mental state. He would call me, visit when he could, he even dropped by work every so often. He was so concerned for me, the feelings that I felt when I was around him were so overwhelming. Could he really, genuinely care for me? Something more than the physical lust we had for one another?

It took the words of my great grandfather to make me realize that he in fact did. "The vampire loves you." I guess I just didn't want to see it, didn't want to acknowledge it. If I opened my eyes to it I would have to deal with it. I would have to force myself to accept it, accept him, accept us. So many nights I sat here on this very porch milling over that phrase…"The vampire loves you."

When I finally accepted it, felt it sink into my soul, it was like I had been released from my own private prison. My body felt invigorated, alive. The depression and the guilt that had been gripping me was suddenly less. I rushed out of my house, drove frantically to him. The only thing that I wanted was to confirm Niall's words. I wanted to confirm to my body and my soul that he in fact did love me.

The night I accepted it I drove through the streets of Shreveport, searching out the hum that was Eric's life. Ever since we were forced into our blood bond, our "Marriage", he had been there, in my head. A constant hum that let me know he was alive inside of me. I could feel his presence as I got closer and closer to the bar. The wave of content and comfort that washed over me was welcoming. The hum grew louder and louder.

I all but ran into the bar, my blonde hair flying behind me. I didn't even acknowledge Pam as I breezed passed her at the door. She must have noticed the look of determination on my face and decided to allow my dismissal of her. I scanned the room, my chest heaving in and out as I fought to catch my breath, trying to locate him.

With no warning I felt the hairs on my arms and the back of my neck stand up. The breath that I was trying so hard to catch was completely gone, caught in my throat. I turned around slowly and met his eyes with mine. We were frozen in place, both of us unsure of the feelings that were creeping up on us. I had refused to acknowledge this for so long, and he had waited so patiently for me to come around.

No words were needed in that moment. I took one step towards him and that was all he needed to see. Before I could make another move he was wrapping me in his arms, pulling me into his massive chest. His mouth crashed into mine as he captured my lips in the most intense kiss we have ever shared.

"My love, say it, tell me you're mine." He whispered as he kissed me, his hands rubbing shoulders and my face.

"Tell me you love me, Eric." He felt so good I was surprised I could form a sentence.

He suddenly stopped, stopped kissing me, stopped touching me. He just stopped. In that moment I thought that I had grossly misjudged everything. I thought that I had just made a fool out of myself, put myself out there to be hurt again. I was about to panic and I could feel my flight instinct start to pull me towards to door. He took my face in between his hands and looked me dead in the eye.

"You stubborn woman. I love you. I love you Sookie Stackhouse like I have loved no other. I have loved you for longer than I care to admit." His eyes sparkled as he said these words, and I couldn't help but feel a tear slide down my cheek.

"I am yours. I have been yours, I will always be yours. I am yours, Eric." I didn't care that I sounded like a kept, possessed, no opinion for herself woman. I meant every word that I said. I had been fighting a losing battle for too long. I was his, and I was happy.

It's hard for me to think that this was just a few months ago. We had lost so much time together. After that night we vowed never to be separated again. Not by our ego's, not by our pride, not by anything. We had committed ourselves to one another, body and soul. I accepted that we were "married", he even bought me a wedding ring. Nothing fancy as I insisted on a plain, gold band. The inscription read simply, My Bonded, My Heart. His ring was the same, only his read, Forever Yours.

I sobbed as I watched the sun disappear for the night, unable to wrap my brain around the fact that Eric was not here to share that beautiful scene with me. The quiet was deafening at that moment, it was like nature had even stopped momentarily. I knew that soon the vampires would be awake for the night and I prepared myself for my nightly visit.

As I waited I thought back to the conversation Eric and I had a couple of weeks ago. We were enjoying a night of well deserved love making. I was curled up against him, completely satisfied and spent. He was kissing my shoulders and trailing his fingers down my back. I don't know why I thought of it, I don't know why I asked, but something deep within my soul made me do it.

"Eric, the night you came to me after I was rescued. When you gave me your blood and right before Breandan came after us…I asked you why you didn't come for me. I told you that I prayed for you to find me and hoped that you would hear me." He put his finger to my lips and I could see his body visibly tense.

"You want to know why?" His voice was so calm, so serene.

"Yes, you told me that I was killing you? Eric, what happened?" Again, I don't know why I suddenly felt the need to know. He shifted his position in bed so he was facing me, he propped himself up on his elbow and I knew instantly that this was not going to be all rainbows and unicorns.

"My love, you must promise me that you will listen to me. You must be silent until I have fully explained everything to you, please." I nodded my head, apprehensively.

"When Bill called me to inform me that you had been taken by Neave and Lochlan I lost all control. I called Niall to threaten his life, he needed to help get you back. He quickly informed me about the entire situation and it was decided that I would set out to track Dermot while he and Bill tracked you. Niall knew how to better find Neave and Lochlan and Bill was closer. It took all that I had to not run to you. Sookie, Victor and Sandy were at the bar when I got the call from Bill."

I somehow knew that this was the part of the conversation that was not going to be pleasant. It was going to be worse than hearing Thing One and Thing Two's names even.

"They heard me call Niall, heard me threaten harm to a very powerful Prince. A war amongst our kind would cause much damage, much death." I nodded my head, still not interrupting him. "After I hung up the phone I went to leave and I was told that if I pursued this, got involved in a civil war with the Fae, I would be putting our entire population in danger. I was given an ultimatum, allow the Fae to handle their strife internally, leaving you in danger, or go out in search of Dermot and face the consequences later. I think we both know what I chose." He kissed me softly, letting me know that I was his choice.

"What are the consequences? What are they going to do to you? I thought that they were supposed to protect me?" My head was spinning, I didn't know what to think.

"You are protected love, but vampires are forbidden to get involved in conflict involving the Fae, regardless of what is at stake. In this case, the King would have cut his losses so to speak." He didn't like saying it, but I knew he was referring to me.

"Whatever, but you still didn't answer my other question. What is going to happen to you?" I was growing more impatient and unsettled.

"That I do not know. A decision has yet to be made. It could be a monetary fine, it could be silver, it could be final death. I just don't know." He said this with no emotion while I began to have a breakdown.

"No, I mean…pay a fine, give them money! Do you really think that they would actually kill you? Please tell me that would be too extreme, tell me that is not going to happen. Eric, tell me that won't happen." I was sobbing.

"Sookie, Dear One, even if my final death is the punishment, I would chose you again. You are mine, you were mine then and it was my duty as your Bonded to protect you." He held me for the rest of the night as I cried myself to sleep.

I was pulled out of my memory by the sound of the chair creaking next to me. I shook my head a little and absently fingered the gold band on my finger.

"Hi Pam, nice night." I inhaled the sweet air, allowing it to fill my lungs.

"Yes, it is a lovely evening. It seems awfully quiet tonight." She looked around the yard, surveying everything.

I snorted at her comment about the quiet, "You have no idea". We sat silently for a bit, just enjoying the warm night. The nice thing about being around Pam is I don't feel the need to talk, just like Eric. The silence is never uncomfortable. It is just…quiet.

"Sookie, will he be making an appearance this evening?"

"Possibly, I'm not really sure. Things have been a little weird lately." I closed my eyes, hoping she would just stop. I didn't want to tell her that I had rescinded Bill's invitation.

"Well, perhaps I should stay then. What do you think, we can have a little girl time?" She did her best to sound energetic.

"I think I'd like to pass. I'm real tired, I kind of just want to go to sleep. You don't need to worry, I'm sure he'll be here. Go on to the bar, I know that you're needed there anyway." I gave her a reassuring smile.

She rose to her feet and she looked down at me. I could see the worry in her eyes, but she knew better than to push me. I stood to walk her down the porch, but instead she reached out and hugged me tight. The coolness of her skin washed me in memories as I hugged her back.

"I will see you again tomorrow night, right?" She searched my face desperately for the answer.

"Of course you will Pam. Same place, same time? We'll call it a date?" My words lacked sincerity.

"Sookie, you know that I can be here in minutes if you need anything. Please, make sure you get in contact with me if you must." I knew it took a lot for her to say please to me.

"I know Pam. Don't worry about me, I'll see you tomorrow." And she was gone.

I went inside the house and grabbed my Gran's afghan. I wrapped it around me and resettled myself back on the porch swing, just looking out across the yard. Why the hell was it so damn quiet? I wanted it to stop, I wanted to be flooded with him.

"You're killing me…..you're killing me…..you're killing me." Please make it stop. I shook my head and tried to think about some of his other words. My eyes stung as I fought back the exhaustion and the tears.

I hadn't slept in eleven nights. The world as I knew it ended eleven nights ago. My world went silent eleven nights ago. The quiet that had called me for so many years had suddenly become an unwelcome reality. I lost Eric eleven nights ago, finally lost him. The consequences that he was punished with…the consequence he swore to me that he would take time and time again if it meant saving me? Well it turns out he would only have to suffer that punishment once. His final death came by stake, swiftly and quickly.

I knew the moment it happened, there was no doubt that he was gone. We were finishing up at Fangtasia for the night, getting ready to go home for an early evening. As we were saying our goodbye's to Pam, Victor and Sandy came stalking through the door. I should have known something bad was going to happen by the joker style grin he wore on his smug face. Eric pushed me to the side, stepping in front of me to make sure I was not left out in the open.

The three vampire's exchanged heated words, Eric more animated than the other's. And then his body seemed to relax, like he was unnecessarily sighing. Victor was waving some paper in front of him, dangling it in front of his nose. It was then that I truly wished my handicap would come in High-Def surround sound. I could see Eric hold his hands out, like he was asking a favor of the asshole vamps.

He quickly approached me, grabbed my face in his hands, kissed me like it was the last time he would ever touch me again. He opened our bond completely and I felt the purest, most unconditional love I have ever felt. And then it hit me, my eyes flew open and I held him to me, shaking uncontrollably. I knew it was over, I knew he was going to leave me.

I looked at him, amazed at his composure and envying his strength. "Eric, I am yours. I love you with every part of my soul. I am yours, always, only yours." I could barely get the words out.

"My Sookie, I was yours from the moment I met you. I love you…" His face went whiter and the strong arms that were holding me became limp. I watched in horror as the stake protruded from his chest and stopped just short of my own body.

"No! God, No! Eric…Eric, please! Somebody help me! No, no" I fell to the floor along with his ashing body. I desperately tried to cling to him, but he was disintegrating too quickly. I sobbed in a pile of ash that was once my life. Everyone just looked at me. No one knew how to console me. The pain the was taking over my body was mind numbing, the bond was gone. The hum was gone, Eric was gone.

I looked for Pam, she too must be feeling this. She was just looking at that paper that Victor had been shaking around. I snapped, I charged after Victor like I was a rabid dog. I wanted to tear his head from his body, hurt him like he had hurt me. As I leapt in the air to tackle him I was caught by Pam. I could see the red staining her face and I could see the agony in her eyes.

"Sookie, you can't do this. Felipe signed his death sentence, nothing could have stopped this. Victor was acting on orders from the King, he had to do this. I'm sorry, I'm so sorry."

I looked at her, hatred for all of them seeping in to my very soul. "Your willingness to do nothing makes me sick. You're killing me. Just like they killed Eric, you're killing me." I ran back to his pile of ashes, grabbed the clothes that he had been wearing, picked his wedding ring up, and actually scooped as much of his ash that I could fit in my hand.

I started out on foot, knowing I was in no shape to drive. I don't remember Bill driving up beside me. But, he ended up driving me home to Bon Temps and sitting with me all night. I never spoke. I just sat there clutching his things to my body. That was eleven nights ago, eleven long, dark nights ago.

Now my mind is suddenly quiet. My friends drop by everyday to check on me. I am thankful for the time that they are here because it briefly fills the silence. But, eventually the quiet comes again. My house is empty, my heart is empty, my mind is empty, except the words that refuse to vacate. "You're killing me."

Tonight the quiet called me in another way. I was so tired, so lost, so empty. I now had a meaningless life in front of me. I was no longer the strong, brave, crazy Sookie. Now I was just alone, alone with the quiet. It was everything that I had ever hoped for, and now I would give anything to just have his hum, his sound, his noise, his everything fill my mind.

I sat there for hours, listening to nothing, praying for anything to take me away from here. I laid down on the swing and briefly fell asleep, only to dream of Eric. We were flying, laughing. It was like we were floating in between the physical world and Heaven. Given the way I was feeling, I was now doubting there was a Heaven. When I woke up it was like he was gone all over again.

I looked out across the sky and saw the faint color of orange and new the sun would be rising soon. I went inside to my room and found his clothes. I dressed myself in his pants and his shirt, breathing in the scent that still lingered. His ring hung around my neck. All of the ash that I collected had been placed in the ring box that his wedding band had come in.

I crawled on to my bed and curled myself into a ball, praying sleep would come. Instead I was overwhelmed with need. I rose to my feet and I found the ceremonial knife that Eric had used to bond us in Rhodes. I kissed it just as he had those months ago. I held the ring box close to my heart and I plunged the knife into the side of my throat. I collapsed on to the bed and waited for the eternal quiet that was calling to take me. I waited to join my bonded. I did after all tell him that I would always be his.

END