Sookie stands in the hallway, staring at Eric's hotel room door. Under normal circumstances it would piss her off that he chose to stay in the room across from her, but, at this moment, his close proximity is almost a relief.

She knows what she wants to do next; she's just not sure it's a wise decision on her part. Then again, she's never been one to listen to her head.

She knocks on his door lightly. No response. She tries again. This time, he finally answers.

There are no traces of bloody tears, no sign of despair that was present on Eric's face mere minutes ago.

His eyes are dead and lifeless.

Numb.

She knows exactly how he feels. "Can I come in?"

Eric stares at her for a few seconds before turning around and walking back to his suite. Sookie steps inside and shuts the door behind her.

She walks into the living room and finds the curtains closed, the whole room covered in darkness. The only thing visible is Eric sitting up on the couch, his body slouched, his eyes glued to the floor.

With trepidation surging through her body, she approaches him. Nervously, she takes a seat beside him but he doesn't acknowledge her presence.

He remains silent for a long time, frozen in place; it concerns her that he's growing increasingly paler. She doesn't know what to do or say to him; so, she just sits quietly next to him.

***

"I'm hungry," Eric says after a while.

"I can heat up some True Blood for you."

Turning to look at her, he finally expresses some kind of emotion on his face – even if it is disgust.

"Or… I can order room service," she offers.

"Why bother? You're here."

There is no spark behind his words, no hint of provocation. It's almost as if he's trying to behave like his usual self, but his dead heart just isn't into it.

"I'm not on the menu, Eric."

"Unfortunately."

"What do you want me to order for you?"

"Nothing. I don't want anything."

Reaching for his hand, she links her fingers through his. He doesn't respond at first, but, eventually, he squeezes her fingers softly.

Once again, silence ensues.

***

Sookie doesn't know how long they've been sitting there, how much time has passed since he last said anything. At least Eric's sitting back on the couch now, feigning a relaxed posture for her benefit. Their hands are still intertwined, her right shoulder pressed against his left.

"Do you think he was right to do what he did?"

Sookie ponders his question for a while before answering. "No, but it was his choice."

"I should have stopped him," he whispers, his soft tone barely audible.

"You love him too much to do that."

"He deserved better," Eric bites out, suddenly angry, his body taut with tension. "More. Not this. Not like this."

His anguish breaks her heart.

"Godric promised me eternity with him. He lied to me."

"He wanted peace, Eric."

"You think that's peace? His skin burned until there was nothing left. He must have felt excruciating pain."

Sookie doesn't give him a response; there's nothing she can say that will make Eric understand his maker's choices. Instead, she wraps her arm around him and holds on to him for comfort.

***

"I should have stayed with him."

Sookie opens her eyes to find Eric's head resting on her lap. His body is sprawled across the couch, his legs hanging off the side since the sofa is definitely not long enough for him. His blue eyes are concentrated on the ceiling, but she suspects he's not really looking at anything. "Godric didn't want you to."

"It wasn't his decision to make."

"Maybe, but it's what he wanted. You couldn't have said no."

"I should have tried harder."

"No. You did the right thing."

"Will it always feel like this?"

"I don't know."

"What? No time heals all wounds speech?" he taunts her in a mocking tone.

"What's the point? You'll know when I'm lying."

He closes his eyes, his body completely still.

Sookie starts running her fingers through his hair.

***

When Sookie wakes up next, she automatically reaches for Bill. Instead, she finds the spot next to her empty. Drowsy and disoriented, it takes her brain a few minutes to register this isn't her hotel room.

Her first instinct is to run out, but then events from the past night slowly filter back into her mind. This must be Eric's room; he must have carried her to his bed.

"Eric?"

Silence.

Pushing aside the satin sheets, Sookie gets up. She almost expects to find herself naked but she's fully dressed.

On her way to the door, she takes in her surroundings. The suite is empty; there is no sign of Eric.

When she enters her own room a few minutes later, she finds Bill waiting for her.

Guilt surges through Sookie as Bill levels her with his hostile stare.

"You were with Eric."

"Nothing happened between us."

Bill doesn't appear to believe her words. Sookie isn't sure she believes them herself.