Title: Sun-Crossed Lovers
Author: sapphiretragedy/digginguophelia ()
Rating: NC - 17/ Mature
Summary: Sookie gets a gift from Niall and she and Eric finally get to walk in the sunlight.
In the aftermath of the Fairy War, Sookie Stackhouse had much to consider. Eric Northman had started making many proposals - to live with him, to marry him, to work for him, to spend her nights with him.
It was a blur of healing and searching. And, in the midst of this blur, Sookie received a thick, manilla envelope in the mail. She tossed it onto her coffee table, barely giving it a second glance, on her way from the front door to the shower.
She didn't bother to open it until Eric picked up the package and sniffed it. His fangs extended dramatically and he tossed the package onto Sookie's lap. "What is this, lover? It smells of Fae."
Sookie arched an eyebrow at Eric as she worked her finger under the seal to break it. In a quick motion, she pulled the envelope open. Inside was a large sheaf of papers. The print was tiny and full of legal jargon. Sookie stared at it through squinted eyes forever before Eric snatched it from her hands and started to read.
"Niall has left you all of the assets he had in the human world," Eric said, matter-of-factly. He flipped a page, then another and another. "It appears he had more than a few."
Immediately, Sookie thought of how to share her inheritance with Jason; he was her brother, despite his flaws, and he deserved to be taken care of, too. Sookie privately thought it would be nice not to have to worry about money. But, she idly wondered how much when she realized Eric was still flipping through pages. "Let me see," she said, holding out her hand for the papers.
Eric sat down next to her and wrapped an arm around her shoulder. "This is nice," he said, his lips turning up in a smile. "I've always wondered what it would be like to be a kept man."
Sookie hit him playfully, then groaned. The action had jostled her shoulder, causing a shooting pain to move through her body. "Ouch," she complained.
"If you would drink more from me, you wouldn't need to suffer," he said, for the umpteenth time since she had returned home.
"I told you, Eric. I don't want to be turned. I like the daylight, thank you." She would have crossed her arms over her chest, but she knew the action would hurt. She settled for a quick glare.
"You won't turn," he insisted. But, he sighed. He knew a lost cause when he saw one. Plus, there was a finite number of times he could bear the word 'no' being uttered in his direction before his ego took a massive hit.
Sookie thought Eric looked poised for battle with her. He had that self-assured, cocky grin plastered to his face; but, before he uttered a syllable that started the sentence: Drink my blood, please, his posture changed and he snapped a piece of paper from her lap.
"This is most unusual," he said, examining a silver piece of vellum paper. It was heavy and transparent, but it had all the quality of expensive paper. Eric held it to his nose, took in its scent, then touched it reverently with his hands. "This is very strong Fae magic, Sookie. A great gift from Niall to you."
He held the physical manifestation of magic out to her in his upturned palms. Sookie took it gently. When she studied it, she saw nothing but blank paper. "I don't see anything," Sookie said.
Eric shook his head. "You won't," he said, as though it were the most obvious thing in the world. "Not until you make a wish."
Sookie didn't buy it. She smirked. "He's a fairy, Eric, not a genie."
"This is true," Eric said. "But, this gift is a rarity. I've only heard about this in legends that are far older than any of my kind that I know of. You can wish for anything, Sookie."
"Anything," she said, still unaware of the magnitude of the gift she had been given.
Eric nodded. "Eternal life," he said, stroking her hand. "Forever, just the two of us."
Sookie smirked. She held the paper in her hands, and focused all of her energy on making her wish. It was important to her, something she had always dreamed of, but had never thought possible. "I wish," she started, not daring to look Eric in the eye, "I could walk in the sun with you, once every ten years, until the end of time."
The paper rolled up into a tight scroll, then vanished in a ball of light.
Eric lowered his head in visible disappointment. "We could have had eternity," he said. "And you could have had your sun."
"But, now we have the sun. Together. " Sookie smiled and pulled Eric into a kiss.
Eric did not speak to Sookie, except to see how she was doing, for a week after she made her wish. He felt she had wasted it. The sun rose each and every day, and yet, he went to rest instead of to enjoy the warmth of the sun's rays with his Sookie. So much for forever.
Maybe they couldn't have had eternity anyway.
Maybe Niall's legacy had been a cruel joke; he wouldn't put it past the Fae.
Tonight, however, disappointment aside, he made the decision not to waste another second of Sookie's fragile human life. He could sustain her youth, he could preserve her beauty, but he could not make her immortal; he could not make her vampire. He loved her too much to force this cursed existence upon her. Unless she asked. Then, he would allow himself to indulge. He picked up his phone and called her. "Drive to Shreveport?" he asked. He was almost certain she would say no. "We can stay in my house; you haven't seen it yet, and I still want you to live here."
"You're talking to me again," she said, tartly.
"Sookie, you know how hard it is for me to ..." he sighed. He knew exactly what Sookie wanted to hear, "I'm sorry." He meant each and every syllable. "Will you come?"
"Yes," she said, her voice lightening. "But, I think you should prepare to spend the day together."
"The day?" he asked, skepticism heavy in his voice. "It's been a week." He didn't want to disappoint her. She seemed genuinely happy for the first time in a long while, and he could feel her excitement coursing through the bond. "I'll be prepared to meet the sun, lover. Only for you."
Eric and Sookie sat together in Eric's living room. The window was open and dawn was approaching. Eric would never admit it out loud, but Sookie could feel his nerves, his fear, through the bond. She squeezed his hand. "It'll be all right," she said with great certainty. She wasn't sure how she knew, but she knew that Eric would not only survive this day, but he would enjoy it. "You'll see."
As the sun rose in the east, peeking it's round head over the inky horizon, Eric felt strange. His body was overtaken by a tingling sensation. He felt small, electrical impulses flare up in his body, on a cellular level. He was hyper aware of his body waking up, of life forcing its way back into the cavernous depths of his walking cadaverous self. He fell to the floor, to his knees. He felt his lungs expand for the first time in over a thousand years, and he gulped the air greedily; he wanted it more than he'd ever wanted anything in his life -- even the blood he so desperately craved, even a moment ago.
Sookie was behind him, rubbing his back in soothing circles. "What happened?" she asked. Her voice was calm, but Eric was pleased that he could feel her panic through the bond.
Eric forced himself to breathe. The action was an involuntary response, as it always had been, he could feel his body work automatically to help him process the oxygen;but he didn't trust it to last. So, he focused on creating steady, even breaths. "I think," he said, not used to talking and breathing at the same time. He did not remember it being quite so difficult. "I think I'm human."
"Well, shit," Sookie said, sitting back on her heels.
As the weight of the realization pressed upon them, the sun had fully risen. Light was streaming in the windows in heavy beams. It bathed Eric's skin, making him look even more pale than he did in the darkness. He traced the outline of the sun on his flesh and smiled. "Amazing." He turned to Sookie and held out a hand to her. "Let's enjoy our day. What would you like to do first?"
Sookie dipped her head and blushed. "I've always fantasized about making love to you in the sun."
"I'd be a fool to deny your fantasy."
Eric led Sookie into his spacious, cultivated garden. He loved the way the statues looked washed out in the silvery pools of moonlight; but, he thought they were more magnificent in the sunlight. He had forgotten how vibrant colors were, how the heat of the sun sunk deep into his body and connected him to the earth. When the arrived at his favorite alcove, a stone structure that was devoid of vegetation and statues, but complete with a view of a cascading water fall in the distance, he pulled her close and kissed her.
Sookie's hand traced the lines of his face. "You're so warm," she said. And she pressed her lips against his. He did not hesitate to deepen the kiss and pull her closer. Her hand fell to his chest, hovering over his beating heart, and she pressed her hand to him. "It's nothing like I expected."
There would be time to marvel over his temporary humanity later - in the years to come, they would share this experience more than once, and as it was summer, this day would be long. He fell to the ground and pulled her on top of him. His fingers and hands were not used to moving at slow, human speeds, and so his movements were clumsy as he tugged off Sookie's clothes. He grew frustrated when he could not work the bra clasp. But she smiled and reached behind her back to unfasten it herself. She pulled the straps of her bra down in a slow, sensual motion, then tossed it aside. "You're wearing far too many clothes," she said.
Eric put his hands to his side and allowed Sookie to divest him of his clothes. When he stood up to remove his jeans, Sookie spread his shirt on the ground to cushion her body from the hard stone ground. She lowered herself to the ground and reached out to him. "Come here," she whispered.
He lowered his body over hers, pressing the heat of his body against the ever-present heat of hers. She hissed at the contact. He smiled against her cheek, then slithered his body over hers until his head was at her nipple. He laved it, slowly, in the practiced way she liked so much. Sookie through her head back in pleasure and pulled his hair. He groaned at the pain. He sucked at her breast, nipping and biting, pausing for a moment when no fangs extended.
Sookie took advantage of him in his moment of hesitation, and slipped her hand between them to stroke him and cup his balls. She gave them a light squeeze that sent all blood from his brain to his cock. He idly wondered how human men managed to get anything done if sex felt like this, if sex consumed one's thinking power. It was liberating. He tried to speak, to tell Sookie he liked it, but all he could manage was a moan that started somewhere in the back of his throat and ended an eternity away.
"Like that?" Sookie asked, squeezing and stroking.
"Yes," Eric said. His voice was raspy. He pushed her down onto the ground by her shoulder. Sookie wrapped her legs around Eric's middle, and he entered her slowly, savoring the the connection their body made. Sookie gasped.
He took his time, using his skill of a thousand years was difficult in a body that could not move in quite the same way. Each motion took more energy, needed to be fired by more passion, and felt more urgent than anything he felt in his vampire body. When he came, he was barely aware of either his release or Sookie's, instead, he focused intently on the beating of his heart in his chest and the deafening sound of it in his ears. "The little death," he said, rolling off of Sookie, and breathing heavily. "Those French finally got something right. I understand it now." He paused, pulling her close and kissing her on the forehead. "I think."
Sookie's breath was just as ragged as his own. "I got lost in the moment," he said, somewhat sheepishly. "Did you enjoy it."
Sookie nodded. "Hell, yes. You should see the way the sun dances across your body when you make love to me."
Their conversation was interrupted by a rather undignified gurgling sound. Eric was horrified when he realized that it came from his body. Sookie giggled. "Someone's hungry," she said.
Eric's tongue instinctively ran over his teeth. He felt no fangs, but he felt that familiar sense of longing that he had always associated with hunger. "There are so many things I have wanted to try," he said. His eyes took on a mischievous glint. "I've heard that chocolate goes well with Sookie."
Eric was so glad he decided to meet the sun.
Three weeks after their first day in the sun, Sookie felt awful. Eric was worried. Nothing seemed to lessen her suffering. She had, very reluctantly, taken his blood; but, it had not helped. Eric feared she was poisoned so he called in Dr. Ludwig. She wouldn't allow him to stay with Sookie while she examined her. Eric had protested, but Pam, ever the voice of reason, had convinced him it was better to be left out of the more disgusting aspects of human life.
Dr. Ludwig exited the bedroom. She tossed her used examination gloves into a garbage can that was near the door. "Well," she started, "the girl's pregnant." She looked up at Eric. "I don't need to remind you that I charge double for disposing of bodies."
"We don't need your help disposing of bodies," Pam started. She was clearly offended that anyone thought a vampire couldn't handle his own clean-up. Especially a vampire such as her maker. She turned to him when he didn't immediately come to her defense and verbally flay the doctor alive. "Right, Eric?"
But, Eric didn't answer. He was wearing the most ridiculous grin on his face. He pushed passed Pam and Dr. Ludwig and into the bedroom to Sookie. He wrapped her in an embrace and kissed her full on the lips. "Niall gave us some gift," he said.
Sookie, however, was completely stunned. "I didn't even think about birth control." It was only then that Eric realized Sookie was crying. "I ruined everything."
Eric put his hand under her chin and raised her face to his."You didn't ruin a thing, lover. It's an unexpected consequence, is all. It's nothing we can't deal with."
"You sound happy."
"I am so happy I stepped out into the sun," he hugged her again. "Especially if it's going to bring you some of that normalcy you crave."
"Normal?" she said, sardonically. "Having a baby with a vampire is not normal."
Eric smirked. "You're not having a vampire's baby. I was human, remember?"
"Details," Sookie said.
Pam came into the room, a glower upon her face. "Why is she still breathing?"
Eric glared at her over his shoulder. "It's mine, Pam," he growled. Pam put her hand on her hip and rolled her eyes. Eric could tell that she was about to launch into a tirade about the impossibility of the situation. He explained the situation.
Pam's response was to give a sharp glare to both Eric and Sookie. "Teacup humans are annoying, not to mention, full of odor. You better keep that one under control, as I assume that draining it will be expressly forbidden."
"You sound disappointed by that fact, Pam," Eric said. "Deal with it."
Children, as it turned out, were a handful. Eric had killed weres and witches, not to mention countless humans; but, the two hellions with blonde hair and blue eyes that were his daughters were going to be the death of him.
Eric sighed. "I remember fatherhood with a much greater fondness than this," he said, pinching the bridge of his nose.
Pam laughed at her Maker. "Men weren't required to give a shit in those days, Eric." She handed Eric a bottle of TruBlood. "You need to keep up your strength." As Eric drank his blood, Pam wrinkled her nose. "And a shower. You smell like baby human. It's - if you want to keep those children alive, you can't bring that scent around me."
"Understood, Pam. Understood." But, when the high pitched screaming started, he seriously thought about setting Pam loose in the nursery.
The girls grew up to look like their mother. And, near their tenth birthday, Eric began to anticipate his second day in the sun. He remembered the last time, the heat of the sun, the heat of his body pressing against Sookie's, and how their lack of forethought meant that this day in the sun would be different than the last. It would be difficult to make love all day with two young girls clinging to them.
Sookie and the girls were planning a picnic. This time, he would satisfy his gluttony with his stomach instead of his libido.
When he rose, Sookie dropped an elaborately decorated piece of paper into his lap. It was covered in copious amounts of glitter, which clung to his skin with a ferocity that irritated him beyond measure. "What is this?" he asked, wrinkling his nose. "I thought we discussed the fact that vampires do not, under any circumstances, sparkle."
Sookie snickered. "How do you explain the dancers at Fangtasia, then?"
Eric rolled his eyes and opened the paper. It was a menu. He smirked. "I'm certain that none of this food is healthy. You certainly never serve anything called Moonpies."
Sookie shrugged. "The girls wanted to cook something. But," she straddled his lap, "there will be chocolate. In the sun."
He placed his head on her chest. "Really? I thought the whole day was a family affair."
Sookie shook her head. "Nope. Jason's going to come get the girls after lunch, and then, you and I are going to enjoy our day ... and night."
He really loved his life -- especially his wife. He spent a better part of his night showing her just how much he loved her.
The second time he transformed from vampire into a human, he adapted to breathing much easier. He waited for the sunrise on the east side of his house, facing the sun.
As he watched the sun rise, he thought back to the day Godric died. For a half a second, when the first warmth of the sun's rays crept over his skin, he thought he might be burning, just like Godric did. And he cried.
He cried human tears. Sookie's arm was on his shoulder. "Godric?" she asked.
Eric nodded. He wiped his tears away, staring in amazement at the clear fluid on his fingers. "But, this is not a time for sadness," he said. He turned to his wife and kissed her softly on the lips. "This is our day."
Eric and Sookie took full advantage of being alone in the soft glow of the dawn. As the sun rose over their bodies, bathing them in light, binding them together, Eric and Sookie held each other.
Sookie kissed Eric on the cheek and pulled away. "You're still crying." Her voice was a soft whisper, Eric recognized it as the gentle sound she used to speak to their children when they were small and inconsolable.
"I think I finally understand what tears of happiness are." He wrapped his overly large hand around hers and pulled her closer to him with his free hand. Her head was nestled against his chest, and together they listened to his heart beat along with the other sounds of the vibrant nature he hadn't taken time to notice the last day they spent together.
But, then, the silence of the world was shattered with a twin pair of ear-piercing screams.
Food had not been something Eric had missed terribly. While he was alive, it was a catch and kill affair. All food tasted of a wilderness that was connected to the earth, part of the same whole, the life force flowing from one body into the next in a perpetual circle of energy. That is what feeding from humans was like.
And as he swallowed a rather large bite of a Moonpie, Eric knew he would still not miss food when he reverted to his vampire self at the end of the day. If it weren't for the two large pair of blue eyes staring at him expectantly, waiting for him to declare their home made treat an absolute success, Eric would have spit the mess out.
"I think he likes it," Sookie said, nudging Eric in the rib with her elbow. "Right, Eric?"
Eric nodded as he pushed the soft gooey substance - marshmallow, he remembered - against the roof of his mouth. It was sweeter than fae blood, but was fake. It carried none of the life force that he craved from his foods. "Though, I understand why these two," he eyed his daughters pointedly, "aren't allowed to eat them often."
When another sweet was pressed into his hand, Eric grimaced. "Girls, that's all I can have today."
Jason arrived to pick up the girls after the picnic was over. "It's true then?" Jason said, sitting down next to Eric and passing him a cold beer. "You can stand the light."
Eric took the beer. Oh, how he had missed the bitter taste of hops; it wasn't exactly as he was used to, but it was still ambrosia to him. This, he would miss tomorrow. He savored his first sip. "Obviously." He had to be civil to Jason for Sookie's sake; but, he saw no reason to be nice to him.
"It's nice of you to this for them," he bent his head toward his sister and nieces. Sookie was loading their things into the car.
"I would do anything for them."
"I know it," Jason said, taking a swig of beer. "That's what scares the fuck outta me." He looked at Eric, square in the eyes. "Right here, right now, we're equals - two men who care about those women. And, I want you to swear you won't turn a one of 'em against their will. Don't be selfish and ..." Jason turned his eyes away. "It's not fair if you're forced into becomin' somethin' you don't want to be."
Eric understood that better than most people; but, maybe not better than Jason whose fate was far more recent. He simply nodded and drank his beer. After a moment he spoke. "I would never do that," Eric was telling the truth. "But, if you ever call me your equal again, I can't say I'll be able to control my response."
"This time," Sookie said, pulling out a handful of condoms from the pocket of her shorts "there won't be any surprises."
"I thought you took care of that." He had heard humans talking about those vulgar contraptions; he wanted nothing to do with decreased sensation. "I seem to recall having to pay Dr. Ludwig a ridiculous amount of money for contraceptive devices of all kinds."
Sookie threw the condoms at Eric. The sharp foil edges prickled at his skin where they landed. He brushed them from his body onto the ground. "These are the latest in a series of devices."
He leaned back on the blanket that was spread over the grass beneath a giant willow tree. "We don't need them."
Sookie quirked an eyebrow. "Really?" She hardly sounded convinced.
"I can smell the changes in your body, I can tell when you ovulate. And this morning, you weren't."
Sookie climbed up over Eric's body, then settled over him, straddling him. "If i get pregnant ..." she let the threat hang.
Eric stopped her protests by kissing her. He sucked on her bottom lip, swiping his tongue across the swollen flesh in his mouth. As he kissed her he pulled her back onto the blanket. "I recall that I was promised chocolate."
Sookie moaned an affirmative response into his mouth. "You were."
"Good, I think chocolate covered Sookie is my favorite food."
"Better than moonpies?"
Eric grimaced. "Anything is better than moonpies. They're terrible."
Sookie quieted his protests with a kiss. As she kissed him, she pressed him down onto the blanket. She slowly unbuttoned his shirt, taking one button at a time and planting a kiss over the newly exposed flesh. Eric bit his lip to keep from crying out at the pleasure of her lips and tongue caressing his body.
When his chest was fully exposed, Sookie unbuttoned his jeans. He lifted his hips so she could pull them down. And she kissed his exposed flesh with light kisses that were meant to tease and tantalize. He tried to lift his hips to keep the contact, but she pushed him down. "Patience, lover," she said, a devilish smirk on her face.
"It's not fair to use my words against me," he said. He knew he was whining, but he did not care. He would do anything to get her to continue her ministrations. Even if it meant begging.
He heard the click of the bottle cap. "I do have to wonder what a chocolate covered Eric tastes like," she said. She drizzled the sticky sweet substance down his chest, down his belly and stopped just above his rock-hard erection.
"You're evil," he said. She smirked. "I love it."
And he did love the pressure of her tongue as it swirled over her nipples, the suction from her mouth as she made sure each and every drop of chocolate was removed from his flesh. He thought he would drown in the pleasure, and then it suddenly stopped and he cried out. "More."
In response, Sookie pulled her tiny sundress over her head, reached behind her to unclasp her bra, and pulled her hair back, securing it with an elastic band that she had on her wrist.
She laid down next to Eric and handed him the bottle of chocolate syrup. "Your turn."
He followed her example and drizzled thin swirls of chocolate over her exposed flesh.
He put the flat of his tongue at the line of chocolate that ended just where her panties started. He licked the chocolate from her body in a steady upward movement, only stopping to swallow the sweet chocolate that was bitter in contrast to the taste of her skin.
He took great delight in eliciting soft moans when he licked the chocolate from her breasts. And he could take it no more. There were streaky remnants of chocolate on her body, but he didn't care about it anymore. He reached his hands down and tugged at her panties. The two of them scrambled together to pull them down and off.
Eric insinuated himself between Sookie's thighs and entered her. He was not gentle; he let his intense desire for her guide his motions, he moved until she cried out in pleasure. And then, only then did he allow himself to come.
When the sun was setting, dulling out the colors of the world, leaving the comfort of darkness and the brilliant light of the moon to take its place, Eric studied his lover's face. She was aging. It was only to be expected. There were crow's feet around her eyes, more defined than the soft lines he had been used to, he could see laugh lines and if he studied hard enough, he was sure he would find gray hairs. "When I turn back," he said, "I need you to drink from me." He sensed her annoyance through the bond. "To keep you young and beautiful. I couldn't stand it to watch you age, get weak and wither away. This way it will be easier."
She did not fight when he bit his wrist and put it to her mouth. He was grateful. It would buy them more time together and it would always be good. There would be no human diseases, no wasting and withering away. She would simply be there one day and gone the next.
"I love you," she said, wiping blood from the corner of her mouth.
Sookie sat with her daughter, the one that was hers, at the edge of a freshly dug grave. At her feet was a six pack of TruBlood, and Pam had called to say that she was brining something more substantial as soon as she could get away.
"Mom, it'll be fine," he daughter said, stroking her arm.
"I know that," Sookie snapped. She bent down and started fussing with the bottles of TruBlood. She had gotten AB - because it was Eric's favorite; she only hoped his daughter would like it, too. And then Sookie stared at the mound of earth until a hand poked out, Eric's hand, which she only recognized because of the gleaming wedding band on the hand. He pulled himself out of the grave and brushed the dirt off. "Where is she?" Sookie asked, panicked.
"She requires more time. She has to find her own way out, lover. She'll be fine." He kissed Sookie on the forehead and then went to his other daughter and did the same. "You two did not need to do this for your mother and me," Eric said. He bent down and removed a TruBlood from the six pack. He shook it and cracked it open. He took a tentative sip, he hated drinking it cold, before thinking better of it and guzzling it down. Eric sat down on a large boulder that was near the gravesite. He, like his daughter and wife, fixed their eyes upon the mound of dirt. He could feel his Child rising from the earth before anyone saw the hand push through the dirt. He reached down and handed Sookie two bottles of TruBlood, "Open these," he said before going to the grave, grabbing his daughter's hands and tried to pull her up from the ground.
He watched as she was born to the darkness, all the parts of her coming into his world the same way Sookie had delivered her into their lives: head, shoulders and body followed by an ear-piercing wail.
Eric put a bottle of TruBlood in her hands. She drank it quickly and reached out for the next one. She finally started to settle. Eric stood in front of her to keep her from lunging at her mother or her sister. "I'm fine," she protested, shaking his hands from her shoulders.
He let her go and she sat on the ground, just near the grave she had crawled out of. "Pam's coming with real blood. A human. It's her gift to you," Sookie called.
Eric could feel that she wanted nothing more than to go to her daughter, to embrace her. But he gave her a look that kept her back.
Sookie began to cry. Her family was broken; it would repair itself; but, like the vase she shattered when she was six, it would never be the same again. It would look just fine to a causal passerby, but to those who knew them best, it would always look shattered.
When Sookie Stackhouse died, at the wizened age of 106, the world ended for Eric Northman.
He had sat by her bedside, in a light tight room, for three days, by sheer force of will, while they awaited her end together. Those days had been filled with memories, gentle caresses and Eric's final pleas for Sookie to let him turn her.
"My blood's kept you young," he said, his eyes red-rimmed with tears. He knew the answer before she spoke it, refusing to meet his gaze as he begged; an act of decency he did not want. "It won't take much more for you to turn."
He bit his wrist and offered it to her. Thick, syrupy droplets splattered over her face until the wound closed a very short time later.
Sookie reached up to wipe the blood from her neck. She had turned away, careful to keep any from getting into her body. Then, she reached her hand to Eric's face, leaving a bloody fingerprint on his cheek. "I look young, but I'm old. We knew this would come. It's just my time." She sighed. "You need to keep on living. For both of us."
"But I can," he lifted his wrist again.
"No, Eric," Sookie said, her voice full of an energy she did not possess.
It was the last time he asked. He thought, for a brief moment, that he might be able to force her to swallow his blood, that an eternity of resentment might be better than not having her at all. But, just as the thought entered his mind, Sookie's last breath - that final spark of life - ebbed from her body and melted into the ether, leaving him with the searing pain of a breaking bond and an emptiness he hadn't felt before.
"Sookie," he cried, the name coming out as a gutteral, keening noise rather than a name in any of the languages he spoke. The world shook with the weight of his loss. He caressed her hair, it was blonde and shiny, just as when he had met her, but many strands pulled away from his touch.
"Is it done, Master," she asked, keeping her voice low and reverent.
Eric could not wrap his mouth around an affirmative response. He merely scooped Sookie up in his arms and nodded once.
"I am sorry, Master. I will miss her."
Eric sat with Sookie's corpse, searching desperately for that last spark of life that would justify his breaking every promise he made to turn her, to preserve her presence in his life forever.
But, it wasn't there.
It never would be again.
And, so, for the first time since he lost Godric, he cried heavy, thick tears of blood. The trickled from his eyes on to her body. He didn't bother to wipe them away. He wanted all of those mourners - the remnants of her life that were as tattered and aged as she was - to see the mark of his grief on her body.
No one would forget the love Eric Northman would always have for Sookie Stackhouse. Never.
Pam knocked on the door. "You're sure about this?" she asked, apprehension heavy in her voice. "It's not what she would want."
Eric sighed. He knew exactly what Pam was feeling; he had felt the same, and at one time, he had vowed never to allow her to feel the pain of separation from one's Maker willingly. But, without Sookie ... Pam would have to learn to cope. "Pam, I have made up my mind. All of my affairs are in order. Make sure the girls are taken care of."
"Eric," Pam pleaded. "I'll do whatever you ask; but, please."
He held up a hand to stop her. "You have been a wonderful companion, Pam. I hope one night, you discover one that you want to bind to you in such a way. I did not lie to Compton when I said it was rewarding to be a Maker." He smirked. "If only she would have let me, or anyone."
Pam sat with Eric until the darkness began to give way to the light. She held his hand tightly as he held Sookie's. When the first light of dawn peeked its way into the world Pam began to cry. "You are ," she cleared her throat. "You will be missed and remembered always." She smiled softly. "One day, we'll be celebrating your birthday, I'm sure."
Pam left, giving Eric one last look over her shoulder. Eric felt a small pang of regret at leaving her alone to suffer the weight of his loss. But, it was easier for him to leave her in pain than to feel the weight of Sookie's loss for all the nights of his existence.
He lifted Sookie gently and walked outside. He stood facing the east, he wanted to watch the sun rise. Then, as he burned, Sookie's body would ignite and they would have a proper burial together. He would not have the elaborate pyre of a Valkyrie, but he would be put to rest the way his people had - bringing his Sookie with him to Valhalla .
He sat on the ground, dew seeped through his pants, and held Sookie against his chest as he waited for the sun to fully rise.
He held her tightly and cried.
And waited to feel the searing agony of burning.
And suddenly he felt pain as he had not felt before. It was searing and agonizing, and ... coming from the depths of his soul and not his flesh. He opened his eyes and realized that he was breathing. He was breathing and Sookie was not. "It's not fair," he shouted, staring up into the heavens. "She needs this day. I don't want another day if she's not in it."
He held Sookie for a long time and waited for her to show up. She did not awaken. When night fell, he laid her in a coffin and buried her himself. The next day, he planned to Meet the Sun, to join her in eternity.
Pam found him shoveling dirt into a hole. He was dirty and his face was streaked with blood.
"Master," Pam said. "You have changed your mind." She was elated.
"My plans have altered, that is all. I needed more time to get my affairs in order. But, things are clear. In the morning, I will be outside when the sun rises."
Pam grabbed his hand, keeping him from picking up another shovelful of dirt. "Sookie would not want you to go to your final death, Eric. She wanted you to live. Now, I know you're upset." He glared at her. "I can feel it. But, you're acting irrationally." She let go of he picked up the shovelful of earth and tossed it into the shallowing hole. "If, after a year and a day you still wish to meet the sun, I will make the arrangements myself."
Eric continued to fill the hole until there was a round mound of dirt covering Sookie's grave. "Fine. One year and one day."
Eric was surprised to find that he could still feel Sookie. He did not want to die and sever the connection. He did not speak of meeting the sun again until the tenth year of Sookie's absence.
Pam sat on the bench that was at the foot of Sookie's grave, watching as Eric lay over the earth that covered his dead human. He had such hope that her wish would mean that once, every ten years, they would spend a day in the sun together.
"Last time, she was already dead," Pam reminded him. It had taken her nearly four years to talk him out of meeting the sun. "I hardly call that spending time together, Eric."
"Fae magic is very strong." Pam thought he was speaking with such conviction to convince himself. But, she knew there was no talking him out of this.
She sighed. She hated seeing her Maker like this - weakened over the memory of a human who was too stupid to take the best gift Eric had to offer: to be rid of her temporary flesh and given immortality. Eric should not be worshipping a memory at a gravesite, it was beneath him; he should be worshipping a body in his bed, feeling pleasure rather than this pain that he would not leave behind him, along with her rotting corpse.
"The fae don't exactly make zombies, Eric. Those are human creations."
"Pam," Eric said, "I will not burn in the sun. You'll see. Tomorrow night, I'll still be here."
"Less whole than ever before," she said. "Even if she comes - it's only for a day, Eric."
"And that is enough."
Pam had no choice but to leave Eric. She had to get back to the safety of a light tight room and it would take her time to get back to Shreveport.
Eric stretched out over Sookie's grave. He wasn't sure how she would come to him; but, he knew she would come.
He felt the familiar tingling sensation that signaled the awakening of his body to life. He eased into the rough rhythm of breathing using rusty lungs; it was so much harder to change when she wasn't around to rub his back through it.
"Just keep breathing," Sookie said. He felt her body slide against his as she sat down next to him. He was afraid to look at her, but he forced himself to turn. He had imagined a mostly decomposed corpse pulling itself out of the grave to sit next to him and talk in the day light. He never imagined to see Sookie at her most radiant. She looked as she did the day she died, which is the same as she always had.
"You look," his voice hitched and he thought he would choke over the word, "beautiful."
Sookie pulled up a blade of grass and shrugged. "Thanks," she said, smiling. Then she tossed aside the blade of grass and leaned back, laying over her own grave. "You don't look so bad yourself."
Eric laid back so they were touching shoulder to shoulder. Their hands wound around each other. "I miss you," he said. He felt tears prickle at his eyes, and he fought for a second to hold them back before he just let them fall.
"I'm always with you. I know you feel it." Eric nodded. It was true; the bond had never been severed.
"It's not the same, though," he said, lifting her hand to his mouth and kissing it. He smiled. "You smell of fae."
Sookie nodded. "It's where I went. It's the reason I can come back."
Eric sat bolt upright. "You can stay?"
Sookie shook her head. "Only once every ten years. We'll be like Calypso and Davey Jones." She smiled.
Eric snorted. "It's Odysseus. We're not some Disney fairy tale couple."
Sookie hit him playfully. "Are we going to waste our day talking about myths, or are we going to spend it wrapped up in each other?"
Eric stood up and reached out to Sookie. She cast a meaningful glance at her gravestone. "She's with me," Sookie said. "One for me and one for you."
Eric held her. "That night was far easier for me to bear than the day you left."
Sookie squeezed his hand as she started walking away from the cemetery. "She's with me. She's happy." She tugged at his arm. "Let's go."
Eric followed Sookie though the cemetery. The darted around crooked grave markers, felt the dry twiggy leaves of weeds scratch against their ankles, and hurried through the maze as fast as their human legs would take them. Eric had prepared Sookie's house for this meeting - thick blankets were set on the ground and a cooler containing a picnic lunch and chocolate was set up and waiting in the back of the house.
He did not say a word as he led her past the spartan set up, up the steps and into the house. He had not changed a thing since she had gone; though, he came here often to feel closer to her and remember all the time they spent together. They entered her bedroom, and without having to say a word, began divesting each other of their clothes, one article at a time. Eric caressed the curves of her body, they were soft and cold and familiar and foreign all at the same time. Sookie kept her hands rooted in Eric's hair. She tugged at it, pulling his face closer to her body so that he could kiss all the parts of her he wanted with out having to work too hard.
Eric pushed Sookie backward until she fell onto her bed. He collapsed on top of her, supporting the weight of his body with his elbows. Sookie wrapped her legs around his back and pulled him closer to her. "Stop being so gentle; I won't break."
"I want this to last, lover," he said.
"We have all day. There's plenty of time to make it last, Eric."
Eric stopped holding back. He buried himself within her body, savoring the scent of her skin, the heat of her sex and her moans of pleasure. They came together, mere minutes after he abandoned his chivalrous decorum. "Fantastic," he said. He rolled off of her and pulled her close to his body.
Eric and Sookie sat on her porch, wrapped up in a blanket as the sun began its slow descent into the summer horizon. Sookie leaned her head against Eric's chest. "Ten years is longer than I thought it would be when I had eternity. I always thought it would be a blink of an eye," she said. She put his hand on her chest and focused on the steady rhythm of his heartbeat.
"It is, in the grand scheme of things," he said. "But, it felt like an eternity all its own when I was just waiting for you to come back to me."
Sookie nodded. There was a long silence as the watched the clouds in the sky turn from white to bright shades of salmon and purple in the dying light of twilight. "The sun is different here," she said. "Rich and full of life. In the realm of fae, it's watery."
Eric made a noncommital noise. He only cared about this sun because it called to her and brought her here, even if it was for a short while - at least it would be forever. "I wish you didn't have to go." He hugged her tightly.
"Maybe next time I could stay," she said. She turned her body into his, presenting her neck to him. He licked it with his tongue and nipped at it playfully.
"It's not possible," he said. "I can only turn humans."
"Niall says it's possible," she shrugged. "But, many preparations have to be made." She looked up at him, staring into his blue eyes. "I wouldn't be vampire; I need the sun; but I could stay here."
Eric felt his heart swell with hope. "I would like that, lover."
Sookie nodded. "And then when we're ready for a different kind of forever, they'll be a place for us."
Eric held her close. And, when the horizon swallowed the sun, a burst of light swallowed Sookie. They had had their day and he knew they would have many more.
"Ten years," he said to the emptiness. "Ten years and we'll have forever."