Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight or Southern Vampire Mysteries, I just love to play with the characters. My hat is off to Stephanie Meyer and Charlaine Harris.

This story is rated M for sexual content, violence, and adult themes. If you are not 18 or older, please don't read this story. This is an adult story.


A/N – I want to congratulate leckadams on being my 100th reviewer. I gave my 100th reviewer the chance to have a question answered. I'll share the question, but only myself and leckadams know the answer:) For now anyway. You will all find out soon enough. The question is: Is Edward going to show up and try to screw things up? Leckadams has been sworn to secrecy, so don't even try it:)

I'd like to thank southernlady23 for being awesome and giving me thoughtful and insightful reviews for all 9 of my chapters, and gumibear26 for doing the same, you both totally rock! Also, I want to thank all the people who review my story, I can't believe how many of you are so passionate about the characters, and have so many nice things to say about my writing. That is why I love you guys. Your reviews inspire me to keep writing. You guys rock!:)

I want to thank my readers again and to say that I apologize for taking so long to post, I'll try to get a few out this week and get back on track with my once a week schedule. I had some personal issues come up. Life can be interesting that way. I'll try not to let it get me off track, because I love my readers.

Chapter Ten – Cleansing and Closure

Sookie's POV:

After Eric walked out of my house, I could have just hit him over the head with Grans iron skillet! I was so pissed off at Eric for leaving like he did. I watched him as he got closer and closer to his boiling point, and what did I do? I have to go and mention the Cullens! I know I'm not thinking rationally right now, but part of me feels guilty for my part in his leaving, and the other part is pissed for watching him walk away from Bella like he did. I watched her fall to pieces right in front of my eyes. That girl is too sweet and vulnerable to have him treat her like that!

Then there's this other part of me that might have been a tiny eensie weensie bit jealous. Crap! I know that's why I mentioned the Cullens, to remind Eric of her relationship with Edward. I think a part of me wanted him to hurt. Yep, Sookie Stackhouse, bonded of Bill Compton, is jealous of Eric and Bella's relationship. When Breena announced that they were fated to be together and they were soul mates, a part of my heart cried out, and I swear if I didn't want to smack that shiny, happy, fairy bitch right across her glowing little face! I can't believe it, What's wrong with me? And when Eric walked out that door and left Bella to crumble, I felt like it was me he was leaving. I know this isn't rational thinking. Eric wanted me and I chose Bill. I don't love Eric like I do Bill, I just remember that body of his. Although, I know that a part of me will always care for Eric, so maybe it's normal that my heart hurts at seeing him love someone else. Maybe I'm not so crazy after all, I really do like Bella. God, I want to smack Eric for doing that to her. Well, I just may get that chance.

Eric was sitting on a log, right next to the cemetery. He was bent over with his head in his hands. This was not the confident Sheriff that I knew well. Something serious was going on with him, and I was the one that was going to find out just what it was. I marched right up to him and crossed my arms, tapping my foot where I stood.

"Sookie, just go back with the others. I'll be back in a little while." He stated, in his stoic, I'm Eric the Viking and no one can hurt me, voice. Well, I was having none of that!

"Eric Northman, who do you think you are, just taking off like that? Do you realize the commotion you caused? Do you realize just what you've done to poor Bella?" Eric's eyes shot up and bore into mine. Yah, I thought that would get his attention.

"What has happened. Is Bella okay?" He inquired, looking at me with those fierce blue eyes.

"Well Eric, if you call having a complete and total emotion breakdown okay. No. She is not okay! She needs you to get off your selfish Viking ass," and what an ass it is, I thought to myself while trying to erase the image from my mind"and get yourself back there, and tell her that none of this is her fault and you're not going to leave her!" Eric was looking at me with wide, feral eyes. He was getting more pissed with each moment.

"Sookie, while I'm sorry that I upset Bella, and obviously you as well, it was necessary for me to leave. If I hadn't left, I might have harmed someone. I did not wish to harm anyone there. Well, maybe with the exception of Niall. But that wouldn't have been productive. Now Bella will understand, once I am calm enough to go back. Now you can just get your telepathic ass back there, and I'll be back LATER!"

"Eric, I'm sorry, but I'm not going back there without you. I'll just wait with you until your okay to go back." Then I sat my telepathic ass right down next to the selfish Viking ass, and we just sat there and pouted in silence. After about 15 minutes of listening to the crickets and the katydids, I felt Eric's cool hand cover mine on the log next to me. I looked over and he was looking at me with this lost look on his face. What the hell? What was going on with him?

"Eric? Do you want to talk about it?" I implored, hoping he would confide in me. Then he turned his head back and sighed, not moving his hand from mine.

"I'm sorry," he admitted to me, and I didn't even know why.

"What are you sorry for?" I questioned.

"For everything. For not being there when you needed me. For letting vampire politics always come first. For being dishonest with you and keeping secrets from you. For manipulating you and not listening to your needs, and not caring for you enough. I hurt you Sookie, and I'm so sorry. Can you every forgive me?" Well damn!

"Okay Eric, where is Sheriff Northman, and what have you done with his body?" I looked at him like he was crazy. Eric Northman apologizes to NO ONE. He just smirked at me and took my hand and kissed the back of it. Okay, that's a little better.

"I realize you aren't use to apologies from me. I'm finding it hard come to terms with these feelings I'm having. I feel that if you can't somehow forgive me, that I will fail in my efforts to protect and care for Bella. I'm so new at this love thing. But I want you to know something Sookie." He turned to face me and took my face in his hands. I had tears threatening to fall at this point.

"I want you to know that the time that I spent with you was precious. I never cared for a woman before you. In my 1000 plus years, I've known many women, but I never cared for any of them. Without you Sookie, I would not know that I could love. Without you, I wouldn't be capable of loving Bella. Thank you for loving me, even though I was not capable of returning it to you in the manner that you deserved." After that lovely little speech, Eric pressed his lips to mine in a tender, but chaste kiss. It was so sweet and unlike Eric. Then he pulled back and smiled. The tears were streaming down my face now.

"I hope you and Bill are very happy together. If he ever hurts you, just tell me and I'll take care of him." Then he smirked and let go of my face. There's the Eric I know.

"Eric, thank you. In all my 27 years, I never would have thought that you would apologize to me. And by the way, you're forgiven," I smiled brightly, and meant every word.

"I'm very happy with Bill, and Bella is a lucky girl. Are you ready to head back?" We've been gone a while, but I felt incredibly happy and light. I think we're going to be okay.

"You know Eric, I'm sorry I mentioned the Cullens at the meeting, even though I do think that they could be very helpful. You know Bella told me that Jasper led this army in the vampire wars, or something like that. He might be helpful. I know she thinks of them as family. Then there's Jacob and his pack. You might want to talk to her about it. See what she thinks, at least." At least he was listening to me now.

"I'll keep that in mind. Promise me you won't bring it up again. I have other prospects I'm considering first. If I can't solve the problem, then I will consider contacting the Cullens. You know they left her, that is why she's so fragile. Edward was her world and he broke her. His family just left with him and never looked back. I have a hard time thinking that they could be helpful." Eric certainly had a valid point.


Eric's POV:

As we approached the house, I contemplated what just happened with Sookie and I. It just came out of my mouth, I couldn't stop it. I was upset because I thought I wasn't going to be able to protect my Bella from the threats, just like I couldn't protect Sookie. Once I apologized and she forgave me, I felt a new confidence and lightness about me that wasn't there before. It's amazing. I was letting all those crazy feelings control me, like Sookie had some kind of power over me. Well, now I feel as if I could actually have her as a friend. That's something. Eric Northman having an ex as a friend. I guess all things are possible. Who would have thought that I could learn something new after a thousand years on this earth. Now I must get back to Bella. I hope I didn't injure her feelings. She must understand.

As I open the bond to see what she is feeling, I practically fall to my knees with the amount of despair that has hit me. Sookie had to grab hold of my arm in order to prevent me from falling down the steps. I quickly righted myself and rushed inside to be with my Bella. Surely I couldn't have caused these feelings. I walked into the room and she is laying on the sofa with head in Breena's lap. The fairy witch was stroking her hair and comforting her. I went to her and kneeled beside her, taking her face in my hands. She looked into my eyes with such sadness, and tears were flowing freely down her cheeks. I licked them off slowly, and my own red tears started to fall. I was feeling her pain. I sent all the love and security I could through our bond as I leaned down and kissed her lips passionately. She responded by throwing herself into my arms, straddling my waist. I picked her up and weaved my hand through her hair, gripping tightly to hold her in place. She let out a deep moan and pressed her body closer to mine. I grabbed her ass and squeezed, not caring who was in the room. Then I broke the kiss and looked into her eyes, pressing my forehead to hers.

"My sweet Bella, I'm sorry I left you, but I was afraid of what my anger might cause if I stayed. I will never leave you my sweet, please don't ever think it," I stated firmly, while her eyes softened and she began to sob once again, pulling me into a tight hug. I just held her and walked us over to the sofa and sat us down. I held her and caresses her body, smelling her sweet scent and dying to claim her as mine right there. It would have to wait for later. There were still issues to be discussed.

"Viking, are you well?" asked Niall.

"Well enough, I will be much better when I know that the threats to my Bella are neutralized. I will not let anyone harm her." I affirmed to Niall, looking directly in his eyes. Bella was curled into my lap, caressing my cheek with her head tucked into the nook of my neck. He warm body was wrapped in mine and I felt at home. I gripped her tighter, never wanting to let her go. This little human woman was my world now. I would let nothing happen to her. I turned my head and kissed her on the forehead. Taking a deep breath and smelling her sweet aroma. She shivered, her body erupting in goose flesh. She was reacting to our closeness. I looked to Breena as she started to talk.

"Mr. Northman, we need to complete the cleansing ritual, then Bella will not only feel much better, but the two of you will be able to feel your bond more clearly. I believe that her powers are great and will begin to manifest themselves very quickly, once this is done. It would be in the best interest of your bond and Bella's safety to complete the bond as soon as possible after the ritual. Preferably tonight. Are you both ready?" She inquired, as her eyes lit with anticipation. I shook my head yes in affirmation.

"You may begin," I stated, looking to Bella as she focused her big brown eyes on my blue ones. I kissed her lips gently, savoring the moment. Then I started to unwrap her delicious body from mine. Bella was nervous, but I see a confidence and bravery in her as she straitened herself and walked to the center of the room where Breena was. Bella enters a pentagram that Breena has traced with chalk, standing in the center. I can feel from her that she instinctively knows to do this. She looks to Breena with confidence and poise. Breena takes a small bag from her waist and starts to trace a circle with it around the pentagram and Bella. She's starting to whisper and chant as she moves around Bella with a branch of something in her hand. She points her fingers toward it as it starts to smoke. I smell sage, laurel, and myrr. She continues her way around the circle waving the branch around Bella. I can feel an energy build up and the air starts to smell like o-zone. Breena continues her quest around the circle and I start to notice a light emanating from the circle of salt that Breena traced. I look closer and realize that it's some sort of barrier or shield of protection. I feel Bella starting to channel a lot of energy and realize that it's her own powers that have been hidden within her. Her eyes are closed now and she has her head back and arms out. There's a light purple hue to her, almost like I can see her aura around her. She is truly magnificent. Breena is directly in front of her now and the circle is glowing and thrumming with power. As Breena lays her hands on Bella and completes her task, I feel the air shift and the energy is now contained within itself. Bella's eyes open and look into Breena's, she smiles and gives her a hug. Breena returns it and seems very satisfied.

"The cleansing is complete, Bella is now released from the spell," Breena announces, as she takes something out of her pouch. She leads Bella back to me and summons Sookie over as well.

"I have something for you both," Breena announced, reaching her hand out and opening it. In her hand she held two medallions. They were identical in every way. The medallions were in the shape of Medusa and had blue and lavender stones.

"Bella, I give you this medallion to wear at all times. The shape of Medusa represents the fierce warrior Goddess that will protect you. The blue stone within represents water, but more importantly, it represents peace and protection. As you wear this, you will be protected. Also, the lavender amethyst on the out side of the medallion represents psychic power. This medallion will help you to channel your psychic energy and maintain your gifts. May the Goddess Bless you and keep you well." Breena kissed the medallion and placed it around Bella's neck and bowed to her. Then she looked to Sookie and presented her the same medallion and did the same. The two cousins linked hands and looked at each other with a new-found happiness in their eyes and smiled at each other. I could feel a sense of peace and tranquility envelope Bella as they joined hands. It was almost overwhelming. Breena and Niall were looking at them with admiration and Bill was silently contemplating what just transpired. I looked to him and we were both in agreement in that moment. We would do anything to protect them. We both had a look of fierce determination that we both understood. No one would survive who tried to harm our mates, they were our lives and we would protect them at all cost.

I looked to Bella and her eyes were on mine. She looked at me and I saw understanding and a fierce love was emanating from her. I strode forward and took her in my arms and held her close, burying my face in her hair and inhaling the scent of strawberries and Bella. She held me closely, with her face buried in my neck doing the same. I felt her lips on my neck and then her tongue and I instantly felt myself begin to grow hard. I started to laugh and pull myself away looking in her eyes. She had a devilish grin on her face and her cheeks were getting rosy with her blush. I loved it when Bella blushed. I pulled her in again and rubbed my erection against her stomach, and whispered in her ear.

"Do you see what you do to me my little minx? If you do not behave yourself I will have to take you over my knee when we get home." She gasped and pressed herself into me and buried her face in my chest as she burst into giggles. I could feel her lust and desire for me through our bond. I smiled and laughed myself, kissing her head and holding her tight. Now this is where I was meant to be, in her arms. I looked up and saw Bill and Sookie holding each other and they both had smiles on their faces, looking at me and Bella. Also, Niall and Breena were looking to us with approving smiles on their faces. I nodded my head and smiled back. I couldn't deny it. I was in love with this part fae human girl. Everyone knew it and I didn't want to hide it. I drew her face to mine and captured her lips in a passionate kiss. She blushed but didn't look away.

"I love you Bella, and I will do everything in my power to keep you safe," I proclaimed, as she started to cry and another big smile spread across her beautiful face and lit it from the inside out.

"Oh Eric, I love you too. You're my life now, my heart is yours. I'll always love you with every breath I take, my heart beats for you Eric," Then she took my face in her hands and kissed me gently and deeply, conveying all of her love in that one kiss. I could feel a tear escape my eye as this woman gave her heart to me. I pulled back and looked at her as she took the tear with her finger and brought it to her mouth, licking it off her finger and moaning as she did it. She was so sexy when she did that. I wanted to take her and claim her right here. But restrained myself.

"Hey everyone, Jambalaya and cornbread is ready. And I have RM's for the vampires," Sookie giggled as she served dinner. We all moved into the kitchen and sat at the table. Bella and I sat close together, her hand on my thigh squeezing and rubbing back and forth and my hand at the base of her neck teasing her skin their and running my fingers through her hair. Every now and then I would kiss her head and she would reach over and kiss my neck. We would gaze at each other and just get lost in one anothers eyes. I couldn't wait to get her home.

"Eric, you and Bella should complete the bond as soon as possible. Tonight would be the best. As soon as that happens, her powers will develop. They are already manifesting as we speak, due to the residual spell being removed. Also, I can sense her shield protecting her essence and powers from us. We will need to find someone to train her to use and develop it," She said, as she ate more Jambalaya. Niall nodded his head in agreement. I thought about what she said and looked to Bella. I could feel her apprehension and fear, as she gripped my thigh tighter, and I noticed her half eaten bowl of Jambalaya left forgotten as she looked in my eyes.

"Bella, what is it my sweet girl?" I inquired, as I grabbed her face gently with both hands.

"Eric, I'm scared, what's going to happen to me? What does it mean that I'm getting powers? And now I'm wondering if the nightmares I'm having mean something. It's the same over and over. The same man comes into a room, like a dungeon, and I'm chained to a wall with my clothes gone except my underwear. He always calls me Isabella in a Spanish accent," she shared, and I wondered if it might hold some significance. I pulled her into my arms and held her close.

"Shhhh, my sweet Bella, you are safe with me. I won't let anything happen to you. I will be finding a guard and Sookie and her roommate with do a protection spell at your home. You can come stay with me and I will protect you as well. You will see," I tried soothing her, and I felt her relax against me and hold me close.

"Yes, Bella, we're going to make sure we are safe and no one can get us. Amelia and I will come stay with you and have a girls night okay? And we'll make sure your apartment is safe," Sookie said, and had a hopeful look on her face.

"Thank you Sookie, you all have been so nice to me," Bella separated herself from me and went to Sookie, wrapping her arms around her in a hug. Sookie smiled and hugged her back. I rose to say goodnight as did Niall and Breena.

"Well, it's been a very long day, and I'd like to take Bella home. We have much to do. Thank you Sookie for your hospitality and Bill, I will see you soon. Niall and Breena, a pleasure, I will be in touch," I nodded my head and waited for Bella to say her goodbyes. Sookie hugged Bella and then she came over and hugged me. I hugged her back and watched as Bill stiffened. I just shook my head. Some things never change. Breena hugged Bella and Sookie and promised to get in touch with them and then Niall hugged them and shook Bills and then my hand. I watched as they popped out and then Bella and I made our way to the door. Sookie followed with a bag in her hand.

"Bella, here's some Jambalaya and cornbread. I noticed you didn't eat much dinner. You might want some later. She handed it to Bella and Bella hugged her.

"Thank you Sookie, it was wonderful. I'd love it," She beamed, taking the bag from Sookie. We said goodbye and got into my Corvette, and started to speed down the road. All I could think about was getting Bella home and claiming her, she could sense it through our bond and had a smile on her face as she snuck her hand over to my lap and started to stroke me through my pants.

"You naughty little minx, just wait until I get you home. You have a punishment coming my bad girl," I warned, as she gasped and gripped me tighter. I let out a moan and stepped on the pedal, reaching over 100 mph. She was going to get it, and get it hard, as soon as we got home.

A/N – Thank you for reading and don't forget to review. Reviews are like getting delicious spankings, barehanded, from a sexy Viking Vampire.