Disclaimer: Don't own Southern Vampire Mysteries. I also borrowed Amelia's bodyguard power from Breaking Dawn. Sorry Stephanie.

Veil Between Happiness

Shades of Grey

The moment they walked through the doors of the Royal Suite, Eric was on Sookie, and gently removing the veil from her body.

It was their tradition; every morning, he put the veil on her, and every evening he was the one to take the veil off her.

She supposed it was his way of apologizing, of releasing her from the gilded cage he put her in.

She remembered the day she first saw it. It had been shortly after Eric had killed Felipe, and taken his palace, and taken her to live with him. She had walked in to see in draped carefully across the bed, and it had brought tears to her eyes.

She had put it on, and danced around the room, assuming that it was a wedding veil.

"I have to wear this every day? No, Eric, no! I will not hide myself away, be your doll, be in a cage," she spat out. "If this is what I have to deal with, then take me home, I don't want to live with you."

"No." He whispered softly, but determined.

"What?" She asked, aghast.

"I cannot let you leave me, Sookie. Don't you see?" He roared, spreading his arms wide, and gesturing around the room. "Do you see where you are? I did this for you! All of this, the killing, the revenge, the takeovers, it was all for YOU," he bellowed. "I did this all to keep you, so I could love you, and I'm not going to let you go now."

She took it from his hand, and went to the closet to hang it up. She immediately closed the door so she wouldn't have to see it. The beautiful veil had since become the ugliest thing on the planet to her.

Eric went to lie on the bed, as he watched her move about the room, preparing for bed as dawn approached, as she now kept his hours. He watched as she hung up the veil that he knew she thought was for a wedding.

He walked into the room to see her dancing around in the veil he had made for her. The moment she spotted him, she rushed over and jumped on him, and peppered his face with kisses. "Yes! Yes Eric, yes!" She exclaimed over and over, punctuating each 'yes' with a kiss.

Then he had to explain to her what the veil was truly for and watch as the veil once considered beautiful was ripped from her head, and thrown to the ground.

She thought it was for a wedding, but what she didn't realize was that it was for a wedding. Every evening he watched her walk down an aisle in her white gown and veil, with her attendant holding her train, and he imagined that she was making her way down a church aisle.

He imagined that the tears she sometimes shed as she walked down the aisle, were those of tears, and ignored the tinge of sadness that now permanently tainted their Bond.

But despite her disdain for her veil, her sadness at being locked away, the only sun surrounded by those of the night; above all that, he knew that she would never leave him. She loved him.

She had only tried to leave him once, with the aid of her friend the witch. He had caught them of course, and forced the witch to pledge her service to him. She was now his lover's attendant and bodyguard, the one who always touched his lover's shoulder, projecting a barrier.

"Why Sookie?" He asked, throwing her on their bed, and pleading with her. "Why do you want to leave me? Don't I give you enough? I certainly love you enough! What is it that you desire?" He began to cry, rivers of blood standing out against his pale face.

She too cried, and hugged him close to her. "Freedom Eric, give me freedom, and I will love you always, you can visit me, I will be faithful, you know I will," She exclaimed, beginning to plead with him as well.

"My love, if I thought you would be safe anywhere else, I would set you free. But it is far better for you to be safe beside me and unhappy, then dead."

"What?" She asked, lightly shoving him back to stare him in the face. "You're protecting me by keeping me here? That's the reason why you won't release me?"

Upon hearing this, he genuinely looked astonished. "Of course, my love. You are my heart, and I love no other, but if it were safe for you to live apart from me, to have your freedom, to wear what you wanted, I would release you in a heartbeat." He pulled her back into his embrace. "I would happily visit you every evening, just to be close to you. You wear that veil, and are forbidden from speaking, because I fear that this will entice one to take you, my title be damned. Or, one would take you to get at me, and I am not worried for myself, and I know I would get to you before you were killed, however, I am afraid of the damage that would be done to you, that even my blood would not be able to erase."

Once she was done with her nightly activities, she returned to his side and snuggled into him. "I didn't see Bill Compton in court this evening," she stated casually, drawing lazy patterns upon his chest.

"I had him killed," he drawled out, looking down to see her reaction.

She smacked his chest lightly, causing him to growl. "You did not!" She exclaimed, giggling into his side, and he relished in the feel of her light, warm breath upon his side, feeling the heat rush down south.

"No, Compton was safely returned home, so he can finish my database, and make me more money to spend on you."

She snorted with laughter. "That sounds about right."

They lay in comfortable silence, with Sookie once again trailing her finger upon his chest, getting lower and lower with each pass.

He broke the silence, musingly asking, "I wonder lover, how many more you will entice to become your knight in shining armor?"

He could practically hear her roll her eyes. "Well they can't all be Vikings," she muttered teasingly, before boldly grabbing her member.

He growled viciously before yanking her hand away, and rolling on top of her. "That's true, they can't be, nor can they all have Gracious Plenty's." He teased her before kissing her savagely, and trailing his hand downwards, and under her night gown, to see how ready she was.

He hissed when he felt her sopping wetness, and ripped off her gown, removed his trousers, and thrust into her.

She threw her head back and moaned, slow and sensual, and that was how he moved, angling to hit her special spot. She languidly wrapped her arms around his neck, and moved with him, both in perfect time.

When she came, she cried out, her nails scoring down his back, making scars that quickly faded. He held on longer, thrusting into her deeper until with a low, guttural moan, he too came, collapsing on top of her, before quickly rolling over, pulling her on top of him.

"Are you going to leave me, my love?" He asked in their tradition. Every evening, he asked the same question, and every evening she responded in the same way.

"No I don't think I will my love."

And they fell asleep, Sookie on top of Eric, and as the moon slowly set, and before the sun shades slid into place, their whole room was basked in grey.

A/N: Well, that's all folks! I know, it's short, but I really like this chapter, and I hope this answers your questions. But I have a new story coming out today or tomorrow… drum roll please! It will be called Shattered, the prize for the amazing Kitchycoo for winning me in the Support Stacie Vampire Author Auction! For those of you who liked this story, Shattered is along those same lines, darkness galore! Thanks, as always, for reading! P.S, Kitchy made two awesome banners for Shattered, so check them out on my profile, and marvel at her awesomeness!

Also, this chapter is dedicated to hdgcat, who was the only reviewer, who upon talking about Eric and Bill did not say something along the lines of 'Eww, I hate Bill, they better not end up together! I love Eric!" Etc, etc. She instead mentioned 'Respective shades of grey' which is where the chapter title comes from. Thanks hdgcat! (But I love and cherish all reviewers because they are my dealers of review crack, without them, I'd be suffering from withdrawal symptoms. BTW, I love Eric too!)