Chapter 19

He was surprisingly cavalier at her revelation but not about what she intended to do with her gift.

"Absolutely not" he said

"Eric this may be the only way to help you."

"By putting you in the hands of Newlin and his allies? No, you are never going back there."

The Viking sheriff had spoken. Too bad Sookie was not one to pay attention to such chauvinistic drivel.

"It's my decision and I'm going."

Late afternoon had turned into early night during their long conversation. Sookie and Eric stood facing each other before the bed that had seen them come together just a few hours ago. She had her hands on her hips and her chin out much like Adele Stackhouse when she'd set her foot down. For his part the vampire towered over her. His large body was like an impenetrable stone wall.

"Then I'll leave"

The color drained a bit from Sookie's flushed face and her chin came down a little. "You can't"

He breathed deeply as if the words weighted heavily on him. "If it will keep you safe I will."

Sookie blinked back the telltale ache of tears. He couldn't leave.

The vampire leaned down a bit and kissed her softly. "This is my fight, not yours my lover. I won't let you risk it all for me" He said and walked away from her. His steps were heavy and filled with regret.

Sookie watched him leave halfway between heartbroken and horrified. He would go into the night and she would never see him again. Eric was sick with some mysterious illness and without any support he wouldn't survive.

And without him neither would she.

Not caring that she was only wearing her nightgown, Sookie rushed after him. He had already descended the porch steps and was making his way towards the dark woods.

"ERIC!" she cried out.

The vampire turned slowly and saw her standing at the top of the steps looking so distraught that he felt a burning shame for the pain he caused her. She was the one bright spot in his life and he'd gone and hurt her. It was unforgivable.

For her part Sookie saw the man who'd slowly carved a place in her empty heart. He was the man she'd been waiting for all her life. She couldn't lose him when she'd just found him.

Sookie opened her arms and Eric didn't hesitate in hastening towards her. His long strides made short work of the distance between them and he stepped into her warm embrace.

Eric's forehead pressed against her shoulder as her lips tasted the skin of his neck. His skin was cool and dry. Sookie breathed its scent and found it to be sweet and familiar.

"I love you." She whispered into his ear.

The kiss that followed said everything else that needed to be said. His lips met hers with the passion and longing that she wielded in him. After a thousand years of walking the earth had brought him to this moment of torturous bliss. She had become more important than self-preservation. Love hurt but the pain was well worth it.

Sookie gave in to the torrent of emotion the kiss caused in her. He engulfed her senses until her world narrowed to his touch on her skin. This was who she'd been waiting for all those lonely, deadened years. He was finally here.

In one fluid moment he swept her into his arms and ascended the stairs. They barely made it past the threshold before Sookie's nightgown saw its last at his impatient hands. His own clothes met a similar fate but they were past the point of caring.

The old living room sofa was their destination. Eric placed Sookie in its sagging cushions easing his own body on top of hers. Her legs came apart without any reservation and Eric's stilled heart clenched with desire.

Of course that was the moment that the shifter decided to walk in and tell them that they only had a few minutes left before they had to meet Alcide.

XxXxXx

Luna drove Sookie's yellow car to the assigned meeting place. Alcide had decided on an empty building site and Eric saw the wisdom behind the choice. About a dozen wolves prowled the piles of building materials unnoticed to everyone except an observant vampire. Eric wrinkled his nose. Few things smelled as bad as dog.

"Northman" said the pack leader as a greeting. Luna bowed submissively but Eric simply nodded.

"This is Sookie, my mate." He said as way of introduction indicating to the woman beside him.

Alcide grinned unpleasantly. "You've only been free for a few days. I'll say that's quick work."

"Eric snarled and the wolves surrounding them drew closer. "You will show her respect."

Before he could say anything Sookie stepped forward and slapped the pack leader on the face.

TBC.

The muse seems to have reappeared. I apologize for the wait but the next chapter should be out in the weekend. Please read and review.