I wanted to get this up before the weekend which is why it's shorter than I would have liked. Warning things get a little angsty.
Chapter title comes from the Kygo song Raging.
Their Bond was murky again or really Eric was whipping through so many emotions Sookie couldn't really pick them apart. Eric blurred around the room for a bit and that made Sookie almost as dizzy as his moods so she laid back on the bed until he could calm. When Eric did finally settle it wasn't much better in her opinion.
"I need you to take some of my blood before Godric and I leave tonight."
Hearing Godric would be with him eased Sookie's fears a little thankfully. She wasn't happy about the rest.
She sat up and glared at him.
"We're not going to even talk about it?"
Sookie might not have actually liked the topic but she was not about to be pushed to the sidelines again. Just because she could feel Eric's emotions didn't mean she had a clue what was really going through his head.
"I have a bit more pressing matter right now, Sookie."
"Well that's bullshit."
Eric gave her his own glare.
Sookie didn't care how annoyed he was getting. There might not be a later (and she really didn't want to think about that) and if she backed down right now Sookie felt like she would never get this footing back. As afraid as she was about all this Sookie didn't want to be a bystander to what was going to happen.
"Pam said that Russell guy is the King of Mississippi. Is he older than you?" He would have to be if he killed Eric's family when he was still human. "Is he older than Godric?"
Eric turned away from her and his rigid stance and refusal to answer seemed a confirmation.
When Eric finally spoke it was in a tone of voice Sookie had never heard him use, at least not in relation to her. It made her heart hurt even more than it was and she couldn't help breaking out in goosebumps.
"Sookie, I am very close to getting something I have wanted since I was still human. You knew what this would be."
Honestly if this Russell Edgington was as dangerous as he sounded and he knew about her, Sookie would feel much safer if he was taken out. With how strong he must be Sookie doubted imprisonment was an option. What happened when vampires grew too old and rowdy anyway?
"Eric, I'm not trying to take anything from you. I know what this means to you." Sookie still remembered how it felt when Sophie-Anne had only vaguely threatened Jason the other night. She'd been looking for the nearest chair leg to turn into a stake. "But Eric... I don't want you to die."
The brokenness of her voice vibrated through their Bond and it felt like ice stabbing through Eric's chest that settled in his veins. It didn't help that she was trying to hold off crying. He blurred to kneel beside the bed and took her face between his hands. She wouldn't meet his eyes until a few of her tears slipped free and he wiped them away with his thumb.
Sookie placed one of her warm hands along his larger cool one.
"Sookie, I'm over a thousand years old. I haven't survived that long by luck and taking stupid chances."
"I know. But this is big and we still don't know what will happen tonight. Why don't you tell the Magister about this? That should earn some brownie points right?"
Boy, Eric did not like that suggestion and he let it show on his face. If it wasn't such a serious conversation Sookie might have laughed.
"That's not as viable an option as you might think. We have no real proof, just hearsay. The Council would also think twice before trying to go up against a King of Edgington's age."
Not to mention his wealth if the rumors were true. The King of Mississippi had probably donated large sums to the AVL since its inception and Eric guessed the Authority probably taxed Mississippi the most out of the territories as a result.
This nagged at Eric a bit. The Magister was fanatically devoted to his job and his place with the Authority and never took bribes, unlike some of the other Council members supposedly did. Such a set up as Edgington's should have raised some red flags over the years. The fact that a King would allow such a large werewolf contingent in his state should have given some pause. If Eric had cared enough about the territories neighboring Louisiana to learn of it earlier, he would have possibly looked into it.
Hiding something like a rogue agenda using rabid werewolves might be simple for one as old as Russell Edgington for a millennia but for only so long. Edgington was said to be less than sane and rather flamboyant. Not to mention since the VRA was coming up for a vote soon the Authority was doubly paranoid at sniffing out anything that might reflect badly on the vampire population at large.
Someone, higher up on the food chain than the Magister possibly, was covering Mississippi's tracks. Eric would bet there was more involved than just money changing hands.
He didn't share his thoughts with Sookie because it might just confuse her and it would definitely not help in assuaging her fears.
"Don't the Authority have like ... resources or something?" Sookie asked.
She wasn't satisfied with Eric's answer. Sookie was sure that Eric's pride and ego had a bit to do with his reluctance to share with the Authority.
"They're very reluctant to use them unless it's a fight they're sure to win."
The Authority had become so delusional about their power they most likely thought that they could put down even a 3,000 year old monarch with very little trouble.
"Would it be so bad to ask?"
"Yes," Eric said immediately as if that would be the end of it. He started to roll up the sleeve of his shirt and Sookie wrinkled her nose knowing what that meant. "It's for my peace of mind. And since when do you dislike taking my blood so much."
It's not like she did it that often but definitely more than any other human had with Eric. To keep their Bond as strong as it was they'd have to exchange blood every once in awhile.
"I don't dislike it," Sookie said. She even blushed a little and had to avert her eyes for a second thinking about how they both got whenever they took blood from each other. "Remember we have that little theory about my fairy-ness and your blood?"
"Good. If something happens you can set someone on fire."
Sookie was going to argue that that wasn't exactly how it worked but Eric bit into his wrist and held it up to her mouth. When the wound closed he did it a second time and Sookie grimaced but drank.
When it was done Sookie got a tissue to wipe the excess blood from the corners of her mouth. Whether it was part of her fairy-ness or just Sookie in general, Eric had no qualms about Sookie becoming addicted to his blood. She sat back on the bed and he joined her and Sookie huddled close to him.
"I'll definitely have dreams about Fairyland now," Sookie grumbled.
"They're just dreams." At least he hoped they were. "And you told me you don't entirely trust..."
"Claudine," Sookie supplied.
"This Claudine. You know to take anything she says with a grain of salt."
The more she thought about it the less Sookie trusted Claudine. What with her attitude toward Sookie's relationship with Eric and the fact that Claudine hadn't bothered to show up for the first twenty-something years of her life, Sookie wasn't inclined to be charitable toward the fairy beyond common courtesy. And even that was wearing thin.
The only problem was Sookie had questions that only Claudine could answer, unless Sookie could somehow contact another fairy that wouldn't be so damn vague about everything.
It helped now that she knew fairies couldn't lie but that wasn't an assurance that Claudine would actually help Sookie out with the answers she wanted.
"Maybe I won't even need to sleep with all that blood in me," she mused.
Though she really wanted to know about that fairy love token she'd hidden in the yard.
"I wouldn't advise trying that. You need your rest."
Especially after the stress of the last few days. Eric knew his blood would improve her health overall but Sookie shouldn't rely on it completely. "I want to see you eat something that's actually part of the human food groups."
Sookie gave him a smile but then remembered Eric's concern wasn't just run of the mill. He was leaving soon. Sookie hugged herself closer to Eric and breathed in and out loudly. Eric knew she was trying hard not to cry again.
"I don't want you to go," she said finally.
"You think I want to leave you?"
Sookie pulled away enough to look at Eric and a few tears did well up but she quickly blinked them away.
"It's not fair," she said. "Everything's been so... Since I first took your blood it feels like the end of the world."
She realized how that must have sounded and tried to backtrack. Eric talked over her.
"Stop worrying." As though he could command her like he did Jessica and Pam. "Pam is not exactly happy with me right now and Jessica is...well Jessica. I'd like one person I love not to be completely out of it, thank you."
Sookie's brain seemed to short circuit for a second. After a minute she jumped off the bed looking indignant.
"Did you just...? Are you seriously...? You can be such a jerk!"
"Is that the usual human response?"
He was laughing at her. Sookie stocked back to the bed and punched him in the shoulder.
"You... Stop smirking. You didn't even really say it! And of course you'd be a butthead about it."
Eric grabbed her by the wrist and pulled her into his lap before she could stock off again. Sookie pretended to put up a fight but she was finding it hard to keep a smile off her face.
"Shouldn't the fact that I actually used the word 'love' in a sentence mean something? Not to mention you're the only human I would let call me a butthead."
Sookie snickered at that.
"I'm human okay? Is a little romance too much to ask?"
"Sookie, you've been able to feel my emotions for awhile now. Were you really in doubt how I felt about you?"
The idea was preposterous. He'd told her more than once that he'd never shared so much with another human. It wasn't a surprise to him how he felt about her. Humans needed to label everything. Eric had known from almost the first night he'd met Sookie that she would be different. The feelings he had for her eclipsed anything he had ever felt as a human or a vampire but love seemed too small a word for it.
Sookie leaned into his chest and her voice was muffled.
"Words are stupid right?"
"How very articulate of you to say, lover."
She almost wanted to stick her tongue out at him but Eric became still and serious. He pried her head back enough so that she could see his face.
"Sookie, Jag älskar dig."
He'd probably said it in Swedish to get a rise out of her but Sookie wasn't taking the bait. She pulled herself up and kissed him until she was breathless.
"If I'd known this was how'd you'd react..." Eric chuckled.
"Oh, hush," she said nuzzling his neck.
The sun was just slipping below the horizon when they finally came downstairs. Jessica would only just be waking up but Sookie could feel Pam's void and had to wonder why the female vampire was sequestered in the back room.
Sookie remembered that Eric said Pam was angry with him for some reason. She was going to ask him about it as she came into the kitchen but stopped dead in her tracks. Eric easily stepped around her and went to the fridge to rummage around for something of substance for her.
Godric was already up of course and he was by the stove. He'd obviously been preparing a cup of blood for Jessica. Except there were two cups. One of which the small vampire was drinking from.
Sookie felt her cheeks color slightly in a wash of embarrassment and quickly looked away. If Godric was at all uneasy about taking blood in front of her, Sookie was sure her silly reaction would only make the vampire feel more self conscious. Sookie plastered a smile on her face, one she hoped didn't resemble her 'Crazy Sookie' smile, and looked back at him for a second.
"Good morning... Wait... Evening I mean."
Godric just raised an eyebrow at her behavior and when he finished his cup offered his own pleasant greeting.
This wasn't such a big deal except that it totally was. Godric wasn't shining as brightly as Eric or Pam ever were but the small bit of blood he was taking seemed to lessen his pallor from the more sickly shade it had been before.
Sookie wasn't about to ask Eric about it when Godric was standing right there and really she doubted if she should butt in any more than she already had if this was already a result. Eric had obviously said something and whether or not it was for the best only time would tell.
Sookie was saved from any more awkwardness by Jessica rising out of the cubby. The red headed vamp stopped in the kitchen next to Sookie, but her eyes were on the telepath in surprise, not Godric,
"Whoa," Jessica said giving a little sniff in Sookie's direction. "Eric must've given you a lot of his blood. I thought their were two of him in here for a second."
"God forbid," Pam called disgruntled from somewhere else in the house.
Jessica looked nervous and Sookie could feel Eric's annoyance at his older Child's behavior. He seemed content to let Pam stew though.
"Do I want to know what that's about?" Sookie asked Jessica.
"They had a fight." Obviously and Jessica really didn't need to whisper. They could all hear her.
"Both of you come eat," Eric said.
Jessica took her still warm cup o'blood from the counter and took a seat. Tina jumped up on the table to get some attention but Sookie shooed her off as she sat down. The gray feline rubbed against both human and vampire legs before padding off in search of a comfortable napping place.
Sookie wrinkled her nose at the plate of food Eric placed in front of her. The hunk of tuna salad looked alright but with all his blood in her system Sookie didn't exactly have an appetite. Eric gave her a pointed look and she picked up her fork.
"Fish smells weird," Jessica grumbled. Sookie was about to apologize but Eric cut in.
"You can go out on the porch."
Jessica kept the rest of her comments to herself and took big gulps from her cup. The bagged blood was fine for now but if Jessica wasn't able to drink from a live donor soon her attitude could become worse. The same could be said of Pam even, who still refused to join the rest of them in the kitchen.
"Pam, get in here."
If Pam made Eric command her he was going to stop being nice about how much she was pissing him off. After a moment, when Pam decided not to be completely suicidal she came to stand in the entryway of the kitchen. She spared a look for Godric but blatantly ignored everyone else.
Sookie shared a tense look with Jessica who just shrugged and kept her head down. Godric decided to be the one to speak to break the tension. The older vampire could understand Pam's ire as it was really just to mask her fear, but it helped nothing.
"You'll stay in the house. Even if something happens."
Sookie's throat became tight and she pushed the rest of her food away. A queasiness settled in her stomach and her limbs became heavy. Sookie didn't want to hear any of this. She didn't want to be in the room anymore because she felt she might shatter and didn't want an audience. Not if this was the last few minutes she got to spend in Eric's company.
Stop thinking like that, Sookie! She scolded herself.
Sookie willed herself a backbone of iron. Eric would still be able to feel her anguish but that couldn't be helped. He had enough to deal with she wasn't about to show how close to breaking she was.
Godric had his own fears about how the evening would proceed. He'd been truthful with Eric when he'd assured him that the Guardian would most likely not come alone just to witness putting any of them to the True Death. What unsettled Godric was Eric's attitude toward the Guardian.
Roman Zimojic liked his ass kissed as much as the next vampire with any power and Eric had shown himself willing to play the part but only to an extent. It really all depended on what the Guardian wanted. Godric was going to this meeting to protect Eric from himself as much as from any outside threat.
"Where would we go?" Jessica said.
She'd tried to sound sarcastic about it but her voice came out flat and cold. If they didn't leave soon Eric was sure Jessica would start crying along with Sookie. It was a testament to how much the two felt for him and he wouldn't begrudge them that but honestly he was still at a loss as what to do with those type of emotions. Anger he could tolerate and even ignore to a degree. Tears though...
Eric would gladly go off to torture if it meant he never had to see Sookie cry again or feel that dark mist of desperation and depression that clouded their Bond.
"Alcide's here," Sookie said hearing his truck pull up. She'd let him go back to Jason's to catch some sleep and promised she'd be fine and smooth it over with Eric. Mostly she had wanted to be alone to marinate on the information the werewolf had given her.
Sookie got up to go greet Alcide because manners but also she needed out of that room. Really she needed out of her own freaking skin.
"Don't go outside the ward," Eric said.
Sookie didn't need to read Alcide's thoughts to know he was spooked but he was also one of the good ones so of course he didn't hesitate about coming if Sookie needed him. Just for that Sookie mustered up a genuine smile. It helped ease the werewolf's mind a bit.
"Hey," he said coming up the porch steps. Sookie remained in the doorway holding the screen open with her body.
"Hi," she replied. "What did you tell Jason?"
Alcide didn't move to come inside. He was wary of the four vampires in the kitchen.
"He wasn't there when I stopped by or before I left. I'm sure he's fine."
Jason's safety hadn't been why she'd asked. Jessica would know if something serious happened. It was better if her brother knew nothing about this mess. She didn't need Jason barreling into the middle of this even if she could use his warmth and goofiness right now. She loved him enough to keep him away.
Eric came up behind Sookie and she moved out onto the porch since Godric needed out as well. Jessica and Pam needed to make their goodbyes too.
Sookie had to roll her eyes at the enjoyment Eric got out of seeing Alcide flinch and back up at the sight of them all.
"Patrol the grounds," Eric ordered. He almost ordered him to keep to the cemetery, which was outside the ward, but he wasn't that much of a dick. At least not tonight. "If there is a threat the ward should be enough for now."
If anyone did get past that, Eric would most likely be dead, Godric too possibly. He wasn't about to say that thought aloud in front of Sookie.
"Right..." Alcide said. "I'm gonna...around back...to shift."
Any other time Sookie would probably have been curious to see that.
"Would it kill you guys to be nice to him?" Sookie asked. "He's doing you a favor."
"No he's not," Pam reminded her. "He's paying a debt. A pretty steep one too."
"He's like an employee then. Would you expect Ginger to keep doing a good job if you treated her like that?"
"Ginger wishes Eric treated her that well," Pam said.
That was when Eric noticed the stringy blonde at all. Sookie knew from Ginger's thoughts that she kind of liked when Eric and Pam treated her poorly. The waitress had issues.
"As much as I agree you have poor manners in regards to your underlings-." Godric broke in. "We should get going."
"But it's not even close to midnight," Jessica blubbered. "You guys can fly. You'll be there in like twenty minutes!"
"Knowing the Guardian... he's most likely already in the state. And even though the Magister is immortal he has little patience for wasted time."
"Not to mention you can see what kind of entourage they brought with them." She turned to Eric. "You can get a pretty good view of the bar from the Starbucks across the street and you probably won't be noticed. You'll be downwind."
"I really don't want to know how you know that," Eric said but he couldn't help grinning at her.
Jessica threw herself around Eric's neck. The young vampire's eyes were red with tears. Sookie gave him a pointed look so he did not immediately throw the baby vampire into a wall. He patted her head reassuringly as he had the previous night.
"Jessica, du är starkare än du vet. Lillavar modig."
Jessica couldn't understand the words but their Bond was awash with tenderness. It warmed her dead heart and muted her fears a fraction. The blood just leaked faster from her eyes.
"Listen to Pam," Eric said as he gently pried his Child's form off his.
Jessica rubbed at her eyes. She hated crying but she couldn't do much to stop it. Pam ushered her back into the house.
"Give them a minute," Pam said surprising the hell out of Eric that she was deciding to finally be decent. She was still pissed at him but she wasn't a complete monster.
"Pam..." he called after her.
"Save it for after you get back," his older progeny growled.
Pam did not want an audience. Maybe she would regret it later if something bad did happen but right now she was still too angry about being left behind to deal with Eric being at all nurturing.
The screen door slamming shut seemed impossibly loud. Like a gunshot. Sookie released Godric had made himself scarce as well and she was alone on the porch with Eric.
Sookie knew that if she looked directly at Eric she too would start crying. Instead she hugged him around the middle and buried her face in his shirt.
"This feels very familiar," she croaked.
"I came back from the tribunal."
Had at really only been about a month ago? Sookie tried to give a brave smile.
"You came back with Jessica."
"You're right. It wasn't worth it."
She pulled back enough to smack him in the stomach but she couldn't help the wet laugh that came out. Maybe it was going to be alright if he could still make jokes.
"She can hear you." Sookie took a shaken breath. "Eric, if it goes badly. If you could still make some kind of deal... I spent a long time trying to just ignore or wish away my dis-. This." She waved a hand at her head. She knew how he felt about her calling it a disability by now. "I don't mind a little hard work with it if it means you're safe."
"That's not an option, Sookie."
He held her a little tighter than he needed to. Sookie knew better than to bring up the other thing right now. It was her turn to grimace.
"How come you're allowed to give yourself up to protect everybody else and I'm not." She leaned into him again.
"You're human." She opened her mouth but he cut her off. "Sookie, you've seen a lot but trust me when I say there's always worse. I know you don't like feeling helpless but this isn't something you can control. No matter how big a tantrum you want to throw about it."
She gave him a cutting look for that but she didn't seem to have enough gumption leftover to argue with him.
Her readiness to self sacrifice even in the face of her own fear showed how exceptional a human she was. One in a thousand really. That didn't mean she was without a breaking point. Eric would be damned if his actions led to that hopeful light in her being snuffed out.
"Sookie, I have to go."
Though he didn't let go of her either.
"I know." She pulled back a little and raised herself onto tiptoes so she could give him a warm if slightly teary kiss. "And you're gonna comeback or I really will throw a monster tantrum. Those Authority vamps will be shaking in their coffins."
"I have no doubt."
With her fierceness Eric doubted even the Authority stood a chance against an angry fairy Sookie.
Eric gave her a sweet kiss of his own before resting his forehead against hers. He didn't need to memorize her scent, it was engrained as such a part of him now, but he still took it in.
"I love you."
Eric realized he needed to say the words as much Sookie needed to hear it.
"I know," she whispered. "I love you, too."
"Go into the house."
He doubted he could make himself leave in a timely manner otherwise.
Sookie waited until she felt the two large voids moving away from the farmhouse before she allowed herself to completely break. She sagged against the nearest wall and covered her face with shaky hands, letting the tears finally spill.
jag älskar dig = I love you.
Jessica, du är starkare än du vet= Jessica, you are stronger than you know.
Lilla var modi= Little one be brave.
So the Guardian and the Magister are up next. Also another surprise guest. Don't worry it's not Nora.