Author's Note: Hey again…so I couldn't sleep and I was reading reviews for my last story "Missed" and was demanded a sequel…so here it is! As always, reviews are expected and I would love feedback and ideas for another TB story.
Summary: Sequel to "Missed". All his life – even when he was human – he never felt the need to try. But now, she's given him every reason to try and prove himself.
Regret (verb); feel sad, repentant, or disappointed over (something that has happened or been done, esp. a loss or missed opportunity)
Eric Northman did not believe in regrets. He did not regret the bloody murder of Talbot; a loved one for a loved one. He did not regret the murder of Russell; he always hated that man. He did not regret the tons of women that he slept with; they all pleasured him all the same. He did not regret outing Bill's secret deception to Sookie; she deserved to know the truth and understand that she fell in love with a lie. He did not regret looking into the eyes of Sookie and feeling love; it was the first time in his thousand years of living that he felt something so pure.
But he had one regret.
Leaving Sookie once his memory returned.
He didn't explain why.
He just said he had to leave her.
His sleepless nights tormented him. Why couldn't he just tell her why?
Or better yet, why couldn't he have just stayed?
Or at least try to.
A year. Twelve months. Fifty-two weeks. Lord knows how many hours. It was all just a measure of time. But what was time? Did time exist? Or did clocks exist? Whatever scientific bullshit was hidden behind the concept of time, it only meant one thing for Eric Northman; he had been apart from Sookie for far too long. He needed to her in his life. But he knew that there were risks that he didn't want to put her through. But he wouldn't tell her that.
"Are you thinking about her again?" Pam asked, her voice underlined with aggravation. Eric looked up at her, his mind clearly elsewhere. For the last year, Eric had been staying at a vampire nest in Cleveland. It wasn't the best place to be, but it was far enough away from Bon Temps.
"Go away Pam." Eric threatened, his voice far from spiteful. Pam pursed her lips and her arms were folded over her chest. Eric Northman didn't scare her. She knew how to stand up to him and how to make him listen.
"Don't you think that it would be better for both of your sakes to just reunite? I'm tired of hearing the same sob story every time I see both of you."
"When have you seen Sookie? I gave you strict orders to never go back to Sookie's house." If a look could kill, Pam would be dead.
"I didn't go to her house, Eric. She comes to Fangtasia, almost every night. She comes hoping that I'll tell her where you've been. It's annoying, not endearing. She sticks out like a sore thumb…she doesn't even try to fit in with the crowd." Pam scoffed, running her fingers through her golden hair. Ever since her face was restored from the rotting corpse she was doomed to become, she had become more vain and proud of her appearance than before. Eric took no notice in her appearance. His mind was spinning. Sookie still had hope in him? Why would she? Wouldn't she have moved on with Bill Compton? Eric shuddered at the thought.
"Has she been coming lately?" Eric asked, damning his curiosity. Pam continued to purse her lips.
"Not lately. My guess is she either gave up. Or finally jumped in bed with someone else." Pam chuckled, seeing Eric trying to hide his grimaces. Although he had tried to say that he could care less about whom Sookie opened her legs to, Eric knew that he was always holding out hope that she had no one in her life. But how could he blame her if she did?
"That's not funny, Pam." Eric chastised her, his eyes glaring forcefully. Pam was not intimidated. She folded her arms over her chest.
"You know, I've thought of you to be many things Eric Northman. A coward wasn't one of them."
"Excuse me?" Eric was flabbergasted.
"Why did you have to leave Sookie? To protect her? If anything, she would probably be more vulnerable without you there to defend her. Why did you leave? You never told Sookie, so can you at least tell me?" Pam demanded, her hands placed on her hips.
And for the first time in a thousand years, Eric was left speechless.
The smell of pecan wafted past her nose and it brought her to a dear and beloved place she liked to call home. On a cool October night, wearing cozy shorts, slippers and an oversized sweater, Sookie felt comfortable and safe. The autumn air and the sweet smell of pecan pie made her think of the years when Gran would bake her pies to celebrate the fall season. Despite the happiness nostalgia brought her, Sookie also couldn't help but feel sad. The smell of pecan only reminded Sookie that her Gran was gone. And upon that realization, Sookie always found herself thinking about all the people she loved whom she lost.
Her parents. Gran. Bill, though it was metaphorical and for the better.
Sookie tried going on dates with nice normal boys. But, as she had expected every single time, they failed miserably. She couldn't go back to dating normal boys now that she had tasted Eric Northman. But she knew that Eric was no longer an option. She needed to try and make do with what she had in Bon Temps.
Just as she was about to indulge in her pecan pie, there was a knock at her door. Sookie looked at the time. It was ten to midnight. Who could possibly be at her door this late? She would've assumed it was Jason, but he had work early in the morning and he always tried to go to bed early. Tara was still in New Orleans. Bill stopped coming around a long time ago. Who could it have possibly been? Sookie left her kitchen and abandoned her pie. She tried to see the face through the curtain in her door, but the face was hazy. Sookie opened the door and she gasped at who she saw standing before her.
He stared at her, not with his famous intense stare, but with gentle eyes. Sookie couldn't help but look into them. She had missed those eyes for so long that she couldn't bring herself to look away.
"Eric?" Sookie whispered in disbelief. She didn't realize until that moment that Eric had taken her hand into his.
"May I please come in?" Eric asked, his voice soft and quiet. It felt like silk against Sookie's body. She was about to open her mouth to invite him in, but she stopped herself. As much as she loved him, he had hurt her. In the worst imaginable way. She couldn't just ask him to come in and pretend that everything would be okay after. She had to stand her ground.
"No. Not until you explain where the hell you've been for the last year." Sookie demanded, shutting the door behind her and facing him on the porch. He had no choice but to look back into her eyes. He sighed.
"Don't you remember Sookie? I told you that it was for your own good." Eric replied, trying to avoid telling her the real reason for as long as he could. Sookie rolled her eyes and folded her arms over her chest.
"Don't treat me like an idiot, Eric. What's the real reason? I've spent the last year in complete loneliness and I deserve to know why I was forced to live the worst year of my life because you left for my own good." Sookie scoffed, getting too passionate for her own liking. She couldn't admit to him that she had been waiting by the door for him. She didn't want Eric to have that power. But he was there and he made her so beautifully vulnerable.
Odi et amo. I hate and I love.
Eric sighed quietly to himself. How was he supposed to summarize what was going through his head at the time he left Sookie? Was it pathetic? Would she try to understand his logic? Or would she slap him in the face and walk away? Eric would have to jump in. No regrets – just love.
"I remembered everything that happened between you and me. I remembered how you cared for me in this house. I remembered how I looked into your eyes with love I thought ceased to exist within me. And I remembered how you and I made love under the moon. And I remember telling myself in that moment that I was in love with you." Eric concluded, knowing that at this point, his non-existent heart would be beating feverishly. Sookie's eyes were becoming suspiciously wet. She clenched her fist to refrain herself from doing something stupid, like cupping Eric's face into her hands and kissing him.
"If you remembered then why did you lie to me? Why would you leave me if you were happy with me? Eric, if you ever loved me, you are going to tell me why you left me like this." Sookie was pleading. But at least she wasn't crying. Yet.
Brave. That was Eric defined himself as. But he knew better than anyone that in order to be brave, he first had to be afraid of something. And here came the something.
"I didn't know if I could love you the way the Eric with no memory could." Eric admitted, his voice strong and eyes soft. His words hit Sookie hard in the face. She blinked in shock.
"What?" She wasn't sure if she was hearing correctly. Eric sighed, almost embarrassed. But he had to maintain his dignity for Sookie's sake. And for his own.
"I'm sure you've noticed, but I am an asshole when I remember all the shit that happened in my life. And I have more baggage than you'll ever imagine. My feelings for you were always real, but there were always the games and the avoidance of complications that I saw when I tried to imagine us being together. The Eric who lost his memory…I wish that I could be that Eric. He didn't have to remember horrible things or think of all the things that would keep me away from you in any kind of life. I could be stupid in love. I could stay with you and not fear losing you. You would never have to worry about getting hurt or be forced to walk around with a target on your back. When my memory came back…I just realized that I was going to hurt you more than love you." Eric confessed, his hands shaking. What was the cause of the shaking?
Sookie could only stare. It was considered rude, but she didn't care. Eric was the definition of rude and crude. She didn't know what to think of Eric's rationale for leaving. Should she be touched? Angry? Sad? Numb? She didn't know whether she should hold Eric close or if she should slap him across the face. Sookie's mind, for the first time in a really long time, was blank. She couldn't hear her own thoughts. She sucked on her lips for a long time and allowed a tear to slip down her cheek.
"I don't know what to do, Eric." Sookie whispered, not expecting a reply or gesture from Eric Northman.
All his life – even when he was human – he never felt the need to try. But now, she's given him every reason to try and prove himself. Eric lifted a cold hand and he cupped Sookie's face into it. He wiped away her tears. He tried wiping away the hurt. He pressed a kiss on her forehead.
"I won't tell you that you should forgive me. But always know that I am always going to keep trying to earn your forgiveness. I'm doing this because I love you. I love the hope I see when I look into your eyes. I won't give up on you anymore Sookie Stackhouse. You can believe in that." Eric promised, his thumb ghosting across Sookie's cheeks.
Before Eric could step away, Sookie pulled herself into Eric's body and she kissed him with everything that she had in her. Her arms were quick to wrap around Eric's beautifully muscular body. Eric's hand was still delicately placed on Sookie's cheek while his other one had slithered around her petite waist. For a year, they had been yearning for the other's touch and now the moment was theirs. They had to catch it while they still could. Sookie pulled back, reluctantly.
"I love you too, Eric. Don't you ever think of leaving. I need you forever. Whatever risks are out there, I want to face them with you. This home is our home. Stay. I love you. That's got to be enough to let you know that I love you with and without your memory." Sookie professed, holding Eric close for the fear that she would lose him again.
Eric smiled and he kissed her again too. He picked her up, bride and groom style.
"I love you Sookie. Lets make this house a real home." Eric remarked, racing them up to their bedroom where they would show each other just how much they missed each other.
This was the first step at healing: trying.