Forever, Now

A Southern Vampire Mysteries Fanfiction by Missus T

Disclaimer – I don't own these characters. You know that. I know that. As long as we're all on the same page here…we can enjoy the goodness of jumbling up Charlaine's world.

A/N:

Surprise - Happy New Year! I was thinking about the projects I have started and I came across this as I dug through my gdocs. According to Google, the last time I opened this doc was 259 days ago. WTF? No idea how it got lost there. Maybe it was because, well...this could be more than a o/s and I wasn't sure if I could leave it alone.

Originally, I wrote this for Alisonbynumbers who wasn't feeling well…you can thank her for the inspiration.

So here's to wishing that Alison, and everyone else, has a fantastic 2012!

- V V -

1870 = Shreveport, Louisiana

An incessant knocking at the front door woke her. She had no idea of the time, only that the fire in the hearth was low and that the room had cooled considerably with the night air. She made no move to rise, knowing that either her brother or one of the staff would answer the door.

Unfortunately, though the knocking had ceased, there were now loud voices coming from the entryway. She couldn't make out the words or tell whose voices she heard, but she hoped that her brother took care of things quickly so she could fall back to sleep. She shifted again in frustration at the inconsiderate lout who would come into a home so late in the evening and make such ruckus. Her eyes had barely closed again when she heard footsteps on the stairs and a sharp rap at her bedroom door.

She groaned at the intrusion. "Yes?"

"There is news of your brother, Sookie," the housekeeper, Arlene, called. Arlene was probably only ten years older than Sookie, but she'd inherited her position as housekeeper when her mother passed on, and she had lived in the Stackhouse home her entire life.

"News?" Her brow furrowed in confusion. "Is he not home?" she called as she climbed out of bed and reached for her housecoat.

The door opened and the flame-haired housekeeper poked her head inside. "He says you must come quickly. He won't tell anyone else what has happened to Jason."

Sookie slid her feet into slippers and quickly followed the woman down the stairs, mumbling about who would be so bold as to come to their home in the middle of the night. She stumbled slightly when she saw the man in the foyer but didn't lose her footing.

He stood with his hands clasped behind his back as he studied the family portrait on the wall. He was tall, taller than most of the men she knew, his blond hair hair beginning to escape the black ribbon that held it back, and his suit was finely tailored to accentuate his broad shoulders and regal posture. He was a man of means, one who she hadn't seen in several years, and yet her memories of him were so vivid that she would recognize him anywhere.

She tightened the sash on her housecoat and cleared her throat as she tried, but failed, to hide her surprise at seeing him. "You have news of my brother?"

He turned towards her, and he was as striking as she remembered. His features were sharp and defined, with a strong jawline setting off tense lips that formed a hard line. It had been quite some time since she'd seen him, but the reverse was not true.

He'd kept a protective eye on her over the years—watching from the shadows, making sure she was safe and healthy. Her hair was longer than the last time he'd seen her and the blonde waves held more highlights as well. Her skin was softly tanned, not too dark for a lady of her standing, but more than her grandmother would have liked. He imagined she smelled of the sun as she always had and knew that her skin would be as soft as he remembered. His blue eyes quickly took her in from head to toe, then he met her gaze.

"Sookie, I'm sorry to wake you. I'm afraid this couldn't wait."

"Mr. Northman. Is everything alright? What news of Jason?"

He closed his eyes for just a second at the pain when she called him by his full name, then reopened them and eyed her sadly. He moved toward the library where someone, probably their footman, Compton, had started a fire. "Please, let's sit down."

She held her ground as he stepped into the other room. "Where is Jason?"

He sighed and turned back to see the determination on her face. She seemed to want him to tell her where her brother was and leave. If only it were that easy, he thought, hoping his face didn't betray the gravity of his news.

"Please, Sookie. We should sit," he implored.

Her face changed and his stomach dropped just thinking about what he was about to tell her.

"You're scaring me," she whispered. She had assumed her brother was drunk and sleeping on someone's couch, or with their wife. It was how they'd first met, when he brought home her highly intoxicated brother. But, suddenly, she was quite terrified of what he could be there to tell her.

In two long strides he was beside her. He slid an arm around her back and gently guided her to the couch in the library though she refused to sit.

"Jason was in a poker game tonight. He won a lot of money."

She snorted. "That's unusual." Her brother had a propensity to lose at cards, at all sorts of gaming really.

He looked at her sadly and shook his head almost imperceptibly. "Sookie, I don't know how to tell you this other than to just say it. He cheated and was caught."

"No!" she gasped, and her hand flew to cover her mouth. She avidly read the newspaper and dime novels, she knew what could happen if you crossed the wrong man at cards.

"I'm so sorry. He tried to talk his way out of it, but...It was De Castro, Sookie. He wouldn't listen."

"Did they kill him?" she asked simply, staring into his eyes and hoping for the impossible.

"I'm so sorry." He barely had the words out of his mouth before she crumpled next to him onto the couch. He pulled her into his strong arms as she began to sob, and he held her until she regained a semblance of control.

She sniffed and sat up, wiping her yes. Her eyes were almost vacant. She was clearly going into shock, but she knew that there were important things to discuss. "What now? I must identify him and deal with the sheriff, correct?"

"Sookie, I can do those things. Tomorrow someone will come speak to you about arrangements for a funeral."

She nodded, her eyes still far away, and he knew that he'd need to send someone to check on her in the morning. He knew that she liked to think things through and gave her a few minutes to process everything that must have been running through her mind.

Finally, he spoke again, trying to reassure her that he would help in any way he could. "I will do everything I can to be sure his affairs are straightened out and his debts are paid. You know that, correct?"

She looked at him again, this time her eyes were clear but rimmed with tears. "This house is all we have -er - I have," she said shaking her head. "I'm not foolish enough to think there will be anything left. What am I going to do?"

He didn't hesitate. "You'll come with me."

He'd already thought it through. There was no question that the wolves would be knocking at her door as soon as the news of Jason's death began to spread. He would protect her by making her his. He'd fought it as long as he could, but, now, the outcome was inevitable. The rest...they would work it out.

"You don't mean that," she said quietly, remembering the hurt she'd felt when she'd begged to go with him in the past.

"I do," he said firmly as he met her eyes.

She pursed her lips and returned his gaze with uncertainty, then she stood and walked over to the fireplace. Eventually, she looked over her shoulder at him. "Would you be here if Jason hadn't been killed?"

"Not tonight," he answered honestly, "but I returned to win you back. I only arrived in the city this evening."

She turned to face him, and she had dropped her guard entirely. For the first time, he truly saw how broken she was. When he'd watched from afar, the hints he had seen of how badly he'd hurt her had been painful, but this...The devastation he saw on her face would have brought him to his knees if he had not been seated already.

"Eric..."

Despite the catch in her voice and the tears in her eyes, his name on her lips still stirred emotions in him that he had thought himself incapable of feeling.

"We'll make it work," he said with conviction.

"That's what I said three years ago, and you left." She shook her head at him, no longer holding back the tears that rolled down her face. "You left me."

He stood and was beside her cupping her cheek before she could blink. "I came back for you. I couldn't stay away." He would not make the mistake of leaving her ever again.

She didn't want to, but she felt herself leaning into his touch. It was as if she couldn't help herself. "What has changed?"

He pulled her into his arms, inhaling deeply, relishing the scent that he had missed for so long. She stilled smelled of sunshine and roses.

"Everything. Nothing. I hated being away from you."

She sighed and tucked herself into his strong chest where she'd always felt most at home. "I would love to tell you that you're too late, but I can't. I'll take you any way I can have you."

"You can have all of me. Forever, my love."

She leaned back, her hands framing his face, and again she searched his eyes. "Forever?" she whispered.

He held her gaze, willing her to know that he spoke the truth. "I was dying without you."

She grinned. "You're already dead."

He threw back his head and laughed. "I am, Lover, and soon you will be, too."

"You really mean it? You're willing to change me?" Her eyes sparkled with anticipation and her cheeks had grown flush.

"Yes," he sighed. "When we straighten out the mess your brother has left behind, I will take you home to Bon Temps and make you vampire."

"Don't sound so excited about it," she laughed dryly.

"Sookie, I do not want to argue with you." He sighed and ran his fingers through a section of her hair, it had always soothed him.

It was the same conversation they'd had hundreds of times before he left previously, but in the three years they'd spent apart, he'd come to a much different conclusion.

"I don't want to take away your human opportunities, I never have. You should marry, have children and watch them grow older. But I've seen you these past three years, and you've been miserable. You have made your choice, and, call me selfish, but I won't sit back and watch you die alone."

"I don't really live without you," she said quietly.

"I know that, now. But then, I wanted you to live. To really live." He shook his head. "You are so stubborn, Sookie Stackhouse."

"You say that like it's not one of the things you love most about me," she said with a smirk. She knew that he'd always liked her independent streak and her strong spirit.

"I do love you. More than anything in this world." He leaned down and kissed her, the joining of their mouths creating the amazing sensation that they'd only ever felt when kissing one another.

Her hands went to his hair, and when it fall around his face, he knew she'd pulled off the ribbon that held it back. He would have loved to take her upstairs and make love to her until dawn, but there were pressing matters that he had to attend to.

He pulled back, gently kissing her nose and then her forehead as her breathing began to slow again. "And now I must go and straighten out the wreckage your brother has left in his wake."

"I really don't want to let you go," she sighed. "I'm afraid if I do you won't come back."

"I will be here when the sun sets tomorrow. You have my word."

He held her eyes, wishing for a moment that he could glamour her like he did other humans, but it was his inability to manipulate her mind that made them such a perfect match. In all of his years as a vampire, he had never met a human that he couldn't control—until he met her. Oddly enough, he'd found that he rarely wanted to influence her, but he frequently wanted to convince her that he was telling the truth.

"I will be waiting and preparing for my move to the country with you."

He chuckled. "I look forward to it, Lover." He released his hold on her, though he was hesitant to do so; the world seemed to right itself when she was in his arms. He knew however that he had to go; the dawn grew closer with each moment he delayed. Holding her hand, he walked back into the foyer to leave.

"You know that I won't let you change your mind." She raised an eyebrow at him, a look she had learned from him. "If you don't do it, I will find Pam and she will. She has always been willing."

He turned around swiftly and pinned her to the wall in the entryway, kissing her hard. "You will be mine. Forever. Do not doubt this."

He looked down and wanted to laugh at the reaction that had gotten from her. She was breathing hard again and her cheeks were pink, flushed with arousal. He raised an eyebrow back at her and grinned.

She shook her head. "Go. I'll see you tomorrow evening. I love you."

"I love you, too," he said as he went out the front door.

He closed it behind him, and she instinctively moved forward, pressing her palm to the door as if she could feel him on the other side.

"Forever," she whispered, grinning to herself. He had finally agreed to forever.

"Yes, Lover. Forever," he chuckled from the doorstep, and she laughed at herself for forgetting he could hear everything. "Goodnight," he said quietly and she knew it was her cue to go upstairs. He would be listening for her footsteps and he wouldn't leave until he heard them.

"Okay. I'm going."

She climbed the stairs slowly and got back into bed, tucking the covers around her shoulders. Thoughts about her future swirled through her head, and she wondered what life would be like when he made her like him.

She couldn't wait for forever to start.

- V V -

A/N:

Yeah - so...Happy New Year! See you in 2012.

I hope you liked VampireEric and Sookie with a twist. I don't want to say that there will be more of these two, but I can't promise there won't!

Thanks for reading!