When Eric awoke it was early evening and the sunset had painted the sky with pinks and oranges and golden tones in the distance against the snow-capped peaks. The snow on the ground outside the overhang was a pale blue and the surrounding woods a dark green. Eric had forgotten all the colors of nature, as the night robbed everything of its splendor. It was going to take time getting use to light again and for now it was time to think about getting back to Bon Temps.
Outside the overhang on the hearth sat the crystal goblet, knife, and a crystal decanter with a rose liquid inside. Eric removed the lid to the decanter and inhaled deeply. The smell was indescribable and overwhelmed his senses. He could distinguish hints of honey, juniper, berries, and something so fresh and clean he could only think of a glacier.
“Be careful with that,” a familiar voice floated across the air with a hint of mischief.
“Good evening Agneta,” Eric responded coldly as he turned slowly to face his new menace. He had not decided completely if this new situation of becoming human again was good or very, very bad.
“You have questions you want answered.” Agneta circled the fully healed vampire carefully. He could easily catch her and tear her limbs off at full strength.
“When you said you gave me back my humanity and I would change day to day, what exactly does that mean?”
“When you were made a vampire your heart stopped beating and your blood changed, but your cells remained frozen in time. My blood has awoken your cells again and it is beginning to work its way through every part of your system.” Agneta could sense a fear growing in Eric. “You worry that you will age rapidly and crumble to dust,” she giggled.
How could she know what he was thinking! Eric tried to remain calm and indifferent towards Agneta, “Well then, tell me what will happen.”
“First, you will not age any differently than a normal human. Secondly, you will lose your powers as a vampire, slowly over time. You will eventually stop feeding on blood and be able to eat real food again. You will get sick and you will even die like a human,” she said with a tinge of sorrow. “I can hear your thoughts because I am bound to your family; therefore I am more aware of you and your presence. However, now that my blood is a part of you, it is similar to what you vampires refer to as the relationship between maker and progeny. I can tell what you are thinking, because I can hear the faint beginnings of your thoughts and feel your emotions,” she added. “Sookie, this name just came to your mind! Who is she?”
“Let’s just say she is similar to you,” Eric tried to hold back his thoughts towards Sookie, but it was difficult. If Agneta could read his thoughts, then this would mean that Sookie would now be able to hear his thoughts as well.
“She is half human and half fairy…” Agneta seemed excited. “…and you love her!”
Eric was becoming annoyed with where this conversation was going and he moved quickly, grabbing Agneta from behind in a bear hug with one hand on her throat. Agneta did not have time to react before he had hold of her. “I wouldn’t try blasting me, if you know what is best! Now, I could squeeze and it would be the end of you. So, here is my deal in exchange for your life. Stay out of my head and either help me get back to Bon Temps or get out of my way and let me go!”
“Very well Eric Northman! You will need to release me and I can help get you back to Bon Temps.”
Eric cautiously let her go.
“You cannot just show-up in the state you are currently in, let us fix that first.” Agneta said as she bent down and took a handful of snow and blew towards Eric. The snow swirled around his legs, moving upwards, and began to take on the appearance of a white pants and a white sweater. A bag appeared at his feet. “For the things you need to take back.”
“Your quite handy, in some ways,” Eric noted it might not be a bad idea to keep Agneta close by, should he need her help.
“Now take hold of my hands,” Agneta reached out toward Eric. Eric grabbed the items from the mantle of the hearth, closed the bag, and slung it over his shoulder. He took Agneta’s hands and in a flash of blue light, it suddenly became warmer and he could hear the tingling of glass.
When the brightness cleared he recognized the place they stood immediately. They were in the fairy realm that looked exactly like the Bon Temps cemetery with the exception of several ornate chandlers that hung from various trees. Eric had found the portal to this place once before, as well as finding Warlow tied conveniently to a headstone. The light in the area seemed to dim as if someone had controlled it by a switch.
“How did you do that?” Eric asked
“All fairies can move from safe haven to safe haven, as we can sense these places. However, I have never had a reason to leave Saligen before now…” Agneta started.
“… and you are not staying,” Eric cut her off before she could finish.
“You cannot control whether I stay or not! Anyways I am still bound to you and I wish to keep an eye on you, as you progress.” Agneta said with a wicked smile.
Eric’s thoughts deceived him as he made a move for her and Agneta blasted him hard enough to push him through the portal opening and out into the midday sun. The burning began immediately and Eric struggled to his feet. A pair of arms grabbed him through the portal and back into the safe haven, where it was much darker.
Besides the bleeds coming on, Eric now had scorch marks on his exposed skin. “Do not forget the fact that I can hear your thoughts now Northman,” Agneta reminded him as she dragged him back into the shade of the safe haven.
Sookie had been sunning herself in the front yard of her house while Alcide was away at work and suddenly was pulled away from her daydream by the intense feeling of pain and anger, as well as a voice that she had not heard since she had been handed a note returning her family home to her. “Eric!”
The voice had only been a whisper and there was definitely not a person in sight. Eric had completely vanished after Bill had gone to the True Blood factory and vampire experimentation camp and saved Tara, Pam, and the others. Jason had said that it was really Eric who had stormed the facilities and single-handedly freed him and several others, but that it was Bill who saved the group at the end, before they fried in the sun. She definitely recognized that voice, but she could have sworn she heard it in her head. Why was she even thinking about this! Sookie got up and decided to go for a walk to clear her head.
Sookie put on the linen shirt she had on the blanket next to her. She walked towards the old cemetery, where she always seemed to find comfort and strength these days. Why had this popped into her mind? Maybe it was the fact that she still had Eric’s blood in her and, well, they had been so intimate. She had hoped that all that would have worn off by now, but apparently not.
There had been so many changes since the True Blood debacle though. Many vampires were gone from the virus they had acquired through the tainted True Blood, although a few marauders still popped up now and again. The vampire authority was barely rebuilding and Bill was still touring with his book. Things were going well with the vampire protection scheme that Sam had initiated as Mayor and the town had been able to fight off the first wave of infected vampires with the help of Violet, Tara, Jessica, and a few new ones that Sookie had not yet gotten to know. Then there was Tara and she had not fully repaired that relationship yet, but it seemed that she had found ground with her mother and her cousin, Lafayette, again.
As she came to the center of the cemetery, she suddenly could feel a presence. It was not something she was familiar with. It was not altogether unfamiliar or creepy either; just different. It suddenly dawned on her that someone had accessed the safe haven and she had better find out what was going on.
As Sookie entered the portal, she was hit by snow that clung to her eyelashes. “How is this possible,” she gasped at the snow that flew around her. It was darker than usual, which meant that there was a vampire nearby. She saw a body lying in the grass, near where she had once left Warlow tied up. As she approached the person in white, she began to distinguish certain features which were familiar to her.
“Oh my God!” Sookie came to an abrupt stop when she realized she was looking at Eric Northman lying in the snowy grass.
Eric rolled over and slightly opened his eyes. Sookie…
Sookie’s eyes were as wide as saucers with the realization that Eric had just whispered her name, but he never opened his mouth. “Holy Crap Eric! How am I hearing you in my head?”