Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Northman Returns Part 4

Sookie stood for a moment and then turned back to the portal and re-entered the fairy realm. Sookie needed to find out exactly what Agneta had done to Eric and what to expect as Eric underwent this transformation that Agneta claimed to have started. Sookie was skeptical that Eric could become human again, but that was beyond what might actually be happening to him.

When Sookie re-entered the snow was dissipating and the sun was starting to peak through in the sky above. Sookie’s memory flashed back to lying on the bed next to Eric and looking up with the snow gently falling between the trees. The time she had spent with Eric, when he had lost his memory, had been almost magical. She really had fallen in love with him and when push came to shove she been too torn to decide between Eric and Bill. She remembered the night she decided to walk away from both of them. It had seemed like the only alternative and she knew Eric had been hurt deeply.

Until they were forced together, as they fled from the Lilith inhabited Bill, she had not seen Eric and he no longer stayed at the house. That night all hell broke loose at the Vampire Authority and Sookie finally heard the truth from Bill, she had been nothing to him. He had made it clear that she was an abomination according to the vampire bible. In the aftermath, Sookie had somehow found the strength to stake Bill in order to save Eric from being overpowered and possibly killed by an empowered Bill. Afterwards, Eric had offered to give Sookie the means to go anywhere, but she had refused him again knowing that Bill would most likely follow her anywhere she went.  Eric had even given her back the house that night, even though he didn’t have to.

Thinking about it now, Bill had always wanted Sookie and been protective and almost jealous and possessive. Eric had always wanted Sookie, but he had wanted her to want him just as much.  Even after Eric regained all his memories, he had always given Sookie a choice about things between them. All she could think was how many times had Eric saved her life and it was only fair, with Eric needing her help, that she start returning a little kindness. Maybe they could rebuild a friendship of sorts, even though Sookie doubted Eric could control his blood lust for her.  Oh god, then there was Alcide and what was she going to say to him!

“Agneta! Agneta, I need to talk to you!” Sookie shouted into the empty landscape of the fairy realm before her. There was a moment of silence and then the chandeliers began to tingle as a breeze blew through them. Sookie heard the sound of bells and Agneta appeared on the path ahead of Sookie.

“Thank you for helping Eric, Sookie,” Agneta said as she approached. “I could not help him past the fairy realm, as you could.”

“I need to understand…” Sookie began as she looked at Agneta slightly cautious of what Agneta may say, “...what exactly is happening to Eric?”

“He is indeed becoming human again from the healing power that is in my blood.” Agneta took some of the snow from the ground and blew. As the snow swirled a small table and two chairs appeared between Sookie and Agneta. “Please have a seat, I will not bite, unlike our mutual friend,” Agneta said with a smile.

“I cannot even begin to understand the powers that you possess,” Sookie said as she sat across the table from Agneta. “You do not seem to be a creature that would try and hurt Eric, intentionally, but I worry with all the people and vampires that Eric may have pissed off in a thousand years, that he has enemies who will find out about him becoming human and come after him.”

“That may very well happen, but Eric must have friends that will come to his aid – like you!”

“Eric doesn’t have many friends and we did not part on the best of terms,” Sookie answered shaking her head no, as if to accent this point.

“He loves you though,” Agneta leaned forward and grabbed Sookie’s hands that rested on the table top.

Agneta’s touch was cold and sent a chill up Sookie’s arms. “How do you know that?” Sookie said pulling back from Agneta.

“I apologize; I have forgotten that you are both fairy and human.” Agneta pulled back as well and smiled shyly. “Can you not hear his thoughts, as I can?”

“Well, yes but…” Sookie did not get a chance to answer completely before Agneta jumped in.

“You have the same telepathic capabilities as fairies, therefore you must hone them in on Eric to read his deepest thoughts and you will find the answer there, as to whether I speak the truth about his love for you.” Agneta seemed to plead with Sookie.

“Maybe I don’t want to know Eric’s deepest thoughts about me or other people that he and I might know,” Sookie replied defensively thinking about Pam and Tara especially. She had spent a life time listening to other people’s most inner thoughts and she had tried to drown them out. Not hearing Bill or Eric or any vampire had been a reprieve.

“I think you will find many answers there to questions that still remain unanswered for you,” Agneta could read Sookie’s own fear in her answer. “Eric is scared and things will change for him day to day. As for now he is very much the vampire that you know, but he will be able to see the sunrise and sunset and he will be able to walk in the day only when the sun is blocked by a storm in some way. His powers will weaken over time, but he is progressing more rapidly than expected.”

“What do you mean, more rapidly than expected?” This was a bit of a surprise to Sookie.

“I can hear his thoughts very clearly now and it should have taken much longer before you could have heard him.” Agneta seemed to ponder this development herself.

“Maybe…Maybe it is because he has had so much fairy blood recently!” Sookie offered as an explanation. “He feed on me a few times, then there was my fairy godmother, Claudine, he used Adaline’s blood to access the portal here, and he even drank Warlow’s blood which allowed him to walk in the sun. All fairies and all recently”

“That may very well be! “ Agneta had not thought about the possibility of Eric’s prior consumption of fairy blood and the effect it would have in connection to her blood in him now.

“Will he age rapidly?” Sookie asked with a look of concern at the thought of seeing a thousand year old man suddenly appear before her.

Agneta giggled and responded, “No he will be no different from the moment he was changed to a vampire. He will be the man he was again and start to age regularly.”

“How is it that no one has ever heard of this before? You would think that if vampires could become human again they would have created a cure from fairies like you!”

Agneta became agitated by Sookie’s question and responded curtly, “I am the last of my kind! My kind suffered being hunted from both humans and vampires. There were those who did not want there to be a cure for vampires and they hunted us until we barely existed.” Agneta stood and turned her back to Sookie. "My last sister died at the hands of a vampire, who like Eric had been offered the chance to become human again and she tore my sister apart."

“I…I am so sorry Agneta, I did not know.  Sounds like vampires have brought both our peoples a great deal of pain and death,” Sookie tried to comfort Agneta a bit by letting her know that she shared her pain.

“It is time for change to begin and Eric will be the first to be free from the blood lust that vampires experience.” Agneta turned to face Sookie again.

“What exactly do you mean by that?” Sookie probed Agneta.

“Eric can no longer drink from humans, otherwise I have the power to turn him to dust. My blood allows him to break free of the need for human blood and should he drink from man or woman again, I will know it and I will make sure he will cease to exist.” Agneta looked directly into Sookie’s eyes as she made this statement. “I have provided him with an elixir and the means to follow through with his promise to me. You will help him Sookie or Eric Northman will be no more!”

“Now hold on a moment…” Sookie began to protest, but Agneta disappeared in a swirl of snow and was gone.

“Agneta! You cannot do this to me!” Sookie suddenly fell to the ground as the chair she was sitting on also dissolved with Agneta’s departure. “Ahh man! Shit!”

At least Sookie had gotten some answers as to what was happening to Eric and she left the fairy realm deep in thought as how to proceed from here. Sookie took note that it was late afternoon and that she had lost a few hours while she was in the fairy realm again. Even though it was getting close to sunset, she took her time walking back up to the house which gave her a chance to think about how she was going to break the news to Alcide concerning their new house guest.

When Sookie reached the front door, she entered quietly and creep across the living room to the Nordic cabinet that still hid the cubby Eric had built for himself. She carefully unlocked the door and peered down the shaft listening for any sound from below. It was dead quiet. She closed the door and slinked back to the kitchen to sit and wait. As soon as she reached the kitchen she sat down and sighed. Only one thought penetrated her mind, Grams how do I keep getting myself into these things!

Sookie sat quietly for about a half hour before she heard Alcide’s truck pull up. He was home early and Sookie had not even had time to think about making something to eat.  At this point with everything that had happened she wasn’t sure if she was even hungry.  She stood up and went to the kitchen window, where she could see Alcide coming towards the back door, but there was a woman still sitting in his passenger seat. Sookie did not recognize her, but it could have been someone from the local pack that Alcide used to be a part of.

When Alcide came in he stopped short and ran his fingers through his hair, “Hey…I wasn’t sure if you would be here or not.”

“I’m off today or did you forget.” Sookie teased him and then looked away as she tried to gain confidence for what she had to tell Alcide.

“Oh yeah, I forgot,” Alcide said shifting uncomfortably. “I need to tell you something Sookie and it won’t be easy.”

“Okay, what’s up and …who is sitting in the truck?”

“Well you see… that is what I have to talk to you about. Daniella, she was part of the pack I controlled for a while,” Alcide said looking down at his hat that he held wringing in his hands.

“Oh, is she okay or in some sort of trouble?” Sookie glanced out the window before adding, “She can come in ya know.”

“No, I don’t think that would be a good idea Sookie. This is difficult enough as it is.”

“Well then, spit it out Alcide!” Sookie could hear his inner thoughts repeating over and over Dear God! Help me!

“Daniella is pregnant…and she has been kicked out of the pack,” Alcide took a breath and looked away from Sookie. Then he shifted a little as Sookie looked at him a bit confused. “I am the baby’s father and Daniella needs my help.”

Sookie did not know what to say. Shock was taking over when she answered, “How can we help her? Does she need money or a place to stay for a while?”

“No Sookie, she needs just me…I need to be there for her and the baby. She has no home and no pack for protection and no one else can help. I need time away to figure things out thing for her and for me.”

“Are you saying that you are leaving me for Daniella?” Sookie grabbed hold of the sink for stability.

“Daniella was a pack mate and gave herself to me as her pack leader.  I had a relationship with her before you and I were together. I am responsible for her and she will need my help if the child turns out to be a werewolf. I can’t bring her into the house and ask that you accept all this; that is not fair. So, she and I are going back to my house where I can figure some things out… for now.”

Sookie shook her head as if understanding at first, then the pain came out unexpectedly, “Well, good Alcide! You see I have something to tell you too. Eric Northman is underneath us right now in the cubby and I am letting him stay here because he needs my help right now as well!”

“What the fuck Sookie!” Alcide started to growl, “you let him into our house!”

“It isn’t your house and he needs me Alcide, the same way Daniella needs you apparently!”

“This is completely different,” Alcide retaliated. “I knew deep down you were never over him. Bill you had closure with, but when Eric disappeared you never got to bury your feelings for him; especially with Jason always bringing him up!”

“He saved Jason and Violet’s life, Alcide! Jason shared blood with Eric; Jason couldn’t help but bring him up!” Sookie now shook with anger and adrenaline.

“Then it is settled, I’m leaving immediately! I am not sharing you with either of those fucking vamps ever again!” Alcide turned and left through the back door with a gruff.

Sookie bit her lip to hold back the tears as she answered, “Good then…just go!”

Alcide walked rapidly back to the truck and got in. Sookie could see Daniella turn to look at her through the kitchen window as Alcide started the engine. Alcide hit the gas a little too hard, enough to send a few rocks flying across the garden beds and Sookie could hear one ricochet off the house siding.

What had just happened! Sookie gasped and put both hands over her mouth in shock. She wiped away the tears that streamed down her cheeks and turned towards the living room. As she passed through the doorway, the setting sun made the room glow and there stood Eric in silence. He looked hard at Sookie and then moved quickly to where he was right in front of her, face to face. He didn’t say a word even though it was obvious from his look that he had heard every word exchanged with Alcide. He simply held Sookie tight in his arms and kissed the top of her head. “Don’t hold it in Sookie.”

Sookie clenched the fabric of Eric’s sweater and screamed into his chest. The tears flowed and Sookie cried hard against Eric’s body. Why? She repeated over and over to herself. Why?

When Sookie had let it all out she sat on the sofa with her feet tucked up on the cushion edge and her knees to her chest, bear hugging a pillow. “Son of a bitch! Just when everything seemed normal for once in my life, the winds of chaos begin to blow again.”

“Here, drown your sorrow with this.” Eric handed Sookie a glass of whiskey from the liquor cabinet.

She took the glass and quietly added, “Thanks.”

Eric lifted his crystal goblet and said, “Gud ger varje f├ągel en mask, men han inte kasta den in i boet.”

“What does that mean?” Sookie asked curiously

“God gives every bird a worm, but he does not throw it into the nest. A Swedish Proverb,” Eric translated as he sat down on the couch next to Sookie and glanced sideways at her. “You’re the worm by the way, if you didn’t know it!” Eric gave her one of his sly smiles.

“Thanks, I think I figured that out!” Sookie took a sip of the whiskey and winced. “I sometimes feel as if I am slowly being picked apart by the three of y'all.”

“I apologize for my part, I never intended for that to happen to you.” Eric glanced at Sookie’s feet, unable to look her straight in the eye.
Sookie took another sip of her drink. How was this supposed to make someone feel better, she would never know. Whiskey just left her with a dull and woozy feeling in the morning. The silence between them was unnerving to Sookie.
“Where did you go? I mean why didn’t you come back with the others?” Sookie asked facing Eric more directly.
Eric took a sip of the elixir mixed with pigs blood and it reminded him of claret from the Bordeaux region of southern France. His eyes fluttered before he answered, “I went home. I wanted to find peace myself.”

“But you left Pam and Willa behind…Didn’t you want to be with them after what had happened to them?”
Eric looked at her deeply, “No… I had lost all that really mattered to me.”
“You mean Nora, don’t you?” Sookie probed a little deeper, but trying not to enrage Eric. She knew that there had been a deeper connection with Nora, as they had both been made by Godric.

“Yes.” Eric looked straight ahead at the floor and swallowed hard thinking of Nora, but then he added, “Godric was gone, and then Nora, my sister, died in my arms ...and then you.”
Sookie didn’t hear any inner thoughts from Eric; he was saying exactly what he was thinking. Sookie caught Eric’s addition, but she continued, “Well, I never got to say thank you…for finding Jason, that is.”

“Hopefully, he thought of me fondly after tasting my blood!” Eric smiled at the thought of the erotic dreams that Jason must have experienced.
“Well if it was anything like what I experienced from tasting your blood, it took a while for him to not see you lying in bed next to him.” Sookie’s statement made them both laugh and smile.

 “Now that is more like the Sookie I like to hear!” Eric said with a teasing sound to his voice that Sookie recalled from when Eric had asked her to be his.

Sookie took another drink to make sure Eric did not catch her eyes lingering on him to long. “Well, I think I need to soak and then sleep,” Sookie said setting the glass on the end table next to the sofa. "I've kinda been through the wringer today."

As she stood up a little fast, the world seemed to tilt out from under her and she stumbled to her right slightly. Eric caught her as quick as lightening. He lifted her off her feet and into his arms. His face was just inches from hers and he seemed to ponder her lips for just a moment. He straightened and readjusted her. Not yet, it isn’t right. Sookie could hear a voice calling for Eric to restrain himself. Agneta was right there was still love for her hiding deep inside Eric.
In a flash Eric had her upstairs and in front of the bathroom door. “Your hot water awaits you,” Eric murmured as he set her feet down to the floor. Sookie rested herself against the length of Eric's body for just a moment before she backed away.

As Sookie turned to close the door, she looked over her shoulder at Eric who now stood by the top of the stairs and said, “Thank you Eric.”
“Goodnight Miss Stackhouse.” Eric said softly.

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