Previous in Chapter 11
Godric and Eric moved to sit at the table. They had much to discuss before sunrise. They needed to be prepared when Sookie awoke. They needed to test her abilities further and, most importantly, they needed to take their first step in their quest to find Niall.
Sookie was restless. Sleeping soundly for the better part of the day, she started to toss and turn. Someone was coming for her and she was scared. However, something niggled at her, prompting her to get out of bed. Walking slowly through a door, she searched all around trying to catch a glimpse of her would-be pursuer. It took several moments for her eyes to adjust to the darkness and when they did, she didn’t recognize anything. It was a large room with very little furniture. The walls were adorned with beautiful paintings and stained glass that reflected beams of light cascading to the floor in front of her. She was in awe of the beauty that surrounded her. It called to her and she felt compelled to respond. Advancing, she was no longer concerned about the threat she had felt earlier. She continued her steps forward, focused solely on the chair that sat at the edge of a tiered landing. Climbing the steps until she was within reaching distance, she extended her arm to touch the inlay that decorated the back of the chair. Just as her fingers grazed the wood, she was startled by a voice.
“Hello Sookie. I’m so glad you came.”
“Wha..who are you? What do you want?” Sookie replied as she turned toward the voice withdrawing her hand.
“I merely wanted to meet you, my dear. It has been so very long…so…very…long. I must say you are quite beautiful…more than I could’ve imagined, but I see the similarities of those who came before you. I should think you would make them very proud.”
“I asked who are you?” Sookie said, as she began to inch her way down the steps and towards the door from which she came.
“Oh, how rude of me. Please accept my apology. I sometimes forget my manners, or at least that is what my Lily says.”, he said with a wink and smile.
“You still haven’t told me who you are,” Sookie insisted.
“Why I am Niall. I understand that you are looking for me….and here I am,” he said with the softest of chuckles, “Now come closer. Let me have a look at you. Yes…yes, I see the spark. Come closer. I promise you have nothing to fear from me.”
Sookie altered her direction so that she moved in Niall’s direction. He extended his hand and waved her on. “Ah, yes, my dear. Come see me.”
As she got closer, an uneasiness began to overtake her. A voice inside her head was telling her not to touch. She began to stall in her approach until she came to a final stop…just out of Niall’s reach. “I see. You have had the vampire’s blood. Hm…not unexpected, but earlier than I had predicted. He calls to you.”
“Predicted?! What is that suppose to mean? And how do you know about”, she paused, “about Eric and his blood?”
“Oh, my dear Sookie, we will have to leave that for another day, I’m afraid. I sense your vampire coming for you. I shall take my leave….but we will meet again, my great granddaughter.”
Confused, Sookie didn’t want to leave. She began grabbing for him, fighting with everything she had to stay, but the darkness soon engulfed her. She next found herself thrashing about in her bed with Eric looming over her, his hands securing her by her shoulders.
“Sookie, I’m here. It’s just me. I’ve got you. Sookie, look at me….it’s Eric.”
Sookie finally oriented herself to her room and to Eric. As she looked up at him, she began to cry. “Oh, Eric. I saw him. He was here, or I was there. I don’t know. But I saw him and he spoke to me. And the things he said. He seemed so nice,” she rambled.
“Sshhhhh…..it’s okay. I’ve got you. Sookie, I’ve got you.” Eric said as he pulled her up and wrapped his arms around her. She instinctively reciprocated, holding him tightly and crying into this chest. After a few moments, Eric shifted lifting her completely out of bed and placing her in his lap. She didn’t fight him and felt safe and relaxed in his arms. A few minutes later, her cries turned to sniffles as she held him tight.
When she had quieted down, Eric finally asked, “Sookie, who did you see? Can you tell me what you dreamed of?”
Loosening her grip, she looked up, “Dream? God, it felt so real. He felt so real. I can’t believe it was just a dream.”
“Sookie, who are you talking about? What did you see?”
“Niall….I saw Niall. And he was beautiful and kind. I wanted to stay there with him.” And with that, a low guttural growl escaped and Eric’s arms tightened around her. The thought of someone coaxing Sookie to leave him pissed him off and he couldn’t help the anger that he radiated.
“No! No, he wasn’t going to hurt me. Eric….Eric, listen…he called me his great granddaughter. God, I’m so confused. I don’t know what any of this means….if it’s even real. But…but, it felt so real,” and a few more tears began to fall jolting Eric from the possessive posture he’d taken. He shifted again and pulled her closer running his hands up and down her back to soothe her.
Looking up, Eric spied Godric in the doorway. Godric had heard all that Sookie has shared of her dream, which left him with much to consider. ‘Niall…Sookie’s great grandfather’, he thought. He would need to have Sookie recount what she could remember about her dream, but first, he would allow her time….allow them time to comfort each other.
After what seemed like an eternity had passed, Sookie looked up at Eric and asked, “Do you really think Niall is my great grandfather?”
Eric didn’t know how to answer. She had, most definitely, been dreaming, but Sookie was special. It had already been established that she carried the light of the Fae, and he and Godric had suspected that there was a hint of telepathy in her childhood. Could she also have the gift of sight, he wondered? No, that’s not what had happened. Thinking to what Sookie said, it was more like she broke through to another plane. If that was the case, was it her doing or was it Niall’s?
The thought of it unsettled him. He didn’t like the idea of Sookie leaving him and he could barely contain himself thinking that Niall would come and spirit her away. But Niall did come to her and it would require him to be much more vigilant.
“Eric, where’d you go? I know you heard me…you and your vampire hearing and all. “
“I was considering your question. I don’t know whether or not Niall is your great grandfather. He could very well be saying that in order to snatch you away,” Eric considered his next words, “ but he could also be telling the truth. You could be his great granddaughter. At this point, I would not discount anything.”
Sookie had nothing more to say. What could she say? She, quite possibly, just discovered she had a great grandfather. There was so much she needed to process, so much planning to be done, and none of it could be done in the lap of Eric Northman. Well, maybe it could, but she couldn’t concentrate. “Hey, I’m gonna get up and take a shower. I feel pretty grungy after all of that, and you probably need to get cleaned up too, since I kinda leaked all over you.” she said shyly avoiding his eyes. She could feel his embrace loosen and, as she moved to get up, she couldn’t help but take one little discreet sniff. She hadn’t noticed earlier during all of her tears, but as he held her afterwards, she had noticed how good he smelled. It was a soothing smell, reminiscent of his sandlewood-scented toiletries of her dream. Quickly, she jumped up and headed to the bathroom. Walking through the door, she quickly turned and said, “Thank you, Eric. Thank you for taking care of me.” And then she was gone.
Eric just sat there on Sookie’s bed as he heard the water start to fall in the shower. ‘What the hell just happened’, he thought. Yes, he had already given consideration to the content of Sookie’s dreams and what ramifications lay ahead if they were true, but he was alarmed at how he felt — how she made him feel.
He had awakened to the turmoil that ran through her body and her mind and his immediate inclination was to go to her. He had no other thought than that. It was beautifully simple, really. She needed him and he went to her. Nothing else mattered.
Walking from Sookie’s room to the common area, Eric encountered Godric.
“So Niall is Sookie’s great grandfather. That is surprising, but oddly not, at the same time.”
“So you think her dream was true? That Niall came to her in her dream?”, Eric questioned.
Eric’s fangs snapped down. “I don’t like it. If he can penetrate her dreams, it makes me question what else he can do.”
“Put your fangs away”, Godric sighed. “If she is, indeed, his kin, then they, too, have a connection. The strength of its hold on her remains a question, but it needs to be explored. We will have to tread carefully, however. And we shall start once Sookie joins us. She needs to share every detail of her dream and of Niall. That will give us a good bit of information. And you, my dear child, cannot allow your jealousies to get in the way.”
“Jealous? Pft! Hardly. I do not get jealous…of anyone or anything. My reaction is merely one of caution. I don’t like the idea of being vulnerable.”
“As you say, Eric. It appears I misspoke. I can see now that your strong reaction has nothing to do with Sookie”, Godric said minus an ounce of conviction.
“Godric, I’m telling you I feel nothing for Sookie Stackhouse and my concern is for my own well-being, as well as yours.”
Eric was so caught up in his denials, that he was unaware that Sookie was standing at the threshold. Hearing everything that he said, she turned and closed the door attempting to lock out the world she’d been thrust into and the pain that filled her heart.
Realizing what she must have heard, he moved towards her door, but Godric stopped him. “No, let me see to her. Look within, I’m sure you can sense how she must feel. I would give her time. You must remember, she is young and she is new to our world. And, most importantly, she is unprepared to deal with the myriad of discoveries that have been revealed to her in such a short time. Any of this would be enough to incapacitate your average human, but our Sookie is strong. You would do well not to forget that, Eric. You deny what you feel for the girl. I know it and so do you. I fear you may come to regret that.”
Godric left him to contemplate his words and moved to knock on Sookie’s door.
Sookie felt refreshed after her shower. The warm water was soothing and the shower gave her time to collect her thoughts. She had learned so much over the past few days and now she discovered that she might have a great grandfather….a living great grandfather. The thought excited her. Jason was her only living relative and it had been just them for so many years. But now, now they might have someone else in their life. She couldn’t help feeling happy that it might be true.
The dream and her response to it had distracted her from doing the shopping she had planned, so she put on the clothes from the night before anticipating that she could pick up a few things during the evening. Opening the door to her room, she heard Eric and Godric talking and was just in time to hear Eric share his true feelings. Crushed….in an instant.
He had comforted her in her time of need. He had acted as though he really cared for her, and she trusted him. Had it all been a lie? Was it a ploy to gain her trust so he could use her for his own benefit? Her heart broke at the thought. She couldn’t deny that a part of her had hoped that he did care, but she had to face the truth – the truth of his own words. And with that, she let one last tear fall and she closed the door.
Moments later, she heard the knock on the door. “Sookie?” Godric asked, “May I come in?”
She gave no response. She didn’t want to talk. In her mind, there was nothing more that needed to be said. She knew the truth now.
“Sookie, please? I would very much like to speak with you, if you would allow it. I know you heard Eric a few moments ago, but I can assure you, he was not being truthful.” Eric side-eyed Godric when he heard that statement and Godric returned his glare.
Maintaining his glare, Godric continued, “Eric does not always think before he speaks, especially when he is confused. If you would let me in, I would be happy to explain. If it would make you feel more comfortable, Eric is leaving…you could come out and we can talk.” And with that Eric took his cue and left.
“I don’t think there’s anything more to say. I think he pretty much summed things up for me…nice and tidy.”
“Sookie, my dear, I would much rather speak to you face-to-face, than through the door. What can I say or do to make you feel comfortable to come out?”
Taking several minutes to think things through, she decided she could speak with Godric, but she very clearly did not want to see Eric. “If Eric is gone, I’ll come out. Promise me.”
“He is gone. I swear it.”
Sookie moved towards the door and cracked it open to see Godric’s face greeting her on the other side. He broke a small smile when their eyes met and she returned it. Despite the smile, she was still full of trepidation. She had allowed herself to be vulnerable and trusting and she wasn’t willing to go there again anytime soon.
“Come. Sit with me and I’ll explain. I can sense you’re hurt by his words, but I assure you, he did not mean them.”
“Hm…how can you be so sure? He sounded pretty damn sure to me.”
“Sookie, you are so, so young and inexperienced in the supernatural world. Supernatural creatures have many of the characteristics of humans, except they are exponentially heightened. Vampires, in particular, are jealous, possessive creatures, and they are this, even as they fight to control the emotions that they so eagerly deny. You see, Eric fights his emotions. I dare say he would argue that he has any, but you’ve seen them, haven’t you? That is not a lie, but he feels compelled to hide from them.”
“I don’t understand. And I can’t trust what the truth is.”
“Sookie, if you wouldn’t mind, think about living as long as he has — one thousand years. One thousand years to travel to the most exotic places. One thousand years to see and discover amazing and wondrous things. One thousand years to see the world change all around you even when you don’t. And one thousand years of loss. One thousand years to feel the pain of connecting to someone or something and then losing it. Grief is an unpleasant and tragic experience in the short life of a human. Can you imagine hundreds of years of that….repeating over and over and over again? I think you can imagine the reluctance of someone like Eric to allow himself to feel.” Weighing his next words, he said, “Yet, he does feel. No matter how hard he tries to run from them and diminish them, he feels so fully and so deeply. “
“I get it. I get why he’s the way he is, but I don’t know what that has to do with me.”
“My dear Sookie, Eric said those things in his attempt to deny his feelings….his feelings for you.”
Stunned, Sookie sat in silence. “I don’t know Godric. He sounded pretty convincing to me and, frankly, if he’s working that hard to convince himself, then I got nothing for him. My life has been turned upside down. I’ve learned things about myself that are pretty damn near unbelievable. So forgive me if I don’t have much trust left. If Eric can’t deal with his emotions…for me or whatever, then that’s his problem. I know we have to work together and I want the truth, so I’ll get over it. I appreciate all you’ve done…and Eric, too. For that I’ll be grateful, but please don’t feel offended if I try to keep my distance, emotionally. I..I…I don’t think I could bear to get my heart broken…not like that, anyway.”
“I do understand and no offense will be taken. Good…we shall work together, but I would caution you in being too ardent in protecting your heart. You may miss out on something surprising, miraculous even. Now, we have some shopping to do. Then you must tell me about your dream….all the details. Leave nothing out. “
Sookie smiled. She couldn’t help wanting to protect her heart, especially since she knew it would be too easy for her to fall for Eric. She was determined. She would not allow herself to become too attached to him. She could see nothing but heartache in her future, so it seemed best to avoid it all together. She did appreciate Godric and his attempt to explain Eric to her. It gave her a different perspective, but she had bigger issues to deal with and those would be her focus.
Rising from her seat, she moved to give Godric a hug. “Thank you. You’ve been very kind and I really appreciate it. So…food and clothes first and then the dream. Sounds like a plan. I guess we should go find Eric, huh?”
“You’re most welcome, and yes, I would guess he is sulking in the shadows somewhere. Let us go save the unfortunate souls who cross his path, shall we?”, he said with a wink and a smile.
“Ha…yes, let’s.” Sookie chuckled.
AN: Sorry for the delay in posting. Some chapters just take a little more time than others….sadly. 😦 Also, I’m a fan of angst, so I hope you all can hang with me. 🙂