Being a thousand years old meant I could wake from my day rest way before sunset. Since my primary house was completely light tight, I could go around and deal with emails and paperworks. It was something I liked about this house. I wasn’t restricted to my resting place and could enjoy the many amenities I had put in it.
But tonight I cursed the fact that I was up 2 hours before sunset. Sookie and I needed to talk. If I was completely honest with myself, her actions the previous night had surprised me. And my own actions had surprised me even more. For the first time in my long life I had shown restraint. If she had been any other women I would have probably fucked her on that swing, despite the fact that her grandmother was sleeping inside the house, despite the fact that Compton was probably standing across the cemetery. But she wasn’t any women. She was Sookie. Sookie who I had known since she was a child…
Godric and Pam had both warned me about it. To bond with a child, to watch her grew up… For a very long time I only saw her as ‘little Sookie’, my lawyer’s daughter, the little girl I had saved. She must have been 17 when I first realized she wasn’t ‘little Sookie’ anymore. She was a beautiful young woman, the type of woman I seemed to favor. The blood bond we shared didn’t help either.
The sound of the light tight curtain system going up got me out of my thoughts. I finished reading my day man email, sending him his instructions for tomorrow. An hour had now passed since sunset. As if on cue, my cell phone rang. I didn’t need to check the caller ID to know who was calling.
“Good evening, min älskling. ”
I could hear her take a deep breath.
“Good evening, Eric.”
A long silence followed her greeting.
“Sookie? You’re still there?”
“Yeah… I’m… How was your day? I mean… The rest of your night yesterday and the beginning of your evening?”
I laughed. She seemed nervous.
“Good. I did some paperwork, dealt with Area disputes. Are you alright?”
“Yeah… I… I forgot to tell you… Last night… I kinda saved Compton from two drainers.”
I saw red. Drainers? How could she have forgotten to tell me that?
“What?! When? Before or after I left you?”
“Before… It really was nothing. They tackled him from behind and held him up with cheap silver necklace.”
“You should have told me! Compton should have told me!”
I tried my best not to sound too rash, but I was sure she could hear the anger in my voice.
“Hey, don’t worry! I tased them and I’m pretty sure they won’t come back.”
“Drainers are dangerous, min lilla” I said softly.
“I know… Can we… can we talk about something else?”
I could feel the hesitation in her voice, the insecurity. This wasn’t her. She was always so sure of herself, always prepared for action.
“What do you want to talk about, min lilla?”
“Why did you call me ‘love’ last night, when we were with Compton? You’ve never called me that before and… Was it all an act? Was it all for Compton?”
And there she was, my Sookie was back. Wait, my Sookie? I took a deep breath, this wasn’t how I had imagined this conversation going. I had planned to have this conversation face-to-face, not on the phone. While she had the world best poker face with everybody else, with me it was quite the opposite. Sookie couldn’t lie to me to save her life.
“Pam would be delighted if she was here. She’s been ready this ‘Dear Abby’ column in the paper…”
“You’re not at the bar?”
She sounded surprised.
“No, I’m still at home. I hadn’t planned on being on display tonight. I was hoping to stop by Bon Temps…”
“To be honest with you, min lilla, it was all for Compton… at first. But the moment the word escaped my lips I realized that I truly meant it.”
What was the saying? The cat was out of the bag? There was no going back now.
“I’m not good with dealing with my own feelings, Sookie…”
I waited for her answer, but it never came. Had I made her uncomfortable with my declaration?
“Sookie, you’re still there?”
“Sorry, there’s something in the…”
There was a muffled sound, as if her phone fell to the ground. Then I felt it. The pain, the excruciating pain.
Without a second to spare, I went to the front door and took to the sky. It was torture. I could have closed the bond, but the pain I was receiving was so strong I was afraid she would die…
I made the flight between my Shreveport suburb to Bon Temps in barely 5 minutes – a record – in time to see my Sookie, broken and bloodied, being held in Compton’s laps.
His bloody wrist was close to her mouth. The fool! He had no idea that even if he was to give her his blood it would do her no good. She would reject it almost immediately.
“Unless you want to commit a blood offense, Compton, I would suggest you keep that wrist away from her mouth.”
The dark haired vampire stopped, surprised to find me there.
“And I’ll heal her! Now go back to your decrepit house before I stake you!”
My fangs pierced the skin of my wrist and I quickly put it to her mouth.
“Drink, min älskare (my lover).”
With dexterity, I grabbed my phone and called my childe.
“Pam, don’t ask any question. There are two bodies lying on the Stackhouses’ yard. I need you to come and clean it out for me”
“What the fuck? I’m currently going over business with Jason, if you know what I mean. I can’t just…”
” Then bring him with you! And go pick up Adele, wherever she is, but don’t bring her back…”
“Are you going to tell me what the fuck happened?”
“I’ll tell you more later…”
“Is Sookie at least okay?”
“Yes, she’s healing now, but she was badly hurt. I’ll stay with her and rest in the cubby.”
I hung up and vamped to the cubby. When Adele had first brought the idea of a cubby instead of light tightening one of the upstairs spare bedrooms, I had thought of a very simple sparse room. But that wasn’t what Adele had in mind. She wanted me to have my own suite. Apparently the old farmhouse bathrooms weren’t built for gigantic Viking. I’m pretty sure she plotted with the contractor because as soon as I told her an ensuite bathroom wasn’t necessary, Herveaux was telling me that building a bigger cubby would greatly help to support the whole house structure. And thus the cubby ended up being as big as half of the first floor. It had a closed bedroom, a sort of living area that could serve as an office with a comfortable couch and giant TV and a pretty big bathroom with a whirlpool bath and huge glass shower.
I softly laid Sookie on the bed and reopen my wrist.
“I’m here, min älskare. Drink…”
Slowly the wounds that marred her face disappeared, I could feel the internal bleedings healing, but she still had quite a big gash on her forehead. I licked it cleaned and moaned at the sweet taste. She still tasted as sweet as ever.
“Hush, min älskare, you’ve got to keep your strength.”
The wound closed and one more dose of my blood helped the scar to completely vanish.
She was covered in her own blood. I vamped to the bathroom, filled the huge tub before going back to the bedroom. She was drifting into unconsciousness and I knew I needed to keep her awake a little while until everything was healed.
“Come, min älskare, I drew you a bath.”
I undressed her and it took everything not to be aroused by the sight of her beautiful body. She was smiling when I gently dropped her in the hot water. I slowly washed her hair, lathering the luxurious shampoo in her long golden locks. I then rinsed her and wrapped her in one of the large towel.
“Thank you” she whispered.
I unplugged the bath and took her back to the bed. I tucked her in, just like I did all those years ago, and she was asleep, or soI thought.
“Stay” she whispered.
I lay down next to her, hoping she would stay on her side of the bed, but the little minx quickly snuggled next to me. Without thinking, I was soon spooning her and thought of a not so distant past when everything was much more innocent.
When I had first agreed to take Sookie to my homeland, I hadn’t thought about anything but keeping her safe and healing her. Fortunately, both my maker and my childe were there to get me what I would need to care for a little girl. While I was dealing with the Queen and making sure Pam wouldn’t have any problem as acting-Sheriff of Area 5, my child went and bought all the items Sookie would need and my maker hired both a housekeeper/nanny to take care of the little one during the daytime and to serve as a donor for me.
We arrived in Stockholm just after sundown and drove the 5 hours to my farmhouse in Öland. The land at been the one where my family’s homestead once stood. All that was left of it now was a series of stones, marking the place where the great hallwas. I had the farmhouse build in the 19th century and even though I didn’t spend much time there – Pam saying to who ever wanted to hear that it was a windy shithole – I had improved it along the years. It had all the modern amenities and comfort that would suit humans.
Sookie was fast asleep when we arrived, but she quickly awoke when I took her out of her car seat – a child needs a car seat, had said Pam, especially if you’re the one driving, Eric. Adrianna, the donor/housekeeper/nanny, was already there, waiting for us. She was in her mid-twenties, or so I thought, tall and dark haired. After tucking Sookie in her bedroom and giving her some of my blood, I took the time to glamour the young woman. I had to make sure she wouldn’t blab to the whole village about me. I could see she was finding me attractive, so after a quick glamour to have her let me feed on her, I took her to one of the empty bedroom and fucked her and fed from her.
The next couple of days were pretty much the same. Sookie would spend the day with Adrianna, doing whatever 8 years old did, then I would wake up from my day rest, walk around the land with her before giving her my blood and tucking her for the night. Then I would take Adrianna to her bed for a quick feed and fuck.
About a week after our arrival in Sweden, Sookie and I were sitting by the fjord, the little girl wrapped in a blanket. The view hadn’t changed in a thousand years, it was still has peaceful.
“Why do you sleep during the day?” asked Sookie, breaking the silence.
THE question… I knew that one day I would need to answer it, but I hadn’t planned on her asking it so soon.
“Well… You see I have an allergy to the sun. If I go out in the daylight, I burn.”
“Like when I get sunburn?” she asked.
She was too cute. I nodded and tighten my arms around her tiny waist.
“Why don’t you wear sunscreen, then? That’s what daddy put on me so I don’t get sunburn.”
I couldn’t help but laugh.
“Why are you laughing?” she asked, very serious.
“I’m laughing because you are funny. Can you keep a secret, min lilla?”
“Of course I can! I kept Jason’s secret! I never told anybody that he was the one who broke the lamp in the living room…Oops!” She got teary and I’ve never been good with crying women. “I’m so sorry! I’m not a good girl! I can’t keep a secret and now you won’t tell me yours!”
“Hush, min lilla. Dry those tears, it’s nothing. I know you’re a good girl and you won’t tell my secret. But you have to promise not to tell anyone, not Adrianna or anybody else?”
“Not even daddy, Pammy and Godric?”
I smiled and kissed her forehead.
“Your father, Pam and Godric already know about the secret. It’s even about Pam and Godric, too. You know how I give you blood every night?”
“Yes! So I can be healthy again! It makes me a very strong lilla älva.”
“That’s right. And the reason why it makes you a strong little fairy is because my blood is… magic?”
“Magic like the fairy godmother in Cinderella?”
“Not really, but let me tell you a story. A long time ago, there was a Viking warrior named Eiríkr inn sigrsæli, Eric the Victorious. He was wandering the Norseland, looking to avenge the murders of his parents and his little sister. He was a great warrior, but after a great battle he was mortally wounded. His companions prepared a funeral pyre, to send him to Valhalla. But before death could take him, a young Gaulish boy made a deal with him. He offered Eiríkr immortality. You know what immortality is, Sookie?”
“It’s like never dying?”
“So the Gaulish boy offered Eiríkr immortality and Eiríkr accepted. So, the Gaulish boy turned Eiríkr into a vampire. You know what vampires are, Sookie?”
“Like Count Chocola and Sesame Street’s Count von Count?”
I thanked my childe love of pop culture, otherwise I wouldn’t know who these two counts were.
“Yes, but Eiríkr was turned into a vampire that drink blood to survive, not one that sells chocolate cereal or love mathematics. So the Gaulish boy and Eiríkr spent centuries together, roaming the Earth. One day, Eiríkr found a young woman who was unhappy in her life and decided to also give her immortality. Then one summer, not so long ago, the Gaulish boy, Eiríkr and the young woman met a little girl. The most amazing little girl they ever met. She was sweet and wasn’t afraid of them. They became friends with her and promised to always protect her.”
She frowned. “Eric… Are you Eirikir in siraseli?”
“It’s Eiríkr inn sigrsæli, but yes, I am, min lilla älva.”
She snuggled deeper in my embrace and sighed.
“I don’t care if you’re a vampire. You’re MY Eric.”
The weeks passed and she got stronger every day. She would run around the house in the daytime and spent her evening in my arms, listening to the many stories I had collected over the years. One evening in particular I woke from my daytime rest tofind her in the kitchen, baking what appeared to be cookies with Adrianna.
“We could bring some to your daddy for when he wake up” said the young woman.
“But daddy is across the water, Adrianna!”
“What do you mean, your daddy is sleeping in his bedroom right now!”
“That’s not my daddy, silly! Eric is not my daddy, he’s daddy’s friend! But he’s MY Eric! I love him. And when I’ll be a big girl I’m going to marry him!”
Her innocence was such a breath of fresh air. She didn’t see us vampires as creatures of darkness, evil beings. Hearing her say she loved me warmed my dead heart.
We were halfway through the summer when I woke up from my rest to find the tiny little girl snuggled in my side, wearing herpink pajamas and carrying her faithful pink blanket. How she had been able to enter my day chamber, I wouldn’t know. I felt through our bond – I had taken some of her blood the week before after she had scratched her knee on the gravel by the fjord – and found comfort and peace. I tried my best not to wake her and went downstairs to find Adrianna distressed and crying.
“Herr Northman! Jag förlorade henne! Jag förlorade lilla Sookie! Hon lekte i vardagsrummet och jag var i köket … Jag gick tillbaka och hon var borta! Tänk om hon gick vid fjorden och föll i vattnet? (I lost her! I lost little Sookie! She was playing in the living room and I was in the kitchen… I went back and she was gone! What if she went by the fjord and fell into the water?)”
“Hon är okej. Hon är i mitt sovrum, sover. Se mig i ögonen, Adrianna. Du kommer att gå till sovrummet och glömma allt som hänt idag. I morgon du ska packa dina saker och lämna. Du kom aldrig till Öland. Du har aldrig träffat lilla Sookie. Du har aldrig träffat mig. Förstår du mig? (She is okay. She is in my bedroom, sleeping. Look me in the eyes, Adrianna. You will go toyour bedroom and forget everything that happened today. Tomorrow you’ll pack your things and leave. You never came toÖland. You’ve never met little Sookie. You’ve never met me. Do you understand me?)”
Sookie quickly adapted to a night time schedule. I arranged for a grocery store to make evening delivery and would feed on the delivery man. I would wake every night to find the little girl sleeping by my side or playing on the bed with her dolls. When the time came to go back to the States, I reluctantly handed her back to her father.
I knew that the night I met her my life had been changed, but this summer spent with her had been the point of no return. My undead life was forever linked with hers. We were bonded, by blood and by so much more.
I stayed by her side the whole day. By sunset the next evening she was still sleeping peacefully. I took a quick shower before writing her a note. Kissing her forehead one last time, I left the cubby and took to the sky to go to Pam’s. I had some explaining to do.