My lover was gone.
I panicked. I couldn’t feel her at first, and I was terrified she’d been killed in the fight. I listened to my blood to try and get a feel for her. It took deep concentration and blocking out everything else for me to feel her. I picked up on her strange combination of grief and relief and without waiting for Pam’s permission, I took off running. I caught up to Sookie about a block away from the building. She was in tears. Her devastation and sorrow rolling off of her in waves.
I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to her just yet. I got angry at her for just walking away. Not that she had needed my permission to go, but considering everything we’d been through, I thought a ‘hey, Eric, I’m fine,’ wasn’t too much to ask for. Before I could really get into it, she pleaded with me to stop. I didn’t want to fight with her. I wanted to wrap her up in my arms and take her home. So, with her consent, that’s exactly what I did.
The curse wasn’t lifted yet, obviously, and despite having gotten a taste of the vampire I usually am, I didn’t feel like I belonged with Pam and the rest of them. I felt like my place was with Sookie. Her grief was still there, but it was her exhaustion that pushed to the forefront. I lifted her easily, and carried her toward her car. Her head rested on my shoulder, her breath warm on my neck. She eyed the gash on my arm, and checked me over for other injuries. She was covered in blood, but I knew it did nothing for her.
Her tears soaked into my skin when her face got closer to my neck. I concentrated on the smell of her tears instead of the blood and the horrible, fading smell of magic Hallow had cast over the neighborhood. I wondered what the point of the the smell was. I assumed it was meant to keep people off the streets, since I hadn’t seen anyone who wasn’t a supernatural since we’d arrived in the area. I teased her about having to get rid of her coat, since I was pretty sure it was stained beyond repair. Sookie, never one to be wasteful, said she would just get it cleaned.
I felt her perk up a little on the drive home. Getting away from the magic and mayhem of the night seemed to have a very positive affect on her. I found that when I thought calming thoughts at Sookie, she seemed to relax even more, almost like she could hear me. Maybe she could. She’d told me she couldn’t read vampires, but maybe I was an exception. Or maybe it had something to do with her having my blood in her.
By the time we got back to Bon Temps, Sookie seemed to be wide awake again. Without a word we got out of the car and headed to the back door. I was absorbed in the way moonlight bounced off her hair, and wasn’t paying as much attention to our surroundings as I should have been. Sookie let us into the house and had just flipped the lights on when I saw Debbie Pelt sitting at the kitchen table with an evil grin on her face.
She said nothing, just simply lifted the gun in her hand and fired. I didn’t think twice before diving in front of Sookie and taking the shot. The bullet tore into my chest. It was pain unlike any I could recall feeling. I fell to my knees and began to cough of blood. The coughing was a strange sensation. I registered the sound of a shotgun being pumped, and then there was the loud boom of it firing.
Debbie’s chest seemed to explode. Her hand relaxed and she dropped her gun. Her body fell to the floor in a bloody heap. She was most definitely dead. Knowing Sookie was safe, I slumped to the floor and found myself breathing, even though it wasn’t necessary. The pain was searing and immense. Sookie stood there, staring at the phone and contemplating who to call for help before she got down on the floor beside me and began to unzip my jacket, then unbutton my shirt.
I could already feel the bullet working itself out of my body. Blood. I needed blood. I wanted Sookie’s, but she denied me. She got me a True Blood, which I drank it down in a few large gulps and asked for another. Sookie watched as the bullet popped out of my chest, and rolled to the floor. Slowly, I pulled myself up to sit with my back against the cabinets. I felt weak, but I knew I would be healed in just a few minutes.
Sookie brought me a second bottle of blood and then began to apologize for her failure. She felt that by me getting shot at all, she had done something wrong. Nothing could have been further from the truth. She hadn’t planned for Debbie to be there any more than I had. I’d jumped in front of her because the bullet would have killed her, where it was just a severe nuisance for me. Her quick thinking proved me her survival instincts were much stronger than I had been led to believe.
She complained of how committing murder wasn’t a very “Christian” thing to do, but what she’d done wasn’t murder. At least, not the cold blooded kind. She was defending us both against a woman who would have gladly seen us both die if given the chance. If anything, I felt responsible for not taking Debbie out earlier in the night. It would have been nothing to me to snap her neck right there in Pam’s living room, or slit her throat during the war. I could have killed her and it would have saved us both a lot of trouble.
As it was, Sookie’s kitchen was quite a mess. My chest was still a bit sore, but the wound had closed. Sookie wanted me to go get cleaned up, but there was simply too much work to be done. I handled the body, while Sookie got out the cleaning products. She was grateful to me for volunteering to deal with Debbie’s remains, but I felt it was the least I could do, considering I could have prevented this from happening.
Once the body was bagged, and I’d picked up as much of what Sookie called ‘the gore,’ as I could, I headed out to bury Debbie’s corpse. Sookie reminded me there was a garden shed where I could get a shovel and whatever other tools I might need. When I saw just what sort of tools Sookie had in her shed, I contemplated dismembering Debbie and scattering the pieces in the woods behind Sookie’s house. If it hadn’t been so late, I might have done just that, but I was running out of time before dawn. I stripped her of the ID and the keys in her pocket before I buried her.
By the time I got back to Sookie’s house, she was on her hands and knees, scrubbing the floor. She’d taken down her curtains to give them a good washing. She was about to follow me out of the house while I went searching for Debbie’s car to move it away from Sookie’s place, but I sent her back inside. It was late, she was tired and I knew she felt disgusted by everything she’d seen and been a part of since the sun went down. I kissed her quickly, then took to the sky to find Debbie’s car.
It wasn’t hard to locate. In fact, I was a little frustrated neither of us had spotted it where it was parked. I told myself we were preoccupied on the drive home, but it was a lousy excuse. I folded myself into the driver’s seat and headed down Hummingbird Road until I got closer to the main highway. Once I was there, I pulled the car over to the side of the road. I adjusted the seat so it would look like Debbie had been the last person driving. I used a rag from the trunk to wipe down the car to get rid of fingerprints, just to be on the safe side.
I made sure the car doors were locked before closing it up and flying back to Sookie’s. She was already showered and tucked into bed by the time I found her. She’d wedged a chair under the knob of the front door to keep it closed. Debbie, it seems, had simply kicked the door in. It wasn’t a very sophisticated means of forced entry, but it worked. Sookie was going to need a new door as a result.
I knelt beside her bed since I was too dirty to get in beside her like I wanted to. I kissed her cheek so she would know I was back. She smiled with her eyes closed and thanked me for helping her. I stayed there watching her for a while and listened to the sound of her heartbeat get slow and steady. When I was sure she was in a deep sleep, I slipped into the bathroom to get cleaned up. Dawn was approaching fast. I knew I had maybe an hour before I would have to go rest.
I cleaned up quickly, and now here I am, sitting in the chair in Sookie’s room, glancing at her from time to time, putting the finishing touches on this journal. I don’t know if this approaching sunset will be the last I rise here with Sookie, but I want to be prepared in case it is. Since I don’t really know who I am when I am completely myself, I suppose the only real lesson I can take away from this is a rather simple one.
It seems there are two sides to me. One is cold, callous, and capable of doing anything to get what I want. I am not above going extreme measures, or doing what some would consider to be evil things, to have my way. Perhaps I keep my emotions locked away, but it seems to me that perhaps it is essential for my survival. The other side of me can let people in. I can love, and let others love me in return. I can trust. I can follow as well as I lead.
Maybe above everything, I have taken Sookie Stackhouse for granted. I have used her for all the wrong reasons, and I have never fully appreciated her. Not just for her talent, but for the amazing woman she is. If all I’ve done in the past is use her for her ability and try to get in her pants, I have made a huge mistake. Sookie isn’t interested in flashy things, or having status in the world. She sees herself as someone simple, just a small town barmaid, who got sucked into a world she wasn’t prepared for.
If I am going to have a chance with her in the future, I am going to have to be honest with her. She has no tolerance for liars, and hates being kept in the dark. From all I can tell, she doesn’t know as much as she should about the supernatural world. Protecting her is good, but giving her the tools to protect herself is even better. She’s lacking proper education, and it would serve me best to tell her everything I can. My hope is that she will make better decisions if she has the knowledge to back up her choices.
Dawn is approaching. I must rest now.
If you are reading this, it means I have gone back to a life I do not recognize as my own, at this point in time. I want to thank you for so many things. First, for being brave enough to do what you have done for me. Not only was it a dangerous mission, I now have a better understanding of the risk you were taking with your heart. Secondly, I thank you for your kindness and generosity. It takes a remarkable person to do what you have done. I am honored you felt I was worth the trouble, given the way I have treated you in the past.
Finally, and most importantly, thank you for loving me. I know we said it wasn’t love, but I feel your blood, my lover. I didn’t realize what I was really feeling until after the war. I couldn’t feel you. I didn’t know where you were. For a moment, I thought I lost you, and it was the worst moment of my life. The idea of not seeing your face every day fills me with a deeper sorrow than I can ever hope to express in words.
I should be celebrating our victory this night, but in beating the witches, I am being taken from you. You said you would still see me after tonight. I can only hope you will keep your word, as I intend to keep mine. Those things I said about bringing you to my side and taking care of you? I meant all of those things. When I look at you, I don’t see a telepath. I see a beautiful woman with a kind soul, an amazing spirit and a profound strength.
Maybe, for the first time since we met, you have seen me as just a man and not the vampire who has mistreated you in the past. I realize now that it’s a mistake to ignore the other parts of ourselves. Being a telepath is as much a part of you as being a vampire is a part of me. I don’t think those things need to define us. Perhaps, to the outside world, it’s easier to just see us that way, but I think we both know nothing is ever that simple.
This experience has shown me I can balance the two sides of me. The vampire and the man can co-exist. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. You have gotten to see a side of me no one else ever has, as far as I know. I don’t know what you will do with this information, but I hope you won’t disregard it. I hope that when my memory is restored, I won’t lose these days with you.
If I do, please know these days have meant everything to me, Sookie. I hope a point will come when our time together will make you smile, instead of feeling the sorrow I felt tonight. I know there is a part of you that feels like you don’t have much to offer, like you aren’t worthy of all the good things life has to offer. That simply isn’t true.
Whether or not I remember our time together, I will always remember one thing: you gave me back. You were selfless. You would probably call it doing the right thing, but I call it love.
I’ll be seeing you, my lover.