“Long time no see,” Sam said sheepishly, his eyes fixed on Sookie’s.
“Turn around, Shifter,” Eric glared at Sam and Sookie slapped at his shoulder.
“You don’t need to be rude, Eric,” Sookie rolled her eyes.
“Same Sookie, different vampire,” Sam chuckled and turned toward the trees to give them some privacy while they dressed.
“Where have you been, Sam?” Sookie asked while she fixed her clothing. Eric attempted to help her adjust her bra but she slapped his hands away.
“I needed some time to myself. I’m sure you can understand. I uh… I also had to deal with Tommy’s funeral arrangements. He didn’t really have any friends and with our parents… I needed some time,” Sam said and Sookie understood.
“Sam, I’m so sorry I wasn’t there for you,” Sookie said as Eric helped her to her feet. “You can turn around now.”
Sam turned that same slightly sheepish look on his face. He’d at least attempted to cover himself as much as he could. “There was nothing you could do, Sook, but I appreciate the thought. For what it’s worth, I missed you.”
“I missed you too,” Sookie wanted to give him a hug but since he was naked, she decided against it. “Look, now isn’t the best time but I’d like if we could get together soon and catch up. I’m sure we both have a lot to talk about.”
“Aren’t you coming back to work?” Sam looked confused.
Sookie took a step back and asked, “Are you offering me my job back? Arlene asked me to come back but with everything that’s happened…”
“Sook, I never fired you,” Sam shook his head.
“Uh, yeah, Sam, you did. You told me I wasn’t worth all the trouble and you were sick of me and all my problems. You told me to get my shit and get out,” Sookie reminded him.
Sam continued to look confused until something clicked in his mind. Then he muttered under his breath. “Dammit, Tommy.”
“What?” Sookie asked and tried to get into Sam’s mind but he was blocking her out.
“Nothing,” Sam shook his head and smiled at her. “I was having a bad day that day. Why don’t you come by the bar tomorrow and we’ll talk about it?”
Sookie looked over her shoulder at Eric who was obviously not happy with this idea. There was a bit of jealousy coursing through him but his concern outweighed any feelings of possessiveness he might have been experiencing. Her safety was more important than any foolish attempts the shifter might make to gain her favor.
“I’ll call you tomorrow, how about that?” Sookie suggested. She wanted to talk things over with Eric before she went making plans to return to Bon Temps.
Steve Newlin’s unexpected arrival—to say nothing of him being a vampire- had proven to her that Eric was right about Bon Temps not being safe for her. It shouldn’t have come as a surprise to her that Russell would try to use her family to get back at her like that. Sookie didn’t like the idea of hiding out but she liked the idea of getting herself killed. Sookie vaguely remembered reading in a book somewhere that there was nothing cowardly about running away to save her life.
“Fine, I guess,” Sam looked around her to Eric, whose expression was blank. He wouldn’t be explaining himself to Sam anytime soon.
“Good. I’ll call you tomorrow,” Sookie promised and reached out to pat his arm. That was as close to a hug as she was willing to get. “I’m really glad you’re back, Sam. I was worried about you.”
“Yeah, so was I,” Sam still hadn’t taken his eyes off of Eric. He could smell the vampire all over his friend and in places he didn’t particularly approve of. Just to get a rise out of Eric, Sam turned his face just a little and breathed in Sookie’s scent.
Did the shifter have a death wish?
Eric fought the growl that wanted desperately to break free. Sookie had been through enough for one night without him attacking her friend. Sam pulled back and retreated to the woods. Eric and Sookie needed to get back to Shreveport.
“You ready to go?” Sookie looked over her shoulder at Eric, who simply nodded.
They walked to the Range Rover together without saying much. The smell of shifter lingered on Sookie and the smell was awful. The minute they got back to the house they would be hitting the shower together. Sookie’s stomach growled as they pulled off the highway and she asked Eric to stop at the Sonic so she could get something to eat. Sookie moaned with pleasure after her first drink of strawberry limeade and Eric watched her eyes roll.
“That good, hmm?” Eric smiled at her.
“It’s fantastic,” she said and took another big drink. She wasn’t prepared for it when Eric kissed her right after she swallowed and she smacked at his shoulder to get him to pull back.
“I was curious,” his eyes sparkled and she couldn’t fault him.
“Next time warn me, will you?” she snickered and shook her head.
“My way is more fun,” he shrugged and put the car in gear.
Sookie was popping tater tots in her mouth as Eric drove the rest of the way back to his house. She was disappointed to not have found the necklace. It was possible Gran had gotten rid of it but Sookie didn’t think so. It had to be hidden away somewhere. She couldn’t get it out of her mind how Gran had been so insistent that Sookie not play with it. If it were just another piece of costume jewelry what would the harm have been for Sookie to play dress up with it? Gran had been trying to protect that necklace for a reason.
“I need to practice my magic,” Sookie stared at her hands. Zapping Steve Newlin had been much easier than it had ever been before. Perhaps it was because there was so much at stake in those moments.
Eric nodded his agreement as he pulled into his driveway. “We could set up targets in my yard,” he suggested.
“We could, but I think I’m going to need a moving target at some point. I figure most of the time I’m going to need to use my magic my targets aren’t going to sit still and wait to be zapped,” Sookie pointed out and climbed out of the Range Rover once it was parked.
“So use me,” Eric shrugged as they entered the house.
“Are you insane? You saw what I did to that jack ass! I am not going to incapacitate you just to see if I can. What if something goes wrong and I kill you? What then?” Sookie stared after him.
“You won’t kill me,” Eric said with certainty.
“Well, call me crazy but I’m not willing to risk it,” Sookie dropped her bag on the kitchen counter and folded her arms over her chest.
“Then what sort of moving target would you like, lover?” Eric asked her.
“I don’t know,” Sookie sighed and closed her eyes. “This is so frustrating!”
“You’re being dramatic,” Eric accused and she scoffed at him. “There is a solution to all of this, Sookie, and we will find it.”
His peaceful calm was irritating to her. He could be so patient and self-assured that everything would be alright. Was that a byproduct of his long life or was he just naturally that way? Ultimately that didn’t matter since she wasn’t like him. Sookie’s patience level when it came to searching for answers was next to nothing. She hated being in the free fall, waiting for something to be explained to her. Perhaps if she hadn’t been dicked around so many times in the last few years she might feel differently.
Eric, sensing her frustration, came toward her with that predatory look in her eyes. He had plans to distract her, at least for the time being. He wanted to get her mind off of things for just a little bit. The stress she was carrying wasn’t doing her any favors and the last thing he wanted was for Sookie to make herself ill with worries that were beyond her control.
“What do you think you’re doing?” she asked when he was standing right in front of her.
“You have grass in your hair and stains on your knees. We need to get you cleaned up,” Eric leaned down to kiss her neck. Mentioning the stink of shifter would just piss her off and she was already in a snit so he kept that to himself.
“We? I think I can shower all by myself,” Sookie said, that stubborn side of her kicking into high gear.
Fortunately, Eric knew there were ways around it; it just required he play his cards right. He took a step back and said, “You’re right. You should finish your dinner. I’ll be upstairs.”
He left Sookie completely stunned, staring after him as he walked toward the stairs. It became obvious to him then that she had been spoiling for a fight. While he could certainly understand that feeling he wasn’t about to get into a silly argument with her just so she would feel better. Instead he went upstairs to start planning the trap he had in mind to lure Russell out of his hiding place.
Sookie stayed in the kitchen and finished her food at the table, trying to calm herself down. She was frustrated for reasons that had nothing to do with Eric but she had lashed out at him anyway because he was there. She took a deep breath before getting up to throw away her trash and wash her hands. She knew Eric was strong enough to take whatever she was going to dish out but that didn’t make it right. After drying her hands on a dish towel she headed upstairs.
Eric was in his office, talking on the phone when she found him. He didn’t acknowledge her presence even though she was sure he knew she was there. His chair was turned toward the window so he couldn’t see her. Having decided to take advantage of that fact, she pulled off the sweater she was wearing and slipped out of her skirt. She kicked off her shoes and then removed her bra and underwear, leaving her in just a little pair of socks as she padded as quietly as she could across the floor.
When she reached Eric’s side he looked up to find her naked and looking at him with apology and regret in her eyes. “Pam, I’ll call you back,” he said and ended the call.
“I’m sorry I took my frustration out on you. That wasn’t fair of me,” Sookie told him and then found herself being pulled into his lap.
“Apology accepted,” he kissed her softly.
“I swear I don’t like fighting with you,” Sookie pressed her forehead to his and ran her fingers through his hair.
Eric smiled and said, “When it’s for the right reasons, I rather enjoy fighting with you.”
Sookie gasped and tilted his face up. “Why?”
“Because your passion and strength are two of the things that made me love you,” Eric told her in complete sincerity.
“Is that a nice way of calling me a bitch?” Sookie grinned so he knew she wasn’t serious.
“Never,” he pulled her face to his and kissed her.
“You were right about the shower,” Sookie said when his lips moved to her neck again.
“Lover, when will you learn that I am never wrong?” he rubbed his hips against hers and she moaned.
“Don’t get cocky,” she said and bit his neck before jumping off his lap and running for the bedroom.
Eric followed after her of course, tackling her on the bed before she could make it all the way to the bathroom like she’d planned. “The shower can wait, lover. I’m not quite finished dirtying you up just yet.”
With his plan to ravage her thoroughly before the sun claimed him for the day back on, Eric stripped off his clothes in a blur of motion that made Sookie gasp. Watching him undress slowly was fun but him being naked was even better. Sookie expected to be attacked, covered quickly by her vampire blanket but no, Eric seemed to be all about throwing her curve balls. He went to the closet and came out a few moments later with his hands behind his back.
Sookie gulped, wondering just what the heck he was hiding from her. “What do you have behind your back?”
“Nothing you won’t enjoy. Do you trust me, lover?” Eric asked as he approached the bed with that hunter’s stare locked on her.
“You know I do,” she said, but still her heart raced wildly in her chest.
“Have I ever left you unsatisfied before?” Eric’s eyes trailed over her body and she shook her head, unable to find the words to speak. “Close your eyes for me, Sookie.”
She stared up at him, her eyes telling him that she was trusting him to take care of her. Without tipping his hand—literally- he leaned down and kissed her softly on her lips. She closed her eyes and stayed stock still, waiting for him to make his next move. She heard the crunchy, scratching sound of Velcro being pulled apart. She wanted to open her eyes but then what was the point of closing them?
Her breath caught when she felt something go around her head and cover her eyes. A blindfold? Was he serious? “Eric, I…”
“Shhh…” he whispered and kissed her again until she was breathless and a little dizzy. “Trust me,” he whispered in her ear.
But then he disappeared, or so it seemed. The only sounds she heard was the beating of her own heart and the ragged breaths she was taking. She needed to calm down before she began to hyperventilate and have a panic attack. She felt Eric trying to reassure her, to keep her calm. It was just a blindfold, after all. Not knowing where he was coming from, or where he was headed might actually be kind of fun.
All the same, Sookie remained seated at the center of the bed. Her head turned at the slightest of noises, trying to figure out where Eric was. Then all of a sudden something tickled the bottom of her foot. She jumped in surprise, jerking her foot away. But then there was a similar tickling on her left shoulder and she squirmed away from that, too. Their bond was quiet. The only emotions moving around were her own. Eric was completely silent.
The tickle moved to her right knee and then between her breasts. She stopped fighting against the feeling and decided to just go with it. Sookie had no idea what Eric was touching her with but it was incredibly soft and his touch was light. When she stopped fighting he returned to her feet and dragged the thing up her leg, causing her to break out in goose bumps. She tried to imagine the look in his eyes as he watched her sitting there breathing hard, trying to figure him out. He got all the way to her hip before he disappeared again.
Minutes passed and nothing. Sookie had just settled into her own skin and was starting to relax when Eric said, “Lie back. Put your hands over your head.”
Sookie did as she was told, laying back and putting her hands up. Eric moved her closer to the headboard and then one hand at a time, fastened something around each of her wrists. When she tried to move her hands, she found that she had been restrained.
“Eric, what are you doing?” Sookie moved her head from side to side, unsure of where he was.
“Do you want me to stop?” he was right by her ear and her breath caught again.
While she wished he would have asked her first, she wasn’t entirely against what he was doing. She’d never been tied up or restrained during sex before. She had never been blindfolded either. As if he understood her hesitation Eric went on to explain his reasons for blindfolding and restraining her.
“If you can’t see you will rely on your other senses much more. Already you are more sensitive to touch and you’re straining to listen for me. Stick out your tongue,” he said and waited for her to comply. When she did, he raised his finger to his mouth and nicked it on one of his fangs. He waited for the blood to pool on the small wound and then let it drip onto Sookie’s tongue. “Tastes different, doesn’t it?”
“Yes,” she gasped, unprepared for the difference. His blood was sweeter than usual.
“And it’s all because you can’t see me,” Eric trailed his fingers up the inside of her thigh but not touching her center.
Sookie shifted on the bed and slowly Eric began to open his side of the bond again. She sniffed the air, unaware that he’d lit candles nearly half an hour before. “I smell vanilla,” she said but couldn’t see the smile she earned for it.
“Candles,” he explained and she smiled.
“You burn candles when I can’t see them?” Sookie shook her head.
“I’ll burn candles every night if you wish me to,” Eric was hovering right above her. She could feel his energy on top of her but not his body.
“You’re floating above me, aren’t you?” Sookie asked, wanting to make sure her senses were tracking him properly.
“I am,” he confirmed for her.
She wanted to reach up and touch his face but with her wrists restrained that wasn’t going to happen. So instead she lifted one of her feet and rubbed it against his calf. She felt his amusement even though he said nothing. He let her foot get as far as his knee before he disappeared again. She didn’t even feel a disturbance in the air around her.
Eric stood at the far side of his bedroom staring at Sookie. She looked beautiful there on his bed, her wrists bound to restraints she clearly hadn’t known were attached to his bed. He had installed them when she returned from her trip to Faery. Deep down he had known it would only be a matter of time before she gave in to him. He’d felt it in the way she’d kissed back when he thought he was kissing her goodbye. He could feel her curiosity which was only overridden by her want.
Eric had experimented with just about everything there was to experiment with, sexually speaking. Living for more than 1,000 years had taught him to be open-minded or life got pretty boring really fast. He wanted to share some of his knowledge with Sookie and see what interested her. If he had to guess, Bill had restrained himself quite a bit in their sexual practices. Sookie was tame in bed, which was a direct contradiction to the wildness in her blood. He’d tasted it earlier in the forest so he knew it was there.
It was time to try something new, at least for her. He could be sweet and gentle with her while still opening her eyes to a different form of lovemaking. He could show her new ways to find pleasure and someday, if she asked for it, he would allow her the chance to do as he was doing now; he trusted her that much. She squirmed on the bed, not in discomfort but in anticipation. The waiting was part of the game. Not knowing where or when he might descend on her again was part of the fun, and part of what heightened the experience.
He’d only been gone for two minutes but to Sookie, it probably felt closer to ten. Sensory deprivation had a way of throwing off a person’s internal clock if they weren’t used to it. Panic set in easily, which was part of the reason the other senses became heightened in attempts to compensate for what was lacking. Having decided he’d made her wait long enough, Eric made his way back to the bed. He started at the palm of her right hand and brushed light kisses up her arm, over her shoulder and down her side, making sure to avoid her breasts. He would get to those soon enough.
Sookie turned her head to the right even though she couldn’t see anything but black. She concentrated on the barely there kisses Eric was ghosting along her skin. He moved all the way down her body and when he got to the bottom of her foot, she giggled and squirmed a little. He would remember that for another time. He repeated his actions on the other side of her body but started at her foot and worked his way up.
Eric trailed the tip of his index finger over her collarbone from one side to the other before bringing the finger down and tracing the roundness of her breasts. Her mouth opened and he leaned in to kiss the corners of her mouth. When she tried to turn her face to catch his lips with her own, he pulled back.
“Not fair,” she pouted but he remained silent.
He continued on for a while, trailing his fingers over her skin, waking up every single cell before he finally lowered his mouth to hers. He kissed her on his own terms, pulling away before Sookie could find a rhythm. The best part of this experience was the knowledge that Sookie was going to remember every single detail of it, if only to use it against him later. That was part of the reason he loved her. She challenged him every step of the way, something most humans wouldn’t have the guts to do. She had been afraid of him and challenged him anyway.
He could smell how aroused she was, as if the rubbing together of her thighs wasn’t enough for him. When his lips fastened around one of her nipples her hips rose off the bed and her back arched. He teased each breast, taking his time flicking his tongue against her heated skin. She was flushed from her face down; her blood rushing to the surface of her skin.
His tongue trailed down her stomach, stopping to dip into her belly button, which also made her laugh. Eric kissed the rest of the way down her lower abdomen until he got to her mound. Light blonde hair that was meticulously groomed above her sex. He shifted his position on the bed and gently moved her thighs apart. Her folds glistened in the candlelight, the evidence of her need just waiting to be tasted.
He blew air over her moist skin and she moaned, tugging slightly on the restraints. He kept his eyes on her face while his tongue traced over her lower lips. Her hips rolled and when he licked the wetness from her skin, her body followed where she guessed his mouth would go. With one hand he held her down and used the other to part her folds. His tongue swept over her but didn’t touch her clit like she wanted him to. Not yet; it wasn’t time.
The teasing was torture but in a good way. The things he could do with just his mouth were nothing short of amazing. Eric hadn’t even really gotten started yet and already her toes were curled tightly, an orgasm building in her belly just waiting for the right contact so it could explode. His tongue slid inside her and she whimpered, fighting not only the restraints but the hold of his hand on her stomach.
“More,” she pleaded breathlessly, but Eric kept up at his own pace.
The sweetness of her was something he would never tire of. There was nothing in the world that tasted like her. Sookie was quite the reward for surviving all that he had. And when it became obvious that denying her the friction she so desperately needed was bordering on cruel, he let his tongue rub against her clit. She screamed at the contact and sparks flew out of her fingertips. That was new.
His tongue flicked against her clit, slowly at first, but the pace gradually increased until it was moving at full vampire speed. Sookie’s entire body shook and he knew she was going to cum even before she announced it to him. He could feel the explosion going off inside her and it was powerful enough that he nearly came himself. He lapped at the sweetness that poured from her, his thumb rubbing gentle, slow circles over her clit while she came down from her high. Her body continued to jerk and her back was still arched off the bed.
Her heartbeat filled his ears and she was fighting to breathe. He’d done his job well. With one last kiss to her swollen clit, he moved up her body slowly, one kiss at a time until he arrived at her mouth. She could taste herself on him but that only seemed to increase her desire. He wasn’t finished with her yet.
Carefully, he reached behind her head and unfastened the blindfold. Her eyes were starry and it was a good thing the room was lit only by candles. Anything brighter would have been blinding to her after being in the dark for so long. He gave her a moment to adjust before he spoke.
“Did you enjoy that, lover?” he smiled at her, already knowing the answer.
“I’m still seein’ stars,” she admitted with a light laugh. “My arms are gettin’ numb though.”
That was expected but he didn’t want her to be in pain from it, so he released them one at a time, kissing each of her fingertips before rubbing her shoulders to get her blood moving again. She pushed him onto his back and straddled his waist while he rubbed her arms.
“So when do I get to restrain you?” Sookie grinned at him.
“Lover, I could very easily destroy cuffs like these,” he lifted one of them.
“Mmm, not if it was silver wrapped with something you couldn’t,” Sookie pointed out and he arched an eyebrow. “What? I had a lot of time to think while you were off doing whatever it was you were doing when I was here all by myself.”
“I was watching you,” Eric said and flipped them over again and then moved out of the way to turn Sookie over onto her stomach. He rubbed her shoulders and back, helping to release the tension that he had intentionally built up in her. For the next part he wanted her to be relaxed.
“Watching me what? I was just lying here,” Sookie turned her head to the side.
“I was gauging your reactions. I could feel your confusion, intrigue, desire… the way you would turn your head at the slightest sound and then feel disappointment when you realized it wasn’t me was quite enjoyable,” Eric said and kissed between her shoulder blades.
“I couldn’t feel you at all,” Sookie sighed as she relaxed. “In the bond, I mean. I couldn’t tell what you were feeling.”
“I shut you out,” he informed her and her head lifted off the mattress.
“It was part of the game.”
“Cheater. If I would have known-”
“I’m sure you’ll find a way to get me back for it,” Eric said, pressing his thumbs against her spine.
Her head dropped and she moaned as the massage continued. His strong hands worked over her muscles, kneading away any tension she was feeling. By the time he was finished with her she was loose as a noodle and sound asleep. Eric thought about waking her but decided to let her be for the time being. There were still a few hours before daybreak. He went off to his office to get more work done while Sookie slept.
oOo ~ oOo ~ oOo
Sookie was sitting on that same bed in the Scandinavian forest, only this time she wasn’t naked or with Eric. She was all by herself and dressed in one of those pretty white gowns she’d always seemed to find herself in when ever she breached the faery world on her own. Panic set in almost instantly. What was she doing back here? She never wanted to be here ever again, even if this was the one place where she had ever felt like she belonged, if only for a short while.
“You have nothing to fear,” a kind, grandfatherly voice said from behind her.
Sookie whipped around and gasped to see the face that had caught her attention during her last visit. “Who are you? Why am I here?”
“It was the only way I could summon you. I mean you no harm, dear girl. I have waited many years to meet you,” the handsome, elderly man extended his hand to her. “I am called Niall.”
Sookie was hesitant to touch him. Getting near fairies had done her next to no good in the past. The only one she thought was remotely trustworthy was Claudine and she was no more, thanks to Eric. The elderly man didn’t come any closer, but his hand remained extended to her.
“I realize you have no reason to trust me after what happened during your last visit, but I assure you that you are safe, Sookie,” he said kindly.
“How do you know my name?” She stood up and backed away from the bed.
“As I said, I have been waiting for you. I’ve been watching,” he said.
“No offense, mister, but that doesn’t exactly make me trust you,” Sookie wrapped her arms around herself.
“You found the book,” he said with a faint smile. “I passed the message to your beloved Gran and begged her to relay the message on to you.”
“How do you know my Gran?” Sookie looked at him suspiciously.
“Because of Earl, of course. He was one of us as well. He’s gone on to the Summerland now. I assure you he’s doing quite well there. He’s had the chance to visit Adele. Their reunion was a happy one,” Niall told her and Sookie felt her eyes fill with tears.
Her grandfather’s disappearance had been difficult for Gran. No one ever knew what happened to him and it had been assumed he’d stepped in the wrong place near a bayou or swamp and had been eaten by alligators. Since there was no evidence that he was dead, it was simply presumed he was missing for all those years.
“What do you want with me?” Sookie asked.
“I am the prince of the Sky Clan. I am nearing the end of my life cycle. You, dear Sookie, are my great granddaughter,” Niall explained and her eyes bugged out a little.
“Not possible. I remember my great granddaddy,” Sookie shook her head.
“No, child, he wasn’t your great grandfather; he was only made to believe he was. He was unable to give his wife children and when my son breached the human world he became enamored with your great grandmother. The result of that union was your grandfather. He was half fae,” Niall explained.
“Why couldn’t my father or Aunt Linda read minds? They were fae, too,” Sookie pointed out.
“They didn’t receive the spark, nor did your brother. You and the young one, Hunter, were the ones to receive it,” Niall said and Sookie gasped.
“You know about Hunter?”
“I’ve been watching,” Niall said with another warm smile. “The time has come for you to come into your power. You made quite an impression on Mab during your short stay here.”
“She’s crazy. I might be part fairy but I have a life on Earth and I’m not about to give that up,” Sookie said defiantly.
“You have Adele’s fire,” Niall chuckled at Sookie’s planted feet and folded arms. “Earl did right in picking such a wily one. She guarded his secrets well and did her best to help you along the way in dealing with your telepathy.”
“She did,” Sookie agreed, remembering the hours she had spent with Gran at the kitchen table, trying to block her thoughts. Just to test her, Gran would think loudly at Sookie from time to time to make sure she was using her shields.
“I can help you further,” Niall took a cautious step closer. “And I can prepare you for the other changes you’re about to face.”
“What other changes?” Sookie asked curiously.
“I don’t know to what degree your power will come to you. I know you have the Light,” he stared at her hands.
“I do,” Sookie agreed.
“Usually the next power to surface is the Blast,” he told her.
“What is that?” Sookie had no idea.
“The ability to completely incapacitate another being, no matter what their race, using only your mind. You will be able to cause them extreme pain, memory loss, lack of consciousness or even put them into a completely vegetative state,” Niall told her.
“And this will work on anyone, human or supernatural?” She asked and Niall nodded.
“Because vampires are our opposite, hitting them with a Blast could kill them even more effectively than using a stake, sunlight or silver. Vampires are our natural enemies because of the darkness they carry within them,” Niall explained.
“Which is why the Queen was so angry with me for sharing my blood with a vampire?” Sookie asked.
“Not only did you share your blood, but you let him take your Light,” Niall said and Sookie was lost again.
“But I didn’t. I didn’t even know I had Light to give him,” Sookie sighed, feeling like she could tear her hair out.
“I will explain it to you in time, my child, but I must come to you in an awakened state when you aren’t with your vampire. This new one, he doesn’t steal your Light like the other,” Niall said with a hint of approval.
“Eric is good to me. He loves me,” Sookie said in Eric’s defense.
“He’s a creature of darkness, Sookie—never forget that,” Niall warned.
“You don’t know Eric,” Sookie shook her head.
Sookie gasped and took a step back again. “He didn’t tell me. He spoke only of the Queen.”
“Yes, he would. He has a connection to her, which is why there have been no visits upon him, warning him to let you be,” Niall braced himself on a cane Sookie hadn’t noticed until just then.
“What is her connection to him?”
“It’s a long story for another day, but because the Queen has passed her light onto him, you can, too,” Niall told her.
“How? What will it do?” she didn’t want to go zapping Eric if she was going to hurt him.
“Sharing your light with him will protect him, Sookie. It’s a gift you can only bestow to one in your lifetime, so once it is done, it cannot be reversed. He will be marked as yours.”
“But Queen Mab has already marked him,” Sookie’s shoulder slumped. This wasn’t good news.
“She did so without his Consent. The mark stands but it is meaningless because it wasn’t mutual. You must get his permission before you mark him, or it will do neither of you any good,” Niall seemed to be getting weaker by the moment. “I must go now, Sookie, but remember what I told you.”
“How can I find you?” she asked him.
“The same way you found Claudine,” Niall carefully moved closer to her and tucked his cane under his arm before reaching up and putting his hands on her head.
Sookie felt warm tingles running through her and when she looked down at her arms; they were glowing and throwing off little white, pale pink and yellow sparks. Niall smiled warmly at her and then kissed her forehead. Sookie allowed herself to be warmed by the light and when she opened her eyes, Niall was gone.
Sookie sat bolt upright in bed. She was dressed in a nightgown she didn’t remember putting on and Eric was dead for the day beside her. A look at the clock beside the bed told her it was nearly sundown. She’d slept for almost eighteen hours.