Eric was actually grateful, at the moment, that he and Sookie weren’t bonded to one another. Seeing her so upset over the locations of the cameras in her home had incited a rage in him that rivaled what he’d felt when he learned that Godric was missing. He realized when she left the house in tears in search of fresh air that even though he felt like Sookie was his, she hadn’t exactly agreed to that. While each of them had admitted to caring for one another he had stopped short of telling her he loved her, and he felt it was safe to assume that Sookie as approaching the bond as something of a business deal.
That wasn’t at all how Eric would see the bond, and Sookie deserved to know that. While the last few days had definitely warmed her to him, was it enough for her to understand just exactly what it would mean to him if she agreed to be his? It was a conversation they needed to have, and there had to be an agreement in place before he would bond himself to her. Once they bonded there would be no going back.
Then again, that wasn’t entirely true. Sookie knew two powerful witches who could very easily, it seemed, break the bond between them. They wouldn’t even need his consent since all it would take was a couple of candles, some ribbon and a few drops of Sookie’s blood. She had an escape route, but he hoped that she would never need to use it. For Eric, the bond would remain for the rest of her life, and probably still be felt for centuries beyond that.
There was also the question of whether or not Sookie would someday consider being turned. The thought of having her at his side for eternity was definitely an arousing one, but that was an option she was going to need to choose for herself. He wouldn’t push that particular issue. Eric, of all people, knew how long eternity could be. Being twenty-five at this time in the world was a very different thing from what it was when he was human. Had Eric married in his human life when he was supposed to, he would have been a few years shy of being a grandfather already. As it was, he’d had younger brothers who were already married and had children of their own.
Living was much harder in those days and everything was accelerated. While he and Pam worked silently to destroy the devices that had been used to spy on Sookie—and Eric realized then that the cameras had more than likely caught him lying in Sookie’s bed while he waited for her to get out of the shower- Eric considered what it would have been like if Sookie had been alive in his human years. She would have been the kind of woman any man in his village would have considered to be an ideal wife. She was strong, stubborn, loyal and intelligent.
Contrary to what history wrote about Vikings they weren’t all barbarians who ran around raping every woman they could. The rules about monogamy were different, and it was acceptable for a married man to have sex with other women as long as he didn’t treat the other woman as he would his wife. The relationships were purely sexual, and it was because of that reason that the concept of monogamy was still a little new to him. He suspected, however, that Sookie would demand it.
In his long lifetime, Eric had yet to meet a woman that was worth locking himself down for. At least that was true until Sookie came along. Eric knew he was strong enough to do anything he set his mind to, and quite frankly, he was certain Sookie was handful enough to keep him occupied. There wouldn’t be time for another woman even if he wanted one.
But he didn’t want one.
There was a part of him that liked the idea of being with just Sookie, and putting everything he could into nurturing just that one relationship. Over his long life he’d had more meaningless sexual encounters than he could count. It dawned on him that earlier that night when he’d had sex with Sookie, that was the first time it really mattered to him. Eric had never been selfish when it came to sex, and the memories the women had of the things he’d done to them had all been accurate and not glamoured into them the way some vampires did. If anything, he preferred to glamour the women into not wanting him again after he’d slept with him.
“You’re conflicted,” Pam said, her arms folding over her chest once they were standing downstairs in the entryway. “If you’re having doubts about bonding to her, Eric, then don’t do it.”
“I told you this wasn’t up for discussion, Pamela,” Eric said sternly.
“I’m using common sense, Eric. Forever is a long time to be bonded to someone you are unsure of,” Pam warned. A few moments passed before she asked, “Will you turn her?”
Eric’s eyes went to Pam’s and he could feel her anxiety even if her face betrayed nothing. Eric closed the distance between himself and his child. He held her face gently, and in that moment Pam looked like a scared little girl. It never ceased to amaze him how easily she could let her mask fall when she wanted to, but she rarely did it. Hiding from Eric, however, was useless. He felt everything Pam did, and even if he closed off the bond between them he knew her well enough to know how she would react to any given situation.
He knew because he had taught her well, and Pam had been very eager to learn as a young vampire.
“We haven’t discussed that,” Eric said honestly, and he felt Pam’s little bit of relief. “If being vampire is something that Sookie wants, we will figure it out. That might actually be the safest thing for her, but at this point she hasn’t expressed any interest in crossing over. But Pam,” Eric lifted Pam’s face a little so she had to look into his eyes, “even if she chooses to become a vampire, you will always be my first.”
The little bit of a smile he gave her was all Pam needed to feel better, and she nodded her head slowly. Eric leaned in and kissed his child’s forehead. As much as Eric didn’t want to admit it, there was a part of him that wanted Pam’s approval of his choice. Ultimately he knew the decision was his, and because he was her master he didn’t require her blessing for anything. He could command Pam to do anything he wanted, but Eric had never been one to abuse his power over her in such a way. He issued commands only when it was absolutely necessary, and even then it was usually for Pam’s safety and not his own amusement.
“I’ll take out the trash,” Pam said with a hint of mischief in her blood.
Eric nodded, released his child’s face and then Pam was gone from the house. He went outside to find Sookie leaning against the side of the house with tears running down her cheeks. He searched for the right words to say to calm her, but decided it might be best to continue to give Sookie her space. When she was ready to discuss things with him she would. Already he had learned it was best not to press Sookie too hard to talk about things she wasn’t ready to share.
He had asked for her trust, and she had given it. Now he needed to trust her in return, and let her come to him in her own time. The drive to Jason’s house was a quick one, and the old Suburban that had been parked outside of Sookie’s home the night before was already in Jason’s driveway when they arrived. Sookie leashed Moli and then brought her along.
Eric’s previous dealings with Jason did very little to put him in high regard with the vampire. Jason had made a promise in Dallas that he would stay away from vampire blood, and had sworn that he was no longer using. Eric knew it to be true by the human’s scent, but people relapsed all the time. Jason could potentially pose a problem for several reasons, but Eric hoped that putting a protection spell on the house would help to eliminate some of the risk.
“You weren’t kiddin’ about gettin’ a dog,” Jason said with shock on his face as Sookie approached with Moli sniffing the ground as they walked.
“Nope, not kidding. Her name’s Moli,” Sookie said as the dog walked over to Jason and sniffed him out as well.
Jason bent down to scratch Moli between her ears and the puppy kicked at his wrist. Lafayette and Jesus were nowhere to be seen, but Eric could sense their presence inside the house.
“So you’re protectin’ my sister now?” Jason asked, staring Eric down a little.
Eric nodded, but said nothing.
“And you didn’t know nothin’ ’bout what vampire Bill was doin’?” Jason looked at Eric skeptically.
“Jason!” Sookie admonished, but went ignored by her brother.
“That sumbitch ever gets near Sook again and I’ll stake him myself,” Jason warned. “And the same goes for you if you ever fuck her over.”
“Jason!” Sookie said again.
“It’s fine, Sookie. It’s good to see your brother taking a stand for you. That’s what a brother should do for his sister,” Eric said, not minding at all that Jason was attempting to sound tough.
Sure it was possible that Jason might be able to stake Eric—anything was possible. The likeliness of that happening, however, was another story. For starters, Eric didn’t intend to give Jason a reason to do such a thing. More importantly, even if he did, there would be one hell of a fight before Jason could possibly do that and Eric would have to be gravely injured in order for it to happen. In short, Eric wasn’t worried that his undead life was at stake.
“Good, now let’s get all this started. That knife Jesus brought with him is one I would rather not have in my house for too long,” Jason said, and turned to go back inside.
“Jase, you have to invite Eric in,” Sookie reminded him.
“Oh yeah? What if he starts causin’ trouble?” Jason asked.
“Withdraw my invitation, but I assure you that won’t be necessary,” Eric answered.
Jason looked Eric up and down, but then invited him into the house. Sookie offered Eric a weak smile over her shoulder as he followed her inside. The witches were already setting things up when they came in. Jesus already had his bundle of herbs ready to go, and the knife he’d used to sever the bonds was sitting on the coffee table.
“Well, let’s get this started,” Jason took a seat on his couch, ready to get it all over with.