My exhaustion-induced nap ended suddenly and my eyes flew open. Taking a deep breath, I took inventory of my surroundings. I was still in the Escalade but it looked like we had pulled into a large garage. I guess the car stopping was what woke me up.
Eric and Pam appeared to be having a quick discussion over by an ocean blue minivan that was on the other side of a red corvette. As I opened my door, Pam entered the van and backed out of the garage without a word. I guess there won’t be an audience for the main event then. I suppose that’s good.
Eric walked towards the door in front of the corvette while I walked around to the front of the Escalade. He hadn’t even glanced in my direction yet. I knew I was avoiding eye contact with him earlier but this felt awkward now that we were alone.
He was on the top step with his hand on the doorknob when I decided to speak. “Um, where are we?” I was hesitant only because it felt like he was trying to avoid dealing with me.
Continuing inside, he coolly answered. “Our home.”
“Oh, does Pam live here too then?” I was trying to sound conversational.
He paused for just a second in the small hallway and I stopped on the bottom step at the entrance. He turned slightly and glanced in my direction with a raised eyebrow, “No.” Then he continued down the hallway and out of sight.
“Oh…right.” I mumbled as I slowly followed him inside. Guess that answers my question about living arrangements. I knew arguing wouldn’t get me anywhere – although I was tempted.
As I came to the end of the hallway, I walked towards the only source of light. Since most of the home was in darkness, I couldn’t really make out anything along the way.
The light came from an oversized great room that was about the size of the first floor of my home. It had a masculine feel to it, but was very impersonal. The brown leather furniture was obviously bought with the large stature of its owner in mind. The coffee and end tables were tasteful but not ornate and there weren’t many decorative items around the place. There were two large bay windows on the back wall with a fireplace situated between them. Over the fireplace, there was a very old looking sword on display. The only other wall decorations were abstract pieces of art and they were very dark in color and in mood. Most puzzling was the skylight in the vaulted ceiling. Why would a vampire have a skylight? Weird.
Eric was looking out of one of the bay windows, facing away from me with his hands clasped behind his back. I really couldn’t get a feel for him at all. I had no idea what this silence and stoicism was about.
Sighing for about the hundredth time in one night, I decided to try and break the silence again, “So, what happens now?”
Without turning he replied without inflection, “I have some things to take care of in my office upstairs. Stay here.” And he was gone.
I was really starting to get annoyed. I had kept my emotions in check most of the night but this was just ridiculous. Was he trying to torture me by making me wait to die? Was he trying to make me miserable by leaving me without any idea of what was going to happen? It was getting late. It was almost 3:00. Was he having second thoughts? Was he trying to get out of it? Why wasn’t he talking to me?
I really don’t know Eric at all so I have no real grounds for trying to determine his motives or emotions (if he has any). I tried thinking about Sam or Jason and what this type of behavior would mean from them. Then, it hit me. He was MAD! At ME? What the hell had I done? Was he mad that I was going to be his child?
That couldn’t be it. He was given the option to back out and he didn’t. He could have just turned me down, right? But maybe he thought I would turn HIM down and he was betting on that to get him out of it instead of upsetting the Magister. Oh god, what had I done? I was going to have Eric as my Maker for eternity and he was going to resent me. He was going to make my life a living hell for doing this to him.
What did the Magister say? That Eric could protect me. So, that means having me as his child will endanger his life. Damn. What if he just kills me and says the process didn’t work? I’ve heard that it happens sometimes.
Now, I’m really starting to freak out for the first time. What should I do? Should I try to run? No, he’d just catch me. I didn’t doubt that. And he’d probably get in trouble and be even angrier with me if anyone found out. Maybe I should apologize? Should I tell him he can take me back to the Magister to let him pick a new Maker? But what if he decides to give me to the Queen? I don’t know her but she is definitely not on my Christmas list after the shit with Bill.
What I really don’t understand though is that I thought he was happy with this turn of events. He had held me even tighter when I accepted him as my Maker and I got the distinct impression that he was feeling triumphant. Did I just misread everything? It was possible. I was a mess of emotions at the time and my mistakes with Bill certainly revealed that I was easily misled, but I still don’t want to think about that deception. I have years to beat myself up over that one and I wasn’t ready to face the heartbreak.
My thoughts had completely spiraled out of control by the time Eric re-entered the room. I had worked myself up into a frenzy and was pacing around the room.
“Sit.” He ordered. Seriously?
“So, I’m a dog now?” I snapped.
He was in front of me and in my face before I could even register the movement. “If I say so, then yes. I suggest you learn that lesson. Quickly.” His voice was harsh and I tried to stand my ground, but I know I flinched. I was trying my best to get back to my normal self.
He straightened up and walked over to sit in one of the leather chairs before continuing in a cooler tone, “Remember that you asked for this Ms. Stackhouse.” What could I say? It was true. Although I did find it odd that he still called me Ms Stackhouse considering how our relationship was about to change.
He motioned for me to sit down and I took a seat in an identical chair to the one he was sitting in. This arrangement left a coffee table between us. Once I was seated, he started to speak again.
“First, I need you to invite Pam into your home.”
“Okay. Are we going there?” I was confused.
“Not tonight, but Pam is on her way to get some of your things. You can invite her from here.”
“Uh. Alright. Pam you can enter my home.” I had a questioning tone because I wasn’t sure if that would work. Eric just nodded at me so I suppose that was sufficient.
Then, he just sat there looking at me. Not one word. Not a movement. I’m so sick of mind games.
“Look, its obvious that your ticked off.” That got me a raised eyebrow of course. Those eyebrows were starting to get on my nerves already and now I was stuck with them for eternity. “If you’re reconsidering then I’m sure your Magister would be happy to pawn me off on someone else. If it’s something else your mad about, can we get it out of the way so we can move on. Waiting around is its own brand of torture and it’s getting late anyway.” I had an angry tone but I was also fidgeting greatly through the latter part of my speech.
“You acted impulsively tonight.” The statement had the hint of accusation in it.
I couldn’t really argue his point. It was impulsive, but still. “Yes, but there wasn’t another option.”
“Yes there was.”
“Oh really, and what was that?” My tone revealed my disbelief.
“Let Compton turn the girl.” He rolled his eyes at his obvious answer.
“Like I said, no options.”
“Do you think she would have done the same for you?”
“That’s not the point.” How do you get a vampire to understand this!
“Then enlighten me.” He was so damn sure of himself.
“I already said it in the car. I wouldn’t be able to stand the guilt.” I was getting exasperated.
Now, his voice hardened. “Exactly. You allow your emotions to rule you to the point that you place no value on your own life. That even though its obvious that you didn’t want to be a vampire you will now become one. You will now have hundreds of years to live with this consequence when you would have had only another 50 or so years with your guilt. Hardly a well considered decision.” He paused. “Am I angry with you? No, but it is unacceptable that my bonded child would have no sense of self-preservation. Mastering your emotions and learning how to think through them will be one of your first lessons.”
“How dare you! You know nothing about me and what do you know of emotions!” I stood up with my words but he had pushed me back into the seat before I had even completely gained my footing. It didn’t hurt but there was no fighting the force of it.
“I TOLD YOU TO SIT AND YOU WILL NOT RAISE YOUR VOICE AT ME.” He allowed these words to hang in the air for a couple of minutes as he towered over me. Finally, he sat on the edge of the coffee table in front of my chair.
“You will find that centuries of observing humans allows one to gather a lot of information from only a few words. Besides, you proved my point by your little outburst. You have no restraint.” He crossed his arms and leaned back slightly. “As I said, you WILL learn to control your emotions.”
“So I can be a cold hearted bitch.” I hissed through clenched teeth.
He growled and I knew I had just instigated round three but his cell phone interrupted us.
He checked the caller ID before answering. “Yes?” Almost immediately his face turned to stone but then gained a small smirk while he appraised me. “That’s doubtful . . . So, he is still alive?” Oh no, did she hurt someone at my house. I was about to speak when he held his hand up in a halt gesture. Irritating. “Has anyone else seen you there?” he continued on the phone. “One minute.”
He then moved the phone away from his ear in order to talk to me. “It appears that the murderer that has been killing women known to have contact with our kind has chosen you as his next victim.” Damn. Will this night never end?
“How do you know?”
“He was waiting in your home. Hiding in the shadows of your bedroom to be exact. Pam has detained him. Some greasy man named Rene.”
“Oh my god! That’s Arlene’s boyfriend. He works with Jason. I can’t believe it. He killed my Gran!” On top of everything else tonight, I was trying to not let this break me. Taking a breath to settle myself, I asked, “What are you going to do with him?”
“Pam said he’s disgusting but she’s hungry.” He shrugged.
“But then my brother would still be a suspect. Can’t you just glamour him to turn himself in or something?” I would beg if I had to do so. I was leaving my brother to be the last living member of our family. The least I could do was help keep him out of jail.
“Fine. That’s simple enough.” Then back into the phone. “Pam . . . I’m sure there’s True Blood in Sookie’s kitchen.” He was smiling a little as he said this but I nodded in acknowledgement. “Finish and get back. It’s late.”
He finished up with the call and turned back to me as I yawned. “Now, we have to talk about tonight and I have tasks for you to complete tomorrow.”
“What? Won’t I be in the ground or something?” Why can’t he just start from the beginning?
“No. Unlike you, I am not impulsive. There are things that need to be done.” Again, the accusatory tone.
“But I don’t want to wait another day. Its just more time to obsess and worry about everything.” I was tired and whining now.
“Three days actually.” He said while standing to go back to his chair.
“Three days what?” I was afraid I knew.
“You will see three more sunsets before I turn you.” He stated while looking me in the eye.
“No! Are you trying to make this more difficult for me on purpose?” I was on the verge of tears now.
“This isn’t about making it difficult. There are things to be done like I said before. Loose ends to wrap up. Besides, we will use the three days to complete the bond before your turning.”
“So, this bond thing takes three days? What is a bond exactly?” I didn’t think my opinion on whether or not I wanted this bond mattered so I’d put off thinking about it until I had to.
“We will be taking three nights to complete the bond. Tonight and for the next two nights we will have a mutual blood exchange.” He paused and smirked at me, “They can be rather enjoyable you know.” I rolled my eyes. I was not in the mood. “On the fourth night, we will complete the turning.”
I decided to not to address the innuendo just like I was ignoring most things, “But what is a bond exactly?”
“With a bonded child, if the Master meets his final death then the child dies as well. The more known you become for your telepathy, the more others will want to take you – especially while your young. The easiest way for them to achieve that goal would be to kill me. Of course there are few that could accomplish that due to my age, but this is a good insurance policy to prevent most from trying.” He explained all of this like you would a business arrangement.
I had the fleeting thought that this wasn’t very fair to me but he had lived a long time so it couldn’t be too much of a gamble for me. “So that’s it? Mutual final death?”
“The final death scenario only goes one way. If the child dies, the Master does not but it is extremely painful – or so I’ve been told. Pam is my only child and I’ve never bonded so I have no personal experience.”
“Not exactly fair but I guess most things aren’t lately.” I mumbled. “What else does it do?”
“We will be able to feel each others emotions and send them back and forth if we want to do so. ” He didn’t seem too happy about this part. I wasn’t sure if it was because he thought my emotions were so erratic and annoying or because he didn’t want me knowing that much about him.
“So my domino effect final death and emotion sharing.” I said to recap and finalize. Not as bad as I’d thought it could be.
“And you will never be able to leave me.” He added while watching me carefully.
Blank. I was unable to think of a response to that. My jaw just dropped as we both continued to regard each other until he broke the silence.
“Normally, the child leaves the Master’s side once they have learned everything they need to learn and have enough control. The timeline always varies. Sometimes children come back to their Master’s side like Pam did, but they are normally on their own after the adjustment period.” He leaned back in his chair as he continued. “The tie between a Master and their bonded child is different. While the child will eventually be able to be away from the Master’s proximity for short periods of time” he passed thoughtfully before adding “Like going on a vacation would probably be okay. But eventually, it will become painful physically and psychologically for both Master and child if they do not reunite soon.”
“Is the bond really necessary? Couldn’t we wait to see if it’s needed later?” I was trying to walk a thin line because I was trying to be persuasive without making him angry. I mean having to live with someone for eternity is a huge thing and we didn’t even know each other well enough to know if we’d get along at all. “Seriously, you barely know me nor I you, but I can’t imagine that you’re the type to want to be so closely bound to someone.”
“What I want or don’t want is irrelevant. It is what is necessary.” He was back to his cold, emotionless voice.
“But why not wait to . . .”
“This type of bond can only be made before the turning and the Magister already expects it. ” I started to say something else but he stopped me. “There is an eternity for your questions but we have other things to discuss tonight. The bond is required. Do you understand?”
I glared at him for a minute but I finally nodded.
“Before we do the blood exchange, we need to talk about tomorrow when you wake. Pam will be bringing you back some clothes, toiletries, and food for the next few days. You may explore the home and enjoy any area that is not locked. There is a pool outside as well. You will not leave the property. Is that understood?”
“Yes.” That was simple enough.
“I don’t expect any trouble as no one knows of this home. However, there will be a bodyguard outside the house. You will not see him and he will only approach if you are in trouble”
“Or try to leave, right?” I challenged. I had no intention of running. Even if I had second thoughts, I’d made a deal and I would keep my word. However, I knew he didn’t trust that so we might as well put it out there.
“Yes.” His voice was steel but returned to its normal tenor as he continued. “In case he approaches you and you need to confirm his identify, his name is Alcide.” Again I nodded to show I was following along. “Now, I’m going to warn you before I explain your next task that I will not tolerate disrespect or disobedience.” This was not going to be good. He seemed to be waiting for some sort of acknowledgement so I steady myself with a deep breath and nodded.
“Tomorrow, you will call those closest to you – your brother, boss, closest friends – and have them meet you at your house at 11:00 tomorrow night.” He waited for my reaction.
I’m sure my face clearly showed my mounting fear and dread for what I was almost certain was coming. I know all the blood had drained from my face. “Why?” My voice was small and barely audible.
“You will tell them of your choice.” He was firm but there was almost a hint of understanding in his voice.
I closed my eyes. I couldn’t help it. I had specifically been ignoring all the real consequences and casualties of my decision and now he was going to make me face most of them in one night and at the same time. I couldn’t stop the tear that fell down my cheek. Without opening my eyes I asked, “Can I wait please? I’m not ready for that.”
He sighed. I think that’s the first time I’d heard that sound from him. It was also the most human thing I’d ever witnessed from him. “You will never be ready, so no it cannot wait.”
“The saying is better to ask forgiveness than permission.” I finally opened my eyes. I’m sure my pain was evident.
He scoffed at my words, “And which do you think you need from these people.”
I was looking at the floor now and grumbled. “Neither, its more the sentiment than anything else. I’d rather deal with their anger and everything else afterwards then their pleading to change my mind beforehand.” Looking up at him, I tried again. “Can’t I do it right after?”
“No. You were last seen leaving with four vampires. They will start looking for you. We could always make up an excuse for you to give them but it’s delaying the inevitable.”
“But if I could do it after . . . ”
“Then you might kill them.” I started to shake my head and say no but he was already prepared for that. “Newly risen vampires are not in control of their instincts and their emotions are several times stronger than a humans. Anger and rage are the easiest to trigger and they lead to bloodlust. I’m sure that those close to you will not be amiable to your decision and if we wait until your turned you will attack them if they anger you.”
“I wouldn’t, but if I did you would stop me, right?” He wouldn’t let me kill my friends or family right. In a small voice I added, “I don’t want to kill anyone.”
“Even if I did stop you, do you really want them to find out that way and see you try to attack them?” Now, he was challenging me.
“I wouldn’t. I know I . . .” before I could say another word he was in my face. I had recoiled all the way into the back of the chair with his arms trapping me in place on each armrest. His fangs were fully extended and I can honestly say that I’d never seen a more terrifying expression on anyone’s face.
“DO YOU THINK YOU KNOW MORE THAN I DO ABOUT VAMPIRES. ARE YOU SO STUBBORN THAT YOU ARE WILLING TO RISK IT? OR ARE YOU A COWARD AND UNABLE TO FACE THEM AND YOUR DECISION? ” He continued with less volume but with just as much steel and venom. “You would lose your temper and this is the face they would see. Do you want to see them terrified of you, Ms Stackhouse? Is the image of their fear and your guilt in causing it something you want to carry with you for centuries?”
I looked away and stared out the window that was beside me. A few more tears made their way down my cheeks as I stared at the rain that had started falling during our conversation. Eric straightened up without another word and returned silently to his seat.
Was he right? Would I be unable to control myself if they made me angry? I already have a temper and I know that they will all be angry. Jason had already slapped me when Gran died. What if he slapped me again? If I lost my temper and they all saw that new side of me, I wouldn’t be able to handle the grief it would cause me to see their fear and to know that I was to blame.
So, I had to accept his reasoning, but still I just wasn’t ready. I knew it would have to be done but what would I say? What would they say? Would this be goodbye? Would they ever want to see me again? Would Eric allow me to see them again? I wasn’t ready to find out the answer to either of those last two questions.
He had asked if I was a coward. Stackhouses are not cowards. I’ve lived my life facing people who hated me or feared me. I’ve never hidden away in shame or defeat. But I had been avoiding thinking about any of the fallout since I made the deal to save Jessica’s life. Was that cowardly?
Eric interrupted my musing, “Ms. Stackhouse.” I wiped the tears from my face and turned back to him. I was not a coward.
“Okay.” I agreed in a defeated tone and he nodded in acceptance.
“I will leave a prepaid cell phone in the kitchen for you to use. I don’t want anyone tracing us back to this property. If you have a cell phone, turn it off and leave it off.”
“Who would be trying to find us? I thought it was all settled with the Magister.” Maybe I missed some other threat along the way. I might need a scorecard to keep track if the vultures kept circling around me.
“Oh, I don’t think the Queen will give up so easily.” He answered with a hint of amusement in this voice. I’m sure my fear started to show on my face so as he stood up and moved towards the couch he added, “No need to worry, just being cautious. But we’ll talk more on the Queen later. Now, we need to start the bond and you need sleep. Pam should be here soon with your things and dawn is approaching”
Eric sat in the corner of the couch with one leg along the back seat of the couch and the other foot on the floor. He motioned for me to join him. “The most comfortable way to do the blood exchange is for you to sit with your back against my chest. I will drink from your neck while you will drink from my wrist.”
I eyed him skeptically, “I don’t really care about comfort. Wrist and wrist would be fine . . .”
“Ms Stackhouse, I have centuries to convince you to yield to me and only an hour until dawn. There is simply not enough time for me to enjoy you properly tonight.” He said all this with his signature smirk before motioning again. “So, sit.”
I know I was still blushing from his comment when I sat down stiffly in front of him. I had only had Bill’s blood when I was injured by the Rattrays and a little of Longshadow’s blood when he was staked. I had never exchanged blood at the same time and this position felt too intimate since I didn’t really know Eric.
Sensing my hesitance, Eric placed his arms around my waist and pulled me back into his embrace. His hand swiftly moved my hair away from the right side of my neck and he rested his chin on my shoulder.
“Have you ever exchanged blood mutually before?” I shook my head in answer. I knew he didn’t bring up Bill’s name purposefully and I was thankful.
He began skimming the side of my neck with the tip of his nose. “Then I should warn you that a mutual exchange is arousing to both parties, there’s no denying it.” He chuckled a little sensing my blush and discomfort. “You will find that you have no reason to feel shy or embarrassed around me. Besides, I promise to behave myself.” He paused and then whispered against my ear. “For tonight.”
The next thing I knew Eric had removed his left arm from my waist and bit into his wrist. He placed it in front of me and whispered, “Drink.” Then he was placing small kisses on my neck directly behind my ear sending a shiver throughout my body. I slowly took hold of his wrist and placed my mouth on the wound.
Tentatively, I started to draw blood from his wrist. Eric moaned slightly behind me and I felt the evidence of his enjoyment against my back. I couldn’t help the way his reaction woke up the lower half of my body but I was determined to keep my composure.
As I took a second swallow of his blood, I noticed that his taste wasn’t as metallic as I had expected. In fact, it was more sweet than metallic and I’m embarrassed to say that I found myself enjoying his taste.
“I have wanted you since the moment I saw you. You are beautiful.” He placed another kiss behind my ear. “You are brave and full of spirit.” Another kiss on the slope of my neck where it meets the shoulder. “And you have one of the sweetest scents I’ve ever experienced from a human.” I couldn’t help what his words, combined with the taste of his blood, were doing to my body. He said this would be arousing but arousing was definitely an understatement.
Eric placed one last kiss on the side of my neck before his fangs slid into me like a hot knife through butter. The moment he tasted my blood he growled seductively and his hips pressed his erection more firmly into my back as his right arm tightened around me. I was surprised that not only was there not the slightest bit of pain from his bite but also the effect his bite had on my lust. I couldn’t stifle my own moan as we continued drinking from each other. With every draw I took from his wrist, I felt myself nearing an orgasm. I tried fighting the rising tide but decided to succumb to the moment when it was obvious that I wouldn’t be the only one reaching completion. The low moans and slight grinding from behind me made it clear that Eric would be reaching great heights along with me.
With a final draw from his wrist, my body came alive as I reached a powerful climax. I cried out and arched my back with my head thrown back against his shoulder. Eric’s hips never left contact with my back and he groaned loudly as he reached his moment as well.
Both of our bodies relaxed and I allowed my weight to rest on Eric’s chest until I could regain the ability to move. He lazily licked the wounds on the side of my neck closed and wrapped both of his arms around me.
After a couple of minutes of blissful silence, Eric spoke softly, “Sookie, has anyone ever mentioned to you that you taste different or especially sweet?”
I sat up slightly then to look back at him. “I asked once if I tasted different and he said yes. I assumed it was the telepathy.”
Eric was studying my face, “No, its not that.”
“What? I don’t understand. Why else would I taste different from other humans?”
“We don’t have time to discuss it tonight its too close to dawn.”
“But. . . ”
Eric placed a finger over my mouth. “Not tonight”
“Oh, is it Daddy – Daughter cuddle time. Is it too late to join?” Pam’s words snapped me right back into reality and I was off the couch and five feet away in a flash.
“Look at you and your reflexes.” Pam added noting how quickly I had moved thanks to Eric’s blood. “I missed family blood sharing too.”
“Pamela” Eric’s voice was firm.
“But why should my little sister have all the fun.” Now she was making a pouty face.
“Enough.” Eric shot back at her. “Now, did you take care of everything?”
“Of course, while you two were here having fun, I was doing all the work. Greasy murderer exposed, Sissy’s essentials gathered, and I terrorized the humans at the store when they laughed at my questions about human food. All that and I even had time to stop for a snack since I wasn’t able to order in like some people I know.” She added that last part with a wink at me.
“I’m going to show Sookie to one of the guest rooms while you put up the food. I assume you’re staying here?” Eric asked her while picking up the suitcase Pam had packed for me.
“Yes. I wouldn’t make it back to any of my homes.”
Eric nodded to Pam and then motioned for me to follow him upstairs. We entered the first door on the left at the top of the stairs. The room had a king sized bed, cherry wood furniture, and a red comforter with gold swirls and trim. I was really too tired to notice much else as Eric placed my suitcase on the foot of the bed. There was another bay window in this room and I found myself staring outside but not really seeing anything.
“I would recommend resting as much as possible since tomorrow night will be rather long and we have more to discuss along with some business items to complete. Also, I’m sure the meeting at your home will be exhausting for you.” I slowly nodded. “Sunset will be around 8 PM. You will need to be ready and have your dinner by then.”
I didn’t look at him but I could feel him appraising me. I didn’t know why but all the sudden I felt like I was losing control and lost at sea. Maybe it was seeing where I was going to be sleeping and confronting the fact that I wasn’t going home. Maybe it was pure exhaustion. Or maybe it was just the life altering circumstances of the day.
“Goodnight Sookie.” I didn’t acknowledge him but I heard him moving towards the door. I didn’t hear the door shut but I didn’t care to look. I was still immobile in front of the window. I could feel all the emotions swirling around inside me but I couldn’t settle on anything. I felt lost inside my own body.
The next thing I registered was a cold touch on my chin urging my head up. Blue eyes were staring into mine. While I could still feel distance from Eric, his features were softer than I’d ever seen them.
“The beginning is always the hardest. There’s no way to avoid what is inevitable but the quicker you face it, the quicker you can move on.” I knew he was talking about the pain I was avoiding. I felt a single tear escape my eye and he caught it with his thumb. Studying me once more, he placed a light kiss on my forehead and whispered against my skin, “Take comfort in the fact that no matter what happens, you will never have to be alone again.” His lips lingered for a moment longer on my skin and I closed my eyes. When I opened them, he was gone.
I stared at the door he had closed behind him for a moment and then mechanically went about unpacking my bag and getting ready for bed. When I finally lay down and pulled the comforter up around me, I turned towards the window and saw the first rays of light touching the sky. With that vision before my eyes, the damn broke and I let everything out that I had hid away during the night. I cried for what I lost, I cried for the betrayal I’d suffered, I cried for the danger still threatening us, and I cried for everything I would never have.
Just before sleep found me, I had one more round of sobs as I remembered Eric’s words. All my life I had felt alone. I was the freak, the outcast. I was “Crazy Sookie.” Constantly ridiculed and avoided. Of course I knew that my family and friends loved me, but even those closest to me couldn’t always hide their fear or anxiety that I might hear something they wished to hide. I had accepted that it was my life and I would just have to make the best of it even if I never really “fit” anywhere.
Eric’s words echoed in my mind, “you will never have to be alone again.” I thought about his voice and his actions as he said those words. Then I thought about what it would be like to walk the earth for a thousand years. As I drifted off to sleep, my last conscious thought was that maybe his words were as much comfort for him as they were for me.