A/N Hey all! Got another chapter for you to enjoy. YAY! We start in the present tense and then move back to ancient Sweden.
I do not own these characters since they belong to the BBC (The Doctor) and Charlaine Harris (Sookie, Eric, and a brief mention of awesome Pam.) I just like creating my own stories with them. As per the usual, reviews are like sunshine on the first warm day of spring. Enjoy!
Warning: Naughtiness ahead!
Under the Ancient Moon
Staring at the walls of my office, seemingly in downtime, I was really trying to figure out why I felt so off. The witch problem had been taken care of, my memory restored except for the days I spent with Sookie, and Fangtasia was beginning to get back to normal. I’d talked to Pam earlier in the night and had her start looking for a new bartender and waitress to replace Chow and Ginger who had died during the witch war. Now the only thing I had to do was get Sookie to reveal what had gone on between the two of us when I had stayed with her. I knew we’d been intimate, but I wanted to know how we’d gotten there. How had it happened? What had I done that caused her to let down her guard long enough to let me in? I could feel that she cared because of our increased though uncompleted bond.
I paused mid mental rant. The blood bond, that was what was wrong. I hadn’t noticed it at first because it had been so faint before and I was unused to its increased connection to Sookie, but it wasn’t there at all. Not faint, not wavering, just gone. I sped out of my chair so fast it crashed into the wall behind me creating a massive dent that would have to be repaired. Out the door in less than fifteen seconds, I screamed through the air towards Sookie’s. The wind burned, but I was too worried to notice.
I kept searching the bond: how had it disappeared while I was dead for the day? Wouldn’t I have felt it if something happened to her? It didn’t make sense unless…but I wouldn’t think of that. There was no explanation as to how I had fallen in love with her and I didn’t care. I couldn’t imagine a world without her even though the emotions roiling around in me were stronger than before I lost my memory. I told her recently that I didn’t like having feelings and I meant it, but now that I had felt them, I wanted them. My ability to feel had been changing since the night Sookie walked into the Fangtasia all innocence, sass, and sunshine. I didn’t enjoy the uncertainty of these newfound emotions, but they were there and they were mine.
Where the fuck was she? I screeched to a halt in her backyard, creating a gouge ten feet long. My head whipped around smelling something unknown that I couldn’t identify. The house was dark and when I ran to the front her car was still sitting in her new driveway. I collided with the front door, splintering it into shards, and began searching for any sign that she had been taken. There was nothing. Her house looked the same as it ever had.
I ripped my phone out of my back pocket. “Pam, get someone over to Sookie’s house to fix her front door.”
“You do realize its nine o’clock at night, right? What’s happened to her now?” Pam’s sarcasm usually entertained me.
“Pam, I don’t care what it costs. Get someone out here NOW. Sookie’s gone. I’m heading to the shifter’s bar to look for her.” I hung up, shoved the phone back in my pocket, and took off.
I stormed into Merlotte’s and she wasn’t there, but the shifter was. “Merlotte, have you seen Sookie tonight?” I somehow managed not to scream at him.
“Eric,” Sam responded coolly. “If Sookie hasn’t told you were she is, then I certainly won’t either.” It took every ounce of a thousand years of willpower not to throttle the life from him right then and there.
“Tell her to call me if you see her.” I spat at him and I was gone again. I circled over the town trying to get a sense of where she might be, but the bond was blank. Heading back to Shreveport, I tried to think through my apprehension that something had happened to her. Feeding would help me to think clearly. Then I would rip apart the entire state of Louisiana until I found her.
Eric waited for my answer, his face a bevy of uncertainty. “Absolutely. I just need to tell the Doctor that I’m going for a walk.” If something happened while we were away from the group, I wanted someone to come looking for us.
He squeezed my hand. “I’ll meet you behind the longhouse.”
I headed over to the Doctor and sat beside him on the wooden bench. I waited a few minutes and then leaned in whispering that I would be with Eric.
He eyed me warily. “Remember Sookie, you can’t say anything to him, not even on accident. It could have huge ramifications.”
“I know Doctor, I promise. I’m not going to risk future Eric for human Eric, but this is literally a once in a lifetime opportunity to know him as he was.”
His smile was sad, but he bumped his shoulder against mine, nudging me in the direction that Eric had gone. I kissed his cheek quickly and headed off to locate the man I had traversed a thousand years to find. Eric was leaning against the back of the house, arms folded, one leg crossed over the other, looking as sexy as ever in a pose I knew well. He pushed himself upright and came towards me a look of excitement dancing across his features.
“I was worried you wouldn’t come. I assure you that I only have the most honorable of intentions.” His nervously slipped his hand into mine and I almost laughed at loud. No matter how honorable my Eric was, he definitely had naughty intentions.
I reached up with my free hand to cup his face. “I trust you,” I replied and realized that I meant it. Not just for this Eric, but for my Eric as well. Ever since the night we met, he had been protecting me. I had been fighting this knowledge because of his naughty intentions, but even so he never wavered from his honorable nature. My insecurity had kept me from seeing him as he truly was. Yes, he carried with him a darkness, but he wasn’t evil. It was as his mother had said: he was a good and noble man.
His face lit up and we began walking under the shine of a full moon. We headed into a thick wooded area and Eric held the branches of the trees we walked through aside so that they wouldn’t smack me as we wound our way deeper into the forest. The moonlight filtered down through the branches, dappling the crunching leaves beneath our feet, tiny animals scurrying away from the slight noises we made against the underbrush.
“Tell me about your family Sookie. I caught pieces of your stories earlier, but I wish to hear the whole.”
“Well, besides the Doctor, it’s just me and my big brother now. Our parents drowned in a flood when I was real young and then my Gran,” my voice broke a little, but I went on, “my Gran died a while ago.”
“You were close to her?” He asked kindly.
“Yeah, she raised me and Jason after our parents died so losing her was hard.” I brushed away a tear that escaped and took a deep breath. “She was amazing.”
“What happened? You make it sound as if it was unexpected.” He wrapped his arm around my waist and pulled me close to him.
“It was. She was murdered one night while I was out.”
A flicker of anger crossed his face. “Your brother avenged her death.” He made it a statement rather than a question.
I hesitated, unsure of how to explain it without giving anything away. “Well, no. There were some who thought he was responsible, but I figured out who it was. He almost killed me too, but I fought back and made sure he was taken care of.”
He face showed a look of pride. “So you are a warrior too then?”
A small laugh escaped me. “I never thought about it that way, but I guess you could say that.” It wasn’t quite the truth, but it was probably as close as I could get without revealing anything. We both fell silent letting the sounds of the night envelop us.
“It’s not much farther,” he said ducking beneath an overhanging branch. I could hear running water somewhere not too far away.
True to his word we only walked for a little while longer before he moved ahead of me to part a couple of overgrown bushes. Stepping though, I felt like I had been transported into a fairy wonderland. A small stream burbled down a series of large boulders and was surrounded by trees and bushes that concealed it from the outside world on either side of the bank. About ten feet away a huge fallen tree covered in moss lay across the stream, enclosing the space and creating a sense of privacy. A small grassy area sat behind the bushes we had just walked through and the only unblocked space came from above. Moonlight streamed down from the starlit sky bathing this wonderland in a muted light. I slipped off my soft leather boots and walked over to dip my bare feet in the stream. The water was cool, but the air warm enough that I adjusted quickly. Eric pulled off his boots as well, setting his sword and knife to the side, and sat down beside me, taking my hand and winding his fingers around mine.
“This place is amazing Eric, I feel like we’ve stepped into a land where fairies and sprites dance across the ripples in the water.”
“I’ve never brought anyone here. It is where I come when being my father’s son becomes too much for me. It seems there is always someone who needs something in the village and I know that it is my duty to see to them, but sometimes I need the silence I find here.”
I tilted my head up to look at him and saw a peace in his face that I’d never seen in my Eric’s, but the sentiment he expressed I could imagine falling from his lips. I wondered if my Eric had a place he retreated to when being Sheriff became too much. He turned his face to gaze down at me and his fingers reached up to trace from my cheek down to my chin and across my parted lips. Shivers raced across my skin and I found it hard to breathe. He pulled back as if afraid and my skin missed the warmth of his touch. I let my body collapse backward and lay looking up at the stars. There were so many here. The Milky Way streaked across the sky creating an arc around the moon. Eric leaned down onto his side, his head propped up on his bent arm.
“Can I ask you something Eric?”
“Of course, anything.”
“Have you ever been in love? I mean, your mother told me about what you did for your sister, getting your father to allow her to marry for love, but it made me wonder if…well if there was a girl that you cared for, maybe when you were younger?”
He sighed, “Unfortunately no. Women have desired me because of my status, but never for myself.” The tips of his fingers traced absent trails across my collarbone. “I cared for Aude, my wife, and she for me, but I would not name it as love.” He paused and then asked, “Did you love your husband?”
I thought about it. There had been no marriage, but Bill was the only relationship that I had experienced. “I did, at first, but…” My voice trailed off and I turned my face away so he could not see my tears. He moved his hand up to gently pull my chin back towards him and wiped the tears that had fallen.
“I am sorry. I did not mean to make you sad.” Lines creased between his eyebrows and I reached up to smooth away the imminent frown.
“It is not your fault.” I paused considering how to continue. “I am simply happy to be here with you now.”
“There is something about you Sookie. Something that awakens my soul like no women before you has been able to do. I find that I am reluctant to let you leave tomorrow. I wish to keep you by my side.”
I pulled my feet out of the water, tucking my legs up and leaning onto my hand to stare into those blue eyes that it would be so easy to lose myself in. I listened to his thoughts which told me he was serious. He wanted me to stay with him, wanted to keep me as the treasure he knew he’d found. He wasn’t lying: he truly meant every word he spoke to me. I raised my shields back up wanting to leave his secrets untouched. For once I didn’t feel the need to pry.
“If I could stay, I would Eric.”
His hand moved to my shoulder, slid down my arm taking my hand, which he raised and pressed to his chest. “Then you shall live on in the beat of my heart and I shall wait every day for your return.”
I let my hand linger on the heartbeat I’d never felt before. “Please, you can’t wait for me. I’ll never be able to return,” I begged him. I didn’t know how long he had left, but I knew I didn’t want him to miss his chance for a woman to spend his life with simply because I could not stay.
He tried to pull away, but I held his hand captive in mine. “You are promised to another?” He asked softly.
What could I tell him? How could I explain without hurting him? “I have my own duties back home. I can’t abandon those that depend on me. There are people who are waiting for me to return.”
I searched his face hoping to see understanding. His eyes closed tenderly, his face upturned. “Please look at me Eric. I really wish I could stay with you, but all I can offer is tonight.” His endless blue eyes stared into mine and as I said the words, I knew they were true. I would have stayed with him forever if fate had not already determined his path, but tonight, tonight I would treasure the love he offered me. My love for him had begun in another century, with a different version of the same man, but it made no difference to me. I loved him. This Eric, my Eric, they were one and the same, I realized that now.
“I understand…” He broke off and sat up suddenly. Grabbing his sword in one hand and his knife in the other, he was on his feet in seconds. I let down my shields searching for the danger and I found it. There was a void lurking unseen in the woods beyond the fallen tree and across the stream. We couldn’t run, I knew better than that. But could Eric fight a vampire and survive or would tonight be the last night of his human life?
“Sookie, run!” He tried to shove me behind him.
“No way. I’m not leaving you. Give me your knife.”
He raised an eyebrow. “Sookie…”
“No. Don’t Sookie me, give me the knife.” He looked as if he was going to argue, but I didn’t let him. “I need to be able to protect myself.”
He nodded and handed it to me. He turned to face me and opened his mouth to speak, but thought better of it. Instead he grabbed my waist and brought his lips crashing down to meet mine in a fierce and passionate kiss. I reached up grabbing his long blonde hair and my lips parted to allow his tongue to tangle with mine. It only lasted only a moment before we both snapped back into a fighting stance.
There was a rustling somewhere close by. The vampire vaulted from behind the fallen tree and rushed us. Eric swung his sword in a long arc, slicing across the bare and pale chest of our attacker. His hair was dark and matted and he charged again, this time going for me. I slashed out at him and he grabbed my wrist, try to twist the knife out of my grip, and going for my throat. I wrested my hand from him and stabbed, leaving the handle protruding from his gut, and he threw me off. The momentum tossed me into the bushes that thankfully broke my fall. I scrabbled trying to find a piece of wood that could be used as a stake, but there were nothing but twigs within reach. The vampire pulled out the knife and stalked towards me, going for the easy kill, and I realized he must be a young one. No vampire who had lived any length of time would have turned his back on the man who surged up behind him. Eric brought his sword across and decapitated him, covering my body in exploded blood and gore.
Eric dropped his sword, pulling me up, and frantically searching my body for injury. “Are you okay?” He ran his hands over me as if in reassurance that I was still with him.
“I’m fine Eric.” His wild eyes betrayed any belief that I was telling the truth and I repeated myself. “Truly, I’m okay. I promise. Just covered in blood. Not my own,” I quickly added.
He crushed me to his chest, his hand winding through my hair. I could hear his heart thumping with leftover adrenalin. “Thank Odin, I thought I was going to lose you. The attacks by these creatures are becoming more frequent.”
I held onto him just as tightly. “I’m just glad you survived,” I whispered, knowing that one night soon that wouldn’t be the case. My body shivered for what awaited him.
His grip eased. “Shhh now. We’re fine. Come, let’s get you cleaned up.” He released me, taking my hand instead and led me to the stream where I dipped into the cool water gratefully.
He slipped into the stream in front of me. He came closer and his arm slipped around, cradling my back, and lowering my body so that my hair flowed out behind me, washing the blood clean. His cupped hand ran rivulets across my forehead and cheeks and his fingers gently wiped away the blood that had splattered there. I lifted my arms and began to wash the blood from his muscled limbs that glistened in the moonlight. Once we were both clean, we stood bodies entwined, just looking at each other. He reached up, tucking a stray hair behind my ear and bent down to kiss me. His lips were warm and soft and I let my body relax into his. A breeze brushed passed us. I shivered in his arms and he pulled me from the water and onto the grassy bank, lying down on the ground beside me.
“When I first saw you I thought you were a goddess come to life. You are the most beautiful woman I have ever laid eyes upon.”
“There is no man who could ever compare to you,” I responded as my body warmed to both his words and the trail of his fingertips down the hollow of my throat.
He brought his lips to mine again and I pulled his body to follow so that I could feel the rippled lines of his chest against me. His hands shadowed a path down over the curve of my waist to my hip, and down to my bare thighs. A moan escaped my mouth and my hands ran down his sculpted back until they reached the curve of his perfect ass and brought him closer to me. I could feel the hard length of him pressing into the part that desired him most. His hand slipped under the tunic teasing the inside of my thigh, his fingers playing just to the edge and back down. Every circle he traced getting closer to the center of me, but staying just out of reach.
I needed him to sink his long fingers inside me, to feel what he did to me. Nibbling down my neck to my shoulders while his hand progressed slowly up, my hips moving of their own accord, he teased me. His fingertips fluttering over the heat of me, and he removed his hands and his lips to pull up my tunic, lifting it over my head and tossing it aside. I did the same for him and we were both naked and bared to one another. I reached up, tracing the hard planes of his chest and he finally slipped one finger inside me. His body was so warm, where I was used to the cool feeling of him as a vampire. I let my tongue trace the outline of his muscles, spreading my legs for him, and ran my hands down to his gracious plenty, enjoying how hard he was as his hips moved his hard length in the circle of my fingers.
His mouth bent to close over one of my nipples, his tongue licking, teeth nibbling as our bodies made known their needs. My other hand clutched at his back as our breathing became heavier, our moans mingling with the rapid beating of our hearts, in time with our bodies.
“I need you,” he gasped in between the strokes of his exploring fingers.
“Oh Eric yes, please, oh I want you inside me now.” He removed his hand and pushing up, locked his arms on either side of my body so that he was watching as I guided the hard length of him between my thighs. He slid into me only slightly and then pulled back and then slipped inside me again, further this time. In and out, his hardness going a little farther each time, teasing until neither of us could take anymore and he plunged deep inside me and we both cried out, our blended pleas echoing into the night.
His mouth collided with mine and our hips ground against each other, trying to drive deeper, always deeper. He turned us over so that I was riding him, his hands gripping, running from my hips to my breasts and back again. He lifted himself so that he chest pressed against my breasts. His hand wove up into my hair, forcing my head back and kissing down the length of my neck, his body urging mine to take what it would, my own giving him everything, taking in every glorious inch of him. My fingernails raked across his back and he bit and nipped and licked and kissed me passionately making my body his for eternity. He flipped us back over and rocked into me, harder and harder, until we both came screaming our pleasure to the ancient moon. His body collapsed onto mine, shuddering, our hearts thundering, lungs gasping, and our bodies covered in the sweat of our lovemaking.
We were silent as we regained our breath and he toyed with my hair. “I do not think I can let you go without making you mine.”
“I think you just did,” I giggled to him and played with the fine blonde hairs that lightly covered his chest.
He sat up and looked down at me intensely. “No, that is not what I mean. I want you for my wife.”
I closed my eyes and sighed sadly. “Eric, I can’t stay, I told you.”
“I know, my love, but it changes nothing. I want to make you my wife, here, now, just between us, so that when I do my duty for my family, I have something of my own hidden away in my heart.”
I sat up as well, tucking my legs under me so that I was almost kneeling in front of him. “What are you saying?”
“Sookie, will you handfast with me, here in my secret place, under the light of the full moon blazing above us.” I searched his eyes and knew that I wanted this as much as he did. I wanted to be his wife if only in the quiet spaces where no one would ever know.
“Yes I will.” I knew that doing this here would make things more complicated when I returned to my own time, but I would allow no regrets.
He reached up and pulled the leather thong from his hair and I nearly gasped when I realized that it was almost identical to the one he wore in my own time. He took my smaller hand in his and wrapped it three times around, binding us together. We were both still naked and I didn’t care.
“I Eric, pledge myself to you Sookie from now until the end of time. May our souls find each other in every lifetime we are granted.” He gazed down at me, love evident in his eyes.
“I Sookie, pledge myself to you Eric from now until the end of time. May our souls find each other in every lifetime we are granted.” I knew, for me, that there was no going back. I had given myself to him.
Emotion swelled in me as he brought his lips to mine. Our hands wrapped into the strands of our unbound hair and only the moon witnessed our joining.