Chapter Twenty: So What Does this Mean?
“Now!” Ludwig clapped her hands enthusiastically, “Northman! Tell me every single irregularity you have witnessed so far!”
“In order or by peculiarity?” Eric muttered.
Ludwig pondered a moment, “In order.”
Ticking off his fingers one by one, Eric began, “She rose considerably early this evening, she is warmer than I am by quite a bit, she has remarkable self-control, her dogs barely gave any pause when reintroduced to her, she cannot use glamour, she has little to no interest in drinking human blood, and,” Eric then grabbed a pen, paper, and jotted down a note, handing it to Ludwig. ~She can now hear vampires, except for me. After Ludwig read the note with increasingly widening eyes, Eric plucked it from her fingertips and quickly grabbed a book of matches to set the incriminating document on fire. When the note was nothing but ash, Eric mashed them with his thumb as though he were concerned they could still be read.
“That is quite a list,” Ludwig murmured to herself. “Northman, I would like to make a deal with you and your Bonded.”
“We are listening,” Eric waved for her to go on with her proposal.
“I would greatly enjoy studying your Mate, testing and observing how she varies from normal vampires. In return, I will forgo my usual treatment and consultation fees.”
“Deal!” Sookie shouted excitedly.
“Sookie, you do not know what sort of tests she has in mind,” Eric pointed out.
“I don’t care,” Sookie turned her imploring eyes toward him. “I just started in my new existence as the same freak I was as a human, but this time, there’s someone willing to help me learn and understand what makes me different. I don’t care if she has to chop off a limb if it means I’ll get answers and not be a step behind the way I was when I was human. I don’t want to be that scared, isolated shell of a person I was for the past twenty-five years! I can’t become that again! I don’t want you to be the only creature I can stand to be around. I love you dearly, but I don’t want to be in the dark again!”
Eric’s shoulders tensed hearing her confession. “I do not want to hide you away, Dear One,” he answered her, struggling to remain composed, “but I cannot lose you either. I do not want to put you at risk by letting others discover what you are, what your capabilities are.” Bowing his head with guilt, he admitted, “I would not have told even Ludwig of your gift if it had not brought me such uncertainty and concern.”
Nodding in understanding, Sookie pulled her Bonded into her arms and rested her head against his chest. “I’m so sorry if I am being selfish right now,” she whispered, squeezing him tighter. “Only, I’m scared… Of so many things,” she finished.
“I know, Sookie. So am I.”
Ludwig cleared her throat at the intimate moment occurring before her, “Well, if I may, I would like to take a small sample of your blood, Young One. I wish to compare it to your mortal blood, and also a sample of your blood, Northman. I am curious to see if you underwent any changes when you transformed her.”
“But you have nothing with which to compare it,” Eric indicated, even as he offered his arm.
Snickering to herself, the doctor opened her medical bag and took out the instruments she required. “Oh, I have samples of all of my patients,” she laughed as she stuck Eric with a needle and used the plunger to extract the blood out of his pulseless body.
“What were you treated for?” Sookie asked her Mate, her voice pitching in surprised anxiety. She scarcely noticed the new needle piercing her own arm.
Shrugging uncomfortably, Eric admitted, “I sustained a partial decapitation a few centuries back.” Sookie’s eyes widened, and Eric could feel a wave of panic flooding her. He kissed the top of her head soothingly.
“Partial!” Ludwig cackled. “Three centimeters deeper and you would have been a pile of flesh! I had to bolt iron plates from your T4 to your C3 just to keep that boulder of a head from snapping the rest of the way off!” Eric grimaced at her recollection. The experience had been the most uncomfortable of his existence. Four years of high collar shirts and having to turn his entire body to look either direction had been grueling enough in itself without the added anxiety of being in a suspended state of impending instant death. He had been forced to reunite with his Maker only for the added security while he recovered.
“How were you almost decapitated!?” Sookie demanded shrilly.
Eric shrugged, “Territory dispute. Two kingdoms were at war. I was fighting for my King’s territory and went up against another vampire one hundred plus years my senior. The dispute ended mid-battle, but our fight continued. My opponent caught me with a transverse swing, and I only managed to pull back before my head was severed. Russel Edgington, the current King of Mississippi, stepped in and saved me, transported me off the battlefield, and summoned Ludwig. He even made the arrangements to have me returned to my Maker once my head was immobilized.”
“Remind me to send him flowers and a ‘Thank you’ card,” Sookie shuddered.
Laughing now, Eric kissed the top of her head once again, “It was five hundred years ago, Sookie. I doubt he even recalls it.”
“Still,” she insisted, “I want to thank the man who spared my Bonded and gave me to chance to know him.”
“Which brings me to my next question,” Ludwig interrupted. “How is your Bond? Any variations there?”
“None that I can tell. It feels unquestionably stronger than when she was mortal, but other than that, it is well and intact,” Eric described.
Ludwig nodded. “That is good to hear. Stackhouse,” she focused her attention on Sookie, “you have had both synthetic and human blood already?”
“Yeah,” Sookie confirmed.
“Yet you did not enjoy human blood?” Ludwig pressed.
“Well,” Sookie answered after some careful thought, “it’s not that I didn’t like it, I just didn’t find it all that much to brag about. I like it better than synthetic. It doesn’t have that gross aftertaste,” she offered.
Tapping her fingers against her chin, Ludwig asked, “But you can drink either just fine?”
“Well, sure, but it’s kind of bland to me either way. If I’m drinking TrueBlood, it’s not so bad until I stop drinking. Then the aftertaste kicks in, and it’s disgusting. If I had a chaser of human blood behind it, I could drink mostly synthetic and not really notice a difference,” she responded even more precisely.
“Very interesting,” the doctor murmured to herself. “Well, I will study your samples and get back to you tomorrow evening,” With that, the little doctor POPped out of the office.
“How did she manage to preserve a five-hundred-year old blood sample?” Sookie asked Eric.
Her Mate lifted his shoulders, not certain himself. “Probably a magical stasis chamber,” he guessed.
Sighing, Sookie reasoned, “I suppose nowadays I should just assume if I don’t understand how something works, I should just chalk it up to magic.”
Eric chuckled while he nodded in agreement, “Perhaps, but keep asking. Who knows, I might have a theory in the future that does not use the magic excuse.”
“Well, when that happens, I’ll mark the calendar!” Amused by her remark, Eric kissed the side of Sookie’s head while he guided her toward the door. “What are we doing now?” she asked while he ushered her down the hall onto the main floor of Fangtasia.
“We are going to find Pam to discuss the current climate of our situation with the Queen,” Eric replied, leading her expertly through the club to his aggravated Child.
I can’t believe he didn’t even bother to call to let me know he left the grave already… Stackhouse doesn’t smell right… I still have the urge to bite her. She still smells good enough to eat!
Remembering how she had managed to silence the thoughts in the club back in Eric’s office, Sookie let go of her shields and all of her guards. Immediately the thoughts dissolved and all that rang in her head were the same noises every other vampire was subjected to hearing.
“Master,” Pam nodded at Eric, and then turned to do the same to Sookie, “Mistress.”
Sookie made a face at her new title. “Oh, please tell me I don’t have to get used to that,” she winced.
“Only when other vampires are around,” Eric assured her. “In this club, you will only hear Pam call me by my name when those under my protection are not present. Because you are my Bonded, she must show you the same respect she gives me when my subordinates are within earshot.”
“Oh, okay,” Sookie nodded in understanding. “Sorry,” she told Pam, “I thought I’d have a few years to learn all the rules before I was suddenly abiding by them.”
“I understand, Mistress,” Pam nodded.
“What is our situation with the fly in our ointment?” Eric asked.
“Grievances have been filed with the Council,” Pam answered him. “The Magister will arrive in Louisiana tomorrow evening. They tried getting him here before you rose, but I requested that they give your Bonded Mate at least one evening’s time to adjust to her immortality.”
“When will the pest be detained?” Eric demanded.
“I contacted Russel Edgington shortly after you were buried. He arrived in the pest’s lair that very evening to subdue it and its entire Bloodline. He is currently handling matters in an effort to keep panic at a minimum. Master Godric and Mistress Emily will arrive later this evening. Their accommodations at my residence have already been prepared to allow you two a proper first evening together.”
Eric smiled wryly while he shook his head, reaching into his back pocket. Pulling out his wallet, he took out his black AmEx and handed it to Pam who grinned like a fiend.
“No online shopping,” he warned her before taking his grip off of the card.
Pam frowned over his one restriction, but nodded, and then she zipped out of the club.
“What was that?” Sookie asked, more than a little perplexed.
Eric cleared his throat needlessly. “Well, there is another reason Pam uses my credit card rather than her own. She has…shall we say, impulse control issues when it comes to shopping. My black AmEx is the only unlimited card I carry.”
“Why no online shopping?” Sookie asked.
“Because my account will be a mess for months when she shops online. She changes her mind when she tries on the clothes, or the shoes are not tall enough, or she discovers that the leather is fake. All of the returns are tedious to balance when I pay off the card.”
Sookie laughed at his frustrated explanation, “Okay, so we’ve talked to Pam. Now what?”
“Now,” Eric tilted his head down to catch her eyes, “we go home, take the dogs for a run, and spend the remainder of the evening relaxing and being thoroughly indulgent.”
Letting out a deep, unneeded breath, Sookie wrapped her arms around Eric’s waist and snuggled into his side. She let him lead her back out of the club, and once they were in the car, she turned to look up at him and asked, “Shouldn’t you have introduced me to the other vamps? You were going to do that when I was still human, weren’t you?”
Eric shook his head, “Those who were there knew who you were once they saw us. There was no need to be formal. Besides, Pam informed the vampires of Area 5 about the abrupt necessity behind your metamorphosis. That was why we were not bombarded when we arrived this evening. The vampire community has a great respect for Bonded vampires, and a strange, almost unnatural empathy for what I was forced to endure before bringing you over.”
“How do you mean?”
Eric’s hand faltered as he went to start to the car. His hand settled in his lap and he stared out the windshield a moment before he replied. Sookie could feel his caution as though her heart could still hammer in her chest.
“Dear One, you were dying in my arms. Everything we had planned, every intention we had was being ripped from me in that moment. I asked you if you wanted me to turn you, but the truth was that I had no choice. Those moments before you told me to save you were the most grueling of my existence. In those moments, a million possibilities ran through my mind,” He looked at the upturned palms in his lap, sounding so lost as he softly admitted, “I was afraid you would not agree, terrified you would succumb to unconsciousness before you could… Mortified of the possibility of you rising in three evenings and hating me for eternity for turning you into the monster whom you were never prepared to become.”
“I’m not a monster, Eric,” Sookie said gently. “I’ve never seen you as a monster, and I definitely don’t see myself as one. I still see myself as a freak,” she teased lightly, “but not a demon. I drink blood, sure, but I still feel. I feel love for you and my girls. I care about what happens to my brother despite everything that happened. I am grieving, and so downhearted for missing my Gran’s funeral.” Sookie took one of his hands in hers and gave it a reassuring squeeze. “I still feel all of these very real and very human emotions, Darlin’, maybe even more strongly than before.”
Eric brought their joined hands to his lips, smiled, and kissed the back of her knuckles, “I am glad.” He placed her hand on his thigh then finally started his car. When they were on the road, he took her hand back into his and held it there, managing to shift gears while still keeping their fingers laced.
When they arrived at the house for the third time in that single evening, Sookie raced to the door, ready to spend quality time with her dogs. Eric quickly had them leashed, and they took off on their promised run. Sookie set the pace to Junes’ speed, knowing the sturdier shepherd would never be able to keep up at Mags’ roadrunner pace. Now that she did not need the air, Sookie maintained a pleasant conversation with her Bonded while they ran, bantering and laughing the entire time.
After nearly twenty minutes, Sookie turned them around to start heading back to the house when Eric took out his cell phone.
“Who are you calling?” Sookie asked.
Her Bonded replied, “I need someone to come to the house and take measurements for an estimate on that fence you wanted. I also need to have a door installed for them so they can go in and out of the house as they please.”
“Oh… Wait! You have a guy’s number on your phone who can just do that stuff?”
“You have some weird priorities on that phone,” she told him.
He smiled and held a finger up to signal her to wait while he began speaking to his contractor about material specifications, and starting and ending points for the fence. As they rounded up on the house, Eric hung up his phone, “All finished. He will take measurements tomorrow during the day and have an estimate for me by nightfall.”
“If you’re gonna use him anyway, why do you need an estimate?” Sookie asked.
“Estimates for completion, Dear One. I am already aware of the quality of his work and no matter the cost he gives me; he will still install it.”
Nodding that she understood, the couple walked the remainder of the way home, giving the dogs time to cool down after their run. When they were back at the house, Eric lead Sookie to the living room and curled up with her on the couch.
“Movie?” she asked, surprised.
“I thought it would be something nice and familiar for you,” Eric replied, going to the DVD rack and grabbing a case at random. He popped it in the player and came to curl Sookie against his side.
“For you, too?” she guessed.
“For me, too,” he agreed. “Admittedly, all of the news this evening has me out of sorts. I am unaccustomed to this sort of dread and concern.”
“I don’t think any of my abnormalities are your fault, Eric,” she crooned. “Even Ludwig thinks it all has to do with my heritage. You can’t do anything about with whom my great-grandparents had sex,” she reasoned.
“You are correct,” Eric sighed. “Still, I worry greatly about what effect vampirism will have on you. Why are you warmer than me? Why can you not glamour? Why do you not feed like a man who has found water in the desert?” the ancient vampire shook his head, confused. “It frightens me, these variations of yours. It means that other standards might not be the same. What if you are not genuinely immortal? What if you can be killed by less than me? What if you are not able to heal as quickly-”
“Eric,” Sookie pressed a finger to his lips, “this is our first night of forever. Don’t think so far ahead, Darlin’. It’ll all work out, I promise.”
“How can you promise that?” he asked.
A soft smile adorned her lips, “Because Fate owes me, and I have faith that Fate will deliver.”
“Ah, your bullet of destiny theory?” Eric remembered.
“Yes, and you’re the target I was supposed to hit. I will do things in this world that have nothing to do with you, just as you will do things that have nothing to do with me, but you will always be why I want to exist. Forever.”
“I could not have said it better myself,” Eric whispered before going silent and focusing on the movie.
The couple watched several mindless films, hands running over arms and thighs until Eric turned off the TV, and rose to let the dogs out one last time before sunrise. As he stood next to Sookie on the patio, he could feel her body tensing against his side.
“It is the dawn,” Eric explained the anxiety rising inside of her. “You can feel the sun beginning to rise and your body is telling you to take shelter.”
“I think I’m a little scared,” Sookie whispered.
“Understandable,” he nodded reassuringly. “You will more than likely feel a similar panic just before you die for the day. It is normal.”
“That’s a first for me!” she snorted at the irony.
Eric smiled at her joke, “For you, anything normal is a relief for me.”
After the dogs had done their business, Sookie made sure they had fresh water and put food in their dishes, watching as they gobbled it up. “Okay, girls, you’re getting breakfast early, but you’re also getting dinner late!” she told them. “Now, be good, and I’ll see you tonight.” She knelt down and kissed the tops of both of their heads. “Love you, girls!”
Once Sookie had said her good night to Junes and Mags, he took her hand and lead his Bonded back to their bedroom. He was amused to find her suddenly shy, and once the door was closed and security system engaged, he turned to wrap her in his arms and give her a curious tilt of his head.
“Are you all right, Sookie?” he asked gently
The woman shrugged, “I suppose everything is sinking in now.”
“Such as?” he began unbuttoning her shirt.
“I’m a vampire now, but… I’m still not normal, even by vampire standards,” she answered softly, as if she was trying to explain to herself as well. “I guess I hoped that I would finally fit in, and now there’s a distinct possibility that I fit in even less.”
“You fit me,” Eric told her reassuringly. “It does not matter if you are the most ordinary vampire in the world or the most unique. You will always be my perfect Mate.”
“Even though I can hear vampires now?”
“We will see danger coming a mile away and easily clear its path,” he told her.
“Even though I don’t like blood?”
“You will never be overcome with bloodlust to put yourself at risk.”
Sookie smiled as her Mate pushed open her shirt and off her shoulders. Next, he unclasped her bra and flung it aside before unzipping the back of her skirt and let it drop to the floor. Left only in her kitten heels and panties, Sookie reached forward to undress her Bonded. When he was naked, Eric lifted Sookie by her bottom and carried her to their bed.
“You left my shoes and underwear on,” she reminded him.
“You like it when I wait to take off your panties,” Eric smirked, gnashing his teeth at her pouting lip, “and those shoes are sexy.”
Giggling at his comment, Sookie wrapped her legs around Eric’s waist and pulled his head to her own for a kiss. She loved all of the little things he noticed about her. Even without the Bond, he could tell how she felt just by what she chose to wear. He recognized all of her little sexual quirks, such as yanking off her panties in a frenzy or being more aggressive when he shoved her legs apart. He knew when her need for comfort required a hug, kiss, or sex.
“I wish I knew your body as well as you know mine,” Sookie spoke against his mouth when she felt his hardening staff press against her pubic bone.
Grinding against her firmly, Eric answered, “You know it better than you think.”
Pulling away from his mouth, Sookie gave her Mate a wicked grin, “Because I know to do this?” she asked, letting her hand drift down his back and firmly gliding her nail into the muscle lateral of his spine. Eric’s reply was to moan and buck his hips rather roughly against hers.
“That is one reason,” Eric nipped at her throat as he began trailing kisses down her body. “Now we will both have to relearn your body. There are going to be all new sensitivities you will experience due to your increased senses. There may be some touches that you do not appreciate as much as you did when you were mortal. There may be some touches that you appreciate more. I wonder…” Eric ghosted his fingertips across her ribs, making Sookie smile and squirm with a giggle. “Oh good, you are still ticklish. I would have missed that!”
“What else will you miss?” Sookie asked softly.
“It does not matter. Regardless of the minimal losses, I have gained far more,” he rumbled in her ear.
“I still want to know,” she whispered.
Eric sighed and flopped onto his back, pulling his Bonded against his side. “I will miss that first hour we are together after I rise, when your skin and hair smell of sunshine. I will miss being able to feed from you because it means I will have to have someone else inside of me. I will miss the hot dampness of your skin when I have made love to you… As I said, they are all little things, and I will replace them with new ones that I will never lose.”
“I’m glad I’m still a little warm,” she offered.
Eric smiled softly, “I am glad for that as well.”
“Sorry, I keep getting distracted,” she laughed, crawling onto his lap, much to his great approval. She ground her damp panties against his stiff member, rocking gently. “Wow,” she gasped, “this feels even more amazing.”
Grinning up at her, Eric grabbed her hips while flexing his own, pushing that much harder against her. As her bottom lip caught in her teeth, Eric smirked and reached up to release it just as her fangs ‘snicked’ into place. On instinct, Sookie’s hand reached to hide her fangs, but Eric caught it, and held her wrists in his hands.
“No, Dear One,” he purred, “let me see my little vampire in pleasure.”
Smiling down at him shyly, Sookie continued rocking against his body until Eric let out a low groan, releasing her wrists to savagely rip away her panties. His Bonded moaned at the act of aggressiveness while she raised her thighs enough to sink back down on his rigid length.
A small, “ah!” escaped her as he slid deeply inside and Sookie remained perfectly still atop him while she savored the sensation that left her completely filled. After a moment, her walls trembled around him, and Eric growled almost impatiently. As much as he wished her to explore and learn her body, his frustration was mounting as minutes passed and she had yet to do more than flutter around him in maddeningly minor contractions.
Her Joy and Contentment were enough to stave off his impatience, but after nearly ten minutes, Eric finally abandoned his resolve and rolled Sookie beneath him. When she blinked up at him in confusion, Eric cocked his head and asked, “Dear One, where did you go just now?”
“Go?” she asked blearily.
“You have been sitting with my cock buried in you for nearly a quarter of an hour,” he frowned.
“Have I?” she looked at their joined bodies and recoiled in terror. “Oh God!”
“What is it?” he asked, beginning to thrust inside of her.
Sookie stared in horror at the deep wound in her abdomen that had spilled blood. When she looked to Eric’s face, wanting to demand to know what was happening, it was not her Bonded’s face that met her eyes.
A featureless mask. An un-sculpted mannequin’s head tilted down at her. It pointed at her as though staring with its generic brow and cheekbones, casting an endless void of shadows where its eyes should have been. The void sucked her in.
She tumbled into the darkness, spiraling out of control as her throat tightened with a scream that could not ring from her mouth. Empty faces, dead eyes, cold… COLD!
“SOOKIE!” Eric roared, making the newborn vampire snap out of her trance.
Blinking up at her Bonded, Sookie shivered and cried beneath him.
“What happened?” he demanded, and Sookie realized that he was sitting up beside her, leaning over her horizontal form, not actually atop her.
“What happened?” she cried back, realizing bloody tears were running down her face. “I don’t know… Where? What happened? How did?”
“Sookie,” Eric wiped her face gently, his own eyes stricken with panic.
Before either could utter another word, a loud POP sounded and Ludwig was staring at them in alarm.
“I am sorry to come unannounced,” Ludwig told them with large, disbelieving eyes, “but my first experiment of the day has forced me to come now.”
“What? What happened?” Sookie demanded in a near hysteria, clutching at the teary, bloodstained bedding.
“It is imperative that you never give a human your blood, baby vampire,” Ludwig told the newborn.
“What is going on?” Eric snapped. “What did you do to my Bonded?”
“I wanted to see how her blood’s magic paralleled yours,” Ludwig began to explain, pacing as she stroked her chin purposefully. “Not knowing, I decided to administer a dose on a V addict and drainer who was due to be executed. The effects were terrifying. A mere drop of your Mate’s blood rendered the individual near-catatonic and when the high ended, the human suffered immediate and extreme withdrawal symptoms. It was like nothing I have ever seen. I do not even wish to do a second test to gather further information on the matter, but I can hypothesize that your mate’s blood is highly addictive to humans. The European Magister immediately dispatched the test subject, so his suffering was short-”
“But vampires can track people who consume their blood!” Sookie wailed.
“This was in Spain, Sookie,” Ludwig attempted to calm her. “The quantity of blood I gave him could not have allowed you to track that far.”
“Was I feeling him? Is that what that… That… That dream was?”
“Dream?” Eric and Ludwig looked at her, both puzzled.
“I don’t know,” Sookie grabbed her hair and buried her nails in her scalp. “It all felt so real, but it couldn’t be real. A mannequin’s face. My death blow reopened… And that abyss.”
“Calm, little vampire,” Ludwig pressed her hand against Sookie’s forehead, “Oh my, she’s even warmer than last night!”
“Am I all wrong?” Sookie looked at the doctor with blood-rimmed eyes. “Am I not supposed to be a vampire?”
“Shh,” Eric pressed his lips to his Bonded’s forehead, but peered over it to look at Ludwig worriedly.
“As I said,” Ludwig told her, “an individual with as much fairy in them as you has never been turned. However, if you were not meant to be compatible with a vampire transformation, you would not have metamorphosed.”
“Are you sure?” Sookie sniffled. “What about those babies who are born with terrible defects and only live for a few hours?”
“I have analyzed your blood, little vampire,” Ludwig assured her, “and there is nothing that shows any signs that your general vampiric qualities are incompatible. You are missing a few things. Still, your healing factor appears intact, but-”
“But?” Eric froze.
“There are some…quirks.”
“What sort of quirks?” he asked.
Ludwig replied by opening her medical bag and extracting a knife that made Eric instantly recoil, already tasting silver. Without hesitation, Ludwig pressed the belly of the knife against Sookie’s forearm. Eric’s warning snarl died in his throat when his Bonded did not pull away in pain. “You are immune to silver, but…” She put the knife away and extracted a spoon. She then performed the same action and Sookie jerked back her arm. “You are now sensitive to iron. It will not burn you as badly as a normal fairy, but it will weaken your strength just as a vampire’s is weakened by silver and cause mild skin irritation that heals as soon as contact is ended.”
“And the blood?” Eric asked. “Have you determined why she does not crave blood?”
Shrugging, the doctor speculated, “It could very possibly be the iron in human blood. The thing that makes the Fae so sweet to vampires is that their blood binds oxygen differently to the cells and tissues and contains no iron. The young one does not have a taste for blood because the iron is unappealing. You could try mixing honey into her drinks to see if it makes it more palatable for her. Many subcategories of fairies live on nothing but honey.”
Making a confused face, Eric asked, “Will she be able to withstand it? It is human food.”
“It is also fairy food,” Ludwig reminded. “This undertaking does not come with an instruction book, Northman. We have to try unorthodox methods to find what works best for this young one you created.”
Sookie sat in silence as the pair talked. She knew they were not trying to be rude while they discussed her without acknowledging her presence, but the longer they debated, the more frustrated she became. This frustration did not stem from being ignored, but the realization that she had become a burden.
Eric ended the conversation abruptly when he felt Guilt slipping into the Bond. His eyes quickly turned to his Mate and he quietly asked, “Dear One, are you all right?”
In a hushed tone, Sookie answered, “I’m sorry I couldn’t be normal for you. I know you’re just gonna say that you’d take me any way you could have me, but I still feel…” She shuddered around an unneeded breath as her throat contracted with sorrow. “I still feel… Like the most impossible creature to love!”
Ludwig watched with compassion as the young vampire allowed her mate to wrap her in his arms while she broke down and cried.
“Sookie,” Ludwig drew the girl’s attention, “you are not causing any problems here. I have already confirmed your healing factor and immortality are well intact. Those are the two most important things you needed, and you have them. Your Bond is strong and healthy. These things that Northman and I are discussing are trivial, inconsequential even. We are only discussing them for historical background, and so that we can discover the best ways for you to exist comfortably. Wouldn’t you like to feed comfortably?”
“I just,” Sookie took another breath, nuzzling into the strengthening embrace of her lover, “I just don’t want to be a burden…”
“I understand, Little Vampire,” Ludwig nodded. “Try focusing on the positive things right now. The most disconcerting aspects have already been assured. Now we just need to unlock the mysteries of how to keep you comfortable. We will try adding honey to blood to see if you can ingest it and keep it down so that the blood will properly nourish you. We will test to see what percentage of iron it takes to weaken you. I would also like to do a UV test on both of you in the next couple of days to see if this fairy heritage has given either of you any resilience to sunlight. Northman, if you could try and resist the sun sometime in the next few mornings, I would like to know how long either of you are able to do so before succumbing to the bleeds.”
Eric’s face contorted into a sneer, “I would prefer not to subject her to that much discomfort at such an age.”
“It’s okay, Eric,” Sookie assured him. “We would only be uncomfortable for a little bit, right? Then we just stop resisting and pass out?”
Letting out a huff, Eric shook his head, “That may sound simple, but the pain of resisting is nothing to overlook.”
“Whatever you want, Darlin’,” Sookie patted his hand. “If you think it’s too soon, then we’ll wait. We got an eternity, right?”
Relaxing at her concession, Eric kissed the top of her head, “That is right, all the time in the world.”