I could see anger clearly on Sookie's face as she asked the words I knew would come; "Why? Where were you?"
I flinched recalling exactly why I hadn't come to help her. I couldn't face her knowing what I knew.
"It's not like you were obliged to come find me, but I hoped the whole time- I hoped you would come." I didn't hear her words after that, as selfish as it was I was absorbed in myself.
"You're killing me." I shivered, although it was impossible for me to be cold. "You're killing me." She kept her gaze on me. Her battered face wasn't as angry as before but still with resolve; I knew she wouldn't rest until I told her.
"I'll explain, I will. But now, we don't have enough time."
It was a month after the fairy war that I could feel Sookie's resolve building slowly through the night. I surprised myself these past few weeks; when I visited Sookie I found myself, not in her bed, but on the settee in the living room. There was a film playing on the television, I was sure neither of us knew what the title of it was. Sookie was wondering how to ask me something. As her resolve to ask me increased so did my resolve to answer her; she made me feel more certain that I could tell her the truth, her resolve was mine.
Sookie was leaning against my chest with my arm around her back. From where I sat I could see her jeans had rolled up and I caught sight of a tiny scab. Every time I have visited Sookie, I made sure she took some of my blood. Though she is not a vain woman the reminder of how scarred her legs would be was enough to ensure she drank from me; all the while strengthening that gift and curse, the blood bond.
She took in a deep breath of air and I knew that she was finally ready.
"Eric?" Her voice was uncertain and quiet. I made a humming noise to let her know she had my attention. She considered her words carefully. "Do we have time?"
"We do, my lover." She sat up and looked me in my eyes taking my hand as she did.
"What happened? That night, why didn't you come for me?" She paused and thought. "I'm not angry you didn't come, I was at the time but it was because I thought you didn't care for me. But now I feel like I need to know why you didn't come when I needed you so badly. What stopped you?"
I heaved a sigh, a very human thing to do but it felt natural. "The blood bond Sookie. The blood bond stopped me coming to you." I stroked her back lightly.
"I knew the instant you went missing. I felt your fear and then nothing. I started the search and with Bills information I knew what would be coming. When he told me that the fairies Lochlan and Neave had taken you, I was prepared for the worst. But what happened was far worse than what I imagined. I felt everything Sookie; the pain, the fear and loneliness. I could feel you calling me but I couldn't come."
She must hold me in high esteem or not realise how much pain she actually went through that night because she asked me "Why?"
"The pain I could feel was immense Sookie, I was amazed you survived it. I could barely move because of everything I could feel through you. I felt every emotion that passed through you that night and I couldn't pick myself up from the floor where I fell. The despair you felt… I felt like I wanted to be staked. I'm so proud of you. They didn't break you, body or soul." I kissed her forehead and breathed in her scent. "I've never felt anything like that before; I haven't felt true pain since I was turned." She looked up at me, at loss of what to say. "I was convinced I had lost you forever Sookie. It nearly killed me."
She shifted onto her knees and caressed my cheek with her soft warm hand. I could see the tears gathering at the side of her eyes. The blood bond worked both ways and she was feeling what I was feeling. She leaned forward and kissed me gently, I pulled her towards me slowly as the kiss got deeper and much more intense. I was disappointed when Sookie opened her eyes after a moment and pulled back, frowning. I felt a surge of warmth roll like waves from Sookie as she put her finger to my cheek. She pulled away and had a single drop of blood on her finger.
I smiled, "It's for you Sookie, don't waste it."
She put her finger in her mouth and sucked it gently while looking at me with smouldering eyes.
The blood bond was a gift and a curse.