A/N – Thank you to Kittyinaz for hosting this contest and for the AWESOME banner that she created for my story. I just love it!! And thanks to all of you for taking the time to read and review. All mistakes are my own. Enjoy!
I was so close to losing Gran over the summer. If I had gotten home just five minutes later, she wouldn’t be with me now. Coming in and seeing the kitchen and her covered in blood was devastating to say the least and to have Bill Compton arrive only moments after I had called the paramedics only added to the unbearable anguish. I’m certain there was a look of horror on my face as I screamed at him to help her. He could have healed her with his blood, but he just stood there watching me try to hold onto her for dear life while putting pressure on the most severe of her wounds. He said it was too late to help her and that she would be gone in moments. It was as if he was hoping she would die and leave me alone.
I was too out of my mind in that moment to rescind his invitation and just sat there incredulously staring at him like he was an alien.
I will never forgive him for that.
I remember sitting in the hospital for hours waiting for them to let me see her. Much to my disbelief, Eric Northman walked into the waiting room. He said he had news of the murderer who was in Bon Temps killing off fangbangers and had gone to my house to tell me that he could clear my brother. He had already spoken to a lawyer to get him out of jail. When he saw I wasn’t home, he went to Bill’s house to find me. I was shocked when Eric arrived and what he said was like an illusion. I don’t think I’ll ever understand why he did it. This man I had only met once.
Apparently, after some persuasion, Bill finally told him what had happened. He then asked me for permission to enter my home and look for more evidence. A scent or something, I think he said. I nodded and told him he was welcome to enter and find whatever he needed. I don’t know why I agreed, but it seemed the right thing to do. And then he embraced me. I barely knew this man and he was holding me and giving me the comfort that my so called boyfriend hadn’t even done and I let him. Granted, Bill and I were going through some problems at the time and I had told him I didn’t want to date him any longer, but I would have thought in that moment that he would have been the one there to give me words of encouragement and to tell me I was brave and could handle this like Eric did. I held onto him and stifled cries into his chest. Eric even offered to give her blood and heal her, but I declined now that she was being taken care of.
Eric stayed with me until I was allowed in the ICU with Gran and then quietly made his exit. It still seems surreal to me even now.
For days until she was finally released I slept in that room in a chair near the bed holding her hand. She had remained unconscious as they gave her blood transfusions and healed for the most part from her injuries. The day she woke was the happiest day I could remember.
When we arrived home, I found the kitchen spotless. Any and all signs that something had happened had been erased. There was a note on the table.
“I can’t imagine how horrible it must have been for you when you arrived at your home. This is the least I can do. I have also taken care of the problem and you will be safe. I hope we will speak soon.
There are no words to describe how grateful I was in that moment to have met that man. He had taken care of me and our home without being asked. What had I done to warrant such attention and kindness from him? Bill had only ever told me what a monster Eric was and to stay away from him.
The next night I went to Fangtasia. I had to see him and thank him for everything he had done. When I arrived, I was greeted by Pam and unlike the last time we had met, she looked at me with a raised eyebrow and let me in without a word.
When I walked in, I saw him on his throne and a moment later, quicker than I could even see, he was at my side. Again, he embraced me and I felt him inhale. It made me feel safe and comforted to be in his arms.
“I trust everything was to your liking and you are well?”
“Eric, I can’t even…I don’t know what to say…”
“There is no need to say anything. I am just relieved that you are safe.”
“I honestly do not know. I can only tell you that when I heard what had happened from that miscreant Compton, I felt the need to go to you. I’ve never had that impulse before…to care for a human.”
I started to cry and felt my tears soaking into his shirt.
“Please do not cry little one. I cannot stand to see your tears.”
“I should go. I need to check on Gran. I just had to come and thank you.”
“As I said, there is no need to say anything. No thanks are necessary. Just take care of yourself and call if you need anything at all.”
I left in a haze, still confused about what this man had done and why.
That was the beginning of my relationship with Eric Northman. Soon after, we began speaking quite frequently. He would call to check on me and ask about my wellbeing and the progress of Gran’s recovery. Every time we spoke, I felt better and closer to him. I began to dream of him and what it might be like to be with him. When he asked if he could come by to see me and check on Gran for himself, I didn’t hesitate to agree.
When he formally met Gran, she was just as taken with him as I had become. She, too, had no words that could express her gratitude and when he left, she asked me how long it would be before I realized how much I meant to him and how much she could see he meant to me. I tried to explain that we had become friends and she just harrumphed and tried to hide a smile.
The next night, he came by again. This time he asked me to come outside and take a walk with him. We walked in companionable silence for a while until he finally stopped and looked at me.
“I told you before that I have never felt the need to take care of a human, Sookie. Now, I find myself feeling…more.”
At that, he put his hands on my arms and gently pulled me to him resting his forehead on mine.
“I want you to be mine. I want to give you anything and everything you’ve ever wanted. I cannot explain it, but I need to be with you.”
I looked at him then and saw him truly for the first time. His blue eyes burned into mine with the sincerity and desire I had never seen before. No one had ever looked at me like that. No one had ever looked into my soul and I knew in that moment that I needed him, too. He bent down and brushed his lips against mine. As if on impulse, I put my hand around his neck and pulled him into a deeper kiss. I don’t know how long we stayed like that kissing as if we were the only two people who existed in the world. In that moment, we were. The rest of the world fell away and I could only think of how much I desired him. My hands moved down his back feeling the contours of his skin as his moved around me as well, one hand wrapping around my waist and the other holding my face like I was a fragile china doll. It was amazing. It was beautiful. It was right. When I began to move closer and press our bodies together, he pulled away from our kiss and again rested his forehead to mine.
He spoke in a whisper.
“As much as I want you and I do, it should not be like this. Not here, not for you. You deserve more. You are worth more to me than you know. You are too perfect to have this be anything more than our first kiss. And believe me, this is only our first kiss of many in the time to come. Will you be mine? Will you allow me to cherish you and your body when the time is right?”
“Yes.” I also whispered and I could feel the smile take over his face. I wanted nothing more than to give myself to him.
I realized that I had been wrong. THIS was the happiest I had ever felt.
We walked back to the house hand in hand gazing at each other and smiling. It was so strange to see this thousand year old vampire looking at me like a kid with his first crush. At the same time, it fit him and I was sure that no one had ever seen this side of him before.
That was four months ago. Since then we have faced many enemies, but we have stood together and he has always protected me and I him.
However, today I am going to put aside any and all peril, problems and basic bullshit that has been plaguing everything in my life since I got involved with the supernatural world. Today I can say that there is no one that I know of that wants to kill me or anyone I love. If it hadn’t been for Eric, I’m not sure I would have survived to see this day and I’m going to take full advantage of it. All supernatural enemies can just suck it! Just for one day, I want to give gifts and enjoy my friends and family. I might even have a few drinks.
As I came down the stairs with my wrapped packages to place under the tree, I heard Gran moving around in the kitchen and humming something I couldn’t quite hear. I put down my presents and went to her old record player and placed one of her favorite records on. Gran used to sing it to me when I was little and although hardly anyone today under the age of fifty has ever heard of it, it always brings the two of us joy to hear it.
The scratchy old record began to play and Gran rushed in with a huge smile on her face as little Gayla Peevey’s voice began to sing.
I’m a little doll who was dropped and broken
Falling off my mommy’s knee
I’m a little doll who has just been mended
Now won’t you tell me please.
Are My Ears On Straight, Is my nose in place
Have I got a cute expression on my face?
Are my blue eyes bright, Do I look all right?
To be taken home Christmas Day?
We sang and danced and laughed like we hadn’t since I was a child. As I twirled around with her, I was suddenly in someone else’s strong arms. He was looking down at me with his own cute expression and his blue eyes were definitely bright as he smiled at me with his crooked smile. But instead of stopping, I continued to dance and sing.
When I first came here, Just a month ago.
Brought in by a little girl who loved me so.
She began to cry, ‘Til they told her I
Could be taken home Christmas Day.
Christmas time is drawing nearer, And I’m getting scared
Wish I could see in a mirror, How I’ve been repaired.
I’ll be called for soon, But I’m worried so
Will she love me like she did a month ago.
Are My Ears On Straight? I can hardly wait.
To be taken home Christmas Day
Eric looked down at me and a serious look came over his face.
“You never need to worry, my little doll. Never need to be scared again. If you are broken, I will mend you and I will still love you like I did a month ago…crooked ears and all.”