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Monday, November 5, 2012

Chapter 44 ~ Godric's Journal

Four Days Later

Sookie glared up at Eric as he helped her out of the mound of snow she'd fallen into. "I'm never going to get the hang of this!"

Laughing, Eric replied, "Yes, you will. Just because you're more graceful than most humans doesn't mean you'll be an expert at snowboarding after only four days of trying." Brushing off the large clumps of snow from her backside, he continued, "You are much better than most would be after so short a time. You almost made it to the bottom of the hill this time without falling. Don't be so hard on yourself."

"I'm determined to be good enough for you to let me go down the beginner's mountain you showed me. I want to get past this kiddie hill."

"We'll see. I have promised to take you snowboarding often. You will have ample opportunity to get better. However, if you are not ready for the beginner's mountain. you will not attempt it."

"Eric, I—"

"No, Sookie. Snowboarding, while fun, is dangerous. I will not allow you to attempt the mountain until you are ready for it. Not unless you agree to let me fly beside you, so that if you fall, I can catch you before you hit the ground."

Shaking her head, Sookie frowned, "No. That's cheating. Where's the excitement in snowboarding if you know you won't fall? I might as well be walking. I'll just have to get good enough for you to let me do it on my own."

"Indeed, but you are done for now. You've been at it for three hours, and have fallen 16 times. That is enough for today. It is cold, and you need to eat."

Pouting, Sookie argued, "I don't want to go inside yet! Once we leave here, I won't get to see you in the daytime anymore." Smiling up at him, she added, "I like seeing you in the light."

In the daylight, Eric’s skin was nearly translucent. Looking at her lover, Sookie understood where the expression “bone white” came from. He was still unquestionably a beautiful man but his skin took on an ethereal glow in the bright sun.

Wrapping his arms around her waist to pull her body closer, he cradled her face in his hands and purred, "I enjoy seeing you in the light as well. I promise to find a way to join you in the sunlight back in Louisiana once we return. It will not be easy, as no one can know of my new ability, but I will make it happen. I will make love to you in the sun. I swear it."

She took a deep breath as his lips caressed her cheeks before his mouth slanted down over hers and he kissed her. She could smell the male scent of him, feel the strong impact of his sexuality. Her heartbeat quickened until it was hammering against her chest. Sookie cooed, "Oh, Eric, saying things like that will make me want to go home, and we're having too much fun. I like it here."

"I'm glad, lover, but it is still time for you to go inside. Besides, I'm sure Thor is missing you."

As Eric swept her up in his arms to fly her back towards the cabin, Sookie cuddled against his chest, nuzzling her face into his neck. "He wouldn't be so lonely if you didn't distract me so much. You're keeping me so busy he feels neglected."

"You keep me just as busy. You seem to have quite the oral fixation. I never would have thought that about you, but I appreciate it immensely," he murmured, kissing her forehead.

"Eric! You're not supposed to talk about that!"

Arriving back at the house, Eric sat Sookie on the bench by the door and leaned down to unbuckle her feet from her board. The blue of his eyes was crystalline in the sunlight. His voice was seductive and dark with passion. "There are no barriers between us, my Sookie. We will talk about anything and everything, and your desire to suck me is a favorite topic of mine."


He simply laughed. When her feet were free of the board, he carried her into the house and set her down by the fire as Thor came running over. He helped Sookie strip out of her heavy layers of clothing so the heat of the fire could warm her. He tossed the snow pants, coat, and other garments over by the door, leaving Sookie in a pink cashmere sweater that came down to her hips, a pair of designer blue jeans and her thermal socks. Thor grabbed a proffered chewbone and delightedly ran to a corner to start gnawing. If there was a heaven on earth for dogs, he'd found it.

Squatting down between her legs, Eric put his arms out on either side of her, the stone hearth warm beneath them, caging her in his brawny arms as he leaned forward to claim her lips in a long searing kiss. When he pulled back, his voice was low and honeyed, "I spend just as much time with my head between your thighs, lover. I enjoy your taste every bit as you do mine."

A shiver of lust galloped through her. Wrapping her arms around his neck she leaned into him as she whispered, "God, Eric, you make me burn."

His own arms slid around her as he fell back on the floor, gripping her against him so she lay against his chest. They kissed hungrily over and over, the room throbbed with sexual heat.

"I want you, Sookie."

Moving to straddle the hardness in his lap, Sookie giggled, "Ah, my poor baby. You've been forced to go three whole hours. You are so neglected."

"I am. You must make it up to me," Eric said hoarsely, need thickening his throat. He ran his hands up under her sweater to stroke the soft skin of her back and hips. His fingers fanned out to cup the firmness of her full breasts through her lacy bra, nudging her nipples to hard peaks. She moaned and closed her eyes, giving in to the sensations.

Thor made his presence known by stepping up on Eric's shoulder and barking happily to draw Sookie's attention back to him. She laughed, reaching forward to scratch his ears. "Too bad, Viking. I'm hungry and Thor needs some attention." She bent to kiss Eric's lips lightly. I'll play with you later," she teased, stroking his cock, and stood up.

Watching Sookie rise from his lap to head for the kitchen as Thor trotted at her feet, Eric called back, "You abandon me for a dog? You are too cruel!" Her tinkling laughter was her only response. His grin was a curious blend of ruefulness and vulnerability. Shaking his head, he rose swiftly to his feet and followed after her, grabbing one of Thor's balls and rope toys from the bag by the door. Taking a seat on the stool at the island he called Thor over to him so that Sookie could make herself some dinner. Thor immediately latched onto the rope toy and began tugging on it while Eric simply held onto the other end to provide more than ample resistance.

Sookie stood at the other end of the island peeling potatoes so she could make herself a steak and mashed potatoes. "Can I talk to you about something?"

"I told you that you can speak to me about anything, Sookie."

"I'm worried about when we get back."

"Sookie, I've told you that I will protect you. There is no need for you to worry about the queen, or whoever is after you. I will—"

"No, Eric, that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about what is going to happen between us."


Still peeling potatoes, Sookie continued, "Eric, you told me how things are going to change when we get back and you become king. I'm worried about these changes."

Both Eric and Sookie ignored Thor's playful growling as he continued to tug and pull on his end of the rope Eric was holding, while Eric replied, "Sookie, I explained why you can no longer work. We agreed you'd go to school, and later work at a museum. These should be welcome changes."

"That's not what I'm talking about. It's … everything else."

Eric's voice was gentle, "You're talking about how we both must behave in the presence of other supernaturals. You believe that the affection and tenderness I show you now will end when we return to Louisiana."

"Pretty much. Eric, I love being with you here. The past few days have been the best in my life, but when we go home, I'm worried you're going to turn back into that jerk that hurts me so much."

"Sookie, I do nothing I do not have to. It is not my intention to hurt you, but I cannot allow you to behave in a way that endangers us."

Finishing up peeling the last potato and beginning to cut them up so she could put them in a pot to boil, Sookie argued, "That's just it, Eric, most of the times you've punished me hasn't been about anything that would endanger us. Most of the time you went all Tarzan on me, and did something to hurt me, because you got jealous. It was because I did something you didn't like. You didn't talk it out with me. You didn't try to see reason. You just went off and hurt me to make yourself feel better. I get that we both have to act a certain way while in public. I hate that I have to act so subservient to you in front of other vampires, but I'm beginning to accept that your world functions in a completely different manner than mine. But between us? Things should be better."

"We are not equals, Sookie. I have explained this to you. You belong to me, not the other way around."

"I'm not trying to get into a debate with you about equality here, Eric. I want to talk about our personal relationship. Tell me how you see us. Tell me what it is you want out of this. What is it you want out of me? How do I fit in your world, and your life?"

Done playing with the rope, Thor dropped his end and barked at Eric. Eric responded by dropping the rope completely and throwing the ball for the puppy to retrieve. "I see us as companions. I see you as the one that will walk beside me for the rest of eternity. I see you as being my perfect complement. While we share many similarities, you are also everything I am not. You are soft where I am hard. You laugh when I cannot. You see the world in ways I can't, don't and won't. You always challenge me, and you make me feel alive in ways I've never felt before."

As Thor returned with the ball, Eric took it from him and threw it down the hall again. "As for what I want? I want it all. I want you to love me above all things. When something troubles you, I want you to come to me with it. When you are scared, I want you to turn to me for protection. I want you to tell me every thought in your head. I want you to share your dreams and hopes with me, so that I can make them come true. I want you to smile only for me. I want you to burn with desire for me for the rest of eternity. I want you to trust me, and talk to me about everything. Simply put? I want to be your whole world."

Sookie stilled, eyes studying him intensely. "Your words are beautiful, but you still haven't answered my question. What am I to you? How do you see me? Where and how do I fit into your world?"

"You are mine."

As she set the pot of potatoes on the stove to boil, Sookie retrieved the green beans from the fridge so she could break them up and sauté them. "Please Eric, I need you to explain that to me. In detail."

Throwing the ball for Thor again, Eric thought for a moment. Sookie was asking about his feelings for her, and he wasn't sure what to say. There was no doubt he felt things for her he'd never felt before, but he wasn't entirely sure this was a conversation he was ready to have—or wanted to have at all. However, he couldn't refuse to answer either. After a moment he began, "I am unsure what you are to me. When I first decided to take you from Compton, I wanted you for a pet. At that point you, your wants, your needs, none of them meant anything to me. I wanted you, and began formulating ways to have you. Things have changed," he affirmed, but his voice stumbled in discomfort as he finished, "I'm … just not sure how."

Still breaking apart the green beans, Sookie pressed, "Will you walk me through how things changed?"

Throwing the ball for Thor again, Eric answered, "It changed with every meeting we had. Things seemed to change every time I thought about you. You are so different, Sookie. You know how wrong and dangerous this world is, and yet you refuse to be cowed. You see truth like few people can or do, and yet you are not jaded by it. So many others in your position would either be bitter, or be only out to help themselves, and yet you aren't. You have never used your gift to get ahead, and instead chose to work your way through life. You give of yourself to others who would just as soon spit on you than acknowledge you. When I first met you, I thought you were so soft because you hadn't known adversity. Now I realize you are soft and caring because you choose to rise above all the hurt. I admire that about you. I recognized quickly you had the necessary strength of will and spirit to be an immortal, and with your talent I was determined to make you my child. This was around the time you pointed out Long Shadow as my thief."

"And at that point you didn't care about me?"

"No. You were a challenge, and a potential asset. I liked your fire, but was more than willing to douse it and break you to bring you under my control. It was in Dallas I realized I wanted you for a companion, and it was on the roof that I realized I was beginning to feel more for you than possession and lust. You despised me at that point. I had forced you to work for me by hurting your friend, sent you into a trap, nearly got you raped, and tricked you into taking my blood. And yet there on that roof you took my hand and promised to stay with Godric when I could not. As I walked away from you while the sun rose, something shifted inside of me, and it became about more than getting you under my control."

"What did it become about?"

Shrugging as he took the ball from Thor to throw again, Eric replied, "I'm not entirely sure. I still don't understand the ways you affect me. I don't understand the changes you have made inside of me."

Finished breaking up the green beans, Sookie moved to the stove to sauté them. She began to prepare Thor's dinner too, grabbing up his dishes, rinsing them, refilling his water dish and setting it back down. "Eric, when did you start to care about me? When did you decide you didn't want to break me?"

"I can't pinpoint the moment my feelings began to change. I can only tell you when I realized they had."

"When was that?"

"That night in New Orleans." He saw Sookie stiffen, and, when she didn't turn around, he continued, "You were closer to breaking that night than ever before, and I saw the fire of your spirit dying in your eyes. I caught a glimpse of what you would be like if your will was broken, and I didn't like it. That night I should have used your weakness against you. I should have used the truth of Compton's deception to finish my seduction of you and complete our bonding. I should not have cared that you were vulnerable. All these things I should have done … but I couldn't. That night, I didn't think about using your weakness against you, and all I wanted was to fix what had been broken inside you. I wanted your fire back. I wanted you to scream at me, hit me, and throw things at me as you blamed me for everything. I wanted you to rage at me. When you didn't, and simply continued to lie there, I knew my original plans for you were no longer an option."

Sookie couldn't face him. Her breath was labored as she whispered, "I appreciate that you didn't push me that night … I would have broken if you had."

"I know. That's why I didn't. Before then, I was determined to mold you into what I wanted you to be, that night I decided I liked you as you were. I still needed to bring you under my control, but I no longer wanted to break you to my will."

"So what happened after that?"

Eric threw the ball for Thor again—the dog was relentless!—as he watched Sookie finish up her green beans and move to drain and mash her potatoes. "That night at your brother's, I told you I wanted you to love me to gain your loyalty. After New Orleans, I began to realize I wanted you to love me for the simple act of you loving me. That night in the hotel, I realized that your heart didn't just drive you, it was you. You are your heart."

Finished with both the mashed potatoes and the green beans, Sookie covered them and set them aside before retrieving the steak she'd put in the fridge last night to marinate. "I still don't understand why you are so determined to have me love you if you won't love me." She didn't say that she was fairly certain he was coming to love her and simply refused to admit it.

Watching her turn the built-in grill on, Eric replied, "Because your love is warm. I taste it in your blood. I hear it in your voice. I feel it in your touch. Your love is as bright and warm as the sun, and it pleases me to bask in it. As to why I don't, and won't, love you? First, because love would make me weak. Second, I'm incapable of love. I did not experience the emotion as a human, and I have not known or needed it as a vampire. You will do the loving, and I will do the fighting. That is our relationship."

"You loved Godric."

"No, I didn't."

Setting her steak on the stove, Sookie turned and shook her head sadly. "How can you say that? How can you honestly believe you didn't love Godric?"

Holding her gaze, Eric insisted, "I didn't love Godric. What was between us wasn't love. It was everything else. Godric was my father, my brother, my son. He was my lover, my friend, and my maker. He gave me immortality, and led me through the ages. He helped me learn how to control the darkness inside me. For over six hundred years, we traveled together. This in itself was odd. Most children leave their makers within the first hundred years or so. We were different. Even Pam will not stay with me as long as I stayed with Godric. He stood strong and resolute behind me as I learned how to be who and what I am. I followed behind him with complete trust that he would never lead me astray. He was my beginning and end. He was life to me. There was no love. It was honor, dedication, trust, brotherhood, companionship, loyalty, and eternal devotion."

Smiling softly, Sookie pressed, "Newsflash, Eric, what you just described is love. The fact you were willing to die with Godric so he wouldn't be alone in the end proves you loved him. Completely. Unequivocally. You loved him more than yourself … you're just too stubborn to admit it."

Feeling uncomfortable with the conversation, Eric insisted, "I do not wish to speak of Godric now. We are discussing what is between us."

Understanding his need to change the subject, and knowing he'd ponder her words later, Sookie agreed, "Fair enough … so you want me to love you, but you don't want to love me?"

"I can't love you, Sookie. I care for you. I cherish you. I enjoy seeing you happy. I want to make you happy, but I can't love you. I don't have it in me."

Knowing that pushing him on the subject of love would only make him feel cornered, Sookie asked, "Do you respect me?"

"You know I do. I've told you this."

"Then why are you going to make me sit at your feet when you become king?"

"I explained to you that certain appearances need to be kept in court, Sookie. You know how my world is."

She flipped the steak. "This isn't about your world. This is about you and me. I want to know how you can say you respect me, and then in the next breath tell me to sit at your feet. I want to know how you can say I'm your eternal companion, that I'm your other half, and then force me to be less than that in front of others. That's not respect."

"Sookie, you know other vampires do not, and will not, understand our connection as long as you are human. Even when you are made vampire, others will see you as my subordinate due to the fact you are my child … and this is true. Despite the affection between us, despite the strength of our bond, you can never be my equal. I am older, wiser, and stronger. Despite the intensity of the bond I shared with Godric, I was not, and never would have been, his equal. This will always be true of us as well. Even when you become immortal, I will still be the dominant. I will lead us through the ages, and you will follow my directions."

"Ok. Equality aside. What I'm asking for here is some respect and consideration as your bonded."

"I do not understand what you are saying."

Watching the steak to make sure she didn't overcook it, Sookie explained, "I don't want to sit at your feet like a pet."

"You cannot sit beside me, Sookie. You saw how even Sophie-Anne's children had to stand behind her throne. If you were a vampire, I would allow you a throne beside mine since you are my companion, and will be more than my child. However, as my human you simply cannot be given such status in a vampire court. You will be treated better than all the other humans in attendance, and my favor towards you will be apparent to all, but you cannot sit higher than any other vampire. You must sit at my feet when we are holding court."

Her steak now done, Sookie shook kibble into Thor's food bowl and set it on the counter. Eric watched as she placed the steak in her dish, cutting aside a small portion of it, then dicing that into tiny cubes before scooping the meat into his food bowl. She added a few diced green beans into the puppy's hot dish, quickly stirred and then set it aside to cool.

Eric continued, "To do anything less would portray me as a weak king, and others might get it into their head to try and overthrow me."

Sookie nodded. He watched her wash her hands quickly and then take her dish, adding in a scoop of green beans and mashed potatoes before grabbing a bottle of tea out of the fridge. Coming to sit beside Eric, she asked, "Does that happen a lot? Do kings and queens overthrow each other often?"

"Yes. Ten years ago the King of Nevada overthrew the King of Arkansas to take command of both states. Most vampires are ambitious, and with your talent, now that we've come out, many will covet you. I cannot appear weak before them, and risk an attack. Your feelings matter to me now, Sookie, but not at the expense of our safety."

Swallowing a bite of green beans, Sookie questioned, "Then why do I have to be in court at all? Why do you have to display me like that?"

"As my bonded, your presence is a given. Vampires rarely take bondeds, and when they do, it is expected for these chosen humans to be with their masters."

"Expected is not required, Eric."

Tossing the ball for Thor again, Eric explained, "I cannot hide you away every night I hold court, Sookie. Not only will I require your telepathy to read the humans present there at court, but to do so might lead others to think I can't control you in public, that I don't bring you before them to prevent you from acting out. This, too, would make me seem weak. You must come to court."

Sookie took another bite of her green beans as she thought that over. Finally, she offered, "How about I come to court sometimes, and the rest of the time I get to stay behind."

"What do you mean?"

"Like I only come a few times a week, or I only stay long enough to read who you need me to read and then I get to leave. This way I'm not always sitting there like your pet, and I only have to tolerate it at times. I'll behave while I'm there, and everyone will see that I "obey" you, but I won't have to sit up and do tricks for very long which will make me feel better."

Thinking it over, Eric agreed, "This is an acceptable solution. I will only bring you to court a few times a week, unless your gift is required more often than that." As Sookie took another bite, Eric asked, "How do you see our relationship? How do I fit in your life and world?"

Finished with her green beans, Sookie rotated the plate a turn and dug into her mashed potatoes as she thought on how to respond. "That's a difficult question to answer, Eric."

Thor seemed to tire of playing catch and moved to lay down beside Sookie's stool with the ball in his mouth. Sookie stood and reached behind her to get his food dish and set it down. Thor eagerly started to chow down. Eric prodded, "Answer it as best you can."

"Well very little about our relationship is normal. I'm completely out of my element here. You know I'm new to romantic relationships in general, and you know the catastrophe my last one was. I'm not used to being close to people. I've always had to keep myself at a distance. I've become closer to you than I have anybody else. I've told you things I've never told anyone. Not even my Gran knew about my mom and her drinking … and what happened when we were alone. I've never told anyone why I don't like receiving gifts. It's so easy for me to open up to you, and I like that. I've never had anyone I could be like this with, but I don't really know how to define our relationship, because truthfully, it's not really a relationship at all."

"What is that supposed to mean?"

"Eric, in my mind, relationships come about when two people decide to come together. That didn't happen with us. You forced me into this. I'm not saying I'm not coming to really enjoy being with you, and I'm not saying that if things had gone differently I wouldn't be here of my own free will. What I'm saying is, that what we have is indefinable to me. I truly have no idea where I stand with you. I have no idea what is going to happen between us. I have no clue how to describe the connection we have to one another. I actually have very few absolutes concerning what it is we have together."

Watching her take a drink of her tea, Eric pressed, "Then tell me the absolutes you do have."

Sookie began to cut up her steak and explained, "I know I love you. I know that now. I know I trust you to protect me. I know I trust you to do whatever you think you have to in order to keep us alive. I know you're never going to be anything other than a vampire, and a survivor. I know I appreciate you taking my heart and beliefs into account the way you've begun to do. I know you want me for me. I know all of you wants me, even the darkness in you … and I know this isn't going to be easy. Whatever it is we have is really complicated, and I doubt we're going to figure it out anytime soon, and by the time we do we'll both probably have hurt each other a lot—what do you know about us?"

"I know I'm never going to let you go. I know I'll never let anyone take you from me. I know that your happiness means much to me. I know that your life has become as important to me as my own. I told you before, I would never endanger myself for you. That statement is no longer true."

Sookie's eyes flew up to his waiting gaze. She gasped, "What?"

Reaching out to stroke a lock of her hair behind her ear, Eric continued, "My desire for you has grown to a need. I hate that I need you, crave you, feel ravenous about you. I have never needed anyone but Godric, and even he I was able to let go of, but I've accepted it is different with you. I cannot give you up. I cannot give up the way you make me feel. I told you before I would not risk my life for you, but when you were hurt at Ahmose's I gave no thought in coming to you. I didn't know I was immune to sunlight when I rose from his lair. All I knew was that you were hurt, and you were dying. I knew if I didn't get to you, I'd lose you. So I left the safety of the lair to go to you. I believed the light would weaken me. I believed I would be walking into a trap. I believed I would leave the lair to be surrounded by our enemies, that I would be weakened by the sun's rays, and that I could be walking to my final death … and still I went. I went for you, and I would do it again. If there is still strength in my body I will come to you if you need me. Even if it means endangering myself, or risking my final death. I cannot go back to what I was, or to the life I was living, before you became mine. You have become necessary for me."

"Eric, I … I don't know what to say."

Taking her hand and running his thumb over the delicate skin of her wrist where her pulse beat, Eric demanded, "I want you to promise me you won't run. As you have said, neither of us knows what is coming. Neither of us is sure how to define what is between us. All that is certain is that you love me, and I need you. That is what we have. The rest can, and will, come later. So for now I want your word you won't run. You're right, and things are going to become difficult for us. We not only have to figure out what our relationship is, but we have to work our way through this prophecy. At some point, you're going to want out. You're going to become upset with the way I treat you, and you're going to be afraid by everything going on around us. I want your word that you will stick it out. You will not try to run. I would capture you before you got far, but I do not want it to come to that. I want your word now that you will work with me on this."

"Eric, I'm not planning on running. I know you'd catch me."

Holding her gaze, Eric pushed on. "I know about the box Bill left you, Sookie. I know about the money, the passport, the phone, the email address, and the disguise."

Sookie's eyes widened and the air went out of her lungs. She tried to pull her wrist free from his grasp but Eric tightened his grip and continued, "I had Bill under surveillance from the moment he returned. He was smart to mail the letter to you so I wouldn't know he was trying to contact you. However, dropping off a package to Sam was not quite so brilliant. It was not hard to deduce it was meant for you. Pam has a casual lover that is a witch with the capability of performing simple magic. She supplied Pam with a cloaking spell that shielded her scent, and she found the box in Sam's office the following night. She emptied it and now there is only sand inside, but I ordered her to leave the box so I'd know if you went for it."

"Eric, I—"

"I'm not angry, Sookie. I understand why you kept this a secret. You feared for Bill, and just as I would have, you wanted to keep your options open. It is a self preservation instinct, and I will not fault you for that." Stroking his thumb over the delicate point of her pulse on her wrist he pressed on. "But this is no longer about you or me. This is about us. Not because of some prophecy either. This is about your love for me, and my need for you. What we have might be indefinable. It might be hard, complicated, messy, and painful at times … but it is ours. I am ready and determined to fight for it. I want your vow you will fight too. Shut me out. Scream at me. Deny my touch. Do whatever you must to fight me when difficulties arise … but do not run. Do not turn your back on our bond. Do not turn your back on me."

Sookie could do little more than stare into his eyes with utter and profound surprise. Her stool scraped in loud protest as she rose and moved to Eric, grasping his shoulders as she moved to straddle his lap. He wrapped his arms around her waist as she tore his shirt open to bare his chest to her. Tracing her fingers over his Mjolnir before following the path of his new markings, she whispered, "I'll fight for you, Eric. I'll fight for us to be happy. I'll fight for us to be together … but you have to promise to know when to say "peace" when our fights get bad. You have to promise to let me have some of my own victories. I understand you'll win the fights concerning the supernatural world. You've lived in it longer than I, and I'll follow your lead as best I can. But with us? Concerning our private life? It can't always be your way. I want you to promise to see my side of things too when it comes to our relationship."

Digging his hands into her hair to tilt her face up to his, Eric said with a genuine smile, "I promise."

"Then I won't run."

"I'll hold you to this vow, Sookie."

"I know … now kiss me."

"With pleasure."

Dinner needed to be reheated.

Later that night, Eric sat in the underground lair with Sookie. He'd been ravenous with his desire for her, barely leaving her alone long enough to finish her dinner, before bringing her back down here so they could again enjoy each other. And again. And once more. And again. They hadn't left the comfort of the furs for hours, and he only let her rest when she reminded him he'd promised to take her ice skating in the morning. At the moment, she was sleeping, curled up on the bed, her blond hair a riot of curls spilling across her pillow, as he sat by the fire with Godric's journal in his hands. He'd been staring at it for a good hour by this point.

He'd been debating with himself on whether to open it. From the moment Ahmose gave it to him, it had been in the forefront of his mind, calling to him, nudging him, needling him, but he'd been unable to bring himself to open it. However, his time here with Sookie, the closeness they were sharing, was healing the rawness of Godric's loss, and he found he was ready to read what his maker had written. Letting his eyes trail over Sookie's golden form spread across his bed of furs where she slept across the room, he smiled softly before untying the leather cord binding the journal and pulling it open.

My Child, My Eric, My Viking, My All,

As I write these words I know I am writing them for you. It has been two hundred years since you left my side, and I have felt the measured beat of each moment of our separation. I long to summon you back to my side. I long to lose myself in your comforting presence once more, but I know I cannot. Our time together has passed. It is time for you to stand on your own, and walk the world as your own vampire so that you may find your true destiny. As much as I love you, as much as I yearn for your presence at my side, I know I must let you go. I'm afraid that if I call you back to my side, your love and need for me will sway me from my decision, and I cannot allow that. I know, with everything that I am, that you cannot find your true destiny while at my side. And while your presence would lessen my pain, and perhaps give me the strength to stay longer, I cannot stand in the way of you walking your own path. Letting you go is the hardest task I have ever had to face, but I do it for you.

You see, my child, I knew when I made you that you would be my legacy. I knew you would be my true mark upon the world. I knew you would outlive me, and outshine me in every way. The night I turned you, I knew it was the the high arc in my timeline and the start, too, of its descent, and I don't regret it. You are one of the only true achievements I have ever made in my long existence. Your turning, and my letting you go are the only things I feel truly proud of. I had a band placed on my arm the night you rose vampire because I knew you were destined for greatness, and, in my own small way, I had helped you towards that goal by making you my child. My newest band, and what I believe will be my last, I had put on my arm the night I released you from my control, and sent you forth into the world to stand alone as the mighty warrior you were born to be and are. My undead heart soared to know that no matter where you went, or how far apart we were, I would always be a part of you, and therefore a part of the greatness you would achieve. I find myself stroking both bands often, and wondering what great achievements you will accomplish, because I know I will not be there to witness them.

I hurt for you, my Eric. I hurt to know that I will leave you and you will face whatever is coming without me beside you, but I cannot stay. I hid my pain from you as best I could in our final century together. I sent you away and closed off our bond to shield you from the fact my time is coming to an end. I have spent the last two hundred years finding what little comfort I can in my maker's embrace as he tries to hold me to this world. His voice, his touch, the feel of the bond I share with him—they no longer sustain me. Thus, I have sought you out. I follow you even now. You have come to Paris with your new child, and I must admit I am jealous of the time you share with her. I do not begrudge you your connection with her, but I cannot help but envy her place at your side. The sight of you, the sight of your joy in teaching your new child, these are the only things that keep me bound to this world.

I am fighting for you, my child. I am fighting with what little strength there is left in me. I know that while you were ready to leave my side, you are not ready for me to be gone from you entirely. I know you need the feel of our bond inside you. I know you need the comfort of the knowledge I am in the same world as you. I know you still need me … so I am staying. I swear I will stay until I know you are ready for me to go. I vow to hold on with all that I am, so that you will have the time you need to find your own reason to go on, but I cannot stay forever.

It is because of this I write these words to you. I want you to know why I have come to this point in my existence, and I want you to understand. I know you will not agree with my decision, and I know the question of "why" will haunt you. Thus I want you to have your answers. As much as it hurts me to put my pain on paper, as much as it tears at me to face the horrors of my past and the stains on my soul, I shall. You will know why I had to go. You will know why I left you. I will give you everything you need to understand so that you can move beyond my passing. As your maker, I can do no less.

I ask only that you find it within you to forgive me. I ask that you not curse my name. I ask that you not think me a coward, or a traitor for leaving you. I beg of you to remember me with fondness and love. I cannot bear to think you would scorn the memories you have of me. I cannot bear that you will bury our past together, and move on never to think of me again. I am sorry I am not strong enough to stand the test of eternity as you are. I am sorry I cannot stay for you indefinitely. I can only hope that my vow to stay until you are strong enough for me to go will in some small way make up for my departure. Please, my child, my Eric, my love, do not hate me. I—

Eric slammed the journal closed, gripping it tightly. Pain seared his body, enveloping him in a spiral of doubt and anguish that howled and clawed at him. In his mind, he was scrambling for purchase, a yawning abyss of black below him. Bloody tears ran down his cheeks, filming his eyes, as he stared hard at the inscription: Fader, Broder, Son.

'How could he think I would hate him? How could he believe I would scorn the memory of him in any way? Did he not know me at all? Did he not know he was everything to me?'

Across the room on the bed, Sookie's eyes fluttered open as a deep, incessant ache built in her chest. She couldn't breathe. Her heart was on fire. Hot tears slipped down her cheeks. A beat later, she realized the pain wasn't hers, the emotions weren't hers … they were Eric's. Sitting up on the bed, her eyes were drawn to the fireplace where Eric was sitting naked with Godric's journal clenched in his clawed hands. Realizing he had evidently read something that disturbed him greatly, she wondered what she should do. Eric was hurting. Eric who had never left her alone when she was hurting. In New Orleans he had held her, and sung to her, and told her stories. She would not abandon him to his grief now.

Not even thinking to cover herself, she rose from their bed and made her way softly to his side. She knew he both heard and sensed her presence, but he never took his eyes from the journal as he continued to stare down at it with bloody tears dripping off his nose and chin. She ached at his pain. She ached for his pain. There were no words to comfort him. Eric's maker was gone, and the words Godric had left him were breaking her Viking's heart. And just as he had waited for her to be ready to speak in that long ago hotel room, so would she wait for him.

Reaching down she took the journal from his hands, relieved he offered no resistance, and set it on top of the nearest wooden chest. With the smallest of gestures, she reached for his hands and pulled him up. He followed behind her quietly as she led him back to their bed, and she was relieved to see Thor was still sound asleep on his own mini bed of furs Eric had supplied him. She didn't want any interruptions while she brought Eric back from the dark place he was in. She slid into bed and tugged on his hand so he would follow her. When he was lying on his back, she moved to lie atop him and licked his tears away. Cupping his face tenderly, she kissed both of his eyelids when he closed them for her, stroking his strong sculpted face and running her fingers lightly over his mouth. She set her head over his heart and began stroking his chest with a feather light caress as they lay together in silence. She felt his arms come around her back and shoulders to hold her to him, but there was no other response. The only sound her soft breath and beating heart, moments becoming minutes, time spinning out uncertainly, ineluctably.

Beneath her, Eric was a maelstrom of torment. Godric's words goaded and stabbed at him out of his head. Sookie's soothing touch and presence were lessening his pain, but the words his Maker had left hurt him deeply. Very deeply. Not only had Godric intimated that if Eric had returned to him he'd probably still be here, but his maker had also expressed doubt in their connection by asking Eric not to hate him. Eric's thoughts were maddeningly accusatory, corrosive in their guilt.

'How could he ever think I could hate him? Am I angry with him? Do I despise his choice? Yes. Hate him? Never! We were beyond hate! We were beyond doubt! How … I just don't understand. And why would he stay away if he knew my presence would give him the strength to continue? I could have found Sookie just as easily with Godric by my side as I have now. She would still be mine, I would just have him as well! We should not have parted. He should not have stayed away! I do not understand his choices. He should have called me to him, or revealed himself to me if he knew I could relieve his pain!'

Her soft stroking was comforting. The feel of her naked body against his was assuring. He tightened his arms around Sookie and said after a while, "He asked me not to hate him for going. How could he think I could ever hate him?"

Kissing his Mjolnir, Sookie kept her head over his chest and continued to stroke. "Fear can blaze a path for bad decisions. Godric only feared one thing … hurting you. You were Godric's world. You were so important to him that you were his only fear. He wasn't strong like you, Eric. The thought you might hate him terrified him. He wasn't doubting you, he was doubting himself."

"It is the same thing."

"No, Eric, it's not. Godric was beyond help in the end. He had bottomed out of a long existence, he felt his years and could no longer justify his existence. All that was left was his doubts. You were his world, and he was terrified that you would forget that fact when he was gone. In the end you were his only thought, his only concern. That means something, Eric."

Eric's voice was acid with bitterness, "Obviously I didn't mean enough because he chose to leave me! He abandoned me, and our bond! He left me alone!"

Sookie pressed her face into his neck as she whispered, "He left you to me, Eric. I think Godric knew we were destiny. He left me to care for you."

"What do you mean? How do you know this?"

Rising off him, Sookie sat up. She took his hand and pressed it to her lips, then held it as she said, "We have never spoken about what happened on that roof. I never felt it was my place to bring it up before now, but Godric spoke to me up there."

Staring into her eyes, Eric demanded, "What did he say?"

"He asked me if there was a God, and how harshly he would be judged."

He glowered. "And what did you say? Did you tell him he would burn in hell for all the people he had killed? Did you tell him he would be judged? Do your Christian ideals demand he spend eternity in torment for being what he was?"

Sookie winced. She knew that Eric was hurting and that was why he was striking out at her. She could feel his pain molten and thick in her chest, and all she wanted was to soothe him. "No. I told him God doesn't judge. God forgives. I don't care what Godric was, and neither does God. Where we've been is not as important as where we are, and where we're going. Who Godric was in the past made him the man he was on that roof, and the man on that roof will know only peace. I believe in all consuming love in my God. I believe he does not judge us by our faults, but by our strengths. Godric was more than a man, more than a vampire. He was more than some title or description. Godric was Godric. No more, no less. I don't know everything, Eric, in fact I'm coming to understand I don't know much, but I do know that wherever Godric is, he's at peace. He's at peace, and he's watching us with joy in his heart."

Another tear slipped down his cheek. There was a wavering ray of hope in his voice as Eric begged, "You believe this? You believe without a shadow of doubt that he is happy where he is? You believe he's beyond pain now? You believe … you really believe he is at peace?"

"Oh, Eric, yes! Yes, I believe he is safe, and happy, and warm, and at peace. I know it. I swear."

He reached for her, drawing her back down into his tight embrace. His arms rolled her beneath him and he buried his face into her silken hair as his pain poured out of him by way of bloody tears. His eyes burned. He couldn't hold it in. He was a warrior a thousand times over. He'd suffered wounds others would have succumbed to. He'd known pain few could imagine … none of it compared to this. "It … it hurts me, Sookie. I hurt."

Tears pouring down her own cheeks, Sookie sobbed, "I know, Eric … I know, my Viking. I wish I could take it from you. I wish I could heal this hurt inside of you, but I can't. I can't make this go away. This is something you have to work through."

"I want him here with us. I want him standing behind us to help guide us through what is coming. I want you to know him as I do. I want him back!"

She drew her legs up around his waist to grip him as tightly as her arms gripped his broad shoulders. "He's inside you, Eric. You'll never be without him. He's all around us. He's in your memories. He's in the rush of the wind, and the tall shade of trees, and the whisper of a rain. He's all things now. He's everywhere. His love, his protection, his strength. He lives in you as you live in me. You will never be without him, and through you, I will know him. His greatness shines in you."

"He left me, Sookie."

Stroking a hand through his thick hair, Sookie replied, "He left you to me. Up on that roof, he asked me to care for you. He asked me to look after you, and I told him I would as much as I could. I think he knew, Eric. I think, deep down, he knew we were destined. I can't pretend to know why Godric chose to do what he did, but I think he knew you would be ok. I think he knew we would find each other, and that I would love you. He left you to me, Eric. He didn't abandon you to walk the world alone. He left you to me to love … and I will. I'll love you with all that I am."

Eric was silent a moment. He hesitated before meeting her gaze, his eyes urgent and dark. "He wrote that he wouldn't go until he knew I'd found a reason to go on without him, until he knew I had what I needed to let him go."

"And do you? Am I enough for you Eric? Is my love enough to heal your heart?"

He didn't even need to think. "Yes … heal me, Sookie, take away my hurt."

"Oh, Eric. Love." Sookie pushed against his shoulders so he would understand to roll onto his back so she could straddle him. She bent down to cup his face and kiss his mouth long and hard, a prelude, a promise. She poured her love into her embrace, and did her best to pull the pain from inside him with her touch. Pulling back from his lips she whispered, "I'm going to make love to you. You will know you are loved above all things. Tonight, here, now, I will be your world as you will be mine."

"Sookie …"

She sat atop his lap, her delicate nether lips pressing against his hardness. She traced her fingers gently around his eyes and along his brow as she gazed into the cerulean pools of his gaze. "Eric. I love your eyes. A hundred lifetimes are reflected there. Knowledge, wisdom, strength, loyalty, I can see them all in your eyes. When you're eyes are on me, I'm not crazy Sookie anymore. I'm Sookie, Eric Northman's chosen and bonded. Your eyes shine with who you are, where you've been, and where you're going. Your eyes shine for me."

He could only gaze at her. He couldn't speak. He didn't want to speak. He wanted her to take care of him in this moment. Their moment. A moment like he had never known. He wanted her to kiss him, and stroke him, and soothe away his pain. He wanted to lose himself in her so that she was all he knew. 'My Sookie,' he thought with unbridled wonder.

"I love your face, Eric. Strong, noble. The word beautiful doesn't do your face justice. I get a physical reaction just looking at you."

He groaned softly and the grip on her hips tightened.

"I love your mouth. I love your full lips, I love the words that spill from your mouth when we're locked together in bed. The word 'erotic' in a dictionary should have a photo next to it of your mouth. No one has ever kissed me like you have. No one has teased and tormented and brought me to the frenzy you have. No one has ever talked to me like you have or argued—"

She laughed at his brow furrowing. "Good arguing, Eric. Teaching me, guiding me, including me." She stopped to gauge his reaction. He smile was almost a grin. Inwardly, she pumped a fist in victory.

"Your shoulders that I love to wrap my arms around, your shoulders that carry the weight of the world. I love them too. I love the strength of them, the breadth of them," and she lowered her head to kiss a trail of butterfly kisses across them and up his throat, up over his chin and taking his parted lips, pulling one into her warm mouth and sucking. His cock jerked.

She pulled away to set her hands on his shoulders and trailed them languorously down his muscular arms. "I love your arms. I love the way they feel around me. When you hold me, the world goes away. When I'm in your arms, it's just you and me. Your arms make me feel safe and protected."

He shuddered at the feel of her fingers tracing the contours of his muscles. "You belong in my arms. You should never leave them."

"I don't want to." She leaned down to kiss each bicep before sitting back up and taking his hands in hers. "I love your hands. When you touch me with them, I come alive. When your hands are on me, my blood runs hot for you. These hands have raised your sword time and again to conquer armies, and monsters, and nations. These hands are capable of destruction unlike any other … but for me? These hands give protection, safety, passion, pleasure, and joy. With these hands you could tear me apart, and yet they are so gentle with me. These hands have shown me pain, too, but always tempered. I feel loved in your hands."

"I will never break you. I will never use these hands to destroy you."

"I know."

She took both hands to her lips and kissed each finger slowly, her warm mouth sliding from the nail to the knuckle, lightly sucking and nibbling each joint. She set them back on her hips so she could access his chest. Pressing her breasts against him, she moved them slowly across his chest, her nipples teasing his own. They both sighed. She could feel the pulsing in his cock now straining heavily against her. His hands clutched her tighter. She kissed his Mjolnir. "I love your chest. It's so broad and hard. When I put my head against your chest, I am pillowed and protected. I love the broad wall of muscles that taper to your narrow waistline. I love the expanse of your chest, and the symbols of our bond adorning it. They adorn you. When I'm under you, when you're inside me, every time we join, I see these marks that make you mine, and my heart swells. Your chest is proof we are destiny."

Tracing his fingers now over her hips and sides where her own marks resided, Eric's voice was husky with lust, "These prove that as well. Your body proclaims you as mine. Your own marks bind you to me."

"My love binds me to you … these marks are merely repetition in my eyes." Swirling her fingers around his tattoos she continued, "But these? These say that despite your vow to never love me, you're still mine. No one else can claim you. No one else is free to love you. Your heart, beating or not, your affection, your loyalty, your history, your dreams, your wants—they are all mine."

Gripping one of her hips, his hand slid up her abdomen and over her breast to settle over her faery star atop her heart, Eric avowed, "All I am, all I have is yours for the taking, Sookie. Just as I've taken you."

"I accept. Both the good and the bad. It might take me some time to understand all of you, Eric, but if you're patient with me, if you give me the time and space to learn about you, I will take everything you give me."

"I promise."

Smiling, Sookie grinded herself down on top of his arousal now and continued, "I love this part of you as well, my Viking."

Smirking softly, Eric teased, "Really? I hadn't noticed."

Sookie heard the warm confident timber in his voice again and was pleased that his tears had stopped. The feel of his pain in her heart was ebbing, to be replaced with want and need for her. She was healing him, and she wouldn't stop until the wound of Godric's loss was stitched closed. Setting her hands on his abdomen for leverage she rose up above him and shifted so the head of his erection pressed against her slick opening. Lowering herself atop him slowly they both groaned as his thick shaft slid up into her in one long stroke. "Oh, Eric, I love having you inside me."

His hands reached for her pert nipples and traced lazy circles against them with his thumbs. "Why? Why do you love having me inside you, my Sookie?"

"Because it's right. It's where you belong."

He clever fingers cupped and nudged, squeezed and stroked pleasure along her nerve endings.

"My Sookie," he moaned, teeth clenched.

"We belong together, Eric."

Pumping him slowly up and down inside her, Sookie continued, "Feel yourself inside me. Feel how perfect our connection is."

Eric couldn't help but bask in the sheer beauty of her. He watched the rise and fall of her gorgeous breasts as she pistoned up and down on his cock. The silky feel of her snug walls gripping him drove him wild. He rolled his hips beneath her as he helped her ride him. Gazing up at her, he saw her golden curls fall down around her shoulders in silky waves as she stared down at him with those dark, soft, trusting eyes that reflected her soul. He knew it was going to be ok. As long as he had this woman, he could overcome anything. He could fight any battle, win any war, defeat any foe, as long as he had her standing behind him waiting for him to make the world safe for her. "My Sookie."

Setting her hand over his Mjolnir, Sookie whispered, "My Eric … my Viking … my Vampire … feel me, Eric, feel yourself inside of me … know that I love you."

His hand began again to stroke her star, and as her fingers connected with his Mjolnir, the power inside them both rose up. Sookie's body began to glow and the glow reached out for him to encircle and bind both their forms. The hum came alive inward and upward out of them and they both could feel every part of the other. As Sookie intensified her strokes with all the love in her heart, as she reached for his soul to take away his pain, the bed floated off the floor and the same sparkling lights that had surrounded them their first night came alive in the cave. They swirled in a dancing glory of brightness. Around and around they spun as the bed hovered in the air with the two lovers staring only at each other.

Sookie never looked away from Eric as her soul and power reached and twined with his. She could feel him. All of him. His soul was broken, shards on the floor of his consciousness. She knew what she had to do. She didn't know how she knew, and she didn't know why she knew, she just knew that she had to fill him. The life inside her, the overabundance of love and warmth, flowed into him. Her power pushed against his own and filled in the ache and tears, filled in what was broken and shattered, laving him with her love and power to wrap around his darkness as she bucked and he thrusted up his hips to meet hers. As she took him inside her again and again, faster, harder, as her womanhood clenched at his rigid arousal, her power enveloped his, took it inside her, made it hers, made it whole. She completed him.

Eric felt it. Each injury, each mark, each scar on his soul sharp and deadly, as he'd never felt it before, the losses, and tragedies he'd pushed to the back of his mind, rose up within him on a tangible and emotional wave he had never before experienced. Before he had a chance to feel the pain of his tortured soul, he felt Sookie's love, her power, slam into him. The darkness inside of him was surrounded by her and he actually gasped beneath her and arched off the bed as a ripple of energy, magic, and power unlike any other tore through him. It was hot. It was frenzied. It was ravenous and compelling. His body flashed brightly and he cried out, "Sookie! What are you doing?"

Her head fell back as she continued to ride him. She could feel her power reaching for him. She didn't know how she was able to call on this newly awakened source of energy inside herself, but she didn't question it. All she knew was that what was happening between them, was destined to happen. Her hand pressed tight and flat atop his Mjolnir, while her other moved atop his over her own heart. "I'm healing you … trust me, Eric … feel me, my gyllene krigare."

He could feel himself changing! He could feel not only the power inside him come alive, but something more. His eyes widened in shock and awe as his heart thumped for the first time in a thousand years. It was only once, but the sound of it, the feel of it, reverberated through his body. The steady hum between them grew brighter and stronger, and he was lost. He was lost to the feel of himself inside her as she rode him, he was lost to the feel of her hand on his mark, he was lost to her! "SOOKIE!"

She felt every bit as consumed as he did. The fire inside her, the desire for him, the need to make his pain go away, the intensity of her love, all of it erupted inside her along with his own loss of control. "ERIC!"

They came together, screaming in a thunderous accord. It wasn't about pleasure. It wasn't about mating. It wasn't even about making love … it was about them! They were one! Both their bodies exploded in a wall of blue flame as the power and energy rolled off them in rippling waves. They bucked and rolled together while their hands remained pressed firmly atop one another as they convulsed with the aftershocks of their joining. Her soul melded to his and fused itself inside the gaping holes he carried from living in darkness for a thousand years. Her love healed him. Their powers entwined. There was no one without the other. There was no beginning or end. There was only … them!

The dancing lights around them rushed up into the flame their bodies created. The black marks created from their first joining began to hum and throb atop their skin with every beat of Sookie's heart, and as she collapsed forward atop Eric's chest, as the bed floated back to the ground, the lights traveled through the flame of their power, combined to rush into the Chosen One's body … it was time!

As the bed landed on the ground in its original place, and the blue fire of their powers receded back into their separate bodies, Sookie gasped, "What the hell was that?"

Equally as mystified, Eric could only bury his hands in Sookie's hair to lift her head so he could look in her eyes. "I have no idea, but I'm guessing we'll find out soon enough. For now? For now, all I can say is you are free to make love to me any time, lover. Apparently, it is an experience unlike any other."

Leaning up to lick away the remainders of his previous tears, Sookie replied, "I'm going to go with that that was me claiming you. Obviously I'm better at claiming than you. Much better. They should write songs about me."

Eric laughed easily as he rolled Sookie beneath him without dislodging his hard length from inside her. The pain Godric's words had brought him had abated. All he felt in this moment was joy in his connection with the tiny human woman beneath him. She had kept her word. She had healed something inside of him, and he knew that he was changed. Fundamentally, and irrevocably changed … and he didn't care. Sookie was here with him, she had bound them even closer together with whatever it was she'd just done. In his mind there was no downside to that.

Nuzzling her cheek he teased, "Songs eh? You want songs about you? I could write ballads about this marvelous body of yours. I think the first stanza should be dedicated to your glorious breasts. How should it start? 'Magnificent peaks of bountiful pleasure! How do I love thee? Let me count the ways!' How's that for an opening line?"

Giggling madly, Sookie bucked her hips impatiently and grinned, "I think you're better off showing your appreciation through action. You're a terrible songwriter!"

"Sookie! You wound me! My delicate male ego cannot take this abuse!"

Nipping his shoulder as he began to surge into her, once, twice, three times, her heart pounded against her ribcage wildly as she strained and squirmed against him. Her hunger coiled in tight, aching spirals. She panted, "Delicate my ass! Now, how about you get to some claiming of your own, Viking? I just put all your previous performances to shame. I think you need to step it up a notch. Don't want me getting bored now, do you?"

Growling, Eric lifted Sookie's ass beneath him to give him a better penetration. Thrusting into her in long, ramming strokes, she wrapped her arms around his back pinning her to him. Eric hissed, "I'll show you how a Viking claims his woman! You will have no complaints!"

"Bring it on!"


  1. "Well at least he took her to try snowboarding. Was wondering if he'd let her out at all. Jeez he likes to avoid her questions. LOL Glad she is making him uncomfortable. Seems he is being honest with her. He is soooo in denial. He has a long way to go. She is right. It really isnt a relationship at this point, but I liked his speech about the endangerment he would now face. Should have known he'd know about the box. Wonder if he'll keep his side of that promise. I see precursors to the problems he will start when they return. The godric piece is good so far. Wow he is really being vulnerable. Wow the magic thing was surprising. Healed him huh?

  2. their getting there, sooner or later he will understand...... until then my best Kristie

    1-"Shaking his head, he rose swiftly to his feet and followed after her after grabbing one of Thor's balls and rope toys from" taking a liberty here "followed after her but first grabbing one"
    2-"You love is as bright and warm as the sun, and it pleases me to bask in it" missing the R "Your love"
    3-"Even if means endangering myself, or risking my final death." missing it " even if it means"