"Fuck, Sookie! … you make me burn, my älskade!"
"Oh! My GOD. Eric! Oh, YES … Right there!"
Eric's hips were a blur of movement as he pounded Sookie into the bed of furs. The cave was filled with the sounds of their hard and fast sex: the moans, the soft cries, the rhythmic slap of their hips, the slick sound of him thrusting into her welcoming heat. His hands pinned her wrists to the bed above her head while her legs clutched frantically at his waist, sensations so extreme as she held onto him, her body quivering convulsively, her heart feeling like it was going into shockwaves.
Sookie moaned beneath her Viking, biting at his shoulders and chest, her fingers jerking and nails digging into the hands that held her captive, while he groaned and growled atop her. Both their bodies were humming with energy as the black marks of their joining thrummed with power. Eric's eyes were glowing down at Sookie as her body shimmered under his. Their powers ebbed and flowed between them increasing their pleasure tenfold with the relentless rhythm of Eric's cock lunging in and out, in and out of her. Their carnal joining was beyond imagining. There were no words to describe the levels of connection or intimacy they achieved when they joined. They were primal, they were wild, they were one … and they gloried in every moment of it!
"Sookie, look at me!" he said and waited until her blue eyes met his own. "Tell me, Sookie. Mine! Say it!"
"Yours! I'm yours, yes, Eric!"
"Forever! Swear it!"
"Forever, my Viking!"
Eric snarled in possessive lust as Sookie angled her hips beneath him to pull him deeper as he plunged into her wet velvet. She was so hot. His mouth crashed over hers, his tongue mapping her mouth like some cartographer. The feel of her so silky smooth, her breasts sleek with sweat, her nipples rubbing against his chest; he was mad, crazed, close to sensory overload. Her body took everything he gave her, took it and made it hers. Burning him, branding him, claiming him every bit as he claimed her. In all his long years, he'd never felt anything remotely close to the pleasure he found inside his Sookie. The feelings she evoked in him went beyond pleasure. She was his Valhalla embodied … and he was never going to let her go!
His movements were frenzied and rough, but Sookie only cried out for more. She could feel that flame of need rising, twisting, raging to life deep inside her, volcanic in her core. She craved it! She wanted to lose herself in it! She wanted it to roll over them both and consume them! Tendrils of bliss twined and pulsed along her spine, reaching for her, sparking beneath her as her eyes rolled back in her head, her body arching beneath her beloved Viking's. "Eric! I'm so close! God. Eric. More!"
He gave her everything, pleasure licking higher and higher. His cock throbbed in agony, his balls tightening, desperately signaling his own desperate need his release. He rode her with everything he had, but refused to let himself cum. He would never allow himself release until she had climaxed first. With all of the other women he'd ever been with, he'd never concerned himself with their pleasure. They enjoyed him fucking them but their pleasure had been theirs to grab, his intent only to take, but Sookie was different. He worshipped her body with his own. Her orgasms were his salvation when he was inside her. Her cries of ecstasy were his heavenly rewards, and he would not be denied them! His voice cracked with the hot dryness in his throat. "Cum for me, my Sookie! Cum around my cock!"
So close. She was so close …
He ground his hips side to side watching her, his eyes snared her gaze. He lowered his mouth to capture hers again and moaned, a tortured wracking sob.
She exploded, gasping, crying, writhing wildly beneath him, as her body convulsed, held captive by his hands at her wrists and his larger form pinning her to the bed. "ERIC!"
Eric's fangs popped out as he felt her sheath milk him, squeeze him tightly inside her. Her womanhood spasmed around his engorged arousal and clenched around him as he continued to claim her body as his. Her body glistened with her inner power and gleamed bright beneath him with her euphoria. He could feel her pleasure as his own through the bond, fire ripping through his loins. Throwing himself atop her to bury his fangs into her neck. His orgasm came ruthlessly, rushing through his balls, shooting through his cock as he shot stream after agonizing stream deep inside her.
The feel of Eric's fangs piercing her flesh, the feel of his mouth against her neck, his need only intensified her ecstasy and she cried out again the moment he bit into her, another deep tremor of pleasure rippling through her. As he fed, he released her wrists to wrap his arms tightly under her back, her hands came down to fist in his hair and stroke his head, his neck, to clutch his shoulders to her. Her legs had turned to liquid bone and they slid from around his waist to helplessly yawn open to him. She felt his cock thick and buried deep inside her and knew he would claim her again and there was nothing she would not do for him, nothing she would not give him now. Her arms drifted down the broad expanse of his back, stroking the hard plains of his muscles.
"Oh, Eric … oh God, that was incredible."
It always was. Every time they came together, it was as though it was the first time. Exploring new worlds, making new discoveries, charting the unknown. They literally couldn't get enough of each other, and Sookie was beginning to think they were forming a wild sexual addiction to one another. She couldn't keep her hands of him, and he damn sure couldn't keep his hands off her. Just this morning, she'd barely taken her last bite of oatmeal when he bent her over the island counter, pulled her robe up around her waist, and thrust into her. His only comment had been he'd patiently waited the fifteen minutes it took her to make and eat her food, and she should consider herself lucky he gave her that. She'd been too caught up in the feel of him inside her to argue.
Though, it wasn't all fucking for them. They made love just as much, and it wasn't always her idea, that's what really touched Sookie; Eric was not shy about asking her to make love to him, nor was he hesitant at all to make love to her. It brought her to tears how gentle he could be with her. Every time he took hold of her body with tender hands, and stroked her as though she was the finest silk, she came apart in his arms.
She remembered one night after they'd finished playing Go. He'd won, of course, and afterwards he had spread her body out on the bear skin rug before the fire, and spent hours giving her pleasure with only his mouth and hands. He refused to let her reciprocate, and he refused to take her. He simply kissed and licked every inch of her trembling body as he caressed and sucked her to release over and over. By the time he let her touch him in return she was nearly delirious from the pleasure.
She couldn't even count the number of times he had spent rocking slowly into her with achingly slow strokes as he whispered softly into her ear. He'd tell her all the things he enjoyed about her, all the things he considered special about her, all the ways she captured his attention. He'd tell her how beautiful and perfect she was. He'd promise her the world, telling her all the places he was going to take her, and the things he wanted to teach her. Moments provoking feelings so intense she couldn't help but cry, and he would lick her tears, his eyes luminous and vulnerable, and she wanted to fall into them and get lost in him forever. It was these moments that assured her that they could make it through whatever was coming. They were going to fight and bicker when they were forced to return to the real world, but these quiet moments between them, when he was just her Eric and she his Sookie, gave her hope that, despite the battles they had coming, in the end they'd still have each other.
Feeling the tremors of her orgasm ebb, Sookie clutched at her vampire and whispered, "I love you, Eric."
Eric shuddered against her in response. He withdrew his fangs and laved his tongue over her wounds to heal them. His long arm reached for the knife atop the chest by the bed and he slashed at his throat. "Drink, my Sookie. Take me into you, as I take you into me."
She didn't need to be told twice. There, in the darkness of the cave, as the firelight lit their bodies while the glow of their combined powers faded, with his cock still deep within her and his body sheltering hers beneath his, she drank his centuries old blood. She drank deeply of his essence that he had only shared so freely with his maker and his child. Her arms wrapped tightly around his body as her lips moved sensually against his throat, pulling, sucking, licking and he purred in satisfaction.
Sookie loved drinking from Eric. The more of his blood she took into her body, the more she could taste every part of him. When his blood flowed into her she could taste the raw power of him, the strength of his heart and spirit, the wildness of him, and all of it called to her. When they were lying here like this, joined in the most intimate of ways, when each of them was the other's world, she felt like absolutely everything was perfect. When she'd taken enough from him, she licked at his neck and marveled as the cut healed itself as she watched.
"I love the way you taste."
"You taste better."
Sookie whimpered as Eric pulled out of her, already missing the feel of him. He chuckled with arrogant satisfaction, shifting their bodies so they were lying on their sides with her back to his chest. He lifted her leg and slid into the slippery folds of her sex again, both of them moaning "God!" in more or less unison and then laughing. He kissed her head, she squeezed his hand. He began to rock in and out of her very slowly, almost absentmindedly, intent more on keeping the connection than building a fire for the moment. His tongue swiped at her ear and she sighed, rolling her head lazily against his mouth. She loved how he curled his massive form around her smaller one. It made her feel so safe and sheltered. She loved this. She loved him. She thought of the long road they'd traveled to get to this moment and sighed. This was good. This was right. His fingers entwined with hers where they lay atop the flatness of her stomach while his muscular arm served as her pillow.
Looking at the smooth planes of her stomach, he asked, "Are you still going to plump up for me?"
"I can't do it in a few days, Eric, but yes, I'll put some weight on if it will make you so happy … and to get my chair back."
"You'll have your chair when I have the bump I want to see on your stomach, and when I can no longer see your ribs. I want you soft and supple. Your body is beautiful now, but then it will be gorgeous."
Leaning over her shoulder she kissed his cheek as he continued to rock into her slowly, and remarked, "I still say you could do wonders for the self esteem of women in America if you did a little public announcement about how you don't want us as thin as we've been raised to believe we should be."
Enjoying the soft feel of her around him as he pumped into her with slow tenderness, Eric replied, "Your esteem is all I care about."
Looking down at their fingers knit together atop her stomach, she smiled at the differences in their textures and sizes. "Eric, do you think it will always be like this?"
Knowing exactly what she was asking, Eric answered, "Yes. What we have is true. It will not fade with time." He rocked inside her gently to punctuate his words.
"I hope it doesn't."
"I know it will not." Nuzzling her neck, he promised, "We're forever, Sookie. This is forever," and he flexed their hands to her body in emphasis. "Look deep inside yourself and you'll know it too."
"Promise me when we go home it will be like this."
"There will be difficult times for us, Sookie, you know this. However, I promise the tenderness we share now will not be lost." There was a moment of silence between them with only the susurration of the contact of their flesh, before Eric leaned down to kiss Sookie's shoulder as he asked, "What are you thinking about?"
Laughing softly, she replied, "I'm thinking how it's a really good thing Tara doesn't live with me anymore. Neither of us is very quiet and I'd die of embarrassment hearing her thoughts about some of the sounds we make."
He couldn't help but chuckle as well. "I'm glad she's gone as well. Probably for different reasons."
"Oh? And what would those reasons be?"
"She was a nuisance, and I doubt you'd agree to having sex in front of her."
"Of course not! But even if she did live with me it's not like she'd be in the bedroom with us."
Growling, he thrust seductively, giving Sookie another convulsive whimper. Eric purred, "That's not what I meant."
Looking back at him over her shoulder, Sookie asked, "What did you mean?"
"This should explain it." Eric used his new telekinesis to open one of the chests across the room where his clothing was stored. Inside was a list he'd been working on. He willed it through the air to land in Sookie's now outstretched hand.
His cock shuttled lazily inside her, teasing with slow, deep surging. Sookie took the piece of paper into both of her hands and felt her vagina clench as she read the title. Her eyes widened as she skimmed over the dozens upon dozens of places Eric had listed that he wanted to have sex with her around her home, his bar, his home, and a few public places they'd visited together since first making their deal all those months ago. She didn't need to read anymore. Reddening furiously, Sookie craned back against Eric and gasped, "You've got to be kidding me! You actually made a list of where you want to have sex?"
"I believe in being thorough," he laughed, another deep thrust into her causing them both to groan. Things were definitely heating up.
"You listed eight places in my bedroom alone!"
"Adequate coverage of the scent of our mating is needed."
"What about the roof? The roof, Eric! We are not having sex on the roof! Especially four different spots up there!"
Thrusting into her again to draw her attention down to her womanhood, hoping to decrease her ire, he purred, "Oh, yes we are. The four points I've selected go back to what I was saying about adequate coverage."
"Eric, we are not—"
"You needn't worry. I'll spread all of this out over a few days. However, after that, I'll be sure to claim you in at least five of these places each night so that the scent of our mating remains fresh. Scents like that remain detectable for about a week, so rotating each night will ensure that any supernatural that comes near your home or Fangtasia will immediately have the olfactory proof of our joining. There will be no doubt in anyone's mind that I take great joy in your body."
"Absolutely not! We are not having sex at Fangtasia! Certainly not on your throne, at four points on the bar, on every table, and against every wall!" His hand came up to encircle one of her breasts, smoothing up and against her nipple, teasing it with gentle flicks. Her head fell back against him as he caressed and pulled on her hard peaks, glittering sensation racing down her spine.
"Most definitely, and we are having sex at Fangtasia. I will have you in my office almost every night we're together there. As for the locations in the rest of the bar? I will concede to only claiming you in those places on Sunday and Monday so that the bar is closed, so you'll have your beloved privacy, but you're just going to have to accept the fact we'll be having sex in my office every night we are at Fangtasia."
Eric continued to stoke her fire, softly biting her neck, feeling her pulse race under his mouth, his hand tweaking and rubbing her sensitive nipples between his fingers.
"Eric, no! People will know! The vampires there will hear us! And with how loud we get? The humans might too!" she protested, but she was surrendering to his seduction even now, her arousal tightening and deepening.
She felt his smile against her shoulder as he ran a tongue against her collarbone. "Sookie, that's pretty much the whole point. I'd love to fuck you in front of entire crowds so they can see how hard I make you cum, and how much you please me. You won't allow this, so having you in my office is my compromise."
"Eric, you are so wicked. I'm not—"
He leaned forward to kiss her over her shoulder. His tongue delved deep into her mouth to seek out her own as he suckled it. Heat bolted into her vagina and she moaned loudly. Through their bond, they shared the capitulation to their lust. He shifted their bodies again, placing her warm body under his as he settled again between her thighs. She wrapped her fingers around his cock and guided him to her portal where he sank home. He supported his weight with one arm while the other moved over her form to trace her supple curves as he kissed the will to argue right out of her.
He drew back, whispering heatedly, "I love the feel of you against me. I love the feel of being inside you."
"You can't always distract me, you know. We're not done talking about this."
"Oh but I think we are, lover," he chuckled, and began to stroke in the tight, insistent rhythm he knew she craved.
Their climax had been fierce, and now, laying pleasured in each other's arms, Eric could feel Sookie's exhaustion and teased her with gentle kisses across her face, across her closed eyes, the bridge of her nose and then against each lip. Sookie sighed, returning his kiss softly, slowly, mutedly. Kissing her brow, Eric murmured, "Sleep, my Sookie. Unless of course you're ready for another round?"
Rolling her eyes at his one track mind, Sookie's lips quirked up into a helpless grin. He chuckled as she playfully hit his chest. She kissed his Mjolnir before laying her head atop his chest, and yawned heavily. "No you don't. We only have two days left before we're going home and I intend to spend as much of it snowboarding as possible. You've kept me up long enough. Goodnight, Viking."
"Good night, my älskade."
Eric stroked his hand lazily up and down Sookie's back as she fell asleep pressed against him. He could never bring himself to die before she found slumber. He had come to enjoy hearing the slowing of her heart, watching the rise and fall of her breasts, and feeling the gentle whisper of her breath against his cool skin far too much. He spent a good deal of time gazing down at her. She was so lovely, so delicate, so much more than any other woman. He admired her strength, her depth, her fire. He desired her ravenously, his perfect lover. Her softness, her body that now gave itself rapturously and completely to him. Sometimes, he was truly amazed that she was actually his, that she would be his for eternity, that she loved him. It was almost too much to conceive sometimes. When she was deeply asleep atop him, he kissed the top of her head, and whispered, "Until tomorrow, my Sookie."
- - -
- - -
- - -
The sound of crashing waves filled her ears. Sookie stood atop a cliff in the dim grey morning light as the sun rose on the horizon, a thin thread of pale chiffon pushing against the blue grey of a receding night. She watched its muted rays fill the expanse of the ocean, turning golden and bright by the moment and she was at once awed and stirred by the panorama. She felt the sea breeze in her hair, the coolness of the morning dew, the dampness of the ground on her bare feet.
Looking down at herself, she gasped to find herself wearing a breathtaking white gown. It had a v-neck and was embroidered with tiny white seed pearls with a wide sweeping skirt and long bell sleeves. A matching cape caught the ocean breeze and swirled around her. She didn't know where she was, but this was truly a magnificent vista. She felt no fear. The salty sea air filled her lungs as she breathed deeply, and the morning's rays warmed her form."Welcome, Chosen One."Turning around quickly, Sookie's eyes widened. She knew him at once.
She whispered, "Odin."
The great and mighty Norse warrior god king came forward to stand beside Sookie atop the cliff. A raven perched contentedly on his broad shoulder while another flew so closely overhead she could make out the distinction in its feathers which were blue in the sun. Odin wore a grey hooded cloak trimmed in white fur. Beneath it, Sookie could see an elaborate metal ('Gold?' she wondered) breastplate covering a simple tunic. His white leggings disappeared inside worn leather boots. His enormous white beard was ragged but full. Sookie noted he wore an eye patch and remembered reading that the Norse god had traded an eye for a drink from the seer, Mimir's, magic well of knowledge. They stood side by side as they looked out over the sea.
"I'm glad you know me. I'm glad you have such love for my people, and our ways. This pleases me as much as it pleases your Eric."
"This is another one of those vision dreams isn't it?"
Looking up and down Odin's majestic visage, Sookie asked, "How can you be here like this? Isis told me that none of you could appear before me as you were."
He tenderly reached out to stroke her cheek. His fingers were rough and battle worn against her smooth skin. Odin replied, "Isis pulled you into her mind. What you saw then was only truth. The truth of who she is, now that the faith of her people has left her."
As Odin's massive palm cupped her cheek, Sookie couldn't help but nuzzle against it. "So this is not truth? Am I simply dreaming?"
"Dreaming? Yes. I am spinning you a dream unlike any other. I can appear before you as I was since this is a dream of my own making. In truth, this body is no more. There is only my spirit … but soon I will have a new body. Not the body of a true god, but a new kind of god. A body fueled by love and power. No longer will I, or any of the other forgotten ones, be swayed by the fickleness of faith. We will exist for ourselves, and the world we will help save and remake."
"I don't understand."
Leaning forward to kiss her forehead, his lips were warm and comforting. Odin assured, "You will. Soon. For now, I bring you here to tell you a truth, and show you a path."
"Yes, he is my son."
Sookie gaped as she stood transfixed at the god king. "What? But … I mean … I … oh wow."
Smiling benevolently, Odin took Sookie's hand and turned to face the ocean again as he affirmed, "Indeed. I have loved him from the start. I loved him as he took his first breath, and I was proud of him every day since. I have watched him from the moment he was born, and all he has ever done has exceeded my hopes and expectations. It pained me to hide myself from him. It pained me to keep his true heritage from him, but circumstances forced me to."
Shaking her head, Sookie asked, "Why? Why couldn't he know he was your son? What purpose did it serve?"
"That is for me to impart to him. You are my connection to him now. I will tell him the full truth of his existence myself. Those are words for a father to his son, and I shall give them to him. He does not dream so I cannot call him to me as I have called you."
"So, how are you going to tell him?"
"Indeed. Freya wove an ancient spell upon my sword long ago. She enabled me to not only put my memories into it, but created a way for me to create a dream in his mind the first time he lays hands on it despite that he is a vampire now, and vampires do not dream. I will show you how to find my sword so that you may lead my son to its resting place, and bring him to me. I have much to speak with him on. Will you follow me, Chosen One?"
Nodding, Sookie assured, "I will follow. Eric deserves to know what you have to tell him. He deserves answers for why he is different."
Taking her small hand in his, Odin pledged, "This you would understand above all others. I know you have many of the same questions. I promise you the answers you seek to the truth of what you are awaits you. Both of you. You will return to your home and they will be there for you. The time for you and my son to understand who and what you are has come."
"But, now it is time for me to show you the path. Close your eyes, Chosen One," Odin instructed.
Sookie did as he asked and closed her eyes. She felt Odin take hold of her other hand as the wind picked up around them. She felt a tingling sensation in her body and asked, "What's happening?"
"Open your eyes and see."
The moment had altered. Sookie gasped at the sight of Eric's cabin below her. Gone was the cliff side and sprawling ocean view. Now, she stood atop a cloud with Odin holding her hands as she gazed down at Eric's cabin sitting in the snowy woods. "This is the beginning?"
"Yes. From here I shall show you the way. Pay close attention, Chosen One. The path is long."
Odin used the force of his will to direct the cloud they were standing on to travel north. Sookie stifled a giggle to think it was like some genie's magic carpet. 'Wrong mythology!' she chided herself. It floated quickly, but not so quickly that Sookie was not able to recognize certain landmarks and map in her mind the terrain they crossed. They passed frozen lakes, snow covered valleys, iced forests, and majestic peaks of pine tree cloaked mountains. At last, Odin caused the cloud to lower at the base of the tallest mountain in a range of peaks that stretched across a giant landscape of rocky frost. As it were a dream he was creating for Sookie, she was able to walk atop the snow without sinking into it, and to feel none of the cold. He led her through a dense tangle of trees and brought her to a sheer rock face of the mountain. "Here."
Looking up at Odin, Sookie cocked her head and asked, "Here? But this is just stone."
Odin laughed, "Surely, you have learned by now that things are not always as they seem. Put your hand on the stone, Chosen One."
"Anywhere. The stone is one slab of rock. It is warded by magic to protect the contents within. As Eric's blood flows in you, the stone will recognize you."
"I thought this was a dream?"
"All dreams have pieces of reality woven inside them. Put your hand on the stone."
Sookie bit her lip as she stepped forward and set her hand down. The effect was instantaneous. The stone glowed golden, shimmered, and disappeared to reveal a cave. "Oh!"
Taking Sookie's hand, Odin led her inside. As soon as they stepped inside the cave, it was lit with the blazing light from torches lining the wall roaring to life. She watched the sequence of torches light as they proceeded. He led her deep into the heart of the mountain, until suddenly the long hallway of rock and stone opened up into a massive domed chamber.
Sookie's breath left her in a rush of air. There, in the center of the stone room that dwarfed her and Odin, and made them appear tiny and insignificant in comparison, Sookie saw a mountain of gold, jewels, and long forgotten treasures. At the very top floated a magnificent sword enrobed in living flame. It hovered in midair and gleamed within the magical flame. "Is that your sword?"
"Yes. I wielded that sword against Gods and Giants. I built Asgard with that sword … now it goes to my son." Looking down at Sookie, Odin ordered gently, "Bring him here, Chosen One. Bring my son to me so that I may finally speak to him as his father. There is much I must tell him. There is much I wish to say, and there is little time left for me to be his sire."
Thoroughly confused, Sookie asked, "What does that mean? Isis and Ahmose both said that all of you guys, all the old gods, you are all coming back. Doesn't that mean you'll have plenty of time to be his father? To be with him?"
Raising her hand to his lips, he gently kissed her fingers. Odin replied, "Be with him? I'll have eternity, as will all the others. Be his father? I will have only these precious few moments. There is not enough temporal length to the events of my existence for me to say all my heart wishes to reveal to him, but I will have enough time to say what must be said. Bring him to me, Chosen One. Bring my son to me. He has but to reach into the flame and take the sword and I will be able to summon him. The magic Freya wove will work only once, but it will be enough."
"He's going to be angry. Eric doesn't like it when people hide things from him."
"He will be angry, but he will understand. I did not hide myself, or his connection to me, for my own benefit. I did it for him, for you. I will make him see this."
Shaking her head, Sookie grumbled, "Why is everyone always speaking in code? Why can't anyone just tell me and Eric like it is?"
Chuckling, Odin squeezed her shoulder affectionately. "All will be revealed soon, Chosen One. For now I have a gift to give you."
Sookie stared down at the heavy silver talisman. It was octagonal with eight spindled points with a ruby center. "It's beautiful."
"All things Norse are."
Grinning up at Odin, she clutched the pendant to her chest and laughed, "Now you sound like Eric."
"And he is rarely wrong, is he not?"
"Well, I'm certainly not telling him that! His head is so big it amazes me he can walk through doors with it."
Odin threw his head back and laughed long and deep. "Chosen One! You have the heart of a true Norse woman! You belong with my son. It is clear why you make his heart light once again."
Sookie's smile grew. "I'm glad you think I'm good for him."
Growing serious, Odin said, "He loves you, Chosen One. Give him time to accept that fact within himself. He'll realize this soon enough, and then you will have the words you long to hear from him."
"It's a good thing I'm patient."
"A very good thing." Odin acknowledged with a smile. Leaning forward, he kissed her forehead one last time and whispered, "Goodbye, Chosen One. You are all we hoped and dreamed you would be. For now, you must wake. Wake, and bring me my son."
Sookie's eyes fluttered closed as she felt the warm press of Odin's lips against her forehead. "Goodbye, AllFather."
Her eyes opened and she sat up from her resting position atop Eric's chest to stare down in shock at the heavy silver talisman in her hand. The talisman Odin had given her in her dream. "Oh my god!"
Gripping the pendant tight in her hand she looked down at Eric. He was lying on his back with one arm under his head, and the other around her. 'Well I certainly can't wait for him to rise to tell him this! But how do I wake him?' Considering, she set her hand over his Mjolnir and ordered, "Eric! Eric, get up!"
A bolt of energy rippled through him and Eric's eyes fluttered open. Feeling the near panic in his bonded through their connection, he fluidly moved Sookie to his lap to sit up and asked, "Sookie, what is wrong? Why is your heart racing?"
Shoving her hand forward, Sookie cried, "Look!"
Eric's eyes widened at the sight of the talisman. "Sookie, where did you get this? Where did you get the Aegishjalmur?"
"Odin gave it to me."
Now shock was clearly written on his face. "Explain."
"I had another one of those dream thingies. Odin wove a dream in my mind. He gave me this, and when I woke up just now, it was in my hand. He told me to keep it close. Always. He said it would help us accomplish our destiny. He … oh, Eric, he told me things about you."
Gripping Sookie's arms now, Eric demanded, "What did he say?"
Knowing what she was about to say would rock Eric's world, Sookie decided truth was the best option. She wouldn't beat around the bush. Her voice was gentle, but firm as she explained, "Eric, he said he was your father. He said he couldn't tell you that before, but he's ready to explain everything. He showed me this cave where his sword is, and he said it's yours now. He said once you take hold of it, he'll be able to speak to you, and that he'll explain everything to you. He said his time is very short."
Eric could do little more than gape at Sookie. He knew she was telling the truth, he could feel the truth of it through their bond, and it shook him to the core. After a long tense moment, he asked, "Do you think you can find this cave again?"
"Yes. The dream started out on a cliff side, but then he brought me back here as a starting point. He flew us to the cave on a cloud and he went slow so I could memorize the landscape. It's in the mountains. To the North."
Eric closed his eyes as he felt for the sun. All vampires could feel the sun's rays no matter where they were, and certainly underground, as many still preferred going to ground come daylight. And while he was immune to its effects now, he could still feel it like a sixth sense. Opening his eyes, he said briskly, "The sun is rising now. Get dressed. By the time you're done, it will be up. We're going now."
Sookie didn't argue. If she were in Eric's position she'd want to get up and go right now too. He showed her where to store her talisman in his chest alongside Godric's journal, and then they both dressed in silence. Eric used his vampire speed to put his clothes on faster than her so that he could take Thor out and set him up with water and food for while they would be gone. The puppy brought Eric his squeaky toy, hoping for some playtime, but Eric stroked the dog instead. "Later, Thor. Be a good boy. I promise later."
By the time she was pulling on her thermal socks, Eric had returned to the cave to retrieve her. He had her snow boots, her coat, her scarf, and one of the fur blankets to wrap her in to protect her from the cold. He'd also brought her snowboarding goggles since she wouldn't be able to hide in his chest to protect her eyes while she tracked the land. He helped her wrap up and when she was done Eric swept her up in his arms to carry her up into the house. Eric caught sight of the wagging puppy and set her down so Sookie could give him a big hug, a gentle kiss and a promise of playtime when they got back. Eric grinned in spite of himself. He swept Sookie up into his arms yet again and they went out the front door. As he stood on the porch, Eric asked, "Which way?"
"Head towards that lake you took me ice skating on. It's in that direction. When you get there go Northeast."
He launched them into the air. It took him about 35 minutes flying at a slower pace than normal for Sookie to direct them to the base of the mountain Odin had showed her. After Eric helped adjust the fur blanket around her so that she had mobility, she pulled her snowboarding goggles off, and said, "Put your hand on the stone wall there and it will disappear." When Eric looked at her skeptically, she demanded, "Do you trust me or not?"
Walking forward, Eric placed his hand on the sheer rock face of the mountain. The same thing that had happened in Sookie's dream happened in real life. The rock barrier glowed, shimmered, and disappeared. When it was gone, Sookie stepped up beside Eric, and whispered, "We just go in. The torches should light as soon as we step into the stone hallway. At the end of the hallway is a huge chamber, and the sword is in there atop a mountain of gold. It's surrounded by fire, but Odin said you can reach into it."
Taking Sookie's gloved hand, Eric stepped forward. Neither spoke as he led her into the mountain. The walk seemed longer to Sookie, but she was sure that was nerves. Something great was about to happen for her Viking, and her heart was racing for his that could not. Soon enough they came to the end of the hallway to the chamber she had described, and Sookie felt Eric's hand tighten around hers. He stood tall and silent beside her, and she wondered what he was thinking. She knew he was probably angry at being led to live a lie his whole life. The same way she was angry her Gran had kept so much from her.
The silence stretched between them, electric and aware, before she finally said, "I'd want my answers. Even late, and I'd want to hear the reasons I had to be kept in the dark. I'm hoping my own explanations are as valid as everyone says they are. He promised that he only hid the truth from you for your own benefit. Yours and mine. Try to remember that."
Heartened by Sookie's words, Eric released her hand but not before taking it to his lips and kissing it. "I'll be back," he said simply, a tone which flew in the face of the immensity of his expectations.
She watched him fly up to the top of the mountain of gold. He stood before the living flame encasing Odin's sword and stared hard at it. So many thoughts ran through his mind. He could feel anger running through him.
'If he is my father why did he not claim me before? The power inside me, the power I fought so long and hard to control … it was from him. It was from the blood of a god running through the body of a human and later a vampire. Why was this hidden from me? What was the point of the deception?' Looking at the sword he decided, 'My answers lie there.'
He reached into the flame to see what words the AllFather had for him, and Sookie stood below as she watched him intently. She would stand there as long as it took for Eric to find his answers. She hoped what he learned would not hurt him.
Eric felt himself leave his body. It was strange. Vampires are bound by the magic of their blood to their bodies. They do not dream. No daydreams. Nothing in between one moment of awareness and the other of being dead. Now, however, he found himself drawn from his vampire form and pulled into a memory not his own. It was night. It was dark, and Eric could scent blood, death, battle and pain in the air. He was in his homeland in summer. He recognized his surroundings immediately. It was the landscape upon which he'd fought his last battle as a human.
"Welcome … my son."
Turning, Eric glared at the sight of Odin standing in the tree line. AllFather stood in all his glory, but Eric was not awed. He was angry. "Is it true?"
"Why was I not told?"
Striding forward to stand eye to eye with his progeny, Odin explained, "If you had known you were the son of a god, you would have felt entitled. You would have believed yourself great."
"I am great."
"Indeed, but you are great because you have made yourself so. You are great because you have fought for everything you have and are. You are great because, despite the blood of a mighty god running through your veins, the blood that would have consumed others, you forced yourself to be great through sheer will."
Crossing his arms over his chest, Eric sneered, "Mighty god? You are a shadow. You are nothing but a memory."
"Now, yes. When I helped create you? My blood was supreme. I ruled the earth and the skies. That power flows through you. You were created when I was at my strongest, and because of that your power is unparalleled in your world."
Eric held the gaze of the god before him. Neither looked away. Finally, he asked, "Why now? Why come before me now?"
"Because it is time. I have many things to show you. Many things to tell you."
"You should have told me before."
"If I had, you would not have found your way to your Sookie. Is that a price you would have been willing to pay?"
Eric's anger throttled down. He squared his broad shoulders. It was an easy answer. "No. That is not a price I would be willing to pay. If your secrecy enabled me to find her, I will not hold it against you. Tell me what it is you have to say. Show me why I'm here."
"First, I will show you where you came from," Odin said as he waved his hand.
The image of the forest where Eric fought his last battle as a human faded away. The wind rushed around him, and when it stilled, Eric could see his old homestead where he was raised as a child and later ruled as a man. Eric's eyes immediately fell on the sight of the man he had believed to be his father kissing a vaguely familiar woman goodbye as he and his men departed to go a-viking.
Odin came to stand beside Eric and said, "That is your mother. She died when you were so young, thus I doubt you remember her."
"She is not important," Eric replied, even as he stared intently at the woman he had been birthed from. She was beautiful he thought. Glorious, and, regardless of his dismissive words to Odin, he seared her memory into his brain. He had not remembered her as a boy because she had died so quickly, but he would not forget her now.
"She is important," Odin argued. "Women are the life blood of the world. They are creation embodied. From them all things come. I chose her purposefully. Your mother was one eighth fae, just as your Sookie is. It's why you both are so beautiful. It is why you were able to control my blood inside you, and were not lost to madness from the power. I went to her the night her husband left on his voyage, I revealed myself to her and asked if she would bear me a son. I asked if she wanted to birth a warrior king who would one day help save the world. I told her if she chose to do so, it would require all she had to give. In order to bring you into the world, all the fae power in her blood had to be passed to you. I told her that her body would not survive long afterwards, and that she would never live to see you grown. She didn't hesitate, Eric. She opened her arms to me and welcomed me inside her body. She asked of me only one boon."
Eric never took his eyes off the woman that had bore him. He watched her move about her daily life as he relived Odin's memory with him. "What did she ask?
"She asked me to tell you she loved you. From the moment you were conceived. She wanted you to know she died freely for you. She was not only proud to sacrifice herself for you, but happy to do so. She wanted the world for you, and wanted you to know she would not make a different choice if given the option. She died loving you."
Eric was silent a moment. His voice tense as he spoke, "I … I do not even remember her name. My father refused to say it, and forbid anyone else from using it either after she died."
Odin stood staring at the beautiful woman his memory showed as he answered, "He loved her greatly. Her death pained him, and he did not like to remember. Her name was Anika."
"It is a good name."
"Indeed. She was a good woman, and now I have delivered her message and fulfilled my vow."
Unnamed emotions threatened him and Eric forced himself to turn away from the sight of the woman that had died for him before any other. Looking at Odin, he asked, "What about after she was gone? You say you watched over me? Why did you not protect me from that power hungry whore my father took to wife after my mother died?"
"Because her actions helped to shape you into the man you are. As much as it pained me to watch you suffer, to watch you fight to survive as so young a child, it was necessary. You had to learn to fight for everything you had. You had to come to love and embrace the will to fight. The way of the warrior had to be such a part of you that it became ingrained. That woman was scum, and she more than paid for her crimes against you once she died. I made sure of it. I also made her suffer in life. I was the one that told Freyja to curse her womb to bring forth only daughters. And when she died? I assure you she found no paradise in Freyja's hall. I did not like having to stand back and let you suffer, but it had to be done in order to shape you into the man you are now."
"So all my life you have simply watched? You have stood sentinel through the ages, but never interfered?"
"I stood guard. I did not interfere in the events you had to live through to become who you are, but I was always ready to step in if the need arose. I have, however, never needed to. You have always survived on your own. I was never needed, and that makes me proud. From the moment you were born, you marched steadily towards your destiny and were never once cowed."
Another memory rose up to take the place of Eric's mother. Eric saw himself now lying on the funeral pyre his men had built for him. Odin continued, "I was there this night. I watched it all. I watched you take your first true step towards your destiny and my heart soared." Eric watched his men stacking wood around him, ready to burn him and send him to the halls of Valhalla when he took his last breath. He watched as Godric darted in, a lithe and stealthy boy, killing them quickly, only to stop and crouch over Eric afterwards and offer him immortality.
Eric was stunned. "You watched?'
Coming to stand next to his son, Odin said, "Yes. Just as you were chosen for your Sookie, Godric was chosen for you. He was born to be your Maker as you were born to be his child so you could become the king to your queen. You are amidst a tangled web of fate and destiny, my son."
His fists clenched as Eric hissed, "If Godric was chosen every bit as I, why is he not here? Why is my Maker not here with me!"
"Because his purpose has been served and his soul has been recalled by The One. He was born and made vampire to find you, and help shape you into the man you are now. He did that. He stayed as long as he could until you had found your true mate."
"My mate? Sookie is my vampire mate?"
"Indeed, and yet she is so much more. Vampires rarely have mates, as your Maker told you. Sookie is yours, but she is beyond that. She is also your soul mate. Your soul is broken and jagged from the darkness you have surrounded yourself in. Hers is so large as to fill these holes. You both are truly two halves of the same whole. The One dreamed the dream of Sookie long ago. The One saw into her heart, saw into her destiny and saw what she would need. In response to this The One dreamed you as well, and tasked me with helping to create you so you would be ready for your Sookie when she was born. So you could help her fulfill her destiny when the time was right. I did this, and I have watched you every day since. From the night you were born, to the night you truly became one with your Sookie. The night she claimed you, and took you for her own."
Looking at his father, Eric disagreed, "Sookie belongs to me. I claimed her. Not the other way around. I simply allow her to have the belief I belong to her in order to keep her happy."
Odin shook his head and laughed, "Keep telling yourself that, my boy. The fact remains you were born for her. You were created to help her fulfill her prophecy. You were created to be both what she wanted, and what she needed. You are simply fortunate that we were able to ensure she would make you equally as happy. Do not be a fool, my son. The Chosen One will always be more important than you. However, that does not change the fact that wherever she is, you are as well."
Eric returned to watching the scene before them. He watched Godric bite into his neck, he watched his Maker drain him to the point of death before offering him a bleeding wrist that transformed him into the man he was now. He shook his head vehemently. "I refuse to accept that. Sookie is mine."
"Believe what you want. It changes nothing. However, I have not brought you here to argue."
"Why did you bring me here?"
Placing his large hand on his son's equally large shoulder Odin turned Eric to face him. "First, I brought you here to deliver you mother's message. Second, I brought you here to tell you that I'm proud of you. I have watched you over the centuries, and my heart has burst with pride. You are the finest of all vampires, and the things you have accomplished leave me in awe. You are truly great, my son, and I claim you as my son with pride."
"A little late, aren't you?"
"What is that human saying? Better late than never?"
A small smirk pulled across Eric's features. "Been talking to my Sookie, have you?"
"She is wise beyond her years … but she will need your strength and guidance."
Odin grinned and waved his hand. The vision shifted. Gone was the night forest with the scene of Eric's turning. In its place was the sight of a young Eric wandering through the woods tracking his father and his men when his stepmother had abandoned him to the wilds. "I was here with you. My wolves, Geri and Freki, shadowed your every step. They kept the wild animals away so your travels would be unhindered. I thought to leave you a few rabbits in your path for food, but it ended up being unnecessary."
Nodding his head, Eric added, "I killed one on my own. I saw it eating by some bushes. I remember picking up a stone and throwing it so hard and fast at the rabbit's head it died instantly. I built myself a small fire and ate it."
"Indeed you did. You don't know it, but that was the first time you accessed your power. You charged that stone with your power to send it into the rabbit's head before it could flee. I smiled when I saw it fall dead. I watched you through the nights, warming the wind with my breath since you had no covering. I was proud of you that night, and I was jealous of the human man that was able to claim you as his son. I wanted to reveal myself and let it be known you were my blood, you were my boy, but, the knowledge that if I'd done so you would not be where you are held me back. Regardless, I knew a father's pride as you eventually came upon that human man I had to let claim you, and his men. I want you to know that. I want you to know I was there."
Facing his father fully, Eric asked, "And why are you here now? Why did you have Sookie lead me here?"
"Because these are the only moments I will have to stand before you as your father. This is the only time I will speak with you father to son."
Eric asked the same question Sookie had asked in her dream, but he got a true answer, and it rocked him more than anything before. "Why? Isis told Sookie, and Ahmose told us both, that you and all the other old Gods are returning. If this is true, will I not see you again?"
Looking into Eric's questioning gaze, Odin waved his hand to shift the memory around them. The images changed to reveal the scene of the night Sookie bound her soul to Eric's. As Eric looked on, the sight of their lovemaking shifted into sharp focus and he saw they were alit in blue flame. Odin replied, "We are returning, but, as Isis told Sookie, we cannot go back. Who we were is no more. We will be made new."
"You've already done it, my son. I shall be the first to be reborn. My time as your father is done. Now it is your turn."
Eric was silent a beat as he tried to decipher Odin's meaning. He gazed hard at the vision of Sookie atop him while her body glowed along with his beneath her. He watched as they came together while the swirling lights around them rushed through the fire their powers created and into her small body. Suddenly his eyes widened with understanding and he looked at Odin in shock.
"Impossible … I am vampire."
"Were you not told not to doubt when the unthinkable happened? Did not your seer tell you this?"
"You're saying Sookie will get pregnant with my seed?"
Smiling broadly, Odin explained, "I am telling you that she carries even now. The night she claimed you and made you her own, your seed was welcomed into her womb. The joining of your souls became complete and the power in her blood truly awakened. Those lights that rushed into your Sookie as you mated? It was my spirit, and the spirits of all the forgotten ones. We all lay in wait inside her now; waiting to be reborn. I was chosen to come first. I will come alone to give Sookie time to get used to being mother and queen. More will come soon, enough to aid you in fulfilling the prophecy, but you and she have thousands of years to bring all the forgotten ones back."
"How is that possible? Sookie is human, and if I turn her, she will be dead and unable to carry a child."
"Immortality was always your Sookie's destiny, my son. You will never turn her. She will always be as she is now. The moment you blood bonded her to you, the last of her mortality died. As long as you continue to share blood with her, she will never grow old, and she will never die. She will stand beside you for all time as she is. Her heart will beat for you, her blood will flow warm and full of life as it does now. She is life, and you are death. Light and dark. One cannot exist without the other."
Still holding Eric's stunned gaze, Odin continued, "As I stand before you now, I am nothing but a memory. The last of Freya's magic allows me to speak to you like this. In truth, my spirit, what is left of who I was as Odin, lies inside your Sookie's womb. The power of her blood, the power yet to be explained to you both, has combined with yours and creates me a new body. You were son, now you will be father … and she will be mother. The two of you will usher the old gods back into the world. You will create us as new truly immortal gods. We will no longer be sustained by faith, but by the power of your combined blood, and the strength of Sookie's love. The time of the vampire gods has come. It is time for the world to be remade."
Eric was reeling. His mind was literally threatening to shut down for the first time in his entire existence. "This … this is not possible. Vampires turn children, we do not beget them."
"Vampires do not. The son of a god turned vampire and bound to the Chosen One? Such a vampire will be a father many times over."
Eric questioned, "How is the world going to be remade?"
"That your seer will explain to you. I brought you here to prepare you. You must move past your shock and doubt now. You will need to be strong for your Sookie. She will need you, she will need you to be strong for her. She is young, and she is scared, and once you both return to your home and learn the full truth of what awaits you, she will be terrified. There can be no doubt in your heart. You must be resolute so she can lean on you."
"So the fact Sookie and I are going to be parents to gods is not the prophecy?"
Shaking his head, Odin replied, "It is only part. Far more awaits you. You and Sookie have a hard path before you. My rebirth, and the ones that will follow, are only a part of your destiny."
Eric was lost, and said as much. "I don't know what to say to this. Any of it."
"You will when the time comes."
"The supernatural world will rebel. They will hunt us. They will carve you out of Sookie's womb, and kill her to ensure she cannot breed again."
"No. They will not. Your seer will ensure it. She will rally them around you. You and Sookie are the salvation of your world. Without you they will all fall. Without you and Sookie, everything will be lost."
Eric couldn't wrap his mind around it. Any of it. It was too much, and he decided he was done talking about all of this. Right now he needed to think. Away from the god he'd just discovered was his father. He needed to retrieve Sookie, get her secured in the cabin behind the protective barrier, and then he needed some space. He needed space and time to figure all of this out. "We're done here."
Knowing that Eric could not handle any more, Odin agreed. "Yes. It is time for you to go. I have one last thing to tell you."
"Save it. I don't want any more truths from you."
"This is not a truth, it is a gift. My sword is yours now. Carry it with you everywhere. Hold it to your chest against your Mjolnir and it will disappear into your mark. When you need it, place your hand over the Mjolnir and call for it and it will reappear. The sword can never be knocked from your hand. It will increase your strength tenfold when you hold it, and give you greater control over the power inside you. It is my gift to you. When I release you from this vision, it will be in your hand. It will be there, and it is yours."
"Fine. You've given me a sword, and you've told me what you needed to. Now release me."
Understanding that Eric was feeling overwhelmed, Odin replied, "I will release you, but I want you to leave here knowing that I am proud of you. This is only my memory, and I will never be Odin again, but this final thread of who I was loves you as a father. Never forget that … go in peace, my son."
With a rush of energy, Eric was back inside himself. He watched as the living flame sputtered and died, leaving him standing atop a mountain of gold with Odin's sword in his hand. Turning, he saw Sookie standing at the entrance of the cave hallway staring up at him. The cave was warm, probably due to its magic, and she had apparently shucked off the blanket to compensate for the increased temperature. She looked both worried and hopeful. He was not sure how much time had passed while he spoke to Odin, but it was obvious she had stood there watching the entire time. His eyes could not help but to focus on her belly where his unborn son grew.
He thought, 'What the fuck do we do now?'