Chapter 8: Highland Rollercoaster

DT8 SceneArt by EricIzMine

Dead Tired: Resurrection

Chapter 8

Highland Rollercoaster

**

Sunday, January 3rd continued…

*Sookie’s POV*

Since Alcide and Pam were hot and heavy in the back of the car for most of the drive to Ruston, I found something to fill my idle time too… after using Eric to amuse myself, he was wearing his cocky smirk when we got to the Festival, but the rest of us needed to cool off from being so spun up.

Pam and I leaned against the hood of the car while our dates changed into their kilts at the trunk… The brisk night air was almost as good as a cold shower.

As soon as Eric and Alcide dropped their pants to change into their kilts, I snapped a picture with the phone Eric bought for me and sent the picture to Pam. It wasn’t like either one of them were shy about much.

Pam chuckled quietly as she sent it to Eric, and I went ahead and sent it to Alcide… Once they looked at their phones, they both gave me semi-dirty looks and jokingly threatened to pay me back.

I giggled, “So uh, guys… I have to ask… Why do you own your own kilts?”

They answered in unison, “Highland games,” while they retied their boots.

Who knew kilts, tank tops and steel-toed boots were so sexy?

And… Eric liked sports? That was a fun little discovery.

“How often do you wear them?”

Again, in unison, “Every four months.”

How bromantic…  I didn’t really care why they were getting along so well anymore, just that they were. I’d been worried for so long that Eric would find ways to put distance between Alcide and me once we got back together. I loved them both dearly, and I was starting to think they might just love me enough to put in the effort to set their differences aside for my benefit. I had definitely lucked out so far.

**

We walked over to the registration table together, and Pam and I waited for the guys to check in and get their numbers… We found a quiet area of the field (sort of quiet, anyway), and the guys were standing shoulder to shoulder… I felt like a child lost in a forest. I was surrounded by very large men, specifically between Eric and Alcide, and I couldn’t see past the other participants.

As soon as I asked for a boost Eric went down to one knee and Alcide lifted me to Eric’s shoulder like it was planned ahead of time. My new view from Eric’s shoulder was like sitting on a ladder.

I sent to Eric, “Isn’t it kind of cheating for you to do this stuff since you’re so strong?”

“Lover, the trick is to win without looking like I cheated. It’s harder than you might think.”

I giggled at the cheater. “Where should Pam and I go to watch?” The tiny section of bleachers the park had was packed and the other spectators had thought to bring folding chairs.

Instead of answering me, he nudged Alcide and jerked his head in the direction of a secluded spot.

Once he put me down, Alcide and Eric stood side by side to face me… and I got the look from both of them.

Eric started, “Lover, Alcide and I don’t want you to watch the games.”

Well, that was just awesome.

“Why not?”

Alcide huffed, “Shug, when I signed up, I didn’t know that guy was signed up too…” He pointed towards a man in a yellow and red kilt. “He’s really strong but doesn’t have much control.”

Eric finished, “Alcide and I have seen him make a few wild throws that killed or injured spectators.”

I groaned, “So, that’s it. I’m being shooed away?

They nodded… and it sucked! It wasn’t like the event was something I’d been looking forward to for more than an hour or two, but still… I’d liked watching the games when I was a kid and hadn’t even known anyone participating.

“Fine. Pam and I will check out the vendors and flirt with the band.”

They both growled, “Sookie…”

“What? I’m allowed to be disappointed. Go play, have fun, find us as soon as you’re done.”

After I kissed them both for luck, Pam and I set off for the other end of the fairgrounds… I could feel them both watching me, and Eric sent, “I’ve seen you injured enough times, Sookie.”

And the bruises he’d given me last night were still a fresh memory.

I answered, “I know you’re being protective because you love me, both of you, but I need you to stop treating me like I should be kept in a bubble.”

“You’re angry. I don’t have to participate.”

I corrected, “Just annoyed… I wanted to watch.”

“You didn’t argue though.”

You said the real challenge to the games for you was winning without being obvious about your enhancements. I’m pretty sure I can protect myself from a wild claymore pitch, but I don’t have any practice being subtle.”

I could feel how amused he was when he replied, “Once you have had practice, you’ll debate.”

Damn right, I will.

I needed practice, and my favorite people on earth needed time to get used to my abilities too.

Right?

Right.

**

As we walked towards the vendors, Pam whispered, “He doesn’t want you to be injured. He loathes the idea.”

I whined, “Which is why I’m trying to not be a brat about it. Maybe I’m just getting used to the fact that Alcide was a seatbelt in a past life, but I think it’s because I feel guilty. I swear, I can feel Eric walking on eggshells sometimes.”

“You can be an erratic bitch.”

I snorted, “I’m becoming painfully aware of that, thanks.”

She used her bored tone to drone, “Eventually, you’ll be able to mask your initial reactions to things more easily… Oh say, if you were to see a friend telekinetically summon her purse.”

Oops.

“I’m not sorry I kept it quiet. If I told you, you would have told Eric. How many times did you tell me he was struggling to focus on the takeover crap? Like a million… He would have freaked out and obsessed, even if he saw it for himself. I told him during dinner the other night because he assured me he was off the hook for a while.”

“You told him as soon as you thought it was safe?”

“Yes… The only secrets I have left are the ones I know damn well he’d keep from me for the same reasons.”

“Your mysterious dealings while you were on your little vacations with Alcide, right?”

And Hunter… I needed to tell him about Hunter now too, but I had time for that. Hunter was safe and Remy knew better than to advertise after I told him how valuable some people thought I was… The Hunter news would keep. It wasn’t like my cousin’s son was going to change anything anyway, not when no one knew about him.

I offered, “I understand being left out of the loop enough to know I hate it. I’m surprised he’s being so patient. I would’ve told him if he pushed the issue-” Shit. “Don’t tell him I said that. It’s really better that he doesn’t know right now.”

She chuckled, “What if I just tell him you might respond well to soft-handed persuasion.”

“I’d cave to that even faster…” I pointed towards a vender tent. “Oooohh… Whiskey tasting.”

Pam shook her head. “You’re on your own. I’ll watch from the tartan vendor to be sure the other customers don’t get carried away in your company.”

I kissed her cheek before we parted ways, completely understanding why she wouldn’t want to have scotch breathed all over her by the group of old men in the tent. Having Eric’s blood again so recently made it more of a chore for me than I expected. Sweating whiskey in January? Ech.

I liked the scotch enough to buy three cases, and I lugged them to my car before catching up to Pam again. It didn’t take me long to find her. She was standing at a booth, admiring some stained glass window panels.

“Hey sweetie, what did you find?”

“Stained glass…” She sounded really forlorn. “It’s just not as pretty without the sun shining through it.”

“I think it is… as long as it’s backlit by something. See the one with the lamp behind it?”

She argued quietly, “No. The colors don’t dance like they do when the light is shining on it.”

I got the distinct impression that aesthetics didn’t have anything to do with her mood… Something about stained glass made her melancholy…

I knew better than to ask, even if it was the first time I’d ever seen Pam like that.

I started looking through the company’s photo albums and ordered four pieces, telling her we’d figure something out. Maybe I could make a light box for her with one of those new ‘daylight’ bulbs or a strand of twinkle lights behind it.

It took a while for Pam to snap out of her funk, but I backed off and gave her some time. I mean, it was kind of safe to assume she wasn’t prone to pity parties… By the time we reached a food tent, she was in a good enough mood again to beg me to not eat a meat pie in front of her. I giggled all the way through it because every time I took a bite, she made gross noises like she was going to be sick.

She might have been hoping it would discourage me, but I was numb to it after growing up with Jason. He’d always done the same thing whenever I ate anything with olives or mushrooms.

**

Shopping, shopping, shopping…

Alcide was my favorite shopping buddy, but Pam was a close second… At least she was more patient. Then again, Alcide wasn’t impatient until he was waiting for me to agonize over accessories, which wasn’t a problem when I was just browsing at a fair.

I found some beautiful crystal coffee cups with a pewter ‘N’ anchored to the side… They were begging to be bought just because they looked lonely… since it was the last night of the Scot and Celt Fair, the Ms and Os had been cleared out.

They were for Eric’s house and my first hint to him that I planned to start spending more time there.

Pam found a couple medieval-styled corset dresses to add to her work wardrobe… They weren’t authentic or well made, but she usually wore ‘costume rags’ at Fangtasia anyway.

We were both hypnotized at the table that offered chainmail jewelry… The first thing to catch my eye was a gold bib-style necklace that would look great with a certain corset I’d ordered, but I ended up buying a lot more, including Byzantine chains for the guys and simple lace chokers for me and Pam.

By the time we were loading our goodies into the trunk of the car, the event staff was announcing the winners of the games over the PA… Knowing Eric would be able to find us easily, Pam and I wandered towards the park’s little amphitheater…

We browsed through the band’s table full of merchandising and watched drum after drum get carried onto the stage… and I had just bought an Albannach CD when I heard a loud crash and a commotion coming from the events arena…

The pain from being staked was nothing compared to the sudden pain in the back of my head. Pam and I staggered, but we were fine.

Eric.

I ran towards the area more scared than I could ever remember being… calling out to him mentally and verbally until my throat hurt…

Why wouldn’t he answer?

I ran as fast as I could, finding nothing but chaos in the area where I last saw my guys. I tried yelling for Alcide and he didn’t answer.

And then I saw them.

Eric was sprawled out on the ground… Alcide was kneeling over him, slapping his face to try to wake him up.

I shrieked, “Alcide!” and he finally heard me…

I knelt behind Eric and lifted his limp head onto my knees… smearing his blood over my legs… the sight terrified me…

I had the brief thought that he’d be fine. If he was dead, he’d be flaking away… right?

“What happened?”

Alcide whispered, “The guy we were worried about won the caber event… His victory toss hit Eric in the head from behind when we set out to find y’all.”

Eric fed last night. A lot. He should have been healing… He shouldn’t have felt so completely dead. I should have been able to feel our bond. Something. Anything.

“I need something sharp!”

Alcide left, looking around for what felt like forever, and grabbed a box cutter from a nearby table.

I snatched it from his hand and told him to hover as close as he could so no one could see… not that anyone was paying attention… Eric wasn’t the only one the caber had hit. There were three spectators nearby who’d been knocked out of their lawn chairs.

I sliced open my wrist and held it to Eric’s mouth…

The blood wasn’t helping. Why the hell wasn’t blood helping? I’d seen how quickly he healed once he fed.

No.

No. It was a nightmare. Eric wasn’t allowed to be hurt… I refused to lose him now. I refused to lose him like this. No.

No no no!

Alcide got my attention by saying my name and when I looked up at him, his eyes were glowing… glowing red instead of their usual green… that was new…

He didn’t say anything… his mouth was hanging open… and I didn’t want to hear his thoughts. I didn’t want to hear that he thought Eric was a goner…

NO! Vampires weren’t fragile. Head injuries weren’t on the list of ways to end a Vampire!

I wiped more of my tears from Eric’s head and sniffled, “Come on. Drink, sweetie, drink.” I was muttering helplessly and rocking back and forth, looking for the caber to see if it splintered apart when it hit him.

Wood, a splinter, that could do it. That could end him if it was in his back, close to his heart maybe?

But no, no splinter. As far as I could tell, the caber was in better shape than my Eric.

Alcide finally whispered, “Your hands are glowing.

Glowing?

The red in Alcide’s eyes was reflecting the light from my hands.

What the hell?

For a split second, I worried I could be making it worse… I could’ve been keeping him from healing himself, but I started thinking about how much I love Eric and that I’d be miserable without him. I needed him to wake up.

I could control my other powers. If this was another new ability, then maybe, I could control it.

Maybe I could make him better.

Something had to.

My hands were still glowing when I picked up the box cutter again, cutting another slit in my arm to speed things up… When his fangs ran out, I held my breath…

So relieved.

And more relieved when I felt him draw from the cuts.

Eventually, he lifted his hand to mine… There still wasn’t much to him, Eric as a whole. For the most part, he was just a weight on my lap, and I could’ve gotten sick when I felt his shoulder rearranging against my lap… his skull, the way it moved as it healed, that was so much worse…

Then I started feeling more of him, his presence in our bond…

Feeling him again… all I could do was cry.

*Eric’s POV*

Unsportsmanlike conduct aside, Alcide and I didn’t really care about the ribbons we were expected to wait for. Yes, we’d won in our individual events, but our loss in the caber toss event was irksome.

I caught Alcide thinking, “Complete bullshit… Eric’s throw was beautiful and he wasn’t a cock-bag about it… the only reason the other asshole won the event was because he scared the shit out of the judge…

I asked, “Do you have a shoebox under your bed full of blue ribbons so you can revel in your victories?”

He shook his head. “My folks kept my trophies, but I didn’t bother with ribbons…”

That wasn’t completely true… he thought about giving his ribbons to an elderly woman… and she was wearing a shawl around her shoulders in the same tartan as his kilt.

He continued, “Let’s just find the girls. I don’t care enough about winning if I have to watch McDouche gloat.”

As we set out in Sookie and Pam’s direction, I offered, “I was introduced to Highland games and participated out of boredom… Why would you play when you have to search out festivals?” It was the best way I could think of to pry about the matching tartans.

“My mother’s family was Scottish. I used to toss bags of sugar around the yard with my grandfather when I was little. My uncles marched Tattoo and my grandmother bred Scotties until she died. My old man’s family was a mix. No specific heritage to cling to.”

“I assumed Herveaux is French.”

He nodded. “It is, but it’s Human… a few generations back one of my dad’s grandmothers bred for the pack, but she had a Human husband. She had a bunch of kids, but only a couple of them were her husband’s. Her pack kept records, like I do, but my dad’s line disappears into Appalachia a couple of centuries back-”

For a split second, I felt like I’d been hit by a freight train, but then everything went black.

**

I was completely terrified, smothered by Pam and Sookie’s fears… and I was blind. There was nothing in my field of vision but a light I could only compare to my memories of sunshine.

I spent a while trying to make sense of my situation… There wasn’t any way I could be lying in sunshine. I think what anchored me was feeling Sookie’s tears cooling against my chest.

Cold grass against my back. Warmth covering my face and chest…

Sookie was shaking, sobbing against me… but I couldn’t see and didn’t know how I’d come to be sprawled out.

I lifted my hands, finding Sookie’s shoulders and, as she moved, the light faded…

It was Sookie, the source of the light, the reason I couldn’t see…

As she kissed me, the light dissipated… she was feeling desperate and relieved, clinging to me with her hands fisted in my shirt, sobbing, “How are you? Are you ok? What hurts?”

I wasn’t sure what I missed, but my memory seemed to be intact. Thanks to my experience with Hallow, I couldn’t help but test myself. Sookie and Pam were wearing necklaces they hadn’t been earlier. I still needed to know how I found myself unconscious, but I didn’t feel any differently than I had before… before when Alcide and I were leaving the games to join Pam and Sookie… we’d been talking about his heritage… He was wearing a family tartan.

As I stood, I scanned my surroundings and offered, “I’m fine. I feel fine.” We were still at the fairgrounds in Ruston, but the chaos in the arena was disconcerting… the caber just a few yards away filled in a few blanks.

Sookie sobbed, “Nothing hurts?”

I would have felt phenomenal if it weren’t for the panic Sookie and Pam were sharing with me…

And then there was the faintness Sookie felt as I helped her stand.

“I feel better than usual. What happened?”

Sookie opened her mouth to answer, but crashed against my chest to weep… Pam wasn’t any less upset, but she was doing everything she could to not look like Sookie.

Alcide stepped closer and cleared his throat. “We were going to catch up with the girls… That clown’s victory toss clipped you, got you right across the back of your head… You were out cold…” He nodded towards a box cutter on the ground. “Sookie tried to feed you, help you heal, but… it didn’t seem like it was doing any good. I’m not sure what it was doing, but she started glowing, bright orange, like one of the aliens from that movie Cocoon. It took a while, and she slit her wrist twice, but you finally started coming around.”

Twice? She slit her wrist with a dirty box cutter twice?

I pulled her arm from my back to see two deep gashes across her wrist and my fang marks… she’d given me so much blood there wasn’t much left to ooze from the wounds.

Whether it was emotional or physical shock, I’m not sure Sookie noticed when I healed her arm…

All the while, I watched Sookie’s complete devastation and how she tended to me replaying in Alcide’s thoughts… “She never would’ve been right again… Everything she’s done for weeks has been for him… It would’ve killed her… and by accident… fucking insane…”

He cleared his throat and turned to walk away. “Why don’t we go dive into the beer tent to help calm your nerves? You’re wrecked, Shug. I think everyone’s a little shaken up…” She didn’t move, so after a moment, he offered, “I’ll run recon then. Take your time.”

Pam followed him, and as he left, he thought, “You’re drained. Calm down so we can refill your tank. I’m proud of you. You did good, but you need to worry about you now. You need to get your shit together now that he’s alright.”

Her shields were locked down so tightly his warning fell on deaf ears, but his concern for her well-being actually made me like Alcide more… Not to mention how impressed I was by his line of thinking. I would have bet money that Quinn, Compton or Merlotte would be annoyed that I hadn’t been ended by the injury.

**

I waited, letting Sookie soak my shirt, feeling Pam monitor me because she seemed to be jealous that Sookie could afford to be so demonstrative.

I finally smoothed my hands over Sookie’s back and said her name to get her attention, but she sobbed, begging me to let her hold onto me.

I was almost certain I’d explained how I felt about her tears.

As grateful as I was for Sookie and what she’d done for me, staying where we were wasn’t fair to Pam.

It wasn’t until I bent over to slip my arm behind Sookie’s legs that I realized how much blood I’d lost… Seeing her legs covered with my blood made me look at the ground behind me.

I’d had head injuries before, several, but I was sure I’d never lost so much blood so quickly.

Unless the caber had taken my head off, I would have survived, but…for me to feel so well, Sookie had given me far too much.

As I carried her toward Pam’s location, I offered, “You need to calm down enough to eat and drink something, Sookie. You’re lighter than you were last night by a few pounds. You let me take too much of your blood.”

She mumbled quietly, “Just give me a few minutes,” and her shields slipped enough for me to hear, “I would’ve started dragging strangers to him.

Even though I could feel that she loved me, I was still surprised by the gravity…

**

As I passed the beer tent, I noticed Pam and Alcide leaving, but he turned to go back while Pam followed me…

In the interest of letting everyone calm down, I found a clear area near the top of the small amphitheater and sat down…

I was so completely preoccupied by the look on Pam’s face when she joined me, that I let Alcide sneak up on me.

He took one of Sookie’s arms from my shoulder and used bottled water to rinse my blood away, then the other… then pulled her legs enough that he could rinse them, sweeping the bloody water away from her thighs with his hands…

If anyone else, even under the same circumstances, touched her like he did, I would have taken their head, but the whole time he worked, he was worried Sookie would eventually ‘snap out of it’ only to ‘melt down’ again once she saw how much blood I’d lost.

He went as far as leaving a bottle next to me so I could rinse my hair, but mentioned it was dark enough that it wasn’t obvious… to a Human, my hair would just look wet instead of caked with blood.

**

Sookie’s mood only improved marginally while the band performed for more than an hour. I was beginning to realize that time wouldn’t help her calm down when I noticed the vender booths were packing their wares to leave.

Sookie still hadn’t spoken a word since we were still at the arena. As much as I was tempted to drive, I could still feel how stricken Sookie was… Her own narrow escapes hadn’t ever rattled her so much.

I climbed into the backseat with her after tossing the key to Alcide, hoping her shields would slip enough to give me a hint as to how to proceed.

As Alcide started the car, he asked, “Bon Temps, right?” and thought, “Please, for the love of God… I can make a sandwich for her. She needs to eat. Eric can take care of the rest, but he probably doesn’t know wheat bread from sweetbreads…

Sookie sighed, “Restaurant,” without moving her head from where she’d laid it on my thigh.

He asked, “Are you sure?” and continued to think, “Well halle-fucking-lujah… I thought I was going to have to play the ‘shut up and humor me’ game. That always pisses her off.”

She answered, “I’m starving. I need some fuel and a stiff drink.”

“You got it, Shug.”

After a moment, Sookie thought, “You were gone. I couldn’t feel you. Your head was crushed…” She was finally coming back to me. “I felt the pieces of your skull go back together. Your shoulder was flattened too. I was so scared.”

I thought, “I don’t understand what exactly happened. I’m not sure why such extensive measures needed to be taken… I’m fine now though…”

Pam blurted, “Eric what did it feel like when your Maker died finally?” without turning to look at me from the passenger seat.

It wasn’t nearly as miserable as some things.

“It’s hard to explain. She died instantly. I felt like I was falling…”

She finished, “But never hit the ground.” She finally looked at me, and she might as well have said she thought Sookie’s ability had brought me back from the dead.

It wasn’t possible for me to be ended that way… I’d only seen one Vampire bleed to death, but his head was practically removed when his throat was slit, and he’d been hung upside-down… If I spent enough time trying to make sense of it all, I was sure I could think of a sound enough theory to explain how Pam could have the sensation of losing her Maker… We were all tied together by blood. It was possible my sudden blood loss caused the sensation.

But to be perfectly honest, I was distracted, and I had a perfectly decent excuse. The woman I loved sacrificed her wellbeing to see to mine. If Pam and Sookie were allowed to reel because of my near miss, I was allowed to be awed by, if not bask in, how devastated both of them were by the idea of losing me.

Fuck that it was completely conceited of me, but I hadn’t been a prince of a Maker lately, and Sookie had been so resistant in the past.

They loved me. I was allowed a few moments to enjoy the reminder.

Sookie mumbled, “You guys either turn into ash or puddle. He might’ve been close, but he was still very solid. The idea that I could have that ability is ridiculous.”

She’d caught on to Pam’s implication quickly… but she didn’t believe herself.

**

Alcide managed to find somewhere that was actually more of a dump than Merlotte’s… there were only three battered vehicles in the poorly lit parking lot that needed extensive repairs… the one improvement the place had on Merlotte’s was the smell.

After we situated in one of the many empty booths, Sookie and Alcide peeled a pair of sticky menus apart… the longer Sookie scanned the bill of fare, the hungrier she felt.

Once the waitress took their orders, I offered, “Alcide won the stone put, and I won the Hammer throw. We took second and third places in the caber toss.”

My attempt to start small talk seemed to fall flat for a moment, but Pam finally asked, “Was the other guy a Supe?”

Sookie nodded and confirmed, “Semi demon,” and I couldn’t help but be surprised, or at least curious about how she could tell.

I asked, “Did you ladies find anything interesting in the vendor tents?”

Sookie sighed, “I bought three cases of Abelour A’Bunadh for a steal. I figured we could use some for the wedding and stock some for business gifts.”

Alcide’s eyes lit up. “No Shit? That’s good stuff.”

She felt quite proud of herself as she continued, “I bought my wedding jewelry too. Chainmail. I’ll show you later…”

Later? If anything was going to distract either of us from what had happened, it would have been discussing our wedding… It might improve our moods, even if just slightly, while we waited for the food that would improve her health.

I slid out of the booth and offered my hand. “Show me.”

**

Standing at the trunk of her car, she dug through her purchases… She quickly showed me a set of coffee cups with my monogram on them, giving me a glimmer of hope. She had coffee cups at her house, but I didn’t. It seemed like she was at least planning to spend more time at my house.

“Are you taking my name then?”

She had it in her to smile. “Whether you like it or not…”

After she stretched up for a kiss, she found the bag containing her jewelry… She held a pair of wide bracelets out to me, asking for help with the clasps, and then turned so I could fasten the necklace…

As low as the neckline of her vest was, her chest was still nearly covered by what looked like gold lace.

It was striking and made my mind wander through the various dress options she might choose.

“I’m not sure I can wait to see you in your dress…” I caught myself as I stroked the necklace as though it was the first one I’d ever laid eyes on. “This is the first thing purchased for our wedding.”

She wasn’t wavering. She was buying things she’d need at my house. She intended to take my name. She was making wedding plans.

I couldn’t bring myself to care that she had resisted our bond for so long…

Not when it seemed like she was finally accepting it so completely.

I wasn’t just looking at a necklace. I was looking at vindication.

She offered, “I bought other stuff too. Necklaces for you and Alcide, just because, and a smaller version of my necklace for Pam to wear as my Maid of Honor.”

I chuckled at the idea of her buying jewelry for me, but I couldn’t help but be curious about what she’d have chosen.

“Can I have mine now?”

**

She was rightly proud of herself as we walked into the diner again. Pam noticed my new necklace right away and she had it in her to give Sookie an approving wink, but she was still incredibly rattled.

As soon as Sookie slid into the booth, she suggested, “Y’all should take a walk. Alcide can supervise my chewing while you talk.”

Pam actually felt grateful that Sookie suggested it, in spite of her distaste for showing emotion, so I tilted my head towards the door…

Even if talking about the details of what had happened would help her avoid talking about how upset she’d been, we still needed to talk.

As she lifted herself to sit on the trunk of Sookie’s car, she started, “Eric, I…”

I already knew where the conversation was going based on the swell of melancholy that returned to her.

I interrupted, “I think I might have been dead, I just don’t know how she could have gotten powerful enough to heal, not to mention resurrect. That’s a power I’ve only ever known Daemons to have.”

“But she did heal you, if not resurrect you.”

I nodded. “She did something. I’m not sure she knows what she did.” It wasn’t as though we talked about it while I was trying to distract her.

She leaned over to rest her head on my shoulder and snorted, “I don’t care what she did, Eric. You’re still here. We know Vampires who pray for their Maker’s end. I’m not one of them. I don’t know what I’d do without you.”

“Pamela, you would do just fine. You don’t give yourself enough credit.”

She could have left me centuries ago, and she would have been fine. I knew her attachment to me held her back, but I was selfish enough to enjoy what we had until she decided to strike out on her own.

“Eric, you don’t realize what you mean to me and Sookie. Neither one of us would be of use if anything happened to you.”

I nodded. “It goes both ways. I couldn’t stand to lose you either… but this was just a close call. Even if Sookie’s newly acquired abilities are solely to thank, I’m fine.”

She sighed, “I know… but… You were shaken in Rhodes, and all we suffered was a few burns, so I’m allowed to be now.”

“You almost lost your feet, Pam. That isn’t just a few burns… but I understand what you mean. I don’t fault you…”

“Partly because you’re really preoccupied by the fact that Sookie practically killed herself to save you.”

“That isn’t going to…”

She interrupted, “I am too. There hasn’t been a moment since you began pursuing her that I haven’t had the suspicion that she was going to be a disappointment… But… I watched her, Eric. I’m wholly convinced that she would have given her last drop to save you. Not like a devoted pet though. Like she would have died with you.”

That much was obvious.

“I brought Sookie outside to distract her from her mood, and it worked well enough that I was distracted too. You’re ruining that.”

She laughed through her nose and offered an empty apology, but that was the last thing she said… we spent the rest of our time outside listening to crickets and struggling to understand the nature of Sookie’s new talents silently.

But the stillness made it that much easier to feel the effects Sookie’s meal. She was quickly regaining her strength… Like Vampires would regain their strength from feeding. Food shouldn’t have been helping her recover from such an acute loss of blood.

It was another puzzle piece I couldn’t place.

Rather than letting myself ponder something that might not ever have a finite explanation (and forget that I should be grateful to still be walking), I let Sookie’s rapidly improving mood draw me into the diner.

Even though I walked with my arm around Pam’s back, she acted as though we weren’t close enough.

It wasn’t like her to be clingy, but… she’d been right. She was allowed to be shaken.

It wasn’t as though it happened often.

Sookie had a bright smile waiting for us when she looked up from her mostly empty plate. In spite of the fact that she was almost miraculously in perfect health, she was still feeling emotionally drained.

She sighed in Pam’s direction, “Vi älskar vår Viking.”

Yes, they did.

Any doubts I’d ever had… gone.

 

15 thoughts on “Chapter 8: Highland Rollercoaster

  1. i’m excited to see this! can’t wait (well, ok. I can, and i’ll even try to be patient…lol)!

  2. I see you are going to make it hard on a poor big game hunter on which one to get to first. I guess I am going to have to just keep stalking the big bad word press jungle until I have my prize.

  3. I hope this update arrives soon! Love this story and reread it often! I’ll move over to the original to keep me busy till a new chappy is available.

  4. The problem I have here: when you post a revised chapter I read it. THEN I go read the whole thing again from the original. Not complaining. Just sharing.

  5. This is quite an interesting story. Like how it started. The dynamics of Sookie’s relationships are fascinating. Looking forward to reading how she deals with Victor Madden. Will this overthrow DeCastro too? Is she setting Eric up to be King? Looking forward to reading more of this as I never read your original story. Thankyou

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