Sitting on the edge of her bed, Sookie turned over the envelope while she tried to find the courage to open it and read whatever Eric had written. She smiled as she ran a finger over the embossed envelope. Trust the Viking not to have regular stationary. Gathering all her courage, Sookie took a deep breath, slid her finger under the flap, broke the seal, and opened the letter. She could feel tears pool in her eyes as she pulled the letter out of the envelope and saw Eric’s elegant script. Blinking back the tears, she let out a shaky breath and began to read…
My Beautiful Fairy,
If you are reading this, then Willa has done as I asked and delivered the letter to you. There is so much I long to say to you, but first I must assure you that while I asked Willa to deliver this letter to you, I have no intention of putting her in the middle of our estrangement. While Willa is my Child, she soon will also be your brother’s wife, and it would not be fair to any of us to impede on their relationship in such a way, nor would it be appropriate. This will be the first and last time I will ask her to deliver a message to you in any way. The only reason I asked her to pass this letter on to you this time is because I did not trust you would receive it if I sent it by traditional means. If our past has taught us nothing else, it has taught us there are many people out there who would go out of their way to hinder our attempts at communication.
As I stated previously, there is much I wish to tell you. Yet, I find I am at a loss for words. I have thought of little else than the moment I would see you again. I have imagined it a thousand times. I have rehearsed the things I would say to you. While we may not be face to face at this moment, I find all words have deserted me and I cannot express myself properly. I feel like a young boy writing his first love letter to his first crush. Unfortunately, I am neither young nor a boy, and there is too much pain between us for this to be anything as sweet as a love letter. Though I hope to one day write you such a letter.
I know there is much we must discuss. There are years of pain, anger, heartbreak, and even love between us for it all to be sorted out in a single letter. Still, a letter might be a good place to start. Some of the things we have to talk about should be done face to face, and I hope you will be willing to meet me one day so we can discuss those things.
Before that though, I must apologize. I owe you more than one apology, and I am hoping you will allow me to give them to you in person, but even if you will not, I still have to tell you…
Mere words cannot express how truly regretful I am. The words, ‘I’m sorry’, seem barely adequate enough to convey the magnitude of my remorse, but they are the only words I have. I am more sorry than I can ever say for the pain I caused you.
I made the biggest mistake of my life the night you left, and I have both suffered and regretted it every night since. I am not just speaking of the events with Pam and the Yakuza, although I regret them immensely. I am also talking about what I said to you in the basement of the club after you told Compton you were through with him.
I was jealous and angry, and I spoke out of turn that night. I foolishly believed you had chosen Compton over me again, and were then abandoning him while he was dying. I questioned your loyalty when I should have known it was Compton who had none. I realized shortly after you left what I have no doubt you had realized in that basement. Compton was attempting to manipulate you once again. I should have known that then. I should have known you would never walk away from someone just because they were unwell.
Given my words to you that night and the events that followed, I cannot blame you for thinking the worst of me. I know what you saw in the head of Mr. Gus led you to leave Bon Temps, and you probably hated me. I know it looked as though I chose Pam over you, but believe me when I say nothing could be further from the truth. I understand you are aware of what transpired that night and since then; I can only assume you are skeptical and not sure whether to believe me. I believe that is a conversation we should have face to face. If you are willing to meet me, I will tell you everything you want to know. I will hold nothing back. Yet, if you are unwilling or no longer want anything to do with me, please know this…
I chose you. You will always be my choice because as far as I am concerned, there is no choice. In my thousand years walking this earth, I have loved only one woman, and that woman is you. It is not your telepathy I love or your fairy blood, but you. I love your heart, a heart that is filled with forgiveness and compassion. I love your smile, a smile that makes me weak in the knees when it is directed at me. I love your hands; hands that are unafraid to slap me when I do something wrong, or hold me and give me comfort when I am hurting. I love you, Sookie Stackhouse. If you believe nothing else, believe that.
My love, now and forever.
Tears were streaming down Sookie’s face by the time she finished reading the letter. She could feel a lump in her throat as she tried to get a hold of her emotions. She could practically feel Eric’s sincerity in every swoop of his pen and she knew he was truly sorry for all that had happened.
Wiping away her tears, Sookie tucked the letter back in the envelope and placed it in her bedside cabinet. Clutching the edge of her bed, Sookie lowered her head and took a deep, calming breath while she tried to slow her racing mind. It would have been easy to blame Eric for everything that had gone wrong and, from the tone of his letter; Sookie realized he was taking all the blame. Sookie knew it wasn’t entirely his fault. Part of the blame lay solely at her feet. She wasn’t an innocent victim in the matter. Her actions had led Eric to believe what he did.
She had let fear cloud her mind and influence her decisions. If she had done what her heart desired all those years ago and choosen Eric, they wouldn’t be in this mess now. Yet she had and they were, and nothing could change that. Wishing wouldn’t make it change for the better, actions would. It was time she began to behave like a mature adult and face up to her mistakes. It was time she talked to Eric.
After freshening up, Sookie changed into a red lace dress and slipped on a pair of black sandals. She wasn’t sure what kind of bachelorette party Willa was having, but she didn’t want to show up in a pair of jeans and T-shirt. Satisfied with her appearance, Sookie touched up her make-up, made her way out of her bedroom, and down the stairs where the happy couple was waiting. She smiled when she saw them sitting in one of the armchairs, Willa in Jason’s lap. It warmed her heart to see the two of them so much in love, and she was glad that at least one Stackhouse knew to embrace that kind of love. When it came to matters of the heart, Jason was much smarter than her.
Seeing his sister standing in the doorway, Jason tapped Willa on the ass lightly, silently asking her to get up. “You okay, Sook?” he asked while he rose from the chair. He ran his eyes over his baby sister, checking her for any sign of distress. He had felt her distress earlier and he was tempted to go to her, but her upset had given way to acceptance, and then determination. Jason knew his sister well enough to know she had made a decision and he was curious to know just what that decision was.
“I am,” Sookie replied with a small smile, touched by her brothers’ concern. She wouldn’t tell either of them what Eric’s letter said; that was between her and the Viking. “I’m… I’m good.” As she spoke the words, Sookie realized she meant them. She was good. Eric’s letter had lifted a great deal of the apprehension she had been carrying around since she arrived back in Louisiana. She wasn’t sure what the future held for them, but she did know she would be able to deal with whatever was to come. She wasn’t fooling herself into believing that everything would be plain sailing. She still had to talk to Eric and that conversation wouldn’t be easy…unlike the conversation she had with Bill. Dealing with Bill had been relatively simple, and she knew a large part of that had been because she was completely over the Southern vampire. As much as she had tried to convince herself, Sookie knew she wasn’t over Eric. The Viking wasn’t the kind of man you just got over.
Jason nodded as he stared at sister, accepting what she said. “Right, ya ready ta go?” he asked. “Willa’s gonna drive us all ta Bellefleurs, and then me and the guys are gonna go on ta a club in Monroe.”
“I’m ready,” Sookie replied while she grabbed her purse and made her way to the door. Pausing by the door, she waited for Jason and Willa to go through it before following them out and locking up. “Willa,” she called softly as she tossed her keys in her purse. She smiled when the brown-haired vampire stopped, turned around, and looked at her. “Thank you for passing on Eric’s letter. I know we have both promised not to involve you and Jason, but…” She took a deep breath and blew it out before continuing, “Do you have his phone number?”
Willa stared at Sookie in shock. From what she had heard over the years, she was expecting a long, drawn-out affair with neither of them expressing themselves to the other. She wasn’t expecting Sookie to ask for Eric’s number after a single letter. Maybe they have both finally realized communication is the key to a healthy relationship, not avoidance. “Of course,” she said, finding her voice. Reaching into her purse, Willa pulled out a small notebook and scribbled down Eric’s cell phone number as well as the number to his offices and the bar and handed it to Sookie. “He always has his cell phone on him, but he might not answer if he’s in a meeting. He is at Valhalla tonight, so you should be able to contact him there. The staff knows your name and are aware that if you ever call to put the call through right away as do the staff at the offices.”
Sookie was a little taken back by the lengths Eric had gone to just to make sure she would always be able to contact him if she so desired. She was aware that he had renovated Fangtasia and renamed it Valhalla and, if she was honest with herself, she was curious to know what the new place looked like. Fangtasia always seemed more like a parody of vampires. They played up to the stereotype of what humans thought vampires were. She couldn’t fault Eric for using those stereotypes to make money but, deep in her heart, she had always thought he was better than that. He was better than sitting on a throne and being gawked at by fangbangers like something in a museum.
Taking the piece of paper with Eric’s numbers on it, Sookie smiled at her soon to be sister-in-law and slipped it into her purse. “Thank you,” she said sincerely. Following Willa to her car, Sookie climbed in the back and buckled up as Willa got in behind the wheel. As Willa started the car and pulled down her driveway, Sookie let her mind wander while she tried to work out what she was going to say to Eric. Her mind came up empty and she realized she was going to have to speak from her heart. She might not have known what she was going to say to him, but one thing she did know for certain was that she was going to have to talk to him before Jason and Willa got married. She wouldn’t let the cloud of their estrangement hang over their happy day, or night as it were.
Guess that just gives me one night…