Eric didn’t have time to do anything, so it happened. We heard someone creating such a ruckus, that the King’s guards had rushed out of the room to find out what was going on. To my surprise, they dragged Quinn into the great room, creating quite a stir in the crowded room.
I was stunned, speechless. The last time I’d seen him, I’d broken up with him. He didn’t look like he’d changed in the least, I thought to myself.
I could feel, more than anything, Eric’s feelings on seeing my former suitor in the room. He wasn’t happy. He was angry, intensely jealous and cautious. I wanted to comfort him, but knew that he wouldn’t listen to what I said at the moment. His feelings were too much in the way and he was shutting me out. A part of me hoped that it was on my behalf for the way that Quinn hadn’t put me first, but I figured that it had something to do with being a possessive Alpha male. Maybe it was both?
“Attention, everyone,” the King raised up his hand. “Stay in your seats,” he commanded. He turned his attention on to Quinn, trying to figure out what was going on. “What is the meaning of this, Weretiger?” he asked him, directly. He’d called him that, in a derogatory way.
I could tell that while Felipe respected and admired Quinn’s fighting skills, he also didn’t like him for the simple fact that he wasn’t a vampire.
The guards slowly released him. Quinn shook himself from their grasp, knowing that he had the King’s permission to address the room. He straightened his clothing, trying to not look as dishevelled as when he had come in.
“I came here tonight…” he paused, making sure that he had everyone’s attention in the room.
I could tell you, that he had mine and Eric’s. Eric glared at him from across the room, angrily. I could feel his pent up rage, although his thoughts were closed off from me.
“Because…” He paused, waiting theatrically making sure to have everyone’s attention. I don’t doubt that he hadn’t already. He turned to stare at me.
We stood there staring at each other for a few moments, noticing any differences from the last time that we’d seen each other.
“I heard that Babe-I mean, Sookie was here…and I wanted to see her,” he explained. He turned to the King with an apologetic expression on his face. “I’m sorry, to create such a scene, but the guards at the gate wouldn’t let me in,” he apologized.
Felipe nodded his head. Quinn bowed to him in a practiced move. “Your apology is accepted, please continue,” he motioned with his hand.
Quinn took a deep breath, then turned to me, his pansy eyes staring at me with hope and full of dreams. I had a feeling that I knew what he wanted. It was me.
“Sookie, I’m sorry that I barged in here like this, but I needed to see you,” he paused, gauging my reaction.
I purposely kept my face blank because I wasn’t sure of what to say. I thought I’d explained it all to him. What couldn’t he understand about it?
“I understand why you dumped me, I really do,” he paused once more. “But I was hoping that with the amount of time that has past, that you would be able to come back to me.”
I could feel Eric’s intense jealousy and hatred flare up even more. I was torn between wanting to reassure Eric and wanting to talk to Quinn about everything. A sudden idea had popped into my mind about maybe getting him to help me meet up with Agatha.
“So, let me get this straight,” I replied. “Is your mother still in your life? Is Frannie?” I asked, curiously. “Because if they are, then we really have nothing at all to say to each other,” I explained, hoping that he’d take the hint.
Quinn looked away, afraid. I knew his answer before he answered. They were still alive and well and he would still have to provide for them. “I guess that this was a wasted trip, huh?” He asked, trying to smile a brave smile. “I’m sorry that I wasted your time,” he apologized and started to walk back out of the room.
“Wait,” I called out, stopping him.
I hastened to glance over at Eric, who was still standing there glaring at Quinn. Now, he was staring at me, both hurt and confused. I tried to give him a reassuring smile, but he ignored it. He turned away and walked out of the room.
I was helpless to stop him too. I could feel all of the vampires in the room watching all of this, with intense interest. I sighed. I turned back to the person at hand.
“Look,” I approached Quinn cautiously. “We do need to talk, but not here in front of everyone in this room. Let’s go someplace private,” I suggested.
Quinn nodded his head, then asked Felipe’s permission, who let us leave the room.
Quinn led me out of the Great Room, down a corridor into another room, where we would have more privacy.
“Does this mean what I think it means?” He asked, hopefully.
I wanted to squash that idea like a bug. “No,” I shook my head. “I’m sorry. I can’t do it. I refuse and I won’t allow myself to play second fiddle to your mom or your sister.” I explained, stubbornly.
Quinn stood there, disappointingly for a couple of minutes. “Well, then I’ll just have to prove to you that you are a priority with me,” he replied, right before he grabbed me and gave me a passionate kiss.
It was all that I needed. It proved that my decision was the right one. I didn’t feel anything for him. It was like my feelings had somehow died. I pushed him away, breaking the kiss.
“Quinn, stop,” I pleaded.
Quinn backed away, licking his lips where mine had touched his.
“If anything, that proved to me that my decision is the right one,” I tried to explain. Now, came the hard part. Telling someone you knew that had tender feelings for you, that you couldn’t be with him because you only thought of him as a friend or acquaintance. “Look, it’s not that you are a bad guy and I do have to admit that looking after your mom and your sister, like you have done is admirable, but…” I let the sentence hang because I couldn’t think of any other way to say it.
“But you don’t love me anymore,” he finished for me. He gazed at me with a look of hurt and disappointment on his face.
I nodded my head. “I’m sorry, I don’t know why, when or how, but I feel nothing now. I’m sorry,” I apologized once again. It felt terrible hurting someone the way that I was hurting him. “I hope that one day you can forgive me.”
Quinn was silent for a few moments. I let him think about what I had said. There was nothing left to say to him. I felt numb. I waited for the perfect moment to change the subject so that I could ask him to accompany me to Cashman Field.
But then I thought about it. He wouldn’t agree to help me now. I could see anger appear on his face now.
“It’s that fuckin’ vampire isn’t it? That bond that you have with him!” he accused. “I knew that it was a bad move. I knew it.” He was livid. I could tell that it was taking all of his self-control not to change into his tiger state.
Great, I thought to myself. I felt guilty for making him feel this way. I decided that I owed him the truth.
“In a way, yes,” I answered. “The bond is what drew us together, but it’s more than that. I’ve come to realize that he’s always put me first, even when I didn’t want him to.” I tried to explain. “Sure, I was scared of him at times, but once I got to know him, I realized that there was something more. He’s deep. He feels. He loves. He just keeps it hidden because of his position and he doesn’t want his enemies to know.” I knew that the last thing Quinn wanted to hear was what a great guy Eric was, but I also knew that he’d never take the hint otherwise.
“When I’m away from him, I think about him all the time,” I tried to explain.
“Isn’t that what’s supposed to happen if you’re bonded?” Quinn butt in, angrily.
“Yes, but it’s not only that. He makes me laugh. He treats me with respect. He doesn’t omit things or lie to me about things in his life,” I stared, pointedly at him. “I like to think that we’re friends too. He’s generous with his time and money. He’s always looking out for me, protecting me and making sure that nothing bad happens to me. Although, sometimes that backfires,” I added. “The point is…I love him and I want to be with him.”
Quinn started to pace back and forth in the room. I watched him, hoping that this would be the last time that we’d be having this conversation. After a few minutes, Quinn had gotten control over his emotions enough so that he could leave without saying bad things to me.
“Well…I guess this is the end, then,” he looked at me, finally. “I wish you luck and happiness…you’re going to need it.”
“I wish the same for you too,” I replied back.
He leaned down and kissed me on the forehead, then walked towards the door that we had entered when we’d gone into the room. “Have a nice life,” with that, he turned and walked out of mine.
It was exactly like how I’d broken up with him the last time, except this time, I didn’t feel any regrets. I felt relief. I felt as if I had to do this, in order to prove to myself that Eric really was the man for me. And he was. I was sure of it.
Suddenly, I remembered how and in what state Eric had left the Great Room. I left the room, in hopes of finding him somewhere close, so that I could reassure him that my feelings for him were unchanged. And that they never would.
Eric walked along the graveled path in the backyard of Felipe’s vast estate. It was dark out, so he looked up at the stars and the moon and wondered how it was that he never won anything, unless it was in a fight. It was a good thing that there were always battles to be won, or he wouldn’t want to live anymore. He’d lived a long time and meeting Sookie had been the one thing that made his life enjoyable once again. Even when she was refusing him, he’d always looked forward to their meetings. She made him feel alive, in a way that he knew that he never would be again. But no…this was why he never put his heart out there. It hurt too much. It was just like when he’d been alive.
He’d had a crush on the neighbor’s daughter, but she hadn’t returned his feelings. That was when he’d decided to go off and see all that the world had to offer.
This sucks, he thought to himself, using modern slang. Sookie was the first person he thought of when he woke up and the last person that he thought about when he went to sleep. He’d done everything in his power to make sure that she’d always had whatever she needed and that she was happy. He used his charm and wit to try to win her and when that didn’t work, he’d decided to remain her friend. He’d always known that she would come to him when she was good and ready, but he guessed that now wasn’t the time either. He wondered how he was going to live so long in this world, without Sookie there to be with him.
Even though, he knew it wasn’t in her wishes to be turned. He didn’t want to lose her. He didn’t want to know what life without Sookie would be like until that terrible day came. It looked like he didn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of seeing her reach her golden years. Quinn would have that lucky pleasure.
The part that puzzled him the most was that he’d never had this much trouble with women before. That was partly why he’d pursued her. She was the first woman to ever tell him to his face; what he didn’t want to hear the most. He loved it. She made him laugh. She broke up the endlessness monotony that was his life.
He sighed and stared up at the night sky. He wondered, was there really a God? If so, then there must be a devil because that was how he felt right now. He felt like he joined hell.
He continued walking, trying to gather control over his emotions. He felt the tears roll down his face. He swiped at them, making the blood smear across his handsome face.
He thought that he’d known Sookie. He thought that they’d got past the issues that had kept them apart. What a misjudgment on his part for thinking that they had something more, than just being bonded. What a fool he’d been! Sookie was just like all the other women who had come and gone out of his life. He could feel bitter disappointment and hurt in his chest. If he was alive then he was sure that his heart would’ve stopped beating and that he would slowly die. In fact, he wished that it would happen.
The air stirred and carried with it, a faint feminine smell that he knew well. He could feel her getting closer and closer to him. He slowly turned around.
“Where’s Quinn?” He demanded. “Shouldn’t you two be hopping into the sack, right about now?” he accused.
Sookie stopped a short distance away, staring at him with a stunned, startled expression.
“Wha?” she asked.
“Spare me the details. I guess I should congratulate you on your reunion,” he replied, sarcastically. “Sorry, I’m not in the mood.”
She walked closer to him. He kept his mind shut off from her, because there was no way that he’d let her in on all of his deep, terrible thoughts and feelings. He felt hurt and used. Had she cared about him at all?
“You have it all wrong, Eric,” Sookie exclaimed, shaking her head.
Eric faked yawned and rolled his eyes. He waited to see what she would say next. Although, he could take a pretty good guess.
“I told Quinn that I don’t love him anymore, if I ever did. I told him that I wanted to be with you,” she quickly explained, in a rush. She wanted to get it out there quickly so that they could deal with it and move on. Her heart was breaking inside because she could feel Eric’s hurt as well as her own. “I told him that even if he didn’t have to take care of his mom and sister, that I still wouldn’t choose to be with him. I want you.”
“Really,” Eric stated, in disbelief. “Are you sure that you made the right choice? Maybe I’ve realized that what we had wasn’t really real,” he stubbornly suggested. “Maybe it was all to do with the bond. I should look into having it broken.”
Sookie’s eyes brimmed with tears. “No, please don’t,” she pleaded. “I know that what we have is something more than just the bond. It’s real. We’re real. What we feel is real. Didn’t we just spend lots of time figuring all of that out? Would I be standing here with you, if I’d chosen to be with him?” She moved closer. “I wanted to explain to you, why I wanted to talk to Quinn alone, but you rushed out of the room and shut me out so that I couldn’t explain.”
“Explain, what?” Eric asked, curiously. “You saw him. You missed him. You wanted to reconnect with him. What’s so hard to figure that one out?”
“No, I wanted to get him alone to tell him how I feel. What I feel about you. He deserves that much at least. He shouldn’t be ridiculed or embarrassed, in a room full of people, over something like this. Besides, I wanted to ask him to take me to see Agatha, but I changed my mind. He was too hurt and angry,” she shook her head. She looked up at him, beseechingly. “I love you. I choose you.” She reached up and wiped his tears away. “He’s my past. You’re my future.”
Eric looked down into her bright blue eyes. “Really?” he asked, hopefully. “Are you sure that I’m what you want?” he asked, puzzled and amazed. “Because if you say no, then we’ll cut our bond, right here and right now.”
“Yes, this is what I want,” she replied, nodding her head. “There’s a lot of things in my life that I’m not sure about, but that’s the one thing that I am. I want you. I need you. Please, don’t leave me,” she burst out crying, making Eric grown.
“Don’t,” he replied. He gathered her close and wrapped his arms around her. “You know much how I hate to see you cry.”
“Then, take me back,” she mumbled into his shoulder.
Eric sighed. “Okay,” he replied, grinning. “As long as it makes you stop crying, then I’m all for it,” he explained, jokingly. His sullen mood had suddenly lifted, after hearing Sookie’s words.
Together, they held each other close. Taking the time to comfort each other. They stood there for awhile.
Eric backed away. “Hey, you mentioned something about meeting Agatha?” he asked, curiously. “What happened?”
Sookie explained to him, in detail what she and Agatha had talked about. Then her plan to include Quinn, since Agatha was purposely making it impossible for Eric to help her.
“That bitch,” Eric growled. “What does she want from us? Why is after us like she is?” He nodded his head. “Yeah, I think it’s a good idea for Quinn to go with you, if he’ll listen to you now.”
“That’s just it,” Sookie complained. “I’m not sure if he will. He was really hurt, angry and disappointed when he left.”
“We’ll see about that,” Eric replied. He reached down and took Sookie’s hand in his. It was right where it belonged. “Come, we’ve got to pay our respects to Felipe and get the hell out of here.”
Together, they walked hand in hand towards Felipe’s mansion.