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A sigh hit the rain as she stepped slowly out of her car, and it did not bounce back. Looking up, the drops seemed like elaborate constellations, painting themselves quickly upon the atmosphere with a glisten before gravity pulled them down and away, a new one ready to take it’s place. She watched them form again and again, the water washing the workday from her face, slowly soaking her clothes and her skin with the beautiful simplicity of something that could only be out of her control. After a moment she felt immediately content, but could not bring herself to feel happy about it. “Eric,” she stated, the word weighing heavily with something close to conflicted. The rain continued with its easy rhythm, a comfortable lull after the crowded atmosphere of thoughts at Merlotte’s.
“You will catch a cold in this weather, Sookie,” was the reply. Her body pleasantly thrummed with its rumble; without her consent, naturally. She made her way to the porch to where he was sitting, the white of the outdoor lights distorted and reflecting strangely in the downpour, her eyes making out his large, familiar outline, the glow of his face feeling nearly welcome. She sat heavily next to his dry form, wondering how long he had been here, waiting with whatever message he was about to impart, along with its probable minimal importance since he did not appear unexpectedly at the bar’s parking lot to give her one more thing to worry about. He silently absorbed the anxiety from her bones and the cool feeling of calm filled up her insides. “Lover,” he said with nonchalance, “was there something troubling you at the bar?”
She did not have the energy to roll her eyes. Small rivulets of rain streamed down her neck and shoulders, and the cold was beginning to settle in her body. “Just busy. How’s Pam?”
“She is well. She hopes your witch will call on her again.”
“I bet,” she began, but Eric pulled her body closer to his chest. She leaned against him, her entire body sighing with exhaustion. “So why are you here? I doubt the king included saving me from a little rain with the whole protection package.”
“We have not spoken since the incident with Sigebert, dear one,” he started, and she could feel the words vibrate through her skin like a lullaby. “But I see that you are tired, and this can wait for another time.”
“Have you got any answers from de Castro’s men yet?”
“None, so far. I may need to exact a stronger… pressure.” His voice was sharper and colder than any knife she’d come into contact with. “Mmmm,” she hummed with something close to understanding. The rain was slowing to a drizzle, and she became more and more aware of how far her bed was.
“I need my bed. I need a good shower and a clean face and a big bed.” She began to stand, carefully slipping out from under Eric’s large arm, and before she could straighten out her knees, she was swooped up with ease against his chest. She began to wonder, idly, if this Scarlett O’Hara complex secretly followed her in the shape of the gorgeous walking dead. Her thoughts were swept away as he smoothly carried her to her room, setting her lightly on the floor with care. She nodded in thanks and headed for the bathroom.
“We once shared a shower,” he remarked as she emerged again, her body still curling with small wisps of steam. She smoothed her nightgown self-consciously; she remembered, and it did things to her resolve. “Yes,” she said steadily, “we did.”
“It was very pleasurable.”
“For both of us.”
“That’s… true. But I doubt either of us will do that any time soon.” She was beginning to feel flustered, her body warming in a way that was very unrelated to her recent shower.
She stared at him for a few moments, trying to strengthen her willpower. “You require rest,” he stated finally. Her relief flowed swiftly through her veins, sure that he would feel it just as strongly from their bond. “Yes, I do,” she sighed.
She crawled into her bed, her fingers tracing the pattern of the quilt, smooth and familiar, feeling a comfort beyond even Eric. Her hair was heavy against the pillow, a slight dampness remaining in its wake, and after a minute of silence she felt the vampire slide quietly between the sheets next to her. Before he could initiate something which she was far too tired for, her voice broke the peace of the house with a whisper. “I don’t care if you have any designs on me right now, Eric, because it sure as hell won’t be reciprocated.”
“I would never,” he responded calmly. She wavered on her belief of that. Regardless, the chorus of rain softly lulled her into unconsciousness, the ache in her bones slipping away. Before sleep completely overtook her, she thought she felt a hand carefully hold hers under the covers.