Her breath is hot, stays caught in the air like a fly in amber. Summer has arrived, its heavy air a seasonal voodoo, humid and inescapable.
Written before Dead and Gone, so its not in canon. This is just a little vignette type thing to help me get over my rusty writing.
She doesn’t remember the beginning of it.
It was slowly, hesitantly brought into being, assembled by time and need and inevitability.
(She had always heard that you can’t escape your blood – that all the cells know each other and will always find each other again. She had thought it too simple, perhaps, and had scoffed a little with a shake of her hair, shining in the low glow of dusk.)
But that was before. She was young, then.
The bar is crowded tonight, a game shouting from one small television, voices and cheers seeming to soak into the walls, making them vibrate, breathe. It is almost too warm, hot breath mingling with hot words, sweat and shouts and laughs, all amplified by pints of Miller, of Bud. Her feet ache in the way a burn aches – painful and on the brink of intolerance, one step away from being one step too many.
Someone calls to her, presses against her mind with ignorance and she heaves a sigh, pushes her fingers to her temples and waits. A pulse is beginning in the back of her eyes, and when she tilts her head up red flashes behind her eyelids, bright with blood. Another shout, and she wishes to be miles away from this small swamp town housing all her problems, longs for it, to feel open air and dust at her heels, the wind at her back— room to breathe. It wells up inside her heart, and her lungs hurt suddenly, inexplicably. She just wants to leave, to—
He’s close. She feels her lungs expand, contract.
He seems to glide through the bar, a feat near-impossible with all the bodies crammed hot and heavy in every corner. They part for him without really noticing; a shadow gathering at the hint of evening, long and cool, invisible.
He does not scan the room; from the moment he enters all of his attention is turned to her. An electricity hisses in the space between them, tugs at her skin and fills her up, exquisite and thrilling, and she feels— something. Something different. Fleeting, on the edges, filtering into her nerves, soothing them. She doesn’t have time to question it because he is there, close enough to lean against, to be held, and the shadow he casts is one of relief. She is tired, dog tired, and here he is, a remedy to cure all ills.
He doesn’t say anything, but shoots at a look at Sam, who grimaces but nods all the same. His hand is cool against the small of her back as he leads her out of the bar, onto the gravel of the parking lot, flooded by the light of a single lamppost.
“You called me,” he says, standing in front of her, blocking the light. His face is too shadowed to make out and she is unsure what he means. She hadn’t called Fangtasia for quite some time. “I didn’t—“
“Yes,” he says. “Unknowingly or not, you called for me, and now I am here.” It takes her another moment, but it sinks in as she feels a swell of reassurance arc through her veins.
“I called to you through the bond?”
He nods, and the set of his shoulders seems different; tense. She wonders if it has to do with this, with the fact that she accidentally called for the one thing that could actually take her away from Bon Temps. Well, hell.
“I didn’t — I didn’t realize. If I took you away from something important—“
“It is of no matter.” His hair holds a white outline, all light, and she wonders how he must have looked under the sun, skin flushing pink and brown instead of this coldness, this death that holds him now in its place. It’s a peculiar thought, one she has never associated with Eric, not really. He was always so far above such human expectation that she could never think of him so vulnerable, so alive, so ruled by emotion. Being reckless; warm. It’s disconcerting.
She looks past him, cars lined up next to each other in the gravel, and she does not see his red little sports thing. “Did you fly here?” She already knows the answer, and doesn’t really expect him to respond.
He is still staring at her, and she is still staring at all the cars, thinking about what was inside the glove compartments, or the trunks; wondering how the leather or fabric would feel against her skin, if keys hung hidden beneath the visors. She felt curious about things these days. Made up little stories of the people whose lives invaded her thoughts every second. It was easier to focus on stories of her own design, if she had them, than to try and block out their real lives, ignorantly and often brutally crushing her thoughts. It was a different version of privacy. A false knowing.
For a moment she feels unbearable longing, and she finds herself stepping closer to him, eyes still beyond him, wondering if it came from her or not— it was almost too strong to be something she felt. But then she’s fully enclosed in cold, and in silence, and her shoulders drop, her spine is water. She doesn’t say anything— she doesn’t feel like she needs to, not really, not when he knows every small emotion coursing through her. He says something, and she can hear the air being pulled into his dead lungs, feels his chest expand against her cheek. It might have been her name, so she nods into him.
“What troubles you so profoundly?” he says softly, slowly. “Is there news from Niall which has upset you?”
Her eyes shut, lets her body rush with his concern and contentment. “No,” she says. “I’m just— I’m just so tired, Eric. Half the time I don’t even know why I’m still here.” Her voice has a creeping rasp, she knows, but she can’t help it. She doesn’t want to. “I’m so sick of having to deal with everyone’s mess, being pulled into things that are way beyond my emotional paygrade.”
Eric doesn’t say anything, just holds her. Dark and silent and complete.
“I believe I’m free to do as I wish,” he begins, after a moment. “For the time being.”
“And what does that mean, exactly?”
He pulls her closer and she nearly hums with the joy it brings. “It means, exactly, that I have completed situating myself within the King’s power circle. We are agreed on many matters, and he has left Bon Temps. I do not have restraints upon my movement.”
“Super,” she sighs. In the midst of a half-yawn, she catches herself, remembers where she is and whom she’s with. “Super,” she says in a different voice entirely. She slips from his grasp, stands back from him and clears her head.
“I have to go back to work, Eric.”
“Yes,” he muses, and she’s not sure how to take his tone. “But we will speak, soon, especially about my recent… revelations, concerning our relationship.”
Her elbows angle out, her hands on her hips, readjusting her atmosphere so it fits just one. Her breath is hot, stays caught in the air like a fly in amber. Summer has arrived, its heavy air a seasonal voodoo, humid and inescapable.
“Sure,” she says. “We’ll do that.” Her sneakers spin in the dust of the parking lot, and she swings the back door open, a different sort of housed heat fanning her face. He’s gone before she even steps through the frame of the door but he will be back, because of her, maybe, but more likely because of him.
She adjusts her ponytail and gets back to work.