It's exhilarating, running at full speed through the darkness.
The fairy's blood is lighting his veins on fire, and when he looks down at his arm, he is almost certain he can actually see it, the fairy blood, red and glittering beneath his skin.
He throws his head back and laughs and then he reaches his arms above his head and hurtles into the night sky , almost colluding with a terrified bird.
The night is a blur and the sunrise - ah, the sunrise. It is so beautiful that he weeps, half-hidden in the branches of an old tree.
But he doesn't hide for long, lured out by the clear sound of water moving against land.
It is not the sea. But it is water, moving invitingly like a woman's body, adorns with strands of glittery sunlight.
He strips and dives in.
And then he hears her. Her heartbeat. Her pretty, fast heartbeat.
(And another heartbeat. But that's not important).
He breaks through the surface, feeling the drops scatter around him, and calls, "Hey, Sookie! Where have you been? Come. Come play with me. It's wonderful here."
His voice is full of laughter.
"I am Aegir, God of the Sea, and you are Ran, my sea goddess."
"There's big gators in there, you crazy Viking! Get on out and let's go home, before one of them chomps off your you-know-what," Sookie yells back, sounding just on the edge of panicky.
(He is really naked out there. And wet. And glistening. And drunk off his face).
"Leave the sun to the water? Nope. I'll just kill all the sea monsters! Gators, krukodiler! Show yourselves! Cowards!"
It is a game. Though he wouldn't mind killing a sea monster for her.
"He really is different," someone says, and Eric is suddenly hyper aware of the man. The were. The fucker.
Right. Next. To. Her.
"Get away from her! " he sneers.
"Fuck you! She wants me here," he yells back and Sookie tries to intervene. And introduce. "Eric, this is Alcide. He's our friend. He's gonna help you." And adding, because this is no herder party and she knows these two. "You don't want to fight him."
Eric's answer is predictable. And a little eager. "Yes, I do. Now prepare to die, you stinking dog."
As is Alcide's. "Take your shot, you dumbshit fanger."
And Sookie has had it with them. "Grow up, you giant babies! Alcide, stop making that noise. Eric, put up those fangs and do what I say! "
He is about to yell something when he suddenly feels the ground disappear under his feet. "Uh, uh I don't feel so good," he mumbles,
"Now will you listen to me?"
He looks up at her, eyes wide and confused, " Sookie, I hurt. My blood is burning."
"I know," she says, and Alcide can't help but notice that she doesn't sound quite as put upon as she ought to,
"Now, come on. You gotta get going. Vamp speed."
"I don't want to go back to the darkness," he whimpers. "I want us, I want us -" She interrupts him. "Just keep that blanket on, and the sun at your back."
"Sookie, I'm -"
"Go. Run. We'll be right behind you."
And he does as he is told, running blindly back toward the house.
He sits on the cot, swaying slightly, when she makes her way down the ladder.
The were is staying upstairs. Wisely.
"I don't want to go to sleep," he murmurs, looking at her with bloodshot eyes,
"You have to rest," Sookie says. Reasonably. "You got all burned up today. Let me check." Looking him over, touching him gently.
"Everything healed. Now, lay down and close your eyes."
"No," he says. Unreasonably.
There's a hint of a pout.
"If you stay awake, you're gonna start bleeding all over the place," she tells him, a little sternly.
"I know what the bleeds are."
"Fine," she says, getting up, " then you can clean it up. I'm not a maid."
"Stay with me."
He doesn't care if he sounds weak. Or needy.
"Can't," she says, surprised at the pang she feels. "Human stuff to do."
He gets tucked in and she leaves. He closes his eyes.
And then he wakes. Knowing that her house is empty.
The last of the fairy blood is making his restless.
He gets up and wraps himself in the blanket before climbing up the ladder.
And entering Miliways.