Chapter 36 – Revelations
February 24, 2004
“That should do it Mr. Northman, Miss Stackhouse. Thank you for your cooperation.” Agent Chambers was just completing their interviews and they were now free to go.
“Agent Chambers, thank you for your assistance with the Fellowship.” He moved to pick up Sookie. “Are you ready Min kära?”
“Yes. Where are we going anyway?”
“Back to Godric’s house; the one we stayed in before.” The rental car was parked at the curb and he buckled her in.
“Pam, Jason, Alcide, Potts?”
“They’ll be there as well. We aren’t staying long, just to get you healed and rested. We’ll fly home at first dark tomorrow.” He could see her visibly relax. “I know you want to get home and check on Gran.”
“What about Jason, is he in trouble? I know Newlin didn’t die, but he still shot him and I’m worried for him.”
“No, the Weres we have in the FBI helped push through the paperwork. He may need to return for a meeting with a judge, but it would be a formality. I will ensure it’s all take care of.”
He drove quickly to Godric’s house while Sookie announced, “we still need to have our talk.” Eric got a horrified look. “Relax Eric. I love you, I’ve missed you, but the time apart did make me realize we should talk about some things. I just don’t want to do that here, with all the extra people; I want to wait until we are home.” They reached the driveway and Pam walked out to greet them. “Pam!” Sookie yelled.
“My little Crumbcake!” Pam exclaimed as she wrapped her arms around Sookie while she was still sitting in the car.
Eric chuckled. “What about me?”
“Oh yeah, Hi.” She smirked and walked to meet him at the front of the car. It was awkward for a moment since they had not seen each other since Eric had broken up with Sookie. Knowing he had relationship mending to do, Eric made the first move an opened his arms. Pam moved into his embrace then stepped back and pulled back to look directly in his eyes, “I’m still mad you know; you were a right ass. You’re lucky she wanted to work things out and we ‘re all taking her lead.”
“I know Pam, I know.”
“Good, that’s much better.” Potts commented from the door.
Pam just sneered at her while Eric moved to collect Sookie from the car. “I can feel you’re hungry, do you want to eat first or be healed first?”
“That’s a tough call.” She leaned into his ear to whisper. “If we only did a quick healing, we could do that first, but I want to, um, enjoy it.” Eric turned to see her face and she was waggling her eyebrows.
This surprised him as he figured she’d want to have their talk before they jumped back into bed together. He wasn’t about the question it though. “Food first, then we retire early.”
He placed her in a kitchen chair and asked what she wanted. “Do we have the stuff to make grilled cheese?”
Potts hugged Sookie once she was settled and returned the engagement ring to her finger. She stood and moved to the kitchen. “I’ll get your sandwich Sookie.”
Eric moved into the cooking area. “I’ve got it.”
Thirty minutes later, Sookie had eaten, plans were finalized for the trip home at first dark, and the group had broken up for sleep. Sookie felt a whoosh of air and found herself in the bedroom they’d shared just a few weeks ago. After he sat her on the bed she started to scoot back and he stopped her. “No wait at the edge Sookie. I need to do something.” With that, he knelt before her and took her face in his hands. “I told you I needed to beg your forgiveness.” Sookie opened her mouth to speak and he stopped her. “Let me finish this please.” She nodded. “I meant what I said about never having any regrets in my life until the day after I left you. I know you want to talk through some things so we are ‘on the same page’ so to speak, but this is me promising you forever Sookie. I’ll never leave you again. I’ll fight anyone I need to keep you safe and by my side. All that I have is yours: my life, my blood, my body, my sword, my wealth, my heart.” As he spoke, the look on Sookie’s face turned to pure love and his heart swelled. A few tears escaped and he gently wiped them away.
Knowing what it meant to have her 1000 year old vampire on his knees begging her, she sat up tall and took his hands from her face to hold them. Then she looked directly into his eyes and said. “This is me accepting everything from you and promising you forever. I too offer everything that I have: my life, my blood, my body, my blades, my tiny bit of wealth, my heart. Only I just want to wait a few years on the life part.”
His emotions exploded: Sookie had just told him she’d made her decision to become a vampire. He would never be without her. “Sookie. Do you mean it?”
“I love you, our forever means so much more now.”
“I love you, that’s kinda why I decided to become a vampire silly.” The intensity she was getting from him needed to come down a notch. She expected a reaction, but his emotions were so powerful she was having trouble breathing. “Eric, calm down, we have time. You’re so excited you’re almost suffocating me with your emotions.”
“Ok min älskade.” He focused for a moment and lessened his excitement. “Better?” She nodded. He chuckled at her and moved forward to take her lips in a kiss.
“Do you accept my promises?”
“Min älskade, I accept everything. If my undead heart could beat, it would be pounding out of my chest.” He moved to the headboard and positioned Sookie between his legs. “Now, you need to heal.”
“Can we exchange?”
“Yes, I will take only a little for our bond. Between Leon and the bagged blood I’m not hungry.” With that he bit into his wrist and placed it in front of Sookie’s mouth. Having missed feeding from Eric while he was gone, she latched on without hesitating and drank. He caressed her neck and bit, taking only a few small pulls. The mutual feeding caused a spike in lust, and now that she was healed, he acted on it. “It’s been too long Sookie, I need you now.” Lifting her skirt and ripping her panties as he moved her, Eric had her on her hands and knees while he positioned himself behind her. To further prepare her, he raised her hips up further. “Are you ready min älskade?”
“Yes Eric, fuck me, take me!”
He did just that, pushing in forcefully while bending over her to hold her shoulders and they both moaned at the contact. The pounding continued for a few minutes before he rose up and swatted her behind playfully. “Naughty girl, coming to Dallas when I told you to stay home.” He didn’t miss the burst of lust through the bond from his action. ‘Interesting, she liked that.’ He did it again, to the other cheek a tad harder. ANOTHER burst of lust from her. He leaned back over her again and spoke in her ear, trying to gage her reaction. “My Sookie, if you need to be spanked again, I’ll put you over my knee.” She actually groaned this time and he felt the wave of lust again. Her lust spurred him on and he continued at vampire speed, taking them both over the edge.
They lay tangled in each other’s arms. “That was so good.” Sookie cooed. “I’ve missed you.”
“I’ve missed you as well min älskade.” They enjoyed being wrapped around each other for several minutes until Eric felt a rush of embarrassment from Sookie. “What is it Sookie?” As she’d hidden her face in his shoulder he needed to move to get her to answer. He freed her head and looked into her face. “There’s no need for embarrassment, tell me, what’s going on in that head?”
“I feel like it’s wrong that you swatted me and I liked it. Am I turning into Yvetta?”
Resisting the urge to chuckle at her comparison to Yvetta, he thought for a moment about his answer. “Sookie, a few swats, or perhaps just my dominance isn’t the same thing as turning into Yvetta. I barely tapped you. I didn’t cause you any pain right?” She shook her head. “Yvetta craved pain as part of sex. Honestly, there are many people who respond to pain like that. My guess is you liked the control more than anything. This is no different than when you sometimes take control as you did for the first time in this very bed or the time I tied you to the headboard with the turkey ties and tickled you with the pastry brush. You liked that, I think we should do that again, and soon, but I digress. There is NO SHAME in what we did, no reason for embarrassment.”
“What about what you said, are you really going to put me over your knee?”
“No, I won’t ever punish you. I’ll put you over my knee for fun if you want it though.” He waggled his eyebrows.
“I’ll say no for now on that. But what do you mean about not punishing me. I DON’T WANT IT, but I know there may come a time. . .”
“No Sookie, there will never come a time that I will punish you. The vampire hierarchy can fuck themselves. Please, don’t put us in that situation, but you aren’t my pet, or simply a vampire’s companion. You’re my equal, we’re a team.”
“I won’t put us in that situation, but you’ve just made me very happy.” She moved to kiss him and was stopped by the knock at the door.
“WHAT!” Eric bellowed, furious that they had been interrupted.
It was Pam. “Eric, I’m sorry to interrupt, but Stan Davis is on the phone. He needs to talk to you before dawn.”
Pam entered and handed him the phone and he switched it to speaker phone. “Your highness.”
“Eric, I apologize for the interruption. It’s necessary though. I have a request.”
“The incident with the Fellowship has left many of us in the state concerned. I know you planned to leave at first dark, but can I persuade you and Miss Stackhouse to stay for one more night so she can read the key pets and companions of my vampires. At least as many as possible in one night?”
“My bonded’s grandmother is ill, it’s one of the reasons we were leaving so quickly.”
“I’ll put you on a private plane no later than 4AM; she can be home in time to see her the day after tomorrow. Security and coffins will be provided to ensure your safe return home since it will be close to dawn when you land. I’ve already contacted your Queen to confirm Sookie’s use out of state in accordance with the asset contract for you. In addition, I would be in your debt, well, additionally in your debt, Northman since you aided our state with the Soldiers of the Light.”
“What do you have planned?”
“They can all be gathered by 10PM at the Silent Shore Hotel. Other than that, I would need your guidance on how to proceed. Does Miss Stackhouse need to read each one individually?”
“Give us a moment, please.”
He muted the call. “Sookie, I leave this up to you.”
“I want to help, but I want to be firm on the departure time. Gran is my priority, I need to be home.”
“Sookie.” Pam interjected. “Can you do something similar like finding the thief at Fangtasia and the spies at the palace? Gather them together and start some conversation?”
“Yes, we can do something like that. Good idea Pam. . . . We can eliminate folks quickly. I’ll need a signal to indicate who should stay and who should go.” Pam watched as she grabbed her maker’s fingers, a move she noticed Sookie doing frequently for comfort. “It has some risks of missing folks. We’ll need to identify as many as possible in the group, then I can do individual reads of the others. Oh, and let’s start at 8PM for the more local folks. You know, get as many done earlier as possible.” Eric moved to unmute the phone and she stopped him. “One more thing. I need to know what would constitute a problem pet or companion. I mean, obviously a Fellowship spy, but what about gold diggers or vampire wanna-bes? Honestly, I feel like we should focus on the Fellowship or other severe threats and leave the others behind.”
“Good thinking my little strategist. Now, can I get back to Stan?” She smiled and nodded.
Eric worked through the details with Stan, getting input from Pam and Sookie while he tried to hold the conversation. He hung up with barely enough time for Pam to make it to her light tight room. After texting Potts and Alcide with the new plans, Eric started crawling slowly towards Sookie on the bed. “Now, we have a short while before the sun takes me. What will we do with that time?”
Sookie put her finger to her chin and thought hard for a moment. She made an AHA face and offered. “Something we haven’t done in a while.”
“I’m listening.” He’d reached her and moved his ear to her lips so she could whisper her idea to him.
“It’s the first thing we ever did that involved touching.”
“Tell me.” He whispered.
She presented him with her feet clad in the huge men’s socks that she liked to wear. “I want a foot rub.”
Sookie woke shortly after lunchtime the next day. The other breathers were already up and congregating in the kitchen. “Good morning Sweets.” Alcide started. She offered a grumpy hello. “So you’re working tonight, huh?”
“Yeah, a group thing.” She started sipping some coffee and waking up. “I have to ferret out the Fellowship of the Sun spies and any humans that mean to do harm to their vampires.”
“How are you going to do it?”
“I need help. According to Stan, there are about 150 pets and companions to read tonight. I can handle about 25 at a time for reading. So I have the hotel providing 6 breakout rooms starting at 8PM for the closest pets and they’ll put 25 in per room until they have all arrived. Stan expects everyone there by 10PM. I’m going into each of the rooms as a pet myself and need you guys to go in and start chats about what just happened at the Fellowship. I’ll move around the room to listen in. Hopefully, some of the pets won’t show up and in that case, we’ll just consider them Fellowship spies and they don’t know what to do with the fall of the Fellowship.”
“If the Fellowship broke up, why da we need ta worry?” Jason asked.
“There was another branch of the Fellowship, Soldiers of the Light. We can’t be sure they are still up and running. There could be different leaders, and that problem has traveled to other states. Jason, Louisiana has had problems. Specifically we lost a few vampires to drainers from the Soldiers of the Light. So I need you guys to mention the words Soldiers of the Light as well, it could trigger something.”
“No problem Sweets.”
“Ok, that business is over, what’s for breakfast or lunch?”
Potts laughed at her. “It’s your day.”
Sookie gasped, “I think I have an excuse!” Potts shook her head but turned around and grabbed a dish from the oven. “You guys are bad! Teasing me like that.”
“You’re so easy to rile up Sookie.”
They spent the afternoon relaxing at the house and using the pool. Since the house had only been stocked with a limited supply of food, they ordered out for an early supper and after eating, Sookie went to snuggle with Eric until he rose for the night. She sprawled herself across his body, trying to make as much contact as possible. Strong arms banded around her back a few minutes later and she offered a lazy smile. “I really missed this. I really missed you. We really can’t be apart like that. It hurts too much.”
“That’s the bond.”
“I think I would miss you without the bond. But you’re right, the pain is more than just missing you, it’s physical.”
“So we won’t be apart.” He punctuated that with a kiss to her nose. “Did you work out the details with Potts, Jason and Alcide?”
“Yes, everyone knows what they need to do. When can we leave this room?”
“So we have some time. Whatever will we do?” She waggled her eyebrows when she asked.
“I have an idea.”
“I want a foot rub.” She burst out laughing.
“You know that lead to something anyway.”
Eric and his entourage entered the lobby of the Silent Shores Hotel and were guided to the meeting rooms. Sookie heard a strange echo in her head and stopped dead while walking to understand it. The group stopped with her and watched as she closed her eyes, seeming to concentrate.
She zoned in on one particular mind. ‘Oh great, more vampires. I’ve got to get a new job. Wait, what’s that echo, I can hear my thoughts bouncing around with someone else’s.’ Sookie opened her eyes and spun until she could see the source. He had been looking around as well and their eyes locked on each other. He sent. ‘You can hear me?’ She answered yes. ‘Do you know why we can hear minds?’
Instead of answering, she approached him and took his hand. “No I don’t. Can you leave work early? Join my group for a while?”
She sent him the answer. ‘You’ve been hiding for too long, working nights here to enjoy the quiet of the vampires, yet you are terrified of them. You can do more. I can help you with shields. Come, spend time with my group. I’m Sookie Stackhouse.’
‘I’m Barry Horowitz. Stackhouse . . . you’re the meeting room thing tonight?’
‘Yes, I’m reading humans who are associated to vampires to ensure there are no Fellowship spies or other dangers.’
‘Why would you do that?’
‘Do you support the Fellowship?’
‘Not at all. Even before yesterday, I felt they were dangerous fanatics, the when I saw what they did to that poor woman. . .’ He gasped and continued out loud. “Oh my God, that was you? But you were bruised and hurt. You seem fine now.”
“A benefit of being bonded to a vampire. Look, I don’t have time to answer all your questions now, but really, you can have a better life. Just come and see.” Pulling out some papers as a cover for her mental conversation, she continued in thought. ‘If it’s a problem with leaving your post tonight, I can request you for needed assistance with the meetings.’
‘I just don’t know. Can we meet tomorrow?”
‘No, this is my last night in town. Just come and learn more. What could it hurt?’
She could hear a barrage of thoughts in his head and she waited until he finally purposely sent, ‘You can really clear it with my boss?’
‘That will be great. I can’t just stop working since we have so many checking-in tonight and I want to learn more, though I’m not promising anything.’
‘Whatever you decide is fine.’ She looked at him with her head cocked. ‘Don’t you get approached by vamps though?’
‘Yeah, I’m told I smell sweet.’
‘Join the club.’ She turned to Eric and whispered. “I’ll explain later.”
“I think I figured it out.” He put his hand on the small of her back to guide her. “Come, Stan and his group are waiting for us. They have the first two rooms full of pets and companions.”
Stan was waiting for them in the meeting room area with Liz, the Were that was one of the Fellowship spies. The two groups exchanged introductions. “I didn’t realize you two are together?”
“Yes, I’m Stan’s companion.” Liz confirmed.
Sookie tucked away that information and made her request for Barry. “Your highness. . .”
“It’s Stan, remember Sookie?”
“Yes, Stan. I was hoping you could arrange for the bellboy, Barry Horowitz, to assist me. I read him in the lobby and found him to be very unsympathetic to the Fellowship so I know I can trust him. I really could use an assistant.”
“I’m certain we can find someone better than a bellboy.”
“I agree, but I want to get started, and as I said, I know he is trustworthy.”
He turned to the Gary, one if his sheriffs. “Go arrange for this Barry to work for us in the meeting area for the evening.” Gary nodded and headed off. “Anything else Miss Stackhouse?”
“Yes, are any of our meeting rooms empty still?”
“Yes, a few, we have vampires and humans still traveling from around the state.”
“Can we talk for a few minutes?”
“Follow-me.” Stan led Eric, Sookie and Godric to an empty meeting room.
Once in the room, Sookie turned to Eric and he explained. “Your highness (He used the official term since Sookie was the only one in the group given permission to call him Stan.) We are concerned about what your vampires plan to do with the humans who are spies?”
“I gather they plan to kill them.”
“Sookie is concerned about that. You see. . .”
“My agreement via your asset contract is for reading the humans and finding spies. I’m not interested in her concerns.”
“Your highness let me explain. It’s not what you think.”
He stared at the couple and considered ignoring their comments until he remembered that the human in front of him had proven herself several times already. “Go on.”
“Sookie is concerned about how it will look if there is a large group of humans suddenly missing. Once investigated; the link to vampires could cause questions. Feed the humans lies about anything vampire. Glamour them to tell you what THEY know of the Fellowship of the Soldiers of the Light. USE the humans as intelligence while keeping them at arm’s length.”
Stan stayed quiet for a moment considering the suggestion. He turned to Godric. “Have all the vampires gather here for instruction.” Looking back at Sookie he gave a small smile. “Sookie, my apologies on the outburst about your idea. I should have listened right away. I believe you are correct. Thank you. Before you begin, the local Packmaster, Don Brennan wanted to speak to you.” Looking towards the door, he continued, “Here he is now.”
“Sookie then. I’m Don Brennan local Packmaster.”
“Pleased to meet you.” She gestured to Eric. “This is my bonded, Eric Northman, Sheriff of Area 5 in Louisiana.”
“Packmaster.” They both nodded while being introduced.
“I understand you ensured the safety of two of my pack members that were spying in the Fellowship?”
“Yes, I knew they were at risk if they stayed inside.”
“Sookie?” Eric asked. She gave him the later sign.
The Packmaster continued. “Well, we take actions like that seriously here. I know you don’t live in Texas, but you are hereby granted Friend of the Pack status.”
Knowing Sookie didn’t realize the honor she was just given, Eric answered for her. “Packmaster that is very gracious, thank you.” He turned to her and also gave her the later sign.
“I won’t keep you; Mr. Davis informed me you have a full plate tonight.” He said his goodbyes leaving Sookie, Eric and Stan in the room.
She addressed Stan. “Now I’d like to begin, and I can hear Barry’s thoughts already, so I know he is here.”
“Give him your instructions, and we will meet you in the first meeting room in 10 minutes.”
The readings went well. With her human friends striking up conversations about the Fellowship and her wondering the room, she was able to identify 14 out of the first two rooms as Fellowship or Soldiers of the Light spies. They were all discreetly ‘labeled’ and would be dealt with as she suggested. The remaining rooms yielded the same results, but with one addition: Barry began to read with her and signal to her mentally as needed. She conversed with him via his thoughts throughout the evening and when they took a break, she asked Eric about introducing Barry and Stan. He came back after meeting discreetly with Stan and told Sookie it would be a very positive outcome, so she made the introduction. Once that was settled, she and Barry were both able to interview the remaining pets and companions to determine if they were missed in the large room sweep.
The evening was a success and they were able to board their private plane before 3AM. Godric surprised Sookie by traveling with them. He explained on the plane that he arranged for some time off from his Sheriff duties and he wanted to get to know Gran and spend time with Eric since his capture had been upsetting. Sookie smiled, she truly enjoyed Godric’s company and was looking forward to spending more time with him. Plus, she knew it would make Eric happy.
After she recovered from takeoff, Sookie and Eric had the conversation related to the Packmaster’s visit. “Eric, can you explain friend of the pack?”
“Yes, it basically means you can call on them for protection or assistance at any time. All members of his pack are bound to serve and protect you as needed.”
“Wow. How long does that last?”
“You’re always a friend of the Pack, even if the pack leadership changes. Now, can you explain why you helped the two weres leave the Fellowship when you were in danger?”
“Relax; it was a backup to get word to Potts that things were going badly. The listening device could have been a problem, and since there was no way for Potts to confirm she heard me, I needed to be sure some help was coming.”
“Very well. We will review all this strategy in detail later.”
“Ok, can we just relax now, the flight is difficult enough.”
“Sure.” He unbuckled her and sat her on his lap to calm her more.
The flight landed in Shreveport shortly after 4AM. After deplaning, Sookie stood awkwardly next to Eric. “Eric, um, are you, ah . . . where are we both going now?”
He hadn’t thought about it, rather he just figured they’d go to Gran’s and he would rest in the safe room with Thalia. Now he wasn’t sure, given Sookie’s nervous state. He wondered if Gran was really that mad at him. “I thought we’d go to Gran’s. Do you not want me there? Is Gran that mad at me?”
She smiled brightly. “Of course I want you there. I do want us to take the time for our talk at our house but not now, I really need to get to the farmhouse and check on Gran during the day tomorrow.” He matched her wide smile at her reference to ‘our house’ and he hoped she really meant it. “Gran is mad at you, so you best be ready to talk with her right away.”
“I’m prepared to do whatever it takes to get back in her good graces.” Pam and Godric were off the plane and joined them by the waiting limos. “Godric, I offer you our home for your rest today and Pam can drive you to Gran’s tomorrow.”
“I’m looking forward to it.” He guided Pam to one of the limos and they left after giving their goodbyes.
“Alcide are you returning to Bon Temps with us?” He and Potts shared a glance. “I’m already fully aware that you are now together, if that’s what’s causing your hesitation.”
“I wasn’t sure how you would feel about it.”
“As long as it doesn’t cause a problem with your guard duties, I don’t care.”
“Then yes, I will be staying with Potts in Bon Temps tonight, I mean today.”
“Then let’s head out. I don’t want to get caught too close to dawn with the drive we have.”
Jason hung up the phone and joined them. “Jason, we need to go to your Gran’s first. I need to ensure I can get to my safe room as soon as possible. The limo will take you to your house after we’re dropped off.”
“Ma truck is at Gran’s so we only need to get to there. She’s doin’ fine, I just spoke to her night nurse.”
Sookie fell asleep on the drive back to Bon Temps and Eric carried her to her room. He was just getting her comfortable in bed when Gran appeared at the door. “Baby girl, is that you?”
He glanced over and was pleased to see Gran walking in with only a walker to steady her. She really had improved while he was gone. He whispered back to her. “I’m sorry we woke you. Sookie fell asleep in the car. I’m just getting her into bed.” He finished with her shoes and was taking her jeans off while he spoke.
“She’s OK then?”
“Yes, it’s a long story but yes.” He kept his eyes on Sookie, not yet ready to face an angry Gran. She could still scare him. “I know you want to talk, I have about 30 minutes before I need to seek shelter if you want to start now.”
“Yes, that would be good Eric. You get her tucked in and I’ll be in the kitchen.”
“Certainly. You’re OK on your own there?”
“Yes, the nurse tries to hover, but I wait for her to use the bathroom to try getting around on my own.”
He chuckled. “I would expect that from you.”
Gran started to leave the room but turned to watch Eric before he headed down the hall. He had pulled the blankets up to her shoulders and leaned over to kiss her gently before wishing her a good sleep.
Gran was mad at Eric for leaving Sookie, but she knew why he did it, and she also knew he had apologized to Sookie. Her understanding didn’t mean he was off the hook though; she wanted to give him a good ‘what for’ herself.
He joined her in the kitchen, just down the hall from the bedrooms. “Can I get you some tea or anything else?” He was purposely not calling her Gran. Until they talked, he wasn’t sure it was a term she would allow from him just yet.
“Tea would be nice Eric.” She was endlessly impressed with his ability to ‘be human’ when it came to little things related to caring for Sookie, and therefore other members of the family. She spoke to him while he fussed with the kettle and the teacup. “Eric, I know Sookie has made peace with you and your actions. I’m happy about that, truly. I also understand why you felt leaving her was the best thing for her.” Remembering Sookie’s hurt rose her ire and she let loose a bit. “In the words of the younger generation: WHAT THE HELL ERIC!? You need to know that I’ll find some way to stake you if you ever hurt her like this again.” He actually winced at hearing Gran curse and raise her voice. Gran took a breath and continued in a more normal voice now. “You made a decision that would continue to hurt her since you need exchange blood forever and you need to work together. Where was the logical Eric we know?”
“He missed that meeting, that’s for sure.”
“Damn right.” She paused for a moment then continued. “You two had better learn to communicate more. I know this is your first relationship in your 1000 years as a vampire. It’s her first as well so you’re going to screw up. Just talk to one another or someone else before you react if anything like this comes up again. You’ve been around a long time; you didn’t get this old by acting irrationally.”
“No, I didn’t. I tend to lose all coherent thought when it comes to Sookie.”
“And part of that is charming and sweet – just don’t be an ass about it and make decisions for the two of you without thinking things through. Your decision and all the parts that went with it?” She shook her head. “I wasn’t sure she’d get over it – ever.”
“I know that. I regret the decision and I’ve told her that.” He brought the sugar and milk to the table and then sat to look directly at Gran for his next statements. “I promised her, and I promise you now, I won’t leave her again. We’re forever.”
Jason was in the living room and had planned to go to the kitchen before he heard Gran and Eric talking. He too had been upset with Eric, but Gran had clearly designated herself the matriarch of the family. Since she was speaking to Eric and giving him a good dressing down, he would leave his feelings out of it. If Gran approved of the situation that was good enough for him. Shaking his head, he actually took a moment to feel sorry for the guy. He’d gotten it from Sookie, Pam and now Gran. It didn’t mean he wasn’t going to listen in from the hallway though.
To Eric’s ears, he heard the very start of the kettle whistling so he grabbed it before it could wake Sookie. He poured the water over the teabag and set the cup on the table for Gran. She thanked him for the tea and placed a hand over Eric’s on the table. “Well, we’re good. I’ll put my silver jewelry back in its box.” They both laughed.
“Thank you . . . Gran.”
“You’ve been afraid to call me that haven’t you?
He gave her a nod. “You’re incredibly perceptive.”
“For an old woman who had a stroke.”
She looked down the hall and spoke just a bit louder. “Jason, I know you’re there. Do you have anything to add?”
Eric and Gran both looked down the hallway as Jason approached. “Nah, Gran if you’re good; I’m good. I just wanted something to drink before driving home.”
“Jason, just stay here. Potts and Alcide share a room so there’s still one left upstairs.” He nodded his acceptance. “And Jason, I saw you on TV taking out that man who was going to hurt your sister. I’m damn proud of you. Come down here for a hug.”
“She’s ma baby sister, I weren’t gonna let anyone hurt her.” After Gran released him, he grabbed a glass of juice, patted Eric on the back, and headed upstairs to bed.
“Gran, there is something else I need to discuss with you. It’s not going to be easy.”
Gran looked a little surprised, she wondered what he could possibly have to discuss that would be difficult.
“It’s about Fintan.”
Gran’s eyes grew wide. “How could you. . .” She trailed off, not finishing her statement.
He gave her a moment before he continued. “My maker, Godric; well his maker is the oldest vampire on earth, and she is a seer.”
“Godric’s maker is the Ancient Pythoness?” He raised an eyebrow at her. “You already know I am more aware of the supernatural than you originally thought.”
“Ok, but she’s not that well known outside vampire circles.” He paused, but Gran said nothing more. “Anyway, the Ancient Pythoness knows about Fintan and you. I can explain further tonight, but I honestly think Sookie and Jason should know. I can’t keep this from her.”
“I understand. I’ll tell them tonight, will you join us?”
“Yes, we should talk when the sun first sets so you can talk with Jason and Sookie before Pam gets here.”
“As you said, Godric already knows, and Sookie and Pam are as thick as thieves, so I don’t mind if they’re here or not. Maybe we can have the talk at sunset so Sookie and Jason can absorb the information; then we’ll continue talking about what it all means. I gather you know who Fintan is?”
“I met Fintan once. I know Niall better.”
“I never met Niall, but I know who he is. Guess you’re surprised to be engaged to a fairy princess, eh?”
“Shocked would be the word.” He turned his head to the back door. “Thalia is on her way in and I also need to get to the safe room. I will see you tonight Gran.” He leaned over to kiss her cheek. “I’m glad you’re doing so much better.”
“I’m glad you’re back Eric, I mean, back safely and back with us.”
“Good morning sleeping beauty.” Potts called to Sookie when she walked sleepily into the kitchen. She kind of growled at Potts and sat next to Gran giving her a hug.
“Gran, it’s really good to see you.”
“I missed you baby girl. Seeing you on the news was difficult. I was scared for you. I’m mighty proud of Jason though.”
“Yeah, I was scared. I mean, I knew Eric would heal me and he would have gone for Newlin but Jason took Eric out of the equation. That made it better for the vampires.”
“Yes, I was watching the news casts after the incident. The vampires came out as the victims.”
“As they were! They captured Eric and they were planning to fry him.”
“I didn’t mean otherwise, calm down Sookie. I know what happened.”
“Sorry Gran. It’s just; I’m still feeling raw from the whole thing.”
“Do you want to talk about it?”
Sookie thought about it. She had reported the incident to the FBI, but hadn’t really talked through it. Her fear of dying, fear of being raped, fear for Eric. To share that with Gran though? That would be too much for her she decided. Girl time with Pam would be the better way to deal with it. “Nah Gran. I want to catch up on your progress. But first, I’m starving!”
“I’ll do some Physical Therapy while you eat.” She moved the walker into place and rose from the table. “Oh, Tara and Lala called yesterday, I told them you’d be home today. They’re planning to visit.”
“Great! And look at you, getting out of a chair on your own and moving around. It looks like the walker is only to keep you steady now.”
“Yes, Annabelle has been working me hard.”
“Well, good on her then.” She smiled at Annabelle who had come to collect Gran.
Alcide and Jason woke around lunchtime when Tara and Lala arrived to a very loud welcome. “Jesus Sook, cain’t a man sleep round here?”
“Jason, it’s 2 in the afternoon. You need to get back into your routine somehow.”
“Still Sweets, your squealing is loud enough to wake the vampires I bet.”
“It’s not that bad Alcide.”
“hrmph.” He leaned over to kiss Potts on the cheek. “Good morning beautiful.” They smiled at each other.
“Sookie?” She spun around to see Sam had arrived with Lala and Tara. She was a little icy when she first made eye contact with him. “I . . . I came to apologize. I’m sorry Chere. Do you think a hero like you can forgive me?”
She was surprised and a little skeptical at first until she saw the pleading look on his face. “Sure Sam, come on in.”
“Hookah, sits down and tells Lala what the fuck happened to you.”
“Ok Lala. Let me tell you while I cook something for Alcide and Jase.”
“No cooking Chere. I packed take out from the bar.”
The group visited for so long, Sookie could feel Eric wake from his rest. Wanting some alone time with Eric, she spent a few minutes during the day preparing for his wake up. With Potts’ help, she had resurrected the light blocks from the hallway and covered her bedroom window again. “If y’all will excuse me, Eric is up and I want to spend some time with him before he talks with Gran.”
Jason informed her, “Oh, he and Gran already talked this mornin’ Sook.” Her eyes grew wide. “Don’t worry Sook, s’all good.”
“Ok, well I’ll go get the scoop from Eric.”
“Hooker, you’s just wants some man time.”
“LALA!” She exclaimed while turning red.
“Go on Sookie. Sam and I are working tonight at Merlotte’s so we need to head out.” Lala told her.
She hugged her friends goodbye and headed to her room. “Come out sweetie, it’s safe up here.”
It only took a moment for Eric to get up the stairs and tackle her to the bed. “I hate not waking with you beside me.” He ran his nose over her. “You had company?”
“Tara Lala and Sam.” His eyebrow rose in question. “He came to apologize.” Sookie had told Eric about Sam and Arlene on one of their daily calls. He knew how much Sam’s attitude had hurt her so he was happy they’d come to an understanding.
“Ah, no doubt having seen you on the news.”
“They wanted the scoop. I’m sure it’ll be all over Merlotte’s that they saw me today.”
“Too bad we are too busy to stop in later.”
“That would’ve been fun.” He continued to nuzzle her neck and started removing her shirt. “ERIC!” She pushed her shirt back down. “There are too many people in the house. You’ll have to wait. I mean, Thalia’s just down the stairs in the closet.”
“Then what are we to do while stuck here in your bedroom?” He asked while sneaking his hand up her shirt.
“You can tell me about your talk with Gran?”
“Did she tell you already?” Using one hand, he expertly unhooked her bra and moved his hand to the front.
“No, Jason told me you talked. Are you trying to distract me by playing with my nipples? I want to hear about this talk.”
“I’ll tell you, but I’m not moving my hand.” He added a kiss that left her breathless; then shared information about his talk with Gran ending by telling her that he and Gran wanted to talk to her tonight.
“Let’s just wait for Gran and Jason.”
“Yes, he needs to be there, but don’t ask anything else for now.” He squirreled a hand into her pants.
“Ok. Now what are you doing?”
“I wanna play.” He almost whined. “You can be quiet.”
“You know that’s hard for me. Thalia could walk in like Pam did.”
“Thalia, stay downstairs until I call you.”
“There, that problem is eliminated.” He moved to pull her pants down and she automatically shifted her legs to give him more access. The scent of her arousal hit him and he smiled. “You are so wet for me.”
Replying as she pulled his boxers down, she said “Happens anytime you are near.”
Eric had pushed her shirt up to expose her breasts and he paid some attention to both of them before he moved up to capture her mouth in a kiss. Having her mouth covered to muffle her noise, he entered her and proceeded to slowly make love to her. His movements were so tender she made only small moans and cooing noises until they both came. They were still calming down when Jason knocked on the door announcing sunset. “We’ll be out in a minute.” They dressed quickly and Eric called to Thalia.
“Mistress” Thalia bowed. “Your bravery is beyond compare. Thank you for efforts to free our Master in Dallas.”
“Brave? I was scared shitless, but I appreciate your words. Thank you for watching over Gran while I was gone.”
“Thalia, we have some family business to discuss tonight. After, Sookie and I will be leaving for Fangtasia then home before dawn. Will you stay here for several more days until we sort out living arrangements?”
“As you wish Master.”
“Come Sookie, we need to gather Gran and Jason for our talk.”
They met at the kitchen table: Gran, Jason, Sookie and Eric. “Jason, Sookie,” Gran started. “There’s something you need to know about our family.”
From that start, Gran talked about her marriage to Mitchell. “Your grandfather had the mumps when he was young, making him sterile.” Sookie stiffened at the words and grabbed Eric’s hand knowing she wasn’t going to like what was coming. “I met a man, a truly beautiful man one day when I was out hanging laundry. His name was Fintan Brigant and he was your true, biological grandfather.” Sookie started shaking her head as if she was trying to remove the words then she put her hands up for Gran to stop. “Sookie, you need to hear this.”
“But Gran, you cheated.”
“I know baby girl. I know.”
“You raised us to be so proper, nitpicking at every little infraction or curse word, imparting the importance of being a lady and yet you, you cheated on Grandpa!” Her initial upset changed to a bit of anger. “Where do you get off judging Jason for his promiscuity? Oh and your speeches about telling the truth? You’ve kept this from us for YEARS!” Her volume grew as she spoke and Eric tried to send her calm. This news was only the start of a long difficult discussion and they needed to move on. “Poor Grandpa, he loved us like we were his family. The lies Gran, the lies!”
“Sookie, your grandfather Mitchell knew everything and it never changed anything for him. Fintan explained that he could give us children and your Grandpa accepted it. He loved your father and your aunt just as he loved all his grandbabies. Don’t let this news change any of your feelings or memories of him.” When Sookie seemed to quiet for the moment, she sighed, preparing to continue. “There’s more.”
“I don’t think I can handle more right now.”
Eric moved her to his lap for reassurance. “It’s important min kära.”
“You knew?” The hurt clearly showing on her face.
“Only recently and I needed to discuss it with Gran first out of respect.”
She wriggled to get out of his lap and Gran stopped her. “Don’t you dare take any of this out on him! He only found out most of this in Dallas and you’ve been working through other issues since then. What little he knew before he was forbidden to tell. As soon as we spoke early this morning, he asked me to tell you tonight so he wouldn’t have to keep it from you.” Sookie maintained a defiant look towards Gran but settled into Eric’s lap after hearing Gran’s words; she leaned to his ear and offered an apology. Gran picked up where she’d stopped. “As I said there’s more. Fintan was not entirely human.”
Jason spoke his first words of the conversation. “He was vamper? I thought they couldn’t have kids. Sook, does this mean you and Eric can have kids?”
Exasperated, Gran took Jason’s hand. “Slow down boy. Fintan was not a vampire, he was a fairy.”
“Gran, there’s no need to be mean. Just ’cause he was gay don’t mean he weren’t human.”
She looked to Eric for help and he responded. “Jason, have you ever considered that since vampires are real, other supernatural creatures might also be real?” Jason’s face made him look constipated and Gran was at a loss. “Sookie, I have an idea, can I speak to you about it in your room?” She nodded and he stood taking Sookie with him down the hall.
“What’s your idea?”
“Well, I’ve had this discussion with Jason before, when he was first captured. It was difficult and the only thing we could do to convince him about Weres was having one shift in front of him.”
“You really think that’s necessary?”
“Sookie, I was with him for a few hours trying to talk it through.”
“Fine, call Alcide, he and Potts just left, they shouldn’t be too far. But I’m not waiting; I want to know what the fuck a fairy is.”
‘Wait until she finds out she’s not just a fairy, but a fairy princess. Pam will want to buy her a tiara; I can just see it now. Wonder how pissed Sookie will be when I let her?’
Once seated again in the kitchen after Eric called Alcide, they continued their talk. “Jason, I have a way to demonstrate what we mean by other types of creatures, can you let your Gran move on just knowing you will accept that fact shortly? I really must spend some time at Fangtasia this evening, but this conversation needs to finish.”
“Fine, go on.”
“As I said, Fintan was a fairy, well half fairy. His father was a full fairy and his mother a human. So that makes you both 1/8th fairy.”
“So fairies are telepaths? Why didn’t Jason become a telepath like me?”
Shifting nervously in her seat, Gran answered that question. Fearing both Sookie and Jason’s reactions she explained. “Full fairies do have magical powers. Like full fairies, hybrids are very beautiful and can easily attract mates. Hence your brother’s um, promiscuous ways. They are not telepaths. That my dear has a separate source.”
“Are you going to tell me I’m a daemon or a witch now?” Sookie jokingly asked, giggling after she made the comment.
“Not exactly.” Sookie’s giggling stopped. “Fintan was bestowed a gift by a dear friend, a daemon. You know him. It was your . . . your Uncle Des. I was given a thimble of his blood to drink before I ever conceived a child. The blood bestowed the gift of telepathy to any descendant of Fintan’s as long as they possessed the essential spark. That’s a term in fairy related to your fairy essence, or magic. You baby girl, have the essential spark.”
“What the fuck, ya tell me I’m a fucking fairy, but a broken one? I got to get outta here.”
Eric handled Jason. “Jason, sit down and hear your grandmother out or I’ll glamour you into that chair.” Jason glared at Eric, but he sat back down.
Once Jason was settled back in his chair, Gran continued. “Jason, as Fintan explained to me, many hybrids do not possess the essential spark. Sookie is the only one in the family who has it. You and Hadley are part Fae but without the spark.” She took Sookie’s hand. “I’m sorry it caused you so much pain growing up baby girl. Fairies with the essential spark are like magnets to supernaturals. Desi thought it would offer any of Fintan’s descendants’ protection from that. We spoke about it recently; he had no idea it would actually not work on vampires, the group he most wanted to protect you from. No offense Eric, he approves of your union.” Eric nodded. “The blood also gave me shields so you could be with me and not hear all my thoughts. It was provided as a level of comfort for you.”
Gran stopped for a moment to take a drink and gave Sookie some processing time. After a moment of two of silence, Sookie looked at Gran. “There’s more?”
“Yes. You see, some of the fae, that’s the term for the species, were not happy that fairies started breeding with humans. Some are even angry to the point that there is a civil war over it. Some fairies are trying to come to earth to recapture and even kill the hybrids. It makes no sense to me seeing as the fae race is currently having problems reproducing, you’d think they would welcome all children.”
“You just said coming to earth? Where do the fae live?”
“Ahh, I’m rushing through so much. We’ll spend more time; perhaps invite uncle Des, to review some of this in detail. Anyway they live in their own realm, and there is a portal for that realm on our property. To protect you, Fintan warded this house from other fairies. Not even your great grandfather Niall knew about you, though with your introduction into the Supe world, that has likely changed.”
“This Niall, he wants to kill me?”
“No, the fairy causing all these problems is Breandan Brigant. The general consensus for those involved believes he killed your parents.” She gave an apologetic look to Jason and Sookie as she spoke. “He’s Niall’s nephew, the son of his departed older brother, Rogan.”
“Am I in danger?”
“I don’t know, and hopefully Uncle Des can help us find out. He still has connections to Fae.” Gran paused and wrung her hands together. “Sookie, there’s more.”
“Christ on a Cracker Gran!”
“You aren’t just both fairies. You’re fairy royalty. Niall Brigant is the reigning Prince of Fae.”
Sookie put her head on the table. “That’s it, please? No more for tonight.” Eric rubbed her back trying to comfort her. They were interrupted by Alcide’s arrival, Pam and Godric on his tail.
“Northman, you called?”
“A moment Alcide. Gran, I need to step outside, but before I go, I’m very pleased to introduce you to my Maker, Godric.”
“Pleased to meet you. Sookie has spoken fondly of you.”
“The pleasure is mine Mrs. Stackhouse.”
“Gran please.” Godric’s eyes widened, earning him a few chuckles from around the room.
“Min älskade, I’m taking Alcide and Jason outside for a bit.” He placed her back in her seat. “Gran, you can give Pam and Godric the quick version if you like while we are gone.”
When Eric returned with a dazed Jason, he could hear the end of the conversation with Gran, Godric and Pam. “Holy fuck Sookie. You’re a princess!” She picked up her phone and started typing something.
“Pam, I don’t think so. Would a princess have grown up like this? I mean no disrespect Gran, but we didn’t live like royalty.”
“I’m sorry Sookie that was by design. I refused Fintan’s help for fear it would expose you. If Niall or Breandan could track down any resources, be it money or other help, coming our way. I . . . I just couldn’t risk it. Desi did what he could discreetly; lord knows he offered to do more. He bought me the fabrics I used for your dresses; he’s even the one that bought you the pretty shoes you wore to the prom.” She saw Sookie’s face change. “Oh, sorry I know that’s a bad memory. My point is, don’t be mad at any of them for growing up poor. It was just the way it had to be.”
“I don’t care that I grew up poor, I just won’t make the leap to being royalty. I didn’t ask for any of this, the telepathy and now the potential danger.” She let a breath out. “I guess we have to hope that other fairies don’t know about me.”
Godric and Eric shared a look across the table. Sookie caught it. “Spill it.”
Eric deferred to Godric by nodding. “Mrs. Stackhouse – I mean Gran, Sookie, Jason . . . Niall is likely already aware of your presence.”
Sookie scoffed. “In that case, if Fintan and this Niall are aware, where were they for Hadley and me when charming Uncle Bartlett was . . . Well you know.”
Jason stiffened. “No, some of us don’t know and always wondered.”
Eric started to respond to Jason, but Sookie stopped him. “Thank you Eric, but it’s a night for sharing, so he should know this secret too.” She inhaled and turned to focus on Jason, ignoring the rest of the participants in the room. “Jason, Bartlett molested Hadley and I, actually, Hadley was raped by him as she was older.”
Jason closed his eyes to absorb the information for a few moments and the room remained silent. Pam had suspected something given the reaction of Bartlett’s name at Thanksgiving, but she was surprised at the revelation. She reached a hand to Sookie’s shoulder and squeezed. Finally, Jason’s eyes opened and he reached out to Sookie. “If Ida known, I wouldn’t’ve stayed in touch with him all these years. Hell, I woulda killed him.”
“I know, but it’s the past and I would just like to move on.” She returned her focus to Eric. “So you mentioned Niall is aware. Why do you think that? Just how did you already know this information Eric?”
Again, he deferred to Godric. “Sookie, my maker visited Eric and me in Dallas.” He decided to share the purpose of the visit with Sookie, hoping it would give her a chuckle in this very burdensome evening. “She came to have words with Eric. You see Sookie, my maker is the oldest vampire known on the earth and she is a seer, actually she is the blind oracle that Alexander the Great consulted.” Sookie’s eyes widened. “I cannot tell you her whole message to Eric, but she was very upset at Eric for breaking up with you and she quite plainly told him so.”
She giggled for a second then stopped. “Wait, why would someone of such power care about that?”
“I warned you she wouldn’t let it go if you told her.” Eric taunted his maker.
“That is mostly part of what I cannot tell you. But she referred to you as the Brigant girl and that Niall is unable to assist right now. That assistance was in reference to helping Eric out of the hole he dug with you. The comment led us to believe that she had been in communication with Brigant.”
Sookie had clearly had enough. “Eric, can we go to Fangtasia so I can get drunk, please?”
He’d been feeling overwhelming emotions through the bond: fear, curiosity, anger, shame, disgust. He tried to combat them with love and reassurance, but it wasn’t working. Not hesitating, he picked her up and headed to the front door. “Of course min älskade.” He gave a look over his shoulder. “Thalia and Bubba are outside. Pam, Godric, you can join us at the bar or stay and visit.”
Godric decided to stay and Pam rose to follow Eric and Sookie.
Once in the car, Pam showed Sookie an image from her Blackberry. “What’s this Pam?”
“It’s the tiara I just ordered for you