Pre Edit Count – 2,138 Words
Song I listened to for this chapter: Carnivals of Rust by Poets of the Fall
The tall Viking Vampire stands there looking up at her. He is dressed in his normal attire all black, with a leather jacket, over his normal racer vest. He is wearing jeans with his hands in his pockets, as he is standing there radiating his authority for all to see. His hair is shorter than when she had last seen it.
“Everyone who claims to love you…your friends, your brother…even Bill Compton…they all gave up on you. I never…did.” Eric looks deep into the blue eyes of the woman he has come to acknowledge in the time she had been gone as the one person he truly loves. His soul mate.
How could she be anything but? He has never seen anyone in his thousand years of life ever stand up to him the way she does. No one who inspires him to become more. No one who, once their presence is not around, makes him yearn for her with a need so great it had brought him down to his knees when she left.
Eric had spent every minute that she had been gone searching. He had spent many nights at the last spot she had been on this earth, searching for the last remnants of her scent. He had guessed with the scents that commingled with her own around her grandmother’s grave that the Fae had taken her. What he couldn’t tell at the time was if she had left willingly or by force. Something he needs to discover now in case they come for her. He will protect her. Even if he has to take up something that he knows she may not like.
So he had searched for a way to get to her. Calls to his contact Niall Brigant had given him nothing in return. He had called in the favor that was earned when he saved the young prince from an attack by some younger vampires. But nothing became of it. He had even searched out the Fae he had known were still in this world, but they couldn’t help him either, saying that they had no way to go back, that they had been here too long. He had raged that night, unseen by others. Then the following night, he started again following other leads. He would not give up.
The slight bond he had with her, had been dark, but not burned out as Godric’s is. That is until today, during his day rest, her return to this earth was enough to bring him out of his day rest. His blood danced in his veins, so happy to have the other part of it here again, as his soul demanded that he go to her. The bond is small, but so filled with her light that there is no mistaking it. He had gotten up and paced erratically around his lair for the rest of the day, never noticing that the bleeds didn’t come. No, all his body and mind was concentrated on was her.
He had no idea how she would receive him. He had bought her house when her idiot of a brother had given up on her and sold it. He had to make sure she had a home to return to. Especially after one of his contacts warned him that the time spent in Faery was not the same as it is here. He wanted to make sure that she would have a place to come home to, where she can retreat to if the world was a mess when she came back.
He had finally built himself a cubby when he realized that she may be gone for a while. He did it to assure himself that he would be there upon her return. Unfortunately, the new King had called for him to attend him at Fangtasia. If he didn’t know better, he would think that the King did it knowing that she would be returning today. He had given another reason, but truthfully, that was the main purpose for why he had put it in. No matter what he told everyone else.
With her return in mind, as well as his suspicions about the mysterious call and how she had so conveniently been missing, he was out of the door the second he determined he could make it to her side safely in the last rays of the sun. Unfortunately, it seemed Compton had beat him here. She is beautiful, standing on the restored porch staring down at the new King who is vying for her affections. But his immortal eyes found signs of grief and loss, and something else. He bristles, ready to fight for her.
He had to tell himself to calm down, that she had no idea what had happened during the time she had been gone. How the revelations that she was his other half, his soul mate had become clear to him in her absence. The woman he loves with every fiber of his and her body. He has never lied to her, he has always been brutely honest even when he told her that he didn’t know what love was. What he felt for her then was not able to be described as such, and what it had grown to now greatly moved past that paltry word.
Eric also expects that she will be upset with the changes he made to her house. Initially, he had just wanted to restore it, and had been enraged that Compton had allowed her to live in such filth. But the contractor had come to him and asked him to walk through the house with him.
Seems the Maenad’s madness had actually eroded the house itself. Her madness was a rot that had spread throughout the structure, making it where it needed to be completely redone. The house had needed to be stripped down to its roots, and even then, some of those had to be replaced. The rot was like a living organism, and was eating away at the house. Eric had instructed the man to make sure whatever was stripped from the house was examined and to see how much they could keep.
He had found that this house had been built by generations of Stackhouse’s and he didn’t want to take away from that. Anything at all that was of sentimental value, was put aside, and he had witches to work on it to free it from the Rot. He himself had worked with the crew of supernaturals as they found that the longer Sookie was gone from this realm, the faster the Rot seemed to spread through the foundation of the house. If he and his crew had not worked on it, she would have come back to nothing.
So, he will take all the ranting and raging she will give him, happily. And maybe later, when he thinks she will not take it badly, he will tell her why the house is all new.
He had also decided that he will make sure he gave her lessons on the Supernatural world. Neither Merlott nor Compton had done that. Eric had thought that they would have taken care of it, but instead, by the conversations he has had, along with the glamouring he did once he suspected, Sookie had no knowledge of how their world worked.
And it is undoubtedly their world. If she was taken by the Fae, it only cemented her place in the supernatural community. She cannot escape it. He hated to be the one to tell her, but he knew now, that no one tells her the cold hard truth. He grins to himself as he listens to Compton trying to make pleasant with her as he floated above the roof. He had no intention of leaving her alone with the incompetent King. Nor the bumbling fool of a human Sheriff.
No, he is waiting for them to leave, then he will talk to her. And he will not leave until they get a few facts straight between them. Facts that he knows she has no idea about.
Listening, he hears them all leave, and once he is sure that Compton is far enough away, he floats back to the ground, then makes his way up the stairs. He knocks on the door, then holds his hands in front of him, folded. Waiting for his love, his other half. Hoping that she will listen to him.
Sookie has flung herself on the couch after she got rid of Bill. She needs to keep calm, the lessons she had received in Faery had taught her that controlling her emotions is everything. She can no longer be the impetuous child she had been. No, the trouble she has brought down on herself has been her fault.
They had made it very clear to her how childish she has been. The lessons that had been pounded into her head told her exactly how naïve she had been. The passage of time in that place had been truly timeless, but needed to actually teach her.
After escaping with her grandfather from the mad Queen Mab, Sookie had been running and literally within a step her grandfather and she had been taken to a pocket universe. There was nothing there, but the man who she learned was her family. In that universe she met her great-grandfather, the father of Earl Stackhouse. He told them both the facts. Earl would need to remain in Faery, but would remain with him. He will take his son to the true Fae. This all was a side part to the real thing.
Sookie was told that she could not stay. The vampire blood in her by the one who was not her soul mate needed to be removed. But her soul mate had saved her, he gave of himself unselfishly and that helped her more than either of them could have known otherwise. She was told how she should be a Renfield to the vampire who tried to steal her light. But instead, the blood of her other half had saved her from that fate. She was told it was all a game, a game of chess with her life. And right now, she was losing. She needed to grow up, make some choices, and acknowledge some cold hard facts. If she could, it would make her and her soul mate’s lives much easier. There are some huge issues coming up that will only be surpassed by the two of them standing together.
Her grandfather had helped with Sookie growing up in that time, telling her that he was sorry for not being there when she needed him. They both watched as the memories of her life were shown to them both. And she had been mortified to have her grandfather see it, much less her newly met great Grandfather. Then they both talked her through it, showed her over and over again until she really understood at the most basic level how her childish reactions had made situations worse. She had saved people, but it would have been done better and more thorough if she had not resisted her talent, nor the help that had been offered.
She had been shown how she irrationally hates Eric. There was no reason. Bill treated her worse. Eric on the other hand had always been there to rescue her, when he had known she was in trouble. That was the key. The times her life had been truly in danger, Eric was nowhere around nor had he any information about it. But somehow, she held him up to a higher standard. That will end, there is no reason for it. As it is, she needs to really thank him.
While she had been there she had also been told she needed to make a choice. To go through life as she had been, or allow someone to help her. What her grandmother had taught her was right for the time period she had been raised in. No matter what she read in the minds of Bon Temps residents, the world had moved far beyond thinking she was a kept woman by accepting gifts or asking for help. Her strong will was commended by both of them and was told that had been what Adele had been trying to give her, but Sookie’s telepathy had skewed the lessons. Then she was shown what a truly kept woman was. And no one in her life was in any way asking her to be like that.
She was also told how it was Queen Mab had known about her. Which had shown her, yet again who protects her, and who uses her. Yes, a lot of education had been given to her, and while no time had passed in the chase, it had been enough to give her the age and knowledge she so desperately needed to survive in the supernatural world.
Sookie was given another gift. The gift of opening her up to the other side of herself. She is a Fae with the essential spark. She is 1/8, if you looked at it scientifically, but in reality, she is now 100% Fae. The essential spark determines it all. If you don’t have it, you are not Fae. Simple as that.
She was warned that once she mates with her soul mate, she will not age. Her lifeline will match his, or his to match hers. She had been told that once she admits her true feelings, it will all fall into place. Life would become better.
But she has to open herself up to those chances. If she keeps charging through her life being an immature, snotty, selfish brat, she will pass up one of the few chances of being one of the few truly happy individuals out there.
Once she had been educated as much as they could do in that time, she had been popped back into the chase from Queen Mab and her followers. There was a construct running beside her of her Grandfather Earl. He controlled it, but he was removed from the equation.
Sookie was told she should never trust another Faery unless they share light with her. Only with her being willing to be pulled into this world, could she now be taken. Threats to take others or such will not work. There is just no way to be forced into Faery. Her grandfather had made sure of it. So her decisions are hers, no one can force her to come back. She needs to remember that clearly.
So now Sookie is back home, and confused. Her brother had told her how long it had been, but she had been told that the time she had spent with her Grandfathers will not pass here, nor in that land. And indeed, it hadn’t, but Sookie did not have that information yet. So instead she is wondering about the year that had passed, and how it had passed. Which part passed, and the sense of loss as she slowly realizes that everyone had moved on without her. Her life was so insignificant that it had barely caused a ripple when she left.
She is sitting there, trying to understand what is going on, when a knock sounds outside her door. The void she is presented with, shows it is a vampire standing there. Since she is not sure who owned the house, she could not be sure of the invitations that have been tended out while she had been gone to the Fairy realm.
So taking a deep breath, she walks herself over to the door, and slowly opens it to reveal a tall Viking Vampire known as Eric Northman standing confidently in front of her.
The two of them just stare at each other, taking in the other from head to toe as they had wanted to in the year that had passed.
After a few minutes, Eric tells her, “I am happy you are back, Sookie.”
She smiles at the tall Viking. “I am glad to be back.”
Before she can say anything else, Eric jumps in, “I need to speak with you, and get some things taken care of. Once I do that, I can leave if you like. But you are not safe until I do so. And your safety matters…it matters much to me. May I come in?”
Sookie swallows. Reminding herself of all she has learned, and steps aside, “Please come in, Eric. I think we have a lot to talk about actually if you don’t mind.”
Eric steps in while looking down at the tiny woman he loves with his complete being and smiles. “I do not mind any time I can spend talking to you, Sookie.”
And with that the door closes.
Final count, 2,813 words.