Pre Edit Count – 2,112 Words
Song I listened to for this chapter: Bloom (Bonus Track) by The Paper Kites
Then she was gone. Eric’s pain was enough that he shut all the Bonds with them down and they all tried to get him to reopen them. Pam, with her remarks and so on about Sookie, was not helping. She could not understand her Master, and no matter who tried to tell her otherwise, she blamed Sookie. To her, anything and everything ended with Eric’s fascination with the fucking fairy.
No, life has been full and exciting since Sookie came into it, and Brandon is looking forward to having more of the family around to help temper that danger magnet attached to her. He needs a small rest, one that does not involve Eric being in pain from her being gone. No, he is going to like being back with the clan.
Later on that night, Eric is still reading the updates coming into the tablet, and as he looks up at Brandon, his mind is turning. He has been thinking that Brandon is the best choice of assistant for his lover. He is the one who could interact with her the best as he already knows her from having watched her – he had proven that earlier when he had made the comment that she would have cleaned her house. His still being human will allow him to help her without anyone else knowing. He nods his head once, deciding that would be the best fit for his Son.
As Eric thinks over what he reads, he sees the things that Frey has done in his absence, and wants to make sure his first Son is aware of how proud he is of him. Frey couldn’t have done better with Eric being there. He deserves his own Kingdom, but an hour into the updates, he had sent a message, “No, I don’t.” How well his son knows him. But he is receiving fewer updates as Frey seems to find fewer items to tell him.
He still chuckles to himself thinking of that message. Frey is him in a lot of ways, and knowing that, Eric can understand why he doesn’t want to take up the role of a king in his own right. Eric’s trips out are about as much as Frey can take, and that is because if he can’t deal with it, Eric will come back if he calls for him. However, Frey also strives to do his best. He wouldn’t call unless he has no other choice.
He looks down at his Mate, and wonders about her sleeping. They will be higher on the ice cap, which means longer winters, the season they are heading into right now, in fact. The short summers are not as good and that is one of the reasons no one fought him for his Kingdom. However, Eric suspects that he will be only sleeping when his Mate sleeps then. All of the benefits and none of the handicaps are available to them both there and he will be thrilled with it. There might be some renovations happening to work around his new schedule, but to have that time with his Mate will be well worth it.
He will enjoy all the times he can be with his little Mate, but already the drama is happening around them. No matter what he does to get away from it, it follows them around like a bad puppy.
Finishing with the tablet then placing it on the table beside him, Eric leans back and holds his Mate as he considers all the alternatives available to him. On his home turf, he will be much stronger, all in all, against Russell. Eric is not sure that he didn’t know who he really was. Russell is an old vampire, but then, there was a reason that he was not a ruler in the Old World. His collections and the way he gathered them had angered many Supes, so he had been actively banned from the Continent. He had been known for sneaking into countries, which now explains some of the Nazi behavior since many of the treasures they had taken had never resurfaced.
Closing his eyes, Eric clenches his jaw. He will deal with Russell when he can – no need to borrow trouble yet. He also has his spies active in his old area, knowing that there will be some issues since he left. Billy Boy had no idea how much having Eric’s presence in his area lent respect to his position, though he was quickly losing even that by the way he treated Eric.
No, life will be different, and he looks down at his Mate – the Mate he has wanted, fought for, bled for, the most precious thing in his life. Life will be much different for all of them. His clan will have a Queen after so long. He will have someone to trust more so even than Godric, one that if she dies, he will be with her, never left behind as he was with Godric. And she will know the love of him and his clan. It will be heady for all of them, but he knows that they will all be the better for it, just as he has become a better man for knowing her.
He had not realized just how complacent he had become, nor how badly Pam was dragging him down with her negativity. It was only when he started to realize that Brandon was right, that he did feel more for the pretty blonde who was his personal sun, that things began to change. Pam tried to tell him that he didn’t and he backed away, believing her. Then Brandon didn’t even have to do anything, as Sookie herself had proven to him how much he cared. Then, when he accepted it, when he thought all was to be lost, he had fought for her, and he had given her the truth that she deserved. He had planned to only shower, to give her some time to recover, and then return to watch over her that night.
When she had left, he had fallen to his knees, and then ran out of the shower and took off to Bon Temps barely dressed. When he had arrived, he had seen a lot of activity at Compton’s place, but then he had followed her scent to the graveyard. He had smelled the fairies, but the loss of her and the knowledge that they had taken her had made him want to weep.
Eric had been suspicious of how calm Bill was. Sure, he had acted all desperate to find Sookie, but he was not the emotional vampire that Eric had come to know him to be around Sookie. He wonders now how much Bill knew of what had happened – it had all been too well timed for Eric’s piece of mind. He resolves to get Arathorn on it. His Steward will know how to get the information.
Feeling the plane descending, Eric looks out the sole window on this side of the plane, and smiles as he sees land coming into view. It won’t be long now. He is not shocked that they have a Concord. Pam may think she knows how wealthy he is, but all the money she knows about is under the identity of Eric Northman. He was quite proud of the money he made under that name.
But under his real name? They are one of the richest families and countries in the world. He has always helped his homeland and had invested his money in things that would only benefit them. He is proud of his clan’s accomplishments and proud that they have followed his examples. No, Sookie would have no idea about what is coming to her. The sheer amount of money they have is staggering. And that is their personal wealth, not that of the Crown, which is just as wealthy.
They are the only countries where the Vampire King has as much say in the management of their lands as the humans do. It has always been that way since it is from his family that the leaders of the countries under him are mostly descended. When vampires came out it was truly shocking to discover that the true ruler of the Cap of the North Countries is a vampire, and had been the same leader since he was a human.
The rumors of his life are legend. There were no official verifications that the other royals were or are descended from him, but then, there are no denials, either. They just don’t care to give the information. As Eric has taught them all, they do not live to please the masses, but live to please themselves as they govern their kingdoms and people under his guidance. Not that they didn’t care for their countries, but they had no need to live in sensationalism.
Seeing that they are close to landing, Eric wakes his little Mate. He is going to enjoy seeing her meet the rest of them…and when she sees their new home, too. He doesn’t quite think his Mate has really given much thought to where her Vampire King actually lives.
The plane lands as gracefully as ever, coming through the steam from the hot springs under the airport that keep the tarmac from freezing in cold weather. When the plane is rolling to a stop, Sookie looks out the window and then turns to Eric with a slight panic on her face. “That ain’t no family! There’s a crowd of people out there!” She huddles into him, scared. There was no way that the crowd out there is his family!
Eric throws his head back as he laughs, and he is still chuckling when the door releases. Frey comes through the door as soon as it opens, carrying a fur coat for his Mate. Eric takes it, puts it on her and kisses her, then hugs his Son. His arm circles Sookie’s waist as he holds her close to him.
Sookie looks from one to the other, and she states in a surprised voice, “There is no way you are not Eric’s direct son!” Frey is not a mirror image of his father, but there are way too many similarities for him to be too far down the line. The rest of his descendents that she has met have had his eyes, but not much else of him. The traits they share are hidden for the most part.
The two laugh in the same way. Frey kneels before his new Mother and with a huge smile, vows to her, “I am yours. You are my Mother, my Father’s Mate in everything. My loyalty is to the both of you, from now until this realm and the next are through with us. This I swear on our Blood, on my Heart, and on my Sword.” He bows his head, his hand over his heart waiting for his oath to be accepted.
Sookie looks up at Eric, lost. He smiles, and tells his Son, “Thank you. It is unnecessary, but I thank you for it.” With that he holds a hand down to his Son to help him stand. Frey takes a ring off his finger, and after putting it on his Father’s finger, he kisses it. “Thank Odin you are back, Fader!” He looks up grinning at him.
With a shiver Sookie moves closer to Eric, and Brandon is next to her, his hands pulling the coat closed as he advises his brother, “Frey, our new Queen is not yet used to this weather. We need to get her in the limo.” Eric had taken over warming his Mate, and has her all bundled up in seconds as he looks down at her worriedly.
Frey looks down at his Fader’s Mate, and seeing her continuing to shiver, makes a decision. He nods and turns around to yell, “Gainor, bring the car! Our Queen is cold!”
The bellow reminds Sookie of how he must have sounded when drinking in a dark hall with the rest of his clan. Not able to help it, Sookie just starts laughing. Even when Eric takes her in his arms to move her down the stairs and into the car in scant seconds instead of the minute or so she may have taken, she is still laughing.
Eric is grinning too; he has missed his family. He looks around, and upon seeing Arathorn there, he asks, “What is it?” He sits up straighter and waits to hear the latest news since the last update on the tablet, for which he is going to give full credit to whomever came up with that idea. He wants Sookie set up with one so that she can keep up with everything going on, too.
Sookie looks up and, upon seeing the stranger in the car, pulls closer to Eric until she sees the one thing that each of his children have: his eyes. These eyes may be in a face older than she’s used to, and he might not look like the rest of them, but there is no mistaking those eyes.
Arathorn watches her and approves of her quick wit. He bows to her, his English accent coming out as he tells her, “My Lady, it is good to finally meet you in person.” He looks her in the eyes, giving her his respect.
Feeling her curiosity and trust in him to keep her safe, Eric chuckles then gives into her wish to know who the stranger is. “Arathorn here is the one in charge of everything. He is my Steward in official terms, just as Haldor is in charge of Security. Brandon will be in charge of you, the one to teach you and be your assistant. Frey is my right hand, and my Second in Command, my Heir. Carter is a floating one, he plays around a lot. He will also be helping you out. Griffon is our computer tech and Gainor is our financial wizard. Carter has inklings in the financial and computer worlds, so he often floats between them, and he helps Haldor out as well.” He tries to give her an overview of the major players of the clan.
Sookie looks up at the older man, and then turns her head as she conveys what she understood from Eric’s words and hints. “Basically you are the one who everyone talks to, and you handle it. The spymaster?” She grins at him. She so can see him as the inspiration behind Bond.
Arathorn laughs. “That is it, basically. I am the spymaster, I handle all the intel. You are so far the only mission I have failed in all my time in that role.” He lifts an eyebrow to her, letting her know he forgives her for his only failure, and the hazing he is sure to endure for centuries from his Brothers.
Sookie looks up at Eric, and he smiles down at her. “He was set on finding you. I called in everyone, even contacts that I normally wouldn’t use. I may have been trying to deny it, but Lover, this Bond between us is something that was coming.” He sends her love and determination.
She nods and then asks, “Arathorn, what information do you have for us?” If he is here, then there is something going on that they need to know.
He smiles at her. “The Chancellor of the AVL is upset. He is scared, and he has every right to be. He had no knowledge of Russell being healed. He had hoped to kill the bastard for you, instead he made it possible for the Sanguistas to move forward with their plan. He is groveling for you, but I advise you to leave Frey to handle it.” He offers his opinion, knowing that Fader will not say anything on it. Eric has long trusted Arathorn, and even plans on putting Brandon under him. With Brandon’s talent, it may help Arathorn out or give Brandon enough information to help him with his ‘guesses’.
Checking the tablet in his hand, Arathorn continues, “Compton is receiving more bad news it seems. The older vampires in his state are leaving now that you are gone. He has no idea what is going on. It also seems there is a rumor of a Necromancer floating around. The information we uncovered said that he was going to ask you to inspect it. Thankfully, the only time anything happened, the ones who made it possible left. In fact, they have accepted your invitation and are on their way here.” He looks up from his tablet. He may not need it, but it helps him make sure he doesn’t skip anything, and if Fader wishes more information, he will have access to his group to get it moving right away.
Eric raises his eyebrows. “Lafayette and Jesus helped a Necromancer?” He could never have imagined either being part of a Coven like that and is frankly surprised.
Quick to correct, Arathorn shakes his head. “No, she took the power from Lafayette and when he realized it, he left. Jesus was upset, and they were going to talk to you about it. Seems the woman was Jesus’s Coven leader and had been helping him control the demon inside him. He has no idea what has happened, but they did contact the number you gave them, and left a message about it. I believe his exact words are, “There is more fucking shit happening, and my ass seems to be in the middle of it. Hell NO!”” He lifts an eyebrow to the Mates about the comment.
Sookie cannot help but laugh at the message he had left; it was just so Lafayette. But the next words from Eric tell her how serious it is, and she stops laughing as he orders, “Keep an eye on the Witch, and if there is a chance, and Billy Boy doesn’t take care of it, take her out. There is enough over our heads already to have to worry about Pam in the middle of another Necromancer. Also, look into it to see if anything about this incident has anything to do with the last one. There has only been one, and now that another has sprung up, it seems unlikely that this is by chance.” Eric is serious; he had lost some friends dealing with the last Necromancer who had lived.
Sookie looks up at him in surprise, and Eric looks down at her. Feeling her shock, he quickly informs her, “The last Necromancer killed hundreds of us in a five-minute span. She was justified in killing the ones she hated, but there had been others who were innocent of anything but living or resting too close to her. They rose and walked out into the sun. She died, and that ended it. But we are always on the lookout for another since then due to the danger. Not only to us, but to humans or any others. She can control us to the point that we would be nothing but mindless soldiers in her hands. Or theirs. But my instincts are telling me that this is somehow the same woman.” He watches her face and the Bond, trying to see how she feels about it. He won’t back down from this, but he will beg for her forgiveness and try to make her understand his necessary position on this.
Thinking on it, Sookie swallows. Looking up at him, she admits, “I don’t like it, but I understand.” She tries not to think of how bad a Christian she is for it, but then she remembers that the Bible is full of hate for Witches. Maybe this is what it meant, and the early Christians didn’t know there was a difference?
He smiles down at her, and kisses her head. “I know, my love. Normally I would discuss this with you and take your opinion into account, but this is something that all the Monarchies in the Old World have agreed and sworn we would do last time. No one can take the chance of that much power in anyone’s hands. We cannot control that many humans….” He shakes his head at the idiocy of humans sometimes. There are acceptable uses for Necromancy, the Egyptians had made it an art form. But since then, there are none who have been trusted with the information.
Sighing, she nods. Arathorn watches them, taking in the new dynamic. He continues as though there were no changes in how they have operated for the last thousand years. “Haldor is already beefing up security and we are letting the humans know about Russell. He will not find any help in our Kingdom, the near death of our clan from him is well known. They also know the crown has been retrieved after all these years.” He is making notes in his head on what he needs to inform his Brothers, that Eric is making Sookie his Queen in all. She will be speaking with his voice, and Eric will speak with hers.
Looking back down at his tablet, Arathorn informs both of them, “Frey will handle much, and as always will be there to advise you. Brandon says it is imperative for your Mate to learn the language. He mentioned to me that we need to find a way for the both of you to communicate since her knowledge will be helpful. Though I will warn you, the telepath is known here. You did the best thing in taking back your rule. I am not sure we could have protected her otherwise.” He is frank with his estimation of how much protection their new Queen will need, not that the clan won’t fight to the very last soul to keep her safe.
However, Sookie’s attention is soon captured by the view outside. “Wow….” There is a castle coming into view over the water, lit up and extremely beautiful to her from her seat.
Eric chuckles. “Welcome to your new home, my lover. Akershus Festning.” He kisses her as he watches his home from his human days appear.
Final count: 3,703 words.