Song I listened to for this chapter: The Adventure by Angels & Airwaves
Watching him, she tells him, “Well, no time like the present. I think it is time to lay our cards on the table, Eric. I think what we have to say will shock each other.” She is worried herself since she was warned about she needs to tell Eric. Not that it would make that much of a difference – it is what it is.
Pulling her closer to him, Eric rubs his head on hers, commenting, “I think life is going to be much more interesting now… which is good. I like interesting.” It is by far much better than the year without his fiery Southern Belle.
“Tell me that after you have to save my life again, Eric.”
Eric nuzzles Sookie, needing to make sure she smells of him. He is sitting on the bed brushing her hair and parting it into sections to braid for his little mate. He had offered it to do after he had told Brandon that he will remain down here with her while they worked; he had needed to be able to connect with her, to have them talk. They need to get in the habit of talking more often, and it may be the main thing that helps them. He plans to enjoy their time together over the next few thousand years.
Listening to his Farfar, Brandon had chuckled and nodded as he directed everyone to their places as they cleaned up the house. He knew that with the telepath awake, it wouldn’t take much for her to find out what had happened, but neither Eric nor he are trying to hide anything from her. They just wanted to fix the issues.
As Eric thinks of things that he and Sookie could do together, of ways that he can show her his love and care, a memory resurfaces. This memory has made him happy to relive when he thinks of his parents, and one that he is more than willing to do the same for with his love. So, Eric rises, grabs a brush, and asks if he could braid her hair.
He moves up to her ear, and asks huskily, “Why the laugh?” He is fighting to keep his eyes from rolling back at the scent of the two of them mixed together in her. He never realized before how much Bill’s blood had given her scent an acrid overtone. Now, she smells… fresh. His own scent of the ocean in winter compliments hers of the sun. He loves the combined scents, and cannot wait for his own to reflect hers.
She snickers. “This is a common thing girls do in those romantic comedies. The girls do each other’s hair.” She cannot believe her Viking vampire wants to do her hair. It makes her shudder as his hands runs through her locks, the feel of it pure pleasure.
Chuckling as he works his hands in her hair, he tells her softly, “I remember my father doing this for my mother so many times. There was love between them, and to me this is one of those things you do for the one you love.” He wishes to have many of these things, little activities that are private between the two of them. He cannot think of a reason he wouldn’t want to do this with his lovely mate.
Sookie thinks it over, her eyes closing with pleasure, and softly replies to him, “I don’t think you ever want me to touch your hair. Even when it was long.” There is a reason she wears ponytails so often.
He chuckles. “It was not something a female did for her male. It was the honor of the male to show in various ways their love for their other half. Also, today would have brought you presents. You would be receiving your bride piece later today. I am sorry I did not have it as I should have.” He says the last softly, the tone in his voice hesitant at the end, but determined at the same time. He will honor this woman with everything he can. He suspects she will like the gifts; they were handmade by him in hopes of this outcome.
She stills beneath his hands, and he sighs. “To me, this is more than a Soul Bond. I will do whatever you wish, Sookie, but basically I have taken the first step in marrying you per my kind. What we will have will be deeper than any piece of paper that states I am your husband. Since you share my life with me, you will find that the times change, and with them so do the ideas of marriage. What we have will outlast it all.” He doesn’t want to fight, not this day. This is their day that they should spend caring for each other. Theirs would have been a rare match, a love match, in his day.
She smiles. “Eric, you are worried about my reaction to this, aren’t you?” She can hear it in his voice, and knows when she stilled it had set him off. But quite surprising to her was that the Viking wanted it all. He is going to give her everything, only hoping she will let him. How much had she hurt him all those times?
He nods. “It would not be something questionable from the old you. I am trying, Sookie. But there is much that I am going to take a “wait and see” attitude.” Nonetheless, hope is rising in him. Hope that maybe it won’t take as much time as he thought to have them be as one, to be the loving couple he wishes to be with her. Vikings are very affectionate, and he sees no reason to hide it from his mate, the other half of his soul.
She nods. “I can see that. It will take a while for both of us. I also have to think before I speak. But I am learning, Eric.” She stays still, but her eyes are closed as she wishes she could purr to show him how much she is enjoying this, not knowing he is smiling behind her as he feels her happiness, her calm, and the all around peacefulness she feels because of his actions.
He finishes her hair, and kisses her head. He lets her know they can talk about the issues she has mentioned by telling her, “I know that. Now, who will go first?”
She chuckles. She figures she will rip off the band aid and say the big one first. “I am a Fairy Princess.”
He stills behind her. “Brigant?” ‘No, please tell me I am wrong, my lover!’ Eric’s brain starts rushing as he takes in the complications that her name would bring. The chess pieces are moving in his head, and he is quickly coming up with only one choice as the answer.
Nodding her head, Sookie turns around and stares at him. She can see by the look in his eyes and the expression on his face that he is thinking hard and fast. She recognizes the look from the times she has been in trouble and he has come in to help.
And with that, Eric realizes he will have to take his place again. He can’t protect his little mate without that power behind him, and he will do anything to protect her. To make sure everything will be as he wishes, he will need to call his family and tell them, as well as do what Brandon requested and bring Godric back. He grabs his phone and sends out the email that he suspects is already anticipated with baited breath.
He sighs. “This changes everything.” He starts arranging things in his head. His eyes close not of their own volition as, in order to tell his lover everything, he tries to get the new information and all the changes it will cause sorted into new slots and ready for his inquisitive mate.
At his words and his tone of voice, Sookie looks up at him and asks, “Eric?”
He opens his eyes and, looking down at her, he explains, “If anyone had any idea of your lineage… Only by claiming my rightful place will I be able to protect you. However, this means some huge changes in both of our lives.” He is frank with her, telling her to ready herself.
Her eyes move over his face and finally she tells him, “Start from the beginning and tell me, please.” She sits straighter, and slips into the mind set she had learned was the best for absorbing lessons from her grandfathers.
He nods at the emotions he senses in the bond, the openness in her, her willingness to listen to him. “I told you about how Russell was the one who killed my father. What you don’t know is that when I saw you at Russell’s home, I had just then found out that it was he who had killed my family. I found my father’s crown…now my own crown.” He says the last in a dead voice, his eyes going to the spot in the Cubby that holds his most treasured relic from his human days. When he claims his place back, his mother’s crown will be hers.
Sookie’s eyes flick up to his, and sees him staring down at her. He is sitting like she has seen him do in certain situations. He often tries to slouch, but there are times like now when his natural inclinations come up. “I am the King of the Scandinavian countries, but it is often referred to as the Cap of the North. I have held this title since I was human, and carried it on when I was turned. Godric helped me enforce my rule over the supes in the area, and I hold that title to this day. In the Old World, there is no such thing as stepping down. I have one of my older children sitting on the throne for me while I wandered. It actually is more common than you would think for Kings and Queens to do this.” He pauses as he thinks over what he is going to say next. This is important; he wants to give her everything, but is hoping she will still be here where he has dreamed of her being since before she left.
Eric chuckles as he remembers a fact that had made him laugh at one time. “I think there was a time when none of the Kingdoms were being held by their actual Monarchs.” His chuckles grow louder at the look on his mate’s face. He nuzzles her to get himself under control so he can explain this to her. “The reason for this is that there was one King who would leave his kingdom, and then decide he wanted it back, and would he kill hundreds, if not thousands, to reclaim his throne. He soon came up with the idea of putting his eldest on the throne and then he could wander. He could come back if his child needed him, or if he was bored. This became the normal, and often the Kingdoms would have someone wandering around. Living as long as we have, there is a need to leave for a century or two.” It was a lifesaver in many ways. Not many of their kind can sit in one place for thousands of years, which is how long most of them have held their thrones. He is one of the youngest, if not the youngest.
She thinks about it, then nods, watching him. “I can see that. Sitting on a throne for a thousand years could get boring. But Eric, how are you here as a Sheriff?” She cannot understand why he would demean himself by being here. Not that she isn’t happy he is, but all the disrespect he has taken when he sounds like a powerful person makes her confused.
He chuckles. No, his mate is not slow, and this is why she is perfect for her new role. She is powerful in her own right. He answers her as his brain is thinking of all he can do to make this easier on her, and to make sure no one will mess with her. “Pam.”
She raises an eyebrow, “Pam?” What would his child matter?
He nods. “Pam is my youngest, and she couldn’t survive the cut-throat ways of the Old World without training. I needed to get her started since she was too young to really be part of the Kingdom in the way she wished. The whole reason I am here is to set her up and when I left, she would be one of the more powerful New World Vampires, and have my backing from my Kingdom.” He thinks of what he will need to do to make sure she is safe, even considering having a shadow for her, with instructions to take her if need be. Hmm… he may need to embed a Maker’s Command in her.
Sookie looks up at him, trying to make sense of what is going on. “You gave up your throne for her?” How could he give it up for her? Wait… he said that they cannot give up-
He shakes his head, unknowingly interrupting her chain of thought. “No, I asked one of my other children to hold the throne.” And Godric. Godric is the reason he hadn’t argued with Pam and stayed. But that will be another discussion.
She blinks. “How many children do you have, Eric?” She thought Pam was his only child. So how many does he have to call one his eldest? Well, technically he only needed two to have one named the eldest, but she doesn’t suspect that is the case…
He answers her seriously. He wishes her to think about it, and he is about to tell her something no one other than those of his blood knows. “Before I answer that, I want you to think. I told you once that the vampire you trust is either your own children, or your Maker.” He waits for her to nod, then asks, “So what do you think I did, Lover?” He watches her to see how she takes it.
She answers him, “You made children to trust.” She nods to herself; it makes sense. He would need someone he trusts completely to hold such a role for him.
Pleased with how the conversation is going, Eric chuckles. “I am odd in that I normally turn my own children. Everyone, except for Pam, is of my line, my human line. And since I am the King, my home is tended by the Northmans who can trace their line directly back to me. My children are actually direct descendants of mine. For who else to trust but blood in such a time?” He shrugs. In truth, he had carved out his kingdom, but it had been under attack almost as soon as others realized there was a ripe kingdom ready for the taking. His children are what turned the tide with Godric.
Thinking, Sookie then asks, “What about Brandon?” She is not sure what the deal is with this Brandon, who she can read and realizes that the times she thought someone was around, it had actually been him. It was yet another sign of how Eric had protected her.
He laughs. “Brandon can take Pam on now as he is. He will have no trouble as a newcomer. None of my children have. Godric thinks it is because we all share the same DNA. My blood to change them has made some very powerful children. It is a secret of my line, Sookie.” He stares into her eyes. This is a huge secret of his line. With this information, his enemies could wipe out all his descendants to prevent this from happening any more. It is his powerful children who keep his Kingdom secure. Intellectually he knows it is he, himself, who has done a lot of the work, but his kingdom truly rests on the backs of his children, and he is proud of that fact.
Family is everything.
Sookie swallows. She holds up a hand as she works to think her way through this, to be able to eat the big chunks of information that Eric is giving her. To find that her life mate is not only the powerful vampire that she knew of, but that he is also a King of Europe and has been one since he was human is not what she expected to learn today. Soon she lowers the hand, but she is still working over the information he has given her, and wonders where will she fit in all this.
His hands glide down her cheekbones to cup her face. When she looks at him, he tells her softly, “My line is one of the most powerful out there. I may be one of the youngest Vampires to hold station, but I am one of the few who will never worry about being attacked.” He chuckles. “Bill is going to be the first vampire to crap his pants when he wakes tonight. I sent a warning saying I am coming out, and the documentation will be there when I make my move. And make no mistake, with me needing to protect you, my lover, I will take back the reigns. There are some changes needing to come about, and I will be doing everything to protect you, us, and this love we have between us.” He watches her, waiting to make sure she is ok. He will tell her soon that she will be his Queen. With her lines, no one will object. Well, none will object unless they think they have a way to take her hand for themselves.
He smirks; that would be one for the books. He may have to do nothing as his fiery fae mate makes clear her wishes.
Sookie stares into his eyes, and then asks, “You do have heaters in that castle or whatever you have up there, right?” ‘In for a penny in for a pound’ There is no alternative. She has Eric, and she is not going to give him up. He knows better, and if this is the way to keep them both safe, she will agree.
Eric cannot help but laugh in delight at his mate. He pulls her closer and tells her, “I do, but I will be telling the staff and my children to make sure it is up to par for you, my Southern Belle.” His chest erupts into the purr that has been always on the edge since last night. He is thrilled with the new Sookie, and will much enjoy getting used to this.
Sookie laughs in delight at the sound. “Big cats,” she remarks, reminding him of the prior night. He keeps his purr, but on the inside he rejoices in the fact she is his, and willingly at that. Though he will need to think of Bill Compton…
He nips at her throat, then checks the time and sighs. Picking up his mate, he moves them both to the computer, and once sitting in the chair, he reaches around her to type in the passwords. “Are you sure, Sookie? If you don’t want me to rule, I will see what else I can do, what my other options are. I am not supposed to have a Kingdom here as well as in the Old World, but there have been many requests from my line to come to rule here.” He looks down at his mate, the one person he would never live without. He is unsure how they could do this, but he will for her. He needs to get the rest of the information out there. The email started the ball rolling, but he will need to send a couple more to be acknowledged.
She looks up at him, and thinks. She has learned the hard way that the person who missed her the most was right here in her arms. But Lafayette… “Lafayette?”
He smiles, happy she is thinking of the one other person most loyal to her. “He will be offered a choice, my lover.” It is the least he can do for one of the most loyal humans he has known.
She smiles, then asks, “And my home?” She is getting any questions asked that she can so that when he does what he needs to do, they can act on it in case there is something more. And in her experience, there is always something; the people moving around upstairs is proof of that.
He cannot help the chuckle. “It will be saved. I have put way too much time and effort into making sure this is your home, that it is ready for you, to allow anyone else to have it. If I have to go so far as claim it as an International Home, I will. This house and land will be safe, my lover.” Eric’s head is resting on her shoulder, his eyes watching the screens before him as he inhales the scent of his mate.
She smiles. “Ok, so what do we have to do?” She cannot think of anything else, and she thinks she is ready for this. She will be the adult her grandfathers spent time in that forever instant molding her to be.
Still surprised but getting slowly used to the new Sookie, Eric grins. “I send off a couple of emails. Within the hour, everything will be ready for us, and we may actually find out from Bill himself when he calls the Authority and they find that the Norseman is really Mäninorr…and that I so far outrank him that it is not even funny. We may actually hear his rage from over here.” He is gleeful, and now that he has accepted that mantle again, he takes the small pleasures. However, this will be such a large one…Bill has been very condescending to him.
They both laugh, and then there is a chime. Eric grabs the headset and puts in on as he hits a button. Brandon is there, lifting an eyebrow at the camera. “Really? We can head home?” There is satisfaction in his voice that he will be with their family, that Eric will no longer serve those so far beneath him.
Sookie laughs. She suspects that Brandon has some inside information, and in fact she is hearing it, but she will wait for Eric to find out. Family is one thing, but if a stranger tries to do it, she will make sure Eric is made aware of it right away.
Eric kisses her head and answers his grandson. “Yes. I need to deal with Compton and the Authority, but my true identity is coming out.” He is upbeat, and he knows from the look on Brandon’s face that he, too, will be glad to part from this land.
Brandon grins. “Finally. Now the other part?” He knows he is pushing it, but hell – he got half of what he wanted, why not the other part? He is not sure why Eric didn’t agree to do it before, but he will push for it.
Eric closes his eyes and, finally, he says, “I will.” He has his reasons why not, but he will give in. Godric will have the choice of leaving again if he truly is weary of living on this plane.
A smile is all Brandon gives before he nods. His mind is busy thinking about the options his Farfar has. “If you still want to leave Pam in a position of power, make Louisiana yours and hand it to her. The Authority has all but begged you to take it, so tell them you will. I bet they will gladly hand it over. This state is a fucking mess.” To say the least…
Eric mulls it over in his mind. He has talked with Pam many times about her moving with him to his Kingdom, and she has refused time and time again. He does not trust Compton or anyone else to keep his child safe. He sighs. He already knows his name is big enough to protect her. But is she truly ready for it? She has been petty about her feelings for Sookie, and he is not too happy with her about it.
He finally says, “I will think on it. We will see what the Authority will do once I am exposed. If Bill doesn’t pay the proper respect to me, well… it will become a moot point. He has insulted me enough times, and it ends now.” The end of that is strong. Eric is becoming the King again.
Sookie is nodding in agreement. She has been watching all the people above them, and knows the house was almost destroyed by the group searching her home. Enough is enough. It is time for Compton to find out that neither of them are giving in to him anymore.
Feeling the determination from his mate, he holds her closer. “We will be up there once the sun sets. This night will be one for the books. Also, please call Lafayette and have him come over here. Sookie and I would like to talk to him and Jesus as soon as possible,” he tells Brandon so that they can move on to the next points. He will be assigning Brandon to his wife as her assistant. He will be able to relate to her and he knows Brandon has kept up with the information from their land.
Brandon nods and turns to grab his phone to start setting up things. Knowing the way Eric thinks, he suspects he will be having his hands full of Sookie. He will be finding a female guard for her, but he will lead her team of people. Life is going to get even more exciting.
Before Eric can take off his headphones, there is another chime, and his eyebrows rise. He hits another button and answers, “Yes?” This is a very private number, and not many people have it.
“Is it true Farfar? Are you coming home finally?”
Eric just laughs. He finally answers the voices on the other line. “Yes, and I will be bringing home my mate. And hopefully Godric, too.” He is not surprised they have the number. In fact, he would think Griffon might be slipping if they didn’t have it.
The sighs of relief come across the line, and Eric opens the bonds fully between himself and his children. He smiles at the senses of relief and happiness coming through the bonds.
With that, one voice speaks up with an English accent. “Everything is ready to go. I’ve waited so long for this time to come that, as soon as I got the email, I put it all into place. Is our youngest coming with you, Farfar?” The man the voice belongs to sounds as though he is planning everything thing. And he is. There will be no issues waiting for their King and fader when he comes home.
Eric answers his middle son, “No. She calls our home a windy shack in Olaf. Brandon has suggested I set her up with a state here and leave her to it. The state we are in has history for my beloved. I do not want any damage to anything she holds dear.” He is smiling, holding the aforementioned beloved close to him, and enjoying the laughter bubbling along the bond.
Eric’s smile widens as he hears his eldest. “Yes?” There is pride in his voice, and Sookie looks up at him.
“Are you coming to stay?”
He chuckles. “Yes. You have done a fine job, my son. But my Queen and I are coming home to stay.” He forgot to tell Sookie that part, but in his joy in talking to his children, he is lax.
The line goes silent, but Eric can feel the joy in all of them. “Make sure the castle is suitable for a human. My mate is immortal, but she still needs to eat and so on. Also be prepared, my mate is Royalty all on her own. Many will want her.” The last is said with a warning to his voice. He also knows they will now be bugging Brandon about how to make Sookie comfortable.
A chorus of growls sounds out, and Sookie raises an eyebrow at Eric. He grins as he touches her affectionately.
Eric tells them, “It is time for the sun to set here. There is much to do tonight – be ready for us.”
“Ja, Fader!” With that, the phone line goes dead as they scramble to prepare for him to come home, and for the bride he will be bringing with him.
Eric chuckles as he disconnects the call. “Are you ready, my love? I am not sure how long it will take Bill to get my resignation, as well as my rightful name. I suspect he will be over as fast as possible to tell you that I lied to you and that I will take you far away.” He smirks knowing that it will be one for the books. He is looking forward to this…maybe a tad too much, but who can blame him?
Laughing at her mate, Sookie delightfully advises him, “Let him. I think you are right. At the very least it will be quite enjoyable. But, we are still going to talk, Eric Mäninorr. I think there is plenty more we need to know about each other.” She loves the way the name rolls off her tongue, and she tries it a few more times in her head. ‘Eric Mäninorr, Eric Mäninorr, Eric and Sookie Mäninorr…’
He stands up and, after putting her on the ground, he cups her face as he tells her, “And I will enjoy learning whatever you wish to impart to me, beloved. But the most important thing is something I am enjoying feeling from you. That you love me.” He says the last softly, reverently, to her. It is what will make all the rest of this worth it in the end – her love.
The room turns silent as their mouths meet to impart a kiss that shows all the dedication and love Eric has for his little fae, as well as Sookie’s love and affection for her Viking vampire. The kiss is full of passion, enough to have them both aching, but at the same time, it is perfect. This meeting of their tongues as Eric explores her mouth as he has only done once before is indeed perfection, and his memory has made him ache for another chance.
This chance is finally theirs, and during this moment in time that is only between the two of them, they celebrate the love that neither had expected but that both had desired.
Hope is a very powerful thing. As powerful as love…
Final count: 5,220 words.