“I was always scared of thunder as a child,” she confessed as she interlaced her fingers with his. Another rumbling sound trembled through the room as Eric turned out all the lights.
“Me too,” he admitted when it was fully dark, the room only illuminated by the waning moon. She turned her body to face his with an incredulous look.
“Really?” she questioned and he simply nodded. “Big Bad Vampire Sheriff was scared of thunder?” Sookie asked as a small smile crept into her saddened features.
“You’d be amazed what scares me,” he acknowledged without thinking about it.
“What?” she enquired as the pad of her index finger trailed down his chest.
“The thought of losing you,” he returned as he pulled her palm to his mouth and kissed it softly.
“Why do you care for me so?” she asked nuzzling their interlaced hands, their foreheads now barely held apart.
“That scares me too,” he admitted as she drifted off to sleep.
The storm that had started the night previous was still ensuing as Sookie woke in the early afternoon. Her growling stomach was urging her to eat but the thought of that awful canteen food kept her firmly locked in her vampire embrace. She wondered whether she could have food delivered until she realised her purse was still under the seat of her car in Mississippi.
Her bladder called to attention and she reluctantly removed herself from her warm spot. When she lost all contact with Eric the whirring of many frantic minds assaulted her own all at once.
“Fuck,” Sookie cringed as she latched back onto Eric’s body to delve back into the peaceful void of his mind.
“You ok,” he mumbled in his half sleep.
“Lots of busy minds,” she responded while pressing her forehead to his chest as if it were a cold compress for her suddenly assaulted mind. “Why aren’t you dead to the world?”
“The storm is blocking the sun,” he replied opening his eyes to her. “It makes the day rest haphazard. Come back to lie with me,” he offered a kiss to her palm as an incentive when she threatened to move away again.
“I have human needs to take care of,” she smiled down with a hinted blush of embarrassment. “I’ll be back before you know it.” Sookie slowly let go of his touch while simultaneously bringing up her shields.
While taking care of her business she scanned the perimeters for recognizable minds regretting checking in on her brother. Suddenly she stumbled upon two familiar minds and all but sprinted out of the bedroom suite. Eric called after her in confusion but she hardly heard him as she ran up the stairs in search of Sam and Lafayette and shouted out for them.
“Sookie,” Sam exclaimed as he took in the blonde telepath in her long shirt that barely covered the sight of her underwear. “You’re ok?”
“Yes,” she panted out. “How are things back in Bon Temps?”
“Shit,” Lafayette said with a wince. ”You’re Granmamma’s house is a mess but at least the party moved out of town.”
“What happened?” Sookie asked with worry for the fate of their home town.
“There was some sort of sacrifice on your lawn but Dionysus didn’t show up,” Sam explained. To which Lafayette added a sarcastic, “Surprise, surprise.”
“Like a human sacrifice?” Sookie asked with disbelieving eyes as she picked up the vague mental images from their minds.
“Yes,” Sam supplied with a hint of sadness. “The new waitress Daphne. An assortment of animals were sacrificed when nothing happened. There were some physical injuries and some destruction to property. Nothing that can’t be repaired, cher. The glamour squad Godric sent cleaned it up as well as making the town believe it was a gas leak.”
“I’m so sorry Sam,” Sookie said pulling him into a consoling hug as his mind revealed the grief he felt over the new woman in his life. “How did you two end up here?” she asked as Sam disentangled from their silent embrace.
“Big tall and blonde and little Ricky helped us out so we be here to helps in return,” Lafayette said with a slight nerve to his voice, in preparing what to say next he kindly rested his hand on Sookie’s shoulder. “Tara still seems unwilling to leave that Maryann’s side.”
Sookie gasped, the close contact opened up Lafayette’s mind as the events in her absence raced through her mind. A Tara enthralled, eyes turned dark and unreachable. She was most shocked by the indoctrination of Steve and Sarah Newlin on the young influential minds of the children of Bon Temps.
“Sookie,” a voice bellowed from behind her before a naked body wrapped his body round hers disengaging her from Lafayette’s active mind.
“Eric what the hell,” Sookie snapped as she burned up with embarrassment over his nudity. “Cover yourself.”
“I am,” he smirked while pulling her backside firmly over the offending genitalia.
“You can’t just stand about naked in the hallway,” she admonished before she whisper yelled, “What will my friends think.”
“Nothing they haven’t seen before,” he shrugged before greeting them, “French fry, Shifter why aren’t you in Shreveport?”
“The children are back with their parents now that the maenad has moved on out of town,” Sam explained. “We tried talking sense into Lafayette’s cousin but she was lost in her control. She revealed that Maryann is coming to the new king to pay him a visit. We figured our help was more needed here.”
“Very well. You two are dismissed,” he commanded. The two nodded as they continued on their way to the library after they reluctantly greeted Sookie goodbye.
“I do not like you out of the bed,” Eric growled huskily to the shell of her ear.
“Well get used to it,” she huffed out thoroughly annoyed at his callous dismissal of her friends. She quickly turned around in his tight hold making sure his parts remained firmly covered and stared him down with all the force of her infamous temper. “I need to eat and the food here is inedible.”
“I am sure Godric has provided proper nourishment for the humans,” Eric returned indifferently.
“If you’re a Buddhist monk maybe. It’s like the human equivalent of True Blood,” she whined a little. A tone that was a rare thing to behold for them both. “As much as you like my scent, eating that would cause other smells to come out of me,” Sookie said with an embarrassed face.
“I’m sure they would smell like roses coming from your delectable ass,” he teased caressing the soft globes in demonstration of his testament.
“I sincerely doubt it,” she grumbled shoving off the pawing hands only then realising how exposed her own lower half was. “Do you really want to find out?”
“No,” he answered with an amused grin before yelling down the hallway, “French fry! Get my Sookie something she enjoys to eat. None of that vegan crap!”
Lafayette merely nodded in understanding as Sookie yelled at Eric. “You can’t speak to people like that! His name is Lafayette not French Fry.”
“He owes a great debt for his dealings,” Eric said disdainfully. “Feeding Pam and fetching you food is a drop in the water compared to the punishment he would normally suffer for his crimes.”
She reluctantly agreed, there wasn’t much known about vampire justice but it was common knowledge that a caught drainer never returned alive, only further driving up the prices of the valuable stock they sold. “Can we go back down now?” Sookie asked tentatively. “I’m really not comfortable at everyone staring at your naked ass.”
He smirked at her continued blushing. “Are we feeling possessive over my naked ass?”
“I’ll only display it to you if that makes you feel better,” he continued to tease. “That does leave the front exposed.”
“Just vamp your ass down,” she spewed out.
“Only if you join me,” he replied as he launched them both at warp speeds back into their subterranean suite with her screams echoing through the barren halls.
“This is Nan Flanagan for The Authority,” the blonde vampiress informed to the blackened computer screen where only a red light indicated that the connection was live.
“Thank you for joining us Ms Flanagan,” came the voice of the anonymous vampire, who she now knew to be the Guardian. “How goes things in Wisconsin?”
“As expected,” she replied curtly. “The new queen has been instated with the backing of the current sheriffs. There will be no more incidents in this god forsaken territory.”
“You seem awfully sure of that,” a female vampire’s voice cackled with the sound of her own voice. Nan refrained from rolling her eyes reflexively in response.
“It’s what you pay me for,” Nan Flanagan replied testily.
“It’s certainly not for your looks,” the unidentifiable female retorted again, inciting the laughs of her colleagues. The sour look on Nan Flanagan’s face only sustained their hilarity further.
“Does the Authority have any pressing matters for the AVL?” she tried in a vain attempt to refocus the members of the Authority to matters at hand. Their isolation tended to breed cabin fever and she was more often than not the brunt of it.
“You pushed for Godric of Gaul to ascend Louisiana’s throne,” another faceless vampire spoke with a hint of a foreign accent that Nan was incapable of placing. “Do you continue to stand behind him?”
“He has vision beyond the mainstreaming agenda, that will benefit both humans and our race,” she replied automatically. The concept of co-existence being one she had been reciting since the days of the Enlightenment. In Godric’s leadership she saw a vision beyond those early beginnings that had taken so long to take hold among their kind. “His incapacitation of the Fellowship of the Sun by working with them has delivered some of the staunchest anti vampire activists in your dungeons.”
“You are informing us of facts already known,” a nasal voice spoke icily. “The Guardian asked if you continue to support his leadership.”
“You approved the union with Mississippi without my counsel,” Nan replied with a poorly veiled sneer. “Why seek it now?”
“I think this is what we pay you for,” came the voice of the Guardian. “What do you make of the scarcely populated states, whose numbers are rapidly depleting since the Gaul’s ascend.”
“We have all reached the age to know that promises of a better tomorrow always lead the flock to a shepherd,” Nan Flanagan replied with a small shrug. “If it keeps the populations in line I see no harm in it.”
“Men are like sheep, of which a flock is more easily driven than a single one,” came the distinctly voice of an elder vampire who in Nan’s memory never voiced much.
“Robert Whately,” the spokeswoman sourced from the depths of her aged mind. The author was a favoured thinker of her own maker which left her incapable not to respond in the way in which she had been taught. “What are your concerns?” she continued with irritation, her attentions wandering to her nightly snack that was prancing around tauntingly in the background. It was bad enough she had to indulge in the vile bottles of synthetic blood at all hours of the night in her public role. Now the authority seemed to take its leisurely time in distracting her from the demands of her parched fangs.
“He is collecting quite the flock,” the Guardian responded. “If he defeats the rumoured maenad as he intends to, his numbers will grow exponentially.”
“He threatens our authority,” another vampire hissed in distaste with the events that had passed.
“The ones who join him are of no threat,” Nan replied. “They are the isolated antisocial kind. They have lived in seclusion of both man and vampire for centuries without cause.”
“Where have all these pissy vampires been hiding all this time?” the tittering voice of a female vampire mused.
“The lone wolves are always more dangerous than the pack,” the accented speech of the elder vampire dispensed sagely.
“There are rumours not all of his subjects are with him by choice,” another vampire spoke out with concern.
“His regime is strict but fair,” Nan acknowledged with admiration for Godric’s reign. “Anyone not associated with the regime was allowed to leave peacefully, in accordance with our law. He offered sanctuary to any of the old regime who wished to join him.”
“You would do well to listen to our concerns Ms Flanagan,” the elder vampire spoke again. “It is not the flock we worry for. It is the one who drives it. Need we remind you of the circumstances of the former King of Mississippi?”
“Of course not,” she replied. “It is how I came to work for you. The Gaul might hear things but he is of sound mind. He is of no threat to our kind or others”
“He gave his child to a human,” another vampire hissed in sheer disgust.
“As I understand it he released him by request of the human,” Nan stated simply. “It is not our place to intercept in the dealings between maker and child.”
“It is when the child does not actively support the regime of his maker,” the Guardian spoke with distaste. “The Northman has refused to reassert his Sherriff’s title and his child was released during the regime change. His former retinue has disbanded into surrounding states. We all know Kings and Queens are interchangeable, it is the Sheriffs that guard our order.”
“Northman has always been stubborn and resistant to change,” Nan countered as a small snort echoed through the chambers of The Authority. “He will serve his maker if he requests it.”
“The maenad is said to move south to New Orleans,” the Guardian informed. “We wish you to be present. If the Gaul is unsuccessful you will make sure the Northman takes the throne.”
“And if he is successful?”
“Then we should all dust off our bibles and attend Sunday mass,” the accented vampire deadpanned to the laughs of his fellow members.
“Frat boys,” Nan Flanagan cursed as the light above the dark screen dissipated again.
Godric was pacing back and forth restlessly in his day chamber. It seemed as if everything and everyone was conspiring against him, including the weather. He didn’t feel it as strongly through his diminished bonds but Godric could clearly hear the sounds and smells of sex and fresh blood wafting into his heightened senses.
All that he had been abstaining from for decades was taunting at his resolves, the rare sight of his own arousal seemingly refusing to die down. No matter what method of meditation he applied every nerve ending stood at attention of the sins surrounding him. The rhythmic gyration over the band of rosary beads seemed the only movement distracting enough of his baser urges encouraging him to partake in it all.
Before the invention of synthetic blood Godric had fed sparingly from blood banks, only ever near starvation. He had used his glamour to retrieve the blood that would be discarded due to disease or expiration. The quality of no importance to him, it sustained him and that was all he cared for.
Now his children were testing his faith in their complete abhorrence of his doctrine. It seemed he had sired children with insatiable appetites. The only pause Eric seemed to allow his object of affection was for her own nourishment. And by the noises she was making for the greasy foods Godric gathered it was hardly a break from Eric’s unrelenting appetite of her. The moans were identical. So was his son’s encouragement of them.
He wondered if it was some innate gift of the Stackhouses as he dully stared at the clock ticking away as he tried to suppress the beast that had been ruling him for centuries. Perhaps it was the unique composition of Fae laced blood, the taste of Cecily at her turning had never left the memory of his palate.
“Hello papà,” Cecily blissfully sighed out as she stretched out across his bed.
“You have satiated your appetite of the boy then?” Godric asked at her sudden appearance.
“Not quite,” she smirked while readjusting her dress to cover herself again. “I am sure we are up for another round after his rest.” Cecily shifted her gaze as she crawled over towards him. “I can ask him if you wish to join us,” she said hungrily rubbing at the bulge in his loose fitting pants.
“No,” he hissed moving out of her grasp instantly. “I no longer partake in those activities.”
“You realise a royal marriage requires certain obligations,” she taunted with a roll of her eyes and a petulant huff that sent her hair billowing into the air.
“I think I liked you better when you were silent,” Godric grumbled.
“How long has it been?”
He remained quiet as he nearly blurted out ‘too long’. His memory not withstanding he could only vaguely guess a minimum of a century.
“Allow me a reminder,” she said huskily as her dress fell to the floor of her rakishly thin body.
“No,” he stated sternly clamping down on his jaws and averting his eyes of her naked body.
“Join me and Jason,” Cecily pleaded as a moan escaped her while running her fingers through her folds. “He is very talented.”
“No,” Godric repeated closing his eyes desperately seeking refuge in meditation while his hands moved at ever increasing speeds over the rosary beads.
“YES!” a scream came across the hall as Sookie chanted on her lover’s attentions.
Godric groaned in pain at the sounds and smells that were haunting him. Again. “NO,” he said more forcibly as Cecily pulled at the drawstring of his pants. She simply pouted sullenly in return as if a favoured toy had been stolen from her grasp.
“Perhaps you prefer to watch instead,” she teased and switched on the security monitors showing a split screen of the two bedrooms that had produced the sounds and smells that were testing him since waking. “Ah look my stud rises, in more ways than one,” she smirked, thoroughly pleased as Godric’s attention flew to the screen. Her ethereal body started to disappear from the room once more, pleased with her momentary triumph.
“Enjoy the show,” was the last Godric heard before he once again succumbed to his personal agony.
“Honey I’m hoooome,” a voice bellowed out.
“Darling I’m a vampire. Must you yell so loud?” Pam replied with amusement as she continued to file away at her nails. “Tell me honey-boo, how was your day?”
“Splendid darling! I brought dinner,” he answered wile dropping the carcass in the middle of the room.
“Good,” she replied not looking up at the sound of the loud thud. “Because I don’t cook.”
“Could have fooled me,” Russell smirked. “You look quite the domestic goddess.”
“Don’t let the pink fool you,” Pam retorted as she scornfully looked at the dead body on the floor. “I may not cook, but I do know we still don’t eat animals. Don’t tell me you’re reading about sparkly vampires too.”
“It’s for the children of course,” Russell scoffed while he whistled for his wolves. At his signal they all attacked the dead dear ripping it to pieces. “Aaah, the sound of flesh ripping in the morning. Tell me poppet is there anything better?”
“Vampire flesh,” she said with reminiscence in her eyes. Pam enjoyed a good battle as much as the next vampire after all.
“The thirst of youth,” he drawled with appreciation. “Enjoy it while you can Pinkie, it gets rather dreary in old age.”
“You’re not old,” she declared with a twinkle in her gaze. “You’re just time challenged.”
“You do take ass kissing to a whole new level Ms Swyndon de Beaufort.”
“What else am I supposed to with a gay man?” she smirked while batting her lashes incessantly. “And have you seen my master’s ass?”
He cackled at Pam’s wit. Russell had been desperately trying to see Eric’s ass in the flesh for centuries but he had always remained aloof to his attentions much to Russell’s dismay. “It’s a very fine one indeed,” he acknowledged in rhetoric defeat.
He put down his newspaper on the end table while he positioned himself towards Pam on the sofa. She just continued to stare at him expectantly with her distinctly frozen features in place. “I have news,” he announced offhandedly while lighting up a cigar. “You’re getting a new meemaw.”
“What?” Pam said spurting out the vile True Blood she was nursing, shooting her legendary stoic façade to bits. Russell gave her a look that suggested she better clean her mess soon. After all he was far more of a domestic goddess than Pam would ever be.
“You realise I have a mailbox for my newspaper,” he stated as if it was the most normal thing in the world for a cave to have such a thing.
“The newspaper is reporting on vampire marriages now?” Pam asked with furrowed eyebrows as she cleaned up her spewed out mess with her preternatural speeds. “I can just imagine the notification already, The couple that loves to drain a bitch together.”
“That sounds more like us doodles,” he replied amused while dropping the intelligence document in her lap. “They would be something much more mundane. Like Together with fangs in their heart.” He finished off his announcement with splayed out fingers crossing the palms of his hands out in semicircles as if it were some big reveal.
Pam scanned the classified file reading through the latest events that were happening in the Mississippi court including the publication of the impending marriage of her grandsire to that vile Compton’s maker.
“So Jazz hands,” she said after speed reading through, “how attached to that retirement are you?”
“What do you think sweet pea?”
“Well you did always look good with a crown,” she quipped.
“You’re lucky we vampires don’t defecate,” Russell returned with a hint of malice. “Your skin would be stained brown with the way you stick your nose up in it.”
Pam pulled a face of distaste in response for his amusement with her fingers firmly clamped down over her nostrils.
“You will do just fine at court,” he cackled approvingly. “I already have my jester.”
Godric switched off the monitors with haste and the person who knocked on his door instantly relieved him of the burden testing the limits of his linen pants.
“Good evening Lorena,” he greeted with some enthusiasm at the dwindling desire that her presence brought.
“Mmmm,” she smiled contentedly sampling the air with fangs itching to descend. “This wing of the building certainly smells delicious. I thought you and your followers abstained from such activities.”
“My child makes his own decisions,” Godric said apologetically. There was little shame in no longer controlling a released child, however, his shame came from the personal failing to convince Eric of the virtues he prescribed too. “He does not share my faith,” he added with regret.
“Such responsibilities,” she noted with a knowing face. “I fear the storm has escalated into an impending hurricane. We will remain here till it has passed with your permission.”
“Of course. There were no warnings.” Godric’s brows furrowed setting his face in deep thought. “The humans are usually so good at predicting these things.”
“Well they were late,” Lorena shrugged unimpressed by the cattle that shaped their world. “The human population has been evacuating since dawn.”
“Excuse me,” Godric apologised. “I must take care my people have adequate protection.”
“By all means,” she purred out moving closely into his personal space. Godric’s arousal may have diminished at her sighting but the scents and sounds of carnal pleasures certainly had given rise to her excitement. Lorena barely managed to contain the persistent pressure of her dainty fangs threatening to shoot out of her gums as if she were a newborn again. “May I join you? If we are to rule together it will be good to observe.”
“Of course,” he responded not in the mood to argue with the manipulative vampire and happy for an excuse to depart the heavily scented quarters. “Allow me to warn my son.”
Lorena and her team of guards followed Godric closely as he softly knocked on the door that seemed the source of the intoxicating perfume. All but Godric’s fangs ran out at scent.
“Eric, Ms Stackhouse,” Godric spoke gently at the door. “It is of importance that I speak to you.”
After overhearing some muffled arguing back and forth the door swung open with an impatient vampire standing erect, in more ways than one as Cecily had noted earlier. Godric tried desperately to avert his own hungry graze over his child’s form. He was somewhat bemused by the comforter tied around his waist. Eric had never possessed an ounce of modesty, let alone when it came to his most enviable feature.
“Yes Godric,” he said impatiently as a hungry graze of his own went sideways to the enticing little telepath in the bed who was desperately trying to cover the apparent sin they were both participating in.
“The storm has progressed into a hurricane,” Godric informed. “You will need to seek shelter above ground. I do not wish Ms Stackhouse or her brother to be inadvertently drowned.”
“We will move,” Eric answered curtly, his tone changing instantly from distracted and annoyed to commanding. He was well aware of the flooding dangers on the property. He had to listen to Sophie Anne’s incessant whining about her ruined chambers and wardrobe the last time a hurricane swept through New Orleans. “Anything else?”
“No,” Godric replied unsure of how to ask for his son’s impeccable organisational skills and aid. “Please make sure our remaining human guests and staff are properly accommodated.”
“Sophie Anne moved her chambers to the attic space after the last hurricane. They were built to resist hurricanes,” Eric offered thoughtfully. “If they are not in use by others I will take them there.”
“They are the only rooms untouched by my followers that night,” Godric sighed with the memory of those night’s events. “They thought I would appreciate them for myself but I preferred the simplicity of the basement.”
Eric nodded in understanding and closed the door on the envious onlookers. Godric overheard Sookie admonish his child for his lack of manners before giggles overtook her and the orchestra of an extremely springy bed continued again.
With an unnecessarily heavy sigh Godric wondered where Eric pulled his continued zest for life from. At his age Godric was already becoming weary in old age. The young telepath had certainly awoken tempered flames but even without her, Eric never succumbed to the same darkened depths that he carried inside.
Godric had turned the Viking at around the age Eric was now after admiring him from afar on the battlefield, which he had followed around with a childish delight. Vampire strengths and battles were impressive to behold but there was such a primal attraction in hand to hand combat at which the Norse men so excelled.
Had he been a lesser vampire at the time he would have bound Eric to him as a pet. He despised the practice but it was the only way to keep a human by your side before the Great Reveal. Instead he chose to do what he had done with so many other humans that fascinated him over the centuries. He observed and documented their life seeking a narrative. He had many journals with the lives of unknown figures shaping the hands of time. Contributions great or small were recorded for eternity, which no historian would think to do for the extraordinarily ordinary man.
Eric had been fatally wounded in battle when his narrative was cut inconveniently short. Godric had only been watching for a few weeks at that time. Not content with the abrupt ending to his story, he offered Eric something he had vowed never to do after the death of Cecily again. He killed the two other souls accompanying him -their narrative had been unimpressive and he had held little regard for most humans at the time- and offered Eric a chance of another life. With a confirmed yes they had become inseparable companions for many centuries till he detected his waning wanderlust no longer matched the voracious appetites of his child.
His son had always managed to surprise him. He didn’t fear the darkness that lay within their existence nor did he get lost in it like Godric himself had. Perhaps that was Eric’s saving grace, he didn’t lose himself in what he became. As a newborn it became evident quickly that Eric responded well to boundaries and order. It was why Eric had never been released, Godric feared for what an existence without control would mean for him. He was more manageable than Cecily ever was, whose impulsive streak had to be all but beaten out of her.
Knowing Cecily now and in the present again Godric realised he never succeeded in breaking her will as his maker had instructed him to do. In the eyes of his cruel maker both his children would be considered utter failures in their rearing by allowing them so much of their self to remain intact.
Godric had never displayed his affection overtly towards his children. It was always wrapped within lessons or in guidance. Regardless, it was always present within him and was just as strong when he had fought for Eric to keep his Sookie by his side. His child’s happiness meant more to him than being stuck with an offensive queen for a century if it came to that. He took comfort in the fact that he would most likely not have to endure it for such a length of time.
He sat down in his throne room that had been shrouded in darkness and started summoning the appropriate contacts to ensure the safety of the city. Lorena had even offered some sound advice here and there before she brought his attention back to their marriage negotiations. Her interruptions had been marginal. Godric prayed that if this was a glimpse of their future working relationship then he could abide with it with little qualm.
“Shit,” Lafayette said as he took in the opulent private quarters of the former queen. “This place gots some bad juju.”
Sookie couldn’t help but agree. Not only were the decorations downright gaudy and ostentatious but the whole space felt creepy in its vaulted abandonment. She hated the former queen for her intended deception by the hands of Bill. Had she simply asked for her aid, like Eric, she would have offered some compliance. However, Sookie was glad to have found Eric in the process of meeting Bill. Though things certainly weren’t easy with all the things happening around them, she was content to be able to lean on someone so strong. More importantly he leant on her with equal need. That meant more to her than she ever would have thought.
They had a strange start and she vowed if anyone ever asked her how they met she’d tweak the story a bit. Not that she felt shame over cheating on Bill in the process. She hadn’t felt it in the moment, when Sam had told her of his fate she had said her final goodbyes. Perhaps it was comfort in that collective loss that she had sought with Eric at the time.
If she was truthful it wasn’t really that. There had been an instant connection between her and Eric. That lived beyond mere attraction. Even Bill had commented on its presence at the time. Kismet, fate, whatever it was, it scared her. Being with Bill felt safe in contrast. He had been a friendly vampire where every single one she had met until entering Fangtasia had been downright frightening. Eric had frightened her too but only now did Sookie realise she wasn’t frightened of him but by him. What he could mean to her. What his rejection of her would be.
It startled her how easy being with him actually was. Maybe it was the stressful circumstances they were under that made everything of importance so much clearer. The smaller details left to rest immediately. They put each other’s safety in front of everything else, having come so close to losing it all. Then again everything was still so new between them. She never imagined a thousand year old vampire could be like a teenage boy with need for her. It was flattering and overwhelming at the same time.
As they were touring the different opulently decorated rooms he seemed to be hungrily eying her again out of the corner of his eyes. She smiled shyly and that only seemed to further entice him. Hovering beside her till there was barely an inch of space between them.
Sookie’s telepathy had been useful in locating all the humans on the premises that day. Many had departed in the early afternoon, which explained why there were so many frantic minds when she had woken. The minds of the Soldiers of the Sun were particularly unpleasant and she had whispered to Eric that under no circumstances should they be allowed anywhere near them.
There were only a handful of humans and weres left after that. Apparently the highly charged atmosphere of the storm made the two natured as restless as on a full moon. They were relegated to an old stable with a sturdy construction that had weathered many storms on the estate.
“I’ll get some salt,” a young woman named Tallulah said. She was the court witch under Sophie Anne’s reign. Like Sookie, she had been procured to attend to the regent except her recruitment had been less deceptive. As a witch there was little she did not know of the supernatural world so Tallulah was simply given the choice to serve the queen or suffer the consequences.
She and Lafayette set to cleanse the rooms by dropping piles of salt in all the corners of the different rooms. After burning some sage she chanted a spell after which the salt piles were collected and deposited out the front door. The winds quickly lifted the salt up into the atmosphere the flecks of white disintegrating into the dark.
No one could quite understand it, but with Tallulah’s intervention, the atmosphere in the rooms had vastly improved. The decoration was still awful but it didn’t feel as sinister as it once did.
Sookie had set to changing all the bed linens while Lafayette started to cook a hearty meal. Eric had made sure to procure some decent foods after Sookie’s complaints about the cafeteria meals. He mostly knew of Sookie’s preferences and mannerisms from observation in their short acquaintance and he was certain that she was not one to complain about something so small unless the situation was really dire. She had been touched by his attentions to something as simple as her meal. Eric fully understood her disgust of the human equivalent of True Blood. He had tried the vile blood once and that was enough to last him an eternity.
Sookie sat contentedly in Eric’s lap eating her dinner at the heavy baroque gilded table while praising Lafayette’s cooking. She had already sent Eric several daggers with her eyes as he made it all too well known to their dinner companions how enticing Sookie was as she moaned throughout her dinner. Only with a threat of finding her own seat had he relented. Lafayette received equally deadly glares when he suggested she and Eric could make a killing filming their exploits.
At the scary looks from the blonde telepath Lafayette informed them of all of what they had discovered about maenads from the numerous volumes on the supernatural instead.
“Do you think she caused this weather?” Sookie mused as she contentedly let out her full tummy and relaxed into Eric’s embrace. “If she incites sudden chaos, this isn’t far off.”
“It’s possible,” Tallulah stated with a deep-seated expertise. She had been the only of the human staff that had dared join their table at Sookie’s continued insistence. “There are witches that can manipulate the weather. I am sure one as powerful as a maenad could do the same.”
“Eric stop it,” Sookie admonished softly as he trailed kisses down her neck.
“You auras are quite beautiful together,” the witch smiled encouragingly to the young couple.
“Really?” Sookie enquired, gushing with the compliment, “What do we look like?”
“Well your aura is very vibrant despite the age to your soul,” Tallulah explained. “Warm colours while he is more calm and cool in colours. His soul was young when he started and that still lingers despite his age.” Sookie laced her fingers through his and smiled happily up at him before he gave her a soft kiss to her lips.
“But together you shine blindingly white,” she expressed admiringly. “I have only ever seen one other burn so brightly.”
“Who?” Sookie asked curiously.
“My own mother,” she said with a wistful smile. “But my mentor speculated it was the love I felt for her that made it appear so, rather than the true shape of her aura. It was in memory after all.”
“That’s nice,” Sookie smiled politely as she shifted slightly uncomfortably, a movement Eric stilled instantly as his arousal seemed unwanted around company. The L-word didn’t sit that well with Sookie at the moment. She and Bill had exchanged those words far too quickly to be true. She was determined not to repeat that same mistake despite the witch’s kind words.
“Can you see it too Lafayette?” Tallulah asked.
“Why would I’s be able to see that?” he returned in confusion.
“You’re a medium,” she stated as if describing the colour of his hair.
“I’m sorry I thought you knew,” the witch shrugged. “You sensed the energy of the space so well.”
“Can you see Cecily,” Jason asked as he took interest in the conversation for the first time that night as he was but momentarily distracted from his second favourite pastime which was eating.
“Who is Cecily?”
“That would be me,” she purred in delight as the apparition glimmered into existence.
“Fuck a bitch!” Lafayette yelled out in wide eyed shock.
“You don’t seem the type,” Eric and Cecily retorted dryly in unison.
Sookie couldn’t help but laugh at their identical reaction. With her solitary amusement unappreciated she offered to channel Cecily’s presence for Eric and Tallulah. “Your power is impressive,” the witch noted. “Are you using Lafayette’s skills to project?”
“No,” Sookie said not even thinking of the possibility. “Do you mind if I try Lafayette.”
“Go aheads beetch,” he said but quickly looked shaken at the growl that erupted from Eric’s throat at the unintended insult.
“Eric, hush,” she admonished and he reluctantly did with a minor dramatized pout. Sookie reached over for Lafayette’s hand, at which Cecily seemed to disappear again to Eric and Tallulah. She refocused and the red haired vampire reappeared to them again. After confirming it worked she tried a second time without having to physically touch Lafayette, employing a mental caress of his mind. With secondary success she was happy to be expanding her skills, most pleased with the diminished amount of energy it required. It was more like maintaining a connection rather than focusing all her might on the projection.
“Too bad she’s not a man,” Lafayette said jokingly after the introductions. “She could have pretended to be Dionysus.”
“How would the shifter like to be Dionysus to my Nyx?” Cecily asked thoughtfully hatching a plan.
“Sam came all the way down to help,” Sookie said proudly of her friend and boss. “I’m sure he’d help. Won’t the maenad recognise you as a ghost?”
“She worships a God that never comes,” Cecily said unimpressed. “She believes what she wants to believe. Besides I’m not a ghost.”
“What are you?” Eric demanded.
“Eric!” Sookie reprimanded, slapping the arm that held firm around her waist. “It’s really rude to ask that.”
“It’s ok dear brother,” Cecily smiled. “It took me very long to figure it out. So I will share.” Eric gave Sookie an ‘I told you so’ look which only made her scowl at him in return. A sneaky peck on her lips made it soon disappear.
“You two are so cute together,” Tallulah said with a smile that quickly dissipated with a glare from Eric. She made a mental note never to put cute and vampire together in a sentence ever again. It only continued the silent back and forth between him and Sookie until Cecily cleared her throat with a severe lack of subtlety.
“I am no ghost,” she explained as an expert in the field of her chosen subject. “Ghosts have unfinished business. The fae in me allows me entry into the Summerlands but the vampire in me bars access. I am a spirit that walks alone on this plane now my humanity lost.”
“I’m so sorry,” Sookie said horrified to hear that Cecily was damned to this eternal half-life.
“Don’t be,” Cecily shrugged. “I quite enjoy my existence. Godric was dreadfully boring for centuries though. I’m glad for your presence.”
“There is life in you,” Tallulah observed as she regarded her aura carefully.
“Jason,” she said with an acknowledging nod of the man’s blood that was altering her physical composition for the first time since her second death.
“Yes baby?” he replied automatically at the mention of his name while pulling her closer into his side.
Cecily giggled a little at his lack of perception. “Nothing.”
A/N: A little announcement:
As you may have noticed there have been some changes to the site. Some users didn’t see the drop down menu under the previous theme which made navigation of the site difficult. I hope you all like the new look (you better I had to fork over some cold hard cash to get it looking the way it does…) and apologies if you have, or had, issues with accessing the site. The only issue I have with the new theme is that the breaklines in the text are difficult to see so I’m still looking into a solution for that. And…
I’ll be off on holiday for the next couple of weeks to a place where Wi-Fi will be shoddy at best. I’ll see what I can do but it may happen that a week passes without an update or that it happens on a different day. It’s Already Gone is the only story that will continue as scheduled seeing that it coincides with the show. For those impatient ones among you I suggest to read/catch up with another one of my stories while I’m gone or make sacrifices to the Wi-Fi gods and pray for good reception. I’ll be back at work September 1st so unless I catch Hep-V regular scheduling will commence from that point onwards.