“Can you tell me about where you’ve been?” Russell asked kindly.
“We travelled through a portal of sorts,” he replied. “I only remember my Maker awaking me, and her,” he said suddenly at the sighting of Tara, who at present was doing a very poor job of ‘inconspicuously’ lingering in the kitchen.
“Frankenmonster!” Tara gasped at the recognition of the deep green eyes she had once chanced upon before muttering an apology for the nickname.
“Tara has told me much about this place,” Godric explained while nudging his untouched plate towards Talbot after he caught him eyeing it hungrily. “I think it’s a plane between here and Faerum. He was kept submerged in a bath of blood.”
“You know me?” Talbot asked Tara excitedly. “My Mother?”
“We only met briefly,” Tara shrugged. “I left as soon as I could. Your ‘Mother’ insisted I become your sister.”
“Oh,” he said with a hint of disappointment before a spark of excitement brimmed in his eyes. “Maybe she’ll come looking for you.”
Tara’s eyes grew wide, and instinctively her hands fall once more to her stomach to find the slight bump. Godric was beside her in an instant, soothing away her worries to little avail, assuring her of a safety he was not certain that even at this point he could guarantee.
“Did Mother tell you anything as to why you’re here?” Russell asked carefully.
“She told me stories when she fed me,” he smiled like a small child. “How we will return to the order of old, power being restored to where it belongs.”
“We have company,” Godric discerned suddenly, the foreign sounds invading on his tonal periphery. “Is this your doing?” he addressed Russell, suspicions of his missing Childe not yet relented from the other ancient being, the conditions of his struck bargain that resulted in his repossession of Talbot still unclear.
“Now is that any way to greet family?” Russell grinned, the amusing sparkle in his eyes resurfacing with recognition of the incoming sound. With giddy excitement, his eyes locked with Talbot’s, “Come say hello to your Mother.”
“Pumpkin, you came!” Russell greeted to the newly arrived vampiress.
“You found him!” she exclaimed with an unnatural amount of glee at the sight of Talbot before disdain set in along with an accusing finger, “What’s he doing here?”
“Nice to see you, too, Sweet Cheeks,” Stan winked. “Did you bring me a present?”
“Does Isabel count?” she preened, tapping her expertly manicured nails on the lid of the coffin beside her.
“More than you know,” he grinned.
“Mine!” Russell warned while assisting Pam down the steps of the helicopter.
A frown marred her otherwise flawless face, and with a wobble she uttered, “Where’s Eric?”
The light was blinding, one moment her head, hair, and fingers were dipped low, hanging over the edge of the bed, legs held by their knees as Eric thrust into her with an unparalleled hunger that fed her own, the blood in her body rushing back and forth maddeningly, and the next moment they were elsewhere. An elsewhere that was unlike anywhere she’d ever been. There was no doubt Eric was very talented and had rendered her senseless, not to mention boneless, more than once, but this was most assuredly different. Initially she had accredited the sensation to him, but he seemed just as confused as her when they came down from their individual highs. Completing the bond had happened almost accidentally earlier in the morning, the adrenaline of escaping a shower of bullets had fuelled it mostly, along with the knowledge that Tara was safe and despite her magical outburst, he’d called her a thing of beauty.
They had regarded each other like two naughty children then, the blood at their mouths appearing more like evidence of stolen strawberry preserve not meant for them than the life giving elixir that bound beyond separation. The moment had passed, it was irreversible, and neither party felt the guilt they had put on their faces for the other’s sake. Nothing magical had happened, or anything out of the ordinary like it had with the two other mutual exchanges. Sookie had fallen to giggles first before Eric decided to silence her with an infectious grin that only faded to seek out her lips. Entangled in sheets and each other they had simply lain there lazily, exchanging a contented sigh now and then while giddy emotions bounced between them. It was satisfyingly mundane, as they exerted themselves like any other couple would in an ample bed with too much time to spare and worries momentarily forgotten. She’d even slipped out of the bedroom, had a snack, and an odd conversation with Russell before finding Eric ready and eager back in their bed. Despite circumstances, everything had been surprisingly normal.
Until now, finding themselves altogether somewhere else, their instincts disregarded till the moment of transportation had passed, too lost in the other to notice anything that surrounded them but the other. Their newfound surroundings were excessively hot and the perspiration of her exertion was soon accompanied by the heat that had started to penetrate against her skin. He was cooler than her, but still decidedly warmer than what she was used to.
“Where are we?” she gasped while unsticking herself from him. Despite the heat, she felt the need to cover herself, the bright light in the room scrutinising every little part of her, as if they were being examined. Eric had already come to high alert, scanning the room for anything that would explain where, what, and how they had come to be here. Sookie peered carefully beyond the closed curtain, greeted by an enchanting landscape that was lush with life. “Faery?” she guessed in a whisper, confirming Eric’s suspicions who stole a glance from a safe distance away.
A knock on their door announced a familiar face, shuffling in, suddenly uncharacteristically shy. “You’re a little early,” she whispered, her appearance was altogether lighter, younger even. The wicked glint that was ever present in her eyes was still there, but now geared more towards mischief rather than bloodthirst.
“Cecily!” Sookie exclaimed, taking the slight girl into her arms instantly. Without coaxing, their foreheads rested against each other in recognition of their distant relation. “You’re different.”
“Thanks to you,” she murmured with a hint of shame that didn’t suit her. “I brought you some clothes, they’ll want to speak to you as soon.”
“Who?” Eric asked, not bothering to hide the suspicion from his voice.
“The ones who matter,” she sighed with a slight resignation. “It’s all I am allowed to say.”
“Cecily,” Sookie whispered with concern. “They’re not keeping you against your will, are they?”
“No,” she smiled. “I’m exactly where I want to be.” A small frown disturbed her delicate features momentarily, as if she wanted to say more, but she held quiet. Or so I thought.
Sookie’s concern didn’t abate with the fleeting thought she had caught from Cecily’s mind. “Do not worry for me,” she amended quickly and catching the stern set of Eric’s face. “Or for yourselves, you are safe here. I promise, bror.”
“I’m still your brother, then?” Eric posed with a hint of suspicion. “Any ties between us seem to have disappeared.”
“The blood of our Maker is gone,” she acknowledged with a hint of regret. “I still consider you my family.”
Sookie sent an admonishing glare Eric’s way, sensing Cecily’s ill fit with her long lost actual blood relatives. Her heart was beating, her face flushed with a vibrant red, but there had been more life to the faery in her previous form, existing as an anomaly of the Supernatural.
“Is it always this hot?” Sookie asked in attempt to pull Cecily from her sullen mood, however, it only seemed to plummet her spirits further as she sighed out a ‘no’ with a saddened shake to her head.
The bonded couple didn’t dare stray far from each other’s reach as they were led down the expansive and richly decorated hallways. The portraits that hung heavily over the brocade silk wallpapers were reminiscent of Sookie, not necessarily in appearance, but they all shared a similar set determination in their eyes that Eric had come to know all too well, wild before tamed. It exuded a strength that only another Supernatural would recognise and respect.
“My Prince,” Cecily greeted ceremoniously with a bow before leading Eric and Sookie into another grand hall, though this one lacked the bright light that surrounded them all, darker and scenting of heavy musk.
“Come before me, child,” Niall commanded with a firm gesture of his hand despite his frail stature. He appeared slightly gaunt, a magical air still surrounding the thinning flesh. “Let me look at you.”
Sookie carefully shuffled into the dimly lit room and instinctively kneeled in front of him. “Closer. I don’t bite,” he urged with a chuckle. “Though considering your mate, that shouldn’t scare you too much.” Her cheeks flushed with slight embarrassment before he tutted for the sight. “You are everything you promised to be.”
“Thank you,” she whispered. “It’s good to be home.”
“Well, I’d say it’s good to be home, but you cuntbuckets better start talking, NOW!”
“Wherever did those endearing manners go?” Russell tutted. “We seem to have misplaced your Maker and his bonded?” he posed innocently. “The puppy seems to have run off, too.”
“We do not know where they have gone,” Godric tried patiently. “Magic is involved, it is all we know…”
“…and you’re doing what about it?” she demanded with an incessant tap to her foot.
“A witch is on her way, she will perform an ectoplasmic spell,” Godric appeased. “We will know soon enough.”
Her arms remained firmly crossed, the annoyance yet to leave her face, and turning to Logan she demanded, “Find that piece of wolverine wannabe shit. Now!”
“You don’t want me to pick up the witch?” he asked while motioning at the helicopter, a question he soon wished he’d never posed considering the slant her eyes had taken to his ‘helpful’ suggestion. Holding his breath, he offered to the unspoken command, “I’ll go track Alcide.”
“Like I’d want one those incense cunts stinking up my chopper,” she grumbled while being led towards the house by Russell.
“I like her,” Talbot smiled softly to Russell, pleasing him more than he ever thought possible.
“Of course you like me!” Pam exclaimed. “Who doesn’t like me?”
“Viking, join us, please,” Niall requested with a beckoning finger. Eric remained cautious, standing ready at the offence, Sookie’s sudden familiarity alerting his instincts that not everything was as it seemed. That she wasn’t all that she seemed. Playing along, he nodded as per the custom and took his seat beside Sookie. “You bonded to completion at an auspicious time, you had us worried there for a while.”
“It happened when it needed to happen,” Sookie smiled gently, exuding a content energy that he had yet to encounter in her, a captured serenity that was more often encountered in something old rather than this young.
Eric cleared his throat, eyeing Sookie suspiciously, but finding nothing deceitful in their bond. “May I have a moment with my bonded?”
“Of course,” Niall acquiesced, beckoning one of the servants to help him up.
“We’ll go,” Eric offered, urging the ailing man to stay put while Cecily directed them to a small ante-room.
“Sookie, what is going on here?” he demanded in a low voice, “What are you hiding from me, what have you been hiding all this time?”
She looked startled, her innocence reaffirmed instantly through his bond, shocking her when she sensed his growing doubt that it was an honest response. “I swear I don’t know Eric!” she exclaimed closing the distance between them that he purposefully created with his continued scrutiny of her. “I just know this is where I need to be, that you belong with me, that that is important.”
“How? How can you be so certain?”
She shook her head, not sure where she drew her certainty from, “It’s just there,” she tried to explain holding her hand over her heart. “Right there with what I feel for you. I don’t know how I know. I just do.”
“I feel like a pawn,” he complained, disarming her with the complaint.
Sookie snorted, “Join the club.” He couldn’t share her amusement, the ramifications far more detrimental for one as old as he to deal with. She sighed, “Is it such a bad place to be? With me?”
“I no longer know what to trust,” he spoke through gritted teeth. “Who to trust.”
“You can trust me,” she offered with a certainty that made him question the sincerity of it, her, and the bond all over again. The insecurity of her, however, prevailed, convincing him, while a lingering doubt refused to relent. “You can,” she urged with a wobble. “I wouldn’t lie to you, Eric, not after everything. I love you.”
He sighed, a reluctant nod secured her to him, holding her tightly, and allowing the bond between them as his guide. “I don’t think I have a choice but to trust you,” he finally amended. “I relinquished that possibility when we shared our blood.”
“I never asked for that,” she reminded. “It takes two to tango.”
“I know,” he replied with a sigh, kissing the top of her head tenderly. She twined her hands in his, exchanging a soft kiss before returning to their seats, his doubts and fears only partially eliminated.
“Where shall we begin?” Niall quipped with an energy his body didn’t seem capable to possess, and as if in punishment, a groan of pain escaped him causing Claudine and Cecily to instantly run to his side.
“Why is he so ill?” Sookie asked with worry.
Claudine regarded her sadly, “He’s exerting whatever energy he has left to keep us safe. To provide for us all.”
“It is what a Prince does,” Niall dismissed. “I care for my people and now my Princess,” he smiled at Sookie with great fondness, “that soon will be your task.”
“I don’t understand,” she replied in confusion. “I’m not a Princess.”
“You are of my blood,” Niall explained. “You carry the Eternal spark, we never took notice of it before, your human anatomy inhibiting it from developing or for us to recognise it.”
Eric’s eyes narrowed towards Cecily, coming to understand her sudden shyness and evasiveness along with her newfound state. “You orchestrated this,” he assessed to which she could only nod with a hint of remorse.
“Do not blame her!” Niall admonished. “Her actions will most likely save us all, including you and your kind! We did not think lightly of offering up one of our most precious Eternal daughters to the likes of a vampire. You possess a great gift now and you shall treat her as such.”
“Of course,” Eric agreed, not even questioning the thought for a minute while holding Sookie closer to him with a tenderness that had gone absent in the midst of his previous suspicions. “You will assure me Sookie knew nothing of this. That you didn’t pimp her out!” A small gasp escaped her, hurt travelling through their bond that he remained suspicious of her sincerity. “I’m sorry,” he whispered gently, though it failed to repair the damage done.
“What lives between the two of you is not our making,” Claudine tried to explain. “We considered others, Cecily had proposed Godric at first. All we required was your blood, love was never a factor, but we knew a price had to be paid.”
“Why go through such orchestrations?” Eric demanded, his anger still remaining difficult to contain. “There would have been plenty of vampires my age who would have given the blood for a different price. Why am I important alongside her?”
“We had an agreement with your former Queen, she was willing to sell the blood of her favoured Childe,” Claudine tried to explain, and it was this argument that finally convinced Eric they had been genuine in their intentions.
“Fucking Sophie Anne,” he muttered while simultaneously cursing himself, his former Queen’s actions and willingness to sell their blood had after all caused Godric to act against her, and his Maker had only been aware of it through him. Her small hand squeezed his, knowing exactly where his troubled conscious had lingered to, whispering with comfort, “Not your fault, and it means I’m here with you and I wouldn’t want to be here with anyone but you.”
He smiled back in return, murmuring, “Likewise.” Eric’s gaze set upon the old monarch once more, assessing astutely, “There is more at play than this, what is going on here? Why is she of such importance that you willingly mate her with a mortal enemy? What other enemy are we fighting here?”
“We, is it?” the old Faery grinned happily, and with a creak to his bones he moved out of his plush throne, motioning them to the window, “The sun will not harm you here vampire,” he assured. “Have you looked outside yet?”
“It’s beautiful,” Sookie complimented.
“Look closer,” he urged and when they did the lush landscape faded, a barren desert emerging in its place, the sun that Eric had feared suddenly absent, the oppressive heat still present and more straining than before. Sookie let out a frightful cry when she caught sight of Niall by her side, his handsome features suddenly nothing more than rotting flesh with patches of grey skin. While not quite as bad, the other faeries in the room looked just as worse for wear where she and Eric shined brightly with unparalleled health.
Niall smiled feebly, stifling a harsh cough, “This place, everyone here, we are all dying. Do you understand our urgency now?”
A/N: So yeah bonus points to those who guessed we were off to Faery… Like I mentioned last time I was finishing up this story, it is now done from my end so I will be pushing this story out at a higher frequency rate from now on that doesn’t make msbuffy want to clobber me on the head, repeatedly. Who, as always, did a wonderful job on this for which I am always extremely grateful… so what’s next, well muse away, I always love reading your thoughts 🙂