The shrill scream of ‘No!’ that reverberated from Pam’s tender larynx was heard throughout the entire town of Bon Temps. It was only those present in the house who noticed the smell of burnt hair. The designer in question grabbed nervously at the now-missing signature white ponytail from the nape of his neck. The little arsonist’s mother stammered out nervous apologies while she gathered up the wayward child.
“Eva!” she admonished. “You can’t just set people’s hair on fire.”
“Don’t you dare apologise!” Pam screamed. “Eva understands! He’s useless!”
“Pam, it’s the first of ten,” Sookie frowned. “One will fit perfectly, I’m sure.”
“You better pray she’s right,” the vampiress barked in the world-renowned designer’s native German, if only to make the threat more terrifying than it already was. “Plenty more hair to burn.” With the narrowing of Pam’s eyes to slits, little Eva smiled maliciously, which only caused Pam to clap excitedly in encouragement of her back-up team. Sookie pleaded to Willa non-verbally who without pause dropped the important task she was seeing to and took the girl in her arms. As usual, Pam huffed as the infant happily leaned into Willa and forgot about everyone around her. Ever since discovering the gentle vampire smoothed out the worst of the child’s, and to a certain extent Sookie’s moods, she had never been far from Eva’s side.
It was a fact that calmed down Eric and Sookie equally though for different reasons. Eric was overly cautious as a new parent as it was, but the uncovering of the threat Mab had posed without his knowledge had sent him into safety overdrive. The night he had come home with little foam helmets and knee pads for all the babies with the announcement that they were to wear them at all times, had erupted into an epic domestic dispute between the Viking vampire and the part-faery.
When pointing out she and Jason had turned out just fine without such overprotective devices, it didn’t help Eric to question how true that statement was in regards to her brother. Her carefully contained temper, bottled up for fear of her daughter’s reaction and her own general fatigue as a new mother, erupted in a grand spectacle for the onlookers. It was only after both parties had calmed down that they realised their little ‘problem’ child sat happily in Willa’s lap making a futile attempt to clap her hands without a care in the world.
They had briefly accredited the rare occurrence where her mother’s temper had failed to elicit a reaction from the child to the fact that Eva would never purposefully harm her parents. However, that theory was discredited the next night when Sookie found all her ‘toxic’ cleaning products replaced by a box of aluminium free baking soda and organic vinegar while still cursing from her collision with the floor after tripping over a stair gate that had not been there the previous night. That was the night Eric lost all of his hair as Eva and Pam cackled loudly from their perched seats as onlookers to that particular battle of the wills; though Pam lost her hair soon after when Eric’s rage was subsequently directed at his eldest child. In turn, Niall had found it a perfectly credible excuse to fashion a wig out of spaghetti on her head later that night.
The specially-flown-in fashion designer and nervous seamstresses whose hands continued to tremble in fear with the continued threat didn’t lose any of their hair that night despite the fact that not a single dress had fit to satisfy the vampiress. Apparently ‘the one that never ages’ had grown an inch or two in the waist and thighs, a fact which she vehemently denied and blamed on the incompetence of the renowned fashion house. Professional as they were, they instantly took the blame promising severe repercussions to the members of staff who had caused this misunderstanding to occur. Perhaps it was less professionalism and more the threat of a young Eva waving her hands with pretty sparkles in the air.
Princess Pinnie proved to be the mirror image of her mother as she gave the most discontent expression a baby could afford when she was hoisted into the specially designed dress. She was about as pleased as Pam with the fit and, despite the wedding being two nights away, the vampiress commanded everything be done from scratch. With a bit of coaxing from Willa and Sookie those demands were narrowed down to a few choice items instead, which allowed the designer and his team to finally breathe a sigh of relief. It was quickly swallowed again with a mere look from the vampiress and the sound of static electricity in the air.
As the designer and his team left the room and moved to exit the home, they encountered what under normal circumstances would be considered his competitor from Milan. A mutual pained look had them instantly forgetting their usual hostility and without words they found themselves in the nearest bar to drown their collective sorrows. It didn’t even bother them that the wine they drank at Bellefleur’s was the most inferior they had ever tasted and was riddled with cork residue while they commiserated over their tormentors. Neither one had a restful sleep with the threat of a menacing blonde, her tiny infant sidekick, and the flamboyantly gay cook who had picked and prodded at every hem, button, zip fly, and fabric choice for the mens’ suits.
“Eric, what are your intentions with my great-granddaughter?”
“I could ask you the same,” he countered with a raised eyebrow while loosening the constricting bow tie and placing the fit jacket back on the mannequin.
“I think it is rather clear; I am making an honest woman of her, contradicting as that may sound,” Niall returned while dropping his pants. Eric grimaced internally at the sight of the Prince of the Fae going commando when a highly-pierced gasp made Lafayette’s presence known with his first sighting.
“Hot damn!” Lafayette exhaled followed by the sound of a forceful thud hitting the floor. When Eric glanced towards the source of the noise he observed Jason fanning a passed out Lafayette on the floor.
“No wonder Ms. Pam insisted on double pleats on the slacks,” Lafayette managed to stammer out when he came too. “Big boy needs some room!”
Eric stepped over the over-the-top sight that blocked the floor space by the door with a roll of his eyes while a now fully dressed and entertained Niall followed hot on his heels. “You have yet to answer my question, vampire.”
“You have yet to answer mine, why not bind to Pamela by blood?”
“She is not one to be tied down by her emotions,” Niall shrugged. “It matters little to us. This works best for us both.”
Eric nodded, almost imperceptibly, with it granting his consent to their unusual union, though he sincerely doubted any objections he could have had would have any effect on proceedings. Niall gestured to two seats by the roaring fire place to continue their conversation.
“Sookie is mine,” he declared with nonchalance as he slumped into the high backed chair. “What else is there to know?”
“You and I both know there are different interpretations of that,” Niall said pointedly. “I will not have my great-granddaughter stand unacknowledged when it suits you or paraded as a mere possession. She is of my line.”
“We are bonded by blood and she is the mother of my children,” Eric growled out. “There is no doubt she is wholly mine.”
“As you are hers?” he returned expectantly.
“I have been hers from the moment we locked eyes whether she wanted me or not, whether she continues to want me or not,” he spoke hoarsely. “I am hers.”
“Yet you let her go.”
“Yes,” Eric admitted with a hint of shame, his eyes finding the crackled bark of the logs on the fire instead of the ones with whom he was conversing.
Niall’s smile was small but rather self-satisfied. “That is why I always liked you for her.” He patted the knee of the slightly nervous vampire with a low chuckle at the strange sight of a vampire with regrets. “You care more for her than yourself.”
“I like who I am around her,” Eric returned with a hidden smile.
“Me too,” Sookie whispered as she perched herself in his lap, a brilliant grin gracing her face while she had caught the tail end of their conversation. Being the Supernaturals that they were, this had of course not gone unnoticed. Niall was having the conversation as much for her benefit as his.
“I think my work here is done,” the Prince of the Fae announced, satisfied before leaving the, in his mind, ‘young’ lovers to the room.
“You need but ask, Sookie,” he said adoringly while playing with the ends of her hair. “You know that, right?”
“This,” he said gesturing at the elaborate decorations and props that were littered throughout the house in preparation for the wedding. “It could all be yours. You already own all the rest.” He finished his last sentence by placing her hand on his chest over the vacuous part where his heart once beat a steady rhythm; never to pound at the speeds he knew it would have had for her.
“If this is your way of asking me to marry you, Eric Northman, I have to say you’re doin’ a piss poor job,” she sassed with a slight wrinkle to her nose.
“I don’t remember asking a thing,” he grinned stilling the small movement with a peck to the tip of her nose.
“No, apparently I’m the one who’s supposed to be doing the askin’!” she huffed crossing her arms harshly over her chest. He took her arms gently from their firm stance while he picked up on the slight pain it had caused her sensitive milk-feeding breasts to do so and knowing her innate pride would not allow that to go acknowledged, thus giving him an upper hand.
He massaged her ribs underneath to soothe away the momentary ache as her scowl set further. “I thought you were an emancipated woman of the world,” he grinned loving the fire that erupted from her eyes in moments such as these and before her indignant stance turned into a tirade he added, “I was simply asking if you wish to be asked, if this,” Eric gestured toward the same ceremonial items again. “Is something you want for yourself?”
Sookie fell silent momentarily while she put her thoughts on the subject in light of her new surroundings. She remembered how Eric had once cruelly ridiculed the notion when she wore an engagement ring from Bill. Now she could see it had more to do with whom that ring had come from than what it symbolised. “I think there was once a time when I would never have considered being as we are now to be right without at least one of those rings on my finger,” she explained. “But ultimately a wedding is not the end that announces the happily ever after, it’s just another .”
He took her hand and kissed the palm of it softly reminding her of the commitment they had made so many years ago in the cubby of her family home. In their mutual high all had seemed possible till somehow it all fell apart. The blood that lay in their veins never rested to source back to that bond and a small growth in her stomach had proven that their spoken words, ‘All is possible, with you.’, were truer than they had ever imagined. “Those were our beginnings,” he smiled knowing that she was having the same memories through the shared blood bond that stood testament to those beginnings.
“I guess they were,” she returned with an equally bright beam on her face as their fingers found the other to entwine with. “I’ve been an awful spouse though if that was our wedding.”
“I haven’t been much of a husband either,” he chuckled remembering the hot, fiery, faery side of her demanding who had taken hostage of his balls not so long ago. “A bit of a cuckold, at that.” Eric instantly regretted his words as he sensed her plummeting spirits, which bothered him greatly especially considering he had been no better than her on the fidelity front if they were to take those beginnings as their vows. He whispered an apology to her ear and followed with soft kisses to the side of her face.
“Should we begin again?” Eric tested not realising the weight of the question till after it was spoken aloud and a heavy silence descended on the room.
“Thanksgiving,” she smiled, causing confusion to mar his face as it wasn’t much of an answer to the unintended substantial request. “It’s where we got to start again. Three became one again only to then become four. It’s the day each year when we will be thankful for more than the rich foods that grace our table as well as the questionable company with whom we surround ourselves. That day will forever be ours.”
“I like that,” he returned in agreement. “The day that Eric Northman finally got the girl.”
Sookie giggled a little not sure if she could truly consider herself a girl anymore now that she had become a mother to one. The boy in Eric; however, leaped out as his mischief travelled through the bond, and with a suggestive brow raised he posed, “Now how about we become one again?”
A/N: Guess what platinum haired vampire comes to visit next…
Special thanks to msbuffy for her betaing skills again.
From Time Immemorial chapter 17 is here.