I Write the Songs: Contest Entry
Title: One and Only
Characters: Sookie Stackhouse, Eric Northman, Pam Ravenscroft, Karin the Slaughterer (mentions of Jason Stackhouse and Sam Merlotte), original characters
Disclaimer: I have no claim whatsoever to the characters belonging to Charlaine Harris or the song by the amazing goddess that is Adele
Pen Name: Ali989969
Beta Name: RealJena
Virgin Writer?: Yeah… not so much
Teaser: Canon, post-Dead Ever After. Eric is in Oklahoma with his new wife and Sookie confides in a diary how she feels about her new “normal” life. The journal makes its way to the desk of the Sheriff of Area Five. Pam takes steps of her own to ensure that her maker has something to return to at the end of his two hundred year marriage.
AN: I was possessed and wrote this in about 6 hours. I actually kind of freaked myself out with this.
The bite… the fairy blood… his maker’s contract with Oklahoma…Arlene’s murder and his conditional loan of the bail money to Sam. The events of that last year make me wonder why I’m still so hung up on him. My logical mind can’t make sense of it, but deep in my heart, I know that he still holds a piece of me.
It’s not fair to Sam. I know this, but it doesn’t stop me from comparing the two of them when Sam and I make love. And it’s not just the physical differences between them. If it were just that, it would be easy to get past. No, it’s the way I feel during and after. Sam is a good man. I know he loves me. He is who I think I was meant to be with… before I experienced so much of life outside what would be considered “normal”. But his love for me feels, for lack of a better word, paltry when compared with what I felt from a man who has lived a dozen lifetimes and can live a hundred more with his survival skills and smarts. And knowing that he is gifting his new wife with the things I once held… it kills me a little inside.
I miss Eric… more than I ever thought I would. The night we met, he terrified me and aroused me at the same time. I know that my naiveté, innocence, and scent were what attracted him, but my curse/gift was what held his attention when I saved him and Pam from the police raid. He saved me from Longshadow… he healed me in Dallas and accompanied me to that horrific orgy on the lake for protection… he saved my life again in Jackson (more than once)… he took a bullet for me from Debbie Pelt’s gun… he called in a favor to save Tara (for me)… he forced Bill to tell me the truth… he gave me his blood to save me from a bond to Andre… he protected me during the Nevada takeover…
The truth is that our relationship was much more give-and-take than many people could realize. Maybe I didn’t save him as many times as he saved me, but I put myself on the line in so many ways, more than once, to make sure that he wouldn’t become a puddle of goo. I feared him initially, but that fear grew to friendship… friendship to affection… but affection blossomed to love during the two weeks I sheltered him when he had amnesia. When his curse was lifted and he forgot all that we shared… it was a splinter of the pain I feel now. He is committed to Freyda for two. hundred. years. By the time he’s free, maybe my great-great grandchildren will be able to meet him. If I ever have children.
Sam wants kids. He’s said so both with his mouth and in his head. I can hear him hoping to “knock me up” when we’re in bed together and it’s not something that makes me happy. Yes, for the longest time, I thought I would love to be a wife and mother at some point in my future and, yes, Sam’s the man that can make both of those dreams come true. But dreams change. When I met Hunter and realized that the demon-blood gifted telepathy was genetic, my longing for children waned. It fell completely to the wayside when I considered my life with Eric. I knew I never wanted his kind of immortality, but I would have taken his love for as long as he wanted me in my fragile human state.
But all of this is neither here nor there. Sam is out for his full moon run and I’m sitting here in Gran’s house alone, ruminating on what I’ve lost over the past few years. My innocence… my first love… my grandmother… my estranged cousin… my naiveté that so enchanted and frustrated the Viking.
Karin has fulfilled her promise to Eric and left a few weeks ago. We talked several times over the year she kept guard over me. She was not as…friendly as Pam, but I could count her as close to a friend as a human can ever consider a vampire. I miss her… and Pam. Pam was my first vampire friend and it saddens me that I can’t just take off for Shreveport and visit her at Fangtasia when the whim hits me. Neither does she go out of her way to visit me now that her “sister” has moved on and her maker is king-consort of another state.
Diary, I don’t know what I want from life anymore, but I know it’s not the life I’m living right now. I don’t miss the danger that came at me from all sides when I was buried chin-deep in vampire shit, but this hum-drum, steady, normal life that I always thought I wanted isn’t enough anymore and I want to kick myself for the many hasty decisions that I’ve made. My heart has an Eric-shaped hole I’ve named “regret” right in the center; it grows and burns whenever I think back to the last conversation we had face-to-face.
I was so mad at him for his high-handedness… he was mad at me for not agreeing to be his mistress for as long as he would have me. When he vented that he should have turned me by force or ordered Pam to do it, I could have staked him … in that moment. After he left and I learned more about the stable life that I thought was what I wanted, I considered his words. Pam never had a choice and I assume neither did Karin. Eric didn’t either, now that I really think about it and neither did Bill. Only very recently have vampires been sought out by those seeking immortality to be considered worthy of being turned. Before the Great Revelation, if a vampire saw someone appealing, they were taken, no questions asked.
I wonder if that would be better. If Pam or Eric or Karin were to lay in wait for me to leave the house one night, how would I feel to be grabbed from the shadows and drained of my blood before I could really comprehend what was happening to me? Would I lay in suspended animation for three days in the ground while the magic in my maker’s blood floods my veins, tying me to him or her forever or would the tiny bit of fairy in me reject the blood like an incompatible organ and my turning would be a murder?
I’ve thought about immortality; one can’t be in a relationship with a vampire and not think about it. Having to watch Jason, Michele, and any future nieces or nephews grow, age and die while I stay eternally twenty-eight at first broke my heart, but now… it seems doable. It would be sad, but I would be gaining much more than I would be losing. And it would be something, instead of the nothing life I’m living now. I know I’m meant to do more than live in a small town until I die, making babies for a man that I love, but am not in love with. I’m meant to do more than be a wife and mother and part-owner of a dinky bar and grill. I’m a GD fairy princess for heaven’s sake and I need to claim that tiny part of me. It doesn’t mean a darn thing in the life I’m living now, but the supes that surround me can respect it, even if I’m still mostly human.
Diary, I’ve talked myself in circles for the night. When I’m stuck here alone, watching the big white orb in the sky, I can’t help but think of everything in my life that I would change if I could just be given the chance. I know it’s not an opportunity that I’ll ever have, but it relieves my ennui (thank you word-of-the day calendar) to do a bit of dreaming. Until next full moon…
Interesting… very interesting. Karin delivered the smallish pink leather book to my desk before seeking out her dinner among the throngs of vermin at the bar and on the dance floor. She had seen Sookie writing pages and pages, sitting on her porch while her shifter ran off to chase cars and piss on fire hydrants. My sister had been invited into Sookie’s home several times and it appears the invitation was never rescinded once the guard duty ended. The full moon waned only three nights ago. I temple my hands under my chin in thought, much like Eric used to do when vexed.
I miss my maker and I don’t think I’ll ever forgive Her Majesty for forbidding Eric to have communication with his children. At her immature age of one hundred and fifty, she’s never made a child and doesn’t know the pain that comes from a separation like this and I can feel through my bond with Eric that it pains him as well. Not only is he my sire, but my best friend as well. If she didn’t have the powerhouse backing of Nevada supporting her ownership of Eric (and that’s what it is – ownership), Karin and I both could raise a force from not just Louisiana, but Mississippi and Texas to storm the fucking state and take it over, releasing Eric from the slavery his maker sold him into. But there’s no way that Russell (and by extension Bartlett) and Stan would risk their necks to take on a foe like Felipe de Castro.
Hmm… what to do… what to do? I like Sookie and have since she protected my maker from the psychotic Were-witches that cursed him. Their relationship after he remembered those two weeks he had previously lost both irritated and amused me. I wasn’t happy with Eric’s preoccupation over the telepath, but it had been decades since I’d seen and felt him filled with such… light. Their affection towards each other was… enviable in a strange way. I can’t remember ever feeling that way toward anyone since my friend’s lower-class cousin that I snuck out to see on the last night of my life. I don’t think Sookie would have had any doubts of how my maker felt about her if she had been privy to his thoughts the way she was to everyone else’s.
After Karin feeds, I call her into my office to think out and fine tune a plan to resolve the sickening feelings that come through our shared maker-child bond with Eric. She is having an easier time with it as she has been able to stay away from him for almost five hundred years, but it still affects us both. Over the past year, she came to have a slight affection for the little blond telepath, proving that almost no one is immune to her Southern charm. Karin is a consummate strategist and able to think ahead several moves (much like our maker) to plot the most favorable outcome. I come to the realization that I have about three and a half weeks to get all my pawns into place.
First I draft a letter of resignation to my asshole king. The only reason I took the position of Sheriff when Eric nominated me as his replacement was to keep an eye on what was his, namely Sookie. Since she won’t be occupying Area Five any longer, I don’t feel the need to reside in this godforsaken swamp land any longer than necessary.
Second, I research country properties in England. My native country still holds a piece of my unbeating heart and it would be a good place for Sookie to become acclimated to her new life: secluded enough for privacy and security while close enough to modern conveniences that make survival so much easier than it used to be. Finding one that looks perfect, I hire a solicitor specializing in vampire needs online to look over the property in person and purchase it if he finds it acceptable. I also authorize him to set up security systems post-haste if he does, in fact, buy the Tudor-style cottage. I let him know money is no object and there are bonuses for speedy, quality work.
Satisfied with my preparation, I shut down my computer and find an auburn-haired dancer to amuse myself with for the rest of the night…
There are two nights to go before the full moon and everything has been planned and plotted to the last detail. I’m more excited over this than I thought I would be. I still feel a bit stung that I was forbidden from turning Miriam, but it’s in the past and our kind can’t afford to wallow in grief. I set my email to send the letter of resignation to de Castro while Sookie and I are in the air and beyond his reach. I leave the bar early to pack bags for myself and shop for Sookie, delighting that I get to have her as my life-size Barbie for at least a little while – I will break her of those sundresses if it’s the last thing I do. Opening an encrypted file, I look over the preparations made by my solicitor to my cute little cottage and find them acceptable. Tickets aboard Anubis flights to Washington DC then London are confirmed, and then I look in a smaller bag I have set aside. The final task is a little more delicate, but I feel it has to be done or the telepath is bound to make things more difficult than they need to be. The clutch containing two syringes with a long lasting sedative fits in my purse easily and I sweep aside my unease at drugging the blond. I know that it’s the best option because if she’s given the choice, she’ll talk herself out of what she knows is best for everyone. Well, everyone that matters.
As soon as she sees the shifter leave for his romp, Karin will approach Sookie. After a bit of conversation, she will lure her outside where I will drug her. Karin will chauffer us to the Shreveport airport, and her part will be done. We’ll land in London with just enough time to re-sedate Sookie with the second syringe and get into my travel coffin at Heathrow. My solicitor, a part-daemon named Solomon Angelopoulos (ironically), will take over care of the incapacitated telepath and drive us both to my new cottage, where he will dig a hole in preparation for Sookie’s transformation. Her sedative will be wearing off at the same time as I rise.
I have no worries about her fairy blood interfering with her turning. Hadley was fine when Sophie Ann turned her. The mysterious “spark” that was whispered about between Eric and Niall… well, nothing risked, nothing gained. If all goes as planned, I will rise four nights from now with an absolutely stunning new child and a wonderful surprise for my maker.
“Karin? What are you doing back? I thought you would be off… somewhere besides here since your promise to Eric has been fulfilled… not that I’m not happy to see you again, but…” the verbose Southern belle babbles at the sight of my sister on her porch. “Sorry, where are my manners? Please come in. Can I get you a bl… wait, sorry. I don’t have any since I didn’t think I’d see you again. How are you?”
I smirk to myself in the shadows. Karin gives her a smile as pleasant as she is capable of and crosses the threshold. I pull out the zippered clutch and uncap the syringe, just waiting for them to come outside. I do another check of my purse, making sure my tickets are easily accessible, along with my ID and Sookie’s driver license (stolen by Karin a few nights ago). When I hear the door open about forty-five minutes later, I tense. It’s now or never and I’m ready.
Karin leads Sookie into the shadows of her front yard under some ridiculous pretense. While Sookie leans over to look at nothing, I slip behind her silently and inject the syringe perfectly into her upper arm. She only has a moment to look around outraged before her muscles relax and she collapses into my waiting arms. I carry her carefully to the waiting car as Karin goes back into the house to grab Sookie’s pocketbook and keys to lock the door. My sister is also a forger of some talent, so she leaves a note on the kitchen table for Jason Stackhouse in Sookie’s sloppy, loopy handwriting, letting him know that she’s using her windfall from Niall to travel as she has always wanted and will contact him when she settles. Feeling good with being on schedule, she vamps back to the car, only to be waylaid at the driver’s side door by horrid sideburns with a severe case of man-bangs.
“What are you doing with Sookie? What’s wrong with her?” he screeches at the sight of her laid out in the back seat of the rented sedan.
“I don’t recall Sookie asking you to watch over her, Compton,” I snarl through the window. So much for the schedule.
“You dare harm her? I will report you for this. Sheriff or no, she is His Majesty’s telepath and he charged me with protecting her. You’ll be staked for this,” he sneers, looking superior.
It never fails: put Compton in the same vicinity as royalty and he pulls his head fully from his own ass to shove into the regal rectum before him.
Karin rolls her eyes at the unneeded delay and quicker than even I can see, the machete sheathed at her hip swings and the Gone With the Wind reject is no more than a puddle in the gravel. Karin wipes the blade on her jeans and resheaths it, muttering about vampirism being wasted on the weak. I nod silently, agreeing with her tirade.
When we pull up to the departures gate at the airport, I get Sookie a wheelchair while my sister unloads our bags. Before I go to check in, she pulls me into an unexpected embrace. “It was good to know you, sister. Our maker chose well when he made you. I hope to see you in the future. Good luck with your future progeny,” she states matter-of-factly before getting back in the car without a backwards glance.
Travel goes as smoothly as can be expected with a vampire and a sedated, unconscious human. When we coast into Heathrow, I discretely slide the second syringe into Sookie’s arm to keep her… well, sedate. I meet our bags and my coffin at the claim area and greet Solomon before escaping the rising sun in the fiberglass pod. He’s been well briefed in his duties and I have no doubt he will be able to do all I require. The cottage in Oxfordshire is about an hour’s drive from Heathrow. I get jostled as the coffin is loaded into the back to the SUV, but hear nothing else once the sun makes its appearance over the horizon.
I rise and unlatch the coffin, feeling both relaxed and anxious. I know the theory of turning, but have never attempted it before. Not for the first time, I wish I had Eric’s guidance in this. I turn and see Sookie still unconscious on the bed. After checking her pulse, I nod to myself and head to the kitchen, where Solomon stored several bags of donor blood. I warm and drink two pints of A negative and return to the bedroom.
I stand and look at Sookie, contemplating what to do. I can see the non-descript hole in the ground from the window and nod again. Everything is prepared. I remove the pale yellow sundress from Sookie’s body and take a moment to appreciate the blond before me. My maker’s initial attraction to the girl had never been mysterious, but seeing her in all her glory… it’s easier to comprehend. I remove my own clothes, stale from traveling, and carry the slowly rousing girl to the grave.
My nose crinkles as my fangs drop and I lick over her neck, prepping her carotid artery, which pops up nicely. I take a deep, unnecessary breath and let my fangs sink into her neck; I can’t help but moan as Eric’s attraction is further explained. Her blood is exquisite. Her brother had been delicious, even with the feline undertones, but there aren’t words for the ambrosia in Sookie’s veins. I pull myself from my stupor and force myself to pay attention to her heartbeat. When it slows to almost nothing, I jerk my head back to stop my gorging. I rip open my wrist and hold it to Sookie’s limp mouth, massaging her throat so she instinctually swallows. I have to reopen the wound four times before I can feel a kind of magic take over and I know it’s enough. I lay her in the hole before I start pulling the dirt in to cover us both. I feel weak despite my intentional gluttony tonight. Wrapping my arms around the inanimate telepath, I hold her close and lay my head on her chest… listening anxiously as her heartbeat slows down and eventually stops.
I rise as soon as the sun sets on the third night and immediately feel a difference. I feel the bond in my mind to Eric, but a stronger, thicker, newer bond joins it. I start pushing the dirt on top of us out of the hole, nervous as to what I’ll find when the grave is clear.
“Mmm… uhh… ugh… why’m I naked?” a tinkling voice asks, muffled by the dirt still on top of her. I hurriedly move the soil and help Sookie to her feet. Brushing herself off, she looks down confused, then up at me, even more perplexed. “Pam? Why’re you naked?”
I grin and help her from the hole. “Because I refuse to ruin good clothes by exposing them to black soil like this. Although, it’s not as hard to clean as that God-awful red clay. That shit never comes out.”
“Pam… where are we?” she asks tentatively, as if just now sensing something is off.
“Oxfordshire, England. Let me show you our new home,” I tell her and take her hand.
“Wait, WHAT?!” she shrieks, pulling her hand back. “OUR? Pam, what the hell are you talking about? The last thing I remember was Karin showing me… something… in my yard and now I’m in freaking England?”
I calmly lead her into the house and hold out the pink leather journal. “I decided to take initiative. You still love Eric, and he sold his ass to Freyda for an additional one hundred years to protect you. What good would all that be if you were to die in forty or fifty years?”
She yanks the book from my hand and hugs it to her naked chest. “You had no right! These are my private thoughts! How did you get this anyway?”
I turn her without answering and maneuver her into one of the bathrooms. “Shower. You need to get dressed and feed.”
Her dark blue eyes grow stormier as she slams the glass door to the stall. She winces as the glass drops in shards at her feet. “Oops?” she whispers.
I roll my eyes and point her into the direction of the other bathroom, following her in. “My sister took it while you were sleeping a few nights after the last entry. You never rescinded her invitation and she used it to her advantage.”
Her fangs drop in her anger and she doesn’t appear to realize it. “What possible advantage could stealing my journal have? I used it to clear my head and put some order to my thoughts. I know for certain that I never wrote about wanting to be turned. Again, what right did you have, Pam? Eric is gonna be pissed!” her voice exclaims as she turns on the water and pulls the curtain around the tub.
I sit on the commode and answer. “He might be… if he finds out before his commitment to Freyda is up. What right did I have? Well, to be cocky, I had the right as a vampire. Fairy princess hybrid or not, I’m still above you in the food chain. I had no desire to see you weaken and age like the rest of the vermin, so I did what I had to do to prevent that from happening. And you may not have said the words… but surely you can see some of the advantages now.”
“Pam, you know I never wanted this! You have been present when I’ve said so… on more than one occasion. How could you think this is something I would want? What is to keep me from walking into the sunrise tomorrow morning?”
I smile softly. “I could order you not to… but I won’t. Let me emphasize my primary reasons again. You still love Eric. I know it and you know it. He sacrificed himself for an additional ten decades to keep you safe, so he should be able to see the fruits of that selflessness. Besides, we get along… we’re still not equals with me as your maker, but we’re as close as it’s ever going to get. On a side note… you’re stunning with fangs, darling,”
Sookie sniffles under the water and I know the finality of her new situation is hitting her. “What about Jason… Sam…?” she trails off.
“Jason was left a letter explaining your desire to travel with your new fairy windfall. If you’d like, you can call him after you’ve fed. As for the shifter… don’t know, don’t care,” I shrug carelessly. I’m not going to lie.
“Jeez, Pam. Cold much?”
I smirk at the closed curtain. “No more than you are now, sweetheart. Come on, you need to feed.”
The water shuts off and a slender hand pulls a towel in to wrap around the curvy body. I show her the clothes I picked out for her then take my own shower. I would have loved to join hers, but she’s Eric’s. I may have turned her and she will always be my child, but she is Eric’s.
She was meant for this life. I can feel her squeamishness when I hand her the warm O positive from the stock of donor blood in the refrigerator, but she drinks it regardless. It makes my heart swell to see her skin flush and I’m pleased to see that her pallor still holds a hint of the golden tan she kept while she was alive.
I hand her my phone and advise her to call her brother, reminding her of the time difference. Her eyes flick up to meet mine. “What do I tell him? He isn’t prejudiced, but I know he won’t be happy to hear about this.”
“Sookie, tell him whatever you want. You are free right now. Tell him you took what Niall gave you to explore the world. Your house is paid for, but you can ask him to look in on things for you now and then. I can tell you that we won’t be returning to the states for… quite some time. It wouldn’t be safe. In fact, you can tell him that because of the numerous dangerous situations you’ve found yourself dragged into, you wanted to get away from supes in general,” I advise her.
She nods distractedly and walks away with the phone. Regardless, I hear the whole conversation. When she tells her brother that she wanted to get away from the supernatural world that had endangered her life so many times, I hear his acceptance. I feel her sorrow though, when he tells her that his wife is pregnant. She knows without asking that she most likely never be able to meet her niece or nephew. Her acceptance is astounding.
Her next call to the shifter is different. He threatens her, demanding she come home. He’s known her longer than I have and even I know the least effective way to get Sookie to do something is to order her around. Rather than answer his questions, she starts pacing with her new speed, making me chuckle softly. She tells him in no uncertain terms that, while she initially thought he was who she was meant to be with, it never felt truly right and she was going to take some time to travel and determine what she really wanted. Her tone brokers no argument and she ends up hanging up on him with a soft, “Goodbye, Sam.”
We take some time to look over the security and safety features that Solomon had the house fitted with: fingerprint scanners to enter secure rooms, light-tight, timer activated shutters, and a donor service on standby for the newborn. I realize that it’s too late to report to the area Lord, but make a note to do so the following night. Protocol must be followed to the letter. I am so impressed with the daemon’s efficiency and quality of work, I plan to offer him a job as our day man. He has the right temperament for the position and his breed as well as his profession makes it easier to trust him.
Sookie pleases me as a child in so many ways. The only time I’ve had to use my maker’s command on her was when she formed an… attachment to one of her regular donors. I think back over her previous lovers: Compton, Eric, the tiger, the shifter, and her attraction to the Were… the girl certainly doesn’t have a specific type except male. But she learns that with her turning, she can hear all supes but vampires clearly with her telepathy, but also has increased strength over her “shields”, meaning that she is able to engage in sex with anyone she wants and not have to worry about unwanted thoughts leaking through. I have no problem with her indulging in physical pleasure, as I can feel that my maker is doing the same, but forming an attachment to someone is not allowed. I ensure that he would no longer be called upon by her. She is still Eric’s.
The years and decades pass. For her century anniversary, I take her to Sweden to see where Eric’s birthplace was. He had shown me just as I show her. Surprisingly, he doesn’t come up often, but we both know we’re just biding time until his contact to the Queen Bitch of the Okeys is up.
I can feel his frustration with my preoccupation though our bond and it amuses me. Sookie always chided me for teasing him, but I’d never had so much ammunition until she walked into the bar. He can tell something is different in my life and his inability to contact me is absolutely eating at him. He knows I’m still alive (figuratively speaking), well, and involved in a “project”. I look forward to seeing his expression when he sees the results of my hard work.
I couldn’t have custom ordered a better child. While she still has her spirit, fire, and stubbornness, Sookie listens and learns from what I try to teach her about her new lifestyle. She feeds with finesse and adapts to her stronger senses with ease. She rejoices in her enhanced physical abilities. She finds a viable and successful use for her gift, and she also doesn’t mourn her mortal life. Her brother died of complications from a stroke thirty-four years after her turning. They had kept in contact by phone until he passed. She allowed herself a week to mourn, but knowing that seeing those she cares about pass on is a fact of her current existence, she forces herself to get up and back to her life.
I don’t keep track of the days, but I know when Eric is free: the pull in my blood has my legs buckling. It has been more than two centuries since he’s called me like this and it physically hurts. While Sookie plays with her donor, I use her distraction to return Eric’s call… only I use a phone.
“Master, you are a free man?”
“I am my own man again, Pamela, and I miss my child. Where are you?”
“I had no desire in keeping watch over Area Five after your marriage. I resigned the position and returned to England. Things are far more civilized here.”
“Good. There is nothing tying me to Louisiana or any part of this continent any longer. Send me your address and I’ll be there as soon as I can get a decent flight.”
I smile with satisfaction. I give him the address and I hear him on his laptop looking up flights immediately. I have missed my maker so much. I know both my maker and child can feel my excitement through the bond, but it’s more for the surprise I’m about to give them.
It has been centuries since I felt this kind of… freedom. The first time was when Ocella released me from his side to make my own way in the world. No longer being tethered to my sadistic maker was a feeling so sublime I didn’t think it could be equaled. I know better now. The day that my two hundred year commitment to the opportunistic bitch named Freyda is over, I rise for the night, grab all that I care to keep on my person, and walk out of the palace for the first time as a free man. I no longer have a maker dictating my actions or a queen using threats against those I care for to stay my hand.
Part of me wants to go to Bon Temps, to pay my respects to Sookie’s resting place. Surely she’s buried in the cemetery with her parents and beloved Gran. But I don’t. Loss in an immortal existence is inevitable and it’s easier to just let the past go and not dwell on what could have been.
I call my child using our bond and am satisfied to feel a vibration in my pocket shortly after. I don’t recognize the number, but I know my children have been kept current with ways to contact me in an emergency. It was an “anniversary” gift from Freyda. I couldn’t find Pam, but Karin assured me that she would provide her sister with the information. I could have commanded her to give me the information, but if Pam needs me, she knows how to call… in more ways than one.
Her voice has regained the British accent she had lost after decades living in the south. It fits her. When she tells me she’s living in England again, I smile. There’s no better excuse for leaving this miserable country than to join my child again. The past two centuries have been very lonely without my Pamela. I research flights as we talk, and realize I can get to Dallas in less than four hours, get on the next Anubis trans-Atlantic flight to Heathrow before dawn and be delivered to her address in my coffin upon landing. I’m already turning my car to head south, looking forward to being reunited with my child… and learning what has been distracting and amusing her so much these past years.
I rise earlier than usual thanks to the time difference and sundown coming sooner this far east. Due to my age, I come back to myself before the sun truly sets and I usually use the time to get caught up on my business interests. After being sold to Freyda, many of those interests had to be let go due to my inability to return to Louisiana. Almost all of them have been sold off and I have no interest in the few that remain after all these years. I use my phone to contact my new attorney to sell them off to the highest bidder and place the profit in one of my various Caribbean accounts. I pop the latch when I feel the sun truly set and look around. My coffin has been placed in a light-tight guest room, nicely decorated in blues and creams; tasteful, but not overly feminine. Not Pam’s style at all. I slide the coffin under the king bed and go in search of my child.
I see her exiting the room across the hall at the same time as I leave the guest room. Bloody tears pool in her eyes as she throws herself into my arms. I missed her more than I realized and simply savor the feeling of having her by my side again.
“Master… I… it’s been…” she stammers, one of the few times I’ve seen her less than articulate.
“Shh, child. I know.” I soothe her by rubbing her back and holding her tight. We stay like that for several minutes before I realize that I hear the shower in her room running with someone attempting to sing. “Please don’t tell me that you are sharing your resting place with a pet,” I say with a sneer. Pam should know better at her age.
“Umm…” she says, still lacking her usual loquaciousness. “Let me order you a donor and I can fill you in on some developments.” She picks up the phone and places an order for three donors based on blood type – two females and one male. She sits on the couch and leans toward me. “Eric, I’m a maker now,” she says, both with pride and apprehension.
I hope to relieve her trepidation. “I’m proud of you, child. You are more than ready for the responsibility and I know you’ve had a fair and loving maker yourself to learn from,” I tell her with a grin. “How long has he… she?… been with you?”
“I turned her just less than one hundred and ninety-nine years ago,” she tells me with satisfaction and I reel a little that I missed such a milestone in my progeny’s existence.
“Do I get to meet her? I assume that was who was slaughtering the ancient Mariah Carey song in your shower?”
Her apprehension returns. “Well… see… there’s something you need to know first…” she says and I feel such tension in our bond that I’m starting to feel stressed. It’s unpleasant.
“Pam, are the donors here yet? I’m famished,” a voice floats down the hall and my eyes widen, glaring at my child’s wincing face. I would never forget that voice and I turn to confirm the source. Blonde hair hanging to her chest in damp waves, blue eyes glittering, curves that emphasize her feminine attributes in the tiny t-shirt and clingy lounge pants. She stops short and stares at me with a look of shock on her eternally beautiful face. “Eric?” she whispers.
If my heart still beat, it would stop at the sight of her. Never once did I think in the past two hundred years that I would see her again. She still moves with grace, but it’s different. “Sookie,” I state quietly. We stare at each other silently for either a few moments or an eternity before I turn to Pamela. “Explain,” I command, allowing no argument on her part.
“Let me, please,” Sookie breaks out of her stupor and rushes to my child’s side.
“No, Sookie. Pamela needs to explain why she went against my orders to bring you into this life. If I had known she required an official command, I would have done so. Explain, child.”
“You still love her. She still loves you. You gave that Midwestern bitch an extra hundred years to keep her safe. I wanted you to be able to see her once that time was over and you were free once again. I did it for you, Master,” she pleads for me to understand.
“SHE DIDN’T WANT THIS,” I roar, knowing how my former lover felt about being vampire.
“Excuse me, but she is right here and can let you know how she felt and feels about everything right now,” Sookie’s indignant voice rings from behind me.
Some things never change.
“Fine, Sookie. Explain.”
“I started keeping a diary after everything… after I started seeing Sam… after you left. The longer I lived a calm, somewhat-normal life with Sam, I realized it wasn’t what I wanted, even if I only voiced it in a book that I thought was private,” She smirks at her maker before turning her deep blue eyes back to me. “Pam took initiative from my random thoughts and brought me here after resigning her Sheriff post. She turned me and while I had problems with it at first… I love my life right now.” She shrugs and grins at Pam.
I turn my attention back to my progeny. “And how did you get Sookie to agree to leave Louisiana and be turned?” I ask. Something feels off about Sookie’s explanation.
“Idruggedher,” Pam mumbles and I explode.
“SHE DRUGGED YOU?” I rage and turn toward Sookie. “She drugged you, kidnapped you to another country, drained you of blood and turned you against your will! How are you okay with this?”
“Look buddy, I may not have had a say, but did you? Did Pam, Karin, or Bill? Did you whine and moan and act like a little bitch or did you suck it up and play the new hand that fate dealt to you? I may not have been thrilled with how it came to be, but Pam is good to me. She’s taken care of me and taught me what I needed to know to not just survive, but thrive.” She marches up to me and pokes my chest. “No, this may not have been something I would have chosen for myself, but I had the chance to live the life that I thought I wanted… and it wasn’t what I wanted at all. If Sam had approached me before Bill… before you… before learning about the whole fairy thing… maybe I’d be dust and bones right now and you’d encounter one of my descendants. You have no right to flip out on Pam. I’m good at this life and I’ll be damned if you make her feel bad for forcing me into something I love.” Her vocabulary alone tells me that she has spent far too much time with my child. “Pam, I’m going to take a walk and go see Lord Gryffen and let him know of our visitor, maybe see if he has any work for me this week. You need some time alone with your master,” she drawls with a dirty look in my direction. Without a backwards glance, she grabs a purse from a hanger by the door and storms out, slamming the door behind her.
I stare at Pam, feeling her anxiety through our bond. Not knowing exactly where to start, I simply ask, “Gryffen is still Lord here?” She nods, but remains silent, looking at the floor. “What work is Sookie doing for him?”
“Same as she did for you… for Sophie Ann. Using her gift to validate human and supe employees. The only ones she can’t read now are vampires. He has an infatuation with the little fairy, but he knows that she’s yours.”
Mine. She hasn’t been mine in centuries.
“Why did you do this, Pamela? She made her desires plain and she said herself that she didn’t want this life.”
“I’ve told you why and I stand by my decision. You saw her. Does she look upset… well, upset at her lot in life? Does she seem resentful? Do you think the only reason she is still here almost two centuries later is because I commanded her not to end herself?” Well… the thought had crossed my mind… “Let me assure you, none of those things is true. I told her after she rose for the first time that I would not command her to not meet the sun if she so desired. She has adapted to this life as we all do, learning from me as I learned from you. She is more than my child, but my best friend next to you. In your absence, we gave each other comfort and no,” she interjects, seeing my eyes narrow and mouth open to reprimand her for taking advantage, “not that kind of comfort. We share a bedroom because after doing so for her first few years, she’s uncomfortable rising alone. Her discomfort is unpleasant for me, so I do what I can to make her happy.”
I take a moment to let that sink in. Never would I have thought Pam to be the nurturing type. “And how did she accept leaving everything she knows behind? Her hometown… her brother… her job and house… the sun…?”
“Part of the reason I didn’t give her a choice. I knew from her journal that she wanted more. She kept in touch with Jason until he passed away a few decades after her turning. She cut ties with the shifter… she sold the house to a development company that just wanted the land… and while she misses the sun, she’s not itching to go tanning anytime soon. She has accepted and adapted beautifully… better than I would assume either of us did. Her control is fascinating.”
The doorbell rings and Pam answers. I hear her dismissing the male donor and escorts the A positive redhead and O negative brunette into the living room. She leaves the room with the redhead and winks at the brunette.
I have fucked more donors that I could ever count during my time in Oklahoma. Freyda only got my attention once a year and even then only because it was part of my contract. I have no desire to do anything more than feed on this admittedly lovely donor, now that I know what is sitting in the Lord’s mansion. I feed from her wrist and let her go with a glamour to forget the address. I hear Pam doing more than feed with her donor and decide to present myself to the Lord… especially since I don’t see myself leaving anytime soon.
It only takes me a few minutes to fly to the mansion. I land in the driveway and present myself at the door. Gryffen was Lord when I turned Pam and is younger than me by mere decades. One of his houseboys greets me and leads me to the presentation room. When he sees me, Gryffen dismisses the constituent in front of him and smiles. “The North Man cometh,” he proclaims loudly and I grin as his Scottish accent hasn’t waned in the slightest in the past five hundred years. “I assume you are presenting yourself as a new resident?”
I bow in respect before responding, “I am, Lord, to join my child and her progeny. America no longer holds any kind of draw for me.”
“Understood and welcome back to England, North Man. My rules have only changed slightly since the revelation and if you have any questions, I’m sure your progeny or my demesne validator are more than able to answer them.” The blond sitting behind him to his left gives him a single nod of agreement and realize it’s Sookie. She’s changed since arriving, wearing a form-fitting scarlet sheath and her hair done in an intricate braid. I don’t like him referring to her as “the Lord’s sole property”, but she’s unfazed. “And now that official business is done,” he stands, still smiling, “welcome back again, Eric. It’s been far too long.”
I bow my head again at his casual greeting. ‘That it has. It’s good to be back in civilization,” I tell him with a smirk.
He shakes his head, chuckling. “I never understood what drew you to the states to begin with. It’s always been an uncivilized wilderness over there.”
“But you seem to appreciate some of the fruits of said wilderness,” I say with a nod toward his “demesne validator”, whose ultramarine eyes narrow at me.
He gives her an open smile, showing his infatuation. “The most beautiful and exotic flowers can grow where least expected. I was fortunate when Pamela presented her to me. I haven’t allowed newborns since the Revelation, but darling Sookie alerted me to human spies in my court, ultimately saving several lives, based on the amount of weapons we found hidden around the manor. I offered her a position at once.”
“You’ve offered me several positions over the past two centuries, my Lord, and I’ve turned down all but this one,” she says with a smirk, wriggling in her miniature throne.
“And I lament every time you deny me. Ah, such is life. Eric, have you fed tonight? I have a freshly verified donor pool if you so desire…” Gryffen says with a gesture toward his anteroom.
“No need,” I say with a wave. “Pamela ordered a donor for me when we rose. But Sookie didn’t stay for hers. Perhaps I could escort her…?”
“Of course. Court business is done for the night. Sookie, you’re free to leave. I shouldn’t need you until next week… but should you decide to come back because your passion for me can no longer be restrained…” he says with a wiggle of his russet eyebrows.
“I’d tell you to not to hold your breath, my Lord, but that wouldn’t dissuade you. I’ll feed then go home. Until next week…” she says with another smirk. She has definitely spent too much time with Pam. I follow her to the donor lounge silently and wait as she scans over the various men and women. She crooks her finger at a tall, muscular man with black hair reminding me unhappily of Hereveaux, only without the smell of Were. To see her prep his neck and drop her fangs… I can’t remember the last time something so ordinary turned me on so much.
She takes several long pulls before sealing the wounds and erasing them with a drop from her fingertip. “Gryffen doesn’t like his Manor Donors wearing fang marks unless they’re his demesne donors,” she explains with an eye roll at the pretentious title. “They’re his brand of ownership.”
I nod, incapable of speech. Seeing her feed easily and banter with her Lord makes me realize that her assertions earlier were true. While she may not have made the conscious choice, but she is not only surviving in her new life, but truly thriving.
When we reach the street, I offer her my arm like a true gentleman. Grinning softly, she links her hand into my elbow while I shorten my strides to match hers. After several minutes of silence, she finally speaks. “I hope you weren’t too hard on Pam. She did what she thought was best for all of us. She knew Karin wasn’t the type of ‘sister’ to hang around for long and, she may not admit it aloud, but she was incredibly lonely without you. Through you, she and I became friends and if I hadn’t been so candid about the possibility of being turned in my journal, I have no doubt she would have lingered as sheriff of Area Five until she was able to rejoin you. It’s true that she didn’t give me a choice, but other than a small tantrum after I rose for the first time, I haven’t been mad about it. After all the time I spent with you and Sophie Ann and even Bill… I knew the basics and what I didn’t know… well, Pam’s an awesome teacher. Without her, I would be dead and gone after languishing in a boring life that I couldn’t admit that I didn’t really want.”
I look down at her, marveling at all she has become. “And is what Pam claims true? Do you still love me?”
If she still had the ability, I have no doubt she’d be blushing to match her dress. “I never stopped, Eric. So much crap got thrown at us after the Nevada coup that we couldn’t help but veer off track. Victor, Felipe, Niall and Claude, Jannalynn and the Long Tooth Pack… that damn Cluvial Dor… I don’t regret saving Sam, but at the time… it wasn’t our time.”
“Explain, please,” I request.
She slows her strides further to look up at me. “Eric, if you hadn’t had to leave to marry Freyda, what would have happened? You know how vehemently I spoke against being turned and I know that you never would have, no matter how much you wanted to. We would have lingered in our relationship until you no longer wanted my aging body. We would have parted ways, most likely hurting on my part, and I’d be long dead by now. After learning from an amazing maker and using what I always considered a curse to make my little fiefdom a safer place… I like my life right now. Being less breakable is a plus, but that goes without saying,” she grins at me again.
I try to take in all she’s said. It would be a lie to say that I never thought of her in Oklahoma, but when I did, it was tainted with bitterness and regret. It was easier on my sanity to redirect my thoughts whenever they turned toward Bon Temps. “And after the shifter… no other attachments?” I ask tentatively. I don’t know why I’m so…tense; it’s not like we haven’t been here before.
She smiles at the ground. “I didn’t get a chance to break up with Sam until after Pam brought me here and turned me. Frankly, it was easier to take the coward’s way and do it over the phone. And since then, my darling maker has never let me forget that I’m yours. A few years after I was turned, I got a little too close to one of my donors for Pam’s comfort. She used her command to keep me from seeing him again, but that was also for the best.”
Even though Pamela denied it, I have to ask. “Have you and Pam ever…” I trail off, strangely uncomfortable with this new version of the fragile Southern belle that I loved so long ago.
She bends over laughing, releasing my arm. “NO! Sometimes she’ll snuggle me right before sunrise, but that’s the farthest things have gone between us. If you hadn’t been in the picture, I have no doubt she would have been behind the scenes, giving Gryffen tips on how to get into my panties. He adores her.”
“And he wants you. I don’t remember you being so comfortable with such blatant innuendo, much less participating with skill,” I remind her.
She sighs unnecessarily. “Eric, a lot has changed in the past two centuries. The only things about me that have remained the same are my looks and my stubborn streak. If you hold me up to the girl you used to know for comparison, I’m afraid you’re going to be disappointed. I’m not her anymore… and haven’t been for a long time.”
Seeing the cottage in the distance, I wrap my arm around her waist and take off, drawing her into the air; I don’t want our conversation to end. “I’m realizing that… and I’m not disappointed in the slightest. You’ve been exceptional since I met you; I’ve been drawn to you since you showed up in my bar in that little white sundress with the red flowers. Yes, I loved you, but you also infuriated me like no one else with your impertinence and impetuousness. Seeing you now… sitting in a place of honor by your Lord… I’m… proud of you,” I tell her.
“I had to learn some hard lessons over the way, and I know Pam was only the teacher she was because you taught her the same way. But I have to ask… was Pam right in telling me that you still love me? Or should I go back to Gryffen and tell him…”
I pull her against me and stop her speech my capturing her mouth with mine. Her lips still mold to mine, soft and pliable, but no longer is she warm. It doesn’t bother me to feel her at the same cool temperature that I am. Her hands slide up the back of my neck and nestle into my hair. She returns the kiss passionately before pulling me away. “That’s not an answer. Say it.”
I stay silent and fly us back to the cottage and pull her past Pam into the guest room. “I’ve been thinking of your face for decades. Every word you say draws me in further. I hear your name and it’s almost like I can feel my heart tighten. I want you to forgive my past and be mine again. If that isn’t love, I’m not quite sure what else it could be.”
“Say it, Eric. I need to hear it. Please,” she says softly, staring into my eyes without blinking. I can see her need, desire, and trust in those pools of indigo that never fail to weaken me.
“Yes, Sookie, I do still love you,” I finally admit. Less than a second later, I was pushed onto my back with a fairy-vampire hybrid straddling my lap.
“I know how hard that was for you, but I’m a kind mistress. You’ll always be rewarded for completing tasks that I ask of you,” she says between kisses and nips to my exposed skin.
Who knew Sookie had a dominant streak?
Who knew that Dominant Sookie was such a turn-on?
I grab her face and begin to respond, running my tongue over her fangs and relish her moan. Running my hands from her jaw to her neck, over her shoulders, and the tops of her breasts that are still as breathtaking as they were centuries ago, I place a hand on either side of the crimson silk and pull – hard.
“Ugh, Gryffen’s gonna be pissed… that’s one of the few dresses he’s approved for court,” she mumbles against my ear.
I nibble my way down her chest. “I’ll buy you a hundred so I can rip when the desire grabs me. It would be a good idea for your wardrobe and my wallet to keep your court clothes at court if they all look like this though.”
She tightens her thighs against my hips, sitting up straight. Smirking, she grabs the lapels of my shirt and pulls.
The cotton and mother-of-pearl buttons never stood a chance.
From there it’s a race to get each other undressed as quickly as possible. The strapless bra she wore under the sheath joins it on the floor in matching tatters. In fact, none of our clothing survives the need to feel skin on skin. I can smell her arousal and it only makes me harder. I can feel myself digging into the soft skin of her thigh and with a growl, I flip us over so I’m on top of her.
She arches up her neck to moan into my ear, “Show me, Eric. Show me it was worth waiting two hundred years. Show me that you still love me.”
My eyes roll back and I drive into her hard for the first time in far too long. Her back arches and she whimpers wantonly, not in a way I remember hearing before. So I do it again. She’s wet and tight, and still able to take all of me.
“I’m not spun sugar, Eric. You can’t break me… fuck me like you’ve missed me.”
I really like this new dominant streak and do as she demands. Flipping her to her hands and knees, I grab her hips for leverage and fuck her like I didn’t have to courage to when she was human and delicate.
“Oh… fuck Eric… Fuck… I missed you… God, I love you,” she alternately pants and screams, tightening around me like a vise when she comes. Her howl of pleasure pulls me over with her, bellowing her name; it’s the first time in decades that I haven’t lasted past my lover’s first orgasm. I have a goal set for round two and collapse to Sookie’s side, wrapping my arms around her small frame, stroking her satiny skin.
“Do you remember telling me before Jackson that vampires rarely have lasting relationships with other vampires?” she asks me and I wince a little at my bent truth.
“I do and… I wasn’t entirely honest about that. Relationships between vampires that are not bound in some way usually happen one of two ways. A quick fuck in bloodlust or just something to relieve boredom. The alternate is something deep… lasting… intense. If you thought me possessive before Lover, forgive me, but you haven’t seen anything yet.”
She grins and presses a sweetly chaste kiss to my lips before flipping and straddling me again. “I guess that means I’ll get to show off my jealous streak as well. Pam says I get it from her.” She giggles as she grinds her core over my growing erection.
“You did, you bitch. Can you guys keep it down at all? All the moaning and screaming is making Geneva here a little insecure. Sookie, don’t make me command you,” my child yells from across the hall.
“Command her silence and I’ll make you regret it, child,” I say, barely hiding my chuckle.
“Fuck. Fine master,” she says snottily and I hear her turn her attentions to “Geneva”.
I slide into Sookie again and am rewarded with a lusty moan. Sitting up to wrap my arms around her, our bodies move in tandem with a shared goal. Sookie comes again around me and I’m only just barely able to hold on long enough to pull her into a second one.
“There isn’t enough time before dawn to do that as many times as I want to,” she purrs into my chest as I run my fingers through her silky golden waves.
“That’s the best thing about immortality, Lover. We have every night for forever.”