Just a quick note to any new readers - This is the third story in a trilogy. The first is Amnesia and the second is Love and Memories. Things may be a tad confusing if you do not read those first.
Hold on, to me as we go
As we roll down this unfamiliar road
And although this wave (wave) is stringing us along
Just know you're not alone
Cause I'm gonna make this place your home
Settle down, it'll all be clear
Don't pay no mind to the demons
They fill you with fear
The trouble it might drag you down
You get lost, you can always be found
Just know you're not alone
Cause I'm gonna make this place your home – Phillip Phillips
No one slept at all last night, though it's true that I would be the only one looking for sleep at night anyway. I never found it last night and I also haven't found sleep like my vampires have when the sun rose. I can't remember being jealous of a vampire quality before but this was one thing I could have used.
Because being lost in my thoughts about who this new threat could possibly be and what it could mean is no fun at all. Especially considering it is most likely someone who I don't even know about.
So even with the sun up for the last few hours I am still up with it, sleep still not finding me. So without sleep, I am cleaning to try and keep my attention so they don't venture too far into my thoughts again. Or I should say I am trying to clean. Vampires are not really dirty creatures and I have never been too messy myself. So that took all of 30 minutes of my attention.
That left me plenty of time to do something that I have been avoiding doing all morning – quitting my job. It's not something I want to do but it's not exactly fair to Sam. I was supposed to start up again tomorrow but with yet another unknown threat it just wouldn't be safe for me or for anyone else at Merlotte's and Sam shouldn't feel like he has to hold a spot for me.
I am pleasantly surprised by how well the conversation went. In the past, I doubt a conversation in which I told Sam I would be quitting Merlotte's and working with vampires, Eric specifically, would go well. In fact, I would have probably lost a good friend. But Sam had seen just how much Eric has helped me and knows my life would be drastically different if he had decided not to care when I was in that trunk or when the Queen wanted me in New Orleans.
Lord knows it would have been easier for him not to care in some aspects. But my vampire rarely takes the easy way out and I could not be more grateful for that.
Did you sleep at all," a voice calls out, lifting me from my thoughts. I shake my head and that earns me a sigh. "That is not going to help anything," Eric says while sitting next to me on the couch. I adjust myself so I can lean on him, laying my head on his shoulder. He wraps an arm around me. "It's not for lack of trying," I tell him.
That earns me a little laugh as he brings up a hand and starts running it through my hair. "Would you like to stay here tonight instead of coming into Fangtasia with me? Pam could stay with you."
Yeah and she wouldn't let me forget it. She would not be happy staying home tonight and not being with Eric as he tries to figure out who Threadgill could have been working for. And neither would I. I tell Eric that adding, "I may put that couch in your office to good use though." The glint he gets in his eyes as he looks down at me tells me that we are not exactly on the same page in just how the couch will be used.
"To sleep," I tell him letting out a yawn. "Get your mind out of the gutter."
"Impossible," Pam says appearing in the doorway to the living room. She doesn't have to tell me that. Instead of a retort, Eric simply says that she should head to the bar and we will meet her there in about an hour.
"There is something I would like to talk to you about," Eric tells me. I nod against his shoulder, closing my eyes and feeling relaxed for the first time today with him next to me. "I would like it if you would consider moving in here," Eric tells me softly. I can feel the excitement of his words building up in me. It's dashed however, as he continues, "It would be safer for you."
Thinking that is the only reason that he is asking me, I nod weakly against his shoulder. He is having none of that however, as he must realize something is suddenly bothering me. He softly says my name. I shake my head, sitting up and tell him that I'll move in. "I've been living here anyway."
He turns us both so we are facing each other on the couch. "What is wrong," he asks me stroking my cheek. And I want nothing more than to slap on my fake 'Crazy Sookie' smile and tell him nothing. But it will accomplish exactly that if I do and I know first hand how detrimental it can be if things just get buried.
Because there truly is not much that will actually stay buried.
Also, I can't really ask for honesty from Eric if I am not willing to do the same, no matter how painful the consequences could be. The consequences of not talking these things through can often be worse in the long run. So I swallow down my fear and ask, "Is my safety the only reason you want me to move in here?"
I can see the understanding appear on his face. It's almost as quick as I hear him say, "No," as he takes my face in my hands and gives me a gentle kiss. "No," he says again as he pulls back. He searches my face, like he is looking for an answer to some question he didn't ask. "That is what is worrying you," he says, his voice barely a whisper.
I nod and swallow again knowing that it's now my time to talk. "I love my Gran's house Eric. I've always loved it and am so grateful about everything you did to update it. But when I think of that house, of me being alone in that house, it doesn't really feel like home to me anymore," I tell him, looking into his eyes. "Being here with you, or being at Fangtasia with you, just being anywhere with you – that's what feels like home to me. I am home whenever I am with you." I hesitate before adding, "You have become part of my family in the last few month, Eric. You, Pam, and Thalia. With you is where I feel comfortable. With you is where I feel safe. With you is where I want to be," I finish laying it all on the line.
I stare at Sookie in awe that her words match my feelings. I know what I have been feeling but I have had no idea that she has been feeling the same as me. I have been hopeful and her honest declarations of love would suggest it, but hearing her admit it, hearing her say the words, wipes out any of the doubt that I had. Doubt that I was secretly ashamed was there in the first place.
Because after centuries, I have finally started to understand why that doubt was there in the first place.
But there is still doubt on her face after she finishes speaking and that is something that I cannot have. "So does this mean family dinners with Jason," I ask trying to do anything to wipe the lost look off of her face before we have this conversation.
My tactic works, as a smile replaces her frown and she asks, "Could you imagine a family dinner with Jason, Pam, and Thalia?" I find myself unable to stop the smile that crosses my face upon imagining what hijinks my child and Sookie's brother could cause. And I am sure Thalia would be the instigator for most of them.
It is the quiet ones you have to watch.
"I want nothing more than that, Sookie," I tell her as I look to her face for signs that she believes me. "You speak of family but you have given me one." She opens her mouth and I know she is going to say something about Pam so I quickly kiss her and continue. "You have given me the understanding of what a family is centuries after I have forgotten, since I have had it beaten out of me," I add in my first spoken acknowledgement of what my maker has done to me. "You have made me understand what I have with Pam. You have shown me that my children are not the only people I have left to trust in this world. I would do anything to have you here with me always."
"So why haven't you asked me," she asks. But she is not doing so in an accusatory way. She sounds genuinely curious to why I have not asked her before now even though it is one of the things that I have wanted most.
"You are a very independent human, Sookie," I tell her. "It is one of the things I admire most about you and it is one of the things that I can find frustrating," I add with a smirk. "I was not sure if you were ready, if you would be willing to give up some of that independence by moving in with me. That is the only reason I have not suggested you moving in here. Believe me, waking up with you every night is what I want."
"So don't you think this is something we should have discussed instead of you just thinking I wasn't ready."
I shake my head and tell her, "It was something that I would have brought up with you." I get a bit nervous when I see the look on her face but I continue saying, "I would have brought it up if I was sure it was something that you wanted."
Her face softens at that. "So I didn't bring it up because I thought if you were ready you would, and you didn't bring it up because you were afraid that I wasn't ready."
I cannot help but smirk at her appraisal. "We have not done the best at communicating with this issue have we," I ask her.
She shakes her head. "It's not like we haven't spoke. We have. We just need to remember to talk about the important stuff and if something is bothering us." She takes me in her arms and tells me, "We need to, Eric. We've seen what not talking and miscommunications can do." Her voice drops to a whisper as she adds, "I don't want you to think that this is not where I want to be ever again." I know she is thinking about the night I thought she was walking away from me for good. That is something that can never happen again.
This is a battle for me, more so than I would like to admit. For centuries my maker taught me, well beat into me really, that our emotions are something that we should bury deep down, almost forgetting we have them and definitely not feeling them. In fact, I was trained to believe that there were certain emotions that as a vampire I cannot feel at all.
But this little human is teaching me that all Appius' training is wrong. Not only is what he taught me wrong, but his methods of 'teaching' are wrong too. And more important is the fact that I believe her. I want nothing more to show her just how much I believe her and I am sure I know just what will convince her but that is still something that I am working through.
But working through is a vast improvement than flat out denial.
I tell her that I will continue to work in communication. "I am sorry," I tell her but she shakes her head.
"There is nothing to be sorry for. We can't expect perfection, Eric. Neither of us is used to talking things through with someone. I never brought it up either. It will get better but we just have to remember to talk to each other. We can deal with things as long as we remember that."
"So we talk," I say.
"We talk," she adds before giving me what she intended to be a swift kiss. I hold her close though and she quickly opens her mouth to allow my searching tongue in. She breaks away to breathe and starts kissing her way down my neck. "I think there is another part of you that wishes to communicate," Sookie says as I move my hips to meet hers. When she reaches my shirt, she quickly starts to unbutton it placing hot, open mouth kisses over each inch of flesh she reveals.
I roll her under me as my hand starts a journey up her side. It is about to creep under her bra when my phone goes off. I let out a groan guessing who this will be. Sookie reaches into my pocket, as her hands are closer to the troublesome phone. She groans after seeing who the message is from, which tells me my thought was correct. "Your child wishes that we stop fornicating for two seconds and come to the club," she says with another groan before handing me the phone.
Leave it to Pam. "Sookie about those family dinners, how would you feel if Pam was not there?"
She just laughs and shakes her head before working herself out from under me. Now it is my turn to groan but she says, "We will hear less from her if we just leave now. Besides," she adds with a smirk of her own on her face. "There is always later."
Pam will be sleeping at her house tonight. Or Thalia's. Or in the ground at this point. All I know is that with the look on Sookie's face, she will not be sleeping here.
As we get to Fangtasia, I remember that tonight is my night to be out amongst the humans. I would rather be dealing with paperwork. With a silver pen. The regulars are okay but it is the tourists who want to feed into every incorrect vampire stereotype that drives me insane. Of course, that makes Pam laugh and Sookie is getting bad at hiding her laughter at my distress.
I do not miss the glint in her eye either when I tell her what I will be doing tonight. Thalia gets an excited look in her eye too, which Sookie sees and quickly tells her she will not be her guinea pig tonight. Thalia is not the only one grumbling at that statement.
So I begrudgingly take my seat on my throne after giving Sookie a kiss. Fortunately, it is not that crowded yet. The tourist types usually do not come until later anyway. Hopefully, I can take my leave to my office before most of them get here.
After about an hour, someone catches my attention. To say that I am shocked when I see Desmond Cataliades walk into my bar would be an understatement. Being a Sheriff, I have had to work with him in the past but when it is on behalf of Sophie-Anne, he always calls to make an appointment and it is never on a night where the club is open. The fact that it is a busy night and I have no warning of his visit is probably not a good sign.
Once he gets to where I am seated on this ostentatious throne Pam insisted on getting, he pauses simply staring at me. I have worked with the little demon lawyer enough to know that he is trying to gauge my mood, which was fine until he walked into the bar. "The Queen did not inform me of your visit tonight," I say when he stays quiet. If he had any doubt of my mood, he would not anymore.
"I am not here on behalf of the Queen," he tells me keeping his voice quiet, obviously not wanting to be overheard. I make a motion with my hand for him to continue. "This is something you would not want overheard," he says his gaze quickly darting over to where Sookie is talking with Pam. With his words at Rhodes, I had been worried that would not be the last time he brought Sookie's Fae heritage.
I just never expected him to bring it up in a vampire club that is currently filled with vampires, but I imagine that is just why he did it. I could refuse and cause a scene but there would be questions, some not easy to answer. It would be safer to just hear him out, safer for Sookie at least. I have never had a problem with the demon. In fact, I have gotten along with him well. I am hoping that whatever he has to say tonight will not be changing that.
I get up and start to make my way to my office motioning him to follow me but stop when I hear him say, "It might be best if we do not have this conversation alone."
It is his sly way of telling me he wants Sookie in the room. I look back expecting to see a devious look on his face, and ready to hit it right off. But I am surprised when I turn and do not see it. In fact, I would dare to say the look currently on his face is almost one of sympathy. "You think that is for the best," I ask him quietly.
The look on his face echoes his words when he says, "No. But I do think it is something that she needs to hear." He hesitates before adding, "I wish her no harm." Something on his face tells me that I can trust that statement. I quickly weigh the pros and cons and as much as I would rather it not be true, having Sookie in the room would be better. So I get Pam's attention from across the bar and Sookie is soon by my side as we lead Cataliades back to my office.
When we get to my office Cataliades gives us a second to get settled on the couch before looking at Sookie and again saying, "Your family still wants to meet you."
She stiffens next to me before repeating what she had said the first time Cataliades brought this up, that her family is here and can see her whenever they want. The lawyer looks to me and I shrug my shoulders. It is how she feels and I for one agree with her. He is starting to look a little desperate though so I say, "I have not known you to do his bidding." I know that he will understand who the 'he' is I am discussing and hopefully that will get me a bit more information.
Cataliades takes a few paces back and forth before sitting down in a chair and looking to Sookie. "I was your grandfather's friend."
"Fintan," I say before Sookie could say anything more. She, and I too, may not like what the lawyer has to say but that does not mean should not hear it.
Cataliades nods and still looking at says, "You don't remember but the summit was not our first time meeting."
"I think you're the one that isn't remembering things clearly," Sookie tells him.
We are both a little shocked when he lets out a little laugh before telling Sookie, "You really are just like your grandmother."
At his words, I immediately have Sookie's hand in mine knowing that her grandmother is still a sensitive topic for her. Sookie loved the woman dearly and I know still grieves for her loss. That mixed with the knowledge that her grandmother had secrets she never shared with her is still difficult.
"You knew my Gran," Sookie says, her tone much more gentle than it just was with the semi-demon.
"I did have the honor," Cataliades says. And right then I can feel the shift in Sookie. She is still apprehensive, which is something that I am happy about, as trust given too easy is not a good thing, but she relaxes a bit and with the lighter tone I gather that she will hear what he has to say. Something that I am not sure she would have done five minutes ago.
"Fintan brought me to see her soon after he got together with her. He loved her very much," he adds. "He wanted nothing more than to make sure his descendants were safe, even if that meant he couldn't have a place in your life."
"But now he wishes to meet me," Sookie asks.
Cataliades looks regretful and I put my arm around Sookie's shoulder in preparation for what I believe is coming. I am proven true as the lawyer says, "I am sorry to say that Fintan has gone to the Summerlands."
"That's not some fairy vacation spot is it," Sookie asks.
"No," I tell her.
"Fintan has passed on," Cataliades adds. "And with him, every protection that he had put into place for you weakened if not fallen completely, my dear." This causes both of us to look to him.
"Your grandfather never wanted you to be a part of the Fae world. It would be too dangerous for many different reasons."
Sookie takes a deep breath before saying, "So if Fintan is not the one who wants to meet me, who is?"
"Niall," I say before the demon could say anything. Knowing what I do about the lawyer, the Prince of the Fae would be the only fairy he would work for now that Fintan is dead.
"Fintan's father? What does he want with me," Sookie asks.
Cataliades shakes his head and says, "He wishes to meet you. Fintan had kept him from you and the rest of his family here before his death."
Sookie seems to be taking it in as I am as well. I know things have not been going very well in the Fae world lately. Rumors say they are on the brink of war. This is a war that I do not want Sookie involved in but I cannot deny that I may need more information to assure that she is kept out of it.
"And if I don't wish to meet this Niall now," Sookie asks.
Cataliades voice sounds ominous as he says sadly, "The Prince of the Fae is not someone who likes being told no."
And hearing his tone, as he says that is not something that I like to hear.
Hello dear readers. Thanks so much for coming on this leg of their journey with me. I hope very much that you will enjoy it. In this chapter we get a bit more of what Sookie and Eric will have to be dealing with in this part and as we also saw, communication will be key for them to get through everything. It's just something that they have to remember to do.
I survived week one of teen camp! Only four more to go before it's over and back to day camp I go. The trips are great but as you can imagine, the bus rides can get a bit hairy. That being said, I am hoping to update next weekend as usually but have been plagued with headaches on and off so the next chapter may be a bit delayed depending on how they go this week. As you can guess, the bus rides aren't helping with the headaches lol.
Jackie69 – Thanks so much for the review. I am so happy you have enjoyed the story so far. Yes TB has been a bit disappointing so far this season. Hopefully it will improve but it is really not something I am holding my breath for unfortunately.