AUTHOR'S NOTE-These are not new stories, rather I needed to make space for new stories and had too many single files taking up space. I condensed all my stories in my series into one volume, with future stories being single entries. Please review and enjoy if you have not already. Thanks a bunch!

#1-Save The Viking

Chapter One-Reunion

She stood there in the doorway, speechless. That was something she was not accustomed to but here she was, having spent the last six months trying to hunt down her maker, she had finally found him. But not in the way she had hoped.

"How…..how did this happen." Pam asked Eric, looking at the veins protruding up around his chest, a clear sign of the dreaded hep-v virus that was wreaking havoc back home in the states, so Pam had been told. As of now, it was contained in Louisiana but for all she knew now, it was likely spreading elsewhere. And she now knew it was in France. "You had better explain…after leaving me that day…." Pam started to cry, streaks of red streaming down her face. That day, was the worst in her life. She had watched him from afar, after the liberation of the vamp camp, look at her before flying off. "You abandoned me. Everything." she turned her back to him, not wanting to see her like this. Even after hundred years together, she still wanted to show nothing but her stoic, mostly cold demeanor she had made him become impressed by.

"It was never about you." he replied, the exhaustion and weakness within him evident, causing her even more distress. "You've no idea what I've suffered. I've lost the fire, Pam. And it was never on account of you."

She spun around and sped over to the chaise lounge he was lying on, slowly tracing her fingers over the menacing looking veins. "And you were just going to what, come here to lie down and die? Without even telling me…"

There was silence as those milling around the softly lit room dispersed, thanks to a single look by the gravely ill vampire. "I've lived ten lifetimes. I don't imagine just what else there is for me."

Pam bit her lip. "If this is all over Sookie…..I know you never got over her-"

"It's not about Sookie." Eric protested, a slight bit of fire returning to his voice.

"You may be a good liar but I know when you aren't being entirely truthful. Sookie hurt you more than I've seen anyone. I want to know how this happened and what can be done about it." she pointed to the veins and it was apparent she was not going anywhere anytime soon.

Offering the slightest of smiles, he closed his eyes for a moment before turning his gaze back at his progeny. "I'll tell you. And it's not as cut and dry as you may think.."

Pam was still simmering mad as she slowly sat down beside him, taking a hand into hers. As angry as she was at him, she feared for him. She needed to know everything that had brought them to this point in time. Eyes on the veins that were now threatening to kill her maker, she began to listen as he began his tale of the last half year.

Chapter 2-Saved

Six months earlier

Everything had happened so fast. The commotion, the hushed voices. Having managed to get into what he assumed was a cave before meeting the true death, Eric was unsure of the people around him were about to finish what the sun started or not. Managing to struggle to his feet, he tried to defend himself, only to stumble and fall. he realized he was in worse shape than he had realized.

Three people were in the dry and mostly dark space,, two men and a woman, the woman approaching him carefully. "Calm yourself. Please." she spoke in broken English. "We are going to help you. These men saw you but we had to wait for sundown to come for you." one by one the three people revealed they were also of the fanged persuasion. "You have been a long time coming, returning here."

Weak, Eric managed to look around the roomy area and saw a place he'd not seen for a thousand years. It looked to have been cleaned as best as possible and even restored, to the doors that led back out into the elements. Where he had seen so much death happen in such a short time, that of his parents and baby sister. "Impossible." he managed to say before falling into unconsciousness.

Unsure of how long he was out, Eric awoke to the sights of torches lit in sconces and the acrid smell of ash. Still, there was something comforting about this place, despite the past history. Slowly, he sat up in the makeshift bed, the original having been lost centuries ago. Pulling off the blankets covering him, he found he was only wearing pants and saw the wounds from the sun were still healing. No doubt he looked far worse when he'd been found. Exiting the bedroom, he explored the rest of his father's palace, seeing the work done to restore it. It was like going back in time and it was also disconcerting, wondering just who these people were, how they knew what they did.

The woman was seated before a roaring fireplace set into the wall of the room that had served as the castle dining room. Looking up from her writing in journal, she got to her feet "I was wondering when you would wake. It's been almost three days." she paused. "You look much better, though I would guess rather hungry."

"I am." Eric frowned. "But don't think because you saved me I'm about to trust you implicitly."

The woman laughed gently. "Please, have a seat at the table…..your table, I should say. I do have some explaining to do, now don't I?" she nodded at the two other vampires and they retreated to outside the palace. "They are, for lack of better terms, guards. To protect us all. They have certainly gone above and beyond their responsibilities."

"I don't care who they are. I want answers. Now."

"Your patience is as legendary as you yourself. I am Caria. My friends are named Rhyse and Drake. We are nearly as old as you are, having sworn loyalty to your father and were, unfortunately far away at the time of the massacre. But we had been important to your family, so much so that we vowed to protect the heir to the throne. You."

Snorting derisively, Eric shook his head. "Everyone who was vital to my father never strayed far, for fear of exactly what happened that nigh, ironically enough.."

She said nothing but pulled up a sleeve of her long sleeved burgundy blouse. On her right wrist was a mark easily recognizable to him. It as a intricate sword and had runes intricately carved on the blade. His eyes wide in surprise, it was undeniable proof of this woman being who she claimed to be. "That mark was only ever made by one person and it was impossible to copy perfectly."

"When you fought in that last battle as a human, after your family was cal at murdered, we encountered your maker. I pleaded for him to spare us, to help keep you safe. He was skeptical at first but had been watching you for a long time, knowing everything of your family and seeing the three of us were marked with the highest of honors." she nodded to her tattoo.

"So….he turned the three of you before myself?"

"Only so long as we kept our word to him and your late parents that we would protect you under any circumstances. I can not help but wonder what your father would have though if he had known the fate that was in store for you, his heir."

"I think he would have been surprised to say the least. So I suppose that would make you my sister and those two out there my brothers. I thought Godric would keep no secrets from me, yet I never knew of any of you." Eric replied with a frown.

Caria gave him a sympathetic look. "He wanted you to not have to worry about protecting us. He saw through your bravado, your rage. He saw the goodness in you yet feared you would someday find yourself in a unenviable position. We've followed you from here in Sweden to the Americas and back here again. Doing out best to stay out of your life and we were prepared to act, getting you out of that vampire camp. But as always, you were the warrior and succeeded . Now we are here in your former home and it would seem we have come full circle. And I felt for you, losing your bar to those atrocious laws. But we did manage to retrieve a couple of objects we knew would be of value to you."

Eyeing her warily, he watched her retreat to a small room that branched out off the dining hall. Carrying out a trunk, she put it in front of Eric, who slowly went to open it. "There's nothing in there that will bite you, I swear."

"It wouldn't bother me if there was." he replied coolly. Reaching into the shallow trunk, he pulled out the two objects within and could only stare as the memories flooded back.

Chapter 3-REcollections

The sword that once hung in his office and the crown he regained from Russell Edgington not too long ago were in each hand. Knowing the way things had been handed down through his family, he knew these certainly belonged to him but was having trouble accepting someone would actually save them for him.

"Well?" Caria asked. "Are you pleased? Its what your father would want. For you to have these things."

"I'm not used to having nice things done for me." he said in a flat voice.

"We were pleased to hear you were the one to finally put down Edgington." Caria said as she watched him examine two objects he had doubted he would see again. "I was on other business that night but Rhyse and Drake saw the encounter. They were impressed, as Edgington was older and stronger than even you were."

"It helped he was a little high on fairy blood." Eric replied. There was a pause as he got up, putting the objects gently down on the table. Pacing back and forth it was clear he was troubled, traumatized. "How close was I to dying on that mountain?"

Caira pursed her lips. "We cut it close. We wanted to give you some privacy, some space after all you'd been through. With the loss of Nora and that waitress rejecting you yet again-" Caria jumped as he spun around on her, fangs bared.

"I don't want to go there. Leave it alone." He felt a strange feeling of déjà vu as he spoke, having had a similar, brief conversation with Nora on Sookie's porch the night he had given her her house back. The gratitude she had shown him was rescinding his invitation. Of course, he would never admit it t a soul, but that had stung. After all they had been through together, he had still hoped something, somehow would bring them together. It was clear now, it was nothing more than a pipe dream. There was nothing back in the states for him. Even though he still had family there. Pam, Tara and the baby vamp Willa. It wasn't fulfilling enough.

"You were still impressive, they told me." Caria replied. "So what do you think of this?" she gestured to their surroundings. "You plan to move back here?"

"It's a nice gesture and I would have it protected when I am not here. But I am used to more modern living."

She smiled. "Linens and beds have come a long way and I am sorry to say there is no way of getting electricity put here. So when you are up to it, where do you wish us to go?"

He looked at her. "We?"

"We vowed to protect you until the true death and we plan to go wherever you go." she replied with an air of tenacity that reminded him strongly of Pam.

Thinking of all the property and dwellings he owned he set his mind on one place he felt sure that he could lie low for as long as he desired.

Chapter 4-Retreat

They had waited several more days until they were certain he was up to traveling. Having been forced to threaten silvering him when he made to leave before he truly was ready, Eric couldn't deny the fierce loyalty the three guards held towards him. There had only been a handful of others in his long life he knew were just as loyal to him, though one individual was giving him pause to wonder if that loyalty, was even there any longer. So far as he knew, Sookie didn't notice his abseoce, much less know how close he had come to death. Shaking his head to try to ignore the feeling he honestly hated to admit he had, Eric made certain that he had packed the sword and crown with him in the duffel bag brought for him, along with some new clothes.

"You certainly do not dress very prince like….or should I say king like?" Caira said as they were about to depart.

"I've not had much use for titles. Except when I was sherrif of area five." he replied.

"But you're much more than that. If people only knew-"

A look from the erstwhile royal made her stop. Instead, she and Drake nodded for Rhyse

They would leave the mountains and find a plane at a nelarby airfield where they would arrive at their intended destination. Looking behind him into the palace one more time, he wondered how his former home would be protected. To answer that, Drake seemed to lag behind. "I'm staying here to keep your place secure. We have taken turnes over the centuries keeping explorers and looters at bay. It has not been easy and some people have had to be…..eliminated. Suffice it to say none of us who have spent time guarding the palace have ended up hungry."

Nodding in approval, Eric was more trusting towards his entourage and shook Drake's hand. "If there is anything you need, you will have it."

"and I will know where to find you should anything come up. But I do enjoy the cold and snow. But you had better be on the way, I have heard a storm will be approaching soon."

And so Rhyse, Caira and Eric went on their way, down out of the mountains making the relatively short tek to the waiting plane. They were silent for the flight but Caira couldn't help but watch him, her blue eyes intent on his impressive stature. Sighing, she fingered her own long dirt blonde hair and quickly mde to start braiding it as he turned to look at her

"Surely you can find something else to do beside stare at me?"

Awkwardly, she flung her hastily braided hair over her shoulder. If she could blush, she would have. "Sorry. Its just, well, I am very relieved we were able to save you. We were anxious about arriving too late before-"

"I was barbecued? You've been emotionally and physically burned. And I can't help but wonder if part of you wished you had met the true death on the mountain that day."

"I am starting to tolerate you, don't make me open the door and toss you out of the plane. I have a hunch you're not as gifted as some."

Caira was not shaken by the slight threat. "No, I can't fly. But I just want for you to be in a good place."

"We're going to France." he deadpanned. "I like the scenery there."

Rhyse who was flipping through a magazone, trying to remain out of the conversation. He wasn;t really much of the social type. But was amused by his charges' wisecracks. "I think maybe I've met my watch in the smart ass department. Then again, I've heard you make some good zinges in the past."

"How much longer until we arrive?"

"And there's the world famous patience again." Rhyse cracked getting up to talk to the pilot, a figure who would ten be glamoured to forget he ever saw them. When he returned, he looked somewhat distressed.

"What's wrong?" Caira asked.

Rhyse was one to accept his lumps when he failed at something but this mistake may be costly. Depending how Eric saw it. "It would seem the map is missing. The map we made as a just in case, its safely in Morocco. Hidden away as a just in case its needed. Only one who is worthy enough will ever see it."

"We're playing a game?" Eric sneered. "I'm not really in te mood for some stupid-"

"In case something terrible happens, we have put in safeguards to get the right person on the trail for you. And with any luck at all it will be your progeny, Pam."

"Let's just hope it doesn't come to that thoughh. For that would mean something is terribly wrong and there is trouble. For I dare say Eric Northnam does not ever want to have that happen."

Pursing his lips, Eric nodded stiffly. "I'm about to start another life. And it could very well be the one of retirement."

Chapter 5-Ambush

Present day

"So you had bodyguards." Pam said flatly. "Since when did you need guards."

"Clearly they came in handy otherwise I wouldn't be here talking to you right now. Like I said, they were marked as being loyal to my family and I basically inherited them."

"When do I get to meet these "guards?" Pam sneered. "Because I would like to know where they were when you got infected." Pam's eyes flared angrily. "if they were as so loyal as you claim,they never would have allowed you to get yourself where you are right now."

"There were…..circumstances that arose that made their protection impossible." recalled Eric as he contined his tale.

Two months earlier

Having settled into the French villa, Eric and his companions had taken several trips all over the world, wanting to help keep anyone from tracking him down. Arriving in Russia, Rhyse and Caria decent made sure they glamoured everyone they encountered and did a excellent job of keeping their charge under the radar. One evening as they sat around in the spacious suite they had rented, there came a commotion from several floors below.

"What's that?" Rhyse asked, looking at Caria with a frown. A disinterested Eric seemed to come to life as he too, frowned.

"something I've had the pleasure of not having to smell for some time." he replied. The doors broke open as a pack of six werewolves raced into the room, stopping dead in their tracks. Smirking, the apparent ringleader of the group snapped his fingers as the other five shifted.

"You've not been easy to find. But it's more than overdue that my dear friend is avenged." he said in a Russian accent. Revealing fangs, he tlicked them menacingly. "I'll pick up where he left off, me and my friends killing you and then, I hear there is a certain little fairy back in the states that's supposed to be quite…delectable."

The battle ensued with the three vampires believing the fight would be quick in easy.

"They've got vampire blood in them." Caria shouted as she was struggling with two of the wolves. As strong as she and Rhyse were, they were both beoing overpowered. The Russian vamp and the Viking were going at it well, te Russian taking out a silver tipped stake from the belt around his hwaist.

"After I get your fairy, I'm going to reform the pack Russell had once before." he taunted. "And everything you ever cared about will be next to go. Tell me, what do you care about now?" the two men exchanged blow after blow,each more savage than the next. Clearly, this vampire was as old as Eric was or as old as russell edging ton had been. Either way, he was faniically devoteed to the fallen psychopath.

"I've got nothing else to lose." Eric replied after getting up from the remains of a sofa he'd been thrown hard into. "But it doesn't mean I'm letting you have your way with me." with strength and speed that rivaled the Russsian and his followers, Eric took the stake, silver point first, from his hand. Ignoring the burning pain, he flipped it around and struck it true, the Russian exploding in a crimpson splatter. Looking to his friends, he saw they too had taken out the weres but at a terrible cost. What remained of Rhyse was spilled on the wall leading out to the balcony, the white curtains stained red. Caira's legs were mangled, her body next to a were's limp form.

Rushing towards her, Eric looked at her wounds. "You'll heal fast, I can make it so.

Her eyes looked up at him and then noticed a wound in his right hand, the hand what had held the stake. "Your hand…..the stake….." she didn't elaborate as she reached over slowly to examine the stake. At the tip protruded a needle, dripping with a substance that wasa golden color. "They never meant to survive." she said, tears brimming in her eyes. "They were on a kamizake mission and they succeeded, I don't want you saving me. I don't deserve to be saved. I failed you…." she paused. "And I am bound to pay the price for my failure." taking the stake in her hands, she quickly plunged it into her chest before he could stop her.

Chapter 6-Rekindled

Present day

Pam said nothing for a few moments as the next part of his past months was revealed. "So she offed herself instead of letting you heal her so she could help keep you safe. And it was Caira who made sure I got the map"

" I suppose so. She once mentioned that there would be a test to pass in order for you or whoever was worthy of the map to obtain it. Clearly, you succeeded. Caira followed the honor code of my family…..I would have stopped her from killing herself, but I was injured myself and was trying to heal from the attack on us. I didn't know there had been those who were still loyal to Edginton but I learned that day there were at least six left. And as I took in the destruction, I turned to the booby trapped stake. I knew I remembered the smell and when it hit me….." he closed his eyes and leaned back against his seat. "I would suffer the same fate as Nora had." he was emotionless as he said this, very matter of fact. He then went on to remind Pam of his choosing of her over Sylvie.

"And so you come here to die, the place where you had to choose between me and that human, Sylvie….."

"Why not die in a place that once brought me happiness. Even if it was brief, there have only been two women I have ever loved-"

"I get it , I get it. I don't want to hear another thing about your humans." Pam replied. "So that's it, because one got killed and the other one rejected you, you're just going to sit here and let this beat you? There's got to be a cure for this, there just has to be." Then she had a idea. Telling him that Jason had allowed Sarah Newlin to escape alive was what did the trick.

Getting up slowly, it was clear how weak the virus had made him. Yet, Pam saw a hint of his former self return in those blue eyes of his. It was that moment that gave Pam hope that not only would he get his long awaited vengeance against the other Newlin, but that a cure would be found before it was too late.

"Maybe I will get some use out of my sword again after all." he quipped as she watched him leave for the other room to prepare for their now apparent and imminent departure from France. A sly smirk crossed her face as she went to follow him.

Chapter 7-Reunited

It was several days since they had departed France and they stood outside a house that Pam was surpised he would be willing to come anywhere near. She knew his bitterness still lingered from how Sookie had treated him recently and from what Pam had understood, not once did the little fairy princess wonder just where Eric had gone to.

"We are wasting time here when we could be off looking for Sarah Newlin." Pam protested as she grudgingly parked the SUV they were driving in. "And time is not really on your side now, is it?" under light of the car ceiling, she saw the veins were still slow, yet had creeped up to his neck. He said nothing as he opened his door, weary but trying to keep focused., to keep the fire he had regained stoked. "You're not going in are you?"

"Like you said, I need to save my strength for other…activities." Eric replied, running his fingers over the sword he'd broughht back with him. "Just see what he may know about the virus. After all, you told me you read his book. That he even kidnapped a scientist to try to synthehesiize fairy blood. Something is telling me that fairy blood may be the key to curing me an keeping me from becoming like those who we've heard have been terrorizing the city."

"And Shreveport." Pam reminded him. "They've apparently taken over our club." she added bitterly.

"first thing's first. Go talk to him and see what he may know."

Rolling her eyes, Pam still obeyed and headed up to Bill's house. Knocking on the door, she was greeted by a unexpected face. "So, it's true then. Rumors spread even to Europe. You're back with Bill."

Sookie was startled to see Pam in front of her. It had been months since she had last seen her or Eric and after hearing that their bar was now taken over by hep-v vamps… "Pam…what brings you here. I didn't think you were around, much less alive."

Bill came down from upstas and saw the two women acing one another and he toowas surprised to see her. "What brings you back to town? We could certainly use all the help we could get against these infected vampires. People have been killed."

"Anyone I know?" Pam asked with a smirk. "I do miss the gossip."

Sookie looked pained and annoyed. "I would assume you already know about Tara. And Maxine Fortenberry. Alcide."

Pam's smirk faded just a little. "Well, that is kind of a shame. He was well built, not much brains but-"

"Do you have a point to your visit?" Bill interrupted.

"I want to know what you may know about curing the virus."

"All we know is these vamps are killable as any other, though they do seem stronger, faster and of course hungrier. But we won't stop until we put every last one down."

"Every one?" a voice chimed in. staring past tPam, Sookie was floored to see him. As talland handsome as ever in his black leather jacket, jeans and tank top, she was distressed as well.

"You're infected." sookie said as she met Eric's eyes and there was a moment she saw the signs oif it on him.

"We need information on Sarah Newlin." eric ignored Sookies apparent cocnern. "It would seem someone's brother allowed her to escape through his fingers. The person responsible for everything happening now. And in the camp."

"That is troubling news to me. But I had no idea Sarah was still alive. And if I had anything that could cure the virus, I would pass it on." Bill replied, sympathetically.

"Then I guess we search whatever remains of the vamp camp." Pam said, looking over at Eric.

"And more likely than not go out fighting." he replied, turning to leave the porch.. "I'll be in the car." and he vanished into the dark where they had parked

"And then he'll be out of t pitcure so you two can be together." Pam snapped angrily at Bill and Sookie. "If you had only known what he'd been through."

"Anger at us will get nowhere if we are going to help you save him. Or to bring Sarah Newlin to justice." Bill snapped back at Pam.

"Tell me." Sookie replied, looking past Pam to the car where Eric awaited "If we are going to try to help-and I, for one, want to-then I want to know. What's happened in the past 6 months?"

Pam looked grieved. "Its been more than 6 months that's taken their toll on him."

Chapter 8-Reconnecting

While Bill and Pam discussed their next move, grudgingly agreeing to work together for the greater good, sookie timidly made her way to the SUV where she believed he still was holing up in. hearing everything he'd been through since the night she had rescinded his invitation to her house had made her grieve all the more for him. And realize that he was more important t her than she could ever have imagines. For a time recently, since even before Alcide's murder, she had had feelings for Bill. But all the trrible things he had done to her made her realize he could only ever e a friend to her now. And one she was very gratefulk to have here. She had made a mistake awhile back, deciding to choose neither of the vampires, leaving bill's house alone that night after the witch Marnie had finally met her demise.

"Eric?" she knocked gently on the rear passenger door. "Please. I just want to talk." There was no response. But there came a noise nearby, a metallic sound ringing against something tough. Following the source of the noise, she came to the woods near the cemetery and saw him swinging something into the trees around him, slashing deep gashes into the bark and if there was ever a time he reminded her of the true Viking he was, this was definitely it. He saw her approaching but took a few more swings before stopping, turning to face her.

"I'm surprised you even remember my name." he said icily.

It had been some time since she ad been genuinely afraid of the ancient vampire, having seen and experienced the gentle side of him. Knowing what she did now and how he apparently saw her gave her some concern for her safety. Still, she timidly approached. "I…am really sorry…..I don't know what else to say. I was just a-"

"Bitch?" he suggested as he approached her, looking down on her as he drew closer. But something in his face softened as he stopped within a few paces of her.

Sookie nodded. "Yeah…..and I can't believe how stupid I was, choosing Warlow over you. I got burned big time by him, I just got really confused…" she took a turn catching him up on the things he had missed in her life since they'd last met. "And now here we are. People dying left and right."

"Because of Sarah Newlin. Trust me, I killed whoever I was able before I left the camp for the last time." he spared no small detail in the way he injured the doctor who had injected his sister with the virus. Wincing at the detail, she nevertheless understood.

"You've lost so much. Your title. Your bar." sookie said softly

"My maker, my sister. You. And I lost two titles, to be honest. I can't be heir to a throne to people who have been dead for centuries." he picked up something off the ground, a golden crown. "Another part of me I don't think you were aware of." some of the old swagger was returning. "You would think about choosing a old war hero over a actual Viking prince?"

Sookie rolled her eyes but had to smile at the slight improvement in his demeanor. He'd need it if they were to win, more importantly, cure his illness. Instinctively, she threw herself at him, hugging him tightly. "Please don't leave again. You didn't lose me, Eric. I want you. I realize that now and I just hope you can forgive me for how I treated you. How I ignored you…." sookie hung her head in shame, trying to come to grips with her behavior towards him in the past. As arrogant and as cocky as he could be, she had been saved many times by him. Eric stood there for a moment and gently guided her head to look up into his eyes.

"And if I make it through this fight, if I can be cured, will you agree to be mine?"

Sookie blinked back tears and nodded. "Yes." and she cocked her head to the side. "I guess I would be your fairy princess and you would be my prince Eric. Like in the Little Mermaid movie?"

"Disney? Are you freaking kidding me? You two…again?" Pam had come onto the scene of the little reuinion but sighed. "I suppose you could do worse Eric, there is always Ginger. At least Sookie can fight. That magic of hers can pack a punch and I would know, having been on the receiving end of it." Pam strode towards sookie and held out a hand. "I think it's time for a truce and maybe we can be friends. We all want the same thing. But if you ever, ever think about doing anything to hurt him again-"

"Threat understood." Sookie said with a smile, wiping away tears from her relieved face. "So now what?"

Bill joined them at that moment. "You go after Sarah while I try to rally the rest of the people here in town. As much as I would prefer Sookie to remain here or for me to go along with you…..I learned I need to respect her and her decisions. She is her own woman, after all."

"Took you long enough to get that through your thick skull." Sookie smiled kindly at her ex. "So, what now?"

Chapter 9-A Familiar Face

Dawn was coming soon and so they would need to wait until the next evening to get working on the search. In the meantime, Bill had begon researching Sarah Newlin on the internet, surprised at first to hear she had been able to escape justice. "I am fond of your brother Sookie, but letting hher go was a grevious error in judgemtny." Bill said as they sat in the dining room in his house. And then he had a idea. "What do you think about your grandfather, Sookie? clearly we are are running short on time to get Newlin and whatever she may know about the cure for hep-v. we may ned to come up with a plan b."

"I don't know….he may be pretty busy trying to help his people…" sookie looked thoughtful. "As far as a plan B goes….." she trailed off.

"But you are part of his people. And his grandaughter." Bill took out his phone and made a apologetic face. "I need to check on Jess. She is protecting andy's daughter from the infected vamps. Last I heard, she was still fine." there was a brief phone conversation and a slightly more relieved Bill slipped his phone back in his jacket pocket. "She's fine. Said she shot three vamps from the upstairs window of the Bellefleur house. She's about to go to ground and Andy's home too."

Sookie nodded. "I'm glad she's okay. But the sooner we can end this, the better I think we will all feel." she got up from the table. "I'm going to go home and try to get in touch with my grandfather."

Bill nodded as Eric and Pam got up as well. "You two are welcome to my guest rooms if you wish."

Pam looked at Eric and Sookie and put her hands on her hips. "I suppsoe those two want some alone time. But remember what I said before blondie. I won't be far." Pam gave Sookie a look. "Who would ever have thought I'd agree to stay here." and as Bill bade sookie goodnight, he led Pam to the guest rooms. Sookie walked beside Eric, past the SUV he'd come in and through the cemetery where she certainly had many a memory of events that had transpired. They said nothing until the warm glow of her lit up house came into view. Even in the moonlight, she could see he was exhausted, though she knew he would never admit it.

"Please, come on in." sookie opened the door to her house and let him enter first, her face crestfallen as she saw the tell tale signs of his illness were getting slowly worse. "Here…." she went to t living room and removed some boxes from the couch. Boxes that contained items that had belonged toAlcide and were awaiting his father to come to pick up. Perhaps after the funeral, she thought, when all this chaos was over. Sitting down slowly on the couch, Eric was clearly in some dicomfort still. "I can go out and get you some True Blood…..but I realllydon't want to leave you alone and I want to speak to-"

"Me." a familiar voice called from the kitchen. Sure enough, her grandfather was seated at the kitchen table, a case of True Blood in his posession. "As you know, I know more than what you may think."

Hugging her grandfather, Sookie looked relieved. "I was about to go upstairs and try to contact you through the portal. I learned how to open it and close it, by the way."

"I made it so you could. I felt better leaving you last time knowing there was a safeguard in place. I wouldn't want someone interrupting you getting in or out of the shower. So…..I hear you've got yourself a sick vampire."

Sookie nodded and led her grandfather into the living room where Eric had been. But she saw he was gone but the door to the cubby he had had installed was open. Leading her grandfather down the ladder, she stepped into the brightly lit chamber, seeing Eric lying on the bed, crown on the bedside table and the sword clenched in his other. He could smell the second fairy and perked up a little as he took greater notice.

"Eric. This is my grandfather, Niall. He helped a lot with the whole Warlow debacle and if not for him….well…."

"So, the fairy prince has come to my aid." Eric said, sitting up slowly. "I feel honored."

Niall looked at Sookie. "You care for this one?"

"An acquired taste, grandpa." Sookie couldn't help but smile. "Eric has saved me on many occasions, so just ignore his little wiseass comments. What I want to know is if there is anything you can do for him."

Niall walked over to the vampire who clearly was trying to maintain control. He held his hands over the menacing veins creeping over the vampire's body, a soft light appearing around them. Sookie waited with baited breath as he did the same thing over the rest of the vampire. Turning back to Sookie, he looked grim. "I have great power, Sookie. This disease is one of the most potent and deadly I have ever encountered and I have lived thousands of years."

Sookie looked panicked. "Is there anything that can be done?"

Eric was surprisingly calm. "If I can just get my hands on Sarah Newlin, I can die happy. And I would go fighting with Sookie at my side."

"But I don't want to lose you again." sookie pleaded as she saw him clutch his sword tighter. "Niall. Please."

"I don't have the power to cure him. But you can. It will require sacrifice and I do know you were willing to make this sacrifice not long ago. But the question remains, if you truly love him, are you willing to make the same sacrifice now?"

Sookie took Eric's hand as she listened to her grandfather explain what he knew would be their only option to save the Viking from certain death.

Chapter 10-Decision

Eric looked at Sookie as Niall left the two of them alone to discuss the weighty decision that needed to be made. "Sarah may have information about a cure and then you wouldn't need to-"

"Niall said if I became a vampire-faerie, I wouldn't really lose much in regards to having a normal life. Remembering how Warlow was able to pass as a human or faerie, I think I could handle it. And if it is what I have to do to save you…but since you're sick, you couldn't be the one to…." she choked up, unable to finish her sentence. Finally, she finished. "I would hope bill would be willing to. And you would be able to put aside your pride to let him."

Stoic as he usually was, there was a genuine love in his eyes for her as she made her mind up. "I have waited for you for centuries yet I never knew it until recently. I am honored, sookie." he nodded. "And as much as I abhor the idea of Bill being the one to turn you, you're right. I can not do it as I am infected. For you, I am willing to put aside my pride to get well. Besides, I can always take out my frusturations on Newlin." Niall returned several minutes later, with some True Blood for Eric and pasta for Sookie. "I thought I'd whip up some represhments." Niall said. "It is nice to know I can make pasta by hand but this way is much easier." with those words, there was a flash of light and a bowl of pasta of his own appeared in mid air. "I can not stay long I am afraid, I must return to the faerie realm and tend to some business. Warlow apparently injured many people while in the nightclub and there were some survivors who are still on the mend. Your cousin Hadley and Hunter did survive the attack, Sookie."

Her face brightened slightly. "That's a relief…..I heard about the attack at the club…..but will you be back here soon? For when-"

Niall finished his food in mere moments. "I would always be there for you, grandaughter. Things in the faerie realm have finally begun to become more peaceful again but I must spent most of my time there to ensure the peace remains. I will see to it that your cousin and her sone return to this world. If they so desire." Niall kissed Sookie on the forehead. "Let me know when you are returned from your vengeance misison." he handed a envelope to Eric. "You'll need this."

Taking the envelope from the fairy, eric opened it up and a sly smile appeared across his face. "You certain of this information? That this is accurate?"

Smiking back, Niall turned to head up the ladder out of the cubby. "I've even sent a little of my own trickery to keep her there long enough for you to pay her a visit." and in a flash, Niall was gone, leaving Sookie sitting beside Eric on the bed. There was only a few words written upon it but to both of them it was quite laughable.

"How the mighty have fallen." sookie said, looking at the address. A motel in Los Angeles. She bit her lip. "I need to go back to Bill's. it would seem there is another detail we need to talk about."

Chapter 11-A Promise

He was surprised to see her back on his porch so soon after leaving but the look on her face kept him from asking any questions. Blurting out the emergency back up plan, should Sarah not have a cure. "And that's my plan B. Niall believed that my mixed vampire and fairy blood would be strong, potent enough to cure the virus."

Staring at her, Bill slowly saw down on the front steps. "Sookie, what if something went wrong. Then you would be gone and-"

"I need to take a chance. After everything I;ve done for you and Eric and you;ve both done for me….after all you've done to me in the past, don't you think I deserve to have this request granted, should it be necessary?" Sookie paused. "Besides, I'd still be able to lead a life where I could still be in the sun. and eat regular food."

Bill looked at her as she sat beside her on the step. "You are taugh Sookie and if this is truly what you are willing to do, then yes, if you fail to get anything of use from Sarah and return home emptyhanded, I will do it. Only as a last resort."

Sookie smiled, tears in her eyes as she hugged him. "I missed the good Bill, not the asshole Bill. I really did, you know."

Bill laughed, concern still very much on his face. "I'm glad for your friendship again Sookie, I truly am."

The next day was full of preperations for the trip. The moment night had fallen, they were prepared to leave as Bill, Jessica and Willa arrived on Sookie's porch. Wanting to speak to her maker alone, Willa went down into the cubby to face him. Angrily, she let loose her tirade at him, about feeling abandoned, used and abused. "Bill recruited me to help keep Bon Temps safe and to finish off any hep v vamps left…." in her anger she failed to notice the obvious. Until right this moment. "Are you a vam we need to worry about?"

"No more than usual." Eric replied. He walked over to willa and placed his hands on her shoulders. "Someday you will know what I went thgouth over the past six months. Whether or not I will be the one to tell you depends on if the plan we have to cure this works." he traced the veins slowly with his finger. "I am sorry for abandonding you and should I survive this next mission, I will make it worth your while. I would never dare waste any of my blood unless I felt strongly in the reason for using it. And I stand by my belief that you were destined to be great. Can I count on you to help the other vampires here? And I want Jason to be well guarded. As much as I would like to wring his neck after he let Sarah Newlin get away, he is Sookie's brother."

"I think Violet's got him well protected." willa replied bitterly but her face softened as she looked into his eyes. "You have suffered a lot, haven't you?"

Eric looked down at his newest family member and frowned. "You;ve no idea. But we need to be going now. Promise me you will do as I ask and team up with Bill and the others."

Willa nodded. "I'll make you proud. I'll make you remember why you chose me and why you should never dare abandon me again." she said this last part with pure venom in her voice, vanishing back up and out of the cubby as Sookie came down.

"We've got time for a shower if you want one." she was drying her hair with a pink towel and had brought some TrueBlood with her.

"is that a invitation?" eric asked with a smirk.

Sookie rolled her eyes but couldn't help but smile. "Its oddly comforting that you still have the energy to think naughty things."

He smirked as she handed him his clothes, fresh from the laundry. Dressed only with some old sweatpants she had scrounged up, Eric shrugged. "You Don't want to know what else is on my mind, Sookie."

"I've got an idea. Get dressed and eat up." she turned to leave but he took her by the arm firmly.

"Are you still certain you are willing to do this? I would not ever ask this of you-"

"I want to do this. Losing you for six months was hard and I don't ever want to feel like I did again. I missed you. And to think, the night I first met you I had hoped it was to be the last night I would ever see you."

"And like a bad penny, I've come back." he replied with a sigh. "Give me a few minutes and I'll meet you upstairs."

Sookie was pacing in her living room, dressed in jeans and a t shirt, Pam sitting on the couch sipping true blood. Bill was looking anxious and finally approached Sookie, leading her into the kitchen.

"Are you going to try to discourage me from going?

"I worry that this is the last time I will see you as you are now. That Sarah won't have a cure and you'll be forced to be changed."

"The plan is to get Sarah, see what she knows. If its nothing, Eric can have her. And then…" Sookie sighed. "We'll get right back here and contact Niall. I want him here for when, well, you know."

Bill nodded stiffly. "You're a good friend to him. To all of us. And I know in the recent past, I've done terrible things. Things you don't even know about." Bill's mind flased to the young mother he and Salome had drained as she pleaded for her life, to return to her baby at home. He had callously taken her life and looking back, freed of Lilith's dark influence, the guilt still festered. "I am glad to at least be your friend again."

Squeezing his hand, she went back into her living room as Eric emerged from the cubby, his lean frame draped in the usual black leather jacket, black jeans and tank top. As imposing a figure he was, Sookie once again wept inwardly at the threat to his life under his skin. She prayed they would not be taking things to chance by going for Sarah first.

Chapter 12-Dwindling Time

They were on a private plane headed to the West Coast. light tight to protect the vampires from the sun, sookie was glad that at least the artificial ligting was as pleasant as the actual daylight. It gave her hope that things would somehow not get sticky. "How are you feeling?" she asked Eric as they entered their second hour of their flight. He was sprawled out on a leather couch, and decided to remove his jacket. Not that he was ever too hot or too cold, but rather for comfort purposes. She gasped and got up from her seat and came over to his side and saw that in a matter of hours, the disease seemed to have spread, the veins creeping higher on his chest and nack and beginning to show on his arms. "Oh, we're running out of time….I don't think we'll get to her first…."

Sitting up, Eric seemed calm. "Actually, I feel better than you would think."

"He'd never say how crappy he felt even if you put silver to his-"

"Pam. Enough." Eric glared at Pam who was busy giving herself a manicure. "I feel strong enough to take on a petite blonde bitch."

"Well, sookie's right here. Have at it." Pam smirked at the look at Sookie's face. "Come on, if we're going to be friends, and you wind up joining our ranks-partly, at least- then there's some ribbing you've got to take. Call it hazing, if you must."

Sookie frowned slightly as Eric laughed. "She only makes remarks like that to people she likes and clearly, you've gained some favor with her Sookie. I would know, ive spent a century with her and it is a compliment to you, in her own way."

"Gee, thanks Pam." sookie replied awkwardly. "But you're not fooling me. I can tell you don't feel well. I see it all over your face. And it hurts me to see you like this."

"I'm not exactly enjoying it myself. But when I was in the woods with my sword, I felt more alive than I had in weeks I am troubled by the fact I was prepared to just lie there in France and go ouw with a whimper." he made a disgusted face and shook his head. "I suppose it was not just Pam's mention of Sarah Newlin's survival that got me off that couch and back to Bon Temps." he took a hand and gently played with some of Sookie's hair.

"I just have a bad feeling things are not going to as planned. That something is going to go terribly wrong….."

"Oh, quit your whining. We're two women who can take care of ourselves for the most part, driven by wanting to save someone who means a great deal to us. Whatever and whoever gets in our way to try to stop us….well, let's jjust say I won't go easy on them." Pam replied, getting to her feet. "I'm in need of some beauty rest. Can I get either of y'all anything?"

"No. unless you can make Sarah Newlin appear right now." replied Eric. Nodding, Pam left to go into the cargo hold where their coffins were. "I have to admit Sookie, I have regained some respect for Bill for agreeing to the plan. I would have thought he would just as soon let me die."

"Things between him and I got a lot better over the past six months. And I think he thinks a lot of you and doesn't want to see you dead."

Snorting, Eric looked at her with a funn face. "You think he and I could really be friends? He did try burying me in concrete once you know."

"I think you two make a good team. And when all this is over, I think I will be able to say "I told you so" to your newfound friendship with him."

"Regardless, if he tries anything funny if you get turned…..I think you know where I am going with this."

"Men." Sookie rolled her eyes and took a blanket and placed it over him. "Why don't get yourself some rest before we land. I could use some myself." she turned to go back to her cushy seat. She looked over her shoulser and saw he was apparently asleep. "Hang in there." she shispered as she settled into her seat and closed her eyes.

Chapter 13-Captured

They waited for the sun to set before getting off of the plane. Thanks to the time difference, sookie was a touch disoriented. Even Pam was not dressed to er usual perfection, her hair askew and all over the place.

"If I were still human, I'd say I felt like I had a hangover. So much for beauty rest." she mumbled bitterly. As they all collected their duffel bags, Pam offered to take Eric's for him.

"I'm not that weak." he snapped. But then he softened slightly. "I suppose I should be lucky to have two women fawning over me. Maybe I can make it pay off reall well, reall soon." he gave Sookie a look as Pam rolled her eyes.

"Glad to see your libido is not exactly suffering the way the rest of your body is." Sookie said with a straight face. They took a taxi to the motel, Sookie clutching some photos left in her bathroom by her grandfather, no doubt. "Seems she thought just by coloring her hair darker she'd be harder to find. But once she opened her mouth to talk, I would think it would help blow her cover. She and Steve got to be rather famous."

Pam looked at the photos of the brunette Sarah Newlin. "Can't hide stupid by changing hair color."

Sookie laughed. "Good one." They stood outside the motel and scanned the place. It was neither posh nor a dive. Just a unassuming place for some crazy christian woman who thought she'd get away with her crimes to wind up. "Too bad we didn't get the exact rooom number. There must be at least 50 rooms here and for all we know, she may not even be here any longer.

"I'll go in and ask for any information at thhe desk." Pam said, showing her fangs.

"Do nothing to let anyone know we're here. I would prefer to remain conspicuous." Eric ordered.

Nodding, Pam walked into the motel, returning a few minutes later with a smirk and a keycard. "I got us a room across the hall from one 'Erica Linus'" Pam Shook her head. "Bad hair and a even worse alias."

"Let's go then." Sookie took her bag and followed Pam. Stopping, they saw Eric was not moving, but was staning as if in great pain. "We've got to get this done fast." both of them rushed to his side and helped steady him.

"I hate this." he said as they led him into the motel. "Thank you." he grudgingly said as he pulled away from their grip. "I just need something to…snack on."

"With any luck, Sarah Newlin will be on the menu shortly." Pam replied. Dropping their belongings off in their room, Eric took the only thing he really wanted. "Really?" Pam said, putting her hands on her hips. "What about being conspicuous?"

"I don't think anyone in this city would think twice, really. Besides, I plan to get her somewhere a little more….private, so we can chat."

Leaving their room, they didn't bother knocking on the door. Sliding the keycard though the slot, they walked in on Sarah herself doing some yoga on the floor. Turning to see the intruders, she scooted right up against the wall, wide eyes. "No freaking way."

"You really didn't think we could find you?" a amused Eric pointed his sword to her, the point just touching her throat.

Sarah looked frightened for a moment before she smirked and stood herself back up. "It would seem I will have the last laugh. Looks like someone's a little under the weather. You see? God hates vampires and since you were some pagan Viking already-"

Sookie walked up and slapped Sarah clear across the face. "We're not here for chatting. What do you know about curing hep-v?"

Sarah was smug as she ignored the sword still at her throat. "Cure? Why would I ever want to have a cure for something that would end all vampires for good?"

Pam and Sookie looked at one another, knowing that things were anout to escalate. "What if somehow a human with the virus would up just as sick? The virus mutated in the vamps, so why not people too?" Pam asked.

"It's not possible. It was made to be only dangerous to vampires. And it looks like its about to take down the biggest, baddest one of them all." Sarah laughed as he took a knee and with a thrust, nailed Eric in a area even vamps were sensitive to. Doubling over, Eric tried grabbing Sarah as she fled the room, Pam in hot persuit. There was a scream that signaled Pam hadn't gotten far and going out into the hallway to check, Sookie found Pam on te floor, a thin but powerful net of silver thrown atop of her.

"She was better prepared that I expected." Pam snarled as Sookie removed the net and helped Pam up. People in the other rooms began opening their doors to check on the commotion. "Glamour them, I can take Sarah." Sookie said and to her surprise, Pam nodded.

Outside, Sookie peered into the dimly lit parking lot, her hearing not hearly as good as a vampnire but she heard something down intoa alleyway where a set of dumpsters were positioned. Unarmed save for her fairy light, Sookie slowly looed around the alley and strted opening up the lids of the dumpsters. Looking in and using the light she summoned arounfd her hands, she saw and smelled nothing but trash. Getting to the second of the four dumpsters, she again found nothing but a arm shot up and shoved Sookie down. Sarah climbed out, a switchblade in hand. "Filthy little fangbanger…..I can't wait to see his face when he sees you dead on the street. You're nothing but trouble." Sarah lunged at Sookie as a pair of blurs streaked into her, flinging Sarah away from Sookie.

"You're coming with us." Eric pulled Sarah up by her dyed brown hair with one hand and offered Sookie a hand up with the other. "Back into the motel."

Chapter 14-Sarah's Story

They locked the door and closed the curtains on the windows. Not that Sarah was going to get away. She had been tied up to one of the two twin beds in the room and though there was fear in her eyes, the smug look on her face was getting on sookie's nerves.

"You will tell us what we want to know." Pam sneered, leaning in to try to glamour the slippery Sarah. But there was a shimmer in the eyes of Sarah that angered the vampire. "You've got thscte damn contacts in, don't you?"

"No problem." Eric said, getting up from the other bed. "I've removed those contacts before, I'll do it again."

Sarah laughed. "I took every last precaution. I found a doctor that was able to graft them right in. you try to remove them, you damage my eyes and so either way, you wouldn't be able to glamour me. Damaged eyes, as I learned from some experiments at vamp camp, can not be glamoured."

"Is. There. A. Cure?" Sookie got into Sarah's face this time. "Tell me if there is or so help me god….."

"God won't help some blonde tramp who wants to run around with vampires." Sarah replied simply. Sookie made her hands light up with her power and pointed it right at her chest.

"If it means me losing my power to get answers from you, so be it. I've wondered what this ball of light could to do to a human." Sookie snapped.

Eric touched Sookie's shoulder, looking weary but determined. "I'm not letting you risk your powers. . But she has made me think of something. We don't need two eyes for one to be glamoured and so-" he moved slower than was usual for him but had plucked out the left contact in Sarah's eyes. "Give her blood, Pam."

Pam smirked as she watched him take out the other contact. Sarah was crying in pain, her damaged eyes wounded. Forcing her blood into Sarah, it took mere moments for the healing to complete. "Now. Let's cut the crap and get some answers.."

A dazed looking Sarah nodded her head. "Anything you want to know."

"Is there a cure for this?" sookie pointed to Eric's chest. "The hep-v?"

"Yes…in the vamp camp, there is a formula that can cure the disease. We wanted to be able to help humans who got infected. But he-" she nodded at Eric. "He's in a later stage of the disease. It won't work. Any vamps in stage two, like he is, are better off being put to the stake rather than become even more dangerous than they already are. I would guess he has a week left, at most."

"Those hep v vamps back home didn't have the self control I've got. I have had centuries to perfect it. I am apparently one of the few not reduced to some zombie like, hunger crazed maniac."

Sarah's face remained blank as she continued. "Either way, hep-v vamps will all die out. Unless they get the cure. The disease is always fatal. But at least I can rest easier knowing its far too late for him." she nodded stiffly towards Eric.

Pam, Eric and Sookie looked at each other. "Get on the phone with Bill. Tell him about the cure at the camp. Where exactly is it?" Sookie turned from Pam to Sarah, who told them the precise area. Pam nodded as she got in touch with Bill, telling him about the cure. "How much of a supply is there?"

Sarah blinked. "Enough for thousands."

Eric nodded stiffly as he looked at Sookie. This news meant that plan B was their only chance. "Because of you, I lost people I cared about. I took out Steve and you're about to join him. At least if I should happen to not survive, I can take pride in what I am about to do." sookie jumped as he took what energy he had left to slowly take his sword, dragging it across her throat. Then he went for her wrists and finally her ankles.

"You should eat." Sookie said, wincing at the sight of the mortally wounded Sarah.

"I'd rather die than drink from her." Eric replied, looking atraignt into Sarah's eyes. "I only wish I could make you suffer as I have done." with that he took his sword and seconds later, her head dropped down, hitting the floor with a dull thud. "With any luck, some hungry vampire will find her and her last act will be to nourish a vampire." Eric said. "I am sorry you saw that."

Sookie cringed but she understood. Then he toppled over, dropping his sword and falling on his side. Panicked, she pulled him into her lap. The veins were darker, she pulled up his pant sleeves as much as she could, seeing the veins were now beginning to reveal themselves there as well. "Apparently stage two moves a little faster…"

Pam had left the room to make her phone call and to make sure their latest skirmish hadn't been heard. Seeing her maker on the floor made her eyes wide. "We've got to get back to Bon Temps. Now."

Chapter 15-Changes

They managed to get a flight, racing against the clock to do what needed to be done. At most, they assumes they had a few more days. Sookie wanted badly to let him have some of her blood but knew it was an impossibility. Having to spend the day in the light tight airplane, they were eager to get to Bill's, Eric now barely able to stand, let alone walk. Knocking on the door, she was greeted by Bill. Letting the three in, he tld them he had made connections and made certain the cure was being given to those who needed it. Jason, Jessica, Violet, Willa and Niall soon arrived, having quickly made their rounds curing the hep-v vamps they could, while killing off those who were too far gone to save with the cure.

"I sensed you were returning soon and figured there wouldn't be time enough for your summoning of me." Niall said. "Are you truly prepared for this?"

Sookie looked at Eric, who Pam had positioned on a couch in Bill's living room. "Yes. There's not much time.

Jason shook his head. "I can't believe you're doing this, sis."

"I think she's. being pretty ballsy, to be honest." Violet said approvingly

"And like Niall explained, she will not be totally vampire. She can still lead a fairly normal life besides, it's going to save Eric's life." Jessica said.

Bill nodded. "If there's one thing Sookie is not it is a coward." Bill took her hand in his. "I've already gotten the hole dug and Niall said he will stand guard for extra protection. Are you scared?"

Shaking her head, Sookie looked at him and then to the others. "I'm surrounded by the people I care about and am doing this to save someone I care about. So let's get this going."

Bill smiled as he led er to the back yard. Sure enough, a hole built for two was in place, with a pile of dirt to the left of it. "I would appreciate it greatly if you all returned inside. This is a private matter. Something not usually done for a audience. Besides, I think she would feel better if more than just Pam were inside with Eric. He could use the company."

Grudgingly Jason nodded. "I still don't like this sis." but Violet grabbed him by the arm.

"She's her own woman and can decide for herself. " her face softened ever so slightly. "She'll be ok."

Knowing that Violet would undoubetld have to glamour Jason to keep him in line, Sookie allowed Bill to help pull her down into the hole. "It should only take a night." Niall said. "With fairy blood, I have come to understand the process is sped up a bit."

"Good." she replied.

"Are you ready?" Bill asked as he slid down, scooting cloer to her.

She looked up at the pristine night sky, the stars twinking and looked at her grandfather who winked at her, a comforting gesture. "Yes."

Praying things would go smoothly, Bill began and sank his fangs into her neck, with a very tiny jerk of pain from Sookie. As she felt everything around her dim and ebb, her last thoughts were fearing she would be too late, that this would all be for nothing. A tear streaked down her cheek before blacking out.

Chapter 16-Revival

Muffled sounds greeted her as she felt her way up, the soil cool and damp beteeen her fingers. She could hear better, smell everything around her and it as if she were just now experiencing things for the first tme. Reaching her hand up through the ground, she felt a cool hand pulling her left hand while a warmer hand pulled her right hand. Above the ground for the first time in 24 hours, Sookie saw a relieved looking Niall and a concerned looking Bill on either side of her. "Thanks." she said, her eyes flashing straight to Bill's house. "So….did it work? I mean, I know something happened but-"

"Try conjuring your light." Niall replied. And he was relieved to see she did. "I also added my blood to you. Now, you need never fear about losing your light and as a matter of fact, you are a more powerful faerie than you were before."

Sookie could only nod as she turned to her ex. Bill slashed a cut open on his wrist and instinctively, Sookie felt a tickle and heard a soft clicking sound. Eyes eide, she felt her mouth with her hand. "Oops." she said, apologetically. But though her fangs had spopped out, she also didn't feel any real lust for blood. And she told them she was relieved as such.

"Your faerie side tempers the blood lust of a vampire. And you can eat some human food, but not as much as you may eb accustomed to. Or you will get ill." Niall said. "I can explain more but Pam was out here a little while ago and we are truly on our lat moments"

With vampire speed, Sookie rushed into Bill's house where she stopped dead in her tracks at the sight of the Viking. The veins had almost taken over every inch of him. "There's no time, I've got to do this now. Everyone out of the way." Pam, Jason, Jessica and Violet backed away several paces as Sookie allowed her new instcts to take over. As she bit into her wrist and held it to Eric's mouth, she tried not to panic, seeing the veins getting darker before her eyes. He was barely conscious and as she spoke to him, coaxing him to drink, she held her breath as finally, he finally took some healthy gulps of her blood. For several long moments, she allowed him to feed before Niall stpped in.

"I think that's enough." he said. Everyone waited, watching. Pam walked up to Sookie and looked at her appraisingly

"You pull this off and I think we may just become best friends." she said, the fear on her face still present. "What you just did….I don't know many others who would have done such a thing for him. Save for me, but that wasn;t really an option."

"Don't praise me yet….if this doesn;'t work…" Sookie hung her head down, unable to stand te suspense.

"Sookie. Look." Bill said as he nodded to the ailing vampire. Looking up slowly, she saw the veins were shimmering slightly with the fairy light that had been in her blood, a supernatural concoction, so to speak. Slowly but steadily, the veins began to disappear. But the Viking remained still, seemingly unconscious. Niall confirmed this to those gathered around. As the last traces of the virus went, Niall patted Sookie's hand gently.

"I think you have done it. But with the hit his body has taken from this illless, I sense it will be some time before he awakens. Perhaps some better accomodations?" in a flash, Niall and Sookie were upstairs in one of the light-tight guest rooms, Eric in the cushy bed, looking eerily peaceful.

"What the hell, leaving me behind?" Pam had entered the room, followed by the rest.

"Let's leave his ladies alone with him, shall we?" Niall suggested. Turning to sookie, he looked at her. "I'll give you some time before we have a little chat about your new life." agreeing, she hugged her grandfather.

"Thank you. For helping make this happen. For everything you've done. I don't think I've ever been able to thank you properly."

With a kiss on her head, Niall ushered all the others out of the room, leaving Pam and Sookie alone with Eric.

"I've been with him for a hundred years." Pam started to say after a awkward silence. "I have never feared losing him. Not this strong of fear anyway. But it was close this time. If you are going to be his, perhaps you could try to get him to be a little more cautious." Pam sighed as she looked at the funny look on Sookie's face. "Oh, who am I kidding? He does what he wants, when he wants."

Sookie smiled as she scooted a chair over to the bedside, offering Pam a second chair. "I think it would be hard enough to get a Viking to listen to reason, much less a vampire Viking." she sighed. "I can't believe how good I feel. Not just because he's looking like he's going to be okay but….."

"Your new life as a freak?" Pam replied but there was a smirk on her face letting Sookie know she was kidding. "I'll help you out learning the ropes, though from what I have seen so far, you look to be a natural vampire. But you can still enjoy the sun. I really don't miss the sun myself. Sunburn was such a drag and I tended to freckle."

They shared a laugh as the tall, lean figure in the bed began to stir. Both girls leaned closer, eager to hear from their friend. Opening his eyes, he looked from Pam to Sookie. "My two favorite women."

Chapter 17-Crossroads

Sookie allowed Pam to embrace Eric first, seeing tears of blood flowing freely from the normall stoic Pam. "don't you ever freaking scare me like that again." Pam said as she cupped his face. He still looked weary but he would recover fast, thanks to the blood flowing through his veins. "Those veins weren;t becoming to you either." Pam sniffed as he managed to smile back at her.

"Thanks…..Maybe this has taught me to watch what I eat. Would you mind?" He kissed Pam's head and turned to look at Sookie. It was unspoken, but Pam knew he wanted some time alone with Sookie.

"Since she was the one that saved you, fine. But in twenty minutes, I'm coming right back, so get all your gushy sentiments out if you don't mind." and with a nod to Sookie, Pam swept from the room, to tell everyone that yes, he would certainly be just fine.

A few moments of silence passed as Sookie moved to sit on the side of the bed, allowing him to take her hands in his own. "I owe you a great deal, Sookie. And I know I will never be able to repay you for what you've done for me." already he was looking more lively, she was watching him come back from the brink before her eyes. Sitting up in the large bed, he turned and got up onto his feet, pulling her up gently, embracing her.

She felt tears brimming as she looked up at him. "All I could think about, watching you get sicker and sicker, was how much I had hurt you before. Rejecting you and being so ungrateful for your saving me. For giving my house back…..for so much-" he stopped her by putting a finger to her lips.

"You;ve nothing to be sorry for. You;ve been through more than any human should have to-not that I care much for humans. Not many of them anyway." he paused. "When I lost Sylvie, I never thought it was possible to care for anyone again, let alone a human."

"Well, I ain;t human. I never was completely anyway, and now-" sookie was interrupted again by a finger to her lips

"You will always be the human who walked into my bar that one night. A sweet but fiesty girl I thought little of at first. Then I got to know you and with all our history…" he shook his head. "I do think you are the only person I have encountered in my long life that's brought any of my humanity back to me. And I thought I should be ashamed of that. But I really am more thankful than anything of that gift. I just don't like the idea of people or vampires coming to think of me as a …..neutered vampire."

Sookie laughed loudly. "if they did think that-say that, actually-, I think they would find out very fast that you're no wuss. There is no reason anyone cant have two sides to them and I for one, have fallen hard for both of yours."

"I remember telling you once that maybe I'd grow on you and you said something along the lines of you rather having cancer than having anything to do with me. Ant look at you now." he crossed his arms over his chest with that smug smirk of his.

"Yeah, you're definitely feeling bettter." Sookie smiled. "Let's go see everyone and celebrate. And I guess we've got some more things that need to be talked about, huh?"

Nodding, he took her by the hand and back downstaris where the others looked happy and relieved to see the rapid healing that was thnks to the woman at his side.

Epilogue

They had gathered in the living room, True Blood and wine flowing freely as the tv blared in the background. There was coverage on many channels about the grizzly discovery of Sarah Newlin in Los Angeles. Pleased with his handiwork and to have put her down, Eric got his time in with Pam and mended his fences with Willa.

"I will teach you everything I taught Pam. Though as you're still here, I guess you hadn't manged too terribly in my absence."

Willa smiled sadly. "Tara helped me. A lot." With Tara's death, she had had little choice but to plug along on her own, as Pam too had left, to search for Eric.

At the mentionof Tara's name, Pam nodded and lifted her glass of blood in a toast. As stoic as she would always be, she couldn't hide the care she held for her shrt lived but impressive progeny. Violet, Jason and Jess were tuned into the news report as a cold hand settled on the back of Jason's neck.

"So did you ever dream nice things of me?" Eric asked cooly, Jason tense as he turned to face the Viking. "I'm not going to kill you, and only because of Sookie."

Jason was paler than usual but keeping amazingly composed before someone who had every right to want to rip him apart. "Look, I didn't want to kill her and I know I shoulda arrested her but-"

"You're Sookie's brother. But I will explain to her that the next time you do something so incredibly stupid, you will need to learn a lesson. And rest assured, once I get my bar put back together and my dungeon back into good repair…after all, you are supposed to uphold the law."

Sookie approached then and saw Jason's fear. "Jason, I have to go with Eric on this one. It was pretty dumb to let her go to begin with. Look at all the trouble it caused. But I also know you;ve got a good heart and a brain that doesn't fire on all cylinders all the time. Next time, I willlet Eric have fun with you and tick me off, I may just join in." she looked at him with a devilish grin before hugging her brother, who thanked Eric profusely for not kicking his butt-or worse-before he rushed off with Violet.

Bill came up to the two of them and looked pleased. "I think you will come into your own, evem more so, Sookie." he said to her. "You've got people around to help teach you, to get used to your new, altered state. But there is one thing I need to do. As much as I want to not say it, I owe it to her to do right by her. And so Sookie, as your maker I release you."

Stunned, Sookie stood there. "That never even occurred to me. I was so focused on saving Eric….you could have used that to your advantage."

"I couldn't do that to you. And I think you;ve got a good teacher in Eric. And since Niall said her faerie part tempers the vampire part of her….I think we've got little to worry about besides getting her upset. She's got quite the temper when its aroused."

"Yes, I would be willing to agree there." Eric replied, turning to Sookie who was watching as he grandfather approached.

"Do you have a moment for us to speak in private?" Niall asked her, nodding politely to the vampires.

Nodding, she felt the protective gazes of the vampires follow her out the door and onto the front porch. "Thank you. For helping and supporting me." she said, hugging him.

Niall nodded. "There was nothing else to do. Family looks out for each other." he paused. "You must truly care for him."

Sookie looked out on the vast lawn, her mind in a million places. "It took him being on the cusp of the true death to realize it. And I am so thankful things ended up as they did."

"It's not over. You've begun a new chapter in your life Sookie. And if you should ever need me, just send word and I can be here. For now, I leave you to start fresh and most importantly, be happy."

With a final hug and kiss on her forehead, the fairy vanished, Sookie left aloneto ponder the new possibilities her new abilities would afford her.

THE END

#2- Night Terrors

Chapter 1

Tossing and turning, she woke up in a cold sweat So I can still sweat, sookie couldn't help but think to herself as she sat up in her bed. Two nights ago, she had been merely part faerie. Now, she was part faerie and part vampire, a powerful combination, as she had seen when dealing with Warlow. It had been what she had needed to do to save Eric from the hep-v virus and she was certainly relieved to have saved his life. But for two nights now, she had been troubled by nightmares that had gotten progressively worse. Before going to bed the night she saved him, Sookie had asked Eric to stay away for a few days. She needed rest and time to sort her tangled emotions out. But now, she felt alone, scared and simply needed something , thought she was unsure of just what that was.

There came a knock on her door and knowing she would be unable to fall back to sleep anytime soon, she dressed in a robe, her blonde hair a mess of tangles. Opening the door, she was not entirely surprised to see him there. She had doubted his patience would last more that a few days, that his concern for her well being would drive him mad. "Hello Sookie." Eric said as he stood before her, looking down at her. Frowning, he took her by the shoulders. "I had a feeling you were distressed, though it has been far too long since I had a taste of your blood."

She started trembling and bit her lip. "I can safely say I am really glad you're here." she replied. "Come in."

Following her into her house, Eric closed the door behind her and went into her living room, where she sat down on the couch, scooting over to allow him to seat imself beside her. As soon as he had done so, she put her head on his shoulder and started to cry. "What is it?" he asked, stroking her hair as he had done the night he had returned to Bon Temps, when she had feared she would lose him for good.

"These dreams….I've had them two nights now and haven't slept well. I don't know if its because of the change or if I'm having a breakdown….I wouldn't be surprised if I was, after everything that's happened." she stopped.

"What kind of dreams?"

Sookie dreaded reliving the nightmares but was desperate for some way to be rid of them. "I've seen you die. Over and over again. The virus….it killed you. I saw the veins get worse and worse, spreading over you and you just melted away in my arms. And I screamed for help, but nothing came out of my mouth and there was no one and-" she stopped as he put a finger on her lips.

"I think I understand what's going on and the same thing happened to me when I was changed. Godric told me it was normal but there is only one way for one to overcome the nightmares. You must accept the change you;ve gone through and learn to use your new abilities and that includes hunting."

Looking horrified, she looked up at him. "So these nightmares won't go away unless I go out and kill something?"

"It's a rite of passage to help complete the process of change. Unless you completely embrace the new part of you, it will drive you to madness. And I have seen what it can do to a vampire. I've had to kill many over the years because they became such a threat. Its not one of the upsides of being what we are. But once you get past that hurdle, things get better."

"I don't want to kill or hunt anything. I just want to try to live my life." she said, turing on her heel, making her way towards the kitchen. But she walked right into his chest, an immovable object tht normally would give her plenty of enjoyment. But not now, not in this agitated state. "Please move." she said, not looking at him, instead looking at her feet. He did nothg of the sort. Until she got wobbly on her feet and passed out. Catching her, he had only one other direction he could turn.

Chapter 2

He had not wanted leave her there alone in her bed, knowing that it was not likely a entirely vampire problem she was dealing with. In her bathroom, where she had told him it was, he began calling for her grandfather. Though unable to breach the porthole, he hoped he could get word through pacing back and forth, increasingly agitted, he turned to head back to check on her. Then a voice called out from behind.

"Scream any louder and I swear you would wake the deader than dead." Niall stepped out through the posthole and crossed his arms over his chest. But the smile quickly faded when he saw the look on the vampire's face. "It's Sookie, isn't it?"

Explaining what had happened and what Sookie had told him, Niall looked grim. "It's bad, isn't it? I tried to tell her it was part of becoming-"

"I believe you are correct. But that her faerie part is trying to adjust to the change to her body. I believe it was partly why Warlow became as dangerous as he did. He did eventually feed and practice his vampire appetites, but by the time he did, mentally, the damage was done. That will be her fate as well unless we get her out there, learning and doing. "

Shuffling into the room, a weary and confused Sookie joined in their conversation. "I heard what you said grandpa and I know you both just want to help me-"

Niall made the short distance to where she stood. "Do you want to become like Warlow? A monster with no conscience? I understand you not wanting to do this, but it is only for your own good. If you hope to have a good life and future. Your faerie powers, strong as they may be, can not hope to simply beat out the rest of you by ignoring the clear problem. You. Must. Hunt." Niall softened his tone with her as he continued. "And as much as I trust you, I can not go along with you. But I know you are in capable hands. I will remain here in the house until you two return."

"But-" she tried of to protest but the look on her grandfathers face, a mix of concern and love, was enough to silence her. "I guess I shouls get some better clothes on." she glanced at Eric with a timid look, retreating back to her bedroom.

Chapter 3

"Unlike you I don't have a eneless supply of leathe jackes like you seem to. But I hope this suffices." Sookie came downstairs ane into the living room where eric waited for her. A blue t shirt and some torn jeans coupled with equally worn yet still sturdy esneakers completed her ensemble. Pulling her hair back into a tight ponytail, she crossed her arms over her chest. "So. What are we waiting for?"

He got up off the couch and followed her out the door, sensing she was trying hard to cover her true emotions. He was one to do that as well. Grabbing her before her feet left the bottom step of her porch, he spun her around to face her. "If there was any other way….I don't like putting you through this, but believe me, it beats the alternative. You need to listen and follow my lead. Understand?" his voice was harsh but it worked.

Nodding, Sookie felt herself turn a tiny bit less tense. He would not lead her wrong, she knew that and it was her trust in him that she hoped would make this easier. They walked into the forst, aware of Niall's eyes watching them from upstairs. "You would think this would be easier for me. Its not like I havent killed anyone before and its not like we're killing any people…just animals, right?"

"Right." he replied as they entered the woods. "I want you to see what I do first. Then you'll try." it was a order more than anything else. Knowing he would need to be harsh with her to spare her futher torment, Eric leapt towards s noise, making no noises himself. Watching him carefully, she saw him reach out with a single hand, punching the animal straight into the chest. It had tried to run away but was clearly no match for vamp speed. Over the last few years, she had become used to blood, violence and the like, yet there was something unnerving about what she was seeing. As the animal was finally releaed from the Viking's grip, she gulped slowly as he licked his fingers slowly, making a face.

"In a pinch, animal blood does the trick but by far, I prefer humans. Or faeries." he gave her onw of his infamous smirks, to which Sookie rolled her eyes in mock exasperation.

"You were quiet…..but were you quiet enough to keep others around. Because…." Sookie felt funny, dizzy. Falling to the ground, she clenched her head in pain as flashes of her past whipped through her mind., none of them pleasant. Each time the night terrors had it her over the past couple days, it seemed worse and more intense than before. As he tried to help steady her, she released a blast of her fairy light, sending Eric crashing through several trees before finally landing against a large formation of rocks. A little dazed and cut up, he got to his feet and raced back to Sookie, his woulds healing with every second that passed. She was starting to come out of her dangerous, trance like state and with a gasp of air, her eyes flew all te way open and she sat right up, her face smushed right into his chest. She was speaking, her voice muffled until he gentlhy guided her back a few inches, her tears tinged ever so lightly with red.

"You alright?" he said, stroking her hair gently. "That light of yours packs quite a punch. Perhaps moreso now thanks to the vampire part of you."

"That wasn;t a dream?" Sookie looked horrified and then saw the last of his wounds from her unintentional attack vanish. "Eric, I'm so sorry!"

"Don't think anything of it. But it is becoming clear to me that things are getting worse. You need to get this done. Fast." he pulled her to her feet and led her deeper into the woods, the sounds of owls in the distance. "At this point, I think any kill may do the trick. And if not, we can see what other advice your grandfather may have. My experience in magic is rather limited, having been a victim of it more than anything else." he thought back to the time when he had been under the control of the witch Marnie. He didn't like magic, not in that way. Being at the mercy of some mousy woman was not something he wanted to have happen ever again.

"No….I will take care of this. Now." she had heard something nearby and took off in a run, her feet barely hitting the soft earth. Feeling excited, she took a leap outward and instinct took over. Seconds later a fox was dead in her hands as she pulled her fangs out from the neck of the limp and bleeding bundle of fur. Slowly, she came back to herself and dropped the animal with a thud, her body shaking and trembling. She couldn't bear to see the animal and turned her back to it, tears coming down her face as she could feel the illness, whatever it was that had plaguesd her the past couple of days dissppate. Dizzy, she nearly toppled back into a stream if not for the speed of the vampire with her.

Chapter 4

Sleeping soundly in bed, Eric left Sookie in her bedroom, closing the door behind him. In the kitchen, he found Niall sipping some hot tea and perusing the newspaper. "She resting peacefully?" he asked, putting the paper down. Stiffly, the Viking nodded. "Please, sit. I think we have some things to discuss, do we not?"

"The sun's coming up soon." Eric remained standing, leaning against the doorjam.

"You;ve a cubby here, do you not? Sit." Niall said with more force in his voice.

Slowly, he obeyed. "So…what is it you want?"

Niall eyes the vampire up and down. "You are quite the formidable creature, aren't you? And I suspect you;ve been through your share of women over your many centuries of living. I do not wish to leave this house without knowing your intentions. After all she has done for you. To save you….I simply know of your reputation, that is all."

Eric glared at the fairy across from him. "You think I'd just push her aside and move on to some other woman. That I would use her. I don't think you realize everything I have gone through the past months-"

"Your sister's death, your illness, of course… could even go back further in fact. Your maker's suicide. Your initial indifference towards my grandaughter. I know everything about you and you have a lived a very colorful life. Lots of red."

Angrily, Eric shot up and bared his fangs at Niall. "I want her. I wouldn't hurt her or leave her, or whatever you may think. And if you try to pull anything, I'll-"

"Murder one of the onlt two family members she has left?" Niall remained cool and composed. "You just now have proven yourself fully to me and I can now leave her satisfied. That you are loyal-fiercely so-to Sookie. I will be at your aid whenever you or she need me. But I have a good feeling about her being in good hands." Niall stood up and rounded the table, offering a outstretched hand. Slowly, Eric accepted it and shook it. "You'd best be getting to your cubby soon. I'll return to check up on her soon. "

Offering a slight smile, Eric shook his head. "I won't leave her side until I have to."

Niall was gone from the house moments later as Eric returned to the upstairs. He did as he promised and was somewhat surprised to see her wide awake, sitting up in bed. "You've certainly looked better." he tried to joke, to lessen the confusion and angst he could tell she was still suffering from. "How do you feel?"

Sookie allowed him to sit beside her on the bed. "Honestly, I feel better than I have in a long time. Since before I got involved in this insanity. Vamps, faeries…..but I like how I feel. I never imagined this was what I would feel, think about being a faerie let alone a mixed…well, you know."

"I am planning on reopening the bar by the end of next week. Maybe a night out will help?" he offered gently. "Pam's been getting on me to approve of any new décor put in. Frankly I liked what we had before, though some things did need to be replaced."

Nodding, she looked at him. "I think it would be good for me. But I think we still have a lot to talk about. And I did hear everything you and Niall were talking about, by the way."

Cringing, he hadn't planned on her overhearing. Before he could try to put on his macho act, she cupped his face and kissed him hard on the face before allowing him to lean into her neck where he, gave her a questioning look before she nodded., allowing him to sink his fangs into her neck, a sensation that was not painful to her, but rather soothing, in a odd way. True to his word, he remained with her until dawn when he retreated to the cubby, leaving her sleeping very soundly, his leather jacket draped gently over her to keep her warm.

The End

#3 Party, Interrupted

Chapter 1

The biggest concern she had at the moment was which dress to buy. The mall just outside Bon Temps had several fashion shops and it hadn't been until she'd gotten to the last one that she he had found just the right dress to wear to tonight's festivities. Tonight was the grand reopening of Fangtasia and Sookie was nervous about looking good. The past week had been full of highs and lows. Death, destruction, love and happiness had been battling it out. With the deaths of Alice and Tara fresh on her mind, she reminded herself good things had happened too, in recent days. Andy was engaged to Holly, hep-v was obliterated with Sarah Newlin dead. Plus, she was slowly getting back into a relationship with Eric. Someone she had gotten perilously close to losing forever.

"I'll take this one." Sookie took a baby blue silk dress up to the sales counter. Spaghetti strapped and shimmery, she had also found some white heels to go with it and she had some jewelry at home she knew would go well with her outfit. Heading home, she was surprised to find the sun was starting to set. Time sure flew when one was trying to find a good outfit.

Arriving home, she began shedding her casual clothes for the more refined look, the dress not being too short as to be looking cheap-it went to her knees- but she felt beautiful for the first time in a long while. Since becoming part vampire, Skokie was testing her limitations, should there be any she needed to know. So far, she had discovered silver didn't affect her and it had become clear that her faerie part was indeed tempering the effects of being part vampire now. Most of her jewelry was silver but not wanting to inadvertently harm any of her friends, she settled on some crystal earrings and a pearl necklace that had once belonged to her Gran. Putting the last touches of makeup on, she put her hair into a tight braid and headed downstairs as someone knocked on her door

Opening the door, she wasn't surprised to see Bill standing there. He was driving her to the party as Eric was predisposed helping Pam get last minute preparations made. After all Sookie and Bill had been through together, the ups and the downs, Sookie was glad to have him as a friend and she knew he still had feelings for her. But their time together as more than friends was in the past yet she was grateful to have him still be in her life. "Good evening Sookie." he said with a smile, taking in her appearance. "You look…."

"Please don't say vampire bait." she smiled "I really wanted to look pretty and hope I don't look….cheap. That's not exactly what I was going for."

"I was going to say breathtakingly beautiful. And since I don't need to breathe…" Bill smirked as she allowed him to enter her home. But his face turned serious. This was the first time he had the chance to talk to her-really talk to her-since she was changed. "How are you feeling? I heard about the night terrors you were having."

"I'm perfectly healthy and no more nightmares." she replied. "So….are you about ready to head over?" she collected her small silvery purse from a table and popped her house keys into it after locking her door.

"Whenever you are. And if you don't mind, I wanted to do something special for you. With all you've been through…." Bill led her outside a few minutes later to a waiting hummer limousine. The chauffeur opened the door for them and as a stunned Sookie entered the vehicle and sat down, she was genuinely touched.

"It's….it's amazing." she gave him a hug as soon as he had settled into a seat across from her. "You really didn't have to-"

Bill looked at her with compassion. "You deserve it. After my behavior when I was that….whatever it was I was. And with all the loss you've suffered, I felt it would be nice."

"To think I could have lost you too from the hep-v too. It was spreading so fast, so many died….." Sookie choked back tears at the night she had reunited with Eric only to see he was gravely ill.

"But thanks to you, many were saved. " there was a pause. "How do you like the new powers, by the way?"

Sookie shrugged. "I admit its nice being able to open tight jars now. And the speed has come in handy. I guess I was already a freak before so really, not much has changed. I have come to kind of embrace my utter freakishness now. " she laughed.

They laughed and talked some more as the limo barreled towards Shreveport. Knowing he could sense her feelings of slight trepidation and excitement, Sookie hoped Eric wouldn't make a big deal out of it.

Chapter 2

Arriving at the club, Sookie was impressed on how fast things had been cleaned up and revamped. She got out of the limo slowly, not wanting to trip or do something that would make her feel foolish. Entering the bar, it was as if there had not ever been a fight, or that there had been dead vamps splattered all over. The hep-v vamps had certainly helped damage the place but it was back to normal, Ginger working behind the bar. Across the room, she saw the raised platform, a freshly reupholstered and painted chair placed, looking faintly like a throne. Her gaze drifted from Eric's spot to a familiar voice calling from behind.

"I thought we'd beat you here." Jessica said with a grin, holding hands with not Violet, but Jessica.

"Hey sis." Jason said with a crooked grin. "How ya feelin'? hopefully not hungry?"

Rolling her eyes but with a grin, Sookie hugged her brother. "Remember, my faerie side is the dominant side. But Don't think I won't get these out if I need to." for a brief second, she brought out her fangs. "I'm glad to see you two back together….but where's Violet?"

Jason and Jessica shared a glance. "We caught her with Andy's daughter and Holly's son. Keeping them hostage at Fort Bellefleur. She threatened to drain Adeline if I didn't get back together with her and I think she just went off the deep end when I called it quits with her. So Jess snuck up on her and….."

"We didn't want o do it. But I promised Andy I would protect his daughter and I didn't have a choice. couldn't give her the chance to hurt them or try anything with Jason or myself." Jessica looked at Bill. "Your training really paid off, considering how much older and stronger Violet was. But I think finally, Andy and I are good."

Bill hugged her and kissed her forehead. "I'm proud of you Jess. I am sure it wasn't easy to do that to her. Violet did help us quite a bit after all."

There was a moment of silence before Jason blanched a little at the towering figure across the room, settling into his seat, Pam at his side as always.

"What is it? You look like you've seen a ghost?" Jessica said with a smile.

"You've had his blood, right?" he asked Sookie. "Ever dream anything….racy about him?" he nodded at Eric. "He had to heal me at vamp camp."

Sookie and Bill looked at each other, sharing a glance with Jessica. All three looked as if they were about to laugh but somehow managed to remain composed. "Why? How was your dream about him?"

"Yes, I would be interested to know the answer to that myself. I did tell you to dream nice things, did I not?" Eric had snuck into the conversation as a embarrassed Jason pulled Jessica by the arm and raced to the other side of the dance floor. Laughing as Jason rushed away, Eric turned to Sookie. "You look….good." he then acknowledged Bill. "I suppose I do need to thank you for helping make this possible.

Sookie looked at Bill with confusion. "I knew some good contractors and decorators who would. fix things up fast. Give Eric the contact information." Sookie was glad that they seemed to be on good terms considering their rivalry over her. "I'll leave you two to it then." and with that, he disappeared into the crowd, striking up conversation with people who had apparently read his book.

"Would you mind going into my office where we can be a little more….private?" Eric asked Sookie, offering her his arm. She had to admit he looked good in black, tonight he was wearing a expensive black suit and she had little doubt it was made by some famous designer.

Agreeing, she accepted his arm, nodding at Pam as they came near. Pam smiled and waved back and it was a relief to Sookie that Pam no longer saw her as something foul.

Chapter 3

The office was deathly quiet compared to the party out in the bar. Noticing he had put his sword and crown back on display-in a secure shatterproof clear case that she suspected had some kind of theft proof device in or around it somewhere. She knew how much family meant to him, though she knew he would never come right out and say it. "So…..everything looked great out there. I bet it feels good to have the bar back. The governor should never have taken it from you to begin with."

"No he shouldn't have. I must give Bill credit for his rather…creative dispatching of the governor. How he managed to get away with it though, I am impressed."

Having read the book Bill had written, Sookie suspected that somehow, a little deal making and some glamouring had worked hand in hand. Plus the revelation of the vamp camp to the world was certainly enough in itself to see that Truman Burrell was not much different than Hitler and perhaps the world was better off without him. "don't worry, I won't tell him you spoke kindly of him. wouldn't want o ruin that hard Viking exterior of yours. Although I think he…and certainly I…know better." she smiled as he went to sit at his desk, taking out a couple of small pendants, both shaped like a tooth and she herself saw he was wearing one of his own. She'd seen it before.

"This is all I have left of her. Of them" Eric lifted one of the teeth up, the carvings illegible to Sookie could see clearly these meant a great deal to him. "Godric crafted them when we became a family of three. Made of ivory, he carved them himself. They say only a few words but it's a powerful reminder of the past and future."

"What do they say?"

"All three say four words. Family. Survival. Loyalty. Fierceness." he replied. "He believed those things would be what kept us strong and together." he put the two pendants back in a drawer, avoiding her gaze.

"I know you miss them. But you need to remember what you still have. Willa. Pam. Bill, I guess you could now consider a friend. And me. You've not lost everything. And now, you've got your bar back. So let's go out there and try to have a good time, ok?"

He looked up and had to smile, seeing her eagerness. "I would enjoy sitting back in my throne, if you would join me. I can get Pam to bring out another seat for you."

"Great." Sookie smiled but then frowned. "Crap, I forgot my purse in the limo. I'll be right back." she left the office and as she made her way out of the bar, saw Jess and Jason still having a blast and Bill still chatting with vamps and humans alike about his book. She had to climb into the limo and grabbed her purse. And then, the door was shut on her face, hitting her nose and forcing her backwards into the waiting arms of something brutish..

Chapter 4

"You really think you can take me down? You have no idea who you're dealing with." Sookie fought against the man trying to restrain her with silver chains. A second figure entered the back as the limo began to move.

"Oh, we surely do know." a gravelly voice countered as he plunged something into her side as she began conjuring some of her light, ready to strike out. As she also tried to lash out with her fangs, she felt her strength begin to wane. But silver had no real effect on her. "Iron." the voice sneered at her. "Faeries are weakened and can even be killed by iron. Not you, I would think, since you are some freaky mix. But you're what we have wanted for a very long time. More walk later, why not take a little nap?" Striking her hard in the head, the second kidnapper bound her tight in bands of iron, doing their best to make sure their prize didn't get away.

Back at Fangtasia

He sat in his throne, but for a moment before shooting to his feet. "What is it?" Pam asked from her own chair beside him. She had prepared a third seat for Sookie but he didn't answer, racing from the bar out into the night. Bill had seen him and with Jason and Jessica noticing the agitated Viking, they too joined him in the parking lot. "The limo's gone." Bill frowned.

"I can feel her fear. And she's in danger, clearly." Eric replied as Pam too joined them out in the parking lot. "I can track her, I had her blood very recently-" he went to take off into the sky but Bill stopped him.

"There's a note." Bill said, taking it off the ground. "Its addressed to you."

Angrily, Eric took it from Bill and scanned the words, shaking his head. "If we come after them, they've got ways to….eliminate her. They say to await instructions if we want her back…in one piece."

"I don't think they'd kill her, I would think they came after her because of what she is." Jason's anger was trumping his earlier embarrassment with the Viking.

"We can't take a chance. Not with her life. Anyone can be killed by decapitation." Pam reminded them, crossing her arms over her chest.

Bill looked around at their little group. "Then we're stuck until we hear anything else. To think we could track them down-"

"I won't risk her life and I know you wouldn't either. As much as I hate standing around, I've lost too much and…..let's finish the party and go from there."

"We can't do t much tonight….it won't be long until dawn." Jessica pointed out, none too pleased about that fact, she, like the rest of them, wanted nothing more than to follow Eric after the kidnappers. "I wonder just what they wanted with her."

Chapter 5

She awoke in a cage that was little larger than an average bathroom. The bars, of course, would be made of iron and she was shackled with iron. It would keep her weak enough that none of her abilities, faerie or vampire, would be remotely enough to get her out of here. "What do you want with me?" she asked the three men, looking at her with a perverse interest.

They were all very large men, clad in biker style clothes, each more vicious looking than the next. "We heard there was some new kind of vamp blood to try out. We overheard your brother at the police station talking about you to sheriff Andy Bellefleur Apparently, your combination of vamp and faerie is quite rare, we wanted to see what your blood could do. If its rare, then we think we would make quite a lot of money off it we got off on bail for driving drunk. . A slap on the wrist, really."

"So….you've v-addicts or something trashy like that?" Sookie spat. "I don't know what my blood would do to humans now, if anything is different." she wanted to throttle Jason for talking about her in front of less than savory characters. She would certainly be having a chat with him, if she managed to get out of this mess.

"We are simply trying to expand out horizons." one of the men, apparently the leader, said. "But how rude we have not introduced ourselves. My name is Rock. And these two are Viper and Falcon. You didn't really think we'd give our real names, now did you?"

"And you don't really think my friends will let you get away with this. They will be after you. You can count on that.

The trio looked unconcerned. "As long as we have you, we've basically got the Viking neutered." Viper said with a menacing grin. "We'll get what we want out of you and then from him. Any missteps and they will certainly never see you again. If your blood is as powerful as we think it is, we won't kill you but you'll certainly never be free again. Our personal supply of cash."

Disgusted, she was helpless as Rock opened her cage and took out some blood taking supplies. As the needle went into her arm, she tried in vain to get something accomplished. It surprised herself as she heard rather feral noises coming from her own mouth. "My friends. Will. Save me. And if you think any of them will be lenient-" a blow to the face left her dizzy, blood trickling from her lip. Rock leaned in and slowly licked it up, savoring it. "Delicious. But I want the main course." jabbing the needle in further, Sookie let out a terrible scream as the other two moved in like vultures.

Chapter 6

The three vampires had started getting the bleeds before Jason managed to convince them they needed to get some rest if they were to get Sookie back. Tired vamps, he had pointed out, were not going to be much help for Sookie. No sooner had night fallen the day after she was taken, they gathered in Bill's lavish living room to discuss their next move. Then Eric's cell phone rang, the number displayed on screen was familiar. Answering it, he put it on speakerphone so everyone could hear. And it was a long, pained scream they all recognized and cringed at.

"You like that? It is only the beginning for her, I am afraid. So, you want to begin our little game? To try to get her back? I say try because the three of us have all sampled what she has to offer and we are stronger than we expected to be. Bending steel bars, faster….it's better than the average vamp blood. So I am sorry to say there won't be any rescue mission. We're keeping her for ourselves." and with that the call was ended.

Jason had been on the phone with Andy, who was tied up in other matters, such as hiring a new police crew to replace the late Kenya and Kevin, killed during the melee of the hep-v crisis. "Andy gave me some information and I think I know who those guys were. Andy reminded me of our conversation the other day….I kinda talked about Sookie in front of these bikers who were being released from jail. I didn't think they were listening."

"Your ignorance astounds me." Eric snapped as he took Jason by the neck and held him up, his feet dangling. "So what else?"

Gasping to breathe, Jason continued. "They run a bike shop just outside Bon Temps. Three of them. All big and beefy but not the smartest bunch of guys either."

"Same could be said for you." retorted Eric.

"I can take us to their place but its pretty big." Jason said.

Dropping him, Eric looked around at Pam, Bill and Jess. "You all ready for little drive?"

Nodding, they all clamored into Bill's SUV and made their way towards where they could only hope Sookie was being held.

Chapter 7

All three brutes were reveling in their new strength, speed and overall enhanced abilities. Overhearing their discussion to take out their competition in the motorcycle repair business using said abilities, Sookie had a uneasy feeling it would escalate quickly, that many innocent people would use their lives because these three had a newfound lust for her super powered blood. Trying again and again, she was barely able to conjure her light. Thanks to them helping themselves to her blood, she was weak. But she also knew they were aware that if they took any more of it, it could kill her. Which brought them to their next idea for her.

"We're thinking about moving you to a more secure location. Somewhere your friends could never find you."

Sookie laughed. "They can find me. Two of them are vamps and one's had my blood very recently. They can track me down, no problem. Knowing my friends, they may even bring others along for the party."

The three looked at her before bursting into laughter. "You think we ain't prepared for a fight? We've got a arsenal all set to take out any vamp that crosses our path and with your blood, we'll make short work of them."

"Looks like my blood's made you overconfident and extra stupid." Sookie said, as she tried to sit up. But thanks to the iron bands , she was barely able to sit up.

"You'd better eat and drink up so we can get a blood supply going again." Rock nodded to the tray of food they'd thrown into her cage. "We figure we can sell your blood for quite a lot of money too. you're going to be a cash cow for us." Falcon and Viper nodded.

"My friends are going to rip you to pieces." Sookie said, spitting through the bars, hitting Falcon in the eye. Angrily, he lunged toward her, trying to get through the bars. But the space between was too narrow and she laughed tauntingly at him. "And I can't wait until I get out of here, I just hope I get to get a piece of y'all too."

They all laughed again as they took part in a round of beer. "Falcon and Viper are going out for some supplies to keep you from causing any trouble. Got the list?" Rock looked at his companions, who nodded. Sookie had a feeling that some of the supplies were not to be found in just any old store. "We've got connections to some pretty sweet products." Rock explained cryptically. He left the room and she heard the door lock behind him. The room she was being kept in was not large but about the size of the average living room. She knew she needed to keep her strength up as best she could and so she ate and drank everything they had provided her. She didn't want to think about the amount of blood that had been taken from her. A letter had arrived in her bathroom right before all of this happened, her grandfather revealing more secrets about what he knew about the very rare race she now belonged to. Her blood would replenish far faster than a ordinary human but not too fast. As it was, she felt like she could just pass out at any moment. Or worse.

Chapter 8

They all returned within the hour and packed her cage up in the back of a large U-Haul van. Driving for what felt like an eternity, they came to a stop, the beeping of the vehicle backing up very audible to the prisoner in the back. Using not a forklift but their ill gained strength, the three unloaded her and instead of leaving her in the cage, took the iron bound Sookie to a small room in the basement of whatever place this was. For added protection, Viper injected her with a powerful drug that made her woozy and removed what fight she was trying to put up from her.

"You know, I still do need to make use of the bathroom." she snapped at them once they ensured she was securely in place, bound by her wrists and ankles, only able to walk a few paces.

"There's a bucket over there for ya." Rock laughed, nodding to the old paint bucket in the corner. "And to make certain you remain tame for us-" he nodded at Falcon, who grabbed her and injected her with more of the drug that made her woozy and weak feeling. "A mix of sedatives that we assume won't kill you, being what you are. But we don't need you escaping. Though this room is as strong as any bunker, we are not letting our cash cow-slash-pick me up get away. And when your friends do inevitably track us down, I will be sure to give them the welcome they deserve. Do they prefer silver or wooden bullets?"

Furious, she tried again to gather her magic, a feeble flicker of light forming. Still not enough to break her free. Knowing that if she could at least break free of the iron chains, she could recover fairly fast, even with the blood loss. As much as she hated being a damsel in distress, she had not choice in the matter right now.

Chapter 9

They had bypassed the biker's shop as Eric had known they were no longer there. They drove almost a hour outside Bon Temps, arriving at a abandoned looking warehouse that eerily resembled a fortress of sorts. "I don't like the looks of this place." Jason said, drawiing his weapon slowly. Pam, Bill and Eric were looking around carefully, trying to discern anything unwelcome that may be lurking about.

"Jeremy Randall, Craig Wilson and Ray Blakely. AKA Falcon, Rock and Viper." Jason had dug out the information at the police station on their way to this place. "All of them uglier than the next."

"And about to get uglier once we get out hands on them." Pam said excited at the likelihood of violence. "Tell me you aren't trying to take the lead here." she gave Jason a appraising look. "You are the one who allowed Sarah Newlin to run off after all."

"I think it would be wise for some of us to remain outside in case of any escape attempts. If the culprits are even here. Jason should be the one to remain out here and should have at least one of us remain with him." Bill advised. It became obvious quickly that it was not about to be either Pam or Eric, judging by their faces of incredulity.

"I'll stay out here with him." Jessica offered. "Do you think we should call on anyone else?"

"Willa is working at the bar this evening and I am not going to get her involved." Eric replied "I think, after all we have faced, we can handle a few jumped up humans."

"Humans who've had Sookie's blood." Jason pointed out. "She told me on the phone the other night what Niall had said in a letter. Vamp-faerie blood? It's far stronger than even the oldest vampire blood." Jason looked at Eric as he said this. "Just watch your backs in there, who knows what they may be capable of."

"Hopefully they aren't here." Jessica said hopefully.

"With a catch like Sookie, I don't think that would be the case. You two watch out for each other and be careful." Bill ordered.

"Enough talking. Let's go in." Eric said, making a beeline for the front entrance. Opening the door with surprisingly no challenge, it put the vampires on notice. It was obvious the rest of the way in would not be easy and if these bikers were smart, they would make things harder and harder for them as they came in further to the building. The spring-loaded trap was silent and speed was on their side for the most part. But struck by one of the darts, Bill went down, poisoned by the silver in the dart. It was a deadly dose, just below the killing point. They were left barely moving obviously too weak to continue on, Eric ordered Pam to get him out of the building, as she obeyed his orders, another dart was released and she was taken down as well cursing under his breath, Eric moved fast, getting the weakened vampires out of the building, putting them in the SUV to the stunned face of Jason.

Chapter 10

The bikers grinned and gave each other thumbs up signs as they watched the last vampire standing remove his companions from further harm. But he returned, clearly not in the best of moods. "Come out and fight, cowards. You'll find I'm a little less simple to take out!"

They silently watched the blonde vampire stalk deeper into the building. From their vantage point, they were ready to unleash something with a little more power to it. Their greed for Sookie's blood had given them another idea. True, her blood was far superior but blood from a thousand year old Viking vampire was nothing to sneeze at either. They were aiming for a pair to make money off of and had no qualms about injuring him to get him to join Sookie in the secret chamber. One by one, the three armed bikers jumped down the 40 feet, landing on their feet, brandishing various anti vampire devices. Knowing they were capable of more than they appeared, the smirk quickly left Eric's face as he went for Viper, as fast as he was, the three bikers were a force of their own, managing to get a thicker than normal silver net thrown over him, weights on the sides of it pinning him to the cement floor. But in the chaos, and in their lust and greed, Viper and Falcon found two of the silver stakes they had wielded embedded in their sides. Bleeding out profusely, it was clear there would be no saving them.

"No matter, you managed to kill those two. And I know you brought friends out there. But let me remind you, I still have the upper hand and if you try anything funny-"

"I don't want to hear your empty threats. I know what she means to you. You see dollar signs and fame. But you won't keep her, I promise you that."

"No. I won't keep her. I'll keep you and her." taking some silver spray concealed in his denim jacket, Rock leaned over and sprayed Eric in the face, the pained noises flowing even through the walls of the underground room Sookie was in.

Chapter 11

Sookie panicked as she heard the unmistakable noise from above, a sound she never would have heard if not for her enhanced hearing. "No….." she said, her hopes for a quick rescue on the line. Several minutes later, Rock entered the room, looking smug and confident.

"Don't think I don't give you anything." Rock threw down the silver net wrapped vampire, tied up with even more silver chains, creating a cocoon around Eric, who was struggling to put up a fight to get out. Laughing, rock kicked his prize hard several times, to the fury of Sookie. "I used his cell to deliver a message to your friends out there. If they even try to come in, I'll ensure they meet a fate worse than the two he came in with." Rock nodded down at the vampire. Leaving the bunker, Sookie was left alone with Eric, who looked up at her in the cage.

"Are you alright?" he asked , still trying to get out, only to get weaker by the second.

Teary eyed, she shook her head. "They want to use me like a cow, taking my blood little by little and…."

"I figured as much. And that's why I'm here now too, the second tier quality blood, it would seem. But I killed two of them. Pam and Bill got silver poisoning and your brother and Jessica are outside."

"I want them as far away from here as possible, too many people are getting hurt or worse because of me. I am so sick of it." as she let her anger percolate, the light she had been trying to conjure sparked brighter. She looked from it to Eric. Getting an idea, she used her emotions. Her fear, sadness, anger and everything else she was feeling channeled into her power. And the light grew brighter until it was let loose, destroying the bands trapping her and blowing out the door to the cage. Already feeling stronger once out of it, she made quick work of releasing him from the heavy netting.

"Nice work." he said approvingly as he got to his feet, the burns from the silver beginning to heal immediately.

Beaming, her smile faded, replaced by a look of fury. "Let's take him out before anyone else is hurt."

"As long as we can make it slow and painful. It's been some time since I've been given the opportunity to torture some murderous blood bag." Eric said with a scowl. "I want to make him pay for what he did to you."

Cringing at what ideas were going through his head, Sookie shook her head. "God help me, I have the urge to join you in that. Maybe I'm more vamp than anyone thought."

"You say it like it's a bad thing." he replied as they crept out of the room, knowing Rock could be anywhere just waiting to spring another trap on them. Instead, they saw him at tale, his back to them. He appeared to be putting the blood he drained from Sookie into vials, no doubt to use and to sell. So distracted by the thoughts of how much profit was to be had, he was foolish to be so careless. though still fueled by her blood, Rock was ill prepared for the wrath of a pair of formidable and angry beings. Grabbing the biker by the neck, Eric flung him to the ground and put a foot hard down on his chest.

"You treated my friend here quite unkindly. And I think she has the right to take her revenge on you. With whatever I leave left." with one hand, he tore off the bikers left arm and tossed it aside like garbage. "I could use a little snack too." he looked over at Sookie. "Do you mind? Then you can have fun if you want."

All she could do was nod as she watched him crouch, lean over the neck of Rock and proceed to take some deep gulps of the screaming man. Stopping after a few moments, Eric got back up and waved Sookie over. But all she could do was stare at the carnage. Then the anger, the sight of her blood on the table in the vials percolated again. And it felt like an out of body experience as she took the other arm off of the heavily bleeding man, tossing it aside with a dull thud. The fire in her eyes was matched only by the massive light forming around her , blasting downward at the thrashing Rock. In a instant, the screams were gone and all that remained of him was the metal chain from his wallet.

It took a lot to impress him but judging by the stunned look on Eric's face, Sookie thought she had succeeded with flying colors. "That felt disturbingly good. Maybe you aren't a good influence on me." she frowned at him before turning the frown into a small smile."

Just then, Jason and Jessica burst into the room and saw the splattering of blood on the walls and floor. Seeing the blood on his sister, Jason looked as stunned as Eric had been. "You okay, sis? We Didn't want to do anything rash but then it was taking too long….we had a plan ready to go-"

"We're fine, I'll tell you everything later." she replied.

"Bill and Pam are fine. They just woke up and Jason gave them a little blood to try to weaken the silver in them. But I think they will be fine by the time we get back to the bar. Pam's already swearing up a blue streak about not being in the fight and they are both able to move again. So, do you want to go home and skip the rest of the party at the bar or-? Jessica looked at Sookie.

"I want to get back to the party. After getting cleaned up of course." she replied. And together, she and the others returned to the SUV to check on their friends and try to salvage what was left of the waning night time.

The End

#4-Rekindled

Chapter 1

She was back at the bar working. Arlene ad been more than glad to make sure Sookie still had a job at the former Merlotte's. now putting on a white shirt with Bellefleur's, it still seemed strange to Sookie about this change. Then again, her life in the last weeks had certainly been full of them. In the past month, she had become part vampire, been kidnapped by people wanting her ultra rare blood and was trying to rekindle her relationship with Eric. But every time they tried to, they were interrupted by some trouble or another. Tonight, she was headed over to his place so they could finally get a long awaited conversation in. they had a lot they needed to discuss.

"So, looks like tips have been good for you." Arlene said as she watched Sookie put some bills in her apron. "Business has gone way up again since the whole hep-vamp mess ended. Now people want to come here, like a tourist spot or something. And you, of course, helped try to stop the whole thing."

"it's nice hearing people's thoughts for once, I guess." Sookie replied as she sipped a glass of iced tea. "People seem to kind of respect me a little now. And its not just because of, well….." Sookie popped out her fangs for a moment before making them vanish again.

Arlene winced only slightly "That's taking me some getting used to, I ain't gonna lie. But the fact you did that to save your vamp friends….."

"I always said Sookie's got bite." Lafayette strolled out from the kitchen and smirked. "And now, she really, really does."

Sookie laughed. It had been hard telling the rest of her friends about her new status as a half vamp half faerie. But they had all accepted it and not a single one of them made her feel badly about her decision. She had been impressed by Arlene's reaction and was glad to see her acceptance of the supernatural was vastly improved. Sam too, who was busy tending to Nicole and their unborn baby was making the extra effort to be there in support. And it was friends like these who here proving so valuable to Sookie. "I don't plan on using those things unless I really have to. I'm just lucky that my faerie part is the dominant one. So really, I've really gained more than anything."

"Well its is good to have little sassy Sookie back here at work." Lafayette said as he returned to the kitchen. "Ain't been the same without ya."

"So. Tonight's the night?" Arlene gestured for Sookie to take a seat at a booth. It was a rare lull in the action and so they sat across from each other. Sookie had revealed much to Arlene, who had kind of filled the void that Tara had left behind. Not that anyone could ever truly replace Tara.

"We're just going to talk….I've never been to his place before though. I told him when he called last night I thought he and Pam lived in the basement of Fangtasia, just needing coffins as they do. But they both have their own homes in a gated community. Not exactly the low rent district"

"Well, you enjoy yourself tonight." Arlene said with a wink.

Sookie shook her head. "I'm not planning on anything happening but for talking. After everything that's happened the last months…I'm still trying to process things really."

A influx of customers entered at that time, much to Sookie's relief as she and Arlene got up. "Well, either way, you try to have a nice time. Lord knows you deserve some happiness, its been a little overdue for you."

Giving her boss and friend a hug, Sookie greeted the people and got to work getting them to tables, her mind for the moment, on the task at hand rather than her upcoming evening.

She didn't know just what to wear and so just wore some jeans and a pale lilac blouse, simple purple studs in her ears and her hair pulled back into her usual ponytail. As she drove closer and closer to his place, double checking the directions he'd given her, she pulled up to the ornate black gates where a guard sat in a small booth.

"Good evening miss. How may I help you?" the 40 something man with muscles on top of muscles asked after she rolled down her car window.

"I'm Sookie Stackhouse. I'm here to visit-"

The guard looked wide-eyed at her. "I should have let you in straightaway, I apologize, he told me what you looked like….you're here to see Eric Northman….please, go on in." he pushed a button and the gates slid open silently. Knowing the fear the vampire could easily instill in people, she entered the complex slowly, taking in the massive homes that were lit softly, a calming peace falling upon her. There was no home that seemed to have less than a three car garage or lacked a fancy patio and swimming pool. Lawn after sprawling lawn she passed as the houses became more and more spread out, thought the distance between them was already massive. Then she came to a cul-de-sac and saw the stately grey house that strongly reminded her of a medieval castle, turrets and all. It sat up on a small hill that was by no means steep. Parking at the curb, she timidly got out of the car and pushed a button at the gate. Moments later, the double wide, intricately carved wooden doors opened as a blur raced out and made the trip down the winding driveway.

Letting her in, Pam smiled. "Hey there Sookie. I was about to leave and give you two some privacy. But I have to say, I heard about your helping dispose of that biker. I am impressed and its good to have you among our ranks."

"Thanks Pam. But I'm not entirely-"

"You're enough and have certainly done enough to get into my good books. And that's not easy to do. My place is a few houses down and down a side street. Just as isolated as his place it. I don't like nosy neighbors. Anyway. Have fun." Pam nodded at Sookie before vanishing into the night. Left alone, Sookie heard the gate close behind her. Walking up the drive, she felt butterflies beginning to stir on her stomach. It wasn't as if they were strangers. Far from it, they had been together in every way possible. Yet, this new start was a little scary to her, but for once, it felt like a good kind of scary.

Approaching the double wooden doors with brass handles, she timidly rapped on the door with the doorknocker. It was not a loud noise by any means but she knew without a doubt he would hear it. And seconds later, the door unlocked and was opened, revealing a very casually dressed Eric. Wearing grey tank top and a pair of black tracksuit pants, he looked at her with a arched eyebrow. "Glad you found the place okay. Any trouble from the guard? I told him if he gave you any trouble-"

"I could have handled it fine if he'd given me any crap." Sookie grinned brightly. "Have you forgotten who you're talking to?"

"Point taken. Come in." he backed up to let her inside. Taking her small handbag she brought with her, he hung it on a iron coat rack that on closer inspection, Sookie saw it depicted a headless skeleton. Macabre, yes but it would suit the Viking to a tee, she knew that much. Looking around, she saw that at least the ground floor was done in navy blues, grays, white and splashes of burgundy here and there. "Pam helped design this place years ago. I'm not exactly the interior designer type."

"No. you're the ripping body parts off, type." Sookie replied as she looked around the surroundings. "But it's a nice place. Cozy but clearly Pam added a so slight soft touch to it." her gaze fell to a wall in the living room where a display of ancient looking weapons ranging from crossbows to the very familiar sword hung behind a thick panel of most likely shatterproof material. The crown of his father was there as well. "The axes give the place a warm, girly feel." joked Sookie as she looked at him.

"Behave or you won't get a look at the other floors and I am most proud of the basement."

"its nothing like what's at Fangtasia, is it?" Sookie made a face, memories of things she had seen and experienced in that place not exactly having faded.

He raised a eyebrow but shook his head. "I do prefer keeping business and pleasure separate."

After showing her the rest of the house and that the basement had nothing for her to fear, they returned to the living room where she sat in a leather armchair while he lounged on a matching couch. "thanks for the drink." she said, nodding to the glass of wine he'd brought out of the small kitchen. He admitted he really didn't need it save for those rare times he had any human company. As it was, the fridge was sparse, with bottles blood, water and there was a large wine cooler as well.

"There's some food in a pantry, Pam decided it would be good to keep some around in case you happened by. Better late than never and I hope this won't be the last time you come here."

Sipping her wine, she set it on the glass coffee table. "This place is great. But I think its time for us to have the conversation we've not had the time to have."

Chapter 2

"Yes, I guess we do need to talk. a lot has happened." he agreed, not exactly in the mood for a long conversation. He had his mind on other things but was determined to give her his full attention and respect which she deserved.

"The night you came back to town after being gone for all those months….I was starting to think I'd never see you again. I was fearing the worst. And then when I saw you were sick, I feared that e worst was still likely. And now with what I am, a fairy-vamp hybrid, well, I guess I just want to be happy." Sookie sighed. "Maybe I am getting what I deserve for being so horrible to you. After you gave me my house back, I showed my gratitude by rescinding your invitation." she hung her head as he silently walked over to her and took her hands, pulling her to her feet.

"I will not ever claim to have been a saint. I know we have caused each other pain. What I want to know is….if you will be mine. I will not try to trick, coerce or guilt you into anything. I've told you things of my past. Of Sylvie. You remind me of her in many ways but I realize you are your own person. A person I love. You are a rare person who has been able to knock down the walls I have put up and as much as I try to fight it, you have given me back some of my humanity. Which I grudgingly admit has not been the worst thing."

Touched by his frankness, she leaned into his chest. "I can hear your heart. I know it's not really beating, but I can feel the caring, the love that's in you. And that's why I am choosing you." she looked up at him and saw the icy blue eyes melt, something they did for very few people. As he kissed her, he scooped her up and brought her to his large, windowless bedroom where they spent many blissful hours reconnecting in more ways than one. Hours later, they were wrapped in the black silk sheets, Sookie curled up sleeping against his cool skin, Eric stroking her blonde hair slowly, almost dreamily. After all the loss, the heartache and sacrifices made, did he dare hope, believe that he could have found happiness?

Chapter 3

She slept soundly, not waking until the sun was setting the next evening. She felt more rested than she had in a very long time and was grateful for it. Turning to her left, she couldn't help but count her blessings and be grateful for what she had now, and before. She would never forget those who had passed on in recent weeks and years but it seemed that it was thanks to the person beside her who had never given up on her that she was finally feeling like she could let go of some of the inner turmoil and pain she felt. Silently, she scooted out of the bed as she took a last look at Eric, slumbering soundly. Wanting to get another look at his spacious home, she gave herself a guided tour of the place and it was even more impressive than before. There came a knock at the door and frowning, she wondered what Pam wanted, and why she would even bother knocking.

"Pam, I would thing you'd have a key-" Sookie pulled open the door, expecting her new friend. Instead, there was a delivery man dressed in a postal uniform. "You're not Pam."

"No, not a far as I know….but I do have a package that needs to be signed for." the man held out a cardboard box, a clipboard on top of it, meant for her to sign.

Looking at the board, she moved it to see the return address. Something was fishy, no one could just come up to the door of Eric's house. But with her talents, she still felt reasonably safe and that she could handle anything. The return address was blank save for a single name. "Marnie Stonebrook?" Sookie frowned as she passed the package back to the man. "I'm sorry, I really don't want-" she felt something wash over her, freezing her in place. The delivery man smirked.

"Yes, I am well aware of her untimely passing. I know its been some time but she did pass something on to me, her sole surviving family member. I am Kyle Stonebrook, her cousin and even in death, she sends her kindest regards-" he was interrupted by Pam, who had grabbed him from behind and tossed him to the ground. Stepping on his throat with a stiletto heel, she leaned down to speak to him. The package was on the lawn as Eric came out to see what the commotion was all about. "Ah, that's who I hoped to see….I may not have my sisters talents but she did teach me the one thing I needed to know to avenge her death." swiftly, Kyle began chanting a string of strange sounding words. The package on the ground opened on its own as a small quarter sized crystal emerged. Polished and with many facets, it flashed angry shades of red as he finished his spell. Sookie tried to use her power to stop it. But she was still frozen and it was then Pam found herself in the same predicament. The stone blasted forward and embedded itself firmly in Eric's chest, knocking him backwards. As Pam and Sookie were unfrozen, they rushed to the unconscious vampire as Kyle laughed.

"What did you do to him?" Pam demanded.

"Let's just say he won't be cuddling with his precious little fairy anytime soon. I'd be willing to bet the romance is deader than he is." Kyle laughed. Angrily, Pam launched herself at him and in seconds, the man was decapitated, blood slickening the lawn.

"He was about to die, I smelled the cyanide capsule on his breath. "It was a kamikaze mission." Sookie sighed as they crouched beside Eric. Undoing his shirt, Pam gasped as they saw the entrance wound the stone had left. It was not gory, but healed over, save for the ominous symbol that both of them recognized.

"The devil?" Pam said with a frown. "Or something equally evil…"

"My friend Holly may know, she knows a lot about magic. But what its done or doing to him is anyone's-" Sookie was caught off guard by a arm striking her down, knocking her right into Pam. Both women looked stunned as the Viking circled them, merciless blue eyes glowering at them. Pam shot to her feet and tried to take him by the arm.

"Snap out of it! What's wrong wit you? It us!" Pam pleaded as he struck her, causing her to stumble backwards a few paces.

"I want you both gone. Before I really get angry. I no longer have need of either of you and if you should ever cross my path again? Well, let's say I won't be as lenient as I am being now. Now go." standing there before them Sookie felt that certainly some enchantment had indeed taken him over. Persistent as se ever was, she stood her ground.

"Why are you doing this? Just exactly what have we done? We're friends." She said, cringing at how corny she likely sounded. Fear and desperation could make one say anything, Sookie supposed as she awaited a response.

"I don't need either of you. I've realized I am not living to my potential and I intend to rectify that. I will complete Marnie's work and then it will be over once and for all." Eric replied. And with those chilling words he tuned his back to them. "You have five seconds to leave."

Chapter 4

Sookie and Pam were silent as they drove as far from the gated community as possible. "I remember every detail of that stone that entered him. But if Holly knows anything about it-" Pam said, trailing off.

"Marnie's getting her vengeance from the grave. She wanted to get rid of all vamps and wanted desperately to make Eric hers. And she seems to have done it." Sookie was blinking back tears. "Why do I have a bad feeling that the only way to end this is to-"

Pam glared at Sookie. "We won't have to stake him. You and that magic of yours broke a spell of Marnie's before and you'll do it again."

"Something feels different this time though. Maybe its my faerie and vampire sides giving me extra powers or something. But I felt the power coming from that stone. Its going to take more than what I have to break this magic."

They remained quiet as they pulled up to Bellefleurs. Entering the bar, Sookie made a beeline for Holly who had just cleared a table. The place was swamped but right now, Sookie plain didn't care.

"Sookie! We could use extra hands…Jess and Jason are out of town otherwise she'd be in-" Holly stopped as she saw the look in Sookie's eyes. "Something's wrong." it was then she noticed Pam's presence, a extremely rare thing indeed.

Arlene noticed Sookie's return to the bar and hurried over, eager to hear of her evening. "Well? How did it go?" she asked, too excited to notice the panic on Sookie's face right away.

"Considering we both were kicked off his property with the threat of bodily harm or worse, I would say her time with him was less than perfection." Pam snapped.

"We need to talk to Holly, so if you could try to hold down the fort, I'd really appreciate it." Sookie said to Arlene who nodded.

"Ok. Whatever you need Sookie." Arlene looked at Sookie with concern as more customers entered the bar.

Entering the office that was once Sam's, Sookie closed the door when Pam and Holly had both entered. Blurting out everything she and Pam had witnessed, Holly looked stunned. "Marnie was more clever than I could have imagined. Planning for something after she was gone….what a sick and twisted bit-"

"The point it, even with me being what I am now, there is no way I can undo what's been done. What do you think it was anyway?"

Her face darkened as she sat down on a chair. "It sounds like a spell to bind the heart. Even though his doesn't beat, he still can feel, has emotions. What that stone is doing to him is cutting him completely off from any sentiment, any caring. Any love he has for anyone is gone until that is removed from him. And as strong as he already is, I suspect the stone within will give him even more power and strength. It ain't going to be easy. And you may well have to-"

"Don't you dare freaking say it." Pam shouted. "We. Are not going to kill him. That is not going to be an option."

"Then you'd best find some way to stop him him long enough for the stone to be taken out. The longer it remains, the stronger it becomes. Until it becomes permanent. And you say he is to be used to vanquish all vampires?"

They nodded. "And I would be willing to bet he would off himself afterward. It may seem like a daunting task to kill all vamps, but keep in mind who this vamp is." Sookie said with a shudder. "I would think we maybe, have a matter of days to stop him. I would much rather stop him before he starts this killing spree though."

"You aren't as much fun as I was thinking you'd be." Pam made a attempt at humor before her small smile faded. "I take it we aren't going to go it alone. That you'll bring in-"

"Whoever is willing to help us. " Sookie said. "Thanks Holly. You….you'll help us if we need it, right?"

Holly looked less than enthusiastic but nodded. "Friends are always there for each other Sookie. But please, be careful."

Chapter 5

The bar was dead silent as he made his way inside, looking around at the fangbangers and vampires who had stopped at his entrance. Throne still in tact up on the raised stage area, he looked at a group of vampires who were staring right back at him. "All humans need to leave. Now!" he roared, his voice echoing throughout the bar. Knowing the reputation of the Viking vampire, no human was foolish enough to remain and so he was left with a dozen or so vampires who looked befuddled.

"There's still time before last call." the bartender who had since replaced Tara looked at her boss in confusion. There was a blur and the female vamp was reduced to goo. Wordlessly, Eric went from one to the next, staking every last one of them. There would be some time left to go out this evening to keep on doing what he needed to do. But something inside him was beginning to irritate him. Telling him it was wrong. He saw a flash of images in his mind as he watched himself assault Pam and Sookie and for a moment, he was horrified. But it soon faded as the mark on his chest burned furious, erasing the fleeting emotional regret that should not have been able to come out.

Stalking through alleys and parks, he made quick work of another thirty vampires before being forced to go to ground. Knowing he would be hunted down, he hunkered down back in his house, making sure the security alarm was working. He would take no chances in having Marnie's work interrupted, or worse, stopped.

Chapter 6

Bill, Sookie was distressed to hear, was on a second round of his book tour, having traveled to Europe this time. She had sent him a voice mail and several texts but had yet to hear back from him. "So…..I guess its just us." she looked around her living room at her tiny group of companions she had managed to get a hold of. Willa and Pam were all that she could muster, Andy having to hold down the fort with Jason out of town, though he promised to come to their aid if things became dire. Not that things weren't already dire, but Sookie knew that the town needed protection too.

"So this is it then? Not that any of us are weak, but how are three girls going to stop a thousand year old vampire who's been spelled with god knows what?" Willa was concerned for her maker, especially since their relationship had greatly improved. He had come to teach her a great deal of fighting techniques and had even set aside a bedroom for her at his home.

Sookie hung her phone up again, trying once more to get a ho ld of Bill. "Still no answer but-"

The door was knocked on as she ran to answer it. And there he was, her ex, looking a little haggard but still managed a crooked smile. "Sookie. As you can see, I got your message."

Relieved, she let him in and hugged him. "You have no idea how glad I am to see you. I know the message I left you was a little jumbled but…" she recounted everything that had happened to this point and Bill looked angered.

"That witch….I never would have given a thought to her leaving something behind." Bill said as he accepted a true blood from Sookie.

"None of us did." Pam replied. "It was a unpleasant surprise, to say the least."

Then Sookie's phone rang. "Yes?" she answered. "Andy! is something wrong?"

"I need you to turn on the news. I happened to overhear something on the radio and had a feeling that the tv would have better coverage." Andy's voice was audible to everyone in the room. Flipping it on, Sookie and the others saw the carnage on the screen. Remains of dead vamps were scattered everywhere and Sookie nearly dropped her phone. "From what you told me, I think your vamp friend is the one that did it."

Swallowing a lump in her throat, Sookie nodded. "I think so too, but he's not in his right mind, like I explained."

"You all be careful and remember, I can come help if absolutely necessary. The new deputies I hired ain't really ready to be left unattended here. Need a lot of training still."

"No, I get it. " Sookie said. "Thanks Andy." she hung up the phone as she looked at her friends faces, unable to turn away from the screen. With a push of a button, the tv was off and the others turned to face Sookie. "As you can see, we have a very big-and tall-problem to take care of. Fast. At this rat, who knows if he will remain in Shreveport long. He could be out of state in no time going after other vamps."

Bill nodded. "I have a hunch it will take more than some silver to take him down. But with four of us, I think we can do it. We've certainly been through enough excitement to handle this latest adventure."

Sookie gave him a sad look. "And for once, just once, I was feeling…happy. We were so peaceful together and now…." she started to tear up as a comforting hand touched her shoulder. Surprisingly, it was Pam.

"He taught me all I know and together we will get things put right. But I swear, I get another pair of shoes ruined, I think he's going to owe me for the rest of his afterlife."

Forcing a smile, Sookie nodded. "Dawn's coming really soon….Pam you're welcome to Eric's cubby if you want. Willa, maybe Bill would let you stay at his place?"

Bill looked at the still upset Willa and offered her his arm. "Of course you're welcome. Shall we?"

Willa blinked back blood tears and accepted his arm. "Thank you…..I appreciate it. You know, I almost feel like I have a family again. Its….nice." she smiled at the others as she and Bill left the house. Pam looked a little uncomfortable as she and Sookie were left alone.

"Look, I'm sorry I don't have accommodations like you're used to. I don't have fancy clothes or whatever but-"

"Don't…it's….it's fine." Pam had her back to Sookie to keep her from seeing the tears cascading down. "I'm glad for you, you know. I know I have been bitchy to you over the years…but I've seen what you two mean to each other and if anything happens to me…well, I'm glad to know he's in capable hands. 'Night. " with that, Pam moved at super speed and retreated down into the cubby, leaving Sookie feeling slightly buoyed at the rare kindness shown to her by her new friend.

Chapter 7

Dressed and ready to go the next evening-after seeing yet another news report about more vampire deaths-Sookie and Pam met Willa and Bill outside, a dark SUV waiting for them. "Can you sense him, Sookie? Since you are part vamp now, I didn't know if you could-"

Shushing Bill, Sookie closed her eyes and concentrated. She hadn't had the chance to truly discover all of her potential as part vamp yet sure enough, she felt his presence. "He's back in Shreveport. In his house. For the time being."

"Let's get over there before anyone else is killed or he leaves again." Willa said. "What do you think he'll do when he sees us?"

"That's a question I am really not looking forward to getting the answer to." Sookie replied grimly. "Let's go."

Starting the vehicle, Bill had a couple ides he ran by the three women. "I've got plenty of silver nets, some silver spray in pocket sized containers."

"I get it, a silver theme." Pam said with annoyance in her voice. "But what if for some reason it doesn't work. Hope he suddenly tires and wants a nap?"

Sookie was talking on the phone to Holly. After she hung up, she looked to her friends. "Holly said once the stone gets removed, he should be fine. But that the stone also needs to be destroyed to ensure every trace of it dies along with the stone itself."

Reaching the guard booth entering the housing complex, they were immediately greeted by bullets firing at them by the same guard Sookie had met before. There were a couple others too and clearly, they had been victims of glamouring. Not wanting to kill the men, Bill managed to dodge the bullets and with Willa, managed to tie the men up with a couple of the silver chains they had in the car. Putting the three men safely in the guard booth, they let themselves into the complex, a eerie sense of dread overtaking them all.

One by one, the three vamps jumped clear over the gate, Sookie waiting on the outside, still a little unsure of her powers. Taking a deep breath, she tried to jump and wound up out jumping the other three.

"Show off." Bill smirked as she landed several feet in front of him. All of their faces fell as they soon saw there was more carnage on the front lawn, some torn and bloodied fliers scattered among the remained, claiming that there would be "job opportunities" available. And it was tempting for any vampire to get the chance to work for a vampire such as Eric. And that desire was what had led another massacre to occur. "God, there's got to be another 30, 40 here." Bill said, looking around. "The front door's open too."

Sookie made to barge into Eric's house but was grabbed by Willa. "Maybe he'll listen to me. Maybe there is something I can do…."

"You're still a baby vampire, Willa, and there is a lot you don't know about your maker. His history with being involved in magic is not exactly pleasant.

"He's told me more than you think. That he was controlled by Marnie and almost killed you. That he had to be chained in the cubby to keep from going into the sun." Willa snapped. "Like I said earlier, our relationship is a lot better and I understand him better now."

"doesn't change the fact he is under a dangerous dark magic. There is no reasoning with him and I think it may need to be me that has to deal with him. I want you three out here with nets ready to go. I will try to flush him out. "

"Let me come with. Bill and Willa can be out here at the ready. Up and down, I would suggest, if he tries to fly out of here." Pam said. It wasn't a suggestion but an order."

If you two need any help, we'll come after you." Bill wasn't exactly pleased with the plan but it was true, they would need someone to try to contain the Viking should he try to take to the skies. "We'll get the chains and nets."

Chapter 8

With silver implements of their own, Sookie carrying them all around her neck and waist, Pam and Sookie entered the house only to find yet more bloody remains of vamps. "Oh god." Sookie said as she took in the madness of it all. "He is still here….the basement."

Slowly, they crept down into the basement, making sure not to slip in yet more puddles of blood. They heard something, a groan coming from nearby. It was like whoever it was was in great pain. Pounding on the walls and putting holes into the plaster, they found Eric destroying the room around him he killed another vampire before their eyes. "He's trying to fight it." Pam noticed. "I can see it in his face. There's still a part of him left in there."

"Yeah, maybe, but clearly not enough." Sookie replied as everything went silent and he stopped, slowly turning to face them. Shirtless and shoeless and slickened with blood, he couldn't look any less of a Viking warrior than he did now. He held a axe in the left hand. His eyes met Sookie's and she saw that he was trying to break free of the nefarious magic in him. As strong as he was though, there was no way he could beat this on his own.

"Get out of here Sookie. Please. Or just…get a stake…." he pled with her as he turned to Pam. "Both of you, before…." clenching his head and then his chest the magic took over again as he lunged towards the two women, dropping the weapons with a dull thud. Using her light, she sent him flying backwards into the already damaged wall. To little effect.

"We have to get him out and into the open." Pam said to Sookie. "Let's go." grabbing Sookie's arm, Pam fled the basement, and managed to get back outside. Bill and Willa stared at the blood covered women. "It's not our blood, not yet anyway." Pam shouted as Eric came barreling out towards them. Desperate, Willa got in between Eric and the woman, boldly cupping his face.

"Please, listen. We are your friends, we want to help you. don't let this take you over. Please." Willa put her head against his chest, blood tears falling against the wicked mark on his chest. There was a squishy sound as the stone began poking out of the wound. Not expecting such a thing, Willa went to grab it only to be thrown aside by Eric.

Taking some chains, Sookie swung them just right so they wrapped around his ankles, tripping him. Pam was desperate to stop this madness and pulling up a bowling ball sized stone from the garden, she struck him in the back of the head, knocking him out. "It won't last long." she warned.

Swiftly, they rolled Eric onto his back and put a silver net over him for extra protection. As predicted, he awoke in a fury as Sookie tried to straddle him to get the stone out. Thanks to the silver, it hadn't the chance to sink back inward and she pulled. A burst of anger sent Sookie flying straight into the front wall of the unforgiving stone of the house and knocked her out cold, the stone dropped from her hand. Taking the same rock used to incapacitate Eric, Willa smashed the glowing stone into dust which evaporated.

Bill went to check on Sookie but was pushed aside by a horrified Eric. He turned to look at Pam, Willa and Bill. "I did this." he said matter of factly. "I tried not to, I didn't mean to." he walked over to her, fearing the damage he would see. No matter if she would heal quickly due to her mixed nature, he had still seriously hurt her.

"We can get her home where she can rest." Willa offered.

He kept his back to them all as he slowly picked her up. "I am sorry for my actions. But I want you all to go…..please."

"Come on, y'all can come over to my place, that way we won't be far." Pam said to Willa and Bill, the three of them looking back with concern one last time before they slipped away. Taking her to one of the rooms not caked with dead vampire, he put her on his bed and covered her with a blanket, looking down at her with a stunned expression. It had been a very real possibility that he could have killed her, as powerful as she may be herself, getting caught in his own fury and power never boded well for anyone. She began to stir, to his relief, but kept a distance.

"Oh…my head…." Sookie said as she tried to sit up. Dazed for but a moment, she then remembered everything that happened and saw him looking at her, causing her to jump out of the bed, putting the bed in between the two of them. Looking at his face however, she realized he'd been free from the spell. But she still remained rooted to the spot. She felt herself healing as she stood there and finally made her way slowly over to him.

"Are you alright? I didn't mean or want for this to happen." Eric said as she hugged him. Feeling the tears on his skin, he stroked her hair. "I tried to fight it, I've never felt anything so….dark. And I've had more than my fair share of being spelled. The others….are they injured?""

"Everyone's fine." she reassured him. "And right now all I want to do is relax and enjoy a hot shower. Then tomorrow I suspect we will be hiring some cleaners." she made her way towards the bathroom and turned her head. "Are you going to join me?"

"You don't know how long I have wanted those words to come out of your mouth…..but are you sure you are okay?"

Pausing in the doorway of the bedroom, she faced him. "I have come to the conclusion that my life will never be dull or uneventful again like it was before you all came out of the coffin. And now that I'm part of that world, I decided I need to embrace the craziness. Now, are you coming or what?"

Smirking, he followed her the short distance to the bathroom, the future for them seemingly wide open.

The End

#5-Spirits Blessings

Chapter 1

"So you're good now, no more psycho Viking killing sprees?" Pam asked as they closed the bar for the evening. "Sookie okay, I take it. By the sounds I heard from your place when I came to check on you last night-"

"Everything is fine. I promise." Eric cut her off. "Let's get over it, shall we?

"What's the matter with you? You waited for so long, thinking you may never win her back. And now you're acting all petulant and…..well, I guess it's not of the norm for you. Not really. But really, what is with you? You should be happy. No more hep-v, you got your girl and the bar back….you know I ain't going to let this go."

He had to smile at her persistence. She got it from him, of course. Sitting on his throne, he shook his head. "I got to thinking. When I was under that spell and eve before all of the past months….what would they think if they saw me today? If they knew the things I've done."

Pam frowned. "Who are you….oh…..I get it. Your sister. Godric, of course."

His face stoic, he knew no matter what, he couldn't hide anything from Pam. "I just….would like to have one more chance to be with them. If I could bring tem back-"

"You, of all people, should know anything is possible. If that Compton fellow could die and come back as that, well vampire god as it was put as being, then have faith. Niall, Sookie's grandfather had appeared in the center of the bar. "I couldn't help but overhear you, I was thinking I would see her here but it seems she is working?"

"Yes. She is." Eric got up. "What can I do for you?"

"It's what I can do for you, actually. I've lived far longer than you have but your suffering and torment over the years has been staggering. And with you being with my granddaughter, I feel a loyalty, a kinship almost with you now."

"Suffering is a part of everyone's life. And I have played a part in giving some of that to your granddaughter." Eric said bluntly.

"I am well aware of that but can sense your regret and loathing you feel over it. What I want to give you is the chance to have your loved ones back."

Pam looked at the fairy with deep skepticsm. "You Can't bring anyone back from the dead."

"You don't know the scope of my powers, though its not a easy thing to do and the spirits have to truly want return to he world of the living to be able to be restored to life once more." Niall explained. "But at the very least, I can grant you a audience with those you wish to see again. But it must be done away from this place."

"Where, then?" asked Eric.

"Somewhere tranquil and where the elements can be combined with my power to bridge the worlds and let the spirits visit."

He looked thoughtful for a moment. "There's a pond near Sookie's house. Its secluded enough, I know that much."

"Then I will meet you there shortly." Niall replied and in a wink, he was gone, leaving Eric and Pam alone.

"I want to go with you. Or at least be nearby in case something goes wrong. I don't trust magic at all."

"I trust him. You can come but I would prefer privacy. Perhaps you can visit with Sookie, I don't know how much time I will have with them."

Agreeable to the plan, Pam finished closing up the bar and together, they flew off to Bon Temps.

Chapter 2

As was the agreement, Pam remained close by at Sookie's while Niall met Eric at the pond. Sitting on a overturned tree, the fairy prince looked as the vampire approached looking ever so slightly apprehensive. "You're not one to be afraid of anything but I see it on your face. You are fearful of what may happen tonight."

Snorting, Eric smirked. "That granddaughter of yours has certainly affected me in more ways than one."

Niall smiled. "You Can't fool me with that swagger, you are grateful for every single moment you're with her."

"So." Eric wanted to change the subject. "Now what?"

"I need some of your blood first and then I can use my magic to call the spirits to you. I will leave you to speak with them alone as I too will go visit Sookie. I honestly do not know how long the magic will keep them here with you but I will put all I have into it to give you as much time as possible." Niall explained. "come over to the edge of the water and let some of the blood flow into it first."

Obeying, Eric bit into his writs and went to the water, letting it trickle down into the water. "Ok….nothing's happening….."

Rolling his eyes, Niall harrumphed. "So impatient…I didn't add my magic just yet…." silently, the ancient fairy closed his eyes as a breeze began to blow and the water churned, dried dust from nearby patches of dead earth rising, falling into the vortex being created on the surface of the water. "And for a final element….get the pun?" Niall winked as Eric stared back with a odd expression. Flickers of flame appeared in Niall's hands and tossing them into the water, there was a silent explosion of colors and a thick mist. Muttering a series of words Eric didn't understand-other than the names of those whom he wished to visit with.

"It's them." the vampire said as the two figures took on a opaque then almost solid form on the surface of the water, both walking slowly towards him/

"I'll leave you in peace." Niall; said and he walked through the thick mist that had created a dome like sanctuary around the pond and the shore.

Chapter 3

"Put those away, won't you?" Nora smirked as she came within a few feet of her older "brother". she looked to her right as the second spirit caught up to her. Having forgotten to retract his fangs when he had bit into his wrist, Eric did so at this time and slowly went to touch her arm and looked to Godric, who looked back with a solemn expression.

"You look and seem troubled. We've watched over you, you know." Godric said as Eric knelt at his feet. "Get up, there is no need for that."

Getting back up, Eric looked back at his maker and then at Nora. "Then you know…everything that's happened over the past months."

"Right from your unfortunate naked sunbathing incident up to the fact you've got yourself a vamp-faerie girlfriend….she is your girlfriend, isn't she?"

He thought a moment and couldn't help but smirk. "I always told her someday she'd me mine." his face fell however. "I find myself troubled. I feel I am responsible for your deaths. That if I had been a better vampire back in Dallas, you wouldn't have wanted to meet the sun." Eric looked at Godric. Turning to Nora, he was feeling equally at fault. "And I should have done more to get you out of the camp faster before….you were given the hep v injection."

Nora and Godric looked at each other with puzzled expressions. "I shouldn't have tried getting a better look at Sookie and been nosing around that night or I wouldn't have been captured. It was just being in the wrong place at the wrong time and it was never your fault. I just couldn't help myself. You always had better self control than I did."

"And as for myself, I was always proud of you, admittedly I had wished you had had more humanity in you than you did at the time. Seeing you now, I certainly feel more at peace. But there never was a time I was not proud of you. It was always my decision to meet the sun that day and I do not wish you to feel blame for it. Or for your sisters demise. You've called upon us to try to summon us back to the world of the living."

"You have the chance to return….we could all be together again. It would…be like old times." he tensed up and put on a mask of stoicism that would certainly not fool his companions. "Either way, whatever you two want."

Nora giggled, ignoring his annoyed reaction to her own. "You want everyone to simply see you as the big bad Viking. Even all these years later, you don't want people knowing, seeing there is more to the warrior in the black leather. Personally, I always liked and respected there was to sides to you and I don't think there is anything to be ashamed or upset about. People all over are well aware of your vicious side and that, I cam promise, will never leave you so long as you live. Actually, I think you will become even more brutal, now that you've got the girl to jeep safe."

"She can protect herself. When she's not getting herself into trouble. And I don't think I came here for a therapy session."

"Always trying to conceal the better parts of yourself. That will never give you any peace and can only keep you from truly being happy. Get rid of the guilt you still carry about losing us-"

"Both of you, you could come back. Like I said before. Pick up where you left off before it was taken from you."

"Do you wish us to return to life for our own good and desires or do you want us back for your own needs an desires?" Godric asked with a serene look on his face. "I left this world in peace, having atoned for the things I had done. And after seeing and experiencing so much, I believed there was nothing left to see. I was wrong. I have seen your true evolution and I was not involved. You did it on your own and no longer need me."

Nora looked from Godric to Eric, a sad smile on her face. "And I would probably not be able to control myself around Sookie anyway. No matter what she is now, I know the fairy part is stronger and I would probably keep trying to get a bite. What I do know though, is that we are both at peace. And where we are now, it's beautiful. Contrary to popular belief, not all vampires are damned to hell just because they are what they are. Good deeds can take one a long way."

There was a silence as Eric looked at the spirits, who were beginning to fade away along with the mist. "So not even I am hopeless for the time when-"

"You will continue to live a meaningful existence and find yourself more grateful for it. If I, who committed grave offenses in life can avoid hell, than certainly there is hope for you."

Silence followed. "Then neither of you want the chance to come back." it was a statement rather than a fact, to which both of the spirits nodded.

"What we want is for you to move on with your life and to no longer carry the guilt or worry over us." replied Godric gently.

Chapter 4

Emerging from the wooded area, Eric looked back at the pond one last time as the last traces of the spirits of his loved ones faded away. Niall appeared in the middle of the pathway moments later and looked at the vampire's face. "I take it they chose not to return."

"I made my peace with them. For that I thank you.. And knowing they are at peace…is Sookie home?"

Nodding, Niall stepped aside to let him pass. "Yes, she seemed to be hoping you would stop by. I didn't tell her what you were up to. I thought it better you tell her. If you choose to."

He said nothing as he decided to walk at normal speed rather than speed through the woods or fly. There was much on his mind, yet her felt as if a weight was lifted off his shoulders. Arriving on her porch a short time later, Sookie was somewhat unnerved to see the sight before her. "What happened?" she asked, taking his hands into hers. "Come on in. Please.."

After he sat down on the couch, Sookie fetched a damp cloth from the bathroom and set to work cleaning his face of the blood tears . As she listened to him reveal the events of the evening she went from aching for him to feeling almost relieved. "And that's how my evening went." Eric said, leaning back against the couch, looking up at the ceiling.

"Niall must really like you for giving you that chance. And them to have that chance. Maybe someday, they will change their minds and decide-"

"We all said things that needed to be said and for that I am grateful and only want them to rest in peace. And for once, I think I may just be able to go back to enjoying existence again. Truly and completely."

She leaned against his shoulder and sighed contentedly. "Everyone deserved peace and happiness. I just wish it hadn't taken so long for you to get yours."

"The wait was worth it." Eric replied with a mischievous look on his face.

"I know that look…you want to go upstairs?" Sookie asked with a smirk.

Furrowing his brow, he surprised himself with his answer. "Actually I'm perfectly content sitting her with you. Just talking."

"Nice to see you've accepted the softer side of you. Never thought I'd see the day, actually."

Snorting, he started stroking her hair. "Just because I accept it doesn't mean I want it broadcasted to the world. Or that I have to like it." he gave her a small smile as they sat quietly, surrounded by silence, save for the crickets chirping outside. Then there was a knock on the door.

"So sorry to interrupt." Pam said as Sookie opened the front door. "Was I interrupting anything? I was wondering if my services to watch over you were needed any longer….I take it you're staying the night?" she peeked past Sookie to speak to her maker. "I was starting to think people forgot I was lurking about."

"Perfect timing as usual." Eric said with a exasperated expression. "Go home, I can certainly take it from here."

"I'm sure you can. You have before." Pam replied with a smirk and she shot into the sky.

Shaking her head, Sookie couldn't help but feel amused as she went back to the couch where they once more heard nothing but crickets..

PART TWO

Chapter 1

Pam wandered around the bar aimlessly. She would never admit to anyone that she was lonely, especially as of late what with Eric being with Sookie so much. And Pam liked Sookie now, heaven help her, she did. But after losing Tara and knowing of the chance to have back as Eric had been given for Nora and Godric, she was desperate.

"I don't know what you think of me. Or if you'll even listen to me. But I want to talk to ya. If you got the time." Pam shouted at the emptiness around her. Several minutes passed and still nothing. And then he appeared, sitting on a barstool. "Well, well, Niall Brigant does know I exist."

Niall slid off the stool and offered a smile to the feisty vampire. "I knew you wanted to be more involved in last night's adventure where Eric had the chance to bring his friends back. I know you too, wished for the chance to have your loved one back." he started packing back and forth. "The question is, should I help you get closure as I did the Viking. True, his friends elected not to return. But I sensed a upturn in him that will allow him peace."

"And I am grateful he was given that chance. Having loved ones ripped from one's life…well….. I'm not exactly the most sentimental or gooey emotional nut job most women are."

Niall laughed. "No, you're not. But you can feel. You do care about your friends and you have love in you. And as you too have proven your loyalty to Sookie, then I wish to grant you the same opportunity."

Pam maintained her cool exterior but nodded. "When can we go this thing then?"

"Since you are about as patient as your maker is, tonight would be good. Residual magic from last night should be enough to restart the spell. It takes a great deal of magic to-"

"Yeah, I get it." Pam said. "and I know I may not have much time to talk with the one I want to. Eric told me some of his experience with this."

"Then, shall we go?" Niall said. "What a feeling of déjà vu."

Chapter 2

Trying to be patient, thought it was a tough task, Pam waited for the spell to be worked, having put her blood into the pond. A lot of mist, churning water and some ethereal light later, Pam watched as Tara began to appear before her. "I'll leave you to it then." Niall said before once more vanishing.

"Tara." Pam said as Tara walked up to her, looking solid, yet not entirely so.

Tara smiled. "Yeah, good to see you too. I've been worried about you ya know. Not that I would usually tell you that. But time, its not really on our side now, is it?"

"No. I guess not." Pam replied coolly.

"Come on, Pam, what is it? You've gotta spill, I don't know how much time we have and I have watched over you in the short time I've . I know everything anyway so-"

"I want you to take the chance to come back. After everything in the past months-almost losing Eric and then feeling you meet the true death…..just….I want to be happy too. I want more than I have now."

"You have family still though. You've got Eric, of course. And Sookie. Even Willa, I think can at least tolerate you." Tara said with a grin. "You have more than you realize."

Pam shook her head as her long hair shook gently, framing her face which looked almost despondent. "It's not the same anymore. Everyone's got someone and then there's me." blood tears began running down her face, which she made haste to wipe away, putting her stoic face back on. "But if you don't want to be back with me, then fine. I don't care." she turned to leave as Tara called to her.

"I have missed you too. And I hate the way I went out. Barely got a good fight in against those hep vamps. I want another go. I want to come back."

Pam's back was to Tara as she heard these words and for the first time in a very long time, Pam actually felt….happy. Hopeful. Turning back to look at Tara, Pam gave her a look. "You aren't pulling my leg, are you, cause I ain't in the mood for-"

"I know how this works. I want to come back." and with those words, Niall appeared, looking at the two with curiosity.

"I can not bring you back to your human self. My powers are good, but not that good." Niall made a slight attempt at humor. "But I can bring you back into your vampire life. Only if you are truly honest that you wish to return."

Nodding, Tara looked from the fairy to Pam. "I am very sure."

Niall nodded and conjuring his special brand of magic, there came a brilliant brightness before everything went black. Even the moon and stars were obscured as ripples of warmth and cold erupted from the magic created.

Chapter 3

Everything was normal again, once more the mist was gone and Niall stood beside Pam as Tara ran into her arms. At first, Pam was reluctant to return the hug but finally, in a rare moment, let her guard down and hugged Tara back, the hug culminating with a kiss on the lips.

"A happy reunion to be sure. And Tara, I would suggest not dying again. This can only be done once and after that, you're a goner once and for all." Niall advised with bluntness. "I am glad Sookie will have her best friend back and I wish you both well."

Pam let go of Tara's hand and slowly approached the fairy. Her face unreadable, she managed to offer a small smile. "I suppose I had you faeries all wrong. I guess you can go in my good books with that granddaughter of yours." she said dryly.

"Coming from you Pamela, that is indeed a honor." Niall replied with a grin. "Take care you two and my wish is that you can all become the family you all need desperately."

"Thank you Niall." Tara said. "I mean it. Thank you."

Nodding, he turned and vanished into the night.

Epilogue

Having found no sign of their friends at Sookie's place or at Fangtasia, Pam and Tara found themselves at Eric's place where Sookie answered the door, stunned at seeing her best friend back.

"Tara!" Sookie and Tara hugged. "It's…I don't know what to say….."

"I missed you too Sook. And being a fairy-vamp seems to be working out for you, it would seem." Tara said with a grin as Eric appeared in the doorway, looking as stunned as Sookie had been. Then he realized Tara had taken the chance that Godric and Nora had refused. "Nice to see you again….gramps." Tara couldn't help but tease.

"That sass is going to get you in trouble, granddaughter." Eric replied before he offered her a smile. "It is good to have you back."

Tara sensed something was on the Viking's mind and a look from Sookie told her she would tell the story later. For now, they all entered the house and began to come together as a family. Much would be revealed over the next hours and at night's end, all of them, especially Pam, felt that they had the family they wouldn't trade a thing for.

The End

#6-Viking Vacation

Chapter 1

"What is it?" Tara asked as she came over to visit Sookie. Since being brought back from the dead, yet still a vampire, Tara was nevertheless grateful to be with her best friend again. Sookie had received a manila envelope from the mail carrier and though the return address was very familiar one, she was also hesitant to see what was inside for some reason.

"The thing is, with Eric, it could be anything. He's clever, as you know. " Sookie sighed. "But I shouldn't be afraid of a envelope, should I?"

Tara grinned. "Open it girl."

Slowly, Sookie opened it and revealed a pair of airplane tickets-Anubis Air, of course. "There's no destination on the ticket. That's weird."

"He's taking you somewhere special I would bet. He's not the type to do anything simple and ordinary."

Sookie shook her head. "No, that is very true….but I just got back into my routine of being back at work, I don't know if I dare ask Arlene for a week off so soon after everything that's happened."

"girl, if anyone can understand going through a lot of crap, its Arlene. And me. And I actually came back from the dead….well, I'm still dead to get technical but….."

Sookie laughed. "I am so glad you're back Tara."

"And I'm glad you finally got the guy. The right one this time. I mean, I know you cared about Alcide and Bill. But…." Tara stopped. "I don't want to dredge the past up again. Sorry. Why don't you go see Arlene about the time off and then go see Eric. To see if he'll say anything about this mystery trip. I've got to get to work myself or Pam'll get after me. I think she kind of missed that."

"She missed you a lot more than she'd let on." Sookie replied as she walked her best friend to the door. They hugged. "Maybe I'll drive over there tomorrow night but at least tonight, I'll head over to talk with Arlene."

Chapter 2

Sookie returned from Bellefleur's feeling better. Arlene was all too willing to give Sookie the week off which started in a mere two days. So much for Eric giving her much time to prepare and pack. Still, she knew it would be good for her to get out of town for a little while, to get some worldly adventures under her belt. surely, she had seen plenty of Louisiana and admitted she did feel slightly sheltered. At least with Eric, she knew it would not be a boring trip and her mind was piqued as to what he had up his sleeves.

Sipping some wine, she flopped on the couch, dressed in well worn silk shorts and a matching pink camisole. Barefoot was the best way to go on a night like this. Bored with there being not a decent thing on TV, she played with her faerie light a little, making it brighter and duller, softer and more intense. Now that she was both vampire and faerie, her powers were no longer finite, but rather much stronger than before. And with a longer than the average human life before her now, she felt cautiously optimistic that maybe, just maybe, she could finally settle down and be happy. With the Viking, no less.

There was a knock at the door and she went to answer it, finding Eric standing there with a look that really made her wonder just what he had planned. "Oh, you really didn't have to dress up all fancy like that for me." he said with a smirk, looking at her nightclothes.

"They're my favorite pajamas, I'll have you know…..don't you have any clothes you like to wear? Like this?" she fingered his leather jacket and looked up at him with a smile.

"Actually, I rather enjoyed the clothes I wore in the old days." he replied wistfully. "But it seems animal hides and leather tights are just not fashionable anymore" he shook his head. "But actually, I would prefer to have nothing on."

She elbowed him playfully and let him in. "you're bad, you know that?"

He grinned but looked around the living room. "I don't see any signs of packing. You are still planning on coming along, aren't you?"

"I was going to pack, but I just….I never liked packing." Sookie feigned a whine.

"Let's go. We leave the day after tomorrow and we leave precisely at 9am." he replied, taking her by the hand. "March." he directed her upstairs and she playfully protested, leaving him no choice but to scoop her up and whisk her up the stairs. Sitting on her bed, he watched as she pulled out a suitcase and packed a little bit of everything. "We're only going for a week, you know. I don't think even Pam would pack that much."

"Well, since I don't know where we are going and I am still prone to heat and cold, I need to be prepared." Sookie glared at him as she tossed sandals and a pair of woolen slippers in her case at the same time. Having a second thought, she flung the socks right at his face. "Any more smart comments and I may find somewhere else to put my heels." she lifted up a pair of dress shoes with tree inch heels.

Soon, she was packed and the suitcase was ready to go on her chest at the foot of her bed. "There, that wasn't so bad, was it?" Eric asked her as they returned to the living room and Sookie poured herself another glass of wine. "You trying to get loosened up, because I can assure you, I can take care of that quite easily enough for you."

She slapped him on the arm and laughed. "God, is there ever any time you aren't trying to get in my pants? Because I think you know by now, you've already got me."

"But I do enjoy getting a rise out of you." he replied with a innocent look on his face.

"But really…you're still not going to tell me where we're going?"

He gave her a look that exasperated her even more. "Oh I am having a lot of fun with this, Sookie. But believe me, I think it will be worth the wait."

Rolling her eyes, she leaned against him as they spent the evening watching TV.

Chapter 3

Finally, the day of the trip came and Sookie was driven to the airport by Jason, the only person Eric would allow to escort her to the airport. They had certainly had their differences in the past but finally, Jason had earned some respect with the Viking and so as he pulled up to the curb, he would not take Sookie's word that she could get to the gate by herself fine.

"I ain't letting you out of my sight until I have to. I know it's a private plane you're taking but I promised Eric I would make sure you boarded ok. And you said he'll already be on board?"

She nodded. "Yeah, Pam arranged for Ginger and some Anubis people-humans, of course-to get Eric loaded on the plane. So….thanks for looking out for me." she hugged her brother as they got out of his squad car and made their way to the Anubis section of the airport.

"Well, you are my sister after all and I would rather stay on his good side…does he even have good side?" Jason asked as he helped her with her luggage. She gave him a look. "Well, if you're happy and alive and I am too, then I guess he does. Ain't gonna lie, he can be a scary guy."

"True." Sookie agreed. Handing her boarding pass to the woman at the counter, she sighed. "Well, I will call when I can. Who knows what time zone I'll be in but…" she laughed. "I've never been on a top secret vacation before. Kind of exciting. A good kind of exciting for once I guess."

"You have a good time and you'd better give me a call as soon as you can. I don't want to end up worrying about you." Jason replied as he helped her sling her duffel bag over her shoulder. Picking up her suitcase, she grinned.

"Thanks Jason." and she made her way into the tunnel that led her straight to the plane and though she knew she was out of her brother's sight, she knew he would be as good as his word and not leave his spot until the plane was in the air.

Chapter 4

She explored the roomy plane with interest. There were several plush chairs and a pair of leather couches, end tables and a small fridge. The floors were plushly carpeted in a burgundy and she felt like she were in a fancy hotel room rather than on board a plane. The windows of course would be light tight at this time of day, the stewardess informing her that the blinds would open as soon as the sun had set. The pilot came over the intercom and announced they were about to take off and that seat belts needed to be put on at this time. Obeying, Sookie flipped through some magazines that were awaiting her. They were all of her favorites and she knew it was Eric who had made sure she would be well taken care of by the airline. She shuddered to think of the repercussions of her dissatisfaction of her flight.

Once in the air, she was able to walk around the cabin and she explored the small rooms that were in the rear. She jumped as something moved in the dark of one of the small rooms and flipping on a light, she was relieved as she saw it was just Eric emerge from his coffin. He stretched as soon as he was on his feet and smiled as soon as he saw her. "What a nice thing to wake up to."

"God, you scared me, I thought there was…well, I didn't really know what to expect….I'm still worried what you've got planned."

"Well, there's no way out unless you can fly and the last time I checked, you are a wingless fairy." Eric smirked, taking her by the hand and leading her back into the main area of the plane where she saw the plane windows light tight blinds had indeed retracted and the starry night sky was quickly replacing the now set sun. "Relax, I wouldn't take you somewhere I didn't think you'd enjoy."

"Says the same person who chained me up in the basement of his bar. Granted, you were only trying to save my neck-as usual- but still….." Sookie flopped into a couch, tempted to turn on the flat screen TV. Instead, she scooted lower into the couch and wrapped up into a blanket. "Oh, I love this blanket!" she breathed. "Is it cashmere?"

"Only the best for you." he replied as he went to the little fridge and pulled out a bottle of water. "Thirsty?" he asked.

"Thanks." she replied, accepting the bottle. "How about you?" she teased him by slowly brushing her hair off of her neck. "Come on, its fine. Besides, I could use a distraction from wondering where we are going to end up."

Chapter 5

They watched some TV as they flight went on, her neck rapidly healed from his little snack. She admitted it was nice being with him without Pam anywhere nearby. Not that she didn't get along with her now. Actually, Sookie considered Pam a protector and friend now after everything they had gone through and now that Sookie was part vamp, she knew that also helped raise her up in the eyes of Eric's fierce progeny.

The plane landed several hours later, Sookie following Eric slowly, warily. Emerging from the tunnel leading off of their plane, she took a moment to look around at the airport they were in. it didn't take long for her to see the flags of where they undoubtedly were and she felt more at ease and felt that this trip may just carry more meaning than simply having a good time. "Well, I guess I shouldn't be too surprised. But considering how many other places there are in the world-"

"I always hoped to take you to where I grew up. I thought about getting us a hotel room in Stockholm, but then I had a better idea. We're headed somewhere a little more….peaceful."

They drove out of the city into a more calm, rural area. The countryside was breathtaking even at night. Her newly enhanced vision allowed her to see incredibly well at night and she was taken by the majesty of the mountains they soon found themselves approaching. The limo dropped them off at a park and with luggage secured to the both of them, they stood alone looking upwards at the snow capped mountains.

"So….is there a path to take or…..

"There is. But I would prefer to take the scenic route. We're not quite there yet." he said, taking her in his arms and before she could protest, took them up and deep into the mountains where there was a valley well hidden, surrounded by tall trees and brush. The terrain surrounding the area was deadly looking and with a wrong move, one would likely fall down into a chasm. "Now we're here."

She shivered a little as they entered a place that she thought would be colder than it was. There was a large doorway before them as they passed through a small wooded area. Concealed carefully, the structure looked ancient, yet was in remarkably good shape. "I've spent some free time doing some….renovations." Eric said to Sookie as he unlocked the door with a ancient looking key. "And believe me, we are not going to be disturbed. Pam has made arrangements to keep this place safe from explorers or anyone not wanted here. She also helped with some of the interior to make it a little more….cozy."

"Wow." Sookie breathed as she entered the building. They stood in a large room and she saw many other rooms and hallways broke off of the main place. A roaring fireplace was already lit as none other than Pam herself emerged from one of the chambers. "Pam!" Sookie was spooked by her friend's sudden appearance.

"I came on ahead to make sure things were in place. But I can't stay long." Pam replied as she watched them set their luggage down. "I would be willing to bet this is not what you expected."

"No…it wasn't." Sookie replied as she looked around, seeing the myriad of weapons and ancient looking but clearly replica tapestries and animal skins decorating walls and the floor. Then she saw a very old looking stone throne. "This….this was yours, wasn't it?" she looked from Pam to Eric who was looking around himself, a almost wistful look on his face. "This was your home."

He nodded as he walked over to her. "It was the only really secluded place I could think of….and to be honest, I wanted the next time I came here to be with someone I cared about."

"Excuse me?" Pam said, crossing her arms and giving her maker a look. "I was the one who helped you fix up this place. And you don't care about me?" she winked at Sookie before giving him a feigned annoyed look.

"You know what I mean." he replied as Pam walked up to them.

"Well. You two enjoy. I need to get back to the bar before Ginger sets something or someone on fire. Or does anything equally stupid. You two enjoy your week and remember how hard I worked fixing up this….castle." Pam grimaced. "Clearly, you Vikings had differing ideas on what constituted a castle." , and with that last remark she left, headed back to preferably not having to clean up any mess ginger may have made at Fangtasia.

"Oh, she is certainly something else." Sookie said with a wry grin. But her smile faded. "This is the place where it happened, isn't it? Where-"

"My family was massacred here, yes. But there were some good times to be had, the short walk down the mountains to the sea. I always loved the water-" he turned his back to her as she tried to comfort him. Her mere presence was soothing enough but her touch, it was appreciated, to be sure. "I did think about remaining here. Not ever returning to the states. To leave everything to Pam and live out my many days here. And then I got sick and…..I hate to admit it, but I was more of a mess than I think you know."

Sookie led him to a couch that was made to look old but clearly was a replica. It was leathery and had some fur blankets slung on the back. Sitting down on it, they both stared into the fire, Sookie feeling him taking her hand into his own.

Chapter 6

The night passed lazily, the pair talking into the early morning hours. Sookie couldn't help but notice that the castle was made light tight, seeing some areas in the walls that seemed to have been patched up. Taking one of several battery powered lamps Pam had left for them, Sookie had slipped out of the royal bedchamber they were sleeping in and started her own guided tour. None of the rooms were as large as the royal bedroom or the main hall of the castle but all were equally impressive. Weapons were hanging on the wall of every single room, ranging from spears to swords, axes and maces. All were dusty but Sookie knew that even a thousand years later, they could still do some decent damage.

She returned to the bedroom a hour or so later as dawn was approaching, hoping to catch a little more sleep. Thinking her little trek was unnoticed, she went to pull the furry blankets back over her when a cool hand brushed her thigh. "I thought the bed was a little cooler." Eric said as she turned to look at him. As he looked at her with those blue eyes of his, she gently took a hand to his cheek. He had seen so much with those eyes, experienced so much. And now, here she was in a place she knew had not been used this much in centuries. A sacred place she never thought Eric could have yet it seemed he did in fact have such a place and for him to bring her here, she was touched. And she told him so.

"At least you have more appreciation for this place than Pam does. Though she was clever in staging some….accidents here to deter people from disturbing this place. It's proven quite effective, along with her clever gardening. We put in extra trees and boulders to shield this place from nosy humans. And at least once or twice a month we try to come here to make sure things are left alone. So far, so good." Eric explained.

Not wanting to know any of the likely gruesome details, Sookie sighed. "How about getting some more rest and then you can give me a tour of the outside? I guess it's good I decided to bring boots. And you thought I over packed."

Chapter 7

She was pleasantly surprised at how much she was enjoying their vacation. She's been taken to a nice restaurant for dinner and they spent a good amount of time strolling the streets of Stockholm. It was a couple nights before they were set to head back to the states "Why not make a trip down to the sea? It's not as far from here as you think." he suggested before Sookie restarted the fire in the fireplace. "It's our last chance before we leave. The weather's not supposed to be exactly pleasant tomorrow."

"Sounds good." she replied. Leaving the castle, she followed him closely as they wound their way up, down, around and finally reached the moonlit shore. It was tranquil and the breeze was gentle and carried a subtle floral scent mixed with the waters of the North Sea. "It's so beautiful here." she said after a long silence, they both sitting down on a overturned tree. "Thank you for bringing me here."

He nodded, staring out at the rippling water. "I'm glad you've enjoyed yourself. "

Cocking her head slightly, she looked at him with some concern. "You look….deep in thought. What is it?"

He kept facing out at the water. Finally, he spoke. "It has been far too long since I spent more than a hour or so here. And sitting here, getting to really savor it….it makes me wonder what could have been. The memories I have of this place, it feels like yesterday."

"Are you saying you wish you'd not been injured so badly? That you hadn't been turned by Godric that night?"

He looked at her. "I do miss parts of my past and if I had the power, I would make some changes. but after living so long as I have…getting something I wanted for so long…" he looked at her meaningfully. "I have learned to be grateful to what my life has wound up being."

Sookie didn't know what to say, instead just leaning her head on his shoulder and taking his hands into her own, the peacefulness of the evening creating a mood she couldn't think could be any more perfect. Then they heard something, a rustling. "Looks like maybe some birds want to interrupt us." Sookie said before frowning, her enhanced hearing picking up on the same thing she knew Eric was.

"It's not any animal." Eric said, getting to his feet and pulling her by the arm as close to him as he could. Sookie was frightened but knew she could handle herself even better now than before, her fangs popping out at the same time as his did. From the thick, dark woods, emerged a serene looking woman with ghostly white skin and reddish colored hair.

"It is very good to see you again and I was getting impatient that you weren't going to show up down here. But you knew you would. And I knew too." the woman gazed at them with cold green eyes. "And now, you're with a….mutt? You deserve a pure vampire. No matter. I always get what I want." snapping her fingers, more vampires emerged from the woods, lunging straight for Sookie and Eric, silver chains in their gloved hands.

PART TWO

Chapter 1

Struggling against the vampires who were clearly extremely ancient and powerful, Sookie couldn't even conjure any of her light to break free of their grip. Feeling helpless as the ginger haired vampire paced back and forth before the silvered Eric, Sookie tried hard to think of some way out of this mess. "Who are you?" she snapped as the three brutish vamps kept her at bay, using iron chains instead of silver. Clearly, this woman knew something about Sookie, with iron being a weakness of faeries.

"Well, I was waiting for him to introduce us, but I don't think he has any intention to." the woman replied. "I can honestly say I think I was the last person he expected to see." she looked down on the ground, giving him a triumphant look before making her way towards Sookie. "My name is Arabelle. Your boyfriend and I go back. Wayyyy back." she was dressed in a outfit that certainly didn't fit in to their current surroundings. A slinky burgundy dress and high heels, Arielle was no doubt wanting to flaunt her figure, which admittedly made Sookie feel self conscious about her own. "Tell her about us, Eric." Arielle said in a taunting voice.

He was in too much pain from the silver to do anything more than glare at her. "Leave us alone! We've done nothing to you. Please." Sookie tried to plead with the woman. Instead, Arabelle hauled off and kneed her in the gut.

"Let's take them back to my place." Arielle said to her three companions. "And we can catch up more then."

Sookie tried to free herself but knew that so long as she was as shackled as Eric was, they were both in serious trouble.

Chapter 2

They wound up in a small plane and flew for a short time, landing at a small airport and then driven into the countryside to a sprawling manor. It was impressive in the moonlight and Sookie knew it would be even more so in the day. Of course, all the windows were light tight. She was shoved through the doorway by two of the vampires as Arabelle supervised the third dragging Eric along, now encased in a silver net. He had very nearly busted through the chains but unfortunately, Arabelle was prepared for such a eventuality.

"Take him to the basement." Arabelle barked to the three. "And do not let a moment pass where he is not watched. Its time for some girl talk." she took Sookie by her own iron shackles and pulled her into a sitting room that was ornately decorated by paintings . Paintings depicting a very familiar looking face. Even the sculptures that were set around the room bore the same face. Gently, Arabelle stroked the marble face of the life size statue of Eric, who was brandishing a sword and looking very much like the Viking he had been back in the day. "So….you're his new flame."

Sookie tried to remain composed. "And judging by the décor, you're an ex?"

Arabelle's face reddened with anger. "I was betrothed to him and when I heard he was to be burned on a pyre, that he'd been grievously wounded in battle…I wanted to end my own life. Never before had there been anyone as handsome or brave as he was and as a princess in my own Viking clan, I knew it was meant to be. So I slit my wrists, ready to go to Valhalla. But then, he came to me. Promising me that I could live forever. That I could have what I wanted. He told me that he had great plans for me, that he could help give me a life I could not possible refuse."

Sookie thought a moment. "Did this person…I am guessing a vampire….have wolves with him?"

Raising a eyebrow, Arabelle looked smug. "Sounds like you knew the great, late and sorely missed Russell Edgington? Yes, he was the one who gave me new life."

"So for a thousand years, you've stalked Eric? Been obsessed with him and waiting for the chance to get him for yourself?" Sookie glared at the vampire. "Someone needs a hobby."
Arabelle shoved Sookie down into a chair and in a flash chained her to it with more iron. "I actually didn't know Eric still was living until I came into possession of this. Left to me in the will of Russell himself." opening a drawer in the desk in the room, she pulled out a book and waggled it in front of Sookie's face. "I know everything there is to know about you Sookie Stackhouse."

Chapter 3

Sookie sat, numb as details of her life and of Eric's were revealed, from the night Eric's family was murdered, to the deadly goings on in Bon Temps. Practically everything that Sookie and Eric had been through together was right down in the pages of this journal. "It was quite the read, let me tell you….knowing your weakness so I could easily keep you out of the way so I can get what I have wanted for so very long."

"You think you can make him care about you, much less love you?"

"He and I met only once. A arranged marriage to join our families together and make them stronger. I knew of his reputation with women. I always knew I would be the one for him, that would make him want no other. And now, we have a small hiccup with you. Which I find more amusing than anything else, really. I mean, really. As powerful as you may be, there really is no contest."

Sookie didn't know what to say, she felt like she was dealing with Lorena all over again, except this woman seemed even more obsessed and she was stronger than Lorena was. And both she and Eric were in vulnerable positions. "He loves me. He's risked his life many times for me and I for him. Tell me, would you ever risk your life for him, or would you cower and run to save your own skin."

"Look around this room and you have your answer! I promise you, when I am done with him, not only will he not care about you but I'll have him wrapped around my finger and we can finally be married like we were meant to all those years ago. When I am done with him, he will only be too glad to do whatever I say." Arabelle said with a superior look.

Unable to stop herself, Sookie started laughing. "Really! Come on, he's stronger than I think you realize. You really think you can-" she stopped as the vampire pulled out a ancient looking scroll..

"I've needed to have a hobby for the past several years, especially since I learned of his survival. It was at he suggestion of Russell from beyond the grave that I use it. . With it, I can use it to-"

"He's been controlled by magic before and I was able to break the spell." Sookie said with confidence. "An whatever you use on him, I'll just break it again."

Laughing, Arabelle shook her head. "Not if you can't even use your power and believe me, I will make sure you remain as snug as you are now to keep you out of trouble. The last thing you will ever see will be your very boyfriend taking your life from you and returning to me where he belongs. But Don't think I am without heart. I'll get him up here for you to say your goodbyes. Before I have him finish you off."

Chapter 4

As Arabelle added another layer of chains around her, to further ensure Sookie would remain weak, Sookie tried to think of what she could possibly do to stop this. Knowing her faerie side was stronger than her still formidable vampire part, she had a feeling she had it in her deep inside to break out of the iron. She learned something else though and the hard way. Drugs still had somewhat of en effect on her too, with Arabelle injecting her with some kind of tranquilizer, though admittedly, it would not last long and so she would need to inject her multiple times until the end game had come to pass.

The three vampires had brought up their prisoner from the basement and it pained Sookie to see her mighty protector in such a vulnerable state but she knew that with enough silver, any vampire could easily be restrained. She watched as they chained him standing against the wall, silver manacles and all. Sookie figured there had to be a good fifty pounds worth of chains wrapped around him and she felt sick as she saw she the burns from the silver on his wrists and neck. But he was ignoring the pain and instead was looking at her.

"Are you hurt?" he asked.

"No….." she replied, tears her eyes. "I tried to get out, but she's…."

"Psychotic." Eric replied as he glared at Arabelle. "Your friends told me what you're up to Arabelle. It won't work and even if it does, Sookie can undo it."

"That's just what your little faerie told me but as you can see, she's in no position to conjure even a flicker of her light and there's enough drugs in her now to keep her strength under control. So, tell me, where's the part where I fail?" Arabelle said with a grin. Taking the scroll in hand, she walked right up to Eric and looked up at him. "It was always meant to be us together and we will be happy. And then I was thinking we could stop at the bar of yours back in the states. Get rid of the rest of the dead weight in your life. Pamela….Tara…Willa…." Arabelle looked dreamily as she spoke. "Then we can really have some fun."

"They have nothing to do with this. Leave them be." he sneered, looking at her coldly.

"But they will only be in my way. And they will detract from our happiness." Arabelle replied as she flickered her gaze towards the other prisoner. "I can not wait to see this one be the first to go. By your own hand no less." she took the scroll and opened it carefully. Lighting some candles, she gestured for the guards to shut off the electric lights,, casting the room into a eerie glow. As she began reading from the scroll, Arabelle failed to notice the fact that Sookie had managed to crack some of the links of the chain. Slowly, she felt the chain loosen enough that she felt reasonably sure she could break out with what strength she could gather, now that she wasn't quite as tightened with the chains.

But there was evil in the air as the spell was being cast. There was a violent thud to the air as she was knocked over and managed to wriggle out of the chains, finally managing to conjure her light enough to break the chains. Her eyes met Arabelle's as both of them then turned to the vampire struggling against the chains and the force trying to take him over. "There's no point in him fighting it. Not even he can hope to beat this spell." Arabelle said triumphantly. Sookie ignored her and went to Eric, pulling the chains off of him with her regained strength. He looked in pain, dazed as Sookie took his face into her hands.

"You can beat this. You are stronger than-"

Everything went to hell as Sookie found herself flying through the air, right into the waiting clutches of the vampire guards of Arabelle.

Chapter 5

Desperate, she used the light ball her grandfather Niall had taught her to conjure. With there no longer being any threat of her losing her powers forever, she could afford to do this as much as she wanted. With three balls of light, she destroyed the lesser threats to her safety but now had a bigger problem in the two vampires before her that were far stronger than she was, even with her vampire and faerie powers combined.

"You are going to wish you'd just been killed before all of this happened." Arabelle said with a grin. "Eric, would you be a dear and get her out of our home?" she made a show of stroking his cheek gently, as his eyes turned to look directly at Sookie. Gone was the caring and love she knew he had had for her, replaced by something altogether evil and sinister. He moved in a blur right at her as Sookie blasted him backward with her light, sending him crashing into the desk. Not sure exactly how to fight this battle, she needed some time to think and so dashed out of the room and out of the house, moving swiftly. But her vampire speed was no match for his and she was tripped up by a length of chain that had been swung low so as to do just what had happened.

"Please, don't do this." she said, pleading with him as she wriggled away, using her power to knock the tangled chains off of her ankles. Managing to get to her feet, she had to dodge another attack by her Viking, her cheek getting scratched by his hand. If she'd hesitated moving, she knew she very well could have lost her head. It clearly was going to take much more than her light to free him from this magic, unlike before when he was spelled by Marnie. Arabelle joined the scene at that moment, and placed her hand firmly in Eric's.

"I just couldn't pass up the chance to see it. To see what was yours be returned to its rightful owner." she sneered as Sookie stood her ground, her hands glowing with light ready to be unleashed.

"He's not anyone's property and if he were in his right mind, you'd regret saying that." Sookie snapped.

"Well, since there's no way to undo what's been done, I think it's safe to say it won't happen. Now. Let's finish this, shall we?" Arabelle said. "Finish her, won't you, darling?"

A sick feeling washed over her as she watched him lean over to kiss Arabelle hard and passionately, a smirk on his face. He turned back to face Sookie and once more, she saw the cold and heartlessness towards her Arabelle had cast upon him. Survival instincts took her over and she felt the brief tickling sensation as her fangs popped out and she took a defensive pose. Darting around with their enhanced speed, Sookie was trying to keep distance between them, not wanting to harm him. But it was clear that she may not have any other option.

Chapter 6

Returning into the house, she took all the silver chain she could find and gathered them up. She'd barely collected the last one when she was knocked onto her back, the wind knocked out of her. Straddling her, Eric grinned, fangs sinking down into he her quickly. Fearful he would drain her fast, not only to his lack of control due to being spelled but to her own faerie blood, she tried to use her power to knock him away, but her arms were pinned hard to the floor. Hearing the laughter of Arabelle, Sookie began to black out.

"Stop. For a moment…..just….please, listen….." Sookie breathed, as to her surprise, he did stop and backed way a few inches, their faces close to each other. "I know you….your strength. You were-are-a strong, honorable Viking warrior. Who has saved me more times than I can count. Please…..you can break through this. Please…." she managed to lift her head up and look into his eyes and she kissed him gently, taking a finger to her slightly blood tinged tears and wiping them against his cold cheek. The wounds of his bite were healing but he had taken a grave amount from her. Falling gently back to the ground, there was a surging pain through Eric's head, the battle between his own self control and Arabelle's dark spell raging. Then there was nothing as the pain subsided and Arabelle came up behind him

"Well done. She's as good as dead and I would very much like to sample her before her blood goes cold." Arabelle growled, reaching to pat his head like he was nothing more than her pet. Instead, her arm was grabbed, hard. So hard that it was dislocated. "Impossible….it was a unbreakable spell as legends told."

Taking the scroll that had caused so much trouble from the desk, Eric made little work of destroying it and then moved straight to Arabelle, who had just finished putting her arm back in place and looked at him sadly. "We could have had everything. Lived like royalty. You seem to have forgotten that you are royalty. You deserve better."

He arched a eyebrow. "Yes. I agree with you there." he turned to kneel beside Sookie, gesturing for Arabelle to come over. "Well, you wanted a taste. Come and get it before it cools."

Arabelle smiled and approached. In a blink, she found herself at the pointy end of a letter opener that had been on the desk. He kept it firmly in place as he pushed it in deeper, finally reaching its mark. Arabelle melted into a lumpy crimson puddle as Eric quickly began giving Sookie some of his own blood.

Chapter 7

"Come on, come on…." he said impatiently as he felt her pulse begin to get stronger again. He knew how close he had come to losing her and hated once more being vulnerable to the magic that had possessed him. Deep down, he knew that it was the feelings he had for her that had stopped him from finishing her off. Yet, he was unable to stop himself from doing the damage that had been done. Slowly, she opened her brown eyes and looked right into his. He cringed at the fear and worry she relayed in that one look but then she saw the fact he was trying to keep the blood tears from falling. He was being less than successful and as stoic as he usually as with most anyone else, Sookie was as always touched by the emotion, the depth of his caring for her. Reaching up, she touched his face.

"Thank goodness…..I was so scared of what-" Sookie was interrupted by his finger touching her lips to silence her.

"All I want to do is get you away from here and try to enjoy the rest of our vacation." replied Eric and scooping her up gently he took her back to the shores of the ocean where he helped her finish healing and the two were finally able to let loose their emotions of the most recent trying ordeal in their relationship. They were lying on the sands of the beach, Sookie on his jacket he had laid out for her. Both of their faces stained with tears. "I can not apologize more for what I did…..all I see when I look at you is the lingering fear in your face that I would do that again. I really and truly hate magic….except for yours."

Sookie nuzzled closer to him as the first signs of dawn began to appear in the clear sky. "I don't blame magic or you for what happened. I blame that crazy bitch and her psychosis. And she's gone. For good. I do wonder though."

"What?"

"I wonder, if you two had remained human and ended up married as was intended, if you would have been happy. Like you and I are now. I don't know….it's just…..you've led a very interesting and colorful life that I know I barely know anything about. I mean, come on. You're-"

"Old?" he quipped and finally managed a smirk. "I don't feel a day over 800 to be honest. But as for what I think would have happened with her if I had stayed human, I think I would have been extremely unhappy. I never liked the fact choices were made for me. My life is my own and fate made it so I could finally have the one meant for me. It's never been easy nor do I think it ever will. But I am certainly grateful for you, Sookie."

They returned to his castle a few silent moments later and spent the last day of their vacation in bed. Mostly talking, Sookie listening in fascination at the places and people Eric had encountered, people she had only read about in history books. All in all, she admitted this was probably the best vacation she had ever had. At least, so far.

The End

#7-Raging Faerie

Chapter 1

It had been an entire week since there had been anything remotely exciting happening in her life or than of her friends. Peaceful times were more than welcome for her and she had made sure to savor every bit of it she could. Knowing Bon Temps, it was only a matter of time before another adventure unfolded. She had decided it was useless to fight that fact or try to change it. It was what it was and after all, she was not only a faerie-vamp who could handle herself even more now than when she was a faerie with limited powers, but she had friends-and a boyfriend-in high places.

Enjoying herself as she worked in her garden in the back of her house, Sookie took a break, sipping from a glass of sweet tea that was her grandmother's recipe. Just drinking it made her feel like her Gran was still alive with her, though Sookie always felt her grandmother's presence. With a sigh, she decided enough was enough for the day and decided a early shower was called for, after wrapping up in a plushy pink bathrobe, she put together a salad an a glass of wine, settling down in front of her flat screen TV, only glancing wistfully once at the empty cubby hidden behind the hand carved doors. Night fell and there came a knock on her front door. Answering it, she had expected to see Eric there. But instead, she saw Pam and Tara.

"Hey Sook." Tara was trying to smile, but there was something wrong. Very wrong. Even Pam, normally stoic and displaying disinterest on the outside, seemed a little off. "Can we come in? there is something we need to talk about."

Sookie felt her stomach churn. "What is it? I take it it's not good."

"No. not for you and certainly not for him either." Pam said, referring, no doubt, to her maker. "It would seem that he's…..god, I can't believe I'm saying this." she closed her eyes for a moment. "He is…being forced into doing something I never thought would be with anyone besides yourself."

"I have a feeling I need to sit down for this." Sookie said, the two vampires not sitting until she had done so. "What is it?"

"He sent us to deliver the news as he couldn't come himself. Sookie, Eric has gotten married."

The air went out of the room as a numbness washed over Sookie, her world seemingly prepared to fall apart once again.

Chapter 2

"Married?" Sookie whispered hoarsely. "I just saw him two nights ago and he didn't say a word about…."

"Tonight, we were visited by a group of less than pleasant vamps who came to learn of your existence and the powers you possess. Knowing how extremely rare and special you are, they made a offer with Eric. In order to keep your secret and to keep you safe, they wished you to wed one of their own. And she happens to be the new queen of Louisiana. She's not as repellent and cold as Sophie Anne was but she knows what she wants and always gets what she wants. So she and her cohorts made him a deal. Nothing like putting him between a rock and a hard place."

Sookie said nothing for a moment bore getting up and grabbing her car keys. "I'm going to see him in person. I can't believe he couldn't just come out and say what was happening. Surely he could have given me a heads up!" she was trying not to panic, to show fear, but was failing.

"I don't even think he'll be there when you get there." Tara interjected. "We overheard them telling him he would need to leave the bar and return to the palace with her-Julia St. Pierre is her name, by the way-and they were to sign a contract tonight to make things official. By all accounts I have gathered, Julia is nothing but honest and would in fact ensure your safety and secrecy but…I know that doesn't make you feel any better."

"No. it doesn't. it's like he's being sold into slavery. He loves his freedom and being coerced into this….."

"You aren't in this alone. I don't want to see this happen to him either but the only way I see to getting him out of this is killing every last vamp in the castle and then for him to take her title for his own good as well as yours." Pam replied. "Julia is powerful and older than he is and so are the vamps she surrounds herself with are. She was no fool in selecting her bodyguards, I will give her that much."

"Let's go to the bar, just in case he's there still. Maybe I can get this…Julia….to see reason." Sookie said as she exited the house.

"Even with a immortal lifespan, greater powers and fangs, you're still naïve Sookie Stackhouse." Pam said, rolling her eyes. "Good thing we're going along for the ride."

Chapter 3

He knew the layout of this place fairly well as it had once belonged to Sophie Annie. But he had not had the "pleasure" of being put in a dungeon like room that was no doubt meant to keep a vampire securely trapped inside. Not to mention that for a precaution, a injection of silver had been given to him to weaken him somewhat. His reputation was of course, legendary. Pacing back and forth, all he could thing about was ripping these vamps apart and returning to Sookie. As for Sookie, he was pained to wonder how she had taken the news he had been forced to deliver through Pam and Tara instead. After all they had been through, he had a feeling that unless they could stop this marriage, then his future with Sookie would be in ashes.

Two of her bodyguards entered the room, which was plush and comfortable enough, for being what it was and escorted him to the pool room, where Eric had certainly been in many times. The new queen had put in more live plants, giving the room a more of a jungle like atmosphere and the pool was as clear and pristine as ever. She was doing laps in a skimpy two piece bikini when she saw him approach. Climbing up and out of the water, she took a robe that another of her servants handed to her and very slowly, tied it shut, no doubt wanting to give her reluctant fiancé something to look at. "Enjoying the room? I would have put you in something better, but I want to ensure you don't try running off. But I think I can trust you, don't you? I mean, if you were to try anything funny, all I have to do is snap my fingers and I can have that waitress of yours here in no time flat."

"I hate you. I may have just met you, but I hate you."

Julia shrugged. "I am not as terrible as you think I am. I am making you a generous deal, not only offering you protection for your pretty little faerie, but I am willing to also help with the upkeep of your bar. Former bar, actually as you will be too busy to return to that place. Not to worry though, it will be well cared for as will your friends still there."

"You sound as if I won't see Pam or Tara again either. Tell me you think you will keep me away from my family…I've lost one family already and now you expect me to give up my second?"

"Nonsense, you will get more than you bargain for in return." Julia walked up to him and put r arms around his neck. "When I am done with you, you'll wonder why you had such sentiments for the faerie and the rest. And you will finally live like the prince you are. I did my research about you and knew you had to be mine., I deserve only the best."

He pushed her away from her as the bodyguards immediately drew their weapons, silver nets and guns with silver bullets. only the most potent of arsenal for their captive, even though he was still suffering from the silver poisoning. "Knowing my friends, they will certainly not let this stand. They will come for me."

"I don't doubt it. When I was at your bar, that Pamela and Tara, they seemed quite feisty. And stubborn. I saw a lot of myself in them. But if they do try anything funny, I have more than enough cells for them to call their new home and if so needed, I can have them executed as well. That's all for now. But here is a taste of what things will be like starting tomorrow night when no doubt, you will have made the right decision." she gestured to her guards, who fired silver tipped tasers at him, having not exactly the same effect that would befall a human but it was enough to paralyze him enough for her to force her lips onto his, dipping her head to the right and sinking her fangs deep into his neck as the incapicated Viking tried to wriggle back. Satisfied, she ordered the guards to take him back to his room. "And if your friends do decide to come her, I am always quite the hostess!"

Chapter 4

Sookie, Tara and Pam looked around the closed bar, finding a panicked looking Ginger coming towards them

"Good god! You left like such a panic and they took him away….but you're going to get him back, right? They were animals!" Ginger was in hysterics, more so than her usual and Sookie noted the fang marks on her arms and neck. No doubt the people that had taken Eric had helped themselves to a snack.

"So they did take him." Tara said flatly "And you are coping better than I expected."

Ginger looked to the empty throne and then to the three women before her. "The woman, her name was Julia. Said she was a queen and was moving into…um….I'm trying to remember…."

"We need to know where she is." Pam said impatiently, her fangs popping out as she got into Gingers face. As Ginger screamed in fear, Sookie gently pulled Pam back.

"Scaring her isn't going to help. Did they say where they were going?"

"Something about the palace. That Julia was doing renovations from the former owner. So maybe the palace of the ex-queen of Louisiana?" Ginger replied timidly, trying not to reignite Pam's temper.

"That would make sense." Pam replied. "I only went there once before but I know where it is. It's a hour or so from here and I am sure teeming with more than enough guards. She is not one to take her life to chance."

"So three of us against who knows how many vamps that are stronger than we are….great odds." Tara said sarcastically.

"Maybe we can do it without trouble or bloodshed. Make her see reason….." Sookie suggested and once again Pam rolled her eyes.

"This is a woman who is blackmailing Eric in order to get him for herself. And you know how he feels about you, you really don't think he would go to unimaginable lengths to protect you? And to be honest, as clean of a record as this queen may have, I don't dare put anything past her that she would ever leave you alone once she caught a whiff or a sip of you."

"So, what do you think we should do? Gather the cavalry? Maybe get Jason involved? Or Bill, Jessica?" Tara asked.

"I think with our tempers, we can get anything done we set our minds to. But we need to be smart about this. I do believe she would want you alive Sookie, and I don't think she realizes how strong you really are. Play down your strength and then when the time is right, I'd say kill as many as you can if need be."

Ginger felt left out. "Look, I ain't gonna give you all this information and get stuck here waiting for you. I want to come help too."

"All you'll do is either scream your lungs out or get killed and I ain't babysitting your bleached blonde butt." Pam said. "And I know Eric's got a soft spot for you too and he wouldn't want you coming into such danger."

Taking some darts from behind a wall, Ginger said nothing as one by one, she flung them at the dartboard across the room. One after another, they hit dead center, fast and hard. "I happen to be good at darts and I have been taking some classes at the gun range, though I am much better at darts. And if I heard correctly, there is such a thing as silver tipped darts that with one direct hit, can turn a vamp to goop."

Sookie had to admit, Ginger had grown a little somewhat from the addled mess she typically was. And she liked it. "I don't see why you can't come along but if any danger-serious danger-arises, we want you to duck and cover, anywhere you can find some safety."

"Ok….well…dawn is coming soon so we can't go tonight. It will need to be tomorrow night. As much as I want to go tonight, we all need our rest if we're going to be at our best." Pam said.

"Until tomorrow night then." Sookie said, looking around at their little female commando group. Lord help her, they were a motley, though potent bunch. Hopefully potent enough to rescue Eric from the grips of the new queen of Louisiana.

Chapter 5

They arrived at the newly erected, stronger gates of the mansion, the next evening where they saw guards crawling from the ground floor up to the second story. And of course, they were accosted right as soon as they had gotten out of Sookie's vehicle.

"What business do you have here? The queen is not expecting-"

"My name is Sookie Stackhouse and I think its fair to say she knows exactly who I am. I was hoping to get a audience with her." Sookie was doing well at keeping composed while she was ready to explode on the inside.

Another guard spoke into a walkie talkie and the trio soon found themselves standing in the ornate foyer of the mansion. Having been forced to leave Ginger behind in the car, they claimed she was passed out drunk, something Ginger could easily pretend convincingly to be. Besides, with the security checks they had expected, they knew as soon as they found the silver darts, there would be trouble. Finally, the three were let into a fancy sitting room where the queen herself was standing proudly, brazenly trying on wedding gowns. No doubt, she had expected Sookie to show up. "Well, at last we meet….after all the intelligence I have gathered about you, it is nice to meet you in the flesh. And it is good to see you, Pam and Tara again. We Didn't really get a chance to speak much the other night, did we?"

Sookie was seething but put on a bright, friendly face. "I wanted to see what I could do to change your mind. To let Eric leave here and get back to his life. You Don't even know him. Not really. You would know this is the last think he wants."

Julia rifled through a rack of dresses, selecting one with a low cut in the front. "What about this one, did you think it would do anything for him?"

Pam was getting angry, fast. "We Didn't come here to talk about dresses. We're here to get him out of here and if we need to end you to do it-" Sookie jabbed Pam in the side to try to get her to stop before things escalated too fast. But Julia was not pleased. Pushing a button, the doors of the room opened again and she made a quick gesture to the guards, who quickly silvered Pam and Tara. "Take them to their rooms. And double up on the guards outside of them, just in case. I would much prefer to speak with Sookie here in private anyways. Oh, and get my groom down here, would you?"

Sookie's eyes widened as she heard the queen say this. "I was really hoping we could be civil a bout this. I really didn't come here wanting trouble and I am sorry for Pam. She is protective of her maker, as you probably know."

"I do understand. And it is why I don't plan on harming them. Unless you happen to try anything funny, of course. It would seem their lives are now dependent on you. On you walking away from him as soon as the ceremony is over. And like I said before, I vow to allow you protection and your secret. And your life in peace. Hell, I would even give you cash if you so needed some. I've seen your…..house…." Julia's eyes darted around the opulence of the room. "It certainly is rustic."

Ignoring the digs being made at her Sookie was too angry to reply. Then the door opened again as a quad of muscle-bound vamps dragged in Eric, who looked haggard and clearly had not rested, as there was blood running from his ears. He saw Sookie there and his eyes flickered the first real sign of life since his arrival here. He had also been forced into a tuxedo and looked rather like a Nordic James bond. If they hadn't been in such a terrible position right now, Sookie would have had to be scraped off the floor, he looked that good.

"I will tell you what. I am in a very good mood so I will let you two have ten minutes together to say your goodbyes. But like I said, try anything funny and well….things will get messy. I always keep my word." she snapped her fingers as yet another dose of silver was injected into Eric before she and the guards left the room, no doubt making certain the door-the only way in or out-was well guarded. Sookie rushed over to him as he tried not to show his weakened state due to the silver. It usually didn't last long for it to wear out in a vampire's system, especially in one as strong and as powerful as he was. But it was enough to do what she wanted.

"Are you okay?" she asked as she led him to a sofa.

"Do you not see where we are right now, what is facing the both of us? And you have to ask?" he said angrily. But seeing his anger had clearly wounded her, he flinched. "I am sorry….I know she would most certainly go after you if I refused her-"

"I have Pam and Tara here too. And Ginger too. But Pam and Tara got taken to rooms." Sookie tried to reassure him. "I will not allow you to become little more than a…"

"Whore?" Eric suggested bitterly. "From what she was saying to me on the way here, that was the gist of what she wants me for. And what I could do for her, with my strength and reputation. But she truly thinks I would come to love her. No matter how many centuries it takes."

"I don't like the idea of you spending any more than a moment more here with her, much less centuries." Sookie replied, shaking with anger. "I will not allow you to go through with this, I just won't!"

He took her face in his hands and though she could see his exhaustion and the ill effects the silver injection had given him, she knew he was not about to go quietly into a forced marriage. "The only one I would ever dream about marrying is right in front of me and trust me, when we stop her and this is over, not only will you truly be mine, but we will have a new place to call home. And most likely, a new title for myself. I believe one would be foolish-suicidal, really, to challenge me for taking her position."

"Queen?" Sookie was desperate for some kind of levity. "We could get your Viking crown all bedazzled and colored pink and….." she trailed off as he fragile smile fell apart.

"Even in the most dire situations, you always manage to make me smile." he replied ruefully. "I know you're trying to cheer me up but nothing would make me happier than taking you and getting out of this place. Leaving as much carnage as possible behind."

They hugged for a few minutes and Julia barged back into the room, the guards moving right over to them and split them up. Two held securely onto Sookie while another appeared to be dressed like a minister.

"And I thought I wouldn't have a bridesmaid!" Julia said gleefully as they got into position. "I do wish you'd worn nicer clothes upon coming here, Sookie. Jeans and a t-shirt….but I suppose its what you can get as a waitress." she turned to the vampire minister. "Shall we begin?"

Chapter 6

The ceremony went by in a blur as Sookie watched helplessly, not daring to try anything funny, lest she risk her friend's lives elsewhere in the mansion. The guards swiftly escorted Sookie out of the mansion and soon after, delivered two caskets out of the front door, draped in silver chains.

Julia came out of the palace, producing the signed marriage contract. "See? He signed it. And you will not come here again, nor will you or they ever see him. One step back onto the property and my guards have orders to kill on sight.." she gestured for the guards to bring him out one last time, but not before giving him a dangerous dose of silver, causing him to barely be able to walk. "Say goodbye to your old life, my dear."

Eric met Sookie's eyes and Sookie nodded sadly "Can I at least let my friends say goodbye as well. I am smart enough not to do anything stupid, I want no bloodshed. If you truly know about my past, you'd know I've dealt with more than enough. I am sick of it."

Julia looked at Sookie appraisingly, trying to detect a lie. But there was something earnest about the girl that convinced her she spoke true. "Very well."

Sookie first went to her car and got Ginger out, slowly whispering something in her ear and for once, Ginger got the message. Turing to the coffins with her other friends, she quickly set them free while Ginger emerged from the car, looking weary and squeamish. As she stumbled, she fell into of the guards and plunged silver darts right into them, reducing them to puddles of goo. Ignoring the pain, Pam and Tara quickly took some of Ginger's ample supply of darts and proceeded to take out no fewer than a dozen of the guards. But more were emerging from the shadows and the mansion itself as Julia signaled for a trio to take Eric back into the mansion. "Leave her to me." Julia moved in a flash and before she knew what had hit her, Sookie felt herself being swept up and away from the bloodbath that was now below her.

With a heavy thud, Sookie hit the roof of the mansion as Julia paced like a tiger before her, eyes ablaze. "I think in other circumstances, we could have been friends. You are feisty but a freak. A faerie-vamp? Not even in the same league as a vampire and I am going to make him see that I will always be the one for him."

"You're insane." Sookie got to her feet and instead of wiping the blood from her cut lip away, she licked it slowly, smirking. "You've never tangled with me, you're in for a rude awakening." she let loose a blast of light that Julia was too fast for. Instead the light fell into the roof, causing a chunk of the stone to blast upwards.

"I am older than your-or rather, my,-Viking is and so am far stronger. You really think your pretty little light show will give you the upper hand in this? All I need is do is get my teeth into you and drain you….it's been far to long since I have had a taste of faerie."

Ignoring the diatribe of the mad queen, Sookie dodged a attack quite nimbly herself as Julia launched herself right at Sookie, who caught her by the arm and flipped her over onto her back. Straddling the queen, Sookie was ready to kill. But in a instant, the flip was reversed and Sookie found herself on the bottom, Julia ready to strike. "I am glad you got to say your goodbye to him. I will make sure he sees what's left of you before the mess you leave behind it is taken care of. And not to worry, that ditzy blonde and the vamps you came with, they will make good meals for my hard working guards." she plunged her fangs into Sookie, who screamed with the pain of it. Faerie-vamp or not, it still stung as bad as any other physical pain she had sustained so far in her life.

Pinned down, Sookie felt something surge within her. All the rage and anger she felt, the worry, every shred of emotion she was feeling. And it was not only her hands that began to emit the glow, it came all over her and then it knocked Julia up straight into the sky. Racing to her feet, her hands began to light up again and with a single blast, she shot Julia like she were skeet shooting, her body exploding and creating a bloody rain that fell over her and the roof. Fatigued, though not for long thanks to her power, Sookie peered over the edge of the roof and saw to her relief, there was many a dead vamp and her friends were nearly finished with the last wave. Unfortunately, she also saw her car was damaged, likely beyond repair as there was a dent in the roof and the window were blown out. Using her power, Sookie helped destroy a few more before Pam looked up to her for a second. "Sorry 'bout your car!" she yelled. "We've got this! Go get him out of here!" Pam shouted and nodding, Sookie jumped off the roof and landed in a crouched position on the walkway leading into the mansion.

Chapter 7

Room after room she looked, finding only some overturned furniture from the chaos of the guards fleeing the mansion to come to Julia's defense. She reached the last room at the end of the hall, the doorway wide open. There she saw several dead vampires and some familiar clothing lying within one of the remains. "Oh, god…." she said, the wind knocked out of her as she knelt beside the remains of Eric's wedding suit. She had looked throughout the whole mansion and there was nowhere else for her to search. Numb, she made to return downstairs, tears running down her face, not sure how to break the news to her friends. Attacked from behind, she found herself staring at a pair of guards that had reentered the mansion and they worked quick, each clamping down on either side of her neck. But she was not going flew to go down without a fight, not after what had been lost to her. Light flew from her hands as she got up and bit one of the guards herself, almost savoring the taste of the blood she took. The second guard made to strike at her again but instead, he and the one Sookie had bitten exploded into goo. Turning to see the attacker, she saw a bloodied and very much alive Eric, wearing only pants that were a size too small.

"I couldn't stand being in that suit….not with her anyway. I went pillaging for some new clothes, but unfortunately, this was all I could find. I was looking for you too…..you look upset." he said as Sookie flung herself at him.

"I saw the dead vamps and your tux and…I thought…"

"I wasn't as weak as I led her to believe. I have often thought myself as fairly clever." he beamed at her as she clenched tightly to him. Screams and shouting from outside told them that the night was not quite over. Racing out of the mansion, they found the remaining guards were still putting up a fight and it seemed that the darts had run out. Turning to Sookie, Eric asked if she was up for another round.

"After everything I've gone through tonight, I really could use a outlet." Sookie replied. Pam caught a glimpse of her maker with Sookie and looked relieved for a moment before she returned to take on the vamps she was sparring with. With the reinforcements, they made quick work dispatching of every last remaining servant of the now permanently dead Queen Julia.

"You're fine. Good." Pam said stoically, arms crossed over her face before she began to smile and hugged her maker. He had only turned to check on Tara and Ginger, who he was pleased to see sustained minor injuries, which he was too glad to heal for her. As he gave her his blood, ginger quickly healed and she too offered up a tight hug.

"I am impressed you came to fight. And more impressed you survived." Eric smirked as he helped Ginger to her feet. "Would you be good enough to take Ginger home?" he asked Pam who had been listening to Sookie recall her battle with Julia and the brief time she had thought they had lost him.

"Do I have to?" Pam crossed her arms over her chest but after getting a annoyed look from Eric, she sighed. "Well, I guess she did make herself useful for once. Let's go, Ginger. " Grabbing her, firmly, Pam flew off with Ginger, leaving Sookie and Eric alone, surrounded by the carnage that they both ignored. Under the moonlight, she looked at him.

"After everything we have been through, this was the first time I felt really scared I'd lose you forever. But-"

"That temper of yours and your powers definitely came through. I know how strong Julia and her guards were and if you had been merely faerie Sookie and kept your temper in check, I don't know if we would be here talking right now."

"I've never been exactly proud of my temper, always trying to keep it in check. But harnessing it, channeling it, I actually felt-"

"Good? It does feel good to let yourself go every now and then, doesn't it?" he grinned as he looked her over and then himself. "Shall we retreat to the shower, perhaps?"

"Sounds like a plan…..and it looks like you're next in line to be king of Louisiana?" Sookie arched a eyebrow.

Deep in thought, Eric shrugged. "I suppose so. Since the old authority was…..disposed of, from what I hear the new regime is much less…."

"Devious? Evil? And more importantly they don't go nuts drinking the blood of some vampire god?"

He laughed. "They are all for the peace between both vamps and humans and as much as I love a good battle, I suppose it would be to our benefit that there is some kind of peace. I suspect I will hear something soon. It would seem that there had been plans to dispatch of Julia and now with her gone, its only a matter of time before it's learned of my involvement I heard as much during my brief captivity. She planned to use me to help protect her But for now, let's clean up. And it looks like you'll be needing a new vehicle." he nodded at the beat up metal that was one Sookie's car. "No matter, I'd rather make fast time getting back to your place anyway."

Nodding eagerly, she let him scoop her up and flew them back to her house where a good, long, hot shower would soon be very much enjoyed.

The End

#8-Power Struggle

Chapter 1

A couple of nights before had been completely chaotic but thankfully, had ended on a relaxing note. She had nearly lost him to some machinations of a mad vampire queen, wanting Eric for herself and basically blackmailed him into said wedding , promising to keep her information she learned about Sookie's vamp-faerie power secret. But after a bloody evening, the queen was dead as were all those who were assisting her. And now, here she was, doing laundry and dusting. What a difference a matter of hours could make. Whoever would have guessed she would be grateful to be doing such menial tasks. But after the emotional and physical trauma she'd sustained last night, she would willingly take it.

Curling up on her couch with a book that evening, her eyes kept darting to the window, the sky growing darker by the minute. A couple hours later, she heard a car pull up to her house, the headlights attracting her attention more than anything, it was that bright. Getting off the couch, she opened her front door and looked out at the sleek dark blue convertible before her. Getting out of the drivers seat, Eric marched right up to her. "So. What do you think? I figured it was the least I could do for helping me get out of that…travesty."

"You mean….that's….,mine?" Sookie gaped from him to the car and slowly made her way to get a closer look. "Oh, I can't accept this….it's too much…."

"Well, I happened to reward Pam, Tara and Ginger just as generously and seeing as though you and I are together….I want you to have it." he shrugged. "I shudder to think what centuries locked in a marriage contract with Julia would have been like."

Sookie looked from the car to his frowning face. "I think that it would have destroyed you eventually. As strong as you are, I know you hate being in any subservient position. And as for me…I don't think I would have wanted to go on, knowing what you were going through." she wiped away a tear and put on a smile. "But its over. She's gone and now we can be happy. By the way, what have you heard about….you know?"

He took her by the hand and they sat on her new porch swing. He said nothing for a moment. "I had a meeting with the new authority and they were only too glad to have Julia gone. And they offered me her former position."

Sookie didn't know what to say. No doubt he did like power and wondered if it would take precedence over her. He had been restored as being sheriff of area five some time back and he was anything but lax about that position. Honestly, she didn't know how to respond. Frankly, she had secretly hoped someone else would be chosen for the position. "You took the job, didn't you?"

He said nothing right away but she noticed he wouldn't look at her. "It is a great opportunity and I didn't think I wanted it until I was there before the authority. I could do a lot of good, you know. Keeping threats like Julia down. Among other issues."

Sookie pursed her lips. She hadn't expected to be as upset as she was by his decision. The fact he hadn't talked it over with her first certainly stung. "I thought you were happy being sheriff, that that was enough for you. And with this title, this job, you'll be so busy. What about the bar? Pam and Tara? Me?" Sookie stood up and went to enter the house as he tried following her in. "I rescind your invitation to my house. I need time to think things over. Maybe you do care more about power than you ever did me. Maybe what bill said to me long ago about you only caring about yourself….maybe there was a ring of truth to it."

"Sookie." he said angrily. "There's more to discuss." he said, grabbing her arm gently, to which she used her light to knock him right off her porch.

"I'm at my wit's end. After everything I've done for you….you couldn't call me so we could talk about this?"

His own temper flared a bit, fangs popping out. "I thought you'd be proud. That you'd understand that by taking this job, I would also be more able to keep you safer. After what we went through with Julia, I have a bad feeling somehow your secret may get loose and then, what? Dozens of vamps or other people coming after you because of what you are?"

There was a silence. "I want you to leave. I need some time. If you truly do care about me….love me…then you will give me some space so I can think. Just remember, I changed myself-literally-to help you." she slammed the door, glancing at him one last time, enough for him to see the tears in her eyes. He remained on the spot right up until it was almost dawn, hoping she would emerge. Frustrated, he flew back to his bar, where no doubt, Pam would be concerned about where he had been for a good part of the night.

Chapter 2

Entering Fangtasia a short time later, Pam clearly had not been happy about his absence. "We could have used you tonight. Stupid drunken rednecks picked fights with some of the dancers and it was lucky Tara and I kept our clothes from being wrecked. She's asleep, nursing some cuts she got from being struck by silver knifes. One of them failed to get away."

"And where is the attacker?" he asked, but seeing Pam's face, he shook his head. "Glamour him when you are done playing with him and make certain he doesn't think about bringing his friends back here of they'll have me to deal with." and he retreated to his office and slouched into his chair, looking in a rather brooding mood.

"What'd Sookie do now? And you can't tell me it isn't Sookie, I know you well enough to know when she's gotten to you. Oh….you told her about your new job, didn't you?"

He raised a eyebrow at her. "I don't know what you're talking about. I don't need anyone's permission to accept a new opportunity."

"Cut the crap. You do want her approval and support, whatever you may say. I will also guess she is not exactly excited about it? She does know about you inheriting that wench Julia's mansion-which is being cleaned and repaired as we speak from the events of the other night, by the way."

Leaning back in his chair, Eric glared at his progeny. "I can never get anything past you, can I?"

"Nope." Pam replied with a smirk that quickly faded, seeing how miserable he seemed to be. "It's bad, isn't it? I could try to go talk to her, girl to girl. I can make that stubborn faerie see reason. You know how persuasive I can be."

"Yes. I would agree with that. But I think she needs some space. Maybe tomorrow night, I'll go and try to see her again. For now, it seems I have some decisions that need to be made. And fast."

Chapter 3

The next day, Sookie was relieved to be working the entire day at Bellefleur's. She had spilled her guts to Lafayette and Arlene, both were understanding and supportive of her. "He's like any other man." Arlene said to her as she cleared a table. "All they care about is power, money and a good pair of-"

"Easy, Red." Lafayette said from the kitchen during a lull in the afternoon. "Not all guys are looking for big fake silicone filled-"

"I know, I know." Arlene couldn't help but giggle at the quick witted cook. But she turned back to face Sookie as she pitched in to help at another table. She had two other new waitresses on today but was very much a hands on owner and besides, she liked having the chance to advise Sookie after all that Sookie had done for her. "Maybe it's time to break things off with him. As cute as he is, and though he's done some good things to save us-mostly you, though-I think you'd be crazy to let him choose a title over you."

"I just wish he had talked to me first. The fact he accepted the job….I think I need to just get away for a little while. By myself."

Lafayette frowned as he emerged from the kitchen. "Girl, he can just hunt you down if he wants. Lord knows the connection I had with him when he had my blood and I had his. That ain't something I want to remember, but-"

"My grandfather has come in to check on me off and on and has been working on me with my abilities. Turns out, I can cloak myself from being detected. Only the most powerful of our kind have that power and since my….evolution, you might say, I've reached that skill level."

"Even though he's had your blood, you can make it hard for him to locate you?" Lafayette said with a stunned look. "Wow, if only I had that ability back when I had dealings with that crazy blonde vamp…..but I guess since he didn't kill me, I suppose I ain't about to complain too much."

"I can make it impossible. It's like making a shield all around my body and within it. And to according to Niall, I can hold it for hours at a time. But it takes a lot of focus and concentration. Any a weakness and a vamp could track me down." Sookie explained. "I don't want to have to play that card but I …."

Arlene looked at Sookie approvingly. "You've certainly come into your own, ain't ya?"

"Yep." Sookie said, unsmiling. "Too bad I can't seem to be happy for more than a few days before everything turns to crap again."

"Maybe this will be good for both of you. Give you both time to think, to cool off before you move forward. Or not." Lafayette said as a large group of customers entered the restaurant. Thanking her friends for their advice, Sookie turned back to her work, wondering where exactly she would be headed.

Chapter 4

He was sitting on her porch steps when she pulled in the drive. She had not wanted to drive the car he'd gotten her but it was too far for her to walk to work and unfortunately, teleporting magic was something she did not possess. As far as she knew, anyway. Slowly, she got out of the driver's seat and approached him and saw immediately he had clearly been up since the last time they spoke the night before.

"Sookie." Eric said, getting up as she started up the stairs. "I wanted to try to talk to you. There is something I need to tell you. I am still taking the job. I believe strongly I can be a better protector of you and our future if I do. And regardless of what you think, it is not about the power and prestige that comes with it. Not entirely anyway. Tonight I am being initiated into my new position and was hoping you would-"

"Come with you, to be nothing but arm candy for you? I am glad you made your choice because I made one tonight too. I am getting out of town for a little while. I need time. Space. I desperately want to have a happy life. But guess what? Every time I think things are going to slow down even just a little bit, something bog or bad happens. And I am actually proud of you, that you were asked to take on this job and I truly think you would do well. You never seem to fail in what you put your mind to. But I don't want t be your afterthought. I don't want to see you end up taken over by the job. I know how Bill became as king and heard about Sophie-Anne. And of course, Julia. To think you would become like they did….."

"I want you by my side. Not just for the short duration, but with your power, the fact you can live far longer than a average human…I want a life with you-"

What happened next startled herself, as she felt her hand slap him across the face, more tears entering her eyes. "Maybe I don't deserve you. Or you me. I am just…..I can't…..please, just go….." she said. But he grabbed her by the arm and spun her around to face him, his fangs out and looking more frightening than anything else. Not that she wasn't used to it but still, she was already a mess and this was not helping.

"I am not leaving. Not again. Sookie, I need you to be with me tonight. It important to me that you-" he was stopped when something knocked her away.

"I think she wants to be left alone." a southern draw said coolly from behind. Sookie was almost relieved to see her ex Bill had come to the scene. Not that he would have a chance in a drawn out fight with Eric, but she was glad for the interruption. "I didn't come looking for a fight but I was out for a walk and overheard you two."

"I would prefer not to fight you either Bill and I am in no mood for such crap. As it is, I've a full evening ahead and just wanted-"

"I heard you were getting a promotion. I do think there could be a way for all of us to be happy and end this, for all of our sakes but-"

"Thank you for coming but I have really had enough. Please leave." but she was not looking at Bill as she said this but Eric. "I hope you enjoy your crown and throne, I guess it's well overdue for you anyhow." she headed into her house. "Bill, would you mind coming in for a minute?"

Bill shuffled awkwardly, not wanting to be in the middle of the lovers' spat. Without a second glance at the Viking, he followed Sookie into the house as Eric remained where he did, finally leaving the area, planning his next move.

Sookie offered Bill a seat on her couch as she went to warm a bottle of blood for him, something she was more than used to keeping on hand as of late.

"Thank you for coming to check on me. I don't think he would have hurt me. Besides, I am no longer as fragile as I used to be." Sookie said as she handed Bill a bottle of True Blood. "What is this idea you had, anyway?"

"Well, it's something I wanted to speak with Eric about when I first learned his possible new job. But what's important right now is you. You look exhausted. "

She broke down and divulged her plans to leave town for a little while. "Eric knows too but I've new powers that can keep me hidden. Untraceable. Niall has helped me tap deep into my faerie side and to be honest, its scary. To think I only had my light, but now….."

"Whatever you need, you only have to ask. You've saved me from such…darkness. And pain." Bill replied. "I would ask you tell me where you are headed, just in case. If anything happened to you, I would never forgive myself."

"I'll only be a few days. And I am not telling a single soul where I am going, cause then they will just get glamoured by one of you all and then…I can take care of myself. Trust me."

Chapter 5

Arlene, of course, was willing to get Sookie's shifts covered for her so Sookie could try to get a grasp on things. Sookie herself wondered if maybe she was having some kind of mental breakdown, that all she had been through over the past few years had finally gotten to her. Certainly much of it had not been positive in terms of her life and her happiness and as she departed the plane and walked out of the airport, she was glad she had taken the red-eye flight t o Virginia Beach. It had been the first place she had thought of and put a reasonable amount if distance between her and back home. She had been tempted to tell Bill where she was going but didn't want him drawn into her spat. She had her cell phone anyway and he had promised to get help to her as soon as he could should the need arise. She had packed haphazardly and hurriedly, and so she wasn't surprised that her clothes she had packed were a wrinkled mess But she'd been desperate to get away and she had to make sure she was keeping her shielding magic up. There was no way she wanted to be found.

"Having a hard time of it, dear?" a voice said as she emerged from the simple bedroom as night fell. Luckily, she was dressed in her pajamas and slippers as she found herself face to face with her grandfather Niall

"Geez, you'd think you'd knock or something." Sookie said, startled by the unexpected appearance of her grandfather. "But I guess I am kind of glad to see you."

"I had a feeling you needed me. Or at least some advice." he said as he took a seat on the couch in the small living room. "At least you found yourself a decent enough motel ."

"Well, I wasn't planning on staying in a dive." she replied, trying to lighten the mood. "I'd offer you a drink but….you know."

"I came to ask why you did what you did. Running away from your problems? It's not like you." he said, blunt and to the point. "And yes, I know everything. About his new job, your fears and concerns. I think you know the truth but you are still so scared of losing everything. Fear is a dangerous and powerful thing."

Sookie stared at her grandfather for a moment before she burst out into tears. "I love him. I really do. And I guess maybe I am being stupid, thinking how I am about the job being more important than me. After everything we've been through…I'm just…..stressed, tired, confused…should I go on?" Sookie began pacing the room. "I just needed to get a break. To think over things and I can't do it where I was. I needed to just….go."

Niall walked over to her and hugged her. "I know things have been hard. Good things in life rarely ever come easy. But I do know he loves you. I know everything about the two of you and have only seen the connection you two have a handful of times. And it is special, let me tell you. Do not let yourself throw it all away. I sense you have your shields up to keep you from being found. And I have to say, you're impressing me with your handle of your powers. you're barely putting in a effort to keep the shield up, I don't know if you realize that."

"No….I don't…..wow." she replied, wiping away tears. "I guess I should be proud of myself. I just….I can't feel much of anything right now, except pain. Confusion. And by now, I suppose he's been sworn in, initiated, whatever into his new job. At least Pam will get to enjoy the mansion." Sookie said wistfully. "And please don't take this the wrong way. I am glad you came and I love you. But I would really prefer to be alone."

Looking pained for his granddaughter, Niall nevertheless knew enough to respect her wishes. "if you need anything, call out for me and I can be here for you. Please try to remember what I said and what you know deep down in your heart." with a kiss to her forehead, Niall vanished, leaving her alone to her thoughts.

Chapter 6

The next three days passed by fast as she made a effort to enjoy the beach and the boardwalk. She had been careful enough to pay for everything in cash to help keep her from being found. She was sitting in the small bedroom alone, drinking some wine. The night was as damp and dreary as she was. With a sigh, she closed her eyes and decided to do something that really, she knew she should have done some time ago. The shield cloaking her broke down and she waited for the inevitable moment where Eric would show up at the door. But hour after hour passed and there was nothing. Part of her was relieved, not wanting to get in another argument, but the other part of her was feeling deflated, that he had, in fact decided to put his new job ahead of her. That she was being tossed aside for the crown.

It was almost midnight and she couldn't sleep. Leaving her room, she decided to head across the street and to the beach beyond the neon lights of the boardwalk. She took her shoes off as she strolled aimlessly on the shore, the water lapping at her feet. Eerily deserted, the beach was soothing for her as she listened to the water, blocking the noises from the back and still open bars nearby. Sighing, she went to head back for her room only to find she was being watched. Leaning against the wooden post of a boat dock, she saw him watching her intently. She tried to pretend not to notice and kept walking back towards her motel. But he was not about to just let her out of his sight, she knew that much and was not surprised to find him at the door to her motel room a few minutes later.

"What the hell, Sookie? I couldn't sense you or feel your presence anywhere. I thought you were-" Eric was in her face, yelling as she turned her face away. "Let me inside so we can talk."

Sookie turned back to face him and using her key card, she let herself into the room first and then invited him in. she didn't want him to see her crying after he'd yelled at her. "What do you want?"

Pacing back and forth, he stopped as he saw her reflection in the mirror, her tearstained face making him cringe ever so slightly. "I apologize for yelling at you. But you…scared me. It was so abrupt, not being able to sense you. I even went to your house looking for a body. But then I ran into Bill."

"And let me guess, he told you I ran off." Sookie still wouldn't look at him, sitting on the couch, her back to him.

"He said you'd gotten away for a little while but I knew he didn't know where to. But it gave us time to talk. I decided not to take the job."

"What?" she said, finally turning to look at him. "But it was a opportunity of-"

"A lifetime?" he rolled his eyes. "Come on, I've lived several lifetimes and have done perfectly well for myself, wouldn't you say? No, I spoke with the new authority and recommended a new person to become the new king of Louisiana."

Sookie thought a moment before shaking her head. "Come on, you can't mean….."

"I think Bill will be a…respectable king this time around. He said that your kindness and forgiveness you gave him after everything with Lilith and the things he said and did…..and as hard as it is for me to admit, I believe him and see there has been a change in him. He has been a good friend to both of us. And I think I can still protect you as well as I ever could, no matter what title I may possess. I am perfectly content with being sheriff. But there was a ring of truth of what you thought., of my wanting power. Yes, it was tempting and it was that temptation tat blinded me to what my priorities should have, and should always be. My family and friends. Especially you."

For him to praise his former romantic rival, Sookie knew it had to have been hard for Eric to say what he just had about Bill And she too believed Bill was a decent enough person again and she had gotten to trust him and care about him again. She also knew that so long as he had Jessica around to help keep him grounded, then all the better for everyone. Still, she was wary. "That would mean he would-"

"He made the decision to remain in his home, for obvious reasons and he offered me the mansion. A sort of private getaway, if you will. I accepted it as I could always use a place to entertain special guests." he gave her a soulful look and she gave a resigned sigh.

"I didn't ever want you to give up the job just because of me. But I admit, I am thankful you did. But now I have to worry about Bill."

"Oh, he and I had a looong talk. That if he should ever for a moment start down that slippery slope that he was on before when he was king, he vowed to step down and allow me to take over. It is even down in a contract that the Authority approved. And really, I don't think you have anything to worry about with him. He has changed for the batter, though still as boring and old fashioned as hell."

She had to laugh at the feigned exasperation on his face. There was silence as she slowly walked over to him. "Does this mean we are made up? I don't want you hating me for passing up the job."

"I decided where my priorities need to be. After everything over the years I-and we-have been through, its long overdue for the message to sink into my thick skull I guess. But Don't think for a moment I will back down from any good old bloody fight."

"I wouldn't expect anything less."

"So." he said, looking around the room. "Are you ready to come home? I think I can just get us back before the sun rises."

"Only if we can put that cubby of yours to some use when we get there. I think it's a shame its had so much time unused, unoccupied….." Sookie said with a grin. "To think I was all ticked off when I saw you'd had it installed….."

"I do make a good interior designer, don't I?" he replied with a smirk. "I knew you'd come around."

Rolling her eyes, she began packing up her meager belongings she had brought with her. Ten minutes later, she had checked out of the motel, had her single duffel bag slung over her shoulder. Impatiently waiting for her, Eric got up from the bench he had been sitting on and looked at her haphazard appearance, trying to keep from laughing at her.

"Shut up." she said with a feigned whine. "I'm hurrying for you, after all, as I know you would prefer not having to be barbecued on the flight home. Speaking of, is Viking Airways ready to depart?"

"More than ready." he replied. Scooping her up, they were soon off into the night sky, making a beeline for her house where they could finish making up.

The End

#9-Fur and Fangs

Chapter 1

Working the late shift, the twinkling of the orange and yellow Halloween lights danced off the glasses on all of the booths and tables in the bar. Arlene was in her office, counting the day's take as Sookie and Jess finished cleaning up for the night.

"Hallloween's tomorrow night. I hope we get a lot of trick or treaters. I love seeing kids in their costumes, they are so cute. Daddy never let me dress up for Halloween. Said it was a wicked holiday and I'd go to hell if I took part. I've never gotten to go trick or treating but at least I can dress up and give kids candy."

"Normally we don't get any trick or treaters in our neck of the woods. But being what you and Bill are, well, it does produce the older crowd. But I think over time, people have gotten to see that you two are good people. But if you have any leftover Reeses' peanut butter cups, I would gladly take them off your hands. Not like you can enjoy them anyway."

Jessica gave Sookie a feigned mournful look. "I do miss chocolate but I know I gained far more than I lost."

"What are you dressing up as anyway?" Sookie asked. "My costume is going to be a surprise."

"Ooh, for you-know-who?" Jessica asked with a devilish grin. "I am willing to bet you're not coming to Bellefleur's for the Halloween party?"

"I am, actually. I feel bad for not hanging around with my friends like I used to. As for Eric, I don't expect he will make an appearance. He'll have his hands full dealing with the inevitable over partying humans that will be at Fangtasia tomorrow night."

Lafayette emerged from cleaning the kitchen. "I don't imagine he'd be one to wear a costume…he's scary enough without one."

"Can you imagine him dressed up as like, I don't know….a pirate. A cowboy? I bunny?" Jessica couldn't help but giggle at her own joke."

Lafayette arched a eyebrow as he grinned. "I think that would happen only if hell froze over and there was a total lack of other clothes to wear."

"He would, I think, then choose to wear nothing at all." Sookie added with a grin. "Are we almost done here?"

"I think so….let's see how Arlene is doing." Lafayette said. The three of them went back to the office where Arlene looked to be nearly finished with her own work. "Boss lady, you about done so we don't gotta worry about you being here alone?"

"Done right….now." Arlene replied as she finished jotting something down in a ledger. As they all went left, they marveled at the handiwork of Holly. The branches and trees were draped in fake cobwebs and tiny twinkling strands of more orange and yellow lights were woven into the trees surrounding the building. Tissue paper ghosts were tucked into the bushes as well. "Holly sure did a great job with the outside, don't ya think?"

"She's a wiccan, Halloween is right up her alley." Sookie agreed as they all headed to their cars. "See everyone tomorrow night, I guess? Lafayette, you are dressing up, aren't you?"

Lafayette rolled his eyes. "I dress up every day, girl. But you ain't seen nothing yet till tomorrow."

All of them laughed as they went to their vehicles, Sookie being the last to get into hers, a new dark blue convertible she had been given by Eric. She had not gotten far before the car began to shake and there was something, someone sitting in the back seat. Screaming, Sookie nearly drove off of the road as it vanished in a flash of light.

Chapter 2

"It's my imagination, its just the holiday playing games on my mind…." Sookie told herself over and over as she parked her car and headed to her house. With a last look back, she saw nothing out of sorts and decided a good night's sleep would definitely do her some good. Wrapped in a afghan that was once her grandmother's, she tossed and turned, strangely troubled by the vision of whatever it was she had seen in her car. Getting up, she headed to her kitchen and got herself a cup of tea, hoping it would calm her enough to get some rest. She knew she could more than handle herself but she had a feeling something strange was starting to happen. Again.

Sitting on her couch, she went to drink her tea when she saw it again. A flash of a figure that was out on her porch. Waifish and transparent, the eyes were looking straight at her and the face was very much familiar. "It can't be…..impossible."

Coming through the wall, the ghost of Marnie Stonebrook looked rather smug. "Every so often around Halloween time, the barriers keeping spirits in their own world weakens and I, as you can see, found a way through. Unfortunately my time is limited and I will be pulled back. Unless I can find someone to make a home in. and besides, I would love nothing more than to get revenge on you and your friends. What better way than to…" Marnie made a move towards Sookie, whose fangs popped out and she tried to use her fairy light to repel her. Cursing under her breath, Sookie ran upstairs in a feeble attempt to escape the villainous specter but found Marnie was already in her bedroom. "Look, you deserved what you got. You tried hurting-killing-people I cared about and I'll stop you."

Laughing, Marnie shook her head. "You have changed a little since we last met. Clearly, those new teeth of yours will be no use and that light you possess? You make me laugh. As strong and as powerful as you may be, there is nothing you can do to stop me. Now. Let's get this over so the real fun can begin." Marnie again lunged at Sookie, who dodged using her vampire speed. But Marnie was right, Sookie couldn't; fight Marnie and could only hope she would be pulled back in. "Your boyfriend will be her soon, I know it. He senses your fear." Marnie said and in a instant, she slammed herself straight into Sookie, who fell over backwards onto her back, unconscious.

Chapter 3

"Sookie…come on, wake up." a cool voice said as she felt the haze disparate and she slowly sat up, realizing she was in the lap of Eric. He looked concerned as she managed to get onto her rear, allowing him to take her by the hands to stand up. "What happened? I felt your fear…I know you're tough but I got here and there was nothing but you-"

"I'm ok. I get a bit….spooked easily around Halloween. Bad memories of the past I guess." she offered weakly. "You'd think since becoming…well, what I am now, that I'd be a little less wussy."

"Please. You are as tough as Pam. Maybe more so. don't tell her I said that though." he added hastily. "I don't just care about the tough side of . you, you know. I don't think you should feel bad about your…human qualities. I should know that more than anyone. You taught me that, you know."

"Thanks. I feel better now." she said hastily. "Are you hungry? I may have some blood in the fridge but I've not been to the store lately. Been busy getting the bar ready for Halloween and…." she trailed off. "Unless you would like a piece of me, here and now?" she asked teasingly.

"There's the saucy Sookie I enjoy. As well." he made a point to add. Tilting her head, Sookie allowed him to have a minute to savor her. He pulled away, a frown on his face. "Something's...off. Are you ill?"

Sookie panicked for a moment. He couldn't possibly detect…..could he? "I'm fine. Never better. Though I did make the mistake of moving some things from the garden shed. Things made of iron. I guess I wasn't thinking."

Not looking convinced, he pulled out his phone. "Something seems off and touching iron, it just…it wouldn't make your blood change taste I doubt."

Eyes flashing, Sookie blasted his phone from his hands as it shattered against the wall. "I was hoping to make our reunion a little more special but you're smarter than I remember you being. To think I so nearly had you and the other vampire burnt on that pyre." Sookie smiled at the memory before glowering at Eric. "Still don't get who I am, eh?"

"Crap…Marnie? Impossible. You're-"

"Very much dead. But around Halloween the veil can be breached by those spirits who have great power. I only had a few minutes at most and managed to find myself a very nice new home. So I can avenge not only myself but see those you care about be destroyed one by one. But of course, not before I make sure Sookie sees the misery wrought. Realizing what she has done, that it is far too late to stop the carnage."

The front door swung open as the newly installed king of Louisiana entered. "I heard a commotion as I was going for a walk." Bill looked from Sookie to the troubled look on Eric's face. "What is it?"

"It would seem," Eric began, not taking his eyes off of her "our witch problem has come back with a vengeance."

"Marnie?" Bill asked, slightly surprised. "It can't-"

"It is and I think we both know the power she has and now she also has control of Sookie's as well."

Marnie, through Sookie, feigned a yawn. "I was more powerful than you realized I was. I was more than some necromancer. Ah, we are joined by yet another now, aren't we?" Jessica had come looking for Bill and went straight to his side.

"I don't have time to explain, but I want you out of here right now."

"You Can't order me around anymore. There's trouble and I am not leaving you here. What is it?"

"She's possessed. By the witch who nearly made us all fry in the sun." Bill replied.

Recognition lit up on Jessica's face. "What are we going to-"

"Enough talking. Let's get down to business shall we? Starting with the one who has caused me the greatest misery." Arms cast out, she sent Bill and Jessica flying into the wall, pinned into place with a invisible force. And with a incantation, all hell was about to break loose.

Chapter 4

Vibrations began to shake the house. The lights flickered and finally went out, plunging the house into near darkness, save for the moonlight and the starlight from outside. But it was enough for the two frozen vamps to see the curse unleashed was doing ,

"Is that what I think it is?" Jess asked, unable to turn her head to her left where Bill was frozen in place beside her. "How is it even possible?"

"Apparently there is more to magic than we could ever fathom. And I am almost betting we are going to miss her necromancy rather than what we're seeing right now." Bill replied as they watched the scene play out. Still residing within Sookie, Marnie strolled around Eric, who looked to be in pain and as she knelt down with s smirk, gestured to his hands which were digging into the hardwood floor. As impossible as it seemed to the two vampires witnessing this, they saw the claws and fur for themselves appearing all over their friend. Marnie was laughing through Sookie, a cold ice laugh as a large, muscular, bronze and gold colored werewolf got up from the ground, surrounded by the shredded remains of his clothes.

"You make quite the wolf, my dear Viking….." Marnie said, summoning a pendant. "Soong as I have this, I can turn you whenever I desire and I can also control you. Ah, like old times." but she shuddered as something seemed to go wrong. Muttering a spell, she managed a smirk as the wolf raced out of the house and into the night. But he found herself being pushed out of Sookie's body, Sookie managing to regain control.

The spirit didn't look upset as the pendant fell from her opaque, formless grip. "What…..what happened?" Sookie asked, tired and weak as Bill and Jess were freed from their own spell that had kept them at bay.

"I don't care if you have that thing. It will not work for anyone save me and I can safely say the night is far from over." Marnie said, leaving n a flash, no doubt to look for another host.

"She Can't take us over, she must need a truly living body to inhabit. A tiny bit of good news there." Bill said as he came to Sookie's side, as did Jessica. Pam arrived a moment later.

"I couldn't move….I sensed Eric was in trouble and still, I couldn't do anything….." her eyes fell to the mangled remains of her maker's clothes and looked at the pale Sookie, who had been led to sit on her couch as Jess fetched her a glass of water. "What the hell happened?"

"It was me…..she made me…took me over." Sookie replied numbly. "I tried fighting her to get her out of me but….."

Pam was exasperated. "Made you do what?"

"Turn him into a werewolf." Jessica spoke up. She and Bill explained what had happened and with each passing word, Pam grew more and more furious.

"That bitch who made me decompose…..she really is back? And now my maker is her bitch. Again! To say nothing of making him into something he feels is far inferior to our kind-which is the truth anyway." Pam went to smash her fist into Sookie's living room wall but stopped herself. "Sorry."

Sookie was teary eyed as she wordlessly got up and knelt beside the torn up clothes. There was something, a lump in the remains of one of the pockets and she pulled it out. There was only one other time in her life she had been at the receiving end of one of these-if it was what she suspected it was inside-and it had turned out it simply wasn't meant to be. She knew Bill loved her but after the things he had done to her, which she came to realize were far worse than any of what Eric had ever done to her, there was no way she could settle down with him. Looking back now, she realized that the things Eric had done, including allowing her to be fed on by Russell Edgington-was only to save her life. He had been honest with her, and she had come to trust him implicitly. And now, opening the box in her hand, her breath was taken away by the small platinum tribal inspired band revealed to her, a large diamond sparkling under the soft lighting of the lights in the room.

"What is it?" Jess asked, peering over Sookie's shoulder. "Oh…it's beautiful….but that means…."

"It means, it's all the more imperative that we find someone who can try to help fix this mess." Bill said, glancing for a moment at the engagement ring. "That is much more delicate than I ever would have given him credit for coming up with. I am happy for you, Sookie."

"Thanks but there's nothing to celebrate until we can undo this magic. And so long as Marnie is out there, taking over bodies and casting her magic, keeping Eric on a leash…wait, Holly! She was part of Marnie's group and is the only other person with magic I know. She may know something. Apparently she inherited the magic shop and has access to everything Marnie left behind."

"What if she's next on the list? Marnie may suspect that would be our next move, I would think. And by the way, I was the one who had the ring designed." Pam interjected. "He's a lot of things, but knowledgeable about engagement rings is not up Eric's alley."

"Let's get over to Moon Goddess then. come on." Bill said as Sookie, Pam and Jess followed him in hot pursuit.

Chapter 5

The trees were splattered with the remains of all the unfortunate animals that had unknowingly wandered into the path of the new wolf that had unwittingly come into being. There was a chill wind that blew as the wolf shuddered, trying to fight off the voices in his head, telling him what to do. But the pull of the magic was too strong even for the Viking. Peering through the trees, he was close to the neon glow of Bellefleur's.

"I am so sorry for making you wait." a familiar voice spoke. Stepping into the soft light, a nondescript bar customer appeared, a pendant around her neck. There was no mistaking who this person was and as she touched the necklace and read the words that were etched around the blood red ruby set into the ironic silver setting, there was a painful howling noise as the wolf changed back into the vampire. "There. Now we can have a nice conversation. I don't understand wolf very well, I admit." Marnie's laugh sounded through her latest host. "I was surprised that your little faerie was able to force me out. I should have expected it, with her hybrid powers, after all."

Looking paler than usual and in pain from the unnatural magic he was under, Eric glared at the witch. "She's stronger than you ever knew her to be. And I am not going to allow you to keep me as your puppet. And even if you do they will free me, sooner or later. They will destroy you and find a way to use that pendant."

"You're still the cocky sort, aren't you?" Marnie sounded amused. "So long as I wear this and can use my powers, your friends are as in a precarious spot as you are. Now. We came here for one thing. The one thing that could ruin my fun, my plans. Let's get this done before the inevitable discovery of my plans. Those friends of yours are annoyingly persistent." reading once more the etched words on the pendant, she began working her magic once more. Knocked in the back from behind, a bright light had sent Marnie face dirt into the ground and mere feet away from, the shifting vampire, who seemed to be trying to fight the magic inflicted upon him.

"Get Holly!" Sookie yelled to Bill and Jess, who along with Pam , were transfixed by the scene of one of their own becoming a wolf again. "Quick!" Marnie was running from the scene, flinging blasts of fire behind her as she led the two vamps from the vicinity of the bar. Pam stayed with Sookie, reluctantly preparing for a fight. "No, Pam. I know you want to help but a bigger help would be to get Holly. She was not at the magic shop, she's got to be working here tonight. Get her and get her somewhere safe. She learned magic from Marnie and should know a spell that can keep her away long enough for us to figure out what the hell we are going to do. I know for sure we need that necklace and she's the only one who can use it."

"If anyone can find a way around that, I think it would be you. And if it is true that only Marnie can undo this magic, I will only be too happy to get her to do it."

"But there is a chance that she could spell you again. I don't think you are in a hurry to have a decomposing face again, are you, Pam?" Sookie got a look from Pam that said it all. "Please. Get Holly out of there." In a flash, Pam retreated into the bar, leaving a shaken Sookie to deal with the other issues at hand. If she could only, at the least, break Marnie's control over him, at least that would help. But as it was, it was looking to be rather difficult. "Fight it….please." she tried to beg with her love as she watched helplessly as the wolf took over completely. Backing off slowly, Sookie found herself pinned against a tree, hands ready to unleash her magic as the wolf approached. She knew her body could take more of a beating now and was willing to do whatever it took to break through to Eric. Letting the glow diminish from her hands, she swallowed hard as he came within a few feet of her. The glowing yellow eyes had replaced the gorgeous blue she had loved and the next thing she knew he swiped a paw, sending her flying into another tree. On her side and winded, she looked up to see him coming back for more. "I love you. You can fight her magic this time, I believe you can. don't let her control you again…"

Once more, he sent her flying and again she hit something hard. Forced to unleash her magic, a now bloodied Sookie managed to get to her feet and unleashed a blast of her magic at him. Striking true, the wolf went into a tree himself, shattering the thick trunk. Walking with a limp that would heal in moments, Sookie gingerly approached the stirring figure. She hoped her magic had at least taken Marnie's control away. Judging by the sudden third attack she now sustained, she realized it hadn't.

Chapter 6

Pam and Holly met up with Jess and Bill at Moon Goddess, Bill being less than pleased that Sookie was alone with such a danger. "She is tough and can handle herself. What we need to do now is turn this place into a sanctuary before Marnie decided to pull our strings like she did before."

Having been brought up to speed on everything that had happened, Holly agreed. "We're no good to Sookie or Eric if we're killed or spelled before we can spell this place. I think even I can outwit Marnie. Since she is dead, she isn't, and cannot be at full strength, though make no mistake, she is still very much a threat."

"Yeah, judging what she did to my maker, it's pretty clear." Pam said sarcastically.

"If I don't hear from Sookie soon, I'm going after her. I know we planned on coming here first but we got sidetracked, what with the threat to Holly so we went to the bar first."

"Then let's get this spell going before it's too late." Holly said. "We need all of our energies to make this work and even then, it may weaken us. It's going to take quite a bit of juice."

"Then let's get the juices flowing." Jessica replied impatiently. "Before we try burning ourselves in a shield of sun power again. Which, I may add, sucked!"

They all held hands and listened as Holly began working her magic, the lit candles in the room flickering, even more so as the magic began to ramp up. There was a warm sensation that overtook the entire shop and Holly opened her eyes. "Did it work?" Bill asked, frowning.

There was a noise from outside and walking out of the back room to the main entrance of the shop, they found the same innocent looking bar patron standing there, casting magic towards the shop. But attack after attack failed as a enraged Marnie stomped her foot. "Impossible! I was always more experienced than you, you couldn't possibly-"

"if you were so smart, you'd know that as a spirit, even inhabiting a body, you can never be as strong as you were in life. And that, is what will help us stop you."

Marnie gave Holly a stunned look before a smirk crossed her face. "I still have my weapon of choice at my disposal. Tell me, you may have cast the protection spell against me, but I doubt it pertains to my protégé. You would need to break the spell you have now and recast it and in that time, I will certainly not waste my opportunity."

None of them standing in the doorway and still within the protection spell were about to take the threat lightly. "We can end this. Once and for all. What do you want this time around?" Bill asked.

"The same as I wanted before. You vamps destroyed and that little faerie too. But this time, I want to at least watch you all as you suffer agonizing deaths and destruction."

Someone else appeared from behind the witch. "I was told there was trouble. Sorry for not being here sooner, but I was out of town." Willa walked out from the dark and under a street light. She looked angry. "Sookie texted me about what was going on and I gotta say, you don't look impressive." she made to attack but a blast of air sent the vampire backwards and into a pole that dented with a sickening thud.

"Stubborn and reckless as her maker is." Bill muttered to Pam and the others. "Willa, get in here, quick. You'll be safe."

Obeying reluctantly, it was clear Willa wanted another crack at the witch. But when she reached e safety of the shop with no interference, she frowned. "That was too easy."

"I let you pass so every last one of his loved ones can see his end, which is far overdue." replied the witch, cupping the pendant in her hand. Something else was coming and a smirk crossed her face. "If I were all of you, I wouldn't linger long. Who knows what damage a were-vamp could inflict." out of some nearby brush, a large figure came out, dragging a limp and bloodied figure in its jaws. Marnie savored the gasps and screams of anguish that had come from the doorway of the magic shop. Tossing the faerie to the ground, the wolf looked at Willa, Pam, Jess and Bill without a shred of remorse.

Chapter 7

"She can't be…." Holly sobbed as they saw Sookie's body lying still at the feet of the laughing Marnie.

"I'm going out there and putting an end to her. Now." A enraged Bill stormed out of the building with Willa, Jess and Pam at his side. "Stay here." he ordered Holly. "You've helped us enough but if something happen to you….I would hate to be the one to tell Andy.."

"don't you worry about me. I can hold my own." Holly replied, muttering a incantation under her breath, a wave of warmth rolling around herself, felt by her companions as well. "There. A little shielding magic, it should protect me for the most part and keep you all a little safer from her wicked magic." pulling out a switchblade, Holly grinned. "I never leave home without this."

Using power of her own, Marnie tried to take on the vamps attacking her, knocking them back with flashes of fire and lightning. Holly felt relieved as she herself took one of the magical blasts, knowing the damage it could cause someone like her. Instead, it only tickled and dissipated. "We need to get this done fast, I think the shields will only hold for a little while!" she called to the vamps as she lunged towards Marnie, shoving the blade hard into her right ankle, causing the witch to stumble.

"It will take more than a wiccan, some vamps and knife to stop this, dear." Marnie glared at Holly, sending her flying back all the way into the shop, Holly getting knocked out cold from the blow.

"Without her, we don't have a magical trump card." Pam said, dodging a attack from the wounded but still on her feet Marnie. One by one the vamps found themselves outgunned by the magic of the dead witch. Summoning some silver chains, Marnie directed them to weave them around the four, rather, three vamps on the ground. One was missing.

"Come out wherever you are! Show yourself!" Marnie screeched. In the commotion, Willa had managed to escape being incapacitated and launched at Marnie from behind, grabbing the pendant and pulling it up and over the witches' head. In another instant, she freed her fellow vamps. "Get to Holly, we need her to try to unravel this mess!"

Jess was the first to enter the shop and after giving Holly some of her blood, the wiccan awoke, ready for another round. "I need to cast a binding spell, to keep Marnie trapped in this body long enough to force her to undo this. Leaving the shop, they had heard some growling and snarling, fearing that they would find little remaining of Sookie, that she had become nothing more than a meal. instead, they saw the wolf staring down Marnie who looked amused.

"I don't need the pendant anymore anyway. I have all the power I need to end this anyway. I know she's alive still…barely. You managed to fight the magic and keep your mind, to point. But look at the damage you did before the fact. Even if you survive the night, I will ensure that she does not. I can die for good happy knowing Sookie is dead and you were the one responsible, forever carrying the burden of guilt."

"Enough." Holly said, her body charged with magic. Without warning, she sent the spell into Marnie who looked stunned. "You will remove the curse. Now."

Defiant, Marnie made to escape the body, to use her power to get out of here. But nothing happened. "What….impossible."

"Remember that since you are dead, you are slightly weaker than when you were in your own body. And living in a town as insane as Bon Temps, I decided to hone and increase my own power. You are stuck in that body and you can't blink yourself away. You will remove the curse and then we will destroy you once and for all."

Marnie was furious but a calm look crossed her face. "I will not. I would rather you destroy me and-"

Eyes lighting up with her surging power, Holly let loose a jet of magic that hit Marnie and the spirit was pulled out of the innocent body who fell over unconscious. It was a risky move, Holly knew, but she had to at least try. "I can make you, I promise you that." and pulling in the spirit of Marnie into her own body, Holly took the pendant into her hands.

"Wait, where did they go?" Bill asked, seeing no sign of Sookie or the Viking wolf.

Holly was trying to fight the dark impulses of Marnie. "I sense both of them….they are okay….for now." she explained what needed to be done, first she would use Marnie's energy to break the spell and then destroy the pendant and its dark magic once and for all. "And then, I need all of us to join hands and with our combined energy, we can destroy Marnie's spirit. But we need to hurry, if she can take me over…..we will be at square one again. Stand back."

Obeying, Bill, Pam, Jess and Willa stepped back several paces as Holly used the essence of Marnie to recite the words on the pendant. Gathering her own magic and that of the spirit within her, she reduced the dangerous bauble to ashes. The formerly possessed woman from Bellefleur's began to stir and Jessica went over to assist her, no doubt prepared to glamour her memories of the night out of her. "Get her back to the bar and hurry back here." Bill said to Pam. "You're the only one here who can fly and make sure she's glamoured."

"Well, obviously." Pam replied, rolling her eyes. Taking the woman away, Pam returned in a few minutes.

And then it was time for the hard part of Holly's plan.

Chapter 8

Holly looked as if she were having trouble controlling the wicked spirit within her. "Hurry, everyone, form a circle around me, holding hands and do not, even for a moment, let go."

Following orders, the four vamps, still concerned about where Sookie and Eric were, did as they were told. Holly, still seemingly in great distress, still managed to hold her own and worked the spell meant to destroy spirits. It was a difficult spell for even the most powerful wiccans. Nevertheless, the four observers saw the ethereal image of Marnie emerge from Holly and it appeared to be in distress of its own. Eyes ablaze with her power, Holly cast the final part of the spell. "Good riddance, once and for all, Marnie." she sneered as she and the vamps watched the spirit break apart, screaming in pain and in a flash of bluish light, Marnie Stonebrook was destroyed once and for all.

Stumbling, Holly fell to her knees as Jess and Willa helped her up. "Are you ok?" Willa asked with concern.

"It just took a lot out of me….I can't believe I did it….I really did it."

"Yeah, yeah, good work and all but we need to go find my maker and Sookie. Like yesterday." Pam said impatiently. "They can't be far….can they?"

"There's a park across the street. Maybe-" Willa began as a bunch of people emerged, screaming bloody murder. One of them had discernible fang marks on her neck. "Yep. I think we found them."

Hurrying into the park, now deserted from the slackers who clearly had come to drink and get high, the vamps and Holly found , in a thick cluster of trees, a almost healed Sookie with blood on her lips, cradling a healing Eric in her lap. "He's not had a good night…I didn't want to but I had to bite one of the people that came across us, so I could heal and try to heal him. But I have a feeling it won't be a easy healing."

Pam fell to the dirt beside her maker. "Someone, get him a blanket, something. Now!"

Holly knew that she had some blankets back in the shop and returned a short time later with a thick woolen blanket. "There…."

"I'm going to get us some wheels. I've got one back at the bar. I can be back here in a half hour. Any cop tries pulling me over…." Pam looked from the others to Sookie. "Are you okay?"

Nodding, Sookie bit her lip. "I've been better….you'd better go and get a car though. We don't have a lot of nighttime left. I feel like I could sleep for a week. He could have finished me off you know….but he didn't…..I think he was trying to get me to you guys…" Sookie couldn't help but think of the attacks she had incurred, the fourth attack she had been bracing herself for had not come but rather, she saw his eyes, even in his furry state, looked horrified by his actions.

Nodding, Pam took off to bring them back a vehicle.

"Are you sure you're ok?" Bill knelt down beside Sookie. "When he dragged you out with him, I thought-"

"I'm fine…I was hoping for maybe some trick or treating or a good party or….anything other than this. I should have known Halloween was going to be a little….hairy."

Laughing at her joke, Bill looked at Willa and Jess. "Let's give them some privacy, shall we? Maybe we can go find somewhere for a drink, I think we could use one. We won't go far." Bill looked at Sookie before the three of them left the park, Holly joining them.

Stroking his hair, Sookie finally broke down in tears, the night having been one of the scariest, most unsettling nights in her life, and clearly, she had had her fair share of them. As she kept her bleeding wrist at his lips, she was relieved when finally, she saw him open his eyes. "Hey there." she said with a smile, her face and body bloodied from the events of the night. "How are you feeling?"

Sitting up with almost normal vamp speed, he frowned as he looked at her from head to toe, seeing her current state of her clothes and skin. Ignoring his own lack of clothes, he put his arms around her. "I thought I'd killed you at one point…if I had, I would have willingly given myself the true death…."

Sookie shook her head. "I don't want to hear you talk like that…tonight's been…so terrible. But your friends were there for you, you know."

"I remember everything….even Willa came to help. I believe I certainly need to make amends to her still…..where's Pam and the others?"

"Pam went to bring a car back to get us home. And as for you, I plan on nursing you right back to your usual snarky self."

"Are you saying you preferred me as a wolf?" he raised a eyebrow. "Because to be honest, I thought myself better suited as my usual average self." Eric's eyes drifted downward and then upward, making a point of his well defined body, something she knew he was more than a little proud of.

"I guess your recovery won't take as long as I thought." Sookie said with a exasperated look. Taking some of the blanket, she settled down on the ground, cuddling up with him. "I suppose we can just relax here until Pam gets here."

"I could think of something else we could do out here." he said with a grin.

"Yeah, you really aren't taking long to recover, are you?" Sookie managed to laugh. "But really, what do you want to do? Talk about the night or-"

"I just want to be here with you. If this is all you want to do, I can be content with that." he replied as she leaned back into his chest, pulling the blanket a little higher, listening to the peace and quiet surrounding them. Sighing contentedly, she let her eyes drift closed as she fell asleep, leaving Eric alone with many thoughts of the events of the night, realizing how perilously close he had come to being the one who ended Sookie once and for all. In the moonlight, a rare stream of blood tears began flowing from the ancient vampire, ashamed at his actions yet all the more grateful to have what he did snuggling against him at that moment. The image of the ring Pam had helped him acquire was all he could think of, wondering just how Sookie could ever accept a proposal from someone like him.

The End

#10-Put A Ring On It

Chapter 1

"Are you even going to bother going to see her? Ever again? You've done nothing but avoid her the past two and a half months. And don't you think I've not noticed you pulling out that ring and staring at it blankly. Every day for the past two and a half months." Pam crossed her arms over her chest as she sat down across from Eric as he worked on the financial books of their bar. Business was better than ever and as many times as Sookie had tried to visit or call on the phone, Eric was staying away from her in every way possible. "You keep this up and you will lose her. You lost her once, don't let it happen again."

"I could have lost her back two and a half months ago.. By my own hands. Or claws, or whatever." he shot to his feet angrily. "All because that dead witch decided to come back and screw things up. We all thought we defeated her once and for all but I am wondering if she didn't win, after all. I need to finish this." he sat back down, not looking at Pam but she was not fooled a bit. He was distressed by his actions towards Sookie, everyone had known that. Marnie's spirit had taken over Sookie and using her powers, had managed to turn the Viking into a werewolf, keeping him under her power for the most part. And though managing to fight her influence off somewhat eventually, he had very nearly killed Sookie, her life left hanging in the balance. Alive and long since healed from her injuries, Pam had kept telling him how concerned she had been about the aftermath of it all. But day after day passed with the chasm between Eric and Sookie growing larger and wider . Sookie had not seen him since that night when Marnie was destroyed once and for all and they were sitting together alone in a park, both weary and injured from the events of the night. Events that Eric just couldn't get over. After all he had seen and done in his long existence, this one incident was probably the worst he had ever had to grapple with.

"She is not angry at you. She came again last night, you know. Of course you knew, you shared blood not that long ago. Yet you allowed her to leave her teary eyed…..you know, your distance could very well push her back into the arms of someone else. Perhaps not Bill-I don't think she would be stupid enough to go back to him -but you're very close to losing her again, if you haven't screwed it up already. Two and a half months! And you're hurting me too, you know. Seeing you like this. You deserve to be happy and if I have to drag you off to speak to her-"

"You really think you could drag me" he asked with only the slightest hint of amusement. Pam was tenacious, he knew. It was part of what had drawn him to her a century ago. "I need you to go. Before I really get pissed off." by the tone of his voice, Pam knew better than to say anything else.

"This isn't the last of it." she couldn't help but blurting out before exiting the office, slamming the door behind her. "Such a stubborn bastard!"

He went back to tackling the books but pushed back from the desk. Pam had, he grudgingly admitted, gotten to him. Taking the ring, he swept out of the office and past Pam, who was working the bar with Ginger.

"Oooh, he's going after her, ain't he? I knew you'd be persuasive." Ginger said with a excited expression.

"Just keep serving drinks, okay?" Pam replied snippily but was unable to fully hide her satisfied smirk.

Chapter 2

She had come home after spending some time with Jason, Bill and Jess over at Bill's house. She was grateful for the support of her friends and family and pleased with the news that Bill's second go-around as king of Louisiana was going far better than the first. But she had excused herself after a few hours, wanting some time for herself. Besides, she didn't feel like crying in front of everyone else. No sooner had she returned home and was locked securely in her place, she started blubbering, wishing she had her grandmother around still. No one understood her as well as her Gran had and it was a void she felt every day. It was barely ten at night but she wanted to just go to bed and perhaps find some comfort in her dreams. In the past few weeks especially, she had thrown herself into her job, working extra hours if nothing else than to put her mind on other things. She had all but given up on having the Viking back in the picture.

In her bed, she tried to do some reading, but found it a losing battle when her eyes only wanted to keep tearing up. Sobbing, she pulled her comforter over her head and just wished she could not only relieve the pain and rejection she felt now, but to help him cope. Stubborn and as vicious as he could be, Sookie knew the goodness and the honor that Eric had within him and she ached for the burden of guilt he was feeling. Knowing why he was staying away was not making things any easier and she could only pray she would see him sooner rather than later. There was a rapping on the window and for a moment, she thought it was the wind rattling the windows. But sitting up in bed, she looked at the window and through the sheer curtain, she saw something hovering behind. The storm outside was getting worse and as se opened the window, she was pelted with rain and wind which was quickly stopped when the towering figure pushed her gently back, closing the window behind him.

"Nice weather we're having." he said as he went and got her a towel from the bathroom. Soaking we himself, he looked slightly abashed. "sorry for getting your carpet wet. Again."

"At least it isn't blood this time." she replied, unsmiling. "What do you want?" she asked coldly. "Do you know or even care how I have felt the past couple months? Trying to get a hold of you only be refused or told how I had just missed you….." she paused. "I should probably tell you though….I do need to leave shortly. I've got a date."

"What?" he whispered after a tense silence.

"After you stopped having any contact with me, I got depressed. I mean, really, really depressed. I may be a faerie-vamp but I still have feelings and after a month, I swear, I was close to a mental breakdown. I really thought….I was almost at the brink and I decided to go to the library, maybe find something to read to help me cope. I met a nice man working at the front desk and we kind of hit it off. He asked me out and we're going on our third date tomorrow. I can't take any more times of you running off and just….making me worry and fret and feel…" Sookie turned her back on him, trying not to show her tears but the trembling of her body revealed the depths of her pain

He advanced on her and firmly forced her by the shoulders to turn around to face him. But she kept her head down and even when he tried to guide her chin up to face him she kept her eyes closed, all the while tears were rolling down her face. "I am not going to accept this…..you know why I stayed away, don't you? I couldn't bear to think of what I almost did to you. The guilt-"

"I know." Sookie replied, still not looking at him. "But what you put me through, staying away from me, has hurt me far more than when you nearly mauled me to death. That wasn't your fault but you had a choice to come to see me. To let me visit you. You refused. I can't spend all my time in such pain. You completely crushed me. The one person in my life I thought couldn't ever disappoint me, hurt me. Who I thought loved me….I guess things were going too well between us for it to have lasted for long. I thought you were committed to me. But then again, you can have anyone you want, can't you?"

"That's not what this is about though. There is no one else and never will be. You know well enough I am not exactly the most….emotional, save for when it comes to those I love. You, Pam, Willa. Even Tara, I suppose. I handle things differently than you and yes, I was wrong in going without speaking, talking to you for almost three months. I admit that."

She knew how hard it was for him to admit mistakes. It must have been a bitter pill to swallow. Still, the hurt was still very much present within her. "I am going to ask you to leave now. Please don't make me rescind your invitation."

Coming within inches of her, Eric was not about to leave on his own accord. "I am not leaving without getting to talk to you. I am sorry I went about things the wrong way and-"

"You've left me twice without explanation!" Sookie yelled as light began to form around her hands, her emotions getting the better of her. She knew, to be fair, the first time he skipped town she had thought they had parted on decent enough terms, what with him signing her house back over to her. Still, it had hurt her nonetheless.

"I just gave you a explanation!" he was rapidly losing his temper, his fangs were out now and he could see a glimmer of worry and fear in her eyes. He had seen that fear before during the debacle with Bill having gone off the deep end having drank Lilith's blood. Now he himself was responsible for putting that same look in her eyes. And it was killing him knowing that. "I…Sookie…." he tried to calm down but felt the anger and frustrations still.

"I rescind your invitation to my house." Sookie replied through another torrent of tears. she couldn't bear watching him be pulled back out her window by a invisible force, the window slamming shut behind her. Flopping face first into her bed, her muffled sobs were heard clear as day from the outside. Eric slammed onto the ground feet first and raked a hand through his hair, turning around to see Pam leaning against a tree.

"If you know what's good for you, you'll turn around and head back to the bar." he said, stalking away from Sookie's house. But Pam grabbed him by the arm and took the engagement ring from his jacket pocket. "That's pretty much useless now, you know. She's got….a date…tomorrow night."

"So she does, does she. Trouble is, it's not going to be with who she thinks." Pam replied with a smirk. "I don't usually care about these things but I think it may be fun playing cupid. A cupid that can bite the head off of anyone but a cupid, regardless."

Chapter 3

Sookie dressed the next night in a simple blue dress and matching heels. Making sure her hair was just right, she finally let it cascade down the front of her shoulders in freshly curled waves. Makeup, earrings and purse gathered together, she heard the honking of a car horn outside. Walking out to meet her date, she waved at the man behind the wheel of the sleek red pickup truck. Hopping into the passenger seat, she greeted the skinny, curly haired farm boy. They'd struck up a conversation while she served him at Bellefleurs and she had learned a good amount about him he worked on a dairy farm and was the oldest of three kids. Mason Jensen was nothing if not kind, and, in Sookie's mind, very cute with those green eyes and deep dimples when he smiled. They'd spent some time together, going to get ice cream or hanging out at Bellefleur's but this was their first real date.

"Evening, Sookie. You look nice." he said as soon as she settled into the seat. Handing her a small bouquet of freshly cut flowers, he grinned. "Fresh from the farm, of course."

Smelling them deeply, Sookie smiled. "thanks Mason. They're nice. So where are we going?"

"I got us a nice picnic and was thinking maybe eating down by Lake Dewberry." he replied. "And then a nice walk on the shore?"

"Sounds nice." she replied with a smile. As nice of a time as it sounded, she couldn't help feel a pang of guilt. Had she been too harsh? Too unwilling to forgive? Or was it time for her to move on with her life and try to get over the pain she incurred. Reaching the lake a short time later, they parked and ate by the light of the moon and some better operated lanterns. Laying out a blanket on the grass, they were soon enjoying some sandwiches, vegetables and some wine he had brought.

"Sorry about not bringing any fine dining plates or glasses. But they never would have lasted long in my truck, the way I drive." Mason apologized sheepishly as he poured Sookie another helping of wine into a plastic cup.

She laughed as they finished their drinks. "Did you hear that?" Sookie said with a frown. "Sounded like there was something in the grass over there?" she pointed to a area a half mile away. Her vamp hearing told her without a doubt something was lurking but she was not about to reveal any of her secrets, even to Mason. The less people who knew of her abilities, the better.

Taking a long knife from his belt, Mason was clearly always prepared for anything. "I'll go see what it is. You stay here, okay?"

Nodding, Sookie knew she was safe, this place was deserted and as peaceful as anywhere she knew. And even if there was a wild animal out there, she had the firepower to fight it off. Or worse. Ten minutes later, Mason returned, looking dazed and instead of heading to Sookie, he climbed into is truck and drove off in a hurry. "Hey!" Sookie tried to take off after the truck but stumbled on some roots poking out of the ground, flat on her face, she looked up to see a pair of magenta pumps in front of her. Getting to her feet, she saw a smug looking Pam facing her. "Oh, great. It was you, wasn't it. Which means-"

"I have come to like you Sookie. And I would not do this for anyone else but you two. I know you're angry at him and no one loves a good bout of anger than me. Actually, you should see the job Eric did on his office when he got back from your place last night. It was nice to see him put his sword to use…." Pam trailed off as Sookie glared at her. "Anyway, I made it so your new little friend doesn't remember a thing about you and I sent him home unscathed. So you two can make up."

"I already told him how I felt." Sookie said angrily but her eyes darted around and she clearly wasn't fooling Pam, who told the faerie-vamp as much.

"You can't put anything past me. You love him and wanted him to come after you again. You're glad your date is gone. You really can't fool me."

"He up and left me." Sookie said, voice trembling. "I am not going to keep letting myself getting a hurt. After all the sacrifices I made for not just him but all of my friends. After everything I have tried to do to help everyone….I don't need this anymore."

Pam paced back and forth for a moment before speaking again. "You know him and his back story. However, you've not been by his side for a century as I have been. I am sure by now you know more about his life before you. If nothing else, you should realize he has suffered losses that affected him greatly. Do you have any idea how your death would affect him? I don't think my passing would hold a candle to the reaction yours would bring over him. Truthfully, I don't think he would want to go on with his own life any more. You've no idea how that makes me feel. I admit, I am jealous of you, replacing me as his favorite."

"I never wanted to replace anyone and I think its is safe to say you are not replaceable. You've become a good friend to me and I don't want to lose that. But if you think I will just up and forget all the pain he's put me through-"

"Think about what you've put him through., not just now, but in the past." Pam reminded Sookie. "Neither of you have clean hands in this relationship. Now. He is here waiting for you and if you will take this and follow it to him, I think maybe tonight this impasse can finally be broken. I'll leave you to it then, god knows I can't leave Ginger unsupervised for very long." slipping a map to Sookie, Pam flew off into the night, leaving Sookie alone with much to chew on.

Chapter 4

Her enhanced senses made it easy to navigate through the woods, trekking up and down slopes until she reached clearing where a rock formation had created a gently flowing waterfall. Looking at the map she had been give, Sookie knew she was in the right area, having followed the path Pam had directed her to take. It was eerily peaceful now and she vowed to wait a few minutes before trying to find some way to get out of here, to return to civilization. "Look, I don't know what I am waiting for, but I'm giving you five minutes to get your big Viking butt out here."

And dropping down from the sky, Eric appeared several feet away from her, landing without a sound on the soft forest ground. "Glad you didn't get lost. I worried that Pam wouldn't make the map detailed enough-"

"'I'm not a idiot." she replied. "And thanks for crashing my date. I was actually having a good time."

Smirking, he sat down on a large rock. He was dressed rather formally, a very rare sight indeed. All black, of course, the three piece suit was nonetheless as handsome as ever. "So you say with your words but I can see in your eyes you're happy to see me."

"Cocky as ever." Sookie was unable to fight her own little smirk, which faded fast behind her mask of anger and hurt. "So. What is it? And just why are you all dressed up?"

He said nothing as he walked up to her and placed something in her hands. "I'm not practiced in any of this but I wanted to try this again. I was planning on doing this before but then the whole wolf incident with Marnie happened and so…"

Looking into her hands, she saw the ring she had seen months ago when she had found in the remains of his torn up clothes. A platinum tribal looking band, the diamond set with it sparkled brightly even in the moonlight. "I….I…..it's so pretty. The last time I saw it I had other concerns. Like figuring out how to undo your furry little problem…."

"So? What do you say? I bet this isn't exactly what you planned, when you were little, being proposed to in a forest. By someone of my….persuasion. "

She laughed, which honestly, felt good. "Not even close to how I imagined being proposed to…oh, it really is pretty, isn't it?" she admired the ring in the box that rested in his large hands. "I hope you aren't trying to make me just up and forget all you put me through. I can't just switch off my feelings and thoughts, you know." she paused. "But having talked to Pam and knowing your past…..I understand you better. You'll always be the most interesting person I will ever know and I want to know everything about you. I want you to be happy too and I think I know now, once and for all, who I need to be with. Who I have wanted, I think since the night I first met you in your bar. I didn't want to admit it at the time, but you….you piqued my interest, I can say that for certain." Without saying anything else, she held out her left hand and waited for him to place the piece of precious jewelry on the proper finger. As it slid on, fitting perfectly, she sighed. "It's never going to be easy for us, is it?"

Cupping her chin he raised an eyebrow. "I learned at a very young age that nothing that is worth your time and effort is easy. And as far as you go, I would do anything to keep us together, no matter what. I just hope after this, you can see that."

"I'm just glad you didn't glamour my date into doing something insane. That you actually restrained yourself from doing so…I find myself impressed., to be honest. So…"

"Come on, come on. Are we going to start planning a wedding or do I have to risk ruining another pair of pumps on your account." Pam appeared at that moment, leaning against a tree, a smile playing at the corners of her mouth. "So it would seem you 're going to join the family, eh?"

"Seems so." Sookie replied as she allowed her to be scooped up by her new fiancé. "And for once, I want to rush this. This is a long time coming and if there's anyone I know who can help put this thing together, its you Pam. And I am sure Jess would be willing to help out. And maybe even some of the girls from my work."

Pam crinkled her nose at the thought of working with humans. She wasn't exactly friends with Arlene or Holly. But Tara, recently brought back from the dead-in a manner of speaking, she had been brought back as a vamp-would certainly help. And maybe Willa. "I suppose I can deal with the motley crew of women you and I know for a pre wedding party and then the wedding. And yes, I can lead getting thins put together. How about we shoot for two weeks?"

Sookie looked up to Eric for agreement. "I suppose I can wait another two weeks. And I am trusting you, Pam, to make certain that-"

"It will be the wedding to end all weddings, the bridal shower to end all bridal showers, blah, blah blah." Pam rolled her eyes. "So I suppose I had better get things started now, huh?" flying up into the night, she left the two alone in the woods, sharing a long kiss that certainly would not be their last.

The End

#11-With Blood We Now Bond

Chapter 1

Everyone waited for her to sit down amongst the piles of gifts that had been sent her way. Sookie was grateful that Arlene had let her have the bridal shower at Bellefleurs and now, Sookie, Arlene, Tara, Pam, Jess, Willa and Holly were gathered in the peaceful bar. Decorated in pastel balloons and sparkling banners of streamers, Sookie was grateful for all Pam's work in getting everyone together. After all she had been through over the past months, from becoming a faerie-vamp, to getting Tara back from the dead thanks to some powerful magic and all the trauma she and her now fiancé Eric had been through, she was all the more grateful for her friends surrounding her.

"Well, where to begin?" Sookie grinned at Tara who she had decided would be her maid of honor. "I've never seen so many packages before, not even at Christmas."

Tara grinned. "Well, I think there's plenty to celebrate, not just your wedding. But all us being here together. And safe, for once."

"Don't jinx it." Holly said with a wink. "But what I got you has been lucky for Andy and I so far. Things couldn't be better. Open mine first!"

Taking the package that Holly gestured towards, Sookie put it in her lap and gingerly opened the small rectangular box. "Oh its…..it's….beautiful…." holding up the object, it appeared to be merely a wind chime. But Holly was quick to point out, it was far from that.

"It's got all kinds of crystals and precious stones in it. And it was dipped in herbs that are said to be calming and provide luck."

"With who she's about to marry, I think maybe more than one of these would be needed to calm him when he's ticked off." Jessica said with a grin.

"I love it. Thanks ." Sookie said appreciatively. Package after package she opened and by the time she was done, she was well set, with lingerie, jewelry and even some new comforter sets for the bedroom. But mostly it was lingerie and with each set she opened, she blushed redder and redder. As they took to cleaning up after the end of the enjoyable evening, Tara pulled her friend aside.

"You know, since I came back from the dead to…well, being undead….it's good to be with you again, Sook. I wanted to thank you for picking me to be your maid of honor."

"I don't know who else it ever would have been." Sookie beamed as she looked over to Pam, who was packing up all of Sookie's gifts into boxes. "So…..you and Pam-"

"Picked up where we left off. And you know how she is, snarky, sarcastic…"

"It wouldn't be Pam if she wasn't any of that." Sookie said with a laugh.

Tara laughed too. "I guess after all she went through with thinking me long gone forever and what she told be about with the hep-v crisis…..I think she has softened. Just a little."

Sookie agreed. "I never would have thought we would be friends. Acquaintances, at best and even that was wishful thinking. But she and I are good friends and soon to be family."

"And what a family it will be too." Tara laughed. "Still makes my human family seen normal by comparison. Need any help with unloading the stuff at your place, or-"

"Nah, Pam said she'd bring it all over and then head back to Fangtasia, she has a few things to finish getting ready for. Tomorrow night, can you believe it?"

"And it's even harder to believe who your groom is. I actually have come to find him….tolerable. Like I have a choice. Pam comes with baggage and he is family, right?"

"You could do worse. Eric is fiercely protective of his family….." Sookie trailed off as Pam approached.

"Well, cupcake, you ready to go home and get a good night sleep? I refuse to do makeup on some faerie vamp with bags under her eyes." Pam said in her southern drawl. Having brought Sookie in her own sporty little corvette, Pam gave Tara a sly smirk before hurrying Sookie out of Bellefleur's but not before Sookie hugged and thanked all of her friends for coming and for their gifts.

Chapter 2

She had tried hard to get a good night sleep but it was almost impossible. The anticipation of the upcoming nuptials were something to be excited for as well as being nervous about. For everything that was being planned was being kept under wraps from Sookie by Pam, who hadn't even told her about the bridal shower until the hour before it started. All Sookie knew was that the wedding would take place in the former home of Queen Sophie-Anne which Bill, now once again King of Louisiana, had generously turned over to Eric. Sookie knew it had been a gesture mostly intended for her but the two former romantic rivals for her affection had come to be good friends and allies. So much had changed in the past months, it was enough to make her head spin.

Rolling over in her bed, she looked at the alarm clock. 7:32. Sighing, she had hoped that she could at least sleep in until nine and spend her afternoon reading and puttering around the house, killing time until her vampire friends showed up at sundown. Arlene and Holly planned on coming later on in the afternoon to start prepping the bride for the evening. Even trying to eat breakfast was a harder task than usual, her stomach filled with butterflies. But make no mistake, she knew it was a good kind of nervous for once. Though with the way their lives had been so far, she couldn't help but thing something was inevitably going to go wrong and there would be yet another bloodbath or worse, death occurring at her wedding. Plucking a pair of earrings out of a jewelry box, Sookie was dead set on wearing the simple pewter roses that were once her gran's. Adele would certainly be there in mind and spirit, if nowhere else.

"Getting a little anxious, are we?" a familiar voice spoke as she finished washing out her cereal bowl. Spinning around, she found her grandfather Niall seated, reading the newspaper as if he had been there for hours.

"Niall!" Sookie went to hug her grandfather who reciprocated in kind. "I wasn't expecting you….I wasn't sure if you got the invitation I sent through the porthole….having that in my bathroom….its strange. Then again, I am too so it kind of fits….can I get you a drink or food or-"

"You're rambling, Sookie." he replied with a amused smile. "I was not about to miss your big night for anything." he paused. "You are certain this is what you want?"

"The only thing I am regretting is not having gone through this sooner. every time I thought I made a good choice about my life, all I could ever think about was how I ignored the one person who was only ever trying to keep me safe and was honest with me. Not to say he is a saint, but Eric….he's unlike anyone I ever have known and I was stupid to push him away so many times."

"If it means you have found happiness, then I am glad for you. It would seem your life has been fairly eventful since your turning?"

"It was eventful even before became a hybrid." Sookie laughed gently. "But I suppose I wouldn't have it any other way. I have found it easier to just accept who I am and take charge of my powers. I have found that I do like what I am now, to be honest. It's like having the best of both worlds. I can still eat regular food which is a plus. And I can drink and lord knows I've needed good stiff drinks as of late."

Laughing, Niall produced a small velvety draw stringed bag. "I do have some affairs to deal with back in Faery but I will be along tonight. Meanwhile, I wanted you to have this."

"Oh, you didn't have to get me anything…." Sookie said as she took the bag into her hands. Opening the drawstrings, she pulled out a plum sized crystal that, when she took it out, expanded and shaped itself into a dainty platinum tiara studded with crystals that gently shimmered in all colors of the rainbow. "Its…..oh…..thank you…."

"I figured since you are of royalty, you should finally have something that denotes you as such.. Even though I have a hunch you've not broadcasted to the world of your heritage." Niall winked at her. "This has been a long time coming for you to receive and I figured now was a good a time as any to pass it along to you."

As he put it onto her blonde head, Sookie felt a calm wash over her as it settled into its proper place. "Thank you so much…..it's amazing." she walked into her living room and looked at her reflection in the small mirror on the wall near the cubby that held its fair share of history. Hoping it would be put to good use again sooner rather than later, Sookie returned to the kitchen. "I guess I will see you tonight, then?"

"I wouldn't dream of missing your night, dear one." he replied. "One thing though…is there going to be food at the reception. Namely, pasta?"

Laughing Sookie hugged him again. "I will make sure there is plenty for you, I promise."

Chapter 3

"Are you certain this is what you want to wear? I mean, no leather? I mean, not your usual anyway." Pam folded her arms over her chest as she pulled out the last few touches she had brought to his house. Needing to be at Bill's by 7, it was already quarter after six and just after sundown. "I never really imagined you being as sentimental as-"

Glaring at her with a icy blue stare, Eric frowned. "I know you wanted me to wear a tux but this is my choice. And I think you can understand the meaning it holds to me. Traditions and customs never really came up much over the past centuries but something told me this was the time to finally honor my late human family."

Pam walked around him slowly, looking him up and down. "It's certainly not Versace or Armani….but I have to admit, you look….good. It wasn't easy though. To find something historically accurate but I hope I did you justice. I….encouraged…..the tailor to not make any mistakes and made certain he knew I made myself clear, telling him just who this was for. Needless to say, he got to work right away and spared no expense."

Dressed in dark brown leather pants and darker brown boots, Eric smoothed a small crease in the sleeveless vest, his mind going back briefly to when he was human, the many discussions he had had with his father about settling down. No doubt his father had planned to make a arranged marriage for the headstrong son who it seemed would never settle down. Yet here he was a thousand years later, preparing for the day he never truly felt he would have. And the fact he never once saw himself as a husband, he had to admit to himself, it was far scarier than any of the battles he had ever fought in his life. "I like it. You did well, Pam."

Beaming, she proceeded to leave the room for a few minutes, returning with a parcel in her hands. Handing it to him, she sat down on a sofa. "I still believe you need to be accessorized."

Opening the box she had given him, he found not only the sword that usually hung in his office at the bar, but the crown he had finally regained from the late Russell Edgington. "Pam…you-"

"I had them restored. And I didn't let them out of my sight as they worked , it took hours for them to do it but-" she was stopped by a finger to her lips. Eric looked into her eyes with love and tenderness.

"This gesture…I know I once told you I like you better when you are cold and heartless but it is moments like these…..I am grateful." he said as he took the sword and put it at his side, sliding it gently into the leather scabbard. "You….don't….think I look silly? I mean, everyone else will be wearing-"

"Since when do you give a crap what other people think?" Pam said, rolling her eyes. "if anything, you look fiercer now than when you wear your usual clothes and that's saying something. Honestly, Sookie's made you go soft." Pam said, feigning a exasperated expression. "I suppose you could have done worse."

Laughing, he started pacing, never feeling more human than he did at that moment. Years ago, the thought of feeling like a human would have made him sick. But now, he almost embraced the humanity that his love for Sookie had brought back into him. A more precious gift, he didn't know if there was one. Ten minutes later, Pam emerged from the other room, dressed in a burgundy evening dress and her hair done into curls that framed her face. Makeup impeccable as usual, Pam gave him a last go over with her eyes. "Ready?"

"I've been ready for a long time." he replied and scooping her up, they took off, a non stop flight to the next phase of his life.

Chapter 4

Surrounded by all the woman from the shower save for Pam, Sookie looked at the dress she wore. Not wanting the traditional white, she had instead wanted a soft blue dress, which, of course, Pam was able to procure for her with no trouble. Gently hugging her curves, the dress complimented every inch of her and she simply felt like a princess out of some Disney movie. The tiara from Niall sat atop her blonde head, her hair down in waves that cascaded down her back and shoulders.

"Perfection." Arlene gushed as she put the finishing touches on Sookie's pale blue eye shadow while the rest of the women finished up their own makeup. "You look like a angel, Sook." Arlene hugged her employee and friend. "I am happy for you you know."

"Thanks. Thanks for everything guys." Sookie stood and looked at all her friends gathered. Willa, Tara, Jess, Holly and Arlene were all wearing pale pink dresses as members of the bridal party. Knowing Pam would be Pam and likely not follow the color palette, Sookie wondered how her formal adversary would arrive. She found the answers a few moments later as there was a knock on the door.

"Well, you do look delectable." Pam said with a smirk.

"And you at least wore a shade of pink rather than something completely opposite, like blue. Or orange." Sookie joked as she hugged Pam

"Orange?" Pam looked horrified by the suggestion. "It would be a cold day in hell before I ever wore that color. I wouldn't want to be looking like a traffic cone." her eyes drifted to Tara and she looked at her coyly. "Looking nice Tara."

Tara smiled right back. "Thanks." and walking over to Pam, they took each other by the hand for a moment. "Good color choice for you. Like your temper."

"Watch it." warned Pam, but she had the hint of a smile playing at the corners of her mouth. "Five minutes and we are leaving, got it, everyone?"

Agreeing, the women raced around the living room, gathering up last minute things they needed to take care of and it was the fastest five minutes of Sookie's life. Walking carefully the short distance to Bill's house, Sookie felt the butterflies inside her getting stronger. Entering the mansion, Sookie was greeted by a long velvety red carpet that led into the living room that was cleared of all furniture, save for a dozen or so white folding chairs. There was a simple altar and she saw that Andy, recently made mayor and apparently had the power to officiate the wedding, was having a hushed conversation with Jason. At Sookie's arrival, both men looked stunned.

"Wow, Sook….you look…..I mean, wow." Jason rushed over to hug his sister. Andy too, came over.

"So you're the minister, huh?" Sookie said as she hugged the former sheriff of Bon Temps. "How's the search for a new sheriff going"?"

Andy laughed. "It's your wedding night and you want to ask me that?" Holly slipped over to his side and for a moment, Sookie saw their own wedding rings glisten in the soft muted light of the room. "Nervous, huh? And yes, I've got a new sheriff lined up. And the new deputy recruits are actually not half bad."

"Yeah, I am nervous…." Sookie replied with a grin.

"You look….heavenly." a familiar voice said from behind. Turning around, she saw Jessica letting Hoyt enter the room, both looking very much in love with one another. Past them, she saw Bill leaning against he doorway, shaking his head in wonder. "Mind if we speak for a moment. Alone?"

Sookie excused herself from the growing crowd in the room and followed him into his office. Closing the doors behind them, Bill took her by the hands gently. "I am glad for you, Sookie. You deserve this….I hope this isn't…weird for you having the ceremony here…..I mean-"

"We may have a history, Bill but I think we are back at a good place. A place where I can count you as a protector and friend. You earned my trust back but I swear, if you do anything as king again I don't like or if it threatens me or my own-"

"I have learned from my mistakes, Sookie and would not be stupid enough to risk losing your trust again. You are too important to me."

"What a strange, strange family I am a part of." Sookie said as she looked around the room, from Andy and Holly, to Lafayette and James. Even Arlene had brought along her new beau, a friend of James' named Keith. With all hep-v obliterated inn vamps and humans, people were free to couple with vamps and vice versa without fear of infecting one another. It was nice, Sookie thought, to see, Arlene happy again after losing Terry. With a vamp, no less. As Jess and Hoyt greeted Sookie and Jason arrived stag, the last to arrive was her grandfather.

"You look lovely." he whispered into her ear as he eyes the makeshift minister that was Andy Bellefleur. "I think I will be taking over the ceremony, if you don't mind." before she could protest, Sookie, with Bill still by her side, watched the faerie prince work his magic on the mayor, who looked a bit put out at first but then as calm as could be, settling into a seat beside his wife, Holly. "Care to introduce me to your friends?" Niall asked Sookie, ignoring Bill. Bill knew he was not one of Niall's favorite people, knowing he hated the drama he had put Sookie through over the years. That he had not wasted bill with a ball of faerie light was merely out of respect for his granddaughter. As Niall made himself known to those converged, Sookie noted a glaring omission.

"Eric? Is he even here yet? I wouldn't have thought he'd be late for this…."

Bill took her hand gently. "Yes, he got here shortly before you did. Pam was insistent on keeping him under wraps until the ceremony was to begin. I thought it was the bride who was supposed to be under wraps but Pam said it was a custom in Eric's family that instead the groom remain hidden." Bill shrugged. "I suppose its about time, isn't it?" he kissed her gently on the cheek. "Good luck."

Sookie hugged him back as she was led to the front of the room and before the altar where Niall was standing in a dark navy suit. A simple display of lit candles and blood red roses rested atop the polished marble as she turned to her right where her bridal party rested as for the grooms side, apparently Bill was best man and Pam was Pam, not about to let tradition dictate where she stood. Wherever she was, she was there supporting her maker and her friend Sookie. That was all that mattered. The closed door of the living room opened by Niall's magic as he appeared, towering over everyone as he slowly walked up to the altar and Sookie, for all of her life, couldn't even take the slightest of breaths. He was as imposing as ever, wearing his Viking wear and in other circumstances, she may have burst out in laughter, being as used as she was to seeing him in modern day clothing. But he carried himself with a regal air, as was befitting his own royal heritage. As he finally reached her, he offered her a sink and took her hands into his.

"I never thought I would see the day when you could look more beautiful." he whispered into her ear as her gaze drifted to the sword at his side.

"I could say the same thing about you." she replied.

"Beautiful? I would have gone with striking. Intimidating….." he joked as Niall coughed to get their attention.

"Am I interrupting? I dare say the two of you will have many, many centuries to chit chat." he said dryly, but he was smiling as well.

"Sorry grandpa Niall." Sookie replied sheepishly as they stood side by side, facing the ancient faerie.

The ceremony went by in a blur and before they were to exchange rings, there was a custom of the ceremony Sookie hadn't expected but had a hunch that somewhere, somehow in the ceremony, blood would be involved. Clearly, Niall had bee expecting it and didn't look at all surprised as Pan brought Eric a small blade that had a leather handle but the blade itself was silver.

"Just follow my lead." Eric whispered to Sookie. "It's okay.

Sookie nodded as she watched him hand the blade to Niall. "You two have shared blood before but today the meaning holds far greater meaning. It will bind you, body and soul, together for as long as you both live." Niall said as he slit both of Eric's wrists with the blade before going to face Sookie. As he looked into her eyes, she knew she was next and she was right. But instead, he pulled out a blade of a duller material. "For being mostly faerie, iron holds greater power over you and can harm you more than when you were only part fae. As silver is deadly to a vampire and iron can be to a faerie, with this blood exchange, you take one another's weakness and forge a new strength between both of you." Niall forced their wrists to touch, each healing cut touching the other, allowing blood to pass between the two. For a moment, the bride and groom had only eyes for each other, feeling like they were the only ones in the room. "Do either of you have any vows, anything you wish to say before we move on to the rings?" Niall asked the moment the wounds on both of them were healed.

"I'll go first. I didn't really prepare anything because we don't have that kind of time to let me say all I really want to." Sookie said. "Eric, if someone told me the night I met you that you were to me mine, I would have likely called them crazy. Over the years, with all we have gone through, you have been there for me, even when I pushed you away, making bad decisions all over again. Time and time again, you wanted to be with me and I admit, for a time I believed it was only for what I was. You have nearly died for me, you have been selfless for me. To think I could have lost you once and for all when you retreated to your homeland…the night you came to bill's house and I saw you with those hep-v veins….I wanted to scream, to just curse the world for the unfairness of it all. But now that I have gotten the many pieces that make you up, the violence, the gentleness, the humor and the caring, I now know without a doubt how much I love you. And I will never regret the road I went on to become what I am now, to be able to spend centuries with you. Thank you or not giving up on me."

The small assembled crowd was clearly touched by her words as Arlene sniffled loudly into a tissue handed to her by Keith. Willa too was teary eyes, taking care not to let her blood tears smudge her makeup job. Bill, for his part, had cringed slightly as Sookie had spoken, knowing he was mostly, if not entirely, the "bad decisions" Sookie had admitted to in her life. Though they were friends now and the trust between them returned, there was a unsettling feeling that was creeping through the former civil war soldier. But for now, he would be happy for her after all she had done for him. "What about you, Viking?" Niall turned to Eric. "You've never been at a loss for words, I can say for certain."

There was a soft laughter in the room as the tall blond offered a smirk, the smirk that Sookie found charming now. She used to find it galling, infuriating. "I'm not exactly from the Hallmark card company but I would like to say something as well.." he turned from Niall to Sookie. "I readily admit I wanted you from the start. At first for your power and what you could do. But the more I got to know you, I was reminded strongly of my first human love, Sylvie. I have not felt as strongly about a human as I do about you in a long time."

"I'm not exactly human anymore." Sookie couldn't help but tease, nerves still playing at her.

"And its moments like that that make me love you all the more. I got to know the sassy Sookie. The sweet, dangerous, smart and beautiful woman that I fought to protect. I never planned to give up on you for a moment and even as I sat atop the mountains, reading a story about a love that was never meant to be, I always felt there could be, even slightly, hope for us. And I would die for you if it meant sparing you from misery and pain."

Sookie's eyes welled with tears, touched by the sentiment of her groom. He was more complex than she ever could have imagined.. Tara handed her a small bronze band braided into a tribal pattern and looked very much like something a Viking would wear. Likewise, Pam gave Eric a dainty golden band with a oval shaped diamond set in it. First, Eric slipped the ring onto Sookie's finger and then she did the same for him. No words were needed to be said, the looks c wed, on their faces was all that was needed. Sookie barely heard her grandfather pronouncing her and Eric wed, focusing on only the man before her. As he pulled her into a tight embrace, he kissed her like never before as the guests rose to their feet and applauded. Try as she might, Pam was unable to hide her emotions and Sookie saw, for a brief moment, the blood tears that nearly dripped from her eyes before Pam wiped them away with a tissue.

Chapter 5

The reception itself took place in the back yard of Bill's mansion, strings of white Christmas lights draped on several trees while candles were lit at each of the tables. There was bottles of blood for the vamps and a light buffet for the human guests. Sookie and Eric were the last to emerge into the backyard, Sookie having changed into a simple pale pink sundress and sandals while Eric had been all to eager to strip off the tie and suit jacket he had worn. He much preferred his jeans and leather any day. They made it through the photo session and it seemed like the longest hour ever. Finally, they were able to mingle and enjoy the rest of the evening before they would depart for parts unknown for the honeymoon. There was a disc jockey playing music and as everyone got to dancing and laughing, Bill asked Eric if he could cut in.

"I suppose." Eric relented with a smirk. "But I didn't even know you could dance."

"Can you?" quipped Bill with a slight smile.

"There are few things I can not do." boasted the Viking as Sookie went to the dance floor put up for the party. He then turned to find Pam who looked eager to have a few moments alone with her maker. As alone as they could be at a reception, anyway.

"You are the prettiest bride I have ever seen….besides Jess of course." Bill stole a glimpse of Jess, dancing happily with Hoyt. He looked almost wistful

"Bill….what is it?" Sookie's smile faded into a look of concern.

"I got to thinking during the ceremony. That it was nearly you and I standing before a altar. That if not for my….poor choices, that maybe you and I would have remained together. Or is that wishful thinking?"

"Things could have gone differently. For the worse or better. There is never any way to see what's coming in life. And I was not exactly innocent during our relationship. But we're in a good place now, we're friends. You've changed for the better and have been a great father to Jess-"

"I did terrible things to you. To Jess. And even to Eric." Bill replied matter of factly. "Yet you never gave up on me and I am thankful for our friendship. I would gladly give up my life for yours and I hope you can forgive me for all I have done to you. I plan to speak with Eric as well about our tenuous past."

They danced slowly together, Sookie not sure what to say for a few moments. "I have forgiven you. I just want the past put behind us and for us to move forward. We are-all of us-" Sookie gestured to all the guests -"a family. Dysfunctional, supernatural and whatever. And I wouldn't want to lose a single one of you all. I miss Sam. But he's got a great new life in Chicago now and he was busy with Nicole having their third baby…..but at least he's living and breathing like the rest of you all."

"Breathing?" Bill gave Sookie a playful grin."

Rolling her eyes, Sookie grinned back. "You know what I mean…..and I am proud of you for being a better king this time around. There's been peace….even Eric says you've not been the screw up he expected you'd be again."

"And I meant that." Eric had come over to steal back his bride, Pam now dancing with Tara. "And as for our past, I wish to move forward as well and believe that I can count on you as a friend. Make no mistake, if you put a toe out of line like you did before with abusing your power, or trying anything funny, I have no qualms about getting rid of you."

"Threat understood perfectly clear." Bill replied, offering a hand for his former adversary and romantic rival to shake. As Sookie breathed a sigh of relief as Eric shook it. Leaving the newlyweds alone, there was a silence between the two as they surveyed the party before them, their friends and family dancing and eating. Taking her by the arm, Eric led her into the small, more private garden area that Jessica has insisted be put in and thus had become a hobby for her. Sitting on stone bench in front of a koi pond, the two reflected on their giant leap in their lives.

"I never thought I could be as happy as I am now." Sookie said.

"You know it won't be easy…..if your secret of what you are were to get out-"

"Not like people haven't learned about it before and its not like I've not been in a battle before. At least now I am better equipped to take care of myself." to prove her point, she popped out her fangs and lit her hands up with the soft glow of her fairy light.

"Yes. Yes you can.." he looked up at the starry night, looking lost in thought.

"What is it?" she asked. "You look like you're thinking really hard about something….."

"This year….it's been something, hasn't it? Hep-v and all that."

"And you, becoming a infomercial star and billionaire…..by the way, how is your business holding up? I still can't believe you're still running Fangtasia, with all you money and power…"

"It's more important to me than I thought it was." Eric shrugged. "I did think about closing it for good. But Pam recently reminded me that there is more to it than bricks and mortar. Memories, both good and bad. Besides, I need to keep Ginger being use anyway. With hep-v obliterated, I did worry that sales of New Blood would plummet. Turns out vampires prefer the taste of our product far more than that of the now defunct True Blood anyway. Sales? Never been better. And as for running New Blood, I have a flexible schedule, being boss and all. it's a good perk, so I will always have time for my loved ones." he took her hand and kissed it gently. "I know that was troubling you, worrying my job at the company would keep me away too much.

"Yeah, it was a concern….but I am kind of glad you are keeping Fangtasia. It's where I first met you anyway. You did tell me how it was actually Ginger's idea but that Pam stole the idea." Sookie shook her head with a smile. "You really are more sentimental than you want to admit to being, aren't you?" Sookie said coyly.

"Don't you dare speak of that to anyone. Ginger has been loyal to me and I do sometimes regret glamouring her excessively.. Which is why I plan to ensure her employment." Eric looked at her with narrowed eyes that sparkled with mischief under the moonlight. Kissing her gently, he held out a hand and pulled her to her feet. "Shall we enjoy the rest of the evening before we leave for the honeymoon? I do need to stop at the bar before we depart for our honeymoon, if you do not mind."

Grinning, Sookie took his hand and allowed herself to be led back to the party, where they would spend the next few hours before departing for their mystery destination. It all felt like a dream, a dream she hoped and prayed would not turn into the bloody nightmare of events past. Hope was a powerful thing, and she now had it in spades.

The End

#12-Blinded By Love

Prologue

As they bade goodbye to the well wishers at their nighttime wedding reception, Sookie and Eric made to leave, Sookie puzzled for a moment at lack of vehicle. "I thought it was a good night for a nighttime flight." Eric winked at her and scooping her up into his arms, they shot into the sky, landing at the front door of Fangtasia, closed tonight for the wedding. Unlocking the door, Eric let Sookie enter first. It was eerie how still and peaceful the bar could be but Sookie wondered just what it was he had brought her here for. Excusing himself, for a moment, he emerged from his office, changed out of his wedding Viking wear back into his leather and jeans. "I need to end this here and now so we can move on."

Confused by this cryptic statement, Sookie followed him into his infamous basement. There, Sarah Newlin dangled, hanging by chains, her skin covered in vampire bites. "I know you told me how you made money off of her…..but we killed her, weeks and weeks ago, in that hotel room when we were trying to sure your own hep-v."

Eric didn't want to address Sookie's query right away. "I wanted to ask your opinion. She has become useless to me, really as Hep-v is no more and thus vamps are not paying a hundred grand to drink from the source. So, I figured I would kill her myself, let you do the honor. Or…..I would be willing to turn her in to the police, no doubt they would be chomping at the bit to have her."

Reminded of the deal she had once made with Eric to turn over a embezzler to the cops rather than kill them Sookie grimaced. "This was your errand before we go on the honeymoon?"

Sarah started making noises, the gag in her mouth muffling her words. Eric roughly removed it. "What is it, former antidote?"

Sarah was filthy and looked a mere shadow of her former self. "I….I've been here for months and months….I can start over, create a new life! I could do good for once, rather than hurt people-"

"Hurting people seems to be the only thing you're good at. You helped kill Eric's sister. You helped lock me in your church basement where I was almost raped. And then you had Jason thrown into vamp camp with hungry vamps. He could have died."

"But he didn't! he's fine now!" Sarah sounded almost manic now. "Haven't I suffered enough down here, paid my dues for-" she was stopped by a hard slap across the face by Eric, whose fangs popped out as he got right into her face.

"You may have bled out for me but the blood on your hands? That is the sticking point. You will not gain freedom ever again and I am leaving it to my new bride here to decide what will be done with you."

Sarah looked past the angry Viking to Sookie. "You two….you got married? I always thought you'd end up with the dark haired one…cheap slut….."Sarah couldn't help but add.

Sookie decided it was her turn to get into Sarah's face, revealing her fangs, something Sarah hadn't counted on. "Yeah, I have changed a little since I last saw you."

Sarah's swagger she had gained when she was at the side of the late governor Burrell was long gone, but she still had the drive to live, even after all these months of being imprisoned. "I want to be free, I would work for you, do whatever you want…..please, let me go!"

Eric stood next to Sookie. "I am leaving it completely up to you what becomes of her. One of my presents to you, I suppose you could say."

Feelings were racing through Sookie, feelings of bloodlust no doubt due to her partial vampirism. She had been told she would need blood from time to time but was mostly faerie still and could eat human food and the like. But at this moment, she never felt more fierce, less of a faerie. It was quick and as soon as she had ripped Sarah's head off her body, there was a smile spreading across Sookie's face. "That. Felt Good. She's never going to hurt my family or any innocent people ever again."

Eric looked impressed as he looked over his bloodied bride. "Well done. I am pleasantly surprised with your….technique"

She smiled back. "So. I honestly thought you had killed her, back in the motel what seems like forever ago. But you-

"I was glad we were able to get the cure synthesized and made into New Blood. But what I wanted more than even saving my own skin was to avenge those lost and hurt because of this…thing. Apparently, I came to find out, she drank a vial of the antidote and thus became the cure herself. I made lost of money charging vamps money for a minute to taste her. But like I said, hep-v is a thing of the past and I am glad to see the other half of the Newlin's get their just desserts. I do regret not telling you that I had associates of mine come to the scene after we left the hotel. That they revived her and healed her before bringing her to here where she finally managed to do some good by healing sick vampires."

Sookie didn't know if she was supposed to be angry or not. For all these months, she had thought Sarah Newlin long dead and never once knew that the bitch actually held the cure within her as well as having a second and final vial of it at the vamp camp. Finally, her thoughts and emotions guided her to a simple conclusion. "I am not mad at you. She needed to be taken out. The things she's done…." Sookie shook her head and turned away from the decapitated corpse. "I am not angry that you had her saved that day. All I wanted was to see you cured and now we can move on. Right?"

"Move on right to our honeymoon and put all this…..unpleasantness….behind us." with that, the vampire swooped Sookie from the mess and out of the bar, off to start a life together.

Chapter 1

Seated on the private jet, Sookie was a little antsy as she flipped through a magazine, every thought wondering just where they were headed. He had even gone so far as the make sure the flight attendants and pilot were vamps, to keep her from dipping into their heads for answers. And of course, there were no windows on the plane and if not for her cell phone, she wouldn't have any clue what time it was. Too anxious to flip on the TV or read the stack of People magazines for the tenth time, Sookie went to the back of the plane where there was a bathroom, small kitchenette and two bedrooms. Wandering into the bedroom to the right, she saw it was barely lit with florescent lighting, a still form resting on the bed. She'd never once dared to wake a vampire from their day rest but she was lonely. And sunset was still a couple hours away.

Sitting on the side of the king sized bed, she simply watched him sleep. Thoughts of how close she had come to losing him were always at the forefront of her mind ever since he had returned from what he had said was his desire to see the world one last time. Thankfully, things had changed for the better. Hep-v was eliminated, though the taste of New Blood was still more popular than True Blood had ever been and thus, Sookie's beau was still a billionaire vamp in charge of a empire no other synthesized blood could hope to touch. And Sarah Newlin was dead, the last link to the dark times that was the vamp camp and the virus. Now, Sookie hoped to move forward, knowing that her life would never truly be dull and uninteresting. Thanks to Eric, she had come to almost embrace it. A small price to pay for having him healthy and hers. Mostly hers, she thought to herself with a smile. There was also Pam, Willa and Tara to consider.

"Eric….do you….want to get up and stay with me? I'm a little lonely. The crew here aren't exactly good company….." Sookie lay on the bed beside him and gently nudged his ribs, not wanting to startle him. She knew well enough what he was capable of and even as a faerie vamp, she knew he could still inflict damage onto her. She tried again to wake him up but it seemed he was far more tired than he had cared to admit to her hours earlier. Stubborn, stubborn stubborn, Sookie thought to herself as she sighed and went to leave him to finish his rest. But a cool hand gripped her right wrist as she slid off the silk comforter.

"You really thought I would sleep through your desires?" he smirked as she looked into his teasing blue eyes. "Come back over here for a little bit. I don't believe we are due to arrive anytime soon….what time is it?"

"Almost 5.…how much longer do you think before we land?"

"Here we are, in a room with a bed big enough for two with more than enough time for…some entertainment…..and you just want to get off the plane?" he teased.

She smiled as she hit him in the shoulder playfully. "I have all my….special clothes….in my luggage….in the cargo hold. I would prefer our honeymoon start in a hotel rather than this place. Which is the nicest plane I have even been on, don't get me wrong…..I just…..I want things to be perfect and I can't help but thinking about some terrible plane crash or losing oxygen or-"

"If anything happened, all I have to do is rip off the doors and fly us to safety. No problem. But I suppose I can settle just having you here with me until we land. But it's just going to build up my energy until later, you know."

"I am prepared to take it like a champ." Sookie replied saucily. Nuzzling close to him, she pulled a thick blanket up and over the both of them as he took to stroking her hair gently and slowly. "You look like you're thinking about something. You get that distant look on your face…"

Eric looked down at her and there was a melancholy there that touched her. "I was wondering what they would think if they could see me now. If they could have been at the wedding. Godric and Nora. There is one thing I never told you, though I imagine you figured it out the morning he met the sun."

"What's that?" Sookie replied.

"I was never released. For ten centuries, I may have had a great deal of leeway and freedom and he and I drifted apart. But I always wanted to know just why he didn't release me. I am going to tell you that where we are going, there is a bit of a ulterior motive for going and I hope you can understand why I want to go there. But I also hope you know I am taking you here because I genuinely want you to enjoy yourself."

Aching for the losses he had suffered, she said nothing as she clung closer to him and drifted off to sleep, the vampire staying perfectly still until the plane landed hours later.

Chapter 2

It was the last place she guessed they would be. She had been way wrong on guessing it would be a hotel such as the Ritz or the Four Seasons. No, her new hubby had gone bigger. Much bigger. Though she knew the pull he had as a billionaire and president of New Blood, she also knew his reputation as a vampire was clearly involved in England's decision to allow them to stay in the palace for the duration of their two week honeymoon.

"I still….I mean…..Buckingham Palace?" Sookie said as she passed the familiar, stoic guards and entered the vast, storied Palace. "It's too much….really…"

"I thought after all you and I have gone through, we could at least be in only the best lodgings on offer and they even prepared one of the suites to be light tight. I wanted this to be as special for you as it is for me. I hop you don't mind doing sightseeing at nighttime and I would rest easier if you were to explore in the daytime with the handpicked guards I have spent a great deal of time with."

As if on cue, a slender dark haired woman stepped out from one of the rooms of the palace, flanked by security guards who were not about to let any visitor out of their sight. This was Buckingham palace, after all. Nodding to Eric, the woman , wearing jeans and a pale blue long-sleeved hoodie looked like a soccer mom to Sookie. "I suppose you are the infamous Sookie Stackhouse who managed to land the Viking." the woman pulled her long dark hair back into a tight ponytail. "My name is Kyrie. And I see your face, you don't think I can pack a punch?"

"This was one of the few candidates with a black belt in karate, a mastery of weaponry from swords to pistols and frankly, she reminds me of Pam a great deal. Feisty. Fiery. And I think it helps she is also a Were."

Sookie's face paled a little. Looking at Eric, she was concerned of one thing. Kyrie answered the unspoken question before Eric could. "I know you are special. More than what Eric would divulge and if push comes to shove and somehow trouble arises, I am certain I may see some of that "Specialness" . Rest assured, your secret is safe with me. I signed a contract that should I divulge anything I learn that I wind up like the late Sarah Newlin, who's blood helped start the company I now have worked for for the past months."

"Plus I taught her some of my weapons skills, medieval as they seem, they are effective." Eric smirked. "As you well know."

"You are always more of a hands on kind of guy when it comes to killing." Sookie mused, thinking back on the time she saw him rip a heart out of a wiccan's chest and proceeded to sip it like a juice box. Like she always thought, he could be sweet as well as downright vicious "Well Kyrie….I don't think we are going to need you anytime soon but-"

"I know, you two just had a long flight and want to probably go sightseeing-"

"Actually, as much as I would like to hit the town, I would prefer getting a hot bath and checking out the accommodations.. I never thought I would get to say in a castle…."

"You did once, remember my family's castle back in Sweden? I mean, it was rustic, but-"

"A girl does need a tub. And plumbing." Sookie joked. "I had a nice time there, save for the danger and all that but now, it's a little like comparing apples and oranges."

"Then we will head to the suite." Kyrie said brightly. "I know the layout of the palace, been spending several weeks scouting the place and I know it like the back of my hand." leading them up to the second floor of the grand palace, they came to the end of a hallway that was studded with paintings, sculptures and other assorted antiques from the past. It was like a museum, yet had a hominess to it that Sookie liked best. "Here you are. Private and there is not another soul staying here. Eric saw to that. The queen is even having any guests that she had planned on having stay in a hotel. Only the best hotel in /London, of course. But as you know, your friend is very persuasive and will almost always get his own way."

"Don't I know it." Sookie said with a roll of her eyes. "But are you going to be staying here in the palace too?"

"Got my own room just down the hall. I put a room in between us, a sort of a buffer zone. But security is so tight around here, I think you're far safer here than anywhere else in London, let alone the rest of Europe." Kyrie replied. "Please, just try to enjoy yourself, you seem a little tense."

"And I think the time is about right for us to settle in. our luggage is already here, correct?" Eric narrowed his eyes at Kyrie who nodded with a smirk.

"As I told you on the phone before you left the States, I had everything perfectly planned." she said. "If you don't need me, I think I will go get my belongings settled in my room. Kinda just threw my luggage all around and I would prefer not to be a slob in the queen's palace." with a slight subservient bow to her boss, Kyrie walked the short distance back up the hall and headed into a door to her right. Entering their own suite, Sookie entered first and was blown away. There was a roaring fireplace all ready for them and she took note of the heavy curtains drawn over the French doors that would lead out to a balcony. Leading her through the curtains, he unlocked the doors and led her out onto the balcony as they took in the twinkling of the city below them.

"It's amazing…..I still can't believe you managed to swing this. It's just-"

"What you deserve? And really, you are surprised I managed to pull such strings, what with these mesmerizing eyes of mine. You seem to forget who I am sometimes."

Laughing at his playful; banter, she leaned against the stone wall and looked over the edge, seeing the guards switching for the new shift. Police officers were also a very visible presence and she did feel safer than she had not too long ago. "So…what now?"

"Well, I could take you around the city. We do have two weeks though. Perhaps what was so briefly mentioned on the plane?" he replied thoughtfully. And so finally, they were able to spend the remainder of the evening in bed, rekindling the love that they were so grateful to have returned to them. Perhaps fate was not as cruel as they had thought it to be.

Chapter 3

Several days into the trip had passed and it was the best time Sookie could remember having. A shopping spree at Harrod's and a private boat ride on the Thames were just a couple of the excursions the two newlyweds went on. And trips out during the day found Sookie getting to know her bodyguard Kyrie much better, finding out that, besides their mutual devotion to the Viking, that they sheared the same interests in cooking and reading, both enjoying some simple gardening.

"How long have you been doing this? The whole bodyguard thing?" Sookie asked as they stopped for lunch on a rare sunny afternoon. "I mean, if you don't mind me asking."

Kyrie brushed a long strand of dark hair from her face and looked at Sookie with her hazel eyes. "For almost a decade now. My family-my parents and three brothers-were unfortunate victims of the late king of Mississippi. I suppose that helped in my cause for getting job working for Eric. I know his background, though I daresay I don't know even a fraction of his life story. All I know is that his own family was slaughtered by the wolves as well."

"It would take a long time to cover his life." Sookie agreed. "So Edgington's wolves, they killed your family? Whatever for?"

"Because they refused to work for him. They-we-came from one of the most powerful bloodlines in all of the Were community and he was adamant on having them join-or else. My parents knew I would be in danger and sent me far away where I came up with a new identity and when I heard Edgington was finally gone for good, I came to learn about those who helped bring it about and wanted to thank them. I felt the need to do so. All the time I lived up north in Canada, I trained and lived with a small group of other weres who l learned were trying to stay away from Edgington, knowing how vicious and dangerous he was. They simply wanted to live their lives in peace. But I became stronger and became skilled with so many weapons. When I heard of the demise of the king, I went looking for the one responsible, wanting to thank him for what was done. I felt like I had my freedom back."

"So that's how you came to the employ of Eric?" Sookie asked.

"At first, I was given a job at the bar he runs. But then after New Blood came out and he became even more of a big shot….he needed someone he trusted to take came of some daytime stuff. And when you and him became…..close gain, he just knew he would have you again and wanted someone to be around at all times to help keep you safe. And so here we are."

"I am sorry bout your loss. It had to have been so hard…"

Shrugging, Kyrie looked at peace. "I miss them greatly. But I feel like I have gained more than I have lost. I'm treated exceedingly well, considering how Eric admits he feels about weres. He said he reminds him of Pam. And she is certainly…..something."

"Yes, that she is. But I am glad you are doing well."

"And I am incredibly grateful for it too." she said as she frowned. There was a car moving at a slower pace than the rest, tinted windows giving it a air of mystery. "I saw that car pass by twice before. I learned to be perceptive over the years and learned a lot from Eric. He's a good teacher, if nothing else." Kyrie stood up and tried to get a glimpse of the license plate. Jotting it down with a pen from her purse, she sat back down. "Maybe it's nothing, but I learned not to take anything to chance. So…..if you're done, I was thinking we could do some more shopping? It's a nice perk, shopping on Eric's dime."

Laughing, Sookie got up from the table. "I don't think either of our shopping could hold a candle to Pam's. now that I think about it, Tara seems to have gotten to liking the good life, after all she's been through, she deserves it."

"You certainly have come into a…fierce family, haven't you?" Kyrie laughed.

"Yep. And we put the fun in dysfunctional. In a good way, really."

Laving the café, they strolled up the street, making a beeline for one of the most popular bookstores in Europe. They were passing a alleyway when someone made a noise, trying to get their attention. Turning around warily, Kyrie and Sookie saw a figure slumped against the wall, looking very much in distress. "Are you okay, sir?" Kyrie asked, drawing a switchblade hidden in her pocket.

"Mugged….." the man replied, words slurred.

They approached the rear of the alley way where there was a barred gate that led further and out to another city street. As it was, where they were, the sounds of the city would drown out any pleas for help. The man was lying on a pile of old blankets and looked pathetic, to say the least. "I know some first aid." Sookie said to the man, leaning over him. "Kyrie, call whatever the emergency number is here in the city and-" Sookie was stopped by a heavy thud to the back of her head and felt like she was being burned alive. She heard Kyrie shouting as well as footsteps began to echo in the alley. Now that she was mostly faerie, iron was that much more of a danger to here and it was enough to render her weak, and eventually, knocked Sookie out cold.

PART TWO

Chapter 1

He awoke with a jolt, having felt her fear. Unfortunately, the sun was not to go down for several more hours and try as he might to get Kyrie on the phone, it was no use. Both of the women were in trouble, of that much he knew. Pacing back and forth, he tried to think of anyone he knew in the country that could be of assistance to him, but they were all vampires and thus were as useless as he was feeling right about now. Taking out the journal he had planned on revealing to Sookie, he read the words that were written in his own hand and also of Godric. It was remarkable well preserved, and seeing the raw emotion displayed on every page, it was enough to drive him to action.

"Niall Brigant!" Eric shouted. "I need….help." he winced at saying this, he didn't like being humbled to ask for anything.

The faerie appeared almost instantly, looking at the vampire with concern. "I had a feeling something was wrong and sure enough I am summoned. But by you, no less-"

"I don't have time for this. She's in trouble and I can't go for her. What help can you provide for me?"

"I sensed something was wrong as well, though I thought you would be with her. You two have a track record as if late of getting into sticky situations together."

Impatience boiling over, Eric leapt towards the faerie, fangs bared. But a jet of light send him backwards before he could strike. "I understand your desire to get to her but attacking me will get you nowhere. I respect and, heaven help me, like you, Viking. But you need to use your head and not lose that damned temper of yours. Now. Put those fangs away and I have I idea. Unfortunately, I can not remain here for long, there is royal matters back in Faery I need to tend to. However, I do have a late wedding gift for you. I had hoped to present it to the both of you, so Sookie could see as well, but in time, she will."

"What is it?" asked the vampire as he accepted the small rectangular box from the faerie. Opening it, he found a bronze band with symbols and emblems that looked completely foreign even to him, who knew many, many languages. Simply made, Eric could nonetheless feel there was more to this bracelet than it appeared.

"It allows you to travel to Faery with Sookie whenever you two desire. And it will only work for you. Unless you wear that, you can not enter. But it has another advantage to it as well. It will protect you in the daylight. Temporarily, but it should give you several hours before it needs to, shall we say, recharge? I wanted to give you something special, but in a little bit of a selfish mode, I wanted to give Sookie a gift that she would enjoy as well. To be able to spend a few hours every day in the day with you."

Taking the bracelet warily, he looked at the faerie. "It's not just a one time thing, you mean-"

"I am giving you the second most precious gift I can, the first being my granddaughter. It is not a one time use, it will work for as long as you live. But you can not be out in the light for more than four hours. Since it is still a couple hours before sunset, it won't be a issue. The bracelet needs to reenergize its magic by being immersed in the moonlight and that of the stars, I should warn you. If the bracelet is not charged enough, it will become increasingly warm against your skin. When it is ice cold it means its fully charged. And most importantly, when your time is nearly out, it will vibrate ever so slightly, giving you fifteen minutes to get to safety. I put a lot of time and effort into crafting the rules and design of it, use it well. I made one once before, but it was…..not as successful. It is indestructible as well."

Putting it on his right wrist, he felt the magic rippling around him. "Anything else I need to know about this thing? "

"No. but I do ask you be careful. For both your sake and hers. You've got a bond to her and should not have much trouble finding her. But I suspect it will be harder than you think to get her to safety. Good luck." with that the faerie vanished and the Viking made his way out of the palace in lightning speed.

Chapter 2

Awakening in a windowless room, Sookie found herself shackled with iron on a flat table, the room was cold and devoid of any other furnishings. Florescent lighting lit the eerie space and she couldn't move her head as the door of the room unlocked and footsteps entered. As the figure leaned over her, Sookie was unnerved to say the least. "Why? We've spent the past several days together and-"

"And you what? Thought we would become besties?" Kyrie said with a cold laugh. "If only you knew the planning and preparing I put into this, especially with the gift I was bequeathed. A gift that was created by your own grandfather, of all people. Unfortunately, it's a prototype of sorts and I believe that someone close to you will, if not already, come into the possession of it." Kyrie revealed a bronze bracelet on her wrist as she revealed a set of fangs.

"But you…..you're a were. You can not be a were and a vamp….it's-"

"AS impossible as you being a faerie-vamp? I learned a lot from a journal left behind by my brother along with a bracelet left behind from his former lover, the late king of Mississippi. The only item he managed to cling onto after being dethroned. One that has made so much possible, including making me what I am and allowing me some day walking abilities. Well, it did, until today. It is failing but Edgington believed that if there was to be any vamp to get their hands on the perfected one, a bracelet he believed would exist one day, it would be Eric. He knew Eric loved you even during your time trapped in the mansion as a prisoner. Russell knew he would do anything to have the sun again, if only for a little time. The late king knew more than you knew he did about the two of you.

Sookie added up the clues. "You are Steve Newlin's sister?"

"You and those fanged friends ruined by brother's life, turning him into a pariah and then he wound up getting turned. Admittedly, I never told him I was a were and I became a vamp just before Steve's demise. I myself was turned by the king himself so I could avenge the havoc you and you friends brought on my family!" the bracelet and journal were left in a safety deposit box for myself only. Even Steve remained in the dark about it. Apparently my cleverness and strength were that impressive to the late king."

"Your brother and Edgington were no saints." Sookie spat. "They hurt a lot of people I loved and did terrible things."

"Your husband killed my brother! And my sister in law. Granted, she wanted nothing to do with me when she realized what I was. But it is the principle. She was family."

"So now….what? You want blood for blood? Revenge on the loss of Steve?" Sookie couldn't help but laugh. "He was a joke as a reverend and a bigger joke as a gay vampire!"

Striking Sookie hard across the face, Kyrie pace back and forth like the wolf she was. "I am not killing either of you. No, I want the company. The prestige. I know what you are and I am going to turn the tables on the both of you. Instead of New Blood, we will have Faerie Blood. And maybe we can do to you what was done to Sarah before she was killed, charging a fortune for a sip of the faerie. Twice as much for that Viking of yours, who will sign over everything to me before we know it."

"We've got people who love us, surely you don't think you can hide us forever, as captives?"

"You mean the king of Louisiana and former vampire god? Or that hooker of a progeny Eric has? Those friends?" Kyrie laughed gently. "I've got more allies than you think and Eric has no idea of the wolves in the henhouse of his precious corporation. Besides, Eric's severed his ties with both of his progeny, isn't that correct? And Bill, he's all the way back in the states? I've got all bases covered, believe you me."

Sookie paled as she realized the gravity of the situation. Knowing it was daylight, Sookie could only pray for some kind of a miracle to get her out of yet another pickle. But unfortunately, she knew her miracle was in as much danger as she was now in.

Chapter 3

The sun felt good but the Viking was glad that the sun was almost down. He could feel her fear and could tell she was trying to be brave. Approaching a building in a less conspicuous area of London, he barged through a lobby and down a escalator. It reminded him strongly of the time he and a motley group of vamps, Sookie and Jason had gone to retrieve Bill from the authority building. That night, of course, everything had gone to hell and he had a bad feeling that again, it would be a challenge to attain victory. But he was not a quitter and once the doors opened in the sub basement level of the eerily quiet building, he was greeted almost immediately by a group of weres who had already shifted. And were out for blood. One by one they attacked, each stronger than the rest. As they managed to get a little of his blood, they became that much more of a problem, of a difficult battle to fight. As good a warrior as he was, even he couldn't take on five weres that had quickly gotten to his blood. It was as if it was planned, deliberate. He had to admit, it was a smart move. Nevertheless, he managed to get two of them down, ripping their throats out before a pair of familiar looking, well dressed figured appeared, wielding silver chains and nets.

"Sophia? Nicolas?" Eric struggled to his feet, rapidly healing from the many gashes and cuts he sustained as the three remaining weres turned back to human form, grabbing silver of their own that was well hidden. Securing the vampire, the two businesspeople walked up to the vampire who was trying to remain on his feet. "You…..betrayed me…why?"

"She promised us loftier positions than you've given us as part of your company. Well…..it won't be your company much longer and the changes that she has in store…you may find rather interesting." Sophia said. She had been his personal secretary, handpicked by Pam because of her snarkiness. But now, she smelled like a were. So did Nikolai.

"Whoever this 'she' is…..she turned both of you?"

"A small price to pay for getting some glory for a change." Nicolai said. "I was getting tired of being your day man anyway. But enough talk, she is chomping at the bit and perhaps on your little wife."

Dragging him into a very tightly secured room that looked like something nefarious out of vamp camp and there was yet another betrayer before him, the last person eh ever expected. "You look surprised to see me, but then, you did see to it that I stayed with her as much as possible?" Kyrie smiled as the her cohorts chained him against the wall with silver on the neck, waist, wrists and ankles. "Strip his shirt and jacket off. I want her to see this."

The table was rotated around a few feet to allow Sookie to see the other side of the room where they had restrained… "Eric!" she cried in anguish, feeling her hopes for a rescue deflating. He was trying to fight the effects of the silver but with a grin, Kyrie walked up to him and took a syringe with a gleaming material within it. Injecting it into him, the woman got right into his face as he steeled himself from the agony, the pain that she knew he was feeling. "I am not killing either of you, rest assured the both of you are far more valuable to me alive than dead."

"I trusted you Kyrie. To keep her safe-"

"And I am going to keep my word. She will not be harmed, hunted or be in any danger from anyone ever again, save for me if I get bored. I know what she is but really, I don't care. But she is a prize too precious to just let loose in the open. Faeries are so rare, aren't they?"

Trying in vain to break through the shackles, Eric caught Sookie's gaze and in those few seconds, she somehow felt better, albeit marginally. "I will do what is needed to keep her safe from harm. What do you want?"

Kyrie looked up at him and smirked. "I want you signing everything over to me. You will remain here in the complex with her as well. But of course, you will never touch her again. I told Sookie everything and now, I suppose I should reveal my past to you so you can get a better understanding of my motivations." Kyrie told Eric of her relation to the Newlins and sighed when she was done. "You had Sarah chained, drained and killed. But for you, death would be too merciful and so you will be my own cash cow as she was to you. In exchange for you signing everything over to me-including your dive of a bar, you two will not be killed. Simple as that. "

"You really don't think people would come looking for us?" Sookie asked weakly.

"I have that already taken care of. My friends here and any one else I decide to bring into our fold will go wherever needed to….dispose of any who would try coming for you. So you can consider Jason, Tara, Pam, Willa, Bill…..shall I go on-as good as dead. But that will come in the coming days. I am patient and would like to get my hands dirty." Nikolai left the room only to return a few moments later with a black briefcase. Opening it, he stepped back for Kyrie to examine the contents.

"This is the best I could get my hands on. But there is also some extra I threw in there just because." Nikolai said with a grin as he watched Kyrie intently, hoping he had pleased her. "Sophia suggested it may be a good idea as well."

Kyrie looked at her partners and nodded. "It will more than suffice. I don't want him dead but I think I can make good use of every last thing in this. You did well, both of you. Now. Leave me to it, won't you?"

Nodding, the two left the room as Kyrie opened the case all the way and bringing it right over to Sookie, who looked like she was going to be sick. "You can't….please…..don't!"

Chapter 4

Kyrie took the first implement of torture in her hand. She had a array of tools, many forged of pure silver and for Sookie, it was like watching Lorena torturing Bill all over again. Try as she might, the iron was keeping her power in check and she wondered just where he grandfather was at a time like this. There came a groan as the first slice of the silver blade wend slowly down the chest of the vampire, Sookie turning to look out of fear and anger. The blood was trickling but Sookie saw that Kyrie was prepared, putting a vial down to collect the blood that was sol old and so powerful. "A small fortune in every bottle. But you already knew that." she said to Sookie. Forced to turn her head away from the sheer viciousness and slow deliberate action of the warped were-vamp who saw the bracelet on the vampire's wrist and eyes it greedily. "You brought it right to me! That which I have hoped I could have, so I need never fear being burned in the sun."

'It will only work for me. Eric grunted, glaring at the woman angrily. He was not about to let on the pain he was in and smirked, ignoring the wounds on his chest and now, arms. The smell of blood was filling the room and it was actually giving him a bit of fight. "Take it, but it is useless, the one who made it told me as much."

She did take the bracelet and held it with awe. Putting it on, she shrugged. "Even if it won't work for me, it is still something else I can take from you. And just for that, I think I will help myself to a little snack." shifting into a grey wolf, she bit down on both of his legs, causing even the Viking to scream in pain as the wolf drank, becoming instantly empowered by the blood. Shifting back to human form, she stroked the bracelet on her wrist and looked at her handiwork. "Poor vampire…with all that silver binding you, it won't be a easy go of it for you to heal. But Don't worry, I'll let you be for now, so you can recover for the second round. Besides, I want you strong enough to take the pen and sign your company and yourself over to me." laughing, the bloodied Kyrie left the immensely secure room, the door locking menacingly in her wake. Sookie started to sob, frustrated that she could do nothing to stop what she had just been forced to be witness to.

"I've been through worse than this, Sookie. Trust me. We will get out of here and that bitch will be more than sorry for betraying us, I assure you of that."

"That's how you got here? That bracelet, lets you day walk? You got it from Niall."

"Yes. And he gave it to me knowing there was danger. Yet where is he in such a dire circumstance?"

"I would like to know the answer to that myself." Sookie sighed. "Niall! We need help! Please!" Sookie shouted as loudly as she could.

"And yet, when u did the same thing, he was here in a flash." Eric replied. "Something is wrong. I hate to think…perhaps they got to him as well….." he stopped talking.

"What's wrong?" she asked as she looked at him. He looked completely lifeless, blood was still dripping off his body. He was unconscious and she, alone with no one to speak to. Something needed to happen, sooner rather than later.

Chapter 5

The lights of the room were turned down slightly, but not nearly enough to allow Sookie to get a good night sleep. It was a impossibility, to get any sleep knowing the predicament they were in. the next morning, Kyrie returned and once again took her sharp blades to the vampire. "Made a good half million on what I got yesterday. There was a lot of interest in the blood I had to sell. don't worry, I never will reveal the source. All I plan on telling the buyers is that its only the best. Of royal stock and of a storied legacy. If anyone knew how strong his blood was, well, he would be hunted and drained in no time and then where would we be?"

"Steve and Sarah deserved their fates." Sookie said, hoping that Eric would awaken. But he hadn't made a sound nor moved since the night before. "You need to stop before you inadvertently kill him."

Kyrie finished her cut, pressing it deeper into the skin than she had been doing. She stopped at his navel and then walked over to Sookie, blood all over her hands. Leaning over her, Kyrie took a long, hard look at her. "I do wonder what I could get for blood like yours. It is both faerie and vampire, after all…..perhaps once I have control over the company, I can put my scientists to work on figuring out how potent your blood is. But for now, I will leave you alone. Alone to watch, helpless, as I work my own brand of magic to finally do what others have failed to do over the centuries."

"What's that?" Sookie asked.

"Break Eric Northman once and for all. His body and spirit. And when I am done, he won't care what happens to everyone back in the states, much less you. Count your blessings I want to keep you alive. Then again, your misery may just make you wish I would finish the both of you off. Tomorrow, I want an answer and you had better get him to see reason." Kyrie nodded over to the still vampire. "Or else."

Chapter 6

Lying on the cold, unfeeling surface of the table, the tears were running down her face. It had been hours and hours since she had heard him speak, seen him move. Even when Kyrie returned for a third time to help herself to some blood, he hadn't made a sound. "Niall….where are you? can't you tell we're in trouble.?"

"I would not ever allow you to be led to slaughter. I have watched over you far better than Claudine ever did, as much as you way not believe me. Your sufferings you went through in life were meant as tests, to make you stronger. To make your magic stronger. By simply popping in and getting you out of jams myself, how could you learn or grow?" Niall appeared in the room and looked down at his granddaughter. I can not fight your battles for you. It is up to you to fight for your freedom. However, like I gave him a tool to come to you, I will give you a late wedding gift." Niall leaned over and kissed her on the forehead, a soft glow filling the room as Sookie gasped for the air that had briefly left her body.

"What was that…I feel….funny…."

"I have given you some of my own power. Which will weaken me slightly but only temporarily. It should help you get out of this and save yourself and him. I would never let anything happen to my family and have tried to watch over you and yes, Jason, from the shadows. Even though he has such little faerie in him. Rest assured, Sookie, should you find yourself in the gravest of gravest situations, I will know and of course, come to help. But this situation? You have been through worse and I have faith in you." in a flash, he vanished and Sookie was left alone. Concentrating, she felt her grandfather's boost of magic flowing through her and she was able to snap the iron bands into pieces using her light. She still felt a little weak and knew she likely would need some time for the effects of the iron to dissipate. Racing over to the other side of the room, she was able to get a better, up close look at the gruesome sight of her Viking. "Oh my god." she breathed as she took in the depth of the cuts, blood trickling even still. The intensity of the silver was clearly keeping him from healing faster and she teared up as she looked him over head to toe, cuts on every area of exposed skin. One by one, she uncuffed him from the wall and removed the chains around his waist, the smoking flesh making her nose itch from the smell. As gently as she could, she set him down, his dead weight not as much a challenge as it would have been before she had become part vamp. Still, it wasn't easy, Sookie wanting not to put his body through any more trauma than it had been through. She wiped tears from her eyes as she flung the silver chains as far away from them as she could, wondering just when he would finally awaken. She knew what she had to do and without hesitation, she brought out her fangs and bit into her wrist, holding the bleeding wound over his mouth, which she had to pry open with her other hand. "Come on, come on…I need you….." she whispered as she kept a eye on the door to the room, knowing they could be rejoined by Kyrie and her friends at any moment.

Chapter 7

Kyrie, Nikolai and Sophie were in the room that served as their office, gloating over the prizes they had stashed away in their special room. "In a matter of hours, we will have everything…I have already made the arrangements for you two to head over to the states to do what I promised. You read all the materials, correct?"

"We know exactly who to get. We read the portfolios cover to cover and have all the silver and stakes we need. When we are done, all their friends will be piles of smoldering goo and that officer brother of Sookies, he will die too, of course."

"As soon as the ink is dry on the contract I have him sign, you will head straight for the states." Kyrie reminded them as she fingered the stolen bracelet she now wore on her wrist. "And then, my losses will have been avenged and then everything will be right." she started to laugh but there came a commotion from the outside. "See what it is, won't you?" Kyrie said as she proceeded to drink a vial of the blood she had collected from her captive vampire. It was a foolish move as one by one, Sophie and Nikolai were knocked back into the room by a blur, their heads becoming detached from their bodies one by one. The attacker was not exactly who Kyrie had expected, yet she was not surprised either, knowing the history between the one before her and the injured vamp in the other room.

"Greetings, Kyrie." Pam was leering at the were-vamp, fangs out and looking very much hungry for some blood. "I was not about to just let him and Sookie go overseas without me. I've followed all of you as best I could. And here we are."

"Loyal as you may be, I learned a great deal from your maker. One of those things was to be prepared for any eventuality and though you may have killed my two friends, all I need to do is push this button and I've got a dozen weres ready to come down here and help. You see, I had more hands-paws-ready to come to my aid should I need it." and walking over to the lone desk in the office, Kyrie pushed it and it was almost instantaneous that a cluster of different colored wolves assembled. "And they are all fueled by V!" she shouted as the melee began, Pam trying to take on all of the wolves on her own. Kyrie herself shifted but instead raced from this room to the other where she found a freed, albeit unconscious looking Eric on the floor, very much still bloodied and vulnerable. But the faerie was nowhere to be found.

Chapter 8

Eyes bright with fury, Kyrie wondered just where and how Sookie could have gotten out of the room or even hide within its four walls. Unless….

There came a colorful, bright light from above as a thick and formerly well put together ceiling opened up over Kyrie's head. A thick panel fell, scraping Kyrie's head as she managed to dodge, avoiding the full brunt of the metal and the faerie lying upon it. Screaming a primal scream, Sookie grabbed Kyrie by the hair as the traitor tried to go for more vamp blood. Slipping through Sookie's grip, Kyrie ignored the clump of hair taken from her scalp and crouched down, shifting into wolf form, prepared to finish the job completely, believing if she was in fact losing this battle, then she would send the Viking to his true death as well. But seconds before her large teeth were able to chomp down onto his arm, another arm moved in,, taking hold of her throat and tossing her across the room as if she weighed nothing. Landing in the grasp of a now disheveled and bloodied Pam, Kyrie was still not prepared to give in, snapping her jaws and clawing at the most loyal friend Eric and Sookie could ever ask for,

"I'm not interested in tending to animals anymore." Pam said as she managed to pin down the flailing wolf, chomping down herself on the neck of the were. She didn't release the woman until the last breath had left her body and for good measure, Pam severed her spinal column. "You okay Sookie? Clever, hiding up in the ceiling. I am impressed."

Making her hands light up, Sookie revealed her teleporting abilities. Vanishing from one spot to another. "Niall has really helped me unlock my full potential." but the two woman looked to the still unmoving form on the floor, bare chested, bloodied and never once in a hundred years had Pam seen her maker look in such dire straits. "We both need to feed him, don't we?" Sookie asked as they both crouched on either side of him. "He's lost so much blood….."

Pam felt his cheek tenderly and a tear of blood fell down her face. "He's so close to death, we've got to both do this." she agreed. And both women dropped their fangs and bit into their own wrists, allowing their combined blood to drip messily into Eric's mouth. They waited what felt like a eternity, both watching as the wounds inflicted at the hands of his own Lorena healed one by one, a sigh of relief exiting Sookie's mouth as she stopped giving her blood, Pam following suit. "We've done all we can. We need to get him out of…." she trailed off and saw the bracelet on the wrist of Kyrie. Snatching the bracelet off, she put it in her jeans pocket and bit her lip. "Get him back to the palace."

Epilogue

The next thirty six hours were touch and go as Pam and Sookie took turns watching over him, realizing how severely he had been tortured. Seeing that there had been injections of silver put into him had certainly delayed the healing process and as Pam reluctantly went to bed for the day, a exhausted Sookie, dressed in a pink slip covered by a cushy white robe, lay herself down beside him on their bed, she and Pam having had taken the task of cleaning him up from head to toe. That he was still here before her was a good sign, obviously. That he was not a pike of goo before her certainly made her thankful. Still, she was on pins and needles, having never seen him as bad off as he was now. And then, he started to move and his blue eyes opened wide as he gasped for a breath of air he didn't need.

"Oh my god…I was getting so worried-" Sookie burst into tears and was unable to finish her thought as two big arms pulled her closer, kissing her firmly but without the usual full strength she had come to know and expect.

"I would have gladly signed every last thing I owned over to that botch if it meant saving your life. And even if it meant you and I were doomed to stay here for the rest of our days….at least we would have been together."

"It wouldn't have been any life for either of us. Trapped as slaves…unwilling blood donors…..I love every moment I am alive, but I wouldn't have wanted that existence for either of us and I know you wouldn't have either…" Sookie trailed off as she looked into his eyes, seeing that they were looking almost distant, lost. Then again, she had to remind herself of what he had just gone through. That even the mightiest vampire she had ever known and would likely ever know had been brought down so hard.

"How are you?" he asked her as he pulled her ever closer and she took the comforter and pulled it over them.

"I'm…fine…and I got the bracelet back for you…..it can make you able to go out in the sun?"

Nodding, he smiled gently. "Your grandfather gave it to me. It can only work for a few hours at a time, but I will take it. If only I had had such a think when I was on the mountains in Sweden…."

"You had better not ever pull a stunt like that ever again." Sookie poked him in the chest and pursed her lips, though a smile was trying hard to escape. 'Bracelet or no bracelet…..but I know I was part of the reason you ran off like that. After all you went through-"

"It's in the past now and we have a long future to look forward to. And it would appear I need to be even more careful on who I hire for my company in the future. Which brings me to my next idea….how would you feel working with me? Note that I didn't say for me?"

She managed to laugh. "I think it may be best if I just remain at Bellefleurs. Though I won't rule out ever working with you at New Blood. But you've still got Pam, right?"

"Always." he replied, closing his eyes for a moment, looking almost innocent. Almost. Then he opened his eyes and looked at her. "Are you getting weary of all this yet? The adventures? The drama? Near death experiences? I was clearly not much help for you this time and it is my fault for being fooled by her."

"She fooled everyone." drawled a voice from the doorway. Pam was leaning against the open doorway dressed in a pale pink velour sweatsuit, looking slightly cocky. "Good think I followed you both here and got here when I did. Otherwise, you would both be pretty screwed."

"Yeah, we are glad to have you around." Sookie said, feigning annoyance. "Thanks for being so protective."

"No problem." she said as she crossed the room and took to the other side of the bed, fingering his blonde hair gently. "Are you going to be okay?"

"I always am, as long as I have the two of you around. But I could use some rest, if you don't mind. And please bear in mind, Sookie and I are still on our honeymoon, after all."

Rolling her own eyes, Pam grunted. "Then I suppose if I don't want to hear any sounds that would make my stomach churn, I had best leave the country?" she paused and gave them a thoughtful look. "Nope, that is not even enough to get me away from you. Not terribly far, anyway. I took over Kyrie's former room but I am a little puckish and will go out for the night when it finally comes and leave you to do…..whatever." Pam hugged her maker tightly and swept from the room, leaving the two alone once more.

"Glad to have a good bodyguard in place….but do you think she's gonna tail us the rest of our honeymoon?" Sookie asked with a yawn.

"I am afraid she will likely tail us as much as possible. But she also does not posess this." Eric tapped at the bracelet on his right wrist. "But I also think she wants us to have our time together too after all that went down. What a vacation so far…" he sighed and went to kiss Sookie's head. She was snuggled up to him, fast asleep. With a small smile, he pulled her a little closer and closing his eyes, fell asleep as well, dreaming of what else their life together would have to offer them, the good and the bad. Either way, he knew they could handle it.

The End

#13-A Final Request

Chapter 1

"Welcome back. I am sorry for barging over like this but I had heard that there had been….trouble." Bill was on Sookie's front porch, hands in pockets, looking at his ex with concern. "If I had known, if I had even thought there was a traitor in your company-"

"Bill, Kyrie even fooled Eric. Pam followed us on our honeymoon and thank goodness she did….but please…..I don't want you blaming yourself. Kyrie and her cronies are dead and there is a new, stricter interviewing process for New Blood, I promise you."

Bill only looked slightly appeased. "I am glad to hear that. Sorry for your honeymoon being ruined."

"It wasn't ruined really. We still managed to get some sightseeing done, and Niall gave Eric a bracelet that lets him…." Sookie didn't know if she should reveal this to her ex. But then again, during the hep-v crisis, Bill had proven his loyalty to her ten fold, saving her many times during the months Eric had been away. The past, however was a tricky thing to forget and try as she might, she couldn't help but see Billith emerging from the bloody pool that terrible night. Remembering the terrible things he had done to her even before that mess was also not easily forgotten. "It's a faerie antique that Niall wouldn't give to just anyone." Sookie finished, deciding it was best not to let the secret of the bracelet out of the bag. The less who knew of it, the better. "You seem…off…..would you like to come in?" she asked with a concerned frown. As exhausted as she looked, Bill was appreciative that she was making time for him.

"Yes. There is something I would like to discuss with you." he replied and so she allowed him entry to her home, bringing him out a can of New Blood, which Bill admitted he was impressed with the success of the vamp beverage. "Whatever that Viking touches turns to gold, even Sarah Newlin's hateful blood." he mused

"So. what's bothering you?" Sookie asked as she kicked off her sneakers and flopped down on a couch.

"Since Jess and Hoyt left….did you know they moved back into the house they shared together awhile back?"

Sookie shook her head. "I can't keep track of everyone's living situations and what not. It's been hectic for me lately as you know…..what is it? Empty nest syndrome?" she couldn't help but quip but her smile faded as she saw his glum face.

"I guess you could say that….and though things have been going remarkably well as king this time around….I feel…lost. Empty. And I can't say that you getting married helped me any."

She narrowed her brow. "I really don't want to get into a pity party for you. We're still friends and I need you to get it through your thick head that there will never be a chance for us to be together again. Ever."

"I understand that perfectly well. But I was going through some old family heirlooms. Photos and some knick knacks of my family…..Sookie, I want to be with them again. But I don't even…I don't even know if I would even be able to get into heaven,. After all the things I have done. To you, to Eric. To everyone I care about."

She sat stunned. She knew how he pined for his family. Even Eric, she knew, missed his family. But he was living in the mow, the present. Then again, Sookie knew how horrible Bill's situation was with Lorena and how he had seen his family one last time before being taken away. Then having come back only to see his son dead from illness and Caroline being traumatized and then glamoured…..that night was one that would never leave his memory. And apparently, was as fresh a wound as any other. "I don't like how this is sounding, Bill. You almost sound like you're ready to die." she laughed awkwardly. Bill did not return the smile but instead turned away. "No!" she said, grabbing his arms. "I can't let you….I mean, its insane! What about Jessica? Your friends…you're not alone. You know everything Eric's been through and yet he's bounced back from so much pain and heartache. I believe you can too."

"Sookie, I have been contemplating this since the night I first rose as…this." Bill made his fangs drop for a moment before putting them away. "Almost every night I have had nightmares, visions of the life I could have had with my family. What if I could have spared Thomas from the illness that had killed them. I did go away to war but there was a chance I could have returned home. Human and in some capacity to at least attempt to save him."

"Company already? Darling, we just barely have had time to unpack." a voice spoke out from behind as Eric approached, standing in the doorway of the house. "I didn't mean to listen in but I heard the last part. Suicide, Bill?" Eric looked from the former soldier to the clearly distraught Sookie. "I don't think much of your timing."

Looking abashed, Bill had to admit he agreed. "I feel its ….time. And I need to find a replacement to take over for me-"

"Number one, I don't want to be king. I have my priorities straight." Eric interrupted, taking a place beside Sookie, who leaned into him for support. "Secondly, I just started respecting and liking you. And now you want to pull this drama?" But Sookie stopped him with a touch on the arm.

"Bill, I am tired…..let's discuss this tomorrow. I can't….I just…." she was getting teary eyes and had to run back into the house. Both vampires remained silent, listening only to her feet racing up the stairs and slamming a door behind her.

"Well, that was one hell of a welcome home present but I should attend to her…." Eric paused. "I understand how you feel. Neither of us has had a traditional life, now have we? But I like to think we have persevered. When she thought you were lost for good to Lilith's influence, she never gave up on you, as angry as she was at you. Nor did she give up on me after….everything I have done. I do not want to lose you as a friend and would…..lament your loss. Never thought I would utter that phrase. I do wish you would think of everyone else before you decide anything…..rashly."

Bill offered a slight smile. "I appreciate your friendship and guidance. Never thought I would say that myself. And I am thinking of her. And of Jess. I will return tomorrow evening and we can discuss this. I am not trying to be selfish, Eric, I know there will be people hurt by my decision. But I also never asked to become what I have." with those words, Bill swept off into the night as Eric shook his head and entered the house.

The Viking found Sookie lying on her bed. "You know, we really should think about getting a larger bed, now that you're a married woman." he teased as he sat down gently beside her. Her back was to him but he could see she was still crying, she was shaking ever so slightly. She still carried deep feelings for Bill, that much was clear and Eric was resigned to accepting that fact. After all, it was her wedding band he wore and she his, the precious gifts they had given each other not too long ago. She could not bring herself to offer much of a smile at his attempt to lift her spirits. He hated seeing her like this and she knew it.

"I'm sorry…I know it's the time where we are supposed to get our life started together-I mean, really get it started. Leave it to Bill to do this, to drop something like this on me at a terrible time."

"I don't think he meant for the bad timing. I believe he has felt like this for a very long time. I felt it myself at one point after I was turned."

"But you….you agreed to what happened to you. You let Godric turn you….."

"Yes and I knew very well I would have died. But so much was already taken from me. My parents killed, my baby sister…..what else did I have to lose? There were times I wished I could return to the remains of our clan, to take the crown that I was stubborn, stupid to have tried to refuse from my father. I learned a short time after I was turned that the remainder of my people were killed. The wolves had returned to try to finish the job, believing me dead."

"You were." Sookie couldn't help her wise ass remark, to which he had to smile softly."

"No one knew what had become of me and when I did get to return to the castle where I had seen my family slaughtered and saw the remains of my people scattered about, I regretted not having remained to fight with them. I wanted o doe then and there, to reunite with my family and believe that there could be nothing left for me. Godric soon taught me I was wrong, by training me, taking me around the world and eventually giving me a sister in Nora."

Sookie winced at the mention of the name, knowing how terrible her demise had been, how deeply the scars still ran deep over that loss. "She loved you and I wish I had gotten to know her better."

"You two would have been great together." agreed Eric. "and there will never be a day that goes by that I will not think of Godric and Nora. The family that we could have been…"

"You've not lost all of us…." Sookie said gently. "He really does want to be with his family, it's really all he has wanted for a long time. I want to think he is being selfish for giving up his life now, that he'd be leaving so much behind himself. But…."

"It's not a easy decision he is trying to make. And I don't think he's being selfish. Not entirely, anyway. The guilt he has carried is just too much for him to take. Perhaps I am stronger than him in that respect for still walking the earth after all these centuries. And not giving in to the random sense of loss that does come over me from time to time, I did learn a great deal from my experience with having hep-v however and feel almost foolish for being as melancholy as he is now. I think the thing to do for him would be to be supportive as best we can."

She nodded and blinked back tears. "Then we will hear him out tomorrow night?"

"Yes. But I think it important Jessica be brought along as well…"

"I have a feeling he will bring her along too." with that, Sookie closed here eyes and drifted off to sleep, memories of the past filling her dreams with the good times and the bad she had shared with her ex. All she wanted for anyone she had loved was for them to find peace in life. Perhaps this was the only way for Bill to find his own peace.

Chapter 2

She had spent the afternoon puttering around the house, feeling somewhat comforted by the fact Eric has spent the night in his freshly redecorated cubby. It was clear Sookie would not be giving up her house to live in Eric's and with them having been gifted the former queen of Louisiana's mansion by Bill, they certainly had no lack of places to live. Eric was to retain his home in the same highly secure, gated community that Pam also lived in but he rarely spent time there, even long before he had even met Sookie. Houses and things didn't matter to either of them, so long as they had each other, especially after all of their heartache and struggled they had gone through to get to this point. Bored and full of her worries and concerns over Bill, Sookie opened the doors to the hidden cubby and descended down into the small but immaculate living space that had been ever so slightly redesigned. There were shelves added now, a shelf that contained Eric's father's crown and his sword. Along with a variety of books and some other relics of his past, Sookie had been touched when he had said he would rather have such things as these kept here with her, his most precious of his possessions. Reminding him she was no object to be owned, he had quickly rephrased his sentiment, though in good humor, Sookie had taken no offense, though she had threatened to kick her hubby in a place where any man would find themselves in some discomfort, to say the least

She sat in a chair that was placed by a small desk that he kept when he occasionally worked on paperwork for his multiple business ventures. She sat, lost in her thoughts, waiting for the sun to go down and watched her husband sleep soundly. Feeling the start of tears beginning to creep into her eyes again, she moved to the bed and went to curl up beside Eric, who awoke with a start, his hands going around her throat as her eyes widened in stunned surprise. Letting her go as he quickly realized who it was, he put his fangs away as well and shook his head. "You really shouldn't sneak up on a sleeping vampire, Sookie. Especially after the vacation we just got back from…"

She frowned. "Sorry….I should have known better but I thought you would have slept better than that considering its only three in the afternoon." she cocked her head thoughtfully. "don't tell me, you had a bad dream?"

He reclined back against the pillow and looked at her hard before he relented. There were only two women he would ever reveal things like this to and even then, he knew such talk made Pam uncomfortable. She always thought her maker as being invincible, fearless. Though they all knew now, after everything that had happened over the years, that that was far from the truth. "I saw you…..and Bill. And then there was a lot of….gore. You were left alone, sobbing and then you….." he stopped and closed his eyes to collect this thoughts. "You killed yourself."

"A murder suicide, you really dreamed that…..but you know how I feel about him now. Friends, that's it and I don't want a friend to die." Sookie reassured him

"I know that. I do. As much as I have come to respect Bill and can count him as a friend, I also think he is going to make things hard on you when it need not be."

"You want to stop him from doing it."

"I can't chain him up in silver for eternity." Eric replied. "Well, actually, I could, but then what?"

She turned away from him and went to get off the bed but he took her arm, stopping her. "I am not in the mood for jokes right now….." she saw the ghost of a regretful look cross his face before continuing. "But I appreciate you trying to make me feel better."

Stroking her hair, he thought back to the sordid past she had shared with her ex. All the torment, the pain and the anguish Bill had put her in was immense, never to be outweighed by the good times they shared and the friendship they had even to this day. "Stay here and get some rest. I can't really go anywhere right away anyhow. Sleep. You look tired. I can go talk to him if you want. But you know he is stubborn."

"Not nearly as stubborn as some I know." Sookie offered a smile as she closed her eyes, falling asleep within moments. As soon as he felt the last bit of sun fade from the sky, Eric carefully left the bed and the cubby, making a beeline for the tormented southern vampire.

Chapter 3

Jess had answered the door when Eric knocked and standing behind her was Hoyt. Judging by the red tears on her cheeks, Bill had revealed his desire to meet the true death to his only progeny. And it had not gone well, judging by the shattered and torn up paintings on the wall. "Maybe you can talk some sense into him. I'm not as mad as I think I should be…..I know he misses his family and all that…..I get it but-"

"You go off with your lumberjack or whatever he does for a living now." Eric was paying little attention to Jessica's husband who boldly walked up to stand beside Jess.

"I happen to be training to be a deputy for the Bon Temps police department. Jason and Andy are shorthanded again. All you vamps scare the recruits away." Hoyt said with his fists clenched. Jess took him by the hand and led him away from the provocation.

"Look, if anyone can help here, its Eric. He's not such a bastard as you may think he is." Jess was about to reveal some of what she had come to learn about the secret softie but a withering look from the Viking put a stop to that.

Hoyt nodded. "Why don't we go out for a walk then. Let them talk in peace. I know staying here, you'll just listen into every word they say and it may make things worse. Fresh air will do even a vampire good."

"Listen to him. He's smarter than he looks, considering who his mother was." Eric smirked.

Nodding, Jess led Hoyt out of the house as Bill emerged from the upstairs. Heading down the staircase slowly, he looked a little surprised at his guest. "Not exactly who I was expecting but….I understand why."

"We need to discuss this. Now. Do you even care what you are putting her through? The torment? She hasn't slept well and I see the light slipping from her eyes, replaced by the worry and fear she has for losing you."

Leading Eric into the living room, Bill gestured for him to take a seat on the leather couch before he took a seat in a chair opposite him. There was a small fridge in the room and walking over to it, Bill pulled out a couple of cans of New Blood. "Can I offer you a drink? I have to give you credit, you've got the best bottled blood on the planet. Or should I say canned?"

"Don't chance the subject." Eric held a hand up, refusing the drink offer. "I won't say I am not a little shaken by your apparent leanings towards meeting your true death. Is it set in stone that you are definitely going to-"

"I decided I will go through with it, yes. Jessica was not happy about it, of course. But she has Hoyt now. I tried to make her see that. I released her and I think she can do well without me. I know she is angry at me for deciding this but…then she understood. Somewhat, I guess."

There was a silence. The definitive decision was clearly made and there was really nothing left to be said. But damn it if Eric was not going to try one last time. If not for Jess, for Sookie. "Have you really thought things through? Are things truly that bed in your life now that you would even leave Sookie behind? In pain over your demise?"

"I don't want to hurt her. I don't want to hurt anyone. I need to do this though. And maybe you think me weak for this, for following what I have wanted for so long. But think of this, I will be entering the unknown. I don't even know if I will end up in heaven, not after all I have done. I so wish I knew for certain where I would be ending up."

Sighing, Eric stood to leave. "Then you truly are dead set on doing this. But if nothing else, perhaps I can find some way to get you to where you desire to go. Even if it means delving in to….magic." he said the last work as if it tasted foul.

Bill raised his eyebrows. "You would be willing to look into that?"

"As much as I hate all magic, save for what keeps this," he gestured to himself "in all its glory and Sookie's magic, if I can help ensure you get your wish to reunite with your family, then I will do what I can. And I can try to convince Sookie to help as well. I have a feeling she will inevitable need to be involved in this in some way or another."

Bill got up to see the Viking out and offered him a handshake, to which Eric accepted. "I appreciate it. I do."

Eric turned to see Jess and Hoyt returning, Jessica with a hopeful look on her face as she walked up to him.

"Did you convince him not to go through with it?" she asked.

Pursing his lips, he was surprised to find himself feeling….sympathy for Jessica. Heaven help him, he had grown somewhat fond of even the progeny of Bill Compton. "I tried….but he has his reasons-"

Interrupted by a violent slap across the face, Jessica pulled Hoyt into the mansion, no doubt to rip into her maker turned father figure for what Eric knew would be yet another useless battle. Making his way back to Sookie's room, he found her still fast asleep, dreading the news he would have to confirm to her the end for her ex was inevitable now.

Chapter 4

"I wish….I wish there was a way that this could be solved without anyone dying. That things could be changed." Sookie was sitting in Moon Goddess Emporium talking with Holly about Bill's decision. She had understood that Eric and Jess had done what they could to try to deter him from his choice. However, as hard as this was going to be for herself, Sookie wanted to make things a little less painful for the others in his life who cared about him, especially Jessica, who had found a far better father in Bill than her human father had ever been to her.

Holly was rifling through several books that she had thought could be of help to them when Sookie had revealed the situation to the wiccan. With a sigh, Holly shut the tenth book she had gone through and shook her head. "I don't see anything that could really be of help. I understand him wanting to be guaranteed passage to heaven but lord help me Sookie, I don't have enough juice to perform anything close to that kind of miracle magic."

"I had a feeling it was a long shot…..wait, what's that?" Sookie nodded to a folded up piece of paper that had appeared out of nowhere atop the stack of books.

Taking the paper in her hands, Holly skimmed the parchment top to bottom. "It's from your grandfather." Holly passed the paper to Sookie who read it and as she did so, a sad smile came across her face. "Niall is too busy with some other affairs in Faery to come but says with the right people, this can be done. Nothing is impossible, right?"

"It sounds like Bill has to go through a test in order to go to…..you know." Sookie couldn't bring herself to talk about this any more than was necessary. Heaven. Hell. Both were permanent, there was to be no coming back. If nothing else, she wanted to see him safely to his long lost family and was prepared to do what it took. Pausing to look at the paper again she closed her eyes. "But it sounds like this is not going to be easy. Or painless."

Holly patted Sookie gently on the back. "If this is what he truly wants and is truly regretful of the things he has done in the past, then the pain will pay off and it will work out."

"I'll go talk this over with him tonight." Sookie said. "You gonna be around tonight? I would imagine he would want to go through this tonight and we need a genuine wiccan to head this thing up."

"Yes. I am free. Give me a holler when you're ready and I can be at….his place?" Sookie nodded. "His place at the time you want."

"Thank you Holly." Sookie replied with a slight glumness.

"Sookie?" Holly called to her before she exited the shop. Sookie turned her head to face Holly. "You are really giving him a precious gift if this works like I pray it will. There is nothing more important than family and after learning all I have about him…..well, I wish him the best too."

"Thank you. You've been a good friend to me, I hope you know how much I appreciate that. I will talk to him tonight. Knowing him, I would imagine this will be the night for….." she shook her head sadly and swept from the shop, Holly feeling terrible for the torment that not only Sookie was going through but everyone around her was going through as well.

Chapter 5

Explaining what she had gleaned from Holly, Sookie watched Bill pacing before his fireplace, looking furtive. Finally, after a long silence, he looked straight into Sookie's eyes. "I will do what is necessary. You say Holly will bring more information with her? I want this done tonight if possible." he said.

"No matter what the test will mean for you? I should have asked what kind of a test this will be but….." she trailed off.

"I don't care; the way I see it, I have a lot to make up for and if the test means I suffer, then so be it."

She said nothing but went to embrace him. "If your decision has anything to do with me….I can't take that kind of guilt. I can't stand the idea of me being a reason you are planning on going along with this." Sookie said as he hugged her close. "Part of me wishes, that when this…..is done….that I could have the whole thing glamoured from my mind. from everyone else's minds, just to spare them the pain. but then they would be missing the overall picture of you and your life. and it wouldn't be right, I realize that. besides, there is nothing that can be done to assuage how I imagine Jess will feel after this happens."

Bill took her by the hand and sat down on a couch. "Firstly, I want you to promise me that you will not feel guilty about this, that you should carry no guilt over this. I admit, part of me is doing this to spare you from anything else I may do to you. You know as well as I do the things I have done to you in the past-"

"Eric's done bad things too but you don't see him trying to off himself….though he did tell me about how he felt when he was dying of hep-v." Sookie replied.

"He is a batter man than I could ever be for you and that you have him is a comfort to me. and I know that deep down, he dies care about Jess and will have her back if she needs it. Jess has a support system around her and she has grown so much as a vampire, I feel she will be okay. she and I had a long talk before you arrived here tonight. she said she was still mad at me for this decision but understands why. I am glad she has Hoyt back in her life. That gives me further comfort too."

"So, she's….ok with it?"

"Not exactly ok but she knows she cant change my mind and well…I explained I simply believed it was time to see what was out there for me, if I were to have the chance to see my family, to be with them again. Jess said she always felt bad how I was torn away from them so cruelly by Lorena. that I allowed myself to be twisted into a bloodthirsty monster by that….thing….is something I can never forgive myself for. Sookie, I am ready."

And with those words, Sookie made a series of phone calls, bringing together those who would see the former soldier off, hopefully to the place he had so long wanted to end up yet felt his misdeeds had put walls up to keep him out of. time would tell if the spell Holly had would work

Chapter 6

Holly took Sookie to the backyard of Bill's mansion as soon as she arrived and though she heard with her vamp hearing the arrival of others, including Eric, Sookie remained with Holy, helping her set up what would be needed for the spell. there was plenty of silver chains and a alter had been dropped off earlier by a friend of Holly's who happened to own a forklift. the black stone altar along with the silver chains glimmered menacingly under the starry night sky and as soon as she had put one of four tiki torch candles into the ground at each corner of the alter, Holly nodded approvingly. "We should get everyone out here."

Nodding, Sookie glimpsed Holly getting out the paper from Niall along with an assortment of vials and a few crystal pendants, all the same-a clear white and carked into tear drop shapes. Reaching the house, she had barely crossed the threshold when she was swept up by Eric.

"How are you holding up?" he asked. "On the phone you sounded…."

"Crappy." a voice interrupted. Pam, of all people was approaching with Willa and Tara close behind. "But we came for moral support. You've looked worse, Sookie."

Taking it as the compliment she knew it to be, Sookie smiled at Pam and her other friends. "Head out to the back yard. I want to wait for Jess and go out with her." as the three vamps passed, Sookie was touched by the soft squeeze Pam gave her hand, even though she hadn't looked at Sookie as she passed.

"She's really come to like you." Eric mused as he turned back to Sookie. "But really, how are you doing?"

"It's not going to be the same….I love him and still hate him a little all the same. I wanted to fully forgive him for all he has done to me over the years. And I thought I had. But with him making this choice, I realized I don't completely forgive him. And part of me is glad he will be gone! I'm a terrible person….."

There was a silence as they stood in the doorway. "No. you are a incredible person with talents unmatched. I admit, I have taken to call him a friend and ally but I understand your anger at him. You are not wrong to feel that way. But he is doing what he needs to do and though we may not agree, we need to be…..supportive." he said this last word with a funny look on his face. "Seriously, I never would have spoken like this even a few years ago. You have certainly influenced me, Sookie. Your own version of glamouring, I guess."

Managing to smile at him, she saw Jess and Hoyt arrive and with a gently hand, Sookie gestured for the two to follow them into the back yard. Seeing Jessica, Bill took her off into the woods for their final talk together.

Chapter 7

Jessica emerged with more tears down her face and tucking a envelope into her denim handbag, she hugged Sookie. "You've been a good friend to him and me. Thank you Sookie." she went back to where Hoyt was waiting for her and wept into his chest.

Holly came around with the teardrop pendants, handing one to Sookie, one to Jessica and the third and final one went around her own neck. Positioning the three women around the altar, she gestured for Bill. "Are you ready? Do you want me to explain what is supposed to happen? I read the information obtained and-"

"Thank you but no. I just….I just want to take a few moments to speak to everyone here." he nodded to Jason, Andy and Lafayette who had just arrived. As everyone stood in a position several feet back from the sacred area where the ceremony was to take place, Bill went on. "For years I have been living here in my ancestral home. I have spent time with all of you, gotten to know you as well as many others in the city. Some of you I have committed crimes against and for that I can only apologize and hope that someday I may get your forgiveness even though I may never know that, depending what occurs here this evening. I want to be seen as Bill Compton, the civil war soldier. A father and husband. Rather than this creature you see before you. The monster I was forced into becoming. A monster who at his worst, did terrible things. Even now, I have nightmares of the overpowering essence of Lilith's blood that made me into something I realize was nothing like what I wanted to be. Though it was thanks to that blood I was able to save my friends from the sun at vampire camp, the rest of that experience has forever left a mark on me. Here. And with the powers I had, I am thankful I didn't do anything truly monstrous. Though, I had my fair share of sins even before I drank the blood. Suggesting the blood factories be blown up while innocent people were killed…..I even assaulted Jessica, for God sakes! It all hurts, right in a place that is anything but dead." he patted the space where his still heart was hidden. He met Andy's gaze for a moment, the tension they still had after the loss of three of Andy's faerie children. "Andy, I once more apologize for what became of your girls and if I could undo it, I would do so in a heartbeat. I know Jess regrets her actions but if I had not been consumed by so many demons I would have been more aware and therefore a better parent to her and stopped things before they got as out of hand as they did."

Andy said nothing, looking rather stoic. But he walked up to the vampire and cleared his throat. "I have had many times I prayed to see your death. Once and for all. But tonight, I actually….don't want to see this happen. We are family. And….I believe you are sorry. Jess has been a good friend and protector to me and Adelyn. And Holly. For that, I think you brought up a good kid. I figure if Jess can't get you to change you mind, then I….just hope you find what you are hoping to….." Andy trailed off and shook Bill's hand, much to the surprise and relief of the vampire.

"Thank you Andy. I do appreciate that. To everyone else, I just want to say thank you for not giving up on me. For helping me find that goodness I like to think is still in me. But I want to feel like the human Bill again. I want peace. Sookie, Jess. I want you two to look out for each other like the friends I know you are." he kept speaking, directing his next words of praise towards the rest of the group, Eric and Pam included.

"He…..gave me the house in his will." Jess whispered to Sookie, holding up the envelope she'd been given earlier. "Everything….it's all mine." she frowned. "Makes me wonder who he will suggest becomes the new king of Louisiana." her eyes flickered towards Eric who was sharing a hushed conversation with Bill and Pam, Pam even offering a slight embrace to the vamp she loved to hate and had only recently had come to tolerate. "But you two….you've been down that path already and from what I heard, had quite a fight about it. He is busy enough what with the bar and the New Blood business, though.."

Sookie nodded. "Maybe it is something worth discussing again though…I would hate to see some vampire like Sophie Anne take over again. But now isn't the place to discuss that." and so, they stood bravely, watching and listening to the final words of their mutual friend.

"No matter what happens, I want you all to know I appreciate having known you all and I want nothing else for you all to move on and live your lives as fully as you can." Holly helped him position himself onto the altar as she began draping the chains of silver over him. She then positioned Sookie to the left of him and Jessica to the right, making sure they wore the pendants she had placed around their necks.

"Nothing will harm you, I promise." Holly said. "Are you ready?" she asked the two and looked at Bill, who was stoically ignoring the burning from the silver. He nodded.

"Then let's begin."

PART TWO

Chapter 1

Taking the paper she had been given by Niall, Holly proceeded with the spell, the pendants around Sookie and Jessica's neck beginning to blow with a ethereal light that manifested into a dome over all those assembled. Images began to form within the light, of the terrible things the vampire had done to them and it was by the spell that Sookie and Jess came to realize that they, along with Bill were being forced to feel, to relive the darkest of times. To see if there truly was remorse and regret in the vampire. As painful as it was for them to allow their pain to be reopened and displayed before everyone else, they knew this had to happen.

Holly looked as if she were straining to remain on her feet, the power of the spell she was performing was clearly taking a toll on her as well, the pendant around her neck linked with the other two and allowing it to be made more intense on the vampire before them. The emotions flooding through her was overwhelming but as Sookie watched the light from her pendant as well as the one around Jessica's flow right into Bill, she couldn't hold it in. sobbing, she watched as Bill was lost within the images before him and within his mind. The tangle of emotions within him had to be overpowering. For a brief moment, he came out of the stupor he was in and met Sookie's eyes. He mouthed to her "Everything will be ok."

"Be brave Bill. You deserve this." Jessica was sobbing now too as he returned to the visions swirling around everyone, though now they were enhanced, made more intense. The pendant Holly wore seemed to glow brighter and her eyes met Sookie's and they looked…hopeful.

"It's working…" Sookie breathed as she and all those gathered watched the haunting visions seem to settle into the body of the restrained vampire. Holly took her pendant off which was glowing. As she went to Jessica, the light from it flowed out and absorbed into hers while the same happened to Sookie's. Both Jess and Sookie's pendants dissolved into nothing but the one Holly wore remained intact and had become as bright as a star. "Holly…." Sookie whispered as the light, the images from above vanished as things returned to normal.

"Wait for it. The spirits, the goddess has listened and has seen the trial he went through. He absorbed all the pain, the anguish he inflicted on not just those here, but through all the dark times in his life." Sookie immediately thought back to his time with Lorena and shuddered. She knew enough about that time to know it was a murderous time, indeed. Taking the pendant, Holly walked to Bill and placed the crystal over his still heart and looked to the heavens. "Goddess, heed our calls, has the vampire passed the test to cross over? To rejoin the ones lost in time so long ago?" Holly read clearly from the paper in hand and as much as he wanted to join Sookie where she stood, Eric was unable to move. No one could move, a force was keeping everyone at bay.,

A beam of sunlight that did not burn him came down from a source no one could make out. A figure appeared at Bill's side as his flesh burned still from the silver keeping him down, blood tears ran down his face from the experience and now, with what he was seeing now, yet more came flowing. "Caroline….." he saw two more figured appear from another beam of light. "Sarah. Thomas." he looked upon his children for the first time in decades, neither of them any older than when the day he had left them to go off to war.

"We've been sent to bring you home with us….if that is truly what you desire." Caroline said, looking down at her husband. "All is forgiven. Your penance has been paid this night and we can spend eternity as a family once more. I was also sent with a gift to give you before the deed is finished." kissing him on the lips, the spirit sent a pulse of energy through Bill. The silver chains were flung off him as he took a breath for the first time in well over a century. "You have five minutes before I must finish the ceremony." Caroline said.

He didn't know what to make of this unexpected gift. Then he felt a pressure against both of his legs and looked down to see his children, hugging him. "How is it possible?" he whispered, looking at Caroline and then wasting no time, scooped up his kids, one in each arm. They shared a big hug as tears flowed from even the spirits.

"Anything is possible if you believe and keep faith." Caroline replied as she walked over to Sookie. "I thank you for all you have done for him. I know all that you have been through together and I just…..words can not express my gratitude for your help in bringing him back to being the man I knew him as being."

"You….you're welcome." Sookie replied with a wavering smile. "Bill?" she walked over to Bill and for the first time, was able to touch him and feel his body heat, hear his heart pumping. "I am glad for you, I really am…..go…..be with them."

Kissing her head gently, Bill laughed as his tears flowed, no longer bloody. "No more staining anything from crying, huh?"

Sookie couldn't help but laugh as he want to bid Jessica a last goodbye. Caroline gestured for him to come over to her.

"Are you ready? It will not hurt, I promise. You are about to finish the transition to the afterlife."

"I am ready." Bill said. Allowing her to kiss him on the lips, he again felt a strange sensation overwhelm him. Looking down, he saw his body dissolve, not was a vampire body did nor as a human. It was almost like his body had been incinerated. Left as a spirit, he smiled serenely. Embracing Caroline and pulling his children gently to his side, Bill nodded once more at those he was about to leave behind and the light around them brightened to the point where they were no longer visible. And when it faded, they were gone.

Chapter 2

Holly took care of putting all the things away from the ceremony as Jessica and Sookie took stock of the night's events, though Sookie could tell Eric was chomping at the bit to comfort her. But she had to help Jessica who was now orphaned once more.

"I am glad he found peace. I feel….better than I thought I would now that its over." Jess sniffled as she accepted a tissue from Sookie. Sookie, being part vamp, had tears that had a very slight red tint to them but in the dark, was not noticeable unless one looked at the tissue. Which Jessica did. "I forgot about that." Jess said when Sookie reminded her of that fact.

"I have come to embrace my freakishness." Sookie laughed gently. "I guess it has allowed me to get what I otherwise never could have kept for long. But now that my lifespan is seriously expanded now that I'm little miss hybrid….." her eyes flickered to Eric for a moment before turning to Jess. "Look, if you need anything, you know I am there for you. I Haven't been a good person to those I cared about in the past and I want to change that. I'm changing all over, you could say."

Hoyt came over at that moment and Jess hugged Sookie. "I'm glad we both have shoulders to cry on. Thanks for everything Sookie, I appreciate it."

"Night Sookie." Hoys said with a nod of his head. "You've been good to Jess and we're lucky to have you. And if you need anything, we're here for you too." It had been decided there would be no reception and as everyone left-Sookie making sure to thank everyone who had come-Eric was the last one remaining outside the former Compton house

"How are you holding up?" he asked.

"If I had a dollar for all the times I have been asked that over the years….." she trailed off, stifling a yawn. "I am just glad he got closure with everyone before…..and seeing him with his family, I was really touched. He looked happier than I have ever seen him and I think he did deserve that."

"She will never admit it, but I saw even Pam had a tear in her eye when he passed on." Eric said with a smirk. "Do not tell her I told you. She and Tara had to get back to the bar and make sure Ginger hasn't caused the place to get leveled. Though I have hired a couple others to help keep her in line. Still….."

"I get it." Sookie smiled tiredly. "I just really want to go home. Not to mine but….."

"I've decided to ditch the other place. I decided to give it to Willa. I've been trying to be a better maker to her and I figured this could help. Tara is living with Pam in the house not far from my former residence. So if it pleases you, I would like to-"

"Play house and move in with me?" she teased.

"If you don't object to me redecorating your basement. You know I hale always liked having my own personal territory. I mean to say I am not trying to say I own your house and whatever is in it-"

"Yeah, you tried that once and see how that worked out?" she teased. "I don't mind, I like having my own space too and would love to share this house with someone. It's been too empty for too long."

He nodded then looked at the bracelet on his right wrist, a bracelet given to him by Niall to be able to venture safely out into the light to rescue Sookie while they were in London on their honeymoon. "Perhaps tomorrow, we could enjoy a walk? I have not had the chance to really enjoy using this yet." he looked at her face and thought of another idea. "and perhaps we could see to tidying up the Compton family grave site?"

"That's a good idea!" she exclaimed. She was also touched by the idea. "You really….you really keep surprising me, you know. I promise, I promise, I won't let anyone in on the softer side of you. I realize you have a image to maintain, Mr. CEO."

Taking her by the hand, he led her up onto her porch and into what was now their home. "That's good because you do know I care a great deal about keeping that image." he paused. "I could not help but think tonight, that with Bill gone, there is no longer a ruler of this state…I do not mean to sound callous, as he just has passed on. But someone will need to replace him sooner rather than later, for the safety and security of humans and vampires."

"I admit, that came across my mind. And he was doing so well as king too….. I suppose the Authority would try to give you the job again. And I know that we fought over that prospect once before…..but honestly, there are so few vampires I really know well and being partly one now too, I care more about who is in charge. And after what happened in London….maybe it wouldn't be the worst thing if it were to be you who were-"

"I don't think now is the time to talk about it. I think you need time to mourn and to rest…..I never have really had the chance to mourn for those I've lost in my long life and I came to realize that tonight. Let's just….go to bed. And tomorrow we can get things dealt with."

Chapter 3

Pulling out the weeds around the gravesite, Sookie went to plant some new flowers around the graves representing the Compton family. Simple white lilies with purple tulips for a splash of color gave it a serene appearance, a weeping willow tree that had been recently planted just over the graves created a canopy around the site. She hadn't wanted to trouble her husband with any of this and had checked in on him in his cubby around ten that morning. Noon rolled around as sounds of crunching twigs startled her.

"Oh!" she said, falling on her backside from the scare. "You didn't need to…..I mean, bracelet or no, you still need your day rest…..but you do look…I mean, the sunlight….it suits you."

"This gift is definitely one I will make good use of." Eric said, fingering the bracelet on his right wrist. Even if it can only grant me a few hours at a time. But Don't worry about me. I came out to help you."

"I thought maybe about getting new stones made up for him and his family, almost from when I saw the graves for the first time. They're so weather-beaten, you know? But I know he wasn't one for flashy, he liked simple. I called this morning about getting the stones at least touched up and repaired as best they can and with the tree here now, it will give them some more protection."

"Thoughtful as always." he said, sitting down on the ground beside her. "I know this isn't easy for you….we could have waited a few days, you know."

"I know…..but I….I just want this chapter of my life closed. He and I, I'll remember the good times and the bad and I did love him. And I will cherish the good times and what he did for me. For us. The closure he got I think will be mine as well."

Eric nodded and took her hands into his. "You are uncommonly goodhearted, you know. And I think Jessica will approve of the job you've done. Is there anything you want me to do?"

"Well, there are some dead trees around her I do want to get rid of. I want to get new ones planted-" before she could continue, she watched Eric in a blur pass through the canopy of the willow tree and peeking her head through, she stared, wide eyed as he pulled out the dead trees, easily hundreds of pounds each and threw them into a small space that was out of the way. "You'd make a good lumberjack." she deadpanned.

"I don't think there is anything I could ever be a failure at." he smirked. "Considering all that I have experienced over the centuries, all I have seen, I think I could be quite the jack of all trades."

She knew he was trying to lighten the mood and for that she was appreciative. The gravesite was looking more like a peaceful garden than simply a place where the dead were remembered and mourned. It was several small pallets of flowers later that she felt that their job was about done. Covered in dirt, they both sat on a bench they had brought to place across from the graves, a wrought iron piece with intricate vine patterns all around the sides and the back. Underneath the protection of the tree, it would be a nice place for people to visit and pay their respects not only to Bill, but his family he had now rejoined.

The bronze bracelet with the faerie symbols on it began to vibrate slightly, telling the Viking that his time in the daylight was nearly over until it could be recharged by the sunlight, which Sookie would do for him. They had a short period of time before he would begin to burn and as she knelt at the grave and lay a final bouquet of flowers on the gravestone of Bill, Sookie led Eric out of the canopy of the weeping willow and they began the walk back to their home.

"The sun…such a gift from your grandfather." he said, looking at the bracelet that allowed him such a precious ability. He had loved the sun as a human and though had gotten used to living in the dark, those rate occasions that he had been able to return to the sunlight since meeting Sookie, it had made him realize how much he had missed it. "But I would give it up if I could undo the choice Bill made."

Stopping just as the yellow house came into view, she looked up at him. "I believe you would. If you had said that even a year ago that same thing, I would be skeptical. I know he meant something to you as well. But I know he needed his family. Knowing that he got it back, I cam rest a little more easily. But not a day will go by that I won't think about him. And I plan on doing something to keep his memory alive. And the rest of his family."

Standing there under the early afternoon sunlight, they said nothing as they embraced. The warmth of her tears against his skin was as warm as the sun above. But wisps of smoke began to rise from the skin exposed to the rays of light and Eric pulled away from her gently. "We had better get inside…and you can cry on my shoulder….or anywhere else….as long as you need or want to."

Grateful for the comfort of her husband, she allowed him to sweep her up off her feet and take her into the house where she would finally have the true grieving time she had desperately needed. She knew it would not be easy for any of those who had known Bill Compton but also had come to believe things had a way of working out for the best and so she knew that if had definitely for the long tormented and tortured vampire. He was finally at peace.

The End

#14-Quality Time

Chapter 1

It had been a time of change and transition. It had been three and a half months since Bill had decided to meet the true death and thusly had reunited with his family. It had not been a easy thing for his friends and vampire family to accept but as time had gone on, so had they. Not that anyone would ever forget or stop caring for Bill, but life would always have to go on and so it was. In a slightly surprising turn of events, there had been a changing of the guard as someone needed to replace Bill as the king of Louisiana. Again offered the position, Eric once more refused but suggested someone he felt could do a good job. Almost as good as he felt he would have done himself. For almost two months now, Pam had taken charge as the queen of Louisiana, her rule thus far had gone well. Surprisingly well, in fact. It had taken some convincing to put her in such a lofty position and it had even come to the Viking promising to take over for her should things go awry. He had such faith in her doing well that he was willing to make that promise. A promise he had discussed long and hard with Sookie. But she too had faith that Pam would make a decent enough queen.

Her new responsibilities as queen of Louisiana had therefore caused Pam to step back for the most part working at Fangtasia as well as helping out with running New Blood. As such, Eric had decided it was time to get someone else into the fold. Someone he knew was long overdue to get her due. "So." Sookie said one night as they were watching some TV. "Willa is starting to work for you tomorrow?"

He sighed. "Yes and I hope she does what I tell her. She reminds me greatly of Pam and in some ways it's a good thing and in other ways….well, she can simply be stubborn and hardheaded."

"Runs through the bloodline." Sookie teased. "But I think it will be good for you to spend more time with her. I know how angry she was at you after you left for six months. She only had Tara to help her learn about being a vampire and I guess Pam too, to a point. I also know how important family is to you and I know you've tried to make things right with her. Even though you released her…"

"There are a lot of things I regret and I wish I could do over. My handling with Willa was driven out of vengeance against her father for what he was trying to do to vampires. And I was so blinded by rage after losing Nora…..Willa wound up paying the price for my…..emotional weakness." he frowned.

"I have told you over and over, you are not weak just because you feel. That you care so much and have such passion for those you love…..it makes you stronger I think. As much as you would never want to admit it, I think you are grateful for getting some of your humanity back. I've been a good influence on you." she giggled as he gave her a feigned look of annoyance.

He took the remote from her and flipped the television off. "We've been invited to a party at Pam's newly renovated home tomorrow night by the way. She wanted to keep her home back in my old neighborhood but wanted to expand. She bought the house next door and she has quite the palace of her own now. I had only the best in security installed for her and threatened every last guard at her complex that if even a hair of her head is harmed then they will regret it."

"Always the motivator." she said with a yawn. "I think I am going to bed….are you coming?"

"Like you have to ask?" he winked. "Though I think its safe to say there won't be much sleeping, not until I am done with you." he paused and looked thoughtful. "It's….been a good few months, hasn't it? I mean-"

"I know you would never come right out and ask but as far as being a good husband goes, there is not anyone else who could hold a candle to you. And I am thankful for every day we have had together. And thinking back on the past, how many times we lost each other…..I don't ever want to go through those times ever again. I know with us being as we are there is always danger about but-"

He put a finger on her lips gently. "I don't want you to have any worries. I am not leaving town again. I am not going to do anything stupid or reckless-unless I have no choice. And I will not ever have eyes for anyone other than you. Now. Before dawn comes, let's break in the new bed that came today, shall we?"

She laughed as he gave her a funny, coy smirk. "I can't believe you had that bed handcrafted from the trees near your old Viking palace…..it's so pretty."

"And sturdy….far sturdier than anything you may find at…Ikea." he grimaced. "I swear, that place makes my people look…I just don't know." and with that thought, he took her upstairs

Chapter 2

It was convenient now, to have a smaller, second complex for the operations of New Blood. Rather than having to travel to Stockholm on a two to three times a month basis, Eric could oversee things in the complex just finished in the past three weeks in Shreveport. Built on the site of one of the now defunct True Blood factories, there were over five hundred employees here in the states and with another half dozen factories springing up across the country, the number of employees of New Blood was growing at a steady pace. Both vampires and humans worked for the company and for the most part, relationships were good. And if there were any differences that turned violent, it was taken directly to a room meant for discipline. Depending on if it was human or a vampire and also on the infraction, there was either glamouring, punishing with silver implements or worse. Sookie had seen the results of one of the more extreme cases as she came to visit Eric during the first week the new complex was open, seeing a cleaning crew disposing of the remains of a vampire who he later told her had been attempting to sell the secret formula. All disciplinary matters were taken care of by Eric himself, with detention cells hidden deep under every factory and both headquarters in Stockholm and Shreveport. There, the prisoner would await their fates

Arriving at the Shreveport complex before dawn in a light tight sports car, Eric was careful not to reveal to anyone that he could, thanks to the bracelet given to him by Sookie's grandfather, walk in the sunlight for several hours at a time. Such a secret revealed could put himself and his lived ones in danger, for any vampire would be crazy not to want to get such a object in their possession. Though it could, according to Niall, only work for Eric and could also allow him passage to Faery. Still, if it were taken from Eric, it could still cause him great trouble, especially if Sookie managed to get herself into trouble in the daylight. Exiting the vehicle, he went up to his office as security guards and other workers gave him a wide berth. He was a goof but strict boss but his reputation was great and no one with half a brain would be foolish enough to try anything funny behind his back. Then again, the detention rooms had seen their fair share of blood and glamouring all the same.

In his office, he went through the books and waited for his driver to return with Willa. He was looking forward to showing her the reins of this place and as he had told Sookie, wanted to form a better connection with the girl he had not been a good maker to thus far. Several hours later and after working at the computer for what felt like even longer, he answered the intercom and allowed a guard to escort her up to him walking in, she was wearing a slim fitting dark navy suit, her dark hair pulled back into a neat ponytail and her subtle makeup giving her a older appearance than she really was. She offered him a small smile as he gestured for her to take a seat across from him. "I am glad you accepted my offer to come work here. I think you will do well-I know you will do well in fact."

Willa looked at him warily. "I hope I don't come to regret this…"

He pursed his lips and leaned back in his chair before getting to his feet and paced behind his sleek black desk. "I am….sorry for what was done to you. For making you what you are. I left you untaught and unprepared for your new life and I can only hope that by working here with me that you can somehow forgive me….eventually. Or at least stop hating me."

There was a silence as Willa looked at him. "I don't hate you. I did ask to be turned, didn't I? not to say you up and leaving me didn't suck. But Pam and Tara and everyone in Bon Temps…..they took me in and looked out for me. I never mourned my father, Truman, you know? He was no better than Hitler getting that camp open and the things he had done to vampires…..I think he deserved what he got. I will never forget the look in his eyes when he realized what had happened to me, that I became the thing he hated most…I felt used by you and then betrayed. Abandoned. But then everything happened with hep v….you almost died and…..I was scared for you. Because no matter what you've done, at least you are trying to make up for the past. My human father? He was soulless. Cruel. I think we could make a good team. Not as good as you and Pam or you and Sookie make, but….." she trailed off. "So…..where am I going to be working?"

Chapter 3

Security detail. Out of all the others he could have chosen, it had been Willa who had gotten the job and was what she was now doing. Mostly, she was to be Eric's bodyguard and she was honored that he had selected her for the job. Not that she felt he was one who needed protection but she was also to keep the lower ranking guards of the complex in line. There would be some paperwork she would need to take care of, filing things away and some light computer work, mostly. But she was determined to take this new job and run with it. And he was, of course paying her quite well. And with her being given his old house in the development where Pam's new mega mansion-slash palace was located, Willa was more than reasonably cared for "How do you like your new house, by the way?"

Willa looked at him as they walked down a hallway, past offices and then past the doorway leading to the factory part of the complex. "I like it but it definitely needs more of a woman's touch. And Don't get me started on the weird places I have found dried up blood. I don't want to think about the crazy parties or company that's been had there." she said dryly but then smiled. "But it's a nice place and it's nice to have Tara nearby. And Pam. I hear there is a party tonight you and Sookie are going to? I was surprised to be invited as well, to be honest. I didn't think she really cared for me."

"She has her own way of showing her feelings towards others. She can get quite….possessive and jealous and never really handled me having Nora in my life. But I knew she still was upset upon learning of her passing. A little bit, though I know she would never admit it to me. She knows she can not hide much from me, sometimes words are merely not needed between us. We just know each other that well."

"Well, of course you would, after a century together…..and even with Sookie you two know each other so well….hell, you know Tara more than you know me. I think all of this will change things though." Willa said brightly. "Where are we going, anyway?"

"I want to show you where you will be patrolling. It is the most important place in the whole building, a place I only ever trusted Pam to watch over. As secure as it is, I would much prefer that there be someone in the area at all times that I trust implicitly. Even with all the security measures, threats and glamouring I always make sure are drilled into people's heads here, I still can not completely trust that there aren't still some wolves in the henhouse, so to speak."

"You trust me that much…..to protect something so valuable?" Willa said as they came to a door at the end of a hall. A panel where one would place their finger print was on the right side of the knob less metal door.

"A few days ago I had to change security clearances here at this point until I came to the decision to put you here. I believe I may have pissed off those who had worked here in this area before, but I am the boss, am I not?" he put his hand flat against the panel and there was a clicking sound as the door unlocked. Allowing her to enter first, Willa realized that this was the heart of the New Blood operations. There were bottles of blood on the left and right side of the room and she was well aware of what she was seeing.

"This is the formula…I mean, this is what makes New Blood so much better than-"

"Better than the rest and formerly the cure to hep-v. it still remains a cure, should that disease ever rear its vicious head again. But the taste, what makes it the most palatable and popular synthetic blood in the world is all in that computer and in the bottles you see before you.. Your job is to allow scientists with fresh batches and new research to enter and to keep an eye on them. You see anything remotely suspicious, you will go straight to the intercom on the wall there and I can be here in seconds." there came a buzzing noise on the door and opening the door from the inside, Eric was immediately greeted by liquid silver to the face while Willa's face paled even further by the flood of people entering the large chamber.

Chapter 4

The four vampires were led by a scientist, the second in command out of those who had first managed to synthesize Sarah's blood. Two of the vampires had gone straight to the Viking, managing to shackle him in silver and it was unnerving and befuddling to Willa how seemingly easy they had managed to put the drop on them.

"So you are the vampire daughter I've heard about…..the daughter of the late Truman Burell, of all people." sneered the lanky scientist, no older than 50 and with salt and pepper hair. Willa said nothing as she saw Eric break out of the apparently inadequate amount of silver that the gloved vampires had thrust around him. As the four vampires regrouped against their own boss and once more set to restrain him, the scientist glared at Willa. "My name is Dr. Ruska. Thomas Ruska. I would have preferred us meeting in other circumstances but I have grown tired of taking orders from the dead. I feel that it is because of my work that such success has befallen your precious maker here and I intend to take my claim by force."

Willa looked past the doctor to the quartet of vamps who had Eric who was still reeling from the silver spray to the face. It was apparent he was blinded and was trying to heal his injuries. "Willa…..you can do this…..dispatch of them, you can do this." he grunted against the cheap shot one of the vamps took at him, a knee to the gut. Enraged that their territory, their business was being threatened, Willa spring into action, taking the skills she had learned from Pam and Tara and finally putting them to good use.

Seeing that their boss was firmly secured, the four vamps joined the doctor who produced a silver stake from under his lab coat as well as a canister of the same spray that had been used on her maker. "Looks like there is some fight to you. But you won't last long against these guys. They are all ten times your age and no baby vamp can hope to make it long against even one of them. And to think who your maker is….oh wait…he abandoned you and left you to be taught by a former brothel owner and her girlfriend. That's just as good." the doctor sneered. And it was by that jab that Willa's ire was truly lit. she glared at the five men who dared try to steal the company's most well guarded secrets, secrets that could, if in unscrupulous hands, could spell the end of New Blood and the fortunes of her maker. Willa was not about to let that, or worse, happen.

"I am not as weak as you think I am. As it so happens I have come to learn a great deal from my maker and you are gonna regret coming in here. I am not the pushover I used to be. Anger is a powerful weapon, especially when it comes to a vampire."

Shrugging off her threat, the dark haired vamp dodged the onslaught of the four vamps, kicking them and jabbing them with her elbows and knees. As the fists flew and she was nimbly able to dodge them, she also spotted some silver chains in one corner of the large room. Zigging and zagging, he managed to ensnare the four vamps in the silver, wanting instead for her and Eric to finish the job together, a kind of bonding experience. But the doctor, she wanted to keep for herself and as she knocked him onto his back, he grazed her with the stake, slitting a gash in her left hip area. Ignoring the searing pain from the silver stake, she pinned him to the ground with her strength and prepared to enjoy a easy meal. seconds from plunging her fangs into the doctor, she felt a tug as she was pulled firmly off of the man who was starting to laugh. Confused and annoyed she was being denied a trophy of sorts, she turned to see just who had put a stop to her fun.

"Well done. I can safely say you have passed the test. Your hands are healing nicely from the silver and your hip is coming along nicely already. But still, drink this." he had moved at stealth speed to a hidden cabinet and pulled out a plastic pouch filled with a dark red blood. "I always keep a stash of the real stuff around just in case. And for the vamp scientists that often work in here." Eric said, freed of the silver chains. "Fake silver chains." he explained as he took in Willa's expression. "I made sure you would get the real stuff and trust me, I paid those vamps there well to take the abuse you dished out. Better go let them loose." he left her for a moment and released the wounded vamps from the real silver chains that Willa had maimed herself with all in the effort to save the company secrets and her maker.

"I apologize for leading you on." the doctor said as he got to his feet and offered a hand to Willa, who after looking at Eric, shook it slowly. "You are surely his progeny, of that there is no doubt. I think you could even give Pam a run for her money and that is saying something." the doctor looked at Eric. "Do you wish me to take them to the infirmary and get them all put back to rights?"

"Yes." replied Eric. Addressing the injured vamps who were taking the chance to congratulate Willa on a job well done, he thanked them as well before sending them off with the doctor. Alone with Willa, he looked at his three piece suit, bloodied and ripped up a bit from the fake battle. "At least the shoes remain unscathed." he mused looking at his feet. Then he saw the gash in his Italian loafers and cursed something Swedish under his breath. "Good thing I keep extra clothing here…..Pam insisted I did just in case. And she was right. But do not tell her I said that."

Willa managed to laugh, feeling on edge still but appreciative too. "You were never in any danger and neither was I. you put on a good show, I have to give you that. Could've done without having to pick up silver with my bare hands though."

"Well, it was never meant to be a cake walk, though I never would have put you in any real danger. So…..as you are now officially head of security for my, especially in this section of the complex, what do you think?"

She looked thoughtful for a moment and pushed back a strand of long dark hair that had fallen into her face. "I feel…..really good. Trusted. Worthy of the bloodline I am a part of and I actually feel completely a part of your family. And I like it."

"Then I succeeded more than I intended to." boasted the Viking. "And perhaps you will be up to coming to Pam's party this evening?"

"Wouldn't miss it for the world." relied Willa as they departed the room, taking care to lock the room securely once more.

Chapter 5

"So things went….well?" Sookie asked as they made the drive to Pam's mansion. Dressed in a pale blue cocktail dress that nearly matched the eyes of her vamp hubby, Sookie was relieved to hear the events of the day had bode well for the relationship of Eric and Willa. "She really does care about you, you know she always has….while you were missing, she did try to find you and even went to the authorities to see if there was any sightings of you. She always knew you were out there somewhere. But her anger at being left behind made her give up looking. I am glad you two are good. And that you hired her."

Eric remained silent for a few minutes as they sped closer to Pam's. "As I burned on the mountaintop, as I was dying from hep-v, I finally had something driven home into me. That family was everything. More than power, more than money. And you had a hand in changing my priorities, you know that. She surprised me, even, with her skills taught to her by Tara and Pam. I suppose I will need to give them a token of my appreciation that is well past due….."

She patted his arm gently. "You are stubborn but you have done something brave. Admitting your mistakes and trying to make up for them. And as far as family goes, I think ours is one anyone would be foolish to mess with ever again, though I know there are those out there who will try to screw things up. , Together, I think we will go forward being stronger than ever not just with our powers-"

"Please don't say 'love', I don't think I could stand that….."

"You took the word our of my mouth and don't you try fooling me. You've got a lot of love in you, for those who have left us and for those still here. Now. Can we get through this party without ruining these clothes? Willa texted me a picture of the suit you wrecked at the New Blood complex today. Sheesh, you go through more clothes than anyone else I know."

He laughed as they arrived at the entrance of the gated community he once called home. Now, he had a home that held meaning, a purpose. Something he didn't think he would ever see in his thousand years of existence.

The End

#15-Spurned Love

Chapter 1

"The party was great, wasn't it? Pam and Tara…..they looked happy together, didn't they?" Sookie asked as they arrived home after a successful party that signified Pam's first official gala as the new Queen of Louisiana. "And the new Authority…they seem like…just everyday people. Nothing like what you told me the former people of the Authority were like."

Eric sighed as he slumped on the couch beside her. "The old Authority was nothing more than bible thumping zealots who had more than a few screws loose. So, yes, I think this new regime will be better for not just vamps but humans too. The last thing we need is a repeat of the whole Lilith debacle." he winced as he saw her face look haunted for a brief moment. "Sorry, I didn't mean to dredge that up….I know Bill's barely been gone for-"

"It's fine." Sookie said, resting her head on his shoulder. "Bill is at peace with his family and so now, it is our time for some peace. And I think maybe there can be smoother sailing ahead for all of us. I dare to be hopeful., what can I say?" she yawned. "I think I am going to bed….you joining me?"

"No…I think I may go out for a walk, actually." he replied. "But I won't go too far, I promise you."

Nodding, she kissed him goodnight and went upstairs as he exited the house, feeling immediately something or someone was watching. Try as he might, he couldn't find anything but the feeling was not going away. He walked further from the house, feeling more than confident that whatever it was out here was to be easily trifled with. There was little he couldn't handle, after all. Out of sight of their house, he had reached the entrance of the Bon Temps Cemetery and saw something sitting up on top of the sign, a slender figure who dropped down gracefully and without a sound.

"It has been a really long time….I didn't think I would ever see you again. Not after that night in the vineyard." a voice with a faint trace of a French accent purred as she stepped into the moonlight. As her identity revealed itself, a normally stoic Eric was taken aback by a face he had never once imagined he would encounter ever again.

Chapter 2

"Sylvie?" he said. "Impossible…..it just….it can't be."

Stepping right up to him, the petite brunette smiled demurely up at him. "It is no illusion. I am here, in the flesh."

It had been over two decades since he had seen her stabbed to death, a result of his decision to have Pam spared when forced to choose between Sylvie and his progeny. It had been a unenviable position he had been in and having been silvered and dragged off, it had been impossible for him to try to save her. Instead, the last image he had seen of her was her lifeless eyes looking outward as blood flowed from the sword wound the yakuza had inflicted upon her. "You are…..a vampire." he said as she walked slowly around him, admiring him head to toe.

"My, you, much like wine, have aged well. I never thought you could look more handsome than you did back then…but I digress. Yes, I was turned." Sylvie replied matter of factly. "And I have come back to reclaim my love."

"Who turned you?" he asked, ignoring the second part of her statement-for the moment.

"She thought it could be fun, to toy with you when the time was right. You and I both know Nan Flanigan was rather…..crazed. When I heard that she had met the true death, when I felt it, I just knew it had to be you involved somehow. I have waited years for the right time, years she kept me shackled to her, teaching me about you, telling me about everything she had come to learn about you. And then after she passed, I come to hear this silly rumor. That you actually…..married?" she started laughing but as she caught a glimmer of something on his left ring finger, she paled, if that was possible. "Oh. My. God. You are kidding me…..the great Viking settled down? Come on, you've got to have a little something on the side, don't you? There is no way you'd ever settle down with just one-'

"What's happened to you?" he asked looking at her. "You've changed in more than one way. Though I don't doubt spending all those years with Nan forced you to become something a little less sweet."

"I am still sweet and I care for you still. We can be happy, pick up where we left off before that dam sword cut me down." Sylvie said brightly and flung herself around him. "I heard you are one of the richest men in the world now, what with New Blood. And you are a sheriff to boot? Oh, the fun we can have, now that we can live together, forever."

He pushed her off him and frowned, eyeing her with disgust. "You've become as warped as Nan was. Those years with her did you no good. I will not give up anything or anyone for you. Our time together was good and I did love you. But it is over. I moved on and perhaps you can start a new life too. You have the power to get whatever you want."

She stared blankly at him. "you're right. I do." with that, she snapped her fingers and there came a rustling sound from behind the Viking. Distracted by the four men in all black circling around them, he failed to stop the deranged Sylvie from plunging something sharp and burning into his side, forcing him to the ground and keeping him from moving. "Modern anti vamp technology…..I myself would prefer not to have it used on me or my guards but for my purposes, I got what I needed. "

Chapter 3

Tossing and turning, something felt off. She couldn't put her finger on it and knew it was not just the fact that she was alone in bed. He had been gone a little too long for her comfort and getting her shoes on her feet, she heard her cell phone vibrate. There was a single word on the screen yet it spoke volumes. "Danger."

Hurrying out of the house, she used her vamp sense of smell to track his path, which cut off at the cemetery. There, on the ground his cell phone was shattered and tire tracks embedded in the soft dirt. As if on cue, Pam landed beside her, looking frazzled and well dressed, no doubt having been in some kind of meeting before arriving. "Sookie…. I got word that she was alive and after him….that she's been made insane from all the time she spent with Nan and-"

"Slow down, Pam!" Sookie said, grabbing her friend by the shoulders. "Tell me the whole story. Fast, so we can go after him."

"Ok…..well, I had intelligence come my way, detailing a dangerous vampire that had arrived in town. A vampire that has some dabbling in….witchcraft." she spat out the last word as if it tasted foul.

"Great….a witch-vamp. Like we haven't; had enough trouble with magic in the past. Go on." Skokie pressed.

"This vamp is someone I thought was killed as a human and no doubt Eric has told you about her in some capacity. Sylvie LaFainte?"

Frowning, Sookie did remember hearing about the only other human he had loved and how she had been cut down in front of him, a choice that she knew had tormented him even to this day. "But she was killed…..you both saw her body….."

"Apparently Nan saw it as a opportunity to use against Eric one day. And even though that bitch is dead, she created a monster in Sylvie apparently. A monster that wants to get back what she lost back in the 80's in France. And as strong as Eric is, it's clear with whatever powers she has at her disposal….." Pam trailed off. "It's not good for him. Not even in the least."

"Then we go get him back and if we have to, kill Sylvie." Sookie said angrily. "I've had enough of this…..what with our honeymoon being interrupted and then all of these crazies coming out of the woodwork….I want a good fight."

Pam looked at Sookie approvingly. "I think I am liking seeing your vamp side showing through. I can bring some reinforcements-I am never really left alone anymore, not since becoming queen. Eric insisted upon that, as did the Authority. I never thought I would see the day when the Authority and Eric actually agreed on something."

Laughing, Sookie's face turned serious again. "So let's rally the troops and find them. They can't be too far and with my blood bond to him, I can find him easily. it's the getting him out of that woman's clutches that worries me….."

"Well, that and the pending sunrise." Pam nodded at the sky. "Dawn is coming soon and though I hate saying this, we may need to wait till tomorrow night to go after him. I promised him I would look after you now too. We're family, after all."

Chapter 4

He Hadn't remembered falling asleep, that dawn had come and it was already mid day. Whatever firepower that his ex had control of, he knew it had to be something terrible if it could have allowed him to be captured as easily as he had been. It was embarrassing, laughable that he had fallen prey so easy. But his pride would have to wait for what he was listening in on now was telling him that those he cared of were going to be collateral damage if they got in the way of Sylvie's machinations. Bound with silver around the neck, arms and legs, Eric found himself in what looked to be, of all places, a winery. The smells were as they had been in France, though he knew that France would only ever have the best wine, regardless of what Americans could brew up. Coming down the stairs into the cool basement, Sylvie was dressed impeccably well as she took a seat on a stool several feet away from her prize though in the shadows of the dimly lit room, he could see she had her accomplices armed and ready to take him down should he somehow manage to break free.

"What do you want?" snapped the angry Viking, ignoring the pain he was feeling.

Sylvie stood up and walked over to him, crouching in front of him, a book in hand. "I was hoping you would make this easier on yourself as well as me. You and I know the connection we had and what we can and will have again. But your stubbornness is merely a annoyance. I have gotten what I wanted for the last decades and I have no fear from those friends of yours. Or your soon to be ex wife."

"You think I would leave her for you?" Eric couldn't help but smirk. "You're truly more deranged than I thought you were. What a shame that Nan turned you into…this."

Laughing, Sylvie forced her lips onto his and bit hard into his lip. Even weakened, he managed to pop his fangs out and tried to snap at her but she pulled away. "With a mere spell and with one ingredient I still require, I am going to make your life so much better. Make you the true Viking you have not been in some time. Softened by that….faerie. When I am done with you, you won't want to do anything else but to please me and as for her…." Sylvie trailed off and licked the blood from his bleeding lip. "Pam will be next to follow. Both by your own hands."

Getting to her feet, she beckoned to one of the guards and whispered something to him and with a nod, he made a quick getaway. "These two men I have had in my employ for some time. The two vamps I have in my employ are almost as skilled in battle as you while my two human guards I sent up to keep watch on the property are similarly well trained, specifically in destroying and capturing vamps." I needed a couple of humans to procure what I need for the spell, though no doubt the ingredient in question is on her way here, not wanting to wait for Pam to be able to join her. Impatience is only going to make her heartbreak come that much sooner."

Enraged by her taunt, Eric managed to break one of the silver chains and managed to get onto his feet, much to the surprise of Sylvie. But she was prepared for any eventuality and pulling out what looked like a dart gun, she shot three darts into his neck, poisoning him with pure silver. It would be some time before that was out of his system and forced back down, he could only watch as she laughed and left him in the basement of the winery.

Chapter 5

Sookie had wanted to wait for Pam but nightfall was so far away and she sensed the danger was ramping up. Besides, as a faerie vamp she was not as easily harmed as she had been when she had been merely a faerie Halfling with limited power. Still, she needed to be careful and she had brought some silver stakes along with her and a small easily concealed container of silver spray. Since they had wed and their connection had grown stronger, she sensed his whereabouts and as she pulled up to the winery with the "Sold" sign at the driveway edge, she parked her car and slowly looked around for any sign of a trap. It was daylight but it didn't mean there still couldn't be Sylvie lurking about deep within the large building. She found clear sailing right up the driveway and finding the front door unlocked, stepped into the wine scented complex, warily looking about the neat and clean yet abandoned looking place. Past the gift store and tasting room she went but stopped dead in her tracks as she saw something at the end of the hall. Led by the familiar scent, she froze at the sight of the torn up leather jacket she knew could only belong to one person. Blood was splattered all over and she knew well enough it was his. Turning back to head the other way, she felt desperate but walked straight into the stabbing motion of a needle. Drugs would not work on her well however and even through the slight haze that she was starting to feel, she threw out her hands towards the two assailants, her light blasting them across the room and into the window of the gift shop

"You really think I didn't prepare for your arrival?" a voice sneered from above. Looking up, Sookie saw a figure draped in a thick cloth, no doubt to protect from the light streaming through the windows. Moving swiftly, the figure landed on the ground form the rafters of the cathedral style ceiling and lashing out with metal, Sookie soon found herself netted in a intricate net of iron, which started to weaken her almost instantly, the drugs in her weakened state being allowed to be that much more potent to her. Dragged down another hall and thrown unceremoniously down a set of stairs, Sookie was shoved against a bunch of large casks full of wine. As she came to, she saw the expression of the other prisoner down here with her, stripped of his jacket and shirt and bleeding all over his chest.

"What have you done to him?" Sookie asked as she tried summoning her power to get her out of her bindings. But the drugs were ramped up. The vampire certainly had done her research on faeries.

"Let her go." Eric said, ignoring his own injuries that his former love had inflicted, to show her pull over him. "I will kill you the second I get free from-"

"Like I said, you are going to be mine in ever sense of the word." Sylvie said as she walked over the Sookie and with a swift cutting motion, took some fresh blood from Sookie's right arm, collecting it in a small glass. Taking blood from Eric, Sylvie swirled the mingled blood together as she pulled out the book of magic she had and smirked. "I am the most talented vampire when it comes to magic. I can cast magic without the book but for this spell, I need the book, for it is more than even I can memorize. Now we can have some real fun. And dear Sookie, soon you will be just another victim in his long list of victims over the years. That is, after he and I have some fun first." Sylvie leered at the vulnerable Viking as she lit a candle, touching the flame once into the cup of blood. And slowly she began to recite the words in the ancient spell book, a chill wind erupting around them, the faint glow of the florescent lighting ebbing and brightening. Something was very wrong, Sookie realized as she felt a sick feeling within her. Her eyes met his as she sensed he was feeling the same thing. Like they were being pulled apart, their bond being severed.

Chapter 6

"That little faerie princess left without me!" Pam shouted as she summoned her finest guards, six brutish vamps armed to, and including, their teeth. "She left me a text, we need to head to arbor Hill Winery. That's where they are. And if anything happens to her or my makers, I cam promise you I will be feasting slowly on every one of you tonight!"

Nodding, the guards escorted her to a dark SUV and taking the wheel, the leader of the royal guards made a beeline towards the winery, it would take a half hour at least to arrive and Pam, thought still cursing Sookie out for being so rash, also had to admire the guts it took for the formerly innocent little faerie wuss to finally step up into the bad ass faerie vamp she was born to be.. If anyone had told her that she and Sookie would be friends, let alone family, Pam would have laughed uncontrollably in your face. It was funny how things could change. Not wanting to bring Tara or any of their other friends and family into this latest crisis, Pam was reasonably certain that she and Sookie would walk out of the winery with their tall blonde in tow. But still, caution needed to be taken, especially with magic involved. Pam did not want to ever experience a flesh rotting spell like Marnie had once cast upon her. That was far from being a barrel of laughs.

They arrived at the compound and stealthily, five of the six guards that had come with her fanned out, while one remained close by Pam's side. Hell broke loose as those working for Sylvie ran in dark blurs out of the building, swooping off with each and every one of the guards that had come with Pam, causing bits of their remains to fall from the trees around her, falling in gloppy puddles of goo. Not about to panic, Pam made a beeline for the entrance of the winery. It was then she hear a blood curdling scream. Sookie.

Ignoring the fact that she was able to reach the wine cellar as easily as she had, Pam stopped dead in her tracks as she came upon a scene that she had one hoped she would see but now, was appalled and found herself at a rare occurrence of being horrified. Blood was dripping on the floor around the prone form of Sookie, who was trying to fight her assailant, feeble sparks of her light trying to make the Viking back off but it was no good.

"Well, if it isn't Pam. To the rescue." Sylvie who had been enjoying the effect of the spell she had cast got up from her perch atop a large cask of wine slid to the ground. "Unfortunately, we were about to make our leave and head somewhere else. I am willing to make a deal with you though. Let is go on our way and I will keep him from draining her dry. And think carefully, because it is looking like he is just about there."

Pam ignored the threat and grabbed her maker by the arm, and she was taken aback by the look in his eyes. There was no affection, not even any fear of what he was doing due to the spell. He was not much more than a animal now and she tried to plead with him. "You can not let yourself be ruled by magic again! That's your wife, Eric. She's dying. And in pain…..please…..come with me and we can try to undo this-" Pam was silenced by a big hand to her throat.

"She is nothing to me. I am going to start a new life. Away from her. And you. You would do well to take the chance Sylvie is giving you. Leave us be."

Pam was desperate and saw Sookie's lips were during a dangerous purplish hue. Anguished by the choice, she spun on her heel and faced Sylvie. "Go then. So I can take care of her,

Then Sylvie laughed. "You really expect I would allow her to survive! Hardly. No, you are going to stay here and watch her die and then since he is so devoted to me, you will be the next to go. And then -" Sylvie said with a smirk.

There was only one way out now and she hated to have to do what she was about to. But unless she wanted to be a pile of goo after seeing Sookie meet her end, she knew it was her best chance. Moving as fast as she could, Pam scooped Sookie up and as fast as she could, flew towards the stairs, knocking over some casks of wine in her wake, tripping both the Viking ad Sylvie long enough to get something of a head start.

"No!" Pam heard Sylvie shriek. "Let them go. We'll have another chance….afterwards."

Chapter 7

"She'll be ok, right?" Tara asked as Pam fed Sookie from her wrist while she herself was feeding from a willing donor she had asked Tara to procure for her upon her arrival, Pam having no other choice but to bring in someone else to help her try to figure out just what their next move would be. Sookie was coming to just as Willa and Jess were escorted inside by guards. Tara had taken the liberty of trying to find some others that would be willing to help them and with Bill dead, the only vamps she knew they could trust were all in the room right now.

Pam bit her lip and looked at her friend and girlfriend with daggers. "She will not be fine until what was done to Eric is undone. You didn't see it…I never thought I would be troubled by anything I saw. That I was desensitized to so much. This spell has turned him into someone else…"

Sookie started to wake, her faerie-vamp blood allowing her body to heal faster than she ever had before and thanks to the drink from Pam, she was recovering that much faster. Shooting to her feet, Sookie looked around at her friends. "We have to get out of here and find them before-"

Crashing sounds were heard from the other room as a skirmish began to break out. Pam, Willa and Tara ran out of the room first as Sookie tried to will herself to heal faster, still feeling rattled mentally and physically from the attack by her own hubby. It had been terrifying, disturbing , and distressing as she felt the spell sever their bond, she had felt the love he had for her replaced by a unwavering, blind devotion and obsession for Sylvie instead. That was the last thing she felt before the bond was broken. And bursting into the room, a cocky looking Sylvie was still dressed impeccably but her face and arms bloodied.

"Pam! Willa! Tara!" Sookie shouted. "She's in here!"

"Pathetic, those three. I came prepared for a fight and instead those three walked right into my trap. My men have already gotten them silvered and are to bring them right into here so they can see the end, once and for all, of you and your precious Viking. Too bad you won't live to see us make our relationship official. I have missed having him in my bed, you know. Is he still as good as he ever was, or has the last years made him better? Oh, that's right…you didn't know him back then. I did."

The rambling ranting of the deranged Sylvie was getting too much for Sookie to bear. Summoning her light, she sent a blast of it right towards the vamp, only to find herself shoved to the side from behind, the blast missing Sylvie by mere inches. As Sookie saw her friends dragged into the room, very well secured in nets and chains of silver, she got to her feet, pulled to them by her long blonde hair.

"I don't know what I ever saw in you. You are average in every way, no more special than any other human I have had fling themselves at me over the centuries. I should have just let Bill have you and do to you what he would have. You truly thought I would have you? That I ever really loved you? You were nothing more than a hobby. A plaything for me to tide me over until my true love returned to me. Do you wish to live long enough to see us wed?"

Sookie winced at the pain she was feeling as he pulled her hair harder, lifting her up a few inches off the ground before throwing her down. "You are stronger than this magic. You need to know the truth somewhere in that head of yours…"

"The spell is unbreakable. I destroyed the spell book with what you would have needed to know. He is lost to you, accepting that and your fate will make your last moments that much more easier." Sylvie walked over to him and snuggled herself right into him and as he looked at her adoringly, like he used to with her, Sookie felt nauseous.

"We were going to head out and go start our life together but I truly thought it best for the loose ends to be dealt with." Sylvie said as she sighed contentedly. "I thought I had lost everything that night in the winery….but not only did I get a new and better life, but I got everything I wanted returned to me."

She had had enough. Sookie lunged towards Sylvie, her fangs ready to sink into whatever part of the treacherous woman she could get. But she was intercepted by Eric who threw her across the room with one arm. Cursing herself for being so reckless, Sookie saw the doorway blocked by Sylvie's guards. Allowing the anger and her fear to consume her, Sookie unleashed it, taking out every last one of them with her fangs, for the first time truly embracing her vampire part and she hated to admit it, but the taste of blood…..she enjoyed it and felt somehow more powerful.

Sylvie looked stunned for a moment, clearly in disbelief that the girl was capable of such brutality. But no matter, no one was any match for the Viking who was now hers. "Would you do me a favor my dear and finish her off so we can be on our way? I don't care about them." Sylvie waved dismissively at the trapped Pam, Willa and Jess. "I want this one dead."

Taking her hand gently, the Viking kissed her hand gently before turning a vicious gaze on Sookie who trembled but could only think of one possible way to end this and it would be taking a great risk. She needed to have faith and instead of preparing to fight, she stood in place and braced herself for what she had in mind. Nothing could have hurt her more, however, than watching him remove the wedding band she had put on his finger and throw it away like garbage. She could almost feel her heart breaking. And if Sylvie got her way, the rest of Sookie would be broken as well.

Chapter 8

He was inches from her face and had a hand around her throat, fangs ready to do their worst and she felt her faerie powers come to life within her. Barely able to speak, she looked at him in the eyes and felt strangely calm. "I am not going to put up a fight….I don't want to hurt you, I know this isn't you. You've been taken over by something…..evil. it's not love you feel for her, its something twisted. Depraved. Let me end things on my own terms at the very least." Sookie said as the tears began to fall from her brown eyes. "Please. Let that be my last wish."

Eric glared at her coldly before turning to Sylvie. "What do you think?"

Looking at the odds stacked against Sookie, her friends restrained and her own husband turned against her, Sylvie waved a hand. "Give her what she wants. I will even supply the weapon." pulling something concealed out of one of the thigh high leather boots she was wearing, she let the silk of the dress flow over the boots as she handed a thin blade to Sookie. Sookie remembered how she had used her light to break him from a spell before but her instincts had told her this spell was going to need more the pretty lights. It needed emotion. Something that she hoped would awaken him from the haze he was under. "If I don't make it…..I love you now and wherever I will end up when I am gone." she whispered to him as she stood back and took the knife, plunging it hard into her midsection. She could hear the shouts from her trapped friends as the pain took over her. She knew she could bleed to death if not healed soon and so she slashed her wrists as well, pools of blood flowing all around her as she slumped onto her side and looked up at the expressionless face of Eric. She reached a hand out and was able to cut his ankle, quickly putting some of her own blood in the wound, touching a glowing hand over the small knick. Kicking her hand aside with annoyance, he moved to make the kill, crouching over her, ready to strike her neck and finish her.

His eyes softened as he felt her blood flow through him, the magic of it and the love breaking down the spell over him. "Sookie…..what have I done….." he pulled her up into his lap as she tried to stay awake. He made to make her drink from his wrist but Sylvie attacked from behind causing him to be knocked away. No doubt fueled by some kind of dark magic, thought Eric. Getting to his feet, he pulled the netting and chains off the three trapped vampires. "Get them out of here." he growled at Pam, who gave him a defiant look which withered as he again gave her a look. "you're no use to me after being weakened by the silver and I won't have any sitting ducks." he snapped at Pam. "Get Sookie too, I want to face this one alone." he paused as Sylvie began chanting something under her breath and he felt his blood beginning to tingle, as it had before when she had cast the spell.

"It's going to take more than her blood to fully break from the spell…you want me not that faerie freak…..finish her off!" Sylvie said as she watched his eyes turn hard again, slowly looking at the slowly healing Sookie, barely clinging to life. He went to her side and he heard the laughter of Sylvie, the taunting insults she hoped Sookie could hear at least. He could hear not only Sylvie taunting but the long dead Nan Flaningan too, egging him on to doing what they wanted done. With a terrible, anguished roar, he got to his feet and to Sylvie's disbelief, he broke through the second attempt to control him and it was at that moment where he tore her asunder, her head pulled off and plopping to the ground like a water balloon. Only with more gruesome results.

Pam and the others clearly had not gone far and rushed back into the blood splattered room, Pam looking at her maker as he cradled Sookie in his arms, getting to his feet with her limbs moving limply. "Eric…what can we do?"

It was a rare thing in his life when he felt helpless and even more rare for him to feel ashamed. But here he was, carrying his wife in his arms, barely alive thanks to his being once more exposed to dark magic. "I am going to heal her but I need your assistance. All of you. With what I experienced, my body is weak and even my blood may not be enough to undo the damage to her body."

"It wasn't your fault." Jessica said, blood tears forming in her eyes, feeling sympathy for her friend. "She knew how powerful that magic was…"

Willa as well tried to give some support. "There is not a single person on the planet you love more than she and she knows that. Things will be fine. Like they are now with us."

He said nothing but was slightly appreciative of their words. One by one, the vamps took turns feeding Sookie their blood and all they could do was play the waiting game.

Chapter 9

Two and a half days had passed as she had rested, well guarded by Pam's entourage that had replaced those slaughtered by Sylvie's forces. It was just about nightfall when she awoke, screaming and the first person who entered the room was not who she expected.

"You look better." a voice said from across the cream colored room trimmed with bronze. Wrapped up in a thick silky comforter, Sookie would have savored the luxury under other circumstances. But waking up with a start, her eyes looked around the room for the one person she was truly desperate to see. Pam gestured for the guards in the room-freshly sent by the Authority after their predecessors were slaughtered by Sylvie's forces-to wait outside the room. What she needed to tell Sookie was personal. And painful, Pam knew that much.

"Thanks for healing me…" Sookie sat up in the large bed. I can….feel everyone's blood in me and its weird but comforting. Not that I am not grateful but you are not the first person I expected to wake up to."

Pam paced the burgundy carpeting, a rare moment of anxiety coming over her. Years ago, she would have delighted in delivering heartbreaking news to Sookie. But now…..so much had changed. "He won't be coming." She handed something to Sookie and as soon as the blonde say what it was, she broke down in tears, her sobs touching even Pam, who sat on the bed beside her and pulled her into a half hug.

"He left me? He doesn't want me?"

"That couldn't be further from the truth. But this latest incident, what he nearly did to you, all the magic involved yet again…..he fears that the next time things wont turn out so well. He has gone so far as to ban you from Fangtasia and every New Blood factory. He believes it is for the best and I saw his face when he told me his plan while he sat here, watching you sleep and heal from the injuries. He said he couldn't bear to have hurt your body and your heart again and though he knew he would bring you more pain by this decision…he would feel that your safety was more important and so he is letting you go."

Clutching the ring she had given him along with her heart and every fiber of her being, Sookie jolted out of bed. This was not going to stand and as she stormed out of Pam's mansion, there was but one thing on her mind. She would not let the ghosts of the past destroy their present, their future.

To Be Continued…..

#15-Tempest

Chapter 1

The first place she went after learning she was being kept at bay from Eric after he had almost killed her at the bequest of a spell cast upon him by his resurrected Sylvie was not where she intended. She was home in a bubble bath, drowning her sorrows in a glass of wine, replaying the conversation she and Pam had had the night before. Dawn was fast approaching and she had decided it was then she would go after Eric, hoping to find him and speak to him. He had said, through Pam, that he was doing this for her safety. Sookie knew the fear he had over being influenced by magic and this latest incident had not been the first time he had fallen under dark influences. This time had been different. This last time, his love for her had been quashed and he had nearly killed her. Sookie understood his reasons yet didn't. she knew he was proud, that he was strong but knew he felt vulnerable as far as magic was concerned. That Sylvie, brought back by Nan Flanagan after being cut down in front of Eric in the French vineyard years ago, had been turned into a weapon herself to be used against the Viking, who Nan had come to despise. Even from the grave, Nan had managed to ruin Eric in the way she had hoped and separated by the walls he had put up, Sookie knew she had to keep fighting for themselves, no matter what the cost.

"Ginger?" Sookie asked as she dialed the bar. "Is he there?"

"I….I ain't supposed to say…ordered me not to-"

"Please? I am desperate and I will make sure you don't get into any trouble. You could always….I don't know….drink a little too much and by the time I get over there-"

"Well…..I don't know….." ginger's voice hesitated on the other end of the line. "I guess I want to see him happy again…he's been miserable the past two nights here. Put a fangbanger straight through the wall last night and his office? You ever see the power of a tornado in a little bitty space?"

"Wouldn't; be the first time he trashed his office." deadpanned Sookie. "Thanks Ginger, I owe you one."

"More than one if he gets any angrier." Ginger replied with a sigh.

A couple hours later, as the sun rose, Sookie arrived at Fangtasia, hoping dawn would somehow make things easier for her to deal with him. After all, the bar was light tight and something told her that he was not going to be dead for the day, not after everything. And as she used her light to bust the lock open of the front door, sure enough she found Ginger slumped over in Eric's throne, passed out and bottles surrounding her. Yeah, Sookie thought to herself, I definitely owe her big time. She searched the office and saw the devastation within and feared he had left unbeknownst to Ginger. With a cringe, she knew one other place for her to look and as she came to the door leading to the basement, the smell of blood and death hung more heavily in the air than it ever had. Slowly, she descended the stairs and as hardened as she had become to the violence she had come to expect in her life and from those in her life, nothing prepared her for what she saw, smelled.

Chapter 2

Blood was all over the floor of the basement making the surface slick. Limbs of those unfortunate enough to have wound up here were scattered around the room as a tall figure in only black jeans stood in the center of the carnage, back towards her. "I wanted you to stay away, Sookie. See this? This is what I am capable of. Even without being influenced by magic."

She was, for the first time in a long time, actually afraid of being around him. Seeing the death he had wrought however, she knew was a ploy to help keep the distance he wanted between them there. "I am not going to be put off by this. I know what you are trying to do and I guess I can only hope that these people were despicable enough to have gotten what they deserved-"

"I won't harm the innocent. I do that for you…these…..people…if you can call them that were rapists and murderers themselves. I have connections to have such people brought to me. Do you, can you still see me as husband material?" he asked her, keeping his distance from her as she gaped at the blood coating his bare torso. "I remember saying to Bill once, when under a spell, that I was a barbarian. A thug. And you know it is true. So I want you to leave and not come to me again."

"I know that you are a warrior . One who would do anything to protect those he loves and I know that is what you are trying to do now. But I love you. All of you, even this." Sookie walked up to him and touched his chest, trailing a finger from his navel to his chin and licked the blood that had collected onto her finger. "I am not leaving you without a fight, if that is what it has to come to. I am incomplete without you. And I know you feel the same. That you are grateful for the goodness I helped bring out of you that you tried to conceal from me what seems like an eternity ago." she went to put her arms around his neck but he stepped back from her and turned his back to her. "You are hurting me even more putting me through this!" she lost her patience at this point. "You already left me once for 6 months, not even writing or calling once to let me know where you were. I thought you were dead and then I found out you nearly met the sun on top of that mountain! I changed into a faerie-vamp so that my blood would save your life from hep-v!" she pleaded with him, knowing she probably sounded a little whiny but she no longer cared. Losing him over and over was getting too much for her to bear. Her heart couldn't take much more of the drama, the anguish.

He wouldn't turn back to face her right away, hearing her sobbing and her breaths becoming labored, though not as mush as they would have been if she were a mere human. It was breaking his heart, a heart that had so many walls around it since before he had even laid eyes on Sookie. Finally, he slowly turned to face her. "Sookie…..please don't…..I hate when I see you cry."

She sniffled as she hung her head down. "Then don't abandon me."

Chapter 3

"I don't want you here, Sookie. I want you to just….leave!" he growled as he got right into her face, his face devoid of any compassion or feelings for her. All she saw was the legendary temper and anger that she knew he has carried from the moment he had seen his human family slaughtered. All the pain and suffering he had endured had pushed him to try to cut ties with her and she wasn't angry at him, rather she pitied him. For all the burdens he had been forced to carry, not just in recent events but in the ten centuries he had existed in this world. It was unimaginable, incomprehensible, how he had suffered so. Still, she was suffering now and after everything they had gone through both apart and together, she was not about to let him do this to her. She was willing to fight for him. And fight with him, if it was what it took to prove he didn't need to fret so much about her. She took all her strength and as he hand lit up with her light, she hit him across the face as hard as she could, surprising herself as she watched him fly backwards into the unforgiving cement wall, which even cracked a little.

"I am not going through this again and if I have to fight you to get the message through your thick Nordic skull, the so be it! I can't take any more of this….I suffered enough with Bill and I won't do it with you too!" the angry tears were flowing, tinged with a slight red that reminded Eric once more the sacrifice she had made for him to he healed from hep v. he got to his feet and stalked towards her, her face looking at him defiantly, almost asking to be beaten and in his current mood, she thought he would even strike at her, she was that scared, though she tried to conceal that fear. He backed away from her and she saw something in his eyes that even she hadn't expected. Was it really fear? Hesitation? Then he did something she hadn't expected, but also did, knowing he was only doing it to try to push her away. Still, the impact she made as she herself slammed into the other wall stung in more ways than one. Back and forth the two sparred, their anger and fear unleashed, the tempest reaching a staccato as their fighting modes kicked in. more than once did she found herself flung backwards from him, no doubt she was outmatched in this battle. But she got a few good licks in, blasting her light at her love. But after almost ten minutes of the battle, she found herself pinned down on her back, looking as if he were to devour her with those intense eyes looking into hers, his fangs a hair from her face. Smelling her blood as well as his, her own fangs had come out as she glared defiantly at him, though the love in her eyes for him was still there. "I am not going to leave you. Even if you break every bone in my body…..or even if you were to drain me within a inch of my life. I will not stop fighting…" she whispered..

The silence that followed seemed never-ending until he finally came to see reason. "I…..didn't mean to do this to you…..to make you so….desperate and fearful." he said to her gently as she allowed the glowing light around her hands to fade slowly. "I never should have doubted anything about us and our relationship. That you would try to fight me…I was foolish to try to keep you away and should have known you better that you wouldn't just quit on us."

"I did that before and I should have learned my lesson." she replied as she took his hands and reached around to the back of his head where he had slammed against the wall. She felt a nasty lump that was also damp with blood. "I am sorry about that."

"I'll heal." he shrugged. "And you proved once more that you are a force to be reckoned with. You would have put some of my former Viking comrades to shame, to tell you the truth. Fairy light or no, your inner fierceness is something else."

Chapter 4

He embraced her with his big arms and she felt a sense of relief as she allowed herself to be enfolded within them. "These past few days without you…..they have been…..bad." he said softly as he gently played with her hair. "Oh…my hands are bloody and now I've got blood in your hair."

"Won't be the last time that happens, I am sure. And I don't care. I just am…relieved." she replied as her brown eyes met his blue. Taking his hand, she pulled out the wedding band he had thrown callously away while under Sylvie's spell and put it right back on his finger where it belonged. "That's much better…now if we can get something done about this mess." she sniffled as she took in the sheer brutality of the gore around the two of them. "This isn't exactly the most romantic place for a reconciliation, now is it? And not that you don't look good-you do, no matter what you wear-"

"Or not wear?" Eric added cheekily. That mischievous smirk making a long awaited reappearance. "A shower would feel quite nice about now….we would need to have to settle for the one here at the bar….Pam insisted one be put in in case of any incidents. Like when Bill staked Long Shadow…..I do remember the mess he made all over you."

"Don't remind me." Sookie replied, remembering how Pam had pulled a piece of the thieving vampire out of her ample cleavage. "One of my many less than finer moments. But I am glad you took her advice to get a shower put in…lead the way."

They went through the empty bar and up onto the dais where the throne sat. behind the red wall, there was a hidden door and to her surprise, the sleek stainless steel bathroom was there, complete with a large bathtub that reminded her of the one Bill had at his house. But this one was much better. Of course, there was the few touches in the bathroom that said that Pam had a hand in the décor. The chandelier of fine crystals hung overhead while the floor was tiled in fine pink Italian marble "Pink….." Eric muttered. "If I didn't care for her like I do, I never would have allowed it."

The look on his face as they entered the spacious facility made her giggle. "You've evolved over the years, haven't you?"

"I suppose so." he replied gruffly but with a smile on his face. "Bath or shower?"

She looked from the spacious shower stall to the even roomier tub. "I would very much like either but you….you are quite messy. I would say bath."

"Good….it will let us get things off our chest….I suspect that there is a conversation we need to have, especially after the Sylvie debacle." he replied as he headed to the tub and turned on the tap. The tub filled quickly and gathering some soap and a large loofah from a well stocked closet, they disrobed and settled into the tub, frothy with bubbles that she insisted they have. To her further shock, he actually seemed to enjoy the softness of the bubbles. "Don't worry, I'll never tell anyone the big bad Viking has a thing for bobble baths."

He laughed as he allowed her to start to scrub the blood off him but the smile soon faded. "I should apologize to you for waking into what you did. I had originally hoped it would put you off me completely, to sever you from my life. You know I only care for your well being. But I suppose I am glad you weren't scared off."

She sighed. "I won't lie. Even after all this time of knowing you and what you are, it was unnerving seeing you like that. But I suppose with me blasting you into the wall, I have certainly been a little beastly too."

Taking the loofah from her hands, he took a turn cleaning her up from the brief but intense confrontation that had left her more weary and tearstained than anything else. "I….have not felt like this about anyone in my life. Not even Sylvie came close to what I feel about you and as you well know, I have been around for quite some time and-"

"You didn't want to risk losing me altogether, for me to….wind up dead. I get it. But I swear to god, if you ever pull a stunt like this again, I will make even you hurt in places typical of any other guy."

"Oooh…I don't know if that sounds like a punishment or something a little….spicy." he raised a eyebrow as she leaned on his shoulder. Then she remembered the bracelet on his wrist, the bracelet from Niall that allowed him to spend a few hours out in the sunlight.

"Very funny…is the bracelet charged? Maybe we could….enjoy a sunrise together. To maybe, signify the start of a new start in our insane lives together. Crap….I have no spare clothes."

"Don't; worry, Pam and I keep spare clothes here." he said as they spent another hour soaking in the warm water, savoring each other's company.

Chapter 5

Stepping out into the cool morning, the sun was just peeking up over the horizon as Sookie, clad in a pair of leathery pants and a black corset she never in a millions years would normally wear. But it was a limited choice, going through Pam's clothes and this was a far tamer look than the rest of the outfits. Thankfully, only Eric would see her in the attire as Ginger was still down for the count. "I don't know how she can stand being so constricted in this thing." Sookie grumbled as she tried adjusting the corset, glad that she had at least managed to wear her own shoes and socks. Under the awning of the entrance of Fangtasia, they stood side by side, the sun creeping ever upward.

"I think you put that outfit to shame, though I admit I think you look best wearing nothing."

"I could say the same about you. Ready?" she asked as she held out a hand for him to take, preparing to head out from the safety of the awning.

Nodding, he took her hand and they soon stood on the blacktop, the sun rise making the sky look almost like a rainbow. There was not a cloud to be seen and even the moon and a few stars could still be made out. "The calm after the tempest, I guess." he said as he looked down at her face who was watching the sunrise with a light in her eyes he had feared was extinguished. "the next time we go out for a walk, it will be somewhere a little nicer, I promise you. "

"And I will be better dressed. Nothing against Pam, but even with me being part vamp, I don't want to vamp up my own style any." she replied with a grin.

"Pity, because I think you look fetching in leather." he said admiring her curves that corset showed off. "I've never been religious or have ever had any faith. Not in the traditional sense. But between you and me, I still feel as if Godric is still here, guiding and helping me. Its strange….."

Sookie was touched by the thoughtful expression on his face. "I feel like gran is watching out for me too and having seen her spirit already, I know it to be true. And I think even Bill is watching over all of us too. It's their legacies that have helped us move on and fight for what we have now and if we lose sight of that, allow their lessons to be forgotten, then we will lose what we have. I don't want to go through anything like this again. I feel like I have said something along these lines before….but you need to know I am no wuss. You need to stop worrying about me so much."

"I know I do…" he turned at the sound of the front door of the bar opening as a tipsy Ginger made her appearance known.

"You're gonna get yourself burned up! Get back in her you big blond, you!" she stumbled towards them as he zipped over to her before she went falling onto her face, clearly still buzzed. Working his glamour on her, he convinced her she saw nothing, wanting to keep his daywalking abilities as secret as possible. "You saw nothing and in fact, you are going to go back inside, get the basement cleaned up and then get a locksmith over to repair the front door. I will be back later and will make sure you are well compensated. Understand?"

Looking at him with a dreamy expression, the oft-glamoured Ginger nodded. "Sure thing. It will all be done when you get back." and with that, she disappeared back into the bar and left the two alone once more.

"How about we go for a walk….I've really not had a chance to really get a good trial using this bracelet…..not for leisure purposes, anyhow."

"You're right…but why don't you let me take us somewhere peaceful. I would rather you not make yourself conspicuous flying of using vamp speed out in the daylight." Sookie suggested and before he could even try to protest, she grabbed his hands and in a flash of light, they had disappeared from the parking lot.

Epilogue

They arrived in a secluded but familiar place that was as peaceful as could be. The pond was as still as could be as the sounds of early rising birds were heard chirping. "Lot's of….interesting memories here." Sookie said as she found herself a seat on a overturned tree, looking out over the water as the sky began brightening further, the humidity of the Louisiana climate already creeping into the air. Not that it bothered the faerie-vamp or her companion. "I think my favorite moment here was when we were just over the ridge over there and we….well, you know…..for the first time." she leaned on his shoulder as he sat beside her. "My second favorite memory of this area I think was when you were totally wasted on my faerie godmother's blood."

"Not one of my finer moments." Eric replied with a annoyed looking expression that melted into a smirk. "If that had wound up on the internet, I do not believe I would ever live it down."

"Not that you've ever had any shame." Sookie interjected with a grin.

"True. In all likelihood it would only have added to my legendary status." he said with pride.

Rolling her eyes at the comment, she was glad to see that smart-ass side reemerge. Heaven help her, she did love that part of him. She loved every part of him, even the….messier aspects of him, like what she had walked in on in the basement of the bar. It was a part of him she knew would always be there and could never change about him. He would always be the Viking warrior and combined with his powers as a vampire, she knew all too well the deadly combination that it created. But knowing the goodness and the loyalty that was also within him, along with so many other good qualities, it made her all the more aware of one thing-that she too had her darker side and she was far from being a saint as well. "But what about the time you were on my front porch covered in cement. Or the time when Jess vomited blood over your chest…shall I go on?" She blinked innocently up at him as the sun rose, casting warming glow over them.

He looked at her a moment. "I have always loved your sassiness you know. The only other person besides me that could even come close to matching Pam."

"I will definitely take that as a compliment." she replied, taking his hand and rubbing it gently, keeping her head against his shoulder. "How about we make a promise here and now."

"Like what?" he asked with a gleam in his eyes.

"That we never fight like this again. I know we will have our disagreements and whatever…but I don't even want to have anything like this….it was….unpleasant and-"

He put his fingers on her lips to silence her. "Can we just….sit here and enjoy ourselves until the bracelet runs low on magic? I just….want to enjoy this time with you."

She put her head up and smiled serenely at her, drained from the ordeal and thankful that fate had spared them once more. There was a lingering feeling within her that fate would always threaten them. But she vowed she would always fight for them, no matter what.

The End

#16-The Greatest Gift

Chapter 1

Try as he might, he could not fall into his day rest and thus the bleeds had commenced. With a sigh, Eric went to his office and tried to get some paperwork done for the bar. The New Blood paperwork, luckily was in the hands of his underlings, who of course, dared not to try anything funny. It would be the last thing they would ever do. Billionaire or not, the Viking still cherished keeping Fangtasia, what with all the history it had. And now, being married to Sookie, he finally felt his family was complete. He had Pam, of course and a repaired relationship with Willa. And Tara, of course was around. And he supposed he had to grudgingly include Jason as his brother in law. Never thought of that fact much, to be honest. He could have much worse for a brother in law, Eric supposed. For the first time in a thousand years, he had a complete family. Well, almost.

"You really should be sleeping, Viking." a voice called from the open doorway. Another member of the extended family. Niall sauntered into the room, sitting down on the new leather couch that had been delivered earlier in the day.

"I am well aware of that." Eric replied, ignoring the trails of blood seeping from his ears, focusing on his paperwork. "What brings you here?"

"I was communing with the spirits…..and I uncovered something I thought would interest you. I know he had said he did not want the chance to return to the living…..but even the minds of ancient beings can change and he decided that not was the time to let his presence be known. That night when you met with his spirit and you left, thinking he had passed on fully…he changed his mind."

It took the Viking a moment to process what was being said. "Godric….he is alive?"

"Sun will be setting in a matter of hours." Niall said. "I suggest you make sure you tidy yourself up. I think tonight is going to be…..fulfilling for you. Because there is another surprise I have in store. I would very much like you to invite Sookie and Jason to attend. I would, but I have faerie matters that need dealing with. Heavy is the crown on the head, is it not? Royal to royal?"

Reluctant as he was to include Jason, Eric rolled his eyes and grimaced. "Jason can come, I suppose….I will call Sookie to come over tonight….what time?'

"Nightfall." and with that last word, Niall vanished, leaving the Viking to his many thoughts.

FLASHBACK

"You can never be at the mercy of your emotions. You must master them. What just happened…it is only thanks to our glamouring ability that we need not worry too much. Yet we need to leave here. Fast." Godric looked at his progeny sternly as they stood among the mass of bloody corpses. "You should not have gone off by yourself."

"I needed…to do that." snapped Eric as he was on his knees before his maker. Wearing his tattered remains of his Viking leather, he was defiant even in his obedience to his maker who had saved him from death and gave him a new life and powers that he never could have fathomed,

"Your clan is no more…I understand your rage and believe me, I have caused my share of massacres. But you must master your emotions. Keep control. And I fear that that will be something you will struggle with as long as you live. I dare say I may never be able to release you."

It had been a bloody time, not just for that one incident, but the blood the Viking had spilled was almost enough to create a river. The sheer brutality of those first days was unparalleled to anything he had done in the decades that followed. So lost in his anger, sorrow and rage that came with the murder of his family, Eric had taken the short time Godric had been away from him on that fateful evening and hat let loose his emotions in a bloody tirade, coming across a camp of who turned out to be a group of displaced Vikings that were from his former home. But being only a few days old into his new life, the emotions and bloodlust he felt were too strong for him to fight and when Godric had returned later, having left Eric asleep in the ground , Godric realized the mistake he had made. He had thought that his new progeny would remain in ground, needing the extra rest to allow his body to acclimate fully to the changes that had transpired. It was a testament to the strength and fierceness that was possessed by his progeny and it was at that moment as he gazed in the dark, at the fire still burning in the Viking camp, that he had his hands full with this one.

"You will need to be punished for this, you can not allow you to be ruled by your emotions. I chose to turn you for what I saw but I can also not allow you to unleash your anger and rage onto the innocent. Take a close look as to what you have wrought." Godric had pulled Eric to his feet by his long blonde hair and finally out of the blind rage, Eric realized who he had slaughtered. He had thought that all of his father's subjects had also been wiped out but seeing the runes and symbols on what remained on the wooden shields, he saw the truth..

"What have I done?" he asked as he crouched beside a blood drenched corpse, who had been a close friend to Eric. He remembered having hunted with him and drinking heavily with him. Yet Eric replayed the memories in his mind, remembering the look of shock and pain that the man had had as Eric struck at him and murdered him impulsively.

"I will love you as a son and brother. But as your father, you will need to be punished for your transgressions." Godric replied sternly and pulling something out of a leather sack, the gleaming silver chains in his hands, which were burning and smoking but he ignored the pain. In a flash, he had silvered his progeny and forced him into the hole he had emerged from, making a fast move to start covering him with the damp soil. "If it takes me a hundred times to get the message through your head to control your emotions, to stifle them, so be it. I have caused enough innocent lives to be taken and vowed to atone for that. And I will not have you become as I once was." with those last words Godric finished covering Eric with the dirt, ignoring the pain that the Viking was clearly in, weakened considerable by the bindings around him.

Chapter 2

PRESENT DAY

Awoken by the dream he had, of the past returning to both haunt and soothe him, he realized how he had evolved. When he had first met Sookie, he had seen her as merely a tool to use for his advantage. Or a tasty snack. But as he had come to know her and her him, he had realized that perhaps he had taken the controlling of his own emotions too far. Though his heart no longer beat, he had felt it slowly emerge from the icy stupor it was in, the walls around it coming down. It was unbelievable, that his new family was almost together for the very first time. There would still be a missing piece to the puzzle with Nora being still dead and gone. It was nevertheless, nice to know something good was about to befall him. In the past weeks, months and even years, his life had been nothing but a long battle for survival and even his heart and soul. Since he had wed Sookie, he had dreamed more and even had started having nightmares. She had never made him feel as human as he did now and at one time, he would have given anything to not feel so vulnerable. Now, however, he wouldn't have it any other way. Not that he would admit it to anyone but Sookie.

Getting out of his plush coffin, he made to the new private bathroom and closet he had put into the bar for him and his own to use, to clean up or change if the need arose. He had left a voicemail for Sookie, knowing she was probably at work. Ginger managed to keep it well stocked and with everything any of the few who would be allowed access to it would need. Family only, Eric had explained simply to Ginger, the entrance hidden behind the red wall behind the throne up on the dais. Putting on a freshly laundered black suit and black shoes, he paced back and forth, the clock ticking ever closer to nightfall. Having managed some rest, he had at least gotten the bleeds to stop. The bar had been cleaned up, tidied, to prepare for the party and at least Ginger was cognizant enough to do that task without any disasters happening.

Stepping out of the bathroom, looking very much the billionaire CEO of New Blood that he was, he couldn't help but smirk as Sookie entered the bar, Jason in tow. "You look like you were chomping at the bit to wait for me." she said with a smile as she stood on tiptoe and planted a kiss on his lips.

"Actually, I was…." he paused as he mat Jason's gaze with a smirk. "Any new good dreams of me lately or are you in need of some more….healing…"

Jason's face reddened. "I still can't believe y'all is my brother in law…..I just can't believe it. Guess it could be worse. Dreams ain't come true that I had cause you healed me that one time, guess I got that to be thankful for."

"You could do worse for a brother in law. I'm wealthy and if you are nice enough, would be willing to send you anywhere you'd want to go with that Bridgette of yours. Seeing as how I have let you live out of courtesy of your sister-"

"Yeah, you've said that before." Jason retorted but he had to give credit where credit was due. "I guess you two do make a good couple. And she couldn't be in better hands. I think maybe it's time for a…..truce? I would like to get along with you better…for Sook's sake."

Sookie looked from her brother to her husband and sighed inwardly. It was a pleased sigh though. She had only ever wanted these two stubborn fellas to get along, more so now that they were family. "I would appreciate it a lot of you two would get along. Who knows, you just may come to like each other."

"Stranger things have happened." deadpanned Eric who nevertheless offered a hand out to Jason, who took it with a determined expression. "Go have a drink at the bar. Help yourself, I sent Ginger home. Tonight is strictly for family." he had also taken the liberty to make a couple other phone calls after he had called Sookie, who had yet to know what the function of this evening was to be. Tara, Pam and Willa entered the bar, Pam rolling her eyes as her guards insisted upon flanking both the entrance and the rear exit of the bar.

"So…I have a feeling this isn't some average party you got set up here…so what gives?" Sookie asked as she watched her brother fumble behind the bar for something strong, no doubt.

"I've a surprise that apparently comes from your grandfather. And there is still something else that is to come that I know nothing of."

The door to the bar opened at that moment and more than just one jaw seemed to hit the floor, none more so than the normally stoic Viking.

Chapter 3

They came in hand in hand, both looking just as they had when Eric had spoken to them as spirits not too long ago. He was not going to believe it until he had seen it, but here was Godric, in the flesh and Nora as well at his side. Walking slowly to the center of the room, he paused in front of his maker and his sister, dropping to a knee, head bowed reverently. "This can not be happening….it is an impossibility."

"Miracles are possible…..Niall convinced me you needed me. To help keep you on the straight and narrow. Your sister and I thought ourselves….foolish to not have come back right then and there when Niall gave us the extremely rare chance. But after you left that night we came to you as spirits, we realized you needed…..hope. You needed us more than you would ever admit. And I believe I was foolish to want to throw my life away as I did on the rooftop, even seeing what that choice was doing to you. For that, Eric, I am sorry."

Nora slipped her hand from Godric's and knelt down beside her brother, tears beginning to stream down her porcelain face. "I would gladly die again to spare you any of the suffering you have endured in the past…..we can start over now. And I promise, I will not try to have her for a meal." Nora glanced over to Sookie who was watching the scene with a stunned expression.

It was rare, to be sure, but Eric was speechless as he looked from his sister to his maker, feeling the bond that they all had had before come roaring back. Knowing he was once more bound to Godric didn't bother him. He had never been released by Godric before and was not surprised that even with the resurrection, it hadn't changed. he knew it was something he needed to earn. For now, he could only be grateful for the gifts Niall had delivered.

Walking over to the girl with the pale blue dress on, Godric took Sookie's hand and kissed it gently. "I suppose you are my daughter in law….Sookie. It is good to see you again."

"It's….good to see you too." she replied softly. "I…never thought I would see you again. You have no idea how much this means to him." she looked past the ancient vampire over to where Eric was speaking to Nora, hugging her tightly to him. Pam, Tara and Willa were hanging back, unsure of what to make of the scene. Godric took notice of them and walked over to the three vampires. "So, my family certainly has been expanding in my absence, has it not? I have seen you, watched over you and am pleased to see the choices he has made in making new vampires. And Pamela, I am glad for you having your Tara brought back to the living…..and that you also made a good decision in turning Tara."

"It wasn't exactly what I had planned. Sookie begged me to turn her after-"

"I know the story, I have seen everything that has transpired over the years since I met the sun. I can tell he has come to care for Tara."

"Yeah…and I am glad that I didn't end up losing my best friend after all…" Sookie trailed off, shaking her head, her eyes tearing up. Godric put his hands into hers gently. "Thanks." she sniffled. "I am….just….grateful beyond words for everything. You would know then, the past months haven't been easy for me, for us. Bill decided to meet the true death and Eric was gone for months and when he came back, I thought he was going to die and Alcide died to try to protect me…not to mention all the forced that have been out to get us since we got together."

"Life is not meant to be easy. There will always be challenges in life and it makes you stronger. And since the two of you are still together, I think that is proof that it has been worth the struggles. Do you agree?"

She fingered her long blonde locks gently, her eyes focused on Eric as he took his sister to reunite with Pam and Tara as well as meet Willa. All seemed to be happy to be meeting the erstwhile Nora and even Pam looked pleased. No doubt that seeing Eric happy made her happy. "You are so wise…..and yes, I agree." she paused as she looked at him. "I didn't realize how much I missed you until now. I know we barely got to know each other but you did save me from being raped in the church. And if not for you, I never would have met my one and only…god, I never would have thought I would end up with someone like him. I thought I wanted a normal guy. A normal life. But now I know that all of this is normal for me. And I like it. Having family again. That's another thing he and I have in common. Losing one family and gaining another."

Returning to his maker and wife, Eric could not help but smile. He had not had this many good moment in his life in a row in a very long time. Reuniting with Sookie, marrying her and then getting those he thought lost forever back? Not to mention finally putting an end to Russell Edgington and the Newlins. Life, at this point, was golden. "Can I interest you in a drink? Perhaps try some of my product?" Eric pulled out a can of New Blood and offered it happily to Godric. "It's not the same as human blood, but what is? I cannot complain, it has done a lot of good…decimated the hep-v virus and made me some serious bank."

Opening the can, Godric took a sip and gave his progeny a knowing look. "I saw the infomercial you were in…never in our years together did I think a vicious Viking would become some kind of pitchman. But here we are."

Chapter 4

There was music in the background as the drinks flowed for all involved. There was much mingling and it felt as if there were more than just the few in attendance. eight, to be exact. The women and Jason had allowed the Viking to be alone with his maker and as much as they wanted to listen in using their enhanced abilities, none of them, least of all Sookie, were about to intrude on what was a emotional day for Eric.

"So this bar…..has been yours for some years now? I remember seeing you in the 90's. questionable fashion statement, eh?" Godric smiled, not usually so cheeky. Clearly, being back with his kin had reignited something within him and he was savoring it as much as he once did a tasty neck.

Sitting at his desk, Eric put his long legs onto its surface and raked a hand through his hair. "I've evolved over the years as you know…..I always thought myself foolish for speaking to your phantom when I saw them. When you came to me to try to get me to not kill Edgington. When I had to try to get Nora out of the influence of that whole Lilith debacle…and it really was you….appearing to me."

"I wish I could have done more to help you." Godric replied mournfully. "I never thought that this would be the kind of path your life would take. I had believed you would have remained in Europe, to form a new kingdom of sorts with other vampires. And yet, here you are, a billionaire and….married." Godric said with a smile. "You have grown more than I ever could have hoped. And I am proud of you. Your parents, they too would be proud of you as well."

"I hope so….so with you and my sister back….what are you hoping for? What will you two do?"

The older vampire looked thoughtful. "I honestly do not know save for the fact I wish to help keep the peace between humans and our kind. I want nothing more than that. Your sister, I believe, wants the same thing. After her ordeal of dying once from hep-v, I would suggest perhaps a place in your company for her?"

"I think having more family involved in the business would be for the best…..I will offer her a position. I already have put Willa to work there. And Tara works here in the bar and of course, you know Pam is the new queen of Louisiana and I am once more, sheriff of area five."

"It is good to keep busy." quipped Godric. "And it is so that after centuries I believe the time is come for what is about to happen."

He had known it was coming as soon as they had entered the office and the words were like a blur. Feeling like he were in a daze, Eric was broken free of that sensation by the very real sensation he felt wash over her. He was, after ten centuries, released from Godric. But he was not sad, but rather, appreciative. That he knew that he would only be released if progress had been made and though he had been mostly Godric free over the centuries and could pretty much do what he wanted, when he wanted, he felt duty bound to still obey the wishes of his maker As well as trying to live by his maker's teachings, honestly, it was the best gift he could have received and he would not be any less devoted or loyal to him.

"I understand how Pam felt when I released her. Empty, in a way, yet not. You are back and I am grateful for that."

"I will not go far from the area, I like this area and it is where my family is. I have seen the world dozens of times over the years and I think it is time for me to finally settle down. If you can do it, then there is hope for me."

"Coming back from the dead has given you a sassiness, eh?" Eric smirked as he went to open the door to the office, meaning for them to rejoin the gathering. But she lingered, leaning against the desk with a thoughtful expression. "What's wrong?"

Sookie bit her lip and hung her head before looking back at him. "I was thinking how there is so much I don't know about you and now with Godric back….the stories he could tell me about you. It's kind of exciting. And I can't wait to hear what he would tell me about you….back in the day. What fun we will have discussing your past!" and stepping on her tiptoes, she kissed him on the nose and he looked at her with a, if possible, paler look to his face. "Too bad he missed out on your 1980's and 1990's phase. In the flesh anyway….Pam has shown me some photos." she said with a slight singsong lilt to her voice.

"Um, Sookie….those photos were…photoshopped…and you don't want to know how I dressed in medieval days, I don't think….." Eric remembered that his maker had watched over him all his life and had seen everything he had done. Everything. As she swept from the room with a massive grin, the Viking trailed behind her in her wake, pleading with her not to ask about some of the more….questionable fashion choices he had made in the past. That, he feared, he would never live down.

Chapter 5

The gathering was cathartic for all that were present and Sookie was only too happy to see her Viking go off to the rooftop of Fangtasia to be alone with Nora and Godric where they remained for almost two and a half hours. With the sounds of the music blaring, it was hard for even the vamps and Sookie to overhear anything with their enhanced hearing but she knew well enough that what was being said was personal and private. All of them had gone through more than any person should have to endure and their collective suffering made Sookie feel guilty about all the times in her life she had bitched and moaned about "poor me." it was, in hindsight ridiculous to have complained about having two vampires fighting over her, about being a faerie. She had hoped that she was maturing and growing and wanted nothing more than put the "old, whiny Sookie" to bed once and for all.

The three vampires returned eventually, all with blood rimmed mouths and fangs out, all looking as if they couldn't be any happier than they were at that moment.

"Don't worry." Nora said to Sookie. "We were careful not to kill any innocents. We are pleased to see you've taught him some compassion for humans, as disdainful as he is towards most of them."

"His manners back when I turned him were well…..rudimentary, to say the least. " Godric chimed in. seeing the look on Sookie's face, he reassured her. "No one was harmed and we healed them as soon as we had fed."

"I believe you guys…..guess everyone has their ways of reconnecting, huh?" she said as Pam produced a couple of bottles from a cooler behind the bar.

"Lord knows I am not the soft, gentle, mushy type. But I guess this calls for a celebration and this is probably a good of a time as any…..this is from France and taken from none other than Napoleon himself. We like to keep something special on hand just in case. And there's also a 1903 vintage champagne here for the breathers to enjoy." she set the bottles down on the bar and looked at Eric hard. "But you need to clean your face up first before I even attempt to serve this to y'all."
"Ah, dear brother, you certainly have your hands full with all these women in your life and now that I am back….."

"Yeah…." replied Eric with a smirk as he cleaned his face and looked around the room at his family. "I think I am screwed."

The End

#17 Alive Again

Chapter 1

"Have you ever wondered, though?" she asked as they strolled through the cemetery, both leaving the cemetery after paying their respects to the grave of Bill Compton. Sookie had taken the task of keeping the grave up and thanks to the bracelet her grandfather had given her Viking, Eric could stroll along with her in the daylight for a few hours before the magic ran out, the bracelet needing to be recharged.. The smell of lilacs permeated the midday air and the sun felt good on both of them. They both admitted to missing Bill and it was cathartic for them both to visit the grave on occasion. But life went on and their marriage, having been through the ringer, especially as of late, had only gotten stronger.

"I have wondered…..but then I think I never would have met you and life would have been different. I never wanted to rule in place of my father. I still believe becoming what I am now is the greatest gift I ever could have gotten….save for you, of course." he added quickly as she gave him a sly look.

"But really….you don't ever miss being a human? Not being able to eat or drink things that aren't blood?"

He looked at her for a moment. "To be fair, when I was turned, the food available was…..rustic and even though I loved a good ale or beer….I know nothing about what I have missed out on save for the scents I can gather from what has been available over the years."

"I think what she is trying to get at is that if you had the chance to be human again, even for only a day, would you take the chance?" a impatient voice called from a few strides away. Niall was smoking a pipe and leaning against a weeping willow tree, eyes twinkling mischievously. He went up to his granddaughter and hugged her, planting a kiss on top of her head and offered a hand to Eric who took it albeit slowly.

"Are you eavesdropping on us?" asked the Viking, clad as ever in his black and leather.

"I'm always in touch with what you two are up two. All of your, really, since you are family." Niall replied with a shrug. "But seriously, would you take the chance if it were possible?"

Snorting derisively Eric smirked. "Why would I want to revert to being something that can be so easily killed. Weakened."

"I was thinking of Sookie, really. For the both of you to have a taste of….normalcy. Well, as close as you can get to it, what with she herself being a faerie-vamp. wouldn't you, yourself be even the least bit curious about living as you once did so long ago? I would ensure your safety during this time and you can get a better understanding of today's world. Think of the things you could taste again."

"Impossible." Eric replied stubbornly.

"As impossible as it seemed for him to resurrect your sister, Tara and Godric?" Sookie pressed. "Come on, it may be fun and it would only be for a day. A day. I think I would…..like to see what you would be like as-"

"If it is what you wish and with the promise of not only my but your safety, then Niall, I am curious to perform this experiment. However if anything were to go wrong, human or not, I am capable of many unpleasant things."

"I know all too well." Niall replied. "The magic lies within the bracelet you wear…a bracelet I must alter and strengthen in order for this to work." putting his hands over the bronze bracelet etched with faerie runes, there was a greenish glow that abated after a few moments. "Are you sure you want to do this?"

"Only a day, right?" Eric pressed, eyes narrowed at the faerie.

"You have my word. It is ten in the morning now…..you will have until noon tomorrow to live as a human." Niall replied and everything turned bright, blinding. Sookie grabbed her Viking as he doubled over, falling to his knees and needing, for the first time in a thousand years, to take a breath of air. As she held him, she felt his skin turn warm and leaning against his chest, she gasped as she heard his heart actually beating. With a smile to his kin, Niall left them alone as she helped Eric to his feet.

"How do you feel?" she asked warily watching his expression which was unreadable at the moment.

He blinked as he looked around at their surroundings. Settling a gaze upon Sookie he couldn't help but smile. "I've heard about your home cooking….perhaps I can have a taste?"

Chapter 2

She couldn't believe what she was doing, actually preparing food-real food-for Eric. The kitchen was smelling like fried chicken and she couldn't; help but make a pecan pie that had been in her Gran's repertoire for a long time. As she sat down opposite him at the kitchen table, she watched as he helped himself to some food. He had changed into a t shirt and jeans, having complained about the Louisiana heat for the first time ever, even sweating under the sun.

"it looks good." he commented as she poured him some of her famous sweet tea. "I can't believe this is happening…"

"Eat up…gosh, I wonder what the rest of the family would think if they saw you now. No doubt by nightfall, they will know something is up. Granted, you did release Willa and Pam. But there is still that lingering thread between y'all, right? My bet would be Godric shows up first though."

"I'd put him and Pam showing up together. But Pam likely first. Barely" he replied as he tore into a chicken leg and made quick work of it. And three more pieces afterward. Staring as he at a heaping of potatoes, corn bread and two slices of pie, she had to laugh. "Good thing you're current state is temporary, or you'd be on your way to ruining that physique of yours."

"I could find a good way to burn off those calories." he said suggestively to her.

"Glad to see some thing haven't changed." she rolled her eyes as she cleared the table.

They drove into town where Sookie made a stop in the liquor store. She had decided it would be best for him to remain in the new tinted window SUV he had recently bought for them. Because not only was his face a famous one, but the questioning what would come from seeing him in the daytime would cause more trouble for them. Trouble they both wished to avoid. "I got enough vodka for a week." Sookie said as she placed a few bags of bottles in the back seat. "I tried to find things I thought you would like…"

"I was never very picky before. So long as we got drunk and disorderly, it was good enough for us." he replied as they pulled out of the parking lot and headed back to what was now their house. Not that he hadn't refurbished the basement to suit it to his own needs nor that had had gotten rid of his other properties around the world. But Sookie's house had become theirs, with a rich history of them forever entwined within its walls. Now, Sookie was serving as bartender, having learned some of the ropes during her time at her work.

"Tequila Sunrise, Rum and Coke…..Alabama Slammer…..Long Island Iced tea…." she muttered as she looked at the mass of bottles she had put on the kitchen counter, pondering what she could make.

"The stronger the better." Eric replied. "Let's see if I can hold my liquor as I once could."

"If you can't, I think we are in for a fun night." teased Sookie as she put a Long Island iced tea before him. "Though it is only four o clock….I think we should take it slow. But try it."

He nodded and wolfed the drink down in a few gulps, much to Sookie's surprise. "Wow."

"Yeah, wow. There's like, five different shots in that thing."

"Hmmm…..no wonder humans at Fangtasia have gotten so…..unruly after ordering these."

"Ok, let's drink more later. I want to take you to some places just outside Bon Temps…if your stomach can hold anything else."

"I'm ready for whatever else you may want to throw at me. Time is rapidly ticking away and I think it best for us to get home before nightfall for our eventual company."

Laughing, she led him back outside and they took off once more to parts unknown to the Viking.

Chapter 3

"Frozen yogurt?" he asked quizzically as she pulled into Yolickety, a self serve yogurt bar. Grinning, she went into the shop where he could see her plain as day. It was like an assembly line, he noted, watching with wonder as she filled two bowls with some of the frozen treats and made her way to the toppings bar. Five minutes later, she emerged with a dainty bowl of soft chocolate with rainbow sprinkles for her and a larger bowl of peanut butter fudge swirl topped with sprinkles, gummy bears, crushed up Oreos, chocolate chips, peanuts…..the works.

"I figured this will be the first and only time you will be able to eat things like this so I went big." she handed him his as she closed her door and they sat, bowls in hands. She thought he looked cute as he eyes a gummy bear with a funny look before spooning it into his mouth. "Good?"

His face lit up like a child as he scarfed down the rest of his treat in less than ten minutes. Then he looked almost embarrassed by how his humanity was not only opened up but had exploded from within thanks to the temporary transformation. "Delicious." he said as he opened the window of the car and tossed the empty container into the nearby trash can.

"Don't look embarrassed because you're experiencing a life that's different from most of what you've known." They then realized what a gift this was to them. For the next two hours, they went to an amusement park, where he proceeded to fail at obtaining her a teddy bear from a shooting game. To which he scowled.

"If I were myself, I'd have won you ten." he said with feigned annoyance. His smile was hard to conceal and she held his hand as they walked around freely. She had almost forgotten of her expanded fae powers and had managed to use them to conceal his identity. He would be unrecognizable to everyone who they encountered and she was grateful for that added freedom. After the amusement par, they went to the zoo and the last stop before returning home was the beach where they had once retreated to after Bill had drank Lilith's blood and things had gone to hell. The setting sun was still warm on their skin as they walked along the shore.

"You've been awfully quiet and that is rare for you." she said to him as they stopped and looked out over the water.

"I have been doing some thinking and I would never admit this to anyone….but I am glad for today…..it has been nice to be what I used to be. To be sure, I will be glad to be back to normal again though." he said, to which she started laughing uncontrollably. "Very funny." he said, scooping her up into his arms and carrying her right back to their vehicle. "I think it's time for some drinks."

Chapter 4

She served them up fast and furious, glad that she didn't have to work at Bellefleur's for a couple of days. Drink after drink she and Eric shared until both were, for lack of better word, shitfaced.

"The room is spinning I think." drawled Sookie as she drained the rest of a bottle of wine they had sampled. He, of course, had far preferred the beer and harder liquor she had brought. Now she knew what it felt like to be truly out of it. "Is this how you felt when you drained my fairy godmother?" she asked with a slight slur.

"Better than that, even….." he said as he went to get up from the kitchen table only to stumble on his own large feet, hitting his head against the fridge. "OW!" he growled as she drunkenly went to help him up. Only, she too tripped and hit the floor with him. To which they both laughed and she felt the goose egg that had already begun to form on his head. "I don't like being all marked up….I like to look my best….."

"Honey, so long as you're wasted, I don't think either of us will be looking our best until many, many hours from now."

"I don't feel so good….is it because of my head or-" he asked before a sick feeling came over him and though he had not felt this way in a very long time, he knew what was coming and shot to his feet, just barely making it to the sink where he proceeded to be sick.

"And I thought you Vikings could hold your liquor." Sookie teased as she stumbled over to him and saw the pleased look on his face.

"I can drink much more than that." he bragged and proceeded to down another two bottles of beer and a few shots or whisky. Together, they laughed and fell to the floor in the living room where they pawed at each other, awkwardly trying to take each other's clothes off

"What in the hell is up with you two?" drawled a familiar voice. Was it that time already? "And why did my thread that still connected us suddenly quit? I thought you were…" Pam looked stunned as Eric managed to walk to the open front door and as he touched her, she felt the warmth radiating from him. Leaning against him, she felt the heart beating within him. "How…..how is this possible?" Willa, Tara, Godric and Nora also appeared on the scene

"We should have put money on our little wager of who would get here first." Eric said to Sookie. Turning back to the rest of his family, he explained that his situation was temporary and he had only hours left before he went back to being vampire. Still, Pam looked worried.

"You can be killed. In many different ways. If anyone were to find out you had become mortal-"

"We're staying in until the spell wears off. He had his fill of the human experience today I think and I know he certainly had his fill of a few drinks. More than a few, actually. But if you all want to come in and hang out until the spell breaks…..what time was it that Niall activated it, anyway?"

"Today's gone by so fast…but I think I have until noon tomorrow. And it's…." he struggled to read the clock on the wall but thanks to all the drinking, his vision was less than perfect.

"It's almost eight now." Godric said. "I never thought I would see anything like this and I have certainly seen my fair share of amazing things in my life….tell me, have you learned anything from this experience?"

All eyes went on to the inebriated Viking who shrugged. "I suppose I can appreciate life more….but that I much prefer being a vampire. This nauseous feeling….sucks and I don't want to ruin any more of Sookie's carpets." with that said, he darted back to the kitchen where the sound of vomiting was clearly heard by all.

"He has been humbled I believe, not that he would come right out with it and admit it." Nora chuckled with a smile at Sookie. "Do you mind if we all stay until the spell fades?"

"Well, you can all go into his cubby…or down to his man cave slash basement, it's light tight. I don't mind having some guests. But y'all better clean up after yourself, I've got my hands full with-" she hear a splattering sound of vomit again and this time it was on her clean kitchen floor.

"Sorry." Eric called weakly.

Chapter 5

They spend the evening playing some board games, spending time together as family before the dawn began to come. Then they all retreated down into the basement where they continued rather human activities, reading, watching TV and streaming some music from the computer where Eric usually did work on. It was a pleasant get together and Sookie was pleased to see that her guests were as good as their word at picking up after themselves. Even Godric helped her tidy up the kitchen from the….unpleasantness, Sookie going down into the basement for some privacy, if only slight, what with the guests upstairs.

Ignoring the fact that they were getting the bleeds, the vampires passed the rest of the time continuing their activities and were surprisingly patient. And then, it was nearly ten. Eric was lying on his bed when he began to convulse, after spending some…pleasurable time with Sookie. She had wanted to be with him before he was back to being a vampire and in those few minutes, she had been able to chalk up another first experience. But clearly, he face was of concern as she watched Eric tremble. Thankfully, Niall appeared in the room as a fearful Sookie went to one side of him, Pam the other while the rest kept a slightly further distance back. "It is okay, dear one. His body is reverting back to normal and unfortunately, it is not exactly the most pleasant of sensations."

Nodding, she held her grandfathers hand as she watched the flesh of her beloved fade to its paler color. There was something she had to do, however, before she lost the chance forever. Gently, she placed her head over Eric's chest, feeling him breathe in and out, barely conscious.

"It's okay, Sookie, it will be okay." he mumbled in his barely there state. As he opened his mouth to take his final breath as a human, Sookie and the others watched

"I just want to hear your heart beat before…" she trailed off as she settled her head over his heart and felt, heard the beating slow. Slower and slower it went until once more and forevermore, it went dead. And so did his body. Shaking him, she tried to rouse him from his sleep but was unable to.

"He is comatose….his body has changed a great deal in a short time not once but twice. He is healing but it will take a little time. But with those who love him surrounding him, I don't think it will be for too terribly long though. He is strong." Niall said reassuringly

"And stubborn. And smug. And sometimes egotistical. But I wouldn't have him any other way." Sookie said with a grin, and Pam nodded her agreement.

"I was worried that you two being together would….take away his edge. But during the past months with you two….it's made him even more vicious. Protective. And I like that." Pam admitted.

"If you think he is stubborn now, you should have seen him try to fight me tooth and nail after I turned him." Godric mused, stretching his legs out on a leather couch. "He was so insistent he could learn everything on his own. Part of the reason I never released him. The power coursing through him is unlike anyone I have ever encountered."

"Uh oh, looks like trouble is waking up." Tara commented as , sure enough, the tall blonde sat up slowly and took in the sight of his family around him and grinned.

"Trouble? I am a perfect angel." he replied. "I wish I were asleep longer to hear more of what you all had to say about me."

"Dear brother, it is nice to see things have not changed much…how are you feeling?" Nora asked with concern.

He looked around at all the most important people in his life, looking at Sookie last. "Never better."

Epilogue

After all the others had left as soon as dark fell, Sookie was reading on the couch as she was joined by Eric who looked at her glass of wine almost longingly.

"Miss booze already?" she asked, placing the book down gently.

"I did enjoy getting to have it again, I admit. And the experience was….not unpleasant." he said. "But the more I think about it, the more I believe I was meant to be what I am now. Like you were destined to be a faerie vamp and mine." he smirked at her. "My infamous persistence and pursuing of you finally paid off, no?"

She laughed as she leaned against his shoulder, stifling a yawn. "I think out of everyone, Pam was the most relieved you went back to normal. I don't think she would have had much patience for a mortal version of her maker…..hearing about your…reaction to the overdrinking made even her look….nauseous."

Laughing, Eric nodded. "agreed…..so…..how about we do something I have wanted to do all day and can enjoy in whatever state I am in?"

"And what would that be?" she asked teasingly.

"A nice. Hot. Shower."

"What, you still have the lingering, ummm, memories, of your drunkenness about you?" she asked as she nuzzled him. "Oh….yeah, you do. don't you worry, I'll make sure you are scrubbed down. Real well."

The End

#18 Unexpected Expecting

Chapter 1

"You two are still going strong, huh?" Sookie asked Jessica as they wandered the mall together one Friday evening, Sookie sipping a cappuccino and Jess a New Blood.

"Hoyt and I….we are so….happy. I can't believe I almost lost him for good. We've renovated the basement to a game room, cause he has always wanted one. Besides, I hated having the jail cells and the lab stuff down there. Creepy. And bad memories." Jess replied with a small smile. "I miss Bill though and if not for him we wouldn't have inherited the mansion or the money he left. He had his faults and there were times I hated him. But he loved me. And you."

Sookie sighed and nodded. "I know he did. And I will always have love for him…he did try to make up for the things he had done before he met the true death. Anyways….." Sookie wanted out of this topic of conversation. It still hurt, two months after Bill decided to meet the true death and wanting to rejoin his human family in the afterlife. Though relieved that it had been made so, part of Sookie missed having Bill around. Even with all the things he had done to her and others in the past, the fact that he had been allowed to cross over was proof of the regret, remorse and contrition he had felt for those actions.

Jess could see this was still a sensitive subject so she delicately switched gears. "How is married life for you going? I mean, I really thought at one point, you wanted to wind up with some, I don't know….random, dull bearded guy with no charisma. A normal, so to speak."

Sookie laughed. "I thought that was what I wanted too for awhile after being with vampires and then Alcide…..but then everything happened with hep-v and I was….scared…..I think that fear made me think clearly for the first time in a long time as to what I wanted. He treats me well, you know? And not just financially. I refuse to be kept and still work. But he treats me like a princess."

"I guess there are miracles and then there are miracles." Jess mused. "Because when I first met Eric Northman, I never would have thought him capable of anything…..good. Decent. He seemed like-"

"A complete jackass? Yeah, that was kind of what I saw too. But its proof you can't judge a book by the cover, right? So…where do you want to stop next? Forever 21? Maybe look for some makeup at Sephora?

"Sure." Jess replied as she tossed her empty can into a recycling bin, remembering how Bill had told her that they "recycled in their house."

"Gotta watch our time though,, I told Arlene I would come in and help clean up the bar tonight. She was short staffed again and it was your day off. She said she didn't want to trouble anyone."

"No problem…..she is actually gonna let me and Hoyt baby-sit the kids tomorrow night….can you believe it? She used to hate my guts and now…..she is actually dating a vampire. Keith has made her happy. Not that she's forgotten about Terry though.. The kids, they are growing up so much! The other night, Hoyt and I stopped over and we played a few rounds of Connect Four…..Coby kicked my butt twice and Lisa…..she and Hoyt are just trouble together." Jess grinned. "Not that they or anyone have forgotten about Terry though."

"No one could forget him. He was a good man. Nice to hear you are all getting along…..it's kind of like you've gotten yourself a new family too and I am happy for y'all. And it is certainly nice to see Arlene happy and the bar busier than ever.."

"I do miss my mom and sister sometimes…..but I am grateful that after the mishap that I caused visiting them after I got turned….I feel more at peace knowing Bill glamoured my dad to keep him for laying a hand on anyone ever again. But now, they all think I am dead and gone…..I hear they moved to Sacramento. Dad got a new job and I guess things are better. Spending time with everyone now and especially kids, Hoyt and I thought long and hard about adopting. But after what I did to Andy's three daughters, I think it's best we remain babysitters. And he is fine with that. But what about you? I mean, are there any little Vikings in your future, do you think?"

"Honestly, Jess, with all that's happened lately, I have not had time to think about that…oops, we almost passed Sephora." Sookie felt a bit anxious discussing something like this. Not that she didn't feel comfortable with Jess-they were good friends. But something within her made her feel like it would only ever be a pipe dream for her. Respecting Sookie's reluctance to talk about this any further, Jess offered a small smile and they made their way into Sephora by the time they finished their shopping spree, they were saddled down with no less than four bags each. Retail therapy was always a wonderful thing.

Chapter 2

Having had only time to drop Jess off at her and Hoyt's place-boy, it was still hard not to call it "Bill's place", Sookie arrived at Bellefleur's at almost 9 as Lafayette was cooking away on the last few orders of the night. Usually on Fridays, they were open later but being boss, Arlene wanted to close up a little earlier than usual in order to get some much needed rest. The plan was, to get done by eleven at the latest. Of course, Sookie knew that nothing ever went to plan. Even the most inane of things.

"Hey girl." Arlene said, dressed in a floral print top and tan capris, matching flip flops on her feet revealing her freshly done pedicure. There was a glow about Arlene that Sookie had sorely missed, the happiness that had gone so cruelly months ago returned to her longtime friend. "Thanks again for coming in to help. How was girl's night out with Jess? She doin' ok?"

"Yeah, she and Hoyt are doing great. Very happy. She's looking forward to watching the kids tomorrow. Hoyt too, apparently."

"I am glad they got back to each other, ya know…..and I feel like crap how I used to treat her. Honestly, she is a sweet girl and a hard worker and my kids couldn't be in any safer hands than her and Hoyt. Now that he's joined the police force with Jason, its gotta be great for them again after all that happened in the past."

"Yeah…they are making a good team, especially with Andy overseeing things. Jason can get….a little overzealous. Still, it's the most excited I have ever seen him get over a job."

"Nice." Arlene beamed as she had a thought. "Do you think jess would like playing games with the kids, I mean, I ain't never had a vamp baby sitter before. Its always been me and Keith or just me with the kids since….you know."

Nodding, Sookie smiled. "Jess loves kids, she did have a sister when she was human and she's game for anything."

Relieved, Arlene had a thought. "Have you…..you all give any thought on having kids yourself? I mean, have you and Eric thought about….."

"Adopting?" a all too familiar voice called from the open door of the bar. It was exceedingly rare for the Viking to make an appearance at Bellefleur's but since his marriage to Sookie, he was trying to accept that part of her life too and he took a little pleasure at seeing Lafayette's face whenever he did show up. Not that he would harm him, it was much more fun to merely intimidate Lafayette. But Eric had told Sookie in private that he actually had come to appreciate and even like the flamboyant cook. "That, is a very intriguing question, if I may say so." he nodded in greeting to Arlene. "Nice to see your business thriving."

Arlene was still intimidated by the force that was Eric but he had treated her well, even giving her a good deal on New Blood. "Thanks….um, I should…go over and check on Lafayette, see if he is almost done cooking for the night."

"Always a pleasure." Eric smirked as his eyes met Lafayette's, but the fear as not as present as normal and the cook even managed a brief wave. Another smirk from the vamp who turned his attentions back to his wife. "So….I got you note about being home late and I was bored….I thought I would wait around for you to finish up?"

"I'll only be a few hours at most." she replied as he kissed her forehead and proceeded to sit in a booth, taking a call on his cell phone. Sighing and somewhat glad to avoid what she knew he wanted to discuss, she did as she promised and helped Arlene close the bar for the night.

Chapter 3

The bar securely locked up, Arlene drove off in her new minivan and gave the couple a wave goodbye. Seeing the car seat for Mikey on the back seat gave Sookie a pang of longing and from her earlier discussion she found her hubby waiting for her, seated at a picnic table underneath a pavilion that Arlene had recently had fixed up. "Hey." she greeted him, sliding into a seat beside him and kissing him on the cheek. But something seemed to be troubling him, there was a pensive look on his face. "What? Something wrong? Again? I mean, because we've been through so much I wouldn't be surprised if something were going to hell again and I can't be surprised about that and….I am going to stop rambling now…"

He bit his lip and turned to look at her. "I have been thinking about what you and Arlene were talking about when I first arrived. I have thought about it all evening, to be honest. And I know its is playing on your mind now too.

"About what?" she replied innocently, though the fidgeting of her fingers made her realize she was a terrible liar.

"Come on, Sookie." he replied with a frown. "You know as well as I do you've been thinking about children. I have seen your face when you see them out and about with their families and your face tonight as you looked at the photos behind the bar…..I notice more than you give me credit for."

"So I like kids…..I have never said I wanted any." she said coolly, avoiding his hard look at her.

"I am exceedingly wealthy. I can give you any house, car, outfit, bauble you could ever desire. But the one thing I can not give you is what I know you have wanted. And not just because of the conversation tonight. You've wanted it for a long time and it pains me I can't give it to you. Perhaps during my brief time when I was human for a day, thanks to your grandfather."

"You…you would actually want to have kids?" she frowned. "And not for a meal?"

He gave her a appalled expression. "There is clearly even more to me than you realize." he took her hands and smirked, as only he could. "I did help care for the young ones in my village and did look after my infant sister." he turned away for a moment, relieving the moment where he saw the tiny body on the floor, killed by werewolves. "I clearly didn't do enough that day, but I can honestly say I learned a great deal that day and over the years. And now, there is no choice but for me to be the great protector I was born to be."

"Why not?" she sniffed as she wiped away tears rolling down her face, not having counted on this being as emotional as it was getting.

"Because…..you are pregnant." he said with a gleam in his eyes.

Chapter 4

She bolted up from the bench and looked panicky. "How? I mean….impossible."

"The other day when I was so briefly human and just before I became the real me again….." He reminded her gently of their few minutes as a mostly normal couple and she clasped her hand over her mouth as it came back to her in a wave. "But…how do you know?"

"I can smell it on you. Shifters aren't the only supes that can detect such things and as ever,, vampires are far better at being able to tell what it will be. Months sooner before a shifter can." he bragged, though his smile faded as he saw the look on her face. "Are you not pleased?"

She grimaced. "I…..this…it's not going to drive you away…you mean, you really want this to happen?" she patted her stomach absently, looking up at his face. "You know I will get fat and who knows if it will be more than one since I am faerie….." she trailed off, hanging her head."

He took her gently by the chin and guided her head to look back up at him. "I could care less what you look like. As gorgeous as you are, it is your spirit and fight within you I came to love most and I am looking forward to having teacup humans with you….though, I wonder….what would they be?"

Sookie frowned. "Your guess is as good as mine, though I can promise that they will need to be given a good long explanation as to the freakish natures of their parents." she had to smile, though ruefully.

"You really don't seem happy about this." he frowned deeper as she turned from him, looking up at the night sky instead, though he could see her tears beginning to fall.

"Look at our life together and even back when we were only friends. Acquaintances. Trouble wherever we go and I have come to accept it. Hell, I even have kind of liked the excitement rather than resent it, especially being what I am now. But to add a kid to the mix….I would hate for them to get mixed up in the trouble that seems to always follow us."

"Sookie. Think about who their parents are. Would they really be in danger? That I would allow just anyone to watch over them or that they would ever be placed in anywhere other than perfect safety?" Eric was growing somewhat annoyed by the reluctance, the seemingly depressed state of his wife more than just a little unnerving to Eric. "I don't want this to turn into a argument."

"I wasn't looking for one." she replied softly. "I am actually happy about this, I wanted this more than I realized. But you can't blame me for worrying, can you?"

He thought a moment. She was right, they certainly had been through a great deal over the years and no doubt, more troubles would befall them. He, being so famous and she too, as a result of their union. They had a circle of friends, human, vamp and other who would help protect them. There was no doubt of that. "Perhaps we can consult with your Dr. Ludwig about this. And your grandfather, of course."

She nodded meekly as she allowed him to pull her into his arms where they remained for several minutes, both with only one thing on their minds. And whatever it happened to be, the life within Sookie's belly, they both knew at least, that they would care for it no matter what.

Chapter 5

They entered the living room a hour or so later and they were not alone. Both Niall and Dr Ludwig were in the kitchen, sipping some wine and eating some pasta. "Sorry for imposing, but I had such a hankering for some pasta." Niall wiped his face with a silk napkin and approached the couple, shaking Eric's hand while embracing his granddaughter. "I suppose congratulations are in order." he paused. "You have concerns."

"Well she wouldn't be normal if she didn't….not that she and that Viking are normal anyhow." Dr Ludwig interjected. "He called us and said he'd pay me well for such short notice. So. How are you feeling?"

Sookie was still trying to process everything and looked down at the diminutive doctor. "I feel…..fine. Just worried and anxious and-"

"You want to know what your kid's gonna be. If it will take more after you or him. I need to take some blood from you first and run some tests on it. I have never dealt with a case like this before, I can honestly tell you. That he was human when you conceived….leave it to you two to make things interesting." Dr Ludwig offered Sookie a rare smile and patted her hand gently. "But you two shouldn't worry. I can get this running tonight and come back tomorrow night with the results. That's the fastest I can do this." she said the last part looking specifically at the impatient Viking. "Unless you want it screwed up."

Filling a syringe with Sookie's blood, the doctor soon left and Niall was left alone with his family. "You really shouldn't worry so…..but I think you will not have a normal pregnancy, dear one. Faster, as you are faerie. Mostly."

"So, what….I'll have kids like Andy did….kids that grow from babies to young adults in a matter of weeks?"

"Actually, I am not sure if that will be the case. As you know now, there was a part of him that was always vampire, as he has lived as such for so long. However, even I am in the dark for what your child-or children, if you do wind up with multiples-will be."

Sookie didn't seem much comforted by Niall's words any more than she had Dr Ludwig. "I appreciate your honesty…." she felt something and wrapped her arms around herself as if in pain and felt something. Before the others in the room with her, she watched as her flat, toned stomach grew slightly more rounded, stretching out her Bellefleur's work shirt she had thrown on during her brief shift that evening.

"Did I just see what I think I did?" Eric said, blue eyes going from Sookie to Niall, who looked equally stunned, a expression neither usually showed.

"Looks like there certainly is a lot of faerie in the little one-or one's-in there." Niall looked at Sookie. "May I?" he moved his hand to rest it on her swelling belly and she, though scared, nodded. Putting his hand on her stomach, he closed his eyes for after several tense moments, he opened them and smiled. "They are healthy, I can safely say that much, though I am interested in seeing what the results of the blood test will be. I will have to defer to the good doctor to fill in the blanks here."

"There's more than one…." she paled, becoming almost as pale as Eric, who was smiling.

"Yes. Twins."

Stumbling backwards, she assisted from falling on her rear end onto the floor by Eric, who couldn't help look back to her belly. "How are you feeling?"

As if on cue, she proceeded to vomit all over him and his leather jacket. "You go through more jackets than anyone I know." Sookie tried to joke and gave him a apologetic look. "Niall, thank you for coming but I…I think I want to get a bath and go to bed. You'll be back for the blood test results?"

"I have some other matters to attend to in Faery but I assure you, I will come to you when you summon me. I will know when you need me too, our light connects us." he reminded her gently. With a kiss on the forehead, he blinked out of the house and left the two alone.

Chapter 6

"I can't believe this….." she stared at her reflection in the mirror. She could swear she was getting bigger by the moment. Tomorrow wouldn't come fast enough, she wanted every answer she could get and was concerned that even Niall seemed a little out of the loop about this situation. Dressed in flannel pants and a camisole, she already felt fat. Not that she minded, for the end result would be worth it. It was merely the strangeness of it all that was eating at her.

"Tomorrow night, we will know more. The important thing to know is that if he were concerned about your well being, Niall would not have left, he would be at your side as well. That he went back to Faery, should be of com comfort." Eric helped her into their big bed and settled down beside her, having tossed his vomit covered clothes in the wash. Stripped down to a fresh pair of jeans and a tank top, he hugged her close to him. "It will be fine, we have certainly been through worse, have we not?"

She sniffled, trying not to cry. She was already hormonal, she thought to herself with amazement. Not that she wasn't already a passionate and emotional person, but… "Thanks….I am glad to have you here with me. And if you happen to still be dead for the day when Dr. Ludwig comes tomorrow-" she stopped when she got a look from him. "I have a feeling you won't sleep much either."

"Most likely not…..but the important thing is that you do." he replied, stroking her hair gently. "You are sleeping for two now."

"God, for all I know I could be as bog as a house by morning!" she said, feeling slightly more relaxed and able to offer a smile that wasn't a nervous one. She genuinely felt better and it was because of the only person in her life who truly understood her inside and out. The one person she knew she couldn't bear living without. And with how many times she had pushed him away, treated him so poorly. She still kicked herself for being so foolish yet was grateful for the forgiveness. Looking at the wedding band on her hand and then at his, she sighed before drifting off to sleep.

Chapter 7

He was, of course, gone when she awoke, no doubt forced to retreat into the cubby or the basement for the day. Dragging herself to get out of bed, she gasped as she saw-or didn't see-when she awoke.

"My feet are gone." she said as she looked at her reflection in the full length mirror in the guest room across the hall that was once hers. She felt better having taken over her gran's old room, like she was still there with her in spirit. And having had previous encounters with gran's spirit, Sookie knew that she was probably here in the room with her now. "This is unreal." She muttered as she went rummaging through the closet, needing to find clothes she thought she could fit into for more than a few hours. For all she knew, she would have the kids in a matter of hours. As fast as fae babies grew, she knew something was off. Hopefully tonight, she would get some answers. Grateful to have found some old sweatpants and a large baggy sweatshirt, she tossed them on and waddled downstairs to eat some breakfast. All day long she puttered around the house, watching her stomach to see if it would get any larger. Relieved that since the morning there was no change, she couldn't help but retreat to the basement , the newly installed metal door secured by a key fob. They were not taking anything to chance anymore, if they could help it. Punching in the numbers, she crept slowly down into the dimly lit chamber only to run face first-rather belly first-into Eric, who should have been sleeping still.

"I knew I would be up before nightfall…actually…I didn't sleep…." he looked from her face to her stomach and the look of pure shock was definitely a Kodak moment. She had to smile and wished she had her camera in hand at this moment. "You're…"

"A huge whale? Yeah, I know. It literally happened right before my eyes….
She nearly stumbled on the step they were standing on and since the sun was still out, he led her safely back downstairs to the long plush leather couch. "Thanks….." she sighed, leaning her had back on the cool leather, looking at the ceiling. "I must look like a nightmare."

"I've seen worse." he smirked, ignoring the trickle of blood dripping from his ears. "In many cultures, those in your condition are revered. As they were with my own, I should point out. And I think you are tough. Amazing in that you can cope with your current state. I know I can't even imagine what it feels like or what it will feel like when they come out-"

"I wish I could make you get the whole pregnant experience. wouldn't that be something?" Sookie giggled.

"I prefer my current physique, thank you very much." he replied. "I texted Pam and no doubt she will rally the rest of the family and they can be here tonight. But only if you want. I told her I would speak to you first."

Thinking it would be nice to have their whole family together for the blood test results along with any other information that would be divulged, Sookie conceded. "Tell her they can come over…not sure then the doctor will be over though."

"She called me a little while ago. Said about 7."

Chapter 8

Still feeling a mess in her sweatshirt and sweatpants, she was nevertheless comfortable as she lay on the couch in the living room, dozing on and off. And then the knock at the door. "I've got it." Eric said, stopping her from getting up. He certainly had doted on her during the time they had anticipated the doctor returning. Still, she at least put herself in a sitting position as the door was opened, revealing not Dr. Ludwig, but Pam, Tara, Willa and Godric.

"Good evening." Godric said as Eric bowed his head reverently towards his maker. "No need for any of that, Eric. We are on equal footing…I was surprised to hear the news of what has transpired, however."

"Yeah, I was too." Pam said, entering the room and looking at Sookie. "You look…big."

"Thanks for the compliment." Sookie smiled as Willa and Tara took a seat on the couch with her, Willa smiling.

"How are you feeling, Sookie?" she asked as she handed her a small wrapped package. "I know it's not much but I wanted to bring something over."

"Aw, thank you." Sookie replied and opening the package, found a small stuffed baby teddy bear in a dozing pose, pacifier in its mouth. It was both cheesy and cute at the same time but it was the gesture that made Sookie smile.

"It was actually mine…..I finally had the chance to go through the governors mansion to gather my belongings and I came across some baby stuff of mine. I thought this would be comforting and cute." Willa said as Sookie help the little bear in her hands gently.

"I am touched." Sookie replied and hugged her.

"I was going to try to find a nice set of knives or some kind of loud weapon for the kid since likely it will be walking and talking in no time…..I still can't believe this is happening though…" Pam said with a frown that anyone who knew her would say concealed some joy over the unexpected occurrence. "I'll get the kids some clothes. Good ones. And little miniature pumps…." she added with a smile she could no longer conceal. "Ok, ok, I am a little excited over this news. Tell anyone outside this room and I'll be smashing some heads in."

There was laughter in the room as Niall popped in and it was then Sookie couldn't believe Jason wasn't included in this. She said as much and in a instant, there stood her brother, clad in only boxers and flip flops, toothbrush in mouth.

"What the hell?" he asked pulling the brush out of his foamy mouth, looking around at the gathering and he took a double take at his sister who he had just seen a few nights earlier. "Something you wanna be telling' me Sook? And grandpa, why didn't ya just call me instead of poofing me over here?"

More laugher and as Jason was brought to speed, there was another, more impatient knock on the door. It was Dr. Ludwig.

Chapter 9

Having found Jason some spare clothes to throw on, all the family were gathered in the living room as the doctor revealed the results and explained just why and how things had escalated as they had,

"Because of the magic involved in him being made human for a day, it would seem it has had an effect on the pregnancy, speeding it up. I have looked over the blood sample and can tell you a great deal than I had really expected to."

"Is she going to be ok? What will the babies be?" asked Tara impatiently.

"She will be fine and the babies will be healthy as well. Truth is, her blood is so unusual thanks to being a hybrid that I was able to detect the lives of the babies, which, as it turned out, were already at the equivalent of being at the ten week point in a human's pregnancy. Clearly, she was not showing nearly that much last night but has caught up substantially."

"Weird." was all Tara could say.

"Yes. It's a lot to absorb and this is a new one for me. What I saw in the blood was that there is clearly a lot of faerie blood within her and the kids. But there is also enough vampire blood in there too. Not just because she slept with the Viking, but she has drank enough of his blood for that to interact with the lingering magic of the spell that had made him human. This is the most logical think I could come up with but I feel it is the best explanation. What I have learned from the blood however is that the vampire blood will stop the normal rate of aging for the little ones. Making them age more slowly than they would have if they were to be entirely fae. Mind you, that is what they will mostly be but if I were you, sweetie, I would think twice about breastfeeding." the doctor handed a folder of the findings to Sookie who took to reading it, scanning it over and over again for several minutes. Handing the folder behind her to where Eric stood behind the couch, he too took to reading the results.

"So the bottom line is that his magic helped make our kids hybrids but they will also age slower. Will they have powers of both of us too?" he asked the doctor.

"Like I said before, this is a new one on me. She is progressing with her pregnancy faster than even a full blooded faerie. I believe that is caused by you being put under a spell by a faerie as powerful as Niall Brigant. Once the kids arrive, something about the magic from before will slow their aging process. Slower than a average faerie, I do believe. As far as to being hybrids, I think there is a real chance they could go either way, as being mostly vamp or mostly faerie. Or even equally as such." the doctor looked at her watch impatiently. "If you will excuse me, I have some other appointments to deal with tonight, though I think none will be as strange as this one. I'll send you a bill." Dr. Ludwig said curtly before leaving the house.

"So….looks like there won't be much time for a baby shower." Willa commented, trying to break the stunned silence of the room as the folder of the results passed around the room.

There was a grunting noise as Sookie gasped. "No, I don't think so. "I think we need to get to the hospital."

TO BE CONTINUED

#19- Chips off the old block

Chapter 1

While Godric, Nora and Pam flew ahead of them to the hospital to ensure privacy, Eric decided to drive Sookie and the rest in the large SUV they owned. Having upgraded to only the best and sturdiest Hummer that money could by, room for everyone was really not a issue though Sookie grumbled that she alone took enough room for two or three people. "You aren't that big, just slightly smaller than a blue whale." Tara quipped as she held the passenger door open for Sookie to climb up into.

"Thanks a lot." she replied as she settled into the seat. On the phone with Pam, Eric drove like lightning with one hand while conversing on his phone, but with a withering look from Sookie, realized he was being reckless. Not that that was unusual for him but this time the circumstances were different. Slowing the vehicle down, they made it to the hospital twenty minutes later. Scooping her into his arms, the Viking wasted no time in getting her to reception. As much as hospitals were sticklers for getting admitting paperwork, insurance information and the like settled beforehand, the receptionist did not have a death wish either, as she recognized the vampire standing before her. Not that she, or anyone else would really remember, Eric and the others with him would ensure that a thorough glamouring job would be done as soon as she was well enough to leave the hospital.

"She WILL be taken to a private room, the best you have." he said calmly to the receptionist who went to being out a wheelchair but one look from the towering vampire made her realize that he and he alone was going to be taking her to the room.

"Yes….we have some new suites we have but they aren't quite ready yet….not painted fully or-"

"Do they have all that is required? Equipment, heat, water, whatever you need to ensure the health of her and the children?" Tara asked, Willa at her side and seeing that these women were vampires as well, she only grew more fearful.

"There is one suite that is perfectly ready…..I can lead you up but there is a limit on visitors….though I can make an exception." she added hastily.

"I want you two to start glamouring the people around here who saw us arrive. Now." Eric ordered Tara and Willa. "I suspect Pam will have already figured out where we will wind up."

Sure enough, they entered the private suite, a large room swathed in pastels and whimsical children characters and there seated on a couch was his maker and his first progeny.

"It's almost like you two are telepathic." Sookie turned to look at the receptionist. "Please. Go get a doctor. Sorry for my friends, they are….a little on edge." Sookie said apologetically to the poor frazzled receptionist who hurried away, no doubt to wind up glamoured by the vampires back on the ground floor only after getting a doctor sent up to the third story room.

"We're always in sync." Pam grinned as she looked around. "If there ain't a doctor in here in five minutes, I will hunt one down."

As she settled into the hospital bed, Godric gestured for Eric to come speak across the room. Though reluctant, he would never refuse his maker and even at this point in time, he still would not dream of it. "What is it?"

"You…..look worried. I know you like hiding behind that temper and angst of yours….but you are not fooling anyone. You are fearful for her-their survival."

Narrowing his eyes at Godric, the anger faded into the truth. He was very concerned, it was true. Everything Godric said was true. "I never planned on this happening. The thought of putting innocent lives in to the picture. In our lives, which have never been easy-"

"If there is anyone who can handle this it is you two. As far as the twins go, they will have the same warrior's spirit as their parents and after all these centuries, does it not feel good to have created something other than a vampire? After all your time alone, after all the suffering, why allow fear to threaten all you've gained for yourself. What she has gained." Godric nodded towards Sookie who was being tended to by the surprising team of Nora and Pam. "If those two can get along, than why not you finally settle into a good life with your soon to be expanded family?"

As much as he always had hated to admit it, Godric was right. Fear could only create more problems and cause him to miss out on the pleasantries his life was affording him. "I am grateful for her. For her grandfather bringing you all back…for the first time, I feel…almost at peace. And maybe someday, that true, complete peace will finally stop eluding me."

"Believe it or not, I think you have gotten that. And then some, when the little ones arrive."

"Peace? With screaming, crying babies?" quipped Eric but this time he smirked.

"You really have grown, haven't you? You are so different from the last time we were together in the flesh. I am proud of you, you know."

"I appreciate that. If I had known what my choice would have led to that night as I lay on the pyre…if I had known I would gain a new family, to have all that has happened, the good and the bad….I would go through it all over again."

The older vampire was clearly brimming with pride of not only the Viking but the rest of the family that they were a part of. Then, the piercing screams brought them straight to her bedside as a doctor entered the room.

Chapter 2

The doctor was anxious as he came into the room filled with vampires and to add to the odd sight before him, Niall appeared in a flash of light in the room. "Let the man do his work, glamour later." Niall said to Eric who was holding Sookie's hands tightly as she winced in pain. "This has escalated quickly, has it not?"

"Well, thank you for stating the obvious." snapped Pam who was putting a damp cloth on Sookie's forehead, a small gesture even she herself never imagined she would be performing. Loathe as she was to admit it, Sookie had changed more than the Viking. Maybe it wouldn't be so bad being a aunt-figure to the twins. "Get your ass over here, doctor whatever your name is and see what you can do."

The doctor tried playing it cool, not exactly comprehending the full situation, that the woman was no mere human and nor would the babies be. Seeing the exasperation of the others in the room and not wanting a frazzled doctor to be tending to Sookie, Godric took control, gently forcing the doctor to meet his gaze, "We will not harm you and we only want you to care for the woman and see to the children arriving safely and soundly. Soon, you will have no memory of us or your time with any of us. For now, check on her."

The doctor's eyes were glazed over thanks to the glam outing and nodding slightly, he went to the bedside of Sookie, no longer threatened by the fanged creatures in the room with him or the strange older man who had suddenly appeared out of nowhere. "I want everyone save for the father to leave the room please." the doctor went to a intercom and pushed a button. "These little ones will be out within the hour."

Everyone looked mutinous, not wanting to leave but for the well being of all involved, Eric echoed the doctor's orders. "Situate yourself inside and out of this room. Keep an eye out for anything suspicious and Niall….I wish you to remain here with us,"

Nodding, Niall looked around at Pam, Willa, Nora, Godric and Tara. "Do as he says. Keep this area secure and wait for word from one of us."

Reluctantly, they all spread out both inside and outside of the room, Pam and Godric hovering just outside the open window as they could fly. The others took posts just outside the roomy suite.

"Lucky I have so many friends…" Moaned Sookie as another sharp pain tore through her as her grandfather stood beside Eric, the doctor on the opposite side. Several nurses entered the room and everything became a blur as things were set up, put into position for the arrival of the twins. "Are you okay?" she looked over to Eric who looked more worried than she ever had seen him.

"You're being torn apart on the insides and you're asking me if I am okay? I can not imagine the pain you are feeling….there wasn't even any time for you to get any drugs to help."

"Drugs would not be very effective on her, being what she is." Niall explained. "Things sped along too fast anyhow. "

"She's in pain, is there nothing you can do for her?" Eric snapped, fangs popping out.

"I can try but she needs to be awake to bring the little ones into the world." Niall looked at Sookie who was crying, tears falling down her face. Putting a hand on her forehead, there came a rose colored glow that came over her and she felt the warmth take hold, the pain numbing somewhat. Able to focus, Sookie took to obeying the orders of the doctor. To push, to breathe steadily. And as the minutes passed, the seconds ticked along, there finally came the light at the end of the tunnel. Literally, as a glowing light shone through her lower half from under the drapes and there came the cries of new life into the world.

Chapter 3

Having had the two nurses clean up the newborns and tending to her needs, the doctor was quickly sent out of the room as soon as it was assured that Sookie would recover well. With her being faerie and vampire, she would of course, heal nicely but still, it had not been a easy thing for her to go through and they waited until they were alone for Eric to give her some of his blood, helping her recover to almost being perfectly fit once more. Niall had left the room to announce the arrival of the little ones and that the stay at the hospital would be brief. They would depart tomorrow as soon as the sun went down. Niall sent the vamps to glamour everyone that had been in contact with them all as to leave not a shred of evidence of their arrival or the existence of the children. Niall would see to the cleaning up of the room using his powers as soon as they departed tomorrow evening and he spelled the room to keep anyone from entering. As far as anyone knew, there wasn't even a room here, people would pass it by time and time again until they were gone. Niall told them he would come to Sookie should she require any help.

For now, dawn was still a few hours away and not ready for the rest of their family to join them, Sookie and Eric made the most of their alone time. The burses had put the crib next to the bed but Sookie had insisted in holding them both at once and as they settled snugly against her, she glowed with pride as she watched then doze. "Are you ready to hold one of them? You won't break them, I know you won't" she said to him as he watched the tranquil scene.

"It has been a thousand years since I held a baby…I may be…somewhat rusty." he replied as he gingerly plucked up the boy. "A healthy boy and a healthy girl. Pam will no doubt spoil them both."

"Everyone will, I think." Sookie agreed as she stroked the blonde hair of her daughter. "But I think we may end up with a little mini Pam, what with the clothes and whatever else she may have up her sleeve."

Laughing at the picture in his mind he had of the baby with Sookie becoming a Pam-clone, he looked at the baby he held. "And perhaps this one will take after me. A little mini Viking with strikingly good looks and a penchant of chasing after stubborn waitresses."

Rolling her eyes, she shook her head. "Thinking back to where we were a year ago…..and now here we are. Together and now with kids? Never would have thought I would get so lucky. I never thought I could have it all but I feel like I do." her thoughts were interrupted by a impatient knocking.

"That would be Pam." Eric said as he went to let the rest of the family in to meet the new additions.

"You said to give you a hour and we gave you a hour." she said with a frown as they all took turns holding babies. "Glamouring is done and over with…..they're….cute. Cuter when they no longer have to wear diapers, I dare say. But cute."

"They are beautiful." agreed Godric as he held the girl baby and passed it to Tara who grinned.

"So…..I guess I can be Auntie Tara…kids are gonna have vamps for Aunts, a faerie grandfather, you two for parents….our family is still less strange and messed up than my own human one was."

There was a shared laugh among them all, and Willa especially looked the most emotional. "I…..thought I was going to be a orphan forever. And now, I have a new family too. And if you'll let me, I would like to be a aunt to the little ones too, Sookie."

Smiling at Willa, Sookie nodded. "The more aunts the merrier…thank you. All of you, for keeping things safe for us. We really appreciate it. I was worried that something would go terribly, horribly wrong with some kidnapper or some supe breaking in or…some thing else as unwelcome. I am lucky to have all of you as family." Sookie started to tear up as she looked down at the baby on her arms and at her right where Eric held their son.

"If you two don't need anything else, we had better get a move on before we get as crispy as he did on that mountain….still can't believe you did something that stupid." Pam gave Eric a look to which he shot one, albeit a smug one, back at her.

"I'm still here, am I not?" he replied. "But we are fine and believe me, you all will be enlisted to help with the twins. I will not take their lives or safety to chance as I have my own, I promise you."

"You'd better keep that promise or you will have me to deal with." Sookie said with a wicked gleam in her eyes and knowing how fierce she could be, he was not foolish enough to believe it was a idle threat.

One by one, the vamps left the room until it was only Niall who remained. "I will leave you as well then, you both seem happier than I have seen you in some time. More content. Almost as if something was missing has been put into that empty slot. I can help arrange for some….babysitting services should you desire. After all, he can only be of use at night and the human friends of yours are no doubt busy with their own lives. And your brother is busy with his job….." Niall pointed out as the couple looked at each other. Yes, there was several things that would need to be dealt with immediately. With a kiss on her head, Niall vanished, leaving the two alone once more.

"This has been quite the day." she said with a yawn. "Tomorrow night we can go home-hopefully they won't be toddlers by then, though I believe Niall when he said he didn't think they would age as fast-and get some details hammered out. Names, for one."

"For now, what I want you to do is get some rest." he replied as he got up and tenderly placed the sleeping baby boy in the crib and offered to take the girl from her. As they lay in the roomy crib, snug and warm, triple checked for their warmth and security by their father, he knelt beside Sookie's bed. "I will come back tomorrow night to bring our family home…Sookie?" he asked as he saw her head was facing the other direction. Getting up, he looked down on her and saw she was fast asleep. With a final stroking of her hair, a smiling Eric left the room knowing she was safe in the spelled room, knowing that Niall would tend to her if needed until they arrived safely back home. Their home.

Epilogue

"It's….amazing. How in the world were you able to get such a thing done so fast?" she asked as she took in the surprise that awaited her when they returned home. Not only was there was an addition to the cozy yellow farmhouse, but it was like a bunker, this new "baby suite", as Eric had referred it as to being.

"I called in some favors after I left the hospital and your grandfather, of course was all for helping out. It is stronger than any bunker, more secure than anyplace I have ever been…like I said I will not leave anything to chance." he said as they carried the bundles into the room, a room with windows that could be sealed shut by thick blinds during the daytime but had lighting that could be made to replicate sunlight at those times as well. A pair of rocking chairs, cribs and a closet full of baby supplies completed the pastel colored room. Stuffed animals that no doubt cost a fortune due to their size were scattered around the room, which was carpeted in a thick lilac color.

"Quite a dichotomy, seeing you standing in a room like this." Sookie quipped as she settled the babies in their own cribs. "Big macho Viking vampire, you are. Tell me, did you have the design in mind?"

After giving her a withering glare tinged with amusement, he shrugged. "Not like we had a lot of time to prepare for this. And your grandfather can take most of the credit for the décor. However, it was me who wanted the room to be like a bunker. Installed a baby monitor in every room of the house and the basement."

She went to the window and opened it, letting the warm breeze waft into the room, the smell of the tulips from her garden wafting in. closing her eyes, she took in a deep breath before turning back to face him. "You are full of surprises aren't you?"

"Guilty."

She smiled as she sat in one of the rocking chairs. "And it would seem we are going to actually see them grow rather than have them wake up as two year olds. Though I would have liked to skip the whole diaper thing….." she said just as she got a whiff of something unpleasant coming from the crib. "Looks like a two for one." she grinned as she plucked one from the crib and proceeded to change his diaper. "How about you bring your daughter over and I can teach you a thing or two? Oh, if Pam could see you now!"

He took the other baby to the second changing table that was in the room. There was two of everything for the twins and as he gingerly set his daughter down and she cooed happily at him, he turned to his left and watched carefully as Sookie cleaned, dried and powdered their son's rear, placing a fresh pair of Pampers onto him. "I think I would prefer another trip to the mountains in the sunlight rather than deal with this." he said dryly. "Only because they are ours will I endure this."

She laughed as she put their daughter back in the crib and helped him do the same for their boy. Whatever did not kill one made them stronger and in the case of her Viking, watching him clean up their son, she realized he truly had gone through the ringer for the one thing he had wanted for so long. Family.

The End

#20- Trouble in Paradise

Author's Note: I wanted to try something a little different with this story and if you don't like a bit of dabbling in fairy tales, then this may not be the story for you. But this was a idea I had for some time and wanted to experiment with it. I just wanted to try something a little different. J Thanks for reading!

Chapter 1

It had been a eventful week for the new parents, and an amusing one at that. Having made her hubby work at changing's, feedings and the like, Sookie felt Eric had become reasonably well trained at his new title as a father. To say nothing of being a Sherriff, business tycoon, bar owner and Viking warrior. The list he had of titles to his name was only growing. But he told her one night in bed that being a new dad was the most challenging this far.

"but also the most rewarding." he had been quick to point out as they cuddled in bed on a Thursday night. "There is still the issue of names for them. Calling them "he" and "she" is growing a bit annoying."

"I know…I did have a idea for the girl's name, though. I was thinking about Adele for my grandmother. I think she would have adored these two. And you as well." Sookie added as she looked up at his face, the vampire looking deep in thought. "If you want something different, we can pick something-"

"No. I think that is commendable you want to pay homage to your grandmother and am sorry I never got to meet her. Would you give me the honor of coming up with our son's name, though?"

"Only if you agree to Adele for our daughter…..and for the middle names, I would like a suggestion from your background and I can give you one for our son from my background.." she replied with a smirk. "The best of both worlds, the American south and your Viking heritage."

"How diplomatic of you. Agreed…..but I am still debating on the name I want to give our son. Like you wish to honor your family, I wish to honor my long gone family. It's proving more difficult than I thought. It would be. I wonder how long it took for my name to be chosen." he mused as he stroked her blonde hair absently.

"I would have loved to have seen you back in the day…..wayyyy back in the day."

"I can safely say I look far better now, the hygiene today is of course, superior to what it was then in the village. Not that I could truly be filthy, mind you. I was the son of a king."

"And you can certainly be a real son of a bitch when you want to be." she replied sassily.

"Ah, I have always loved when fairy Sookie came out to play….and you've been doubly feisty since you became a hybrid. No matter what, you know I've always loved you in some way or another…and I still want to try to make up for my transgressions in the past."

She cocked her head as she looked at him. "Would that be the oh so fun fang-rape you and Russell Edgington performed on me to get him to meet the sun or would it be how you treated me when I was taken to his mansion. I could go on. But I won't because of one thing."

"What would that be?"

"The fact that you were trying to save me in whatever way you could think of without causing me the most harm. I was angry at you for a very long time, feeling like I was either your plaything or merely a object, a trophy to be won. But then after you got sick and you almost….I was woken up to the truth and I have long since forgiven you. So that's that."

"Your goodness is….too much." he smiled at her, grateful for so much she had given him, both emotionally and physically. "I like Majken for Adele's middle name. it means "rebellious woman" in Swedish. And considering her mother, I think it is all to appropriate. Adele Majken…..what do you think?" he asked as Sookie got out of bed to open the window. As the fresh air wafted in, she had never more felt more in tune with nature, of course, unsurprising as she was faerie.

She nodded. "I like it. So that's settled then. Adele Majken." she turned around to find him right there behind her. "Any ideas for our son? I would very much like it if we could go with the middle name of William."

His face was expressionless for a few seconds as he absorbed this suggestion. To name his own son partly after her ex, now dead and lost to the heavens? Then again, Eric reminded himself, Bill had atoned for his transgressions and in the end had proven himself worthy of the friendship that the three of them had had right to the end. It had never been a easy relationship between the two vampires but seeing as the magic that had allowed Bill entry to heaven, to rejoin his human family in the afterlife, that spoke volumes. Finally, he spoke. "Bill and I had our differences and as much as a asshole he was off and on during the time you two were together-and not-he did turn out decent in the end. So I agree to that being the middle name of our son."

Grateful that the feelings of the past had not bittered him towards the name choice, she sighed with relief. "So now with the first name…."

"I think I may need to sleep on it." he replied as he looked up at the night sky with her. "I want the names to be nothing but perfection."

Chapter 2

Awaking the next morning, she of course, was alone. Entering the baby suite, she had heard some noise on the monitor in the room and judging by the way the changing tables looked, askew but clean, Eric had been up to change them. Shaking her head in wonder that he, of all people, was on diaper duty, she greeted the babies one by one, offering them a bottle each. They were already teething and so breastfeeding, she had quickly decided, was not an option. Aging slower than pure faeries yet faster than normal humans, it was clear these babies were straddling the line of being faerie and vampire. Sunlight, she had been wary to test on them but needed to know, was not harming them a bit. There was a scribbled note on one of the rocking chairs and she sat down to read it.

"'I thought of the first name for our son….it holds as much meaning as the one we selected for our daughter and I spent hours on the internet to help me select the name. How does Hjalmar William suit you? It means "fighter with helmet" and I happened to have fought once, long ago with a warrior with that very name. we could reverse the names, if you want. Will see you in the evening.;" the letter was signed by Eric and as she said the name in her mind over and over, she liked this name as well. Getting up, she paced between the cribs that held part of her and Eric.

"Adele Majken and…I think I prefer it the other way….Hjalmar William." Sookie said to herself as she looked from her son to her daughter. Happily fed and dozing, Sookie was eventually able to return to tidying up the rest of the house. And then, there came a knock on the front door.

"Sookie." Niall said with a smile. "I didn't want to just pop in…felt it would be more appropriate to knock on the door first. "How are the little ones doing? I have watched from Faery and saw that they have teeth. And that they are clearly not aging as the typical fae would?"

"They just fell to sleep. And yes, they are aging a little faster than normal kids but not as fast as Andy's kids did…..want to come in and see them? Oh, and thanks for helping build the baby suite. It was really generous of you."

"Think of it as a late baby shower gift." Niall grinned as he stepped into the house. "How does the Viking fare as a father thus far?"

"The house is still standing and to be honest, he keeps surprising me. I think he's more caring and nurturing than he would ever be willing to admit."

Nodding his approval, Niall walked over to the door leading into the baby suite, a key pad outside the door keeping unwanted people at bay. Of course, he would know the combination or could just teleport inside the room. Instead, he allowed Sookie to gain entry into the room where under the soft sunlight, the babies still dozed. He stood back as Sookie went to Adele who was stirring. Something in the air was off, a vibe was beginning to be felt. As she turned to see of her grandfather felt it too, Sookie was greeted by a searing pain. As being mostly faerie now, she was much more susceptible to the substance the net was forged from. Thick, cold an unyielding, the iron net wormed around herself as if alive, tightening itself around her and even her vampire powers were unable to fight against the net, clearly laced with something otherworldly.

Chapter 3

"Where am I? where are my kids?" she asked as she came to, in a familiar place that she thought she would not be returning to anytime soon, what with the arrival of the twins. But the room was rather palatial and she suspected that she was in a palace of some kind. Niall had his back to her as she saw the twins were safe, but on either side of her grandfather, each in new, more regal looking cribs. Turning to face her, she watched the familiar face and form of her grandfather melt into someone she had thought had been defeated when she and her grandfather Earl had escaped from Faery several years ago. Queen Mab stood looking triumphant and seeing her rather than her grandfather made Sookie feel both relieved, yet terrified.

"Your grandfather is fine. For now. Placed somewhere where he can not be a threat to me ever again. He managed to overthrow me once before but I managed to fight back to the top. But I don't want to bore you with events of the past, though the history between your grandfather's tribe and my own is quite juicy. It is good to see you again Sookie." the queen smiled as she sat on a throne., the babies sleeping through the tense meeting.

Struggling to sit in the chair forced of iron and still bound in the netting, Sookie managed to make her fangs come out, but it did little to do anything, let alone even intimidate the queen. "What do you want?"

"You have changed since you left the palace before….."

"It wasn't a palace. It was only an illusion. I remember running through the barren landscape while your friends threw their light balls at us. Trying to trap me here like a prisoner."

"But now here we are, in the real palace of the fae. Your grandfather was foolish to think it was wise to let you love your life in the other realm. To settle down with a vampire, of all creatures. Dirtying our bloodline." Mab shook her dark haired head. "I have brought you back here to try to…undo the damage done. However long as it takes but you and your children are abominations and I intend to repair the damage, whatever it may cost."

Sookie's mouth went dry. "There isn't any way of undoing what happened to me. I became this to save the man I love. And I would do it again, even knowing the payment."

"Those vampires have poisoned your mind and made you weak. You are better than they will ever be and you are royal to boot, yet you are a faerie-vamp and a waitress to boot. Unacceptable. I always wanted any trace of the fae to remain in this realm yet your grandfather created that faerie nightclub in your realm as a sanctuary, to allow our kind to have the best of both worlds. And then look what happened? A vampire broke in and killed them all, save for your cousin Hadley and little Hunter. I plan to get them here eventually, but one thing at a time….." Mab walked around the cribs and looked at the babies. "For being ghastly creatures, they are, admittedly, cute. It would be a shame if my tampering will put a end to them. And to you."

"Where. Is. Niall." Sookie spat angrily.

"Suffice it to say, there is a prison of sorts here in the palace that he himself designed for those who are dangerous. And as such, it is a place where those are left powerless to escape. Using my wiles and smarts, as my powers are not as strong as his, I was easily able to trick him into one of the cells. I made him see images of you and the babies bleeding out. Suffering. It was a good enough distraction for me to sneak up on him and shove him inside. The look of surprise on his face….." Mab chuckled, clearly proud of her handiwork. "For now, have no worries. You and the children will be granted a cell of your own where I will allow you to care for them. But you too, will find yourself powerless. Please, enjoy your stay, won't you?" waving a hand, Sookie and the two cribs blinked out of the room, appearing in a cell that was properly outfitted for her and the twins needs but was all so clearly a prison cell, the bars on the door making that fact perfectly clear.

Chapter 4

Alarm had woken him up the second he felt her vanish. Searching the house top to bottom, Eric found no sign of the twins or Sookie and knew that they were not in this realm any longer. Had she gone to visit her grandfather? He knew she could pass through the realms as she pleased, after all. But something was wrong. The front door of the house was open and there was still a faint feeling he felt through their bond. She was frightened. He had felt the same fear from her when Marnie had cast a spell, causing a ring of fire to swarm around Sookie, nearly incinerating her. Then he remembered the bracelet he wore, the bracelet he got from Niall that allowed him several hours of day walking ability a day, the bracelet needing to be recharged by the sun daily if its magic was to be renewed. Niall had also told him it would grant him access to Faery as well. It was clear Niall could come and go as he pleased, but try as he might, Eric couldn't work the magic that would let him travel to Faery. Remembering that Sookie had told him of two portholes hidden nearby, he himself having traveled through one before using Warlow's blood, he went straight to the cemetery.

Not wanting to drag anyone else into the fray, he felt the magic in the bracelet activate the closer he got to the spot where the porthole was. Just as it began to open before him, there was a sound behind him, swirling around to face whatever it was, he quickly retracted his fangs when he saw Godric standing there. "What are you doing here? It's not exactly the best…timing."

"I sensed something was wrong. Even though I released you, there is always that thread remaining. And so I dare say we will be joined by the others soon enough…."

"No. I don't want them pulled into this…I want to get to the other realm and bring them home. Alone."

"Still stubborn as ever. But if you think I will just walk away from this and leave you against forces even I do not fully understand….well, you are smart enough to know what I am getting at. This is a argument you will not win."

Pursing his lips, the Viking knew when he was bested and knew even more than when push came to shove, there was a very few number of people who he would make such a compromise with. Godric would always be up there on his list. "Fine. It will be like old times then, won't it?"

"I suspect we will have more to worry about than Nazis and werewolves. The fae realm is rumored to be home to other beings as well. Rumors, though..

"I am not afraid." he replied as he used the bracelet to reveal the porthole and as they stepped through into unknown territory they both couldn't help but feeling like they were entering the lion's den.

Chapter 5

"I've gotten to thinking." Mab said as she paced in the cell as a unnerved Sookie tried to care for the twins. "Maybe I am going about this all wrong. Maybe I shouldn't try risking their destruction by trying to remove the taint within them. I think with their powers, they could help ensure I remain firmly on the throne. Though they will not age as I would like, it certainly would give me time to teach them all they need to know. How to use their fae powers to their full advantage. But I can also not just allow you to sit in the cell. You are, after all, mostly of our kind."

Sookie didn't like how this was sounding at all. "What are you going to do?"

"Has your grandfather ever told you that there are other beings in this realm? Harmless, so long as you give them peace, but like any other creature, will defend themselves if need be."

"What, like leprechauns? Unicorns? Dragons?" Sookie was starting to laugh derisively at the less than amused queen.

"There is so much about Faery you are ignorant of and you are about to become a part of it. Permanently. When I am done with you, you will no longer want to return home to the life you felt behind. Your bond with that….thing….will be destroyed and you will be, in some form, anyway, part of the world I wanted you to be part of when you came here years ago. And you won't have a care in the world, not for your children nor for him."

Shuddering, Sookie watched as the queen blinked them to some underground caver, the stalagmites and stalactites studded with crystals that shone, giving a ethereal look but also gave some semblance of daylight through a large hole in the roof of the large place. There was a large lagoon and waterfall that flowed, though it was eerily silent.

They stood on the shore and the queen produced something. "You want me to eat that? You tried before and-"

"This, is no ordinary lumiere fruit." the queen said as she held the fruit up to her lips. "Your grandfather saw to their destruction when he learned I was having faeries harvested from the human realm. But I saved a few, wondering if I could replant, restore them. Unfortunately, I failed in restoring the lumiere trees. But what I did find, was a way to curse those that remained. And for some reason, did manage to grow a tree of the cursed fruits."

"they were already cursed. I saw that when my grandfather returned to Earth with me. I watched him die a painful death because he ate the fruit."

"There is no pain, this time. Well, perhaps at first, but all will become forgotten quite rapidly. Your mind will become rewired in order to suit my own needs and desires. I have already tested this fruit on several others who tried to find a way to escape. You remember your friend Barry?"

"Barry the bellboy?" Sookie replied as she remembered the only other telepath/faerie she had become real friends, or at least, acquaintances with. "He's here?"

Smiling serenely, the queen called out the name and over the still waters, there was a rippling motion in the water and a familiar face popped up over the surface. "Barry, you and the others will be getting a new guest shortly."

There was something in his eyes that seemed off, very off, Sookie thought to herself. She remembered seeing him trying to escape the realm before, the fear in his face very much evident. He now looked subdued. Subservient, almost. "My queen, the others will welcome her to the fold…we were about to work in the underwater mines for some of the gems you asked for."

"Slaves…..you turned them into slaves." Sookie wheeled around and faced the queen.

"Not just slaves. But into the one being that keeps the faerie powers nullified and thus no threat to myself or plans. I can not wait to see the end results of my handiwork but I sense we have come company. I am not surprised, I heard rumors of the bracelet that your beloved was given." the queen said nothing as she shoved the fruit into Sookie's mouth, forcing her to swallow but one bite. "All it takes is a single bite." using her own light, Mab sent the waitress flying into the air, landing in the water with a splash. "That takes care of one problem. Now to deal with the bigger one."

Chapter 6

They had arrived in a meadow, looking straight at a large marble palace, faeries strolling around the place but there was a air about the place that felt…evil. All those that they saw looked on edge and those who saw the two vampires arrive made haste to run away in fright. But there was one who didn't.

"You came for her….you must be the one she was speaking about that would come for Sookie." the young faerie boy said. "I am a servant…slave, more like it, as are most of our people since she trapped Niall. Where, I can only guess somewhere in the palace."

"Slow down….who are you?" Godric said, gesturing for the youngster to follow them into a thicket, a canopy of trees and brush concealing them from others.

"I am Orin. And I want to help you save her so that we can be saved. Niall needs to be freed to stop Mab from what she has been doing." explaining how the wicked fae queen was still rounding up fae from the human realm, he told the two of the battles she and Niall had had over the years. "They never got along but now, it's dire. What she has done to those who are truly a threat to her….I know now. But I fear for your wife and your children." Orin looked meaningfully at Eric. "I can help get you around the palace and I know every inch of it. But for now, we must keep our distance. I will find you when I can." before either of the vamps could reply, Orin vanished into thin air.

"Well, that was cryptic…..but perhaps helpful eventually. I have not the patience right now to sit and wait. I want to see this queen bitch right now."

"Your impatience has always been one of your weaknesses. Carelessness will only lead us into trouble in a land that fears us and would likely do whatever it took to rid itself of us. Come, let's make our way to the palace and perhaps being…polite, we can get a audience with this woman."

"Polite?" snorted Eric. "She kidnapped my family."

"I still have faith in being decent. That has not changed."

Shaking his blonde head, he was nonetheless grateful that he was not taking on this challenge alone. Once they reached the guarded doors of the palace, they were allowed in without incident. Led by some regally dressed faeries, they arrived in the throne room, where he could detect a familiar smell. Three, actually. "They were in this room."

"Yes. They were. And they are safe and unharmed, I promise you." a cool voice rang out as Mab appeared before them seated on her throne. "And I vow that they will remain unharmed. They are all still part fae and as such have value. They will not return to your realm, however." Mab walked up to the two and looked them both up and down. "For monsters, you certainly have handsome wrappings, but I know what lurks beneath the surface. Savages. Bloodthirsty savages who have caused this realm enough pain. I know for a fact it was you who drained Claudine, Eric." Mab pointed a long finger at the Viking who didn't look a bit ashamed.

"She seemed to want the same thing you do. To trap Sookie. And may I add, she was delicious." he smirked.

"Arrogant as I have heard. Honestly, Sookie could have done so much better but she will have that opportunity now. Soon, she won't even remember your name or share the bond you have with her. And by then, with any luck, you and your companion here will be nothing but a smudge on the floor. But I want you to see her, to watch her as she slips from you, knowing you have no power to stop what I have set into motion. As for your children, I intend to make them my own personal guards once they are old enough. To become just like their "Auntie Mab." she smiled like a cat that had just eaten a mouse. It sickened and angered the two vamps and both brought out their fangs and made a bee line for her. But instead, she vanished from her spot, reappearing behind them. "Now, now, like I said, I have no plans to harm any of them. But it doesn't mean I can't have some quality time with your soon to be former wife."

Chapter 7

Neither had the chance to say or do anything as the queen transported them directly to the eerie, yet beautiful cave. It was a tapestry of evil and good, the evil coming from what both of them knew of the queen and her machinations possessed. Still, the tranquility of the place was unlike anything either of them had ever experienced and both of them approached the shore, looking out towards the towering waterfall.

"Call for her." the voice of Mab called out from parts unknown. No doubt she was lurking about somewhere, watching them like a hawk, wanting to see the faces of the vampires as to what she had done to Sookie.

Pacing before the shoreline, he was tempted to swim out into the perfectly blue water to see what lurked in the dark area of the lagoon. But he was not about to start doing foolish things, not when there was so much on the line. "Sookie?" Eric called out for her. "Are you here somewhere? Please, come out, I came to bring you all home."

The water started to ripple and bubble as a head popped up from under the surface. She wore a simple leathery blue halter top that looked very faerie like and he wondered what else she was wearing, if it was as skimpy as the top was. But now was not the time for such thoughts. He smiled with relief for a moment but he saw something was off with her as well. Her brown eyes didn't hold that special look in them he had always loved. They looked almost distant, as if she weren't totally there. "Hello." she said with a serene smile. "What can I do for you?"

He turned back to look at Godric who looked equally befuddled. Taking off his leather jacket, he tossed it to the ground and started to enter the water, to which she swam backwards a few feet. "You're acting funny, Sookie. I know you're under that bitch's magic…but it's me. Come on, I came to get you and bring you and the kids home. Maybe spill some royal blood on the way and find your grandfather."

"I don't want to go anywhere, Eric. I am happy right here. She is taking the kids off our hands and is going to raise them herself. Then it leaves me time to enjoy this life."

He frowned as he swam a little closer to her. "Life? You cannot live in the water. Come on, I am getting you out of here right now!"

More bubbles permeated the water as Barry emerged as well as a dozen others. They were all wielding short bladed weapons and as Barry took Sookie by the hand he frowned. "She has to remain here. She is with us now."

"I remember you from Dallas…briefly….." Eric frowned as he floated in the water with them "What in the hell is this? A screwed up pool party? I am taking her whether you like it or not." he took her hands and with his super speed, brought her to the shore, where he got the surprise of a lifetime. She no longer had legs, but a gleaming, emerald tail. "What the-" he was flung backwards by a force that he soon found out was Mab and at that point the felt the bond he had with Sookie being weakened by the second. Turning to face her, fangs out, he was enraged as Sookie was surrounded by the other cursed faeries, all returning under the water. "What have you done to her?"

"It was the best way to keep her in check. Careless to anyone's desires but mine, it is where I have put other fae who had tried to outfox me. As me people, their fae powers are stifled and the threat to me is no longer. As you can already tell, the magic is putting something of a wedge between the two of you. I think she and Barry will make a lovely pair, don't you?"

The bloodlust within him was rising and he could practically taste her blood. Then, he and Godric were out of the cave, out of danger, at least for the moment.

"Orin?" Godric frowned as they arrived in a small cottage that was barely large enough to contain the three of them "You got us out of there?"

"I have been learning some tricks from Niall. Mab thinks she's gotten all those loyal to him under her thumb and it has not been a east part to play….yes, I brought you out of there. So we can devise a plan to get Niall out because without him, I don't think we will ever get your woman out of that place and situation. I followed you to the cave and knowing what I just saw, it explains a lot of the disappearances. Though I dare say she killed more than she transformed."

"Enough talk about that bitch. Let's get a plan moving so we can get the hell out of this realm." Eric spat impatiently. "You saved us, so for now I will let you live. But I promise you, if you try anything funny, you will go the way Claudine did."

Orin paled. "Yes, I understand. But for now, please. Have a seat and I can go over what I have in mind."

Chapter 8

"If this goes to plan, combined, the three of us can accomplish this." Godric said as they once again came to the palace, Orin leading them inside.

"Four, you mean." Orin whispered back to them as he led them into the throne room where the queen had the twins in her lap, singing to them in some foreign tongue. "Calm yourself." Orin spat at Eric. "Bide your time and you shall have her."

"Oh, look who has returned after vanishing so abruptly. I do wonder how that happened….the bracelet, perhaps…..no matter. You returned." Mab looked pleased as she put the babies back in the cribs, vanishing them back to the security of their cell. "Worry now, they are being tended to my some of my handmaidens. Now. What can I possibly do for you now? don't bother asking for the freedom of your family. They are as good as lost to you. I will grant you a single chance to leave here and now, unscathed and in one piece."

"Actually, I request that I be arrested. I would rather stay in a cell, knowing what was happening with my family than being apart in another world. Use whatever power you have to detect any deceit but I think you already know I would do anything to remain with my family, even separated by walls. I would prefer to at least be in the same vicinity."

"And what of you?" Mab looked at Godric warily. "You've been pretty passive in this."

"Believe me, I am anything but. I will ask for the same thing as he did. Wherever he goes, I will accompany. Even if it means imprisonment. I trust you have cells made for keeping creatures like us from escaping."

The queen frowned. "Actually, it was never imagined to be a issue. Your kind was never meant to gain access to this plane."

"So we could escape easily from anywhere in the palace." Godric replied as the queen nodded stiffly. "You believe us in when we say we care for her safety and the kids as well?" again the queen nodded. "We would be foolish to risk their safety, so how about the honor system. We behave ourselves and thus can coexist. We misbehave, then….you can do what you will with us."

Mab eyed the older vampire carefully. "I have heard tales of you Godric. You are as legendary as your progeny here is. And you have never been less than honest and truthful from what I know. And I being what I am, am privy to a breadth of information on anyone in any realm. I accept your offer. Either of you try anything funny and I can make it so the sunlight here can and will burn you up once and for all. I am so giddy with my prizes, I shall even allow you company."

They nodded and next thing they knew, they were in a cell. But they were not alone. A beaten and bruised Niall was resting on one of the cots scattered in the room and upon hearing the new arrivals, he shot to his feet, though still looked like hell. "About time I got some help here. That bitch….sneaky little minx….almost as crafty as Warlow was when he sent be barreling into another realm. Any word on Sookie?"

"That bitch has turned her into a fish." Eric spat, explaining what had happened to Sookie. "She's losing herself fast in this magic, I feel her slipping away by the minute. Everything we have is being destroyed. And Mab wants to raise the twins as her own personal puppets. So how long have you been trapped here?"

"Only a few days. I was going to visit you at your house when she came out with some of those loyal to her. I killed them, of course but she got the drop on me and next thing I know, I am prisoner in my own palace. But with a some vamp blood from two of the strongest and oldest vampires in the world, I think I can recover enough fast and combined, we can get this mess over and done with. But we have to be careful. And we need some help to keep her distracted."

There was a knock on the door as Orin entered the room. "I can be of help to keep her busy so you can get to the caves and work your magic to undo that which has been done. But I fear that such magic isn't going to be easy to undo."

Niall grunted. "No, I know all about this magic and it certainly won't be. The hold that it has over her strengthens by the moment and eventually, she, like the rest of the faeries turned me people will be merely slaves to Mab. Mining for a eternity in the underwater mines. I should have destroyed that book when I had the chance, knowing what devious magic was in it. But we can do it and it will take your magic to help her as well, vampires. Especially yours." Niall jabbed Eric in the chest with a finger.

"I don't wield any magic."

"You're existence is a result of magic, is it not? And the love you hold for her? The fact that you two have suffered over and over has only made it stronger. Combined, we will free her. As for the rest, it may be too late to save them. I do know that the longer they remain in that state, the harder it will be to undo it. If push comes to shove, we may find ourselves having to end the others to help Sookie."

Orin interjected. "I will gather some of the others who want Mab defeated. Start a ruckus to keep her otherwise occupied. Mind you, we may not last long against her powers but it should give you enough time to at least get her out of this realm. And if it means I, or any of the other fae lose their lives, so be it. We would do anything to protect the true leader of our people and his family I will send a signal when we are beginning and trust me, even in here, you will know when it's time."

"Then if you really want to help, you would have left here five minutes ago. Get moving." ordered Eric and the faerie nodded and left the room, locking the cell behind him. "Let's get things ready to go."

Chapter 9

The palace walls shook and it was several minutes after the faerie had drank his fill of vampire blood, feeling better than he had in ages. "we've got to get out now before the magic weakens my power again." Niall explained as he sent a blast of light at the door, which flung open, the lock shattering. "Ah, it's good to be back in the swing of things." he said as he led them the short distance to the door leading to the underwater cavern. From deep in the palace, they could hear the sounds of the rapidly escalating battle and even when they reached the shore of the lagoon, the palace was trembling from the attack and a shrieking scream echoed from above.

"Mab." Godric said. "She's sounding a little stressed."

"So long as we can at least get Sookie and the kids out of here-the kids! Crap, how could I just-" Eric felt like a fool for not thinking of the other obvious rescue. But Niall looked calm and collected as he patted his shoulder. "I've sent them to a safe place. They are out of the palace and out of Mab's reach."

"But they won't be out of her reach so long as she remains living."

Hurrying into the room, Orin looked bloodied and beaten. "She saw through the ploy almost immediately. She is on her way now-" he stopped speaking just as a blast of light shot through his chest, obliterating their ally who had given everything to help them. Now, with Mab before them, they felt all but back at square one.

"I knew you weren't to be trusted and I sensed something was afoot. A riot was all you could come up with? I have been forced to injure and incapacitate my own people to return here to finally put a and to this. Faerie blood is far superior to yours and more precious. You two are the real abominations." she sneered, wigging a finger at Godric and Eric.

"I believe that one who enslaves, curses and murders all for the sake of power is the true abomination." Godric looked at Eric who knew what he was getting at. Even after so much time apart, they were still very much in sync. Flanking the faerie, they wasted no time in forcing her to the hard ground, sinking their fangs into her, mindful of what too much of her blood would do to them.

With a series of words that were only understood by herself and Niall, the queen's spell summoned those within the waves, bringing them to the surface. Wielding blades, they began throwing them fast and furious, all clearly enchanted as the silver blades met their marks, hitting the vampires in the arms and legs. Something about the silver was quickly incapacitating the two as the queen laughed, watching them both trying to remain on their feet but were rapidly weakening.

"You thought I wouldn't have thought of every eventuality?" Mab said as she watched the two stumble, falling to their knees before her. "Faerie silver is even more potent to your kind as you can see now."

Looking out at the water where the enslaved fae turned me people were still watching them, Niall came to a single realization. And it was one what he would regret but there was only one thing he could do, if they were going to escape this madness. "It's too late to save the others….only she can be saved." he made a light glow around his hands as Barry went to shield Sookie who was holding on to him tightly, there was a evil, hold that Mab's spell had causes Barry and the others to fall irrevocably into, that much Niall could sense. Sookie was still being pulled into the full effects of the spell though and she could yet be saved. He looked at the fear showing even in her glazed, enchanted expression. Releasing the light, there was a awful series of screams and shouts as the magic snaked its way around and into the water, the ruler of the Fae forced to eliminate anything that could yet be a threat to his family. There was no doubt he felt regret for what he had just done but he could take comfort that they would also no longer be slaves to the madness of the queen. "Fare well in the Summerlands." Niall whispered a simple blessing to those he had been forced to eliminate. A afterlife for the fae, it was said that the Summerlands were supposed to be the one realm that held only pure and good things within and so he took comfort knowing where they were being sent. Now, on to other issues, he thought to himself as he faced Mab, still gloating over the two supposedly powerful beings at her feet.

Chapter 10

"Well, it has been a long time coming, has it not?" she said, stepping over the vampires, unaware that Niall had stealthily sent the silver blades out from their bodies, allowing them some time to heal. Hopefully, enough for what was to come. "Pathetic excuse for a family and perhaps I should just clean up the mess entirely." she looked out to the water where Sookie was the lone survivor of the obliteration. "Save only the children. And I will have them again. You three may have won a small victory but," she touched one of her healing wounds and licked the blood slowly off of her finger. "You will lose the war."

"Actually…..no we won't." growled a voice from on the ground. Pulling her hard, Godric had grabbed the faerie by the ankles as Eric took her by the wrists, trapping her for a moment. A moment what allowed Niall to conjure up a ball of electric like light.

"You, my dear, I fear will not be allowed to enter the Summerlands. I fear you, like all other dark souls, will enjoy a nice stay in hell. Purgatory if you are lucky. This. Is for my family and for those lost to your devious magic." the light flew from his hands and struck her hard in the chest, causing the woman to erupt into silvery ash that dissolved as it flew around from the impact. "Long live the queen." Niall spat sarcastically.

"I'll go in after her. I want you both to get the twins and get out of this place. Back to our house." Eric ordered as he stripped the remainder of his clothes off to go after Sookie, who was clearly not about to come any closer any time soon. "I can get home, remember?" he held up the bracelet firmly affixed to his right wrist. "Normally I would not dream to order you around Godric, but I need to do this on my own."

Nodding, Godric had to agree. "You are right. This is for you to do. But if you are not back within the hour-"

"I will be. We both will." replied Eric as he turned to enter the water, unabashed by his lack of a single stitch of clothing.

"That's your progeny." Niall chuckled to Godric as he opened a porthole. With a shared laugh, they shook their heads and took a last look at the Viking who was already half way to his target. They stepped through the porthole but not before the faerie had brought the twins from their secret hiding place, Adele in Godric's arms and Hjalmar in Niall's. the porthole vanished as soon as they had crossed into it, leaving only one last thing to be done, though it was not going to be nearly as easy.

Chapter 11

She was trembling as he swam to her, the effects of the spell clearly still holding her in thrall. But she also was not trying to retreat beneath the waves. "What have you all done? You killed my mistress…..she gave us so much….."

"You've been nothing but brainwashed and spelled. I am not going to hurt you, I want to save you. Undo what's become of you."

"My Barry…he'd dead….all my family….all killed by that…friend of yours."

Frowning, Eric realized that this spell was more insidious than he truly realized, twisting everything she had known into something different. "We are your real family, she wanted nothing more than to enslave you."

"No. you did. By putting this on my finger. To keep a faerie always near for whenever the hunger struck. You have only ever wanted my blood, after all." she held up her left hand, her wedding band still affixed upon it. Who were the others with you, anyway?"

"Your mind has been jarred by this spell…..you're confused and all kinds of screwed up, to say nothing about your effing tail…al I want is to get you back to your real family. Our kids…..they need both of us."

"Kids?" she frowned. She was addled to the point she no longer even remembered the twins. Even the memories she had of the rest of her life were sifting out of her brain, being replaced by the loyalty to a now dead queen. No doubt what Mab had in mind, should she in fact be eliminated. What better way to devastate them than to leave Sookie to become barely a shell of her former self. "I don't know what to do now." she said quietly. "With no others like me or my queen to guide me…." she started to cry and dove beneath the waves, into depths that were far deeper than any ocean in existence.

Impatient, he followed, and without having the need to breathe, there was no fear of drowning. Still, she powered through the water faster than even he could swim. Reaching out, he grabbed her roughly by the back of the leather halter top she still wore. Struggling against him, she tried batting him off with her strong tail but he was stronger. Much stronger than even she was. He forced her to look into his eyes and though unable to talk underwater, there was one thing he thought of, one thing he believed could help in the here and now. Biting his wrist, he forced her to sip his blood and instinct took over and for a moment, he felt a faerie influence wash over her.

"You know what to do…follow what your instincts are making you do." Orin's voice was distant but audible, a spirit guiding the Viking from parts unknown. For a brief moment, he saw the spirit of their brief ally appear under the water with the rest of those who perished in the melee. Wafting away into nothing, Eric did what he felt was right and after feeding her his blood he pulled her into his arms. Kissing her with all the passion and love he knew was there for her, he could feel that he was starting to cry, tears of desperation as he felt the last threads of their bond dissolve. It couldn't possibly be too late, already, could it be? There came a thunder without sound, the force pushing her away from him. But he was relieved as he saw the rippling light envelope her, her silhouette changing, legs reappearing. Opening her eyes wide, he knew she couldn't breathe underwater any longer and hurriedly, he brought her to the surface.

Treading water as he emerged from the lagoon, naked and carrying a lifeless Sookie, he was glad to have been a well learned individual. How could he not be, having lived as long as he had? But as he performed CPR onto her what seemed like an eternity, he was relieved when she started coughing and spouted a good amount of water. Coughing for a couple moments, a weary and cold Sookie was looking right into eyes as blue as the water. But much prettier, she thought to herself. "Hey." she said weakly. "Thanks. Again. For getting me out of a mess."

"This 'mess' was the mess of all messes." he replied with a grin as her gaze took in his lean physique.

"Any excuse to be naked, huh?" she said with a laugh he had feared he would not hear again.

' grinning, he went and put his clothes back on, save for his leather jacket, which had been soiled and torn up in the melee. "I really should just buy these in bulk." he tossed the ruined jacked down and strode back over to her as she got to her feet, healing fast thanks to being restored to normal and having had a healthy dose of his blood.

"Can anything get any stranger for us?" she leaned into his chest as he stroked her hair gently. "I mean, this was….I don't know….."

"Don't be a wet blanket." he said as she groaned over his joke. "WE thrive on excitement. On the unusual."

"Speak for yourself. I was the freaking fish girl, remember?" she said with a withering look that melted into giggles. "So what are we still doing here? Let's go home."

Epilogue

All she did when they returned home was snuggled the twins and thank god for her family having survived what they had. Niall made certain she and the rest were fine before he left for Faery.

"Much needs to be tended to after her brief but disastrous reign." Niall explained. "I will need to reunify our people and assuage their fears of a repeat. Mab will no longer threaten our existence. Be well." he kissed her on the forehead ad shook Godric and Eric's hands. "and thanks to the both of your for the parts you played in getting them home. And you thought you wielded no magic." Niall nudged Eric with a elbow. "Love is only as strong as your belief in it is and judging by her being herself again, you wield more magic than you ever realized." with those meaningful worse, the faerie king vanished and the two vampires and Sookie were left alone with the twins, sleeping soundly after their unexpected field trip.

"Uh oh….looks like Pam has been looking for us…..no less than twenty texts and a half dozen phone calls." Eric looked at his cell phone that was left on the kitchen counter.

"I will go to her and the others. To let them know what happened and that everyone is fine. Judging by your phone beeping, Sookie, I suspect you have a like amount of missed calls and texts." giving the twins a gentle kiss on their foreheads and patting Eric's shoulder proudly, Godric made to head to Fangtasia, where no doubt he would find the rest of the family, save for Jason. But Sookie took him by the hand.

"Thank you….I mean….you and I really still haven't had the time to really get to know each other and-" she was stopped when Godric put a finger on her lips gently."

"You were there for me when I met the sun on the rooftop. The compassion you showed to me, the caring…..and now that we are family, can you truly expect anything less than my support and assistance?"

"Still….I am so grateful for everything. I am glad you're back. Among the living. Or undead, whatever you want to go with." Sookie said awkwardly.

"I thought death was what I wanted but having experienced what I have since I was brought back, I too am grateful for the second chance. To have a family…I've not had one of those for twice as long as he went without. Be well and I am sure we will see each other soon."

"Where are you off to?" Eric asked his maker as Godric went for the front door.

"I was going to go to your bar to reassure the others that you are both alright. And the babies. No doubt you want some quiet time now and I should relay all of that to them before they arrive, trying to break down the door to get in."

"Thank you." Skokie said. "Good night." she added politely.

"You are welcome." replied Godric as he flew off to keep the rest of the family at bay, knowing that the new parents and the babies needed some time to process things, to rest. To prepare for what their next mission, ordeal or mishap would inevitably be coming in the near future.

Triple checking to make sure the twins were safely sleeping in their well protected nursery, safer now that there was no longer a threat from Mab, they flopped down on the couch, both desperate for a bath but even more so for some rest. "What a day." Sookie yawned as she leaded her head back, looking up at the ceiling, still not feeling quite herself but considering what she was a short time ago, she was nevertheless grateful.

"Yes. Another uneventful day in our lives. When you were under that spell, you know what I felt?"

"That you missed my tanned legs?"

"Well, that too. But I felt you slipping from me, Sookie. The bond, it was literally being destroyed between us as the seconds ticked by. I have seen and done many things that would make the average person retch but that , I can't even describe-"

"It only proves that we are stronger than even re realized. The love we have? It's strong. And I felt it slipping too. Part of me was still, you know, the real me. But that spell, it just overwhelmed everything else and I couldn't fight it. But I felt it too and looking back, I just….." she trailed off as she looked at the wedding ring on her finger. "I am a lucky girl, I guess."

"Not as lucky as I am." he replied, stroking her hair gently. Leaning down to look at her face, he saw she had fallen asleep. Scooping her up, he carried her downstairs to the light tight basement. Dawn would be here before they knew it and all he wanted to do in the here and now was to look at the woman that he kept coming so close to losing but always got back. He couldn't help but wonder, as he lay her down on his big bed, if that luck would someday run out.

The End

# 21 -Normal is Relative

Chapter 1

Three months had passed since the unplanned detour to Faery. Sookie was back at work at Bellefleur's and couldn't help but remind herself, they had yet to choose godparents for the twins. To pick only two people out of all those that they knew loved and spoiled the twins felt like a burden she really didn't want to carry. Not wanting to hurt anyone's feelings, she was nevertheless pondering just who the godparents would be for the twins. Then again, perhaps none would be chosen. Perhaps, she thought to herself, it would be more prudent to select guardians for the special hybrid babies, should something happen to either herself or Eric. Now that, was a troubling thought that she hated. But every now and then-especially after another of their escapades-she couldn't help but wonder what would happen if they were both to wind up dead. Or if she was left behind as a widow and vice versa. All unpleasant thoughts and she knew that they were strong. Resilient. Tough.

"How are the little drool monsters doin'?" Lafayette asked as Sookie came to pick up an order from the window. "Never thought the day would come when that Nordic beast would have…kids…"

Having explained the tale of how they wound up with kids to every one of her friends, it was still incredulous each time she heard herself retell it. "I know the two of you had your differenced…but you got along well at the party." Arlene had thrown a party to celebrate the twins last week and the gifts and money that had flowed in were, in turn, donated to a local charity. After all, Sookie was married to one of the richest people in the world, thanks to New Blood. "He is fond of you, you know. And I do think, not that he would admit it, he regrets what he did to you in the basement. But what I have come to learn is vamps need to protect their secrets and their blood. You've seen and heard what vamp blood does in the wrong hands."

"I get it, I get it. It's all in the past, right? And I guess he could have killed me….."

"That is very true." she replied with a grin. "He has come a long way over the years. And I think I can safely say I can take the credit for it."

"You are a magical faerie princess, ain't ya?" Lafayette grinned as he fried up some burgers. "You's just got that effect on people.

Grinning, she turned to deliver the order to the table and felt like she was walking on air. She had never expected to feel as empowered as she was as a faerie vamp and the more she had spent with the twins, it was evident that they too were going to be the same way, though they could still lean more one way than the other. Time would tell. Suffice it to say, she was glad they were happy and healthy. Looking around the bar, she saw Jess and Hoyt, Jess having had the evening off and they were clearly on the town for the night. Happily married, they had been thriving in the mansion that had been left to them by Bill and Hoyt too was thriving as a deputy officer for the Bon Temps police department. Sookie was glad for he and Jason to be tighter than ever and working side by side again. Her friends were all happy, safe and healthy and she all the more grateful for having each and every one of them in her life. As her shift came to a close and she was able to count her tips-there was no way she was ever going to be a kept woman and it was to his credit that Eric happily lived in their simple yellow house together-she bade goodnight to her friends and drove home in the new sporty Miata she had been surprised with the other night. Of course, she had another vehicle for when she was carting the kids around, but Eric had flat out refused to get a mini van and had rather gotten a hummer outfitted to the nines in terms of family travel and safety.

Chapter 2

Night had long since fallen when she pulled into the driveway and to her pleasant surprise, she saw there were occupants on the long porch swing that she had just bought to replace the old one that had, unfortunately, fallen victim to a recent storm. Softly, he swang on the seat, a twin in each crook of his long arms and he was singing. Actually, singing , to the twins, in a foreign tongue she figured had to be his native Swedish. It was a picture perfect scene as he was dressed in a casual dark tracksuit with white stripe embellishments on the sleeves and down the sides of his long legs. "Well, this is a sight to see. I don't think I will ever get over it." Sookie said as she climbed up the few steps to the porch.

"I hope no one thinks less of me…that I have been somehow, for lack of a better term, neutered. Domesticated." he said as he looked up from the kids to her with a funny ,look on his face.

"Oh, no, you are and will always be the big bad Viking vampire." she grinned as she kissed him on the cheek sweetly. "But I fear with our friends and family, your secret soft side is already a poorly kept secret."

He shrugged and laughed. "Change is good, I suppose, though I do need to get a good fight in every now and then to feel a little more…well, macho, I guess."

"But hasn't it been nice, a few months without so much as a whisper of trouble?" she asked as she settled in nest to him, taking their son from his arms, trying to give him a bit of a break.

Grudgingly, he admitted that it was. "Running the New Blood business and the bar and having a family….I feel almost normal."

"Normal? Honey, we are far from being that. But I get what you're saying. But you say it like it's a bad thing. Is it so bad sitting here with the twins, under a perfectly clear spring night, stars and the moon shining up there in the sky…." she frowned as she looked at his face. "Are you okay?"

He looked from the sky to her, the ever present mischief in those gorgeous blue eyes he had. Shadows of a more troubled Eric were there and it reminded her strongly of when he had wound up with amnesia. "I have been doing a lot of thinking-and cleaning up of the kids while you were at work. You know it is amazing even to me, how much…..nastiness can come out of tiny body. I have a soft spot for our little teacup humans."

"Well, they aren't exactly humans….but I appreciate the sentiment." she replied. But really, what's wrong?"

"It's been bothering me for some time. I know we have talked about things that have happened in the past and we've both been through a lot, both together and apart. I have regained people in my life I thought were lost to me forever. Nora, Godric. Tara…..but I can't help but wonder if fate really is a real thing. I never gave it much credence before. That things happen for a reason. That after everything, we were meant to go through all we did."

Sookie looked thoughtful for a moment. "I never thought you could be that deep….not that I am surprised. No, as much as life has truly sucked sometimes, I think the good and bad things that have happened made us stronger. That things are temporary, save for the regrets and memories of said events. For my part, I regret not trying to find you sooner after the whole incident at the vamp camp. I kept thinking you would be back. Each and every day. And then I heard I was part of the reason you had off and headed for the mountains…." she turned away and started to tear up, her tears slightly tinged red thanks to her being part vamp.

"I was never angry at you that you didn't look for me sooner. To be honest, for a while I didn't want to be found. Or really wanted to live. Then I got sick and I worried I would never see you again. Or Pam…or anyone. It turned out I cared more than I would let on." he replied as he wiped a tear from her cheek. "It's in the past. Fate has led us to this point. Things that have happened were apparently meant to be." he said as he looked at the twins. "To be honest, I certainly didn't see this one coming, even for a instant." he nodded to the twins as they brought them inside and settled them into the baby suite. Retuning outside, they returned to swinging ever so gently on the bench swing.

Chapter 3

"I have known many people in my life. But I can safely say that none saw me as you have. I can not help but wonder what I would have become if we had never met. If you had remained free of all of our kind…..the peace you could have enjoyed. The simple, safe life. I do wish that for you even now. To only be safe and happy."

"I am safe and happy. Even if I had never met you. Or Bill or any other supes, I would have still been in danger. Of a car wreck. Of illness. Or a mugging gone wrong. I don't feel like I am in any more danger now than I was before I met all of you. And I am all the more happy and grateful that I did come to know you all. Granted, I wasn't at first, I did lose patience with all the dealings, plans and whatever other crap I was dragged into. But in the end, I have found my way. My true path and it is with you. I only wish I had figured it out sooner."

Eric smirked. "Well, I wish I had seen you as being more than a telepath I could use for my benefit . You were so much more than that and I was so…."

"Cold? Walls around the heart? That brooding type? Yeah, I remember. That first night I came to meet you. You were pretty intimidating."

"Miss the long hair?" he quipped as he raked a hand through his short blonde locks and leaned back so his neck rested on the back of the bench. "Because, honestly, I thought I looked rather fetching with the longer look. More Viking."

Rolling her eyes, she laughed. "It really is good to know some things have not, nor will they ever, change. To be honest, I like the short look better. Besides, your big personality makes up for lack of hair." she teased.

"Well, I am also big in other ways. And I am not referring to my height." he said and she reddened with the innuendo. There could never be anyone like him, that much she knew.

They sat silently for a moment, lost in their swirling thoughts. Finally, her eyelids began to feel heavy and she yawned sleepily. "Life is good. I never got the chance to really sit back and appreciate things. The peace we have had lately…it's been enjoyable."

"You call 4 am feedings peaceful?" he quipped with a wry smile. "Granted, I have been more often than not dead for the day but I have managed to get up and give them bottles…I was so hoping I could teach them some good use of fang work."

"They are still little." she pointed out. "Last week Niall confirmed that they would be hybrids…..I am glad he came to tell us that for certain. And that all is peaceful again in Faery after the whole Mab debacle. So I think we will have some teething issues to deal with them." Sookie laughed. "And once again, I am really glad I am not breastfeeding them."

He arched a eyebrow. "But to be the mouth that would hover just…over….those delectable-"

"Eric! Geez, you never give up, do you?" she went to her go do tactic to put him and his raunchy imagery a rest and pulled his favorite flip flops hw was wearing off his feet and started to tickle his feet. She would always remember when she had brought him home when he had had amnesia and washed his feet, causing him to laugh from the unintentional tickling.

"I am a Viking, of course I don't give up. So…..how about that taste?" he leaned towards her chest, wanting nothing more than to sink those fangs of his into her bosom.

"Ok. Bed. Now." she said. "Race you!" she knew there was only one way she could definitely beat him to their bedroom and in a flash of light, she had gone, beating him by mere milliseconds as he entered the room. "Vamp speed is good, but faerie power trumps it!" she gave him a superior look and that was all it took to ignite the evening of passion between the two.

The End