Author's note-After a long break from writing, I am back! This has nothing to do with any of the previous writings, this is a new series I wanted to try , a new take on things and will label these stories as such. I didn't want to delete any of my other writings, at least for now. Please read and review. Enjoy!

Chapter One-Queen in Training

Fireworks and celebratory hooting and hollering rang through the night sky. It was a new year, gone was 2015 and she hoped that this year would be better than the years that had passed. Wanting to dull the echoes of the pain lingering in her since the bloodshed that had taken place from the night Bill had first entered her life to now, with Hep-V having been made a memory, Sookie wanted a peaceful life. Or at least a life that didn't put her in danger on a daily basis still lamenting the loss of those who had been killed trying to help her so she could live, those who had been caught in the middle of supernatural messes, Sookie thought on those who she had lost and was nearly brought to tears over their demises all over again. Alcide had died trying to save her and she still blamed herself for letting him risk his safety for her. For the thousandth time. Then of course, she was the accomplice in Bill ending his own life, with him wanting to find peace in his long, tormented and twisted life. She took comfort than in the end, she felt he was in fact sorry for the things he had done, the wicked things he had done and that he would find peace with the spirits of his long dead family in heaven. Luna, Violet, Maxine, Kevin, Kenya…..the list of the dead went on and though Sookie certainly didn't miss some of these people, not with their hateful, murderous inclinations, she still felt something akin to pity for their lives having been twisted into such evil. And even though she had barely known Luna, Sookie had been sad to learn of the orphan, Emma, left behind and though the young werewolf would go on to live with her grandmother, Sookie could help but feel a pang of understanding, knowing full well what it was like to be an orphan.

But there were also those that had survived the dark times of Bon Temps, from the maenad, to the hep-v to the Lilith cult and Russell Edgington. Sam had moved away to be with his new family, though he visited on occasion and was happier now than she could ever remember. Her grandfather Niall had worked some magic and though it had taken a great deal, he had managed to revive Tara from the dead, thanks to a exceptionally rare piece of magic that could only be used once and by the heir to the kingdom of Faery, which she had learned, was herself. Needless to say, Pam was grateful for the chance to rekindle her relationship with Tara who was back to working at Fangtasia and as such, she and Sookie had gotten to be good friends.

As for her life now, Sookie was anything but lazy. In between working at Bellefleur's and keeping up her farmhouse, she was being taught the ways of ruling Faery. Her grandfather was preparing to pass the torch and after many discussions with her, made her see reason and so Sookie was being groomed for the life of a royal. She was already a princess-not that it was reflected in her choice of lifestyle now-but she was eager to please Niall and to keep Faery running smoothly. For the last year and a half, she had been studying, learning, practicing the ways of her powers and of royal duty. A friendly voice broke her out of her current reverie.

"Sookie, order up." called Lafayette from the kitchen window. He was flamboyant as ever, even though he too had suffered great losses over the past years. Now with James, he was content, happy and as sassy as ever. "You lookin' like you all in a daydream. Dollar for your thoughts?"

She had confided in few people about her future job, that she would likely need to soon leave Bon Temps and spend almost all her time in Faery. That with the way time moved differently in Faery, that she may not see any of her friends here again and if she did, they would likely have aged considerably and she couldn't bear to think about herself being young still and them at death's door. Lafayette and Jason were the only ones who knew about her future plans that she was still reluctant bout but knew that with Niall's' passing, there was no other heir but herself and surely she didn't want to leave Faery to go to hell. Actually, there was still one more person she wanted to tell but was unsure if he would even see her, let alone allow her to reveal her plans, the secret she had carried with her since the day she had rescinded his invitation when he had signed her house back over to her. But she knew how badly she had hurt him by her senseless rejection of him, by choosing Bill instead. She still cursed herself for the decision she had made and knew it was made from fear more than anything else.

"I am thinking what it will be like….ruling….with a title and all….I mean, I guess I already have a title now, as princess…but its so weird!" Sookie said as she scooped up the tray of food she was set to deliver to the table. "I'm weird, I guess, so I can't really say…I am scared, I guess. Imagine, going from waitress to queen…..so strange."

"If anyone could be some kick ass queen with lightning fingers, its you Sook. But I gotta feelin' that's not your biggest concern, besides missing this face of mine." Lafayette gestured to his face and battered his eyelashes, making Sookie laugh. He was always good at getting her to smile and she was eternally grateful for that. His smile faded when he realized the trouble on her mind. "You ain't gonna go to him, are you? I mean, he and I is cool and all…..dude saved my neck several times and I guess I could call him a friend. But you ain't thinking of goin' to Shreveport, are you?"

She shrugged. "Why Eric would keep runnin that bar when he's made billions on New Blood is beyond me, but last I heard he still makes appearances. Pam and I talk from time to time, you know."

"You haven't; seen or heard from him in what, three years now?" Lafayette said as Sookie left to deliver the food that was starting to cool. She didn't want anything affecting her tips.

"Nope." was all she said as she plastered a smile on her face and gave her customers their meals.

"I am sorry to trouble you dear, I know you probably want to get a shower and perhaps head off to bed." Niall was seated at her kitchen table when she had gotten home and she was too much on edge to be in the mood for even her grandfather.

"I was planning on showering…but I was headed back out. I have someone I need to see. I have been practicing my magic, it's gotten stronger since you….well, you know."

"I couldn't bear the thought of you running out of magic so I gave you some of mine. This way, your powers will never weaken or fade. You need to be at your best. I know this is not easy for you and I an grateful that you chose to accept the position. Truly, I haven't a idea who I could trust to take over for me besides you. Sure, there are decent enough faeries back home, but I prefer to leave the crown in the family." Niall said as he looked at her more intently. "Have you the time to perhaps have a late dinner? Spaghetti, perhaps?"

Sookie couldn't help but chuckle at her grandfathers love of pasta. "Maybe another time, we have spent a lot of time together lately. How about tomorrow night? I am off from the bar and am ready for another lesson. Thanks for giving me the night off tonight, by the way. I thought you came here to spring a surprise lesson on me."

"Nope, I am just hungry." Niall smiled as he hugged his granddaughter. "How is Jason doing? I thought perhaps I would stop by his place and see him and the kids."

"He and Bridget are doing well. The twins are fantastic….Molly and Rhett…..I forgot you haven't had the chance to meet them yet. They're going on three now."

"Great grandchildren…..so wonderful….." Niall mused. "Perhaps I will call on them this week sometime, it is getting late. And I would rather not keep you from where you're going. To see him. you know, I always liked him better than the dark haired one, I won't lie about that."

"No, you never hid your feelings about Bill and I know you were right about him. But I don't want to talk about him. That part of my life is over. I was wrong to have gone back with him and I am glad we parted ways on good terms in the end….I hope I am not too late on making a choice I should have made a long time ago."

Three years…..three long years since she had seen the tall Viking. And she had tried to live a new life with a lumberjack she had met in the bar and had even been pregnant. Only to have had the baby be stillborn on that tragic night. Not long after that, she had realized the hole she had been trying to fill was still there and knew it hadn't been fair to her husband and so they divorced a year after they were married. A broken relationship and a dead baby, all added to the mountain of suffering she had endured in her relatively short life. Especially short, when compared to that of the one she was a mere matter of feet from now. She couldn't imagine the pain Eric had endured in his thousand years plus of existence. And she knew she had helped contribute to that pain as well and that guilt had only festered over the past few years.

Entering the freshly remodeled and even sleeker Fangtasia, Sookie looked straight ahead to where she knew he typically held court. But the throne was empty, though she did see Tara and Ginger working at the bar, both taking notice of her arrival in the club. Dressed in jeans and a long sleeved pink cardigan, Sookie had not wanted to look sloppy nor did she want to look like vampire bait. Not that she couldn't handle herself against unwanted advances.

"Hey Sook…..you ain't been here in some time…..what brings you by?" Tara said, before seeing the look on her best friends face.. "This is gonna be a interesting evening, ain't it Pam?"

Pam had slid a bottle of beer over to a patron before turning her attention to her friend. "Sookie, I don't know if this is the best place for you to be, not after everything…..you left a mess in your wake, you know. He wouldn't ever talk about you or what you did to him, but…..let's just say you have been duly warned."

"Is he even here? Or is he busy with New Blood business?"

"Oh, he's here in the office. Go on in but don't be surprised if you get a less than warm reception." Pam replied. Though she and Sookie were friends now, Pam was still bothered by the hurt Sookie had left behind on Eric. And that would take a lot to heal from. Butterflies fluttering in her stomach, Sookie bade goodbye to her friends and headed to the office. Reaching the closed door, she knocked gently on the door and heard a muffled voice reply.

"Not now."

Sookie turned the knob and found it locked. With a little bit of light, she unlocked the door and let herself into the room and instantly, her brown eyes met the stunned gaze of the blue eyes several feet away. The silence was deafening, the tension, awkward.