There was something funny about the way Elizabeth in her English-accent grandeur said, "Sookie, love, we need you upstairs for some last minute…things." She struggled to find the right words. Pam would have said, "Sookie, your hair is a mess and you've got brain matter on your shoe" but since I was getting married in a few minutes and this was certainly a time for pomp and circumstance, I decided I liked the posh Elizabethan version better. I left Barry and Amelia at the table and headed up grand staircase, trailing behind the deadly blonde sisters. Walking through the lobby, I saw agents all yelling at each other, trying to figure out whose responsibility it was to clean up the mess and whose responsibility it was to file the paperwork on the government's now-deceased mutant. For one of the first times since I had changed over, I was able to totally block out what everyone else was saying and thinking.
I was smiling. I was about to get married. I was about to marry Eric Northman, one of the strongest, oldest, and most powerful vampires in the world. I was smiling because while the world around us saw the power, the danger, and the prowess of Eric Northman, a Viking, I saw his puppy-dog eyes that I would wake up each night to see for the rest of forever. In life I would have given everything to be loved like this for one day, and now this fierce bottomless love would be mine for all eternity. We walked back up to Pam's room, where Elizabeth covered my eyes and led me inside the room. A spectacular white dress lay on the bed, needing a bride to fill it. I kicked off my shoes quickly and sat down on the bed beside this gown and just stared.
"It's the most perfect thing I've ever seen." I was stunned. Crystals sewn across the corset bodice bounced light around the room. The layers of the skirt looked like a subtly sparkling cloud, and I imagined myself descending down the staircase while layers of silk fluttered around my legs. Eat your heart out, Kate Middleton. The wedding of the year is mine.
Of course the sisters had every hair styling tool known to both human and vampire kind, and a make-up stash that belonged in Hollywood. Pam dragged me away from the dress and pulled out the vanity chair. She had work to do. With speeds that would even make a vampire dizzy, they worked. They combed, sprayed, curled, fluffed, shadowed, blushed, and glittered me to a perfection I had no idea I would ever be able to reach. Elizabeth pulled the curls softly in to an elaborate braid with gentle curls cascading down my back. Pam carefully placed small crystal flowers amongst the curls and then painted my lips a pearly pink.
They each stepped around to face me, both looking quite pleased with themselves. "Damn we're good." Elizabeth said. Pam simply nodded.
"Okay Sookie," my vampire sister said. "Get that dress on. It's go time." And just as quickly as they worked, they stepped out. I stood up, admiring their work on my face, and Elizabeth peeked in quickly.
"There's something for you in the closet. That part was my idea." I nodded and then slipped the dazzling silver dress (with a little brain matter) off on to the floor. I picked up the gorgeous white dress and giggled a little. In the past few years I have slept with vampires, tigers, and werewolves, hunted, preyed, and killed more than I cared to admit, and here I was, putting on a white dress. It looked like something out of the fairy tale, the bodice fitting every curve beyond perfectly, the layers of silk and tulle floating around me as I zipped up the back and danced to the closet. I nearly cried at what I saw inside- a diamond tiara and glass slippers. My wedding wasn't like a fairy tale, it was a fairy tale. A distant violin began humming Cannon in D, and I slipped the shoes on quickly. I noted how perfectly they fit- I'd have to ask how they accomplished that later. I placed the tiara on my head, adjusting it to lay in the curls, and I bolted out the door toward my pumpkin carriage.
Okay, there wasn't a pumpkin carriage, just a bunch of Feds and now a few English cops bickering about what happened earlier. But dammit, this is my wedding so I blew past the party-wreckers while my glass heels clicked down the marble hallway. At the top of the stairs I stopped. The single violinist's tune vibrated across the gallant room, and in the middle of the floor at the bottom of the stairs, stood Octavia the witch and Eric Northman. He had healed quickly (I'm guessing Octavia had something to do with that) and wore a flawless tuxedo and looked more dashing than I could have imagined.
During the few seconds I was staring at my husband-to-be, all of the eyes in the room (including his bright blues) had shifted to me. I said a silent prayer for the fact that I could no longer sweat, and gingerly placed one glass slipper on the stair below me. Jason had returned to his normal human form and though sporting a slight scratch on his forehead, looked stunning. He had acquired a tartan from the Scottish vampire that he would attempt to woo later on in the evening. "You look great, Sook." He did the sweetest thing he could think of, and choking back a tear, he punched me in the arm playfully. He held out his arm and I took it. In the history of all things supernatural, who would have thought that a panther would ever walk his vampire sister down the aisle? Together we took one more step down and Pam, my sister in death stepped out and offered her arm. The stairs were long and I relished every step. My skirts flowed like water and I kept my eyes locked on Octavia, whose thoughts were humming in a language I didn't understand. Her eyes were kind, and intentions were pure. I heard Amelia blessing my union with Eric in her own way and as the violin crooned on I eventually ran out of stairs. My glass slipper touched the ballroom floor, and I smiled as I saw that all of the vampires in attendance of the ball had stayed for the wedding. The vampires had returned to their respective groups, the Scots with the Scots (one of which was winking at Jason and licking fang seductively), the Egyptian vampires had all joined together to the left of the altar in flowing linen robes with golden snakes around their arms. Pam let my arm go and crossed the floor to stand between Eric and the other Viking vampires, effectively serving as a best man. Jason's arm released mine and he turned to face me. He kissed my cheek lightly and went to stand by Amelia as my panther of honor. I took my place at the altar next to Eric and the vibrato subsided just in time for Octavia to begin.
Her voice was deep, and she reminded me of Maya Angelou. Every word was deliberate and each syllable had such a profound meaning, I could have listened to her forever. "We have gathered here this evening to celebrate the everlasting trust, passion, and love that these two vampires share. Two souls have waited a thousand years for this blessed union and will be forever joined this evening in the eyes of the vampires, weres, shifters and witches here tonight, and in the hearts of Sookie Jane Stackhouse and Eric Sven Northman…"
"Sven?" I whispered softly.
"She wanted a name- just go with it." I chuckled at this and was joined by Barry, who was standing beside Amelia as a somewhat bridesmaid.
"…and should anyone object to this union between Eric and Sookie, speak now or forever hold your…"
I felt a twinge coming from my left. Don'teventhinkaboutit,Barry.
"Eric has brought the ceremonial sword of his people, the Vikings of Danelagen, which he will now give to Sookie Stackhouse of Bon Temps, Louisiana." Pam passed Eric the black velvet bag I said seen before when I was tricked in to vampire-marrying him a few years ago. From the bag he pulled a splendid steel sword, its handle intricately encrusted with deep red garnets and gleaming emeralds.
He spoke as the cold steel touched my open palms. "I, Eric Northman of Danelagen take you, Sookie Stackhouse, to be my wife. I promise to love, cherish and protect you until the end of forever." I smiled, and he mouthed "I love you" for only me to hear.
Taking the sword, I returned his vows. "I , Sookie Stackhouse, take you, Eric Northman to be my husband. I promise to love, cherish, and be here for you until the end of forever."
"Blessed be," Octavia's firm voice promised, "Eric, you may now kiss Mrs. Sookie Northman."
And reader, that's exactly what he did.