Dead with the Vikings – Chapter 29
This story now has more than 100,000 hits, 600 subscribers and 450 readers have made it their favorite. And it has had an amazing amount of reviewers. This makes me speechless and grateful. Very grateful. I want to take this opportunity to thank you all!
I also want to thank Rascalthemutant at the Alexander Skarsgård Library Forum for reading the whole story and for correcting my mistakes. You do not want to see what the story looked like before she had it in her tender care.
And I want to thank Peppermintyrose for our great discussions on Sookie Stackhouse and Eric Northman.
From the previous chapter:
So I smiled. I smiled, confident that I would get my man back and that the battle would be won. I carried Pam on one arm and tried to wave to Eric through the window.
Eric saw me through the darkness of the evening and blew me a kiss. Or at least some 6`4`` guy with long blond hair did. My night vision wasn`t as good as Eric`s. But with the kiss glued to my heart, I went back to our house to wait for Eric. Again.
One good thing about having a baby in the house is that you are kept busy. Busy and tired. I wasn`t sure if Pam missed Eric too or if she was just going through a phase, but she kept me awake both day and night which was good. After a few days I was so tired I couldn`t think straight. And I couldn`t worry about Eric.
Eric had warned me that he wouldn`t be able to keep in contact while he was gone – and he had been right. December came and I didn`t hear a word from him. Streets were dressed up with pine branches and lights, shops were busy with Christmas shoppers and newspapers were filled with Christmas stories.
For once, I could look forward to a really white Christmas, but I was alone. Well, Pam and I were alone. I still wanted Pam to have a nice Christmas so I decorated the house with small ornaments and put lights in the windows the way I had seen neighbors do it.
I was planning on a Christmas alone. That is, it wouldn`t be quite alone. It would be my first Christmas as a mother.
On the 23rd I got the call I dreaded. It wasn`t Eric on the phone, but Pamela. My heart stopped in my chest and I had a hard time breathing. It wasn`t supposed to be Pamela calling me, but Eric. It could never be good news if Pamela called me. All those thoughts, and a million more, ran through my head.
"Hi, Sookie. You have to get on a plane immediately," was her first greeting.
"What? What do you mean? What has happened? Is Eric ok?" I screamed.
Then I heard a sound in the background that almost made me faint. It was a growl. A very familiar growl. Eric.
"I told you not to call Sookie, Pam," he shouted in a very angry tone and then there was a noise as if the phone shifted hands and Eric was on the other end of the line.
"Pack your bags, Lover. It`s safe to come home." I could hear his smile over the phone.
"And by home you mean…?"
"Louisiana, Shreveport, Bon Temps – just jump on the plane."
"I can`t just jump on a plane the day before Christmas."
"Yes, you can." Sometimes Eric was very literal. "Steinngrim`s plane will be waiting for you at seven."
I shook my head, but I also had a huge smile on my face. I was going home. Then I remembered. We were going to my home, not Eric`s.
"For how long am I packing?" I asked.
"For good," was Eric`s short answer.
"We can`t go back for good. We live in your home. Your country. We have to talk about where we are going to live. I can`t just force you to live in a foreign country."
Eric was quiet for a while.
"Norway hasn`t been my home in centuries, Sookie. I`m not a sentimental man. I will live wherever I can survive, wherever there is something for me to do." He paused. "Wherever you want to live."
"And you think I`m sentimental?" I asked. I`d never thought of myself as sentimental, but maybe I was. I knew I missed my home so much it ached.
Eric laughed. "You are sentimental. I was amazed I could get you to leave Bon Temps in the first place."
"Having my freedom threatened will do that to me." I teased, but there was a serious tone in it.
"Really?" Eric said as if this was new information. "I shall remember that."
"Yeah, yeah. You haven`t told me how it all went. What are you going to do in Louisiana?"
I wondered if I could get my old job back at Merlotte`s and then I wasn`t sure I wanted it back. I wasn`t made for staying home eating bonbons, but Merlotte`s wasn`t really what I wanted to do.
"Oh, we have a new queen now. Very tough, but she is fair and just. She offered me my old job back as sheriff." Eric sounded pretty smug.
"What?" I screamed in joy. Eric had loved being a sheriff and I was so pleased for him. "That`s great, Eric. What about Fangtasia? Who is running it now?"
"Hmm, a very old and sexy vampire took over last week." Eric`s smugness came through the phone.
"You got Fangtasia back too? That`s fantastic!" I stopped. "I mean, if that was what you wanted?"
"Indeed it was. My time in Shreveport has been one of the better periods of my life. Of course it improved vastly when a young woman in a white dress showed up with Bill one night."
"Save the seduction until you see me, Sexy-butt…" I laughed.
"This was a new one. I like it… Sexy-butt. Yes, you can call me that as much as you like. And, as you say, preferably to my face. Or butt. Not over the phone." I almost felt his tongue lick my ear through the phone.
"So who looked after Fangtasia in your absence?" It was a change of subjects, but I was not going to discuss Eric`s butt over the phone. Not when I couldn`t grope it and really show him how I felt about it.
Eric laughed as if I had told a great joke. "You will not believe who it was, Lover."
"Who? Felicia? Sandy? Victor?"
"No," Eric snickered. "Bill!"
I was stunned.
"What? Bill looked after Fangtasia?"
"Yes, he said he believed I was not entirely dead and wanted to make sure Fangtasia was in good hands for when I came back."
"Bill said that?" I almost checked the calendar to see if it was April first. "How did he know you were not dead?"
"Apparently he felt you were still alive and he figured that if you were alive, then so was I."
"And he looked after Fangtasia for you?" I still didn`t get this.
"He did. Well, as well as he could. Bill isn`t a businessman like myself." Eric sounded pleased with himself. "But he didn`t do a bad job."
"And Bill is ok? I mean there have been quite a few changes for him."
"Bill has been on Pam`s side ever since I told him we were expecting a child. He wanted you to come back. He has missed you."
"And you are ok with that?" I couldn`t believe how Eric could suddenly be so pleased with Bill.
"Of course, Lover. Bill is allowed to be your friend. He is old fashioned enough to not break up a marriage with a child and I think it will be good for you to have him close to you. And for him. You have taught him how beneficial it is to have good relations with humans."
I remembered how Bill had only come to Bon Temps because it would have been `beneficial` for him to enroll me into Sophie-Anne`s court. "Yes, beneficial indeed," I muttered.
Eric was quiet for a moment.
"Bill has changed because of you. You have a good influence on vampires, Sookie, and I think it will be good for you to be friends with Bill and see it for yourself." Eric was quiet for a while. "Bill wasn`t good to you when you were together. He caused you pain. But if you spend time with him, you will see what a good person you are. You will see how you can change people around you, just by being you."
I was stunned and didn`t know what to say. So I picked humor.
"I have a good influence on vampires?" I teased.
"One vampire was of course perfect even before you met him." I could hear him winking through the phone.
"Is that so?"
"Lover," Eric`s voice was deep and husky now. "Just get on the plane and I will show you just how perfect I can be."
I rolled my eyes. But Pam and I were on the plane with everything I could pack.
The plane took off at 7pm and landed at 9pm, thanks to the time difference. All kinds of emotions ran through me when I walked off the plane. Happiness over being on Louisiana soil again, joy because I would soon be in Eric`s arms, anticipation about seeing my beloved home again.
But I was also nervous. I had been outside vampire politics for so long. I had been just Sookie and had lived with just Eric. Not the telepath and the sheriff. I had been safe. Well, relatively safe, if one didn`t take run-ins with masters and fairies into account.
And now I was back in the frying pan.
I carried Pam in one hand and a bag in the other and walked towards the airport building when suddenly out of the blue, or black as it was since it was night, Eric was next to us, hugging us and lifting us up in the air.
I screamed in surprise, which had Pam screaming in sympathy and then Eric started to scream in joy. We were a sight, three screaming people seven feet over ground. Soon, though, Eric and I weren`t screaming anymore. You can`t scream when you are kissing.
"You got yourself a new car?" I asked when I saw the large Volvo Eric was opening the doors to. "What happened to the Corvette?"
"Not enough luggage space," Eric smiled. "And maybe not safe enough. Not now," he pointed at Pam.
"This car won`t be safe enough if you keep going twice the speed limit."
Eric smiled. "If you close your eyes, you can always pretend I`m driving responsibly."
Eric closed the trunk of the car and that was when I saw the license-plate. `VAMPDAD`, it said. I laughed and then I hugged Eric.
"I`ve missed you," I said and kissed him.
"And I`ve missed you."
I look at my sweet little five-year-old, sleeping in her bed. She doesn`t know about the dangers she was in even before she was born. We haven`t told her yet.
She is, of course, used to having bodyguards day and night. You are not the daughter of a sheriff and a telepath, not to mention the goddaughter of the Queen of Louisiana, without a bodyguard or two.
I`m not so happy about the bodyguards, but I have come to accept having them around. And Alcide has found some really nice and easy-going guys to follow us around. He even found a female bodyguard or two.
Eric`s and Pam`s cooperation with Alcide and other weres has made Louisiana a prosperous state where vampires and weres work together instead of fighting each other. And not only weres and vampires. Witches have joined the ranks of supes working together. Amelia getting together with Pam may have contributed to it.
Amelia is now `royal witch` which thrills her father to no end. He manages to mention it at all the business meetings he has. I`m just surprised he didn`t put `royal father-in-law` on his business cards.
I never did hear from Niall again. Or from any other fairies, for that matter. And with Claude dead, I had no one to ask about fairy affairs. I did dream about Niall from time to time and in my dreams he was always very smug and pleased with himself. I don`t think he planned on me conceiving when I met human Eric, but if he saw us now, he would probably be proud that he was the reason why I could now look at a blond, little girl with my features and Eric`s sense of mischief.
Niall was not the only one who had been smug around me the last five years. The night I came home from Norway, Eric did something for me that gave him reason to be smug for years. When I came home to Bon Temps, he had managed to gather everyone who meant something to me in my house and he had even asked the non-vampires to make a lovely Christmas dinner for us all.
Amelia and Pamela had come from New Orleans, Steinngrim and Sjur had not yet left for Norway, Sam, Tara and JB du Rhone were there and so was Jason. Even Calvin Norris had come in from Hot Shot. Alcide was there too along with the guys who were to be my bodyguards. Thalia, Felicia and Indira were sipping their True Bloods and so was Bill.
I got warm hugs from Sam, Tara, Amelia and Alcide. And from Bill who said `thank you` and I wasn`t sure what he was thanking me for. Jason started on a lecture about how sad he had been to have lost me and how could I do that to him, but he was effectively stopped by Pamela.
Pamela declared that a combined wedding between her sheriff of area 5 and her royal telepath, and a baptism for her goddaughter, was set for January 6th. I noticed that Eric looked as surprised as me and shouted over the cheering.
"You can`t just do that, Pamela!"
"Yes, I can Sookie. It seems to be my role to push the two of you closer together and now I decide you get married."
It must have been the time differences or lack of sleep because I got so mad at Pamela, I almost fumed.
"Who the hell do you think you are?!" I screamed.
Pamela just smiled and came over to me.
"You shouldn`t swear in front of your child. The books I`ve read on the subject strongly suggest that you don`t."
"You`ve read books about how to bring up children?" I huffed.
"Of course. I have a little sister to take care of now." She looked at Pam who decided now was the moment to give away her first smile. Pamela grew an inch in pride and beamed without taking her eyes from Pam. "See? I have a way with children."
Any mother`s heart melts when people treat their children with love, so my anger vaporized. And then I knew why I had a sudden mood change. Eric stood next to me and I was pretty sure I was getting his emotions too. Eric was not angry about Pamela`s declaration about our wedding. He was happy.
I looked at him. "January 6th, huh?" I said.
"As good a day as any, Lover." And then he kissed me.
Champagne was brought out and the Christmas party became one of the happiest evenings of my life. Eric had good reason to be smug about that perfect night, even if Pam had surprised him too.
But last night it had been my turn to be smug. I had managed to keep a secret from Eric for so long and last night, on our 5th anniversary, was the night I finally showed Eric my surprise.
I brought him out to the place I had spent so many days the last year. Days when Eric slept and didn`t know what was going on.
In cooperation with Pamela, who was a clever queen and a shrewd businesswoman, I had built a perfect copy of Eric`s village back in the Viking age. I had invited many of the people I had taught old Norse to and the ones Eric had taught sword-fighting to over to live in Louisiana and to work in the village as `people from the Viking age`.
The village was meant to be a place for school classes and tourists to come and get a view of how the Vikings lived. The cold climate couldn`t be copied, but everything else was perfect down to the smallest detail. Even professors and scholars in the Viking age had praised our precision in portraying that period of time.
Yesterday was the first time Eric got to see it. I was both nervous and very excited. I had worked hard to keep it a secret, which was almost impossible with the amount of informers Eric kept in his retinue. But I had managed because everyone loved the idea of the Sheriff being surprised for once in his life.
I put a scarf over his eyes, which of course led him to make a remark on how he would have preferred to be home in our bed if we were to play sexual games like this. Then I took his hand and walked him through the village until we were outside the door to a copy of the house Eric had lived in.
I pulled off the scarf and smiled when I saw his shock and heard his gasp.
First he was speechless. After a few minutes he found his voice somewhere.
"You did this for me? You made my old village?"
"Yes, Eric. Well, not just for you, but for you too."
He smiled and gave me a kiss. "This was very beautiful, Sookie. You know I`m not sentimental, but this was perfect."
I gave him a very warm hug.
"I know you`re not sentimental, but I am." I said with a smile and I couldn`t hide my own smugness. "I`ve missed seeing that sexy body of yours, dressed in only leather pants, fighting with the sword in a Holmgang."
Eric waggled his eyebrows. "You have, have you?"
"You know, I would be happy to give you private shows any time you want."
"Is that so?" I smiled.
"Oh yes. And I could even lose the leather pants. I wouldn`t want you to miss out on seeing my sexy butt."
Someone give me a handkerchief. I need to cry a little. It has been so much fun to write this story and now it`s over.
I hope you have enjoyed the ride and that you liked the story!
I want to finish this story with pomp and circumstance and what better way than to sing the national anthems? I found translations for them too and they even fit the melody – so stand up and sing :-D
The Danish national anthem: (www . youtube. com/watch?v=8EViJFvDc-I)
Der er et Yndigt Land
Der er et yndigt land,
Det står med brede bøge
Nær salten østerstrand; nær salten østerstrand
Det bugter sig i bakke, dal,
Det hedder gamle Danmark,
Og det er Frejas sal. Og det er Frejas sal.
A Lovely Land is Ours
A lovely land is ours
With beeches green about her
Encircled by the sea; encircled by the sea
Her hills and vales are manifold
Her name, of old, is Denmark
And she is Freya's home. And she is Freya's home
Sweden (www . youtube . com/watch?v=qaNZGUW6eVU)
Du Gamla Du Fria
Du gamla, Du fria, Du fjällhöga nord
Du tysta, Du glädjerika sköna!
Jag hälsar Dig, vänaste land uppå jord,
/: Din sol, Din himmel, Dina ängder gröna. :/
Du tronar på minnen från fornstora dar,
då ärat Ditt namn flög över jorden.
Jag vet att Du är och Du blir vad du var.
/: Ja, jag vill leva jag vill dö i Norden. :/
Ye free, ancient country
Ye free, ancient country , Ye high mountained north
Ye silent and joyous, delightful
We greet you as loveliest land upon earth
/:Your shining sun, your sky Your pastures green :/
You rest on your memories of days great and past
When all round the world your name was honoured
I know that you'll always remain the way you were
/:In my own Nordic land I'll live forever:/
Norway (www . youtube . com/watch?v=LUtiIMZIVOU)
Ja, Vi Elsker Dette Landet
Ja, vi elsker dette landet,
som det stiger frem,
furet, værbitt, over vannet,
med de tusen hjem.
Elsker, elsker det og tenker
på vår far og mor
og den saganatt som senker
drømmer på vår jord.
og den saganatt som senker,
senker drømmer på vår jord.
Yes, we love this country
Yes, we love with fond devotion
This our land that looms
Rugged, storm-scared o'er the ocean,
With her thousand homes.
Love her, in our love recalling
Those who gave us birth.
And the saga night, in falling
Bring as dreams to earth.
And the saga night, in falling
Bring as dreams to earth.