The Road To and From Perdition


Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters from Southern Vampire Mysteries, or The Vampire Diaries. The other characters: Ben, Alisdar, Rhea, Misc. Fae are all mine.

A/N: Because I have been so negligent in getting this updated I decided to wing it and go without a beta. It is a scary prospect but I did my best to proof my errors. Please let me know what you think. Reviews are much appreciated. Special thanks to the recent reviewers that motivated me to get back on the horse.

P.S. So I wake up this morning and read my reviews and low and behold, one from "RealLuvAlways"- which is me - appears. I first question whether I slept-walk reviewed my own chapter, and didn't Luckily, I figured out the issue fairly quickly, after my mom - yes, my freaking mom - confessed to being secretly reading/reviewing. Apparently she followed the link from her email alert and didn't realize FF was still signed in under me. Needless to say, I contacted FF because I think it is ridiculous that it even allows someone to review their own chapter and two, if someone is following a link from their personal email - regardless of who is currently signed in - I think it should reckognize that. Anyways, that's my soap box for the day. Curious if anyone else has experienced something like that - PM me, please. Oh, and to save me from the humilation that there is only review this chap and it is from me/my mom, for peet's sake please leave me some feedback - I'm begging.


Chapter 6

I couldn't tell you what made Sookie a magnet for trouble if I tried. All I can say is that it is utterly exhausting and completely obnoxious. Although I will admit, she also had a knack for attracting some quality "meat" - as in men.

I couldn't help but laugh out loud at the thought. Those Jersey Shore folks come up with the most entertaining phrases. They are by far the most creative idiots I have ever watched on television. And, by golly those names! Snooki...J-Wow...the Situation? He's a situation alright. A situation no woman should ever be subjected to, that is for damn sure. Oh, and how I wish I could have been there when that oompa-loompa got one planted on her! It is so unfair; that fist should have been mine, I tell you.

Maybe I will request that they make an appearance at Fangstasia? That would be a hoot alright - their overly tanned bodies next to my porcelain, white, picture of perfection. Yes, they will definitely be getting invitations to this year's Dracula Night.

"So," I heard a slightly familiar voice pierce through my proverbial train of thought. "What's got your panties in a bunch, besides the whole 'I ordered my friend into the ring of fire' thing?"

I must have been letting my mind get the best of me, because by that time I was already half way across the room and apparently wearing a scowl. Using my vampiric speed, I spun around to face the gentleman caller. Honestly, what is the purpose of having the power if you don't use it, right? It's definitely no fun. I would imagine it is rather similar to being a cop and not turning on a siren or two when you're in a hurry - for a donut, or in my case a pair of Louboutins.

"Pardon?" I chimed back, tilting my head and leering in his direction. Did this human pork -sword really ask me what 'had my panties in a bunch'? Perhaps he preferred to play with fire, like the telepath. Well, if he wanted flames he came to the wrong party. Fire + Vampire = not in a million years. In fact, I much prefer the term of endearment: "Ice-queen." It is far more appropriate, and if Pamela Ravenscroft is one thing...it is appropriate.

"Uh...uh" He stammered, obviously sensing that his initial attempt at an introduction had failed. Miserably, if I may add. "I thought I'd see if you needed my help?"

"Well aren't you sweet." I grinned. Men - like taking candy from a baby.

"Your girl took a helluva beating back there." He blushed and tried to divert the subject.

"Eh, she's survived worse." I replied nonchalantly. That seemed to both relax and worry him. Odd reaction. If only he knew how serious I was. "Listen, since you offered, there is something you might be able to help me with..."

"Shoot." He smiled back.

Bearing in mind that I had no intention of ruining my dress with his blood, my initial thoughts were: "well I'll be darned, how convenient," followed by a more pragmatic "this boy is clearly way too accommodating." Then again - and I had to remind myself because I often forget this part - those pesky Y chromosomes never allow thinking of the rational 'head.' Truthfully, the things men will do to score a trip to "Lady Beaverland" befuddles me.

In this case, though, I had no justifiable reason to suspect trickery or anything of the sort. I needed his help and he was offering. Case closed.

"Follow me," I instructed, heading towards the hotel's media center . I had a plan, and for it to work smoothly there were a few loose ends that needed to be tied up - aka William Compton.

No matter how many times I ran through the facts in my head, I couldn't shake the feeling that Bill had somehow instigated this little run in with Eric's maker. Sure he put up a pretty good show earlier, when I first presented him with the news, but I've always thought Bill was a snake deep down.

Billy boy's weakness - aside from the obvious busty blonde breather - had always been that blasted human morality of his. Enters my new liaison. Whereas Bill would certainly never believe I was interested in hearing the minute details of his treacherous database, I'm sure for the sake of "scholarly research" he wouldn't turn down say a struggling graduate student. If said student happens to attend Shreveport's own Centenary College of Louisiana - of which I have on good authority Mr. Compton is a anonymous benefactor - all bets are off.

Whether he meant to or not, Compton tipped off someone with a serious grudge on Eric, and I was bound and determined to find out who.

"Okay, here's the deal..." I started to explain, as I pulled up the database on the nearest computer screen. "I don't know how much you know about vampire society. Judging by your choice of Friday night locale I am guessing you aren't a complete amateur. "

"My step-father is the King of St. Louis, he turned my mom a year or so back." He interrupted me to clarify. "Let's just say I've been around the block - at least compared to most of the living population."

"I love Alisdar!" I shrieked - like a little school girl - then realized how big of a wanker I must have sounded like. He didn't seem to mind though, of course. I rolled my eyes when the expression on his face turned proud. Men. It's like they are perpetually forced to think with their peckers! A damn shame when you really think about it. Oh, well. I guess the saying is true: "boys will be boys."

"For the record, I do not love-love him, as in I want to marry the guy or anything," I tried to justify and only succeeded in furthering my wankerness. When did I cash in my dignity for a chance to become a blabbering fool? And, why in the bloody hell is Joe Schmoe making me nervous? I'm acting like I just stepped off the set of Sweet Valley High!

Eventually - and by eventually I mean within seconds - I regained my composure and was back to being Pam. "I've known Alisdar for many years," I explained, "he was one of the first vampires I came in contact with after venturing out on my own. He was quite the charmer - a ladies man, if you will - back in the day. That is, after I taught him everything he needed to know." I chuckled to myself thinking about that first night when I had met him. I remember it like it was yesterday.

He was out looking for some totty at this Jazz club in Chicago. I saw him strike up a conversation with a group of hoity toity bitches - of which, in full disclosure, I am usually amongst - using ghastly broken English. I overheard one of the ladies giggle to her friend, remarking that "he sounded like a hot tamale salesman." However that is supposed to sound, I do not know. Needless to say, I couldn't help but offer my expertise. I am fairly confident that had I not stepped in at that very moment, he would have struggled with the ladies all night. To be honest, it wasn't a revolutionary concept at all. I just told him to speak in his native language - Tartessian. You see, us women, we are suckers for the exotic. I bet you were even turned on by the sounds of it. Don't lie. And besides, I may have mentioned that he was hung like a racehorse too. In any case, we became instant pals and the rest is, well...history.

"Yea, my mom seems to be happy." He shrugged. "And, as far as vamps go, Alisdar's pretty legit."

"Legit?" I repeated, not understanding the connotation.

"You know, he's cool?" He tried again, half-snickering at my ignorance. "How old are you anyways?"

"Has your mother not taught you anything?" I scoffed, feigning disgust. "You never ask a lady her age."

"That old, huh?" He tried to diffuse the situation with comedy, poor comedy at that. I decided to throw the boy a bone.

"If you must know, I am 19..." I huffed in defiance. "Going on 200." I added the last part slyly, assuming he would be taken aback. I was wrong.

"Best of both worlds then." He smiled, warmly - eyes glistening - as if he really meant it. It's weird. I had never fully understood Eric's infatuation with Sookie, or Bill's for that matter, until that very moment. I wouldn't say I was attracted to him exactly. No. It was something else. I was intrigued. Intrigued by the intensity of his human disposition and his inability to mask the emotion in his eyes.

I wondered if this was how my sister, Emma, felt when she first met Ethan - full of promise and years prior to his infidelity. After all there was a certain method to my madness, a reason for my bitter retribution towards the male race. He had fooled me too, you know. We had all fallen victim to the charming ways of Ethan Finely Clarke III. I just happened to be the first to snap out of it, catching him ass naked in the storage room of my father's textile shop, humping that floozy of a model we had just hired - Rosalina was her name.

My sister never found out, at least not on my account. I suspect she eventually put two and two together. It takes more than a case of denial to ignore the coincidence of Rosalina's child looking like Ethan's mini-me, or the convenient raise she earned upon said pregnancy.

I knew my sister cried herself to sleep every night after that, her husband slowly pulling away, but the final blow came years after I had moved on. Coincidently, during one of my secret trips back to London, I found out that he had finally confessed to the affair - the same night he walked out on their marriage. I watched from afar as she read the letter he left next to the fireplace - wedding ring on top for good measure - and for the first time since I had been turned I felt something, something horrible. As if cheating on her and abandoning her hadn't been enough, he had the nerve to blame their problems on her not "trying" hard enough to have a child. That accusation literally tore the heart right out of her chest. I had never seen such desperation in my life. I still have yet to see something so devastating in my undead life. Trust me, it was truly unbearable, and I am not one to cower.

Looking back, the chance to rid myself of that guilt, feeling responsible for my sister's pain, was one of the many reasons I relished my new vampire existence. I never wanted to live like my sister wished to - married with little spoiled-brat children. The reality of being tied down by a family of my own was horrifying. Still, I knew my reluctance towards traditional life only stood to hurt my sister more, as if I were rubbing that choice of lifestyle in her face. I guess that is why when Eric gave me the opportunity of a lifetime, many lifetimes if you want to get technical, I did not think twice about accepting.

Seeing the pure vulnerability in this human man's eyes was both refreshing and upsetting. It pushed my focus back to the present, though, and I finally realized why he seemed so inviting, so comfortable and familiar to me...he had Emma's eyes.

"You alright?" He asked, apprehensively, looking down at his feet. I must not be as slick as I think.

"Yes," I cleared my throat unnecessarily - silly human habit. "As I was saying..." I redirected his attention back to the screen and finished explaining the very important role he was about to play in my fabulous master plan.

A half an hour later, Ben - as he later insisted I call him - emerged from the other room, clamping his cell phone shut and giving me a wink.

"Well?" I asked anxiously. He was enjoying this entirely too much. He had even insisted I not be present for the call. According to him: it would be more authentic. Rubbish.

"I think you just might be a genius, little lady."

"I thought that was obvious." I deadpanned. "To be clear, though, are you saying Bill Compton arranged for Ocella and Rhea to be here?"

"Not exactly." He was clearly struggling to find the right way of explaining what he had just learned.

"See, this is precisely why I should have been listening on!" I groaned.

"Relax." He placated me. "Does the name Victor Madden mean anything to you?"

My mood instantly shifted, and I tensed at the thought of Victor and how he may be involved in this mess. It had been easy to blame Compton, but if I were being honest with myself I would have to admit that it was highly unlikely he would turn out to be the sole conspirator. Unlike Victor - who was obviously completely unhinged and bonkers enough to go behind his king's back - he in no way had the kahuna's to pull off a job like this. Poor Billy had always been, and would forever remain, a mere pawn in the grand scheme of things.

"Tell me exactly, and I mean word for word, what Bill said about Victor." I instructed harshly. "And, let me remind you..."

"I know, I know," he stopped me mid-sentence, holding up his arms in mock-surrender. "If I don't, you will force it out of me one way or another." He repeated my earlier threat verbatim.

"Do not tempt me boy." I growled. Unfortunately that did not incite the desired response.

"Maybe I'm counting on it." He joked. Typical. And yet, I couldn't help but think it unnatural on him. He was actually quite sweet, when he wasn't pulling one of Matthew McConaughey's cheese-ball lines out of his ass.

Instead of responding to his rather presumptuous remark, I chose to disregard it completely. I have learned that this tactic usually works better than anything else. As I suspected, by providing no other alternative, he quickly sobered up from his plight of sexual drunkenness and moved on to the more pressing matter.

Unfortunately, by the time Ben had finished recapping the particulars, dawn was approaching and my internal alarm was droning in on me. Naturally my new pal insisted on walking me to my hotel room - ever the gentleman - as if he stood a chance protecting me in the event that I needed protecting. Such silliness. If anyone needed a bodyguard it was him. He was, after all, the one fraternizing with a "daughter of Baphomet."

...

I have to say, if you ignore the part where my lip was split in two by a crazed vamp-ho, last night had turned into something pretty darn incredible. Of course, that is how nights with Eric always ended up; that was practically inevitable. It was the "in between" - the time I spent alone - that tended to open up the flood gates of opportunity, which generally led to my mind wandering off into much darker, less pleasant places.

After going through what I've gone through the past three years - hell, my whole life if you really think about it - getting caught up in the misery and hopelessness was easy. Learning from my mistakes, owning up to it when I'm wrong, or in over my head, that part is a bit sketchier. Harder yet, is overcoming nearly three decades of self-deprecation. That is an enormous feat, and I struggle to beat it every day. Naturally, like anything else, some weeks are worse than others. Lately, the good weeks have been few and far between - to the point where I am actually embarrassed to say how many times I've slipped back into my old ways.

Now, I know what ya'll are thinking and trust me, I know...alot of that is my own damn fault. That is the whole point I am trying to make here. I, Sookie Stackhouse, know that I do not - and I repeat DO NOT - manage my feelings well, at all. I've known that since I was a little girl and unfortunately, the ones that loved me the most, the few people I had managed not to lose, tended to feel my wrath the most.

There, I've admitted it. Are you happy now? Everyone knows acceptance is the first step to recovery, right? Wrong! Well, actually, if you want to get technical about it, I wouldn't know because I've never - in my wholesome 29 years - attempted to make it past step one.

Hmm, maybe it's time I look into the rest of those 12 steps? I guess today is as good as any other. As usual this human telepath has nothing better to do with her "day" time. Besides, it sure beats moping around in this dark room, and Eric may actually approve of this extracurricular activity. Not that I need to, want to, or will ever ask for his permission. I may love the man, but he sure as hell doesn't own me!

After slipping on a pair of jeans and a crimson, v-neck tee - it just happened to be sitting on my suitcase, wonder how that happened - I headed down to the lobby and looked around for any sign that advertized free internet access. I swear those things are supposed to be everywhere these days. That is how it seems whenever I watch the travel channel, anyways. Honestly, after seeing some of the "big-city" amenities, I wouldn't have been surprised to find Wi-Fi in their public restrooms. Granted it's not Chicago, New York or LA, but St. Louis is like a gigantic city compared to Bon Temps, shouldn't there be a certain amount of Wi-Fi per square foot?

Now I know I must look a fool, piddlin around with no clue where I'm goin. And, of course, there aint a single person willing to make eye contact with me. Damn Yankees, always walking around with their high-tech cell phones, talking so fast you would think they're speaking a different language.

Ah. Finally. Someone who might be able to help.

"Ben!" I shouted, flailing my arms around to get his attention.

"Oh, hey." He gave me a once over and smiled a bit awkwardly. "I'm surprised to see you out so early after..." He sort of stop-stuttered.

Maybe he was expecting to find me in a body cast or something? I dunno. He was the one that shoved me into a very volatile - word of the day - situation last night. Which, speaking of, I should be alot more angry with him than I was. I must be getting soft.

"Anyways," he rallied back with a bit more spirit than before. "I was just about to hit up this great breakfast joint down the block. I don't like to go without my morning Joe, ya know." He said the last part like it was a jingle or something. "Wanna come along?"

The thing is, I really wanted to. Really, really wanted to. I mean, I needs my coffee - black with a ton of sugar cubes - like a fat kid needs cake. Is there a problem with that? Coffee is like my super drink. I relish its existence, almost as much as I do the sun's rays, and that's saying a lot coming from me. Let's just say, I try not to leave the house without having at least one cup. And if I can't there is absolutely no substitute, in my opinion. I tried one of those red-bull drinks a while back and all it did was give me the jitters. I was sluggish and jumpy at the same time. Awful.

Does that help justify my wish to take this guy up on his offer? Cuz if it didn't you might be slower than me on the uptake and again that's saying alot coming from me. Unfortunately, I was sort of on a mission now wasn't I?

"I would love to, really I would but," I started to state my objection, switching the weight of my body back and forth anxiously, edging on the verge of temper tantrum. "Unless you happen to know the 12 steps to recovery off the top of your head and can validate my need for coffee, I'm going to have to regretfully decline." I started to snigger. He must think I'm totally nutzo.

"Well, it has to be your lucky day then, because I...do just happen to know all 12 agonizing steps by heart." He stopped and cleared his throat dramatically, then started reciting the steps: "1) We (that would be you)," he explained, pointing a finger at me, "admitted we were powerless over (said addiction), in my mother's case it was alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable...2) We came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity... 3) We made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him...4) We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves..." He stopped and looked into my eyes. "Should I continue, or can I convince you that coffee has the power to restore us to sanity?" I let out a nervous laugh. "Unless coffee is your addiction, which in that case...you're on your own!"

"Alright you sold me." I sighed. "Where to, boss?"

"It's literally right around the corner." He reassured me, swiftly heading towards the doors. I just followed.

We'd gotten only a few feet away from the hotel when Ben asked the million dollar question.

"So, what's the deal with the 12-steps?" He turned his head towards me and focused in on my face, as if he were sizing me up. "You obviously aren't in a program." He finally concluded. "Otherwise you'd be able to spit them out in your sleep. That's how I know them. When my mom first started she would chant them over and over all night long. I had them memorized in no time, like they were state capitols or something. The funny thing is, she never could do it when she was awake. "

"But she looked so..." I tried to think of the best way to put it. "I would have never in a million years guessed that she had a problem, ever."

"It's called a functioning alcoholic for a reason," he told me flat out. "Besides, being turned was like her get out of jail free card. It knocked out two birds - the cancer and the alcohol addiction - with one bite."

"Oh," I gulped at the thought, biting my lip on accident. "Ouch!"

"I'm sure it didn't hurt that much, but you'd know better than me," he teased, rolling his eyes-knowing that I hadn't been referring to the actual bite. "Now, quit stalling...what's your deal?"

I really didn't want to open up to this somewhat complete stranger - though I had learned a lot about him in just a short time - but then there wasn't really much choice was there. We quickly ordered our coffees and went to sit in a small booth at the back.

"Showtime," he said after we'd gotten situated. That was my cue.

"I sort of, okay I definitely have this tendency to devalue the things in my life," I confessed, reluctantly. "According to the self-help book I checked out from the library, that's part of a thing called self-deprecation. My friend Tara says it all started when my parents died. I was seven." I stopped short and cupped my hand to my mouth. What was I doing? This guy didn't know me well enough to understand. He couldn't. "Listen, my life's really not all that interesting, and I'm sure you don't want to hear about some silly ol barmaid's sob story..."

"If I'm not mistaken, you're doing it again." He pointed out. "You know, the self-deprecating?"

"Damnit! You're right." I cried out disappointedly.

"You're too hard on yourself, Sookie. That is your problem. I can tell that you don't let people in, which I get. Trust me. I've been there. But, sooner or later you'll realize that shutting them out only makes it worse. You can't protect everyone. Some things you just can't avoid or fix." He paused to see if I would respond, but all I could do was nod my head solemnly. He was right.

It was such a weird feeling, sitting here talking with Ben. My whole life I had had instant access into the depths of people's souls, and because of that I'd learned at a very young age that people resented the intrusion. Here I was, finally getting the chance to lay my cards out on the table-not having to fear what he may think, how he might unconsciously judge me-and I appreciated that more that he would ever know.

"You're really good at this ya know." I eventually said, feeling some of the weight I'd been carrying around lift off my shoulders. "I almost feel bad I'm not paying you for this impromptu therapy session."

"It's no big deal. Honestly, it's nice to know that I can help-kinda takes the sting out of letting go of that dream."

"What do you mean?" I asked curiously, seeing the flash of pain sweep across his face.

"That's what I wanted to do-help people like me who didn't exactly have the best role models around-thought I could make a difference. I was a psychology major at St. Louis University...but never finished."

"Why? You would have been so great! What happened?"

"You aren't the only one that has a sob story, Stackhouse."

"Your mom?" I assumed. He had mentioned her quite a bit and from what I'd gathered, growing up with her had never been very Brady-like.

"She's the reason I had to drop out, yea; but, she not why I haven't gone back." He explained. "These past few years have been crazy."

"Tell me." I urged, wanting to be able to return the favor. "Seriously, my whole town refers to me as "Crazy Sookie. I tend to embrace crazy."

He smiled, which was always a good sign, and then scooted a little bit closer. Not creepy close, just I don't want everyone in the room to hear me close.

"Here's the cliff notes version: When I was eight my dad went on his annual fishing trip and never came back. The official report claimed that a flash flood trapped him and his buddy under a collapsed levee - but when they searched for their bodies my dad's was nowhere to be found. Without my dad, mom was never the same. She had worshiped the ground he walked on. Sometimes I could tell she resented me for taking away his undivided attention. Anyways, after that, my mom turned to alcohol and that pretty much sums up the next 10 years . Somewhere in that time I met Elena. I don't know what it was about her, maybe that she'd lost her parents too, but she made all the drama with my mom seem less unbearable. We were happy - she was the one that encouraged me to pursue psychology and we'd even planned to go to SLU together after graduation -that was until she met Damon. I later found out he was a vampire, but that is besides the point. If you haven't already guessed, Elena and I broke up a few months later. I know she didn't do it maliciously, I know she still loved me at the time, but even I could see that they had this oddly intimate connection - something we would never share. If my mom hadn't been diagnosed with stage IV liver cancer the following semester, I may have continued to dwell on that failed relationship. A few months into my mom's treatment, things started to get pretty bizarre. I kept noticing this guy pop up everywhere I went. He never spoke to me, he'd just watch me. It started to freak me out, but he looked like he was about a billion years old - long white-gold hair and totally Lord of the Rings- esqe - so I never confronted him. Elena must have found out about my mom somehow, because that's when she approached me out of the blue with her new "vampire" boyfriend - yea, that convo was a doozy - begging me to let them help. Of course I thought she was full of shit at first, who wouldn't? Damon and Alisdar - who I met soon after - both went out during the daytime. Given all I knew about vampires at the time, which I'll admit was limited, it seemed impossible."

"I'm sorry, I don't mean to cut you off in the middle of your story," I interrupted him timidly. "But, did you just say these two vampires are actual day-walkers? How is that possible?"

"Exactly." He exclaimed. "I didn't think it was, but then they showed me all that they can do...the speed, the mind control, the strength. I obviously recognized the killing part but they didn't actually show me that. To answer your question though, they are able to be out in the sun as part of some voodoo, witch/fairy-shit, I dunno, it has something to do with these rings they wear. I've never really asked Alisdar about it because it's his business, not mine."

I gulped at his mention of the fae, but it could have been mere coincidence, or just his misguided assumption of fae and witch magic. I decided to let it go and suggested he go on.

"In any case, I decided to take them up on their offer to turn my mom. I couldn't really explain the situation to her at the time, she was drugged up beyond belief, but I knew without a doubt that she would give anything to take back the last ten years and start over. It was pretty incredible to see the transformation. Like you saw, she's happy again, and I'm just glad to have my mom back."

"So that sounds like everything worked out then, in the end." I said cheerfully. "And, you could still go back and finish your degree if you wanted?"

"Let me ask you this. You said your parents died when you were young?"

"Yes." I replied emphatically.

"Well, say you found out that there was a chance that they were still alive, that for some reason they made a conscious decision to, for lack of better word, disappear. Would you, could you, go on living without knowing the truth?" Apparently it was a hypothetical question because he didn't wait long to answer it himself. "I can't."

"Yea, I get that." I told him sympathetically. "But, why do you all of a sudden think he might still be alive?"

"Remember that strange old guy I said had been following me around?"

"Yea."

"A few months ago Alisdar arranged a get-together for me to meet him. It was completely awkward. He claimed to be related to me somehow - I didn't really get the details, I honestly didn't believe him - but he said he couldn't leave without me knowing how much my dad loves me."

"And..."

"He said specifically that he loves me, not loved me. Present tense."

"It could have been a simple mistake. I'm not saying you're wrong, just saying, is it possible he just misspoke?"

"Eh, of course I considered that, but something tells me this guy just doesn't make mistakes."

I nodded. For some reason I knew exactly what he meant. "Did you ever catch his name?"

"He said it real quickly in the beginning but I couldn't make it out. Sounded foreign, Celtic maybe? I guess that would make sense since my dad's side was Irish."

This was getting less coincidental by the minute. "What about your grandparents?"

"He was in the system - foster system - most his life. I don't think he ever really knew them. I've got this picture of his mom that he used to carry around." He pulled his wallet out and handed me the tattered square. "Are you going somewhere with this?"

"Um..." I gulped, staring at the woman in the photograph. She looked practically identical to Claudine. I flipped it over to the back, speechless after noticing the inscription:

"Do mo mhac beloved ... Nuair a fhéachann tú ar an spéir, nó a bhraitheann na gréine ar do chraiceann, Tá a fhios beidh mé libh i gcónaí " - Cliona Brigant-Lùcais


A/N: So, what did ya think? I know there wasn't a whole lot of closure on the Ocella/Rhea issue but it is coming. Promise. I started this chapter with the intention to cover that and then it just evolved and didn't make sense. I hope this chapter helped to show where Pam is coming from with certain things, and Sookie's struggle (as much as she drives me nuts, I think she's got some serious self-worth issues she needs to work out before she'll be happy with Eric). This chapter was longer than usual. Like I said it took a life of its own. I hope you like these new developments. Next chapter, Sookie and Pam will get back on the road to Chicago.

- A few things. "Looking for some totty" is British slang for trying to pick up women. Alisdar is of Tartessian (700 - 500 B.C. Southwestern Spain and Southern Portugal) decent; their language is an extinct pre-Roman language once spoken in southern Iberia and has recently been classified as a Celtic language - possibly the first. "Lady Beaverland" another term for the female anatomy. Baphomet is a synonym of Satan or a demon, a member of the hierarchy of Hell. It is linked to the Knights Templar - a revival occurred in 19th century Britain (which is why Pam would reference it).

The inscription translates from Irish to English as: To my beloved son ... When you look at the sky, or feel the sun on your skin, know I'll be with you always.

Ben is 1/8 fae as is Sookie, just from a different line of Niall's descendents. He is actually another generation removed from Niall because he is descended from Dillion (Son of Niall and Branna - a full fairy). Dillion and Binne (both full fae) are the parents of Claude, Claudine and Claudette. Binne — (from Old Irish binn means "sweet, melodious" and was the name of several fairy women in legend.

In my story, Dillion and a human woman, Eibhilín — meaning "pleasant, beautiful, radiant."; from the French Aveline, brought by the Anglo-Normans, and very popular among the Middle Ages' nobility - conceived Cliona, who is the mother of Ben's father, Moesen - meaning "saved from the water." Cliona and the triplet's are half-siblings (through Dillion) and all resemble their grandmother Branna - name meaning "dark as raven."