My entry for the Dead After Dead Reckoning contest
Title: Path I've Chosen
Disclaimer: I own nothing, nada, zip, zilch! Charlaine Harris does.
Special thanks: To Merick, who helped me with the plot.
Summary: When you're face to face with the inevitable truth that you can't be together what do you do? Sookie has to make a decision. One that will change her drastically. A new path, a new destiny, a new Sookie.
You can never know where your life would take you. A path can open to multiple side paths along the way. Wishing for something, but knowing no matter how hard you wish, it might not do anything to help you. Your dreams can inspire you to want more in life or they can drag you down, being what you wanted or they can become nightmares.
Turning Jeopardy on, I sighed softly. I just wasn't feeling this show as much as I wanted to. For one, Sandra Pelt was killed by Jannalynn and then we threw the body through a portal. Not something that is easily forgotten. For two, I couldn't stop thinking of Eric. I thought of how awkward it was with him, the way he bit into my neck harshly after calling me a hypocrite and it made me feel wrong inside. I wanted to be happy, truly I did, but I wasn't feeling the way I should.
Have you ever just come to a part in your life where you felt lost and didn't know how to find your way back? That is what I was feeling, but not in the way that it sounds like. I knew where I stood in life, every aspect of my life I had come to understand and even to accept. I knew that I had changed. Was it for the better? Probably not, but there was hardly anything I could do to change it…and I wouldn't want to either.
Getting this far and seeing everything that I have, it would be a waste to just wish time to turn back. That would be selfish and I truly didn't want that. I wanted to feel normal on occasion, like I wasn't in the middle of vampires, werewolves, shifters, elves, fairies, demons and many more, but this taught me things. I didn't want to let those things go either, for the most part.
Just in a few years I had seen more than most people do their whole lives. I have fallen in love a few times, been hurt a few times, nearly died quite a bit, I've killed in self-defense and to protect someone I loved deeply, seen people die, saved a bunch of humans and supernaturals when the bombing at Rhodes happened, threw a girl's body into another dimension, used my ability for both good and evil-in my opinion, and so much more. The life I live is something I didn't expect when I first met Bill Compton at Merlotte's, but sitting here now and thinking about everything when Jeopardy still rolled on my small television screen really got me thinking.
No, I wasn't lost per se, but I felt out of control. My world buzzed around me, moving so swiftly that I could hardly catch my breath anymore. What do you do when you don't feel like you control your own life? I haven't been in control of myself for a long time now so I didn't have an answer there. I was simply going through it, knowing that I just had to roll with the way my life was handed to me.
I was different, I always have been. That was the end of the story like when an author would write 'The End' on the last page of a manuscript. When it all came down to it, I had to have a war within my body. I simply couldn't just live a normal life when I wasn't normal myself.
I was a secret in human form. Part fairy with a mind-reading ability that I got from a demon who said I had the Essential Spark and I had a magical object in my hand, but I didn't know what to do with it. What could I possibly want? What was my truest desire?
Hours I sat on the couch, even after the recorded episode had ended and cut blank. Even when the sun rose and then fell, I did nothing but think. Think, think, and think some more, but never coming up with an answer.
Granted I was just still wiped out from the events that happened not too long ago. I knew what I should be doing and where I should be, but could I really go and face something that I didn't know how to yet? I guess my mind wouldn't change that quickly.
Standing up and stretching, I moved over to my bedroom. I went into my closet and grabbed the first dress on the hanger and threw it on. It was a simple white dress with yellow flowers. I put on my belt after I situated the dress. I brushed my hair and checked my face, throwing on some light makeup before I grabbed my purse.
I stopped by my couch once more and picked up the Cluviel Dor, sliding it into place inside my belt before I moved to my front door. I opened it and stepped out, noticing Dermot coming up the porch.
"You look beautiful, niece." He commented.
"Thank you, Uncle Dermot." I said back, shuffling slightly.
Before I could stop him his arms wrapped around my form. He sighed happily before stepping back and giving me a radiant smile.
"I felt the need of contact. You do not mind?"
I know why you felt the need of contact. I thought to myself, subconsciously running my hand over the Cluviel Dor that was lying just below the surface.
"That's alright Dermot, do you feel better?" I smiled.
"Exceptionally." His smile only brightened.
"I'm happy." I whispered.
Dermot's smile slid from his face and his brows furrowed as he looked me over.
"I believe you just told a lie, dear niece. You aren't very happy at all."
I swallowed a lump in my throat. "I'm…managing. I just have a lot to think about."
"Does this have anything to do with your vampire?"
I sighed. "Yeah, it does. I have to go talk to him. The way we have been lately…it's not healthy for a relationship."
"What do you plan on doing?" Dermot put his hand on my shoulder and I felt more at ease, but not enough to take away my thoughts and feelings.
"Depends on what he has to say." I answered softly.
I didn't want to talk anymore and I turned around, heading down the stairs. Getting into my car, I drove to the place that I knew by heart now and a place that just had a small war inside. I was sure everything was cleaned by now like it never really happened, but I knew otherwise. Eric would have to write Felipe and come up with a reason why the regent of the state of Louisiana was killed.
I pulled up alongside the bar and took a deep breath before I got out and moved forward. I didn't know what I planned on saying, but I also didn't want to be alone. I wanted to be with Eric, awkward or not. I also needed answers on what he planned on doing with the whole marriage thing.
Pam greeted me with a nod and I gave her one back before I slipped in the side entrance. Eric's office door was closed, silently telling me that he was inside. I stopped at the door, unsure of how to enter. Do I knock or just waltz in? I chose the latter mostly, opening the door and knocking when it was halfway open.
Eric didn't look up from his papers, but I didn't expect more than that. He knew it was me by now, which was the only sign that he knew I existed at the moment, or that was the way I thought. Standing there, I waited for him to acknowledge me and when he did, I didn't see much emotion on his face.
We were both unsure of how to act with one another and seeing as how I had the blood bond broken I didn't know what he was feeling. I couldn't even be sure that he wanted me here, but I wasn't going to leave now.
"Hello, Sookie." Eric said.
He reclined in his chair and looked over me once more, taking in my body as he did so. Finally, he put his hand out and motioned for me to sit on the couch. I did so without speaking and waited for him to join me. Eric lifted himself and walked around the desk, moving slowly before he sat next to me and grabbed my hand in his. His thumb rubbed over my knuckles and I sighed.
"Hey, Eric." I finally answered him.
"How have you been? I haven't heard from you." Eric's voice was tight when he said that.
"I was just thinking a lot." I waved him off with my other hand.
"And what were you thinking about?"
I rubbed my forehead and closed my eyes for a mere second.
"Everything and nothing at the same time really. Where my life was before everything happened, where it is now. It's just musings on my part really." Eric wanted me to go further into my explanation. I continued. "It's just that I have seen more than most people do in their entire life and it just sort of all came back to me since the night Victor was killed. The way you acted after…" I trailed off.
Eric tensed by my side. "I reacted badly that you weren't celebrating what should have been a joyous time."
"I couldn't celebrate after everything that happened. It just…wasn't in me to do it, Eric. I know that upset you and you probably don't understand why, but it's just not something I could celebrate then."
"You were fine discussing it, Sookie."
I nodded. "I know, but seeing it is different than just planning it. I have seen a lot and it just all tumbled down on me, probably at the wrong moment."
Eric met my eyes, but there was still no emotion on his face. "I see. I cannot understand though, for you see, even in my human days I would celebrate such a victory. It was different times back then."
"I know, Eric." I whispered. "I know that I should have been happy and I was, but I couldn't show it."
"That is a start." A small smirk played on his lips. "I have missed you, lover."
Eric seemed slightly confused by my short answer and clearly I was as well. I knew why I was acting so short with him and I didn't like it. I hated it.
"What is bothering you now?" Eric asked carefully.
"The marriage thing that your maker set up for you." I told him honestly.
Eric sighed and leaned back in the seat more. "I have tried to get out of it, but Appius has definitely worked wonders it seems because I cannot find a loophole. I even talked to the queen and told her that I was married to a human woman, but she did not care. She is all for this and there is simply nothing I can do. I have tried, Sookie. I really have."
My throat constricted because I didn't think I would hear this news now. Not after I drove all the way out here to come see him, to be with him. My eyes tightened slightly at the idea that I just might have to let Eric go further. I already broke the blood bond, so all we had left was our marriage. I was never fond of it too much before, but now I wanted to hold onto it tightly as I could. I didn't want to share Eric, there was no way that I could sit back and watch that happen.
"You are…going to go through with it aren't you?" I whispered even lower this time. He still could hear me though, hear my broken voice.
"I have no choice in the matter." His voice was serious and it was like the last nail on a coffin; case closed.
"I can no longer be your wife then." It was a statement, not a question.
"No you can't." He said just as serious as before. "You are a human woman that is married to a vampire. Another vampire wants to marry me. It closes out our relationship with no way around it. To put it simple a marriage between two vampires means much more in my species than a vampire and human marriage."
My heart pounded in my chest and tears threatened to spill over my cheeks and run down my face. I wouldn't let them fall, I simply wouldn't. I stood on shaking feet and walked to the door. Before I could open it however, his hand was holding my wrist.
"Sookie, I do not want you to go." He told me softly.
I shook my head. "I can't."
"You can't what?" He spoke quickly. "I still want you, I still love you."
"But you're going through with it, Eric. I can't watch you do that and wonder when it will be my turn for you to spend your time with me. I can't do that to myself and I can't do that to you."
"What are you saying?" Eric's voice was darker now.
"I'm saying that I can't do this. I mean that I am going to back away while you are with the queen."
"Do you no longer love me?"
That hurt very much. The way he threw that out there stung me to the very core.
"I do love you, but my love will not change your mind. I can't change your mind when you have already chosen what you wanted to do."
"I have told you that I have no choice." He sighed.
"What choice would you make if you could?"
"I would choose you over anything. I wish I could, Sookie, but you are human." Eric said to me softly. His face was slightly forlorn and it broke me. He believed he would pick me, but he wasn't. He couldn't pick me even if he wanted to.
I closed my eyes before I pulled my wrist out of his grasp and opened the door. Eric stepped forward and shut the door again. His head came down on my shoulder and his arms wrapped around my waist, pulling my back against his chest as he whispered to me.
"You will always be my lover. You will always hold my heart. No one can take that away from you, ever." He whispered. "I wish there was a way for you and me to be together, but you will not have me regardless of what I say. I understand that though and it would be selfish of me to hurt you further."
"I can't watch you be with another woman. I-I'm really sorry and I love you, but I just can't do it. You said there was no way for us to still be married. Please understand."
I pried Eric's hands from my waist and I moved out of the door and then down the hallway. Even though my every pore was screaming for me to turn around and say that I am sorry, that I wanted to be with him regardless of this new vampire woman. I kept on walking even when it became nearly impossible to do so. I couldn't share him, so I should let him go, right? Right?
Halfway down the road to my home, I had to pull over. My loud cries echoed off the windows of the car and I bent my head over the steering wheel as sobs made my body tremble. I felt like I was going to die here and now with nothing but this horrible loneliness.
This is what it felt like to be lost. I truly knew how that felt now because without Eric, my life had no meaning did it? He was the reason that I had kept going. He was the one that picked me up whenever I fell and I just gave up on him. I just walked away with no promise to ever see him again. How could I do that to the one I love?
I couldn't and wouldn't see him with another woman. It was something my heart couldn't take, but when I tried to fix it and let go, it still broke me to the point that I was sure I wouldn't be able to come back from it.
Wiping my tears away, I started the car again and drove the rest of the way to my home. I got out of the car and walked to my front porch, noticing that Dermot and Claude were sitting there waiting for me. I looked at Claude for a moment before sighing. I wasn't mad at him anymore.
"You look oddly sad, Sookie." Claude commented softly.
"I am and I don't know what to do. I really have no idea what I can do. I'm so lost." I sat down in between them as more tears began to seep from my eyes and slip down my cheeks.
Claude and Dermot didn't say anything, but wrapped their arms around me. Though it was comfort, it didn't pacify me in the slightest. I was a broken woman who lost the last thing that I had to hold onto. After a few minutes the sobs slowed until it was just whimpers of my pain.
"What's this?" Dermot whispered as he put his hand down by my belt that had come slightly loose and I hadn't noticed.
I gasped as his hand touched the Cluviel Dor and my head snapped up to his until we were looking into each other's eyes. Dermot's were wide and his hand was back in its original place, at his side. From the look that he was giving me told me that he knew exactly what that was.
"Sookie, is that a Cluviel Dor?" Claude whispered.
"Are you going to kill me to get it now?" I whispered. "Because I honestly don't think I care anymore."
Claude and Dermot looked at each other before turning back to me. They both shook their heads.
"It is obviously your gift, not ours." Dermot said.
"That must be the reason we both wanted to be closer to you though. I won't lie about that." Claude pointed down at the Cluviel Dor that I had taken out.
"Yeah, I knew that too."
"Do you know what to do with it?" Claude asked.
"It will grant me one wish. It's a love token." I answered.
They both nodded. "You have any idea what you want, Sookie? What is your deepest desire?"
I looked down at the smooth object in my hand. What did I want? What could I possibly wish for that could save me from being so sad? So afraid that I would lose Eric? I wanted to take back everything I said earlier, but that would get us nowhere. We would still be in the same boat as before. He would still need to marry the queen, but I knew that I never wanted to lose Eric. Not now, not ever. My eyes widened and I gripped the stone in my hand tighter as Eric's words swam back to the surface.
'A marriage between two vampires means much more to my species than a vampire and human marriage.'
'I wish there was a way for you and I to be together.'
'I would choose you over anything. I wish I could, Sookie, but you are human.'
"I'm human." I whispered.
"You're not all human, but mostly." Claude's voice was edging toward confusion.
"No, you don't get it. I'm mostly human that is why our marriage doesn't mean anything! That's why I couldn't be with him." I stood up determined.
"What are you talking about?" Claude asked.
"Eric has to marry the queen of Oklahoma because his maker made like a contract for him; meaning that he can't be with me, because our marriage doesn't mean much in vampire politics. They pretty much would pick a vampire and vampire marriage over a human and vampire marriage."
"You are rambling, dear niece." Dermot shook his head.
"You don't get it?" I asked and they both shook their heads.
My heart was pounding in my chest hard as I walked up my steps. It was still pretty early in the night and I wondered if I could really do this. Could I choose this? Not in the sense that it wouldn't work, but because I always was so dead set against the idea that swam through my mind.
Eric meant much more to me than anything and I don't take things lightly. When I have come to a conclusion there is no stopping me. I knew what I wanted in life and what it would always be. Eric loved me and that meant everything. That was my answer because I wanted to go through with it. I never wanted to let go of Eric. I couldn't handle it and this way…we could be together forever.
"We could be together." I mumbled as I stepped into my living room.
I grabbed the coffee table and pushed it by the fireplace. Claude and Dermot stood perplexed behind me as I rearranged the room slightly. I cast my eyes down to the object in my hands as I kneeled on my hardwood floor.
"It will grant me one wish. It will grant me my deepest desire." I turned the Cluviel Dor over in my hands a few times. "I can be with him because of my wish. I won't have to share him. This is the loophole he was looking for and he knew better to even ask this of me, but it's what I want."
"What do you want, Sookie?" Dermot came to sit by me and Claude followed. "Tell us what you want and wish for it. It is your life and this Cluviel Dor is yours to use."
I glanced back and forth between the two Fae men that were knelt beside me. They didn't try to take my greatest treasure. They wanted to help me and now I knew that I should have had better trust in my family. They want me to be happy, even Claude wanted that. I could see it written on his face.
A tear slipped from my left eye, but it wasn't of sadness. It was of joy and happiness that I knew I would have once I made this wish; my greatest wish in the world. One that will change my path drastically, but that seemed perfect for me.
As I have said before, I am different. I always have been and as I fingered the object in my hand I knew my life would even be more different, but then at least I get to pick my own destiny. It was time that I took my life back and not just go through the motions. It was time that my life was what I wanted it to be. To pick my own destiny from here on out is what I would strive for and it would all start with this wish.
"I wish to become a vampire." I spoke strongly.
Claude and Dermot gasped and I was expecting it, but they didn't get much further than that. I tumbled over in pain. It started in my midsection and spread through my entire body. It felt like I was being ripped apart and as I looked down I knew why. My skin began to burst apart and large gashes marred my flesh. I didn't cry because somewhere in the back of my mind was a whisper that this was essential.
"Towels! Get towels!" Dermot shouted at Claude as he started over toward me.
Blood was already pooling around me heavily and the whispering voice that was my comfort came back into my mind again. Dermot wanted to try to stop the bleeding and clean up what was already lost. It couldn't happen. I couldn't let that happen, the voice whispered again.
"No." I forced out of my throat. "Don't touch the blood. I need it."
"Sookie…" Dermot whispered.
"Don't worry. This is supposed to happen." I promised and I knew that I was telling the truth.
Though the pain was excruciating, I knew that this was the way it had to be. The comforting voice whispered what would happen as if that voice was my maker, but it was in fact just my own voice whispering back to me. I wouldn't have a maker. I would be my own maker. It was something that never happened before in all existence.
Images flooded my mind; starting with the very first memory that I had ever known. This must be where you see your life flash before your eyes before you die, but I wasn't actually dying. I was becoming something new. I was being reborn.
Jason and I running around as kids, my birthdays, first day of school, coming to live with Gran, meeting Tara, my very first kiss, graduating from high school, my first day at Merlotte's, meeting Bill Compton, making love for the first time, going to a vampire bar for the first time, meeting Eric and Pam, taking care of Eric when he had amnesia, making love to Eric, going to the vampire summit, going to Eric's house for the first time, getting closer to Pam, learning both of their pasts, and so much more.
Mostly these images were of Eric. Every touch, kiss, hug, caress, loving whisper played back in my mind and I felt as I should. I was happy even though I was in pain. I had a smile on my face and I could smile because I knew I would be creating millions of more memories with him in the future.
Appius's words came back to my mind that moment.
'You will never keep him.'
I smiled as more cuts began to rip open on my skin. "You were wrong, Appius. I will keep Eric…forever."
My heart began to slow and pound harder in my chest as it pounded toward its last beat. My eyes were fogging over and becoming a black tunnel that I could hardly see out of, but all was well. The voice, my voice told me so.
I would be different from any other vampire and I knew this. The whispering voice of comfort spoke to me as if in a lullaby saying that I would be new and something that nobody has ever seen before. I must keep that hidden from most, it spoke and I wondered why until it promised that I would still be able to see the sun. I was still sky Fae, though my body was morphing into the unknown; a Fae vampire, a new creation and one that no one should mess with.
I smiled again as my heart thumped one last time and my eyes closed, but I could still see as if it was an out of body experience. I was looking down upon my own body as the blood began to rise off of the floor in drops and change before my very eyes. The crimson blood sparkled as it floated through the air before falling back down on my body like raindrops. The blood moved around on my skin, filling the gashes and began to heal.
A few minutes passed before every last drop went back into my body and I was pulled back under; my soul connecting with my body once more. I sat bolt upright, panting-though I didn't need the air-from the experience that I just went through and I cried in joy because it worked.
Tears of blood fell from my eyes. It was heavier than regular tears I noticed, but I would get used to it. This was a learning experience for me and one that I would never regret. I was thirsty though and my eyes moved over to my family.
"You look different." Claude nodded. "Though you aren't as pale as I thought you would be. Don't get me wrong, you are pale."
I grinned. "Blood."
"Shit!" Claude proclaimed loudly as he backed away.
I was confused as Dermot and Claude stood half in the kitchen now. That was until I realized that I wasn't intoxicated by their scent as I should have been. I wasn't lusting for them and I knew that was one of the differences that I had from other vampires. I descended from fairies, so I wasn't drawn to their blood.
"No, I meant bottled blood. I have some…in my fridge. Don't worry. I won't attack you." I promised.
Dermot looked at Claude, but it seemed like Claude didn't want to take any chances yet. So Dermot went to the fridge and grabbed a bottle. He brought it over to me with much more ease and placed it in my waiting hand. I flipped the lid off and downed the bottle. It tasted off, but it was synthetic and therefore I knew I would need to get used to the taste. Even for a baby vampire, I didn't like it. I held out my hand for another and Claude came over with the next one.
After a few more I stood. I carefully looked over myself before I went to my room. I had to get another outfit before I went anywhere. I grabbed a red and white dress, pulling it over myself before I walked into the bathroom. My makeup was smudged all over my face and I made quick work to fix it.
When I was done I stepped back into the living room. Claude and Dermot were looking at the Cluviel Dor that was now just another object in the room. I grabbed it and put it into my purse before I glanced back down at them.
"Are you both staying here for the night?" I asked.
"Yes, if you don't mind." Claude whispered. "It's been an insane night already."
I chuckled. "Alright, you know where everything is. I won't be back tonight so don't wait up."
"You plan on just going about your life?" Dermot smiled.
"I'm going to be doing things my way now. I chose the path that I want to lead and now I am going to start walking down it." I smiled. "Goodnight, you two."
Testing my abilities, I ran to my car. I giggled excitedly as I made in there in less than a few seconds. How could I have never wanted this? Probably because I knew I would have been dragged into more vampire politics, but that didn't matter. I could handle my own now, I knew I could.
The trip took less time because I sped…really fast. It was surprising how my eyesight was much clearer and it helped me tremendously in the darkened night. When I got to the bar, I took the side entrance. I didn't want to overdo anything and there were some humans outside. My mouth watered at the idea, but I had to rein myself in. I had to learn all of this.
I was successful and I pushed open the door. Carefully I stepped inside and to my surprise Pam was standing just inside the door.
"I saw you get out of your car, my favorite breather. Trying to sneak in to apologize?" She grinned.
"You could say that, Pam." I answered.
I stepped away from her and continued down the hall, knowing that I would have more time to talk with her later. I couldn't wait; I needed to see Eric now.
"Sookie?" Pam called over the music and I could hear her as clear as if she said it next to my ear. I turned to look at her and watched a grin begin to lift her features. "Immortality looks good on you. You must explain to me later what happened."
I smiled, but said nothing. I continued down the hall until I came upon Eric's door. I didn't think this time as I pushed inside. The light was off, but Eric was here in the dark. I could see him perfectly and I could faintly see red streaks on his face, even though his head was bent low. I grimaced slightly.
"You came back." He whispered in the dark. He knew it was me. "Did you forget something?"
"I did come back." I nodded. He still didn't look up. "And I did forget something. I forgot you. I will never leave you again." His eyes met mine in a hurried movement. "I had received a gift from my Gran. She had gotten it from the Fae. It's a Cluviel Dor and I am sure you heard of it." Eric nodded and I watched as his brows drew down in confusion as he looked over my features, but it wasn't because of the mentioning of the Cluviel Dor. He was looking over my paler skin. "It grants you one wish and I wished for something. You said you were looking for a loophole in your makers deal and here I am." I outstretched my arms and kept my eyes attracted to his.
"This must be a dream." Eric spoke softly. "You found a loophole, you said? Explain to me what that loophole was. I want to hear it from you."
"A vampire and human wouldn't be picked over a vampire and another vampire marriage." I stepped closer to Eric, putting my hands on his desk. I leaned forward and opened my mouth slightly. Fangs ran down with a snick and Eric's eyes widened slightly. "The loophole is that I am no longer a human, therefore you can't be taken from me."
Without notice, Eric jumped over the desk and put his arms around my own. His lips smashed down onto mine and kissed me for all that I was worth. It sent me ablaze and I basked in the moment.
"You found a way." He whispered.
"I always find a way." I answered as I kissed his lips once more.
"You never wanted to become a vampire. How did this happen? Who bit you?" His voice was darker, jealousy was evident. "Who is your maker?"
"No one is my maker, Eric. The Cluviel Dor gave me my wish. I wished to become vampire and I was granted it. I am my own maker."
"You did this for me? For us?" His hand caressed my cheek and then his lips followed.
"I couldn't live without you and I didn't want to try. I love you, Eric and I always will." I promised.
"You are mine forever, lover. I do love the sound of that." He grinned.
"I do too." I nodded happily.
"How about we get started on that forever now?" Eric wiggled his eyebrows at me and I giggled.
"What do you have in mind?" I asked teasingly.
Eric smirked devilishly. "Let's try out your new vampire abilities, hmm? In bed perhaps?"
I laughed louder before nodding. "That is a very good place to start my life's path."
"I love you, Sookie." Eric whispered as he pulled me closer.
"I love you more than life, Eric." I grabbed his face and pulled it to my own.
This was my new beginning. This is where we would start; a vampire marriage where no one could take him from me, no matter what was done. He was mine and I would claim him as he would claim me. I chose my path and now it was time that I started living it; with Eric and preferably in a bed where we can rekindle our love.