Adele and I sat on the porch watching Sookie and Jason chase fireflies. I smiled, recalling watching my young children do the same thing. I decided to speak what was on my mind.
"Adele, I saw a fairy outside your house last night." All of the color drained from her face. "We had a brief chat."
"How brief? You didn't kill him, did you?" The fairy's well being was her biggest concern?
"Vampires do find fairies intoxicating, but I restrained myself. I was very interested in what he had to say."
Adele looked at me. "It was Fintan, I suppose?"
"That is the name he gave me."
"In all of these years, I have never talked to a living soul about him (and she still hasn't, technically). I am ashamed to say I had an affair. And yet, if I had it to do over again, I would make the very same choices. Fintan was so beautiful and I wanted children so badly…" Adele trailed off with a wistful look in her eyes. "Corbett and Linda were such wonderful children and now I have Hadley, Jason, and Sookie. No, I wouldn't change anything. Do you think I did wrong?"
I chuckled. "I am very much a means to an end sort of guy myself. My biggest concern is for your safety. I have arranged to take some time off. We can leave for Europe as early as tomorrow evening. I will help the three of you plus Linda's family get settled. If you move every year or two…"
"No, Eric. I won't live my life on the run. Fintan promised to keep us hidden. Fairies can go wherever they like. Why would we be safer in Europe than we are here? I am too old to be moving from place to place like a gypsy and it is no way to raise children."
"If you won't go, will you at least let me take Sookie? "
"Will you take care of her personally? Won't raising her as your daughter put her in as much danger as being Fintan's granddaughter?"
"I would rather raise her here, surrounded by people I know and trust. I'll spot an outsider right away. Moving around constantly, I would never know who to be wary of. I don't want to leave Bon Temps. This is my home. Stackhouses have been living under this roof for generations. I want Sookie and Jason to grow up here, to know their roots." I wanted to remind her that Sookie and Jason weren't really Stackhouses because of the whole fairy grandfather thing, but I held my tongue. She was determined to stay.
On to Plan B. Mrs. Dawson would continue to be on hand weekday mornings to teach Sookie - I would give her a heads up about the fairies. Adele's house could use some repairs and updating. Maybe I could convince her all of it was for safety. I would give Jackson Herveaux a call, most of his construction workers are Weres. And they do good work. And he owes me a favor. Who could I find to watch them on evenings when I wasn't around without arousing suspicion? Maybe there was a local Were that could pose as a suitor for Adele. He could set out to charm her, or I could just tell her he was pretending to be her romantic interest. Telling her the truth would probably be wisest. Generally women don't appreciate men who feign interest, even if it is for their own good. (Generally I don't like Weres, but they make good bodyguards. If I sent vampire guards at night that would be like putting a big blinking light up that said: Eric's Favorite Humans Please Maim and Kill. Also, I don't really care if the Weres are injured by fairies. I don't want to lose any of my own people if I can help it.)
"Eric," Sookie called, running over. "Can you fly us up in the air so we can watch the lightning bugs from above?"
"Please, Eric?" Jason asked. How could I say no to that?
Note: Again, a big thank you for all of your reviews. This is my last chapter – summer vacation is almost over and I need to get my classroom ready. Maybe someday I will get around to writing about Sookie as an adult.