BEGONE WRITER'S BLOCK YOU ARE NOT WELCOME HERE! Guess who's baaack? Sorry it took so long I've had some ideas for some sequels that I've put sneak peeks up for and couldn't get them out of my head. Back to it tho!
I was quickly learning that this day and age on earth, while no one believed in magic anymore, had sorceries of its own. I had just gotten off the telephone with Claude, Sookie's cousin, and I had sent at least thirty "emails" that day to the fae of Louisiana. Sookie, every now and again, would peek her head into the room that she had turned into something of an office, and either remind me that I had work, or that dinner was ready.
In the days since I had met with the disappointing Authority, I was both relieved and anxious about my lack of messages from Eric Northman. I was glad that perhaps Eric was focusing on the danger that we were all in, but at the same time I was apprehensive and upset at the prospect of his ceasing to try and get a hold of me because I had turned him down.
The midday sun shone through the windows of Merlotte's as the group of fae sat at booths scattered throughout the bar. Sookie and I sat at the barfront, with Sam, as we waited for Mrs. Maxine Fortenberry to leave the bar after her midday lunch feast. I was particularly waiting for my tip. It seemed apparent that she was stalling to figure out what all these strange people were doing here, but as we simply continued to wait, eat, and occasionally stare her down, she finally understood that we were not going to speak about our business in front of her. Still, being her, she decided to ask anyways.
"Thanks Mrs. Fortenberry," I said as I took my tip from her, and brought her back her change. "Have a great day!" I walked away from her and immediately sat back down at the bar, and could only describe my mood as trying as she made her way to the front of Merlottes.
"What're all these strangers doin' here in your bar, Merlotte?" she asked as she leaned against the bar beside me. I leaned back away from her smell of cheap makeup, fake jewelry, and syrup.
"They're havin' a... Sierra Club meeting." Sookie stifled a laugh in her drink and I smiled a little bit as I caught her eye. "Told 'em I'd close down the bar til lunch time so they can talk about it and all."
"Never knew you were the Sierra Clubbin' kinda guy, Merlotte."
"Excuse me, actually no. Don't excuse me. Excuse you. We've been waiting forever for you to leave, so if you could please do that now we'd really appreciate it." it was my turn to stifle a laugh as Sookie's ever outspoken and usually rude cousin, Claude spoke up.
"Well if you ask me -"
"The thing is we didn't... ask you." Claude responded, cutting her off, and sat back down at his bench. "Goodbye." Mrs. Fortenberry opened her mouth, as if to say something, but only huffed out the door, slamming it behind her with the tinkling of the bell. When she was finally a while away I put my drink down and started laughing, quietly, before the buzz of the bar had quieted down, and turned around in my chair. Everyone was looking at me, and for a moment I was terrified. I had never asked to be the leader, and yet here I was, debriefing an entire room full of fae.
"Hello." I said, "I'm Lilithiana. Most of you know my family as the last remaining Nature Fae in Fairy. Now you'll know me as the last remaining Nature Fae in existence." there was a slight murmur and I paused as I waited for the fae to quiet down. "You all know why we're here. My brother died to warn all of us and the vampires of the terror that is on its way. Most of us left Fairy because we were frightened by the bloodshed and the terror that we were succumbed to and now it's threatened to return to our lives once again. I don't know about you, but I'm not going to stand for it."
"Have the Vampires decided what part they are going to play in this?" asked a fair haired faerie, mid-fry. I looked over at her.
"Eric Northman is holding council. He's supposed to talk to me when he's done. But I want to know what the fae want to do about this before we hear from the vampires." I stood up and walked to the center of the room.
"Let's talk strategy."
"Claude is right, you know." Sookie said as we watched the fae leave and disappear into the late afternoon. I ran a hand over my face and leaned against the bar, drained, nodding. "Their most likely to attack us during the day. Their fight is with the Vampires, and the Vamps are their only real threat."
"The fact that humans don't know much about us is working against us."
"We need to go talk to Eric tonight." I said, leaning my head on the bar and closing my eyes for a moment. "He had better come up with something, or I swear."
"We have work tonight."
Sam chose this moment to walk out from the back. "I don't want you or Sookie here tonight." he told me as Sookie walked down the hall to get her things. Cars were starting to park in the parking lot. The bar was back open. "I already switched your shifts. The whole damn place smells like faeire. Every Vamp in Louisiana will be here tonight lookin' for some blood."
"It's fine. Arlene's covering for you. Please don't fight with me about this. I'm really worried about y'all. I'm meeting with some shifters tonight. See what we can do about the whole Fae and Vamp situation. I've got a feeling it's not going to be pretty for us if Brandon wins." I shook my head, slowly, and almost as if he could read my mind, Sam wrapped his arms around me and pulled me to his chest. I rested my head there, allowing myself to be tired, and stressed, but at the same time, his presence so close to me was not helping. I told him nothing about the kiss from the Vampire in the forest, and it was likely to remain that way. "Okay."
"And if you're going to see Eric, wear some silver for me, please. And call me."
"I will." my voice was low and thoughtful and I absentmindedly kissed his cheek. "I will." I repeated and walked out the door.
It was getting more and more difficult to ignore the huge weight on my shoulders as Sookie and I drove to Shreveport later that night. Every now and again Sookie would glance at me with concern, and as I leaned over and placed my forehead onto the glovebox, she reached over and rubed my back. I, meanwhile, was dead lost in a sea of thoughts and emotion, hardly aware of what was going on around me. I was the last of my kind, and now the leader of a fae army with a dead family, as shifter boyfriend whom I did not love, and a Vampire who I was falling for, but who was desperately in love with my dead sister. I sounded like a soap opera, and couldn't help but chuckle at myself like a crazy woman. Almost a year alone in an iron cell could do that to a person.
When we pulled into Fangtasia, I was almost dead to the world, and felt more than anything like crying. I had not yet let myself fall apart after my brother's death, and only now were the horrifying memories of my year of survival in a cell coming back to haunt me. I rested one hand on my forehead and followed Sookie into the bar. I could hardly hear the muttering that was going on, and at one point, finally, I looked up through the blasting headache, and found myself alone, in an office. With Eric.
Eric and I stood alone in his office for a long time before Eric spoke. "What happened to you?" he asked quietly.
I blinked. "I told you. She was in -"
"I'm not talking about her, Lily. I'm talking about you." for a moment I said nothing, only stared. It was a while before I sighed deeply, and rubbed my aching head.
"Eric," I said tiredly, "I would love to play into this. I would. I would love to sit down with you over some warm milk and talk into the late hours about my life, but we both know it's not me you care about here. It would take an idiot not to see what's going on." When there was a long minute of silence, I finally looked up and met Eric's blue eyes, looking down at me with face obscured by his emotionless mask. I met his eyes and silence followed.
"Come with me." Eric demanded softly and turned before flitting to the door. I rolled my eyes deeply before adjusting my wings against my back and following him at my own inhuman speeds. He stopped, rapidly, and with a scowl, I unstuck myself from his back. "Grab on." was all he said before lifting me onto his back and taking off into the sky at a speed I had never experienced before.
By the time I was able to open my eyes and hear past the whooshing sounds of wind assaulting my ears, I knew we could be no less than miles away than where we were before. I felt exhausted and by no means amused. But when I looked around that all went away. As Eric set me down onto the ground I felt myself sink into the lush grass. The cool night wind tousled my hair and the trees around us seemed to sing to my presence. Not twenty feet ahead of us was a pond. The moonlight shone off the water's surface, casting small diamond-like reflections onto the scene around us. I could not smell a single car, nor factory, nor deep fryer.
When I turned to the Vampire behind me, I could see that he was watching me closely. I took a step closer to him and touched his chest. He shivered beneath my fingertips and I masked my scent even further as I watched his fangs poke out. "Tell me." he urged.
I sighed, dragging my fingertips away from him, but nodded and walked to sit on the dock, bare feet hanging over and into the water below. Eric followed suit. "I don't know why I thought my troubles would end when I came here." I said quietly. Eric remained silent, which I was grateful for. "But I've left one world of danger and fear for another. All this responsibility that I have. I don't know if I can ... I just ..." there was a long silence broken only by he crickets in the night. My voice broke. "When I was in the cells in Faerie, sometimes if I tried to get away, sometimes if I yelled too loudly in my sleep, sometimes just for fun, the guards would poke me with iron rods." I lifted the side of my shirt to reveal little cigarette burn-like marks. Many of them. I heard Eric growl next to me and as he clenched his hands on the wood, I felt and heard it split. I reached over and placed my hand above his. "It's okay." I said, "Had it not been for that I could not have built such a tolerance to it. That wound that you saved me from would have killed me before I even made it to the portal." When I had finished speaking, I felt Eric's cold hand on the back of my neck, turning me to face him. I stared into his eyes before my eyes darted across his face. Never had I experienced such tenderness from Eric Northman before, who seemed all anger and attack. He leaned forward and pressed his cool forehead to my own warm one, never taking his eyes off of me.
"Take this." he mumbled, almost like a plead. I frowned and closed my eyes before my instincts took over, and I began to feed from his happiest memory, that he now wanted to lose.
Eric's standing in the middle of a meadow, in the middle of the night. Lilyeth climbs down from a tree and runs across the meadow at him, flinging herself into his arms. Eric spins her around, before setting her down and claiming her lips with his own.
"I'm so sorry it took so long to get here, my love." Lilyeth says softly. For a moment I was taken aback and almost pulled back. Eric's hands remained firmly on the back of my neck. I closed my eyes again. "You know how my father is. He hates it when I run off. My little sister was just born as well."
"You're here now." Eric says, running his hands up and down her sides. She smiles, and wraps her arms around his neck before planting little kisses on his face that Eric both hates and loves passionately. Eric watches as Lilyeth's midnight blue eyes twinkle at night and she slips from his arms and lies on the grass below. She is so demanding. So much like him, and yet nothing at all like Eric Northman. As Eric crouches over her, protectively, and kisses her neck without drawing even a drop of blood - he realizes he is falling in love with her.
I didn't even realize the tears that were coursing down my cheeks until Eric began kissing them away. I looked up at him, once the shakes had subsided, and stared at him, noting the small glimpses of red tears gathering at the corners of his eyes.
All at once I knew. There was no fighting it anymore. "Why did you give that to me?" I asked. I knew that the natural response would be to turn away, to walk away, to ask which way back to Shreveport after showing me such memories with my dead sister while he dries my tears.
"Two reasons." Eric replied. "One being that you haven't seen her in a long long time, and I thought you would like it. Second, wait there's three, I know how nature fae work. You can't take as much energy from the nature around you like other faeries, so you need it in memories. You needed that. Third..." there was a pause and I felt my heart seizing up in my throat. "I've never met any other one just like you. Not even Lilyeth was like you. And she's gone. You're here. I didn't want the memory that I dream about underground anymore."
I stared at him for a few moments, and for the first time saw a bit of uncertainty in Eric's eyes. He was not sure how I was going to respond, and neither was I. Slowly, I brought myself up onto my knees, facing him, and reached out to touch his chest again, feeling his shiver under my fingertips. I leaned forward and pressed my lips against his, putting one hand on the back of his neck. Eric, for once, gave into me and began kissing me back with a ferocity that both scared and excited me.
He pushed me onto my back on the dock above the pond.