Spoiler ALERT! I am picking up this story 200 years after the end of DEAD EVER AFTER! That means by reading it you'll know how Harris ends her story. Like shit in my opinion. I had to write this last night after hearing how Harris ended the story. I am going to give us a Happily Ever After in EVERY WAY! So far this story will be about 5-6 chapters. Not terribly long as I'm going to ghost over the rough stuff to give only the good parts we were all deprived of by CH!
Dead Ever After the Right Way
"Are you sure I cannot change your mind?"
"There is nothing I can offer you to stay?"
Freya watched Eric pack the last of his things in his carry on bag and zip it closed with a definitive swipe of his hand. The room her royal consort had lived in next to hers for the past 200 years was now devoid of everything save the set of black suitcases sitting at the end of Eric's bed. He'd brought only his clothes when he'd come to Oklahoma so many years ago, and she really should have known then that he'd never really be hers. She'd given him power. She'd given him status. She'd given him a place at her side … but none of it could replace the woman he'd left behind. None of it could convince him to extend their marriage.
There had never been a day in her two centuries long union with the Viking that Freya didn't know he was at her side unwillingly. He'd told her the night she'd come to collect him at Fangtasia that by forcing this marriage from him, forcing him to leave behind the only woman he'd ever loved, she'd made an enemy of him for life. Eric had sworn that once his 200 years were up he'd find a way to destroy her, but Freya had hoped he'd simply been being dramatic. She'd hoped that once he came to her side and realized that what she'd offered him was so much better than what he left that he'd be happy.
She thought he could be happy as her consort. She had done everything she could to make him happy. She had told him he could continue his relationship with Sookie. She had offered to allow the girl to even live in his room here in the palace with him. When he'd made it clear Sookie would not leave her home, she'd offered to let him travel to Bon Temps two weeks out of each month to visit with the girl, but even that concession had done nothing to sway Eric to her way of thinking. Eric had tried to tell Freya that if she forced the marriage it would cost him Sookie, but Freya had truly believed that the telepath would follow Eric to Oklahoma. When Sookie had stayed behind and married the shifter Freya had been shocked. Eric? He'd been heartbroken, and then furious. Heartbroken that Sookie would not follow him. And furious at Freya, and there wasn't one day in the past two centuries he hadn't let her know it.
Yes, having Eric as her husband for the past 200 years had served its purpose. Having such a powerful husband had kept the wolves from her door while she strengthened her kingdom. With her state's prosperity growing by the day with the growth of the Indian casinos and climbing populace, more and more vampire monarchs had started to look her way. Freya knew she was young for a vampire ruler, and with her maker dead, and her only sibling uninterested in supporting her, she'd known she needed a marriage to boost her power base. The only problem was that she needed a husband that wasn't a monarch that would try to assassinate her and take over her kingdom. She'd needed a husband consort. A vampire strong enough to make other vampires pause at the idea of a hostile takeover, but one that couldn't afford to assassinate her without being held responsible and facing the true death.
When Appius and his disturbed child had caused such a ruckus in her state she'd leapt at the chance to offer the ancient vampire a way out of his crimes in her state in exchange for having Eric. Truthfully, Sookie had nothing to do with Freya wanting Eric. It had always been about having the strong vampire to stand at her side to help her maintain her position. Eric had certainly done that. He'd thwarted over four takeover attempts as her husband consort, and he had trained all her sheriffs and personal guards. Her state was four times as fortified, and ten times as rich since she'd married him.
But now as she watched him call for his dayman to collect his baggage and take it to the waiting transport, she couldn't help but wonder what the cost the past 200 years of security would be. She hoped that Eric was not sincere in his desire to kill her. She would have spies watching him from the moment he stepped foot out of the palace. As she'd had spies watching him since he first arrived, but she knew what Eric was capable of. She'd been paying close attention the last two centuries. If Eric wanted her dead, she doubted she'd be able to do anything about it.
Still, she didn't think Eric had the right to truly be mad. In exchange for Felipe De Castro not whisking Sookie off to Vegas when Eric had come to Oklahoma Freya had agreed to an alliance with De Castro's regime. As Felipe's kingdom was so spread out it made it difficult for him to maintain control of all his territories. Therefore Freya pledged support and troops for De Castro's people in Louisiana and Arkansas should any monarch decide to take the state in exchange for Eric being married to her for 200 years instead of 100, and for Felipe promising to allow Sookie to live her life freely. Felipe had found the vampire support of Freya's state for two centuries to protect his boarders more valuable than Sookie's telepathy. Thus, Sookie had been released entirely of her duties to Felipe De Castro, and was protected by the Louisiana vampires while she lived in Bon Temps. No one could bother her, and other than a few disturbances over the years that were quickly handled, no one had. Sookie Stackhouse had finally escaped vampire politics.
Beyond the gratefulness Freya felt that Eric owed her for protecting his precious telepath, she felt he had no reason for being angry with her since she hadn't truly cost him a life with Sookie. Not only had she offered to let him keep Sookie while being her consort, but with the effects the Cluviel Dor had on the girl Eric really couldn't blame her for the loss of the girl in his life. Freya could admit she was as shocked as everyone else in the supe community when the effects the ancient Fairy artifact had on Sookie came to light.
About 50 years after Eric had come to live in Oklahoma with her word had come to them that Sookie's shifter had died. Eric had chosen not to go to the funeral, wanting to remember Sookie as she had been and not the old woman she was supposed to be after five decades. Instead he'd sent Pam, who had become sheriff of Area 5 when he left. She'd been forbidden from having any contact with Sookie once Eric had left for Oklahoma, but the death of Sam prompted the Viking to send his child to check on his former wife and lover. Eric's child had traveled to Bon Temps for the first time since they'd left Louisiana to offer their condolences to Sookie on the loss of her husband. When Pam had arrived she'd been shocked to see a still young looking Sookie. The telepathic fairy former barmaid still looked as young as the day she'd used the Cluviel Dor to save Sam over five decades before.
Apparently while the talisman had saved Sam's life it had also extended Sookie's in some way while giving her an all new power. For all intents and purposes when Sookie had slapped that fairy bauble down on Sam's chest and commanded, "Live", she had indeed been given the gift of life. She could now heal with a touch, and no one knew just how long she would live, but many were guessing she was now as immortal as vampires.
Her ability to give life manifested itself in other ways as well. While married to Sam over five decades Sookie had given birth to 11 full blooded shifters, and by doing so had garnered herself the full support of the shifter community without any of the vampires knowing. If anything shifters were even more secretive than vampires, and they kept the secret of Sookie's new life span and abilities well.
So when Pam had shown up to give Sookie Eric's condolences and seen her former human friend still as young and vibrant as before she couldn't run to Oklahoma fast enough. She'd barged into Eric's office while he was meeting with Freya's security personnel and told him that Sookie was still young. Hearing that Sookie would still be alive once his two centuries of forced marriage to Freya were over had been the only bright spot in Eric's life. And Freya had hoped that it would lessen his anger with her. In fact she had encouraged him to reach out to Sookie now that she'd had time to mature, now that her husband was gone, and see if the girl would be more accommodating in respect to Eric's political marriage.
Eric had taken her suggestion and had reached out to Sookie. Her response had been the same cold silence Eric had forced upon her as he'd made his deals with Oklahoma and De Castro. Freya didn't know why, but Sookie was apparently angry with Eric agreeing to the marriage and making the deals with her and Felipe that he had without informing her about them. Apparently she felt Eric had abandoned her and his love for her. When Sookie did not reply to his written communications Eric had traveled to Bon Temps himself to try and speak to her, but she'd made it apparent she could not forgive him for simply leaving without telling her. She could not forgive him for refusing to fight for her, and she could not forgive him for thinking she could be his other woman. She'd sent Eric away with instructions to never come back. He'd left her behind, and she wasn't interested in trying to reclaim what he'd walked away from.
Freya thought that the foolish telepath was just being prideful and would allow Eric back into her life after she had time to get over her husband's death and her own foolishness. She'd been wrong again. About 20 years after Sam Merlotte died Sookie married a part demon part human hybrid named Marcus that was directly related to the ruling house of the fire demon realm. Even if she hadn't had the protection of De Castro and Oklahoma to keep other vampires away from her she sure as hell found herself nice and safe once she allied with the demons. As far as Freya knew they were still together and living the safe and vampire free life Sookie had built herself in Bon Temps. They'd even racked up 22 children of their own that were just as powerful as their parents over the past 130 years. It seemed that Sookie had decided if she couldn't be with the man she wanted she would give her love to the many children she had.
Once word had reached them that Sookie married the part demon Eric's anger at his situation had only grown, and Freya knew he blamed her for the loss of his once mortal lover. Freya had tried to point out that Sookie was the one that refused to understand their political alliance and left him for the shifter, she'd tried to point out she was the one that refused to come to him once that shifter died and instead married a demon, but Eric would hear none of it. He placed the blame solely on her shoulders, and Freya feared he really did intend to make her pay for it.
She knew her only hope lied in him succeeding when he returned to Shreveport. Last year, with the impending end of his marriage to her, Eric had contacted De Castro and asked to be reinstated as the sheriff of area 5 in Louisiana when his duty to Oklahoma was done. While Eric didn't say so, everyone knew he was returning to be near Sookie. De Castro had approved it easily, and it wasn't hard to guess that he was hoping Eric would bring Sookie back under his control now that she couldn't be forced into vampire politics with her alliance with the fire demons and shifters. Even if De Castro didn't have to technically stay away from Sookie once Eric's marriage was over, he knew trying to control her as he once had would no longer work. She had become a supernatural force to be reckoned with even though she refused to take part in their world's politics.
So now, watching her former husband consort preparing to leave for good, Freya tried one last time, "Eric, you know I never meant to cost you a life with her. I tried to make it easy for you two to be together while you were here. She was the one that refused to be with you."
Eric turned his unrelenting gaze to his former wife, and hissed, "I told you forcing the marriage would cost me her, and you refused to believe me. You stole her from me, Freya, and I will make you pay for it."
"Am I truly so horrible, Eric? Is wanting to secure my kingdom and people a terrible thing? I am a ruler, I had to think what was best for my people."
"What was best for your people was a vampire ruler strong enough to stand on their own. You didn't separate me from my lover and wife to protect your people, Freya, you did it to protect your wealth and power. Petty reasons, and you will pay for them. I don't care if it takes me a thousand years, one day I will make you suffer as you have made me suffer."
Narrowing her eyes, Freya hissed, "Well then maybe I shouldn't let you leave at all!"
Eric let out a bark of harsh laughter. "You idiot. Our contract clearly states you must deliver me back to the location you retrieved me from. Completely unharmed. Fangtasia may be nothing but an abandoned lot now, but you must still return me there perfectly safe or you will be in violation of our marriage agreement, and the Council will dethrone you and give you the true death. And since Felipe has already said that none of your people may cross into his territory when I report to Area 5 I fail to see how you will accomplish my death tonight without causing your own. Not to mention are you absolutely sure that the security people I've trained in the past 200 years will attack me on your command?"
Freya's eyes darted nervously to the hallway where several of her guards were waiting to escort Eric out. No, she wasn't entirely sure they would obey her if she ordered them to kill Eric. The truth was that Eric tended to inspire loyalty from his underlings. That's just the kind of vampire he was, and it was why he'd been so effective as her husband consort, but it wasn't helpful now.
Looking back at her former husband, she tried one last time, "Eric, I didn't force her out of your life. I didn't force her to choose the shifter over you, and I didn't force her to choose the demon over you. I needed an alliance with you, and was more than willing to allow you to keep her. She is the one that refused to follow you here after we were married. She is the one that refused you entry into her life. That isn't my fault."
"It is your fault, and you will pay for it."
Eric said no more as he picked up his last two bags and headed out of the room he never wanted to see again. His dayman had already retrieved most of his bags, and Eric wanted to leave the prison he'd been trapped in the last 200 years as quickly as possible. Pam was already in Shreveport preparing for his arrival. He had much to do to reclaim his area. Much to do before he could approach Sookie again. She may not want to see him, and she may be married, but he had not endured the last 200 years to keep her safe to not fight for her now. His maker was dead and no one could ever force him into a marriage again. He would call Sookie Stackhouse wife again … no matter what it cost him.
A few hours later Eric's rental car pulled up to the abandoned lot that used to be Fangtasia. Pam had closed it and opened up an exclusive club and bordello elsewhere in Shreveport once Louisiana legalized prostitutions. Eric wasn't sad at the loss of the club, it held far more worse memories for him than good, but he couldn't help but stare at the place he had first met his lover with a certain amount of nostalgia.
He wasn't given long to wallow in his pity before Pam's posh sports car pulled up. In the past 200 years technology had definitely gone green. Cars might still look much the same as they always had, but each one came with a battery that ran the car completely and took at least 50 years to deplete. Gas was a thing of the past, but cars were still very much status symbols.
Pam put her car in park and moved to stand beside her maker as she stared at the spot the bar they used to own and run together once stood. She could practically hear the thoughts in his head, and tried to talk him out of this madness he seemed so insistent on.
"Eric, she will not see you, and she is not to be trifled with these days. Regardless if she is with Marcus or not, she will have the protection of the fire demon royal house for the rest of her days. Not to mention the shifters surround her like she is the mother to all of them, and not just the litter she birthed for Merlotte. Her children all seem to have inherited her lifespan. Even the oldest still looks like he's in his twenties. Her demon children are just as dangerous as their father. The youngest one killed a vampire with a fire ball when he was 11. She is well protected."
"I'm glad. It is one less worry for our life together."
"Are you serious?"
When he did not respond, Pam tried again, "Eric, what is it you hope to accomplish by coming back here?"
"I am going to get her back."
"Not for long."
"Eric, she's been with Marcus for 131 years this winter. She has over 20 children with him. She's built a life for herself in Bon Temps that doesn't include vampires."
He knew that. He knew that his deal with Freya and De Castro, as well as Sookie's connections with shifters and fire demons, had turned Bon Temps and much of the immediate surrounding areas a vampire free zone. There were many weres, witches, shifters, demons, hybrids, etc that had settled in the area to be free of supernatural politics. It had become something like Switzerland. In fact, there were far more supernaturals in Bon Temps than there were humans, and they all seemed to live peacefully together sequestered away from the rest of the world.
Eric was glad that Sookie had built the danger free life she had wanted for herself. He was glad she'd been able to have the children he couldn't give her. Though he was hopeful that once he got her back her ability to give life would extend to his own seed. If it did he would truly be able to give her the kind of life she wanted, but if not? Well she'd already had plenty of children by her previous two husbands.
He knew that Sookie's life was safe … but it was also devoid of passion. Of that he was certain. There was no doubt that her marriage to Sam had simply been a marriage of convenience between friends. Initially he'd understood why she married the shifter. She hadn't wanted to spend her life alone. None of them could have predicted how the Cluviel Dor would affect her. But when she'd remarried after Sam died Eric could admit he'd been pissed. By then it was apparent that Sookie would still be around when his marriage to Freya was up. As arrogant and unfair as it sounded, Eric had wanted her to wait for him.
They were soul mates Damnit! Didn't she understand that? Sookie said it herself. He "got" her. He understood her because they were the same. They both fought for what they believed in and loved. They both refused to give up. They had gone through so much, sacrificed again and again, suffered repeatedly, and there was no way that Eric was going to let it be for naught. He knew it would not be easy, and he knew that Sookie was going to fight him every step of the way, but he was going to get her back. He was going to blood bond to her again. This time with her full participation, and then they were going to get married. He wanted a huge one to. With Felipe and Freya sittng in the front row. He wanted them to see him with Sookie as his wife, as she should have always been, before he killed them both for what they'd made him suffer.
Oh yes, he blamed Felipe just as much as he blamed Freya. Felipe could have stopped the wedding from happening, but chose not to. Instead he'd used Eric as a bargaining chip to further his own goals. Just as Freya had. They had both taken from him, and he would ensure they would pay for it. Then he would ensure no one could ever do it again. The past 200 years had taught Eric that while ruling was a pain in the ass, it was the only way to be able to love freely.
The night he'd found out that Sookie's lifespan had been expanded by the fairy trinket she'd used to save Sam, Eric had decided he'd take Felipe's and Freya's territories. He already had his plans in place. His meeting with Stan was tomorrow night, and the takeover would happen soon after. Nearly all the guards in Freya's palace were loyal to him. She had been a fool to put him in charge of her security. Even the spies she had "watching" him right now worked for him. They would report back only what he told them too. Not to mention Pam and Rasul, who had been put in charge of New Orleans by Felipe, had steadily been filling the state with vampires loyal to Eric. In a week's time Felipe and Freya would be in chains, and Eric would be king of four states. Two of which he would be trading to other monarchs for their support almost immediately. Stan and Texas were powerful allies, but they came with a heavy price. One Eric was all to willing to pay in order to win the ultimate prize. Eric had no intention of going after Sookie until he'd killed his enemies and could lay the kingdom at her feet. She would be his wife and queen. She would rule beside him, and no one would ever separate them again.
Pam stood beside her maker, and when he said nothing else, she suggested, "I'm not saying taking the territories is a bad idea. I don't want to be under anyone's thumb any more than you do, but I think going to Sookie once you are king is a mistake. She will not accept you, and I think you are setting yourself up for more pain. Your relationship with Sookie has cost you so much, and I don't want to see you suffer more."
"I appreciate your concern, Pam, but I will not be swayed. I have spent 200 years suffering away from my lover, and I will not suffer 200 more. I understand she's mad, but I don't care. She is my wife. She has always been my wife, and it's time to remind everyone else of it."
"And what of her husband?"
"I am her husband."
Rolling her eyes, Pam amended, "Fine, what of Marcus then? He might only be half demon, but he is still powerful and connected. Not to mention whatever that Cluviel Dor did to Sookie made sure each of her children are just as powerful as their fathers. She's got her own army of half fire demons and shifters, Eric, not to mention all the allies she has in Bon Temps. She practically owns that town now."
"She has done me proud these past two centuries. She has achieved all I knew she could, but it means nothing. We are meant to be."
"And if she disagrees?"
"Then I will have to change her mind."
Shaking her head slowly, Pam muttered, "This shit is going to get bad."
Eric's fangs snapped down as he grinned at his child with true happiness for the first time since he'd last been with his lover. "No, my child, things are about to get very, very good."