Chapter 23 Beloved Freak/ Epilogue

The smell of bacon seemed to be delicious enough to make me want to open my eyes. It's not that I didn't want to but I felt so comfortable and peaceful that I didn't want to leave the serenity that I was in.

I've always believed in a God and I've always believed a part of us remains on earth when we die. The thing is, I never really put much thought into the beyond. What it would be like, to, you know, be dead? If there was a God then certainly there was heaven but like most mortals I wasn't sure if I belonged there. And really, what is heaven anyways? The only promise that was ever made to good Christians is that we would like it.

So while I opened my eyes to see with my own eyes what heaven looked like and since I knew it already smelled like bacon, I was ready to meet my maker. Well, that is until I had a sharp pain in my head and blurry vision that made me realize I wasn't dead. Why would I be in pain if I was? Or was this hell?

When I managed to focus my eyes on one image I saw Eric standing in front of Karin. That's when I knew it was no hell. I tried to smile but it was in vain, as if my face was frozen in a painful grimace. I also tried to talk but my throat was rasp while my lips were dryer than the Sahara desert itself. They didn't hear me nor see me. Instead, they kept their conversation to a whisper. Maybe I just couldn't hear anymore, I really had no idea what was going on. My eyes felt heavy and faster than they opened, I must have fallen back to sleep.

It was a fitful sleep; I felt so lost. I had no clue where I was or what time of day it was. It must have been night time because everything was so dark and cold. Sometimes in the darkness, I would hear someone speak but it wasn't to me. I could barely recognize who the voices belonged to and when I would start thinking all was lost; I could feel someone's presence close to me, trying to comfort me.

The squeeze of my hand sometimes made me open an eyelid. They were so heavy and I just didn't have the strength to keep them open for more than a minute. Or maybe was it an hour? Time seemed to be so slow in my darkness.

Trying to make sense of my surroundings, I risked opening an eye, that's when I saw him by my side. Was he asleep or maybe in his day rest? I blinked, looking again and he was standing in the door with Pam hugging him. It was safe to assume that the presence I felt was Eric with me but I still had no idea where I was or when it was.

"Hello," I said, but they didn't turn. Did I speak the words only in my mind? Maybe they didn't hear me.

I blinked again and Kylie was there with my great grandfather. She looked me right in the eyes and said "Sookie" really loud. It was too loud so I closed my eyes again.

When I reopened them; something had changed. There was a chair by my bed but it was empty. I frowned and look on my left then blinked and there he was again, sitting in my chair.

I smiled at him but he didn't see me. Instead he was having a conversation, I ddidn't know with who so I followed the direction of his stare; Felipe. I closed my eyes but I could still hear them. They were having a conversation about Eric and how he needed to resume his sheriff's role. Felipe also spoke of me and how useful I would be to his kingdom. Judging by how tight Eric was holding my hand, he wasn't too keen on the last part.

When did he start holding my hand? How did he get into the chair beside me so fast?

I frowned and reopened my eyes. Eric was in the chair, asleep, again? Where's Felipe? Is it daytime? I couldn't tell; my window was shut. I tried to greet Eric but I couldn't. It was as if my hands had turned to stone, all I could do was gently squeeze the hand he had placed in mine. Maybe he knew I could hear him, maybe he thought it was my reflexes but every time I did, he caressed my hand in response. It must have been night time.

I blinked and looked to my left, Kylie was tending to me. What was she doing here? I tried to speak again but it was in vain.

I wanted to wake up, it was time according to my mind but my body kept fighting me. Neither Kylie nor Eric had any idea when I woke and despite a tremendous effort on my part I couldn't tell them. I wanted to scream, "HEY, I AM HERE!"

Finally one morning, or maybe evening I stirred and my eyes flew open. I was fine and I felt fine. I wiggled my toes and my fingers; everything was in working order. I wasn't tired anymore; I didn't feel heavy or groggy. On the contrary, I was ready for a jog. I felt great so I sat up and moved his hands out of mine.

"What happened?" is all I could say while Eric sat up at vampire speed to cup my face between his hands.

"How do you feel," he asked me but he didn't wait for the answer. His lips were already on mine. "I love you," is all he said when he broke our kiss. I smiled and told him I loved him too and after a few minutes of looking at each other he asked me again how I felt.

"Fine," I replied unsure as to why he was asking me that. "Why," I asked?

"You had a head trauma," I heard a voice say behind his back. I thought I knew who the voice belonged to but I couldn't put my finger on it.

"When you tried to kill the queen, it was too much for the human part of you to handle. Your head sustained a heavy amount of mental damage." The voice continued but I knew who it belong to; Kylie.

"Kylie is here to help you get back on your feet lover" Eric said, his hands made their way back to mine. He then kissed me on the forehead and took an unnecessary breath as if he was appreciating the moment.

"How long was I sleeping for," I asked, having no clue?

"Two months" Kylie replied while a cough erupted from me in my disbelief. I was asleep for two months…it literally felt like seconds to me. "You had no more light inside of you. I had to bring you to Faery," she continued.

"So I was in Faery for two months?" I asked her but she shook her head that I wasn't.

"No, just for a month, the other month you were here, recuperating. We were here to help you."

I frowned, reflecting back on what I had seen and heard while I was under. Maybe it wasn't my imagination. I tried to focus on Eric who was still sitting beside me in my bed. Since he was a giant, he was taking up most of it which would have made me laugh if I wasn't such a space case. I looked him up and down while his amused look told me he knew exactly what I was thinking about.

"Don't you worry lover, everything has grown back already," he said while patting my leg.

I nudged him while rolling my eyes but my smile was bright enough to let him know how happy I was to hear him say that.

"I want to know what happened," I said to him, hopeful he wouldn't spare me any details.

"Maybe later," he said, "you need to rest."

I frowned to show my disapproval.

"I don't, I feel perfectly fine. I don't even feel sick or tired," I said while standing and rocking back and forth as if I was checking for something wrong with me.

"That's normal. We recharged your light in Faery and with the month you passed in bed, your body has had time to adjust to the new energy," Kylie said. "That's why it feels like there is nothing wrong with you because there isn't."

I nodded in agreement and looked back to Eric.

"Tell me what I have missed," I said to him. "I heard Felipe here," I paused before adding, "I think anyways. Did I kill the queen?"

"I thought you could hear us," he stated with a smirk and I nodded.

Eric explained to me that I had not killed her. Something had happened where her eyes had popped out of her skull which had caused her to fall to the floor. As he was retelling the event, I could tell by his eyes he was getting emotional. I squeezed his hand in mine and watched him get up from the bed, pacing.

''She was going to kill you. I couldn't'' he said in a whisper.

I was caught off guard. I didn't know what to say or what to do.

''When she raised her hands on you and I saw you on the floor, I couldn't let her.'' He paused. Searching for his words. He came back to my side and grabbed my hands between his.

''I'd rather die than see you die'' is all he said before kissing me and I couldn't stop the tears from flowing.

Guilt; that is what had weight on his shoulders while I was resting. He had stayed behind when the queen attacked me. He knew she was going to and despite knowing; he did not acted upon it. He explained to me his reasoning, and it made total sense yet, he couldn't help but feel guilty.

He had seen my powers and had decided to let me defend myself. He knew I would be capable of killing her and had been ready to step in if anything went wrong. That's when I told him, he did and shouldn't feel this way but he looked up at me and I saw it in his eyes, it was enough to make me stop talking. He had calculated everything except one; my light. His miscalculation was, in his opinion, the reason I almost died and while I understood his reasoning, I did not agree with it.

With rage, he had stepped in just in time to rip her head off and a part of me was sad I had missed it. His hands were now forming fists and I decided it was time to drop it and move on so I asked him about the explosion and the diversion that had allowed him to kill the king of New Mexico. He said it had been Felipe who was marching in. He guessed De Castro knew about the attack and saw it as an opportunity to take over all three states. It worked well for him has he did become king of all three, making him ruler of four state. The technical nature of royalty when it comes to vapires was foreign to me but I am sure it went along the lines of Eric killing the King of New Mexico and Mississippi and the Queen of Oklahoma would by default make his King the ruler of these states.

He then explained he had returned to Fangtasia while I was gone to Faery. Felipe had restored his Sheriff status but had agreed to wait until I was better before asking anything. Pam had helped to get his affairs in order and was acting sheriff while he was here with me. Karin had been released from New Mexico and was perfectly fine other than having a bruised ego.

He also explained that Kylie had been the one to help me heal from my ordeal. As he explained it in simple facts, Kylie had stepped in and offered a more "accurate" picture of what had happened in Faery. She explained that only the sun in Faery could have saved me hence why she had brought me there. My great grandfather was the one who had brought me back and had promised to come soon which could be in a year from now who knows. He had stated he needed to explain to me what was happening inside of me and that only he could.

I grabbed my head feeling a headache coming on. Eric wrapped an arm around me and was gently stoking my shoulder as I tried to make sense of all of this.

"You must be starving" Kylie asked but I did not answer her.

"I want to know what actually happened to Freyda," I asked looking straight to her as she was the only one who could answer that question.

"You pushed the ultimate thought, the one of death," she said with a shaky voice.

In dismay, I looked away. I had no idea anyone could do that.

"I promise you I had no idea how powerful you were otherwise I would have taught you how not to do that," she said.

"Who said I did not want to kill her," I asked and Kylie frowned. "Why did it not work?"

"You ran out of light," she said simply. "You don't feel out of control at all?"

"What do you mean?" I felt absolutely fine.

"This is how fairies go out of control Sookie." Her voice was somber as were her eyes.

I sighed negatively and looked at Eric. I didn't know what all this meant and maybe I never would but I didn't care because he was here with me, in my room, and we were in Louisiana.

"Did Felipe see you kill the queen," I ventured to Eric. He nodded.

"I believe so but he has not mentioned anything about it to me. I am sure, in due time, he will approach me for a favor. In the meantime, the details of the attack are blurry for everyone but all we know for sure is that De Castro took over all three states." He paused, "well at least that is what the official statement says." The look on his face told me there was more and that he was worried.

"So no one knows other than us and the people who were there what really happened?" I found that hard to believe with the way supes gossiped.

"That is correct," he said with a tone I did not recognize.

I am not sure I understood why his tone had changed but Eric took my mind off of it as he kissed me gently on the lips. I risked a look in Kylie's direction but she had already vanished. He moaned something against my lips, along the lines we could talk later but I insisted that we talk now, wanting to know everything before anyone else found out I was awake.

He looked me directly in the eyes as he cupped my face between his large hands again. There was no way for me to look away even if I wanted to.

"Felipe has every intention of using you as his personal weapon. He has seen what you can do Sookie. You are not safe." His words were said between his teeth in an attempt to mask his anger. It then hit me like a ton of bricks; it wasn't over.

"It will never be over," I said, trying to look away. How could I look into his eyes? It had never occurred to me that I was the one in danger most the time, not because of him and the supernatural, but because of me, because of what I was. Now that I had powers and knew how to use them, I was dangerous to everyone. On top of that, Felipe had seen me use them. This was horrible.

I sighed heavily but Eric did not let me feel defeated. His eyes bored into mine making his posture insistent, almost imposing as we stared at each other for a few minutes. He then softly kissed me on the lips but it wasn't enough for me. I wanted more, so I parted my lips just enough so that my tongue could sneak out. He took it as an invitation and while his hands were stroking down my back his tongue came crashing with mine. After a few more strokes of our tongues, I moved my lips away to take a breath while Eric moved his lips on to my neck. He left a trail of kisses all the way to my ear where he began to whisper.

"The only way you could ever be safe is if the king dies and I take the throne."

I couldn't help but think that it is never over.

The end

A/N: Well that's it folks! It was quite a ride but I am also happy it is over as I can now focus on a different project.

I would like to thank all my readers who followed this story and stuck with me to the end.

My betas, who helped make this story a much better one. Believe me, their touches make it readable :P

and finally, my reviewers with their constant encouragement, made this story a successful one in my opinion.

LOVE YOU ALL
xxxxx

Z