Disclaimer: I do not own The Southern Vampire Mysteries series or True Blood. No infringement intended. Everything else, including the twists and gnarled turns are all mine. Enjoy!
Gran’s words broke through my wondering thoughts. No? What was she talking about?
“Gran?” I was confused. Was she saying no to everything Eric had proposed?
“What are your objections Adele?” Eric asked not looking the least bit ruffled. Was he expecting her to hem and haw over the details? Maybe. A question for later.
“Sookie is twenty six and obviously a talented young lady. She is very precious to me and her remaining family.” Gran replied without so much as a blink.
Precious? Maybe to her. The last thought Jason would ever have about me is, precious. More like pain in the ass. What was Gran saying?
“I see, then let us discuss the bride price.” Eric squeezed my hand in his bringing them both to rest on his knee.
Was Gran really worried about money? What she would lose out with me going off with Eric? Our funds were tight but she never once said she would make my future beau pay for my hand. This was like living in the Stone Age. I felt betrayed that my Gran would haggle with my future husband for my “worth” to her.
“At this time, Mr. Northman. The bride price is not an option. Sookie is not available.” Gran stood. “I must ask you to leave. Now.” She never looked away from Eric as she spoke.
I stood up too, furious and confused. “Gran, what are you talking about? Eric can stay. I like him, a lot. Do you want some vampire queen to get me?” My voice was raised in a higher octave at the last question.
Gran’s lips pressed into a tight line. “We can handle this ourselves, Sookie. We have resources.”
“Resources?” I looked around our outdated, modest living room as if to make my point. The worn couches and rugs, The chipped floor and Antebellum home. We took care of our things the best we could, but Gran made it sound as if we had a proprietor. Which we most certainly did not. “What on God’s green Earth are you talking about?”
I dipped into Gran’s head then. I was too freaked out and irate not to take a peak. The shield I kept around myself dropped as hard as a red velvet curtain during an opening theater act.
…the Viking needs to leave…it’s too soon Adele. The spark is within her but his blood will empower her tenfold. She will be a target…a beacon for other supernatural…
…Alright Fintan, hush, I can’t keep my thoughts and your thoughts straight. One problem at a time…Eric is different, even you can see that…I believe he could protect and love her…I don’t see the problem…
…No you don’t, I do…Vampires are the enemy, Adele…His acquiring her will only invite more trouble. I’ll double the wards, bring Sookie to another location to keep her safe…don’t worry, my love…
“Who the fuck is Fintan?” I cried out. Gran blinked rapidly and gasped at my outburst.
“Sookie, watch your mouth young lady.” Gran scolded automatically.
“Who is that talking to you…in your head?” Eric stood at my inquiry, regarding the room for the unseen perpetrator.
An audible pop and flash of light burst into the living room. Eric stepped in front of me to block whatever the threat was. I heard the snap of his fangs as he hissed loudly. His growl of warning was unmistakable to my ears. Scary and kind of hot at the same time.
“Step aside vampire.” The stranger says. “This is no concern of yours. Sookie, I am your grandfather.” I pear around Eric’s long, lean torso to see a man, maybe no more than forty years old positioned in front of Gran exactly the way Eric is poised over me. His brow is furrowed and his blue eyes are locked on Eric in aggression. And good Lord! His right hand is open, revealing a glowing blueish ball. It hovers an inch above his palm pulsating with tiny silver and gold sparks. It’s gotta be some kind of trick.
“You are not. My grandfather was Earl Stackhouse! So unless you came back from the dead and got a makeover, you ain’t him!” This must some sort of dream, had to be. Gran would never ever commit a sin like this, Adultery? No, she is a good Christian woman. She wouldn’t ever cheat on Granddaddy Earl. Never.
“Fairy,” Eric hissed.
“Viking,” Finton snaps. “Sookie will never become vampire or subservient to you. She is royal. From the house of Brigant, Sky Fae. Born of Prince Niall’s line.” The man, or fairy who claims to be my relation puffs his chest out, proud to be, well, whatever he is.
“Your claim is too late. Sookie is mine. If you plan on making your move, make it. She and I will leave here tonight.” Eric draws a protective arm around me, keeping me glued to his side but still behind him as a means of defense.
“Gran? What is he saying?” I plead. Trading glances from this fairy Fintan and Gran.
“Oh Sookie, I wanted to tell you. I didn’t know how. Earl, the man you thought was your granddaddy, well, I thought we were happy.” Tears fill her hazel eyes in pain. I read straight from her mind, the shame and humiliation she had felt. I wanted to run and comfort her but there was no way Eric would let me out of his grasp to get to her. I was grateful, I clearly needed to listen to all this very new information.
“Earl was unfaithful, I found out early on in our marriage. I confronted him, told Earl I wanted no part in being his doormat. Waiting for him to be done with his dalliances, but he wouldn’t hear of a divorce. Said too much was tied into our families and this house. The land.” Gran closed her eyes, more tears sliding down the apples of her cheeks. “He was right, my family was on hard times. Divorce was not something many folks did, so I kept my head down and endured. But I was miserable for years while he carried on.”
Gran looked up to Fintan and let a smile brighten her entire face. She looked transformed, blissful. I had never seen her look so happy. “Then I met Fintan, we fell in love. He is who he says, Sookie.” Gran looked at me and sobbed.
Blinking in disbelief, I tried to understand what she was saying. My childhood memories came roaring back through my mind. Why didn’t I know granddaddy was unfaithful? Maybe I should drop my shields around people I love so I can learn the truth once in a while. I huffed in annoyance. Granddaddy died when I was seven of a heart attack. Gran never talked about it, never shed but a few tears for him in all that time. Which now seems like a big red flag.
“Since Niall owes me a favor, I will consider his debt paid in exchange for the girl.” Eric spoke directly to Fintan. Reminding me that there was still a situation going on besides the untold truth of my Gran’s marriage and possibly whose blood I really was.
“Not a chance Northman, he does not know of her existence. I have gone to great lengths to be sure.” Fintan replied.
“And yet, you proclaim her Royalty. No doubt another fairy trick to get your hands on Sookie. Leave now or prepare yourself for war.” Eric’s voice was low and deep and deathly serious.
Finton looked shocked then fury painted his features once more. “You would wage war for her?”
“I already have.”
Finton stood from his defensive stance, shielding Gran and snapped his fingers. The blue orb dissolved as if it had never been. “I had no idea, you would be the one Viking.” Finton looked at me, a proud smile took place of his irritated state. Talk about a turn around. He then seized Gran’s hand, pulling her into his arms in celebration. Which was beyond bizarre to see Gran with a man who had clear intentions toward her. “I had it on good authority that the vampire she spoke of was a fantasy.”
“Riddles and tricks. Speak plainly.” Eric was still crouched, ready to attack the now positively relaxed fairy.
“You will be Bonded and Pledged, to be sure. But Sookie will not be Vampire.” Fintan nodded to me. “She will be herself. My granddaughter. In time when her powers are solidified, we can make moves to announce her properly.”
Eric stood slowly and wrapped his other arm around me tightly. Never looking away from Fintan he said. “You approve? Moments ago you were prepared to fight to the death. What has changed?’ Eric asked dubiously.
“You are willing to bring about war for her. In the last Great War, fairies and vampires nearly destroyed one another, as you recall. You have rebuilt your forces in this Realm and we continue to struggle.” Fintan gazed at Gran, softly stroking her face with his fingertips. “I have been away too long, my love. Forgive me.”
“Maybe I won’t. Then you will have to find a way to make it up to me.” Gran wiped her tears from her cheeks as Fintan let out a playful growl. I blushed at their interactions. I felt like we were invading their privacy.
I coughed to get their attention. “Alright back up! Let’s say I can accept the fact that what Gran says is the truth. You really are my Granddaddy. Fine. What now?” Many more questions sprang to mind but I was trying to keep my head. Something still felt…off.
Fintan led Gran to the couch and waited for her to sit before taking his own seat right next to her. “We keep your existence off of the population’s radar. What you can do, my dear granddaughter should remain nothing more than a rumor.”
“Sookie’s telepathy is an extraordinary gift. How do you propose we keep it quiet?” Eric asked as he led me to the opposite settee. Once we were all settled and facing one another, I refocused on how weird it was to be sitting here with these two men. These two supernatural enemies. Who seemed to be concerned about guarding my well-being. Not to mention Gran. I felt like I was meeting her for the first time. Adele Stackhouse still looked like the woman who raised me, but now she was…more.
I shook my head at myself, everyone has secrets. Some deep and dark, never to see the light of day or until they are uncovered in an attic accidentally. Gran was no different than any other person I had encountered in my life, which now gave her an unknown quality. How would I cope with this secret? Calm down, I tutted myself. Gran is still Gran. This is mostly your fault for not listening to everyone. We’ll have a discussion and work it all out. Stop jumping all over her until you’ve talked.
Yes, I could be reasonable. I plugged back into the conversation.
“That solution is yet to be determined. In the meantime, you protect her with your very life. I demand your resources to keep Sookie and Adele safe. If we can get through the next stage then we shall reconvene about the bride price.” Fintan spoke with such finality.
“Now you listen here Mister. You may be related to me, but I just met you less than five minutes ago. This bride price bullshit is not going to happen.” I stared daggers at Fintan. No one was getting nine cows for me or some such nonsense.
I continued as if I hadn’t heard Gran protest. “If Eric wants to marry me, it’s my say on what the stakes will be, not yours.” I folded my arms across my chest in defiance. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.
“Sookie,” Eric purred getting my attention. He was smiling wide, showing perfect white teeth with no fangs. “A bride price is an old way of thinking. Supernaturals usually are quite ancient and have a habit of clinging to the old ways. This will show your bloodline my intentions toward you and how well I will provide for you. Please, allow me to keep my dignity. I will pay whatever the fairy asks.”
Well shoot. How can I argue with that? His blue eyes sparkled as he leaned his forehead down to mine. “I promise that you may take out your payments from me however you wish.” He whispered, then closed his lips over mine.
My sweet, determined vampire. Barely one night together and just look at everything that has happened. What will tomorrow be like? My toes curled in my heels as he pulled back from our kiss. Winking at me once more I leaned into his shoulder and closed my eyes in happiness. What a great idea to go out tonight.
(A/N) Gran and Fintan sitting in a tree! K-I-S-S-I-N-G! What can I say Fintan told me exactly how his love affair started with the young, beautiful Adele. It was too sweet not to share that Adele was as much of a firecracker as Sookie at one time in her life. Pause for the awe! Now we face a possible onslaught of vampires and Fae Royalty knocking on their door. Can Eric and Fintan keep their women safe? Or will other measures need to be looked into? What do you think?