(A/N) Its super charged chapter Tuesday! Or Wednesday, depending on your time zone. I hope you all are having a lovely day! Or late evening! For my friends in areas with weather issues, please stay safe and stock up your 72 hour kits. But I hope you will not need them.
Back to this tale, thank you for all your reviews, and love. I am beyond flattered that you would read something from little old me. I couldn’t separate this chapter into two. Well, I could but I didn’t want to. Then I thought, I bet you all would love a super long chapter. Am I right? Your welcome!
Also, I have had some passionate reviews about Eric mentioning that pesky “Bride Price”. Which I love, keep them coming. I’m in love with my version of CH’s characters and their actions, let’s discuss them.
The Bride Price. Archaic? Maybe. Please remember Eric is a Viking, his last marriage was done very differently from today’s standards, a millennia ago. I know, I know. I can hear you stomping your foot. “But FairyTaleAmber!!!!” I am an American and most times a strong minded feminist 😉 but I wanted Eric’s character in the Supernatural World to ring true. A Fairy Prince would expect nothing less than a Bride Price. Having said all that, it doesn’t mean that one will happen. Men like to think they run this show, but we know the truth. This is our show ladies. (((Hugs)))
Disclaimer: I do not own the Southern Vampire Mysteries series or HBO’s True Blood. No infringement intended. Everything else, including the twists and gnarled turns are all mine.
“My love, would you excuse me a moment? I have some business to discuss with Mr. Northman.” Fintan asked Gran, squeezing her hand in his.
“Of course. Take your time.” Gran smiled. Her light blue eyes were still a bit red and puffy from revealing the truth of my true ancestry. I knew she must be exhausted but I kept my mouth shut. She was a grown woman and if she wanted to stay up all hours into the night, well, it was her right. Besides I had the feeling that it had been quite some time since she had seen her lover.
Fintan brought Gran’s hand to his lips, leaving a sweet kiss behind. “I will not be long. You and I have much to discuss.” Gran nodded wearily, tears threatening to fall from her eyes.
I was so consumed by their loving exchanges that I nearly fell off the sofa when Eric’s breath tickled my neck. “Eric!” I scolded, twisting around to smack him on the chest. His firm chest. The twinkle in his eyes at my efforts made me laugh.
“I will be just outside with your grandfather. I got the impression that he needs to talk with me.” Eric chuckled, but his eyes never smiled. I could tell that his playfulness about this situation was a well-orchestrated act. Eric was wary of Fintan. Eric was feeling the same thing I was, I had no idea who Fintan was or what his true intentions were.
Eric’s gaze was cold and calculating as he watched the fairy. Considering what I witnessed twenty minutes ago between the two of them, this relationship was going to take some time to iron out.
Hell, all the new and old relationships I had with these three were going to need some time and patience to figure out. At least I felt strongly that I could trust Eric. I trusted Gran too, but with her lie of omission, well, we needed to clear up a few things.
My Gran was a whole new person it seemed. Maybe that wasn’t fair to her, but I needed to discuss many things with her. Gran raised me to be a strong, Southern woman. In return, I thought I knew who she was, but clearly there are so many layers to any one person.
Fintan, or granddaddy? That one was going to take a while to square. He was protecting me? All this time? What about Mama and Daddy. They died in a flood. No supernatural help in sight, surly he would want to save his only son. What about Aunt Linda, dying slowly from cancer? Those years had been the worst on Gran and us kids. Going over to her home and taking care of Linda after each and every chemo treatment. Where was Fintan?
To see him now, looking barley a day over forty years old was bewildering. Maybe time worked differently where he is from. In my many trips to the library I had read a scientific journal where the leading physicist discussed the possibilities of other dimensions time and how it would work very differently than here on Earth.
I rubbed my forehead in confusion. I’ll just add that question of time travel to my never new ending list for Fintan. Eric clasped my shoulder and I realized that he was waiting for my reply.
“Go on, you boys must have secrets that we womenfolk just can’t understand.” I rolled my eyes then smirked in his direction.
“Only sometimes.” Eric grinned and stood, caressing my jaw with his thumb he added in a low voice. “This conversation will most likely be about your security detail.”
“Oh, Eric. I don’t want a fuss over me. I’m not so sure that a security detail is necessary.” I began to protest. Eric placed his long index finger against my lips in a silent request of understanding.
“Maybe,” he conceded. “However, I will do everything in my power to make sure you are protected. If Compton was any indication of what is coming.” Eric glanced over his shoulder to Fintan who in turn was staring at me with purpose. “Then I wish to err on the side of caution. Better than to have something happen to you or Adele. I am a firm believer of being prepared.”
Well, he had me there. I couldn’t bare it if something happened to Gran because of me. What if she was hurt, kidnapped or killed. There were many unknowns. Eric may be right about security but I wasn’t going to be a pampered poodle sitting on a feather pillow all day.
“Fine. But we need to discuss everything before it gets to be too much.” I reasoned.
“Agreed.” Eric leaned over and kissed my lips sweetly before following Fintan out to the front porch.
My, oh my. His ass in those jeans was absolutely delicious. Dare I say, I wanted to nibble on it. I blushed when I noticed Gran’s knowing eyes roll over me.
Looking down at my knotted fingers I took a deep breath, closed my eyes and sighed.
I needed to get a clear mind for this conversation.
“Were you ever going to mention Fintan to me?” I asked, watching Gran frown at my inquiry.
“I wanted to. Truth be told I was so cowardly about the whole situation. I had hoped you would read some tidbit from my mind and ask. You used to be so open about asking questions, Sookie. What you heard from others minds, you would innocently repeat. I just assumed that I was on borrowed time.” Gran turned in her seat to stare out the window where Fintan and Eric stood in deep discussion. “I thought about him every day.” She added quietly.
“Well, I was trying to respect your privacy. After hearing everyone in my head, my whole life, thinking their hateful thoughts at me.” I sighed and repressed the memories of my own mother living in fear of me. She despised me for being so different.
My Uncle Bartlett thinking but never acting on his disgusting thoughts about me. Thank God I told Gran before something happened to me. He had been planning something special for me when Gran was preparing to leave for an overnight church service project. Bartlett had offered to stay the night to watch over me and Jason.
I was shaking under the table after Gran had told me her itinerary. I still remember the fury in her eyes when I told her what her brother was thinking. I was crying, so sure she would hit me or call me a liar. I thought she would take his side, not trust the word of an oddball girl. But her rage was all for him. Bartlett was never seen or heard from again. She left with her shotgun and came back an hour later, saying that I would never have to deal with him again. She had kept her word.
“I prayed to just be normal, blend in. I blocked everyone best I could. I knew I couldn’t handle it if you had the same hateful thoughts about me. That would’ve broken me.” Tears blurred my vision as I looked away from her startled expression. After everything the townsfolk through at me.
Gran’s rejection would have been my undoing.
“Hate you? Oh my girl, never. Never.” Gran had already moved from her sofa perch to mine. Wrapping me up tight in her embrace. She tucked my head under her chin, stroking my hair softly. My unshed tears spilled onto Gran’s blouse as I inhaled her scent. Clean linen with touches of peonies and vanilla. It was a smell that I grew up believing was home. My Gran was my mother, teacher and friend rolled into one.
We were rocking slowly for a while. “I love you Sookie. You are my granddaughter and I am so proud of the beautiful young lady you have become.” Gran pulled back from me, looking me square in the face. Her baby blues bored into mine with determination. “God gave you a gift Sookie, He gives us challenges in our lives. We can turn those gifts into our greatest strength.” Gran tucked my hair behind my ear and smiled. “Or we can succumb to them. You were born a telepath, a strength inherited through your family line. You may even have a few other surprises in store for us.
“My point Sookie, is that you have been trying to blend in. Stay in line. Can a daisy hide among the weeds? Someone will always come along to admire the beauty and strength of that flower.” I nodded in understanding. Even though now it seemed like I needed to stay hidden a bit longer, at least I could have open discussions with her about how my quirk, gift, affected me. And those around me.
“Thanks Gran. I love you too.” I wrapped my arms around her for another hug. After a few moments I asked, “So did, Earl ever find out about Fintan?”
I knew my grandfather died when I was five or so of a heart attack. Since Gran had never mentioned him much over the years, I figured now was as good a time as any.
“Yes.” Gran hedged. “I had your Aunt Linda and then three years later your daddy, my Corbett. Your aunt looked so much like me that no one blinked an eye toward Earl not being her daddy. But when Corbett was born and he had Fintan’s cornflower blue eyes and bright blond hair, like yours. Well, people took notice.” She shrugged but continued. “Mind you no one said anything for a good while. Babies change and grow into their features as time moves on. Although I suspected Earl knew something was amiss with the children looking nothing like his side of the family. We hadn’t acted like husband and wife for a long time. Getting pregnant with Corbett was almost immaculate conception in Earl’s eyes.” She laughed as if remembering that time.
“Any way, the kids were getting older and your daddy was developing his telepathy. He was curious and asked why Earl had been hugging and kissing on a woman from the grocery store. Well, they weren’t hugging, Sookie. It was one thing for me to know what Earl was up to, quite another for Corbett to hear intimate details of my husband’s exploits. I was furious. Earl was furious. He tried to strike your daddy. That is when Fintan appeared.”
The image from her mind supplied Fintan’s ferocious look, one not so different from his entrance into our lives tonight. Earl staggering backwards against the wall. His younger features paled as he screamed out in fear. Gran had not so much as blinked at the arrival, just ushered the children behind her.
“He looked like an angel from Heaven all right and just as deadly. Earl shook off his fear long enough to turn and run straight for the basement to get away from my Fintan. Not even bothering to try and save us from this intruder.” Gran shook her head at his cowardice.
“What did Fintan do to him?” He didn’t kill him obviously, but he must have done something.
“They talked, well, Fintan directed Earl on what he was going to do if Earl wanted to live. Fintan made it crystal clear that he would protect what was his, no matter who stood in his way. He did inform Earl that he was a being from another realm and would end him if he didn’t follow his instructions to a tee. Fintan could not always be near us, he had responsibilities away from this place.” Gran said sadly.
“He told Earl to get a job that would keep him away from his family, but still keep up appearances until the children were grown.”
“Oh, that is why Granddaddy Earl was a truck driver after being a farmer his whole life.” I said. I knew he was always away working long hauls all over the states when daddy and Aunt Linda were growing up. I assumed he worked so much for the good pay that job provided.
“Yes, Fintan was able to protect and see his children without the entire town knowing all our business.” Gran frowned again. “At least for a few years after, until he was called away to handle some business for his father, the Prince. I knew he would come back. The only thing I didn’t know was the timeline.” Gran glanced out the window again and beamed. “Water under the bridge now.”
“What does that mean for the two of you?” Knowing Gran’s history a bit more and I was rooting for my granddaddy Fintan. I hoped they could be happy, just like I hope for Eric and me.
“We pick up where we left off, until he gets called away.” Gran’s eyes glazed with mist. “Or I do.” Oh, Gran. She was so sure she didn’t have any more time left with her love.
“Where you go I follow, my love.” Fintan spoke, he was filling the entry way to the living room for a moment before striding to Gran. I stood up quickly so they could have the room. I wanted to find Eric. Before I could move past him, he engulfed me in a hug. I stiffened, startled by his embrace. Slowly relaxing, Fintan pulled back and said, “I look forward to getting to know you better, granddaughter.”
I nodded, not sure what else I could say at the moment. Fintan let me go and sank next to Gran on the sofa.
“We have much to discuss, changes that could happen if you wish them to. I am ready to be with you forever.” Fintan stroked Gran’s cheek with his thumb.
“Oh Fintan, we don’t have forever. But I want to be with you for whatever time I have left.” Gran chocked back a sob.
“Adele, there could be a way…” Fintan’s voice lowered as I left the house in search for my Eric. I regretted not hearing the rest of his words but I recognized that they needed some privacy. I would have to remember be to ask Gran about it.
Eric was leaning against the old porch railing, arms crossed over his chest as he looked out into the darkness of the woods. I wrapped my arms around his slim waist and squeezed slightly before I rubbed my face into his strong back, inhaling the scent of him on his shirt. Eric smelled so good. Cool, crunchy ice, slightly melted on a summer’s day.
Eric cover my hands over his. “Hello lover.”
“Hi.” I exhaled my hot breath into his cooled skin, snuggling deeper. I would happily burrow myself into him. “So I see you didn’t kill Fintan.”
Eric turned around in my arms, wrapping me up properly in his embrace. “Sadly no. For now he is useful to me and mine.” Eric smiled wickedly, his fangs popped out with devilish intent. “Which is a shame, I have not tasted pure Fae blood for centuries.”
His fangs should have frightened me, instead my fingers reached up to his mouth to stroke those incredible twin blades. Pristine white razor blades that were double the length of the rest of his teeth extended from his gums. Eric shuttered in pleasure as I pet him further. I took my sweet time exploring every available surface, who knew that a vampire erogenous zone was their fangs?
“Like that?” I breathed. My panties dampened further with his intense reaction to me. At this rate, Eric and I would be making love an hour before dawn. And at that moment, it was all I ever wanted. To stretch out naked under the stars in the soft grass while Eric taught me what it was to love and be loved.
Eric pushed me against the railing, pinning me against his growing erection.
“Oh, yes. Very much.” He kissed me, fangs and all in a deep sensual kiss. When he pulled back so I could take a needed breath I realized that it was blood wet on my lips, not my salvia. Eric leaned back down to my mouth, licking and nibbling softly at my lips. How can I resist this man, this vampire?
I couldn’t, I didn’t want to.
Wrapping my arms securely around his neck I leaned in to his ear. “Make love to me, Eric. I want you.”
“Oh Sookie. I want that too.” He kissed me tenderly for a brief moment before our tempo ramped up with our passion, until he expectantly pulled away. Taking an unnecessary breath as if to steady himself, Eric leaned his forehead to mine.
“You asked me to discuss your security detail with you. I want this as well.” His large hands cupped my neck under my jaw as his thumbs stroked my face. “If I start undressing you now, we will never discuss the details. As badly as I want you. And oh, how I want you. I will respect your request for information.” Eric kissed the end of my nose.
Damn it! Of all the things I could have said to him tonight. No, he has to be a stand-up guy and talk to me, listening to my demand for equal say. I need a Neanderthal who wants to fuck, not a sensitive vampire. I giggled to my lust addled brain.
Alright, alright. Calm down Sookie! You’ll get there.
“Okay, you’re right. Thanks.” I smiled, trying to avoid my need to jump him.
Eric eyed me warily, maybe he was onto my thought process as well. I gave him my signature crazy Sookie smile. “Really, I’m calm for the moment. What have you and Fintan cooked up?”
His eyebrows rose in confusion. “I can assure you we were not out here cooking. I haven’t cooked in over a thousand years.”
Laughing at his misunderstanding, I corrected my statement. “No, no, it’s just an expression. What are you two planning for Gran and me?”
He nodded in understanding. “Fintan has Fae wards and protection spells placed around the property. Those have worked in the way of camouflage. If a vampire or other supernatural came around the property, they were lead to believe that the inhabitants therein would be of little consequence. Basically, any scent detected was deemed below average.”
“What is wrong with my smell?” I leaned down to my shoulder, mortified that perhaps I smelled dirty. Detecting no whiff of unwanted body odor, I put my wrist up to my nose and inhaled. Nothing, just me and a light hint of the vanilla body wash I had used before going out tonight.
“You misunderstand. Your smell is divine.” Eric moved swiftly into the crook of my neck, causing my head to bend back to the view the old roof of the porch. I felt his tongue slip out and taste me as his breath glided across the delicate skin behind my ear. I shuttered at the delightful vibrations Eric was giving me. “Without the wards, any supernatural would be drawn to this place like a beacon. The magic is strong around your property, which could be intriguing enough. Add in a sinfully beautiful woman with an aroma to drive vampires to war.”
“Well, when you put it that way.” I tried to clear my throat a little. His assessment made me uncomfortable. No one had ever looked at me the way he described. The images he created made me want to know more, know everything he saw about me. Eric fascinated me in so many ways.
“What is it lover?” Eric asked.
“I don’t know what to say. I never would have imagined someone like you would be, could be interested in someone like me. You disarm me, Eric.”
“Someone like you? Is this another expression?” Eric looked angry. “Whatever sort of men who treated you as if you were not the most stunning woman they would ever meet, is a fool.” Eric’s jaw clenched, grinding his molars in frustration.
“Look, I’ve never had anyone pay attention to me the way you have. I never wanted to that kind of complication in my life, was never attracted to anyone the way I’m attracted to you. So excuse me while my mind catches up with the present.” I might have put more force into the last part than needed, but damn. I was swimming in the deep end over here.
“Whether you want to acknowledge this or not, men would have to be blind, deaf and dumb to not notice you. I have none of these aliments. In fact, I have more enhanced senses to experience all of you in great detail.”
I blushed a deep red. I guess that was that. “Fine, fine. You like me.” I waved him off before my libido took another opportunity to butt in. “Go back, what did you had Fintan talk about?”
Eric was beaming, he won that round without much resistance and he knew it. “You have a job that you no longer need to attend since all your finances will be covered in full.”
“What? No, I have always worked. Since I was fifteen, I won’t take charity.” I sputtered. He was not paying for our lives, no way. “I won’t be a kept woman, Eric. I know you mentioned marriage and a bonding or something, but that is not where we are right now.”
“Not yet, but very soon, lover. Fintan is quite wealthy. He is doing what he should, caring for his family. Until I will officially make you mine in the eyes of our worlds.” Eric sobered. “You are mine, Sookie. You have been the moment you entered my bar tonight.”
“We don’t need Fintan’s help. Eric, this is ridiculous.” I huffed. Eric blew out a sigh, exasperated.
“Sookie, the kind of security we are discussing is not something a waitress from a small town could afford. There is surveillance, day and night guards. Armored cars, reinforced walls and gates. To start, there are other considerations that must be acknowledged.”
“Like what?” My head was still spinning from his laundry list. How long had he and Fintan been talking?
“Now that the Queen is aware of your existence, she could send more than just a procurer. Especially when she learns that Compton will ultimately fail. For now, we have bought some time.”
“Yes. Your pride has kept you working a mindless job far below your worth is another security complication that could put stress on a sensitive situation. Sookie, I know you’ve had your world turned upside-down with the reveal about your ancestry. As far as blood goes, you could have not done better. The fairy cares for you and Adele. Allow us both to protect you to the best of our abilities.” Eric finished with a light hug before letting me go. I needed to pace the porch for a moment.
Maybe he was right. My pride was on its hind legs, scratching to be let loose. But sugar-nuts! I have done what I needed to do to keep Gran and me afloat. Ahead of those monthly obligations, scrimping and saving. Barely meeting deadlines to pay our bills.
I kicked the old family rail with my heel, turned and stomped to the other side of the porch. I was too closed in here, I felt suffocated. Stepping off the warn wooden steps and into the dark wet grass. Tilting my head back I gazed at the diamond dust of the cosmos. It was so vast, immense in its beauty an unknown treasures.
Back to my current issue. To suddenly have a wealthy family member or boyfriend sweep in and say ‘they have all your money problems handled’, like it was no big deal. It just didn’t square.
Could I trust them? What if they decided to take off the next day after their abrupt appearance in our lives and now we’ve left to handle the aftermath? I let out a slow exhale. Eric was behind a few feet, giving me space but close enough so that I knew I wasn’t alone. His silent mind was absolutely nirvana to me.
“Can you understand how difficult this is for me Eric? I have relied on myself for a good while now. So to hear that Fintan or you will just handle everything to do with paying for our lives.” I snapped my fingers. “Just like that. I find it hard to believe.”
Eric’s eye softened. “Sookie, these changes do not mean you need to lose yourself in the process. Please consider our arrival a new beginning.” He stepped up behind me wrapping his long lean muscled arms around my waist and pulled me against his chest. It was just an instinct to lean back and feel his comfort.
“We have known each other so briefly, faith is built over time between two souls. I am asking much of you to trust my word, I am a vampire of honor. I will not shun the gift that is your trust. My actions will not fail your expectations. Your love, my Sookie, the sun that you bring into my life is everything I never knew I craved.” Eric whispered his declaration into my hair.
We were entwined in each other, swaying with the breeze, sweet and light. Our lives stretched out ahead of us full of promise and adventure.
“Eric.” I gasped, overwhelmed with his affirmation. I knew deep in my heart that his words were true. This was where my life became our lives forever and ever. He bent down and kissed my lips tenderly, I responded with eager anticipation to let the future begin.
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