“Hello, Great Grandfather.” I greet him trying to force the blush from my cheeks.
“Dear Sookie,” he says kissing my head. “It is good to have you back home safe.”
My Great Grandfather is ancient, how ancient I am not sure. At least three thousand years I would say. You have to look closely to see his age though. He is tall and slim, with long, almost white blond hair that is perfectly straight. His skin is smooth and free of wrinkles. His features very refined. When you look into his eyes, that is when you know he is old, very old. The wisdom his eyes hold seems fathomless. You just know he has seen everything there is to see and that he remembers it all.
“I was just out exploring Grandfather, nothing for you to worry about. As you said, I am home safe, as always,” I say, giving him a sweet smile.
“I can not help but worry child. I already lost a daughter to that world and the evils in it. I have no wish to lose another so dear to me,” he smiles sadly.
“I am sorry to have worried you. I will check in more often from now on,” I assure him.
“You could just stay here and there would be no reason for you to check in,” he suggests.
“Grandfather you know that I can not do that. I must find him and when I do, I will end him. Whether I stay after that, I am unsure. Time will tell. I do not truly belong here anyway.” He can tell by my expression I meant every word I said.
He sighs and looks off into the distance. “You belong here if I say you belong.” That only causes instant frustration to grow.
“You do not control their minds or their hateful thoughts that I hear all of the time, Grandfather. You can not order them to like me. I will never be an equal in their eyes. And why the change of heart about me finding Appius? You lost a daughter and a grandson because of him. Why do you no longer care? Why do you not want him gone? Why do you scold me for wanting revenge for my family’s deaths, when it is as it should be? You raised me, trained me, to end him. Why stop me now, why!?!” I am yelling by the time I finish my questions. My fists are clenched at my sides and my eyes are filled with unshed tears. After my night with Eric, my heart is tender and full of emotions. I know where that monster is now, and I am almost vibrating with the need to end him.
“Calm yourself, child. I have my reasons and there are many things you do not know,” he says with a tone of irritation and a stern look of displeasure. I immediately regret my outburst.
“I am sorry, Grandfather. I just do not understand,” I say with remorse.
“Some things we are not meant to understand until much later, my child,” he sighs. Reaching out to touch my cheek softly I see the pain in his eyes when he says, “I am sorry that the others do not see how special you are. They are wrong in their judgement of you. I know you are strong enough to handle their pettiness though. You are much stronger than them. Do not forget that.” He turns and walks a few steps closer to the river, seemingly deep in thought. After a moment he looks back at me with resolve.
“I hunted that vampire for decades after he killed your Mother. I trained you so you could be there with me when he met his end, but my scouts were never able to find a trace of him. It has taken me a long time to come to terms with that. I have finally excepted he has already met his true death.”
I should tell him he is wrong, I really should, but I will not. Not yet. And something tells me he is only saying that to make me stay here. That he is trying to make me believe it to keep me safe at home. That he already knows different. I have always felt that he is hiding something from me, or that he does not trust that I can handle whatever it is he is not telling me. It is beyond frustrating. But now I have my own secrets that I will keep locked up tight in my vault. The vault in my mind that he himself taught me to create and control.
Faeries are all telepathic. We can easily read one another’s thoughts or communicate with each other telepathically if we so choose. Grandfather started teaching me to control my thoughts and build up shields the day I was brought here. It took lots of time and practice, but I soon learned to block others from reading my every thought and to control my own mental voice from screaming into the minds of others around me. Everyone in the palace was very thankful once I learned to control it.
“Well, I am not certain of that and until I am, I will not stop hunting him. I swore I would end him and I will.” My tone brooks no argument.
“You are every bit as stubborn as your Mother was,” he says shaking his head, but smiling at the same time. I can not tell if he is happy knowing this or as frustrated with me as I am him.
“You must be hungry, child. Let us go see if there is any food to be had.” He smiles down at me, putting his arm around my shoulder and leading me to the palace.
“I am a bit hungry.” My stomach growls loudly at just the thought of food. We share a laugh at the graceless, human half of my body.
“Did anything happen while you were out in the human world? There is something different about you. You seem even more alive than usual. Your eyes are so bright.” He asks with a bit too much interest for my liking.
My heart stutters and I immediately check my shields to make sure they are locked tight and that he did not hear anything about Eric. I swallow the lump in my throat and hope, to all that is holy, that the blush does not creep back into my cheeks.
“Um, no Sir. Nothing special. Maybe it was just the cool crisp air. It is much cooler over there than it is here in Faerie,” I say, doing my best to give him a steady smile.
“Well, whatever it was, this new look suits you.”
“Thank you, Grandfather. You may be right.” Oh, he is definitely right. Eric certainly suits me.
Time runs much differently here in Faerie than it does in the human realm. We do not even have a night time since we do not need to sleep. Though sometimes we do, just out of boredom or to recharge our spark if we have expelled a lot of energy. This makes sneaking around the palace a bit difficult. All the information I need on Appius or killing vampires would be either in Grandfather’s study, his chambers, or the library. I doubt the library will have much and it would take me forever to go through all of those tomes. I just do not want to waste so much time. So I decide to start out with his chambers. I will have to keep a close look out for his orb in my mind so that I do not get caught snooping in his private rooms. His is a lovely shimmering silver color that swirls and moves like waves. Everyone’s is a bit different, a different size or different color. Some shimmer like Grandfather’s and other’s, like Claude’s, are dull and unmoving.
This makes me think back to Eric and his beautiful blue one. Why was his an orb and not a void? All vampires are black empty voids, at least that is what Grandfather taught me. Eric’s was the same blue as his eyes and it was floating inside another orb, or maybe that was his void. As if he was part vampire and part something else. That is just so strange. I know he is vampire, there is no doubt in my mind about that. With those fangs, that speed, and his age, he could not be anything else. Is it possible he is more than just vampire though? Maybe he was something besides human before Godric turned him? Oh my stars!! Appius! He nearly drained him and then gave Eric his blood. What if it is Godric’s and Appius blood mixing together that is causing it?
I can not stand the not knowing. It is going to drive me batty! My trip to Grandfather’s chambers is quickly forgotten as I try to think who I could ask without raising suspicions. Hmm? Claude! If I can get the brat to even listen to me, that is. I pop over to his door and knock loudly.
“Who is it!?” he yells.
I walk in uninvited just to piss him off. I probably should not do that since I need his help, but oh well. He is an arse no matter what his mood.
“I need to speak with you about something.”
“Well, by all means, have a seat. I live to serve you,” he seethes.
“Claude you know I would not ask you if it was not important. Now please, Will you listen?” I ask him as nicely as possible.
“Fine, just hurry up. I have things to do,” he huffs.
“Have you ever known a vampire or other supe to have an orb inside another orb or void?” I ask.
“What?” he asks, looking at me as if I’ve lost my mind. “First off, vamps do not have orbs. You should know that. As of any other supe I have never known them too. None that I have met anyway. Why do you ask?”
His eyes are slits when he asks that last part.
“Eric, the vampire I was with the other night?” I start, he quickly cuts me off.
“Yes, I remember the blonde giant. He was quite attractive.” he says, staring off in thought. Thinking of my gorgeous vampire in all his naked glory, I would imagine.
“Claude,” I snarl.
He let’s out a forceful sigh, waving his hands at me, “Continue, if you must.”
“Eric is a blue orb in my mind, a blue orb inside a black one.” I tell him.
“No, it is not. I am telling you the truth, Claude. He has a very vivid blue orb inside a black one. I am thinking the black one may just be his void. And the blue one, I am not sure. He must have been a supe before he was turned or his maker was. Problem is, he has two makers. Do you think that may be it?” I ask, hoping he can help me solve this.
“Two makers!? How the fuck does he have two?” he asks, his eyebrows shooting into his hairline.
“You swear to keep your mouth shut?” I half ask, half demand.
“Oh for goodness sake, Sookie! Yes, I swear! I will keep your precious vampire a secret. Now spill!”
I spend the next hour or so telling Claude about Eric, but I make sure to leave out Appius’ name. In the end we are certain one of Eric’s makers is behind his strange blue orb.