I pop straight to my chambers at the palace, and onto my bed, where I proceed to burst into tears. I do not know what is wrong with me. I have cried more in the last twelve hours than I have in a hundred years. I think finding Eric, falling in love with him, and knowing that my purpose in life is coming to an end is, causing this emotional upheaval. Knowing I will see Appius reap his due and that my family can be at peace soon is overwhelming. Even though I have worked for this my entire life, now that it is almost here I am just a bundle of nerves.
Before five days ago I did not care what happened to me as long as Appius met his true death. I was fine with dying if that was what it took. All that has changed. I have Eric now. I actually have a reason to continue after I complete my revenge. I truly feel that Eric is my purpose from here on out. Loving him and saving him from that monster will be the most important thing I will ever do in my life. I believed him when he told me he thought we were fated, that we were meant to be. I feel it in my heart, my bones, and my soul. He is my other half, the other part of me that I did not even know was missing. And even though I just spent hours in his arms, I miss him so much it physically hurts. A new round of sobs rack my body just thinking about it. Then the dreaded fear that I may lose him sets in. Appius could kill him at anytime. I can not, I will not lose him. He is safe right now and I will be with him again in a few hours. I have to calm down and get him the answers he needs. The answers we both need.
Apparently I was crying louder than I thought, because I am now in Claudine’s lap with her smoothing my hair with one hand and rubbing my back with the other. I can hear her trying to calm me down, whispering that everything will be alright. No matter what it is, she is sure we can mend it. I pry open my swollen eyes and see Claude lounging on my window seat and then I look up at Claudine. She is smiling sweetly down at me.
“There, there sweet Sookie. You must not cry so. Everything will be alright,” she coos at me just as she did when I was little.
“Why….. are you here? I was not….that loud…..was I?” I choke out.
“Pfft, it is a wonder the whole palace is not outside your door. You have been wailing like a banshee for an hour,” Claude informs me. “What happened? Did your blonde giant find someone else to frolic with?” he asks.
“CLAUDE!” Claudine yells at him. “Why must you be so hateful? It is obvious she is hurting. Now be nice!”
He just rolls his eyes at her.
Thank goodness for Claudine. Other than Grandfather she is the only other faerie that truly loves me. She has been there for me since Mama and Daddy died. She played with me for countless hours when I first got here, trying to keep me distracted. When that did not always work, she would just hold me and let me cry. Her and my Gran are the only two women I have ever been close too.
“I am alright, Claudine, thank you,” I tell her, patting her hand. I drag myself up from the bed and go to my dresser to clean my face. I splash some water on it and dry it with a soft towel. After taking a few deep breaths I turn back around and face them. My eyes go straight to Claude.
“I will have you know that my blonde giant and I spent the whole night making love. He made me cum seven times. How is that for frolicking, you ass!?!” I yell at him.
“SOOKIE!” Claudine is yelling at me now. Claude just smirks, purring out, “Impressive.”
“Sookie dear, I am assuming you have met someone?” she asks cautiously.
“Oh she sure has,” Claude sing- songs.
“Shut up, Claude,” we tell him in unison.
“That is wonderful, Sookie. Grandfather and I have so hoped you would find someone soon. He will be so pleased. Who is it, may I ask?”
I give Claude a death glare before he can open his mouth.
“His name is Eric. He is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen and he loves me. And I love him, more than I ever dreamed possible,” I say, sounding like a lovesick child.
“Eric? I do not believe I know any Faeries named Eric. Do you know him, Claude?”
“Oh I have seen him, and she is correct, he is most definitely beautiful. You will not be seeing him in Faerie though,” he tells her. I swear I am going to kill him one of these days.
“Sookie, please tell me he is not human. Grandfather’s heart will be broken all over again,” she frets.
“Not a human,” Claude sings again. I slap the back of his head this time. He quickly pops to the other side of the room out of my reach, “Think pale with very sharp teeth, sister,” he trills before popping away. I am definitely going to kill him.
I turn back to look at Claudine. Her eyes are huge and her hand is covering her mouth. When I do not deny Claude’s words, she starts to shake her head no.
“Sookie, no. You can not possibly,” she whispers.
I just shrug my shoulders at her. What else is there to say? She bolts off of the bed and grabs me by the arms, “He will kill you, Sookie. He will drink you dry! After what happened to your Mother, what could you possibly be thinking!? How could you be so stupid!?!” she yells.
I jerk out of her grasp, “I am not stupid! I am here, am I not? I have spent hours and hours with him and he has not once harmed me!” I yell back at her.
Claude must have been just outside the door, because he pops back in and tries to calm us both down.
“Sookie, relax. Let me talk to her,” he tells me, turning to his sister.
“Claudine, breathe. I have seen them together. He never tried to harm her, he was very gentle with her. I swear,” he promises her.
She turns around and starts pacing the room, muttering to herself. Claude guides her to the bed and sits her down before turning back to me. “Tell her about his orb, Sookie.”
I walk over to the bed and sit down beside her. “All vampires are voids to us, correct?” I ask her. She nods. “Eric is not a void, at least not completely. When I see him in my mind he is a blue orb inside of a black void. Claude and I think one of his makers was a supe before he was turned. Which would mean Eric has a mix of supe blood. It would explain the orb. So Eric is a vampire, but he is also more. We just do not know which more,” I try to explain to her.
“One of his makers?” she asks.
“Eric’s true maker was killed. The vampire that killed him, drained Eric and filled him with his own blood. So essentially he has two makers,” I tell her.
“You believe his mixed blood is why he has not hurt you?” she questions me.
“It is possible, but I believe he is just a gentle soul.”
She looks at Claude for help. He only shrugs at her. I take her hand in mine, “Claudine, I know this is hard for you to except, but I truly believe Eric is my mate, other half, whatever you want to call him. Nothing has ever felt more right in my life than being with him does. I love him. I loved him from the moment I saw him. He says the same thing about me. And when we make love, something happens with my light. It glows so bright that it surrounds us both. Eric’s chest even glowed with it’s own light the second time. It was the same blue as his orb. The first two times, when we finished, we passed out, or something, for close to an hour. I think my light even knows he is meant to be mine. Does that sound normal to you? Is it a faerie thing no one has told me about?” I ask both of them.
Claudine is just staring at me completely speechless, her eyes wide. Claude backs up and sinks down onto my window seat, looking at me as if I was some kind of miracle.
“What? Why are you two looking at me like that? What is it?” I beg them.
Claude gets his voice back first, “Sookie are you absolutely sure about your light and his too? It was not something you just imagined?” he asks quietly.
“Of course I am sure, I have eyes! Eric saw all of it too. What does it mean, Claude?” I ask again.
Claudine squeezes my hand, holding it tightly, tears pooling in her green eyes, “It means you have chosen your mate, and your light accepted him. By Fae law you are now an eternal pair, nothing and no one can separate you.” She says it as if I have been handed a death sentence.
“It is very rare, Sookie. Even between faeries. But the fact that you bonded with a vampire, that is unheard of. As far as I know you two will be the first fae-vampire pair. Grandfather is going to shit himself,” Claude says.
“A fae bond? Why did no one tell me about them before? I can not believe it! This is wonderful! We will be bonded by fae and vampire law now. Eric will be so thrilled. Why are you so sad Claudine? I found someone that loves me, you should be pleased for me,” I tell her.
“Sookie dear, it is forever. Did you not hear me say, eternal? You will never be free of him and there is nothing Grandfather can do to save you either. You will be bonded to that monster for the rest of your very long life,” she cries.
I fling her hand off of mine and jump up from the bed. I am angry now. How dare she judge Eric without even knowing him! “Claudine, I am ashamed of you! You know nothing about Eric, yet you dare to call the man I love a monster! I can not believe you would be so cruel,” I seethe at her, my own tears building again.
“Sookie, she just needs time to accept things. She will come around,” Claude says in an attempt to calm me.
“Now what did you mean by being bonded in fae and vampire law?” he asks, stressing the and.
I ignore Claudine and her tears and turn back to Claude. “Eric and I began our bond last night, our vampire bond. We had our first blood exchange. Two more and we will be bonded forever. Why?”
He shakes his head, “I guess it makes no difference now, your fae bond is already permanent. I am just amazed he had your blood and did not kill you. We are irresistible to vampires, you know that. Maybe it is your half blood that saved you or his own mixed breeding. He would have to be part fae for your light to accept him. It would not be possible otherwise.”
Now my eyes are wide, “You think he is part fae?” I ask incredulously.
“I know he is now. I suspected earlier, but like I already said he has to have some fae in him for your light to except him. That must be why he can be with you, make love to you, and even have your blood without killing you. It is the only explanation I can come up with,” he assures me.
“She could have the same gift as her Mother,” Claudine says quietly.
I gasp, “Do you think it is possible?” I ask her, but do not give her a chance to answer. “If I do, I have no conscience control of it. I did feel a tremendous wave of peace wash over me before I gave him my blood. I just knew that it was the right thing to do, my heart truly gave me no choice. The same goes for the fae bond. I did not choose him with my mind. It is as if my heart, soul, and light choose him for me. My mind just caught up later. That probably makes no sense to either of you. Do you think my spark protected me by changing my blood, or was it the fae bond?” I ask them.
Claude shrugs again and Claudine just gives me a sad smile. I may never know the how or why, I suppose. Whatever happened, I am glad it did. Since I have told them so much already I decide to go ahead and tell them about Appius. Maybe they can give Eric and I the answers we need. They are much less intimidating than Grandfather too.
“There is something else I need to tell you both. You may not believe me though,” I warn them.
“It can not be much more shocking than anything else you have already told us,” Claude laughs. I do not think he will be laughing in a minute.
“I did not tell you this the other day, Claude, because I needed to accept it myself first. I told you a bit about the vampire that has Eric now, his second maker, and all that he has done to him.” He nods. I look to his sister, “The vampire that killed Eric’s true maker has been torturing Eric for the last hundred years. He does it just for fun and Eric is pretty much his slave. He orders him to fetch his meals and bring them back to him. Eric was late getting back the other night because he was with me,” I say, trying to hold back my tears when I remember how horrible his wounds were. “His maker carved his initials into Eric’s chest with a silver knife and then rubbed silver powder into them over and over. He told him he could not heal them until tonight. Eric had to glamour a farmer to rub more silver into his chest so the wounds would not heal.” I choke out that last part, thinking of the pain my love went through.
Claude and Claudine look properly appalled. I take a deep breath and brave myself for their reactions to this next part. “The horrible vampire that has been doing this to him for so long, is Appius. The same Appius Livius Ocella that killed my family.”
They are both quiet for a moment until Claude yells, “Oh fuck!” and jumps up to pace the room with his hands on his head. Claudine is once again wide-eyed and speechless, her hand over her mouth. Neither of them say anything for several minutes. I stay quiet to give them some time to take it in.
“I can not believe this! Are you sure it is him?” Claude asks.
“Do you really think there are two such evil vampires with the same exact name, Claude? It has to be him,” I shoot back.
“Oh no, no no no,” Claudine frets. “What if Appius sent Eric for you? What if he has been hunting you all these years and Eric is a trap? Oh Sookie, this is horrible!” she screeches.
“Calm down, Claudine,” I tell her. “Eric is not a trap. I would know if he was. I can feel his emotions through our blood tie now and he has been nothing but honest with me. Surely my light would never have accepted him if he meant me harm and our first night together I told him I would gladly kill his horrible maker and Eric nearly lost it. He was terrified for me to go anywhere near Appius. He had not even told me his name at that point. He was on his knees begging me not to go after him. Does that sound like he was sent after me? Does it?” I stress.
“I suppose not, but Sookie you must be careful! Appius is vicious and he will certainly kill you if he ever gets the chance,” she cries.
“Do you not think I do not know that, Claudine? I have been hunting and training to kill that bastard since I was seven and now I want to kill him all the more for what he has done to Eric. I take none of this lightly, I promise you.” I take a few deep breaths before continuing. “I want you both to meet Eric,” I start.
“WHAT?!” Claudine shouts.
“Oh Claudine, please stop being so damn dramatic! I know this is a lot for you to swallow in such a short time, but do you honestly think I would take you anywhere near Eric if I thought he would hurt you?”
“Of course she does not believe that, right sister?” Claude prompts her.
“No, I guess I do not,” she whispers.
“Eric wanted me to ask Grandfather some questions about Appius today, but I think the two of you will do just as well. I would love to have your support when I tell Grandfather about Eric and I think meeting him would help you see that he is good for me. You will see how happy we are together and realize he is a good man. Will you both come with me tonight?” I ask them.
Claude immediately nods his head yes,”I would love to see that gorgeous creature up close and personal,” he purrs.
“Do not get any ideas, Claude, he is mine,” I warn him. Of course he just smirks at me. I wink back.
“Claudine, will you please give him a chance? It would mean the world to me,” I gently plead with her.
“Alright Sookie, I will go and give your vampire a chance, but only because it is you.”