When I was finally coming down from Eric’s amazing wake-up sex, I noticed something that I’d definitely never felt from him after sex. He was nervous. Extremely nervous.
Getting up on my elbow, head in my hand, I said confused. “Eric, I… nothing’s happened. I’m still here. There were no phone calls today or an ambush. I don’t understand.” I knew he was worried about my exposure in Rhodes and I couldn’t believe I never thought that I could get on the government’s radar from helping save people’s lives that day. I’m not sure what I would have done if I had thought of it. How could I let all those the voices screaming in my head die when I could help them? But I also didn’t want to be a lab rat or whatever else the government could come up with for me.
Smiling up at me, Eric cupped my cheek and pressed a kiss to my now downturned lips before laying back against his pillow and running a hand over his face.
“I know you don’t understand and it has nothing to do with the events that happened in Rhodes,” he reassured me or tried to. Eric being nervous wasn’t very reassuring.
“If it’s not that then what is it? To tell you the truth it’s starting to freak me out with how nervous you are.” Taking a deep breath, I whispered my plea, “please tell me.”
Pushing reassurance through the bond, Eric kissed each of my fingers.
“There are times when I want to close off the bond. Especially right now. I don’t want what I’m feeling to affect you like this. It’s not a big deal. Well, it is a big deal at least to me, but it’s nothing bad for you,” Eric said, not telling me anything of value.
“Not bad for me. What the hell does that mean Eric Northman? Are we not in this life together?” I replied, my voice and patience growing more and more strained.
“Yes, at least I hope we are. That’s what I wanted to talk to you about. Remember yesterday when I said I had something I wanted to speak to you about but it could wait?”
“I remember,” I answered, sitting up and sitting with my legs crossed on the bed facing him. “This doesn’t seem like it can wait going by your emotions.”
Looking over my shoulder for only a split second, Eric brought his eyes back to mine.
“I thought I could wait until the right time came, but I have to know. It’s going to either be the best or worst news of my lifetime,” Eric said speaking with almost no emotion in his voice, but the bond betrayed what his voice left out. He was both hopeful and fearful all at the same time.
I had no idea what he wanted to talk about, but I desperately wanted to give him what he wanted. “Whatever it is, Eric, you can talk to me. You can come to me with anything.”
Placing my hand in one of his, Eric looked first at our hands and then to my eyes. “The other night after you picked up that bomb and we went back to our hotel room, I told you I love you.”
“I remember,” I replied softly.
“Good,” he said, nodding his head as if I wouldn’t remember the other night. “You said something that I wanted to elaborate on. I need to know what you meant by it.”
“Okay, I’ll try.”
“You told me that I was your forever. Forever means something entirely different to vampires. I may meet the true death tomorrow or in another thousand years. I have no way of knowing. No one does, but I need to know if when you said forever were you talking about your human lifespan or mine.” Eric sat up in front of me and placed his legs on either side of mine. “Before you answer I want you to know that no matter what your decision is I will respect it and would never go against your wishes. Right after I got my memories back, I told you what I wanted. I know at the time all the information I gave you was a lot for you to take in and with the Summit our lives have been busy, but after all, we went through in Rhodes, I don’t want to waste another moment with you. We are already bonded making us married in the vampire world as you know. I would also like us to be pledged one day.”
“Pledged?” I squeaked out before I could stop it from sounding so unsure and that the idea scared me more than a little.
“Yes,” he responded, nodding his head. “I am only telling you what I wish. None of what I want has to happen and won’t if you do not want it to. That’s why we’re having this discussion. No pressure, okay?”
No pressure? I wasn’t sure how he thought that. Of course, there was. He had already said this would either be the best or worst night of his life and it was all depending on what I wanted. Yeah, right, no pressure. None at all.
“Are you ready for me to continue?” he asked with a hesitant smile after I had been quiet for far too long than was appropriate. I didn’t even want to think about what my emotions had been doing during that time.
Eric was right. Sometimes it would be good to cut off the bond, so the other didn’t feel everything and misinterpret or get upset by what the other was feeling.
“There’s more?” I spoke calmly, but I knew he could feel my growing anxiety.
“I can stop if you wish, Sookie.” Pulling me into his arms with my cheek against his chest, Eric held me while rubbing his hand up and down my back in slow, soothing motions until I was almost to the point of falling asleep. “This shouldn’t stress you out, dear one. I only want you to know what I want for our future and to know what your wishes are. Let us talk tonight with no pressure for answers. How does that sound?”
“It sounds good,” I mumbled against his chest curling my arms around his waist a little tighter. “Please continue.”
Sitting up so that his arm was around my shoulders Eric continued, “Very well. I would like to see us one day pledged when you are ready and then for you to be my progeny. I want to be clear why I want you to be my child. It is not because you are human and I dislike humans or think because you are one that you are beneath me. It is for the simple fact that I want to spend the rest of my existence with you and that can’t happen as you are now.”
I watched as his cerulean eyes moved over my face even as I knew he was probing the bond for how I was feeling.
Taking a deep breath, I held it as I thought over all that Eric wanted. I wasn’t sure I wanted to be a vampire, but I did know that I wanted to spend more than my human lifetime with him and for me to do that I needed to not be human.
“I’m going to tell you the truth,” I finally replied pulling out of his arms so that I could look him in the eye as I told him how I was feeling. “When I said that you are my forever I meant in a longer lifespan than my own. I’m not sure I want to become a vampire, but I don’t know of any other way around that and to stay young, healthy and alive. I want what we had when you lost your memory. Me sharing my day with you and I want you to share your night with me. Taking care of each other. We haven’t really had a chance to settle here. I still haven’t given you grief about all the changes you had made, but to be honest with you, I like that there’s now a whole downstairs to Gran’s house that I can share with you and that I won’t have to worry about your safety if I leave during the day.”
“I wanted to make sure the house would be safe at all times for the both of us. I didn’t do it to be high handed only for our safety,” Eric explained, placing his large hand on my knee and squeezed.
“I want to be mad at you, but I like everything you did, and you even decorated the downstairs so that it’s not a dark, creepy dungeon. If I wanted to, I’d never have to go upstairs but to leave the house.”
A smile gracing his face, Eric looked lovingly at me before he spoke. “I want you to be comfortable in your own home. I knew you wouldn’t enjoy a dark and dreary light-tight space. I know my resting place at the house in Shreveport was not to your liking. I made it as welcoming as I could for the short time you were there. If you want I can have more work done to it for times when we must stay there. I want to make sure here, and there will be something you would and could enjoy. If there’s anything, you don’t like we can change it. You only have to say the word, and it will be done.”
“Thank you, Eric. I know I don’t say it enough, but I truly appreciate it. Anyway” I said waving my hands around, “I got off track. Before I never wanted to become a vampire to then be on my own for the rest of my existence. I wouldn’t be turning because I want to be a vampire, but to stay with you and I didn’t think that was possible. Now with all that you’ve told me with our bond and if we pledge we would always be by each other’s sides, that’s what I want.” Looking down at my joined hands in my lap, I finished. “Do I want to be a vampire? No, not really, but I do want to be with you for as long as we are able to and much longer than my lifespan.”
Raising my eyes to meet Eric’s, I gasped at the red that rimmed his eyes. I had been too busy in my own head to even register his feelings as I spoke. “Eric,” I rushed out in a breathy whisper and cupped his cheeks.
“You have made me very happy, lover,” Eric said beaming at me. His eyes were gleaming with his love for me, and his feelings through the bond took my breath away. “To know that you would let me turn you so that we can spend a millennium together is more than I ever thought possible. I had hoped, but I wasn’t sure. I… I have no words to express how much this means to me. How much you mean to me at this moment.”
“Show me then,” I replied against his lips, mine smiling.
Eric had no problem showing me. He never had now that I thought about it. Back when we first met, I thought he only wanted to get in my pants, but I should have paid more attention to his actions and less to all the things Bill had been spewing about him.
When the kiss turned from long, wet, and passionate to fierce and almost desperate, Eric’s phone went off. I didn’t think he’d stop. He had ringtones to let him know who was calling and most of the time he’d access the tone and what we were doing and then continue with me. Not this time. Eric sat up pulling me with him as his body tensed, reaching for his phone.
“Brigant, I have to say this is quite a surprise. I was going to be placing a call to your people very soon,” Eric said in a monotone voice. He was quiet for a long time while he listened to whoever was on the other end. As Eric continued to listen his body became tighter against mine while the bond flew open with conflict, anger and a small amount of awe. “She will not be meeting you without me,” he spoke angrily and then once again listened for a matter of minutes before speaking with finality. “Sookie is my bonded. You know what that means in our world. Therefore, you cannot ask me to sit back while you… No, you are not understanding what will happen if she even agrees to meet with you… Yes, she’s right by my side wondering who could possibly be on the phone making me lose my temper and making demands of me… You pick a time and place, and we will both be there. No more demands or there will be no meeting.” There was a long pause before Eric’s body tightened even more, and he spat out, “Tonight.”
Without another word, Eric hung up before he knifed out of bed, grabbed up his jeans from the floor and started to pull them on. It wasn’t until he turned and saw me still sitting in bed with my mouth hanging open did he finally speak.
“We have been formally invited to dinner with the fairy prince. Tonight,” he bit out. “Wear one of the dresses you got for the Summit, it’s a fancy restaurant, and I know you’ll want to look appropriate for the venue.”
Eric started to leave the room again before I could find my voice. As he hit the door, I finally spoke. “You’re going to be with me the whole time, right?”
Eric turned, and his face softened as he looked back at me. “I will try. As you remember the smell of a fairy is particularly inviting to a vampire and if he doesn’t shield his smell than I will have no other choice than to step away.”
“But, he can hide his smell, right?” I asked, hoping that this fairy prince could and would.
“Indeed, he can, but I can’t promise that he will. He didn’t want me at the meeting only for me to introduce you to him. All will be well, I won’t let anything happen to you, but you must get ready in order for us to join him for dinner.”
“Where are you going?” I asked as I slid out of bed and noticed he was once again headed out of the bedroom. Eric only had on his jeans and nothing else. I knew he had to get ready too.
“I’m going to head upstairs to quickly check my email and call Pam to let her know that I will not be in tonight and where we are going just in case.” Sensing my question, he answered, “Then I will come back down to get ready. If I stayed while you’re trying to get ready, I’m afraid I’d only make us late and being late to an invitation from the fairy prince is not a smart move especially since we don’t know what he wants.”
I said the only thing I could say at that moment, “Okay. I’ll hurry. I wouldn’t want to have a prince waiting on us because I took too long to get ready.”
“Jag fruktar de nyheter som vi kommer att lära sig ikväll, min älskade, vet bara att jag älskar dig, Sookie,” Eric spoke before he turned and left me staring at where he had been standing. I had no idea what he had said, but I knew from what I felt from him as he uttered those words had more meaning than I could comprehend at that moment.
Sitting in the passenger seat of Eric’s car, I fidgeted as I stared out the window as the city of Shreveport flew by. The restaurant was on the outskirts of town and one I’d never noticed before, not that I had been this way very many times. Typically, I was with Eric, and we were talking about this or that, but not tonight. Eric was quiet and had a death grip on the steering wheel. I was afraid that at any moment it would rip off and we’d go careening off the road to our deaths. Well, at least mine since it would take Eric being decapitated for him to meet his true death in a car accident, but I knew he wouldn’t risk anything happening to me. I didn’t understand why he was so pissed and stressed out. I knew it had to do with this prince we were going to meet and I already didn’t like him since he was stressing out Eric so much. He wasn’t even this stressed about Rhodes or when he got his memories back.
“Is there anything I should know before I meet this prince?” I asked when I couldn’t take the stress or the silence any longer.
“No,” Eric said automatically.
“Okay, if there isn’t anything I should know before we get to wherever it is we’re going then could you please talk to me.”
“What do you want to talk about?” He asked, gripping the steering wheel even tighter. I wasn’t sure how that was even possible without bending it or ripping it from the dash, but he did.
“I don’t know. Anything but sitting here in silence while you’re over there testing the limits of the steering wheel.” Exasperated I looked out the window once again.
It was only a moment before Eric’s cool hand was on my knee and started to move upward until his hand hit my arm and then he lightly trailed his fingers down my arm until they reached my hand. Lacing our fingers together, he squeezed my hand before speaking. “I’m strategizing on what could happen tonight. I don’t want to be unprepared especially when you are concerned.”
“Okay, I understand that, but what has you so stressed out?”
“I can’t figure out why we had to meet him tonight. Why couldn’t it wait until tomorrow night or next week? I like to be prepared when meeting with my enemy. Not going in blind. Only giving me a short time has me thinking it could be any number of things, and none of them are good. What I didn’t want to do was cause you stress or concern, but I should have let you know where my head was at so you could also be prepared.” Blowing out an annoyed breath, he continued. “I’m still learning how to do this whole relationship thing and sharing.”
“You are doing just fine. I’m still learning too. It’s a big adjustment and once I start school things will change once again, but we can do it. I believe in us,” I replied, giving Eric a small smile at the end.
“I believe in us too,” he said, smiling back at me. “I’m happy you decided to come work for me a couple of nights a week until you start school. I do hope you’ll have time to continue working with me, but I understand that getting your education is important to you and I want you to have that. Now that I know we’ll have many nights together, I don’t mind losing a few nights for you to do your homework and study.”
“Thank you for saying that. I needed to hear that. I want to get the best grades I can so I know at first I’m going to go overboard, but I’ll figure it out. I’m not going to take too many classes at first. I’m not too internet and computer savvy yet, so it’s going to be hard for me.”
“You can always ask me. I’ll always try to help you,” Eric said from his side of the car and squeezing my hand again.
“Thank you, Eric,” I responded. Tears almost welled in my eyes as I cherished the thought of him helping me and the thought that I could have lost out on all that is Eric Northman. I believed he was ‘The One,’ my one and if I hadn’t chosen to stay home and talk to him and went on that date with Quinn, I would have missed Eric showing me that he could be my Eric and more. A better Eric than I ever thought possible.
Leaning over until his lips brushed against my cheek, Eric softly spoke once he was looking forward again. “Going by your feelings that thank you wasn’t just for helping with your schooling.”
“Much more,” I choked out, trying not to cry and ruin my makeup. I didn’t want to look a mess when I met my first prince, but that was becoming a very real possibility. “I love you with everything that I am, Eric Northman, and I cannot tell you how happy I am that you showed up on my doorstep the night I was supposed to go on a date with Quinn.”
Pulling the car over to the side of the road, Eric took my face in his hands and pressed the most delicious kiss to my lips. It was probably the best kiss between us to date. It was slow, sweet, and perfect. How did he keep surprising me with his kisses? I didn’t know, but I was happy to keep experiencing them for the rest of my life.
Slowly he pulled away, his lips brushing against mine as he spoke. “I love you, Sookie Stackhouse. I am thankful to the Gods every night you are in my life, and you choose me to spend your life with. Thank you.”
We sat there for what seemed like minutes or hours only staring into each other’s eyes before he placed one kiss to each of my eyes and then my lips before finally pulling away.
“We need to be on our way, but I promise to ravage you when we get home until the sun comes up,” he said, his voice all gravelly and husky.
“Something to look forward to,” I replied as I squeezed my legs together wanting him right there and then.
For the rest of the way to the restaurant we were quiet, but the silence didn’t bother me this time. I knew that if either one of us opened our mouths, it would lead to more. When we finally pulled into the parking lot, I wasn’t nervous anymore. I wanted to get this meeting out of the way and go home.
How long was an appropriate amount of time to dine with a prince?
Eric rounded the car, opening my door and giving me his hand to help me out. He promptly wrapped his long fingers around my own as we made our way inside. Immediately upon entering, I knew we were not in an ordinary restaurant. It reminded me a little bit of the bar, Josephine’s, in Mississippi giving off a do not enter vibe, but not as strong.
“Good evening, may I ask the name of the reservation?” The hostess asked politely. First, she eyed Eric and then me, but didn’t give the usual expression others gave us when we went places. She seemed to not care about us one way or the other which was refreshing. Hearing and seeing the disdain that most women had when they saw us together did nothing for my self-esteem. Although, Eric remedied the situation almost as soon as it happened every time in a number of ways which were over the top in affection and/or flowery words.
“Brigant,” Eric answered in a monotone voice.
I didn’t think I would ever get used to the way he could detach himself in every circumstance. Cool and aloof would be how I’d describe the way most vampires acted ninety-nine percent of the time. To me, it was almost comical except when it was directed at me.
“Right this way,” the hostess said as she led us away from the podium and away from all the other guests to a secluded part where we couldn’t see anyone and no one could see us. That freaked me out a little bit. I didn’t know how royalty lived, so I wasn’t sure if this was because he was royalty or because we were in danger.
Sitting facing us was an elegant older gentleman who looked to be in his late fifties to early sixties. Long, pale blond hair ran past his shoulders, and a dark gray suit that was tailored just for him screamed money even from afar. Green eyes sparkled almost unnaturally as he stood on our approach.
“Northman,” he greeted with annoyance in his tone.
“Brigant,” Eric greeted back. “This,” he indicated by sweeping an arm around my shoulders and a little squeeze, “is my bonded, Sookie Stackhouse. Sookie, this is Niall Brigant, Fairy Prince.”
“How do you do?” I asked nervously as we shook hands.
“Very well, my dear. Please sit. You can be assured that no harm will come to you during our dinner and your bonded,” he said with distaste. “can wait outside until we are done.”
“That will not be…” Eric began until I cut him off.
“Eric’s going to stay. I’m in a room full of supernatural creatures I don’t know, and he’s my bonded, therefore if he goes, I go.” I stated matter of factly even as my knees shook from nerves. I was prepared to walk out. I didn’t need this meeting.
“Very well, I meant no disrespect,” he replied regally.
I did think he intended to disrespect Eric because he wanted to get rid of him and he’d made himself clear on the phone his wishes. Too bad he wasn’t going to get what he wanted.
“Everyone sit, please.”
Pulling out my chair, Eric waited until I was seated before he scooted my chair in and took the one beside me. Pulling my hand out of my lap, Eric placed it on his thigh before he started to stroke his thumb in a soothing rhythm along the back of my hand.
Mr. Brigant sat and watched us for a moment before clearing his throat. “I’m sure you are both wondering why I asked you here tonight. Sookie, I unsure what you know about fairies…”
“Nothing,” I replied. “Well, I do know that you smell really good to vampires and that I hope you are blocking your scent.”
“For everyone’s safety, I can assure you I am indeed blocking my scent from any vampires who may be in the restaurant tonight.”
Really?! This guy was starting to get on my nerves. No, he couldn’t possibly be doing it for Eric’s sake just any other vampire who might be in the building. He was coming off as an arrogant asshole. His attitude was not making me want to stay, and I definitely had better things to do.
“I don’t mean to be rude, but why don’t you tell us why you wanted to meet with me tonight,” I said in a tone that made it clear my intention was indeed to be rude.
“Of course, I apologize, but the meeting had to be tonight or never and I have information that I wanted you to know,” he said contritely.
“I can’t imagine what information you’d have on little ole me. I’m just a barmaid.”
“I’ve only been in your presence a very short amount of time, and I can tell you are more than just a barmaid. You are the Northman’s bonded, and that is no small feat. You also have the spark…”
“Spark?” I blurted even as Eric’s fingers grasped mine in a vice like hold and his body went stiff.
“You are also my great-granddaughter,” he continued as if I hadn’t spoken.
“Excuse me?” I cried out before turning to Eric. He was silent. As in dead silent. I couldn’t feel him in the bond except to know he was alive. His fingers were like stone against my own. It was like he had gone into downtime, but I knew he hadn’t. “Eric, sweetie, are you okay?”
Not responding right away, Eric kept his eyes on the prince for a long moment before his gaze moved away and onto me. “Yes,” he answered when it was evident he wasn’t okay at all. Neither was I for that matter.
“I must have heard you wrong because I thought you said that I am your great-granddaughter and that can’t possibly be right. I would remember if my Gran mentioned a Niall. You must have me mistaken for someone else. I’m sorry. Eric,” I said turning to him. “Let’s go. This has all been a terrible mistake.”
“I don’t think it is, Sookie. I thought you were other, and I couldn’t figure out what ‘other’ you could possibly be, but being part fairy makes sense. Most if not all fairies are telepathic and you already know about their appealing scent. You smell better than any human I’ve ever encountered. I’m unsure what this means,” he said all of this looking at me with a look of understanding until the end when he swung his gaze across the table. “Why now? Why tonight?” Eric asked the fairy prince.
“I am closing the portal to Earth. There has been a war going on and my son, Fintan, Sookie’s grandfather died. He had placed a spell on the Stackhouse farm and on Sookie keeping her whereabouts hidden from me until his death. He wanted to keep her protected from Breandan who’s been on a crusade to kill all fairy hybrids in existence. Now that Fintan’s dead, Breandan can find her just as I have, I need to protect what’s left of my family. The only way to do that is to close the portal between our worlds forever. I know this is a lot to take in my dear, Sookie.”
“Why not close the portal without this meeting?” Eric asked after moving his chair closer to me and wrapping his arm around my shoulders, giving me strength.
“I wanted to see you at least once in my existence,” he said to me, paying no mind to the giant vampire, Viking attached to me. Protecting me. At that moment, I didn’t know who this Breandan was, but later, on the way home when Eric explained to me the war and all that he got from the conversation, I was happy the portal would be closed, and Breandan would have no way to get anywhere near me.
“I’m sorry,” I apologized, “but you’ve got me mistaken with someone else.” Turning toward Eric, I started to gather my purse, “I think it’s time for us to go.”
“Sookie.” Eric stopped me, taking my purse and hand in his. A flash a sympathy shot through the bond and his eyes before it was quickly replaced with warmth. “He wouldn’t have come if he wasn’t sure. He found you now that your grandfather’s magic is gone.”
“But,” I stammered out.
“Fairies can’t lie,” Eric interjected while at the same time giving Prince Brigant a strange look.
Surely there were ways that a fairy could lie. Eric didn’t seem as if he could trust the man across the table from us, but he did believe that somehow, someway I was this man’s great granddaughter.
“All of this is a lot to take in, and with being the only time that I will ever meet you, I feel as if I don’t have the time to wrap my head around it or ask you the questions that I am sure I’ll have later. I wish I had more time,” I stammered out. To say I was overwhelmed was an understatement.
Reaching down to the seat beside him, the prince placed an old leather book with strange engravings on it in front of me. “This book holds our family tree going back centuries. It also contains the history of my world. I want you to have this and one other heirloom.”
Next, he brought out what at first glance looked like a makeup compact. It was trimmed in gold, but the body was a pale green with variances that reminded me of an opal. It was beautiful, and I was instantly drawn to it. The need to touch it was beyond my control. Before I could wrap my fingers around it, Eric grasped my arm and then scooted my chair back far enough that I couldn’t even reach the table if I wanted to.
“Hey!” I exclaimed as I fought Eric’s hold. “He wants me to have it,” I hissed out trying once again to get out of his strong embrace.
“I can see that, but what your great grandfather didn’t tell you is that it isn’t an ordinary heirloom. It’s magical, and it wants you to touch and use it.”
“What’s so bad about using it? Maybe I want to use it, now. Is it because you want to use it?” I asked with an accusatory tone fighting even harder to get to the lovely trinket.
“There are consequences if you use it. Brigant, perhaps, you can tell her more about it before you hand it over,” Eric said in a tone that brokered no argument that he was prepared to fight if it came to it.
“Yes, my dear Sookie. This is a Cluviel Dor, and it can only be used once. Before using it, you should think very carefully about what you want to use it for or perhaps you’ll never use it. That is up to you. I can see that you are very drawn to its magic, as most are. I will place it in a box that is spelled so that you will know where it is and will only open for you, but you will not be drawn to it nor anyone else. No other being will be able to detect that you are in possession of the Cluviel Dor.”
Watching in awe, the fairy prince conjured a dark wood box out of nowhere that had more of the strange engravings on it. Before I could protest or touch the beautiful, magical object, he placed it inside the box and closed the lid. Immediately the need to touch it was gone making me wonder how I hadn’t been drawn to it the whole we’d been sitting across from him.
“How was I not drawn to it while it was in your pocket?” I asked quizzically.
“Just as I did the box, I didn’t have the Cluviel Dor with me until the moment I pulled it out of my pocket. It was back in my world,” he explained with a gentle smile. It was as if he was proud of my question, but I wasn’t sure why.
“The reason why I wanted to have this meeting alone with you is because I wanted to ask you a very important question and I didn’t want the Viking to influence you. Now that I’ve seen you two together it is evident that he cares for you very much. Even so, I’m still going to ask since I won’t be able to help you after this night.” He said all of this as if he was giving a speech in front of thousands instead of just the two of us.
Before I could say anything, a waiter placed a platter full of every food I could think of that described the South in front of the prince and a plate of food so weird looking I didn’t want to touch it, in front of me.
“I didn’t order this,” I tried to explain as another waiter filled our glasses with wine (at least I hoped it was wine).
“I ordered before you arrived. Those are a few of the items that are eaten in my world. None of them are comparable to foods you eat here. Enjoy,” he said in an incredibly upbeat manner.
I was pretty sure there was no way for me to enjoy whatever the hell that food was. I didn’t even want to attempt to try and eat it, but I didn’t want to hurt his feelings either.
“What did you want to ask me?” I was trying anything I could think of so I wouldn’t have to put that vile food in my mouth. It was all soft looking and in colors that were very unappealing and unnatural.
Glancing over at Eric for a brief second, Niall looked back at me with a grave look on his face. Not that he hadn’t had a serious look on his face this whole time, but now I knew he meant business and I’m not going to lie, it scared me.
Lacing his fingers through mine, Eric pushed assurance while never taking his gaze off the prince. He knew he wasn’t going to like what was going to come next.
“I understand that you two are bonded, and normally if the bond were to be broken, you would both experience a considerable amount of pain. I can break the bond, and neither of you will feel a thing. It would be as if you were never bonded.”
Gasping with wide eyes, I felt tears well up. I would not cry in front of this man.
“Or if you want I can kill the Viking.”
“NO!” I shrieked, standing from my chair. What the hell was wrong with this man? Had he not just stated that he could tell that Eric cared for me? Now he was offering to either kill him or break our bond. “It’s time to leave,” I said quietly, but firmly. I wanted to scream. I wanted to slap this man who called himself my great grandfather. I wanted to do a whole lot more, but I wouldn’t do that in an elegant restaurant or the only time I saw this man.
Eric sat for only a moment longer before getting to his feet, wrapping an arm around my shoulders and placing a kiss on the crown of my head.
I didn’t say another word. Not a goodbye or it was nice to meet you (which would have been a lie). I knew my Gran might be disappointed in me, but I didn’t care. Eric was my husband, and I loved him more than anything in the world, and this man wanted to end what we had.
As we walked out of the restaurant, Niall was standing by the side of Eric’s car blocking our way. We stopped several feet away from him, quietly fuming.
“Since you want to stay with your vampire and by your obvious love for him,” he stopped as I scoffed at his unfeeling words. “I wanted you both to know that with your fairy heritage you will live longer than an average human, but not the lifespan of a fairy. You are only an eighth fairy, and even with your spark, there’s only so much your lineage can do. It’s something to think about,” he said vaguely before poofing out of existence.
When we got home sitting on the front porch was the book with my family tree and the box that held the Cluviel Dor. Still being beyond pissed, I didn’t touch them. I left them where they were, but Eric picked them up and took them downstairs and put them in the safe. Out of sight, out of mind or at least that’s what I had hoped. I didn’t want anything to do with fairies or my asshole great grandfather.
Gone was the playful mood from earlier and instead I sat fuming in my Gran’s rocking chair, rocking hard and glaring at nothing, but the thoughts that were on repeat in my head. I couldn’t get what he said out of my head. How could he think I’d want to break my bond with Eric or have him killed? About an hour before sunrise, Eric picked me up and took me into our bathroom, stripping me down and placing me into a hot bath filled with lavender and vanilla oil. It was heavenly and just what I needed so that I didn’t go to bed still furious. With my eyes closed, Eric ran a loofah over my back, down my arms, and the rest of my body. We didn’t talk and not once did I open my eyes. I let Eric take care of me the way he wanted. For never being in a relationship, he was quite good at it.
It was only moments before the sun would come up when Eric finally spoke. His body was curved around mine from behind, his arm across my stomach and angled up placing his hand over my heart. “I don’t want to anger you, but I’ve been thinking about what your great grandfather said outside by the car. Your lifespan will be longer because you’re part fairy, but you will eventually age and die. He told you to think about it just as he did about using the Cluviel Dor. You said you didn’t want to become a vampire, but saw no other way to live a long existence by my side. There are many things you could use the Cluviel Dor that you nor I never thought possible being together. Once you can get over the anger, I want you to think of what he told us tonight as a gift. We now know more and have more options. If you never want to use your gift that is fine with me. I will not pressure you and will respect your decision. Just know that I’m proud of you and you are the love of my life. You brighten and warm my night’s something I never thought possible until you walked into my life.”
“Eric,” I breathed out.
“Shh, you don’t need to say anything,” he shushed me, kissing my neck and wrapping me tighter in his arms.
This was my life now. It didn’t matter if I turned into a vampire and became Eric’s child, if I only lived my fairy lifespan, or if I used the Cluviel Dor to stay a human-fairy hybrid with the lifespan of a vampire. My vampire. I had lots to think about, but no matter which way my life turned out from here on out, I knew Eric was my happily ever after.
~ The End ~