A new day, a new morning, in a new city! The moment I opened my eyes this morning, I knew something was special about today. There was a buzz in the air that I could almost touch and taste. I happily stretched and went to my palatial bathroom to take care of my morning routine and took a long hot shower. I found Niall in the sitting room with a big breakfast spread out on the coffee table and I squealed like a five year old. I could get used to that!
“Good morning sunshine.”
I skipped up to give great granddaddy a hug and a kiss on the cheek before settling down to eat my breakfast.
“Good morning great granddaddy! When did you come back last night? I guess I fell asleep.” I took a bite of the blueberry pancakes and a sinfully big bite of a chocolate biscuit, “Uhhhh…these are reaaalllly good!”
Niall smiled indulgently at me. But really, how long had it been since I woke up to a steaming hot proper southern breakfast. Oh yes, never since gran…
“I got in late. We had a lot to discuss. It’s good that you had a good night’s sleep because we have a busy evening coming up and you need to look like my sparkly princess.”
I had to laugh at the childish pictures of a sparkly Disney princess that came to my mind at that. So I pouted and sassed back. “Oh but great granddaddy, where are my wings? I can’t be a sparkly fairy princess without my sparkly wings.”
“You don’t need the wings to be a fairy princess my girl. You sparkle already. If you keep hold of this good mood, I am sure you will dazzle our evening and no one will remember to ask about the wings.”
Awww… So I just had to shed a tear or two for that alone. Apart from the spectacular breakfast, how long had it been since I got a heartfelt compliment like that? Gran used to say things like that all the time. I missed her today…But surprisingly I was not feeling morose at missing her. Talking and spending time with Niall was proving to be very therapeutic for my frazzled soul.
“Good lord granddaddy I don’t sparkle. I am your great granddaughter is all. You are supposed to feel that way about your grandchildren…”
He waved his napkin in the air and brushed my blush away.
“None of that now! My girl let me tell you this, even if I wasn’t your great granddaddy, I would have cherished you as much as I do now. You don’t know this, but, there is a light inside of you. Not all can see it. You just have to embrace it Sookie. That light is a part of you too and when you shun it, you shun a part of yourself that is truly beautiful. Let it in Sookie, it will never guide you the wrong way. And it has nothing to do with you being part fairy. I have seen many fairies and not all of them have it. This is all you my dear, not your blood, not your lineage,,, all you.”
I just sat there, catching flies, stunned to silence. What great granddaddy said, just awoke so many memories that I gasped at the actual tug I felt in my heart.
I knew those words. I remembered those words. So much of what Niall said was too much like what he used to say. He, who I could not name, even in my messed up head…
There’s a light in you! It’s beautiful…
There are two Sookie Stackhouses…
I like Sassy Fairy Sookie!
You want to live don’t you?
It’s not me… it is your survival instinct…
He had spoken those words to me. At the moment I thought he wanted me to be more the fairy because he only loved the fairy blood in me. Did he really mean to say what Great granddaddy was saying? Could he know me so much? Could he care?
I really didn’t want to go there. I was having a good morning and I didn’t want to ruin it just yet.
“I didn’t mean to pry but I heard that young lady!”
I just wanted to eat and be merry but great granddaddy had to rain in my parade… life is a bitch.
“Sorry I didn’t mean to cuss in company”
“Oh, I don’t mind the occasional cussing when well deserved. I heard the other part though. Now who was that?”
There goes my morning!
I sighed before answering. “That is Eric. Eric Northman. He was some vampire sheriff here and he used to run that bar Fangtasia in Shreveport before all vampire businesses were closed down. I met him through Bill. We uhh…helped each other a couple of times. We were, umm, kinda friends…?”
Eyebrow raise…“A vampire? What kind of help are we talking about?”
Phhttt… “Vampire business mostly. A few favors here and there.” And a whole lot of innuendo…Hmmm…
The raised eyebrows were not coming back to ground level. Add a stink eye to catch my bullshit too.
I gave out another theatrical sigh and decided to be honest. “Oh alright! I helped him with my telepathy to find a rat at his bar and then to find his maker and he helped me back few times. He was the one that got Bill to fess up to the lies he was telling me and removed another very old psycho vampire from my trail. When I went to that fairy realm and Jason put my house on the market, he bought my house and renovated it. He spent a few days at my place after getting cursed and we uhhh, became … more than friends. He returned my house to me a few days back though. For a dollar!”
Try as I may, I could not form words after that. I had really gone straight into the hornet’s nest of memories here. I desperately clutched at some coherent sentence that could be said but I just couldn’t. The words, my thoughts, my shields, just up and left me out cold.
That was a shock to my system…
I was under the impression that nothing could affect me much anymore. After all my years with the vampires, I took pride in the fact that I was a hardened bad ass. But when I started telling great granddaddy about Eric, something happened to me. I don’t know what exactly, but my heart stirred and I distinctly felt blood coursing around my veins. Well now that was weird! I mean we know we live and we have blood flowing in our bodies but we are not aware of it as such. The whole story of my eventful life started coming up in bits and pieces and I ended up telling Niall a great deal about Bill, the Rattrays, Bill’s deal, Rene, meeting Eric, the Dallas fiasco, the epic Maryann fiasco, Mississippi and the werewolves, Russell Edgington, right till the night I came to know about Bill’s reality and deception. I stopped at that point. I knew what came afterwards with the witch’s curse. I couldn’t go there…Not yet…
I couldn’t, right? I had locked it up, right?
I dropped my gaze and started eating in silence, more like pushing food around the plate, silently pleading great granddaddy to not ask anything else. Thankfully great granddaddy was telepathic too and respected my need for silence.
“We can talk more when you are ready Sookie. I just want my pretty princess to be happy.”
I started to say that I was happy, but my voice hadn’t come back from where it went to a few moments ago.
Niall rose and kissed the top of my head. He gently clutched my shoulder and looked very seriously in my eyes. “Never run from yourself Sookie. I meant what I said about your sparkle. The problem with battling your own self is that even if you win, you lose!”
He left me sitting with that thought, the door to my secret closet of repressed emotions and memories hanging open in my mind, and went to wherever he was going.
I sat there a long time I had finished eating. I was alone and thankful for it. No one was calling and no one was demanding me to fetch fries. I walked over to the windows and sat on the carpeted floor beside the floor to ceiling windows of the sitting room, soaking up the sun and looking out to the beautiful blue sky. I loved the sun and I loved a clear sky. They were my friends. Maybe, while I was with my friends, I could just, take a quick peak into things I had been turning away from? I took a deep breath, closed my eyes and leaned my forehead on the comforting warm glass of the window. Little by little I opened the door to the memories I had kept for the day I could gather courage to look at them again.
“I offer myself in exchange for Godric’s freedom and the girl’s as well.”
“There are two Sookie Stackhouses. One who still clings to the idea that she’s merely human, and the other who’s coming to grips with the fact that you are better than that.”
“You want to live, don’t you?”
My eyes were already full of tears when I opened them. I didn’t know I remembered his voice so clearly. I had been all twisted up in Bill when he had said all that to me. I once told him that I’d prefer cancer over him. Perhaps Bill Compton had been that cancer I’d preferred over him. And I had never trusted Eric! Never!
Once it started, I did not know how to shut the words ringing in my ears.
“Don’t underestimate yourself! Your life is too valuable to throw away! “
I again went to Bill Compton when he left me once. I put my life on line to save Bill and Bill drained me in return.
“Everyone who claims to love you: your friends, your brother, even Bill Compton; they all gave up on you. I never did. “
I rolled into a ball and lay down on the floor, the sun now hot on my body. I desperately wanted to bottle up everything I had unleashed upon myself but I couldn’t do it. The memories hit me one after another and I was just a dazed spectator, unable to look away.
“I would never hurt someone so beautiful…”
“I’m listening to your heart beat. I can hear it every pulse through your skin into mine. If I lay still and think about nothing else, it’s like my own hearts beating.”
I couldn’t stop my heart from beating a hundred miles a minute. I could not stop my tears from falling. I could not plug the chasm resurfacing in my heart. It was pure torture.
“She has a warrior’s heart your majesty…”
Did he really say that about me? Did I still have that warrior’s heart? Was I still fighting for my family? For myself? For my happiness? The answer was a resounding NO…
“There’s a light in you. It’s beautiful…I couldn’t bear it if I snuffed it out…”
“We will be one…”
Could he have meant it? Could he have meant it all? Did he love me? Did I love him? He looked at me the same way when he got his memories back. Why couldn’t I look him in the eye that evening? Did this running away from myself start that evening? I walked away knowing what I was doing to him. Did I know what I was doing to me? Did I think it through?
Then another memory silently flooded my brain.
“To me you’ll always be that girl in the white dress…”
The dam broke at that and terrified with what I started to feel, I quickly shut that memory lane down and cried myself dry.
Three hours later, when I stood up from that spot by the window I’d never forget now, I liked the way my shoulders were squared. I walked down to the bathroom to wash my face and as I splashed my face with cold water, I looked up and gazed at my reflection intently. I had washed away the tear stains but my eyes were puffy and swollen. Something was different about my eyes though. I straightened up without breaking eye contact with myself and kept looking as a smile appeared on my lips, a smile that looked like reaching my eyes. If I’d had any tears left, they would have made a return at the emotions I was feeling at being able to meet my own eyes squarely in a mirror.
I had done it! I had gone back to the place where I had hidden myself away. I had peeked inside that place where I kept so much of myself I had lost over the years. I knew I still had to go a long way in untangling the mess inside my head but I faced up to it today. I faced up to the fact that something was wrong and I had to make it right. I faced up to the fact that somewhere on my headstrong way, I had lost touch with something that I should not have lost. I would find it though. I needed to find the lost part of my heart and conscience.
I looked my reflection and tried another thing I had been unable to do. I took a deep breath and said the words to myself.
“I am sorry…”
My reverie was broken when my phone started ringing. I hurried towards the bed side table I had placed it to charge and saw the id.
Talk about stalker timing! Could he tell who I was thinking about?
I tried but could not feel guilty for missing Eric. No, not a bit guilty. Sad perhaps?
“Hey Alcede…So are you here yet?”
“Hey honey…yes I arrived this morning, an hour or so back. We have a pack meeting for lunch today and then there is a convention in the evening. So I was thinking, do you want to go to the event as my date this evening?”
I swallowed the snark and just tried to be as calm as possible, knowing if we both blew our heads of, we were getting nowhere. “I am sorry honey…Great granddaddy needs me to go on his arm tonight, as part of the fairies and sit with them for a bit or so he told me. But we can dance together later at the ball. You just wait till you see my new dress.”
I could hear as he let out a sigh. “Sookie I really needed you to go with me. It has to do with your protection. The other supes need to know who you belong too otherwise they would never quit sniffing on your trail. I want you safe while you are here.”
Again, are we really talking about this?
“I’ll be fine.” I was really getting tired of the constant whining and complaining. What is with guys thinking they are masters of the universe and our be all and end all and we are damsels in distress without them by our sides? “Besides, I am with my great granddaddy and he can take care of me.”
I could detect some growling on the line. “You mean I cannot take care of you for one evening?”
Well it’s really not my fault if I was getting angry. I could have said I didn’t mean it that way but I was truly done trying to firefight every burning argument we had. “Are you picking a fight? Because if you are then let me tell you Alcide, this is really getting old now. This constant complaining and pushing me around is going to stop and it is going to stop right now. I am done with your constant bitching!”
Wow, I don’t know where this response came from but it surprised me. It sure shocked the hell out of Alcide. So much so that he went silent. Not once had I made a retort like that when he asked me different variations of ‘don’t you love me’, ‘don’t you care about me’, ‘don’t you trust me’ yada yada yada…I just used to go silent to avoid further conflict and he usually got what he wanted. Like I cared! As I said before, I had stopped caring about a lot of stuff, including my conscience, and it seemed a lot of people had been taking advantage of that. But that had to stop. I knew I needed to take control of my life and I was going to fight for it if need arose. A vacation and a talk with caring parents or grandparents or great grandparents sure does wonders for a girl! God, I didn’t know how much I was missing family before that.
I realized Alcide was still turning levers in his head for an answer so I decided to fill the gaps. “Do you have anything else to say?”
“Ok see ya later then…” And I pressed the end button.
God that felt good! I didn’t care to over analyze what exactly I was feeling good about but as far as I can remember, a good argument always made me feel in control, especially when I put some overbearing jerk in his place.
Did I just call my boyfriend an overbearing jerk?
I actually giggled at the words. I giggled so hard that I lay back on the bed and shook with laughter for a good five minutes before I could control myself. Yep! This was officially turning out to be a special day. Wander what else was waiting to happen…