Chapter 2 – A Time for Refitting

 

Author’s Note: Thanks for joining the story. Thank you Breathesgirl for your rubbing and scrubbing. You are the best!

Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author.  The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise.  No copyright infringement is intended.

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Pam leaned over the map of Louisiana.  “I see what you’re saying,” she told Eric. “Consolidating Areas 2 and 3 would make sense for now.  Baton Rouge is large enough to support development and any ventures started in Lafayette should come along.   Victor Madden really hurt the state and Rita was no help either.  When you pull it apart and look at the numbers instead of land mass and population only Area 5 was really thriving.  Even New Orleans has been struggling.”

Eric glanced at the door and then turned his attention back to Pam.  “There has been no true leadership for Louisiana since Sophie-Anne.  New Orleans still recovers from Katrina.  Aside from the damage to our holdings we lost so many of our own.  We have been told that vampires come from all over to make New Orleans their home but I don’t think even half of them are properly registered to the Area or paying fealty.”  Eric steepled his fingers before him.  “Sophie-Anne was brave and fierce but she had her flaws.  She never saw the need to make the city great.  And Andre?  I may not have liked him but he was loyal.  He made sure his Queen’s interests were being served.  If she wasn’t interested in developing money in New Orleans then neither was he.”

Pam sighed again.  When Eric glanced up she said, “I mean no disrespect.  Thalia will be a solid second.  But are you sure you don’t want me beside you?”

Eric smiled.  “You are brilliant.  You are my greatest achievement and I am proud of you in every way.  You have proven yourself as both sheriff and a money maker.  I could never have built Fangtasia into a franchise; not as you have.  That is yours, Pam.”  Eric smiled, enjoying the sight of his child preening with his praise.  She was so clearly happy and it caused his own happiness to increase.  “This is not unselfish on my part.  Having you in place as the Regent of Arkansas is the best situation for me.  It leaves you close to Area 5 so you can continue to exert your influence to help Indira.  She is a worthy administrator and has run the original business well. I am happy to support your recommendation to make her Sheriff.”

Pam nodded her agreement.  “Indira always looks so quiet and calm.  There were days that I wanted to stake her with my Jimmy Choo.  I would be angry about things and all she would show was that placid face.  But she keeps touchy situations under control better than I do and she is a fierce fighter when she needs to be.  Not that I think we’ll be fighting any time soon.”   Pam looked down at the goblet of blood in her hand.  “Eric?  Do you think you’ll miss it?”

Eric glanced up, his eyebrow raised.  “Miss what, Pam?”

“The bloodshed? The torture? The fast answers to sticky problems?”

“I’m not sure that those days will ever really go away.  We will always have situations we can only solve with our fangs and swords.  It is our way.”

Pam looked down, her face thoughtful  “Do you think that we could have gotten away with killing Victor Madden the way we did if it were today?”

Eric found himself feeling uneasy.  Killing Victor had freed him in more ways than one.  Eric found himself remembering the bank of cameras at the Amun Summit; the flashing of photographers in Los Angeles.  It was a situation he would meet as needed.  He compartmentalized his concern and put it away for another time.  “I am happy Victor is dead.  I’m happy I was the one to kill him.”   He met Pam’s eyes and raised his glass in a toast.  Pam smiled and returned the gesture and they both sipped.

Eric looked back toward the maps.  “So, Indira as Sheriff for Area 5.  And Maxwell Lee as Sheriff for Area One.”  Eric looked toward Pam.  “It will doubtless prove an inconvenience to you both.  You have a good working relationship, but I need his skills there.  The challenges are many and most of the problems involve money.”

Pam nodded.  “He is a genius with finances and the best choice.  Plus I think New Orleans will appeal to him.”  Pam had an image of Lee, his tall, slender shape in his impeccably cut suit strolling down Canal Street.   She thought of how he would look, his dark eyes flashing as he debated architecture or jazz.  “It is as though he was made for that place.”  Eric could feel her affection through their bond.

“Are you attracted to him?” Eric asked her.  He saw her look of surprise and then he felt a swift stab of pain just as quickly cut off.

“No.  But I admire him.  We’re friends.”  Pam looked away.  “I don’t think I appreciated how much I really loved Miriam.  I keep waiting for something to tell me that it’s time to move on, but I find that I am still comfortable holding the memories.”

Eric sent Pam a wave of comfort.  “There is no need to let go too soon, my Pam.  There is never a hurry with us.  Honor her and her memory until it is time to let her go.”  Pam nodded and smiled.

“Boy, she sure would have been tickled by all this,” Pam said with a sudden smile.

Eric nodded, then said, almost to himself,  “Maxwell will be a superior asset in the city.”  In past, Queen Sophie-Anne had acted as both Queen and Sheriff of the Area herself.  Eric knew it to be a dangerous distraction; the duties of both roles were demanding and one could never succeed without the other suffering.  The requirements and obligations of becoming a new king were enough to keep him busy.  Eric didn’t need to be juggling all the minutiae which came with running an area in addition.

Eric found his attention straying back to the door again.  His Sookie had finished her dinner and provided his.  They had made love on the table.  It had been very satisfying.  She had told him she would be joining him at the house shortly, but she still seemed to be in the cottage.   Eric rose and walked to the door.   He knew Thalia was outside and that she would go to check on the telepath if he asked.  Eric reached out through the tie.  He could feel nothing out of sorts other than a low buzz of tension.   The Viking realized that the low simmer was becoming a constant feature in his Sookie’s emotions and he wondered at it.  Pulling his hand back from the door knob, Eric forced himself to turn back only to meet Pam’s knowing eyes.

“Fuck a zombie, Eric!” Pam exclaimed.  “She really has you whipped, doesn’t she?”    Eric gave her a sharp look and stalked back to the table.  Pam stopped smirking.  “What is it, Eric?  Were you this distracted in Oklahoma too?”

“What do you mean?” he asked.

“Karin worried all the time.  She said that you were so distracted that you were a danger to everyone.   I told her that couldn’t happen.  But look at you.  You are not yourself.”  Pam walked over and laid her hand on the Viking’s shoulder.  “You need to come to some balance with this, master.  There is too much at stake to be so scattered.  You would not take on both New Orleans and the duties of king.  Yet you would divide yourself in an even more dangerous way.”

“There is something wrong,” Eric said out loud.  “She is one way and then another.”   Eric didn’t look at Pam.  Instead he looked back at the map.  “She is dreaming again; like after the fairies.”

“Do you think she should return to Sanctum for a while?”

Eric hissed at Pam then checked himself.  “No,” he said after he retracted his fangs.  “No, she recovered before.  She will recover again.”  Eric looked at Pam, his expression regretful.  “I apologize, Pam.  I should not have reacted so strongly.”  He turned to Pam then, a slight smile pulling at the corner of his mouth.  “I do not wish to be separated from her again.”  Eric sighed and stepped back from the door yet did not turn.

“We should finish the work of Sheriffs,” Eric said.  “I will ask Thalia to check on her.”  Pam nodded and pulled the Arkansas map forward while Eric went back to the door.

Eric found Thalia standing across the hallway from the door.  Her eyes met his immediately.  “Sookie,” he said.  The Greek vampire smirked, her expression sardonic but she turned and left without saying a word.  When they had returned from Nashville Russell Edgington had released the dark woman from her pledge to Mississippi, acknowledging that she belonged with Northman.   Thalia had scoffed stating that she belonged to no man but had slid behind Eric all the same.    When he had asked her to serve as his second she had shrugged.

“I suppose someone needs to,” she said.  But Eric had known she was pleased.

Once Thalia left, Eric rejoined Pam at the table.  “So we have Areas One and Five covered.  We have the combined Areas 2 and 3 to consider and we also need leadership for Area Four along the Mississippi border.  And then there is the question of who to appoint as sheriffs in your state.”   Eric looked up and asked,  “Who was Rita’s second?  Do you know that vampire?”

Pam shook her head.  “There were a number in that role; all owed their loyalty to Nevada first and Rita second.  They were more spies than leaders.  The last fled back to Las Vegas.  The state is going to have to be built from the ground up.”

“Having doubts?” Eric asked.  Pam returned a toothy grin.

“Child’s play,” she said, smirking and wiggling her eyebrows.  Eric laughed.

“Child’s play indeed.”  Then he looked thoughtful.   “Would you consider recalling Karin?”

Pam leaned forward and took Eric’s arm.  “No,” she answered quickly.  When Eric looked at her in question Pam said, “Karin needs to stay where she is.”

“I thought you were fond of Karin,” Eric said.  “You seemed to get along and she has always spoken well of you.”

“I love my sister,” Pam said.  “But Karin left because she needed to.  She was questioning her ability to be loyal to you as you wished.”   Eric’s eyes widened in shock so Pam continued.  “There was something that happened in Minnesota while you and Sookie were there.  Karin told me in Nashville.   It would have hurt everyone.  Karin told me she knew she was making bad decisions.  But she was making mistakes because her protective instincts were going too far.”

Eric’s expression turned hard.  “Tell me everything, Pam.  As your maker I command you.”  Pam’s eyes turned sad as the compulsion took hold.  She told her maker everything she knew.  She told him what she had heard and she told him what she concluded.  As she spoke Eric’s face became more settled.  When she had finished he nodded.   “Karin has ever been overprotective of me.  It made her first separation painful; even more painful than your own.”  Eric looked down at the table, his eyes looking back into the past.  “She failed that first time apart from me.  I should have ended her, but I took pity.”

Pam gasped.  Eric was telling her that Karin had not been a successful child; that Eric’s training; even the initial selection of Karin as vampire had been faulty.  “But she is wonderful; a true vampire,” Pam exclaimed.

“No,” Eric said.  “She is not a true vampire.  Any child who is unable to be loyal to her maker is not true.  Regardless of her intention her act was a betrayal of me and mine.”  Eric captured Pam’s eyes.  He knew what he had to do.  “Karin is no longer mine,” he told Pam.  “I will claim her no more.  She is not of our bloodline.”

Pam felt a tear running down her own cheek.   She bent her head.  “It will be as you say,” she agreed.  Eric brushed her cheek with his own thumb and then put the blood in his own mouth.

“I share your pain,” he told her.  “It is done.”  Eric squared his shoulders and turned back to the table and maps.

“So tell me, Regent, do you have any recommendations for the open positions?”  he asked.

Pam took a deep breath to steady herself.  It took her some effort to dig deep and find that pragmatic place within herself.   She met Eric’s eyes and said, “I would like to see Rubio Hermosa given an opportunity.”

Eric thought about it.  “The one from the Minden nest?  The group that helped with Victor?”

“Yes,” Pam told him.  “Since you have been gone there have been other opportunities for the nest to help.  Rubio has emerged as their leader.  He has seen to it that they work well together.  There were some issues with new vampires moving into the Minden area and Rubio showed some talent in dealing with the dispute.  He has helped out at the club and showed some initiative in setting up an all-night laundry and convenience store.  He appears smart and has earned the respect of the vampires in the Area.”

Eric nodded.    “I will place him in Area Four.  It runs between Mississippi and Area 5.  That gives him strong allies to either side.  Compared with the other Areas there are fewer vampires.  He should have opportunities to develop his skills and if he fails replacing him will not be difficult.”   Eric looked at Pam again.  “And what about your own kingdom?” he asked.

“I would like to approach Thomas, Isaiah’s second.  I believe he is ready for a different opportunity.  I got the impression in Amun that he would be ready to make a change.  He is blood tied to Isaiah so there would need to be some time while the tie fades.  He is comfortable with woods and the outdoors.  I would give him the northern part of the state.  With the number of tourists and parks I think that someone with that background could come up with something of interest.  And again there are fewer vampires so it would be a safe proving ground.”

When Eric nodded his agreement Pam continued.  “I will need another sheriff for the southern part of the state.  It is along the river and includes Little Rock.  The economy and the concerns are different. There is a great deal of agriculture and all the manufacturing is there.   I would like to ask Maude for a recommendation.  She has always been my  friend and supporter.  She has no direct interest in the area.  I could trust those she would suggest.”

Eric nodded.  “I will leave it to you to start making calls.  Now all that is left is the combined area along the Texas border.”

“Why not call Stan?” Pam asked.  “He has a vested interest in cooperation between the territories.  With Sandy now to his north and us to his east he would likely have those within his kingdom with the skills necessary.”

Eric shrugged, “Skills are not the only consideration.  Stan would seem a good source but his interests are too closely aligned.  It would be too much to expect him to send one whose loyalties would not be divided.  I need someone whom I can trust.”  Eric waited until Pam bowed her head in agreement.  “I will call Russell and Bartlett for a recommendation.  They have put themselves at risk supporting me.  I believe they will continue to do so and neither would be too closely tied to the commerce across the borders.”

Eric found himself feeling reflective.  “In the old days we would have just poached from each other.  You may be right, Pam.  More civilized but not so entertaining.”

“Makes you wish for the old days?”

“Like a stake at a Dracula party,” he smiled.

 

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Sookie thought back to earlier in the evening.  Eric had been getting ready to meet Pam.  He had taken some time getting out of the shower, his mind somewhere else.  Sookie had walked up behind him in their room and placed her arms around his waist.  He had brought his own over hers and then smiled at her over his shoulder.  “Shouldn’t you be dressing too, lover?  Pam will be anxious to see you.”

Sookie thought of the kitchen and the swampy wreck in the bathroom.  “I’ll be right along.  Just need a few minutes.  And frankly I could use a little me time to catch my breath.”

Eric had turned around then and wrapped his arms around her, his face concerned.  “Are you wanting me to leave, lover?”

“No!” she told him.  “Where did that come from?  No!  I just need a few minutes to putter around with just me.  It helps me to collect myself.”  Sookie looked up at Eric’s soft smile and warm eyes.  “I don’t want you to go anywhere too far away so don’t you go trying to give me the slip.”

He had leaned down and kissed her until she was breathless and thinking the bedroom was only a few steps away.  Then he pulled back from her and laughed.  Sookie humphed and pushed him then.  “Sure, you get my engine all running and then you give me the business wave.”  Eric laughed out loud then.

“This will only take a few hours, lover.  Then we can see about working on that engine problem.”

“Well I don’t know, Eric.  I might just have to do some of my own engine work.”

Eric’s eyes widened then and became speculative.  “And what would this engine work consist of, lover?”

“Well, you won’t be here to find out, so say hi to Pam for me!” and Sookie turned around and headed for the kitchen, her hand waving him goodbye.

“Don’t be too long,” he laughed and then the door closed behind him.  Sookie headed to the bathroom first.  She used the towels on the floor to slide around and mop up the excess water.  At one point she had made an effort to escape and Eric had delighted in chasing her, throwing her over his shoulder and dragging her back under the hot water.  It had been fun but, as it turned out more than messy.

Sookie stuffed the sheets and towels into the basket that the maid would empty in the morning.  “I’m sure glad Gran can’t see me making work for someone else and not doing it myself!  I bet she’s rolling in her grave!”  Sookie huffed under her breath.  There were clothes scattered around the living room and the kitchen.  She found her bra in two pieces and she couldn’t help smiling remembering how he’d bit it off her.  The sheets and the comforter were on the floor and one of the pillows was in the closet.  Sex with Eric was never boring but Sookie couldn’t see having anyone else knowing too much of their business so she walked around retrieving items and putting them back where they belonged.

The kitchen hadn’t improved with the waiting.  Sookie decided she would need to expand Eric’s repertoire if he was determined to keep cooking for her.  Dried egg was tough to get off once it baked on and Sookie was afraid to use the scouring part of the sponge on the ceramic cooktop.  She just didn’t want to scratch it.  The kings had been so kind to her and damaging their things didn’t seem like much of a thank you.  Her Gran had always taught her you treat family like company and friends like family.  Since these were friends she wanted to make sure she was extra kind.

Sookie headed for the refrigerator and thought about meals for the coming week.  She made a grocery list and left it where the maid would find it.  Then she decided to wash down the shelves in the unit.  Sookie made a bowl with hot water and soap suds and pulled things out of the refrigerator and went to work.  Then she wiped down the outside of the cabinets.  The counters and backsplash followed.  She changed the water.  She was washing and scrubbing, her arm aching but determined to make the whole kitchen shine.  She emptied the dishwasher and then started to rinse the mountain of dishes Eric had left her to start loading again.  As she reached for a large plate her hand slipped and the dish fell, shattering on the tile floor.

Sookie found herself standing still, both hands across her mouth.  She couldn’t believe she had dropped it; this dish that wasn’t even hers.  Then she remembered that if she was too worried Eric would know and he would come to investigate.  And then Sookie was mad.  It was not fair that she couldn’t make even one little mistake without worrying that someone would find out and question her.  All those years with Sam she had felt like she was walking on eggshells; him just always waiting for her to make one god damn mistake.  And then he would find out and he would look so smug and happy when he told her that he would have to punish her and how it was for her own good.

Without even thinking Sookie picked up another plate and she dropped it and watched it break.  She held herself quiet and still and she waited.  She knew that she was terrified and angry and excited all at the same time.  But minutes ticked by and nothing happened; no one appeared.  So she picked up another plate.  She threw this one.  She threw it hard.  She almost laughed it felt so good.  And then she held her breath again.  And time passed.

She had a fourth plate in her hand when she heard Thalia behind her.   “Have you become clumsy, breather?”  Sookie twirled around and without even thinking threw the plate at Thalia.

The small vampire dodged the missile easily and was directly in front of Sookie and just inches from her face before Sookie could even register she had moved.  “You want to hit me, breather, you’ll have to do better than that.”

And Sookie did.  Her fist traveled up faster than she even knew she could and she connected with Thalia’s cheek.  She heard the crack of bone and she felt a sharp pain in her fingers.  Sookie’s eyes went wide and she waited for Thalia to rip her throat out.

But Thalia didn’t.  In fact Thalia didn’t even move when Sookie connected.  Her eyes narrowed and she gave the telepath an appraising look.  “That was very fast; too fast for a human.  We need to get your lessons started.”    Sookie’s mouth was opening and closing.  She registered the blossom of pain that promised to become much more in her hand.  She figured she’d probably broken some fingers.

Then she thought of Eric again; of worrying him and having him find out what she did.  She went ahead and did what she had figured out how to do with Sam; she went to that other place in her head.  When she went there she could watch the things that happened to her body but they didn’t really affect her.  She could register pain or pleasure but it was like it was happening to someone else.

Thalia kept watching her, her eyes becoming more appraising.  She looked down and then took Sookie’s injured hand in her own.  She turned it over carefully.  “Doesn’t this hurt, Sookie?” she asked.  She kept her words calm and measured.

“Yes,” Sookie answered, just as carefully.

“You seem to be handling it very well.  I can see that you’ve broken bones.  I think I should call Eric.  He will help you heal.”   Thalia dropped the injured hand.  “Doesn’t it hurt to hold it down like that?  Wouldn’t it hurt less if you held it across your chest?”

Sookie knew the only way she could hold onto the cool place where she didn’t have to acknowledge her pain was by holding herself very still and focusing very hard on being somewhere else  so she didn’t answer Thalia.

Thalia pulled out a cell phone.  Sookie found herself considering that she had never noticed Thalia using technology before.   Thalia finished and returned the phone to her pocket.  “Do you want to sit down while we wait for Eric?” she asked.  Sookie shook her head and they both stood in the kitchen, broken dishes on the floor around them.  Thalia remembered finding the telepath the day before, clearly exhausted yet still forcing herself to swing a stick at the tree.  “You have been through much, breather.  Your fate has been in the keeping of those not kind to you,” Thalia said carefully.

Sookie sighed a little and nodded.

The door opened and Eric was there beside her.  He glanced at Thalia, noticing the red mark that faded even as he watched and then leaned down so he could look in Sookie’s eyes.  “Lover?  What happened?”

Thalia spoke, “She injured her hand.”

Eric looked down and then lifted her hand in his own.  He stroked it gently and then lifted his wrist to his own mouth and bit.  Sookie looked up into his eyes.  She remained looking at him as he lifted his wrist to her mouth.  She watched him as she drank.  Eric could see the relief in her eyes but found that he felt nothing from her; no change.

“Lover, don’t you feel your hand?”

Sookie nodded, her eyes on him.

“Are you muting our bond, Sookie?”  He could see that she was even though she didn’t nod.  Eric couldn’t help grinding his teeth in frustration.  “Thank you Thalia,” he said.  Sookie had stopped drinking and turned away.  She got the wastebasket and leaned down to pick up a piece of broken crockery.

Eric was about to step toward her when Thalia spoke up.  “North Man?  A word.”  Eric rounded on her ready to bite out an answer, but he saw the caution in her gaze.

“Yes.  A minute.”  He turned to the telepath.   “Sookie?  I will be just outside and I’m coming right back.”

“Sure Eric,” she said like she had not been standing in front of him with her fingers at odd angles and swelling purple only minutes before.

Eric stepped outside the door of the cottage.  He looked up into the sky and saw the bright stars that shone down.  He prayed to Freya to watch over his Sookie; to guide her steps on the dark path she was walking.

“You are worried for her,” Thalia said.

“I wonder if she would be better with the healer again,” Eric said.

Thalia smiled.  “What can a stranger do that you can not?”

Eric looked directly at the woman who stood beside him.  Like he had done before, she turned her gaze towards the night sky.  “I remember another like her.  He was angry too.  He broke things and picked fights.  I think he wanted someone to hurt him because he wasn’t sure how it felt to be cared for any other way.  He had forgotten to care about himself.”

Eric smiled.  “You are talking of those first years after Appius released me.”

“Yes,” Thalia confirmed.  “You would do anything to prove you had control; you would push anyone to make them prove they cared.”

“It was a dark time,” Eric said.

“Do you remember how you found your way through it?”

Eric smiled down at her.  “I found a friend who never gave up on me.”

Thalia looked at the Viking and saw the lost man she had found so long ago.  “It is time to repay that debt, Viking.”

 

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Eric entered the cottage and then zipped at vampire speed to pick up the rest of the dish shards from the floor.  Sookie sat back on her heels and waited.  When Eric had finished and put the wastebasket back in its place in the kitchen she turned an expectant face towards him.

“Guess I really made a mess.”

Eric smiled and held out his hand to her.  “I guess you did.”

Sookie bit her lip a little.  “I feel pretty bad breaking stuff that isn’t even mine.”  She didn’t quite make eye contact with Eric.

Eric pulled her into his arms and then he laughed in a relaxed and open way.  “You made a good job of it!” he said.  “But we can replace every dish in this cottage as many times as you want.”   When Sookie looked up about to protest he leaned down and kissed her.  Then he put his mouth near her ear and whispered, “But it was fun, yes?”

“No!” she said.  “Really!”

“Come on,” the Viking crooned.  “Not even a little?”

Sookie found herself giggling.  “Okay.  Maybe a little.”

“And when you struck Thalia?  How good did that feel?”

Sookie snorted.  “Pretty damn good,” she laughed.

“Well, next time lover, you have to promise me something,”  Eric chuckled.

Sookie’s eyes turned wary.  “What would that be, Eric?”

“Why, you have to promise me to take a picture.”

Later than night as they lay in bed Sookie turned into Eric’s chest.  She pulled lightly at the hair that sprinkled his chest.  Eric’s laughter rumbled and he reached down to stroke her hair.  “What do you have on your mind, lover?  I can smell you thinking.”

“Thinking doesn’t smell like anything, smarty pants.  But I was thinking.  Wondering really.”  Sookie sighed.  “I’ve had an awful lot of your blood.  Do you think I could turn?  You know.  By accident?”

Eric sat up and pulled her up to sit beside him.  He turned on the light and gave her a minute for her eyes to adjust.  He smiled softly at her.  “I know how you feel about becoming vampire.  You need to know I respect that and I would never turn you without your permission. Even if it meant I would lose you.  I have promised you this in the past and I promise you again.”  Eric could see Sookie getting ready to say something so he spoke up before she had a chance.

“You are going to remind me of that terrible night in Bon Temps, lover.  The night we divorced.  The night I told you I should have turned you.”  Eric could see that he was right.  It was written in the tension in Sookie’s jaw and the tight line of her lips.  He brought his hand up and ran his fingertips along the line of her hair; across her forehead and over her cheek and then along her jaw until he stroked her chin.  “I was so angry with you.  I was so angry with everyone.  Everything I had tried; all the favors I had called in.  Nothing worked.  You were distant and you could not understand that I had no choice.  You hurt me.”  Eric kissed her forehead gently.  “You hurt me so I hurt you.  I didn’t mean it, älskade.  Please tell me you believe me.”

Sookie smiled uneasily.  She could see the sincerity in his face.  She thought back to that night and how hurt she had been.  She thought about the way they had flamed into anger with each other.  Sookie felt like a chain that had been around her heart broke and she felt freed from some great weight.  “I do believe you.   I’m sorry, Eric.  I wanted you to be something you just could never be.  That just wasn’t fair of me.”  Then Sookie looked at him in a way that told him she had something to say she didn’t think he’d want to hear.  “But I’m glad you are still promising me.  I don’t want to be a vampire.  That hasn’t changed.”

Eric looked away from her, his face troubled.  “In fact, my Sookie, I think now that it is not possible for you to be turned.”  He looked back at her, and he made his smile brighten.  “You have certainly had enough blood and frequently.  I should have felt the warnings already.  But I don’t.  You are no closer now than you were when I first found you at Sanctum.”

“What does that mean, Eric?” Sookie found herself oddly unsettled.  She didn’t ever want to become vampire.  Right?  But somehow the idea that she might no longer have a choice didn’t sit too well either.  “Well, are you sure it’s something you can feel?  Like all the time?  You sure that it isn’t something that could kind of sneak up and just happen?  I mean Bill made it sound like it could sort of accidentally happen and he wasn’t always sure.”

‘First of all, älskare, Bill Compton is an idiot.”  Sookie found herself laughing.  “It might be that because Bill is so young and set against our kind that he refuses to acknowledge the changes.  But any vampire worth their fangs knows when a human is getting too close to becoming one of us.  The feel of the maker becomes clear.  It is almost like a pull or a hum.  I would need to be deaf or finally dead not to feel it.”  Eric’s eyes fastened on her.  “There was a time after the fairies when I felt it in you.  I had given you so much blood.  You were close then.”  Eric sighed.  “I know.  All I can think is that this has something to do with your becoming more closely aligned to the fae.  Mr. Cataliades is to join us before Zeus Summit.  He has left word that he has been in touch with the fairy realm in Ireland.  He is confident that he will secure a fae trainer who will travel here to work with you.  When that person arrives we may be able to ask questions and find out more.”

Sookie nodded and snuggled back down to her pillow.  Eric turned off the light and pulled her against him.

“Eric?” she asked.

“Yes, lover?”

“You really weren’t mad?  About the dishes and the mess and all?”

“How could I be, my Sookie?  What is a broken dish compared to you?” and Eric Northman kissed her.

 

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15 thoughts on “Chapter 2 – A Time for Refitting

  1. I hope her being more Fae means she’s going to live longer. For Erics sake and hers.
    I’m glad that little twinge of unease was there when Eric mentioned that her “option” of being turned may not be possible.
    It always bothered me in the books that she was so against being a vampire when she supposedly loved one so much 😏😏😏

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  2. It’s a good thing Thalia recognizes the pain Sookie still suffers. It does seem like she is trying to get someone to hurt her.

    Like others, I hope her fairy heritage lengthens her life, but it would be a shame for Sookie to never want to join Eric in his long life. If it turns out she can’t be turned, then her wants are irrelevant. It does seem odd that someone could truly love a vampire, but not want to become one.

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    1. Thalia is meant to fulfill that role. I have a backstory for how she met Eric and how she held him together for a period of time. You may have noticed that she is playing the part of mother to both of them – in her own way.
      The conundrum of turn/not turn is central. But not so strange to my way of thinking. If my partner had terminal cancer I would think long and hard about whether to join that person in death, but if I chose to remain in this life I don’t think people would question. His situation is a condition. It is a very attractive condition to many. Immortality? I’d be tempted! But I believe that for Sookie there is something that is fundamental to her belief system than makes her consider and then reject and then consider…
      I will let you know that the question is resolved in the next two chapters.

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  3. Wow!
    I didn’t expect Eric to say such harsh words about Karin!
    It’s nice to see Thalia care about Sookie…
    Hmm… Is Sookie’s fairy spark going to make her “more”?
    I really hope so otherwise what’s the use of having a fairy spark if nothing changes in you,right
    Jackie69

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  4. Eric is all about loyalty. He certainly had no choice and would react strongly to a child that was any less loyal than he was to his own maker.
    Sookie is mostly fae. She’s coming to terms with that.

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  5. I totally expected that Eric’s reaction to Karin – maybe if she had tried to explain herself he would have at least respected her for owning up.

    It’s funny you describe Thalia as a mother figure – I felt she’d filled that role for Eric in the past and we’d find out the back story soon. Thalia tried to explain to Karin that caring for Eric meant accepting and protecting Sookie too because Eric both wants and needs her. Thalia wants what’s best for Eric and as such she as come to care for Sookie too. I love the strong ties between all 3 of them. Thalia handled the situation brilliantly and taking her cue Eric realised just what Sookie needed.

    The turning debate – my gripe with Sookie isn’t that she doesn’t want to be a vampire but that it was a closed subject. Never say never because we evolve and our feelings change over time, that’s why it annoyed me she wouldn’t keep an open mind about it. I hope Sookie becoming more Fae means a long life span then it never needs to be an issue. Great chapter, btw.

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    1. I really love Thalia as a character. As Eric’s second her focus shifts a little but she does care for both of them.
      And I will address turning. You’ll get there. It’s a different style of story. Glad you’re enjoying. Have s good one.

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      1. Your style is very different and I love that. I have never cared if authors follow canon or not, if they do fine but I also enjoy stories that explore new horizons. The sequal is already very different to the first story too. I’m getting really annoyed with people disturbing me now and I should be packing cases but hey this is good! I admit I do love stories that explore character depths – it makes them so much more engaging.

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  6. Thanks. I was trying something out. It works but I do know I’m more comfortable with plot-driven than internally-focused. Now I know but doesn’t mean I give it up. Shifting the focus to these two was the only way I could see to build to where they are headed. They needed a believable foundation. I’m not fond of stories where auto-magically everything resolves or they trust with no progression to reach it. Just saying

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