Chapter 12 – Winds Blow

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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When Eric traveled to his Queen’s court, he was prepared. He timed his arrival to coincide with the end of a one of her formal Assizes. It assured there would be vampires from all over the kingdom assembled in the large ballroom Freyda used to hear petitions and settle disputes. Eric made a point of asking that he not be announced. Instead, he registered his name among the petitioners and placed himself as one of them in the line who would approach Freyda that night.

When his turn came, Eric stepped forward, walking slowly, allowing the whispering around him to grow. He kept his eyes downcast, knowing it would intrigue his much younger wife. When he reached her chair, Eric fell to his knees in an overly dramatic gesture. No one knelt like this to rulers anymore, so there was a chance his act could be interpreted as mockery, and Eric spoke quickly to head off any speculation. “I am here to petition for my wife’s forgiveness,” he said in his clear, deep voice.

He looked up at her now, and smirked, hoping she would see his humor and react favorably. She did, her lips tilting slightly, “And what have you done, Husband, that would require my forgiveness?”

The hissing around them was growing. In all the years they were together, the Court had seen them comfortable with each other, but not playful. It was time for that to end, so Eric grinned his pirate smile, the one that spoke of mischief and adventure.

“So many things, my Queen,” he purred, and he willed his eyes to be dark and interested. Freya smirked and then Eric knew the time for flirting was over.

Dropping his voice, and laying his hand on his heart, he said, “But there is only one that is important. I wish to be forgiven the sin of living too far from you. I am here to beg the favor of being given apartments here. I wish to be allowed to live under the same roof with you, my Queen.” Eric rose, holding her eyes with his own, “Freyda, I wish to make my home with you,” and then he leaned closer, “I wish you to be my home.”

Her eyes widened and her mouth fell open a bit. Eric knew Freyda enjoyed his company. He suspected she wished more, but she had carefully kept him at some distance. Eric respected that about her. As a younger vampire, controlling herself would be difficult. He had only his own recent history to show how hard control could be. What he was proposing would signal a fundamental shift in their relationship. As Queen, it was her place to invite him, as it was her place to invite him to exchange blood. It was one of the formalities. As Queen, Freyda could drink from him. As Consort, he needed her permission to take from her, but both knew that what Eric was proposing would make them more equals.

Freyda was watching him carefully. The smile dropped from her lips and, for a moment, he saw vulnerability flash behind her eyes. She wanted to believe what he was offering was true, and it gave him confidence. “Why the change?” she asked.

Eric thought of all the reasons he had reviewed in his head before coming here; why a life with Freyda was best. He thought of her intelligence and her ability to be kind. He thought of her business savvy and her unerring way with politics. If she cared for him and believed he cared for her, she would be devoted. She would make his existence pleasant. They understood and complimented each other. In time, she would bond with him and name him her King. “I missed you,” he told her.

Eric waited. It was Freyda’s turn. She would either believe him or not. For one long moment he thought he’d read her wrong, but then a brilliant smile broke across her face. She held out her hand and, turning to her Master of Arms, said, “Please bring a chair for my husband.”

When the chair was brought and set just behind her right shoulder, as was customary, she said, “No, my husband sits at my side.” Freyda smiled up at him and said, “Welcome home, Eric.” Her eyes were shining. Eric reached forward and took her hand in his. He pulled her to him and she rose gracefully. Eric didn’t hesitate. He wrapped her in his arms and he kissed her in front of her Court. There was scattered applause and it was done.

 

xxxXXXxxx

 

“I just think a motorcycle is just too much!” Sookie hiss-whispered.

“If you were still living in that shitty Louisiana backwater town where you grew up, he’d probably have two already,” Fran wheezed. “Besides, how will he be able to compete in motocross if he doesn’t have a bike?”

“I still don’t know if I’m giving him permission to do motocross.” If Sookie hadn’t been standing on a ladder she would have stamped her foot. It was Christmas, and she and Rick had traveled to Boston to spend the holidays with Fran. The B&B was officially closed for the holidays, but Lora stayed behind, inviting her sister and her family to stay and visit Chester.

Sookie had returned from the Narayana Summit only the week before. The sessions were tense and she barely had time to speak with Rubio or Mr. Cataliades. She had the impression the demon was involved in some secret mission. When she did see him, he looked stressed and barely spoke. He was thin and told her he’d recently become vegetarian, which Sookie took as a bad sign.

For her part, the nights were crowded with meetings, followed by a complicated series of dances and feints to avoid finding herself alone with Felipe de Castro. He was being charming, but the ‘accidental’ touching and the lingering looks were back.

Sookie had managed to keep out of any compromising situations, but Felipe apologized as she was leaving, promising that next time, he would spare more time for her. He told her he found her captivating and complimented her in a way that made her think he might be half-serious. “I’m too old for you!” she told him, willing to throw her pride to the winds. “Next time you see me, I’ll be older still. You should find yourself someone younger, who can run faster!” she’d joked.

“You are like wine,” he’d breathed against her hand, delicately sniffing. “You improve with age. There is no one comparable to you.” From somewhere, he’d produced an orchid. It had several perfect blossoms on a single stem. The flowers were all pale green, and he said, “Like these, you are ever green to me.”

It shook Sookie, how the Nevada King had read her so well. She crumpled the flowers as soon as she stepped on the plane and threw them into the trash bag the flight attendant brought past her seat. Sookie dreaded the next time she’d see the King, knowing he would pressure her further, and she slept too much the next week, seeking escape from her troubles.

It was on the drive to Boston that she and Rick finally spoke. “So, are you okay now?” he asked.

“Better,” she told him. “I’m sorry. I haven’t been myself.”

“Was my Father there? Was he at the Summit?” Sookie glanced at her son. He looked hopeful and she realized that some part of her had been hopeful, too.

“No, he and his Queen didn’t come,” she smiled tightly. There had been almost no talk of Eric at the Summit. It wasn’t that that was unusual, but Sookie got the impression that those around her were purposely avoiding the subject. When she’d confronted Rubio, he’d laughed, telling her she was paranoid, but the idea that they were hiding something hadn’t gone away.

“Oh,” Rick said, and then looked out the window. After sitting quiet for a bit, Rick said, “Aunt Fran is pretty old.”

“Yes, she is,” Sookie answered, and she had the sinking feeling she knew what was coming next.

“Do you think this is the last time we’ll see her?” Rick asked, and the question made tears spring to Sookie’s eyes.

“I don’t know, Sweetheart,” she answered, then laughed shortly as she brushed away the tear that fell anyway. “No one really knows those things.”

“Sure,” he said in his moody way. “I guess.”

“It’s nature’s way,” Sookie said, somewhat helplessly. “So, what do you want to see first?” she asked, purposely moving their conversation to safer ground. They talked about the order in which they’d see the lights in Boston Garden, the displays in the shops they liked best, and when they’d have dinner with Sean Bailey at his restaurant. It was understood Sookie and Rick would attend the annual Wiccan bonfire welcoming the turning of the year without Fran. The witch couldn’t stand out in the cold too long since it triggered her asthma. Rick promised his godmother he’d video everything with his phone so she could see it on the flat screen later.

In almost no time, they were pulling into the double garage behind the brownstone and walking through the warm kitchen. For Sookie, it felt as though, for the first time in weeks, she could let her breath out.

The tree was in the library waiting for them, and now they were seated around it, boxes of ornaments scattered around.

“He’s going to ride motorcycles whether you say it’s okay or not,” Fran said in her reasonable voice, the one that really pissed Sookie off. “He’ll tell you he’s with friends, or he’ll just disappear all day and lie about where he’s been when you see him next.”

“He won’t if he knows what’s good for him!” Sookie fumed.

“Like he didn’t lie to you about tree climbing or hang gliding?” Fran asked. “He’s a dare devil, and denying that part of him just makes him push harder! At least if I give him his first bike, you’ll know it’s new and as safe as it can be. Who knows what he’s been riding behind your back? Probably some cobbled together smoke-choker he pieced together from parts. I’ve never seen a more able boy when it comes to mechanical things!”

Sookie was about to say something else when she heard the sound of Rick’s foot on the stairs. “You can stop talking about me,” he announced, walking in with the extra boxes of decorations the women had sent him upstairs to find. He looked from his Godmother to his Mother on the ladder. “Must have been good, though. You look like you’ve been sucking lemons, Mom!” and he laughed in that full-throated way that sounded just like Eric.

“You should take a bath,” Sookie snapped. “Doctor Ludwig is coming tonight to examine you. You don’t want to be dirty.”

“What am I?” Rick snapped back, “Two? I promise, I showered this morning, I washed behind my ears and I used soap on all the good parts. If you need me to leave so you two can keep fighting, just say so! I’ll go downstairs and get myself something to eat.”

“Your Mom is just pissed off that I’m giving you a motocross bike for Christmas,” Fran sniffed.

“Really, Aunt Fran? You are?” and Rick bounded over, dropping the boxes on a chair, and wrapping his long arms around the frail woman.

“I still haven’t decided,” Sookie stammered.

“But you will say yes,” her fresh son winked, and he hugged his Aunt Fran again.

Rick picked the boxes back up, set them on the table, and then positioned himself beneath his Mother’s ladder. He pulled the box of ornaments from her hand and took over the job of pulling them from their tissue paper, one by one, and making sure they had hooks. He handed them up, allowing Sookie to concentrate on placing them.

“Are you nervous about tonight?” Fran asked Rick.

“What? About meeting the famous Amy Ludwig?” Rick’s grin split his face, “Heck, no!” Sookie stared at her son, and she could see he was lying. It was in the slightly tight way he held his shoulders and the way his eyes creased just at the corners. Sookie sighed, knowing if she confronted him, he’d explain why he wasn’t lying, just finessing the truth, and in that way he was like his Father, too.

“Did you tell her why she needed to come here?” Sookie asked Fran.

“Hell, no!” Fran laughed, and then started to cough. Rick set down the ornaments to pick up a glass of water and hand it to his Aunt. When Fran recovered, she gasped out, “Where would be the fun in that? I told Amy there was an unusual specimen she might want to catalogue and if she wanted to see it, she was going to have to transport herself up here because I couldn’t be bothered to bring it to her.”

“I’m sure that went over well,” Sookie sighed.

“She knows more swear words than I do,” Fran chuckled.

They finished with the tree and all admired it as the room darkened. Sookie headed downstairs to take over dinner from Trudie, Fran’s new housekeeper, so she could head home. “Come on, Auntie,” Rick helped Fran stand. He allowed her to lean heavily on his arm and they walked slowly and carefully to the elevator. “You feeling okay?” he asked as the car lowered to the ground level.

“Right as rain,” Fran patted his arm, “Don’t you worry about me.”

While Rick understood the natural course of things, his Aunt Fran had always been there, and the thought that she would be gone someday seemed impossible. As if sensing his turn of thoughts, Fran laughed her dry laugh, “Don’t be putting me in the grave too soon,” she assured him. “I still have a few things I need to straighten out with your Mother. She is altogether too hard on you!”

“You know it, Aunt Fran!” Rick agreed. “I’m counting on you!” Teasing Sookie was something they both enjoyed, and his Aunt’s mischievous grin helped lift his mood.

The doors opened, and Rick helped Fran as she shuffled forward. When they got to the door of the kitchen, Fran stopped suddenly, and Rick glanced down to make she was okay. “How come you get to look like that?” His Aunt was looking into the kitchen, and Rick turned to look forward, too. There, standing at the table beside his Mother was a short, brown-haired woman. She seemed as wide as she was tall, and she squinted at him. Her eyes looked huge behind the thick lenses of her glasses and Rick wondered if she was legally blind.

“Well, will you look at that!” the stranger exclaimed. “I haven’t seen one of those in centuries!” Fran jiggled his arm to get his attention, and Rick started moving again, helping his Aunt into the kitchen and then lowering her into her chair. The whole time the stranger was staring at him as if he was some weird thing she wasn’t sure she wanted to get too close to.

When Fran was settled, Rick stepped around the stranger toward his Mother, but the woman reached out and grabbed his hand in a surprisingly strong grip. Before he could react, she had licked the palm of his hand, and then gaped up at him, “Why aren’t you drinking blood?” she demanded.

“Eww,” Rick huffed, pulling his hand from her. “What are you? Some kind of freak?”

“This is Doctor Ludwig,” his Mother said in her ‘be polite’ voice. “And no, he’s not drinking blood,” she replied to the woman. “Why are you asking?”

“Has anyone told you he’s anemic?” Doctor Ludwig turned her back on Rick as if he wasn’t there. “That he was low on iron? Something like that?”

“Yes,” Sookie nodded. “Rick’s been on iron supplements since he was an infant.”

“Rick?” the doctor chuckled, “That’s good!”

“My name is Corbett Eric Hale,” Rick announced. “I’ve been called Rick since I was little.”

“Huh,” and the Doctor turned to face him, “so you can speak for yourself. Go figure,” and she smirked, “You even sound like him. Good trick!”

“So, you’ve seen people like Rick before?” Sookie asked in her ‘let’s get down to business,’ voice.

“Damphir,” the doctor nodded. “Yes, I’ve seen them before, but not in a long time.” She stalked around Rick, looking him up and down. “He’s a good specimen. Sometimes the mix doesn’t work so well, but seems you and the Viking must be well-suited.”

“I didn’t think it was possible,” Fran said.

“Only happens when vampires are really old, and there’s not many of those left,” Amy nodded. “Last time I saw these,” and she jerked her chin at Rick, “was in Eastern Europe. There were vampires there living as nobility and since no one was trying to kill them, they got old enough to reproduce.”

“Are they still there?” Sookie asked.

“No,” the Doctor said, her attention focused on Rick as she walked around him

“What happened to them?” Sookie asked.

“Who knows?” Doctor Ludwig shrugged. “Politics. Famine. At any rate, the humans rose and killed them all. Being a vampire isn’t an easy life. Every few generations, humans with something to prove find torches and stakes and go vampire hunting.”

“Mainstreaming will change that,” Sookie said.

“We’ll see,” Doctor Ludwig shrugged. “In the meantime, let’s see how far you’ve developed, young man,” and she advanced on Rick. “Can you do me a favor and take off your shirt?”

Rick glanced at his mother before he pulled his t-shirt over his head. He was well-muscled, although still immature. Doctor Ludwig nodded, apparently satisfied. “Developing well. Pale, but we’ve covered that. You need to start feeding, young Rick.”

“I don’t understand,” Sookie stammered. “Rick eats regular food, like me. I don’t even know how he’d…” and Sookie blushed, not sure how to continue.

“How he’d do what?” Amy squinted.

“Well… never mind. If you think it’s necessary, I’m sure we can figure something out,” and Sookie shrugged at her paling son.

Amy Ludwig squinted first at Sookie and then at Rick. “Come over here, Vampire Boy, and sit down,” the Doctor barked at Rick. The young man shuffled over to sit in the chair the Doctor indicated. Sookie stepped forward as well, poised to intervene.

“I’m not going to hurt him!” Amy laughed at Sookie, then turning toward Rick, said, “Open up! I want to look in your mouth, and try not to bite me, okay?”

“I’m not sure about this,” Rick said, and suddenly he wasn’t a cock-sure preteen. He was a nervous boy being told more information than he was ready to absorb.

Sookie reached out and took his hand, “I trust her, Rick and she can tell you things I can’t. Just open your mouth. I won’t let her hurt you.”

“As if I would!” Amy snorted. When Rick opened his mouth, she said, “Lean your head back! Look at the ceiling!” When he did, Amy took her pointer finger and massaged the roof of his mouth.

“What the Hell!” Rick cried out and he jerked his head forward. Doctor Ludwig jumped back, snatching her hand away.

Sookie jumped, too, “What happened?” she shouted. There was blood dripping down her son’s chin and he was holding his mouth. When she pulled his hand away to look, there were two fangs extended over his lip.

“They were waiting for the proper stimulation to break through,” the Doctor explained, wiping her hands. “He’ll stop bleeding in a minute. It’s just the protective barrier tearing.”

Amy grabbed a towel and tossed it to Sookie, who helped her son clean up. The doctor pulled a chair over, so she could sit next to Rick. When he was mostly cleaned up and looking a little less stressed, she said, “My guess is you’ve been noticing some other changes lately.”

Rick glanced at his Mother before nodding.

“Puberty usually triggers these things,” the Doctor explained. “Your fangs were ready to drop. You’ll need to start taking in blood now. Bagged will do, but fresh would be better while you’re growing.” When Rick made a pained expression, the Doctor shook her head, “If you don’t take blood, you’ll get sick.”

“Aren’t there pills or something? What about bottled?” Sookie asked. She could see Rick was starting to look nauseated.

“Sorry!” Doctor Ludwig was full-out laughing. “No substitutes!” Turning to Rick, she clapped him on the knee, making him jump, “You’ll have to suck it up, Buttercup!” and then she laughed harder at her own pun.

There was a flash and the doctor was gone, but, before Rick could ask, she was back and walking to the microwave. “Is that…” and Rick couldn’t finish. His eyes were large.

Sookie sat down beside him, “Look at me,” she said, and persisted until he turned away from the sight of the Doctor dancing a little jig. Sookie took a deep breath, “You are the bravest kid I know. Nothing about the unknown scares you. You’ll try anything. Why should this be any different?”

“Mom!” Rick protested. “It’s blood!” He was lisping around his fangs. He was stressed out and Sookie’s heart hurt for him, but she couldn’t discount Amy Ludwig’s words.

“It’s what you need,” she said in her best, no-nonsense way. Standing up, she walked over to the counter just as Amy pulled out the mug. “He hasn’t been able to retract his fangs, and I doubt under the circumstances, he will. He won’t be able to use a glass, so let’s see if we can find another way to get this into him.”

Sookie opened cabinets and pulled drawers. Finally, she lifted out a turkey baster. She filled it up and then wrapped a towel around it. Walking toward Rick, she said, “Okay, just open up and then close your lips around the tip. Close your eyes.”

“Mom…” he protested, but it was Fran who stopped him.

“Rick,” she wheezed. “There are plenty of things I’ve done in this life that didn’t look like a good idea, but were. You’re holding onto some idea that is not you. I’ve always told you you were special, Son. Well, sometimes being special comes with some things that don’t sit well at first. This is one of those times. Give it a try. If it really doesn’t work for you, we’ll figure something else out.”

Rick was a ball of tension, but he nodded and closed his eyes. When prompted, he opened his mouth a little and Sookie squeezed the warmed liquid into his mouth. He grimaced, and then he groaned. He started to suck at it until it was gone. His eyes opened, “That tastes really good!” he exclaimed. Sookie could see the wonder battling with the revulsion.

“What can I say, Kid?” she told him. “You’re a vampire now!” and she laughed in an effort to make it all right for him.

Once he’d figured out he craved blood, his fangs retracted. “It may take you a little while to figure them out,” Sookie told Rick. “Stress or emotions always seem to trigger them,” and she pointed toward his mouth.

“Or the need to feed,” the Doctor added. “If you feel your fangs itching, it’s generally a sign.”

Rick didn’t mention his feeding triggering other needs. Eric told Sookie once that fucking and feeding naturally went together. She knew the day was fast approaching when she’d need to give her son the sex talk, but she was glad that, in this case, Eric might have been ‘feeding’ her a story. Telling her son he’d have to drink blood seemed like enough life-changing information for one night.

“Does this mean I have to give up French fries?” Rick asked as things settled back down.

“Nope, you get it all, Little Fanger. Human food. Vampire food. Sunlight. Pretty much everything,” the Doctor told him.

“Other than blood, is there anything else that will change?” Sookie asked.

“Damphir are part-vampire. He may manifest some other gifts as he matures. Chances are he’s already stronger and faster than his human friends.” When Sookie nodded, the Doctor pulled out a tablet and wrote something down. She walked over to the wall switch and turned off the lights. There was still some ambient light coming in from the backyard, but it was dark. “How clearly can you see things?” the Doctor asked.

“Like the lights are on,” Rick answered.

While the Doctor turned the lights back on, Sookie asked, “When were you going to mention that?”

“Soon,” Rick looked guilty.

“I’m guessing it’s been a pretty handy trick,” Fran gave her godson an arch look and Sookie wondered how often Rick had used his night vision to sneak out of the house.

Doctor Ludwig ignored the pointed looks shooting between mother and son. “You may not have had a chance to test this yet. I figure your Mom has kept you pretty well under wraps, but you may find you have a kind of built-in vampire detector.”

“Like how?” Rick asked.

“Like you can tell when there are vampires in the area well before anyone else. It’s like an alarm bell to you. You can tell where they are and how many,” and Amy leaned back, waiting for an answer.

“Yeah,” Rick nodded. “I can. There was a vampire in Chester. Once I knew that’s what he was it was like he was a video game playing in my head until he left.”

“It’s a good think you kept him secret,” Amy told Sookie. “Damphirs were used by humans as vampire trackers. His gift will make vampires nervous. They won’t know what it is, but the touchy ones will want to kill him on sight.”

“Come on over here and show me those new chompers of yours,” Fran challenged Rick. He smirked and was soon sitting next to the witch, trying to figure it out.

When his frustration resulted in the groan, the Doctor said, “Do what I did. Stroke over the knobs on the top of your mouth.”

The result was impressive and Rick pierced his own finger. “Wow!” he said. “How did that happen?” The puncture healed almost as soon as it was made.

“Yup, all the best of both worlds,” the Doctor chuckled. When Rick settled into his practicing, cheered on by his godmother, Amy turned to Sookie. “He’ll finish growing in the next year or so, and then he starts his final transformation. He won’t be immortal, like them, but pretty close, provided nothing happens to him.”

“Same vulnerabilities?” Sookie asked.

“Silver won’t phase him,” the Doctor replied. “Other things will, though. He will become invulnerable to all but wood, but it will take a long time, maybe hundreds of years. Until then, a bullet can take him down the same as a Were, although as long as it doesn’t hit somewhere too critical, he’ll heal.” She glanced at Rick again. “You should think about getting him among his own soon. I’m not kidding about the blood. If he’s the only vampire, it will be hard for him to adjust.”

“I’m trying to figure out how I’ll get my hands on bagged blood in a small town like Chester,” Sookie bit her lip.

“I have to hand it to you,” Amy laughed, slapping Sookie on the knee and standing up. “You handled this like a champ! I always considered you my favorite breather!” She glanced again at Rick, “He’s a handsome boy. When it’s time to take him to his Father, you let me know. I’ll explain anything that presents a question.”

Later that night after Sookie got Fran settled in bed, she walked into the bedroom her son was using. His bed was still made, so she followed his sounds to the open door of the bathroom. Rick was standing in front of the mirror, practicing dropping and retracting his fangs. “You’re getting pretty good at that,” she said out loud.

Rick jumped and gave her that guilty look all boys give their mothers. “Sure didn’t think tonight would turn out this way,” he laughed, and then looked in the mirror again.

“Me either,” Sookie grinned, then walked in to sit on the closed toilet seat. “Funny. I always thought the talk I’d have with you in front of the bathroom mirror would have to do with shaving, not fangs.”

“I guess,” Rick shrugged, but he was blushing. “Oh, shit!” he said, and then blushed some more, “Sorry!”

“What is it?” Sookie asked.

“Nothing… I mean… I guess they’re just sensitive,” Rick was blushing more.

“Oh,” Sookie breathed out, figuring out the problem. “I’ll just wait for you in your bedroom while you sort it out.” Rick walked out after a minute. The fangs were retracted, and he flopped down in the chair rather than sit next to his Mother on the bed.

“So, I heard the Doctor Lady say I’ll live a pretty long time,” he said tentatively.

“Yes, she did,” Sookie nodded.

Rick looked away the way he did when he was turning things over in his head. “Does that mean I can make other people vampires?” he asked.

Sookie frowned, “I don’t know,” she answered him. “It didn’t occur to me to ask. Why? Is that important to you?”

“Well,” Rick said, “If I could, maybe I could help out Aunt Fran.”

It clicked then for Sookie. “Oh,” she said, gathering what she needed to say next. “I know the thought of death is pretty scary,” she told her son. “Goodness knows, it scares me, but there is something about it. It’s part of life. The old need to make room for the new.”

“But why should we lose her if we can keep her forever?” Rick asked.

“It’s more than what you want,” Sookie spoke carefully, “It’s what the other person wants. I want you to know that it gives me some peace of mind knowing you’ll be around for a long time, but that kind of existence isn’t for everyone. Some people look forward to the end of a life well lived. They feel… well, they believe that something waits for them and if they don’t die in this world, they can’t grow further in the next.”

“Is that why you left my Father?” Rick asked. Sookie found her eyes lasering in on him, but he was looking purposefully away.

“I didn’t leave your Father,” Sookie said, her words a little more forceful than necessary. “I didn’t,” she repeated. “He left me.”

“But you didn’t want to be vampire, did you?” Rick looked at her now. Suddenly, Sookie saw things through different eyes. If she said she hated the idea of becoming a vampire, she’d be telling her son she hated some part of him. She couldn’t do it, and, in her moment of clarity, it occurred to Sookie for the first time what saying the same words had sounded like to Eric.

“I didn’t at the time,” she said carefully, “but things change.”

Her son seemed satisfied, and he moved closer to her. “Everything will be okay, right, Mom?” he asked. He laid his head against her shoulder and Sookie realized he was as tall as she was.

“It will be now, Rick,” she wrapped her arm around him. “You going to be able to get up tomorrow and make yourself your own special cup of Joe?”

“Very funny!” he nudged her, then he looked worried. “How am I going to manage this when we get home? We have guests and folks in and out of the kitchen all the time.”

“Well,” Sookie breathed in, “In vampire-friendly places they have mini-refrigerators in their bedrooms and microwaves, too. We can get you set right up!”

“I love you, Mom,” Rick said quietly.

“I love you, too,” Sookie told him back.

That night, Sookie thought about everything she’d heard. She thought about what it meant and what was coming. Sookie realized that whether she wanted it or not, their days of hiding in Chester were numbered. Rick would need help in growing into his heritage, and he would need protection. ‘Two more years,’ she thought and it was as much a prayer as it was a promise.

 

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61 thoughts on “Chapter 12 – Winds Blow

  1. That chapter was chocked full of yumminess. I’ve been curious as to what Rick was but Amy seemed to imply that he was the result of Sookie and Eric coupling. In any event, he seems to have the best of both worlds. I wonder if he is fertile and can reproduce. What is Sookie going to do with a hormonal superhuman preteen. Lordy, Lordy!

    I can’t discuss Eric’s ploy to win Freya. He picked a lane and drove straight off the cliff a la Thelma and Louise.

    It is sad to think of Fran passing but I think she really wants to see him turn fourteen.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Rick is Sookie and Eric’s biological child. In this story, the reason has to do with a male vampire growing old enough. Will Rick be biologically viable? Yes. That is something I’ll mention toward the end of the story.
      Aging, death and the alternatives are themes I’m exploring, as well as what beliefs you hold and what you are willing to compromise if you love someone.

      Like

  2. Loved the doctor’s visit! Dr. Ludwig was in character and in pretty good form… No judging from her but also not terribly good bedside manners… But she knows her stuff and gave Rick and Sookie the info they needed… Sookie’s going to have to make a plan to allow Rick to be with his fanged people… which poses the question of where… Felipe’s Kingdom would be the natural choice with her working from him but that is such a viper’s nest… A more friendly vampy monarch will be needed…

    Over in Oklahoma, Eric’s decision to go all in with Freyda which considering his contract, and what he thinks knows about Sookie (nothing about the child, that she is human and wants to remain one…) seems pretty logical even if Eric’s heart is not 100% in it… Perhaps because of Freyda being in this chapter, Margot Robbie in the banner made me think much more of Freyda (who I imagine beautiful blonde tall and young looking) than of Sookie who is now in her late 30s and I’d always imagine as shorter and more voluptuous…

    Liked by 5 people

    1. As usual, you hit on the problem. Rick does need to be among vampires, since he is now becoming one. Even if you choose to live separate from your group, you need to know the rules, and you can only learn those from being among them. But where? Not like Sookie ever learned enough about the vampires and their kingdoms to know who she could trust, if not Felipe. She kept him apart for all the right reasons, but in the end, she didn’t do him any real favors. She should have come clean about all of this long ago!
      Interesting about Margot choice… I did ask for that. I wanted a different face for Sookie and I’d just finished watching Tarzan (again). What inspired me was not so much the dialogue as the nonverbal cues. They did well illustrating the connection that can exist, the chemistry that signals that these are people who belong as a set.
      I envisioned that for this Eric and Sookie. They might live perfectly successful lives by anyone else’s standards, but they were never truly at rest unless they were together.

      Like

  3. So we have confirmation of Rick’s heritage. Poor boy needs his Dad now more than ever, but Daddy has wimped out and run back to Freyda with his tail between his legs.

    I can’t wait for them to meet. I wonder if Eric will sense his blood in Rick? I kniw most of you like Freyda but I never can, so I want her to hurt.

    Thanks for the update as always, your story gets me so emotional.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I don’t think Eric wimped out and ran back to Freyda. He really has little choice at this time. His maker sold him to Freyda and if Eric could have gotton out of the contract he would have. Now he is just trying to make the best of a bad situation.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Exactly, and she really isn’t so bad. Eric has more autonomy than he thought he would have, and as he mentioned in previous chapters, they have many things in common. They make for great companions, and let’s face it; if you’re going to be stuck with someone for 200 years, that’s something you’d want and need!

        Liked by 2 people

    2. Good grief, so bloodthirsty! You won’t have to wait long.
      In all fairness to this Eric, he is doing what he believes he must. If he leaves Freyda, he and Sookie would need to literally run away to hope for a life that wouldn’t involve looking over their shoulders. They couldn’t return to the U.S. – ever! And what would that mean for Rick? Eric doesn’t know, but give him credit. He loves Sookie enough that he wouldn’t wish that for her.

      Like

  4. Nothing like having a part vampire child to make you re-think the idea of being one. She handled that conversation well. I kind of hate that Eric has taken another step to cement his relationship with Freyda, but I also understand it. It’s hard not to like her, even if she did force him to leave Sookie and come to Oklahoma.
    I’m excited to see how Rick develops, so many interesting possibilities for him.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Rick does put his Mother on the spot and she thinks before she speaks. This Sookie has grown a little, and she’s learned to put another first, even if it is difficult for her on a belief level. Of course, talk is cheap.
      One of the things I haven’t done is have Sookie spend time dipping into her son’s head. It’s purposeful, although I haven’t ‘talked’ about it. I see it as a privacy thing. Rick will develop skills in time, and he will return that courtesy to an extent.

      Like

  5. So who’s going to be Rick’s sponsor? Karin, Rubio? Even Thalia? In a perfect world it would be Eric. She should definitely consult with Mr C to get a better political perspective of who can be trusted.
    I wonder if Freyda will accept Rick or be of the mind he should be destroyed. Oddly, this Freyda makes me feel that they could possibly become one big copacetic family with mutual respect and trust. I doubt it though, I really don’t think she’s that evolved.
    Poor Sookie, some awkward times ahead for her and Rick, and I hope they still have Fran to guide them for a bit longer yet. They still need her.
    It still seems odd that Sookie participates in the supernatural world, but still refuses to see herself as anything but human. She has never embraced her own magic and I think that she will stop her denial as an example for Rick. Let’s hope so.
    Hope all is well for you, and the crazy season is treating you well.
    Blessings

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Good question about the sponsor. Rick needs to be with vampires, even Sookie can see that. He is one, and he will need to learn their ways if he is to survive in their company. You offer all good choices.
      As for Freyda? She may be a more sympathetic character in this story, but she’s still a vampire queen. She’d kill Rick in a heartbeat (his heartbeat, not hers since her heart froze a long time ago). She might want Eric but she is also willing to wait for things to turn her way rather than try and pursue them. That makes her a kind of dodgy person if you’re looking for kindness or empathy.
      Sookie definitely has some reality checks she needs to give herself. Her son is supernatural – no hiding from that anymore. He’s vampire, so that blood drinking and all that goes with that, actions Sookie didn’t really understand or accept. Sookie is going to have to do more than just talk the talk if she’s going to do the right job by her son.

      Like

  6. I loved the new chapter. I was thinking, Rick is Eric’s son so Eric can feel him, just the same way he can feel Pam?
    Because now he’s a vampire and has Eric’s blood, so maybe he can sense a presence.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Don’t count on the blood connection or even the shared scent. Rick wasn’t made the way Pam and Karin were made. He wasn’t drained and then refilled with his Maker’s blood. He came about the human way, so while he shares his parents’ DNA, he is uniquely his own. There’s no psychic connection or bond beyond genetics.
      He is, truly, his own person.

      Like

  7. The emotional side of me wants Eric, Sookie and Rick to be together now – it can’t happen fast enough. The more logical side thinks that Eric has done the right thing in his latest move. He is an honorable guy, and the Freyda you have written is not the b**ch that we all know and hate. He’s trying to make the best of his situation and I can’t really blame him. He betrayed her with Sookie but now he’s trying to make it up to her and give her something that he knows she wants – his closeness.
    I hope Sookie finds somewhere she and Rick can be that allows him to be around other vampires. But in my opinion, she needs to make sure it is far away from Felipe. He’s a dangerous character and would try to exploit the situation. What about Pam? Couldn’t she help with this? Or Karin? Rick is their brother isn’t he?

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Eric may have some of those motives in mind, but he also understands the contract. If the love of his life is Sookie Stackhouse (and we know it is), he will do anything to make sure she remains protected. That means keeping his marriage to Freyda strong. Sookie’s protection from being harassed by other vampires is there. Of course, Sookie now has another contract with Felipe, but how much of De Castro’s flirting and courting is because he knows of the other contract? If the protection wasn’t there, would Felipe truly treat her well, or would he simply take her, turn her and force her to serve him? Who knows?
      I agree with you, Felipe is a dangerous character, and the contract wouldn’t address Rick. Who knows what would happen were he to find out about a natural child of both Sookie and Eric Northman?
      Pam and Karin’s reaction to Rick is a good question. Will they be doting sisters, or would they be the kind of step-sisters you wish you could lock away?

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Great chapter!
    I loved Dr. Ludwig’s visit with Rick.
    Now Rick knows what to expect in the following years…he needs a vampire sponsor to help and teach him everything.Rubio could be the best choice I think.
    I was wondering if Rick is capable to glamour people?
    As for Eric’s commitment towards his Queen…. I understand but I wasn’t happy to see him kiss Freyda in front of her court!!!!
    Those breathtaking kisses are for Sookie!!!
    Desmond becoming a vegetarian is getting me worried…..what does Felipe have on him!?!
    Jackie69

    Liked by 5 people

    1. You can bet if Desmond isn’t eating, the plots he’s tied into are making him crazy. Nothing worse than being held captive, and if you are willing to read the tea leaves, De Castro has Mr. Cataliades by the short hairs.
      Eric is doing what he must, and being Eric, he will do it with style. He is pragmatic, and if she knew it would doubtless break Sookie’s heart. The only consolation to us is that on some level it’s breaking Eric’s too.
      Rick’s capabilities? There are a number of vampire characteristics yet to be answered… glamour, the ability to turn others, the gifts some vampires manifest like his Father’s gift of flight. And then there are the human side – will he still be able to reproduce? He seems to cry clear and not blood tears. Does he continue to experience temperature change? If he’s becoming near-immortal, does that mean his heart will slow and eventually still, as vampires do? Oh, and then there’s his Fae heritage. Does he have the spark?
      So many things! He does need a teacher. It’s not just about the rules, its reading the subtext in how groups interact.

      Like

  9. I am conflicted here –Eric really does not have much of a choice with Freyda I think he had to do some type of deflection — just a supposition on my part. Puberty what a wonderful time for everyone 🙂 At least Sookie is answering questions for Rick and thinking about the things to come.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree with you. Eric needed to make sure the contract, which by definition is his marriage, was strong.
      Puberty… yeah.
      In this case, it’s Rick that’s forcing Sookie to come to grips with things through her answering questions. Leave it to a kid to force you to hold a mirror to yourself.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Wow that was a lot of info for this chapter. I hope Eric doesn’t regret his commitment to Freyda. I wonder if Sookie will try to get ahold of Karen to help with Rick, not sure Pam is the one to contact first especially if she can’t wait the 2 years for Rick to reach 14 before introductions to Vampires. Though maybe Rubio could help on the visits to see his kids at the School. Sookie just may have to have Rubio and Dr. Lugwig introduce him early. Can’t wait for the next chapter.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I think Eric has some small part of him that regrets his existence with Freyda every day, but he’s Eric. He can’t live miserable, and he knows nothing is forever, so he’s making the best and taking care of everyone he can.
      As for who to contact or where to go for Sookie? If it were me, I’d probably stick to Rubio. He knows now, and he’ll be in Chester. It’s not the best, since Rubio probably wouldn’t be around often, but it’s better than nothing. As for waiting two years? All best intentions….

      Like

      1. Ha ha ha… The second part of your comment made me giggle… There is a certain level of schizophrenia in being a fanfic reader… On the one hand you want them together NOW (esp. I guess in fandoms where canon was such a let down) and then on the other hand, you never want a good story to end….

        Liked by 1 person

  11. I understand why Eric did what he did. He is in denial about his feeling for Sookie and is trying to get over his “obsession”. Of course he is going about it the wrong way. Freyda is going to get hurt but she did know how he felt about Sookie prior to getting involved with Eric. She just thinks with the vampire arrogance that she is going to change his mind. I think that in this Freyda may still be too human. A pragmatic vampire Queen would not care if Eric loves her or not. She has his protection and loyalty. That should be enough. Freyda wants more. This is a weakness that Eric can exploit if he has a mind to. I am afraid that Felipe will be the one to do so. I do wonder what is going on with Mr. C. What ever it is cannot be good. I loved Dr. Ludwigs interaction with Rick. She is so snarky and it is fun to watch. I can’t see Sookie going to Pam for help with Rick even though she is his sister. Pam is in Louisiana and Sookie has no desire to be back there at this time. Karen is a possibility as she can move around ad lib. Rubio is a logical choice but he has fealty to Felipe and is also based in the south. We also know Bill is not an option. Bill would likely kill Rick due to jealousy and a lack of control. So is there a new vampire on the horizon to come to Sookie’s aide. She did help a lot of vampire’s at Rhodes. Maybe the AP can be contacted and recomend someone. It is so hard to wait for a whole week for the next chapter. Really great story.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Eric is setting Freyda up for big disappointment. On one level, he should be ashamed. He’s not being honest with her, but then again, when was Eric ever known for his communication skills? He could sit her down and level with her, but he’s Eric. He figures he knows better than everyone else and he’ll just figure it out. Would be nice if he unlearned this one!!
      The business with Mr. C. is not explored, although, as things will unfold you will be able to guess at what he’s been roped into handling.
      Sookie hasn’t figured out the need for a vampire sponsor yet. She seems to think that getting her son set up for blood will be enough for now. She may have good reasons for her to delay Rick’s meeting vampires, but in the end, it may not be the best for him. There are things you need to learn to be accepted by groups, and not all of those things are spoken rules. Some are non-verbal, and if Rick is too old, he may never truly feel at home with anyone – vampires, humans or others.

      Like

  12. I can’t blame Eric. Being with Sookie put them both in danger. He is trying to find some happiness in his life. It helps that he likes Freyda, and he can’t get out of the contract. I wonder if a drop of Rick’s blood would keep Sookie youthful longer. I get the impression she is not as against being turned as she used to be. I wonder if there was a psychic nudge from her subconscious keeping her mortal so she could have Rick. Dr. Ludwig is wonderful as always. It’s tough seeing Fran get so frail. I hope she lives to see Rick meet his father. The next two years will be interesting. There are logistics to be worked out to get Eric and Rick together safely. Excellent chapter.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Good question about the blood. It’s not clear what vampire gifts and skills Rick will acquire. He is curious about whether he can turn people, and Fran’s advancing age had spurred that. I lined it up with Fran, and then his confronting his Mother about becoming vampire as a way of drawing that line, one to the other. Sookie is aging, and her child sees it if only subconsciously, and worries. It spurs the question that opens a line of thought Sookie hasn’t explored in a long time and forces her to confront something about herself.
      But that’s what our children do for us! They allow us to see ourselves and our circumstances through new eyes.

      Like

  13. Such a wonderful chapter!

    I get what Eric’s attempting to do and what drove him to do it, but it is so unfair to Freyda. The heart wants what the heart wants…and his heart doesn’t want her. How long will he able to keep up the illusion? How will Freyda act when she discovers the truth??

    So glad that Dr. Ludwig made a visit! It will be interesting to see the changes in Rick, now that he’s drinking blood.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I agree. Eric is not doing Freyda any favors, and if they do bond, she’ll know. As a vampire, she should be prepared, but will she? Wouldn’t it be more honest if he simply sat her down and they talked? But… this is Eric. When did he ever just sit down and explain anything to anyone!!!
      I think it’s a safe bet she won’t take finding out the truth well….

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I rarely wish to speed up time but I hope we can speed up these two years or have something happen to bring the meeting sooner. Not something bad just a chance of fate maybe.
    Love the dr. She is always a hoot!

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Such an excellent chapter! Loved getting to know Rick. He’s very much like his father, isn’t he? Still, he has many of his mother’s qualities, too. Lordy, what a combination! He’s such a daredevil and he’s got a mouth that won’t quit… LOL! His interactions with Fran are lovely. The way he spoke of her with Sookie, asking if he could possibly turn her and the hesitance in the way he asked speaks loudly of his confusion in all of this mess. He’s breaking my heart! Sookie handled that conversation bravely, though, and revealed a few interesting things about herself as well.

    I commented above on the Eric & Freyda situation, so I won’t repeat myself. Well done!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you. I see Rick as just that, a combination of both their good and bad qualities. It’s more that physical appearance, it’s mannerisms and facial expressions. He does have one quality though, that is uniquely his own. He is not afraid to ask questions and he demands information. He’s not content to sit back and draw his own conclusions. He wants to know what you mean by what you say and what you do, and he won’t stop until he does.
      It’s a skill both Sookie and Eric could learn.

      Like

  16. Beautiful chapter. I feel like you are laying out all the players for future action. I admired Eric’s trying to commit to his relationship with his wife. He is asking himself to become the person he thinks he should be. What a dilemma! He must be living this, hence Sookies friends keeping something on the down low.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You must be reading my mind. It will come up in a future chapter, her sensing that her contacts are hiding things from her about Eric and what’s going on in Oklahoma.
      I’ll also clear up why she’s not stalker-googling him (which I might in her circumstances). It will turn out that vampires are careful about what makes it onto the Internet about them. Of course, they would be careful about having too much personal info available since they are so vulnerable during daylight hours.

      Like

  17. So this was another wonderful chapter in this amazing story. I already cannot wait for next week or the next post, whenever that occurs. I, too loved the scene with Dr. Ludwig- how could I not? It was funny and charming and we knew he’d love the blood as soon as tasted it. The part about Rick questioning Sookie on the ending of her relationship with Eric was heartbreaking. How sad she never really thought about Eric’s wishes from his perspective before. But, I guess it’s that way with most of us- these moments of clarity often come too late. Felipe has me freaked- I just don’t like to think of him “getting” to Sookie.

    Earlier, I was nervous as Eric approached Freyda in line. I wasn’t sure what he’d do or say. Part of me was disappointed in his decision, but it makes complete sense… he’s got to think of survival and making the best of his predicament. Of course, he could be thinking of gaining power first with and then from Freyda, in an effort to take over her Kingdom, working on some “long game” w/ Mr. C (OK, that’s a wish and a hope…the brief mention of Mr. C looking thin has me very worried…). On the other hand, someone above mentioned that Freyda shouldn’t care- that her actions show human-like behavior and is unlike most vampires and sitting here thinking about it, I tend to agree. I hadn’t wondered about it before, in the previous chapters when we learned Freyda figured that in time, when Sookie was long gone, she’d have all of Eric. Basically, I’m all twisted up thinking about this story. I NEED the next chapter, please, please, please. 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Too little, too late is how Sookie ended up in her current predicament. Why didn’t she fight earlier? Why didn’t she declare her love for Eric and just accept his actions instead of questioning them? Why didn’t she realize her issues with vampires and work to address them before they became an impediment?
      I will explore some of how if might have gone by looking at Rubio and Lily’s relationship. Theirs is a happy marriage between different species, and they make it work. Not to say there aren’t fights and problems, but they simply don’t sweat some of the things that can’t be changed about them.
      As for Eric and Freyda: Eric is pragmatic. He is also doing what is necessary to get along, and to keep the contract (that includes a part about protecting Sookie) strong. It’s already been established that if he were to be King, he would gain the upper hand in Oklahoma, so you are right. There is some part of Eric’s reasoning that would include taking over her kingdom, but possibly with her acceptance. If Freyda were a hard, powerful vampire, she wouldn’t want to bond with Eric. She has what she needs right now, why want more? But we also know she was jealous of Sookie, so on some level, she’s also emotional. She wants it all and that’s a weakness that can be worked. Eric, for whatever reason (and he has many) is now going to do that.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Wonderful chapter. Loved Ludwig, her straight talk, and her offer to help when he meets Eric.
    Can’t blame Eric for trying to make the best of his situation but wonder what will happen in 2 years.
    Hope Sookie finds a way to shut down DeCastro without making things bad for herself.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Everyone who meets him is anxious to offer themselves as go-betweens, which probably speaks well for Rick. He is charming in his own way, even when he’s bratty!
      Sookie is going to have to use every wile in dealing with the Nevada King, and does she really think he’ll be quiet and go away when her contract expires? She’s made a deal with the devil on this one.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Frist, wonder what is going on with Mr. C….a vegetarian…..really….really? Who has him over the proverbial barrel? Now…I think Eric is being totally pragmatic with his relationship with Fredja –going “all in” because the person he wants to be with would get them both into too much trouble. He’s doubling down, but zero times zero is still…..zero….. Fredja will see through it if she’s a woman –women seem to sense when someone’s heart isn’t “all in”……

    Now as to Rick. Wonder if Eric can feel him in any way, since he’s not only Eric’s blood but his DNA as well. Maybe with the start of puberity? Seems like Rick won’t wait two years before he sees his “old man”…..
    Now..the dime has dropped with Sookie…finally. She now realizes in rejecting being a vampire, she was also rejecting Eric’s very nature. And if she did it violently, I’m sure Eric was affronted, disappointed, and felt belittled by her rejection. Now…her son has the opportunity to live for hundreds of years. Why would anyone in their right mind give up the opportunity to be with the ones you love for as long as possible? Maybe, Sookie is seeing the upside to being turned.

    Fran –what a great character. I don’t know if has the “juice” to turn her and she may not want to be turned. But can his diluted vampire blood do things to make Fran a bit more healthy and keep her around a little longer? Can’t wait until you explore more of Rick’s nature.

    Storm is on the horizon, for sure….

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Mr. Cataliades is definitely in a bad place and it’s Felipe de Castro that’s holding his leash. We don’t see exactly what’s being planned, but it gets clearer later.
      Eric is being pragmatic, but not kind – not really. If he’s successful, Freyda will ask him to bond, and then it’s game over. She’ll know, and she’s not likely to take that news well. Of course, by then it would be too late, so the Viking’s days of being in relative quiet and comfort would be over unless he could somehow convince her that she should ignore what she’d feel. Bad days ahead for both of them, I’d say!!
      The whole turning question is front and center, isn’t it? Sookie may not totally accept how cruel she was to Eric, but she is starting to figure it out. Now, how much of what she said was for her son’s sake, and how much did she really mean?
      If it were me? No question. I’d choose forever, but that’s not for everyone.
      Fran has a reason to move on, and she’ll talk about it later.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Your Mr. Cataliades Is always one of my favorite characters. I am so happy he is front and center in this story. I appreciate how you are fleshing out your villains, Freyda and Felipe both have qualities we admire and dislike….just like real life.

        Liked by 1 person

  20. I’m so glad they finally meet with Dr. Ludwig, they needed help and answers . Rick seems to have the best of both worlds. I’m thinking they won’t be able to live in Chester long. I really want him to meet his dad, he should be the one helping him through this transition . I’m glad Sookie finally saw the irony in her past thinking . I also secretly hope Eric thinks move if Sookie as he moves in with the Queen .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Eric may tell himself Sookie is his past, but he’s just lying to himself. She is his everything. How can he not think of her?
      Rick needs to be among vampires, and sooner than the two years his Mom is proposing. Sookie never did get vampires.

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Loved this chapter! So many things answered, but now more questions! 😂😂 Ludwig is always a hoot and a good doctor so at least they were able to find out quite a bit. I am curious as to what is up with Mr. C becoming a vegetarian.

    I have a feeling Freyda will figure something out about Eric’s change of heart. I know she is cooler in this story but I just can’t make myself like her. I can’t blame her for wanting him though and I do understand why Eric is doing this.

    I am glad Sookie realized her refusal to be turned would have hurt Eric. I never understood her thinking in the books and being so unwilling to compromise. I am already counting the days til next week!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If a demon is starting to go lean, you can bet bad things are around the bend. I won’t get into any clear explanation but the actions will tell the story, and readers can draw the line between Mr. Cataliades’ worsening mood and what happens.
      If Eric is successful, the they bond, or at least form some strong tie, she’ll know. As much as she’s a softer, kinder Freyda, we also know she’s capable of jealousy. She would have killed Sookie when she first met her and realized the issue was that Eric loved her. I don’t see her tolerating his continued attachment.
      Becoming undead is a pretty big thing, but I agree. I don’t know why she wasn’t able to at least discuss it in some rational manner.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Now I understand why Rubio felt uneasy when he was around Rick. I wonder if Freyda will want to end him on site? That’s a pretty scary situation for Rick to have vampires have that sort of reaction to him. I’m looking forward to seeing Eric’s reaction. Now that Rick can drop fang maybe it will be easier for Eric to accept that he is his true son. I’m so nervous about that eventual meeting. I want it badly but I’m also on pins and needles about it!
    Oh and maybe Rick can slip Fran a few drops of his blood to keep her around a little longer! Or does his blood not have the same healing properties as a full vamp? I was kinda under the impression it would from what Ludwig had told them. Fran probably wouldn’t appreciate that anyways.
    Looking forward to next week as always😃

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Damphirs are genetic vampire hunters. It means Rick will have to be vigilant all his life. Had he been raised around vampires, that might have given him an advantage. Now, he’ll have to learn the signals through observation. I believe that ‘fitting in’ is easier when you grow up among the group. There are unspoken triggers and cues that are hard for those coming in from the outside to learn. Rick will find that.
      The fangs will help. Who can deny he’s vampire now? Or at least part vampire. Of course, he has Doctor Ludwig on his side now, too, and who disputes her??
      Interesting idea about giving Fran vamp blood. It isn’t established whether Rick would be capable of that, or glamour or some of the other true vampire gifts. (Turns out he won’t be able to turn folks. His blood has healing capabilities, but not the same as a full vampire, and he can’t glamour, but he can’t be glamoured either.)

      Anyway, glad you’re enjoying it.

      Like

  23. It really is a slow burn but ohhh sooo good!

    It is hard reading that Sookie has been alone so long pining for Eric. The contract should really have been explained to her. I think Desmond should have done it as he would be the only logical choice left.

    Her being adamant that Eric left her was so sad.

    As Rick matures he can be a danger to himself as well as those around him if not properly schooled. The only person I can think of would be Pam but she is probably hip deep in Felipe’s politics.
    Karin can’t be trusted as her agenda is a bit different although Eric and Karin are somewhat similar.

    Does this Eric seem weak, yes he does but he was sold so he is Freyda s property. He can’t really rock the boat with out ramifications.

    Love the story.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Eric is a pragmatist. He sees the angles and the outcomes and he does what he feels is the best course. Remaining with Freyda at this time is the best course, as painful as it is. It keeps the contract strong, and that includes protecting Sookie from other vampires. It’s part and parcel and Eric doubtless realizes how hemmed in he is.
      Sookie is pining, but so is he. They have both made lives, as imperfect as they are, and they are functioning. As for the past? Who can recapture that? There is only what comes and how you capture the new opportunities that present themselves.
      Rick does need guidance, and he needed it yesterday. He is a creature that is neither fish nor fowl. His vampire tendencies will make his existence easier among them, but their society is full of rules that he doesn’t know.
      Tricky to be him!

      Like

  24. Natsgirl, I am so happy you answer reviews. Appreciate it when you respond PM on FanFiction. But love to read all the responses on WordPress, and your replies. I love this story so much. Think about it all the time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I enjoy talking about the story, but that’s somewhat selfish on my part. I’m finishing it up now, and so I think about it quite a bit too, piecing together how the characters interact and what comes first.
      Have a good one.

      Like

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