A few hours later they were waking in Italy. Everyone was excited. Today was the day Godric would join them and Jason and Lafayette had decided to remain for a few days although Tara was going home. She had agreed to being glamoured so she couldn’t tell anyone about where Sookie was but she couldn’t stay here another minute. It hurt her to see her best friend as a vampire. It hurt that she hadn’t been the first one Sookie had called to tell. It hurt that Sookie hadn’t said another word to her after the initial speech or sought her out after either.
Everyone boarded the boat to head back to the mainland but Sookie sat apart from everyone, watching them, wondering what their thoughts were.
She knew Lafayette was thankful that he was staying an extra few days. He hadn’t gotten to spend much time with her this time and there were some things he wanted to say to her before he left.
Jason was wide eyed, watching the scenery, wishing he were going home but glad to stay just the same. He was going to miss Sook when he did go home but she was more than just his little sister now, she was a vampire, she could take care of herself and she had others to help her when she needed the help. Others who would help much more than he ever had.
Tara was itching to get away. She loved Sookie. They were sisters together growing up and she would miss her but she just couldn’t condone her being a vampire. She didn’t have much of a choice about whether to accept the fact Sookie was a vampire now but she sure as hell was going to exercise her right to not like it.
Pam was planning out the stores they would go to tonight once the flights had left and Godric had risen. Sookie had had some very specific requests for their shopping tonight so she had done a little research online last night and had gotten the names and locations of the stores they needed to visit tonight.
Thalia was glad to be so near to her birth home in the Greek Isles. Once the current problem was dealt with she was going there and wasn’t planning on leaving for several centuries.
Eric, well Eric could feel Sookie’s melancholy. He knew she was upset by what Tara had said and how she was acting. He could also feel her happiness at the fact that Lafayette and Jason had agreed to stay on for a few days until the danger back in the States had subsided. He could feel something else as well but he couldn’t put a name to it. She was new, she was a bundle of nerves and he was doing his best to help her deal with them but so much had happened in so short a time that it was hard to place ultra importance on any one thing.
She had made her decision about Compton and he had agreed with her reasoning in making that decision. Godric and Pam had agreed as well. The would each get a week to torture Bill if they so wished, as long as they didn’t end him for that right was hers and hers alone. She wanted that more than anything, to be able to end him thus ending the most horrendous time of her life.
He had learned that Lorena had created another child some time ago which meant that Sookie had one other asset but she wasn’t concerned. She figured that between the four of them they could deal with her if, and when, they needed to. She was probably right. Now that she was vampire her sense of self preservation had kicked into high gear and her sixth sense was exceptional. She no longer put herself into situations which could get her killed if she could help it. Her short stay with Isabel had proved that when Sookie had stayed on the roof, a place most vampires couldn’t reach easily, and called in reinforcements rather than tackling the problem herself. He was very proud of her and every so often he could feel a sense of pride coming from her as well. He was coming to love her very much, a fact which he mulled over now.
Where had this love come from? When did it settle in? He knew he had lusted after her when she was human but they weren’t given the chance to take that any further due to Compton’s incompetency and other circumstances beyond their control. He didn’t like having feelings, they could make a vampire seem weak which meant they could be prey for other vampires.
Fortunately, here, they were simply part of the scenery, so to speak. He did not have a high profile ‘job’, he was simply there with his progenies on vacation. He hadn’t taken the opportunity yet to talk to her about his feelings for her. She had too much else on her plate, he didn’t want to add any more than was necessary. He was happy, truly happy, for the first time since Godric released him centuries ago. For him that’s what it boiled down to, their happiness. As long as everyone with him was happy he was happy as well.
His phone buzzed. He took it out and saw it was a text message from the Magister. His eyebrows rose into his hairline and a huge smile lit up his face. “Everyone, the Magister has just alerted me. Sophie Anne is finally dead and Mississippi is the new King!”
Sookie’s face lit up but then went dark again, “What about Hadley Eric? I know she was with the Queen and I know she’s the one who put a bug in the Queen’s ear about me but I wish her no ill will. Did she survive?”
“According to the Magister only the Queen’s life was forfeit since she was the one who staked Lorena so hers was the only head that rolled. He says to assure you Hadley is safe. Sophie Anne had turned her so the Magister has taken her under his tutelage. He will use whatever gifts she possesses to better her and increase her position in the hierarchy over there and, Sookie, for the trouble the former Queen caused you you will receive one fourth of her monetary assets. The rest will go to her three remaining children.
Three? With Hadley there should be four since Waldo died in the bombing in Dallas.”
He sent a quick text back to confirm and soon received his reply, “It seems the Queen ended Andre herself for his ineptness so yes, that would leave three children.
Apparently Lorena’s Maker is still among the walking dead and has requested a meeting with us at our earliest convenience. We can discuss this later Sookie.
Lafayette, Jason, do you wish to stay or go home since the threat is gone?”
“How long until the flight leaves? I have some things I want to say to Sook, I want to make sure I have time to say them before I leave, whenever that may be.”
“The flight leaves in four hours and we are almost at the mainland. You should have plenty of time to talk before then.”
Jason had a big smile on his face, “Sook, I love ya and I’ll miss ya but I want to go home.”
There were tears in her eyes as she heard his words but she smiled, “I love you too Jase, take care of my house for me? I’m going to have someone do some work on it soon but I’ll get the details to you once I figure everything out so you’ll know who’s doing what and when.
Lala, is four hours enough time? I’ll miss you whenever you leave.”
“Yeah, four hours is enough time as long as it’s okay with Eric for you to slip off for a little while?”
Eric nodded his head. His intuition was telling him nothing would happen to her and he didn’t plan on being far away any way.
The boat docked and once they had offloaded their luggage Sookie and Lafayette took off to a nearby cafe for their little talk and Eric drifted after them, keeping them in sight but far enough back that he couldn’t hear what was being said. He trusted his child and he trusted her human friend. He was the only one, other than her brother, who had given her his unconditional support so he was inclined to let him have his time to say good-bye.
“What’s up Lala? You look way too serious.”
“Sooks, I love you, you know that. I am so proud of you! You finally stood up for yourself to the one person that has walked all over you, other than your brother, and even he surprised me. You keep up the good work Sooks, I’m likin’ the new you.”
“I’m likin’ the new me too. It’s rather liberating to be able to let someone know they’re getting on my last damn nerve and have them actually listen to what I’m sayin’ instead of interruptin’ me and trying to force their thoughts and beliefs on me all the time.
I loved Sam like a brother but he couldn’t accept that. When I was still human he was forever telling me what he thought I should be doing, who I should be hanging with. I don’t know why my blinders are finally off but I’m glad they are. It’s helped me to see who my real friends are and who was just using me because I was someone they could influence.
The worst though was Bill. He coloured my thinking all the way around. From the moment he got his blood into me he was influencing my thoughts and feelings. He was condescending, rarely let me express my opinion, rarely gave me the space I needed in order to make an informed decision and didn’t give me the time to grieve Gran’s death. He gave me until the night of the funeral then he ramped up his plans to seduce me, making that the night he took my virginity. If he hadn’t lost control after I was attacked I would be in the Queen’s court now, kept in a gilded cage equipped for a vampire because she would have turned me whether I wanted it or not.
He kept telling me that Eric was a no good SOB and I believed him because I couldn’t break free of his influence long enough to see Eric on my own, the way he is. He wouldn’t allow me the freedom to actually listen to other people’s opinions and act on them.
I was intrigued by Bill, yes, but I didn’t get a chance to find out whether I liked him on my own or not because the second time I met him I was nearly beaten to death by the drainers I had saved him from. He fed me his blood that night to heal me and try to start a blood bond with me so he could control me and bring me to NOLA to his Queen.
I liked Eric from the beginning, before he ever gave me any of his blood. I knew I was attracted to him but I was both too stubborn to admit it and too inexperienced in both relationships and the way of the vampire to make decisions regarding my own welfare. I owe Eric so very much. He was there for me before I ever took his blood. He was the one sitting by my bed when I woke the second time in Dr. Ludwig’s hospital and I suspect he was the one who sat with me the most during the week I was totally out of it. He even asked my permission, when I was awake and could make an informed decision, before he ever gave me some of his blood.
I was in a bad way Laf, I nearly died again that time. If it hadn’t been for Sam calling him when he found out I was at Bill’s I would either be truly dead or I would be tied to both Bill and the Queen. I am grateful for everything he’s done for me Laf. I’m thankful for you too. I wanted to visit before we came to Europe but things escalated too quickly for me to do so. Having you guys here when I got here was wonderful. I didn’t expect it, didn’t know Eric had it in him to do something so wonderful.” She smiled a genuine Sookie smile at him and squeezed his hand.
“Sooks, I’ll always be there for you. I’m just a phone call away although with the time difference it may be hard to co-ordinate a time to talk when I’m actually coherent but we’ll figure something out eventually. We can always email back and forth.
Sooks, you’ve always been there for me and it breaks my heart to leave you here when I board that plane but I know you’re in good hands. He’ll take good care of you but he’ll also allow you the freedom to be the vampire, the woman, you need to be in order to make it in this dog eat dog world. I can tell, just by the way he looks at you, that he feels more for you than you’re admitting to yourself right now. Once he admits his feelings it’ll rock you’re whole world girl but you won’t find anyone better suited for you.”
“Laf, I’m planning a romantic evening soon, once some of this mess has calmed down a bit, that will show him what I’m feeling.
He’s calling me to him, it must be time to leave for the airport.”
It wasn’t time to leave for the airport quite yet but Godric had arrived. He held his arms out to her so she flew into his arms for a quick hug. “Lafayette, Jason, Tara this is my Maker’s Maker, sort of like my Grandpa, Godric.” She smiled at everybody. The smile didn’t quite make it to her eyes but she was definitely feeling better.
They soon had Jason, Lafayette and Tara at the airport and on the plane. It took all she had in her not to cry while they watched the plane ascend into the skies but she managed it.
“Eric, is it alright if I take Sookie for some retail therapy? She doesn’t have much and it would be just the thing to pick up her spirits.”
He laughed, “Of course. I was going to suggest it soon any way. Go and have fun. We’ll see you at the hotel before sunrise.”
They took off. Their night of bonding had begun. First stop was to get some every day clothes. Sookie knew just what she wanted, dresses, lots and lots of dresses. She was a vampire now so the cold and heat/humidity didn’t bother her now, she was going to take huge advantage of that. There wasn’t a pair of jeans in the lot. Short dresses, long dresses, mid length dresses in every colour of the rainbow. As long as it looked good on her it got delivered to their bedroom at the hotel. The first time they went to pay Sookie took out the card Eric had given her when she left the States but Pam stopped her, “Tonight is my treat. Sort of a welcome to the family, glad we’re related/feel better treat. The only things you need to pay for tonight are the special things you wanted for that romantic night you’re planning.” The look on Sookie’s face was priceless, “Who are you? Are you really Pam Ravenscroft or did someone do a personality transplant? I thought you only ever spent Eric’s money!”
“I do try to spend only his money, it saves wear and tear on my cards, but I wanted to do something special for you and decided this was it. Besides, can you imagine the look on his face when a bill for all this stuff does NOT come in? If he were human he would probably faint.”
Sookie giggled and the next stop was shoes! Lots and lots and lots of shoes! High heels, low heels, flats, all colours. Handbags and other accessories were bought as well.
Lingerie was next. She thought they had gone wild at the other stores but that was nothing compared to this. There was so much to choose from that finally they just decided one set in every colour and had them delivered.
The jewellery store was next. She had one specific thing she wanted to buy and it had to be made special. It was a thick platinum chain with a pendant that had the words Master, a tiny Thor’s hammer, then the initials P and S hanging beneath.
The last stop was for the special things she wanted for their special night.
With stopping for a quick snack at a cafe that served both humans and vampires, they even had private rooms where vamps could go to feed in private, they made it to their room with a half hour to spare.
Eric and Godric could hardly be found with all the bags and boxes which had been delivered but he was glad to see them both so happy. Sookie seemed to be glowing. He hadn’t seen her this happy since they had met.
He held his hand out to her and she grasped it, pulling him down to her level for a kiss. It wasn’t long and lingering or passionate but it was the first time she had initiated something between them since she had told him she was ready to try a relationship with him.
He picked her up and carried her to their bedroom, letting her down at the end of the bed so she could get undressed. They got under the covers and got in their favourite position for the daytime and just lay there, feeling each other’s presence, until the dawn claimed them.