I was standing at the kitchen sink drying the last of my dishes from dinner when I felt the void not to far behind me – of course there was no noise from the entry.
“Good evening. Did you have a nice rest?” I asked pleasantly as I turned to see it was Pam who had entered the kitchen.
She raised an eyebrow. “It was the same as always.” She replied dryly.
Right, no need for polite Southern manners with vampires. I half-sighed, half-laughed as I explained, “I’m sure your right. I was just being polite. Would you like me to warm a blood for you?”
“Fine.” Was her only reply and she continued to watch me as I removed the True Blood from the refrigerator. I turned to her after I placed the bottle in the microwave and she just continued to stare at me as if I was a science experiment.
“Something on your mind Pam?”
“After what Eric felt from you at dawn, we thought you’d be an annoying little human this evening with all the snot, tears, and begging.” She answered matter-of-factly. I knew he could feel my emotions after the blood we shared but he should have been dead for the day since I waited until daybreak. I’d have to ask about that later.
“Sorry to disappoint you. I’m not really one for begging and I’m all out of the other two.” I said with a small smile. Then I decided to add “But I’m sure I can find another way to be annoying if you’d like.” It felt good to be sarcastic. More like myself and less like a mouse stalked into a corner by the cat.
“Oh, I’m sure you’ll be annoying without trying dear sister.” I think I actually saw a tiny curve of the lips from Pam with that comment but her features were blank again before I could be sure.
Pam apparently had more to say as I handed her the warmed blood. “Dear Abby would say you are in denial I think.”
“Dear Abby?” I said indignantly.
“Yes, have you not heard of her? Don’t all humans know her?”
I had to laugh at that. “I know who she is Pam. I’m just surprised you do.”
“Ah. Well, it’s always good to study your prey.” She responded with a fanged smile.
Before I could respond Eric entered the kitchen, “Good evening ladies.” Eric started giving me the same appraising look that Pam had started her evening with. Sheeze.
“You don’t need to look at me like that. I’m not going to fall apart.” I said with my hands on my hips. I was really starting to get annoyed. “We’ve already covered the issue of tears, snot, and begging and while I have no intention of indulging in any of the three, Pam assures me I’ll still find a way to annoy you tonight.” Then I leaned back on the sink and huffed. “As for me, I’m already annoyed.”
I actually earned a laugh from Eric after my little speech, but Pam was still up for a challenge. “See, I’m right. Dr. Abby would say you are in the anger stage of grieving for your human life.”
Oh Please. “Pam, that was not even close to me angry and stop treating me like I’m your experiment.”
“Oh, but would you like to be. We could experiment with several things.” She answered with a leer and fangs.
Eric had been watching the whole scene unfold with his arms crossed over his chest, his left hip against the doorframe, and a smirk on his face. However, it seemed he was ready to move on as he interrupted me before I could respond.
“As entertaining as thinking about you two experimenting together is, we have things to do.” I wasn’t ready to let that comment go without response but Eric silenced me with a look and my annoyance continued to grow. “Sookie, did you complete your task for the day?”
There was a subject sure to change my emotional state. “Yes” I sighed. “But my brother didn’t answer his phone. All I could do is leave a voicemail. I can’t be sure that he’ll show up. We haven’t been on the best of terms since Gran’s murder and he’s not the most reliable person.”
“I’m sure the V doesn’t help with that.” Pam stated in a bored voice.
“Pamela” There was no mistaking the command in his voice.
“What? She’ll be able to smell it on him soon.”
“What are you two talking about? What does Jason have to do with V?” I was really lost. And here I had hoped to stay up to speed today.
“Your brother came to Fangtasia looking for V.” Eric started. I gasped and was about to protest when Pam continued.
“Before you start your whining about how that couldn’t be true and blah blah blah, I glamoured him and he admitted it.” My jaw had dropped and I was a little shell-shocked. Sure, Jason was an idiot but I never would have thought he’d do V. I thought he hated vampires, but I guess that didn’t extend to their blood. I tried to swallow before asking the question I wasn’t sure I could handle hearing the answer to. Vampires really hated V users. Luckily, Eric answered the question before I had to ask.
“He was only allowed to leave because he was your brother but that won’t save him forever. The girl he left with was also only allowed to leave because she was with him.” Then Eric gave me a very meaningful stare. “I suggest you take care of that issue tonight. Being your human kin will not entitle him to an endless free pass. Do you understand?”
“Yes.” And I did understand. Get my brother to stop using V or he was going to be punished or killed. Shit! Could tonight get any more complicated? Maybe I shouldn’t tempt fate by thinking that.
“Good.” Then he turned to Pam. “Go open the club. We will be there in an hour.” With that, Pam was gone without a word. I wonder if I could be Ms. Manners to her if she’s going to be Dear Abby to me. I laughed a little under my breath at the thought and of course Eric noticed. When he raised an eyebrow, I just shrugged in response. He wouldn’t get it.
“Let’s have a seat in the other room. We have some things to discuss.”
As we resumed our seats in the armchairs from the night before, I decided to bring up my list. “I realized today that I have a lot of questions.”
That earned me another laugh but more of the indulgent type of laugh than one showing any real humor. “I would expect nothing less from you Sookie.”
“Well, I was wondering if we could go through them.”
“Not tonight. We have a lot to get done tonight but I’ve left tomorrow night open for a good portion of the evening so that we can get to know each other better. You can ask your questions then.”
I bit my bottom lip slightly. I was worried that my definition of “get to know each other” was different from his but that was tomorrow night’s issue. “Okay, but a couple of questions could come up at my house tonight. Can I ask you those? I’ll be quick.”
“Fine. You have five minutes.” Said Mr. Impatient. He was so annoying. No one has ever gotten under my skin as badly as he does.
“My house has been in my family for 150 years and I don’t trust my brother with it. I know I have to stay here but can I keep it?” I almost held my breath, as this was extremely important to me.
“I don’t see the point. You need to understand that it is your past.”
I interrupted him. “That is the point.” I muttered and then looked down at my lap. “Please.” If anything would break me, this would be the topic. I had just lost my Gran and the house and everything in it was all I had left of her. I finally risk a look at Eric after he had been silent for a couple of minutes.
He was staring at me and my intuition was saying that he was trying to read my emotions on the subject. Finally he rolled his eyes and said, “Fine. I’ll have the papers drawn up and we can meet with the lawyer tomorrow.”
Confusion, you are my constant companion. “What papers?”
“The VRA hasn’t passed yet and it’s still a mound of legal paperwork to keep the possessions you had prior to being turned. Therefore, we’ll have your home placed in my name and we’ll switch it back after you’ve been registered.” He explained.
“Okay. That makes sense.” And I felt a little relief as one of my most emotional concerns was out of the way. I know it’s not logical that a house would be one of my biggest concerns right now but it was my tie to my human life. I needed it.
Now, for the next tie-in.
“What about my friends and brother? I know I’d have to wait for control, but will I be allowed to see them.” I was fidgeting with my hands in my lap again when I mumbled, “If they still want to see me.”
“I’m not going to promise either way at this point.” My head snapped up at this and I was about to protest when he silenced me with a hand gesture. “Their reactions will say a lot about them and what a continued interaction with them would mean to you.”
“But . . .”
“There’s no point in discussing it further now Ms Stackhouse.” There was the commanding tone again. “We’ll talk more about it tomorrow after the meeting. Now, we need to move on.”
“One more please?” I pleaded.
“From what I’ve heard, it seems that instinct takes over a lot afterwards.” He nodded and I struggled to put my concern into words. “Will I still be me?”
He furrowed his brows, “What do you mean?”
“My personality. Will I still be the same person?” He still seemed to need more explanation. “I don’t know how to explain it Eric. Will I still like the same types of things? Will I be able to keep from killing people because I don’t want to? Will I still find the same things important? Will I still be me?”
“Sookie, every turn is different. Some cling to their past and some evolve. Some relish the instinctive nature of being a vampire and are extremely cruel while others can be relatively humane as long as they are not threatened.” He paused thoughtfully. “As you learn more about your instincts and your abilities, you will be the one to determine who you become. You do not forget who you were or what your values were before. As stubborn as you are, you’ll probably be able to hold on to most of what you want to of your old self.”
“But I won’t be the only one to determine what I become.” I challenged. He would have complete control over me after all. Which to be honest was one of my biggest concerns.
“No, you won’t be.” He leaned forward with his elbows on his knees. “I won’t allow you to cling to your past life or values to the point where they endanger your existence. However, I am not a cruel master Sookie. Forcing you to abandon yourself will only make you resentful and more difficult than you already are.” He said with a lopsided grin. “So, I would say that you will be yourself but with a greater instinct and drive for survival.”
I considered that and found a little bit of comfort in it so I just nodded.
“Now, we really must move on but we will address your other questions tomorrow.” Then he sat back and took a deep unnecessary breath. “Sookie, what supernatural creatures do you know about besides vampires?”
“What?” I can only describe myself as shocked at the turn in conversation and its implications. “There’s more?”
“Oh yes,” he said with a mischievous smile. “There’s a lot more.” I know my mouth was hanging open but really I shouldn’t be surprised. If there were vampires and telepaths, why not other creatures of legend and fairy tales?
“Okay.” And it was my turn for a deep breath. “Are we talking about witches, elves, giants, werewolves, or fairies?” Maybe if I started the list it wouldn’t be so hard to accept.
“Well, four out of five do exist. No, giants.”
“You’ve got to be kidding!”
“No, I’m not and we’ll go over all of them in time but right now we need to discuss two of them and one you didn’t mention.” He was studying me again and all I could do was nod.
“Werewolves are humans that turn into wolves during the full moon. They are strong physically but not as strong as a vampire. They’re weakness is silver like a vampire and they heal quickly but not as quickly as a vampire. Weres can also shift during non-full moons but they must change at the full moon.” I nodded to show I was following but I didn’t really know what to say. “There are other types of weres that turn into specific animals like panthers, foxes, and the like but Werewolves consider themselves the top of the food chain as they are the most organized and so they are usually called Weres.”
“Do I know any Weres or were . . .um . . . animals?” I asked hesitantly. Wouldn’t I know if I read their minds?
“Well, there is a pack of were-panthers in Hot Shot if you know any of them.” My jaw dropped. Hot Shot people kept to themselves mostly but they came into Merlotte’s sometimes.
“Wow. I had no idea.” He seemed to be thinking over that statement but moved on.
“Also, your day bodyguard, Alcide, is a werewolf. Normally we don’t associate with them much as they are scum but his family owes me a debt. Since you may see him in the coming days I wanted you to know what you were dealing with.”
“Is there anything else I need to know about him then?”
“Not for now. No.” Then he had a mischievous look in his eyes. “Now, I know for a fact that you are close to a shapeshifter.” Before I could ask whom he was referring to he kept on with his speech. “Shapeshifters are similar to weres in that they must shift during the full moon but they differ in that they can change into any animal. In this, they are considered to be more powerful than weres since they can always choose a stronger animal. However, they do not organize and tend to be loners.”
“Okay. So spill, who is it?”
With a grin he replied, “Sam Merlotte.”
“NU-UN. NO FREAKING WAY.”
“I assure you its true. He stinks like a dog all the time. I believe that’s his normal shape. I wanted you to know before you meet with him and your friends tonight. Shapeshifters and were-animals have no love for the fang. His reaction may be more volatile than you would expect.” Eric seemed to be enjoying his reveal.
“I can’t imagine Sam as volatile.” I had to defend my friend.
“All supes are volatile Sookie if you press the right button and by the way he was looking at you when I was at the bar last night, I would say you might be the right button.” He said seriously before looking thoughtful again. “If he knows about your telepathy, I’m surprised he’s never told you about himself. Haven’t you been able to read it from him?”
“No. Of course not.” I started but then thought I might need to explain more. “Well, I normally try to stay out of people’s minds to give them privacy but especially my boss. I’ve had to quit several jobs because my boss was always thinking about me in nasty ways.”
“Who could blame them?” Apparently Eric was “ON” tonight and trying to work his charm.
“Whatever. The point is I don’t normally listen, but. . . Well, sometimes I would slip and he was hard to read. I mean it was fuzzier. I’d get more emotions and some random pictures than words or true thoughts.” I thought about that for a minute. “I’ve come across that from time to time and I just thought some people were hard to read. Do you think they were all supernaturals?”
“Supes” he corrected.
“We call them Supes. And yes, I would venture a guess that they were supes.” He seemed to be mulling that over for a minute. “Alcide has already left for the day but I’ll ask him to come to the door at noon tomorrow. I’d like you to see what his mind feels like to you.”
“Okay.” I didn’t know how I felt about being alone with a werewolf that I’d never met but I was guessing that Eric wouldn’t have him here if he didn’t trust him around me.
Eric seemed to be reading my mind. “Don’t worry. He won’t do anything. He knows I’d kill his entire family if anything happens to you. I’ve made that clear.”
“Is that supposed to make me feel better, Eric! I don’t want people dying because of me. That’s how we got here to begin with!” I said indignantly.
“Well, then perhaps it will ensure that you don’t do anything stupid to endanger your life since you wouldn’t want the guilt of causing other deaths.” His reply was like ice.
“That’s not the point” I started to argue and just like the night before he was in front of me in a flash. He was sitting on the edge of the coffee table again, leaning towards me with his elbows on his knees. I couldn’t really read his facial expression. It wasn’t exactly angry but there was anger mixed in with something else that I couldn’t identify.
“Sookie, you are going to have to accept the fact that there is nothing more important to me than my own life and that of my progenies. If someone else must die to protect you or because they caused you harm, then I will see it done. It may offend you and may cause you to be angry with me but it WILL be done.” His voice became less steely as he studied me from his position less than six inches from my face. “Would you not kill, Sookie, to protect yourself, your family, or your children?”
This conversation had gotten intense very quickly. Eric had said and revealed a lot in those few sentences. Pam had been kidding around calling us Daddy and Sister but I just laughed it off as jokes and Pam being Pam. I hadn’t thought of any real meaning behind it. Also, there was Eric’s comfort last night in telling me I would never have to be alone again. Now, he was comparing his feelings of protection towards me as those a human would have towards their family. I never really thought vampires related to each other that way. There was something to add to my list of questions for tomorrow, but for right now I needed to answer his question.
Would I kill someone to protect myself? The thought of taking someone’s life sent chills down my back, but . . . but I would not stand there and let someone kill me without trying to survive. Sure, I wouldn’t want to kill them but if I had to do so to live and there was no other way – I would do it. I would probably feel horrible afterwards but at least I would be alive.
As for family, I only had to think of Gran to have my answer. If I had been there when Rene attacked, I would have killed him in an instant without a second thought. I shuddered a little at the thought of the inevitable feeling of satisfaction that I would have had if I had been able to kill Rene in order to save Gran. I was a terrible Christian.
But I would have done it.
“Yes, Eric. I would do it.” He nodded and returned to his seat.
There was a silence that loomed after that conversation and I needed to move on and remove the emotional charge that still hung in the air. “So, we covered were-animals and shapeshifters. What’s the third supe that we need to cover tonight?”
“Well Ms. Stackhouse, what do you know about Fairies?”
“You mean Tinkerbelle?” I laughed but Eric’s serious gaze made me take a step back and try to be more serious. “Well, all I know is from movies and fairytales. So, tiny things with wings that look human, beautiful, magical, and they die if you don’t believe in them.” I couldn’t help but giggle again at the end of my list. If he told me that clapping would bring them back to life I WOULD fall out of my seat laughing regardless of the consequences.
“Beautiful and magical – yes. The rest of the things on your list are just children’s tales.” So, no clapping I’m sure. I was still trying to control myself and not laugh at my thoughts when Eric continued my education. “While fairies have very human traits and can pass for humans, they are much more beautiful than any human and they have pointed ears – although, they can usually hide their ears behind their hair. Also, like you said, they are magical. In fact, they are the most magical supe since their magic is natural and not acquired like most witches. Magic is what they are not what they learn.”
“So, are you going to tell me I know a fairy now because I haven’t seen any pointed ears?” I had to keep a sense of humor at this point. My whole reality was being thrown out the window.
“You don’t know any full blooded fairies that I know of.” He said carefully and his carefulness was making me weary of where this conversation was going. “Fairies have an intoxicating effect on Vampires. The scent of a full-blooded fairy makes it nearly impossible for vampires to control themselves and they will attack and drain the fairy. Afterwards, the fairy’s blood is so intoxicating that the vampire will drain and fuck anything they encounter until the effects wear off.”
“I guess that would explain why I don’t know any fairies since I’m always around vamps. My guess is they hide from you?” I would if I were them.
“Fairies are very secretive but they are also very strong. I wouldn’t say they hide so much as they avoid us. They are not cowards and they are very prideful. Too prideful in fact. But they also have their own realm that they can live in instead of in our realm.”
“HOLD UP. Did you say REALM? Like another dimension.” Again, I suppose this shouldn’t surprise me since we were talking about mythological creatures that were not myths butcome on.
“Realm, not dimension – but that’s not something we need to dwell on at the moment.” Right, alter my understanding of the universe but don’t explain. He was so annoying. “Fairies and vampires obviously do not mingle and we have a long history of conflicts and wars. So much so that the fairy population is not nearly as large as it once was but that isn’t completely due to vampires. They have problems of their own as well. Anyway, we have existed without war for the past couple of centuries since we established a treaty after the last war to ban purposeful hunting of fairies.”
“Alright. So, once I’m a vampire I need to avoid fairies.” I had a slight question in my voice because I was trying to understand the purpose of the fairy history lesson. The Were and shapeshifter lessons had a reason but it didn’t seem like we’d come to the point with fairies yet.
“Sookie, do you have an allergy to lemons or iron?” he asked while leaning forward again.
“Huh? I thought we were talking about fairies?”
“Sookie” There was the commanding tone again.
“Fine. No I don’t, but what does that have to do with anything.” He was the most annoying, confusing, and infuriating person – vampire or not – that I had ever met. It was impossible to follow his thought pattern and stay on top of a conversation.
“Iron and lemons are deadly to fairies.” He replied with a raised eyebrow.
“Okay, but why would you ask me . . .” The look on his face made me stop. “ERIC! You can’t be trying to tell me I’m a fairy. I don’t have pointed ears, I obviously don’t know any magic or I’d get myself out of all the shit that I get myself into, and I’ve been bitten by vamps without being drained or fucked to death!”
“Sookie, I said those things are true about full-blooded fairies. They are not true of human/fairy hybrids. I distinctly tasted fairy in your blood last night.”
“That’s impossible Eric. All of my relatives were human.”
“How do you know Sookie? You thought you were only human.” He countered smugly.
Could he be right? I mean I never even knew fairies existed. How would I know if any of my relatives had been fairies?
“Wouldn’t I have been able to read it in their minds? I knew my grandparents and my parents. They never thought about fairies and their minds weren’t any different from normal humans. They weren’t fuzzy like weres.” I protested. I was trying to accept that the world was different from what I thought it was, but being told that I wasn’t what I thought I was is a whole different ball game.
“Maybe one of your relatives had an affair with a fairy. They are very seductive.” I was about to protest when he continued. “Or maybe the fairy blood goes further back in your lineage. It’s not really strong in your blood or it would have been harder to control myself. I would say either a grandparent or great-grandparent.”
“I don’t really know what to say about all that Eric. Don’t I have enough to deal with already?” I slumped back into my chair. As if I didn’t have enough going on with becoming a vampire and all, now I find out that I was never completely human to begin with. “Wait. Why are you telling me this now? Does being part-fairy cause problems with me being turned?”
Eric sighed. “I don’t know and that’s part of the problem.”
“Well that’s a relief” I was rewarded with a death glare. “I mean to hear you admit that you don’t know something. I was starting to wonder.” The glare wasn’t going away. “So, what are you going to do?”
“I’ve never known a part-fae that was turned or heard of it being done. It probably has happened but I’ve just never seen it.” I could tell he was annoyed by this fact and he started pacing in front of the fireplace. “I don’t like going into this without knowing what’s going to happen. I haven’t survived this long without being prepared. I could ask some older vampires but that may or may not yield results and it would take too long and could cause other problems. So, the only option I have is to try to call an old fae contact and see if he’ll give me some information. The problem is that he might get angry.”
“The fae are very protective of their own kind. He will not be happy that I’m turning you even if you’re only part-fae and he is very powerful. But since I can say it’s consensual I’m hoping that will placate him.”
“I don’t see that it’s any of his business.” I replied stubbornly.
Eric looked at me then with a half smile. “I’m surprised at you Sookie. I would think you would see this as a possibility of an ‘out’.”
“I keep my word Eric.” My response had a little ice in it.
“Just like fairies.” He mumbled.
“Fairies are extremely devious and secretive, but if they give their word then they always keep it.”
“Oh.” Odd to have that in common with a species I’d never had contact with. At least not that I knew of.
Eric was still pacing slowly and we had been silent for a few minutes. My brain was on overload and I was ready to end this particular conversation.
“So, what now?” I asked.
Eric stopped pacing and looked at the clock on the wall. “Now, we go to Fantasia so I can take care of a couple of things and then we go to your house.” Great. Way to raise my stress level.
“And the fairies?” I asked as we walked towards the garage.
“I’ll call Niall later.”