I tried to just be in the moment.
It was really hard. My quiet and simple life had been completely turned on its head in the span of a week.
I just studied the big Viking vampire next to me and tried to turn my brain off.
It didn’t work.
Was I a person?
How was it possible to feel so many contradictory emotions at once? I felt like I was going crazy. My head was so full I couldn’t process any of it.
So I pretended I too was a vampire and just stared at Eric and lay there while the missing sun climbed high into the sky.
I’d only been getting peeks of the thinnest rays of sunshine for the last two days. I absolutely insisted at dawn and sunset. It was a power struggle each time ending with him hovering somewhere sheltered nearby. I had sung my devotions in English until this morning when I had kinda gone on autopilot and lapsed into Sylvan. Singing a fairy prayer in English just felt wrong and didn’t quite convey the message properly, but I understood the need and I was grateful for each time I saw the daylight emerge and disappear. I really needed more sunshine than I was getting, but Eric always made it impossible for me to get out while he slept. For someone like me, who’d always cried on rainy days and spent most of my waking hours at least near an airy window, it was torture.
I missed my farmhouse and I missed Louisiana.
I’m not a spoiled woman. I don’t mind roughing it when I have to, and I can sleep on practically anything thanks to monthly full moon camping trips with my father and brother. I didn’t even mind sleeping outside on a blanket. But I missed my familiar room with all its musty, antique smells and floral tinged breezes coming through its lace curtained windows. Windows that framed sun-dappled, moss-covered tree landscapes and invited one to come and sit near with a real book and a glass of sweet tea. Windowless basements were far less pleasant for both the nose and eyes.
I stroked Eric’s cold brow and brushed behind his ears the long blonde hairs that had fallen forward.
I had no regrets.
As frustrated as they made me, and as angry as I was at them both for keeping things from me and maybe wanting to use me for their own purposes, I loved Niall and Claude and I missed them too.
Why the hell didn’t they just treat me like an adult and tell me things? I could only assume that they had motives that were ‘bigger and more important’ than… well me. That hurt.
I had always believed that when you loved someone, you did your best to protect and nurture their growth without any reason other than your love. No ulterior motives, no scheming, no using. The end.
And I was wrong.
Wrong about some things. Wrong about everything. And so totally right too. Or righteous… or… something. I was indignant in any case.
If my kin never loved me and merely sought to possess me, that was wrong, and I’d been wrong about them, but I was right to leave and pursue life on my own terms. Right?
If they did love me, and thought Eric would hurt or use me in some way that would hurt me, or that if he used me I might die or disappear, then they were protecting me, and that was right. But they had a crummy way of approaching it, and keeping me in the dark was wrong. And not letting me choose my fate was wrong in either case. Right?
And if they loved me and still wanted to use me… Well, then what the heck was wrong with them? Was I the only one with any sense of morality and respect? That would be worst of all. Love had to mean something. It had to be worth something. It couldn’t just be ignored so you could get what you want, right?
And did any of these thoughts matter?
What if I was just some genetic material wrapped around a wish and willed by the magic of my ancestor into existence? If so, did what I want matter? Was what I wanted just some kind of magical programming that drew and bound me to the mountain of man draped around me? Did I make any choices that began and ended with me? Did anyone? Were we all just victims of some grand predestination? Did that make it feel better, or worse?
And how had Sookie even managed this… me…? I had never set eyes on her. As far as I had known, she had died years before my birth, and nothing in the Sookie-Book had ever mentioned that she was capable of enough magic to create a cluviel d’or, let alone create one made of human girl. Magic like that… wasn’t supposed to be possible – had never to my knowledge been possible before.
Was my life really my life?
What if all the things I thought were my memories and life experiences were just a collection of lies and fairy illusion?
What if I’d never really been born and had never really lived with and loved my family, but simply appeared one day and magiked everyone into remembering a history with me?
I felt like I was missing something obvious, but every time I reached for whatever it was, it dug its way deeper into my psyche evading me.
I had to stop. This was getting me nowhere.
I heaved a sigh and attempted to extricate myself from the heavy limbs I was tangled in.
I’d never realized how heavy arms and legs were until I tried lifting a ‘sleeping’ vampire’s. It wasn’t going to happen. I’d have to wiggle.
But it would be so much effort, and my body felt weak.
Pam had been buying me things to eat and leaving them in the rooms where we hid during the day, but she didn’t really know what humans (was I human? stop it, Nan!) needed to eat to stay healthy. Aside from the fact that there was little nourishment to be had from random candy bars (bit’o’honey and chocomunch? really?), potato chips, and wrapped deli meat sandwiches, I hadn’t been very hungry lately. She did at least remember to get bottles of water, although that didn’t sound very appealing as this basement didn’t seem to have a bathroom like the others had. Guess basements in huge cities were different from the rural ones.
Still, things could have been worse. Niall could have found us and hurt my vampires. That would definitely be worse.
Suddenly I wasn’t so petulant that I’d been under lock and key (or in this case debris) every day and a wave of fear and anxiety overtook me.
I didn’t want anything bad to happen to anyone, and Eric had to make a decision about his wish and how he would use it. I sensed he was hesitating for more than one reason. I knew when I had seen him on the night we fled that he had been in the middle of something big. One doesn’t (in my very limited experience) study building blueprints for nothing, and maybe they were plans for a home he had intended to build, but that didn’t seem likely.
But if Niall found us anytime soon, I knew I wouldn’t hesitate. I’d just give Eric my light before anyone had the chance to… mess with… anyone else. He’d have to wish, Niall would be thwarted, and no one would get hurt. Case closed. I was determined.
At least that much was clear to me.
It occurred to me that the one person left to answer any of my questions and bring me any kind of clarity, was the very fairy we were trying to evade.
That was rich.
Not that I believed he’d actually give me any of the information I needed.
Or maybe, he’d think he was, and it would all just be cryptic and vague junk that would make my already too full head spin. Maybe fairies processed information differently? Indirect was direct? Yes means no, go means stop, up is down, and why is a raven like a writing desk?
Was Lewis Carroll a fairy?
I laughed aloud trying to imagine him sitting with Niall and writing Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, believing they were passing on the very most vital information to humanity.
On second thought, maybe that wasn’t far off the mark.
I debated the very serious subject at hand. To wiggle free, or not to wiggle free?
I looked again at Eric’s face and felt a bit of the gloom I’d been wading through lift.
How was it that I felt I’d known him forever and would do almost anything he asked after one short week of our meeting? Goodness, had it really only been a week? Why did he look, and smell, and feel so good? Why was being near him so soothing?
I decided I didn’t care to question it at the moment and snuggled in closer to his cool body.
It didn’t matter that he wasn’t in love with me. Nor did it matter that our time together was going to be so very short. I didn’t care that, though this felt very intimate to me, we couldn’t be lovers.
I was in love with him.
Feeling lighter and more at peace, I closed my eyes and tried to be dead for the day.