He had the saddest expression on his face I’d ever seen.
Not that he looked sad. He didn’t. I think I could have handled sad.
He looked… wistful? Elated? Hungry. A bit of all those, I suppose.
It broke my heart and I couldn’t stay and watch him trying to somehow reclaim the woman he’d lost through her writing, so I quietly left without a word.
I was so tired walking through the cemetery, I knew I’d never wake up to greet the sunrise. Silently, I offered my devotions early and apologized in advance for not waking.
I stopped by my family and touched each plant to give it strength and life, as I contemplated my new acquaintance. I felt like I knew a lot about the Viking already (let’s be honest, waaaay more than I should in some private departments) but my impression of him after our meetings was very different than the man immortalized (would you say that about a vampire?) in the Sookie-Book.
All in all, I thought he was very nice. If you can call a vampire nice. I wasn’t scared of him. He hadn’t tried to hurt or bite me, and he was as straightforwardly vague as all the rest of the fairies and shifters I’d ever met. He did just kinda grab me and fly off… but that had to have been because Claude was there… and they’re vamp-crack… right? He was so pleased with the book.
It dawned on me as I started once again for home that I’d left my most cherished possession with a total (granted familiar-ish) stranger. Not that I needed it, heaven knows I’d memorized the thing years ago, but I did want to get it back. He wouldn’t think I was gifting it to him, right? There wasn’t some sort of vampire tradition that would mean he got to keep it, or something? I thought again about how sad his face had made me. It wouldn’t be so bad if Eric Northman kept the book… and if he was really reluctant to give it back… I’d… probably… maybe let him have it.
Or maybe I’d just ask him to make a holo… Then he could pull it up any time he wanted without having to worry about dragging that big ol’ book around. I was practically the only person who cared about real books anymore anyhow, right?
Meeting him was… fun? I couldn’t think of a more fitting adjective in my sleep deprived state. It felt like I had met a fairytale character in the flesh. He was every bit the fantastic creature I’d imagined, and more. I choked as I remembered when he opened the door. Soooo very much more.
Don’t get me wrong. I have seen my fair share of nude males. I come from a family with zero shame. Fairies and shifters. They’re naked so often, you’d think they had clothing allergies, but seeing Eric – that is Mr. Northman – naked as the day he was born (and he must be nearing 1100, right?) was… not quite the same. My cheeks were thoroughly burning when I finally made it through the back door and into the kitchen. I sat at the table and buried my head in my arms.
Suddenly, I knew I was not going to be able to sleep.
I heaved a sigh and opened the refrigerator. I either needed a cold shower, or pie. Pie was closer.
As I made my way through the second piece (I forwent the ice cream this time, so I was okay) I thought about my argument with Niall earlier in the evening.
I had already had a grand shouting match with Claude. He’d been livid with me for insisting on picking up my socks.
I told him I didn’t care about socks, I wanted to talk about the person I’d just met. I had so many questions!
What the hell was wrong with me, that I thought that was an interesting experience? He’d been fucking terrified! And did I think for a second what Niall was going to say? Or do? That was Eric Fucking Northman! Do I know who that is?
Yes. Yes, I do. Thankyouverymuch! And Niall was there when I left-
YES! HE WAS! And no body was DYIN’ THANK YOU! CAN YOU PLEASE JUST SIT YOUR FAIRY ASS DOWN?
GOD! I am SO FUCKING stubborn! I am EXACTLY like Sookie! What the HELL are we gonna do now? Eric Fucking Northman was NOT supposed to see me. EVER.
And then he popped, and I was alone. Stupid fairy! Then Niall was just, you know, there. I had spent months in his home the last summer and saw him all of five times, but just then he was in my living room, telling me what to do. He was telling me we were leaving a few days before we had planned. In fact, we were leaving then. That second.
I snapped. I had never raised my voice to my great-great-great-great-grandfather in all my life, I’d been too in awe of him, too eager to please and make him proud of me. I shouted at Niall. I told him I was under no uncertain terms NOT leaving that second. That I may not be coming this year at ALL. I was sick and TIRED of PRETENDING I was cut out to be a fairy PRINCESS when I barely fit in with normal HUMANS! He just EXPECTED that I was going to be as GOOD and KIND and SPECIAL as SOOKIE! I AM NOT SOOKIE!
“Child,” he’d addressed me too calmly, and I knew I was on very thin ice, so I shut up, “I will come for you at the end of the week.” He paused, “I very much hope that you will have reconsidered your position. You are so very important to me. If you choose not to come, I shall not attempt to force you, however, I strongly recommend you consider the consequences your actions will have.”
I’d started to feel guilty when he began, but defiance raised her ugly head by the end of his speech.
He reached his hand to me, and I kissed it. Defiance still flaring inside but respect and prudence winning that round. And Niall was gone, until Sunday anyhow.
God DAMNED FAIRIES!
Why couldn’t they just say what they mean? Ever? Growing up around them, one might think I’d be able to read between the lines better, but what can I say? I’m mostly human. And I grew up around men. Exclusively. Southern. Men.
If you needed something, you said it. If you wanted something, you said it. If you felt something… hold on, lemme see if I can call Theresa at work, she’s got a girl a little older’n you, see?
I giggled thinking about my dad trying to wrap his head around his teenage daughter and her emotions. If he’d felt nearly as lost as I did trying to figure out what makes a fairy tick…
That was when I thought maybe Eric – no! Mr. Northman! – would like to see the book and without a backward glance, I grabbed it stuffed it in my school bag and hoofed it to the Compton house.
And now I was eating pie.
Instead of ensuring I had a belly ache by eating a third slice, I washed and dried my dishes and set to work on my daily chores. If I got them done now, I’d have the whole day to read my very old and exciting book. I closed my eyes as I piled linens in the washer, and could imagine opening it and smelling the musty old spine.
I wondered what Eric liked to read?