I was in a mood.
I knew it. Thankfully, no one had to be around me to experience it, but I was making myself miserable, nonetheless.
It was Friday. The week of freedom was slipping by me entirely too fast.
The last couple days had come and gone in an Eric haze.
Mr. Northman! Mr. Northman! When did I start assuming it was ok to call him Eric?
I was in so much trouble.
I had even consciously stayed in bed while the sun rose this morning. I was holding a serious grudge that it was keeping him (Mr. Northman to you, Nan!) prisoner in that stuffy old house, when all I wanted was time while I still had it. I just wanted to be in the room where he was. He didn’t have to talk to me, or even look at me. I just wanted to be near his overwhelming presence. All I had left was this evening, and the next.
I didn’t want to go with Niall.
But I wasn’t sure what it would mean to refuse.
My great-grandfather (x4) was not the type of man that made needless statements, or threats (veiled or otherwise) lightly. I knew if I brayed like a mule now, I’d face serious consequences.
But that didn’t mean I had to like it.
Maybe I could make a deal with Niall that would shorten the length of time I had to be over there. Maybe he’d agree to put it off one more week.
A week isn’t a lot to ask for, right?
And it was for a good cause!
Did I really just try to justify calling a school-girl crush on a man that once knocked boots with my great-grandmother a good cause? I mentally winced.
It would make me happy, in any case, and that was a very good cause in my eyes. Lord knew I hadn’t had much cause to be happy this year. My father died, my brother had decided to keep me at arm’s length indefinitely (for my own good, yes, I knew, but I missed him) and I couldn’t shake the feeling I was heading in a bad direction. It hadn’t been a good year.
So a week of happiness didn’t seem like a lot to ask. And maybe I could help him out a little more… You know… because he was an old (old, old, old, old,old,old,oldoldoldoldoldoldold – enough, Nan!) family friend.
The thing Sookie failed at miserably in passing those journal entries, was accurately describing Eric (MR. NORTHMAN!). I mean, she pretty much skipped over everything but (ha!) his posterior. And there was so very much more to appreciate.
For example, the perfectly sculpted muscles that formed themselves over the unapologetically male v-shaped divot that began just below his hip and travelled…
My face suddenly felt very hot.
But that wasn’t even the kicker for me. I just… liked being near him. He was quiet (in every way, no thoughts to worry about hearing, and he didn’t chatter), he radiated power, and he was just… familiar. Being near him smoothed some raw edges I hadn’t been aware I’d had.
But I also knew this… thing… I was doing was entirely one-sided. In his eyes, it was plain that he saw me as a child.
I didn’t want to think about that just now.
I walked to visit my family in the cemetery after a light lunch. I knelt in front of Sookie’s little garden, caressing the leaves and whispering to each plant in Sylvan. They perked visibly before me.
I stared at her headstone.
“Sookie Merlotte! How in the world did you walk away? I’m not complaining. I wouldn’t be here if you didn’t, I know that, but that man is still in love with you, and you’re just bones,” I rambled.
The next confession was harder.
“I’m finding out some not-nice things about myself today. I’m jealous of you… And maybe that’s been going on a while… But I really don’t like it… because you’re all I have to… aspire to… or, I don’t know, model myself after. I just feel like I can’t do it. Be as good as you, and that. I mean, you had the love of at least two vamps, and shifters up the wahzoo, and you were a shaman and Friend of the Pack!” was almost shouting now. “My own brother doesn’t even want me around the shifters he knows! How do I ever live up to that?”
I took a deep breath to calm down a bit.
“I don’t guess I’m mad at you. I’m mad at all the damn men that want me to be you… Maybe that’s why I like Eric so much… he hasn’t even said I looked like you since that first night. To him, I’m just me, and that’s ok.”
I rested my head on the smooth stone and fingered the letters carved therein affectionately.
“The thing is I know everyone wants what’s best for me. I just don’t know if I want what they want for me.”
I knew how childish that sounded the minute it left my lips. My safety should have been more of a priority. I felt a surge of guilt as I remembered my fights with my fairies. I don’t think I listened to their meaning, focusing only on their manners and their words. I had scared them. They would have been deeply hurt, if anything had happened to me.
“I’ve been really selfish, I guess…” I whispered.
“You have.” Claude’s voice sounded bored by my little epiphany.
Instantly I was back in the black mood I’d so nearly shaken. “No, I don’t mind if you interrupt. I was only having a heart to heart with my-”
“We need to talk.”
“Fairy talk? ‘Cause that’s getting to be a little hard to deal with just now.”
“You have to stay away from Northman,” he blurted.
“Well, that was pure Claude, at least. Why? Am I in the way of your next great conquest? I can see all the little blonde babies with bad attitudes popping in and grabbing a bite-”
“Cousin, you’re confused right now and it’s tarnishing your light.”
“My light, my light! What the hell is my light anyway? My magic? I don’t feel any difference there.”
“No. Magic comes from the essential spark which is not measured by blood percentages and nothing but death can take that from you.”
“Then what the hell is it, Claude? If y’all want my light so bad why can’t you just take it and be done?”
“It is not something that can be taken. Only given, and you’ll give it to the bloodsucker,” he spat.
“Well great! I’ll give it to you then! Have it! I don’t want it! How can I want it when no one will even tell me what it is? And for your information, that bloodsucker hasn’t asked a darned thing of me!”
“What makes you the expert? Last time I checked you couldn’t get within ten feet of a vamp without becoming dessert! Sorry, Buster. No vamp-babies for you.”
He just stared daggers at me.
“I’ve already said too much.” And he was gone. Perfect.
I took a deep breath.
“Was he this crazy-making for you?” I asked half hoping her spirit would jump into me and tell me what I should do. Forever. “How am I supposed to make any informed decisions about my own life when I only ever have part of the information? You’d think being a telepath, I’d be happy to not know… but I just feel out of control. Like I’m in a plane with no pilot, and the supes are directing my landing. I don’t guess you ever felt like that though? Everyone always said you were the lady in charge. You saw things for what they were and made sure everyone knew about it.”
I’d have given anything for a little ‘Sookie-Sight’ right then.
I needed a friend to talk to and work things out with so I could get back the peace I’d had earlier in the week, before the big-blonde-vampire shaped tornado swept into my life.
I realized I had gone three mornings without proper devotions. I’d stayed up too late or pouted instead. Goodness, I did sound like a little girl.
It’s a funny thing when you realize your only friend that doesn’t have a claim to lay on you is the sun.
I began my song. It wasn’t sunrise. It wasn’t sunset. But the feeling of peace and gratitude was the same.
I looked down at the little plants I tended in honor of my loved ones, and realized they had turned their leaves toward me, and they were a little bigger.
My life wasn’t so bad.
Claude and Niall were just worried about me. I knew they had my best interest at heart.
“Suck it up, Anabelle Merlotte. At least no one wants you dead!”
And with that, I went home determined to at least try to listen to my kin.
I nearly made it to 11pm before I decided I absolutely had to check something in the Sookie-Book and found myself dashing through the cemetery.