Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Fairies and Witches and Weres, Oh My

In the modern vernacular, I believe the living would refer to the last few weeks of my existence as a “clusterfuck.” I am not entirely certain where that particular word comes from or what brought about its formation, but considering it contains the word fuck, I can hardly find fault with its usage.

But I digress.

The last few weeks of my existence have been quite a “clusterfuck.”

It began- as so many things do- with @RomanLucious. After two years spent shuttling between Mississippi and New York, my prodigal Deputy has finally returned to Shreveport. The two years were not without news, though seldom did Roman and I exchange words or information directly. Vampire politics always has been and always will be a dangerous and deadly game, so volatile the board it is played upon threatens to be turned over at any given moment. Being Sheriffs of different Kingdoms hardly allowed for Roman and I to remain on cordial terms when Kings and Queens are quick to assume treachery for far lesser sins. Sources and allies delivered word of his movement to me, and I would be naïve- something I most assuredly am not- to assume the same was not true for him.

My sources did little to prepare me for his abrupt arrival at @BarWithABite, however. I hadn’t received so much as a whisper that he might be venturing to my corner of Louisiana, yet there I was, dressing for another wasted night spent being  gawked at by the worthless fangbangers that flock to Fangtasia, when I felt him as clearly as I would feel one of my own progeny. Though I trust my blood with everything that I am, I doubted it in that moment until I laid eyes on him. Once more, my blood had not led me astray. When I arrived at the club, there he was with the witch @MenaGrazie, as if it hadn’t been more than seven hundred nights since he had last entered it.

I believe humans would refer to those first few moments as “awkward.” Personally, I would prefer to think of them as having been tense. Bonds and blood mean more than most could ever fathom, yet no vampire who has survived as long as the pair of us have is quick to drop his guard without just cause. I was curious, doubtful, incredibly suspicious, and- I’m not too proud to admit- relieved to see him.

There is good reason @fangtastic_Pam is my Second. After exchanging greetings with Roman, she wisely decided to shut the two of us away in my office to sort through his reasons for returning to Area Five. Granted, she likely regretted that decision before the night was through, but it was necessary in the moment.

I should have known I wasn’t going to enjoy the reasons for our reunion the moment he pulled out the flask of fae blood. Not that Roman has ever needed an excuse to gorge himself with fae, but he drank first, and I appreciated the act for what it was… a sign he hadn’t come to betray my trust or to end me, so I indulged in turn as a measure of good faith. In retrospect, I probably shouldn’t have. It made me much too open to accepting his reasons for being in Shreveport, which, naturally, were solely because of @PrinceVladTepes. The deputy’s long standing feud with The Prince is the sort of thing legends and nightmares are made of. It’s woven throughout history like a bloodied tapestry. Every time the pair cross paths, nothing but destruction, devastation, and death lay in their wake.

As much as I would like to at times, I cannot fault Roman for feeling haunted by The Prince. If anyone is, it is most certainly him. With the Prince residing in New Orleans, he has returned to Area Five to finally end the feud and unshackle his eternity from that of Dracula or meet his final death once and for all. It’s a noble quest, even if entirely delusional. A large part of me would like nothing more than to see Roman free from the clutches of the Prince, yet another part of me knows it would never be so simple as that. Should he succeed, vampire law would demand he be ended, along with anyone who might have helped him, living or undead. Knowing his intentions, just agreeing to allow him into Area Five could be deemed punishable with Second Death.

So, of course, I gave him permission. Now it’s just a game of distracting him from his quest for the sake of us all.

Fortunately, there has been a fair amount happening to keep him from rushing head first into his self-appointed suicide mission. The same night Roman arrived in Shreveport, his adopted child @VampyJo sought me out at Fangtasia with news of her husband, @were_lucian. For months, the Werewolf had been suffering from a Stage 4, inoperable brain tumor. Specialist after specialist had been unable to do anything for the pup, and while JoAnna’s blood eased some symptoms, it was incapable of reaching the root of the problem in order to cure it. Though my knowledge and understanding of modern medicine is extremely lacking, once I was handed Lucian’s medical files, it took me very little time to determine he was dying.

I had no doubt JoAnna intended to turn him, and she was quick to confirm it, though she had no shortage of reservations. Lucian had expressed his desire to be turned, but given JoAnna’s own experiences with her mad Maker, she questioned her capability and sought advice. I was willing to provide it, and quickly agreed to be present for both Lucian’s death and his raising. I may not have been her Maker, nor even her adopted Maker, but JoAnna has always been loyal to me and has proven herself trustworthy time and time again, and I was honored to take on the role of her mentor for such an important turning. Begrudgingly, I could even admit to a slight fondness of the Were, even if he did stink of dog. Seeing him turned, though many would not approve, was preferable to a mortal death.

Death was in the air, it seemed, though I wouldn’t learn of @NiftyJenny’s passing until she told me of it herself, and with a beating heart, no less. To say that I was fascinated by her story would be quite the understatement. Jenny had died in Bon Temps a few nights before she sought an audience with me at Fangtasia. After reading her obituary in the paper, @BiancaNorthman’s bonded witch @LiamDelancy and her homosexual dayperson witch, @OscarBrooks, exhumed her body with the intention of returning her to this world, something they succeeded in doing with @TisaMoreno and a necromancer, @WitchyHannah. To say that I was intrigued to learn @TeacherHalleigh’s sister raises the dead in her spare time would be putting it mildly, though I maintained a well-practiced air of disinterest.

A vampire can never let a human know when they hold more cards than they realize.

Jenny had not returned from death the same as she had entered it. Whether it was from her time on “the other side” or from the witches, I know not, but she has returned to this world mortal, yet other. She is able to discern races by smell, not so unlike a vampire, but perhaps more intriguing still is the damage she can cause when angered or threatened. I am naturally curious of her abilities along with the potential they hold, and since she has long been a human I found worthy of their existence, it seemed only natural to offer her a position at Fangtasia. She is now a bartender for the club and has invented a drink called a “Totally Tits Martini.” I have no idea what goes into it, but quite frankly, she had job security at the very mention of breasts.

Seeing Jenny at Fangtasia nightly naturally led me to thoughts of @BrierFerrior. It had been some time since the WerePanther had left Fangtasia for pursuits elsewhere in the world. I hardly make it a habit to contact former employees of the bar- not that there are many former employees who aren’t dead- but I had always thought of Nolan as “mine.” He may not have been bonded to me, but he had always been more bearable company than any other slave of the moon I had known and seemed to prefer the company of humans and vampires to that of his own kind. He had long been fiercely loyal to me, and I didn’t require an exchange of blood to know he was trustworthy.

It turned out that Nolan had pursued a career in shoveling sodium. Prior to this, I had no idea salt required shoveling, and I’m still uncertain as to why it does. I assume it’s a cat thing, but I don’t really know why. Though his choice in replacement profession was questionable, he proved his intelligence by jumping at the chance to return to Fangtasia. Nolan belongs at the bar in the same way Pam or myself do. It is simply not the same without him, and he was happy for the opportunity to return (not that anyone could blame him when he would otherwise spend his mortal existence shoveling a seasoning).

While Nolan’s professional life left much to be desired, his personal life seems to have flourished. Nolan is now a married man, not to mention an expectant father. @BrookeFerrior is a WerePanther as well, currently pregnant with their child, and who has a half-fae child from a previous relationship. Nolan introduced us his first night returned to Fangtasia, and she is a good choice in woman for him. She is attractive and quick-witted and considering she is mother to a half-fae, smells surprisingly good for one of the two-natured. She will keep Nolan on his toes and help me make sure his existence is filled with surprises and “coincidences” that happen to amuse me to no end. Needless to say, I approve.

Another former employee of Fangtasia has “tied the knot,” as they say. At least, I think that’s what they say. Human idioms have always evaded me. @MelissaHiggens invited Roman and I to her nuptials to another vampire, @KyvanRus. I had never met Kyvan before, but it is obvious he makes Melissa happy, and for two vampire to pledge themselves to one another for eternity is no small thing. The ceremony was pleasant and I am pleased Melissa is happy.

Considerably less happy throughout the ceremony was Pam. I could feel her significant discomfort throughout the wedding, and had to excuse myself shortly after the reception began. Pam’s progeny, @Pams_firstboy and @TaraThornton_ had fed upon donors who had been drugged in some manner, and were weakened to the point the slowest of humans could have ended them with ease. I may not tell her often, but Pam truly is a good Maker. She knows when to discipline and when to offer compassion. I have never seen her take away their freewill, though it would be easy for her to do. She allows them great freedoms and shows significant amounts of trust. I can feel that she cares for her progeny, and she suffered for their pain then. After giving blood to Tara, Pam was too depleted to offer Colin the healing he required if he was going to last the night, so I provided Colin with my blood. It took them a few nights to fully heal and replenish from the ordeal, but they recovered, and I am relieved for Pam that they have.

There would be no recovering for Lucian, however, and in short order, it was time for JoAnna to turn him. I ordered @VaughnBrennan to dig the hole in which Lucian would spend his three days death to spare JoAnna the task, and after quite the fiasco with my youngest child and fueled by @winnieYTM that I refuse to get into, it was time for Lucian to be turned. @WereLily and @SpencerColtTB had left the Maxwell residence prior to Roman and I arriving to bear witness to the event, and that was certainly for the best. It was the first time I had seen Lucian in some time, and his condition was dire. It was no small gift of Fate that he had managed to last as long as he had.

It was a difficult turning to witness. Lucian and JoAnna had exchanged blood more times than could be counted, and in order for the Were to be made a vampire, the bond had to be severed. JoAnna’s pain was obvious and abundant, and it was more than apparent the three days waiting for Lucian to rise would be the longest and most agonizing of her existence.

It may be selfish to confess, but I am a selfish vampire, and in those moments, I could not help but think of @BarmaidSookie. My bonded has made me feel more things in the brief time I have known and been with her than I can recall experiencing in centuries before. Though Sookie has expressed no desire to be turned and though I have no interest in ending her humanity when I enjoy it as much as I do, I cannot fathom my existence without her in it. Should I ever face a night when I no longer feel her very life force within me, I don’t know what I would do. It has become something I need as desperately as I need sustenance. I refuse to believe there might be a future without her in it, and if there is, I would rather destroy the world than exist in it.

Let it never be said JoAnna is weak. I have little doubt she handled the situation far better than I would have.

Roman and I buried them together, since JoAnna refused to leave Lucian’s side, even though she felt nothing from him, and he was locked into the death that accompanies our transition. I checked in on her over the following nights, making certain she wasn’t losing herself to the agony of the severed bond, but she held up impressively well for a vampire of any age, let alone one as young as she is. On the third night, I unburied them alone and was there to offer my congratulations to JoAnna on being a Maker and to assess the now youngest vampire in my territory.

Lucian’s situation is a delicate one. Making vampires out of Weres is not an embraced situation on either side of the Supernatural fence (fuck fences!). Lucian is left with a foot in two separate worlds, on both sides of a battle and rivalry that has been raging for all of time, and neither side will be quick to accept his allegiance nor to trust it. Even I will admit to being leery and acknowledge I am watching the situation closely. Because I advised JoAnna and value her, I am invested now in Lucian’s existence, though whether or not the newborn appreciates that remains to be seen. I wish to see him flourish as a vampire, and embrace this existence, one he is fortunate to have been given, but his struggle with his new nature would be obvious, even if JoAnna hadn’t confessed there have been issues.

Of course, I’m sure part of that is because the Were side of the ongoing feud has been making its presence and feelings known. JoAnna told me both the @WereAlcide had the bathroom befouler @WereTDawson have voiced their opinions on the matter. I can only roll my eyes at that. Where is a damn newspaper to smack them in their noses with when you need one?

The first few full moons following his turning will be the true test of Lucian’s future. If he is able to accept and embrace his new nature, it will be made apparent then. For JoAnna’s sake, I hope he does not destroy himself. Considering the first time he properly fed on one of the living, it was that of his adopted son, Spencer, I fear Lucian’s experiences thus far have not been ideal. I don’t truly believe he would destroy himself intentionally, but if he does not learn, adapt, and embrace what he now is, his taste of immortality may be brief, especially since many odd things seem to be afoot.

And nothing is more odd than what happened after the Deputy finally returned to Fangtasia after vanishing for a week following Lucian’s human death. I had suspected Roman’s claims of chasing fae in Monroe was all a clever ruse in order for him to secretly pursue the Prince in New Orleans. His witch was able to track and locate him there, and after I demanded he return to Area Five, she insured his arrival. I was less than pleased he was foolishly entering the Prince’s territory on his own, and JoAnna proved she has no fear of her adopted Maker and had no qualms offering her own opinion on the matter, but none of that was truly bizarre.

What was odd was who arrived in the middle of what was about to become a bloody battle. Fangtasia has always attracted a very wide spectrum of clientele, but the one Supernatural family we fail to lure in is that of the fae. I suppose those delicious tasting beings have enough sense of self-preservation to avoid our little slice of Shreveport. All except for my bonded’s cousin, @ClaudeCrane, that is. He demanded entrance into my office and after Sookie allowed him admittance, he began ranting and raving with news I still chuckle at the reminder of.

It seems Roman hadn’t been entirely dishonest when he had claimed he was visiting fae in Monroe. At some point in time between the two of us burying JoAnna and Lucian and his witch retrieving him from New Orleans, Roman married the fruity fae. Claude had a signed marriage contract, written by @SkyPrinceNiall himself, and signed in blood by both Claude and the Deputy. The news was enough for a centuries old vampire to seemingly lose consciousness (I didn’t think such was truly possible, yet I’m not sure I wouldn’t have done the same had our positions been reversed), and I was tasked with seeking out the demon Cataliades to see if the contract was as true as it seemed to be upon first sight.

It was. Roman and the fruity fae are man and… man, much to the Deputy’s dismay and to the amusement of all others.

As amusing as I find it (and I most certainly do find it amusing), I also find the union troubling for so many reasons, a number of which I’d rather not think on now, or ever. Just as we are not fond of fae beyond the blood their bodies offer, Niall Brigant of all fae is no friend to the vampire. My relationship with his bonded has, as far as I am aware, never been accepted by him, nor embraced, and my lover is only one-eighth fairy. Claude is the only pure-blooded male heir in Niall’s line, and Roman is nothing short of a fae blood addict. I cannot imagine it is Niall’s intention to see his only grandson drained until he is nothing more than fairy dust, even if seems that is the most likely outcome. Fairies are deceitful, manipulative, and always with their own agenda. I refuse to underestimate Niall’s cunning, and can’t imagine there isn’t some significance to this union that hasn’t yet been realized.

Figuring out what it might be seems unlikely, however. The contract is written and worded in a cryptic way that seems likely fairies might understand, but it is impossible to decode without some knowledge of the intention behind it. Mr. Cataliades offered no insight, only saying he refused to be involved with any interference we may attempt concerning a contract written by Niall, which is far from promising. I suppose I will simply hope the fruity fairy or one of his kin spills the secrets of it before Claude is drained.

I hate hoping. It never tends to end well.

Since hope is unreliable, I’ve begun taking matters into my own hands, or at the least, gathering support where I might. Between arranged fae-vampire marriages and @DakotaARyan informing me Dracula may be aware of more than we realized, I’ve began moving my own pieces on to the board, just in case. As I always say, I fucking hate witches. There is no such thing as reiterating that enough. Still, after being nearly drained only to have my bar burned down around me a few years ago, I can admit they have an impressive amount of power for mere mortals. Reluctantly, I can also admit not every witch has been a proverbial stake to my side. Bianca has long been fond of her witches, Roman’s witch Mena has proven useful to him, and the school teacher’s sister has even proven herself useful.

So I’ve decided to find myself a witch. Yes, I still fucking hate witches and will continue to do so, but I refuse to not possess a weapon I could find use for. Finding one to trust is difficult, however. I kept an ear to the ground and learned of a witch out of New Orleans who has been punished for being a witch (including by other witches) nearly as much as I have been punished by witches. @JadeChiara_ had no ties to the vampire community whatsoever, which was another point in his favor. After taking a meeting with him in Fangtasia, I have decided to hire him for my uses. He could prove to be quite useful, especially if he could succeed in tracking down that ginger-menace @BrodyKeyes where all others have failed.

In an odd twist of fate, Jade operates a tattoo shop out of New Orleans with @DareDevilDestin. He has used his magic to create inks that can be used to tattoo even vampire skin without quickly vanishing. I find myself strangely tempted to indulge, despite the fact that Sookie was less than fond of the last time I did such a thing.

@AppiusOcella has been extremely quiet as of late, and I fail to know whether I should appreciate such or be concerned. My Maker has seemingly made it his eternity’s purpose to see me and what I hold dear suffer for the night Roman staked Alexei, and in the past, quiet has meant he is up to something. What he might possibly be up to, I cannot imagine, but it has me slightly on edge. Perhaps that is my own paranoia, however, since I have begun planning my own treachery against him.

Planning is perhaps an overstatement, since I truly have no idea how I will go about doing such a thing, but I intend on freeing Vaughn from his clutches. Turning and giving Appius the drug-addled busboy in exchange for not taking Roman’s life for Alexei’s second death has long been a source of much contention between myself and Bianca, and remains so to this day. She loathes the fact that I surrendered my blood so easily, despite the fact that I truly had little choice in the matter, and uses any mention of Vaughn to express her dissatisfaction with me. What she doesn’t seem to realize, however, is I despise myself enough for both of us for having done it in the first place.

Since the incident with the hole at the Maxwell home I refuse to discuss, I have realized how dire my youngest child’s situation truly is. In the few times I have seen Vaughn since the night he rose, he had always been with Appius, and he was hardly allowed the permission and freedom to speak, especially to me. I have often felt his suffering and loneliness strumming through the bond we share, but nothing could have prepared me for what Vaughn has become… or hasn’t become, would perhaps be a more accurate way of putting it. My child, despite having been a vampire for a few years, is practically human. He barely seems to grasp the fact that he is undead and seems to have no knowledge of our abilities and strengths, nor how to use them. From the look and manner of him, I suspect he has never so much as fed upon human blood.

I expected Appius to torture or simply end him for the inevitable ache it would cause me. I didn’t expect him to do this.

I don’t know how I will accomplish it, but it is my responsibility to free my child from my Maker once and for all. Hopeless as he may be, Vaughn is mine, and he deserves at least a chance at this existence. I will teach him and introduce him to his true nature because it is his right, and if he remains as hopeless as he was the night he defiled JoAnna’s lawn, I will do the kind thing and end him. Now, I just have to figure out how to obtain him without drawing the ire of my Maker. Bianca’s anger (and petulant, infuriating furniture rearrangement) is more than enough.

Through it all, Sookie has remained my island of sanity throughout the storm of chaos that wages around me. I would be lost without her.

On a related note, I owe her a new kitchen table.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Where Has the Time Gone?

The sun has just set in Stockholm and I've risen to find my lover curled up beside me, eyes closed with a peaceful expression resting upon her face I have memorized with my fingertips and lips so many times over. The sweet, crisp smell of the winter wind coupled with the salty smell of the nearby sea clings to her skin from our adventures in the snow last night. I can barely concentrate on those when the scent of her blood and our sex still hangs so prevalent in the air, however. It takes a great amount of willpower for me to resist rousing her from her slumber in my favorite way, but my lover is exhausted. I can feel this threaded through our bond. So for now, I will let her sleep.

Truly, I can understand her exhaustion. The holiday season and all that has followed it since has been hectic with seldom a moment to spare. @BarmaidSookie and I have had little time to rest or relax, something neither her nor I will voice any word of complaint about. We have been surrounded by those we value and care for in the past days and nights, and I can feel that Sookie feels blessed for this. When my lover is in such spirits, I cannot help but smile myself.

It is, however, high time I take a moment to record these happenings. I have collected centuries worth of journals, each filled to the brim with my thoughts and memories, yet I cannot help but feel that even a thousand years from now, I will read the writings I make now most often, treasuring them above all others.

Sookie and all that she has given me truly has changed me.

Nothing could have been made more obvious after a night alone at her deteriorating farmhouse was interrupted by a very uninvited guest. When the knock came on the door, I thought little of it. Sookie is often visited by the residents of Bon Temps I can barely tolerate the presence of, but when she opened it and I heard the voice of the visitor from her kitchen, it was as if a fear I hadn’t known I had, had been realized.

I have done everything I could to keep Sookie from ever being forced to meet @AppiusOcella. Naturally, he went out of his way to demonstrate exactly why that was.

I could not immediately figure out what had prompted the visit, but the purpose became clear quickly enough. Appius was well aware of the pain I had experienced at the hands of the witches when @BarWithABite was burned. He knew my body was still not whole and I silently cursed the witches who tore through my flesh, leaving me to the pangs of regenerating it, and ultimately giving my Maker this opportunity to approach me and my human under the guise of a favor.

No matter what his words may have said, his true intentions were obvious. He was well aware of my lover and curious of her. It did not take long for him to acknowledge he has been involved with @ClaudeCrane, the fairy who is rapidly becoming a pain in my ass, though not in the way he would certainly choose to be. Sookie was as shocked by this news as I was, not to mention torn between being deeply concerned for her fairy kin and angry at him for speaking of her to a vampire who is undeniably a danger to her.

Appius did not stop there, naturally. He ordered me to feed from him to aid in my healing, and as an order from my Maker, I could not refuse it. The short trek between the chair I had been seated in and the feet of my Maker seemed impossibly long, and I could feel Sookie’s eyes on me as my fangs reluctantly sunk through his wrist and I drank of his ancient blood. The murmurings of approval he offered up as I consumed again of the blood that created me were made worse by the feelings of discomfort resonating through our bond from Sookie.

He was quick to leave, but not quick enough to spare me from feeling more disgusted in myself than I would ever normally allow.

I couldn’t speak a word to Sookie, not one, but she didn’t seem to desire my words or explanation either. There were so many feelings and emotions present that I knew were not my own, but I failed to recognize a single one of them. She immediately went to her phone, to call the fairy for answers, and I went to scrub away the feelings that consumed me in the shower. I went through all the hot water the farmhouse offered me and then some. I felt no cleaner when I exited than when I entered.

I didn’t speak upon emerging either. Sookie was exhausted, and simply asked that she be allowed to retire. I nodded my consent though I did not feel I deserved to hold her as she slumbered, even though she requested it. Until the dawn took me to my daily death, I thought of nothing but how I could possibly right the things between Sookie and I because of my Maker’s visit. There was so much I had never told her. There was so much I had never wanted to tell her. I knew that would be changing, whether I liked it or not.

Mostly, I did not.

Yet at the same time, I did. A piece of me, small, but present regardless, wants to share all I am and all I have ever been with my lover. It is so easy to give the pieces of myself to her that are “good” or “desirable,” but the things I regret, the things I choose to avoid any thought of myself, are much more difficult to unbury. Sookie has been a gift to me, one I know I have not earned and do not deserve, and a part of me is nearly certain I will lose her when she realizes such. Offering her the reasons to walk away seems foolish, yet doesn’t she deserve to know? Doesn’t she deserve to have these choices?

When I rose the following night, Sookie was ready to discuss everything we had avoided the previous night, even if I was reluctant to do so. I can deny her nothing though, and offered her what I could, and what she wished to know. I told her of the night my human life ended. I told her of what greeted me upon my first night as one of the undead. I told her of staking my brother, and the wrath I had incurred from Appius for doing so. Finally, I told her of the price I ultimately paid for such an act… and I could tell it broke her heart to hear it.

I try not to think of @VaughnBrennan and what I did to him, but Sookie wanted to know it all. Turning him as I did only to give him to Appius, knowing he would either meet a second, final death swiftly or be a prisoner at best, is something I struggle with nightly. Regularly, I wish my Maker would have ended him immediately. The loss of a child is damning and encompassing. The void it creates can never be filled, but at least a void is empty. The fact that Appius has not ended him has left me to feel Vaughn’s misery regularly. Each time, I am reminded of how carelessly I treated my blood- everything I am- by giving him to Appius.

Sookie insists I must see to his freedom from Appius. I do not know how I can possibly accomplish this, but I agree. Vaughn is my child, even if he has not seen me since the night he rose, even if he has been imprisoned for nearly a year because of my actions. I must find a way to right this. I cannot comprehend it, but Sookie has forgiven me for what I have done, or will completely if I am able to get Vaughn away from my Maker.

Truly, I do not deserve someone so abnormally good.

My lover and I celebrated the day of Jul the Christians stole from my people and now call Christmas alone together, which was exactly as it should have been. Between all the planning required for our trip to Sweden and the White Elephant party Sookie hosted, along with uninvited visitors creating tension between us, we required the time with one another and the simple peace we bring the other. I offered no words of protest over the many Christmas movies she desired to watch yet again, even if I have them reluctantly memorized from the first time she insisted we view them. I have come to the conclusion I regret not having had a taste of Rosemary Clooney during her White Christmas days, but I have wisely kept this thought to myself.

The night following our Christmas in Bon Temps, Sookie and I drove to Shreveport with Hundr in order to indulge in a holiday family dinner occurring at @VampyJo's residence. @AngeloSenior and his daughter, @GiannaVerdone were present, along with JoAnna’s siblings, @NandoYTM and @AutumnYTM, and, of course, @WereBabyLily. Autumn and JoAnna had concocted what I was told was an Italian meal for the humans, while the vampires present indulged in glass after glass of human blood. Though I knew nothing of the food the humans among us consumed, it smelled somewhat pleasing… with the exception being the garlic bread.

Sookie, thankfully, did not indulge in that.

It was an interesting dynamic at the table. I do not know JoAnna’s siblings as well as I possibly should, beyond the fact that her sister possesses a chest I wouldn’t mind ravaging if I was not so loyal to my lover, and that her brother seems to be attracted to me. Angelo and Gianna seem to be an extended family to the Livingstons, something I knew from our trip to New Jersey, but something I had not truly seen before that night. They are like one family. Things flowed naturally, with a mixture of rivalry and affection in the air, and of course, it’s fair share of cursing.

Gianna has requested that I allow Angelo to live with her, something that I think is a dreadful idea. I have only encountered her a handful of times since being burdened with the task of seeing to Angelo, but the few times have been enough to make me wonder how no one has ever drained her before. The girl is very attractive and apparently eager to have sex with me, but incredibly dim-witted and annoying. I can only imagine that if she were to live with her father, in a moment of newborn hunger, he’d drain the girl without second thought and not regret the silence such an act brought with it for some time.

Still, both she and the vampire insist they desire it. I cannot simply allow Angelo to roam far from me, not without disobeying Appius, something I am as incapable of doing as Angelo is. I have, however, agreed to look into realty in my neighborhood. Perhaps it is not unthinkable to secure the pair a home very nearby my own. At least it would keep Angelo from listening to Sookie and I fuck into the wee hours of the morning.

At one point in time, Sookie threw a shrimp at Gianna. I am not sure what custom this is or what it’s meaning is. I must remember to have Pam or Bianca look into it for me so I know when it is something I should do myself.

Sookie and I told JoAnna a little of the encounter we had had with Appius and about what he had said about Claude. The three of us share a fear that my Maker will end the fruity fairy and in doing so, bring on consequences all of us are unprepared for. Though JoAnna is too young to know of Niall and though Sookie has never met her ancient great-grandfather, I have encountered the fairy prince before, and know well enough the death of his grandson would lead to war.

What concerns me most about such a prospect is the idea that Sookie could be taken from me. Since learning of her fae heritage, I have fought back the feelings of foreboding that threaten to enter my thoughts whenever it or her kin are mentioned. Though my lover has always been, if anything, too kind and generous to those around her, the fairies she shares blood with are just the opposite. JoAnna and Sookie have agreed to pressure Claude to end the foolish relationship he is engaging in with Appius, and I am left only hoping that, for once, the fairy is reasonable.

But I do not truly think he is capable of such a thing.

The next night seemingly proved such. For @CalienteChloe’s birthday, @DavidCallum and @RyderWylde planned a surprise celebration at a Shreveport Mexican restaurant in her honor. Sookie and I went to offer our well wishes to the hot tamale, who I hadn’t spoken to for more than a minute since she literally kissed my ass on Father’s Day. Many familiar faces dotted the restaurant’s population… @JulesBonTemps, @Cathy_BT (who I spanked), @AbigaleDawson, @WereLee, @WereBraiden, @WereAsher, @TedtheFae, and Claude, among others.

Claude seemed to spend the whole party poofing from place to place, spending his time stalking the Lieutenant and @RylanParker equally. I ended up joining the Lieutenant in covering myself in lemon juice, much to Sookie’s disapproval, but with how much tequila the fairy (and others) were consuming, I wasn’t about to take any chances. Despite the fruity fairy doing what he does best in making every straight male in an given place incredibly uncomfortable, Sookie and I had an excellent time, and were able to catch up with many people we had not seen in some time. Seeing Chloe so happy was quite a treat as well, since she certainly hadn’t seemed such a thing when she had been locking her lips to my butt.

When another fairy poofed into the restaurant to deliver the cake and began stripping, Sookie became highly uncomfortable and we were forced to take our leave. I cannot help but be slightly pleased that the only male my lover seems to desire naked is me, not that anyone could ever blame her for such.

With any good fortune, I have ruined her for all other men.

The next night Sookie and I met with @pamiravenscroft, @LaceyTB, @NiftyJenny, Claude, and JoAnna to do some necessary shopping for our time in Sweden. Sookie didn’t seem to believe me that she needed warm clothes for our trip, but with the presence of her friends around her, she seemed slightly more willing to indulge in the spree she views as a chore. She fussed over every price tag, but finally managed to make a number of selections the others seemed to approve of. I certainly approved of her lingerie selection. Since we landed in Sweden, I’ve shredded through a good portion of it already.

She picked a dress for our bonding ceremony and insisted I do not peek. I haven’t, though I have been more than a little tempted. I have seen the shoes she will be wearing with it, and if the dress in any way coordinates, I am certain I will be pleased. While we were shopping, I had to sneak off at one point to pick out more pricy items I was certain she would require for the trip, knowing there was no way she would “allow” me to buy them for her if she was given the option of offering input. She has yet to open the garment bag they are in, but I am sure it is only a matter of time until she does. Hopefully.

It wasn’t all play before Sweden, however. Pam had informed me the humans we were holding prisoner in the basement of Fangtasia were causing her more than a fair share of problems, so @BiancaNorthman was called in to offer her expertise. If there is one thing Bianca is excellent at, it is making a human cooperate. She had an excellent time torturing @Witch_Madison as @AshleyDanielss watched on in terror. With her infliction of pain upon the young witch, Bianca was able to obtain the name of the ginger witch who attacked me… @BrodyKeyes. The Were in question she was less certain of, but after a great deal of blood and prodding, she offered up the name @WereHallow. Bianca extracted an address from the girl as well.

Between Bianca, Pam, and I, it was agreed upon that Madison should not be killed, no matter how tempting it was. Though I had been oblivious to such a thing before, Bianca confessed that her daytime human, @OscarBrooks, is a witch and that he had advised her Madison may be carrying a curse tied to her existence. We decided not to take the risk of unleashing something more upon us, and instead are taking small measures to keep the girl alive, though she barely is.

If she dies of natural causes and not by our hand, however, oh well.

Ashley, we determined, wasn’t truly involved with the witches. Or, at least, was not until locked in the basement with one for nearly two weeks. After a brief discussion, I agreed to glamor her and remove the memories of her time in Fangtasia from her head, along with any memory of the witch she had bonded with in her time there.

I had avoided telling Sookie anything about the prisoners. After she had discovered the purpose of Fangtasia’s basement when learning of @JustLafayette’s time there, I knew well enough it was a topic best avoided altogether. Much may have changed between the two of us since then, but I knew my compassionate lover would still struggle with accepting the measures I must take in order to keep my Area functioning safely and the vampires within it safe.

Before glamoring Ashley, however, I made the confession to her. Sookie was reluctant to join me in the journey the following night to the club to remove the girl’s memories, but she did so, for Ashley’s sake. My lover offered the starving and sick girl food, clothes, and medication while I systematically removed her happenings and replaced them with false memories of my own creation. The looks Sookie gave me could have killed…

Fortunately, death isn’t much of a concern for me.

She was even more reluctant to search Ashley’s thoughts once my glamoring was complete in order to ensure everything had gone according to plan, but my lover did it all the same. She refused to have sex with me that night, and instead made me watch another one of the movies she enjoys so much. Even a single night without her body connecting to mine is like torture. I am going to make a point of keeping business I believe she will disapprove of from her in the future.

Things took an unexpected turn from there in the nights that followed. After not hearing from him in some time, @RomanLucious contacted me, informing me he was in the kingdom of Mississippi to pick up money from the casino he and JoAnna own in Biloxi for Fangtasia’s new security system. Something was undeniably off about the tone of his text messages, but I believed it came from uneasiness he felt being in @VampKingRussell’s territory.

I was wrong.

Well, not entirely wrong. Russell did indeed seek out the Deputy while he was in Mississippi. When Roman returned to Louisiana, he informed me immediately of the ominous, bizarre behavior of the neighboring king, and even I was concerned. We both believe Russell is watching Louisiana, and that he has stationed vampires near our kingdoms’ borders to keep him informed if any Louisiana vampire should cross into his territory. The biker bar the Deputy frequents that lies near the border seems to contain a mole loyal to the Mississippi king. It will all take more looking into.

That wasn’t what seemed to truly be on the Deputy’s mind, however, concerning as it was. I knew something was amiss when one of Roman’s messages acknowledged that he would be spending his daytime death at Fangtasia. When I inquired why he would not return to his dwelling instead, he informed me he had no home to his name any longer.

I offered him a room in my house. Sookie does enjoy being a hostess, and I could not help but be curious as to why my Deputy would believe himself homeless. When he arrived on my doorstep, Roman’s eyes looked every bit their seven century age, and he walked as if the weight of the world was on his shoulders instead of only the weight of an overstuffed duffle bag.

I genuinely had not been prepared for the tale that met me. Though Roman had confessed to having lost his fairy when we spoke at the ball in New Orleans, I had not realized the silence that followed had been directly related to it. He could not protect her, and came to the realization that he could not protect @Baby_Abel either. With a heavy heart, he informed me he had asked @CowgirlVamp to become Abel’s permanent guardian, and asked her to protect and care for his adopted son as he found himself unable to.

I could feel just how much of a loss this was to the Deputy. I have long known of his desires to be a father, something he hadn’t had the privilege of knowing in his human life. He had plans for Abel once he had grown, hoping to one day turn him into his child for eternity. Even though I was less than approving of those plans in particular, I could hardly judge him. Not when I have done all the things I have done.

I could feel his despair through the bond we share, the bond that has made us brothers by choice. I decided to tell him about my true relationship to @VampNiklas, making it the first time I have admitted aloud our connection in seven hundred years time. The words were not easy for me to part with, perhaps because I have always gone out of my way to repress and deny them, and I myself could not stop the rare pangs of guilt and remorse that dotted my feelings at the recollection.

Roman was surprised, as I imagine most would be. I think, however, he understood. Abel may not be of Roman’s blood, but he will always be his son. Perhaps now was not the right time for him, perhaps these circumstances were not all he hoped them to be, but that does not mean it will not happen. A time may come when he is presented with an opportunity to become a Maker, or to once again adopt a child for his own. It may not be Abel, but the relationship he will share with him or her will be as important and significant. It will happen for him.

Whether he realizes it or not, he is a good vampire, with a good head upon his shoulders. One night, he will become a Maker, and he will be a good one. There are hurdles he must overcome, but he will. His hesitancy is all in his mind. I trust the confidence will come in time. He has it in him, he just must recognize it instead of only recognizing his own shortcomings.

He will be welcome to stay with Sookie and I for as long as he may require. It is not as if we do not have the room, and I imagine the Deputy needs the presence of others right now.

With the Deputy nearby, I was given the opportunity to update him on the situation with the witches, as well as my intention to bond to Sookie a third, irrevocable time. Confessing to him that I loved her seemed to catch him off guard, but I do believe he means it when he says he is happy for me. He both agreed to join us in Sweden, and set to work on getting the witches monitored by video feed we’re able to access even in Europe.

While Roman and I were working on checking the video feed of the address the witch called Madison supplied us with, Sookie hosted Lacey for the night. It was safe to say the Deputy hadn’t planned on running into her, but I believe it was a good thing that he did. My lover and I offered the two of them a chance to talk, something I am nearly positive they have not done since the night we felt our connections to Lacey severed. While they spoke, I phoned @QueenBlackwood both to inform her about my leave of absence and to tell her all Roman informed me of Russell. She agreed to make the journey from Las Vegas to Shreveport in order to watch Area Five and the kingdom of Louisiana, and brought with her @TigerLevy, her personal bodyguard, and @Tammyjo__, her liaison to the Were community. She shares many of the concerns Roman and I have about Edington’s interest in the state and will no doubt keep her eyes on Mississippi while there. I know the state and Area Five could not be in better hands during my absence.

It wasn’t all work before we left Shreveport, however. @Kayden_D had invited my lover and I to her impressive home, and Sookie and I were anxious to accept. Since my lover heard her sing at the Blood Ball, she has wanted the chance to meet the enigmatic songstress, and I knew she would not be disappointed. We were greeted immediately by Kayden’s butler, @ButlerChauncey, who is demon at least in part by the scent of him. He made Sookie undeniably nervous. It was quite precious.

We settled down in her sitting room and I was sorely tempted by the ball of yarn and knitting needles that rested in the middle of the coffee table. It seems Kayden had heard of my knitting talents and was eager to see if they were true. What can I say? When a woman has interest in watching me knit, I will knit, every time.

I had been eager for Sookie to meet Kayden if for no reason other than I knew the newborn vampire possesses extraordinary gifts, gifts she had had in life as well. Empathy, though not something normal (or perhaps even desirable) in the undead, is a powerful gift, and one Kayden was quite willing to speak about. She too had struggled with her ability to shield it when she was but a mortal, and explained that it was with the help of an old vampire that she became in better control of her talent.

The one thing I immediately took away from her words was that it was most easy to control once her heart no longer was beating. The fact that her gift hadn’t died with her is also most intriguing to me. It would be a lie to say in that moment, I did not look curiously at Sookie, wondering over what kind of vampire she would make. Death is not something that has been discussed between the two of us in depth, at least, not her own, but I cannot help but wonder. The idea of ever losing this rare and extraordinary woman is incomprehensible to me, but I do not know how she would feel about ever joining the race of beings she sees as so senselessly violent and too often unfeeling. My lover is compassionate, forgiving, kind, and sweet. These words simply do not describe vampires.

Perhaps it is something best never discussed with her. If I give her the opportunity to tell me she never wishes my existence for herself, she will be furious if I ever should bring her over. I do not want to imagine the wrath she would offer up in her newborn state. If I avoid the discussion altogether, there is always the chance when the time comes, it would be in my hands.

It is not something I wish to think about for many years to come. I enjoy my lover as a human. My existence is sustained on her blood alone. She is warm to my touch, soft, and perfect, just as she is. My attraction to other vampires has never been what it is to humans, so predicting whether I would desire her or whether she would desire me is impossible, but I still cannot help but wonder about what might be. My lover is an impressive telepath as she already is. Death and the power that goes with it could make her so much more.

When Kayden spoke of the limitations upon her gift, I noticed a discomfort from my lover that had me suspicious immediately. It seems that even in life, Kayden was able to occasionally influence the undead. When I asked Sookie whether or not she had ever read the thoughts of a vampire, she became highly agitated, denying that she had.

I wish I could have believed her.

Discussing it in front of Kayden was hardly appropriate, however, not when I was dreading the potentially dangerous truth of the matter myself. Instead we discussed Kayden’s adopted family, something else I was pleased Sookie could hear. She seemed fascinated by the connection the empath had chosen for herself, and I hope with it she opens her own mind to the rather untraditional family around her now. Really, I think she already has.

Sookie and I invited Kayden to a night at our home when she returns from her travels in France and England and when we return home from Sweden. Immediately I could see the cogs in my lover’s mind begin to turn as she began planning the event and who to invite. She really does enjoy doing such a thing.

When returned home, Sookie and I discussed whether or not she had heard vampire minds, and with a great deal of reluctance, she confessed she had been within the confines of my own mind on one occasion, the night I staked Longshadow.

This news was greatly unsettling. I can remember with total recall what I was thinking that night, and none of it would I have had Sookie hear if given any choice in the matter. Then, I had thought about how I could use her and her gift, I had thought about the measures I could take to ensure she did as I asked whether she wanted to or not. I had thought about taking her from @TruBloodBill, and I had thought about the ways in which I desired to make Fangtasia’s thief pay for what they had robbed me of.

I do not like the idea that my lover could know these things. She insists she did not read my thoughts, only get a sense of them, but she seemed to grasp easily enough that they were dark and twisted.

A vampire’s mind is sacred. It is the place most guarded and sacred. It contains our every secret, our every memory. Many of these things, I never want Sookie to know. Had I learned she had been privy to my thoughts before I had found love with her, I imagine I would have ended her. It would have been a shame to destroy something so desirable, but it would have been a necessary measure to ensure the confines of my mind remained mine alone.

I cannot help but fear if another vampire learns that, occasionally, she can glimpse into our heads, that they will be as compelled to end her as I would have been then. I have made her promise to never tell another, living or otherwise, but I fear that will not be enough. I intend on working with her on these shields Kayden spoke of, in order to guard her mind from invading what it should not. I must protect her. She is my everything.

After all, that is why we made this trip to Sweden. Every minute that passes, I grow closer to bonding a third, permanent time to my lover. I am nearly willing the moments to pass more quickly. I have told Sookie that to vampires, the two of us will be considered married, and that I will consider her my wife. She seems pleased by this, though there also seems to be an undertone of sadness I do not understand. I will figure it out, however. I care only about bringing my lover happiness. It is the least I can do when she has given me so much.

Roman, Lacey, @JackDanielsTB, @WestonTackett, @KristenFerrior_, @NolanFerrior_, Jenny, JoAnna, @were_lucian, Lily, Pam, Bianca, @LiamDelancy, @WaylonLee_, and Claude have all joined us here for the snow and celebration. Our bonding ceremony grows nearer by the minute, and I am pleased those gathered with us will be sharing it with Sookie and I. Tomorrow cannot get here soon enough. In a thousand years time, nothing has ever felt more right than this, now, with her.

Christmas Gifts

This year, I was very blessed with gifts from my friends and associates of Area Five and far beyond. More gifts showed up on my door than this Viking was prepared for, but I appreciate the thought that went into each and every one of them.

@BarmaidSookie and I sent many gifts out ourselves. My lover worried endlessly about how much money was being spent as if it was a viable concern, but in the end, I believe we were both happy with what we chose, and I know we both enjoyed giving the gifts and seeing the reactions of our closest friends and family this Jul season.

When it came to giving a gift to Sookie, truly, I didn't know what to choose. My lover has given me everything, there is no way I can properly honor such. No matter what she may say, she is not an easy woman to shop for either, but nothing has ever been easy when it comes to her.

It was quite the strange predicament for a vampire such as I. Both my vampire children and my humans have always expected me to gift them in diamonds and extravagant gifts, attaching monetary value to my affections, or, in the case of some, to make up for my lack of affection. Sookie is never impressed by these kind of things, however, and would refuse them on sight, no matter how important it may be for me to be able to give her the things she has never had, yet always deserved.

Jul is not the season for such a battle, however. I managed to find a few pieces of understated, antique jewelry that reminded me of some of the pieces already tucked away in her jewelry boxes that I have stumbled upon when looking through her belongings as she slumbers. I collected odds and ends I thought she may enjoy or require for the new year, things that I trusted would show her that I know her and listen when she speaks. It is almost unthinkable that such is true for once. I cannot recall the last time I truly cared about the words my human may have been saying, especially if they occurred anywhere outside the bedroom. Sookie talks often of getting her Gran's garden in order once the weather improves. I hope now that when she does this work in the sunlight I will never know again, her mind will often wander back to me.

My lover, on the other hand, seemed to have no trouble choosing a gift for me, and I can safely say it is one of my favorites to receive of all time. The blanket (though quite unnecessary) she insisted is to keep me warm during my daytime death, but more than anything, I hope to see her wrapped up in it and nothing else on a very regular basis. The fact that she made it and the throw pillows she knows I collect herself actually causes a smile to curl upon my ancient lips. It is as if she put a piece of herself into the present and with it, none of the expensive linens I possess can even begin to compare.

The part of herself she put into the second half of her present is enough to cause my fangs to descend and for my body to seek out my telepath immediately upon sight. I had looked forward to putting the pictures in my office of Fangtasia so when I was forced to entertain the vermin, I would always be only a short distance away from the object of my desire, but Sookie insists no one can see them aside from me. Instead, they have been carefully placed upon my desk in my home office. Their presence makes it nearly impossible to accomplish any work, but I am hardly bothered by that fact.

I am one very fortunate vampire and I know it.

Holiday Cards

I was fortunate to receive many Christmas and Jul cards this season from friends. I truly enjoy the holiday season and the celebration that goes into it. I am pleased to see that I am far from the only one who does.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A Whirlwind Week

Thursday night, @BarmaidSookie left her farm house in order to attend what she called a "munch needed" meeting with @Sam_MerlotteBT. The notion of her going to speak to the Shifter worried me a great deal, especially since the last few encounters with the glorified canine have left much to be desired. Not only has he made it a common practice to insult my lover simply because she is with me, but Sookie confessed that he had taken to offering similar derogatory comments to @Tara_ThorntonBT since she has so often been accompanied by and watched over by @fangtasiaserge. I don't care much for Serge myself, yet anyone with eyes can see he is no danger to Sookie's friend and that his actions are purely out of concern for her.

The Shifter's hatred of all things vampire seems to have reached a new and concerning level as of late. While I know no vampire would react to his amusing and ignorant rantings, I have worried for the humans around him, and that includes my Sookie. Though she offered me the opportunity to go with her on the venture, I could not allow myself to do so, even though it was more than tempting. My presence would have only fueled the Shifter's fire.

Instead, I was left in Sookie's farmhouse quite unsure of what to do with myself. It is amazing how quickly I have become completely accustomed to her presence at my side. Without her, I found myself at a loss and feeling her absence immediately. She was there for me when no other was, and that has imprinted upon me in an irreversible way. It is almost fortunate for me that @pamiravenscroft phoned Sookie's home shortly after my telepath's departure and provided me with a much needed distraction.

She had arrived at @BarWithABite that evening planning to further organize the necessary renovations for the club after the witch's fire only to find a part of the roof had collapsed, and not by natural means. At the scene of the crime, she discovered @AshleyDanielss along with another, unfamiliar girl, @Witch_Madison. With the help of @MelissaHiggens, who was there to help her with the debris removal and necessary phone calls, the pair managed to apprehend the two girls and secure them in the basement of Fangtasia against their will. Both were questioned, but Pam stated they were willful and refused to offer information up. After the spell @DocLudwig diagnosed as having been placed on her by a witch, she has struggled with glamoring, and found herself unable to force the pertinent information out of them.

After some brief consulting with one another, we decided to leave the girls in the basement of the club and starve them. Their willfulness will break quickly enough. If either is connected to the witches who took my blood and burned me, we will uncover it and will then be a step closer to finding those responsible. It is a small relief and victory amid the series of unfortunate happenings that have plagued Area Five since the sudden influx of witches. There will be many more victories to follow this one.

Once I was off the phone with Pam, I struggled with deciding whether or not I should tell Sookie this information when she returned home. Despite the fact that I know my lover wants vengeance upon those responsible for Fangtasia's fire and my resulting injuries, I know she would not approve of holding the girls and torturing them in much the way I myself was tortured. I decided not to tell her, not to avoid the argument that could ensue, but simply because I did not want to consider involving myself or Sookie in these things in any way. Pam has the situation in hand and I trust her with it. Sookie does not need the unpleasantness, nor do we, not when my lover has been so happy lately.

That happiness is of the utmost importance to me and I want nothing more than to maintain it. Instead of deciding how I would broach the issue when she returned from the Shifter's pub, I put in a rushed text to @LaylaDarshan with clear instructions for the next day.

Sookie returned home soon with news that left me pleasantly surprised. Her meeting with the Shifter went far better than I could have anticipated, and my lover finally explained the nature of her talk. She sought additional time away from the redneck bar in order to stay with me and adapt to my hectic schedule. It is both relieving and rewarding that she is as devoted to solidifying this rare and extraordinary thing we are sharing as I am. I know what my lover's work and income means to her, and I know she has as much pride as I do. She is so reluctant to offer any aid from me despite it being something so easy for me to give, but these things we will work through.

I am fortunate to have her. I cannot tell her such a thing enough. I am determined to show her how much I appreciate her presence in my existence and the sacrifices she has made for me more often.

I showed her that night in her kitchen. We broke her Gran's table.

When I rose Friday evening, Sookie was not in bed with me, but I could smell her cooking in the kitchen. She was obviously distracted and it quickly became apparent as to why. Layla did not disappoint in the requests I made of her the previous night. The packages arrived just as I had desired them and Sookie had spent her daylight hours wondering to the contents of them. Once she had fed, I allowed for her to quench her curiosity and open the boxes. I couldn't help but chuckle as she first discovered the gown I had chosen for her, her face filled with a kind of awe and trepidation.

I had been considering attending the @BloodBall2010 for some time and could imagine attending with no one but Sookie. Things had been so hectic that a trip to New Orleans for a party of such sorts seemed out of the question, but Sookie and I both needed a chance to get away and enjoy one another. When I invited her to attend with me, she instantly accepted, and in no time, the additional boxes were opened and we were packing for the lengthy drive to New Orleans along with Hundr, who has been quite overdue for a stay in a vampire hotel.

We didn't reach New Orleans until it was nearly dawn and Sookie and Hundr were quick to fall asleep. I knew my lover would need all the rest she could get for a busy and memorable event. When I awoke on Saturday evening, Sookie was already buzzing about the hotel room, preparing herself for her very first formal event of such magnitude. It is almost surprising to me no one has ever offered her such before. My lover deserves to be treated to the finest things in life and she looks natural in a gown of such design. It truly did hug her body in the most perfect way, making it nearly impossible for me to will myself into my tux and out of our hotel room...

But I digress. There was not even a small chance that I would deprive my lover of an event she was so obviously anticipating, and I could feel her anticipation clearly. We drove to the Magisterial Estate, where @VampireMagister hosts the event every year and as soon as we entered, Sookie was enchanted by the opulence of her surroundings. We saw @LaceyTB almost immediately upon entering and I could tell Sookie was relieved not every face in the crowd was unfamiliar. In fact, there were many familiar faces in the crowd of partygoers. @DavidCallum, @AlyxConway, Pam, @RomanLucious, @MeeMawBellefleu, @VampireStan, @KittyCatAngie, @ShifterPmt17, @CindyLouLouBear, @BranCrisp, @Lady_Cris3, and even @Vampire_Bubba looking dapper in a metallic suit were all among the collection of humans, Weres, and vampires who had amassed for the retired Magister's celebration.

And naturally, @Sookeh was there, possibly for the free food. She stopped by Sookie and I for only a few moments in order to introduce us to her new flame, @EvilDamon. The "boyfriend" was either invisible or nonexistent and I expressed exactly this, much to Sookeh's annoyance. Once the Evil One took off in another direction apparently in search of a human to sacrifice for some cause, my lover informed me she believes my daughter has an imaginary boyfriend. I do not know what to make of that, but it is Sookeh, and I find myself simply accepting it. In the grand scheme of things, this is quite normal.

Sookie also introduced me to a friend of hers, @MenaGrazie, a human who seemed quite out of sorts and jumpy despite the fact that I assured her I would not be quick to kill her when she is a friend of my lover's. I do not know why the girl was so uncomfortable. I would think any attending a ball being hosted by vampires would be comfortable among the undead, but one can never really anticipate nor understand humans fully. Sookie stated that the girl was a writer, a journalist of some kind. Perhaps she is simply more familiar interacting with words instead of individuals. It can be investigated later.

When @Kayden_D took the stage to perform for the audience, I was quick to sweep my lover out onto the dance floor. Nothing in this world compares to Kayden's voice, which seems to have been touched by the gods themselves. The Magister made a wise choice in turning her and choosing her as his lover and companion. Sookie and I danced for easily an hour on end without stopping. I had no idea she enjoyed such a thing so much, but it is exactly what such an occasion is for, and the two of us took full advantage of it. I will really have to take her dancing more often.

When she required a rest, we found a table and were quickly joined by Lacey, Dave, and Alyx, who are always the most welcome of company. Lacey was inebriated and quite upset, though she insisted she was enjoying herself. She informed Sookie and I there has been progress in @JackDanielsTB's condition and he may soon wake. I hope that with his waking, Lacey's own spirits will improve as well. It pains me to see her with such a sadness surrounding her. I will always think of Lacey as my daughter, and her pain is my own. Though I do not know this Jack of hers well yet, I can tell he brings to her what Sookie brings to me. I hope that is returned to her soon.

Chatting with the three of them with Sookie at my side was the perfect way to end the evening, and soon, Sookie and I were returning to our hotel for amazing sex. How is it that every time is so amazing and never remotely boring? I do not know, but I doubt it will be changing, and certainly do not want it to.

On Sunday, I took Sookie and Hundr on a carriage ride through New Orleans City Park to see the display of holiday lights they feature every year. This holiday season is so important to my lover, I wanted her to have the chance to experience the holiday in the Big Easy, even if we would only be there briefly. Sookie seemed enchanted by the experience and even Hundr seemed to enjoy all the lights and people buzzing about. Sookie sampled the cuisine and we strolled the gardens lazily, something we both enjoyed. Hundr enjoyed leaving his own trace on the gardens much to my amusement. Able to convince me of nearly anything, my lover even managed to get me onto the rides that had been set up for the event. Her enjoyment was my own, so I would easily do it all again.

We were both nearly reluctant to end our weekend away, but the time to return to Shreveport had unquestionably reached us. Sookie does not want to miss the birth of Tara's child and there is much more to do in our holiday celebrations. My lover has gone to work planning a baby shower for her along with @JustLafayette and @JericaMalone, and she seems to be genuinely excited for the new addition to her makeshift family, so I am pleased for her.

Last night, Sookie and I planned on decorating my home for the holiday season as we had her own home, but I found myself incapable of doing that before I discussed the prospect of our third bonding with her. I love Sookie Stackhouse, now that I have confessed to such and realize the depths of my affections for her, I desire the permanent bond that the blood exchange would form. I reminded her of my intention to travel to Sweden with @NolanFerrior this season, and asked her if she would do me the honor of bonding to me there. She immediately agreed to my relief, and has even embraced the idea of having the important exchange witnessed by some of those who will understand it's importance best. She chose a small list of people, Lacey and Jack, @BiancaNorthman and @LiamDelancy, Nolan and @NiftyJenny, Pam, and @WaylonLee_ to invite. The fact that she chose some of those most important to me pleases me if only because it assures me they are becoming important to her as well.

Of course, my lover could never stop there. Immediately she began planning a small party in which we can invite those few for the trip and explain our intentions to them. She truly is the consummate hostess. Not wanting to be one to forget any this holiday season, she is also toying with the idea of another party to include all our friends and relations. My lover is nothing if not thoughtful and infinitely thankful for those she cares for.

I will never be able to determine what I have done to deserve her, but I know I will never be able to let her go now that I have her.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Four Letter Words

I always suspected that everything I had ever known had changed the fateful night @BarmaidSookie walked into @BarWithABite on the arm of @TruBloodBill.

Now, beyond a shadow of a doubt, I know I was right.

One girl, one (mostly) human girl, has managed to turn the world as I have known it for over a thousand years time completely upside down. One might fairly inquire how such a thing could be possible, but the answer is both simple and the most unfathomable thing I have yet experienced to date.

She made me fall in love with her.

Love. A four letter word that is so simple to speak, yet so impossible to truly understand and to know. Truthfully, I have always thought of it more as an idealized concept than something that actually existed. To love someone- to really love someone- I was certain was impossible. It is a word that is so casually thrown about by both the living and the undead, a word to substitute something more honest and accurate, such as “fleeting affection,” but it could not possibly be real. Not when I had so much reason to doubt it.

I have heard so many use it without an ounce of meaning. Is it really love when, after a few nights spent apart, one's eye and body is wandering towards a new party, and one's mind is wandering away from that which they claim to have such a deep affection for? Is it love when one thinks only of himself? Is it love when she puts herself first? Is it love when one's actions are fueled by the things using such a word can give them? Be it sex, blood, power, or material goods? Is it love when such a thing can be easily discarded for something more promising or more desirable? Is it love when distance or absence is able to interfere?

No. This is not love. I have never felt it was.

Of course, there have been plenty who have claimed to love me. How easily lust is mistaken for love. The difference between the two could not be more dramatic, however. While I had never loved, I have lusted. Oh, how I have lusted in my many years, but even without ever having experienced love for myself, I knew it was not the same. Passion without depth, without meaning, is nothing more than physical desire, which has always been enough for me. The kind of love I was both offered and willing to give in return left me sated. I gave no weight to the word when it was offered to me. Not when I was certain it was meaningless.

I always refused to use it myself, regardless of the cost of not returning the sentiment. Why should I perpetuate the lie? They would go on to offer someone else their brand of “love,” forgetting so easily how a word with such meaning had been offered to me, and someone new would willingly accept my own limited lust for themselves without hesitation.

Many believed they could or would change me. That in time, I would come to offer up the word so many have made nearly worthless with misuse. Just as my outward appearance had not changed since my death over a millennium ago, neither would my position on falsely claiming to love what I did not.

Really, why should it have? Even as a mortal man, I had never known nor experienced what I believed love to be. My marriage was not built upon such frivolous things as unwavering and irreplaceable affection. When my elder brother had died in battle and left behind a widow in the marriage our parents had arranged for him, it fell to me to marry her to keep our families connected. She was a good woman, a good mother to our children, and a good enough wife, but it was never truly about love. Her death was an undeniable loss to me, but my heart did not break, my world did not shatter. I had not truly lost a piece of myself with her passing, and though I grieved for the end of a woman I had come to care for and respect, I carried on.

When I had never known or experienced love for myself, I could not miss it, I could not crave it. I was not seeking it, nor expecting it to find me. Such a thing was not meant for me, I was certain of this, and I had accepted it without mourning.

Of course, that did not stop me from being curious of it. There are moments of my existence that have been encompassing in their darkness and loneliness. In such times, I allowed myself to wonder what such a thing could be like for me. Even though I was sure I could not love nor be loved, that did not stop me from wanting it. Isn’t that how things so often are though? What we can never have, we yearn for the most. I was certain it was not for me, however, so I never allowed me to fool myself into believing it could or would happen.

So naturally, when I least anticipated it, it did.

Few things for a vampire my age can ever be considered new, yet everything with Sookie has been. From the moment she first entered my nightclub, clueless and hopeless, she entranced and fascinated me. When she daringly (and perhaps foolishly) exposed her valuable gift of reading human thoughts in order to spare me and my child from being implicated in a raid on Fangtasia, I saw in her a sense of charity I had come to believe no longer existed in this world. It was the same kind of charity I foolishly offered to a stranger lying on the side of a road and calling out for aid on the last night of my life.

The difference was that Sookie knew exactly what I was, and she hadn’t hesitated at all in order to help me. I could barely fathom it.

From there, as if that in itself was not earthshaking enough, she exposed me to compassion. After she had offered up such unexpected charity and revealed her gift in doing so, I had attempted to show the girl exactly who and what she had aided. I had been so prepared to threaten and scare this young human woman beyond her wildest imaginations, to give her a dose of reality she clearly needed if she intended on not being the next Bon Temps bloodsack to wind up dead. Calling her to Fangtasia in order to uncover who was stealing from me in the manner I had should have terrified her.

And while I could smell the fear on her and see it in her mannerisms, it didn’t stop her from holding her ground in demanding no lives could be taken by using her gift. She looked at the sweaty, worthless accountant who tended the books and the vampire-addicted waitresses who wore their desperation in scars on the flesh of their necks as if they were valuable and worth something. She soothed and comforted them as she read their thoughts and questioned them aloud. She meant nothing to them. I could see in their very expressions that they loathed this girl who could single-handedly be their end, but she never let this change her demands. She protected them, without reason, and was an unwavering source of calm to them they didn’t deserve.

And I had thought I had seen everything.

I went out of my way to make the girl uncomfortable. She portrayed the image of a proper southern belle and I am proud to be the exact opposite, so I reveled in being as rude, shocking, and crass as possible. I wanted to fuck her, so I told her so often. I propositioned her in inappropriate manners in front of others despite the fact that she belonged to another. My lips sought and found hers without her approval. I tricked her into consuming my blood. I laughed at her anger and shamelessly taunted her.

And what did she do in turn? She forgave me. Forgiveness itself is a concept I am unfamiliar with. Vampires tend to seldom forgive and never forget. Had I done to another vampire what I did to her, I would have paid for it in blood and would eternally be looking over my shoulder expecting retaliation. I have had so many humans who have expected for me to purchase forgiveness in jewelry and other pricy things. Such thoughts never occurred to my Sookie. She simply met my gaze and dismissed the many ways I wronged her. Even when I did the same things over and over, even when I refused to “learn my lesson” and accept her rejection, she forgave me. Without reason, without gaining anything from it, she forgave me, time and time again.

And I cannot put into words what a new feeling being truly forgiven is to me.

When she finally rid herself of the Civil War Relic and gave herself to me, she gave me a gift I have sought for so many years through our bond. She allowed me to feel her happiness- true happiness- and happiness that I was the cause of. It wasn’t things I could give her that made her experience these feelings either. I could feel it so clearly in moments that made little sense to me. She was so happy when I simply agreed to attend a dinner with her brother, @HornDogJason. She was so thrilled when I would agree to spend my daytime death in her farmhouse instead of returning to Shreveport. She allowed me to feel her true bliss when doing nothing but watching an old movie with her on her ugly living room couch, or when first taking her into my arms after a few nights spent apart. She allowed me to feel these echoes of something I have so long ago forgotten and have spent so long searching for again, and never once hesitated to tell me with complete sincerity that I was the cause of her elated mood.

That I could make another so rare and extraordinary as her happy is the greatest gift I have ever been given.

And then, when I was not expecting it at all, she loved me. Through all the tragedies and losses my lover has felt and experienced in her brief time on this earth, she knows better than most how fleeting and fragile human life is. Still, she gave her heart to me, unguarded and raw with the pain of previous betrayals to have, hold, and protect. She gave it to me without expecting or demanding the same in turn. She offered the sentiment and did not let me feel even a hint of disappointment in her when I failed to return the words to her. She had given me the power to crush and destroy her, for no reason other than she wanted to. She trusted me with it. She demanded nothing in return.

Then, she watched me shatter. She felt my pain and helplessness so clearly as Fangtasia burned around me. She watched the proud, Viking warrior and Sheriff of Area Five be reduced to nothing more than a shell of what I am. She felt me break and then she aided the confused and lost vampire I had become out of my own miserable prison. She did not judge me for my weakness, though I believe she was as aware of it as I am. Instead, she nursed me, she cried for me, she cared for me, she protected me. She has sheltered and clothed me, knowing that doing so puts herself and her home in danger, without seeking anything in return.

She has listened to me express fears I have never been comfortable voicing to another and does not let such change her feelings for me. While I would expect most to be repulsed by the uncertainty and hesitation I find myself feeling so easily now- while I would be repulsed by another if they were the one with such uncertainty and hesitation- it has not clouded nor altered my lover’s opinions nor feelings in the slightest. If anything, it has only made her more certain she needs to be at my side, that it is where she belongs.

And the more I consider these things, the more I believe that she is right. The more I allow myself to feel what she feels for me, the more I realize I feel the same. The more time I spend with my lover, the more I realize she has become an integral and vital part of both my nights and of me. Because Sookie has opened herself so completely to me, because she has not hesitated to feel so sincerely and strongly for me, my own walls and defenses have allowed her to pass through them.

As she slumbered at my side on Thanksgiving, having submitted to her exhaustion even before all our guests had departed for the night, I found myself pondering if I could love this woman. Even as she slept, I found her presence and proximity to me to be a pillar of strength and comfort. The way she curled into my side and the way her hand instinctively curled and grasped at the air when I had first moved away from her told me I was the same to her. Even after she had seen me weakest, even when she was at her most vulnerable, she sought me and trusted me.

Being as unfamiliar with love as I am, I found myself frequently pondering it over the next few nights, trying to identify exactly what it was that I felt for Sookie. Undeniably, every moment I spend with her is important to me. Whether we are alone or with others, whether we are watching a movie, sitting around her kitchen table, or whether I am making her scream my name as she writhes beneath me, every second of it is valuable to me. I do not have to feign having an interest in her thoughts. Instead, I am genuinely curious and care about what she thinks. I value her opinion and ask for it often.

I find myself smiling so often when I am near her. After mastering the art of a blank expression centuries upon centuries ago, it is unusual to be so drawn to such a meaningful expression now. Sookie makes me laugh with relative ease and I find her own frequent smiles and laughs both satisfying and rewarding. Around her, things are easy. I find I have no great need or cause to guard myself or to act a certain way. I am able to relax and simply appreciate her company.

And then I enjoy all that is her as much as one possibly could. The warmth of her skin beneath my fingers feels right, as if my hands have been waiting an eternity just to know every inch of her body. Her breath on my neck feels good, as if it alone could warm me to my very core. The scent of her is so familiar and I am so drawn to it, I could recognize her arrival in a room full of people while blindfolded, even without our bond. Her blood is all I desire passing through my lips and everything else fails to compare and satisfy me in the same way. The sensation of her heart racing while pressed up against my own cold and silent chest feels so natural I crave it. And no matter how many times I have her, no matter how I take her, there is no trace of boredom felt by me. In fact, it is so extraordinary every time, I am nearly surprised and dumbfounded by it over and over again.

I am compelled to bring her happiness however I can, in every way I can. I desire to care for her and unburden her senseless worries so they no longer exist. I want to offer her security and build an existence with her. I want her near me, nightly, and actually find myself hoping she desires the same of me. For the first time, I find myself concerned that she may grow tired of me or grow tired of the politics and complexities of my own world and flee it. As inconceivable as I would have thought it, I find myself willing to sacrifice some of what I pride myself on if it would allot me more time with her and please her.

With each of those things considered, each and every one of them new and unexpected, it seems I can only bring myself to one conclusion that feels both good and somehow right, no matter how unfamiliar it may be.

I, Eric Northman, am in love with Sookie Stackhouse. My human, my telepath, my lover, my dearest one, has irreversibly altered my unchanging self to my very core.

And I would not have it any other way.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Santa's Midgets Visited Early

It may not be the holiday humans refer to as Christmas yet, but when I rose for the night tonight, I was greeted by gifts that made me feel as if it was.

@LaceyTB sent me these flip-flops, which I am so thankful to possess once more. I received a pair just like these for Valentine's Day from Lacey, but they were destroyed in a funeral pyre I made behind Fangtasia. They were my favorite of all flip-flops and the loss was quite devastating, so I am relieved to have another pair.

My favorite basket weaver, @AlyxConway, sent this basket and pair of flip-flops, which I must say, feel excellent to my Viking-sized feet. The basket is the perfect place for me to store my knitting yarn while I'm at @BarmaidSookie's home. I'll have to knit her a gift of appreciation as soon as possible.