AN: Please, accept my apology – I made you wait sooo long for this update. I hope the chapter will be worth the wait though! Big thanks for keiman and kei for beta-reading for me.
"Good night, Eric. Rest well."
"You too, Lover. Bye."
I was grinning like a fool when I opened the door and walked inside, but the second that I closed the door, I froze and my smile vanished.
Ben Flynn was sitting in the middle of the couch, watching me with an expressionless face. My fangs ran down and I looked around for the best way to attack him. I expected him to charge at me, but nothing like this happened. Instead of attacking me, Ben raised his hand and a blinding blue light shot right through me.
I fell on the floor- unable to move from the pain that the light caused – all of my body was on fire. In the blink of an eye, Ben was in front of me and watching me from above.
"I was right in thinking that you're too tough for just one shot." he mused thoughtfully and raised his hand again.
This time, the blast of light took my consciousness away.
I Know a Lie When I Hear One
I was never one for male posturing. I never tried to establish dominance or prove whom was a bigger man. When I was a fairy, there was no such concept among my kind. When I became a vampire, existing under Lilith's ruling left me with nothing to fight her with. When I became a lone wanderer after I killed my Maker, I didn't need supremacy - I only needed blood. I mourned after the death of my people; I was their killer, but deep down I always blamed Lilith. Humans knew I was an outcast and then, when I was sure all that remained of my soul was destroyed, I treated them as they treated me. If they wanted to look at me and saw a beast, I looked at them and saw a food source.
Many centuries later, after killing my way through the European continent, it occurred to me that something I never wanted – complete dominance – was solely mine. On my way to kill as many vampires as I could, I never thought of how it would look to the others. I was so consumed with my need to erase that kind from the face of the Earth, that soon I became the one they feared and, what was even worse, the one that they all admired. I was named the indestructible vampire thanks to my immunity to both silver and sunlight. Then some followers of Lilith wrote her "bible" and put me in there on a pedestal, as a savior of our kind, as a vampire who should be a role model for all the other bloodsuckers. I was respected and fawned over while all I wanted was to be left alone.
So I tried really hard to be forgotten. I slaughtered as many vampires that I had met as possible, I went into hiding and did all in my power to become a legend; nothing more than the metaphor some Sanguinista followers had made up. Many times I had put a stake to my chest and tried to push it, ending the agony that was my life, but the fairy part of me was screaming at me to stop. The lovers of life as fairies were, they would never accept a suicide.
Slowly the thought that maybe all I need is a companion started to strengthen in my mind. I turned a girl once, when I was almost three thousand years old, but I got scared by what I had made. She was nothing like me – she had nothing left of her humanity, she had nothing of fae in her. Her name was Olena and I remember that I had found her in Eastern Europe during a long winter when most of her village had died- either from cold or from starvation. She was rabid and crazy with hunger and lust when she was raised as the undead. I tried to call to her as a Maker should call his 'child', but she didn't listen. Right at that moment, I realized that it was not meant for me to be a Maker. Something, probably the fairy in me, made me unable to bestow a command over my progeny. So I ended her existence. Without any remorse, I ripped her heart from her chest and threw it away.
I spent another millennia looking for a solution to creating a companion. Vampires were disgusting to me, humans were too irritating with their annoying minds pushing at me, fairies were out of the equation entirely… I needed someone who was like me. I was lonely to the point of madness. And finally, in the green forests of the Celts, I found a shred of hope. I tracked a fairy there, a female ancient in her own rights and just as lonely as me. Aednat was her name. It meant "The little fire" and it suited her perfectly as she almost burned my ass with her light that day. She was shocked to meet a vampire during the day and I was shocked to find a fairy in this realm. To my surprise, she was not as tempting as she should be – the scent of death was surrounding her and I realized it was because she was at the end of her existence. When we stopped fighting each other, we talked and that night the ancient fae had awakened a hope within me.
"You are the one my people are afraid to whisper about," she judged when I had collected my burned body from the ground. Acting on pure instinct, I bared my fangs at her and my palm shone, with the light I hadn't used in centuries. She was stunned at seeing me using fairy power.
"I don't care what your people are saying about me!" I spat back at her with disgust.
"Our people," she whispered and to my astonishment, she sat upon the soft grass and patted the place next to her. "It should be impossible and yet here you are. A fairy and a vampire trapped inside one body." Aednat watched me with pity and if there was something I hated the most, it was pity. I even considered to use this moment and drain her dry. "I am dying either way, to die in a fight with a vampire would be an honorable end…"she said, taking me by surprise. "But don't do it young one, I may have some answers."
And that was how Aednat spent her last day – discussing with me all of the possibilities.
"Maybe if there was someone with your blood, you could control this poor soul."
"Olena had my blood," I answered petulantly.
"Yes, vampire blood but not fae."
I sighed. How could I share my fairy blood with a human? I had only vampire blood in my system. The old fairy was watching me with a smirk, clearly waiting for me to figure it out. And then it struck me…
"My family blood…" I whispered, feeling hot tears building up in my eyes. The blood of my family, of the family that I had slaughtered hundreds of years ago. Before I knew it, I was cradled in the arms of the fae, who was soothing me and trying to calm my hysterical sobs.
"Do not mourn, young one. I can feel a Brigant in you and if you are a Brigant then nothing is lost." Her soft reassurances made my tears disappear within seconds.
"What do you mean?"
Aednat smiled a toothless smile, her old face wrinkling even more. Something shone in her eyes, something that I could not completely understand. "The young Prince with the name of Brigant was the one who banished me here…" She waved her hand dismissively and laughed.
I moved away from her and raised my eyes to the sky. For so many years, I had been so sure that no one of the Sky Bloodline was left. I was so sure that the little boy whom I had spared that night had met his end at the hands of humans or other vampires… but clearly he had survived.
"This arrogant bastard is gaining forces… Mating with as many fae as he can." There was a disgust in her tone and I looked back at her in time to notice a burning hatred in her eyes. "He needs more females because, in his opinion, we are not numerous enough." I refrained from sharing my opinion with her. In my years as a fae it had been common for our females to have few husbands. The females were the strongest in magic and in wielding the light. Each tribe had one female, mother so to speak, to unite them when the need arose. Clearly, something had changed along the way. Brigant's actions made no sense at all.
"He wants to strengthen the position of his name… Not raise the number of fae in general," I summed up and Aednat nodded shortly.
"He overpowered Earth Fae and now, he hath overpowered Fire fae…" Aednat's eyes became unfocused when she looked into the flames of a small bonfire which we had started. "I have been respected for many millennia, the adviser and healer for all of my people and one day, Niall Brigant came and decided that it was time for me to go." My hand reached hers unconsciously and I squeezed it gently. I felt sorry for her. Among the fae, someone was always trying to gain more power, but this… It was something bigger. Taking control over three of the four elemental tribes could make Niall Brigant a king. We had never had a king. " I am telling myself that one day this little fuck is going to finally make mistake… Someone will be more cunning and more cruel than him. Maybe Breandan? Gods know that boy is crazy, but at least he respects the old ways. But…" she patted my knee gently." Let's get back to you. There is a chance that you will find some of Niall's offspring." Aednat conjured a sheet of paper and put it upon the grass in front of us. "It's our new safe heaven – no vampires, little humans, a lot of woods. Niall seems to favor it as his new bridgehead in the human world. " My eyebrows rose when I saw the map that she had showed me. The world which it pictured was gigantic… There was no way that the world could be so big!
"What are these?" I pointed at two pieces of land, far bigger than the lands that any maps if which I knew had ever revealed.
"It's something that we call a new world. There are many portals available to us. A few decades ago some curious fae wandered there and we discovered it."
I ran my fingers over it and frowned. "It's separated from here by a huge sea. I have never seen one like that…"
"Yes," the ancient fae nodded shortly. "And the Water Fae will guard it. When you look at the west from here, you will see it - their kingdom."
"But it's where the World ends…"
"No, it's where your World begins…"
I looked at her with hope and I knew that she was not trying to fool me. If there was something I was good at, it was telling when someone is trying to fool me. I was an expert – I knew a lie when I heard one.
My moment was interrupted when I heard Eric Northman waking up. I shook my head to get rid of the memories of Aednat, the ancient fae that had shown me a course and given me the materials to build up my obsession. It had all led me here - to Sookie and to the piece of shit that had tried to hurt her.
"Why? Was it a payback? Some stupid need to show off, prove your dominance? Out of all the ways that you could have wronged me, you decided to hurt the only person in the world that I love?! What kind of lies have you been feeding her? What did you do to force her to lie to me?!"
Northman yelled when I gripped his left side and pulled. The piece of muscle fell from his body to the bloody bath on the floor. It wasn't enough – I wanted to rip him to tiny shreds, wait for him to grow back the limbs and then tear him up again. He had somehow made Sookie lie to me and I was blind with rage. It just couldn't be.
"What did you do to force her to lie to me?!" I repeated. "Did you use magic?"
He laughed and coughed up some blood, shaking his head lightly. I watched him carefully, but the only sign of emotion that Eric showed was his fatigue – he was tired but honestly, so was I. I've been working on him for hours now and he still had yet to break. He had lost his consciousness twice now and every time that he woke up, he had tried to stand up and face me.
"Doesn't matter, right? What really matters is that you found out. Please! Be my guest and don't hold back," he growled, trying to sit up, but collapsed back onto the floor with a scream when my light burned though his body. I had not chained him. I could recognize the pride of a warrior and even though Eric Northman was nothing more than a lying scum, I had offered him a chance to fight me back. He had tried at first, but now his body was too tortured to move.
"I can do this all night… All week and for the whole fucking century if I have to, but… You. Will. Tell. Me." I said calmly, watching his defiant stance. "When you are ready to confess what kind of trick you pulled on her, Sookie will be here to witness it." Something flickered over Northman's face, but disappeared too quickly for me to recognize what it had been.
"There is no need to drag her into this. She was nothing but a good fuck and a puppet in my hands. As soon as I'm gone, she'll be back to her old self..." he told me lazily and I frowned. There was something new in his eyes. Something that was almost recognizable. "I wanted her because I couldn't have her. That's all." He nodded his head, pointing at the table where all kinds of daggers and stakes were arranged. "Go ahead." My hands were shaking, itching me to take a stake and just end him. End him and end everyone around him. I forced myself to remain calm though.
"It's been obvious that I would eventually be found out. You knew that I am stronger than you and yet you've been carrying on with your charade. And for what?" I questioned him because I was genuinely curious.
"What can I say… Sookie's a really good lay." He smirked, earning himself another blow. I walked away from him to take a breath and stop myself from killing him on the spot. I sat in the corner, watching him with interest. There were so many conflicted actions in his behavior that I was left puzzled. If his wish was to humiliate me, he would have bragged about his fling with Sookie. And yet he kept it a secret. If she was nothing but a plaything to him, why did he even bother in to carry on with it in the first place? He had to know that I will end him.
Our eyes locked for a moment and finally I recognized what I had seen in his expression a few moment earlier.
It was true fear.
"The night that I met Sookie, I had intended to slaughter her parents and take her away with me. She had been promised to me by her ancestor," I said gently, tilting my head and watching the younger vampire's reaction. "I had intended to train her to be a perfect companion for me… That night though, I had found her unconscious in her parents' car when they had tried to drive her across the river and drown her. They wanted to kill her to save their little girl from being turned into a monster." Northman growled lowly and raised his eyes to me. "I still could have killed them and taken Sookie but I… I made a mistake and looked at her." I smiled, remembering our first meeting. "I looked into her big childish eyes, so full of innocence and goodness and I knew it's my undoing. I knew that I couldn't kill her parents and take her away because if I did… those lights would be gone."
"Is there a punch line in there somewhere? Or is it just a typical villain bragging?" Northman hissed angrily.
"I am going upstairs to call Sookie here," I told him slowly. "She will be sitting there in the corner and watching you die. It will hurt me to expose her to this, because she is so tender-hearted, but… " I paused. "Maybe it's time to harden her just a bit. She will watch you turn into nothing." I stood up and turned towards the exit, but Northman stopped me.
"Wait…" I looked at him with raised eyebrows and waited for some elaboration. "She doesn't have to see this. Just… do with me whatever you want, but don't force her to face it. It was all my fault."
I sighed, shaking my head. "You are really a complex vampire, Northman. On the one hand, you toy with Sookie and on the other, you care for…" I stopped in midsentence when I realized something. "You just care for her. You just don't want my girl to suffer," I said quietly to myself. I groaned, irritated and I threw a small table across the basement. "Couldn't you just be black and white?!"
Now I was lost. Eric Northman had wronged me, but I was no longer sure if he had wronged Sookie as well. The scenario that a minute ago, I had thought to be impossible, had come up to the surface and laughed in my face.
"Does Sookie care for you as well?"
Northman didn't answer, but I saw everything in his eyes. "I don't care for her and she doesn't care for me. Just… Just leave her out of it. There is no need for this. If you love Sookie as you claim, Ben, you will do nothing to hurt her."
I kneeled down next to the sheriff and looked him deep in the eyes. "And you - do you love her?" I asked simply and the younger vampire snorted.
"You're delusional. I do not love humans!"
My heart exploded at his confession. I even tried to force myself into his mind to assure myself, but deep down, I knew that it was not necessary. I just knew.
Sighing heavily I turned and sat right next to him, leaning my head on his shoulder. Eric's whole body tensed and readied itself to being assaulted again, but I wasn't planning to do anything to him. I was tired and too busy with revaluating my whole life and surprisingly, the coldness of his undead body was somehow soothing. I ignored the sticky blood that soiled my cheek and took a deep inhalation of his scent, immediately recognizing Sookie's fragrance mixed with his. One more proof that I've desperately tried to be blind to everything around me.
"I think that you should know that I have something that Sookie would call a superpower." I whispered, tracing a finger over Eric's jaw line and he tensed even more than I thought possible. "I always know a lie when I hear one."
AN: New chapter will be posted soon, this time from Eric's POV. Please, leave me a review!